A GENERAL INVENTORIE OF THE HISTORY OF FRANCE, From the beginning of that MONARCHIE, vnto the Trea­tie of VERVINS, in the yeare 1598.

Written by IHON DE SERRES.

And continued vnto these Times, out off the best Au­thors which haue written of that Subiect.

Translated out of FRENCH into ENGLISH, by EDWARD GRIMESTON Gentleman.


Imprinted at LONDON by GEORGE ELD. 1607.


MY MOST HONOVRED LORDS. I dare not so much trespasse against the publicke, as (after the solemne and tedious manner of Epistling) to vsurpe your time with a barren Pre­face: it is my gaine, if I be but heard to say, I dedicate my selfe: in which, I vnderstand my vtmost abilities, and of those, doe here offer vnto your Lordships a small part, being rather the redemption of my life from the note of idlenesse, then any fruitfull course of liuing. For, being (after some yeares expence in France, for the publike seruice of the State) retired to my priuate and domesticke cares, it was yet my couetousnesse to winne so much vpon them, as the leisure of Translation to this generall Historie of France, written by Iohn de Serres; an Author, whom (aboue mine own particular knowledge of this subiect) I haue heard vniuersally esteemed, for the most faithful, and free from affection, that euer toucht at that Argument; able to teach the vnlearned, to delight the learned, and draw to him as many Commenders, as Rea­ders. The Maiesty, Graces, and Strength of whose worke, if I in my traduction, haue any way vnsinewed or def [...]rmed, I con­fesse a sinne against his graue; yet, in my consecration of him to [Page] your Lordships, I haue made him plenarie satisfaction: which presumption of mine, though he may glorie in, I haue no other meane to expiate, but by naked professing my selfe to both your Honours, bound in all obligation of dutie & seruice, no lesse then your selues are each to other in the faith of loue & freindship. For which sacred respect, I haue thus prefixed you joyned in the face of my Altar, where I omit to speake more of your mutuall and knowne merites, except I had volumes to fill, not pages: and desire onely, that where I am studious to be gratefull, I may not deserue to offend.

Your Lordships deuoted in all dutie and seruice. EDVVARD GRIMESTON.

To the Reader.

I Could not (Courteous Reader) neglect an vsuall complement, in the publishing of this worke, to recommend the worthines of the Author, and to excuse my weakenesse. To free my selfe from the imputation of Idlenesse, I vndertooke the Translation of this Historie of France, and to giue some con­tent vnto such as either by their trauell abroad, or by their industrie at home, haue not attained vnto the knowledge of the Tongue, to read it in the originall. Where you may see the sundry Battailes woon by our Kings of England against the French, and the worthie exploits of the English, during their warres with France, whereby you may bee incited to the like resolutions vpon the like occasions. I doubt not, but those which haue con­uersed most familiarly with the Histories of France, will concurre in that generall ap­probation of his writing, to be as fre [...] from affection and passion, as any one that euer treated of this subiect. He hath digested into one Worke whatsoeuer hath beene written by many, touching the French History, since the beginning of their Monarchie. And if he hath not dilated at large the great attempts of Strangers in France, employed ey­ther for their Kings, or against them: he is not therefore to be blamed, nor to be held partiall, for that the subiest whereof he treats, being great, the time long, and his style short and succinct, he had vowed to note euery accident of State and Warre briefely and truely. Besides, you must consider, that he was a Frenchman: and although hee would not altogether smother and conceale those things, which might any way eclipse the glory of his Nation, least he should be taxed to haue fayled in these two excellent vertues required in an Historiographer, Truth and Integritie, without passion, yet hap­pily he hath reported them as sparingly as he could. The History of Iohn de Serres ends with the Treatie at Ueruins betwixt France and Spaine in the yeare 1598. I haue been importuned to make the History perfect, and to continue it vnto these times, wher­vnto I haue added (for your better satisfaction) what I could extract out of Peter Ma­thew and other late writers touching this subiect. Some perchance will challenge me of indiscretion, that I haue not translated Peter Mathew onely, being reputed so elo­quent and learned a Writer. To them I answere first, That I found many things writ­ten by him that were not fit to be inserted, and some things belonging vnto the Historie, related by others, whereof he makes no mention. Secondly, his style is so full, and his discourse so copious, as the worke would haue held no proportion, for that this last addi­tion of seuen yeares must haue exceeded halfe Serres Historie. Which considerations haue made me to draw forth, what I thought most materiall for the subiect, and to leaue the rest as vnnecessarie. But now I come to my last, though not my least care, how this [Page] my labour shall be accepted, the which must vndergoe the censure of all humors. Some I doubt not, (regarding the content and profit they may reape thereby) will allow of mine endeauors, though others do but prie into it with a curious eye, to note what is defectiue, obseruing more the elegancie and choise of words, then the worthinesse of the Historie▪ But let me intreat as much kindnesse of these curious Surueyors, as a graue Senatour of Rome did of one of his companions, who had found him playing in his garden with his yong sonne. The Father somewhat abashed to see himselfe so surprised, requested his fel­low Senatour not to publish his folly vntill he had a yong Sonne. Euen so I intreat them, not to detract nor to maligne that which is well meant, vntill they haue produced the like. Concluding with the Poet, Carpere vel noli nostra, vel ede tua. I must craue your patience in regard of the Presse, intreating you to supply with your iudicious reading such errors as you shall find committed: For that I my selfe could not attend it, being drawne away about other imployments. And so referring all to your kind acceptance, I rest

Yours, Edward Grimestone.

IOHN DE SERRES, TOVCHING THE VSE of this his Inuentorie.

AS an Historie is the Theater of mans life, whereby all may learne one common lesson,The general [...] vse of Histo­ries. by the goodly examples she repre­sents vnto their eyes, eares, and vnde [...]standings. Euen so she inuites all men to view, heare, and to conceiue them well, what language soeuer she speakes, what subiect she [...] of, what time shee notes, and what person soeuer shee represents. Thus offring her selfe to all with this excellent vse, she de [...]erues rustly to bee imbraced, Experience verifying the testimonie which Antiquitie doth giue her. That shee is the Mis [...]resse of Mans Life, the Testimonie of Trueth, the Recorder of Iustic [...], the resplend [...]t Beames of Vertue, the Register of Honour, the Trumpet of Fame, the Examiner of Actions, the Comptrouler of all Times, the Rendez-vous of diuerse Euents, the Schoole of Good and Euill, and the Soueraigne Iudge of all Men, and all Actions. This praise is common to all Histories▪ But as in a generall action euery one ought to haue a more speciall care of that which concernes his dutie: So in the generall Historie of all Nations, euery man is bound to be more perticularly informed of that which toucheth himselfe, and instructed in the mana­ging of the State, vnder which he is borne: By reason whereof I haue alwaies held the complaint of Thucidides (one of the chiefe Architects of a History) very considerable, That it was a great shame for Grecians to be Strangers in Greece; when as (busying themselues in forreine Histories) they were ignorant of their owne. May we not in like sort say, That it was a great shame that French-men should be strangers in France: for why should the ignorance of our Historie bee more excusable in vs, then of theirs in them. Doubtlesse we often seeke for that a farre off, which is neere vnto vs at home:The partie [...] le [...] vse of th [...] H [...]storie of France. I commend the diligence of our men in searching out of forr [...]ine Histories. But if it may be lawfull to speake of this Subiect (as one of the common sort) I dare say there is no Nation vnder the cope of Heauen (without flattering my selfe with the loue of my Countrie) since Man was borne, that hath more admirable matters, or more worthy euents in euery kinde, and by consequence a History more memorable, then ours of France. Bee it for the forme of Gouernment: there was neuer Kingdome nor Common-weale established with goodlier lawes then our Monarchie. It is the true patterne of a perfect estate, such as the wise Politicians in former times vsed to discourse off in their Academie. A [...]oueraigne Commander, with Authoritie absolute­ly [...]oueraigne, but fortified with a power so well qualified with the Counterpoise of in­feriour offices, that we may rightly call the French Monarchie, a mixture of all the law­full gouernments of a Common-weale, by a well gouerned proportion, if the lawes prescribed be well obserued, the which I haue ( [...] that end) planted in the front of this building. Bee it for the greatnesse and st [...]ength of the State, although I know well that the foure Monarchies which comm [...]nded ouer Nations, had larger dominions then the French yet was there neuer any Empire better vnited, better grounded, nor of longer continuance, more [...] for the beautie and bountie of the Land, scituation [Page] of the Country, Riches of the people, and excellencie of wittes, eyther in Peace or Warre. As for the greatnesse of her Prouinces, what is the French Monarchie? but di­uerse kingdomes vnited in one, and sundry Crownes annexed to one. But herein it excels the rest, that although they all in generall hold as it were of the Church, yet ours hath herein a speciall priuiledge, hauing diuerted from Europe that great deluge of Infidels, which [...] all Christendome with Shipwracke. To conclude, it yeelds to no Monarchie whatsoeuer, neither needs it any thing but good husbandrie. As for worthy men, which be a liuing law, and as it were the soule of an Estate, is there any nation whatsoeuer that can shew so many excellent personages, yea and Kings, as France may? There is no Vanitie more vaine, nor more vnworthy of a free minde, making profession of an Historie, wholy vowed to truth, then flatterie. But the most strictest Areopagite that euer was, cannot deny, but ou [...] Monarchie may produce as many excellent Kings and Princes, as any other whatsoeuer. The three Races haue made shew in diuerse times: But the third had the continuance of a more temperate season, for the estab [...]shing of an Estate. Let iudgement bee made by an vnpassionate tryall of their Reignes and Actions: to set downe Kings beautified with sundry gra­ces, as necessitie required, Valiant in Warre, Wise for Counsell, Resolute in Aduer­sitie, Milde to pardon faults, when as Forgetfulnesse was necessary for the good of the State, and the quiet of the Realme.

What shall wee say of great and worthy Euents, such as may chance to Man, be­ing good or euill? Hath any Historie more rare Examples then ours? eyther ordina­rie in the common sufferance of Prosperitie or Aduersitie, or extraordinarie in the greatest, and most [...]ragicall rare accidents that may bee noted in any other Nation. there was neuer State reduced into greater difficulties, both within and without the Realme, and not subuerted: And in these extreame dangers, what valiant Resolutions. Truly our History sets downe in diuerse Reignes, the Courage and Constancie of di­uerse Kings and People, in shew conquered, in effect Conquerors, in that they neuer dispaired of the Common-weale, in the middest of their dispaire: what loue of Kings to their Subiects, and of Subiects to their Kings, in common calamitie? Our Historie is full of these Examples, and of all things else considerable in the societie of Man, eyther in Warre or Peace, and which depends vpon their vertues, which held the Helme of this great Barke.Excellencies remarkable in the miracu­lous cons [...]r­uation of thi [...] State. But as wee cannot hide, nor depriue of their due praise, (those goodly lights which shine in diuers parts of our History) by the many examples of Valour, Equity, Wisdome, Magnanimity, Modesty, Dexterity, and other Excel­le [...] Vertues of our Kings, so to iudge thereof soundly, wee must flye to the Father of lights, who vsing these great and worthy personages for the building, preseruation or increase of this Monarchie, hath inriched them with great and pre [...]ious graces, that acknowledging him the Author aswell of all these Vertues, as of the happy suc­c [...]e of things managed by them, we may learne to yeeld him Homage, for the Pre­seruation, Continuance, and Increase of this great Estate.

The negligence of our Kings hath too often brought our Royall Diadem into danger, whereof they made themselues vnworthy, making it weake and contempti­ble in their persons, who (by their basenesse and chi [...]d [...]sh gouernment) suffered their Seruants to command absolutely. The Kingdome hath beene as it were dismembred by the diuision of [...]oyall commands. And by this meanes Brothers deuided by strange and selfe-wild discentions, haue abandoned all to spoyle: and from these domesticall diuisitions, haue sprung ciuill Warres, am [...]ddest the which, the Inferiours (fishing in a troubled Water) freed themselues, and opposing against their Soueraigne, became petty Kings. Wee haue seene their rage extend fa [...]ther, attempting against the Kings person, imprisoning him, forcing him to quit his Crowne, and in the end reducing him to that extremity, as to dye despera [...]ely seeing himselfe so outragiously dealt withall. Wee haue seene Kings p [...]iso [...]ers in their enemies hands, and abandoned by their Subiects, Kings besieged in their houses. We haue seene a poore young man ap­pointed [Page] to guide a Ship (during the fury of a storme) without Helme, without Maste, without Sayles, and without Oares: beaten without by the Tempests, and within by the Saylers: Seized on in his Cabin by madde men, imbrued with the bloud of his most trusty Seruants, murthered before his eyes, yea euen in his bosome. Wee haue seene the Crowne of Kings in their minorities, set to sale by their Tutors, who be­came murtherers, and of Regents, Theeues, making themselues Kings: We haue seene a King in his non-age become madde, gouerned by the passions of Men and Wo­men, holding the chiefe degrees in state, which did striue to ruine it with in-b [...]ed Facti­ons, Rages, and populer Tumults, by tragicall Massacres, and furious Hostilitie. Wee haue seene amidst these Combustions, the Stranger not onely awaked at this brute, but also Armed; entred within the Realme, and lodged within the bowels of the goodlyest Prouinces. And (which is more) installed in the Kings Authoritie by the Edict of a lawfull King, seated in the royall throne, hauing the Crowne on his head, with the Scepter and Purse in his hand, and a Daughter of France in his bedde, for a gage of this vniust pretension, a Sonne to warrant his possession, with the force and obedience of the Capitall Citty, and the first Princes of the bloud, armed with Power and Counsell to countenance these horrible confusions. Amiddest these ruinous disorders of our Countrie, who hath preserued the Realme of France, but hee that with one and the same hand, hath made both the lawe and the King of France?

O my Countrymen, it is to you to whome your History is directed, hauing the chiefe interest in the estate of our Mother, although Strangers are forced to admire it. But what? Our Ancestors haue seene all these things specified here, and repre­sented in particuler in the discourse I now offer vnto you. But I beseech you what haue wee seene with our owne eyes, within these thirtye and fiue yeares? haue wee felt lesse miserie, or tryed weaker Remedies? What were our troubles, and to what extremitie were wee brought vnto of late yeares? By the conference of our Historie, with our Ancestors, ours serues as a Comentarie for the well vnderstanding thereof, yet can wee not denie but our age hath seene things farre more extraordinary and miraculous: So as wee may say That wee haue liued in a time of myracles; Without doubt our posterity will admire in particuler the Historie of our time, as the rarest part of the whole body, wee that haue seene it, should often belye our Eares and Eyes in reading or hearing it, when shee shall appeare in publ [...]ck to put vs in minde of that whereof wee were Eye witnesses, and therefore witnesses aboue all exception: But euery thing must bee done in order and time. Behold the first part of my enterprise, which it behooues you to looke vnto: SHALL IT then bee in vaine,The speciall vse of th [...] Historie. and without any fruite? it is not my intention, if the end of euery commendable enterprise be the VSE: Shall wee thinke that the knowledge of our Ancient Estate is vnprofitable, and in a time when as wee haue so great need of consolation? Truly in the continu­ance of our long calamitie, wee must needs bee oppressed with a troublesome care. But in feeling the paine, why seeke wee not the remedie? If wee often apply the ex­ample to things wee do eyther without lawe or against the lawe, how much more should it auaile vs being ioyned with reason? An Example rightly represented in the Historie of our Ancestors, serues vs now as a good guide to comfort vs, when as the like misery is common to vs and them. And if it please God to make vs like in con­d [...]tion, what reason haue wee to complaine? At the least wee may therein obserue, that not at this time alone France is afflicted, and hath shewed her indisc [...]etion. So likewise by the same reason, it is not now alone that shee hath felt the succours of her Protector, who preserues her, amends her follyes, and repaires her defects: without this p [...]otecting hand, shee had long since perished. What shall wee then say? truely wee were much too blame to accuse our Fathers, and seeke to excuse our selues, of the like or greater errors: our waywardnesse were not pardonable, if our hearts should faint in these difficulties, seeing that wee learne in the same Historie, that our [Page] Fathers haue deliuered from the li [...]e afflictions. It is therefore a speciall vse of this History, to cast our eyes vpon the condition of our Predecessors, to mollifie our lan­guishings, as a necessary symptome of our inciuill warres, which like a continuall fea­uer hath suckt (euen to the marrowe) all the vigour of this Estate, and hath not yet left it.

We must accuse our impatience and nicenesse, if we shall complaine to haue been worse intreated then our fore-fathers, seeing wee obserue in them the like afflictions. Experience layes goodly grounds to reason, this certaine experience ingenders in our hearts hope of future things, without confusion or deceit. Do wee not then reape ex­cellent fruites of this Historie? if by the deliuerance of our Fathers wee conclude and hope for ours, but in such sort and at such times, as the wise prouidence of God hath appointed, which ordinance neither Enemies can hinder, not Friends adu [...]nce: and theref [...]re the direction of this truth doth teach vs to saile in this Sea, euery one as hee ought according to his degree, expecting a happy harbor by the bountie and wisdome of him that rules the waues of humane confusions, as the soueraigne Iudge, holding in his hands both the hearts of Men & the euents of Things▪ Do we greeue at our long troubles: let vs read the [...]eignes of Iohn, Charles the fi [...]t, Charles the sixt, and Charles the seuenth of our late los [...]es? Let vs read the reigne of Philip of Val [...]is, and wee shall see that the losse of the same Cittie was deerer to him then to vs. As wee may neuer dissemble our losses, so i [...] there a time to loose, and a time to gaine, if in our houses in the Countrie or Citty, all things succeed not as wee desire, who can with reason re­quire alwaies the like successe in a State. To conclude, it to flatter the disease be no meanes to cure it, or to compaire without remedie, (seeing that choller and despaire brings no helpe to the diseased) let vs rather seeke for remedy then increase the dis­ease, by a bootlesse complaint. If we wish for peace abroad, let vs lodge it first in our hearts at home. This inward peace shall be a good warrant for the generall, but wee are very sick, if we thinke by waywardnesse and furie to cure the disease. If then wee seeke any sound cure for our griefes, the Apothecaries shop is open, behold some pre­paratiues. But what is that in regard of the serious reading of the Historie it selfe, as necessary at this day for French-men, as necessity doth force vs to seeke for consolation?

My end and purpose in this labour.I haue endeuored therefore (my Countrymen) to trace out some slender obseruati­ons for you in this little worke such as I could, I see it is not according to the dignitie and greatnesse of the subiect, worthy in truth of a good writer, rather fit for that ob­scure age, when the most ancient Druides had a maxime, not to write at all, or of those which haue left vs these small Abridgements, the which we now vse for want of better. and without doubt if our History had incountred such spirits as the Greeke and Latin did▪ it had been nothing i [...]feriour to any of them, in Beauty and Profit. This is the onely cause why our Countrimen haue not read our History, hauing not enioyed the light of Excellent Writers▪ to represent her in her liuely colours, according to her de­serts. And although ou [...] France hath heretofore had cause to complaine in this re­spect, yet now that fault is partly repaired, by the industrie of some that striue to plant and beautifie it. Amongst all that haue laboured in this subiect, Du Haillan in my opi­nion exceeds all others with immortall commendations, hauing so happily clensed these ouer-growne busnes and made so plaine a pathe in this thick and obscure forrest: if zeale to doe my Countrie seruice, and hop [...] by my example to awake the learned to doe better, we [...]e not my iust excuse, where should I hide me from the blotte of in­considerate rashnesse? especially being in this Citty of Paris, nor onely the capitall Citty of France, the fertile Mother of goods wittes, but also the Rendez-vous of the greatest miracles in the world. I will therefore speake freely, that in presuming to beautifie this History, I haue taken for the onely obiect of my aime, To seeke the truth with the vse thereof, and to giue you some cause of content. Regard not my tongue, I offer you the simple truth without painting, the which I haue curiously searched for in many good Bookes, which my necessary aboade here hath giuen me meanes to [Page] obtaine, and the desire I haue to serue you, occasion to imploy them, for as I am who­lie vowed to the publike, so will I yeeld an accompt not onely of my idlenesse, but also of my imployments, I haue therefore resolued to vndertake a labour that should not bee vnprofitable, in preparing you a way to learne your Historie in the origi­nalls, with lesse paine and more profit. I do therefore call this my endeuour an IN­VENTORIE, by the direction whereof, you may see the body and euery part at your pleasure. If I may perswade the Reader to conferre this my labour with the writings of others vpon this subiect (both old and new) I shall not then need to put in caution, but be of an assured hope to obtaine a testimonie of my fidelitie, And it may be in time, of some diligence, at the least I bring nothing, that hath not beene well purified and applyed to the vse. The fruite depends on the blessing of God, by the iudgement of such as shall read mee, I will protect onely for that which doth con­cerne my selfe: I haue vsed the Rule, Square, Lead and Compasse, to obserue propor­tion both in s [...]le and subiect, that in my course I might direct you to the firme truth; if it bee with that light and breuitie I pretended, I shall haue cause to thanke God, and to labour in some subiect of greater moment, yet I haue done my best indeauour that the learned may supply my defect, in doing better. The course is open, euery one may runne it. I leaue the prize to them that shall doe best, my intent was onely to profit the publique: and therefore I bring not an Abridgement, but an INVEN­TORY. I haue searched the very Springs of such as went before me. The first haue not hindred the second: and why should the second take it ill to be followed by others? one kinde of meate may be diuersly seasoned to good purpose. A small Dyall markes the houres in like proportion to a great Clock: It is one of my wishes, that this good­lie subiect may be set to open view, that the learned may stri [...]e to exceed one another, and leaue no excuse for our French-men to be any more strangers in France, making the way easie and profitable: If in this resp [...]ct my zeale and integritie may bee ap­proued of my Countrie, why should I repent the imployment of some houres in so goodly and worthy a worke, as a testimonie (at the least) that I desire to discharge my dutie.

To conclude, my Countrymen, The occasion of this Histo­rie. I must not conceale from you the chiefe cause that in­duced mee to compile this worke. About sixe and twenty yeares since, I was thrust forth vpon the Theater, (being very young) to represent the Historie of our mise­ries: the desire of forraine Nations begat this desseigne, being curious to vnder­stand a particuler relation of our Tragedies. By reason whereof I presented this my first worke in Latin, that Strangers might vnderstand it. I held it for an Abortiue, and esteemed the losse but lightly, yet was the successe greater then my proiect, for being imbraced by the publique beyond desert, it hath so increased, that of one Booke there is made fifteene, and corrected with diuerse impressions. And as the Child increased, so the Father had meanes to do him good. GOD suffering me to liue to be a witnesse of great accidents, not onely as many of my Country-men, that sees the danger from a safe Porte, but imbarked in full Seas amidst these common tempests: for being im­ployed in some and no small affayres (both within and without the Realme) I had the Honor to be admitted into Kings and Princes Cabinets, to manage publique causes of Prouinces, and to conferre with the heads of Parties, to learne from their owne mouthes, and from others that had authoritie and imployment vnder them, the Truth of all that passed: so as being able to giue a reason for many things which I had seene, I may likewise giue an account of most that hath passed, by the proceedings and in­structions of both parties. I will adde to this opportunitie the priuate deuotion which hath alwayes held my minde inclined to this care, to gather together whatsoeuer was done, when as necessity of affaires thrust mee into imployments: and this my desire succeeded so happily, that both great and small haue fauourablie imparted vnto mee whatsoeuer might benefit concerning this subiect. So as I haue made a iust collection of all the substance, that may serue for the building of a perfect Historie, from the [Page] beginning of the troubles to this day. The end of this painfull labour depends of him from whom proceeds the euents of all our prayers. To him therefore I referre my selfe, protesting onely of that which is in mee. As therefore I aduow my selfe both Debtor of this worke, and Author of these Bookes, which wander among men: so I protest the fault shall not be mine, if all turne not to the publique good, wherevnto it is appointed, as by the order shall be found most expedient. And expecting an end of this great masse, my intent was onely (as may easily appeare by the Table of the third Race) to set before your eyes (as in one Mappe) a Summarie of the ancient History, very necessary for the vniting and resemblance of that which hath happe­ne [...] in our time. But the iudgement of my learned friends, hath made mee to take a new course, that the length of so tedious a paiment might not bee troublesome vnto you, in giuing you the whole Historie vnto this day, fashioned of this meane and base stature, whereof I now offer you this first part, as a Patterne of the whole peece, im­barking my selfe from the maine land in this tempestuous Sea, which must needs bee fearfull vnto mee, both by the feeling of mine owne weaknesse, and the apprehensi­on of diuerse iudgements, as the Ebbing and Flowing of the Ocean. I durst not ha­zard all this small modell at one voyage. Goe forth my first parcell, and seeke thy fortune, learne by the Chapmen, how the market goes, that by thy successe I may resolue with lesse danger to Ship the rest, the which in the meane time shall attend (in a safe Harbor) the winde of your fauourable contents.


MY meaning is to represent in this discourse, what is most re­markable in the Historie of France, and (with a simple, faithfull, and liuely breuitie) to report all th [...]t hath succeeded in the French Monar­chie, worth [...]e of memorie, to make our Frenchmen see a modell of this great building, reducing it to the first foundation, according to the pro­portion of the subiect, and the order of times, the certaine light of truth; and by the changes of the greatest and most famous fo [...]reine States, to the end, that this our Inuentorie may serue the learned for a memoriall, and learners for a direction. The enterprise is not small, although the worke be little, but as it must bee valued by the fruit, so the proofe will appeare to such as shall vouchsafe to reade what my desire was able to performe. And for a ground of this goodly and excelent Historie, so worthy of knowledge, we must set downe in generall termes what shalbe handled in particular throughout the whole discourse, and lay before your eyes (as in a table by the most cleere and soundest proofes that may be drawne from likelyhoods of so obscure antiquitie) the beginning and continnuance, with the greatest apparance of truth, the increase with the diuers euents and successe of this s [...]ate such as now it is.

It were to seeke truth in vanitie, following the common error, to search for the originall of the FRENCH, in the ruines and ashes of Troy or in the fennes of Meotides, for in the most auncient Histories of the Trojans, there is no mention of FRANCVS or FRANCI­ON, sonnes of Hector, who had but one sonne named Astianax slayne at three yeares of age in the sacke of Troy. There is also no likelyhood to find the stemme of our FRENCH nati­on in the sennes of Meotides, where they were first called SICAMBRES, hauing built a Citty by imagination named SICAMBRA: And that they issued from thence in great troups. There is no more proofe that they are come from these marishes, then from the desarts of Affricke. It appeares the SICAMBRIANS were a different people from the FRENCH, and that the wales of SICAMBRIA are yet to build. But the newe presumption of a certaine writer is yet more admirable, who com [...]s frō far to aduertise the FRENCH of their originall, the which he findes beyond the Moonne, and with so great an assurance as he setts downe nam [...] by name the kings of the house of SICAMBRIA and of FRANCE, their r [...]ce, ma [...]ners▪ deeds, aduentures, and that in so good ern [...]st (as reporting a thing but of yesterday, or as being a Counsellor to these supposed kings) seeming with reason to reprehend such as w [...]ll not take his word for present payment, vnder the authoritie of certaine old Registers produced by him, wher­in he names these kings one after one, like in presumption to the Castilians, the inuentors of the fabulous Historie of Amadis: or the deuisors of the ofspring of the Panim Gods, or of the Roman [...] of the Rose, hauing forged names at their pleasure; leauing therefore all these Di­uinations and Fopperies, let vs search (as neere as wee may) what is most likely by the traces of [Page] Truth, vntill it may guide vs to the firme land, not plunging our selues any further in the boggs and vnknowne desarts, of an imagined Antiquitie.

The French are come out of Germ [...]nie.What then? doubtlesse we shall no where find a more certaine originall of our FRENCH Nation then in Germany. This is most apparant; FRANCONIE beares yet the name of the old Inhabitants, and the markes of their auncient possession: The Cities of the one and the other side of the Rhine are full of their Antiquities. We can no way doubt by these markes, but they haue inhabited in those parts, and it is likely they were dispersed betwixt the Riuers of Rhine and Danubius, vnto the Ocean. Whether the had their beginning there, or came from any o­ther part, it auailes not to dispute, seeing the search is altogether vnprofitable, for that in deed it is impossible.

Of the name of Frenchmen. The originall of the name is verie difficult, being wholly vnknowne to the first Antiquitie: for we reade not in any auntient Histories of the name of French-men among the nations of Germany, yet carefully obserued by the most auntient. But who sees not the change of auntient names to new. Alemaigne is now called Germanie: Heluetia, Suisse: Brittaine, England: with­out seeking vnnecessary proofes in so apparant a matter. The FRENCH therefore being an auncient people of Germany, haue changed their name with the whole country vpon diuers subiects, but when, how, by whome and wherefore, it cannot be certainely defined, but by conie­ctures, more easie to be refuted then mainteined. It appeares only that FRANCE is a Germane word, which signifieth Free, and that their auncestors eyther hauing shakt of the yoke of the Romane seruitude, and recouered their auntient libertie, or remayning free amongst so many neighbours, subiect to that great Empire were called French-men in token of their libertie.

There are learned men which write that FRANCE was the name of a Communalty of diuers people, assembled and vnited together, to preserue their libertyes, hauing taken that name as a marke of their generous resolution, and not of any certain Nation: Although Tully (a witnesse aboue all exception) notes the name of FRANCONS among the nations of Germany, which had offered obedience to the Romanes, whilest their commonweale florished, before the Empire began, which shewes that we cannot talke of so obscure Antiquitie but doubtfully, so as it is boot­lesse to pronounce Oracles vpon a subiect so disputable. Truely to referre the first memories of theire name to the Empire of Valentinian, and the beginning of their liberty to the defeat of the Ala [...]s, and to the bountie of this Emperor, hauing freed them in recompence of so worthye a seruice: that were to ma [...]e a leape of aboue an hundred and thirtie yeares, to confound thinges and to be ignorant of the estate of our Auncestors, who at the time of this memorable defeate, did in nothing acknowledge the Romaines; But rather for a particular fruite of the victorie gotten by them in common with Valentinian, they had possession of a great part of the Gaules, not holding it of any but of their Sword, nor doing homage but to their owne Valour. It were in briefe not to haue obserued the originalls of true Histories. Seeing then the auntient habita­tion of the FRENCH was in that part of Germany which lay near [...]st vnto Gaule, who can with reason deny but the are issued from thence, and that in taking Gaule they made it to change both Master and Name: This is in breise what may bee spoken with most apparancie of truth concer­ning the originall of our FRENCH nation, if wee will not vrge more then may well bee iu­stified.

By what mea­nes and when they entred GauleAs for their estate and gouernment there is great likelyhood that it was a great nation growne warlike by meanes of desending themselues and succoring others with their owne forces. I adde that they were led and commaunded by a king, for the most auntient Histories represent them vnder a royall authority, as I will shew els where. Doubtles they had no meanes to buyld this great Monarchy in Gaule without force and order, yet did they not erect it all at one instant, but slipt into Gaule at sundry times, eyther imployed to succor the Romaines, or they them­selues, seeking their fortune, and good aduentures: And as they grew familiar by diuers sommo­nings, so they got footing by little and little, vntill that hauing not only expelled the Romains, but all other tributarie Lords; they became Masters and possessors of this goodly country: so [Page] this Monarchy was buylt vpon the ruines of the Empyre, and the end of the one was the begin­ning of the other. The Romane Empyre had not only seazed vpon all Gaule [...]s the eye of Eu­rope (hauing reduced it into the forme of Prouinces) but did long inioe it by their Gouernours and Lief [...]nants generall. This authoritie and Romane power was in a maner dispersed ouer the whole world. But as this Empyre was framed of diuers peeces, and built by Iniustice and Ty­rany, so God a iust iudge & reuenger of iniquties, raysed them vp great & pourefull enemies from all parts of the world, is it were hyred to teare in sunder this Cloake, to dismember this Bo­die by peecemeales, and to punish their vnciuill rigor, by a barbarous cruelty, and their greedy iniustice, bn the rauishing extortion of others. The Empire then which had robbed was sackt it selfe, and hauing taken anothers good, lost their owne, being skarce able (and that by meanes of the FRENCH) to retaine any show of this great and vast body. The fury of Mahomet in­uaded Asia, and Affricke, with a part of Europe, like a violent flame, with an incredible swift­nes, Spaine was se [...]zed on by the Vandales, Alanes, Sueues and Gothes, Italy by the Van­dales, Hunnes, Gothes and Lombards, Gaule wanted not sundry guests: the Gothes seazed on that goodly Gaule Narbo [...]ise, called for the exelencie a second Italy, and left their name to this goodly Prouince, which they enioyed long and called it by their name, first Gothia and after Languedoc, as it were the language of Gothe, although they giue other reasons of this name more subtile then true. The Burgognons seazed of the country which they called by their name Bourgougne, and erected a kingdome which contained the one & the other Burgongne with the Prouince of Lionois, Daulphine, Sauoy, and Prouence. The Normans, Brittons and Picts, tooke euery one their tickett to lodge in Gaule, according to the diuers occurrents of affayres which presented themselues in this generall dissipation of the Romaines Empyre, who amiddest these confusions did with great difficulty retaine the least portion: knowing not how to oppose themselues against so great and victorious enimies. So the FRENCH hauing like­wise in the begining seazed on their quarter, were so fauoured by the prouidence of God, that through their vallour they layed the foundation of a newe estate, so as hauing expelled out of Gaule, both the old and new vsurpers, in the end they became Masters, and buylt this goodlie Monarchy, the which since hath giuen a lawe to neighbour Nations, settled the Romaine Em­pire, stopt the violence of these cruell and barbarous Nations, and (which is the greatest honour of this estate) hath maintayned the Christiā Church in Europe, the which God hath appointed for an habitation amidest the furious confusions of Asia and Affricke, where the deluge of Maho­mets blasphemies hath horriblely exceeded: Wherein the greatnesse and power of Gaule is to be admired, by the which Iulius Caesar could first alter the common weale of Rome his country, into the newe forme of an Empyre, and after when as all the most furious nations did flocke to­gether to cast downe this great masse; Charlemayne with the same force cold preserue a great part of the West from that cruell shipwracke which ruened all the Est.

And as this spoyle was not generall at one instant ouer all Gaule, but by fits like vnto a Riuer which ta [...]es her course in a newe quarter; so the FRENCH Monarchie was built by de­grees. The FRENCH being first imployed by the Romaines for their valour in notable oc­cations. We begin to reade of their Name with some show and state, vnder the Empyre of Galli­en [...]s, about the yeare of Christ two hundred seuenty. Posthumus gouernour of Gaule armed them against his Master and with the helpe of their forces & the consent of the Gaules, he en­ioyed Gaule the space of seauen yeares, with the Title of Emperour. It is likely this first aboad caused them to taste the fertile sweetnesse of this goodly and rich Country. Thus both the ex­ample of Posthumus and the proofe of their owne forces gaue them courage to attempt for themselues, Wee reade that vnder the Emperours Aurelian, Probus, Dioclesian and Constantius father to Constantine the great, they haue often returned without any other subiect then to seeke their aduantage: so were they often repulsed by the Romaines with great losse.

These fruitelesse striuinges might well haue cooled the heate of their attemptes, but [Page] not their desire to seeke for means: But they continued m [...]st obstinately theyr practize in Arms, and mayntained their reputation [...]uen with the Romaynes themselues, who were glad to haue them for friendes and to imploy them in their warres, as Constantine against Li [...]inius a greate enimie to the Christians: and Constantius his sonne against the Germaines and Iulian the Apostata, against the Persians. Trulie aswell the Historie of the Church as Saint Hierome in particular (one of the most famous Doctors) spake of the FRENCH as of a very renowned people, who might both hurt and helpe, by their multitudes and their valour of thei [...] Armes. The style of this desseine, which I haue vndertaken, doth only note the thing for your vnderstanding, without spending time in longer proofes. This Apprentiship of the FRENCH by their many voyages into Gaule, contynued a hundred and thirtie yeares, for so much it was from Gallienus to Honorius, vnder whome they began to sett footing into Gaule, vpon this occasion. Those of the Citty of Treues tyred with the Tyranie of the Ro­maines, were infinitely grieued that Lucius their Gouernour a Romaine, had by force taken the wife of a notable Cittizen. This excesse ministred a subiect to call the French-men to their ayde, who expelled the Romaines, seased quietly on the Citty with the consent of the Inhabitants, and so (proceeding in their conquest) they possessed their neighbour Countries, and in time, became Maisters of all that lyes beyond the Riuers of Escaut, and Some: and in the end hauing woone Paris, and the territories about, they gaue their name to the conque­red Country. I doe briefely touch what shall be represented in particular in euery place, and sett downe truelie the originall of the FRENCH in this Realme.

PHARAMOND layd the first stone in the buylding of this estate, CLODION followed in this desseine▪ MEROVE made it appeare aboue ground, in a more goodly forme, hauing purchased credit among the Gaules, both by his valour and the happy succeesse of his Armes. CLOVIS (adding the profession of Christ to his Predecessors valour and his owne) did so winne the hartes of the Gaules, (who were for the most part Christians) as by their hearts he got their voluntary obedience, and the assured possession of these newe Conquestes. Two nations vnited in one by the Conquerour, giuing lawe to the Conquered, with so wise and mylde a discretion, as they held him worthy of this Alliance, and Name: [...]nd the fruite of this mariage was to happy as the n [...]we name of FRANCE was generally receiued in Gaule. Thus this newe estate increased dayly in th [...] r [...]ce of PHARAMOND by diuers oc­currentes during the space of three hun [...]d yeares. But i [...] was much more augmen­ted by the famous race of PEPIN. And [...]d the Author of all good order in man­kind; giuing him to Sonne CHARLEMAIGNE to preuent the ruine of the Empire, inriched him with singular graces, and confirmed in him that great authoritie and power of the King of FRANCE, and Emperour of ROME, which greatnesse God would make profi­table to all Christendome. But his race Inheritor of these great honours did not inherite his valour and happinesse, hauing sc [...]rce continued 237. yeares: but degenerating from his vertues, they lost both Authoritie and Crowne, so much augmented and beautified by him and CHARLES MA [...]TELL. So this second race, vnworthy of the blood and name of their Grandfathers, was spoyled of their Kingdome by their negligence. But God the Guardian of Monarchies (who changing the persons, would preserue the State) r [...] ­sed vp HVGH CAPET a wise and modest Prince, arming him with wisedome and dexteritie fitt for the preseruation of his Crowne, accompanying his Armes with lawe, and his royall authoritie with well gouerned Iustice. It is to HVGH CAPET that the Realme of FRANCE standes most ind [...]ted for the establishment of those goodly Or­dinances, by the which (together with the vallour and fidelitie of the FRENCH) this great Monarchy halfe withstood the stormes of so many ages, and maintaines euen vnto this day, the lawfull heire in the same race, for the space of fiue hundred and thirtie yeares. So as gathering the summe of all these yeares, they reckon from PHARAMOND to HENRY ▪ the fourth that now Raignes, 1175. yeares.

[Page]This is the Plot or desseigne of the whole History of France, the which being thus laid be­fore we raise this great building in euery part, according to the true meas [...]res and iust propor­tions, let vs make a Diagramme as a liuely figure, which may conteine nakedly, and without circumstance, the names of our Kings, according to the order of these three royall Races. To the which we will adde a particuler Chronologie,The order & forme of th [...] Inuentorie. which shall be proued by the discourse of our Inuentorie, I haue distinguished it into three parts, according to the order of the three roy­all Races. In the front of euery part I note the names of Kings, and the time they haue reigned, that at my first entrance you may obserue all that is represented in this p [...]rticuler discourse▪ wherein the wise Reader (that shall take the paines to conferre this modell with the whole Historie) will iudge that I haue omitted nothing that may concerne the sub [...]ect of the History▪ with all principall circumstances, to the end the truth in this short, simple, and vnseemly weed, appointed for euery day, may serue aswell as that which the Learned and elo­quent writers shew forth in open Theaters at Festiuall times. To Actions carefully described, I adde sometimes my Iudgement, for the vse of the History, examined by the Maximes of State. To actions I say generally aduowed, as for the rest I leaue them, [...]emembring that I am a Witnesse and no Iudge, to do seruic [...] to such as could not see the Originals. I note in the beginning the Elections, the Birthes, Liues, Aduentures, Intents, Desseignes, Maners and Complections of our Kings, the Motiues, Actions, Alterations, Crosses, Issues and Successe of their affaires, both in Warre and Peace: their Enterprises, taking of Citties and Countries, Battels, Encounters, Victories, Ouer [...]hrowes, Aduantages, Disaduantages, and other things remarkeable in State: Finally I obserue their ends in their death, as the Catastrophe of their Life, and closing vp of their Reigne. But to make this dis [...]ourse more proportionable for the knowledge of our Monarchie, it was necessary to explaine it by that which hath chanced of most import in forreine Estates, especially in the Church & Empire, the most famous Theat [...]rs of the world, by reason wherof I haue added a most carefull Collation of the one and the other with our Realme. I intreate the wise Reader to way with iudgement what I shall report con­cerning matters most subiect to comptroule, as those of the Church. I doubt not but that hee shall finde that I haue conteined my selfe within the limits of State, talking nothing of Reli­gion, nor medling with the diuerse humors of this age. I haue onely treated of the politique gouernment of Rome, with as much modesty as the subiect would permit. I know likewise that making profession to write a History, no man will wish mee eyther to disguise or to con­ceale the truth, the which will warrant it selfe, and free me from reproche, in making knowne to iudicious and modest wits, that I haue no other passion but my duty, whereof I can giue no better proofe, thē in iustifying my discourse with the Original, if there appeare any difficulty. I protest I haue only had a true desire to serue the publique, whose profit is the only scope of my labours. As for the Computations, as they be very necessary for the well vnderstanding of the History (which is the Register of times) so hath it much troubled me, being altogether negl [...]c­ted by the most ancient Writers, borne in the first obscure ages. The learned which haue hap­pily handled this subiect before me, finding plainly this notable difficultie, haue held it expe­dient to make litle or no accompt to obserue the dates, which was i [...] my conceipt (vnder cor­rection be it spoken) to cut the knot a sunder insteed of vnloosing it. But it hath made me more carefully to labour in this search, [...]o finde out some meanes amidst these extremities. And therefore I haue distinguished the most n [...]table cha [...]ges, not onely from one Race to another, but in the Races themselues▪ placing the dates i [...] the [...]ront of the whole discourse, as a Boundston to limit the Lands. Moreouer I haue faithfully collected in grosse the yeares of euery reigne, and haue deuided them as I thought most likely, by the continuance of publike and pri­uate actions. It is all I could do i [...] the most ancient reignes, being vnable to deuine further, but in those that approach neerer to our age, the Reader shall see the vniting of things from yeare to yeare by degrees, whereby he may mar [...]l [...]e pla [...]nly in so goodly a light without any con­fusio [...] ▪ The Diag [...]mmes shall supply the particuler default of times, which we cannot otherwise distinguish. But let vs first see the whole patterne of our Monar­chie without [...]y c [...]lour or f [...]ish whatsoeuer.

A generall Diagramme.

WHich notes onely the names of the Kings of France, according to the order and succession of three Races, from Pharamond the first King, vnto Henry the 4. King of France and of Nauarre (now raigning) in number three score and three.

The first Race called Merouingiens, in number twenty and two Kings.

  • 1. Pharamond.
  • 2. Clodion or Cloion the hayrie.
  • 3. Merouee.

Who vpon the foundation laid by his Ancestors of this Monarchie, made the building appeare more resplendent and beautifull.

  • 4. Chilperic the first,
  • 5. Clouis the Great, the first Christian King, and the first of that name.
  • 6. Childebert the first.
  • 7. Clotaire the first.
  • 8. Cherebert.
  • 9. Chilperick the second.
  • 10. Clotaire the second.
  • 11. Dagobert the first.
  • 12. Clouis the second.
  • 13. Clotaire the third.
  • 14. Childeric or Chilperic the third.
  • 15. Theodoric or Thierry the first.
  • 16. Clouis the third,
  • 17. Childebert the second.
  • 18. Dagobert the second.
  • 19. Chilperic or Childeric the fourth.
  • 20. Thierry the second▪
  • 21. Chilperic or Childeric the fift▪
  • 22. Charles Martel, Maior of the Palace in name, but King in effect: hauing layde the foundation of the royall Authoritie to his posteritie, and so reckoned among the Kings the two and twentie.

The second Race of Carlouingiens or Carlees of Charles Martell or of Charlomaigne, in number 13. Kings.

  • 23. Pepin the short or the briefe, sonne of Martell.
  • 24. Charlemaigne King and Emperor, hauing drawne the Empire of the West into France.
  • 25. Lewis the gentle, King and Emperor, his sonne, first of that name.
  • 26. Charles the first, called the bald, King and Emperor, his sonne.
  • 27. Lewis the second, called the lisping, King and Emperor, his sonne.
  • [Page] 28. Lewis the 3. and Carloman bas [...]ards to Lewis, receiued by the estates, against the In­s [...]itution of Lewis by his will, who had named Eudes for Regent, they gouerne the Realme togither, in the first yeare of the minoritie of Charles the simple, pupill and lawfull heire to Lewis, and yet being crowned Kings, (although they were but Re­gents) are accompted amongst the Kings, and make but one.
In the libertie of this Nonage.
  • Lewis the do nothing, or idle, Sonne or Brother to Carloman takes vpon him to be King, but not being acknowleged by the French, as they were readie to dispossesse him, hee dyed, and is not reckoned for any.
  • 29. Charles the 2. called the grosse, a Prince of the bloud of France, and Emperour of Ger­manie, confirmed in the Regencie by the States, following the example of these bast­ards, is Crowned King, hee was degraded from the Empire and the Crowne, And in his place
  • 30. Eudes or Odo Duke of Angers named by the Kings testament (as is sayd) is called and crowned as the other Regents, and for this cause accompted among the Kings, in the end the Crowne comes to
  • 31. Charles the simple, the lawfull King after 22. yeares, but being forced to renounce it, he dyes for sorrow in prison, and leaues for his lawfull successor Lewis the 4. his sonne, carried into England by his Mother, yeelding to the violence of the victorious league, by the which
  • 32. Ralfe or Rao [...]l Duke of Burgondie, Prince of the Bloud, was called to the Crowne, and and so is accompted among the Kings, although he were an Vsurper, and he being dead
  • 33. Lewis the 4. called Doutremer, or beyond the Sea, Sonne to Charles the Simple, is re­stored, and leaues the Crowne to
  • 34. Lothaire, and he to
  • 35. Lewis the 5. his onely sonne, who dyed without issue Male, hee was the last of this se­cond Race, leauing the Throne empty to Hugh Cape [...], the Stocke and first King of the third Race following.

The third Race called the Capeuingiens or Capets, in number 27. Kings.

  • 36. Hugues or Hues Capet, to whom succeeded
  • 37. Robert his sonne, alone of that name, and to Robert
  • 38. Hen [...]y th [...] 1. his sonne. And to Henry
  • 39. Philip the 1. his sonne. And to him
  • 40. Lewis the 6. surnamed the Grosse his Sonne: And to Lewis the 6.
  • 41. Lewis the 7. called the young his Sonne: And to him
  • 42. Philip the 2. surnamed Augustus, his Sonne: And to Philip the 2.
  • 43. Lewis the 8. his Sonne, father to the King St. Lewis, the most ordinary marke of his name: And to Lewis the eight
  • 44. Lewis the 9. honoured by the name of Saint, for his singuler pietie and vertue: to whom succeeded
  • 45. Philip the 3. his sonne, surnamed the Hardy: and to him
  • 46. Philip the 4. called the Faire, his Sonne, who was also King of Nauarre by his wife Ioane: And to him succeeded
  • 47. Lewis the 10. called Hutin, his Sonne, also King of Nauarre by his Mother, he had one Sonne borne after his death called Ianenterre, but not numbred among the Kings, for that he dyed in the Cradle: so by the lawe of State
  • [Page] 48. Philip the 5. called the Long, sonne to Philip the Faire, succeeded his Brother Lewis Hutin, he dyed without issue Male: who left the Crowne to
  • 49. Charles the 4. called the Faire, his Brother, who also dying without issue Male, the Crowne came by right of inheritance: to
  • 50. Philip of Valois, the 6. of that name, first Prince of the bloud, and first King of the royall line of Valois: to whom succeeded
  • 51. Iohn his sonne, onely of that name, vnfortunate: to him succeeded
  • 52. Charles the 5. surnamed the Wise, who preserued the State, during a horrible combu­stion: to him succeeded
  • 53. Charles the 6. his sonne, called the Welbeloued, and yet too w [...]ll noted by his long and vnhappy reigne, amiddest the furies of ciuill warres, bred in his minority, and in­creased in his frensie, so as a strange King was crowned King of France, and became Maister of the greatest part of the Realme: to Charles the 6. succeeded
  • 54. Charles the 7. his sonne, who established the Realme in expelling the Stranger: and to him succeeded
  • 55. Lewis the 11. his sonne, who hauing incorporated Bourgongne and Prouence to the Crowne, and purged the Leuen of intestin diuision, left the Realme rich & peaceable: to
  • 56. Charles the 8. his sonne, who dying without Males, left the Realme according to the law of State: to
  • 57. Lewis the 12. Duke of Orleance, first Prince of the bloud, who likewise dyed without issue Male, leauing the Crowne: to
  • 58. Francis the 1. of that name, first Prince of the bloud, Duke of Angoulesme, and he to
  • 59. Henry the 2. his sonne, and Henry to
  • 60. Francis the 2. his sonne, who dying without Male: left it to
  • 61. Charles the 9. his brother, who dying without issue lawfully begotten: left it to
  • 62. Henry the 3. his brother, the last of the royall race of Valois, who being slaine by a Ia­cobin, and dying without issue, by the same right of the Fundamentall law of State, he left the Realme intangled in diuerse confusions: to
  • 63. HENRY the 4. then King of Nauarre, first Prince of the bloud, and first King of the royall race of Bourbon.

A Prince indued with vertues fit to restore a State, but successor to much trouble, wea­ring a Crowne not all of gold, but intermixt with Thornes, wreathed with infinite difficulties, gouerning a body extreamly weakned with a long and dangerous dis­ease, surcharged with Melancholy and diuerse humours, sed with the furie of the people, bewitched by the practises of Strangers, who had crept so farre into the bo­some of our miserable Country, that they were ready to dispossesse the lawfull heires, and to inuest a new King, if God the Gardian and Protector of this Realme, had not opposed a good and speedy remedie, to their force (in shew triumphant) by the valour and clemencie of our Henry, incountring his enemies with the one, and by the other reducing his Subiects (strangely distracted) to their duties. God send him grace to finish as he hath begun, and Crowne the miraculous beginning of his reigne with the like issue: Truly all good and cleere-sighted French-men may note how necessary this Head is for the preseruation of the State, and by their daily and feruent prayers, to pray vnto God for the long and happy life of our King. And for the peace and tranquillity of this poore and desolate Realme.

Rom. 13.‘There is no power but from God, and all powers in an estate are ordeyned of God.’

THE FIRST RACE OF THE KINGS OF FRANCE CAL­led Merouingiens of Meroueé, the third King of the French, the most famous founder of the French Monarchie.

DANIEL 1.2. verse 21.

The Soueraigne Lord rules ouer the Kingdomes of Men. And giues it to whom he pleaseth. He putteth downe, and sets vp Kings at his pleasure.

A particuler Chronologie of the races from the yeare foure hundred and twenty, to seauen hundred and fiftie.

The yeare of grace.Kings. 
4201PHaramond raigned 11. yeares.
4302Clodion the hairy 20. yeares.
4503Merouee the great Architect of this Estate, and in this regard, the most fa­mous Stem of this race, raigned 10. yeares.
4594Chilperic or Childeric the first, the sonne of Merouee, 24. yeares.
4845Clouis the first 30. yeares, the first Christian King.
  The foure sonnes of Clouis, to whom he diuided the whole Realme: that is.
5146Childebert King of Paris.
  Clotaire King of Soissons.
  Clodamite King of Orleans.
  Thierri King of Metz, reigned together 42. yeares, and
5587Clotaire the 1. reigned alone eight yeares.
5648Cherebert King of Paris.
  Chilperic King of Soissons.
  Gontran King of Orleans.
  Segebert King of Metz, reigne together 25. yeares.
5789Chilperic the 2. in the end reigned alone 8. yeares.
58610Clotaire the second 37. yeares.
63211Dagobert the first, 16. yeares.
64712Clouis the second, 18. yeares.
66613Clotaire the third, 4. yeares.
67014Chilperic the third, and
 15Thierri 19. yeares.
68916Clouis the third, 4. yeares.
69317Childebert the second, 17. yeares.
71018Dagobert the second, 5. yeares.
71519Chilperic the 4. called Daniel by his first name, 5. yeares.
72020Thierri 20. yeares.
74021Chilperic or Childeric the 5. the last of the race of the Meroueens, hee liued with the title of a King ten yeares, being degraded from the King­dome, he dyed a Moncke, and left the Crowne to
75022Charles Martel Maire of the Palace, who (without taking the name of King, but inioying it in effect,) left the Monarchie hered [...]tarie to his po­steritie, the date of his reigne being set vnder the name of Chilperic, vnto the decease of Martell.

So this race hath reigned in France 320. yeares.

PARAMOND,420. the first King of France.


A PHaramond the son of Marcomir, is held for the fi [...]st King of Fra [...]ce ▪ by the consent of all our writers.The funda­men [...]a l dare of the Fre [...]ch Monarchie. In the yeere of grace▪ 420. He began his Reigne the yeare of Christ 420. A date very remarkable to describe the first beginning of the French Monarchie. At that time Honorius and Arcadius, bre­thren, (sonnes to Theodosius the great) held the Romaine Empire, in­uaded so by strange nations, as it was not onely dis [...]e [...]bred into diuerse parts, but euen Rome was spoyled and sackt by Alaric King of Goths. Amidst these confusions, the French Monarchie had her beginning vppon the ruines of the Empire. The French inuited by them of Treues, Estate of the Empire at the beginning of i [...]. for the aboue named occasion, first seized on the Cittie, and from thence extended themselues to the neigh­bour B countries; they name Tongrie for their first possession, which the learned hold to be the countrie of Brabant, and about Liege. This conquest was not made at one in­stant, but augmented by degrees, and the nearest prouinces were first surprised. The French comming from beyond the Rhin, it seemes they did first seize on that part which then lay neerest vnto them, as the Countries betwixt the Rhin, the Esca [...]t, and the M [...]use; and from thence extended themselues euen to the riuer of Loyre. They hold for certaine, that this happie exploit of the French, was vnder the name and authoritie of Pharamond their King, who departed not from his natiue countrie, but sending forth this troope, as a swarme of Bees, he reaped the honour and fruit of the conquest, as the Soueraigne head. Hee is commended to haue established good lawes,His policie. to haue C framed and inured the French to a ciuil and well gouerned kind of life, and to haue laid the first stone of the foundation of this great Monarchie in Gaule: he reduced into one body, and expounded more plainely, the ancient lawes of the French, called Saliques. augmented them, and shewed the vse, as well for the gouernment of the estate, as for [Page 2] priuate persons.422. And therefore he is called the author of those Lawes, although he re­ceiued A them from his Ancestors. He raigned xi. yeares, leauing Clodion his sonne for his successor,The time of his raigne. 422. with a good tast of his integritie noted in his name: for Waramond or Pharamond (according to the common pronunciation) in the old French language (that is to say) in Germaine, signifies a true mouth: a vertue in truth worthie of a Prince, and necessary for the conduct of humane societie.

This is all that may be certainly written of the originall of the French Monarchie: yet Gregorie of Tours (a very ancient author) makes no mention of Pharamond, and sets downe the beginning of this estate in grosse, as a thing vncertaine. What certaintie then may we looke for of more ancient times? We find in the Romaine histories, some appa­rent steps to guide vs to the knowledge of our beginning. These goodly Prouinces of B Gaule, were courted by all their neighbours: the Romaines vnder colour of conuenien­cie, seized on that which lay neerest vnto them; by meanes whereof, they sought to be­come masters of the rest, but they wanted no competitors. The Heluetians (since called Suisses,) & likewise the Almaignes would haue lodged there, if Caesar had not withstood them. His successours were inccū [...]red with the like difficulties, but in the end they pre­uailed to whom God had determined the possession, that is to the French, issued doubt­lesse out of Germanie, and gouerned by Kings. We read in the liues of the last Empe­rours, the names of Mel [...]baudes, Richimer, Marcomir, Berther, Sunno, Pharabert, Theo­demir and Dagobert ▪ but hereof wee cannot with reason beleeue all that the Registers of Hunibauld & Trithemius do comment, touching these ancient Kings. Let vs therfore C leaue these subtilties to such as haue leisure to refine their wittes, & lay before our eies the light of a more sound and profitable truth: let vs obserue the estate of the Church, when as this Monarchie began to appeare, for hereafter the Church shall be her prin­cipall gemme, although the French Kings were infidels in the [...]e first beginnings.

S. Ierome, Chrisostome, Ambrose and Augustine, liued in those times, spectators of the dissipation of the Empire,The estate of the Church. wherein the Church suffered much▪ Damasus, Siricius, Ana­ [...]asius, Innocentius, Sos [...]mus, and Bonifacius, Bishops of Rome liued there, one after ano­ther (men renowmed for their pietie, learning, and dexteritie,) amidst the confusions of the Empire, & euen at Rome, whereas the Emperours were seldome seene; so as the absence of the Emperours (troubled to withstand the Barbarians, and the miserable e­state D of the time, which forced Christians to flie to their Bishop, for counsell and com­fort in their confused afflictions) laid the foundation of their authoritie, then small, be­ing tyed to their charges, and subiect to the Emperours command: but it grew by de­grees, vntill it came to the height of this soueraigne and absolute power, so as in the end they haue prescribed lawes to the Emperours, Kings, and Christian Princes. A neces­sary obseruation, both for the truth and order of this Historie, to vnderstand rightly both the times, and meanes of their rising. In the first age, the Bishops of Rome durst not shew themselues (being persecuted, imprisoned, & martired by the Emperours). Since Constantine the great, their authoritie began: in the dissipation of the Empire, it increa­sed, and this Realme did fortifie and augment it. Our first Kings knew them not: their E next successors maintained & aduanced them as, Charles Martell, Pepin, Charlemaigne, to whome they are indebted for the greatest support and increase of their cheefe authoritie.

Fundamentall Rules or Maximes of the State of France.423.

BVt before we proceed any further in this Theater, reason and order commands vs to set downe the soueraigne Maximes of our Monar­chie, as goodly pillers in the first fronte of this great building: to the end we may not dispute, either of the ancient forme of gouerne­ment in the first age of our Ancestors,The first Max­ime. or of the Fundamentall lawes B of the estate. It is necessary that our mindes (euen in our infancie) be seasoned with this common beliefe,The French cannot indure any other go­uernment thē a Royalty. being the bond and vnion of the naturall obedience we owe vnto our Kings. Without doubt, it is neither true, nor likely, that our Predecessors, (taking possession of this goodly inheritance) made any question of that which had beene concluded amongst them from father to sonne. The most ancient histories (whose authority is without controll,) testifie, that the French nation was gouerned by Kings: and experience ioyned with reason doth shew, that the French cannot be otherwise commanded, then by a royaltie. Whereto then serues this question amongst the French, touching the forme of gouernment, when as C Gaule was first possessed by them? And to what end should these goodly painted spee­ches be vttered by our ancient warriours, who made so great profession to do well, as they neglected eloquent words.

This Maxime thus layde, as the ground of the Estate of France, The royalty of France, is successiue. the truth of that which hath passed in ancient times, doth plainly shew, what the forme of this royaltie hath beene: for who doth not see, by the names of the Kings of France, (as they haue commanded in this realme, amidest so many alterations of the State, in the change of the three Races, where wee may note the succession from father to sonne, from brother to brother, & from cousin to the nearest kinsman of the bloud Royall), that it was hereditary frō all antiquity? This is the law,The efficacy of a successiue Royalty. the vse wherof is so worthily regarded D in all cōmands, the force wherof defends the State amidst the strangest confusions, yea sucking babes haue enioyed it without any dispute or contradiction. At the very name of an infant King, Armies haue marched vnder the command of a woman (otherwise very odious, by reason of her vices) and yet so respected (being the Kings mother) as the French haue growne desperate in most perillous battailes, returning with bloudy victories, thrust forward with this onely resolution, to preserue the estate of their yong King, lying in his swadling clothes. By the force of this law, the French (after the de­cease of their lawfull Kings,A royalty is the best sort of gouerne­ment. leauing their wiues with childe) haue reuerenced the wombe of their Queene, expecting her deliuery: being a sonne, hee was nourished, bred vp, and honoured as their King: And if he dyed in his first infancie, they haue per­formed E his obsequies, with the like respect and reuerence, as to a King in his ma­ioritie.

To conclude: reason, authority, and experience, doe plainly shew, that a succeed­ing royaltie is better, then that which depends vpon the peoples choise and election:How it ap­peares by rea­son. For what is a Royaltie, but the image of a fathers command: the loue, honour and obe­dience which children beare towards their parents, bee the effects of the lawe of na­ture figured in their hearts. A father commands ouer many children, who although they bee planted in diuers parts (as wee see in the peopling of great familyes,) yet all returne to the chiefe stock or stemme: all acknowledge and honour the father, all obey him while he liues, by a more voluntary obedience, for that it is meerely natu­rall. F Behold the patterne of a ciuill gouernement. To apply it to our subiect: it appeares, the first man had this naturall authoritie, euen as wee see it at this day. As mankinde multiplyed into diuers families, so this multitude had neede of a greater gouernement. Man cannot liue alone: society consists in commandement and obedi­ence. [Page 4] From this fountaine a royaltie springs.425. Looke what is done in a family, the like is A in a state, by the same force of nature: one commands and is obeied. There, this natu­rall respect is that bond of lawfull obedience. So here in like sort, whereas the com­mandement of one giues lawe to all, for that the lawe of nature hath power ouer all, it doth authorize this respect in the hearts of subiects, by a voluntary obedience to their Kings as to their fathers. And as wee neede not to be taught to honour father and mother▪ So, who is so vnkind that wil make any question to honour the Prince vn­der whom hee is borne. It is that which the originall of the first truth doth teach vs, Honour father and mother, not onely to tie vs to them that gaue vs life, but to those that make vs to liue happily in the common societie of mankinde: that is, to the father in the house, and to the King in the state, as the father of our fathers. Thus a Roialty B is the most antient and best forme of gouernment, when as the King is Father of his people, according to the ordinance of nature, as we shal shew else where at better lea­sure. I hope this smal digression shalbe excused for the necessity of the subiect. A Roial­ty then is the Image of a fathers authoritie. How can a father then (whom God hath giuen by the course of nature) be chosen by his children?A succ [...]s [...]iue Roia [...]t [...]e is the best. If to liue well according to nature, and by consequence, that which proceeds from nature, be the best, who doubts, but a Roialtie (the which God hath giuen vs by the law of State, the soueraigne law of societie, wherein wee are borne,) is without doubt better then that which depends on the tumultuous factions of people? Thus much for reason. Now let vs see what Au­thority saies,By authoritie. which speaks plainly, & in the goodliest estate o [...] the world, which was the comon weale of Israel, wherin God had planted his church, as his most pretious iew­el.C Truly, the lawful Royaltie of the house of Dauid, hath bin hereditarie, & successiue from father to sonne, and from Cousin to the nearest kinsman. A paterne whereby to frame a perfect estate, farre better then the common weale of Plato: who notwith­standing hath respected the bloud Royall in the race of Kings, with great prerogatiue, moued thereunto by the force of nature, to acknowledge the best forme of gouern­ment in an hereditary succession, whereas one is borne to commaund, an other to obey.

I will dilate no more of so rich and ample a subiect, hauing onely coated that which is necessarie for the circumstance of my purpose.By experience But what shall wee say of Experience, the mistres of fooles? What is hee, but may thereby feele the visible D proofs of this truth? Doubtles those Countries and States, which haue kept this liber­tie to choose their Kings, do often feele (to their costs) the tumultuous fruites of their elections, striuing with much paine to maintaine this priuilege against the lawes of nature, posti [...]g from nation to nation, with much toyle, and small profi [...], searching for that a farre off, which they might easily finde at home: and for the avoiding of tu­mults (which might growe among equall Competitors) they procure vnto them­selues infinite troubles, the which they might auoide, in receiuyng of him willingly whome God should cause to be borne among them, with a lawfull authority. But some will obiect, that which we cannot deny to haue beene practised in two Races, That the French had in former times authority to place and displace their Kings: as appeares as­well E by the Kings Chosen by Parliament,In old time at the reception of a new king they vsed to ca [...]rie him vppon a target in a publike a [...]emblie. which were borne vpon targets: as also by the famous examples of Pepin, and Hughe Capet. Wherevnto the answere is true and plaine, that this consent was but the seale of the naturall prerogatiue due to the race of our lawfull Kings: and their dissallowing, a declaration of their base slouth­fulnesse, vnworthy of that naturall prerogatiue, wherewith they were honored in their birth, and from the which they did degenerate in liuing ill. And as we see in the suc­cession of Kings, the neerest allied holds the other by the hand: so in these two alterati­ons, when as necessitie forced the French to change their King, (as when the like neces­sitie constraineth the children to giue their furious father a tutor) wee may obserue, that they haue alwayes made choise of men neerest to the blood royall, preferring F vertue before a maske of Authoritie corrupted with vice, the publique good before [Page 5] A the priuate interest of a vitious man, reteyning nothing but the name of his noble race.426. They haue preserued (as much as they could) their naturall respect to the bloud royall. The lawe made the King: that is his birth. But the law of nature,The prero­gatiue of a K [...]ng is no­thing impai­red by the peoples con­s [...]nt at his last rec [...]ption. f [...]l [...]owed by the law of nations, and the free consent of the people, hath not beene the cause, but the ve­ry effect of this naturall authoritie. So this royall authoritie is limited and ruled by the souereigne law of State: which doth so aduance the head aboue all the members of the bodie, as they may not be separated. For, what is a King without subiects, but a head without members? the King preserues his estate, as the head doth the bodie. But, as the head (from whence life proceeds to the bodie) liues with the bodie, so the King (who preserues the estate by his authoritie) is preserued in the estate, by the consent of B his subiects.

In this inseparable vnion, hee doth fortifie his power by theirs, and his commaund with their voluntary obedience. Plato sayes, that Authoritie not subiect to controul­ment, is pernitious to him that commaunds, and to them that are commaunded. It is a law­full and profitable restraint for Kings, and the necessary counterpoyse of their authori­tie. This lawe will haue euery member to hold his place, in the bodie of a State: And by consequence, that the subiects consent, (who offer their goods and liues to their King) be held in due degree. This hinders no more the hereditarie prerogatiue of a Roialtie, then the diuerse ministerie of the members, do the soueraigne authoritie of the head, ouer the whole bodie. And as in the beginning, or in the rising, or infancie C of an estate, vertue ministers occasion for the people to choose such as should com­maund ouer them successiuely, (leauing as it were in sacred gard, in the hands of their best men, what they hold most pretious, and so to their successors, who by all reaso­nable coniecture, must be good and vertuous, being borne of good parents) euen so, in the end, vice makes them to hate such as abuse this prerogatiue: and in like manner, the same vertue makes them flie to others, whome they hold more worthy to com­mand, in that they are obedient vnto reason. This Maxime then stands firme, that the authority of the states not being incompatible with the soueraignty of a king, the roy­altie of France is, and hath alwaies beene merely hereditary, without any exception, nor can it otherwise subsist and stand (all well considered). And who so thinkes or D speakes otherwise, imagyning popular common-weales in France, he is ignorant of the disposition of the French, and feeds himselfe with a dangerous vanity.The third. The m [...]le on­ly capable of the Crowne, the female excluded in France.

But this lawe of a succeeding royaltie is limitted by a third Maxime: That the right of the Crowne is tied to the heires male: whereas in many nations, for want of males, the soueraigne Authority of a royaltie falles to the females of the royall race. And this lawe, receiued by the approbation of the subiect people, is happily put in practise. The president is very memorable and remarkable in the Realme of England. whereas Queene Elizabeth alone, hath surpassed the happinesse of the greatest Kings her predecessors, ruling a long time with great Authority in peace: So as ha­uing gotten most famous victories ouer her enemies, shee hath erected, through E peace, the goodliest trophies that euer king of England could haue planted there. So great is the force of the lawe in the society of mankinde, the which God will haue in­uiolable vnder the gage of faith and publique order.The French were often called Saliens, of the riuer Sal in Franco­ [...]ia, and the French lawes termed Sali­que lawes. But the royaltie of France is who­ly restayned to the males, the fundamentall lawe of state (being called the Salique lawe) not admitting the females. For this soueraigne lawe is set downe in these words: In the Salique land, let no portion of the inheritance come to the female: but let the male haue the possession. That is to say, the males onely are capable of the Crowne of France: the fe­males being wholy excluded, and by cōsequence their issue, the which can pretend no more interest then their mothers, neither haue they any portion in the reuenewes of the Crowne, which cannot be alienated. So as it is giuen them but for terme of life, by as­signation F of dowrie at the Kings good pleasure.Th [...] funda­mentall lawe called Salique.

This fundamentall lawe is called Salique, by excellency, although the Salique lawes conteine the rights of priuate men: but amongest them, that which concernes the maiesty of the prince, is the principall, and for this cause is knowne by this worthy [Page 6] obseruation.428. The practise of this fundamentall law is apparent, in the first race, where A the cheefe proofe of antiquitie must be made in the daughters of Childebert, The practise thereof. sonne to the first Clouis: In the daughters of Cherebert sonne to Clotaire the first, in the daugh­ters of Gontran, son of the same Clotaire, all which were excluded from the Crowne, and in their places the neerest Princes of the blood admitted, by the consent of all the French. The second race hath no examples of this law in the particular circumstance of women. The third hath very notable ones: Edward King of England was excluded by iudgment of the States, from the right he pretended to this Crowne, being sonne to one of the daughters of France, the onely daughter of Philip le bell. Philip of Valois, was preferred before his Neece, daughter to Lewis Hutin. And of late memory, Fran­cis the first of that name, Duke of Angoulesme, before the two daughters of Lewis the B twelfth, without any controuersie.

This law was obserued among the French before Pharamond was borne: and by vertue of this law he reigned as Successor to his Ancestors, Marcomir, Sunno, Melobau­des, Here the Au­thor wou [...]d haue a [...]amed s [...]pposition to be taken for an vn­doubted truth and others. And as he was appointed by the wise prouidence of God, to bee the first Architect of this Monarchie, so was hee indued with singular graces fit for so excellent a worke, in the which the law should fortifie the valour of this fierce & war­like nation. Thus Pharamond is renowned for his wisdome and iudgment, who did countenance & authorize the Salique lawes, and that especially which was the chief, to take away all future debate from his Successors. And for the better strengthening of his lawes, he assembled his captaines, whereof the Counsellors of our ancient Kings C were chosen. They name among the chiefe of them Widogast, Sabogast, Wisogast, and Bosogast: the which our fabulous curiosities do transforme into some great Orators, without any apprehēsion of truth. These were good warriors, & yet wise men, and iudi­cious. But who can beleeue they were great Rhetoricians? So Pharamond was not the Author, but the bewtifier of the SALIQVE lawes, as Iustinian of the ciuill lawes of the Romaines.

To search out the originall of the word, neither my style, nor my humor will suf­fer me to dispute thereof▪ Of the word Salique. euery one hath his iudgement free. But this is my opinion: as words be the images of things, so are they inuented to represent the nature of the thing whereunto they are applied. It appeares, that among the French, the Saliens were those D that held the cheefe degrees,What the Sali [...]ns were. and gaue the name to the whole Nation. So as all French­men are oftē times called Saliens. The SALIQVE lawes therfore are the Frēch lawes appointed to rule, and gouerne the French. It was the a [...]cient name continued with the most ancient lawes, the which, the honour of the Nation, and the reuerence of so sa­cred a thing, hath forbidden in any sort to alter. So the SALIQVE lawe hath con­tinued time out of mind the Soueraigne law of State, vnder the which the French haue liued: and so haue continued from father to sonne, without any alteration, either in the substance, or the word, maiesticall in the heartes and tongues of all French men. What apparence is there then, that Phillip of Valois hath borrowed the name of Pha­ramond, in the inuention of this law, to make it serue his turne? How much vnlikely E is it, that so important a law, being the ground of the Estate, should bee vnknowne to the French? What a drowsines had it beene in so wise & circumspect a nation, to suffer themselues to be abused by a new-come Prince, and by so grosse a pollicie, to drawe themselues into apparent combustion, which hung ouer their heads, in preferring the French before the English, who had then so good a portion in France, where hee posses­sed the goodliest, and richest prouinces? How vnsound is this policy, to imagine, that a poor Prince, Count of Valois, hauing to do with a rich King of England, who en­countred the Frenchmens minds with an intestine force, by the golden vertue of his Angels, could haue abused such as were kept in their obedience, by the force of right and reason, for the preseruation of the Crowne of France, their Countrie? Who sees F not, but it had beene the ouerthrowe of Philip of Valois cause, to say that hee had for­ged a law at his pleasure, to exclude the lawfull heire, and her ofspring, from her right? Truely the good cause of Philip of Valois made him victorious against the forces [Page 7] A of Edward King of England; and the auncient reuerence to him,430. authorized by a con­tinuall vse, and receiued by the common consent of the French, reiected gold, to re­spect the order of right, for the benefit of the lawfull heire.

These French lawes were called Saliques, of the riuer Sal which is in Franconia, Etimologie of the word Salique. or East Franco: it ioynes with Mein, and is not yet dryed vp. It is neyther new, nor extraor­dinary, for people to deriue their names from Mountaines, or Riuers: and to shewe an example, springing from the same thing, by noting the Riuers. The Country where the Citty of Paris is seated (not onely the chiefe of this great realme, but the Theatre of the whole world, if by a happy peace she may recouer her ancient beauty) is called the Isle of France, for the concurse of diuerse riuers, which ioyne with Seine ▪ and to this B end, the ship (the armes of our chiefe Cittie) shewes the oportunity of these goodly riuers. Who can with reason reiect the apparency of this likely-hood? That as our an­cestors remayning alongst the riuer of Sal, were called Saliens, so the name hath conti­nued to posteritie: the which for the like reason are called Ripuaires, as made for the commodity and vse of the dwellers vpon that banck, the which they likewise called Ripuaires, or Ribberots. Truely long time after, Conrad of Franconie, the Emperour, was called Salique, to marke his beginning in that Country, by the ancient name. Thus much for the word. But the inuiolable Maximes and Principles of the state of France, the consent of all the true & ancient writers, the prescription of so many ages, the ge­nerall approbation of all the French nation, should make vs hold this Salique lawe, for C certaine, without seeking for new opinions, not onely weake and vnprofitable, but in­supportable in the state, where the olde prouerb must stand for an oracle, Remoue not the st [...]ane well layed. Thus hauing briefely set downe the principall lawes of the state of France, I will returne to the course of my history.

Thus hee raigned, thus he liued, and thus died Pharamond, the first King of France, Death of Pharamond. leauing for hereditary successor of his Realme, his sonne Clodion, according to the right of lawe: and King in effect, by consent of the French. This age was the sincke of Babarous nations, by whome God would iustly punish the vniust pride of the R [...]mains. The greatest parte came out of Asia, staying first in Germany, and from thence like Caterpillers or Grassehoppers [...]read themselues ouer Gaule, Italie, and D Spaine: that is to say, the Goths or Getes, Alans, Hunnes, Sueues, & others: & from the North the Bourguignons, Normans and Lombards. We must know the Chaunge of these nations, for the vse of his history. But it sufficeth to touch them briefly in their places, without cloying our chiefe subiect with a cumbersome discourse.

431.CLODION, or CLOION the hairy, 2. King of France.


CLODION, the sonne of Pharamond, succeeded his father in the yeare A 431. and raigned one and twenty yeares.The first at­temp [...] of Cl [...]d [...]o [...]. He laboured to follow his fathers course, and to settle himselfe in Gaule: but hauing transpor­ted certaine troupes, which made a happy beginning, passing to the cou [...]tr [...]es of Cambresie and Tournay, betwixt the riuers of Somme and [...]scout, behold a furious mul [...]itude o [...] diuers nations assembled to [...]e [...]her, of [...]andales, Alans, Sueues, and Burg [...]ignons (iealous to see this great and war­l [...]e people follow their steps, in the conquest of a land not onely [...]et to [...]ale, but aban­doned in the disorders of the Romaine Empire,) oppo [...]ed themselues against them. The French not able to withstand [...]o great vnited forces, retyred themselues into their Country o [...] Franconia. To this iealousie, was added the practise of Stillico, Lieutenant B generall t [...] Honorius Emperour of the West, who easily ingaged these Nations, (seek­ing for wo [...]ke) against the French, laboured by all meanes to cros [...]e them, and to pos­sesse [...]imsel [...]e of Gaule: yet the successe did not fitte his desseigne: for being preuen­ted by Honorius his maister, he was slaine, with his sonne Eu [...]herius, whom he had ap­pointed absolute heire of that goodly portion. But the prouidence of God had left it in prey to these great and victorious Nations, being come from diuers parts of the world to diuide the Empire. Thus confusion preuailed by his authority, who had most inte­rest in the practises of Stillico, (who in taking Gaule for himselfe,) reteined still the Ro­maine name, being ouerthrowne by Honorius. The deluge of these barbarous nations o [...]erflowed all Gaule, which from yeare to yeare was replenished with new guests.C The Bourguignons had already seized on a great part, with the title of a kingdome, [Page 9] A whereof Arles was the chiefe Citty. The Goths possessed Gaule Narbonnoise, 440. euen by the Emperours consent, who granted what he could not take from them▪ with promise to passe no further. So this victorious nation, dispersed in diuerse places in Italy, Gaule and Spaine, were called by s [...]ndry names, Wisigoths, and Ostrogoths, according to the place where they were planted, by their great multitudes and valour. Such was the disorder of the Romaines, who in their seasons had subdued the whole world, by their victorious armes. These tempests and stormes raigned during the Empires of the two brethren, Arcadius and Honorius, the one commanding in the East,The estate of the Emp [...]re. and the other in the West: of Theodosius the second, sonne to Arcadius: and in the beginning of V [...] ­lentinian the third, a vitious and vnhappy Prince. The raigne of Clodion fell out in B those times not greatly memorable, but to obserue his resolutions and manly ende­uours, to settle and increase the conquests of his father, but with no successe. Thus great and heroicall enterprises haue often stayes and lets in the beginning, or such dif­ficult crosses, as they seeme quite suppressed.

Aetius a Romaine borne, succeeded Stillico for the Emperour, in that which remained in Gaule ▪ he opposed himselfe violently against the French, who at diuerse times ende­uoured to passe the Rhin, and to returne into France. Clodion fortifying himselfe cou­ragiously against this storme, fainted not for all these first difficulties. In the end, hee resolued to hazard all vpon this last cast: and to this effect hee raysed a mighty army, with an intent to go in person to the conquest of this goodly kingdome. But God had C resolued to giue it to the French: yet by an other hand then that of Clodion, for he dyed in this voyage, being on the bankes of Rhin, with an intent to passe it, in the yeare of grace 451. leauing Merouce heire of his desseigne and valour.

He was called Le Cheuelu, or hayrie, for that he made a lawe, that none but Kings and their children, with the Princes of the bloud, should weare long hayre,Law for wea­ring long hayre. in token of command: after the Romaine maner, who shaued the heads of their slaues and ser­uants, and left the Periwig onely to the Patriciens, and the head bare. This custome, confi [...]med by the law of Clodion, hath beene long time obserued in France: so as by this ma [...]ke, Clodamyre the sonne of Clouis (being slaine in a battaile by the Bourguig­nons) was knowne among the dead: and in token of a degrading or dishonouring, D they shaued such as they degraded from the royall dignity: as it appeares by infinite examples: amongst the which our History makes mention of one very memorable, of Q [...]eene Clotilde, who chose rather to cut off the heads of her young sonnes, then to haue their hayre pold or shauen: that is to say, she preferred an honest death before the dishonour of her children: for in cutting off their hayre (the marke of their na­turall dignity) they were depriued of all hope to enioy their degree, and were confi­ned into a base estate, vnworthy of their greatnesse, to dye continually with heart-breaking, reproche and infamie.

Genseric King of the Vandales, at that time seized vpon Affricke, The estat [...] of the Church. and euen when as he besieged Hippone (which at this day they call Bonne, famous for the fishing of corall) E S. Augustine dyed the third moneth of the siege, the fourth yeare of his ministery, in that Citty, and the 76. of his age, hauing both seene and felt those tragicall desolations, in the desolate estate of the Church, afflicted then in diuers parts of the world by these Barbarians. Theodosius the second, the sonne of Arcadius, a good and a wise Prince, did his best endeuour to stop the course of this l [...]st shipwrack, but hee preuailed not. The insolencie of Valentinian the third (a Prince extremely vitious) thrust it head­long, and the ill gouernment of his seruants, namely of Bonifacius gouernour of Af­fricke, and of Aetius gouernour of Gaule) called in the Barbarians, to the subuersion of the Empire: who to be reuenged one of another, (being capitall ene­mies, for the iealousie of their greatnesse) did wha [...] they F could to ruine their maister.

MEROVEE the third King of France, who gaue the name and greatest grace to this first race.


451. MErouee, sonne, or the nearest kinsman to Clodion, succeeded to the A Crowne, as well by vertue of the fundamentall lawe of state, as by the free Election of the French, in the yeare 451.

He was farre more happy then Clodion: for he not onely effected his desseine in passing the Rhin, and taking footing in Gaule: but did happily extend the limits of his new kingdom further. And the same Aetius which crossed Clodion, Me [...]uee sets footing into France. made the way easie for Merouee vna­wares, for the execution of his enterprise, by this occasion: Aetius fell in disgrace with Honorius his maister, being greeued to see the great successe of the Goths, Vandales and other barbarous nations in the Empire, imputing the fault vnto his seruants and officers. Thus growing iealous, hee calles him from his gouernment of Gaule, and B sends Castinus in his place, who was not onely vnacquainted with the estate of the Gaules, b [...]t was also discontented with Bonifacius gouernour of Affricke, with whome he had commandement to ioyne his forces, to oppose against the common enemies of the Romaines. During those actions, Honorius died, leauing Theodosius in the East, and Valentinian in the West, two yong princes of diuers humors.

Merouee imbracing this occasion with great dexterity, sounds the hearts of his neighbors the Gaulois, and finds them disposed to his deuotion. He rayseth an army, passeth the Rhine, takes Treues at the first comming, and then Argentin, (which is nowe called Strasbogh) with the Countries adioyning to it. Hee extends euen vnto Cam­bresie and Tournay, and proceeding farther into Gaule, hee seised on the best Citties of C Champaigne, with so great expedition, as no Romaine appeared to stop the course of his [Page 11] A victory. Valentinian aduertised of this successe, called back Aetius, to quench this fi [...]e,452. sending him into Gaule with an armie against the French: but there was other worke prepared for him, for Attila King of the Huns, The [...]ench ioyn [...] with the Roma [...]nes and [...]. (who named himselfe the Scou [...]ge of God, to chastise the Empire) hauing assembled an incredible number of men in the desarts of Asia, (being fiue hundred thousand souldiars) falles downe like a furious de­luge, spoiling all the countries where he passed: and hauing crossed through Poland in­to Germanie, and passed the Rhin, he threatned to inuade France, a country desired by all these nations, for her fertilitie and beauty. Aetius had no shorter course, nor better meanes to auoyde this storme, then to become friends with the French, and with all the other possessors of Gaule, who were threatned by this common storme: so as in B steed of warre, he made a peace with Merouee, vpon this extremity.

Attila entred Gaule, and aduanced so farre, that hee besieged Orleans, O [...]leans besie­ged by Attil [...]. (where Auian liued then, a most famous Bishop, who did greatly comfort the besieged by his piety and wisdom) whilest that the forces of their confederate friends assembled, by the meanes of Aetius, the Romaines, French, Gothes, and Bourguignons. Orleans being at the point to yeeld, Thierri King of the Goths arriues so happily, as he forceth Attila to raise his siege, & to take another course. Attila marching away with this vaste body of an ar­mie, he was pursued speedily by Aetius and his confederates, who ouertooke him in the fields of Catalauna, the which is diuersly taken, either for the country about Chalons, or about Tholouse. The battaile was giuen, and the combate was furious,Attila ouer­throwne, but not quite vanquished. but the check C fell [...]pon the Huns, who lost (as it is constantly written) 180000. fighting men, and the victorie remained in commun to the Romaines, French, and Goths: but the triumph and honour to Merouee and his men, who fought very valiantly. Thierri King of the Goths, was slaine very happily, to make the way easie for Merouee.

It was propounded in councell, to pursue Attila, but Aetius would not yeeld thereto, so as Attila saued himselfe, being be [...]ten, but not vanquished: for with the same forces he seized vpon a great part of Pannonia the happy, whence in the end came the name of Hongarie, although after the death of Attila, who did but lay the leuain, and his po­sterity finished what he had begun. A question is made, what moued Aetius to leaue Attila halfe vanquished. The reliques of his discomfited army were not small, after so D great a losse: so as it seemed best not to force him to despaire, seeing there is but one onely helpe for the vanquished, not to hope for helpe. Aetius might also haue giuen this aduise, by reason of his iealousie against the French, who should haue reaped an ouerplus of greatnesse by the absolute ouerthrow of this Barbarian. But with what in­tention soeuer he did it, it succeedid ill fo [...] himselfe, for Valentinian his maister was so discontented with him, as he caused him to be slaine, depriuing himselfe of a sufficient and faithfull seruant: and (as one reproched it vnto him) hee had cut off his right hand with his left. In the meane time Merouees affaires succeeded well in all places: hee had wonne much reputation: hee was feared of the Romaines, honoured of the Gaules, and respected and beloued of all men. Thierri King of the Goths, gaue E him place by his death, with whom the Romaines might haue ioyned: and his greatest opposition, was the wisdom and valour of Aetius, the which did no more check him. Thus the prouidence of God (which meant to vse him for the building of this Monar­chie,) made way for him euery where. Hee likewise knew how to imbrace all these opportunities with such dexterity, that taking hold of all occasions, hee entred the country, taking possession of Paris, Sens, Orleans, and the neighbour Prouinces, with the consent of the inhabitants: and ioyning these with the rest, he wonne the Gaules, with so good vsage, as he was held worthy to command ouer them: & so without any contention, he began to frame the body of an Estate, calling France (by the name of his ancient count [...]y) the country of Gaules, being newly brought vnder his obedience. F Hereby we may see, whether it be likely that Valentinian gaue the French their liber­tie, for recompence of this notable seruice: and that from thence they began to bee called Frenchmen, that is to say, Franc and free, as some writes, not well obseruing the Romaine History, whence these Romaine obseruations should with reason be drawne.

[Page 12] 460.Such was the valour, wisdom and happinesse of this great and worthy Prince, who A with great reason gaue his name to this first race,The happie rai [...]ne of Merouce. called Merouingiens, to aduow him the principall piller of their establishment. He began to raigne the yeare 451. and ru­led ten yeares onely, not omitting one houre to do well. In his time there chanced no­table accidents in the Church. As on the one side the Barbarians dismembred the State, so the heretikes troubled the Church by their monstrous innouations, sprung vp against the truth of the ancient & Catholike doctrine:The estate of the Empire & the Church. and their chiefe practises were against the sonne of God. Nestorius diuided the Natures: Eutiches did confound them: Theodosius the second, assembled a generall Councell at Ephesus, against Nestorius and Martian his successor: another at Chalcedon against Eutiches. There were likewise Synods at Orange, Valence, Carpantras, Arles, Tours, and Venite, for diuers ne­cessities B of the Church, the which order and discipline might remedy. Cyrillus and Theodoret liued in those times, great per­sonages, and worthy defendors of the truth.

CHILDERIC, or CHILPERIC, first King of that name, the 4. King of France, In some Copies HISPERIC.


THe French and the Gaules being thus vnited, they choose Chilperic C the sonne of Merouee for their King, with great solemnitie, being the first assembly of this new people, consist [...]ng of two nations, and installed him, according to their ancient maner (raysing him vpon a Target) they carryed him about the assembly. Hee began to rule in the yeare 461. and raigned xxx. yeares. A Prince noted in di­uerse examples, both in his life and gouernment: f [...]r in the begin­ning he was vitious and vnfortunate, but being reclaimed by affliction (hauing chan­ged his life) good hap did accompany him in the end of his daye [...]. At his comming [Page 13] A to the Crowne, he did greatly abuse his au [...]horitie, in oppressing of his subiects,461 with excessiue taxes, rauishing the wiues, and daughters of the French: who seeing them­selues ill intreated in their goods and honours, they assemble, and resolue to expell Chilperic, as vnworthy to reigne, and to call in Gillon a Romaine for their King, who gouerned in Gaule for the Romaines, and held his seate at Soissons. The hate and con­tempt of the subiects against their Kings, is a great meanes to blemish their authoritie. The vices of Chilperic bred this discontent in the French, and the scourge was readie to chastice him, though not to ruine him.

Chilperic (not able to oppose himselfe against this common consent) giues place,Chilperic ex­pelled for his vice. by the Councell of Guyemans a man of great account, who promised him to bee his B true friend in his affliction, and to vse his best endeuours to pacifie the French, being incensed against him, and to cause him to bee recalled. To this end, hee takes a token from Guyemans, for the more secret treating in his absence. The token was a peece of a gold ring, whereof either of them tooke a moitie. This done Chilperic, retyres himselfe into Turinge, to King Basin his deere friend and kinsman, expecting better for­tune. Guyemans proceeds with such dexteritie, as creeping into fauour with this new King, and keeping his credit with the French, hee makes himselfe fitt to effect his pur­pose, both by the one and the other. The issue answereth the proiect. Hauing plausible audience with Gillon, hee aduiseth him, that to get authoritie among his subiects, hee must inure them to obedience: and therefore hee must not forbeare to lay publike C charges vpon them, else they would contemne him, and in the end insult ouer him, if in time hee did not accustome them to beare the yoake of his new authoritie. Accor­ding to this aduise, the King (vnacquainted with the humour of the French,) imposeth taxes contrary to custome, and doubles charge vpon charge. The same fire which had inflamed the French against Chilperic, incensed them presently against Gillon. For (say they,) to what end should this newe maister become a tyrant? We can dispossesse him with the like facilitie that we haue made him. Thus they generally complaine, euerie one (according to the credit hee hath with the people) cries out, that they m [...]st pre­uent this mischief. Such as were the motiues and instruments to expell Chilperic, are not the last to complaine. Guyemans doth secretly aduertise Gillon, that the meanes to D auoid the danger which Chilperic fell into, was to preuent this practise in the breeding, and to put the principall authors thereof to death, as the ringleaders of rebellion. Gil­lon entertaines this aduise▪ he puts them to death that were the instruments of Chilpe­ri [...]s disgrace. And so with one stone giues two stroakes. He take them away that might frustrate his desseine, and disposeth the Frenchmens hearts to desire their ancient King. And thus he makes the way for Chilperics returne, by a very happie dexteritie, and the [...]ent was answerable. Gillon (hauing put these aforenamed to death) became very o­dious to the French▪ Guyemans abandons Gillon, and cunningly embraceth this occa­sion, in fauour of Chilperic. He blames the French for their lightnes, to haue expelled their naturall Lord, and reciued a stranger farre more insupportable.Chilperic cal­led home chasticed by affliction. Thus he makes E them resolue to call home Chilperic: who vnderstanding their desire, and seeing the peece of gold (the token of his returne) sent by his faithfull friend, returnes confidently into France: he is receiued by the French, and by their ayd forceth Gillon to resigne him the place, and to retire himselfe to Soissons. Such was the first part of Chilprics life. The last was of another temper: for being taught by himselfe, he was so addicted to do good, as he got the good will of the French, of whome he was beloued, honoured, and obeyed all the rest of his life. So as to good minds capable of reason, affliction serues as a cha­stisement, and not for a ruine: for an instruction, and not a destruction. Hee did fight happily against Odoacre King of the Saxons, subdued the Germans, woon a great coūtry along the Rhin. He added to this State the Country of Aniou, hauing forced the citie F of Angiers: and to make absolute his happines, hee had one sonne, who augmented and assured his Realme. They only obserue one notable error committed after his returne, in taking Basine to wife, being the wife of Basin King of Turinge, who had courteously entertained him in his distresse, violating the sacred lawes of hospitalitie, suffering him­selfe [Page 14] to be abused with the loue of a woman,585. accounted a witch: for they say, this wo­man A (who had forsaken her husband for him) was a witch, causing him to see a vision the first night of their vnlawfull marriage, the which did represent the state of the suc­ceeding kingdome, by lions, vnicornes, leopards, the which appeared fi [...]stin this visiō, then by beares, and wolues: And lastly by cattes, dogges, and other small beasts, the which did teare one another in sunder. You must pardon these fables of antiquity, (bred as it seemes long after) by the which she would represent the estate of the three races, according to their diuerse occurrents. Chilperic hauing liued thus, and raigned thirtie yeares, he left Clouis his sonne for successor and heire of one of the goodliest and bewtifullest pyllers of the French Monar­chie: as shall appeare by the following discourse.B

CLOVIS the 1. the 5. King of France. and the first Christian King.


CLOVIS, succeding his father Chilperic, was installed in the Royal­tie,A by the French, according to their ancient custome, borne vpon a target in open assembly. Hee began to reigne the yeare 485. and raigned thirtie yeares. Hee had scarse atteyned to the age of fifteene yeares, when as he mounted to the royall throne. A yong man of great hope, borne for the stablishment of this monarchie. His fore­fathers had layed the foundation, but he did build vpon these goodly beginings with so great valour, wisedome, and good fortune, as he is to be held for one of the greatest Ar­chitects of this estate, hauing had the honour to be the first King of France that recei­ued the Christian religion, the greatest beautie of this Crowne: and a priuilege so carefully planted by his successors, as they haue purchased the title of most Christian,B as a marke of their chiefest greatnesse. The progresse of the Historie will shew both his vertues, and vices. But at this entrie, his mind being guided to so great a worke, (whereunto the wise prouidence of almightie God had appointed him) [Page 15] A fortifies it selfe, the first fiue yeares of his raigne,485. (being the time of his apprentiship) before he vndertooke any thing, the which hee did manage so discreetly, embracing all occasions that were offered, as in the end hee thought himselfe able to subdue all Gaule, if God had not stayed the ambitious course of his vnmeasurable desires, to shew vnto great personages, that hee reserues a Soueraigne prerogatiue ouer all their enterprises.

We haue sa [...]d before, that in the dissipation of the Empire, the Gaules had many vsurpers, Bourguignons, Goths, and Frenchmen: the Romaines had the least part, for hardly could they keepe Soissons, Compiegne, Senlis, and other small townes there­abouts. The Bourguignons enioyed a great countrie, the two Bourgongnes, the Du­chie and the Earledome, Sauoy, Lyonnois, Forests, Beauiolois, Daulphiné, and Prouence, B Arles being the Metropolitane Citty of the Realme. The Goths possessed all Gaule Narbonnoise, to the which they gaue the name, and all Guyenne with the appertenan­ces. The French had the best part, from the Rhin vnto Loire, imbracing all the rich [...] Prouinces of the Lowe countries vnto the Ocean, the countries of Hey [...]ault, Cambre­sie, Picardie, Normandie ▪ the I [...]le o [...] France Maine, An [...]ou, Touraine, Vandomois, the pro­uince of Orleans, Beausse, Hurepois, Gastīnois, Sologne, Berry, and the neighbour coun­tries, although these great and large territories had particular Lords, amongst the which the King was acknowledged for Soueraigne. Such was the state of Gaule, when as Clouis vndertooke the helme of this French monarchie.

C To become absolute Maister of this goodly country, which was set to sale to the mightiest▪ he begins with the weakest, the neerest,Clouis aspire [...] to the Monar­chie of all Gaule. and him with whom hee had the most apparent shew of quarrell: which was the Romane, who held nothing of this great name, but the sh [...]w and pride, in a weaknesse altogether contemptible. Siagrius sonne to that Gyles of whom we haue spoken, commanded at Soissons for the Romans. Clouis had an hereditarie quarrell against him, hauing sought to vsurpe his estate, irre­conciliable quarrels among Princes. Hauing so goodly a shew to demand reason for so notable a wrong, he d [...]fies him. They assemble their forces: Clouis calle [...] to his aide Ragnachaire, the petty King of Cambray, and Chararic of Amyens: the first assists him, the other excuseth, being desirous to keepe the stakes, and to be a looker on,The first roo­ting [...] of the Romaines. and then D to ioyne with the stronger. Siagrius is ouercome in battell. In this ouerthrow he lea [...]es his estate to Clouis, and flies to Alaric King of the Goths, being at Tholouse. Clouis not content with Siagrius goods, demands his person of Alaric, and obtaines it. Siagrius is sent vnto him, his hands and feet bound. Hauing him in his power, he makes him taste the griefe of his misery, reproching him that he had basely lost his gouernment, & de­serued capitall punish [...]ent, and so he cuts off his head: afterwards he suppressed Cha­raric, and Ragnachaire, vpon diuerse occasions. Hauing seized vpon all that be [...]onged to the Romane name, he turned his resolutions against the Bourguignons and the Goths: but with an industry fi [...]ting so politike a head, seeking some colour of iustice, he makes a league of peace with the two nations, to pick a cau [...]e of quarrell, hauing some con­trouersie E with their Kings, for some title in shew lawfull. The issue is answerable to his desseigne, for he knew so well how to obserue times, watch for occurrences, & creepe so cunningly into their affaires, as in the end he dispossessed them both.

In the house of Bourgondie there were foure brethren, Gondebault Gondegesil, Chilpe­peric and Gothemar, the children of Gondioch. The iealousie of their portions thrusts them into choller, and the fury of couetousnesse polluted the hands of Gondebault the elder with the parricide of his yonger brother Chilperic, and of his wife, but God pre­serued Clotilde from the crueltie of this man, being the daughter of Chilperic, to be the meanes of this murtherers misery. She was exceeding faire: this qualitie bred a desire in Clouis, but especially to get footing in Bourgondie, and some interest to deale with the F affaires of that state. And for that reason Gondebault would by no meanes like of that allyance: yet not daring to shew the true cause, he made the pretext of his refu [...]all to be the diuersity of religion, which could not agree with these vnequall mariages. Clouis preuented it with great policy, for hauing promised Clotilde that she should haue liber­tie [Page 16] of Conscience,490. he remoues the let wherewith Gondebault did crosse him: so as the A marriage was concluded. And although Clouis were a Pagan by profession, yet was he no enemy to the Christians, fitting himselfe to the humour of the Gaulois, who ge­nerally followed the Christian religion. He suffred his wife likewise to baptise her chil­dren: and she a wi [...]e Princesse insinuating with her husband, desired nothing more then to winne him v [...]to God, the which chaunced in this sort. Clouis did succour the Si­cambriens his allies, (which bee the inhabitants of Gueldres and Iuliers) against the Germaines. Being in the battell, he found himselfe ingaged in the midest of his enemies troupes and in great daunger of his life. He then makes a vowe vnto God, that if he would giue him the victory, hee would presently submit himselfe to the Christian Church, and be baptised. God heard him. He obtaines the victory, and being returned,B he resolues to performe his vowe.Clouis be­comes a Christian. His wife Clotilde infinitely glad of this holy resolutiō, sends for Saint Remy Bishop of Rheims, (a man of g [...]eat pietie and eloquence) to in­struct him in the true doctrine, wherein he was very ignorant, as a man that had made profession of armes all his life, borne and bred in supe [...]st [...]tion, and neuer had discour­sed of Christian religion, but like a souldi [...]r. It was necessa [...]y he should be instructed by a discreete man, that in leauing the vanity of Pagans, he were not infected with the errors of Arrian, which then were dispersed in diuerse places. And euen his owne sister Lantielde was infected therewith.

The preaching of Saint Remy had great efficacy with Clouis: and the example of Clouis with all his men of warre. In this action, th [...]se goodly sayings are worthy to be noted. Bend thy neck to the yoake in mildenes [...]ith [...] Remy to Clouis) worship that C which thou hast burnt, and burne that which [...] worshipped, And hee answereth, I worship the true God which is the father, the sonne and the holy Ghost, the Creator of heauen and earth. So, being bapti [...]ed, he exho [...] his men to the same b [...]leefe. They cry al ioynt­ly We leaue our mortall Gods, and are ready to follow the immortall. So Clouis was baptised at Rheims by Saint Remy, with great solemnity, and [...] him 3000. of his souldiars, to the incredible ioy of the Gaulois, greatly affected to Christ [...]an religion: hoping by this conuersion to haue better vsage in time to come.

This acte is very remarkable, hauing consecrated our Kings to Christian religion, the which hath preserued this Realme vnto this day from most horrible confusions. Aimoinus saith, that a doue brought a viall full of oile in her bill, at that instant, with the D which our Kings are annoynted, when they are installed. But Gregory of Tours, a more ancient Author, writes onely, that Clouis was baptised. They likewise hold, that Clouis did at that time chaunge the royall armes, and that for three toades, or as the learned say, three diademes gueules, in a field [...]gē [...], he tooke the flowers de-lis without number. Many monnuments of our Kings in the first and second race, iustifie this chaunge of Armories, made by Clouis, as we see them in the most ancient Temple. Without dilating any more therof, Charles the 6. in the Scutcheon of France, reduced the flowers de lis to th [...]ee.

Religion the on [...]ly true bond of [...] ­ [...]ctions.This publique profession of Christianity won the hearts of al the Gaules vnto Clouis, and did perfect the vnion betwixt them and the French, making their yoake easie, and E them tractable. He fortified his commaunde with this bond of religion, and layed a foundation for the absolute greatnesse of this Monarchie, which euen then beganne to take place, through out all Gaule. Thus Gaule (with more solemnity then vnder Me­rouee) was called France, by the common consent of all nations: the Gaulois were no more grieued to serue the French, Gaule called France. being victors: hauing willingly suffred themselues to be cō [...]uered, & hauing one faith & one lawe, they could not but wish the good of their cōmon Coūtry: so much may religion preuaile to [...]ite menshearts in a cōmonweale. I [...] this beginning Clouis shewed an excellent fruite of his b [...]ptisme, exceeding all his conquests. By his last victory he had subdued the Germains, & to accustome them to o­bedience, had imposed great & rigorous burthens. But now he doth relieue thē. sends F home their hostages, & moderates their yoake, shewing therby that he is growne mil­der.Humanity [...]. This humanity was approued as a secōd victory, & more honorable then the first. [Page 17] A Truly it is as great a victory in a great Prince, to conquer by clemencie,503. as it is a profi­table policie to winne mens hearts by reason. The Conquerour that pardons, beauti­fies his triumph, adding to their conquered bodies their hearts, admiring his vertue no lesse victorious then his forces.

Clouis was ill affected to the Visigoths, who held a great and large Countrie in Gaule, obscuring the French Monarchie, the which hee desired to establish: but hee must finde some honest pretext to make warre. Although in effect the right of conue­niencie was his greatest interest, as it is often the most lawfull title of Princes: yet hee seekes a quarell against Alaric King of the Visigoths, vpon the alliance he had made with him, the which (he sayes) had beene broken, for that the banished men and male­factors B of France, had found a free and assured refuge in his dominions: wherevnto he added a complaint of their bounds, in the diuision whereof he would resolutely haue the aduantage. But to giue a better colour to this quarrell of State, hee ioynes religion: For (saith he to his people) to what end should these Arrians haue so good a pa [...]t among the Christians. Yet before he would come to open force,Warre against the [...]. he talkes of a friend [...]y conference. The two Kings appoint a day and a place for an enterview, to parlee of their affaires. But this meeting increased their hatred: for being both vpon the place, some confident seruants to Clouis, gaue him notice, that Alaric had laide an Ambusca­doe, to surprize him in their parle. Clouis was much moued with this, and resolues to make warre against Alaric: hee raiseth an armie, and beeing ready to marche to­wards C Guyenne, behold a new occasion, which makes him turne his forces towards Bourgongne.

We haue shewed, how that Gondebault King of Bourgongne, Warres in Bourgongne, and why. slue his brother Chilpe­ric, father to Clotilde, vpon the first diuision of their portions, after their fathers death. Hee had two bretheren remaining, Gondemar and Gondegesil, of whom he desired infi­nitely to bee freed, hauing too many bretheren, and too little land, according to his vnsatiable desire. Their debate was for Prouence and Daulphiné, which they deman­ded for their portions. Gondebault enioyed the chiefe Citties, except Vienne, which the brethren held. Clouis his Armie ouercomes that of Gondebault, marching victoriously through the Countrie of Venaison, where the battell was fought. Gondebault saues D himselfe with great difficultie in Auignon, and is presently besieged by Clouis, who yee grants him an honourable composition, and labours to reconcile him with his bre­theren: which done, he returnes into France, and Gondemar and Gondegesil retire into Vienne, dreaming of nothing lesse then to haue their elder brother for an enemy. But Vienne must be the pitte-fall of their misery, to swallow them both vp, one after an other: for behold, Gondebault is with a strong armie at the gates of Vienne and his bretheren are reduced to that extremitie, as hauing no meanes to defend thems [...]lu [...] nor to get reliefe from their friends, the Citty is easily taken, and euery m [...]n seeke [...] to saue himselfe as he can. Gondemar flyes into a Tower, where he is besieged, assa [...]ed, and burnt, with all his troupe. Gondegesil, is taken aliue after this tragick feare▪ but be­ing E alone, he slippes a way, and flyes to Clouis, whome hee found in Armes ready to march vpon this new accident.

Clouis takes new aduise. The ancient hatred he bare to Gondebault: (who had cros­sed him in his mariage,) the iniustice and more then barbarous crueltie: the complaint of this poore Prince his ally, who cast himselfe into his armes, had much power to per­swade him to the voyage of Bourgongne. But that which made him resolue, was for that Gondebault prepared to succour Alaric, against whom Clouis did now march with his forces. Thus the iust iudgement of God prouided a scourge for this murtherer, who addes rashnesse and insolencie to his first disorders. Clouis enters with an armi [...] into Bourgongne. Feare doth not onely surprise the countrie, but also the peoples iust F hatred of this tyrant, being infamous with so many parricides: so as in few dayes the principall Citties yeeld vnto Clouis, and the rest are ready to submit themselues into his hands, as to their deliuerer.

Gondebault pursued by God and men, faintes, being insolent in prosperitie, and [Page 18] daunted in aduersitie.507. All things conspired to his ruine. But as God doth not alwaies A take sinners at the rebound,Clouis con­questes in Bourgongne. hee stayed the blow by meanes of Clotilde, who grieuing to see her house decay, to the ouerthrowe of the state of Bourgongne, makes intercession to her husband, for her vncle and his Countrie, and preuailes so with him, through her intercession, as shee perswades him to passe no further, but to leaue the rest to her vncle Gondebault, with a reasonable peace, whereof she drew the articles. Thus Clouis dismisseth his armie, hauing onely prouided for the gard of Vienne, Mascon, Chaa­lon and other Townes taken from Gondebault, and hee giues the charge of them to Gondegesil.

This is all that Gondebault could hope for in so great a danger: but he would needes perish,A treache­rous attempt of Gondebault when as he sees himselfe without any enemie. By Clouis departure, he marceth B so secretly with his forces, as in one night he surpriseth Vienne, by the Conduit heads, guided by him that had them in charge▪ being cast out of [...] the Citie, with the scumme of vnprofitable people. Vienne must bee the Sepulchre of Gondegesil, as it was of Gon­demar: for in this vnexpected surprise, as [...] and the Bishop sought meanes to saue themselues in the temple of Saint Mory, amazement giues an easie entrie vnto Gon­debault, who being ma [...]ster thereof, doth mass [...]cre both Gondegesil his brother, and the Bishop, without any re [...]pect.

Clouis moued with this treac [...]erous att [...]mpt, returnes with his armie, and beseeg­eth Gondebault, who vnable to res [...]st, escap [...] by night, and saues himselfe in Italie, with Thierry, King of the Ostrogoths, his friend and confederate. They being tor­mented C in conscience,A iust punish­ment o [...] the murtherer Gondebault. without all [...] of releefe, hee falls into horrible dispaire, and dyes, hatefull euen to those that had receiued him: leauing a notable example to all men, that man is the cause of his [...]w [...]e miserie, that hee deceiueth himselfe, when as ouerruled by his owne passion, hee thinkes to mocke God freely, who sleepes not, when as men are most secure in their wickednesse. But after a long patience, God payes both the principall, and the interest, and hee that seekes an other mans goods, doth often loose his ow [...]e, the halfe being better then the whole, for to liue quietly with content. This was the end of Gondebault, and the beginning of the title which the Kings o [...] France pretended to Bourgongne. The fast win­ning [...] [...]nd Prou [...]nce. The States of Prouence, Daulphiné, and Sa [...]oye were dependances on this Crowne. Clo­uis D reteyning Daulphiné and the Countries adioyning vnto Bourgogne, he left Sauoy, and Prouence to Sigismond and Gondemar the children of Gondebault, ioyning equitie and mildnes to his iust victorie.

Hauing thus setled the affaires of Bourgongne, he marcheth presently with his vi­cto [...]ious armie into Languedoc, against Alaric King of the Visigoths, who held not onely that goodly Prouince, but [...] the Countrie from the Pirence mountaines, euen to the bankes of Rosne and Loire, as wee haue sayd. Clouis hauing assembled his ar­mie at Tours, marcheth into Poictou, where Alaric attends him with his forces, meaning to fight with him at his entrie. The battaile is giuen, and much blood shed on either side, but the absolute victorie remaines to Clouis: as the bodies, the E held, and the head of Alaric, whome hee slew with his owne hand: an accident very remarkable, [...] slaine by the hand o [...] [...]. that one Prince should kill another with his sword in hand in the furie of the fight. This happened in the yeare 509.

The fruit of this notable victorie was so great, as all yeelded to Clouis, where hee marched. Those of Angoulesme made shew of resistance: but a great parte of the wall be [...]g fallen, (as it were miraculously) not onely the Cittie yeelded, butall the Countrie (being terrified,) offered their voluntarie obedience vnto Clouis: as if God (holding him by the hand) had put him in possession of all that Prouince, as the lawfull heire. Au [...]e [...]gne makes some shew to resist, but in the end it yeelds with all the Citties of the Prouince. In this generall reuolt against the Vuisigoths, Al­maric F the sonne of Alaric gathers a new head in the Countries of his obedience, with wonderfull speed. Clouis seekes him out, and finds him neere to Bourdeaux. The battaile is fought, and the slaughter great on either side: the one armie fights for ho­nour, [Page 19] A and the other for life, and goods. But Clouis remaines conquerour,504. who in detestation of his enemie, calles the place the A [...]rien field; which name continues vn­to this day. Almaric flyes to Thierri his confederate, King of the Ostrogoths in Italy, with an intent to returne speedily to be reuenged of Clouis. All the countrie remaines peaceable to Clouis: yea Tholouse the capitall Citty of the Goths kingdome. And thus he returnes, leauing a part of his army in garrison in the Citties of his new conquest, vnder his sonnes command: and in his Standard (as a trophee,) he caried for a deuise, Veni, vidi, vici, I came, and saw, and ouercame, like vnto Caesar. This great conquest gotten with incredible celeritie, and admirable successe, is a worthy proofe of Gods prouidence, who disposeth of States according to his wise and iust pleasure, pulling B downe one, and raising vp another.

Thus Clouis hauing expelled the remainder of the Romaines, seized on the Bourgong­nons estate, and the Wisigoths: remaining in a maner absolute Lord of the Gaules, vnder the title of the Realme of France. Hee desired much to liue at Tours, (as indeed it is the goodly garden of France:) but seeking to giue a perfect forme to this new estate, (as one head hath but one body.) hee choseth Paris for his capitall Citty, being sea­ted in the Isle of France, and the true mansion of Kings, aswell for the fertile beauty of the Country thereabout, as for the concourse of Riuers, which bring infinite com­modities from all parts, by the chanell of the Riuer of [...]eine, into the which all the rest fall, as the common store-house of all commodities. Thus Paris from small beginings C(as may bee noted by the lowe buildings and narrow streetes of the Isle, being the first plotte) is growne to a wonderfull greatnesse, being the head Cittie of all the Realme.

The brute of Clouis force, spread ouer all, with a great renowne of his valour,The Empe­rour son [...]s Ambassadors to Clouis. mo­ued Anastasius Emperour of the East, to desire his friendship: although hee had more reason to be his enimy, hauing dispossessed him of his ancient inheritance. Thus the Empire declined, flattering his most dangerous enemies, against whom he should op­pose himselfe. Hee salutes him with a very honourable Ambassage, sends him a Se­nators roabe, the priuilege of a Patrician and Cittizen of Rome, and the dignity of a Consull: in signe of the honour his successours should haue, to bee Emperours, and D to preserue the reliques of the Empire from a generall shipwrack. Clouis entertained Anastasius Ambassadours with honour and bounty, desirous to ouercome them with curtesie, as well as by the valour of his victorious armes.

The violent course of Clouis victories seemed vnresistible:Clouis bein [...] conq [...]erour is conquered. but behold an vnexpec­ted enemy, not onely stayes him sodenly, but takes from him the greatest part of his new conquests, defeats his Armie, and drawes him into danger neuer to performe any thing worthily. The nation of the Gothes was then very great, being dispersed in diuerse parts: in Gaule, Italy, and Spaine, so as one people issued from the same begin­ning (as we haue sayd) was distinguished by diuerse names, to marke the places of their seuerall aboades. The Wisigoths or rather Westgoths, were they that dwelt in the E West, that is to say in Gaule, West to Italy: the Ostrogoths or Eastgoths possessed Italy, by consequence East to Gaule. These Estgoths had done great and notable exploits in Italy, taken and sackt Rome, and hauing seized on the goodlyest Countryes of Italy, had there established a Kingdome vnder their name, the which was ruined by the Lombards, and the Lombards by the French, as wee shall see in the continuance of this history.

These Goths (named Getes by the Greekes) an ancient people of Asia,) scattered themselues first along the riuer of Danubye, entring the Countrie neere to Constanti­nople, as well on the maine land, as in the Taurique Chersonese, neere to this quarter. And so extending their limits, did possesse Valachye and Hongarie, and in the end F Scandia, and the Country which lyes neere the Riuer of Vistula, in the Country of Sueden towards the Baltique Sea: where they made their last retreate, after many los­ses, receiued in many places, in seeking of their fortunes. The Realme of Gothie [Page 20] carries their name euen vnto this day.510. I thought good by the way, to note the estate A of the Goths fit for this subiect. Thus the successe of the French forces, and the allyance so carefully sought by the Emperour, (a capitall enemie to the Gothike name,) did ea­sily moue Thierry king of the East-goths, to succour his kinsman Almarick, a prince spoi­led of his possessions: whose example did solicite all the Goths to preuent the danger, which did threaten them very neere. So as from Italie, Sicile, Sclauonia, and Dalmatia, by his owne meanes, and the credit of his friends, he gathers togither fourescore thou­sand fighting men, the which he giues to Ibba to leade, against Clouis: and he himselfe remaines in Italie, to make head against the Emperours desseins, least hee should cause some diuision in fauour of Clouis his confederate. The Gothike armie enters by Pied­mont, takes Grace and Antibou, and in short time, all Prouence obeyes him.B

The people of Languedoc (louing their old maisters, and not able to indure the inso­lencie of a new) yeeld easily to the stronger.A great losse both of Pro­vinces and men. Prouence remaines thus to the East-goths, and Languedoc returnes to the Vuisigoths: Clouis being brought a sleepe with the ima­gination of a generall triumphe, awakes at this brute: hee armes, and marcheth spee­dily against the enemie: hee is beaten, and looseth 30000. men, at this incounter: whereby it appeared, that he held not victoires at his girdle, nor they proceeded not from his valour. Clouis who vanquished euery where, finding himselfe beaten, and not able presently to make head against a victorious enemie, returnes into France, rather mad then transported with furious choller, tossing in his braynes how to be reuenged of so notable a disgrace. The Goths giue him leaue to runne and take cold, being con­tent C to haue recouered their owne. After this he attempted no more against them, and the greatest part of Bourgongne returned to the children of Gondebault. But in the end, both Prouence and Bourgongne shall bee incorporated to the Crowne, by diuerse acci­dents, the which we will note in diuerse places.

Clouis cruell practis [...]s to become great Clouis suruiued fiue yeares after all these losses, remaining commonly at Paris, ha­uing no heroicke mind, to attempt any great conquests, yet of a cruell disposition, which made him die with desire of other mens goods, Hee imployed all his wits to put his kinsmen to death, hauing some [...]eignieuries included within the compasse of his great monarchie, with an imagination [...]o leaue his children a great estate vnited. In this desseine, he puts to death Chararic, to haue Amyens: Ragnachatre, to become maister of D Cambray: and Sig [...]bert, to haue no companion at Mets, although he were acknowleged in all these places for soueraigne. This rauishing of other mens goods was vnexcu­sable, but his tragicall proceedings to haue it, was more detestable. I tremble to re­present the horror of these execrable crimes: you may reade them in the originall of Gregorie of Tour [...]. The truth of the historie requires they should bee registred, but reason would haue the memory of so dangerous examples buried in obliuion. I de­sire to be dispensed withall, if I discourse not of these monstrous enormities. A mo­dest tragedie goares not the scaffold with the bloud of Iphigenia, being content to re­port by a messenger, that she was slaine by her fathers cōmand, drawing a curteine to hide the blood. But if any one will vrge me with the debt which a historie doth owe,E I will say that Clouis caused Chararic to be slaine, hauing seized on him and his sonne, and condemned them to monastery. As they were cutting of their haire, the sonne see­ing his father weepe bitterly, said: These greene branches will grow againe: (mea­ning, the haire they cut off) for the stocke is not dead: but God will suffer him to pe­rish that causeth them to bee cut off. Horrible murthers cō ­mitted by C [...]ouis. Clouis aduertised of this free speech. They com­plaine for the losse of their haire: (sayes hee) let their heads bee cut off. And so they were both put to death. To get Ragnachaire (who had faithfully serued him both a­gainst S [...]agrius, and in all his other enterprises) hee corrupted some of his domesticall seruants, with promise of great rewards, in token wherof he sent them bracelets of lat­ten guilt. These traitors bring him Ranachaire and his brother with their hands and F feete bound. Hee beholding them: Outcasts (saith hee) of our race, vnworthie of the blood of Merouee, are you not ashamed to suffer your selues to be thus bound? you are vn­worthy to liue: repay the dishonour you haue done to our blood with your bloods: and so [Page 21] A gaue to eyther of them great blowes with a Battell Axe which he held in his hand,514. and slue them both, in the presence of his Captaines and Councell. But when [...] Traytors demanded their reward, and complained of his Bracelets▪ Auant (sa [...]th [...]) Traytors, is it not enough that I suffer you to liue? I loue the treason, but I hate Tr [...]ytors▪ But the last exceeds the rest. Hee perswades the sonne of Sigibert to kill his [...]ther. This infamous parricide murthers him, and returnes to Clouis, to put him in possession of his treasures, whom he had thus massacred: who being in the chamber, and [...]end­ing downe into a Chest, to draw forth bagges full of gold, hee caused his brai [...]es to be beaten out, and being the stronger, seized on Mets, making a good shew to the peo­ple, as ignorant of this murther.

B Thus Clouis liued: thus he reigned, and thus he dyed, in the yeare of our Lord 514. of the age of 45. the thirtith yeare of his reigne, in the flower of his enterprises,The death of [...]. in the Citty of Paris. A Prince whom we must put in ballance, to counterpeise his vertues with his vices: valiant, politick, colde, wise, temperate, diligent in execution,His vertues & his [...]. of admi­rable authoritie, and indued with excellent politicke vertues, fit for an estate. Contra­rywise, hee was extreamly couetous, ambitious, wilfull, cru [...]l, bloudy, infinitely giuen to the world, immortalizing his good hap in this mortall life, by his many en­terprises, the which hee feared not to execute with the losse of other mens goods and liues. We must not wonder, if we read of confusions in the following reignes: wherein we shall first see bloud for bloud, and the robber robbed, spoiled, dispo [...]ses­sed, C according to the trueth of Oracles. Woe to thee that robbest, for thou shalt bee rob­bed: that killest, for thou shalt be killed: the same measure thou measurest, shall be measu­red to thee againe.

Vnder his reigne the Romane Empire vanished quite into the West. Spaine▪ Gaule, Italy, and Germany, were seized on by strange nations, retaining no markes of the Romaine name. The East had yet some shewes of the Empire, whereof Constantinople was the seate. Leo, Zeno, Anastasius Emperours liued in those dayes, with many ene­mies,The estat [...] of the Church. shame and losse. The Pope of Rome thrust himselfe forward amiddest these confusions and ruines, recouering that which the Emperours had lost. Leo, Hilarie, Simplicius, Foelix, Gelasius, liued in those times, D learned men. The Councell was held againe at Chalcedone, against Eutiches and Dioscorus.

The 6. raigne vnder the foure sonnes of CLOVIS. • Childebert. , • Clodamir. , • Clotaire. , and • Thierry.  Who raigned togither forty and two yeares, as Kings of France, yet with a particular title [...]nder this generall▪ but in the end Clotaire remayned King alone. And therefore their raignes are distinguished. To this Coniunction of foure brethren some giue the sixt degree in the number of Kings, and Childebert as the eldest, beares the title.
CHILDEBERT the 6. King of France


CLOVIS, his desseine was to rule alone in a great vnited Kingdome,A but he sees his resolutions frustrate: for this vaste bodie compoun­ded of many peeces, is scarce vnited, but it is disioyned againe, yea in his life time▪ and the rest is diuided into foure parts to his chil­dren, according to the lawes of nature, but to the visible pre [...]udice of the Estate, incompatible of so many maisters, as the following [...]course will shewe. A lesson both for great and small, and a notable president ofthe va [...]ity of humane enterprises: where the end is not alwaies answerable to the begin­ning. They take great paines to settle a firme estate, which shalbe soone dismem­bred, either by lawe or force, and that shalbe dispersed sodeinly, which was gathered togither too hastily.B

[Page 23] A Let euery one consider, what hee leaues to his Children,515 for the which there is no warrantable caution, but a good title. These foure sonnes diuide the realme into foure Kingdomes. Childebert was King of Paris, and vnder this realme was compre­hended the Prouinces of Poictou Maine, Touraine, Champaigne, Aniou, Guyenne and Au­uergne. Clotaire King of Soissons: and the dependances of this realme were Vermandois, Picardie, Flaunders, and Normandie. Clodamyr King of Orleans: and the estates of this realme, were, all the Duchie of Orleans, Bourgongne, Lionois, Daulphiné, and Prouence. Thierri was King of Mets: and to his realme were subiect, the Country of Lorraine, and all the Countries from Rheims vnto the Rhin, and beyond it all Germany, which was the auncient patrimony of the Kings of France. Hee was receiued in this royall B portion with his bretheren, although hee were a bastard, the which hath beene like­wise practized by others in the first line. And as euery one of these foure Kings cal­led himselfe King of France, so they also added the name of their principall Citty where they held their Court. Thus they called them by speciall title, Kings of the Cit­tie where they had their residence. And in truth euery one caried himselfe as King in the Countries vnder his obedience, not acknowledging the elder, but by mouth onely.

As the plurality of Masters is a plague in an estate, so is it miraculous that the realme had not beene ruined by so many Kings: especially amidst such monstrous confusions,Horrible confusion among brethren. which then reigned, full of treacheries, cruelties, and parricides. I tremble to enter C into this labyrinth, the which I will but passe ouer, measuring the Readers sorrowe by my griefe, in reading and writing these tragicall confusions. But let vs obserue things by order. After these foure brethren had peaceably made their diuisions, and taken lawes of their owne accord (in the yeare 515. according to the most appro­ued calculation) they marry their sister Clotilde to Almaric, sonne to Alaric, King of the Vuisigoths, who had recouered a good part of Languedoc, the which Clouis had ta­ken from his father, and by this marriage they yeeld vnto him the Cittie of Toulouse. But this alliance was the cause of great diuisions, and ruine. Ambition and Coue­tousnes (good Counsellers of state) made euery one to conceiue as great a kingdome for himselfe as that of his father, perswading them to attempt any thing to bee great. D Bourgongne was quietly returned into the possession of Gondebaults children, Sigismond had the name of King, as the elder, and Gondemar a portion.

Clodomyr King of Orleans, as nearest neighbour, castes his eyes vpon this goodly Country, although hee had no cause of pretension, but onely conueniency. Yet hee findes a colour to beginne this quarrell. The rights pretended by his mother Clotilde, issued from the house of Bourgongne, and the zeale of Iustice, to chastise Sigismond, for that he had slaine his eldest sonne, to please his second wife and her Children.Clodomir takes, and is taken. He enters into Bourgongne with a mighty army, seizeth on Sigismond, his wife and chil­dren, brings them to Orleans, and there castes them all into a well. Thus God punished the cruelty of Sigismond, an vnkinde father, by a cruell and disloyall hand. Clodomir E presumed, that he had conquered all, hauing slayne the King of Bourgongne. But the Bourguignons, incensed with this crueltie, confirme Gondemar in his brothers seate, and leauy an army to defend him against Clodomir.

The armies ioyne. Clodomir puft vp with this first successe, promysing vnto himselfe a second triumph, thrusting himselfe rashely into his enemies troupes, is slayne with a Lance and is knowne by his long haire: the marke of Kings and Princes of the bloud, as wee haue said. The Bourguignons cut off his head, pearch it on the top of a Lance, and make shewe thereof to the French, in derision: who retire themselues after the death of their Generall. But Childebert & Clotaire his brethren, returne into Bourgongne with a strong army, & force Gondemar to flie into Spaine, leauing them free possession of F [...] re [...]me, the which was their proiect, rather then the reuēge of their brothers death. [...] was d [...]ided among the brethren, as a cōmon prey: all the realme of Bour­ [...] is therin cō [...]rehended. Thierri King of Metz had his part, but the poore children [...] are not only excluded,Cruelty of brethren. but two of them are barbarously slaine by the cruel [Page 24] commaundement of their vnnaturall Vncles:520. and they say that Clotaire slewe one of A them with his owne hands,Cruel [...]e of bretheren. in the presence of Childebert: the other was thrust into a mo­nastery. This confusion was followed by two others. Thierri King of Metz, making warre against them of Turinge, called his brother Clotaire to his aide: being repul [...]ed at the first by the force of that nation [...] aided by his brother, he preuailes, and the vanqui­shed stands at the mercy of the conquering bretheren: but behold they fall to quarrell for the spoile.

Thus the ende of a forein warre was the beginning of a ciuill dissention betwixt them.Warre be­twixt the bre­theren. They leauie forces, with intent to ruine one another. Childebert ioynes with his brother Thierri, against Clotaire. Such was the good gouernment of these bretheren, as desire and ambition did counsell them. They are in armes ready to murther one B another. As their armies stood in field ready to ioyne, behold a goodly cleere day o­uercast sodenly with such darkenesse, that all breakes out into lightening, thunder and violent stormes, so as the armies were forced to leaue the place, and by this aduertise­ment (as it were from heauen,An admirable reconcile­ment.) these Kings▪ assembled to shed blould, change their mindes, and turne their furious hatred into brotherly concord. Thus God, the pro­tector of this estate, hath watched ouer it, to preserue it, euen when as they sought to ruine it, and that men hastened to their owne destructions. But from thence the vnited bretheren passe into Languedoc, against Almari [...] King of the Visigoths their brother in lawe. The cause of their quarrell came from their sister Clotilde, maried to this Gothe, as we haue said: so as she, which should be the vniting of their loues, was the C cause of their bloudy dissention. She was a Christian, and hee an Arrian. This dif­ference in religion was cause of the ill vsage shee receiued from her husband, and his subiects. These bretheren, incensed by the complaint and calling of their sister, enter into Almarics Country, with their forces: who hauing no meanes to resist, seekes to saue himselfe: but he is taken and brought before his brethren in lawe, by whose com­maundement he was slaine.

Thus Childebert and Thierri, hauing spoyled the treasure, and wasted the Country of their confederates, returne into France, accompained with their sister: but shee died by the way, inioying litle the fruite of her vnkinde impatience, although shadowed with the cloake of inconsiderate zeale. Thierri dies soone after, leauing Theodebert his son,D heir both of his Realme and of his turbulent and ambitious humour. A part of Bour­gongne was giuen him with the title of a King, the which he left to his sonne, and as a chiefe legacie, the hatred he did beare to his brother Clotaire King of Soissons. As soone as he sees himselfe King by the decease of his father, hee takes part with his Vncle Chil­debert King of Paris, against Clotaire his other Vncle, but by chaunce they were recon­ciled. Theodebert impatient of rest, seeking where to imploye his forces, findes that the Dane (a people of the North,A good and a happy warre.) did scoure along the sea coast, to the great hinderance of the French Marchants: he marcheth against them, being resolute to fight with them. These forces were better imployed then against his brother: so the successe was more happy, for hee chased away the Danes, hauing defeated a great number, and purged E the Ocean from pyrates. This exployte wonne him great reputation in all places, so as he is sought vnto by the Ostrogoths in Italie, beeing pressed by Belisarius Lieutenant generall for the Emperour Iustinian, and a very great captaine, who had recouered Si­cile, Naples and Pouille, from them, and in the ende the Cittie of Rome, the which he for­tified. As the Goths estate declined daylie in Italie, Theodat their King reiected, and Vi­tiges chosen in his place, Theodebert comes into Italie, puft vp with his victorie: hee takes footing, and makes head against Belisarius: but forced with sicknesse, he retires to his owne house, leauing three chiefe Captaines for the guard of the places conquered. In his absence the Goths are defeated, and Vitiges slaine. Totila succeedes him, who ha­uing taken and sackt Rome, did so restore the Gothes estate in Italie, as he became feare­full to the Romaines. But the chaunce turned against him: his army was defeated, and F himselfe slaine: and to increase the mischiefe, those great Captaines left by Theodebert were slaine one after another, so as the Gothes being chased out of Italie, by Narses, all [Page 25] A Theodeberts great hopes vanished:522 yet he laboured to attempt some great enterprise against the Emperour Iustinian, and drew much people to it:W [...]r [...]e rashly vndertaken prou [...]s vnfor­tunate. but hauing made this goodly shew, and put himselfe and his friends to great expences, he was forced to re­turne out of Italy, without effecting of any thing: leauing a goodly example to Princes, not to attempt lightly an vnnecessary warre, least they buy losse and shame at too high a rate. In the end Theodebert (who thought to haue vanquished the mightiest ene­mies,) was slaine by a wild Bull, going a hunting: and his great enterprises were in­terred with him in the same graue, hauing hunted after vanity, and found death at the end of his immortall desseignes.

Theodebert left Theobald heire of the great estates of Austrasia, Bourgongne, and Tu­ringe, B the which hee did not long enioy, dying without children,Austrasia is now called Lorraine. and almost without any memory that he had liued: but onely that hee had by will, le [...]t his Vncle Clotaire heire of all his goods, whereby there sprung vp a new warre. Childebert indured this testament impatiently, aswell for that hee was excluded, as also for that his brother was made more mighty by his nephews estate: so couetousnesse and enuie giue him aduise to crosse him. Clotaire had one bastard sonne called Granus a sufficient man, but very wicked and audacious, who (for his insolencies) was in disgrace with his fa­ther. Childebert resolues to oppose this sonne against the father, and to vse him in the execution of his malitious intent. Thus abusing the absence of Clotaire, (who was busied in warre against the Saxons,) he goes to field with a great armie, supposing to C haue to doe but with young men and irresolute: and the more to amaze them, hee gaue it out that Clotaire was dead. This report was coloured with such cunning (and as men do often beleeue that which they feare) that these young Princes (seeing them­selues ouercharged with great forces) yeeld to a preiudiciall peace with their Vncle. This heart-burning seemed to extend further, when as death surpriseth Childebert, who dyes the yeare 549. without any children, and leaues his enemy Clotaire for successor, being vnable to cary his realme with him.

Clotaire returnes out of Saxonie, being offended with his bastard. Hee pursues him into Britanie, whither hee was fled,A horrible punishment of a rebellio [...] sonne. and by a wonderfull accident (guided by the Iu­stice of God, the reuenger of the sonnes rebellion against the Father,) Clotaire findes D his sonne with his wife in a pesants house, where, (transported with furie) he burnes them aliue, (yet not extinguishing the memorie of his rebellion,) to terrifie rebelli­ous children by so memorable a president. Thus there passed forty fiue yeares in the barbarous and vnhappy raignes of these foure soueraigne Maisters, children to the great Clouis: in the which there is nothing memorable, but the remembrance of Gods iust iudgement, against those that suffer themselues to bee transported by their passions: for all these vitious raignes were vnhappy, passed with much paine, and ended with much misery: represented to the per­petuall infamy of the vnkinde cruelties of their Kings.


CLOTAIRE the first, the se­uenth King of France.


CLOTAIRE remained alone King of France by the death of his bre­thren:552. A for their children were dead, and Childebert the eldest dyed without issue. Behold the frute of so great paines, after their diuisi­ons, to build great Monarchies. Clotaire raigned fiue yeares alone: he had by two wiues, fiue sonnes and one daughter, that is, Cherebert, Chilperic, Sigebert, Gontran, Gautier, and Closinde: not reckoning Gra­n [...]s, w [...]om he had by a Concubine. His raigne was short and wretched. He sought to extort the thirds of all Ecclesiasticall liuings for his priuate affaires: but the Clergie opposed themselues against him, so as his threats preuailed not. In the beginning he subdued the Saxons, subiects to the French ▪ but the Turingiens being vp in armes, and he about to suppresse them, the Saxons ioyne with them, to withstand him with their B common forces. Yet these mutinous nations (seeing themselues encountred by too strong a party) craue pardon, and promise him obedience. Clotaire refusing to accept it, forceth them to make defence: the which they performed so desperately, as they de­feated the French: and Clotaire with great difficulty, saued himselfe.

It is an indis­cretion for a Prince to thrust his subiects into des­paire.An example for Princes, not to thrust their subiects into despaire: but to imbrace all occasions wisely, that may purchase a willing obedience, and not to seeke it by ex­tremities. After this defeat, he returnes into France, and being at Compiegne, hee de­sires to go a hunting. Being old and decayed, he heats himselfe, falls into a quotidian and dies, the yeare 567. He was much grieued in his sicknes, for hauing liued too too ill▪ but he protested, that he hoped in the mercies of GOD. As our histories re­port.C

[Page 26] A Before that he ruled as King alone, he erected the little realme of Yuetot, 567 vpon this occasion. On good Friday hee slewe Gawter of Yuetot his seruant, in the Chappell whereas he heard seruice. They report the cause diuersely. The greatest part hold, that the King had rau [...]shed his wife, lodging in his house, so as he that was beaten suf­fered the punishement. Pope Eugenius displeased with this infamous murther, con­demned him to repaire the fault, vpon payne of excomunication. Clotaire for satis­faction ordeynes that from thenceforth the Lords of Yuetot should bee free from all homage, seruice, and obedience due to the King, for the land of Yuetot in the Coun­try of Normandy. And so this small seigneury hath continued long with the title and prerogatiue of a Realme, vntill that this title of a realme was chaunged into a Princi­pality, the which the house of Bellay doth now inioye. This was the life and raigne B of Clotaire the first of that name, vitious, and vnfortunate, followed with a confused and horrible tragedy in his children, whom we must marke distinctly in the front of this tumultuous reigne, therby to tread more safe­ly the blinde maze of these obscure gouernments.

Clotaire the first of that name, had foure sonnes.
  • Cherebert King of France.
  • C Chilperic King of Soissons.
  • Gontran King of Orleans, or Bourgongne.
  • Sigebert King of Metz, or Austrasie.

All which reigned togither fifteene yeares▪ but in this eight raigne they giue the ranke and name of King to Cherebert, as to the eldest, although each of them called himselfe King of France, and com­manded absolutely ouer the Countries vnder their obedience.

CHEREBERT, the eight D King of France.


[Page 28] WE haue seene the Strange gouernment of the foure sonnes of great A Clouis: let vs now view the rest of thi [...] table, in the children of Clo [...]a [...] ­re: who suruiuing his b [...]ethren, & their children, obteined the realme alone: but presently to be diuided into 4. parts. Of 5. sons lawfully be­gotten, 4. suruiued him: Cherebert the eldest, Chilperic, S [...]gebert, & Gon­tran. His bodie was scarce interred, when as the fire of diuision kind­led among the brethren, about the diuiding of the Realme. Chilperic, a craftie and proud man,D [...]uision of [...]. finds meanes to seize on his fathers treasure, and labours to become mai­ster of the Cittie of Paris. But not able to effect it, he was forced by his brethren (sup­ported by the chief Noblemen of the Court) to come to a diuision, euery one accor­ding to hi [...] order▪ Cherebert, as the eldest of the house of France, hath Paris for his B part. Gontran, Orleans, and Bourgongne. Chilperic, Soissons: Sigibert, Metz, or Austra­sia: euery portion with his dependances. After this diuision of parts, their wills were so diuided, as it is wonderfull, the realme had not beene vtterly ruined amidst these horrible confusions, in so feeble beginnings.

Prouence, by consent of the brethren, was giuen to Contran King of Orleans, and Bourgongne. But notwithstanding this accord, Sigebert King of one part of Bour­gongne, and of Austrasia, contends for it with his brother, and sowes diuision a­mo [...]g the Prouensa [...]ls, doubtfull to whome they should yeeld obedience in this con­tention. I [...] had beene woon and lost by Clouis, (as wee haue shewed) but soone after the death of Clouis, Thierri the Ostrogothe (who had woon it,) looseth it againe through the inclination of the Prouensalls, who willingly come to the antient obe­dience C of the Crowne of France. And the Emperour Iustin the second, liking it bet­ter in the Frenchmens hands, then in the Ostrogoths, leaues them that which he cannot take for them. In this respect, he added his consent by his deed onely.

After the death of Cherebert, his brethren contend for his spoy [...]e, with irreconcili­able hatred. Gontran was the most temperate and tractable, desiring that this dis­cord [...]or parts, might bee determined by the French Clergie, as iudges competent, and without passion.Horrible confusi [...]ns [...] bre­th [...]en. But his aduise was not allowed. Chilperic and Sigebert, ambitious and turbulent men, would carrie it by force, yet was it agreed by common consent, that none of them should enter Paris, before this Question were decided, touching their portions. But there fell out other accidents vppon this theater, whereas cunning,D malice, impudencie, and furie haue caused both men and women to play a long and tra [...]ke Scene, being the Authors and enders of these miseries. I tremble at those confusions,By their wiues. whereas Brunnehault and Fredegond two renowmed women in our France, for their notable wickednesse, shall appeare in diuerse scenes of this tragedie.

Brunehault was daughter to Anathagilde King of Vis [...]goths, the wi [...]e of Sigebert King of Metz, or of Austrasia. Fredegonde first was concubine, and after wife to Chilperic King of Soissons. By the pollicies and impudencie of these furious heads, it cannot bee spoken, how much miserie France suffered during their raignes. But let [...] euery thing in order, if any order may bee found in the most horrible Chaos of infernall confusions. Sigebert was much troubled in his territories of Germanie, to E [...] them against the Hunnes. Chilperic embracing this occasion against [...]is brother, enters his countrie,One broth [...]r makes w [...]rre [...] ano­ther. with a great armie, & takes from him the Cittie of Rheims. This sur­prise awakes Sigebert: and for that he would not loose the principall, to keepe the acces­s [...]ie, he leaues Germanie, and speeds into France, wonderfulty greeued with the wrong he had recei [...]ed from his brother: pursuing his reuenge with such vehemencie, that hee takes Soissons the capitall cittie of his Realme, with his sonne Theodebert, forcing him to [...] with Fredegond to Tournay, being ashamed of his cowardly desseine.

Thus Sigebert comes a Cōqueror to Paris, where he is receiued by common consent: and so all the citties belonging vnto Cherebert, yeeld him obedience. But as he thought himselfe a peaceable King, mounted to the toppe of his desires, hauing nothing to F crosse him, but wallowing in his delights, behold two yong souldiours (suborned by [...]redegonde (came to his Court, enter freely into the hall, and approch so neere him, [Page 29] A and with such oportunity, as eyther of them stabs him with his dagger,578. and he falles downe dead in the place. These murtherers were sodenly torne in peeces,Sigebert [...]laine so as they could not be knowne, nor declare by whose commandement they had committed this murther: yet was it generally thought, that this was the practise of Fredegonde, to free her husband, and to make the way more easie for her affaires, by the death of this brother who crossed her most. In truth, the death of Sigebert changed the counte­nance of the Court: euery one runnes after Chilpericks fortune, who was receiued King of France, in the place of his elder brother, and he entertaines all those with sauour that offer him seruice▪

CHILPERIC the first, the ninth King of France.


C THus Chilperic began to reigne in the yeare 578. and raigned 14. yeares at Paris and Soissons, while that Childebert the sonne of Sigebert reigned in Austrasia, 578. and Gontran at Orleans and Bourgon­gne. He found Brunhault the widow of Sigebert at Paris, a wo­man of a subtile and audacious spirit: so as fearing least shee should animate his sonne against him, hee confined her to Ro­uan, whether he likewise sent his sonne Merou [...]e, to take possessi­on of the Citty: but in steed of taking the Citty, hee was surprized by the beauty of Brunehault ▪ who could so cunningly gaine the loue of the inhabitants, as the Bishop himselfe allowed of this marriage, although she were his Aunt. Chilperic moued D with the same of this loue, which proceeded vnto marriage, came to Rouan, and ac­cording to the Ecc [...]esiasticall discipline, degraded and banished this Bishop: and by his absolute authority, puts Merouee into a Cloyster. But he stayed not long there: for after the departure of Chilperic, a certaine friend of his called Bosson, drew him forth, being set on by Fredegond, hauing brought with him three hundred men (too small a [Page 30] number to fight, and too many to flie.) And so it happened to Merouee: for being A pursued and taken by his father Chilperic, hee was slaine by his commandement. And least Audouëre his mother, (a vertuous Princesse) and Clouis her other sonne, should seeke meanes of reuenge, he reiects his wife, and causeth Clouis his other sonne to be secretly slaine,The father [...] his sons by the practi­ses of a wo­man. being brother germaine to Merouce. These disorders could not be done without the complaint of the Nobility against Fredegonde, who held not yet the de­gree of a wife with Chilperic, although she had free accesse both to his Court and bed, from the which she had dispossessed his lawfull wife. Chilperic (to pacifie these com­plaints) pretends some reasons for this diuorse: and disguising the murthers cunning­ly, he takes Galsonde to wife, [...]he daughter of Athanagilde king of Spaine. But the impa­tiencie of Fredegonde, The husband puts away one wi [...]e and kills another. doth soone dissolue the bonds of this bashfull respect, thrusting B Chilperic into such a fury against this second wife, as he strangles her, and ma [...]ies Frede­gonde publikely: who possessed her husband so absolutely, as she commanded imperi­ously, vnder the cloake of his authority.

He oppreseth his subiects. [...]rom these domesticall crimes, insolency rageth against the poore people, by taxes, impositions, and insupportable exactions: and report imputes all to the deuises of the same workewoman. Complaints sound out in all places: but absolute authority had so preuailed, as they could find no remedy: the people being weake, & such as else might haue had means to countenance the ancient French liberty, were either terrified or in­chanted by this Proserpina. The punish­ment of these crimes. But Chilperic must beare the punishment of his execrable wickednesse, by the malice of her, who had made him an instrument to massacre bro­ther,C children, & wife, & to consume by degrees his poore subiects. Whilest that Chil­peric loued her exceedingly: she affected a nobleman in Court called Landri de la Tour (who by her fauour had obtained two of the greatest offices of the Crowne, of Duke of France, and Maire of the Pallace: to whom she most vildly afforded the best place in the Kings bed. This villanous & detestable loue, was cunningly cloaked with the de­uises of this strumpet: who hauing a sonne by Chilperic, as a new gage of loue, she pur­chased daily more credit with him. But this was a short comfort for Chilperic ▪ for foure moneths after the birth of this sonne, whom he named Clotaire, he was vnhapily slaine by her and Landri, when he least expected death: this was the occasion. One morning as Chilperic (ready to go to hunting) came booted into his wiues chamber to salute D her, he found her combing of her head, with her haire ouer her face: drawing neere vnto her without speaking, he toucheth her in iest, with his riding wand on the hinder part of the head: she supposing it to be her adulterer Landri, accustomed to come se­cretly vnto her at all houres, saith vnto him; In my iudgment Landri, a good Knight should alwaies strike before, and not behind. The King vnderstanding by halfe a word, more then he desired to know, departs amazed, takes horse & goes a hunting, not with any intent to kill the beast, but deuising how he might be freed of Fredegonde & Landri. But he had to do with a woman of too subtile & wily a spirit, who hauing passed her apprentiship in so many other murthers, could soone resolue to depriue her husband of his life, to saue her owne. Without any further delay she sends for Landri, reports to him the hi­story,E concludes with him to kill the King her husband in his coming from hunting, & fi [...]des ministers to execute this desseigne: the which succeeded as they had plotted a­gainst Chilperic, suffering in the end (by the same hand, which he had caused to shed so much bloud,) the horrible paine of his miserable massacres: for as he came melancho­like frō the chase, accompanied onely with one page, he was sodenly set vpon by these murtherers, who slew him with his page, so commodiously, as they returne vndescried to the troope, as if they had neuer dreamed of it.

The King is found dead: euery one cries out, euery one runs vp and downe, and those first of all that had done the deed. But it was giuen out, that the murtherers were fled into Lorraine, from whence assuredly they were come by Childeberts command. The F Court is filled with teares, especially Fredegonds chamber, who continued in passions with her Landri, and could not be comforted: the one calling for her good husband, the other for his good maister: but the quick sighted held them for Crocodil es teares.

[Page 31] A Thus liued, and thus died Chilperic, hated and detested euen then, and of the p [...]steri­tie:588. for proofe that a wic [...]ed life will haue a wicked end: and that God ruines the wicked by themselues, euen when they promise themselues all impu [...]i [...]ie. They adde impietie to his execrable wickednes: for hee denied the truth of the three persons in one Deitie, and the incarnation of the sonne of God:Im [...]ietie the spring of euil. wherein consists the hope of our saluation. But admonished by the French Church, hee protested to leaue his error. A monstrous R [...]igne, vnder a monstrous King: where Poten [...]ates may see, that misery is the true reward of sinne: And that horrible crimes, are punished with extraordinarie paines euen in this life. This Tragicall end of Chilperic, a wicked and vnfortunate Prince, happened in the yeare. 588.

CLOTAIRE the second, the tenth King of France. A memorable raigne in confusion.


C THe beginning, m [...]dest, & end of this reigne is remarkable for it is a [...] parent, that God is the true gardian of this Realme, without whome it must needs haue perished in these strange confusions. Clotaire a yong child of foure moneths, gouerned by his mother, a most wicked woman, being come to yeares, hee finds himselfe incumbred with many warres, yea ciuill warres against his owne kinsmen, and bloud. Who will not then confesse the issue of his reigne, (being peaceable and well gouerned.) to bee a singular testimonie of the prouidence of God, towards this estate. This yong child, the sonne of bad parents, was notwithstanding receiued for law full [...]ing by the French, by vertue of the [...]undamentall law,Efficacie of the law of state. which had appointed this Realme to be hereditary. Whereby is shewed, how farre the election of our Kings extend euen in this first race.

But to conceiue well the diuerse occurrents of this reigne, wee must remember, that Clotaire the 1. had 4. sons. Cherebert king of Paris, who is reckoned the 8. King of France, [Page 32] and died without children: Sigebert King of Metz, slaine by Fredegonde: and Gontran A King of Orleans, who suruiued all his brethren, a good and a wise Prince, and died with­out children. Sigebert King of Metz left for heire Childebert his sonne, with his wife Br [...]nehault, a subtile, and a wicked woman. This ground being laid, I will returne to the course of my historie. Gontran K [...]ng of Orleans, vnckle by the father: to this yong King, was his nearest, and most assured kinsman, so as by a generall consent of all the French, he was called to be Regent of the King, and realme. And now they talked of an assem­blie:Notable sub­tletie of a woman. Fredegonde (flying the light and libertie of publique assemblies, [...]earing not onely to be reiected from the gouernment, but to be accused for the murther of her husband) preuents the States from the calling of Gontran, the first Prince of the bloud, and the kings vnckle: as they should haue done, if leisure had suffered them to assemble, and to B speake in an vnited bodie, with publike authoritie.

Thus shee gaines time, beseeching the cheefe of the Councell, to prouide for the Conuocation of the Estates: and in the meane time, to giue order, that Gontran may come to Paris, both to informe of the execrable murther, and also to take vppon him the charge of her sonne, and the gouernment of the common weale. This discourse was far from her thoughts, but shee supposed to make an euasion by this goodly shew. And in the meane time shee practised to kill Gontran. Shee did write vnto him in all humilitie, holding him as a father to the King her sonne, and the support of her widow­hood. Gontran foreseeing the pollicie of Fredegonde: prouided so wisely, that being ar­riued at Paris, he was receiued by a generall consent, Regent of the Realme. He made C no shew of discontent to Fredegonde, who notwithstanding (hauing a guiltie consci­ence) packs vp her baggage, being readie to flie vppon the least shew that Gontran would call her into question. But it was not his meaning: his onely proiect was to bring vp his yong nephew, and to preserue him in his realme wherein hee was borne, supposing this mild manner of proceeding to bee the best, both for the King and the Realme.

Thus without any alteration, he wisely dissembles all the actions of Fredegonde, hee respects her as the Kings mother, and imployes her in the education of her son. And knowing how much the presence of the Prince workes in the subiects, to haue him ac­knowleged for King: He makes a progresse throughout the Realme, leading with him D this yong infant, with the mother, receiuing in all places, the oth of fidelitie, and obe­dience. Being returned to Paris, he giues him in gard to the mother, and applyed him­selfe wholy to the gouernment of the Realme. As the affaires were managed with this good order, two great difficulties crosse Gontran, almost at one instant: for Childebert King of of Metz, (iealous of his vnckles Authoritie,) requires to be associated in the Regencie, the which he pretended to appertaine vnto him, with the same right it did to Gontran and Fredegonde: for the punishing of whome hee complayned much, both of the foulenesse of the fact, which should not remaine vnpunished, and of Gontrans suf­ferance; which was too palpable. For the which Gontran prouided, stopping Childeberts entrance into Paris, and causing Fredegonde to retire herselfe quietly to Rouan, by rea­son E of the peoples hatred, reuiued by Childeberts complaint. And for that hee would not seeme to haue altogither neglected the punishing of Chilperics murther, he caused information to be made against a Chamberlaine of the Kings, called Cherulphe, who being found guiltie, he caused him to be slaine in the Temple, whether hee was fled. And so proceeded no farther in this search, least Fredegonde should be found too farre ingaged. Besides this crosse, there happened a second: for one named Gondeuault, ha­uing termed himselfe a long time to bee the sonne of the great Clotaire, An imagina­rie King. and kept in a Cloyster: in the end he escaped, and was openly maintained by Childebert, who sought but a colour of trouble, and innouation. He is followed by a parte of the Nobilitie, and Clergie, and seizeth on many good Townes, in Guienne. And hauing written his letters F to all the Prouinces, hee carries himselfe for lawfull heire of the Realme, with better right (said hee) then this yong child, the sonne of a strumpet: And by consequence a doubtfull heire to the Crowne.

[Page 33] A That which was most to be feared in this newe accident,592 was the spirit and force of Childebert: but Gontran preuented it with iudgement. For seeing himselfe olde, and without Children, and knowing his Nephewes humour, hee doth institute him his heir, and by that meanes makes him to abandon Gondeuault. So this supposed King left by Childebert, was soone abandoned by all the rest, and by them was deliuered in­to the hands of Gontran, who presently put him to death. And hauing assembled the Clergy of the realme, hee caused the Bishoppes to bee condemned, who had so rashely followed the frensie of this bold Impostor. Gontran hauing with such dexte­rity preuented these daungerous difficulties, and performed those good turnes to the King his Nephewe, in his infancie: he retires himselfe to Chaalons, where soone after he died without Children, leauing his estate to Childebert, and the realme of his poore pu­pill B(who had scarse attayned the age of ten yeares) to the mercy of the waues & tem­pes [...]ts of all sorts of miseries incident vnto states.

Gontran was no sooner dead, but the ambitious desire of Childebert, A king in his cradle a Con­querour. growne great by the new estates of Orleans and Bourgongne, inflamed him against young Clotaire, conceiuing an assured victory in his ouerwee [...]ing brayne, imagining soone to sup­presse a yong Childe and a woman ill beloued. But the God of victories had other­wise disposed: for Childebert hauing brought a mighty army to field, and entred into the heart of France: behold Fredegonde (armed with more then a manly courage and wisdome, encounters him with an other army, beeing fortified more by her exhortati­ons, and the presence of the yong King, (whome shee shewed openly to the French,) C then by the number of men of warre. The battell was giuen, and the imagined Conquerour was vanquished by a Childe and a woman, beeing surprised with so happie a cele [...]itie by Fredegonde, as he could hardly beleeue she had beene parted from Paris, when as he sees his whole army defeated. He lost in this conflict 20000. men, his honour, and his life: for hauing recouered his Country with much ado, hee died of melancholy, leauing a memorable example to Princes, neuer to attempt a warre to take from another without iust occasion.

He left two sonnes, Theodebert and Thierri. Tragicall practises of [...]wo women. The first had for his portion the realme of Austrasia: the second had Bourgongne Brunehault his mother suruiued him, and kept at Metz with the eldest: she presentenly styrred vp these two Princes, (ouer whome shee D had great authority as their grandmother,) to pursue Clotaire, for the shame and death of their father. Behold sodenly an army of Austrasians and Bourguignons, marcheth into France, led by these two yong Princes. Clotaire accustomed to these sports, opposeth himselfe in person, and gettes the victory, with such successe, (as they say) the course of the riuer of Aurance (where the battaill was fought) was stayed by the dead bodies of the conquered. Fredegonde leapt for ioye of this second triumph,Fredegonde dies with [...] victory. by reason of Brunehault, who was her chiefe obiect: but her ioye was presently conuer­ted into her owne funerall, for shee died soone after: to teach reuenging spirits, that their hatreds which they would haue perpetuall, are mortall, and at the least wise ende with their deathes.

E Thus Fredegonde died in her bed, and was interred neare to Chilperic, whom she had caused to be slaine: so as in this peaceable death, we may consider the patience of God, which doth often attend those it reserues to his last iudgement. But Brunehault (who thought her selfe a conqueresse, by the death of Fredegonde her capital enemy,) incen­feth Theodebert & Thierri her grand-children anew against Clotaire. They raise another army, vnder the cōduct of Beroald, not willing any more to hazard their persons, being taught by the successe of two great defeats. Beroald is slaine in this battaile, and yet the victory remaines to his men, with great losse to the French: so as it seemed, the warre would grow more violent betwixt these Princes, who nowe beganne to see a part of F their reuenge against their Cousine Clotaire. But the malice of Brunehault, who had banded the Cousins, must nowe diuide the brethren.

This old bitch, euen in the fury of war, foūd stil meanes to follow her beastly lechery: & then had she got a yong courtier called Protade, for a stallion: whom she entertained [Page 34] in vew and knowlege of the whole Court,599. and aduanced him beyond dutie or de [...]ert.A The dislike of this vnchast conuersation (offensiue to the whole world) doth in the end force Theodebert to find a meanes to withdrawe his mother from the view of the mul­titude, who were eye witnesses of the filthinesse of this shamelesse old woman, and of the ignominie of his house. He supposed to send her away with pollicie: perswading her she should doe best to retyre her selfe into some goodly monasterie, there to lead a godly life, and to seeke for rest be fitting her age. This admonition caused her partly to leaue the Court, and State of Theodebert, but not to change her mind. She retyres then from Metz, Brunehault in­censeth [...] brother against the other. and comes into Bourgongue to her other sonne, full of choller: and finding Thierri ill affected against his brother, shee presently kindles the vnfortunate fire of dissention betwixt them, which consumed them both, and finally her selfe.B That posterities may note in this tragedie, the examples of Gods iust iudgement, who punisheth one sinne by another, and the sinner by his owne sinne.

This lewd woman perswades Thierri, that Theodebert was a bastard, the sonne of a Gardiner, and that he had lawfull cause to make warre against him, as an vsurper of that which belonged vnto him by right. Thierri being exceeding couetous, embraceth this occasion, prepares an armie against Theodebert, and imployes this Protade in the principall charge, who was a kindler of warre in the spirit of this yong Prince. The cheefe Noblemen of Bourgongne infinitely grieued with these disorders, not daring di­rectly to charge Brunehault, they set vpon her Minion & kill him. By this meanes they drawe Thierri to an accord with his brother Theodebert: and so either of them sends backe his troupes. Thus this fire seemed to be wholy quencht, the which kindled soone C after in an other place, & by the practises of the same wo [...]k woman, Thierri had remay­ned long vnmarried, entertayning change of women, by the counsell of this bitche, who daily prouided him store of this stuffe: but solicited by the continuall perswasions, & prayers of his Councel,The husband against the [...]. he takes to wife, Membergue the daughter of Dataric, King of Spaine, louing her with that honest affectiō, that a man ought to loue his wife. Brune­hault iealous of this lawfull loue, fearing to be dispossessed of her authoritie and credit, if a lawfull wife possessed her husbands hart, she workes by her charmes, reducing Thi­erri to that extremitie, that hee was not able to accompany with his wife: and for a bait to his adulterie, she furnisheth other women (whome he might freely vse) as shee loathed him of this poore Princesse, causing him to send her home to her father Data­ric, D as vnable to beare children: who infinitly greeued with this disgrace, done him in the person of his daughter, resolues to reuenge. Hee complaynes of this iniurie, both to Clotaire, and Theodebert, whome he knew to be enemies to Thierri, and all togither resolue to make warre against him.

Brunehault seeing this great storme ready to fall vpon Thierri, she perswades him to compound with his brother Theodebert, at what price soeuer, whose humour she knew wel. This accord was sold by Theodebert to Thierri at a deere rate: (for he had the Coū ­tries of Champaigne, Touraine, Artois, and many other places) but it cost himselfe much dearer: for by this composition, all the armie was dispersed, and euery one retyred home. Thierri (who by the aduise of his mother, stood vpon his guard) surpriseth his E brother Theodebert, with such aduantage, that not onely he recouers all that he had gi­uen him, but by the Councell of this Proserpina, he embrewes his hands in his blood, murthering him most barbarously.The brother kills the brother. Theodebert had but one onely daughter, whome Thierri would take to wife, to haue some honest pretext to seize vppon all his Estates. But Brunehault, (who desired greatly to see him maister, but not to haue a compani­on in this absolute authoritie,) disswades him from this marriage, inferring (to couer her hidden intent) that it was not lawfull to marrie his neece. Thierri blinded with pas­sion (who by a iust iudgement of God, sought to die by poyson of this viper, by whose meanes hee had done so much mischiefe) replies, that the daughter of Theodebert was none of his neece, seeing that Theodebert was not his brother, being begotten by ano­ther F father: reproching Brū [...]hault, that he knew no more then she had taught him. And that vpon this occasion, shee had encouraged him to kill him. And as they grew hot in [Page 35] A wordes, hee threatened to kill her. Brunehault (seeing her selfe taken by the [...]ose,601 and measured by the same measure she had measured to others,) resolues to preuent Thi­erri, and to murther him.She hersel [...]e kills her son. She therefore giues him a morsell mixte with a languishing poyson, which caused him to consume of a bloudy flixe: that as he had s [...]ilt the bloud of others, so hee might die in bloud: and that the same wretched counsell which had bin the sepulchre of his brother, should likewise be his owne. for a memorable exam­ple to posterity, that God suffreth nothing vnpunished, and doth often punish the wicked by themselues, and by their owne practises. Such was the tragicke ende of the troublesome life of Thierri. But what shall become of Brunehault? The Iustice of God goes slowly, but he recompenceth the slownes with the grieuousnesse of the punishe­ment. B Let vs then heare the continuance of our history. Brunehault carries a good countenance after the death of Thierri. She makes him a stately funerall like a [...]ourney: and of foure bastard sonnes which Thierri had left, she chooseth him that pleaseth her best, to install him King in his fathers place: and in the meane time she continewes the gouernment of the rea [...]me, and calles herselfe Regent. To conclude: she doth promise vnto herselfe, in all her courses, farre better successe then Fredegonde, presuming that she exceeded her in iudgement and experience, no man remayning to controule her actions: but her discourses were vaine imaginations, and her foolish hopes the snares of her owne ruine. The Nobility of Bourgongne (infinitely grieued with the horrible wickednes of this womā, resolute not to endure the new tiranny which she pract [...]sed,) C had recourse vnto Clotaire, as to their true and lawful Lord. Brunehault playes the re­solute: she prepares to war, sendes diuerse Ambassadors into Germanie: the chiefe was Varnare Mayre of the Pallace of Austrasia, a man of great authority both at home and with strangers. Hauing sent him for succors to some Princes of Germany, shee growes iealous of him without cause, and sends a trustie seruant of hers named Albon, to finde meanes to kill him. Albon hauing read those deadly letters, teares them: but vna­wares he lets fall the peeces of this letter▪ the which are gathered vp and caried to Var­nare: who vpon this new accident, takes a new aduise. He resolues to crosse the practi­ses of this murtheresse, (so well knowne and hatefull to all men,) who likewise would make away her best seruants, who had beene too faithfull vnto her, in the execution of D her wicked desseines. Varnare doth treate so politikely in Germany, as hee with-drawes their hearts and forces from Brunehault, and winnes them vnto Clotaire. This Coun­terbattery thus made, hee returnes into Bourgongne. His returne bred an vnexpec­ted change, for she, who had alwaies deceiued, was deceiued, & in the end fell into the pittefall. Varnare did not seeme to knowe what she had desseined: whereby hee had meanes to countermine all Brunehaults policies, with so wise a dissimulation, by his great authority, as he gaines all the chiefe men for Clotaire: deliuers into his hands the children aforesaide, pretended to be heires, and by this means giues him an easie vic­tory ouer Brunehaults troupes: who yeelding vnto Clotaire, deliuer vp this wicked wo­man, the cause of all their miseryes. So at length the Wolfe is taken vnawares. Clo­taire E a victor, was receiued by common consent of the Austrasi [...]ns and Bourguig­nons, and by that meanes, beeing absolute maister of that great inheritance of Clouis his grand-father,) beganne his reigne by a worthy act of memorable Iustice. Ha­uing in his power the chiefe motiue of all these mischiefes, hee caused Brunehaults processe to be made by the greatest personages he could choose in all his dominions: that in so notable an assembly, the sentence might be irreprochable.

By their censures, Brunehault was found culpable of infinite and horrible crimes, and was condemned to die, by a terrible and extraordinary punishement: for she was tied to the tayle of a wild ma [...]e, and drawne through a stony and rough Country,Brunehault put to a hor­rible death. so as (being torne into diuerse peeces) she died at diuerse times most iustly, as shee had cruelly caused many others to die. A notable example, to shewe, that the greatest can­not F auoid the soueraigne Iustice of God, who punisheth in this world, when it pleaseth him: & when he spareth them, it is a signe, that hee reserues the punishment to his last Iudgement.

[Page 36] 610Thus died Brunehault, onely commended in histories, to haue built many temples,A & giuen great reuenues for the mainteynance therof, whilest that she wallowed in her pleasures. Saint Gregorie hath set downe certaine letters of his to Brunehault, wherein hee commends her highly for her piety and singular wisdome. Clotaire seeing him­selfe King of so great a monarchy, after a long and horrible confusion of intestine warres, imployed all his eare to pacifie the realme, leauing notable examples to prin­ces to cure the wounds of an Estate, after ciuill warres, by mildenes. Hee doth pub­liquely proclaime pardon of all iniuries both generall and particular: to abolish the memory to come, making his example a lawe of perpetuall forgetfullnesse. This mo­deration,Mildnes a [...] remedie to cu [...]e a de­cayed estate. more victorious then any great and seuere chasticement, wonne him the loue and obedience of his subiects, and confirmed a true and no counterfiet concorde a­mongest the subiects themselues. He gouerned them after their owne humours, vsing B his authority with mildenes. And for that they had liued in the Court of Kings, from whome they receiued aduancements and honours, the which they could not do by their annuall offices, (as then the gouernments were,) hee erected perpetuall magi­strates, with such authority, as it might well bee termed, the true patterne of a royaltie.

The greatnes of the seruant is a blemish to the Master.He then augmented the great authority of the Maires of the Palace, who con­trolled Kings, and in the end vsurped the royaltie, whereas before they were but con­trollers of the Kings house, and not of the realme. A notable president for Princes, in the settling of an estate, not so to communicate their authority to their seruants,C whome they desire to gratifie, as they may haue meanes to become maisters. Clotaire layed the first stone in the chaunge which shall happen to his posterity. He had one onely sonne, whose name was Dagobert. It was his greatest care to haue him well in­structed, committing him to Arnoul Bishop of Metz, a learned man, and of a good life, and likewise to Sadragesille his gouernour. But Dagobert discouered euen then his bad disposition, intreating his gouernor Sadragesille vnworthily. Wherewith Clo­taire the King was wonderfully mooued against his sonne, who shewed afterwards that this was but a preparatiue to that he would attempt against his owne father, force­ing him in his life time to giue him the realme of Austrasia for his portion. This kinde of rebellion was the fruite of Clotaires too great lenity▪ as also priuate quarells which D bred great disorders in the Court.

Thus wee see, there is nothing absolutely perfect in this world. Clotaire dies in the yeare of Chrst 631. hauing gouerned 44. yeares, from his Cradle, and passed hap­pily through many perillous difficulties.To great [...] hur [...]ull to an estate. A happy and a wise Prince. But as humane things are subiect vnto variety: so we may say, that the French Monarchie reuiued and died in him. And at his death sprong vp the soueraigne authority of the Maires of the Pallace, the which grewe to that greatnesse, as they dispossessed this race of the Crowne. It was Clotaires intent to gratifie his subiects, and to ease the succeeding Kings▪ but in effect it was a meanes to haue many Kings, and to make the lawfull con­temptible▪ setting the seruant in the maisters place. In truth, as it is most daungerous in an estate, to giue too much authority to a seruant, so is it most certaine, that the sloth­fullnesse E and dissolutenes of these last Kings, was a ladder whereby our Mayres moun­ted to this greatnesse, & to their ruines. The which succeeded by degrees, vnder the re­spect of the Kings name▪ for from that time of Clotaire, vnto the last King of this race, are 120. yeares. Pepin grandfather to that Pepin, who was the first King of the second race, was Maire of the Palace, and began first to deale absolutely in the gouernment of the realme.

The lenity of Clotaire is also noted by another error: for hee tooke so great liberty to do what he list without order, as his subiects wold do the like. And by this contempt of the lawe, the King grew contemptible, being not well obeyed in his age: the which bred great quarrels betwixt great and small, who shewed no great respect, neither to F King nor Iustice. In this Estate died Clotaire, leauing Dagobert for his successor, the yeare. 632.

DAGOBERT the first,633. the XI. King of France.


A DAGOBERT the first of that name, tooke possession of this great Monarchie, without any controuersie. Some write, that he had a brother called Aribert, to whome he gaue for his por­tion all the Countrie on this side Loire: but dying without chil­dren, it returned to him againe. At his coming to the Crowne, he found great difficulties amongst his Subiects, being bred vp without Iustice, vnder the long libertie of ciuill warres, and the lenitie of Clotaire: whereto he prouided wisely, reducing Iustice, fortifying it by his authoritie, with so good a moderation, as no man was B offended at his too great seueritie, neither durst any man attempt against the lawes, seeing both the reine and the rod in the hands of their lawfull Prince. Thus hee pour­chased the commendation of a good and wise King, and peace to his people, by their obedience to iustice. To this good order he added profession to loue holy things: and the better to confirme this opinion in his subiects minds, hee built and inriched many Temples, especially that of Saint Denis, the which since hath bin the sepulchre of our Kings.

There were great numbers ofIewes in France, the which were hurtful to the Realme: he banished them by a perpetual Edict, out off the territories vnder his obed [...]ēce. But this zeale of religion, was polluted with the foule blot of Adulterie, which made him infamous both to subiects and strangers. Amand Bishop of Paris admonished him of C his fault: but Dagobert impatient thereof, banished him. Pepin his Maire continued so in this reprehension, that although Dagobert were moued, and threatned to banish him, yet in the end hee yeelded to reason, by the vertuous constancie of Pepin▪ and hauing dismissed many of his lewd followers, he calls home Amand. An example for Princes & seruants: for the one to continue firme in their duties, for the other to yeeld to reason. [Page 38] Dagobert subdued the Gascons that were re [...]olted:645 brought the [...] to obedi [...]nce, suppressed the Sclauons, established the Realme of Aust [...]asia, and ga [...]e seasonable suc­cours to the King of Spaine against the Saracens. This is the sum of hi [...] armes, led by Pe­pin, [...]hilest that he liued at his pleasure, in his chamber, amongst his wo [...]en, or in his monasterie at his deuotion. He had two sons, Sigebert and Clou [...]s. Hauing assembled the Estates in great [...]lemnitie, he declared, that he had ordeined Sigebert to be king of Au­strasia, and Clou [...]s King of France, preferring the yonger before the e [...]der without any controuersie. He gaue them likewise gouernours, by reason of their yong ages. And so he died in the yeare of grace 645. hauing raigned 14. yeares without any trouble. A Prince to be numbred amongst the most worthy, but for this blemish of incontinencie.B Thus vpon the facilitie of Clotaire, the voluptuousnes of Dagobert layed another dangerous stone in the foundation of a new royaltie, the which vnad­uisedly they built for their seruants, to their Childrens cost.

CLOVIS the second, the 12. King of France. The first of the idle Kings.


NOw wee take the declining of the hill, to seeke the last of these Kings beneath in the valley, who had nothing royall but the race, the name, and the habiliments, hauing resigned their Maiestie, authoritie, and power into the hands of their Maires. It shall bee sufficient to set downe their names, the dates of their reignes, and the continuance of their race, vntil a more vigorous royaltie come to take his turne.

Hereafter in this first race, you shall see our Kings but once a yeare, the first day of May,The manners of th [...]se idle [...] King [...]. in their Chariots deckt with flowers, & greene, and drawne by foure oxen. Who F so hath occasion to treat with them, let him seeke them in their chambers, amidst their delights. Let him talke of any maters of state, he shalbe sent to the Maire, who deales with al that cōcernes the state: he opens packets, makes answeres without any counsel, [Page 39] A but his owne. He heares the complaints of subiects,646 and giues audience to Ambassa­dors of foraine Princes. Hee ordereth all as it pleaseth him. Hee giues, reuokes, dis­chargeth, contracts, ordeines, makes Edicts, and disanulls them. To conclude, hee frees his master from all trouble, to impose it on him selfe. But we shall see to what end he labours thus, and why hee hath taken on him the authoritie and purse of his master. Let vs now speake something of our Clouis.

Clouis then remaines in France, a peaceable King: and Sigebert his elder brother re­tires himselfe to his Realme of Austrasia, according to Dag [...]bert their fathers decree. This accord was embraced by two brethren of a good and mild disposition, and was maintained wisely by their mother Nantilde, and their Tutors. A notable example of rare loue betwixt two brethren, especially in great diuisions▪ and the iealousie of mo­thers, B who do often support one child against another.

Clouis had mar [...]ied a gentlewoman of Saxony, named Baudour, a woman of a good and holy life, and much giuen to deuotion, as the Abba [...]e of Shelles, S. Baudour, with other foundations do witnes. Whilest that she busied her selfe in her deuotion, and to build monasteries, Clouis laboured to confound his mind, drowning it in the floud of his voluptuousnes. Yet they obserue one thing in him, which shewes that hee was not wholy depriued of iudgement: the which happened in a time of a great dearth. To releeue the poore people, he suffered them to take the siluer, wherewith the Temple of S. Denis had beene couered by Dagobert. Doubtlesse, the care of the poore, is a worke worthie of a great Prince. Bountie is better then sacrifice: and Christian soules be the C true stones of a spirituall Temple, where God dwels, as in his proper mansion. So as to nourish and support the poore, the precious members of the Church, is to build a goodly Temple.

Sigibert King of Austrasia (hauing no children, nor hope of any) was so sollicited by Grimoald Maior of his pallace, as hee adopted his sonne Childebert, and sone after hee himselfe had a sonne: and died, leauing him heire generall of all his realme. But Gri­moald, vnder colour of this adoption, desirous to establish his son in the possession of Sigiberts estate, takes his yong sonne, and sends him to be brought vp in a monasterie of Scotland. In effect, he had seized on all the realme, if Ercembault, Maior of the Pa­lace D of France, had not valiantly opposed himselfe against this his cruell vsurpation, ha­uing defeated and taken both him and his sonne, and punished them both by a sol­lemne sentence at Paris. A notable example for many considerations: but especially a singular proofe, that God is the Protector of Orphelines, and a iudge of the vsurpers of an others right. Clouis had three sonnes by Baudour, Clotaire, Childeric and Thierri. All three shall be Kings successiuely: but Childeric was presently King of Austrasia, left without any lawfull heire, after the death of the sonne of Sigebert. Hee raig­ned sixteene yeares, and died in the yeare 692. hauing left his Realme in great peace, without any enemie.

662.CLOTAIRE the third, the 13. King of France.


CLOTAIRE, the eldest sonne of Clouis, was King of France, fi [...]st vn­der the gouernment of Erich, and then of Ebroin Mayre of the Pal­lace: a wicked and cruell man, who shall minister occasion to talke of his life, in the succession of these latter Kings. Vnder his reigne, he made great exactions vpon all the people, who (as he said) liued too plentifully, and forgat themselues by the inioying of too happy a peace. Clotaire raigned foure yeares, and died without name and without children, in the yeere 666. of whom we may say, as of the rest that succeeded him: That they haue left nothing memorable, but that they left no memory.

CHILDERIC or CHILPERIC the second, the foureteenth King of France


A CHILDERIC the second son of Clouis was alreadie in possession of the realme of Austrasia: but a greater drawes him into France, 666 where he findes important difficulties, [...]or Ebroin doubting (if Childe­ric should raigne) he would take from him the dignity of Maior, and giue it vnto Vfoald Maior of Austrasia, who was his trustie seruant; perswades Thierri, the yonger sonne of France, to seize vpon the realme: and causeth him to be Crowned King. But Childeric comes with a strong ar­my, being fauored by the French, who hated Ebroin, and (in respect of him Thierri,) and were well affected to the elder: so as he seizeth vpon Thierri and Ebroin. Hee did onely shaue, Thierri & put him into the Monasterie of Saint Denis: and he sent Ebroin B to Luson in Bourgongne. To small a punishement for so foule a fact: nay rather, a perpe­tuall pryson, a [...]d insupportable torments had beene more meete for his ambitious spirit.

Childeric then was receiued of all the French, to whome soone after he made a slen­der recompence: for he grew so proud and cruell, as there appeered in all places signes of his tiranny and cruelty. One amongest the rest cost him deere: for hauing caused a Gentleman called Bodille to bee whipped, hee gaue him a iust occasion to seeke his ruine. The French, wearied with his insolencies, take this barbarous act very disdainful­ly. so as Bodille had an easie meanes for reuenge vpon Childeric, although hee were a King: he resolues to kill him, and wants no friends to accompanie him in this executi­on. C The match is made, to surprise him a hunting, at their best ad [...]antage. Childeri [...] being there, he is eniuroned by Bodille and his Companions, who increase still: and [Page 42] he being ill attended by his followers,678. is slaine by Bodille: who followed by his confe­derates,A [...] punishment. A goes presently to a neere Castle, whereas Blitilde the Queene remained great with child: being entered, he slew her with her child, leauing a memorable example to Princes, neuer to thrust their subiects into dispaire; nor to abuse their authority to the dishonour and contempt of their Nobility, which is their right arme.

Thus died Childeric, hauing reigned but two yeares. Leauing an odious memory to his posterity, to haue begun well, and ended ill: cleane contrary to Childeric the first, his Predecessor, who began ill and ended well.

THIERRI the first, the 15. King of France.


CHilderic being thus slaine, the French (not able to liue without a king,B [...]nd desiring none, but one of the bloud royall) post to S. Denis, draw forth Thierri, and establish him in the Realme, from the which they had deposed him, for his elder brother: and make Landregesil the Son of Archembault Maior of the Pallace, with whom they were well pleased, during his Ma [...]ralty. A notable example, both of the peoples consent gouerned by reason, and the efficacy of the Soueraigne law, the which is the soule of an Estate, and the ground of a lawfull Empire.

The Realme was very peacefull in this beginning, when as Ebroin (perswaded by some discontented Noblemen) leaues his Cloister and raiseth an armie, in the be­ginning but small, but it so increased, by the kings contempt and his Mayors; as he C remaines a Victor, with an incredible celerity. Ebroin seizeth on the Kings person, intreats him with all reuerence and respect, and protests to require nothing, but to bee held his most faithfull seruant, as he had beene in his first reigne. Landregesil was then absent: who seeing the King taken, and all the fauour of the French turned to Ebroin[Page 43] A being victor, hee willingly giues eare vnto him, [...]84 and vpon his [...]aith and promise of good vsage, putts himselfe into his hands,A tr [...]acherous murther. by whome he is treacherously and cruelly [...]ame. Ebroin hauing begun this course, continues his cruelty, to satisfie his reuenging minde, vntill that he himselfe (after that he had murthered many good men, contra­rie to his oath, amongest the rest Leger Bishop of Au [...]un, hauing admonished him of his dutie, and Mar [...]in Maior of the Palace of Austrasia, to whome hee had giuen his faith with a sollemne oath) in the ende he thrust himselfe vnaduisedly into the hands of Ermanfroy, a French gentleman, his capitall enemy, who slue him when he least fea­red it, hauing nowe an imaginat [...]on to bee mounted to the toppe of his greatnes, and to tast the sweete Liquor of his insatiable reuenge.

A notable obseruation for treacherous and reuenging spirits, who are then van­quished, B when they thinke to bee Conquerors. Thierri a King in shewe, is a spectator of these Tragedies, as of a game at tables, of his diuers Maiors, which play at leuell coyle, vntill that Pepin gets it, and enioyes it onely, with the Soueraigne gouernment of the French Monarchie.

Pepin during the confusions of these raigns had beene in Austrasia, and purchased great credit with all men: so as he was held worthy of this great charge, the which he gouerned with so great wisdome and valour, as hauing settled France in a peacefull E­state, he had purchased more credit & authority among the French, then the King him­selfe. In the ende Thierri dies, in the yeare 693. hauing raigned 19. yeares C leauing Clouis and Childebert, his Children, for a witnesse that he had liued: but in effect Pepin and his for the true heires of the Realme.

CLOVIS the third, the 16. King of France.


BEing the eldest sonne of Thierri; he raigned foure yeares, and dyes without name, and without children:693 to whom succeeds his brother

CHILDEBERT the second, the 17. King of France.


WHO raigned 17. yeares,700. and dies in the yeare 718. hauing left two Sonnes, Dagobert and Clotaire, of like humour to himselfe.

DAGOBERT the second, the 18. King of France.


719. HE raigned foure yeares, and left two Children, Chilperi [...] and Thier­ri, A with no better memorie then the rest. So there passed fortie and foure yeares, during which time Pepin had good meanes to for­tifie his authority, the which was in effect absolute, by the negli­gence, or rather idlenesse of these Kings, who made a necessary way to newe desseins, by their voluntary suffrance to incroach vpon their authority. Pepin well acquainted with the humour of the French, (naturally bent to loue their Princes) did not openly despise his masters: but excused their weake dis­positions, not capable of much paine, representing the heauie burthen of a great E­state, and that the honour to gouerne i [...], is a trouble which costes deere. He setled an impression in the Frenchmens mindes: That those onely were worthie to bee Kings,B that knewe howe to gouerne.

So without any infinuating speech, the ordinarie seruices hee did to the realme, mayntayning [...]t in peace, his great pr [...]fession to loue religion, Iustice and the pe [...]ple, (whose [...]ase hee was wonderfull carefull of) did recommend him to all men: and the good turnes he did to all persons, by reason of his charge, did daylie purchase him ma­ny friends and seruant [...]. Doubtlesse, as it is as great policie to bee a good man, so is there no small dexterity in the t [...]king of Citties and Countries by the hearts of men. Thus Pepin layed the foundation, and his successors finished the perfect building of a newe gouernment.

A lesson for our Kings, to haue a care howe they referre the charge of affaires to C their seruants,Read and iudge O yee Kings. and to whome they trust, and howe. This example doth verifie, that they were better to be more careful, and take more paines, then to disroabe themselues of this great authority, the which makes them not only eminent aboue all men, but [Page 47] A carries as it were a tipe of the Maiestie of God, in the gouernment of the world,718 where­of they must yeeld him an account, and not loose that by base cowardlinesse, which they should mainteine by vertue. But let vs returne to Pepin, [...]ee made great shewe to loue religion, and vpon this cause he makes warre against R [...]bod Duke of F [...]ise a pa­gan, whome hee conquered and forced to receiue the Christian relig [...]on [...]ith all [...]is subiects. He restored Lambert Bishop of Traict to his dignity, bee [...]ng expelled by [...] ­broin, and confined into a Monastery: finally, he infinitly fauored all that tended to the seruice of God: and one of his chiefest cares was to aduance them that had ch [...]ge ouer the Church▪ whose loues he had so purchased by this good vsage, as they soone requi­ted him, causing the people to loue him, with whome such as rule their consciences B haue great authority.

This was a point of state, as much as of deuotion. He also made proofe of his va­lour in diuers sorts, reducing the people of Germany on either side the [...]hin, to the obe­dience of the French, who began to mutine▪ and so restored the beautie of the realme of Austrasia. He was carefull to maintaine Iustice, and imbraced the people, no waies oppressing them with any new impositions. In the meane time he was not carelesse of himselfe and his Children. He commaunded absolutely, beeing armed with the au­thority of his Soueraigne, neither was there any appeale from him vnto the King. Hee had two sonnes by Plectrude, Drogon and Grimoald: he gaue Champagne to Dro­gon, and after his death hee caused his sonne to succeede him with the title o [...] a Duke. C In the beginning he gaue the offices of great Master, and generall of the Treasure, to Nordebert his deere friend: but after his death he inuested his owne sonne Grimoald in those places.Pepin incon­tinent. But as the vanitie of man transports it selfe beyond the lymits of re­spect, it chanced in the end, that Pepin forgat himselfe in his prosperity: for not satisfi­ed with Plectrude his lawfull wife, hee fell in loue with a gentlewoman named Alpaide, by whome he had one Bastard, (which shalbe verie famous in the course of this histo­rie, vnder the name of Charles Martel): and as the mischiefe encreased, hee puts away Plectrude and marries Alpaide. Lambert Bishop of Traict admonished him of this fault: but he suffred Alpaide to cause him to be slaine by her brother Dodon, who soone after [...]elt the punishment of this bloud▪ for being strooke with a disease of wormes, not D able to endure his owne stench, he cast himselfe headlong into the riuer of Meuze. Gri­moald the sonne of Pepin, following his fathers example, abandoned himself to strange women, disdayning his wife. But this adultery was decre to them both: for Grimoald (too familiar with one named Rangare, sonne in lawe to Rabod Duke of Fris [...],) was slaine with him, by a iust iudgement of God, hauing taught him so filthy a trade, to ab [...]ndon himselfe to strumpets, and to reiect his wife. Pepin was so perplexed for the death of his sonne, as hee died for greefe and choller against Rabod the author of this murther. Thus both he and his sonne reaped the fruits of their adultery.

Vpon his deathbed he ordayned Charles his Bastard to succeed him in the gouern­ment of the realme: but Plectrude imbracing this occasion,Charles Mar­tel bastard to P [...]pin. vpon the death of her hus­band, E and well supported by her kinsfolkes, causeth Charles to be taken and put in pry­son at Cologne, and aduanceth Thibauld the sonne of Drogon, her owne sonne and Pe­pins, to the gouernment, although in effect she vnder his name gouerned all the affaires of state. This gouernment of a woman (which is vsually imperious and without reason) offended the most resolute among the French: so as weary to be commanded by a dis­taffe (Dagobert dying during these alterations) they tooke a Prince of the bloud called Daniel, forth of a cloister, who had bin a Monke the greatest part of his youth. Him they crowne King, vnder the name of Chilperic the second, to haue a royall name to counte­nance his actions: and they giue him a Nobleman of France called Rainfroy, to be his M [...]ior: who hauing leuied an army, defeated Thibauld & his grand-mother Plectrude [...] small fight. But when as Rainfroy thought himselfe voide of all enemies, hee F fin [...]es a strong Competitor: for Charles Martell being freed from prison, could po­litickly imbrace the occasion, and get authority by the perplexity of Plectrude, to whom hee offers himselfe with all his meanes. The decree of Pepin did import [Page 48] much:724. but the dexterity and valour of Charles could bee no more concealed, then a A goodly light in darkenesse. Hee entertaynes such as were affected to P [...]ctrude and her sonne, in such sort as (seeing themselues abandoned) they receiue hi [...] [...]or Maior, according to the will of Pepin, whose image Charles did carrie in his forehead, and his memory liued yet in the hearts of the French.

Charles being receiued and installed Maior of France, first assured himselfe of the Children of King Dagobert, causing them to bee gently brought vp in a Monastery, and afterwards (not pursuing his reuenges as Ebroin had done) he made a publike de­claration, that his onely intention was, to free the Realme from the confusions which were so visible to all men, and restore it to the ancient dignity: neither would hee at­tempt any thing, but by the consent and aduice of the French. And in deed, hee be­gan to manage the affaires, to the great content of all men. Hee established an olde B Prince of the bloud, named Clotaire, with a Counsell of state, vnder whose name and authority hee gouerned as Maior and chiefe of the Counsell: and therefore some wri­ters reckon this Clotaire among the Kings of France, although he were no King. Rain­froy w [...]th his Chilperic (finding himselfe too weake for such an enemie) had recourse to Rabod Duke of Frise, a capitall enemy to the house of Pepin, with whose aide hee leuies an army, incounters Charles, and ouerthrowes him at the first charge. But Charles no­thing amazed at this checke, rallies his forces, and knowing that the enemy puft vp with this victory marched in disorder, hee charged their confused troupes with such aduantage, as hee defeates them quite, neere vnto Cambray: so as Chilperic and Rain­froy C could hardly escape with a small trayne. And so Charles proceeds with his vic­tory: for beeing aduertised that Plectrude was at Cologne, and ment to disturbe the quiet of Austrasia, hee approcheth neere vnto Cologne, where he is receiued by the In­habitants, and hauing Plectrude and her sonne Thibauld in his power, hee inflicts no o­ther punishment, but inioynes them to liue in quiet, and to attempt nothing without his liking. A worthie reuenge of a generous minde to pardon the vanquished. Eudon succors him: but being vanquished by Charles, hee submits himselfe with the preten­ded Chilperic, It is a second victory to v [...]e it well and mildly. to his discretion: and so did Rainfroy, relying vpon the Conquerors faith: Charles vseth the victory modestly, pardons Rainfroy, and giues him the gouern­ment of Aniou, and suffers E [...]don to enioye his liuing, vnder the obedience of the Crowne. And to settle the Realme in good order, he degrades Chilperic, being ad­uanced against Lawe, and causeth the eldest sonne of Dagobert to be cho­sen King, n [...]med Chilperic, as the true and lawfull heire. So hee raigned vnder the gouernment of his Maior.

CHILPERIC the third,728. the 19. King of France.


A A Prince of no valour, simple and voluptuous. In his time the Sueues, Saxons, and Bauar [...]ens (disdaining to liue vnder a sim­ple and effeminate King) sought to withdrawe themselues from the French obedience: but Charles reduced them to the yoake, reaping repentance for their rebellion. Plectrude was wearie of ease: who abusing the mildnesse of Charles, retires to Vimes, with her daughter Sanichilde, the lawfull childe of Pepin ▪ and seekes to draw the people of Danubie into rebellion against Charles: who hauing intelligence of her practises, posts thether with a running Campe, pacifies the Germaines, and puts her in prison:It is a great gaine to loose him that trou­bles a State. B but wee read not how hee disposed of her, nor of her sonne Th [...]bauld. Thus hee con­firmed his authoritie in all places. In the meane time Chilperic dyes, hauing raigned fiue yeare, and in his place his Brother was Crowned King.

THIERRI the second, the 20 King of France.


729. WHO raigned ten yeares, and dying, left his sonne Childeric the last A K [...]ng of this first ra [...]e of Mer [...]uingiens. This is all that is memora­ [...]e in th [...]se two raignes, whilest that the second race prepares to [...]ome in place and to take possession of the Crowne, and scepter of the French Mo [...]archie.

Charles Martel, from Maior of the Palace is chosen Duke or Prince of the French. He laies the foundations of a newe raigne for his posterity, and in this respect is numbred a­mong the Kings, the 22.

Now our discourse must be of that great Charles surnamed Martel, by reason of the force both of his body and minde: shewing breefely according to our stile, what meanes he had to raise his race to the royall Throane.B

As things succeeded in this sort, Charles Martel, who knewe what force an interest purchased by good order hath in an Estate, informes his friends priuately (which were ma [...]) howe much it did import (considering the apparent weakenesse of their King, and the necessity of the realme) to haue one Commander, whome all the rest might o­b [...]ye▪ for when the King speakes not, euery one (holding himselfe as great as his Companion) will play the King, and so by consequence many mischeefes growe day­lie,Multiplicity of masters is a ruine to an Estate. a multitude of masters beeing a ruine to an Estate. That the authority of a Maior was not great inough to that effect: and although it might be extended vpon necessi­ty, [...] was it not conuenient: seeing that which concernes the good and quiet of all, [...] to be approued by all and setled by a free and generall consent.C

Hauing, thus disposed the mindes of such as might rule in matters of great import, [Page 51] A hee makes a conuocation, which hee cals a Parliament, in the which it is concluded:730. That seing Charles Martel had by many proofs shewed himselfe worthie of a great commaund, hauing well vsed his authoritie of Maior, and that vrgent necessitie req [...]i­red a speedie and conuenient remedie: therefore the absol [...]te gouernment sh [...]uld b [...]e deliuered into his hands. And to the end his authoritie should be knowne, and obeyed with more respect, hereafter hee should bee called Prince, or Duke of Frenchmen. This decree did greatly countenance the authoritie of Charles Martel, being confirmed by such an assemblie, and by so affectionate a consent: but his vertues made him to be held as most worthie of so honorable a charge: occasion made proofe of his vertu [...], and the successe was a foretelling that the Realme was appointed to his posteritie. Soone B after there fell out this notable occasion.

We haue made mention of Eudon the pretended Duke of Guienne▪ Martel hauing vanquished him, suffered him to enioy his liuing, vnder the obedience o [...] the Crowne. This accord pleased not Eudon, who not able to bee reuenged of Martel, practised such meanes as ambition and couetousnes did prescribe him. The Sarazins (a Turkish nation) had passed out of Asia into Affrike and Spaine, and had possessed those goodly and great Prouinces vnder the command of their King Abderame. Eudon sollicits them to come into France, and promiseth a free passage. The Sarazins willingly imbrace the offer of so easie an entrie,The Sarazins inu [...]de France with 400000 men. and resolued to people France with a great Colonie of their nation. They enter Guienne with an armie of foure hundred thousand fighting men. A C fearefull number at this day, but plainely set downe by the common consent of all wri­ters. Charles Martel seing this great storme readie to fall vppon France, resolues first to take away the cause of their comming: and as Eudons discontent had drawne them in, he labours to be reconciled vnto him.

He concludes a peace with Eudon, taught by the horrible spoile of Guienne, what it is to set such to worke. In the end hee disposeth all things to stop the violence of so ra­uishing an enemie, assembling all the forces he could, to make a bodie able to incoun­ter them: but he armed himselfe cheefly with resolution and courage, fit instruments in necessitie, vnder the prouidence of the God of armes and victories. The Sarazin was alreadie aduanced as far as Touraine, within vew of Tours, neere to the riuer of Loire, D where Martell resolued to attend him, as well to ingage him in a Countrie far from re­treat, and to make Eudon and his men more resolute, in whose Countrie it was▪ to be tried, as a [...]so to haue France readie in case of necessitie.The Sar [...]zin musts [...] the multitude of his men. Abderame trusting in the mul­titude of his souldiars both of horse and foot, resolues to compasse in the French: and to this end had dispersed his battaillons, euery one apart making shew of a great armie, appointing his horse mingled with Camels, and furnished with sundry newe kinds of armes, to ioyne the battayllons one to another. The order and countenance of this armie was fearefull to men neuer wonted to behold such an huge inundation of S [...]angers.

Martel (who fought more with courage and valour in a good cause,Martel inco [...] ­rageth his [...]. then with numbers) E hauing assembled the bodie of his armie, hee confirmes their resolutions before the combat, wishing them to haue no hope but in God, and in themselues, shewing, that they had their enemies before, and the riuer of Loire behind that he had comman­ded them of Tours not to open the gates, but to the Conqueror, and had appointed troupes of horse vpon the wings of his armie, to kill such as fled, as enemies. To con­clude they had no other France, but where they were, in the which they must either con­quer or die. Eudon with his Guiennois made their armie apart, not farre from Martel, and with his consent.

The battailes being aranged, and euery Commaunder hauing perswaded his men to do their best endeuours, the Sarazin giues the charge, supposing to compasse in F the French easily, as with a net: but on al sides he finds mē couragious in their defence. The incounter was great, & the combat furious. In the heat of the conflict Eudon dis­bands, & violently chargeth the Sarazins campe, being ful of women, children, & bag­gage, & with a small gard forceth the defences, & enters it, cuts in peeces, & kils all he [Page 52] encounters without difference of age or sexe.732. The Barbarien not accustomed to t [...]e read [...]nes of the French, who encountred his sundrie Battaillons in grosse, as they pre­sented themselues, turning after the manner of their discipline: seing many of his men sl [...]ine, and for a second mischeefe, hearing the cries and shrikings of women, and chil­dren, massacred in the campe, began to bee amazed, and to wauer. Martel (di [...]coue­ring their countenance, and that their battayllons grew thin) cries out mainely to his [...]ouldiars. Courage my friends. God hath set vp his banner, hee fights for vs: let vs charge these miscreants. The souldiars (incouraged at this voice, and at the visible successe of their armes,) crie victory, victory. The Sarazin not knowing which way to turne him, being charged on all sides, breakes his battaillons, abandons his rankes, and casts away his armes. All are dispersed, the multitude oppresseth them.

Hereupon Martel and Eudon ioyne togither, after the spoyle of the campe: vppon this disorder they charge valiantly through these dismembred troupes, as into a thicke haruest, without any resistance: all ouerflowes with bloud, they are wearie with killing. The remainder which fled is small, the prisoners lesse: all die by the sword, or are bea­ten downe with battleaxes: the victorious French (inraged with the sight of these van­quished Barbarians, seeking to dispossesse them, their wiues and children, of their ha­bitations) made them the subiects of their choller. King Abderame is found dead, in a heape of carcases,A memorab [...]e d [...]eat of Ab­derame, & his death. not wounded, but smothered by the multitude that fled. Histories assure, there were slaine vpon the place three hundred seuentie fiue thousand men, and of the French fifteene hundred, amongst the which were many of the Nobilitie and men of account. Thus God did ouerthrowe the greater number by the lesse, and by his force the multitude was an incumber to the enemie. But aboue all, this deliuerance was remarkable, for that God not onely freed France from the slauery of Infidels, but also the rest of Europe, the which this deluge had almost ouerflowne, as it had done A­sia and Affrike alreadie. So thankes were giuen vnto God, in all Christian Kingdoms, and the name of Martel generally renowned, as a cheefe instrument of the singular deliuerance of all Christendome. After this defeat, hee diuided the spoyles among the souldiars, and the better to reward the Nobilitie, he remitted them the tenthes and tithes for certaine yeares, with the consent of the Clergie, to whome he promi­sed sat [...]sfaction.

This memorable defeat was a seale of the new dignitie granted vnto Martel by the fauour of the French, confirmed by his owne valour, or rather by the bountie of God, the essentiall cause of his happinesse, This battaile was called the Batt [...]il of Tours: it happened in the yeare 730. but the end of this warre was the beginning of an other, and almost from the same spring,The battaile of Tours. and by the same current. We haue shewed Eudons deeds at the battaile of Tours. For this great seruice he expected some notable recom­pence: But Martel excusing himselfe, that he could not alienate the reuenewes of the Crowne, nor doe any thing to the preiudice of his Master, left Eudon no more aduan­ced then before the warres, and very ill satisfied: but he died soone after, leauing Hu­nault and [...]effroye his children, heires of [...]is d [...]scontent.

After their fathers decease, they seeke all possible meanes to trouble the quiet of France. Their cheefe strength was in Guienne: they had l [...]kewise [...]ome in Prouence, through the fauour of Maurice, Gouernour of the Countrie, and Earle of Marseilles, but especially in Languedoc, whence they were issued, as I haue said, being descended from the Visigoths, whose memorie with their name liues still throughout all that Pro­uince, although they all depend vpon the Crowne of France. Thus they assemble all the people they can,A famous war in Languedoc. either by friends or credit▪ and fortifie good Townes against the French, attending to make warre with al violence. But finding all these meanes too fee­ble for so great a proiect, they proceed farther. The Sarazins remayning in Spaine were much grieued at so great a losse of their men, being a general dishonour to al their na­tion. They are easily drawne into this League, to be reuenged of the French: & the better to f [...]rtifie their partie, they ioyne with the Vandales, Ostrogoths, & Alans, which remai­ned yet in Spaine, not friends among themselues, yet common enemies to the French.

[Page 53] A King Athin led the Sarazin troupes:738. Hunault and Ieffry brethren commanded those that were assembled in the Prouinces on this side Loire. Besides their forces they had intelligence within Lions, and the best Citties of Bourgongne, assuring themselues to seize vpon Daulphiné, as well for the neernesse of Languedoc, (where they had a great partie) as also by meanes of Maurice the Prouensall, and the credit they had with the principall of the Country.

Thus they make a great party, to vndermine and ruine the state of France, and did manage their practises with such secrecie, as their army was sooner in field then Mar­tell could haue intelligence of their preparations. The bodie of this armie assembled in Languedoc, passeth the Rosne, entreth into Daulphinè, and goes through it with such B celerity and ease, as (the Citties of Pierrelate. Saint Pol, Montlimar, Liuron, Valence Romans, & other Townes bordering vpon the Rosne, (hauing yeelded at the first brute) they surprise the Cittie of Lions, by meanes of their intelligence. Vienne alone held firme for the Kings seruice, in this deluge of Goths and Sarazins. The fidelity of the Vien­nois. They passed from Li­ons by Sauoye and the Countries on either side of the mount Iura, and in the ende seized on many of the best Citties of Bourgongne, Chaalon, Mascon Dijon, and Auxerre, by meanes of their intelligences and the generall amazement. Martel slept not in this con­fusion: but to preuent this vnexpected storme, he assureth the Citties, and leuies men with all expedition.The courage of a Bishop. The towne of Sens (through the resolute counsell of their bishop Otho) sallies forth so fitly vpon the Sarazin army, as (hauing slaine a great number) C they force them to raise the se [...]ge with shame. Other townes by their example growe resolute, vnder the assurance of their Commander, whom they finde carefull of their preseruation. Thus this army halfe victorious, (fearing a second skirmish of Tours, by the waighty blowes of Martel, loth to ingage themselues farther in France) retyres in­to the Countries of their allies, leauing garrisons in the townes they had surprised. One part passeth into Languedoc, and lodgeth in friend townes: an other se [...]zeth on Auignon (then a Cittie of Prouence) by the meanes of Maurice gouernour of the Country: Arles holds firme for the Kings seruice, amidest these confusions and the treachery of Mau­rice. Hunault and Ieffroy returne into their Country of Guienne, New at­tempts of the League. to preuent the desseins of Martel, and to retaine their townes in obedience. Hauing thus disposed of their as­faires, D they send ioyntly into Spaine for newe forces, whilest that Martell labors to settle that which they had disordered in many places. And in truth they had prouided worke for him, the which he preuented in this sort.

He sends Childebert presently into Prouence with a meane army, as well to assure the townes that stoode firme, as to keepe the enemy at a bay, and to crosse their desseins. Hee himselfe remaines in Bourgongne with a great army, to recouer such townes as were held by the enemy. Both worke according to their proiects, but not with like successe. Childebert beseegeth Auignon, but with much toyle, losse of time, and small hope of successe, so as he was shamefully forced to raise the seege: but then comes Mar­tel with his army, hauing recouered the Citties of Bourgongne, Lions and the rest of E Daulphinè, with the like facility as they had bin lost: punishing the rebells in all places. Being incamped before Auignon, he so presseth the seege, as in fewe daies he takes the towne and cuts the Sarazins in peeces: yet their King Athin saued himselfe in Lan­guedoc, by the riuer of Rosne, and retired to Narbone to his other troupes. Martel (ha­uing releeued the Cittie of Arles with a newe garrison) passeth into Languedoc, and beseegeth Narbonne, beeing then a very strong Citty and of great importance for the whole Prouince. And as this seege grewe long,A new army o [...] Sarazins in France. behold a newe armie of Sarazins comes out of Spaine, vnder the conduct of Amoré, an other pettie Sarazin King. Martel fearing least they of Guienne should come, and those within the Cittie issue forth, and all being vnited make one bodie of an army: he resolues to fight with them F apart, vsing this stratageme which succeeded happily. He leaues a part of his army be­fore the Citty, with the same countenance as if it had beene whole, rising without sound of drum or trumpet: and surpriseth this newe army of Sarazins with such celerity, as he defeats them.

[Page 54] 739. Athin frustrate of hope of any succors, saues him selfe by sea, with a small troupe,A and abandons Narbonne, and the whole Country, to the mercy of Charles Martel, then a Conqueror. This was the ende of that perillous warre bred by Hunault and Ieffroy the sonnes of Eudon: and the fruit of all these broyles in Languedoc, was that they brought those Citties which had followed them,Languedoc se­uerely puni­shed by Mar­tel. to extremity, whome Martel puni­shed seuerely for their rashnesse and rebellion. The histories name Narbonne, Nismes, Beziers and Agde, the which he caused to be sackt and burnt. It is likely that the anci­ent walls of Nismes were then pulled downe, whereof we nowe see the ruines of an ad­mirable greatnesse, vndoubtfull signes of the ancient beauty and welth of that goodly Cittie: the which in the time of the Romaine Empire, being free in Gaule Narbonoise, did enioye the priuileges of Italie, hauing had the honour to furnish Rome with an Em­perour.

Hunault and Ieffroy (being authors of this warre) remayned yet vnpunished. Mar­tel was diuerted by the warre he made against the Frisons, whome he vanquished and forced to become Christians: and to that ende he sends them Doctors. A pardonable zeale in a warrior: for in truth mens soules cannot be wonne by the sword, nor reli­gion forced, but must bee planted in the heart by reason. The punishement ofthese turbulent men, was reserued vnto Pepin, who knewe well howe to effect it, as we shall see. At this time King Thierri died, hauing raigned fiue and twenty, yeares in conceit: and left Childeric his sonne, not heire of the realme, but of his idlenes, to make the last release of the Crowne, and consigne it into a better hande.

CHILDERIC the fift, the 21, King of France, and the last of the first race.


[Page 55] A HE was King in shewe nine yeares,741. fiue vnder the authority of Charles Martel, and foure vnder Pepin, who dispossessed him, made him a Monke, and seated himselfe in his place, as wee shall see in order.

But let vs obserue what remaines of Martel. The care and toyle of great affaires, with his old age, hauing soare broken him, hee re­solues to dispose of things in time, and to leaue a peace to his Children. He had foure sonnes, Caroloman, Pepin, Giles and Griffon, all of diuers humours.The disposi­tion children and death of Martel. Caroloman and Giles more modest, and of a milder spirit, Pepin and Griffon, more rough and ambiti­ous. Whilest he liued, hee greatly honored the Kings person, neyther did he in open B shewe meddle with that maine point of royaltie: but in effect, diuiding his authority to his Children with the title of gouernments. He purchased them an inte [...]est by his vertue, & in time the possession of the realme. To his eldest son Caroloman he left Aus­strasia, to Pepin (whom he knew to be of a more quicke and hardie spirit) France, as the bodie of the Estate. And seeing Giles vnfit for armes, and giuen to deuotion, hee made him Arch-bishop of Rouan. To bridle the turbulent spirit of Griffon: and to take from him all occasion of debate, he would not giue him any certaine portion, but the good will of his elder brethren: being taught by the experience of former raignes, that many commanding brethren are dangerous to an estate: shewing himselfe more wise and happy therein then Clouis.

C Thus Charles Martel (hauing liued fifty fiue yeares) died in the yeare of grace 741. hauing commaunded absolutely in France twenty and fiue yeares, as Maior or Prince of the French, vnder the raignes of Chilperic, Thierri and Childeric. One of the worthiest men that euer liued, either in this Monarchie or in any forraine Estate. He was religious, wise, iust, valiant, modest in prosperity, resolute in aduersity, temperate in authority, not passionate nor reuengefull, dilligent and happie. By these excellent vertues hee did quietly purchase this goodly degree, whereby his posterity hath mounted to the royall throne, although he had but the payne to get it, and the honour to preserue the realme from ship-wrake in the weakenesse of these Kings, and the stormes of many confusions. His Children (according to the diuersity of their hu­mours) D had diuers euents. Caroloman wanted no valour, but hauing accompanied his Brother Pepin in diuers exploits, in the ende he resignes him all his authority, be­comes a Monke▪ and dies so at Vienne. Giles full of ambitious heat, not pleased with the wise resolution of his father, did all he could to crosse his brother Pepin, although hee had giuen him a sufficient portion in Normandie. Transported with this spleene, hee stirres vp the Saxons, Bauariens, and those of Guienne, against him at diuers times. In the end (beeing s [...]ppressed in all places, he vndertakes a voiage into Italie, to attempt some thing against his brother▪ but he was slaine by the way, by a gentleman of Bourgongne, as a man of no valour nor quality. This fire was thus quenched, and Giles died vnwor­thily, leauing this lesson to post [...]rity, That ambition hastens ruine, and contrariwise, That E the one halfe is better then the whole.

Forerunnings or preparatiues to the raigne of Pepin.

PEPIN, seeing himselfe alone in great authority, vnderpropt by the merits of his Grand-father and father, resolued so to behaue him selfe, as his owne deserts should not onely confirme this reputati­on left him by inheritance: but also perswade the French that hee F was worthy of a greater command, and by their free consents, hold him capable of the Crowne. He knew the humor of the French, who loue and honour their King with an especiall deuotion, and cannot bee induced to doe otherwise, but by great and vrgent reasons. Hee manageth this desseigne [Page 56] with such dexteritie,742. as hee effects it, and the meanes (which the prouidence of God A did minister vnto him) did as it were guide him by the hand: for to him wee must attri­bute the principall cause of this notable change.

The Sarazins infinitly greeued with these two defeats, prepare an other armie: Ief­froye was also on this partie, and it seemed this third League did threaten France with a greater confusion. P [...]pin remembring that his father had beene surprised, sends forth his spies, and being speedily aduertised, he assembles all the forces he could, with an incredible celeritie: and finding himselfe first in armes, he enters into Guyenne, and sei­zeth on the passages of the Pyrenee mountaines. Ieffroy being thus surprised, sets a good face on it, promising obedience to Pepin: and is a mediator for the Sarrazins, vnder­taking that they should renounce their interest, and neuer enter more into France. Pe­pin B obteining his desire, (being glad to haue preuented this storme, and forced so redoubted enemies to receiue a law from him) applied himselfe to the peoples hu­mor, who loue peace better then a bloudie victorie. He dismisseth his armie, busying himselfe in repayring of the Churches which the Sarazins had ruined in diuers pla­ces: to ease the Citties that were spoiled, and in giuing them meanes to recouer them­selues: to establish Iustice, to vnburthen the subiects of publike charges, and finally to let the French vnderstand that he was as fit for peace as warre.

The Church of Rome was then in great reputation throughout all Christendome, and the Popes did onely busie themselues with the seruice of God,Estate of the Church. to maintaine Prin­ces in concord, and subiects in their liberties, the which purchased them great credit,C for the singular respect Christian people ba [...]e to religion. Zacharie held then the Ponti­ficall seat, and had the Lombards for a cause of continuall feare, being his neere and irreconciliable enemies: against whome he could not haue more assured and speedie helpe then in France, and by Pepins meanes, who held the soueraigne authoritie. Mar­tel had alreadie auoided a most dangerous warre, through the amitie he had with Luit­prand King of the Lombards, after whose death, Rachise Duke of Friol, chosen in his place, threatens the Pope openly: for all the Lombards faire shewes, and his large pro­testations of friendship, were but foretel [...]ings of the breach of his faith. For this rea­son Zacharie entertained Pepin carefully, the which did helpe him much to compasse his desire. And although his ambitious humour made him sometimes to speake too D peremptorily of his victories and ordinarie deserts, yet could he conteine himselfe in greatest occasions: and behaued himselfe in such sort, as he seemed not to aspire vnto the Crowne, but that necessitie and the common consent of all the French, did (as it were) force him thereunto. The most remarkable thing in all the course of this history, is the order he held to compasse a desseine of so great importance.

As he discoursed couertly of his intention, and openly of the vrgent necessitie to prouide speedily for the estate of the Realme:Pep [...]ns means to make him­selfe King. hee had feed men to preach forth his prayses, and the disgraces of Childeric, being as visible in the one, as remarkable in the other: reason giuing due praise to vertue, and dishonour to vice. In the one they see a simple stupidity, in the other a wise viuacitie▪ in the one a foolish lightnes, in the o­ther E a stayed grauitie; in the one a brutish fu [...]ie, and in the other a moderate and tem­perate spirit: in the one a beastly carelesnes, in the other an actiue dilligence; in the one a dissolute intemperancie, and in the other a well gouerned continencie. So as in the one was all good, and in the other all bad; in the one all pleased, in the other all displeased; and theiractions were the table of their contrary dispositions. Childeric lo­ued no man, neither did any man loue him. Pepin loued all, and was beloued of all, tying all vnto him by all occasions and good turnes, and all to his masters losse. The common people loued Pepin intirely, as the Protector of their libertie▪ and hated Chil­deric as one that regarded not the common good, in respect of his foolish and beastly vol [...]tuousnes: being neither willing nor able to doe well.F

So the one being contemned and hated, was held vnworthie to raigne▪ the other praysed and beloued, was esteemed most worthie to be a king. The friends of Pepin failed not to proclaime his merits in all places, and the people imbraced it with all [Page 57] A content. But there were many difficulties in the execution of this generall d [...]sire:746. re­ligion (much respected by the French): the naturall reuerence and de [...]otion they bare to their Kings, and the remembrance of the merits of old Clouis, were strong lets to stay the violent desires of the most affectionate. But Pepin could well preuent all this by an admirable and happy dexterity. To the remembrance of Clouis vertues, he opposed the memory of horrible disgraces and infamies, wherewith his posterity had beene polluted: and withall, the carelesnesse of these latter Kings, noating all in ranke from father to sonne. And contrarywise, hee did represent vnto them, the liuely remembrance of the great merits of Pepin his grand-father, of Martell his fa­ther, and his owne▪ and from experience past, hee concludes of the future hope. As B for the reuerence of the French to their Kings: hee shewed that it was vowed to true Kings, and not to Kings in imagination, painted and disguised: and that the oth of fidelitie tyed them to a religious King, b [...]ing valiant, iust, mercifull, vpright, diligent, practised in affaires, fitte to withstand his enemies, to punish the wicked, to defend the good, and to protect the Christian lawe, according to the expresse wordes of the sol­lemne othe which the French giue their King at his Coronation. Why should they then be bound to a vicious King, negligent and carelesse of himselfe and his subiects, vnder the colour of a Crowne and Scepter? To conclude, the contract was limited, and the French were bound to obey that King that was a lawfull King, who (being endued with royall vertues) performed the office of a true King. These reasons C were plaine, and easilie receiued of all men, finding this change to be very necessary for the common good: neither was there any one but expected some profit in his owne particular, and sought to purchase the fauour of Pepin.

But yet there remained a scruple of religion, for the dispensing of their othe. This article must be decided at Rome, where Pepin (assuring himselfe of his good friends, who were necessarily to vse him) hoped for a good end, seeing the principall was de­termined by the consent of the French. He therefore sends Bruchard Bishop of Bourge [...] and Folrad his Chaplaine vnto Rome, (men pleasing to all, and faithfull to himselfe,) to represent the Estate of France, and the generall desire of the French, to Pope Zacha­rie. The Pope (duly informed of the weaknesse of Childeric (being hated and con­temned D of all men, without any support,) and of the generall resolution of the French to receiue Pepin, but chiefely moued with hope, to draw great helpes from him against the Lombards his capitall enemies) dispensed the French from their oth of obedience to Childeri [...], and to all his race.

Now shall that race be dispossessed, and this decree shall be the last act of the Merouingiens Tragedie.

THE SECOND RACE OF THE KINGS OF FRANCE, called Carolouingiens, either of Charles Martel, or of Charlemagne, the chiefe pillers of this race.
Oracles to iudge rightly of the estate of this second race.

‘God is Iudge, he puls downe one, and sets vp another. Man walkes as a shadow: he striues in vaine: he gathers goods, and knowes not who shall enioy them. O Lord what is man, that thou shouldest be mindfull of him? or the sonne of man, that thou so regardest him? Man is like vnto nothing: his dayes are like a shadow that vanisheth, the sonnes of men are as nothing: and great men are but as a lye. If they were all together put in a ballance, they would be found more light then vanitie. It is hee notwithstanding, that preserueth Kings.’



[Page 59]

A particular Chronologie of the second Race, From the yeare 741. vnto the yeare nine hundred eightie eight.
Yeares of grace.Number of Kings.CHARLES MARTEL OF
741.22.The stock or stem of this second Race, is numbred among the Kings, the 22. for he raigned in effect during the life of the Id [...]e Kings, and so was buried among the Kings. After the royall gouernment of 25. yeares, he left it to his sonne.
750.23.Pepin, the briefe, or short, who was crowned King, Chilperic 4. being degraded in the yeare 750. & left the crowne peaceab [...]e to his sonne.
814.24.Charlemaigne, great in name and in effect, who remaining absolute Monarke of the realme of France & Austrasia, with all the dependan­ces Northward: he added to this great masse, all Italy, & the greatest part of Spain, & so possessing the territories of the Empire in the west, he was receiued & installed E [...]p. of the west, hauing raigne [...] 40. y.
840.25.Lewis his sonne▪ surnamed the Gentle, succeeded him, and raigned Ki [...]g & Emperour 27. yeares, and to him succeeded:
878.26.Charles the 2. called the Bald King an [...] Emperour, who raigned 33 yeares: and to Charles the 2. succeeded,
879.27.Lewis the 2. his sonne, called the Stuttering, King and Emperour, who raig­ned but a yeare and six moneths.
  At his death he left his wife with child, who being borne, was acknow­ledged for lawfull King, and called Charles the Simple: his minoritie lasted 22. yeares. Many Tutors, & many confusions. These Regents are crowned Kings, and (acknowledged by that name) doe hold the ranke among Kings, and so we must diuide these 22. yeares, to euery Regent according to his raigne.
881.28.Lewis the 3. and Caroloman, bastard of Lewis the stuttering, raigne as Regents fiue yeares.
889.29:Charles the 3. a Prince of the bloud, called the grosse▪ as Regent, he raigned 7. yeares, being both King and Emperour▪ he was put from them both.
896.30.Eudes or Odon sonne to Rob. Duke of Aniou, as Regent he raigned 10. y. In the confusion of these last Maisters, the royall aut [...]ori [...]y being great­ly weakned, many Countries freed themselues from the obedience of the French Monarchie. So fell out
  Both in Germanie & Italy. The body of the Empire remained in Ger­manie, being afterwards gouerned by an Emperour, chosen by the Princes Electors. And Italy was dismēbred into diuers Principalities, vnder diuers Potentates. In the end, after this minority of 22. [...]eares,
899.31.Charles the 4. called [...]he Simple, sonne to Lewis the Stuttering was crow­ned as lawfull King, & raigned 25. yeares. But Raoul of Bo [...]rgong [...]e,
923.32.A Prince of the bloud, was called by the League, to put downe King Charles, called the Simple: being imprisoned by them, and forced to renounce the Crowne. Charles dying with griefe, Raoul raigned 13. yeares: but in the end was expelled from this vniust vsurpation.
936.33.Lewis the 4 called d'Outremer, or beyond the sea, sonne to Charles the Simple, being called out of England, (whether his Mo [...]her had carried him to preserue him from the League) was acknowledged King, and raig­ned twenty and nine yeares.
954.34..Lothaire his sonne su [...]c [...]eded him, who raigned thirtie and three yeares.
986.35.Lewis the 5. sonne to Lothaire, raigned about two year [...]s, and dying with­out issue, interred with him the race of Charles Martel as his Ancestors had of long time obscured his vertues, and that of the valiant Charle­magne, vnfortunate in their successors.

Thus the second race called Carl [...]ingiens, hauing raigned 230. yeare [...], ended [...] Lewis the 5. and gaue place to the third ra [...]e, which raignes at this day.

750.PEPIN the short, the 23. King of France: and first of the second race.


THE French thus freed by the Popes dispensation, from their oth A of obedience, assemble their generall Estates: and to auoyde con­fusion in the Realme, apparently growen by the negligence of their Kings, they conclude to reiect Childeric, and to choose Pepin: the one vnworthie to raigne, by reason of his vices, and the other most worthie to be King, for his royall vertues.

And to the end, the fundamentall Law of state should not bee directly infringed in this new election, they bring Pepin from the race of great Clouis, of whome they sayd hee should be acknowledged for the next heire,Pepin chosen King by the Parli [...]ment, and Childeric reiected. seing that (vertue & his race being duely weighed) he approched nerest to him in vertue. Pepin himselfe would not assist at this assemblie: that the offer of this dignitie (being made without his apparēt seeking it) might be the more honorable. Being called to heare the general B conclusion of the Parliament, and the common desire of all the French, hee presents himselfe, being pleasing to all men, in more then an ordinary sort: little of bodie, but shewing in his countenance the greatnes of his spirit: amiable by his mild and modest behauiour, and admirable for his graue pleasing Maiestie.

The Assembly lets him vnderstand by Boniface Archbishop of Mayence or Mentz, that the French (in regard of his vertues, and their future hope) h [...]d by a free and gene­rall consent, chosen him King of France. And for execution of the said decree, hee was instantly (in the presence of them all) installed King, the royall Crowne was set vpon his head by the said Archbishop, and then he was raysed vpon a target, and carri­ed C about the assembly, after the ancient ceremonie of the French. And by vertue of [Page 61] A the same decree, Childeric was chalenged as vnworthy of the Crowne, degraded, sha­uen, and confined into a Monastery, thereto passe the remainder of his daies. This no­table change happened in the yeare 750. in the Citty of Soissons, but with so resolute a consent of all the French nation [...], as there appeared not any one that made shew to dislike thereof. A most assured testimony, that Go [...] had so determined,Soueraigne c [...]u [...]es of this cha [...]ge. hauing res [...]r­ued to himselfe the soueraigne authority ouer Kings, to place and di [...]lace, gird & vn­gird, raise and cast downe, according to his good pleasure, alwaies iust, & alwaies wise. To him we must ascribe the principall and soueraigne cause of all changes: For God is the gouernour, as hee is the Creator: It being a necessary consequence, that he gouernes that which he hath created and by his prouidence wat [...]eth especially ouer B mankinde, for whom he hath made the world. If we shall otherwise seeke the neerest causes of this alteration, we may iustly say, that vice dispossessed Childeric, & vertue set Pepin in possession of the Crowne: loue & the reuerence of s [...]biects▪ being the s [...]pport of publike authority: hate and contempt the ruine thereof. To the end that Princes by so worthy an example, may learne to banish vice▪ (which making them hatefull & contemptible) thrusts them from their Thrones: and to plant vertue, which causing them to be respected and honored, makes them to raigne ouer nations.

Now we begin a new gouernment, vnder new Kings, and in a new race. In the be­ginning we shall see two great Princes,The estate of this second race. vnder whom good order shall make an altera­tion C of affaires, with an abundance of all blessings, both spirituall & temporall: Iustice, wisdom, pollicie, armes, valour, large limits of territories, abundance of peace, & the excellent knowledge of learning, to raise this estate to the greatest happines that euer it enioyed, & scarse any other kingdom whatsoeuer, let forraine nations say what they please. But the happines of these two Kings shall not be hereditary in their poste [...]ity, who beginning soone to degenerate, shall decline by degrees, vntil that vice depriuing them of the Crowne, vertue shall giue it to another, who shall shew himselfe a more lawfull successor, and righter heire to Charlemagne, hauing a better part in his vertues. This second race shall enioy the kingdom 237. yeares, beginning to raigne in the yeare 750. & ending in the yeare 987. hauing begun by vertue, and ended by vice. A goodly l [...]s [...]on for Potentates: th [...]t bounty, wisdom and valour,In [...]uction for gre [...]t men. are no hereditarie possessions D to be left vnto their children, but they are the gifts of God, the author of all good, and their soueraigne Prince, to whom they owe homage for their greatnesse, as to him of whom depends absolutely all the kingdoms of the earth, and whose prouidence is the infallible rule of the changes which wee se [...] incident to mankinde, the w [...]ch the ig­norant without reason, attribute to blind fortune.

Pepin seeing himselfe seated in the throne of the French Monarchie, by the honou­rable fauour of the French:Pepin striues to win their loues by good [...]eeds. he resolues to satisfie their hopes by the effects of his ac­tions: and begins to confirme in their mindes the true and firme bond of obedience, the which is vnited with these two strings, loue, and the peoples respect to their supe­riours. No thing being more naturall, then to loue him from whom wee receiue or E hope for good, and to respect him whom we hold sufficient to make vs to liue peace­ably and in quiet, especially when he hath power and command in the commonweale, without the which the particular cannot subsist.

Thus Pepin assembles the generall estates, meaning to laye a good foundation in time for the affayres of the realme, by the aduice of such as had called him▪ An assembly of the general estates. and according to his Fathers stile, hee names this assembly a Parliament, wherevnto hee calles the Clergie, the Nobilitie, the Iudges of the land, and the common peo­ple: that with one consent they might resolue what was necessary for the whole estate, consisting of these goodly parts. During these alterations, the Saxons (as farthest from their Maisters) had shaken off the yoake of the French obedience:The Saxons rebe [...]l and are subdued. and F by their example and practises, had drawne other people of Germanie (subiect to this Crowne) to the like reuolt. Pepin armes presently, and goes with such expedition, as he ouerthrowes them at the passage of the riuer of Vistula: but the Popes distresse giues him presently a new cause to imploy his forces▪ for Zacharie being dead, [Page 62] Stephen the second (a Romaine borne) succeeds both in place and trouble [...]751 be [...]ng [...]or­ced A to defend himselfe against the Lombardes, the capitall enemies of the Romane [...]. Astolpho was then their King, who made great preparatiues against this new Pope, al­though he made no shew of open hatred. Stephen well informed of the Lombards h [...] ­mour and intent, resolues (not to attend the stroake) but to fortifie himselfe in time, & seeking [...]i [...]st to Constantine Emperour of the East, without any [...]uccesse, hee intreates Pepin to succour him: from whom hauing receiued a fauourable answer, the better to obtaine the remedy he expected,Pe [...]in pro­uid [...]s [...] the affair [...]s of Italy. he resolues to go into France: where be [...]ng honou­rably entertained by Pepin, he doth againe Crowne him King of France, in Saint Denis Church, in a great and solemne assembly, and makes miserable Childeric a Monke, as­signing him the Cloister for a perpetuall prison, & a Friars frock for an ignominious B punishment, [...]ithout any hope of returne. Then he imployed all his wits to perswade Pepin, to vndertake the voyage of Italy against the Lombards, and drew him easily ther­vnto. But Astolpho (fearing the Pope,) imployed Carolom [...]n the brother of Pepin to diuert him from this enterprise. This Caroloman was a Monke, and in great reputation of piety▪ A w [...]se [...] of Pepin [...] vn­d [...]rtaking a warre. but he could not disswade Pepin from this desseine: yet would he not attempt any thing rashly, but first trie mildnesse before force. Hee therefore sends his Ambas­sadors to the Lombard, to summon him to yeeld Rauenna, and all the Townes of the six gouernours to the Pope. Astolphe vseth great temperance in his answers, to shew the reuerence he bare to the Church of Rome, and to Pepins intercession: but he resolued neuer to yeeld any thing. Pepin finding the Lombards euasions and policie, who sought C but to auo [...]de this storme, assembles a Parliament: and layes before them both dutye a [...]d nec [...]ssity, to succour the Pope. To t [...]is end hee resolues to le [...]e an Armie against the Lombard. Winter being spent in these treaties, and in the preparations for warre: in the Spring he enters Italy with a strong and mighty armie, which marcheth victori­ouslie in all places, taking Townes, and [...]poiling the country of Astolphe, and then hee went to besiege Pauia, the capitall Ci [...]ty of Lombardie. Astolphe foreseeing his ruine, flies to humble intreaties, both to the Pope and Pepin. The Pope lulled a sleepe with the Lombards faire promises, not greatly louing the French, but by constraint: suffers himsel [...]e first to bee abused, and then hee perswades Pepin to returne backe into France D

Astolpho promi [...]ed to yeeld vp both Rauenna, and all that hee deteined from the Church, the which [...]e could not performe in so great a desolation of his country, be­ing [...] charged [...] such an enemy. [...] breaks his [...] and [...] Rome. Stephen was we [...]l satisfied with this promise, forget­ing [...]he Lombard [...] humour, so wel [...] knowne vnto him. Pepin glad to see the Pope satisfi­ed hauing no other obiect b [...]t to giue him satisfaction) returnes presently into France, to his [...]wne [...]ffaires. But he had s [...]arce passed the Alpes, when as Astolpho assembles all hi [...] subiect [...] (being mad with rage for their great losses, and infi [...]itly incensed against the Pope, who had drawne in the French) and enters the ter [...]ito [...]ies of the Church in [...] manner,The Lombard [...] Rome, and is forced to [...] and to sue for a peace. sackes and [...] all with a f [...]rious cruelty: & sodenly besiegeth Rome, where t [...]e Pope was resident. Stephen amazed at this vnexpected violence, sends back E to Pepin, implores his aide, laments his cred [...]lity, and detest [...] the treachery of the Lom­bards: [...]e beseecheth him to make hast, if he will preserue his old age from the cruell hand of this disloyall, and the whole Church from a horrible desolation, exceeding that of the Vandales or Ostrogoths.

Pepin moued with the Popes intreaties, and the ancient daunger▪ assembles his for­ce [...], with a wonderfull celerity▪ and although Constantin by a most affectionate mes­sage laboured to d [...]uert him, yet he brings back his army into Italy. [...]he fruite of his re­turne was both sodaine & great: for Astolpho at the brute thereof raiseth the siege from before Rome, and retires to Pauia, the capitall Citty of his realme. Pepin besiegeth him an [...] [...]orceth him to accept of such conditions of peace, as hee wou [...]d prescribe. viz. F [...]. Astolpho should presently deliuer vp all that he held of the Church▪ and giue [...] and Pepin should remaine in Italy at the Lombards charge, vntill hee had [...] all things. Astolpho sends in forty hostages, yeelds Raue [...]na, with the Citties of [Page 63] A the sixe Gouernours,754. and those hee held in Romagnia ▪ but when there remained no more to deliuer vp, but the Citties of Ferrara and Faenze ▪ the Lombard did cunningly delay the full accomplishment of his promise, to finde some meanes to send backe so rude an officer as the French, lying vpon his countrie in garrison, and spoiling it, and so to deceiue both the Pope and Pepin: but behold a strange accident befalls him.Of an ill life an vnhappy end. Being a hunting, chasing more after his fantasies then the beast, his horse casts him downe a rocke and breakes his neck.

Thus the subtill Lombard thinking to deceiue, was deceiued: he ended his subtiltie with his life, and the warre begun by him without reason, by a iust death. The Pope re­couers his places, and Pepin returnes into France, taking nothing in Italy, but leauing the realme of Lombardie in the same estate he found it, without any alteration. This B Kingdome ended not with Astolpho, for Didier Duke of Hetruria his neere kinsman, seizeth presently thereon, by meanes of his intelligences: but Rachise brother to A­stolpho (who was lately become a Monke) leaues his frock, to enioy his fathers king­dome: yet for that he was the weaker in this iust title, the Pope pacified this contro­uersie in fauour of Didier, who remained King of Lombardie, vpon condition that the Citties of Ferrara and Faenze should be yeelded to the Church. But let vs returne to Pepin ▪ his absence, with two yeares continuall warres, had broken the vsuall custome to call a Parliament, and bred many disorders within the realme▪ Pepin con­firmes his au­thoritie by a Parliament. so as being returned into France, he presently called a sollemne Parliament, wherein he established lawes ac­cording C to the inconueniences that were to be redrest: as good lawes doe commonly proceed from bad manners. In this assembly he gaue audience to the Ambassadors of the Emperour Constantin, who demanded a confirmation of the amitie and alliance which the Emperour had with the house of France: and receiues the new homage of Tassillon Duke of Bauiere. So referring all matters of importance to the iudgement of the Estates, honouring them that had honoured him, he doubled his subiects deuotion, and established good lawes within his realme. But knowing the humour of the French, impatient of rest, he found how difficult it was to reteine them long in peace, without some forraine imploiment: and necessity presents him two occasions, one in Guienne, He makes a forreine wit to auoide a ciuill. and the other in Saxonie, Countries subiect to the Crowne of France, but both impati­ent of the French command. The Saxons began first▪ with whom Tasillon Duke of Baui­ere, D(who as we said did homage to the King) ioines, contrary to his oth. This warre see­med of some difficultie, drawing to it all the other Germaines subiect to this Crowne: but Pepin preuented it with such speed, as hauing suppressed the Saxons, he forced them to a new obedience, charging them to bring him yearly three hundred good horses for an homage: that they should vndergo the censure of the Estates, & be enemies to the enemies of the King and realme.

Hauing thus pacified Saxonie, he makes a generall assembly at Wormes, to settle the affaires of Austrasia: from thence he marcheth with his victorious armie, against Ief­froy Duke of Guienne, according to the resolution of th [...] Estates, being leuied for that E occasion. We haue said, that Eudon father to Ieffroy had greatly disquieted France, and left his children heires of his discontent▪ but Martel withdrawne by new difficulties, could not finish that which he had begun▪ Ieffroy remaines sole Duke of Guienne, by the death of his brother▪ he growes daily more insolent, bandies all his subiects of Guienne openly against France, and afflicts the Clergie infinitly in their liues and liuings. Pepin begins with admonitions and threats▪ but Ieffroy grows more obstinate in contemning his Kings command▪ so as they must come to open force, and Ieffroy must pay the in­terests of his long delayes. Pepin enters Guienne with an armie, and Ieffroy seeing his resolution, sends his deputies to auoide this storme,Warre in Guienne. beseeching him with all humilitie to pardon what was past, promising obedience. Pepin (hauing comanded him to make F restitution to the Clergie) returnes into France and dismisseth his armie, supposing Gui­enne to be quiet▪ Ieffroy seeking his owne ruine by his furious rashnes, goes to field with such forces as he could leuie among his subiects, & hauing pas [...]ed Loire, he enters Bour­gogne in hostile manner, hoping to surprise Cha [...]lons. The King held a Parliament at [Page 64] Orlea [...]s, 764 when this intelligence came vnto him, he sends them presently to Neuers: as­sembleth A his forces, and marcheth against Ieffroy, who sodenly repasseth the riuer, and with great marches recouers Bourdeaux, as the Citie of his greatest safetie, being as much confu [...]ed in his defence, as he was rash in his attempt. Pepin pursues him, and in his passage all the Townes of Guienne yeeld without any difficulty, as to him whom they acknowledge for their lawfull King. Ieffroy forsaken of all men, pursued criminally by his Prince, is slaine by one of his houshold seruants, and is interred like a beast, in a marish [...]ere to Bourdeaux In detestation of his memory,Ieffr [...]y pitti­fully slaine, [...] like a beast. A foolish life, a filthy end. the place is called the Tombe of Caiphas vnto this day. Thus was the vniust and rash rebellion of Ieffroy punished: & by his death the warre died in Guienne: and the wise valour of Pepin was so much the more commended, for that his iust pursute was accompanied with patience and mild­nesse.B But Pepin was mortall▪ the toile of so great warres, & the care of publike affaires, had much broken him, so as his old age might be more profitably imployed in the maintenance of Iustice and peace, then in warre, the burthen whereof he might with­out danger lay vpon his eldest sonne Charles, Pepin resignes the Crowne to Charles. a wise & a valiant young Prince, of whose modestie and obedience he was well assured.

Thus resoluing to passe the rest of his dayes in quiet, but not idlely, he retires to Paris. but soone after he was surprised with a sicknesse, whereof hee dyed, and so went to heauen, there to find rest which he could enioy on earth: it was in the yeare 768. & of his raigne the eighteenth. By his wife Berthe with the great foote, he left two sonnes,C Charles and Caroloman: recommending them to the Estates, to giue them portions at their pleasures. So great was the assurance of this good Prince in the loue of his sub­iects, whom as he had made the most assured gard of his person & state, so at his death he left his children to their faithfull discretion.Pepins childrē He had seuen daughters, Berthe the wife of Milon Earle of Mans, mother to that great Roland, Hiltrude wife to René Earle of Genes, mother to that renowmed Oliuer, Ro [...]arde, Adeline, Idubergue, Ode and Alix. He had the happines to enioy his owne father, vntill hee came to the age of man: the like good hap continued in his children: and for the perfecting of his happinesse, hee had a sonne, one of the greatest and most excellent Princes that euer ware crowne. Thus Pe­pin the first of that race,His death. mounted the royall throne of France: thus he raigned, thus he liued, and thus he died, leauing to his posterity a happy taste of his name. A religious D Prince,His manners. wise, moderate, valiant, louing his subiects, & beloued of them, happy in father, in children, & in his gouernment, an excellent patterne for excellent Princes, who by his example hold it for a resolute maxime, That the strongest cittadell of a Prince is the loue of his subiects, and the surest bond of their authority, a respect gotten and pre­serued by vertue.

Estate of the Empire and of the Church.

BVt before we enter the raigne of Charlemagne, we must briefely represent the estate of the Romane Empire, the which was happily vnited to the French Monarchy, and of the Church of Rome, by reason whereof there happened great and notable exploits vnder his raigne.The Empire in the West. The Empire of Rome had nothing remaining in the West, as we haue E shewed. Gaule was possessed by the French, with the best part of German [...]e: & since the beginning of their Monarchie, vnto the time we now describe, it hath beene greatly in­larged,In Gaule. not onely in compasse of territories, & obedience of people, but also in reputa­tion of ciuility, mildnesse, iustice, wisdome, and valour, aswell by the happy successe of their victorious armies, as by the modest vsage of their victories, towards such as they subdued▪ In Spaine. Spaine was apportioned to diuers nations, Vandales, Goths, Sarazins, pelmel, some here, some there▪ Italy was in miserable estate. Rome (sometimes the head of the world) was then the sinke of all confusion,In Italy. the Rendezuous of all furious nations, as if they had vndertaken the ruine thereof by taske, hauing sackt it three time: for vnder the Empire of Honorius, in the yeare of grace 414▪ the Goths, by their King Alari [...], F tooke it after two yeares siege, and sackt it, without demanteling thereof. Fortie fiue yeares after, vnder the Empire of Martian, in the yeare 459. the Vandales vnder the conduct of Genserike their King, take it againe, sacke it, spoyle it, and disgrace it, [Page 65] A leading the widow of the Emperour Valentinian the third, basely in triumph.768. In the time of I [...]st [...]nian the Emperour, the Goths vnder the command of To [...]ila, hauing vn­dermined it with a long siege, tooke it, sackt it, and demanteled it. Thus Rome was no more Rome, but a horrible confusion, after so many ruines, retaining nothing of her ancient beauty, but onely the traces of her old buildings, and the punishment of [...]erty­rannie, hauing endured that which she had caused other Citties to suffer.

Behold Italy wasted, infinitely tormented by sundrie enemies,Ital [...] desolate, by the Goths. who had vniustly af­flicted all the nations of the earth. The Goths had fi [...]st seized thereon, and enioyed it long▪ but as vnder the Empire of Iustinian in the yeare of Christ 552▪ they were ex­pelled by the valour of Narses, an excellent Captaine, who de [...]eated their armie, slew B their King Totila, and repeopled Rome: so soone after, the Lombards comming out of Germanie, lodged in their place, as if they had played at leuell coyle [...], being drawne thether by Narses himselfe, discontented with the ill vsage hee receiued from I [...]s [...]ni­an his maister. The Lombards held Italy about 200. yeares,By the Lom­bard [...]. vntill that Cha [...]l [...]magne expelled them. At the same time the six Gouernours for the Empire of Rome, held Ra­uenna and some other Citties depending, (thus was the greatnesse of the Romaine Empi [...]e restrained) but with such couetousnesse and insole [...], as it tyred them no lesse then forraine foes. That gouernment of sixe ended by the Lombards, and the Lombards by the French, (as the sequel will shew) who purchased credit euery where,The which [...] by the F [...]nch. by comparing of the barbarous and confu [...]ed inuasions of these warlike nations, C they adding to the valour and good successe of their armes, iustice, pietie, te [...]pe­rance and clemencie: this re [...]utation of vertue, winning them as many hearts as the [...]r swords did C [...]tties.

During these confused and obscure times, there passed about 400. yeares, from the first sack of Rome, vntill that Charlemagne (expelling the Lombardes) became abso­lute maister of Italie, & was made Emperour at Rome. All this passed vnder the Em­pires of Theod [...]sius, sonne to Arcadius, of Valentinian the 3. Martian, Leo the second, Zenon, Anastasi [...]s, Iustin the fi [...]st, Iustinian the first, Iustin the second, Tiberius, Mauritius, Phocas, Heraclius, Constantin the second, Iustinian the second, Philippicus, Artemius, Leo the third, Constantin the third, Leo the fourth, Ireneus, Nicephorus, vnder whom by a D publicke and sollemne contract, the distinction of the Easterne and Westerne E [...] ­pires was made.

The command of the West is left as it were in garde with Charlem [...]gne, and the French nation. But the East was in a bad plight, although the name and [...]eate of the Empire were yet at Constantinople: for besides the dissipation of the State, (to in­crease their miserie) a new sect sprung vp, forged by Mahomet an Arabian borne▪ E [...]tate of the East. vnder a colour of libertie, by the mixture of sundrie doctrines, and after a mou [...]d of carnall felicitie. With this charme hee corrupted infinite numbers of people, and erected a new Kingdome in the East, from whence hee vtterly expelled the Romaine name, with all the dignitie of the Empire. This was in the time of the Emperour E Heraclius, in the yeare of grace 623. an infamous date,The begin­ni [...]g of Ma­homets sect. to note the beginning of Ma­homets blaspemies. Hee began in Arabia, hauing wonne credit with the Sarrazins, who were Arabian Souldiars, desperate aduenturers▪ and discontented with the Ro­maines: and by the first beginning of his new doctrine, hee gotte so great reputation, as hee assembled an infinite number of men, armed with an incredible celeritie, vnder the enseigne of liberty. So as he marched as a conquerour in all places, hauing not onely subdued (by the force of these tumultuous troupes, Arabia, where hee was borne) but also Persia, Palestina, Iudea, Egipt, and Affrike, and then ranging ouer Asia the lesse▪ he came to the gates of Constantinople, in lesse then thirtie yeares.

Bu [...] the prouidence of God, caring for the preseruation of his Church, opposed F the Fr [...]ch Monarchie, against the violent rage of Mahomet, which else had ouer­flowed all Europe, into the which hee had already made a breach by Spaine, had got­ten a great countrie, and was ready to inuade France, if Charles Martel had not stopt his course at Tours ▪ as wee haue sayd. During these confusions in the Empire, the [Page 66] Bishop of Rome grewe great by these ruines. The Goths and Vandales were more ene­mies A to the estate, then to religion: for although for the most part they were Arriens, yet did they aduow themselues Christians,The Estate of the Church of Rome. and held the common signe of Christiani­tie, so as in the taking and sacking of the Cittie of Rome, the Bishop was somewhat res­pected, & in his fauour the people built vpon the foundation of the ruined houses▪ and many of the Countrie finding more safetie at Rome, then in other citties of Italie, rety­red themselues thither, and peopled the Cittie. So by this occasion newe Rome (the seat of the Popes iurisdiction succeeding the Emperours) hath beene built within old Rome, amidst the Pallaces, walkes, Basiliques, Coli [...]ees, Amphytheatres, and other ancient buildings.

But aboue all, the credit and authoritie of the Bishop of Rome (by these new oc­currents) crept in by degrees, vntil he aduanced hi [...]selfe aboue the Emperours, Kings,B & Princes of Christendome: yet he of Constantinople held himselfe the Superior, being in the proper seat of the Empire, and in the light of the Imperiall Court. Thus they fall to debate,Contention for the Priemacie. and the cause of their dissentions was the preheminence of their seas, and the authoritie of the vniuesall Bishop. This contention bred infinite confusions in the Church, and in an vnseasonable time, which inuited men to sacke and spoyle. So as S. Gregorie Bishop of Rome (a man of singular p [...]et [...]e & learning) hauing couragious­ly opposed himselfe against Iohn Bishop of Constantinople, who affected this title of v­niue [...]sall Bishop, and detesting so vnreasonable and vnseasonable an ambition, cries out. Oh times, oh manners, the whole world is set on fire with warre. Christians are euerie C where massacred by Idolaters, A worthie speech [...] S. Gregorie. Citties and Temples razedby Barbarians, and yet the past­ors of the Church (as it were treading vnder foot the common calamitie of Gods people) dare vsurpe names of vanitie, and braue it with th [...]se prophane titles.

The reader curious to vnderstand the Estates of those times, and to note the de­grees and authoritie of this vniuersall B [...]shop, established in the Church, may read the epistles of this good father, great in name, and in effect, without troubling my selfe to [...]et them downe in particular▪ whose intention was to shew, That who so taketh vpon him the authoritie and title of vniuersall Bishop in the Church, and to haue any Soue­raigne preheminence, presumes aboue Iesus Christ, the onely head of the sacred bodie of the Church,Hee that takes on him the title [...] vniu [...]r­s [...]ll [...] is the [...] o [...] Antichrist. and by consequence he doth affirme that he is the fo [...]er [...]nner of Anti­christ.D And yet after these graue and serious admonitions of Saint Gregorie the great, within tenne yeares after Boniface the third obteined from Phocas the Emperour the title of vniuersall Bishop, with authoritie ouer the vniuersall Church, as Platina the Pope [...] Secretary doth re [...]ort.

To this quarrell for the Supremacie, was added the controuersie for images, which caused infinite confusions:Dispute for Images. the [...]mperours and Bishops were banded one against a­nother, and by their dissentions the people were stirred vp to seditious reuolts, the which a [...]ter many Tragicall euents, were a meane to ruine the Empire of the East. It was a popular custome to erect Images to those whome they would honour, as ha­uing deserued well of the Common weale. Christians desiring to honour the memo­rie E of holy men, began to set vp images euen for them also, following this ciuill custome, and did erect them in Temples, as places consecrated to deuotion. Some Bishops [...]auored this new deuice in the Church, and others did impugne it. Epiphani­us did teare a picture in peeces,Images at the [...] a politike [...]. and Serenus did beat downe an image, the one in the E [...]st, the other in the West. The Christians borne and bred in this ancient doctrine of the Apostles, My children beware of Images, maintain [...]d in the Catholike Church, by suc­cession from father to sonne, could not digest this innouation: no more could the Em­perours.

Hence grew the dissention, the greatest part of the Bishops holding the contrarie; That it was a part of the seruice of God, and a bond to retayne mens soules in deuoti­on F with reuerence. This contention grew in the time of the Emperour Philippicus cal­led Bardanes, who by an Edict caused them to be throwne downe, in the yeare of grace 713. the which continued to 782. vnder Constantin the second called Copronimus, an [Page 67] A enemie to images, who commaunded them to bee cast downe, contra [...]y to the liking of his mother Irene, who not onely maintained them with violence, but also caused them to be confirmed by a Councel held at Nicee a Cittie in Bithinia, seeing [...] at Con­stantinople (where sh [...] had made the conuocation of this Ecclesiasticall Assembly) the people were resolute to withstand them. Hence grew an execrable Tragedie in the Imperiall Court. Irene seing her sonne resolute against her de [...]ence o [...] I [...]ages, was so transported, (as hauing seized on him in his chamber) she caused his eyes to be put out, so as dying with greefe, she vsurps the Empire. Through this bad gouernment,Tragicall cru­eltie of a mo­ther against her so [...]ne. confusion so increased in the East, as in the end necessitie made the way for Charlemag­ne, to take vpon him the dignitie and title of the Emperour of the West, and to preserue B prouinces in those parts from the disorders of the Gr [...] Emperours, as wee may see in the continuance of t [...]is Historie.

I am bound to obserue these so notable occurrents, in those times, as belonging to the subiect of my Historie, to represent truely both the Estate of the Empire and of the Church, when as Charlemagne vndertooke the gouernement of the Empire, and vnited it happily to the French Monarchie. The wise reader may verifie more plainly in the Originalls, (from whence I haue drawne this Inuentorie) what I haue briefly set downe here touching the occurents of those ages, wherein the Oracle of holy antiquitie was verified by the end of these strāge Tragedies. The truth is lost by contending. The first sim­plicitie of the Catholike Church, being rich in her pouertie by the abundance of truth, C conteined since the golden age of the Apostles and their D [...]sciples, was changed into rich and stately pompe: the Crownes of martirdome wherewith the fi [...]st Bishops of Rome had beene honoured, into a triple Crowne,Estate of the anciēt church which not onely hath and doth giue Lawes to the Emperours, Kings and Princes of the earth, but doth tread them vnder foot, dispossesse them of their estates,Insolencie of Pop [...]s at this day. and declares them incapable of rule when they obey him not: and for a marke of this soueraigne authoritie, hee makes them to kisse his feet, in token of the homage of deuotion, and spirituall reuerence, as hauing power ouer soules, to iudge of all men, and all things soueraignly, and not to bee iudged by a­ny, as the circumstances of our historie wil shew in diuerse places.

D This was the Estate both of the Empire and of the Church vnto the death of Pe­pin the short, the first King of the second race, in the yeare 750. or thereabouts.

CHARLES the Great, or CHARLEMAGNE, the 24. King of France.
From the yeare 768. vnto the yeare 814.


768. THE Estates of France assemble after the death of Pepin, and by A their consents and aduice,Pe [...]ine childrē diuide the realme. Charles and Carolomon his sonnes di­uide the realme betwixt them by equall portions. Ch [...]rles was crowned at Wormes, Carol [...]man at Soissons: writers agree not in the declaration of their portions, for that by the death of Cara­loman, the whole realme came to Charles, three yeares after the death of their Father. Brothers of diuers humors, who in the end had ruined each other by this equalitie of power, which proues often an vniust and a dangerous ballance in an estate. But Gods will was to preserue so great a Monarchie in Europe, to be a harbour for his Church, by chosing a great Prince, to vnite in him alone the power which is dismembred by the com­mand B of many Maisters.

Charles was endued with singular gifts, both of body and minde, wherevnto (by the wi [...]e care of his father Pepin) was added (as a seale) the instructions of a vertu­ous conuersation,Charles the patterne of a great King. His manners. learning and armes. For the ground of all vertues, he was carefully instructed in religion, the which hee loued and honoured with great reuerence all his life time; and likewise the Churches and Pastors. Charitie, temperance, equitie, care of Iustice, and of order to releeue the people, to keepe his faith both to friend and foe, and to vse a victory modestly, were the no [...]able effects of this excellent know­ledge as remarkeable in him,His studies. as in any Prince that euer liued. Hee loued learning by [...], and learned men. Paul of Pisa instructed him in the Greeke and Latin tongues,C an [...] [...]mon in Philosophie and the Mathematikes. Hee called these humaine sciences his pastimes, and the companions of his Sword, and sometimes did recreate himselfe [Page 69] A therein. Hee tooke a delight in poetry, as some of his writings do witnes: but espe­cially in Histories, wherein he was exceeding well red.

The vniuersities of Paris and Pisa, (built or enriched by him) witnesse the loue and honour hee bare to learning. In armes hee had his father Pepin for h [...]s chiefe schoole­master, and experience doth testifie how much he profited. Before his father left him, he had great commands, and discharged them with such reputation,His armes. as the conti­nuance of his armes, when he was King, shewe plainely, that there was neuer soldiar that carried sword with more valour, nor great Captaine that commaunded with more obedience, nor performed any thing with greater fortune, nor vsed his victories with more mildnesse & iudgement▪ neyther did euer King or Prince raigne with more B authority, nor was more reuerently obeyed then our Charlemagne, well deseruing the name of great for his vertues. He was of a liuely disposition, quicke, actiue, and vehe­ment: but modestie and wisdome did season this viuacity and vehemency, with so good a grace, as i [...] the one could not bee without the other: and this moderation of di­uers humors, made him as admirable in his wit, as venerable in his countenance, and person.

There appeared in him a graue sweete Maiesty, in a goodly personage, great, strong, and patient of labour, A quicke spirit, cleere, sownd, both in apprehension, memory, and iudgement: resolution neuer failed him in difficulties, no replie in discours: terri­ble to some, amiable to others; according to the cause, persons and occurrents. Ver­tues C which purchased him so great credit, as he was beloued, respected and feared of all men: with such obedience, as the effects of his raigne do shewe: for hauing recei­ued a great Kingdome from his father, he enlarged it with a wonderfull successe, God hauing raised vp these three great Princes, one after an other, Charles Martel, Pepin & this great Charles, to preserue the Christian name in a great Monarchy,The success [...] of his raign [...]. amidest the de­luge of barbarous nations and the ruine of the Empire.

I haue coated these his singular vertues in the beginning, to giue a tast to the obser­uation of his great and admirable actions, where there wants nothing but order, to re­late them fitly in so great a diuersity, the which hath ministred occasion to the obscure writers of those times, to be too breefe or too tedious, & ofte-times to report matters D very vnlikely, for the greatnesse of thing [...] which they haue handled in a fabulous manner: and in deed the euents are almost incredible, and more miraculous then ordi­nary. Doubtlesse I could gather out of the most confident authors, and that according to the order of times as euery thing hath changed, and answerable to the greatnes of the subiect, that which cannot well be represented without some direction.

All the deedes of Charlemagne must bee referred to that which he hath done either whilest hee was King alone of France, or when he was Emperour, and had vnited the Empire to his royaltie. And in those times, there is first to be obserued what he did in the life of Caroloman in Guienne, and after his death in Italy, Spaine and Saxonie, where he had great matters to decide. This is the desseine of our relation.


The deedes of Charlemagne in the life of his brother Caroloman.

CAroloman was infinitly iealous of his brothers greatnes, whome with gree [...]e he did see be loued, honored and obeyed of all the French, for his singular vertues, both of body and minde. This iealousie (too or­dinary a Counsellor to Princes) made him to seeke all meanes to counte [...]mine and ouerthrowe the affaires of Charlemagne, who had F his eyes fixed vpon Italie, as the goodly and most beautifull theatre o [...] [...]is va [...]our, the t [...]ue subiect to maintaine his authority and power among Christi­ans: and Carolom [...] did all hee coul [...] to crosse [...] desseins. And this was the estate of Rome and Italie.

[Page 70] 771Presently after the decease of Pepin, the Church of Rome fell into great confusions,A by the practises of Didier King of Lombardie, a sworne and capital enemy, hauing cor­rupted some of the Clergie: hee caused Constantin brother to Toton Duke of Nepezo, (his vassall and trustie) to bee chosen Pope, with such violence, as hee made Philip­picus (being already Canonically chosen) to be degraded.Troubles at Rome. This better party, seeing themselues contemned by the Lombard, assemble togither, and by one common con­sent choose Stephen the third, a Sicilien, for Pope, who resolues to call in the King of France, and to oppose him against his enemies desseins. Charles sollicited by the Pope, sends twelue Prelates speedily to Rome, to fortifie their party, against the other: mea­ning at greater neede to apply a greater remedy. The matter succeeded according to their desire that had intreated him, for the Counsell beeing assembled at Latran, B they confirme Stephen lawfully chosen, and depose Constantin raised by disorder and violence.

The Lom­bard [...] dissi­mulation.But Didier would not be controuled with this repulse, and seeing that force had not succeeded, he resolues to trie policy, and to vnder-mine Stephen wit [...] a good shew. He sends to congratulate his election, purgeth himselfe of the Antipope Constantin de­graded: accuseth both him and his brother of ambition, protesting to liue with him in amity: and for proofe of this his good meaning, he desires him to be pleased with his repaire to Rome, there to confer with him in priuate. The Pope (who neuer flies to the French but in necessity) was easily perswaded by Didier: who came to RomeC confers with the Pope, and makes great protestation of his obedience. But this good shew continued not long.

There was a gouernor at Rome for the Emperour, called Paul Ephialte. Didier cor­rupted this Grecian: and as the execution of Iustice was in his hands, hee makes vse of him so cunningly, as in the presēce of Pope Stephen, he causeth him to seize vpon two of his chiefe Secretaries, Christopher & Sergius, (accused by him of supposed crimes) and to hang them infamously. Their greatest offence, was to haue fauored the French. This presumption proceeded farther,The Lom­bards pre­sumption hanging the Popes Secre­tar [...]es. for he caused all the principall Cittizens to bee banished, whome he noa [...]ed to bee of the French faction: that hauing taken away all le [...]s, he might be master of Rome in despight of the Pope. Stephen discouering the Lom­bards practise, to his preiudice, flies to Charlemagne, beseeching him to prepare an ar­mie D against his force that did ruine him by his apparent mildnes. Charlemagne was fully resolued but Didier had prouided a remedy in France, by the meanes of Caroloman, to stop Charles his passage into Italie, making worke for him in Guienne, where there grew a perilous warre vpon this occasion.

Wee haue sayd before, that although the Countrie of Guienne depended of the Crowne of France, yet were there many tumults through the practises of some Noble­men of the Countrie,Rebellion in Guienne by Hunau [...]t. who stirred vp the people (being mutinous of themselues) to re­bellion. The cause of these reuolts was the abuse of the Kings bountie, who suffered such people as they had conquered, to inioy their priuileges, and liberties, intreating them with all fauour. Eudon began first vnder Martel: Ieffroy and Hunault his children,E and h eires of his discontent, had continued it vnder Pepin: Ieffroy being dead, Hunault succeeds him with the like hatred, the which Caroloman entertayned to imploy him a­gainst his brother Charles. And as iealousie and ambition thrust him on to attempt a­gainst him, so did he make his profit of the couetous ambition of Hunault, feeding him with the hope of the reuenues of Guienne, seing his humour was to bee a Duke, supposing to haue credit inough with the people, if hee were fauoured by one of the Kings of France against the other. Guienne was a part of Charles his portion: Hunault layes the foundation of his desseine, to withdrawe himselfe wholy from the Crowne of France, and to make open warre against Charlemagne, in practising the people of Guienne, to bee declared Duke by their consent, according to the [...]ight which he pre­tended.F The countenance of Caroloman could do much, but the wisdome and cou­rage of Charlemagne preuailed more, for being aduer [...]ised of Huna [...]lts practises, and of his brothers secret desseignes, hee armed with such speede, as hee surprised the [Page 71] A townes of Poitiers, Xaintes and Angoulesme:774 and by that meanes all the Country ad­ioyning▪ Hunault (who made his accoū ▪ without Charles) finding himself preuē [...]ed, fled to a Nobleman of the Country named Loup, whome hee not onely held to bee very firme to his faction, but also his trustie and affectionate friend. Charlemagne sends pre [...]ently to Loup ▪ hee summons him to deliuer Hunault into his hands, as guilty of high treason: and in the meane time hee builds a fort in the midest of the Country, whereas the ri [...]ers of Dordone and Lisle do ioyne, the which he called [...]ronsac, as it were the front of the Sarrazns, whom he had caused to feare if these desseins had suc­ceeded. Thus getting Hunault with all his family, he doth punish him as a rebell: he pardoned Loup, and all that had obeyed him: and so ends a dangerous warre without B blowes: but he graunts life and libe [...]ty to Hunault, and the enioying of all his goods:Instruction how Pri [...]ces should carry thems [...]ues in ciuill warre. leauing a memorable example to Princes, howe they ought to carry themselues in ci­uill warres, preuenting a mischiefe by wisdome and dilligence, and not to thrust their vanquished subiects into di [...]paire, by rigour. Caroloman seeing his practises against his brother to succeede ill, vndertakes a voiage to Rome, with an intent to cause some al­teration there: yet with a shew of deuotion. His Mother Berthe (who likewise went this voiage), was honorably receiued in her iourney by Didier king of the Lombards, treating a marriage betwixt her sonne Charlemagne and Theodora, Sister or Daughter to this Didier, one of the greatest enemies of her sonnes good fortune. Yet Charlemagne, to C please his Mother, receiued this wife, but soone after hee put her away, as vnfit for his humours and affaires: and so that which seemed a cause of loue, bred greater hate be­twixt these two Princes. Caroloman hauing effected nothing at Rome, but only made shew of his foolish and malitious iealousie, too apparent in this his fayned deuotion, returnes into France, and there dies soone after, in the yeare. 77.

Now is Charlemagne alone by his Bothers decease:Caroloman dies and leaues Char­lemagne King alone. who quietly takes possession of his Estates, and reteineth such of his seruants as he knew to haue beene most trustie to his brother, during their common iealousies, expecting the like faithfullnes, hauing en­tertayned them when there was least hope.

The deeds of Charlemagne King of D France alone vntill he was Emperour.

CHarlemagne hauing put away his wife Theod [...]re for sus [...]ect of incon­tinency, [...]ee married with Hildegrade or Ildegrade, Daughter to the Duke of Sueue his vassall, by whom he had Charles, Pepin, Lewis, and three daughters [...]otrude, Berthe & Gille, the nurcery of his Noble family. Carolomans iealousie died not with him, but surui [...]ed in Ber­the his wife: who (impatient of her condition [...], thrust head-long with E [...] o [...] reuenge against her brother in lawe Charles) retires with her two sonnes to Di [...]er King of Lombardy, as to the most bitter and irreconciliable enemy of Charlemag­ne. Didier entertaynes her kindly with her children, hoping to effect his desseine: but this was the Leuaine of his owne ruine. His practise togither with the widdowes, was to procure the Pope (Stephen being dead and Adrian a Romaine gentleman succeeding him) to confirme and Crowne the sonnes of Caroloman for Kings of France. The Lom­bard had two strings to his bowe, meaning both to put the Pope in disgrace with Char­lemagne (the easier to suppresse him beeing destitute of French succors, whereon hee chiefely relied,) and likewise to set France on fire, by the establishment of newe Lords. Didier bes [...]echeth the Pope to graunt this confirmation, to the children of Caroloman [...] his sake. But Adrian (well acquanted with the Lombards humour,) was so resolute [...] denying his request, as they fell to open hatred. Didier discontented with this repulse [...] and enters the six gouernments, with all his forces, being a Seigneury vnder the Popes iurisdiction, spoiles the Country, and beseegeth Rauenna, the chiefe Citty of the Exarchie.

[Page 72] 757The Pope sends his Nuncio vnto him, to expostulate the cause of this so sodaine A warre against his subiects, desiryng him to yeeld what he had taken, and not to pro­ceed in this hostile manner, without any reasonable cause, vpon paine of excomu­nication.

By his owne practises.At that instant there fell out a great occasion to increase the hatred betwixt Charles and Didier, for that Hunault (who had beene vanquished in Guienne) retired himselfe to Didier, and is not onely courteously receiued: but honored with the charge of gene­rall of the army, the which he had leuied against the Pope. Didier suffred himselfe to be so abused with the perswasions of Hunault, touching the meanes to attempt against the Estate of Charlemagne, that holding Italy vndoubtedly his owne, hee plotted a warre, and assured himselfe of a certaine victory in France. Thus pride and iniquitie B hastens his ruine. The Pope hauing no other defence but his excommunication, not defensible against the armies of Didier, flies againe to Charlemagne, as to his sacred Anchor or last hope, intreating ayde from him in his necessity. Charlemagne had great reason to arme against Didier, who had alwaies crossed his affaires: fed his bro­thers [...]ealousies, receiued his widow and children, labored to haue them chosen Kings of France, to trouble or ruine his Estate: entertayned his rebellious subiects, and with them practised to make warre against him.

The sute and summons of the Romaine Church, was a great motiue to induce him to arme, against him who professed himselfe an open enemy to Christian religion, whereof the Kings of France had alwaies shewed themselues protectors and gardiens.C But not to attempt any thing rashely,Charles oppo­seth himselfe against the Lomba [...]d. hee first sends his Ambassadors to the Pope, to assure him of his good will, the which should not be wanting in his necessity: but hee thought it best to try mildnesse, before hee vsed force against the Lombard. He there­fore sends his Ambassadors to Didier, and doth summon him to restore what hee had taken from the Pope, and to suffer him to liue in peace.

Didier (who relied much vpon his policy,) giues good words to the Ambassadors, promising to perfome all that Charles demanded: but in effect hee would haue the Pope accept of conditions of peace from him, and that the children of Caroloman should be declared Kings of France. These demands were found vnreasonable on ei­ther side: the treaty is broken, the French Ambassadors returne, and Didier renewes D the warre more violently then before, against the Church: and hauing spoyled all the territory of [...]auenna, he takes Faenze, Ferrara, Comachia, Compagnia, and Romandiola, townes of the sixe gouernments.

Charlemagnes Ambassadors informe their master, that the warre with the Lombard is in [...]uitable, and find all things at their returne readie to inuade Italy ▪ for Charlemag­ne beeing forced to suppresse the rebellious Saxons, who (impatient of the French yoake) reuolted daylie, had leuied a goodly army, the which was readie to be im­ployed against the Lombard. He makes warre by the aduice of the Estates.

But Charles would not attempt any thing in a matter of so great consequence without the aduice of his Estates. Yet loath to loose time, he causeth his army to march, and E makes his Rendezuous at Geneua (a towne vnder his obedience vpon the way to Italy,) and hauing diuided his army into two, he seizeth vpon the passages of Mont Cenis, and Saint Bernard, which are the two entries from France to Italie. The Estates hauing found the causes of warre against Didier King of Lombardie to be iust, Charlemagne cau­seth his army to aduance with all speed, and ioynes neere vnto Verteil. Didier attends him there, and giues him battaile: but at the first encounter, he is vanquished by Char­lemagne. The Lombard twise defeated by Charles. The Lombard hauing rallied and fortified his troupes, receiues a newe de­feate, and so great a one, as he is inforced to suffer his enemy to be master of the field. An infallible entrance to his ruine. Thus hauing tumultuously trussed vp what hee could, he sends his sonne Aldegise to Verona, with the widowe and children of Carolo­man, F casting himselfe into Pauia, the which he had carefully fortified, as the dungeon and [...]ortresse of his last fortune.

Charlem [...]gne pursues him at the heeles, beseegeth him with all his forces in Pauia, [Page 73] A and resolues to haue it at what price soeuer. And to shewe his resolution,775. hee sends for his wife and children into France, to the end the Italians (that were doubtful) might knowe his minde, and without attending any newe occurrents, resolue to obeye the victor. Hauing coopt vp Didier in Pauia, and seized vpon all the approches, hee re­solues to take Verona, which they held the strongest place of all the Lombards estate. So leauing his Vncle Bernard to continue the seege at Pauia, he marcheth with part of his army to Verona.

His resolution accompanied with these goodly beginnings, and this checke of Di­dier (shut vp as it were in a prison) gaue a great alteration to the affaires of either par­ty, amidest these people of diuers humors. The Spoletins, the Rea [...]i [...]s, those of Ancona, B of Ferme and of Ossino (as it were in spight one of an other yeeld to Charlemagne and de­test the wretched estate of Didier, as a worthy reward of his trecherous iniustice and violence. The Venetians (beeing Neuters, spectators of this tragedie, who neuer had delt in any sort with Didier,) offer amity and succors to Charlemagne, who was desi­rous they should keepe the sea quiet, least the Emperour should be an actor in this quar­rell for Didier.

Charlemagne stayed not long at Verona, before the Cittie beganne to yeeld: Berthe the widow of Caroloman, beeing the chiefe instrument to drawe them to composition, his forces beeing (as shee saied) verie fearefull. Aldegise the sonne of Didier finding himselfe vnable to resist so resolute a consent of the Cittizens, nor to releeue his fa­thers C misery, flies secretly to the Emperour of Constantinople.

Thus Verona yeelds to Charlemagne by composition,Verro [...]a taken by Charles. who receiues both Berthe and the Inhabitants to mercie, to whome hee performes his promise: he inflicts no other punishment vpon Berthe and her children, but a gentle admonition of their vnciuill rashenesse, and to returne into France, there to do better, and to liue more honorably. This was about Ester, which drewe Charles to Rome, Charles enter­tayned at Rome. where hee remayned onely eight daies, to visit the holy places, and to conferre with Pope Adrian. They write won­ders of the great entertaynment the Pope gaue him, and of the shewes of amity of Charlemagne. Hee confirmed all that his father Pepin had giuen vnto the Pope, and greatly augmented it. The Pope made Charles a Patritian of Rome, a degree to moun [...] D vnto the Empire: from thence Charles came to Pauia, the which beeing for the space of ten monethes pressed without by warre, and within by pestilence and [...]amine,Pauia taken and Didier [...] it. in the end yeelds by composition: and Didier (who had hated Charles without cause, and at­tempted warre vpon an houre) [...]al [...]s into his hands, who shewes himselfe wise and mo­dest both to vndertake a warre, and to vse the victory.

Thus Charlemagne hauing wisely vndertaken a iust warre, and ended it happily, hee ruined the Kingdome of the Lombards, carrying Didier prisoner to Lion, or to Leege, The King­dome of the Lombards ruined. for writers speake diuersely of the place of his imprisonment. This was in the yeare 776. A notable date to represent the tragicall end of so great a Kingdome, the which continued in Italy onely two hundred and [...]oure yeares, vnder Princes of diuers hu­mors. But iniustice, tyranie and pride prouoked the wrath of God against them, so E as thinking to take from an other, they lost their owne: to vsurpe the liberties of others, they fell into an ignominious slauery, and their subtilty was the cause of their owne misery.

A mirror for Princes and great States▪ neuer to attempt an vniust and vnnecessary warre▪ to vsurpe an other mans right, & neuer to thinke to preuaile ouer a good cause by craft and policy. Charlemagne vsed his victory with great moderation towards the conquered nation, to the great content of all the Italians, who held it a great gaine to haue lost their old master, and to be rightly free, being subiect to so wise a Lord▪ for he left them their ancient liberties, and to particular Princes (such as were vassals to Di­dier) their Seigneu [...]ies: to Aragise sonne in lawe to Didier, hee left the Marquisate of [...]. He placed French Gouernors in conquered Lombardy, meaning to haue thē [...]treated with the like mildnesse, as the ancient patrimony receiued from his Prede­cessors. During the seege of Pauia a Councell was held at Rome by Pope Adrian, in [Page 74] fauour of Charlemagne, 778. to giue him honours answerable to his deseruing of the Church,A and namely the right to giue all benefices throughout all Christendome, was said to belong vnto him. Charlemagne being returned into France, Aldegise the sonne of Didier sought to disquiet Italie, aided by the Emperour Constantine, and the practises of Ro­gand to whome Charlemagne had giuen Friul, who reuolted from his obedience: but all these rebellious were [...]oone suppressed, by the faithfull care of the French Gouer­nours, whome Charlemagne had left in the Countrie newly conquered: and Rogand be­ing seized of it, suffered the paines of his treacherous rashnes, being beheaded by the Kings commaundement. Thus Italie remayning quiet to him and his (as conquered by a iust warre) it shalbe hereafter incorporate to the French Monarchie in this second race, being giuen in partage to the chidren of France whilest that the good gouernmēt of our kings maintaines the dignitie of the Crowne.A memorable warre in Ger­manie. But the end of this war was the be­ginning B of an other in Germanie, wherof the Saxons were the chief, darwing vnto them according to the diuersitie of occasions) other people of Germanie their neighbours. This war continued 33. yeares, not all successiuely, but at diuers brunts & seasons▪ the Saxons hauing for a perpetual subiect, to crosse Charlemagne in his desseins, especially being busied in many other matters of great consequence. I will breefly relate this war of Saxony, reporting with one breath, what hath beene seuerally dispersed in the whole history, without confusion of times or mater, following a stile fit for this history.

In those times Germanie was subiect to the Crowne of France, although it had par­ticular Estates, vassals to our Kings, whatsoeuer the Germaines say, who confesse but a C part thereof. The Saxons were subiect to our Crowne, as appeares by that aboue writ­ten, and namely vnder Martel and Pepin his sonne. The motiues of this warre were diuers, the impatiencie of a people desiring their ancient libertie, not able to beare an others command, & (as the Germains say) the hatred and iealousie of a mighty neigh­bour, th [...]eatning them with seruitude, & the controuersie for the limits of their lands: but the greatest and most important cause of these wars,The causes of this w [...]re. was the diuersitie of religion, for that the Saxons would obstinatly hold the Pagan superstition, which they had recei­ued from their Ancestors, and Charlemagne vrged them to forsake their Paganisme, and to make open profession of the Christian faith: moued with zeale to the generall ad­uancement of the truth, and the priuat dutie of a Prince to his subiects, to prouide for D their soules health. A thing very worthie obseruation. Belial did then fight against Christ,The diffe­re [...]ce betwixt the warres which C [...]arles [...], and [...] this day. Pagan superstition against Christian veritie. But alas, by whome, and where­fore are these vnciuill warres at this day? Christian fights against Christian: the most sacred signe of Christianitie appeares on either side in Christian and French armies: Christians bloud is spilt by Christians, through a blind furie, & want of vnderstanding in the fundamentall accord of the sauing trueth. These are not onely different, but cōtra [...]ie wars to those of Charlemagne: and our in [...]aged tumults, are begun & nourished without reason, both against the good of the Estate and Church. Vpon this controuer­sie of religion, the Saxons made war eight times against Cha [...]lemagne: especially when they found him busied elswhere, watching their oportunitie, either to crosse him in his E des [...]eine, or to frustrate his attempts. At such time as hee was in Italie they played the wild colts, not onely in reiecting the French cōmand, but also making open war against those Cities in Germanie, which obeyed Charlemagne: they had taken Eresbourg from the Crowne of France, euen vpō his returne, & beseeged Sigisbourg, robbing, & spoyling al the Country about Charlemagne assembling a Parliament at Wormes,Hee subdues the [...], and perswades [...] to be a Christian leuies a great ar­mie, to charge the Saxons in diuerse places. This Councell succeeded happily: for ha­uing vanquished the Saxons twise in one moneth in a pitched field, he reduced them to their ancient obedience, vsing his victorie with much modestie and wisedome, desiring rather to shew them the power of his authoritie, then the rigour of his force. The chief among them was Widichind ▪ & as religion was the chief motiue of these ordinary rebel­liō ▪ F so Charlemagne seeking the establishmēt of Christian religion in Saxony with great zeale, happily e [...]cted it. Hauing vanquished this Widichind by reason, and humanitie, and brought him to the knowledge of the truth, by his graue & wise conuersatiō, whom [Page 75] A he perswaded without any violence, to leaue the Pagan superstition,784. which force of armes could not effect in him, nor in the Saxons: for Mens soules are not gained by force of armes, but by reason. By the meanes of this Widichind, the greatest part of the Saxons were drawne to the knowledge of the true God, and the obedience of the French mo­narchie: the most obstinate were forced eyther to obey, or to abandon the country: as in deed great numbers of the Saxons retyred themselues into diuers strange countries.

Thus the war of Saxonie ended (being both long & dangerous) & those which were conquered by the truth, were the true conquerers, in knowing the true God. Charle­magne hauing caused the Saxons to leaue their false opinions, was carefull to haue them instructed in the truth:Care of reli­gion most worthy of Princes. to this end he appointed holy and learned men in all pla­ces, B and gaue meanes to maintaine them: as the Germaine histories report more par­ticularly. It sufficeth me (in declaring this briefely) to shew his pie [...]y, compatible with his valour and happinesse, and for a president to Princes, to make religion the soueraigne end of their armes and authorities. This Widichind was a great personage both in wisedome, valour, and authority, and by consequence very notable in the or­der of our subiect. From him are descended very famous races: The two Henries, the one called Oiseleur or the Fowler, and the other of Bamberg, and the two Othoes, all Em­perours: and likewise the Dukes of Saxonie, the Marquis of Misne: the Dukes of Sauoy, and also the most famous race of Hugh Capet, is drawne from this spring,The offspring of VVidichind by the common consent of learned writers, the which ought to be well obserued in the con­tinuance C of this Historie.

From this warre of Saxonie sprung many other in the Northerne parts, whereof I will intreat, hauing discoursed briefely of the warre of Spaine, both for that it chanced during that of Saxonie, as also (being very memorable) for the ouerthrow of the Sara­zins, who threatned Christendome like a deluge. Histories differ much touching this warre, but I will report what is most likely, by the consent of most approued writers, whereof the studious reader may iudge by conference, I being but a faithfull reporter.

The motiue of this Spanish warre, was more vpon pleasure then necessitie; but the zeale of religion gaue a colour and shew of necessitie, to the heroycall desire of Char­lemagne, D seeking to inlarge the limits of the French Monarchie by armes.Warre in Spaine. So this warre of Spaine was more painfull, more dangerous, and of lesse successe then that of Italy, whereunto necessity and duty had drawne Charlemagne: but his wise proceeding in the action, did warrant him from all blame.

The occasion which made him bend his forces against the Sarazins in Spaine, was the assurance of his good fortune, the quiet peace of his realme, the meanes to im­ploy his Souldiars, the Spaniards hate against the Sarazins, and the generall feare of all Christians, least these Caterpillers should creepe farther into Europe. This was the estate of Spaine: the Sarazins had conquered a great part thereof,Estate of Spaine. and were diuided into diuers commands, vnder the title of Kingdomes: yet these diuers Kings resol­ued E to oppose their vnited forces against Charles their common enemie. Foreseeing then the tempest, they seeke to preuent it, and to crosse the desseignes of Charlemagne, which being discouered, they caused King Idnabala, a Sarazin, to insinuate into his friendship, being a man full of subtill mildnesse. This stratage [...] preuailed more then all their forces. Charlemagne was thrust forwards by Alphonso surnamed the chaste, King of Nauarre, and by the Asturiens and Galliciens (Christian people of Spaine) to vndertake this warre, being easie, profitable, and honourable, and by consequence most worthy the valiant happinesse of Charlemagne. Moreouer this Idnabala (making a shew of friendship,) laboured to hasten him to the execution of this enterprise, from the which he knew well he should not diuert him: but in effect it was to betray F him, by the discouering of his intentions: flattering his desire to get the more credit by pleasing him. Charlemagne then well affected of himselfe, and perswaded by others, calles a Parliament at Noyon, and there concludes a warre against the Sara­zins of Spaine.

[Page 76] 786,The armie he imployed in that action was goodly, both for the number of men,A and valour of great warriours,Wa [...]e ag [...]inst the [...] being the choise of the most worthy Captaines in Chri­stendome. Amongst the which they number Milon Earle of Angers, Rowland the sonne of Milon and Berthe sister to Charlemagne, Renald of Montaban, the foure sonnes of Aimon, Oger the Dane, Oliuer Earle of Geneua, Brabin, Arnold of Bellande, and others: the g [...]eat valour of which persons hath beene fabulously reported by the writers of those obscure times, with a thousand ridiculous tales, vnworthy the valour of those he­roick spirits:Institution of the twelue Peeres. proofes of the ignorance of that age, being barren of learned wits. They say that Charlemagne, to make this voyage more honourable in shew, did then institute the order of the twelue Peeres of France.

Being entred into Spaine, he found no Sarazin forces in field, but their Citties well B fortified, hauing resolued a defensiue rather then an offensiue warre. The most re­nowmed Sarazin Kings were Aigoland, The treachery [...] the Sa [...]azin. Bellingan, Denis [...]s, Marsile and Idnabala, which be the s [...]b [...]ect of our fabulous tales: but the last as I haue sayd, made shew of friend­ship w [...]th Charlemagne, and open hatred against the other Sarazin Kings: with whom notwit [...]standing he had most strict correspondencie to betray Charles. P [...]mpelune tak [...]n. The first Cit­tie he attempted was Pampelune in the Kingdome of Nauarre, the which he tooke, by force, but with much paine, losse, and danger. Hauing sackt it, and slaine all the Sara­zins he found, Saragoce yeelds to him by composition, with many other small Townes, terr [...]fied by the example of Pampelune. This beginning incouraged him to march on, relying on his wonted fortune: but as he passed through the Prouinces of Spaine, like a C victo [...]ious Prince without any d [...]fficulty, hauing giuen a part of his armie to lead to Milon of Angiers his brother in law, it chanced neere vnto Bayonne, that Aigoland a Sa­razin King, (hauing in this common dispaire, thrust an army into field,) incountred [...]ilon with his troupes, little dreading any enemy) and tooke him at such an aduantage, as he defeated him. The losse was very great, for they report it was of forty thousand men:The Sarazins victory. where Milon was slaine for a confirmation of the Sarazins victory. Charlemagne was farre off, and not able by any diligence to preuent the losse: hee pacifies this a­mazement▪ least it should daunt the whole armie▪ Hee hastens thether, and gathers together the relikes of these discomfited troupes, keeping the conquered Citties, and such as were friends in their obedience.D

But after this followes a second accident. Aigoland puft vp with the pride of this victory [...]asseth into Gasconie, and besiegeth Agen, to diuert Charlemagne from his pur­sute, and to draw him home to defend his owne country.The Sa [...]azins [...] into G [...]s [...]onie. So as Charlemagne fearing least his absence, and the Sarazins late victory, should alter the mindes of them of Guienne, being then subiects of small assurance, he returnes into France. Aigoland ha­uing continued some moneths at the siege of Agen, and preuailed little, but in ouer­running the country, the which he did freely (without any great resistance) euen vnto Xaintonge ▪ the countrymen being retyred within the Townes, expected the returne o [...] Charlemagne their King. Aigolands army was great and proud, with the remem­brance of their late victory: so as Charlemagne returning with his troupes from Spaine we [...]l tyred, he maintained his countries more through his authority, then by present E force, yet hee fortified the courage of his subiects with his presence, and bridled the Sarazin: who could not be ignorant with whom he had to deale, nor whe [...]e hee was: being enuironed with enemies on all sides, and in an enemies country. The Sarazin seeming to incline to a peace▪ gaue Charlemaigne to vnderstand, that he had first inua­ded, and that his passage into France was onely to draw him out of Spaine, and to leaue to the Sarazins their conquered countries free: and therefore the treaty of an accord was easie, seeing there was no question, but to yeeld euery man his owne, and to suffer him to enioy it quietly, the world being wide enough for them all. But to the end this treaty might take effect, after many messages on eyther part, they resolue to parlee. So F vpo [...] Charlemagnes faith, Aigoland comes to the Campe.

Ch [...]rlema [...]n [...] and [...] part. Cha [...]emagne either moued with zeale of religiō, or making it the colour of his actions, gaue the Sarazin to vnderstand, that he should haue his friendship, if he would leaue his [Page 65] A Pagan superstition, be baptised, and make open profession of Christianitie.787 The Sara­zin, although hee had a goodly armie, yet not willing to hazard any thing: content with this reuenge of Charlemagne, desired nothing more then to returne qu [...]etly into Spaine. [...]eing now in Charlemaignes campe, to maintaine his reputation, he makes no shew of feare,Conditions propounded by Aigoland. but talking to his owne aduantage (as if no force but only reason shou [...]d moue him,) he enters into a serious and cunning discourse with Charlemagne, shew­ing, That vnnecessary warres were the ruine of mankinde, and that he was greeued to see so much bloud spilt: That he had not begun, but followed, being vrged by neces­sitie to defend himselfe against the forces of Charlemagne. That he was not yet so ab­iect, nor his forces so weake, as to refuse the battaile▪ but for that it were an infinite B losse to hazard so many men, hee desired to make triall of the right by some troupes, and he that vanq [...]ished should haue the right and true religion on his side: protesting to [...]eeld to that religion which should appeare the best by that triall.Accepted by Charlemag [...]e. The condition was accepted by Charlemagne. The proofe of this priuate combate was made: and the Christian troupe vanquished the Sarazin.

Thus Aigoland protests openly to be a Christian: but in heart he had no such mean­ing, and takes this occasion to breake the treatie. He findes Charlemagne at table, well accompanied with his chiefe followers (for then it was the custome of our Kings not to eate alone) and sees twelue poore men ill apparelled sitting by vpon the ground, C neere to the table of the Noble men. He demanded what those poore mi [...]erable crea­tures were which did feed apart. One answered, they were the messengers of God. He then sayd, their God was of small account, seeing his messengers were so m [...]serable and contemptible: and therevpon takes occasion to retire himselfe, hauing lost no la­bour by this treaty, but qualified the force of Charlemagne, viewed his traine, and made shew of his courage and dexteritie, euen without an Ambassador.

Charlemagne, on the other side was resolute to haue his reuenge,Sarazins de­feated in Spaine. for so notable a losse of men, and so bold an affront of the Sarrazin: with all speed he raiseth an armie of an hundred and thirty thousand men. A notable number for this realme, and so (fraught with choller and indignation) he returnes into Spaine. His entrie was pro­sperous, for at the first incounter hee defeated Aigolands armie, neere to Pampelune, D and for a seale of his victory, he carried away the head of his enemy Aigoland, slaine by the hand of Arnold of Belange, a noble and valiant Knight▪ but the sequele was not answerable to the beginning, for notwithstanding the ouerthrow of these Sara­zin troupes, all the rest in Spai [...]e were n [...]t vanquished, where there were more Kings and more men of warre, who had great correspondencie with Amurathe King of Ba­bilon, where was their nursery and store-house. Marsille and Bellingand bretheren, were the chiefe of the remainder of the Sarazin armie, wherein there was a great Ba­bilonian Giant, called Ferragut, of an exceeding greatnesse, who was slaine by Rowland nephew to Charlemagne. and this act is famous in our Histories, and is sung by our Romaines with a great fabulous shew. After the death of their brother, they gather to­gether E the relikes of their defeated troupes: they make shew of resolute men, and vow to sell this victory deerly to Charlemagne, being fauoured by many good Townes within the countrie. Charlemagne stayes sodenly, and pursues not his victory. But God reserues to himselfe a soueraigne power ouer mens desseignes, yea ouer the greatest, and in matters of greatest consequence▪ to the end that all may learne to aske councell and successe from him. It was his will that the French forces should not possesse Spaine ▪ the which he allotted as a portion for another nation.

Thus Charles, who should haue beene all fire after his victory, tempered his heate, which caused Idnabala the Sarazin, A treatie of peace with the Sarazin which they accept. (hauing free accesse vnto his campe) to make some motion of peace. He was a good Secretary of his companions mindes, what she [...] soeuer he made to speake of himselfe. Charlemagne (considering by late expe­rie [...]e, F that the successe of armes was variable, and that this warre was to his s [...]biects losse, imploying both liues and goods for the purchase of an vncertaine victory, and seeing himselfe charged with infinite great affaires in his estates, to the preseruation [Page 78] whereof reason called him,791. rather then to seeke for new) he seemes not vnwilling to A hea [...]ken to the motion of Id [...]abala, who told him plainely, that hee found the Sarazins affaires to be so desperate, as they would gladly imbrace his friendship, at what rate soeuer. The Sarazins answer (reioycing at this new accord) was soone made. The treaty being begun, the fundamentall article of religion was propounded, the which Charlemagne makes shew to maintaine with great vehemencie: but the Sarazins be­ing obstinate, Charles is content to grant them peace, paying some great summes of money, as a token they had beene vanquished. Hee sends a Noble man of his Court names Ganes, The Treason of Ganelon. to treat with them: (the people haue since called him Ganelon, as an o­dious name) who (being corrupted by Marsile and Belligand) promiseth them meanes to send Charlemagne into France, and to make him receiue a notable disgrace.B They agree to make a composition, being in shew very honourable for Charles: to whom they promise to pay (as an homage and an acknowledgment of the peace hee should graunt them) what summes hee should appoint,Trechery of the Sarazins. and so should retyre with his armie into France, leauing such troupes in Spaine as he pleased, to maintaine the con­ditions agreed vpon. Ga [...]es discouered vnto them the necessitie of his returne, and Charlemagnes great desire to leaue the smallest forces hee could in Spaine. The com­position made Charlemagne departs with his armie, attending a better opportunitie to end what he had begun: leauing Rowland onely with twenty thousand men, for the execution of this treaty. But to make his passage the more easie, he commands him to lodge in a place of aduantage, of the Pyrenean Mountaines, called Ronceuaux. The C French army passed, marching towards France, vnder the conduct of Charlemagne, who dreamed not of the disgrace he receiued by this meanes.

Whilest the French armie remoued, Marsile and Bellingand slept not, but gathering together all the forces they could, they lodge their troupes secretly in the hollow caues of the Mountaines, being places inaccessible and vnknowne but to them of the coun­trie. They had intelligence from Ganes, what forces Charlemagne had lest in Spaine, vnder the command of Rowland, to whom the authority of his vncle, and the credit of the people of Spaine in the chiefest Townes, was of more esteeme then his twenty thousand men,Rowland de­ [...]ted at Ronceuaux. although they were the choise of all the armie. Rowland had no feare of the enemy, when as returning to his garrison, he is sodainly charged by the Sarazins, D farre more in number then the French. Seeing himselfe thus assailed on al sides, they de­fend themselues valiantly against these miscreants: but still fresh troupes issue forth on all sides, in so great numbers, as in the end the French (tyred with so long and painfull a combate) are oppressed by the great multitude of Sarazins.

Rowland performed both the duty of a good Captaine, in so extreame a danger (ga­thering together the peeces of his shipwrack) and of a resolute souldiar, in fighting va­liantly, for hauing beat downe a great n [...]mber in the presse, in the end hee slew King Marsille with his owne hand. But Bellingand holding this victory absolutely his owne, pursues the French, so as Rowland (not able to stand) [...]etires himselfe a part, where hee dyes for thirst, through the long and painfull combate he had endured: and all toge­ther tyred, he striues to breake his good sword Durand [...]ll: but his strength [...]ailing him,E he dyes,R [...]wland dyes [...]or th [...]rst. and with him Oliuer and Oger the Dane, Renold of Montauban, Arnault of Be­lande, and other great personages, whose names remaine in fabulous tales: and the fame of their singular vertues, not onely in the Originals of true Histories, but the ho­nor of their heroycall deeds, is ingrauen in the common beleefe of all French men.

Charlemagne aduertised of this vnexpected and strange losse, returnes sodainly, and takes reuenge vpon the Sarazins, Charlemagne takes reuenge of this t [...]ea­cherous de­feate. killing an infinite number vpon the place: he causeth the traitor Ganelon to be drawne in peeces with foure horses (found to haue beene the author of this miserable defeate) and transported with a iust disdaine for this preiudi­ciall affront, he resolued to passe farther into Spaine for his reuenge. But the great af­faire [...] of his other estates, called him into France, and so the warre of Spaine ended with F sma [...]l successe, hauing troubled Charlemagne at diuers times, for the space of foure­teene yeares. But God had appointed the limits of his desseignes, as hee reserues to [Page 79] A himselfe a Soueraigne power ouer all mens enterprises, yea of the greatest.793 Charles made a tumbe for his nephew Rowland, and honored the memorie of those worthie warriors, (being dead in the bed of honor) with monuments. I haue reported this in one discourse, to represēt as a table, what hath chanced most memorable, the which can hardly be gathered without some direction in the confusion of so long and obscure reports, wherewith this historie of Charlemagne is intangled.End of the Spanish warre At his returne from Spaine, necessitie bred diuers warres, to exercise the valour and diligence of Charlemag­ne, both in Italie and Germanie, God fauouring him in all places. Italie (during these troubles of Spaine) had rebelled by Adalgise the Duke of Beneuents meanes, to repos­sesse B the race of Didier, but it was soone suppressed by Charlemagne, to the cost of the Lombard rebels▪ but in the end, behold an other warre in Germanie. The like occasion bred a warre in Bauiere, for that King Tassillon sonne in Law to Didier King of Lombar­die (pressed by his wife being wonderful discontented with Charlemagne) shakes off the yoake, and flies to armes. but Charles surpriseth him with such celeritie, as Tasillon was forced to sue for peace. Charlemagne grants it▪ Bauiere incor­porated to the Crowne for rebellion. imposing the yoake of the French Mo­narchie, but Tasillon not able to conteine himselfe, raiseth a new war in another place, as when we stop one breach, it opens by another vent. He stirs vp the Huns and Aua­res (a neighbour people of Austrasia, one of the Estates of our Monarchie) against Charlemagne, who suppressed them with such happy successe, as Tassilon vanquished by Charlemagne, and found guiltie of rebellion and treason, was condemned to loose his C Estate according to the Salique law: and so the kingdome of Bauiere ended, the which was wholy incorporate to the Crowne of France.

The Huns and Auares (of whose names ioyned togither, the word of Hungarie hath bin deriued, and the Hungarians be issued from these vnited nations) were likewise pu­nished by Charlemagne, & brought vnder the yoake of the French Monarchie. They had begun a war in disquieting the Countrie of Austrasia: Charlemagne opposed his forces, but at diuerse times: so as the warre continued eight yeares, and the successe was, that all their Countrie obeyed him: and the Danes, the Sorabes, Abrodites, the Westfaliens (all vnited in this warre of Hongarie) were likewise brought vnder the same obedience of Charlemagne. The limits of the Northren region called Austrasia were so extended,The limits of the French Monarchie in Germanie as D it was distinguished into two kingdomes, noted in the Germaine tongue, to shew that the Original of our Ancestors is out of Germanie, and that our ancient Kings haue com­manded there, seing their possession is manifest, and that they haue not onely giuen a Germaine name to the Countrie that is beyond the Rhin, but also to that on this side. I am not ignorāt how much this discourse is diuersified with sundrie probabilities, euery one preferring what likes him best. But, not transforming of coniectures into Oracles, (as without doubt the plainest is the best) behold a true diuision of the Seigneuries which Charlemagne had in Germanie, as the traces of names yeeld an assured testimonie. The Realme of Austrasia, which ioynes vpon France, was called Westreich, that is to say, the realme of the West, and that which is towards Danube Osterreich, that is the kingdome E of the East, whence the name of Austrich is properly deriued, being then of a greater command then at this day, for it conteined Hongarie, Valachia, Bohemia, Transiluania, Denmarke, and Poland. Then was our Monarchie great: but all these nations haue either returned to their first beginnings, or were seized on by new Lords. It was very needful to shew the estate, that we might obserue the declyning thereof, with the motiues and seasons of these diuerse changes. Thus the French Monarchie grew great by the happie valour of Charlemagne, and his children grew in age and knowledge, by the wise care of their father▪ who framed them to affaires, meaning first to make them succeed him in his vertues, and then after in his dominions: But man purposeth, and God disposeth. France, Italie, Germanie, Spaine, & Hongarie made the Romaine Empire in the West. Charles being master of these goodly Prouinces, was in effect Emperour therof. There wanted F nothing but the sollemne declaration of this dignitie, to haue the title as he inioyed the thing, and to be autentically inuested by a free and publike declaration of his possession. The prouidēce of God, who gaue him the thing, procured him the title by this means, Leo was the Pope of Rome, against whome was raised a strange sedition, by Siluester [Page 68] and Campull, 798 men of great credit in the Court of Rome. Vpon a sollemne day of pro­cession A they seize vpon Le [...], The occasion why Cha [...]e­magne was proclaymed Emperour. before Saint Laurence Church, they strip him of his Pon­tificall roabes, cast him to the ground, tread him vnder their feete, bruse his [...]ace with their fistes, and hauing drawne him ignominiously through the dirt, they cast him into pryson: but he stayed not there, being freed by a grome of his Chamber called Albin: and hauing recouered Saint Peters Church, hee intreated Vingise Duke of Spolete, to free him from this miserable Captiuity. Vingise fayled him not: hee came to Rome, and carried him to Spolete. Being arriued there, hee presently went into France to Charle­magne, whome he found full of troubles: yet Charles neglected all other affaires, to assist Leo in his necessity. So as hee came to Rome with a goodly army, to succor the Pope: where hee did speedily pacifie the confusions where-with Rome was afflicted,B punishing Leoes enemies according to Lawe. They demanded audience, the which Charles graunted them, assembling the Clergie and people to heare and decide this scandalous controuersie. But when as hee demanded their opinions, the Prelates told him plainely, that the Church of Rome could not be iudged by any other then by it selfe, and that the Pope ought not to vndergo the censure of any man lyuing, and that he himselfe ought to be iudge in his owne cause.

Charlemagne willingly leaues the iudgement seate: and then Pope Leo mounted vp his throane, where (after hee had protested by oath to be innocent of those crimes, wherewith his enemies had charged him) he absolues himselfe, and condemnes his e­nemies, according to his Cannon. The Pope is Iudge of all men, and all things, and not to C be iudge [...] by any.

Charlemagne being drawne to Rome vpon this occasion, finds all disposed to declare him Emperour of the West, seeing that with the price of his bloud (opposing him­selfe against the furies and incursions of barbarous nations) hee had valiantly gotten possession of the Empire.

The beginning of the Empire of Charlemagne: D Acknowledged and installed Emperour by a free consent of the Romaine people in the yeare of grace. 800.

800 THE Pope by this possession (acknowledging Charles for true Emperour,Charlemagne Crowned Emperour.) crownes him Emperour of Rome, with a full consent of all the Romaine people, which assisted at his Coronation, cry­ing with one generall voice happines, long life & victory to Charles Augustus Crowned the great and peaceable Emperour of the Romains, alwaies happie and victorious. This was in the yeare 800. on Christmas day, the thirtith yeare of the raigne of Charles, Italy ha­uing E suffred a horrible confusion during the space of 33. yeares, without Emperour, without Lawes and without order.

The seat of the Romane Empire, since Constantine the great, remayned at Constan­tinople, a Cittie of Thrace, situate in a conuenient place [...]or the gard of the Easterne Pro­uinces, all the West being full of new guests, who hauing expelled the Romaines, the name, authoritie, and force of the Empire remained in the East, where the State was in a strange confusion, the mother being banded against her sonne, and the people within themselues.

Constantine sonne to Leo the fourth, was Emperour, being gouerned from his in­fancie (with the Empire) by his mother Irene: being come to the age of twentie yeares,F hee tooke vpon him the gouernment. There was then a great diuision in the East, continued from father to sonne for 80. yeares, touching Images. The Bishops would [Page 81] A needes bring them into the Christian Church.801. The Emperours with the greatest part of the people opposed themselues. This contention had his beginning vnder Philip Bardanes (as wee haue sayd) continued vnder Leo Isaurus, and from him to his sonne Constantin, surnamed Copronimus: and of Leo the 4. sonne to the sayd Cons [...]antin. This disquieted all the East with infinit scandals.

The same fire continued in the minority of Constantin, gouerned by his mother: a woman of a violent spirit, who hauing vndertaken the protection of Images, held a Councell of many Bishops for the defence thereof▪ but the people growing into a mu­tiny expelled them Constantinople by force, where their assembly was held. But this woman (resolute to proceed) assemble the same Councell at Nicea a Citty of Bithinia, B honored to haue harbored the first generall Councell vnder Constantin the great, the first of that name: where it was decreed, that the Images of Saints should be planted in Christian Churches for deuotion. Charlemagne did not alowe of this decree, and ey­ther himselfe, or some other by his command, did write a small treatise against this Councell: the which wee see at this day with this title. A treaty of Charlemagnes, tou­ching Images against the Greeke Synode.

This cunning woman had made choise of the Citty of Nicea, that the name of this ancient first Councell might honour this newe introduction with the pretext of anti­quity, for there are some that confound the first Councell of Nicea with the second, and Constantin the 4. with the first. Constantin continued in the hereditary hatred of his fa­ther C and grand-father against Images, so as beeing of age and in absolute possession of the Estate, hee disanulled all these new decrees, and caused the Images to be beaten downe in all places: yet he made all shewes of respect vnto his mother, yeelding vn­to her a good part of his authority and command. This respect was the cause of a horrible Tragedy: for this wom [...] transported for two causes (both by reason of her newe opinion, and for despight that shee had not the whole gouernment in herselfe) growes so vnkind, as shee resolues to dispossesse her sonne of the Empire, and to seize on it her selfe. Thus the authority her sonne had left her, and the free accesse she had vnto his person, made a way to the execution of her desseine, for hauing corrupted such as had the chiefe forces at their command, and wonne them with her sonnes D treasure, shee seized on him, puts out his eyes, sends him into Exile (where soone af­ter hee died for greefe) and tooke possession of the Empire. These vnnaturall and tragicke furies, were practised in the East, The tragicall death of Constantin. whilest that Charlemagne by his great valour built an Empire in the West. Irene in her sonnes life would haue married him with the eldest daughter of Charlemagne: but this accident crossed that desseine.

After the death of Constantin she sent to Charlemagne, to excuse herselfe of the mur­ther: disauowing it, and laying the blame vpon such as had done it without her com­mand. And to winne the good liking of Charles, shee caused him to be dealt withall touching marriage (for at that time Festrude was dead) with promise to consent that E he should bee declared Emperour of the West, and to resigne vnto him the power of the East. But Charlemagne would not accept thereof: the Nobility and people of the Greeke Empire did so hate her, as hauing suffred her the space of three yeares, in the end they resolued to dispossesse her.

In this publicke detestation of this woman, the murtheresse of her owne Childe. Nicephorus a great Nobleman of Grece, assisted by the greatest in Court, and with the consent of the people, seizeth on the Empire, in taking of Irene: Irene bani­shed▪ diuision of the Empire. whome he onely ba­nished▪ to giue her means to liue better then she had done. He afterwards treates and compounds with Charlemagne, that the Empire of the East contynuing vnder his com­mand▪ that of the West should remaine to Charlemagne.

F By this transaction of Nicephorus and the consent of the Greekes, the possession of the Empire was ratified and confirmed▪ to Charlemagne, and then beganne the di­uision of the two Empires, East and West. That of the West beganne with Charle­magne, and continued in his race whilest his vertues did protect it: afterwards it was [Page 82] transported to the Princes of Germanie, 8 [...]6, who likewise acknowledged the Germaine A stemme of Charlemagne, borne at Wormes, crowned at Spire, and interred at Aix, all Cit­ties of Germanie: and the truth sheweth, that as the Originall, so the first commaund of the French, was wholie in Germanie. Hetherto we haue represented, breefly as wee could (considering the greatnes, and richnes of the matter) what Charles did whilest he was King of France onely: now wee must relate with the like stile, what hath hapened worthie of memorie vnder his Empire.

His deeds while he was Emperour.

CHARLES liued fifteene yeares, after hee had vnited the Romaine B Empi [...]e to the French Monarchy. Grimoald Duke of Beneuent sought to disturbe Italie for the Lombard: Warre in Ita­lie. but Charles preuented it in time, by the meanes of Pepin his sonne, a worthie and valiant Prince. Gri­moald was thus vanquished, yet intreated with all mildnes, so as be­ing restored to his Estate, he became afterwards an affectionate and obed [...]ent seruant to Charlemagne, who was a wise Conqueror, both in his happie va­lour, and the wise vsing of his victorie. About the same time, the warre in Saxonie was renued,In Saxony. being alwaies prone to rebellion: with the warre against the Huns, Bohe­mians, Sclauoniens: and the second against the Sarrazins. The which I haue breefly re­ported in their proper places: here I note them onely, to shew the course of things C according to the order of times, the goodly light of truth.

At Veni [...]e [...] the repu [...]e.He had likewise a great and dangerous warre against the Venetians, wherein he im­ployed his sonne Pepin. Obeliers and Becur, great personages, were the cheefe Com­maunders for the Venetians. The Emperour and his Frenchmen receiued a great check by the Venetians, who had this onely fruite of their victorie, (that among all the peo­ple of Italie subdued by Charlemagne) they alone were not vanquished, but had hap­pily made head against great Charlemagne. They did greatly increase their name, and reputation, but nothing inlarged their territories by this conquest, glad to haue defen­ [...]ed themselues against so noble and valiant an enemie. By reason of this Venetian war, Charles stayed some time in Italie, to assure his estate. He would haue the Countrie D conquered from the Lombards, to be called Lombardie, with a new name, to moderate their seruile condition, by the continuance of their name, in the ruine of their Estate.

Seing himselfe old and broken, his children great, wise, and obedient, he resolued to giue them portions, [...] to his child [...]n and to assigne to euery one his Estate. To Pepin he gaue Italy, to Charles Germanie and the neighbour Countries, keping Lewis his eldest sonne neere about him▪ whom he appointed for the Empire and Realme of France. Hee sought to reduce all his Estates vnder one Law,An order for [...] making choise of the Romaine, both for the dig­nitie of the Empire, and being more ciuill but the French loth to alter anything of their customarie lawes, hee suffred them as they desired: and those which had longer serued the Romaines, and loued best the Romaine Lawes, he gaue them libertie. So as Gaule E Narbonnoise (which comprehends Daulphiné, Languedoc & Prouence,) do vse the written Law (as the ancient Prouince of the Romaines) and the rest of France obserue their customary Lawes.

Denmarke (a dependance of the realme of Germanie, and part of Charles his por­tion,The Da [...]e [...] [...]uolt. as we haue said) was reuolted from the obedience of the French. Charles by his fathers commaund prepares to subdue them: but God had otherwise decreed, for here­vpon he dies, to the great greefe of his father, and all the French, who loued the louely qualities of this Prince, the true heire of his fathers name and vertues. Charlemagne mourned for his yongest sonne,C [...]les loo­se [...]h tw [...] o [...] his [...] when as sodainly newes came of the vntimely death of [...] his second sonne, King of Italie, a Prince of admirable hope, a true patterne of F h [...]s [...]athers greatnesse. Thus man purposeth, and God disposeth: thus the sonnes die before the father: thus the greatest cannot free themselues from the common calamity [Page 83] A of mankinde. Thus great Kings and great Kingdomes haue their periods.809. Charlemagne lost his children, and the realme her best support: for these two Princes carried with them the fathers valour, leauing Lewis their brother with large territories and few vertues, to gouerne so great an estate. After the death of the [...]e two great Princes many enemies did rise against Charles, seeming (as it were) depriued of his two armes, the Sarazins in Spaine, the Selauons, and the Normans, in the Northerne regions▪ Rebellion a­gainst Cha [...]les. but he vanqu [...]shed them all, and brought them to obedience, old and broken as hee was. Wee haue shewed how that N [...]cephorus had beene made Emperour by the death of Irene. It chanced that as hee fought against the Bulgartens (a people which had possessed a part of Thrace, neere vnto Constantinople) he was slaine in the conflict.

B Hee had one sonne named Staurat, who by reason should succeed him: but Michel his brother in law seizeth on this poore young man, and makes him a way, and hauing corrupted the chiefe men with gifts, hee vsurpes the Empire:The Empire con [...]i [...]med to Charles. and least that Charle­magne should crosse his desseignes, he seekes to insinuate with him, not onely ratifying what Nich [...]phorus had done for the diuision of the Empire, but by a new contract doth acknowledge him Emperour of the West. Thus the affaires of our Charles were daily confirmed, but his minde (toiled with these new losses, and the painfull difficulties he had suffered throughout the whole course of his life) required nothing but rest. All his life time he held the Church in great reuerence,Charles his care to [...]le the Church. & had imployed his authority to beau­tifie it, and bountifully bestowed his treasure to inrich it▪ but this great plenty in so C happy a peace, made the Churchmen to liue loosely. Charles well instructed in religi­on (knowing how much it did import to haue doctrine and good manners to shine in them that should instruct others:) he doth call fiue Councels in diuers places of his dominions, for the gouernment of the Church: At Mayence, at Rheims, at Tours, at Ch [...]alons, and at Arles: and by the aduise of these Ecclesiasticall assemblies,A good in­structi [...]n [...] [...]rinces to lou [...] piety. hee sets downe order [...] for the reformation of the Church, in a booke intituled Capitula Caroli magni, which they read at this day [...], for a venerable proofe of the piety of this great Prince. A worthy president for Princes, which seeke true honour by vertue, whereof the care of piety is the chiefe foundation.

He held likewise a great Councell in the Citty of Francford [...]These are the very words D of the History) of the Bishops of France, Germanie and Italy, the which hee himselfe would honour with his presence, where by a generall consent, The false Synode of the Greekes, (I [...] the very words of the Originall) vntruly called the seuenth▪ was con­demned and reiected by all the Bishops, who subscribed to the condemnation. [...] there fell out a new accident, which drew Charles againe to armes▪ Adelphonse King of Nauarre surnamed the chaste, by reason of his singular temperance, did care [...]ul [...]y ad [...]ert [...]se him,New warre in Spa [...]n [...] crost by secret practises. that there was now meanes vtterly to subdue the Sarazins in Spaine. Charlemagne (who desired infinitly to finish this worke, so oft attempted without any great successe) giues [...]are to this aduise, leuies an armie, and marcheth into Spaine, relying on the Spaniards fauour, being Christians. Adelphonse meant plainly, but so did not the chiefe of his Court, nor his associates, who feared his forces no lesse then the Sarazins, and eu [...]n the E most confident seruants of Adelphonse, doubted to be dispossessed of their gouernmēts by a new Maister. So they cros [...]e Adelphonse in countermanding of Charles but the lots were cast, his army is in field, and he resolute to passe on. He enters into Spaine, where he finds so many difficulties, as he returnes into France: and so concludes all his enter­prises, imbraci [...]g againe the care of religion, and of the Church, as a subiect fit for the remainder of his dayes.A happy con­c [...]usion of Charlemagnes life. Hee was th [...]ee score and eight yeares old when he left the warres: so he spent three whole yeares in his study, reading the Bible, and the bookes of Saint Augustin ▪ (whom he loued aboue all the Doctors of the Church. He resided at Paris, [...]o haue conference with the learned: where hee had erected a goodly [...], [...]urnished [...]ith learned men, such as that time could afforde, and enriched [...] goodly priuileges. Hee had an extraordinary care to haue the seruice of the C [...]urch supp [...]ed, as a Nursery of the holy Ministery. Thence grew so many Col­ledges of Chanoins, with such sufficient reuenues.

[Page 84] 81 [...].Thus Charles spent three yeares happily in the onely care of his soule, lea [...]ing a A goodly example to Princes, [...] to moderate their greatnesse with pietie, their enioying of temporall goods, with the hope of eternall, and to thinke of their departure out of this life in time.He makes his [...]. Thus foretelling his death (wherevnto he prepared himselfe by this exercise) he made his will, leauing Lewis his sonne sole heyre of his great Kingdoms, and bequeaths to the Church great treasures, as more at large is conteined in his will, set downe in the H [...]story. His Testament was the messenger of his death, for soone after he fell sicke,He dyes. and continued so but eight dayes: dying happily vnto the Lord, in the yeare of grace 814. of his age the 71. and of his raigne the 47. including 15. yeares of his Empire. He was interred at Aix La Chapelle, where hee was borne, and his memory honoured with a goodly Epitaph, set downe in the History.

The true [...], andHee was one of the greatest Princes that euer liued. His vertue is the patterne of B Princes, his good hap the subiect of their wishes. The greatnesse of his Monarchie is admirable, for he quietly enioyed all France, Germanie, the greatest part of Hunga­ [...]ie, all Italy, and a part of Spaine. But his vertues were greater then his Monarchie: his clemencie, wisdome, and valour: his learning (yea in the holy Scripture) his vigi­lancie,His vices. magnanimitie and singular force be the theater of his immortall praises. And yet his vertues were not without some blemish (as the greatest are not commonly without some notable vice,) for hee was giuen to women, adding Concubins to his lawfull wiues, by whom hee had bastards. I haue noted elsewhere the number of his wiues and children. Lewis the weakest of them all, remained alone, the sole heire C of this great Monarchie of France & the Romaine Empire, but not of his noble vertues. We are now come to the top of this great building, we shall see it decline: and therein note the admirable prouidence of God, who amidest the confusion of this estate, hath alwayes preserued the Maiestie of this Crowne.

LEWIS the gentle, the 25▪ King,815. and Emperour of the West.


AS the vertues of Charlemagne had raised this estate to an admi­rable A greatnesse, so the small valour, or rather the vices of his posterity, caused the declining, and (if God had not preuen­ted) had beene the ruine thereof. His intent was onely to change the race vnworthy to raigne, but not the realme, the which hee hath preserued vnto this day by his prouidence, in the bosome of one country, and in it his Church: for the which he maintaines, both the estates where it remaines, and the whole world, which cannot subsist but in regard of it.

Thus the French Monarchie being come to the heigth of her greatnesse,The declining of this race. the lawe B imposed vpon all humaine things, would haue it decline, that of her peeces other estates might be built. Not long after the death of Charlemagne, it began to decline. The foolish lenity of Lewis his sonne, was the beginning, the which was continued by the disordred confusions of his successors, who (in spight one of an other) hastened the ruine of their house, making the way by their vices and misfortunes. This is the substance of all the Kings remaining in this second race: the which wee cannot repre­sent, but in noting faithfully the order of those confused times, during the which this barke hath beene in a manner guided without a Pilot, and without helme, by the wis­dome of God, who hath miraculously preserued it, amidest so many tempests. And therefore without any tedious discourse, being intricate enough of it selfe, I will labour C to shew (as in a table) both the continuance of this race, and the diuers motiues of e [...]nts to bring Hugh Capet vpon the stage, and carefully to shew the estate of his po­s [...]rity, as the chiefe end of my desseigne.

Lewis was surnamed the meeke, or gentle, as well for his deuotion, (wherevnto he was more giuen, then to gouerne his estate) as also for his great facilitie: which [Page 86] was the cause of many miseries both to himselfe and his sub [...]ects. He began to raigne A the yeare 815. and ruled 26. yeares Emperour of the West, and King of France. His father had not greatly imployed him in affaires, obseruing his disposition, and had marryed him with Irmengrade the daughter of Ingram Duke of Angers, an officer of the Crowne of France, hauing giuen him the D [...]chie of Guienne for his maintenance. By this wife Lewis had three sonnes, Lothaire, Pepin, and Lewis, who acted strange tra­gedies against their father.

To his second wife hee married Iud [...]th the daughter of Guelphe Duke of Sue [...]e, by whom he had Charles, surnamed the Bald, who succeeded him in the Crowne of France. Bernard the sonne of Pepin was King of Italy, as Charlemagne had decreed. Lewis (more fitte to be a Monke then a King) was so giuen to deuotion, and of so soft B a spirit, as he made his authority contemptible, both within and without the realme. This disposition (vnfit for a great command) made the nations subiect to the Crowne, to fall from their obedience,Base facility. the Saxons, Normans, Danes, and Brittons. And although Lewis did his best to preuent it, yet could hee not preuaile, but made himselfe wholy contemptible, in attempting that which he could not effect, and (after his vaine stri­uing) compounding of great controuersies with vnreasonable conditions. Bernard a young man and ambitious, was perswaded by the Bishops of Orleans and Milan, to attempt against his Vncle Lewis, and to seize vpon the realme of France, which be­longed not vnto him. So his ambition cost him deere, and that sodenly: for being in field to go into France against his Vncle, with an imaginarie fauour of the French, to be C proclaimed King, it fell out contrary, for both he and all his Councellors, were taken by Lewis his subiects.

Lewis wonderfully moued with the presumption of this springall (as we often see milde natures fall into extremities of choller when they are moued) hauing both his Nephew and Councellors in his power:A furious [...]. he despoiles him of his realme of Italy, de­clares him and his vnworthy, confines him to perpetuall prison, and puts out his eyes: the like he doth to all the Bishops and Noblemen he could get: and after some fewe dayes patience, he chops off their heads. This act was held very strange, proceeding from Lewis, and committed against such persons, it began to breed a generall di [...]ike, the which was aggrauated by a domesticall dissention, all which together caused a D horrible Tragedie.

Lewis had indiscreetly giuen portions to his children, making them companions of his regall authority. After the decease of Bernard, hee gaue Italy to Lothaire, and did associate him in the Empire:Lewis his in­disc [...]etion. to Pepin hee gaue Aquitaine ▪ to Lewis, Bauaria: and would haue them all beare the name of Kings. Lewis good to all, was too good to his second wife Iudith, an ambitious woman: who hauing one sonne by him, called Charles, had no other care but to make this sonne great, to the preiudice of the rest: not foreseeing that they were of power, and could not patiently endure the iealousies of a mother in lawe, nor the words of an old man, being too much affected to the one of his children against the rest, at the suggestion of a Mother in lawe: an ordinary leuaine of bitter dissention in families of the second bedde.E

Moreouer this imperious Germaine, abusing the facilitie of her good husband, play­ed the Empresse and Queene ouer all, to the discontent of the greatest, who had no fauour with Lewis, but by the fauour of his wife: they did hate and contemne him, as beeing vnworthy to raigne, suffering himselfe so slauishly to be gouerned by a woman. This was the generall motiue of their discontent: but there were many other particularities, which grewe dayly vpon diuers and sundrie occasions. The Bishops were most of all incensed against Lewis, by reason of the death of those men of the Church, whome hee had so cruelly caused to be slaine with Bernard. So Lothaire, Tragicall re­bellion of child [...]n. Pepin, and Lewis (by the aduise of these malecontents) resolue to seize F [...]on their Father, Mother, and young Brother, to dispossesse them of all authority, and [...]en to gouerne the State after their owne appetities, wherein they must vse force and a publicke consent. Lothaire (as ring-leader of this desseigne,) leuies a great [Page 87] A army, and calls a Nationall Councell of the French Church at Lions829. supposing sooner to suppresse Lewis by this meanes then by a Parliament. Lewis appeer [...] ▪ he receiues all complaints against himselfe, and yeelds to the Censure of the Prelate, which was to retire himselfe into a Monastery, there to attend his deuotion, and to resigne the Em­pire and the realme to his Children. This was put in execution.Ab [...]se in the Clergy. Lewis was conueied to Soissons, to the monastery of Saint Medard: his wife and sonne were confined to o­ther places, and the whole gouernment committed to Lothaire and his brethren. [...]hus Lewis, so much addicted to Church-men as he purchased the name of deuout, was ill intreated by them, & receiued a poore recompence for his so humble submission. The name of a Councell (venerable of it selfe) did at the first retayne men, supposing that B this ecclesiasticall Iurisdiction did not extend but to admonition: but seeing this tra­gicall attempt of the Children against the father, there was no good man but stoode amazed at this presumption, and pittied their poore King, beeing brought to such ca­lamity. But all power remayned in the hands of the rebellious Children, and the greatest of the Church were guilty of this outrage, secking to maintaine their decree.Lewis imp [...] [...]ed by his Children. Thus this poore Prince (to the generall greefe of his subiects) continued in prison fiue yeares: for he entred in the yeare 829. and came forth in the yeare 834. But this de­liuery was the beginning of a newe confusion. For Lothaire hauing beene forced to yeeld vnto his father, goes to field, takes him prisoner againe and leads him to the Couent at Soissons, where he stayed not long, for the French did bandy openly against C Lothaire, and his bretheren did abandon him,He is forced to giue the [...] portions. so as hee was forced to yeeld vnto his father and to craue pardon. This miserable King, thus ledde for a long time, giues portions to his Children. To Lothaire hee leaues the realme of Austras [...], from the riuer of Meuse vnto Hongarie, with the title of Emperour: to Lewis Bauaria, and to Charles France▪ Pepin enioyed Guienne without contradiction.

Lewis (not content with Bauaria) quarrells againe with his father, and (to force him to giue him a better portion,) hee leuies an army and passeth the Rhin. The pit­tifull father, although tyred with so many indignities, yet transported with choller against his sonne, goes to field with an army: but age and greefe depriued him of meanes to chastise him: for hee fell deadly sicke, which made him leaue this world, to D finde rest in heauen.He dies. This was in the yeare of grace 840. of his age 64. and of his Empire the 27. He left three sonnes, Lothaire and Lewis of the first bedde, and Charles of the second, these two first Children did much afflict the father and themselues, and all were plonged in bloudie dissentions, the which order doth nowe command vs to represent particularly.

The Estate of Lewis his Children, presently after his death.

E LOthaire as the eldest and Emperour by his fathers testament, would prescribe Lawes to his brethren, and force them to a newe diuision. As he had [...]ceeded against his father in taking him twise prisoner, and stripping him before hee went to bed;Diuision a­mong the bretheren and the cause. so he sought to disanull his will, as made against the right of the elder, and the Imperiall dig­nity, the realme of France belonging to the eldest, and the goodliest territories of the Empire to the Emperour. Thus hee quarreled with Charles King of France: and with Lewis, who had his part in the inheritances of the Empire, in Bauiere, the dependances of the realme of Bourgondy (that is to say Prouence and Daulphiné) and in Italy.

F This was the Leuaine of these tragicall dissentions among the bretheren (as Nitard a writer of approued credit, learned, and a Prince, (for he was sonne to Angelibert the [...]nne of Berthe daughter to Charlemagne, and was imployed to compound these quar­ [...]ells) doth very particularly describe.

[Page 88] 820.Behold the direction to a longer discourse, whereof I owe but an abridgment, no­ted A with the principall circumstances. Lothaire then armed with aut [...]oritie, force, ma­lice, policie, and boldnes, thinkes to giue his bretheren their portions: and there were great presumptions he should preuaile, ioyning his force with the intelligences he had in the dominions of Charles and Lewis.

This common interest to defend themselues against a common enemie▪ made them to ioyne togither, resolute for their generall preseruation. Lothaire seekes by secret treaties to diuide them, but not able to make any breach in their vnion, hee prepares force and [...]olicie. Lewis was in Bauiere, of whome he kept good gard, that he should no [...] passe the Rhin, to ioyne with his brother: hee likewise leuies an armie to surprise Charles in France. This preparation of warre did awake the vnited brethren, who as­semble their forces, and ioyne notwithstanding all Lothaires oppositions. Lothaires ar­mie B was at Auxerre, meaning to passe into the hart of France. The vnited brethren (hauing assembled their forces neere vnto Paris, Saint Denis and Saint Germain) ap­proche, to haue a better meanes either to treat with him, or to incounter him. F [...]s [...] with great humilitie, they offer to performe what should be held reasonable, beseech­ing him to remember the condition of brethren the holy peace of the Church, and the quiet of Go [...]s people, suffering them to inioy what their father had bequeathed, or el [...]e they would diuide France equally, and hee should choose what part he pleased. Lo­thane refusing nothing flatly, [...]ed them with delayes, expecting forces out of Guienne, led by Pepin, and in the meane time he diuided the Citties by his practises, meaning to C as [...]a [...]e [...]is brethren both within and without, and to surprise them by authoritie and force, as hee had done heretofore his poore father, presuming of the like meanes.

But the subtill was taken in his owne snare, for as Lothaire (finding himselfe the stronger) refused these conditions of peace,Lothaire thin [...] ­ing [...] his bre [...]ren, is u [...]ris [...] and defeated. saying openly: That his brethren would neuer bee wise vntill hee had corrected them, behold the armies lying neere to Fonte­nay (after these vaine parlees of peace▪ Lewis and Charles charge Lothaires armie (alrea­die a Conqueror in conceit) with such aduantage, as hee was not onely put to rout, but also ouerthrowne with a notable slaughter, noted vnto this day, by the place where the battaile was fought, the which for this occasion is called Chaplis, and the straight is D called by the victors name, the valley of Charles, to continue the memorie of so bloo­die a victorie, where euen the Conquerours had cause to weepe, hauing shed their owne bloud, although forced to fight.

It is not now that France [...] to bee indiscreet, banding against it selfe, and dig­ging in her owne bowels, by [...]se domes [...]c all and vn [...]ll dissentions. Lothaire after [...] defeat changed his hu [...]r with his estate, for hardly could hee retyre with his shame to saue his dominions. [...]e inioyed the [...]arie maske of the Empire with Aus [...]ras [...]a, yet very much cu [...]alled and d [...]ided to his three sonnes, Lewis, Charles, and Lothaire. Of these great inhe [...]itances, there remaines nothing cleere but Lorraine, of the name of Lothaire. And so the great discourses of him whome the whole earth co [...]ld n [...]t [...]ati [...]fie, without taking from father, and brethren, were buried in a cloister:E for Lothaire (hauing remorse of conscience for attempting against his father and bre­thren, and all to beare rule) lost the honour hee had sought with such eagernesse, and (to [...]der the paines hee had inflicted vppon his father) hee professeth himselfe a Monke in the Abbie of Pluuiers, Lothaire [...] a Mon [...]e. and dies a Monke in the yeare 855. taking on him the frocke, and being shauen, as the ciuil death of a King or Prince of the bloud royall, according to the French opinion, which continues vnto this day, for a note of the greatest paine they could suffer that were borne in this authoritie, to bee shauen and made Monkes, and to change the crowne of France into a Monkes crowne, dead to the world.

This was the Catastrophe and end of this turbulent Prince, by the iust iudge­ment F of God, published then in the greatest assemblies, and made knowne vnto [...] open and publike writings, for a notable testimonie and witnesse to all men. [Page 89] A That whosoeuer disobeyes father and mother: deceiues his brethren,824 troubles the peace of the Church and state, in breaking the sacred Lawes of God and nature, hee dismembers himselfe by peece-meale, loosing his goods, honour and quiet, for assu [...]ed gages of the horrible torments which attend him in the euerlasting prisons, appointed to tame the vntamed, and to make them suffer the infinit paines of their infi [...]it wic­kednesse.

Charles and Lewis were well satisfied to haue preuented their brothers desseins, not making any further pursuite of their victory.An [...]accord betw [...]xt C [...]a [...]l [...]s and Lewis. They seeke to confirme t [...]ue concord by the settling of their Estates. Hauing stayed sometime vpon the place where the B battaile was fought: buried the dead, released prisoners and proclaimed a generall pardon to all that would followe their armes: they call the Bishops, to take their ad­uice vpon ocurrents, who beeing sollemnly assembled exhort them vnto concord, laying plainely before them the iust iudgement of God against their brother Lothaire, least they should drawe the people againe into these extremities by their dissen­tions.

The Brethren (beleeuing their good aduice) part good friends▪ but when as Lo­thaire sought to renue the quarrell, they met againe: but this striuing was in vaine: they assemble in the Citty of Strasbourg then belonging to this Crowne, and there make a sollomne alliance for thē & their subiects, to liue togither in peace & concord. C The forme is double, one in the Romain tongue, the other in Dutch, that is to say the Germaine. As for the Romaine, it seemes to be that of Languedoc and Prouence, by the Language, although there bee some words which are not at this day in vse with vs, as the reader (curious of this antiquity) may see in their proper places, excusing my stile which suffers me not to dilate any further, but onely to note what may be found in the originalls, touching this subiect.

This allyance made, they come to the diuiding of their parts: and to this end they appoint twelue deputies, (whereof Nitard saies he was one), who without respect of fertility or quantity, regard that onely which was most conuenient, for the nerenesse and commodity of their [...]states. I know this partition is diuersly set downe by many: and who sees not in so obscure antiquity, that it is impossible to make a true dessigna­tion, D seeing that in small successions there is so great diuersity? But in all this varie­tie of opinions, it remaynes for certaine, that Charles the onely sonne of the second bed, (who had be [...]ne so much persecuted by the Children of the first wife,) remayned sole King of France: that the territories of the Empire were much decayed, nothing remayning in effect, but the name of those which lie on this side the Rhin, especially in the dependances of the Realme of Bourgongne, as Daulphiné and Prouence. The portion [...] of Charles and Lewis. Daul­phiné doth yet carry the ancient name of the Empire, in respect of the riuer of Rosne which doth seperate it from Viuaretz, a Country opposite, called by an expresse name the Realme, as also for this cause Charles was called by expresse words in the designa­ [...]n of his portion, King of France, it confines at the one end with Lionnois, at the o­ [...]er E with Vzege, which extends from Saint Esprit to Ville-neuue of Auignon, along the Rosne; all the sayd limits beeing of his portion, bee called by a particular name the Realme, vnto this day, especially in their Leases, which retayne more plainly the traces of the ancient tongue.

An obseruation which I ought vnto my Country, for the which I keepe a ranke in the Theater whereon I meane to represent the Estate of our goodly Prouinces of Gaule Narbonoise, in old time honored with the name of a second Italy, and at this day so grosly vnknowne to strangers, as in the Theater of the world they leaue a blanke for it, like to the deserts of Affricke, although it yeelds not to any Prouince of this great and goodly Kingdome, whereof it is one of the cheefe parts, and worthiest mem­ [...]ers. F So Daulphiné and Prouence were left to Lewis in his partage, for the com­ [...]odity of Italy the which was giuen him, notwithstanding the pretensions of Bernards Children.

But Lewis enioyed not long these great possessions, for the which he had so much [Page 90] troubled his poore father,829. his miserable subiects and himselfe: for he die [...] [...] [...] ­ter,Lewis dies. A without any issue male, his great Estates.847.

Behold the last rebellious sonne of the father, and one of his scourges, dead with­out any great memory, the which was like-wise extinguished in his daughter an [...] [...]n the diuers changes happened in these Estates. Thus the Children impatient [...]o [...]e their poore father liue, died after many fruitlesse toyles, the one in a monastery, the o­ther without heire to carry his name, although the imagination of a famous race and of an extraordinary raigne, had made them forget the holy Lawes of nature against their father. Charles and Lewis had made profession of more then brotherly loue, as their familiarities carefully obserued by Nitard, in eating, lying and playing togither do tes [...]ifie, leauing to the wise reader to iudge, howe vncertain the loue of brethren is B when as Couetousnes and ambition creepes into their councells.

Charles married his Neece Hermingrade, daughter to his brother Lewis, to Boson Earle of Ardennes, brother to his wife Richilde. His colour was to match his Neece with a Prince of a good house,Hermingrade daughter to Lew [...]s married to Boson King of A [...]les. and of more vertue, and thereby to binde Boson vnto him, but his intent was other, as we shall hereafter see. Boson tooke possession of the Countries belonging to his wife as her dowry, & calls himselfe King of Arles. A point very remarkable, to vnfold many difficulties that shall followe in the foresayd Coun­tries, and especially in Prouence, where haue happened many changes, the which wee will endeauour to represent in their proper places.

This was the Estate of the heires of great Charlemagne, but his posterity did worse:C where the most famous memory of our Kings shalbe noted by their vices, eyther of body or minde, one being called the stuttering, an other the bald, the sim­ple, the cruell, the Barren, and all m [...]sfortunes, to shewe as it were in a goodly table, that all the greatnes of this world, is but meere vanity.

CHARLES surnamed the bald, sonne to Lewis the gentle, the 26. King and Emperour.


A CHARLES called the bald, King of France, beganne to raigne the the yeare 841. and raigned thirty eight yeares.841 He caused himselfe to be proclaimed Emperour after the death of Lewis, who suruiued Lothaire, without contradiction. The greatest part of his raigne pas­sed in the confusions before mentioned, or in the hatred and dissen­tions of brethren, or in combustions and open war [...]es. But why [...]ould I encrease mine owne trouble and the readers, with the report of these parti­cularities, vnworthy of brethren, and worthy of eternall forgetfullnes?

A raigne of small fame, but onely to note the confusion from whence sprong the first occasion of the fall of this race: a King of small merit,A confused and vnhappy raigne. hauing performed nothing B praise worthy, for in that wherein hee desired to winne the reputation of doing well, hee did exceeding ill. His greatest ambition was to seeme a good Vncle to the onely daughter of his brother Lewis, with whome hee had made so strict a League of loue. He married her to Boson, as I haue sayd: but the euents shew that he married her with an i [...]tent to go [...]erne her inheritance at his pleasure.

Being proclaymed Emperour, hee leuies a great and mightie army, and goes in person into Italie. His pretext was to suppresse the Dukes of Spoletum and Beneuent, who [...]ought to free themselues from the subiection of the Empire, and to become Soueraig [...]es: but [...]is intent was to seize vpon the strong places of Italie, Charles seekes to deceiue hi [...] Neece. and so [...]y conseq [...]e [...]ce, of that which belonged to his Neece Hermingrade.

C But Bos [...]n her husband discouering her Vncles intent, preuented him, ioyning with the sayd Dukes, and prouiding for the Citties of Italie with all [Page 92] expedition,879. as his wiues inheritance: and then hee aduertised Charles entring into the A Countrie, that it was needlesse for him to passe any farther, and to put Italie to vnne­cessarie charges, seeing that he himselfe could gard it sufficiently, & the foresaid Dukes did submit themselues to reason. But being easie to iudge that Charles hauing an armie in field,Charles diuer­ted from the warre of Italy. and a resolute desseine, would not retyre without constraint, Boson makes fa­ctions in France, in the heart of his Estate, to diuert him. An easie matter, both for their discontents against him, and the miserie of that age, nourished in the libertie of vnciuill warres. This occasion drew Charles from this vniust desseine, for at the first brute of rebellion, he turnes head towards France ▪ but there chanced more to him then he expected, for he not onely left his Neeces patrimonie, but his owne life in Italie, with a notable instruction, Not to loose this life for the desire of an other mans B goods. Thus died Charles the bald at Mantoua, the yeare 879. lea­uing the Realme to his sonne Lewis, Where he dies the which hee sought to augment with an others right.

LEVVIS the second called the stuttering 27. King and Emperour.


HE raigned onely two yeares, and succeeded his father likewise in the A Empire, but not without opposition, for the Princes of Italie sought to be Soueraines, and the Germaines (bearing impatiently the con­fusions passed) desired to restore the beauty of the Imperial dignity, greatly decayed in Italie, by such as possessed the [...]a [...]ds of the Em­pire. They spared not the Pope himselfe, who by little and little, vsur­ped the Imperiall rights in Italie. These complaints being made to Lewis the Emperour, Iohn the 3. Pope of Rome came into France to redresse that which [Page 93] A conce [...]ned the Sea of Rome. He was courteously receiued by the King,880. staied in France a whole yeare, and there held a Councell at Troyes in Champagne.

The raigne of Lewis was very short. The Pope was scarceg [...]ne, but hee was lod­ged in the bed of death. He had no lawfull children but two bastards, Lewis and Ca­roloman, both men growne, whereof the one was already married to the daughter of Boson King of Arles. His wife was with child. In the doubtfulnesse of the f [...]ite which should be borne, he must prouide a Regent to gouerne the realme, if it were a sonne. And although Lewis loued his two bastards deere'y, yet would he not haue them Re­gents, but made choise of Eudes or Odon Duke (that is to say gouernour) of Angers, the sonne of Robert of the race of Widichind of Saxony (of whom we haue before made B mention) to bee Regent of the Realme, and experience taught,Lewis leaues his wife with childe. that his iudgement was good,

Thus Lewis dyed, hauing left nothing memorable but a sonne: wherein I obserue three notable things, The efficacie of the Lawe of State, preseruing the right of the law­full heire not yet borne: The minoritie of a King, subiect to many confusions and mi­series: and the liberty of great men in the weakenesse of a young Prince, who fi [...]he boldly in a troubled streame. In this raigne happened the Eclipse of the Empire. The first check giuen to this second race, was by a League, which dying in shew, made the King to dye in effect, and in the end carryed away the Crowne, burying both the King and all his race in one tombe. This History is very obs [...]ure, by reason of the Re­gents C which are numbred among the Kings, during the minoritie of the lawfull heire▪ and therefore good directions are needfull in so confused a laborinth of diuers raignes Behold therefore the simple and plaine truth.

Lewis the Stuttering being dead, the Parliament assembled to resolue for the go­uernment of the realme, vntill that God should send the Queene a happy deliuery:The estates honour the Queenes wombe. and if it were a sonne, appoint who should be Gouernour to the King, and Regent of the Realme, vntill he came to the age of gouernment. There was no Prince that made any question to the Infants title that was to bee borne: or that sought to take the ad­ [...]antage of the time, to aduance himselfe vnder colour of neerenesse of bloud: but it was concluded by common consent, they should carefully preserue the Q [...]eenes D wombe, vntill her deliuery. The Kings will was plaine, for he called Eudes (as we haue said) to be Gouernour to his child vnborne, and Regent of the realme:Regents crowned as Kings. but Lewis and Caroloman, bastards of France, had so laboured for voyces, as they preuailed against this Testamentary decree, and were chosen Regents by the Estates, who for confirma­tion of this authoritie, decreed they should be crowned, yet with a profitable excep­tion for the pupils interest, the lawfull heire of the Crowne.

A dangerous proceeding,A dangerous course. making seruants taste the sweetnesse of Soueraigne com­mand, which made the way to a horrible confusion, and multiplying the authoritie of many masters, did greatly preiudice the lawfull heire, the which may not (without ex­treame danger) be imparted but to one onely. The Queene was happily deliuered E of a sonne, the which was saluted King, and was called Charles, of whom wee shall speake hereafter. The day of his birth was the 12. of December,Charles borne after his [...]a­thers death. in the yeare 881. But we must now passe 22. yeares full of troubles, before our pupill comes to age so as to marche safely in so obscure a laborinth, wee must distinctly note the diuers par­cels of this interreigne.


882.The Minoritie of Charles called the Simple, the which continued 22. yeares vnder 4. Regents, whom they call Kings.

LEwis and Caroloman Brothers, the bastards of Lewis the Stuttering, cho­sen by the States, raigned two yeares or there abouts, to whom they adde Lewis the idle, the sonne of Caroloman, but hee is not numbred among the Kings.

  • Charles the Grosse raigned nine yeares.
  • Eudes or Odon, eleuen yeares.

Behold the 22. yeares of this minoritie.

The 28. raigne vnder LEWIS and CAROLOMON.


THey talke diuersly of these Kings, who in deed were no lawfull Kings, but guides to a lawfull King. A confused and obscure age, which hath le [...] such famous persons in doubt. But wee may say in their excuse, that men being weary of these confusions, haue E willingly left them doubtfull, to hide the infamie of their times, or else no man durst set Pen to Paper, to represent the shamefull courses of those miseries.

Lewis and Caroloman tooke either of them a part to gouerne: Lewis the countrie on the other side of Loire, and Caroloman that on this side. They had the Normans, and Boson King of Arles for common enemies,Lewis defeated by the Normās and [...]yes for griefe. and as continuall thornes in their sides, in diuers places and vpon diuers occurrents, for the ending whereof, they besiege Boson in Vienne, and resolue to take it: but presently the Normans come to his succour. Ca­roloman continues the siege, and Lewis goes to incounter the Normans. But oh the va­nity of humaine conceptions: the Regents are frustrate of their hopes, for Lewis loo­seth F his Armie, and afterwards his life, through griefe of his defeat. Carolomon on the other side takes Vienne, but not Boson, who saues himselfe in the Mountaines of Viua­rez. And contrarywise, hee that hoped to haue his greatest enemy in his power, was [Page 95] A surprised by death vnlooked for and extraordinarie,885. hauing ended his [...]eege and be­come sole Regent by the death of his brother. But the manner of his death is diuersly obserued: some write, that running in iest after a gentlewoman, he was crusht vnder a gate, whether his horse had violently carried him. Others say, that hee was slaine by a boare, going a hunting: or that being at the chase, he fell downe and brake his necke. But all this notes, that the manner of his death was violent and extraordinarie.Caroloma [...] [...] a vio­lent death. So the Regencie of these two bastards, gotten by sute against the Law, was both short and vnfortunate.

Lewis succeeded to these two brethren. Men dispute with much vncertaintie what B he was to Caroloman, either brother or sonne, but all agree he was an idle person. It is likely hee was the nearest kinsman, hauing seized on the authoritie after the death of these two Regents, but in effect the French had the power in their owne hands. It chanced as they were readie to free themselues off this Lewis, that he died, and so they called Charles the grosse, King of Baui­ere, first Prince of the bloud, to this great dignitie.

CHARLES called the grosse or great, C 29. King and Emperour.
An Example from a tragicall change to a worthie person.


CHarles called the grosse, began to raigne the yeare 88 [...]. and raig­ned nine yeares.885. His entrance was goodly▪ but his end tragically fowle. Hee was installed in the Regencie with the same ceremonies that the other two forenamed, for he was crowned King, with pro­mise to restore the Crowne to the lawfull heire, and to gouerne according to the will of the States. Hee was sonne to Lewis cal­led Germanicus, sonne to Lewis the gentle, as wee haue said. This neerenesse [Page 96] of bloud gaue him an interest, and the Imperiall dignitie, power, and meanes to go­uerne A the Realme well. So the eyes of the French were fixed on him, as the man which should restore their decayed estate,Great hopes o [...] Charle [...] his good gouern­ment. after so many disorders and confusions. His en­trance was reasonable happie, (as at the first euery thing seemes goodly) being res­pected of all his subiects. He went into Italie, and expelled the Sarazins which threat­ned Rome, but being returned into France, hee found a new taske, for the Normans (a Northerne people, gathered togither not onely from Denmarke, but [...]lso from Sweden and other neighbour Countries, as the word of Norman doth shew, signifying men of North) were dispersed in diuerse parts vpon the sea coast of the Realme of France: and had cheefly set footing in the Countries of Arthois, [...]herouenne, and other low Coun­tries, and in Neustria one of his greatest and neerest Prouinces, taking their oportunitie B by the troubles so long continued among the brethren.Neustria new calle [...] Nor­man [...]ie. Cha [...]les defea­ted by the No [...]mans, y [...]lds to a pre­i [...]diciall peace

Charles marcheth with his armie against them, but at the first incounter he was bea­ten. This checke (although the losse were small) stroke a greater terror, and in the end caused an apparent impossibilitie, to recouer that Prouince from so great forces: so as he was aduised to enter into treatie with them, and to make them of enemies friends, lea [...]ing them that which he could not take from them. The which hee did absolutely of his owne authoritie, (being very great, vnited in these two dignities,) without the priuitie of his Estates. So Charles yeelded Neustria to the Normans, vppon condition they should do homage to the Crowne of France. Then gaue they their name to the Countrie which they had conquered, ratified by this sollemne title, and called it Nor­mandie. C He likewise lost Fr [...]seland, and gaue Gisele in marriage (being the daughter of Lothaire his Cousin) to Sigefrid or Geffr [...]y one of the cheefe of the Normans, thinking thereby to stoppe this storme. But therby he wrought his owne ruine, for this grant was found so wōderfully strange, that the French, not only greeued that the Regent had done it without their aduice, but also that (in yeelding this goodly countrie to the Normans) he had dismembred the inheritance of the Crowne, which is inalienable by the law of State. And although necessitie might inferre some consideration for Charles his excuse, yet the French for this respect conce [...]ed so great a hatred against him,Charl [...]s ex­treamly hated. as they could not rest vntill they had degraded him. And as one mischeefe neuer comes alone: Charles finding himselfe thus disdayned, fell sicke. This corporall sicknes was accompanied D w [...]h a distemperature of the mind, farre more dangerous: by an extreame iealousie hee had conceiued against his Queene Richarde, daughter to the King of Scots, suspect [...]ing her to haue beene too prodigall of her honour. These two infirmities of bodie and mind made charles altogither vnfit for his charge, which consists more in action then in contemplatiue authoritie, and in a season when as occasions were ministred on all sides. This difficultie and disabilitie to serue effectually in the regencie of the Realme and Empire vnited in one person, of whome all men expected much, and they discontent of the ill gouernment which the French and Germains (depending of this Crowne) pretended, in quitting Normandie, made both the one and the other, to enter into strange alterations against Charles. At the first his great authori­tie kept the boldest in awe, and his sicknes did excuse him: but after some yeares pati­ence,E the French & the Germaines by a common consent resolued to dispossesse Charles, and to call a more sufficient to the place, euery one according to the limits of his coun­trie.Charles d [...]iect­ed from the Empire and [...]e [...]lme. The Germains made choise for their Emperour, of Arnoul sonne to Carol [...]man, the sonne of Lewis the gentle, retayning the respect they bare to the bloud and memo­rie of Charlemagne. Thus the Eclipse of the Empire chanced not altogither, but this change was the first motiue to alter the Imperiall dignitie, whereof afterwards was fra­med an estate in Germanie, vnder the title of an Emperour, as we shall see. The French likewise reiect this miserable Charles, from the regencie of the realme, and call Eudes or Odon Duke of Angers, named by the will of Lewis the stuttering.F

So this poore Prince is dispossessed of all his estates, and abandoned of euery man, reiected both from realme and Empire, hauing so ill prouided for himselfe in time of prosperitie, as he remained naked without a house, where to shroude himselfe from the [Page 97] disgrace of this shipwrack: being banished from his Court, and d [...]i [...]n into a poore village of Sueuia, where he liued some dayes in extreame want,891. without any meanes of his owne, or releefe from any man, in the end he dyed, [...] dies poorely in a village. neither pitied nor lamented of any: in a corner vnknowne, but to haue beene the Theater o [...] so extraordinarie a Tragedie, That one of the greatest Monarkes of the world, should dye without house, without bread, without honour, without mourning, and without memorie, but the note of this end so prodigiously memorable. A notable patterne of the vanity of this world, in diuers circumstances: In Charles, in the people, and in the Chastisement. The fruits of this memora­bl [...] example. In Charles, to learne by his example, to carry themselues wisely, both in prosperitie and aduersity. Hee wanted no iudgement, and had aboundance of wealth: but hee was B neither temperate nor wise in his abundance, in the which the actions of his life shew him to haue beene imperious and indiscreet, purchasing enemies, in contemning those that had raysed him to those dignities, hauing beene too confident in himselfe, and carelesse of the condition of mans life: and from this extremitie he fell into another, in the time of his greatest afflictions, suffering himselfe to be carried away in the cur­rent of melancholie, and his soule to be swallowed vp in despaire. In the People, who worship him in the beginning, whom they deuoure in the end, and with an inexcusa­ble malice, tread vnder foote the afflicted: and without due consideration of the true cause of affliction, they esteeme no crime greater then affliction it selfe, whereon they should haue pitty, and detest the vice, the which they cou [...]r with the cloake of prospe­rity. C But from Charles, the People, and the Rodde, let vs ascend to him that holds it, which is God, and learne to depend on him, both in wealth and woe, not trusting in our selues when we abound, nor distrust in him when we are in greatest extreames: the which he can easily redresse. Doubtlesse greatnesse commeth neither from the East nor from the West. God raiseth one, and pulleth downe an other, that weighing duly the vncertaintie of this life, and profiting by the example of others, we may learne not to be wise vnto our selues, but to stop our mouthes, and open our eares and eyes, to see what God doth, and heare what he saith, seeking the true remedies of consolation, in him that neuer failes the afflicted which flie vnto him.

So that great King and Prophet banished from his house, said, I haue held my peace, D for thou hast done it, and The Lord is iust in all his wayes. A most reasonable warrant of Iustice, and excellent fruite of afflictions. Such was the entrie and end of Charles the Grosse, at the first a King and Emperour, and in the end lesse then his most miserable subiect. After him Eudes came in place, thrust forward by them that had reiected Charles the [...]rosse,

EVDES, or ODON named Regent by Lewis the second, called the stutte­tering, [...]nd receiued by the Estates, the thirtith King of France.


894. BEh [...]ld Eudes at last, who should haue beene in the beginning. Hee A began to raigne, or rather to bee Regent, the yeare 894. and raig­ned eight yeares and some moneths, but not without difficulties. For the order of the historie wee must carefully obserue his race, which in the end shal gaine the h [...]ghest place. [...] whence [...]. We haue made men­tion of W [...]a [...]eland of Saxony, one of the most famous personages of his time. Being greatly fauoured by Charlemagne, hee sent a sonne of [...] into France, named Robert or Rupert, who had great dignities. This Robert had two sonnes, Eudes and Robert, who shall soone minister matter to ta [...]ke of his life. This last Robert was father to Hugh the great, and hee father to Hugh Capet, who in the end shall sit in the royall throne▪ we shall see by what degrees and meanes. But to vnfold ma [...]y d [...]ffi [...]ulties which a [...]peare in the reading of this historie, and in the diuersitie of B tit [...]es gi [...]n those that are descended of Eudes race: we must obserue, that the name of E [...]e and D [...]ke, were titles of gouernment, and not of inheritance, and that their go­uer [...]ments were temporary,Duke and [...] bu [...] ti­t [...]es of Offi­cers. so as one & the same man (being possessed of diuers go­uernments at diuers times) doth carrie in diuers respects the title of Duke, and Earle of those Prouinces, whereof hee hath beene gouernour: the which was vsually for a yeare, or for th [...]ee. So as wee fi [...]d in this house, Dukes of Angers, Paris, Guienne, and Bourg [...]ngne, according to their commaunds.

Eudes vndertooke the gouernment of the Realme, according to the decree of the E­states,C [...]hen it had m [...]st need of a good Pilot. He was held to bee a good and a wise man, ye [...] could [...] not [...]lease all the French that had called him to the Regenci [...]. [Page 99] A They complaine that Eudes was well pleased to rule and to keepe the King in awe,896. be­ing no more a child: & after so bad gouernment of the former Regents.Eudes malig­ned in his Regencie. such as sought to bee partakers of the authoritie vnder the yong King, did vehemently insist against Eudes, to haue him leaue the gouernment of the realme: but necessitie did contradict it, not permiting him to abandon the helme in these tempests. In the end (after many clamors) Eudes authoritie is limited to the gouernment of Guienne.

Eight yeares passed in these contentions, but now the seed of innouation was in the heart of the State, the libertie of priuate men hauing cast away all respect: all the members of the bodie were sicke, and the soueraigne authoritie shaken by a generall disorder, which in the end changed by degrees. Italie wauered,France full of [...]actions. Germanie was quite fal­len B away, as I haue sayed: and France was greatly troubled with diuers factions, among the which, the Kings part was reckoned the greater: but experience shewed it was the weakest, for Eudes kept them in awe. The King who had the greatest interest, thought least thereon, being ill aduised by them who sought to abuse his simple and tractable disposition, and to aduance themselues by his ruine. Hee solicits Eudes in such sort as in the end he strips himselfe of all authoritie, and resignes it into the Kings hands, who knowes neither how to manage it, nor how to auoyd his owne mis­fortune, the which Eudes preuented whilest he liued. It was not long before his death, that he resigned al his authoritie of Regent vnto Charles as to the lawfull heire, the which hee could C not long keepe when hee was in posses­sion thereof, according to his soueraigne desire.

CHARLES the 3. called the simple: 31. King.


HEE was Crowned in the yeare 902. Eudes gouerning with him eight yeares from his coronation,902. Charles remayning alone after the death of his Regent in the yeare 902. raigned 27. yeares. His raigne was miserable both in the beginning, midest and ending. He ratified the accord made with the Normans, by Charles the Grosse, and sealed it with the marriage of his sister Gilette with Rhou or Raoul (hee is also called Rhoulon) their chiefe Commander, who hauing left the Pagan superstition and imbraced Christian religion, purchased a great reputation in that Country, whereof he was first called Duke.

But the Normans sute ceasing, a more violent fire is kindled by confusion. All breaks forth: A league made against the King, discouers it selfe, and takes armes without shame or respect,A memora­ble league of Robert against King Charles the 3. but being the breeding of the change of this second race. We must obserue it very distinctly, and seeke out the motiues thereof.


The League of Robert brother to Eu­des,906 against king Charles the simple: the first steppe to the change of this second Race.
The which laie smothered 53. yeares before it was fully discouered, vnder Hugh▪ Capet. from the yeare. B 923. to 976.

ROBERT Duke of Aniou, that is to say, gouernour by the death of his brother Eudes, becomes the head of this League, accompanied with many great men of France. The motiue of this league. The euent shewes that their intent was to reiect Charles the simple, as vnworthy to raigne, and to choose a newe King. I doubt not but Robert affected the Crowne for himselfe: but that is very likely that hee couered this his desseine with some goodly pretext. The writers of that obscure age haue concealed the mo­tiues; C but as by the effects we knowe the cause, so by the euent of this League when it was strongest, we may iudge of the intent.

They aduanced a Prince of the bloud for king, causing Charles to quit the Crowne,Charles [...] from the Crowne. disgracing him with the name of simple or foolish, and delaring him incapable of so great a charge. Who seeth not then the reason, that during the minority of Charles the simple, the diuersity of masters had bred infinit confusions in the state? and that since his coronation, things were nothing repaired, although Eudes had resigned him the Regency. They pretend it was necessary to furnish the realme with a more worthy Prince, to giue an end to these miseries. But that which cheefely mooued the vnderta­kers, was their priuate interest, the which they cloaked with the common-weale. The humors of this insufficient King offended many, too milde to some, too seuere to others and ingratefull to such as had best serued him.

The commentary which hath beene added to the text of the Originall is not likely, that Robert as brother to Eudes pretended the Crowne, as heire vnto his brother bee­ing lawfully chosen by the States. But wherevnto tends all this? Eudes had le [...]t no sus­pition to pretend any interest vnto the Crowne, hauing beene Regent after others, and enioying it but by suffrance, resigning it willingly or by constraint vnto the lawe­full heire. Truely the French mens carefull keeping of their Queenes wombe▪ their acknowledging the childe borne after the fathers death for King: their choosing of Regents: their placing and displacing of one and the same Regent, do plainely shewe both the efficacy of the Lawe, and the resolute possession of the French, the which they yeelded not easily to a man with so weake a title. What then? I should rather thinke that the peoples complaint, tired with so long calamities,Robert the head of the league and in [...]mes. was their colour to furnish the realme with a more wise and profitable guide, and that they sought a Prince (as in the ende they tooke Raoul King of Bourgongne, the first Prince of the bloud) of which League Robert was the ringleader, as the first in dignity and most valiant in courage, or the most rash in so dangerous an enterprise.

The memory of his brothers wise and peaceable gouernment, and his owne va­lour, opposite to the foolish and base disposition of Charles, blemished with this name of simple, (for his folly and contemptible humors) gaue a great Lustre to this en­prise, with those great intelligences he had within the realme, and namely with the Nor­mans his confident friends.

With this assurance hee armes boldly against Charles, promising himselfe an vn­doubted [Page 102] doubted victorie, by the valour of his men, and the basenes of his enemie. Charles the A simple awakes at this strange reuolt, and (distrusting his owne subiects, who [...] sees risen in armes, to dispossesse him of his estate (he flies to Henry the 3. Emperour, and prepares al hee can to calme so great a storme. As their armies approach, Robert (to haue some title to make a warre) causeth himselfe to bee crowned King at Rheims, R [...]b [...]rt c [...]useth himselfe to be crowned King by Herué the Archbishop, who died three dayes after this vnlawful Coronation. The o­pinions are diuers: but for my part, I doe not hold that Robert caused himselfe to bee crowned, with a better title then his brother Eudes, who was neither crowned nor raig­ned as King, but as Regent. But all the French complayned, that they needed a better King then Charles the simple, who would loose the Crowne, if it were not fore­seene.

The erro [...]s of King Charles.He had alreadie ratified the follie of Charles the grosse, in continuing the vsurpation B of Neustria to the Normans, who with the Kings consent were seized thereon, with the title of lawfull possession: and moreouer they were much incensed, that hee had put himselfe into the protection of the Emperour Henry, to giue him a cause to inuest himselfe King of France, as of late dayes the Germains had infranchised themselues from the French Monarchie, by the diuision of brethren which had raigned, and the minoritie of Charles who then commaunded. This iealousie inflamed the hearts both of the one and the other, and serued Robert for a shew, meaning to fish in a troubled water.

Now they are in armes. Reason and respect of the common good fights for Robert. The same reason ioyned with the royall authoritie, armes for Charles against these new C desseigne. But God, who guides the least moment of our life, watcheth mightily for the preseruation of m [...]ankind, and disposeth of Kingdomes by his wisedome) had li­mited this bold attempt, reseruing the change to another season, and yet for the same [...]ace of Robert. Euen so, the death of him that had crowned Robert, was a foretelling of his owne. The armies lodge in the heart of France, neere vnto the great Cittie of Paris, the seazing whereof was a maine point of State: but see what happens, he that thought to vanquish, is vanquished. As the armies approch neere to Soissons, striuing (in the vew of Paris) who should doe best, they ioyne. The combat is very cruell: but Robert fighting in the front is slaine,Robert defea­ted and slaine by Cha [...]le [...]. leauing for that time the victorie to Charles the sim­ple:D and a [...]onne in his house shall reuiue his desseine in his posteritie, that is Hugues [...] to Hugh Capet.

[...]he death of Robert did not daunt his armie, but it continued firme vnder the com­maund of Hebert Earle of Vermandois, son in law to Robert. And Charles did so ill ma­nage hi [...] victorie, as it became a trappe for his owne ruine: for seeing these forces to stand fi [...]me, hee seekes a treatie of peace, with an vnseasonable feare. Hebert imbra­ceth this occasion, beseecheth Charles to come to Saint Quentins, to confer togither. Charles (simple indeed) comes thither without hostages.C [...]a [...]les taken prisoner by [...]. Hebert hauing him in his power, takes him pri [...]oner. And hauing declared vnto him the will of the French, to haue the Realme gouerned by a more sufficient man then himselfe, hee resolues to as­semble E the p [...]i [...]cipall of the Realme to that end: conueies him to Chastean-Thierry, and from thence to Soissons, where hee had assembled the cheefe of the Realme, chosen after his owne humor: where hee makes him to resigne the Crowne to Raoul his god­sonne, the first Prince of the bloud, by his mother Hermingrade, daughterto Lewis and wife of Boson, King of Bourgongne.

So this poore Prince is led from prison to prison, (for the space of fiue yeares, yet [...] in his raigne) and after hee had renounced his right, hee payed nature his due,C [...]a [...]les di [...]s opp [...]essed with greefe, and dying of a languishing melancholie, to see himselfe so ignominiously intreated by that audacious affront, done by the treacherie of his owne vassall.Q [...]eene Ogina flies to Eng­land w [...]h her sonne Lewi [...]. F

He had to wife Ogina the daughter of Edward King of England, a wise and a couragi­ous Princesse▪ by her he had a son named Lewis. This poore Princesse (seeing her hus­band [Page 103] A prisoner, and foreseeing the end of this Tragedie,908 by the strange beginning) takes her sonne Lewis, and flies speedily into England, to her brother Aldes [...]on, who then raigned, yeelding to the time, and the violent force of her enemies. Thus Raoul was seated in the place of Charles the simple, a Prince of apparent vertue, and so they account him.

RAOVL the 32. King, but in effect an vsurper of the Realme.


HE was proclaimed and crowned King of France at S [...]issons, 923. in the yeare 923. and raigned about 13. yeares,Raoul an vsur­per, his raigne was vnfortu­nate. during Charles his impri­sonment, and after his death. This raigne was painfull and vnfortu­nate: Normandie, Guienne, Lorraine, and Italy, were the cause of m [...]ch fruitlesse labour. Hee sought to suppresse the Normans, and to repaire the errors of Charles the Grosse, and Charles the Simple, (who were blamed to haue su [...]ered them to take footing in that country, to the pre­iudice of the Crowne:) but he preuailed not, nor yet in Lorraine, nor in Guienne, whe­ther he made voyages, with much brute and small fruite. From thence hee turned his forces towards Italy, where the State was much troubled, by the decease of Boson, and C boldnesse of the Commanders: who held the strongest places, playing the Kings, in refusing to acknowledge the Empire, but in name: and in effect, they commanded as Soueraignes, imagining their gouernments to be hereditary for their children. Hee performed some things worthy of commendation, in suppressing Berenger Duke [Page 104] of Friul, 925. who hauing freed himselfe from the Empire, had vanquished Lewis the A sonne of Boson, who inioyed Italie (as we haue sayd) as husband to the daughter of Lewis one of the sonnes of Lewis the gentle. Raoul made a quiet end with Hugues Earle of Arles, who had gotten possession of that goodly Cittie as gouernour, seated in a fertile Countrie, and very conuenient: he suffered him quietly to inioy the Cittie and territories about it, holding it of the Crowne of France.

Thus passed the raigne of Raoul, without any great profit after so much toyle and trouble, vnder a colour to do better then the lawfull heire, wrongfully dispossessed by him; Leauing no memorie but his ambition and iniustice, in a deluge of troubles and confusions, wherein the Realme was plonged after his departure to the great discon­tent of all the French. He died after all these broyles in the yeare 936. at Compiegne. An age wonderfully disordred,Necessarie ob­seruations for great estates. wherein we may profitably obserue by what accidents B and meanes great estates are ruined. Ciuill warres bred the first Simptomes. As order is the health of an estate, so is disorder the ruine. The seruant hauing tasted the sweet­nes of commaund, imagins himselfe to be master, being loath to leaue the authoritie he had in hand, holding it as his owne by testament. In this resolution there is nothing holy, all is violated for rule, all respect is layd aside, euery one playes the King with­in himselfe: for one King there are many, & where there are many masters, there are none at all. The which we must well obserue, to vnfold many difficulties in the Histo­ry of this confused age, wherein we read of many Kings, Dukes, and Earles, although these titles were but temporarie, hauing no other title but the sword and the confusi­on of times.C

Confusions of thos [...] times.Thus was France altered after the death of Charles the simple, by the practises of Ro­berts League. There was no gouernour of any Prouince throughout the realme, which hold not proper to himselfe and his heires, those which were giuen vnto them but as of­fices. From hence sprang so many Dukedomes, Earledomes, Baronies, and Seigneu­ries,In France. the which for the most part are returned to their first beginnings. Italie (giuen to an Infant of France) was possessed by diuers Princes.In Ital [...]e and Germanie. Germanie withdrawne from the Crowne, was banded into diuers factions, so as the Empire of the West confirmed in the person of Charlemagne, continued scarse a hundred yeares in his race: for Lewis the fourth, the sonne of Arnoul (of whome we haue spoken) was the last Emperour of D this bloud. In his place the Germains elected Conrade Duke of East Franconia, the yeare of grace 920. the Empire being then very weake. After Conrad was chosen Henry the [...]ouler Duke of Saxony, and after him his sonne Otho, Princes adorned with great & singular vertues, fit for the time to preserue the West: for the East did runne headlong to her ruine, so as since Nicephorus (who liued in the time of Charlemagne) they did not esteeme them, but held them as abiects in regard of those great Emperours which had liued before them, namely Michel Curopalates, Leo Armenien, Michel the stamering,Con [...]usion in the East▪ the two Theophiles father & son Basi [...]e the Macedonien, Leo the Philosopher, Alexander, Constantine a Romaine, all which had nothing of the Romaine but the name. Thus this poore sicke bodie languished, being torne in peeces by the infamies of these E men, either of no valour, or altogither wicked, attending the last blow by the hand of the Mahome [...]ans, whose power they fortified by their vitious liues, vntill they had lodged them vpon their owne heads.

A notable spectacle of Gods iust iudgement, who dishonours them that dishonour him,In the Church and expells them from their houses that banish him from their hearts. In these confusions of State, the Pope of Romes power increased daily, by the ruines of the Em­pire, who thrust himselfe into credit among Christians by many occurrents. Their des­seins was to build a Monarchie in the Church, by authoritie, power, Seigneuries, ciuil Iurisdictions, armes, reuenues, and treasor, being growne to that greatnes, as after­wards they sought to prescribe lawes to Emperours and Kings, who refusing it, and dis­puting F vpon this primacie, many dissentions grew among them, and so were dispersed among the people. This is the summe of all that shall be discoursed in the future ages in Christendome, wherein we shall view the the sea of Rome, the Empire and the king­dome. [Page 105] A I treat but of matters of State,929. wherevnto the subiect and the order of our des­seine doth tie me, to report by degrees so long and so obscure a discourse of those ages plonged in darkenesse.

Plantina the Popes Secretary reports a very notable accident, happened at Rome in those times▪ a yong maide loued by a learned man (these are his words) came with him to Athenes, attyred like a boy,In vita Ioan­nis octaus. and there profited so well in knowledge and lear­ning, as being come to Rome, there were fewe equall vnto her in the Scriptures, ney­ther did any one exceede her in knowledge: so as she had gotten so great reputation, as after the death of Pope Leo, she was created Pope, by a generall consent, & was called Iohn the eight. But it chanced, that hauing crept too neere to one of her gromes, shee B grewe with child, the which she did carefully conceale. But as she went to the Basili­que of S. Iohn de Lateran betwixt the Colises and S. Clement, she fell in labour,Pope Ioan de­liuered of a Child in the open streete. and was deliuered of this stolne birth, in a sollemne procession in view of all the people. And in detestation of so fowle a fact a piller was erected where this profane person died.

So without flattering the truth, not the Empire alone went to wrack, but also the realme and the Church, being in those daies full of confusions, in which they fell from one mischiefe to an other, by the barbarous ignorance of all good things, both in the State and Church, as the wise and vnpassionate reader may obserue in the continu­ance of the history plainly described. But let vs returne from the Empire and sea of Rome, to France. Wee haue sayd, that when Charles the simple was first imprisoned, the C Queene Ogina his wife had carried her sonne Lewis into England to Aldestan the King her brother. She had patiently suffred all, during the furious raigne of Raoul the vsur­per, while the experience of diuers masters did ripen the French-mens discontents, to make them wish for their lawfull Lord. After the death of Raoul, Aldestan King of Eng­land, (hauing drawne vnto him Willam Duke of Normandie, the sonne of Rhou) sends a very honorable Ambassage to the States of France, intreating them to restore his Ne­phewe Lewis to his lawfull and hereditary dignity. The French wish it: so as without any difficulty, Lewis the sonne of Charles was called home, by the Estates of France, whether he was accompanied with a great troupe of English-men and Nor­mans, as the shewe of a goodly army, which might seeme to force them to that which they willingly yeelded vnto.

LEWIS the 4. surnamed from beyond the seas, 33. k [...]ng


935. LEWIS returnes into France, hauing remayned nine yeares or there­aboutes A in England, surnamed D'outremer or from beyond the seas, by reason of his stay there. He beganne to raigne in the yeare 935. and raigned 27. yeares. A disloyall and vnfortunate Prince, hauing made no vse of his afflictions, [...] dis­loya [...] [...]rince. vnworthy the bloud of Charlemagne. And thus their ruine aduanced by the default of men, the which God held back by his patience. He foūd the Estate of his realme like vnto one that returnes to his hou [...]e after a long and dangerous nauigation. He was receiued with great ioye of all men. Those which had beene most opposite vnto him, made greatest shewes of faith­full and affectionate seruice, to insinuate into his fauour. Amongest the rest William Duke of Normandy, but especially Hug [...]es the great, Maior of the Pallace, whome wee B haue already noted, as the sonne of Robert the chiefe of the said League. Hee had imployed all his meanes for the calling home of Lewis into France, and at his returne he spared nothing to confirme his authority. This was the meanes to [...]ay the founda­tion of a greater authority for his successors.

They must begin the newe gouernment of this Prince with a wife, to haue lawfull issue. The Emperours allyance was very needefull. Ot [...]o he [...]d the [...]mperiall dignity, being the sonne of Henry the fowler Duke of Saxony. [...]ewis marri­eth one of the Emperors sisters [...] [...]a­ther to H [...]gh Ca [...]et marri­ [...]th an other. He had two sisters He [...]bergue and Auoye. King Lewis marrieth the eldest, and in signe of brotherly loue he motioned the marriage of the youngest with Hugues the great. Lewis had two sonnes by Herbergue, Lothaire (who succeeded him to the Crowne of France) and Charles, who shalbe Duke C of Lorraine and contend for the Crowne, but shall loose it. Hugues the great was more happy then Lewis, for of the yongest hee had Hugh Capet, who shall take their [Page 107] A place, and ascend the royall throne, to settle the French Monarchie,937. shaken much in the confusions of these Kings vnworthy to raigne, or beare any rule▪ And of the same marriage Hugues had Otho and Henry, both Dukes of Bourgongne, one after another.

Behold now vpon the Stage two great and wise personages, the King and his Maior, whom we may call a second King: they striue to circumuent each other, the which their actions will discouer▪ but man cannot preuent that on earth, which is decreed in heauen. At this time William Duke of Normandie, the sonne of Rho [...], The Duke of No [...]man [...] tra [...]terously [...]aine▪ (who had shewed himselfe so affectionate in the restoring of the King to his dignitie) was trai­terously massacred by the meanes of Arnoul Earle of Flanders his capitall enemy: B leauing one sonne named Richard, a young man vnder gouernment. This vnexpected and extraordinary death must needes breed great troubles in Normandie, an estate which was but now beginning. It did greatly import for the good of France, to haue this Prouince in quiet. Lewis was likewise particularly bound,Troubles in Norman [...]ie. for the good entertain­ment he had receiued of William in his greatest necessitie, the which tyed him to his sonne.

These were goodly shewes to ma [...]e him imbrace this cause: so as hauing intelli­gence of this accident, hee sends expresly to Richard and his Councell, to assure him of his loue and succour, and followes him [...]elfe presently to Rouan, with a traine fi [...]te for his royall greatnesse, being loth to bee the weakest after so strange an alteration, C where the most audacious do commonly fish in a troubled streame. The colour of his comming was to comfort Richard with his councell and fauourable assistance: but in effect, it was to seize vpon his person and estate. Hee sends for this young child to his lodging, conducted by his gouernour the Knight Osmand: he doth assure him with sweete words of his fatherly loue: but when night came, he would no [...] suf­fer him to depart, detaining him three dayes with a carefull garde. The people incen­sed by them that had the charge of the young Duke, mutine, and besiege the Kings lodging.

Hauing pacified this popular fury, in deliuering them their Prince, hee protests to haue no other intent, but to preserue his estate. And so in an open assembly of the Cit­ty, D receiuing him to homage, hauing giuen him a discharge of his lands and Seig­neuries, hee doth solemnly promise to reuenge the death of William against Arnoul Earle of Flanders, and gets the consent of the Normans, to lead their Duke with him to be instructed with his sonne Lothaire, a young childe of the same age. Hee brings him to L [...]on, whether Arnoul the murtherer of William repaires, in shew to purge him­selfe of the murther: but in effect, to perswade him, so to seize on Richards person, as he might enioy his estate.

Lewis being resolute in this determination (a man disloyall by nature,Lewis deales t [...]echero [...]sly w [...]th the Du [...]e of Normandie and louing nothing but himselfe) hee caused this poore young Prince to bee straightly garded: but this Gouernour Osmond, retires him cunningly out of Laon, conducting him to E Senlis, to Hebert his fathers con [...]ident friend. This is [...]ee which imprisoned Charles the Simple, contrary to his faith: and now hee detests Lewis his Soueraigne Lord, who seekes to doe the like vnto on [...] of his vassalls. But we shall soone see the Iustice of God aboue all, who will punish one by an other, and shew himselfe an enemie and reuenger of all disloyaltie and misdemeanour, both in seruant and maister, and in all other▪ as all are naturally subi [...]ct to this soueraigne lawe of integritie and faithful­nesse to all men.

Hugues the great, Earle of Paris, and Maior of the Pallace, had won great credit with the Citties and men of warre: but, hee was more feared then loued of Lewis, a treacherous and reuengefull Prince, whome hee distrusted, and opposed his au­thoritye F against him. Hebert was his confident friend. So in this occurrent of this young Prince, hee comes to Paris, and winnes him to promise fauour vnto Richard, or at the least to make him promise not to bee his enemie.

[Page 108] 942.The King likewise (knowing how much his friendsh [...]ppe did import in these [...] labours to winne him, (such was the strangnes of that age, as the master must [...] the seruant) the which hee obtayned, vpon condition to giue him a good part [...]. Herevpon the match was made, that Hugues should accompany Lewis [...] warre of Normandy, and should enter on the one side while the King came on the o­ther, promising to diuide their conquests according to their agrement. But this suc­ceeded not according to their meanings, the two deceiuers were deceiued▪ but the greatest bare the greatest burthen. This complot of Lewis and Hugues could not be so secret, but it came to the knowledge of Hebert, who gaue intelligence to Richard and his gouernors, Osmond, and Bernard the Dane: so as they assemble at Senlis, and resolue to crosse this double dealing of Hugues, with the like policy. To this ende Hebert (ac­cording B to the familiarity he had with Hugues) goes to conferre with him, to put him in minde of his promise: of the right of a yong Prince vniustly pursued by Lewis, and of his treacherous and disloyall disposition, who hauing vsed him to worke his will, would in the end deceiue him, beseeching him to stand firme in a good cause, for his ancient and faithfull friends, and not to fortifie their common enemy by the afflicti­ons of an other, but in defending the right vniustly set vpon, prouide for his safety and profit. Hugues (who thought it best to haue two strings to his bowe,) distrusting Lewis in his hea [...]t more then any man lyuing, doth easily grant Hebert to assist Richard against Lewis, and doth confirme his prom [...]se by oth.

Hebert hauing thus ingaged Hugues, and yet distrusting him greatly, whome he sees C to play on both sides, returnes to Senlis, to Richard and his gouernors, where they con­clude, that if Hugues ioyned with the King against Richard, they would compound with the King to his cost:The deceiuer is deceiued. and so it happened. The King goes to field with his army on the one side, and Hugues on the other to inuade Normandy in diuers partes, when as Bernard the D [...]ne, chiefe gouernor of the State for Richard, and Osmond of his person, came boldly vnto Lewis and sayd vnto him, that he had no neede to attempt Normandy by force, when as he might enioy it by a voluntary obedience: for proofe whereof, if it pleased him to come to Rouan, he should be obeyed. But withall he aduised him to take heed of Hugues his ancient enemy, shewing him treacherously the countenance of a friend & seruant, least he were circumuented, but rather to accept of al Norman­die D with Rouan, the which offred it selfe vnto him to receiue peace from him, & yeeld him obedience as their Soueraine Lord.

Lewis willingly giues ea [...]e to this aduice: he comes presently to Rouan, and is hono­rably receiued, sending word to Hugues, that seeing the Prouince obeyed, there was no neede of further proceeding, and hauing not imployed him in this voluntary con­quest, it was not reasonable he shoul participate in an other mans estate: that the pub­like good and reason required him to leaue Richard as he was, vnder the obedience of the Crowne, without dismembring of his Estate. Hugues (who pretended a good part of this rich Country) was greatly discontented with Lewis. Hauing dismissed his army, he retires to Paris, detesting his infidelity. Hebert imbracing this occasiō, comes to Hugues, and according to the familiarity of their ancient friendshippe, he laughes at E him, in su [...]ing himselfe to be abu [...]ed by his approued enemy, abandoning his trustie friends against al right. The shame to haue failed of his word, & despight to haue bene deceiued, [...]ade Hugues soone resolue, not onely to leaue Lewis, but to imbrace Ri­chards party against him, with all his power.

It was a notable stratageme, to diuide Hugues, and leaue him discontented with Le­wis: but being assured of his friendshippe, they send into Den-marke (from whence the Normans [...]ere descended) to King Aigrold, kinsman and friend to Richard, for succors, the which succeeded more happily then they expected.

Lewis is at Rouan, who doth not onely command there as Soueraigne, but doth F seize on their goods,Lewis oppre­seth the Nor [...]mans. whome he doth any way suspect; deuising occasions, and holding it for a capitall crime to be any way affected vnto Richard, fauoring his followers with the best matches in the Country, and giuing them credit and authority in the Prouince, [Page 109] A by marriages: he imposeth extraordinarie charges vpon the people,945. already surchar­ged with the feeding of so many horsemen. To conclude, he doth all a man may doe, that hath no other councellor but his greatnesse, and that seekes his owne ruine by his blinde couetousnesse.

In the meane time Aigrold armes in Denmarke, The King of Denmarke comes to suc­cour the Duke of Normandie. and in the end comes into Norman­die with a goodly armie: the King likewise brings his forces to field. Richard, who had the chiefe interest, is at Senlis in safety, and Hugues at Paris, a looker on. Aigrold, be­fore hee enters into open hostility, sends his Ambassadors to Lewis, to let him vnder­stand, that the reason which had drawne him into Normandie with his armie, was to mainteine the right of his cousin Richard, who had not deserued to be spoyled of his B estate, vpon no other cause but his minority, who (although hee had no father,) yet should he not bee destitute of Kinsmen and friends. And therefore hee intreated Lewis (rather then to come to the doubtfull euent of armes) to suffer Richard to en­ioy Normandie, as his father and grand-father had done. And this he did to haue the right on his side.

Lewis bold in deceiuing, and a coward in danger, charged with the wrong hee had done vnto a pupill, seeing himselfe abandoned by Hugues, whom he had discontented out of season, and not trusting much the other Noblemen that followed him, hee makes a very milde answer to Aigrold: and after some negotiations, he yeelds to a par­lee with him, as the chiefe mediator of Richards rights. B [...]ing in field, and conferring C together vpon this occasion, behold an vnexpected accident falls out. He which had beene the cause of the Earle of Flanders quarrell, and by consequence of the mur­thering of William, the father of Richard, was there present with the King. Our histo­ries say, it was Ell [...]in Earle of Montreuill. A Dane (an old friend of Williams) knowes him, hee chargeth him therewith: and as they grow to choller, hee kills him. Then both parties fell to armes: the French charge the Danes, but they finde themselues too weake: all are dispersed, and with this vprore the Kings breake off their parlee. Lewis goes to horse, the which being strong headed, carries him among the thickest of the Danes. Behold he is now prisoner in the hands of some souldiars: but as in this tumult the gard was neglected, he escapes: yet in the end he is taken againe,Lewis taken prisoner, [...]t a pa [...]l [...]e, and and lead in tri­umph D to Rouan. Thus the murther supported by Lewis, was the cause of his imprison­ment: and he seeking to wrong a pupill, did releeue him with his owne person, in ex­change that he had restrained him against all right.

The Queene Gerberge greatly troubled for her husbands imprisonment, flies to Oth [...] the Emperour her brother, who (preuented by Hugues his other brother in law, and seeing the wrong Lewis did, to disquiet a young Prince in the possession of his estate) refuseth to succour him: so as necessitie inforceth Gerberge to vse Hugues (to her great griefe) to be a mediator for the deliuery of the King her husband. Hugues intreated by the Queene his sister in law, deales at length in this accord, but vpon good termes; That the King should yeeld to Duke Richard all the Duchie of Normandie, and for a E surplusage that of Brittanie, Enlarged vp­on conditions to hold them freely without retention of soueraignty or homage: the which was much more then the pupill required, who would willingly haue done homage to the King, as to his soueraigne Lord, and haue yeelded him faithfull obedience. Behold the issue of Lewis his deceite, being deceiued by a poore young man, whom he thought to circumuent; verifying by a notable example, That whosoeuer seekes to take away an other mans right, looseth his owne.

Behold Richard restored to his estate, where he carrieth himselfe with such equity and moderation, by the wise aduise of Bernard and Osmond his Gouernours, as he wins the loue of his subiects, and by their councell, he takes to wife Agnes or Eumacette, the Daughte [...] of Hugues the great,Richard mar­ries the daughter of Hugues the great. for confirmation of the good turne hee had recei­ued F from him in his necessity. This allyance of Hugues with Richard, increased Lewis his iealousie against him, so as hee resolued to imploy all his forces to suppresse him. He goes to the Emperour Otho his brother in law, informing him, that Hugues practi­sed to depriue him of the realme: and that he would speedily attempt it, if hee were [Page 110] not preuented:951. with whome he so preuailed, through this common iealousie of Prin­ces,A Lewis se [...]kes to ruine Hu­gues his bro­ther in lawe. (who impatiently do see any other to growe great by them) as he leuied a great army, the which ioyned with that of France, and beseeged Rouan: but with such vnhap­py successe, as the Emperour (hauing lost both his Nephew and a great number of his men) aduised the King to compound with Hugues his brother in lawe, and to leaue Richard, Normandie in peace, according to their former treaties.

So hauing labored to reconcile these brothers in lawe, he returned into Germany. This counterfeit reconciliatiō, was but a breathing of the peoples miseries, which they suffred by the dissention of Princes: but there was no firme friendship, for Hugues trus­ted not Lewis, but kept aloofe in his great: Citty of Paris, leauing the King at Laon, be­ing then the chiefe seat of his royall aboade.B

Hugues, by this cunning proceeding, kept himselfe out of Lewis his hands, who on the other side dissembled: & seeing that force could not preuaile, he watched all opor­tunities to surprise his enemies: amongest the which he hated none so much as Hebert Earle of Vermandois, both for that which hee had done against his father, and his late proceedings against himselfe. He gouerned this dislike so wisely, as in the end Hebert was hanged. And this was the meanes: Lewis pretending to loue Hugues, shewed a good countenance to all such as were affected vnto him, especially to this Cont Hebert, whome hee fauored extraordinarily, protesting to trust him in all things: the successe was answerable to his plot. He calls an assembly of his vassalls at Laon, and fortifies himselfe to be the stronge [...]t▪ thether he calls Cont Hebert, of whose councell in shewe C he made great esteeme, and writes his letters vnto him, that he would vse him. Hebert growne familiar with Lewis, and sent for by him, comes to the assembly, fearing no e­nemy. Lewis being master of the Citty, reading a letter after diuer in the great hall, he cried out.Treachery punished with treache­ [...]ie. It is truely sayd, that English men are not very wise. The Noblemen about him desirous to knowe the cause of this speech: hee fained, that the King of England had demanded his aduice by this letter, What he should do to a subiect that had called his Lord into his house, vnder colour of good cheere, had seized on him, and caused him to die shame­fully? Hebert answereth with the rest: That he must die infamously. The King replies vnto him presently. Thou hast condemned thy selfe by thine owne mouth, thou wicked seruant, thou didst inuite my father to thy house, with a shewe of loue: being there, thou didest detaine D him and cause him to die cruelly. The company stood in shew amazed, but in effect rea­die to execute the Kings pleasure, not able to contradict so manifest a truth: for the information of the death of King Charles the simple was notorious to the world, [...]ont Hebert hanged. so as presently, by Lewis absolute command, Hebert was taken away, deliuered to the execu­tioner, and hanged in vewe of all the world, the place being neere vnto Laon, (noted by so memorable an execution) is called Mont Hebert vnto this day. And thus the treachery of Hebert (after a long delay, when he least suspected) was punished by the treachery of Lewis:Lewis dies hated o [...] his subiects. and he himselfe after all these exploits died at Rheims, in the yeare 955. hated and detested of the French, leauing to Lothaire his sonne a Crowne neere the ruine, and to Charles his yongest, the fa­ [...]our E of his elder brother, for a poore portion, as wee shall declare heere­after.

LOTHAIRE the 34▪ King of France.


A HE began to raigne in the yeare 956. and raigned 31. yeares,956. per­forming nothing that was memorable, but that hee was heire to his fathers treacherie & misfortune, and the last but one of his race. He was a forerunner of the change, which happened to his posteritie.Lothaires treacherous King. He renued a League with the Emperour Otho the second, who had suc­ceeded his father Otho the first, with an intent to [...]e [...]iue the enter­prise of his father Lewis, against Richard Duke of Normandie, either by policie, or else by open force. He sought twise to surprise Richard, a good and a wise Prince, with a shew of good meaning: but hauing attempted all in vaine, in the end hee vsed open force, and was shamefully repulsed and beaten. Thus he spent some yeares vn­profitably in this wilfull passion against the Normans, Hee attempts warre against Richard of Normandy ▪ but in vaine. bringing infinit confusions into [...]ance, both by his owne forces, and by theirs against whome hee vndertooke this vo­ [...]tary warre.

These miseries are set forth at large, by those writers which liued in that age. This breefe will serue for the matter, according to our stile to shew, That these calamities, bred only by the passion of an il aduised King, thrust the subiects into furie and dispaire, and then into hatred against him, being vnworthie to be respected, hauing so litle re­gard of publike peace. The general Estates assemble for the redresse thereof. The Nor­mans suffering as well as the French, demaund nothing more then peace, and Duke Ri­chard, C notwithstanding his treatie with Lewis the fourth, offered to hold of the Crowne to France, so as his subiects might liue in quiet.

These honest, profitable and necessarie offers, augmented their hate against Lothaire, [...] sought war without any cause, although he were vnfortunate, alwaies mutinous, and alwaies beaten. To this phreneticall passion of his fruteles quarrels against the [Page 112] Normans, 957. a new fantasie possessed Lothaire, to breake the league with the Emperour, & A to make warre with the Germaines, or the possession of Lorraine, (anciently called Au­strasia) the which he sayd belonged vnto him by right, time out of minde. He sought by ill gouernment to repossesse that which lay farre off, being vnable to keepe that which he had in his possession.Lothaire makes warre against the Emperour. He ingaged Regnier and Lambert, the sonnes of the Earle of Mons in this action, promising to diuide the conquest: and did so contemne his Brother Charles (whom his father had recommended vnto him) leauing him no portion but his fauour, hoping this liberty should breed more loue in him, and also the reuerence of a brother tyed to his eldest, should make him respectiue to the publike authority) as he fled to the Emperour Otho for helpe. Otho (imbracing this occasi­on) determines the sute which Lothaire would commence against him, in respect of B Lorraine: inuesting Charles therein, who sought releefe of him for his brothers discon­tent: but Otho restoring Lorraine vnto him, tooke from it great Seigneuries giuen to the Bishops of Cologne and Liege, Lorraine giuen to Charles of France by the Emperour. with condition also that hee should depend of the Empire. Hereof grew great iarres betwixt the French and the Germaines, with so vi­olent a rage, and passion, as they were rather furious robberies, then iust and well go­uerned warres. Charles the brother of Lothaire, carried himselfe very indiscreetly, as if he had been no Frenchman but a Germaine, and was wedded to the Emperours passi­ons with such vehemencie, as if all his good fortune had depended thereon, and had vtterly renounced France as a capitall enemie. Moreouer, the ordinary trafficke from France to Germanie, was a dayly cause of discontent to the French: to whom Lorraine C was an ordinary passage for their commerce so as diuers persons receiuing dayly, and vpon diuers occasions, discurtesies from Charles Duke of Lorraine, the French con­ceiued a hatred in their hearts against him, which burst out in a seasonable time, for the vtter ouerthrow of all the good hap wherevnto God had called him, the which he could not gouerne by his indiscretion and cruelty.

But the prouidence of God, making way for his decrees, would expell them from the Crowne, which had banished all faith, valour, humanitie, Iustice, and other royall vertues, and disposed the people to these changes, by their default, who had the princi­pall interest to entertaine their loues by equity and good vsage. Lothaire hated of all men, dyed in the yeare 964. leauing behind him an execrable memory of his actions,Lothaire dyes det [...]sted of all men. and Lewis his sonne for a finall D conclusion of his race, as an outcast of great Charlemagne.

LEWIS the 5. the 35. King, and the last of this second race.


A HE raigned one yeare onely, and dyed without heire,964. without friends, and without memorie,The last King of the race of Charlemagne. leauing his place voyde at time of need, in troubles of State, and confusion of times horribly cor­rupted. He was likewise called idle, hauing done nothing worthy of memory, but in leauing the place to a better Prince, and more worthy then himselfe, whom God, the protector of the Crowne of France, had reserued for this estate, in so great necessitie,God the dis­poser of King­domes and states. for as God had decreed, that out of the house of Hugues the great, should issue a great King, which should repaire the errors of this bastard race of Charlemagne, so likewise hee had prepared the meanes, both for the father to lay the foundation, and for his sonne B Hugh Capet (appointed for this dignity) to finish this goodly building, as it appeares in the following discourse,

THE THIRD RACE OF THE KINGS OF FRANCE: Called Capets or Capeuingiens, of the name of Hugh Capet, Father to the Kings which raigne happily to this day.
I haue made the earth with a stretched out arme, and dispose of the estates of men at my pleasure. By me Kings doe raigne.

[Page 115]

A particular Chronologie of the third Race.
Yeares of graceKingsFrom the yeare 988. vnto the yeare. 1598.
988.36.Hugues, or Hugh Capet, The first of that race, who setled the Estate of the French Monarchie, much shaken by the confusion of ciuill warres, and the multiplicity of masters. He reckons twentie and eight Kings issued from him successiuely from father to sonne, or from branch to branch, accor­ding to the order of the fundamentall Law of the State of France. Hauing raigned nine yeares, he leaues
996.37.Robert his sonne, alone of that name, a peaceable King, who raigns 32. yeares, and to him succeeds,
1028.38.Henry the first of that name, his sonne, who raigns 33. yeares, and to him
1061.39.Philip the 1. his sonne, who raigned 49. yeares, and to him
1109.40.Lewis the 6. called the grosse, his sonne, who raignes 29. yeares, and to him
1137.41.Lewis the 7. called the yong, who raigned 44. yeares, and to him succeeded
1181.42.Phillip the 2. surnamed Augustus, or giuen of God, his sonne, who raigned 44. yeares, and to him succeeded his sonne
1223.43.Lewis the 8. called the father of Saint Lewis, who raigned 3. yeares, and to him
1227.44.Lewis the 9. called Saint Lewis, a great and famous Prince: he reigns 44, yeares, and to him his sonne
1271.45.Philip the 3. surnamed the hardie, who raigned 15. yeares, and to him his sonne
1286.46.Philip the 4. called the faire, who raigned 29. yeares, and to him his sonne
1315.47.Lewis the 10. surnamed Hutin hauing raigned 2. yeares, hee leaues the Crowne to his brother
1317.48.Philip the 5. called the long, who raigned 6. yeares, and leaues the scepter to his brother
1322.49.Charles the 4. called the faire, who raigned 6. yeares: And by the law of State, for want of sonnes or brother, the Estates of France, notwithstanding the pretentions of Edward King of England,
1328.50.the sonne of the onely daughter of Philip the faire, placed in the royall throne
1350.51.Philip of Valois the 5. sonne of Charles Earle of Valois, and second sonne to Philip the 3. and by consequence, the neerest kinsman to the three for­mer Kings. Heraignes 23. yeares, and to him succeeds his sonne Iohn a­lone of that name.
  Vnder him began a confusion in the Realme, the which continued neere a hundred yeares, with much miserie: that is from this Iohn, vntill the warre of the common weale, vnder Lewis the XI. So wee reckon 5. very troublesome raignes, vnder Iohn, Charles 5. Charles, 6.
[Page 116] Charles the 7. and Lewis the XI. who setled and augmented the E­state of the realme, being greatly decayed by the continuance of ciuil wars, Iohn hauing raigned 14. yeares, leaues the realme to
136452.Charles the 5. his sonne, called the wise, who raigned 18. yeares, and to him succeeded
1382.53.Charles the 6. his sonne, who raigned with much paine 42. yeares, and to him
1424.54.Charles the 7. his sonne,
  Who expelled the English out of France, and setled the Crowne, sei­zed on by the King of England, who was Crowned and proclaimed King in Paris, hauing raigned 39. yeares. He leaues the royall scep­ter to
1463.55.Lewis the XI. his sonne,
  Who vnited Bourgongne and Prouence to the Crowne, and thereby tooke away all occasions of trouble, leauing the royall scepter to his sonne
1483.56.Charles the 8. with peace.
  The which continued without any disturbance, a boute a hundred yeares, from the yeare 1462. vnto the yeare 1562. vnder the raigns of Lewis 12. Francis 1. and Henry 2. Charles the 8. hauing raigned 14. yeares, dying without Children, the realme was transported to
1498.57.Lewis the 12. Duke of Orleans, who raigned 18. yeares, and for want of heires male, remits the Crowne to
1515.58.Francis the 1. of that name, Duke of Angoulesme, who raigned 32. yeares.
  An excellent Prince, who after the long ignorance of obscure ages, caused the knowledge of learning to flourish, hauing beautified his vniuersity of Paris with excellent learned men in the tongues and sciences, the which were dispersed ouer all Europe: and to him suc­ceeded his sonne
1547.59.Henry the 2. of that name who raigned 12. yeares, and to him succeeded
1559.60.Francis the 2. his sonne, who dying without Children, there succeeded him his brother
 61.Charles the 9. who dying without Children, left the Crowne to
 62.Henry the 3. his brother, the last of the royall race of Valois, who beeing slaine by a Iacobin, and dying without Children, there succeeded in the law­full masculine line
 63.Henry the 4. before King of Nauarre, and the first King of the royall line of Bourbon, who now raignes and long may he rule happily and holyly, belo­ued, obeyed and respected.

The Genealogy of King Henry the 4. now raigning, accor­ding to the order of succession, is at the ende of the royall branch of Valois.

HVGVES, or Hugh Capet, the 36. King, and the first of the third race: the which raignes at this daye vnder Henry the fourth.


A THE royall throne of France (remayning voide,987. by the death of Lewis the 5.) did visibly call Charles Duke of Lorraine to the Crowne, (of whome we haue before made mention) as the first Prince of the bloud royall, to whome I say the fundamentall Lawe did adiudge the Crowne, for want of heires males,Charles Duke of Lorraine h [...]ire pre­sumptiue, re­iected from the Crowne, and. Hugh Capet chosen King of France. law­full sonnes of Kings. Charles was sonne to Lewis the 4. brother to Lothaire, Vncle to Lewis the 5. the last King. But it chanced otherwise, for Hugh Capet, sonne to Hugues the great, Maior of the Pallais, Earle of Paris and also Prince of the French, carried it from Charles, being aduanced to the Crowne by the free election of the French, assembled in Parliament, B according to the ancient and inuiolable customes of France. By whose decree Hugh Capet was elected King, and Charles Duke of Lorraine reiected from the Crowne. This election being confirmed by the blessing of God, who hath mainteyned the possession (thus made lawfull, by the consent of the French nation,) in the successiue posterity of Capet, who happily preserued the French Monarchie vnto this day,The date of this change vnto the third Race. against the sundry violences of strangers.

This change happened in the yeare 987. in the moneth of Iuly. But as this acti­on was one of the worthiest that euer chanced in this realme, beeing an estate vnder which our Ancestors haue liued, and we do liue at this day: which gouernment hath continued 619. yeares. Yet all this is handled, by our ordinary writers, with such obs­cure C breuity, as if Hugh Capet had fallen out of the clouds, or beene sodenly bred in one night, like vnto a mushrome.

[Page 118] 987.The wise reader, which seekes the truth, must giue me leaue to dilate my stile, to A shewe him by degrees, the breeding, continuance and establishing of this newe royal­tie, in the house of France, transplanted into the house of Capet, as I could collect it by the curious search of the Originalls, and as the traces of truth could direct me in so crooked a Laborinth, vnknowne to the greatest part of our French nation. What I haue heere described, is faithfully drawne out off diuers authors which liued in those times. I haue onely fitted my report to be the more intelligible, and will simplie re­present what passed in this change, not giuing my iudgement, but leauing it free to the vnpassionate reader.

We haue sayd in the second race, that Lewis the 5. sonne to Lothaire, dying without heires males, had buried the royalty with him: for Charles Duke of Lorraine, (whome the Lawe of state preferred to this dignity) had by his actions made himselfe vnwor­thy B of this great honour. He had recourse to the Emperour Otho, and had taken the oth of fealty,The reason why Charles was reiected. to be inuested in the Duchie of Lorraine. So by this homage he had re­nounced all the interest he could pretend to the Crowne of France. Moreouer hee had aggrauated this error by an irreconciliable hatred for (being Duke of Lorraine) he had shewed himselfe a passionate enemy to the French, in maynteining the Germaine sacti­on against them, who had not long before with-drawne themselues from the obedi­ence of our Monarchie. It is also likely, that many priuate men were mooued with the interest of this generall quarrell, by reason of the situation of Lorraine, the ordinary passage from France into Germany, Prouinces of comerce togither.

These priuate iniuries, bred in the end a generall discontent, the which was increa­sed C by such as had a priuate interest in the wrongs they pretended to haue receiued. The feeling of these bad practises, acted so lately by Charles against France, both in ge­nerall and particular, did incense the French against him. But the example and cries of them of Lorraine, added to their experience, confirmed their resolution, to stoppe his entrance to the Crowne: for Charles (beeing a rash and a wicked man, bearing a Kings minde vnder a Dukes title) did infinitly oppresse his subiects of Lorraine, for the supplying of his prodigall expences: hauing as little iudgement and tempe­rance to intreate them of Lorraine mildely, as hee had reason to gouerne him­selfe.D

The president of these newe subiects (whome he en [...]ed but sufferance,) pre­uailed much with the French in this newe accident: [...] [...]at could they with reason conclude of his vsage against them, who should be his natu [...]all and necessary subiects? being yet terrefied with the memory of that which [...] [...]red vnder Lothaire his brother.

This wa [...] the preparatiue of Charles his [...] wrought by himselfe, to depriue him of that authority wherevnto God had [...]. These were the causes which made the French resolue to withstand Charles [...] with all their force, in his pre­tension to the Crowne of France. But howe then▪ Charles beeing re [...]cted, the realme had neede of a King, vnable to subsist without one, no more then a body can without E a head.

Thus the end of the one is the beginning of the other, and necessity gaue the people this first ad [...]ce to change, t [...]rust forward with the only consideration of their quiet and pro [...]lit. But the Nobility growne great by the disorders of troubles past, had yet more interest in this change, for the preseruation of their goods and honours. They could not liue all equall. [...] command, the [...] of an [...]state. This equall commande is a plague to the French: they had de­uoured [...] an other without a great commaunder respected of them all, for, so many Prouinces, so many petty Kings, which had neuer yeelded one to an other without a Controuler.

In this estate they could haue no recourse but to Hugh Capet, being accompanied F with all the commendable qualities that might make a man worthy of a great commaund:Hugh Capet [...] wot [...] Crowne. with authority, power, vnderstanding, courage, wisdome, equitie, mildnesse, dexterity, valout and credit, both within and without the realme.

[Page 119] A We haue before spoken of his father Hugues the great▪ the sonne of Robert Duke of Angers, who was the head of the League against Charles the Simple: shewing, that he not onely maintained himselfe after the death of his father Robert, but also built his desseignes vpon the same foundation, vnder the raignes of Lewis the 4. and Lo­thaire, Princes hard to bee circumuented. They feared him more then they loued him: yet hee vsed their authorities to his owne good, and did so wisely preuent the practises of these two malitious and reuengefull Princes, as hee mainteined his au­thority firmely by the meanes of his great commands. Being Duke of the French, The wise proceeding of Hugues the great his fa­ther. he had the command of armes. As Mayor of the Pallace, hee held the helme of the affaires of State: and being Earle of Paris, hee had the chiefe credit with the peo­ple, B who had their greatest trade in the Capitall Cittie of the realme. This was the fruite which the respect of these offices brought him, being well gouerned by his wise dexterity. And although these Kings loued him not, yet the alliance hee had with them, as brother in lawe, but especially vertue countenanced by so great credit, were the cause they not onely made shew to loue him as their allie, but also to respect him as one of the chiefest pillers of the State.

But to these offices and dignities, hee added the friendship of the chiefe Noble­men of the Realme, being very carefull to entertaine their loues. Richard Duke of Normandie was one of his most confident friends, whom hee had gratified, maintei­ning C him in the possession of his estate. Hee receiued requitall of this good turne with interest, in the person of Hugh his sonne, to seate him in the royall throne, as our History shall declare. But all these aduantages, were not onely crowned with a goodly and great offspring, but also with a sonne endowed with singular graces both of body and minde. Hee had sixe Sonnes and two Daughters,The offspring of Hugues the great. but his eldest was the chie [...]e heire of his name, vertue, authority, credit, and happinesse, with such successe, as he made perfect the worke his father had begun.

Hee was named Hugues, and by surname Capet, eyther for that he had a great head,He was called Capitosus. or that being young hee was accustomed to catch at his companions cappes, as a pre­sage of that hee should do to Kings: Oth [...] and Henry, two other sonnes of Hugues, D were Dukes of Bourgongne one after another: his other sonnes were aduanced to Ec­clesiasticall dignities, the one Archbishop of Tholouse, the other of Rouan, and the third dyed young. One of his Daughters was married to the Duke of Normandie, the other to Frederike Earle of Metz. Hee had taken his first wife from England, the Daughter of King Edward, and sister to Queene Ogina, the wife of Charles the Simple, mother to Lewis the fourth: and although he had no children by her, yet did he care­fully preserue the friendship of this allyance, and before his death he chose a wife out of this great house, for Hugh Capet his eldest sonne, the which was Adelais the daugh­ter of King Edward.

Thus he fortified his greatnesse by all meanes, the which raised his posterity to the E royall throne, purchasing credit both within and without the Realme, by all meanes fitte to establish a great family. These were the ordinary proceedings which hu­maine pollicie (being the gift of God, and a branch of his wisdome in those that he will blesse, leauing the wretched plonged in their wretchednesse, by their owne in­discretion) doth vsually prescribe to wise and carefull men. But Hugues the great had another benefit, which surmounted all these his great meanes, or the force of his friendships and alliances, hauing a sonne capable of iudgement for great attempts, fit for the time, brought vp and instructed by himselfe.

To conclude, all things were so disposed in France, as they must necessarily receiue him for King. Necessity, the generall consent both of great and small, and a meanes to preserue the Crowne from ruine, the which hee alone could effect. But if the F French were forward in seeking to him; Hugues was so much the more incouraged to imbrace so great and famous a dignity. And in the execution of this generous des­seigne, hee carried himselfe with so great wisdome, moderation, and dexteritye, as wee may well say, that God called him, as it were from heauen.

[Page 120]There remayned nothing but an orderly proceding to that which reason presented A vnto them.

Hugues beganne with the greatest, who had a speciall interest to preserue what they held.Hugh Capets proceeding to attaine the Crowne. He treated mildly with them for the cōmon necessitie. The condition was, To leaue them all that by inheritance, which they held of the Crowne by title of office, and they to do homage, and acknowledge him for their lawfull King. Thus was the accord made betwixt the Nobilitie of France, & Hugh Capet, profitable for the great mē, necessarie for the people, honorable for Hugues, & beneficial for the realme: for by this meane the realme was maintained in one bodie, vnder the authoritie of one absolute Commaunder. Hugues was well furnished, hauing a sonne capable of the realme which was hereditarie. The better sort had what they could desire for B them or theirs,A Parlement called at No­yon [...]or the e­lection of Hugh Capet. and the people remayned in quiet, after so many miseries. Things be­ing thus disposed on all sides, the Parliament assembles at Noyon, whither they runne from all parts: and both necessitie and desire to winne his fauour to whome reason should assigne the Realme, brought all the citties, and made such hast thither as sought to settle their priuat estates by this publike authoritie. Hugh failes not likewise to call all his friendes, to reape the frute so long sought for, with so great paine and tra­uaile, both by himselfe and his father, and now to imploy them as in a day of battaile.

The assembly was great, by the concurse of all the Prouinces and Citties of the Realme, which repaired thither. It was the more famous, for that in shew the French C off [...]red the Realme to Capet, as if hee had not affected it, As things passe in this sort, Charles Duke of Lorraine, well aduertised of the Frenchmens intent, & the desseignes of Hugh, labours to preuent him: and being resolued to imploy all his forces, hee be­gins first by admonitions, but so ill seasoned, as it made the way more easie for Capet: for hee sends his Ambassadors to the assembly of the States, not to intreat them to receiue him into their fauours,Charles sends his Ambassa­dors to the Estates, and and so to the Crowne, according to his hereditarie right, but to summon them, That if they did not speedily obey, hee would reduce them to obedience by force. The French alreadie incensed against Charles, and hauing placed their hopes in Hugh (being present, and soliciting for himselfe, assisted with his best friends) fell into so great a rage against Charles, by his rough and importune speeches,D as hardly could the law of nations restraine them from doing some outrage vnto his Ambassadors, for their indiscretion.

Then the Estates inact by a sollemne decree, That for as much as Charles had shewed himselfe a friend to the enemies of France, I rei [...]cted from the Crowne. and a sworne enemie to the French, so likewise did the French renounce his friendship, declaring him incapable of the benefit of the Law, both for that hee gaue the first cause, as also not being bound to acknowledge him for King that is an enemie to the State, (their oth binding them to a King which is a father, iust, wise, mild, and temperate.) And therefore, Betweene God and their consciences, without any alteration of the fundamentall law, they renounce him, and declare that their intention is to choose a King which should prouide for the quiet of France. E

They deliuer this declaration to Charles his Ambassadors, commanding them to a­uoid the Realme presently. Thus Charles his reiection, was the raysing of Hugh Capet, for presently the generall estates (assembled in one bodie, and representing all the Prouinces of the Realme) declare by an autentike and sollemne decree, That being ne­cessarie to choose a King▪ for the preseruation of the Crowne of France, destitute as well by the death of Lewis the fift, as by the apparent treacherie of Charles Duke of Lorraine, That in equitie, according to God and their consciences, the Estates did choose Hugh Capet for King, promising to obey him, Hugh Capet chosen King o [...] France. and and his, as their lawfull Kings, according to the law of State. This is the ground of Hugh Capets royaltie. There was no need of any preachers to per­swade F the people, nor to send to Rome for the Popes dispensation, as Pepin did. The people were fully perswaded in their mindes, and a fit occasion was offe­red, that without any iniurious change (as that was in the person of Chilperie) [Page 121] A they might supplie the place (being voyde) with a better King,988. and more pro­fitable for the common weale. This Act was made at Noyon, in the moneth of May, in the yeare 987. and to giue more authority to this famous decree,Crowned at Rheims. the same Assembly goes to assist at the Coronation of Hugh, who was annointed and crowned King the third of Iuly, after his election.

Hugh Capet being thus chosen and crowned King, he studied by all meanes to let the French vnderstand by the effects, that they had made a good choise, as the successe of his raigne, and of his posterities will shewe in the following discourses. From Rheims he went to Paris, wel accompanied, where he makes his entry, to the great ap­plause of all the people. He imployes his first endeauours, to send them all home well B satisfied, who had giuen him so notable a proofe, of their affection. But euery one be­ing returned to his house: behold, Charles of Lorraine reiected, assembles forces, and with part of them begins to ouerrun Champagne, shewing all acts of hostility. Within few moneths after, he himselfe comes to field with a great army of Germains, Charles of Lorraine begins war and sur­pr [...]seth towns Lorrains and Bourguignons: and hauing taken Rheims at his first approch, hee passeth on to­wards Paris, as to the head or heart of the Estate, and enters into Picardy, where he seizeth on the Citties of Soyssons and Laon, al by the practises of Arn [...]lphe the bastard sonne of King Lothaire, and Archbishop of Rheims: a man both cunning and head­strong: from thence he runs euen to the gates of Paris, filling all the country with fire and feare.

C Hugh sleepes not, but knowing howe much it did import, to possesse the people with good conceit of him, and to stoppe the courses and spoyles of Charles, (who of purpose tormented the Parisiens, to breed some innouation) hee gathereth together what troupes he can, attending the rest which he had sent for, and with them he goes presently to field: but it chanced that Charles (being far stronger then Capet) did easi­ly defeat him: so as hauing cut his troupes in peeces,Hugh Capet de [...]eated at the [...]irst, & in great danger. he had almost surprised Hugh in the sight of Paris, where he saued himselfe with much paine and danger. These begin­nings did as much amaze the people (who had so cheerfully chosen Hugh) as it puft vp Charles already a Conquerour, and a peacefull King in his own conceit:Charles promi­seth to him [...]selfe a happy raigne. who being retired to Laon in great triumph, sends newe letters to all the Prouinces of France, per­swading D them to acknowledge him for their lawfull King, vaunting of this happy beginning, as a gage of the felicity which did attend him in his raigne. But he had not cast vp his accounts with him who holds the euents of things in his hand, for the con­trary fell out to that he had imagined.

Hugh is nothing dismayde at this first repulse, these summonings of Charles make him to vse all hast, and prickes them foreward with whom he had diuided the Realme, hauing an especiall interest in his raigne, according to their election. All men flye vnto him: Charles (supposing that Hugh ment to yeeld, and that these assemblies were made to haue the better conditions) had dispersed his army about Laon, and retayned the least part within the citty: and with this assurance, that all necessaryes should a­bound, E he had no care to make vse of his victory, when as sodainely Hugh appeares with his army before Laon: (hauing stopt all the passages) he beseegeth it: all the Lor­raines small troupes which were found in the villages thereaboutes, were easily taken and disarmed, and the citty was presently summoned to yeeld in the Kings name, and to deliuer vp Charles of Lorraine, guilty of high treason, and enemy to the French, vpon paine of fire and sword.

Charles flies to intreaties and teares. The inhabitants complayning of him, as the cause of their misery, resolue with the aduice of Anselme their bishop) to obey Hugh Capet, as their lawfull King, and to deliuer Charles into his hands. The which they did with his wife and children.Charles taken in Laon, and This happened in the yeare 991. and so the controuersie F betwixt Hugh, and Charles of Lorraine for the crowne, was decided in lesse then foure yeares. Hugh being a Conqueror, goes to Orleans, and leades with him, Charles, Caried to Or­leans, where he dies in prison. and the remainder of his miserable family, inflicting no greater punishment on him, then perpetuall imprisonment, where he was well kept with his wife, vnto his dying day, in [Page 122] the which he had both sonnes and daughters.990. There are diuers opinions vpon this A point. Some say they died all there, others say, that they repeopled the State of Lorraine, and transplanted their race vnto the Princes that rule there at this present.

But howsoeuer: As the Romains had expelled the Gaules, and themselues were afterwards driuen out by diuers nations: and the race of Pharamond which had dis­possessed them, was displaced by Pepin: so Hugh Capet expelled that of Pepin, with a better title then Pepin, beeing lawfully called by them which had the right: and the presumptiue heire was iustly degraded for his fault:Hugh Capet no vsurper▪ N [...]c [...]ste Hugo regni inuasor out vsurpa [...]o [...] eliqua [...]i [...]er est iudicandus quē regniproce [...]es elegerunt, saith Nangius. so as no man can with reason say, That Hugh Capet was an Vsurper, seeing he had so solemne and lawfull a calling, by a decree of the generall Estates of the Realme. To whom the application of the Soue­raigne B Lawe belonges, as Nangius an auncient writer doth testifie. For what auailes it the legitimation of his royaltie, to say, that Hugh Capet came of the race of Charle­magne by his Mother Auoye, daughter to Otho Duke of Saxony and Emperour. In this regard shee could not be of Charlemaignes race (the which without doubt, fayled in Lewis the fourth, the sonne of Arnoul) neither would it auaile him any thing to bee the sonne of a daughter of France, seeing the Distaffe may not lawfully succeede.

This victory added an incredible reputation to Hugh Capets vertue, the which was most apparent in greatest extremities, and made him an easie way to purchase obedience in his newe Kingdome. He began by homage, as the seale of authority,C To that ende,The subiects do homage vnto Hugh. hee calles all Dukes, Earles, Barons, Noblemen and Gentlemen, to come and take the oath of fealty. They runne on all hands, onely the Earle of [...]landers (that Arnould which had beene the firebrand of those warres in Normandy) playes the mutine. Hugh hauing called him to doe homage, and noted his contuma­cy, goes to field with his forces, to compell him thereunto. Hauing seized on the grea­test part of his country,He forceth the Earle of Flanders to his obedience. the Earle flies to humility, and by the mediation of Richard Duke of Normandy (whom he had so much wronged in his youth) he makes his peace with Hugh, yeelding him the homage which hee had denied, with pro­mise to obey him.

Hauing thus fortified the authority of his Soueraigne commaund, hee passed vnto D the gouernment of the realme, and to make this voluntary obedience (so well begun) more pleasing to his newe subiects: he calls an assembly of the cheefe of the Realme, and giues them all to vnderstand that his desire was to haue their aduice, for the well gouerning of the State. Necessity spake, and his proceeding did winne the most vio­lent.Hugh doth in­stitute the Pecres, of France. Hauing renued their homages, he sets downe the order of the twelue Pecres of France, and protests vnto them all, that he will not doe any thing of importance, ey­ther in peace or wa [...]re without their aduice. So as in yeelding, he did aduance him­selfe with a wise and victorious modesty. By the most ancient institution, the chiefe charge ouer armes, belonged to the Mayor of the Pallace, to the which Martell ad­ded the authority of Duke of France. But these two great changes, gaue a sufficient E testimony, how much this great authority did import, to counte [...] ballance and cheeke the soueraigne authority of Kings: and Hugues himselfe was both a witnesse and iudge of that which he had done in the execution of this charge, beeing in a manner royall. He therefore resolues to suppresse it,He [...]uppresseth the Mayor or the Pallace. and to bury it in an honourable tombe. Hee sees many Competitors, and takes thereby an occasion to discouer his intent, declaring to the greatest of his nobility, how happy he was in his raigne, hauing the choise of so many persons worthy of this great dignity: but finding himselfe bound to al, he knew not to whome he was most indebted: and was so affected vnto them all, as he could not saye, to whome hee wished best. And therefore to satisfie all his good friendes, hee had bethought himselfe of an expedient. That his sonne (whome F nature had giuen him, and France had nourished and brought vp for her seruice,) should be the person, to content all his friendes in the execution of this charge, which should be in title of a royalty.

[Page 123] A All the Noblemen (which would haue endured it o [...] an other impatiently) imbra­ced this speech willingly, the which preuented all iealousie, and cured the cheefe sore. So with one consent it was decreed, That Robert sonne to Hugh Capet, Crowning his sonne Robert King. should bee his Lieutenant generall, and to that end should bee anointed and crowned King: as hee was at Rheims in the yeare 990, three yeares after his fathers election. A wi [...]e Prince, and of a temperate disposition, a well seasoned plant for the fruitfull continuance of this lat­ter raigne, of whome it is sayd, That hee was a sonne without frowardnes, Roberts ver­tues. a companion without iealousie, and a King without ambition. So Hugues effected 3. things by this wise proceeding. Hee tooke away the breeding of future dangers, by restrayning of so great a power: he suppressed all iealousie, and assured his owne estate in the person of his B sonne.

But in burying thus honorablie the name and apparent shew of this dignitie, he con­firmed an other, to reape the same frute: for it is a resolued maxime, That in a royaltie, the first mouer of an estate, must be fortified with some neere instruments, with whom he may communicat some beames of his authoritie, to impart them to other inferiour motions, according to their order. The Constable in old time, had no commaund but ouer the horse, either as great master, or as generall vnder the charge of the Maior,The Consta­ble succeeds the Maior. as the name doth signifie. Hugh amplified this dignitie, and in suppressing the name of Maior, hee gaue that authoritie to the other, for the which the mai [...]altie had beene in old time instituted, reseruing the frute, and preseru [...]ng France both from danger and C feare of so great power, which might aduance the seruant aboue the master: yet this authoritie of Constable is very great, soueraigne ouer armes, vnder the Kings good pleasure, to order the men of warre, to take knowledge of their faults,The authori­tie of the Constable. and either to punish, or to pardon offences at his pleasure, to order battailes, to dispose of all things that concerne the souldiar: and finally he keepes the kings sword, for which the Con­stable doth him homage.

Moreouer vnder this dignitie Hugh appointed Marshals to execute the Constables commaunds, as his cheefe hands, and so by these two goodly institutions,Marshals. A proclama­tion to call all gentlemen to­gither, that hold l [...]d of the Crowne, for martiall affaires. Hugh decrees that the elder should raigne alone amongst his brethren. He suppres­seth the Ma­ior of the Pallais [...] the charge ouer armes continued in great credit, vnder the great light of the royall Maiestie. Hee likewise fortified by new decrees, the royall homages of Ban and Arrierban, instituted D by Charlemagne: and to conclude, hee made all those militarie orders, wherein France surpasseth all other nations, to be reduced to their ancient institution and right vse. And as good lawes spring from bad manners, so Hugh (hauing carefully obserued the errours of former raignes) endeuoured to redresse them, and to preuent the like inconueniences. The most dangerous error had beene the multiplicitie of many soue­raigne masters, one King being sufficient for a whole Realme, as one Sunne is for all the world. He therefore decrees, That hereafter the title of King should not be giuen but to the eldest, who should haue some raigne, power, and commaund ouer his brethren, and they should respect him as their Lord and father, hauing no portions but his good fauour, As for the lands which their elder should assigne vnto them for their portions, they should hold them E of the Crowne, to do homage, and to be augmented & diminished at the Kings good pleasure. The aduancements of Kings bastards had much interessed the State, hauing beene al­lowed and apportioned with the lawfull children, yea euen raised to the royall throne, as we haue seene. Therefore Hugh decreed, That hereafter, bastards should not onely be reiected from the Crowne, but also from the surname of France, the which before was al­lowed them. To him likewise are due the goodly ordinances of Iustice, and of the trea­sor, wherein without doubt France excels, so as they be well executed, according to the institutions of the golden age. Thus by these wise decrees, hee preuailed more then all the armes of his Predecessors, in preseruing a great Monarchie vnto this day: supported with these goodly lawes and ordinances, wherein (without flattering the F truth) we may see by the effects that which the most learned Academicke doth repre­sent but in discourse, touching the true and perfect patterne of a well gouerned State, vnder the fatherly authoritie of a King, reuerenced by the hereditarie Law of his race, with the free consent of the people, confirmed by the Estates, counterballanced by [Page 124] the authoritie royall,993. determined by the libertie of those which owe him voluntarie o­bedience.A The continuance of ciuill warres had bred such disorders in all parts of the realme, as it was not without cause, (if men which liued in these miseries) said that God had sent Hugh to restore the French Monarchie, and they auouch predictions, and pro­phesies of this raigne,The fruits of Hughs raigne. VVilliam Nangius. as Oracles. Doubtlesse this masse of building, was too huge to continue long against so great a storme. God made vse of it for a time, as he had wise­ly decreed, that is to say, to deliuer the west from the blasphemies and furies of Ma­homet, and there to preserue his Church. But it was necessarie this power should bee limited within his bounds, to the end it might be well gouerned, and in the end, giue some rest vnto Christendome. This happened in his raigne, as if the building had then taken a firme and sure foundation.B

War had raigned too long, and ruined the poore subiects to inrich men of warre, who being seized of the strongest places, had without doubt deuoured one an other, an ruined the Realme, if a greater authoritie had not shewed it selfe to maintaine eue­ry one in peace, vnder the reuerence of the Lawes, in the bosome of one common Countrie. This confused warlike season, had more need of a wise man to saue what was gotten, then of a valiant man and stirring, to make new Conquests. Such was Hugh Capet, a wise Prince, aduised, experienced, resolute, neither dull, nor a coward, (as he made proofe in the beginning of his raigne against the rebells.) And whereas he parted with the Crowne-lands so easily, to such as were seized thereon, seeming therby to haue blemished the greatnes of his State, it was like vnto one which had much land C lying wast, and had let it to farmers at an easie rent, yet remaining alwaies master ther­of, and to seize on it againe at his pleasure: else all had bin lost for want of good hus­bandrie, in so great and confused an abundance▪ for Hugh Capet leauing to the posses­sors that which he could not take from them, assured the Crowne landes by certaine homages, and preserued the royall authoritie throughout the Realme. And that which was profitable and necessarie for the State, proued the most easie, for the gouernours of the prouinces and strong places, hoping to hold that which they had in hand, desi­red rather to obey a King with any title auaileable to them and theirs, then to play the pettie Kings at their pleasures, and commaund absolutely alone for a while, & ouer few, and be [...]n danger to lose all as vsurpers. A notable proofe of the Frenchmens hu­mors,The French ca [...]ot [...]ubsist but [...]nder a Re [...]l [...]e. D borne to obey a King, and not able to subsist but vnder a royaltie. The French had no lesse powe [...] then the Germains, to make an electiue common weale, as they had done, but their humor sorted with an hereditary royaltie, without the which they could not stand. Thus Hugh Capet had setled his raigne with [...]o great wisedome and authori­tie, and was so fortunate in the successe, as we may iustly say, he restored the Realme of France, when it was almost ruined, Hee raigned nine yeares, foure alone, and fi [...]e with his sonne Robert, in great peace, beloued and honoured of al men. France (as after a long and tedious winter) puts on the new face of a pleasant spring. All men honou­red him,Paris the chief [...]lace [...] as the meanes of their assured rest. His most vsuall retreat was to Paris, the which was greatly augmented and beautified in his raigne, whereas other Kings be­fore E him remained in diuerse places, at Aix la Chapelle, Compiegne, Laon, Soissons and else where, according to occurrents and their humors. Wee haue sayd, that Arnulphe bastard to Lothaire, was the onely man which had fauoured Charles of Lorraine against Hugh Capet. The historie notes this man to be peruerse, and disloyall, hauing decei­ued both Charles of Lorraine, and Hugh Capet, who had giuen him the Archbishop­ [...]ke of Ro [...]an, in recompence of the seruice he promised him against Charles, to whom notwithstan [...]ing (contrary to his faith) hee gaue meanes to seize vppon the Citties of Rheim [...], Laō ▪ & Soissōs▪ Hugh taking this presūption for a preiudice to come, learning by what had passed,Hughes pro­ceeding a­gainst Arnul­p [...]e bastard to Lo [...]aire, who is de [...]osed from his Bi­shoprik. how much the name of a bastard of France might import, for a colour F to disquiet the State, and what danger there was of trouble, in the beginning of his new raigne, not yet well setled, he therefore resolues to suppresse Arnulphe: but res­pecting his qualitie, hee assembled a nationall Councell of the French Church, in the Cittie of Rheims. This assemblie deposeth Arnulphe, as guilty of treacherie, and a trou­bler [Page 125] A of the publick quiet, and they substitute Gilibert in his place,995 who had beene Schoolemaster vnto Robert.

Afterwards Hugh cōfines him to Orleans with Charles, there to end his daies in rest. Pope Iohn the 12. very ill satisfied with Hugh for that hee had not appealed to him for his confirmation in this new royalty, disanulls this decree of the Counce [...]la [...] Rheims, excomunicates the Bishoppes which had assisted, restores Arnulphe, and depriues Gi­libert of the Archebishoprike of Rouan, and to temper this sharpe and [...]ough procee­ding with some sweetnes, he doth inuest Gilibert with the Archebishoprick of Rauenna. But wee shall presently see that this was a meanes to raise him to the dign [...]y of Pope. Hugh doth not for all this contend with Pope Iohn, but hauing restored Arnulphe, hee B tooke from him all meanes of troubling the state to his preiudice. It is that Pope Iohn, The m [...]nners of Pope Io [...]n the 12. of whome Platina writes so plainly, as the wise reader may finde in the originall it selfe: where hee shall reade with admiration, not only the depraued man [...]ers of that man, raised to so great a dignity, whome hee disgraceth as a monster, terming him most lewd, most wicked and most pernitious. These are his very words: but also the confusions which raigned in those times: for wee reade of nothing but partialities and factions, one to expell an other, and all to ouerthrowe the authority of the Emperour of Rome. All these practises were not made without sharpe and long contentions: as the history shal note the occurrentts: & this my inuentory shalbe but a simple directi­on to the Originalls, where as (the pure truth speaking more freely) the reader may C peruse it without passion.

Here beganne the great iarres and contentions betwixt the Emperours and Popes.The Estate of the Church and Empire. The ancient custome of the Catholike Church, practised from Constantin the great, the first Christian Emperour, was, That the Emperour should be president in the election of all Bishops, euen of the Bishop of Rome. The Popes would not allowe the Emperour should hold this prerogatiue ouer them, since the time that Boniface the 3. tooke vpon him the name & preheminence of vniuersall Bishop: but were chosen without license frō the Emperour. Iohn had held the pontificall sea by vnlawful meanes, & did lead a dissolute life, to the discontent of many: for the redresse whereof the Emperour Otho comes to Rome, and vpon complaints, (hauing labored to reclaime this man to D his dutie whome he found incorrigible) in the ende hee calls a Councell within Rome, where by a decree of this Assemblie Iohn the 12. was deposed, and Leo 8. subst [...]tuted in his place. But the Emperour is scarce gone out of Rome, The Pope confirmed by the Empe­rour. when as behold newe fac­tions. Leo the 8. beeing chosen by his order, is ex [...]e [...]led by disorder, and Benedict the 5. seated in his place. Otho returnes and restoreth Leo, who vpon this occasion made a decree: That in executing the ancient rule of discipline, which giues the election to the people and Clergie, The power to chose and consecrate the Pope, and to rule things be­longing to the Apostolike sea▪ and to establish and confirme the Bishops, should belong vnto the Emperour, as the head and first moderator of discipline.Seditious e­lection of Popes. So the remedy was well ex­pounded, but not well applied: for after the restitution of Leo, they number seauen E Popes, Iohn the 14. Benedict the 6. Donus the 2. Boniface 7. Benedict 7. Gregory 5. & Iohn 1 [...]. which were one after another placed and displaced by sedition, eyther expelled, or imprisoned or strangled: vntill that Gilibert Arch-bishop of Rauenne (of whome wee haue spoken) came to be Pope, beeing named Siluester the 2.In the life of Siluester the 2. He was brought in by so strange a manner, as I haue horror to read Platina, who saies, it was by deuilish arts. But the wise reader may vewe the rest of this troublesome report in the author him­selfe, altogether vnreprouable, beeing a confident seruant to the Popes▪ and so may ea [...]e vs of this tedious toyle.

Such was the Empire and the sea of Rome, amidest these horrible confusions,Hugh Capet dies. whilest that our Capet labored to repaire the breaches of his newe Kingdome. Hauing F raigned peaceably nine yeares, he died the 22. of Nouember in the yeare 996. Leauing his sonne Robert, not only successor to the Crowne, but al [...]o of his vertues, his happi­nesse & his credit, in the deuout loue of the French. He had him by Adelais the daugh­ter of Edward King of England, in whome hee was so happy, as not onely to see him of age, but also crowned King, and well married. He raigned both alone & accompanied [Page 126] with his sonne:996. beloued and honored of him and his subiects, if euer father and Prince A were. A patterne of a great States man, coming to the extremity of a desperate disease, wherevnto he applied such seasonable remedies, as hee might well bee called the Restorer of the French Monarchie. But from him wee must ascend to God, the true gardien of this estate, meaning to preserue it by his care and wisdome, who gouernes changes by his wise prouidence, and giues vertues and successe at his pleasure.

Now we begin a new raign [...], a wiser, more happy, and longer, then the two prece­dent, whereof the one continued but three hundred and twenty yeares, and the other two hundred thirty eight: and this vnto Henry the 4. now raigning, continueth 619. yeares, so as counting the date of it, first beginning from the yeare 420. making of all these particulars one grosse summe,The Monar­ch [...]e of France of greater continuance then euer any. from the yeare of our Redemers comming B into the world, we shall finde in all 1596. yeares inclusiue. A terme which no State euer atteined vnto. It is true, that the bounds of this Monarchie shall not be so large, as vnder Charlemagne, yet better limited: and although it seemes that Hugh Capet (in yeelding the propertie of the Crowne lands vnto the Gouernours of places,) did diminish it: yet in effect he did augment it, in assuring the Crowne by this good hus­bandry, being extraordinary, yet very conuenient in such extreame necessitie. And since, all that which seemed to bee dismembred, is returned from whence it came. We must therefore set before our eyes, all this great Monarchie, imparted to diuers Lords, a [...]d the royall authority ouer all, as the head ouer the whole body, which hath diuers members▪ giuing life and force to euery part, to exerci [...]e his proper function:C we shall see in order (as things haue fallen out,) the greatest part of those Prouinces which were made hereditarie by this conuention of Capet, returne to the Crowne againe. The which I will labour to effect, so long as the light shall guide me in the di­uersi [...]ie of these changes.

We shall now enter into a more temperate raigne then the two former. We shall not see so many armies in field, so many victories, nor so many conquests; neyther shall we see so many audacious and infamous outrages, so many murthers and parri­cides; so many vnnaturall cruelties of children against the father, of bretheren against bretheren, of husbands against their wiues, and of wiues against their husbands: wee may well note and obserue diseases, but neither so dangerous nor so tedious, as haue D beene played on the theater of horrible Tragedies in former raignes. Doubtlesse as the body and minde haue their proper diseases, so hath the estate of mankinde. Man cannot be alwayes sound, nor alwayes pleasant: his body and minde haue their passi­ons in their seasons, according to the degrees which God hath prescribed them by the course of nature. Likewise the changes are remarkable in all this Monarchie: but this raigne iudicially considered, we may admire the notable proofes of Gods proui­dence, who would fortifie this estate, for the preseruation of his Church in Europe, whereof France is a notable member, and doth import much to all other nations. The History therefore of this third raigne is most worthy of memory, for the vse whereof we may obserue three famous parts, to helpe the iudgement and memory.E

An order for the vse of this third raigne.The first from Hugh Capet to Philip of Valois: where began the controuersie of the English against the French, long and lamentable for the pretension to the Crowne of France. The second from that raigne to Henry the third, the last King of that branche of Valois. The third begins at Henry the 4. now raigning, the first of the most noble race of Bourbon. This Inuentary shall faithfully and briefely quote the particularities of these last reignes, to sent the Reader to the whole Historie, to the which we leaue him.

Conteining thirteene kings, from Hugh Capet to Charles the fourth, called the Faire.

The names of thirteene Kings, of the first royall branch of Capets. placing HVGH CAPET, For the stemme and foundation of the third royall race, which raigne at this day.
  • [Page 128]ROBERT
  • PHILIP the 1.
  • LEWIS. the 7. called the long.
  • LEWIS the 8.
  • PHILIP the 3. called the hardie.
  • LEWIS the 10. called HVTIN.
  • HENRY.
  • LEWIS the 6. called the grosse.
  • PHILIP the 2. called AVGVSTVS
  • LEWIS the 9. called S. LEWIS.
  • PHILIP the 4. called the faire▪
  • PHILIP the 5. surnamed the long.
  • CHARLES the 4. called the faire, the last of this first branch.

From the yeare nine hundred ninetie six, vnto a thousand three hundred twentie and eight.

ROBERT alone of that name, 37. King of France.


A ROBERT began to raigne alone,The raigne of Robert [...]ng and happy. in the yeare 996. and raigned 33. yeares. Hee had three sonnes, Hugh, Robert, and Henry, by his wife Constance, the Daughter of William Earle of A [...]les. Following the example of his father Hugh, he desired to assure the Crowne in his house, installing his heire in the right purchased to him and his, by a decree of the States. So he crowned Hugh his eldest sonne at Com­piegne, in the yeare 1028. But God (who was wiser then Robert) de­termined to call Hugh to a better Crowne, for soone after he dyed: being dead, Robert continued in the same desseigne, to assure his estate in his house: and obseruing a more royall disposition in the younger, then in the elder,Robert prefers Henry his yonger sonne to the crowne before the elder. he preferred vertue before the B prerogatiue of eldership: causing Henry the younger to be crowned in his life time: decreeing by his will, that Robert should content himselfe with the Duchie of Bour­gongne, doing homage for it to the Crowne of France.

So hauing happily disposed of his affaires, and raigned with the generall content of his s [...]biects, he dyed in the yeare▪ 1031. being three score yeares old.Robert dyes, hi disposi [...] ­on. A Prince very fi [...]te for the time, being wise, resolute, peaceable and continent. But Pietie was the Crowne of all his vertues, and the knowledge of Diuinitie seasoned with learning, one of the flowers of this goodly crowne: for he is commended to haue beene very deuout, and to haue loued both diuinity and humanitie. They sing Hymnes of his in­uention, and namely that which is to the honour of holy martyrs, which begins, O con­stantia C martyrum mirabilis, the which bearing resemblance with the name of his wife Constance, he was wonderfully pleased with the humour she had to be honoured with his writings, being then greatly esteemed throughout the world▪

[Page 130] 1010.There is nothing more dangerous in an Estate than the change of diuers masters. [...] A experience hath taught in former raignes.Wile Kings and of long life happy for an estate. So God, who ment to confirme the M [...] ­narchie in this Race, gaue a long and a happie life to these first Kings, issued from Ca­pet, without any sudden change from raigne to raigne. For Robert raigned 33. yeares: Henry his sonne as much, Philip his sonne 49. yeares, Lewis the 7. forty four, Lewis the 9. called Saint Lewis as much. All wise Princes, moderate, valiant, peaceable and happy. As good houses are setled, euen so Kingdomes are confirmed. As when one good hus band succeeds an other, adding welth to welth, newe vpon olde, houses then growe great: euen so the long life of these good and wise Princes, was continued with much happy successe, as we shall see in euery raigne.

This in particular is remarkable in the raigne of Robert. We haue sayd, the realme B was diuided, as it were to many masters. As there is small respect among equalls, who seeth not what should haue succeeded betwixt so many great lords being equalls, and especially in France? but Robert did so firmely gouerne the helme of this great barke in the midest of the tempestuous seas of French humors, as hee controulled all such as sought to free themselues from the Crowne: whose authority by this meanes was great,Robert main­taines his royall autho­ [...]y. by the obedience which hee forced all them to yeeld that would plaie the mutines. He enterrayned the amity his father had with Richard Duke of Normandie, confirmed by allyance, and for that there was iealousie betwixt him and Otho Earle of Chartres, he could wisely make his profit of them both.

In the beginning of his raigne one Gautier gouernour of Mel [...]n sold the place to C the Earle of Chartres aboue named, according to the manner of confused times. At the complaint of Bouchard (to whome the towne belonged,He suppres­seth the sedi­tiou [...].) the King commaunded Otho to restore it vnto him, who refused to obey. Robert sets the Normand against him, who handles him in such sort, as in the ende the Earle humbles himselfe vnto the King, and deliuers vp both the place and marchant, who was hanged.

Henry brother to Hugh Capet was Duke of Bourgongne, by the decease of his bro­ther Otho. Henry then died, and so Bourgongne returned to the Crowne. But passion perswading Landry Earle of Neuers to make a benefit of his right of neighbourhood, and time inuiting him to imbrace this occasion to fish in a troubled water, hee seized on Auxerre by intelligence. But hee was deceiued, to thinke this a time wherein all things were lawfull: for Robert goes presently to field with his army, and beseegeth D Auxerre, where this ill aduised Landry was: but the Inhabitants open their gates to the King, and deliuer Landry into his hands. All the Auxerrois obeye, except Aual­lon, who after a fewe daies yeelds, and in the ende all Bourgongne. Landry guilty of treason, [...]ers an easie punishement for his rashenes. Hauing confessed his fault, he ob­taynes pardon of Robert, promising all future obedience.

[...] giu [...]s Bou [...]gongne to Robert his eldest sonne.Thus Robert being master of Bourgongne, hee giues it to Robert his eldest sonne. But Robert doubly interested (his younger beeing preferred, and hee hauing a very small part in the State,) was not pleased with this portion. Bourgongne, was then distin­guished into Duchie and Countie, whereof the Countie belonged to the Empire, and E the Duchie to the Realme, according to the diuision made by the Children of Lewis the gentle. At that time Henry the 2. Duke of Bauiere, surnamed the holy, held the Empire. Lorraine was the ordinary cause of debate betwixt France and Germany. Ro­bert (to ende this controuersie) meetes with Henry at a place called Enol, Agreement with the Emperour for Lorraine. vpon the ri­uer of Cher, and made an accord with him, the which continues to this day. At that time Gothelon brother to the Earle of Ardenne held Lorraine.

Herevpon the hatred betwixt the Duke of Normandy and the Earle of Chartres kind­led in such sort,Robert recon­ciles the Duke of Normandy & the Earle of [...] by the yeelding vp of Melun) as they assembled their friends & seruants on al si [...]es. The Normand calls his farthest friends to his succors, Logman king of Sueden and Olane King of Norwaye his kinsmen. But Robert pacified this quarrell in time, by F his wisedome, shewing by the effect, how much authority imployed in time may pre­uaile, and that wee must speedily quench a small fire, the which neglected burns a whole forest.

[Page 131] A There were great personages in all prouinces with hereditary power, according to the grant made by Hugh Capet. In Normandy Richard the third, in Aniou Geoffr [...]y Grise­gonelle, in Guienne William, of the race of Pepin sonne to Lewis the Gentle, in Languedo [...] Cont Mathew, in Champagne and Touraine Odo, all great and valiant men, with other worthy personages throughout the Realme: al which were rash men & of high attēpts, but the name and royall authority of Robert, conteyned all these great and couragious spirits with in the bounds of their duty and publike respect. And so this raigne passed quietly without any great tumults. Leauing a lesson for Princes,A notabl [...] raigne. to ioyne wisedome with authority, and valour with mildnes: it being as great a conquest to preserue his owne, as to get an other mans, and to vanquish mens minds by reason, as by force. B A patterne in these two raignes, of the meanes to restore an Estate, dismembred by the disorders of ciuill warres.

HENRY the first, the 38. King of France.


HENRY, 1031. being in possession of the realme during the life of his fa­ther, succeeded him in the yeare, 1031. and raigned 33. yeares.Henryes raign [...] He had two sons, Philip and Hugh, by Anne the daughter of George, or Gautier the Sclauon King of the Russians, and one daughter, the which was married to Robert Duke of Normandy, sonne to that Ri­chard of whom we haue discoursed.

The beginni [...]g of his raigne, was [...]ough and vnquiet, and the ende more milde and profirable. But Henry in the preseruation of his Estate, did nothing degenerate from the wisedome and dexterity of his father. The cause of this hard entrye, was the bro­thers portion, apparently vnequall and preiudiciall, although a wise father had so D decreed it. Queene Constance, mother to these two Princes brethren, nourished this dislike, supporting Robert against Henry, that is to say, the elder against the younger,Contentio [...] betwix [...] the brethren, as oftentimes mothers haue the like humours, to loue one more then an other. [Page 132] The cause was plausible,1037 that it was against the lawe, vse & customes of France, that A the yonger should be preferred before the elder in a royalty. The partyes were great for Robert, Constance mother to the King, Bauldwin Earle of Flanders, and Od [...] Earle of Champagne, a busie man and rash. For the King, the royall maiesty, the will of his father,Robert yeelds vnto his bro­ther. the forces of the Realme, and (amongest all) those of Robert Duke of Norman­dy. The armies approach ready to fight, when as behold Robert (for whose interest the question was) being a Prince of a milde and quiet disposition, giues his mother and friends (who had brought forces to his ayde) to vnderstand, that he would not be the cause to shed Frenchmens bloud: and that Bourgongne should suffice him, seeing his father had so decreed. Vpon this declaration of Robert, Queene Constance chan­geth her mind, and sends backe her troupes, imbracing peace with her children. The B armies were dismissed, and agreement ratified betwixt Henry and Robert, who liued like brethren and good friends: That Bourgongne should remaine to Robert and his successors, with the title of a fealty to France, (which they call Peere) & to be Deane a­mong the Peeres. Thus Robert of France enioyed Bourgongne, and left it hereditary to his heire successiuely, vntill the raigne of Iohn, in the yeare 1360.

But the County of Bourgongne and Normandy were the cause of much trouble in those times, during the which he kept the stakes, not onely as a spectator, but as an v­surper. This Odo Earle of Champagne (who had incensed his brother against him) lookt for a good part in Bourgongne, and had already won Robert to promise him Sens, who euen vpon the accord making had seized thereon: but being easily expelled by C the Kings authority, he runnes an other course, to loose both himselfe and what hee had, supposing to vsurpe an other mans estate.

He held vnder the Crowne, Champagne, Touraine and the Country of Chartres. Hee had two sonnes, Stephen, and Thibauld: yet he sought to ioyne Bourgongne to his other Estates, which was the cause of great troubles. We haue before made mention of Bo­son the husband of Hermingrade, daughter to Lewis the sonne of Lewis the Gentle, who had the Realme of Bourgongne and Italy. He had two sonnes, Raphe and Lewis. Lewis was ouerthrowne by Beranger Duke of Friul, who easily seized on that, which remained in Italy, & of Prouence, as lying neere, and of easie accesse. Raph had the rest of Bourgongne, the Coūtie, Sauoie, & Daulphiné ▪ for the Duchie of Bourgongne remained D to the Crowne of France. From this Raph, sprong Lewis, and from Lewis another Raph, who liued during the raigne of Henry, being old, without children, and ill obeied of his subiects.

He had two sisters, the one married to Conrade surnamed the Salique, Duke of Fran­cony, who was Emperour: and an other to the Earle of Champagne, father to this Odo, who seekes to perswade Raph his vncle to make him his heyre, as sonne to his eldest sister: and imployes the fauour of many subiects, who desired rather a neighbour then a stranger to be their Prince. But Raph preferred Conrade before Otho, and sent him his testament, his crowne, and Scepter, instituting Henry his son and his Nephew his heire general. Conrad made war in Hongary▪ Odo imbraceth this occasion, & (seeing him thus E busied) he enters into Bourgongne, Odo Earle of Champaigne, seeks to seize vpon the County of Bourgongne. where he takes certaine citties: the rest hold at Con­rades deuotion, being called to the inheritance: but these desseines were soone cut off. For behold the Emperour Conrad returnes with a goodly and victorious armye, who not onely recouers againe the cittyes of Bourgongne that were lost, but also takes some in Champagne, so as Odo doth with great difficulty hold Troyes: hee is forced to seeke by humble petitions to his Vncle, who giues him his owne, and forbids him to take from another. The Earle being thus suppressed, Conrad parlees with King Hen­rie, and ratifies the ancient accords, for the diuiding of Bourgongne, whereof wee haue spoken.

From that time, the Germaine Emperours challenged the right and title of the F realme of Arles, which the Emperour Charles the fift shall alienate, and shal be soone diuided into sundry principalyties, as we shall shew in their places. Thus the Realme of Bourgongne had an ende in the posterity of Boson. The Emperour Conrade beeing [Page 133] A forced to go into Italy, after all these treaties, to redresse the confusions which grew dayly. Behold Odo reuiues the warre more furiously then before, and enters Lorraine with a strong army, but his enterprise fell vpon his owne head. For Gothelon Duke of Lorraine (confirmed by the Emperour) defeates him, burying his ambition and his life in one sepulchre, and thus much for Bourgongne.

Normandy gaue no lesse cause of imployment to Henry. Robert Duke of Normandy, had mainteyned the hereditary loue of his father with the King, greatly relying vpon his friendship. Hauing resolued a long and dangerous voyage to the holy Land:Robert Duke of Normandy prefers his ba­stard before his lawfull children. he intreated him to affect the protection of William his bastard sonne, whome hee had made his heyre, excluding his lawfull children. This testament seemed vnreasonable B to all men: but Robert had setled his Estate before his departure, appoynting him good Gouernours, and putting the strongest places, and treasure into their hands: as William remayned Conquerour after his death, which happened in this long voyage beyond the seas. But this was not without great difficulties, in the which Henry kept the stakes, ballancing both parties with his authority.

William remaining the stronger, Normandy had some rest, beeing freed from men of warre by this occurrent. A gallant troupe of Warriors, weary to liue at home, and desirous to see the world, led by Robert and Guischard valient Gentlemen,Happy suc­cesse of the Normans in Italy. seeking their fortunes, came into Italy: where they are imployed in priuate quarrells, and there get so great reputation, as by their example, they drawe many to the same voy­age: C and an other notable swarme of braue souldiers are led thether by Tancred, a man very famous for this attempt, the partialities of Italy giue them occasions and meanes to seize vpon Pouille, Calabria, and Sicile, as the history describes at large. This briefly may suffice to note the Estate of this raigne.

Thus Henry passeth his raigne amidst these troubles, beeing too light to shake the body of an Estate, following the example of his Grandfather, and Father, he cau­seth Philip his sonne to bee crowned King, being but seuen yeares old: and gaue him Baldwin Earle of Flanders for Tutor and regent of the Realme. He liued little after his Coronation, the which be hastened by reason of his indisposition, and so he died 55. yeares old, in the yeare 1061.Robert dies. Beloued and lamented of all his D subiects, whom he intreated with much mildnes some yeares before his death: the beginning of his raigne being disquieted with the feare of ciuill dissention, and the end crowned with a plentifull rest.

PHILIP the first, the 39. King of France.


1061. ACcording to King Henries decree, Baldwin Earle of Flanders, A tooke vpon him the gouernment of yong King Philips person,Baldwin Re­gen [...] in Philips minoritie. (already confirmed by his coronation,) & of the affaires of the realme with quietnes: hauing the reputation of a good & wise man, although he were not pleasing to them all. For certaine Noblemen of Gasconie did crosse him, charging him with am­bition, as if he would make himselfe a King, like to other Re­gents, whereof the memorie was yet fresh in all Frenchmens mindes. But his integritie and wisdome (preseruing his credit with the greatest part of the French) gaue him meanes to subdue the rebellious Gas­cons, who made this their pretence, to fish in a troubled streame, during the minoritie B of the young King.

Baldwin doth not winke at this repulse, neither doth he suffer it to passe vnpunished, He armes wisely, with a shew to go against the Sarrazins, which sometimes did ouer­runne the frontiers of France, bordering vpon Spaine. This zeale hauing moued many to accompanie him,Baldwin puni­she [...]h the re­bels of Gas­conie. he punished the rebels in Gasconie, and preuented many which began to mutine in sundry places of the realme, as shall appeare in the future raignes. It is the ordinarie ebbing and flowing of worldly things, in the impatience of the French, neuer to liue long in one estate. Wee haue now passed aboue seuentie yeares in peace, in these three raignes: this Prince shall adde fortie nine more of great tran­quilitie to this realme. But setting before our eyes the horrible confusions in other C parts, it doth shew vs plainly the occasions, whereby the disease grew in the State, which in the ende bred so long and dangerous a feauer by ciuill warre. For why [Page 135] A doth a history represent vnto vs the effect known vnto al men, if it touch not the causes and motiues of these great euents, the which succeed not presently, but by degrees, as a Clocke which carried by contrary motiues strikes the houre at the time appointed a­mongest all the minutes. This iudgement is necessary for the right vse of what wee reade. The Kings minority passed quietly by the wise gouernment of Baldwin who hauing accompanied his pupill to the age of 15. yeares, leaues him his temporall realme in peace, and seekes an eternall Crowne in heauen: being greatly lamented of the good, leauing a memorable example of a good tutor to a King,Baldwin dies much lamen­ted. and a wise Regent of a realme. Philip takes in hand the helme of the Estate, beholding from a safe harbour B the stormes of other nations, which exceed in pernitious furies, not foreseeing the seeds cast by himselfe in the bosome of his owne realme, & that his example giues li­berties to his subiects to the like disorder.

A wise Prince, but disloyall, taking couetousnes and ambition for his Councellors,The dispositi­on of Philip. seekingonely his owne profit, and contemning that plaine simplicity, which had pur­chased so much happines to his father & grand-fathers, & to himselfe a respectiue cre­dit withall the French, and immortall praise to his posterity. A looking glasse for Kings & Princes without any deceit, wherein they may viewe the true causes of the happines of their Estates. Flanders, England and Italy, beganne first before that France entred, who shall act a long and tedious part vpon this stage. Baldwin of whom we haue made men­tion, left two sonnes, Baldwin and Robert, with their mother Richilde. Their Vncle Robert C the Frison pretēded the inheritance to belong vnto him: or at the least the gardianship of his Nephewes. Richilde and the states opposed to both his demands; so as they grew to words, and then to warre. King Philip (as their soueraigne) ought to bee Iudge to compound their quarrels, but he labors to kindle them, seeking his own profit in these garboiles. Robert the Frison preuents him, with promises to do what hee pleased. Hee winnes him and gets a promise to be succoured against the right of his Nephews. But Richilde mother to these pupills, knowing the Kings humour, goes vnto him to crosse Roberts desseins, who brought nothing but words.

This woman brought money with her good behauiour, and wonne him against Ro­bert, who discontent with the King; assembles his other means, goes to field with his D army, and gets part of the Country: Richilde flies to Philip, who comes himselfe with a very great army, and enters Flanders. The vncle suppla [...] his Nephew for the County of Flanders. His meaning was to make a benefit of their com­mon quarrell. But it fell out otherwise, by his prouidence who doth pull downe one & raise vp an other, alwaies iustly, although the causes be vnknowne vnto vs. Robert de­feates the King and his Nephews. After this victory hee is receiued Earle of Flanders, without any discontent of the King for the distressed pupills: who relying no more on him, fled for succor to Thierry Bishop of Liege: who makes an accord. That Robert the Frison should haue the Earledom of Flanders, & giue his Nephews some recompence. After this peaceable possession of the Earledome of Flanders, Philip f [...]rs [...]ks Baldwins Children at their neede. In England. Philip became a deere friend to Robert, forgetting the good offices hee had receiued from his tutor, measuring E friendship by proffi [...]. Such was t [...]ē the state of Flanders. England had a greater change: we haue sayd that Robert Duke of Normandy had instituted William his bastard sonne his heire, and that hee had gotten possession of the D [...]chie, but behold a greater happi­nesse attends him. Edward King of England hauing receiued much kindnesse from him, and knowing him fit for the gouernment of the realme, names him his heire by his tes­tament; by vertue whereof (notwithstanding all the policy and force, that Herould, brother to the Queene could vse) William is receiued King of England, and crowned in a so [...]lemne assemble of the English, homage is done vnto him, as to their lawfull Lord: & this great dignity continued in his posterity. Philip sees this new power impatiently,Philip discon­tented at VVilliams aduancement to the crowne of England. yet can he not preuent it, but God hath prepared it as a rod to correct this realme, by F the three sonnes which William left to succeed in his Estates, Robert, William and Henry. Ambition is the Leuaine of these warres, it shewed it selfe soone after the birth of this new power growen to the Dukes of Normandy, (whose first breeding we haue seene in the second race) by the increase of the realme of England.

[Page 136] Robert and Henry the sonnes of William, come to the King at Constans vpon Oise. As they A play at Chesse with Lewis the sonne of King Philip, there fell some contention among these yong Princes, and from iniurious words, they fell to blowes: Lewis called Henry the sonne of a Bastard, Henry struck at him with the Chesse-board, and had slaine him, if Robert had not staied him. This blow being giuen, Robert and Henry made all hast to saue themselues in Normandy:The Leuaine of distention betwixt France and England. where they incensed both heauen and earth with their complaints. From this light beginning, grew all the troubles which disquieted these two Estates during 400. yeares, vpon diuers occasions. Robert & Henry being escaped, the fathers so imbrace the quarrell for their children, as they fall to armes. Philip goes to field, and takes Vernon depending of Normandie. Robert goes out of Normandie and doth seize vpon Beauuois. King William parts from England, and lands in France, with a B great and mighty power,The English enter into Guienne. and inuades Xaintonge and Poito [...]. Behold the first check of a dangerous game. Philip moued with these losses, enters into Normandie with a great and mighty armie: but he cures not one wound in making of another. William on the other side, runnes and spoiles all the Country, euen vnto the gates of Paris, where hee entred not then, but his posteritie did after him. Hee dies soone after, but the quarrell suruiued in his children, who augmented this hereditarie hatred in many sorts.

While they began to weaue this web, Italy was in no better estate, being full of hor­rible combustions, and the cause was so much the more lamentable, for that the mis­chiefe came from them,Con [...]ons in Italy be­twixt the Em­perour and Popes. from whom all good was to be expected. We haue formerly spoken of the deuisions growne betwixt the Emperours and the Popes of Rome, for C their preheminences. In all ancient times the Popes were subiect & to be summoned before the Emperour, who had authority to create them, & to depose them that were vnworthy of their charges: to call Synods, and to confirme all things which concer­ned the outward gouernment of the Church. The Pope on the other side maintaines, that all this authority was his,The Popes vsurpation. as vniuersall Bishop, hauing power to bind and loose, & to iudge of all men, and all causes, as the soueraigne Iudge of the Church, not to bee iudged by any man: and so to dispose absolutely of all matters, as well Ecclesiasticall as Ciuill, as Monarch in the Church, not only armed with power of excommunication to damne rebels, and authority to remit sinnes: but hauing also the temporall sword, with soueraigne authority ouer Emperours, Kings and Princes of the earth, to place D and di [...]place, and to dispo [...]e of their estates.

Hereafter we shall find in euery raigne, some memorable example of this soueraigne authority. This raigne giues a very notable one. After the death of the Emperour Conrade called Salique, Henry the 3. of that name, (hauing happily gouerned the Em­pire) left it to his sonne Henry the 4 yet very yong, so as the Popes during this weake­nesse of the Empire, had meanes to fortifie themselues: and so imbracing this occasi­on, Gregory the 7. called Hildebrand, did prohibite the Emperour all authority ouer the Clergie, and forbad (vpon paine of excommunication) to haue any recourse vnto him for the collation of benefices, or for any thing else that depended on the Church. Henry moued with so great an aff [...]ont,S [...]range con­fu [...]o [...]s be­twixt the Em­pero [...]r and the [...]ope. lets Gregory vnderstand, that this his decree was contra­rie E to the ancient orders, & the vse of the Catholike Church. Vpon this refusall, he lets him know, that hee will maintaine the rights of the Empire, and complaines to the Clergie of Rome in an open assembly. Gregorie calls an other, wherein hee doth ex­communicate Henry and all his adherents, and sends forth his Bull into all parts, wher­by hee declares him excommunicate and degraded of the Empire, and in his place causeth Rodolph Duke of Sueuia to be chosen Emperour.

Thus there growes two factions in Italy, and in Germanie, one for the Emperour, and the other for the Pope: behold two armies leuied of these factions, ready to shed Christians bloud: nine battailes were giuen vpon the quarrell of these preheminen­ces. In the end, Rodolphe the new Emperour is taken and slaine by Godefroy of Bouillon, F who followed the Emperour Henry the fourth: who after this victorie, assembled a great Councell at Bresse, where as Gregorie the seuenth is excommunicated, and Clement Bishop of R [...]uenna appointed to succeed him, they conduct him to Rome [Page 137] A with an armie, & take the Citty after a long siege; whereas the new Pope is sollemn­lie installed, and Henry the 4. Emperour restored by the decree of Clement. But this was not all, those which were opposite to the Emperour, chose in the place of Gregory, Vrbain the 2. and their party growing strong, the confusions increased, opposing o [...]e Emperour against another▪ Herman of Luxembourg to Henry, and after him Egbert Marquis of Saxony: the which were taken by Henry, and slaine one after another. Vr­bain hath other practises against Henry, hee animates his owne sonne by his first wife against him, forcing all the lawes of nature.The Pope in­censeth the sonne against the father, who takes from him both his Em­pire & his life. And as Henry had suppressed the practises of this his eldest sonne, Pope Paschall who succeeded Vrbain the 2. succeeds him euen in the like monstrous practises, incensing his other sonne Henry, whom the father in­tended B to make Emperour, relying on him as on his child, beloued aboue all the rest. So this sonne (bewitched by ill councell) found meanes to seaze on his Father, depri­uing him first of the Empire, and then of his life. The Pope added to this death a new disgrace, causing by his thundring Bulls,The Popes malice against the Emperour being dead. the body of Henry to be digged out of his graue. These were the fruites of their serious controuersies, for preheminence not onely vnknowne to the ancient Church, nor practised by the Apostles, but expreslie forbidden by the holy mouth of the sonne of God.

The Popes one after another (troubled with these crosses) had recourse vnto our Philip, so had Henry the 4. being a prisoner to his sonne, but the respect of his cōmon friends, made him to keepe the stakes, and to be a spectator of these lamentable con­fusions. C And yet many orders were erected by the Popes, amiddest these disorders, that of the regular Chanoines, for a difference of the secular; the Charteaux, Templiers, Benedictins, and Carmes. Thus Philip a witnesse of others miseries, raignes peaceably, during this age full of confusion, both in Church and State.

The Emperour had reduced the realme of Bourgongne to the Imperiall iurisdiction, distinguished as wee haue sayd: but during these disorders,The begining of the esta [...]es of Daulphiné, Sauoy, Pro­uence, and Franc [...]e Conté, the whole body was dis­membred, and reduced to an other forme; as when one is wearie of an old garment. The industrie of such as held the Citties and Countrie in their possession, made foure peeces of this garment. The one was for Otho of Flanders, which is the Coun­trie about Besançon, with the title of an Earledome, whereof it carryes yet the name. D The other for Berald of Saxony, who enioyed Sauoy. The third for Guigue the fatte Earle of Grisiuaudan, who from little, grewe so great in the confusions of times, hauing taken the chiefe Citties of the Country, and in the end, Grenoble the capitall Citty, as he became absolute Lord of all that Prouince: the which hee called Daul­phiné, in fauour of his Sonne, who hauing married the Daughter of the Earle of Al­bon and V [...]ennois, named Daulphin, would carry the same name, holding himselfe ho­noured by so worthy an allyance. The fourth peece is Prouence, one of the good­lyest and richest, both for the fertilitie of the Countrie, and commoditie of Ports, most conuenient in all the Mediterranian Sea: this was fallen into the hands of Berengers successors, by the meanes before specified.

E So the Empire lost the command of these foure Prouinces, which fell to foure di­uers Lords, leauing yet in Daulphiné some traces of the ancient name, without any effect, for they yet call it the Empire in their common language, as wee haue sayd elsewhere. But as during the raigne of our Philip these confusions were notable,Voyage to the Holy Land. so that great and renowned voyage to the Holy Land, made by our Argona [...]tes Chri­stians, [...]s worthy to be carefully obserued. The proiect was to deliuer the Christians of Asia, [...]ormented by the furious tyranie of the Mah [...]metaines, and to repeople the land, the which God had honoured with the first fruits of his Church. This zeale of Chri­stians was commendable. I would to God they had at this day changed their disorde­red passions, glutted with their owne bloud, into so holy a resolution, vniting their F mindes and forces against the common enemie of all Christendome. The occasion was giuen by a French Gentleman called Peter the Hermite,The moti [...] of this enterpris [...] who hauing long trauel­led in the East, and seene the miseries of the Christians among the Barbarians, the ma­ners of the Leuantins: and the commodities and discommodities of the Prouinces of [Page 138] Asia, neerest to the Holy Land: he laide a p [...]ot with Simeon Patriarck of Ierusalem, to A solicite all Christian Kings and Princes, to imploy their forces for the conquest of the Holy land. The euent was answerable to the proiect: for being come to Rome to Pope Vrbain the 2. he did so well lay open the estate and importance of this action, as being satisfied by him, he resolues to inuite all the Kings, Princes, Potentates, States, Como [...]altie [...], Lords and Gentlemen of Christendome therevnto. To this end hee calls a Councell at Clermont in Auuerg [...]e, where he assisted himselfe, and induced the whole assemblie by his perswasions, with so great efficacie, as they resolued neither to spare their persons nor estates, in the execution of so important a worke.

Godefroy of Bouil [...]on, sonne to Eustace Earle of Boulogne vpon the Sea, being Duke of Lorraine by his Vncle Godefroy the Crooke-back, the sonne of Gothelon, a great and a B generous Prince, of [...]ed himselfe the first to this expedition, and was chosen chiefe of this famous action. The Emperour and all Christian Princes, promised to contribute their meanes, some their persons. A troupe of all the selected Nobilitie of Europe, did willingly consecrate themselues.The names of such as went to the Holy land. The most apparent were Eustace and Baldwin, brothers to Godefroy, Hugh the great, Earle of Vermandois, brother to Philip King of France, Robert the Frison Earle of Flanders▪ Robert the second sonne to William the Ba­stard, Duke of Normandie and King of England. Stephen Earle of Blois and Chartres, Aimar Bishop of [...]uy, William Bishop of Oranges, Raimond Earle of Tholose and Saint Gilles, Baldwin Earle of Hainault, Baldwin Earle of Retbel, Bohemond Duke of Apou [...]lie, Garnier Earle of Grez Harpin Earle of Bourges, Ysoard Earle of Die, Rambaud Earle C of Oranges▪ William Earle of Forest, Stephen Earle of Aumal, Hugh Earle of S. Pol, Rotron Earle of Perche, and many others, worthy to be registred in this Historie, I haue onely noted such as I could finde out.

All Europe was moued with this voyage, France, Germanie, Italy, England, Scotland, Hongarie, Denmarke, and Sueden: Spaine onely failed, being at that time much troubled to keepe their owne home from the Sarrazins, who were lodged euen in their bowels. France did contribute more then all the rest of Christendom. The zeale which moued these generous and valiant men, made them to hazard all, Dukes, Marquises, Earles, Barons, Knights, and Gentlemen, sold and ingaged their Seigneuries, to furnish them­selues in this affected voyage, at what price soeuer. Godefroy of Bouillon, chiefe of the D armie, sold the Seigneurie of Bouillon, to Aubert Bishop of Liege, and Metz to the Inha­bitants: Robert Duke of Normandie, ingaged all his lands to his brother William King of England: Herpin Earle of Berry, his Earledome to King Philip. A sale farre more hono­rable for the sel [...]ers then for the buiers. There was a quarrell betwixt the children of Ta [...]cred the Norman of whom we haue spoken [...] who by his valour had conquered Sci­cile, Calabria, & Apulia [...] growne from light beginnings. It seemed to be immortall, the question being betwixt wilfull Kinsmen; but this zeale did so pacific their quarrels as they brought aboue twenty thousand braue men to the army, with their own persons. I [...] euery [...] there was nothing but men making their prouisions, the wayes were full of souldiers, horse [...], & baggage, which repaired to the Rendezuous; the Ports, Ha­uens,E and Seas swarmed with s [...]ips and vessels, to transport our generous Argonauts, they being guided with this holy zeale,The number of the Armie to the Holy l [...]nd. to settle the State of Christians in the Holy land. The number of the armie is diuersly reported. Some write they were six hundred thousand fighting men, others restraine it onely to a hundred thousand. The first num­ber were more likely, for what were that in Europe, but for our wretched dissentions? But that which they adde is to be considered. That many else well affected, were kept back by reason of the dissentions betwixt the Emperours and Popes: so as Germanie (a great nur [...]erie of men of warre,) sent very few: and Italy fewer, being dispensed withall by the Pope, who had ingaged others. See the ordinarie frutes of home-bred quarrels, the which fortifies the enemies of Christendome. Some writers of iudgment F adde, that Pope Vrbain did cunningly vse the Christians zeale, to weaken the Empe­rour and his Partisans, that hee might preuaile with more facilitie, causing them to marche in this action, and retaining such as were at his deuotion. This is their opinion [Page 139] A as the wise reader may verifie in their places.1096. The sequell will shewe that this voiage did nothing mortifie the quarrell, betwixt the Emperor & the Pope, the which was re­uiued after a tragick maner. We follow the traces of truth as euery thing hath succee­ded. Here we discourse of the beginnings and motiues of this war, we shall see the end and issue of this great preparation. Let vs reurne to the hauen to our Argona [...]es, the trumpets sound, they are all ready to set saile.

Godefroye diuided his army into three fleets, making the Rendezuous a [...] Constantino­ple, whether he had sent his Ambassadors to Alexis Emperour of Greece, The army parts and ar­riues at Con­sta [...]tinople. who entring into iealousie of so great an army, made some difficulty to grant him ports: yet in the end hee yeelded, and gaue him an honorable entertainement. The departure of these Christian Aduenturers was in the yeare 1096. the first day of Aprill. Behold our La­tins B arriued in safe port, (thus hereafter wee shall call them, to distinguish them from the Greekes being Christians, & friends: & the Turkes Leuantins enemies. They vnder­tooke no small worke, neither went they to take possession of an empty inheritance, The Turkes and Mahometains their enemies, were Lords of Asia, from the realme of Pontus (towards the Mediterranian sea) vnto Hellespont: after they had expelled the Greekes, ouerthrowne the forces of the Caliphes of Babilon and Egipt, The Ma [...] ­metain, com­mand. and had seized on Palestina, Iudea, and all the rest of the Kingdome of Israell, from the entry of the holie Land vnto Libanus. Ierusalem was in their hands. Their estate (springing from weake beginnings) encreased dayly. Soliman Belchiaroc was their fi [...]t Sultan or Emperour, C who quickned with so hot a sommons of Christians, assembled his forces togither, stoode vpon his gard, and prepared to fight.

Godefroy (taking the aduice of Alexis, Emperour of Greece, who made shewe to im­ploy all his meanes to aduance the common cause) resolued to passe into Chalcedone, and beginning with the Citties of Asia to make his passage more easie.The Christi­an troupes tw [...]se defea­ted by the Turkes. Hee had sent Peter the Hermit before, the first trumpet of this warre, with Gaultier (who was a bet­ter soldiar) and some troupes to discouer the Country, but both togither making scarce one good Captaine, suffred themselues to be beaten by the Turkes: so as Gode­froy sends in their place one called Regnaud or Raimond, who makes profession to know the Country, but he speeds worse, su [...]ring himselfe to be beaten by the Turkes, and to D [...]ace his life, he renounced the Christian religion, abandoning al that had followed him to the slaughter. This was a [...]oretelling of ill successe.

The army marching by Asia the lesse, first they beseege Nicomedia the lesse, & takes it, [...]en they attempt Nicea a Citty of Bethinia (famous for the first generall Councell [...] [...]as held against Arrius). The Sultan had thrust Mahomet into it, one of his bra­ [...]est Captaines, yet was it taken by assault by the Christians after two and twenty daies [...]ege. The Sultan had his army in field, the which approched to fauour the beseeged,Gode [...]oy winnes the greatest part o [...] Asia. and to saue the remainder of this ship-wracke, and likewise to hold the Citties in obe­dience, which stood amazed. Nicea being yeelded, there were some skirmishes so fauo­rable for the Latins, as Soliman retires his army to the mountaines, & leaues the plaines E & Citties to Godefroy, who puft vp with this happy successe, and leauing a good gard in Nicea, he passeth through Bethinia and comes to Heraclea, the which yeelds presently, and goes on with such successe, as in lesse then foure yeares he subdued all the goodliest Prouinces of Asia, that is to say Lycaonia, Cilicia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Siria, Mesopo­ta [...]ia and Comagene, as the wise reader may see in the Originalls of the whole History without making of any particular relation in this discourse.

These happy and gainefull conquests strooke as great a terror in Soliman and the Leuantins, as it purchased honour and reputation to Godefroy and the Christians: so as hauing taken Antioche, Tripaly, and other renowned Citties;Iude [...] and Ierusalem ta­ken Godefroy of Boull [...]n cho­sen King of Ierusalem. they came into Iudea and to Ierusalem with a victorious courage. Thus Ierusalem is beseeged with such dil­ligence F and resolution, as after eight and thirty daies it is taken by assault, and all the Turkes [...]ut in peeces. The poore inhabitants without armes are carefully preserued, to purchase a double victory to the Latins, of valour in fighting well, and of clemency [Page 140] in sparing the vanquished.1109. The Citty wone, the Latins assemble in councel, & with one A cōmon consent choose Godefroy of Bouillon King of Ierusalem. Al the royall ornaments were taken & acc [...]pted by him, except the Crowne of gold, the which he would haue of thornes, like to that of our sauiour Iesus Christ, to augment the price of gold & pre­tious stones dedicated to his Crowne by a Holy humility, and a religious acknowledge­ment of the victory, which the Son of God hath gotten by his bloud, to giue vs in Hea­uen the Crowne of immortall life. This famous act chanced in the yeare 1099. in the moneth of March.

Hauing put Godefroy and the Christians in possession of the Holy Land, let vs re­turne into France to our Philip, not without griefe to see the dissention betwixt the Emperour and Pope, who were nothing reconciled by the voiage to the ho­ly B Land. The increase of this newe power, purchased in England to the Sonnes of William the Conquerour, gaue him no small occasion to looke to his affaires, and the rather, for that this newe King of England had begonne to make a breach in his Estate, taking Xaintonge and Poitou Countries very important, being members of one of the principall Prouinces of his realme,The sonnes of VVilliam King of Eng­land. foreseeing also that Normandy would bandy it selfe against France without all respect.

William had le [...]t three sonnes of great hope: William surnamed Rufus King of England, Robert Duke of Normandie (whome wee haue left in the holy Land) and Henry Earle of Maine withall his treasure. Philip therefore to secure his Estate (following the exam­ple of his Ancestors) caused Lewis his sonne, (whome hee had by Berthe, daughter to C Baldwin Earle o [...] Flanders) to bee Crowned King.Philip dies. There was a scandalous breach in this marriage, for Philip falling in loue with Bertrade the wife of Fo [...]ques Earle of An­iou, puts away Berthe, and afterwards (hauing reiected Bertrade,) hee receiued Berthe againe,His disposi­tion. being mother to King Lewis, to whome hauing resigned the crowne at Orleans, hee died at Melun in the yeare of grace 1109. of his age 57. and of his raigne 49. ha­uing raigned long to settle his Estate, but not without a leuaine of much trouble to come, hauing degenerated from the vertues of his grand-fathers and father. He was disloyall, couetous, louing nothing but his owne profit, pittilesse, ingrate: and one who sowed dangerous seeds of much mischiefe, which began to bud in the raigne ensuing.

LEWIS the 6. called the grose the 40. King.


A AS wee foresee a storme by the clouds that rise,1110. by the darke mists of the thicke ayre,The estate of this raigne, pierced through with sparkles like the shining of a close fire, and by the motiues of the water, driuen with a violent and sudden wind, euen so there be simtomes & fits in an estate, which foretell the alterations which shall insue: the which fall not all at one instant, but the subiect being gathered togither, in processe of time, breakes forth when it can no longer hold. There is this difference betwixt naturall things and those which belong to man, for that men can well discerne what the wether will be, but he is blind in that which concerns himselfe, and neuer be­leeues vntil he feeles the blow, falling into the danger which he flies, by his owne fault, B neuer wise but after danger. France had inioyed peace aboue a hundred yeares, vnder these forepassed raignes: shee now growes wearie. This raigne is a preamble to a mornfull song, which shal make them to weepe that reioyced in the fruition of so long rest. The name of royall authoritie held all those great men backe which had any in­terest therein, the wisedome of Capet, Robert, Henry, and Philip, had so bridled them, as they willingly obeyed.

Now they are of an other humor. The Duke of Normandie (who since Capet had beene obedient and affectionate to the Crowne,The French begin to fall from their o­bedience.) seeing himselfe strengthened with the Realme of England, hee frames all his practises to ouerthrow this order, by rebelli­ons and tumults. Lewis had scarce performed his fathers funeralls, before the fire of C rebellion kindled in diuers parts of the realme: and (as if the Kings youth had beene a blemish to his dignitie,) euery one will play the pettie King. The places neere vnto Paris began these first reuolts, by reason of the many great horses thereabouts. [Page 142] Corbeil had an Earle,1109 Chartres an other, Piseaux in Beause had one, Crecy had his Lord,A Marle his, Pompone his, and so diuers other Seigneuries had euery one their particular Lord. But as a disease stirres vp all the humors in a weake bodie, so all that were dis­contented with Lewis, gather togither into one head, to afflict him vnder the counte­nance of the King of England. They were for a time suppressed, yet this was but to open a vaine, and not to cure the feuer. Guy of Crecy, the Lord Piseaux, [...] Earle of Dammartin, Thibaud Earle of Champagne, and Brye, Pean of Louure in Parisi, Milon of Montleh [...]ry, and Philippe the bastard of King Philippe, all ioyntly play the mu­tines and rise against their King. At the same instant, Henry King of England goes to field, his priuate quarrell was for the Towne of Gisors, seated vpon the riuer of Epre, on the confines of Normandie. Rebels sup­pressed and punished. But this small processe was soone ended, for Lewis hauing defeated the English neere vnto Gisors, hee forced Henry to retyre, and afterwards pu­nished B all these rebells, increasing his reuenues by their confiscations.

But the quar [...]ell betwixt the Emperour and the Pope, did hatch a more dangerous proces for France. We haue sayd that Henry the 5. banded against his father Henry the 4. (who had associated him to the Empire) and had cast him into prison by the Popes Councell, where this poore man died for greefe. Henry the 5. wonderfully troubled in consci [...]nce, and vexed with daily approches, that hee had violated the Imperiall rights, resolued to haue his reuenge of Pope Pascall, the author of this cruell and vn­kind Councell. To conclude, he a [...]mes, and that with so great a resolution, as in few dayes,The Empe­rour [...] for his [...]. hee assembles threescore thousand foote, and thirtie thousand horle: with this army hee goes into It [...]lie, and hauing taken and spoyled No [...]arre, Pontremolo and C Arezzo, hee comes a Conqueror to the gates of Rome, the which were opened with­out any resistance.

Being entred the Cittie, and causing the Pope and Colledge to assemble, he makes knowne vnto them the rights of the Empire, as Pope Leo the eight had acknow­ledged them to Otho the second Emperour,The Empe­rour com [...]s to Rom [...] and [...] the [...]o [...]e to take an oth. and before him Adrian to Charlemagne, according to the dec [...]ee of the Councell at Rome, conteined in the sixtie third distin­ction: and to conclude, he forced him to take the oath of fidelity, as to the true and lawfull Emperour and then returnes with his army. Pope Pascal extremely moued with this [...], calls a Councell, wherein he protests to haue beene forced by [...], so by consequence pronounceth, that whatsoeuer he had promised was of no force,D and after all these toyles he died. Gelisais succeeded him both in place and hatred a­gainst the Emperour Henry: but being too weake of himselfe, neither hauing any such friend as the King of France (according to the triall so often made, time out of minde) he comes into France, but he died at Cluny: and in his place Calixtus, son to the Earle of Bourgongne was chosen Pope. The reputation of the place from whence he was descended was great, so as he being a Frenchman, easily called a Councell in France, to the great satisfaction of the French. The Emperor degraded by the Popes de­cree, in a Councell at [...]. It was held at Rheims, where by an ecclesiasticall decree, he declared Henry an enemy to the Church, and degraded of the Imperiall dignity.E

As this ignominious decree did moue the Emperor, so did it minister matter to the King of England his brother in lawe, to imbrace all occasions to annoy Lewis his capi­tall enemie: for seeing this Councell had bin held in France, and consisted chiefly of the French Church: it was very apparant that the Kings fauour was very preiudiciall to the Emperours affaires. The English fayles not to harpe vpon this string to the Em­perour,The Empe­ror and [...]ing o [...] England ioyne against France. being already incensed by the thing it selfe: promising him all his meanes, & incouraging him to enter France on the one side, whilest that he came on the other with all the forces of Normandy and England. The party was not small, neither had Lewis small cause to feare, being incountred by two such enemies. But God shewed him the rod, and reserued the punishment for an other season: for as the Emperour was going F to field, the Germaine Princes (foreseeing the misery of a warre vndertaken lightly vp­on despight, and weighing the importance of neighbourhood) gaue him to vnderstand that he ought not to attempt warre against the King of France, without declaring vnto [Page 143] A him the causes of his discontent. Hee therefore sends his Ambassadors to this end.1112. Lewis doth wisely answer him, that hee is exceedinglie sorrie, to see the two great Pillers of the Church so shaken by these dissentions: and that it was to bee fea­red, the whole building would bee ruined. So as being a friend to both, hee desired greatly to be a mediator of concord, and not to carrie coales to increase the fire, too much kindled alreadie, the which ought to be quenched for the good and quiet of all Christendome. This Ambassage was pleasing and preuailed so much, as the Empe­rour disarmes,The French King and the Emperour reconciled. and was content to make Lewis a mediator for an accord betwixt him and the Pope, to the great griefe of the King of England, who expected a long conti­nuance of this ia [...]e. The composition was made at Wormes, very beneficiall for the Pope, in the yeare 1122. whereby Henry grants him the installing of Bishops, and B other benefices. This did ease the sore, but not cure it: as the sequell of the Historie will shew. While that Princes haue leisure to contend, the poore people dye for hun­ger in many places of Europe. This famine was exceeding great in Flanders, Notable trou­bles in Flan­ders. who then had for their Earle, Charles surnamed the good, for his good disposition, and great charitie to the poore. He sought by all meanes to releeue them. But as barrenesse was one of the causes of this famine, so the cruell couetousnesse of the rich, was a great hinderance to the commoditie of victuals: whereby there grew as remarkable an act, as the successe was strange, the particular report whereof, the reader must pardon in the breefenesse of our stile.

C There were three brethren at Bruges, of the chiefe of the Countrie, the which had gathered together a great quantitie of graine, and would not sell it, expecting a grea­ter dearth, which might cause a greater price, that is Bertholphe Wendestrate, Pouost of S. Donas, and Chancellor of Flanders: Lambert and Boussard Wendestrate brethren: and an other rich Bourges called Lambert, one of the chiefe of the Cittie. This dignity of Prouostand Chancellor was so great, as hee supplied the Princes place in his absence. Vpon the peoples complaint, the Earle decrees, that all the graniers of these great houses should be opened, and the Corne sold to the people at a reasonable rate. The Comission was giuen to Thamard, Almoner of the Earles house, as a thing befitting his charge: he causeth the graniers of these rich Bourgesses to be opened, the corne is D sold to the people, and the money deliuered to the owners. The people being releeued by the couragious care of Thamard, commend him. The Wendestrates and Lambert (greatly discontented with this sale, wherein they held themselues interessed) cause many indignities to be done vnto him. Lambert is directly accused by informations, being a very audatious young man, and the Wendestrates were touched therewith. The Earle offended with these audatious attempts, repaired them by Iustice: threatning Lambert that if he continued, he would seuerely punish him.

There was also an other complaint, made by an old Abbot against the Prouost,Treacherie against the good Earle of Flanders. to whom the Earle spake roughly, commanding him to restore vnto the Abbot what he ought him. These free admonitions of the good Earle Charles, did so alter the proud & trecherous minds of these Cittizens, as they resolue to kill him: his milde facilitie gi­uing these wicked spirits both courage to attempt, and boldnesse to execute. And the end is answerable to their wicked desseine. As the good Earle Charles went ill accom­panied in the morning to his deuotion, to the Church of S. Donas, on Ash wednesday, behold a troope of yong mad men, led by this Lambert, comes vnto him, (being vnar­med on his knees in a Chappell, the Priest attired in his ornaments at the Altar,) the Earle holding forth his arme to giue his almes to a poore woman) & without any war­ning, they beat him downe with their swords, & kill him, and so forcing all to giue way,The Earle of Flanders and his Almonet murthered. they seeke for Thamard, whom they find & massacre, with so great a furie, as they leaue him vpon the place hewed into many peeces. Their troope increaseth, and they flie to the Pallace, where all are amazed▪ and finding it without gard, without keyes, & with­out any gate shut, they enter it with horrible cryes, they kill, sack, and spoile: and run­ning from thence into the Cittie,Crueltie in the Citty of Bruges. they commit the like in those houses which they knew best affected to the good Earle Charles. This furious crueltie was accompanied with an ouerweening indiscretion, as if they had made some goodly conquest, they [Page 142] braue it,1117. and play the maisters without feare of any punishment. The people excee­dingly A grieued to see these barbarous cruelties against their good Prince, whom they loued as a father, durst not speake a word during this furye, whereas this troupe of murtherers commaunded absolutely. But the wisest Cittizens fled to Lewis, as to their soueraigne Lord. Lewis comes to Bruges with great speede: these butchers at­tending their misery,Lewis King of France puni­sheth the rebells. shut themselues into the great Tower of S. Donas. Lewis doth first bury the body of this good Earle honourably, (the which had lien without sepul­chre) and then doth punish the murtherers and their complices rigourously.

But this is not all. He must prouide for the Earledome, remayning without a Lord, by the death of Count Charles deceassed without children.Pretendants for the Earle­dome of Flan­ders. There wanted no preten­dants, William of Ypre sonne to Philip of Flanders, the second sonne of Robert the Fri­son. B King Henry of England (who desired greatly to ioyne this goodly Country with his Normandy) Stephen of Blois Earle of Montreuill and Bologne: Baldwin Earle of Hainault, and William the sonne of Robert called Court-house brother to the King of England, but his sworne enemy, hauing vsed his father ill and kept him pri­soner.

Lewis was soueraigne Iudge of this controuersy, Flanders depending on the crowne of France. He assigned all the pretendants of the Citty of Arras: signifiyng that his intent was to do him iustice, but in effect he inclined to fauour: adiudging the Earle­dome of Flanders to the last, that is to William of Normandy, to binde him with more strict bounds against his [...]nsman. On the other side the Flemings assemble at Ypre, C and chose William of Lo [...] Lord of Ypre. The King aduanceth with his forces to Ypre, to preuent this popular election, where he enters the stonger, and forceth William to renownce it.VVilliam of Normandy made Earle of Flanders. From thence he goes to all other good Citties: where by his authority, he causeth William of Normandy to be receiued for lawfull Earle▪ and puts him in so­lemne possession by a publike act. But his fauour had ill bestowed this goodly inhe­ritance of an vnworthy man, whose fury depriued him presently. Lewis hauing instal­led him,He oppresseth his newe subiects. returnes into France. William insteed of winning his newe subiects by equity and mildnesse, begins to oppresse them after a rigorous and imperious manner: by in­fringing of their preuileges, ostentations of his authority, taxes, subsidies, newe impo­sitions, and by all other meanes which Princes (that seeke to loose their Estates) hold D to torment their subiects. He had so far exceeded as the Citties without any wauering resolue to prouide a better Earle, and to this intent they seeke a head.

The memorie of their good Earle, makes them to cast their eyes vpon him that hath most right to this inheritance, as the neerest kinsman, which is Thierri son to the Duke of Alsatia, and of Gertrude daughter to Robert the Frison. The Flemings intreat him to come into their country,The Flemings choo [...]e them a new Earle. promising him all assistance to conquer the State. He comes, and is receiued with an extraordinary ioy by all the people. All the Citties assemble, to acknowledge him by order, and dismisse William of Normandy, who seeing a flat repulse by this people thus freed, repayres to Lewis for succour in this ex­tremity. Lewis fayles him not, his army marcheth with great speed: hee himselfe E comes in person, and is receiued into Arras: from thence he adiornes Thierry, to come and answer before him as his soueraigne, by what warrant hee carries himselfe for Earle: this sommons is made vnto him at Ypre, whether he had retired himselfe. Ha­uing condemned him by default,Thierrithe new Earle of Flanders de­feated. he approcheth his army to Ypre, to vexe the inhib [...] ­bitants. Thierri sallies forth with a notable troupe of men: they ioyne, the fight is fierce, but the check falles vpon Thierries forces, who with much a doe, saues him­selfe in Alost.

William pursues him, and approcheth the towne, sommoning the Inhabitants to o­bey and to deliuer vp Thierri as an Vsurper.VVilliam of Normandy st [...]e in Flan­ders. But he was not aduised that one with a Crossebow, shot an arrow at him, and pierced him through the arme. Behold hee is F wounded and within two dayes he dies. Thierri and the Flemings send presently to Le­wis to beseech him to receiue them into fauour, whereby he may be assured of theyr faithfull seruice. Lewis consents, and confirmes him: and hauing caused him to [Page 145] A take the oath of fidelity, and receiued his homage after the manner of his Ance­stors,1121. he returnes into France. But Flanders continued not long in quiet, as we shall see hereafter.

To these stirres of Flanders, were added some garboyles in Bourbonois and Auuer­gne Archibauld Earle of Bourbon was deceassed, leauing one sonne of the same name,Troubles in Bourbonois. but a young man: and a brother called Haman, who abusing the time in the weake mi­noritie of his Nephew, would make himselfe Maister of Bourbonois, pretending the Earledome to appertaine vnto him by the death of his elder brother, to whom hee must succeed in order, as the yongest of the house. The mother and friends of Archi­bauld, opposed against Hamon, the right of representation (inuiolable in France in great B houses) which is, that the sonne of the eldest brother, represe [...]ts the Father, and with­out doubt succeeds in all his rights, to enioy them, as if he himselfe liued; for that the Father reuiues in the Sonne. Hamon building his chiefe interest vpon force, would not admit any reason that made for his Nephew: so as the matter was brought before the King: who by the aduise of his Councell, declares Archibauld the lawfull heire, and puts Haman from his pretensions, commanding him to leaue the possession of Bour­bonois free to his Nephew.1123. This Archibauld did afterwards marrie his daughter Beatrix to Robert Earle of Clermont in Beauuoisis, sonne to the King S. Lewis, The st [...]ke of the house of Bourbon. and of this marri­age by the royall stemme, is discended the most famous race of Bourbon, the which at this day doth happily enioy the Crowne and realme of France.

C But Haman (who held some places in Burbonois) would not leaue the possession, re­fusing to obey the Kings commandement, relying vpon the fauour of Eustache Earle of Auuergne, who sought to free himselfe. There was a priuate subiect of complaint a­gainst him, hauing displaced the Bishop of Clermont against the Kings will. These oc­casions drew the King into Bourbonois, where hauing besieged Haman, he ended this controuersie in fauour of Archibauld. The affaires of Auuergne were more difficult, by reason of William Duke of Guienne, who imbraced the cause for the Earle of Au­uergne, pretending that he was his vassall. This quarrell seemed to take a long course, but it was pacified by this meanes.

Lewis had six sonnes, Philip, Lewis, Henry, another Philip, Peter, Robert, and one D Daughter, Constance. He had crowned his eldest sonne Philip, who dyed by a strange accident▪ going to take the aire on horseback,Philip eldest sonne to Lew­is died by a strange acci­dent. a Hog passed vnder the bellie of his horse, the which being feared, did shake this young King so violently, as he threw him downe, and so brused him, as within few dayes after hee died. This vnexpected [...] hauing much troubled Lewis, made him to prouide for the rest of his children: and the [...] of the time among so many of his subiects (which did check his au­thoritie by their greatnesse) moued him to looke more carefully therevnto, to make him g [...]eat, whom he had appointed his successor in the realme aboue the rest. Lewis was his second sonne, whom he resolued to crowne King in his Brothers place, and to marry him.

E Guienne is one of the worthiest members of this estate,Lewis the yong marries the heire of Guienne. the Dukes were yet of the [...]mainders of great Charlemagne, as we haue seene. William was then Duke, and had but one Daug [...]ter to bee heire to this great and rich Countrie. Lewis resolues to take th [...]s Daughter for his sonne, and so to end all strife. This Daughter was called Ellenor, she was giuen in marriage to Lewis, which was called the yong: to distinguish him from his father Lewis, with whom he raigned. Lewis expected a great aduance­mēt by this alliance, but the euent wil shew that he had not reckoned with God aboue. As for his other children, he leaues them to the discretion of the eldest, whome he had resolued to make their superior, both in authoritie and power, that they might depend onely vpon his fauour. He made Henry his third sonne, Bishop of Beauois, the other F Philip Archdeacon of Paris: Peter Earle of Courteney; Robert Earle of Druex, and married his onely daughter Constance to Raimond Earle of Saint Gilles and Tholouse: which shewes that it was a great house; as we shall note in our Theater of Langudo [...]: but the course of the historie shall make vs see plaienly that this alliance did not war­rant [Page 146] Raimond from the miseries that fell vpon him after this raigne.1137. Lewis the Grosse A hauing thus prouided for his estate, dyed, aged 61. in the yeare of grace 1137. the 25. of October,Lewis dyes. leauing one Sonne setled in his Realme, with an apparent peace, yet breeding great troubles for the State, hauing raigned twenty and nine yeares.

LEWIS the 7. called the yong, 41. King of France.


The [...] of [...] [...]aigne. HE [...]egan to raigne in the yeare [...]137. and raigne [...] 43. yeares. This A long raigne was nothi [...]g happy, and contei [...]es nothing in it that was mem [...]r [...]b [...]e, but that the [...]oundatio [...] was laide for a long ca [...]a­mitie [...]r France. The subiect was t [...]e more [...]o [...]ble, for that the misch [...]fe came fr [...]m thence, from whence g [...] was to be expec­ted, w [...]ich was from the heire of Guienne. In hope and expectati­ [...] ▪ a [...] of rest: but in effect a [...]e [...]n of lamentable confusion, [...] M [...]n [...]rchi [...], and transported [...] vnto Strangers. The estate of [...], and some mutiners suppresse [...] (who in the beginning of [...] t [...]em [...]elues, vnder colour of the Fathers weake old age, and the [...] [...]of the Sonne) France continued in great quiet, and the accor [...] B made bet [...]ixt the [...] Henry the 5.The Christi­ans [...]ssures in the [...]a [...]. [...]mperour, and the Popes: had pacified the dissen­tiō, which had troubled all Christendom. But the affaires of the Christians in the East. were not answerable to their happy and victorious beginning, so as all the Kings and Princes of [...]urope, were called by extreame necessitie vnto their succours. Such was their estate, as all things fell out happily in Asia to Godefroy of Bouillon, and that the taking of the Holy Land and Ierusalem, did seeme an absolute conquest to the Christi­ans: but the Turkes on the other side slept not: they enter Palestina with an armie of six [Page 147] A hundred thousand men (as the Greeke Historie of those times doth witnesse) Godefroy fights with them, the combat was great, and the issue happy for the Christians,Godfrey of Bouillon dies. if the death of that great and famous Prince had not followed soone after, and too soone for the affaires of Christendome, which began greatly to decline by his decease.

Baldwin his brother was chosen in his place. A Prince valiant enough, but vnfortu­nate. At his first entrie, he very indiscreetly charged a great troupe of Sarrazins, where he was beaten with so great dishonour, as euen then he lost both courage and authori­tie: although during his raigne (which was seuen yeares) Tyre & Apamea, (which they call Raphanea) notable Citties, were added to this new Kingdome of the Christians. Fouques Earle of Anion, his sonne in law, succeeded him: but hee was scarce in possessi­on, B when as he was slaine a hunting with a fall; leauing two children, Baldwin and A­maulry, and the affaires so dismembred, as they could no longer stand: pressed within by deuisions, and without by a dangerous warre:The Christi­ans loose all in the East. so as all these goodly Prouinces got­ten with so great facilitie, were through these ciuill dissentions among Christians, lost within few dayes. Behold new Ambassadors from these yong Princes, and all the great States in Asia: To the Pope, Emperour, and King of France, emploring their aides, else they were vndone, to the shame of Christendome, and triumph of those miscreants. Lucius the 2. was then Pope. Conrad of Sueuia Emperour. And Lewis King of France. S. Bernard (whom they called the Mellifluous Doctor, for his sacred & diuine eloquence) liued then, hauing wonne great reputation with the French, for his doctrine & holinesse. C The Pope imploied him much, to perswade the King to imbrace this action, and to suc­cour their afflicted bretheren. Lewis resolues easily,The Emperor and King of France resolue to succour the Christians. his zeale being strengthened by the perswasions of this holy man. Conrad of Sueuia tooke the like resolution, so as they are both well affected, to imploy all their meanes to crosse the complots of these mis­creants, and to settle the Christians affaires in the holy land: when as behold a great mischance which had almost hindred all their resolutions.

Alberic Archbishop of Bourges being dead, the Pope without the Kings priuitie, (to get footing in France of his absolute authority, which he had so much disputed with the Emperour) aduanced to the Archbishoprick of Bourges, a fauorite of his named Peter, and sent him with his Buls to take possession of the place. Lewis (who had alwayes sup­ported D the Sea of Rome in all their quarrels; who had seene his Father ready to enter into a deadly warre with the Emperour vpon this occasion: who moreouer prepared himselfe at the Popes perswasion, to imploy, not onely his treasure, but his owne person, in a voyage to the East, for the common good of all Christendome:) seeing this act of the Pope directly contrary to the liberties of the French Church; was mightily dis­contented with this his proceeding, as if he purposely meant to braue him at his owne doore. It is a priuilege time out of minde of the Kings of France, that they admit not any to Ecclesiasticall dignities, preferred by the Pope, or chosen by the people, if he be not agreeable to themselues. The reason is apparent, to auoide either disloyaltie, ignorance or ill life, in such as are aduanced to these dignities: our Kings hauing right to be soue­raigne E ouer-seers of the Church. The King would not allow of Peter thus aduanced to this dignity,The Pope & king of France at [...] although the Chapter of Bourges had giuen their consent to the Popes de­cree. Peter (being reiected) had recourse to Thibaud Earle of Champagne, & to the Earle of Blois, men discontented with the King, and onely fit to be opposed. But to this diffi­cultie there was added a greater at the same instant. Raoul Earle of Vermandois had put away his wife Gilibert, the daughter of Roger Lord of Chasteau-briant, vpon suspition that she had beene prodigall of her honour, without any proofes to conuince her. But iealousie made him to see that plainly, which was concealed to others: so as he put her away, and tooke Peronnelle, the Bastard Daughter of William Duke of Guienne in her place, being aduowed sister to Queene Elenor, and her deere friend. Gilibert complaines F to the Pope, being reiected (as shee pretended) without cause, and demands Iustice. The Pope commands Raoul to receiue his wife againe, and to put away Peronelle, as vnlawfull, and (for not obeying) doth excommunicate him. The King intreates the Pope for Peronelle, but he preuailes not: for hee sends Yues into France as his Legat, [Page 148] to reuiue the first censure,1143. not onely against the Earle, but also against the Bishops A which had consented to the diuorce of Gilibert, forbidding them any more to exercise their charges. The Earle Thibaud had vndertaken to haue the Pope obeyed; to the great dislike of the King, as it were attempting it of purpose to offend him. Lewis mo­ued with this affront, went against Thibaud: And at the first takes Vitry, and not onely sackes the Towne, but in disdaine of the Pope, caused the Churches to bee spoiled: and many being fled out of the villages, to saue themselues from the furie of the dis­ordred troupes,A horrible massacre com­mitted by the soldiars of Lewis, and by his consent. had retired themselues into a Temple, as to a place of safetie: Lewis giues such libertie to his Souldiars, as they set fire of the place, and burne fifteene hun­dred persons, men and women. The horror of this Massacre offended all good men, but especially Lewis, who was so much grieued as hee could not bee comforted. Mis­fortune B is good for some thing. Lewis loathing the voyage to the East, for the fore­sayd occasions, was easily confirmed by Saint Bernard, who had perswaded him to yeeld all succours to the afflicted Christians, for a reparation of so execrable a fact, committed by his commandement, vpon so many poore innocents: And likewise he imbarked Conrad the Emperour and the Germaines. These two great Princes, car­ried with one zeale, and vnited in one will to this worke, make great preparations for the voyage. Conrad armes three score thousand horse, and an infinite number of foote, and hee himselfe is chiefe of this goodly Armie, taking the way of Hongarie to Constantinople, through the Countrie of Alexis his brother in lawe, Emperour of Greece:The Emperor and Lewis go into the East. hee arriued some moneths before Lewis; for the Emperour parted in Fe­bruarie,C and Lewis went to field in Maye, and takes the same course the Emperour had done.

The Kings Armie was nothing inferiour to the Emperours: and so▪ much the more remarkeable, for that Queene Elenor desired to accompany her husband in the voy­age: so as after the King and Queenes example, all France thought to flie into the East. They sent a Distaffe and a Spindle to all those that were fit for Armes, if they marched not with this t [...]oupe of braue Warriors. Conrad arriued first at Constantinople: And so he returned much sooner into Germanie. Hauing passed into Asia by the Bosphorus of Thrace, it was likely that all should yeeld to so mightie an Armie: but it fell out otherwise then he had desseigned. All the Citties wonne at the fi [...]st voyage were al­most D lost; and the Christians ill gouernment was so well knowne, as the Turkes made head in all places. The Emperour measuring his triumph by the number of his men, contemned the enemie, and was negligent in his proceedings: Hauing referred the prouision to Alexis Emperour of the East,The Empe­rors voyage to no profit. his brother in lawe, he found little Bread, and store of enemies in all places. So as what by Hunger and the Sword, scarce the tenth part of his men come to his friends in the Holy Land, where hee found them all amazed.

Lewis (warned by Conrads example) did somwhat better in the beginning: for be­ing refreshed at Constantinople, and other Citties of Greece: he passed the Chanell into Asia happily: where hauing beaten the enemie, hee came without losse to Athalia and E hauing caused his Fleete (which was at Rhodes) to come to the friends Ports of Pale­stina, he arriued by land safe with all his troupes at Antioche, where hee was honou­rablie rec [...]iued by [...]aimond Earle of Saint Gilles his brother in lawe: In the meane time the Emperour besiegeth Ascalon alone, but preuailes not. Lewis arriues at Ieru­salem, whether Conrad comes likewise. After they had visited the places of deuotion, they resolue to besiege Damas in Siria, a Cittie very important for the commerce of Iudea; but after a long and f [...]uitlesse siege, all are dispersed. The Emperor who came first,The Emperor of Greece deales [...]a­cherously with the Em­peror & King. returnes first. The King stayed not long after him. There were foure yeares spent in this fruitlesse voyage, with much paine and cost, and not onely without fruite, but it also tooke away the terror of Christian armies in these miscreants, and left the af­faires F of Asia in farre worse estate, then when they came. There was yet another incon­uenience. The Emperor Alexis (a friend at their entrie) shewed himselfe an enemie to them both at their departure. Conrad saued himselfe as well as he could, more fearing [Page 149] A the treacherie of the Greekes, then the crueltie of the Turkes. 1146. Lewis prouides in time to haue the Fleete of Sicile come for his conuoy, else had he lost both himselfe and his treasure,The Emperor and King of France make a shamefull re­turne from the East. the which had beene a meanes for the Greekes to make their peace with the Turkes, and open warre against the other Christians, being better then themselues. This shamefull and preiudiciall departure, was hurtfull to the whole Christian Church. But there was a greater losse for Lewis, very troublesome to himselfe, and preiudiciall to all France: for Queene Elenor his wife, (who made profession to go visit the holy places,) suffered her eyes to be abused with an vnchaste and filthy lust, which tainted her honour, and the King her husbands heart, with an outragious iealousie. This wo­man accustomed to the liberties of Time and Place, had so abandoned her selfe to the B pleasures of the East, as the stenche of her incontinencie was publike to the whole world, before her husband had any notice thereof: [...] her impudencie did so fa [...]re ex­ceed, as shee would dishonourablie haue stayed in Antioche, and left her husband: pre­suming to cloake her shame with a shew of Religion: saying without blushing, that she could be no more the wife of Lewis, to whom shee was Cousin in the fourth de­gree, preferring the loue of a Iester, named Saladin, of the Sarrazin race,Queene Ele­no [...] vnchast. before the greatnesse of a King of France, her lawfull husband. Lewis being much disquieted, perswades this woman to returne, (a heauier burthen to his minde, then to his ship,) being returned to his house, hee frees himselfe with all the speed he can. And whereas hee should haue cast this insatiate woman into the Riuer, being no more his wife, and C retained her Dowrie iustly gotten, she playing bankerout of her honour:Lewis pre­tends a cause to be diuorsed from Elenor, and restores her Guienne. hee calles a Councell at Baugency to haue her diuorsed, the which was granted, vnder colour of this farre fetcht consangunitie. But his desire was to bee freed from her. So retaining two Daughters, borne vnder the vale of their marriage: hee restores vnto Elenor all her Countrie of Guienne, that is, he puts into the hands of his furious enemie a Torche to set his whole Realme on fire: for so soone as shee sees her selfe freed from the sub­iection and feare of a husband, shee stayed not long to acquaint her selfe with Henry King of England, and Du [...]e of Normandie, Elenor marries with Henry King of Eng­land. the greatest and most capitall enemie that Lewis had. So hee obtained Guienne by the voluntary cession which Lewis made, to haue the better meanes to annoy him and his whole realme▪

D Moreouer, Lewis payde deerely for so great a discomoditie, for the Pope would not giue him a dispence to marrie againe, without a great summe of money, to be im­ployed in the warres of the Holy Land: and to finish this worke, hee tooke to Wife Constance, the Daughter of Alphonso King of Galicia, being a weake friend,Lewis marries againe. and farre off. This marriage was not greatly conuenient, neither for his owne quiet, not the peace of his subiects. This subiect of deadly rancor, encreasing the hatred of these two neighbour Mona [...]kes of France and England, burst forth soone by dangerous ef­fects. The benefit of the new purchase of Guienne, was the cause of that perrilous warre, the which had so long, and so lamentable a continuance. William Duke of Guienne, Grand-father by the Father to Queene Elenor, had marryed▪ the onely E Daughter of the first Raimond Earle of Tholouse, who had ingaged the sayd Countie to Raimond Earle of Saint Gilles, who since also called himselfe Earle of Tholouse, be­ing seized of the sayd Countie, and enioyed it quietly vnder the Kings obedience. Henry King of England offers the money to Raimond, to redeeme it,The first war betwixt France and England, for the Earle­dome of Tho­louse. and demands the Earledome as his Wiues right: Vpon his refusall, he armes, enters into Quercy, takes Cahors, spoiles the Countrie, and besiegeth Tholouse Lewis (intreated by Raimond) runnes to quenche this fire: Beeing arriued, and the two Armies readie to ioyne, a peace was made betwixt the two Kings, by the marriage of Marguerite the Daugh­ter of Lewis, with Henry the eldest Sonne of Henry King of England:The two kings reconci­led by a mar­riage. But for that shee was very young, and not yet mariageable, shee was deliuered into Henry the Fathers F hands, vntill shee were of fitte age to marry.

Lewis had now buryed his wife Constance, who left him but two Daughters, with­out any heyres male: so as being desirous to haue a successor, hee made no delay to matry, and tooke to his third Wife, Alix the Daughter of Thibaud Earle of Cham­pagne, [Page 150] his vassall,1151. and newly reconciled, but not greatly affected vnto him, vntill that A time. Hee had a Sonne presently by her, whom hee called Dieu Donné, or giuen of God, as an acknowledgement that God had sent him, at his and his subiects praiers, This is hee that shall succeed him. I should begin to describe his raigne, but order commands me to relate what happened, during the raigne of Lewis, in the neighbour nations of England and Italy, wherein Lewis had great crosses.

Henry King of England had two sonnes by Elenor: Richard and Geoffr [...]y: and by his first wife hee had Henry, who was made sure to Marguerit of France, of whom wee haue spoken. The Father caused him to be crowned, to settle him in his life time, and tyed the English vnto him by homage. A young Prince, ambitious, audatious, ill ad­uised and rash, who cannot long conteine himselfe with the taste of this new authori­tie,Notable trou­bles in Eng­land, betw [...] the father and the sonne. B but will play the King with his Father. And although his Fathers admonitions re­strained him for awhile: yet this ambitious humour still burst forth: So as the Father from milde admonitions came to threats, the insolencie of this young Prince increa­sing dayly: Some yeares passed whilest this fire lay smothered, very long for young Henry, to whom the Fathers life seemed too tedious, and the children of the second wife grew by the care of Elenor their Mother. Henry the Father, discontented with his Sonne, and fearing that in consumating the mariage betwixt him and the Daughter of France, the young Prince would grow proud, augmenting his traine and State, and (through the fauour of King Lewis his Father in Lawe) attempt something preiudici­all to his authoritie: Hee delayed the accomplishment of this marriage, although the C Virgin wer [...] of more then sufficient yeares to marrie. To this mischiefe was added an other more shamefull, for that Henry the Father caused this Princesse to bee carefully kept, the which should bee his Daughter in Lawe, fearing least his Sonne should vio­lently take her away,Prince Henry iealous of his owne father. and marry her. Elenor falles into iealousie, as if Henry had abused her: And it was easie to settle this conceit in her sonne in Lawe Henryes head, who had the chiefe interest in this delay: And to publish this scandolous report vnto the people, to make the old man more odious vnto the whole world. A malitious and importune woman, borne for a great plague to both these Estates. As men doe commonly adore the Sunne rising: so there wanted no Sicophants in Court to flatte [...] the cares of this young King, and likewise to incense the two Kings one against the other, in flattering D their passions.

Thus Henry transported by these occasions, complaines to Lewis of the double wrong his Father did him, both in the delay of his marriage, and deniall of his autho­ritie. And as Lewis at his request had giuen some admonitions vnto Henry, in the end this passionate young Prince came to Paris, where beeing well receiued, hee enters League with Lewis, to make warre against his Father, and to disquiet him in diuers parts. William King of Scotland is an associate, vpon condition that Henry shall giue him the Countrie of Northu [...]and adioyning vnto Scotland, for his charges in the warres. Henry the father (aduertised of all these preparations) moues not, hoping that reason should reclaime his Sonne, and to this end hee sends an honourable Am­bassage E to Lewis, and to his Sonne, being in France: the which made them more re­solute, an vsuall thing in such as are sought vnto. Elenor addes more to this dissenti­on (great enough of it selfe,The sonnes make warre against the Father.) to crosse the affaires of her old husband, with whom shee stood in very bad termes. Shee doth bandie her two Sonnes Richard and Geof­frey against the Father, causing them to ioyne with their Brother Henry, who is puft vp wonderfully here-with, hauing his bretheren for companions of his furie. The warre breakes forth amongst them, the Kings Armie enters into Normandie, the which obeyed the Father. Henry the Sonne takes some places, and ingageth some men of warre with great promises, and by great assurances of good, the which was not in his power to performe. Henry the Father (hauing prouided for England against Willi­am F King of Scottes) passeth into Normandie, where laye all the burthen of the warre and Armes with great speede: The coldnesse of his age was chased by the liuely ap­prehension of so many indignities. The greatest part of his subiects detested the [Page 151] A presumption of this Sonne, neither could they allowe of Lewis his proceedings,1155. who had done better in casting Water then Oyle, into this home-bred fire.Lewis supports the sonnes against the father. Lewis besie­geth Vernueil, and fearing to be forced to raise the siege, vnder colour of a parley with Henry ▪ he takes the Towne, and sends forces from other parts into England, to cause new broyles. Richard Duke of Guienne by his Mothers right, makes warre there: but all these vnlawfull attempts haue no successe. The French that passed into England are beaten: & Richard preuailes not against his Father, to whom most of the Citties yeeld daily, & leaue the Sonne. Richard drawne to his duty by the respects of Nature,But they pre­uaile not. which cannot be denied, & forced by necessitie, desires to parley with his Father. He is recei­ued into grace, and deales with his brother Henry for the like reconciliation. Lewis find­ing Henryes disposition, allowes of it. They send Ambassadors of either side. This vn­ciuill B & vnlawfull warre was ended by this accord.Henry King of England re­conciled to his sonnes. That the Father should re [...]aine alone in the Royall authoritie: acknowledged and obeyed of all his sonnes, that he should giue hono­rable allowances to eyther of them, according to their degrees: That the marriage of Henrie with Marguerite the eldest Daughter of King Lewis, should be consumated: and that Alix his other Daughter, should be giuen in marriage to Richard, the other Sonne of Henry, to make an absolute accord. Thus this Tragedie seemed to end with a Comedie: But there shall be change of subiects vpon another Scaffold.

As these things passed in England, Italy was nothing quieter, by the dissentions that were reuiued betwixt the Emperours and Pope. After the death of Conrad: Frederick C surnamed Barberousse, is created Emperour, of whom Histories yeeld an honourable testimonie of his wisdome and valour. Hauing pacified Germanie, he came into Ita­lie, to repaire the confusions bred both by long absence, and the death of Conrad. The Emperour hauing punished the Veronois and the Milanois, New dissenci­on betwix [...] the Emperor and Pope. had incensed Pope Adri­an, who supported them, (the factions of Guelphes and Gibelins beeing confusedly spred throughout all the Citties) so as hee was ready to excommunicate him, when as death stayed this storme, leauing it ready to his successors. The Schisme which grewe in the Sea of Rome by these factions, stayed the blowe, some hauing called Victor, as most affectionate to the Emperours partie [...] others Alexander, as his sworne enemie. To remedie this deuision, Frederick calles a Councell at Pauia, and sends to D both the Popes to come thether: Victor comes, and offers to performe what should be decreed. Alexander on the other side makes the old answer (these be the words of the Historie.) That the Pope was not to bee iudged by any man liuing, and that hee ney­ther ought, nor would appeare. The Councell being thus dissolued, without any good conclusion; the Emperour for the making of an accorde, intreates Lewis King of France; Henry King of England, and the Kings of Scotland and Bohemia, to meete in some conuenient place for a parley. Dijon was appointed, as bordering vpon the Em­pire: They meete, but their conference did aggrauate the quarrell. Lewis was wholy for Alexander, who had likewise gained the Venetians, and the greatest part of Italy. The issue of this pa [...]ley was open force, the which Frederick imployed against the Milanois being the principall cause of this dissention:Frederick the Emperor ru­ines Milan. whome hee did punish seuere­lie, E hauing taken, spoiled, and sackt their Cittie, ruined it vtterly, causing Salt to bee sowen there, & punishing the authors of this rebellion capitally. Alexander not able to resist Frederick, retires himselfe into France, from whence he planted his battery against the Emperour. The Milanois (sauing what they could in this shipwrack) begin to build their Citty, vnder the fauour of Pope Alexander, & to make new desseignes against Fre­derick, who returns into Italy, makes himselfe maister of Genoa, He takes Rom [...] and creates a new Pope. from whence their means came, defeats the Romaines in a pitched field, takes Rome, & causeth another Pope called Calixtus, to be created in the place of Alexander the 3. Alexander saues himselfe at Venice. Otho The sonne of Frederick folows after to take him with 75. galleis.Otho the Em­perors sonne ca [...]en by the Vene [...]ians. But the chance tur­ned, F for he himselfe was taken by Cian Generall of the Venetians, and carried prisoner to Venice. Thē Frederick grew more mild, & accepted of such conditions of peace as Alex­ander had prescribed. That he should craue absolutions on his knees, and himselfe should lead his armie into Asia. So as Frederick comes to Venice, and being prostrate at the Popes feet [Page 152] in a sollemne assemblie,1171. he asketh pardon. The Pope sets his foote vpon his neck, and A cries with a lowd voyce: Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis. The Emperour moued with this disgrace,The Emperor subiects him­selfe basely to the Pope. answers. Non tibi sed Petro. The Pope replies: Et mihi & Petro. This brauado of Alexander seemed so strange to some of his traine, as Theodore Mar­quis of Misnia, trembling and g [...]ashing his teeth with choller, was held back by the reines of respect: yet hee runnes to the Emperour and takes him vp. The Pope fea­ring least these Germaines should offer him some violence, beeing amazed, casts himselfe about Fredericks neck, whome euen now hee held vnder his feete, beseeching him to preserue him from his traine. The Emperour giues him his word, for hee was the stronger both within the Cittie and without, hauing humbled himselfe for no other respect, but for the reuerence of Religion, and the zeale of publick peace.B

This famous acte happened at Venice, in the yeare 1171. in the presence of the Ambassador of the Kings and Princes of the greatest States of Europe, that were Mediators of this Accord. From Venice, Frederick went into the East with a goodly Armie, according to his promise: And the dissention was well pacified by his humi­litie, but not altogether suppressed in Italy, for it reuiued afterwards, as wee shall see in the continuance of this Historie. Thus the Christians liued, whilest their enemies pre­uailed dayly in Asia, to the great and shamefull losse of all Christendome. Such was the estate of the Church and Empire, vnder the raigne of Lewis the 7.

1179. Lewis caused his sonne Philip to bee sollemnly Crowned at Rheims, at the age of foureteene yeares, in the yeare of Grace 1179. Hee betrothed him to Isabel the C Daughter of Baldwin Earle of Hainault, and hauing thus disposed of his affaires, hee dyed the yeare following 1180. An vnwise Prince, and vnhappy with all his polli­cies,Lewis dyes. leauing a Leuin of great miseries to his posteritie. Doubtlesse the greatest polli­cie is to bee an honest man. This assured peace caused the Vniuersitie of Paris to flourish, as farre as those obscure times would permit. Gratian, Peter Lombard, and Comesior, Complaints against the abuses of the Church. learned men liued in that age. The inexcusable confusion which raigned in the Church, was a iust subiect of complaint to the good, as appeares by the writings of Peter of Blois, Ihon de Saraburck Bishop of Chartres, and Bernard Abbot of Cistea [...]x, great and worthy men, Their Bookes liue after their deaths, wherein the wise Reader may see, an ample and free Commentary of D this Text, the which the Histori [...] suffers me not to dilate of.

PHILIP the 2. called Augustus, or Gods Gift, the 42. King of France.


A THe title of Augustus giuen to Philip, is worthy of his person and raigne: who not onely preserued the French Monarchie,An excellent King and an excellent raigne. amidst so many sorts of enemies and difficulties: but enlarged it with many Prouinces, (diuided to diuers proprietaries by Hugh Capet) and vnited them to the Crowne: for this cause hee was also called Conquerour.His dispositiō. The beginning of his raigne was a presage of happi­nesse, for there appeared in his face a great shew of a good disposi­tion, inclined to pietie, iustice, and modestie, being strong, quick, vigilant, valiant, and actiue. Hee did consecrate the first fruites of his raigne, to purge the corruptions which raigned among the people: Blasphemies, Playes, Dicing houses, publicke dis­solutions B in infamous places, Tauernes and Tippling houses. Hee made goodly lawes which our age reads and scornes, doing the contrary with all impuni [...]ie, but whilest he raigned they were duly obserued.

The Iewes were mightily dispersed throughout the Realme, who (besides their ob­stinate supe [...]stition, vsed excessiue Vsurie, and were supported for some great benefit, by the Pope and o [...]her Princes and States, where as they haue liberty at this day, to liue after their owne manner. Philip expelled them,The Iewes banished out of France. although they obtained a returne for money▪ yet in the end they were banished out of all the territories of the French obe­dience, and so continue vnto this day. This was a small apprentiship, and an entrance of much more happy paine, the which hee should vndergoe, both within and with­out C the Realme, in great and troublesome affaires, as a famous subiect worthy of his valour. England, Flanders, and Asia, prouided varietie and change of worke to imploy his raigne, the which continued fortie foure yeares: but the change of [Page 154] his intricate marriages troubled him more then all his affaires,1190. as the progresse of our A discourse will shew.

In the beginning there was emulation who should be neerest to gouerne him. Philip Earle of Flanders, and the Duke of Guienne were competitors. The one as Vnckle to the young Queene Isabell his wife,Competitors for the gouer­ment of the state. and named by his Father Lewis: The other as his neerest Kinsman, and both the one and the other had great meanes to preuaile: but Richard was the stronger, as well by the Kings fauour, as by the forces of England, of whence he was an In [...]ant▪ and well beloued of Henry his brother, who then raigned. Behold the King is imbarked against the Earle of Flanders, by the aduise of his Coun­cell: The subiect of their quarrell was for Vermandois, which the Earle enioyed, the King demanded it, being no longer his, by the decease of Alix dead without chil­dren,B and therefore must returne to the Crowne: From wordes they go to armes. Their troupes being in field and ready to fight▪ a peace was made, with this condition. That Count Philip should enioy Vermandois,Troubles in Flanders for the Earldome of Vermandois during his life, and after his decease it should returne to the Crowne. But this peace continued not long among these Princes. The King could not loue his Wife Isabel; It seemes this was the cheefe cause of the dislike the King had against the Earle of Flanders her Vncle. In the end hee put her away, in the yeare 1188. from which time Philip loued Richard Duke of Guienne.

But this good agreement continued not long, by reason of another cōtrouersie betwixt him and the English. Margu [...]rite the Daughter of Lewis the 7. sister to Philip, marryed to Henry of England as wee haue said, dyed then without Children. Philip doth pre­sently C redemand his Sister [...] dow [...]ie,Hen [...]y, sonne to H [...]n [...]y the 1. King of Eng­land, dyes be­fore the father which was the Countrie of Vexin. The King of England is loth to leaue the possession, so as they fall to Armes and the mischiefe increa­sed by this occasion. Henry, first sonne to old Henry dyed▪ Richard Duke of Guienne his brother, (who might haue compounded this quarrell) being called to the Crowne, embraceth the action with all eagernesse: And to crosse Philip by an important diuersion, (like to olde Henry) auoides the blowe in Normandie, and enters Languedoc by Guienne into the Countie of Thol [...]usa, renuing the old quarrel he had against Count Raimond. Philip being assailed in two places, is nothing amased: Hauing leuied an Armie with all celeritie,Warre with England. hee enters the English pale. Where he sodenly takes Chasteau­caux, Busa [...]cais, Argenton, Leuroux, Montrichard, Montsor [...]au, Vandosme, with other D Townes: and passing on, hee batters and takes Mans: and hauing waded through the Riuer of Loire, he presents himselfe before Tours, which yeelds at the terror of his for­ces.Philip of Fr [...]nce and Ric [...]ard of England make [...] peace. Old Henry amazed at the sodaine valour of this yong Prince, faints, and oppressed with grie [...]e, dyes at Chinon, in the yeare 1190. leauing his Realme to his Sonne Ri­chard, but no [...] his Mal [...]ce: For presently after his Coronation, hee concludes a peace wi [...]h [...]hilip vpon a cause very honourable to them both.

The Christians affaires in Asia declined still▪ The Pope perswaded the Kings of France and England with many reasons,The Christi­ans [...]st [...] in Asi [...] very mi­serable. and the zeale of the common interest of Chri­stendome, made them resolue. They became good friends, with an intent to make a voyage together to the Holy Land, to the incredible content of all their sub [...]ects. But E whilest they prepare for this voyage, let vs passe into Asia, to visit the afflicted Christi­ans. After the fruitlesse returne of the Emperor Conrad, and of Lewis King of France, things went from bad to worse, hauing caused the Christian forces to loose their repu­tation with the Turkes, being growne proud with this vaine shew of Armes. Baldwin dyes after the fruitlesse attempts of these great Princes: Amaulry his Brother suc­ceeds him▪ who toyled himselfe in Egipt, against Sultan Sarracon, and Saladin his suc­cessor: Hee was releeued by the comming of Fredericke Barbarousse, who failed not to performe what he had promised to Pope Alexander. But the Christians found small comfort in his comming: The forces of the Empire (which were great) being disper­sed by the death of the Emperour. Amaulry likewise dyes, who leaues one Sonne F named Baldwin, both yong and a Lepar, so as hauing voluntarily resigned the charge, finding himselfe vnfit, he did inuest his Nephew Baldwin, the sonne of William Long­sword, Marquis of Mon [...]errat, and of Sibell his Sister: and considering the weaknesse [Page 155] A of his age, he appoints Raimond Earle of Tripoli for his Tutor.1121. Hence sprung a horri­ble dissention among the Christians: for Sibille (by whom the right came to Baldwin her sonne, after the death of Marquis William) was married to Guy of Lusignan, who was seized of the yong Infant. Hee is now his Tutor by force, the child dyes, and Guy of a Tutor becomes a King,The Christi­ans in Asia at Ciuill warres. (not without great suspition of treacherie against the Infant) and in the end they fall to warre. Euery one doth strengthen himselfe for this goodly realme; and they are incensed with greater fury, then when they ioyntly made warre against the Infidels. Guy seekes for succour of Saladin Sultan of Egipt, who em­braceth this occasion, and runnes with a great Armie to besiege Tiberiades. The Chri­stians assemble and are defeated in a set battaile. The Crosse is taken by Saladin and B carried in triumph. Then was Tripoly deliuered into his hands,The Infidels make their profit by their dissentions. and the Earle Raymond found dead in his bedd, when as hee should haue raigned; to teach all men how to trust Infidels. Saladin passeth on, he beeseegeth, takes and sacks Ierusalem, and in this amazement, Ptolomais, Azot, Baruth and Ascalon yeeld vnto him. These victorious conquests of Saladin, were accompanied with great mildnesse to the people whome he had subdued, that by this wise course, the Miscreant might incounter the Christi­ans disorders, by a notable example of vertue. Moreouer, there happened another tragicall confusion: Alexis a young man of fifteene yeares,The Emperor of Greec [...] mur­thered by his Tutor. sonne to Emanuell the Emperour (issued from that Alexis, of whom wee haue spoken in the beginning of this Easterne warre) was cruelly slaine by his Tutor Andronicus, and he himselfe after­ward, C by Isaac, and the people of Constantinople, who had called him to the Empire. Such was the sick estate of the East, when as our Kings were solicited to go and visit it, in the yeare 1190.

Philip calles a Parliament at Paris to settle his estate: they disswade him from the voyage, but zeale transported him, and made him fight with impossibilities: So great efficacie this resolution had to go to this warre, which seemed to be the gaine of their soules health, as the Historie saith,King Philip & Ric [...]a [...]d King of England made a vo [...]age to the East. great charges were imposed vpon such as went not the voyage, to pay the tenth of all their reuenues, both spirituall and temporall, called for this occasion the Saladins Tenths. Richard King of England came with ma­nie Dukes, Marquises, Earles, Barons, great Lords, and an infinite number of young D Gentlemen. The Kings sweare a brotherly and inuiolable League:The great [...] a­mong Kings breeds con­tempt and hatred. but the continuall and priuate entercourse by the way, bred a familiaritie, and this familiarity engendred a contempt, and contempt hatred, as the course of the History will shew. A notable lesson for Kings and Princes, to teach them how farre they should conuerse familiar­lie. Hauing crossed the Seas with some difficulties, in the end they come into Syria. The losse of the Crosse made them to besiege Acon, the which they take very valiant­lie, after great losse of their men: but the Crosse would not bee found, As the Ori­ginall saieth

The plague fell among their troupes: euery one talkes of returning. Philip speakes [...] indisposition. Richard made some difficultie, least that Philip in his [...]b [...]ence should attempt some thing in his territories of France. Philip hauing assured him by othe, returnes, and passing by Rome, comes safe into France: Hauing left the greatest part of his forces in the East, vnder the command of Odo Duke of Bourgong­ne. Richard remaining alone, was better obeyed of the Armie, and atchiued great and memorable exploits against Saladin, being already amazed by the taking of Acon. Richard King of Englandhis exploits in Asia [...] Gaza and Iaffa, hauing repeopled them with Christian Colonies, and vainquished Saladin in batta [...]le: From thence he resolued to besiege Ierusalem; but as hee was kept from this enterprise by reason of the Winter, so was hee forced to leaue Asia vppon this occasion, and returne into England. During his voyage and Philips, there had passed some vnkinde speeches, by reason of Alix Sister to Philip, and the wife F of Richard, who in great disdaine said: That he had neuer toucht her: & that she should neuer come neere him, blaming her, as if shee had beene prodigall of her honour, by a monstrous Incest with his Father. Notwithstanding all shewes at their parting, [Page 156] yet this did sticke in Philippes stomake,1061. who at his returne found his Sister Alix at Saint A Germaine in Laie, whether she was retired, expecting his returne, who failed not to seeke all means of reuenge: Richard had left his brother Iohn in England to gouerne the State in his absence. Philippe solicitts him and promiseth him all his meanes, with his Sister Alix (being vnworthely reiected) for a gage of his loue.Philippe st [...]rs vp Iohn against his brother Rich­ard King of [...]ngland. But Elenor the mother of these Princes, kept Iohn in awe from ioyning openly with Philip against his absent brother, yet could she not restraine Iohn from giuing his word to Phillip, who failes not to seaze couertly, seing his faith plighted and the reuerence of the cause which held Richard from his house would not suffer him to worke openly. So he takes Gisors by intelligence, and all the other Townes of Vexin, which were in controuersie. These newes gaue Richard iust cause to resolue vpon his returne: but it cost him deere, for B Saladin (whom he had kept in awe sence the taking of Acon, Richard mak [...] a truce with Saladin vpon vnreasonable conditions.) well informed of his ne­cessity & resolution, makes him to buy a truce for fiue yeares at a deere rate: yeelding him vp all that had beene taken sence the comming of the two kings into Asia, and so the Bloud, Time and Cost, spent in this conquest, were lost in an hower by the ill gouernment of our Kings.

Richard hauing left the absolute comande of the affaires of Asia, to Henry Earle of Campegne, takes his way for England; but as he came to Vienna, in Austria, he was knowne and staied,Richard King o [...] England stai [...]d by the Emperour, & m [...]de to pay a ra [...]ome. first by Leopold Duke of Austria, and then by Henry the Emperor, for some discontent he had against him. Thus Richard was retained 22. monethes, and not deliuered but for a ransome of an houndred thousand pounds sterling, which was C then a great and notable summe. This was the successe of that long and dangerous Easterne voiage, crossed with so many toyles, takings and yeeldings vp; and with such troublesome consequences for both Kings and both Realmes: for the quarrell ended not vpon King Richards release out of prison as we shall see. Richard being returned in­to England, Strange mar­riages of P [...]i­lip.he sought all meanes of reuenge for the Wrongs he supposed to haue recey­ued vnworthely of Philip in his absence and calamitie. But let vs returne to Philip, he had put a way Isabel, & taken Alix the daughter of the King of Hungary, who liued not long with him. She being dead, he tooke Gelberge sister to the King of Denmarke, whom likewise he put away, and in her place married Marie the daughter of the Duke of Mo­rauia. After a long and bitter controuersie vpon the repudiation of Gelberge, the king D remaning obstinate in his resolution, yet in end he receiued her againe beyond al hope and ended his daies with her, sending backe Marie with honorable meanes to liue in this kind of sollitary life, in manner of a widow. But our Inuentary may not excuse it selfe vpon the breuitie of the stile, without reporting the manner which Philip held in receyuing Gelberge after so long and obstinat a sute. The King of Denmarke pursued vehemently in the Court of Rome; for the honor and quiet of his sister reiected Philip not able to auoyd the decision of the cause: And yet resolute not to receiue Gelberge, prepares his Aduocates to shew the reasons which had moued him to put her away. The cause was to bee pleaded before the Popes Legate in the great Hall of the Bi­shops Pallace at Paris; thether they runne of all sides. In this great and sol­lemne E assembly, Philipps Aduocates pleaded wonderfullie well for him against his wife, but no man appeared for her. As the Cryer had demanded three times if there were any one to speake for Gelberge, and that silence should be held for a con­sent: behould a yong man vnknowne, steppes forth of the presse, and demands audi­ence:An Aduocate vnknowne pleads against the King for his wife Gel­berge. It was granted him with great attention. King Philip assisting, euery mans ears were open to heare this Aduocate, but especially Philipps, who was toucht and rauished with the free and plaine discourse of truth which he heard from the mouth of this newe Aduocate, so as they might perceiue him to change his counte­nance. After this young man had ended his discourse, hee returnes into the presse againe, and was neuer seene more, neither could they learne what he was, who had F sent him, nor whence he came. The Iudges were amazed, and the cause was remitted to the Councell.P [...]ilip relents [...]nd takes Gel­berge againe. Philip without any stay in Court, goes to Horse, and rides presently to Bois de Vincennes, whether he had confined Gelberge: hauing imbraced her, hee [Page 157] A receiues her into fauour, and passed the rest of his dayes with her in nuptiall loue.1193 By Isabel he had Lewis ▪ the 8 of that name, whome (during his life) he imployed in affaires, and left him the Crowne, But the peace of his house was blemished by these crooked changes, whereby we may obserue by the disquieted mind of this worthy Prince, that there is nothing absolutly perfect in humain affaires. He which could surmount the insolencies of his enimies, could not vanquish his owne passions. He that could get else. where, could not preserue that which was most pretious, that is, the peace of his howse and of his bed: and which is more of his soule: who could not liue quietly a midest these contynual debates bred and norished in his bosome. This was the banket which was prepared for him at his returne, after so many bro [...]les passed in the voiage of the [...]ast. B Flanders and England ministred him matter of troubles all his life time, [...] had [...]oudry w [...]rres [...] King of Eng­land and [...] Earle of F [...]an­d [...]rs. and he requited his enemies with the like, ouer whome he had victorious aduantages, Bal [...]wine Sonne to Baldwin Earle of Hainault and Namur, called the fourth, and of Marguerit of Alsatia the Heire of Flaunders, by the decease of her brother Philip, (dead of late in the East,) was then seased of these goodly Seigneuries: wherevnto he had added Vermandois, the which he pretended to belong vnto him by a certaine agreement: but in effect it was by the right of conueniencie: the which he had seazed on in Philips absence▪ who at his returne recouered it from him by force, with the countrey of Artois; the which he gaue to his Sonne Lewis being now growne great, who tooke possession and receyued ho­mage from them of the Country. Moreouer Philip caused Bauldwin, to doe homage C(as his vassal,) for Flanders and other Lands of the Low countries, noted by that name at Paris, according to the sollemnities required: from thence he marcheth into Normandie, takes Gisors and the Country of Vexin, giuing it for a dourie to his sister Alix being put away by Richard; whome he had married againe to the Earle of Ponthieu. But sodenly there are complaints from England. That Phlilip did breake his promise. He replies. That seing his sister was nothing to Richard, there was no [...] reason he should enioye her doury. But this quarrell must proceed farther. Richard, receiues his brother Iohn in­to fauour, and pardons what is past, so as he will serue him faithfully against Philip, and be no more seduced by his practises It chanced moreouer that Otho of Saxony, the Son of Richards sister, was chosē Emperour, in his absence, being then in England, frō whence D he presently departs, assisted with his Vncles meanes, the which hereafter shall import him much▪ Richard seing how much Tholouse did import him for his countries of Guienne, enters into a strict League of friendship with Raymond Earle of Tholouse, thē a widower by the death of Constance, Aunte to Philip, giuing him Ioane his sister in marriage, the wi­dowe of Willam King of Sicilia.

Al these were preparatiues of great warre against France. And could Baldwine Earle of Flanders be wel satisfied being intreated as we haue seene? Richard ioynes with him. They resolue to make warre against Phi [...]ip in diuers places, Hauing assembled fo [...]ces their, Bal­dwine ente [...]s into Artois, Richard into Vexin (contries then in Controuersie wherby reasō the warre should begin, seing the processe was bred there, Philip without any amaze­ment E prouids for Artois, sending forces thether vnder the command of his Sonne Lewis. Warres with Richard King of England. He himselfe marcheth in person against Richard, who beseeged Corceeile, the which he releeued in despight of him▪ Richard not able to hinder these souccors, takes his way into the Contrie of Beauuoisin and spoyles it, Phillip doth the like in Normandy. All tends to trouble, by the willfulnes of these two Princes: when as the Pope (some say Celestin others Innocent .3.) sends his Noncio to exhort them to peace. This perswasion staied it not, but only made a diuersion of their armes: for Richard supposing that Philip could not auoide the blow, being ingaged in Nomandie, he marcheth into Berry, and being as­sisted w [...]th all his forces of Guienne, beseegeth Yssoudun, hauing wasted and spoyled all the country. Philip beseeged Vernon (although the name be diuersly coated Vernon F Vernueil or Aumale) he leaues the Towne and flies to Richard to draw him to fight: who finding himselfe to weake retyres to his towne & Philip returnes to his seege, and wins the Towne not withstanding all the attempts of Richard, who now takes breth to seeke his reueng; but God had otherwise disposed, with whome all Princes ought to ac­coumpt [Page 158] for their actions,1223. who laughes at men when they vexe themselues most.A During his aboade at Limoges, hee was aduertised that one of his men at armes had found a great treasure in the ground. This Souldiar fearing to bee ill rewarded by Ri­chard, flies to a small Towne of Limosin, which the Historie called Caalac or Cailus, held by the French: although it were of the Prouince of Guienne, then belonging to the English. Richard besiegeth it, but as hee approched too neere the walles, hee was wounded with an Arrow in the left arme. His desire to follow this siege, makes him to neglect his wound, which impaires not being drest: He takes the Towne, but the man saues himselfe, hauing hidden his treasure, so as Richard tooke not the treasure which hee hunted after, with a desire so vnseemely for a great Prince, but insteed of taking gold,Richard King of England dyes. death surprised him, who leauing his life vpon so light an occasion, leaues a no­table B example of the vanitie of this world, in the lightnesse of humaine spirits, who suf­fer themselues to bee transported with couetousnesse, a miserable councellor both to great and small. This death did somewhat temper the bitternesse of their dissentions, but it did not quench it betwixt France and England.

Iohn had right to succeed in the Realme of England, as brother suruiuing the King deceased;Iohn succeeds Richard, and makes peace with Philip. but Arthur Duke of Brittanie, sonne to Geoffrey the other brother: as wee haue said, pretended the Crowne to belong vnto him, as the sonne of the elder, Elenor their mother being yet liu [...]ng. Iohn was receiued by the English, so as being in possessi­on, he had the better and stronger title. Philip fauoured Arthur, but hee meant to make his profit of the Brothers d [...]uision, and to keepe the stakes. Being sought vnto by C Iohn the new King of England, (who had then nothing of greater import then his friendship.) hee concludes a peace with him, vpon condition: That Iohn should yeeld vp all that his Brother had taken in Berry, and neuer pretend any thing of that which Philip had taken Vexin in these latter warres: and that Elenor (Mother to Iohn) Duchesse of Guienne, should doe homage to the King for that Prouince, as depending of the Crowne of France. This a [...]cord is ratified by a new alliance, the which encrea­sed no loue. Lewis the Sonne of Aug [...]stus, takes to Wife Blanche the Daughter of Alphonsus King of Castill, War betwixt Iohn King of England, and Art [...]ur his Nephew. and of Iohns Sister, being his Neece. In the meane time Philip fauours Arthur vnder-hand, who (assisted by his meanes) takes the Cittie of Tours to his great content. Arthur doth him homage presently for the Countries of D Touraine, Aniou and Maine, and so passeth on and takes Mir [...]eau, where Elenor his G [...]and-mother was, resoluing to proceed on further, but the Almightie GOD stayed his course. For Iohn comes, besiegeth and takes Mircbeau againe, and Arthur his Nephew likewise.

Iohn murthers his Nephew Art [...]ur. Elenor extreamly afflicted with these diuisions, dyes for griefe, and Iohn puts his Ne­phew Arthur (whom he held Prisoner) to death, to extinguish all controuersies, for the title [...]f the Realme: although this death were cloaked as accidentally falne out for sorr [...]w.The cau [...]e of a cruell warre. Hence sprung a cru [...]ll Warre: Constance the Mother of Arthur Duchesse of Brittanie, demands Iustice of Philip, as her Soueraigne: Philip adiornes Iohn, and (for not appealing) hee condemnes him as guiltie of the crime imposed,Iohn declared [...] of mur­the [...] & felony by [...] and of fellonie,E in dis [...]beying of his commandements. Hee proclaimes him an enemie, and doth confiscate all hee held of the Crowne. This sentence is seconded by open force, to make the execution thereof more easie: The Brittons and Poiteuins, (wonderfully greeued with this cruell fact) arme and come to Philip. So Iohn abandoned of all, flies to Pope Innocent the third, accusing Philip of the breach of his faith, in making Warre against him. Innocent the third declaring that the breache of faith belonged properly to his authority, and so by consequence carrying himselfe for Soueraigne Iudge of the c [...]ntrouersie betw [...]xt the two Kings: commands both the one and the other, to laye aside Armes▪ and to suffer the Churches in peace: threatning to cursse his realme that should disobey his authority.Pope Innocent [...]rposeth his authority. Philip shewes, that hee hath neyther broken his faith F nor peace with Iohn: But that hee being his vassaile, had slaine his Nephew, in the territories of his obedience, as it appeared by good proofes, so as it was not rea­sonable the holye authoritie of the Church, should serue as a defence or support [Page 158] A for his impunity in so detestable a crime, seeing the punishments of subiects and vas­sals,1201. appertained to the Prince by all diuine and humane Lawes. But there were new complaints to the Pope against Philip: that finding himselfe oppressed with war, he imposed certain tenths vpon the Clergy, to ease the people, who complayned of their burthens. He did not exact this of the Church by his owne decree, but had as­sembled a Nationall Councell at Soissons to that end. The Pope said, this was done against his authority, and not onely threatned Philip by his Censure, but also all the Clergy that had assisted at this Assembly. Philip lets him vnderstand; That (touching the Clergy of the Realme) it was necessary that out of their aboundance they should helpe to beare the charge for their common preseruation: the which hee would dis­charge B when as the necessity ceassed. And hauing thus sent backe, the Popes Noncio, he pursues Iohn, so as in fewe dayes he becomes master of all Normandy, the which had beene deuided from the Crowne since the yeare 88 [...] ▪ as we haue said.

Normandy beeing thus reduced to obedience, with an admirable celerity.Philip takes Normandy & Poitou from Iohn. Poitou doth likewise yeeld vnto him. Iohn vppon this Alarum comes to Rochelle, and from thence passeth into Aniou, but in vaine. He takes and vnpeoples Angers, and seekes to seize vpon Brittaine, being well garded through the care of their Duke Guy; so as hee knowes not which way to turne him: when as sodainly behold new occasions in Flan­ders, the which he feedes all he can to kindle newe troubles, whereby he hopes to finde some rest: but his death shall seale all these toyles, as due punishments for his blind couetousnesse and horrible paricide. He seekes all meanes possible to trouble Philip C with the ruine of France: Flanders ministers matter by this meanes. We haue former­ly spoken of Baldwin Earle of Flanders, after he had done his homage to Philip, he re­solues to passe into Asia to succor the afflicted Christians. Hee had two Daughters, Ioane and Marguerit, the which hee left in the gard of Philip Earle of Namour their Vncle, with the Kings good lyking; who required the eldest to giue her in marriage to Ferrand of Portugall to the dislike of the Flemings; and in the end he tooke her him­selfe, when as he hoped for profit. Iohn imploying all his meanes, he first vseth this in­strument to oppose him against Philip in his ayde.Great ene­mies against Philip. Otho the Emperor his Nephewe ioynes with him in such sort, as France was in great danger of ruine, by so great for­ces, in so resolute an Enterprise.

D Philip takes counsell for his passage into England finding so good successe in his af­fayres. Ferrand hauing openly in Counsell disswaded this attempt, shewing it to bee both vniust and impossible, he made many of the cheefe to wauer, ouer whom Philip commanded with great respect, and among the rest, Reginold Earle of Bullen, of whom he had great neede, for his descent into England. Holding him in suspect, he sought to make triall of his faith, offering him a French Garrison, the which he refused; where­upon Philip comes to Bullen, where the people giue him entry, and Count Regnauld (descouering himselfe) retires into Flanders to Ferrand. The league was great against Philip, being incountred by two so great enemies, neighbours and vnited:A dangerous league against Philip. but Otho the Emperor swaid most▪ hauing promised to assist Iohn his Vncle with all his meanes in E this warre. But the issue of this great League was not answerable to their desseigne. Philip foresees this storme, and resolues to preuent it. Hee goes to field, seizeth vpon Cassal, Ypre, and Lisle, and takes assurance of the Citties of Gand and Bruges, imploying his sonne Lewis in these exploits, hauing meanes thereby to be in sundry places, by so faithfull a Lieutenant. On the other side, Count Ferrand falls vpon Tournaisis, and ha­uing taken Tournay, he crosseth Philips disseignes, Iohn hauing sent an Army to Sea-defeats the Kings Fleete at Dan, and hauing passed into France, he recouers Poitou. In the meane time, the Emperor Otho comes downe with a great and mighty army, in the which they number a hundred and fifty thousand foote, and a notable troupe of horse F not specified. There were great Captaines on eyther side. Against the King were Ferrand and Reg [...]old resolute men, who had fury and hope to incourage them. Otho the Emperour brought his honour with the Imperiall Eagle in the view of all Europe. Iohn hauing intelligence of some stirres in England, returnes with speede, leauing his [Page 159] army to his Confederats,1215. and prouiding to send vnto them vpon all occasions. On A Philips side, his greatest aduantage was in his owne person, which did shine like the Sunne. Lewis likewise was there; Odo Duke of Bourgongne, and the Earle of S. Pa [...]l held the first rankes. The common souldiars were nothing inferiour to their enemies in courage. Yet the surmo [...]nted them in nomber and expectation of victory: for who would doubt, but the greatest number should vanquish. But the soueraigne Iudge of victories had otherwi [...]e decreed; whom Philip had called on, in this extreame danger. He sought to incounter his enemies a part, but God had prepared him a greater tri­umphe in a greater Combate. The Armies were betwixt Lisle and Tournay, where there was a Riuer to be passed by a bridge. Philip takes it, and whilest the Army pas­sed in their rankes, he sleepes; being awaked, they giue him intelligence, that the Em­peror B had pas [...]ed the Riuer at a Foard, meaning to charge him behinde. Philip when he had prayed vnto God (a circumstance very profitablie obserued in the history) meaning to preuent him; he causeth those troupes to turne head which had passed the Riuer, and that with such celerity, as they came vpon their enemies backes. The Combate was furious on eyther side, vnder the most famous Ensignes of the world. On the one side, was the Eagle holding a Dragon in his Talents: on the otherside, the Auriflaine or standard of France. The Germaines, Dutch and English, shot at the King, the French at the Emperor. the King was in extreame danger, ouerthrowne vnder his horse,Philip in dan­ger o [...] his life in the battell. the which was slaine, and rescued by Hugh of Marueil. The fame of which fact, is more honourable to his posterity, then the Lordship of Ville-bois which C was giuen him by the King, in recompence of so worthy a seruice. The Emperor Otho hauing fought valiantly, was in great danger, and had fallen into the Kings hands, as the Earles Ferrand and Reginald did, hauing performed as much as Great and Valiant Captaines might do.Philip [...] victory at B [...]uen [...] a­gainst the Em­peror. But God would punish (both in the Emperour and in them) the rashnesse of an vnnecessary war. The slaughter was great on either side: bloud vn­iust [...]y spilt through ambition and couetousnes were reprochfull causes of a voluntary losse. The signes of an absolute victory remayne to our Augustus. The Field, Ensignes yea and the Imperiall Eagle, (the which was torne insteed of tearing) the chiefe com­manders, the Campe and the dead bodies. Philip added Clemency to this victory of his valour, dismissing all the baser prisoners, and honouring the Nobility with good D vsage,Ferrand and R [...]gnal [...] priso­ners led in triump [...]. and their liberty. He retained Ferrand and Regnald prisoners, whom he accused of ingratitude and rashnes, to haue rebelled without cause against their Lord and be­nefactor▪ he led them in t [...]iumphe to Paris, where he made a stately entry, drawing them chayned in Litters, and condemned them to perpetual prison. Regnald to Pironne and Ferrand to the Lovure at Paris. All France made Bonfires, for this happy successe: and Philip built a Temple in honor of the holy Virgen which de called Victory, nere vn­to Senlis. By a decree of the Parlament at Paris, the Earledome of Flanders was ad­iudged vnto the King as forfeited who gaue it againe to Iane the heyre of the sayd Earledome, being not guilty of her husbands trechery.

This memorable victory called the battel of Bovuens chanced in the yeare 1215. the E 25. of Iuly. To make his triumph absolute, Philip gaue free passage to the Germaines; and Otho the Emperor being returned to his house (willingly resigned the Empire, & died of a pining griefe,The Emperor di [...]s for gr [...]e [...]e of his lo [...]e & di [...]grace. which neuer left him after that shamefull flight, hauing willing­ly sought his owne misery: in supporting wrong against right, and serching danger, to perish in danger. A notable example which shewes; That victories come from the Eternall, that mortall man dies before his time by his owne rashnes, and that no vn­iust warre can bee succes [...]efull.

But what shall become of Iohn the onely motiue of this warre? while the Empe­ror, and the Earles of Flanders and Bullen (great Princes whom he had imbarked) be at warre; hee remaines at home free from blowes attending the euent. Seeing his F Confederates thus defeated, hee feares the whole storme will fall vppon him, what doth hee? hee playes at Double or Quit, and flies to Innocent the fourth as to his Sanctuary. And being forced to saue his Estate in this extremity, he resolues to giue [Page 160] A him a good part. The Popes hatred, with the power of France, was the last end of his downe fall. The Pope had excommunicated him, not onely for the parricide of his Nephew Arthur, but for the ill vsage of his Clergie. To purchase so difficult an ab­solution, there needed a great satisfaction. He therefore sends confident men in all hast to Innocent 4. humbly beseeching him to pitty him in his calamity.Iohn makes the realme of England tribu­tarie to the Pope. That if it would please him to receiue him into fauour, and protect him against the King of France, he would bind the realme of England and Seigneurie of Ireland, to hold of him and his successors, and in signe of obedience to pay him a yearely tribute of a thousand markes of siluer. This franke offer caused Iohns Ambassadors to be well entertained. Innocent [...]ends his Legat presently to absolue him, to passe the contract, and to receyue the homages of fealtie, as well of B himselfe as of his subiec [...]. Iohn is absolued, & hauing laid his Crowne, Scepter, Cloake Sword and King; (the royal enseigns of a King) at the Legats feet,Iohn doth ho­mage to the Popes Legate. he doth him homage for his realme of England, kissing his feete as his tributarie; and binds the English to the like duty by a sollemne oth. He was also willing to discharge that which he had taken from his Clergie. This shalbe the means to make him loose both his estate and life. This hapned in the yeare 1215. These things performed in England, the Legate re­turnes into France, and denonceth vnto Philip in the Popes name. That hee should suffer Iohn to enioyne his realme of England in peace, and freely to possesse the lands which he held by homage of the Crowne of France. Moreouer that he should satisfie the great complaints which the Clergie of his realme had made against him, restoring that which he had exacted C from them during the warres, vpon paine of excommunication, if hee did not presently obey. Philip promiseth to submit himselfe: and before the Legates departure, hee frees the Clergie of his realme of the tenths which he had exacted for the charge of the warres, according to the decree of a Nationall Councell held at Soissons.

Iohn liues at peace in England, for that which concerned Philip ▪ but see, hee is the in­strument of his owne miserie. Being exhaust of meanes, through the long and charge­able warres, wherewith England had beene afflicted, hee had bound himselfe to the Pope, to restore vnto the Clergie, all such summes of money as he had extorted from them, during his troubles▪ and for want of paiment, he sees an excommunication rea­die, the which was reuoked, but vpon condition of obedience.Iohns oppres­sion o [...] his sub­iects the cause of his ruine. Thus freeing the Cler­gie, D he sur-chargeth the people: and pressed by the Pope to satisfie his command, hee oppresseth his subiects, by extraordinarie impositions, and tyrannicall exactions, ad­ding force to his commands. So as it fell out, that as hee could not helpe the one with­out hurting of the other, and that the people hate him commonly, that wrongs them: behold the English make strange complaints in Parliament against Iohn, who doth in­cense them the more by his rigorous answers. The English seeing themselues reiected by their King, flie to extraordinarie remedies: and being denyed iustice by him that should giue it they seeke it else where, chosing a King in the place of a Tyrant. France was their onely refuge in these extremities,The English reiect [...]ohn an [...] offer the realme to Philip. and therefore they send the chiefe Noble­men of the realme to Philip, to offer him the Crowne of England, promising to obey E him as their lawfull King. Philip (who desired nothing more) makes shewe to refuse it: pretending both the truce made with Iohn, and his worde passed to the Pope, but vnder hand he sends them his sonne Lewis, his faithfull Lieutenant, giuing him a traine fitt for his person in so great an exploite.

Lewis hauing taken hostages of the English, (for assurance of their faith,Lewis of France recei­ued by the English.) hee passeth into England, being receiued of them all with great ioy, as the Prince from whom they attended their health and quiet▪ Hee makes his entrie into London, which was the Rendezvous of his most confident friends, and by their example many Ci [...]ties come and offer him obedience. In the meane time, complaints come to Philip from Pope Innocent, as if hee had broken his faith: and threats, if hee did not repaire it. Philip F denies any breach of faith.The Po [...]e sends to Philip [...]or Iohn They bee (sayd he) the discontents of the English against Iohn, whom they accuse to haue slaine Arthur their lawfull King: and hauing free li­bertie to make a new election, they repaired to his Sonne, who was of age to gouerne himselfe, for whose errors hee was not answerable. But attending the end of this sute, [Page 161] let vs returne to England. 1217. Iohn held strong places; Winchester (whether hee had reti­red A himselfe) Windolisor or Windsor, The Pope [...]ends to Philip for Iohn. Norwiche and Douer, hee had likewise factions in other Citties. Lewis (hauing receiued homage from many of them) commandeth his Armie to marche, to reduce the Citties to obedience, who for the most part recei­ued him willingly. Norwiche yeeldes without any dispute: from thence hee goes to Douer, (hauing attempted the Captaine by meanes of his brother, whom hee held pr [...]soner,) hee resolues to take it by force, and in the meane time hee beseegeth Windsor by some Noblemen of his partie. Iohn sleepes not, hee makes a vertue of necessitie, imploying all his meanes to leuie men, and to keepe what remained. But behold an accident which ends both his sute and his life. One of his Captaines brings him certaine troupes to releeue Winchester, where hee attended the siege▪ but they were B charged by Lewis his men. Iohn seeing his people to perish, some by the Sword, and the rest drowned, flying to saue themselues, oppressed in his conscience, not able to endure the reuenging furies of his Nephews bloud vniustly spilt, hee falles to a des­pairing griefe,King Iohn dies for griefe. and shortlye after dyes, suffering the punishment of his iniustice and crueltie. Leauing a notable example and president to all men, neuer to hope for good by doing euill, although the offender growe obdurate by the delaye of pu­nishment. This was after eighteene yeares patience, during the which Iohn raigned with much trouble, a slaue to his furious passions, the which is a cruell and insuppor­table commander.

The English ch [...]nge their opinion.Thus the decree of Gods iust iudgement against Iohn the parricide, was put in exe­cution C in the yeare 1217. But this death of Iohn did not settle Lewis in his new roy­altie, as it was expected. The discontent of the English dyes with Iohn, and the loue of their lawfull Prince reuiues in his Sonne Henry. God limits the bounds of States, which mans striuing cannot exceede. The Sea is a large Ditche to deuide England from France: the Pyrenei Spaine: and the Alpes Italy, if audatious Ambition and Couetousnesse would not attempt to force Nature. The English (pleased with his death that made them to languish) cast their eye▪ vpon their lawfull King. The Pope interposeth his authoritie for Henry against Lewis; Who desirous to preserue what hee had gotten, prepares his forces, when as the losse of his Fleete (comming from France to England) makes him to change his resolution, yeelding to reason and time:D restoring another man his right and estate, to keepe his owne at home the surer and safer.

The Engl [...]sh receiue Henry the sonne of Iohn, and dis­mis [...]e Lewis of France.Thus Henry the third, the Sonne of Iohn, was receiued King of England, and Lewis returned into France, but Iohns posteritie shall bee reuenged of the Children of Lewis, with more and greater blowes then hee had giuen. Lewis (being returned into France) findes worke at home, to imploye him in Warre, which hee sought be­yond the Seas. The occasion was to make head against the Alb [...]geios, of whome wee will discourse in his life, and not interrupt the course of this raigne. It is now time to finish this tedious relation of Philips actions, and to shew the conclusion of his life.Avuergne vni­t [...]d to the Crowne. Hee did confiscate the Earledome of Avuergne, and vnited it vnto the E Crowne, taking it from Guy, being found guiltie of Rebellion, this was his last acte. All the remainder of his dayes were consecrated to make good lawes, for the well gouerning of the Realme. At Paris hee did institute the Prouost of Marchants, and the Sheriffes, for the politike gouernement thereof, hee caused the Cittie to bee Paued,Philips actions being before verye noysome, by reason of the durt and mire: Hee built the Halles and the Lovure, beeing beautified since by Henry the second with a goodly Pauilion, and the rest of the new Lodging: Wherevnto King Henry the fourth that now ra [...]gnes, doth adde a Gallerie of admirable beautie, if the necessitie of his af­faires suffer him to Crowne the restauration of his Estate, by the finishing of this great building. Hee walled in Bois de Vincennes, and replenished it with Deare and F with diuers other sortes of wilde Beasts: hee finished that admirable and sumptu­ous building of our Ladyes Church, whereof the foundation was onely layde vnknowne by whome.

[Page 162] A Hee made lawes against Vsurie, Players, Iuglers, and Dycing houses.1219. An ene­mie to publicke disolutions, and a friend to good order and iustice. Hee releeued the people ouer-charged by reason of the Warres. Hee restored vnto the Clergie all the reuenues hee had taken from them during his greatest affaires. And thus hee im­ployed this last acte of his life to gouerne the Realme,Landes vnite [...] to the Crown. to the which hee had vnited a good parte of that which was alienated by Hughe Capet. That is all Normandie, a good part of Guienne, the Earldomes of Aniou, Touraine, Maine, Vermandois, Cam­bresis, Vallois, Clermont, Beaumont, Avuergne, Pontheiu, Alancon, Limosin, Vandosme, Damartin, Mortaigne, and Aumale. Wee shall hereafter see, how the rest of the Crowne landes returned according to the diuers meanes which GOD gaue by the B good gouerment of our Kings.

Philip imployd his peaceable olde age in this sort, when as God did summon him to leaue his Realme to take possession of a better. Hee was verye sicke of a quartaine Ague, which kept him long languishing in his bed, giuing him meanes to meditate vpon his death, and to prouide for the Estate of his Rea [...]me; leauing a good guide, whom hee had leasure and meanes to fashion: yet could hee not make him the per­fect heire of his Vertues and Happinesse. Although Lewis his Sonne were not vici­ous, yet had hee nothing excellent to make him apparent among other Kings. He would not Crowne him in his life time, beeing taught by the late and neighbour example of the ill gouernment of England, betwixt the Father and the Sonne, find­ing C his forrces to faile him by the continuance of this Feauer, hee made his Will.Philips test [...] ­ment In the which hee delt bountifully with his Seruants, according to their deserts: hee gaue great Legacies towards the Christians Warre in the East, and to the Templets, who were then held in great reputation, to bee verie necessarie for the garde of Christen­dome: Hee gaue new rents to Hospitalls and to very many Churches.

And so hee died in peace, the yeare 1223. the first of Iulie,H [...]s death. in the age of fiftie and nine yeares, beloued and lamented of his subiects. Hee was fifteene yeares old when hee began to raigne, and gouerned forty and foure yeares▪ hee left two Sonnes,His cond [...] ­tions. Lewis and Philip, and one Daughter called Marguerite. Vnhappie in his house, and verye happy in his raigne· His minoritie was reasonable good, but his age was verie reue­rend, D Crowned with all the contents a mortall man could desire in this mortall life, hauing left many testimonies of his Vertues, to make his memorie deere and respected of his posteritie. His estate peaceable: his heire knowne and beloued of his subiects, and of age and experience to gouerne himselfe, and to force obedience. A Prince rightly called Augustus, whom wee may number among the greatest. Hee was most Religious, Wise, Moderate, Valiant, Discreete and Happy, a louer of Iustice, of order, and of pollicie, friend to the people, enemie to Disorders, Dissolutions and publicke Violence: Charitable, Liberall, and Iudicious to giue with Discretion. To conclude, the Patterne of a great King, by whome our Kings should take example, to learne how to gouerne the Helme of an estate, in the tempests and stormes of manie toyles E and confusions, and by the managing and successe of his raigne, to gather this good­ly Po [...]sie, or rather to take this pasport for the confirmation and greatnesse of Kings: That a vertuous King is in the ende happie, howsoeuer hee bee compassed in with difficulties. But before wee enter into a new raigne, order requires that wee obserue the estate of the Church and Empire. Fredericks humilitie to the Pope,Estate of th [...] Empire. had somewhat calmed the violence of these factions, and his voyage to the Holye Land, to performe his full obedience, seemed to bring a perfect peace to Christendome: when as behold a newe cause of troubles.

Frederick going for Asia, had with the consent of the Princes of the Empire,The Pope op­poseth agai [...] the Emperour con­firmed his eldest Sonne Henry Emperour, but hee being dead, and his Sonne Hen­rie F to succede him, Pope Innocent opposed an other Emperour, which was this Otho, of whome wee haue spoken,The Empe­rour mu [...]the­ [...]red by [...] who succed [...] him▪ and did excomunicate Henry in hatred of his Fa­ther Frederick. Otho ambitious of commande, caused Henry to bee murthered in his Chamber. But it chanced, that hauing committed this fact, hee went to receiue that [Page 163] disgrace in France, 1223. which was his death: and Frederick the second succeeded him, [...]o [...]as A he liued when as our Augustus left the Crowne to his Sonne Lewis. Of Italy.

In the meane time the Guelphes maintained the Popes factions withall vehemencie, and the Gibelins that of the Emperour. The Citties swelled with these humors, which distracted their mindes into sundrie factions, whereof grew those cruell contentions, euen in their owne bowels,The heads of Guelphs and Gibelius. the which haue continued long with irreconciliable hatred. At Rome, the Vrsins and Sabelles against the Colonnois, Frangepans, Cesarins and others. At Florence, the Medicis, Ricci, Bondelons, Amidees, Cerchis, against the Strossi, Saluiati, Passi, Albicci and Donati. At Genoa, the Flisques, Grimaldi, Fregoses, against the Spinoles Adornes, Dories, and so at Bolonia, Milan, Ferrara, Mantoua, Luques and other Citties, which by these dissentions haue lost their liberties, and are fallen into the hands of di­uerse B Princes. Venice was wise in th [...]se deuisions, preseruing her libertie against both factions, whilest the rest dismembred, and ruined one another. The Popes had still an eye vpon France, to confirme their authoritie there, as they had done in Sicilia and England, The Popes soueraigne au­thoritie ouer Christendom. not ceasing vppon euery light occasion to censure it, or to threa­ [...]en it with their censures. But our Kings by the wise Councell of their Parliament at Paris restrained them: not suffring them to vsurpe any thing ouer their royall prero­gatiue, and the libertie of the French Church. But howsoeuer (the Imperiall State be­ing made subiect to the Pope) the way was easie to draw all the Kings and Princes of Christendome to obedience: and to aduance their throne aboue the rest. Their great reuenues, and the shew of their stately and sumptuous traine, kept the people in obedi­ence:C but the deuoute respect of religion (the strictest bond to tye soules) was the fundamentall support of this soueraigne authoritie: the which not being limited with­in the bounds of mortall life, without doubt struck an vnauoidable terror into mens consciences, ouer which it had power. So as the Pope gaue lawe to all men, and who­soeuer obeyed not what they commanded, he was excommunicated by this spirituall authoritie of the Keyes, which they say doe open and shut Paradice, binde and loose sinnes. This beleefe setled in the mindes of Christians, bred a great deuotion and re­spect in them, and did minister daily new meanes to encrease it. At that time sprung vp many orders of religious Friars and Monkes, and out of S. Bernards Schoole (very famous in those times) from this streame grew two branches. One was called The D poore in Lions, the other the humble of Italy: which liued of Almes, and conuersed with other men, expounding the Scriptures, and reprouing the abuses of the Church, with the like zeale and libertie as we see at this day in the writings of S. Bernard.

This free and plaine reprehension displeased the Pope, who suppressed these two orders with his censures: and confining the desciples of S. Bernard to Cisteaux, he con­firmed 4. new orders of religions. The Franciscans instituted by Francis an Italian, the Iacobins by Dominick a Spaniard: Orders of re­ligious men. Carmelites by Albert Patriarke of Ierusalem, & the Au­gustins by Innocent the third. The Vniuersities of France, Germanie and Italy, were carefully entertained, by meanes of the great reuenues of the Church, to settle and augment the Popes authoritie, the which was mightily encreased, by the diligence and E dexteritie of such as instructed the youth, easie to receiue such impressions as were gi­uen them, especially their teachers, hauing great power ouer their soules. Such was the estate both of the Empire and of the Church, when as Lewis the 8. entred the royall throne, after the decease of his father Philip Augustus.

Lewis the eight, Father to Saint Lewis the 43. King of France


A LEWIS was thirty yeares old when he beganne to raigne,1223. in the yeare .1223. & was crowned with his wife Blanch beeing then the mother of many children.His raigne & [...]e [...]th. Hee died in the yeare 1226. hauing raigned but three yeares, neither noted for his vices, nor cōmended for his ver­tues: only famous in that. He was Sonne to an excellent father, & father to an excellent Sonne: bearing his name, not beeing famous inough of himselfe. His father imployed him confidently but with small successe.The manners of L [...]w [...] the eight. He desquieted England, but reaped no benifit. That which is most remarkable in his raigne. Languedoc (one of the goodliest and ritchest Prouinces of the French monarchy) began to returne to the Crowne, frō the which it was dismembred by Hugh Capet, and left as [...]n inheri­tāce to the Earles, the means was by the ruine of Coūt Raimond chiefe of the Albigeois. B The Albigeois take their name of a diocese in Languedoc, Languedock returnes to the Crowne. whereof the head is Alby the 22. Bishoprike of this large Prouince, but this name was common to the whole party. for that a priuate impression (deuided from the common beleefe of Christians, which hath caused them to be held for heretikes) tooke its beginning with this people of high Languedock, and so was dispersed into other Prouinces. In this difference of religion we may obserue diuers humors, iudgements and censures.Diuers opini­ons touching the Albig [...]ois. In so great an vncert [...]nty I will report plainly what is written by the most approoued Authors, not giuing any Iudge­ment (the which belongs to the reader) neither wil I shew my selfe passionate in a mat­ter which I report as an interpreter, or [...]ruchman. Platina the Popes Secretary. In those daies (saieth he) sprong vp an heresie at Tholouse, the which (by the care of Pope Innocent) C S. Dominik suppressed, with exceeding great dilligency, with the helpe of Simon Montfort,In the raigne of Philip Au­gustus. for they were inf [...]rced not only to vse disputation of words, but armes also, so great credit had this heresie gotten. Paulus Aemilius sayth. The vertue of Dominik was very apparēt, in bea­ting downe the heresie of the Albigeois.The opinions of the Albi­geois as some write. This infection tooke first footing in the Earldome of Tholo [...]e (of whō the Albigeois depend) & had infected the neighbor Citties. They called our Popes the Bishops of the wicked, & our Church the Sinagoge of hel. They contēned mariages: & held that for holy which is execrable. To ioyne thēselues [...]arnally with women without order. They are held enemies of a [...] goodmen. Pope Innocēt decreed a holy war against thē and sent his [Page 165] Legats into all partes to exhort them to make war against so execrable a sect. But the Lord of A Haillan (to whō this history is much indebted) saith. Although they held bad opinions, yet that did not so much incense the Pope & great Princes against thē, as the liberty of their speech, blaming the vices and dissolutions of Princes and of the Clergy, yea taxing the Popes life and actions. This was the chiefe point which made them generally to bee hated. King Augustus in­censed by the Clergy of his realme (who charged the Albigeois with all kinds of heresies, for that they blamed & detested their vices) intreated Pope Innocent to interpose his authority.

The Earle of Thoulose was the head of this faction of the Albigeois, but hee was not a­lone.The Earle of Tholouse head of the Albi­gois in the raigne of Phi­lip Augustus. The Earles of Foix and of Comminges, Gaston of Foix and Roger of Comminges, (very renouned men in their time) were of that partie: and Alphonso King of Arragon had ioyned in the same cause with them. The Countries of Languedoc,B Daulphiné, Guienne, Gascony and Prouence were full of them. Tholouse, Carcasonne, Alby, Castelnau and Castres in Albigeois, Narbone, Beziers, Saint Gilles, Arles and Auignon, are directly noted in this history. The first subiect of this tumult was the discontent the people had against the Clergy,The occasion of this war [...]e. discontented with their leude & disorde­red life: from discontent grewe contempt, and in the end a quarrel, and so open warre. The Clergy thus contemned fled to Pope Innocent the 3. who sent the Cardinall of Saint Maria in Porticu, and Nicholas Bishop of Thusculum with Preachers, who went through all the Country but preuailed nothing, for that the Earle did visibly fauour this contempt of his subiects, being transported with the like humor. Vpon the Legats report, Pope Innocent decrees a sentence of excommunication against Count Raymond, C and sends Peter of Chasteauneuf his Legat to publish it,The Popes Legat slaine by the Albi­gois. but he was slaine. Innocent won­derfully displeased with this murther, sends Gallon for his Legat, and by him doth com­mand King Philip to arme against Count Raymond and his subiects, as against heretiks and sworne enemies to the Church, and doth likewise command Odo Duke of Bour­gongne and William Earle of Neuers to ioyne in this warre. The assembly was held at Paris, whether repaired a great number of the Clergy, and there they resolued vpon a Croisadoe as against infidells.An army a­gainst the Al­bigois. The Arch-bishoppes of Tholouse, Roan and Sens: the Bishoppes of Lisieux, Bayeux, Chartres, Comminges, Coserans, Lodeux, Beziers, and many Abbots contributed first great summes of money, to quench the fire before it passe far­ther, Simon Earle of Montfort neere vnto Paris (a braue and valiant Captaine, issued from a bastard of Robert King of France) is chosen generall of this army, this was in the D yeare a thousand two hundred & ten. The army enters into Lanquedoc, where the Kings name was respected as their Soueraigne, but the Citties would not open their gates to their enemies army, who (they sayd) abused the Kings authority. Vpon their refu­sall Simon threatens to beseege them; Beziers was first attempted, and with such cruell successe,A wonderfull slaughter of the Albigois. as hauing taken it, the bloud flowed by the losse of threescore thousand persons: and in the ende it was spoiled, sackt, burnt and made desolate. All other Townes being terrified, yeelded at first sommons. Carcassonne held out, but it was ta­ken by composition. That the Inhabitants should depart all naked, onely their priuy partes couered, and halters about their neckes. Castelnau likewise would not obey, yet in the end it yeelded,In the raigne of Philip Au­gustus. and Simon caused fifty men to bee burned aliue. Alby obeyes without force.E Lauaur by the resolution of Gerarde the Lady of the place, did resist, but the Towne was taken by force, and this woman cast into a well: Amaulry a gentleman of the Con­try, (who had maintayned the seege against Simon,) was hanged. By these fearefull examples, Castres, Rabastens, Gaillac, la Caussade, Puy Laurence, Saint Antonin, and Saint Marcell yeeld; Cahors followes, but Moissac beeing obstinate, was taken and spoyled.Strange exe­cutions done by Simon of o [...] Montfort. This sodaine execution amazed Count Raymond, who hauing excused himself, touching the Legates death, and beeing so neere allied vnto the King his Brother in Lawe, hee attended nothing lesse then an army against him: yea hearing of the Le­uie, and seeing it to march, hee feared not that which was put in execution against his subiects. He conceiued it had been onely to countenance the sermons of S. Dominike F who accompanied the army with a notable number of Clergy men. Beeing awaked with so great a losse, hee seekes out all his meanes and friends to oppose them against Count Simon of Montfort, who was wonderfully feared by reason of so victorious a suc­cesse. [Page 167] A King Alphonso of Arragon, and the Earles of Cominges and Foix, 1215. bring him great troupes. Incouraged by these examples to their preseruation,In the raigne of Philip Augustus. Raymond imployes all he can, his armie (as they say) consisted of a hundred thousand men. As t [...]is armie of the Albigeois led by Count Raymond, goes to field to recouer their lost Townes. Simon oppo­seth himselfe couragiously with fa [...]re lesser forces,Count Raymond and his con [...]e­derates defea­ted by Simon of Montfort. and yet ouerthrew these great num­bers with little losse. Alphonso was slaine in this defeat, the taking & sack of Tholouse fol­lowed, where there died twenty thousand men by the victors sword. The Citties of Ro­uergue & Agenois (terrefied with this seuere proceeding) [...]eelded obedience vnto Simon. This hapned in the yeare 1215. the place of the bataile is diuersly reported, at Muret or at Mirebeau. After this strange & ruinous defeat, Count Raimond (seeing himselfe spoiled B of his possessions) retires into Spaine to the Estats of K. Alphonso, attending mean [...] to re­paire his affaires in better season. In the meane time Simon doth promise himselfe the property of all Raymonds estates, the which he had gotten with his Sword: but for that it was apparent, that the King of France would hardly grant so goodly a Prouince, taken from his kinsman to one of his subiects. Simon therefore flies vnto the Pope, by whose authority this war was chiefely ingaged, & from whom he attended his chiefe recom­pence, hauing laboured for him. Innocent the 3. finding that Philip (who would not de­sist in his pursute against Iohn King of England, notwithstanding his interdictiō [...]) would not be moued now by his simple authority, to leaue so important a peece: he assembles a great Councell, meaning to force the King to yeeld vnto his will. [...]he Patriarkes of C Ierusalem and Constantinople were there in person,The Councell of Latran. and those of Antioche and Alexandria sent their deputies, there were 70. Archbishops, 400. Bishops, and 1000. Abbots & Pri­ors. The Emperors of the East & West: the Kings of France, England, Spaine, Ierusalem, Cipres, and other Kings, Princes, and great estates had their Ambassadors. By a decree of this notable assembly Count Raymond was excommunicated with all his associats,The Earldome of Tholouse gi­uen to Simon of Montfort by the Pope. & his lands adiuged to Simon of Montfort, for his seruice done (and to do) to the Catholike Church. Philip could not gain-say this decree, confirmed in a maner by the consent of the whole world. He therfore receiued Simō to homage, for the Prouince of Languedoc, whereof he tooke peaceable possession: but he did not long enioy it: [...]or seeing himselfe inuested, he began to oppresse his new subiects. An E [...]le is lost with ouer griping. The D people of Languedoc finding themselues oppressed with this insupportable burthen of Simon, they resolue to call home their Count Raymond, who was retired into Spaine, to seeke some meanes to recouer the possession of his estate. His case was not desperate, for hee enioyed the Earldomes of Viuare [...]z, Venaissan, and the Citty of Auignon, places kept by his subiects during these occurrents, whether Simons forces were not yet come. Raymond (being called by his subiects) returnes into Languedoc, accompanied with a no­table troupe of Arragonois, being discontented for the death of their King Alphonso. The whole Countrey ba [...]died against Simon, hating him as an vsurper,Simon hated by his subiects of Langu [...]doc, for h [...]s oppres­sion & [...]y [...]nie. and detesting him as a tyrant, for doubtlesse vniust & violent things cannot continue. Whilest that Simon seekes to bridle the Citties of his new conquests, leaping from place to place, with an E infinite toile, behold Raymond is receiued into Tholous [...] by intelligence, & with great ioy of the inhabitants, Simon abandons all the rest, and flies thether: but he finds a stop, for comming to the gates of the Citty, as he approched neere the walles to parley, he was hurt in the head with a stone, wherof he died. The example of Tholouse made the grea­test part of the subdued Citties to reuolt. Simon of Montfort left two sonnes,Simon of Montfort sla [...]n before Tho­louse. Guy and Amaulry: vpon the reuolt of Tholouse, the one seizeth vpon Carcassone, the other of Nar­bonne but Guy was slaine in Carcassone by the Inhabitants, who▪ were the stronger. A­maulry hauing fortified Narbonne ▪ repaires to Philip Augustus, beseeching him to succor him in his necessity. Philip had the Wolfe by the eare: for as on the one side he desired this goodly Prouince for himselfe, rather then for the children of Simon of Montfort, so F was he also rest [...]ained by the authority of the Pope and Councell. He the [...]fore sends his sonne Lewis into Languedoc, to reduce the Country to his obedience. But he had scarce taken any one Castell, when as his fathers death calls him home.Count Raymond receiued a­gaine in Lan­guedock. So as Count Raymond & his subiects of Languedoc had time to reuiue their spirits, & recouer many places gottē by Simon. The king of England would neither assist nor send to the coronatiō of Lewis, al­though [Page 168] he were held as Duke of Guienne. 1223. This occasion moued Lewis to warre against A him;Warre in Gui­enne against the English. whereby he got Niort and Rochel: and Sauary of Mauleon Gouernour for the Eng­lish, retired to his seruice. This losse made the warre more violent. Richard Earle of Corn­waile, brother to Henry King of England, passed into France with a goodly armie, and hauing taken S. Macaire, Langon, and Reolle (Townes seated vpon the Riuer of Garonne) and defeated some French troupes, he made way for a truce, which was fauourable for both parties: But especially for Lewis, being desirous to settle matters in Languedoc, the which troubled him, for the daily proceedings of the Albigeois: yet was hee loth to labour for another. For this reason he treats with Amaulry Earle of Montfort, touching the right he had to that Countrie: with whom hee preuailed the more easily, for that hauing lost the greatest part of the Prouince, he was not able to hold the rest with the B Kings dislike, to whom hee resigned it, by order of a decree, made by the Pope in the Councell of Latran: and in recompence hee made him Constable of France, with the consent of Pope Honorius. Lewis com­pounds for Langu [...]doc, with the [...]o [...]n of Simon Montfort. Hauing compounded with the Children of Simon Montfort, hee resolued to winne Count Raymond to his deuotion, and to perswade him to lay aside armes, whereof hee did see the euents to be very doubtfull. His intent was to vnite this rich Prouince of Languedoc to the Crowne. But reason which saith that no man thinkes his owne too much: the respect which great men do vsually beare one to another, and the alliance which the house of France had with the Countie of Tholouse, were great restraints for the couetousnesse of Lewis. But how soeuer, he deter­mined to make himselfe the stronger, & to prescribe them a law. To this end he leuied a C great Armie, fortified with his Edicts, by the which hee thunders against these poore Albigeois, as Heretikes and Rebels. These Edicts were of force, whereas his authoritie was respected. Count Raymond (considering with himselfe the cruell beginning of this warre, and the continuance of the like miserie in these second armes, fearing to im­barke himselfe the third time with a people against his King) is easily perswaded by Lewis to reconcile himselfe to Pope Honorius. Thus Raimond leauing to oppose him­selfe,Count Raymond submits him­selfe vn [...]o the Pope. yeelds to Lewis, and perswades the [...]arle of Cominges (the chiefe agent of his des­seignes (to the like obedience. Thus both of them abandon the people, & go to Rome, they make their peace with the Pope, and leaue the Albigeois to the mercie of Lewis, who seeing them without a head, imbraceth this occasion to their ruine. High and base D Languedoc was wholy in his power, by Raymonds departure. Auignon remained with many other places in the Countie of Vena [...]sin, and in Prouence. He besiegeth Auignon and takes it, from thence he passeth into Prouence, where as all yeelds to his will. The Counties of Viuaret and Dié yeelds without blowes, and many families were made desolate,D [...]s [...]lation of the Albigeois by Lewis. by the rigour of these Edicts, which did forfaite both bodies and goods. The house of Montlor, one of the greatest of Viuaret, hauing followed the Albigeois par­tie (being cursed) makes his peace, by meanes of the Towne of Argentiere, giuen to the Bishp of Viuiers, who enioyeth it vnto this day. These poore miserable people were dispersed here and there, and such as remained in the Countrie, were forced to ac­knowledge the Pope, as soueraigne pastor of the Church. This heat was for a while E restrained, but the seeds were not rooted out: as we shall see in the following raignes.

Lewis hauing thus subdued the Albigeois, gaue order to