Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Godfrey of Bouillon

‘…Bertha did not allow her courage to be broken down, but advancing with a timid grace towards Godfrey, she placed in his hands the signet, which had been restored to her by the young page, and, after a deep obeisance, spoke these words: 'Godfrey, Count of Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine the Lower, chief of the holy enterprise called the crusade, and you, his gallant comrades, peers, and companions, by whatever titles you may be honoured, I, an humble maiden of England, daughter of Engelred, originally a franklin of Hampshire, and since chieftain of the Foresters, or free Anglo-Saxons, under the command of the celebrated Ederic, do claim what credence is due to the bearer of the true pledge which I put into your hand, on the part of one not the least considerable of your own body, Count Robert of Paris —…'
Godfrey of Bouillon arrived at Constantinople on December 23rd, 1096, and it is here that the action of Walter Scott’s “Count Robert of Paris” takes place.   Godfrey, of course, was destined to reach Jerusalem during the First Crusade, becoming its first ruler after Jerusalem fell in 1099.  Godfrey of Bouillon died about a year later, on July 18, 1100.

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