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St. Julian, the patron saint of travellers, and founded eleven years after the King's visit to Canterbury, was built largely for the. accommodation of travellers who came to perform the same pilgrimage as was undertaken by Henry in 1174.
The fourth striking event to which I would draw your attention was the burning of the town by the French in 1337. At that time the friction between this country and France was intense. Several serious causes of dispute had arisen. The national spirit, the spirit of patriotism, was beginning to be potent in politics. Up to this time the main divisions of society had been, so to speak, horizontal, viz., divisions into classes, and not vertical divisions into nations. The great Monastic associations of the early Middle Ages had their ramifications throughout all lands ; the great knightly orders, such as the Templars and the Hospitallers, knew no distinction of nation, but had common language, common interests, and common institutions. Christian Europe formed one homogeneous society divided into social strata. In the 14th century nationality was breaking through this, and the national spirit was becoming very keen indeed in France and England. There was a strong movement in France to incorporate Gascony, which was held by the English King, and there was a strong movement in this country to conquer Scotland, the French doing all they could to prevent the conquest. All this brought the two countries to the verge of war, but one of the great precipitating causes which led to what was known as the Hundred Years' War was the burning of Southampton. It was an event of national importance. I have recently been looking through many of the old chronicles, and they nearly all give an account of the burning of Southampton by the French, even when they mention no other incident of the year in question. One contemporary poet named Minot devotes an important section of his poem to this notable episode. The event occurred on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 4th, 1337. The people of Southampton were in church hearing Mass, when French ships sailed stealthily up Southampton Water ; their crews landed on the site of the present Pier, and attacked the town from the south-west, which was then undefended. The town fell completely into their power, and they had the place at their mercy. The buildings of the King and the nobles, which seem to have filled the whole of the town from St. Michael's Church to where the Pier now is, were destroyed. King John's Palace, as it is now called, was laid in ruins, St. Michael's Church was desecrated by slaughter, many of the important inhabitants were taken and hanged, and the town was given up to indiscriminate plunder. No
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