Pope Eugene III called the Second Crusade in 1144, when England was in the throes of a 20-year civil war. Nevertheless, a powerful force was raised, some 13,000 sailing from Dartmouth in territory held by the Angevin opposition to King Stephen. This force achieved the only substantive success of a miserable campaign by recapturing Lisbon from the Moors. When Henry II agreed to English involvement in the Third Crusade he determined to finance it through the Saladin Tithe on ‘revenues and moveable properties’. At the time this was the greatest tax ever levied in England, and his successor, Richard I, extended it further by confiscating lands and imposing draconian fines. Prince Edward (later Edward I) financed the Ninth Crusade with an unprecedented levy of one twentieth of every citizen’s possessions, but sailed in 1270 with a relatively modest force of 1,000 knights. His campaign achievements were similarly modest.
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