Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK IV.: FROM THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS TO THE TAKING OF CHESTER, THE LAST CITY CONQUERED BY THE NORMANS. 1066—1070. - History of the Conquest of England by the Normans; Its Causes, and its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, & on the Continent, vol. 1
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BOOK IV.: FROM THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS TO THE TAKING OF CHESTER, THE LAST CITY CONQUERED BY THE NORMANS. 1066—1070. - Augustin Thierry, History of the Conquest of England by the Normans; Its Causes, and its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, & on the Continent, vol. 1 
History of the Conquest of England by the Normans; Its Causes, and its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, & on the Continent, translated from the seventh Paris edition, by William Hazlitt (London: H.G. Bohn, 1856). In 2 volumes. Vol. 1.
Part of: History of the Conquest of England by the Normans; Its Causes, and its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, & on the Continent, 2 vols.
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FROM THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS TO THE TAKING OF CHESTER, THE LAST CITY CONQUERED BY THE NORMANS.
Battle of Romney—Taking of Dover—Capitulation of Kent—Election of king Edgar—Defection of Edwin and Morkar—Blockade of London—Proceedings of the citizens—Submission of London—William proclaimed king—The ceremony of the coronation disturbed by conflagration—Division of the spoils among the Normans—Extent of the conquered territory—Sufferings of the conquered—Courageous resistance of three Saxons—Fortresses erected in London—Ancient lists of the conquerors of England—William revisits Normandy—Revolt of Kent—Eustache, count of Boulogne, comes to the assistance of the English—Limits of the territory invaded—Return of king William—He marches into the west—Siege of Exeter—Division of lands in the western provinces—Imprisonment and deposition of Brihtrik—Resistance of the monks of Winchcomb—Their punishment—The English chiefs retire to the north—Conspiracy against the Normans—King Edgar flies into Scotland—State of the Scottish population—Friendship of the kings of Scotland for the men of Teutonic race—William marches into the north—Taking of Oxford, &c.—Taking of York—Archbishop Eldred’s malediction upon king William—His despair and death—Weariness of the Normans—Insurrection of the western provinces—Landing of the sons of king Harold—Suppression of the western revolt—State of the northern provinces—March of Robert Comine against Durham—His defeat and death—Alliance between the northern English and the Danes—Arrival of Danish succours in England—The English and Danes besiege and take the city of York—York retaken by the Normans—Devastation of Northumberland—Taking of Durham—Ravages and cruelties exercised by the conquerors—St. John of Beverley intimidates the Norman soldiers—Completion of the conquest in the north—Famine in the conquered districts—Division of houses and lands—French colony in Yorkshire—Distribution of English domains and heiresses—Tosti killed by Osulf in a spirit of national vengeance—Second submission of the English chieftains and of king Edgar—Defeat of Edrik the Saxon—Invasion of Wales—Fresh emigrants from Gaul—Society of gain and loss among the soldiers of the Conquest—Brothers-in-arms—March of William upon Chester—Taking of Chester—Battle near the Ruddlan marshes—Utility of local details.
While the army of the king of the Anglo-Saxons and the army of the invader were in presence of each other, some fresh vessels from Normandy had crossed the Channel to join the main fleet stationed in the bay of Hastings. Those who commanded them, landed, by mistake, several miles further to the north, in a place then called Rumeney, now Romney. The inhabitants received the Normans as enemies, and a combat took place, in which the latter were beaten.1 William learned their defeat a few days after his own victory, and to save from a similar misfortune the succours he still expected from the opposite shore, he resolved, first of all, to secure the possession of the south-eastern coast. Instead, therefore, of advancing to London, he fell back to Hastings, where he remained some time, to see if his presence alone would not suffice to determine the population of the neighbouring country to voluntary submission. But no one coming to sue for peace, the conqueror again commenced his march with the remains of his army, and some fresh troops which, in the interval, had joined him from Normandy.2
He proceeded along the sea coast, from north to south, devastating every thing on his way.3 At Romney, he avenged, by burning the houses and massacring the inhabitants, the defeat of his soldiers; thence he marched to Dover, the strongest fortress on the whole coast, and of which he had formerly endeavoured to make himself master, without danger and without fighting, by the oath into which he had entrapped Harold. Dover castle, recently completed by the son of Godwin for better purposes, was constructed on a rock bathed by the sea, naturally steep, and which, with great difficulty and labour, had been hewn on every side, so as to make it present the appearance of a vast wall. The details of the siege made by the Normans are not known; all the historians tell us is, that the town of Dover was fired, and that, either from terror or treason, the garrison of the fortress surrendered it.4 William passed a week at Dover, erecting additional walls and defensive works; then changing the direction of his march, he left the coast, and proceeded towards the capital city.
The Norman army advanced by the great Roman road, which the English called Wtling-street, the same which had figured so often as a common boundary in the divisions of territory between the Saxons and Danes. This road led from Dover to London, through the middle of Kent; the conquerors passed through a portion of this county without any one appearing to dispute their passage; but in a spot where the road, approaching the Thames, ran near a forest, adapted for concealing an ambuscade, a large body of armed Saxons suddenly presented themselves. They were commanded by two priests, Eghelsig, abbot of the monastery of Saint Augustin at Canterbury, and Stigand the archbishop of Canterbury, the same who had crowned king Harold.1 It is not precisely known what passed at this meeting; whether a combat took place, followed by a treaty between the two armies, or whether the capitulation was concluded before they crossed weapons. The Kentish army, it appears, stipulated for all the inhabitants of the province that they would offer no further resistance, on condition of remaining, after the conquest, as free as they had been before.2
In treating thus for themselves alone, and separating their own from the national destiny, the men of Kent (if it be true, indeed, that they concluded this compact) did more harm to the common cause than good to themselves; for no act of the time shows that the foreigner kept faith with them, or distinguished them from the other English, in his laws and oppressive measures. Archbishop Stigand, whether he had taken part in this capitulation, or had fruitlessly opposed it, a conjecture more conformable with his haughty and daring character,3 quitted the province which thus laid down its arms, and went towards London, where, as yet, no one thought of surrendering. The inhabitants of that great city, and the chiefs assembled there, had resolved to fight a second battle, which, well arranged and well conducted, would, according to all appearance, be more fortunate than the first.4
But there was wanting a supreme chief, under whose command the whole strength and will of the country should rally; and the national council, which had to name this chief, was slow in giving a decision, agitated and divided as it was by intrigues and contending claims. Neither of the brothers of the late king, men capable of worthily filling his place, had returned from the battle of Hastings. Harold had left two sons still very young, and little known to the people; it does not appear that they were at this time proposed as candidates for the crown. The claimants most powerful in renown and fortune were Edwin and Morkar, brothers-in-law to Harold, and chiefs of Northumbria and Mercia. They had with them the votes of all the men of the north of England; but the citizens of London, the people of the south, and the party malcontent with the late reign, opposed to them young Edgar, king Edward’s nephew, surnamed Etheling, the illustrious, because he was of the ancient royal race.1 This young man, feeble in character, and of no acquired reputation, had not, a year before, been able to outweigh the popularity of Harold; he counterbalanced now that of the sons of Alfgar, and was supported against them by Stigand himself, and by Eldred, archbishop of York.2 Of the other bishops, several would accept for a king neither Edgar nor Edgar’s competitors, and required the people to submit to the man who came with a bull from the pope and a standard of the church.3 Some acted thus, from blind obedience to the spiritual power, others from political cowardice; others, again, of foreign origin and gained over by the foreign pretender, played the part for which they had been paid in money or promises. They did not prevail, and the majority of the great national council fixed their choice on the man least able to command in difficult circumstances—the youthful nephew of Edward. He was proclaimed king, after considerable hesitation, during which much precious time was lost in futile disputes.4 His accession did not combine the divided opinions; Edwin and Morkar, who had promised to head the troops assembled at London, withdrew this promise, and retired to their governments in the north, taking with them the soldiers of those provinces, over whom they were all-influential. They madly thought they could defend the northern provinces apart from the rest of England. Their withdrawal weakened and discouraged those who remained at London with the new king; depression, the fruit of civil discord, took the place of the first impulse of patriotism which had been excited by the foreign invasion.1 Meantime, the Norman troops were approaching from several directions, overrunning Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire, pillaging and burning the towns and villages, and massacring the inhabitants, armed or unarmed.2 Five hundred horse advanced as far as Southwark, engaged a body of Saxons who met them, and burned in their retreat all the houses on the right bank of the Thames.3 Judging from this that the citizens were prepared to stand on their defence, William, instead of approaching London and besieging it, turned towards the west, and passed the Thames at Wallingford, in Berkshire. He formed a fortified camp in this place, and left troops there to intercept the Saxon succours that might come from the western counties; then proceeding north-east, he himself encamped at Berkhamsted, in Hertfordshire, for the purpose of intercepting all communication between London and the northern counties, and preventing the return of the sons of Alfgar, should they repent their inaction.4 By these tactics the great Saxon town was entirely hemmed in; numerous bodies of scouts ravaged the environs, and cut off the provisions, without engaging in any decisive battle; more than once, the inhabitants of London came to blows with the Normans; but by degrees, becoming worn out, they were conquered, less by the strength of the enemy, than by the fear of famine, and by the discouraging thought that they were isolated from all succour.5
There existed in the city two powers, accord between which it was necessary but very difficult to maintain—the court and the guild, or municipal confraternity of the citizens.6 The municipality, entirely free, was ruled by its elective magistrates; the court had for its chief the officer designated Staller, or Standard-bearer.1
This post, at once civil and military, had just been restored to the person who filled it under Edward; an old soldier, named Ansgar, whose legs were paralyzed with fatigue and wounds, and who was carried on a litter wherever his duty called him.2 William had met him in 1051, at the court of king Edward. He thought it possible to gain him over to his cause, and sent him, by a secret emissary, his propositions and offers, which were no less than, in case of success, the lieutenancy of the kingdom. We cannot say whether Ansgar was moved by these promises, but he certainly received them with circumspection, and, preserving absolute secrecy with respect to them, adopted a course calculated to relieve him from the peril of having personal correspondence with the enemy. Of his own authority, or in conjunction with the king’s council, he assembled the principal citizens of London, and addressing them by the name which the members of the municipal corporation gave each other, said: “Honourable brothers, our resources are nearly exhausted, the city is threatened with assault, and no army comes to its aid. Such is our situation; but when strength is exhausted, when courage can do no more, artifice and stratagem still remain. I advise you to resort to them. The enemy is not yet aware of our miserable position; let us profit by that circumstance, and send them fair words by a man capable of receiving them, who will feign to convey your submission, and, in sign of peace, will lay his hand in theirs, if required.”3
This counsel, the aptness and merit of which it is difficult to comprehend, pleased the chiefs of the citizens, as coming from an able politician and experienced warrior. They flattered themselves, it would appear, with the hope of obtaining a suspension of hostilities, and protracting the negotiations until the arrival of succours, but the result was quite different. The messenger sent to deceive duke William, returned himself deceived, loaded with presents and devoted to his cause. When he appeared before the principal citizens to give an account of his mission, an anxious crowd followed and pressed behind him. His singularly daring speech consisted of boundless eulogy of the armed pretender, to whom he attributed every royal virtue, and a promise, in his name, of peace, justice, and obedience to the wishes of the English nation. These words, so different from the reports in circulation of the implacable severity of the conqueror of Hastings, far from raising the cry of treachery, were received by the crowd, if not by the magistrates themselves, with joy and confidence. There was, in favour of the peace party—and the duke of Normandy, one of those popular outbursts which nothing can resist, and which are soon followed by futile repentance. People and magistrates unanimously resolved by acclamation to carry, without further delay, the keys of the city to duke William.1
The court of the young king Edgar, without army or free communication beyond the walls, was incapable of counteracting the will of the citizens, or of compelling them to incur the chances of a desperate resistance. This government, created in the midst of disorder, and which, notwithstanding its popularity, was in want of the most ordinary resources, found itself necessitated to declare that it no longer existed. The king himself, accompanied by archbishops Stigand and Eldred, and by Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, several chiefs of high rank, and the leading citizens, came to the camp at Berkhamsted, and made their submission, most unhappily for the country.2 They gave hostages to the duke of Normandy, swore to him the oath of fidelity, and, in return, the duke promised them, on his faith, to be gentle and clement towards them. He then marched to London, and, despite the promise just issued from his lips, allowed his people to devastate everything on the way.3 Upon the road from Berkhamsted to London, was the rich monastery of Saint Alban, built near the vast ruins of an ancient Roman municipium. On approaching this abbey, William beheld with surprise great trunks of trees disposed so as to intercept the passage, or render it difficult. He sent for the abbot, Frithrik. “Why,” asked the conqueror, “hast thou thus cut down thy woods?” “I have done my duty,” answered the Saxon monk; “and if all of my order had done the same, as they might and ought to have done, thou wouldst not, perhaps, have advanced thus far into our country.”1 William did not go quite to London, but halting at a distance of some miles, sent forward a numerous detachment of soldiers to construct a fortress for his residence in the heart of the city.2
Whilst the works were proceeding in all haste, the council of war held by the Normans, in their camp, discussed the means of promptly completing the conquest, so favourably commenced. William’s more intimate friends said that to mitigate the resistance of the provinces still free, their future movements should be preceded by his assuming the title of king of the English. This proposition was, no doubt, most agreeable to the duke of Normandy, but with his usual circumspection, he feigned indifference to it. Although the possession of the crown was the object of his enterprise, it appears that weighty reasons induced him to seem less ambitious than he really was, of a dignity which, raising him above the conquered, would, at the same time, separate his fortune from that of all his companions in arms. William modestly excused himself, and demanded at least some delay, saying that he had not come to England for his own interest alone, but for that of the whole Norman nation; that, besides, if it were the will of God that he should become king, the time to assume the title had not arrived, too many counties and too many men still remaining to be subjected.3
The majority of the Norman chiefs were inclined to take these hypocritical scruples literally, and to decide that in reality it was not yet time to create a king, when the captain of one of the auxiliary bands, Aimery de Thouars, to whom the royalty of William would naturally give less umbrage than to the natives of Normandy, energetically rose, and, in the style of a flatterer and mercenary trooper, exclaimed: “It is too modest of you to appeal to warriors, whether or no they will have their lord a king; soldiers have nothing to do with questions of this nature; and besides, our discussions only serve to retard that which, as a matter of feeling, we all so ardently desire.”1 Those Normans who, after William’s feigned excuses, might have ventured to concur in them, thought very different after the Poitevin had spoken, fearing to appear less faithful and less devoted than he to their common chief. They therefore unanimously decided that, before carrying the conquest further, duke William should be crowned king of England, by the few Saxons whom he had succeeded in terrifying or corrupting.
The ceremony was fixed for Christmas-day, then close at hand. The archbishop of Canterbury, Stigand, who had sworn the oath of peace to the conqueror, in his camp at Berkhamsted, was invited to attend and crown him, according to ancient custom, in the church of the monastery of the west, called in English, Westmynster, near London. Stigand refused to bestow his blessing on one covered with the blood of men, and an invader of the rights of others.2 But Eldred, archbishop of York, with greater worldly discretion,3 seeing, say the old historians, that it was needful to fall in with the times, and not to oppose the will of God, by whom the powers of the world are raised up, consented to fulfil the office.4 The church of Westminster abbey was prepared and decorated as in the old days, when, by the free vote of the best men of England,5 the king of their choice presented himself to receive investiture of the power which they had conferred upon him. But this previous election, without which the title of king could only be a vain mockery, the bitter insult of the strongest, did not take place for the duke of Normandy. He left his camp, and walked between two ranks of soldiers to the monastery, where awaited him several timid Saxons, affecting, however, a firm countenance, and an air of freedom, in their dastardly and servile office. Far around, all the approaches to the church, the squares and streets of the then suburban village of Westminster, were guarded by armed cavalry, who, as the Norman narratives have it,6 were to keep the rebels in check, and watch over the safety of those whose office called them to the interior of the temple.1 The counts, the barons, and other war-chiefs, in number two hundred and sixty, entered the church with their duke.
When the ceremony opened, Geoffroy, bishop of Coutances, ascending a platform, asked the Normans, in the French language, whether they were all content that their lord should take the title of king of the English; and at the same time, the archbishop of York asked the English, in the Saxon language, whether they accepted the duke of Normandy for their king. Hereupon there arose in the church acclamations so vehement that they resounded beyond the doors, and reached the ears of the cavalry who occupied the neighbouring streets. They took the sound for a cry of alarm, and, according to their secret instructions, hastily set fire to the houses. Several rushed to the church, and at sight of their drawn swords and of the flames, all present dispersed, Normans as well as Saxons; the latter rushed to extinguish the fire, the former to seek plunder amid the tumult and confusion. The ceremony was interrupted by this sudden event, and there only remained hastily to complete it, the duke himself, the archbishop Eldred, and a few priests of the two nations. Tremblingly they received from him whom they called king, and who, according to an ancient narrative, himself trembled in common with them, an oath to treat the Anglo-Saxon people as well as the best king ever elected by that people.2
But on the same day London was to learn the value of such an oath in the mouth of a foreign conqueror; an enormous war tribute was imposed on the citizens, and their hostages were imprisoned.3 William himself, who could not really believe that the benediction of Eldred and the acclamations of a few dastards had made him king of England, in the legal sense of this word, and, consequently, at a loss how to frame his manifestoes, sometimes falsely styled himself king by hereditary succession, and sometimes, in all frankness, king by the edge of the sword.4 But if he hesitated as to words, he had no hesitation as to deeds, but showed his real position by the attitude of hostility and distrust which he maintained towards the people; he dared not yet establish himself in London, nor inhabit the embattled castle which had been hastily constructed for him. He retired accordingly to Barking, until his engineers had given more solidity to this work, and laid the foundation of two other fortresses, destined to keep in check, says a Norman author, the changeable spirit of a too numerous and too haughty people.1
During the period that the king remained at Barking, the two Saxon chiefs, whose fatal withdrawal had caused the subjection of the great city, intimidated by the augmented power which the possession of London and the title of king gave to the invader, came from the north to swear to him the oath which the English chiefs were accustomed to swear to their ancient kings.2 The submission of Edwin and Morkar did not, however, involve that of the provinces they had governed, and the Norman army did not advance to occupy these provinces; they remained concentrated around London, and upon the southern and eastern coasts nearest Gaul. The partition of the wealth of the invaded territory now almost solely occupied them. Commissioners went over the whole extent of country in which the army had left garrisons; they took an exact inventory of property of every kind, public and private, carefully registering every particular; for the Norman nation, even in those remote times, was already extremely fond of deeds, and documents, and law forms.3
A close inquiry was made into the names of all the English partisans of Harold, who had either died in battle, or survived the defeat, or by involuntary delays had been prevented from joining the royal standard. All the property of these three classes of men, lands, revenues, furniture, houses, were confiscated; the children of the first class were declared for ever disinherited; the second class were, in like manner, wholly dispossessed of their estates and property of every kind, and, says one of the Norman writers, were only too grateful for being allowed to retain their lives.4 Lastly, those who had not taken up arms were also despoiled of all they possessed, for having had the intention of taking up arms; but, by special grace, they were allowed to entertain the hope that after many long years of obedience and devotion to the foreign power, not they, indeed, but their sons might perhaps obtain from their new masters some portion of their paternal heritage. Such was the law of the conquest, according to the unsuspected testimony of a man nearly contemporary with and of the race of the conquerors.1
The immense product of this universal spoliation became the pay of those adventurers of every nation who had enrolled under the banner of the duke of Normandy. Their chief, the new king of England, retained, in the first place, for his own share, all the treasure of the ancient kings, the church plate, and all that was most rare and precious in the shops of the merchants.2 William sent a portion of these riches to pope Alexander with Harold’s standard, in exchange for that which had triumphed at Hastings;3 and all the foreign churches in which psalms had been chanted, and tapers burnt for the success of the invasion, received in recompence crosses, sacred vessels, and cloth of gold.4 After the king and clergy had taken their share, that of the soldiers was awarded according to their rank and the conditions of their engagement. Those who, at the camp of the Dive, had done homage for lands, then to be conquered, received those of the dispossessed English;5 the barons and knights had vast domains, castles, villages, and even whole cities; the simple vassals had smaller portions.6 Some received their pay in money, others had stipulated that they should have a Saxon wife, and William, says the Norman chronicle, gave them in marriage noble dames, great heiresses, whose husbands had fallen in the battle. One only among the knights who had accompanied the conqueror, claimed neither lands, gold, nor wife, and would accept none of the spoils of the conquered. His name was Guilbert Fitz-Richard: he said that he had accompanied his lord to England because such was his duty, but that stolen goods had no attraction for him, and that he would return to Normandy and enjoy his own heritage, a moderate but legitimate heritage, and, contented with his own lot, would rob no one.1
The new king employed the last months of the winter of 1066 in making a sort of military progress through the provinces then invaded. It is difficult to determine exactly the number of these provinces, and the extent of country which the foreign troops freely occupied and overran. Yet by carefully examining the accounts of the contemporary writers, we find, at all events, negative proofs that the Normans had not advanced in a north-easterly direction beyond the rivers, the mouths of which form Boston Wash; or towards the south-west, not beyond the high territory which bounds Dorsetshire. The city of Oxford, nearly equi-distant between these two opposite points, upon a straight line drawn from one to the other, had not yet surrendered; but perhaps this ideal frontier had been passed, either to the north or to the south of Oxford. It is equally difficult to deny or to affirm this, or to fix, at any particular moment, the limits of a gradual invasion. The whole extent of country really occupied by William’s garrisons and held by him in a more than nominal manner, in virtue of his title of king, were in a short time bristling with citadels and fortresses;2 all the inhabitants were disarmed, and obliged to swear obedience and fidelity to the new chief imposed on them by the lance and sword. They swore, but in their hearts they did not hold this foreigner legal king of England; in their eyes the true king was young Edgar, fallen and a captive as he was. The monks of Peterborough abbey gave a remarkable proof of this. Having lost their abbot, Leofrik, on his return from the battle of Hastings, they chose, as his successor, their prior, named Brand; and as it was their custom to submit the election of the dignitaries of their monastery to the approval of the supreme chief of the country, they sent Brand to Edgar. According to the chronicle of the monastery, they took this step, because all the inhabitants of the country thought that Edgar would again be king. Information of the fact soon reached William’s ears, and his rage was unbounded. “From that day,” continues the contemporary narrator, “every evil and every tribulation has fallen upon our house. May God have mercy on it.”1
The prayer of this monk might well have been repeated by every inhabitant of the conquered provinces, for each had his full share of grief and misery: the men had to undergo indigence and servitude; the women insult and outrage more cruel than death itself. Those who were not taken par mariage were taken par amours, as it was termed in the language of the conquerors, and became the plaything of the foreign soldiers, the least and lowest of whom was lord and master in the houses of the conquered. “Ignoble grooms, base scum of armies,” say the old annalists, “did as they pleased with the noblest women, and left them nothing but to weep and wish for death.2 These licentious knaves were amazed at themselves; they went mad with pride and astonishment at beholding themselves so powerful, at having servants richer than their own fathers had ever been.3 Whatever they willed, they deemed it fully permissible to do; they shed blood at random, tore the bread from the mouths of the wretched people, and took everything, money, goods, land. . . .”4
Such was the fate which extended itself over the men of English race, as the three-lion banner advanced into their country, and waved over their towns. But this destiny, everywhere equally severe, assumed different appearances, according to the diversity of places. The towns were not struck so hard as the country; this town or district was afflicted in a different way from that; around a common centre of misery, if we may thus express ourselves, there were the varied forms and the multiplicity of circumstances which are ever exhibited by the course of human affairs.
The city of Dover, half consumed by fire, was allotted to Eudes, bishop of Bayeux, who could not, say the ancient documents, calculate its exact value, because it was so devastated.5 He distributed the houses among his soldiers and people; Raoul de Courtespine (Crookthorne), received three, with the field of a poor woman.1 William Fitz-Geoffroy had three houses, one of which was the ancient Guildhall,2 near Colchester in Essex; Geoffroy de Mandeville alone had forty manors, or houses surrounded with cultivated land; fourteen Saxon proprietors were dispossessed by Engelry, and thirty, by one Guillaume. A rich Englishman, to secure his safety, placed himself under the power of the Norman Gualtier, who made him his tributary;3 another Englishman became a serf on the glebe of his own field.4 The domain of Sutton, in Bedfordshire, that of Burton and the town of Stafford, fell to the lot of Guy de Riencourt. He possessed these lands during his life. But Richard, his son and heir, lost the greater part of them to king Henry I. at dice.
In Suffolk, a Norman chief appropriated the lands of a Saxon lady, named Ediva the fair;5 the entire city of Norwich was set aside as the private domain of the conqueror; it had paid to the Saxon kings thirty pounds and twenty pence; but William exacted seventy pounds a year, a horse of value, an hundred pence for the queen his wife, and twenty pounds for the salary of the officer who commanded there in his name. A strong citadel was built in the centre of the city,6 for its inhabitants being men of Danish origin, the conquerors feared that they might demand and receive aid from the Danes, who often cruised on the coast.7 In Dorchester, instead of an hundred and seventy-two houses that were there in the time of king Edward, eighty-eight alone remained; the rest were a heap of ruins; at Warham, of an hundred and thirteen houses, sixty-two had been destroyed;8 at Bridport, twenty houses disappeared in the same manner, and the poverty of the inhabitants was such, that more than twenty years after not one had been rebuilt.9 The Isle of Wight was invaded by William Fitz-Osbern, seneschal of the Norman king, and became a portion of his vast domains in England; he transmitted it to his son, then to his grand-nephew, Baldwin, called in Normandy, Baudoin des Reviers, and in England, Baldwin de l’Isle.1
Near Winchester, in Hampshire, was the monastery of Hide, the abbot of which, accompanied by twelve monks and twenty men-at-arms, had gone to the battle of Hastings and fallen there. The revenge which the conqueror exercised on this monastery was mingled with a sort of pleasantry; he divested the domains of the monastery, as ransom in land for the patriotic crime of its thirteen members, of one barony for the abbot’s share of the offence, and one knight’s fee for each of the twelve monks.2 Another circumstance that may be mentioned among the joyeusetés of the conquest, is that a dancing girl, named Adeline, is named in the roll of partition of the same county, as having received a fief from Roger, one of the Norman counts.3
In Hertfordshire, an Englishman had redeemed his land by a payment of nine ounces of gold; and yet, to avoid a violent ejectment, he was obliged to become the tributary of a soldier named Vigot or Bigot.4 Three Saxon warriors, Thurnoth, Waltheof and Thurman, associated in a brotherhood of arms, possessed near Saint Albans a manor which they held of the abbot on the terms of defending it with their swords, in case of need.5 They faithfully fulfilled this office against the Norman invaders; but, overcome by numbers and obliged to fly, they abandoned their domain. It fell to the share of a noble baron, called Roger de Toëny, who had soon to defend his new property against the three expelled Saxons. The latter, who had sought refuge in the neighbouring forests, assembled there a small troop of men, driven out like themselves, and unexpectedly attacking the Normans established on their lands, killed several, and burned their houses.6
These facts, taken at random from among a thousand others which it would be wearisome to enumerate, will enable the reader to figure to himself the sad but varied scenes presented by English counties of the south and east, while the Norman king was installing himself in the Tower of London. This fortress, constructed in one of the angles of the city wall, close to the Thames, received the name of the Palatine Tower, a name formed from an old Roman title that William bore in Normandy, conjointly with that of duke or count. Two other fortresses, built westward, and confided to the care of the Normans Baynard and Gilbert de Montfichet, took respectively the name of their keepers.1 The three-lion banner was planted on William’s donjon, and over the two others floated those of Baynard and Montfichet. But these captains had first both sworn to lower their flags and to raise that of the king, their lord, on his first command, preferred in anger or without anger, supported by a great force or a small, for offence committed or without offence committed, as the formal acts set forth. Before making, amid the sound of trumpets, their first entry into their towers, before they garrisoned them with their men, they placed their hands in the hands of the Norman king, and acknowledged themselves his liege-men. In a word, they had promised to undergo as a just and legal decree, their sentence of depossession, if ever they voluntarily took part against their lord and separated their banner from his.
The same oath was sworn to the chief of the conquest by other leaders, who again received from inferior dignitaries a similar oath of fealty and homage. Thus the troops of the conqueror, although scattered and dispersed over the land of the conquered, remained united by a vast chain of duty, and observed the same subordination as when in his ships or behind his fortifications at Hastings. The subaltern owed fealty and service to his military superior, or to him from whom he had received in fief either lands or money. Upon this condition, those who had realized the larger share of the spoil, bestowed a portion of their superfluity upon those who had been less fortunate; the knights received from the barons, men-at-arms from their captains; in their turn these gave to the squires, the squires to the sergeants, the sergeants to the archers and grooms. In a word, the rich gave to the poor; but the poor soon became enriched by the gains of the conquest; and thus, among these classes of combatants,1 great fluctuations took place, because the chances of war rapidly advanced men from the lowest ranks to the highest.
Men who had crossed the sea in the quilted frocks and with the dark wooden bow of foot soldiers, appeared upon war-horses and girded with the knightly baldric, to the eyes of the new recruits who crossed the sea after them. He who had came over a poor knight, soon had his own banner and his company of men-at-arms, whose rallying cry was his name. The drovers of Normandy and weavers of Flanders, with a little courage and good fortune, soon became in England great men, illustrious barons; and their names, base or obscure on one side of the Channel, were noble and glorious on the other.
“Would you know,” says an ancient roll in the French language, “what are the names of the great men who crossed the sea with the conqueror, William the Vigorous?2 Here are their surnames as we find them written, but without their baptismal names, which are often wanting or are changed; they are, Mandeville and Dandeville; Omfreville and Domfreville; Bouteville and Estouteville; Mohun and Bohun; Biset and Basset; Malin and Malvoisin. . . . ” All the other names are in like manner arranged so as to assist the memory, by the rhythm and alliteration. Several of the same kind have been preserved to our days; they were found written upon great pages of vellum, in the archives of churches, and decorated with the title of Book of the Conquerors.3 In one of these lists, the names are arranged in groups of three: Bastard, Brassard, Baynard; Bigot, Bagot, Talbot; Toret, Trivet, Bouet; Lucy, Lacy, Percy. . . . . Another catalogue of the conquerors of England, long preserved in the treasury of Battle abbey, contained names singularly low and fantastic, as Bonvilain and Boutevilain, Trousselot and Troussebout, L’Engayne and Longue Epée, Œil-de-bœuf and Front-de-bœuf.4 . . . . . Lastly, several authentic documents designate as Norman knights in England, a Guillaume le charretier, a Hugues le tailleur, a Guillaume le tambour;1 and among the surnames of the chivalry collected from every corner of Gaul, figure a great many mere names of towns and districts—Saint-Quentin, Saint-Maur, Saint-Denis, Saint-Malo, Tournai, Verdun, Fismes, Chalons, Chaunes, Etampes, Rochefort, La Rochelle, Cahors,2 Champagne, Gascogne. . . . Such were the men who assumed in England the titles of nobleman and gentleman,3 and planted it there by force of arms, for themselves and their descendants.
The mere valet of the Norman man-at-arms, his groom, his lance-bearer, became gentleman on the soil of England; they were all at once nobles by the side of the Saxon, once rich and noble himself, but now bending beneath the sword of the foreigner, driven from the home of his ancestors, having nowhere to lay his head.4 This natural and general nobility of all the conquerors at large, increased in proportion to the personal authority or importance of individuals. After the nobility of the Norman king, came that of the provincial governor, who assumed the title of count or earl; after the nobility of the count came that of his lieutenant, called vice-count or viscount; and then that of the warriors, according to their grade, barons, chevaliers, ecuyers, or sergents, not equally noble, but all nobles by right of their common victory and their foreign birth.5
Before marching to conquer the northern and western provinces, William, ever provident, desiring to deposit in a secure place the booty he had realized in the provinces already conquered, considered that his new wealth would be nowhere so safe as in his own country. On the eve of his return to Normandy, he confided the lieutenancy of his royal power to his brother Eudes, and to William Fitz-Osbern. With these two viceroys were joined other lords of note, as coadjutors and councillors: Hugh de Grantmesnil, Hugh de Montfort, Walter Giffard, and William de Garenne (Warrenne.) The new king proceeded to Pevensey, to embark from the same spot on which, six months before, he had landed. Several vessels awaited him there, decorated in token of joy and triumph.1 A great number of English had repaired thither, by his order, to cross the Channel with him. Among them were king Edgar, archbishop Stigand, Frithrik, abbot of Saint Albans, the two brothers Edwin and Morkar, and Waltheof, son of Siward, who had not arrived in time to fight at Hastings. These men, and several others whom the conqueror also took with him, were to serve as hostages and guarantees for the quiescence of the English; he hoped that, deprived by their absence of its most powerful and most popular chiefs, the nation would be less turbulent, less prompt to insurrection.2
In this port, where for the first time he had set foot in England, the conqueror distributed presents of every kind to those of his soldiers who again crossed the sea, in order, says a Norman author, that no one on his return might say that he had not gained by the conquest.3 William, if we may believe the same author, his chaplain and biographer, brought more gold and silver to Normandy than was contained in all Gaul.4 The whole population of the town and country districts, from the sea to Rouen, hastened to meet him, and saluted him with cries of enthusiasm. The monasteries and secular clergy rivalled each other in their zealous efforts to entertain the conqueror of the English, and neither monks nor priests remained unrecompensed.5 William gave them gold in money, sacred vessels, and bullion, with stuffs richly embroidered, which they displayed in the churches, where they excited the admiration of travellers.6 It would appear that embroidery in gold and silver was an art in which the English women excelled; the commerce of that country, already very extended, brought there also many precious things, unknown in the north of Gaul.7 A relation of the king of France, named Raoul, came with a numerous suite to the court held by king William during Easter. The French, equally with the Normans, viewed with curiosity and amazement the chased gold and silver plate, and the drinking cups of the Saxons, made of large horns, adorned with metal at the two extremities. They were astonished at the beauty and long hair of the young English hostages or captives of the Norman king. “They remarked,” says the contemporary narrator, “these things and many others equally new to them, that they might relate them in their country.”1
Whilst this display was made on one side the Channel, on the other the insolence of the conquerors was deeply felt by the conquered. The chiefs who governed the subjected provinces outvied each other in oppressing the natives, the people of rank equally with the commons, by exactions, tyranny, and outrage. Bishop Eudes and Fitz-Osbern, inflated with their new power, scorned the complaints of the oppressed people, and refused all remedy;2 if their soldiers pillaged the houses or violated the wives of the English, they applauded them, and punished the unfortunate sufferers who dared to complain.3 Excess of suffering drove the people of the eastern coast to attempt the emancipation of themselves from the Normans by the aid of a foreign power. Eustache, count of Boulogne, the same who in the reign of Edward had occasioned such tumult in England,4 was now at enmity with king William, who kept his son prisoner. Eustache was renowned for his military skill, and, besides, his connexion with king Edward caused the Anglo-Saxons to regard him as a natural ally.
The people of Kent therefore sent a message to Eustache, and promised to assist him to take Dover, if he would make a descent and succour them against the Normans. The count of Boulogne consented, and landed near Dover under favour of a dark night. All the Saxons of the district took up arms: Eudes de Bayeux and Hugh de Montfort, the two governors of the town, had gone beyond the Thames with part of their troops. Had the siege lasted two days, the inhabitants of the neighbouring provinces would have come in great numbers to join the besiegers;5 but Eustache and his men, prematurely endeavouring to take Dover castle by surprise, met with an unexpected resistance on the part of the Normans, and were discouraged after this one effort. A false report of the approach of Eudes, returning, it was said, with the main body of his troops, struck them with a panic terror. Eustache sounded a retreat; his soldiers hastened in disorder to their vessels, and the Norman garrison, seeing them dispersed, left the town to pursue them. Several fell in their flight from the steep rocks upon which Dover castle stands. The count owed his life solely to the speed of his horse, and the Saxon insurgents returned to their houses through bye-roads. Such was the result of the first attempt made in England to overthrow the Norman dominion. Eustache shortly after made his peace with the duke of Normandy; and, forgetting his allies of a day, solicited the riches and honours which their enemy had to bestow.1
In Herefordshire, beyond the great chain of mountains, which had formerly protected the independence of the Britons, and which might still serve as a rampart for that of the English, there dwelt, before the invasion, upon lands which he had received from the munificence of king Edward, a Norman, named Richard Fitz-Scrob. He was one of those whom the Saxons exempted from the sentence of exile pronounced in the year 1052 against all the Normans living in England. In return for this favour, Fitz-Scrob, on William’s landing, became chief intriguer for the conquest, established a correspondence with the invaders, and placed himself at the head of some bodies of soldiers, emigrants from Gaul, who, since the time of Edward, had garrisoned several castles near Hereford. He visited them in these castles, and, making frequent sallies, endeavoured to force the neighbouring towns and villages to submit to the conqueror. But the population of the west made an energetic resistance, and, commanded by the young Edrik, son of Alfrik, repulsed the attacks of Fitz-Scrob and his soldiers.2
The young Saxon chief had the art to interest in his cause several chiefs of the Welsh tribes, hitherto mortal enemies of the English.3 Thus the terror of the Normans reconciled for the first time the Cambrians and the Teutons of Britain, and did that which, in former times, the invasions of the northern pagans could not accomplish. Supported by the inhabitants of Wales, Edrik successfully assumed the offensive against Richard Fitz-Scrob and his soldiers, who are called in the chronicles of the time, castellans of Hereford.1 Three months after the departure of king William for Normandy, he drove them from the territory they occupied, pillaged their encampments, and delivered all the country about the river Lugg.2 South of this district, upon the coasts of the Bristol channel, and in the north, upon the territories adjoining the mountains, there were, at this period, neither military posts established by the Normans, nor strongholds built or possessed by them. The conquest, if we may so express ourselves, had not yet reached that point; its laws did not prevail there, its king was not acknowledged there, any more than in the north of England from Boston Wash to the Tweed.
In the midland districts the enemy’s scouts freely possessed the open country; but many fortified towns had not yet surrendered, and even in the parts where the invasion seemed accomplished, the conquerors were not without alarm; for messengers, sent from the provinces where independence still reigned, went secretly from town to town to rally the friends of the country, and revive the courage which had been depressed by the rapidity of the defeat. Every day, one or more of the men most in credit with the people, disappeared from under the eyes of the foreign authorities; those who, following the first impulse of terror, had repaired to William’s camp, and sworn to him the oath of peace and submission, were invited by patriotic addresses to break their compact with the stranger, and to join the party of good and brave men who aimed at restoring the liberty transmitted them by their forefathers.3
4 The news of this agitation and these operations, reaching William in Normandy, obliged him to hasten his return to England. He embarked at Dieppe, on a cold night in the month of December, and, on his arrival, placed in the fortresses of Sussex new governors, selected in Normandy from among the men in whom he most confided. He found in London a fermentation which seemed to presage some approaching movement; fearing that his three castles, with their towers garnished with war-machines, would not suffice to protect him against a popular insurrection, he resolved to avert it, or at least defer the moment, by exercising that craft, that cunning of the fox, which the ancient historians attribute to him,1 in lulling the patriotic spirit which he despaired of destroying. He celebrated at London, with great pomp, the festival of Christmas, and assembling around him several Saxon chiefs and bishops, overwhelmed them with false caresses; he appeared full of affability, and gave the kiss of welcome to every new comer;2 whatever was asked, he granted; whatever was counselled, he assented to; and all were the dupes of his artifices.3
After having thus gained over a portion of the more important class, king William directed his attention to the people; a proclamation, written in the Saxon language and addressed to the inhabitants of London, was published in his name, and read aloud in the churches and streets. It ran thus: “Learn all what is my will. I fully consent that all of you enjoy your national laws, as in the days of king Edward; every son shall inherit from his father, after his father’s death; none of my men shall do you any wrong.”4 Upon this promise, insincere as it was, the effervescence of the people of London was calmed; its solace rendered men’s minds less disposed to run the perilous risks of opposing power. Exempt for a moment from the three scourges which the conquest had brought into England, outrages, foreign laws, and expropriation, the inhabitants of the great Saxon city abandoned the cause of those who were suffering elsewhere, and, upon a calculation of gain and loss, resolved to remain quiet. How long they were permitted to enjoy the conqueror’s concessions is not known, but meantime they made no objection to his marching from London with his best troops, for the subjugation of the provinces that still remained free.
The Norman king first proceeded to the south-west, and crossing the hills which separate Dorsetshire from Devonshire, marched against Exeter.1 It was in this city that, after the battle of Hastings, the mother of Harold had taken refuge, and here she had collected the wreck of her treasures, which she devoted to the cause of that country for which her son had died. The citizens of Exeter were numerous and full of patriotic zeal: contemporary history renders to them this testimony, that, young and old, they hated with mortal hate the foreign invader.2 They fortified their towers and their walls, sent for armed men from all the adjacent districts, and engaged the services of the foreign sailors in their port. They also sent messages to the people of the towns around, inviting their co-operation in resisting the foreign king, with whom, say the chronicles, they had before nothing to do.3
The approach of the invading army was heralded to the inhabitants of Exeter from afar, by the intelligence of its ravages; every place through which it passed was utterly devastated. The Normans halted at a place four miles distant, whence William sent to the citizens a summons to submit and to swear to him the oath of fidelity. “We shall not,” they replied, “swear the oath of fidelity to the pretended king, or admit him within our walls; but if he thinks proper to receive, by way of tribute, the impost we pay to our kings, we will give it to him.” “I require subjects,” answered William, “and I am not accustomed to take them on any such conditions.” The Norman troops advanced, headed by a battalion of English, who had joined the foreign army, either on compulsion, or from utter want of other means of support, or in the idea of enriching themselves by the pillage of their countrymen. Ere the first assault began, the magistrates and leading citizens of Exeter, in pursuance of some secret negotiation, came to the king, delivered hostages, and demanded peace on terms of surrender. But on their return, the body of citizens, far from fulfilling the engagement thus made, kept the gates closed, and stood to their arms.
William invested the city, and bringing within sight of the ramparts one of the hostages he had received, had his eyes put out. The siege lasted eighteen days; a considerable portion of the Norman army perished; their place was supplied by fresh troops, and the miners laboured to sap the walls; but the determination of the citizens was inflexible. It is quite probable that they would have wearied William out, had not the chiefs again betrayed them. Some historians relate that the inhabitants of Exeter repaired to the foreign camp, in the attitude of suppliants, with their priests bearing missals and sacred vessels in their hands.1 The Saxon chronicle has merely these words, mournful from their very brevity: “The citizens surrendered the town, because their thanes deceived them.”2
A great number of women, escaping the outrages which followed upon the surrender of Exeter, took refuge with Harold’s mother, first in one of the islands of the Severn, and then in the city of Bath, which had not as yet been taken by the enemy; hence they gained the western coast, and, in default of a more direct route, embarked for Flanders. Fortyeight houses had been destroyed in the siege;3 the Normans applied their materials to the construction of a fortress, which they called Rougemont, from its site being a hill of red earth. This castle was then confided to the keeping of Baldwin, son of Gilbert Crespin, also called Baldwin de Brionne, who received for his share as conqueror, and for his salary as viscount of Devonshire, twenty houses in Exeter, and an hundred and fifty-nine manors in the county.4
During this campaign, a defensive alliance had been formed between the Anglo-Saxons and the ancient Britons of Cornwall. After the taking of Exeter, the two populations thus united were involved in one common ruin, and the territory of both was shared out among the conquerors. One of the first names inscribed on the partition roll was that of the wife of the conqueror, Matilda, daughter of Baldwin, earl of Flanders, whom the Normans called the Queen, a title unknown to the English, who only employed in their language the terms, dame or wife.5 Matilda obtained as her portion of the conquest, all the lands of a rich Saxon, named Brihtrik.6 This personage, if we are to credit the chronicles, was not unknown to Matilda; on the contrary, he had formerly, when ambassador from king Edward at her father’s court, incurred her deep resentment by refusing to marry her. It was Matilda herself who requested the king her husband to adjudge to her, with all his lands, the Englishman who had slighted her; and she satisfied at once her vengeance and her avarice, by appropriating the lands and by imprisoning their owner in a fortress.1
It was probably in continuation of this first invasion of the west, that Somersetshire and Gloucestershire were conquered and apportioned out. Various facts prove that this conquest was not accomplished without resistance. According to the local tradition, the monastery of Winchcombe was at this time deprived of all its possessions, because the monks, ill advised and short sighted men, as an ancient historian calls them, took upon themselves to oppose king William.2 Their abbot, Godrik, was removed by the Norman soldiers and imprisoned at Gloucester; and the monastery, become odious to the conquerors, was transferred to Eghelwig, abbot of Evesham, whom the contemporary annalists surname the Circumspect,3 one of those men whose national treason assumes, to feeble minds, the shape “of the fear of God, and veneration of the king appointed by Him.”4 On the first intelligence of the first defeat of his countrymen, Eghelwig had hastened to swear true faith to the foreigner, “for whom God had declared.” When the conquest had extended itself into the western provinces, he solicited a share in the spoil, and, in imitation of his friends the conquerors, expelled several English from their domains; to others, he sold his protection at a heavy price, and then leaving them to be killed by the Normans, entered upon their lands. His character and conduct caused him to be distinguished by king William, who greatly delighted in him;5 he governed the rebellious monks of Winchcombe entirely to the satisfaction of the Conqueror, until the arrival from beyond seas of a monk named Galand, to whom he remitted the abbey.
The theatre of English independence thus became more and more limited in the west; but the vast regions of the north still offered an asylum, a retreat, and battle-fields to the patriots. Hither repaired those who had no longer home or family, whose brothers were dead, whose daughters dishonoured; those who, in the language of the old annalists, preferred a life of war to slavery.1 They made their way from one forest or deserted place to another, until they had passed the furthest line of fortresses erected by the advancing Normans, and once beyond this girdle of slavery, found themselves among free Englishmen. Remorse soon brought to them the chiefs who, the first to despair of the common cause, had the first given an example of voluntary submission. They made their escape from the palace in which the Conqueror had detained them captives, under a false show of affection, calling them his dear friends, his special friends,2 and making use of their presence at his court as a ground of reproach against the nation, which refused to recognise a king thus surrounded by its national chiefs. When Edwin and Morkar departed for the north, the prayers of the poor, say the historians of English race, accompanied them in their flight, and the priests and monks offered up fervent orisons for their safety and success.3
4 On the arrival of the sons of Alfgar in their former governments of Mercia and Northumbria, every indication of a patriotic movement manifested itself from Oxford to the Tweed. No Norman had as yet passed the Humber, and but very few had reached the central parts of Mercia. This province maintained an uninterrupted communication, by its north western frontier, with the Welsh population, who, forgetting their ancient grievances, made common cause with the Saxons against the new invaders. It was rumoured that the English and Welsh chieftains had held several councils together in the mountains, that they had unanimously resolved to deliver their island from Norman domination, and were despatching emissaries in every direction to arouse popular indignation and revolt. The great camp of independence was to be formed beyond the Humber; the city of York was to be its first bulwark, and its last, the lakes and marshes of the north. Large numbers of men had sworn never to sleep beneath the shelter of a roof until they had effected the national deliverance; they lay under the open sky or in tents, whence the Normans contemptuously designated them savages1 Among them was young Edrik, the son of Alfrik, who had so energetically maintained the Saxon cause in Herefordshire.
It is impossible to say how many projects of national deliverance, well or ill conceived, were formed and destroyed at this period. History scarcely deigns to mention some two or three of the men who preferred war to servitude; the same power which defeated their efforts, effaced the memory of them. One Norman chronicler denounces, with bitter reproaches, a conspiracy, the object of which, he tells us, was to make a sudden attack upon the soldiers of every foreign garrison throughout England, on the first day of Lent, when, according to the devotion of the period, they all repaired to church, bare-footed and unarmed.2 The historian, while thanking God for the discovery of this abominable machination, regrets that the chiefs of the plot had, by flight, escaped the vengeance of the Great conqueror. Their flight, it appears, was directed to the northern provinces, where they were shortly afterwards joined by another fugitive, young Edgar, the lawful king, according to the political maxims of the period, by the election of the people and the consecration of the church. He proceeded onwards, accompanied by his mother Agatha, his two sisters Margaret and Christina, a chieftain named Merlsweyn, and many other good men, as the Saxon chronicle expresses it;3 and passed the frontier which, since the defeat of king Egfrith by the Picts and Scots, had separated England from the land of Albyn.
The invasions of the Danish pirates, though extending north as well as south of the Tweed, had not displaced this boundary. The only political result of the domination exercised for a time by the Danes over the mixed population of Picts, Britons, and Saxons, which occupied the territory between the Forth and the Tweed, had been to augment this mixture of races by a new accession of Germanic population. Hence it was, that south of the Forth, and more peculiarly towards the east, the preponderating idiom was a Teutonic dialect, interspersed with Gallic and British words, and more nearly approximating, in its grammatical forms, to the Danish than to the Anglo-Saxon. About the time when this change was gradually operating in the southern districts of Albyn, in the northern a more rapid revolution united into one state and under one authority the Picts of the eastern coast and the Scots of the western mountains, who had hitherto existed as separate nations, each ruled by its own independent chief. Their union was not effected without some violence; for the two peoples, though apparently of the same origin, though speaking a language almost identical,1 and naturally disposed to act in co-operation against a common adversary, were rivals in time of external peace.
The Scots, hunters of the mountains, and leading a more rugged and more active life than their neighbours of the plain, deemed themselves nobler than the latter, whom they contemptuously designated the bread-eaters.2 But, notwithstanding this assumed scorn of bread, the chieftains of the Scots were very desirous of extending over the corn-growing plains, the power which they exercised in their mountain land of rocks and lakes. They pursued this object year after year, by art and by arms; but the Pict nation successfully resisted them, until it became enfeebled by the incursions and victories of the Danes.3 Kenneth Mac-Alpin, king of western Albyn, availing himself of the occasion, descended into the land of the Picts; the bread-eaters were conquered, and the great proportion of them submitted to the authority of Kenneth; the remainder, withdrawing to the extreme north, sought to retain a king of their own nation and their own choice,4 but they failed in this object; and Kenneth, king of the Scots, became king of all Albyn, which thenceforward bore the name of Scotland. The nation of the Picts lost its name in its incorporation with the Scots; but it does not appear that the fusion was effected on unequal terms, as would, doubtless, have been the case, had the conquerors and the conquered been of different race. The latter had not to undergo any slavery, any political degradation; serfage, the ordinary result of foreign conquest in the middle ages, was not established in Scotland. Ere long there existed north of the Forth but one people, and it early became a fruitless attempt to seek the traces of the idiom which the Picts had spoken in the time of their independence. The kings of the victors, quitting their native mountains, came to dwell with the vanquished at Dunfermline and at Scone. They brought with them the consecrated stone chair in which, according to an ancient custom, they sat at their inauguration, to take the accustomed oath to the people, and to which an ancient national superstition attached the fate of the Scottish race.
At the period of the Norman invasion of England, there remained not the slightest vestige of the original separation of the Scottish Gael into two distinct populations; the only national division observable in the kingdom of Scotland was that between the men who spoke the Gaelic language, called also Erse, i.e. Irish,1 and the descendants of the Teutonic colonists, whose idiom was alike intelligible to the English, the Danes, and the Germans. This population, the nearest to England, though called Scottish by the English, had much closer affinity with the latter people (from the resemblance of languages and the community of origin) than with the Scots of Gaelic race. These, who combined with a somewhat savage pride, habits of independence derived from their organization in separate clans or tribes, had frequent disputes with the Teutonic population of the southern plains, and even with the kings of Scotland. The latter almost invariably found the southern Scots disposed to aid them in their projects against the liberty of the clans; and thus the instinctive enmity of these two races, fruit of the diversity of origin and language, turned to the profit of royal despotism. This experience, more than once highly profitable to the successors of Kenneth Mac-Alpin, gave them a great affection for the lowlanders of Scotland, and generally for men of English origin; they preferred these strangers to the men who descended from the same ancestry with themselves; they favoured, to their utmost ability, the Scots by name, at the expense of the Scots by race, and received with earnest cordiality every immigrant from England.
It was this political tendency which induced the Scottish king Malcolm, surnamed Kenmore, to receive as welcome and honoured guests the youthful Edgar, his relatives, and his friends.1 He saluted Edgar as the true and lawful king of the English, and proffered him a secure asylum and succours wherewith to raise his fallen fortunes. He gave to all the expatriated and dispossessed chiefs who accompanied their king, offices and estates, taken despotically, in all probability, from his own British or Gaelic subjects, and he himself espoused Edgar’s youngest sister Margaret. This princess was not acquainted with the Gaelic tongue, so that she had frequent occasion for an interpreter when she conversed with the chieftains of the northern and western tribes, and with the bishops of those districts; her interpreter was her husband Malcolm, equally versed in both idioms,2 though after his reign the kings of Scotland disdained to speak or even to know the language of the ancient Scots, of the people from whom they descended, and from whose name was derived that of the country.
The news of the alliance formed between the Saxons and the king of Scotland, and the hostile assemblages formed in the north of England, determined William not to await an attack, but energetically to assume the offensive.3 His first military operation in this new expedition was the siege of Oxford. The citizens resisted the foreign king, and insulted him from their ramparts; but a portion of the wall having been sapped, gave way, and the Normans entering by the breach, avenged themselves upon the inhabitants by fire and massacre.4 Of seven hundred and twenty houses, nearly four hundred were destroyed.5 The monks of St. Frideswide’s abbey, following the example of their brethren of Hide and Winchcomb, took up arms to defend their monastery, and, as a consequence, were all expelled from it after the victory of the Normans.1 Warwick was next taken, then Leicester, which was utterly destroyed, with its castle and its church;2 then Derby, one-third of which was in like manner demolished.3 After the siege and capture of Nottingham, a strong citadel was erected there, and confided to the keeping of the Norman, William Peverel. This William had for his share of the conquest, fifty-five manors in Nottinghamshire, and in the town itself forty-eight houses belonging to English merchants, twelve the property of soldiers, and eight taken from agriculturists. He fixed his own abode in Derbyshire, on a peaked rock, where his castle seemed suspended in the air, as it were the nest of a bird of prey.
From Nottingham the Norman troops proceeded eastward to Lincoln, which they compelled to capitulate and to give hostages. Here, besides seventy-four other houses destroyed, an hundred and ninety-six were demolished to make room for a citadel and other fortifications, with which the foreigners here surrounded themselves more carefully than elsewhere;4 for in this town, the population of which was of Danish origin, the conquerors, as at Norwich, feared an attack from the transmarine Danes.5 Among the Lincoln hostages imprisoned in the Norman fortresses as guarantees of the peace of the county, was a young man named Thurgot, of Danish origin, who succeeded in opening his prison, gaining over his keepers with the aid of money.6 He went secretly to the port of Grimsby, at the mouth of the Humber, to some Norwegian merchants, whose vessel was about to sail. It happened that this vessel had been detained, awaiting certain ambassadors, whom the conqueror had resolved to send into the north, to dissuade the kings of those parts from interesting themselves in the Saxon cause, or lending it any assistance. The Norwegians unhesitatingly received the young fugitive, and concealed him in the hold of their vessel so effectually, that the Norman coast inspectors, who visited it at the moment of departure, suspected nothing.1 The ambassadors embarked, and when they had lost sight of land, the hostage suddenly appeared, to their great astonishment. They desired the sailors to return, that they might, as they said, restore the fugitive to king William;2 but the Norwegians answered, mockingly: “The wind is too favourable, the vessel sails well; it were pity to baulk her.” The dispute grew so warm, that the two parties came to blows, but the sailors were the strongest; and as the vessel advanced into the open sea, the Normans became more tractable.3
On leaving Lincoln, which, by a kind of French euphony, they called Nicole,4 the invading troops marched upon York; at the spot where the rivers unite whose junction forms the Humber, they met the confederate army of Anglo-Saxons and Welsh. Here, as at the battle of Hastings, by the superiority of their numbers, and by their armour, they drove the enemy from his position, though defended inch by inch.5 Many of the English perished; the survivors sought refuge within the walls of York; but the conquerors, following close upon them, made a breach in the wall and entered the city, killing all, say the chroniclers, from the child in arms to the old men. The wreck of the patriot army (or as the Norman historians designated it, the army of factious robbers), descended the Humber in boats,6 and then went northward to Scotland, or the English territory adjoining Scotland. Here the conquered men of York rallied: “Hither retired,” says an old chronicler, “Edwin and Morkar, the noble chiefs, and other men of distinction, bishops, priests, men of every rank, sad to find their cause the weakest, but not resigned to slavery.7
The conquerors built a citadel in the centre of York, which thus became a Norman fortress, and the bulwark of conquest in the north. Its towers, garrisoned by five hundred men, completely armed, having several thousand squires and soldiers, menaced Northumbria. The invasion, however, was not at this period continued over this country, and it is even doubtful whether Yorkshire was ever occupied in its whole breadth from the ocean to the mountains. The capital, subdued before its territory, was the advanced post of the conquerors, and a perilous post; they worked there night and day to complete their lines of defence; they forced the poor Saxon, who had escaped the massacre, to dig ditches and to repair for the enemy the ruin which the enemy had made. Fearing that they might, in their turn, be besieged, they collected provisions from every quarter, and stored them in the donjon. At this juncture the archbishop of York, Eldred, the same who had officiated at the coronation of the foreign king, came to his metropolis to celebrate a religious solemnity.1 On his arrival, he sent to his estates near York for provisions for his use. His servants, leading horses and carts laden with wheat and other provisions, were met by chance at one of the gates by the viscount or Norman governor of the city, followed by a great train. “Who are you?” asked the Norman, “and to whom are you taking these things?” “We are,” they answered, “the servants of the archbishop, and these things are for the use of his house.” The viscount, very indifferent about the archbishop or his house, ordered the armed men who escorted him to take both horses and carts to the citadel of York, and to deposit the provisions in the Norman storehouses.
When the archbishop, the friend of the conquerors, found himself also struck by the conquest, there arose in him a sentiment of indignation which his calm and cautious soul had not before experienced. He immediately proceeded to the king’s quarters, and presented himself before him in his pontifical dress, holding his pastoral staff. William rose to offer him, according to the custom of the time, the kiss of peace, but the Saxon prelate drew back, and said: “Listen to me, king William; thou wert a stranger, and yet, God wishing to punish our nation, thou didst obtain, at the cost of much blood, the kingdom of England; then I crowned thee king; I crowned thee and blessed thee with my own hand: but now I cure thee, thee and thy race, because thou hast merited it, in becoming the persecutor of the church of God, and the oppressor of her ministers.”
The Norman king listened, without emotion, to the impotent malediction of the old priest, and tranquilly silenced the indignation of his flatterers, who, trembling with rage and drawing their swords, demanded permission to punish the insolence of the Saxon. He allowed Eldred to return in peace and safety to his church of York; but this affair cast deep affliction into the heart of the archbishop, and perhaps remorse for having contributed to the establishment of the foreign domination. The destruction at one blow of his dreams of ambition, and the sad conviction that he himself was not exempt from the insults of the foreigner or from the general servitude, threw him into a slow illness, which gradually undermined his strength. A year after, when the Saxons, who had again rallied, advanced to attack the city of York, Eldred’s grief and languor redoubled; and as if he feared, more than death, the presence of those who had remained faithful to their country, he prayed to God, say the chroniclers, to take him from this world, that he might not behold the total ruin of that country, and the destruction of her church.1
War was still proceeding in the extremities of England,—agitation was everywhere;—all expected that the fugitives from York would return, by land or by sea, and make some new effort. The irksomeness of this struggle, apparently interminable, began to produce its effect upon the soldiers, and even upon the leaders, of the invading army; many, thinking themselves rich enough, resolved to renounce these fatigues; others considered that the lands of the English were not worth the trouble and danger of obtaining them; others wished to see their wives, who overwhelmed them with messages and intreaties to return to them and their children.2 King William was greatly alarmed at this increasing tendency; to reanimate the zeal of his troops, he offered more than he had yet given, and promised, when the conquest should be completed, lands, money, and honours in abundance. He caused imputations of cowardice to be diffused with reference to those who might abandon their leader, surrounded by danger in a foreign land. Bitter and not very decent jests were directed against the Norman who were in such haste to recal their protectors and the fathers of their children. But, despite all these manœuvres, Hugh de Grantmesnil, earl of Norfolk, his brother-in-law Onfroy du Tilleul, keeper of the castle of Hastings, and many others departed, leaving their lands and honours, to become, as the courtiers of William expressed it, the slaves of their lascivious ladies, at the expense of their honour as vassals to their lord. Their departure made a deep impression upon the new king; seeing in the future greater difficulties than he had yet encountered, he sent his wife Matilda to Normandy, to remove her from danger, and to give himself entirely to the prosecution of the war.1 New events soon justified his apprehensions.
One of Harold’s two sons, Edmund, came from Ireland, where he and his brother had sought refuge, either after the battle of Hastings or after the taking of Exeter, and brought, to aid the English, sixty-six vessels and a small army.2 He entered the mouth of the Avon, and laid siege to Bristol; but failing to take it, returned to his vessels, sailed along the south-western coast, and landed in Somersetshire. On his approach, all the inhabitants of the country rose against the Normans, and the insurrection extended to Devonshire and Dorsetshire. The alliance of the Britons of Cornwall with their Saxon neighbours was renewed, and together they attacked the foreign troops who were stationed in this district, under the command of one Dreux de Montaigu.3 There were sent to reinforce these Normans the English auxiliaries, who had found it easier to join the enemy than to resist them; and, as at the siege of Exeter, they were placed in the front to receive the first attack. They were led by Ednoth, formerly one of Harold’s great officers,4 whom William wished to get rid of by sending him against the insurgents; for it was his policy, says an ancient historian, to set these foreigners against each other, calculating to find his advantage in it, on whatever side victory might fall.5 Ednoth perished with many of his people; the insurrection remained on foot, and the son of Harold returned to Ireland for his brother and fresh troops.
Edmund and Godwin, sailing together, and doubling the Land’s End, entered the mouth of the Tamar, in Devonshire. They imprudently ventured onwards in this territory, where the Normans, quartered in the southern provinces, had assembled all their forces to oppose a barrier to the insurrection of the west. Two chiefs, one of whom was Brian, son of Eudes, the earl or duke of Brittany, attacked them unexpectedly, and destroyed more than two thousand of them, English, Welsh, and Irish. The sons of the last Saxon king again regained their vessels, and set sail, deprived of all hope.1 To complete the destruction of the insurgents in Dorsetshire and Somersetshire, Geoffroi, bishop of Coutances, marched thither with the garrisons of London, Winchester, and Salisbury. He seized many men, armed, or suspected of having taken up arms, and caused them to be cruelly mutilated.2
This defeat, and the retreat of the auxiliaries from Ireland, did not wholly depress the western population. The movement, commenced in the south, had extended over all the frontier of the Welsh territory; the inhabitants of the country around Chester, a country still free from invasion, marched to Shrewsbury, and joining the soldiers of young Edrik Guilda (Wild), whom the Normans called Le Sauvage (the Forester), drove back the foreigners towards the east.3
The two chiefs, Brian and William, who had defeated the sons of Harold, and subdued the men of Devon and Cornwall, then marched from the south; and the king himself, leaving Lincoln, advanced with his chosen troops. Near Stafford, at the foot of the mountains, he encountered the main body of the insurgent army, and destroyed it in one engagement. The other Norman captains marched upon Shrewsbury, and this town, with the surrounding country, fell again under the dominion of the foreigner; the inhabitants gave up their arms; a few brave men only, who resolved to retain them, withdrew to the seacoast or to the mountain fastnesses. They continued the war with little advantage, against small parties of the enemy, lying in ambush in the woods and narrow valleys, for the straggling soldier or adventurous scout, or the messenger bearing the orders of the chief; but the high roads, the cities and the villages, were open to the enemy’s troops. Terror took the place of hope in the hearts of the conquered; they avoided each other, instead of uniting, and the entire south-western portion of the country was once more silent.4
In the north, the city of York was still the extreme limit of the conquest; the Norman soldiers who occupied this city did not seek to advance beyond it; even their excursions in the country south of York were not without danger for them. Hugh Fitz-Baudry, viscount or governor of the city, dared not venture to Selby or to cross the Ouse without a numerous escort. The Norman soldiers were no longer in safety the moment they had quitted their ranks and their arms; for bands of insurgents, who reassembled as fast as they were dispersed, continually harassed the troops on their marches, and even the garrison of York.1 William Malet, the colleague of Fitz-Baudry in the command of this garrison, went so far as to declare in his despatches that without prompt succours he would not answer for his post. This news, conveyed to king William, caused great alarm. The king himself hastily departed, and on his arrival before York, found the citizens, leagued with the inhabitants of the surrounding districts, besieging the Norman fortress. He attacked them with superior forces, spared no one, say the chroniclers,2 dispersed those whom he did not kill, and laid the foundations of a second stronghold, of which he confided the works and keeping to his most intimate confident, William Fitz-Osbern, his seneschal and marshal for Normandy and England.3
After his departure, the English again rallied, and besieged the two castles; but they were driven back with loss, and the Normans tranquilly completed their new works of defence. Assured of the possession of York, the conqueror resumed the offensive, and endeavoured to extend the limits of the conquest to Durham; he intrusted this perilous expedition to one Robert Comine or De Comines, whom he invested, by anticipation, with the title of earl of Northumberland.4 His army was not numerous, but his confidence in himself was great, and increased beyond all measure when he found himself nearly at the end of his journey, without having encountered any resistance. He was already in sight of the towers of Durham, which the Normans called the fortress of the northern rebels,5 when Eghelwin, the Saxon bishop of the city, met him, and advised him to be prudent and to beware of a surprise.1 “Who would attack me!” answered Comine. “None of you, I imagine, would dare to do so.”2 The Normans entered Durham, and massacred a few unarmed men, as if to insult and defy the English; the soldiers encamped in the squares, and their chief took up his quarters in the bishop’s palace.
When night came, the inhabitants of the banks of the Tyne lighted signal fires on all the hills; they assembled in great numbers, and hastened to Durham. By day-break they were before the gates, which they forced, and the Normans were attacked from every side, in streets with whose turnings they were unacquainted. They sought to rally in the episcopal palace; they erected barricades there, and defended it for some time, shooting their arrows on the Saxons from the roof, until the latter terminated the contest by setting fire to the mansion, which was burned, with all those who were in it.3 Robert Comine was of the number. He had brought with him twelve hundred horse, completely armed; the number of the foot soldiers and military attendants who accompanied him is not known, but all perished.4 This terrible defeat made such an impression on the Normans, that a numerous body of troops, sent to avenge the massacre, and who had advanced as far as Elfertun, now Northallerton, half-way between York and Durham, refused, seized with a panic terror, to proceed further. It was reported that they had been struck motionless by a supernatural power, by the power of Saint Cuthbert, whose body reposed at Durham, and who thus protected his last home.5
The Northumbrians who gained this great victory were the descendants of Danish colonists, and there had never ceased to exist between them and the population of Denmark relations of reciprocal friendship, the fruit of their common origin. When they found themselves threatened by the Norman invasion, they demanded aid from the Danes, in the name of the ancient brotherhood of their ancestors; and similar solicitations were addressed to the kings of Denmark by the Anglo-Danish inhabitants of York, Lincoln, and Norwich.1 A crowd of Saxon refugees pleaded the cause of their country with the northern nations, earnestly intreating them to undertake a war against the Normans, who were oppressing a nation of the great Teutonic family, after having killed its king, the near relative of several kings of the north.2 William, who in his life had never uttered one word of the northern language which his ancestors had spoken, foresaw from the outset this natural alliance of the English with the Danes, and it was this had made him build so many fortresses on the eastern coasts of England. He also several times sent to Swen, king of Denmark, accredited ambassadors, skilful negotiators, bishops of insinuating tongue, with rich presents, to persuade him to remain in peace. But the man of the north would not be seduced, or consent, say the Danish chronicles, to leave the English nation in servitude to a people of foreign race and language. He collected his fleet and his soldiers.3 Two hundred and forty vessels sailed for Britain, led by Osbiorn, brother of king Swen, and his two sons, Harold and Knut. On hearing of their departure, the English waited with impatience the days which must elapse ere the arrival of these sons of the Baltic, once so terrible to them, and pronounced with tenderness names which their fathers had cursed. They also expected mercenaries from the coasts of ancient Saxony and Friesland;4 the Saxons who had sought refuge in Scotland also promised aid. Encouraged by their victory, the inhabitants of Northumberland made frequent excursions south of their country, to the encampments of the foreigners.5 The governor of one of the castles of York was killed in a skirmish of this kind.6
It was in the interval between the two festivals of the Virgin Mary in autumn, that the son of king Swen, Osbiorn his brother, and five other Danish chiefs of high rank, landed in England.7 They boldly attempted a descent on the part of the coast best guarded, the south-east; but successively repulsed from Dover, Sandwich, and Norwich, they returned northwards, and entered the mouth of the Humber, as their ancestors had formerly done, but under quite different auspices.1 As soon as the news of their approach spread over the surrounding districts, the chiefs of English race in every direction, all the English in a body, left their villages, houses, and fields, to form friendship and alliance with the Danes, and join their ranks.2 The young king Edgar, Merlsweynn, Gospatrick, Siward Beorn, and many other refugees, hastened from Scotland. There came, also, Waltheof son of Siward, who had escaped, like Edwin and his brother, from the palace of king William; he was still very young, and was remarkable, as his father had been, for his great height and extraordinary vigour of body.3
The Saxons forming the advanced guard, the Danes the main body, the patriot army marched upon York, some on horseback, others on foot, says the Saxon chronicle, all filled with hope and joy.4 Messengers preceded them to inform the citizens that their deliverance was at hand, and ere long the city was invested on every side. On the eighth day of the siege, the Normans who had charge of the two castles, fearing that the neighbouring houses might furnish the assailants with materials for filling up the moats, set fire to them.5 The flames made rapid progress, and it was by their light that the insurgents and their auxiliaries, aided by the inhabitants, penetrated into the city, and forced the foreigners to shut themselves up in their two citadels, which on the same day were carried by assault.6 In this decisive combat there perished several thousand men of France, as the English chronicles express it.7 Waltheof, in ambuscade at one of the gates of the castle, killed with his own axe a score of Normans, who sought to fly.8 He pursued an hundred knights to a neighbouring wood, and to save himself the trouble of a further chase, set fire to the wood, and with it burned the whole party of fugitives. A Dane, at once warrior and poet, composed on this deed of arms a song, in which he praised the Saxon chief as being brave as Odin, and felicitated him on having supplied the English wolves with an ample repast of Norman corses.1
The conquerors gave quarter to the two governors of York, Gilbert de Gand and Guillaume Malet, the wife and children of the latter, and a few others, who were conveyed to the Danish fleet. They destroyed, perhaps imprudently, the fortifications raised by the foreigners, in order to efface all vestige of their passage.2 Young Edgar, once more king in York, concluded, according to the ancient Saxon custom, a treaty of alliance with the citizens;3 and thus for a while was revived the national royalty of the Anglo-Saxons. The territory and power of Edgar extended from the Tweed to the Humber; but William, and with him slavery, still reigned over the whole of the south, over the finest counties, the richest and largest towns.
Winter approached; the Danish fleet took up quarters in the mouths of the Humber, Ouse, and Trent. Their army and that of the free Saxons awaited the return of spring to advance towards the south, to drive back the conquerors, and confound king William, as the historians of the period express it.4
William was not without alarm; the news of the taking of York and the complete defeat of his people had transported him with rage and vexation; he had vowed not to lay aside his lance until he had killed all the Northumbrians;5 but moderating his anger, he first essayed stratagem, and sent able messengers to Osbiorn, brother of king Swen, the commander-in-chief of the Danish fleet. He promised this chief to give him secretly a large sum of money, and to allow him freely to take provisions for his army from the whole eastern coast, if, at the end of winter, he would depart without fighting. Tempted by avarice, the Dane was faithless to his mission and a traitor to the allies of his country; to his eternal dishonour, exclaim the chroniclers, he promised to do all that king William desired.1
William was not content with this one precaution; after having quietly deprived the free Saxons of their principal support, he directed his attention to the Saxons of the subjected districts, satisfied some of their complaints, checked the elated insolence of his soldiers and agents, conciliated by slight concessions the weak mind of the masses, gave them a few good words, and in return received from them fresh oaths and additional hostages. He then marched upon York, by long marches, with his best troops. The defenders of the city learned at the same time the approach of the Norman cavalry and the departure of the Danish fleet. Abandoned as they were, and deprived of their highest hopes, they still resisted, and were killed by thousands in the breaches of their walls.2 The fight was long, and the victory dearly purchased. King Edgar was obliged to fly, and all who could escape followed him to Scotland. Malcolm, king of this country, again received him with kindness, and offered an asylum to all of every class, who emigrated from the north of England.3
A second time master of York, the Conqueror did not stop there; he continued the rapid march of his troops northwards. They precipitated themselves on the land of Northumbria in the very frenzy of vengeance;4 they burned the fields under cultivation, as well as the hamlets and towns, and massacred the flocks with the men.5 This devastation was prosecuted upon a studied and regular plan, in order that the brave men of the north, finding their country uninhabitable, might be compelled to abandon it, and to disperse in other districts. They sought refuge in the mountains of Cumberland, once the asylum of the Cambrians, at the extremities of the eastern coast, in the marshes, and upon the sea, where, respectively, they became robbers and pirates against the foreigner, and were gravely charged in the proclamations of the Conqueror with violating the public peace and with leading a dishonourable life.1 The Normans entered Durham for the second time; and their slumbers were not disturbed, as those of Robert Comine had been.
Previous to their entering this city, which was for them the key to the whole northern country, the bishop of Durham, Eghelwin, the same who had given Robert Comine the warnings which had proved so futile, had resolved with the principal inhabitants to fly to some place where, says an ancient English poet, neither Norman, nor Burgundian, nor brigand, nor vagabond could reach them.2 Carrying with them the bones of that Saint Cuthbert whose formidable power the Normans themselves believed they had experienced, they reached a place in the mouth of the Tweed, called Lindisfarn-ey, and more commonly, Holy Island,3 a peninsula, peopled more with relics than with men, which twice a day, at high tide, was surrounded by the water, and twice also, at ebb tide, again joined the mainland. The great church of Durham, abandoned and left without guardians, became the asylum of the wounded, poor, and sick Saxons, who lay, to the number of several thousand, upon the bare stone, worn out with misery and hunger.4
The conquering army, the divisions of which covered a space of an hundred miles, traversed in every direction this territory, now for the first time invaded by them, and the traces of their passage were profoundly marked there. Old historians relate, that from the Humber to the Tyne, not one rood of land remained under cultivation, not a single village inhabited.5 The monasteries which had escaped the ravages of the Danish pagans, that of Saint Peter on the Wear, and that of Whitby, inhabited by nuns, were profaned and burned.6 South of the Humber, if we may believe the same narrators, the ravages were not less terrible. They say that, between York and the Eastern sea, every living thing was put to death, man and beast,1 all except those who sought refuge at Beverly, in the church of Saint John the archbishop. This was a saint of Anglo-Saxon race, and on the approach of the conquerors, a great crowd of men and women hastened with all their valuables to the church dedicated to their sainted countryman, that he, remembering in heaven that he was born a Saxon, might protect them and their property from the fury of the foreigner. The camp of the Normans was then seven miles from Beverly, and a report spread there that this church was the refuge of the rich and the depository of the wealth of the country. Several adventurous scouts hastened, under the command of one Toustain, to be the first at the pillage. They entered Beverly without resistance, marched direct to the cemetery where the terrified crowd had sought shelter, and leaped the walls, without heeding the Anglo-Saxon saint any more than they did those who invoked him. Toustain, the chief of the band, running his eye over the groups of English, saw an old man richly attired and wearing gold bracelets, according to the custom of his nation. He galloped towards him, sword in hand; the terrified old man sought refuge in the church, and Toustain followed him thither; but he had scarcely passed the doors, when his horse slipped on the pavement, and fell, crushing him in its fall.2 At the sight of their captain half dead, the other Normans turned their horses’ heads, and, their imagination deeply struck, hastened in terror to the camp to relate this terrible example of the power of Saint John of Beverly. When the army proceeded on its march, no soldier dared expose himself to the vengeance of the saint, and the territory of his church, if we are to believe the legend, was the only spot which remained covered with dwellings and cultivation amidst the general destruction of the country.
3 William, pursuing the wreck of the free Saxon forces, advanced to the foot of the great Roman wall, the remains of which still extend east and west from the mouth of the Tyne to the Solway Firth. He then returned to York, whither he had brought from Winchester the gold crown, the gilt sceptre, the mantle lined with fur, and all the other insignia of English royalty; these he displayed with great pomp during the feasts of the Nativity, as if to challenge those who some months before had fought for king Edgar and their country.1 There no longer remained any one capable of accepting the challenge; a last assembly of patriots on the banks of the Tyne had been dispersed;2 and such, in the northern provinces, was the end of resistance: the end of liberty, according to the English; of rebellion, according to the Normans.3
Upon both banks of the Humber, the cavalry of the foreign king, his counts, his bailiffs,4 could for the future freely travel on the roads and through the towns. Famine, the faithful companion of conquest, followed their steps; in the year 1067 it had already desolated the counties which had been invaded; in 1070 it extended over all England, manifesting itself in its utmost horrors in the newly conquered districts. The inhabitants of Yorkshire and of the territory further north, after feeding on the flesh of the dead horses left by the Norman army on their way, ate human flesh.5 More than an hundred thousand persons, of all ages, perished of famine in this district.6 “It was a frightful spectacle,” says an old annalist, “to behold, in the roads and streets, at the doors of houses, human bodies devoured by the worms, for none remained to scatter a little earth over them, all being destroyed by famine or the sword. This distress was felt only by the natives; the foreign soldier lived in plenty; for him, in the heart of his fortresses, there were vast stores of provisions, and more was sent him from abroad, in return for the gold wrung from the English. Moreover, famine aided him entirely to quell the conquered; often, for the remains of the repast of a groom in the Norman army, the Saxon, once illustrious among his countrymen, in order to sustain his miserable life, came to sell himself and his whole family to perpetual slavery.1 The act of sale was registered upon the blank page of some missal, where may still be found, half effaced, and serving as a theme for the sagacity of the antiquaries, these monuments of the wretchedness of a bygone period.
The territory on both sides of the Humber, devastated as it lay, was partitioned out among the conquerors with the same order which had regulated the division of the southern countries. Several allotments were drawn out of the houses, or rather the ruins of York; for in the two sieges which this city had suffered, it was so devastated that, several centuries afterwards, the foundations of the ancient suburbs were still seen in the open country, more than a mile distant.2 King William appropriated the greater number of the houses which remained standing;3 the Norman chiefs shared the rest, with the churches, shops, and even the butchers’ stalls, which they then let out.4 William de Warenne had twenty-eight villages in Yorkshire alone, and William de Percy more than eighty manors.5 Most of these domains, in the list drawn up fifteen years after, had for their description these simple words: waste-land.6 A property which, in the time of king Edward, had produced sixty pounds rent, produced less than five in the hands of its foreign possessor, and upon a domain in which two Englishmen of rank had lived at their ease, there were found after the conquest only two wretched serfs, scarce able to render their Norman lord a tenth of the revenue of the ancient free cultivators.7
Vast districts of land, north of York, were the portion of the Breton Allan, whom the Normans called Alain, and whom his countrymen in their Celtic tongue surnamed Fergan, that is, the Red. This Alain constructed a strong castle and works of defence, near his principal manor, called Ghilling, on a steep hill which was nearly surrounded on every side by the rapid river Swale. This fortress, says an old narrative, was designed to protect him and his men from the attacks of the disinherited English.1 Like most of the other captains of the conquering army, he gave a French name to the castle which became his dwelling, calling it Richemont, from its raised situation, commanding the surrounding country.2
The entire island, formed by the ocean and the rivers at the easternmost point of Yorkshire, was the share of Dreux Bruere, a captain of Flemish auxiliaries. This man married one of William’s relations, and killed her in a fit of passion; but ere tidings of the murder were circulated, he hastened to the king, and asked him to give him money in exchange for his lands, for that he wished to return to Flanders. William gave the Fleming the sum he required, and did not learn until afterwards the reason of his abrupt departure.3 The island of Holderness then became the property of Eudes de Champagne, who afterwards married the conqueror’s maternal sister. When the wife of Eudes had given birth to a son, he told the king that his island was not fertile, that it produced nothing but oats, and begged him to grant him some land capable of producing wheat, wherewith to support the child.4 King William, say the ancient acts, gave him the entire town of Bytham, in Lincolnshire.
Not far from this island of Holderness, on the banks of the Humber, Gamel Fitz-Quetel, who had come from Meaux in France, with a troop of men of the same town, took a certain portion of land, where he fixed his abode and that of his companions. They, wishing to attach to their new habitation a remembrance of their native town, gave it the name of Meaux, and this name remained for some centuries that of an abbey founded in the same place.5 Gamel, chief of the Meaux adventurers, and possessor of the principal manor of their little colony, negotiated with the Norman chiefs who occupied the neighbouring lands, in order that their respective possessions might be immutably determined. Several conferences, or parliaments, as they were then called, were held with Basin, Sivard, Franco, and Richard d’Estouteville. All by common accord measured their portions of land and set up marks, “so that,” says the old narrative, “their posterity should have nothing to dispute about, and that the peace which existed between them should be transmitted to their heirs.”1
The great domain of Pontefract, the spot where the Norman troops had forded the river Aire, was the share of Gilbert de Lacy, who, following the example of nearly all the other Norman captains, built a strong castle there.2 It appears that this Gilbert was the first who with his troops passed the mountains west of York, and invaded the adjoining county of Lancaster, which then formed part of Cheshire. He appropriated to himself, in this county, an immense territory, the chief town of which was Blackburn, and which extended south and east to the borders of Yorkshire. To form this great domain, he expelled, according to an ancient tradition, all the English proprietors from Blackburn, Rochdale, Tollington, and the vicinity. Before the conquest, says the tradition, all these proprietors were free, equal in rights, and independent of each other; but after the Norman invasion, there was in the whole county but one lord.3
King William, with his chosen troops, had not advanced beyond Hexham; it was his captains, who, penetrating further, conquered the rest of Northumbria, north and west. The mountainous district of Cumberland was reduced to a Norman county; one Renouf Meschin took possession of it, and the land of marsh and moor, called Westmoreland, was also brought under the power of a foreigner,4 who divided among his soldiers the rich domains and beautiful women of the county. He gave the three daughters of Simon Thorn, proprietor of the two manors of Elreton and Todewick, one to Onfroy, his squire, another to Raoul Tortesmains, and the third to one Guillaume de Saint Paul.5 In Northumberland proper, Ivo de Vescy took the town of Alnwick, with the granddaughter and all the inheritance of a Saxon who had fallen at Hastings.1 Robert de Brus obtained by conquest, say the ancient acts, several hundred manors and the dues of the port of Hartlepool in Durham;2 as a last instance of these territorial usurpations, Robert d’Omfreville had the forest of Riddesdale, which belonged to Mildred, son of Akman; in token of investiture of this domain, he received from king William the sword which the latter had worn on his entry into Northumberland, and swore upon it that he would use it to free the land of wolves and of the enemies of the conquest.
When the Northumbrians, after having expelled Tosti, brother of Harold, in a national insurrection, had chosen for their chief Morkar, brother of Edwin, Morkar had by their consent placed in the goverment of the country beyond the Tees, young Osulf, son of Edulf.3 Osulf kept his command up to the time when the Normans passed the Tyne; he was then obliged to fly, like the rest, to the forest and mountain. In his place was appointed a Saxon, named Kopsi, whom the inhabitants of Northumbria had expelled with Tosti, who eagerly desired to be revenged on them, and whom for this reason the new king imposed on them as their chief.4 Kopsi installed himself in his post under the protection of the foreigners; but after having exercised his office for some time, he was assailed in his house by a body of the disinherited, led by the Osulf whose spoils he had received. He was quietly taking his dinner, expecting no attack, when the Saxons fell upon him, killed him, and immediately dispersed.5
Similar instances of daring vengeance, of which the historians cite but a few, must certainly have taken place in many districts; but however numerous they may have been, they could not save England. An immense force, regularly governed, and regularly distributed, mocked the virtuous but impotent efforts of the friends of independence. The patriots themselves, with their great chiefs, whose names alone called forth many men, lost all courage, and again capitulated. Waltheof, Gospatrik, Morkar, and Edwin, made their peace with the conqueror. It was upon the banks of the Tees that this reconciliation, so fatal to the Saxon cause, took place. King William held his camp there, and there he received the oaths of Gospatrik and Waltheof. The former, who was absent and who made his submission by proxy, obtained the government of Northumbria, vacant by the death of Kopsi, with the title of earl.1 Waltheof placed his bare hand in that of the Norman king, and became earl of the two counties of Huntingdon and Northampton.2 He married Judith, one of the nieces of his new friend; but as the result will show, the bed of the foreign woman was harder for the Saxon chief than the bare ground upon which he had feared to lay, in keeping faith with his country.3 Ere long, king Edgar himself came for the second time to abjure his national title and the rights which he held from the people.4 He was a man of little vigour of soul, who was ever led, in good or evil, by circumstances and by the example of others. He was not more faithful to the Normans than to England, and the wind of resistance once more rising, Edgar again fled to Scotland, amid the imprecations of the foreigners.5 The English, indulgent in their misery, pardoned his fickleness, and although deserted by him, still loved him: “He was young and handsome,” say the ancient chroniclers, “and descended from the true race, the best race of the country.”6
After the conquest of the north, that of the north-western counties adjoining the Welsh territory appears to have been speedily accomplished. Edrik, surnamed the Forester, no longer stayed the Norman bands who overflowed on every side, and ceased to trouble by his incursions their settlements, hitherto so precarious, near the entrenchment of Offa. Raoul de Mortemer took the young partisan chief prisoner, and, with the sanction of a council of war, deprived him of all his estates, for having, says an ancient history, refused to obey the conquest, although several times summoned to do so.1 The Norman army, which reduced the population of the Welsh marches, did not stop at Offa’s Dyke, but passing that ancient frontier, west of Shrewsbury, penetrated the territory of the Cambrians. This was the commencement of that subjugation of Wales, which, from that time, the conquerors of England prosecuted without intermission.2 The first Norman fortress raised upon the Welsh territory was built sixteen miles from Shrewsbury, by a chief named Baldwin. The people of the place called it, in the Cambrian language, Tre-Faldwin, the castle of Baldwin; but the name which the Normans retained for it was Mont-Gomery, in compliment to Roger de Montgomery, earl of Shropshire and of all the conquered portion of Wales.3
The town of Shrewsbury, fortified with a citadel built upon the site of fifty-one houses, was reserved in the demesne of king William.4 The taxes were here received for the king’s exchequer5 (so the Normans called that which the Romans had named fiscus). The agents of the conqueror did not demand more tribute than the town had paid in the time of English independence; but an authentic protest of the inhabitants shows the value to them of this apparent moderation. “The English inhabitants of Shrewsbury,” runs the passage in Domesday Book, “say that it is hard for them to pay the whole of the tax which they paid in the time of king Edward, and to be taxed for as many houses as then existed; for fifty-one houses have been pulled down for the earl’s castle; fifty others are so devastated as to be uninhabitable; forty-three Frenchmen occupy houses which paid taxes in the time of Edward; and, moreover, the earl has given to the abbey he has founded thirty-nine citizens who formerly contributed with the rest.”6
These monasteries, founded by the Normans in the towns or country districts of England, were peopled with monks who had come over with the foreign troops. Each new band of soldiers was escorted by a new band of tonsured priests, who repaired to the country of the English pour gaaingner, as the phrase ran. In the year 1068, the abbot of St. Riquier in Ponthieu, proceeding to the port of Wissant to embark for England, found there more than an hundred monks of every order, with a crowd of soldiers and merchants, all like himself about to pass the Channel.1 Benedictines from Seez in Normandy, poor, absolutely destitute, came to establish themselves in a vast habitation given them by Roger de Montgomery, and received for their table the tithe of all the venison killed in Shropshire.2 Other monks of St. Florent at Saumur emigrated to occupy a church which, by right of conquest, had fallen to the Angevin Guillaume de Brause.3 In Staffordshire, near Stone-upon-Trent, was a little oratory, where two nuns and a Saxon priest passed their lives praying in honour of the local saint, Wolfed: all three were killed by one Enisant, a soldier of the conquering army, and “this Enisant,” says the old legend, “killed the priest and the two nuns, that his sister, who accompanied him, might have their church.”4
When the conquest grew flourishing, not merely young soldiers and old captains, but whole families, men, women, and children, emigrated from almost every corner of Gaul to seek their fortune in England; this country had become for foreigners, as it were a land newly discovered, which had to be colonised, and which belonged to every comer. “Noël and Celestria, his wife,” says an ancient deed, “came in the army of William the Bastard, and received in gift from the same bastard the manor of Elinghall with all its dependencies.”5 According to an old rhyme, the first lord of Coningsby, named William, came from Brittany, with his wife Tiffany, his servant Maufas, and his dog Hardigras.6 Sworn brotherhoods-in-arms, societies of gain and loss, for life and death, were formed between those who together ran the risks of the invasion.1 Robert d’Ouilly and Roger d’Ivry sailed to the conquest as leagued brothers, confederated by faith and by oath;2 they wore dresses and arms alike, and divided, share and share alike, the English lands they conquered; Eudes and Picot, Robert Marmion and Gauthier de Somerville, did the same.3 Jean de Courcy and Amaury de St. Florent swore their brotherhood-in-arms in the church of Notre Dame at Rouen; they made a vow to serve together, to live and die together, to share together their pay and all that they should gain by their good fortune and their swords.4 Others, at the moment of departure, relinquished all the property they possessed in their native land, as of little value compared with what they hoped to conquer. Thus Geoffrey de Chaumont, son of Gedoin, viscount of Blois, bestowed upon his niece Denise the lands he had at Blois, Chaumont, and Tours. “He departed for the conquest,” says a contemporary history, “and afterwards returned to Chaumont, with an immense treasure, large sums of money, great stores of rare commodities, and the titles of possession of more than one rich domain.”5
There now only remained to invade the country around Chester, the one great city of England that had not yet heard the tramp of the foreigners’ horses. Having passed the winter in the north, king William undertook in person this last expedition;6 but as he was about to leave York, loud murmurs arose in his army. The reduction of Northumberland had fatigued the conquerors, and they foresaw in the invasion of the shores of the western sea and of the river Dee, still greater fatigues. Exaggerated accounts of the ruggedness of the country and the determined ferocity of the inhabitants, circulated among the soldiers.7 The maladie du pays was felt by the Angevin and Breton auxiliaries, as, the year before, it had attacked the Normans, and they in their turn loudly complained of the severity of the service, more intolerable, they said, than slavery, and in great numbers demanded leave to return home. William, unable to overcome the pertinacity of those who refused to follow him, feigned to despise them. He promised repose after the victory to those who should remain faithful to him, and great estates as a reward for their labour; he then traversed, by roads until then deemed impracticable for horses, the chain of mountains which extends, north and south, the whole length of England, entered as a conqueror the city of Chester, and, according to his custom, erected a fortress there. He did the same at Stafford; at Salisbury, on his return to the south, he distributed abundant rewards among his soldiers.1 He then went to his royal castle at Winchester, the strongest in England, and which was his spring palace, as that of Gloucester was his winter palace, and his summer palace the Tower of London, or the abbey of Westminster, near London.2
Troops commanded by a Fleming named Gherbaud remained behind to keep and defend the newly conquered province; Gherbaud was the first captain who bore the title of earl of Chester; to support this title and his post, he was exposed to great perils, both from the English and from the Welsh, who long harassed him.3 He became disgusted with these fatigues, and returned to his own country. Hereupon king William gave the earldom of Chester to Hugh d’Avranches, son of Richard Gosse, surnamed Hugh-le-Loup, and who bore a wolf’s head painted on his shield. Hugh-le-Loup and his lieutenants passed the Dee, which formed, at the extremity of Offa’s Dyke, the northern limit of the Welsh territory. They conquered Flintshire, which became part of the Norman country of Chester, and built a fortress at Rhuddlan.4 One of these lieutenants, Robert d’Avranches, changed his name to that of Robert de Rhuddlan, and from an opposite fancy, Robert de Malpas or de Maupas, governor of another castle built upon a steep hill, gave his own name to this place, which still bears it. “They both,” says an ancient historian, “made war with ferocity, and shed at pleasure the blood of the Welsh.” They fought a sanguinary battle at the marshes of Rhuddlan, a place already marked as calamitous in the memory of the Cambrians, from a great battle they had lost there against the Saxons towards the close of the eighth century. A singular monument of these two national disasters still existed a few years ago in Wales, in the form of a melancholy air, without words of its own, but which was applied to many mournful subjects, and which was called the Air of the Marshes of Rhuddlan.
1 Old histories relate that when Hugh-le-Loup was installed, with his title of earl, in the county of Chester, he sent to Normandy for one of his old friends, called Nigel or Lenoir, which Lenoir brought with him five brothers, Houdard, Edward, Volmar, Horsuin and Volfar, among whom Hugh distributed lands in his earldom; he gave to Lenoir the town of Halton, near the Mersey, and made him his constable and hereditary marshal, that is to say, that whenever the earl of Chester should go to war, Lenoir and his heirs, in going, were to march at the head of the army, and, in returning, at the extreme rear. They had for their share in the division of the spoils taken from the Welsh all four legged beasts of more than one colour. In time of peace, they exercised high justice in the district of Halton, and received all fines; their followers had the privilege of pre-emption in Chester market before all other persons, except the servants of the earl, when these presented themselves first. Besides these prerogatives, the constable Lenoir obtained for himself and his heirs the highway and street tolls at Chester fairs, the market dues throughout Halton, all animals found straying in that district, and lastly, the right of stallage, or the liberty of selling, free from all tax or toll, every kind of merchandise, except salt and horses.2
Houdard, the elder of the five brothers, was to Lenoir much the same that the latter was to earl Hugh; he was hereditary seneschal of the constablery of Halton. Lenoir, his lord, gave him for his service and homage, the lands of Weston and Ashton.3 He had, as war profit, all the bulls taken from the Welsh,4 and the best ox, as recompence for the man-at-arms who bore his banner.1 Edward, the second brother, received from the constable as much land in Weston as an ox could plough in two days;2 two others, Volmar and Horsuin, received a domain in the village of Runcorn; and the fifth, Volfar, who was a priest, obtained the church of Runcorn.3
These singular details are of little interest in themselves; but they may aid the reader in forming an idea of the varied scenes of the conquest, and investing, with their original colours, the facts of greater importance. All these arrangements, all the divisions of possessions and offices which took place in Cheshire between the Norman governor, the first lieutenant of this governor, and the five companions of the lieutenant, give a true and vivid idea of the transactions of the same kind which were taking place, at the same time, throughout England. When, in future, the reader meets with the titles of earl, count, constable, seneschal, when, in the course of this history, he hears of the rights of jurisdiction, of market dues, of tolls, of war and justice profits, let him call to mind Hugh d’Avranches, his friend Lenoir, and the five brothers who accompanied Lenoir; and then, perhaps, he will perceive some reality in these titles and forms, which, considered abstractedly, have only a vague and uncertain meaning. Through the distance of ages, we must make our way to the then living men; we must, as well as we can, realize them living and acting upon the land, where not even the dust of their bones is now to be found; and it is with this design that many local facts, that many now unknown names, have been introduced into this history. The reader must fix his imagination upon these; he must repeople ancient England with her conquerors and her conquered of the eleventh century; he must figure to himself their various situations, interests, and languages; the joy and insolence of the one, the misery and terror of the other; the whole movement which accompanies the deadly war between two great masses of men. For seven hundred years these men have ceased to exist; but what matters this to the imagination? With the imagination there is no past, and even the future is of the present.
[1 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 204.
[2 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., ut sup. sub. an.
[4 ] Guill. Pictav., ut sup.
[1 ] Willelm. Thorn., Chron. apud Hist. Angl. Script., ii. 1786.
[2 ]Ib.—See Appendix IX.
[3 ] Gervas. Cantaur. Act. pontif. Cantaur. apud Hist. Angl. Script., ut sup. ii. col. 1651.
[4 ] Chron. Saxon. Frag., ut sup. sub anno.
[1 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 205. Willelm. Malmesb., p. 102.
[2 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., ut sup.
[3 ] Episcopos non habebant assertores. (Johan. de Fordun, Scoti-Chronicon, lib. v. cap. xi. p. 404.) Willelm. Malmesb., p. 102.
[4 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., sub anno.
[1 ] Ita Angli qni, in unam coeuntes sententiam, potuissent patriæ reformare ruinam...(Willelm. Malmesb., ut sup.)
[2 ] Roger de Hoveden, p. 450.
[3 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 205. Order. Vitalis, lib. iv. p. 503.
[4 ] Idem, ib.
[5 ] Willelm. Gemet., p. 288.
[6 ] See as to these institutions, chap. v. of Considerations sur l’Histoire de France, prefixed to the Recits des Temps Merovingiens.
[1 ] See Lye, Dict. Saxonico et Gothico-Latinum, at the words Stallere, Steallere. Esegarus regie procurator aule, qui est Anglice dictus stallere, i.e. regni vexillifer. (Chroniques Anglo-Normandes, ii. 234.)
[2 ] Wido, ut sup. p. 31.
[1 ] Wido, ut sup. p. 33, 34.
[2 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., sub ann.
[3 ]Ib.—Roger de Hoveden, p. 450.
[1 ] Speed, Hist. of Great Britain (1623), p. 436.
[2 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 205. See Appendix X.
[3 ] Id. ib.
[1 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 205.
[2 ] Guill. Neubrig., de Reb. Angl. (Hearne) p. 15. Joh. Bromton, ut sup. i. col. 962.
[3 ] Id. ib. Walter Hemingford, Chron. apud Script. rer. Anglic. (Gale) ii. 457.
[4 ] Id. ib.
[5 ] Tha bestan menn. (Chron. Sax. passim.)
[6 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 206.
[1 ] Order. Vital., lib. iii. p. 503.
[2 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[3 ] Chron. Saxon. Frag., sub ann.
[4 ] Hickes, Thesaurus Linguarum Septentrionalium, ii. 71, 72.
[1 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 208.
[2 ] Id. ib.
[3 ] Dialogus de Saccario, in notis ad Matth. Paris, i. ad initium. See Appendix XI.
[1 ]Ricardus Nigellus, Richard Lenoir or Noirot, bishop of Ely in the twelfth century.
[2 ] Guill. Pictav., 206.
[3 ] ...pecuniam in auro et argento amphorem quam dictu credible sit. (ib.)
[4 ] ...Mille ecclesiis Franciæ. (ib.)
[5 ] Chron. de Normandie, p. 239.
[6 ] Roman de Rou, ii. 387. The term vassal was then synonymous with warrior. Hardi et noble vassal...vassaument, wavely. See Appendix XII.
[1 ] Order. Vital., lib. vi. p. 606.
[2 ] Chron. Saxon., frag., sub ann.
[1 ] Sax. Chron., p. 173.
[2 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 523.
[3 ] Id. ib.
[4 ] Willelm. Malmesb.
[5 ] Extracta ex Domesday Book, apud Script. Rer. Anglic. (Gale) iii. 759.
[1 ] Domesday Book, i. fol. 9, verso.
[2 ] Extracta ex Domesday Book, ut sup.
[3 ] Domesday Book, i. fol. 36, recto.
[4 ]Ib. ii. p. 1.
[5 ] Edeva faira. Ib. ii. p. 285.
[6 ]Ib. p. 117.
[7 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 208.
[8 ] Extracta ex D. B., ut sup. 764.
[1 ] Dugdale, ii. 905.
[2 ]Ib. i. 210.
[3 ] Domesday B., i. fol. 38, verso.
[4 ]Ib. fol. 137, verso.
[5 ] Matth. Paris, Vitæ Abbatum S. Albani, i. 46.
[6 ] Id. ib.
[1 ] Baynard’s Castle, Castellum Beynardi. (Maitland’s Hist. of London, p. 41.)
[1 ] Conte, baron, et chevalier; Conte, baron, et vavassor. (Anciennes poesies Normandes.)
[2 ] Joh. Bromt., i. col. 963. See Appendix XII.
[3 ] Leland, Collectanea, i. 202. See Appendix XII.
[4 ] Script. rei. Normann., p. 1022.
[1 ] Dugdale, passim.
[2 ] Become by corruption Roehford, Rokely, Chaworth, &c. Other names, genuine French, have been disfigured in a variety of ways: as de la Haye, Hay; de la Souche, Zouche; du Saut-de-Chevreau, Sacheverell, &c.
[3 ] These two words, now become English, are of pure Norman extraction, and have no equivalent in the ancient Anglo-Saxon tongue.
[4 ] Joh. de Fordun, lib. v. p. 404.
[5 ] Guill. Pictav., 209.
[1 ] Guill. Pictav., 209.
[3 ] Id. ib.
[4 ] Id. ib.
[5 ] Id. 210.
[6 ] Id. 211.
[7 ] Id. ib.
[1 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 211.
[2 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 507.
[3 ]Ib. 508.
[4 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 212.
[5 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[1 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[2 ] Dugdale, ii. 221.
[3 ] Florent. Wigorn., p. 635. Chron. Saxon. Frag., sub ann.
[1 ] Florent, Wigorn., p. 635. Chron. Sax. Frag. sub. ann.
[2 ] Id. ib.
[3 ] Id. ib.
[4 ] Guill. Pictav., 212.
[1 ] Matth. Paris, Vitæ Abbat. S. Alb. i. 47.
[2 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[4 ] Maitland’s Hist. of London, p. 28.
[1 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., sub ann. 1067.
[2 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 510.
[1 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 510.
[2 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., sub ann.
[3 ] Domesday B., vol. i. fol. 100, recto.
[4 ] Dugdale’s Baronage.
[5 ]Se Hlafdige, se Cwene. From hlafdige, suppressing the aspirates, came lafdye, lavdy, lady. Cwene, cween, queen, properly signifies a woman.
[6 ] See Appendix XIII.
[1 ] Dugdale, Monast., i. 154. Appendix XIV.
[2 ] Id. ib. 190.
[3 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., sub anno.
[4 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 509.
[5 ] Dugdale, i. 132.
[1 ] Matth. Westmon., p. 225.
[2 ] Matth. Paris, ut sup., i. 47.
[3 ] Order. Vital., p. 511.
[4 ] Id. ib.
[1 ] Order. Vital., p. 511.
[2 ] Willelm. Gemet., p. 289.
[3 ] Chron Sax. Frag., sub anno 1067.
[1 ] Bede, in the eighth century, makes a distinction between the idiom of the Picts and that of the Scots.
[2 ] Fir na Cruinneachd. See Jameson’s Popular Songs, ii. notes.
[3 ] Fordun, Scoti-Chron., lib. iv. p. 280.
[4 ] Id. ib. 293.
[1 ] Irse, Irshe, Irish, the Saxon term for the inhabitants of Ireland.
[1 ] Fordun, Scoti-chron., v. 410.
[2 ]Ib. Ellis’s Metrical Romances, introduc., p. 127.
[3 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., sub anno 1067.
[4 ] Matth. Paris, i. 6.
[5 ] Extracta ex Domesday B., ut sup. p. 765.
[1 ] Dugdale, Monast. Angl., i. 984.
[2 ] Id. ib., ii. 312.
[3 ] Domesday Book, i. fol. 280, recto.
[4 ] Domesday B., i. fol. 336, verso.
[5 ] Guill. Pictav., p. 208.
[6 ] Successio primorum eccles. Dunelmensis; Anglia Sacra, i. 786.
[1 ] Roger de Hoveden, p. 456.
[2 ] Id. ib.
[4 ] Dugdale, Monast., ii. 645.
[5 ] Willelm. Gemet., p. 290.
[7 ] Matth. Westmon., p. 225.
[1 ] Stubbs, Act. Pontif. Eborac, apud Hist. Angl., Script. (Selden) ii. col. 1703.
[1 ]Ib. Willelm. Malmesb., lib. iii. 271.
[2 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 512.
[1 ] Id. ib.
[2 ] Willelm. Gemet., p. 290.
[3 ]Ib. p. 514.
[4 ] Chron. Saxon. Frag., sub anno 1067.
[5 ] Willelm. Malmesb., lib. iii. p. 104.
[1 ] Chron. Saxon. Frag., sub anno 1068.
[2 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 514.
[3 ] Id. ib.
[4 ] Id. ib.
[1 ] Hist. Monast. Selebiensis, apud Labbe, Nova Biblioth., MS. i. 602.
[2 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[3 ] Id. ib.
[4 ] Chron. Sax., 174.
[5 ] Willelm. Gemet., p. 290.
[1 ] Aluredus Beverlacensis, Annal. de Gestis reg. Brit. (Hearne) lib. ix. p. 128.
[2 ] Hemingford, Chron., lib. i. p. 458.
[3 ] Alured. Beverlac, ut sup.
[4 ] Chron. Sax., p. 174.
[5 ] Chron. Sanctæ-Crucis Edinborg; Angha Sacra, i. 159.
[1 ] Legatio Helsini in Daniam, apud Script. rer. Danic., iii. p. 225; in notâ n ad calc. pag.
[2 ] Id. ib., p. 253.
[3 ] Audientes Daci Angliam esse subjectam Normannis seu Francigenis, graviter sunt indignati...arma parant, classem aptant. (Id. ib.)
[4 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 513.
[5 ] Willelm. Gemet., p. 290.
[6 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[7 ] Matth. Westm., p. 226. Matth. Paris, i. 6.
[1 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[2 ] Chron. Saxon. Frag., sub anno 1068. Matth. Paris, ut sup.
[3 ] Nervosus lacertis, robustis pectore et procerus toto corpore. (Matth. Westm., p. 229.)
[4 ] Chron. Saxon. Frag., ut sup.
[5 ] Alured. Beverlac., Annal. de Gest. reg. Britan. (Hearne) lib. ix. p. 128.
[7 ] Chron. Sax., ut sup. Matth. Paris, ut sup.
[8 ] Unos et unos per portas gradientes decapitans. (Origo et Gesta Sivardi Ducis, ut sup. iii. 299.)
[1 ] Torva tuenti appositus fuit cibus. Alni equo (lupo) ex cadaveribus Francorum. (Saga af Haralda Hardrada, cap. ci.; Snorre’s Heimskringla, iii. 168.)
[2 ] Chron. Sax., 174.
[3 ] Chron. Sax. Frag., ut sup.
[4 ] Matth. Westmon., p. 226. Matth. Paris, ut sup.
[5 ] Roger de Hovedeu, ut sup. p. 451.
[1 ] Florent. Wigorn., Chron., p. 636.
[2 ] Matth. Westmon., p. 226.
[3 ] Matth. Paris, i. 6.
[4 ] Alured. Beverlac., ut sup.
[5 ] Matth. Paris, ut sup.
[1 ] Cum adhuc in sua ærumna armis atque fuga auderent . . . , in maritimorum præsidiorum remotiora sese receperunt, inhonestas opes piratico latrocinio sibi contrabentes. (Willelm. Gemet., p. 290.)
[2 ] Sithen dred thei nothing of thefe ne of felon. That were with the kyng Norman no Burgoloun. (Langtoft’s Chron., i. 77.)
[3 ] Alured. Beverlac., ut sup. p. 129.
[4 ] Id. ib.
[5 ] Id. ib.
[6 ] Joh. Bromt., ut sup. i. col. 966. Willelm. Malmesb., lib. iii. p. 271.
[1 ] Alured. Beverlac, ut sup.
[2 ] Id. ib.
[3 ] Joh. Bromton., ut sup.
[1 ] Order. Vital., ut sup. p. 515.
[2 ] Hostile collegium in angulo quodam regionis—paludibus undique munito. (ib.)
[3 ] Seditionum tempestate parumper conquiescente. (Will. Gemet., p. 290.)
[4 ]Ballivi, in the French of the period, bails or baillifs, a term applied to several descriptions of public officers.
[5 ] Florent. Wigorn., p. 636.
[6 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[1 ] Roger de Hoveden, ut sup. p. 451.
[2 ] Leland, Collectanea, iv. 36.
[3 ] Extracta ex D. B., ut sup. p. 774.
[4 ] Comes de Moritonio habet ibi xiv mansiones et ii. bancos in macello et ecclesiam Sanctæ-Crucis. (Domesday Book, i. fol. 298, recto.)
[5 ] Ancient Tenures of Land, p. 6.
[6 ] Omnia nunc wasta. (D. B., i. fol. 309, recto.) Modo omnino sunt wasta. (ib.) Ex maxima parte wasta. (ib.) See Appendix XV.
[7 ] Duo taini tenuere..., ibi sunt ii. villani cum i. carruca; valuit xl. sol. modo iv. sol. (ib. fol. 315, recto.)
[1 ] Genealog. Comit. Richmundiæ, apud Script. rer. Gallic. et Francic., xii. 568.
[2 ]Ib. Dugdale, Monast., i. 877.
[3 ] Dugdale, Baronage of England, i. 60, Monast. Angl., i. 796.
[4 ] Id. ib.
[5 ] Id., Monasticon Anglic., i. 792.
[1 ] Id. ib.
[2 ] Id. ib., p. 859.
[3 ] Id. ib.
[4 ] Ib. ib.
[5 ] Id., ii. 592.
[1 ] Id., p. 148. Apud Hartlepool, portum maris, et de qualibet navi viii. den. (Ancient Tenures of Land, p. 146.)
[2 ]Ib., 15.
[3 ] Id. ib., i. 41.
[4 ] Id. ib.
[5 ] Simeon Dunelmensis, apud Hist. Anglic. Script. (Selden) i. col. 204.
[1 ] Dugdale, Monast., i. 41.
[2 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 515. Willelm. Malmesb., lib. iii. p. 104. Chron. Sax. Frag., sub ann. 1071.
[3 ] Ei dedit Juettam, filiam comitis Lamberti de Lens. (Vita et passio Waldevi Comitis; Chroniques Anglo-Normandes, ii. 112.)
[4 ] Et misericordiam postulans impetravit, et enfidelitatem fecit. (Matth. Paris, ii. 6.)
[5 ]Ib., p. 7.
[6 ] That best Kunde in Engelond adde to be kyng.—Robert of Gloucester, Chronicle, p. 370.
[1 ] Dugdale, Monast., ii. 221.
[2 ] Gesta Stephani regis, apud Script. rer. Norman., p. 930.
[3 ] Pennant’s Tour in Wales, ii. 348.
[4 ] Extracta ex D. B., ut sup. p. 773.
[5 ] So called from a table with compartments and squares marked upon it.
[6 ] Ext. ex D. B., ut sup.
[1 ] Chron. S. Richarii, apud Script. rer. Gallic. et Francic., xi. 133.
[2 ] Pennant, Tour in Wales, ii. 402.
[3 ] Dugdale, Monast. Anglic., i. 375.
[4 ]Ib., ii. 126.
[5 ]Ib., iii. 54.
[1 ] Fortunarum suarum participem. (Dugdale, Mon. Anglic., ii. 136.)
[2 ] Ducange, Gloss. verbo Fratres Conjurati.
[3 ] Dugdale, Mon. Angl., i. 198.
[5 ] Gesta Ambasiensium Dominorum, apud Script, rer. Gallic. et Francic., xi. 258.
[6 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 515.
[1 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 516.
[2 ] Ter gessit suam coronam (cynehelm) singulis annis ...; ad Pascha eam gessit in Winceaster, ad Pentecosten in Westminster, ad Natales in Gleaveceaster. (Chron. Saxon., 190.)
[3 ] Order. Vital., lib. iv. p. 522.
[4 ] Journey to Snowden, p. 11. Pennant, Tour in Wales, ii. in fin.
[1 ] Order. Vital., ut sup.
[2 ] Dugdale, Monast. Anglic., ii. 187.
[3 ]Ib., p. 177.
[4 ] Adventagia guerræ. (Ducange, Gloss. verbo Adventagium.)
[1 ] Dugdale, Monast. Anglic., ii. 187.
[2 ] Id. ib.
[3 ] Id. ib.