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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

IX: The Children's Crusade,   pp. 325-342 PDF (7.1 MB)

Page 338

Perkins in 1867." <51> Perkins' letter in which he describes his
trip to the island of St. Peter, however, is very slim evidence indeed for
any such assertion. Apparently no one on the island ever heard of the church
or its ruins, in itself a telling fact against its existence. "Outside
the wall . . . we came upon the ruins of something, either a house or a church."
The reasons which Perkins adduced for suggesting that this might be the remains
of the church of the New Innocents are tenuous indeed, and may be credited
to a very obvious desire to tell his correspondent, George Gray, what he
wanted to hear. <52> 
 It is possible, however, to check Aubrey's account at other points. He has
referred to Hugh Ferreus (or Ferus) and William Porcus, both well known persons.
In the case of the former, at least, it would not be surprising to find him
playing the role attributed to him in Aubrey's account. He was viguier of
Marseilles at the time - not a municipal officer, but rather the representative
of the viscount. <53> As such he might have had to deal with the problem
posed by the arrival of the child crusaders. William Porcus, however, presents
some difficulties. He was not a merchant of Marseilles, as Aubrey says, but
a Genoese captain of considerable reputation, <54> and served the emperor
Frederick II as admiral <55> before falling into disfavor and having
to flee from the kingdom of Sicily in 1221. <56> Aubrey probably knew
of this, and knew also that around the same time (in 1222) Frederick captured
the Moslem pirate Ibn-'Abs (Mirabellus, Mirabettus, Mirabs in the Latin 
 51 Hansbery, "Children's Crusade," P. 33, note 16. 
 52 Perkins' letter may be found in App. B of the highly imaginative work
of George Zabriskie Gray, The Children's Crusade (London, 1871), PP. 234-237.
His reasons for thinking the ruins he found were of the church of the New
Innocents were, first, that there was no habitation nearby; second, that
the building faced due east, "if we may consider the standing wall as
the place of the altar" which seemed probable to him since it had no
door and had a high window; third, that the stones at the base were large,
near the top smaller; and finally, "it had not the appearance of being
 53 On Hugh, see the notice in August Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum,
I (Berlin, 1874), 220 (no. 2563): ". . capella s. Mariae Massiliensis
. . . quam Hugo Ferus civis Massiliensis suis sumptibus dicatur construxisse
. . ."; also, on the treaty of peace between Pisa and Marseilles dated
August 27, 1210, in which Hugh seems to have played a part, Archives municipales
de Marseille, AA. II, cited by Raoul Busquet, "L'Origine des viguiers
et des vigueries en Provence," Provincia, I (1921), 66, note 7: "Ugo
Ferus ejusdem civitatis.. vicarius". Hugh is, in fact, the prototype
of the Provençal viguier of the future (ibid.); there are several
notices of him in H. de Germ-Richard and Emile Isnard, Actes concernant les
viscomtes de Marseille et leurs descendants (Monaco and Paris, 1926), passim.
 54 He was active in the Genoese war against Pisa in 1205 (Annales Yanuenses:
Ogerii Panis annales, ad ann. 1205 [MGH, SS., XVIIIJ, p. 123). 
 55 See the documents of 1216 and 1218 which he witnessed, in J. L. A. Huillard-Bréholles,
Historia diplomatica Friderici secundi, I, II (Paris, 1852), 485, 489, 492,
 56 Annales Januenses Marchisii scribae annales, ad ann. 1221 (MGH, SS.,
XVIII), pp. 146-147. 

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