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William Patrick, and a number of other English barons, were marching to meet them at the head of a large force. Eager to repair their former reverses in Britanny, the Brabançois gave battle to the enemy on the 20th of August, 1173, and a total and most signal defeat of the rebels ensued. Fifteen hundred of the Bretons were left dead on the field of battle, amongst whom were many distinguished knights and gentlemen; and seventeen celebrated leaders were taken, one of whom was Asculph de St. Hiliare himself. The rest fled in confusion, and threw themselves into the castle of Dol, which was instantly invested by the Brabançois.
At the news of these events, Henry hurried from Normandy to press the siege with the greatest vigour; and travelling night and day, arrived in time to be present at the surrender, which was undoubtedly hastened by his actual presence in the besieging army. On the 26th of August, the rebels, finding it impossible to resist, yielded themselves to the will of the King; and the Viscount de Fougeres, his brother William, the Earl of Chester, a number of Norman and English barons, and a still greater number of Bretons, amounting in all to near one hundred insurgent nobles, fell at once into the hands of Henry. A great quantity of plunder was taken and given up to the Brabançois, whose military reputation was not a little increased by the signal victory they had obtained.
The arms of the King were no less successful in England than they had lately proved in Normandy and Britanny, though he was not on the spot to encourage his officers and friends. Richard de Lucy, Humphrey de Bohun, and the Earl of Cornwall, had remained not only faithful, but zealous, in the service of their King; and as soon as forces could be raised, and the actual state of the rebellion ascertained, they employed the most active means to suppress the evil which had already risen to so great a head. The two principal nobles who had declared themselves for the insurgent princes, were the Earl of Chester—who had confined his efforts, as we have seen, to France, and had met with signal defeat-and Robert the Humpbacked, Earl of Leicester, whose flight from England we have already detailed. Henry had immediately punished the Earl's rebellion by seizing all his estates and castles in Normandy; but it was much more necessary to deprive him of the power and influence that he possessed in England, which was indeed so great as to be at all times dangerous to the Crown. His father had been one of Henry's most trusted and faithful servants, and had always displayed the utmost devotion to his royal master; nor do we know of any cause which the King had given, to excite feelings of enmity in the breast of that nobleman's son. His hatred seems, however, to have been of the most inveterate character, and against him one of the first blows was struck by the indignation of the monarch. By Henry's orders, Richard de Lucy and the Earl of Cornwall proceeded at the head of their forces, to besiege the city and castle of Leicester, and sat down before the town on the 3rd of July. The citizens and the garrison determined to make a vigorous resistance, but the siege was brought to a termination much sooner than might have been expected. Provisions began to fail, a part of the town was burnt by an accidental fire, and finding that they were not competent to contend with the forces of the Grand Justiciary, the inhabitants capitulated on the 28th of the same month, upon terms much more advantageous to themselves than probably would have been granted, had not the threatening aspect of affairs in other parts of the country, shown De Lucy that it was necessary to terminate his enterprise as soon as it could be considered accomplished with honor to his master's arms. A sum was paid as a fine by the citizens of the town; and upon condition of being received in peace into some of the cities or castles of the King's domain, till the civil war should be at an end, they delivered up what remained of Leicester. The garrison of the castle obtained a truce till Michaelmas; and having thus, in some degree, bridled the rebellion in the midland counties of England, De Lucy turned his attention to the north, where a new storm was now gathering
people of Leicester, when news reached the Justiciary and his colleague in arms, that William, King of Scotland, had burst forth from his own dominions with a large force, principally composed of Galwegians, at that time the most fierce and barbarous part of the Scottish people. The first intimation of his presence in England, was accompanied by the tidings that, after devastating in the most bloody and cruel manner the whole open country of Cumberland, he had sat down before Carlisle, and was making rapid progress in the siege of that city. For that part of the country, then, Richard de Lucy immediately began his march, leaving the Earl of Cornwall to overawe the partisans of the insurgents in the neighbourhood of Leicester. But before he himself could reach Carlisle, the King of Scotland, warned of his approach, had raised the siege; and, being treacherously permitted to pass through the county of Durham, was actually ravaging Yorkshire with fire and sword. Thither then the Justiciary next led his forces; but the King of Scotland dared not trust to the steadiness of his Galwegians in presence of a regular army, and once more he retired before De Lucy, who pursuing him into Scotland, took and burnt the city of Berwick, and for some time retaliated on the unfortunate county of Lothian all the evils and miseries which the Scottish army had inflicted upon the people of Yorkshire and Cumberland.
· Thus, towards the autumn of the year 1173, the arms of Henry--which at the beginning of the campaign had been so unsuccessful, as to give the brightest hopes to his adversaries were triumphant in every part of his dominions. New attempts, indeed, were about to be made; but before any of these efforts took place, a negociation was opened, which I must now proceed to notice.
The brilliant and rapid advantages which Henry had gained, struck the insurgents and their allies with temporary dismay, and the King of France appeared peculiarly affected by reverses, which deprived him of all prospect of terminating the war rapidly, with honor to himself and advantage to the young princes whom he had supported in rebellion against their father. His finances were, at this time, in a very disastrous state; and we find from Diceto, that he had been obliged to have recourse to unusual and burdensome means in order to bring into the field and support in activity the large army with which he had commenced the war. Pressed by these strong motives, he showed himself willing for a time to listen to proposals of peace; and the papal legate interposed to bring about an amicable adjustment of the dissentions between Henry and his sons. Some writers declare that Louis himself sought an interview with great eagerness, driven to despair by the successes of his enemy; while others imply that the first efforts were made by Henry. However that may be, a conference was