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KING RICHARD'S CRUSADE
THE Crusades were expeditions undertaken by Christian
nations at various times between the years 1095 and
1268, for the purpose of recovering out of the hands of
its Mahometan conquerors the city of Jerusalem. The
name Crusade is derived from one of the
words which mean cross. This is in Latin
crux, and in one kind of Old French
crois, as in Modern French it is croix.
Those who went on these expeditions were said to "take
the cross," because they wore this as a badge, to show
that they were going to redeem from the power of the
unbelievers the city where Christ suffered on the
 The First Crusade was announced by the Pope in 1095. A
monk called Peter the Hermit, in the following year,
set out with a great number of men to the Holy Land.
They were not prepared for the expedition, and nearly
all perished before they got there. There were three
other attempts of the same kind in that year, all of
which failed, but in August 1096 the real Crusade,
under Godfrey, Count of Bouillon, set out. Nearly three
years afterwards, Jerusalem was taken, and Godfrey was
The Second Crusade began in 1146 and ended in 1149. In
1187 Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, took Jerusalem. To
recover it again out of his hand the Third Crusade was
resolved upon in 1188 by Henry II., King of England, and
Philip, King of France, who were joined by Frederic,
Emperor of Germany. The war with Saladin was begun by
the siege of Acre. This was the Crusade which Richard
of England joined soon after the death of his father,
Henry II. (July 1189).
There were six other Crusades. I shall tell you about
the ninth and last in the story of Prince Edward.
When King Richard—who was called Cœur de Lion, or
Lion's Heart—put the army which he had gathered
together on shipboard that they might go
 to the Holy Land, he made rules for their good
behaviour, and set punishments for such as should
offend. These were—
- If a man slay his comrade on shipboard, let him be
bound to the dead man and cast into the sea.
- If a man slay his comrade on shore, let him be bound
in the same way and be buried alive.
- If a man draw his knife to strike another, or strike
him so as to shed blood, let him lose his hand.
- If a man strike another with his open hand, let him
be dipped three times in the sea.
- If a man revile another, let him pay an ounce of
silver for each reviling.
- If a man be found guilty of stealing, let him be
shaven, and boiling pitch poured on his head, and
feathers be shaken from a pillow on the pitch, and he
be put ashore as soon as may be, that all may know him
for a thief.
The King took his pilgrim's staff and scrip from the
hands of the Archbishop of Tours. They say that when he
leant on the staff, it immediately broke under him. He
lingered long on his way, first in Sicily, and
afterwards at Cyprus, to which island he went seeking
the lady to whom he was about to be married, for the
ship in which she sailed had been carried thither by a
RECEIVING THE PILGRIM'S STAFF.
In the meanwhile they who had been besieging
 the city of Acre had suffered much from war and disease and famine. They
began to besiege it on the 22nd day of August. Six
weeks or thereabouts after this came Saladin, Sultan of
Egypt, with a great army, desiring to drive away the
Christians from before the town. A fierce battle was
fought. At first Saladin
 was driven back, losing his camp, and not a few of the
best of his soldiers, while the Christians also lost
many. But before the day was over, Saladin recovered
himself and drove back the Christians in their turn to
their camp. There the Grand Master of the Temple was
slain with eighteen of his knights. As for Saladin, he
lost his eldest son and his nephew, and many others.
After this, there came fresh soldiers to the army of
the Christians. These now fortified their camp, for
they were in no small danger. On the one side was the
city of Acre, with a strong garrison that was always
prepared to sally out against them, and on the other
side was Saladin the Sultan, having an army such as had
never before been gathered together in that land, so
far as any living man could remember. They were also in
great need of provisions, for nothing could be brought
to them except by way of the sea. So it happened that,
as winter came on and the weather grew bad, and the
number of men in the camp was very large, the famine
was sore. A loaf that had been sold for one shilling
before the coming of the new soldiers was sold for
sixty, and the price of a horse was more than forty
pounds of English money. Some were slain by the enemy
in the siege, and some taken prisoners, but a greater
number by far perished with hunger and disease.
 At last, on the fifth day of June in the year 1191,
King Richard sailed from Cyprus on his way to Acre.
Two days after, he met on the sea, not far from the
harbour of Beyrout, a great ship. The King, doubting
to whom it belonged, sent one of his officers in a
boat, to inquire who commanded it. He brought back word
that it belonged to the King of France. But when the
King approached, he could hear no word of French, nor
see any Christian banner or token. It was a very large
ship, and very strongly built, having three great
masts, and its sides covered with green and yellow
One of the sailors said that he had been at Beyrout
when the ship was loaded, and that he had seen the
cargo which had been put into her, namely, a hundred
camel-loads of arms of all kinds, bows, spears, and
arrows, together with machines for the throwing of
darts and stones. There was also, he said, a great
store of provisions, and a number of men, eight hundred
chosen Turkish soldiers, and seven Saracen commanders.
Besides these stores and men, there was, he said, a
 store of Greek fire,
and two hundred deadly serpents.
The King, hearing this, sent another messenger. This
man brought back the answer that the strangers were men
of Genoa bound for Tyre. While he was doubting what
this contradiction might mean, one of the seamen
confidently declared that the ship belonged to the
Saracens. "Cut off my head, or hang me on a tree, if I
do not prove this beyond all doubt. Send a galley to
follow them without any word of greeting, and see what
they will do."
Thereupon the King sent a galley after the strange ship
at full speed. When it came near without offering any
greeting, the sailors began to hurl arrows and darts at
the crew. When Richard saw this, he commanded that a
general attack should be made upon it. But this was no
easy matter, so well was the strange ship manned, and
with such force did the missiles fall upon the
Christians, being hurled from a vessel of so great a
height. Our men, therefore, began to falter, and to
relax their efforts. The King, seeing this, exclaimed,
"What! will you let that ship
 escape unharmed? After winning so many victories, will
you give way like cowards? Verily you will all deserve
to be hanged on gallows if you suffer these enemies to
Thus encouraged, our men leapt into the sea. Some of
them bound the helm of the strange ship with ropes, so
that it could no longer be steered. Others climbed up
the sides, and scrambling over the bulwarks fell upon
the Turks. At one time they had driven them into the
forepart of the vessel, but others coming up from the
hold drove the boarders back, killing some and
compelling the rest to leap overboard.
And now the King, seeing that the ship could not be
taken, with its stores and crew, without great loss,
ordered his galleys to charge the enemy and pierce it
with their beaks. Accordingly, drawing back a space,
they drove against it with all their might, and pierced
its sides with their iron beaks. The ship was stove in
and began to sink. Thereupon the Turks leapt into the
water, where many were slain and many drowned. But the
King spared some thirty-and-five of them, namely the
officers, and such as were skilled in the managing of
engines of war. All the others perished; all the stores
were lost, and the serpents were drowned. Verily, if
that ship had got into the harbour of Acre, the town
would never have been taken.
 Certain Saracens, who had been watching what took place
from the hills, carried the news to Saladin the Sultan.
He, in his rage, plucked the hairs out of his head,
crying, "Now I have lost Acre." Through all the hosts
of the Saracens there was great weeping and wailing,
for in that ship all the flower of their youth had
The next day King Richard came to Acre. When the news
of his coming reached the garrison they began to talk
of giving themselves up, for they knew how great a
warrior he was. Saladin too was willing to make peace,
and he sent to the two kings—for the King of France was
there also—pears of Damascus, an abundance of other
fruits, and other presents. He would willingly have
made peace with them, but Richard was resolved to have
Jerusalem given to him, and this Saladin would not do.
At this time a certain Christian sent messages, written
in Greek and Latin and Hebrew, from within the walls,
from which the besiegers learnt much about the counsels
of the enemy, but who this Christian was they did not
know, either then or after the taking of the town.