Anglo-Saxon Chronicle William The Conqueror is in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Then on midwinter's day Archbishop Aldred hallowed him to king at Westminster, and gave him possession with the books of Christ, and also swore him, ere that he would set the crown on his head, that he would so well govern this nation as any before him best did, if they would be faithful to him. Nevertheless he laid very heavy tribute on men, and in Lent went over sea to Normandy, taking with him Archbishop Stigand, and Abbot Aylnoth of Glastonbury, and the child Edgar, and the Earls Edwin, Morkar, and Waltheof, and many other good men of England. Bishop Odo and Earl William lived here afterwards, and wrought castles widely through this country, and harassed the miserable people; and ever since has evil increased very much. May the end be good, when God will! In that same expedition (92) was Leofric, Abbot of Peterborough; who sickened there, and came home, and died soon after, on the night of Allhallow-mass. God honour his soul! In his day was all bliss and all good at Peterborough. He was beloved by all; so that the king gave to St. Peter and him the abbey at Burton, and that at Coventry, which the Earl Leofric, who was his uncle, had formerly made; with that of Croyland, and that of Thorney. He did so much good to the minster of Peterborough, in gold, and in silver, and in shroud, and in land, as no other ever did before him, nor any one after him. But now was Gilden-borough become a wretched borough. The monks then chose for abbot Provost Brand, because he was a very good man, and very wise; and sent him to Edgar Etheling, for that the land-folk supposed that he should be king: and the etheling received him gladly. When King William heard say that, he was very wroth, and said that the abbot had renounced him: but good men went between them, and reconciled them; because the abbot was a good man. He gave the king forty marks of gold for his reconciliation; and he lived but a little while after—only three years. Afterwards came all wretchedness and all evil to the minster. God have mercy on it!
87. These facts, though stated in one MS. only, prove the early cooperation of Tosty with the King of Norway. It is remarkable that this statement is confirmed by Snorre, who says that Tosty was with Harald, the King of Norway, in all these expeditions. Vid "Antiq. Celto-Scand." p. 204.
88. i.e. Harold, King of England; "our" king, as we find him afterwards called in B iv., to distinguish him from Harald, King of Norway.
89 Not only the twelve smacks with which he went into Scotland during the summer, as before stated, but an accession of force from all quarters.
90. On the north bank of the Ouse, according to Florence of Worcester; the enemy having landed at Richale (now "Riccal"). Simeon of Durham names the spot "Apud Fulford," i.e. Fulford-water, south of the city of York.
91 It is scarcely necessary to observe that the term "English" begins about this time to be substituted for "Angles"; and that the Normans are not merely the Norwegians, but the Danes and other adventurers from the north, joined with the forces of France and Flanders; who, we shall presently see, overwhelmed by their numbers the expiring, liberties of England. The Franks begin also to assume the name of Frencyscan or "Frenchmen".
92. i.e. in the expedition against the usurper William.
1067. This year came the king (39) back again to England on St. Nicholas's day; and the same day was burned the church of Christ at Canterbury. Bishop Wulfwy also died, and is buried at his see in Dorchester.
1067. The child Edric and the Britons were unsettled this year, and fought with the castlemen at Hereford, and did them much harm. The king (39) this year imposed a heavy guild on the wretched people; but, notwithstanding, let his men always plunder all the country that they went over; and then he marched to Devonshire, and beset the city of Exeter eighteen days. There were many of his army slain; out he had promised them well, and performed ill; and the citizens surrendered the city because the thanes had betrayed them.
1067. This summer the child Edgar (16) departed, with his mother Agatha, and his two sisters, Margaret (22) and Christina (10), and Merle-Sweyne, and many good men with them; and came to Scotland under the protection of King Malcolm (35), who entertained them all. Then began King Malcolm (35) to yearn after the child's sister, Margaret (22), to wife; but he and all his men long refused; and she also herself was averse, and said that she would neither have him nor any one else, if the Supreme Power would grant, that she in her maidenhood might please the mighty Lord with a carnal heart, in this short life, in pure continence. The king (35), however, earnestly urged her brother (16), until he answered Yea. And indeed he durst not otherwise; for they were come into his kingdom. So that then it was fulfilled, as God had long ere foreshowed; and else it could not be; as he himself saith in his gospel: that "not even a sparrow on the ground may fall, without his foreshowing." The prescient Creator wist long before what he of her would have done; for that she should increase the glory of God in this land, lead the king aright from the path of error, bend him and his people together to a better way, and suppress the bad customs which the nation formerly followed: all which she afterwards did. The king (35) therefore received her, though it was against her will, and was pleased with her manners, and thanked God, who in his might had given him such a match. He wisely bethought himself, as he was a prudent man, and turned himself to God, and renounced all impurity; accordingly, as the apostle Paul, the teacher of all the gentries, saith: "Salvabitur vir infidelis per mulierem fidelem; sic et mulier infidelis per virum fidelem," etc.: that is in our language, "Full oft the unbelieving husband is sanctified and healed through the believing wife, and so belike the wife through the believing husband." This queen (22) aforesaid performed afterwards many useful deeds in this land to the glory of God, and also in her royal estate she well conducted herself, as her nature was. Of a faithful and noble kin was she sprung. Her father was Edward Etheling (51), son of King Edmund (77). Edmund was the son of Ethelred; Ethelred the son of Edgar; Edgar the son of Edred; and so forth in that royal line: and her maternal kindred goeth to the Emperor Henry, who had the sovereignty over Rome. This year went out Githa, Harold's (45) mother, and the wives of many good men with her, to the Flat-Holm, and there abode some time; and so departed thence over sea to St. Omer's.
11 May 1067. This Easter came the king (39) to Winchester; and Easter was then on the tenth before the calends of April. Soon after this came the Lady Matilda (36) hither to this land; and Archbishop Eldred hallowed her to queen at Westminster on Whit Sunday.
Then it was told the king, that the people in the North had gathered themselves together, and would stand against him if he came. Whereupon he went to Nottingham, and wrought there a castle; and so advanced to York, and there wrought two castles; and the same at Lincoln, and everywhere in that quarter. Then Earl Gospatric and the best men went into Scotland. Amidst this came one of Harold's sons from Ireland with a naval force into the mouth of the Avon unawares, and plundered soon over all that quarter; whence they went to Bristol, and would have stormed the town; but the people bravely withstood them. When they could gain nothing from the town, they went to their ships with the booty which they had acquired by plunder; and then they advanced upon Somersetshire, and there went up; and Ednoth, master of the horse, fought with them; but he was there slain, and many good men on either side; and those that were left departed thence.
1068. This year King William (40) gave Earl Robert the earldom over Northumberland; but the landsmen attacked him in the town of Durham, and slew him, and nine hundred men with him. Soon afterwards Edgar Etheling (17) came with all the Northumbrians to York; and the townsmen made a treaty with him: but King William (40) came from the South unawares on them with a large army, and put them to flight, and slew on the spot those who could not escape; which were many hundred men; and plundered the town. St. Peter's minster he made a profanation, and all other places also he despoiled and trampled upon; and the etheling (17) went back again to Scotland. After this came Harold's sons from Ireland, about midsummer, with sixty-four ships into the mouth of the Taft, where they unwarily landed: and Earl Breon came unawares against them with a large army, and fought with them, and slew there all the best men that were in the fleet; and the others, being small forces, escaped to the ships: and Harold's sons went back to Ireland again.
1069. This year died Aldred, Archbishop of York; and he is there buried, at his see. He died on the day of Protus and Hyacinthus, having held the see with much dignity ten years wanting only fifteen weeks. Soon after this came from Denmark three of the sons of King Sweyne (50) with two hundred and forty ships, together with Earl Esborn and Earl Thurkill, into the Humber; where they were met by the child Edgar (18), and Earl Waltheof, and Merle-Sweyne, and Earl Gospatric with the Northumbrians, and all the landsmen; riding and marching full merrily with an immense army: and so all unanimously advanced to York; where they stormed and demolished the castle, and won innumerable treasures therein; slew there many hundreds of Frenchmen, and led many with them to the ships; but, ere that the shipmen came thither, the Frenchmen had burned the city, and also the holy minster of St. Peter had they entirely plundered, and destroyed with fire. When the king heard this, then went he northward with all the force that he could collect, despoiling and laying waste the shire withal; whilst the fleet lay all the winter in the Humber, where the king could not come at them. The king was in York on Christmas Day, and so all the winter on land, and came to Winchester at Easter. Bishop Egelric, who was at Peterborough, was this year betrayed, and led to Westminster; and his brother Egelwine was outlawed. This year also died Brand, Abbot of Peterborough, on the fifth before the calends of December.
Aug 1070. This year Landfranc (65), who was Abbot of Caen, came to England; and after a few days he became Archbishop of Canterbury. He was invested on the fourth before the calends of September in his own see by eight bishops, his suffragans. The others, who were not there, by messengers and by letter declared why they could not be there.
1070. The same year Thomas, who was chosen Bishop of York, came to Canterbury, to be invested there after the ancient custom. But when Landfranc (65) craved confirmation of his obedience with an oath, he refused; and said, that he ought not to do it. Whereupon Archbishop Landfranc (65) was wroth, and bade the bishops, who were come thither by Archbishop Landfranc's (65) command to do the service, and all the monks to unrobe themselves. And they by his order so did. Thomas, therefore, for the time, departed without consecration. Soon after this, it happened that the Archbishop Landfranc (65) went to Rome, and Thomas with him. When they came thither, and had spoken about other things concerning which they wished to speak, then began Thomas his speech: how he came to Canterbury, and how the archbishop (65) required obedience of him with an oath; but he declined it. Then began the Archbishop Landfranc (65) to show with clear distinction, that what he craved he craved by right; and with strong arguments he confirmed the same before the Pope Alexander, and before all the council that was collected there; and so they went home. After this came Thomas to Canterbury; and all that the archbishop (65) required of him he humbly fulfilled, and afterwards received consecration.
1070. This year Earl Waltheof agreed with the king (42); but in the Lent of the same year the king (42) ordered all the monasteries in England to be plundered. In the same year came King Sweyne (51) from Denmark into the Humber; and the landsmen came to meet him, and made a treaty with him; thinking that he would overrun the land. Then came into Ely Christien, the Danish bishop, and Earl Osbern, and the Danish domestics with them; and the English people from all the fen-lands came to them; supposing that they should win all that land. Then the monks of Peterborough heard say, that their own men would plunder the minster; namely Hereward (35) and his gang: because they understood that the king had given the abbacy to a French abbot, whose name was Thorold;—that he was a very stern man, and was then come into Stamford with all his Frenchmen. Now there was a churchwarden, whose name was Yware; who took away by night all that he could, testaments, mass-hackles, cantel-copes, and reefs, and such other small things, whatsoever he could; and went early, before day, to the Abbot Thorold (40); telling him that he sought his protection, and informing him how the outlaws were coming to Peterborough, and that he did all by advice of the monks. Early in the morning came all the outlaws with many ships, resolving to enter the minster; but the monks withstood, so that they could not come in. Then they laid on fire, and burned all the houses of the monks, and all the town except one house. Then came they in through fire at the Bull-hithe gate; where the monks met them, and besought peace of them. But they regarded nothing. They went into the minster, climbed up to the holy rood, took away the diadem from our Lord's head, all of pure gold, and seized the bracket that was underneath his feet, which was all of red gold. They climbed up to the steeple, brought down the table that was hid there, which was all of gold and silver, seized two golden shrines, and nine of silver, and took away fifteen large crucifixes, of gold and of silver; in short, they seized there so much gold and silver, and so many treasures, in money, in raiment, and in books, as no man could tell another; and said, that they did it from their attachment to the minster. Afterwards they went to their ships, proceeded to Ely, and deposited there all the treasure. The Danes, believing that they should overcome the Frenchmen, drove out all the monks; leaving there only one, whose name was Leofwine Lang, who lay sick in the infirmary. Then came Abbot Thorold (40) and eight times twenty Frenchmen with him, all full-armed. When he came thither, he found all within and without consumed by fire, except the church alone; but the outlaws were all with the fleet, knowing that he would come thither. This was done on the fourth day before the nones of June. The two kings, William (42) and Sweyne (51), were now reconciled; and the Danes went out of Ely with all the aforesaid treasure, and carried it away with them. But when they came into the middle of the sea, there came a violent storm, and dispersed all the ships wherein the treasures were. Some went to Norway, some to Ireland, some to Denmark. All that reached the latter, consisted of the table, and some shrines, and some crucifixes, and many of the other treasures; which they brought to a king's town, called ——, and deposited it all there in the church. Afterwards through their own carelessness, and through their drunkenness, in one night the church and all that was therein was consumed by fire. Thus was the minster of Peterborough burned and plundered. Almighty God have mercy on it through his great goodness. Thus came the Abbot Thorold (40) to Peterborough; and the monks too returned, and performed the service of Christ in the church, which had before stood a full week without any kind of rite. When Bishop Aylric heard it, he excommunicated all the men who that evil deed had done. There was a great famine this year: and in the summer came the fleet in the north from the Humber into the Thames, and lay there two nights, and made afterwards for Denmark.
1070. Earl Baldwin (40) also died, and his son Arnulf (15) succeeded to the earldom. Earl William (50), in conjunction with the king of the Franks (17), was to be his guardian; but Earl Robert (37) came and slew his kinsman Arnulf (15) and the earl (50), put the king to flight, and slew many thousands of his men.
1071. This year Earl Edwin and Earl Morkar fled out, (93) and roamed at random in woods and in fields. Then went Earl Morkar to Ely by ship; but Earl Edwin was treacherously slain by his own men. Then came Bishop Aylwine, and Siward Barn, and many hundred men with them, into Ely. When King William (43) heard that, then ordered he out a naval force and land force, and beset the land all about, and wrought a bridge, and went in; and the naval force at the same time on the sea-side. And the outlaws then all surrendered; that was, Bishop Aylwine, and Earl Morkar, and all that were with them; except Hereward (36) (94) alone, and all those that would join him, whom he led out triumphantly. And the king (43) took their ships, and weapons, and many treasures; (95) and all the men he disposed of as he thought proper. Bishop Aylwine he sent to Abingdon, where he died in the beginning of the winter.
93. i.e.—threw off their allegiance to the Norman usurper, and became voluntary outlaws. The habits of these outlaws, or, at least, of their imitators and descendants in the next century, are well described in the romance of "Ivanhoe"
94. The author of the Gallo-Norman poem printed by Sparke elevates his diction to a higher tone, when describing the feasts of this same Hereward, whom he calls "le uthlage hardi."
95. Or much "coin"; many "scaettae"; such being the denomination of the silver money of the Saxons.
1072. This year King William (44) led a naval force and a land force to Scotland, and beset that land on the sea-side with ships, whilst he led his land-force in at the Tweed; (96) but he found nothing there of any value. King Malcolm (40), however, came, and made peace with King William (44), and gave hostages, and became his man; whereupon the king returned home with all his force.
96. Florence of Worcester and those who follow him say that William proceeded as far as Abernethy; where Malcolm (40) met him, and surrendered to him.
1072. This year died Bishop Aylric. He had been invested Bishop of York; but that see was unjustly taken from him, and he then had the bishopric of Durham given him; which he held as long as he chose, but resigned it afterwards, and retired to Peterborough minster; where he abode twelve years. After that King William (44) won England, then took he him from Peterborough, and sent him to Westminster; where he died on the ides of October, and he is there buried, within the minster, in the porch of St. Nicholas.
1073. This year led King William (45) an army, English and French, over sea, and won the district of Maine; which the English very much injured by destroying the vineyards, burning the towns, and spoiling the land. But they subdued it all into the hand of King William (45), and afterwards returned home to England.
1074. This year King William (46) went over sea to Normandy; and child Edgar (23) came from Flanders into Scotland on St. Grimbald's mass-day; where King Malcolm (42) and his sister Margaret (29) received him with much pomp. At the same time sent Philip, the King of France (21), a letter to him, bidding him to come to him, and he would give him the castle of Montreuil; that he might afterwards daily annoy his enemies. What then? King Malcolm (42) and his sister Margaret (29) gave him and his men great presents, and many treasures; in skins ornamented with purple, in pelisses made of martin-skins, of grey-skins, and of ermine-skins, in palls, and in vessels of gold and silver; and conducted him and his crew with great pomp from his territory. But in their voyage evil befel them; for when they were out at sea, there came upon them such rough weather, and the stormy sea and the strong wind drove them so violently on the shore, that all their ships burst, and they also themselves came with difficulty to the land. Their treasure was nearly all lost, and some of his men also were taken by the French; but he himself and his best men returned again to Scotland, some roughly travelling on foot, and some miserably mounted. Then King Malcolm (42) advised him to send to King William (46) over sea, to request his friendship, which he did; and the king gave it him, and sent after him. Again, therefore, King Malcolm (42) and his sister gave him and all his men numberless treasures, and again conducted him very magnificently from their territory. The sheriff of York came to meet him at Durham, and went all the way with him; ordering meat and fodder to be found for him at every castle to which they came, until they came over sea to the king. Then King William (46) received him with much pomp; and he was there afterwards in his court, enjoying such rights as he confirmed to him by law.
1075. This year King William (47) gave Earl Ralph (33) the daughter of William Fitz-Osborne (55) to wife. This same Ralph (33) was British on his mother's side; but his father, whose name was also Ralph (64), was English; and born in Norfolk. The king (47) therefore gave his son the earldom of Norfolk and Suffolk; and he then led the bride to Norwich. There was that bride-ale The source of man's bale. There was Earl Roger, and Earl Waltheof, and bishops, and abbots; who there resolved, that they would drive the king (47) out of the realm of England. But it was soon told the king (47) in Normandy how it was determined. It was Earl Roger and Earl Ralph (33) who were the authors of that plot; and who enticed the Britons to them, and sent eastward to Denmark after a fleet to assist them. Roger went westward to his earldom, and collected his people there, to the king (47)'s annoyance, as he thought; but it was to the great disadvantage of himself. He was however prevented. Ralph (33) also in his earldom would go forth with his people; but the castlemen that were in England and also the people of the land, came against him, and prevented him from doing anything. He escaped however to the ships at Norwich. (97) And his wife was in the castle; which she held until peace was made with her; when she went out of England, with all her men who wished to join her. The king (47) afterwards came to England, and seized Earl Roger, his relative, and put him in prison. And Earl Waltheof went over sea, and bewrayed himself; but he asked forgiveness, and proffered gifts of ransom. The king (47), however, let him off lightly, until he (98) came to England; when he had him seized. Soon after that came east from Denmark two hundred ships; wherein were two captains, Cnute Swainson, and Earl Hacco; but they durst not maintain a fight with King William (47). They went rather to York, and broke into St. Peter's minster, and took therein much treasure, and so went away. They made for Flanders over sea; but they all perished who were privy to that design; that was, the son of Earl Hacco, and many others with him. This year died the Lady Edgitha, who was the relict of King Edward, seven nights before Christmas, at Winchester; and the king (47) caused her to be brought to Westminster with great pomp; and he laid her with King Edward, her lord. And the king (47) was then at Westminster, at midwinter; where all the Britons were condemned who were at the bride-ale at Norwich. Some were punished with blindness; some were driven from the land; and some were towed to Scandinavia. So were the traitors of King William (47) subdued.
97. Whence he sailed to Bretagne, according to Flor. S. Dunelm, etc.; but according to Henry of Huntingdon he fled directly to Denmark, returning afterwards with Cnute and Hacco, who invaded England With a fleet of 200 sail.
1076. This year died Sweyne, King of Denmark (57); and Harold (36) his son took to the kingdom. And the king (48) gave the abbacy of Westminster to Abbot Vitalis, who had been Abbot of Bernay.
1076. This year also was Earl Waltheof beheaded at Winchester, on the mass-day of St. Petronilla; (99) and his body was carried to Croyland, where he lies buried. King William (48) now went over sea, and led his army to Brittany, and beset the castle of Dol; but the Bretons defended it, until the king (23) came from France; whereupon William (48) departed thence, having lost there both men and horses, and many of his treasures.
99. This notice of St. Petronilla, whose name and existence seem scarcely to have been known to the Latin historians, we owe exclusively to the valuable MS. "Cotton Tiberius" B lv. Yet if ever female saint deserved to be commemorated as a conspicuous example of early piety and christian zeal, it must be Petronilla.
1077. This year were reconciled the king (24) of the Franks and William, King of England (49).
1077. But it continued only a little while. This year was London burned, one night before the Assumption of St. Mary, so terribly as it never was before, since it was built.
1077. This year the moon was eclipsed three nights before Candlemas; and in the same year died Aylwy, the prudent Abbot of Evesham, on the fourteenth day before the calends of March, on the mass-day of St. Juliana; and Walter was appointed abbot in his stead; and Bishop Herman also died, on the tenth day before the calends of March, who was Bishop in Berkshire, and in Wiltshire, and in Dorsetshire. This year also King Malcolm (45) won the mother of Malslaythe…. and all his best men, and all his treasures, and his cattle; and he himself not easily escaped…. This year also was the dry summer; and wild fire came upon many shires, and burned many towns; and also many cities were ruined thereby.
1079. This year Robert (28), the son of King William (51), deserted from his father to his uncle Robert in Flanders (46); because his father (51) would not let him govern his earldom in Normandy; which he himself, and also King Philip (26) with his permission, had given him. The best men that were in the land also had sworn oaths of allegiance to him, and taken him for their lord. This year, therefore, Robert (28) fought with his father (51), without Normandy, by a castle called Gerberoy; and wounded him in the hand; and his horse, that he sat upon, was killed under him; and he that brought him another was killed there right with a dart. That was Tookie Wiggodson. Many were there slain, and also taken. His son William (23) too was there wounded; but Robert (37) returned to Flanders. We will not here, however, record any more injury that he did his father (51).
1079. This year came King Malcolm (47) from Scotland into England, betwixt the two festivals of St. Mary, with a large army, which plundered Northumberland till it came to the Tine, and slew many hundreds of men, and carried home much coin, and treasure, and men in captivity.
1080. This year was Bishop Walker slain in Durham, at a council; and an hundred men with him, French and Flemish. He himself was born in Lorrain. This did the Northumbrians in the month of May. (100)
100. The brevity of our Chronicle here, and in the two following years, in consequence of the termination of "Cotton Tiberius" B iv., is remarkable. From the year 1083 it assumes a character more decidedly Anglo-Norman.
1081. This year the king (53) led an army into Wales, and there freed many hundreds of men.
1082. This year the king (54) seized Bishop Odo; and this year also was a great famine.
1083. This year arose the tumult at Glastonbury betwixt the Abbot Thurstan and his monks. It proceeded first from the abbot's want of wisdom, that he misgoverned his monks in many things. But the monks meant well to him; and told him that he should govern them rightly, and love them, and they would be faithful and obedient to him. The abbot, however, would hear nothing of this; but evil entreated them, and threatened them worse. One day the abbot went into the chapter-house, and spoke against the monks, and attempted to mislead them; (101) and sent after some laymen, and they came full-armed into the chapter-house upon the monks. Then were the monks very much afraid (102) of them, and wist not what they were to do, but they shot forward, and some ran into the church, and locked the doors after them. But they followed them into the minster, and resolved to drag them out, so that they durst not go out. A rueful thing happened on that day. The Frenchmen broke into the choir, and hurled their weapons toward the altar, where the monks were; and some of the knights went upon the upper floor, (103) and shot their arrows downward incessantly toward the sanctuary; so that on the crucifix that stood above the altar they stuck many arrows. And the wretched monks lay about the altar, and some crept under, and earnestly called upon God, imploring his mercy, since they could not obtain any at the hands of men. What can we say, but that they continued to shoot their arrows; whilst the others broke down the doors, and came in, and slew (104) some of the monks to death, and wounded many therein; so that the blood came from the altar upon the steps, and from the steps on the floor. Three there were slain to death, and eighteen wounded.
101. i.e. In the service; by teaching them a new-fangled chant, brought from Feschamp in Normandy, instead of that to which they had been accustomed, and which is called the Gregorian chant.
102. Literally, "afeared of them"—i.e. terrified by them.
103. Probably along the open galleries in the upper story of the choir.
104. "Slaegan", in its first sense, signifies "to strike violently"; whence the term "sledge-hammer". This consideration will remove the supposed pleonasm in the Saxon phrase, which is here literally translated.
1083. And in this same year departed Matilda (52), queen of King William (55), on the day after All-Hallow-mass.
1083. And in the same year also, after mid-winter, the king (55) ordained a large and heavy contribution (105) over all England; that was, upon each hide of land, two and seventy pence.
105. "Gild," Sax.; which in this instance was a land-tax of one shilling to a yardland.
1084. In this year died Wulfwold, Abbot of Chertsey, on the thirteenth day before the calends of May.
1085. In this year men reported, and of a truth asserted, that Cnute, King of Denmark (43), son of King Sweyne (66), was coming hitherward, and was resolved to win this land, with the assistance of Robert, Earl of Flanders (52); (106) for Cnute (43) had Robert's (52) daughter (21). When William, King of England (57), who was then resident in Normandy (for he had both England and Normandy), understood this, he went into England with so large an army of horse and foot, from France and Brittany, as never before sought this land; so that men wondered how this land could feed all that force. But the king (57) left the army to shift for themselves through all this land amongst his subjects, who fed them, each according to his quota of land. Men suffered much distress this year; and the king (57) caused the land to be laid waste about the sea coast; that, if his foes came up, they might not have anything on which they could very readily seize. But when the king (57) understood of a truth that his foes were impeded, and could not further their expedition, (107) then let he some of the army go to their own land; but some he held in this land over the winter. Then, at the midwinter, was the king (57) in Glocester with his council, and held there his court five days. And afterwards the archbishop and clergy had a synod three days. There was Mauritius chosen Bishop of London, William of Norfolk, and Robert of Cheshire. These were all the king (57)'s clerks. After this had the king (57) a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king (57) himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire." Also he commissioned them to record in writing, "How much land his archbishops had, and his diocesan bishops, and his abbots, and his earls;" and though I may be prolix and tedious, "What, or how much, each man had, who was an occupier of land in England, either in land or in stock, and how much money it were worth." So very narrowly, indeed, did he commission them to trace it out, that there was not one single hide, nor a yard (108) of land, nay, moreover (it is shameful to tell, though he thought it no shame to do it), not even an ox, nor a cow, nor a swine was there left, that was not set down in his writ. And all the recorded particulars were afterwards brought to him. (109)
106. and of Clave Kyrre, King of Norway. Vid. "Antiq. Celto-Scand".
107. Because there was a mutiny in the Danish fleet; which was carried to such a height, that the king, after his return to Denmark, was slain by his own subjects. Vid. "Antiq. Celto-Scand", also our "Chronicle" A.D. 1087.
108. i.e. a fourth part of an acre.
109. At Winchester; where the king held his court at Easter in the following year; and the survey was accordingly deposited there; whence it was called "Rotulus Wintoniae", and "Liber Wintoniae".
1086. This year the king (58) bare his crown, and held his court, in Winchester at Easter; and he so arranged, that he was by the Pentecost at Westminster, and dubbed his son Henry (18) a knight there. Afterwards he moved about so that he came by Lammas to Sarum; where he was met by his councillors; and all the landsmen that were of any account over all England became this man's vassals as they were; and they all bowed themselves before him, and became his men, and swore him oaths of allegiance that they would against all other men be faithful to him. Thence he proceeded into the Isle of Wight; because he wished to go into Normandy, and so he afterwards did; though he first did according to his custom; he collected a very large sum from his people, wherever he could make any demand, whether with justice or otherwise.
1086. Then he went into Normandy; and Edgar Etheling (35), the relation of King Edward (83), revolted from him, for he received not much honour from him; but may the Almighty God give him honour hereafter. And Christina (29), the sister of the etheling (35), went into the monastery of Rumsey, and received the holy veil.
1086. And the same year there was a very heavy season, and a swinkful and sorrowful year in England, in murrain of cattle, and corn and fruits were at a stand, and so much untowardness in the weather, as a man may not easily think; so tremendous was the thunder and lightning, that it killed many men; and it continually grew worse and worse with men. May God Almighty better it whenever it be his will.
1087. After the birth of our Lord and Saviour Christ, one thousand and eighty-seven winters; in the one and twentieth year after William (59) began to govern and direct England, as God granted him, was a very heavy and pestilent season in this land. Such a sickness came on men, that full nigh every other man was in the worst disorder, that is, in the diarrhoea; and that so dreadfully, that many men died in the disorder. Afterwards came, through the badness of the weather as we before mentioned, so great a famine over all England, that many hundreds of men died a miserable death through hunger. Alas! how wretched and how rueful a time was there! When the poor wretches lay full nigh driven to death prematurely, and afterwards came sharp hunger, and dispatched them withall! Who will not be penetrated with grief at such a season? or who is so hardhearted as not to weep at such misfortune? Yet such things happen for folks' sins, that they will not love God and righteousness. So it was in those days, that little righteousness was in this land with any men but with the monks alone, wherever they fared well. The king (59) and the head men loved much, and overmuch, covetousness in gold and in silver; and recked not how sinfully it was got, provided it came to them. The king (59) let his land at as high a rate as he possibly could; then came some other person, and bade more than the former one gave, and the king (59) let it to the men that bade him more. Then came the third, and bade yet more; and the king (59) let it to hand to the men that bade him most of all: and he recked not how very sinfully the stewards got it of wretched men, nor how many unlawful deeds they did; but the more men spake about right law, the more unlawfully they acted. They erected unjust tolls, and many other unjust things they did, that are difficult to reckon. Also in the same year, before harvest, the holy minster of St. Paul, the episcopal see in London, was completely burned, with many other minsters, and the greatest part, and the richest of the whole city. So also, about the same time, full nigh each head-port in all England was entirely burned. Alas! rueful and woeful was the fate of the year that brought forth so many misfortunes.
1087. In the same year also, before the Assumption of St. Mary, King William (59) went from Normandy into France with an army, and made war upon his own lord Philip, the king (34), and slew many of his men, and burned the town of Mante, and all the holy minsters that were in the town; and two holy men that served God, leading the life of anachorets, were burned therein. This being thus done, King William (59) returned to Normandy. Rueful was the thing he did; but a more rueful him befel. How more rueful? He fell sick, and it dreadfully ailed him. What shall I say? Sharp death, that passes by neither rich men nor poor, seized him also. He died in Normandy, on the next day after the Nativity of St. Mary, and he was buried at Caen in St. Stephen's minster, which he had formerly reared, and afterwards endowed with manifold gifts. Alas! how false and how uncertain is this world's weal! He that was before a rich king (59), and lord of many lands, had not then of all his land more than a space of seven feet! and he that was whilom enshrouded in gold and gems, lay there covered with mould! He left behind him three sons; the eldest, called Robert (36), who was earl in Normandy after him; the second, called William (31), who wore the crown after him in England; and the third, called Henry (19), to whom his father bequeathed immense treasure. If any person wishes to know what kind of man he was, or what honour he had, or of how many lands he was lord, then will we write about him as well as we understand him: we who often looked upon him, and lived sometime in his court. This King William (59) then that we speak about was a very wise man, and very rich; more splendid and powerful than any of his predecessors were. He was mild to the good men that loved God, and beyond all measure severe to the men that gainsayed his will. On that same spot where God granted him that he should gain England, he reared a mighty minster, and set monks therein, and well endowed it. In his days was the great monastery in Canterbury built, and also very many others over all England. This land was moreover well filled with monks, who modelled their lives after the rule of St. Benedict. But such was the state of Christianity in his time, that each man followed what belonged to his profession—he that would. He was also very dignified. Thrice he bare his crown each year, as oft as he was in England. At Easter he bare it in Winchester, at Pentecost in Westminster, at midwinter in Glocester. And then were with him all the rich men over all England; archbishops and diocesan bishops, abbots and earls, thanes and knights. So very stern was he also and hot, that no man durst do anything against his will. He had earls in his custody, who acted against his will. Bishops he hurled from their bishoprics, and abbots from their abbacies, and thanes into prison. At length he spared not his own brother Odo, who was a very rich bishop in Normandy. At Baieux was his episcopal stall; and he was the foremost man of all to aggrandise the king (59). He had an earldom in England; and when the king (59) was in Normandy, then was he the mightiest man in this land. Him he confined in prison. But amongst other things is not to be forgotten that good peace that he made in this land; so that a man of any account might go over his kingdom unhurt with his bosom full of gold. No man durst slay another, had he never so much evil done to the other; and if any churl lay with a woman against her will, he soon lost the limb that he played with. He truly reigned over England; and by his capacity so thoroughly surveyed it, that there was not a hide of land in England that he wist not who had it, or what it was worth, and afterwards set it down in his book. (110) The land of the Britons was in his power; and he wrought castles therein; and ruled Anglesey withal. So also he subdued Scotland by his great strength. As to Normandy, that was his native land; but he reigned also over the earldom called Maine; and if he might have yet lived two years more, he would have won Ireland by his valour, and without any weapons. Assuredly in his time had men much distress, and very many sorrows. Castles he let men build, and miserably swink the poor. The king (59) himself was so very rigid; and extorted from his subjects many marks of gold, and many hundred pounds of silver; which he took of his people, for little need, by right and by unright. He was fallen into covetousness, and greediness he loved withal. He made many deer-parks; and he established laws therewith; so that whosoever slew a hart, or a hind, should be deprived of his eyesight. As he forbade men to kill the harts, so also the boars; and he loved the tall deer as if he were their father. Likewise he decreed by the hares, that they should go free. His rich men bemoaned it, and the poor men shuddered at it. But he was so stern, that he recked not the hatred of them all; for they must follow withal the king (59)'s will, if they would live, or have land, or possessions, or even his peace. Alas! that any man should presume so to puff himself up, and boast o'er all men. May the Almighty God show mercy to his soul, and grant him forgiveness of his sins! These things have we written concerning him, both good and evil; that men may choose the good after their goodness, and flee from the evil withal, and go in the way that leadeth us to the kingdom of heaven. Many things may we write that were done in this same year. So it was in Denmark, that the Danes, a nation that was formerly accounted the truest of all, were turned aside to the greatest untruth, and to the greatest treachery that ever could be. They chose and bowed to King Cnute (45), and swore him oaths, and afterwards dastardly slew him in a church. It happened also in Spain, that the heathens went and made inroads upon the Christians, and reduced much of the country to their dominion. But the king of the Christians, Alphonzo by name, sent everywhere into each land, and desired assistance. And they came to his support from every land that was Christian; and they went and slew or drove away all the heathen folk, and won their land again, through God's assistance. In this land also, in the same year, died many rich men; Stigand, Bishop of Chichester, and the Abbot of St. Augustine, and the Abbot of Bath, and the Abbot of Pershore, and the lord of them all, William, King of England (59), that we spoke of before. After his death his son, called William (31) also as the father, took to the kingdom, and was blessed to king (31) by Archbishop Landfranc at Westminster three days ere Michaelmas day. And all the men in England submitted to him, and swore oaths to him. This being thus done, the king (31) went to Winchester, and opened the treasure house, and the treasures that his father had gathered, in gold, and in silver, and in vases, and in palls, and in gems, and in many other valuable things that are difficult to enumerate. Then the king (31) did as his father bade him ere he was dead; he there distributed treasures for his father's soul to each monastery that was in England; to some ten marks of gold, to some six, to each upland (111) church sixty pence. And into each shire were sent a hundred pounds of money to distribute amongst poor men for his soul. And ere he departed, he bade that they should release all the men that were in prison under his power. And the king (31) was on the midwinter in London.
110. An evident allusion to the compilation of Doomsday book, already described in A.D. 1085.