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Unformatted text preview: h their valour had acquired them in this popular and meritorious enterprize. Among these, was Robert, duke of Normandy, who, as he had relinquished the greatest dominions of any prince that attended the crusade, had all along distinguished himself by the most intrepid courage, as well as by that affable disposition and unbounded generosity, which gain the hearts of soldiers, and qualify a prince to shine in a military life. In passing through Italy, he became acquainted with Sibylla, daughter of the count of Conversana, a young lady of great beauty and merit, whom he espoused: Indulging himself in this new passion, as well as fond of enjoying ease and pleasure, after the fatigues of so many rough campaigns, he lingered a twelvemonth in that delicious climate; and though his friends in the north looked every moment for his arrival none of them knew when they could with certainty expect it. By this delay, he lost the kingdom of England, which the great fame he had acquired during the crusades, as well as his undoubted title, both by birth, and by the preceding agreement with his deceased brother, would, had he been present, have infallibly secured to him. Prince Henry was hunting with Rufus in the new forest, when Accession of Henry. intelligence of that monarch’s death was brought him; and being PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 177 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 sensible of the advantage attending the conjuncture, he hurried to Winchester, in order to secure the royal treasure, which he knew to be a necessary implement for facilitating his designs on the crown. He had scarcely reached the place when William de Breteuil, keeper of the treasure, arrived, and opposed himself to Henry’s pretensions. This nobleman, who had been engaged in the same party of hunting, had no sooner heard of his master’s death, than he hastened to take care of his charge; and he told the prince, that this treasure, as well as the crown, belonged to his elder brother, who was now his sovereign; and that he himself, for his part, was determined, in spite of all other pretensions, to maintain his allegiance to him. But Henry, drawing his sword, threatened him with instant death, if he dared to disobey him; and as others of the late king’s retinue, who came every moment to Winchester, joined the prince’s party, Breteuil was obliged to withdraw his opposition, and to acquiesce in this violence.c Henry, without losing a moment, hastened with the money to London; and having assembled some noblemen and prelates, whom his address, or abilities, or presents, gained to his side, he was suddenly elected, or rather saluted king; and immediately proceeded to the exercise of royal authority. In less than three days after his brother’s death, the ceremony of his coronation was performed by Maurice, bishop of London, who was persuaded to officiate on that occasion;d and thus, by his courage and celerity, he intruded hi...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08