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«A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol.II», Robert Kerr

GENERAL HISTORY AND COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS,

ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER:

FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF NAVIGATION, DISCOVERY, AND COMMERCE, BY SEA AND LAND, FROM THE EARLIEST AGES TO THE PRESENT TIME.

BY

ROBERT KERR, F.R.S. & F.A.S. EDIN.

ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS AND CHARTS.

VOL. II.

 

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH, AND T. CADELL, LONDON. MDCCCXXIV.

 

Note. In p. 292 of this volume, 1, 2 and 18, the date of 1525 ought to have been 1505.

PART I.

(CONTINUED)

CHAPTER XX.

Account of Various early Pilgrimages from England to the Holy Land; between the years 1097 and 1107[?]

INTRODUCTION

The subsequent account of several English pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

 

SECTION I. The Voyage of Gutuere, or Godwera, an English Lady, towards the Holy Land, about 1097

While the Christian army, under Godfrey of Buillon, was marching through Asia Minor from Iconium, in Lycaonia, by Heraclea, to Marasia, or Maresch[?], Gutuere, or Godwera, the wife of Baldwin, the brother of the Duke of Lorain, who had long laboured under heavy sickness, became so extremely ill, that the army encamped on her account near Marash, for three days, when she expired. This lady is said to have been of noble English parentage, and was honourably interred at Antioch in Syria[?].

 

SECTION II. The Voyage of Edgar Aethling to Jerusalem, in 1102[?]

Edgar, commonly called Aethling, was son of Edward, the son of Edmond Ironside, who was the brother of Edward the Confessor, to whom consequently Edgar was nephew; Edgar travelled to Jerusalem in 1102, in company with Robert, the son of Godwin, most valiant knight. Being present in Rama, when King Baldwin was there besieged by the Turks, and not being able to endure the hardships of the siege, he was delivered from that danger, and escaped through the midst of the hostile camp, chiefly through the aid of Robert; who, going before him, made a lane with his sword, slaying numbers of the Turks in his heroic progress. Towards the close of this chivalric enterprize, and becoming more fierce and eager as he advanced, Robert unfortunately dropt his sword; and while stooping to recover his weapon, he was oppressed by the multitude, who threw themselves upon him, and made him prisoner. From thence, as some say, Robert was carried to Babylon in Egypt, or Cairo; and refusing to renounce his faith in CHRIST, he was tied to a stake in the market-place, and transpierced with arrows. Edgar, having thus lost his valiant knight, returned towards Europe, and was much honoured with many gifts by the emperors both of Greece and Germany, both of whom would gladly have retained him at their courts, on account of his high lineage; but he despised all things, from regard to his native England, into which he returned: And, having been subjected to many changes of fortune, as we have elsewhere related, he now spends his extreme old age in private obscurity.

 

SECTION III. Some Circumstances respecting the Siege of Joppa, about the year 1102[?]

In the second year of Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, Joppa was besieged by the Turks of Cairo; and Baldwin embarked from the town of Assur, in a vessel called a buss, commanded by one Goderic an English freebooter, intending to proceed to the relief of the besieged. Fixing the royal banner aloft on a spear, that it might be seen of the Christians, they sailed boldly towards Joppa, with but a small company of armed men. The king knew that the Christians in Joppa were almost hopeless of his life and safety, and he feared they might shamefully abandon the defence of the place, or be constrained to surrender, unless revived by his presence. On perceiving the approach of the royal banner of King Baldwin, the naval forces of the Turks, to the number of twenty gallies and thirteen ships, usually called Cazh, endeavoured to surround and capture the single vessel in which he was embarked. But, by the aid of GOD, the billows of the sea raged against them, while the kings ship glided easily and swiftly through the waves, eluding the enemy, and arrived in safety into the haven of Joppa, to the great joy of the Christians, who had mourned him as if dead.

While the Saracens continued the siege of Joppa, 200 sail of Christian vessels arrived there, with pilgrims who wished to perform their devotions at Jerusalem. Of these, the chief leaders were Bernard Witrazh of Galatia, Hardin of England, Otho of Roges, Haderwerck, one of the principal nobles of Westphalia, and others. This power, by the blessing of God, arrived to succour the distressed Christians then besieged in Joppa, on the 3d of July 1102, in the second year of Baldwin king of Jerusalem. When the numerous army of the Saracens saw that the Christians, thus reinforced, boldly faced them without the walls, they removed their tents, during the night, above a mile from the town, that they might consider whether to retreat to Ascalon, or to continue to harass the citizens of Joppa with frequent assaults. But they confided in their numbers, and continued to annoy the Christians by severe and repeated attacks.

Having allowed three days rest and refreshment to this powerful reinforcement, Baldwin issued out from Joppa early in the morning of the sixth of July, to the martial sound of trumpets and cornets, with a strong force, both of foot and horse, marching directly toward the Saracens, with loud shouts, and attacked their army with great spirit. The land attack was assisted by the Christian navy, which approached the shore, making a horrible noise, and distracting the attention of the Saracens, who feared to be attacked in flank and rear. After a sharp encounter, the Saracens fled towards Ascalon, many being slain in the battle and pursuit, and others drowned, by leaping into the sea to avoid being slain. In this battle 3000 of the Saracens perished, with a very small loss on the side of the Christians; and the city of Joppa was delivered from its enemies.

 

SECTION IV. Of the Transactions of certain English, Danish, and Flemish Pilgrims in the Holy Land, in 1107[?]

In the seventh year of King Baldwin, a large fleet from England, containing above 7000 men, many of whom were soldiers, arrived at the harbour of Joppa, along with whom came other warriors from Denmark, Flanders, and Antwerp. Having received permission and safe conduct from King Baldwin, together with a strong band of armed men as a safeguard, they arrived in safety at Jerusalem and all the other places of devotion, free from all assaults and ambushes of the Gentiles; and having paid their vows unto the Lord in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, they returned with great joy, and without molestation, to Joppa[?]. Finding King Baldwin in that place, they made offer to assist him in any military enterprize; for which offer he gave them great commendations, saying, That he could not give an immediate answer, without consulting the patriarch and barons, of his kingdom.

He therefore called together the Lord Patriarch, Hugh of Tabaria, Gunfrid the governor of the Tower of David, and the other principal officers of the kingdom of Jerusalem, to consult together in the city of Rames, how best to employ this proferred assistance of so considerable a body of volunteers.

In that assembly, it was agreed upon to lay siege to the city of Sagitta, otherwise called Sidon; upon which, having directed every one of the nobles to go home, that they might provide armour and all other necessaries for the siege, he sent messengers to the English, requiring them not to remove their fleet and army from Joppa, but to wait there for his farther commands; informing them, that he and his nobles had resolved, with their aid, to lay siege to the city of Sidon, but it would require some time to provide the necessary engines and warlike instruments, for assaulting the walls of that place. The pilgrims answered, that they would attend his orders at Joppa, promising to be obedient to him in all things, even unto death. The king went soon afterwards, with the patriarch and all his attendants to the city of Acre; where, during forty days, he was busily employed in the construction of engines, and many different kinds of warlike instruments, and of every thing necessary for the intended siege.

When this intended expedition came to the knowledge of the inhabitants of Sidon, and they understood that a powerful army of pilgrims lay in readiness at Joppa, to assist the king of Jerusalem, they were afraid of being subdued and destroyed by the Christians, as Caesaria, Assur, Acre, Cayphas, and Tabaria had already been; and they sent secret emissaries to the king, offering a large sum of money in gold byzants, and a considerable yearly tribute, on condition that he would spare their lives and refrain from the intended siege. After a lengthened negotiation, during which the inhabitants of Sidon rose considerably in their offers, the king, being in great straits for means to discharge the pay of his soldiers, hearkened willingly to the offers of the Sidonians; yet, afraid of reproach from the Christians, he dared not openly to consent to their proposals.

In the meantime, Hugh of Tabaria, who was a principal warrior among the Christians of Palestine, and indefatigable in assaulting the pagans on all occasions, having gathered together 200 horse and 400 infantry, suddenly invaded the country of a great Saracen lord, named Suet, on the frontiers of the territory of Damascus, where he took a rich booty of gold and silver and many cattle, which would have proved of great importance in assisting the army at the siege of Sidon. On his return with this prey by the city of Belinas, otherwise called Caesaria Philippi, the Turks of Damascus, with the Saracen inhabitants of the country, gathered together in great numbers, and pursued the troops of Hugh, that they might recover the booty. Coming up with them in the mountains, over which the infantry belonging to Hugh of Tabaria were driving their prey, the Turks prevailed over the Christians, and the plunder was recovered. On receiving this intelligence, Hugh, who happened to be at some distance, hastened with his cavalry to succour his footmen, and to recover the spoil: But happening to fall in with the Turks in a strait and craggy place, and rushing heedlessly among the enemy, unprovided with his armour, he was shot in the back by an arrow, which pierced his liver, and he died on the spot. His soldiers brought back the dead body of Hugh to the city of Nazareth near Mount Thabor, where he was honourably interred. Gerard, the brother of Hugh, lay at this time sick of a dangerous illness, and died within eight days afterwards.

Taking advantage of the death of these two famous princes, King Baldwin agreed to receive the money which had been offered to him by the city of Sidon, yet kept his intentions of making peace private, and sent to Joppa, desiring the chiefs of the English, Danes, and Flemings, to come with their fleet and army to Acre, as if he had meant to prosecute the siege. When they arrived, he represented to their chiefs the great loss he had sustained by the death of two of his chief warriors, on which account, he was constrained to defer the siege to a more convenient opportunity, and must now dismiss his army. On this the strangers saluted the king very respectfully, and, embarking in their ships, returned to their own countries.

 

SECTION V. The Expedition of William Longespee, or Long-sword, Earl of Salisbury, in the year 1248, under the Banners of St Louis, King of France, against the Saracens[?]

When Louis, King of France, went against the Saracens in 1248, William Earl of Salisbury, with the Bishop of Worcester, and other great men of the realm of England, accompanied him in the holy warfare[?]. About the beginning of October 1249, the French king assaulted and took the city of Damietta, which was esteemed the principal strong-hold of the Saracens in Egypt; and having provided the place with a sufficient garrison, under the Duke of Burgundy, he removed his camp, to penetrate farther eastwards. In this army William Earl of Salisbury served, with a chosen band of Englishmen under his especial command; but the French entertained a great dislike to him and his people, whom they flouted upon all occasions, calling them English tails[?], and other opprobrious names, insomuch, that the King of France had much ado to keep peace between them. This quarrel originated from the following circumstance: Not far from Alexandria there was a strong castle belonging to the Saracens[?], in which they had placed some of their principal ladies, and much treasure; which fortress the earl and his English followers had the good fortune to take, more by dexterous policy than by open force of arms, through which capture he and his people were much enriched; and when the French came to the knowledge of this exploit, which had not been previously communicated to them, they were much enraged against the English, and could never speak well of them afterwards.


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