In 1252 the countship was sold to the bishops of Munster; but their rule soon became little more than nominal, and in Emden itself the family of Abdena, the episcopal provosts and castellans, established their practical independence.
From them he chose the sheriffs, castellans and councillors through whom he administered the realm during the rest of his long reign.
Indeed Johns few trusted confidants were nearly all foreigners, such men as the mercenary captains Gerard of Athies and Engelhart of Cigogn, whom he made sheriffs and castellans to the discontent of all Englishmen.
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