Florence of Worcester Continuation

Florence of Worcester Continuation is in Early Medieval Books.

978 Murder of King Edward the Martyr

978 Coronation of King Æthelred

1119 Battle of Bremule

1120 Sinking of The White Ship

1121 Marriage of King Henry I and Adeliza of Louvain

1127 Oath of Allegiance to Empress Matilda

1128 Death of William Clito

1134 Death of Robert Curthouse

1135 Death of King Henry I

1135 Coronation of King Stephen

1138 Battle of the Standard aka Northallerton

1141 First Battle of Lincoln

Murder of King Edward the Martyr

18 Mar 978. Edward, king of England (age 16), was foully murdered at Corvesireate [Map], at the instigations of his step-mother, queen Elfthritha (age 33), and was buried at Wareham [Map] without royal pomp.

Coronation of King Æthelred

14 Apr 978. His brother Ethelred (age 12), the illustrious etheling, a youth of graceful manners, handsome countenance, and fine person, was on the Sunday after Easter, the eighteenth of the calends of May in the sixth indiction, crowned and consecrated king by archbishops Dunstan (age 69) and Oswald, and ten bishops, at Kingston [Map].

978. Elfwold, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was buried at Sherborne. A meteor was seen all over England at midnight, which was sometimes the colour of blood, and at other times fiery; it afterwards formed rays of light of various colours, and disappeared about day-break.

17 Mar 1040. Harold, king of England, died at London, and was buried at Westminster. After his funeral, the nobles of almost the whole of England sent envoys to Hardicanute at Bruges, where he was staying with his mother, and, thinking it was for the best, invited him to come to England and ascend the throne. Thereupon, he fitted out fifty ships, and embarking Danish troops, before midsummer sailed over to England, where he was received with universal joy, and shortly afterwards crowned ; but during his government he did nothing worthy his royal power. For as soon as he began to reign, calling to mind the injuries which both he and his mother had suffered at the hands of his predecessor, and reputed brother, king Harold, he despatched to London, Ælfric, archbishop of York, and earl Godwin, with Stor, the master of his household, Edric, his steward, Thrond, captain of his guards, and other men of high rank, with or ders to dig up the body of Harold and throw it into a sewer; and when it was thrown there, he caused it to be dragged out and cast into the river Thames. Shortly afterwards, it was picked up by a fisherman, and being immediately brought to the Danes, was honourably buried by them in a cemetery they possessed at London.1 After this, he ordered that eight marks should bo paid to every rower in his fleet, and twelve to each steersman, to be levied from the Avliole of England ; a tax so burthensome, that scarcely any one would pay it, and he became thoroughly detested by those who at first were most anxious for his coming. Besides, he was greatly incensed against earl Godwin, and Living, bishop of Worcester, for the death of his brother Alfred, of which they were accused by .^Ifric, archbishop of York, and some others. In consequence, he took the bishopric of Worcester from Living and gave it to ^Ifrie ; but the following year, he ejected -rElfric and graciously restored Living, who had made his peace with him.

Note 1. The cemetery of St. Clement-Danes, where the Northmen had a settlement on the bank of the Thames, outside the walls of London. The Saxon Chron. is silent as to Harold's corpse being thrown into the Thames and fished up, but Henry of Huntingdon gives the same account as our author.

1118. Pope Paschal, of blessed memory, died on the fourteenth of the calends of February [19th January], and one John, a native of Gaieta, succeeded him, and changed his name to Gelasius. "He was bred a monk from his youth in the monastery of Monto Cassino, and in his riper years had filled the office of chancellor, in the service of the venerable and apostolic men, popes Desidorius, Urban, and Paschal, with great assiduity. Meanwhile, the king of Germany, who was also emperor of the Romans, hearing of the pope's decease, hurried to Rome, and made the bishop of Braga1 pope, although he had been excommunicated the preceding year at Benevento, by Pope Paschal; his name was changed from Maurice to Greijorv.

Note 1. Braga, in Portugal.

01 May 1118. Matilda (age 38), queen of England, died at Westminster on the calends [the 1st] of May, and was interred with due ceremony in that monastery. Many of the Normans broke the fealty they had sworn to king Henry, and regardless of the rights of their natural lord, transferred their homage to Lewis, king of France, and his great lords, although they were enemies. The before-mentioned pope, Gelasius, came by sea to Burgundy, and his arrival was immediately notified to all parts of France.

07 Jul 1118. Death of the Author of the Chronicle

Dom Florence of Worcester, a monk of that monastery, died on the nones [the 7th] of July. His acute observation, and laborious and diligent studies, bave rendered this Chronicle of Chronicles pre-eminent above all others.

His spirit to the skies, to eai'th his body given.

For ever may he reign with God's blest saints in heaven!

1118. Death by a Thunderstorm in Herefordshire

After the dedication of the church of Momerfield, by Geoffrey, bishop of Hereford, all who had attended the consecration turned their steps homeward; but although the atmosphere had been remarkably calm up to that time, a violent storm of thunder and lightning suddenly arose, and some of them, overtaken by it on the road, and not being able to retreat from the spot they had reached, halted there. They were five in number, three men and two women; one of the latter was killed by a stroke of lightning, and the other, being scorched by the flash from the navel to the soles of the feet, perished miserably, the men only narrowly escaping with their lives. Their five horses were also struck with the lightning, and killed.

1119. Pope Gelasius died, and was buried at Cluni; he was succeeded by Gruy, bishop of Vienne, who changed his name to Calixtus. Geoffrey, bishop of Hereford, died on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of February, and Herbert on the eleventh of the calends of August [22nd July].

Battle of Bremule

1119. Wars between Henry and Lewis

War having broke out between Henry, king of England, and Lewis, king of France1, with the count of Anjou and the count of Flanders, king Henry seized an opportunity of making a separate peace with the count of Anjou, receiving his daughter in marriage with his son William, whom he had already declared heir of all his kingdom. The count of Anjou went to Jerusalem. After this, king Henry, with the concurrence of his nobles, made peace with the king of France, on which occasion his son William was invested with Normandy, to be held of the king of France. The king also made peace with his nobles who had unjustly and treasonably revolted against him, and also with the count of Flanders. An earthquake was felt in several parts of England on Sunday, the fourth of the calends of October (28th September), about the third hour of the day.

Note 1. Our author treats very summarily of the wars between the kings Henry and Lewis, which ended in the decisive battle of Bremull or Noyon, fought on the 20th August, 1119. Ordericus gives considerable details of these hostilities in the early chapters of his twelfth book (vol. iii., pp. 446—492, of the edition in the Antiq, Lib.). See also Henry of Huntingdon's History, ibid, pp. 247, 248.

20 Oct 1119. A Council held at Rheims. Pope Calixtus held a general council at Rheims, on Sunday, the thirteenth of the calends of November (20th October), at which there was a great concourse of archbishops, bishops, abbots, and lords of various provinces, and immense multitudes of the clergy and people. The English bishops who were at that time at the court of Henry in Normandy, namely, William of Exeter, Ralph of Durham (age 59), Bernard of St. David's, and Urban of Glamorgan (age 43) [Landaff], and also the bishops and abbots of Normandy, were sent by the king himself to the council. Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, was prevented from being present by sickness. Thurstan (age 49), archbishop-elect of York, having requested the king's license for attending it, obtained it with some difficulty, upon pledging his word that he would on no account accept consecration from the pope. Bound by this pledge, he pursued his journey, and presented himself to the pope; but forthwith, regardless of his engagement, he gained over the Romans by bribes to espouse his cause, and through them prevailed on the pope to consecrate him bishop with his own hands. He was thus ordained to the see of York, and by the pope's command many of the bishops from France assisted at the ceremony. The English bishops had not yet come to the council; but when they learnt what had been done, they informed the king, who being very indignant, forbade Thurstan (age 49) and his followers from returning to England or Normandy, or any place in his dominions.

1120. Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, retựrned to England on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4th] of January; and on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4th] of April, at Westminster, he consecrated to the bishopric of Banger a venerable clerk named David, who was chosen by king Griffyth (age 65) and the clergy and people of Wales. At this consecration he was assisted by Richard, bishop of London, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, and Urban of Glamorgan (age 44).

Note. Bishop David the Scot was consecrated Bishop of Bangor.

Sinking of The White Ship

1120 and 1121. Shipwreck of king Henry's children. Henry, king of England, having successfully accomplished all his designs, returned from Normandy to England. His son William (age 16), hastening to follow him, embarked in company with a great number of nobles, knights, women, and boys. Having left the harbour and put out to sea, encouraged by the extraordinary calmness of the weather, shortly afterwards the ship in which they were sailing struck on a rock and was wrecked, and all on board were swallowed up by the waves, except one churl, who, as it is reported, was not worthy of being named, but by the wonderful mercy of God, escaped alive. Of those who perished, those of highest rank were, William, the king's son, Richard (age 26), earl of Chester, Othiel, his brother, William Bigod (age 27), Geoffrey Riddel, Walter d'Evereux, Geoffrey, archdeacon of Hereford, the king's daughter, the countess of Perche, the king's niece, the countess of Chester, and many more who are omitted for brevity's sake. This disaster horrified and distressed the mind of the king, who reached England after a safe voyage, and of all who heard of it, and struck them with awe at the mysterious decrees of a just God.

Note 1. Ordericus Vitalis, in his twelfth book, c. xxv., gives a particular account of the shipwreck of the Blanche Nef; which is also mentioned, with more or less detail, by Huntingdon, Malmesbury, and other chroniclers.

1121. Henry I marries Alice of Louvaine. Henry, king of England (age 53), having been a widower for some time, that he might not in future lead a dissolute life, by the advice of Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, and the barons of his realm, who assembled at London by his command on the feast of our Lord's Epiphany, resolved to marry Alice (age 18), daughter of Godfrey, duke of Lorraine (age 61)2, a young maiden of great beauty and modesty. Envoys being sent over, they brought the future queen with signal honours from parts beyond the sea to Henry's court.

Note 2. Ducis Lotharingoe (or Lorraine), the reading in the text of all the printed editions of Florence. It is a mistake into which several of the English chroniclers have fallen, but Henry of Huntingdon and Roger of Wendover, as well as Ordericus Vitalis and William of Jumièges, describe Adelaide, or Alice, the second wife of Henry I., as daughter of Godfrey, duke of Lorraine (age 61).

07 Jan 1121. Meanwhile, two clerks were chosen to fill sees which had been vacant for some time; namely, Richard, who was keeper of the king's seal under the chancellor, and Robert, who had filled the office of steward of the meat and drink in the king's household with great industry. The first of these was preferred to the see of Hereford, the latter to the see of Chester [Note. Bishop of Coventry?]. Herbert, also, a monk of Westminster, was made abbot of that monastery.

Richard, chosen bishop of Hereford on Friday the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of January, was consecrated at Lambeth on Sunday the seventeenth of the calends of February [17th January] by Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, with the assistance of Richard, bishop of London, and the bishops, Robert of Lincoln, Arnulph of Rochester, Urban of Glamorgan (age 45), and Bernard of St. David's.

Marriage of King Henry I and Adeliza of Louvain

29 Jan 1121. On the fourth of the calends of February the maiden (age 18) already mentioned as selected for queen was married to the king (age 53) by William, bishop of Winchester, at the command of Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury; and on the following day, the third of the calends of February (30th January), she was consecrated and crowned as queen by the archbishop in person.

Note. Some sources say 24 Jan 1121.

13 Mar 1121. After this, the archbishop, having accompanied the king (age 53) to Abingdon [Map], consecrated on Sunday the third of the ides [the 13th] of March, Robert, before named, as bishop of Chester, there being present and assisting at this sacrament William, bishop of Winchester, William, bishop of Exeter, and the Welsh bishops, Urban (age 45) and Bernard.

12 Jun 1121. After a few days, one named Everard, attached to the king's chapel, was elected bishop of Norwich, and consecrated at Canterbury [Map] by archbishop Ralph on the second of the ides [the 12th] of June; Arnulph, bishop of Rochester, Richard, bishop of Hereford, and Robert, bishop of Coventry, having met for the purpose.

1121. Pope Calixtus, assembling forces from all quarters, captured Maurice, surnamed Bourdin, already mentioned, who had been intruded by the emperor and his adherents into the papal see by the name of Gregory, and thrust him in disgrace, stripped of all he possessed, into a monastery; he having been a monk before. King Henry (age 53) led an army against the Welsh, and, taking hostages from them, reduced the whole of Wales under his dominion. A certain clerk, whose name was Gregory, an Irishman by birth, having been chosen by the king of Ireland, with the clergy and people, to fill the see of the city of Dublin, came over to England that he might be ordained, according to former custom, by the archbishop of Canterbury, the primate of England; whereupon, by the archbishop's command, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, conferred on him the orders of priest and deacon at his castle of Devizes [Map] on Saturday the eleventh of the calends of October [21st September]. He was ordained bishop on Sunday the sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of October at Lambeth by Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury; the following bishops, Richard of London, Roger of Salisbury, Robert of Lincoln, Everard of Norwich, and David of Bangor assisting at the consecration. The mother church at Tewkesbury was consecrated with great ceremony by Theowulf, bishop of Worcester, Richard, bishop of Hereford, Urban (age 45), bishop of Glamorgan, and the before-named Gregory, bishop of Durham, on Monday the ninth of the calends of November [24th October].

04 Mar 1122. The city of Gloucester, with the principal monastery [Map], was again destroyed by fire on Wednesday the ourth of the ides [the 4th] of March, in the twenty-second year of king Henry's reign. It was burnt before in the first year of his reign, on Thursday the eleventh of the calends of June [22nd May].

19 Oct 1122. Ralph, the twenty-fifth archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life at Canterbury, Kent [Map] on Thursday the fourteenth of the calends of November (19th October).

29 Dec 1122. John, bishop of Bath, died on the fourth of the calends of January [29th December]: during his lifetime he had bought the whole city of Bath from king Henry for five hundred pounds.

10 Jan 1123. Robert, the eighteenth bishop of Lincoln, while riding on horseback and conversing with king Henry at Woodstock in the month of January, fell to the ground, and, losing the use of his speech, was carried to his lodgings, and shortly afterwards expired.1 Ralph, also, the king's chancellor, came to a wretched end.2

Note 1. For the circumstances attending the death of Robert Bloet, bishop of Lincoln, see the Saxon Chronicle; also, Henry of Huntingdon's History, p. 250, and his "Letter to Walter," p. 304. Bohn's Antiq. Lib.

Note 2. The tragic end of this unscrupulous lawyer is related by Huntingdon. Ibid, p. 250.

16 Feb 1123. William (age 53), a canon of St. Osythe, at Chiche1, was named to the archbishopric of Canterbury at Gloucester, where the king held his court at the feast of the Purification of St. Mary; and he was consecrated at Canterbury by William, bishop of Winchester, assisted by many other bishops, on the fourteenth of the calends of March [16th February]. With his approval, the bishopric of Lincoln was given to Alexander, archdeacon of Salisbury. Afterwards, archbishop William (age 53), in company with Thurstan (age 53), archbishop of York, Bernard, bishop of St. David's2, Sigefred, abbot Glastonbury, and Anselm, abbot of St. Edmund's, went to Rome to receive the pallium.

Note 1. St. Osythe, in Essex, a priory rebuilt in 1118 for canons of the Augustine order, of which there are considerable remains.

Note 2. Henry of Huntingdon includes Alexander, the new bishop of Lincoln, among the archbishop's companions to Rome, and it is probable that the historian attended his patron. See his character of bishop Alexander, p. 253, of his history in the Antiq. Lib.

25 Apr 1123. Alexander (age 45), king of Scots, died on the seventh of the calends of May [25th April].

Note. Some sources say 1124?

03 Jun 1123. Henry, king of England, went over sea after the feast of Whitsuntide [3rd June]. William (age 53), archbishop of Canterbury, having received the pallium from pope Calixtus, and Thurstan (age 53), archbishop of York, with their companions, on their return from Rome, paid a visit to the king, who was still in Normandy: after a short stay, archbishop William came back to England, and, on the eleventh of the calends of August [22nd July], at Canterbury, consecrated Alexander as bishop of Lincoln; and, on the seventh of the calends of September [26th August], in the church of St. Paul the Apostle, at London, consecrated Godfrey, the queen's chancellor, to the bishopric of Bath.

20 Oct 1123. Theowulf, the twenty-sixth bishop of Worcester, died on Saturday the thirteenth of the calends of November (20th October) at his vill of Hampton.3

08 Dec 1123. Robert, abbot of Tewkesbury, departed this life on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of December. Alexander (age 45), king of Scots, was succeeded by David (age 39) his brother.

Note 3. Hampton-upon-Avon, or Bishop's Hampton, now called Hampton Lucy, near Stratford; an ancient possession of the bishops of Worcester.

Mar 1124. Arnulph, the twenty-third bishop of Rochester, died in the month of March. Waleran, earl de Mellent, was taken prisoner in Passion-week, with many others, by king Henry's troops in Normandy, and committed to close custody in the Tower of Rouen. Geoffrey, abbot of the New Minster at Winchester, died. The reverend prior of the church of Worcester, Nicholas by name, died on Wednesday the eighth of the calends of July [24th June]. God, of his mercy, grant him bliss in heaven!

1124. William (age 54), archbishop of Canterbury, crossed the sea by the king's command. Pope Calixtus died, and was succeeded by Honorius, bishop of Ostia. 1125. Coiners in England, taken with counterfeit money, suffered the penalty of the king's cruel law by having their right hands struck off and their lower limbs mutilated. Afterwards, by a change in the coinage, all articles became very dear, and, in consequence, a great scarcity ensued, and numbers died of famine.1

Note 1. Henry of Huntingdon tells us that a horse-load of corn (wheat or rye?) was sold for six shillings.

1125. Simon, the queen's chancellor, and Sigefred, abbot of Glastonbury, both men of distinguished worth and piety, were chosen bishops while they were in Normandy; Simon being appointed to the see of Worcester, and Sigefred to the see of Chichester. Hugh, a man of great prudence, archdeacon successively to Samson and Theowulf, bishops of Worcester, died on the twelfth of the calends of April [21st March). After Easter [29th March], the bishops-elect, Simon and Sigefred, with the archbishops William (age 55) and Thurstan (age 55), and a cardinal of Rome named John, came to England,

12 Apr 1125. ... and Sigefred was consecrated as bishop of Chichester at Lambeth by archbishop William (age 55) on the second of the ides [the 12th] of April; there being present at this consecration the Roman cardinal, Thurstan (age 55), archbishop of York, Everard, bishop of Norwich, Richard of Hereford, Bernard of St. David's, David of Bangor, Urban of Glamorgan (age 49), and John, bishop-elect of Rochester.

08 May 1124. Simon, the bishop-elect of Worcester, was conducted into Worcester by the clergy and people in joyful procession on the eighth of the ides [the 8th] of May2, being the day of our Lord's Ascension; and, on the tenth of the calends of June [23rd May], he was ordained priest at Canterbury by William (age 54) the archbishop.

Note 2. It fell that year on the 7th May.

23 May 1125. The emperor Henry (age 43) died, and was buried at Spires, where his grandfather was also interred. Lothaire, the ninety-eighth emperor of the Romans, reigned thirteen years.

1125. Simon, the bishop-elect of Worcester, went to Canterbury in company with Godfrey, bishop of Bath, and, having been ordained priest by the archbishop on Saturday in Whitsunweek [23rd May]1, was on the following day consecrated with great pomp bishop of the holy mother church of Worcester. John, archdeacon of Canterbury, receiving consecration as bishop of Rochester at the same time. Richard, bishop of Hereford, David of Bangor, Godfrey of Bath, and Sigefred of Chichester assisted at the consecration.

Note 1. A repetition of a former entry.

24 May 1125. When Simon arrived at Worcester, his episcopal see, he was again met by great crowds of people, conducted by whom in procession with great pomp he was enthroned, and a "Te Deum" chanted. On the same day, that is to say on the ninth of the calends of June [24th May], Benedict, a loving and faithful servant of God in all his household, was, by Simon, the new bishop, consecrated as the new abbot of the convent of Worcester: he was, the year before, from having been prior, elected abbot of Tewkesbury, where he had been brought up under the monastic rule from boyhood, and in course of time was admitted in peace and love to be one of the monks of Worcester by licence from Wulfstan, the lord bishop, at whose hands he had received all the ecclesiastical orders. There were present at the consecration of this abbot the bishops who had received bishop Simon in procession, namely, Richard of Hereford, Godfrey of Bath, and David of Bangor, together with Benedict's fellow abbots of the diocese of Worcester, Guy of Pershore, William of Gloucester, and Godfrey of Winchcombe; the lord Walchere, the prior of Malvern, represented his abbot, who lay sick, and Dominic, prior of Evesham, was also present: these were men to whom the words of the Psalmist may be applied, "He sendeth the springs into the rivers which run among the hills,"2 and such was the company which met the bishop in procession.3

Note 2. Psalm civ. 10.

Note 3. In the text of all the editions, the quotation from the Vulgate, which is so beautifully applied to the fertilising influences of religious institutions in a district celebrated for its waters and hills, is carried on by the use of inverted commas to the end of the paragraph. It is needless to say, that the latter clause is not found in the Vulgate. 3

09 Sep 1125. A synod held at London. A synod was held at London, in the church of the blessed prince of the apostles at Westminster, on the ninth of September, that is, on the fifth of the ides of that month, in which, after the discussion of various matters, the following canons, seventeen in number, were published with unanimous consent. John, of Crema1, a cardinal priest of the holy and apostolic church, with the title of St. Chrysogonus, and legate in England of the lord pope Honorius, presided at this synod; and it was attended by William (age 55), archbishop of Canterbury, and Thurstan (age 55), archbishop of York, and the bishops of different dioceses, to the number of twenty; with about forty abbots, and a great concourse of the clergy and people. These are the canons:-

THE FIRST CANON. Following in the steps of the holy fathers, we forbid, by apostolic authority, any ecclesiastical ordination being conferred for money.

II. We also prohibit the exaction of any fee for chrism, for oil, for baptism, for penance, for the visitation or unction of the sick, for the communion of the body of Christ, or for burial.

III. Moreover, we ordain and decree, by apostolic authority, that at the consecration of bishops, or the benediction of abbots, or the dedication of churches, no cope, or tippet, or maniple, or ewer, or any other thing shall be exacted by violence, but they are to be voluntary offerings.

IV. No abbot or prior, monk or clerk, shall accept any ehurch, tythe, or ecclesiastical benefice, by the gift of a layman, without the authority and consent of his own bishop. If he shall so presume, the gift shall be void, and he shall be subject to canonical censure.

V. Moreover, we decree that no person shall claim the patronage of a church or prebend by right of inheritance, or bequeath to a successor any ecclesiastical benefice; which, if he shall presume to do, we declare that it shall have no effect, saying, with the Psalmist, "O my God, make them like unto a wheel;" while they said, "Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession."2

VI. Furthermore, we decree that clerks holding churches or ecclesiastical benefices, who avoid being ordained in order to live with greater freedom, and continue to treat holy orders with contempt, after being invited thereto by the bishop, shall be deprived of their churches and benefices.

VII. No one but a priest shall be promoted to the office of dean or prior; no one but a deacon to an archdeaconry.

VIII. No person shall be ordained priest without a regular title. Whoever is ordained independently shall forfeit the degree he has obtained.

IX. No abbot, or clerk, or layman shall presume to eject any person ecclesiastically ordained to a church, without the sentence of his own bishop. Whoever presumes to do otherwise shall be subject to excommunication.

X. No bishop shall presume to ordain or judge a person belonging to another diocese, for every one stands or falls to his own master; nor shall any one be bound by a sentence which is not pronounced by his own judge.

XI. No one shall presume to receive into communion one who has been excommunicated by another. If he shall have done this knowingly he himself shall be deprived of Christian communion.

XII. We also ordain that two archdeaconries or dignities of another class shall not be held by one person.

XIII. We prohibit, by apostolic authority, priests, deacons, sub-deacons, and canons from living with wives, concubines, and women generally, except a mother, a sister, an aunt, or other females free from all suspicion. Whoever violates this canon shall, on confession or conviction, suffer the loss of his order.

XIV. We utterly prohibit usury and filthy lucre to clerks of every degree. Whoever shall have pleaded guilty to such a charge, or been convicted of it, is to be degraded from the rank he holds.

XV. We decree that sorcerers, fortune-tellers, and those who deal in divination of any kind, shall be excommunicated, and we brand them with perpetual infamy. XVI. We prohibit marriages being contracted between persons connected by blood or affinity, as far as the generation. If any persons thus connected have married, let them be separated.

XVII. We forbid men's being allowed to allege consanguinity against their own wives, and the witnesses they bring forward are not to be admitted; but let the authority of the fathers be maintained. "Are you content ?" "Be it so.' "Are you content ?" "Be it so. Are you content ?" "Be it so."3

Note 1. See Henry of Huntingdon, p. 252, Antiq. Lib., for a scandalous and well-known story of this cardinal. Crema, his native place, is a town in the Bolognese.

Note 2. Ps. lxxxiii. 12, 13.

Note 3. The question seems to have been put thrice, in the form still used in convocation: Placetne vobis? - Placet.

1125. The same cardinal, after quitting England, went to Normandy, and at length returned to Rome. William (age 55), the archbishop, also considering that the church of England had received grievous offence in the humiliation of the see of Canterbury, crossed the channel himself on his way to Rome, to procure the best support he could in the disordered state of affairs, and prevent their growing worse. He therefore proceeded to Rome, and was received with honour by pope Honorius, who had succeeded Calixtus, and who made the archbishop his vicar-general in England and Scotland, and appointed him legate of the apostolic see.

1126. King Henry returned to England at Christmas, and held his court at Windsor Castle [Map] with great magnificence, having summoned all the nobles of the realm to attend him there. On this occasion, when the bishop of York (age 56), claiming equality with the archbishop of Canterbury (age 56), offered to place the crown on the king's head2, as his predecessors had done, his claim was rejected by the decision of all who were present, and it was unanimously agreed that nothing pertaining to the royal crown belonged to him. Moreover, the bearer of the cross which he caused to be borne before him into the king's chapel, was thrust out of the chapel, with the cross he carried; for, by the judgment of the bishops and some learned men skilled in ecclesiastical law, it was established and settled that it was not lawful for a metropolitan to have his cross carried before him out of his own province.

Note 2. It will be understood that this was not the ceremony of coronation; the kings of England wore their crowns, when they kept court at the three great church festivals.

1127 Oath of Allegiance to Empress Matilda

1127. Fealty sworn to the empress Matilda. As soon as the feast days [of Christmas] were over, the king (age 59) went to London, attended by all the men of rank in the realm who had flocked to his court, and there, by the king's command, William (age 57), the archbishop and legate of the see of Rome, and all the other bishops of England, and the nobles of the land, swore fealty to the king's daughter (age 24); engaging to defend her right to the crown of England, if she should survive her father, against all opposers, unless he should yet before his death beget a son in lawful wedlock, to become his successor. On the death of the emperor Henry, who had lived in marriage with her many years, without leaving children, she had returned to her father's court, where she was surrounded with all the honours becoming her station. The king, therefore, having lost his son William in the manner already described, and there being as yet no other direct heir to the kingdom, for that reason made over the right to the crown to his daughter, under the provisoe just mentioned.

1127. The custody of Rochester castle granted to the archbishops of Canterbury. The king, also, by the advice of his barons, granted to the church of Canterbury, and to William the archbishop, and to all his successors, the custody and constableship of the castle of Rochester [Map], to hold for ever; with liberty to make in the same castle a fort or tower, as they pleased, and have and guard it for ever; and that the garrison stationed in the castle should have free ingress and egress on their own occasions, and should be security to the archbishop for it.

1126. Robert, surnamed Pecceth, bishop of Coventry, departed this life, and lies buried at Coventry. Hugh, abbot of St. Augustine's [at Canterbury], died.

1127. A synod held at Westminster. William (age 57), archbishop of Canterbury, convened a general synod of all the bishops and abbots, and some men of religion from all parts of England, at the monastery of St. Peter, situated in the western part of London. At this synod he himself presided as archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic see; assisted by William, bishop of Winchester, Roger of Salisbury, William of Exeter, Hervey of Ely, Alexander of Lincoln, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid of Chichester, Richard of Hereford, Geoffrey of Bath, John of Rochester, Bernard of St. David's in Wales, Urban of Glamorgan of Llandaff (age 51), and David of Bangor. Richard, bishop of London, and Robert, bishop of Chester1, were then dead, and no successors had yet been appointed to their sees. But Thurstan (age 57), archbishop of York, sent messengers with letters assigning reasonable cause for his non-appearance at the convocation. Ralph (age 67), bishop of Durham, fell sick on the road, and was not able to complete the journey, as the prior of his church and the clerks whom he sent forward solemnly attested. Simon, bishop of Worcester, had gone to visit his relations beyond seas, and was not yet returned. Great multitudes, also, of the clergy and laity, both rich and poor, flocked together, and there was a numerous and important meeting. The council sat for three days, namely, the third of the ides [the 13th] of May, the following day, and the third day afterwards, being the seventeenth of the calends of June [16th May]. There were some proceedings with respect to secular affairs; some were determined, some adjourned, and some withdrawn from the hearing of the judges, on account of the disorderly conduct of the immense crowd. But the decrees and statutes made in this synod by common consent of the bishops we have thought it desirable to record in this work, as they were there publicly declared and accepted. They are these:-

I. We wholly prohibit, by the authority of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and our own, the buying and selling of any ecclesiastical benefices, or any ecclesiastical dignities whatever. Whoever shall be convicted of having violated this decree, if he be a clerk, or even a regular canon, or a monk, let him be degraded from his order; if a layman, let him be held outlawed and excommunicated, and be deprived of his patronage of the church or benefice.

II. We totally interdict, by the authority of the apostolic see, the ordination or promotion of any person in the church of God, for the sake of lucre.

III. We condemn certain payments of money exacted for the admission of canons, monks, and nuns.

IV. No one shall be appointed a dean but a priest, and no one but a deacon, archdeacon. If any one in minor orders be named to these dignities he shall be enjoined by the bishop to take the orders required. But if he disobey the bishop's monition to take such orders, he shall lose his appointment to the dignity.

V. We utterly interdict all illicit intercourse with women, as well by priests, deacons, and sub-deacons, as by all canons. If, however, they will retain their concubines (which God forbid), or their wives, they are to be deprived of their ecclesiastical orders, their dignity, and benefice. If there be any such among parish priests, we expel them from the chancel, and declare them infamous. Moreover, we command, by the authority of God and our own, all archdeacons and officials, whose duty it is, to use the utmost care and diligence in eradicating this deadly evil from the church of God. If they be found negligent in this, or (which God forbid) consenting thereto, they are for the first and second offence to be duly corrected by the bishops, and for the third to be punished more severely, according to the canons.

VI. The concubines of priests and canons shall be expelled from the parish, unless they shall have contracted a lawful marriage there. If they are found afterwards offending, they shall be arrested by the officers of the church, in whatever lordship they may be; and we command, under pain of excommunication, that they be not sheltered by any jurisdiction, either inferior or superior, but truly delivered up to the officer of the church, to be subjected to ecclesiastical discipline, or reduced to bondage, according to the sentence of the bishop.

VII. We prohibit, under pain of excommunication, any archdeacon from holding several archdeaconriesin different dioceses; let him retain that only to which he was first appointed.

VIII. Bishops are to prohibit all priests, abbots, monks, and priors, subject to their jurisdiction, from holding farms.

IX. We command that tithes be honestly paid, for they are the sovereign right of the most high God.

X. We forbid, by canonical authority, any person from giving or receiving churches or tithes, or other ecclesiastical benefices, without the consent and authority of the bishop. R2

XI. No abbess or nun is to use garments of richer material than lamb's-wool or cat-skin.

Note 1. The bishopric of Lichfield was removed to Chester in 1075, but again restored to its former seat. The present bishopric of Chester is one of the new sees founded after the Reformation.

1127. King Henry, who remained at London during these proceedings, being informed of the acts of the council, assented to them, and ratified and confirmed by his royal authority the decrees of the synod held at Westminster by William (age 57), archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the holy Roman church. One Hugh, of the diocese of Rochester, being appointed abbot, was advanced, with deserved honour, to the dignity for which he was designated, that of abbot of St. Augustine's, by William (age 57), archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday, the second of the ides [the 12th] of June, at Chichester.

15 Aug 1127. Richard, bishop of Hereford, died at his vill, called Dydelebyrig [Map]1, on Monday the eighteenth of the calends of September [15th August]; his body was carried to Hereford [Map], and buried in the church there, with the bishops his predecessors.

Note 1. Ledbury [Map], Herefordshire.

1127. Henry, king of England, went over sea.

1128. Thurstan (age 58), the archbishop, consecrated at York [Map], Robert, who had been intruded by Alexander, king of Scots, on the petition of David, his brother and successor, into the see of St. Andrew's. The archbishop had called in Ralph (age 68), bishop of Durham, and one Ralph, formerly ordained bishop of the Orkney islands, to be his coadjutors in the ceremony. This Ralph (age 68) having been ordained without the election or consent of the lord of the land, or of the clergy and people, was rejected by all of them, and acknowledged as bishop by no one. Being bishop of no city, he attached himself sometimes to the archbishop of York, sometimes to the bishop of Durham; he was supported by them, and employed by both as coadjutor in the performance of their episcopal functions.2 Robert, being consecrated by these bishops, was not permitted by the Scots, as it is reported, to make any profession of submission or obedience to the church of York or its bishop, although he was a canon of that church.

Note 2. This accounts for this Ralph's being called "bishop of Durham,' by Henry of Huntingdon and Roger of Wendover, who seem to have lost sight of his original and proper designation. The ubiquitous bishop forms a distinguished figure in the group sketched by the former author before the battle of the Standard, A.D. 1138, in which we are informed he was commissioned by the archbishop of York to supply his place. Henry of Huntingdon represents him as standing on a hillock, and addressing the army before the battle in a florid discourse, which the historian has preserved. See pp. 267—269, in the Antiq. Lib.

22 Feb 1128. A man of worth and advanced years, who was a canon of the church of Lyons, was elected bishop of London; for Richard, bishop of that city, was dead, and this person, named Gilbert, and surnamed The Universal1, was appointed in his stead by king Henry and archbishop William, with the assent of the clergy and people. He was consecrated by the archbishop himself, in the mother church of Canterbury, on Sunday, the eleventh of the calends of February (22nd January). Sigefrid, bishop of Chichester, and John, bishop of Rochester, assisted and took part in the ceremony, in the presence of the abbots, and other great and noble persons, assembled at Canterbury on the occasion; his profession having been first made in the same way his predecessors had done, by which he promised canonical submission and obedience in all things to the archbishop and his successors. Urban (age 52), bishop of Glamorgan or Llandaff, considering that he had not been justly dealt with in regard to certain questions with Bernard, bishop of St. David's, which he had litigated in the council of the preceding year, crossed the sea, after the feast of the Purification of St. Mary [2nd February], and proceeding to Rome, laid the cause of his journey, supported by clear attestations from his own diocese, before the apostolical pope. The pope lent a favourable ear to his pretensions and statements, and addressed letters to king Henry and archbishop William, and the other bishops of England, enjoining them by his apostolical authority to suffer no opposition from any one to Urban's (age 52) just demands.

Note 1. Gilbert the Universal, so called from his extensive learning. See his character shortly drawn in Henry of Huntingdon's caustic style. "Letter to Walter," p.310 of his works in the Antiq. Lib.

24 Mar 1128. The venerable Godfrey, abbot of Shrewsbury, died on Wednesday, the fourth of the calends of April (24th March). Geoffrey, prior of Canterbury, was, at the request of David, king of Scots, and with the permission of William the archbishop, elected abbot of a place in Scotland called Dunfermline, and ordained by Robert, bishop of St. Andrew's. Urban (age 52), bishop of Llandaff, returned to England, after a successful journey; and, by the king's command, the apostolical mandates respecting him were carried into effect.

1128. One of the monks of the church of Shrewsbury, named Herbert, having been elected abbot, and consecrated by archbishop William at Lewes, assumed the government of the monastery at Shrewsbury as such abbot. Hugh, abbot of Chertsey, died.

1128 Death of William Clito

27 Jul 1128. William (age 25), count of Flanders, surnamed The Sad, falling into an ambush, was wounded by his enemies, and, his sufferings increasing, died, amidst universal lamentations, on the sixth of the calends of August [27th July], and was buried at St. Bertin.

05 Sep 1128. Ralph (age 68)Ralph, bishop of Durham, died on the nones [the 5th] of September;

28 Nov 1128. ... and Geoffrey, archbishop of Rouen, departed this life on the fourth of the calends of December (28th November).

25 Jan 1129. William, bishop of Winchester, died on the eighth of the calends of February (25th January), and was buried at Winchester.

Jul 1129. In the month of July, Henry, king of England, returned from Normandy to England. His nephew, Henry, abbot of Glastonbury, elected to the see of Winton in the month of October, was consecrated bishop by William (age 59), archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday, the fifteenth of the calends of December (17th November). Roger, archdeacon of Buckingham, and nephew of Geoffrey de Clinton, having been elected to the see of Chester, was ordained priest on the twelfth of the calends of January (21st December), and the next day was consecrated bishop at Canterbury by the archbishop. He was afterwards enthroned, by the archbishop's mandate, in the episcopal chair at Coventry1, by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Monday, the sixth of the calends of February [27th January].

Note 1. See note before, p. 242.

1130. Hugh, abbot of Reading, was elected archbishop of Rouen. Christ church, at Canterbury, was dedicated with great pomp, by William, archbishop of that city, on the fourth of the nones [the 4th] of May. The following bishops were present at the consecration:- John, bishop of Rochester, Gilbert of London, Henry of Winchester (age 32), Simon of Worcester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, Godfrey of Bath, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid of Chichester, Bernard of St. David's; with Owen, bishop of Evreux, and John, bishop of Séez, from beyond sea. On the fourth day afterwards——that is, on the nones [the 7th] of May—the city of Rochester, Kent [Map] was destroyed by fire, while the king was there; and on the day following, being the feast of our Lord's Ascension, the new church of St. Andrew was consecrated by William the archbishop, some of the beforementioned bishops assisting him in the service. [Ansger], the excellent prior of Lewes, was elected at Winchester abbot of Reading, and afterwards ordained; also Ingulph, prior of Winchester, having been elected at Woodstock abbot of Abingdon, was ordained by RogerRoger, bishop of Salisbury. William, abbot of Gloucester, having voluntarily resigned his pastoral charge by reason of age, chose, with the consent of the brethren, a pious monk, of the same house, named Walter, who was ordained abbot by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Sunday, the nones [the 3rd] of August. Serlo, also, a canon of Salisbury, was ordained abbot by the same bishop, at Blockley, an episcopal vill, and appointed to govern the abbey of Cirencester. Robert, prior of the church of Llanthony, being elected to the see of Hereford, was consecrated at Oxford, by William (age 60), archbishop of Canterbury. Henry, king of England, went over the sea.

1131. Reginald, the reverend abbot of Ramsey, died on the thirteenth of the calends of June [20th May]. William, the venerable abbot of Gloucester, and Hervey, who had been bishop of Bangor, and was afterwards the first bishop of Ely, died on the third of the calends of September [30th August), the ninth indiction.

08 Oct 1132. A comet was seen on the eighth of the ides of October (8th October), and remained visible for nearly five days.

14 May 1132. The greater part of the city of London, with the principal church of St. Paul the apostle, was destroyed by fire, in Whitsun week--that is, on the second of the ides [the 14th] of May.

02 Aug 1132. In the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry, king of England, on Wednesday, the same day in the course of the year on which his brother and predecessor, king William Rufus, was slain, and on which king Henry himself assumed the government at the commencement of his reign, it is stated that the following appearance occurred. While the king, having gone to the coast for the purpose of crossing the sea, delayed his departure, although the wind was often fair for the voyage, at last, on the day mentioned, he went down to the shore about noon to take his passage, surrounded by his guards, as is the custom of kings. Then suddenly a cloud was seen in the air, which was visible throughout England, though not of the same size; for in some places the day only appeared gloomy, while in others the darkness was such that men required the light of candles for whatever they had to do. The king and his attendants, and many others, walked about in great wonder; and, raising their eyes to the heavens, observed that the sun had the appearance of shining like a new moon. But it did not long preserve the same shape; for sometimes it was broader, sometimes narrower, sometimes more curved, sometimes more upright, now steady as usual, and then moving, and quivering and liquid like quicksilver. Some say that the sun was eclipsed. If this be true, the sun was then in the head of the dragon, and the moon in its tail, or the sun in the tail, and the moon in the head, in the fifth sign, and the seventeenth degree of that sign. The moon was then in her twenty-seventh day. On the same day, and at the same hour, many stars appeared.

Moreover, on the same day, when the ships were anchored on the shore, ready for the king's voyage, the sea being very calm and little wind stirring, the great anchors of one of the ships were suddenly wrenched from their hold in the ground, as though by some violent shock, and the ship getting under weigh, to the surprise of numbers who strove in vain to stop her, set in motion the ship next to her, and thus eight ships fell foul of each other by some unknown force, so that they all received damage. It was also generally reported that on the same day and about the same hour, many churches in the province of York were seen sweating, as it were, great drops. All these occurrences took place, as it is said, on Wednesday, the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of August.

04 Aug 1132. And on Friday, in the same week, the second of the nones of the same month [4th August], at daybreak, there was a great earthquake in many parts of England. There were some also who said that in the week following, on Monday, the sixth of the ides of the same month [8th August], when the moon was three days old, they saw her first as she generally appeared at that age, and after a short space of time, in the evening of the same day, they observed her full, like a round and very bright shield. Many also reported that on the same night they saw two moons, distant about a spear's length from each other.

Note 1. Cf. William of Malmesbury's account of this eclipse, to which, however, he has not assigned the exact date, though he tells us that he was an eye-witness. He mentions, also, an earthquake; a shock of which, probably, caused the convulsion which dashed the ships in harbour against each other.

1133. Notwithstanding, king Henry crossed the sea, leaving England for Normandy, never to return alive and see England again. In the month of November the city of Worcester was exposed to the ravages of fire, a frequent occurrence.

Death of Robert Curthouse

1134. Robert (age 83), brother of king Henry, and formerly earl of Normandy, who was taken prisoner of war by the king when in Normandy, at the castle of Tinchebrai, and had been long confined in England, died at Cardiff, and, being carried to Gloucester [Map], was buried with great honours in the pavement of the church before the altar.

16 Aug 1135. Godfrey, bishop of Bath, died on the seventeenth of the calends of September [16th August]; after some interval he was succeeded by a monk named Robert, a Fleming by descent, but born in England. Thus Robert, from a monk became a bishop, such being the pleasure of Henry (age 37), bishop of Winchester, who is now, but was not at that time, legate of the Roman church.

Note 1. From this passage, as we have remarked elsewhere, the continuator of Florence appears to have been a contemporary with Henry de Blois, at least, when he was in the zenith of his power.

Death of King Henry I

01 Dec 1135. Henry, king of England (age 67), died on the fourth of the nones [the 20th] of December [Note. Other sources say 01 Dec 1135? The nones of December is the 5th so the fourth of the nones is the 1st?], in the sixty-ninth year of his age, after a reign of thirty-five years and four months;

Coronation of King Stephen

20 Dec 1135. ... and Stephen (age 41), his sister's son, being elected to the kingdom of England, was consecrated king, by William (age 65), archbishop of Canterbury, on the thirteenth of the calends of January [20th December], at London, where he held his court, at Christmas, surrounded by the nobles of England, with great courtesy and royal pomp.

Note 1. Wikipedia states 22 Dec 1135 although doesn't provide a source?

Jan 1136. The holy festival being ended, the corpse of king Henry, lately deceased, was brought from Normandy to England1, and the king went to meet it, attended by a large body of nobles, and for the love he bore his uncle, he supported the bier on his royal shoulders, assisted by his barons, and thus brought the corpse to Reading. Masses were sung, many rich offerings made, alms distributed to multitudes of the poor, and the obsequies having been duly solemnised, and his effigy exposed to view on a hearse, the royal corpse was deposited, with the highest honours, in a tomb constructed, according to custom, before the altar in the principal church, dedicated to the most blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, which king Henry himself, for the good of his soul, had endowed with lands, woods, meadows, and pastures, and enriched with many ornaments.

May Henry, England's king, to whom such wealth was given,

From purgatorial pains released, partake the bliss of heaven!

Note 1. Henry I died at the castle of Lions, near Rouen. Ordericus Vitalis, in his thirteenth book, and William of Malmesbury, in the first book of his "Modern History," give an account of his obsequies, so far as they took place in Normandy. Henry of Huntingdon adds some disgusting details of the treatment of the royal corpse, in the rude process by which it was preserved for transport to England. Hist., p. 262.

1136. After his interment, Stephen being on the throne, and, indeed, long before, the bonds of peace were broken asunder, and the greatest discord prevailed in all parts of Normandy and England. Man rose up against man-discord was rife in the land, wasting the substance of both high and low, and penetrating on all sides within strong and lofty walls. Every one spoiled his neighbour's goods. The powerful oppress the weak by violence, and obtain exemption from inquiry by the terror of their threats. Death is the lot of him who resists. The wealthy nobles of the land, rolling in affluence, care little to what iniquities the wretched sufferers are exposed; all their concern is for themselves and their own adherents; they store their castles and fortified towns with all things necessary, and garrison them with aried bands, fearing a revolution which should alter the succession to the crown, and not reflecting on the dispensations of the providence of God, "whose ways are past finding out." While all should be hushed in peace in the presence of royalty, as before a roaring lion, there is no end of devastations and ravages in numberless places, and especially in Wales. From this any one may perceive with how little prudence and firmness, with what injustice rather than justice, England, which ought to be ruled far otherwise, is now governed. In the prevailing lust of money, and an inordinate ambition for preferment of every kind, moderation, the mother of virtues, is scarcely to be found.

Jan 1136. Stephen, king of England, marched into Devonshire with a large force of horse and foot, and besieged, for a long time the castle of Exeter1, which Baldwin, surnamed de Redvers, had fortified in defiance of the royal authority. But at length, the garrison being short of provisions, terms were made, and Baldwin, with his wife and children, were expelled from England, his lands being forfeited.

Note 1. There is a curious account of the siege in the "Gesta Stephani," appended to Huntingdon's History in the Antiq. Lib., pp. 337–343.

27 Jan 1136. Ansger, the venerable abbot of Reading, died on the sixth of the calends of February [27th January],

16 Aug 1135. and Godfrey, bishop of Bath, on the seventeenth of the calends of September [16th August].

01 Jan 1136. Speedily after the death of king Henry on the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of December a severe battle was fought in Gower2, between the Normans and the Welsh, on the calends [the 1st] of January, in which five hundred and sixteen of the two armies perished. Their bodies were horribly dragged about the fields and devoured by the wolves. Afterwards the Welsh made a desperate inroad, attended with the destruction, far and wide, of churches, vills, corn, and cattle, the burning of castles and other fortified places, and the slaughter, dispersion, and sale into captivity in foreign lands of countless numbers, both of the rich and poor.

Note 2. A district of South Wales, nearly corresponding with the county of Glamorgan. Neither Huntingdon nor Malmesbury mention this expedition; but the anonymous author of the "Gesta Stephani" describes it in some detail.-16. pp. 329–332.

15 Apr 1136. Among these, the noble and amiable Richard, son of Gilbert3, falling into an ambush, was slain by the Welsh, on the seventeenth of the calends of May (15th April); and his body being carried to Gloucester, was honourably buried in the chapter-house of the brethren. Another bloody battle was afterwards fought at Cardigan, in the second week of the month of October, in this same year, in which the slaughter was so great that, without reckoning the men who were carried off into captivity, there remained ten thousand women, whose husbands, with numberless children, were either drowned, or burnt, or put to the sword. When the bridge over the river Tivy was broken down it was a wretched spectacle to see crowds passing to and fro across a bridge formed by the horrible mass of human corpses and horses drowned in the river.

Note 3. Richard, son of Gilbert de Clare, to whom the territory of Cardigan had been given by king Henry, was murdered by Jorwerth.

20 Nov 1136. William (age 66), archbishop of Canterbury, died at one of his vills1, on the twelfth of the calends of December [20th November], in the fifteenth year of his patriarchate, and was buried at Canterbury.

Note 1. Probably at his "vill of Westminster," where Henry of Huntingdon tells us (Hist. p. 254) that this William Curboil (age 66), archbishop of Canterbury, sometimes resided. Huntingdon draws no favourable character of this prelate, either in his History, p. 262, or in the "Letter to Warin," pp. 315 and 326.

05 Aug 1136. Guy, abbot of Pershore, a man of great prudence, died on the nones [the 5th] of August.

15 Mar 1136. Benedict, abbot of Tewksbury, a man of devoted piety and strict continence, died on the ides [the 15th] of March. Removed from this world's strife, God give them endless life!

Mar 1137. In the month of March, before Easter, which fell on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of April, Stephen, king of England, went over sea, and spent some time in foreign parts.

1137. Griffyth-ap-Rhys (age 56), king of Wales, perished through the artifices of his wife.1

Note 1. So far from this being the case, Gwenlian, the wife of Griffythap-Rhys, prince of South Wales, a woman of a gallant spirit, seconded her husband's efforts for independence, and, in his absence, took the field in person at the head of her forces. See Giraldus Cambreensis Itin. i., c. iv., and Dr. Powell's notes: see also Warrington's History of Wales, p. 293.

1137. The Welsh, having suffered much in the defence of their native land, not only from the powerful Normans, but also from the Flemings, after numbers had fallen on both sides, at last subdued the Flemings, and did not cease to commit devastations on all sides; plundering and burning the vills and castles, and putting to death all who made any resistance, and the helpless as well as the armed. Among the rest, a knight, they say, of great bravery, whose name was Paganus, fell, pierced through the head by a lance while engaged in capturing and slaying some plundering Welshmen: his body was carried to Gloucester, and buried in the monk's chapter house.

08 Jun 1137. The city of York [Map]. was destroyed by fire, with the principal monastery, on Friday in Whitsun-week, which fell on the 6th of the ides [the 8th] of June. Shortly afterwards the city of Rochester was also destroyed by fire.

29 Jul 1137. On Thursday the fourth of the calends of August [29th July] the church of Bath, and, in the same month of August, the city of Leicester, were burnt.

1137. Miracles at Windsor. One day, while the people were attending the celebration of mass at Windsor, as we have been informed by trustworthy persons, there was a sudden radiance in the interior of the church; and some persons, wondering what it was, went forth and beheld a strange star shining in the heavens, and on their return observed that the light within descended from the star. Miracle succeeded miracle. Many observed the crucifix which stood on the altar in motion and wringing its hauds, the right with the left, or the left with the right, after the manner of persons in trouble. After this was done three times the whole crucifix trembled, and was bathed in swear for nearly half an hour, returning afterwards to its former state.

Relics found at Southwell. At Southwell, a vill of the archbishop's, while a grave was being made for a funeral, there were found some relics of saints, and a glass phial with raised sides to prevent its being broken, and full of very clear water; which being given to the sick, they were on tasting it restored to their former health. I give the first of these miracles as I heard it; the last was related to me by Henry, bishop of Winchester.

[Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, archbishop of York, with Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and some other bishops and great men of the realm, held a council at Northampton, in the hearing of many persons].1

Note 1. The last paragraph is evidently an interpolation in this place. The meeting at Northampton is subsequently mentioned with more detail in the course of the events of the present year.

Schism in the Church of Rome-Pope and Anti-pope. The see of Rome had now been in an unsettled state for seven years, in consequence of there being two popes, namely, Gregory, who was also called Innocent, and Peter, called Leo, in whose cause a war broke out between Lothaire, emperor of the Romans, and Roger, duke of Apulia. Both these princes abounded in wealth, but the first was the most religious as well as superior in dignity; the latter, to his own confusion, was more liberal with his gold. But the imperial majesty, as it is fitting and just, surpasses in all things the royal dignity. Each appointed a bishop of bishops at Rome. Lothaire supported Gregory, who was canonically elected; Roger granted the papacy of Rome to Peter Leo. But this mutual strife offending the cardinals and the prefect of the city, they admitted for lucre, first Gregory, expelling Leo, and then Leo, expelling Gregory, to the apostolic see. At last Gregory, appointed by Lothaire, ruled the see of the apostles. Peter Leo, the whelp of the ancient Peter the Lion, sits at the Lateran, like another pope. If both were inspired by the ambition of power, neither was pleasing to God. While they performed their part in the world, they were reserved for the judgment of God, whose judgments are profound. In consequence of this great schism having lasted for so many years in the chief of all the churches throughout the world, a day was fixed by common agreement among the princes on which a battle, by way of duel, should be fought between the two nations, the Romans and Apulians, that God, the Omnipotent Judge of all, might give the victory to whom he pleased. The emperor Lothaire, therefore, although he was suffering from illness, assembled an immense army, and pitched his camp in Apulia. Roger met him at the head of many thousand troops, both horse and foot. In the encounter which ensued, by God's Providence the emperor and his army obtained the victory, and Roger and his forces were conquered, and fled. The royal crown which he had caused to be made that he might be crowned king, inlaid with gold and precious stones, and the royal spear, resplendent with gold, were discovered by treachery, and presented to the emperor as an acceptable gift. Returning to his own country, he soon afterwards lost his kingdom and his life. Lewis, king of France, died; and was succeeded by his son Lewis. Stephen, king of England, returned to England in the month of December, and held his court during Christmas at Dunstable, a town in Bedfordshire.

1138. A Thuringian Tradition. Conrad [II.], duke of Bavaria, the ninety-ninth emperor of the Romans, and nephew of Henry the Elder, who had for empress (age 35) the daughter of Henry, king of England, died after a reign of twelve years. In former times, a tribe, migrating from the north, reached the country of Thuringia, intending to settle there; and the inhabitants of that country granted them a large portion of their territory, as the foreigners requested. The people increased and multiplied exceedingly. After the lapse of a long period, they refused to pay the acknowledgment due to the Thuringians. In consequence, both sides met under arms, as is the custom of that nation, that the debt might be demanded and paid. This was done not once only, but a second time, without a wound being received on either side; the third time it was agreed that both parties should meet unarmed, under a guarantee of peace. The great body of foreigners assembled under an impression of the weakness of the Thuringians, and that their country was deficient both in counsel and courage for its good government. On the appointed day they came to the conference, having, by way of caution and self-protection, their long knives sheathed under their garments. The proceedings were not conducted peaceably, but with violent disputes. In short, the Thuringians were overcome, the fierce and alien race triumphed; for, drawing their long knives, they slaughtered many of the Thuringians. These inhabitants of the land were driven with ignominy from their country and kindred, and nearly all their territory fell into the hands of those on whom inconstant fortune now smiled. The country which, up to that time, had been called Thuringia, then changed its name, and, from the long knives of the conquerors, was afterwards called, not Saxony, 'but, in the English idiom, Sæxony."1

Note 1. From sæx, Anglo-Saxon for a knife, dagger, or short sword. Adelung, however, rejecting this derivation, says that the most likely derivation is from the old German sass, Ang. Sax. sæt, an inhabitant, settler.

1138. Siege of Bedford-Irruption of the Scots. The festival days of Christmas being ended1, Stephen, king of England, to maintain his regal crown in conformity to his name2, put himself at the head of his army and besieged and took the castle of Bedford, which stood out against him, as he had before taken that of Exeter. Receiving intelligence by a messenger that his enemies3 had made an irruption, and were devastating the lands, burning the vills, and besieging castles and towns, he marched with a strong force into Northumbria. He did not long remain there, having, with some difficulty, accomplished the object he had in view. Those who are well acquainted with the facts, relate that, for nearly six months, a terrible irruption was made by numerous enemies of different races into Northumbria and the adjacent country, both far and near. Multitudes were taken, plundered, imprisoned, and tortured; ecclesiastics were put to death for the sake of the property of their churches; and scarcely any one can compute the number of the slain on the enemy's side or our own.

Note 1. Henry of Huntingdon says that king Stephen began the siege of Bedford on Christmas-eve.

Note 2. A pun on segavos [Note. Written in Greek in the text], in Greek, a crown.

Note 3. The Scots, under king David.

1137. On the death of the apostolical Leo Peter, Innocent succeeded him, all who had taken the part of Peter against him making satisfaction, and being entirely reconciled to him. This pope consecrated Alberic, abbot of Vercelli, as bishop of Ostia, on Easter-day, at Rome.

1138. How the Devil, in the shape of a black dwarf, was made a monk. About this time reports of the following miracle were circulated in all quarters. There is a noble monastery in the arch-diocese of Treves called Prum, dedicated to the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, and founded in ancient times by Pepin, king of the Franks, the father of Charles the Great. A strange occurrence is reported by all who were then inmates of this monastery. One morning, the cellarer, in company with his servant, having gone into the wine-vault, for the purpose of procuring wine, as usual, for the sacrifice of the altar, found one of the casks which he had left full the preceding day emptied down to the orifice commonly called the bung-hole, and the wine spilled over all the pavement. In great dismay at the loss which had happened, he chid sharply the servitor who was with him, saying that he had fixed the spigot very negligently the evening before, and that the loss had thus occurred. After saying this, he enjoined him, under severe threats, to tell no one what had happened; fearing that if it came to the abbot's ears, he would put him out of his office in disgrace. When evening came, before the brethren retired to rest, he went into the cellar, and having carefully secured the bung-holes of the vessels in which wine was contained, shut the door, and went to bed.

1138. In the morning, on entering the cellar as usual, he perceived that another cask was emptied as low as the bung-hole, and the wine spilt, as on the preceding day. At this sight, not knowing to whose negligence he could lay the blame of the waste, he was filled with wonder and grief, and repeating his commands to the servitor to tell no one what had happened, in the evening before he went to bed he fastened all the bungs of the casks with the utmost care, and went to his pallet, sorrowful and anxious. Rising at day-break, and opening the cellar, he saw, for the third time, that the bung had been extracted from a cask, and that the wine was spilt as far as the hole. Being terrified, and not without cause, at these occurrences, and fearing to conceal any longer the loss to the community, he hastened to the abbot, and throwing himself at his feet, told him, in order, all that he had seen. The abbot, taking counsel with his brethren, ordered that towards evening the bung-holes of all the casks which held wine should be anointed round with chrism; which was done. At dawn of day, the before-mentioned brother going into the cellar according to his custom, found a wonderfully dwarfish black boy clinging by the hands to one of the bungs. Hastily seizing him, and bringing him to the abbot, he said: "Behold, my lord, this urchin whom you see has done us all the damage which we have discovered in the cellar;" after which he related to him how he had found the boy hanging from the bung. The abbot, astonished at the singular appearance of the boy, took counsel, and ordered that a monk's dress should be prepared for him, and that he should associate with the youths who were scholars in the monastery. This was done, and as the abbot commanded, the boy lived with the young scholars day and night, but never took meat or drink, and never spoke either in public or private; while the others were taking repose at night or in the noontide hours, he sat upon his bed, constantly moaning and heaving incessant sighs. Meanwhile, the abbot of another monastery coming to offer his devotions in that church, was detained there for some days, and the scholar-lads frequently passing before him while he sat with the abbot and seniors of the monastery, the little boy, stretching forth his hands towards him, cast a tearful glance on him, as if he wished to ask him some favour. This being frequently repeated, the abbot, wondering at his diminutive appearance, inquired of those who sat with him why they kept such a little boy in the convent? They replied, smiling, "My lord, the lad is not what you suppose; they told him the loss he had caused them, and how he was found clinging by the hands to the bung of a cask, and how he had conducted himself when living among them. On hearing this, the abbot was alarmed, and, groaning deeply, exclaimed, "Quickly expel him from your monastery, lest you incur greater loss, or serious peril; for he is clearly a devil lurking in human form, but by the mercy of God protecting you, through the merits of the saints, whose relics you have here, he has been unable to do you further injury." At the command of the abbot of the same monastery, the boy was immediately brought before him, and while they were in the act of stripping off his monastic dress, he vanished from their hands like smoke.

10 Apr 1138. A council at Northampton. Stephen, king of England, held a council at Northampton, in the octave of Easter, which fell on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of April. Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, archbishop of York, and all the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, and nobles of England took their seats at it. In this council an archdeacon named Robert, the choice of some few, was appointed bishop of the church of Exeter, then vacant by the death of its bishop, William de Warewast. Two abbeys were also given away; that of Winchcombe to a monk of Cluni, as it is said a relation of the king, named Robert; the other, that of York, to a monk of the same abbey. One of these, the abbot-elect of Winchcombe, was ordained abbot of that monastery by the venerable Simon, bishop of Worcester, on the eleventh of the calends of June (22nd May).

10 May 1138. Royal visit to Gloucester. The king, breaking up his camp at Northampton, marched towards Gloucester, and when his approach was known, the citizens met him more than five miles on the road with great joy, and conducted him into their city, receiving very graciously the honours they paid him. On his arrival there, on the third Rogation day [10th May,] the monks received him with processional pomp, and he offered on the altar his royal ring, which the king's chaplains redeemed for fifty shillings and brought back to him the same day. From thence Milo, who was then his constable, conducted him with great honour to the royal palace, where the next day the citizens swore allegiance to him. On the third day, being Thursday, the king returned with his attendants to the abbey, and joyfully assisted at masses and processions in honour of our Lord's Ascension.

1138. Stephen marches to Hereford. The festival being concluded, the king, having heard that the castle of Hereford [Map] was fortified against him, put himself at the head of a powerful expedition, and pitched his camp against it, finding on his arrival that the report he had heard was true. Wherefore he remained there for the space of nearly four or five weeks, and issued orders throughout England that bodies of troops should march to support him in putting down all who opposed his royal title.

1138. Meanwhile, the city of Hereford, below the bridge over the river Wye, was burnt before his eyes. Not long afterwards, the lamentable conflagration of the city of Oxford reached the ears of the king and his court. The garrison of Hereford, perceiving of a surety by the numbers and strength of the royal army, that the king would triumph over them, made terms and surrendered to him. And since Stephen was, nay is1, a loving and peaceable king, he injured no one, but suffered his enemies to depart free. The king also took the fortified place called Wibbeleage2, which Geoffrey de Talbot held against him, but afterwards evacuated. It was by his devices and ability that the king's adversaries were supported in breaking the peace. The aforesaid castles and that of Hereford were garrisoned by the king's troops.

Note 1. Florence, it will be observed, speaks of what was actually passing, and seems, from his connection with Worcester, to have espoused the cause of king Stephen.

Note 2. Weobley, in Herefordshire.

1138. Meanwhile, Alberic, the before mentioned bishop of Ostia, came to England commissioned as apostolical legate to root out and destroy, build up and plant, all things that required it. The letters from the apostolical see having been read in the presence of the king and the nobles of England, out of reverence for the apostolical see, he was at length received, though not at first. Making a progress throughout England, he noted everything, and kept in mind whatever needed correction by the provision and appointment of a council.

15 Jun 1138. The king having spent some time at Hereford [Map] departed with his troops. The city, thus deprived of the royal presence, was burnt, beyond the river Wye, by the before-named Geoffrey, on the eighteenth of the calends of July [the 15th June], none of our own people, but seven or eight of the Welsh, having been killed. I omit saying anything of the blood-shed of many others, for I am ignorant respecting it; but this I pray:

May Christian souls in everlasting rest

Be with the saints, their warfare ended, blest;

And John1 corrected, if there ought occur,

In which the reader finds his pages err!

Note 1. We are here furnished with the name of the writer of this continuation of the Chronicle of He must have been living when Ordericus Vitalis visited Worcester, in his journey to England, about the year 1124. Both their works and probably their lives closed in 1141. Ordericus tells us that he saw at Worcester the continuation on which John was, doubtless, engaged at the time of his visit; but he is mistaken in attributing the original Chronicle to this John, instead of Florence. See the remarks in the preface to this volume, and a note in vol. i., p. 493, of Ordericus Vitalis, Bohn's Antiq. Lib.

24 Jun 1138. The Bishops arrested. Then the king, when the Nativity of St. John [24th June] was near, proceeded to Oxford, and hearing that the castle of Devizes [Map] was fortified against him, sent messengers to Roger, bishop of Salisbury, the founder of the castle, who was then at Malmesbury, commanding him to come and confer with him. It is said that the bishop undertook this journey with great reluctance, believing that he should never return; taking with him his two nephews, the bishops of Lincoln and Ely, and a large retinue of mounted and well-armed soldiers. Seeing this, the king, suspecting treason, ordered his followers to arm themselves and be ready to defend him, if need should arise. While the king was engaged with the bishops in treating of various affairs, a furious quarrel arose between the two parties of soldiers respecting their quarters; and the king's troops flying to arms, the bishops' men took to flight, leaving all their baggage behind. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, with the bishop of Lincoln and his son Roger, surnamed The Poor, were taken; the bishop of Ely made his escape, and having reached the castle of Devizes, fortified it and held it against the king. The king, much incensed, went in pursuit of him, placing the bishops he had arrested in custody; Roger in the crib of an ox-house, and the other in a mean hut, while he threatened to hang the third, unless the castle was speedily surrendered to him. Roger finding this, and alarmed for his son, bound himself by an oath that he would neither eat nor drink until the king had possession of the castle; which oath he kept, and neither ate nor drank for three days.1

Note 1. Cf. the account of the circumstances attending the seizure of the bishops and their castles, in Henry of Huntingdon s History, p. 271, Antiq. Lib.; Gesta Stephani, ibid, 370, &c.; and William of Malmesbury, ibid, 507.

1138. Transactions at Bristol and Bath, 8c. The king proceeded thence with his royal attendants to London. But Geoffrey de Talbot, deserting with his follower's, went over to the son of the earl of Gloucester, who held Bristol castle against the king, and devoted himself to its defence. One day, under colour of giving assistance to a certain straggler, but more, as it subsequently appeared, with a view to reconnoitre Bath and afterwards assault it, he took his way there in company with two valiant knights, William Hoset and another.2 This being discovered, Robert, the bishop of Bath, thinking to triumph over the king's enemies, drew out a body of soldiers, and marched cautiously against him. Two of them fled, but Geoffrey was taken and placed in custody. The garrison of Bristol, being much enraged at this, marched to Bath with a threatening aspect under the son of the earl, their lord, and sent a message to the bishop, threatening that unless their comrade, Geoffrey, was released, they would hang the bishop and his followers on a gallows. Upon this, the bishop, apprehensive, like a mercenary soldier, for the lives of himself and his people, brought forth Geoffrey from custody, and delivered him to them, in compliance with their demands. When this reached the king's ears, he was inflamed with anger against the bishop, regarding him as the abettor of his enemies; and he would probably have taken from him his pastoral staff, though in so doing he would rather have been actuated by his animosity than by his love of peace. But as the bishop had acted under restraint and against his will, the king gave not place to his wrath," upon which, according to the apostolical precept, it is sinful to "let the sun go down."

Note 2. In the "Gesta Stephani," we find that Geoffrey's cousin, Gilbert de Lacy, was his companion in this enterprise. See in this work fuller details than those given by our author, of the transactions of this year in the West of England; p. 350—357.

1138. Soon afterwards the king moved his army towards Bristol, where, in those times, infernal cruelties, befitting the reigns of Nero or Decius, were exercised by a kinsman of the earl, whose name was Philip Gay. By his agency, a variety of bitter torments were invented there, which, afterwards introduced far and wide in every part of England, nearly reduced the island to ruin. The king, therefore, having wasted and burnt the lands and vills of the earl of Gloucester in that neighbourhood, besieged the castle for some time. At last, weary of the length of the siege, he drew off to besiege the earl's other castles, Cariff in Dorsetshire1, and Harptree in Somersetshire, and having constructed forts over against them, and garrisoned them with soldiers, he departed, and marched with his whole army to attack Dudley Castle, which Ralph Paganel had fortified against him. Having given the surounding country to the flames, and seized and carried off large herds of cattle, he went by sea, with a large body of troops, to besiege Shrewsbury Castle, which William Fitz-Allan held against him. Hearing, however, of the king's approach, he secretly escaped, with his wife and children, and some others, leaving those in the castle who had sworn to be true to him, and never surrender it. After the castle had been besieged for some days, according to the accounts of those who were well-informed, a machine of this sort was prepared: – A large structure of timber was put together and brought forward; the castle ditch was filled by the king's command; fire was kindled; and the smoke, rising in the air, smothered all. The royal gate having been forced open, the whole garrison attempted to make their escape miserably, by leaping from or creeping out of the castle; but the king gave orders that they should be pursued and put to death. Five of the men of highest rank among them were hung. The enemy being vanquished, the king departed thence and proceeded to attack Wareham; put a treaty having been entered into, Ralph Paganel and the king made a truce for a time.

Note 1. Castle Cary, as well as Harptree, is in Somersetshire.

1138. Meanwhile, the before-mentioned earl of Bristol, and Milo the constable, having made a league against the king, and abjured the fealty which they had sworn to him, despatched envoys to invite the ex-empress, king Henry's daughter; promising her that within the space of five months she should be in possession of her father's kingdom, according to the allegiance which had been sworn to her in his lifetime. This was the beginning of troubles. This defection, the most serious of all, nay, almost the concluding one, brought ruin on the whole country.

Battle of the Standard aka Northallerton

22 Aug 1138. Irruption of the Scots, and Battle of the Standard.

During these events, David (age 54), king of Scotland, made a third irruption from the borders of his kingdom, with large bands both of horse and foot, and began to set on fire farms, towns, and castles, on the confines of Northumbria, and lay waste nearly all the country. But as he threatened at last to pursue his inroad as far as York and the Humber, Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, archbishop of York, had a conference with the Yorkshiremen, and prevailed on them all, with one consent, to take the oath of fealty to king Stephen, and resist the king of Scots. David, however, was still more incensed at this, and rejecting all advice to the contrary, and reaching the river Tees on the octave of the Assumption of St. Mary [22nd August], which happened on a Monday, he determined to surprise our troops, there being a thick fog in the morning of that day. Hoping, in consequence, to come upon us unawares, he left many vills untouched, and would not suffer his men to set fire to any place, as they usually did. Meanwhile, our troops being warned by a squire, though somewhat late so that they were nearly taken by surprise, armed themselves, and drew up in order of battle with the utmost despatch, sending out archers in front, by whom the Scots were severely galled. Then the king's barons marched with the knights, having all dismounted and stationed themselves in the first rank, and thus fought hand-in-hand with the enemy. The conflict was ended, and victory secured at the very first onset, for the Scots gave way, and either fell or fled in the greatest alarm. Our men, however, being on foot, and having caused all their horses to be led to some distance, were unable to continue the pursuit long, otherwise they would have taken or put to the sword the king (age 54) himself, with his son (age 24), and all his immediate attendants. Of his army, nearly ten thousand men fell in different places, and as many as fifty persons of rank were made prisoners. The vanquished king (age 54) himself escaped by flight, overwhelmed with terror and shame. His chancellor, William Comyn, was taken by the bishop of Durham; but being set at liberty, he gave thanks to God, heartily hoping he should never again fall into such a scrape. The king's son (age 24) reached Carlisle on foot, attended by a single knight; and his father (age 54) escaped with some difficulty through the woods and thickets to Roxburgh. He had led an innumerable army consisting of French, as well as English, Scots, Galwegians, and the people of all the isles which owed him allegiance, but nineteen only out of two hundred of his mailed knights carried back their armour; for every one left nearly all that he had to become the spoil of the enemy, so that an immense booty, both of horses, arms, and clothing, and many other things, was taken from his army. Eustace Fitz-John (age 50), who had joined his expedition, met with a similar fate, having been wounded, and barely escaping with life to his castle. Among the valiant men who, in Christ's name, fought on behalf of king Stephen, were the earl of Albemarle (age 37), Bernard de Baliol, and many others, but the earl was distinguished for his bravery in the battle.1

Note 1. A more detailed account of this famous "Battle of the Standard" will be found in Henry of Huntingdon's History, pp. 267, &c. [.Antiq. Lib.], and in Roger of Wendover, ibid, p. 489. Cf. also William of Newbury, Trivet, and Rieval "de Bello Standardi," in Twysden

1138. On his return, the king of Scots, in order to encourage his adherents and console himself, laid siege with all his force, and various engines and machines, to the castle of Wark [Map], or Carron, belonging to Walter d'Epec, from which he had been driven by the earl of Mellent; but the garrison making a stout and desperate resistance, he had no success, for they made frequent sallies, and either cut in pieces or burnt his engines, besides killing many of his soldiers; wherefore, at last, he despaired of being able to take it.

1138. Atmospheric phenomena–Great wealth left by Roger, Bishop of Salisbury.

07 Oct 1138. On the seventh day of the month of October, when the moon was twenty-nine days old, in the dusk of the evening before Saturday, the whole firmament towards the north appeared of a red colour, and rays of various hues were seen blended and flitting. Perhaps these signs portended the vast effusion of blood in Northumberland, and many other places throughout England, of which we have spoken.

20 Nov 1138. A most pious monk, named William, belonging to the cell of Eye, having been elected, was ordained abbot of Pershore by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Sunday, the twelfth of the calends of December (20th November).

04 Dec 1138. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, a great builder of castles and fortified mansions, being worn to death with grief and vexation, died at his episcopal seat on the second of the nones [the 4th] of December, and was buried in that church, leaving in his castles immense sums of money, which fell not into the hands of God, but of king Stephen. There are those who say that more than forty thousand silver marks were found there, and that he had likewise hoarded a vast amount of gold, and a variety of ornaments, and knew not for whom he had gathered them. He enriched the church dedicated to St. Mary, mother of God, with magnificent ornaments.

Note 1. For the character of Roger, bishop of Salisbury, see Stephani," p. 370, and William of Malmesbury, p. 507.

1138. A Synod held at London. In the year of our Lord 1138, and in the ninth of the pontificate of pope Innocent, and the third of the reign of king Stephen, a synod was held at London, in the church of St. Peter the apostle, at Westminster, on the thirteenth of the month of December. In this synod, after much canvassing, sixteen canons were published with universal consent. It was presided over by Alberic, bishop of Ostia, the legate of the said lord pope in England and Scotland; and attended by the bishops of different dioceses, to the number of seventeen, by about thirty abbots, and an immense multitude of the clergy and people.

08 Feb 1139. A new Abbot at Gloucester. 1139. The feast of our Lord's Nativity being passed, and that of the Purification of St. Mary, his mother, drawing nigh, the venerable father Walter, abbot of Gloucester, gave up the ghost about the third hour of the day, after holding his preferment nine years and a half; he was buried by the venerable abbots, Reynold of Evesham, and Roger of Tewksbury, on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of February. After his interment, two of the brethren were sent to Cluni to fetch our1 lord-elect, Gilbert; king Stephen having, on the report of his eminent worth, and at the request of Milo, his constable, conferred upon him at London the preferment of the abbey of Gloucester. Theobald (age 49), archbishop of Canterbury, Simon, bishop of Worcester, Roger, bishop of Coventry, Robert, bishop of Exeter, and Reynold, abbot of Evesham, having been unanimously chosen, proceeded by the pope's command to the threshold of St. Peter. On their arrival, they were received with great honour by the apostolic see, and allowed seats in the Roman council, a circumstance without parallel for many ages before. Having there freely opened their business, they returned home with joy, bringing with them the synodal decrees, now recorded far and wide throughout England. The two monks who had been sent to bring over the lord-abbot Gilbert, also returned in safety, and presented him to king Stephen, who received him graciously, and conferred on him, to hold freely, the fief of the church of Gloucester. He came to Worcester on the feast of Whitsuntide, which fell on the third of the ides [the 11th] of June, and was there ordained, with great rejoicings and divine lauds, by the venerable Robert, bishop of Hereford; and going from thence on the following day, was installed at Gloucester with great joy and exultation, and the acclamations of the commonalty of both orders, in a manner befitting such a man in the Lord.

Note 1. It has been supposed, from this expression, that the continuator was a monk of Gloucester; but he speaks thus of the new abbot as belonging to his own diocese of Worcester.

30 Apr 1139. King Stephen at Worcester, Hereford, and Oxford. Within the octave of Easter, which happened on the second of the calends of May (30th April), Stephen, the magnificent king of England, coming to Worcester, with a royal retinue, was received with great festivity by the clergy and the people of the city and neighbourhood, in solemn procession. The prayers being ended, and the blessing given as usual, the king took his royal ring from his finger, and offered it on the altar; and on the morrow it was returned to him, by common consent of the monks. Therefore the king, remarking with surprise the humility and devotion of the flock of the church of Worcester, yea, rather of the Lord, took back his ring, as he had been adjured to do for the love of St. Mary, mother of God. After his departure from Worcester, the king encamped at Ludlow, where he caused forts to be erected in two positions, and stationed strong bodies of troops in them to assault the castle, which held out against him; and then returning, by way of Worcester, marched towards London. Some of the soldiers, unsparing in their execrable warfare, and driven by their headstrong courage, determined to try their strength on Ludlow. To accomplish this undertaking, large bodies of troops began to flock together. It was truly a pitiable sight to behold one poising his spear against another, and running him through; thus putting him to death, without thinking what would be the judgment the spirit would receive. But king Stephen checked such designs, by the terror of his threats; and going a second time to Ludlow, by way of Worcester, settled all things peaceably, and then made a quiet and joyful journey to Oxford—that is, the ox-ford. While he stayed there, a charge of rebellion urgently requiring it, he arrested Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and his nephew, the bishop of Lincoln, and also Roger, his chancellor, for engaging in a treasonable conspiracy against his crown, and committed them to custody. On hearing this, Nigel (age 39), bishop of Ely, fearing for himself and his adherents, fled with a body of soldiers to Devizes, that he might find protection there. The case of these bishops has been already more fully stated in this work;1 but it appears to have been brought to a point in the present year. In a council afterwards held it was enacted that all fortified towns, castles, and strong places whatever, throughout England, devoted mainly to secular purposes, should submit to the jurisdiction of the king and his barons; but that churchmen, namely, the bishops, whom I will call God's watch-dogs, should not cease to bark in defence of their flock, and take every care lest the invisible wolf, their malignant foe, should tear and scatter the sheep.

Note 1. See before, p. 260.

Oct 1139. The Empress and the Earl, her Brother, land in England. In the month of October, the earl of Gloucester (age 40), son of king Henry, late king of England, but a bastard, with his sister (age 37) by the father's side, formerly empress of the Romans, and now countess of Anjou, returned to England with a large army, and landed at Portsmouth, before the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula, on the calends [the 1st] of August, while the king was besieging Marlborough; and their arrival filled all England with alarm. On receiving this intelligence, Stephen, king of England, was much disturbed in his mind, and in great wrath with those whose duty it was vigilantly to guard the sea-ports. He is the king of peace, and would that he were also the king of vigour and justice, treading under foot his enemies, determining all things by the balance of equal justice, and in the power of his might protecting and strengthening the friends of peace. When, however, he learned that the ex-queen (age 36)2 had received the ex-empress, with her large band of retainers, at Arundel [Map], he was much displeased, and marched his army thither. But she, being awed by the king's majesty, and fearing that she might lose the rank she held in England, swore solemnly that no enemy of his had come to England on her invitation; but that, saving her dignity, she had granted hospitality to persons of station, who were formerly attached to her. The king, on hearing this, dismissed her, and ordered the bishop of Winchester to conduct the ex-empress with honour, as she was his cousin, to her brother, at Bristol castle, while he himself went in pursuit of the earl. But hearing nothing certain about him, for he had taken to certain by-roads for a time, he led his troops to another quarter, as he had planned. Milo, the constable, having abjured his oath of allegiance to the king, went over to the earl of Gloucester (age 40), his liege-lord, with a large body of troops, promising him on his fealty to lend him help against the king. The calamities which flowed from this quarter, namely, the city of Bristol, and spread over all England, are beyond the knowledge or eloquence of man to describe; for of those who opposed him, or obeyed the royal authority, as many as could be taken were made prisoners, and all the captives were thrown into chains, and subjected to horrible tortures. New varieties of cruel punishment were invented; mercenary troops were enlisted in every direction for carrying on the work of destruction, to whom was given, or sold for their pay, the inhabitants of the villages and farms, with all their goods and substance.2

Note 1. Alice (age 36), widow of Henry I., who had Arundel Castle [Map] for her dower.

Note 2. See an account of these atrocities in the "Gesta Stephani," p. 353.

Oct 1139. The Empress at Bristol Castle-Cruelties at Gloucester. This lady (age 37) stayed at Bristol more than two months, receiving homage from all, and exercising the prerogatives of the crown of England at her pleasure. She went there in the month of October, and came on the eighteenth of the calends of November (15th October) to Gloucester, where she received the submission and homage of the citizens and the people of the neighbourhood. But tortures worthy of Decius and Nero, and death in various shapes, were inflicted on those who refused to do her homage, and chose to maintain their fealty to the king; and the city, glorious in past ages, was filled with shrieks and fearful torments, and became horrible to those who inhabited it. In the midst of these miseries the king laid siege to the castle of Wallingford [Map], which stood out against him. Weary of the long siege, and having erected forts in opposition to it, he marched away, and encamped near Malmesbury, where he also threw up works against his adversaries, the authors of rebellion.

1139. The City and Cathedral of Worcester Sacked. Meanwhile sad tidings came to the ears of the citizens of Worcester. It was generally reported that the city would, ere long, be sacked by the enemy, and, having been pillaged, be set on fire. Terrified by these reports, the citizens of Worcester consulted as to what was best to be done. After this council they had recourse for refuge in their misery to the sanctuary of the most high God the Father, and his most blessed Mother, and committed themselves and all theirs to his divine protection, under their patron saints, SS. Oswald and Wulfstan, bishops of that city. Then might be seen crowds of the citizens carrying their goods into the church. Oh, wretched sight! Behold the house of God, which should have been entered with oblations, where the sacrifice of praise should have been offered, and the most solemn vows paid, seems now but a warehouse for furniture! Behold the principal conventual church of the whole diocese is converted into quarters for the townsmen, and a sort of council-chamber; for little room is left for the servants of God in a hostelry crowded with chests and sacks. Within is heard the chaunt of the clergy, without the wailing of children; and the notes of the choir are mingled with the sobs of infants at the breast, and the cries of sorrowing mothers. Oh, misery of miseries to behold! There stands the high altar, stripped of its ornaments, the crucifix removed, and the image of Mary, the most holy Mother of God, taken away. Curtains and palls, albs and copes, stoles and chasubles, are secreted in recesses of the walls. All that gave grace and pomp to the celebration of divine service, on the festivals of the saints, all the wonted magnificence, had vanished. These things were all put out of the way, from fear of the enemy, lest he should come upon them by surprise, and sweeping off all he could lay hands on, succeed in his insane enterprise.

07 Nov 1139. In the beginning of the winter, one morning at day-break, namely, on Tuesday, the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of November, when we were engaged in the church at lauds1, and had already chaunted primes, behold the reports we had heard for many days were realised. A numerous and powerful army arrived from the south, the centre of mischief. The city of Gloucester had risen in arms, and, supported by a countless host of horse and foot, marched to attack, pillage, and burn the city of Worcester. We now, in alarm for the treasures of the sanctuary, put on our albs, and, while the bells tolled, bore the relics of Oswald, our most gentle patron, out of the church, in suppliant procession; and, as the enemy were rushing in from one gate to the other, carried them through the cemetery. The enemy, collected in a body, hasten first to assault a strong fort, which stands in the southern quarter of the city, near the castle. Our people make a brave and obstinate resistance. The enemy being repulsed at this point, as beacons were lighted on the north side of the city, they endeavour to make an entrance in that quarter. There being no fortifications on that side, the entire host rushes tumultuously in, mad with fury, and sets fire to the houses in many parts. Alas! a considerable portion of the city is destroyed, but most of it remains standing and unburnt. Immense plunder is carried off, consisting of chattels of all kinds, from the city, and of oxen, sheep, cattle, and horses from the country. Many people are taken in the streets and suburbs, and dragged into miserable captivity, coupled like hounds. Whether they have the means, or have them not, whatever their cruel foes fix for their ransom they are forced to promise on oath to pay, and to discharge the amount. These things are done on the first day of a winter, which will, doubtless, be very severe to the wretched sufferers.

Note 1. It will be observed that our author here speaks of himself as one of the monks of the church of Worcester engaged in the choir service, when these trying occurrences, which he describes as an eyewitness, took place.

Nov 1139. And now, the plunder being carried off, and numbers of buildings burnt, the host of fierce revellers draw off, never to return on such a foul enterprise. The earl1 came to Worcester on the thirteenth of November, and, beholding the ravages of the flames, mourned over the city, and felt that the evil was done to himself. Wherefore, burning for revenge, he hastened to Sudely, with a body of troops, having heard that John Fitz-Harold had revolted against the king, and joined the earl of Gloucester. If it be inquired what the earl did there, the reply is such as it is scarcely fit to record: returning evil for evil, he seized the people, their goods, and cattle; and, carrying them off, returned the next day to Worcester.

Note 1. Not the earl of Gloucester, it is evident. The author's words are -Comes civitatis Wigorniam venit. During the reign of Henry I. Walter de Beauchamp was viscount or sheriff of Worcestershire, in right of his wife Emmeline, daughter and heiress of Urso d'Abitot, appointed to that office by the Conqueror. On the accession of king Stephen be deprived William de Beauchamp (age 34), who had succeeded his father, Walter, of that dignity, and for a time gave the castle and city of Worcester to Waleran (age 35), earl of Mellent, with the title of earl of Worcester. This nobleman is therefore probably the person meant by our author; and what appears in the text is agreeable to the character given of him by the author of "Gesta Stephani," p. 309. He did not, however, long retain his honours in Worcestershire, being deprived of them by the empress Maud.

03 Dec 1139. King Stephen at Worcester and Hereford. After these events, the king, with a large army, marched from Oxford to Worcester; and, having before his eyes what he had before heard of its disaster, he mourned over it. Halting there for three or four days, he conferred the dignity of constable, of which he had deprived Milo of Gloucester, on William (age 34), the son of Walter de Beauchamp, sheriff of Worcestershire.1 Here a report reached the king that his enemies, having violated their sworn promises of peace, had assaulted Hereford, and forced an entrance into the monastery of St. Ethelbert [Map], king and martyr, as if it had been a fortified castle. The king, therefore, put himself in march, and encamped at Little Hereford, or Leominster, where some of the inhabitants, taking counsel, swore fealty to him; while others refusing, sent him this message: "Although we will not swear, the king may, if he pleases, trust to the truth of our words." The holy days of Advent being close at hand [3rd December], a truce was agreed on between them, and the king returned to Worcester, where a certain clerk of eminent piety, Maurice by name, who had been elected by the clergy and people to the church of Bangor, was presented to the king at the castle, by Robert, bishop of Hereford, and Sigefrid, bishop of Chichester, who, bearing him company, attested his canonical election and fitness for the office of bishop; and the king confirmed the appointment. But being urged by the bishops to do homage to the king, he replied that he could in no wise do "There is," he said, "among us a man of great piety, whom I consider as my spiritual father, and who was archdeacon to my predecessor David, and he forbade me to take this oath." To which they made answer, "Reason requires that you should do we have done." Whereupon he said, "If you, who are men of high authority, have done this, I will not further hesitate to do the same." He therefore swore fealty to the king.

Note 1. See the preceding note. We are unable to account for this act of favour on the part of king Stephen to one of a family who were the most strenuous adherents of Henry I., his daughter the empress, and Henry III.; under all whom they held the offices of steward, sheriff of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, and constable. William de Beauchamp, fourth in descent from Walter, married Isabel, the heiress of William Mauduit, earl of Warwick; acquired that title in her right, and became the ancester of the powerful family of Beauchamp of Warwick. The earls Beauchamp of the present day are descended from Walter, of Powick, a younger son of William and Isabel.

1140. King Stephen goes to Oxford, and thence to Salisbury. From Worcester the king proceeded to Oxford, and from thence, with his court, to Salisbury, where he intended to celebrate the feast of Christmas, and, as was the royal custom, to wear his crown. The canons presented him with two thousand pounds, and he granted them entire exemption from all taxes on their lands; moreover, he gave them twenty marks for their own use, and forty for roofing the church; and promised that when peace was restored, he would refund to them what they had bestowed upon him.

Dec 1140. The King at Reading—Marches against Ely. A few days after Christmas, the king and his court proceeded to Reading, where a lesson is taught by the lot of mortals concerning the little value of kingly pomp.1 While there, by the advice of his council, he gave pastors of their own to two abbeys, Malmesbury and Abbotsbury, which bishop Roger, as long as he lived, had shorn of their honours and kept in his own hands. Malmesbury abbey he bestowed on John, a monk of great worth, and that of Abbotsbury on another named Geoffrey. Then, in order to secure peace, and put an end to warfare, which I call a vain thing, he prepared an expedition against Ely; a measure much to be deplored, because it tended to increase the arrogance of the soldiery, by satisfying their love of vain glory. They enlist themselves, they accept the terms, they array themselves in arms, and the conqueror seizes all that belongs to the vanquished, according to stipulations founded on the detestable love of gain; and, if I may compare great things with small, they whisper to one another, like Judah and his brother Jonathan, dwelling in the land of Gilead, to Joseph and Azarias: "Let us also get us a name, and go fight against the heathen that are round about us."2 They deal wounds with sword and spear, little heeding what will be the fate of the miserable souls of the slain. During the rebellion of those who revolted against the king, many on both sides were wounded, taken prisoners, and thrown into confinement. The bishop of Ely, finding the valour of the king and the impetuosity of his troops, gave way, nay, fled like a hireling, and retiring to the neighbourhood of Gloucestershire, went over to earl Robert. Nor was it to be wondered at, for he had lost, as it were, his right hand, when his uncle, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, died. The king took possession of Ely castle, and placed his own soldiers in it.3

Note 1. This is probably an allusion to the pompous interment of Henry II, not long before, in the abbey of Reading. See p. 250.

Note 2. Maccab, c. v. 55–57.

3. See "Gesta Stephani," pp. 371–373.

21 Jan 1140. Thurstan, Archbishop of York, retires to Pontefract. Thurstan (age 70), the twenty-sixth archbishop of York in succession, a man advanced in years and full of days, put off the old man and put on the new, retiring from worldly affairs, and becoming a monk at Pontefract, on the twelfth of the ides of February (21st January), and departing this life in a good old age, on the nones [the 5th] of February, he lies buried there.

31 Jan 1140. Winchcombe and other places attacked. Milo, the ex-constable, having assembled a numerous body of troops, assaulted Winchcombe on Thursday, the second of the calends of February [31st January], and burnt the greatest part of the place, which he plundered; and carried off those whom he had stripped of their goods, to exact from them, most unjustly, the Mammon of unrighteousness [in the shape of ransom]. Thence he diverged to Sudely, but whilst he was meditating an attack, the royal garrison of the place fell on him, and forced him to retreat, leaving, as it is reported, two of his men dead on the spot, and fifteen taken prisoners. The king and the earl of Worcester came with a large army to Worcester, and after a few days, the earl first, and then the king, advanced to Little Hereford in great force, for the purpose of driving out their enemies. During the king's abode in those parts, the earl, mindful of the injuries received from his townsmen, attacked Tewkesbury with a strong body of men-at-arms, and burnt the magnificent house of the earl of Gloucester, which was within a mile of Gloucester, and everything in its vicinity, as well as some property belonging to others; but, yielding to the supplications of the lord abbot and monks of Tewkesbury, he spared their possessions. Having taken much spoil, both of men and of their goods and cattle, he was moved by clemency to order the release of the captives, and permit them to return to their homes; and on the morrow he returned to Worcester, declaring to all that he had scarcely ever made such a conflagration either in Normandy or England. The king, also, on his return to Worcester, set forward on the road to Oxford.

1140. The before-mentioned Maurice and Uhtred were consecrated bishops of Bangor and Llandaff by Theobald (age 50), archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the bishops of Hereford and Exeter. The king, on his arrival at Winchester, by the advice of his barons, gave the bishopric of Salisbury to Philip, his chancellor, and the abbey of Fécamp to Henry, a monk who was his kinsman.

1140. The sun was eclipsed while the moon was in the tail of the Dragon, but it illumined the head.

1140. A compact was made between Philip, king of France, and Stephen, king of England, after consulting their barons, that Stephen's son should marry the sister of the king of France. The betrothal took place abroad in the month of February, in the presence of the queen-mother of England and a great number of English nobles there assembled.

1140. Robert Fitz-Hubert, a Freebooter. There was a certain knight, whose name was Robert, the son of a nobleman named Hubert. This man, fearing neither God nor man, but trusting solely to his own might, took the castle of Malmesbury by a well-devised stratagem. Some of the king's knights, who were quartered there, took refuge in the church of St. Aldhelm [Map], the bishop, for sanctuary. Pressing these to surrender, he one day burst into the chapter-house of the monks, at the head of armed men, and with terrible threats required them, on pain of confiscation of their property, to give up the illustrious royalists, with their horses. They, however, in horror at permitting the peace of God, and their patron, St. Aldhelm, being broken, refused to consent to his demand; but at last, although reluctantly, to appease his fury, they gave up the horses. After Robert Fitz-Hubert had held the castle for ome time, and had exhausted the whole neighbourhood by his ravages, the king came to its succour, and besieged the place for nearly eight days. William d'Ypres, a kinsman, they say, of this Robert, was the go-between for the surrender of the castle, and settled, at last, with the king, terms of peacethe castle being given up, with entire submission to his royal rights; which was done.

1140. Meanwhile, Robert joined the earl of Gloucester, proposing to stay with him for a time, but all the while meditating treachery. Not long afterwards, as he had neither sense nor inclination to follow a right course, but still thirsted for blood, he betook himself, with his own retainers, to Devizes, without the earl's knowledge; and having first made a compact with his followers, that the castle, once taken, should never be surrendered, he scaled the wall by force or stratagem1, and sounded the note of triumph to the king's soldiers in the garrison, stormed by surprise the exterior forts, and made many the victims of his cruelty. Four days afterwards, by force or fraud, he got possession of the citadel within, and, in the pride of his heart, ravaged every part of the neighbourhood by day and by night, doing incessantly all the damage he could. At last, he repaired to John, a knight of renown, who then held the castle of Marlborough under fealty to the king, and required him, with threats, to follow his advice, or rather his injunction, and agree with him and hold with him in wreaking his satanic malice, not only on the king, but on the earl and every one else; menacing him, on his refusal, that he should forfeit his life when he least expected it. John replied: "In the name of God, I would rather make another man my prisoner than be taken myself;" and immediately seized him, and throwing him into confinement, in just retaliation caused all the tortures which he had inflicted on others to be exhausted on himself

Note. 1. He gained the summit in the night time by means of scaling ladders made of thongs. Cf. the account of this ruffian in the "Gesta Stephani,", pp. 374, &c. Malmesbury also gives some strange anecdotes of his barbarity.

1140. The earl of Gloucester, and Milo, the ex-constable, hearing of these occurrences, came to the said John, with many followers, and the earl promised to give him five hundred marks, on condition that he should deliver Robert to him on a set day, upon receiving good hostages from himself. John, won over by the promise of the money and the hostages, delivered Robert to the earl, on the terms of his being restored to him within fifteen days. This compact being made, the earl returned to Gloucester, taking Robert with him. They then treated respecting the castle of Devizes, of which the earl required at his hands a voluntary surrender. Robert, however, refused, being loth to break the oath he had made to his comrades, that the castle should never be given up. But being terrified by threats of being hung on a gallows, in order to save his life, he engaged to yield to the demand. Within the time fixed by the agreement, this ruffian was led back to the presence of John; to whom the earl told all that had happened, and how John, terrified by his threats, had promised to deliver up the castle. He also requested him again to permit Robert to accompany him to Devizes, pledging himself that if he should chance to obtain possession of the castle, it should be given up to John, to be held under fealty to him. The earl's proposal being acceded to, he immediately returned to Devizes with Robert. In the meantime, the said John sent letters to all, both within and without the castle, assuring them, on his solemn oath, that neither he nor the earl would do any injury to Robert; any how, they were to see to it that their oath not to give up the castle to any one was faithfully adhered to. The earl returned to Gloucester, leaving the ex-constable and a man of great power, named Humphrey, with some others, behind him; with general orders that, if Robert refused to make a voluntary surrender of the castle, he should be hung. Robert did refuse, and his friends refused also, lest they should appear perjured. In short, after his two nephews had been hanged, he was taken and hanged also. All praise be to God who delivered up the wicked!

Before 15 Aug 1140. Before the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], the earl of Gloucester marched his arny towards Bath, but the king had long before despatched light troops to watch the enemy's motions, and place an ambuscade for the defence of themselves and the country. The two parties met; on the one side were the king's troops, among whom were two knights, John and Roger, both men of spirit and courage; on the other side were the earl's retainers. Many were taken prisoners; were wounded and slain; one of whom, Geoffrey Talbot1, a bold but crafty knight, now joining the king, now the earl, and thus steeped in treachery, was mortally wounded, and dying in consequence on the eleventh of the calends of September [22 August], was buried with the canons at Gloucester. The royal troops, however, gained the victory.

Note 1. See "Gesta Stephani," pp. 351—376.-Antiq. Lib. It was this Geoffrey Talbot who sacked and burnt Hereford. See before, pp. 261 and 272.

1140. Nottingham plundered and burnt. Before the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], Robert, son of king Henry, instigated by Ralph Paganel, took with him the knights of the earl of Warwick, and with those he drew out of Gloucestershire and a great body of common soldiers, made a sudden attack on the town of Nottingham, and finding there was no force to defend it, commenced plundering it, the townsmen from all quarters taking refuge in the churches. One of these, who was reported to be a wealthy man, having been laid hold of, was led tightly bound to his house that he might be forced to give up his money. The man conducted the free-booters, over greedy for spoil, into a chamber underground, where all his household wealth was supposed to be stored. But while they were intent upon pillage and breaking open doors and locks, he cunningly slipped away, and gaining the chambers and then the hali, closed all the doors behind them and fastened them with bolts. He then set fire to his house and consigned the buildings and all his goods, together with the robbers, to the flames. It is reported that more than thirty men who were in the cellar perished by the fire, and some say that it spread through the whole town and burnt it to the ground; for, the knights and the whole army swore that they were guiltless of having set it on fire. Thus the whole place was consumed, and all who could be taken outside the churches were carried into captivity; some of them as far as Gloucester. The rest of the common people, men, women and children, who had fled to the churches, not daring to come forth for fear of being taken by the enemy, nearly all perished as the churches fell a prey to the raging conflagration. It was a cruel sight, and even the enemy were filled with sorrow when they beheld the temples of God, which even the heathen would have spared, consumed by fire. Thus Nottingham was laid in ruins; a most noble town, which from the time of the Norman conquest of England to the present had flourished in the greatest peace and tranquillity, and abounded in wealth of all kinds and a numerous population.

1140. A certain monk, of profound learning and knowledge, Peter by name, was preferred to the abbey of Malmesbury by Henry (age 42), bishop of Winchester, and legate of the holy Roman church. Having assumed the monastic habit at Cluni, he filled for some time the office of prior of La Charité, and was removed from thence to preside over the monastery of St. Urban, pope, in the diocese of Catalonia, but troubles increasing and threatening his own safety, he was compelled to quit the place, and at the instance of the before-mentioned bishop of Winchester, came to England, and this year undertook the government of the aforesaid church.

First Battle of Lincoln

02 Feb 1141. Stephen made prisoner at the battle of Lincoln. Stephen, king of England, after long toils and sieges of castles, in which he had struggled during five years and six weeks for the peace of the kingdom, at last, on the day of the Purification of St. Mary [2nd February], which fell on Sexagesima Sunday, was, by the just judgment of God, outmaneuvred and taken prisoner at the siege of Lincoln castle by Robert, earl of Gloucester, his uncle's son, and Ranulph, earl of Cheser1, and, being first brought to Gloucester on Quinquagesima Sunday [9th February], was then conducted to the city of Bristol and placed in custody. Many of his adherents were taken with him and thrown into prison.

Note 1. The best account of the battle of Lincoln is given by Henry of Huntingdon, who was a canon of that church, and most probably resident there at the time of the battle. See his History, pp. 273–280, Antiq. Lib. The account in "Gesta Stephani" is singularly deficient in details, ibid, p. 378. Roger of Wendover's is rather more circumstantial, ibid, vol. i., p. 492.

1140. The Empress Matilda acknowledged queen. Meanwhile, the lady empress-queen, Henry's daughter, who was staying at Gloucester, was overjoyed at this event, having now, as it appeared to her, got possession of the kingdom for which fealty had been sworn to her;1 she therefore, having consulted her council, left the city on the fifth day after Ash-Wednesday [17th February], and attended by two bishops, Bernard, bishop of St. David's, and Nigel (age 40), bishop of Ely, with Gilbert, abbot of Winchester, and many barons, knights, and officers, proceeded to Cirencester, the first place at which she lodged after such joyful intelligence, and of which she received the allegiance. Departing thence, when she drew near to the city of Winchester, there advanced to meet her, in great state and pomp, the bishops of almost all England, many barons, a great number of men of high rank, innumerable knights, divers abbots with their societies, and two convents of monks and a third of nuns, chanting in procession hymns and thanksgivings, and the clergy of the place with the citizens and crowds of the people. Thereupon, the famous city of Winchester was delivered over to her; she received possession of the royal crown of England3, and the legate himself cursed those who curse her, blessed those who bless her, excommunicating her adversaries, and absolving those who submitted to her government. The lady [Matilda] departing from Winchester with her court went to Wilton, where Theobald (age 50), archbishop of Canterbury, came to pay his respects. Here such crowds of people flocked to nieet her, that the gates of the town hardly allowed their entrance. After celebrating there the feast of Easter, she came in the Rogation days [4th May] to Reading, where she was received with honours; the chief inen and the people pouring in from all quarters to tender their allegiance. While there, she sounded one of the leaders, Robert D'Oyley, respecting the surrender of Oxford castle, and upon his consenting to it, she proceeded there and received the fealty and homage of the whole city and the country round. Continuing her progress, she was received at the monastery of St. Albans, with processions, and honours, and rejoicings. Many of the citizens of London came to her there, and had various conferences with her touching the surrender of the city.

Note 1. See before, under the year 1126, p. 241.

Note 3. "The royal crown, which she had always ardently desired," says the author of "Gesta Stephani," p. 381. The bishop-legate, Henry de Blois, caused her to be proclaimed queen in the market place of Winchester; but it does not appear that Matilda was ever crowned.

11 May 1141. A violent thunder-storm. About this time a terrible occurrence took place in the diocese of Worcester, which we think is worthy relating. On Wednesday before the octave of our Lord's Ascension [11th May], about the ninth hour of the day, at a village called Walesburn, distant one mile from Hampton, the country seat of the bishop of Worcester1, there arose a violent whirlwind, accompanied by a frightful darkness reaching from earth to heaven, which striking the house of a priest named Leofrid levelled it to the ground and shattered it to pieces, with all the out-buildings; it also tore off the roof of the church, and carried it across the river Avon. Nearly fifty houses of the villagers were thrown down and ruined in the same way. Hailstones also fell as large as a pigeon's egg, which striking a woman caused her death. At this spectacle all present were filled with terror and dismay.

Note 1. Hampton-Lucy, near Stratford-upon-Avon.

1141. Matilda goes to London. The empress, as we have already said, having treated with the Londoners, lost no time in entering the city with a great attendance of bishops and nobles: and being received at Westminster with a magnificent procession, took up her abode there for some days to set in order the affairs of the kingdom. Her first care was to take measures for the good of God's holy church, according to the advice of good men. She therefore gave the bishopric of London to a monk of Reading, a vene rable man, Robert by name [who accepted it], in the presence and by the command of his reverend abbot, Edward. God's business being thus done, the queen of England interceded with the lady [Matilda] for her lord the king, who was a captive in close custody and fetters. She was also entreated on his behalf by the highest and greatest nobles of England, who offered to deliver to her any number of hostages, with castles and large sums of money if the king were set free, and his liberty, though not his kingdom, was restored to him; promising to persuade him to abdicate the crown, and thenceforth devote himself to the service of God only, as a monk or pilgrim; but she would not listen to them. The bishop of Winchester (age 43), too, petitioned her that the earldom which belonged to his brother, should be given to his nephew, the king's son, but the lady [Matilda] refused also to listen to him. The citizens also prayed her that they might be permitted to live under the laws of king Edward, which were excellent, instead of under those of her father, king Henry, which were grievous. But, refusing to accept good advice, she very harshly rejected their petition, and in consequence there was a great tumult in the city; and a conspiracy being formed against her, the citizens, who had received her with honour, now attempted to seize her person with indignity. Being, however, forewarned by some of them, she fled shamefully with her retinue, leaving all her own and their apparel behind.1

Note 1. "See "Gesta Stephani," pp. 383–385, Antiq. Lib.

The bishop of Winchester, who was also legate of the holy Roman church, perceiving this, turned his mind to his brother's liberation, and to accomplish it, gained over the good-will and influence of the Londoners to his purpose. Meanwhile, the fugitive lady reached Gloucester, by way of Oxford, where, having consulted with Milo, the ex-constable, she immediately returned with him to Oxford, intending to tarry there while she re-assembled her scattered troops. And as she had chiefly used the counsel, and been supported by the assistance of Milo, insomuch that up to that time she had neither received provisions for a single day, nor had her table served, except by his munificence and forethought, as we have heard from Milo's own mouth1, she conferred upon him while she was there the earldom of Hereford, to bind him more closely to her service, and as a distinguished reward for it.

Note 1. It appears from this and other incidental notices, that the monk of Worcester, to whom we are indebted for the continuation of the Chronicle of Florence, was not only cotemporary with the events be describes, but had access to persons of rank who took a leading part in them.

01 Aug 1141. The siege and "rout" of Winchester. Her forces having increased in power and numbers, on the approach of the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula [1st August], she went to Winchester, unknown to her brother, the earl of Bristol, but finding the place already indisposed towards her, she took up her quarters in the castle. Astonished at her unexpected arrival, and exceedingly disturbed in consequence, Henry, bishop of that city, left it by another gate, and withdrew himself then and for ever from her presence. They being now at variance, this wealthy city, so glorious for ages, and whose fame was renowned through all lands, was suddenly placed in a state of siege, kinsfolk engaging in mutual hostilities, and the inhabitants and their goods being destroyed by common and mercenary soldiers, who, breathing fury, spread themselves through it for this purpose. Nor did this alone suffice to satisfy the bishop's wrath, for goaded by rage, and to strike terror and dismay into the hearts of the people, he determined to set fire to the city and burn it to the ground; and this he did. Thus on the second of the month of August, having. fired the city, he reduced to ashes the monastery of nuns with its buildings, more than forty churches, with the largest and best part of the place, and, lastly, the monastery of monks devoted to God and St. Grimbald, with its buildings.

1141. There was in this church of St. Grimbald a great and holy cross, made long since by order of king Canute, and by him exquisitely enriched with gold and silver, jewels and precious stones. Wonderful to relate, this cross, on the approach of the flames, as if conscious of the impending danger, began to sweat and grow black before the eyes of the monks who were present, yea, it waxed as black as the incendiaries themselves; and the very instant it caught fire, three awful claps of loud thunder sounded as it were from heaven. The city being thus burnt within and beleagured by the enemy without, the bishop is reported to have said to the earl of Northampton, "Behold, lord earl, you have my command, let it be your business to raze it to the ground;" words which disclose the inmost feelings of the speaker's heart. Seven weeks having been spent in the siege, the bishop, weary at last of its long duration, on the eve of the day preceding the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th September], ordered to be proclaimed throughout the city, and the gates to be peace thrown open.

1141. The empress had already mounted her horse, accompanied and guided by her brother, Reginald; leaving more than two hundred cavalry under the command of the earl of Bristol [Gloucester], as a rear-guard, when the bishop suddenly ordered his troops to fly to arms, and making a desperate attack on the enemy, take as many prisoners as they could. Many were thus captured, and very many scattered and slain, among whom was a knight named William de Curcell, with six troopers; and he was buried at St. Grimbald's. The lady [Matilda], learning this, was in great terror and dismay, and reached the castle of Luggershall, for which she was making, sad and sorrowful; but she found it no safe resting-place for fear of the bishop. In consequence, by the advice of her friends, she once more mounted her horse, male fashion, and was conducted to Devizes; but apprehending that she should not be safe from her pursuers even there, she was placed, already nearly half-dead, upon a hearse, and being bound with cords like a corpse, and borne upon horses, was carried, ignominiously enough, to the city of Gloucester.1

Note 1. A very circumstantial account of the siege of Winchester, and the "rout" of Matilda's forces is given in the "Gesta Stephani," pp. 386-390. Our author bere adds some curious details connected with her escape, which we may conclude, from his position, he derived from local information.

1141. Meanwhile, her brother, Robert (age 42), the earl of Bristol [Gloucester], having left Winchester by another road, was hard pressed by those who went in pursuit, and being captured at Stolbridge by the Flemings, under earl Warrene, and brought to the queen, who was residing there, was by her command given in custody to William d' Ypres, and confined at Rochester. Milo, earl of Hereford, being hemmed in by the enemy, threw off his armour and all his accoutrements, and, glad to escape with his life, fled in disgrace, reaching Gloucester, weary, alone, and half naked. John, also, their abettor, was pursued by the bishop's soldiers to the monastery of Wherwell, where he had taken refuge; and being unable to drive him out, they set fire to the church of St. Cross, on the very day of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th September], burnt it to the ground, with the nuns' houses and effects, and carried off, without scruple, their vestments, books, and ornaments, after much horrible effusion of human blood before the holy altar; but yet they could neither take nor drive out John before mentioned. Elfrida, the wife of Edgar, the glorious king of England, [during his reign]1 erected this monastery in honour of St. Cross, being struck with remorse for the murder of her step-son.

Note 1. The words between the brackets convey a gross anachronism. King Edgar died in 975, and St. Edward, who succeeded him, was murdered in 978. A note in the margin of one of the MSS. states the fact that "Aelfdryth" erected the monastery of St. Cross with the motive here stated, but omits the words in the text, which assigns a date to the foundation incompatible with the facts.

1141. After these events, bishop Henry's wrath being somewhat appeased, while his covetousness knew no bounds, at the suggestion of the prior of the new minster which had been just burnt down, he recovered from the ashes of the cross five hundred pounds of silver, thirty marks of gold, and three crowns, with as many steps of the purest Arabian gold studded all round with precious stones of most exquisite and admirable workmanship, and laid them up in his own treasury.

1141. Stephen exchanged for the Earl of Gloucester. Meanwhile, the king and the earl were kept in custody, but the queen employing herself actively on the king's behalf, and the countess using great exertions for the earl, after many messengers and confidential friends had passed to and fro between them, the following terms were the result of the deliberations on both sides; namely, that the king being restored to his royal dignity, and the earl being invested with the dominion of the whole of England under him, both should become just administrators and restorers of the peace in the government and country, as they had hitherto been the authors and promoters of all its dissensions and disturbances. But the earl refusing to carry this into effect, without the consent of the empress, his sister, repudiated all that had been concerted in the affair, and utterly rejected all terms of peace and alliance with the king. Whence it came to pass that they parted without any pacification, and during the whole of the ensuing year, in all parts of the kingdom and country, pillage of the poor, slaughter of men, and violation of churches ... cruelly ...1

Note 1. The old printed text ends here abruptly. In one of the MSS. the interval between the year 1141, where the first Continuation of Florence's Chronicle terminates, and the year 1152, where the second Continuation begins, is supplied by a transcript from Henry Huntingdon's history of that period, for which see pp. 273—291, Antiq. Lib. THE END OF THE FIRST CONTINUATION OF FLORENCE OF WORCESTER.