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The History of England From the Norman Conquest to the Death of John
Richard I and the Crusade
by Adams, George Burton

The death of Henry II may be taken to mark the close of an epoch in English history, the epoch which had begun with the Norman Conquest. We may call it, for want of a better name, the feudal age,--the age during which the prevailing organization, ideals, and practices had been Norman-feudal. It was an age in which Normandy and the continental interests of king and barons, and the continental spirit and methods, had imposed themselves upon the island realm. It was a time in which the great force in the state and the chief factor in its history had been the king. The interests of the barons had been on the whole identical with his. The rights which feudal law and custom gave him had been practically unquestioned, save by an always reluctant Church, and baronial opposition had taken the form of a resistance to his general power rather than of a denial of special rights. Now a change had silently begun which was soon to show itself openly and to lead to great results. This change involved only slowly and indirectly the general power of the king, but it takes its beginning from two sources: the rising importance of England in the total dominions of the king, and the disposition to question certain of his rights. Normandy was losing its power over the English baron, or if this is too strong a statement for anything that was yet true, he was beginning to identify himself more closely with England and to feel less interest in sacrifices and burdens which inured only to the benefit of the king and a policy foreign to the country. To the disposition to question the king's actions and demands Henry had himself contributed not a little by the frequency and greatness of those demands, and by the small regard to the privileges of his vassals shown in the development of his judicial reforms and in his financial measures these last indeed under Henry II violated the baronial rights less directly but, as they were carried on by his sons, they attacked them in a still more decisive way. When once this disposition had begun, the very strength of the Norman monarchy was an element of weakness, for it gave to individual complaints a unity and a degree of importance and interest for the country which they might not otherwise have had. In this development the reign of Richard, though differing but little in outward appearance from his father's, was a time of rapid preparation, leading directly to the struggles of his brother's reign and to the first great forward step, the act which marks the full beginning of the new era.

Richard could have felt no grief at the death of his father, and he made no show of any. Geoffrey had gone for the burial to the nunnery of Fontevrault, a favourite convent of Henry's, and there Richard appeared as soon as he heard the news, and knelt beside the body of his father, which was said to have bled on his approach, as long as it would take to say the Lord's prayer. Then we are told he turned at once to business. The first act which he performed, according to one of our authorities, on stepping outside the church was characteristic of the beginning of his reign. One of the most faithful of his father's later servants was William Marshal, who had been earlier in the service of his son Henry. He had remained with the king to the last, and in the hurried retreat from Le Mans he had guarded the rear. On Richard's coming up in pursuit he had turned upon him with his lance and might have killed him as he was without his coat of mail, but instead, on Richard's crying out to be spared, he had only slain his horse, and so checked the pursuit, though he had spared him with words of contempt which Richard must have remembered: "No, I will not slay you," he had said; "the devil may slay you." Now both he and his friends were anxious as to the reception he would meet with from the prince, but Richard was resolved to start from the beginning as king and not as Count of Poitou. He called William Marshal to him, referred to the incident, granted him his full pardon, confirmed the gift to him which Henry had recently made him of the hand of the heiress of the Earl of Pembroke and her rich inheritance, and commissioned him to go at once to England to take charge of the king's interests there until his own arrival. This incident was typical of Richard's action in general. Henry's faithful servants suffered nothing for their fidelity in opposing his son; the barons who had abandoned him before his death, to seek their own selfish advantage because they believed the tide was turning against him, were taught that Richard was able to estimate their conduct at its real worth.

Henry on his death-bed had made no attempt to dispose of the succession. On the retreat from Le Mans he had sent strict orders to Normandy, to give up the castles there in the event of his death to no one but John. But the knowledge of John's treason would have changed that, even if it had been possible to set aside the treaty of Colombières. There was no disposition anywhere to question Richard's right. On July 20 at Rouen he was formally girt with the sword of the duchy of Normandy, by the archbishop and received the homage of the clergy and other barons. He at once confirmed to his brother John, who had joined him, the grants made or promised him by their father: £4000 worth of land in England, the county of Mortain in Normandy, and the hand and inheritance of the heiress of the Earl of Gloucester. To his other brother, Geoffrey, he gave the archbishopric of York, carrying out a wish which Henry had expressed in his last moments; and Matilda, the daughter of Henry the Lion, was given as his bride to another Geoffrey, the heir of the county of Perche, a border land whose alliance would be of importance in case of trouble with France. Two days later he had an interview with King Philip at the old meeting-place near Gisors. There Philip quickly made evident the fact that in his eyes the king of England was a different person from the rebellious Count of Poitou, and he met Richard with his familiar demand that the Norman Vexin should be given up. Without doubt the point of view had changed as much to Richard, and he adopted his father's tactics and promised to marry Adela. He also promised Philip 4000 marks in addition to the 20,000 which Henry had agreed to pay. With these promises Philip professed himself content. He received Richard's homage for all the French fiefs, and the treaty lately made with Henry was confirmed, including the agreement to start on the crusade the next spring.

In the meantime by the command of Richard his mother, Eleanor, was set free from custody in England; and assuming a royal state she made a progress through the kingdom and gave orders for the release of prisoners. About the middle of August Richard himself landed in England with John. No one had any grounds on which to expect a particularly good reign from him, but he was everywhere joyfully received, especially by his mother and the barons at Winchester. A few days later the marriage of John to Isabel of Gloucester was celebrated, in spite of a formal protest entered by Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, because the parties were related within the prohibited degrees. The coronation took place on Sunday, September 3, and was celebrated apparently with much care to follow the old ritual correctly and with much formal pomp and ceremony, so that it became a new precedent for later occasions down to the present day.

Richard was then just coming to the end of his thirty-second year. In physical appearance he was not like either the Norman or the Angevin type, but was taller and of a more delicate and refined cast, and his portrait shows a rather handsome face. In character and ambitions also he was not a descendant of his father's line. The humdrum business of ruling the state, of developing its law and institutions, of keeping order and doing justice, or even of following a consistent and long-continued policy of increasing his power or enlarging his territories, was little to his taste. He was determined, as his father had been, to be a strong king and to put down utterly every rebellion, but his determination to be obeyed was rather a resolution of the moment than a means to any foreseen and planned conclusion. He has been called by one who knew the time most thoroughly "the creation and impersonation of his age," and nothing better can be said. The first age of a self-conscious chivalry, delighting intensely in the physical life, in the sense of strength and power, that belonged to baron and knight, and in the stirring scenes of castle and tournament and distant adventure, the age of the troubadour, of an idealized warfare and an idealized love, the age which had expressed one side of itself in his brother Henry, expressed a more manly side in Richard. He was first of all a warrior; not a general but a fighter. The wild enthusiasm of the hand-to-hand conflict, the matching of skill against skill and of strength against strength, was an intense pleasure to him, and his superiority in the tactics of the battle-field, in the planning and management of a fight, or even of a series of attacks or defences, a march or a retreat, placed him easily in the front rank of commanders in an age when the larger strategy of the highest order of generalship had little place. Of England he had no knowledge. He was born there, and he had paid it two brief visits before his coronation, but he knew nothing of the language or the people. He had spent all his life in his southern dominions, and the south had made him what he was. His interest in England was chiefly as a source of supplies, and to him the crusade was, by the necessities of his nature, of greater importance than the real business of a king. For England itself the period was one during which there was no king, though it was by the authority of an absent king that a series of great ministers carried forward the development of the machinery and law which had begun to be put into organized form in Henry's reign, and carried forward also the training of the classes who had a share in public affairs for the approaching crisis of their history. From this point of view the exceedingly burdensome demands of Richard upon his English subjects are the most important feature of his time.

At the beginning of his reign Richard had, like his father, a great work to do, great at least from his point of view; but the difference between the two tasks shows how thoroughly Henry had performed his. Richard's problem was to get as much money as possible for the expenses of the crusade, and to arrange things, if possible, in such a shape that the existing peace and quiet would be undisturbed during his absence. About the business of raising money he set immediately and thoroughly. The medieval king had many things to sell which are denied the modern sovereign: offices, favour, and pardons, the rights of the crown, and even in some cases the rights of the purchaser himself. This was Richard's chief resource. "The king exposed for sale," as a chronicler of the time said,53 "everything that he had"; or as another said,54 "whoever wished, bought of the king his own and others' rights": not merely was the willing purchaser welcome, but the unwilling was compelled to buy wherever possible. Ranulf Glanvill, the great judge, Henry's justiciar and "the eye of the king," was compelled to resign and to purchase his liberty with the great sum, it is asserted, of £15,000. In most of the counties the former sheriffs were removed and fined, and the offices thus vacated were sold to the highest bidder. The Bishop of Durham, Hugh de Puiset, bought the earldom of Northumberland and the justiciarship of England; the Bishop of Winchester and the Abbot of St. Edmund's bought manors which belonged of right to their churches; the Bishop of Coventry bought a priory and the sheriffdoms of three counties; even the king's own devoted follower, William of Longchamp, paid £3000 to be chancellor of the kingdom. Sales like these were not unusual in the practice of kings, nor would they have occasioned much remark at the time, if the matter had not been carried to such extremes, and the rights and interests of the kingdom so openly disregarded. The most flagrant case of this sort was that relating to the liege homage of the king of Scotland, which Henry had exacted by formal treaty from William the Lion and his barons. In December, 1189, King William was escorted to Richard at Canterbury by Geoffrey, Archbishop of York and the barons of Yorkshire, and there did homage for his English lands, but was, on a payment of 10,000 marks, released from whatever obligations he had assumed in addition to those of former Scottish kings. Nothing could show more clearly than this how different were the interests of Richard from his father's, or how little he troubled himself about the future of his kingdom.

Already before this incident, which preceded Richard's departure by only a few days, many of his arrangements for the care of the kingdom in his absence had been made. At a great council held at Pipewell abbey near Geddington on September 15, vacant bishoprics were filled with men whose names were to be conspicuous in the period now beginning. Richard's chancellor, William Longchamp, was made Bishop of Ely; Richard Fitz Nigel, of the family of Roger of Salisbury, son of Nigel, Bishop of Ely, and like his ancestors long employed in the exchequer and to be continued in that service, was made Bishop of London; Hubert Walter, a connexion of Ranulf Glanvill, and trained by him for more important office than was now intrusted to him, became Bishop of Salisbury; and Geoffrey's appointment to York was confirmed. The responsibility of the justiciarship was at the same time divided between Bishop Hugh of Durham and the Earl of Essex, who, however, shortly died, and in his place was appointed William Longchamp. With them were associated as assistant justices five others, of whom two were William Marshal, now possessing the earldom of Pembroke, and Geoffrey Fitz Peter himself afterwards justiciar. At Canterbury, in December, further dispositions were made. Richard had great confidence in his mother, and with good reason. Although she was now nearly seventy years of age, she was still vigorous in mind and body, and she was always faithful to the interests of her sons, and wise and skilful in the assistance which she gave them. Richard seems to have left her with some ultimate authority in the state, and he richly provided for her wants. He assigned her the provision which his father had already made for her, and added also that which Henry I had made for his queen and Stephen for his, so that, as was remarked at the time, she had the endowment of three queens. John was not recognized as heir nor assigned any authority. Perhaps Richard hoped to escape in this way the troubles of his father, but, perhaps remembering also how much a scanty income had had to do with his brother Henry's discontent, he gave him almost the endowment of a king. Besides the grants already made to him in Normandy, and rich additions since his coming to England, he now conferred on him all the royal revenues of the four south-western counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset. He already held the counties of Derby and Nottingham. Richard plainly intended that political rights should not go with these grants, but he shows very little knowledge of John's character or appreciation of the temptation which he put in his way in the possession of a great principality lacking only the finishing touches.

John's position was not the only source from which speedy trouble was threatened when Richard crossed to Normandy on December 11. He had prepared another, equally certain, in the arrangement which had been made for the justiciarship. It was absurd to expect Hugh of Puiset and William Longchamp to work in the same yoke. In spirit and birth Hugh was an aristocrat of the highest type. Of not remote royal descent, a relative of the kings both of England and France, he was a proud, worldly-minded, intensely ambitious prelate of the feudal sort and of great power, almost a reigning prince in the north. Longchamp was of the class of men who rise in the service of kings. Not of peasant birth, though but little above it, he owed everything to his zealous devotion to the interests of Richard, and, as is usually the case with such men, he had an immense confidence in himself; he was determined to be master, and he was as proud of his position and abilities as was the Bishop of Durham of his blood. Besides this he was naturally of an overbearing disposition and very contemptuous of those whom he regarded as inferior to himself in any particular. Hugh in turn felt, no doubt, a great contempt for him, but Longchamp had no hesitation in measuring himself with the bishop. Soon after the departure of the king he turned Hugh out of the exchequer and took his county of Northumberland away from him. Other high-handed proceedings followed, and many appeals against his chancellor were carried to Richard in France. To rearrange matters a great council was summoned to meet in Normandy about the end of winter. The result was that Richard sustained his minister as Longchamp had doubtless felt sure would be the case. The Humber was made a dividing line between the two justiciars, while the pope was asked to make Longchamp legate in England during the absence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was going on the crusade. Perhaps Richard now began to suspect that he had been preparing trouble for England instead of peace, for at the same time he exacted an oath from his brothers, Geoffrey, whose troubles with his church of York had already begun, and John, not to return to England for three years; but John was soon after released from his oath at the request of his mother.

Richard was impatient to be gone on the crusade, and he might now believe that England could be safely left to itself; but many other things delayed the expedition, and the setting out was finally postponed, by agreement with Philip, to June 24. The third crusade is the most generally interesting of all the series, because of the place which it has taken in literature; because of the greatness of its leaders and their exploits; of the knightly character of Saladin himself; of the pathetic fate of the old Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who lost his life and sacrificed most of his army in an attempt to force his way overland through Asia Minor; and of its real failure after so great an expenditure of life and effort and so many minor successes--the most brilliant of all the crusades, the one great crusade of the age of chivalry: but it concerns the history of England even less than does the continental policy of her kings. It belongs rather to the personal history of Richard, and as such it serves to explain his character and to show why England was left to herself during his reign.

Richard and Philip met at Vézelai at the end of June, 1190, to begin the crusade. There they made a new treaty of alliance and agreed to the equal division of all the advantages to be gained in the expedition, and from thence Richard marched down the Rhone to Marseilles, where he took ship on August 7, and, by leisurely stages along the coast of Italy, went on to Messina which he reached on September 23. Much there was to occupy Richard's attention in Sicily. Philip had already reached Messina before him, and many questions arose between them, the most important of which was that of Richard's marriage. Towards the end of the winter Queen Eleanor came to Sicily, bringing with her Berengaria, the daughter of the king of Navarre, whom Richard had earlier known and admired, and whom he had now decided to marry. Naturally Philip objected, since Richard had definitely promised to marry his sister Adela; but now he flatly refused to marry one of whose relations with his father evil stories were told. By the intervention of the Count of Flanders a new treaty was made, and Richard was released from his engagement, paying 10,000 marks to the king of France. Quarrels with the inhabitants of Messina, due partly to the lawlessness of the crusaders and partly to Richard's overbearing disposition, led to almost open hostilities, and indirectly to jealousy on the part of the French. Domestic politics in the kingdom of Sicily were a further source of trouble. Richard's brother-in-law, King William, had died a year before the arrival of the crusaders, and the throne was in dispute between Henry VI, the new king of Germany, who had married Constance, William's aunt and heiress, and Tancred, an illegitimate descendant of the Norman house. Tancred was in possession, and to Richard, no doubt, the support of Sicily at the time seemed more important than the abstract question of right or the distant effect of his policy on the crusade. Accordingly a treaty was made, Tancred was recognized as king, and a large sum of money was paid to Richard; but to Henry VI the treaty was a new cause of hostility against the king of England, added to his relationship with the house of Guelf. The winter in Sicily, which to the modern mind seems an unnecessary waste of time, had added thus to the difficulties of the crusade new causes of ill-feeling between the French and English, and given a new reason for suspicion to the Germans.

It was only on April 10, 1191, that Richard at last set sail on the real crusade. He sent on a little before him his intended bride, Berengaria, with his sister Joanna, the widowed queen of Sicily. The voyage proved a long and stormy one, and it was not until May 6 that the fleet came together, with some losses, in the harbour of Limasol in Cyprus. The ruler of Cyprus, Isaac, of the house of Comnenus, who called himself emperor, showed so inhospitable a mein that Richard felt called upon to attack and finally to overthrow and imprison him and to take possession of the island. This conquest, in a moment of anger and quite in accordance with the character of Richard, though hardly to be justified even by the international law of that time, was in the end the most important and most permanent success of the third crusade. Shortly before his return home Richard gave the island to Guy of Lusignan, to make up to him his loss of the kingdom of Jerusalem; and his descendants and their successors retained it for four centuries, an outpost of Christendom against the advancing power of the Turks. In Cyprus Richard was married to Berengaria, and on June 5 he set sail for Acre, where he arrived on the 8th.

The siege of the important port and fortress of Acre, which had been taken by Saladin shortly before the fall of Jerusalem, had been begun by Guy of Lusignan at the end of August, 1189, as the first step toward the recovery of his kingdom. Saladin, recognizing the importance of the post, had come up with an army a few days later, and had in turn besieged the besiegers. This situation had not materially changed at the time of Richard's arrival. Both the town and the besiegers' camp had remained open to the sea, but though many reinforcements of new crusaders had come to the Christians almost from the beginning of the siege, little real progress had been made; even the arrival of King Philip in April had made no important change. Richard, on landing, found a condition of things that required the exercise of the utmost tact and skill. Not merely was the military problem one of the greatest difficulty, but the bitter factional dissensions of the native lords of Palestine made a successful issue almost hopeless. Guy of Lusignan had never been a popular king, and during the siege his wife Sibyl and their two daughters had died, while his rival, Conrad marquis of Montferrat, had persuaded his sister Isabel to divorce her husband and to marry him. The result was a conflict for the crown, which divided the interests and embittered the spirits of those whom the crusaders had come to aid. Philip had declared for Conrad. Guy was a man somewhat of Richard's own type, and he would have been attracted to him apart from the natural effect of Philip's action. One who is disposed to deny to Richard the qualities of the highest generalship must admit that he handled the difficult and complicated affairs he had to control with great patience and unusual self-command, and that he probably accomplished as much in the circumstances as any one could have done.

The siege was now pressed with more vigour, and before the middle of July, Acre surrendered. Then Philip, whose heart was always in his plans at home, pleaded ill health and returned to France. After this began the slow advance on Jerusalem, Saladin's troops hanging on the line of march and constantly attacking in small bodies, while the crusaders suffered greatly from the climate and from lack of supplies. So great were the difficulties which Richard had not foreseen that at one time he was disposed to give up the attempt and to secure what he could by treaty, but the negotiations failed. The battle of Arsuf gave him an opportunity to exercise his peculiar talents, and the Saracens were badly defeated; but the advance was not made any the easier. By the last day of the year the army had struggled through to within ten miles of the holy city. There a halt was made; a council of war was held on January 13,1192, and it was decided, much against the will of Richard, to return and occupy Ascalon before attempting to take and hold Jerusalem--probably a wise decision unless the city were to be held merely as material for negotiation. Various attempts to bring the war to an end by treaty had been going on during the whole march; Richard had even offered his sister, Joanna, in marriage to Saladin's brother, whether seriously or not it is hardly possible to say; but the demands of the two parties remained too far apart for an agreement to be reached. The winter and spring were occupied with the refortification of Ascalon and with the dissensions of the factions, the French finally withdrawing from Richard's army and going to Acre. In April the Marquis Conrad was assassinated by emissaries of "the Old Man of the Mountain"; Guy had little support for the throne except from Richard; and both parties found it easy to agree on Henry of Champagne, grandson of Queen Eleanor and Louis VII, and so nephew at once of Philip and Richard, and he was immediately proclaimed king on marrying Conrad's widow, Isabel. Richard provided for Guy by transferring to him the island of Cyprus as a new kingdom. On June 7 began the second march to Jerusalem, the army this time suffering from the heats of summer as before they had suffered from the winter climate of Palestine. They reached the same point as in the first advance, and there halted again; and though all were greatly encouraged by Richard's brilliant capture of a rich Saracen caravan, he himself was now convinced that success was impossible. On his arrival Richard had pushed forward with a scouting party until he could see the walls of the city in the distance, and obliged to be satisfied with this, he retreated in July to Acre. One more brilliant exploit of Richard's own kind remained for him to perform, the most brilliant of all perhaps, the relief of Joppa which Saladin was just on the point of taking when Richard with a small force saved the town and forced the Saracens to retire. On September 2 a truce for three years was made, and the third crusade was at an end. The progress of Saladin had been checked, a series of towns along the coast had been recovered, and the kingdom of Cyprus had been created; these were the results which had been gained by the expenditure of an enormous treasure and thousands of lives. Who shall say whether they were worth the cost.

During all the summer Richard had been impatient to return to England, and his impatience had been due not alone to his discouragement with the hopeless conditions in Palestine, but partly to the news which had reached him from home. Ever since he left France, in fact, messages had been coming to him from one and another, and the story they told was not of a happy situation. Exactly those things had happened which ought to have been expected. Soon after the council in Normandy, William Longchamp had freed himself from his rival Hugh of Durham by placing him under arrest and forcing him to surrender everything he had bought of the king. Then for many months the chancellor ruled England as he would, going about the country with a great train, almost in royal state, so that a chronicler writing probably from personal observation laments the fact that a house that entertained him for a night hardly recovered from the infliction in three years. Even more oppressive on the community as a whole were the constant exactions of money which he had to make for the king's expenses. The return of John to England in 1190, or early in 1191, made at first no change, but discontent with the chancellor's conduct would naturally look to him for leadership, and it is likely John was made ready to head an active opposition by the discovery of negotiations between Longchamp and the king of Scotland for the recognition of Arthur of Britanny as the heir to the kingdom, negotiations begun--so the chancellor said--under orders from Richard. About the middle of summer, 1191, actual hostilities seemed about to begin. Longchamp's attempt to discipline Gerard of Camville, holder of Lincoln castle and sheriff of Lincolnshire, was resisted by John, who seized the royal castles of Nottingham and Tickhill. Civil war was only averted by the intervention of Walter of Coutances, Archbishop of Rouen, who had arrived in England in the spring with authority from the king to interfere with the administration of Longchamp if it seemed to him and the council wise to do so. By his influence peace was made, at an assembly of the barons at Winchester, on the whole not to the disadvantage of John, and embodied in a document which is almost a formal treaty. One clause of this agreement is of special interest as a sign of the trend of thought and as foreshadowing a famous clause in a more important document soon to be drawn up. The parties agreed that henceforth no baron or free tenant should be disseized of land or goods by the king's justices or servants without a trial according to the customs and assizes of the land, or by the direct orders of the king. The clause points not merely forward but backward, and shows what had no doubt frequently occurred since the departure of the king.

About the middle of September a new element of discord was brought into the situation by the landing of Geoffrey, who had now been consecrated Archbishop of York, and who asserted that he, as well as John, had Richard's permission to return. Longchamp's effort to prevent his coming failed; but on his landing he had him arrested at the altar of the Priory of St. Martin's, Dover, where he had taken sanctuary, and he was carried off a prisoner with many indignities. This was a tactical mistake on Longchamp's part. It put him greatly in the wrong and furnished a new cause against him in which everybody could unite. In alarm he declared he had never given orders for what was done and had Geoffrey released, but it was too late. The actors in this outrage were excommunicated, and the chancellor was summoned to a council called by John under the forms of a great council. At the first meeting, held between Reading and Windsor on October 5, he did not appear, but formal complaint was made against him, and his deposition was moved by the Archbishop of Rouen. The meeting was then adjourned to London, and Longchamp, hearing this, left Windsor at the same time and took refuge in the Tower. For both parties, as in former times of civil strife, the support of the citizens of London was of great importance. They were now somewhat divided, but a recognition of the opportunity inclined them to the stronger side; and they signified to John and the barons that they would support them if a commune were granted to the city.55 This French institution, granting to a city in its corporate capacity the legal position and independence of the feudal vassal, had as yet made no appearance in England. It was bitterly detested by the great barons, and a chronicler of the time who shared this feeling was no doubt right in saying that neither Richard nor his father would have sanctioned it for a million marks, but as he says London found out that there was no king.56 John was in pursuit of power, and the price which London demanded would not seem to him a large one, especially as the day of reckoning with the difficulty he created was a distant one and might never come. The commune was granted, and Longchamp was formally deposed. John was recognized as Richard's heir, fealty was sworn to him, and he was made regent of the kingdom; Walter of Rouen was accepted as justiciar; and the castles were disposed of as John desired. Longchamp yielded under protest, threatening the displeasure of the king, and was allowed to escape to the continent.

The action of John and the barons in deposing Longchamp made little actual change. John gained less power than he had expected, and found the new justiciar no more willing to give him control of the kingdom than the old one. The action was revolutionary, and if it had any permanent influence on the history of England, it is to be found in the training it gave the barons in concerted action against a tyrannous minister, revolutionary but as nearly as possible under the forms of law. While these events were taking place, Philip was on his way from Tyre to France. He reached home near the close of the year, ready for the business for which he had come, to make all that he could out of Richard's absence. Repulsed in an attempt to get the advantage of the seneschal of Normandy he applied to John, perhaps with more hope of success, offering him the hand of the unfortunate Adela with the investiture of all the French fiefs. John was, of course, already married, but that was a small matter either to Philip, or to him. He was ready to listen to the temptation, and was preparing to cross to discuss the proposition with Philip, when his plans were interrupted by his mother. She had heard of what was going on and hastily went over to England to interfere, where with difficulty John was forced to give up the idea. The year 1192 passed without disturbance. When Longchamp tried to secure his restoration by bribing John, he was defeated by a higher bid from the council. An attempt of Philip to invade Normandy was prevented by the refusal of his barons to serve, for without accusing the king, they declared that they could not attack Normandy without themselves committing perjury. At the beginning of 1193 the news reached England that Richard had been arrested in Germany and that he was held in prison there.


[53] Benedict of Peterborough, ii. 90.

[54] Roger of Howden, iii. 18.

[55] Round, Commune of London, ch. xi.

[56] Richard of Devizes, Chronicles of Stephen, iii. 416.


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