The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Part 11: A.D. 1070 - 1088
A.D. 1070. This year Landfranc, who was Abbot of Caen, came to England; and after a few days he became Archbishop of Canterbury.
He was invested on the fourth before the calends of September
in his own see by eight bishops, his suffragans. The others, who were not there, by messengers and by letter declared why they
could not be there. The same year Thomas, who was chosen Bishop of York, came to Canterbury, to be invested there after the
ancient custom. But when Landfranc craved confirmation of his obedience with an oath, he refused; and said, that he ought not
to do it. Whereupon Archbishop Landfranc was wroth, and bade
the bishops, who were come thither by Archbishop Landfranc's command to do the service, and all the monks to unrobe themselves. And
they by his order so did. Thomas, therefore, for the time, departed without consecration. Soon after this, it happened that
the Archbishop Landfranc went to Rome, and Thomas with him. When they came thither, and had spoken about other things concerning
which they wished to speak, then began Thomas his speech: how
he came to Canterbury, and how the archbishop required obedience
of him with an oath; but he declined it. Then began the Archbishop Landfranc to show with clear distinction, that what he craved
he craved by right; and with strong arguments he confirmed the same before the Pope Alexander, and before all the council that was
collected there; and so they went home. After this came Thomas to Canterbury; and all that the archbishop required of him he
humbly fulfilled, and afterwards received consecration. This year Earl Waltheof agreed with the king; but in the Lent of the
same year the king ordered all the monasteries in England to be plundered. In the same year came King Sweyne from Denmark into
the Humber; and the landsmen came to meet him, and made a treaty with him; thinking that he would overrun the land. Then came
into Ely Christien, the Danish bishop, and Earl Osbern, and the Danish domestics with them; and the English people from all the
fen-lands came to them; supposing that they should win all that land. Then the monks of Peterborough heard say, that their own
men would plunder the minster; namely Hereward and his gang: because they understood that the king had given the abbacy to
a French abbot, whose name was Thorold; -- that he was a very stern man, and was then come into Stamford with all his Frenchmen.
Now there was a churchwarden, whose name was Yware; who took away
by night all that he could, testaments, mass-hackles, cantel-copes, and reefs, and such other small things, whatsoever he could; and
went early, before day, to the Abbot Thorold; telling him that
he sought his protection, and informing him how the outlaws were coming to Peterborough, and that he did all by advice of the
monks. Early in the morning came all the outlaws with many ships, resolving to enter the minster; but the monks withstood,
so that they could not come in. Then they laid on fire, and burned all the houses of the monks, and all the town except one
house. Then came they in through fire at the Bull-hithe gate; where the monks met them, and besought peace of them. But they
regarded nothing. They went into the minster, climbed up to the holy rood, took away the diadem from our Lord's head, all of pure
gold, and seized the bracket that was underneath his feet, which was all of red gold. They climbed up to the steeple, brought
down the table that was hid there, which was all of gold and silver, seized two golden shrines, and nine of silver, and took
away fifteen large crucifixes, of gold and of silver; in short, they seized there so much gold and silver, and so many treasures,
in money, in raiment, and in books, as no man could tell another; and said, that they did it from their attachment to the
minster. Afterwards they went to their ships, proceeded to Ely, and deposited there all the treasure. The Danes, believing that they
should overcome the Frenchmen, drove out all the monks; leaving there only one, whose name was Leofwine Lang, who lay sick in
the infirmary. Then came Abbot Thorold and eight times twenty Frenchmen with him, all full-armed. When he came thither, he
found all within and without consumed by fire, except the church alone; but the outlaws were all with the fleet, knowing that he
would come thither. This was done on the fourth day before the nones of June. The two kings, William and Sweyne, were now
reconciled; and the Danes went out of Ely with all the aforesaid treasure, and carried it away with them. But when they came into
the middle of the sea, there came a violent storm, and dispersed all the ships wherein the treasures were. Some went to Norway,
some to Ireland, some to Denmark. All that reached the latter, consisted of the table, and some shrines, and some crucifixes,
and many of the other treasures; which they brought to a king's town, called ---, and deposited it all there in the church.
Afterwards through their own carelessness, and through their drunkenness, in one night the church and all that was therein
was consumed by fire. Thus was the minster of Peterborough burned and plundered. Almighty God have mercy on it through his great
goodness. Thus came the Abbot Thorold to Peterborough; and the monks too returned, and performed the service of Christ in the
church, which had before stood a full week without any kind of rite. When Bishop Aylric heard it, he excommunicated all the
men who that evil deed had done. There was a great famine this year: and in the summer came the fleet in the north from the Humber
into the Thames, and lay there two nights, and made afterwards for Denmark. Earl Baldwin also died, and his son Arnulf
succeeded to the earldom. Earl William, in conjunction with the king of the Franks, was to be his guardian; but Earl Robert came
and slew his kinsman Arnulf and the earl, put the king to flight, and slew many thousands of his men.
A.D. 1071. This year Earl Edwin and Earl Morkar fled out, (93) and roamed at random in woods and in fields. Then went Earl
Morkar to Ely by ship; but Earl Edwin was treacherously slain
by his own men. Then came Bishop Aylwine, and Siward Barn, and many hundred men with them, into Ely. When King William heard that,
then ordered he out a naval force and land force, and beset the land all about, and wrought a bridge, and went in; and the naval
force at the same time on the sea-side. And the outlaws then
all surrendered; that was, Bishop Aylwine, and Earl Morkar, and all that were with them; except Hereward (94) alone, and all those
that would join him, whom he led out triumphantly. And the king took their ships, and weapons, and many treasures; (95) and all
the men he disposed of as he thought proper. Bishop Aylwine he sent to Abingdon, where he died in the beginning of the winter.
A.D. 1072. This year King William led a naval force and a land force to Scotland, and beset that land on the sea-side with
ships, whilst he led his land-force in at the Tweed; (96) but
he found nothing there of any value. King Malcolm, however, came, and made peace with King William, and gave hostages, and became
his man; whereupon the king returned home with all his force. This year died Bishop Aylric. He had been invested Bishop of
York; but that see was unjustly taken from him, and he then had the bishopric of Durham given him; which he held as long as he
chose, but resigned it afterwards, and retired to Peterborough minster; where he abode twelve years. After that King William
won England, then took he him from Peterborough, and sent him
to Westminster; where he died on the ides of October, and he is there buried, within the minster, in the porch of St. Nicholas.
A.D. 1073. This year led King William an army, English and French, over sea, and won the district of Maine; which the
English very much injured by destroying the vineyards, burning the towns, and spoiling the land. But they subdued it all into
the hand of King William, and afterwards returned home to England.
A.D. 1074. This year King William went over sea to Normandy;
and child Edgar came from Flanders into Scotland on St. Grimbald's mass-day; where King Malcolm and his sister Margaret received
him with much pomp. At the same time sent Philip, the King of France, a letter to him, bidding him to come to him, and he would
give him the castle of Montreuil; that he might afterwards daily annoy his enemies. What then? King Malcolm and his sister
Margaret gave him and his men great presents, and many treasures; in skins ornamented with purple, in pelisses made of martin-skins, of grey-skins, and of ermine-skins, in palls, and in
vessels of gold and silver; and conducted him and his crew with great pomp from his territory. But in their voyage evil befel
them; for when they were out at sea, there came upon them such rough weather, and the stormy sea and the strong wind drove them
so violently on the shore, that all their ships burst, and they also themselves came with difficulty to the land. Their treasure
was nearly all lost, and some of his men also were taken by the French; but he himself and his best men returned again to
Scotland, some roughly travelling on foot, and some miserably mounted. Then King Malcolm advised him to send to King William
over sea, to request his friendship, which he did; and the king gave it him, and sent after him. Again, therefore, King Malcolm
and his sister gave him and all his men numberless treasures,
and again conducted him very magnificently from their territory.
The sheriff of York came to meet him at Durham, and went all the way with him; ordering meat and fodder to be found for him at every
castle to which they came, until they came over sea to the king. Then King William received him with much pomp; and he was there
afterwards in his court, enjoying such rights as he confirmed
to him by law.
A.D. 1075. This year King William gave Earl Ralph the daughter of William Fitz-Osborne to wife. This same Ralph was British
on his mother's side; but his father, whose name was also Ralph,
was English; and born in Norfolk. The king therefore gave his son the earldom of Norfolk and Suffolk; and he then led the bride
There was that bride-ale
The source of man's bale.
There was Earl Roger, and Earl Waltheof, and bishops, and abbots; who there resolved, that they would drive the king out of the
realm of England. But it was soon told the king in Normandy how
it was determined. It was Earl Roger and Earl Ralph who were
the authors of that plot; and who enticed the Britons to them, and sent eastward to Denmark after a fleet to assist them. Roger
went westward to his earldom, and collected his people there,
to the king's annoyance, as he thought; but it was to the great disadvantage of himself. He was however prevented. Ralph also
in his earldom would go forth with his people; but the castlemen that were in England and also the people of the land, came
against him, and prevented him from doing anything. He escaped however to the ships at Norwich. (97) And his wife was in the
castle; which she held until peace was made with her; when she went out of England, with all her men who wished to join her.
The king afterwards came to England, and seized Earl Roger, his relative, and put him in prison. And Earl Waltheof went over
sea, and bewrayed himself; but he asked forgiveness, and proffered gifts of ransom. The king, however, let him off
lightly, until he (98) came to England; when he had him seized. Soon after that came east from Denmark two hundred ships; wherein
were two captains, Cnute Swainson, and Earl Hacco; but they durst not maintain a fight with King William. They went rather to
York, and broke into St. Peter's minster, and took therein much treasure, and so went away. They made for Flanders over sea;
but they all perished who were privy to that design; that was, the son of Earl Hacco, and many others with him. This year died the
Lady Edgitha, who was the relict of King Edward, seven nights before Christmas, at Winchester; and the king caused her to be
brought to Westminster with great pomp; and he laid her with King Edward, her lord. And the king was then at Westminster, at
midwinter; where all the Britons were condemned who were at the bride-ale at Norwich. Some were punished with blindness; some
were driven from the land; and some were towed to Scandinavia. So were the traitors of King William subdued.
A.D. 1076. This year died Sweyne, King of Denmark; and Harold his son took to the kingdom. And the king gave the abbacy of
Westminster to Abbot Vitalis, who had been Abbot of Bernay. This year also was Earl Waltheof beheaded at Winchester, on the mass-day of St. Petronilla; (99) and his body was carried to
Croyland, where he lies buried. King William now went over sea, and led his army to Brittany, and beset the castle of Dol; but the
Bretons defended it, until the king came from France; whereupon William departed thence, having lost there both men and horses,
and many of his treasures.
A.D. 1077. This year were reconciled the king of the Franks and William, King of England. But it continued only a little while.
This year was London burned, one night before the Assumption of St. Mary, so terribly as it never was before, since it was built.
This year the moon was eclipsed three nights before Candlemas; and in the same year died Aylwy, the prudent Abbot of Evesham,
on the fourteenth day before the calends of March, on the mass-day of St. Juliana; and Walter was appointed abbot in his stead; and
Bishop Herman also died, on the tenth day before the calends of March, who was Bishop in Berkshire, and in Wiltshire, and in
Dorsetshire. This year also King Malcolm won the mother of Malslaythe.... and all his best men, and all his treasures, and
his cattle; and he himself not easily escaped.... This year also was the dry summer; and wild fire came upon many shires, and
burned many towns; and also many cities were ruined thereby.
A.D. 1079. This year Robert, the son of King William, deserted from his father to his uncle Robert in Flanders; because his
father would not let him govern his earldom in Normandy; which
he himself, and also King Philip with his permission, had given him. The best men that were in the land also had sworn oaths of
allegiance to him, and taken him for their lord. This year, therefore, Robert fought with his father, without Normandy, by
a castle called Gerberoy; and wounded him in the hand; and his horse, that he sat upon, was killed under him; and he that
brought him another was killed there right with a dart. That
was Tookie Wiggodson. Many were there slain, and also taken. His son William too was there wounded; but Robert returned to
Flanders. We will not here, however, record any more injury that he did his father. This year came King Malcolm from Scotland
into England, betwixt the two festivals of St. Mary, with a large army, which plundered Northumberland till it came to the Tine,
and slew many hundreds of men, and carried home much coin, and treasure, and men in captivity.
A.D. 1080. This year was Bishop Walker slain in Durham, at a council; and an hundred men with him, French and Flemish. He
himself was born in Lorrain. This did the Northumbrians in the month of May. (100)
A.D. 1081. This year the king led an army into Wales, and there freed many hundreds of men.
A.D. 1082. This year the king seized Bishop Odo; and this year also was a great famine.
A.D. 1083. This year arose the tumult at Glastonbury betwixt
the Abbot Thurstan and his monks. It proceeded first from the abbot's want of wisdom, that he misgoverned his monks in many
things. But the monks meant well to him; and told him that he should govern them rightly, and love them, and they would be
faithful and obedient to him. The abbot, however, would hear nothing of this; but evil entreated them, and threatened them
worse. One day the abbot went into the chapter-house, and spoke against the monks, and attempted to mislead them; (101) and sent
after some laymen, and they came full-armed into the chapter-house upon the monks. Then were the monks very much afraid (102)
of them, and wist not what they were to do, but they shot forward, and some ran into the church, and locked the doors after
them. But they followed them into the minster, and resolved to drag them out, so that they durst not go out. A rueful thing
happened on that day. The Frenchmen broke into the choir, and hurled their weapons toward the altar, where the monks were; and
some of the knights went upon the upper floor, (103) and shot their arrows downward incessantly toward the sanctuary; so that
on the crucifix that stood above the altar they stuck many arrows. And the wretched monks lay about the altar, and some
crept under, and earnestly called upon God, imploring his mercy, since they could not obtain any at the hands of men. What can
we say, but that they continued to shoot their arrows; whilst the others broke down the doors, and came in, and slew (104) some
of the monks to death, and wounded many therein; so that the blood came from the altar upon the steps, and from the steps on the
floor. Three there were slain to death, and eighteen wounded. And in this same year departed Matilda, queen of King William,
on the day after All-Hallow-mass. And in the same year also, after mid-winter, the king ordained a large and heavy contribution
(105) over all England; that was, upon each hide of land, two
and seventy pence.
A.D. 1084. In this year died Wulfwold, Abbot of Chertsey, on
the thirteenth day before the calends of May.
A.D. 1085. In this year men reported, and of a truth asserted, that Cnute, King of Denmark, son of King Sweyne, was coming
hitherward, and was resolved to win this land, with the assistance of Robert, Earl of Flanders; (106) for Cnute had
Robert's daughter. When William, King of England, who was then resident in Normandy (for he had both England and Normandy),
understood this, he went into England with so large an army of horse and foot, from France and Brittany, as never before sought
this land; so that men wondered how this land could feed all that force. But the king left the army to shift for themselves
through all this land amongst his subjects, who fed them, each according to his quota of land. Men suffered much distress this
year; and the king caused the land to be laid waste about the
sea coast; that, if his foes came up, they might not have anything
on which they could very readily seize. But when the king understood of a truth that his foes were impeded, and could not
further their expedition, (107) then let he some of the army go to their own land; but some he held in this land over the winter.
Then, at the midwinter, was the king in Glocester with his council, and held there his court five days. And afterwards the
archbishop and clergy had a synod three days. There was Mauritius chosen Bishop of London, William of Norfolk, and Robert
of Cheshire. These were all the king's clerks. After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his
council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire;
commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides
were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the
shire." Also he commissioned them to record in writing,
"How much land his archbishops had, and his diocesan bishops, and his abbots, and his earls;" and though I may be prolix and tedious,
"What, or how much, each man had, who was an occupier of
land in England, either in land or in stock, and how much money it were worth." So very narrowly, indeed, did he commission them
to trace it out, that there was not one single hide, nor a yard (108) of land, nay, moreover (it is shameful to tell, though he
thought it no shame to do it), not even an ox, nor a cow, nor
a swine was there left, that was not set down in his writ. And
all the recorded particulars were afterwards brought to him. (109)
A.D. 1086. This year the king bare his crown, and held his court, in Winchester at Easter; and he so arranged, that he was
by the Pentecost at Westminster, and dubbed his son Henry a knight there. Afterwards he moved about so that he came by
Lammas to Sarum; where he was met by his councillors; and all
the landsmen that were of any account over all England became this man's vassals as they were; and they all bowed themselves before
him, and became his men, and swore him oaths of allegiance that they would against all other men be faithful to him. Thence he
proceeded into the Isle of Wight; because he wished to go into Normandy, and so he afterwards did; though he first did according
to his custom; he collected a very large sum from his people, wherever he could make any demand, whether with justice or
otherwise. Then he went into Normandy; and Edgar Etheling, the relation of King Edward, revolted from him, for he received not
much honour from him; but may the Almighty God give him honour hereafter. And Christina, the sister of the etheling, went into
the monastery of Rumsey, and received the holy veil. And the same year there was a very heavy season, and a swinkful and
sorrowful year in England, in murrain of cattle, and corn and fruits were at a stand, and so much untowardness in the weather,
as a man may not easily think; so tremendous was the thunder and lightning, that it killed many men; and it continually grew worse
and worse with men. May God Almighty better it whenever it be his will.
A.D. 1087. After the birth of our Lord and Saviour Christ, one thousand and eighty-seven winters; in the one and twentieth year
after William began to govern and direct England, as God granted him, was a very heavy and pestilent season in this land. Such
a sickness came on men, that full nigh every other man was in the worst disorder, that is, in the diarrhoea; and that so
dreadfully, that many men died in the disorder. Afterwards came, through the badness of the weather as we before mentioned, so
great a famine over all England, that many hundreds of men died
a miserable death through hunger. Alas! how wretched and how rueful a time was there! When the poor wretches lay full nigh
driven to death prematurely, and afterwards came sharp hunger, and dispatched them withall! Who will not be penetrated with
grief at such a season? or who is so hardhearted as not to weep at such misfortune? Yet such things happen for folks' sins, that
they will not love God and righteousness. So it was in those days, that little righteousness was in this land with any men
but with the monks alone, wherever they fared well. The king and
the head men loved much, and overmuch, covetousness in gold and in silver; and recked not how sinfully it was got, provided it came
to them. The king let his land at as high a rate as he possibly could; then came some other person, and bade more than the former
one gave, and the king let it to the men that bade him more. Then came the third, and bade yet more; and the king let it to
hand to the men that bade him most of all: and he recked not how very sinfully the stewards got it of wretched men, nor how many
unlawful deeds they did; but the more men spake about right law, the more unlawfully they acted. They erected unjust tolls, and
many other unjust things they did, that are difficult to reckon. Also in the same year, before harvest, the holy minster of St.
Paul, the episcopal see in London, was completely burned, with many other minsters, and the greatest part, and the richest of
the whole city. So also, about the same time, full nigh each head-port in all England was entirely burned. Alas! rueful and
woeful was the fate of the year that brought forth so many misfortunes. In the same year also, before the Assumption of
St. Mary, King William went from Normandy into France with an army, and made war upon his own lord Philip, the king, and slew many
of his men, and burned the town of Mante, and all the holy minsters that were in the town; and two holy men that served God, leading
the life of anachorets, were burned therein. This being thus done, King William returned to Normandy. Rueful was the thing
he did; but a more rueful him befel. How more rueful? He fell sick, and it dreadfully ailed him. What shall I say? Sharp
death, that passes by neither rich men nor poor, seized him also. He died in Normandy, on the next day after the Nativity of St.
Mary, and he was buried at Caen in St. Stephen's minster, which he had formerly reared, and afterwards endowed with manifold
gifts. Alas! how false and how uncertain is this world's weal! He that was before a rich king, and lord of many lands, had not
then of all his land more than a space of seven feet! and he that was whilom enshrouded in gold and gems, lay there covered
with mould! He left behind him three sons; the eldest, called Robert, who was earl in Normandy after him; the second, called
William, who wore the crown after him in England; and the third, called Henry, to whom his father bequeathed immense treasure.
If any person wishes to know what kind of man he was, or what honour he had, or of how many lands he was lord, then will we write
about him as well as we understand him: we who often looked upon him, and lived sometime in his court. This King William then
that we speak about was a very wise man, and very rich; more splendid and powerful than any of his predecessors were. He was
mild to the good men that loved God, and beyond all measure severe to the men that gainsayed his will. On that same spot
where God granted him that he should gain England, he reared a mighty minster, and set monks therein, and well endowed it. In
his days was the great monastery in Canterbury built, and also very many others over all England. This land was moreover well
filled with monks, who modelled their lives after the rule of
St. Benedict. But such was the state of Christianity in his time, that each man followed what belonged to his profession -- he that
would. He was also very dignified. Thrice he bare his crown each year, as oft as he was in England. At Easter he bare it
in Winchester, at Pentecost in Westminster, at midwinter in Glocester. And then were with him all the rich men over all
England; archbishops and diocesan bishops, abbots and earls, thanes and knights. So very stern was he also and hot, that no
man durst do anything against his will. He had earls in his custody, who acted against his will. Bishops he hurled from
their bishoprics, and abbots from their abbacies, and thanes into prison. At length he spared not his own brother Odo, who was
a very rich bishop in Normandy. At Baieux was his episcopal stall; and he was the foremost man of all to aggrandise the king. He
had an earldom in England; and when the king was in Normandy, then was he the mightiest man in this land. Him he confined in
prison. But amongst other things is not to be forgotten that good peace that he made in this land; so that a man of any
account might go over his kingdom unhurt with his bosom full of gold. No man durst slay another, had he never so much evil done
to the other; and if any churl lay with a woman against her will, he soon lost the limb that he played with. He truly reigned over
England; and by his capacity so thoroughly surveyed it, that there was not a hide of land in England that he wist not who had
it, or what it was worth, and afterwards set it down in his book. (110) The land of the Britons was in his power; and he wrought
castles therein; and ruled Anglesey withal. So also he subdued Scotland by his great strength. As to Normandy, that was his
native land; but he reigned also over the earldom called Maine; and if he might have yet lived two years more, he would have won
Ireland by his valour, and without any weapons. Assuredly in
his time had men much distress, and very many sorrows. Castles he let men build, and miserably swink the poor. The king himself
was so very rigid; and extorted from his subjects many marks of gold, and many hundred pounds of silver; which he took of his
people, for little need, by right and by unright. He was fallen into covetousness, and greediness he loved withal. He made many
deer-parks; and he established laws therewith; so that whosoever slew a hart, or a hind, should be deprived of his eyesight. As
he forbade men to kill the harts, so also the boars; and he loved the tall deer as if he were their father. Likewise he decreed
the hares, that they should go free. His rich men bemoaned it, and the poor men shuddered at it. But he was so stern, that he
recked not the hatred of them all; for they must follow withal the king's will, if they would live, or have land, or
possessions, or even his peace. Alas! that any man should presume so to puff himself up, and boast o'er all men. May the
Almighty God show mercy to his soul, and grant him forgiveness
of his sins! These things have we written concerning him, both good and evil; that men may choose the good after their goodness, and
flee from the evil withal, and go in the way that leadeth us to the kingdom of heaven. Many things may we write that were done
in this same year. So it was in Denmark, that the Danes, a nation that was formerly accounted the truest of all, were turned
aside to the greatest untruth, and to the greatest treachery that ever could be. They chose and bowed to King Cnute, and swore
him oaths, and afterwards dastardly slew him in a church. It happened also in Spain, that the heathens went and made inroads
upon the Christians, and reduced much of the country to their dominion. But the king of the Christians, Alphonzo by name, sent
everywhere into each land, and desired assistance. And they came to his support from every land that was Christian; and they went
and slew or drove away all the heathen folk, and won their land again, through God's assistance. In this land also, in the same
year, died many rich men; Stigand, Bishop of Chichester, and the Abbot of St. Augustine, and the Abbot of Bath, and the Abbot of
Pershore, and the lord of them all, William, King of England, that we spoke of before. After his death his son, called William
also as the father, took to the kingdom, and was blessed to king by Archbishop Landfranc at Westminster three days ere Michaelmas
day. And all the men in England submitted to him, and swore oaths to him. This being thus done, the king went to Winchester,
and opened the treasure house, and the treasures that his father had gathered, in gold, and in silver, and in vases, and in palls,
and in gems, and in many other valuable things that are difficult to enumerate. Then the king did as his father bade him ere he
was dead; he there distributed treasures for his father's soul
to each monastery that was in England; to some ten marks of gold,
to some six, to each upland (111) church sixty pence. And into each shire were sent a hundred pounds of money to distribute amongst
poor men for his soul. And ere he departed, he bade that they should release all the men that were in prison under his power.
And the king was on the midwinter in London.
A.D. 1088. In this year was this land much stirred, and filled with great treachery; so that the richest Frenchmen that were
in this land would betray their lord the king, and would have his brother Robert king, who was earl in Normandy. In this design
was engaged first Bishop Odo, and Bishop Gosfrith, and William, Bishop of Durham. So well did the king by the bishop [Odo] that
all England fared according to his counsel, and as he would.
And the bishop thought to do by him as Judas Iscariot did by our Lord. And Earl Roger was also of this faction; and much people
was with him all Frenchmen. This conspiracy was formed in Lent. As soon as Easter came, then went they forth, and harrowed, and
burned, and wasted the king's farms; and they despoiled the lands of all the men that were in the king's service. And they each
of them went to his castle, and manned it, and provisioned it as well as they could. Bishop Gosfrith, and Robert the peace-breaker, went to Bristol, and plundered it, and brought the spoil
to the castle. Afterwards they went out of the castle, and plundered Bath, and all the land thereabout; and all the honor
(112) of Berkeley they laid waste. And the men that eldest were of Hereford, and all the shire forthwith, and the men of
Shropshire, with much people of Wales, came and plundered and burned in Worcestershire, until they came to the city itself,
which it was their design to set on fire, and then to rifle the minster, and win the king's castle to their hands. The worthy
Bishop Wulfstan, seeing these things, was much agitated in his mind, because to him was betaken the custody of the castle.
Nevertheless his hired men went out of the castle with few attendants, and, through God's mercy and the bishop's merits,
slew or took five hundred men, and put all the others to flight. The Bishop of Durham did all the harm that he could over all by
the north. Roger was the name of one of them; (113) who leaped into the castle at Norwich, and did yet the worst of all over
all that land. Hugh also was one, who did nothing better either in Leicestershire or in Northamptonshire. The Bishop Odo being one,
though of the same family from which the king himself was descended, went into Kent to his earldom, and greatly despoiled
it; and having laid waste the lands of the king and of the archbishop withal, he brought the booty into his castle at
Rochester. When the king understood all these things, and what treachery they were employing against him, then was he in his
mind much agitated. He then sent after Englishmen, described
to them his need, earnestly requested their support, and promised them the best laws that ever before were in this land; each
unright guild he forbade, and restored to the men their woods
and chaces. But it stood no while. The Englishmen however went to the assistance of the king their lord. They advanced toward
Rochester, with a view to get possession of the Bishop Odo; for they thought, if they had him who was at first the head of the
conspiracy, they might the better get possession of all the others. They came then to the castle at Tunbridge; and there
were in the castle the knights of Bishop Odo, and many others
who were resolved to hold it against the king. But the Englishmen advanced, and broke into the castle, and the men that were
therein agreed with the king. The king with his army went toward Rochester. And they supposed that the bishop was therein; but
it was made known to the king that the bishop was gone to the castle at Pevensea. And the king with his army went after, and beset
the castle about with a very large force full six weeks. During this time the Earl of Normandy, Robert, the king's brother,
gathered a very considerable force, and thought to win England with the support of those men that were in this land against the
king. And he sent some of his men to this land, intending to come himself after. But the Englishmen that guarded the sea
lighted upon some of the men, and slew them, and drowned more than any man could tell. When provisions afterwards failed those
within the castle, they earnestly besought peace, and gave themselves up to the king; and the bishop swore that he would
depart out of England, and no more come on this land, unless the king sent after him, and that he would give up the castle at
Rochester. Just as the bishop was going with an intention to give up the castle, and the king had sent his men with him, then
arose the men that were in the castle, and took the bishop and the king's men, and put them into prison. In the castle were
some very good knights; Eustace the Young, and the three sons
of Earl Roger, and all the best born men that were in this land or in Normandy. When the king understood this thing, then went he
after with the army that he had there, and sent over all England. and bade that each man that was faithful should come to him,
French and English, from sea-port and from upland. Then came
to him much people; and he went to Rochester, and beset the castle, until they that were therein agreed, and gave up the castle.
The Bishop Odo with the men that were in the castle went over sea, and the bishop thus abandoned the dignity that he had in this
land. The king afterwards sent an army to Durham, and allowed
it to beset the castle, and the bishop agreed, and gave up the castle, and relinquished his bishopric, and went to Normandy.
Many Frenchmen also abandoned their lands, and went over sea;
and the king gave their lands to the men that were faithful to him.
(93) i.e. -- threw off their allegiance to the Norman usurper, and
became voluntary outlaws. The habits of these outlaws, or, at least, of their imitators and
descendants in the next century, are well described in the romance of "Ivanhoe".
(94) The author of the Gallo-Norman poem printed by Sparke elevates his diction to a higher tone,
when describing the feasts of this same Hereward, whom he calls "le uthlage hardi."
(95) Or much "coin"; many "scaettae"; such being the denomination of the
silver money of the Saxons.
(96) Florence of Worcester and those who follow him say that William proceeded as far as
Abernethy; where Malcolm met him, and surrendered to him.
(97) Whence he sailed to Bretagne, according to Flor. S. Dunelm, etc.; but according to Henry
of Huntingdon he fled directly to Denmark, returning afterwards with Cnute and Hacco, who
invaded England With a fleet of 200 sail.
(98) i.e. Earl Waltheof.
(99) This notice of St. Petronilla, whose name and existence seem scarcely to have been known
to the Latin historians, we owe exclusively to the valuable MS. "Cotton Tiberius" B
lv. Yet if ever female saint deserved to be commemorated as a conspicuous example of early
piety and christian zeal, it must be Petronilla.
(100) The brevity of our Chronicle here, and in the two following years, in consequence of
the termination of "Cotton Tiberius" B iv., is remarkable. From the year 1083 it
assumes a character more decidedly Anglo-Norman.
(101) i.e. In the service; by teaching them a new-fangled chant, brought from Feschamp in
Normandy, instead of that to which they had been accustomed, and which is called the Gregorian
(102) Literally, "afeared of them" -- i.e. terrified by them.
(103) Probably along the open galleries in the upper story of the choir.
(104) "Slaegan", in its first sense, signifies "to strike violently";
whence the term "sledge-hammer". This consideration will remove the supposed
pleonasm in the Saxon phrase, which is here literally translated.
(105) "Gild," Sax.; which in this instance was a land-tax of one shilling to a
(106) -- and of Clave Kyrre, King of Norway. Vid. "Antiq. Celto-Scand".
(107) Because there was a mutiny in the Danish fleet; which was carried to such a height,
that the king, after his return to Denmark, was slain by his own subjects. Vid. "Antiq.
Celto-Scand", also our "Chronicle" A.D. 1087.
(108) i.e. a fourth part of an acre.
(109) At Winchester; where the king held his court at Easter in the following year; and the
survey was accordingly deposited there; whence it was called "Rotulus Wintoniae",
and "Liber Wintoniae".
(110) An evident allusion to the compilation of Doomsday book, already described in A.D. 1085.
(111) Uppe-land, Sax. -- i.e. village-church.
(112) i.e. jurisdiction. We have adopted the modern title of the district; but the Saxon term
occurs in many of the ancient evidences of Berkeley Castle.
(113) i.e. of the conspirators.