Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

A preparation of a voyage of King Henrie the fourth to the Holy land against the infidels in the yere 1413, being the last yere of his reigne: wherein he was preuented by death: written by Walsingham, Fabian, Polydore Virgile, and Holenshed.

[Order taken for building of ships and gallies.] In this fourteenth and last yere of king Henries reigne a councell was holden in the White friers in London, at the which among other things, order was taken for ships and gallies to be builded and made ready, and all other things necessary to be prouided for a voyage, which he meant to make into the Holy land, there to recouer the city of Ierusalem from the infidels: for it grieued him to consider the great malice of Christian princes, that were bent vpon a mischieuous purpose to destroy one another, to the perill of their owne soules, rather than to make warre against the enemies of the Christian faith, as in conscience, it seemed to him, they were bound. We finde, sayeth Fabian in his Chronicle, that he was taken with his last sickeness, while he was making his prayers at Saint Edwards shrine, there as it were, to take his leaue, and so to proceede foorth on his iourney. He was so suddenly and grieuously taken, that such as were about him feared least he would haue died presently: wherefore to relieue him, if it were possible, they bare him into a chamber that was next at hand, belonging to the Abbot of Westminster, where they layd him on a pallet before the fire, and vsed all remedies to reuiue him. At length he recouered his speech, and perceiuing himselfe in a strange place which he knew not, he willed to knowe if the chamber had any particular name, whereunto answere was made, that it was called Ierusalem. Then sayde the king, Laudes be giuen to the father of heauen: for now I knowe that I shall die here in this chamber, according to the prophesie of mee declared, that I should depart this life in Ierusalem.

Of this intended voyage Polydore Virgile writeth in manner following.

Post haec Henricus Rex memor nihil homini debere esse antiquius, quàm ad officium iustitiæ, quæ ad hominum vtilitatem pertinet, omne suum studium conferre, protinùs omisso ciuili bello, quo pudebat videre Christianos omni tempore turpitèr occupari, de republica Anglica benè gubernanda, de bello in hostes communes sumendo, de Hierosolymis tandem aliquando recipiendis plura destinabat, classemque iam parabat, cum ei talia agenti atque meditanti casus mortem attulit: subito enim morbo tentatus, nulla medicina subleuari potuit. Mortuus est apud Westmonasterium, annum agens quadragesimum sextum, qui fuit annus salutis humanæ, 1413.

The same in English.

Afterward, King Henry calling to minde, that nothing ought to be more highly esteemed by any man, then to doe the vtmost of his indeuour for the performance of iustice, which tendeth to the good and benefite of mankinde; altogether abondoning ciuill warre (wherewith he was ashamed to see, how Christians at all times were dishonourably busied) entered into a more deepe consideration of well gouerning his Realme of England, of waging warre against the common enemie, and of recouering, in processe of time the citie of Ierusalem, yea, and was prouiding a nauie for the same purpose, whenas in the very midst of this his heroicall action and enterprise, he was surprised with death: for falling into a sudden disease, he could not be cured by any kinde of physicke. He deceased at Westminster in the 46 yeare of his age, which was in the yeere of our Lord, 1413.

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:52