A Fleete of Englishmen, Danes, and Flemings, arriued at Ioppa in the Holy land, the seuenth yeere of Baldwine the second king of Hierusalem. Written in the beginning of the tenth booke of the Chronicle of Hierusalem, in the 8. yeere of Henry the first of England.
At the same time also in the seuenth yeere of the raigne of Baldwine the Catholike king of Hierusalem, a very great warrelike Fleete of the Catholike nation of England, to the number of about seuen thousand, hauing with them more men of warre of the kingdom of Denmarke, of Flanders and of Antwerpe, arriued with ships which they call Busses, at the hauen of the citie of Iaphet, determining there to make their abode, vntill they hauing obtained the kings licence and safeconduct, might safely worship at Hierusalem. Of which nauie the chiefest and best spoken repairing to the king, spake to him in this maner. Christ preserue the Kings life, and prosper his kingdome from day to day; Wee, being men and souldiours of Christian profession, haue, through the helpe of God, sayled hither through mightie and large seas, from the farre countreys of England, Flanders, and Denmarke, to worship at Ierusalem, and to visit the sepulchre of our Lord. And therefore we are assembled to intreat your clemency touching the matter, that by your fauour and safe conduct we may peaceably goe vp to Ierusalem, and worship there, and so returne.
The king fauourably hearing their whole petition, granted vnto them a strong band of men to conduct them, which brought them safely from all assaults and ambushes of the Gentiles by the knowen wayes vnto Ierusalem and all other places of deuotion. After that these pilgrims, and new Christian strangers were brought thither, they offering vnto our Lord their vowes in the temple of the holy sepulchre, returned with great ioy, and without all let vnto Ioppa; where finding the king, they vowed they would assist him in all things, which should seeme good vnto him: who, greatly commending the men, and commanding them to be well entertained with hospitality, answered that he could not on the sudden answere to this point, vntill that after he had called his nobles together, he had consulted with my lord the Patriarch what was most meet and conuenient to be done, and not to trouble in vaine so willing an army. And therefore after a few dayes, calling vnto him my lord the Patriarch, Hugh of Tabaria, Gunfride the keeper and lieutenant of the tower of Dauid, and the other chiefest men of warre, he determined to haue a meeting in the city of Rames, to consult with them what was best to be done.
Who, being assembled at the day appointed, and proposing their diuers opinions and iudgements, at length it seemed best vnto the whole company to besiege the city Sagitta, which is also called Sidon, if peradventure, through God’s helpe, and by the strength of this new army, by land and sea it might be ouercome. Whereupon all they which were there present and required that this city should be besieged, because it was one of those cities of the Gentiles which continually rebelled, were commended, and admonished of the king euery one to go home, and to furnish themselues with things necessary, and armour for this expedition. Euery one of them departed home; likewise Hugh of Tabaria departed, being a chiefe man of warre against the inuasions of the enemies, which could neuer be wearied day nor night in the countie of the Pagans, in pursuing them with warre and warlike stratagemes all the dayes of his life. Immediatly after this consultation the king sent ambassadours to all the multitude of the English men, requiring them not to remoue their campe nor fleet from the city of Iaphet, but quietly to attend the kings further commandement. The same embassadours also declared vnto the whole army, that the king and all his nobility had determined to besiege and assault the city Sagitta by sea and by land, and that their helpe and forces would there be needfull; and that for this purpose, the king and the patriarch were comming downe vnto the city of Acres and that they were in building of engins, and warlike instruments, to inuade the walles and inhabitants thereof: and that in the meane season they were to remaine at Iaphet, vntill the kings further commandement were knowen. Whereupon they all agreed that it should be so done according to the king’s commandement; and answered that they would attend his directions in the Hauen of Iaphet, and would in all points be obedient vnto him vnto the death.
The king came downe to Acres with the patriarch, and all his family, building, and making there by the space of fortie dayes engins, and many kindes of warlike instruments: and appointing all things to be made perfectly ready, which seemed to be most conuenient for the assaulting of the city. Assoone as this purpose and intent of the king was come vnto the eares of the inhabitants of Sagitta, and that an inuincible power of men of warre was arriued at Iaphet to helpe the king, they were greatly astonied, fearing that by this meanes, they should be consumed and subdued by the king by dint of sword, as other cities, to wit, Cæsaria, Assur, Acres, Cayphas, and Tabaria were vanquished and subdued. And therefore laying their heads together, they promised to the king by secret mediatours, a mighty masse of money of a coyne called Byzantines: and that further they would yeerely pay a great tribute, vpon condition that ceasing to besiege and inuade their city, he would spare their liues. Whereupon these businesses were handled from day to day betweene the king and the citizens, and they sollicited the king for the ransomming both of their city and of their liues, proffering him from time to time more greater gifts. And the king for his part, being carefull and perplexed for the payment of the wages which he ought vnto his souldiers, harkened wholy vnto this offer of money. Howbeit because he feared the Christians, least they should lay it to his charge as a fault, he durst not as yet meddle with the same.
In the meane space Hugh of Tabaria being sent for, accompanied with the troopes of two hundred horsemen and foure hundred footmen, inuaded the countrey of the Grosse Carle called Suet, very rich in gold and siluer most abundant in cattle frontering vpon the countrie of the Damascenes, where hee tooke a pray of inestimable riches and cattle, which might haue suffised him for the besiege of Sagitta, whereof he ment to impart liberally to the king, and his companie. This pray being gathered out of sundry places thereabout, and being led away as farre as the citie of Belinas, which they call Cæsaria Philippi, the Turkes which dwelt at Damascus, together with the Saracens inhabitants of the countrie perceiuing this, flocking on all partes together by troopes, pursued Hughes companie to rescue the pray, and passed foorth as farre as the mountaines, ouer which Hughes footemen did driue the pray. There beganne a great skirmish of both partes, the one side made resistance to keepe the pray, the other indeuoured with all their might to recouer it, vntill at length the Turkes and Saracens preuailing, the pray was rescued and brought back againe: which Hugh and his troopes of horsemen, suddenly vnderstanding, which were on the side of the mountaines, incontinently rid backe vpon the spurre, among the straight and craggie rockes, skirmishing with the enemies, and succouring their footemen, but as it chanced they fought vnfortunately. For Hugh, being vnarmed, and immediatly rushing into the middest of all dangers, and after his woonted manner inuading and wounding the infidels, being behinde with an arrowe shot through the backe which pierced thorough his liuer and brest, he gaue vp the ghost in the handes of his owne people. Hereupon the troupes of the Gentiles being returned with the recouered pray, and being deuided through the secret and hard passages of the craggie hilles, the souldiers brought the dead bodie of Hugh, which they had put in a litter, into the citie of Nazareth, which is by the mount Thaber, where with great mourning and lamentation, so worthie a prince, and valiant champion was honourably and Catholikely interred. The brother of the said Hugh named Gerrard, the same time lay sicke of a grieuous disease. Which hearing of the death of his brother, his sicknesse of his body increasing more vehemently through griefe, he also deceased within eight dayes after, and was buried by his brother, after Christian maner.
After the lamentable burials of these so famous Princes, the King, taking occasion of the death of these principall men of his armie, agreed, making none priuie thereto, to receiue the money which was offered him for his differing off the siege of the citie of Sagitta, yet dissembling to make peace, with the Saracens, but that he ment to go through with the worke, that he had begunne. Whereupon sending a message vnto Iaphet, hee aduised the English souldiers to come downe to Acres with their fleete, and to conferre and consult with him touching the besieging and assaulting of the citie of Sagitta, which rising immediatly vpon the kings commaundement, and foorthwith hoysing vp the sayles of their shippes aloft with pendants and stremers of purple, and diuerse other glorious colours, with their flagges of scarlet colour and silke, came thither, and casting their ancres, rode hard by the citie. The king the next day calling vnto him such as were priuie and acquainted with his dealings, opened his griefe vnto the chiefe Captaines of the English men and Danes, touching the slaughter of Hugh, and the death of his brother, and what great confidence he reposed in them concerning these warres: and that nowe therefore they being departed and dead, he must of necessity differre the besieging of Sagitta, and for this time dismisse the armie assembled. This resolution of the king being spred among the people, the armie was dissolued, and the Englishmen, Danes and Flemings, with sailes and oares going aboard their fleete, saluted [‘saulted’ in source text — KTH] the king, and returned home vnto their natiue countries.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:51