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HENRY'S DANGER AND PENANCE.
as she tried to fly, and thrown into prison. Nevertheless, Henry was not dismayed. The bishops stood by him; and of all his sons' retinue, only three accepted permission to follow their masters' fortunes. The importance of the war was not understood for some time. Hatred of his powerful neighbour had long rankled in the breast of Louis; and while the king of England so little suspected, or so profoundly despised him, that he offered to make him mediator, the French king meditated an implacable war. He rejected the proposed office, on the ground that Henry was thoroughly faithless. In an assembly at Paris, every discontented noble who held anything of the English crown was invited to transfer his homage to the young king, and the counts of Flanders were among those who complied. The fidelity of the nobles of Aquitaine had already been undermined. The king of Scotland was bought over with the promise of Northumberland for himself, and Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire for his brother. The earls of Leicester and Derby agreed to raise the standard of revolt. Strong in these allies, Louis fortified his castles and collected an army of twenty thousand Brabançons.
Yet the successes of the first campaign were on the whole with Henry, who took Dôl with the Earl of Chester inside it, and forced Louis to retreat. In England, lord Arundel captured the earl of Leicester, who landed with a body of Flemings in Norfolk. But in July, 1174 A.D., the bishop of Winchester1 crossed to warn Henry that only his own presence could retrieve England, where a Scotch army was pouring in from the north, while David of Huntingdon headed an army in the midland counties, and the young prince was preparing to bring over fresh forces from Gravelines. Henry crossed the channel in a storm, and, by advice of a Norman bishop, proceeded at once to do penance at Becket's shrine. On the day of his humiliation, the Scotch king, William the Lion, was surprized at Alnwick and captured. This in fact ended the war, for David
1 So many messengers had already gone over, that the Normans said the next envoy sent would be the Tower of London.-Diceto; Twysden, 576.
THE KING'S TRIUMPH.
of Huntingdon was forced to return into Scotland, where the old feud of Gael and Saxon had broken out. The English rebels purchased peace by a prompt submission. In less than a month, Henry was able to return into Normandy. There the citizens of Rouen had gallantly beaten off the whole French army, during a siege of three weeks, in the hope of speedy relief. In spite of his pious abhorrence of treachery in others, Louis was well inclined to gain by fraud what he could not win by arms: he proposed an armistice in honour of St. Lawrence, and prepared, under cover of this, to storm the city. Some clergy who had mounted the cathedral belfry, perceived the treacherous attempt; the alarm bell was rung, and the citizens, swarming to the walls, repulsed the enemy. Next day the English army appeared. A body of Welshmen stole through the woods, and intercepted the provisions of the French.
The confederates were now weary of war, and agreed to an armistice. Richard alone tried to hold out, but his castles were speedily reduced. Before long peace was arranged (September 29, 1174 A.D.) The conquests on both sides were restored. The young king received two castles in Normandy, with an income of fifteen thousand Angevine pounds; Richard two castles in Poitou, with half the revenues of the earldom; and Geoffrey two castles in Brittany, with half the rents that earl Conan had enjoyed the rest were to be paid him on his marriage with Constance, the heiress of the duchy. The three sons did homage: the two younger by agreement; the eldest at his own demand, that he might have some better security than his father's love. Henry II. released his captives, 969 knights in all-a signal proof of his success, and of the extent of the insurrection. The king of Scotland was still captive in Falaise. By advice of a deputation of Scotch prelates and barons, he at last consented to swear fealty to Henry as his liege lord, and to do provisional homage for his son. His chief vassals guaranteed this engagement; hostages were given; and English garrisons received into five Scotch towns, till the treaty had been solemnly ratified in the next year at
York. The only person who did not benefit by the peace was Eleanor. She expiated the double offence of adultery and disloyalty, by a long imprisonment of twelve years, which even the intercession of her eldest son on his death-bed did not mitigate.1 Henry now no longer disguised his connection with Rosamond Clifford, whose early death has made her a heroine of romance. 2
But the causes of discord between Henry and his sons were too deep-seated to be removed by any peace. Every one except the king of England had an interest in the unnatural strife. In 1180 A.D., Philip Augustus ascended the throne of France, and carried on his father's anti-English policy with infinitely greater ability. Times were changed for France, since a duke of Normandy had intimidated the whole kingdom. The French knights had learned their own strength in the crusade, and felt pride in the national name, which was so gloriously known in the East. This feeling of nationality did not of course extend to the English provinces. But Brittany was like the Scotch
1 She was released (1186 A.D.) at the intercession of Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury. Probably a visit of her son-in-law, the duke of Saxony, to the English court, had something to do with it.-Gervase; Twysden, 1475. But she was imprisoned again before Henry's death.
2 The story that Rosamond was the mother of Geoffrey, bishop of Lincoln, and archbishop of York, is highly improbable. He was born at least as early as 1155 A.D. (Ang. Sac., vol. ii., p. 378); whereas Giraldus, who refers the connection with Rosamond to this date, calls her puella (De Inst. Princ., p. 91), and Brompton says that she died early.-Twysden, 1151. Walter de Mapes says that Geoffrey's mother was named Ykenai.-De Nugis Curialibus, p. 228. But Rosamond may have been the mother of William de Longespee, who died 1226 A.D. The story of the labyrinth was known to Brompton. In the French Chronicle of London (p. 3), Rosamond's death by the poison of toads is ascribed to Eleanor, queen of Henry III., to account for the hatred of the London populace to her.
3 The altered relations of Normandy and France were ascribed by Ranulf de Glanville to two causes: first, that the Normans had come into France at a time when the country was weakened by the loss of two great battles; secondly, that since the dukes of Normandy had become kings of England, they had destroyed the local liberties of their native province. The first cause could hardly have operated for two hundred and odd years. The second is a real one, but ought to have been balanced by the additional resources of England.-Girald. Camb. de Inst. Princ., pp. 114, 115.
CHARACTERS OF THE THREE PRINCES.
Highlands of the fifteenth century: it swarmed with barbarous clans, who were always ready for war. More civilized, but equally martial, the knights of Aquitaine and Guienne esteemed their dependence on England in proportion as it was nominal, and entered the energetic protest of constant revolts against the very shadow of peace and a strong government. Bertrand de Born, troubadour and knight, was the intimate friend of the young king, and, to some extent, of all the family. Animated by the conviction that his country's liberties could only be preserved by a balance of constant war between France and England, Bertrand devoted his bitter pen and sharp sword to the unholy struggle. The three elder sons of Henry possessed every quality dangerous to the peace of the kingdom. All loved war for its own sake. Prince Henry1 enjoyed the highest personal popularity; he was liberal, affable in conversation, and ready to forgive. Landless and treasureless as he was, a splendid retinue of knights attached themselves to his fortunes, and so great was the promise of his talent, that, if he had lived, says one who knew him, "he would have re-fashioned the monarchy of the world." The prediction is of doubtful value ; Henry's character was wayward and uncertain. Richard was the less loved, but the better soldier of the two. love of adventure engaged him, as governor of a province, in perpetual feuds; a harsh love of justice made him pitiless in repressing disorder; and passion constantly hurried him into excess. Geoffrey was a diplomatist by nature; overflowing with oily words, rankling with bitter thoughts, and always on the watch to overreach, or escape overreaching. We know that their father loved Henry, Richard, and even the worthless John, his youngest born; Geoffrey seems to have conciliated no tenderness, and died leaving no friends.
'He is commonly called "the young king," or Henry III., in the chronicles. I commonly avoid these titles as likely to lead to confusion.
2 Girald. Camb. de Inst. Princ., pp. 29, 31, 32, 35, 36, 104, 105. Giraldus was bitterly hostile to the old king, but his narrative generally has strong internal marks of truthfulness. His expression that Geoffrey was at the bottom of all the mischief that went on, is remarkable. The rumour, after prince
DEATH OF PRINCE HENRY.'
Richard's fame as a matchless knight, against whom no castle was safe, and his expeditions into Biscay and Navarre, aroused the jealousy of his elder brother. 'Prince Henry foresaw that the almost independent earl was establishing a new kingdom in Aquitaine, and would never subside into a subject. The alarm was reasonable, and the old king called upon his second and third son to renew their homage to the heir-apparent. Geoffrey was willing, but Richard resolutely refused. He came, he said, of as good blood as his brother, and had no occasion to do homage for his mother's estates. Geoffrey was sent into the south to mediate (1183 A.D.), and presently found himself at the head of a league of Aquitanian barons, who gladly embraced an occasion of revolt against Richard's stern rule. Prince Henry sent his wife to the French court, and joined his forces to Geoffrey's. The king could not remain spectator of a civil war between his sons. He marched an army into the south, and found that authority had deserted him; he could only interfere as a partizan. He elected in favour of Richard, who was hard pressed, and besieged Geoffrey in Limoges. In his anxiety to spare bloodshed, the king entered the town under a flag of truce; the archers of the garrison violated it, and Henry narrowly escaped being shot down in the market-place, while he parleyed with his son. "My son," he said, with tears, "tell me if such a father as I am deserved this of thee." The crime was perhaps not Geoffrey's. The men of Aquitaine had taken up the quarrel so fiercely that they ill-treated or murdered the envoys who came to treat of peace. Geoffrey is not innocent of these outrages, which he at least witnessed; but there is no proof that he intended parricide.1 Prince Henry wavered for a time between the two camps, but finally returned to the rebels, and was excommunicated in consequence by the Norman bishops. He then collected an army, and advanced, plundering churches and villages as he went, to relieve Limoges. A sudden attack of fever pros
Henry's death, that miracles were performed at his tomb, is some proof of his popularity.-Newburgh, vol. i., p. 233.
Hoveden; Savile, p. 324.