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Reign of Richard I. Part 2 page 3

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Immediately on his arrival in Normandy, Longchamp wrote those letters to Richard which reached him in the Holy Land, and apprised him of the unsettled condition of affairs in England, and of the dangerous assumption of power on the part of John. That prince had appointed the Archbishop of Rouen to the chief justiciarship of the kingdom; but it would appear that the new justiciary was too honest a man to assent to all the views of his unprincipled master; and John being in want of money, entered into a negotiation with Longchamp to replace him in his office for a payment of 700. The chief ministers, however, dreaded the consequences which might follow the return of the ex-chancellor to power; and they agreed to lend John a sum of 500 from the treasury, to induce him to withdraw his proposal. The mercenary prince consented to do so, and the negotiation was broken off.

In defiance of the solemn oath which Philip had taken before leaving the Holy Land, he no sooner returned to France than he prepared to invade Normandy. Some of the nobles of his kingdom, however, had more regard for their knightly faith, and they refused to join in the expedition; while the Pope, determined to defend the cause of a king who was so nobly fighting the battle of the faith, threatened Philip with the ban of the Church if he persisted in his treasonous intention. Compelled to abandon this expedition, the French king by no means gave up his designs against Richard, and he entered into a treaty with John, by which he promised to secure to him the possession of Normandy, Aquitaine, and Anjou, and to assist him in his attempts upon the English throne. In return he merely asked that John should marry the Princess Alice, Philip's sister.

To this match John, who probably might have been willing to promise anything that was required of him, did not hesitate to give his consent, in spite of the sinister rumours which were current about the princess, and the fact that she had been affianced to his brother.

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