Interested commercially, the whole enterprise was regarded with such indifference that the king, in the very crisis of the struggle, could only with the utmost difficulty obtain contributions for war expenses from the half-dozen local diets of Poland, which extorted from the helplessness of their distracted and impecunious sovereign fresh privileges for every subsidy they grudgingly granted.
The impecunious monarch submitted to the dictation of the diet in the hope of obtaining sufficient money to prosecute his ambitious designs.
Were freely exploited by the szlachta, who granted that ever impecunious monarch as little as possible, but got full value for every penny they grudgingly gave.
In November 1340 Edward III., humiliated, impecunious and angry, returned suddenly to England from Flanders and vented his wrath upon the archbishop's brother, the chancellor, Robert de Stratford.
He consulted the older and graver Laurentius Andreae, who told him how "Doctor Martinus had clipped the wings of the pope, the cardinals and the big bishops," which could not fail to be pleasing intelligence to a monarch who was never an admirer of episcopacy, while the rich revenues of the church, accumulated in the course of centuries, were a tempting object to the impecunious ruler of an impoverished people.
The impecunious were locked up and deprived of all hope of earning means to obtain enlargement; while their families and persons dependent on them shared their imprisonment and added to the overcrowding.