Thematic Divisions in Book 4
1. Lanfranc2. Gregory VII3. William the Conqueror4. William Rufus5. Henry I6. Stephen and Henry II7. Frederick Barbarossa8. Thomas Becket9. Becket's letters10. Becket's martyrdom and miracles11. Events of 1172-7812. Waldensians13. Other incidents of Henry II's reign14. First year of Richard I's reign15. Strife at Canterbury16. Richard I and Third Crusade17. William Longchamp18. King John19. Henry III's early reign20. Innocent III and mendicant orders21. Papal oppression of the English Church22. Albigensian Crusade23. Hubert de Burgh24. Gregory IX25. Schism between Greek and Latin Church26. Papal exactions from England27. Louis IX on Crusade28. Frederick II29. Opponents of Papacy30. Robert Grosseteste31. Aphorisms of Robert Grosseteste32. Persecution of Jews33. Papal oppression and Alexander IV34. Conflicts in universities and mendicant orders35. Henry III and the barons36. Battle of Lewes37. Battle of Evesham38. End of baronial war39. Ecclesiastical matters and Edward prince of Wales goes on crusade40. Foreign events in Henry III's reign41. First seven years of Edward I's reign42. War with Scotland43. Philip IV and Boniface VIII44. Events of 1305-745. Cassiodorous's letter46. Pierre de Cugniere47. Death of Edward I48. Piers Gaveston49. The Despensers and the death of Edward II50. John XXIII and Clement VI51. Rebellion in Bury St. Edmunds52. Edward III and Scotland53. Edward III and Philip VI54. Edward III and Archbishop Stratford55. Events of 1341-556. Outbreak of the Hundred Years War57. English ecclesiastical affairs 1330-6458. Anti-papal writers59. Quarrel among mendicants and universities60. Table of the Archbishops of Canterbury
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Ashkelon (Ascalon) [Sclauonia]

Negev, Israel

Coordinates: 31° 40' 0" N, 34° 34' 0" E

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Assur Castle

nr Jaffa, Israel

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Blyth [Blye, Bligh]


OS grid ref: SK 625 875

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Howden [Houeden]

East Riding of Yorkshire

OS grid ref: SE 745 285

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Japho Joppa) [Ioppe], Israel

Coordinates: 32° 2' 0" N, 34° 45' 0" E

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Sewell [Suwell]


OS grid ref: SP 995 225

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NGR: SU 967 768

A borough, market town and parish having separate jurisdiction, locally in the hundred of Ripplesmere, county of Berkshire. 20 mile east by north from Reading, 22.5 miles west by south from London. The castle, built by Henry I, occupies more than 12 acres of ground, comprising upper, lower and middle wards. A principal royal residence in Tudor times. The living [of the town] is a discharged vicarage in the Archdeaconry of Berkshire, Diocese of Salisbury.

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English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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269 [246]

K. Richard. 1. The actes of K. Rich. The storie of William Bishop of Ely.

whom came to two thousand and fiue hundreth, saue only that certayne of the principall of thē he reserued for purposes & considerations, especially to make exchaunge for the holy crosse, and certayne other of the Christian captiues.

After this king Richard purposed to besiege the Citty of Ioppe. Whereby the way betweene Achon and Ioppe, neare to a Town called Assur: Saladine with a great multitude of his Saracens, came fiercely agaynst the kinges reareward, but through Gods mercifull grace, in þe same battayle the kinges warriours acquited them so well, that MarginaliaSaladine put to flight.the Saladine was put to flight (whom the Christiās pursued the space of iij. myles) & lost the same day many of his nobles and captaynes, in such sort (as it was thought) that the Saladine was not put to such confusion xl. yeares before: MarginaliaA noble victory by Gods power gotten by Kyng Rich. against the Saracens. and but one Christian captaine called Iames Auernus in that conflict was ouerthrowne. From thence kyng Richard proceeding further wēt to Ioppe and thē to Ascalon, where he found first the city of Ioppe forsaken of þe Saracens, who durst not abide the kinges comming. Ascalō the Saladine threw downe to the ground, & likewise forsooke the whole land of Syria, MarginaliaK. Richard in possession of Syria.through all which land the king had free passage without resistaunce: neither durst the Sarazen prince encounter after that with K. Richard. Of all whiche his acheuances the sayd king Richard sent his letters of certificate as well into England, as also to the Abbot of Clara Valle in Fraunce, well hoping that he (God willing) should be able to make his repayre agayne to them by Easter next.

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A briefe story of William Byshop of Ely the Kynges Chauncellour. 
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William Longchamp

The Foxe Project was not able to complete the commentary on this section of text by the date by which this online edition was compiled (23 September 2008). This commentary will become available in due course from the 'Late Additions and Corrections' page of the edition.

MarginaliaThe storie of William the proude Byshop of Ely.ANd nowe to leaue king Richard a while in the field, let vs make a step into Englande, and looke a little what is done at home while the king was abroad, and so returne to the king agayne. Yee heard before how king Richard at his setting forth, committed the gouernement of the realme to Hugo Byshop of Durham, and to Williā Bishop of Ely, MarginaliaVt iustè iudicarent clerum & populum, verba hist. so that to the byshop of Durham was cōmitted the keeping of the Castle of Wyndsore: the other, which was the Bishop of Ely, had the keeping of þe tower of Londō, about which he caused a great ditch with a rāpear to be cast, which is yet remayning. Furthermore to these 2. Bishops, the king also assigned MarginaliaFoure chiefe Iustices with two Byshops appointed ouerseers of the Realme in the kings absence.4. other chiefe Iustices, whiche ioyntly with them should haue the hearyng and ouersight of all causes as well to the clergy as the layty appertaining: to witte, Hugh Bardolfe, William Marshall, Geffrey Peterson, and William Bruer. But the byshop of Ely was the principal, or at least, he that took most vpon him. Who both was the kinges Chauncellour, and bought with hys money to be the popes Legate through England, Ireland, & Scotlād, as is before specified. Touching the excessiue pride and pompe of which Byshop, hys rufflings outragious, & fall most shameful, it would make a long tragedie to discourse the whole circumstāces at full: Onely to demonstrate certayne specialties thereof for our present purpose, it may suffice.

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MarginaliaWilliam Longchamp B. of Ely, Lord Chauncelour, and the popes Legat.First, this William called Longchamp being thus aduaunced by the king to be his high Chauneellor, and chiefe Iustice of the realme, and also the popes Legate, to shew abroad the authoritie of his Legatshyp, began to suspend the Canons, Clerkes, & Vicares of the Church of s. Peter in York, because they receiued him not with processiō: MarginaliaThe church and belles of Yorke suspended because the Lord Legate was not fet in with procession. vnder which interdiction he held them, til they were fayne at last, both Canons, Clarkes, and Vicares to fall downe at his foote, causing al their belles to be let downe out of þe steple. After this commeth Hugo bishop of Durham, whō the king sent home out of Normandy wt hys letters, who meeting with the foresayd William Byshop of Ely in the towne of Blye, shewed hym þe kings letters, wherin was graunted to him the keeping of Windsore Castle, and to be the kinges Iustice from the riuer of Humber, to the borders of Scotland. To the which letters the Chauncellour answered, that the kings commaundemēt should be done, and so brought him with him to Suwell, where he tooke him and kept him fast, til he was forced at last to surrender to him the Castle of Wyndsore, MarginaliaBysh. of Ely getteth the castel of Wyndsore from the b. of Durhā. Hugo Bishop of Durham vexed by W. Bishop of Ely. & other things whiche the king had committed to his custody, & moreouer was constrayned to leaue with the sayd Chauncellour Henry de Puteaco hys own sonne, & Gilbert Ley for pledges & hostages of his fidelitie, to be true to the king and the realme. And thus the bishop of Durham being set at liberty, went to his town of Houedē. Where after he had made his abode a few dayes, cōmeth thether Osbert Longchamp þe Chancellours brother, and William Stutiuill, with a great cōpany of armed men sent by the Chauncellor to apprehend him. But the sayd Byshop of Durham putting in suretiesnot to depart that towne without the licence of the king & of the Chauncellour, there still remayned, till he got letters to be sent to the Kyng, signifying how he was vsed. Wherupon the king writing his letters from Marsilia to the bish. of Ely, set the sayd byshop of Durham free, & confirmed to hym all the possessions and grauntes that he before had geuen hym.

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MarginaliaThe excessiue pride and enormities of W. of Ely.It is almost incredible to think how intemperatly this byshop and Chauncellor misused himselfe after the kings departure into Siria in excesse of pride, and in cruell exactions and oppressions of the kinges subiectes. First his felow Iustices, whō the king ioyned with him for gouernement of the realme, he vtterly reiected & refused to heare their counsaile, reputing none to be equall with him in all the realme. Neither was he contented with the authoritie of a Prelate, but playd both king and priest in the realme. All Castles, Lordships, Abbayes, Churches, and al other appropriations belonging to the right of the king, he claymed to hymselfe, and by vertue of hys Legatship, whē he came to any byshops house, Abbay, Priory, or anye other Religious house, he brought with him such a superfluitie of men, horses, dogges, & hauks, that the house was worse for it 3. yeares after. MarginaliaByshop of Ely neuer rode vnder a 1500. horseFor commonly he rode neuer vnder a 1500. horses of Chaplaynes, Priestes, and other seruing men wayting vpon hym. From the clergy & laytie he took away their Churches, their vowsans, their liuinges, and landes, to bestow vpon hys nephewes, & other wayting Chaplaynes to serue hys vayne glory, MarginaliaHis vanitie. or els conuerted thē to his own vse, to mayntaine his pompe & vanitie. In getting and gathering of treasures he had no measure, in mispending the same he kept no order. And that no vyce should be wanting where such auarice taketh roote, the money whiche he wrongfully got, he committed to the banke, to be increased by vsury. MarginaliaHis vsury. What wantonnes and laciuiousnes was vsed in that so riotous life, the stories do shame to declare it. MarginaliaHis riotous and delicate life. All ruffenly runagates, idle belyes, & light persons, wheresoeuer he went, hanged vppon hys Court. To increase the vaine iolity of this royall Prelate, there was lacking no kynde of Musicall instrumentes & melodions noyse, to refreshe belike hys weryed senses to much beaten and macerated with continuall labour and study of hunting, hauking, and gaming: of preaching, and reading I should haue sayd.

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MarginaliaThe Bishop of Ely playeth both king & priestBriefly this foresayd Prelate, bearing the authoritie both of the king and of the pope, kept such a stirre in England, that all the whole realme was at hys beck, with cap and knee crouching to him, Neither durst any man rich or poore displease hym. Yea none in all the realme so noble or worshipfull, but was glad to please him, accounting thēselues happy if they might stand in his fauor. At his table all noble mens children did serue and wayte vpon hym, wt whome he coupled in mariage his nieces and kinswomē. And when any that stoode wayting before him, durst once cast vp hys eyes, or did not dimurely looke downward vpon þe groūd, he had a staffe in hand with a pricke, wherwith he vsed to prick thē, learning belike by the carter hys father, which vsed at the plough or carte to driue his oxen. Furthermore, as kings vse to haue their gard about thē, so hee because hee woulde not also be vngarded, refusing men of the English nation, MarginaliaW. Bish. of Ely garded with French men & Flemmings.had his wayters and warders most of Frenchmen and Fleminges.

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MarginaliaAnno. 1191.It happened after this, in the yeare 1191. that a great discord rose betwene Iohn Erle of Mortō the kings brother, with other states of the realme, and the sayd William bishop of Ely, MarginaliaA generall complaint to the K. of W. Bish. of that vniuersally they all wrote ouer to þe king concerning the misgouernmēt & enormities of þe sayd Bishop. Who vnderstanding of the case, sent from Messana into Eng. Walter archb. of Roan, and William Marshall Earle, vnto the Bish. of Ely with letters, commandyng him that in all hys doynges he should associate vnto hym the sayd Archb. of Roan, W. Mareshall, Geffry Peterson, W. Bruer, and Hugh Bardolfe aboue mentioned. MarginaliaOf these foure associates read the page before. Who whē they came into England, durst not deliuer their letters, dreading the displeasure of the Chauncellor: for he despised all the commaundements of the king, nor would suffer any fellow to ioyne with him in hys kingdome.

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Hitherto haue you heard of the glorious vanitie of this lordly Legate and Chauncellor of the realme, now ye shal heare of his shamefull fall, after hys shamelesse exaltation. For shortly after this followeth an other breach betweene the sayd Erle Iohn the kinges brother and hym, MarginaliaAn other dissention betweene Iohn the kings brother & William Bish. of Ely. about þe besieging of the Castle of Lincolne. Concerning þe whiche castle the sayde Iohn sent him word, þt vnles he raised his siege the sooner frō thēce, he would send him away by force of sword. The bish. either not able to make his party good, or not daring to resist, thought best to fal to some composition with the Erle, and so did. In which composition, he

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