How Richard Duke of Aquitaine took the Cross/ Of the Wars between two kings/ How Phillip of France and Henry of England took the Cross/ Of Henry’s death and Richard’s coronation and the preparations for Crusade that he made
When word came of Jerusalem’s captivity, young Duke Richard was the first to take the Cross. He entered God’s service to which he devoted great labour and expense.
Preparing the way for his fleet, he wrote a letter (which our Uncle Theobald carried) to William the Good, King of Sicily and husband to King Richard’s own sister Johanna.
But the warres between his father King Henry, and King Phillip of France, would not let the young Duke depart.
None could bring concorde to the ancestral discord between Henry and Phillip. Because of their quarrels, new and old, they waged fierce warre, one against the other.
Though both kings and their men met for a parley on a broad meadow between the contested castles at Gisors and Trie, none knew how peace was to be sought and many foolish words were spoken. But t’was the will of God (so me seemeth) that they should all take the cross together, for at that moment there arrived the good Archbishop of Tyre, just come from the Holy Land. And as the Archbishop spoke of the plight of Jerusalem, a great cross appeared. in the sky, as if the Lord had drawn it with clouds. The two kings and all present were moved to tears and greatly wondered at this sign: King Henry and King Phillip took the cross there and then, each giving the other the kiss of peace. And many were their followers who also took the Cross.
Only some small time later there appeared in England a comet, like some burning globe of fire, sure sign of the approaching death of a king. And so it was: King Henry’s pilgrimage was not to be, for death’s cold hand (though t’was in July’s heat) prevented him from his vow. Richard and Henry’s other sons came and buried King Henry in stately pomp at the church in Fontevrault.
Then to England the Duke Richard set sail, where the Queen Eleanor, (no longer locked in Old Sarum) had made all ready for his coronation. Together into London they rode in great splendor to the great joy of all.
To Richard then was handed the crown, the treasury, the lands and the oath of fealty of all those who has been Henry’s men. Then did the new King give high and low alike great gifts and made a splendid feast and celebration that lasted three days.
When all the pomp, ceremony and feasting was over and done, King Richard asked to see the treasury…….