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Eleanor, however, was married to Louis the Young, King of France, in 1137, immediately after her father's death, and she conveyed to her husband her claims to the County of Toulouse. In 1141, Louis advanced at the head of an army towards the capital of Alphonso, and laid siege to it upon grounds that are not distinctly stated by the historians of the time; but there can be scarcely a doubt in the mind of any one that the pretensions of Eleanor upon Toulouse were those which brought the arms of the King of France before that city, * especially when we are told by William of Newbury, who may be considered as contemporary, that Louis did make application for the resti-, tution of Toulouse.t
A vigorous resistance was offered by the citizens to the efforts of the French King; and Louis, as was always the case when long protracted operations were necessary, got weary of unfruitful warfare, and withdrew his troops. I
* We find (lib. iv.), the states which Eleanor was supposed to bring to her husband, thus named in the history of Vezelai, by Hugh of Poitiers-all Aquitaine, Gascony, the land of the Basques, Navarre, as far as the Pyrenean mountains, and as far as Charles's Cross.
+ The words of William of Newbury are : “Reliquit autem unicam filiam heredem, quæ cum Regi Francorum Ludovico nupsisset, idem Rex uxoris nomine Tolosam repetiit.—Lib. ii. cap. x.
Adrian Vital gives us to understand that Louis met with difficulties, dangers, and discomforts, on which he had little calculated.
His quarrels with the Count of Champagne succeeded, and those again were followed by the Crusade, which occupied all the time that intervened ere his divorce from Eleanor and her marriage with Henry. Thus the claim of that princess had never, in fact, been abandoned, and Henry merely renewed an application which had been frequently made before. The situation of Louis indeed was changed; and it was as much his interest to oppose the claim of Eleanor now as it had formerly been to support it. Her husband was already too powerful as a neighbour and too powerful as a vassal; but, besides such political motives for taking a new view of the question, Louis had a strong incentive in his affection for his sister Constance, who, after the death of her first husband, Eustace, had married Raymond, the actual Count of Toulouse.
Nevertheless, it would seem that Henryeither too confident in the influence he had acquired over Louis, or believing in a sense of justice in kings, and trusting that the French monarch would be ashamed to oppose in the present case pretensions which he had formerly advocated
-imagined that the King of France would remain neuter in his strife with the Count of Toulouse. That monarch, indeed, did suffer him to make preparations unopposed, and also to form alliances with the enemies of Raymond of Toulouse : but he might imagine that the forces
levied beneath his eyes were still destined for Spain; and he might be ignorant of the negociations which were carried on both within and without his own territories. Some of the many writers of the life of Becket, however, assert, that Louis positively promised to remain neuter; and, if the authority for this fact were not somewhat doubtful, we might conclude that the French monarch very basely violated his promise, Meeting with no opposition from the crown of
lenry proceeded with his preparations for a war, the success of which he would hardly doubt when he contemplated the vast forces at his command. Not contented, however, with the power which he could draw from Normandy, Touraine, Anjou, Poitiers, and Aquitaine, he determined to apply to his English subjects also for assistance in establishing his claim to the County of Toulouse. He accordingly returned to England in the spring of 1159, and found his nobles ready and willing to support him, though there may be some reason to suppose that representations were made to Henry by such as were not inclined to go, in regard to the hardship of serving at such a distance from their native country. Whether remonstrances were actually offered or not, certain it is that Henry felt the hardship, and assigned it as his motive for an act* which, though undoubtedly most con
* Robert de Monte gives it as Henry's express motive, “ Considerans longitudinem et difficultatem viæ, nolens vexare
venient and agreeable to him as a King, was an infraction of the grand principle of feudality, greater perhaps than even the establishment of communes. This was an extension of the right of commutating military service for a sum of money, which had long been possessed by all Abbots and Bishops, to inferior vassals who held by knight service. He had already made a similar arrangement with his Norman feudatories; and no difficulty was found in England, where we are told the enormous sum of one hundred and eighty thousand pounds of silver was raised by this new tax. At Worcester, where there is reason to believe that Henry obtained the sanction of the great council of the nation for this innovation upon feudal institutions, the King and Eleanor caused themselves to be crowned for the third time; but, at the offertory, the monarch and his queen laid down their crowns upon the altar, solemnly vowing to God never to be
agrarios milites, nec burgenses nec rusticos, sumptis xl. solidos Andegavensium, in Normanniâ de feudo unius cujusque loricæ.” The scutage in England was fixed at three pounds for each knight's fee, and was apparently assessed by the King himself, with the consent of the council of Worcester. Some copies of the Norman Chronicle say forty solidi of Anjou, some sixty. It is difficult to ascertain the true value of money at that time, as it had suffered great depreciation; but I find a curious document in Le Blanc, p. 153, which shows that the mark of Anjou was equal to 15 sous Tournois, and that the mark of silver was equal to 13 sterling solidi 4 denarii of England, or 53 sous 4 deniers Tournois.
crowned again. * All Henry's greater vassals prepared with alacrity to accompany. him; and even Malcolm, the young King of Scotland, put himself under the banner of his cousin of England, in order to win his knightly spurs in the ranks of one who had already acquired such great renown.
The person, however, who displayed the greatest zeal in the cause, and the most ostentatious alacrity in taking the field, was no other than Thomas Becket, Archdeacon of Canterbury, the King's Chancellor. Very few years had elapsed since the Bishop of Winchester had been seen in arms during the civil wars of England; and the Bishop of Beauvais was still somewhat notorious for his military propen
* I have to apologize for the frequent repetition of the word crown in the above sentence; but in this and in many other instances, I have thought it better to seek for accuracy of expression rather than sweetness of sound. In the present case I have ventured to differ from a great authority. Lord Lyttleton translates Hovedon thus : “ But when they came to the oblation, they laid them down on the altar, and vowed to wear them no more.” I am inclined to think that this was not the exact meaning of the author, whose words seem to me to imply that a solemn coronation of the King and Queen took place, and that they vowed not to have so expensive a ceremony performed again. His words are,—“ Idem rex Henricus, tertio, fecit se et Elienor uxorem suam coronari in solemnitate Paschali apud Worecester: ubi cum ad oblationem venirent, deposuerunt coronas suas, et eas super altare obtulerunt, voventes Deo quod nunquam in vità suâ de cætero coronarentur.” Don Vaissette, in his History of Languedoc, mistakingly asserts that this took place at Winchester.