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Fouke le Fitz Waryn


1 Stevenson translates the adjective muer, "molted," as "for his mews."

2 See the Hathaway edition, note 22.9, for a discussion of these alliances.

3 Fr. "le Gue Gymele." See Hathaway, note 35.9, for a discussion of this location.

4 I have reversed the order of the last two sentences in this paragraph for the sake of clarity.


      Fouke and [his wife] Hawyse remained for some time with the King, long enough in fact to have five sons: Fouke, William, Philip the Red, John, and Alan. During the same period King Henry had four sons: Henry, Richard the Lion-hearted, John, and Geoffrey, who later became Duke of Brittany. Henry was crowned during his father's lifetime, but died before his father. Richard then reigned after his father's death, followed in turn by his brother John who, all his life, was wicked, contrary, and spiteful. Fouke the younger [also called Foket] was brought up with King Henry's four sons, and he was much loved by all of them except John, with whom he quarreled frequently.
      It so happened that one day John and Fouke were sitting all alone in a room playing chess. John picked up the chess board and struck Fouke a great blow with it. Feeling the pain, Fouke raised his foot and delivered John a swift kick to the chest. John's head struck the wall so hard that he became dizzy and fainted. Fouke's immediate reaction was fright, but he was glad there was no one else in the room with them. He rubbed John's ears, and he regained consciousness. John immediately went to the King, his father, and lodged a complaint. "Be quiet, you good-for-nothing," said the King, "you are always squabbling. If Fouke did all you said he did, you most likely deserved all you got." He called the boy's master and had the Prince soundly whipped for his complaint. John was very angry with Fouke, and from that day forward never again had any true affection for him.
      When King Henry, the father, died his son Richard became King. Richard held Fouke le Brun, the son of Waryn, in very high esteem because of his loyalty. At Winchester the King summoned before him the five sons of Fouke le Brun -- Foket, Philip the Red, William, John, and Alan -- and their cousin, Baldwin de Hodenet. With great pomp all six men were dubbed and raised to knighthood. Sir Fouke the younger, along with his brothers and their troops, crossed the sea to seek honor and distinction. There was not a single tourney or joust at which they did not wish to be present. And so highly were they esteemed everywhere that it became a common saying that they were without equals in strength, bounty, and bravery. For they had such good fortune that they came into every combat being considered and praised as the best.
      Following the death of Fouke le Brun, King Richard sent letters to Sir Fouke to come to England to receive his father's lands. Fouke and his brothers were deeply saddened to learn that Fouke le Brun, their good father, was dead, and they all returned to London. King Richard was very glad to see them, and he restored to them all the feudal holdings which Fouke le Brun possessed at his death. The King was preparing for his journey to the Holy Land, so he entrusted all the March to the keeping of Sir Fouke. The King loved and favored him much for his loyalty and great reputation. Fouke stood well with the King during the whole of the life of King Richard.
      After Richard's death, his brother John was crowned King of England. Soon thereafter, John sent for Sir Fouke to come and talk with him about various matters concerning the March, and said that he was coming there himself on a visit. He went first to Baldwin, now called Castle Montgomery. When Moris, the son of Roger de Powys, lord of Whittington (Shropshire), perceived that King John was approaching the March, he sent to the King a handsome steed and all white molted gyrfalcon. 1 After John thanked him for the gifts, Moris came to speak to the King who asked him to stay and to be of his council, making him warden of the entire March.
      When Moris saw the time was ripe he asked the King, if it were his pleasure, to confirm by royal charter the honor of Whittington [Blauncheville] to him and his heirs, as King Henry his father had formerly confirmed it to his own father, Roger de Powys. The King knew full well that Whittington belonged to Sir Fouke by right, but he also remembered the blow that Fouke had given him when they were young. He delighted that he now had an excellent opportunity for revenge. So he granted that whatever Moris should put into writing, he would seal it; and, for the favor, Moris also promised John one hundred pounds cash.
      There was a knight nearby who had overheard all that the King and Moris had said. He came in haste and told Sir Fouke how the King had confirmed by his charter to Sir Moris the lands which of right belonged to Fouke. With his four brothers Fouke came before the King and asked him that they might have the benefit of common law, whereby these lands were theirs by right and reason as Fouke's inheritance. And they pleaded with the King that he would have the goodness to accept one hundred pounds, on condition that he would grant them the award of his court for gain or for loss. The King told them that he would maintain the grant which he had already made to Sir Moris, whether Fouke was angry or not. Then Sir Moris spoke out saying to Sir Fouke: "Sir Knight, you are very foolish to challenge my lands. If you say that you have right to Whittington you lie. Were it not for the King's presence, I would prove it upon your body." Before any further words were spoken Sir William, Fouke's brother, stepped forward, and with his fist gave Sir Moris such a blow on the face that it was covered with blood. The knights came between them so that no more damage was done. Then Sir Fouke said to the King: "Sire, you are my liege lord, and I have become bound to you by fealty since I have been in your service, and because I hold lands from you. In return you ought to afford me reasonable support, but you fail me both in reason and in common law. Never has a good King denied law in his court to his free tenants; therefore, I renounce my allegiance to you." Having said this, he departed from the court and went to his house.
      Fouke and his brothers armed themselves immediately, and Baldwin de Hodenet did the same. When they had gone half a league from the city they encountered fifteen well-armed knights, the strongest and bravest of all the King's retainers, who ordered them to return. The knights said they had promised the King that he should have their heads. Sir Fouke turned round and exclaimed: "Fair sirs, you were very foolish when you promised to give what you could not get." Then they attacked each other with lances and swords, and four of the King's most valiant knights were soon killed. All the others were wounded to the point of death, save one, who seeing the peril took to flight. When he came to the city the King inquired of him whether Fitz Waren had been taken prisoner. "Not at all," he replied, "nor was he even injured. He and all his companions have escaped, and all of our men, excepting myself, were slain. I alone escaped with great difficulty." "Where," said the King, "are Gyrart de France, Pierre of Avignon, and Sir Amys le Marchys?" "Slain, sire." Then ten knights arrived, all on foot, for Sir Fouke had made off with their chargers. Some of these knights had lost their noses, some their chins. All ten were a piteous sight. The King swore a great oath that he would take revenge on them and all their lineage.
      Fouke next went to Alberbury [in Shropshire] and told dame Hawyse, his mother, how he had traveled to Winchester. Fouke took a great sum of money from his mother and left with his brothers and his cousins for Brittany [Bretaygne le Menur], where he remained for some time. King John seized all the lands which Fouke had in England and did much harm to all his relatives.
      Fouke and his four brothers, along with two cousins, Audulph de Bracy and Baldwin de Hodenet, bid adieu to their friends in Brittany, and returned to England. In the day time they rested in woods and moors and traveled on only at night, for they dared not face an attack in daylight. They did not have sufficient manpower to engage the King's troops. At length they came to Higford [in Shropshire], to Sir Walter de Higford, who had married dame Vyleyne, the daughter of Waryn de Metz. Her true name was Emelyne, and she was Sir Fouke's aunt. When he arrived at Alberbury, the next stop on his journey, the local people told him that his mother had recently been buried. On her tomb Fouke deeply grieved his mother's death and prayed compassionately for her soul.
      That same night Sir Fouke and his people went into a forest called Babbins Wood [Babbyng], near Whittington, to watch for Moris Fitz Roger. A valet passing nearby spotted them and ran to tell Moris what he had seen. Moris armed himself in regalia, taking his shield -- green, with two wild boars of beaten gold, and the border of argent, with fleurs-de-lys of azure. He had in his company the nine sons of Guy de la Montaigne and the three sons of Aaron de Clerfountaygne, so that there were thirty men well- mounted and five hundred foot soldiers.
      When Fouke saw Moris he raced out of the forest. A sharp fight was begun between them, with Moris being wounded in the shoulder. After many knights and foot soldiers had been killed, Moris finally fled towards his castle with Fouke in pursuit. Fouke thought to have struck Moris on the helmet as he was escaping, but the stroke fell on the saddle of his charger. Then Morgan the son of Aaron shot forth from the castle, and with a crossbow bolt he struck Fouke through the leg. Fouke was angry that he could not thus finish the battle and avenge himself upon Sir Moris. As for the wound in his leg, he took no heed of it.
      Sir Moris made his complaint to the King that Sir Fouke had returned to England and had wounded him in the shoulder. The King became wondrously enraged, and appointed one hundred knights with their retinue to go through all England to search for Fouke, to capture him, and bring him to the King -- alive or dead. The King was to pay all their expenses, and in addition he promised to give them lands and rich fees if their search were successful. The knights went throughout the whole of England in search of Sir Fouke. But wherever they heard that Sir Fouke might be located, they avoided going to that place; for they feared him beyond measure. Some loved him, but many feared his noble chivalry, apprehending the danger that might happen to them should they test his strength and daring.
      Sir Fouke and his company came to the Forest of Braydon [in Wiltshire] where they remained in hiding. They dared not venture forth openly, for fear of the King. One day, more than ten burgesses arrived carrying through the forest expensive cloths, furs, spices, and dresses for the personal use of the King and Queen of England. The men were merchants who had purchased these rich goods with the money of the King of England, and were traveling to deliver their purchases to the King. They were followed by twenty- four foot-soldiers charged with guarding the King's treasure.
      When Fouke saw the merchants he called his brother John and told him to go and speak with these people and find out what country they were from. John spurred on his horse and rode off to speak with the merchants. When he inquired from what land they might be, a spokesman for the group, a haughty and proud person, came forward and asked what business it was of his to have such information. John replied politely by inviting them to come and speak with his master in the forest. If they would not go willingly, he said, he would have to use force. A man-at-arms came forward and struck John a great blow with his sword. In return John gave him such a stroke on his head that he fell senseless to the ground. Then Sir Fouke and his company arrived on the scene and attacked the merchants. They defended themselves very vigorously, but at length they surrendered, for they could not do otherwise.
      Fouke took them into the forest, where they told him that they were the King's merchants. When Fouke heard this he was delighted, and said: "Sir merchants, if you lose this property, on whom will the loss fall? Tell me the truth." "Sir," they said, "if we lose it through our cowardice, or by our own carelessness, we ourselves are responsible; but if we lose it otherwise, by danger of the sea, or by force, the loss will fall upon the King." "Are you speaking the truth?" "Assuredly, sir," they replied. When Fouke understood that the loss would be the King's, he then measured out the rich cloth and the expensive furs with his lance. He clothed all who were with him, tall and short, in this rich cloth. To each he gave according to his degree. Everyone of his followers received a liberal share, and of the other goods, each took what he liked.
      When evening came and the merchants had dined heartily, he bid them Godspeed, and asked them to salute the King in the name of Fouke Fitz Waryn, who thanked him heartily for all this fine clothing. During the entire time that he was a banished man neither Fouke nor any of his followers did damage at any time to any one, save the King and his knights.
      At last the merchants and their foot-soldiers arrived before the King. Wounded and maimed, they repeated to him all that Fouke had charged them to convey, describing how Fouke had taken the King's property. He became enraged, and in his fury sent out a proclamation throughout the realm. Any person who would bring Fouke to him, dead or alive, would receive a thousand pounds. The King would, moreover, add to this cash reward all the lands that belonged to Fouke in England.
      Fouke next journeyed into the forest of Kent. Leaving his knights in the thick of the forest, he went riding alone along the highway. There he met a messenger, wearing a wreath of red roses around his head, who was singing merrily. Fouke asked him politely for the chaplet of flowers, and if he would be so kind would pay him double for it. "Sir," said the messenger, "He is very niggardly of his property who will not give a chaplet of roses at the request of a knight." And he gave the wreath to Fouke, who, in return, gave him twenty shillings. The messenger recognized Fouke, for he had seen him often.
      When the messenger later arrived in Canterbury, he met the hundred knights who had been searching for Fouke through all of England. "Sirs," he said to them, "where have you come from? Have you yet found the man you have been seeking by the order of our lord the King and for your own advancement?" "No," they replied. "Then what will you give me," he said, "if I take you to the place where I have seen and spoken with him today?" The knights' reply, in both goods and promises, was so generous that the messenger told them where he had seen Fouke. He also described how he had received twenty shillings in exchange for the chaplet of roses which he had graciously given.
      The hundred knights immediately sent out a summons through the countryside. They hastily rounded up knights, squires, and foot-soldiers, in sufficient numbers to encircle the whole forest. As if this were an animal hunt, beaters and receivers were placed at strategic points. Others were positioned throughout the countryside with horns to give warning the moment Fouke and his companions came out of the forest. Fouke, however, remained in the forest, unaware of all this activity. At length he heard a horn sounded by one of the attacking knights. He became suspicious and ordered his brothers to mount their horses. William, Philip, John, and Alan immediately mounted, as did Audulph de Bracy, Baldwin de Hodnet, and John Malveysyn. The three Cosham brothers, Thomas, Pieres, and William, who were good cross-bowmen, and all the rest of Fouke's followers were soon ready for the assault.
      With his companions Fouke came out of the forest and saw, before all the others, the hundred knights who had been hunting him throughout England. In the first rush of battle Fouke's men killed Gilbert de Mountferrant, Jordan de Colchester, and many other knights. They made several passes back and forth through the hundred knights, knocking them down in great numbers. At length, however, many knights, squires, burgesses, foot-soldiers, and people in great numbers joined in the battle. Fouke wisely perceived that he and his men could not continue thus. Finally, after his brother John received a bad head wound, he decided to return into the forest. Fouke and his companions spurred their horses. But before they left, many a good knight, squire, and foot-soldier were slain. People from all over then began to sound the cry, and they were pursued by the populace everywhere they went. At length they entered into a wood and saw a man raising his horn, about to sound the warning. In an instant, one of Fouke's men shot him through the body with a cross-bow bolt. That put a quick end to the warning blast.
      Fouke and his companions were soon forced to leave their horses and fled on foot towards a nearby abbey. When the porter saw them coming he ran to shut the gates. Alan, being very tall, quickly got over the wall, and the porter began to run away. "Stop," said Alan, and ran after him. He took the porter's keys from him and gave him a blow with the chain from which the keys hung. The porter thus had good reason to regret his attempted flight. Alan then let all his brothers enter the abbey. Once inside, Fouke grabbed the habit of an old monk and speedily dressed himself in it. Taking a large staff in his hand, he went out of the gate. After he had shut the gate he walked on, as if lame of one foot, supporting his whole body on his big stick. Shortly thereafter the knights and foot-soldiers arrived followed by a great mob. One of the knights shouted: "Old monk, have you seen any armed knights pass here?" "Indeed, sir, and may God repay them for all the mischief that they have done!" "Just what have they done to you?" "Sir," he replied, "I am old, and I cannot help myself, so worn out am I. Seven came on horseback, and with them fifteen others on foot. Because I could not get out of their way quickly enough, they did not spare me. They had their horses trample over me, and took little account of my protest." "Say no more," replied the knight "you shall be well avenged this very day." The knights and all the others rode off in such haste to pursue Fouke that they quickly left the abbey a full league behind them. Meanwhile, Sir Fouke was left there in peace to see what would happen next.
      Sir Gyrard de Malfee soon arrived accompanied by ten well mounted knights. They had come from a distance and were riding horses of great value. Gyrard said mockingly, "Well, here is a fat and burly monk. He has a belly big enough to hold two gallons of cabbage." Fouke's brothers were still inside the gate, from where they could see and hear all of Fouke's proceedings. Without a word, Fouke raised his big staff and struck Sir Gyrard such a blow beneath the ear that he fell senseless to the ground. Fouke's brothers, when they saw this, immediately rushed out of the gate and subdued Sir Gyrard and the ten knights. After tying up their prisoners very tightly in the porter's lodge, they took all the harnesses and the good horses and rode off non-stop until they came to Higford [in Shropshire]. Once there, John's wounds were able to be healed at last.
      During their stay at Higford a messenger arrived who had been seeking Sir Fouke for some time. He greeted him on behalf of Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop wanted to speak with Fouke as soon as possible. So Fouke led his men to a place near Canterbury, in the forest where he had been before. There he left all his company, except his brother William. The two dressed themselves like merchants and went into Canterbury to meet with the Archbishop, Hubert Walter.
      "Gentlemen," said the Bishop, "you are very welcome. You no doubt know that Sir Thebaud le Botiler [Theobald Walter, Butler of Ireland], my brother, is now deceased. Before his death he married dame Matilda de Caus, a very rich lady, and the fairest in all England. King John himself desires her for her beauty, and it is with great difficulty that she guards herself from him. She is here in Canterbury under my protection, but you shall see her presently. My dear friend Fouke, it is with some urgency that I pray and command you to take her for your wife, with my blessing." Fouke soon met with the lady, seeing for himself how good, as well as beautiful she was, not to mention her excellent reputation. As for her possessions in Ireland, she had fortresses, cities, and lands, plus rents and great fiefs. So with the assent of his brother William and on the counsel of Archbishop Hubert, he married dame Matilda de Caus.
      Fouke remained two days in Canterbury, and then bid his farewell. He left his new wife there in the care of the Archbishop before returning to join his companions again in the forest. When he told them all that he had done, they made fun of him, laughed at him, and called him "husband." They also asked him just where he would put the fair lady, in a castle or in the forest. Yet, while they often joked together in this way, they also did more serious mischief to the King everywhere the opportunity presented itself. But they did such to none other than the King, excepting those persons who were openly their enemies.
      A knight named Robert Fitz-Sampson was residing in the march of Scotland. The knight frequently received Sir Fouke and his company, and he entertained them with great honor. He was a man of great wealth whose wife's name was dame Anable. She was a very courteous lady. At that time also there was a knight in the country named Pieres de Bruvyle. This Pieres was in the habit of gathering together all the gentlemen's sons of the country who were addicted to thieving, along with ribalds. It was their custom to go through the country, killing and robbing decent people, merchants and others. Whenever this Pieres led his company out to rob people, he assumed the name of Fouke Fitz-Waryn. As a result, the real Fouke and his companions had acquired a very bad reputation for matters in which they were blameless.
      Fouke's fear of King John was such that he dared not tarry too long in one place. So it was by night that he came into the march of Scotland, very near the court of Robert Fitz-Sampson. As he approached he saw a light within the court and could hear people talking. He heard his own name mentioned often in the conversations. After telling his companions to remain outside, Fouke himself boldly entered the courtyard from where he made his way into the great hall. Once inside he could see Pieres de Brubyle and some other knights sitting at supper. Robert Fitz-Sampson and his good lady and all their household were bound with ropes, laid out on the floor off to one side of the hall. Sir Pieres and his men were all wearing masks. Those who were serving the meal, when they knelt before Sir Pieres, called him their lord Sir Fouke. The lady, who lay bound near her husband in the hall, said very pitifully, "Oh, Sir Fouke, for God's sake have mercy. I never did you any harm, but have loved you as best I might."
      To this point Sir Fouke had kept quiet, listening to everything that had been said. But when he heard the lady speak, she who had done him much kindness, he could bear it no longer. Alone, without any of his companions, he stepped forward with his sword drawn and said: "Silence! I order you, stay where you are. Let no one move hand or foot." And he swore that, if any one were so bold as to move, he would cut him into small pieces. Pieres and his companions felt trapped. "Now," said Fouke, "which of you here calls himself Fouke?" "Sir," said Pieres, "I am a knight; I am called Fouke." "Well, Sir Fouke," he shouted, "by God, you had better move quickly. Tie up all your companions tightly. If you do not, you shall be the first to lose your head." Pieres, terrified by the threat, got up and unbound the lord and the lady and all the others of the household. He then tied all his companions well and firmly. Next, Fouke made him cut off the heads of all those whom he had bound. After he had beheaded all his companions [Fouke said]: "You recreant knight, you who called yourself Fouke, you are a cowardly liar. I am Fouke, and you will now pay dearly for having falsely caused me to be charged with theft." Forthwith he cut off Pieres' head, after which he called his companions inside to join him in supper. All made themselves very comfortable. Thus did Sir Fouke save Sir Robert and all his treasure, so that nothing was lost.
      Very often King John did great harm to Sir Fouke, but Sir Fouke was no less wise and crafty than he was strong and bold. The King and his people very frequently pursued Sir Fouke by tracking the footprints of his horses. Fouke countered on many occasions by having his horses shod with the shoes put on backwards. In that way the King was deceived in his pursuit. Sir Fouke was to suffer many a hard fight before he finally regained his inheritance.
      Sir Fouke took leave of Sir Robert Fitz-Sampson and went to Alberbury where he set up camp in a forest near the river. Fouke called on John de Rampaigne, saying to him: "John, you know a lot about minstrelsy and juggling. Do you have the courage to go to Whittington and perform before Moris Fitz-Roger to discover just what they are up to?" John agreed to do it. He prepared himself by first crushing an herb and putting it into his mouth. As a result, his face began to swell so badly that it puffed out. His whole face became so discolored that his own companions scarcely knew him. John dressed himself in poor clothes, and he took his box with his juggling equipment and carried a great staff in his hand. When he arrived in Whittington he told the porter that he was a juggler. The porter brought him before Sir Moris Fitz-Roger, who asked him where he was born. "Sir," he replied, "in the march of Scotland." "And what news do you have from there?" "Sir, I know none, other than the recent death of Sir Fouke Fitz-Waryn. He was killed in a robbery which he was committing in the house of Sir Robert Fitz-Sampson." "Are you speaking the truth?" "Yes, certainly," he said, "people from all over the countryside say it is so." "Minstrel," said he, "I will give you this cup of pure silver for your news." The minstrel took the cup, and thanked Sir Moris for his generosity.
      John de Rampaigne was very ugly of face and body, and consequently the scoundrels of the household mocked him. They treated him like a fool, and pulled him by his hair and his feet. He raised his staff and gave one of the scoundrels such a blow on the head that his brains flew into the middle of the room. "Wicked rascal," said the lord, "what have you done?" "Sir," said he, "by God's mercy, I cannot help myself. I have a malady which is very grievous, as you may judge by my face, which is so swollen. This malady takes entire possession of me for certain hours of the day every week. It is not within my own power to contain myself." Moris swore that were it not for the good news which John had brought him he would have him beheaded forthwith. The juggler thus hastened his departure, for he had no desire to tarry further. So he returned to see Fouke and described word for word what he had heard and done at the court in Whittington. One important item of news was the fact that Sir Moris, in his function as keeper of the march, was planning a trip. Along with fifteen knights and his entire household, he was to leave the very next day for the castle of Shrewsbury. Sir Fouke was delighted to learn this news, and so were his companions.
      The next morning Fouke was up early. He and his men armed themselves well for the events to follow. Moris and his fifteen knights set out towards Shrewsbury. Also in the company were the four sons of Guy Fitz Candelou of Porkington [now Brogyntyn in Shropshire], and the rest of the household. When Fouke caught sight of his enemy, he was very pleased. At the same time, he was also much incensed, because Guy was unlawfully keeping his heritage from him by force. Moris looked off in the direction of Great Ness, where he quickly recognized the heraldic markings on a shield: quartered with gules and argent dancetté [a silver fesse (two horizontal lines defining the middle third) marked by three indentations]. By this coat of arms he immediately knew that it was Fouke. "Now I am certain," said Moris, "that jugglers are liars. For there stands Fouke, very much alive." Moris and his knights fought bravely. Boldly they attacked Fouke and his companions and called them thieves. They said that before evening many heads would be placed on the high tower of Shrewsbury. Fouke and his brothers defended themselves with such vigor, however, that Sir Moris, his fifteen knights, and the four sons of Guy Fitz-Candelou of Porkington were all quickly slain. Fouke had that many fewer enemies!
      From there Fouke and his companions went towards Rhuddlan [in Flintshire] to speak to Sir Lewys [Llewelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynned 1199-1240], the Prince of Wales who had married Joan, the daughter of King Henry and the sister of King John. 2 The visit was prompted by the fact that Sir Lewys had been brought up together with Sir Fouke and his brothers in the court of King Henry. The Prince was very glad at the coming of Sir Fouke and asked him what agreement there was between the King and him. "Sir," said Fouke, "None, for I cannot have peace with the King no matter what I do. Sir I have, therefore, come to you and to your good lady to make peace with you." "Truly," said the Prince, "I grant and give you my peace, and you shall have a good reception from me. The King of England doesn't know how to have peace with you, or me, or any other." "Sir," said Fouke, "many thanks, for I trust much in you and in your great loyalty. But since you have granted me your peace, I must tell you something else. Moris Fitz-Roger is dead, for I have killed him." When the Prince learned that Moris was dead he became very angry. He exclaimed that had he not just given his peace to Fouke he would have had him drawn and hanged, for Moris was his cousin. At that moment Princess Joan stepped forward to confirm the peace made between her husband and Sir Fouke. They embraced each other and all ill-will was pardoned.
      At this time there was great discord between Prince Lewys and Gwenwynwyn, son of Owen Cyfeiliog, to whom a great part of the country of Powys belonged. Gwenwynwyn was very proud, haughty, and fierce. He refused to submit himself to the Prince for any reason. Instead, he brought great destruction to his land. By force the Prince had totally beaten down the castle of Metheyn and had taken possession of Mochnant [in Montgomeryshire], Llannerch Hudol [in Montgomeryshire], and other lands which belonged to Gwenwynwyn. The Pince assigned Fouke to act as overseer of all his land holdings, commanding him further to attack Gwenwynwyn and destroy all his lands.
      Fouke, however, was prudent and very wary, for he knew that the Pince was in the wrong. So he told him very courteously: "Sir, for God's sake, you should pardon Gwenwynwyn. If you do what you have planned, you will be much blamed in foreign countries by all people. And please do not be annoyed with me for what I am telling you. Everyone says, in fact, that you have sinned against him. Sir, for God's sake, therefore, have mercy on him. He will most surely reform himself in his dealings with you, and will serve you to your satisfaction. Do not lose sight of the fact that you don't know when you will need your barons." Fouke preached and talked to the Prince at length and so convinced him to change his strategy. Shortly thereafter, Lewys and Gwenwynwyn were reconciled with each other when the Prince gave back all the lands which he had previously taken.
      King John was at Winchester when the news came to him that Fouke had killed Moris, Roger's son. He learned further that Fouke was staying with Prince Lewys, the husband of his [John's] own sister. His immediate reaction was a moment of thoughtful reflection. For a good while he did not utter a word. Then he shouted: "Hey! By Saint Mary, I am the King. I rule England. I am duke of Anjou and Normandy, and the whole of Ireland is under my lordship. Yet I cannot find a single man in all my jurisdiction who, no matter how much I offer to give, will avenge me for the damage and the disgrace which Fouke has done me. But you can be certain that I will not desist until I avenge myself upon this Prince." He then sent forth a summons to all his earls and barons and his other knights that they should on a certain day be at Shrewsbury with all their people.
      When all those summoned got to Shrewsbury, Lewys was warned by his friends that King John was planning to wage war against him. At that he called Fouke and told him the bad news. Fouke in turn assembled thirty thousand trusted men at castle Bala in Pennlyn [in Merionethshire]. Gwenwynwyn, the son of Owen, also came with his troops, all strong and bold men. Fouke was a very crafty strategist in war and was familiar with the terrain over which King John must travel, including all the narrow passes. One in particular, called the ford of Gymele, 3 was a very tight passage. It was very narrow, enclosed with woods and marshes, so that the only way to pass was by the highway. Fouke and Gwenwynwyn, when they reached the ford with their troops, dug out beyond the highway a long, deep, and broad ditch. They filled the ditch with water, so that no one could pass, partly because of the marsh on one side, and partly because of the ditch. Beyond the ditch they built a well fortified palisade. To this day that ditch is still to be seen.
      King John with his army finally reached the ford, which he expected to pass safely. Then he noticed just beyond it more than ten thousand armed knights, who were guarding the passage. Fouke and his companions had passed the ford by a hidden path that they had made and found themselves on the same side as the King. Gwenwynwyn and many other knights were also with them. The King immediately recognized Fouke and ordered his knights to attack from all sides. Fouke and his companions defended themselves like lions. They were often knocked off their horses, but quickly remounted, killing many of the King's knights in the process. Gwenwynwyn, however, took a bad blow to his helmet and received a serious head wound. When Fouke saw that neither he nor his men could long remain on the outside of their ditch, they returned by their hidden path to defend their palisade and the ditch. From that position they were able to shoot crossbow bolts and light spears against the King's troops, killing many and wounding an immense number in that manner. This fierce struggle lasted till the evening. When the King saw so many of his people killed and wounded, he was so sorrowful that he did not know what to do. He finally returned to Shrewsbury.
      As for King John's character, he was a man without conscience, wicked, cross, and hated by all good people. In addition he was lustful. Whenever he heard described any fair lady or damsel, he wished to have her at once, either to entrap her by promise or gift, or to ravish her by force. It mattered little whether she was the wife or daughter of an earl or a baron, or of any other for that matter. That was why he was the most hated. For this reason too many great lords of England had renounced their allegiance to the King, which in turn led to his being less feared by many.
      John Lestrange, lord of Knokin and of Ruyton-of-the-Eleven-Towns [in Shropshire], remained faithful to the King and continued to bring harm to Prince Lewys and his people. For this reason the Prince had the castle of Ruyton overthrown. When King John learned that this entire garrison was captured and imprisoned, he was very upset. Soon thereafter, Prince Lewys summoned Sir Fouke to castle Bala for the purpose of restoring to him not only Whittington, his heritage, but also Ystrat Marchell [in Montgomeryshire] and Dinorben [in Denbighshire]. After first expressing his thanks to the Prince, Fouke went to Whittington with his own people and had the castle restored and thoroughly repaired.
      John Lestrange came to the King and told him that Fouke had done great harm to his people by taking the castle of Ruyton. Since he was in very good standing with the King, he took the liberty to request royal troops in order to avenge himself upon Sir Fouke. To that end the King summoned Sir Henry de Audley [of Staffordshire], who was lord and first conqueror of the Red Castle. He commanded Sir Henry to take ten thousand knights, the most valiant of England, and ordered that the lord and his knights should be obedient to Sir John Lestrange in all matters. Sir Henry and Sir John and their knights set out for Whittington. Along their way, they slew whatever men and women they found and pillaged the countryside. A cry of panic was raised everywhere.
      Fouke remained in Whittington, where he had assembled a large contingent of men to defend his newly acquired lands. The company included seven hundred Welsh knights and many foot soldiers. When the news came that Sir John and Sir Henry were coming towards Whittington, Sir Fouke and his men armed themselves forthwith, going secretly to Middle Pass. The moment Sir John saw Sir Fouke he spurred on his war horse with lance down. He gave Sir Fouke such a blow with his lance that it flew into splinters. Sir Fouke in turn repaid Sir John by a blow to the face that sliced through his helmet and knocked him to the ground. The scar left by this blow was to be visible for the rest of John's life. In an extraordinary act of valor, however, John quickly leaped up from the ground and cried out: "Now, my lords, all of you attack Fouke." Fouke proudly answered: "By all means, and here comes Fouke to meet you all." Then the knights from both camps struck out at each other. Fouke, Sir Thomas Corbet, and their other companions slew many; but, Alan the son of Waryn, and Philip his brother, were wounded. When Fouke saw his brothers wounded, he became so enraged that he slashed out at all around him. Whomsoever his sword hit had no chance to escape from death. Unfortunately, Sir Fouke's troops were vastly outnumbered. In the battle he had only seven hundred knights, while the others were ten thousand or more. Seeing that he could not win this skirmish, Fouke returned towards Whittington. In the press Sir Audulph de Bracy was knocked from his horse. Although he had boldly defended himself, at the last he was taken prisoner and carried off to Shrewsbury.
      Sir Henry and Sir John were much delighted with the capture. They came to Shrewsbury before the king, where they delivered up Sir Audulph. The King argued heatedly with his prisoner, swearing boastfully that he would have him drawn and hanged, because he was both a traitor and a thief. He had killed his knights, burnt his cities, and overthrown his castles. Audulph in reply answered the King boldly, saying that neither he nor any of his kindred had ever been traitors.
      Back in Whittington, Fouke saw first to the care of his brothers and his other troops. When their wounds had been cleaned and their injuries attended to, it came to his attention that Sir Audulph was missing. He searched everywhere, but when he realized Audulph was nowhere to be found he thought he would never see him again. No one ever expressed sorrow at the loss of a friend more movingly than did Sir Fouke on this occasion. At length John de Rampaygne, seeing the depth of Fouke's grief, came forward and said: "Sir, have done with this lamentation. If it please God, before tomorrow at prime, you shall have good news of Sir Audulph de Bracy. For I myself shall go to speak to the King."
      John de Rampaygne was a fairly skillful musician and juggler. He could play the harp and vielle, as well as the psaltery. He dressed himself in fine clothes worthy of any earl or baron and stained his hair and the whole of his body jet black. In fact, there was nothing left white except his teeth. Around his neck he hung a beautiful tabor, before mounting a handsome palfrey. Once inside the town of Shrewsbury he rode through, as far as the gate of the castle and was stared at by many as he rode along. John presented himself to the King by kneeling before him and saluting very courteously. The King saluted him in return and asked him whence he came.
      "Sire," said he, "I am an Ethiopian minstrel, having been born in that country." In reply the King inquired further. "Are all the men of your land the same color as you?" "Yes, my lord, men and women alike." "What do they say of me in foreign realms?" "Sire," said he, "you are the most renowned King in the whole of Christendom. It is your great renown that explains my visit to your court." "Sir," said the King, "you are very welcome." John thanked him briefly, then added quietly that the King was renowned more for his wickedness than his goodness. Of course the King did not hear the last remark. So John spent the remainder of the day just playing his tabor and other instruments. When the King had gone to bed, Sir Henry de Audley sent for the black minstrel to be brought to his chamber. All present joined in the singing, and when Sir Henry had drunk a great deal he said he to a valet: "Go get Sir Audulph de Bracy, whom the King intends to put to death tomorrow. He shall at least have a pleasant night before his death." The valet quickly brought Sir Audulph into the chamber, where all were talking while the music continued. John began playing a song which Sir Audulph was accustomed to singing. Sir Audulph raised his head and looked the minstrel straight in the face. With some difficulty he finally recognized John. Then, when Sir Henry asked for drink, John obligingly leaped to his feet and served the cup to everyone in the room. John acted very cunningly, sprinkling a powder into the cup in such manner that no one perceived him. He was, after all, an excellent juggler. All those who drank became so drowsy that very soon afterward they lay down to go to sleep. When they were all asleep, John dragged one of the King's fools over and placed him between the two knights who had been assigned to guard the condemned prisoner. John and Sir Audulph then found some towels and sheets which were in the chamber, and escaped by a window facing the Severn River. They immediately headed towards Whittington, which was twelve leagues from Shrewsbury.
      The matter could not long be hidden. Early the next morning, when he was told the details of the escape, the King was furious. That same morning Fouke had risen early, for he had slept little the preceding night. As he looked in the direction of Shrewsbury he saw Sir Audulph and John approaching. No need to ask whether he was glad when he saw them. He ran out to embrace and kiss them both. Sir Audulph told him all that John had done and how they escaped. Fouke, who until shortly before had been sad, rejoiced greatly at this good news.
      Now let us return for a moment to speak of Fouke's wife, dame Matilda de Caus. When the King, who had lusted after Matilda, learned for certain that she was married to Sir Fouke, his enemy, by the counsel of Archbishop Hubert, he did great harm to both the Archbishop and the lady. He wished to have her carried off by violence, but she was able to find refuge in the church. There she gave birth to a daughter, Hawyse. who was later to become Lady of Wem. The Archbishop himself baptized the baby.
      Somewhat later Fouke and his companions came to Canterbury under cover of night. From there they took his wife to Higford, where she remained for some time. It then came to pass that the lady was again with child. During this pregnancy she remained in hiding in Alberbury. She soon discovered, however, that she was under surveillance by the King's men, so she fled secretly to Shrewsbury. At that point, she was so big with child, that she could travel no farther. So she took refuge in the church of Our Lady at Shrewsbury, and there she gave birth to another daughter. At her baptism this baby was given the name Joan, and later in life she was married to Sir Henry de Pembridge. Subsequently, Matilda had still another child, this time a son. He was born in Wales, up in the mountains, and was baptized in a stream which flowed from the Maiden's Well [Fontaine des Puceles]. The mother and child were very weak, for the child was born two months before term. In their weakened condition both had to be carried down from the mountain to a farmhouse, nearby Carreg-y-nant ['stone by the stream' -- a common Welsh name] . When the child was later healthy enough to be confirmed by the Bishop, he was called Fouke. 4
      When the King saw he could in no way avenge himself upon Fouke, nor disgrace or take his wife, he sent a letter to his own brother-in-law, Prince Lewys. In the letter he begged Lewys to remove from his household his mortal enemy, the felonious Sir Fouke. Should he comply, John promised in return that he would restore all the lands which the King's ancestors had ever taken from his lordship. The single condition was that he must deliver Sir Fouke's body. The Prince called his wife Joan into his chamber and showed her the letter which the King, her brother, had sent him. When the lady had heard the letter, she immediately sent a full report of it to Sir Fouke, thereby informing him that the King wished to come to terms with her husband. Fouke was distressed at this news and feared treason. His first reaction was to protect his wife, dame Matilda. In the company of Baldwin de Hodenet she was sent secretly to the Bishop of Canterbury. Following that mission, Baldwin was to meet him again at Dover.
      Fouke and his four brothers, along with Audulph and John de Rampaygne, armed themselves fully and set out with all their men for Castle Bala to speak to Prince Lewys. Fouke said to him: "Sir, I have served you loyally to the best of my ability, but these days a man does not know whom to trust. For, on the mere promise made by the King, you wish to abandon me. I am all the more fearful, sir, since I know that the King has sent that promise in a letter which you have concealed from me." "Fouke," the Prince replied, "stay with me; for assuredly I plan to do you no treason." "Indeed, sir," said Fouke, "even though I can believe your word full well, I will not remain on any account." At that he and all of his companions took leave of the Prince. From Castle Bala he journeyed night and day until he arrived in Dover. There he met up with Baldwin, who had taken his wife Matilda to stay in safety with the Archbishop. They put to sea and arrived in France at Whitsuntide.
      When they got near to Paris, Fouke and his men saw a tournament underway. King Philip of France had come into the fields to watch his French knights in action. Fouke himself was still disguised, as were his companions. When they saw such a fair assembly, they tarried to see the jousts. Noting the presence of some English knights, the Frenchmen exerted themselves much the more to do well. Then Sir Druz de Montbener, a very proud Frenchman, sent word to Sir Fouke asking that he come joust with him. Fouke immediately accepted the invitation. Fouke and his brothers armed themselves and mounted their war-horses. John de Rampaigne was richly attired, mounted on a fine charger. At the entrance to the tilting fields John gave a drum-beat on the tabor he was carrying. The tabor beat was so loud that the hills and the valleys resounded, causing the horses to caper. Then, when the King saw Sir Fouke in full battle dress, he said to Sir Druz de Montbener: "Take heed, sir, for it is quite obvious that this English knight is very valiant." "Sire," he replied, "there is not a knight in all the world whom I would not dare to take on man-to-man, either on horse or on foot." "May God be with you!" said the King.
      Fouke and Sir Druz spurred their horses and engaged the combat. Fouke pierced his opponent's shield with his lance, which also sliced through the knight's hauberk and into his shoulder. The blow hit with such force that the lance flew into pieces. Sir Druz ended up flat on the ground. Fouke then led the riderless horse back to Sir Druz and offered it to him as a present. For Sir Fouke had no desire to keep the horse as a prize of battle. A second French knight immediately came forward ready to avenge Sir Druz. He struck such a blow with his lance that it went clear through Fouke's shield. Fouke struck back, hitting his attacker on the helmet with such a blow that his lance broke up into fragments. The knight also lost his balance and fell from his saddle. Fouke's brothers and companions stood ready to joust, but the King would not permit it. Instead, he spurred his horse in Fouke's direction. "English knight," he said, "a blessing upon you, for you have done exceedingly well." The King then graciously requested that Fouke remain with him. He was very thankful for the offer and consented to stay at the King's pleasure. Fouke had such grace that he was held to be the finest of knights and without peer. From that day forward the English knight was held in highest esteem by many in France and was praised everywhere he went for his courage, chivalry, and prowess.
      Fouke remained for some time in France and was loved and honored by the King and Queen and all the gentry. When the King asked him what his name was, Fouke told him that he was called Amys del Boys. "Sir Amys," said the King, "do you know Fouke Fitz-Waryn, of whom so much good is spoken everywhere?" "Yes, sire, I have seen him quite often." "And what is his stature?" "Sire, in my opinion, he is about the same height as I am." "That he may well be, for you are both valiant men." Fouke traveled all over France to jousts and tourneys. Everywhere he went he was praised, loved, and honored for his prowess.
      The King of England finally learned that Fouke was residing with King Philip of France. He sent a letter to the King respectfully requesting that Sir Fouke Fitz-Waryn, his mortal enemy, be expelled from Philip's household. When the King of France heard the letter read, he swore by Saint Denys that no such knight was in his retinue. This was in effect the answer he sent back to the King of England. Sir Fouke in turn heard the news and went directly to see the King of France to announce his imminent departure. "Tell me what prompts your sudden decision," said the King. "I will make full amends for any failing on my part which might have occasioned your desire to leave me." Fouke replied simply: "Sire I have heard news that compels me to set out with all due haste." At these words the King understood immediately his real identity. "Sir Amys de Boys," said the King, "I believe that you are in fact Fouke Fitz-Waryn." "Yes, my lord, I am indeed." The King then pleaded: "Stay here with me, and I will give you richer lands than any you have ever had in England." "With due respect, my lord" he responded, "a man who cannot reasonably hold those which are his own by right heritage is unworthy to receive lands as a gift from someone else."
      Fouke took leave of the King and headed toward the coast. As he approached he saw some ships afloat on the sea, but there was no wind in the direction of England, although the weather was fair. Fouke saw a mariner, who appeared to be bold and hardy. He called out to him: "Sir, is that your ship?" "Yes, indeed, sir," came the reply. When asked his name the mariner answered: "Sir, I am Mador of Mont de Russie, where I was born." "Mador," said Fouke, "how well have you mastered your trade? Are you able to take passengers by sea into various regions?" "Frankly sir, there is no known land within Christendom to which I do not know how to take a ship safely." "Assuredly," said Fouke, "yours is a very perilous trade. Tell me, brother Mador, of what death did your father die?" Mador answered that he had drowned at sea. "How did your grandfather go?" "In the same way." "How about your great-grandfather?" "In like manner, as did all my relations, to the fourth generation, as far as I know." "Truly," said Fouke, "it is very foolhardy of you to venture out to sea." "Why indeed, sir? Every creature shall have the death that is destined for him," said Mador. "Now then, if you please, answer my question. Where did your father die?" "In his bed, of course." "Where did your grandfather die?" "In the same place." "And your great-grandfather?" "Certainly, all of my lineage, as far as I know, died in their beds." "Assuredly, sir," said Mador, "since all your kindred have died in their beds, I am much astonished that you dare go near any bed." At that Fouke was forced to concede that the mariner had told him a simple truth. Every man shall have such a death as is appointed him; and he does not know whether it shall be on land or on sea.
      Judging that Mador well understood the business of ships, he contracted with him to have a ship planned and built, and promised to meet all the expense involved. Mador agreed and the ship was made in a forest near the sea, according to the mariner's own specifications. All the ropes and other tackle with which Mador outfitted the vessel were of exceptional quality. It was an exceedingly well-provisioned ship.
      Fouke, his brothers, and all his retinue put out to sea and drew near the coast of England. Mador saw a well-manned ship coming towards them. When the ships drew near each other a knight on board called out to Mador: "Mariner, who owns the ship which you are steering, and what is her provenance? For it is an unfamiliar vessel in these waters." "The ship is my very own, sir," said Mador. "'By my faith!" the knight retorted, "In no way is that so. You are thieves, and I know it by the quartered sail, which bears the arms of Fouke Fitz-Waryn. He must be on board the ship, and this very day I will deliver his body up to King John." "Well indeed," said Fouke, "you will do no such thing. Should you, however, want some of our provisions, you are welcome to them gladly." "I prefer instead to take all of you," he said, "and whatever belongs to you, with or without your consent." "On that account you are sadly mistaken," said Fouke. Mador, who was an excellent mariner, let out his sails and steered his ship directly into the path of the other vessel. He cut the other ship cleanly in two, so that the sea poured into its hold. Fouke and his companions immediately boarded the ship after it was struck. They plundered the contents, including all the food, and carried the booty back onto their own ship. The enemy vessel was destroyed, but many a hard blow was struck first. The other ship then disintegrated and sank to the bottom.
      For an entire year Fouke continued sailing just off the coast of England. He sought to bring harm to no one other than to King John. On many occasions he seized the King's property and whatever else of his he could find. Finally, the ship set sail for Scotland, but a strong west wind forced them to continue on for three additional days' journey, well beyond their intended destination. A very beautiful island appeared in the distance, and as they drew near it they found a good port. Fouke and his four brothers, along with Audulph and Baldwin, went ashore to see the country and find food for their ship. Their first encounter was with a young shepherd, who came forward to greet them in very bad Latin. Fouke asked him if he knew whether there might be any provisions for sale in the country. "Truly sir, none at all," he said. "For this is an island inhabited by very few people, and those who do reside here live only off their animals. But if you will please come with me, such food as I have, I am willing to share with you." Fouke thanked the lad and followed along as he led them down into an underground cavern, which was very beautiful. The shepherd asked them to be seated and otherwise received them graciously. He then told them he had a servant on a nearby hill. "Please, do not be annoyed," he said, " if I blow my horn to summon him. That way we will be able to dine more quickly." "Please do so, in God's name!" said Fouke. The young man went outside the cavern and blew six blasts before returning into the cavern.
      Forthwith six tall and fierce peasants arrived, dressed in coarse and dirty tabards. Each one was carrying a strong, hard club. When Fouke saw them he immediately suspected mischief. The six peasants went into a chamber, took off their dirty tabards and replaced them with much richer cloth of a fine green color. Their shoes were ornamented with gold, and in all their attire they were as richly dressed as any King might be. Returning to the hall, all six respectfully greeted Sir Fouke and his companions. Their first request was that rich chessboards with pieces made of fine gold and silver be brought to them. The guests were all invited to play. Sir William played a game, but he lost it immediately. Sir John played another, and in no time he too lost. Philip, Alan, Baldwin, and Audulph, one after the other played, and each in turn lost the game. Then one of the haughtiest shepherds said to Fouke, "Will you play?" "No," he answered. "Indeed, sir," said the shepherd, "you shall either play chess or you will have to wrestle with me. You have no other choice." "By my faith," said Fouke, "you are a villainous shepherd and a liar. Since I am forced either to wrestle or play chess despite myself, I choose instead to play the game I know best." So he leaped up, drew his sword, and struck such a blow that the shepherd's head flew into the middle of the room. A second, then a third one met a similar fate. Fouke and his companions ended up killing all those peasant scoundrels.
      Fouke then entered a chamber where he found an old woman sitting. She was holding a horn which she tried repeatedly to put up to her mouth, but she had not the strength to blow it. When she saw Fouke she begged for mercy. He asked her of what use the horn might be if she could blow it. The old woman answered that if the horn were blown, help would come immediately. Fouke took the horn from her and went into another chamber. There he found seven beautiful damsels, dressed very richly, who were doing fine hand work. When they saw Fouke they threw themselves on their knees and cried for mercy from him. Fouke asked them where they were from, and one of them said: "Sir, I am the daughter of Aunflor of Orkney. My father is resident in one of his castles in Orkney, called Castle Bagot, which is in a very beautiful forest near the sea. One day I and my maidens, with four knights among others, took a boat and went for a pleasure ride on the sea near my father's castle. As we were sailing, the seven sons of the old woman, whom you just saw with her horn, attacked us from a well-manned ship. They killed all our people and brought the survivors here. Against our consent they have repeatedly ravished our bodies, and heaven is our witness! Wherefore we pray, in the name of the God in whom you believe, to save us from this misery. Please, help us to escape from here, if you can. Judging by your appearance, I perceive that you are not from this country." Fouke comforted the damsels, assuring them that he would help them to the best of his ability.
      During their search for provisions Fouke and his men also found great treasure, including armor. Fouke kept for himself a rich haubergeon which he came to love so much that he often wore it secretly. During the rest of his life he would neither give it away nor sell it at any price.
      Fouke first provisioned his ship liberally and placed the damsels on board, comforting them as best he could. Then he commanded all his men to arm themselves quickly. When all were ready, Fouke sounded the little horn that he had taken from the old woman. More than two hundred robbers from all over the countryside came running through the fields. There were no other inhabitants on the whole island except robbers and thieves. They lived there as pirates venturing forth from their haven to kill whomsoever they could reach upon the sea. Although they defended themselves vigorously Fouke and his company immediately fell upon these robbers and killed more than two hundred of them.

[Fouke travels to the Orkneys to return the damsels to their homes. He then sails to the seven islands of the ocean, including Ireland, Gotland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, where none dwell but horned serpents and venemous beasts with mastif heads, driven from Ireland by St. Patrick. Caught in a tempest, he's driven through ice-filled waters to Carthage, where Fouke rescues a duke's daughter from a dragon. The duke offers the daughter in marriage, a gift which Fouke would gladly have received were he not already married and a Christian (Hathaway, p. 45, line 7, to p. 48, line 34.)]

      Fouke and his companions at last sailed towards England. When they came to Dover they went inland, but first making certain that Mador remained with the ship at a safe location where they could find him whenever they might need him again.
      Fouke and his companions had learned from the peasants that King John was presently at Windsor, so they made their way secretly in that direction. During the day they slept and rested themselves, while during the night they went on until they came to the forest. Since they were already very familiar with the area, they easily found a place to hide, for Fouke knew well every part of Windsor Forest. When they heard a horn sounding, Fouke and his companions armed themselves for a skirmish, for they realized immediately that the King's hunters and beaters were getting ready for a hunt. Fouke swore an oath that fear of death would not deter him from taking revenge on the King, who by force had wrongfully disinherited him. He would thus challenge the King to restore his rights and his heritage. Fouke decided to act on his own, so he told his companions to remain where they were. Having said this, he set out alone to seek adventure.
      Fouke's first encounter was with an old charcoal-burner carrying a shovel, dressed all in black, as becomes a collier. Fouke kindly asked him to give him his clothes and his shovel. "Willingly, sir," he said. In exchange, Fouke gave him ten besants [Byzantine gold coins], and asked him to tell this to no one. The charcoal-burner went his way; Fouke stayed there and immediately put on the clothes which the collier had given him. He then saw to his coals and began to stir the fire. There was a large iron fork that he used to arrange the logs on one side and the other.
      King John soon arrived on foot accompanied by three knights and saw Fouke tending the fire. Fouke immediately recognized the King; and, throwing down his fork, saluted his lord by falling humbly to his knees before him. The King and his three knights laughed and made great sport over the politeness and demeanor of the charcoal burner. After standing there for a long time, the King said: "My good peasant, have you seen a stag or doe pass this way?" "Yes, my lord, some time ago." "What kind of an animal did you see?" "One with long horns, my lord." "Where is it now?" "Sire, I can very easily lead you where I saw it, but I ask your permission to allow me to take my fork. For if it were stolen it would be a great loss to me?" "Yes, peasant, if you like, go on and we will follow you."
      Carrying his big iron fork, Fouke conducted the King to an excellent place from which to shoot. The King was a very good bowman. "My lord," said Fouke, "would you like me to go into the thicket and direct the animal to come this way?" "Yes, indeed," said the King. Fouke leaped into the thick of the forest, and summoned his band hastily to take King John. "Be quick, for I have led him here with only three knights. Come while all of his retinue is still on the other side of the forest." Fouke and his band rushed out of the thicket and quickly captured the King. "Now, sire," said Fouke, "I have you at last in my power. Shall I pass such a sentence upon you as you would upon me if you had taken me?" The King trembled in fear, for he greatly dreaded Fouke. Fouke swore that he should die for the great damage and the disinheritance that he had inflicted upon him and upon many a good man in England. The King cried for mercy, and in God's name, begged for his life. He promised that he would restore to Fouke his entire inheritance and whatsoever he had taken from him and all his friends. Moreover, he would grant him his friendship and peace for ever. To that end, John pledged to abide by whatever guarantees of security Fouke himself might decide appropriate. Fouke accepted the King's offer on one condition. In the presence of all the knights here present, he would have to give his solemn word to keep this covenant. The King pledged solemnly that he would keep faith with Fouke. He was overjoyed to be able thus to escape so easily.
      Upon his return to the palace, King John assembled his knights and his retinue and told them in detail how Sir Fouke had deceived him. Since his solemn oath was made under duress, he had no intention whatever to keep it. He therefore commanded all to arm themselves in haste and capture these felons while they were still in Windsor Forest. Sir James of Normandy, who was the King's cousin, requested that he be placed in the vanguard. He claimed that the English, at least all the nobles, were cousins to Sir Fouke, hence they were most probably traitors to the King and would not help take these felons. Randolph, the Earl of Chester, protested vehemently. "In faith, sir, with due respect to the King, but not to you, that is a bold lie." He would have punched him in the face, had the Earl Marshal not restrained him. He claimed that they were not now nor ever had been traitors to the King or to anyone else. Furthermore, he reminded Sir James firmly that many nobles here present, including the King himself, were cousins to Sir Fouke. The Earl Marshal interrupted, saying: "Let us go after Sir Fouke. Then the King will see for himself who might be holding back for reasons of family ties." Sir James of Normandy and his fifteen knights armed themselves splendidly all in white armor and nobly mounted on white steeds. This nobleman hastened forward with his company in quest of fame.
      John de Rampaigne had overheard all these proceedings and reported them back to Sir Fouke, who concluded that there was no means of escape open to him other than to fight. Sir Fouke and his companions thus armed themselves well and boldly took on Sir James in battle. They defended themselves vigorously and killed all their opponents except four, who were seriously wounded. Sir James himself was taken prisoner. Sir Fouke and his men immediately put on the arms of Sir James and the other Normans. They also mounted the healthier white horses, for their own horses were tired and lean. Tying his mouth so that he could not speak, they dressed Sir James in the arms of Sir Fouke, including the helmet. and rode towards the King. When the King saw them approaching he immediately recognized them by the arms. He believed that Sir James and his men were bringing back Sir Fouke.
      Sir James was delivered to the King, with the prisoner being identified as Sir Fouke. At this news, both the Earl of Chester and the Earl Marshal were deeply saddened. Assuming that he was in fact addressing Sir James, the King presently commanded him to kiss him. Sir Fouke replied that, because he was in such haste to follow the other Fitz-Waryns, he had not time enough even to take off his helmet. So the King dismounted from his good horse and ordered James (i.e., Fouke) to mount it, for it was a swifter one for pursuing his enemies. Sir Fouke got down from his own horse and mounted the King's steed. When he finally rejoined his companions, they all fled to a spot some six leagues farther away. Safe at last, they disarmed themselves in a thicket and tended to their injuries. They bound up the wounds of William Fitz-Waryn, whom they considered as dead, for he had been severely wounded by one of the Normans. All his companions shared Fouke's deep grief over his brother's fate.
      Meanwhile, the King proceeded to order that Sir Fouke be hanged. Sir Emery de Pyn, a Gascon who was a relative of Sir James, stepped forward and said that he would see to the hanging himself. He took charge of the prisoner and, leading him off a short distance, made him take off his helmet. He saw immediately that it was not Fouke. With his mouth unbound, Sir James was at last able to explain what had happened. Emery brought Sir James back to the King and reported what Sir Fouke had done. When the King realized that he had been thus deceived he was furious. He swore an oath that he would stay armed in his hauberk until such time as he had taken these traitors. Fouke knew nothing of the King's oath.
      The King and his nobles pursued Fouke's band by following the tracks left by their horses until they reached the wood where Fouke was hiding. When Fouke saw them coming, he stood disconsolate, lamenting for his wounded brother, William. He felt that all was lost. William begged them to cut off his head and take it with them. That way, when the King arrived, he would not be able to identify William's body. Fouke refused the request. With warm tears streaming down his face, he prayed for God's mercy and help. No one has ever seen greater sorrow than that shared between these two brothers.
      Randolph, the Earl of Chester, led the assault. Upon seeing the Fitz-Waryns, he commanded his troops to halt. He went on alone to beg Fouke, for the love of God, to surrender himself to the King. If he did so, Randolph gave his word of guarantee for safe passage, assuring him further that he would be reconciled with the King. Fouke replied that he could not do so for all the gold in the world. "My dear cousin," said Fouke, "for the love of God I beg your help for my brother lying here near death. Promise me that after he dies you will make certain that his body is buried, so that wild beasts do not devour it. Please do likewise for the rest of us when we too are dead. For now, go back to your lord the King, and do his service without hesitation or regard for us who are related to you by blood. We will stay to face the destiny which awaits us here." Very sadly, the earl returned to join his companions. Fouke remained there weeping greatly, out of pity for his brother, whom of necessity he would be compelled to leave there to die. He could do little more than pray that God come to their aid.
      The earl ordered the assault, and his men attacked in full force. Randolph himself fell upon Sir Fouke, but lost his horse in the attack, during which most of his retinue was killed. Fouke and his brothers defended themselves doggedly. Sir Berard de Blois came up behind Fouke and struck him with his sword on the side, thinking that he had killed him. Fouke, however, turned on his assailant and struck back, hitting him on the left shoulder with his sword grasped in both hands. Cut through to the heart and lungs, Berard fell dead from his horse. Fouke had bled so much, however, that he slid down upon the neck of his horse, and the sword fell from his hand. Saddened by this turn of events, the Fitz-Waryns rushed to the aid of their wounded brother. John leaped behind Fouke on the horse and held him up so that he could not fall. They all then took to flight, for their forces were overwhelmed. The King and his men rode in pursuit, but were unable to overtake them. All that night they went on thus, till in the morning they came to the spot on the coast where they had left Mador the mariner. When Fouke revived, he asked where he was and whether he had been taken prisoner. His brothers comforted him as best they could, and put him to bed in the ship. John de Rampaigne tended his wounds.
      After the fighting, the Earl of Chester looked out on the field of battle. He saw that he had lost many of his own people, but he also remembered Fouke's earlier request. So, when he came upon William Fitz-Waryn nearly dead, he had the body sent to a nearby abbey to be nursed. At length William was discovered there. Forthwith the King had him transported in a litter to Windsor Castle, where he was promptly thrown into a dungeon. King John was exceedingly angry with the Earl of Chester for having concealed his charitable action. "Fouke too is mortally wounded," said the King, "but at least I have one of his family here now. The other Fitz-Waryns will be my prisoners too before they know it. To be sure, pride is at the heart of the matter, for had not it been for his excessive pride Fouke would still be alive. While he lived, there was no better knight in the whole world, hence his death is an even greater loss."
      In the sea near the coast of Spain there is an island called Beteloye. It is closed in with high rocks, and there is only one entrance. Neither man nor beast dwells on this island, which measures half a league in length and an equal distance in breadth. On the seventh day of their voyage Fouke and his companions arrived at this island. Fouke was at last able to find rest. For the six days of the sea voyage he had been unable to sleep. While his brothers and the others went off to explore the land, he himself remained alone asleep on the ship. Suddenly, a terrible wind came up and broke the cords of the ship, even though it was firmly anchored to a rock. The ship was carried out onto the high sea. When Fouke finally awoke he saw the stars in the night sky. He called his brother John and his other companions, but no one answered. Slowly he became aware that he was alone on the sea and began to curse his cruel destiny. As he wept for his lost brothers, sleep overcame him at last. Soon afterwards his ship arrived in the land of Barbary at the city of Tunis.
      At that time Messobrin was the King of Barbary. In the company of four other Kings and six emirs, who were all Saracens, he was standing in a tower overlooking the sea. When he saw this amazing galley approaching his land, the King ordered two soldiers to go and see what it was. The soldiers boarded the ship, finding nothing except one knight asleep. One of them kicked Fouke and ordered him to awake. The frightened knight leaped up and struck the soldier such a blow with his fist that he fell overboard into the sea. The other one fled to report to the King what had happened. A hundred knights were promptly dispatched by the King to take this ship and bring the knight to him. Well armed, the hundred knights surrounded the ship and assailed it from all sides. Fouke, even though badly outnumbered, defended himself bravely, but at last was forced to surrender. This, however, he did under very favorable conditions. For, when he was brought to the palace, Fouke was taken to one of the royal chambers. There, by order of the King, he was to be well attended.
      Isorie, the King's sister, was a very beautiful and gentle damsel. She often came to visit Fouke and bring him comfort, because she had noticed that he had a bad wound in his side. She graciously asked him to tell her his name and where he was from, as well as how he had come to be wounded. He told her his name was Maryn le Perdu [Lost Sailor] of France. He was deeply in love with the daughter of an earl in his home country. The lady seemed to return his affection, but she apparently loved another even more. "And it happened that one day she and I met for an amorous tryst. As she was holding me in her arms very closely, the other man whom she loved more arrived. He struck me with his sword here, in my side, and put me onto a galley for dead. The ship set out to sea and brought me to these parts." "This damsel was certainly not very courteous," Isorie remarked, as she picked up a richly ornamented harp. Her songs and melodies were her way of bringing solace to this handsome knight, whom she could see was of truly courtly bearing.
      Fouke asked lovely Isorie what was all the commotion before the King in the great hall. "I will tell you, indeed," she said. "In the province of Murcia in Iberia there lived a nobleman, the Duke of Cartagena, who had a very beautiful daughter, Ydoyne. While her father was alive, she dwelt with him in his castle in Cartagena. One day a dragon came and carried her to a high mountain in the sea. There he kept her for more than seven years, until a knight of England, called Fouke the son of Waryn de Metz [Mees], came to the mountain and slew the dragon, thereby restoring the maiden to her father. Shortly afterwards the duke died and his daughter ruled over the duchy. My brother, the King of Barbary, sent messengers to her, offering to take her as his wife, but she refused him. Feeling shame at the refusal, the King reacted by assembling an army which destroyed Ydoyne's cities and overthrew her castles. The damsel fled abroad to seek reinforcements. She has now returned with her own large contingent of troops and has begun fiercely to wage war upon my brother. To end this struggle she proposes rules of battle whereby two champions, to be chosen from the two armies now set against each other, will square off against one another. If her chosen knight is conquered, she accepts to give up her duchy and go with Messobrin to Barbary. If ours is beaten, however, my brother the King must entirely restore to her all the land he has taken.
      That was the context of the deliberations you overheard earlier today in the great hall, upon the arrival of some messengers sent by Ydoyne. Would that it pleased the God Mahomet that you were such a one as dared undertake the battle on the part of my brother the King! For you would earn great honor in doing so." "My lady, I am greatly indebted to my lord the King, and especially to you; but I could never undertake battle for a Saracen against Christians. I would rather die first. But if the King would renounce his law, be baptized and become a Christian, on such conditions I would, however, accept to undertake the battle as his champion. If I succeed, this land and its people will be saved. The King will, moreover, finally have this damsel of whom you have spoken." Isorie ran immediately to report to her brother Messobrin, the King of Barbary, all that Fouke, who called himself Maryn le Perdu of France, had told her. The King accepted the generous offer unconditionally, promising to follow any orders Fouke might give, if he could but accomplish all that he had promised!
      The day of the battle was appointed. The King and his emirs, along with the Berbers and all his other people, came forward, very well armed to face Ydoyne and her troops. Sir Fouke had been provided with rich arms, and Isorie herself graciously attended him. When all was ready, the King put forward his champion knight (Fouke) to do battle, and the duchess put forward hers. The two bold knights spurred on their horses and exchanged lance blows such that the splinters flew all over the field. Then they drew their swords and had go at each other bravely. Fouke struck his opponent's horse such a blow that it fell dead, although he would have preferred to hit the knight instead. When the knight hit the ground he shouted: "Wicked heathen, evil Saracen of pagan faith, may the God of Heaven curse you. Why have you killed my horse?" Fouke dismounted, and the two knights continued their fierce combat well into the evening.
      At last the knight asked Fouke: "You, sir, may be a pagan, yet you are strong and noble. Please tell me where you were born." "If you want to know my country of birth I will not tell you, unless you tell me first about yours. Only then will I reply to your question." The knight said that he was a Christian born in England, the son of Waryn de Metz. His name was Philip the Red. He recounted his whole life and that of his brothers in great detail, telling how the duchess had come in a ship to the island of Beteloye and had rescued them. They had been stranded on that island half a year or more. Almost to the point of starvation, they were even forced to eat their own horses. "And when the countess saw us, she knew immediately who we were, and provided us with all the food we needed. She told us that she had just come from England, where she had gone in search of us to help her carry on her war against the King of Barbary. So, there you have a full account of the hard life we have led." At that point Fouke interrupted: "Dear brother, Philip the Red, do not you know me? I am your brother Fouke." "You, sir, are a Saracen; you cannot be my brother. You are trying to deceive me; by God you shall not do so!" Then Fouke showed him something, saying: "Here is a sign." Philip recognized it at once. There was great joy all around, and the battle was adjourned till the following day. Philip explained to the duchess that it was his brother Fouke with whom he had been fighting. Then Fouke, Philip, and their other brothers took counsel with Messobrin. He and all his household were baptized, and the King married the duchess with great honor.
      Fouke, his brothers and their men stayed for some time with the King in order to make proper preparations for their return voyage to England. The King gave them gold, silver, horses, arms, and all the luxury goods which they might desire. They filled their ship with such riches that it was a wonder to behold. When they arrived secretly in England, Fouke arranged to have John de Rampaigne go disguised as a merchant to locate King John and find out whether his brother William were alive or not. John dressed himself in the clothes of a rich merchant and went to London. There he made the acquaintance of the mayor and all his household. He gave them such rich gifts that he was even invited to live in the mayor's house, where he was attended to as a wealthy guest. Taking advantage of this privileged status, John asked the mayor to arrange an audience with the King so that he might seek royal favor in allowing his ship's cargo to be unloaded in England. Although he spoke bad Latin, the mayor understood him very well.
      So the mayor brought the merchant before King John at Westminster. He greeted the King very courteously in his own language. The King understood his words and asked him who he was and his country of origin. "Sire, I am a merchant from Greece. I have been in Babylon [i.e., the medieval city of Old Cairo], Alexandria, and Greater India. I have a ship laden with heavy merchandise, including rich cloths, jewels, horses, and other valuables, which might be of great value in your realm." "It is my pleasure," said the King, "that you and your people should be free to land in my country. I grant you my surety." The merchant, together with the mayor, was invited to remain and eat at the King's table.
      Two sergeants-at-mace soon entered, bringing into the hall a tall knight with a long black beard and poorly clothed. They led him to the middle of the room and gave him some food. When the merchant asked the mayor who this was, he was told that it was a knight named Sir William Fitz Waryn, and was given the poor man's full story and that of his brothers. Upon hearing the man's name, John was overjoyed to see him still alive, yet very troubled at heart by the poor man's wretched condition. As soon as it was feasible for him, the merchant hastened to Sir Fouke to report on William's plight. Later he had his ship brought as near to the city as he could.
      The following day the merchant took a palfrey, the like of which there was none so handsome in all the kingdom, and presented it to King John, who gladly received this gift so marvelous for its beauty. In fact, the merchant gave so liberally that he won his way into everyone's graces. As a result, he was allowed to do whatever pleased him at the King's court.
      One day John went to the court at Westminster accompanied by his men, who had first put on sailors' tunics and armed themselves well. After they were nobly received, they noticed William Fitz Waryn being led by his keepers to the prison. The merchant and his companions took William by force from the guards and carried him toward their boat, which was moored very near the palace. The keepers immediately sounded the alarm and followed in pursuit. But the merchants were well armed and defended themselves bravely. They escaped to their galley, placed William on board, and headed out to sea. No need to ask whether Fouke was delighted to see his brother William and John de Rampaigne, still dressed in his merchant garb. The brothers embraced, and each one told the other a tale of adventures and misfortunes. When the King heard that he had been deceived by the merchant, he thought himself ill used.
      Fouke and his companions arrived in Brittany, where they remained with relatives more than six months. At last he made up his mind that nothing would deter him from returning to England. When he got to England, he went straight to New Forest [in Hampshire], where he had often spent time. There he met the King, who was hunting a wild boar. Fouke and his men captured him, along with six of his knights, and brought them back to their galley. The King and all his followers were very frightened by all this. Many heated words were exchanged, but at length the King pardoned them his ill will, and restored all their inheritance. He also promised them that he would proclaim a truce through all England. As a token of good faith that he would indeed fulfill his promise, he left his six knights as hostages until the peace could be proclaimed.
      The King returned forthwith to Westminster, where he assembled earls, barons, and the clergy, and told them openly that he had willingly granted his peace to Fouke Fitz Waryn and his brothers, and to all their followers. He ordered that henceforth the Fitz Waryns should be honorably received throughout the realm, since he had decided to grant them once again their entire heritage.
      Hubert the Archbishop was delighted at this news. He promptly sent letters to Fouke, to the Earl of Gloucester, to Randolph Earl of Chester, and to Hugh Bigod, Earl Marshal, to come immediately to Canterbury. When they were all assembled, it was appointed that Fouke and his companions should surrender themselves to the King in London.
      Fouke with his brothers and the three earls, along with all their forces, equipped themselves as richly as they could and set out for London in noble apparel. They knelt before the King at Westminster, and surrendered themselves to him, upon which the King returned to them all their rightful possessions in England. They were given a royal reception and were invited by the King to stay awhile with him at court, which they did for an entire month.
      Then Fouke took his leave and went for a visit with the Earl Marshal, who surrendered to him Ashdown and Wantage in Berkshire and other lands as well. Fouke and his brothers put on full armor and next went to Abingdon [in Oxfordshire], where they removed whatever they could find. These possessions were then taken on to Wantage, which was later to become a market town. The fair that Fouke set up in the town has been held there ever since.
      Fouke took leave of the Earl Marshal and went to see Earl Randolph of Chester, who was assembling an army to go to Ireland to defend his rights there. When they got there a great troop of their enemies was waiting for them. The earl commanded his men to take up their arms. Fouke himself set off with three young brothers whom the earl had brought with him. The three young men were of great valor and strength, well armed and mounted on fine horses. Among the enemies facing them stood a hideous giant. He was well armed, black and horrible, twelve feet taller than any other. The giant stepped forward and shouted out: "Earl of Chester, send me the most valiant knight whom you have, to defend your rights." The three youths heard the shout and rushed to engage the giant. He killed them swiftly, one after the other, with the hatchet which he was wielding.       Then Fouke charged forward on his steed and tried to pierce him with his lance; but the giant dodged the blow, striking Fouke instead, such that he almost disabled him. Fearful now, Fouke became very cautious, until he was finally able to smite his opponent through the body with his lance. As he was falling down, the giant struck Fouke's horse, severing its two legs. Fouke himself fell to the ground, but quickly leaped up again. He drew his sword and cut off his enemy's head. After the battle, Fouke was later to take this giant's hatchet to his castle at Whittington. For now he helped the Earl of Chester in his conquest of all these lands and castles in Ireland. Sir Randolph stayed long enough in that country to restore his lands, after which he returned to England.
      At long last Fouke came to his stronghold at Whittington, the beautiful castle he had built on marshy ground. There once again he found Matilda, his wife, and his children, who greeted him with great joy. Fouke proceeded to have all his treasures brought to Whittington. He gave lands and horses to his servants and friends very liberally, and maintained his land in great honor.
      Fouke reflected on the fact that he had sinned greatly against God by killing many men, not to mention his other great misdeeds. So, in order to gain remission for his sins, he founded a priory in honor of Our Lady, of the order of Saint Mary of Grandmont, near Alberbury, in a forest on the River Severn. It is called the New Abbey [Alberbury Priory]. Shortly thereafter, Fouke's wife, Dame Matilda de Caus, died and was buried in this priory. A good while after the death of this lady, Fouke married another very noble woman, Dame Clarice d'Auberville. Both of his wives bore him fair and healthy children.
      Fouke's reputation for prowess and goodness was such that his children benefitted greatly from their father's renown. The hand of his daughter Eve, for one, was granted upon formal request of the Prince of Wales [Llewelyn the Great]. She was married with great honor and solemnity to the Prince after the death of his first wife, Dame Joan, who was herself the daughter of King Henry of England. But Llewelyn lived only a year and a half after the wedding. He died and was buried at the Cistercian abbey of Conway [Caernarvonshire]. Eve, who had no children from Llewelyn, was afterwards married to a worthy knight, the Lord of Blancmostiers [either Oswestry or Whitchurch in Shropshire].
      One night Fouke and his wife, Dame Clarice, were lying in bed in their chamber. The lady was asleep, but Fouke kept awake reflecting upon his youth, and he repented deeply in his heart for his misdeeds. Suddenly, he saw a wonderful brightness in the room. He wondered what it could be. Then he heard a thundering voice in the air say to him: "God has granted to you, His vassal, a penance which is of greater worth to you here than elsewhere." At these words the lady awoke and saw the great brightness. She covered her face for fear. Then this brightness vanished, after which Fouke never saw anything again. He was to remain blind for the rest of his life.
      This Fouke was a good and generous host. He had the path of the royal road changed so that it passed nearby the hall at his manor in Alveston. That way, no stranger should travel by without being offered food, lodging, or other honors which were his to give. Merlin says that:
In Great Britain
A wolf shall come from the Blaunche Launde [i.e., Whittington];
Twelve sharp teeth shall he have,
Six below and six above.
He shall have such a fierce look,
Such strength and power,
That he shall chase the Leopard
From the Blaunche Launde.

But now we know that Merlin
Said this about Fouke Fitz Waryn;
For each of you must know well
That in the time of King Arthur
The place called Blaunche Launde
Is now named Whittington [Blauncheville].

For in this country was located the beautiful chapel of
Saint Augustine [of Canterbury],
Where Cahuz the son of Yvain dreamed
That he stole the candlestick,
And that he met a man
Who wounded him with a knife,
And wounded him in the side.
While asleep Cahuz cried so loud
That King Arthur heard him.
And when Cahuz awoke from his sleep
He put his hand to his side;
There he found the knife
Which [in his dream] had wounded him.

This is all recounted in the Grail story,
The book of the Holy Vessel.
We also learn therein how King Arthur
Recovered his health and his valor,
When he had lost all
His chivalry and his power.

From this very country came the wolf,
As the sage Merlin said,
And by his shield
We have known the twelve sharp teeth.

He bore a shield dancetté,
As the heralds have devised:
On the shield there are twelve teeth
Of gules and of argent.
It is well understood that King John
May be known as the Leopard,
For he bore on his shield
Leopards of beaten gold.
Fouke remained blind for seven years, suffering his penance gladly. Dame Clarice died and was buried at the New Abbey. After her death Fouke lived only one more year. He died at Whittington, and he too was buried with great honor at the New Abbey. His body lies near the altar. May God have mercy on his soul!
      And may God have mercy upon all, the living and the dead! AMEN.