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Unformatted text preview: manors of the crown; the offices of greatest trust and power, even those of forester and sheriff, which anciently were so important,q became venal; the dignity of chief justiciary, in whose hands was lodged the whole execution of the laws, was sold to Hugh de Puzas, bishop of Durham, for a thousand marks; the same prelate bought the earldom of Northumberland for life;r many of the champions of the cross, who had repented of their vow, purchased the liberty of violating it; and Richard, who stood less in need of men than of money, dispensed, on these conditions, with their attendance. Elated with the hopes of fame, which in that age attended no wars but those against the infidels, he was blind to every other consideration; and when some of his wiser ministers objected to this dissipation of the revenue and power of the crown, he replied, that he would sell London itself could he find a purchaser.s Nothing indeed could be a stronger proof how negligent he was of all future interests in comparison of the crusade, than his selling, for so small a sum as 10,000 marks, the vassalage of Scotland, together with the fortresses of Roxborough and Berwic, the greatest acquisition that had been made by his father during the course of his victorious reign; and his accepting the homage of William in the usual terms, merely for the territories which that prince held in England.t The English of all ranks and stations were oppressed by numerous exactions: Menaces were employed both against the innocent and the guilty, in order to extort money from them: And where a pretence was wanting against the rich, the king obliged them, by the fear of his displeasure, to lend him sums, which, he knew, it would never be in his power to repay. But Richard, though he sacrificed every interest and consideration to the success of this pious enterprize, carried so little the appearance of sanctity in his conduct, that Fulk, curate of Neuilly, a zealous preacher of the crusade, who from that merit had acquired the privilege of speaking the boldest truths, advised him to rid himself of his notorious vices, particularly his pride, avarice, and voluptuousness, which he called the king’s three favourite daughters. You counsel well, replied Richard; and I hereby dispose of the first to the Templars, of the second to the Benedictines, and of the third to my prelates. Richard, jealous of attempts which might be made on England during his absence, laid prince John, as well as his natural brother Geoffrey, archbishop of York, under engagements, confirmed by their oaths, that neither of them should enter the kingdom till his return; though he thought proper, before his departure, to withdraw this prohibition. The administration was left in the hands of Hugh, bishop of Durham, and of Longchamp, bishop of Ely, whom he appointed justiciaries and guardians of the realm. The latter was a Frenchman of mean birth, and of a violent character; who by art and address had insinuated himself into favour, whom Richard had created chancellor, and whom he had engaged the pope a...
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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