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Unformatted text preview: oronation; but some of them, bringing him large presents from their nation, presumed, in confidence of that merit, to approach the hall in which he dined: Being discovered, they were exposed to the insults of the bystanders; they took to flight; the people pursued them; the rumor was spread, that the king had issued orders to massacre all the Jews; a command so agreeable was executed in an instant on such as fell into the hands of the populace; those who had kept at home were exposed to equal danger; the people, moved by rapacity and zeal, broke into their houses, which they plundered, after having murdered the owners; where the Jews barricadoed their doors, and defended themselves with vigour, the rabble set fire to the houses, and made way through the flames to exercise their pillage and violence; the usual licentiousness of London, which the sovereign power with difficulty restrained, broke out with fury, and continued these outrages; the houses of the rich citizens, though Christians, were next attacked and plundered; and weariness and satiety at last put an end to the disorder: Yet when the king impowered Glanville, the justiciary, to enquire into the authors of these crimes, the guilt was found to involve so many of the most considerable citizens, that it was deemed more prudent to drop the prosecution; and very few suffered the punishment due to this enormity. But the disorder stopped not at London. The inhabitants of the other cities of England, hearing of this slaughter of the Jews, imitated the example: In York, five hundred of that nation, who had retired into the castle for safety, and found themselves unable to defend the place, murdered their own wives and children, threw the dead bodies over the walls upon the populace, and then setting fire to the houses, perished in the flames. The gentry of the neighbourhood, who were all indebted to the Jews, ran to the cathedral, where their bonds were kept, and made a solemn bonfire of the papers before the altar. The compiler of the annals of Waverley, in relating these events, blesses the Almighty for thus delivering over this impious race to destruction.p The ancient situation of England, when the people possessed little riches and the public no credit, made it impossible for sovereigns to bear the expence of a steady or durable war, even on their frontiers; much less could they find regular means for the support of distant expeditions like those into Palestine, which were more the result of popular frenzy than of sober reason or deliberate policy. Richard, therefore, knew, that he must carry with him all the treasure necessary for his enterprize, and that both the remoteness of his own country and its poverty made it unable to furnish him with those continued supplies, which the exigencies of so perilous a war must necessarily require. His father had left him a treasure of above a hundred thousand marks; and the PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 259 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 king, negligent of every consideration, but his present object, endeavoured to augment this sum by all expedients, how pernicious soever to the public, or dangerous to royal authority. He put to sale the revenues and...
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- Spring '08