"his crusading valour against the paynim Cheeseman"

1490 painting of the Siege of Antioch, one of the battles of the Crusades
Public Domain1490 painting of the Siege of Antioch, one of the battles of the Crusades

Conrad jokingly compares Sir Ethelred’s wrangles in the House of Commons with the Crusades, a series of military campaigns intended to bring Christianity to the Pagans (paynims) in the middle ages.