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dom was already drained, and little able to furnish out supplies for a war with France; but Richard was resolved, and money must be had at any rate, let the means be ever so dishonourable. For this purpose he revoked all the grants of the Crown lands, which he had made before his expedition to Palestine. The pretext for this was, that the purchasers had enjoyed them long enough to re-imburse themselves out of the profits, and therefore he did them no injury by taking the lands back again. This was one device; the next was, to avail himself of the loss of the Great Seal, by ordering a new one to be made; and obliged all who had commissions under the old one, to renew them, and have them resealed, by which he must have raised a considerable sum *.
* In passing between Cyprus and Rhodes, in his Expedition to the Holy War, three of his Ships were lost, and among other persons that perished was the Vice-Chancellor, who had the Great Seal in his custody, and was afterwards found with it about his neck. Brompton. This was the manner in which the Seal was formerly carried by the Chancellor himself—" circa cujus Collum suspension Regis Sigillum postea repertum est," are Brompton's words.
King Richard I. having no child of either sex, there was not an opening for demanding the two common Aids; but the third, in the order they are usually placed, viz. for the ransom of the King's Person, was exercised for the first time in this Reign. Other taxations, heavy and enormous, on frivolous and nugatory occasions, not to our immediate purpose, were copiously extorted from the subject, and even in a shameful manner *. If ever the Latin adage, "Quicquid delirant Reges," &c. could be properly applied, it belonged to Richard.
The favourite system of this King was the Holy-War, and his intemperate zeal led to the point before us. Failing in the attempt to recover Jerusalem from the Saracens, he concluded a truce of three years with Saladan their King; and, on his return towards England through Germany, was made prisoner by the Arch-duke of Austria (upon a pretext that he had killed the Margrave Conrade at Tyre); who delivered him into the hands of
* Sir Richard Baker, p. 73.
the Emperor, where he remained a captive fuWJifteen months, till he was ransomed*.
The sum demanded for the King's release is generally allowed to have been 100,000Z.; though some writers reduce it a third part, and call it 100,000 marks; but, let it be either of them, it was, in those days, a sum not to be raised without the greatest extortion; and I am justified in saying, it was not done without what, eventually, almost amounted to sacrilege f. The church was ransacked for plate, which was pretended to have been only borrowed for the moment— but the debt was never repaid.
In the eleventh year of King Henry IV. a certain portion of the customs in the several ports, of subsidies in several ports, of the issues of the hamper [now the Hanaper], and of the profers [sic] of escheators and sheriffs, were, by the King's letters patent, set apart for the expences of his Household. This was done by the assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, assembled in the King's Council *.
* Consult the Monkish Historians.
t Sir Richard Baker reckons this no more than a voluntary contribution, forgetting that it was one of the established Norman Feudal Aids, though now first brought forward since the Conquest.
In the Reign also of King Edward IV. it was usual for the King to grant to his servants, or ministers, assignments for their salaries, or debts, upon divers officers who were concerned in receiving his revenue; viz. upon Sheriffs of Counties, Bailiffs, or Men [forte Mayors] of Towns, Collectors of Customs, Subsidies, &c. Upon these assignments the Assignees had Patent-Letters, Tallies of the Exchequer, or Writs of Liberate currant, made forth for their avail; and, in default of payment, they brought actions of debt in the Court of Exchequer, upon such Assignments, Tallies, or Liberates, against the Sheriffs, or other Officers aforesaid; many instances of which may be seen in the fifth year of King Edward IV. in the Placita coram Baronibus, 5 Edward IV. in the Rolls of the Exchequer *.
* Rymer's Foedera, torn. viii. p. 610.—From Madox's MSS. n. 4486, p. 70.
The King was wont to distribute his revenue in such manner as he thought fit. He assigned, at his pleasure, part of it to the expences of his Household, and other parts to the expences of either civil government or warf.
An act done within the verge of the King's Palace was said to be done in prcesentid Regis. The party offending was tried in the Court held in the Palace, before the Steward and Marshal; and the proceedings there, were styled Placita Aulas Domini Regis de Corond%.
* Madox's MSS. n. 4486, p. 71.
t Idem, p. 69.
J Idem, pp. 22, 23.