Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
XIII: The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239-1241, pp. 463-486 PDF (9.1 MB)
Ch. XIII CRUSADE OF THEOBALD OF CHAMPAGNE 467 decided to go to the aid of Constantinople. The next day a letter to bishop Hugh of Sees directly ordered him to change his vow and go to Constantinople. The expedition was to start in March 1238. Thus by the spring of 1237 pope Gregory had two crusades on his hands. If he had hoped to persuade all the crusading barons to go to Constantinople, he had not succeeded. This situation led to some confusion. On May 27, 1237, Gregory wrote Louis IX, asking him to see that crusaders going to either the Holy Land or Constantinople were given a respite in payments on their debts. In February 1238 the pope wrote the archbishop of Rheims that count Henry of Bar was going to lead one hundred knights on one of the two crusades. In March bishop Aimo of Macon was authorized to permit Humbert, lord of Beaujeu, to change his destination from the Holy Land to Constantinople. In short there were a number of crusading barons in France, but no one was quite sure who was going to Palestine and who to Constantinople. The next problem was to decide when the armies should start. The first change in plan seems to have been made suddenly. On October 30, 1237, Gregory directed the prior of the Dominicans in Paris to urge all crusaders to Constantinople to be ready in March. The next day he directed Baldwin to defer his journey until August. On December 1 7 he wrote to the bishop of Sees informing him of the new date and indicating that the change had been made at duke Peter's suggestion. Meanwhile in November 1237 the expedition to Palestine had encountered a serious obstacle. The French barons who were to lead the crusade had pointed out to the pope that they would need the cooperation of the German emperor — passage through his lands, shipping facilities, and supplies. But Frederick II had no desire to see a crusading army in Palestine a full year before his truce with the sultan expired. He refused all aid. Hence on November 4 the pope informed the archbishops of Sens and Rheims that the Syrian crusade was postponed for a year, until August 1239. On December 7 the emperor wrote to the pope stating that he had promised the crusaders not to ask for another delay beyond the year. When the time came, he would give them every assistance. In fact he would either lead them in person or send his son Conrad as his representative. Thus by the end of i 237 the departure for Constantinople was set for August 1238 and that for the Holy Land for August 1239. The expedition to Constantinople did not start in August 1238 nor was it led by Peter of Dreux. Just what did happen is obscure.
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