England & the Crusades, 1095-1588

England & the Crusades, 1095-1588

“Men from London were in the fleet that sailed from Dartmouth in May 1189 and took Silves from the Moors in September. A year later another shipload of at least eighty Londoners embarked for Jerusalem, their eventful voyage to Spain being recounted in some detail by Roger Howden. During a storm, St. Thomas Becket appeared to three men on board to assure them of his protection, as well as that of St. Edmund and St. Nicholas, and to clam the tempest. Later the ship was deliberately scuttled by local Christians in the newly conquered Silves, in an attempt to persuade the Londoners to help the king of Portugal resist a fresh Moorish invasion; this they agreed to do only after receiving assurances of full compensation.” See Page 73 

“The absence of English crusaders in the Baltic stands in clear contrast to the following century. Spain continued to attract some Englishmen. It is possible that Englishmen took the cross to fight the Moors in 1211 and that others were among those who captured Valencia in 1238; at Seville, after its capture from the Moslems in 1248, there settled one Arnold of London, a John of London, and his son. However, a long-projected Anglo-Castillian scheme for a crusade to North Africa came to nothing.” See Page 89

“The list of Chaucer’s knight’s campaigns “in hethenesse” included Algeciras, Alexandria, Satalia, Russia, Prussia, and Granada, in no particular order of merit or distinction. This catholic approach reflected life. Henry of Grosmont fought the Moors of Spain and the Slaves of the Baltic.” Page 266

“In contrast to the Baltic Crusades, the crusades launched against the Moors of Spain and North Africa were peripheral to the experience of English nobles in the fourteenth century. This was partly because the crusades in the western Mediterranean had increasingly become the preserve of Iberian rulers or, in the case of North Africa, of Italian commercial interest, and partly because of the war with France.” See Page 276

“Even interest in the projected crusade of 1330-31 was largely a function of Anglo-French relations. Vice versa, there was an attempt to characterize the 1367 campaign that culminated in the victory of Najera as a crusading venture, Walsingham reporting that the Black Prince’s enemies included Saracens. This may have been induced by the explicitly crusading propaganda of the French, who associated England’s ally Peter the Cruel with the Moors of Granada and North Africa. The wider conflict in northern Europe, febrile dynasticism in the peninsula, a disputed succession, and civil wars ensured that the Moors, in their mountainous redoubt of Granada, from mid-century had little to fear. The one major English intervention was characteristic. In the early 1340s, Alfonso XI of Castille (1312-50) had succeeded in gathering land and sea forces from Aragon and Portugal as well as from his own kingdom, in an attempt to clear the Moors from the ports nearest the African coast, Algereicas, and Gibraltar.”  See Page 277

“The siege of Algeciras caused little stir amongst English chroniclers at the time, hardly rating a footnote to Grosmont’s more illustrious career north of the Pyrenees. Even though it was the only English expedition to the Iberian peninsula in the fourteenth century directed openly against the infidel, its impact was at home minimal. The same is true of another example of Englishmen fighting against the Moors mentioned by observers in England. Walsingham noted that in 1415 Englishmen (in one version he called them merchants) fought under the king of Portugal and, as at Algeciras, in company with Germans at the capture of Ceuta, on which campaign English ships and equipment were also used. However, this involvement was more a result of the close and friendly diplomatic relations between the English ships and equipment were also used. However, this involvement was more a result of the close close and friendly diplomatic relations between the English and Portuguese courts, which has been fostered in no small measure by the marriage in 1386 of James I of Portugal to John of Gaunt’s daughter Phillippa, granddaughter of Henry Grosmont.” See Page 278

“The castellan of Pontefract, Thomas, Lord Darcy, on seeing the badges of the Five Wounds was reminded that he had used the same device on an expedition he had led to fight the Moors of North Africa IN 1511. He may not have been alone in the reminiscence, as one of the rebel leaders at Pontefract, Sir Robert Constable, and another knight who had been persuaded to join the rebellion, Sir Ralph Ellekar, had also been on that expedition.” See Page 343

“In the early years of his reign, Henry VIII continued to talk of a new crusade. In the summer of 1511, in response to an appeal by Ferdinand of Aragon, who had already occupied Oran in 1509, Henry sent Lord Darcy to Cadiz, at Darcey’s own request with fifteen hundred archers ready to fight the Moors of North Africa, alongside the Spaniards. Unfortunately, the English archers behaved in Cadiz rather like modern English football fans abroad they got very drunk on local wine and smashed up the place. One Englishman was killed, as were a number of Spaniards. Ferdinand was not amused, and in a diplomatic move of lightning speed, he made a truce with the Moors and managed to ship the English home only a little over a fortnight after their arrival. The arches still capable of it had not seen a single Moor. In the next decade, the crusade remained the stated context and excuse for trying to resolve the bitter conflicts in Italy and elsewhere between Habsburg and Valois. The Anglo-French Treaty of Lond [1518] included clauses designed to create an international alliance against the Turks, in support of the crusade being preached at that time by Leo X.”  See Page 352

El Aemer El Mujaddid

American born Moor, Author, History Researcher, Modernist, 720 Entrepreneur/ Corporate Mogul in the making; who observes & analyzes human nature for data mining purposes. Knowing is Half the Battle, Wisdom is needed for appropriate application of knowledge and right reasoning.

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