Brittains Glory: OR, THE HISTORY Of the LIFE and DEATH of K. ARTHUR, And the Adventures of the KNIGHTS of the Round Table.

GIVING A Relation of their Heroick Exploits and Victories in many Lands, but especially in the Holy-Land against the Turks and Sara­zens: The Combates with Gyants, and Monsters, and fearful wild Beasts: Encounters with Pyrates at Sea: His building Pallaces: Love to Ladies, and the many deliverances wrought by him: With other wonderful Atchievements: Pleasant and delightful; alto­gether worthy the perusal of the ingenious Reader.


Printed by H. B. for J. Wright, J. Clark, W. Thackeray, and T. Passinger. 1684. Entred according to Order.




DVring the Revolutions of this Kingdom, such have been the Valourous Exploits of the Princes, and other Renowned War­riours, Natives not only in this our Land and neighbouring Countries, but throughout the known World, that all Nations have stood amazed, and trem­bled at their Prowess. And amongst others, well may the famous ARTHUR that Renowned Brittish King take place, though (to lessen the Credit of his great Exploits) some envious Aliens have endeavoured to prove there was never such a man; but since it is evident by Chronologers of the most Antiquity and Integrity, that he was the Son of Vter Pendragon of the Antient Brittish Royal Blood.

I shall not use more Arguments to manifest it to the World, but proceed to the Matter of History, as I find it layed down for the In­struction of future Ages: And remain,

Yours to serve you, I. S.

BRITTAIN'S GLORY: OR, The HISTORY of the Life and Death of King Arthur, and the Adventures of the Knights of the ROUND TABLE.

Of the Parentage of King Arthur; and how he came to the Crown after his Fathers death.

THE Saxons, after the departure of the Romans, having (under the title of friendship) seized upon many strong places in this Kingdom, the native Brittains, after having tryed their fortunes in ma­ny dreadful Battels, were obliged to retire into Wales and Cornwall; [...]et retaining many places of considerable strength; and from thence by fre­quent excursions greatly anoyed the Enemy; not forgetting their an­tient Ualour, and the former Glory of this Isle, amongst which was King Vter Pendragon, lineally descended from the Brittish Kings, who in the Year Anno 500. began to Raign over the Brittains that possessed the Mountainous Country with great success, giving the Saxons many defeats, and gaining greatly upon them; till at last fal­ling in love with a fair Lady named Igrayin, wife to Alfridus Duke of Cornwall, he so doted on her Beauty, that not finding her to be won by perswasion to yield her chastity to his disposal, he plotted with Mer­lyn a famous Necromancer of that age, to bring his designs about by policy. This Necromancer undertaking the matter, the better to ease his Princes labouring thoughts, with Spells, and by Magick Inchantment so wrought, that either deluding the Ladies sight, or transforming the King into the shape of her Lord, she received him as such, and suffered him in the absence of Alfridus to injoy her a whole night, on whom he got our famous Arthur: For her Lord being in War against the West-Saxons, was slain e're his return; of which the King hearing, though greatly grieved at the loss of so renowned a Subject, yet as much rejoyced that fate gave him opportunity to pro­cure [Page] the love of the fair Dutchess in an honourable way, which he pro­secuting after the days of mourning were over, so dealt with her by fair words and rich presents, that being now at liberty, she was con­tended to be his Wife, and was married to him by the Bishop of Car­lile with great pomp and splendour; all the Lords and Nobles subject to his Scepter; together with their Ladies adorning their Nuptials, and assisting at the Ceremony: And so great was the joy, that east­ing, Turnament, and all manner of disports to recreate the sences, were held for twenty daies: Yet the Queen was troubled to find the fruits of her womb increase so fast, as fearing to be suspected of Adultry, for well she knew she had been deceived, when she computed the time of Al­fridus death with the time she supposed him in her embraces: but the King, to put her out of doubt, and to prevent melancholly thoughts, in loving wise unrevealed the whole mistery; yet it was agreed between them, that it should be kept secret, and that the Child should as soon as born, be conveyed to a trusty Guardian to prevent obloquie.

The Queen, about six months after the Ceremony of the Wedding was over, being brought to bed of a Son, the Child named Arthur as it was before resolved, was conveyed by trusty hands to a Lady of good repute, named Marilda, Wife to Sir Ector, one of the Kings Knights, who brought him up in such learning as was meet for his Years: When as his Father worn out with the continual toiles of War, and much distempered through the many wounds he had recei­ved, died, leaving him sole-Heir of his Dominions; who thereupon was proclaimed by most of the Nobility, and Crowned King, though some taking the advantage of his green years, rebelled, & raised divers Commotions; but he growing up, and getting the Reins of Govern­ment into his hands, did many great Exploits, as will in the series of this History appear.

The Description of King Arthur's usual Accuterments, his Vision, and the Interpretation thereof: And how he constituted the Knights of the Round Table.

KIng Arthur by this time being grown up, became exceeding tall & strong, insomuch that he seemed more than man, and in many Iusts and Turnaments so well behaved himself, that none could stand before him: A Horse he had which he called Beaucephalus, after the name of the Great Alexander's Horse; and he in all Exploits proved [Page] the best in the world: His Sword was of a large size, viz. five foot in length; and in breadth eight inches; cutting with two fearful edges, on which hung death and destruction: His Launce was eight cubits, and the head thereof formed of Massy Steel, weighing six pound: His Armour was of the highest prooff, shining with Gems and burnished Gold: And the better to inure him to War and great Exploits, he frequently rode thus accutered; and often in places of greatest dan­ger, glorying in nothing more than his strength and manly prowess, delighting in nor fancying none but such as were truly valiant, and feared not Death in any of his dreadful shapes, but to such he was lavish to Excess; retaining no other for his Counsellor, but Merlyn the famous Necromancer, from whom, as from an Oracle, he received the certainty of future events, and at his request recreated him with strange and wonderful sights, the Representation of Magick; and a­mongst the rest, upon a great Plain before the Kings Palace at Car­digan, he raised a stately Tower, and round it a pleasant Garden a­dorned with Fruits and fragrant Flowers, Fish-ponds, Fountains, pleasant Bowers, and Umbrages, into which he led the King and all his Nobility, feasting them after a sumptuous manner, as they ima­gined; but he had no sooner re-conveyed them thence, but looking back, they saw all vanish in Thunder, Lightning, and a prodigious Earth­quake, to their great amazement; yet knowing before it was but delu­sion, they rested somewhat more satisfied, yet could not but think of what had passed.

The day being spent in viewing this Piece of Recreation, and the King ruminateing many things in his mind, at last laying him down upon his Couch, he fell into a slumber, and then dreamed that he was carried into a spacious Hall, in which stood a Table of great circum­ference, out of the middle of which grew an Oak and a Laurel, with Crows, Scepters, Swords, and Ensigns hanging on them, and that they were guarded by many valiant Knights, high in prowess, and terrible to the whole World, which made him desirous to become their Associate; nor did he sooner demand it, but they joyfully received him, and placeing him in a Chair of Ivory and Gold, made him their Chief, and gave him a Banner with a Lyon rampant portruyed there­on, and this Motto written, viz. EVER VICTORIOUS: upon which, the sound of Trumpets, noise of Drums, clattering of Arms, [Page] shouts, and cries, saluted his Ears: And he supposed he beheld Armies in rout and slaughter scattered through the whole World, and that the Conquorers laid the Trophies at his feet, and with an vniversal shout saluted him Great Monarch of the Western World. At what time awakeing, he found it but a Dream, yet revolving in his mind the strangeness of the fancy, the next morning he related to his Nobles, who assured him of happy presages, and advised him to make inquiry into the interpretation thereof; whereupon sending for his Necro­mantick Counsellor, he related it to him, who promised within a day to give him the signification of his Dream, which he did as followeth. viz. That by the Table was signified his Kingdom; by the Knights the Pillars and Strength thereof; by Oak and Laurel, strength, victory, and durance; the Crowns, Scepters, Swords, and Ensigns, the spoiles of the Nation he should be possess'd of; and the Schene of War, the representations of the many dreadful Battels he should fight, wherein he should ever remain victorious; and the making him Chief, giving him the Standard, and placeing him in a Chair of I­vory and Gold, denoted him deep in his Subjects love; and that no Treason should prosper against him. This interpretation highly pleased the King and raised his towring imaginations to such a pitch that he resolved to spread the terrour of his Arms throughout the world; wherefore he made great preparation for all manner of War­like provision, but above all of hardy and couragious Knights, invite­ing them from all parts to his Court, and for their better incourage­ment, caused a spacious Hall. 300 Foot in length, and Twenty in breadth, to be built, with Glass Turrets on the top, ceiled with Fret­work and Gold, wainscoted with Cedar, and paved with Marble, in the midst of which he placed a Round Table, at which 400 Knights might sit, and caused it daily to be furnished with great store of choice p [...]ovision, for the entertainment of such men of UUar as would re­sort thither, and shortly after constituted the Order of the Round Ta­ble, allowing a Yearly Pension of 100 Mark to such as were truly va­liant and would inrole themselves to attend his service when occasion required, making himself the Head or Soveraign of the Order, so that by this means the valiant men of the neighbouring Nations ten­dered their service to him, and were admitted into the noble Order, but not before they had been proved in some great Exploit.

How King Arthur warred with the Kings of Mercia, and the East An­gles, who invaded his Dominions, slew a monstrous Gyant, and put their Armies to the rout. &c.

THe King being established in his Throne, and having thus far pro­ceeded, caused a place to be made for justing, where once every week his Knights exercised in Martial Order and justed with each o­ther, and to him that did best, the King would frequently send one rich present or other, himself being still a Spectator of those Exerci­ses, and at all great Feasts present amongst them at Dinner, having a Chair like a Throne placed on that part of the Table that was to­wards the upper end of the Hall, but no Musick suffer'd, except the Martial sounds of Drums, Trumpets, and Clarions, in which most of all our Heroick Prince delighted. And now being furnished with mighty men, that might compare to Davids worthies (if not exceed them) in dreadful Feats of Arms; he passionately desired to have an honourable occasion to try his and their valours, which was not long wanting: For the Mercian King of the Saxons, and the King of the East Angles presuming upon their strength broke into Cornwall, part of King Arthurs Dominions, and committed divers outrages, burn­ing plundering, ravishing, and slaughtering in such a dreadful man­ner, that the people (with such substance as they could convey) fled e­very where before them; the News of which rouzed our Lyon-like Prince, who taking with him his Guard of 400 Knights, and 8000 common Souldiers, the flower of his Dominions by swift Marches passed on to give UUar the meeting, whose approach the Enemy (being treble the number) little regarded, not doubting to give him the overthrow, trusting greatly to the force of one Cingeterox a mon­strous Gyant, nine cubits high, six in circumference, and armed with a huge Battel-Axe and Coat of Mael; but the undaunted Prince, whom fear could not dismay, having animated his Souldiers and set them in Battel-Array, attended by his Knights, broke through the Ramparts, killing such as guarded the Camp, and setting upon the Infidels, for so at that time they were, and cutting through the thick­est of them made such slaughter that all the way he passed was strewed with dead bodies; yet on he pressed through [...]anes of death, his Heroick [Page] Champions following, as animated by the Martial deeds of their Re­nowned Leader; nor did they less annoy the Enemy, who by this time, taking the Alarum in all parts, came running to oppose them, and began to make some slaughter of his men, especially where the Gyant fought, which the King perceiving by the cry that arose, cau­sed his Stander with the great Lyon to advance that way, beating down all before him till he came to the place where he found Cingeterox and Ethwaldus the Mercian King bathing their Axes in the blood of his men, of which they had slain 300, when as King Arthur with a loud voice cried, Turn this way Infidels, spare the weak, and bend your force against the strong: upon which the Gyant stairing on him, with a dreadful voice replied, Who art thou that comes to seek thy Death? I am a Souldier, said the King, and one that am come to fetch thy Head by way of reprizal for the mischiefs thou hast done in my Country. But you must get it first, said the Gyant. That shall not be long, said the King; and thereupon charged on the Monster so furiously with his Sword, that e're he could wield his Battel-Axe with a full stroke on his Helme, which made the fire spring from thence, he made him stagger three huge Paces and bend with his knee to the ground: then the Gyant (inraged) made at him and struck the King, so that the blow dazled him, and made his eyes swim, but soon recove­ring; he that had never been so used before, resolved revenge, and there­upon (after a full stroke) wheeling his dreadful Sword about, he struck the Monster on the Helme with such force, that cutting it through the Sword entered six inches, whereupon with a terrible groan he fell to the Earth, at what time the King stood on him and divided his Head from his Trunk, the which he delivered to his Esq that bore his bow and quiver: Nor were the Knights of the Order idle, for Sir Lance­lot had by this time grievously wounded the Mercian King, and taken him Prisoner; and Sir Tristriam slain 7 Captains, besides 36 com­mon Souldiers; so that the King of the East Angles seeing all go to wrack, and his men were disordered, caused the Retreat to be sounded, whereupon his Captains endeavoured to bring off their men, but they being in great consternation, and the Brittains pressing on them, (fearful of death) fled in all parts, and left all the booty they had gotten to the Conquerors, who fiercely pursuing the flying Foe, made terrible slaughter, insomuch [...] such as could not fly into Castles and places of strength, fell by the Sword, to the number of 20000.

[Page] This overthrow being noised abroad, brought a great fear upon all the Saxon Princes, so that the Mercians wholly submitted and sent a great ransome for their King, who upon his swearing to become Tri­butary and Uassal to King Arthur was set at liberty. Nor were there any of their petty Kings that then possessed this Island, which they had divided into a Heptiarthey, but sent their Ambassadors with great Presents to intreat a Peace, the which, upon their acknowledg­ing him their supream Prince, and paying each 200 Mark, a brace of Geldings, a Faulcon, and a Grey-hound yearly, was accorded to. And thus flourished this Renowned King in the beginning of his Reign, but more dreadful and re-doubted were his future deeds, as by the sequel will appear.

How King Arthur passed into Danemark, conquored the Kingdom of Norway, overthrew Burnamissa the Danish King.

THe King having in a manner brought England to his subjection, resolved not to suffer the current of his Victory to be damed up with ease, took counsel with Merlyn and the most valiant of his Knights, what Enterprize was next to be undertaken, who advised him, That it was most for his Honour to revenge the injuries he had received by the Danes, who roaming about those Seas, had not only ta­ken divers of his Ships, but (landing) had surprized some small Towns upon the Sea-Coast, and burnt them, carrying the In­habitants into miserable Captivity, and by cruel tortures obliged them to offer Sacrifice to their Idols, that Kingdom being then uncon­verted. This motion pleased the King, whose restless spirit and de­sire of Glory made him impatient of ease; whereupon he caused a great Navy of Ships to be rigg'd in Milford Haven, and in all other Ports, and gave Order for the building Men of War and Gallys, so that in six months space he had a fleet of small and great Uessels that consisted of 300 saile, on which early in the Spring he imbarqued with 28000. choice Souldiers, and all manner warlike of provision; having by this time inroled twenty new Knights, to supply the places of such as fell by the Sword, or dyed of divers diseases; and so with a fresh gale weigshing Anchor, and with a fair wind arriving in the Baltique O­cean, entered the Straits, now guarded by the two famous Castles of Coronsburg and Elzeburg, the later standing on the Coast of Norway, [Page] and there brought such a fear on either shore, that the Inhabitants in all parts fled with what they could most conveniently carry, leaving the rest for a prey to the Brittains, who under the conduct of their victo­rious King, inriched themselves with a great booty: when incamping before Nidrosia in Norway, summoned the City to yield, but there being a strong Garrison therein, they returned answer, That they kept the City for Burnamissa King of Danemark, and would in no wise yield it without his Order: whereupon the King commanded the assault to be made by 12000 men, under the leading of 44 Knights of the Order of the Round Table, who having their scaleing Engine in a readiness, on Easter-Eve marched to the wall, and with a showre of Arrows and Wild-fire drove the defendants thence; when as Sir Ector, bearing the Royal Standard, mounted, and making great slaughter of such as opposed, cutting off Arms, Legs, and Helmed Heads, placed it on the chief Bulwark, which the rest seeing, on all sides strove to imitate him, so that within less than six houres the City was won, which the conquered perceiving, retired to the Market-place, and throwing down their Arms begged mercy, which the King gene­rously granted, yet gave the spoile of the City to his Souldiers, not reserving any part to himself, which so hightened them, that (leaving a Garrison there) passed on to Bergen, which upon the first simmons surrendred; and by its Example all the remaining Cities and walled Towns did the like, so that the Kingdom of Norway was entirely at King Arthur's devotion: whereupon finding no more to conquer, he having received a supply of 5000 men to make up the num­ber he brought, by reason he was forced to leave the like number in Garrison, imbarqued, and passing the Straits landed upon the Danish shore, filling all with terror and amazement, when as that King ha­ving gathered a huge Army, advanced to give him Battel, which did not a little rejoyce King Arthur, who greatly desired to try his strength in War: when joyning, on the great Plain before Copen Hagen a dreadful Fight began, but Uictory (who never declined our Heroick Prince) soon declared for the Brittains, so that the Danish King find­ing the Battel swerve, and that he could not stay his men longer from open flight, to cover their shame, sounded the Retreat; whereupon they retiring in great confusion, K. Arthur and his Knights followed so furiously, that all the Plain was strewed with the bodies of the [Page] slain; and so hotly they pressed on, that e'r three parts of the Army en­tered the City, the Gates were shut up, and a third part shut out, for fear the Brittains should enter pell-mell with them, who were by the furious Souldier slain in the sight of their friends, though the com­passionate King bid spare the sword.

How King Arthur besieged Copen-Hagen; and how at the intreaty of Geneura the Sister of the Danish King, he hearkened to an Accord.

THe Danes thus overthrown, the King incamped before the Ci­ty, resolving to carry it by forte, and the next day prepared for the assault, resolving to march in the head of his Knights to win im­mortal fame by his planting his Standard upon the Wall with his own hands, or to lose his Life; nor could the perswasion of his Nobles make him decline it: but as he approached the Wall, the Gates open­ed, whereupon he supposed the foe intended to sally, but instead of armed men, there issued out a Troop of beautiful Ladies and in the front of them the beauteous Geneura Sister to Burnamissa the Danish King, whereat King Arthur much wondered, and commanding his men to stand in Battalia, with twelve Knights went to meet them, when as the Ladies approaching him, the fair and beauteous Princess fell at his feet, and bedewing the ground with tears, besought him to have compassion on her distressed Country▪ the King being moved at this unusual sight, in loving wise raised her in his Arms and had her be of good comfort, but the sorrowful Lady, whom tears made more lovely, refused all comfort unless he would grant her request, to which the King (overcome by compassion) consented, after a short pause if what she demanded might consist with his Honour; whereupon opening a Casket that one of her Ladies held, she first presented him with Iewels of great value set in Gold, and then intreated that an inter­view might be had between him and her Brother; to which the King readily consented, as already feeling Loves pointed shafts pierce his high-prooffed Armour, and presenting the fair Princess with a Crown of Gold set with Pearls and Diamons, which he had taken in the Mercian War; as likewise her Lady with Iewels of great price; he dismissed them, and caused a Royal Tent to be pitched about a Furlong from the Uaunt-guard of his Army.

How King Arthur had an Interview with Burnamissa the Danish King; and how a Peace was concluded between them upon the whole mat­ter, being left to the Princes Award.

HOstilitys ceasing, the Danish King with twenty of his chief No­bility came to King Arthur's Tent, and there in humble wise would have prostrated themselves, but the King would not permit it; but making them sit down according to their degree, entered into a discourse with them, relating at large the justness of his taking up Arms and demanding Restitution for the wrongs his Subjects had received, and for the mischiefs his Country had sustained; to which Burnamissa replyed, That whatever had hapned in that nature, had been without his knowledge; but however knowing him to be a Prince of great Clemency, he would be well content to submit to what ever he should think fit: The King overcome by meekness of the Dane, finding a relenting in his breast, as generously offered to refer the whole matter to the beauteous Princess, and bound himself to­stand to what Award she should make, which was joyfully accepted by Burnamissa, who expected before, that no less than his Kingdom of Norway would make satisfaction to the offended Brittish Monarch: whereupon the Princess was sent for, who came, attended by divers Ladies of Honour, in most sumptuous attire, glittering in Gold and Gems, which were out-vied by her incomparable beauty; when making her approach, King Arthur arose from his Chair of State and saluted her; as likewise his Knights did her Ladies: Then Burnamissa made her acquainted with the pleasure of King Arthur, but she in mo­desty refused to be Arbitress in so waighty a matter, till the King pressed it, and desired her to do him so great an Honour; whereupon after some consideration she awarded, That her Brother should defray the whole Charge of the War▪ and restore all such ships as were found to appertain to any of King Arthur's Subjects, and that the Offenders being taken, should be delivered to the King to dispose of as he thought fit, and then the King to depart the Land, and withdraw his Garri­sons. These Articles were highly approved on either part, and the Princess her wisdom admired: whereupon Commandment was given to proclaim them with heat of Drum and sound of Trumpet, and that from thenceforth all Hostility should cease.

Of the great Joy conceived by the Danes; and how King Arthur falling in love with Genura the fair Princess, married her.

PEace being thus happily accorded, the Danes rung their Bells and made Bon-fires in every City, all the Nobility feasting their poor Neighbours and Tenants throughout the Kingdom; when as the Danish King causing a Royal Pavillion to be reared without the City; prepared a sumptuous Feast, to which he in humble wise invited the King and his Nobles, and so great was the entertainment, that the like had not before been known in that Kingdom.

But what pleased King Arthur more than all, was the sight of the fair Princess, with whom by this time he was most passionately in love: Nor did the Feaver of his desire less afflict her, though she durst not raise her hopes so high; till at last the King (not long able to resist the Magick of her eyes) took the opportunity of breaking his mind to her, who humbly told him with a demure countenance, That she could not conceive her self worthy the thoughts of so great a Mo­narch, but if it pleased him to condescend so low, as to raise her to such dignity, she had no argument against his pleasure, if her Brother would consent. This pleasing answer overjoyed the King, insomuch that sending for the Danish King, he desired to beg one favour of him; Nay, replied Burnamissa, your Majesty may command even what you please, since to your clemency I owe so much. Then said King Arthur, 'Tis this fair Pledge of lasting peace that I with low submission do request. If my Sister be contented, said the King, I am overjoyed at what I hear, and have long desired to be allyed unto so great a Prince, yet must not compell a free mind. You need not, (said the Princess, blushing like a Rosey Bloom that opens in June or July to the Morn­ing-Sun) for I have already parted with that heart that needs would go, upon condition you consented. I do consent most willingly, re­plyed the King; and thereupon taking King Arthur in his right hand, and the Princess in his left, he joyned their hands, and at the request of the former, Segbert the Brittish Arth-Bishop marryed them, accor­ding to the Cannons of the Brittish Church, pronouncing many dread­ful curses on whoever should attempt to untye the sacred Band. This known in the Camp and City, redoubled the joy, so that all night long whole loads of pines blazed, insomuch that the fires created a new day as soon as Sol was set; and so sumptuous was the Feast, which [Page] lasted many days, that Rome in all her Glory could not exceed it; the Martial feats (to win glory, and the love of the Ladies) were so many that I have not place here to relate them.

How returning home King Arthur found his Country invaded by Magor King of Ireland, and how he vanquished him with slaughter.

THe King having been absent from his own Dominions for the space of six months, began to cast his eye homeward; when ha­ving remitted Burnamissa the charges he was at, and only gave order his Subjects loss should be repaired, he with his fair Queen, whom the King loaded with rich presents, took leave of the Danish Court, and imbarquing with the whole Army, and divers of the Danish Nobility, who from their King had order to attend the Queen; having a fair gale, on the ninth of October landed where they first imbarqued, and were received with vniversal joy; whereupon the King coming to a Castle of his, near Cardniff, feasted the Danish Nobility in a most splendid manner. But whilst he remained there, he had notice, That Magor King of Ireland, who by his Ambassadors had courted the fair Genura, and been refused, was (to revenge it on his arrival) landed with a great Power in South-Wales; whereupon the King comforting his Queen, who was greatly grieved that through her cause such sud­den troubles should arise, passed on with his victorious Army, and gave him Battel near Merionoth, and utterly discomfited him, so that flying with his broken Army, and being every where assailed by the Country Pesants, who had laid the way for him, he scarcely escaped to his Ships with five Thousand out of thirty Thousand; so that King Arthur (speedy as Caesar in his victories) returned to his fair Queen with the Trophies of his conquored Enemies long before he was ex­pected to have fought the Battel; when sending four Thousand men under the leading of Sir Lancelot and divers other good Knights, they landed on the Isle of Angle-Sea, and drove thence the French that had for some time past, during the troubles of this Kingdom, setled them­selves there.

How the King having recovered the Isle of Angle-Sea from the French, sailed with a great Power into France, to revenge the injury done to his Subjects, and overthrowing their Army, made them dearly purchase Peace.

THe Kings victories daily increasing, the terrour of his name spread wide, and made the most re-doubted Monarch tremble, yet durst [Page] France (then powerfull at Sea) invade our Coast, and with fire and sword spoiled many Sea-Towns, carrying away great booty, as also the people, the men they made row in their Gally, and the women to satiate their prodigious Lust: When as the crys of his suffering sub­jects reaching his ear, where he was delighting himself with his Queen, he resolved once more to forsake the Camp of Venus, and her soft de­lights, to court Fame and Glory in the Camp of Mars; whereupon having sent to Lotharius for Restitution, and receiving rather scorns than a satisfactory answer from that imperious King, he made great preparations for the War, and had at that time twelve Saile of Ships sent to his aid by his Brother of Danemark; when being in a readi­ness with an Army of 34000, he coasted the Country; and putting in­to the Bay of Marselies, with his shot of Arrows that flew like Haile, drove the defendants from the shore, on which himself with his own Standard first leaped, and stood like an inraged Lyon, though a thou­sand shafts flew round his Head, and many rebounded from his glitte­ring shield; but long it was not e're the valiant Knights of the Order (imitating their Soveraign) thrust their ships on Land, and putting their Souldiers in Battel-aray, charged furiously upon the formost Battailian of the Enemy, lead by the Duke De Vallois, so that being over-set, they retreated in great disorder, and finding no place to be received, broke the Ranks of their friends; when as the Duke De Ne­vers advanced with the right wing of Horse to their succour, but was so gau [...]ed with the shot of Arrows, that the Horses mischiefed more the Riders than did the Brittains.

In this confusion the King drawing out 6000 of his choice men, charged upon the disordered Enemy with such courage that he pierced their main Battel, making lanes of death wherever he came, cutting off Arms, Heads, and Legs, insomuch that the Danish General Giro­neus imitating him, the French Souldiers (routed in all parts) left their Commanders and fled, insomuch that the slaughter of the Nobi­lity was great, a fate ever incident to that Kingdom; nor would they trust to the weak wall of Marselies, but flying to Lyons and Paris, left that part of the Country naked, to be possessed of the Brittains.

The terror of this overthrow alaruming the French Court, and find­ing that brought home to 'em which they had used to others abroad, the people with Tears besought their King to appease the Conquorer in time, and thereby prevent worse desolation, who considering his tottering Kingdom was at stake, sent four of his prime Lords to beg [Page] a weeks Cessation or Truce, to which King Arthur (whose aim was more at Glory and Renown than Advantage) accorded; during which time, the King having raised a Million of crowns, sent them in divers Waggons, with other rich Presents, to purchase his Peace, and the departure of his new-come Guest, yet prevailed they not e're he had made his acknowledgment for the indignity put upon the Kings Am­bassadors, and deliver the Town and Port of Marselies, to be possessed as a pledge of future Peace by the Brittains for the space of 20 years to come, and upon pain of forfeiting it for ever, no Hostilitys to be used by Land, nor depradations by Sea. These Articles accorded, the King hastened to his own Country with the greatest part of his Army, leaving only 2000 Souldiers in Marselies; and having amply rewarded the Danes, dismissed them.

How Queen Geneura was delivered of a Son; and of the Presents and Vows made by the Saxon Kings: As also a full description of the Knights of the Round Table.

UPon King Arthur's return he found to his unspeakable joy his fair Queen delivered of a lovely boy, who, by the advice of Mer­lyn, he named Constantius, whose Uictories and great Exploits that Prophet fore-told, which after his Fathers death, he succeeding him in his Throne, exactly came to pass: And now the joy being great throughout the Brittish Dominions, all the Saxon Kings came to King Arthur's Court, then removed to the then flourishing City of Hereford and made their Homage, complementing him highly on his Marriage, and the birth of his Son, presenting the Queen and Royal Infant with great Presents, as Iewels, Gold, and fragrant Spice of Arabia, promising for them and their Heirs to be obedient to the Brittish Scepter, though before and after the Death of King Arthur they brake their vows, though to their great disadvantage: For the young Prince (almost as successful in War as his Father) grasped the Kingdomes of the Mercians and East-Angles with so hard a hand, that during his Life, they could not wrest them from him, but to our purpose. King Arthur being the chief Favourite of Fortune, and the eldest Son of Fame, began to inlarge the splendor of his Court, and increase the number of the Knights of the Round Table, in whom consisted his chief strength, for scarce was there any one of them, but durst encounter ten ordinary men hand to hand; and as he increased [Page] them, so he inlarged their pensions, which drew the most valiant of all Nations to serve him, though none were admitted before they were tryed: The habit the ordinary wore, when without their Armour, was a Uest lined with Sables, and on the back of it a red Cross, and on their Thighs Cushes of highest prooff; their Stockings were in the manner of Buskins, and their Shooes of Camels skin, the Hair ap­pearing outward; on their Heads they wore Caps made of Seal-skins lined with Silk and Cotten; and about their neck Silk of divers colours; each of them in UUar carrying a double Faulchion, a Bat­tel-Axe, a Bow and Quiver, and a Launce being severally allowed a Esq or Armour-bearer, who attended them in all Battels.

How King Arthur, upon the Relation of a Hermit, what miseries the Christians suffered in the Holy Land, sailed thither with a great Fleet; and how at his first arrival he took Joppa.

ABout this time King Arthur finding nothing worthy of his Sword at home, and altogether impatient of ease, studyed how he might imploy it abroad, and whilst he was musing thereon, an Her­mit in poor aray came to the Court, and filled it at once with pitty and desire of revenge upon the dismal Relation he made, which was, That the Turks and Sarazens had fallen upon Iudea and Palastine with an Army of 100000 men, and made such slaughter of the Christians in those parts, that such as escaped were forced to fly into Rocks and Caves of the Earth, and there were either starved to death, or became a prey to wild Beasts: And that they had taken the Holy City of Ie­rusalem, after thirty days Siege, and put almost all the Christians they found therein to the sword, polluting the Temple and Holy Se­pulchre with their Heathenish Worship: As also, that they impailed the Patriarch alive for refusing to worship Mahomet.

This story coming to the Kings ear, he could not refrain from shed­ding tears; when sending for the Hermit, in the presence of his No­bles, he most strictly examined him to all particulars, and finding he de­livered nothing but what (as he said) himself had been an eye-witness to; the King turning to his Lords, said, Hear you this, my Lords, shall we suffer the Enemies of our Lord and Saviour thus to triumph over the professors of his Name? to which they with one voice reply'd, That it was intollerable, and that they were ready to venture their Lives and Fortunes in that Holy War, and in his service: whereat the King highly commending their resolutions, vowed by the Passion [Page] of his blessed Lord, whom those Infidels defied and blasphemed, he would not take pleasure in any thing till he had faced those barbarous Nations, and tryed his Fortune to free the Holy City from its pollu­tion; and thereupon he sent to all the neighbouring Princes for aid, resolving to set saile early in the Spring, it being now the middle of August: He likewise layed double Taxes upon his own Subjects, and demanded double Tribute of the Saxon Princes, who did not so wil­lingly pay it at that time as was expected, by reason most of them were unconverted, and therefore secretly rejoyced at the prosperity of their brother Infidels: But however the King raised a great Mass of mo­ney, and caused his Navy to be augmented; so that from France, Danemark, and other Ports of Spain, hauing received fifty ships of War, most of them Manned with Voluntiers of those Nations, he with 200 saile, on board of which he had 50000 men, in the begin­ning of April waighed Anchor, and having a fair wind, coasting France and Spain, he joyned likewise divers other ships, who were ready to at­tend him, for the noise of this War had overspread all Christendome; when passing through the Straits into the Mediteranian Sea, he brought such a fear upon the Sea-towns, that the Infidels inhabiting them fled with their substance to the Mountains, into which the Chri­stians entering, found yet some booty; but (desirous to pass on to Jerusalem) the King sayled to the Isle of Cyprus, then governed by one Emanuel a Christian, where having refreshed his Army, he again im­barqued, and sayling through that tract of Seas, arrived at Joppa, a famous Sea-Port, and the in let of Palastine, which he found strongly fortified, as likewise Salmanezer King of the Turks incamped with a Host of 100000 Turks, Jews, and Sarazens about six miles from thence; yet landing his men, he resolved to besiege the City, and by taking it, secure the Port; whereupon causing his Enginers to make divers batterings after the Roman fashion, which under the favour of the night (notwithstanding the besieged hurled down wild-fire and stones in great abundance) they set to the Walls on the North side, and by force of Cords battered with such fury, that they rent the Ua­mures in divers places, making the City tremble, which so alarum'd the Infidels, that they sallyed 10000 strong upon the quarter guarded by the Earl of Merionoth, but coming to handy-strokes, were forced to retire 5000 less than they came, and the next morning, by King Ar­thurs express command, a furious assault was given on all parts, when as the Brittains with their shot of Arrows beating the besieged from [Page] their defences, mounted & planted the Kings Standard upon the wall, entering and killing the Infidels in great number, so that all the streets ran blood, till such time as the King (upon their throwing down their Arms, and on their knees begging mercy) bid spare the sword; when having expelled them the Town, he placed a Garrison of divers Nations therein, and so marched to joyn Battel with Sal­manezer.

The overthrow of Salmanezar, and taking of Jerusalem, with what else happened remarkable on that occasion.

THe Infidels being greatly troubled at the loss of Joppa, desired their General to lead them to battel e're the Christians advanced any further, to which after many delays he consented, and on the fifteenth of July early in the morning advanced, in hopes to surprize the Christians, but finding them in battel-aray, he began to repent his rashness; but finding no means now to retire, unless with loss and disgrace, he divided his Army into three parts, the first (contain­ing 40000 men,) he lead himself; the second (containing 36000,) he committed to his Brother Albamazer, a Gyant of great stature, fierce and cruel; and the third (containing 24000,) to Gouzeles, Governour of Jerusalem: Nor did King Arthur delay to Marshal his Battel in the best manner, leading the first Battalian, consisting of 20000 choice Souldiers, and an hundred Knights of the Order for the guard of his person; the second battle (consisting of 10000,) he committed to Bat­tanius Duke of Cornwall; the third battel (consisting of 10000,) he committed to Sir Lancelot du Lake; the fourth (consisting of the like number) was lead by Frovonius a noble Dane: When as both Armies (marching in this posture) came face to face, leaving a little space between, a monstrous Pagan stepping forth, demanded (e're the Charge was sounded) a man to fight him hand to hand, and that the combate should be for no less than the City of Jerusalem, or the depar­ture of the Christians, if King Arthur durst agree to it: whereupon the King having sent to the Turk to know if he would stand to what his proud Champion propos'd, and finding him inclinable thereto, he thought no sword more fit than his own to chastise the daring; when (contrary to the mind of his Nobles) disguising himself in the Armour of one of his Knights, he stepped forth, and without much ceremony, charged him with such fury, that at one full blow he broke▪ his Helme, [Page] and made him stagger six paces back, yet recovering his station, he the more inraged resolved to obliter the disgrace that he had sustained, in the sight of his Prince and his whole Army, came on with double fury, foaming and storming for shame and anger to be so foiled, he smote the King with such force, that he loosed his Helme and made his eyes swim dazie; but he nothing daunted thereat, as the Gyant was about to re­double his stroke, struck him so full on the right arm that his Battel-Axe fell to the Ground, when pursuing his stroke, he struck him as he bended to recover it on the neck, so that the sword entering caused a deep wound, out of which issued great quantity of blood, so that the King finding that through loss thereof he must needs faint, kept him off, as not thinking it safe to hazard too eagerly his person when the Conquest was already made; nor did his expectation fail; for the Gyant finding his strength decay, like a Lamp, which at going out gives the greatest blaze, taking his Axe in both hands, smote upon the King with great fury, and with a full stroke upon the shoulder crushed his Armour, and much bruised him; at what time the King with un­daunted courage gave him another wound on the left arm between the joynts of his Harness, and pursuing it with a thrust, pierced his Coat of Mael and high-prooffed Cushies, so that the sword entring a foot in­to his bowels, he with a dismal groan fell to the Earth: whereupon the Pagans, contrary to the promise of their King, sounded the Charge, refusing to stand to what had been sworn, the which so inraged the Christian Souldiers, that re-doubling their fury upon the signal gi­ven, the charged so furiously upon the Infidels, that the Battel where­in Abumazer fought was by King Arthur and his Squadron over­born, and pierced even to the middle, where Sir Gawen a Knight of the Order having killed ehe Standard-bearer, took the Standard even in the Infidel-King's sight, which made him advance with all his strength to recover it; but finding great resistance, after he had fought, and by words strove to animate his men, labouring in vain to stay their flight, he turned furiously upon his second Battel that was ad­vancing; being hotly pursued by the Christians, and finding no place to retreat, he put them into great disorder; when as Sir Lancelot fetching a compass about, charged them in the Flank on the right, and so gauled them with shots of Arrows, that after many were slain and wounded, and nothing but the crys of the vanquished, and the shouts of the vanquishers, to be heard, the rest of King Arthur's Bat­tels advanting, and charging them in the left, they (after making [Page] what resistance they were able, and the loss of 40000 of their best Souldiers, their King being sore wounded and carried out of the bat­tel) fell into disorder, and in great confusion fled, every one as he could shifting for himself, so that the Execution following with great fury, scarce 20000 escaped the sword.

The Uictory thus happily gained, the Christians found such store of Treasure in the Camp, that it was wonderfull, the which the King sharing amongst his Souldiers, according as every one had deserved, and well refreshed his Army, sending the wounded of his part to Jop­pa, and buryed the slain; he with Banners spread, marched towards Jerusalem, bringing a great fear on all the Citys in his way, most of which surrendred upon the first Summons; so that coming before the Holy City, whither the greatest part of the scattered Army was re­tired, he having summoned the Infidels to yield and save their lives, but receiving no answer, he battered it with his Rams, War-Woolfes, and other fearfull Engines, till a great part of the wall on the South side fell, upon which a furious assault was given, insomuch, that the Infidels having drawn their greatest strength to defend the breach, a great slaughter was made; yet the Christians resolving to carry the City, which then was but small, and very ravenous, pressed on with such violence, that the fearful Enemy being over-born, were every where slain; and the Christians entering, placed King Arthur's Standard upon the Bulwarks, which so dismayed the Infidels, that such as could, fled by the Posterns, and over the Brook Cedron, others hid themselves in Caves till the fury of the Souldiers were over, and such as could not do either, fell for the most part by the Sword.

This famous City, being the first time thus taken by the Christians, a great number of miserable men and women were released out of Dungeons, who had for a long time been fed with Bread of Affliction, half starved, and miserably used by the Infidels, for publikely owning the Name of the Lord, who, not far from thence, purchased them with his precious blood to their unspeakable joy.

How upon notice that the Saxons invaded his Country, he retur­ned; and of his strange Adventures.

THe King having thus performed his vow, repaired the Walls, built a strong Castle, and placed 7000 Souldiers therein, besides the Christians of Syria and Iudea, that daily flocked thither in great [Page] number; he received notice, That the Saxon petty Kings in his ab­sence had cast off their Allegiance, and being vnited, invaded his Coun­try, insomuch, that his Queen, Son, and those that he had left in charge with the Kingdom, being overthrown in a pitched battel, were fled to the fastnesses of Snow down Mountains. Which News greatly perplexed the King; so that having made his Offering at the Holy Sepulchre, and constituted Religious Men to keep it, he with three parts of the Army he brought, returned to his ships, the other part being either slain in the battel, perished by sickness, or left in the Garrison; yet e're he could imbarque, 27000 Turks, Sarazens, and Aegyptians, lying in ambush in a Wood for that purpose, fell upon the Rear of his Army, and cut off three or four hundred Brittains and Danes e're the King with the Gross of his battel could draw up to their re­lief; yet fatal was it to the Infidels; for being unexpectedly Inclosed by the Christians, who fetch'd a compass behind divers little Hills, they were almost all of them cut off.

This second overthrow given, the King quietly imbarqued his Souldiers, and sailing by divers Islands, destroyed the Garrisons possessed by the Infidels: When one day going on shore on the Pro­mentory of Carthage, with a few of his Knights, he was set upon by four hundred Moors, who sallyed out of Tunis; but such was his and his Knights invincible Courage, that they drawing their swords, slaughtered the Barbarians in such a manner, that they fled with great crys, taking them to be more than mortal; whereupon the King cau­sing 8000 men instantly to come on shore, besieged the City, and with Wild-Fire burnt it about the Barbarians Ears, putting many of them to the sword: And then marching up farther into the Country, there came against them sixteen huge Lyons, bred in the Muritanian Forrest, with whom the King and twenty of his Knights encountering, killed twelve, and put the other four to flight.

How upon King Arthur's return, the Saxon Kings layed down their Arms and sent great Presents, together with their Sons for Hostages.

KIng Arthur, impatient of stay, least whilst he conquered abroad his Country should suffer with great spoyl, put again to Sea, and sayling homeward, met with a Fleet of Pyrates, who taking his ships for Merchants, set upon the formost Squadron with loud shouts, cast­ing great quantity of stones and wild-fire amongst them, but coming [Page] to graple, they soon found their mistake, and then in vain endeavouring to fly, were miserably slaughtered, insomuch, that out of thirty but five escaped: In these ships many miserable Christian Captives, both men and women, were found, of which the King taking compassion, sent them into their respective Country, allowing them all things ne­cessary for their maintenance during the space of a year, and so passed on towards his own Country.

The Kings approach being known to the Saxon Princes (w [...]o not long before had news that he was dead in the Holy Land, and thereby were animated to take up Arms) so discouraged them, that withdraw­ing their Forces▪ every one retired into his own Province, to study how to appease the victorious Monarch, whom they had justly incensed by their perfideous treachery; and as soon as they had notice the King was landed and preparing his Forces to War against them, they sent their respective Deputies with rich Presents, to excuse their rash and unadvised actions, promising never for the future to transgress in the like nature; yet the King being highly incensed, would at no cheaper a rate pass over their perfideous dealings, than at a personal acknow­ledgment, and the sum of 2000 Marks each; As also be the better as­sured of them for the future, that each of them should send his son as an Hostage; and that those that had no sons, to send their nearest Kinsmen; and over and above, to make reparation for such damages as could be by any of the Kings Subjects proved to be sustained by their unlawfull Arms. This being performed, a Peace ensued; and the King dis­missed his Auxiliarys with great Rewards.

How King Arthur built many Religious Houses, and gave great Car­gases to the Poor: How he swore his Nobles and Knights to his son Constantius, and then dyed.

KIng Arthur now having leisure to repose in Peace, and think on his many wonderfull deliverances, resolved to apply his mind to deeds of Piety; and thereupon caused many Monastrys and Religious Houses to be built, giving yearly maintenance to divers poor people, but especially to such as had lived in splendour, and were fallen to de­cay: And daily he visited the sick, giving them Christian comfort: And using his utmost endeavour to cherish Learning and Arts, to which end at his proper charge he built likewise many Schools and Colledges, [Page]


giving himself wholly up to the study of the seven Liberal Sciences; and so well profited he therein, that he became the greatest Master therein of his Age: But most of all, he fixed his thoughts upon his later end, and with Solomon was frequently heard to say, All World­ly things were but Vanity and Vexation of Spirit; and that on Earth no reall nor substantial joys were to be found: When in the 60 year of his Age, and 49 year of his Reign, falling sick, and by the opinions of his Physicians not likely to recover, he sent for all his Nobles and the Knights of the Order, and he caused them to swear Fealty to his Son, comforting them in the best wise; and thereupon finding him­self decay, after divers pious Expressions, & Prayers, exhorting his No­bles to be carefull of securing his son in his Throne, and having great respect to his Queen, he gave up the Ghost, to the great grief of his Subjects, but more of his fair Queen who took it so grievously, that soon after falling into a Feaver, she dyed, and was buried with him in a Monastery, built by him at Monmouth; whose Tomb (richly adorn­ed) continued visible till the Dissolution of the Fabrick in the time of Henry the Eight.

And thus (kind Reader) I've reviv'd the fame
Of Him who well deserves a glorious Name;
Hoping that time henceforth shall not destroy
What here I build to Arthur's Memory.

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