Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is in Early Medieval Books.
Early Medieval Books, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle King Stephen
Early Medieval Books, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle King Stephen 1137
1137. This year went the King Stephen (age 43) over sea to Normandy, and there was received; for that they concluded that he should be all such as the uncle was; and because he had got his treasure: but he dealed it out, and scattered it foolishly. Much had King Henry gathered, gold and silver, but no good did men for his soul thereof. When the King Stephen (age 43) came to England, he held his council at Oxford [Map]; where he seized the Bishop Roger of Sarum, and Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, and the chancellor Roger, his nephew; and threw all into prison till they gave up their castles. When the traitors understood that he was a mild man, and soft, and good, and no justice executed, then did they all wonder. They had done him homage, and sworn oaths, but they no truth maintained. They were all forsworn, and forgetful of their troth; for every rich man built his castles, which they held against him: and they filled the land full of castles. They cruelly oppressed the wretched men of the land with castle-works; and when the castles were made, they filled them with devils and evil men. Then took they those whom they supposed to have any goods, both by night and by day, labouring men and women, and threw them into prison for their gold and silver, and inflicted on them unutterable tortures; for never were any martyrs so tortured as they were. Some they hanged up by the feet, and smoked them with foul smoke; and some by the thumbs, or by the head, and hung coats of mail on their feet. They tied knotted strings about their heads, and twisted them till the pain went to the brains. They put them into dungeons, wherein were adders, and snakes, and toads; and so destroyed them. Some they placed in a crucet-house; that is, in a chest that was short and narrow, and not deep; wherein they put sharp stones, and so thrust the man therein, that they broke all the limbs. In many of the castles were things loathsome and grim, called "Sachenteges", of which two or three men had enough to bear one. It was thus made: that is, fastened to a beam; and they placed a sharp iron [collar] about the man's throat and neck, so that he could in no direction either sit, or lie, or sleep, but bear all that iron. Many thousands they wore out with hunger. I neither can, nor may I tell all the wounds and all the pains which they inflicted on wretched men in this land. This lasted the nineteen winters while Stephen (age 43) was king; and it grew continually worse and worse. They constantly laid guilds on the towns, and called it "tenserie"; and when the wretched men had no more to give, then they plundered and burned all the towns; that well thou mightest go a whole day's journey and never shouldest thou find a man sitting in a town, nor the land tilled. Then was corn dear, and flesh, and cheese, and butter; for none was there in the land. Wretched men starved of hunger. Some had recourse to alms, who were for a while rich men, and some fled out of the land. Never yet was there more wretchedness in the land; nor ever did heathen men worse than they did: for, after a time, they spared neither church nor churchyard, but took all the goods that were therein, and then burned the church and all together. Neither did they spare a bishop's land, or an abbot's, or a priest's, but plundered both monks and clerks; and every man robbed another who could. If two men, or three, came riding to a town, all the township fled for them, concluding them to be robbers. The bishops and learned men cursed them continually, but the effect thereof was nothing to them; for they were all accursed, and forsworn, and abandoned. To till the ground was to plough the sea: the earth bare no corn, for the land was all laid waste by such deeds; and they said openly, that Christ slept, and his saints. Such things, and more than we can say, suffered we nineteen winters for our sins. In all this evil time held Abbot Martin his abbacy twenty years and a half, and eight days, with much tribulation; and found the monks and the guests everything that behoved them; and held much charity in the house; and, notwithstanding all this, wrought on the church, and set thereto lands and rents, and enriched it very much, and bestowed vestments upon it. And he brought them into the new minster on St. Peter's mass-day with much pomp; which was in the year, from the incarnation of our Lord, 1140, and in the twenty-third from the destruction of the place by fire. And he went to Rome, and there was well received by the Pope Eugenius; from whom he obtained their privileges:-one for all the lands of the abbey, and another for the lands that adjoin to the churchyard; and, if he might have lived longer, so he meant to do concerning the treasury. And he got in the lands that rich men retained by main strength. Of William Malduit, who held the castle of Rockingham, he won Cotingham and Easton; and of Hugh de Walteville, he won Hirtlingbury and Stanwick, and sixty shillings from Oldwinkle each year. And he made many monks, and planted a vine-yard, and constructed many works, and made the town better than it was before. He was a good monk, and a good man; and for this reason God and good men loved him. Now we will relate in part what happened in King Stephen's (age 43) time. In his reign the Jews of Norwich bought a Christian child before Easter, and tortured him after the same manner as our Lord was tortured; and on Long-Friday164 hanged him on a rood, in mockery of our Lord, and afterwards buried him. They supposed that it would be concealed, but our Lord showed that he was a holy martyr. And the monks took him, and buried him with high honour in the minster. And through our Lord he worketh wonderful and manifold miracles, and is called St. William.
Note 164. Now called "Good-Friday".
Early Medieval Books, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle King Stephen 1138
22 Aug 1138. In this year came David, King of Scotland (age 54), with an immense army to this land. He was ambitious to win this land; but against him came William, Earl of Albemarle (age 37), to whom the king (age 44) had committed York, and other borderers, with few men, and fought against them, and routed the king (age 54) at the Standard, and slew very many of his gang.
Early Medieval Books, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle King Stephen 1140
24 Mar 1140. After this, in the Lent, the sun and the day darkened about the noon-tide of the day, when men were eating; and they lighted candles to eat by. That was the thirteenth day before the kalends of April. Men were very much struck with wonder.
1140. Thereafter died William, Archbishop of Canterbury; and the king (age 46) made Theobald (age 50) archbishop, who was Abbot of Bec. After this waxed a very great war betwixt the king (age 46) and Randolph, Earl of Chester (age 41); not because he did not give him all that he could ask him, as he did to all others; but ever the more he gave them, the worse they were to him. The Earl held Lincoln against the king (age 46), and took away from him all that he ought to have. And the king (age 46) went thither, and beset him and his brother William de Romare in the castle.
1140. And the earl stole out, and went after Robert, Earl of Glocester (age 41), and brought him thither with a large army. And they fought strenuously on Candlemas day against their lord, and took him; for his men forsook him and fled. And they led him to Bristol, and there put him into prison in close quarters. Then was all England stirred more than ere was, and all evil was in the land. Afterwards came the daughter of King Henry, who had been Empress of Germany (age 37), and now was Countess of Anjou. She came to London; but the people of London attempted to take her, and she fled, losing many of her followers. After this the Bishop of Winchester, Henry (age 42), the brother of King Stephen (age 46), spake with Earl Robert (age 41), and with the empress, and swore them oaths, "that he never more would hold with the king (age 46), his brother," and cursed all the men that held with him, and told them, that he would give them up Winchester; and he caused them to come thither. When they were therein, then came the king's (age 46) queen with all her strength, and beset them, so that there was great hunger therein. When they could no longer hold out, then stole they out, and fled; but those without were aware, and followed them, and took Robert, Earl of Glocester, and led him to Rochester, and put him there into prison; but the empress (age 37) fled into a monastery. Then went the wise men between the king's (age 46) friends and the earl's friends; and settled so that they should let the king (age 46) out of prison for the earl, and the earl for the king (age 46); and so they did. After this settled the king (age 46) and Earl Randolph at Stamford, and swore oaths, and plighted their troth, that neither should betray the other. But it availed nothing. For the king (age 46) afterwards took him at Northampton, through wicked counsel, and put him into prison; and soon after he let him out again, through worse counsel, on the condition that he swore by the crucifix, and found hostages, that he would give up all his castles. Some he gave up, and some gave he not up; and did then worse than he otherwise would. Then was England very much divided. Some held with the king (age 46), and some with the empress (age 37); for when the king (age 46) was in prison, the earls and the rich men supposed that he never more would come out: and they settled with the empress (age 37), and brought her into Oxford, and gave her the borough. When the king (age 46) was out, he heard of this, and took his force, and beset her in the tower.165 And they let her down in the night from the tower by ropes. And she stole out, and fled, and went on foot to Wallingford [Map]. Afterwards she went over sea; and those of Normandy turned all from the king (age 46) to the Earl of Anjou (age 26); some willingly, and some against their will; for he beset them till they gave up their castles, and they had no help of the king (age 46). Then went Eustace, the king's (age 46) son, to France, and took to wife the sister of the King of France. He thought to obtain Normandy thereby; but he sped little, and by good right; for he was an evil man. Wherever he was, he did more evil than good; he robbed the lands, and levied heavy guilds upon them. He brought his wife to England, and put her into the castle at…166 Good woman she was; but she had little bliss with him; and Christ would not that he should long reign. He therefore soon died, and his mother also. And the Earl of Anjou died; and his son Henry took to the earldom. And the Queen of France parted from the king (age 46); and she came to the young Earl Henry; and he took her to wife, and all Poitou with her. Then went he with a large force into England, and won some castles; and the king (age 46) went against him with a much larger force. Nevertheless, fought they not; but the archbishop and the wise men went between them, and made this settlement: That the king (age 46) should be lord and king (age 46) while he lived, and after his day Henry should be king (age 46): that Henry should take him for a father; and he him for a son: that peace and union should be betwixt them, and in all England. This and the other provisions that they made, swore the king (age 46) and the earl to observe; and all the bishops, and the earls, and the rich men. Then was the earl received at Winchester, and at London, with great worship; and all did him homage, and swore to keep the peace. And there was soon so good a peace as never was there before. Then was the king (age 46) stronger than he ever was before. And the earl went over sea; and all people loved him; for he did good justice, and made peace.
Note 165. The tower of the castle at Oxford, built by D'Oyley, which still remains.
Note 166. The MS. is here deficient.
Early Medieval Books, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle King Stephen 1154
1154. When the king (age 60) died, then was the earl beyond sea; but no man durst do other than good for the great fear of him. When he came to England, then was he received with great worship, and blessed to king (age 20) in London on the Sunday before midwinter day. And there held he a full court. The same day that Martin, Abbot of Peterborough, should have gone thither, then sickened he, and died on the fourth day before the nones of January; and the monks, within the day, chose another of themselves, whose name was William de Walteville167, a good clerk, and good man, and well beloved of the king (age 20), and of all good men. And all the monks buried the abbot with high honours. And soon the newly chosen abbot, and the monks with him, went to Oxford to the king (age 20). And the king (age 20) gave him the abbacy; and he proceeded soon afterwards to Peterborough; where he remained with the abbot, ere he came home. And the king (age 20) was received with great worship at Peterborough, in full procession. And so he was also at Ramsey, and at Thorney, and at…. and at Spalding, and at….
Note 167. Or Vaudeville.