Note 14.1

John's statement about the seizure of De Braose's estates is as follows (from Rymer, f. 143, A.D. 1212, 14 John):

John, by the grace of God, King of England, &c. To all who shall read this document, health.

That it may be known to you all why and for what William Braose, having forfeited his property, hath retired from our dominions, be it understood that the same William owed to us, at our last return from Normandy, five thousand marcs for our land of Munster in Ireland which we had leased to him, nor had he for five years paid us any of its proceeds; and when he had fixed many times for payment, he kept to none, and owed to us the rent of our city of Limerick for five years then passed, and had paid us nothing but one hundred pounds after five years - by the law of our Exchequer it was determined that his chattels in England should be distrained for the payment of our debt, but he so removed them, that none could be found; and we commanded our warden for the parts of Wales to distrain his chattels in Wales for the same debt; and then there came to us at Gloucester, Matilda of Hay his wife, and William Earl of Ferrers, his nephew, and Adam de Porter, who had married his sister, and they besought us that the aforesaid might come to us to speak with us, and to make satisfaction to us for his debts; and this their request we granted, and at Hereford the aforesaid William came to us, and gave up to us three of his castles in Wales - Hay, Brecknock, and Radnor - to be held for the payment of his debts to us, and to make satisfaction to us for his transgression, within the time which at his request we had fixed; and moreover he gave up in pledge to us the whole of his land in England and Wales, unless he kept to the terms.

And in this manner we received them, and he delivered up to us as hostages two sons of William de Braose, junior, and one son of Reginald de Braose, and four sons of his retainers, but neither on this account did he care to observe the terms of the agreement; but after a short time, when Gerard of Athi, to whom we had committed those fortresses, had commanded their constables to come to receive their pay, which was usually disbursed to them from month to month, the aforesaid William, hearing that these officers were absent, himself, together with his two sons, William junior and Reginald, collected together a large number of people, and attacked and laid siege to the three aforesaid castles all in one day; but when they could not succeed in their attack, they turned their course to the town of Leominster (it is a cell of the Abbey of Reading, and supported by our free bounty), and burned half the town, and of our cross-bearers and servants, found there, and others of our people, they killed some and wounded others.

Gerard of Athi hearing of this, assembled of our people as many as he could, to succour those parts which they had attacked. Whereupon William, with his aforesaid sons, and his wife, and their families, fled into Ireland, and there he was received by William the Earl Marshall, and Walter and Hugh de Lacy, who communicated to us that they had undertaken for the same William, that he should come to us within a certain period (which in their letters they named), to make satisfaction for his aforesaid excesses, and this was granted, but neither did he observe his own terms; we therefore assembled an army to go into Ireland, and whilst we were making preparations for our march, the same William came to our judges of Ireland, and sought of them a safe-conduct, that he might come to us to sue for our pardon and forgiveness, and they assented to his request, and took an oath of him that he would come to us straightway; but when he had come to the marches of Hereford he paid no respect to us, but drew to him as many of our enemies as he could, and began to seek to do us all the mischief in his power, for he offered to us 4,000 marcs for peace and our favour, for all his aforesaid debts and castles, and lands in England and Wales, and we commanded him to come with us into Ireland with our safe-conduct, together with his wife, to speak concerning the fine which he offered, and to confirm there the terms of the agreement, which should then be made between us; this he refused to do, and continued in Wales, and after that we had passed over into Ireland he did us what mischief he could, and burned a mill and three small houses.

In the mean time Matilda de Haya fled towards Scotland, with William and Reginald; and afterwards Duncan de Karige sent word to us that he had taken Matilda and her daughter, the wife of the son of Roger de Mortimer, and the aforesaid William, junior, and his wife and their two sons, who when they were brought to us, Matilda herself offered us 40,000 marcs for the life and limbs of her husband, herself, and their people, and that he should give to us quiet possession of all his castles and lands, and this was agreed upon. Three days afterwards, however, she repented of this determination, and said that she could not abide by it.

Being about to return into England, we carried her and her family with us as prisoners, and she again offered us 40,000 marcs, and likewise 10,000 for having gone from her first agreement, and we assented to this on condition that as often as she might go from her engagement, 10,000 marcs should be added to the fine, to be paid on her first payment; and this agreement between us, herself, and her family, was written and confirmed by the oath and seals of our barons who were present, and the periods for the payments were fixed.

When Matilda and her family were at Bristol, she requested that we would give permission to her husband to come and speak with her privately, and we allowed it. Afterwards the same William came himself to us, and agreed to the terms which his wife had made with us and promised separately that he was willing to pay; and when it was necessary for him to procure the money, we, at his request, sent with him, a servant of Geoffrey, the son of Peter, our justiciary, to conduct him safely, lest he should anywhere meet with obstruction, seeing that he had been so often denounced to the several authorities as a wrong doer; and when the day for the first payment drew near, he himself secretly made his escape from our dominions; and paid to us no part of the aforesaid money.

And when the day for the first payment had absolutely come, we sent to Matilda to know what she intended doing, and she answered explicitly that she could pay nothing to us, and that she had no more money for this purpose than 24 marcs of silver and 24 Bysantines, and 15 ounces of gold, and neither herself nor her husband hath from that time paid anything to us.

When therefore we had heard that William had thus withdrawn from our dominions, and that he had paid none of the money due, we gave command that our kingdom should be searched, and a proclamation made in the different counties; and when he did not appear, then, according to the law and custom of England, he was outlawed.

That, therefore, you may be fully assured of the truth of' this, we and the undersigned earls have affixed our seals to this document in testimony of its truth.

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