When Matthew Paris was thinning out his Chronica Majora in order to produce his Historia Anglorum, he made a conscious decision to leave out information that he felt was not relevant to English history. He went through the text of the Chronica, highlighting the parts he felt were of no use and commenting that they were ‘irrelevant to the history of the English’.1 This included his information on crusading, most of which did not make it into his shorter work. Crusading was, however, relevant. From the time of the First Crusade, it had an impact on finance in England, as money was raised to pay for the mortgage of Normandy. A few men took part at the same time, many of whom were fleeing domestic problems after a failed rebellion against the king; England itself was still unsettled, so most landowners chose to stay at home. In the twelfth century the number of participants, both male and female, increased. Although civil war under Stephen, whose own father had been on the First Crusade, meant that crusading for most magnates was not practicable at the time of the Second Crusade, those from lower down on the social scale were able to contribute to the conquest of Lisbon, the only success of that particular crusade.
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