Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
XIII: The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239-1241, pp. 463-486 PDF (13.4 MB)
Ch. XIII CRUSADE OF THEOBALD OF CHAMPAGNE 483 was less anxious to have the English crusaders pass through his Italian domains. The empress, Isabel Plantagenet, was the sister of Richard and the sister-in-law of the other English leader, Simon of Montfort. Early in February 1240 Gregory ordered archbishop Walter of York to see that the crusaders did not start until the pope gave the word. Apparently this had no effect on the crusaders, and they continued their preparations. Simon sold his wood of Leicester for 1,000 pounds to raise money for the expedition. After a series of conferences in which he made at least temporary peace between the king and Gilbert Marshal, who had apparently given up his crusading plans, Richard of Cornwall left England on June 10. With him were William Longsword and some dozen English barons. Simon of Montfort seems to have gone by himself with his own party. Together they are said to have led 8oo knights. Richard was well received by king Louis and proceeded to southern France. According to Matthew Paris, he was met there by archbishop John of Aries, who in the pope's name forbade him to cross, but there is no other evidence to support this, and Matthew must be used with caution because of his violent anti-papal bias. In any event Richard kept carefully out of the quarrel between Frederick and the pope. Despite his brother-in-law's invitation, he did not enter the imperial lands, but sailed from Marseilles about the middle of September and landed at Acre on October 8. Simon of Montfort, on the other hand, went to Brindisi. While there is no positive evidence that he ever reached Palestine, one document suggests his presence there. In May 1 24 1 a group of Palestinian barons wrote to the emperor requesting that earl Simon be made bailie of the kingdom. When Richard of Cornwall reached Acre he found the situation extremely discouraging.24 Theobald of Champagne and Peter of Dreux had sailed for home some two weeks before his arrival, taking with them a fair part of their troops. The two great military orders were engaged in a bitter feud. The Hospitallers, who favored the truce with Egypt, had withdrawn their forces to Acre, while the Templars, who supported the agreement with Damascus, were at Jaffa. Richard seems to have asked the lord of Transjordania whether or not he considered the truce in force and to have received a negative answer. At any rate he marched down the coast to Jaffa. There he was met by the envoys of the sultan of Egypt, who con veyed their master's offer to confirm the truce made with Theobald. 24 The fullest account of earl Richard's crusade is found in the earl's own letter to Baldwin de Redvers, earl of Devon. Matthew Paris, Chronica majora, IV, 138-1 44.
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