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A Letter from King Richard the Lionheart

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Richard, by the grace of God, august King of England, sends his most kind greetings.

Because I know that you especially desire to hear from me and to learn the state of my prosperity, I think it fitting to first tell you of this.
 Due to our most precarious state, I ask that you maintain the utmost secrecy regarding this sensitive correspondence.

I have hidden in France a large sum of foreign gold worth at least 300,000 pounds silver. Regretfully, I find myself unable to convey this wealth back to England. To be brief, I have been imprisoned in Germany due to a hostile regime. In addition to the indignity of false imprisonment, Henry VI has demanded an unreasonably cruel ransom of 65,000 pounds silver.

Therefore, I offer the following arrangement. If you will send the ransom of 65,000 pounds silver to Henry VI, on my release I shall procure the aforementioned gold. On our return to England, you shall receive one half of the foreign gold I carry. Let my seal on this letter be proof of my honesty in this matter. Once more, I would entreat you to maintain the secrecy of this matter to better ensure that we return with the gold without interference.

In brief therefore, God willing, I shall return to England. I render to you the gratitude which you deserve for the very great fidelity which you have shown to me. And with the full intention of worthily rewarding your services, I ask you to continue the same.

Written at Trifels Castle on the 9th day of November.