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DE ALBINI.-KING STEPHEN.-PLANTAGENET.
appeared in Mr. Tierney's elaborate History of Arundel, to which we have so often referred in the preceding pages. Of William de Albini, the fourth earl, the following historical incident is recorded :- When at length, after
much fruitless warfare, Henry Plantagenet appeared in England at the head of the nobles who espoused his rights, Albini had the happiness to achieve what may be justly considered greater than any victory; he prevented the effusion of blood. Henry's army was then at Wallingford, where Stephen, at the head of his forces, was arranging the line of battle. The armies were drawn out in sight of each other; Stephen, attended by Albini, was reconnoitring the position of his opponent; when his charger becoming unmanageable, threw his rider*. He was again mounted; but a second and a third time a similar accident occurred, which did not fail
to act as a dispiriting omen upon the minds of those who were witnesses of the occurrence. Taking advantage of the superstitious dread thus excited among the troops, Albini represented in emphatic terms to Stephen the weakness of his cause when opposed by right and justice, and how little he could calculate upon men whose resolution in his service had been already shaken by the incident which had just occurred. His counsel was taken in good part; Stephen and Henry, adds the historian, met in front of the two armies : an explanation ensued, reconciliation was effected; and in the course of the year a solemn treaty was ratified, by which Stephen adopted the young Platagenet as his successor to the throne. The
The particulars are thus related by Speed:— to give battaile, tho winter stormes were suddenly so Henry, “after he had calmed the boisterous stormes troublesome that nothing could be done, but those of warre, in the partes beyond the seas, came over somewhat overblowne, and the armies scarce three into England well appointed, unto whom also re- furlongs asunder, as Kinge Stephen was busied in sorted many of the nobilitie who yeelded up them- disposing of his hoaste, and giving directions for selves, and above thirtie strong castles, to the young order of the battaile, his horse under him, rising duke, now hasted to raise the siege of Wallingford with his fore feet fell flat back upon the earth, not Stephen following hastily to succour his men- without danger to his rider; and thus did he thrice though with the lesse edge, for that he never sped ere hee left; which things his nobles secretly mutwell in any assault of that castle-pitched downe histering, interpreted for an unlucky presage; when Tents, even neere his enemy, and ready on bothe sides William, Earle of Arundell, a bold and eloquent man,
most important affair in which Albini's service was called for, was the splendid embassy to Rome, the object of which was to counteract the effect of à-Becket's personal representations at the papal court. That mission
That mission failed in effecting the reconciliation intended, owing to the intemperate language of the prelates who were associated with Albini in the cause. His own speech, as recorded by Grafton, is characteristic of good sense and moderation :-“Although to me it is unknown, saith the Erle of Arundell, which am but unlettered and ignorant, what it is that these bishoppes here have sayde, (their speeches being in latin,) neyther am I in that tungue able to expresse my minde as they have done ; yet, beyng sent and charged thereunto of my prince, neyther can, nor ought I but to declare, as well as I may, what the cause is of our sendyng hether; not to contende or strive with any person, nor to offer any iniury or harm unto any man, especially in this place, and in the presence here of such a one unto whose becke and authoritye all the worlde doth stoope and yelde. But for this intent in our Legacy hether directed, to present here before You and in the presence of the whole Church of Rome, the devocion and loue of our king and master, which ever he hath had and yet hath still toward You. And that the same may the better appere to yr. Excellencie, hee hath assigned and appointed to the furniture of this Legacy, not the least, but the greatest; not the worst, but the best and chiefest of all his subiects; both archbishoppes, bishoppes, erles, barons, with other potentates mo, of such worthinesse and parentage, that if he could have found greater in all his realme he would have sent them both for the reverence of Your Person and of the Holy Church of Rome," &c.
But this oration, “ although it was liked for the softnesse and moderation thereof, yet it failed of its object; it could not perswade the bishop of Rome to condescende to their sute and request, which was to have two legates or arbiters to be sent from him into England, to examine and to take up the controversie betwene the kinge and the archbishoppe.”
Subsequently to this, Albini was sent on a more agreeable mission, that of conducting the Princess Matilda into Germany, on the eve of her marriage with Henry, Duke of Saxony ; and five years later was selected by the king as one of his “own trustees to the treaty of marriage between his son Prince John, and the daughter of Hubert, Count of Savoy." Shortly afterwards he
went to him and advised him to a peace, affirming whereof must needs follow an unnatural war bethe title of Duke Henry to be just: that the no- twixt them, and of dangerous consequences eren bil. tie on bothe parts there present were nearly to him that conquested. With these and the like linked in alliances and bloud, and how these stood allegations, at last Stephen began to bend, and a affected was very doubtfull. Yea that brethren parley for peace was signified unto the Duke.”were there assembled, the one against the other, Speed, edit. 1629, fol. 481.
DAMIETTA. —FITZALAN.–BATTLE OF LEWES.
commanded the royal forces at Fornham in Suffolk, and gained a complete victory over the rebellious sons of King Henry-in whose unnatural cause the disaffected at home had been joined by a numerous body of foreigners-and took prisoners the Earl of Leicester, with his Countess and all his retinue of knights. Albini was a great benefactor of the church; he built “ the abbey of Buckenham; endowed various prebends in Winchester ; founded the priory of Pynham, near Arundel; the chapel of St. Thomas at Wymundham," and died at Waverley in Surrey.
To Albini's son and grandson we have already adverted, but conclude with a brief incident in the life of William, the third earl of his family.
When the banner of the cross was waving under the walls of Damietta, and the chivalry of Christendom flew to the rescue, the gallant Albini was too keenly alive to the cause to resist the summons.
In that severe struggle, he hoped to acquire those laurels which would leave all other trophies in the shade ; and with the flower of our English chivalry embarked for the Holy Land, and served at the siege of that fortress. Two years he remained a staunch supporter of the cross-a soldier whom no dangers could dismay, no difficulties intimidate ; and long after his companions had returned to the white cliffs of Albion, the lion-standard of Albini shone in the van of the Christian army. On his way home, however, he had only strength to reach an obscure town in the neighbourhood of Civita Vecchia, near Rome, where he was taken ill and expired. His eldest son, the fourth earl, died without issue ; and the short life of his successor, Hugh de Albini, appears to have passed without any remarkable event or incident, save latterly in active warfare in France, where, at the battle of Taillebourg, in Guienne, he displayed, though ineffectually, the hereditary valour of his frmily.
The first of the Fitzalans who held the title and estates of Arundel was appointed one of the Lord Marchers, or Wardens of the Welsh Border; and found to his cost that the Ancient Britons did not submit to the daily encroachment made upon their rights and hereditary privileges, without having frequent and formidable recourse to arms. He maintained a high station at court, was admitted to the royal confidence, and had the “command of the Castle of Rochester when the approach of the King's forces compelled the disaffected Barons to raise the siege." At the battle of Lewes he distinguished himself in the royal cause; but at the close of that disastrous field-along with the two princes, Edward and Henry-fell into the “ hands of the victorious Barons.”
Of the battle of Lewes, we select the following graphic picture from Grafton :-“ Upon Wednesday the 23rd of May, early in the morning, both the hostes met; where, after the Londoners had given the first assault, they were beaten back, so that they began to drawe from the sharpe shot and strokes, to the discomfort of the Barons' hoste. But the Barons encouraged and comforted their men in such wise, that not all onely, the freshe and lustye knights fought eagerly, but also such as before were discomfited, gathered a newe courage unto them, and fought without feare, in so much that the King's vaward lost their places. Then was the field covered with dead bodyes, and gasping and groning was heard on every syde ; for eyther of them was desyrous to bring others out of lyfe. And the father spared not the sonne, neyther yet the sonne spared the father! Alliaunce at that time was bound to defiaunce, and Christian bloud that day was shed without pittie. Lastly the victory fell to the Barons ; so that there was taken the King, and the King of Romaynes, Sir Edward the King's sonne, with many other noblemen," among whom was Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, “to the number of fifteen barons and banerets; and of the common people, that were slain, about twenty thousand, as saith Fabian.”
This was Fitzalan's last appearance in the field; and, as a security for his good behaviour, he was required "to surrender the Castle of Arundel or deliver his son as a hostage,” into the hands of the Earl of Leicester. “ For their safe keeping, the prisoners were sente unto dyverse castellis and prysons, except the King, his brother the King of Almayne, and Sir Edwarde his sonne; the which the barons helde with them vutill they came to London.”
RICHARD the third earl takes an eminent station in the family history. He first travelled in France and Italy, in compliance with the rules of his order* ; then served in Wales, performed several exploits against Madoc; became distinguished among the chivalry of his day; held a command in the expedition organised for the subjugation of Scotland; fought at Falkirk ; and subseqeuntly took part at the siege of Caerlaverock Castle, where in the language of the minstrel, “ who witnessed the fray,” he is complimented as
“ Richard le Conte de Aroundel,
...estre grand voyagier, Tournoiz suir et jouster pour sa mie.”—
Deschamps, cité par Sainte Palaye. t Siege of Caerlaverock.-Edited by Sir Harris Nicolas.
EDMUND FITZALAN, — FESTIVAL OF KNIGHTHOOD.
and in various capacities appears to have done the state much acceptable service.
During the life of EDMUND, the fourth Earl, the affairs of Scotland 1306.
assumed a threatening aspect; and the King, exasperated by the murder of Comyn, resolved to march an army across the frontier. Great preparations were made to render the expedition, in all respects, worthy of the grand object in view. The royal armies were ordered from their cantonments, and hastened into the field under the command of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke.
In preparation for the expedition, “ proclamation was made, that a grand national fete would solemnise the movement; that the Prince of Wales
would be knighted on the Feast of Pentecost; and all the young nobility of the kingdom were summoned to appear at Westminster to receive that honour along with him. On the eve of the appointed day (the 22nd of May,