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

II: The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted and Philip Augustus,   pp. 44-85 PDF (16.5 MB)

Page 62

The last division was made up of the galleys under the king's personal command.
The divisions were ordered to stay near enough so that a trumpet blast could
be heard from one to another, and the ships in the divisions were to keep
within calling distance of one another. At night Richard placed a great lantern
on his galley to guide stragglers. Unfortunately the weather disrupted these
careful arrangements. A severe storm struck the fleet, and many ships, including
the one carrying the royal ladies, got detached from the main body. On April
17 Richard arrived at Crete, leaving the next day. Rhodes was apparently
more attractive or, as one chronicler states, Richard was not feeling well.
He reached that island on April 22 and did not leave until May 1. 29 
 A week before Richard left Rhodes, some of the ships, which had strayed
from the fleet during the storm, were driven to the coast of Cyprus. Among
these were the three great leaders of the fleet bearing the royal ladies
and the treasure. Two or three ships, probably including at least one of
the treasure ships, were wrecked near the port of Limassol. The vessel carrying
Joan and Berengaria cast anchor outside the port. Many of the men on the
wrecked ships were drowned, including the keeper of the Great Seal of England,
whose body was later found with the seal on it. Others succeeded in making
their way to the shore. They were robbed of all their possessions by the
Cypriotes, and some were imprisoned. Others seem to have seized a fort of
some sort and defended it against their foes. Stephen of Turnham, who was
probably the commander of the ladies' escort, tried to supply these men,
but was prevented from doing so by Cypriote troops.30 
 The ruler of Cyprus, who called himself Byzantine emperor, was Isaac Comnenus.
In 1184, even before Isaac Angelus had overthrown Andronicus Comnenus at
Constantinople (11 85) and seized the imperial throne, Isaac Comnenus, with
the aid of his brother-in-law, the great Sicilian admiral Margarit, had seized
Cyprus; he naturally refused to recognize the Angeli. The English chroniclers
call Isaac Comnenus a thorough villain, who refused to send supplies to the
Christians in Palestine, robbed and murdered all pilgrims who came to his
shores, and oppressed the people of Cyprus. As Isaac seems to have been friendly
with the group of Syrian barons headed by Conrad of Montferrat, some of this
may represent enthusiastic political libel. It is, however, clear that the
 29 Devizes, pp. 422-423; Diceto, II, 86, 91; Gesta, II, 162; Estoire, pp.
74-80; Itinerarium, pp. 177-182. 
 30 Itinerarium, pp. 184-186; Estoire, pp. 83-84; Eracles, pp. 159, 162-163;
Bernard le Trésorier, p. 270; Devizes, p. 423. 

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