A History of Lincoln Part 2

By: Naz

The raising of the siege of The Castle of Mont Sorel and Lincoln Castle.

The army of Louis and the barons of England arrived at Dunstable, and there spent the night. In the morning it marched northward, hastening to the relief of the castle of Mont Sorel, Earl Ralph of Chester and the others who were with him besieging it, were informed of this by their scouts, and retreated to the castle of Nottingham, where they determined to watch the progress of their approaching enemies.

When the barons then arrived at the castle of Mont Sorel, after pillaging in their usual custom all the cemeteries and churches on their march, it was determined to march to Lincoln, where Gilbert de Gant and other barons had carried on a long siege without success.

They marched through the valley of Belvoir, and there everything fell into the hands of these robbers, because the soldiers of the French kingdom were the refuse and scum of that country who left nothing untouched. Their poverty and wretchedness was so great, that they had not enough clothing to cover their nakedness. At length they arrived at Lincoln, and the barons then made fierce assaults on the castle, whilst the besieged returned fire with missiles and stones and deadly weapons.

The king of England assembled an army to raise the siege of the castle of Lincoln.

Whilst these events were passing here, William Marshall, the guardian of the king and kingdom, by the advice of Walo the legate, Peter bishop of Winchester, and others by whose counsels the business of the kingdom was arranged, persuaded the castellans belonging to the king.

He also persuaded the knights who were in charge of castles in different parts of the kingdom, ordering them, on the command of the king, to assemble at Newark on the second day in Whitsun week, to proceed together to raise the siege of Lincoln castle.

They had a desire to engage with the excommunicated French, and also to fight for their country. They arrived at the time and place pre-arranged, with the legate himself and many other prelates of the kingdom. With horses and soldiers, to assail with prayers as well as arms, these enemies of their king, and rebels against their lord the pope, it appeared to them they had a just cause of war, especially as he was innocent, and a stranger to sin.

When they were all assembled together, there were four hundred knights, nearly two hundred and fifty crossbow men, and an innumerable host of followers and horsemen, who could on emergency fulfil the duties of soldiers. The chiefs of this army were William Marshall, William his son, Peter Bishop of Winchester, a man well skilled in warfare, Ralph Earl of Chester, William Earl of Salisbury, E. William Earl of Ferrars and William Earl of Albemarle

There were also there the barons, William D' Albiney, John Marshall, William de Cantelo, William his son, the renowned Falkes de Breaute, Thomas Basset, Robert de Viport, Brian de L'Isle, Geoffrey de Lucy, and Philip d'Albiney, with many castellans of experience in war.

They stayed three days at Newark, to refresh the horses and men, and in the meantime they went to confession asking for the Lord's protection against the attacks of their enemies. All of them were prepared for extremities, and were determined to conquer or die in the cause of right.

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