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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)

Page 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favored the truce with Egypt, had withdrawn their forces to Acre, while the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
 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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