Skip to main content

Full text of "The ecclesiastical history of England and Normandy"

See other formats




Eltgaitlly Printed, a,id bound in Cloth, at 3.. Gd. per 


HALL, 'ii!i Memoir by DR. GRKUOKY, and Ks-<ay by JOHN FOSTKH. J'orlrcit. 

lie l"<]|'vri.'lit Nntci, Documents, Sec. la -2 \ ols. Purlraitj. 

from the (ierM.;iM, "'-"""' !' " l< " ' 

EUROPE. Trans 





i njtein's C 
" \Vilhelni Tell."] 


with mi ". \ccoun 




i 27> 
', 28, 



18, & 22. COXE 

foundation of the 

19, It 23. LANZIS 

Orleans," ;.nd " H 

26, & 33. LAMA 

the French Uc\ ( 




32. & 36. RANK 
Vols. Partf 

30, c 34. COXE 
ii. Part nit 

( K fln li thnu 

pubtUbcd in the orij 

SHERIDAN'S DRAMA 1 10 wuuKb ANU Llrt. rorimu. 

GOETHE'S WORKS. Vol.1. [His Autobiography. 13 Books.] Portrait. 


39. 40, 81. It 86. MILTON S PROSE WORKS. I 5 Vols, with general Index 

41, St 45. MENZEL'S HISTORY OF GERMANY. Complete in 3 Vols. Portrait. 
GOETHE'S WORKS. V,,l. II. riU-niRiuder of hi* Autobiography, ;,nd Travels.] 
SCHILLERS WORKS Vol. IV. r, T1)e Pa , llllcn , ., .. Kie ^ .. .. ^ d 

^L^' Translated l,j HK.NKY U. HOH.N. 

its of 






-'.' * 48 & 50. JUNIUS'S LETTERS, with Notes, Additions, Essay, Index, &c. 2 Vols. 

; 4 49, 55, 60, 65, 71. VASARI'S LIVES OF THE MOST CELEBRATED PAINTERS, jfcwj/ 
Xff& SCULPTORS, AND ARCHITECTS. Translated by MBS. I'OSTKR, wan Notes, f 

V\.';'3 Complete in a Vols., with Index. 


* 52. GOETHE'S WORKS. Vol. III. ["Faust," " Ipliijrenw," "Torquato Tassn," e 
'{' '2 and " K'.'tnont."] Translated by Miss SWAKWICK. With " Goetz von Her- tfj<o~ 

lichingeu," translated by Sin WALTKII SCOTT. 

3 53, 56, 58, 61. 66, 67, 75, &. 82. NEANDER'S CHURCH HISTORY. Careful!;, 
; revised by the KKV. A. J. W. MOKEISOM. 8 Vols. With Index. 


i- ; -r;3 3 Vols. E>V(1 


3 62 & 63. JAMES' (G. P. R.) LOUIS XIV. Complete in 3 Vols. Portraits. 

' 68 &. 70. SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS' LITERARY WORKS, with Memoir, 2 Vols. Port. gp 


~1 72. BUTLER'S ANALOGY OF RELIGION, AND SERMONS, with Notes, &c. g&. 

>3 73. MISS BREMER'S WORKS. Translated by M.unr Ilowrrr. New Edition, revised. 
Vol. I. [" The Neighbours," and other Tales.] 1'ost 8vo. Portrait. 3j. GJ. 

MIDDLE AGES (including his "Linht in Dirk Vlaees"). 1'ost 8vo. 3*. 6V. ; 

"^ 76. MISS BREWERS WORKS, by MARY IIOWITT. Vol. II. "The President's * 

Daughters." Portrait. 


KYLAND. In 2 Volumes. Portrait. (C".j' : 


NEW ATALANTIS, AND HENRY VII., with Dissertation an 1 
: ' Portrait. 

from the I'rench by A. U. SCOBI.K. Witli Index. 

= 83. MISS BREMER'S WORKS, by MARY HOWITT. Vol. III. "The Home, i-.n-i c 
Strife ami Peace." 

!. DE LOLME ON THE CONSTITUTION Of ENGLAND, or. Account of the ||S> 
I) J'.imlish Gorernment ; edited, with Life and Notes, by Jons MACGBKQO&, M.I'. f 

i . 

', 85. HISTORY OF THE HOUSE OF AUSTRIA, from 1792 to the present time; in 
continuation of COXK. Portrait of the present Emptror. 

nj l/ie present E,npf, 
87 &. 88. FOSTER'S LECTURES, edited by J. E. RYLAMJ. 2 vols. 

89- MISS BREMER'S WORKS, by MARY IIOW1TT, V..1 IV. "A Diary: Tho 
II Kamily ; The Solitary; The Comforter; Axel and Anna ; and a Letter 

; ' ubiiu! Suppers. 


jj tht: First Formation of languages," with Memoir by I)i:i;\i.i) Sr>:u AKT. 

^ 91, 95, 96, 99, 102, 103. 105, & 106. COWPER'S COMPLETE WORKS, Edited 
by Suriiii.V; comprising Ins l'o,-:iis. Correspondence, and 'I'ranslations, with 

> Soiitbej 's Mi-mou'. H'itk ~M Eiii/rur'uigs oil Steel. Complete in n vols. 

. o // 



lion iu Bosnia, and The Slave Prorifl 


94. THE CARAFAS OF MADDALONI: >";ip!cs uudci- Spanish Dominion. 
vi.niKU 1>L lloCMOXT. Portrait i\l'3lasa.. 


- I. and II.- i'foulitpieee. 

98 & 104. LOCKE'S PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS, containing the ]:s,ay on ili 

Human Understanding, iiic Conduct of the DnilenUndioj;, Sec., with Notes Ijy 
J. A. M. Jon.v, l>ij. (jencral Index and a Portrait. In 2\uls. 

iruni new and authentic sources. 1'vrtruit of A' 

101. HISTORY OF RUSSIA to the present time, compiled from KA^.^.x^l^ T-ioicf 
: . hy W. K. KLLI.V. In 2 vols. Vol. I., Pariraii <>t Catherine the 

107 & 108. JAMES'S (G. P. R.\ LIFE OF RICHARD CCEUR DE LION, Kintr ol 
i .Ution, M-itli portraits of Jiifbard, and Philip Augustu-*. Complete 


i'7'orm iriM the STAX DARD LIBRARY, price 3t Gd. 


BOCCACCIO S DECAMERON, a .om,,lete translation, by W. K. KILL,, Esq. 

> -- 


GUARDIAN. AND FREEHOLDER. ln2Vols. &. 6U per Volume. 


BRITISH POETS, from MII.TON to KIUKK \Vimi:. Cabinet Edition, comprising in n 

very small 1m; ivmarkaMy clear type, as much matter as tin: siv. 

Johnson's Poets. Complete in i \ o!.-. . 1-1*. ^ 

GARY'S TRANSLATION OF DANTE. Extra cloth. 7*. 6"'. 

CATTERMOLE'S EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 2t exquisite En'.'ra\in : .-? ou I 

from l),-:-r.:i bv himself; the Lettir-Press by the BAKO.NKSS UK CAI.A- fjQf.' 
j!j;i:i.;.A. Post bvo. 7s. (id. 


CLASSIC TALES; comprising The Vicar of Wal:e!ic,!d, Elizabeth, Paul and Virginia, 
Gulliver's Tri\< is, Sterne's Sentimental Journey, Sorrows of Werier, Th.. 
and Coiisiantia, Castle of U trail to, and llassula*. 12mo. 7 Portrait!. oJ. O./. 

DEMOSTHENES. Translated by LM.AXIJ. Portrait. ">s. 


nations iiy J|AI.MA (including the Cochin-China Fowl). 5.?. c ' /' /v 

HORACE'S ODES AND EPODES, translated literally and rhythmically, by the REV. , 

IRVING'S (WASHINGTON) WORKS. Complete in 10 Vols., 1 13.?., or Ss. 6J. f 

pi'i - Vol. *-' ',< 

JOYCE'S SCIENTIFIC DIALOGUES. Greatly Improved Edition, with Questions, &.C., e 
by PI.N.MICK. (Upwards oi 600 pagot). woodcuts. ~>s. 


LAMARTINE'S HISTORY OF THE RESTORATION. 4 voh., post 8ro., new Vdition, gS 
with a General Index, and 5 additional Porlraitt, riz., Lanmrtiue, L'aUeyranU Cv '^ 

1/ii'ayette, Jiey, and Louis XVII. Cloth. ^'^ 



with Biographical Sketch. Portrait. Cloth, ."j. Gd. 



Plates, ui. S? 



Y'S INTRODUCTION TO ASTROLOGY. A New and Improved Edition, by J 
ZADKIKL, with his Grammar of Astrology, and Tallies of Kativtiies. o*. 

4 3j Five Hundred Animals, with Indexes of Scientific and Popular Maim- 

r/nrarils of 500 W'todcuts, by BKWICK, HAKVKY, Sec. llevised and enlarged. 

' 'y. ?*. li,/. 




| MILLER'S PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY. Third Revised and Improved Edition. 
4 Volumes, at ">s. (W. per Volume, 

S-ji MITFORD'S I'MISS) OUR VILLAGE. 2 Vols., New Edition, KI//< H'ootit-uts nndbea\<- 
: .' ' I'roiiti.ijiircejt on Steel, gilt cloth. Each Vol. bs. 

, NORWAY. A Road liook for Tourists in Norway, with Hints to English Sportsmen and 
Anglers, by THOMAS FOKKSTKK, Esq. Litiip cioth. x\v. ' (c 

1 PARKES' ELEMENTARY CHFMISTRY. Xew Edition, revised, 5*. 
,!,35 5 b 

M ,.*.- - ...... - v . ** ,S , 



the simc. KmbdlMird with 40 pleasing Steel Engravings, elegantly bound 

in rnl Turkrj notli, i;iit cd^ca. as. 


Thll work rurlaiiK ft* mucli cizht ordinary oci.ivnj. It wav first published in 
. under the title of 1'olitiol Dictionary, a: 1 |i.. The Com. 
>UGC AIM., onco tie most coiii|>elent c 10 ara o c y. 


UNCLE TOMS CABIN, ilh Introductory Remarks by the Rtv. J. SHEBMAS 
' ; ir type, with head-lines of Contents), "i. C,/. 

The same, cm fine paper, with 8 new Illustration} by LKF.CII and GILBKKT, 

nn i n ir.tuti/'itl 1'ranlispifce by Hi.NCill.irr. 'As. 6d. 

.pieee, gilt edges. Zi. Ctl. 

The name, Illtutrafed Kilh 9 highly fulshed Engrar'wgs on Steel, riclily 

bound in cloth, gilt edges. 6*. 


HARD LIBRARY, price 5., (wptinfi " Cotmot," KidJ, and 
H, .rhifhnrt 3*. <W., and Mantelft " Petrifaction*," which is to.) 


4, 8, & 15. HUMBOLOTS COSMOS ; or. Sketch of a Physical Description of 

the I .n,vn.r lr,nsat,,|. wul, Note,, i,y K. i:. <>>.. f n 4 Vol... ,',,/, f M 

s maiUtia IbOMh pulilisbed at so ! a price) is more complete 

tber IhcNotei are placed beneath the text, llumboldfs analvtica 

rirs and tlie pasa^es hitliertosiipprtssi-d, are included; and comprehensive 

HUM30LDTS VIEWS OF NATURE, --./A n-/,,,, r ,,/ rifie ,.f n\ml or ,,-. 

f, llc\-ised liv Dr. Win GUT 

, i:p.ied in Si.nple Expo- 




Edition, irith neafti/ 400 fllutlraliotu. 

AMERICA. With Genen.l Index. 
14 PYE SMITH'S GEOLOGY AND SCRIPTURE. Fifth Edition, with Memoir. 

16. OERSTED'S SOUL IN NATURE, &c. Portrait. 


18 & 20. BRIDGEWATER TREATISES. KIKBY on the History, Habits, and 

Instincts of Animals ; Edited by T. KYMKR JONKS. In ~ \ols. ifaiiy Jlbittratiotu, 
21 BRIDGEWATER TREATISES. KIDD On the Adaptation of External 

Nature to (lie Physical Condition of Man. 3.. 6i/. 
22. BRIDGEWATER TREATISES. WHKWKU.'S Astronomy and General Physics, 

considered with reference to Natural Theology. I'ortfait of the arl of 

voter. ?... (>:/. 

FROM THE MINERAL KINGDOM, Translated by A. HlMnucx, F.K.S., kc., 

i'-ith CnJoiirtJ Mnji of the Geography of Plants. 

24. BRIDGEWATER TREATISES. CIIALMKKS on the Adaptation of External 

Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man, with the Author's last 
Corrections, and liiographiral Sketch by the KKV. l)n. CUMMIKO. 


Complete, with Notes, by J. DKVK.Y, M.A. 

26 &. 27. HUMPHREYS COIN COLLECTOR'S MANUAL: a popular introduction 
to the Study of Coins, ancient and modern ; with elaborate Indexes, and numerous 
hiyhly-jiuis'lied Ennrnfin</s on Wood and Steel, 1 Vols. 

29. COMTES PHILOSOPHY OF THE SCIENCES, Edited from the 'Cours de 

Philosophic Positive, ' by G. 11. LKWKS, Ksq. 


WIGHT. New Edition, ith Prefatory Note by T. UUFERT JONES, Esq., numerous 
leaulifid If'oiidrut.i, <md a Geological Juap. 

31. HUNT'S POETRY OF SCIENCE; or, Studies of the Physical Phenomena of 

Nature. 3rd Edition, revised nnd enlarged. 

32 & 33. ENNEMOSER'S HISTORY OF MAGIC, Translated from the German by 
WII.I.IA.M HOWITT. With an Appendix of the most remarkable and best authenti- 
cated Stories of Apparitions, Dreams, Second Sight, Predictions, Divinations, Vam- 
pires, 1'uiricj, Table Turning, and Spirit Happing, &c., by MABY HOWITT. In 
2 Vols. 

34. HUNTS ELEMENTARY PHYSICS; an Introduction to the Study of Natural 
Philosophy. New Edition, revised. Numerous Woodcuts and Coloured Froiilisfiiecf. 



Uniform with the STANDARD LIBRARY, at ~>s. prr rolt'.,,ir, I'.y'/C' 



BRITAIN. H Y..U post M-o. x'iO Portraits. &'-"' 

. CRUIKSHANK'S THREE COURSES AND DESSERT, n\lk 50 fllnslratioiis. 

. PICKERING'S RACES OF MAN, vith ,iu,ntrovi /'. y.v;/. ir t'ulniirr.l It. (!</.) 

Coloured, Is. M) 











15 1 


17 1 









: ^ 


' 9 













r 1 





' -J 











JAUIH.M: and oilier*, edited, with large additions, by E. JESSE, Lsq. With 40 

DIDRONS CHRISTIAN 'ICONOGRAPHY, vitk 150 beautiful JEnyrariuffs. In 

2 Vols. Vol. 1. 

REDDING ON WINES New and Revised Edition, vilh 20 bfatttiful Woodcuts. 

by the Author. Ifwmenmtfiae i',,rtrUf on Steel. 2 Vols. 
& 18. ROME IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. Fifth Edition, iu 2 Vols., 

\ fine Steel Kityrnrinj.i. and Index. 

' r ith Eiii/rnrint/t on Steel. 

LIFE OF WELLINGTON, by " Ax OLD Soi im.H." compiled from the materials of 
.. and continue. I by an eminent Author, with an Account of the Funeral. 
highly finished Engraving* on Steel. 

!0 beautiful Steel Kn,jnn,ugs. 

Neiv Kilitiuii. (rrca'ly I'lii.iriiud, inimervKS Piitles (or Coloured, ?. d.'.) 
NORWAY AND ITS SCENERY, eimiprisin:,' I'UICK'.S Journx!. with law Addi- 
tion* and a lluad HIM\. Edited by Tins. FoKESTEX, Esq. ll'it/i 22 Illustrations, 
beautifully Engrared Steel by JjHtff. 

*.* The U'M.l Uxi!i i I >ld -.^inrriti'ly, pri'.'f 2*. 

nf Av i and ;lie Burmese, Siani and .Yjsani. i:iuslnite.i lij nearly 100 knyrc.ciiiyi 

PICTO3IAL HANDBOOK OF LONDON, comprising its Antiijuities, Avcliitec- 
tnrr, Arls, MuiHaetnn-, Trade, Social. Literary, and .Scientific Institutions, 
Exhibitions, and Galleries of Art, &c. JUtulratfd with 205 Kmjrmiugs on IfuuU, 
and a large and complete Uap. 

Tliin volume, of which the former editions were pub! Mini 1 y Mr. Wcnlc at Ov., contains 

. - . '.-' |..i_.. .. 

-urrt, Hursnito, and Clmmctenstici ot" Country'c, iur every .Month in 
ir; and emUidying the whole of AIKKM'S Calendar of Nature, iptrurdt 
,>f I nil ItiHStrnlimu. ' 

DANTE, translated into English Verse by I. C. WKIOTIT, M.A. Third Edition, care- 
fully revised. Portrait a-,d :it Illustrations on Steel, nfter FI.ASMAN. 
& 29 MUDIE'S BRITISH BIROS, or History of the Feathered Tribes of the 
ManiK Fifth Edition, revised by W. C. L. MAKI IN. E*n. Complete in 
-'ilh 52 fiiinres nf VirJi. and 1 ad\lil>onul Plata of AWs. (Of, wilk the 
1'lnle, Colonrtd.Ti. 6.1. \xr Vol.) 

TASSO'S JERUSALEM DELIVERED, translated into English Spenserian verse, 
with a Life of the Author by J. 11. WurfK*. Fourth Edition. 24 Kiuirarings b-i 

ItaH to the Present. Illustrated by vpieardi of 100 Mngratings on 
Map nf Hindoostnti. 

NICOLINI'S HISTORY OF THE JESUITS : their Origin, Progress, Doctrines 
'1','nv Purtrniti nf l,iyn!a, Luine/., Xavier, Burgia, Acquavira, Tire 

.in.l IVpc fiai.;; nielli. 

ROBINSON CRUSOE, with llmstnitions by STOTHAKD and HARVEI, 12 beautiful 
"* "''"! OH Stetl, and 74 on Wood. 

e Earliest 
Wood, and 















MAY 15 1956 






CH. I. The Conqueror founds two abbeys at Caen, and Battle 
abbey Restores order in England The great English 
nobles submit Aggrandizes his Norman followers. 

IN the time of Pope Alexander II., 1 many states throughout 
the world were a prey to severe calamities ; the nations 
plunging into furious contests to their mutual ruin. This 
was particularly the case with the western states, which 
suffered great disasters. On the death of those excellent 
kings, Henry of France, and Edward of England, the 
French and English had long reason to lament their loss, as 
the princes who succeeded were little like them for virtue 
and gentleness of disposition. When these fathers of their 
country were removed, they were followed by tyrants who 
abused the royal authority. England, stained by the cruel- 
ties and perjury of Harold, fell to decay, and deprived of its 
race of native kings, became a prey to foreign adventurers, 
the adherents of William the Conqueror, presenting a 
melancholy subject for the pen of the feeling historian. 

Writers of learning and eloquence found ample materials 
for several works, having lived for many years at the court 
of King William, and had opportunities of observing all he 
did, and the varied and illustrious events of his reign; they 
were privy to his most secret counsels, and by his muni- 
1 September 30, 1061 April 20, 1073. 



ficence rose to wealth and eminence, to \vhich their origin 
gave them no pretensions. The churches he erected, or 
which were built in his time to the glory of God, both in 
Normandy and England, are noble monuments of his devo- 
tion and his liberality in providing for the service of God, 
and have left to posterity an example worthy of their 
imitation. His piety led him also to found a number of 
monasteries, and to enlarge those which he and others had 
already built, liberally endowing them with ample pos- 
sessions, and taking them under his protection against all 
adversaries. The two convents he founded at Caen, the 
one for monks the other for nuns, are special witnesses of 
his munificence. They were both erected in honour of the 
King Eternal, while he himself was yet a duke only, select- 
ing one for his own tomb, the other for that of his consort. 1 
The war in England being terminated, his enemies having 
submitted to his victorious arms, and the royal crown being 
placed on his head at London, William founded at Senlac, 
where the decisive battle was fought, the abbey of the Holy 
Trinity, 3 endowing it with revenues and domains fitting a 
royal foundation. Goisbert, a pious monk of Marmoutier, 
was appointed the first abbot, 3 under whose rule monastic 
order and regular discipline were duly established. The 
monastery at Marmoutier, begun by the most holy Martin, 
bishop of Tours, became by God's grace an increasing semi- 
nary of excellent men. In our times Albert and Bartho- 
lomew, Bernard, and Hilgot, and afterwards William of 

1 The abbey of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1066, and the church 
dedicated on the 18th of June of the same year. The foundations of the 
abbey of St. Stephen were also laid before the conquest, through tlie 
exertions of Lanfranc, who became the first fibbot, but the works were 
carried on much more slowly, and it was not consecrated until the 13th of 
December, 1077. 

* This abbey has always been better known as Sanctus Martinus de 
Delta, or Battle Abbey. William determined, notwithstanding the opposi- 
tion of the monks, to build it on the field of battle, so much, that the high 
altar was placed on the spot where tbe body of Harold was found after the 
battle, as some say, but as others, where the royal standard was taken. 
Part of the church was built of Caen stone, until a quarry was discovered 
in the neighbourhood. 

3 The first abbot of Battle was not Goisbert, but Robert Blancard, who 
was drowned in returning from Marmoutier. Goisbert succeeded him in 
1076, nine years after the foundation of the abbey. 


Nantz, were abbots of that monastery; 1 men by -whose 
sanctity and virtues numbers were benefited, and whose 
fame was diffused not only throughout the neighbourhood, 
but in foreign countries. After Goisbert's death, Henry, 
the prior of Canterbury, was promoted to the government of 
Battle Abbey, an office which he worthily filled. On his 
decease, he was succeeded by Eodolph, prior of Rochester, 2 
who was before a monk of Caen. He directed all his efforts by 
a zeal for holiness and sound doctrine to secure his welfare 
and that of his contemporaries, and persisted with ardour 
in his spiritual exercises to a good old age. At length the 
aged monk departed happily out of this world to God his 
maker, in the 25th year of the reign of Henry, king of 

After his coronation at London, King William ordered 
many affairs with prudence, justice, and clemency. Some 
of these concerned the profit and honour of that city, others 
were for the advantage of the whole nation, and the rest 
were intended for the benefit of the church. He enacted 
some laws founded on admirable principles. No suitor ever 
demanded justice of this king without obtaining it : he con- 
demned none but those whom it would have been unjust to 
acquit. He enjoined his nobles to comport themselves with 
grave dignity, joining activity to right judgment, having 
constantly before their eyes the Eternal King who had 
given them the victory. He forbade their oppressing the 
conquered, reminding them that they were their own 
equals by their Christian profession, and that they must be 
cautious not to excite revolt by their unjust treatment of 
those whom they had fairly subdued. He prohibited all 
riotous assemblages, murder, and robbery, and as he 
restrained the people by force of arms, he set bounds to 
arms by the laws. The taxes and all things concerning the 
royal revenues were so regulated as not to be burdensome 
to the people. Bobbers, plunderers, and malefactors had 
no asylum in his dominions. Merchants found the ports 
and highways open, and were protected against injury. 

1 Albert, 10371063 or 1064; Bartholomew, 1063 or 10641084; 
Bernard, 10841100; Helgot, 11001105; William de Nantz (of which 
he had been archdeacon), 1105 1124. 

2 Prior of the cathedral church of St. Andrew at Rochester. 

B 2 


Thus the first acts of his reign were all excellent, and 
eminent for the great benefits flowing from good government 
conferred on his subjects, which were confirmed by perse- 
verance in a right course, with plain indications of a suc- 
cessful result. 

The king, quitting London, spent some days at Barking, 1 
a place not far off, while some fortifications were completed 
in the city for defence against any outbreak by the fierce 
and numerous population. Edward and Morcar. the sons 
of Earl Algar, and the most powerful of the English nobles 
from their birth and possessions, now came to the king, 
asking his pardon, if in aught they had offended him, and 
submitting themselves and all they had to his mercy. Then 
Earl Coxo, 3 a nobleman of singular courage and prudence, 
Turkil of Lime, 4 Siward and Aldred, sons of Ethelgar, 5 the 
late king's grandson, with Edric surnamed Guilda, that is, 
"The Wild," 6 nephew of the infamous prince surnamed 
Streone, that is, " The Rapacious," and many others of high 
rank and great wealth made their peace with William, and 
taking the oath of fealty, were honourably restored to their 
respective domainsi The king then made a progress through 
several parts of the kingdom, making regulations to the 

1 Or Berkhampstead ? The Tower of London was built after the plan 
of the old Tower at Rouen, says Pommeraye in an inedited note to the 
text of Ordericus Vitalis. 

1 Edwin, earl of Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria. All the 
other historians agree in describing the submission of these powerful earls 
to have been made at Berkhampstead. 

1 Coxo. His real name was Copsi. Though he governed all the country 
north of the Tyne, under Morcar, it does not appear that he ever received 
the title of earl himself. 

4 Not Lyme Regis in Dorsetshire. Most probably this Tutkil was son 
of Alwine, vicount of Warwickshire, who, according to Dugdale, styled 
himself in the reign of William Rufus, Turkil de Earden, from the forest 
of Arden. He held twenty-one manors. The name given him by our 
author may be derived from Leming-tun, now Leamington Priors, on the 
river Learn. 

* This Siward is the same person as Siward Barn, who shut himself up 
in the isle of Ely in 1071, with Earl Morcar and Bishop Egelwin. He 
possessed a great nuirber of manors before the conquest. We do not find 
any such person as Etheljrar, a nephew of King Edward, but there was an 
Ethel ward banished by Canute in 1020, who may have been the same, 
having one of Edward's three sisters for his mother. 

The domains of Edric were in the county of Hereford; as to the 
infamous assassin, his father, see what is said in vol. i. p. 148. 


mutual advantage of himself and the inhabitants of the 
country. He gave the custody of castles to some of his 
bravest Normans, distributing among them vast possessions 
as inducements to undergo cheerfully the toils and perils of 
defending them. 

He built a strong castle within the walls of "Winchester, 
a fortified and wealthy city contiguous to the sea, and 
placing in it William Fitz-Osbern, the best officer in his 
army, made him his lieutenant in the south of the kingdom. 
Dover and all Kent he committed to his brother Odo, 
bishop of Bayeux, a prelate distinguished by great liberality 
and worldly activity. These two were entrusted with the 
chief government of the realm of England ; and he joined 
with them Hugh de Grantmesnil, Hugh Montfort, William 
de Warrene, and other brave warriors. Some of them 
governed their vassals well ; but others, wanting prudence, 
shamefully oppressed them. 

CH. II. Rejoicings on William's arrival in Normandy 
Abbey churches consecrated Death of Maurilius, arch- 
bishop of Rouen His epitaph, and successor. 

THE king, having thus provided for the security of the 
kingdom, rode to Pevensey, where many English knights 
assembled to meet him. Here the stipendiary soldiers who 
were returning to their own countries received handsome 
pay. Bang William then set sail in the month of March, 
and crossed the sea in safety to his native dominions. He 
took with him, in honourable attendance, Stigand the arch- 
bishop, Edgar Etheling, cousin of King Edward, and the 
three powerful earls, Edwin, Morcar, and Waltheof, 1 with 
Ethelnoth, governor of Canterbury, and several others of 
high rank and most graceful person. The king adopted a 
courteous policy in thus preventing these great lords from 
plotting a change during his absence, and the people would 
be less able to rebel when deprived of their chiefs. Besides, 
it gave him an opportunity of displaying his wealth and 
honours in Normandy to the English nobles, while he de- 
tained as a sort of hostages those whose influence and 
safety had great weight with their countrymen. 

The arrival of King William with all this worldly pomp 
1 Wiiltheof held the earldoms of Northampton and Huntingdon. 


filled the whole of Normandy with rejoicings. The season 
was still wintry, and it was Lent ; but the bishops and 
abbots began the festivals belonging to Easter, wherever the 
new king came in his progress ; nothing was omitted which 
is customary in doing honour to such occasions, and every- 
thing new they could invent was added. This zeal was 
recompensed, on the king's part, by magnificent offerings of 
rich palls, large sums in gold, and other valuables to the 
altars and servants of Christ. Those churches also which 
he could not visit in person were made partakers of the 
general joy by the gifts he sent to them. 

The feast of Easter 1 was kept at the abbey of the Holy 
Trinity at Fecamp, where a great number of bishops, abbots, 
and nobles assembled. Earl Eadulph, father-in-law of 
Philip king of France 2 with many of the French nobility, 
were also there beholding with curiosity the long-haired 
natives of English-Britain, and admiring the garments of 
gold tissue, enriched with bullion, worn by the king and his 
courtiers. They also were greatly struck with the beauty of 
the gold and silver plate, and the horns tipped with gold at 
both extremities. The French remarked many things of 
this sort of a royal magnificence, the novelty of which made 
them the subject of observation when they returned home. 

After Easter, the king caused the church of St. Mary on 
the Dive to be consecrated, 3 at which he himself reverently 
assisted, with a great attendance both of the nobles and com- 
monalty, on the calends [1st] of May. He there pro- 
claimed by a herald, ordinances which were very beneficial 
to his whole people. On the calends [1st] of July, he 
ordered the consecration of the church of St. Mary at 
Jumieges, and was present himself at the holy ceremony. 4 
He made large endowments on both of these churches out 
of his own domains, and devoutly assisted at the celebration 
of the holy mysteries. Maurilius, archbishop of Rouen, 
with his suffragan bishops, humbly and reverently performed 

1 Easter fell this year on the 8th of April. 

* Ralph the Great, count of Valois. 

3 The abbey of Notre-Dame, at St. Pierre-sur-Dive, was founded in 

* The nave of this church, begun by Robert Champert in 1040, is still 


the consecration, and shortly afterwards took to his bed in 
the twelfth year of his episcopate. Having fulfilled all the 
duties of a devout servant of God, he departed to him 
whom he had long served on the 5th of the ides [9th] of 
August. His body was conveyed to the cathedral church, 
which five years before [the first indiction] he had dedicated 
to St. Mary, mother of God, and it was there interred with 
high honours before the crucifix. 1 His epitaph, composed 
by Richard, son of Herluin, a canon of that church, and 
inscribed in letters of gold on a plate of brass, runs thus : 

Men of Rouen ! drop a tear 
On your honour'd Maurille's bier : 
Monk and bishop, such the claim 
Of that venerable name. 
Lordly Rheims beheld his birth, 
Academic Liege his worth, 
While he wisdom's treasures gain'd, 
From her triple fountain drain'd. 
Citizens ! to him endear"d, 
'Twas for you this fane he rear'd ; 
Rais'd its pillar'd arches high, 
Fill'd it with sweet minstrelsy, 
And, amid your joyous throng, 
Led the holy prayer and song. 
Scarcely past the sacred mirth, 
In the consecrated earth 
Maurille's honour'd relics rest ; 
While his soul is with the blest, 
And, released from mortal clay 
On the eve of Laurent's day, 
Borne to mansions in the sky, 
Keeps the laurelled feaat on high. 

After the death of Maurilius, the church of Rouen elected 
Lanfranc, abbot of Caen, archbishop, a choice which King 
William with his nobles and the whole people gladly con- 
firmed. But full of devotion to God and unfeigned humility, 
Lanfranc refused to take upon himself the burden of this 

' This expression always means the crucifix placed between the choir 
and the nave. That Maurillius was interred between the choir and the 
principal nave of the cathedral at Rouen, appears still from an inscription 
near his tomb. This prelate was a native of Rheims, and had governed an 
abbey at Florence. The consecration here spoken of by our author was 
celebrated in the month of October, 1 063. 


high dignity, and used all his influence for the promotion to 
it of John, bishop of Avranches. 1 That this might be 
canonically accomplished, he went to Borne and obtained 
from Pope Alexander a licence for bishop John's conse- 
cration, and brought back with the licence the pallium, 
which conferred so much honour on himself and the whole 
of Normandy. 

In consequence John was translated from the see of 
Avranches, which he had filled seven years and three months, 
to the metropolitan chair of Eouen. He was animated by a 
lively zeal for virtue both in his words and actions, and like 
Phineas, his hatred of vice was fervent. As for worldly 
honour, his birth was most illustrious, being a son of Kalph, 
count of Baieux, the uterine brother of Eichard the elder, 
duke of Normandy. 2 He governed the metropolitan see 
with firmness and activity ten years, taking severe measures 
to separate incontinent priests from their concubines; and 
when in a synod he prohibited their intercourse under pain 
of excommunication, he was assailed with stones, and 
forced to make his escape, on which occasion when flying 
from the church he intoned with a loud voice the verse : 
" God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance." * 

John was succeeded at Avranches by an Italian named 
Michael, a prelate of great learning, and venerable for his 
religious zeal, who was raised by canonical election to the 
see of Avranches. He worthily filled the pastoral office 
more than twenty years, and after a happy old age, died 
in the time of i)uke Eobert. At his death Turgis was 

1 John, surnamed d'Avranches, became bishop of Avranches in Sept. 
1060; and archbishop of Rouen in 1067. He was celebrated for his 
quarrels with the monks of St. Ouen, and for his great arrogance. 

1 Ralph, count d'lvri and de Bayeux, was uterine brother of Richard I., 
aa being son of his mother, Sprote, and Asperleng, a rich miller of Vau- 
dreuil (says the continuator of William de Jumieges), to whom she was 
married after the death of William Longsword. This union may appear 
leas disproportioned when it is recollected that she was only the duke's 
concubine, he having a lawful wife, the .duchess Leutgarde, who after his 
death married Theobald, count de Chartres. However this may be, this 
count Ralph played a distinguished part in the court of his brother and 
his nephew. 

1 Psalm Ixxiz. 1. The acts of this synod, which caused this disturb- 
ance, will be found in a further part of this work, under the year 107'2. 


appointed, and has now held that bishopric almost thirty 
years. 1 

CH. III. Norman oppression. The English secretly form 
conspiracies. Large bodies emigrate to Constantinople and 
join the emperor's body-quard. Attempt of Eustace, count 
of Boulogne, to surprise Dover Castle. 

MEANWHILE the English were oppressed by the insolence 
of the Normans, and subjected to grievous outrages by the 
haughty governors who disregarded the king's injunctions. 
The chiefs of inferior rank, who had the custody of the 
castles, treated the natives, both gentle and simple, with 
the utmost scorn, and levied on them most unjust exactions. 
Bishop Odo himself, and William Fitz-Osbern, the king's 
lieutenants, puffed up with pride, gave no heed to the 
reasonable complaints of his English subjects and disdained 
to weigh them in the balance of equity. They screened 
their men-at-arms who most outrageously robbed the people 
and ravished the women, and those, only incurred their 
wrath who were driven by these grievous affronts to be loud 
in their remonstrances. The English deeply lamented the 
loss of their freedom, and took secret counsel how they 
might best shake off a yoke so insupportable, and to which 
they were so little accustomed. They accordingly sent a 
message to Sweyn, 2 king of Denmark, entreating him to take 
measures for recovering the crown of England, which his 
ancestors Sweyn and Canute had formerly won by their vic- 
torious arms. Some went into voluntary exile, either to 
free themselves from the domination of their Norman 
masters, or for the purpose of obtaining foreign aid to 
renew the contest with their conquerors. Some, the very 
flower of the English youth, made their way to distant 
regions, and served valiantly in the armies of Alexius, 
emperor of Constantinople, 3 a prince of great sagacity and 

: Michael was bishop of Avranches A.D. 1067 1094 ; Turgis, his 
successor, 1094 1138. It appears, therefore, that this passage was written 
in 1124. 

8 Sweyn II. (Erickson), April 28, 10441074 or 1076. He was not a 
ck'scondant of Canute the Great in the direct line, but hw nephew. His 
mother, Estrith, married first Richard II., duke of Normandy, who 
divorced her. 

* There is no more certain fact than the existence of a corps of Danen, 


astonishing munificence. Being attacked by Robert Guis- 
card, duke of Apulia, with all his force in support of Michael, 
whom the Greeks hnd expelled from the imperial throne for 
the despotism of his government, the English exiles met a 
favourable reception, and were arrayed in arms against the 
Norman bands with which the Greeks were unable to cope. 
The emperor Alexius laid the foundations of a town called 
Chevetot, 1 beyond Byzantium, for his English troops, but as 
the Normans gave them great annoyance in that post, he 
recalled them to the imperial city, and committed to their 
guard his principal palace and the royal treasure. In this way 
the Anglo-Saxons settled in Ionia, they and their posterity 
becoming faithfully attached to the holy empire, and having 
gained great honour in Thrace, continue to the present day, 
beloved by the emperor, senate, and people. 

Provoked to rebellion by every sort of oppression on the 
part of the Normans, the English sent messengers to Eustace, 
count of Boulogne, inviting him to despatch a powerful fleet 
to take Dover by surprise. They were formerly much at 
variance with Eustace, but as differences had now risen 
between him and the king, and they knew by fatal experi- 
ence that he was a skilful and fortunate commander, they 

Norwegians, and English in the service of the Greek emperors, who formed 
their body-guard. They were armed with battle-axes, were exceedingly 
brave and faithful, and possessed great privileges. They are called by tho 
Greek historians Varanges or Baranges, a word of northern derivation, 
signifying warrior (waring), and found in Normandy as a family name, 
and in names of places, as Warrene, Varingeville. This body of Varangi 
were employed at Constantinople so long back as the reign of the emperor 
Michael the Paphlagonian, 1034 1041, and consequently at a time far 
preceding that in which our author places the English exiles among them, 
or the battle of Hastings. No doubt, the original band were Danes or 
Norwegians, and the English were incorporated with them, as they suc- 
cessively withdrew from the Norman yoke. Besides, the great body of the 
English who adhered to Harold were of Dano-Norwegian extraction, as 
indeed two thirds of the inhabitants of the north of England then were, 
and it was quite natural for them to join their countrymen at Constantinople 
with the allurements of high pay and distinction. In the end, their num- 
bers became so great, that several Greek writers speak of the Varangi as 
exclusively English. 

1 The Chevetot of our author is called by Villehardoun, Chivetoi, and he 
informs us that it was situated on the Gulf of Nicomedia, in the neighbour- 
hood of Nice. The true name is Ki/3wroc. Ducange thinks that Alexis 
Conme;j;ug only rebuilt the city, which was of older date. 

AJ>. 1067 1068.] DOVER ASSAULTED. 11 

were reconciled to him, and used their utmost efforts to 
wrest Dover castle from the royal garrison and deliver it to 
Eustace. He no sooner received the message of the Ken- 
tish-men, than, his fleet being in readiness, he embarked his 
troops and made a quick passage in the dead of the night, 
hoping to find the garrison off their guard. He had with 
him many knights, but all their horses were left behind, 
except a very few. The whole neighbourhood was in arms, 
and especially a strong body of Kentish-men who seconded 
Eustace's attack with all their might. The bishop of Bayeux 
and Hugh de Mountfort, who were principally charged with 
the defence of the coast, were on the other side of the 
Thames, and had drawn off with them the main part of the 
troops. If the siege had been prolonged for two days, a 
large body of the enemy would have assembled from a dis- 
tance. But while the assailants made desperate attacks up- 
on the place, the garrison were prepared for an obstinate 
defence, and offered a determined resistance at the points 
most open to attack. The conflict was maintained with fury 
on both sides for some hours of the day. But Eustace 
beginning to be doubtful of success, and being apprehensive 
of a sally by the besieged, which might force him to a more 
shameful retreat, gave the signal for retiring to the ships. 
Upon this the garrison immediately opened the gates, and 
falling on the rear-guard with spirit, but in good order, 
killed a great many of them. The fugitives, panic-struck by 
a report that the bishop of Bayeux had unexpectedly arrived 
with a strong force, threw themselves in their alarm among 
the crevices of the perpendicular cliffs, and so perished with 
more disgrace than if they had fallen by the sword. Many 
were the forms of death to which their defeat exposed them, 
many, throwing away their arms, were killed by falling on 
the sharp rocks ; others, slipping down, destroyed themselves 
and their comrades by their own weapons ; and many, mor- 
tally wounded, or bruised by their fall, rolled yet breathing 
into the sea ; many more, escaping breathless with haste to 
the ships, were so eager to reach a place of safety that they 
crowded the vessels till they upset them and were drowned 
on the spot. The Norman cavalry took prisoners or slew as 
many as they could overtake. Eustace escaped by having the 
advantage of a fleet horse, his knowledge of the road, and 


finding a ship ready to put to sea. His nephew, a noble 
youth who bore arms for the first time, was taken prisoner. 
The English escaped through by-roads, the garrison of the 
castle being too few in number to pursue a multitude who 
thus dispersed themselves. 

Not long afterwards Count Eustace effected a reconcilia- 
tion with King William, and enjoyed his friendship for many 
years afterwards. This count's origin was most illustrious, 
as he was a descendant of Charlemagne, the mightiest king 
of the Franks. His power also was very great, he being 
sovereign prince of the three counties of Boulogne, Guines, 
and Terouanne. 1 He married Ida, 2 a noble and religious 
woman, who was sister of Godfrey, duke of Lorraine. She 
bore him three sous, Godfrey, Baldwin, and Eustace, and a 
daughter who married Henry IV., emperor of Germany. 

While most of the English, sighing for their ancient liber- 
ties, were plotting rebellion for the purpose of recovering 
them, there were numbers of that nation who kept the faith 
they had pledged to God, and were obedient to the king whom 
he had set up, according to the apostle's precept : " Fear God, 
honour the king." 8 Earl Copsi, one of the most distin- 
guished of the English nobles both by birth and power, and 
still more by his singular prudence and entire honesty of pur- 
pose, faithfully adhered to King William, and espoused his 
cause with much zeal. His owu vassals were, however, very 
far from following his example, being determined supporters 
and friends of the malcontents. They therefore assailed 
him in every way, using prayers, threats, and protestations, 
to induce him to desert the party of the foreigners and 
second the wishes of good men of his own race and nation. 
But finding that his mind was too firmly fixed in the right 

1 Eustace, second of the name, count de Boulogne, about 1049 1093, 
was indeed descended from Charlemagne by his mother, Maud of Louvain. 
As to his being count of Terouanne, no such title appears, and Guines 
belonged to Baldwin I., count d'Ardres. Eustace's first wife was Goda, 
sister of Edward the Confessor, whom he married in 1050. 

2 Ida of Ardenne, daughter of Godfrey le Barbu, duke of Lower Lor- 
raine, was married to Eustace II. in December, 1057, and died in the 
odour of sanctity the 13th of August, 1113. Her only children were 
Godfrey de Bouillon, Eustace III., and Baldwin I., king of Jerusalem 
after his eldest brother. 

1 1 Peter ii. 17. 


course to be diverted from its purpose, his country neigh- 
bours rose against him, and he was treacherously slain on 
account of his devoted fidelity. 1 This excellent man thus 
sealed with his blood the truth that their lord's dignity 
ought always to be respected by loyal subjects. 

Then Aldred, primate of Tork, and some other bishops, 
rendered themselves serviceable to the king, in obedience to 
justice, remembering the admonition of the wise man : 
"My son, fear God and the king." 2 At the same time 
some of the most discreet citizens of the towns, and noble 
knights of distinguished names and wealth, with many of the 
commonalty, espoused the cause of the Normans against 
their own countrymen with great zeal. 

Meanwhile, King William was employing his residence in 
Normandy to provide carefully for its tranquillity during a 
long period. With the advice of wise counsellors, he 
enacted just laws, and rendered equal justice to the poor as 
well as the rich. He selected the best men for judges and 
governors in all the provinces of Normandy. He freed the 
holy monasteries and the domains granted to them from all 
unjust exactions, by royal privileges and charters of 
protection. He proclaimed by the voice of heralds security 
to all, both natives and foreigners, throughout his dominions, 
and at the same time the severest penalties against thieves, 
rioters, and those who broke the peace of the country. 

Cn. IV. William returns to England Overawes the mal- 
contents Besieges Exeter Queen Jtfatilda comes over and 
is crowned The English nobles break into open rebellion. 

WHILE the king was thus occupied, reports reached him 
from beyond sea, and, mingling evil with his best hopes, 
caused him great disquietude ; for, the disaifection of the 
English, joined by the efforts of the Danes and other 
barbarous nations, threatened the Normans with great 
losses. Leaving the government of Normandy to his Queen 

1 He was assassinated at Newburn, about the middle of March, 1068, 
by Osulf, his predecessor in his government. Copsi, attacked by surprise, 
took refuge in a church, which was set on fire, and when he attempted to 
escnpe from the flames, Osulf stabbed him. 

3 Proverbs xxiv. 21. 


Matilda, and his young son Robert, 1 with a council of 
religious prelates and valiant nobles to be guardians of the 
state. He then rode on the night of the 6th of December 
to the mouth of the river of Dieppe, below the town of 
Arques, 2 and, setting sail with a south wind in the first 
watch of the cold night, reached in the morning, after a most 
prosperous voyage, the harbour on the opposite coast called 
Winchelsea. Hitherto the wintry winds had made the sea 
very tempestuous, but the church was then celebrating the 
feast of St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, and prayers were 
offered in Normandy on behalf of their pious prince. The 
providence of God, therefore, which conducts all those it 
favours when and where it wills, brought the good king to a 
port of safety, amid the storms of winter. In his present 
voyage he was attended by Roger de Montgomery, 3 who, at 
the time of his former expedition to invade England, was 
left, with his wife, governor of Normandy. The king first 
conferred on him the earldoms of Chichester and Arundel, 
and, after a time, made him earl of Shrewsbury. 

On the king's landing he was well received by the English, 
and entertained with fitting honours, both by the monks and 
secular officers. He kept the feast of Christmas at London, 
treating the English bishops and nobles with great courtesy. 
He received each with open arms, gave them the kiss of 
welcome, and was affable to all. When they made any 
request it was graciously granted, and he listened favourably 
to what they reported or advised. By these arts the numbers 
of the treasonably disposed were reduced. While he some- 
times gave instructions to the Normans with equal care and 

1 This prince could not have been older than thirteen years at this time 
(A.D. 1067), as he died in 1134, at the age of eighty, at Cardiff Castle, 
where he was detained prisoner by his brother after the battle of Tin- 
chebrai, and if he was then, as it is supposed, twenty-four, he must have 
been born in 1054. It appears by a charter of Srigand de Mesidon, that 
he was declared by William his successor in the duchy of Normandy as 
early as 1 063 ; and this charter bore his signature, though he was not then 
more than nine years old. 

2 The river Dieppe, which gave its name to the town built at its mouth 
after this voyage, is now called the Bethune to its junction with the river 
at Arques. 

3 Ordericus's father probably accompanied his patron on this occasion, 
and remained in England with him, where our author, who seems proud to 
style himself an Englishman, was born about five years afterwards. 

A.D. 1068.] SIEGE OF EXETEB. 15 

address, at others he privately warned the English to be 
continually on their guard, in all quarters, against the crafty 
designs of their enemies. All the cities and provinces 
which he had himself visited or had occupied with garrisons, 
obeyed his will ; but, on the frontiers of the kingdom, in the 
northern and western districts, the same wild independence 
prevailed which formerly made the people insubordinate 
except when they pleased, to the kings of England in the 
times of Edward and his predecessors. 

Exeter was the first to contend for freedom, but being 
attacked with vigour by powerful troops it was compelled to 
submit. It is a rich and ancient city, built in a plain, and 
fortified with much care, being distant about two miles from 
the sea coast, where it is reached by the shortest passage from 
Ireland or Brittany. The townsmen held it in great force, 
raging furiously, both young and old, against all Frenchmen. 
In their zeal they had invited allies from the neighbouring 
districts, had detained foreign merchants who were fit for 
war, and built or repaired walls and towers, and added 
whatever was reckoned wanting to their defences. They 
had also engaged other towns, by envoys they sent, to join in 
league with them, and prepared to oppose with all their 
strength the foreign king, with whom before they had no 
connection. When the king heard of these proceedings, he 
commanded the chief citizens to take the oath of fealty to 
him. But they returned this reply : " We will neither 
swear allegiance to the king, nor admit him within our walls ; 
but will pay him tribute, according to ancient custom." To 
this, the king gave this answer : " It does not suit me to 
have subjects 011 such conditions." He then marched an 
army into their territories, and in that expedition called out 
the English for the first time. The elders of the city, when 
they learned that the king's army was approaching near, 
went out to meet him, entreating for peace, promising to 
obey all his commands, and offering him such hostages as he 
required. When, however, they returned to their fellow 
citizens, who were in great alarm at the guilt they had 
incurred, they found them still determined to persist in 
their hostilities, and for various reasons roused themselves to 
stand on their defence. The king, who had halted four 


miles from the city, was filled with anger and surprise on 
receiving this intelligence. 

In the first place, therefore, he advanced with five hundred 
horse to reconnoitre the place and the fortifications, and to 
ascertain what the enemy was doing. He found the gates 
shut, and crowds of people posted on the outworks, and 
round the whole circuit of the walls. In consequence, by 
the king's order, the whole army moved to the city, and one 
of the hostages had his eyes put out before the gate. But 
the mad obstinacy of the people neither yielded to fear nor 
to commiseration for the fate of the other hostages ; but 
strengthened itself in the determination to defend themselves 
and their homes to the last. The king therefore strongly 
invested the city on all sides, assaulted it with the utmost 
force of his arms, and for many days continued his attacks 
on the townsmen stationed on the walls, and his efforts to 
undermine them from beneath. 1 At length the chief 
citizens were compelled, by the resolute assaults of the 
enemy, to have recourse to wiser counsels, and humbling 
themselves, to implore mercy, a procession of the most lovely 
of the young women, the elders of the city, and the clergy, 
carrying the sacred books and holy ornaments, went out to 
the king. Having humbly prostrated themselves at his feet, 
the king, with great moderation, extended his clemency to 
the repentant people, and pardoned their offences as if he 
had forgotten their obstinate resistance to his authority, 
and that they had before treated with insult and cruelty 
some knights he had sent from Normandy, and who were 
driven by a storm into their port. The citizens of Exeter 
were full of joy, and gave thanks to God at finding that, after 
so much anger and such terrible threats, they had made 
their peace with the foreign king better than they expected. 
William refrained from confiscating their goods, and posted 
strong and trusty bands of soldiers at the city gates, that the 
army might not force an entrance, in a body, and pillage 
the citizens. He then selected a spot within the walls for 
erecting a castle, and left there Baldwin de Meules, son of 
Count Gislebert, and other knights of eminence to complete 
the works and garrison the place. Continuing his march 
afterwards into Cornwall, the furthest extremity of Britain, 3 
1 The siege lasted eighteen days. a " Cornu- Britannia." 

A.D. 1068.] QUEE5" MATILDA. CEOWXED. 17 

and having everywhere restored order by his sudden move- 
ments, he disbanded his army, and returned to Guent 1 in 
time for the vacation at the feast of Easter. 

In the year of our Lord, 1068, 2 King William sent persons 
of high rank to Normandy to bring over his queen Matilda, 
who quickly obeyed her husband's commands with a willing 
mind, and crossed the sea with a great attendance of 
knights and noble women. Among the clergy who were 
attached to her court for the performance of sacred offices, 
the most distinguished was Guy, bishop of Amiens, who 
had composed a poem on the battle between Harold and 
"William. 3 Aldred, archbishop of York, who had crowned 
and anointed her husband, consecrated Matilda to partake 
in the honours of royalty, at the feast of Whitsuntide, in 
the second year of William's reign. Being now a crowned 
queen, Matilda, before a year was ended, gave birth to a 
son named Henry,* who was declared heir to all the king's 
dominions in England. This young prince had his attention 
turned to a learned education as soon as he was of age to 
receive instruction, and after the death of both his parents, 
had a bold career in arms. At last, having distinguished 
himself by his various claims to merit, he filled his father's 
throne for many years. 

The same year, Edwin and Morcar, sons of Earl Algar, 
and young men of great promise, broke into open rebellion, 
and induced many others to fly to arms, which violently 
disturbed the realm of Albion. King William, however, 
came to terms with Edwin, who assured him of the 
submission of his brother and of nearly a third of the 
kingdom, upon which the king promised to give him his 
daughter in marriage. Afterwards, however, by a fraudu- 
lent decision of the Normans, and through their envy and 
covetousness, the king refused to give him the princess who 
was the object of his desire, and for whom he had long 
waited. Being, therefore, much incensed, he and his 
brother again broke into rebellion, and the greatest part of 

1 " Guentam," Winchester. 

2 We have found our author sometimes reckon the commencement of 
thf year from Christmas ; he, begins this from Easter. 

1 See vol. i. p. 492. 

4 Afterwards King Henry I., surnamed Deuu-elere. 



the English and AVelsh followed their standard. The two 
brothers were zealous in the worship of God, and respected 
good men. They were remarkably handsome, their relations 
were of high birth and very numerous, their estates were 
vast and gave them immense power, and their popularity 
great. The clergy and monks offered continual prayers on 
their behalf, and crowds of poor daily supplications. 

Earl Algar had founded a monastery at Coventry, 1 and 
amply endowed it with large revenues for the subsistence of 
the monks belonging to it. The countess Godiva also, a 
devout lady, had contributed all her wealth to the monastery, 
and employed goldsmiths to convert all the gold and silver 
she possessed into sacred tapestries, and crosses, and images 
of saints, and other ecclesiastical ornaments of wonderful 
beauty, which she devoutly distributed. These excellent 
parents, thus devoted to God and praiseworthy for their 
piety, had a fine family which merited the greatest distinc- 
tion, viz., Edwin, Morcar, and a daughter named Edith, who 
was first married to Griffith, king of Wales, and after his 
death to Harold, king of England. 2 

At the time when the Normans had crushed the English, and 
were overwhelming them with intolerable oppressions Blethyn, 
king of Wales, 3 came to the aid of his uncles, at the head of a 
large body of Britons. A general assembly was now held 
of the chief men of the English and Welsh, at which uni- 
versal complaints were made of the outrages and tyranny to 
which the English were subjected by the Normans and their 
adherents, and messengers were despatched into all parts of 
Albion to rouse the natives against their enemies, either 
secretly or openly. All joined in a determined league and 
bold conspiracy against the Normans for the recovery of 
their ancient liberties. The rebellion broke out with great 
violence in the provinces beyond the Humber. The insur- 

1 The abbey of Coventry was founded about the year 1043, by Leofric, 
earl of Mercia, Algar's father, or rather by Godiva, his mother. She was 
sister of Torold, sheriff of Lincolnshire, and her name appears several 
times in the Domesday- book as tiodeva Comitissa. A passage in it proves 
that she lived till after the Conquest. 

a Our author is mistaken in making Edith, sister of Edwin and Morcar, 
have for her first husband Griffith, king of Wales. See vol. i. p. 461. 

* Blethyn-ap-Cynvyn, therefore, was not nephew of Edwin and Morcar. 
lie was brother of Griffith. 


gents fortified themselves in the woods and marshes, on the 
estuaries, and in some cities. York was in a state of the 
highest excitement, which the holiness of its bishop was 
unable to calm. Numbers lived in tents, disdaining to dwell 
in houses lest they should become enervated ; from which 
some of them were called savages by the Normans. 

In consequence of these commotions, the king carefully sur- 
veyed the most inaccessible points in the country, and, select- 
ing suitable spots, fortified them against the enemy's excur- 
sions. In the English districts there were very few fortresses, 
which the Normans call castles ; so that, though the English 
were warlike and brave, they were little able to make a deter- 
mined resistance. One castle the king built at Warwick, and 
gave it into the custody of Henry, son of Roger de Beau- 
mont. 1 Edwin and Morcar, now considering the doubtful issue 
of the contest, and not unwisely preferring peace to war, sought 
the king's favour, which they obtained, at least, in appear- 
ance. The king then built a castle at Nottingham, which he 
committed to the custody of William PevereU. 

When the inhabitants of York heard the state of affairs, 
they became so alarmed that they made hasty submission, in 
order to avoid being compelled by force ; delivering the keys 
of the city to the king, and offering him hostages. But, 
suspecting their faith, he strengthened the fortress within 
the city walls, and placed in it a garrison of picked men. At 
this time, Archill, the most powerful chief of the Northum- 
brians, made a treaty of peace with the king, and gave him 
his son as a hostage. The bishop of Durham, 2 also, being 
reconciled to King William, became the mediator for peace 
with the king of the Scots, and was the bearer into Scotland 
of the terms offered by William. Though the aid of Mal- 
colm had been solicited by the English, and he had prepared 
to come to their succour with a strong force, yet when he 
heard what the envoy had to propose with respect to a peace, 
he remained quiet, and joyfully sent back ambassadors in 
company with the bishop of Durham, who in his name swore 
fealty to King William. In thus preferring peace to war, he 
best consulted his own welfare, and the inclinations of his 
subjects ; for the people of Scotland, though fierce in war, 

1 He was created earl of Warwick. 
a Egclwin, bishop of Durham. 
C 2 


love ease and quiet, and are not disposed to disturb them- 
selves about their neighbours' affairs, loving rather religious 
exercises than those of arms. On his return from this 
expedition, the king erected castles at Lincoln, Huntingdon, 
and Cambridge, placing in each of them garrisons composed 
of his bravest soldiers. 

Meanwhile, some of the Norman women were so inflamed 
by passion that they sent frequent messages to their hus- 
bands, requiring their speedy return, adding that, if it were 
not immediate, they should choose others. They would not 
venture as yet to join their lords, on account of the sea 
voyage, which was entirely new to them. Nor did they like 
to pass into England where their husbands were always in 
arms, and fresh expeditions were daily undertaken, attended 
with much effusion of blood on both sides. But the king 
naturally wished to retain his soldiers while the country was 
in so disturbed a state, and made them great offers of lands 
with ample revenues and great powers, promising still more 
when the whole kingdom should be freed from their opponents. 
The lawfully created barons and leading soldiers were in 
great perplexity, for they were sensible that, if they took their 
departure while their sovereign, with their brothers, friends 
and comrades, were surrounded by the perils of war, they 
would be publicly branded as base traitors and cowardly 
deserters. On the other hand, what were these honourable 
soldiers to do, when their licentious wives threatened to stain 
the marriage bed with adultery, and stamp the mark of 
infamy on their offspring ? l In consequence, Hugh de 
Grantmesnil, who was governor of the Gewissse, that is, of 
the district round "Winchester, 2 and his brother-in-law Hum- 
phrey de Tilleul, 3 who had received the custody of Hastings 
from the first day it was built, and many others, departed, 
deserting, with regret and reluctance, their king struggling 

1 M. Thierry remarks on this passage : " Bitter, and not very decent 
jests were directed against the Norman women who were in such haste to 
recall their protectors and the fathers of their children; and imputations of 
cowardice diffused witli reference to those who might abandon their leader 
in a foreign land." History of the Norman Conquest, Hazlitt's translation, 
p. 215. 

3 The present Hampshire; but the Gewissae, properly speaking, were the 
inhabitants of a far more extensive district. 

* Tilleul-en-Auge, two leagues north of Grant-mesnil. 


amongst foreigners. They returned obsequiously to their 
lascivious wives in Normandy, but neither they nor their 
heirs were ever able to recover the honour and domains 
which they had already gained, and relinquished on this 
occasion. 1 

England was now a scene of general desolation, a prey to 
the ravages both of natives and foreigners. Fire, robbery, 
and daily slaughter, did their worst on the wretched people, 
who were for ever attacked, trampled down, and crushed. 
Calamity involved both the victors and their victims in the 
same toils, prostrating them alternately by the sword, pesti- 
lence, and famine, according to the dispensations of the 
Almighty Disposer of events. The king, therefore, taking 
into consideration the impoverished state of the country, 
assembled the stipendiary soldiers he had in his pay, and, 
rewarding their services with royal munificence, kindly per- 
mitted them to return to their homes. 

CH. V. Descent of the sons of Harold from Ireland in the 
west of England invasion of the east and north by the 
troops of Sweyn, king of Denmark They are joined by the 
Anglo-Danish nobles and population King William 1 s cam- 
paign in Yorkshire and Durham Lays waste the country 
between the Humber and the Tees Marches against the 
insurgents in Cheshire and the borders of Wales. 

IN the third year of his reign, King William gave the 
county of Durham to Robert de Comines, who soon after- 
wards entered the city, with great confidence, at the head of 
five hundred men. But the citizens assembled early in the 
night, and massacred Robert and all his troops, except two, 
who escaped by flight. 2 The bravest of men were unable to 
defend themselves, taken at disadvantage, at such an hour, 
and overwhelmed by numbers. 

Not long afterwards, Robert Fitz-Richard, the governor of 
York, was slain with many of his retainers. Confidence 

1 William's resentment against Hugh de Grantmesnil does not appear 
to have been so lasting as our author represents it, for Hugh not only 
returned to England, where at the time of making the Domesday survey 
he possessed a vast number of manors, and where he filled important 
offices, but his wife, Adeliza, held directly of the crown several manors in 
her own name, a distinction granted to very few of the Norman ladies. 

" This massacre took place on the 28th of January, 1069. 


now became restored among the English in resisting the 
Normans, by whom their friends and allies were grievously 
oppressed. Oaths, fealty, and the safety of their hostages, 
were of little weight to men who became infuriated by the 
loss of their patrimony and the murder of their kinsfolk and 

Marlesweyn, Cospatric, Edgar Atheling, Archill, and the 
four sons of Karol, with other powerful and factious nobles, 
collected their forces, and joining a band of the townsmen 
and their neighbours, made a desperate attack on the royal 
fortress of Tork. William Malet, the governor of the castle, 
was, therefore, compelled to inform the king that he must 
surrender, unless his harassed troops received immediate 
reinforcements. The king flew to the spot, and fell on the 
besiegers, none of whom he spared. Many of them were 
taken prisoners, numbers slain, the rest put to flight. The 
king spent eight days in the city, making an additional for- 
tification, and committed the place to the custody of the 
earl William Fitz-Osbern. He then returned in triumph 
to Winchester, where he celebrated the feast of Easter. 
After the king's departure, the English re-assembled and 
renewed their attack, menacing both the fortresses ; but 
Earl AVilliam and his troops, falling on the insurgents in a 
certain valley, defeated them, many being slain or taken 
prisoners, and the rest, for the present, escaped by flight. 

Being thus unceasingly occupied by revolts which broke 
out in every quarter, King William sent back Matilda, his 
dearly beloved wife, to Normandy, where, sheltered from tho 
tumults with which England was distracted, she might have 
leisure to devote herself to religious duties, and watch over 
the safety of the province and of Robert her son. This 
princess was cousin to Philip, king of France, and being 
descended from the royal line of the French kings and the 
emperors of Germany, 1 she was no less distinguished by her 
illustrious birth, than by the effulgence of her virtues. Her 
august husband had by her an enviable family, consisting 
both of sons and daughters : Robert and Richard, William 
Rufus and Henry, Agatha and Constance, Adeliza, Adela, 
and Cicely, who met with different fates in this uncertain 

1 Queen Matilda was daughter of Adela of France, sister of Henry I., 
and consequently cousin-gennan of Philip I. 


life, and have afforded ample materials from which eloquent 
writers have composed voluminous works. 1 Beauty of person, 
high birth, a cultivated mind, and exalted virtue, combined 
to grace this illustrious queen, and, what is still more worthy 
of immortal praise, she was firm in the faith, and devoted to 
the service of Christ. Her charities, which she daily 
distributed with fervent zeal, contributed more than I am 
able to express to the prosperity of her husband, continually 
struggling in his warlike career. 

The two sons of Harold, 2 king of England, took refuge 
with Dermot, king of Ireland, disconsolate at their father's 
death and their own expulsion. Obtaining succour from 
him and his chief nobles, they appeared off Exeter, with 
sixty-six vessels, full of troops. Landing on the coast they 
began boldly to ravage the interior of the country, subjecting 
it to severe losses by fire and sword. But they were quickly 
encountered by Brian, son of Eudes, count of Brittany, 
and William Gualdi, at the head of an armed force, which, 
after two battles on the same day, reduced their fearful 
numbers so much that those who were left escaped in two 
vessels, and on their return filled Ireland with grief. Indeed, 
if night had not put an end to the conflict, not even one 
would have returned home with tidings of the disaster. So 
just a fate befell the tyrant's sons, attempting to revenge 
him and those who aided them in such an enterprize. 3 

During these occurrences Githa, the wife of Godwin and 
mother of Harold, secretly collected vast wealth, and from 

1 The histories of the sons of William and Matilda are well known ; of 
the daughters, Agatha, the eldest, was betrothed successively to Harold 
and to Alphonso, king of Gallicia, but died while she was on her way to 
Spain, as will appear hereafter. Constance married Afen Fergan, duke of 
Brittany, nnd Adela, Stephen, count de Blois. Adeliza became a nun in 
the convent of St. Leger-de-Preaux, and Cecilia in that of the Holy 
Trinity at Cadiz, of which she was afterwards abbess. 

a There were three, not two, sons of Harold, who claimed the protection 
of Dermot, king of Leinster ; Godwin, Edmund, and Magnus. 

* According to our English historians, this expedition, which was under- 
taken in 1068, was neither so short nor disastrous as our author represents. 
It was not Brian of Brittany, but Eadnoth, formerly Harold's master-of- 
the-horse, who put himself at the head of the forces which resisted the sons 
of his late master. He was killed in the battle, but the fleet though repulsed 
at this point ravaged the coasts of Devonshire and Cornwall, returning to 
Ireland loaded with the plunder of the two counties. 


her fear of King "William crossed over to France, never to 
return. 1 

At that time Sweyn, king of Denmark, equipped with 
great care a powerful fleet, in which he embarked both 
Danes and English under the command of his two sons 2 
and his brother Osbern, with two pontiffs and three 
distinguished earls, directing the armament against England. 
For he had often been invited by the earnest prayers of the 
English, accompanied by large sums of money, and he was 
also moved by the loss of his countrymen recently slain in 
the battle with Harold; and being the nephew of King 
Edward, who was son of Hardicanute, his ambition was 
excited by his near relationship to the throne. This king 
was possessed of great power, and he assembled the whole 
strength of his kingdom, which was augmented by aux- 
iliary forces from neighbouring countries with which he 
was allied. He was thus supported by Poland, Frisia, and 
Saxony. Leutecia 3 also furnished a body of stipendiary 
soldiers hired with English wealth. That populous country 
was inhabited by a nation which, still lost in the errors of 
paganism, was ignorant of the true God, but, entangled in 
the toils of ignorance, worshipped Woden, Thor, and Frea, 
and other false gods, or rather demons. This nation was ex- 
perienced in war both by sea and land, but Sweyn had often 
gained victories over it under its king, and had reduced it 
to submission. Grown arrogant by repeated successes, and 
seeking to raise his power and glory to a still higher pitch, 
Sweyn, as we have already mentioned, fitted out an expedi- 
tion against King William. The Danes attempted a landing 
at Dover, but were repulsed by the royal troops. Making 

1 This princess, who is also called Edith, escaping from Exeter in 1067, 
spent some time in concealment on the little island called the Flat-Holmes 
near the mouth of the Severn. She afterwards reached the coast of Flan- 
ders, and took refuge at St. Omer. Her name frequently appears in the 
Domesday-book, where it is spelt Ghida, Gida, or Gueda. The entries 
there prove that she held of the crown, before the conquest, 39,600 acres 
of land. 

2 The fleet was under the command of Sweyn's second son, Canute, 
afterwards Canute IV., 1080 July, 108C, who was canonized in 1100. 

3 "A country in the north of Germany, on the left bank of the Oder, 
and near its mouth, and consequently to the north of Saxony." Le Pri- 
vosL " Probably the country of the Lettons, now called Lithuania." 


another attempt at Sandwich, they were again repulsed by 
the Normans. However they found an opportunity of 
disembarking at Ipswich, and dispersed themselves to pillage 
the neighbourhood ; but the country people assembled, and 
slaying thirty of them, compelled the rest to save themselves 
by flight. Having landed at Norwich for a similar incur- 
sion, they were encountered by Ralph de Gruader, who put 
numbers of them to the sword, caused many to be drowned, 
and forced the rest to retire with disgrace to their ships 
and put to sea. King William was at this time in the 
forest of Dean following the chace, as it was his custom to 
do. Receiving intelligence there of these descents of the 
Danes, he instantly despatched a messenger to York, with di- 
rections to his officers to be on their guard against the enemy, 
and to summon him to their support if necessity required. 
Those to whom the custody of the fortresses was entrusted 
sent word in reply that they should need no succour from 
him for a year to come. By this time the Atheling, 1 
"Waltheof, Siward, and other powerful English lords, had 
joined the Danes, who landed at the mouth of the 
broad river Humber. The Atheling had gone there on a 
predatory excursion with his own followers, and was sepa- 
rated from the allied troops. But they were unexpectedly 
attacked by the king's garrisons, sallying forth from 
Lincoln, who took them all prisoners, except two who 
escaped with the Atheling, and destroyed their ship which 
those who were left to guard it abandoned in alarm. 

The Danes now invested York, their force being much 
increased by the number of the natives who assembled to 
support them. "VValtheof, Cospatric, Marisweyn, Elnoc, 
Archill, and the four sons of Karol, marched in the van, 
taking their stations in front of the Danes and Norwegians. 
The garrison of the castle made a rash sally, and, engaging 
within the city walls, fought at a disadvantage. Being 
unable to resist the numbers of the assailants, they were all 
killed or made prisoners. The castles having lost their 
defenders were open to the enemy. The king was still en- 
joying a false security when the news of this disaster reached 
him. Report magnified the force of the invaders, and said 
tliat they were prepared to join battle with the king himself. 
1 " Adclinus," Edgar Atheling. 


William, roused by grief and anger, hastened his preparations 
for advancing against them ; but they, fearing to measure 
themselves with so renowned a commander, fled to the 
Humber, and sailed over to the shore which borders on 
Lindsey. The king pursued them with his cavalry, and 
finding some marauders in the almost inaccessible fens, put 
them to the sword and destroyed some of their fastnesses. 
The Danes escaped to the opposite shore, waiting an oppor- 
tunity of revenging themselves and their comrades. 

At that time the West Salons of Dorset and Somerset, 
and their neighbours, made an attack on Montacute, but by 
God's providence they were foiled in their attempt ; for 
the men of Winchester, London, and Salisbury, under the 
command of Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, came upon them 
by surprise, slew some of them, and mutilating a number 
of the prisoners, put the rest to flight. Meanwhile the 
Welsh, with the men of Cheshire, laid siege to the king's 
castle at Shrewsbury, aided by the townsmen under Edric 
Guilda, 1 a powerful and warlike man, and other fierce 
English. The same thing was done at Exeter by the people 
of Devonshire, and a host of men assembled from Cornwall. 
It is the extreme point of the west of England towards 
Ireland, from whence it derives its name of Cornu Bri- 
tannia, the horn of Britain, or Cornwall. The citizens of 
Exeter took the king's side, for they had not forgotten the 
sufferings they had formerly endured. The king receiving 
this intelligence lost no time in giving orders to two earls, 
William and Brian, 2 to march to the relief of the two 
places which were attacked. But before they reached 
Shrewsbury, the enemy had burnt the town and retired. 
The garrison of Exeter made a sudden sally, and charging 
the besiegerr with impetuosity, put them to the rout. 
William and Brian, meeting the fugitives, punished their 
rash enterprise with a great slaughter. 

Meanwhile the king found no difficulty in crushing con- 

1 Edric the Wild, see before, vol. L p. 147. The Normans called him 
le Sauvage, the Forester. 

* Probably William Fitz-Osborn, governor of Winchester, and Brian of 
Rrittany, mentioned before, p. 23, who was the second son of Eudes, 
count de Penthievre, and brother of Alan the Black and Alan the Red, 
earls of Richmond in Yorkshire. 


siderable numbers of the insurgents at Stafford. In so 
many conflicts blood flowed freely on both sides, and the 
defenceless population, as well as those who were in arms, 
suffered from time to time severe disasters. The divine law 
was everywhere violated, and ecclesiastical discipline became 
almost universally relaxed. Murders were wretchedly fre- 
quent, men's hearts were stimulated to evil by the incentives 
of covetousness and passion, and they were hurried in 
crowds to hell, condemned by God whose judgments always 
prove just. Upon King William's return from Lindsey he 
left there his half brother Eobert Count de Mortaine, 1 
and Eobert Count d'Eu, to restrain the incursions of 
the Danes. The invaders lurked for a while in concealment, 
but when they supposed it was safe, they issued from their 
dens to join in the festivals of the country people on what 
are called their farms. Upon this the two earls fell upon 
them unexpectedly, and mingling their blood with the feasts, 
followed them up while they were in disorder, and pursued 
them to their very ships, slaughtering them as they fled. 
It was again reported that the brigands had gone to York, 
to celebrate the feast of the nativity, and prepare themselves 
for battle. The king was hastening thither from Notting- 
ham, but was stopped at Pontefract, where the river was 
not fordable, and could not be crossed by boats. He would 
not listen to those who advised him to return ; and to those 
who proposed to construct a bridge he replied that it was 
not expedient, as the enemy might come upon them un- 
awares, and take the opportunity of their being so engaged 
to inflict a loss upon them. They were detained there 
three weeks. At length, a brave knight named Lisois des 
Moutiers, carefully sounded the river, searching for a ford 
both above and below the town. At last, with great diffi- 
culty, he discovered a place where it was fordable, and 
crossed over at the head of sixty bold men-at-arms. They 
were charged by a multitude of the enemy, but stoutly held 
their ground against the assault. The next day, Lisoig 
returned and announced his discovery, and the army crossed 
the ford without further delay. The road now lay through 
forests and marshes, over hills and along valleys, by paths 
so narrow that two soldiers could not march abreast. In 
1 The king's half-brother by his mother Arlotta. 


this way they at last reached the neighbourhood of York, 
when they learned that the Danes had already retreated. 
The king, therefore, detached a body of men-at-arms, with 
commanders and officers, to repair the fortresses inside the 
city walls, and posted others on the banks of the Humber to 
oppose the advance of the Danes ; while he himself con- 
tinued his march through an almost inaccessible country, 
overgrown with wood, in the full intention of pursuing the 
enemy, without relaxation, into the fastness in which they 
lurked. His camps were scattered over a surface of one 
hundred miles ; numbers of the insurgents fell beneath his 
vengeful sword, he levelled their places of shelter to the 
ground, wasted their lands, and burnt their dwellings with 
all they contained. Never did William commit so much 
cruelty ; to his lasting disgrace, he yielded to his worst 
impulse, and set no bounds to his fury, condemning the 
innocent and the guilty to a common fate. In the fulness 
of his wrath he ordered the corn and cattle, with the imple- 
ments of husbandry and every sort of provisions, to be 
collected in heaps and set on fire till the whole was con- 
sumed, and thus destroyed at once all that could serve for 
the support of life in the whole country lying beyond the 
Humber. There followed, consequently, so great a scarcity 
in England in the ensuing years, and severe famine involved 
the innocent and unarmed population in so much misery, 
that, in a Christian nation, more than a hundred thousand 
souls, of both sexes and all ages, perished of want. 1 On 
many occasions, in the course of the present history, I have 
been free to extol William according to his merits, but I 
dare not commend him for an act which levelled both the 
bad and the good together in one common ruin, by the 
infliction of a consuming famine. For when I see that 
innocent children, youths in the prime of their age, and 
grey headed old men, perished from hunger, I am more 
disposed to pity the sorrows and sufferings of the wretched 
people, than to undertake the hopeless task of screening one 
who was guilty of such wholesale massacre by lying flatteries. 
I assert, moreover, that such barbarous homicide could not 
pass unpunished. The Almighty Judge beholds alike the 

1 This famine lasted nine years, but its ravages were most severe in the 
years 1068, 1069, and 1070. 


high and low, scrutinizing and punishing the acts of both 
with equal justice, that his eternal laws may be plain to all. 

"While the Avar was in progres, William ordered the 
crown and the other ensigns of royalty, and plate of value, 
to be brought from "Winchester, aud stationing his army in 
camps, went himself to York where he spent the feast of 
Christmas. He learnt that a fresh band of the marauders 
was lurking in a corner of the country defended on all sides 
either by the sea or by marshes. There was only one ac- 
cess to this retreat, by a sound strip of land not mor.e than 
twenty feet wide. They had collected abundance of booty, 
and lived in perfect security, believing that no force could 
hurt them. However, when they heard that the royal troops 
were at hand they quickly decamped by night. The indefatiga- 
ble king pursued his desperate foes to the river Tees, through 
such difficult roads that he was obliged sometimes to dis- 
mount and march on foot. He remained seven days on the 
Tees. There he received the submission of Waltheof in per- 
son, and of Cospatric by his envoys who swore fealty on his 
part. Their former allies, the Danes, were now exposed to 
great perils, having become wandering pirates, tossed 
by the winds and waves. But they suffered no less from 
famine than from storms. Part of them perished by 
shipwreck ; the rest sustained life by feeding on a misera- 
ble pottage ; and these not only common soldiers, but the 
princes, earls, and pontiffs. Meat entirely failed, even musty 
and putrid as they had long eaten it. They did not venture to 
land in search of plunder, nor even touch the shore, so great 
was their terror of the inhabitants. At last the small re- 
mains of that powerful fleet sailed back to Denmark, and 
carried to Sweyn, their king, a miserable account of all the 
misfortunes they had undergone, the savage courage of tho 
enemy, and the loss of their comrades. 

In the month of January, King William returned from 
the Tees to Hexham, by a road hitherto unattempted by 
an armv, where the peaked summits of the hills and the deep 
glens were often covered with snow at a season when the 
neighbouring plains were clothed with the verdure of spring. 
The king passed it in the depth of winter during a severe 
frost, but the troops were encouraged by the cheerfulness 
with which he surmounted all obstacles. Still the march 


was not accomplished without great difficulty and the loss of 
a great number of horses. Every one had enough to do in 
providing for his own safety without having much' concern 
for that of his chiefs or his friends. In these straits, the 
king lost his way, having no escort but six men-at-arms, and 
spent a whole night without knowing where they were. 
Having returned to York he repaired the several castles in 
that place, and ordered affairs advantageously for the city 
and neighbourhood. He then engaged in another expedi- 
tion against the people of Chester and the Welsh, who, in 
addition to their other delinquencies, had lately besieged 
Shrewsbury. The troops who had just gone through so 
much suffering were apprehensive that they would be expo- 
sed to still greater in the present enterprise. They dreaded 
the ruggedness of the country, the severity of the winter, 
the dearth of provisions, and the terrible fierceness of the 
enemy. The soldiers of Anjou, Brittany, and Maine com- 
plained that they were ground down with a service more 
intolerable than that of guarding the castles, and made 
vehement claims on the king for their discharge. They said, 
for their justification, that they could not serve under a lord 
who was venturing on enterprises which were unexampled 
and out of all reason, nor carry into effect impracticable 
orders. The king, in this emergency, imitated the example 
of Julius Ca3sar, and did not condescend to reconcile them 
to his service by earnest entreaties or fresh promises. He 
proceeded boldly on his march, commanding the faithful 
among his troops to follow him, and giving out that he 
cared little for these who would desert him, considering 
them as cowards, poltroons, and faint-hearted. He promised 
repose to such as contended successfully with the difficulties 
they had to surmount, declaring that there was no road to 
honour but through toilsome exertions. With unwearied 
vigour he made his way through roads never before travelled 
by horses, across lofty mountains and deep valleys, rivers 
and rapid streams, and dangerous quagmires in the hollows 
of the hills. Pursuing their track they were often distressed 
by torrents of rain, sometimes mingled with hail. At times 
they were reduced to feed on the flesh of horses which 
perished in the bogs. The king often led the way on foot 
with great agility, and lent a ready hand to assist others in 

A.]), 1070.] SYNOD AT W1NCHESTEB. 31 

their dfficulties. At length he conducted hia whole force 
safely to Chester, and put down all hostile movements 
throughout the province of Mercia by the power of a royal 
army. He then built a castle at Chester, and another on 
his return at Shrewsbury, leaving strong garrisons and 
abundant stores of provisions in both. From thence march- 
ing to Salisbury, he recompensed his soldiers for all their 
sufferings by an ample distribution of rewards, giving due 
praise to all who deserved it, and dismissing them with 
many thanks. To mark his displeasure with those who had 
threatened desertion, he detained them forty days longer 
than their comrades, a slight penalty for men who deserved 
a much severer punishment. 

CH. VI. King William 's care of the church in England 
Digression on its origin, eminent men, and monastic esta- 
blishments Lanfranc's early life ; he is appointed arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. 

AFTEB, these events, King William kept the feast of Easter 
at Winchester, where certain cardinals of the Roman church 
solemnly crowned him. For, at his request, Pope Alexan- 
der had sent over to him, as his most beloved son, three 
special legates, Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, 1 and two cardinal 
canons. He detained them at his court for a year, listening 
to and honouring them as if they were the angels of God. 
They so ordered aifairs with respect to various places and 
on several occasions, as to distinguish the districts which 
needed canonical examination and orders. 

But what was most important, a numerous synod was 
held at Windsor 2 in the year of our Lord 1070, at which 
the king and the cardinals presided. In this synod, Stigaud, 
who had been already excommunicated, was deposed. His 
hands were stained by perjury and homicide, and he had not 
entered on his archiepiscopal functions by the lawful door, 
having been raised to his dignity by the two bishops of 
Norfolk and Winchester, by the steps of an infamous am- 
bition, and by supplanting others. Some suffragans were 
also deposed for having disgraced the episcopal office by 

1 In the Valais. The cHrdinals' names were Peter and John. 
- The synod was not held at Windsor but at Winchester, immediately 
after Easter. 


their criminal life and ignorance of pastoral duties. Two 
Norman prelates, chaplains of the king, were nominated 
bishops, Walkelin of Winchester, and Thomas of York ; l the 
first in the place of one who was deposed, the second of one 
who was dead. Both of these prelates were prudent, full of 
gentleness and humanity, venerated and beloved by men, 
and venerating and loving God. Others were replaced by 
bishops translated from France, men of letters, of excellent 
character, and zealous promoters of religion. 

King William exhibited in various ways his desire to 
further what was good, and especially he always esteemed 
true piety in the servants of God, on which the peace 
and prosperity of the world depend. This is abundantly 
proved by general report, and it is most clearly esta- 
blished by his actions. When one of the chief shepherds 
was at any time removed by death from the scene of his 
labours, and the church of God deprived of her ruler was 
sorrowing in her widowhood, the careful prince sent pru- 
dent commissioners to the bereaved house, and caused an 
inventory to be made of the goods of the church, that they 
might not be wasted by sacrilegious guardians. He then 
assembled bishops and abbots and other wise counsellors, 
and with their assistance made inquiry who was most fit 
and proper to have the government of the house of God, 
both as regarded its spiritual and temporal wants. Accord- 
ingly, the person recommended by them for his virtuous 
life and proficiency in learning, was appointed by the king's 
tender care to the vacant bishopric or abbey. He acted on 
this principle during the fifty-six years 2 he governed the 
dukedom of Normandy and the kingdom of England, leaving 
thus an excellent example and pious custom to his suc- 
cessors. He held simony in the utmost detestation, being in- 
fluenced in his choice of abbots and bishops by then- sanctity 
and wisdom, and not by their wealth or power. He advanced 
persons of worth to the government of the English monas- 

1 Thomas, archbishop of York, was a native of Bayeux, of which he was 
canon, but not a chaplain to the king. The nomination was made at 

a There is some exaggeration in this computation. William's govern- 
ment, reckoning from his accession to the dukedom of Normandy, only 
lasted fifty-two years, and as he was then only eight years old, he could 
not have exercised much discretion in the choice of bishops and abbots. 


teries, by whose zeal and discipline the monastic rule, which 
had somewhat relaxed, became more strict, and, where it 
seemed to have failed, was restored to its former vigour. 

It must be recollected that Augustine and Lawrence, 1 
and the other first missionaries in England were monks, and, 
instead of canons, piously established monks in their episcopal 
sees, a system rarely found in other countries. They 
founded a number of famous abbeys, and recommended to 
their converts monastic institutions both by word and ex- 
ample. This order, therefore, flourished in England with 
great lustre for more than two hundred years, and Christian 
perfection happily numbered among its votaries the English 
kings Ethelbert and Edwin, Oswald and Ofia, with many 
others, whom it raised for their souls' health to the highest 
pitch of virtue, until the time that Edmund, king of the 
East- Angles, and two other English kings received martyr- 
dom at the hands of the pagans. 2 After that, the Danish 
kings, Oskytel and Ghithrum, Anwind and Halfdene, Inguar 
and Hubba, invaded England with their heathen bands, 
giving to the flames the monasteries and churches of the 
monks and clergy, and butchering the flock of Christ like 

After some years, Alfred king of the Grewissae 3 and son 
of King Ethelwulph, made a bold stand against the pagans ; 
and having, by God's help, slain, expelled, or subjugated his 
enemies, was the first of the English kings who united in 
his person the monarchy of the whole of England. In my 

1 These missionaries, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, arrived in 
England in the year 596. Augustine aud Lawrence were successively 
archbishops of Canterbury. 

* St. Edmund the Martyr was murdered on the 20th of November, 870. 
The two other kings alluded to in this passage are Osbert and Ella, com- 
petitors for the kingdom of Northumbria, who were killed by the Danes in 
the year 866. 

8 Gewissie is the Anglo-Saxon term for the people of the west of 
England, signifying the " west." They were not, therefore, confined to the 
small county of Hants, as M. Le Prevost observes. The Visigoths are a 
name of similar signification. Wessex was Alfred's proper hereditary 
kingdom, to which he succeeded in 87'2. Sussex had been long absorbed 
in it; Kent and Mercia were annexed, and he gradually extended his sove- 
reignty over all the kingdoms of the Heptarchy, the portions still possessed 
by the Danes after his conquests being governed by tributary princes of 
that nation. Alfred died on the 26th of October, 901. 


opinion he surpassed all the kings of England, before or 
after him, in courage, munificence, and above all in pru- 
dence, and after a glorious reign of twenty-nine years left 
his sceptre to his son Edward the elder. When peace and 
order were re-established throughout the realm, pious 
princes and bishops began to employ themselves in restor- 
ing the monasteries ; and as all the monks in England had 
either perished or been driven out by the fury of the hea- 
thens in the troublesome times already mentioned, they 
commissioned a young man of high character whose name 
was Oswald, to proceed to the abbey of Fleury in France, 
built by Leodebod of Orleans on the banks of the Loire in 
the time of Clovis, son of Dagobert, king of the Franks. 1 
The place is held in great reverence on account of the bones 
of St. Benedict, the founder and master of the monastic 
order, which the monk Aigulf sent by the abbot Mummo- 
lus, translated from Beneventum to the country of Orleans. 3 
This happened after the devastation of the abbey of Monte 
Cassino, which the holy father Benedict foretold with tears 
to the monk Theoprobus, a worthy servant of God, as we 
Tead in the second book of the dialogues which Pope 
Gregory, the illustrious doctor of the church, so eloquently 
addressed to Peter the sub-deacon. 3 

After the death of King Clepo, before his son Autarith 
was of age to govern, when the whole Lombard nation, 
having no king, was subject to thirty-four dukes ; some 
Lombard brigands made an attack in the night with a view 
to plunder and pillage the abbey of Monte Cassiuo ; but all 
the monks, by God's protection, escaped in safety with their 
Abbot Bonitus. For a hundred and ten years afterwards 
the abbey remained desolate, until Petronax, bishop of 
Brescia, went there, and by the help of Pope Zachary rebuilt 
it in a style of great magnificence, and from that day to this 
the abbey of Monte Cassino has continually increased in 
splendour. 4 During, however, the continuance of the deso- 

1 This abbey was founded in the year 641, the fourth of the reign of 
Clovis, by Leodebaud, abbot of St. Aignau, at Orleans. 

2 The translation of the relics of St. Benedict was made about the year 
653. See an account of it in the Ada SS. Ordinis S. Benedict!, t. ii. 

3 Vita S. Benedict! ubbat. c;>p. xvii. 

4 Ordericus states the destruction of Monte Cassino to have taken place 


lation, and while the abbey was destitute of worshippers, the 
house of Fleury was, according to God's will, enriched by 
the possession of the precious remains of the illustrious 
father Benedict, whose translation the Cisalpine monks 
commemorate yearly, with solemn and pious offices, on the 
fifth of the ides [llth] of July. To Fleury, therefore, was 
the reverend youth Oswald sent, to be professed a monk, 
and, being instructed in the monastic rule, order his own 
life well according to the will of God, as well as conduct 
others who should attach themselves to that discipline, in the 
footsteps of the apostles, to the summit of their heavenly 
vocation. And so it happened. 

For, after some years, Oswald was sent back to England 1 
by the abbot of Fleury, at the courteous request of his 
countrymen, and being distinguished by great sagacity, as 
well as excellence, he was placed at the head of all the 
monastic institutions in England. Those venerable men, 
Dunstan and Athelwold, seconded him with all their 
influence, and their first effort was to introduce the regular 
discipline at Glastonbury and Abingdon. These doctors 
were faithfully obeyed by Athelstan, Edred, Edmund, and 
(especially) Edgar, son of Edmund, kings of England. In 
their reigns Dunstan was raised to be metropolitan of 
Canterbury, and Athelwold to be bishop of Winchester, and 
Oswald became, first, bishop of Worcester and afterwards 
archbishop of York. At their entreaty Abbo, a wise and 
pious monk of Fleury, was sent over the sea and instituted 
the monastic rule at Ramsey, 2 and other English monasteries, 
after the same manner in w r hich it was practised in France 
at that period. He inspired the bishops just named with 

some time between the death of Clepo, second king of the Lombards, 5th 
of January, 575, and his son Autarith coming of age, 584. It appears to 
have actually occurred about the year 582, when Bonitus was the sixth 
abbot. St. Petronax, who was never a bishop, but abbot of Monte Cassino, 
began to restore it from its ruins about the year 720, and died there the 
6th of May, 750, or thereabout. 

1 St. Oswald's residence at Fleury -sur-Loire appears to have been about 
the middle of the tenth century; his return to England in 961 ; his pro- 
motion to the bishopric of Worcester the year following; and to the 
archbishopric of York in 970. 

2 The abbey of Ramsey, in Huntingdonshire, was founded by Oswald in 
971. Abbo appears to have undertaken his journey to England about the 
year 980, remaining there nearly two years. 

D 2 


the love of holiness and all goodness, shedding lustre on 
them by their doctrines, and the miracles they performed, 
thus rendering great services to men of learning as well as 
to the vulgar. 

Bishop Athelwold then restored in the time of King 
Edgar, in the town now called Burg, the abbey of Medes- 
hamsted, which bishop Sexulf founded in the reign of 
Wulfere, king of the Mercians. 1 He also endowed with 
great wealth the church dedicated to St. Peter, prince of the 
apostles. Afterwards, Thorney abbey, Ely abbey, 2 and 
many other monasteries, were built in different places ; and 
societies of monks, clerks, or nuns, were suitably established 
in them. Abundant revenues were assigned to each of these 
houses, sufficient to supply the servants of the altar with 
meat and clothing, in order that they might not fail in the 
divine service for want of necessaries. 

Monastic discipline being thus restored in England, a 
glorious army of monks was furnished with the arms of the 
Spirit to contend against Satan, and taught to persevere in 
fighting the Lord's battle until victory was gained. But 
after the lapse of some years, in the time of King Ethelred, 
son of Edgar, a violent storm rose in the north, to winnow 
the wheat in which tares had abundantly multiplied. Sweyn, 
king of Denmark, a bigoted idolater, sailed to the coast of 
England with a powerful fleet, manned by pagans, and, 
making a descent with formidable numbers when it was least 
expected, drove the terrified king Ethelred, with his sons 
Edward and Alfred, and his queen Emma, to take refuge in 
Normandy. 3 It was not however long before, by God's 
providence, Sweyn, the cruel persecutor of the Christians, 
was killed by St. Edmund, and Ethelred, on learning his 
death, returned to his own kingdom. Then Canute, king 
of Denmark, when he heard his father's fortunes, made 
an alliance with Lacman, king of Sweden, and Olave, king of 
Norway, and their allied forces landed in England. In the 

i This abbey, afterwards called Peterborough, or Peter's " Burjr," was 
founded about the middle of the seventh century, and restored by Bishop 
Athe.-.rold in 972. 

4 Thorney abbey was founded in 472 ; Ely restored in 970. 

1 The events here recapitulated occurred in the year 1013, but Ethelred 
did not at first accompany his wife and children to Normandv. but retired 
for some time to the Isle of Wight. 


end, after many defeats, on the death of King Ethelred and 
his son Edmund Ironside, he ascended the throne of England, 
which he and his sons, Harold and Hardicanute, possessed 
for more than forty years. 1 

During these events Canterbury, the metropolitan city, 
was besieged and burnt, and St. Elphege, the archbishop, 
was tortured by the heathen Danes and suffered martyrdom. 2 
At that time other cities were also burnt, and episcopal and 
abbey churches destroyed, with their sacred books and 
ornaments. The flock of the faithful was dispersed by 
these storms through various quarters, and dreadfully torn 
by the ravages of the wolves, to which it became a prey. 

I have made a long digression, I trust to some advantage, 
and collected facts from former annals, for the purpose of 
showing to the attentive reader how it was that the 
Normans found the people of England so clownish and 
almost illiterate, notwithstanding the [Roman pontiffs had 
long since supplied them with institutions best calculated 
for their instruction. Gregory and Boniface had sent 
excellent teachers, with sacred books and all the necessaries 
for performing the offices of the church for the service of the 
English people, and had taught them, as their dear children, 
all that was good. After that, Pope Vitalian, in the reigns 
of Oswy and Egbert, sent into England those learned men, 
Theodore, archbishop, and Adrian, abbot, by whose labours 
and intelligence the English clergy were well instructed, 
both in Latin and Greek literature, and became much 
distinguished. In the next age flourished Abbot Albinus 
and Bishop Aldelm, whose learning and piety enlightened 
numbers, and whose writings have handed down to posterity 
memorable proofs of their virtues. 3 All these and many 

1 See before, b. i. vol. i. p. 146. The reign of Canute in England Listed 
from 10171035; Harold- Harefoot, 1035 1040; Hardicanute, 1040 
1 042 ; which together are far from making up the forty years assigned to 
these reigns by our author. For Lacman and Olave, see the preceding 

2 The destruction of Canterbury Cathedral, and the murder of Arch- 
bishop Elphege, occurred in the spring of the year 1011; the latter on 
EHster Eve, the 19th of April, the former some weeks preceding. 

3 The mission of Theodore and Abbot Hadrian took place in 668. See 
Beile's Eccles. Hist. p. 171, Bohn's Edition. Albinus succeeded Hadrian 
as abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, in 709, ib. p. 276. Bede acknow- 


more have been rendered illustrious by the labours ot the 
eloquent Bede, who has equalled them to the most 
accomplished masters of the liberal arts, and inquirers into 
the secrets of nature. This venerable man divided the life- 
giving bread of the Old and New Testament among the 
children of Christ, by his lucid commentaries, explaining in 
his works more than sixty mysterious subjects, and thus 
gained lasting honour, both in his own and foreign 
countries. 1 

When the precious stones were happily set in the walls 
of the heavenly Jerusalem, and the grains of wheat safely 
housed in the garner of the true Joseph, the stones were 
scattered in the streets, and the chaff was cast on the dung- 
hill, and carelessly trodden under foot by those who passed 
by. Thus, by the just judgment of Almighty God, when 
his chosen servants had passed out of this transitory world 
to that which is eternal, the Danes, as we have already seen, 
restrained by no fear of God or man, long revelled in the 
ruin of England, practising, without remorse, innumerable 
breaches of the divine law. Human actions, always prone 
to evil, become by an infamous course truly abominable, 
when rulers, who ought to govern with the rod of discipline, 
are taken away. This freedom from control had relaxed 
the bonds both of the clergy and laity, and inclined both 
sexes to every species of license. The abundance of meat 
and drink led to excess, and levity and wantonness paved 
the way to crime. "With the ruin of the monasteries, 
religious discipline was enfeebled, and canonical rules were 
not restored till the times of the Normans. ' 

For a long period the monastic life had fallen into decay 
among the islanders, and the lives of monks little differed 
from those of men of the world ; their dress and their name 

ledges the assistance he received from this learned monk in the compilation 
of his history. Aldelm, abbot of Malmesbury, became the first bishop of 
the new see of Sherborne about the same time, and died in 709. His 
works were published in London in 1842, in vols. i. and ii. of Patres 
Eccletia Anylicante. 

1 The venerable Bede flourished 673 May 26, 735. His well known 
Ecclesiastical History has been several times translated, and is published 
in the first volume of Bohn's Antiquarian Library. The Commentaries 
on the Holy Scriptures, and other works alluded to by Ordericus Vitalis, 
are enumerated in the preface to that volume. 

A..D. 1070.] 1ANFBANC. 39 

was a mere deception ; they were abandoned to gluttony, to 
endless peculation, and foul prevarication. By the care of 
King William the order was reformed according to the 
canonical rules, and its blessed usages being restored, be- 
came highly honoured. Some new abbots were appointed 
by the king, and several monks received instruction in the 
monasteries of France, who, placed by the king's command 
in the English abbeys, perfected the discipline and gave 
examples of a religious life. Scotland, an abbot, distin- 
guished for his learning and great worth, was instituted 
to the abbey of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, founded by 
Augustine, the first doctor of the English nation. Born in 
Normandy, of a noble family, and strictly educated at the 
monastery of Mount St. Michael the archangel-in-peril-of- 
the-sea, he was preferred by the Normans to be abbot for 
the reformation of the monks of Canterbury. 1 In like man- 
ner there was a change of rulers in other monasteries, 
which in some was profitable, in others dangerous, both to 
those who governed and to those who were placed under 

The see of Canterbury, in which St. Augustine sat, and 
which, by a decree of Pope Gregory, obtained the primacy 
over all the bishops of Britain, was, on the deposition of 
Stigand, committed to Lanfranc, abbot of Caen, by the 
choice of the king and all his council. Born of a noble 
family, in the city of Pavia, in Italy, he learnt from child- 
hood in the schools the liberal arts, and applied himself 
with zeal to the study of the civil law, according to the cus- 
tom of his country, with the intention of continuing a 
layman. The youthful orator, when pleading a cause, fre- 
quently triumphed over his veteran opponents, and by a 
torrent of eloquence won the prize from men long in the 
habit of eloquent speaking. At a ripe age his opinions 
were given with so much wisdom, that learned doctors, 
judges, and praetors of the city, readily adopted them. But 
when in exile, the former academician, like Plato, learnt to 
philosophize, the light eternal flashed into his mind, and the 

1 He was abbot of St. Peter's of Canterbury before the year 1092, when 
he attended the synod at Winchester ; and died in September, 1087. M. 
Le Prevost conjectures that he belonged to a Norman family which gave 
its name to the village of Pontdcoulant, Pons-Scollandi. 


love of true wisdom enlightened his soul. He saw with 
Ecclesiastes, though he had not as yet learnt the use of 
ecclesiastical writings, that the things of the world are but 
vanity. Casting off the world therefore with sovereign con- 
tempt, he took on himself the profession of religion, and 
submitted to the yoke of the monastic rule. He selected for 
his retreat the abbey of Bee in Normandy, for its secluded 
site and poor endowment, enriching it by his prudent and 
ever watchful care, and bringing it into a state of the most 
perfect order, ruling the brotherhood with a discipline at 
once mild and strict, and aiding the holy abbot, Herluins, 
with profitable counsel. 1 A novice and an exile, while he 
mortified himself from sin and the world, and laboured most 
for what was spiritual and heavenly, God, the searcher of 
hearts, decreed, that his light should be set in a candlestick, 
that it might lighten the spacious house of the Lord. 
Forced from the quiet of the cloister by his sense of obe- 
dience, he became a master, in whose teaching a whole 
library of philosophy and divinity was displayed. He was 
a powerful expositor of difficult questions in both sciences. 
It was under this master that the Normans received the 
first rudiments of literature, and from the school of Bee 
that so many philosophers proceeded of distinguished at- 
tainments, both in divine and secular learning. For before, 
in the time of six dukes of Normandy, scarce any Norman 
devoted himself to liberal studies, nor did any doctor arise 
among them until, by the Providence of God, Lanfranc 
landed on the shores of Normandy. His reputation for 
learning spread throughout all Europe, and many hastened 
to receive lessons from him out of France, Gascony, Brit- 
tany, and Flanders. 

To understand the admirable genius and erudition of 
Lanfranc, one ought to be an Herodian in grammar, an 
Aristotle in dialectics, a Tully in rhetoric, an Augustine 
and Jerome, and other expositors of the law and grace, in the 
sacred scriptures. Athens itself, in its most flourishing 
state, renowned for the excellency of its teaching, would 
have honoured Lanfranc in every branch of eloquence and 

1 After spending some time at Avranches, Lanfranc came to Bee in 
1042. He was named prior there in 1045, and immediately afterwards 
opened bis school 

A.D. 10451070.] LANFBAKC. 41 

discipline, and would have desired to receive instruction 
from his wise maxims. Our monk was full of zeal to cleave 
asunder, with the sword of the word, whatever sects at- 
tacked the Catholic faith. In the counsels of Rome and 
Vercelli 1 he crushed, with the weapons of spiritual elo- 
quence, Berenger of Tours, esteemed by some an heresiarch, 
condemning his doctrine, which made the consecrated host 
the ruin instead of the salvation of souls. Lanfranc there ex- 
plained, with deep reverence, and most conclusively proved, 
that the bread and wine which are placed on the Lord's 
table are, after consecration, the true flesh and the true 
blood of the Lord our Saviour. He publicly defeated Be- 
renger, after a most elaborate controversy, both at Eome 
and at Tours, and compelled him to abjure his heresy, and 
to profess in writing the orthodox belief. Afterwards the 
blasphemous heretic, blushing for shame at having cast into 
the fire at Eome, with his own hands, the books containing 
his perverted doctrines, to save himself from being burned, 
corrupted his disciples by his money and his deceitful 
arguments, to conceal at home his latest writings, and after- 
wards convey them to -foreign countries, that his old errors 
might receive fresh support, and their duration be extended to 
future years. To refute which Lanfranc published a work, 
written in a clear and agreeable style, and founded on sacred 
authorities, which treats on the subject of the eucharist* 
with the strongest force of reasoning, and while it is lucid 
with eloquent discourse, is not prolix and tedious. Many 
churches earnestly desired to have Lanfranc for their bishop 
or abbot, and even Home, the capital of Christendom, so- 
licited him by letters to come there, and used prayers and 
even force to detain him. So illustrious in the sight of all 

1 The two councils here mentioned, in which Lanfranc confuted the 
errors of Berenger, archdeacon of Angers, were held in the year 1 050, the 
first after Easter, and that of Vercelli in the month of September. It is 
very doubtful whether Lanfranc assisted at the council of Tours, but he 
was present at that of Rome in April, 1059, when Berenger was compelled 
to abjure his errors. 

* Lanfranc's principal work against this heretic, to which he gave the 
strange title of Liber Scintillarum, but which is commonly known 
l>y that of De Corpore et Sanguine Domini, was written in the year 


men was one whom virtue and wisdom especially orna- 

When the bishop of Sion had deposed Stigand, as before 
related, he invited Lanfranc to undertake the primacy, and 
announced to him the petition of the church of G-od in a 
synod of the bishops and abbots of Normandy. Lanfranc, 
in much distress of mind, and fearing to take on himself so 
great a charge, begged for time to consider, holding it for 
certain that the retirement of a monk and the active duties 
of an archbishop could not be reconciled. Abbot Herluin 
laid his commands upon him, and he was accustomed to 
obey him as he would Christ. The queen and her son the 
prince entreated him ; the elders of the council also who 
were assembled earnestly exhorted him. He would not 
give a hasty reply, because every word and act of his was 
guided by the rule of discretion. He was unwilling to for- 
feit his o'bedience, and to offend those who entreated, per- 
suaded, admonished him. He, therefore, mournfully crossed 
the sea to make his excuses, hoping for a happy return. The 
king cordially received his coadjutor in Christian culture, 
and, combating with dignity and grace the excuses his humi- 
lity offered, succeeded in overcoming his reluctance.- 

In the year of our Lord, 1070, Lanfranc, the first abbot 
of Caen, 1 was sent by divine providence, to become the 
teacher of the English, and after a canonical election, and 
lawful consecration enthroned in the archiepiscopal see of 
the church of Canterbury on the fourth of the calends of 
September [August 29th.] A number of bishops and 
abbots, with a great concourse of the clergy and people, were 
present at the ceremony. The inhabitants of the whole of 
England, whether present or absent, were raised to the 
highest pitch of joy, and would indeed have offered bound- 
less thanks to God if they had known how much good 
Heaven was then bestowing upon them. 

In the church of Caen, Lanfranc was succeeded by 
"William, son of Radbod, bishop of Seez, who, I think, nine 
years afterwards was translated by King William to the 

1 The French editors of Ordericus place the nomination of Lanfranc to 
his abbey of St. Stephen at Caen in the middle of the year 1066, contrary 
to the general opinion. See book iii. c. xii. (voL i. p. 466). 


metropolitan see of Rouen. He was cousin of William 
bishop of Evreux, son of Girard Fleitel, the influence of 
which family was extremely powerful in Normandy in the 
time of the Richards. 1 As canon and archdeacon of Rouen 
he was under Mauritius, archbishop of that see, and 
becoming more ardent in his love of God, he went abroad 
with Theodoric, abbot of St. Evroult, devoutly making a 
pilgrimage to the glorious sepulchre of our Lord at Jerusa- 
lem. After his return, being apprehensive of losing the 
fruit of his former labours, he withdrew altogether from the 
temptations of the world, and devoted himself with delight 
to his holy warfare in the abbey of Bee. He was afterwards 
sent with Lanfranc to instruct the novices who assembled 
from all parts for the service of Christ in the city of Caen, 
and in the course of time became their worthy father and 

At the death of "William, bishop of Evreux, he was suc- 
ceeded by Baldwin, the duke's chaplain, who regularly 
governed the bishopric nearly seven years. At his decease 
Grislebert Fitz-Osbern, canon and archdeacon of Lisieux, 
became his successor. He held the see to its great benefit 
more than thirty years, augmenting its revenues in various 
ways, and skilfully regulating its affairs. On the death of 
Ives, bishop of Seez, Robert, son of Hubert de Rie, succeeded 
him, governing the see nearly twelve years, and being him- 
self zealous for the service of Grod, was a kind friend to the 
monks. 2 

CH. VII. TJie earls Edwin and Morcar slain or imprisoned 
Their vast estates distributed among the Norman lords 
Names and titles of the new possessors. 

IN these times, by God's gracious providence, tranquillity 
prevailed in England, and the brigands being driven to a 

1 William Bonne- Ame, son of Radbod, bishop of Se"ez (10251032), 
was made archbishop of Rouen after John d'Avranches in 1079. Our 
author is right in stating him to be cousin of Gerard Fleitel, father of 
William I., bishop of Evreux from 10461066. From a charter of his, 
signed by William the Conqueror, giving the commune of St. Denis-du- 
Bosc-Guerard, which derived its name from him, to St. Wrandrille's abbey, 
it appears that he long survived the dukes Richard I. and Richard II. 

8 It is supposed that a bishop named Michael intervened between 
William Fleitel and Baldwin. The latter was bishop of Evreux before 


distance, the cultivators of the soil renewed their labours in 
some sort of security. The English and Normans lived 
amicably together in the villages, towns, and cities, and 
intermarriages between them formed bonds of mutual 
alliance. Then might be seen in some of the towns and 
country fairs French traders with the merchandize they 
imported, and the English, who before in their homely dress 
cut a sorry figure in the eyes of the Normans, appeared in 
their foreign garb a different people. No one dared any 
longer to live by robbery, but all cultivated their lands in 
safety, and, though this did not last long, lived happily with 
their neighbours. Churches were built and repaired, and 
the ministers of religion zealously performed in them the 
service of God. The king's great activity watched over the 
public good, and roused the people by all possible means to 
profitable pursuits. He took some pains to make himself 
master of the English language, to enable himself to hear 
the complaints of his subjects without an interpreter, and 
to render equal justice to all according to the rules of 
equity ; but his time of life rendered this study a work ot 
difficulty, and his attention was necessarily diverted to 
other objects by the multiplicity of his occupations. 1 

But as the enemy of man goeth about like a roaring lion 
seeking whom he may devour, fresh disturbances of a 
serious character arose between the English and Normans, 
so that the relentless furies were again let loose, and for a 
long period wrought endless mischief. This originated in 
the evil counsels which led King William, much to the 
injury of his reputation, to a breach of faith in shutting up 
the illustrious earl Morcar, in the Isle of Ely, where he was 
besieged, though at the time he was in alliance with the 
king, and neither plotted nor suspected any evil. Their 

June, 1066. He died in 1070, and our author is mistaken as to the 
number of years he held that see. Gislebert, his successor, filled it thirty- 
four years, as we shall find hereafter. Ives de Belesme also died in 1070, 
and Robert de Rie about 1082. 

1 Hume charges the Conqueror with the preposterous design of eradi- 
cating the English, and substituting the Norman language. The use of the 
latter in the courts, generally alleged in evidence of this design, was only 
the natural consequence of almost all the ecclesiastics, who were also the 
lawyers, being Normans. The Conqueror's own charters are either in 
Anglo-Saxon or Latin. 

A.D. 1071.] EDWIN AND MOBCAK. 45 

differences were fomented by wily newsmongers, who went 
to and fro propounding the treacherous terms that the earl 
should surrender himself to the king, and the king restore 
him to his favour as a trusty adherent. The earl might 
have defended himself for a considerable time in his inac- 
cessible retreat, or when things came to the worst, have 
taken advantage of the river which surrounded it to escape 
by sea. But weakly listening to false representations, he 
left the island, and came to court with his attendants in 
peaceable guise. The king, however, was apprehensive that 
Morcar would avenge the evils unjustly inflicted on himself 
and his countrymen, and be the means of raising endless 
disturbances in his English dominions ; he, therefore, threw 
him into prison without any distinct charge, and committing 
him to the custody of Roger de Beaumont, confined him in 
his castle all the rest of his life. 1 When Earl Edwin, that 
handsome youth, heard of his brother's imprisonment, he 
declared that he would prefer death to life unless he could 
deliver Morcar from captivity, or have his revenge by a 
plentiful effusion of Norman blood. 2 For six months he 
solicited aid from the Scotch, the "Welsh, and the English. 
Meanwhile three brothers who were admitted to his fami- 
liarity, and were his principal attendants, betrayed him to 
the Normans, assassinating him, though he made a despe- 
rate defence at the head of twenty men-at-arms. The high 
tide, which rendered it necessary for Edwin to halt on the 
bank of a stream, aided the Normans in perpetrating this 
outrage, by cutting off his retreat. The report of Edwin's 
death, spread throughout the kingdom, was the cause of 
deep sorrow, not only to the English, but even to the Nor- 
mans and French, who lamented his loss like that of a friend 

1 Ordericus has not related these circumstances quite correctly. King 
William did not shut up Morcar in the Isle of Ely, but the earl retired 
there, and took refuge with Hereward to escape the king's persecutions. 
We find that he was committed to the custody of Roger de Beaumont, 
who probably guarded him in one of his castlea of Beaumont, Brionne, or 
Pontaudemer. Morcar was restored to liberty by the Conqueror on his 
death- bed, but almost immediately afterwards sent back to prison by 
William Rufus. 

8 It does not appear that Edwin was induced to become insurgent in 
consequence of his brother's arrest, but that, on the contrary, he was the 
first to -break with the Conqueror. 


or kinsman. This young nobleman was, as I have before 
said, born of pious parents, and lent himself to all good 
works as far as his multifarious engagements in difficult 
worldly affairs allowed. The graces of his person were so 
striking that he might be distinguished among thousands, 
and he was full of kindness for the clergy, the monks, and 
the poor. King William was moved to tears when he 
heard of the treason which had cut off the young earl of 
Mercia, and with a just severity sentenced to banishment 
the traitors who, to gain his favour, brought him the head 
of their master. 

Thus far "William of Poitiers carries his history, 1 which, 
imitating the style of Sallust, eloquently and acutely recounts 
the acts of King "William. This author was by birth a 
Norman, being a native of the town of Preaux, 2 where his 
sister was abbess of a convent of nuns dedicated to St. 
Leger. He is called "William of Poitiers, because in that 
city he drank deeply at the fountain of learning. Returning 
into his own country, he became eminent as the most 
learned of all his neighbours and fellow students, and made 
himself useful to Hugh and Gislebert, bishops of Lisieux, in 
ecclesiastical affairs, as archdeacon of that diocese. He had 
served with courage in a military career before he took 
orders, fighting bravely for his earthly sovereign, so that he 
was the better able to describe with precision the scenes of 
war, from having himself been present and encountered 
their perils. As age came on he devoted himself to science 
and prayer, and was more capable of composing in prose or 
verse than of preaching. He frequently wrote clever and 
agreeable poems, adapted for recitation, submitting them 
without jealousy to the correction of his juniors. I have 
briefly followed, in many parts, his narrative of King Wil- 
liam and his adherents without copying all he has written, 
or attempting to imitate his elegant style. I come now, 
with God's help, to recount events which took place among 

1 If the history of William de Poitiers extended as far as this period, as 
it is impossible to doubt after what our author here says, an important part 
of it has been lost, for in the state we now possess it, the narrative goes no 
further than the murder of Copsi. 

7 Near Pont Audemer. There were two abbeys here; a convent of monks 
dedicate 1 to J- 1. Peter, and one of nuns to St. Leger. A sister of William 
de Poitiers, named Emma, was the first abbess of St. Leger. 

A.D. 1071.] THE NORMAN LOEDS. 47 

our neighbours in the times which succeeded, not allowing 
myself to doubt that, as I have freely made use of what my 
predecessors have published, so those who come after me and 
are yet unborn, will diligently investigate the history of the 
present age. 

The two great earls of the Mercians having been got rid 
of, Edwin by death, and Morcar by strict confinement, King 
William distributed their vast domains in the richest 
districts of England among his adherents, raising the lowest 
of his Norman followers to wealth and power. He granted 
the Isle of "Wight and the county of Hereford to William 
Fitz-Osbern, high-steward of Normandy, giving him the 
charge, in conjunction with Walter de Lacy and other tried 
soldiers, of defending the frontier against the Welsh, who 
were breathing defiance. Their first expedition was a bold 
attack on the people of Brecknock, in which the Welsh 
princes, Rhys, Cadogan, and Meredith, 1 with many others, 
were defeated. The king had already granted the city and 
county of Chester to Grherbod of Flanders, who had been 
greatly harassed by the hostilities both of the English and 
Welsh. Afterwards, being summoned by a message from his 
dependants in Flanders, to whom he had entrusted his 
hereditary domains, he obtained leave from the king to 
make a short visit to that country, but while there his evil 
fortune led him into a snare, and, falling into the hands of 
his enemies, and thrown into a dungeon, he had to endure 
the sufferings of a long captivity, cut off from all the 
blessings of life. In consequence, the king gave the earldom 
of Chester to Hugh d'Avranches, son of Richard surnamed 
Goz, who, in concert with Robert of Rhuddlan, and Robert 
of Malpas, and other fierce knights, made great slaughter 
among the Welsh. This Hugh was not merely liberal but 
prodigal ; not satisfied with being surrounded by his own 
retainers, he kept an army on foot. He set no bounds 
either to his generosity or his rapacity. He continually 

1 Rhys-ap-Owen, Cadogan-ap-Blethyn, and Meredith-ap-Owen. Orde- 
ricus probably in his youth heard frequent mention of these Welsh chiefs 
and others he has named before. Shrewsbury, the seat of his father's patron, 
Roger, earl of Montgomery, was a frontier garrison, intended, like those 
of Chester and Malpas also mentioned, to curb the inroads of the tribes of 
North Wales. 


wasted even his own domains, and gave more encouragement 
to those who attended him in hawking and hunting, than 
to the cultivators of the soil, and the votaries of heaven. 
He indulged in gluttony to such a degree as to become so 
fat that he could scarcely walk. He abandoned himself 
immoderately to carnal pleasures, and had a numerous 
offspring of both sexes by his concubines, but they have 
almost all been carried off by one misfortune or another. 
He married Ermentrude, daughter of Hugh de Clermont, in 
the Beauvais, by whom he had Bichard, who succeeded him as 
his heir in the earldom of Chester, and when yet young and 
childless perished by shipwreck in company with William, 
son and heir apparent of Henry, king of England, and many 
of the nobility, on the seventh of the calends of November 
[26th October]. 1 

King William gave first to Roger de Montgomery the castle 
of Arundel and the city of Chichester, and afterwards the 
earldom of Shrewsbury, 2 which town is situated on a hill by 
the river Severn. This earl was wise, moderate, and a lover 
of justice ; and cherished the gentle society of intelligent and 
unassuming men. For a long time he had about him three 
well-informed clerks, Godebald, Odelirius, 3 and Herbert, 
whose advice he followed with great advantage. He gave 
his niece Emerie and the command of Shrewsbury to 
Warin the Bald, 4 a man of small stature but great courage, 
who bravely encountered the earl's enemies, and maintained 
tranquillity throughout the district entrusted to his 
government. Roger de Montgomery also gave commands in 
his earldom to William, surnamed Pantoul, Picot de Say, and 
Corbet, 5 with his sons Roger and Robert, as well as other 

1 Our author gives a full account, in the twelfth book of this history, of 
the shipwreck of the Blanche-Nef, in which the young Earl of Chester, 
and many others of the nobility, were lost on the 25th of November, 1119, 
off Barfleur, with two sons and a daughter and niece of King Henry I. 
See also Henry of Huntingdon's History, b. vii. p. 249, Dohn's edition. 

8 Roger de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury in England, was count of 
Belesme and Alen9on in Normandy, through his wife, Mabel de Belesme. 

s Odelirius was the father of Ordericus Vitalis. 

4 Warin is probably the person mentioned in the fifth book as Guarinut 

4 William Pantoul was lord of Noron, near Falaise. See b. v. c. 16. 
Piqot de Say, a place in the neighbourhood of Armenian. He had twenty- 
nine manors in Shropshire, and a castle on the coast of Pembrokeshire, in 


brave and faithful knights, supported by whose "wisdom and 
courage he ranked high among the greatest nobles. 

King William conferred the earldom of Northampton on 
Waltheof, son of Earl Siward, 1 the most powerful of the 
English nobility, and, in order to cement a firm alliance with 
him, gave him in marriage his niece Judith, 2 who bore him 
two beautiful daughters. The earldom of Buckingham was 
given to Walter Giffard, 3 and Surrey to William de 
Warrenne, who married Gundred, Gherbod's sister. King 
William granted the earldom of Holdernesse to Eudes, of 
Champagne, nephew of Count Theobald, who married the 
king's sister, that is, Duke Robert's daughter; 4 and the 
earldom of Norwich to Ralph de Guader, son-in-law of 
William Eitz-Osbern. To Hugh Grantmesnil he granted 
the town of Leicester, and distributed cities and counties 
among other lords, with great honours and domains. The 
castle of Tutbury, which Hugh d'Avranches before held, he 
granted to Henry, son of Walkelin de Ferrers, 5 conferring on 
other foreigners who had attached themselves to his 
fortunes, such vast possessions that they had in England 
many vassals more rich and powerful than their own fathers 
ever were in Normandy. 

What shall I say of Odo, bishop of Baieux, who was earl 
palatine, and generally dreaded by the English people, 
issuing his orders everywhere like a second king. He had 
the command over all the earls and barons of the realm, 

South Wales. It appears by Domesday Book, that Roger Corbet held 
lands in Shropshire, where the family still flourishes. 

1 King William did not confer on Waltheof the earldoms of Northamp- 
ton and Huntingdon, as he possessed them before the conquest, but only 
confirmed his right to them. His father, Siward, was earl of Northumbria, 
but counties or earldoms were not yet strictly hereditary, and Henry of 
Huntingdon informs us that on account of Waltheof's being of tender years 
at his father's death, the earldom of that powerful and turbulent province 
was conferred on Tosti, Earl Godwin's son. Siward himself, the stout earl 
immortalized by Shakespeare in, Macbeth, was of Danish or Norwegian 

1 Judith was the daughter of William's half-sister Adelaide, countess 

* Walter Giffard, lord of Longueville, near Dieppe. 

* Our author is mistaken here ; Adelaide was daughter of Herluin de 
Couteville, and not of Duke Robert. 

5 In the county of Stafford, with seven lordships, and created him earl of 



and with the treasures collected from ancient times, was in 
possession of Kent, the former kingdom of Ethelbert, son 
of Ermenric, Eadbald, Egbert, and his brother Lothaire, 
and where the first English kings were converted to the 
faith of Christ by the disciples of Pope Gregory, and 
obtained the crown of eternal life by their obedience to the 
divine law. The character of this prelate, if I am not 
deceived, was a compound of vices and virtues ; but he was 
more occupied with worldly affairs than in the exercise of 
spiritual graces. The monasteries of the saints make great 
complaints of the injuries they received at the hands of 
Odo, who, with violence and injustice, robbed them of the 
funds with which the English had piously endowed them in 
ancient times. 1 

Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, of an ancient JsTorman 
family, who rendered essential services and support at the 
battle of Senlac, and was a commander of troops in other 
conflicts, in which natives and foreigners crushed each 
other, received for his share, by grant from King William, 
two hundred and eighty vills, which are commonly called 
manors, which, at his death, he left to his nephew De 
Mowbray, who speedily lost them by his rashness and mis- 
conduct. 2 

Likewise, Eustace de Boulogne, and Robert Morton, 
"William d'Evreux, Eobert d'Eu, Geoffrey, son of Rotrou de 
Mortagne, and other counts and lords, more than I can 
enumerate, received from King William great revenues and 
honours in England. Thus strangers were enriched with 
English wealth, while her sons were iniquitously slain, or 
driven into hopeless exile in foreign lands. It is stated that 
the king himself received daily one thousand and sixty 
pounds, thirty pence, and three farthings, Stirling money, 
from his regular revenues in England alone, independently 
of presents, fines for offences, and many other matters which 
constantly enrich a royal treasury. King William also caused 

1 Lnnfranc, with great firmness, claimed before the inquest of the county 
rended over by Geoffry, bishop of Coutances, certain estates of which 

deprived the see of Canterbury, and obtained their restoration. 
Geoffry de Mowbray, a commune in the canton of Perci, was made 
bishop of Goutances m April, !048, and died the 2nd of February, 1093. 
t will he-eafter appear how his ncnhew lest the immense heritage 
bequeathed to him. 


a careful survey to be taken of the whole kingdom, and an 
accurate record to be made of all the revenues as they stood 
in the time of King Edward. 1 The land was distributed 
into knights' fees with such order that the realm of England 
should always possess a force of sixty thousand men, ready 
at any moment to obey the king's commands, as his occasions 

CH. VIII. Tyranny of the conquerors Abuses of ecclesias- 

ical patronage The English ejected to make way for 

Normans Story of Guitmond, afterwards bishop ofAversa. 

POSSESSED of enormous wealth, gathered by others, the 
Normans gave the reigns to their pride and fury, and put to 
death without compunction the native inhabitants, who for 
their sins were subjected by divine Providence to the 
scourge. In them we find fulfilled the couplet of the Man- 
tuaii Maro : 

O mortals ! blind of fate, who never know 
To bear high fortune, or endure the low.* 

Young women of high rank were subject to the insults of 
grooms, and mourned their dishonour by filthy ruffians. 
Matrons, distinguished by their birth and elegance, lamented 
in solitude ; and, bereaved of their husbands and deprived of 
the consolation of friends, preferred death to life. Ignorant 
upstarts, driven almost mad by their sudden elevation, won- 
dered how they arrived at such a pitch of power, and thought 
that they might do whatever they liked. Fools and perverse, 
not to reflect, with contrite hearts, that, not by their o\yi 
strength, but by the providence of God, who ordereth all 
things, they had conquered their enemies, and subjugated a 
nation greater, and richer, and more ancient than their own ; 
illustrious for its saints, and wise men, and powerful kings, 
who had earned a noble reputation by their deeds, both in 
war and peace ! They ought to have recollected with fear, and 

1 This famous record is called The Domesday Book, and sometimes 
Rotulus, or Liber Wintnnia, it having been kept in the treasury at Win- 
chester. The survey was begun in 1080, and completed in 1086. 
2 Nescia mens hominum fati, sortisque future, 
Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis ! 

Virg. JEn. X. 501. 
E 2 


deeply inscribed in their hearts, the word which says : " With 
the same measure that ye mete, it shall be measured to you 
again." l 

Some churchmen, who, to all appearance, were wise and 
religious, constantly followed the court, and became abject 
flatterers, to the no small disgrace of their Christian pro- 
fession, that they might obtain the dignities they coveted. 
As the hire for their services is demanded of princes by 
newly enlisted soldiers, so some of the laity repaid the 
clergy for paying them court by gifts of bishoprics and 
abbeys, wardenships, archdeaconries, deaneries, and other 
offices of power and dignity, which ought to be conferred 
for the merits of holiness and learning. The clergy and 
monks now attached themselves to an earthly prince to 
obtain such rewards, and, for their worldly advantage, lent 
themselves without decency to a service which was incom- 
patible with their spiritual duties. The old abbots were 
terrified by the threats of secular power, and, unjustly 
driven from their seats without the sentence of a synod, to 
make way for hirelings, who, more tyrants than monks, were 
intruded in their places. Then such traffic and agreements 
took place between prelates of this class and the flocks com- 
mitted to their charge, as may be supposed between wolves 
and sheep having no protector. This may be easily proved 
by what happened in the case of Turstin, of Caen, and the 
convent of Glastonbury. 2 This shameless abbot, attempting 
to compel the monks of Glastonbury to disuse the chant 
which had been introduced into England by the disciples 01 
the blessed Pope Gregory, and to adopt the chant of the 
Flemings or Normans, which they had never learned or 
heard before, a violent tumult arose, which ended in 
disgrace to the holy order. For when the monks refused 
new fashions, and their haughty superior persisted in his 
obstinacy, all of a sudden, laymen, armed with spears, came 
to their master's aid, and surrounding the monks severely 
beat some of them, and, as report says, mortally wounded 
them. I could relate many such instances, if they would 
edify the reader's mind ; but such subjects are by no means 

1 Luke vi. 38. 

1 Turetin was intruded on the monks of Glastonbury in 1081. The 
tumulu here described broke out in 1083. 

A.D. 1070.] THE MONK GT7ITMOIO). 53 

agreeable, and, therefore, without dwelling on them, I gladly 
employ my peii on other matters. 

Guitmond was a venerable monk of the monastery called La 
Croix d'Helton, where we read that Leudfred, the glorious 
confessor of Christ, happily served the Lord forty-eight years 
in the reigns of Childebert and Chilperic. 1 Guitmond 
crossed the sea on a royal summons, and was offered by the 
king and great men of the realm a high ecclesiastical office, 
but he positively refused to undertake the charge. He was 
in the prime of years, devout and deeply learned ; having 
left to the world a remarkable proof of his genius in the book 
he wrote against Berenjrer, On the Body and Blood of our 
Lord, 3 as well as in his other works. When the king 
entreated him to remain in England until he should have an 
opportunity of suitably promoting him, Guitmond took time 
to consider the matter carefully, and pointed out how much 
his own views differed from the proposal which had been 
made, in a long letter replying to the king to the following 
effect : 

" I am averse to undertaking any ecclesiastic^ function for 
many reasons, which I am not willing, nor would it become 
me, fully to detail. In the first place, when I consider well 
the infirmities, both bodily and mental, which I continually 
suffer, I painfully feel my inability to undergo the scrutiny 
of the divine Judge, for even now I lament that in my daily 
struggles to keep the path of life I am in continual danger 
of erring from the truth. But if I cannot safely rule my- 
self, how shall I be able to direct the course of others in 
the way to salvation ? Besides, after carefully considering 
all circumstances, I do not see by what means I can fitly 
undertake the government of a community whose foreign 
manners and barbarous language are strange to me ; a 
wretched people, whose fathers and near relations and 
friends have either fallen by your sword, or have been disin- 
herited by you, driven into exile, imprisoned, or subjected 
to an unjust and intolerable slavery. Search the scriptures 

1 La Croix St. Leufroi, between Evreux and Gaillon, in the diocese of 
Evreux. St. Leufroi died about the year 738, in this monastery which he 
founded, after governing it forty-eight years. 

4 Guitmundi episcopi Aversani, de corporis et sanguinis veritate in 
Eucharistia. This work was written in the year 1075. 


and see if there be any law by which a pastor chosen by 
enemies can be intruded by violence on the Lord's flock. 
Every ecclesiastical election ought to be purely made in the 
first instance by the society of the faithful who are to be 
governed, and then confirmed by assent of the fathers of 
the church and their friends, if it be canonical ; if not, it 
should be rectified in a spirit of charity. How can that 
which you have wrung from the people by war and bloodshed 
be innocently conferred on myself and others who despise 
the world and have voluntarily stripped ourselves of our own 
substance for Christ sake ? It is the general rule of all who 
take religious vows to have no part in robbery, and, for the 
maintenance of justice, to reject offerings which are the 
fruits of pillage. For the scripture saith : ' The sacrifice of 
injustice is a polluted offering ;' and a little afterwards: 
' Whoso offereth a sacrifice of the substance of the poor is 
like one that slayeth a son in his father's sight.' 1 Reflecting on 
these and other precepts of the divine law, I cannot but 
tremble. I look upon England as altogether one vast heap 
of booty, and I am afraid to touch it and its treasures as if 
it were a burning fire. As God commands every man to 
love his neighbour as himself, I will tell you sincerely what 
I learn from divine inspiration : what I think profitable for 
myself is also for your good. Let not that which is spoken 
in friendship be considered offensive ; but do you, brave 
prince, and your fellow soldiers, who have encountered with 
you the greatest perils, receive with kindness the expression 
of my advice. Reflect every day of your lives on the 
operations of the Lord, and in all your undertakings have 
his judgments, which are incomprehensible, before your eyes, 
BO weighing your course of life in the scales of justice accord- 
ing to the will of God, that the righteous Judge, who orders 
all things rightly, may be merciful to you in the day of 
doom. Let not flatterers betray you into a deceitful secu- 
rity, and from the success which has attended you in the 
present life lull you into the death-sleep of worldly prospe- 
rity. Vaunt not yourself that the English have been 
conquered by your arms, but gird yourself carefully for that 
more difficult and dangerous combat with your spiritual 
enemies which still remains and is to be fought daily. The 
1 Ecclus. xxxiv. 21 and 24. 


revolutions of earthly kingdoms are exhibited in the pages 
of scripture in which the knowledge of past events is 
divinely furnished. The Babylonians, under their king 
Nebuchodnosor, subdued Judea, Egypt, and many other 
countries, but seventy years afterwards they were themselves 
conquered aud subjugated by the Medes and Persians under 
Darius and his grandson Cyrus. Two hundred and thirty 
years afterwards, the Macedemonians, under the command of 
Alexander the Great, defeated Darius the king of Persia and 
his innumerable hosts ; and many years afterwards, when the 
.Romans sent forth their legions into every quarter of the 
globe, the Parthians were utterly subdued under their king 
Perseus. The Greeks, led by Agamemnon and the son of 
Palamede, laid siege to Troy, and having slain the king 
Priamus, son of Laomedon, and his sons Hector and Troilus, 
Paris, Deiphobus and Amphimacus, after a ten years' siege, 
destroyed with fire and sword the famous kingdom of 
Phrygia. A remnant of the Trojans, with Eneas for their 
chief, established themselves in Italy ; another band, under 
the command of Antenor, after a long and difficult journey, 
reached Denmark, and made a settlement there which their 
posterity inhabit to the present time. The kingdom of Je- 
rusalem, enriched by David and his powerful successors with 
the spoils of other nations and aggrandized by their conquest 
of the surrounding barbarous tribes, was overturned by the 
Romans in the reigns of Vespasian and Titus, and the stately 
temple of the Jews destroyed one thousand and eighty-nine 
years after its foundation, eleven hundred thousand Jews 
perishing by the sword or famine. The Franks formed an 
alliance with the Gauls in the time of their duke Sunno, and 
having resolutely shaken off the Roman yoke began to lord 
over them. It is now almost six hundred years since the 
Anglo-Saxons, under their chiefs Hengist and Horsa, 
wrested by force or fraud the government of Britain from 
the natives now called Welsh. The Guinili, driven by chance 
from the Scandinavian island invaded that part of Italy now 
called Lombardy in the reign of Alboin, son of Audo, and, long 
resisting the Romans, have held possession of It to the pre- 
sent day. All these great men whom I have described, 
as elated by victory, not long afterwards miserably perished, 
and together with their victims are subject to endless tor- 


tures, under which they groan in the noisome caverns of hell. 
The Normans, under their chief Rollo, wrested Neustria from 
Charles the Simple, and have now held it for one hundred 
and ninety years, 1 against all the efforts of the French, not- 
withstanding their frequent attacks. Need I speak of the 
Gepidi and the Vandals, the Goths and the Turks, the 
Huns and the Heruli, and other barbarous nations ? Their 
whole business is to ravage and rob, and to tread under foot 
every vestige of peace. They lay waste the soil, burn 
houses, disturb the world, scatter the means of subsistence, 
butcher the population, spread every where barbarism and 
confusion. Such signs as these are omens of the end of 
the world, as we are plainly told in the word of truth : 
' Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against 
kingdom ; and there shall be great earthquakes in divers 
places, and famines and pestilences : and fearful sights and 
great signs shall there be from heaven.' 4 

So sinks the reeling world with woes oppressed. 

"Reflecting thoughtfully on these and such like revolutions 
in human affairs, let not the conqueror glory in the ruin of 
his rivals ; for he himself shall hold his footing no longer 
than his Maker wills. I will now, king, apply what I 
have said to your own case, beseeching you to listen to me 
Avith patience for youi soul's sake. Before you, no one of 
your race obtained the kingly dignity ; that high honour 
did not accrue to you by inheritance, but by the free gift of 
Almighty God, and the kind preference of your kinsman 
King Edward. Edgar Atheling and many other scions of 
the royal stock, are, according to the laws of the Hebrews 
and other nations, nearer in degree than yourself as heirs 
to the crown of England. They have been set aside by the 
lot which has led to your advancement: but the more 
mysterious is God's providence, the more terrible is the 
account you will have to give of the stewardship committed 
to you. I submit these considerations to your highness 

i Without its being necessary to follow the venerable monk through all 
his historical disquisitions, it may be proper to remark that this calculation 
would carry back the grant of territory made by Charles the Simple to 
Hollo nnd his followers to the vear 880 

Lukexxl 11, 1-2. 


with the fullest good wishes, humbly beseeching you to be 
ever mindful of what must come at last, and not to be 
wholly engrossed with present prosperity, which is too often 
followed by intolerable suffering, wailing, and gnashing of 
teeth. And now I commit you, your friends and followers, 
to the grace of God, intending, with your permission, to 
return to Normandy, and leave the rich spoils of England 
to the lovers of this world, as dross and dung. I truly pre- 
fer, for my part, that poverty for the love of Christ which 
was the choice of Anthony and Benedict, above all the 
riches of the world which were the coveted portion of 
Cro3sus and Sardanapalus, and when they afterwards 
miserably perished, became the spoils of their enemies. 
Christ, the good shepherd, has uttered the warning : ' "Woe 
to the rich of this world,' who enjoy here vain and super- 
fluous luxuries, while he promised the blessings of the world 
to come to the poor in spirit ; which may He vouchsafe to 
grant us, who liveth and reigneth through all ages. Amen." 
The king, who with his great lords admired the firmness 
of the venerable monk, treated him with deference, and 
taking leave of him with marked respect, commanded him, 
with fitting honours, to return to Normandy, and there wait 
his own presence where he pleased. When G-uitmond re- 
turned to the enclosure of his own monastery, it was noised 
abroad that he had preferred monastic poverty to episcopal 
wealth, and further, that he had in the presence of the king 
and his nobles stigmatized the conquest of England with 
the character of robbery, and accused of rapacity all the 
bishops and abbots who had obtained preferment in England 
against the feeling of the natives. These allegations of his 
becoming known throughout the kingdom, and causing much 
discussion, were very distasteful to numerous persons who 
being little disposed to follow his example, were extremely 
exasperated by what he had said. Not long afterwards, on 
the death of John, archbishop of Rouen, the king and others 
selected G-uitmond for his successor ; but his enemies, the 
men he had so severely rebuked, did all in their power to 
hinder his preferment. They found nothing, however, to 
object to, in a man of his worth, but that he was the son of 
a priest. Upon this, Guitmond, wishing to be clear of all 
suspicion of covetousness, and preferring to suffer poverty in 


a foreign country, rather than foment disturbances in his own, 
applied respectfully to Odilo, the abbot of his monastery, and 
humbly petitioned for permission to travel abroad, which was 
granted. This illiterate abbot little knew what treasures 
of wisdom were concealed under the humble exterior of the 
learned monk, and so he made no difficulty in parting with 
a philosopher of inestimable worth, who was received with 
joy by Pope Gregory VII. on his arrival at Home, and made 
a cardinal of the holy Roman church, and by Pope Urban, 
after experience of his abilities, solemnly consecrated metro- 
politan of Aversa. 2 That city, built in the time of Leo IX., 
Dy the Normans when they first settled in Apulia was called 
Adversa by the Romans, because it was founded by 
their adversaries. Abounding in wealth, powerful from the 
warlike character of its Cisalpine inhabitants, 3 formidable 
to its enemies, and respected by its faithful subjects and 
allies, that city, by the determination of the Normans, was 
immediately dependent in ecclesiastical affairs on the pope 
himself, from whom it received the philosopher Gruitmond, 
honoured with the mystical decoration of the pallium, as its 
bishop. This prelate long governed the church entrusted 
to his care, enjoying the apostolical privileges of his see free 
from all the exactions of men. Having diligently taught 
his flock, and given them the protection of his merits and 

E ravers, after many struggles in the exercise of his virtues 
e departed in the Lord.* 

1 It could not be the result of this affair which induced Guitmond to 
leave Normandy, for he went to Italy in 1077, and John d'Avranches did 
not die till 1079. It may even be doubted whether William proposed <> 
prefer him to the archbishopric of Rouen two years after he had entirely 
renounced his country to attach himself altogether to the court of Rome. 
He went so far as even to change his name, and adopt that of Christian or 

3 Guitmond was not made a cardinal. The see of Aversa was not an 
archbishopric, but immediately dependent on the holy see. The city was 
rebuilt by the Normans, on the site of the ancient Atella, not in the pope- 
dom of Leo IX., 1048 1054, but about the year 1030. Ranulph, one of 
their leaders, was invested with the title of Count d'Aversa by the emperor 
Conrad in 1038. 

1 Our author means the Normans, as coming from this side of the Alps. 

* The precise date of Guitmond's death is unknown. Like his patron, 
Pope Urban If., he probably died about the end of the eleventh century. 
For his life and writings, see L'Histoire Littfraire de la France, t. viii. 


CH. IX. Affairs of Flanders William Fitz-Osbern 
killed in battle there King William crosses over to Nor- 

IN the fifth year of his reign King William sent "William 
Fitz-Osbern to Normandy to assist Queen Matilda in the 
defence of the duchy. At that time there was great con- 
tention in Flanders between the heirs to that province. 
Baldwin, son-in-law of Eobert king of France, and count of 
Flanders, of distinguished bravery had by his wife Adela 
several sons and daughters of great merit. Robert, the 
Frisian, Arnold, Baldwin, Odo, archbishop of Treves, Henry 
the clerk, Queen Matilda, and Judith, wife of Earl Tostig, were 
all children of Baldwin and Adela. 1 Their characters and 
the various occurrences of their lives, would furnish histo- 
rians with matter for extended works. Robert the eldest, 
having offended his father, and being banished by him, 
sought the court of Florence, duke of Frisia, his father's 
enemy, and, in reward for his services, received his 
daughter's hand in marriage ; at this the duke of Flanders 
was much incensed and in his anger gave his son Robert 
the name of the Frisian, and, proclaiming him an outlaw, 
appointed his second son Arnold his heir. A short time 
afterwards, Duke Baldwin died, and Arnold held Flanders 
for a short time. But Robert the Frisian invaded it vigo- 
rously with a large body of Frisian and other troops. Philip 
king of France, who was their kinsman, came to the aid of 
Arnold, with a French army, summoning Earl William 
[Fitz-Osbern] to attend him as governor of Normandy. 
But Earl William joined the king with only ten men-at- 
arms, and rode with him gaily to Flanders, as if he was only 
going to a tournament. Meanwhile, Robert the Frisian, 
had united his forces with those of the emperor, and on Sep- 
tuagesima Sunday, the tenth of the calends of March [20th 
of February], attacked the enemy by surprise early in the 
morning, and Philip, king of France, and his army flying, 
Arnold, and his nephew Baldwin, and Earl William were 
slain. 2 Robert afterwards held the dukedom of Flanders 

1 Baldwin V. had only four children ; Arnold was his grandson, son of 
Baldwin VI., who succeeded his father, Baldwin V., September 1, 1067. 

2 This battle was fought at Bavinchove, near Cassel, the 20th of Feb. 


for many years, and at his death left it to his sons Eobert 
of Jerusalem and Philip. 1 The body of Earl William was 
carried to Normandy by his men-at-arms, and interred amid 
much sorrow in the abbey of Cormeilles. He had founded 
two abbeys on his patrimonial estates in honour of St. Mary, 
Mother of God ; one at Lire, on the river Bille, where 
Adeliza his wife was buried, and the other at Cormeilles 
where, as I have just mentioned, he was himself interred. 3 
This baron, the bravest of all the Normans, was deeply 
lamented by all who knew his generosity, his good humour, 
and general virtues. King AVilliam thus distributed his 
inheritance among his sons. William the eldest son had 
Breteuil, Pacy, and the rest of his patrimonial estates in 
Normandy which he possessed during all his life, nearly 
thirty years. Roger, the younger brother, had the earldom 
of Hereford and his father's other possessions in England ; 
but he shortly afterwards lost all by his perfidy and folly, 
as will appear in the sequel. 

Though Matilda's government was powerful and her 
resources vast, she was plunged into the deepest affliction 
by the death of her father, her mother's bereavement, the 
cruelty of one brother, which caused the loss of another, as 
well as of her beloved nephew, and a number of her friends. 
It is thus that the Almighty God punishes the inhabitants 
of the earth when they forget him, casts down the proud, and 
makes it plain that he is the Ruler of the universe. Robert 
the Frisian now subjugated the whole of Flanders, and held 
possession of it for almost thirty years, 8 securing with ease 
the alliance of Philip king of France. Those two princes 
were cousins by descent, and both married daughters of 
Florence, marquis of Frisia; 1 and their sons are to the 

1 07 1 . The person described by our author as nephew of Robert the Frisian, 
was Baldwin, count d'Hainault, Arnold's eldest brother, but he did not 
fall in the battle, living till the first crusade, which he joined. 

1 Robert the Frisian died suddenly in October, 1093, leaving, as our 
author states, two sons, and also three daughters ; but the sons did not 
possess his states jointly or successively, the share of Philip being only the 
buiyravate of Ypres. 

1 Concerning these two abbeys, see before, vol. i. p. 384. Adeliza, wife 
of William Fitz-Osbern, was daughter of Roger de Toni. 

3 Only twenty-one years. 

* These two princes were not brothers-in-law ; Philip married Bertha,, 


present day united in the same bonds of amity. But a new 
cause of dissension between the Normans and Flemings 
sprung out of the death of the queen's brother and other 
relations, and especially that of Earl William [Fitz-Osbern]. 
Affairs in Normandy becoming thus disturbed, the king put 
his English dominions into a good condition, and then 
hastened over to Normandy that he might order things 
there to the best advantage. The king's arrival being 
known, the hearts of the peaceable were gladdened, but the 
promoters of discord, and those stained with crimes, whose 
consciences reproached them, trembled at the approach of 
an avenging power. The king assembled the leading men 
of Normandy and Maine, and in a royal speech recommended 
them all to maintain peace and do justice. The bishops and 
churchmen he exhorted to lead good lives, continually to 
study Grod's law, to consult together for the welfare of the 
church, to correct the morals of their flocks according to 
the canonical decrees, and in all things to govern with 

CH. X. A synod held at Souen under John the archbishop 
Acts of the synod. 

IN the year of our Lord 1072 a synod assembled in the city 
of Eouen, the metropolitan see, in the church of the blessed 
St. Mary, ever virgin, mother of God. John, archbishop of 
that see, presided, and following in the steps of the fathers, 
consulted on various points regarding the necessities of the 
church with his suffragans, Odo, bishop of Bayeux, Hugh of 
Lisieux, Robert of Seez, Michael of Avranches, and Gisle- 
bert of Evreux. 1 The doctrine of the church on the holy 
and undivided Trinity was first taken into consideration, 
which they affirmed, ratified, and made profession of their 
belief with their whole hearts according to the decrees 
of the sacred councils of Nice, Constantinople, the first of 
Ephesus, and Chalcedon. After this profession of the 

daughter of Florence, count of Holland, and Robert the Frisian, Gertrude 
of Saxony, the count's widow, who was Philip's mother-in-law. 

1 The account of this synod given by Ordericus Vitalis is the only record 
we have of it. 


Catholic faith, the following articles were added as they are 
hereunder written. 

First. It is ordered by us, that according to the decrees 
of the fathers, the chrism, and the oil for baptism and the 
holy unction, be consecrated at a convenient hour, that is, 
after the second nones, as the aforesaid fathers decreed. The 
bishop should take care that twelve priests, or as many as he 
has with him, assist at the consecration in their sacerdotal 

Item. In some dioceses an odious practice has grown up 
for the archdeacons, in the absence of the bishop, to obtain 
from some other bishop small portions of oil and chrism, 
and to mix them with oil of their own ; which custom is 
condemned, and every archdeacon is to present the whole of 
his chrism and oil to the consecrating bishop, the same as if 
it was his own diocesan. 

Item. The distribution of the chrism and oil shall be made 
by the deans with the greatest care and reverence, so that 
they wear albs while the distribution takes place, and it be 
so ma'de in such vessels, that no portion be lost by care- 

Item. It is ordered, that no priest shall celebrate mass 
without also communicating. 

Item. No priest shall baptize a child unless he wear his 
alb and stole, but upon urgent necessity. 

Item. There are some priests who reserve the viaticum 
and holy water beyond the eighth day, which is condemned. 
Others, when they have no consecrated host, make a fresh 
consecration, which is severely forbidden. 

Item. It is ordered, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit shall 
not be conferred without both givers and receivers having 
fasted, nor the confirmation be made without fire [candles ?]. 
This is enjoined, that in conferring holy orders we may not 
violate apostolical authority. For we read in the decrees of 
Pope Leo, that holy orders shall not be given indiscrimi- 
nately every day, but after Saturday in the beginning of the 
succeeding night, the holy benediction be given, both those 
who give and those who receive it being then fasting. The 
same rule will be observed when the office is performed on 
the morning of the Lord's day, the fast having been pro- 


longed. This portion of time is a prolongation of the 
commencement of the night preceding, and it is not to be 
doubted that it belongs to the day of the resurrection as is 
also declared in our Lord's passion. 

Item. The observance of the four seasons, according to 
the divine institution, is to be kept among us with general 
accord at the proper periods ; viz., the first week in March, 
the second in June, the third in September, and the same 
in December, ux honour of the nativity of our Lord. It 
would be unseemly that an institution of the saints should 
be nullified by worldly cares and occupations. 

Item. Clerks, who, without election, vocation, or the 
intervention of a bishop, intrude themselves into sacred 
orders ; those who have been ordained [priests] by the 
bishop, supposing them to be already deacons ; and those 
who are ordained priests and deacons, without having had 
the minor orders ; all these ought to be deposed. 

Item. Those who have received the tonsure, and afterwards 
relinquished it, shall be excommunicated until such time as 
they make due amends. Clerks offering themselves for 
ordination are to present themselves at the bishop's residence 
on the fifth day [Thursday]. 

Item. Monks and nuns, who, quitting their convents, 
wander about from place to place, and those who have been 
expelled for their offences, ought to be compelled by pastoral 
authority to return to their convents. If the abbots shall 
refuse to re-admit those who have been expelled, let them be 
supplied with food as alms, or which they may earn by the 
labour of their hands, until it be ascertained that they have 
amended their lives. 

Item. Forasmuch as the cure of souls is trafficked in by 
buying and selling, both by the clergy and laity, and even by 
monks, such practices are strictly forbidden. 

Marriages are not to be solemnized in private, nor after 
dinner ; but the bride and bridegroom shall receive the 
nuptial benediction fasting, from a priest who is also fasting, 
at the manse. 1 And, before they are united, their family 
shall be inquired into ; and if there be found to be any con- 

1 " In monasteries." The French editor of Ordericus remarks that the 
term, in writers of the middle ages, often means the parish church. See 
the observations, vol. i. p. 396. 


sanguinity within the seventh generation, or if either of the 
parties has been divorced, they must not be married. Any 
priest who breaks this rule shall be deposed. 

Concerning priests, deacons, and subdeacons, who have 
taken women to live with them, the decree of the synod of 
Lisieux shall be observed ; that they are not to have the care 
of churches, neither of themselves, or by their vicars, and 
shall receive no part of the revenues. Archdeacons, who 
eught to enforce discipline, may not be allowed to have con- 
cubines, or handmaids, or any women smuggled in; but 
should set an example of continence and holiness to their 
subordinates. Those should be chosen deans who know 
how to reprove and correct the inferior clergy, whose life is 
irreproachable, and who merit the preferment more than 
others. 1 

Item. It is forbidden any one who, in the lifetime of his 
wife, has been charged with adultery, after her death to 
marry the woman with respect to whom he was accused. 
For great mischief has ensued from this practice ; and men 
have even murdered their wives. 

Item. No one whose wife has taken the veil, shall marry 
again while she is living. 

Item. If the wife of any man who has gone in pilgrimage 
or elsewhere, shall marry another before she has received 
certain intelligence of his death, she shall be excom- 
municated until she has made due satisfaction. 

Item. It is decreed that those who fall publicly into mortal 
sins shall not be very soon reinstated in holy orders. For, 
as St. Gregory says, if the lapsed obtain license to return to 
their order, the influence of canonical discipline is undoubt- 
edly weakened, as the hope of being restored diminishes the 
tear of encouraging the inclination to evil conduct. It should, 

1 This canon caused a tumult, in which the archbishop barely escaped 
with his life. The controversy about married priests caused great dis- 
turbances throughout Europe. A similar decree was made by a synod 
held at London in 1102. See Huntingdon's History, p. 241, 252. 
No distinction was drawn between wives and concubines ; indeed the 
words of this canon seem studiously to ignore the legal existence of the 
former " qui feminat us ur paver int." The term uxores is used by the 
synod of London, but that is understood to apply both to wives and con- 
cubines. The synod of Lisieux here mentioned was held in 1055. It 
deposed Archbishop Mauger. Its acts are lost. 


therefore, be an established rule, that those who fall into 
open sin, should on no account be restored to their former 
rank, but under special circumstances, and after making 
amends by a long penance. 

Item. If any clerk who has lapsed, is liable to be deposed, 
and a sufficient number of bishops, according to the canons, 
cannot be assembled for that purpose, viz. six, in the case of 
priests, and three, in that of deacons, any bishop who 
cannot attend may substitute bis vicar-general with equal 

Item. It is decreed, that during Lent, no one shall dine 
till the hour of nones is passed, and vespers begin. No one 
who eats before shall be considered as fasting. 

Item. It is decreed, that, on the Saturday of Easter, the 
office shall not commence before nones. For it has regard 
to the night of our Lord's resurrection, in honour of which 
the Gloria in Excelsis and Alleluia is sung. It is also 
marked by the benediction of the candle at the beginning of 
the office. The book of Offices 1 says that, on these two 
days, the eucharist is not celebrated. By the two days are 
meant the sixth day [Friday] and Saturday, on which the 
grief and mourning of the apostles are commemorated. 

Item. If the feast of any saint occurs on a day on which 
it cannot be kept, it shall be celebrated not before but 
within the octave. 

Item. According to the decrees of the holy fathers, Popes 
Innocent and Leo, we order that general baptism shall only 
be administered on the Saturday of Easter and Whitsuntide ; 
with this provision, that the washing of regeneration shall 
not be denied to infants, at whatever time, or on whatever 
day it is required. However, we entirely forbid the adminis- 
tration of baptism on the eve or the feast of the Epiphany, 
unless in case of sickness. 

The decrees of this synod were subscribed by John, arch- 
bishop of Rouen, Odo, bishop of Bayeux, Michael, bishop of 
Avrauches, Gislebert, bishop of Evreux, and some venerable 
abbots, who were at that time the honour of the monasteries 
of Normandy, and maintained the monastic discipline. 

1 This work, composed by Archbishop John while he was bishop of 
Avrauches, was published at Rouen in 1G79. 

VOL. ii. v 


CH. XI. Notices of eminent men in the alleys of Normandy 
in the author's age particularly in the alley of Sec. 

I THINK it well to transmit to posterity an account of the 
holy fathers who wisely governed the abbeys of Normandy, 
in the time of King William, and whose study it was worthily 
to serve the eternal King, who reigns unchangeably. Their 
disciples, I think, have already committed to writing many 
of their memoirs for the information of future times, but 
there are some whom it is pleasant to me, as well as to my 
superiors, at least to name in these pages, for the particular 
regard I bear them, and not for any worldly advantage, but 
simply from my love of learning, and the piety with which 
they were divinely inspired. 

The abbey of Fecamp, which stands in sight of the sea, 
and is dedicated to the holy and undivided Trinity, Creator 
of all things, was nobly founded by Richard I., duke of 
Normandy, and afterwards richly endowed with lands and 
possessions by Eichard II. After William of Dijon, a man 
of great wisdom and zealous for religion, the venerable abbot 
John governed this monastery fifty-one years. Next, it was 
held for almost twenty-seven years by William de Eos, a 
clerk of Bayeux and monk of Caen. 1 Like the mystical 
spikenard, he was an odour of sweet smelling in the house 
of the Lord by his charity, munificence, and many virtues. 
The works he diligently performed either before the world, 
or in secret before few witnesses, bore witness to the spirit 
which dwelt within him, and entirely possessing him, con- 
ducted him to his crown before the throne of the Lord of 

The monk Gontard was removed from the abbey of 
Fontenelles 2 by the election of prudent men. and appointed 
ruler of the abbey of Jumieges, after the death of Abbot 
Robert. He diligently spread the food of spiritual wisdom 
before the flock committed to his charge, and sustained with 
vigour the strictness of monastic discipline. He cherished 

1 William de Dijon, 10011028 ; John, a native of the neighbourhood 
>f Ravenna, 1028-1-V-bruary 22, 1079; William de Ros, 1079-March 
'-(>, I 108. 

2 This abbey, afterwards known by the name of St. Wandrille, its 
patron saint. 

A.D. 1079 1093.] AXSELiI ABBOT OF BEC. G7 

and honoured the gentle and submissive, as a father treats 
his children, but applied the rod of correction to the repro- 
bate and contumacious and despisers of discipline, like a 
severe master. At length, having accompanied his col- 
leagues, the bishops of Normandy, to the council of Cler- 
mont held by Pope Urban, A.D. 1095, the third iudiction, 
Father G-ontard, by God's will, died there on the sixth of 
the calends of December [November 26], He was suc- 
ceeded by Tancard, 1 prior of Fecamp, who proved to be 
tierce as a lion^, 

On the death of Herluin, who was the founder and first 
abbot of the monastery of Bee, 2 and being endowed with 
spiritual graces in his lifetime, contributed much to the 
profit of the children of the church, he was succeeded by 
the venerable Anselm, a man of deep erudition, who, by 
God's grace, filled the abbey much to its renown, with 
devout and learned brethren. As the number of the 
servants of God increased, their means of subsistence did 
not fail, but there was abundant provision for the honour- 
able entertainment of the noble friends and attached 
brothers who nocked to the abbey from all quarters. 
Learned men of eminence, both clergy and laity, resorted to 
hear the sweet words of truth which flowed from his mouth, 
pleasing to the seekers of righteousness as angels' dis- 
courses. , Anselm, who was a native of Italy, had followed 
Lanfranc to Bee, and as the Israelites carried off the gold 
and wealth of the Egyptians, so he entered with joy the 
land of promise with a full lading of the worldly erudition 
of the philosophers. Becoming a monk, he gave himself up 
to the study of theology, and poured forth abundantly the 
honeyed streams of wisdom from the rich fountain of 
wisdom. He skilfully cleared up the difficulties of the 
obscure passages of scripture, threw light upon them by his 
discourses and writings, and expounded with soundness the 
mysterious predictions of the prophets. All his words were 
valuable, and edified his attached hearers. His attentive 
pupils committed to writing his letters and typical dis- 
courses ; so that, being deeply imbued with them, they 

1 Gontard, abbot of Jumieges, about 1078 November 26, 1095, the 
day on \vhich the council closed; Tancard, 1096 about 1101. 
- 1034 August 26, 1078. 

r 2 

68 onDEBicrs TITALIS. [B.IT. CH.XI. 

profited others as well as themselves, to no small degree. 
His successors, "William and Boso, were deeply penetrated 
with this spirit, and having drawn deeply at the source of 
so much wisdom, were able to distribute large draughts of 
the pure stream to their thirsting disciples. Anseltn was 
courteous and affable, replying with kindness to all who 
questioned him in simplicity. At the instance of his friends 
he published books, keenly and profoundly written, on the 
Trinity, on Truth, Freewill, the Fall of Satan, and the 
question, Why God was made Man ? His disciples spread 
the report of his talents through all the Latin world, and 
the western church was filled to inebriation with the nectar 
of his exalted character. The vast deposit of learning and 
theology at the abbey of Bee, begun by Lanfranc, was nobly 
added to by Anselm, 1 and thence proceeded a succession of 
enlightened teachers, careful pilots and spiritual cha- 
rioteers, 2 to whom were confided the helm and the reins by 
which the church is divinely guided in the concerns of the 
present world. The monks of Bee are thus become so 
devoted to literary pursuits, and so exercised in raising and 
solving difficult questions of divinity, and in profitable dis- 
cussions, that they seem to be almost all philosophers ; and 
those among them who appear to be illiterate, and might be 
called clowns, derive from their intercourse with the rest 
the advantages of becoming fluent grammarians. Delight- 
ing in God's worship with mutual good-will and sweet 
affection, and taught by true wisdom, they are unwearied in 
the offices of devotion. The hospitality of the monks of 
Bee I cannot sufficiently praise. Ask the Burgundians and 
Spaniards, and their other visitors from far and near, and 
their replies will tell truly with what kindness they are 
entertained; and they will doubtless strive to imitate it 
under similar circumstances. The gate of the abbey of Bee 
stands for ever open to every traveller, and their bread is 
never refused to any one who asks it for charity's sake. 

? St. Anselm, abbot of Bee, 1079 March (?, 1093, was a native of 
Aosta in Piedmont. For his works, consult the Hixloire JMteraire de la 
France, t. ix. William de Montfort ; his successor, August 2, 1094 
April 16, 1124; Boson, 1124 June 24, 1136. 

1 Providi nauta et tpiritnales a^rigec ; the latter phrase sounds 
strangely in the French translation, " des cochers spirituels." 

A.D. 1063 1092.] ABBOTS OF FONTENELLES, ETC. 69 

What more can I say of the merits of the monks of Bee ? * 
May He who graciously began and carries on the good 
works which so eminently distinguishes them, keep them 
stedfast in the right way, and conduct them safe to the 
haven of salvation ! 

Gerbert de Fontenelles, Ainard of Dives, and Durand of 
Troarn, 2 three illustrious abbots, shone brilliantly in the 
temple of the Lord like bright stars in the firmament of 
heaven. They were no less distinguished by their piety 
and charity, than by numerous accomplishments, among 
which they were remarkably eminent for the zeal with 
which they studied sacred psalmody in the house of God. 
Standing in the first rank among the masters of music who 
have applied their art to sweet modulation, they composed 
some charming chants for antiphons and responses. The 
King supreme, who is lauded by angels and archangels, and 
all the company of heaven ; Mary, the immaculate virgin 
who bore the Saviour of the world ; angels, apostles, and 
martyrs ; confessors and virgins ; these were the themes 
which drew from them mellifluous streams of heart-felt 
praise ; and with these they carefully instructed the youth- 
ful choristers of the church to sing praises to the Lord 
with Asaph and Eman, Elthan and Idithun, and the sons 
of Corah. 

Nicholas, son of Eichard III., duke of Normandy, after 
being from his boyhood a monk of Fecamp, governed for 
nearly sixty years the abbey of St. Peter, prince of the 
apostles, in the suburbs of Rouen. He began building a 
church, remarkable for its size and elegance, in which 
reposes the body of St. Ouen, archbishop of that city, 

1 The abbey of Bee long continued to be a distinguished school of 
learning, and the resort of men of letters and eminence. It gave another 
archbishop to Canterbury in 1 1 39, in the person of Theobald, who 
abbot of Bee. Henry of Huntingdon, the English historian, accompanying 
that prelate to Rome, soon after his appointment, they rested at Bee on 
their journey, and there Huntingdon tells us, in his " Letter to Warin," he 
met the celebrated monk Robert de Torigny, otherwise called Del Monte, 
a great antiquarian, who showed him the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth 
recently published, from which Huntingdon extracted his abridged account 
of the ancient British kings. 

a Gerbert, abbot of St. Wandrille, 1055 September 4, 1089; Ainard, 
abbot of Notre-Dame de St. Pierre sur-Dive, 1046 January 14, 1078; 
Durand, abbot ol'Troarn, May 13, 1059 February 11, 1088. 


with many other relics of saints. 1 There were also in Nor- 
mandy at that time many other superiors of monks, whose 
numerous virtues I am compelled to omit, least I should 
weary the reader by too great prolixity. 

CH. XII. Popes Alexander II. and Gregory VII. (Hilde- 
brand) Singular nomination of Hoel to the see of Mans. 

IK the year of our Lord 1073 (the eleventh indiction), Pope 
Alexander II. departed this life, after filling the Eoman and 
apostolical see eleven years ; and Gregory VII., whose baptis- 
mal name was Hildebrand, succeeding him, sat in the chair of 
St. Peter seventeen years. 2 A monk from his childhood, 
Gregory was deeply read in the law of God, and his fervent 
zeal in the path of justice brought on him much persecution. 
He launched his apostolical decrees through all the world, 
and, sparing no one, thundered forth the holy oracles with 
terrible effect, summoned all men to the marriage feast of 
the Lord of Sabaoth with both prayers and threats. At the 
request of this pope, the venerable Hugh, abbot of Cluni, 
sent to Borne Oclo, prior of that monastery, who had been a 
canon of Kheims, accompanied by other chosen monks, who 
were joyfully received by the pope as fellow labourers sent 
him by God. 3 He selected Odo for his principal counsellor, 
and made him bishop of Ostia, which see has the prerogative 
of having its bishop elected by the clergy of Home, and 
consecrated by the pope himself. Benedict also promoted 
the other monks, as circumstances permitted, preferring 
them to the government of different churches. 

On the death of Arnold, bishop of Mans, King "William 
said to Samson, bishop of Bayeux, his chaplain : " The 

1 Nicholas, son of Richnrd, abbot of St. Ouen, 1 056 February, 1092. 
The end of the north transept of the church here mentioned is still 
standing. This striking ruin, which stands between the present church and 
the hotel of the municipality, examined from the interior, iully justifies, by 
its fine proportions, the admiration with which our autl.or viewed it. 

* Pope Alexander II, September 30, 1061 April 21, 1073; Gregory 
VII., April 22, 1073 May 25, 1085. 

* It was not Gregory VII., but his successor, Urban II., who on giving 
up the bishopric of Ostia, when rbised to the popedom, invited his old 
contemporary at Cluni, the learned Odo, to succeed him in the see of 
Ostia, which he held till the year 1101. 


bishopric of Mans being now void, I wish, by God's will, to 
promote you to that see in his place. Mans, an ancient city 
which derives its name from canine madness, 1 has a popula- 
tion which is always aggressive and blood-thirsty as regards 
its neighbours, and insolent and rebellious to its lords. I 
have, therefore, resolved to place the reins of its ecclesias- 
tical government in your hands, having cherished and 
dearly loved you from your childhood, and desiring now to 
place you high among the great men of my dominions." 
Samson replied: "According to the apostolical precept, a 
bishop ought to be irreproachable ; but I hsve been far from 
answering to that character, during the whole course of my 
life, for 1 feel that before God I am polluted with sins, both 
of body and mind ; and, wretched and unworthy as I am, 
my manifold offences forbid me to aspire to so high a 
dignity." The king said : " With your natural shrewdness 
you see clearly that you act rightly in confessing yourself a 
sinner; but I have set my mind on you, and shall not 
depart from my purpose, unless you either accept the 
bishopric, or recommend me another to take it in your 
place." Simon heard this with joy, and replied: "My lord 
and king, you have now spoken well ; and you will find me 
ready, with God's help, to do what you wish. You have in 
your chapel a poor clerk, who is well born and of good 
conversation. Give him the bishopric, in the fear of the 
Lord, for I think he is worthy of that honour. On the 
king's inquiring who he meant, Simon replied: "His name 
is Hoel, and he is a native of Brittany, and a humble and 
truly good man." Hoel was presently summoned at the 
king's command, without being informed for what purpose. 
But when the king saw before him a mere vouth, in mean 
apparel, and of emaciated aspect, he conceived a contempt for 
him, and, turning to Simon, said : " Is this the person you 
praised so highly ? " To which Samson replied : " Even so, 
my lord ; I honestly recommend him without the slightest 
hesitation, and it is not without reason that I prefer him to 
myself and such as me. His gentleness and benevolence 
make him fit to be a bishop. Do not despise him for his 
emaciated appearance. His humble dress only makes him 

1 A play upon the Latin term for Mans; cceno-manis a canind rabie 


more estimable in the eyes of wise men ; Q-od himself does 
not regard a man's exte'rior, but has respect unto the worth 
concealed beneath it." The king, in his wisdom, reflected 
on observations so full of sagacity, and, coming to a better 
mind, and bringing his scattered thoughts under the control 
of reason, hastened again to call the clerk we are speaking 
of to his presence, and committed to him the charge and 
temporalities of the bishopric of Mans. The royal will 
being made known among the clergy, testimonies of Hoel's 
good conversation were universally forthcoming. The faithful 
offered their devout praises to God for so just and excellent 
a selection, and the pastor-elect was introduced with fitting 
honour to the sheepfold of his flock by the bishops and 
other servants of God who received the king's commands. 
The new bishop was not more astonished at his sudden pro- 
motion than David, when he was scorned by his brethren, at 
Samuel's raising him to the throne of Judah. Hoel, bishop 
of Mans, thus elevated to the government of that see, 
presided over it in great sanctity for fifteen years. He laid 
the foundations of the cathedral church in which the 
remains of St. Julian the confessor, and first bishop of Mans, 
were deposited ; and began other works, which the church 
required, labouring to complete them as opportunity offered. 1 
At his death, he was succeeded by Hildebert, a distinguished 
versifier, who worthily filled the see for thirty years. He 
completed the cathedral church begun by his predecessor, 
which he solemnly consecrated amid the great rejoicings 
of the people. Not long afterwards, in the year of our 
Lord 1125, the fourth indiction, when Gislebert, arch- 
bishop of Tours, died at Home, at the same time as Pope 
Callistus II., he was called to the metroplitan see of Tours 
in the time of Pope Honorius, by the demands and orders 
of the holy church, and still continues to hold it with laud- 
able care and exemplary conduct. 

1 The appointment of Hoel to the see of Mans was not made in 1073. 
but after ^the death of Arnold, his immediate predecessor, the 24th of 
July, 1097. The historians of Mans repudiate the extraordinary circum- 
stances related by our author on the subject of h;s election. According to 
them, Hoel completed the cathedral begun by Vularin and Arnold, and 
Hildebert only erected the chapter-house and sacristy. But as the con- 
secration of the cathedral was not made till 1120, it is hardly probable 
that it would have been deferred so long, if it had been finished by Hoel. 

A.D. 10511062.] HEEBEET, COUNT OF MAINE. 73 

CH. XIII. Affairs of Maine Expedition of King William, 
which established his power in that province. 

As the ocean never remains in a state of complete rest, 
but its troubled waves are always in motion ; and, though 
its surface at times appears calm to the unobservant spec- 
tator, those who navigate it are not the less in dread of 
changes and fluctuations: so this world is in a constant 
state of turmoil from the tide of events, and is always pre- 
senting new forms of sorrow or joy. Thus, endless alterca- 
tions are constantly arising and proceeding to extremities 
among those unsatisfied worldlings, whose wishes the world 
itself is insufficient to satisfy. While each strives to be first 
and endeavours to tread under foot his rivals, the law of God 
is broken in the disregard for justice, and human blood is 
shed without mercy in the struggle to obtain what every one 
covets. This is abundantly shown by the records of ancient 
history, and modern reports tell the same tale in our very 
streets and villages. It follows that some rejoice for the 
moment, while others are filled with sorrow and trouble. I 
have already treated shortly of some instances of this kind 
in my present work, and shall add more, faithfully detailing 
what I have heard from my seniors. 

Herbert, count of Maine, who was, it is said, of the race 
of Charlemagne, merited by his great bravery the name by 
which he was commonly known, in bad Latin signifying 
watch-dog. For after the death of Hugh his father, who 
was subdued by the powerful Fulk the elder, he rose in 
arms against the conqueror, and by his nightly expeditions, 
frequently alarmed the men and dogs of the city and for- 
tified towns, so that their fears made them be on the watch 
against his formidable attacks. 1 

1 It has been remarked that Ordericus is very apt to multiply the number 
of the descendants of Charlemagne, but it is well known that on the dis- 
memberment of the Carlovingian empire, not only the sovereign princes of 
the highest rank, but a vast number of the powerful nobles, who under 
various titles carved out for themselves independent sovereignties in frag- 
ments of the empire, strengthened their pretensions by connecting them- 
selves with the common stock of honour and power among the Franks of 
the ninth and succeeding centuries. Herbert Eveille-chien succeeded his 
father, Hugh, in 1016, or earlier, and died the 15th of April, 1036. Our 
author has before given, vol. i. p. 448, a different and far less natural account 
of his strange surname. 


Hugh, the son of Herbert, after Alan count of Brittany, 
died in Normandy from poison given him by the Normans, 
married hia widow Bertha, daughter of Theobald count de 
Blois, by whom he had a son named Herbert and three 
daughters; 1 one of them was given in marriage to Azzo, 
marquis of Liguria; another, named Margaret, was be- 
trothed to Eobert, sou of "William duke of Normandy, but 
died while she was his ward, before marriage. The third 
married John, lord of the castle called Fleche, by whom she 
had three sons, Goisbert, Elias, and Enoch. 2 

Geoffrey Martel, the brave count of Anjou, dying, was 
succeeded by his two nephews, sons of his sister by Alberie, 
count du Gatinois, one of whom, Geoffrey, a prince of 
simple and gentle manners, obtained the county in right of 
his being the eldest. After the death of the younger 
brother Herbert, "William duke of Normandy acquired his 
share of the inheritance, and Count Geoffrey conferred the 
fief on llobert, with his daughter's hand in marriage, 
receiving from him homage and fealty in the presence of his 
father at Alen9on. Not long afterwards Fulk, surnamed 
Rechin, revolted from Geoffrey his brother and liege lord, 
and treacherously siezing him kept him prisoner in the 
castle of Chinon more than thirty years. Such were the 
revolutions which disturbed the province of Anjou and its 
neighbours, and in which the nobles of the country took 
different sides, according to their inclinations. 

While Fulk himself was deeply grieved at seeing Maine 
under the supremacy of the Normans, the turbulent citi- 
zens and neighbouring garrisons, with some hired soldiers, 
joined unanimously in a conspiracy against their foreign 
masters, and, vigorously assaulting the citadel and other 

1 Hugh, Herbert's son, succeeded him in 1036, and married Bertha, 

daughter of Eudes, count de Bois and Champagne, and widow of Alan 

III., duke of Brittany, who was poisoned in Normandy the 1st of October, 

40. Hugh died the 7th of April, 1051, leaving, notwithstanding what 

our author says, only one son and one daughter. 

7 Gereende, second wife of Azzo, marquis of Liguria, was sister, not 
daughter, of Hugh II. The same may be said of Paule or Haberge, the 
mother, and not the wife of John, lord of Fleche, of the family of the 
lords of Beauquency. For the dates of the deaths of Herbert II. and 
Margaret, ha sister, betrothed to Robert Court-hose, see before vol L 
pp. 448 and 449. 


fortifications of the city, defeated and expelled Turgis de 
Traci 1 and William de la Forte, and the rest of the king's 
officers. Some were slain, making a brave resistance, others 
were cruelly thrown into prison, and, ample revenge was 
taken on the Normans thus deprived of their liberty. All 
the country was now in a state of disturbance, the Norman 
power was eclipsed, and assailed by almost all, as by an 
universal blight. In like manner Geoffrey de Mayenne and 
other barons of Maine, formed a conspiracy and rose against 
the Normans ; a few only, for their own reasons and under 
various circumstances, maintained their allegiance to King 

When this great king heard the dreadful reports of the 
massacre of his officers, his anger was roused, and he took 
measures for checking the progress of his enemies, and 
revenging, by arms, the rebellion of the traitors as it de- 
served. The Normans and English were quickly summoned 
to the field, and the several bodies of troops being formed 
into one army, with horse and foot skilfully arrayed under 
their several commanders, he marched at the head of this 
formidable force into the country of Maine. He first be- 
sieged the castle of Fresnai, where he knighted Eobert de 
Belesine. Hubert, the governor, however, came to terms, 
and, surrendering his castles of Fresnai and Beaumont 2 to 
the king, continued his submission for some time. Having 
next laid siege to the castle of Sille, the governor gave him- 
self up to the king and obtained peace. No one indeed was 
able to make any resistance to the overwhelming force of 
the royal army, but all the garrisons of the castles and the 
country people, with the clerks and monks, decided on 
receiving the king as the restorer of peace, with fitting 
honours. At length he came before Maine, and investing 
the place with several divisions of his army, made his royal 
commands duly known, imperiously requiring the citizens 
to consult their own safety by quietly surrendering the 
place, and so avoiding an assault and the consequent horrors 
of fire and sword. Listening to this wise counsel, the citi- 
zens came the next day, bringing with them the keys of the 

1 Turgis ile Traci, near Vire, where there are still the ruins of a 
magnificent castle of the middle u-j;e. 

2 i'resiuu and Beaumont, le Vicomte, both on the Sarthc. 


city, and offering their submission, which the king received 
with favour. The rest of the people of Maine were terrified 
at seeing so vast and fierce an army marcbing through their 
territories, and they found that their fellow conspirators 
and supporters were unable to make any stand against so 
experienced a general. They therefore sent delegates to 
the conqueror to ask for peace, and terms being made, they 
gladly joined their standards with the royal ensigns, and 
were permitted thenceforth to live in peace in their own 
homes and under their vines, and enjoy themselves as they 

Order being thus restored in Maine without much fight- 
ing, and the province continuing tranquil under the do- 
minion of King William, Count Fulk l became mischievously 
jealous, and his anger broke forth against some of the ad- 
herents of the Normans. John de la Fleche, the most 
powerful lord in Anjou, who was particularly obnoxious to 
him on this account, having ascertained that the count was 
ready to fall upon him with an armed force, summoned his 
confederates in the neighbourhood to his assistance, and 
demanded the support of King \Villiam, which was granted 
him. For, without delay, the king sent to him William de 
Moulins, Eobert de Vieux-Pont, and other brave and ex- 
perienced knights, who were at once united by John with 
his own followers in the defence of his towns. Fulk, 
learning these dispositions, was much vexed, and immediately 
collecting a body of troops laid siege to John's Castle. 
Count Hoel* also came to the succour of Fulk with a large 
force of Bretons, with which he did all in his power to 
second the enterprise of Fulk. King William, knowing 
that such large bodies of troops must completely surround 
his own adherents, again issued a royal proclamation for 
mustering the Normans and English and other people 
under his rule, and like a resolute general led an army of 
00,000 men, as report says, against the enemy. Meanwhile 
the Angevins and the Bretons, on hearing of the approach 
of the royal army, did not retire, but boldly crossed the 
Loire, and after etfecting the passage destroyed their boats, 
that the hope of retreat might not make them less des- 
1 Fulk le Rlchin, count d'Anjou, April 4, 1067 April 14, 1109 
a Hoel V., duke of Brittany, 10G6 April 15, 1084. 


perate in fighting. While, however, the two armies were 
in face of each other, drawn out for battle, and many hearts 
quailed at the fearful death, and the still more fearful fate 
after death, which awaits the reprobate, a cardinal priest of 
the Roman church, and some pious monks, interfered by 
divine inspiration, and remonstrated with the chiefs of both 
armies. They firmly forbade the battle in God's name, and 
used exhortations and prayers to effect a peace. Their 
endeavours were powerfully seconded by "William of Evreux 
and Eoger [de Montgomery], 1 and other counts and brave 
soldiers, who, bold and forward as they were in legitimate 
contests, were slack to engage in odious quarrels, brought 
about by pride and injustice. The messengers of Christ 
thus sowing the seeds of concord, the arrogance of the am- 
bitious gave way, and the fears of the timid were gradually 
allayed. Many conferences were held, a variety of proposals 
were discussed, there was a contest of words ; but by the 
power of God the ambassadors of peace were successful 
with both parties. The count of Anjou ceded his rights in 
Maine to the young prince Robert, the king's son, with all 
the fiefs which the prince acquired by Margaret his wife 
from Count Herbert. Finally, Robert performed due 
homage to Fulk, as a vassal to his superior lord. John 
and the other Angevins, who had borne arms for the king 
against the count, were reconciled to their sovereign, while, 
on the other hand, those of Maine, who had revolted with 
the count against the king, were included in the treaty. 
The grace of God thus reconciling the hearts of the princes, 
offences were repented and forgotten on one side and the 
other, and the good people made great rejoicings at the 
peace which delivered them from the lowering storms that 
disturbed their tranquillity. The peace between the king 
and the count, which was concluded at a place commonly 
called Blanch-Land or Blanche-Bruyerre, 2 lasted all the 
king's life to the advantage of the two states. 

1 William, count d'Evreux, December 13, 1067 April 18, 1 1 18 ; Roger 
de Montgomery, earl of Belesme, Alenfon, and Shrewsbury, 1070 July 
27, 10.94. 

2 There is still a fkrm called Blancheland, near St. Mards de Cr6, at 
one extremity of the vast sandy desert called the Landes, which at that 
time extended south of the Loire from the suburbs of La Fleche to this 


CH. XIV. Conspiracy of the great English nobles against 
King William Arguments used to induce Earl Waltlieof 
to join it The rest break into open rebellion, and are 

AT the same period [A.D. 1074] there arose another violent 
storm fraught with trouble and disaster to vast numbers in 
England. Two powerful English noblemen, Roger, earl of 
Hereford, and his brother-in-law, Balph, earl of Norwich, 1 
concerted together an open revolt, being resolved to wrest 
the dominion of England from King William, and to set up 
themselves as its sovereigns, or rather its tyrants. They 
therefore, rivalled each other in fortifying their castles, 
preparing arms, and mustering soldiers, sending frequent 
messengers far and near to their trusty adherents, and 
inviting, by entreaties and promises, all over whom they had 
any influence to aid their enterprise. Having reflected on the 
revolutions of affairs and the chances of the times, they said 
to their confederates and allies : 2 " All prudent men know 
that a favourable moment must not be neglected, and that 
when the right time is come, then it is that brave men 
ought boldly to engage in a work of glory. But there never 
was a more fitting opportunity than that which is now 
afforded us by the mysterious dispensations of Providence 
for aspiring to the throne. He who now bears the title of 
king is unworthy of it as being a- bastard, and it must be 
evident that it is displeasing to God such a master should 
govern the kingdom. He is involved in endless quarrels in 
his dominions over the sea, being at variance not only with 
strangers but with his own children, and in the midst of his 
difficulties his own creatures desert him. He has deserved 

1 Roger de Breteuil, earl of Hereford; Ralph de Guader or de Gaol. 
The Saxon Chronicle says that he was a Welshman on his mother's side, 
and his father an Englishman named Ralph, and born in Norfolk. It 
appears, however, that the family was of the -Armorican branch of the 
Welsh, having come from Brittany and been settled in England before the 
conquest. King William conferred on Ralph II. the earldoms of Norfolk 
and Suffolk, with the daughter of William Fitz-Osbern in marriage. 

* The conspiracy was formed at the bridal feast, where the two great 
earls, with Waltheof and other nobles, and bishops, and abbots of the party 
were assembled, and as the Saxon Chronicle quaintly says 
" They quaffed bride-ale, 
Source of man's bale." 


this by the crimes which are openly talked of all over the 
world. He disinherited and drove out of Normandy William 
Werlenc, 1 Count de Mortain, for a single word. Walter, 
Count de Pontoise, nephew of King Edward, and Biota his 
wife, being his guests at Falaise, were both his victims by 
poison in one and the same night. 2 Conan, also, was taken 
off by poison at William's instigation ; that valiant count 
whose death was mourned through the whole of Brittany 
with unutterable grief on account of his great virtues. 3 
These, and other such crimes have been perpetrated by 
William in the case of his own kinsfolk and relations, and 
he is ever ready to act the same part towards us and our 
peers. He has impudently usurped the glorious crown of 
England, iniquitously murdering the rightful heirs, or 
driving them into cruel banishment. He has not even 
rewarded according to their merits his own adherents, those 
by whose valour he has been raised to a pitch of eminence 
exceeding that of all his race. Many of these who shed 
their blood in his service have been treated with ingratitude, 
and on slight pretexts have been sentenced to death, as 
if they were his enemies. To his victorious soldiers, covered 

1 William Werlenc, earl of Mortaine, is only known by two passages in 
our author's history, and by the nineteenth chapter of the seventh book of 
William de Jumieges. As the circumstances connected with his being 
deprived of his earldom appear to have been little honourable to his 
sovereign, the Norman historians carefully abstain from enlarging upon 

* See an account of these persons, and the crime of which they were 
victims, book iii. p. 448 of the first volume. Walter, count du Vexin, de 
Chaumon, and Mantis, was son of Drogo, count of the Vexin and Amiens, 
who died on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Robert, duke of Nor- 
mandy, in 1035. He was nephew of Edward the Confessor, by his wife 
Edith, a daughter of Ethelred and Emma. 

8 This is one of the foulest acts imputed to William. Conan, duke of 
Brittany (1040 1066), finding that the duke was on the point of with- 
drawing all his troops from Normandy for the invasion of England, 
prepared to take advantage of it by making an incursion into Lower 
Normandy. It appears that William could think of no other means of 
parrying this attack than by procuring Conan 'a gloves and helmet to be 
poisoned by one of his chamberlains who held lands in Normandy. This 
atrocious scheme was entirely successful. According to Conan's epitaph, 
he did not die till the llth of December, which suggests the conjecture 
that the effects of the poison were not instant. See the Continuator of 
William de Jumieges, book vii. c. 33. 


\vith wounds, were allotted barren farms and domains depo- 
pulated by the ravages of war ; and even these his avarice 
subsequently compelled them to surrender in part or in 
whole. These things cause him to be generally hated, and 
his death would be the signal for universal joy. Now, 
the greatest part of his army is detained beyond sea, busily 
employed in continual wars. The English think of nothing 
but cultivating their lands, they are more intent on feasting 
and drinking bouts than on the thoughts of battle ; but, 
notwithstanding, they thirst for revenge for the blood and 
ruin of their relations." In such language as this the con- 
spirators vented their treason, and encouraging themselves 
by all sorts of motives to the execution of their wicked pro- 
ject, they called to their councils Waltheof, earl of North- 
ampton, and tempted him to join them by a variety of sug- 
gestions, to this effect : " Brave sir, you may plainly see that 
now is your time for recovering your forfeited honours, and 
for securing vengeance for the unmerited injuries you have 
lately suffered. Join our party, and support it without 
faltering in your resolution, and the third part of England 
shall be yours, by an equal division among ourselves. It ia 
our object that the realm of England should be restored to 
the same state in which it lately was in the time of Edward 
our most pious sovereign. Let one of us be king, the other 
two dukes, and thus all the honours of England will be 
divided among us. William is now engaged beyond the 
sea in endless wars which absorb his whole strength, and we 
know for certain that he will never land again on the shores 
of England. Come, then, noble sir, listen to counsels so 
advantageous to you and your family, and act in the manner 
which will prove the salvation of our enslaved fellow 

Waltheof replied as follows : " In such enterprises the 
utmost caution is required; and in all nations the fealty 
sworn by every subject to his liege lord should be faithfully 
kept. King William has received mine, lawfully given as 
to his superior lord by one holding under him, and to secure 
my fidelity he gave me his niece in marriage. He also gave 
me a rich earldom, and admitted me into the number of 
his familiar companions. How can I be faithless to such 
a prince without entirely breaking my fealty to him ? I am 


well known in many countries, and far from me be the 
disgrace which would attend my being proclaimed a sacri- 
legious traitor. Never was there a song so sweet as to 
charm away the disgrace of treason. All nations curse 
traitors and turncoats, as they do wolves, thinking them 
only fit to be hanged, and if they can catch them, condemn 
them to the gibbet, with all the insults and tortures they 
can devise. Ahitophel and Judas, both traitors aud apos- 
tates, and each of them doomed to the gallows, to be 
suspended between heaven and earth as fit for neither, 
perished by their own hands. The law of England sen- 
tences a traitor to lose his head, and on his attainder 
the inheritance of his children is escheated. God forbid 
that such a crime should taint my honour, and my name be 
held up to scorn with such infamy throughout the world ! 
The Lord God, who showed his power in saving David from 
the hands of Goliah and Saul, Adarezer and Absalom, hath 
delivered me also from many dangers both by sea and land. 
I commit myself entirely to his keeping, trusting in him 
that my life will never be stained with treason, and that I 
shall not be branded with apostacy like Satan and the fallen 

When Ealph the Breton and Eoger heard the determi- 
nation of Waltheof, they were sorely troubled, and bound 
him by a terrible oath not to divulge their conspiracy. Not 
long afterwards it suddenly burst forth into open rebellion 
in all parts of England, and the opposition to the king's 
officers became general. Upon this, William de Warrene, 
and Richard de Bienfaite, son of Earl Gislebert, who had 
been appointed chief justiciaries of England, summoned the 
rebels to appear in the king's high court. They, however, 
disdained to pay any attention to the precept, and, following 
\ip this contempt of court, set the royal authority at de- 
fiance. William and Richard, therefore, without further 
delay, assembled the English army, and fought a severe 
battle with the rebels on the plain called Fagadun. 1 By God's 
help they defeated the enemy, and taking them prisoners, 
marked every one, without regard to his rank, by ampu- 
tating his right foot. Ralph the Breton was pursued to his 
own castle without being taken. They then concentrated 
1 Beecham or Beechamwell, near Swaffham, Norfolk (?) 



their forces and invested Norwich, and adding to their 
strength by their display of valour and military skill, they 
harassed the besieged with constant assaults and their 
engines of war, pressing the siege for three months with 
unwearied vigour. The besieging army was continually aug- 
menting, and was abundantly supplied with abundance of 
food and other necessaries to prevent desertion. Ralph de 
Guader, finding himself thus shut up and expecting no 
relief from his accomplices, entrusted the fortress, with 
many cautions, to the trusty garrison, and embarked at the 
nearest sea-port to seek for help in Denmark. Meanwhile, 
the king's lieutenants, William and Robert, pressed the 
townsmen to surrender, while they despatched hasty messen- 
gers over the sea to the king, giving an account of these 
transactions and begging him to return with all speed for 
the defence of the kingdom. 

No sooner had the indefatigable king received these 
tidings than he set in order the affairs of Normandy and 
Maine, and all being arranged, crossed over to England 
without loss of time. He then summoned all the great men 
of the realm to attend his court, and having addressed in 
flattering terms the lords who had been faithful to their 
allegiance and proved their fidelity, he demanded of the 
authors and supporters of the rebellion the reason why they 
preferred wrong to right. The garrison of Norwich having 
made terms, the place was given up to the king, and Ralph 
de Guader, earl of Norwich, was disinherited~of his English 
honours and domains. Being banished the kingdom, he 
returned to Brittany with his wife and settled on his patri- 
monial estates which his attainder by the sovereign of 
England could not affect. In that province he had on his 
domains two noble castles, Guader and Montfort, which his 
sons possess by hereditary right to the present day. He 
himself, some years afterwards, took the cross, and accom- 
panying Robert II., duke of Normandy, in his crusade against 
the Turks, and reaching Jerusalem, died, as well as his wife, 
a penitent and a pilgrim. 

Roger de Breteuil, earl of Hereford, having obeyed the 
summons to attend the king's court, and an inquiry being 
made, his treason was so plain that he could not deny it. 
He was therefore judged by the Norman laws and sentenced 


to the forfeiture of his lands and perpetual imprisonment. 
Even there he often caused the king great annoyance, and 
rendered him implacable by his obstinate contumacy. For 
instance, on one occasion when the faithful were celebrating 
the feast of Easter in due form, and the king had sent to 
Earl Roger in prison, by the hands of his guards, a box con- 
taining a suit of very valuable robes, the earl caused a large 
fire to be made and committed to the flames the royal 
presents, the surcoat, and silken tunic, and mantle of 
the furs of precious ermines brought from abroad. The 
king, hearing of this, exclaimed in great wrath : " He 
is very insolent to put such an affront upon me ; but, 
by God's light, 1 he shall never get out of prison while I 
live." And the royal will was so determined, and so firmly 
carried out, that even after the king's death the earl was 
detained in captivity until his own death released him from 
it. His two sons, feeynold and Eoger, young men of great 
promise, are now in the service of King Henry, 2 and in great 
distress, are waiting for the exercise of his clemency, which 
appears to them sufficiently tardy. 

Truly the world's glory droops and withers like the 
flower of grass, and is spent and scattered like smoke. 
Where now is William Titz-Osbern, earl of Hereford, the 
king's lieutenant, high-steward of Normandy, and the valiant 
commander of the royal troops ? He was, without excep- 
tion, the first and greatest of the oppressors of the people 
of England, and amassed an enormous fortune by his exac- 
tions, causing the ruin and death of thousands by his severi- 
ties. But the righteous Judge, who seeth all things, rewards 
every man according to his deserts. Miserable fate ! Earl 
William falls, and the bold warrior receives the punishment 
he deserves. Many had fallen by his sword, and by the 
sword he himself was suddenly cut off. After his death, 
before five years elapsed, the spirit of discord stirred up his son 
and son-in-law to hostilities against their lord and kinsman, 
the same spirit which wrought in the Schechemites against 
Abimelech whom they had set over them after slaying the 
seventy sons of Jerobaal. I have thus correctly described 

1 An oath frequently used by William the Conqueror. 
* This paragraph, therefore, was written in the reign of Henry I. of 
England, who died December ], 1135. 

G 2 


the crime for which the race of "William Fitz-Osbern 
has BO entirely disappeared in England, that, if I mistake 
not, the slightest trace of it cannot there be found. 

CH. XV. Trial and execution of Earl Waltheof for alleged 
complicity in the rebellion. 

EA.BL WALTHEOF was summoned before the king, and 
accused, on the testimony of his wife Judith, of having been 
privy to and encouraged the conspiracy already spoken of, 
and thus become guilty of treason against his sovereign. 
The earl fearlessly acknowledged that the conspirators had 
communicated to him their nefarious designs, but declared 
that he had refused all concurrence in such wickedness. This 
confession caused much discussion on the judgment to be 
pronounced, and there being great difference in opinion 
among the members of the court, it was deferred, by successive 
adjournments, for a whole year. Meanwhile, the earl was 
kept in close custody in the king's prison at AVincbester, 
where he often deplored his offences, confessing them with 
tears in his eyes to the good bishops and abbots who visited 
him in his confinement. For the space of a year, under 
the direction of the priests, he continued his penance, 
chanting in his daily devotions the one hundred and fifty 
psalms of David which he had learnt in his childhood. 
Waltheof was in person tall and stout, very handsome, and 
superior to thousands in generosity and courage; devoted 
to God, he listened with humility to the instructions of 
the clergy of every class, and was a kind friend to the 
church and the poor. For these and many other Christian 
virtues which distinguished him above all the rest of the 
laity, he was much beloved both by his own people and by 
strangers who had regard to the will of God, so that his 
deliverance from prison was anxiously looked for during the 
year's delay. At last his enemies assembled in such numbers 
in the king's court as to form the majority, and after much 
discussion prevailed in getting him sentenced to death for 
having made himself a party to the treasonable conspiracy 
of his fellow lords by not openly resisting their designs 
against the king's life, or at once denouncing their criminal 
projects. No time for respite was granted, as the Nor- 
mans were apprehensive of his escape, and greedy to get 


posession of his ample domains and high honours. He was 
therefore hurried, at dawn of day, while the people were yefc 
asleep, to the hill on which the church of St. Giles, abbot 
and confessor, was afterwards built j 1 and having distributed 
among the clergy and poor who happened to be present the 
robes of honour which his rank of earl entitled him to wear, 
he threw himself <on the ground and continued some time in 
prayer to God, mixed with sobbings and tears. The execu- 
tioners, dreading that the townsmen when they awoke 
would rise in arms to resist the king's warrant, and, taking 
the part of so noble a countryman, massacre the royal 
guards, called to the kneeling earl : " Rise, sir, that we may 
execute our lord's commands." To which he replied, " Wait 
awhile, for the love of God Almighty, at least while I say 
the Lord's prayer on your behalf and my own." As they 
gave their consent, the earl rose from the ground, and on 
bended knees, with eyes raised to heaven and hands up- 
lifted, began to say aloud " Our Father which art in heaven." 
But when he came to the last petition, having said, " Lead 
us not into temptation," his tears fell so fast, and his sobbings 
were so violent, that he was unable to conclude the prayer 
he had begun. The executioner would wait no longer, but 
drawing his sword severed the earl's head from his body 
with a single stroke. But the head, after it was severed, 2 
uttered with a loud and distinct voice, in the hearing of all 
present, the words: "But deliver us from evil. Amen!" 
Thus Earl "Waltheof was beheaded at Winchester, on the 
morning of the second of the calends of May [30th April]. 5 
His body was, without ceremony, thrown into a hole dug on 
the spot, which is now covered with the green turf. The 
townsmen, roused from their sleep by reports of what was 
going on, abandoned themselves to grief, men and women 

1 The ruins of the hospital dedicated to St. Giles are still seen on the 
hill here mentioned, which is separated from Winchester by the river 

a We should have been glad to have avoided leaving any blemish on a 
very affecting and interesting narrative, by using the phrase, " in the act of 
being severed," but the text ia too stubborn to be so dealt with : caput, 
poftquam prised urn fuit. 

s Earl Waltheof was executed on the 31st of May, and not on the 30th 
of April, 1075. Consult for further particulars Ingulphus, and the Vita et 
passio Waldcvi Comitis; Chroniquet Anglo-Normandes, t. ii. Rouen, 1836. 


joining in loud lamentations for the fate of Earl "Waltheof. 
Fifteen days afterwards, at Judith's request and with the 
king's permission, Ufkytel, abbot of Croyland, came to the 
place, and raising the bloody corpse which exhibited no signs 
of decay, the blood being as fresh as if the earl was just 
dead, conveyed it to the abbey of Croyland, followed by the 
lamentations of vast crowds of people, and there gave it 
honourable interment in the chapter-house of the monks. 

CH. XVI. Life of St. Guthlac, the hermit of Croyland, 
abridged from the Acts of that saint, written by the monk 

I TAKE the liberty of inserting in this part of my poor 
work an abridgment which I have lately made from the 
Life of St. Guthlac, the hermit, at the desire of the venerable 
prior Wulfine. A bishop of the East- Angles named Felix, a 
native of Burgundy, and a prelate of great sanctity, wrote 
an account of the acts of the holy hermit, which is very 
long, and the style rather obscure. 1 I have cleared up its 
difficulties, to the best of my ability, in the short compi- 
lation which I made in compliance with the flattering 
request of the brethren of Croyland Abbey, where I resided 
five weeks, 2 the venerable abbot Geoffrey having kindly laid 
his commands upon me to that effect. My account of Earl 
Waltheof has given occasion to this notice of the holy 
hermit, for the earl was a kiud brother and ally of the 
monks of Croyland, as I shall carefully relate in the close of 
this history from the reports of the older brethren. I have 
no sort of doubt that the acts of the Saxon and English 
saints, across the channel, would be no less profitable to the 
faithful Cisalpines, than those compiled on Greek and Egyp- 
tion saints by the zeal of the learned, delightful and useful 
as those collections are. I think, moreover, that, little as 

1 The history of St. Guthlac could not have been written by Bishop 
Felix, who was raised to the see of Dunwich by Sigebert, king of East 
Anglia, and filled it A.D. 629632. It is the work of another Felix, a 
disciple of Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, and monk of Jarrow, who 
wrote it about the middle of the eighth century. Mabillon has inserted it 
in the Ada SS. ord. S. Benedicti, sac. iii. p. 1. 

3 Probably about the time of his visit to Worcester, the only occasion, 
as it appears, on which Ordericus came over to England, after leaving it at 
a tery early age. 

A.D. 673 699.] su. GUTHLAC'S EARLY LIFE. 87 

the former are known among our countrymen, they cannot 
fail of giving satisfaction, so ardent was the charity with 
which these saints were inflamed, and with such sorrow they 
deplored their sins from the bottom of their hearts. 

Guthlac was born in the time of Ethelred king of the 
English, 1 Gruthlac having Penvald, sprung from Icles lord of 
the Mercians, for his father, and Tetta for his mother. At 
his birth a sign in the heavens was manifest to the people ; 
for a hand was seen stretched out from the clouds towards 
a cross which stood before the door of the house where 
Tetta was in labour. After eight days the child was bap- 
tized, and named Guthlac, that is, the gift of war, from the 
tribe which is called Guthlacingas. After a gentle child- 
hood, when he felt the impulses of youth and studied 
the valiant deeds of heroes, he collected his dependants 
and gave himself up to the career of arms, ravaging and 
destroying the villages and castles of his adversaries with 
fire and sword. Gathering immense booty, he made volun- 
tary restitution of a third part of the plunder, for the love 
of God, to those from whom it was taken. After pursuing 
this course of life for nine years, causing great losses to his 
enemies in person and goods, he began to reflect on the un- 
certainty of this mortal life and the instability of all human 
things, and coming to himself in a state of alarm, arid 
examining his conduct as if death was before his eyes, he 
resolved to enter on a better course of life. He therefore 
left his comrades and relations, quitting his own country, 
and holding cheap even the companions of his childhood for 
the sake of Christ, and in the twenty-fourth year of his age 
renounced all worldly vanities and entered the monastery of 
Eipandun, when he assumed the tonsure and clerical dress 
under the abbess whose name was Elfrida. 2 Prom that 
time he abstained from excessive drinking and every kind of 
debauchery with the utmost care, devoting himself to a 
good and religious life with all the zeal which human nature 

1 Ethelred, king of Mercia, 675 704, when he resigned his crown, and 
became a monk at Bardney Abbey. 

3 According to Mabillon, this is the monastery called Rapendum by 
William of Malmesbury, and which was in Cheshire. It must not be 
confounded with that of Ripon in Yorkshire, where there never was a. 
convent of nuns. Another conjecture places it at Repton in Derbyshire 
where there was a very ancient monastery. 


is capable of. For two years he was trained in sacred 
studies and monastic discipline, but he was not content to 
rest there, for it was his object to engage in the single 
combat of a hermit's life and meet the enemy face to face. 

Having at length obtained leave from his superiors, he 
was ferried over in a fishing-boat to a place called Croyland 
by a man named Tatwine. There lies in the middle district 
of England a vast and inhospitable marsh, which begins 
from the bank of the river G-ranta, 1 and extends over a very 
extensive tract from south to north, parallel with the sea. 
The surface is broken into ponds and lakes, and sometimes 
by dark watercourses, and islands covered with thick 
underwood, among which the rivulets wind in irregular 
channels. Many had made the attempt to settle themselves 
in these fens, but had been so terrified by the strange mon- 
sters which made it their habitation, and other alarming 
objects, that they soon abandoned so gloomy a residence. 
Q-uthlac, having surveyed Croyland in the summer season, 
returned to his brothers and superiors, from whom he had 
parted without taking leave ; but three months afterwards, 
on the eighth of the calends of September [24th August], 
he returned, in company with two boys, to the spot he had 
chosen for his hermitage, being then of the age of twenty- 
four years. It was the day on which the feast of St. Bar- 
tholomew is observed, to whom he prayed to be his friend 
and defender in all adversities. 

For fifteen years the saint used neither woollen nor linen 
garments, but was covered with skins, and lived on barley- 
bread and muddy water, using these sparingly after the sun 
was set. Satan tried a thousand ways to entangle him in 
his nets, or at least to drive him from his hermitage. 

Once he was beginning to despair of completing a work 
on which he had laboured for three days, when suddenly 
Bartholomew, his faithful patron, appeared to him visibly 
during his morning watch, and allaying his fears with 
spiritual comfort, promised him his continual help ; and he 
faithfully fulfilled his promise on various accasions in which 
he was tempted. 

Another day two demons came to him in human shape, 

1 Every one knows that this is the ancient name of the Cam. on which 
Cambridge stand*. 

A.D. 699 714.] THE HEBMIT OF CBOTLAKD. 89 

and tempted him to endeavour to fast like Moses and Elias 
and the Egyptian fathers ; but the saint began to sing, and 
to show his contempt of them, proceeded to eat a piece of 

At one time \vhen the man of God was employed in 
watching and prayer through the dreary hours of the night, 
he saw troops of demons enter his cell from all sides. 
Having bound him hand and foot, they carried him forth 
and plunged him into a muddy pond. They then dragged 
him through the roughest parts of the marsh, where the 
thorns grew thickest, and having thus torn his flesh, com- 
manded him to quit his hermitage. The saint refusing, 
they scourged him with iron rods, and after subjecting him 
to severe tortures, transported him into the cold regions 
above the clouds. They then, accompanied by legions of 
devils who assembled from the north, brought him with 
threatening aspect to the gulf of Tartarus. On seeing the 
gates of hell Guthlac began to be frightened, but despising 
the demons' threats, he prayed inwardly to God. Instantly 
St. Bartholomew stood by him arrayed in robes of celestial 
light arid commanded his foes to carry him back* in perfect 
safety to his own cell. The demons, groaning, obeyed the 
apostle's commands, and angels rejoicing met him singing : 
" The just shall go from strength to strength." 1 

Oitentimes and in various ways the demons tried to terrify 
Guthlac, but, the Lord being his helper, he foiled all their 
attempts. He stood fearless in the strength of his virtues, 
endured severe struggles in the conflict, and defeated all 
the attacks of the devil. In the time of Cenred, king of 
Mercia,* Becelin, a clerk who was tempted by the devil to 
kill the man of God while he was renewing his tonsure, was 
rebuked by him for conceiving such a crime in his heart. 
But the clerk, when he saw that his wickedness was known, 
threw himself at the saint's feet, confessed his crime, and, 
obtaining pardon, promised thenceforth to become his com- 

A crow, having stolen a piece of parchment, let it fall on 

some bulrushes hanging over the water in the middle of a 

pool, but through the merits of the man of Goa, restored it 

safe to the writer, who had been sorely afflicted at the loss. 

1 Pa. Ixxxiii. 8. * Cenred, king of Mercia, 704708. 


Two crows which frequented the island were very troublesome 
to St. G-uthlac, destroying, throwing into the water, tearing 
to pieces, tod fouling everything they could ; doing all this 
mischief indoors and out, without any respect to the man of 
God ; but he bore it all with patience, according to his vows. 
The birds which wandered over that waste wilderness, and the 
fishes which darted across its muddy waters, came flying and 
swimming to his call, as sheep come to their shepherd's 
voice, and took their food from his hand, as the instinct of 
each required. In the presence of the venerable Wilfrid, 
when two sparrows were flitting gaily about him, according 
to their nature, and settled on his arms, and knees, and 
bosom, singing, he put straw in his chimney, and so showed 
them where to make their nest ; for they would not have 
ventured to build it in Guthlac's hermitage without his 

Wilfrid had one day brought the exiled Ethelbald 1 to 
vist the man of God, and having left his gloves in the boat 
which brought them over, the mischievous crows carried 
them off. The saint presently learned this, while sitting in 
his porch, by divine inspiration, and mentioned it to Wilfrid 
during their conference. Shortly afterwards his regrets 
were ended by the gloves being restored by virtue of the 
saint's faith and prayers. 

Whitred, a noble youth of East Anglia, was possesed by 
the devil, by whom he was miserably vexed for four year:<, 
wounding and tearing himself and all he could get at with 
wood and iron, his teeth, and his nails. At one time, when 
a number of men tried to manacle him, he seized an axe, and 
killed three of them. After the four years were ended, he 
was brought to Croyland ; and the man of God, taking him 
by the hand, led him into his oratory, and continuing iu 
prayer and fasting three days delivered him from all vexa- 
tions of the evil spirit. 

Egga, Ethelbald's companion in his exile, was so possessed 
by an unclean spirit that he neither knew what he was, nor 
where he was, nor what he did. In this state he was brought 
to the threshold of Guthlac, and, having put the saint's 
girdle round his loins, he recovered his senses, and for the 

1 Ethelbald became afterwards king of Mercia, and reigned prosperously 
forty years, from 715 756. 

A.D. 699 714.] ST. GTTTHLAC'S MIBACLES. 91 

rest of his life kept the girdle, and continued to be of a 
sound mind. 

Moreover, Guthlac, the man of God, was gifted with the 
spirit of prophecy, and was in the habit of predicting future 
events, and telling to those who were with him what took 
place in their absence. In this way he told to a certain 
abbot, who came to him for a pious conference, all the 
circumstances attending a visit by two of his clergy to a 
widow's cottage, before the third hour, to get drunk. He 
rebuked two other monks for concealing two bottles of beer 
under the sands in the marsh, and kindly pardoned them as 
they knelt before him, astonished at the extent of the saint's 

St. G-uthlac's fame being noised abroad far and wide, 
numbers of all ranks resorted to him ; abbots, monks, earls, 
the rich, the poor, and the oppressed, from the neighbouring 
districts of Mercia, and from remote quarters of Britain, all 
seeking relief either for their souls or bodies ; and each one 
who came in faith obtained what he sought: the sick, a 
cure ; the sorrowful, joy ; the penitent, consolation ; and 
every anxious soul received comfort from the conversation 
and efficacious prayers of the man of God. 

Obba, one of the companions of the exile Ethelbald, 
when walking through a rough field, was wounded in the 
foot by thorns, which were covered by the coarse grass, so 
that his whole body swelled from his feet to his loins, and 
the extreme pain would not allow him either to sit, stand, or 
lie in quiet, and he could scarcely make his way to Croyland. 
Presently he was brought to the man of God, and the cause 
of his pain related, upon which Guthlac wrapped round him 
the sheepskin rug in which he was used to pray, and the 
thorn darted from his foot, as quick as thought, like an 
arrow from a bow. The same hour all the inflammation 
ceased, and the sick man, restored to health, gave thanks to 
God with those who were witnesses of his cure. 

It happened that Chad the bishop, 1 with certain monks 
and laymen, came to visit Guthlac, and during their journey 
had various conversations about the holy man. The 
bishop, finding the holy man enlightened by divine grace 
and full of wisdom in expounding the holy scriptures, com- 
1 St. Chad, bishop of Dorchester, 676 July 6, 705. 


pelled him by his duty of inviolable obedience to receive the 
office of the priesthood, after he had consecrated the church 
of Croyland, on the twelfth of the calends of September 
[August 21st]. On this occasion the holy man was forced 
to dine with the bishop, contrary to his habits. While there 
he observed Wigfrid, the librarian, sitting apart, and began 
to question him relative to the promise he had made the day 
before to his companions on the road, that he would find out 
whether the hermit's piety was true or pretended. "Wigfrid, 
blushing, threw himself on the ground and asked for pardon, 
which he obtained; while all were astonished that their 
conversation on the road was thus revealed by the Spirit of 
God to the holy saint. 

The very reverend abbess Egburg, daughter of King 
Aldulf, 1 having humbly requested Guthlac by her messenger, 
he accepted from her a leaden coffin, with a shroud to wrap 
his corpse after his death ; and when he was asked who 
would be his successor in that place, he answered, that he 
was still a heathen. This happened ; for Cessa, who after- 
wards occupied his cell, was baptized some time afterwards 
in Brittany. Child-Ethelbald, s who was driven from place 
to place by the persecutions of King Ceolred, 3 when hia 
strength was exhausted by the sufferings he underwent, 
came, as he was wont, to the man of God, that when human 
counsels failed he might obtain those that were divine. 
Guthlac administered to him the kindest consolations, pro- 
mising him, by inspiration of the Spirit of God, the throne 
of his kingdom and the government of the people, and the 
subjection of his enemies ; and all this, not by force of arms, 
and shedding of blood, but by the hand of the Lord. These 
things came to pass in the 'manner the man of God pre- 
dicted, for Ceolred died and Ethelbald ascended the throne. 

After having spent fifteen years in his hermitage, the 
venerable Guthlac fell sick four days before Easter; but 
making an effort beyond his strength he got up and cele- 
brated mass on Easter day. On the seventh day of his 
sickness he gave orders to Beccel his servant, that when he 

1 Aldulf, kin* of East Anglia in Bede's time, 664 680 or 683. 

C/i/o; "Child and Etheling," were the Anglo-Saxon titles for the heir 
* Ceolred, king of Mercia, 709716. 

A.D. 714.] DEATH OF ST. GUTHLAC. 93 

was dead he should fetch his sister Pega to wind his corpse 
in the shroud placed in the coffin which Egburg had sent 
him. Then Beccel began to pray and conjure the man of 
God to tell him before his death, who it was with whom he 
heard him converse every morning and evening. The kind- 
hearted champion of God, taking breath, after a short 
interval replied : " My son, give yourself no concern on that 
account. What I would not reveal to any one during my 
life 1 shall now open to you. From the second year of my 
dwelling in this hermitage, the Lord sent an angel morning 
and evening to comfort me by his discourse ; and he made 
known to me mysteries which it is not lawful for man to 
relate ; he alleviated the sufferings of my painful labours 
by heavenly consolations ; and he showed to me things 
absent as if they were present. my son, preserve my 
words, and tell them to no one but to Pega or the hermit 
Egbert." When he had finished speaking, so sweet an 
odour proceeded from his mouth that the perfume filled the 
whole house. The following night, while the brother Beccel 
was watching, he perceived the whole house to be irradiated 
with a brilliant light from midnight to the dawn of day. 
As the sun was rising, the man of God, raising himself up 
a little, and stretching out his hands towards the altar, 
strengthened himself with the communion of the body and 
blood of Christ. He then lifted his eyes to heaven and 
raised his hands on high, and so his soul departed to 
everlasting bliss in the year of our Lord 715. l 

Meanwhile, Beccel beheld the house filled with celestial 
light, and what seemed to be a tower of flame raised from 
earth to heaven, compared with which splendour the sun 
paled its fires like a candle at noonday. The vault of heaven 
rung with angelic chants, while the whole island was per- 
fumed with the essence of all fragrant and spicy odours. 
The aforesaid brother, terrified at these wonderful signs, 
and the flashings of intense light being insupportable, took 
a boat, and passing over to Pega, the virgin of Christ, he 
informed her of what had taken place, and communicated to 
her the last commands of her brother. She mourned his 
loss with deep sorrow : the next day she accompanied the 
reverend brother to Croyland, and the third she interred 

1 A.D. 714. Saxon Chronicle. 


Guthlac's blessed remains in the oratory, according to his 
wishes. The Lord afterwards wrought there numerous 
miracles by healing the sick, on account of the merits of 
his faithful servant. On the anniversary of St. Guthlac, 
his sister Pega assembled priests and others of the ecclesias- 
tical order, and opened the grave in order to transfer the 
corpse into another tomb. The body of the saint was then 
found to be perfect as it was in his life-time, and the clothes 
in which it was wrapped were as white as ever, and shone 
with all their former purity. The whole company being 
astonished and trembling at the miracle they saw, Pega, 
moved by the Spirit, reverently inclosed the holy body in 
the shroud which Egburg the abbess had sent for that pur- 
pose during Guthlac's life, and caused the coffin to be 
placed above-ground, as a monument ; and as such it is 
preserved with reverence to the present day. 

The exile Ethelbald, already named, on ^hearing of the 
holy man's death, came to the spot in much affliction. He 
was sleeping in a neighbouring hut after pouring out his 
soul with tears and prayers at the tomb, when the saint 
appeared to him, and, offering him consolation, promised 
him that he should ascend the throne before a year was 
past. 1 On his asking a sign, the saint foretold, that before 
the third hour of the morrow an unexpected supply of food 
should be furnished for the maintenance of the dwellers in 
Croyland ; which happened accordingly. Ethelbald, having 
succeeded to the throne, caused the tomb of the venerable 
Guthlac to be enclosed with buildings of admirable archi- 
tecture and richly ornamented. 

A certain master of a family, in the province of ~Wisa, J 
lost his eyesight a whole year, and failed to recover it by 
the application of any sort of ointment. At length he was 
brought to Croyland, full of faith, and seeking a conference 
with the holy virgin Pega, received permission to enter the 
oratory and stretch himself by the side of the sacred re- 
mains. Meanwhile Pega dissolved in water a particle of 

1 As observed in a former note, Ethelbald succeeded to the throne of 
Mercia in 716. 

In the narrative of Felix, it is called Wissa; the country of the 
Huiccii or Wiccii, a British tribe, who inhabited Worcestershire, Warwick- 
shire, and the north of Gloucestershire. 


salt, which had been consecrated by the holy man, and 
inserted some drops within the eyelids of the blind man. 
As soon as the first drop touched his eyes the sight was 
restored; and having recovered it by the merits of St. 
Guthlac, the master of a family offered his thanks. Many 
others, labouring under various infirmities, having heard 
reports of the miracles of the blessed Guthlac, resorted to 
the marshes of Croyland, where the holy remains repose, 
and, recovering their health through his merits, gave thanks 
to God. 

Cn. XVII. Foundation of Croyland Abbey, by Ethelbald, 
king of Mercia Ravages of the Danes Its restoration 
by Turkytel Series of abbots to Ingulphus and Godfrey 
Miracles wrought at the tomb of Earl Waltheofhis 

THUS far I have followed the account of bishop Felix 1 in 
my short abridgment of the acts of St. Guthlac, inserted in 
this work for the glory of God and the edification of the 
faithful. "What now remains to be told of the building of 
Croyland Abbey and its possession by the monks, I derive 
from the exact recital made to me by Ansgot the sub-prior, 
and others of the oldest monks. King Ethelbald, as his 
blessed comforter was displaying his glory in the working 
of miracles, visited his tomb with joy, and granted for ever 
to the servants of the saint the possessions which he had 
conferred on him on mounting the throne. 2 For on one 
occasion, the king coming to Croyland to visit his patron 
before his departure, the man of God asked for the grant of 
a quiet abode in the island, and Ethelbald gave him a tract 
of land five miles long on the east, where it was bounded by 
a ditch, called Asen-dyk, s three on the west, two on the 
south, and two on the north, free from all rent, and secular 

1 See note before, p. 86. 

2 Ordericus seems to have forgotten that in the preceding chapter he 
has made St. Guthlac's death precede Ethelbald's accession. We may 
suppose that this gift may have been promised, or perhaps even made, in 
anticipation ; but our author's language in the succeeding sentence is precise 
as to an actual grant to the saint. Ingulphus gives the charter, the date of 
which is 716. 

s This ditch, which was in the neighbourhood of Spalding, lay to the 
north, and not the east of Croyland. 


customs and demands of every sort. The charter granting 
it was sealed by Ethelbald in the presence of his bishops 
and great men. 

The soil of Croyland being marshy, as the name indicates, 
(for Croyland signifies a crude or spongy land), it would 
not allow of a foundation of masonry, and therefore king 
Ethelbald caused an immense number of oak piles to be 
driven into the ground, and hard earth to be conveyed in 
boats from the uplands, 1 at a distance of nine miles, and 
mixed with the loose soil of the marsh. Thus he laid the 
foundations of a stone church, which he afterwards com- 
pleted, but St. Guthlac'had been content with an oratory of 
wattled boughs. The king assembled there men devoted to 
a religious life, founded a monastery, enriched it with orna- 
ments, revenues, and other possessions, in honour of God and 
the holy hermit to whom he had been firmly attached by 
reason of the soothing consolation he had often received 
from him during his banishment. He showed his regard for 
the place all his life, and since its first foundation by this 
king the house of Croyland has not ceased to be a settlement 
of monks to the present day. Kenulf, 2 who governed the 
monastery of St. Guthlac for some time, had a great reputa- 
tion in those days, and from him the boundary stone which 
he set up between the abbey lands and those of the people 
of Deeping, 3 is still called Kenulf-stan. 

England was soon afterwards shaken by the tempests of 
successive wars, and the native kings being defeated by 
Inguar, Halfdene, and Guthrum, 4 and other Danish and 
Norwegian chiefs, the abbey of Croyland was ravaged, like 
many others ; it was stripped of its ornaments, the farms 
laid waste, and subjected to laymen contrary to canonical 
law. But the divine goodness, which sometimes allows the 
wicked to prevail for a season to punish the people's sins, 
saw fit, after their chastisement, to restore quiet times under 
the government of their lawful rulers. The cruel tyrants 

1 " Uppalonda:" our author has coined a Latin word to render literally 
an old English phrase. 

* Kenulf was a monk of Evesham when Ethelbald selected him to take 
the charge of the new establishment at Croyland. 

Deepingenses. The village is situated to the west of Croyland. 
Inguar, 870; Hdlfdene, 876; Guthrum, 877890. The Danish 

invasions began in the early part of the reign of Ethelwulf, 837857. 

A.D. 948 957.] ABBOT TUEKTTEL. 97 

who had murdered St. Edmund, king of the East Angles, and 
numbers of the faithful, and had given the churches of the 
saints and the habitations of Christian men to the flames, 
were, by God's help, destroyed, subjugated, or expelled ; 
Alfred, son of King Ethelwulf, obtaining the ascendancy, and 
being the first of the English kings who was monarch of all 
England. After him, his son Edward, surnamed the Elder, 
had a long and prosperous reign, and at his death left his 
dominions to his three sons, Athelstan, Edmund, and Edred. 
All these successively ascended the throne of England, and 
each in his time exerted himself to govern well and benefit 
his subjects. 1 

In the time of king Edred, a clerk at London named 
Turkytel asked the king to give him the abbey of Croyland, 
with which request the king willingly complied. This clerk 
was of the royal race, and a relation of Oskytel 2 metropolitan 
of Tork ; he was very wealthy, having vast domains, all which 
he thought of no value compared with the heavenly inheri- 
tance. He had asked Croylaud of the king, as we have 
already seen, not to increase his possessions, but because he 
knew the religious men who dwelt in its solitudes surrounded 
by swamps and marshes, and determined to devote himself 
there to God's worship, spurning all the delights of the 
present world. Having therefore ordered his affairs with 
prudence, he became a monk of Croyland ; and the number of 
monks having been increased by his zeal, he became their 
superior and abbot, by the will of God and lawful election of 
the brethren. Turkytel was an intimate friend of some of the 
holy bishops who then presided over the English church. 

1 It is singular that, among so many circumstantial details connected 
with the history of Croyland abbey, our author, alter describing its flour- 
ishing state at its first foundation, should proceed to give an account of its 
restoration after the devastations of the Danes, without any particular 
account of that memorable passage in its annals. This is the more 
extraordinary as the preceding paragraph has the character of a peroration 
preparatory to some precise information on the subject of this disaster, and 
it would almost appear that a paragraph containing it is wanting. 

2 Turkytel and Oskytel are clearly Danish names, as were those of some 
of the first abbots and monks of Croyland after its restoration, and many of 
their domains betray the same origin. In fact, Croyland became the 
favourite religious house and seat of education of the Anglo-Danes, who 
formed so large a part of the population of the middle and eastern districts 
of England. 



Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, Ethelwold, bishop of 
Winchester, and Oswald, bishop of "Worcester, afterwards 
archbishop of York, by -whose counsels he earnestly strove 
to be guided. He was, as I have before remarked, of high 
birth, and, inheriting sixty manors from his ancestors, he 
gave for the good of their souls six vills to the abbey of 
Croyland, viz., Wendlinburg, Beby, Wridthorpe, Elminton, 
Cottenham, and Oakiugton. 1 The charter was confirmed by 
the seal of the powerful king Edgar, son of King Edmund. 
Archbishop Dunstan also and his suffragans ratified the 
grant of the aforesaid lands by making the sign of the cross 
on the charter, and the archbishop denounced the penalty of 
excommunication,* and eternal malediction on those who 
should plunder the church of any of the possessions before 
named, unless they made sufficient amends. 

A long time afterwards, Turkytel having died on the 
4th of the ides [12th] of July, 3 was succeeded by his nephew 
Egelric, who on his death left the ahbey of Croyland to 
another Egelric, his kinsman. At his decease Oskytel, a 
monk who was of the royal race, was made abbot. His 
sister Leniova was abbess of Eynesbury, 4 where the body of 
St. Neot, abbot and confessor, 4 then lay, but the service was 
not such as befitted the memory of so great a saint. In 
consequence, this lady removed to "Whittlesea, and invited 
there abbot Oskytel her brother, and some monks of Croy- 
land, and delivered to them the body of St. Neot, which she 
had brought there with all honour, thinking them more 
worthy than herself. The monks received with joy the gift 
God had sent them, and deposited it with great ceremony 
near the altar of St. Mary, mother of God, on the north 

1 See the charter in Ingulphus. Its date is 966. Beby is in Leicester- 
shire, Wridthorpe and Elminton in Northamptonshire, and Cottenham and 
Oakington in Cambridgeshire. 

* Dunstan's name appears subscribed to the charter of Edgar, but the 
instrument denouncing the excommunication is a distinct document. 

s In the year 957. 

* In Huntingdonshire. The ancient name of this place was Arnulphs- 

* St Neot was the founder of an abbey, which bore his name, near 
Liskeard in Cornwall. He afterwards founded another at Eynesbury, 
where he ended his days. He died about the year 877. St. Neot's in 
Huntingdonshire became ultimately a priory of Bee. 

A.D. 957 1052.] ABBOT OP CEOTLAJTD. 99 

side of their church. To this day it is the object of the 
faithful's veneration, and St. Neot's feast is kept on the 
second of the calends of August [31st July]. On the death 
of Oskytel, on the twelfth of the calends of November 
[21st October], 1 he was succeeded by Goodrich, who going 
the way of all flesh on the fourteenth of the calends of 
February [14th January], 2 Brihtmer was appointed abbot. 

At that time there was a convent at Pegeland, 3 presided 
over by an abbot named Wulfgate, a man of noble birth. 
There Pega, St. Guthlac's sister, was for a long time a servant 
of the Lord. After her brother's death, she used all her 
endeavours to wear out her life for the love of Christ, by 
still severer austerities. She therefore undertook a pilgrim- 
age to Rome, to pray at the threshold of the holy apostles 
for herself and her kinsfolk, and she there triumphantly 
departed on the sixth of the ides [8th] of January. 4 Her 
remains repose in the church built at Borne to her honour 
by the faithful, and are in high veneration for the many 
benefits conferred by her on those who faithfully invoke 

Brihtmer, abbot of Croyland, having died on the seventh 
of the ides [7th] of April, 5 Wulfgate, the superior of the 
monastery of Pegeland, asked permission of King Edward, 
son of Ethelred, to unite the flocks of the two monasteries, 
and to make of them, for God's glory, a single convent, 
under one abbot and one rule, which the king soon af- 
terwards graciously acceded to. After having the charge 
of Croyland for a number of years, Wulfgate died on the 
nones [7th] of July, 6 and Ulfkytel, a monk of Peterborough, 
by permission of his abbot Leofric, received the government 
of the abbey of Croyland from King Edward. He held it 
twenty- four years, and began the building of a new church, 
the old one threatening to fall to ruins. His great patron 
in this undertaking was Waltheof, earl of Northampton, 

1 In the year 1005. 

a In 1018. 

' " Now Peakirk in Northamptonsire." Le Privost. 

* Pega's journey to Rome is supposed to have been made in the year 
717, but we have no account of the honour paid to her memory, or of the 
church dedicated to her in that city. 

5 In the yeor 1048. 

* In 1052 ; Wulfgate, therefore, was abbot only four years. 

H 2 


son of Siward, earl of Northumbria, who gave the vill of 
Baraack 1 to the servants of God and St. Guthlac. Not 
long afterwards the malice of the Normans, who were 
jealous of him, and feared his distinguished qualities, brought 
him to the block, at Winchester, contrary to all justice, and 
to the great grief of the people at large, on the day before 
the calends of June [30th May], his body being carried to 
Croyland by Abbot TJlfkytel, at the entreaty of his wife 
Judith, and by permission of King William. 

Not long afterwards, this abbot, who was English born, 
and therefore disliked by the Normans, being accused by 
his competitors, was deposed by archbishop Lanfranc, 
and sent into confinement at Glastonbury. 2 Upon this, 
the abbey of Croyland was conferred by King William 
on Ingulfus, a monk of Fontenelles ; and he governed it 
twenty-four years in difficult circumstances. He was an 
Englishman by birth, had been secretary to the king, 3 and 
made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On his return, he went 
to Fontenelles and assumed the monastic habit under Abbot 
Gerbert, from whom, having made proficiency in the con- 
ventual rules, he received the oflice of prior. The king, 
who had long known him, requested his abbot to give him 
up, and sent him to preside over the monks of Croyland. 
After he became abbot, he kindly used his influence with 
King William on behalf of his predecessor, and obtained 
permission for him to return to Peterborough abbey, of 
which he had been a monk, and where he died some years 
afterwards on the 7th of the ides [7th] of June. 4 

Meanwhile, abbot Ingulfus did all he could to benefit the 
monastery of which he had undertaken the charge ; but he 
had, by God's will, to struggle with many difficulties. In 
the first place, part of the abbey church, with the sacristy, 

Barnack in Northamptonshire, celebrated for its quarries. 
In 1075. The installation of Ingulphus took place the 25th of 
January, 1 076. See in his history details of the ceremony, and the circum- 
stances which preceded it 

3 He was employed by William in that capacity during his visit to 

fingUad m I05J. When the invading expedition was fitting out in 1066, 

Ingulphus, as prior of Fontenelles, or St. Wandrille, presented the duke, on 

tie part of his abbot Gerbert, twelve knights and one hundred silver marks 

as the contingent of that abbey. 

* Ulfkytel died the 30th of September, 1085. 


vestments, books, and many other necessary articles, were 
consumed by a fire which broke out suddenly. 1 Then, he 
himself, being grievously afflicted with the gout, was in a 
bad state of health long before his death, but his active 
mind would not allow the society to suffer by his infirmities. 
Ingulphus caused the remains of Earl Waltheof to be trans- 
ferred from the chapter-house into the church, and ordered 
warm water to be got ready to wash the bones. But when, 
the lid of the coffin was removed, the corpse was discovered 
to be as sound after its repose of sixteen years as on the 
day it was buried, and the head was reunited to the body ; 
only there was a red streak round the neck where the head 
had been severed ; and this was seen by the monks and 
several laymen who had gathered round. The body having 
been thus translated into the church, and interred with 
great ceremony near the altar, 2 miracles were often per- 
formed there. The truth of this is experienced by the sick, 
who, seeking their cure in faith, frequently obtain the benefit 
they implore. 

At length, Abbot Ingulph, dying on the sixteenth of the 
calends of December [16th November], 3 he was succeeded 
by Geoffrey, who conferred many benefits on the abbey of 
Croyland and its inhabitants, through his love of goodness 
and virtue. He was a Frenchman by birth, of the city of 
Orleans, and having pursued liberal studies from an early 
age, and become deeply versed in literature, took a distaste 
to worldly objects, and, inflamed with divine love, devoted 
himself to a monastic life in the abbey of St. Evroult, 
which that saint had founded at Ouche in the time of 
Childebert, king of the Franks. 4 In that monastery where 
piety is more abundant than wealth, Geoffrey becoming a 
novice under Abbot Mainier, whose zeal procured him a great 
reputation, after a time took the vows and became a monk, 
and having worthily filled various offices was promoted to 

1 This fire happened in 1091. 

2 This translation was also made in the year 1091. 

3 The real date of Ingulphus's death was the 1/th of December, 1109. 
He was interred on St. Thomas's day, the 21st. 

4 Childebert I. died in 558. St Evroult retired to the forest of Ouche 
about the year 560. Our author probably means Childebert II., king of 
Austrasia, who paid a visit to the holy monk about the year 593, as we find 
in b. vi. c. 9. 


that of prior fifteen years after his profession. At last, in 
the year of our Lord 1109, 1 by command of Henry king of 
England, he undertoook the government of the abbey of 
Croyland. He began the new church in a splendid style cf 
architecture, and many other useful works ; and during the 
fifteen years he held the dignity of abbot, earnestly la- 
boured for their completion, for the benefit of his own soul 
and of those committed to his charge. 

In the third year of abbot Ingulph, miracles began to 
be wrought at the tomb of Earl "Waltheof, the news of which 
caused great delight among his countrymen. The English 
common people crowded in great numbers to his tomb, 
hearing that God had honoured him with many significant 
tokens of his merits, and both exhibiting their joy at this 
new thing, and interceding for succour in their various ne- 
cessities. On seeing this, a Norman monk whose name was 
Audin, was much enraged, laughing at the crowd of votaries 
and mocking and disparaging the earl himself, and giving 
out that he was a base traitor and deserved to lose his head 
for his crime, as he had done. Abbot Geoffrey, hearing of 
this, mildly expostulated with Audin, as he was a foreigner, 
reminding him that it was sinful to disparage the divine 
operations, because God had promised to display his pre- 
sence to the faithful to the end of the world, and had de- 
clared that the sincerely penitent should drink of the 
fountain of his inexhaustible mercy. However, while the 
abbot was thus endeavouring to restrain his folly, and he 
vented his spleen in words which became continually more 
unbeseeming, he was suddenly seized with fainting at the 
heart in the abbot's presence, and died a few days after- 
wards in the church of St. Alban the first English martyr ; 
where he had made his monastic profession. The following 
night, when Abbot Geoffrey was lying on his bed reflecting 
anxiously on the events just related, he presently saw 
himself in a vision at the tomb of Earl Waltheof, and 
the holy saints, Bartholomew the apostle and Guthlac the 
hermit, standing near in robes of shining white. The apostle, 
as appeared in the vision, laid his hand on the head of the 
earl reunited to the body, saying: "He is not headless." 
Guthlac, who stood at the foot of the corpse, now took up the 
1 Abbot Geoffrey was installed on Palm Sunday, 1110. 


word, and said: "He was an earl". . . . The apostle inter- 
rupted the speaker and thus finished the sentence : " And is 
now a king." 1 The abbot having heard these things and re- 
ported them to the brethren, they were filled with joy and 
gave glory to the Lord God, who in all ages never ceases to 
show his mercy to those who believe in him. Having spent 
fifteen years in his government, the venerable abbot and priest 
Geoffrey died on the nones [5tb] of June ; and was succeeded 
by Waltheof, an Englishman and monk of Croyland, who 
was brother of Earl Cospatrick, 2 and of high English lineage. 
Miracles becoming more frequent at Croyland the monks 
were filled with joy, and wishing to pay all the honour in 
their power to the remains of the great earl, engaged Vita- 
lis, the Englishman, to write his epitaph in heroic verse. 
Paying a ready obedience to their request, after some 
reflection, he repeated the following verses : 

Beneath this stone a noble warrior lies, 

Earl Waltheof, great in arms, in council wise ; 

Stout Siward's son, 'twas his an ancient race 

Through Danish Juris, Northumbrian earls to trace. 

But honours, power, and riches counting dross, 

With contrite heart he knelt before the cross : 

For Christ he loved, his righteous judgments feared, 

His servants honour'd, and his saints revered. 

But chief, where Croyland spreads her wide domain, 

And holy Guthlac holds his mystic reign, 

He joyed to tread the cloister's hallowed ground, 

Her monks he cherish'd, and her altnrs crown'd. 

On Winton's hill the patriot bow'd his head, 

By Norman malice numbered with the dead. 

Ah, fatal last of May !' Unrighteous doom ! 

Now marshy Croyland boasts her patron's tomb, 

Where, living, oft he came an honour'd guest : 

God rest his soul in mansions of the blest ! 

The death of Earl "Waltheof was the cause of much censure 

1 This vision of the Abbot Geoff/ ey is related in much the same language, 
but with some difference of circumstances, by Peter de Blois, the continuer 
of Ingulphus. It falls under the year 1112, as well as the chastisement 
divinely inflicted on the monk Audin. 

* Cospatric was made earl of Northumbria after Copsi's death. 

1 This date is exact, and it is difficult to understand how Ordericus, who 
must have had it clearly in his memory, as the composer of these verses, 
should have made the mistake respecting it which occurs just before. See 
p. 85. 


on King William from many quarters, and numerous were 
the troubles, which by the righteous judgment of God he 
afterwards suffered from various attacks which never after- 
wards permitted him to enjoy any continuance of tranquillity. 
He indeed, such was his resolution, still maintained a 
manful struggle against all his enemies, but success did not 
attend his enterprises as it had done before, nor were his 
conflicts often crowned with victory. In the thirteen years 
which he afterwards lived, he never won a pitched battle, 
nor succeeded in taking a town he besieged. The Almighty 
Judge disposes all events aright, suffering no crime to go 
unpunished, in this world or the next. 

CH. XVllI. King William invades Brittany and lays siege 
to Dol Precipitate retreat The Duke Alan Fergan 
marries the king's daughter Constance Her character 
and death. 

KINO WILLIAM being desirous to extend the frontiers of 
his dominions, and to reduce the Bretons under the same 
subjection which they had formerly been forced to pay to 
Eollo and "William [Long-sword] and other dukes of Nor- 
mandy, he laid siege to the town of Dol, endeavouring to 
terrify the townsmen with tremendous threats, and swearing 
a great oath that he would not raise the siege till he had 
taken the place. But by the overruling will of God, 
things turned out very differently ; for while the king, 
having pitched his tents, was swelling with pride, and 
glorying in his riches and power, news was brought him 
that Alan Fergan, earl of Brittany, was at hand with large 
bodies of troops, hastening to the relief of the besieged 
town. Alarmed at the intelligence, King "William patched 
up a peace with the defenders of the place, who had as yet 
received no account of the approaching succour, and de- 
camped at once. But his retreat was attended with severe 
loss, for in their haste the royal army was forced to abandon 
their tents, baggage, arms, and all kinds of utensils and 
equipments, the value of which was estimated, to their deep 
grief, at 15,000 pounds sterling. 1 The politic king, finding 

1 This disastrous expedition of King William into Brittany belongs to 
the year 1075, according to the opinion of Simeon of Durham and Roper 
de Hoveden. His disgraceful retreat was caused not merely by the 


that he could not conquer the Bretons by force of arms, 
prudently adopted measures more advantageous to himseL 
and his successors, concluding a treaty of peace with Alan 
Fergan, and giving him his daughter Constance in marriage, 
the ceremonies of which were conducted with great state at 
Caen. 1 Constance lived virtuously nearly fifteen years with 
her husband, studying her subjects' good, and that of all 
connected with her. Diffusing around her the balm of 
peace, she was kind to the poor, and treated with great 
respect all the servants of God, who were greatly afflicted 
at her death, and the more so as she left no offspring. All 
right-minded persons in Brittany would have been exceed- 
ingly delighted if there had been any issue from this happy 
marriage to govern them worthily, holding fairly, from their 
innate goodness, the balance of justice among the indomi- 
table Bretons, and curbing them by the restraints of the di- 
vine law and civilization. Earl Alan Fergan, after the death 
of Constance, married the count of Anjou's daughter, by 
whom he had a son named Conan, to whom Henry, king of 
England, lately gave his daughter in marriage to cement the 
peace between them.* 

CH. XIX. Short notice ofAinard, allot of St. Pierre-sur- 
Dive His epitaph. 

ABOUT this time, the revered Ainard, first abbot of Dive, 
Mas obliged to take to his bed, and, having caused all that is 
befitting a servant of God to be done on his behalf, departed 
this life on the nineteenth of the calends of February 
[14th January] ? He was a native of Germany, and well 
taught in both sciences, as well as accomplished in versi- 
fying, chanting, and composing charming music. This is 

approach of Alan Fergan, but by intelligence that the king of France in 
person was marching to threaten his rear. 

1 " We can hardly suppose that this marriage was contracted imme- 
diately after the disastrous expedition against Dol, nor can we, with 
Lobmeau, fix it in the year 1086, during which William did not quit 
England. We therefore think that it took place about the year 1077." 
Le Prevost. 

2 Constance died on the 13th of August, 1090, without leaving any 
children. Alan Fergan married again, in 1093, Ermengarde, daughter of 
Fulk le Rechin. Conan III., their son, married Matilda, the illegitimate 
daughter of Henry I. This union produced bitter fruits, for he was under 
the necessity of publicly disclaiming the only son who was the issue of it. 

3 In the year 1078. 


proved by his histories of Kilian, bishop of "Wurtzbourg, 1 
Catherine the Virgin, and many elegant canticles which he 
composed in praise of the Creator. Burning with zeal for 
religion in his youth, he sought out Abbot Isembert, and 
voluntarily submitted himself to his discipline for the love 
of God, and made his profession as a monk in the convent 
of the Holy Trinity founded by Groscelin d' Arques 2 on the 
hill at Eouen to the west of the city. Thence he was 
removed by the rulers of the church in the year of our Lord 
1046, and set upon a candlestick, that he might give light 
to all that are in the house. Having been consecrated abbot 
of Dive, 3 built by the countess Lesceline, wife of "William 
count d'Eu, he profitably filled the charge he had received, 
both by his life and teaching, for thirty-one years, when at 
last, old and full of days, he finished his course. The vene- 
rable Durandus, abbot of Troarn, interred his body in the 
church of St. Mary, and composed some memorable verses 
to be engraved on the face of his tomb, in which the moral 
virtues of Abbot Ainard, and the Christian graces with 
which he was divinely inspired, are thus described : 

Odours breathe from AINARD'S tomb, 
Like the spikenard's rich perfume ; 
While his virtues blooming round 
Flower in consecrated ground. 
He with boundless cost and care 
Reared this holy house of prayer ; 
Here he spent his peaceful life, 
Lamb-like, innocent of strife ; 
Gave to learning all his days, 
Speeding on in wisdom's ways : 
Sober, honest, chaste, and mild, 
Humble, simple as a child, 
Save when, in his high degree, 
Bearing modest dignity. 
When the new year's wintry sun 
Fourteen times its course had run, 1 

' St> ^jJif 1 ' a ? In j h bi " n P. Preached the gospel in Franconia about 
ofJulr*689 " U martvrd m, with his two companions, the 8th 

Isembert, a fellow countryman of Aynard's, became in 1033, abbot of 
the monastery founded near Rouen by the viscount Goscelin d'Arques, 

"^f St e X'eriL * *" ^ Wbidl * afterWar 

For particulars respecting this abbey, see vol. L p. 382. 



With shrunk form and hoary head 
He was number'd with the dead. 
Passing stranger ! breathe a prayer 
That he may Christ's mercy share. 

The widowed church of Dive, on. the loss of her former 
lord, was given to Fulk, prior of St. Evroult, who was con- 
secrated abbot by Robert bishop of Seez. He governed 
that house for many years in the time of King William and 
several under duke Robert II., and advanced it nobly as 
opportunity occurred. 2 This lord carried with him from St. 
Evroult the monks Bernard, surnamed Matthew, his cousin, 
Richard, AVilliam de Montreuil, and Turketel, quick and 
skilful copyists, and well skilled in the services of the 
church. These were his peaceful coadjutors, and took the lead 
in zealously putting their shoulders to God's work both by 
day and night, saying cheerfully to others their associates 
by word and unwearied example, "Come with us to Bethel." 3 

CH. XX. Quarrels between the sons of King William 
Robert attempts to seize Rouen by surprise Sis followers 
dispersed The Icing marches against the malcontents. 

ROBEBT, the king's son, it is reported, was the cause and 
fomenter of the disturbances which broke out as we have 
seen, between the people of Maine and the Normans ; for 
Duke William, both before the battle of Senlac, 4 and after- 
wards at a time when he fell sick, had declared his eldest 
son Robert his heir, causing all his barons to do him fealty 
and homage, which they had readily consented to. But the 
young prince, after the death of his wife Margaret, urged 
on by youthful ambition and the imprudent suggestions of 
those about him, demanded of his father the honours which 
he claimed as his right, viz., the sovereignty of Maine 
and Normandy. 5 His politic father, after much reflec- 

1 Abbot Ainard died on the 14th of January, 1078. 

7 Fulk, who was consecrated by Robert, bishop of Se"ez, disgusted the 
monks by his great severity, and was obliged to retire beyond sea in 1092 ; 
he was restored to his functions towards the close of the century, and died 
at Winchester in the year 1 1 06. 

8 Ordericus evidently means in this place to quote from the bible, but 
his memory failed, for there is no passage in the Vulgate which can be 
exactly referred to for this expression. 

* It hns been already remarked that William's intentions with regard to 
his son Robert were publicly declared as early as 1063. 

* These pretensions of Robert Court-hose could not have been advanced 


tion, refused to gratify his pretensions, and recommended 
his son to wait for a more fitting opportunity of obtaining 
what he desired. The prince was talkative and prodigal, 
very bold and valiant, and a strong and sure archer ; his 
voice was loud and clear ; his tongue fluent ; his features 
dull and heavy; his body stout, and his stature short; 
whence he commonly received the surname of Gambaron 1 
or Courte-heuse. 

One day, when the king was preparing an expedition 
against the inhabitants of the Corbonnais, 2 and was enter- 
tained at the house of Gkmher, in the village of Eicher 
(which is called L'Aigle, on account of an eagle's nest 
being found in an oak tree while Fulbert was building his 
castle), a diabolical quarrel arose between the king's sons, 
from which sprung afterwards endless contentions and 
crimes.* For two of the brothers, William Rufus and 
Henry, took their father's part, and thinking their strength 
equal to their brother Robert's, were indignant that he 
alone should make pretensions to their father's inheritance, 
and affect equality with the king among the crowd of para- 
sites who paid their court to himself. In consequence they 
came to the castle of L'Aigle to visit Robert, who was 
sojourning in the house of Robert Calcege, and there began 
to play at dice in the gallery,* as the custom of military men 
is. They then made a great noise, and threw water on the 
heads of Robert and his hangers-on who were underneath. 6 
Upon which Ivo and Aubrey de Grantmesnil 6 said to 

till some years after the conquest of England, for at that period Robert 
was not more than twelve years old. 

" Gambaron:" gambes (jambes), rondes? Ducange, Glossar. 

* The Corbonnais was the ancient name of a district in Maine, bounded 
on the east by the Commanche and L'Huisne, and on the north-west by 
the Sarthe, and which obtained the name of Perche from the forest which 
overspread the greatest part of it. 

8 It is difficult to fix the period when these family quarrels burst forth. 
There are several reasons for thinking that it was after the peace of 
Blancheland, but they cannot be stated as entirely satisfactory. 

* Solaria; a terrace or gallery in a house, where they walk to sun 

* In ccenaculum. If our author has not used the two words indis- 
criminately, we must suppose that the two young princes had retired into 
the banqueting-room after their sport in the gallery. 

* They were the fourth and fifth sons of Hugh de Grant-mesnil and 
Aucliza of Beaumont-sur-Dive. 


Eobert : " Why do you put up with this insult ? see your 
brothers have mounted above you, and shower their filth 
upon you and us, in contempt. Do not you perceive what 
they mean ? if you do not instantly resent this insult, you 
are a lost man, and can never lift up your head again." This 
speech roused his fury, and he hurried to the banqueting 
room where his brothers were, determined to chastise them. 
The clamour which ensued brought the king from his lodg- 
ings, and by interposing his royal authority he put an end, 
for the time, to his sons' quarrels. But the night after- 
wards, Eobert and his attendants withdrew from the king's 
troop of horse, and making for Rouen attempted to seize 
the castle by surprise. However, Roger D'lvry, the king's 
butler, who had the custody of the tower, having anticipated 
the plot, put the fortifications in order to resist the treason- 
able enterprise, and in all haste sent messengers to his lord 
the king, to apprize him of the state of affairs. The king 
in his wrath ordered all the malcontents to be arrested ; 
hearing which they were in the greatest consternation. 
Some were taken, others fled and secured their safety by 
taking refuge in foreign countries. 

Then Hugh de Chateau-Neuf, nephew and heir of Albert 
Ribald, was the first to receive the exiles, and opened the 
gates of Chateau-Neuf, Eaimalard, Sorel, 1 and other places 
belonging to him, hvorder that they might make predatory 
incursions on Normandy. He was son-in-law of Earl 
Roger, having married Mabel, 2 sister of Robert de Belesme, 
who had attached himself to the king's son, with Ralph de 
Conches and many others. These deserters, embarking in 
a wicked and detestable enterprise, had left their towns and 
rich farms for vain hopes and worthless promises. The 
king took their domains into his own hands, and with the 
rents paid the stipendiary troops who fought against them. 

These troubles caused great commotions among the inha- 
bitants of the country and their neighbours, who flew to 
arms in every quarter either for or against the king. The 
French, the Bretons, the Manceaux, the Angevins, and other 
people fluctuated in their opinions, and knew not which side 

1 Remalard, in the department de 1'Orme ; Sorel in Eure et Loire. 

a Mabel de Montgomery, third daughter of Count Roger and Mabel de 



they ought to take. "War threatening them on all sides, the 
king, full of determination, assembled an army, and marching 
against the enemy, made terms with Botrou count de 
Mortagne. This count had often pillaged the lands of the 
church of Chartres, which is dedicated to St. Mary-ever-a- 
Virgin, and having been frequently remonstrated with by the 
bishop and clergy, and continuing incorrigible, had been ex- 
communicated. By an infliction of divine justice, he became 
deaf, and remained so to the end of his days. King William 
took him into his pay, employing him with his own troops 
in the siege of Raimalard, because it was a fief held of him. 

He fortified four castles in the country round, and placed 
garrisons in them. Meanwhile, on a certain day, Aimer de 
villerai 1 was conducting the steward of the king of France 3 
on his return to his master, and came with three men-at- 
arms to his own castle, where King William's enemies 
were protected, when it chanced that four knights of the 
royal army sallied forth and stopped his way, just as he 
had nearly reached the castle gate, and falling upon him 
killed him on the spot. They then laid the body of the un- 
fortunate freebooter across a horse, like the carcass of a pig, 
and threw it down before the huts of count Eoger with 
whom he had long been in hostilities. Groulfier, Aimer's son, 
struck with terror at his father's fearful end, made peace 
with the king, and he and his heirs remained faithful more 
than fifty years. 

The calamities which threaten the sons of earth are end- 
less, and if they were all carefully committed to writing 
would fill large volumes. It is now winter, and I am 
suffering from the severity of the cold, and propose to allow 
myself some respite for other occupations, and fatigued with 
my work, shall here bring the present book to a close. 
When the returning spring brings with it serener skies, I 
will resume in the sequel, my narrative of matters which I 
have hitherto treated cursorily, or which still remain to be 
told, and, by God's help, employ my faithful pen in elucidat- 
ing the causes of peace and war among my countrymen. 

* Villerai, a castle in the neighbourhood of L'Huisne, near Alencon, on 
the Sarthe. 

'Probably Frederic, who was high steward of France in 1075, or 
Robert, who held that office in 1079. 



CH. I. The author gives a short account of himself and the 
contents of two of his former books Proposes to treat of 
the abbey of St. Evroult and public affairs from the year 
1075 to the death of William I. 

TEEADING in the steps of those who have gone before us, it 
is our duty to contend ceaselessly with enervating sloth, 
devoting ourselves to profitable studies and healthful exer- 
cises, by application to which the mind is purified from 
vice, the life-giving discipline nobly arming it against all 
wickedness. "Every slothful man," says Solomon, " is a 
slave to his desires." And again : " The desire of the 
slothful killeth him." 1 He indeed is slothful and idle who 
abandons himself to a vicious life for want of a good reso- 
lution. That man may be considered as sunk in the lethargy 
of idleness who fails to meditate on the law of God day and 
night, that is, in prosperity and adversity, and does not 
earnestly struggle to resist the wiles and assaults of Satan 
that he may be worthy to obtain the reward of his heavenly 
calling. Such a one, doubtless, hurtful " desire killeth ;" 
drawing him into evil courses, while he is lulled to sleep by 
prosperity, and sinking him into the pit of perdition by the 
broad road of his own lusts. The ancients therefore strongly 
condemn idleness and sloth as the enemy of the soul, in- 
viting their followers to profitable labour and exertion, both 
by word and example ; and on this point the heathen poets 
agree with Christian writers. For Virgil says : 

Ah ! what avail his service, what his toil ? 

Stern labour all subdues 

And ceaseless toil that urging want pursues. 2 

1 Prov. xxi. 25. The preceding quotation is not to be found in the 

* Quid labor aut benefacta juvant ? . . . 

"Virg. Gcorg. iii. 525. 

Labor omnia vincit, 

Improbus et duris urgens in rebus egestas. 
Virg. Georg. i. 145. 


Ovid also gives this advice to those who endeavour to 
resist their passions and strive against Venus : 

Advised by me, all slothful habits shun, 
Those foes to worth by manly vigour won. 
'Tis idleness that fosters Cupid's arts, 
And lights his torch and points his shining darts. 1 

Weighing with attention, father Warin, such sentiments as 
these, I have determined to publish something which may be 
useful and interesting to our brethren in the house of the 
Lord, pursuing with diligence the task I have commenced, 
that when the Lord cometh to judgment I may not be con- 
demned, like the unprofitable servant, for having buried my 
talent in the ground. In the first instance, I endeavoured 
to obey the commands of the venerable abbot Eoger, and 
yours also, received at a later period, by undertaking a short 
account of the state of the abbey of Ouche, a work which 
our predecessors have often called on each other to engage 
in, but which none of them have been willing to undertake : 
for they chose rather to be silent than to speak, preferring 
tranquil leisure to the consuming toil of investigating past 
transactions. They were willing enough to peruse the acts 
of former abbots and brethren, and the annals of their own 
house, which, having been slenderly endowed at first by poor 
but pious founders, have been gradually aggrandized by the 
indefatigable exertions of our reverend fathers ; but they 
shrunk from bending their minds to the task of dictating or 
writing the result of their researches. At length it fell to my 
lot, a stranger and an Englishman, who coming here, when 
only ten years old, from the furthest borders of Mercia, 8 

1 Otia corrodunt mentes et corpora frangunt. 

This verse is not in Ovid. The other three are quoted from his poem 
De Remedio Amoris, v. 133, 139, 140, with an unimportant transposition in 
the first line : 

Fac monitis fugias otia prima meis . . . 
Otia si tollas, periere Cupidinis arcus, 

Contemptque jacent et sine luce faces. 

* Ordericus was born at Atcham, anciently Attinghatn, a village on the 
banks of the Severn, three miles from Shrewsbury, on the 1 6th of February, 
1075. His father, who was attached to the household of Roger, earl "of 
Shrewsbury, and had followed him to England, received from that noble- 
man grants of land in that neighbourhood, which was on the Welsh 
borders of the ancient kingdom of Mercia. Ordericus was entered as a 
novice at the abbey of St. Evioult in 1086. See the account of his life in 
M. Guizot's Notice appended to the preface of this work. 


and rude of speech and manners, mixed with a people full 
of intelligence, to compose, by God's help, a narrative of 
Norman events and transactions for the use of the natives 
of Normandy. I have already, by the divine assistance, 
published two books, 1 in which I have given a true account 
of the restoration of our house and of three of our abbots, 
with some public aifairs of that period which I have care- 
fully collected from information given me by men of years 
and experience. 

1 now begin my third book from the %ear of our Lord 
1075, meaning to treat of my own abbot and the society of St. 
Evroult, as well as of public aifairs generally, during the suc- 
ceeding period of twelve years, that is, to the time of King 
"William's death. 2 I choose the former year for the com- 
mencement of my present undertaking, because it was then 
I was born, on the fourteenth of the calends of March 
[16th February], and was regenerated in the holy font of 
baptism by the ministry of Ordericus the priest, 3 at Atting- 
ham, in the church of St. Eata the confessor, 4 which stands 
on the bank of the river Severn. Five years afterwards, my 
father entrusted me to a noble priest, whose name was 
Siward, for instruction in the first rudiments of learning, to 
whose mastership I remained subject for five years. Then, 
being in my eleventh year, I was separated from my father, 
for the love of God, and sent a young exile from England to 
Normandy to enter the service of the King Eternal. Here 
I was received by the venerable father Mainier, 5 and having 
assumed the monastic habit, and become indissolubly joined 
to the company of the monks by solemn vows, have now 

1 Our author here speaks of the third and fourth books of his history. 
The first and second were an afterthought, and not as yet written. He, 
therefore, in the next paragraph calls this fifth book, which he is now 
beginning, the third. 

2 September 9, 1087. 

8 It is elsewhere observed that in baptism, which took place on the 
Saturday in Easter week (April 11), our author took the name of the 
officiating priest, who was also his sponsor. 

* For the life of St. Eata, a Saxon bishop of great sanctity in the seventh 
century, see Bede's Eccles. Hist. pp. 161 229 (Bohria Edition), and 
Acta SS. ord. Henedlcti, s<ec. iii. P. 1, p. 221. 

s Mainier, the fourth abbot of St. Evroult, flourished from July 1G- 
1066 March 5, 1080. 

VOL. II. 1 


cheerfully borne the light yoke of the Lord for forty-two 
years, 1 and walking in the ways of God with my fellow 
monks, to the best of my ability, according to the rules of our 
order, have endeavoured to perfect myself in the service of 
the church and ecclesiastical duties, at the same time that I 
have always devoted my talents to some useful employment. 
If our bishops and other rulers of the world were so 
gifted with sanctity that, for them and by them, miracles 
were divinely wrought, as was frequently the case with the 
primitive father^ and these accounts scattered through 
ancient books sweetly influence the readers' mind, refresh- 
ing their memories with the glorious signs and wonders of 
the early disciples ; I also would fain shake off sloth, and 
employ myself in committing to writing whatever may be 
worthy of the eager ken of posterity. But in the present 
age, in which the love of many waxes cold and iniquity 
abounds, miracles, the tokens of sanctity, cease, 2 while crimes 
and lamentable complaints multiply in the world. The 
litigious quarrels of bishops, and the bloody conflicts of 
princes, furnish more abundant materials for the writers of 
history than the propositions of theologians, or the pri- 
vations or prodigies of ascetics. The time of antichrist is 
at hand, whose appearance, as the Lord intimated to holy 
Job, 3 will be preceded by the failure of miracles and the 
rapid growth of outrageous vices in those who are given up 
to their own fleshly lusts. Now, most reverend abbot, I 
will resolutely apply myself, in the name of the Lord, to the 
task I have undertaken, trusting with confidence that your 
experience will correct whatever errors my own ignorance 
may suffer to escape. 

1 According to this statement, our author composed this fifth book of 
his history in the year 1 128. 

3 This is an important admission of our author. He has, indeed, like 
other monkish writers, made free use of former legends, but he rarely 
vouches for miracles when he comes to the history of his own times. 

There seems nothing in the book of Job to justify this allusion. It 
may be a question whether our author did not mean to refer to the epistle 
of St. Jude, ver. 16, 18. But the failure of miraculous powers in the 
church is not expressly predicted either there or in other passages of scripture 
where the signs of the "last days," and of the coming of antichrist are 
mentioned. See 2 Thess. i. 3; 1 Tim. iv. 1; 2 Tim. iii. 1; 2 Pet. iii. 3. 

A.D. 1075 1127.] CECILIA, ABBESS OF CAE1T. 115 

Cn. II. William's daughter Cecilia becomes a nun at Caen 
Mission of three English bishops to Rome Consecration 
of cathedrals and abbeys in Normandy Anselm, abbot of 
Sec, made archbishop of Canterbury. 

[10751127.] IN the year of our Lord 1075, the four- 
teenth indiction, King "William spent the holy feast of 
Easter at Fecamp, and presented his daughter Cecilia to be 
consecrated to G-od by the hands of Archbishop John. 1 She 
had been brought up with great care, and well educated in 
the convent at Caen, where, being dedicated to the holy 
and undivided Trinity, she became a nun under the vene- 
rable abbess Matilda, faithfully submitting to the holy rule. 
The reverend mother departing this life after governing 
the convent forty-seven years, Cecilia succeeded her, and 
having presided over the nuns for nearly fourteen years 
with great credit, she expired on the third of the idea 
[13th] of July, in the year of our Lord 1127. She thus 
worthily devoted herself to the service of God, in the habit, 
and order, and religious exercises of a nun, for fifty-two 
years after she was first dedicated by her father, 2 and her 
death happened in the twenty-sixth year of the reign of her 
brother Henry. 

While King William was residing in Normandy, and, by 
God's help, defended his dominions against all adversaries, 
the English bishops, Lanfranc of Canterbury, Thomas of 
York, and Eemi of Lincoln, undertook a journey to Rome, 
and were received with great honours by Pope Gregory and 
the Eoman senate. 3 The wealth of England supplied pro- 

1 It would appear by the charter of foundation of the abbey of Caen, 
referred to by the French editor of Ordericus, that it was there, and under 
Archbishop Maurillius, and not John, and in the year 1066, not 1075, 
that William and Matilda caused their daughter Cecilia to be consecrated 
a nun of the abbey of the Holy Trinity on the day it was dedicated. If 
this be so, it is singular that our author should have fallen into error on 
facts which, though not of any public importance, occurred so near his own 

* According to the correction just proposed, Cecilia's religious life 
extended to sixty-one year?, of which she was abbess only seven. The 
abbess Matilda died on the 6th of July, 1120. 

8 The journey of the three prelates took place in 1071, when Alexander 
II. was pope, not Gregory VII. Alexander having been a pupi! of 
Lanfranc at Bee, condescendingly rose from his seat to receive him, saying 

I 2 


fuse presents for the greedy Romans, and the prelates 
appeared to the Latins no less admirable for their munifi- 
cence than for their eloquence and their learning, both 
sacred and profane. The pope and clergy of Rome received 
favourably the message of King William, accompanying the 
offerings, of which the bishops were bearers, and readily 
confirmed the privileges, formerly granted to his prede- 
cessors, which the king demanded by his envoys. 1 

In the year of our Lord 1077, 2 the bishops just named 
returned to Normandy highly delighted, and the king with 
all the Norman people were transported with joy at their 
arrival. At that time several churches in Normandy were 
consecrated with great ceremony, at which the king and 
queen, with their sons Robert and William, and vast assem- 
blages of the nobles and commons were present. The 
mother churches of the bishoprics of Bayeux and Evreux 
and the abbey church of Bee, were dedicated to the honour 
of St. Mary, mother of God, always a virgin. 

The same year, the abbey church of St. Stephen the pro- 
to-martyr, at Caen, was also consecrated, being enriched by 
the king and his nobles with valuable offerings and large 
sums of money. The solemnities of these consecrations 
were performed by John archbishop of Rouen and his suffra- 
gans, the reverend metropolitans Lanfranc and Thomas being 
present, with many abbots and a vast concourse of people. 

The venerable abbot Herluin rejoiced in spirit at the 

that he paid him this mark of respect, not to do honour to the archbishop 
of Canterbury, but to his learned master. William of Malmesbury, Antiq. 
Lib. p. 324. The French editor of Ordericus remarks, that the two other 
bishops were not so well received, and had to defend themselves, the one 
for being the son of a priest, the other for obtaining the bishopric of 
Lincoln in recompence for the supplies he had furnished William towards 
the conquest of England. (See vol. L of this work, p. 465.) We find 
nothing of this in the English historians we have consulted. Henry of 
Huntingdon, who was a canon of Lincoln, gives a high character of Bishop 
Remi. See his History, p. 220, and Letter to Warin, p. 304 of Bohn's 
edition. Remi transferred the seat of the bishopric from Dorchester (in 
Oxfordshire) to Lincoln. 

1 Malmesbury inserts the acts of a synod on the subject of these 
privileges, held in 1072, to which Pope Alexander had referred the 
question. See Modern History, p. 321. 

* This date is incorrect ; the three bishops were present at the synod at 
London in 1072, having returned from Rome in the interval. 

A.D. 10341109.] ASSELM. 117 

consecration of the church of Bee, and, having witnessed 
the accomplishment of his most ardent earthly hopes, was no 
longer for this world. He had retired from military service 
in the year of our Lord 1034, and changing his course of 
life received the religious habit from the Lord Herbert, 
bishop of Lisieux. Three years afterwards he was ordained 
by the same bishop and appointed abbot. It was then that 
the abbey of Bee was first established. He died on the 
seventh of the calends of September [26th August], in 
the year of our Lord 1078, being the eighty-fourth year of 
his age, and the forty-fourth of his profession as a monk. 
After an interval of a few days, Anselm, then prior of that 
house, was elected abbot. The year following he was 
consecrated abbot in the abbey church at Bee by the lord 
Gislebert, bishop of Evreux, on the festival called " The 
Chair of St. Peter." l He submitted to the monastic rule 
when he was twenty-seven years old, and continued three 
years in the cloister without being preferred to any office. 
He then succeeded Lanfranc as prior, which rank he held 
for fifteen years, and then, on the death of Herluin the first 
abbot of Bee, was appointed to the government of the abbey 
which he administered for another fifteen years. He was 
afterwards raised to the archiepiscopal throne of Canterbury 
on the demise of the venerable Lanfranc, and filled the see 
for sixteen years, during which he was exposed to many 
trials. He departed out of this life on the eleventh of the 
calends of May [21st April], being the fourth day before 
Holy Thursday, in the seventeenth year of his archiepiscopate, 
the forty-fourth of his monkhood, and the seventy-sixth of 
his age.* 

Cn. III. Hugh, bishop of Lieux, his singular death His 
epitaph He is succeeded by Giskbert Maminot His 

[A.D. 1077.] FoBASiiucn as thoughtless mortals are apt 
to be inflated by a false appearance of prosperity, while they 
are driven to and fro, bending like reeds before the blasts 

1 A feast observed at Rome on the 18th of January, at Antioch on the 
22nd of February, in every year. 

a St. Anselm, "born at Aosta about the year 1034, took the monastic 
habit at Bee in 1060. He waa elected abbot immediately after the death 


of adverse fortune, the providence of G-od, which governs all 
things, therefore mixes the rough with the smooth, to retain 
within safe bounds the fickle enterprises of mankind. For 
while King "William was much pulled up with worldly pomp, 
and the people of Normandy abandoned themselves to every 
sort of luxury, giving no thought to the punishment which 
awaited their accumulated offences, a terrible thunder storm 
burst over the sanctuary of the church of Lisieux, and the awful 
crash struck down the people assembled on the pavement of 
the cathedral church. It happened one morning on a Sun- 
day in the summer season, when the holy mysteries of the 
mass were being celebrated, and a priest named Herbert was 
standing, mitred, 1 at the altar, that there was suddenly a fear- 
ful flash of lightning, immediately followed by a tremendous 
crashand the falling of athunderbolt. Striking the crosswhich 
stood on the pinacle of the tower, it shattered and threw it 
down, and descending from thence into the body of the 
church it was attracted by the crucifix, from which it tore 
off a hand and foot and drew the iron nails which attached 
them to the cross in a most singular manner. A dark 
cloud concealed all objects from the trembling congregation, 
and the lightning shot flashes through all the church, killing 
eight men and one woman. It burnt the beards and hair of 
men and women, and gave forth a most offensive smell. 
One woman, whose name was Mary, preserved her footing, 
under great alarm, in a corner of the church, from whence 
she beheld the whole crowd of people lying apparently 
lifeless on the floor of the church, while she herself was 
ready to faint. 

This occurred before the feast of the nativity of St. John 
the Baptist, and soon afterwards Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, 2 

of the venerable Herluin, but was not consecrated by Gislebert, bishop of 
Liseux, till the 22nd of February following. He resigned tbe government 
of the abbey to succeed to the archbishopric of Canterbury on the Gth or 
March, 1093, and was installed on the 25th of September following. He 
died, aa here stated, on the 21st of April, 1109, in the seventy-sixth year oi 
his age. 

1 Infulatus; the ministrant being only a priest, the description, which is 
literally translated, does not seem applicable. 

9 Hu^h d'Eu, son of William, count d'Eu, and of Lesceline, the foundress 
of the abbeys of Dive and St. Desiderius at Lisieux, was bishop of that see 
from 1050 July 17, 1077. 

A.D. 1050 1077.] HUGH, BISHOP OF LISLEUX. 119 

fell sick. In the month of July, his disease increasing, the 
bishop, perceiving that his death was at hand, began carefully 
to examine himself as the servant of God summoned to his 
Master's presence, and prepared himself with great reve- 
rence to give an account of his stewardship. Purified by 
confession and penance, washed with prayers and floods of 
tears, and strengthened by the blessed communion of the 
life-giving mysteries, he exhorted the clergy and laymen 
who were assembled about him, and gave them absolution 
and his blessing. As his end approached, he recollected 
one thing which caused him especial regret, and in refe- 
rence to which he thus implored all who were present : " I 
know that I am now going the way of all flesh, but it 
troubles me to think that I die at a distance from my see, 
away from that spouse to which by God's ordinance I have 
been lawfully united for almost forty years. I therefore 
entreat all you whom I have formerly loved, nourished, pro- 
moted, and raised to honour, that you carry me forth from 
hence, and transport me to the spouse I have so dearly loved. 
I have completed the church of St. Peter the apostle, which 
my venerable predecessor Herbert 1 began; 1 carefully em- 
bellished it, supplied it with clergy, and furnished it with 
the sacred vessels and all other requisites for divine worship. 
Humbly commending it to the protection of the Lord of 
heaven, in its sacred bosom I wish to repose, and there wait 
in faith the second advent of our Lord." At these words 
all present immediately arose, and, placing the bishop on a 
convenient hand-litter, they carried him from the village of 
Pont 1'Eveque to Lisieux, the clergy of the highest rank 
and the most honourable among the laity bearing their 
beloved father on their shoulders. But while they were 
using their utmost efforts to reach the city as quickly as 
posible, his death becoming imminent, they turned out of 
the road on a piece of level turf, and tarried there expecting 
every moment the bishop to breathe his last in the open air 
amidst their prayers and tears : 

The sun in Cancer, flashing brightest rays, 
Shrouded the dving prelate in its blaze. 

Laid in the bright sunshine on this delightful spot, the illus- 
1 Herbert, bishop of Liseux, 10221050. 


trious Bishop Hugh, surrounded by his attached friends, and 
commended to God by their prayers, breathed his last on 
the sixteenth of the calends of August [17th July]. 

Thus calmly died the venerable Hugh : 
Such honours to their country are too few ; 
The gem of priesthood, and the best of men, 
Alas ! we ne'er shall see his like again. 

May Christ, the chief bishop, whose vicar on earth he was 
for a time, be ever propitious to him ! Pont 1'Eveque is four 
leagues distant from Lisieux ; a cross was erected in the 
field near the road, where the bishop died, which is called 
to this day the Bishop's Cross. 1 His body was carried to 
Lisieux, but the funeral was deferred for eight days in con- 
sequence of a dispute between the canons and nuns. For 
the clergy wished to bury him in their cathedral, but the 
nuns strongly remonstrated, saying : " Our father Hugh 
built our abbey of Notre Dame ; he assembled us here to 
serve Grod, 2 and brought us up in the fear of the Lord -with 
the love of a father to his daughters ; when death approached 
he chose the church which he had founded for his burial 
place ; cursed be he who should attempt to deprive us hia 
daughters of our father's remains." 

The case was brought before the king's court at Rouen, 
and the question was argued on both sides, but the royal 
decision was in favour of the weaker sex. Whereupon Wil- 
liam sent for Archbishop John, and commanded to hasten 
with all speed to Lisieux, and honourably inter the bishop's 
corpse in the chapel of St. Mary. But the archbishop, being 
a harsh and haughty prelate, and having a dreadful enmity 
to the deceased bishop lurking in his bosom, was much 
incensed, and, treating the royal command with contempt, 
refused to go and bury his fello\v bishop. As he was 
returning from the king's court, riding on his mule through 
the city, speaking arrogantly about the present affair, he 

1 It is supposed that this interesting scene took place on a spot now 
called Pre"-FEveque. 

* The nuns who were originally settled by Lesceline at the abbey of St. 
Peter-sur-Dive, having been replaced by monks, were transferred to 
Lisieux, where their new church was, like the former, dedicated to St. 


was seized with violent spasms, by the divine permission, 
just as he approached his own house, and, falling to the 
ground in the sight of the multitude, lost the use of his 
speech for the two years he survived. Upon this, Gislebert, 
bishop of Evreux, went to Lisieux, with a great concourse 
of the faithful, and interred the bishop, as was becoming, in 
the choir of the nuns, in the presence of Robert, Count 
d'Eu, his brother. A suitable stone was laid over the grave 
of this great bishop, and an epitaph in Adonic metre, which 
consists of a dactyl and a spondee, was engraved in letters of 
gold, on a brass plate, as follows : 

Underneath lies Bishop HUGH, 
Honoured lord of Lisieux : 
Not more noble was his birth 
Than the splendour of his worth. 
Doubly gifted, he combined 
Wit and sanctity of mind. 
France's sceptre Philip sway'd, 
England William's rule obey'd, 
And the blazing lamp of day 
On the verge of Leo 1 lay, 
When the bishop pass'd away. 
Heavenly mercy speed him well, 
With the blest above to dwell ! 

Gislebert, surnamed Maminot, the king's physician and 
chaplain, was chosen bishop of Lisieux, and consecrated 
by Michael, bishop of Avranches, in the presence of the 
lord archbishop John, who, as we have just said, had lost the 
use of his speech. He was the son of Robert de Courbe- 
pine, 2 a brave knight ; and, filling the see twenty-three years, 
managed ecclesiastical affairs with a strong hand. Though 
deeply skilled in the art of medicine, after he became bishop 
he was unable to cure himself. He was eminent for his 
learning and eloquence, abounded in wealth and the luxuries 
it procured, but was a slave to his own gratification and the 
care of the flesh. Ease and leisure were his great objects, 
and he indulged frequently in dice and other games of 
hazard. Negligent and slothful in his ecclesiastical duties, 
he was ready and active enough in hunting and hawking. 
He therefore devoted his life to worldly exercises and 

1 The bishop died, aa stated before, on the 17th of July. 

2 Near Bernai. 


employments, and did not give them up till age com- 
pelled him. I could write more about him, but I 
check my pen, because it was by him that I was 
admitted to the order of subdeacon, with (as well as I can 
recollect) three hundred others. But, as I have mentioned 
some things that are not very creditable to him, it is but 
right that I should record his merits and his doings which 
are worthy of imitation. He gave alms freely to the poor, and 
was distinguished for a stately sumptuousness and wise 
liberality. In his judgments he keenly investigated the 
truth, and was indefatigable in defending the right, dis- 
pensing justice freely to all who came for it. He treated 
with gentleness offenders who humbly confessed their sins, 
and judiciously gave wise and salutary counsel to true peni- 
tents. He performed the ceremony of conferring sacred 
orders, and of consecrations, with care and devotion ; but he 
was inert and difficult to be roused to undertake them, nor 
would he engage in these offices until he was compelled by 
the united entreaties of numbers. The church of Lisieux 
at that time numbered among its clergy some honourable 
persons and eminent archdeacons and canons ; such as 
William de Glanville, dean and archdeacon, Eichard de 
Angerville, and William de Poitiers, 1 archdeacons, Geoffrey 
de Triqueville the treasurer, Turgis the chanter, and his son 
Balph, with many others who had been educated by Bishop 
Hugh, and advanced to offices of dignity in the church. His 
successor attached these persons to himself, and gave them 
instructive lessons in the wide field of arithmetic, astronomy, 
physics, and other profound sciences, receiving them as his 
guests, and familiarly conversing with them, at his entertain- 

CH. IV. John cTAvranches, archbishop of Rouen his epi~ 
taph William Bonne-Ame succeeds His character 
Translates the relics of St. Romanus. 

IN the year of our Lord 1079, the archbishop John died, 
after governing his church eight years. He was buried in 
the baptistery of his cathedral church, on the north side, 

1 William de Poitiers, the historian, derived his surname from 
having studied at Poitiers, but he was a native of I'reaux, near Pont- 


under a tomb of alabaster, on which this epitaph was skil- 
fully cut : 

Reft of thy patron, of thy glory shorn, 
Thy honoured primate, widowed ROTTEN, mourn I 
JOHN sleeps beneath, and, as in days of old, 
Devotion flags, and priests again grow cold. 
'Twas his with foul incontinence to strive, 
The canon's rigour and the laws revive. 
No venal bribes the priesthood's honour gain'd, 
The church's state his liberal hand maintain 'd. 
Alas ! this little stone, this narrow space 
Is all that genius, eloquence, and grace, 
And noblest birth, and wisdom's highest aim, 
And purest life, and excellence can claim. 
Nine times September's sun had mounted high, 1 
And shed its brightness from the autumnal sky, 
When bishop JOHN put off this mortal coil ; 
God rest his soul, and with his grace assoil ! 

On the death of the primate John, William, abbot of 
Caen, being canonically elected, was removed from his 
monastery, where he had duly served God as a professed 
monk, and called to govern the church of Rouen. 8 He was 
consecrated by the great Gislebert, bishop of Evreux, in the 
church of St. Mary, mother of God, and was the forty-sixth 
metropolitan of Ilouen from St. Nicasius, who was first 
appointed by St. Dionysius, bishop of Paris, to the see of 
Rouen. 3 "William was good, cheerful, and courteous, and 
continued shepherd of the flock divinely committed to him 
for thirty-two years. 4 He furnished the mother church with 
ample stores of all the ornaments necessary for divine wor- 

1 John d'Avranches, archbishop of Rouen, died on the 9th of Septem- 
ber, 1079. He was probably* installed in the year 1069, so that he filled 
the see longer than the term assigned by our author. His infirmities were 
such, that the active pope Gregory VII. did not wait till his death in 
taking measures for providing a successor. 

* William Bonne-Ame, son of Radbod, bishop of Sdez, was abbot of 
Caen, succeeding Laufranc, 1070 1079. 

8 The story of St. Nicasius is very obscure. He is supposed to have 
been commissioned by St. Denys to preach at Rouen about the middle 01 
the third century. Having passed tho Epte, he suffered martyrdom with 
his two companions, Quirinus, a priest, and Scuviculus, a deacon, in the 
neighbourhood of Gani, to which place their bodies were carried. 

* William Bonne-Ame died the 9th of February, 1110. Our author 
states in book iii. (see vol. i. p. 419), that he filled the see nearly thirty-six 
years. The real time was thirty -one years just commenced. 


ship, and rebuilt from the foundations the cloisters of tho 
bishop's palace and convenient offices. 1 The relics of St. 
Eomanus the bishop were translated with great ceremony 
from his own church to the cathedral, and enshrined in a 
coffer of gold and silver, exquisitely enriched with precious 
stones. He appointed his feast to be celebrated throughout 
the diocese on the tenth of the calends of November (Octo- 
ber 23rd) ; and by a general decree ordered a solemn pro- 
cession to be made every year to the deposit of the body of 
the holy bishop without the city, inviting almost all the 
inhabitants of the diocese to be present by monitions and 
the promise of absolution and benediction. 2 Like a tender 
father, this bishop was kind to the clergy and monks, and all 
who were under his rule. He occupied himself continually 
with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, #nd celebrated 
regularly the sacred mysteries. He was a stranger to deceit 
and malice, seeking no one's injury, but succouring the 
indigent as occasion required. He had naturally a fine 
voice, and was a skilful chanter ; was deeply versed in 
ecclesiastical law, and had a great command of clear and 
expressive language in preaching the word of Grod to the 
uninstructed. His patience and benevolence charmed all 
who enjoyed his society, and he committed without jealousy 
a large share of* his official burdens to his deans and arch- 
priests, admitting good men without reserve to a participa- 
tion in the honours of his station. 

Cn. V. Acts of the synod and assembly of nobles held at 
Lillebonne, in the year 1080. 

[A.D. 1080.] In the year of our Lo,rd 1080, King William 
spent the feast of Whitsuntide at Lillebonne, where he 
summoned William the archbishop, and all the bishops and 
abbots, with the counts and other barons of Normandy to 
attend him. The king's commands were obeyed. It was 
in the eighth year of the papacy of Pope Gregory VII., 

1 No vestiges remain of the buildings here attributed to William Bonne- 

3 The translation of the relica of St. Romanus appears to have been 
made in 1079, and probably on the 23rd of October. The procession here 
mentioned seems to have been the origin of the celebrated fair still held at 
Rouen on that day. 

A.B. 1080.] SYNOD AT IILLEBOKNi:. 125 

that the celebrated synod was held at Lillebonne, in which 
the wants of the church and the state generally were care- 
fully provided for by the wisdom of the king, with the 
advice of his barons. I propose to insert here the canons 
of the council, as they were faithfully committed to writing 
by persons present, in order that posterity may know what 
were the laws of Normandy in the time of King "William. 

1. The Peace of God, or as it is commonly called, the 
truce of God, 1 is to be strictly observed, as our Duke William 
established it at first ; and let it be proclaimed afresh in every 
diocese, with the penalties of excommunication. If any 
contumaciously refuse to observe it, or shall in any manner 
break it, let the bishops take cognizance of the offence, and 
do justice according to what is already decreed. But if the 
offender will not submit to his bishop's decision, the bishop 
shall report him to the lord under whom he holds his land, 
and he shall carry into effect the bishop's sentence. And if 
the lord shall disregard the order, let the king's viscount 
execute it, all pretences to the contrary notwithstanding. 

2. Let the bishops do justice, according to the canons, on 
those who marry wives within the prohibited degrees of kin- 
dred, and on wives who marry their kinsmen. The king 
will not succour or defend any such, but, on the contrary, 
admonishes and gives his support to the bishops in strictly 
enforcing the divine law. 

3. Let no priest, deacon, or subdeacon, nor any dean or 
canon, have in his house a woman under any pretext : if 
any one shall be found to have relapsed into this sin, after 
having had the charge brought against him by the bishop's 
officials, let him clear himself in the episcopal court. But 
if one of his parishioners or liege lords before accused him, 
let there be an adjournment till he can refer to the bishop ; 
and if he designs to clear himself, let him do it in the pre- 
sence of some of his parishioners in the presence of the 
bishop's officers, who shall give their judgment on his 
defence. But if he cannot clear himself he shall forfeit his 
preferment for ever. 

1 The Peace of God, a cessation of hostilities at certain holy seasons, is 
commonly supposed to have been solemnly introduced in a synod held at 
Caen in the year 1061; but there are traces in an old chartulary of its 
having been so established as early as 1046. 


The king has decreed this, not for the purpose of encroach- 
ing, in perpetuity, on the judicial rights of his bishops, but 
because the bishops of that time had been supine in that 
matter ; but when he should find them doing their duty, he 
would restore, as matter of grace, the power of which they 
were temporarily deprived for their default. 

4. Let no layman receive any part of the altar-dues, or 
burial-fees, or of the third of the tithes ; nor take money in 
any shape for their sale or grant. Let no priest do any ser- 
vice for his preferment, except it be to carry a message from 
his lord, but so that he return the same day to his duties in 
the church. He may go with his lord as chaplain, if the 
lord wishes it, but not out of Normandy'; being maintained 
in the lord's household, and providing a curate to take charge 
of his church while he is absent. 

5. Priests shall not be compelled, by force or threats, to 
give anything to the bishops or their officers, beyond their 
just episcopal dues. No money shall be exacted from them 
on account of their women. 

6. The archdeacons shall hold visitations once a year 
throughout their jurisdictions, at which they shall inspect 
the vestments, vessels, and books belonging to the church ; 
the bishop appointing three places only in every arch- 
deaconry where the priests of the neighbourhood shall 
produce them for inspection. 

7. While the archdeacon is engaged in his visitations he 
shall receive from the priests who attend it sustenance for 
three days. 

8. If a priest incurs any forfeiture in the king's forests 
or those of his barons, the bishop shall receive no part of 
the fine. 

9. Once a year, about the feast of "Whitsuntide, the 
priests shall cause processions to be made to the mother 
church, and wax from each house of the value of a penny, 
or the worth of it, shall be offered at the altar for lighting 
the church. "Whoever neglects shall be compelled by the 
priest, in exercise of his office, to pay the due without 

10. No layman shall prefer a priest to a benefice, nor 
deprive him, without the bishop's cousent. But the bishop 


shall not refuse to institute any one who is duly qualified ; 
nor admit any priest who is not fit. 

11. In cemeteries which belong to churches, whether in 
cities, castles, or burghs, the bishops shall retain whatever 
rights they had in the time of Count Robert, or with the 
consent of King William. 

12. As for the cemeteries in the marches, if there be war, 
and any persons come to dwell there while hostilities con- 
tinue, and making the sacred inclosure their habitation on 
account of the war, the bishop shall amerce them in no fine 
except such as they incurred before they took refuge in the 
churchyard. When peace is restored, those who thus sought 
an asylum during the war shall be compelled to depart, or 
shall become subject to the bishop's jurisdiction. Those 
however who had ancient dwellings in the cemeteries, shall 
possess their former holdings without disturbance. 

13. The country churches shall preserve the same extent 
of cemeteries which belonged to them in the time of Count 
Robert, or up to the period of the present synod. The 
bishops shall possess the same rights in those inclosures 
which they had in the time of Count Robert, or now hold 
with the consent of King William, unless they have given 
any release for them with the king's permission. 

14. If after this council a new church is built within any 
village, the bishop shall make a cemetery with the concur- 
rence of the lords of the soil and parishioners. But if a 
new church is erected where there is no village, it shall have 
five perches of land round it, allotted for a cemetery. 

15. If a church be granted to monks, the priest who is 
in possession of it shall enjoy whatever belonged to it before 
it was given to the monks, and so much the more because 
he is then connected with more holy men. On his death 
or other avoidance, the abbot shall select a qualified 
priest, and present him to the bishop, either in person or 
by letters dimissory. If he is a fit person the bishop shall 
institute him : but if the priest should wish to live with the 
monks under their strict rule, let him see that the church 
to which he has been instituted by episcopal licence, be 
decently provided with vestments, books, and other things 
necessary for divine service, according to its means. But if 


the priest has no desire to live with the monks, let the 
abbot make him such allowance from the revenues of the 
church as will enable him to live comfortably, and to per- 
form properly the service of the church. If the abbot 
refuse, let him be duly compelled by the bishop. The 
priest who has the cure is to be under the jurisdiction of 
his bishop, and shall pay him the dues belonging to his see. 
What remains, the abbot may take for the use of his 
monastery ; let the same rules be observed with respect tc 
churches held by canons. 

16. Profanation of churches and churchyards, as it has 
been before decreed, and offences causing interruptions to 
divine worship, shall be punished by fines inflicted by the 
bishops. Assaults on the road to church shall be punished 
in the same manner. 

17. Item. If any person shall pursue another in a rage 
into the churchyard or church. 

18. Item. If any one ploughs or builds in the churchyard 
without the bishop's licence. 

19. If a clerk commits a robbery or rape, or strikes, 
wounds, or kills any one, or engages in a duel, without the 
bishop's license, or accepts a pledge of battle, or makes an 
assault, or seizes anything unjustly, or is guilty of arson, 
or any one in his service, or dwelling in the church- 
yard ; they shall be mulct by the bishop in a fine, in like 

20. Item. If a clerk commits adultery or incest. 

21. Item. If a priest forfeits his ministry. 

22. Item. In the case of priests who neglect to attend the 

23. Item. If any priest shall not pay the synod and 
visitation fees at the appointed times. 

24. Item. If a clerk shall give up the tonsure. 

25. Item. If a monk or nun, not living under any rule, 
put off the monastic dress. 

26. Item. If priests excommunicate any persons, except 
for breaking the truce of God, and robbery without the 
bishop's licence. 

27. If any stray cattle, commonly called waifs, come to 
the yard of the priest, or of a clerk living in the churchyard, 
they shall belong to the church or the bishop. 


28. Whatever is left through a dispute, in the house of a 
priest or a clerk, or in the yard of the priest or clerk or their 
servant, shall belong to the bishop. 

29. If any thing is lost and found in the church or church- 
yard, it shall belong to the bishop. 

30. If any one shall assault or strike a priest, rnonk^ or 
nun, or shall seize them, or slay them, or burn their houses in 
the churchyard, he shall be mulcted in the same way. 

31. Item. If any man commits adultery or incest with his 
mother, or his godmother, or his daughter. 

32. Item. If a woman does the like. 

33. Item. If a husband divorces his wife, or a wife her 
husband without the bishop's licence. 

34. Item. If any one consults ghosts, or has dealings with 

35. Item. If any one repudiates or denies a crime with 
which he is charged, and is convicted by the ordeal of hofc 
iron, unless during the Peace of God. 

36. Item. As to any one who, in contempt of a sentence, 
suffers himself to be excommunicated. 

37. The offences of parishioners which belong to the juris- 
diction of the bishop, shall, where such is the custom, be 
judged by the bishop. 

38. If a sentence be disputed, let it be decided in the 
bishop's presence. 

39. If the ordeal by hot iron be sentenced, let it take 
place in the mother church. 

40. If the law is to be made clear, let it be done where 
the plea was first commenced. 

41. No one is allowed to preach in a bishop's diocese 
without his license. 

42. Whoever falls into these delinquences, and voluntarily 
offers to do penance, shall have it assigned him according to 
the nature of his offence, and no fine shall be exacted. 

43. If a layman commits a robbery in the churchyard, he 
shall be mulct to the bishop ; if the robbery is committed 
elsewhere, whatever be its nature, the bishop shall have 

44. The bishops shall have their customary dues in those 
places in which they possessed them in the time of Count 
Robert, or now have them with the consent of King 



"William. Those which have been released shall have the 
freedom which they have maintained till now. In all these 
jurisdictions and customary rights, the king retains in his 
own power what he has hitherto possessed. 

45. If a priest disputes his lord's judgment for somo 
ecclesiastical cause, and unjustly wearies him by proceedings 
in the bishop's court, he shall pay a fine of ten shillings to 
the lord. 

46. If the bishops can prove in the king's court that they 
possessed in the time of Count Robert or of King William, 
with his consent, any thing which is not here mentioned, the 
king does not deprive them of their right, only let them not 
take seizin of it until they have shown in his court what it 
is they claim. Likewise, the king, by this instrument, 
takes none of their rights from the laity which they can 
prove in his court to belong to them and not to the 
bishops ; only let them not disseize the bishops, until they 
have proved in the king's court that the bishops ought not 
to have it. 

This synod was held at a royal country-seat on the Seine, 
where once stood an ancient city called Caletus. From 
which the neighbouring district from the sea to Talou is 
still called Caux. This city, as we read in ancient 
annals of the Romans, was besieged by Julius Caesar, and 
was destroyed on account of the obstinate defence made by 
the warlike inhabitants. Having reduced the enemy in this 
place to submit to his will, he was so struck with the 
advantageous site, that he took the precaution of making it 
a Roman garrison, and called it after his own name Julia 
Bona, which the barbarians corrupted into the name it now 
bears, of Lillebonne. 1 

CH. VI. Description and antiquities of the city of Rouen 
The mission and martyrdom of St. Nicaisius. 

CJESAE, having over-run the whole of Neustria, commanded 
the city of Rouen to be built in a desirable situation on the 
river Seine, where, to the east of the place the rivera 

1 No authority is to be found in any ancient history for any of th<t 
statements in this paragraph ; and so far from Rouen being founded by 
Julius Casar, it does not appear from his Commentaries that he ever set 
foot in any part of Normandy. 


Aubette and Robec, and on the west, the Maromme, form a 
junction with the Seine. It was called by its founders 
Rodomus, signifying the house of the Romans, 1 and became 
the station of a Roman legion, to overawe and command the 
provincials in the neighbourhood. 

The city of Rouen is populous, and enriched by commerce, 
its busy port, and flowing rivers, and pleasant meadows, 
making it a cheerful residence. It abounds in fruits and fish, 
and is affluent in its supplies of all commodities, is 
surrounded on all sides by woods and hills, is strongly 
fortified by walls, trenches, and bulwarks, and its public and 
private buildings, its houses and churches, make a fine 
appearance. St. Nicaisius the bishop, was commissioned to 
come to this city with his companions by St. Denys, in the 
time of the Emperor Domitian, 2 but on the road he was 
arrested by Sisinnius Fescenninus, at a place called Scamnis,* 
and remaining constant in the faith of Christ was beheaded, 
as well as Quirinus the priest, and Scuviculus the deacon, 
on the fifth of the ides [llth] of October. Their bodies 
were left by their persecutors to be devoured by birds of 
prey, dogs, and wild beasts, but by command of the 
Almighty God, angels preserved them untouched. The 
heathen guards being withdrawn the night following, the 
holy martyrs miraculously arose by God's help, and having 
replaced their heads,* crossed the river Epte by a ford 
unknown to man, and reposed themselves on a pleasant islet 
in that river. The place has been called, in memory of the 
saints, from that day to the present Yani, that is the ford of 
Nicaisius ; 5 and there the Almighty conferred many good 
gifts on those who asked in faith, for the merits of the 

1 This absurd etymology needs no serious refutation. The original 
name of Rouen was Rotomagus, which has nothing in common with 
Uom.inus. It was afterwards corrupted to Rotomas, Rodomus, &c. 

3 See chap. iv. of this book. The mission of St. Nicaisius was not in 
the time of Domitian. The mistake arises from the common error in the 
middle ages of confusing St. Denys the Areopagite, with St. Denys, bishop 
of Paris. 

' Supposed to be the place since called Roche-Guion. 

* The stories of saints carrying their own heads probably arose from 
images which thus represented to the ignorant the nature of their martyr- 
dom, and to which succeeding generations gave a literal interpretation. 

* The author means, it may be supposed Fa-dum M-casii, a strange 
etymology. Gam was, indeed, anciently called Vadiniacus. 


martyrs. Its former heathenism long heldy possession of 
Eouen, after the martyrdom of its missionary, and filled it 
with idolatrous abominations until the time of St. Mellon 
the archbishop. 

CH. VII. Legends of St. Taurinus, the first lisJiop of 

AT that time the faith of Christ savingly possessed and 
illuminated the city of the Evantici, that is to say of Evreux, 
situated on the river Iton. For St. Taurinus was sent there 
by the blessed 1 Dionysius, and by God's help wrought many 
miracles, God being always with him and gloriously directing 
all his works. For this he had chosen to undergo patiently 
all the trials and sufferings of this present life ; and leaving 
at Home Tarquinius Eomanus his father, and Eutychia his 
most pious mother, with many other friends and relations, 
by order of Pope Clemens, the young exile penetrated into 
Gaul with Dionysius the Greek. When the second 
persecution raged furiously against the Christians, under 
Domitian, this Dionysius, who was then bishop of Paris, 
ordained his godson Taurinus, who was now forty years 
old, bishop, and, predicting many things he would have 
to suffer, sent him among the inhabitants of Evreux, in the 
name of the Lord. As the man of God drew near the gates 
of the city, a demon encountering him in three different 
shapes, that of a bear, a lion, and a buffalo, endeavoured to 
terrify the champion of Christ. But he stood firm in the 
faith like an impregnable wall, and completing his journey 
was hospitably entertained in the house of Lucius. On the 
third day, while Taurinus was preaching to the people, and 
the charm of the new faith gained him willing hearers, the 

1 Machario, Greek for blessed. The following legend is extracted from 
that found in the Bollandists under 2nd of August. It is of the same 
stamp as the other fabrications of the ninth or tenth centuries, when 
all knowledge of the real facts was lost or corrupted, and it was sought to 
supply them by fables very ill put together, and all servilely copied one 
from another. Here we have the confusion before referred to between the 
two St. Denys's, and the introduction of our old acquaintances, the magi- 
cians Cambyses and Zara, to do honour to the miraculous powers of St. 
Taurinus. All that is known with truth, is that Taurinus first preached 
Christianity in these parts among the Aulcrci. about the beginning of the 
fifth century. 


devil in alarm began to torment Euphrasia, the daughter of 
Lucius, and cast her into the fire. She immediately died, 
but shortly afterwards Taurinus, praying, and commanding 
her to arise, she was restored to life in the name of the Lord. 
No signs of fire appeared about her. All who were 
witnesses of this miracle were struck with fear and astonish- 
ment, and believed in Jesus Christ. On that same day one 
hundred and twenty men were baptized, eight blind men 
received sight, four dumb were cured, and many more were 
healed of their various infirmities in the name of the Lord. 

Then Taurinus entered the temple of Diana, and compelled 
Zabulon, by the power of God, to stand visible before all the 
people, at which spectacle the heathen multitude was 
greatly terrified. For he appeared to them in the shape of 
an Ethiopian, black as soot, having a long beard, and 
breathing out flames of fire from his mouth. Then there 
came an angel of the Lord, shining like the sun, and in the 
sight of all bound the demon's hands and carried him off. 
On that day therefore, two thousand souls were baptized, 
and all the sick were cured by divine interposition. 
Deodatus, the brother of Euphrasia, seeing these things, 
believed and was baptized, and being made a priest recorded 
truly all that happened. Then Taurinus entered the 
defiled temple of Diana, and, purifying it by exorcisms and 
prayers, consecrated it as a Christian church in honour of St. 
Mary, mother of God. He then proceeded to destroy the 
idols every where around, and to dedicate churches to 
Christ, visiting his whole diocese, making canonical 
ordinations, and establishing hospitality every where. 

Satan, becoming envious at beholding so much good, in 
his despair devised many schemes for injuring the man of 
God, and roused against him numerous enemies. Two 
magicians, Cambyses and Zara, priests of Diana, groaned at 
seeing the people converted to God, and incited twenty of 
their disciples to kill Taurinus. But as they drew near 
to him, they were discovered at some distance by the man of 
God, who, making the sign of the cross against them, 
caused them to stand fixed on the spot. At his command, 
the second time, they were set free, and, throwing them- 
selves at his feet, believed, and were baptized, in the name 
of the holy and undivided Trinity. The magicians, fir. ding 


that their devices could not prevail against the soldier of 
Christ, stabbed themselves with their own knives. 

Meanwhile, Licinius the consul hearing of the fame of the 
holy bishop, he caused him to be presented to him at his 
villa of Gisai. 1 While he was being conducted there, he 
met a paralytic man, and his sister, who was blind, deaf, and 
dumb. He forthwith blessed water, and sprinkled the sick, 
who were immediately made sound. The executioners, 
seeing this miracle, instantly believed on the Lord. The 
bishop and the consul, having sharply disputed concerning 
idolatry and divine worship, the consul flew into a rage, and 
commanded the bishop to be stripped naked and scourged 
with rods ; but the holy man devoutly prayed to God, aud 
presently a voice was heard from heaven, comforting him. 
The hands, also, of the executioners immediately withered ; 
but the wife of Licinius, interceding for the man of God, 
the consul was so incensed, that he commanded her to be 

While this was passing, a messenger arrived with the 
intelligence that his son had fallen down a precipice as he 
was hunting in the neighbourhood of the castle of Alercus, 8 
and died on the spot, as well as his attendant. Licinius and 
all his troops were thrown into the deepest sorrow at this 
calamity, and by God's will he was compelled to implore 
the aid of the man of God, whom he had begun to torture. 
Then Taurinus, having prostrated himself in the church of 
St. Mary and prayed, went with the people to the bodies 
which were lying dead. There he poured forth devout sup- 
plications to God ; and, having ended his prayers, took the 
hand of his cousin 3 Marinus, and restored him to life in the 
name of the Lord. Licinius, and his wife, and all his chief 
men, seeing this, rejoiced greatly, and casting themselves at 
the bishop's feet, begged to receive holy baptism. And that 
day one thousand two hundred souls were baptized. 

| Probably Gisai, between Broglie and La Barre, where ruins of Roman 
buildings have been discovered, to which traditions of St. Taurinus art 

* Mediolanum Aulercorum, the Roman site of old Evreux, two leagues 
and a half south of the present city, where traces of a castle of the middla 
ages hstve been found. 

3 Our author has omitted the passage of the legend in which Licinius ia 
represented to have made the discovery that the saint was his uncle. 


Then Marinus entreating for his follower, Taurinus 
assented, and, approaching the body, invoked God, and 
called to Paschasius, who was immediately restored to life 
by the power of God. Both, on their recovery, told each 
other what they had seen in the place of the departed. 
Paschasius predicted to Marinus that he would die on the 
day he put off his white robes of baptism, 1 which came to 
pass ; for Marinus, being seized with a slight fever, died on 
the eighth day after he was baptized. 

By such miracles as these, Taurinus, the first bishop of 
Evreux, became illustrious, and brought many thousands to 
the knowledge of the truth and righteousness. At length 
when Pope Sixtus filled the apostolic see, and -Sluis 
Hadrian was emperor, Taurinus, full of years and virtues, 
received a call from heaven, on the third of the ides [llth] 
of August, and the church in which the people were assem- 
bled was filled with a thick and odoriferous cloud. After 
the space of an hour, the cloud was withdrawn, and the 
bishop was seen sitting on his chair, with his hands stretched 
out in the act of prayer, and his eyes lifted to heaven. 
Deep grief fell on the people of the diocese for the loss of 
their bishop ; and, at the command of an angel, who appeared 
to them in the shape of a person of eminence, the man of 
God was buried outside the city, about the distance of one- 
third of a mile on the west side. The place long remained 
without any mark of respect, but now a chosen company of 
monks have, by the grace of God, settled there, to carry on 
their soul-saving warfare. 2 An extraordinary thing hap- 
pened at the funeral of the venerable bishop. While he 
was being laid in the grave in the usual manner, and the 
people were making great lamentations, he raised himself in 
the pit, as if he were alive, and said : " My little children, 
why do ye so ? Fear not : listen to a just one." And, 
bending his head, he was again silent. Accordingly, as soon 
as the servant of Christ was buried, an angel of the Lord 

1 According to primitive custom and the canons of the church, the white 
garments of baptism were worn for eight days. 

* The place where the tomb of St. Taurinus stood, and where a 
monastery was founded to his honour before the end of the seventh 
century, is stili shown. Though now within the modern city of St. Evreux, 
5t waa at a little distance from the Roman town. 


said to the people : " Depart quickly, lest ye be surrounded 
by the enemy ; this city shall be destroyed, but none of you 
shall be injured. This place shall remain unknown for a 
long time." The angel then vanished, and all that he had 
foretold came to pass. For the tomb of the holy bishop 
and the anniversary of his departure were long concealed, 
but at length became gloriously known by a divine revela- 
tion. 1 Some miracles are also daily wrought by him at 
Evreux. For the demon which he expelled from the temple 
of Diana still haunts the city, appearing in various shapes, 
but hurting no one. The common people call it the G-ob- 
lin, 2 and assert that ib is restrained to this day from injuring 
mankind by the merits of St. Taurinus ; and that because it 
obeyed his commands by breaking its own idols, it was not 
forthwith cast into the pit, but undergoes its punishment in 
the very place where it had reigned supreme, by witnessing 
the salvation of those whom it had before insulted and 

It is also said by the inhabitants, and it is true, that no 
venomous animal can exist in Evreux. At one time the 
rich soil, flooded by the waters of the river Iton, gave birth 
to such numbers of ! vipers and snakes, that the city of 
Evreux was full of reptiles of that kind. The citizens 
complaining of this pest, St. Taurinus prayed to the Lord to 
deliver them from the annoyance, and that no venomous 
reptile should in future be suffered to live within the walls. 
His prayers were heard. If by any accident an adder or a 

1 Our author's abridgment of the legend ends here; it is not known 
where he obtained the additional traditions. 

a Gobilenus, from the Greek :6/3a\oc, a demon (1) Du Cange, "vulgtx 
feunus, folletus," [the follet and ku-follet of the French], He quotes 
Caspian. Coll. 7, c. 32, to show that these merry sprites, lurking by the 
road-side and in out-of-the-way places, delighted in mocking wayfarers, and 
leading them astray, and thus annoying them, rather than in doing them 
serious injury. Tnis object of vulgar superstition had, it appears, and still 
retains the same name and character in Normandy as in England. 

" You are that shrewd and knavish sprite 
Called Robin Goodfellow . . . 
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck." 

Midsummer Nights' Dream. 

See also Archives Wormandes, 1824 ; and La Stalislique du D6parte- 
ment de fOrnte, par M. Du Bois. 


toad is introduced in a bundle of grass, the moment it comes 
within the walls it dies. 

A long time afterwards the religion of Christ spread, and 
the clergy of Evreux, with the faithful inhabitants, made a 
search for the tomb of Taurinus, their first bishop, and by 
God's help found it. 1 His remains were then reverently lifted 
from the earth, and after a short time, translated by the 
faithful to Fecamp. A venerable monastery of monks 
devoted to the worship of God was built there, and the body 
of the saint was deposited in a rich shrine. 2 

May God deliver us from all venom of sin, by the inter- 
cession and merits of Taurinus, the benignant bishop ; and 
shedding on us abundantly the perfect light of his holy vir- 
tues, unite us to the company of his saints in the heavenly 
mansions, where we may worthily pour forth praises to the 
King of kings, through all ages. Amen ! 

CH. VIII. Sufferings of the Christians in Gaul during the 
reigns of -Hadrian and Antoninus Pius Martyrs in the 
Diocletian persecution. 

IN the time of the emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, 
the infant Christianity of Gaul was crushed by the rage of 
its adversaries, and our holy mother the church deeply hu- 
miliated for nearly one hundred and sixty years. History 
does not distinctly inform us, what nation it was which into- 
lerably oppressed both Christians and idolaters, or whence it 
came, nor under what prince or tyrant it vented its fury. 3 

1 St. Landulf, then a clerk, and afterwards bishop, of Evreux, discovered 
the relics of St. Taurinus in the beginning of the seventh century, when 
he built a chapel on the spot. 

a There are various accounts of the translation of the relics of St. 
Taurinus. At the invasion of the Northmen they were taken to Lezoux 
in Auvergne; afterwards, at the beginning of the tenth century, to Gigni in 
Franche-Compte'. It is not known when they were brought back to Nor- 
mandy, but spite of the claims of the abbeys of Gigni and Fecamp, and 
those also advanced by the cathedral of Chartres, which pretends to have 
received them after the pillage of Evreux by Philip-Augustus in 1 1 95, the 
abbey of St. Taurinus possesses them, where they are preservi-d in an 
exquisite reliquary of the thirteenth century, of which M. Le Provost has 
published a description. 

8 This pretended, invasion of Gaul is altogether apocryphal, and wag 
invented by the legend-writers of the middle ages as a frame for their pious 


However it dearly appears in the acts of many of the saints of 
that period, that during the reign of the emperors above named 
an army of savage barbarians ravaged Gaul. At that time 
there were no kings in Gaul, but the emperors of Rome, from 
the time of Julius Caesar, had all the Cisalpine nations under 
their dominion, appointing prefects and other magistrates in 
the cities at their will. 

The word of God was almost forgotten in Neustria after 
the death of the holy bishop Taurinus, until the times of 
Diocletian and Maximian, by whom the tenth persecution 
was carried on with diabolical fury, and raged more fiercely 
and longer against the church of Christ than any before. 
But He who promised to be ever with his people, wonderfully 
comforted and delivered his spouse in the storms of her deep 
tribulation, protecting and exalting her and making her 
triumphantly glorious. Moreover, he will reward her with 
an eternal crown in the presence of his Father in the 
heavenly Jerusalem. Her, therefore, he so much loved, he 
did not leave long destitute of illustrious teachers during 
the fury of her persecutors. 

When the tenth persecution fatally harassed the Christians 
for ten years, and innumerable multitudes of martyrs were 
slain with every species of torture, ascending to heaven with 
the glorious ornament of their precious blood, Quentin and 
Lucian, Valerian, Rufinus and Eugenius, Mellon and Avi- 
cian, and many others of the clergy and nobility of Borne, 
went forth, and were scattered throughout Gaul faithfully 
preaching the word of God. Quentin came to Amiens, and 
Lucian to Beauvais ; Mellon with Avician and some other 
distinguished persons to Rouen. 1 

1 St. Quentin, martyr in the Vermandois, October 31, 287 ; St. Lucien, 
apostle of the Beauvais, about the same time ; St. Valerien, martyr at 
Tournus, the 15th of September, 279; St. Rufinus, martyr in the diocese 
of Soissons, about 237 ; St. Eugenius, martyr at Deuil near Paris, in the 
third century. The time at which St. Mellon began to preach at Rouea 
is not exactly known; but he was the first to introduce Christianity there, 
and must have died before 314, the date of the council of Aries, at which 
his successor, Avician, was present, and the acts of which, his name being 
subscribed as bishop of Rouen. All the martyrs whose names are men- 
tioned, suffered before the tenth persecution, which was not regularly 
enforced until the year 303; it is therefore incorrect to say that these sainti 
were led by it to leave Rome, and preach the gospel in Gaul. It ia 


Diocletian and Herculeua Maximian voluntarily abdicating 
their authority, Constans, a prince of great humanity, suc- 
ceeded to the government in the provinces of the west from 
which Herculeus retired. 1 Constans displayed much cle- 
mency to the people, great devotion to God. For, as 
Eusebius of Caesarea attests, in spite of the fury of his 
colleagues, he neither stained his reign with the blood of the 
saints, nor destroyed with violence the oratories and conven- 
ticles of the Christians as Maximian had done. This prince 
built a city in Neustria which he called Constance [Coutan- 
ces] from his own name ; and his concubine Helen came from 
that province; she bore him Constantine the Great, the 
founder of Constantinople. 2 

CH. IX. Series of the archbishops of "Rouen from l&ellon 
(about A. D. 310) to Geoffrey, A. D. 1110 1127 Contain- 
ing also chronicles of other persons and public events. 

AT that time the venerable Mellon, with some other faith- 
ful men, settled at Rouen, where he was the first, who by 
God's permission sat in the episcopal chair ; and from that 
time to the present day the metropolitan dignity has been 
vested there. It has six other cities as the seats of suffra- 
gan bishops ; those of the Belocasi, that is Bayeux ; of the 
Evantici, that is Evreux ; Lisieux, Avranches, Coutances, and 
that of the Salarii, which is called Seez. The church of 
Rouen has now had forty-six bishops, and the clergy of that 
city have published for the information of posterity a distich 
in heroic verse concerning each of them, which I propose to 
insert in an agreeable order with some necessary additions.' 
1. " St. Mellon was the first bishop who taught his 

probable that St. Mellon himself began his apostolical labours before tne 
end of the third century. 

1 Constans was created Caesar and associated in the empire, March 1, 
292; raised to the rank of Augustus, May 1, 305; and died 25th of July 
of the year following. 

2 It is not known when or where Constans married Helena, if sne wfis 
his legitimate wife, as seems to have been the case, notwithstanding our 
author; for it appears that he was compelled to divorce her in 292, when 
he married Theodora, the daughter of Maximian Herculeus. The emperor 
Constantine was born the 27th of February, 274. 

3 These distichs, which contain v-ry meagre information, in barbarous 
verse, are incorrectly attributed to our author by P. Pommerage in his 
Histoire des Archevtques de Rouen. 


doctrine to the people of Rouen." He flourished in the 
time of popes Eusebius and Melchiades, 1 and departing to 
the Lord on the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd 
of October], was buried in the crypt of the church of St. 
Gervase the martyr, outside the city, where his remains long 
reposed. His tomb indeed, is preserved there to this time, 
but his body was removed for fear of the Danes, and trans- 
lated to a castle in the Vexin called Pontoise. It is there 
preserved in a church dedicated to his name, to which is 
attached a celebrated convent of canons. 8 

2. " Immediately after Mellon, the devoted Avician 
succeeded to the government, and ruled his charge like a 
good master." He was present at the council of Aries, 
which was held in the time of Pope Silvester under the 
Emperor Constantine, who began his reign in the year from 
the building of Rome, 3 1061. It was then that the council 
of Nice was held, attended by three hundred and eighteen 
bishops, among whom were Nicholas, bishop of Myra, in 
Lycia, 4 and many other very eminent prelates. 

3. " Severus came next, a bishop illustrious for his virtues, 
of admirable conduct, and gentle to his flock." "He held the 
see fifteen years, 5 flourishing in the times of Constantine 

1 May 20, 31 January 11,314. It is most probable that St. Mellon 
was rather contemporary with the predecessors of these popes, as we have 
Been that his own successor, Avician, was at the council of Aries in 314. 

2 St. Mellon, as well as his successor, Avician, was in truth buried in a 
crypt still remaining under the church of St. Gervase at Rouen; or to 
speak more correctly, in the public cemetery on the road to Lillebonne, 
where one of their successors (probably St. Victricius) built the existing 
crypt over their tomb, after Christianity became established. M. Le Pr 
vost, considers it as the most ancient Christian monument to be found in 
Normandy. There axe to be seen the two elliptic arches under which the 
remains of the two archbishops long reposed. Those of St. Mellon, 
removed to Pontoise to escape the ravages of the Danes, gave rise to the 
foundation of an abbey which was afterwards converted into a collegiate 
church of canons. 

3 Our author here returns to the computation of venerable Bede. It 
hould be A.U.C. 1 059, A.D. 306, July 25. 

* It is very doubtful whether St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, assisted at 
the council of Nice; indeed, the doubts connected with this bishop may be 
carried still further. 

* The dates assigned by Ordericus Vitalis to most of the bishops in the 
ensuing series are very doubtful, but there exist no authentic records from 
which they can be corrected. 


and Constans, under Popes Mark and Julius. In his age, 
Maximin bishop of Treves, Hilary of Poitiers, Athanasius of 
Alexandria, Eusebius at Vercelli, and Dionysius at Milan, 
were bright stars of the church. 

4. " Eusebius, so gentle and so constant in the duties of a 
bishop, sweetly displayed the flowers of his virtues." He 
flourished twenty-five years, in the time of Popes Liberius 
and Felix, and during the reigns of Constantino, Julian the 
apostate, Jovian, and Valentinian. 

5. "Marcellinus succeeded by the grace of Christ, an 
eminent pastor, distinguished by the excellence of his life." 
He laboured for the good of the church for twenty years, in 
the time of Pope Damasus, and during the reigns of 
Valentinian, Valens, Gratian, and Valentinian [II.] At that 
time died Anthony, the most illustrious of the Egyptian 
monks. Peter, an eminent orator, flourished at Saragossa : 
Ambrose of Milan withstood the Arians, like an impregnable 
wall. A council of one hundred and fifty fathers assembled 
at Constantinople under Pope Damasus, against Macedonius 
and Eunomius. 

6. " Peter, the ever watchful guardian and worthy 
protector of his people, piously filled the see committed to 
him." He governed it nineteen years, in the time of Popes 
Siricius and Anastasius, under Theodosius and Arcadius. 
Then Martin of Tours, Maurilius of Angers, Basil of 
Caesarea, and the eloquent preacher Augustine of Hippo, and 
St. Jerom, the interpreter of the word of God, flourished. 

7. " Victricius, the brave victor and avenger of sin, taught 
the church of God his pious precepts." He held the see 
eleven years, 1 in the time of Pope Innocent, under 
Arcadius and Honorius. In his age, Donatus, bishop of 
Epirus, and John of Jerusalem, flourished. The discovery 
of the body of St. Stephen, the proto-martyr, was made, by a 
divine revelation to Lucian, a priest of Caphargamala 
Then the priest Orosius, who wrote a history of the world 
called the Hormesta, 2 having been sent by Augustine to 

1 It is, however, known that Victricius filled the see of Rouen at least 
from the year 383 to 404. 

- Sie note, vol. i. p. 2. The discovery of the relics of St. Stephen, and 
the voyage of Orosius to Palestine occurred in 415. John II. was patriarch 
of Jerusalem from 386 to 417. 


Jerora to consult him on some deep questions, met Lucian, 
from whom he received the relics of St. Stephen, which he 
conveyed to Spain for the priest Avitus. 

8. " He was succeeded by Innocent, a pious bishop, who 
re-established the church of God, and reformed the people." 
He flourished nine years, in the time of popes Zosimus, 
Boniface, and Celestine, under Honorius and his son 
Arcadius. It was then that a council of two hundred 
bishops was held at Ephesus, of which Cyril of Alexandria 
was president. Palladius, ordained a bishop by Pope 
Celestine, was sent as the first missionary to convert th 

9. "Evodus 1 succeeded: he was gifted with a holy 
eloquence, firm and irreproachable, prudent, pious, and 
modest." He flourished eight years, in the times of popes 
Celestine and Sixtus. Then the Gauls rebelled against the 
Romans, in conjunction with the Franks, who sprung from 
the race of the Trojans. These two nations jointly* elected 
Pharamond the Frank, son of Duke Sunno to be their king. 
Maximus, bishop of Tours, was much esteemed for the 
eloquence of his sermons. 

10. " St. Silvester governed his see honourably, ruling it 
justly, and prudently enriching it." He flourished tea 
years, when Leo was pope, and Clodion and Meroveus were 
kings of the Franks. 

11. " Bishop Malson, relying on his divine doctrines, was 
a shepherd held in veneration by the people in every 
quarter." He flourished nine years, under Martian and 
Valentinian, at the time that Pope Leo held a council of six 
hundred and thirty bishops at Chalcedon, against Eutyches 
and Dioscorus. In his time, the Saxons and Angles, under 
Hengist and Horsa, passed over into Britain in three long 
ships, and entered into engagements with Vortigern against 
the Picts. Then Germanus of Auxerre was greatly distin- 

12. "Germanus,* an illustrious prelate, the vigilant 

1 It is supposed that St. Evodus flourished in the course of the fifth 
century, but nothing more is known of him. The acts attributed to him 
are apocryphal. 

a Whatever our author may say, the Gauls had nothing to do with 
Pharamond's election. 

All that is known of this bishop is that he was present at the first 
council of Tours in 461 


guardian of his people, filled the episcopal see." This 
bishop flourished eight years, while Childeric governed the 
Gauls, and Leo the Romans. At this time Theodore, a 
bishop of Syria, wrote his ecclesiastical history, from the end 
of that of Eusebius to his own times, that is, to the reign of 
Leo, in which he died. 

13. " Crescentius was careful of his flock, adorning them 
with eminent virtues, and causing them to increase in 
goodness." He flourished twenty-six years, in the time of 
popes Hilary and Simplicius, and of Leo the emperor. 
Then Childeric, son of Meroveus, was king of the Pranks. 

14. " Godard flourished, a holy and benevolent pastor, 
generous and constant, and shedding abundantly the fight of 
the word." He governed the church fifteen years, in the 
times of popes Felix, G-elasius, Auastatius, and Symmachus, 
under the Emperor Zeno, and he consecrated St. Leo bishop 
of Coutances. At that time flourished Remi, bishop of 
Rheims, and Solin of Chartres, and Vedast of Arras, who 
baptized the Merovingian Clovis, king of the Pranks, in 
the year of our Lord 488. ! The third year afterwards, 
Mamertus, archbishop of Vienna, instituted processional 
litanies, on account of the calamities which threatened the 
city, that is, the rogations before Ascension day. Victorius 
composed his Easter cycle for 532 years by command of 
Pope Hilary. Odoacer, king of the Goths, took Rome, 
which their kings, Theodoric, Triaricus, and Theodoric 
Walamer afterwards held. Hunneric the Arian, king of the 
Vandals in Africa, expelled more than three hundred and 
thirty-six Catholic bishops, shut up their churches, and 
persecuted the people with various punishments. Godard 
of Rouen, and Medard of Soissons, had Nectard of Noyon 
for their father and Protagia for their mother, and both 
departed to the Lord on the sixth of the ides [8th] of 
June. 2 The illustrious Ouen composed these verses on 
them : 

1 The conversion of Clovis took place in 496, and not in 488, as the 
MS. of St. Evroult states, or 498, as the date stands in Duchesne's text. 

* St. Godurd died before St. Medard was made a bbhop. The former 
was present at the first council of Orleans in 511. St. Medard became 
bishop of Noyon about 530, and of Tournay in 532, and died about 545. 
The only possible circumstance in the traditions relating to them is that 
they might be brothers. 


Godard of Rouen, Medard of Soissons, twins, 
Together issued from their mother's womb ; 
White-robed were washed together from their sins, 
Both went together, bishops, to the tomb. 

15. "Flavius 1 was radiant with the bright flowers of 
virtue, and fed the people committed to his charge with the 
divine word." He flourished during thirty-five years, in the 
times of popes Symmachus, John, Felix, Boniface, John, and 
Agapete, under the Emperors Anastatius, Justin the Elder, 
and Justinian. After the death of Clovis, Sigismund, 8 
Childebert, and his other sons succeeded. Clotaire, who 
survived them all, was king of the Franks fifty-one years ; 
during whose reign, Laumer, Evroult, and other holy 
men flourished in his kingdom. Thrasamond, king of the 
Vandals, closed the Catholic churches, and banished two 
hundred and twenty bishops to Sardinia, to whom Pope 
Symmachus supplied food and clothing yearly. The 
Emperor Anastatius, who favoured the Eutychian heresy, 
was struck with lightning because he persecuted the 
Catholics. In the time of Justin the Elder. Pope John gave 
sight to a blind man at Constantinople, and on his return to 
Havenna was slain by Theodoric. The king of the Goths 
also put to death Symmachus the patrician, and Boethius, 
and he himself was cut off suddenly the year following. 
Athal;iric, his nephew, succeeded him. Hilderic, king of the 
Vandals, recalled the bishops from exile, and commanded the 
churches to be restored, after seventy-six years of 
profanation by the heretics. Benedict, the abbot, was 
illustrious for his virtues, respecting which Pope Gregory 
wrote in his Book of Dialogues. Belisarius, the patrician, 
being sent into Africa by Justinian, conquered the Vandals, 
and sent their king Gelimer a prisoner to Constantinople. 
Carthage was re-taken ninety-six years after its occupation 
by the barbarians. Dionysius the Little wrote his Paschal 
Cycle, beginning from the year of our Lord 532 ; and the 
Justinian Code was promulgated the same year. Victor, 
bishop of Capua, wrote a book respecting Easter, in which 
he confuted the errors of Victorius. The senator, Cassio- 

1 This bishop was present at the councils of Orleans in 533, 538, and 54 J . 
a Clovis hud no sou named Sigismund. 


dorus, and Priscian, the grammarian, and the sub-deacon, 
Arator, flourished. 

16. " Pretextatus suffered martyrdom by the command of 
Queen Fredegunde. for the name of Christ." * He flourished 
during forty-eight years, in the times of popes Agapetus, 
Silverius, vigelius, Pelagius, John, and Pelagius, under the 
Emperors Justin and Tiberius Constantino. In Italy, the 
patrician, Narses, defeated and slew Totila, king of the 
Goths. The Lombards, under their King Alboin, over-ran 
all Italy, with famine and death in their train. 

17. " Melantius 2 governed the church for a long course of 
years, instructing the people, and causing them to lead a 
life of righteousness." He was bishop of Rouen twelve 
years, in the times of Pelagius, Benedict, and the doctor, 
Gregory the Great, under Maurice, the first Greek emperor 
of the Komans. His conduct was base, because, as it is 
reported, he betrayed his master Pretextatus, who was put to 
death by Fredegunde, wife of King Chilperic. 

18. " Hildulf nobly filled the see of Eouen, and studied 
the doctrines of the word of God." He flourished for 
twenty-eight years, in the times of popes Gregory, the great 
doctor, Savinian, Boniface, Deusdedit, Boniface, and 
Honorius, and during the reigns of the Emperors Maurice, 
Phocas, and Heraclius. At that time Childebert, and his 
sons Theodoric, Theodebert, and Lothaire the Great, were 
successively kings of the Franks. 8 In England, Ethelbert 
was king of Kent, Edwin of Northumbria, Redwald of 
"Wessex, and Penda of Mercia. 1 Gregory sent there 

1 St. Pretextatus appears to have been appointed to the archiepiscopal 
see of Rouen about the year 550. He was present at the third council of 
Paris in 557, and the second of Tours in 566. He was deposed by a 
council held at Paris in 577 at the instigation of Fre"degonde and Chil- 
peric, for having, the year preceding, married Merove and Brunehaut. 
He was afterwards banished to Jersey. He was reinstated after Chilperic's 
death in 584, was present at the second council of Macon in 585, and was 
assassinated at the altar by the orders of Fre'de'gonde, then at Vaudreuil, 
on Sunday, February 24, 586. 

a Melantius, after having filled the place of Pretextatus during his 
banishment, succeeded him at his death. He was still living in 601. 

s The author here makes great mistakes, confounding Clotaire II. with 
his grandfather, Clotaire I., and therefore misrepresenting his cotempo- 
aries, as well as their degrees of relationship. 

* Ethelbert, king of Kent, 560616; Edwin, king of Northumbria, 617 

VOL. II. 1 


Augustine, Mellitus, John, and several other monks who 
feared the Lord, to preach the word of God, by whom the 
English were converted to Christ. In Italy, Autarith, son 
of Clepo, and Ago-Agilulf, with the excellent Queen 
Theodelinda, governed the Lombards. In Neustria, St. 
Evroult, abbot of Ouche, died, being then eighty years old, 
on the fourth of the calends of January, [29th December], in 
the twelfth year of King Childebert. 1 About the same 
time the abbey of Monte Cassino was attacked in the night 
by the Lombards, when Bonitus was the fifth abbot, and the 
monks were driven out and the place ruined. Before that 
time, Benedict, Constantine, Simplicius, Vitalis, and Bouitus, 
presided successively at Monte Cassino. Chosroes, king of 
the Persians, made destructive inroads on the empire, and 
grievously afflicted the holy church with fire, rapine, and 
slaughter. Anastatius, a monk of Persia, received the 
glorious crown of martyrdom with seventy others. The 
Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persians, putting Chosroes 
to the sword, and restored the cross of the Lord to 
Jerusalem, releasing all the Christian captives. 

19. " St. Bomanus, illustrious for his noble acts, was dis- 
tinguished for the excellence of his life and his enlightened 
knowledge of the word of God." His government of thir- 
teen years, in the time of popes Honorius, Severinus, and 
John, and under the Emperor Heraclius, was memorable for 
the miracles he wrought, and he departed gloriously to the 
Lord on the tenth of the calends of November [Oct. 23].* 
At that time the Christian kings Dagobert and Clovis, 
reigned in Gaul; and in England Oswald, Oswin, and 
Oswy; in Italy, Agilulf, Adaloald, Arioald, Botarith, and 
Bodoald. During the reign of Arioald, St. Columban, a Scot 
by birth, after having founded in France the monastery of 
Luxeuil, erected one at Bobbio, in the Cottian Alps. 

20. " Ouen 5 succeeded Bomanus, illustrious in the order 
of bishops and eminent for his virtues." He nourished in 

633; Redwald, king of East-Anglia, 598 or 599624; Pendai, king of 
Mercia, 624 or 625655. 

1 St. Evroult died the 28th of December, 596; and consequently in the 
twentieth, and not the 12th year of the reign of Childebert, king of 

7 It is supposed that St. Romanus died the 23rd of November 638 

9 St. Ouen, 640 August 24, 683. 


the times of popes Theodore, Martin, Eugenius, Vitalian, 
Adeodatus, Donus, Agatho, Leo, Benedict, and John, when 
Heracleon, son of Heraclius, and the three Constantines, 
were emperors, living long and well, labouring earnestly, 
and rendering hrilliant services to the church. I want the 
power of relating with what grandeur and sanctity, with 
what excellence of every kind his life was distinguished. 
Pope Martin held a council of one hundred and five bishops 
at Eome. He was afterwards carried off by the exarch 
Theodore, at the command of Constantine, nephew of He- 
raclius, and being banished to the Chersonesus, died there 
in the odour of sanctity. Archbishop Theodore and abbot 
Adrian being sent into Britain by Pope Vitalian, enriched 
many of the English churches with the fruits of their doc- 
trine. From the time that Pope Gregory sent the mission- 
aries to sow the seed of the divine word in Britain, the 
following bishops presided over the see of Canterbury ; 
Augustine, Lawrence, Mellitus of London, Justus of Ro- 
chester, Honorius, and Deusdedit; they brought -to the 
faith of Christ the following kings of Kent, with their sub- 
jects ; Ethelbert, Eadbald, Ercombert, and Egbert. Vigard 1 
was chosen the seventh archbishop by the kings Oswy and 
Egbert, and sent to Eome to receive consecration. He died 
there while he was waiting for the day appointed for the 
ceremony ; and Theodore, a Greek, eminent for sanctity and 
wisdom, was ordained in his place. In Neustria, Philibert, 
a man illustrious for his birth, his holiness, and the splen- 
dour of his miracles, by license from King Clovis and his 
queen Bathilda, founded a monastery for eight hundred 
monks at Jumieges : some years afterwards he set over it 
St. Aicadre, who was removed from the abbey of Noirmou- 
tier. 2 Then also Wandrille built a monastery at Fonte- 
nelles, 3 and collected there almost four hundred monks for 
the service of God, out of whom the church of God 
afterwards delighted to select several bishops and abbots 
worthy to govern it. Sidonius, also, and Eibert, Geremar, 
Leufroi, and many other monks arrived at eminence in the 

1 Wighard; see Bcde's Eccles. Hist. p. 166. 

2 St. Philibert founded the abbey of Jumieges in 654, gave it up to St. 
Aicadre about 682, and died the 20th of August, 684. St. Aicadre died 
in 687. 

s St. Wandrille, 648 June 21, 667. 


diocese of Rouen, who were all favoured by the care and 
assistance of the venerable Archbishop Owen, as the zealous 
reader will find clearly in the accounts of their acts. In 
Italy, on the death of Aribert at Pavia, after a reign of nine 
years, he was succeeded by his two sons, who were yet very 
young; Q-odebert fixing his seat of government at Pavia, 
and Bertarith at Milan. A short time afterwards Grimo- 
ald, the powerful duke of Beneventum, slew Godebert and 
drove out Bertarith, and obtained their throne, with their 
sister's hand, reigning securely and prosperously nine years. 
On his death, Bertarith reigned eighteen years, associating 
in his government Cunipert his son by the Queen Rode- 
linda. Both were lovers of justice, devoted to God and his 
church, and protectors of the poor. Alacheris, duke of 
Brescia, rebelled against them, and kept the whole province 
in alarm by frequent incursions, until they were put an end 
to by his death in battle with Cunipert. Pope Agatho, at 
the request of the most pious emperors Constantine, He- 
raclius, and Tiberius, sent John, bishop of Ostia, John tho 
deacon, and other legates of the holy Roman church, to 
Constantinople ; and held there, under their presidency, a 
council of one hundred and fifty bishops against George, 
bishop of the imperial city, Macharius, bishop of Antioch, 
and other heretics. At the termination of the controversy 
George stood corrected, but Macharius and his confederates 
were condemned. 

21. " The illustrious Ansbert, arriving at the highest 
pitch of merit, well governed the church which his sanctity 
ennobled." He held the see eighteen years, 1 in the time of 
popes Leo, Benedict, John, Conon, and Sergius, under the 
emperors Constantine and Justinian the younger : then 
Lothaire, Theodoric, and Hilderic, were kings; and Leo- 
degar, Ebroin, and Pepin were the first mayors of the 

22. " Grippo was eminently distinguished as the succes- 
sor in the sacred order, a prelate of great merit, and a 
venerable pastor." He flourished during twenty-four years, 
in the time of popes John, Sisinnius, Constantine, and 
Gregory. Leo, Tiberius, Justinian, Philippicus, Anastasius, 
and Leo, were then emperors ; and Clovis, Chudebert, and 

1 683 February 0, 693 or 695. 


Dagobert the younger, were kings of the Franks. In 
Britain, the life of the most reverend Cuthbert, who, from 
a hermit became a bishop, was illustrious for miracles from 
infancy to age. 1 His body was found undecayed by Ealph, 
bishop of Eochester, in the time of Henry, king of England, 
and his vestments were changed in the presence of Alex- 
ander, king of the Scots, who stood reverently by with the 
clergy and monks. 

23. " Radiland 2 threw lustre on his order by bis justice, 
his compassion for all, and his surpassing merits." He held 
the see three years in the time of Pope Gregory, when Leo 
was emperor. On the death of Dagobert, the Franks raised 
Daniel, a clerk to the throne. The Saracens besieged Con- 
stantinople with an immense army for three years ; but 
although the citizens resisted more with prayers than with, 
arms, they were defeated, and drew off, their numbers 
thinned with famine, cold, and pestilence. Liutprand, 
king of the Lombards, at the instance of Pope Gregory, 
confirmed the donation of the patrimony of the church in 
the Cottian Alps, which Aripert had sent to Borne in let- 
ters of gold, and he had renewed. He also redeemed the 
relics of St. Augustine, the doctor, at a vast expense, and 
translated them from Sardinia, which the Saracens had pro- 
faned and devastated, to Pavia, where they were honourably 

24. " The venerable Hugh 8 was a great benefactor to the 
Lord's people, and set before his flock the doctrines of a 
holy life." He was cousin of Pepin, prince of the Franks, 
and was archbishop eight years in the time of Pope Gregory 
II. He had also presided over the churches of Paris and 
Bayeux, and the abbeys of Jumieges and Fontenelles. His 
body was translated to Lorraine with the relics of St. 

1 The life of St. Cuthbert (664 687), bishop of Lindisfarne, is given in 
liede's Eccles. Hist. b. iv. ch. 27, 28, 29. The translation of his relics 
here mentioned took place on the 24th of August, 1104, under the care of 
Ralph, then abbot of St. Martin at Seez, and successively bishop of 
Rochester and archbishop of Canterbury. Alexander, afterwards king of 
Scotland (January 8, 1107 April 24, 1124), was present 

2 Mabillon doubts the existence of this bishop, but he may have filled 
the see of Rouen about 713. 

* St. Hugh, archbishop of Rouen about 720, bishop of Paris, abbot of 
Fontenelle and Jumieges, April 8, 730. 


Aichadre by the monks of Jumieges, where it is preserved 
to this day with hoiiour in a silver shrine, at a place called 
Aspes, in the territory of Cambray. Constantine was then 
emperor. The Englishman Bede, a servant of Christ, and 
a priest of the monastery of the holy apostles, SS. Peter and 
Paul, at Wearmouth, near Jarrow, now flourished. He was 
born on the domains of that monastery, and when seven 
years old was entrusted by his relations to the most re- 
verend abbot Benedict, and afterwards to Ceolfrid, for 
education ; and spent his whole life as an inhabitant of that 
monastery, giving himself up to meditation on the holy 
scriptures ; but, besides his observance of the regular dis- 
cipline, and his daily duty of chanting in the choirs, he 
found pleasure, as he tells us himself, in always having 
something either to learn, or to teach, or to write. In his 
nineteenth year he received the order of deacon, and in his 
thirtieth that of priest, at the hands of the most reverend 
Bishop John, in submission to the directions of his Abbot 
Ceolfrid, on both occasions. Even after he was admitted to 
the priesthood, he never relinquished his useful studies till 
the fifty-ninth year of his life, but made many short com- 
mentaries on the holy scriptures, from the writings of the 
venerable fathers, and took care to add them to the text to 
explain and interpret it. The fruits of his labours and 
studies were most valuable to the church of Christ ; for he 
composed seventy-two books on the law of God and the 
inquiries connected with it, all which he exactly enumerates 
and describes at the end of his English History. 1 At the 
same time Paul, a monk of Monte-Cassiuo, flourished in 
Lombardy ; and Fortunatus, the excellent bishop of Poitiers, 
in Gaul. 2 

25. "Eadbert, succeeding worthily to the pastoral chair, 
was eminent for his sanctity and lived a holy life." He 
filled the see four years, in the time of Pope Gregory II. 
and the emperor Constantine, 8 when Charles Martel/that 
is, " of the hammer," governed Trance ; together with Duke 

1 See note in the preceding page, and the account of Venerable Bede's 
life and works, prefixed to Doha's edition of the Eccles. Hint. 

a There was more than a century between St. Fortunatus (born about 
530, died about 600) and St. Hugh. 

3 About A.D. 730. 


Eudes, he gave battle to the Saracens in Aquitaine, where 
three hundred and twenty-five thousand fell. 1 He also gave 
them a severe defeat with great slaughter in the province of 

26. " Grrimo, a devout pastor, pious and active in his 
duty, undertook the government of the church according to 
the divine law." He held the see of Rouen four years in 
the time of Pope Gregory III. In England, on the death 
of Bertwald, archbishop of Canterbury, he was succeeded by 
Tatwine. At that time two English kings, Coenred king of 
Mercia, and Offa, son of Sighere, king of the East Saxons, 
renounced their earthly sceptres for Christ's sake, and 
going to Rome, 2 became monks, with the blessing of 
Pope Constantine, abiding at the threshold of the apostles 
to the day of their death in prayers, fasting, and alms. 
"Wilfrid, the venerable archbishop of York, died in the forty- 
fifth year of his episcopate in the province of Undalum, 3 
during the reigns of Coenred, and Osred, son of Alfrid, kings 
of .Northumbria. Not long afterwards the very learned 
abbot Adrian died, and was succeeded by bib accomplished 
disciple Albinus. 

27. " Rainfrid raised to the highest rank of a pastor, was 
magnificent in all his acts, and rebuilt the episcopal mansion." 
He governed the see seventeen years, in the times of popes 
Zachary and Stephen. Carloman and Pepin were then 
mayors of the palace. 

28. " Remigius the bishop, sprung from the royal race, 
lived devoutly, and was diligent in instructing the people 
committed to his charge." He was son of Charles Martel, 
and brother of King Pepin. After Rainfrid was expelled 

1 Our author is wrong in placing the battle of Poitiers before that of 
Toulouse. It was in the latter (A.D. 721) the Arabs suffered this immense 
loss, but Charles Martel was not engaged in it. 

8 Coenred and Offa retired to Rome in 708. 

3-4 In the province of Undalum." This word puzzled the French 
editors of Ordericus. M. Dubois's remark on it is, " Mot defigur6, sans 
doute, par les copistes." M. Le Provost gave an incorrect note, which he 
amended in the errata at the end of the volume from information supplied 
by Mr. Stapleton. Our author has faithfully followed Bede both as to the 
place and date of Wilfred's death. The former is Oundle, in Northamp- 
tonshire, a monastery to which he retired when deprived of his bishopric. 
He was interred at Ripon. See Bede's Eccles. Hist. b. v. c. 19; Saxon 
Chronicle, A.D. 709. 


he governed the church of Rouen seventeen years 1 in the 
time of popes Paul, Constantine, and Stephen. The em- 
peror Constantino, son of Leo, assembled at Constantinople 
a council of three hundred and thirty bishops. Pope 
Stephen, harassed by the persecutions of Astolphus, king of 
the Lombards, repaired to France and consecrated King 
Pepin and his sons Charles and Charlemagne. At that 
time Boniface, archbishop of Mayence, and Guy, abbot of 
Fontenelles, flourished. Constantine, and Abdallas emir, 
king of the Saracens, rivalled each other in persecuting the 
orthodox. Leo the son of Constantine, the seventy-first 
emperor from Augustus, reigned five years. King Pepin 
died the eighth of the calends of October [24th September^, 
in the year of our Lord 768, and was succeeded by his son 

29. " Bishop Meginhard, full of the odour of sanctity, 
taught his flock and purified them from the foulness of sin." 
He flourished in the time of Pope Adrian for eight years. 2 
Charles undertook an expedition to Rome in the sixth year of 
his reign ; on his return he took Pavia, and making prisoner 
Desiderius king of the Lombards, who had grievouly 
harassed Pope Adrian, he led him captive to France, and 
expelled his son Adolgiso out of Italy. This Desiderius 
was the thirty-first king of the Lombards. On account of 
his crimes, the royal dignity ended with him, and the Lom- 
bard people never afterwards had a king of their own, but 
has been always subject to the kings of the Franks or the 
emperors of Germany. The first chiefs of the Guiuili were 
Ibor and Aio, who, with their mother Gambara, led those 
tribes from the island of Scandinavia. 3 The names of their 

1 A.D. 755 January 19, 772. 

* A.D. 772799. 

3 The ancients included Sweden, Norway, and an indefinite portion of 
the north of Europe adjoining, in what they called the island of Scan- 
dinavia. Those two kingdoms, with Denmark, have been more properly 
designated the Scandinavian peninsula in modern times. 

It would be impossible, in the compass of a note, to consider the 
question of the Scandinavian origin here attributed to the Lombards 
by our author, in common with Paul the deacon. Every one knows 
that this name was attached to them after their migration to the borders 
of civilization. Our author constantly calls them Guinili or Winili, and 
the best geographers place them between the Elbe and the Oder in the 


kings in succession were : Agelmund, Lamissio, Lethu, 
Hildehoc and Godehoc, Clepho and Tato, Wacho, Waltarith, 
Audoin, and Alboin. Agelmund led the Lombards into 
Bulgaria, Audoin into Pannonia, and Alboin, with the aid 
of the patrician N arses, into Italy. King Alboin was killed 
by his armour-bearer Helmechis, at the instigation of his 
wife Eosamond, upon which Clepho was elected king by the 
people. He was succeeded by his son Flavius Autarith, who 
married Theodilind, daughter of Garibald, king of the 
Bajoari. Autarith was poisoned after reigning six years, 
and Agilulf Ago, duke of Turin, obtained his queen and 
kingdom, which, on his death twenty-five years afterwards, 
he left to his. son Adoloald. That young prince, with his 
mother Theodelind, governed the Lombards for ten years, 
and was succeeded by Eotharith, a brave king, but infected 
with the corruptions of the Arian heresy. After reigning 
sixteen years, he abdicated in favour of his son Eodoald, 
who, five years [months ?] afterwards, being surprised in 
adultery, was killed by his Lombard rival. Aripert, son of 
Gondoald and nephew of Queen Theodelind, succeeded, 
and after a reign of nine years left the kingdom to his sons 
Bertharith and Godibert. Meanwhile Grimoald, duke of 
Beneventum, had married Eodelind, daughter of King Ari- 
pert, and got rid of her brothers, Godibert, by putting him 
to death, and Bertharith, by driving him out of the king- 
dom. On his death, nine years afterwards, Bertharith 
recovered his throne, having ejected Garibald, the son of 
Grimoald, who had occupied it three months. Bertharitli 
reigned eighteen years, and after him Cunipert twelve years; 
on whose death the Lombards had four kings in two years ; 
viz., Liutpert, son of Cunipert, Eaginpert, son of Godibert 
and duke of Turin, Aripert his son, and Eotharith, duke of 
Bergamo. In the end, Aripert, being the most powerful, 
slew Liutpert and Eotharith ; he expelled Ansprand, Liut- 
pert' s guardian, from the island of Comacine, 1 and put out 

reigns of Augustus and Trajan. The assertion of their Scandinavian origin 
is attacked by Cluverius, a native of Prussia, Germania Antiq. 1. 3, c. 26, 
p. 102, &c., and defended by Grotius, the Swedish ambassador, Prolegom. 
ad Hint. Gottornm, p. 28. 

1 This island gave its name to the Lake of Como, anciently called the 
Larian Lake. 


the eyes of his son Sigisbrand, reigning afterwards nine 
years, and granting to St. Peter more than his predecessors 
had wrested from the apostolic see. At last, while swim- 
ming in the Po, he sunk from the weight of gold he had 
about him, and was drowned. Ansprand, though a sagacious 
prince, reigned only three months, but Liutprand, his bold 
son, maintained himself on the throne nearly thirty-two 
years. His nephew Hildebrand, who succeeded him, died 
two years afterwards. Then Ratchis and Astolphus, sous of 
Penmon duke of Friuli, seized the crown, but the first- 
named voluntarily abdicated and became a monk at Rome. 
Astolphus harassed the church in various ways while Stephen 
was pope, but at last, by the judgment of God, was pierced 
by an arrow while he was hunting. Finally, Duke Desi- 
derius was made king of the Lombards by the aid of Pope 
Stephen, but having secured the crown, he commenced hos- 
tilities against the pope and clergy and people of Rome. 
This made it necessary for Pope Adrian to invite the help of 
the Franks, who crushed, and to this day have trodden down, 
the fierce power of the Lombards. This took place in the 
time of Mainard, bishop of Rouen, in the year of our Lord 

30. "Bishop Willebert 1 succeeded; he was firm but gentle, 
and the faithful shepherd of his flock." He held the see 
forty-eight years in the times of popes Adrian, Leo, Stephen, 
and Paschal, while Contantine, Leo, Nicephorus, and his 
son Stauracius, Michael, Leo (the Armenian), and Michael, 
were emperors of Constantinople. Charles, king of the 
Franks, rose to the summit of power, and extended his 
dominion surprisingly over all his neighbours. He razed 
the walls of Pampeluna, took Saragossa by siege, reduced to 
submission Grascony, Spain, and Saxony, and ravaged the 
territories of the Bavarians, the Sclaves, who are called 
Wiltzes, and the Huns. In the time of Constantino and 
his mother Irene, a stone coffin was found at Constantinople 
with a man's body lying in it, and which had this inscription, 
" Christ shall be born of the Virgin Mary, and I believe in 
him. When Constantine and Irene are emperors, O sun, 

1 All that is known of Bishop Willebert is that he was one of the missi 
dominici, or imperial commissioners, in 823. He filled the see, not forty- 
eight years, but at furthest twenty-eight. 


thou shalt see me again." 1 In the time of Pope Leo, there 
was a great earthquake which shook almost all Italy, and 
threw down great part of the roof and timber work of St. 
Paul's. In the year of our Lord 800, the eighth indiction, 
King Charles received the imperial crown from Pope Leo, 
and was received by the Eoman people with acclamations of 
Augustus. At the time of Charles's death his reign had 
lasted forty-seven years ; he was succeeded by his own son 
Lewis, who reigned twenty-seven years. Archbishop Guille- 
bert was of his privy council. 

31. " Eainoward,* happily, came next in order : he fostered 
the meek, and kept the rebellious in subjection." He held 
the see ten years in the times of popes Eugenius, Valentine, 
and Gregory IV., under the emperor Theophilus. In his 
time there were great troubles in France arising out of the 
rebellion of Lothaire against his father Lewis the Pious. The 
Northmen also began to ravage Britain and other countries. 
In consequence the body of St. Philibert was translated 
from the island of Noirmoutier. 8 

32. " Gumbald 4 pursued the even tenor of a just life, 
regarding his people with the feeling of a venerable pastor." 
This bishop governed the see of Eouen eleven years in the 
times of popes Gregory and Sergius, and during the reigns 
of the emperors Michael and his son Theophilus. The em- 
peror Lewis died on the twelfth of the calends of July [20th 
June], 840 ; and Archbishop Drogo, his brother, caused his 
body to be carried to Metz for interment. The empire was 
divided between Lewis's three sons, Lewis, Lothaire, and 
Charles the Bald, but not without hostilities, for a bloody 
battle was fought near Auxerre on the seventh of the calends 
of July [25th June], in which Christian nations put each 
other to the sword without mercy. The relics of St. Ouen were 
removed at the time the Northmen ravaged Eouen and burnt 
liis monastery, on the ides [15th] of May. 

33. " The 'illustrious Paul, 5 worthy of the episcopal dig- 

1 Our author has already told this story in precisely the same terms, in 
book i. See vol. I p. 132. 

3 Rainoward, or Ragnoard, 828837 or 838. 

8 See book i. vol. i. p. 135. 

* Guntbald, 833 January, 848. 

5 Paul, January 6, 849855. 


nity to which he was raised, distinguished himself both by 
his teaching and the excellence of his life." He held the 
see six years, in the time of Pope Sergius and the emperor 
Michael. Lothaire retained that part of Prance which his 
father had allotted to him, with the title of king, which is 
now called Lorraine, that is the realm of Lothaire. Charles 
the Bald, a pious and powerful prince, was king of the 
Franks and emperor of Eome. 

34 " Wanilo, 1 a wise prelate, deeply versed in sacred learn- 
ing, taught his flock the laws of eternal salvation." He 
flourished eleven years in the times of popes Leo, Benedict, 
and Nicholas. In the fifth year of his episcopate, there was 
hard frost from the day before the calends of December to 
the nones of April [30th November 5th April], 

35. " Adelard, 2 remarkable for the natural goodness of his 
disposition, religiously defended the rights of the highest 
order of the clergy." He held the see three years in the 
time of Pope Nicholas. Basil killed his master Michael at 
Constantinople, and reigned in his stead twenty years. 
A severe famine, and mortality, with a murrain among the 
cattle, raged throughout the world for three years. 

36. "Eiculfus, 8 the fortunate and good, sprung from a 
noble stock, added large domains to the territories of the 
church." He held the see three years, in the times of popes 
Nicholas and Adrian. 

37. " John, 4 by divine right, an eminent bishop, shone 
brightly in the ranks of his order by the light of his virtues." 
He was archbishop of Rouen two years. 

38. " Witto, 5 ascending the pontifical throne, became 
eminent for his prudence and holy doctrine." He held 
the see one year in the times of Pope Adrian and the empe- 
ror Basil. 

39. " Franco 6 succeeded ; the kind protector of the people, 
he baptized Eollo in the holy font." This bishop flourished 
fourty-four years, in the times of popes John, Marinus, 

1 Wanilo, 855871. 

2 Adelard, 871 March, 872. 

3 Riculfus, 872 875. There are extant an original charter of this 
bi-hop, and another addressed to him by Charles the Bald. 

* John I., 875 at least till 888. 

* Witto, at least 892909. 
6 Franco, 909? 919. 


Adrian, and Stephen. Then Leo and Alexander, the sons of 
Basil, reigned twenty-two years. In the year of our Lord 
876, Eollo and his followers invaded Neustria, and for thirty 
years afterwards ravaged Prance with fire, sword, and rapine. 
He fought against Eichard, duke of Burgundy, and Ebblis of 
Poitou, with other French princes, and puffed up with his re- 
peated triumphs, grievously harassed the Christians. At last 
Charles the Simple, son of Lewis Faineant, 1 no longer able to 
resist Eollo, came to terms with him, giving him his daughter 
GHsla in marriage, and ceding Neustria. At that time Alex- 
ander and Constantine, with their mother Zoe, and Eomanus 
the Armenian, were emperors at Constantinople. 

40. " Gunhard, 2 next filled the episcopal seat ; rendering 
great services to the people, and prudently conciliating." 
He held the see with distinction twenty-three years, in the 
time of the emperors Eomanus, the Armenian, and Constan- 
tine. Duke Eobert now usurped the crown of France ; the 
same year King Charles attacked and killed the traitor, but 
in the end Hugh, son of the deceased duke, prevailed. Soon 
afterwards Herbert, count de Peronne, brother-in-law of 
Hugh the Great, got possession of the king's person by a 
stratagem, and kept him ia prison till he died, three years 
afterwards. Lewis, the king's son, with his mother Edgiva, 
took refuge in England with Athelstan his uncle, son of King 
Edward the Elder; and Eodolph, the illustrious son of 
Eichard, duke of Burgundy, and Charles's nephew, usurped 
the throne seven years. On his death "William Long-sword, 
duke of Normandy, was moved by the entreaties of the 
French to invite Lewis to return from England, and restored 
him to his father's throne as the lawful heir. 4 Agapete, 
Basil, Stephen, Formosus, John, and Stephen filled the 
apostolic see. William, the son of Eollo, restored the abbey 
of Jumieges, 5 and had a strong desire to retire there and 

1 Ludovici Nihilfecit. This surname is often attached to Lewis-le- 
Begue (the stammerer) by the chroniclers of the middle ages. See the 
notes in p. 136 of vol. L, respecting our author's account of Hollo. 

3 Gunthard, 919942? 

8 Louis-d'Outre-Mer, so called from his having taken refuge beyond 
sea, was restored in 936. M. Le Prevost observes that he was brought 
over by William, archbishop of Sens. 

4 William Long-sword restored the monastery of Jumiegea in 940 by 
means of thirteen monks, whom he brought for the purpose from Poitiers, 


become a monk under Abbot Martin, but the abbot deferred 
it until William's son was old enough to take the govern- 
ment. Meanwhile the duke, having administered it with 
firmness twenty-five years, and reduced his enemies and 
neighbours either by force or policy, was murdered by Arnulf, 
count of Flanders, on an island in the Somme, where he un- 
suspectingly went to a conference with him on the fifteenth 
of the calends [15th] of January. Bichard his son, sur- 
named Sprotiades, who was then only ten years old, succeeded 
to the dukedom. Duke William and Gunhard, archbishop 
of Rouen, both died in the year of our Lord 942, when 
Louis d'Outrcmer was king of France. 

41. " Hugh 1 succeeded Gunhard ; a violator of the law of 
God, a prelate of illustrious birth, but who failed to be 
illuminated by the light of Christ." He held the bishopric 
forty-seven years, but is not spoken of in terms of praise by 
any of the writers who have given accounts of him and his 

by the intervention of his sister Gerloc, countess of Perth. M. Le Prevost 
remarks that nothing short of this could have induced monks to go and 
settle in the middle of brigands, such as the Normans were at this time. 
He says with respect to William's personal intentions : " Our historians 
represent him as aspiring to the monastic life for himself. If one may 
believe them, it was with the greatest reluctance he submitted to the delay 
enjoined him by Abbot Martin, who had more sense than his prince, and 
was not to be satisfied till he had extorted from him a gown and a cowl, 
which he carefully enclosed in a chest, the silver key of which he always 
carried hanging by a string to his neck. Unfortunately, the impartial 
Frodoard gives a flat refutation to all these monkish tales, by describing 
William as engaged that year more than ever in warlike enterprises, and 
heading an expedition against Rheims. Another historian, in reference to 
events which occurred in 940, calls him the most ferocious duke of Nor- 
mandy. The monk Richer, who often brings him on the scene, can find no 
other description so fitting for him as that of ' Prince of the Pirates,' and 
exhibits him as not having the slightest disposition to the abnegation and 
gentleness of the monastic life." 

1 It was towards the end of 942, and consequently a year before his own 
tragic end, that William Long-sword summoned Hugh from the abbey of 
St. Denys to raise him to the see of Rouen. It would have been difficult 
at that time to have made a more promising selection, but the bishop 
disappointed all the expectations formed respecting him. He completely 
abandoned the monastic life to give himself up to the pomps of the world 
and the works of the flesh, having a numerous offspring, and alienating the 
domains of his church. Among others, he gave Tobeni to his brother 
Ralph, who thus became founder of the family of the lords of Tooeni and 
Conches, and of Stafford in England. 


predecessors. Indeed, they plainly intimate that he was a 
monk by his habit only, and not by his conduct. In hia 
time, Marinus, Agapete, Octavian, Leo, Benedict, and John, 
filled the apostolical see ; and the kingdoms of the world 
were agitated by great revolutions. King Lewis got 
possession of Rouen, and, taking Richard the duke captive 
by surprise, brought him to Laon, and there threw him into 
prison ; but by God's providence and the prudence of 
Osmond, his guardian, he made his escape. Then Harold, 
king of Denmark, at the instance of Bernard, the Dane, 
landed in Normandy at the head of an army to punish King 
Lewis for the murder of William Long-sword. A battle 
was fought on the river Dive, in which Herluin, count of 
Montreuil, with his brother Lambert, and sixteen other 
French counts were slain, and Lewis was taken prisoner and 
sent captive to the tower of Eouen. Q-erberg, queen of 
France, who was daughter of Henry, the Trans-Rhenish 
emperor, made peace with the Normans, by the advice of 
Hugh the Great, giving as hostages for the observance of the 
treaty her son Lothaire and two bishops, Hilderic of 
Beauvais, and Guy of Soissons. In consequence, the king 
was set at liberty, and the Count Richard, the father of his 
country, was established in power. 1 The emperor Otho 
over-ran Italy; Stephen and Constantino, the sons of 
Romanus, deposed their father Romanus from the throne of 
Constantinople, but Constantino expelled them in turn, and, 
having associated his son Romanus in the government, they 
reigned sixteen years, and were succeeded by the Emperor 
Nicephorus. Ludolf, son of King Otho, died, after having 
subdued Italy, and Otho, an infant, was raised to the 
throne at Aix-la-Chapelle. Nicephorus, having been 
murdered by his wife, was succeeded by John, whose niece 
was married to the Emperor Otho. In England, King 
Edmund was traitorously murdered in the sixth year of his 
reign, and his brother Edred was raised to the throne. At 
his death, Edgar, Edmund's son, succeeded, and during a 
long reign rendered great services to the people and the 
church. At that time, Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, 

1 The taking of Rouen, the captivity of Louis-d'Outre-mer, and the 
restoration of Duke Richard, seem all to belong to the year 945, or the 
beginning of 946. 


and Oswald, of York, with Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, 
ruled the church with great lustre ; and, by their care and 
exertions, seconded by the favour and assistance of King 
Edgar, twenty-six abbeys were erected in England. After 
the death of Lewis, his son Lothaire reigned six years. 
He was the last of the race of Charlemagne who sat on the 
throne of France : for Charles, and the other sons of King 
Lothaire were placed in confinement, and Hugh the Great, 
son of Hugh the Great, was elected king. 

42. "Robert, an eminent prelate, of most illustrious 
origin, after governing happily, ended his days devoutly." 
He was son of Duke Richard the Elder by Gunnor, and 
was for forty-eight years archbishop of Rouen and count of 
Evreux, in the time of Robert, king of France, and his son 
Henry. During that period Agapete and Silvester 
[Gerbert], John and Benedict, and another John and 
Benedict, filled the see of Rome. Otho, Henry, and 
Conrad, were emperors in lawful succession. Archbishop 
Robert was amply endowed with the goods of this world, 
and took a deep interest in the secular affairs of his city, nor 
did he observe the continence which was becoming his order. 1 
For, in his character of count, he took a wife named 
Harleve, by whom he had three sons, Richard, Ralph, and 
William, to whom he bequeathed his county of Evreux, and 
his other ample honours and possessions, according to the 
secular laws. But, as he advanced in years, he became 
sensible of his errors, and repenting of them was struck 
with alarm at his many and great offences. He therefore 
distributed alms largely to the poor, and began to rebuild 
from the foundations the cathedral church of Rouen, 
dedicated to the holy mother of God; and he completed a 
considerable part of the new erection. 2 Richard II., duke 
of Normandy, governed the province thirty years with 
signal success. He was a great friend to the poor in 
Christ, the clergy and monks, treating them as a father, and 
augmented and protected three monasteries which his 

1 Robert was archbishop of Rouen from 989 or 990 1137. He was 
also count of Evreux. Our author's suggestion that it was in that character 
he married, though as an ecclesiastic he was bound to celibacy, is rather 

* It was finished by Archbishop Mauritius, and consecrated in 1065. 


father had founded, viz., that of Fecamp, St. Ouen in the 
suburbs of Eouen, and St. Michael-in-peril-of-the-Sea. 1 Ho 
also restored the abbey of Eontenelles, 2 and ratified by his 
charter all the endowments made in its favour by Turstin, 
and Gerard Fleitel, and other barons. At his death he 
bequeathed his dominions to his sons Richard the younger 
and Eobert, who did not enjoy their honours more than nine 
years. For Richard III. was taken off by poison before two 
years were over, and after seven years and a half, his 
brother Robert undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On 
quitting his country never to return, he left the dukedom to 
his son William, a boy eight years old, appointing his 
cousin Alan count of Brittany to be his guardian. 3 At 
this time, Alfred and Edward, the young English princes, 
became exiles in Normandy ; for Richard II. had given his 
sister in marriage to Ethelred king of England, who had 
by her Alfred, and Edward, who was afterwards king. That 
princess after her husband's death sent her sons to 
Normandy, and married Canute king of Denmark, to whom 
she bore Hardicanute, king of Denmark and England, and 
G-unilde who was married to Henry, emperor of the 
Romans. 4 

1 Richard I. settled regular canons in the ancient convent of nuns at 
Fecamp, founded by Waninge in 658. The church was dedicated the 
16th of May, 990, by the new archbishop. Richard II. substituted 
monks under the blessed William of Dijon in 1001. About the same 
epoch lived Hildebert, first abbot of St. Ouen after the Norman invasion, 
nd probably a disciple of William. Monks were substituted for canons at 
Mont St. Michael in 965. 

* The abbey of Fontenelles, now called St. Wandrille, was restored about 
the year 950, by Mainard, a monk of Ghent. 

* Alan III., duke of Brittany, was, by his mother, Hawise, daughter of 
Richard L, cousin -german of Robert, in 103(> Alain came (o the aid 01 
the young duke William, and was poisoned on the 1st of October, 1040, at 
Vimoutier, while carrying on the siege of the castle of Montgomery. He 
was buried at Fecamp. 

4 Emma, daughter of Richard I., married Ethelred in 1002, and had by 
him Edward the Confessor, Alfred, and Edith, Code, or Godeve, married 
first to Dreux, count de Vexin and Amiens, and afterwards to Eustace II., 
count de Boulogne. She afterwards married Canute the Great in 1017, by 
whom she had Hardicanute and Gunilde. After an eventful life, she died 
at Winchester the 6th of March, 1052, and was interred in the cathedral 
there. Her daughter Gunilde died at Bruges the 21st of August, 1042, 
with such reputation for personal charms, that three centuries afterwards 
she was still described as the most lovely of women. 


43. " Mauger was still young when he was elevated to 
the highest ecclesiastical rank : he was illustrious only for 
his birth and not for his actions." He was the son of 
Richard II. by his second wife named Papia, and governed 
the see of Rouen eighteen years, in the times of popes 
Clement, Damasus, and Leo, without the apostolic 
benediction and the pallium. 1 He was unbecomingly 
addicted to the desires of the flesh, and involved in worldly 
pursuits ; he had a son named Michael, a brave and honest 
knight, who is now in England in the decline of life, and 
much beloved and honoured by King Henry. There were 
at this time great commotions in the world, grievously 
harassing and afflicting the nations. The Saracens 
invading Sicily, Italy, and other Christian kingdoms, 
carried fire, and sword, and rapine, into every quarter. 
Manichetus, 2 emperor of Constantinople, assembled the 
imperial forces, and, after many disasters, attacked and 
defeated the infidels, and delivered the frontiers of Christen- 
dom from their ravages. He also translated the bones of 
St. Agatha, virgin and martyr, and the relics of many other 
saints from Sicily to Constantinople, that they might not be 
profaned in fresh irruptions of the infidels. Diogenes 3 
succeeding him, Osmund, Drengot, and Drogo, and other 
Normans began to settle in Apulia, and to turn their arms 
manfully against the Arabs and pseudo-Christians. 4 In the 

1 The date of Mauger's elevation is unknown, but he was deposed in a 
council held at Liseux in 1 055. He was then banished to the island of 
Jersey, where there are still many traditions concerning him, and even 
claims of filiation. For the particulars of his death, see Wac.e, t. ii. p. 61, 
inc. Being a native of Jersey, his information was good. 

2 The name should be written Maniaces. He assumed the purple in 
1042, but was not acknowledged emperor, being killed in battle on his 
march to Constantinople for the purpose of dethroning the emperor Con- 
stantino Monomachus. He brought back the relics of St. Agatha from 
Catania to Constantinople about the year 1040, whence they had been 
carried to Sicily in 1 127. 

3 Romanus Diogenes, emperor in 1068, did not succeed Maniaces, as 
we have just seen. There was an interval of twenty-six years between 

4 Osmund, or Godfrey Drengo, and the other Normans, had established 
themselves in the south of Italy long before this. They first made their 
appearance there in 1016, took service under Melo in 1017, and had 
rendered him great assistance in 1019, when the loss of a battle reduced 
their numbers from two hundred and fifty to ten. Melo, who went to 


end, Eobert Guiscard, after long hostilities, obtained, first 
from Harduin the Lombard and his nephew Melo, and 
afterwards from Pope Leo, a grant of Apulia, on condition 
of his for ever defending it against the enemies of St. 
Peter. By the help of God he bravely held it, extending 
his power into Sicily, Calabria, and Bulgaria, and be- 
queathing his territories to his children as their hereditary 
right. 1 

In Normandy many crimes were perpetrated at this time. 
The Normans took off by poison Alan, count of Brittany, 
their own duke's guardian, and defeated his successor, 
Count Gislebert, in a bloody battle, the two nations 
massacring each other incredibly in almost daily encounters. 
Likewise, Turketil de Neufmarche, and Eoger de Toni, and 
Osbern, steward of Normandy, and William and Hugh, the 
two sons of Roger de Montgomery, and Eobert de 
Beaumont, "Walkelin de Ferrers, and Hugh de Montfort, 
and many other powerful knights, made war on each other 
in turn, causing great confusion and distress in the country, 
which was now deprived of its natural protectors. 2 

implore the aid of the emperor of Germany against the Greeks, died at 
Bamburg in 1020. A new band of Normans then came into Italy under 
Drengo, who was compelled to leave his country in consequence of having 
killed William Repostel, the favourite of Richard II. Ranulf, one of 
their chiefs, was created count of Aversa in 1030. At that time they 
joined the Greeks and Lombards in driving the Saracens out of Sicily. 
Our author calls the Greeks pseudo-Christians, on account of their being 
schismatics from the church of Rome. In 1042 Drogo became lord of 
Venosa, and his brother, William Bras-de-fer, of Ascoli. In 1043, 
William was proclaimed count of Apulia. Drogo succeeded him, and was 
assassinated in 1051. 

1 Robert Guiscard did not become count of Apulia until 1057, after the 
death of his brother Humphrey. He had nothing to do with Harflouin 
or Melo, who were dead before his arrival. It waa Humphrey who 
received from Pope Leo IX., in 1054, the investiture of all the territories 
gained, or which he should conquer, from the Greeks, though these 
dominions never belonged to the holy see. But Pope Nicholas II., in 
1060, changed Robert's title of count of Apulia, to that of Duke of 
Apulia and Calabria. The conquest of Sicily was begun in 1061, by 
Roger, Robert's brother, and completed by taking Palermo from the 
Saracens in 1072. The invasion of Epirus took place in 1081, and was 
still prosecuted when Robert Guiscard died in the island of Cephalonia, 
the 17th of July, 1085, leaving the principality of Tarentum to his eldest son, 
Boemond, and the duchy of Apulia and Calabria to his second son, Roger. 

2 This important paragraph adds some valuable details to the account 

M 2 


In England, on the death of King Hardicanutc, Edward, 
his half-brother succeeded, and reigned worthily and 
prosperously twenty-three years. In Brittany, Eudes 
succeeded his brother Alan, and held his principality for 
fifteen years as freely as if he owed no fealty to a superior 
lord. 1 God also gave him seven sons, who became remark- 
able for the singular and changeable events of their lives. 
The studious might compose a long and pleasing history, 
from true accounts of their various fortunes. 

44. " Maurilius, a prelate enlightened with sound learn- 
ing, and of exemplary life, was no less distinguished by his 
good deeds." A native of Mayence, 2 he had governed a 
monastery at Florence, with the rank of abbot, but exposing 
himself to the hatred of offenders by the severity of his 
discipline, he detected them in mixing poison in some 
beverage which was offered to him. Upon this, he imitated 
the example of the most holy father and doctor, St. 
Benedict, and, leaving those incorrigible sinners, accom- 
panied his countryman Gerbert, a learned and pious monk, to 
Normandy, where he came to Fecamp in the time of Abbot 
John, and chose that house dedicated to the worship of the 
holy and undivided Trinity for his fixed abode. Some time 
afterwards he was taken from thence and raised by a 

given in book i. c. 24 (vol. i. p. 149, &c.) of the fierce intestine quarrels 
which distracted the court of the young duke during his minority. It 
appears that these disorders did not commence until after the Normans 
had rid themselves of Alan, duke of Brittany, by poisoning him, the 1st 
of October, 1040. Turketil, governor of the young prince, here called 
lord of Neuf-Marche'-en-Lions, must be the same person who is designated 
by William de Jumieges as Turold. Perhaps the name is only a diminu- 
tive of Turold, as Ansketel is of Hans. On the circumstances attending 
the death of Gislebert, count de Brionne, see before, vol. i. p. 391; and 
some details are given with respect to the other persons mentioned in this 
paragraph, in the notes to pp. 149, 150, of vol. L 

1 Eudes, Count de Penthievre, November 20, 1008 January 7, 1009, 
never assumed the title of duke of Brittany, but was regent for twenty -seven 
years. His nephew, Conon II., was only three months old at the death of 
Alan III. 

^ 2 Maurilius, archbishop of Rouen. September, 1055 August 9, 10G7. 
The Acts of the archbishops of Rouen are far from agreeing exactly with the 
account given by our author. They, as well as his epitaph (see book iv. 
p. 7), describe him as born at Rheims, studying at Liege, and residing for 
some time at Fecamp before he went into Italy. These accounts are 
most probably correct. 


canonical election, on the deposition of Mauger, to the 
metropolitan throne of Eouen. He filled it for twelve years, 
in the times of popes Victor, Stephen, Nicholas, and 
Alexander, and consecrated the metropolitan church in the 
ninth year of his episcopate. He removed with great 
ceremony the bodies of the dukes Eollo and William into 
the new church he dedicated, depositing the remains of 
Eollo near the south door, and those of Duke "William 
within the north door, and caused their epitaphs to be 
inscribed in letters of gold. This is the inscription on 
Eollo's tomb : 

HOLLO the brave lies buried here, 

A name to Normans ever dear ; 

They glory on this tomb to see 

His style of Duke of Normandy. 

In battle's front his followers' shield, 

His sword made boldest foeman yield : 

In the far north his ancient sires, 

From whom he breathed his martial fires, 

To king or lord ne'er bowed the knee, 

But held their lands from service free. 1 

And first he fleshed his maiden sword, 

With bands obedient to his word, 

On kindred Danes, whose numerous hosts 

Before him hushed their warlike boasts. 

Then Hainault's sand, and Frisia's fen, 

And coast of marshy Walcheren, 

Poured forth their mingled bands to feel 

The terrors of the Northmen's steel ; 

But Frisons, spite their neighbours aid, 

Their tribute and their homage paid. 

From firths and islets of the north, 

Again he launched his galleys forth, 

And boldly sailing o'er the main, 

Burst like a tempest on the Seine. 

The plains of France were stained with gore, 

Her bravest sons he backward bore ; 

1 M. Le Prevost remarks that this and the following epitaph are 
founded on the fabulous traditions connected with the first two dukes of 
Normandy, which were current in the middle ages. One thing is, however, 
certain, however the author of these lines gained his information, that he 
gives here a very exact description of the independence of the old Scandi- 
navian landholders, among whom the feudal tenures, with their burden- 
some services, were never introduced. It may be further observed, that in 
Norway the free udal rights have continued in force, through all revolu- 
tions, to the present day. 


Now Bayeux yielded to his arms, 

And sweeping on with war's alarms 

In the full tide of victory, 

Twice regal Paris groaned to see 

The Northmen thundering at her gates. 

For thirty years the cruel fates 

Gave France to rapine, sword, and fire, 

Till helpless Charles the conqueror's ire 

Soothed by his gifts, to stay the strife, 

A province and a royal wife. 

Then the fierce heathen humbly bent 

Before the Christian sacrament ; 

And Franco on that happy day 

Washed in the font his sins away. 

The savage wolf a lamb became, 

May God, propitious, cleanse his shame ! 

A funeral elegy was engraved in letters of gold on the 
tomb of William Long-sword, which stands on the north 

DUKE WILLIAM'S friends who dared assail ! 
Against his arms who could prevail ! 
Princes and kings his will obeyed, 
Imperial Henry's mind he swayed. 
Five times five years his skill and might 
The Normans led through field and fight. 
He reared Jumieges's mouldering towers, 
And raised again her cloistered bowers ; 
While to her shades his willing feet, 
Fain would have turned in habit meet, 
And, heaven-taught, in that holy school, 
Submitted to St. Bennett's rule. 
But wiser MARTIN checked his zeal, 
And bade him seek his country's weal. 
'Twas not for him in peaceful cell 
With pious anchorites to dwell, 
But still in arms to spend his life, 
And end it by the assassin's knife, 
Where on the Somme's translucent streair 
An islet's shadows softly gleam : 
Arnold the Fleming planned the deed. 
May heavenly grace the victim speed 
In the last awful day of need ! l 

1 The two epitaphs preserved by our author were not engraved on the 
new tombs to which the remains of the first dukes of Normandy were 
transferred after the cathedral of Rouen was rebuilt. These are still to be 
seen, one in the north, the other in the south transept of the church in the 
first two chapels towards the nave. 


In the year of our Lord 1063, in the month of October, iu 
the second indiction, Archbishop Mauritius consecrated with 
great ceremony the metropolitan church of St. Mary, mother 
of God, in the city of Rouen, which Robert had begun. 
This was the eighth year of the reign of the emperor Henry 
IV., and the fourth of that of Philip, son of Henry king of 
France. The same year the Normans obtained possession 
of the city of Mans. It was also the tenth year from the 
battle of Mortemer, and the seventeenth from that fought 
between William and Guy at Valesdunes. 1 At the same 
time Michael drove his father-in-law Diogenes from the 
imperial throne at Constantinople, and seized the crown 
which he not long afterwards disgracefully lost. In 
England, there was great dissension on the death of King 
Edward, Harold, the perjured son of Godwin, who had no 
claim to royal blood, having usurped the throne by fraud 
and violence. 

History's ancient annals fix 
The year one thousand sixty-six 
(Then a fiery comet whirled, 
Dreadful omen, round the world), 
As the time when England's lord 
Fell before the Norman's sword. 

The same year the battle of Senlac was fought, in which 
Harold was slain. It was on the second of the ides [14th] 
of October that "William obtained this victory, and he was 
crowned on the following Christmas day. 

45. " John, raised to the see of Rouen, was a vigilant 
pastor, and studied to observe the lessons of the apostolical 
law." He was the son of Ralph, count de Bayeax, and 
having been originally bishop of Avranches, was elevated to 
the primacy, which he held for ten years in the time of 
popes Alexander and Gregory VII. 2 

46. " Next, "William, a prelate of high birth and great 
benevolence, canonically governed the people of Rouen." 

1 The year 1063 was, in point of fact, the fourth of Philip I. (August, 
29, 1060), and the eighth of the emperor Henry IV. It was also the 
seventeenth after the battle of Valesdunes, and the tenth after that of 
Mortemer. In the text of Duchesne, the reference to the battle of Mor- 
temer is omitted, and the date attached to it is given to that of Vaiestlune?. 

a See before, p. 123, respecting the period and duration of the episcopate 
of John d'Avranclies. 


He was the second abbot of Caen, from whence he was 
removed to the archbishopric, which he filled thirty-two 
years, 1 in the time of popes Gregory, Victor, Urban, and 
Paschal. He buried King William and his queen Matilda 
at Caen. Their son Eobert succeeded to the duchy of 
Normandy, and "William to the kingdom of England. 

In the year of our Lord 1095, there was a great drought 
and mortality, and falling stars were seen in the heavens on 
a night in the month of May. Pope Urban held a great 
council at Clermont, and preached the crusade to Jerusalem 
against the infidels. 2 At the same time there was a severe 
famine in France. In the year of our Lord 1099, 3 the 
seventh indiction, Jerusalem was taken by the holy pilgrims, 
the infidels who had long held it being conquered ; and the 
abbey church of St. Evroult at Ouche was consecrated on 
the ides [13th] of November. The year following, William 
Kufus, king of England, was pierced by an arrow in 
hunting, and died on the 4th of the nones [2nd] of August. 
He was buried at Winchester, and his brother Henry 
ascended the throne, and was crowned at London on the 
nones [5th] of August. It is now the twenty-seventh 
year since he began his reign. 4 By God's providence, he 
has enjoyed a full share of worldly prosperity, mixed 
however with some adverse events among his family and 
friends, arising from disturbances among his subjects. 
Philip, king of France, died, after a reign of forty-eight 
years, and his son Lewis succeeded in the ninth year of 
King Henry. 5 

47. " The Breton, Geoffrey, wise, eloquent, and severe, 
raised to the highest episcopal rank, fed the people with 
spiritual food." He had been dean of the church of Mans, 
in the time of the venerable bishops Hoel and Hildebert, 
and becoming the forty-seventh metropolitan of Rouen, has 

1 William Bonne- Ame, July, 1079 February 9, 1110. See rol. i. p. 
419, and p. 123 of the present volume, respecting this prelate. 

* This council opened the 18th, and closed the 26th November, 1045. 

3 On Friday, the 15th July, 1099. 

4 It appears from this passage that Ordericus wrote his fifth book 
between the 5th of August, 1 127, and the 5th of August, 1 128. 

* Philip I. died at Melun, the 29th of July, 1108, after a reign of 
forty-nine years, two months, and six days, and Lewis the Fat was 
crowned at Orleans the 2nd of August following. 


now governed the church seventeen years, 1 in the time of 
popes Paschal, Grelasius, Calixtus, and Honorius. Henry I., 
and Lothaire, governed the Latins, and Alexius and John, 
his son, the Greeks. During this period many memorable 
events occurred in the world, which my pen will have to 
record faithfully in their several places, for the information 
of posterity, if my life is spared and attended by divine 
goodness and mercy. 

Kind reader, I entreat your indulgence, now that I am 
about to resume the regular thread of my narrative. I 
have made a long digression while giving an account of the 
archbishops of Rouen, as I was extremely desirous to put 
on record, in full detail, their continuous succession for the 
benefit of those who come after us. For this reason I have 
traced the annals of nearly eight hundred years, and have 
enumerated the whole series of Roman apostles, 8 from Pope 
Eusebius to Lambert of Ostia, who, under the name of 
Honorius, now fills the apostolic see. 3 I have also inserted 
in my work the names of all the emperors, from Constan- 
tine the Great, the founder of Constantinople, to John, the 
son of Alexius, the reigning emperor there,* and to Lothaire, 
the Saxon, who is now emperor of the Romans. 5 I shall 
now return to my own times and to my own country, and 
endeavour to relate what happened in Normandy under 
King William, after the council of Lillebonne. 

CH. X. Quarrels between William I. and Ms eldest son 
Robert leaves his father's court William besieges him in 
Oerberoi They are reconciled for a time Robert finally 
separates from his father. 

[A.D. 1077 ? 6 ] A set of factious young men took advantage 

1 According to another passage in our author, Geoffrey was elevated to 
the see of Rouen in 1111, but it appears from a charter of Henry I. that 
he filled it before the 2nd of March, 1110. 

4 Our author means the popes who are commonly called aposloiles in 
the Romance tongue. 

3 Honorius II., December 21, 1 1 24 February 14, 1130. 

4 John Commenus, August 15, 1118 April 8, 1143. 

& Lothaire II., September 13, 1 1 25 December 4, 1137. 

8 It is extremely difficult, as already observed, to assign certain dates to 


of the inexperience of the king's son Robert, by continually 
flattering him, and urging him to fruitless enterprises. 
Their language was of the following description : " Most 
illustrious son of the king, how is it that you are suffered 
to live in such, extreme indigence ? Your father's courtiers 
so securely guard the treasury that you can scarcely extract 
a penny from it to serve a friend. It is a great disgrace to 
you, as well as loss to us and to many more, that you are 
thus excluded from all share in the royal wealth. Why do 
you submit to this ? He it is who deserves to have money, 
who has the heart to distribute it freely among those who 
ask it. Alas ! your great liberality is miserably curtailed 
by the poverty to which your father's parsimony restricts 
you ; and, not content with chosing his own attendants, he 
imposes upon you men of his own choice for yours. How 
long, brave prince, will you bear this ? Rouse yourself 
manfully, and demand from your father a share of the 
kingdom of England, or at least claim the duchy of Nor- 
mandy, which he long ago granted you in the presence 
of a numerous assemblage of the barons, who are ready to 
support you. It does not become you to submit any 
longer to be lorded over by those who are born to be your 
servants, and to have your demands for your hereditary 
domains rejected, as if you were a stranger and a mendicant. 
If your father agrees, and grants your request, your natural 
spirit and incomparable goodness will be magnificently dis- 
played. But if, on the other hand, he persists in his 
obstinacy, and, giving way to his avarice, refuses you the 
dominions which are your right, assume the lion's part, drive 
from your presence those who are a disgrace to you while 
they serve you, and rely on the counsels and support of 

the long series of quarrels between William I. and his eldest son. A 
passage in book iv. (p. 78) would seem to prove that they commenced as 
early as the year 1074, but we are not able to place the occurrences at 
L'Aigle, which seem to have caused Robert's first departure, earlier than 
the year 1078. One of our principal reasons is the extreme youth, even 
then, of Henry, one of the princes concerned in them, who was born in 
1068. Perhaps we ought, with Florence of Worcester, to assign these 
occurrences to the year 1077, and place the discussion between Robert 
and his father, which our author here proceeds to relate, before the 
attempt of the former to surprise the tower of Rouen, which was followed 
by his taking refuge with Hugh de Chateau-ncuf. 


your friends. Depend upon it, you will find us ready to 
second all your wishes." 

Prince Robert, listening like a raw youth to speeches of 
this sort, had his wrath and ambition violently inflamed, so 
that he went to his father and said : ' My lord the king, 
put me in possession of Normandy, which you granted me 
long ago, before you crossed the sea to make war on 
Harold." 1 To which the king replied: "What you ask, 
my son, is not convenient. It was by Norman valour that 
I made the conquest of England. Normandy is mine by 
hereditary descent, and I will never, while I live, relinquish 
the government." Eobert then said : " But what am I to 
do, what have I to bestow on my followers ?" His father 
answered : " Be obedient to me in all things, as becomes 
you, and be wisely content to share my power in all my 
dominions, as a son under his father." But Robert re- 
torted : " I am not content to act for ever the part of a 
mercenary. I desire to have an establishment of my own, 
that I may be able worthily to recompense my attendants 
for their services. I therefore pray you give up to me the 
dukedom which is my own, that while you are king of 
England, I may be duke of Normandy, but subject always 
to fealty to you." But the king replied : " What you ask, 
my son, is quite preposterous. It is shameful to wish to 
deprive your father of the dominions, which, if you are 
worthy, you will receive from him in due course, with the 
willing assent of the people and the blessing of God. 
Choose good advisers, and drive from your presence the 
rash young men who imprudently tempt and urge you to 
criminal enterprises. Remember what Absalom did ; how 
he rebelled against his father David, and how ill it turned 
out, not only to himself but to Ahitophel and Amasa, and 
his other councillors and abettors. The Normans, always 
restless, are eagerly longing for some disturbance. They 
are endeavouring to incite you to some absurd attempt, in 
order that in the confusion which would ensue, they may 
give the reins to their own insubordinate desires, and 
commit evil with impunity. Do not listen to the persua- 

1 It has been already stated that William named his son Robert as his 
successor in the duchy of Normandy long before the conquest of England, 
but there was no idea of its being given up to him during his father's life. 


sions of a parcel of headstrong youths, but be advised by 
the archbishops William and Lanfranc, and other men of 
wisdom, and experienced nobles. If you carefully attend 
to what I say to you, you will in the end be glad of your 
good conduct. But if, on the other hand, you follow the 
example of Rehoboam, who treated with contempt the 
counsels of Benaiah and other wise men, and suffer yourself 
to be led by these foolish youths, you will long suffer to 
your own cost the humiliation and contempt which he 
experienced before his own people and strangers." Kobert 
then said : " My lord the king, I did not come here to hear 
speeches, of which I have had enough, and more than 
enough, to my infinite disgust from my teachers of grammar; 
answer me plainly concerning the dominion which is my 
right, that I may know what I have to do. One thing I am 
resolved on, and I wish every one to know it, that I will no 
longer do service to any one in Normandy in the mean 
condition of a dependant." 

The king was greatly incensed at this language, and re- 
plied : " I have already told you plainly enough, and I have 
no hesitation in most distinctly informing you that I will 
never suffer my native land of Normandy to pass out of my 
hands as long as I live. Nor will I, neither is it advisable 
that I should, during my life, divide the kingdom of Eng- 
land which I have acquired by immense exertions ; for, as 
our Lord says in the gospel, ' Every kingdom divided against 
itself is brought to desolation.' 1 He who gave me the king- 
dom will dispose of it according to his will. I wish it to be 
understood by all as my fixed purpose that, so long as I live, 
I will not abdicate my prerogative in favour of any one, and 
no human being shall share my kingdom. The consecrated 
crown was solemnly placed on my head by Christ's repre- 
sentatives, and the royal sceptre of Albion was given to me 
alone to bear. It is therefore unbecoming, and altogether 
unjust, that while life remains, I should suffer any one to 
become my equal or my superior within my dominions." 
Upon hearing his father's irrevocable determination, Robert 
said : " Compelled, like Polynices the Theban, to betake my- 
self to a foreign land, henceforth I shall serve strangers, and 
see whether by fortune's favour I cannot gain in exile those 
1 Luke xi. 17. 

A..D. 1077 1078.] BOBEBT CUBT-HOSE AK EXILE. 173 

honours and advantages which are shamefully withheld from 
me in my father's house. Would that it may be mine to 
find a prince like the old Adrastes, to whom I can cheerfully 
offer the tribute of my faithful service, and from whom I 
may receive a grateful acknowledgment." 

Having said this, Robert left his father's presence in 
great anger, and departed from Normandy. There went 
with him Robert de Belesme, 1 William de Breteuil, 2 Roger, 
son of Richard de Bienfaite, Robert de Moubray, 3 William 
de Molines, William de Rupierre, and several others of high 
birth and chivalrous courage, swelling with pride, terrible in 
their fierce encounters with enemies, and ready to undertake 
any enterprise however formidable or unjust. At the head 
of a band of such associates, the young Robert wandered in 
foreign lands for five years to no purpose. 4 He had already 
freely distributed among them his private patrimony, making 
vain promises of aggrandizing their possessions. On their 
part they exalted his hopes by empty professions ; and they 
thus mutually deceived each other by false representations. 

When Robert first quitted his native land, he joined his 
uncle Robert the Frisian, count of Flanders, and his brother 
Eudes, who was archbishop of Treves. 8 He afterwards 
visited other noble kinsmen, dukes, counts, and powerful 
lords of castles in Lorraine, Germany, Aquitaine, and Gas- 
cony. To these he stated his grievances, in which he often 
mixed falsehood with truth. Many listened readily to his 
complaints, and the higher nobles made him liberal presents ; 
but he foolishly lavished on jugglers, parasites, and harlots, 
the supplies he received from his generous friends. When 
they were thus improvidently spent, he was compelled by 
his extreme necessities to have recourse to begging, and, an 

1 Robert de Belesme, son of Roger de Montgomery. 

1 William de Breteuil, son of William Fitz-Osbem. 

8 Robert de Moubray, nephew of Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances. 

4 Our author confounds Prince Robert's first emigration with his second, 
to which only the five years here spoken of can apply. 

8 According to the French genealogists, Eudes, who was archbishop of 
Treves, 1067 1079, was indeed brother of Robert the Frison and Queen 
Miitilda, but the French editor of Ordericus remarks that this is a great 
mistake. This prelate, who was son of Everard, count de Nellembourg in 
STabia, having no connexion with the house of Flanders. 


exile and poor, he sought loans of money from foreign 

Queen Matilda, compassionating her son's distresses with 
a mother's tenderness, often sent him, without the know- 
ledge of her husband, large sums of gold and silver, and 
other things of value. The king, discovering this, forbade 
her with terrible threats from continuing to do so ; but 
finding shortly afterwards that she contumaciously repeated 
the offence, he said to her, in great wrath, " A wise man 
remarked truly, as I myself have reason to find, that 

' A faithless woman is her husband's bane.' 

"Who in the world can henceforth reckon on finding a mis- 
tress who will be faithful and devoted to him ? Behold my 
own wife, whom I love as my very soul, and who is entrusted 
by me with my treasures and jurisdiction through my whole 
dominions, succours my enemies who are plotting against 
my life, enriches them with my wealth, carefully supplies 
them with arms to attack me, and abets and strengthens 
them in every way." To this Matilda replied : " Do not 
wonder, I pray you, my lord, that I have a tender affection 
for my first-born son. By the power of the Most High, 1 if 
my Robert was dead, and buried seven feet in the earth out 
of the sight of living men, and I could bring him to life at 
the expense of my own blood, I would freely shed it for 
him, and I would undergo sufferings greater than can be 
expected from female weakness. How can you suppose that 
I can take any delight in the abundance of wealth, while I 
suffer my son to be crushed by the extremity of want and 
distress ? Far from me be such hardness of heart, nor 
should you, in the fulness of your power, lay such an injunc- 
tion upon me." 

At hearing this the stern prince turned pale, and he 
became so enraged that he ordered one of the queen's 
messengers, whose name was Samson, a Breton by birth, to 
be apprehended, and .to have his eyes forthwith put out. 
However, learning the king's animosity by intelligence from 
those the queen trusted, he made his escape to avoid the 

1 This appears to have been the form of oath used by Queen Mitilda, 
as her husband, William, swore by God's light, par la resplendor Di. 

A.D. 1077 1078.] A HERMIT'S PREDICTION. 175 

barbarous command, and took refuge in all haste at the 
abbey of St. Evroult. He was admitted, at the queen's 
request, by Abbot Mainier, and entered on the monastic life 
for the safety equally of his soul and body. He was 
shrewd, talked well, was continent, and lived as a monk 
twenty-six years. 

At this time there lived in some part of the Teutonic 
country a hermit, who was a devout and holy man, and 
among his other gifts and graces had the spirit of prophecy. 
To this man, Queen Matilda sent messengers and presents, 
earnestly entreating him to pray for her husband and her 
son Kobert, and besides to send her a prediction of what 
would happen to them in time to come. The hermit gra- 
ciously received the messenger of so great a queen, and 
begged time to the third day for making his reply. When 
the third day dawned, he summoned the queen's envoys and 
said to them : " Go, carry back this message from me to 
your mistress. According to your request I have prayed to 
Grod and have seen a vision, in which he revealed to me the 
things I will relate to you. I saw a certain meadow, beau- 
tifully clothed with grass and flowers, and in it there was a 
fierce horse feeding. Herds of cattle stood all round, keenly 
desiring to graze in the meadow, but the wild horse drove 
them away, not suffering any animal to come there and crop 
the grass and the flowers. Unfortunately, the stately and 
high-bred horse suddenly disappeared, and a lascivious heifer 
undertook the guardianship of the luxuriant meadow. Forth- 
with, the whole herd of animals which stood outside ran 
freely in, and depasturing the meadow in every part, de- 
stroyed all its former beauty, without fear of its guardian, 
treading it under foot, and defiling it with their dung. On 
seeing this I was much astonished, and asked my conductor 
what it meant. He therefore explained the whole, saying : 
' The meadow which you behold is Normandy, and the grass 
is the multitude of people, living in peace and in abundance 
of all things. The flowers represent the churches, where 
are to be found the chaste companies of the monks and 
clergy and nuns, and where faithful souls are continually 
engaged in holy contemplations. The unbridled horse sig- 
nifies William, king of the English, under whose protection 


the sacred orders of the devout securely war for the king 
of angels. 1 The greedy animals which stand around are the 
Franks, the Bretons, and the men of Picardy and Anjou, 
and other neighbouring people, who are jealous of the pros- 
perity of Normandy, and are ready to pounce upon its 
resources, like wolves on their prey, but are repelled by the 
unconquerable might of King William. But when, accord- 
ing to the laws of human nature, he shall be taken away, 
his son Robert will succeed him in the dukedom of Nor- 
mandy. Then her enemies will gather around her on all 
sides, and, as she will have lost her protector, they will 
invade her rich and noble territory, despoil her of her 
honour and her wealth, and holding in contempt her weak 
ruler, nefariously tread under foot the whole country. He, 
like the lascivious heifer, will abandon himself to lust and 
sloth, and set others the example of plundering the property 
of the church, and spending it on filthy pimps and lechers. 
To such he will give up his dominions, and they will be his 
counsellors in his urgent necessities. In the dukedom of 
Eoburt, favourites and effeminate persons will bear rule, 
and under their government crime and misery will abound. 
The cities and villages will be burnt, and the churches of 
the saints shamefully profaned. The societies of the faith- 
ful, of both sexes, will be dispersed, and thousands of 
human beings will perish by fire and sword, many of them 
unabsolved and without the last sacraments, so that for 
their sins they will be plunged at once into the bottomless 
pit. Such calamities will fall upon Normandy, and as of 
old she was enormously puffed up, as the conqueror of 
neighbouring nations, so under a lax and debauched prince, 
she will be held in contempt, and will be long and miserably 
exposed to the arms of her enemies. The weak duke will 
have only the name of prince, while in truth rogues will 
have the rule, both over him and the distracted province, to 
the general loss.' Such was the vision which 1 lately had 
in answer to my prayers, and such the explanation which 
my spiritual guide gave of it. But you, venerable lady, will 
not witness the calamities with which Normandy is threat- 

1 There is a play of words in the original text : Regem Amjlorum . . . 
rc^i Angelorum. 

A.D. 1079.] SIEGE OF GEBBEBOI. 177 

ened ; for, after a good confession, you will die in peace, and 
neither behold your husband's death, nor the misfortunes of 
your son, nor the desolation of your beloved country." 

Having received this message from the hermit, the messen- 
gers returned and related to the queen the prophecy in 
which good was mixed with evil. The men of the succeeding 
age, who were partakers in the disasters of Normandy and 
saw the fires and other ravages, found to their cost that the 
prophecy of the horrible calamities and destruction which 
awaited them was but too true. 

At last, after many useless peregrinations, Eobert began 
to repent of his folly, but still he was unwilling to return 
frankly to his incensed father whom he had so inconsiderately 
left. He therefore repaired to his cousin Philip, king of 
France, and earnestly entreated him to render him aid. He 
was well received, and the castle of Q-erberoi assigned to him 
for his residence, because it stands in the Beauvais on the 
borders of Normandy, and is a very strong fortress 
both from its site and its walls and other defences. Elias 
the vidame, and his fellow governor of the castle, received 
the royal exile with great good-will, promising all sorts of 
succour to him and his followers. For it is the custom of 
that castle that it has two equal lords, 1 and that all 
fugitives are harboured there from whatever quarter they 
come. Eobert collected in this place a troop of horse, 
promising them and the barons of France who flocked about 
him, in return for their assistance, more than he could ever 
perform. Many evils ensued from this arrangement, the 
sons of perdition taking arms and devising mischief against 
the peaceable and defenceless, and contriving endless iniqui- 
ties. Numbers who to all appearance had been peaceably 
inclined, and gave good words to the king and his adherents, 
now unexpectedly joined the enemies of the state, betraying 
their kinsfolk ancl lords to the disinherited exiles. Thus Nor- 
mandy had more to suffer from her own people than from 
strangers, and was ruined by intestine disorders. 

Meanwhile, the undaunted king had levied numerous bodies 
of troops with prudent forethought, and quartered them in 
the castles of his own province which stood nearest the 

' Two collateral branches of the same family possessed jointly the title 
and authority of vidames of this place. 


enemy's borders, making head against his adversaries in all 
quarters, and suffering no one to make inroads on his 
territories with impunity. He was also much annoyed that 
his enemies had chosen a post so near his own frontier, 
nor would he submit to it any longer without a sharp 
contention. He therefore, although it was mid-winter, 
assembled his mailed troops, as soon as Christmas was 
past, and paid a visit to the enemies' quarters at Gerberoy 
from which he had received threatening messages ; and for 
three weeks he besieged the garrison with great vigour. The 
chiefs on both sides had frequent encounters, and often chal- 
lenged each other to the conflict with a select number of 
followers chosen for their bravery and skill in arms. On one 
side the Normans, with the English and the king's auxiliaries 
from the immediate neighbourhood, made fierce onslaughts, 
on the other, the French and King "William's enemies on 
the borders, who took the side of Robert, made a desperate 
resistance. In these conflicts many were unhorsed, horses 
were killed, and the combatants suffered considerable losses. 1 
The king having returned to Rouen, his faithful coun- 
sellors took into consideration the means of reconciling the 
father and son. "With this view Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, 
Hugh de Gournay and Hugh Grantmesnil, Roger de Beau- 
mont, with his sons Robert and Henry, 2 and many others 
assembled. They addressed the king in the following 
terms : " Great king, we humbly approach your highness, 
beseeching you favourably to receive our supplications. 
Tour son Robert has been led astray by the pernicious 
advice of evil counsellors, from which violent dissentions 
and much mischief have arisen. He now repents of his 

1 Our author's account of the sie?e of Gerberoi is far from complete. 
He has omitted to inform us that Philip I. joined William, the duke, in 
besieging his son Robert in the very place he had assigned him for his 
refuge. This appears from a charter signed jointly by the two kings while 
engaged in the siege, which also fixes the date of its commencement, in the 
month of January, 1079. Ordericus haa also omitted the well known 
story of Robert's having wounded and dismounted his father in one of the 
chivalrous encounters under the walls of Gerberoi, and, discovering him by 
his voice, having remounted him on his own horse after vainly imploring 
his forgiveness. It was probably in consequence of this occurrence, and at 
nil events after it, that the lords of William's council named by Ordericus 
succeeded in effecting a temporary reconciliation. 

* Robert, count de Meulan, and Henry, earl of Warwick. 


errors, but he cannot venture to approach your presence 
without receiving your commands. He humbly implores 
your clemency to take pity on him, and he seeks to obtain 
your favour through our interference, who are your devoted 
subjects. He acknowledges himself to [be guilty of many 
and grave offences, but he confesses them, and promises to 
conduct himself better in future. We all, therefore, join in 
imploring your clemency to extend your gracious pardon to 
your repentant son. Correct your erring child, permit him 
to return home, and mercifully accept his penitence." The 
assembled nobles also earnestly interceded with the king on 
behalf of their sons, brothers, and kinsmen, who accom- 
panied Eobert in his exile. The king replied to them as 
follows : " I am surprised that you so earnestly plead the 
cause of a traitor, who has dared to make a most infamous 
attempt on the peace of my dominions. He has stirred up 
intestine disturbances against me, and seduced the flower of 
my young nobility whom I myself have educated and in- 
vested with the ensigns of chivalry. He has also brought 
on me Hugh de Chateauneuf, 1 and other foreign enemies. 
"Which of my predecessors, from the time of Eollo, has 
been subjected to such a conflict on the part of his sons as 
I have ? Look at William, the son of the great Eollo, and 
the three Richards, successively dukes of Normandy, and 
my own father Eobert, and see how faithfully they obeyed 
their fathers to the hour of their death. This youth en- 
deavoured to wrest from me the dukedom of Normandy and 
the earldom of Maine, and he has formed against me a 
powerful combination of the French, the people of Anjou 
and Aquitaine, and many others. If it were in his power 
he would arm the whole race of mankind against me, 
and put me, and yourselves too, to the sword. According 
to the law of God given by Moses, he is worthy of death : 
his offence is like that of Absalom, and should meet with 
the same punishment." 

Still the nobles of Normandy had frequent conferences 

1 Chateauneuf in the Thimirais ; see before, book iv. p. 109. This 
passage strengthens the opinion that the quarrel began at L'Aiglc, on 
occasion of the liberties taken by William Rufus and Henry with their 
brother Robert, and that this occurrence can only be assigned to the 
summer or autumn of the year 1077- 

N 2 


with the king, and endeavoured to mollify his resentment 
by gentle remonstrances and entreaties. The bishops, also, 
and other men of religion, tried to soften the hardness of his 
heart by lessons drawn from the word of God. The queen, 
also, and the envoys of the king of France, and the neigh- 
bouring nobles who were in alliance with him, used their 
efforts to restore peace. At last the stern prince, giving 
way to the entreaties of so many persons of rank, and 
moved likewise by natural affection, was reconciled to his 
son, and those who had been leagued with him. He also, 
with the concurrence of his nobles, ratified and renewed the 
grant which he had made to him, when he was sick at 
Bonneville, 1 of the succession to the duchy of Normandy 
after his own death. The restoration of peace caused great 
joy to the people of Normandy and Maine, who had now 
grievously suffered for many years from the calamities of 
war. But this long-wished-for tranquillity, arising from the 
reunion of father and son, was speedily overclouded. For 
the obstinate young prince was too proud to attend or obey 
his father, and the passionate monarch often loaded him in 
public with accusations and reproaches for his disobedience. 
He, therefore, after a time, again left his father's court 2 ac- 
companied by a small number of adherents ; nor did he ever 
return until his father on his death-bed sent Count Aubrey* 

1 Bonneville sur Touque. The text of Duchesne ; for Villam-Bonam, 
reads Juliam-Bonam, Lillebonne. The resemblance of these two names 
of the residences of the dukes of Normandy causes them to be often 
mistaken the one for the other. It is the same of the ports Barfleur and 

2 The precise time when the king and his son again quarrelled cannot 
be ascertained, but it did not occur till after Robert's expedition, under- 
taken by his father's orders, into Scotland, during which he founded an 
English Chateau-neuf. Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This was in the autumn of 

8 Aubrey, before this, earl of Northumberland, who must not be con- 
founded with Aubrey de Vere, the ancestor of the earls of Oxford. Little 
is known of the Aubrey mentioned by our author. At the time the 
survey recorded in Domesday-book was taken, his estates were in the king's 
hands, having probably been wrested from him on account of his incapacity. 
After a disastrous expedition to Greece, induced by his credulity in the 
promises of astrologers, which leaves no great opinion of his judgment, he 
returned to Normandy, and was there, it is said, married to a lady who 
bore the name of the country he had been silly enough to think of con- 


to him in France to invite him to take possession of the 
duchy of Normandy. 

CH. XI. Account of the family of William I., particularly 
his son Richard, killed when young, and his daughters. 

IF William, though a father, sometimes cursed in his anger 
his rebellious son, and wished him all sorts of evil for the 
attempts which have been just related, his sons William and 
Henry, who had been always dutiful, received his hearty 
blessing. As for his son Richard, born after Robert, and 
who had not yet received the honour of knighthood, while 
he was hunting in the new forest not far from Winchester, 
and running down a stag at full speed, he sustained a violent 
blow on the pommel of the saddle from a stout hazel bough, 
and was mortally injured. Receiving the same week the 
supports of confession and absolution, and the last sacra- 
ments, he shortly afterwards died to the great sorrow of 
many of the English. 1 William Rufus and Henry having 
always been devoted to their father obtained his blessing, 
and had for many years been advanced to the highest pitch 
of power both in the kingdom and the duchy. His daughter 
Agatha, who had been betrothed to Harold, was afterwards 
demanded in marriage by Alphonzo, king of Gralicia, 2 and 
delivered to his proxies to be conducted to him. But she, 
who had lost her former spouse who was to her liking, felt 
extreme repugnance to marry another. The Englishman 
she had seen and loved, but the Spaniard she was more 
averse to because she had never set eyes on him. She, 
therefore, fervently prayed to the Almighty that she might 
never be carried into Spain, but that he would rather take 
her to himself. Her prayers were heard, and she died a 
virgin while she was on the road. Her corpse was brought 

1 This calamitous event, which was supposed to be judicial, is generally 
assigned to the year 1081, but there is reason to place it several years 

* Alphonzo, king of Leon, the Asturias, and Oviedo, in 1065, of Castile 
in 1072, and of Galicia the year following. The Spanish historians, who 
call Agatha, Agueda, place the marriage in 1068, when Alphonzo was as 
yet only king of Leon. It was, therefore, in that year the young princess 
died. Alphonso still continued to seek alliances in France, for in 1074 he 
married Agnes, daughter of William, count de Poitiers, and afterwards, in 
1080, Constance, daughter of Robert, duke of Burgandy. 


back by her attendants to her native country, and interred 
in the church of St. Mary-ever-a- Virgin, at Bayeux. King 
William's daughter Adeliza, who was very beautiful, when 
she reached the age of marriage, piously devoted herself to 
G-od, and made a holy end under the guardianship of Roger 
de Beaumont. 1 Constance was given amid great rejoicings 
at Bayeux to Fergan, count of Brittany, son of the count of 
Nantes ; and she died in Brittany without leaving any 
children. 2 

Stephen, palatine count de Blois, 8 wishing to make a firm 
alliance with King William, demanded his daughter Adela 
in marriage, who, by the advice of his counsellors, gave his 
consent, and they were united with gVeat rejoicings. The 
espousals took place at Breteuil, and the marriage was 
celebrated at Chartres. Stephen was son of Theobald,* 
count palatine, and nephew of Bertha, countess of Brittany 
and Maine. 5 His two most powerful counts were his 
brothers Odo and Hugh, 8 and he had four sons by his wife 
first mentioned, William, Theobald, Stephen, and Henry, 
the three first of whom are puissant lords, and rank with 
the highest nobles of France and England. William, the 

1 She retired to St. L6ger-de-Pre"aux, a convent for nuns founded by 
Humphrey de Vieilles, father of Roger de Beaumont, and Aubrey, his 
mother, and afterwards endowed by Roger himself. William de Jumieges 
confounds Adeliza with her sister Agatha. 

2 This marriage is mentioned before, vol. i. p. 185, where our author 
says that it was celebrated at Caen. (See also the note, book ii. c. 5.) 
Alan Fergan was not son of a count of Nantes, but grandson of Alan 
Pugnart, count de Cornwall. 

3 Stephen, count de Blois, in 1081, and who married Adela the same 
year, became count de Chartres about the year 1090, after his father's 
death, and was slain in battle against the Saracens in Palestine in 1101. 
He had returned there to wipe off the disgrace of having deserted from the 
first crusade before the deliverance of Jerusalem. Ordericus is mistaken 
in giving him the title of count Palatine, which was first borne by his great 
grandfather, Eudes II., count of Blois and Champagne, and passed to the 
branch of the family which succeeded to the latter. The title was purely 

* Theobald III., count de Blois, Tours, and Chartres, in 1037, after- 
wards count Palatine de Champagne, in prejudice of his nephew Eudes, 
about 1048. 

5 Bertha, sister of Theobald, first married in 1027 to Alan III., duke of 
Brittany, and afterwards to Hugh II., count du Mans. 

6 Hugh, count de Champagne; Eudes, count de Troyes; besides Philip, 
bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne, omitted by our author. 


eldest, son-in-law and heir of G-illon de Sully, is a worthy, 
quiet man, whose family and wealth make him powerful. 1 
Theobald, who succeeded to the hereditary states, is distin- 
guished by his valour and merits. 2 Stephen, who is son-in- 
law and heir of Eustace, count de Boulogne, has had the earl- 
dom of Moreton, in Normandy, and many English honours 
conferred on him by his uncle king Henry. 3 The fourth 
son, Henry, was devoted from infancy to the service of the 
church at the abbey of Cluny, and under the monastic rule 
was fully instructed in sacred learning. Should he persist 
in this religious life he will be an heir of the kingdom of 
heaven, and present a memorable example of contempt for 
the world to earthly princes. 4 Let what I have shortly 
noted respecting the decendanta of King William suffice 
for the present, for I am urged onward by an earnest 
desire to complete my undertaking, and unceasingly 
actuated by the determination to fulfil my promise. 

1 William, the eldest son, who married Agnes de Sully, was put aside 
from the succession by the intrigues of his mother and on account of his 
incapacity. He was also deformed and stammered. Our author just 
gives him the negative character suited to his deserts. 

* The second son, Theobald, called the Grand, succeeded his father ia 
1102, as count de Blois, &c., and in 1125 became count of Champagne by 
inheritance or purchase of his uncle. 

* Stephen de Blois, the third son, played a distinguished part in history. 
Count de Boulogne, in right of his wife Matilda, and earl of Morton by 
creation of his uncle, Henry I., at the time when Ordericus wrote this 
book, his future honours as king of England could not then be anticipated. 
Having seized the throne in December, 1135, his reign lasted till October, 

4 Henry, the fourth and youngest son, was the famous Henry de Blois, 
bishop of Winchester, who took a leading part in the wars foi the 
succession to Henry I. of England. He was originally, it appears, a monk 
of Cluny, but in 1 126, two years before our author wrote this book, though 
he does not seem to have been aware of it, Henry had been made abbot of 
Glastonbury. He was raised to the bishopric of Winchester in 1129. The 
hypothetical form in which Ordericus frames this short reference to the 
early promise of this ambitious and worldly prelate, seems to indicate an 
impression that his hopes were not likely to be fulfilled. Some years 
nfterwards, when still his character was not fully developed, Henry of 
Huntingdon speaks of him in these terms : " Henry, the king's son, who 
promises to exhibit a monstrous spectacle, compounded of purity and cor- 
ruption, half a monk, half a knight." Letter to Walter on the Bishop* 
and Illustrious Men of his Times, p. 315, Bohn's Edition. 


CH. XII. Mainier, fourth abbot of St. Evroult Began the 
new church His administration Men of rank become 
monks State of the church in Normandy after the con- 
version of the Danes. 

THE eternal Disposer of all events impels by his power and 
guides by his wisdom, his bark, the church, through the 
storms of this world, and mercifully gives his daily support 
to the labourers in his vineyard, strengthening them by his 
holy inspirations for their toils and dangers. He thus 
providentially guides his church among the tumults of wars 
and battles, and secures its advancement in a variety of 
ways. This has been most especially shown with respect 
to the abbey of St. Evroult, which, though founded in a 
poor country, and surrounded by worthless people, has been 
defended by divine help against all the threats and malice 
of its enemies. Abbot Mainier undertook the charge of 
this abbey in the month of July, and has now presided 
over it with great advantage twenty-two years and eight 
months. 1 He introduced into the Lord's fold ninety-two 
monks, prudently selected to do his work ; and diligently 
instructed them how they ought to conduct themselves in 
it. He also began to erect the new church, and suitable 
houses for the residence of the monks, and by God's aid 
completed them with all the beauty so desert a country per- 
mitted. The good reports of their religious life raised the 
abbey of St. Evroult to high honour, and gained them the 
love of great numbers of persons of all ranks. Many 
hastened there to connect themselves with this society, and 
become worthy of partaking of its benefits in divine things. 
They gave their worldly possessions in order to 'receive 
heavenly ones from God. 

Some, inflamed with divine love, entirely renounced the 
world, resigning their wealth to the monastery, according to 
the monastic rule, and enforcing on their friends and relations 
similar conduct, by their advice and entreaties. Among 

1 Mainier, son of Goscelin d'Echaufour, was fourth abbot of St. Evroult. 
He was consecrated by Huph, bishop of Lisieux, the 16th of July, 1066. 
Our author has considerably varied in his calculations of the period of 
Mainier's administration. It appears to have lasted twenty-two years and 
seven months, and that he died on the 5th of March, 1089. 

A.D. 10G6 1087.] MAINIER, ABBOT OF ST. EVB.OULT. 185 

these were Koger de Sap and his brother Odo, Serlo de 
Orgeres, Razso son of Ilbert, Odo of Dole, Geoffrey of 
Orleans, and John of Rheims, and many more who were 
both well imbued with learning and fit for God's service. 
Some were men of high birth, and took charge of the exter- 
nal affairs of the abbey. Among these, Drogo, son of 
Geoffrey de Neuf-Marche, 1 and Roger, son of Erneis de 
Coutauces, nephew of William Warrenne, and Arnold, son 
of Humphrey de Tilleul, nephew by his sister of Hugh de 
Grantmesnil, and the physician Goisbert, were men about 
the court, through whose exertions lands, churches, and 
tithes, were obtained for their brethren. Mainier did not 
fail to make use of such supporters, and by their means 
the abbey increased its advantages, its means, and its pious 

This abbot chose for his assistant in the management of 
the house Pulk de Guernanville, a clever and proper per- 
son, to whom he committed the superintendence of the 
monastery. He was son of Fulk, dean of Evreux, and 
being full of zeal for his order, diligently seconded his 
abbot in all things, besides inducing his father to enter the 
abbey, and endow it with a great part of his patrimony. 
The dean was one of the pupils of Fulbert, bishop of Chartres, 
and held a knight's fee by inheritance from his father. 
According to the custom of that period, he had a noble 
partner, 2 whose name was Orielde, who bore him a numerous 
offspring. He had eight sons and two daughters, whose 
names are as follows : Warin, Christian, Ralph, William, 
Fulk, Fromont, Hubert, and Walter, surnamed Tyrrel; 8 
Avise, and Adelaide. At this time, and ever since the com- 

1 We have seen before, vol i. p. 455, that Duke William deprived 
Geoffrey of the castle of Neuf-Marche, of which he was the lawful heir 
(probably as son of Turketil, its former governor), and after in vain trying 
others, committed this important fortress to the custody of Hugh de 
Grantmesnil, whose abilities and courage were guarantees for his holding in 
submission his turbulent neighbours, especially the inhabitants of Mill! and 

* Sociam ; wife or mistress! It seems that at this periodc anons at 
least were not bound to celibacy, nor indeed any of the secular clergy, as 
appears from the sequel of this curious paragraph. 

3 This person must not be confounded with his namesake, Walter 
Tyrrel, second lord of Poix, who is supposed to have bceii the unintentional 
murderer of William Rufus. 


ing in of the Normans, the celibacy of the clergy was so 
little preserved, that not only priests, but even bishops, 
used freely the beds of concubines, and openly boasted of 
their numerous families of sons and daughters. This cus- 
tom generally prevailed among the neophites who were 
baptized at the same time as Rollo, and who took posses- 
sion of the unpopulated country, not versed in letters but 
in arms. These priests of Danish origin, with very little 
learning, obtained possession of the parishes, and were 
always ready to take up arms to defend the lay fees by 
military service. At length, Bruno of Lorraine, bishop of 
Toul, was called to Rome, and by the providence of God, 
became pope, under the name of Leo. While he was 
journeying to Rome, he heard the angels singing : " I know 
the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, 
thoughts of peace and not of evil," &C. 1 This pope applied 
himself to do much good, and rendered great services to 
those who were committed to his charge, both by his good 
deeds and his faithful teaching. He came into France in 
the year of our Lord 1049, and consecrated the church of 
St. Remigius, the archbishop, at Rheims, on the calends 
[1st] of October ; and at the instance of Abbot Hermar, 
translated the body of the saint with great ceremony to the 
place where it is now held in veneration. He then held a 
general council at Rheims, and among other canons for the 
good of the church, one was made prohibiting priests from 
carrying arms and having wives. 2 From that time the fatal 
practice began gradually to decline. Priests have now 
readily ceased from bearing arms, but they are still reluc- 
tant to give up their concubines, and observe celibacy. 

[1066 1089.] Dean Fulk, before mentioned, after being 
denied by a long continuance in corrupt habits, turned his 
mind to better things, and now bent with age, was induced 
by the advice and admonitions of his son Fulk to flee to 
Ouche, where he entreated admission as a monk, not indeed 
so much giving up the world, as that the world gave him 
up. When he became a monk, he gave to St. Evroult 

1 Jeremiah xxix. 1 1 . This paragraph is before inserted in nearly the 
same terms, book i. ch. xxiv. See vol. i. p. 151, and the note. 

2 We do not find any injunctions respecting celibacy in the canons of 
the council of Rheims, though there is one against the clergy bearing arms. 


the church of Q-uernanville, and the land belonging to it ; he 
also gave another farm he possessed in the same village, 
which Hugh, bishop of Bayeux, had given him, and which 
he had long held under "William Fitz-Osbern, nephew of 
the same bishop. 1 "William, the son and heir of Fulk, pub- 
licly ratified these grants in the chapter, and joined his 
father in offering the deed of gift on the altar of St. Peter, 
whereupon he received by the good-will of the monks an 
ounce of gold as an acknowledgment. The grant was also 
confirmed by William de Breteuil and Gislebert Crispin 
with his two sons, and the witnesses present were, Roger 
de Clare, Hugh de L'Ane, 2 Robert d'Estoteville, Rodolph 
de la Lande, Rodolph des Fourneaux, Walter de Chaumont, 
and William de Longueville and Gruernanville. These lands 
were also granted by William Grastinel, in the presence of 
Richer de L'Aigle, and he received for it an ounce of gold. 
The witnesses were AVilliam Halis, Morin du Pin, Robert, 
son of Heugo, and Rodolph Cloeth. 

CH. XIII. Founders and benefactors of the abbey of St. 
Evroult, particularly Roger de Montgomery, afterwards 
earl of Shrewsbury. 

I propose here shortly to enumerate the possessions of the 
abbey of Ouche, that the endowments piously made may be 
known to the novices, and that by reference to this account 
it may be ascertained by whom or at what time they were 
made, or for what price they were purchased. The greedy 
owners of worldly possessions are engrossed with these 
passing interests, and think little of those which are 
supreme and eternal, and men in general scarcely attempt to 
do any thing for the hope of heaven, unless they find it for 
their temporal advantage. Tithes, which the Lord required 
by Moses to be devoted to his service for the use of the 
sanctuary and the Levites, are withheld by our temporal 
lords, who refuse to restore them to the ministers of the 
church, except they are redeemed at a great price. 3 The 

1 This bishop held vast estates in the department of L'Eure, as the son 
of Ralph, count d'lvri. 

* This person was a vassal of William Fitz-Osbern, on his domains in 
the county of Hereford. 

3 We may be well surprised to find the vast amount of tithes and 


stewards of the alms for the poor admonished laymen to give 
back the tithes to the church of God, and in their zeal to 
obtain them by any means have often given large sums for 
them, in ignorance that the sacred canons absolutely 
prohibit any bargains of this sort. Even in modern 
councils, the holy bishops have pronounced an anathema 
against this traffic, but from merciful considerations have 
passed by former offences of the kind, and allowed the 
possessions which the church then held to remain in her 
hands, under the sanction of this episcopal authority. 

The founders of the abbey of St. Evroult were men of 
moderate fortune, who, erecting it on an unfertile soil, 
endowed it with some small possessions, widely dispersed, 
according to their moderate means, for the support of the 
brethren. Their neighbours all around them were ground 
down by poverty, and driven by want and their evil dis- 
positions to live by dishonesty, fraud, and robbery, so that 
the monks at Ouche were compelled to procure food for 
themselves and their visitors from a great distance. But as 
they submitted themselves to regular discipline from the 
time of their first institution, great nobles and pious 
prelates conceived a high regard for them, and providing for 
their necessities by gifts of tithes, and churches, and other 
endowments, came to be held in great respect. 

Thus Ealph de Conches, son of Eoger de Toni, the 
renowned standard-bearer of Normandy, intending to go 
into Spain, 1 came to Ouche, and, attending a chapter of St. 

church lands in Normandy, which had become the property of laymen 
before the age when our author wrote. Every one knows that in England 
such possessions did not get into lay hands till the time of Henry VIII., 
on the dissolution of the monasteries. In Normandy, and the case was the 
same elsewhere in France, the tithes and church lands appear to have 
become the prey of the various lords of all degrees who established their 
independence in the ninth and tenth centuries, when no law was known 
but that of the strongest. There might have been some justice in the 
unceasing efforts of the monks in our author's time to influence or extort 
the re-grant of the tithes to their legitimate owners, but the only excuse for 
their appropriation to the abbeys consists in the very low state to which the 
secular or parochial clergy appear to have sunk at that period, both as to 
learning and morals. 

1 His father, Roger, lord of Toni and Conches, had also been in Spain, 
and obtained his surname from it. See vol. i. p. 149. Both were standard- 
bearers of Normandy. Ralph de Toni, or Toeni, as the name was spelt, 


Evroult, implored pardon from the abbot and monks for 
having some time before abetted Arnold d'Echaufour when 
he burned the town of Ouche. He then made recompense 
to the monks, and laid his gage on the altar, making many 
pious vows in case of his safe return. He likewise recom- 
mended to them his physician Goisbert, whom he much 
loved, who, as soon as he was departed made his profession 
as a monk, and firmly kept it for nearly thirty years to the 
end of his days. The aforesaid knight returning home some 
time afterwards, did not forget his vow, but, coming to St. 
Evroult, gave two acres of vineyard which he had at Toui 
for the service of masses in the abbey. He further gave all 
that he had at Guernanville, that is to say his land and the 
pasnage, so that the first, that of the servants, was not granted, 
but the second or third was granted, and none was to be 
given for the monks. 1 He also gave three yearly tenants, 2 
one at Conches, another at Toni, and the third at Acquigni, 
which Gerald Gastinel had held of him, and voluntarily 
ceded to St. Evroult. Ralph de Toni some years afterwards 
took Goisbert the monk with him to England, and through 
his means gave to the monks of St. Evroult two farms, one 
named Caldecot in Norfolk, and another in the county of 
Worcester, called Alvington. All these grants King 
"William confirmed, and ratified them by a royal charter in 
the presence of his great nobles. Likewise Elizabeth, the 
aforesaid knight's wife, and Roger and Ralph, his sons, 
freely joined in the grant. The witnesses to the charters of 
these grants were Roger de Clair, Walter d'Espagne, 
William de Pacey, Robert de Romilly, Gerald Gastinel, 
Gislebert son of Thorold, Roger de Mucegros, and Walter 
do Chaumont. 

was the founder of the great family of Stafford in England. At the time 
of the Domesday record he possessed one hundred and thirty manors, the 
most part in Staffordshire. The first Ralph de Toni was descended in the 
female line from Malahulcius, uncle of Hollo, first duke of Normandy. 

1 It would be difficult now to assign a precise meaning to the grant 
contained in the preceding sentence. The pasnagium was the right of 
feeding hogs or cattle in the forest?, or the dues paid for it. 

2 " Yearly tenants," hospites, a term which often occurs in Ordericus, and 
to which we can hardly attach an exact sense. Du Cange says they were 
inhabitants of tenements in vills or hamlets, under yearly rents, thus " dif- 
fering from slaves and villeins attached to the soil.'* We have elsewhere 
translated the word " cottiers." 


Also, Bobert de Vaux gave to St. Evroult one moiety of 
two parts of the tithes of Berners. His son Roger, after 
his father's death, confirmed the aforesaid gift in Prank 
Almoign, receiving forty shillings of the currency of Dreux, 
and his wife had ten shillings from the monk's charity. 
This was freely confirmed by the aforesaid Ralph, who was 
the chief lord, and he kindly procured the concurrence of hia 
wife and children. This Ralph [de Toni] gained great glory 
in the wars, and was reckoned among the first of the 
Norman nobles for honours and wealth, serving bravely in 
the armies of King William and Duke Robert his son, 
princes of Normandy, for nearly sixty years. He carried 
off by night Agnes, his half-sister, daughter of Richard, 
count of Evreux, and married her to Simon de Montfort. 
He obtained, in return, the hand of Isabel, Simon's 
daughter, who bore him noble children, Roger, and 
Rodolph, and a daughter named Godehilde, who was first 
married to Robert, count of Mellent, and then to Baldwin, 
son of Eustace, count of Boulogne. 1 At length Ralph the 
elder, after various turns of fortune, good and bad, died, on 
the ninth of the calends of April [2-.lth March], and Ralph 
his son held the patrimonial estate nearly twenty-four years. 
Both on their death were buried with their ancestors in the 
abbey of St. Peter at Chatillon. 2 Isabel, having been for 
some time a widow, repenting of the sinful wantonness in 
which she had too much indulged in her youth, gave up the 
world, and took the veil in a convent of nuns at Haute- 
Bruyere, 3 where she reformed her life and worthily per- 
severed in the fear of the Lord. 

When Count William Fitz-Osbern fell in battle in 
Flanders, King William divided his honours and estates 
between his two sons, giving Breteuil and all his father's do- 
mains in Normandy to William, and to Roger the earldom of 
Hereford in England. William, who was more gentle than 
his father, had a great regard for the abbey of St. Evroult, 

1 He was the youngest brother of Godfrey de Bouillon, and, following 
him to the first crusade, was first created count of Edessa in 1097, and on 
the death of his brother, in 1100, elected king of Jerusalem. 

9 More generally called the abbey of Conches. 

* A priory of the order of Fontevrauld, at St. Remi-l'Honor6, near 


and made it great gifts for the repose of the souls of his 
father aud mother. He sent by the monk Boger de Sap a 
copy of the gospels, enriched with ornaments of gold, silver, 
and jewels ; he also confirmed all the grants his vassals had 
made to St. Evroult, either by gift or sale. He also granted 
them a yearly payment of one hundred shillings out of his 
tolls at G-los, and freely executed in presence of his principal 
men a charter to the following effect : 

" I, William de Breteuil, son of Count William, do give 
and grant to St. Evroult and his monks, out of the tolls of 
Glos, one hundred shillings yearly to buy fish at the begin- 
ning of Lent, for the repose of the souls of my father and 
mother, and that of my own ; and that their anniversaries 
and my own may be observed by all the monks as a feast ; 
and that on each of our anniversaries, a portion of meat and 
drink equal to a monk's share be given to the poor. During 
my life also a mass of the Holy Trinity is to be sung for 
me in the abbey every Sunday. I also grant to the monks 
one burgess in Breteuil, and whatever my mesne-tenants, 
Bichard Fresnel, William Halis, and Kalph de La Cunelle, 
and others, have granted to them I also give and confirm. 
All this I grant by these presents, and I faithfully promise 
them hereafter my counsel and aid and other privileges. 
Whoever, after my death, shall take away or diminish the 
things granted, let him be accursed." This charter was 
ratified and witnessed by the signatures of William de 
Breteuil himself, Ralph his chaplain, William the steward, 
son of Barno, Arnold, son of Arnold, and Robert de Lou- 

In the year of our Lord 1099, the seventh indiction, 
William, so often mentioned before, was present at the 
consecration of the church of Ouche, when he added one 
hundred shillings from the rents of Glos, to the like sum 
which he had before given to St. Evroult. He deposited 
the deed of gift on the altar still wet with the holy water 
sprinkled in the consecration, in the presence of three 
bishops, five abbots, and the whole clergy and people stand- 
ing round. He died at Bee not long afterwards, on the 
second of the ides [12th] of January, 1 and lies buried in the 
cloister of the abbey of Lire, which his father founded on 
1 A.D. 1102. 


his own domains : his anniversary is kept as a festival every 
year at St. Evroult. The charter of the aforesaid grant of 
two pounds was afterwards confirmed by the seal of Henry, 
king of England, and Eustace and Ralph de Guader, and 
Robert of Leicester, 1 William's successor, renewed the grant 
to the monks, and have regularly paid it to this day. 

William de Molines, with the consent of his wife Albe- 
rede, gave to St. Evroult the church of Maheru, with the 
tithes, and all the priest's land, and the cemetery belonging 
to the same church. He also gave the church of St. 
Lawrence in the town of Molines, and his demesne-land 
near the castle, in the same manner as he himself held it. 
He made this grant in the chapter before his chief men 
Walter d'Apres and Everard de Ray, with some others. It 
was thus he merited the good offices of the church, as a 
brother and munificent benefactor. Then abbot Mainier 
offered to the aforesaid marquis, 2 as a free gift from the 
brethren, fifteen livres in pennies, and conducted him to 
the altar with Alberede, Gruitmond's daughter, whose 
inheritance it was, to confirm the gift. They freely granted 
all that has been described in the presence of the whole 
convent, and confirmed it by a charter duly offered on the 
altar of St. Peter. Sometime afterwards, the aforesaid 
knight granted to St. Evroult the church of Bonmoulines, 
with all the tithes of corn, and of the mill and oven ; to 
which Reynold the Little, who at that time had the affairs 
of the monks in that place entrusted to him, charitably 
added thirty shillings. 

After Alberede had borne her husband two sons, William 
and Robert, a divorce took place between her and her 
husband on account of consanguinity. The proceedings for 
the divorce before the bishop having been completed, 
William married another wife, Duda, daughter of Waleran 
de Mellent, who bore him two sons, Simon and Hugh, who 
were both cut off in their youth by cruel death, leaving no 
children. Meanwhile, Alberede embraced a religious pro- 

1 Ralph de Guader was nephew of William de Breteuil, to whom 
Eustace resigned the family estates in 1119; Robert, earl of Leicester was 
his son-in-law. 

* Marquis is used here in its original and proper sense of Lord Marcher, 
at warden of a frontier. 


fession, and ended her days in a monastery of nuns. Tho 
aforesaid William was son of Walter of Falaise, and being 
a gallant soldier, King William gave him Guitmund'a 
daughter, with the whole fief of Molines. He was too fond 
of vain and empty glory, in pursuit of which he was guilty 
of indiscriminate slaughter. It is reported that he shed 
much blood, and that his ferocity was so great that no one 
who was wounded by him, however slightly, escaped with 
life. Through prosperity and adversity, he lived to grow 
old, and so far as this world is concerned, spent his days in 
honour. At length he died at his own castle on the four- 
teenth of the calends of November [19th October], and lies 
buried in the chapter-house at St. Evroult. 

His son Robert, inheriting the domains of his ancestors, 
was not unmindful of his eternal salvation; he therefore 
came to Ouche and renewed the grants of all that his father 
and mother had given to the abbey, and freely confirmed all 
that the tenants in his lordship had either given or sold to 
St. Evroult. This grant he laid on the altar upon the copy 
of the gospels, and afterwards received as a free-gift from 
the monks five marks of silver and the best horse. For fif- 
teen years he justly governed his paternal fief, defending it 
stoutly against his neighbouring enemies, for he was a brave 
soldier, though rather slow in his movements. He even 
transgressed the command of King Henry, and attacked 
Engerraud, surnamed D'Oison, with whom he had frequent 
conflicts. This exasperated the king against him, and his 
anger being, enflamed by malicious accusations, he disin- 
herited him ; after which he left Normandy and went to 
Apulia, with his wife Agnes, daughter of Robert de Grant- 
mesnil, to whom he was lately married, and he died there 
some years afterwards, having been a wanderer among the 
dwellings of strangers. The eldest brother being thus vio- 
lently thrust out from his inheritance by the duke, Simon 
succeeded to it, and freely confirmed, with the concurrence 
of his wife Adeline, all that his predecessors had granted to 
St. Evroult. 

Roger de Montgomery possessed for twenty-six years, 
after the fall of the family of Griroie, all their patrimony of 
Echaufour and Montreuil, and at first, as long as his wife 
Mable lived, was, at her instigation, a very troublesome 

VOL. n. o 


neighbour to the inmates of Ouche, she having been 
always opposed to the family of Griroie, the founders of the 
abbey of St. Evroult. At last the righteous Judge, who 
spares repentant sinners but exercises vengeance on the im- 
penitent, permitted that cruel woman, who had caused many 
great lords to be disinherited and to beg their bread in 
foreign lands, to fall herself by the sword of Hugh, from 
whom she had wrested his castle on the rock of Ige, 1 thus 
unjustly depriving him of the inheritance of his fathers. In 
the extremity of his distress, he undertook a most audacious 
enterprise ; for with the assistance of his three brothers, 
who were men of undaunted courage, he forced an entry by 
night into the chamber of the countess at a place called 
Bures 2 on the Dive, and there, in revenge for the loss of his 
inheritance, cut off her head, as she lay in bed just after 
enjoying the pleasures of a bath. The death of this cruel 
lady caused much joy to many persons ; and the perpe- 
trators of the bold deed instantly took the road for Apulia. 
Hugh de Montgomery, who was then in the place with 
sixteen men-at-arms, 8 on hearing of his mother's murder, 
instantly pursued the assassins, but was unable to come up 
with them, as they had taken the precaution to break down 
behind them the bridges over which they crossed the rivers, 
to prevent their falling into the hands of Mabel's avengers. 
It was the winter season, the night was dark, and the 
streams being flooded, there were such obstacles in the way 
of pursuit, that the assassins, having satiated their revenge, 
were able to escape out of Normandy. The brethren of 
Troarn, where Durandus was then abbot, gave burial to the 
mangled corpse on the nones [5th] of December, 4 and caused 
the following epitaph to be inscribed on her tomb, due more 
to the partiality of her friends than to her own merits : 

Sprung from the noble and the brave, 
Here MABEL finds a narrow grave. 

1 La Roche d'Ige, canton de Belleme. 

1 Bures, near Troarn. 

3 Hugh de Montgomery succeeded his father as earl of Shrewsbury in 
] 094. The word here translated " men-at-arms," is milites, the sense of 
which much varies. It might have been rendered " knights," but sucli a 
retinue would seem to be too great even for a son of this powerful 

* The 5th of December, 1082. 


But, above all woman's glory, 
Fills a page in famous story. 
Commanding, eloquent, and wise, 
And prompt to daring enterprise ; 
Though slight her form, her soul was great, 
And, proudly swelling in her state, 
Rich dress, and pomp, and retinue, 
Lent it their grace and honours due. 
The border's guard, the country's shield, 
Both love and fear her might revealed, 
Till Hugh, revengeful, gained her bower, 
In dark December's midnight hour. 
Then saw the Dive's o'erflowing stream 
The ruthless murderer's poignard gleam. 
Now, friends, some moments kindly spare, 
For her soul's rest to breathe a prayer ! 

After the murder of Mabel, count Roger married a 
second wife, Adeliza, daughter of Everard du Puiset, one of 
the highest of the French nobility. The earl had by his 
first wife five sons and four daughters, 1 whose names are as 
follows : Robert de Belesme, Hugh de Montgomery, Eoger 
the Poitevin, Philip, and Arnold : Emma, a nun and abbess 
of Almenesches, the countess Matilda, wife of Robert, earl 
of Morton, Mabel, wife of Hugh de Chateauneuf, and 
Sybil, wife of Robert Fitz-Hamon. By his second wife he 
had only one son whose name is Everard, and who being 
brought up to learning, became attached to the courts of 
William and Henry, kings of England, as one of the royal 
chaplains. The successor to the former countess was of quite 
a different character ; for she was remarkable for her good 
sense and piety, and frequently used her influence with her 
husband to befriend the monks and protect the poor. 

In consequence, the earl repented of the ill turns he had 
often done the monks, and prudently endeavoured to efface 
his former errors, by his subsequent amendment of life. In 

1 1. Robert, count d'Alen9on; 2. Hugh de Montgomery, earl of 
Shrewsbury; 3. Roger of Lancaster (see p. 203); 4. Philip the Grammarian, 
who died at the siege of Antioch in the first crusade; 5. Arnulph de 
Montgomery, keeper of Pembroke castle. The daughters were, 1. Emma, 
abbess of Almenesches, who died the 4th of March, 1113; 2. Matilda, 
wife of Robert, earl of Morton, half-brother to William the Conqueror ; 

3. Mabel, who married Hugh, lord of Chateauneuf, and was living in 1131 ; 

4. Sybil, wife of Robert Fitz-Hamon, lord of Creulli in Normandy, and of 
Tewkesbury, 6cc., in Gloucestershire. 

o 2 


short, he afterwards strongly supported the monks, and 
made them large grants both in Normandy and England. 
His charter, made freely before the great officers of his 
household, is in these terms : 

" I, Roger, by the grace of God, earl of Shrewsbury, 
desiring to honour the monastery of the holy father St. 
UJvroult, hereby give thereto, for the repose of my own soul 
uid those of my ancestors, as follows : I order that every 
year, at the beginning of Lent, thirty shillings sterling of 
Maine be paid out of my rents at Alen9on, for lights to be 
burnt day and night in the church of St. Evroult, before the 
crucifix of the Lord. 1 I also grant to the monks, out of my 
own rights, free passage at Alen9on, and release them from 
all tolls and customs throughout my territories ; and I give 
right of pasture for the monk's swine in all my forests for 
ever. At Echaufour, I irrevocably give one plough land, 
and the tithes of the mill, and of all the rents of that place ; 
and I freely add, of my own part, the tenth of the fair at 
Planches. Of my own free will, and for the love of God, 
I grant the church of Radon and all the tithes which William 
Sor gave to St. Evroult, and the church of St. Jouin, and all 
the tithe which Reginald the priest gave, and Odo de Peray 
released ; and the altar of St. Leonard, in the church of 
Baliol, and one part of the tithe of the same village, and 
the land which Reginald de Baliol, and Aimeria his wife, 
my niece, gave to the monks. Likewise, in England, I give 
two manors, Onne and Merston, in Staffordshire,* the tithe 
of my cheese and wool at Paulton, and all that I have at 
Melbourne, in Cambridgeshire, and one hide of land at 
Graf ham in Sussex, and the land of "Wulfine, the goldsmith, 
at Chichester. Moreover, I confirm whatever Warin my vis- 
count, 3 and "William Pantulf, and Hugh de Medavi, and my 

1 It has been remarked before that the crucifix (par excellence) was 
always placed in ancient churches between the choir and the nave. It 
stood in what was called " The Rood-loft," in the English churches. 

s Dugdale, Monasticon, ii. 966, gives the Conqueror's confirmation 
charter, " S. Ebrulfo Rogerius, comes Scrobesburise, dedit Othnam et 
Merestonam, in Estaforde-scira." 

3 This Warin, viscount of Shrewsbury, has been mentioned before under 
the name of Warin-the-bald. The reader probably understands that at 
thig period the vice-count was the representative and executive officer of 
the count or earl of the shire, answering to the present sheriff (shire-reeve), 


other mesne-tenants have before given to St. Evroult, in 
England or Normandy. All this, with the consent of my 
sons Bobert de Belesme, Hugh, and Philip, I thus grant, 
before God, for the repose of my soul, and of those of 
Mabel and Adeliza my wives, and those of my ancestors, 
and my future heirs, and ratify this instrument with the 
sign of the cross, and whosoever shall diminish, annul, or 
abstract, the premises, let him be anathema." 

Earl Eobert granted this charter, and ratified it with his 
signature ; and after him it was subscribed at Aleii9on by 
his sons, Eobert and Hugh, and Philip the Scholar, and by 
others, his chief officers, Eobert, son of Theobald, and Hugh 
his son, Gislebert, the constable, Hugh the son of Turgis, 
Fulk du Pin, Engelbert, the master of the bousehold, 
Eeginald de Baliol, William Pantulf, Odo de Pire, and 
several others. 

CH. XIV. Foundation of the abbey of Shreiosbury by Roger 
de Montgomery The share of the author's father, Ode- 
lirius, in that work Sis character, and death, and that 
of the earl his patron. 

MOEEOVEE, Earl Eoger made many grants to other monas- 
teries, such as Troarn, Seez, Almeneches, Cluny, Caen, and 
several others, of domains he had acquired which were not 
part of his hereditary estates. He also began the erection 
of a new monastery in honour of St. Peter, prince of the 
apostles, near the east gate of his own capital town of 
Shrewsbury, on the nver Meole, where it runs into the 
Severn. There stood on that spot a chapel built of tember 1 

and that it was an office held during pleasure, or at least for life. It 
appears from the charter of foundation of the abbey of Shrewsbury, that 
Warin was the brother of Reginald de Baliol, here also mentioned by 
our author, and who had four manors in Staffordshire. The Conqueror's 
charter, just referred to, confirms Warm's grant to the abbey of St 
Evroult, of Newton and the church of Hales, and tithes of Weston in 
Staffordshire. In the Domesday-book, Reginald Baliol appears as tenant in 
capite of Weston and Newton. 

1 Sxich were probably a large proportion of the ancient Anglo-Saxon 
churches in country places, built cheaply and quickly out of the thick 
forests which were close at hand. One singular specimen of such structures 
has escaped the ravages of time, the church of Greensted, near Ongar, in 
Essex. The walls are formed of trunks of trees set upright closely 
together side by side, the interstices being filled with clay. It is twenty-nine 


which had been erected in former times by Siward, son of 
Ethelgar, a cousin of King Edward, 1 and which then be- 
longed to Odelirius of Orleans, son of Constantius, a man 
of talent and eloquence, as well as of great learning, it 
having been granted to him by Earl Eoger. He was 
much devoted to pious objects, and being of the privy 
council of the earl, took convenient opportunities of ex- 
horting him to erect the monastery, and when there were 
some difficulties about the spot on which it should be 
founded, and the means of prosecuting so great an under- 
taking, Odelirius addressed to him advice of the following 
nature. 2 

" You are surrounded, noble sir, by a number of persons 
who are actuated by different motives in their efforts to 
serve your lordship, both by word and deed. Some, in their 
cupidity, are more anxious to secure advantages to them- 
selves from your munificence than to counsel you to seek 
for possessions which will not pass away. But he who 
endeavours to serve you faithfully ought always to have in 
view your interest more than his own, and never to shrink 
from proposing to you what is for the good of your soul. 

feet nine inches long, fourteen feet wide, and only five feet six inches high 
at the eaves, and is probably a counterpart of Siward's church at Shrews- 
bury, where our author, when a boy first assisted at the service. It does 
not appear that the Northmen introduced into England their singular 
architecture in timber churches, of which some specimens still remain of 
most elaborate workmanship in the Byzantine or Gothic style, of large 
proportions and vast antiquity, in the central and western districts of Nor- 
way. See Forester's Norway in 1848, p. 177. The Domesday-book 
calls Siward's wooden church " a monastery." For what is meant by the 
use of the term in such cases, see vol. i. p. 396. 

1 The expression priscis temporibus, "former times," probably means 
before the arrival of the Normans; for Siward was still living, and it was by 
ome arrangement with him that this site of the future Benedictine abbey 
of Shrewsbury had come into the hands of Roger de Montgomery, and 
under him of Odelirius. As to this Siward, see before, book iv. p. 4, 
where he ia mentioned with his brother Aldred as sons of Ethelgar, or 
Aigar, and great nephews of the king. The king's name is here added as 
Edward, but it was probably not Edward the Confessor, but Edward the 
Elder, his youngest son being father of Ailward Snow, whose son Algar was 
probably the father of Siward Barn and Aldred, as well as of Brightrie, 
who had the largest possessions in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and 

a Odelirius, it will be recollected, was the father of our author. See 
the introduction to this work. 


Tou,most noble lord, have entertained the project of founding 
a monastery, but you have received little encouragement 
towards so arduous an undertaking from those about you, 
who, in their eagerness to receive benefits for themselves, 
are jealous of what is given to others. Now, it appears to 
me most desirable that you should found this monastery, 
and carefully establishing in it a society of monks belonging 
to the holy order of St. Benedict, endow it largely out of 
your vast possessions with the means of providing food 
and raiment for the true poor in Christ. Consider well 
how it is that the well-disciplined brethren are constantly 
employed in the monasteries which are under strict rule. 
In them, innumerable good deeds are performed daily, and 
war is manfully waged against the devil by the soldiers of 
Christ. There can be no doubt that the severer be the 
conflict to the resolute champion, the more glorious will be 
his victory, and the greater his triumphant reward in the 
heavenly kingdom. Who can recount the watchings of the 
monks, their chants and psalmody, their prayers and 
alms-givings, their daily offerings of the mass with floods of 
tears ? Followers of Christ, they have but one object, to 
crucify themselves, that so they may please God in all things. 
They despise the world and lovers of the world, counting 
its delights as dung, and its treasures as nothing compared 
with their eternal hopes. They have chosen for their lot 
coarse and mean garments, insipid and scanty food, and the 
entire sacrifice of their own wills for the love of Jesus their 
Lord. I need not speak of the chastity of the monks, their 
perfect continence, their silence, their modesty of deport- 
ment, their profound submission. My mind is bewildered 
in recounting so many virtues, and I feel that my tongue 
fails entirely in the attempt to describe them. Monks who 
are worthy of the name are inclosed in royal cloisters, as if 
they were king's daughters, lest they should wander forth 
like Dinah, Leah's daughter, and be shamefully defiled, as 
she was by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, 1 to the 
distress of her righteous father, and the dishonour of her 
cruel brethren. Shut out from the world they become their 
own" guardians against offences, and if they lapse they are 
their own accusers in the depth of their retirement, proving 
1 Genesis xxxiv. 2. 

200 onuEincus VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIV. 

themselves, like gold in the furnace, that they may be 
purified from all sinful dross. I believe, therefore, that 
their prayers on behalf of those for whom they are offered 
ascend direct to the mercy-seat, and obtain from the Lord 
of Sabaoth what they supplicate. I have been in most 
intimate communication with monks from my earliest youth, 
and had a most familiar acquaintance with their proceedings 
by close observation. When, therefore, I reflect on the 
conduct of all classes of persons who inhabit this earth, and 
especially examine the lives of hermits and canons, I con- 
sider them all to be inferior to monks, who live canonically 
and observe the rules of their order. I therefore offer to 
you, most noble earl, my faithful advice, that while it is in 
your power, you cause a stronghold for monks against Satan 
to be built for the service of God in the chief seat of your 
earldom, which is not yours by inheritance from your 
ancestors, in order that these cowled combatants may with- 
stand the devil in a continual conflict for the good of your 

" There stands on the river Meoel, a homestead which you 
lately granted me, on which I have commenced building a 
church of stone, in fulfilment of a vow I made last year 
when at Rome before the altar of St. Peter, prince of the 
apostles. This church, which, as I said before, I lately com- 
menced building in performance of my vow, with the home- 
stead and all my property appertaining to it, I freely offer 
to Almighty God, and promise that I will aid the work in all 
things according to the best of my ability in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Come to an immediate decision, resolutely 
begin and prosecute worthily this work of God : 

""Tis dangerous to delay a work resolved on.' 1 

" Fellow labourers in the good work will not be wanting, 
nor those who will offer devout prayers for you after your 
death. In the first place, as soon as the monks arrive with 
masons to lay the foundations of the abbey, I will advance, 
as a beginning, fifteen pounds sterling. In the next place, I 
will devote myself with my son Benedict, who is now five 
years old, and all that I possess to the service of the 

1 Lucan Pharsal. 5. 281. 

A.D. 1087.] BUILDING THE ABBEY. 201 

monastery, under the condition that whereas one moiety of 
all shall pass with myself under the power of the monks, 
the other moiety shall be held by my son Everard as a fief of 
the abbey. Having placed my eldest son Ordericus for 
some time, under a learned master to acquire the rudi- 
ments of a liberal education, 1 I have secured him a safe 
retreat among the servants of God at the abbey of St. 
Evroult in Normandy, paying out of my substance thirty 
marks of silver to his future superiors and fellows as an 
offering on his reception. I thus surrender my eldest son for 
the love of my Saviour, and destine him to banishment over 
the sea, that, a voluntary exile, he may enter the service of 
the King of heaven among foreigners, where, free from all 
family ties and hurtful affections, he may be the more de- 
voted to the monastic duties and the worship of the Lord. 
All this I have long wished, by God's inward motions, and 
have above all things desired to devote myself and my chil- 
dren to this way of life, that I may be found worthy by 
God's grace to be numbered with them among the elect at 
the day of account." 

Accordingly, in the year of our Lord 1083, 8 the fourth 
indiction, Earl Roger, approving the prudent advice of his 
faithful counsellor, summoned his viscount Warin, and Pigot 
de Say, 8 and the rest of his great officers, to meet on Saturday 

1 The master was Siward, the " noble priest," so often mentioned, who 
lived in the suburbs of Shrewsbury, which may thus claim our author for 
its first scholar. Ordericus, in the next paragrnph, dates the foundation of 
the abbey in ) 083, and as he was not sent to St. Evroult until the year 1086, 
if the words he puts into his father's mouth on this occasion are under- 
stood to speak of that journey as an accomplished fact, the date assigned 
for the foundation is too early, as will presently appear on other grounds. 
It has, indeed, been suggested, that as Ordericus frequently retouched his 
MS., which lay by him for many years, he may have introduced and some- 
what loosely expressed this trait,forgetting its'inconsistency with what follows. 

8 The preparatory works may have begun in 1083, but it appears 
by a charter of William Rufus, and the local histories concur in the state- 
ment, that the arrangements for building the new abbey were not com- 
pleted and the work commenced till 1087. 

3 For Warin, see before, note, p. 196. Pigot de Sai, in the canton of 
Argentan, in which family the surname of Pigot (in Norman-French 2'icot) 
appears to have been hereditary. Pigot de Sai having been a follower of 
Roger de Montgomery, received from him the grant of twenty-nine manors 
in Shropshire. Our author has mentioned him before, book iv. p. 48. He 


the fifth of the calends of March [25th February]. Having 
made known his design, it was generally approved ; upon 
which the earl, attended by his chief men, proceeded to the 
church of St. Peter the apostle, where he took a vow before 
many witnesses that he would erect an abbey on that spot, 
and he gave to St. Peter the whole suburb situated outside 
of the east gate, in token of which he pledged his gauntlets 
on the altar. 1 The same year two monks of Seez, Reginald 
and Frodo, came over for the first time, and with the aid of 
Odelirius, Warin, and many others, began to erect the monks' 
lodgings. The eloquent Fulchred was the first abbot of this 
monastery in the reign of William Eufus, and he was suc- 
ceeded by Godfrey in that of King Henry. Both were 
learned and pious pastors, who for nearly forty years care- 
fully nurtured the Lord's flock. Under their superintendence 
the external affairs of the new monastery became prosperous, 
and they established within an excellent discipline among their 
disciples for the good of souls. Odelirius (the father of 
Vitalis 2 ), who has been so often mentioned, fully performed 
all that he had promised, offering his son Benedict to God in 
that society with two hundred silver livres ; and he himself 
took the monastic habit there after the death of Earl Eoger. 
He served God in that monastery as a monk under the rule 
of the holy father St. Benedict seven years, and after many 
labours for God, having penitentially confessed his sins and 

had also large possessions in Pembrokeshire. In Normandy, Jordan de 
Sai founded the abbey of Aulnai about the year 1131. 

1 Instances frequently occur in our author of the ratification of covenants 
or gifts by some token of this description. Allied to these emblems of 
possession were the investitures in the temporalities of ecclesiastical 
dignities by the staff or crozier, of which wo have instances in our author 
on the appointment of abbots, and which soon afterwards became the 
source of violent controversies between the pope and the sovereigns of 
Europe. Thus also publicity, as well as effect, was given to grants of lands 
by delivery of a turf or twig, a necessary ceremony in the species of convey- 
ance called a feoffment, till very recently in common use in this country; 
as copyhold lands are still transferred by delivery of a rod from the 
steward of the manor to the new tenant ; and the induction to livings is 
made by delivery of the key of the church, or laying the hand on the ring 
of the church door. 

2 The words in a parenthesis are not in the autograph MS. of our author 
from St. Evroult. It will be perceived that they refer to him. 


received absolution, holy unction, and the viaticum, he died 
on the third of the nones [3rd] of June, being the sixth-day 
in Whitsun week. 1 

Earl Roger survived William the Bastard six years, the 
aged lord being among the greatest of the English nobles. 
The abbey, of which I have related the foundation, he 
moderately endowed with lands and rents. He died there 
in the year 1094, 2 on the sixth of the calends of August 
[July 27], and was buried with distinguished honour in the 
new church, between the two altars. His son Eobert suc- 
ceeded to all his fiefs in Normandy, and being both cruel 
and proud, as well as unjust, he was guilty of endless crimes. 
Hugh de Montgomery succeeded to the earldom of Shrews- 
bury, but some years afterwards he was pierced suddenly 
by the stroke of a javelin 3 by Magnus, brother of the king 
of Norway, and died on the sea-shore ; but his corpse was 
conveyed to Shrewsbury with great lamentations, and buried 
by the monks in the abbey cloister. The prudent old earl 
obtained earldoms for his two remaining sons, Roger* and 
Arnulph, 5 who, after his death, lost them both for their trea- 
sonable practices in the reign of King Henry. 

I have thus made a short digression respecting the foun- 
dation of the abbey on my father's property, which is now 
occupied by Christ's family, and where he, at the age of 
sixty, if my memory serves me, voluntarily submitted to the 
Lord's yoke till the end of his life. Forgive me, I pray you 
good reader, and let it not be thought wearisome, if I have 

1 The year 1102 is that which may be assigned to this event with the 
greatest probability. The Friday in Whitsun week fell that year on the 
31st of May, four days before the 3rd of June. We may suppose that our 
author's father did not assume the monastic habit till the course of the year 
following the death of his patron, Earl Roger. 

8 This date is a late interpolation in the MS. of St. Evroult. 

3 The circumstances of this catastrophe will be examined in book x., 
where it is more fully related. 

4 Roger has been improperly called earl of Lancaster; he had great 
possessions in that county, but it does not appear that its earldom was 
conferred upon him. It would appear that his title was personal only, 
though, in general, titular earls were first created by King Stephen. 

s Arnulph de Montgomery was indeed keeper of Pembroke castle, and 
buiit that of Carew in the same neighbourhood, but our impression is that 
the first earls of Pembroke were 01 the family of De Clare, and that 
Arnulph had no such title. 


committed to writing these few short particulars respecting 
my father, whom I have never seen since the day when, for 
the love of the Creator, he sent me into exile as if I had 
heeu a hateful step-son. It is now forty-two years since 
that time, 1 a period during which there have been many re- 
volutions in the affairs of the world. Often meditating on 
these, I insert some of them in my pages, and, as I have 
ever been an enemy to idleness, I thus employ myself in 
composition. I return again to the subject I have under- 
taken, meaning, though a foreigner, to inform my juniors, 
who are natives, of things which they might otherwise be 
unacquainted with, and thus render them, by God's help, a 
profitable service. 

CH. XV. Further benefactions to the abbey of St. Evroult. 

[ABOUT A.D. 1075.] When Goisbert, a citizen of Chartres, 
came to make his profession, as before related, 2 he sold an 
excellent house, which he possessed in that city, for thirty 
pounds sterling of Chartres, and gave the whole to the 
monks of St. Evroult with the utmost satisfaction. In per- 
son he was tall and thin, of a kind disposition, conversible, 
magnanimous, and liberal. His great skill in medicine made 
him well known, and an intimate and useful friend to many 
persons. It was through him that Fulcher of Chartres, 
Peter de Maule, 3 and several others, became acquainted 
with the monks of St. Evroult, and, respecting their worth 
and piety, gave them a becoming share of their property. 
Fulcher was of noble birth, and inherited a large estate 
from his father, and being tolerably well educated, became a 
canon in the church of the holy Mother of God. He made 
a charter of the possessions he granted to St. Evroult, which 
Eobert Andrew, an excellent scribe, wrote down from his 
clear and agreeable dictation in the following terms : 

" I, Fulcher, son of Gerard, an unworthy canon of the 
church of St. Mary at Chartres, frequently reflecting on my 
own condition and the state of mankind in general, have 

1 The preface to this work contains some observations on this tribute of 
filial piety and the author's recollections of his early years. 

2 See pp. 185 and 139. 

1 Maule, a large village on the Mauldre; in the department of Seine-et- 

A.D. 1075 1076.] BENEFACTIONS TO ST. EVBOULT. 205 

found that almost all things under the sun are, as Solomon 
says, vanity, and that there is nothing on earth which can 
bring a blessing to men after the troubles of this life, unless 
they have done some good action while they lived. Moved 
by these considerations, and in great alarm at the enormity 
of my sins, as every one must give an account to God of all 
his actions, it has seemed fitting to me (I believe inspired 
by God) to make over to St. Evroult some part of my pos- 
sessions for the repose of my own soul and those of my 
friends ; so that my dear brothers who dwell there may have 
something towards the sustenance of their bodies, and may, 
in consequence, sometimes be willing to hold me in remem- 
brance. For as to what we leave to our posterity by the 
right of inheritance, I not only say that it can be of no 
benefit to ourselves after we are dead, but more, that if 
we bequeath it ill, it will be greatly injurious. Be it 
known therefore to all faithful members of holy church, 
that of my own free will, and to the end that provision may 
be made for my future welfare, I do hereby grant to St. 
Evroult and his monks, to be held by them for ever, the fol- 
lowing hereditaments, though small, as hereinafter mentioned, 
that is to say : The church of Moulicent, and one moiety of 
the tithes of that village, the church-yard and three acres 
of land behind it; also the right of safe keeping at the 
manse as Goscelin held it, and the tithe of my mill; if I 
establish a market there, they shall also have the tithe of it : 
also, the monk who resides at Moulicent shall never pay toll 
for his corn. If he desires to grind at his own mill, let him do 
so ; if he choose rather to grind at mine, let him be toll-free. 
Also whatever I possess in Marcheville, the lands, the 
manse, the mill, all these I give to the monks for ever. 
Moreover I give one plough-land and the manse in the vil- 
lage of Landelles. I also give the tenth of my woods, viz., 
of the dues for pasture, and of the honey and beasts-of-chace 
there taken. Also, the monks' swine shall be subject to no 
dues for pasturage. Neither shall the monks be liable to 
any work, or service, or expedition, for me or my heirs, at 
any time. And if any of my mesne-tenants shall desire to 
give or sell anything to St. Evroult, I grant them full power 
to do so without fear of me. All these gifts I freely offer 
to Almighty God, to whom I owe my being, and to St. 


Evroult, the glorious confessor ; and if any evil-minded or 
senseless person shall, either by force or fraud, attempt to 
lessen, violate, or take them away, let him lie under an 
everlasting curse, and not see the goodness of the Lord in 
the land of the living, unless he repent and make an ample 
satisfaction. At my request the Lord Robert, bishop "of the 
church of Chartres, in whose fief the premises before-men- 
tioned are situated, has willingly confirmed this present gift 
out of my poor means. My brothers, canons of the said 
church, and my wife Alpes and my sons, have also con- 
firmed it." 

The monks of St. Evroult have held for fifty years the 
property which the worthy person just mentioned granted to 
them, and which his heirs, Bartholomew, surnamed Boel, 
and Gerard his son willingly confirmed. There have lived 
upon it Aimer, Ealph, Hugh the Englishman, "William de 
Merle, and several other monks distinguished for their 
eloquence and virtues, who were kindly patronized by 
Robert, and Q-eoifrey, Ivo, and Geoffrey II., bishops of 
Chartres. 1 In this manner, by the zeal of the monks and 
the assistance of good men, the church of Marchesville was 
erected, and consecrated to St. Mary, mother of God, 
through whom the Saviour of the world came. 

At the same time, Landric, Geoffrey, and Gunhier, gave to 
St. Evroult all the land of Charancei. Isnard, of whom they 
had long held it, releasing it to the monks from all claims, 
received six pounds from Abbot Mainier. Afterwards, 
Landric and the others before named received back one 
moiety of the land, and did fealty for it to the abbot in the 
presence of Isnard by joining hands. The same three, 
before Isnard and several others, granted the church of that 
village with its appurtenances, and the whole tithes, both of 
the land which belonged to Isnard and of that which belonged 
to St. Stephen or any one else. This grant was made in the 
presence of Gerard the priest and many others. 

1 Robert, second of that name, 10751076 ; Geoffrey L, July, 1077 
1089; Ives, 10901115; Geoffrey II., 1116 January 24, 1149. 


CH. XVI. History of William Pantulf, a Norman and 
English TcnigJit Robert, ex-abbot of St. Evroult pays a 
visit to Normandy. 

IN the year of our Lord 1073, 1 the tenth indiction, and in 
the reign of William the Great, king of England and duke 
of Normandy, the knight named William Pantulf, 2 at the 
instance of his friend the venerable Abbot Mainier, and with 
the permission of his lord, the Earl Roger, gave to St. 
Evroult the churches at Noron, 8 one of which was built in 
honour of St. Peter, and the other of St. Cyr the martyr, 
with his own enclosed park, 4 and part of the wood of Pont- 
Ogeret, and his share in a farm called Molinx, and of 
another situated over the brook commonly called Ruptices. 
He also gave the whole fee of William de Maloi, comprising 
about thirty acres of land. Thereupon he received from the 
charity of the monks sixteen pounds of Rouen money to 
enable him to undertake a pilgrimage to St. Giles. He also 
gave to St. Peter all the land which Walter, son of Rufa 
sold to Robert the monk, for which the aforesaid monk gave 
him a hundred shillings of Rouen. Moreover, the said 
William gave to the monks sixty acres of land in the same 
place, the mill at Hommet and the tithes of a moiety of the 
mill at Xoron. He gave also the church of EmievilJe, 5 with 
the tithes and all the rents belonging to the church, and in 
the same vill the land of one vavasor, and two sheaves of 
the tithes of his own estate, and of all his mesne-tenants in 
Mesnil-Baclai, and the whole tithe of the mill of Roiville. 
He gave to St. Peter all the land which his mother 
Beatrice held in his fief Des Fosses, and the cottier's free 

1 Duchesne reads it 1074. 

* It appears before, book iv. p. 197, that William Pantulf was one of 
the officers to whom Roger de Montgomery entrusted the administration of 
affairs in his earldom of Shropshire. 

3 Noron is near Falaise; St. Cyr only is now standing, and is the parish 

4 Proprium plesseitium. French, Plessis. Ducange says that the 
term is sometimes applied to a country house, or rrfaison [query, rather 
jardin] de plaisance, but that Joseph Scaliger considers plessis to signify a 
fence or paling of wood, surrounding parks, as in the present use of the 
word by our author. 

* Eraieville, between Caen and Troarn. 


tenements at St. G-ennain-d'Aubri. 1 Helvis, sister of the 
said William, gave to St. Peter all her dowry in Aubri, 
which the said William confirmed. He also added the tithe 
of his tenants Raimbault, Robert the heretic, and Walo, son 
of Saffred. Moreover, the same William gave to St. Peter 
de Noron all his churches and the tithes of all places in his 
possession in England or Normandy, or which he should 
thereafter acquire ; together with the tithe of all his chattels, 
such as mares, cows, and cheese, and every thing else which 
would admit of tithing. In like manner he confirmed what- 
ever his tenants should give or sell to St. Evroult, so that 
the fealty due to himself should not be parted with. As for 
his effects, he gave them in such wise that after his death 
the monks of St. Evreux should have one half, and the monks 
of Norun the other. 

All this, William Pantulf, and Lesceline his wife freely 
gave to Grod (as before mentioned), for the repose of their 
souls and of those of their friends, and they ratified the gift 
in the chapter of the monks of St. Evroult, convened 
generally, before many witnesses. William at the same time 
paid forty marks of silver towards the support of the monks, 
who were about to proceed to Norun to build a cell there. 

Afterwards, Abbot Mainier and Fulk the prior, with 
William Pantulf, went to Earl Roger, who was then residing 
at Belesme, and humbly petitioned him to confirm the said 
knight's grants by his own charter. He, being pious and 
liberal, received favourably their lawful petition, and rati- 
fied all their demands, in the presence of those who, on 
various affairs, were then attending his court. The feast of 
St. Leonard was then being celebrated at Belesme, 2 to pay 
due honour to which the count, with his usual munificence, 
had assembled a great number of guests. Among these 
were Hoel, bishop of Mans,* and Eobert, bishop of Seez ; 
also the abbots Ainard of Dive, Durand of Troarn, Eobert 
of Seez, and Hugh of Lonlai, with Emma, abbess of Alme- 

1 Now Aubre-le-Ponthou, near Vimoutier. 

* The feast of the , dedication of the church built at Belesme by William 
the first of that name who was count de Belesme, to receive the relics of 
St. Leonard, was annually held with great pomp on the 26th of June. 

3 Hoel, who was made bishop of Mans the 29th of November, 1080, 
could not in that character at least have been one in an assembly of 
prelates with Hugh, bishop of Lkieux, who died the 17th of July, 1077. 

A.D. 1077.] AFFAIBS IN APULIA. 209 

nesches; 1 also Herve, chaplain to the bishop of Lisieux, 
Roger Faitel, Hugh, son of Foucault, Eobert, son of Theo- 
deline, Eoger Gulafre, and many others, both clerks and 
laymen, who were witnesses to the above-mentioned charter. 
In the year of our Lord 1077, the fifteenth indiction, Eo- 
bert, the noble abbot, 2 brother of Hugh de Grantmesnil, 
sought an interview with "William, king of England, in Nor- 
mandy, and at the king's request pardoned him for having 
unjustly driven him into exile. He had received an in- 
vitation from Philip, king of France, who wished to make 
him bishop of Chartres, but, as the French disliked sub- 
mitting to Normans, Geoffrey, nephew of Eustace count de 
Blois, was appointed to the see. Therefore the illustrious 
Eobert, having assisted at the consecration of the churches 
of Caen, Bayeux, and Bee, which took place that year, and 
having had friendly intercourse with King William, and 
others his friends and relations whom he had not seen for 
many years, went back to Apulia, taking with him William 
Pantoul, and Eobert de Cordai, 3 his nephew, with many 
other gallant knights. At that time Eobert Guiscard com- 
manded in Apulia, and had acquired the dukedom of Gisulf 
duke of Salerno. 4 He was the son of Tancred de Hauteville, 
a person of moderate station, who, by his bravery and good 
fortune, had succeeded in acquiring great power in Italy. 
With the aid of his brothers and others of his countrymen 
who joined him, he imposed his yoke on the people of 
Apulia, and having most unexpectedly risen to great emi- 
nence, he was exalted above all his neighbours, amassed 
great wealth, and was continually enlarging his territories. 

1 Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, 1049 July 17, 1077; Robert, bishop of 
Se'ez, 1070 1082; Ainard, abbot of Notre Dame de St. Pierre-sur-Dive, 
1046 January 14, 1078; Durand, abbot of Troarn, May 13, 1059 Feb. 11, 
1088; Robert, abbot of Seez, 1056? January 13, 1089; Emma, abbess of 
Almenesches, daughter of Roger de Montgomery, by whom they were 
entertained, 1074 March 4, 1113. 

a The ex-abbot of St. Evroult, now abbot of St. Euphemin in Apulia. 
See book iii. vol. i. p. 438. { 

* Cordai, to the south of Falaise. 

* The conquest of Salerno by Robert Guiscard was accomplished in the 
course of this same year, 1077 ; but if Robert de Grantmesnil was present 
at the dedication of the abbey of Bee, which took place on the '.-'3rd of 
October, it is hardly probable that he arrived in the kingdom of Naples 
before 1078. 



He received William Pantoul with distinguished honours, 
and making him great promises, tried to retain him in his 
service on account of his merit. He made him sit by his 
side at dinner on the feast of Easter, and offered him three 
towns if he would remain in Italy. 

Meanwhile, the Countess Mabel had perished by the 
sword of Hugh D'Ige, the revengeful knight; 1 and this 
murder was the cause of great troubles after William 
Pantoul's return from Apulia. For he was accused of 
treason, and the charge was prosecuted with great ani- 
mosity by some of his rivals. The deceased lady had taken 
possession of the castle of Perai, which had been given to 
William; on which account there had long existed a 
violent hostility between them. It was hence suspected 
that William had contrived her death, particularly as he 
was on terms of intimacy and frequent communication 
with Hugh. Earl Eoger therefore and his sons seized his 
whole estate, and sought an opportunity of putting him to 
death. In consequence, William and his wife took refuge at 
St. Evroult, where they remained for a long time under the 
protection of the monks, but in the greatest alarm. The 
knight boldly denied the crime of which he was accused ; 
and no one was able to convict him of it by certain proof, 
but while he asserted his innocence, no opportunity was 
allowed him of lawfully clearing himself of the charge, as he 
offered to do. At length however, by the interference of 
many of the nobles, it was determined by the king's court 
that the accused should purge himself from the stain at- 
tached to him, by undergoing the ordeal of hot iron at 
Bouen, in the presence of the clergy, which was done ; for 
having carried the flaming iron in his naked hand, by 
God's judgment, there was no appearance of its being 
burnt, so that the clergy and all the people gave praise to 
God. His malicious enemies attended the trial in arms, 
intending, if he was declared guilty by the ordeal of 
fire, to have immediately beheaded him. During the 
troubles to which William Pantoul and his family were 
exposed, he was much comforted by Abbot Mainier and the 
monks of St. Evroult, who rendered him all the help they 
could both with God and man. This increased their mutual 
1 On the 5th of December, 1082. See before, p. 1 94. 


regard, and "William offered to St. Evroult four of the 
richest palls he had brought from Apulia, out of which were 
made four copes for the chanters in the church, which are 
preserved there to this day, and used in the solemn services 
of divine worship. 

After the death of William, king of England, "William 
made another visit to Apulia, and on his return brought 
with him the relics of the body of the holy confessor of 
Christ, St. Nicholas, with which he enriched the church of 
Noron, where they were deposited. He afterwards gave 
to the monks of that place a manor in England, called 
Trotton, 1 with the church and mill of that village, and the 
tithes of six hamlets, which belonged to that church. In 
the year of our Lord 1112, that is to say, the twelfth year 
of the reign of Henry, king of England, and the fourth of 
that of Lewis, king of France, "William Pantoul came to St. 
Evroult, it being the fortieth year after he founded the cell 
for monks at Noron, and mindful of his former friendship 
and the grants which, as we have already related, he before 
made, he recapitulated them, and, with his wife Lesceline, 
confirmed them all in a general chapter of the monks. At 
the same time Philip, Ivo, and Arnulph, his sons, confirmed 
all the grants of their father to the monks of St. Evroult, 
and they all, that is to say, William and Lesceline, and their 
three sons, Philip, Ivo, and Arnulph, laid the grant on Ihe 
altar together. Kobert the Bald, Geoffrey and Ascelin, and 
several other pious monks, occupied the cell at Noron, 
while four bishops, Eobert, Gerard, Serlo, and John, were 
bishops of Seez, 2 and living in the fear of God and love to 
man, they set the rustics examples of an honest life. 
William Pantoul, so often mentioned, lived long, respecting 
the clergy and being kind to the poor, to whom he was 
liberal in alms ; he was firm in prosperity and adversity, 
put down all his enemies, and exercised great power through 
his wealth and possessions. He gave sixty marks of silver 
towards building the new church at St. Evroult, under- 
taking a work of great beauty to the honour of God, which 
death prevented him from completing. His sons succeeded 

1 In the county of Sussex. 

1 Robert, 10701082; Gerard, 1082 January 23, 1091 ; Serlo, June 
22, 1091 October 27, 1118; John 1, April 24, 11241143. 

P 2 


to his estates, Philip in Normandy, Robert in England, 
but they have failed of prosecuting their father's enterprises 
with equal spirit. 

CH. XVII. The family of Mount-Pinion (near Falaise), 
benefactors to the abbey of St. Evroult. 

RALPH of Mount-Pin9on, steward of "William the Great, 
king of England, devoted himself with entire fidelity to St. 
Evroult, and humbly requested the lord abbot Mainier, 
that some clerk, fit for God's service, should be admitted 
into the monastery, and made a monk, for the purpose of 
constantly offering prayers to God for the souls of himself 
and his wife. And this was accomplished; for by God's 

5rovidence a certain scholar of Rheims, whose name was 
ohn, was then a postulant for admission to the order. He 
was accordingly taken to court, and engaged with the knight 
to give him the benefit of his prayers, and of the duties 
which he was about to undertake for Christ. Ralph was so 
greatly delighted that he humbly kissed the scholar's feet 
before all who were present. Upon this the monks most 
willingly admitted this John, and had good reason to rejoice 
at having him, for he was an excellent grammarian, and 
devoted himself unremittingly to useful studies, until he 
was advanced in years. The said knight, in consideration of 
his maintenance, gave to St. Evroult for ever five mills, 
three at Jort, the fourth at a place they call Heurtevent, 
and the fifth at Mont-Pn^on j 1 also, two sheaves of the 
tithes of the villeins of Vaudeloges, and one moiety of the 
tithes of Epanai, with two acres of meadow at Emendreville. 
Some years afterwards Ralph, the steward, died on the ides 
[13th] of February, and his body was carried to Ouche, and 
there buried by the monks in the cloisters at St. Evroult 
with great honours. His two sons were present, with their 
mother Adeliza, and truly devoted themselves, and all that 
their father had given, to St. Evroult, before many witnesses 
who were assembled at the funeral of so great a baron. 
Thirty years afterwards, Hugh de Mont-Pin9on paid a visit 

1 Mont-Pinfon, the chief seat of this family, and the other places here 
named, are in the neighbourhood of Lisieux and Falaise, except Emendre- 
ville, which is now called St. Sever, a suburb of Rouen on the right bank 
of the Seine. 


to his spiritual brothers at St. Evroult, bringing with him 
his eldest son Ralph and his wife Matilda, the daughter of 
Hugh de Grantmesnil, who was in trouble for the recent 
death of her sister Adeline. 1 Hugh now renewed his 
brotherhood with the monks which he had accepted in his 
childhood, and entreated their prayers for his brother Ealph, 
who had died on the road while performing a pilgrim- 
age to Jerusalem. Ealph, Hugh's son, a young boy, was 
adopted by the monks as his relations had been, and being 
led round the chapter by Walter the Bald, a talkative 
knight, he kissed the brethren, and then consented to the 
grants made by his father and uncle to St. Evroult. 

At length Hugh also died at Rouen when he was sixty 
years old on the nones [7th] of March, and by order of his 
wife and sons his body was carried to St. Evroult, where 
the monks buried their brother's remains with high honour 
in the chapter-house, and his sons, Ralph, William, and 
Arnulf devoted themselves and all that their ancestors had 
granted to the church of St. Evroult. Ralph, the eldest, 
married the daughter of Ranulph, chancellor to King Henry, 2 
and dying soon afterwards, was buried by the convent in the 
chapter-house by the side of his father. William then suc- 
ceeded to the patrimonial estates in Normandy. Arnulf 
went into Apulia to seek his uncle William de Grantmesnil. 
Matilda, their mother, after her husband's death, fell in love 
with a young adventurer named Matthew, in whose company, 
deserting her relations and friends, she undertook a journey 
to Jerusalem ; but both were cut off by premature deaths 
in the same year, Matthew dying in Apulia, on the journey 
outward, and Matilda at Joppa, on her return. 

CH. XVIII. Account of John of RJieims, a learned monk 
of St. Evroult. 

HAVING shortly referred before to John [of Rheims], 3 I 

1 Adeline, eldest daughter of Hugh de Grantmesuil, wife of Roger 
d'lvri, the king's cupbearer. 

2 Ranulph, an astute and grasping lawyer in the time of Henry I. His 
character is well drawn, 1 and his death by an accident related, in Henry of 
Huntingdon's History and Acts of Illustrious men. See pp. 250 and 310, 
Bohn's Edition. 

* See pp. 185, 212. For an account of John of Rheims and his works, 
ee L'Histoire Htt6raire de France, t. xi. pp. 1520. 


now purpose to bring more clearly before the reader's mind 
who he was, and in what manner and how long he lived 
under the monastic rule. His genius was acute, and he was 
persevering in his studies ; he spent nearly forty-eight years 
in the practice of his duties as a monk, and employed him- 
self indefatigably in searching out the meanings of difficult 
passages he found in books. He entered the Lord's fold, 
being admitted by Abbot Mainier, when he was a young man, 
and continuing his service, and being promoted to the priest- 
hood under Serlo and Roger, he engaged others, both by 
precept and example, to fight the good fight, and at last died 
in the confession of Christ on the tenth of the calends of 
April [23rd March], 1 when Warm was abbot. He long held 
the office of subprior, and often supplied the abbot's place 
in preaching the word of God. By order of abbot Roger, 
he went to Rome in the time of Pope Urban with the de- 
posed abbot Fulk; 2 during which journey he suffered greatly 
from sickness, and encountered many hardships. As old 
age came on, he suffered for more than seven years from stone 
in the bladder; but though he was thus afflicted with a 
chronic disease, he did not take to his bed, but rose every day 
to join in the divine offices, giving thanks to God; and 
being, as I believe, well-prepared, departed in the beginning 
of a stormy night. As he was a great versifier, Vitalis the 
Englishman, 3 his disciple, in the midst of his tears, com- 
posed some verses to his memory on the day he went to his 
rest, when the funeral was over, to the following effect : 

Thrice had Maich, lowering, windy, cold, and bleak, 
Held her inclement course throughout a week; 
Dark, stormy night closed a tempestuous day, 
When JOHN'S pure spirit calmly passed away. 
Poncia to Rheimish Ilbert gave him birth, 
Numbered among the humblest sons of earth. 

1 A.D. 1125. 

2 Fulk, abbot of Notre Dame de Saint-Pierre-sur-Dive. This journey 
was made in the year 1092. See before, book iv. p. 107. 

8 It need hardly be observed that our author speaks of himself. We 
would once for all take the opportunity of entreating the readers' indul- 
gence in the difficult task we have undertaken, while attempting to give the 
metrical compositions contained in this work a version which, preserving the 
thoughts and, as far as possible, the language of the original, may not be 
unacceptable to modern taste. 

A.D. 1125.] JOHN OP EHEIMS. 215 

His destiny, to learn the cobbler's art, 

John early changed, to choose a nobler part, 

Gave all his youthful hours to wisdom's lore, 

With manhood left the low paternal door, 

And, Rheims deserting, traced his venturous way 

To where St. Evroult's distant cloisters lay. 

Enrolled among the faithful band, to heaven 

For fifty years his ardent vows were given. 

Nor, sheltered in that safe retreat, the monk 

In slothful ease and useless leisure sunk ; 

But well his subtle genius exercised, 

And learning's hoarded treasures keenly prized, 

Turning with eager hand the fruitful page 

Which held the records of an older age. 

Still, first, Christ's claims his earnest care he made, 

In daily service, nightly vigil, paid. 

By word and deed he true religion taught, 

His whole discourse with sacred wisdom fraught. 

Sagely he culled for each the doctrines fit, 

With lessons chosen well from holy writ ; 

In every heart strove heavenly thoughts to raise, 

And trained the novices in wisdom's ways ; 

Gave counsel, comfort, and with sharp rebuke, 

When duty called, the sinner's conscience shook; 

As bees which honey bear beneath their wings, 

For time of need are also armed with stings. 

His pregnant genius shone in prose and verse, 

His matter copious, but his style was terse. 

To Christ, the Virgin, and the Saints most blest, 

He noblest praise in tuneful songs addressed, 

And paid our sainted patron honour due, 

Singing the virtues of the good Evroult, 

(A work his reverend father, Ralph of Rheims, 1 

The duteous offering of his pupil claims). 

Nor was our monk from spite and envy free, 

Who in this evil world can perfect be ? 

But still the shafts of malice pointless fell 

From one who kept the rule of life so well. 

'Twas others' sins gave venom to the dart, 

For others flowed his tears, for others bled his heart. 

At length, with sharp disease by power divine 

His flesh was given for seven long years to pine: 

Scourged by a Father's hand, he kissed the rod, 

In meek submission to the will of God ; 

And prayed that, having run his painful race, 

He might in heaven behold his Saviour's face. 

Then from the storms and tumults of the world, 

When equinoctial hours around it whirled, 

1 Ralph le Verd, archbishop of Rheims, 11081124. 


Our holy monk's pure spirit passed away, 

And soared to mansions of celestial day. 

Christ grant him light serene, eternal rest, 

In those abodes of peace, among his saints most blest ! 

CH. XIX. History of the Priory of Maule, near Paris, 
a cell to the Abbey of St. Evroult; and of the family of that 
name, benefactors to the monks. 

IK the year of our Lord 1076, the fourteenth indiction, 
when Goisbert the physician was visiting his countrymen 
and friends in France, and giving the benefit of his science 
to the poor and needy, he found out several of his friends 
and acquaintances to whom he had before rendered assist- 
ance by his art, and kindly entreated them to give alms out 
of their superfluities for their eternal salvation, especially 
admonishing them to give to the monks of St. Evroult such 
of their possessions as it did not become laymen to hold. 
Sojourning for a time with Peter de Maule, the son of 
Ansold, a rich Parisian, and conversing with him in a familiar 
and friendly manner, he begged him to make a gift of the 
churches at Maule to the monks of St. Evroult. Peter, being 
of a gay and liberal disposition and ready to engage in any 
large schemes, either good or bad, was easily induced to 
consent, and made a deed of gift before his principal tenants. 
The text of the charter is as follows : 

" The shortness of human life, men's want of faith, and the 
revolutions of the world, and desolation of states, daily 
warn us that the end of the world is at hand. He that was 
Truth itself taught us this when it was said to the disciples : 
' When ye shall see these things come to pass, the kingdom of 
heaven is nigh.' * The careful ant ought to provide more 
carefully, on it perceiving winter rapidly approaching, so to 
lay up her store of corn, that when the frost destroys the 
grass she may have an abundant supply of meal. It is also 
said in a certain place to those who halt in the way of life : 
' Look well that your flight be not on the sabbath-day or in 
the winter." Considering these things, I, Peter, unworthy 
sinner as I am, wishing to make some provision for my 

1 Matt. xxiv. 33; Mark xiii. 29. This quotation does not exactly cor- 
respond with the Vulgate. 

2 Matt. xxiv. 20. 

A D. 1076.] PEIOliT OF MATJLE. 217 

future welfare, desire to bring the bees of God's hive into 
my orchards, that they may make honey and fill their cells 
with honey-comb, rendering thanks to their Creator, and 
sometimes bearing in mind their benefactor. I therefore 
freely make these trifling offerings from my possessions to 
St. Evroult, that the brethren dwelling there may have 
wherewith to sustain life and may be better able to remem- 
ber me before God. Whereas, whether we will or no, we 
must leave all things here, and after death, nothing can 
profit us but the good we may have done in our lives, I have 
given and granted, and do give and grant, these lands and 
hereditaments to St. Evroult ; and by this instrument in 
writing under my hand do, for the good of my soul, ratify 
and confirm the same for ever. I give the two churches iu 
the village of Maule, 1 that is to say, the church of St. Mary, 
and the church of SS. Germain and Vincent, with the church- 
yards, and all which belongs to the parsonage : also, one 
plough-land and four cottiers' tenements, and land for a 
habitation for the monks, with one orchard, and the quit- 
rent of three half-acres in the vineyard of La Meniere, 
which Walter the Blind, and his nephew Hugh, sumamed 
Muscosus, gave to St. Mary. All these I give for ever to 
the monks of St. Evroult, to hold as freely as I hold the 
same. Also, if any of my tenants should wish to give any- 
thing to the holy monks in frank-almoign, whatever shall be 
so given, without prejudice to my claims of fealty and 
without interfering with my right of jurisdiction, I freely 
grant for myself and my heirs, in such sort and with this 
irrevocable provision, that if any of them should forfeit his 
fief for any default, nevertheless the church shall not lose 
what it so holds in frank-almoign. All this is confirmed by 
my wifo Windesmoth, and my sons Ansold, Theobald, and 
William, who religiously engage to defend this charitable 
gift, as long as they live,. against all impugners to the utmost 

1 Maule, where stood the priory affiliated to the abbey of St. Evroult of 
which our author gives an account in this chapter, is situated not far from 
Paris, between Poissy and Mantes. The church of Notre Dame here 
mentioned is the parish church, being now dedicated to St. Nicholas. 
The site of the priory may still be traced on the south of the church, with 
some vestiges of the buildings. The church of St. Vincent has completely 
disappeared since the revolution, except the base of the tower, which has 
been worked into a house. 


of their power. Those also who owe me fealty, seeing my 
good-will towards the servants of God and encouraged by 
my good example, have joined the brotherhood of the monks 
and have made them liberal endowments out of their lands. 
All the knights of Maule have earnestly sought to belong to 
their society, and have been admitted faithful members of 
their fraternity, that, aided by the prayers of the convent, 
they may be the better able to resist the assaults of the evil 

" Thus Hugh, son of Odo, who was distinguished among 
his fellow townsmen for wealth and property, gave to the 
church of St. Mary and the monks of St. Evroult all the 
tithes of his lands in Maule, viz., of corn and wine, of the mill 
and oven, of pigs, sheep, geese, wool, hemp, flax, and all 
things from which tithes are due. And if his tenants should 
plough fresh land, the monks shall have the same tithe as 
Hugh himself would have done. His son Paganus-Odo at 
first refused to confirm this grant, but afterwards, being 
taken prisoner by the French at Mellent, he thought better 
of it, and, compelled by the power of God, both he and his 
wife Elizabeth and their sons Hugh and Simon absolutely 
granted the before mentioned tithes to St. Mary, laying 
the deed of gift on the altar in my presence and before my 
son Ansold and Peter who was yet a child, and many others. 
The monks gave to Paganus ten pounds in pennies, and twenty 
shillings to his wife. Also, Adelelm de Gaseran committed 
to the monks his son Amauri, with the tithes of Puiseux, 1 
granting the tithes to the church for ever, for seven pounds, 
if the boy died within seven years. But the boy grew up, 
and lived to become a priest, long holding the tithes of Pui- 
seux, and at his death bequeathing them to the monks very 
justly, as they had brought him up and carefully educated 
him. Also, Hugh the son of Walo, surnamed Fresnil, 
before he became a monk, gave three cottier's tene- 
ments 2 to St. Mary ; and Stephen the son of Gilbert gave 
to the monks half a plough-land at Goupillieres ; and although 
this did not belong to my fief, I have nevertheless confirmed 
the grant by my charter. All these lands and premises, 

1 There are two places of this name, one near Pontoise, the other 
between Dreux and Chartres. 

= Tres hospites. See note, p. 189. 

A.D. 10761100.] PEIOBT OF MATTLE. 219 

given by me and my friends to the monks, I fully grant ; and 
I also, as a benefactor to the abbey of St. Evroult, assent to 
whatever gifts my mesne-tenants may make, saving only 
their fealty to me and my rights of jurisdiction. Moreover, I 
trust that if any one, instigated by the malice of the devil, 
should be so envious or perverse as to have the presumption to 
violate or infringe these our grants, he will forthwith repent of 
his insane attempt, lest he should be condemned by the righte- 
ous Judge in the day of judgment to have his part with the 
reprobate and the doubly dead, 1 for the sin of his iniquitious 
and sacrilegioxis aggression." 

The noble person before mentioned confirmed this char- 
ter with his own signature, and gave abbot Mainier seisin 
of the afore-mentioned lands in the presence of many credi- 
ble witnesses. There were present his own sons, Ansold, 
Theobald, and "William, and his sons-in-law "Walter de Poissi, 
and Baudri de Dreux ; together with the chief men of Maule, 
Hugh and Stephen, Walter the priest, and "Walter, a knight 
whose surname was La Cote, with Richer the provost, Fulk 
son of Fulcher, Hugh and Odo sons of Walo, Herve son of 
Everard, and the greatest part of the parishioners of Maule. 
Abbot Mainier then appointed Goisbert prior of that cell, 
and he shortly afterwards finished the little church which 
Godfrey, a priest of great simplicity and innocence, had 
begun building. Not long afterwards, the monks gaining 
ground both within and without, and the worthy parishioners 
rejoicing at their progress, the old church of St. Mary was 
taken down, and the foundations of a new and handsome 
structure being laid, the work was carried on in an ele- 
gant style of architecture, as occasion offered, for twenty 
years, while Goisbert, Guitmond, Roger, and Hugh were 
priors. 2 Many monks have dwelt there up to the present 
day, piously devoted to God's service. 

1 liiothanatis. This word properly signifies those who perish by a 
violent death, but the translation adopted is the false signification given it 
in the middle ages, after Isidore of Seville. 

a M. Le Provost remarks on this passage, that what our author says 
about the rebuilding the church of Maule must not be taken quite literally. 
A personal inspection satisfied him that Goisbert and his successors did not 
level to the ground the erection of Prior Godfrey, but were content with 
adding to it. In particular, the apsis appeared to be evidently their work, 
except some older remains very easy to be distinguished. But the whole 


Peter, lord of Maule, lived to a good old age, and the eccle- 
siastical foundation and congregation of the people there, 
thanks to his liberal patronage, continually gained ground. 
He was much beloved by his tenants and neighbours, because 
his manners were frank, and he did not entrench himself 
with craft and deceit. His alms were bountiful and he de- 
lighted in the practice, but he had no liking for fasts, and 
as far as it was in his power shunned having any thing to do 
with them. He was free in giving promises and sometimes 
made away with things of value for a worthless price. He 
was, at once both covetous and prodigal. It was no 
concern of his from whence his good cheer came, nor did he 
care whether his means of living were obtained by robbery 
or paid for fairly, nor, again, however they were gotten, how 
lavishly they were bestowed ; so that he had never the com- 
mand of much money. Peter had four sons by his wife 
"Windesmoth, Ansold, Theobald, "Warm, and "William, and as 
many daughters, Hubeline, Erenburge, Odeline, and Her- 
sende. They brought him many grandchildren, who, experi- 
encing the vicisitudes of this uncertain life, met with various 
fortunes, according to Grod's providence which rules all 
things. At last, worn out with age, he died on the second 
of the ides [12th] of January, and was buried in the monks' 
cloister on the south side 01 the church. 1 John of Eheims 
wrote his epitaph in these terms : 

Lord PETER, born of noble race, 

And heir to lands of boundless space, 

Lies buried in his native earth, 

Among the tokens of his worth. 

But though a knight of high degree, 

'Twas not by deeds of chivalry 

He won a never dying name; 

Such honours blazon not his fame. 

He prudent shrunk from war's alarms, 

And feasting pleased him more than arms : 

of the north wall of the nave, and even a small portion of the south wall, 
towards the west end, appeared to him to be the remains of Godfrey's 
church. Perhaps the short and massive pillars, and rustic arcades above 
(which recall to the Norman observer the nave of Briquebec), belong also 
to the older building. The accounts given of churches completely levelled, 
to make room for others, in the middle ages, and particularly in the llth 
and 12th centuries, must be received with some reserve. 
1 There are no remains of this cloister. 


Good humoured, lavish, jovial, free, 
He spent his days in revelry. 
His liberal bounty never failed, 
He lived beloved and died bewailed. 
Devotion stirred him, highest praise, 
In Mary's name this house to raise. 
Virgin Mother, intercede 
To speed him well in day of need ! 
Revolving centuries ten and one, 
In the world's age their course had run. 
And now six times the new year's sun 
In clouds and gloom the zenith won, 
When good lord Peter bowed his head, 
Numbered among his fathers dead. 
Ye men of Paris, him lament, 
With you his youthful days he spent. 
And saints ! your merits be the price 
To win him rest in Paradise ! 

Ansold, Peter's son, was in many respects unlike his 
father ; his virtues were more eminent, or, to say the least, 
they were equal. His disposition was excellent and magna- 
nimous, he was tall and powerful in person, and a most gal- 
lant soldier ; he exercised his authority with great dignity, 
and his decisions were marked by justice ; he was prompt and 
eloquent in argument, and might almost be reckoned a phi- 
losopher. He was a constant attendant at church and 
listened with attention to the sacred discourses delivered 
there. He studied history in the works of ancient writers, 
diligently investigating their learned records, and commit- 
ting the lives of the men of old, which he heard related, to 
his tenacious memory. He held in abhorrence unfaithful 
narratives, and those who corrupted the word of God, and 
were greedy for base gains ; and he delighted in publicly con- 
futing dangerous sophisms which might lead astray simple 
minds. He paid great respect to his pious mother, VVindes- 
moth, and obeyed her in all things like a dutiful son. She 
was descended from a noble family in the district of Troyes, 
and, surviving her husband, lived nearly fifteen years in 
widowhood and devotion to God. Happy mother, whose 
old age was solaced in her husband's chamber by the affec- 
tionate care of her son. Having him at her side as her 
steadfast supporter, she received there the last sacraments 
and then departed. Being thence conveyed to the tomb 


with great respect by her loving son, her corpse was in- 
terred with high honour in the body of the church by the 
bide of the partner of her bed. 

This knight was distinguished in his youth by his noble 
acts ; for, leaving all his acquaintance, kinsfolk, and relations, 
he displayed his innate valour in foreign countries. Italy 
was his choice ; where he joined the brave duke G-uiscard in 
his expedition into Greece, and fought gallantly in the bat- 
tle in which Alexius, emperor of Constantinople, was defeated 
and put to flight. 1 After a time he was prevailed on, by the 
earnest entreaty of his father, to return to France, and he 
then married a noble and virtuous young lady, whose name 
was Adeline, daughter of Ralph surnamed Malvoisin, 2 who 
had the castle of Mantes. This man of arms might have 
been taken for a model even by persons living under the mo- 
nastic rule ; such was the frugality with which he led all who 
associated with him to a prudent course of life, and such the 
limits of temperance to which he restricted himself. He 
never tasted apples in an orchard, grapes in a vineyard, 
or nuts in the woods, taking food only when the table was 
spread at regular hours ; for he said that it was the part of a 
beast, and not of a man, to eat what chance offered without 
regard to time or place. Content with lawful marriage, he 
was strictly chaste, and instead of attacking licentiousness and 
obscenity like a layman in vulgar phrases, he distinctly con- 
demned it with the pointed observations of a doctor of the 
church. Fasting and all bodily abstinence he praised in 
others, and resolutely practised himself, so far as it is re- 
quired of a layman. He made no predatory incursions, but 
carefully husbanded his own property and the fruit of his 
labours ; making however the lawful payments of tithes, first- 
fruits, and alms which his ancestors had granted to the 
servants of God. He not only gave nothing to strollers, 

1 This battle was fought near Durazzo, " the western key of the Greek 
empire," in Epirus, on the 18th of October, 1081. The Anglo-Danes in 
the service of Alexius, the celebrated Varangi, who formed the emperor's 
body guard, were the main strength of his army. Having fled from 
Norman oppression in the west, they encountered their former enemy on 
new ground. See chap. iii. of our author's present book, p. 10, and the 

* This family, which was originally of Mantes, settled in Normandv, 
where it had domains near Evreux, and at Serquigni near Bernai. 

A.D. 1106.] THE THIED CEUSADE. 223 

buffoons, and dancing girls, but would have no kind of 
intercourse or familiar conversation with them. He had 
seven sons and two daughters by his lawful wife, whom he 
had married when she was very young, forming her docile 
mind to modesty and virtue. Their names are: Peter, 
Ralph, Warin, Lisiard, G-uy, Ansold and Hugh ; Mary and 
Windesmoth ; of whose lives the page of history may record 
something in the proper place. 

In the year of our Lord 1106, towards the end of 
February, when a comet was seen in the west, emitting a 
long and fiery tail, 1 Bohemond, the famous duke came to 
France after the capture of Antioch, and married Constance, 
daughter of Philip, king 'of France. 2 The marriage was 
celebrated with great ceremony at Chartres, the Countess 
Adela providing every thing necessary with profuse 
liberality. At that time the third crusade of the people of 
the West to Jerusalem was set on foot, and a vast concourse 
of many thousands advanced through Thrace, 3 threatening to 
tread under foot the Byzantine dynasty. But the righteou. 
providence of Grod frustrated the enterprises of those who 
burned with desire to invade their neighbour's property ; so 
that this proud gathering of the ambitious missed the prize 
which they vainly thought was within their reach. The 
same year, three weeks after the comet appeared, Ansold de 
Maule, actuated by his fears of divine vengeance, presented 
himself humbly in the court held at St. Mary's church, and 
with tears of penitence made voluntary satisfaction for some 
contentions he had with the monks. He then, in the 
presence of all his barons, who were assembled in the monk's 
dormitory, granted to the church and St. Mary of Maule all 
the lands that his father Peter, and Hugh, Paganus, and 

1 It is supposed that this comet is the one which appeared in 1680. It 
was visible in the west of Europe from the 7th of February till an advanced 
period of the month of March. Notwithstanding what our author says, it 
was more remarkable for its brightness than for the length of its tail. 

8 Antioch was taken by the crusaders in 1098. In 1104 Bohemond 
returned to Italy, and from thence came to France, where he married, in 
the spring of 1 1 06, Constance, daughter of Philip I. and Bertha of Holland. 
She had been married, in 1101, to Hugh, count of Champagne, and though 
divorced on account of nearness of kindred in 1104, the Countess Adela 
continued to treat her as her sister-in-law. 

5 Contra Thraces is the exact reading. There is another contra Turcos. 


Anastasius, Bobert the son of Hubeline, and Herve son of 
Everard, Odo son of Walo, and Fulk, and Bicher, sons of 
Fulcher, and other his liege-men, of whatever condition, had 
given or should give, excepting always the fealty due to 
himself; with this provision, that if either of them should 
forfeit his fief for any default, the church should nevertheless 
not lose her rights of frank-almoign. Ansold also granted 
that the tithe which his sister Hersende received as her mar- 
riage portion, and before her death had given to St. Mary, by 
the delivery of a rod 1 into the hand of John, monk and 
priest, should, after the death of his nephew Peter freely 
belong to the church. He also gave to St. Mary the quarry 
of mill-stones in the wood of Beule, 2 so that for each mill- 
stone two pence should be given towards the lights in the 
church, and whoever should defraud the church should forfeit 
six pence. Before, sixty pence were paid for an offence of 
this description, but as the ecclesiastical law is more humane 
than the civil, fifty-five pence were remitted, and only five 
taken. Ansold and his wife Adeline, and his two sons Peter 
and Balph, placed the deed of gift of these possessions on 
the altar of St. Mary by the side of the missal ; at which 
ceremony all the knights of Maule were present. 

Ansold declared his eldest son Peter heir to his whole 
estates, and the boy received the homage and fealty of all the 
knights of Maule, Goscelin de Mareil being their spokes- 
man and scribe. There were present "William, Ansold's 
brother, and Bobert his nephew, the knight Guibold, 
son of Balph Malvoisin, Odo-Paganus son of Hugh, and 
Gilbert Fitz-Haimon, Odo son of Walo, and his sons 
Peter and Arnulf, Pulk son of Fulcher, and his two 
nephews, G-eoffrey and Odo, Grimold son of Alman, and 
Walter son of Fulk. 

The knight so often mentioned administered justly the 
iurisdiction he inherited from his fathers for eighteen 
years, being in all things the faithful patron of the monks, 
and having daily edifying conferences with them. So far 
from diminishing their endowments, he made, as before 

1 See note, page 202. 

a Mill-stone quarries are still worked in this wood, and in other spots in 
the neighbourhood. 


observed, some augmentations, and his deed of gift is couched 
in these terms : 

" I, Arnold, do give and confirm all that my father Peter 
on behalf of his ancestors, Arnulph and Warin, and his 
other relations, gave to God and St. Mary, and the monks 
of St. Evroult, in the same manner and form that he granted 
the same. The tithes also of Maule, which my two sisters 
hold as their marriage dowry, viz., Eremburge the wife of 
Baudri de Dreux, and Hersende wife of Hugh de Voisins, 1 
if the monks can obtain them from my grandsons either by 
gift or bargain, I freely grant as far as concerns myself 
and my children. I know that tithes are the portion of 
God, and that he thought fit in the old times to retain them, 
through Moses, for the support of the Levites. No wise 
man can therefore, I think, be ignorant that whosoever 
persists in living by such robbery exposes himself to a 
terrible retribution hereafter. Moreover, I give the mill- 
stone quarry in the wood of Beule 2 to St. Mary, in such wise 
that two pence be given for each mill-stone towards the 
lights of the church. And whoever makes default shall pay 
five pence, instead of the sixty hitherto forfeited. Adeline 
my wife, and Peter and Ealph my sons, confirm this grant. 
In return we have the good offices of the monks, and the privi- 
lege of being associated with them ; and in testimony thereof 
I have received as a gift from the monks one horse, worth a 
hundred shillings, which belonged to Grimold de Saulx- 
marchais. I therefore, with my wife and sons, grant this 
charter, by which I freely and without reserve make this 
irrevocable donation to the church, that through God's mercy 
I may be admitted into the society of the faithful. Amen." 

Germund Rufus of Montfort, when he was dying, gave to 
St. Mary and the monks living at Maule the half of all his 
possessions in Puisieux, for the repose of his soul, his wife 
Eremburge, of whose dowry the land formed a part, and his 
sons Hugh and Walter, consenting. It was then appointed 
that the heirs who should hold the land should perform all 
the service due to the lord in whose fief it was, and the 
returns from the woods and the open field should be collected 
wherever it was agreed on both sides, and divided in equal 

1 Probably Voisins le Bretonneux, to the south-west of Versailles. 
* See note in the preceding page. 


shares. At that time Hugh de Gace was prior of Maule, 
who stood by with several others when the deed of gift was 
placed on the altar of St. Mary, before the corpse of the 
deceased was committed to the earth. Afterwards, when 
Walter, the son of the before mentioned Germund, was 
made a knight, he denied his having agreed to this donation, 
asserting that his father had given the land to him before the 
gift to the monks. Wherefore the monks went to Amauri, 
count de Montfort, and lodged a complaint with him of the 
disturbance given them by Walter. The count, taking 
jurisdiction of the affair, the following agreement was made 
between the disputants. The monks paid the young Walter 
forty shillings at Montfort, and he granted them the lands 
above mentioned in the presence of Richelde, Amauri's wife. 
On the next Sunday, both brothers, Hugh and Walter, 
confirmed the grant at Maule, placing the deed of gift on the 
altar, in the presence of David the prior and the rest of the 
monks, and of Ansold, and his son Peter, and all the clergy 
and people assembled in the church. Afterwards, their 
brothers Engenold, and Herve, made the same grant. This 
was done the year that Henry king of England attacked the 
castle of St. Clair in France, 1 while, on the other hand, 
Lewis king of France built the castle of Gani in Normandy, 
from whence ensued cruel wars between them, attended with 
great losses. 

Nivard de Hargeville gave all his lands of Boinville to the 
monks of Maule and half the tithes thereof, for which he 
received by the goodwill of the monks twenty-eight shillings. 
His brother Simon confirmed the gift, whereupon Hugh the 
prior gave him a pair of Cordovan shoes. Peter, also, and 
Guarimbold, sons of Nivard, confirmed the gift their father 
had made, and each of them received shoes worth six pennies. 
On the following Sunday, Mvard came to Maule, and 
deposited the deed of gift on the altar before all the parish- 

Geoffrey de Marcq, having taken on himself the monastic 
rule at Maule, gave to the monks of St. Evroult the whole 
church of Marcq, with half the churchyard and half the 
tithes. Emmeline his wife, and their sons William, Simon, 

1 Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. The events which are merely alluded to here 
are described in the beginning of our author's twelfth book. 


Hugh, Stephen, and Paganus, confirmed the same. After- 
wards Hugh Bufus de Fresnai, under whose fief Geoffrey 
held, came to Maule, and, on the petition of the monks, 
released what Geoffrey had given from all services ; so that 
whether the inheritors of Marcq did their fealty, or made 
default in the service due from them, the monks should 
for ever hold in frank-almoign. His brother "Walter granted 
the same. 

Walter, son of Heldeburge, after having received a mortal 
wound, gave to the monks at Maule all the tithes which he 
had at Puisieux, of the fief of Herve, son of Everard. His 
wife Isemburge, with "Walter's three brothers, Bichard, 
Theobald, and Geoffrey, were present, and ratified the gift. 
Herve also confirmed all the tithes of Puisieux which 
belonged to him, and Simon de Toiri gave to the monks that 
part of the tithes which was in his lordship. The monks, 
also, to satisfy all claims, gave to Herve one house, with many 
chattels, for four pounds in pennies and one arpent of vine- 
yard at La Gard, which Walter, son of Alpes, had given to 
St. Mary; and to Adeline his wife, of whose dowry it was 
part, one piece of fustian ; also to Simon twenty shillings, 
and to his wife, of whose inheritance it was part, three 

Baldric the Bed, of Montfort, on his becoming a monk, 
gave to the monks of St. Evroult the rent which he had at 
Mantes, viz. ten shillings and a sestary of salt. 1 The monks 
of Fecamp, who had a cell at Mantes, paid this at the feast 
of St. Bemi. Baldric also gave whatever interest be had in 
the church and tithes of Jumeauville, and twelve pence, 
which the sons of Burge paid him for quit-rent of a farm 
called La Concie. His wife also confirmed this, and received 
for it one cow. Geoffrey his son also granted the same to 
the monks, and received from them a horse worth sixty 
shillings, and also twenty shillings in money. The sure 
witnesses were Ansold, lord of Maule, and Peter his son, 
Geoffrey, son of Bicher, and Grimold, son of Alman, 
Amauri Floenel, and many others. On the death of Baldric, 
his son disputed the property, but, in consideration of 
twenty shillings more, paid to him, he renewed the grant. 
In consequence, he went to Mantes with David the prior, 

1 A measure holding about a pint and a half, or twenty-four ounces. 
Q 2 


and gave directions to the monks of Fecamp, who lived at 
St. George, that they should pay yearly to the monks of 
Maule the six shillings and sestary of salt which they used 
to pay to his father. Also, William, son of Henry de 
Richebourg, in whose lordship it was, granted it to the 
monks, and he received from them ten shillings and half a 
muid of wine as a gratuity. 

Eremburge, daughter of Peter de Maule, and Amauri her 
son restored to the church the moiety of the tithes which 
they had unjustly detained, and deposited the deed of gift 
on the altar of St. Mary, mother of God, before all the 
people. The lord Ansold, the proposer and faithful upholder 
of this grant, was present, and confirmed it, with his sons 
Peter and Ralph. Then the monks, to redeem the tithes, 
which were mortgaged to William de Maule for twenty 
pounds, gave ten pounds to Eremburge, and granted three 
arpents of vineyard to him and his heir. But when Erem- 
burge took the veil, she and the forenamed Amauri, her 
son, gave their part of the aforesaid tithes to God, and 
deposited the deed of gift on the altar as before, by the side 
of the gospels. There were present William de Maule, and 
Robert his nephew, and Geoffrey his brother-in-law, with 
Odo-Paganus, and Odo, son of Walo, and Eulk the clerk, 
and Geoffrey, son of Richer, who gave thanks to God, who 
had delivered this woman from the fatal burden of an impious 

Thus the priory at Maule grew rich by the address of its 
occupants and the gifts of those who flocked to it ; but it 
suffered a great loss in the death of Ansold its worthy 
patron. Having borne arms for fifty-three years, old age 
coming on, he fell sick, and having lingered for nearly seven 
weeks, prepared himself for appearing before the judgment- 
seat of the Most High by confession and penitence. He 
did not take to his bed, but went daily to the offices of the 
church, and retained complete possession of his faculty of 
memory and gift of speech, but, notwithstanding, he was 
sensible of the entire decay of the bodily powers, from 
which physicians prognosticate that men will either sink or 
rally, and that there was no escaping the imminent approach 
of death. Anxious, therefore, for the salvation of his soul, 
he turned to the Lord with all his heart, and applied himself 

A.D. 1118.] ANSOLD'S LAST DATS. 229 

zealously to fulfil what wise men had taught him, and he had 
carefully committed to memory. In consequence, hearing 
one night the church bell, he got up and went to the church, 
attended by one faithful servant, and prayed to Q-od to 
accept his offering, and to accomplish his desires. When 
matins were ended, he summoned the monks to his side, and, 
opening his mind to them, entreated them to admit him 
into their brotherhood. David was then prior, and there 
were with him the worthy monks and priests John of 
Bheims, Osbern, and Odo. "With these it was Ansold's 
fervent desire to be associated in their monastic habit, as 
well as in spirit ; saying, that he had now divested himself 
of all concern about his wife and children, that he had done 
with worldly power and possessions, that death was near, 
and his only desire was to draw closer to God, and that his 
request ought not to be refused. The monks rejoiced much 
at hearing his pious wishes, but deferred acceding to them 
for two days, in consequence of the absence of his eldest 
son and heir. Ansold bore the delay with impatience, so 
eager was his desire for the spiritual rewards which the 
Master of the household reserves for his watching servants. 
He declared that all he wished and hoped for was to live 
and die with the poor in Christ, that he might be a partaker 
in the promises which Q-od has made to such his children. 
The two days being elapsed, he summoned his son and his 
wife to his presence, and giving many directions to his son 
before several knights, thus addressed him in the hearing of 
a number of persons of both sexes and different ages : 

" My dearly beloved, son, whom I have brought up with 
great care, that I might leave an heir and successor accept- 
able to God and man, lay up carefully in your memory what 
I am about to say to you very seriously. In the first place, 
love God at all times and before all things. Fear and 
honour your bishop and king as your earthly superiors, and 
endeavour to obey their commands as far as in you lies. 
Pray daily to God for their prosperity, that by the watcliful 
care and merits of your excellent bishop, your soul may 
obtain eternal salvation, and under the government of a 
peaceful king you may enjoy your temporal possessions in 
quietness and security. Extend to your liege-men the pro- 
tection which you owe them, ruling them, not as a tyrant, 


but as a gentle master. Maintain, prudently, the rights 
belonging to your fief, whether in fields, woods, meadows, or 
vineyards, and be careful not to diminish them by impru- 
dent grants. Meddle not with the property of others, and 
have nothing to do with thieves and robbers. Guard your 
own substance by lawful means, and beware of laying vio- 
lent hands on that of other people. Prom thence arises 
anger, then quarrels ; robbery, fire and slaughter follow, 
with other evils too numerous to mention. A prudent man 
will be on his guard against those causes of mischief which 
he sees affecting others. Observe well these my last injunc- 
tions. Always love and frequent our holy mother church. 
Daily listen to the word of God, the food and life of our 
souls, and attend the mass and other divine offices. Honour 
the servants of God both by word and deed, and more 
especially venerate and support the monks, our masters and 
brothers, who are the ministers of this church, to the 
utmost of your power ; assisting them both by your advice 
and your exertions, as occasion may require. Freely confirm 
them in the peaceable possession of the estates which my 
father and I have granted them for the good of our souls. 
Do not encroach on their lands and revenues, nor suffer any 
of your tenants to injure them. If you study to show your- 
self their firm adherent, their prayers to God for you will 
be constant. Never, then, have any ill-will towards them, 
or be jealous of their wealth, but treat them kindly, and, if 
the Lord shall give you length of days and prosperity, aug- 
ment it. If you observe and do what I command you, I 
give you, in the name of God, the blessing which our fore- 
fathers left to their heirs, earnestly beseeching Him, that it 
may descend and rest upon you. But if you should do 
otherwise, which God forbid, I leave you my curse, by the 
authority of God and the holy fathers." 

Having concluded this exhortation to his son, the excel- 
lent lord thus addressed his wife Adeline : " My sweet sister 
and amiable wife, Adeline, I pray you lend a favourable ear 
to my requests. Thus far we have faithfully kept our mar- 
riage vows, and by God's help have lived together more 
than twenty years without quarrels and shameful conten- 
tions. Worthy offspring have been born to us in lawful 
wedlock, and you must lead them by your earnest admo- 

A.D. 1118.] AXSOLD DIES A MONK. 231 

nitions to obey their Maker's will. My end is approaching, 
and whether I will or not, I am near at death's door. I am 
going the way of all flesh, and have to pay the common debt 
of nature. I am unwilling to trouble you with a long dis- 
course. Tour life may serve as a lesson to numbers, add 
one more to your good works, and henceforth live chastely 
in holy widowhood. Grant me also your permission to be- 
come a monk, and, quitting the showy garments belonging 
to my worldly estate, put on the black robe of our holy 
father Benedict. It is my desire to be admitted into the 
society of those who relinquish the delights of the world for 
Christ's sake. Release me therefore I pray you, my lady, 
from the bonds of marriage, and commend me earnestly to 
God, that, relieved from all secular ties, I may be in a con- 
dition to receive the monastic habit and the tonsure. I ask 
this from the bottom of my heart ; this is the object of my 
most earnest wishes, that my soul may be numbered in the 
company of the monks, and, renewed by being invested with 
the religious garb, may sing in the present life, ' I am black, 
but comely.' 1 I am black because I wear a dark, shapeless, 
and coarse robe, but comely because it covers the humility 
of a holy purpose, and a devotion well pleasing to God." 

When Ansold had concluded his discourse to this pur- 
pose, his good wife, who had never resisted his will and now 
obeyed her husband as she was wont, granted his request 
with a respectful modesty, shedding a flood of tears, though 
she did not give way to noisy lamentations. At that 
season holy church was celebrating the eve of our Lord's 
nativity, and there was a violent tempest which shook the 
world, overthrowing woods, houses, and other buildings, and 
did much damage both by sea and land, to the great terror 
of mankind. Leave having been given, the novice was ton- 
sured, and put on the religious habit, in which, having worn 
it three days, he was also buried, that in it he might rise 
again. On the third day, finding that death was near, he 
caused his brethren to be summoned, and begged them to 
recite the prayers for the dying. When they were ended, 
he asked for holy water and a crucifix. On their being 
brought, he sprinkled himself with holy water, and bowing 
before the crucifix, thus commended himself to Him who 
1 Canticles i. 5. 


hung on the cross, adopting the words which had been used 
by some man of wisdom : " Lord God, I, once a sinner but 
now a penitent, commend my spirit into thy hands as a ser- 
vant should submit to his master." With these words he 
expired, as we believe, happily. Then vigils were chanted 
and psalms and prayers said, and masses solemnly per- 
formed, with much grief for his decease. All which being 
duly performed, on the day when the feast of the assumption 
of St. John was kept by the church, 1 his body was com- 
mitted to the earth, the mother of all, to be preserved and 
given up again. Odo of Montreuil assisted at the funeral, 
performing what belonged to the priest's office, and has 
comprehended in a short notice, his name and rank, and the 
day of his death, with a devout prayer on his behalf. 

Stranger, dost thou wish to know 
Who lies buried here below ? 
ANSOLD was his name, a knight 
Once the foremost in the fight. 
Six days 'fore the year begun 
Its due course of time to run, 
He was summoned to his rest : 
God reward him with the blest ! 

[1118 1128.] Peter, who now became lord of Maule, was 
distinguished for his conduct in war and made himself for- 
midable to his neighbours, but in some of his doings he did 
did not follow his father's steps. For he was led by youth- 
ful levity to delight in players and gamblers, and listening 
to the persuasions of the young men about him engaged in 
rapine, and frequently oppressed the cultivators of his own 
domains and those of others. He ravaged without mercy 
his neighbour's property and foolishly wasted his own. 
Hence, while he inflicted great evils on the inhabitants of 
other villages, the freebooters of the neighbourhood took 
every opportunity of making secret inroads on him and 
his tenants. "When in a passion, his threats were severe, 
when he was pleased, he rashly made promises which were 
difficult to be performed ; so that he was often false in both. 
After his father's death, he married a wife of a very noble 

1 It appears before, in book ii. c. vi. (vol. i. p. 247) that our author adopted 
the opinion of St. Ephrem and others respecting the Assumption of St. 
John, which was not held in the time of Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, 
and was consequently posterior to the second century after Christ. 

A.D. 1118 1128.] PETEB ii., ANSOLD'S SON. 233 

family, Ada, niece of Bouchard de Montmorenci and daugh- 
ter of the Count de Guinea. 1 As far as words go, he pays 
due respect to the monks and clergy, and takes their re- 
proofs in good part, veiling his follies under the excuse of 
his youth, and promising to amend his life in riper years, 
which may God grant ! I will now give a short account of 
the possessions which were given to the monks by him, or 
in his fief. 

Ansold, before he died, bequeathed his best palfrey to the 
monks, in lieu of which, Peter gave them, at his father's re- 
quest, the land of Montmarcien ; and at the same time he 
confirmed to them all that his predecessors had granted. 
John de St. Denis, and Mary his wife, and Arnulf their son, 
had freely given to St. Mary the vineyard of Clairfont, but 
afterwards, undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they sold 
it to a certain Breton of Montfort named Fulk, notwith- 
standing the claims of the monks. The Breton being 
disseized of it by a sentence of the bishop, it fell into 
Peter's hands, but Providence shortly afflicting him with 
disease, on making his confession he restored it to St. Mary 
discharged of all quit-rent. He also gave the crop of grapes 
that year to purchase an image of the holy Virgin. 

Grimold, nephew and heir of Stephen de Maule, gave to 
the monks all the tithes of his lands, both in the lordship of 
Ansold and in that of Paganus, together with the tithes of 
his mill and vineyards, and, together with Petronilla his 
wife, deposited the deed of gift on the altar. Afterwards, 
on her death, he granted to the monks two arpents of land 
at Montjubert, and added a third in the same place at his 
daughter's obit. He went to Jerusalem with Stephen 
Count de Blois, 2 and, having undergone many sufferings in 
that expedition, lived uprightly after his return. 

Gerald, surnamed La Cote, Grimold's brother-in-law, 
falling sick, was so terrified by the divine chastisement, that 
he gave to the monks certain tithes which he possessed in 
the territory of Marole, and his part of the churchyard of 
the same village ; his wife, part of whose dowry it was, con- 

1 JLD. about 10911137. He married Ada, daughter of Manasseli, 
count of Guines (about 1091 1137), and Emma de Tankerville, widow 
of Odo of Folkstone. 

* See before, note, p. 182. 


senting, as well as Peter, lord of Maule, in whose fief it was. 
Aubrey de Marole, also, gave to the monks twelve acres of 
land on the brow of the hill to the west of Marole. 

Odo, son of "Walo, an honourable knight, at the death of 
his son Arnulf, gave to the monks of Maule three acres of 
land which were at that time cultivated by Fulk the priest. 
He also gave them three muids of wine, and granted the 
same quantity to be furnished yearly out of his vineyards ; 
so that the church should not lose the endowment in conse- 
quence of any succession or change of the heirs of Maule ; 
and the monks were constantly to make due prayers for the 
souls of his sons Peter, Arnulf, Milo, and his other friends. 
It happened a few days afterwards that Odo fell sick, and 
wishing, like a good son, to reap profit from the visitation 
by his father's rod, he called together his wife Beliarde, 
his daughter-in-law Cornelia, his daughter Cicily, and his 
son-in-law Godfrey, and with their consent gave the whole 
of his tithes to God and St. Mary. The aforesaid women 
and Godfrey, by Odo's command, then went to the church 
and laid the donation on the altar. After this was done, 
his sickness increasing, he became a monk there and lay in 
the monks' infirmary ten days. Meanwhile, "Walter the 
Bold, his son, hastening from Troyes, where he had long dwelt, 
found his father alive. At his request he confirmed what 
his father and relations had given to the church of God ; 
viz., three acres of land, two muids of wine yearly, and all 
the tithes his father possessed, whether of corn, wine, or first- 
fruits. All which, after his father was dead and buried, Walter 
granted by an instrument which was laid by a book on the 
altar of St. Mary, mother of God ; and, in imitation of his 
father, has been a good neighbour to the monks to the 
present time. 

In the time of Hugh de Gace, David, and other priors, who 
laboured usefully at Maule, -it was commonly well known, 
and I wish it to be handed down to posterity, that Tesza, 
wife of Bernard the Blind, gave to the monks of St. Evroult 
dwelling at Maule, one moiety of the farm of St. Columb, 
both plain and wood, besides two arpents of land which he 
also gave them, that they might build a house and have cot- 
tages without any one's interfering with them. He did this 
with the assent of his lords, Gosceline, who held the other 


moiety of the land in demesne, because of default in the 
services due, and Guaszo de Poissi, who was the chief lord. 
The monks at different times gave large sums to these lords, 
hoping to increase the property of the church by legitimate 
means, and secure advantages for their successors. Hugh, 
who was enterprising and magnanimous, began the affair 
when he was prior, giving to Tesza, beforenamed, ten shil- 
lings, and a piece of fustian to her son Odo, and ten 
shillings to her son-in-law William. He also gave to 
Gosceline one horse of the value of four pounds, to his wife 
twenty shillings, and to Gruaszo twenty-five shillings, with a 
horn cup, and another to his wife. These things and others 
they received from the generosity of the monks, and made a 
firm deed of gift, which they deposited on the altar before 
many witnesses. But they afterwards iniquitously falsified 
their engagements in various ways : especially, Guaszo, the 
most powerful among them, who ought to have corrected 
the others if they went astray, disturbed the endowment, 
pillaged the cottiers, and destroyed their houses ; so that 
the place became waste as it was before, and the monks 
were compelled for the present to abandon the spot. Some 
years afterwards Amauri, son of Guaszo, was slain : the 
monks then went to him while he was in tribulation for the 
death of his son, and requested him to abate the injury he 
had done them. Softened by his affliction, he made a 
humble reply, promising to cure the evil he had done. He 
therefore committed the affair to Gosceline and Amauri de 
Beauvoir, to whom he had lately restored the fief, and of 
whom Gosceline then held it. They in consequence met at 
Fresnes, and treated respecting the adjustment of the busi- 
ness, and at the demand of Guaszo and the monks, Amauri 
confirmed the grant which Tesza had made, and Guaszo and 
Gosceline had ratified. By common agreement, therefore, of 
all parties, Amauri and Gosceline publicly enfeoffed the 
monks in the presence and hearing of Grimold de Maule and 
Roger his son, and many others. Finally, Amauri came to 
Maule on a day appointed, and deposited on the altar of 
St. Mary the donation which he had made at Fresnes, re- 
ceiving from the generosity of the monks twenty shillings 
of Mantes. 

In this manner the cell at Maule rose through the 


exertions of careful monks, and was suitably endowed by the 
generous contributions of its supporters, to the praise of 
God. The place was well situated for vineyards and fertile 
fields, and watered by the river Mauldre, 1 which has its 
course through them. It is well protected by a number of 
noble knights. These give freely to the church, during their 
lives, of their lands and substance, and the order of monks is 
treated by them with great respect ; and at the hour of death 
their aid is earnestly sought for the salvation of their souls. 
The knights frequent the monk's cloister, and confer with 
them on practical and theoretical subjects. Thus it is the 
school of the living, and the refuge of the dying. 

In the time of Peter the elder, Abbot Mainier went to the 
court of King Philip, and humbly sought his confirmation of 
the grants which had been made to the monks of St. 
Evroult of possessions in Prance. The king not only 
graciously ratified all the endowments already made, but 
kindly and cheerfully exhorted those who were about him to 
further gifts. This took place on the road between Epone 
and Mantes. Afterwards, in the time of Peter the younger, 
King Lewis came to Maule, and, being incensed with Peter 
on account of some excesses he had committed in the 
insolence of youth, razed the fortified wall with which the 
prudent Ansold had surrounded his house, and demolished 
the house itself. The king accepted the hospitality of the 
monks at the priory, and confirmed to them by his royal 
charter all that had been given them, or they had purchased, 
in the time of the three lords, Peter, Ansold, and the other 
Peter. Warin of Seez, a prudent and learned monk was 
then prior, and made use of his attendance upon, and 
familiar intercourse with, the king, to obtain his sanction to 
all the endowments of that cell which had been procured by 
Goisbert, and Guitmond, William, and Hugh, David, and 
Halph, and other priors. This may suffice for what I have 
to say of Maule in the present book. 

CH. XX. Guitmond, second prior of Maule Other bene- 
factions to the abbey of St. Evroult. 

GOISBEBT, the famous physician, having laid the foundations 

of the church at Maule, as we have before related, consulted 

1 A rivulet which falls into the Seine near Epone, not far from Mantes. 


some of his acquaintances and friends for the common good 
of his own monastery. With their concurrence he earnestly 
entreated his abbot to entrust the priory of Maule to fresh 
hands, in order that he might be free to prosecute other 
affairs. This was done ; G-uitmond, who had been a priest at 
Soulangi, 1 an excellent man, being appointed in his place, 
while the physician made pressing instances to several 
French knights on behalf of his brethren. Some he gained 
by his medicinal care and assistance, others by presents, and 
all by his eloquent discourse. 

Humphrey, surnamed Harenc, and Havise his wife, and 
the sons of the same Havise, Paganus, Alexander, and Roger 
de Rolleboise, with his wife Basile and her son Gruiard, 
gave to G-od and St. Evroult the church of St. Villegast, 
with the tithes thereto belonging, and one plough-land. 
They also gave the herbage of the whole vill, free from any 
commonage, and all the land in the parish, whether in grass 
or tillage, 2 to be cultivated by the tenants settled there, 
reserving only the champarty 3 to himself. This grant was 
made before the lord Robert at Ivri, and was confirmed by 
him and his sons Ascelin, Q-oel, and William. He granted 
all that he had in the same vill, for which he received the 
seignory of the place and an ounce of gold. Not long after- 
wards he was, by (rod's providence, afflicted with a painful 
disease in his privy-parts, and having the fear of death before 
his eyes became a monk in the abbey of Bee. His son 
Ascelin Goel succeeded to his domains by right of inherit- 
ance, and was a long time eminent among his neighbours 
for his gallant actions. He built a very strong castle at 
Breval, and filled it with fierce freebooters who ruined num- 
bers. He surprised the castle of Ivri by a skilful stratagem, 
defeating and making prisoner William de Breteuil its 

1 Near Falaise. 

s Tarn in mangurls quarn in rupturis ; whether of the old homesteads, 
or land fresh broken up? 

3 Camparto. " The portion of the produce which the farmer gives to 
the owner of the soil ; from campum partiri.'' Ducange. The French 
call this tenure " Metayer ;" it was very common in France to a late 
period, and we believe is still prevalent in some districts. Arthur Young 
devotes part of a chapter to the exposure of a system which he considers 
nlike ruinous to the landlord and occupier. Travels in France, vol. i. p. 


master, whom he threw into close confinement. For his 
ransom he extorted violently a thousand livres of Dreux 
and the stronghold of Ivri, taking to wife his daughter 
Isabel, by whom he had seven sons. He, with his wife and 
sons, released all the lands which St. Evroult had in his lord- 
ship, viz., Villegast, and one moiety of the tithes of Mon- 
tigni, for which he received from the monks a gratuity of sixty 
shillings, and he sealed his charter of confirmation at Breval. 
The same Ascelin, in the monks' house at Hillier, released 
to the monks of St. Evroult all tolls for passage, as well in 
that lordship as in all his other lands. Eobert and William, 
surnamed Louvel, his sons, afterwards confirmed the grant, 
and strictly observed its tenor for a long time. 

Hugh Paganus, Grosse-Langue, with his wife Agnes, and 
his son Guy, granted to St. Evroult the viscounty, that is, 
the voierie, 1 as much as they had in Villegast, from which 
the monks received at one time ten shillings and a 
deer-skin, at another time twenty shillings. The son 
received ten shillings of Mantes for his release. John of 
Eheims wrote out the charter of this covenant before the 
tower of Breval, Hugh Fresnel dictating it; and Hugh 
Paganus and his sons confirmed it. Some time afterwards 
Hugh became a monk, and his sons Eodolph, Simon, and 
Eobert, attempted to deprive the monks of the viscounty ; 
but they, to hold their possessions in peace, gave to Eodolph, 
the eldest, one hundred and ten shillings of money .of 
Mantes, to Simon five shillings, and to Eobert, Cordovan 

The year that Q-oe'l died, Alexander and Gilbert gave 
to St. Evroult, in the presence of Eobert de St. Nicholas, 
a field belonging to the farm of a certain villein named 
Eobert, although he complained that he had not land suffi- 
cient for one plough. Fulk de St. Aubin having given part 
of his lands in Villers to St. Evroult, Theodoric and Eainier 
his heirs, with their wives Emmeline and Tesceline, through 

1 Viariam; Ducange remarks that Ordericus confounds the rights of 
the viscount (answering in some measure to our sheriff) with those of the 
seigneur, voyer. It is well known that rights of seignorage and jurisdiction 
often passed to the monks, with the domains granted to them. The word 
may have been vicariam, the deputyship, right of being judges in small 


whom they inherited, confirmed the grant, retaining a 
certain part for their own entertainment ; Alexander, in 
whose fief the land was, consenting. 

I have given a long account of the possessions granted to 
the church of St. Evroult, but have not been able to include 
them all in the present book ; for there are small portions ob- 
tained from persons of the middle rank, either by fair words, 
or extorted by violent means, or purchased, or gained in 
some other way, which lie dispersed in different dioceses. 
In these a certain number of monks are settled according to 
the extent of the property, who serve the Lord daily on 
behalf of their benefactors with hymns and prayers, and a 
life of continence. "What remains shall be faithfully col- 
lected in the sequel of this work, and clearly related for the 
benefit of those who shall succeed us in labouring in the 
field of the Lord. 



CH. I. Introduction, containing remarks on scurrilous criti- 
cism, and the decay of piety among the prelates of the au- 
thor's age. 

THE human mind has continual need of heing usefully 
exercised, so that it may be well directed in a virtuous 
coxirse for the future, by its researches into the annals of 
the past, and its observation on what is passing around. 
It is every man's duty to be daily learning how he ought to 
live, by having the examples of ancient worthies ever present 
before his eyes, and profiting thereby. It sometimes happens 
that many events present themselves to the ignorant as 
unheard-of things, and new circumstances are frequently 
occurring in modern times on which no light can be thrown 
to inexperienced minds but ' by reference to former transac- 
tions. Studious persons therefore inquire into the obscure 
passages of history with anxious care, and set a high value 
on whatever can profit a well-disposed mind. Animated in 
their labours by this good design, they unfold the past to 
posterity with perfect impartiality, while, notwithstanding 
their ability, senseless men snarl at their works and tear 
them in pieces with their currish fangs. Smarting under 
such attacks, even wise men sometimes flag in their energies, 
abandoning their undertakings and shutting themselves up 
in perpetual eilence. Thus it happens that from some frivo- 
lous circumstance, the world suffers a lamentable loss. If 
this were not irreparable, and a kindly-feeling posterity could 
recover what it had lost, it would shake off its indifference 
and joyfully rouse itself to gather with eagerness the flowers 
and the fruit of the labours thus subjected to malicious 
attacks, and to study them with lively and careful attention. 
We often find complaints of this sort in ancient writers, and 
unite with our illustrious masters in their lamentations over 
the injuries heaped upon them by their envious contempo- 
raries. We hear St. Jerome and Origen, and other doctors 
of the church complaining in their works of the cavils of 
scurrilous critics, and it is a cause of regret that on this 
account we have been deprived of many important commu- 


nications ; able men preferring to rest in peace rather than 
employ their talents in skilfully treating difficult subjects, 
when by so doing they exposed themselves to malicious 
attacks. Let those, I beg and entreat, observe silence, who 
neither produce any thing of their own, nor accept the 
labours of others in a friendly spirit, nor correct with temper 
any thing which dissatisfies them. Let them learn what they 
are ignorant of, and if they are incapable of learning, at least 
let them suffer their fellow disciples to publish what they 
think right. 

The primitive state and the fall of man, the revolutions of 
the passing age, the vicissitudes in the lives of our prelates 
and princes, the events of peace and war, and the never- 
ending chances which affect mankind, offer a vast field for 
any writer to expatiate on. As for miracles and wonders 
wrought by the saints, they are now of such rare occurrence 
in the world that authors have little need of bestowing 
much attention on stories of that kind. Time was when 
our ancient fathers, Martial and Taurinus, Silvester, Martin 
and Nicholas, and other admirable men, whose tongues were 
the keys of heaven, and who were full of supernatural graces 
and gifts, shone in the church like the light of the sun, and 
in the power of the Almighty gave laws to the elements of 
nature and the power of the air ; but these now enjoy the 
rest of the blessed with their heavenly King, from whom they 
have received everlasting rewards. Their present successors, 
who are raised to the summit of power, and, sitting in Moses' 
seat are called Rabbi, while they revel in worldly riches and 
pomp, of which most of them are too fond, are far from 
being equally illustrious as their predecessors for the merits 
of sanctity and miraculous powers and influences. Still we 
may faithfully relate the revolutions of the world and the 
course of human events, and history can be made the vehicle 
for the praise of Him who is the Maker and righteous 
Governor of all things. The eternal Creator works without 
ceasing and disposes all things in a wonderful order ; let 
every one treat devoutly of those glorious acts, according as 
his inclination and ability prompt him and as he shall be 
divinely instigated. 

YOL. H. 


CH. II. Some account of Hugh <F Avranches, earl of Chester 
His character His excellent chaplain Gerald. 

IK the year of our Lord 1066, the fifth indiction, the race 
of the great king Edgar having so degenerated that none of 
his descendants were able to sustain the weight of the royal 
sceptre, William, duke of Normandy, crossed over to England 
with many thousand troops, and on the field of Senlac slew 
Harold the usurper of the English throne. Soon afterwards 
on Christmas day, he was crowned at Westminster by Aldred 
archbishop of York, with the acclamations of both Normans 
and English, and governed the kingdom of Englandwitha strong 
hand twenty years, eight months and sixteen days. 1 Under 
his rule the native inhabitants were crushed, imprisoned, 
disinherited, banished and scattered beyond the limits of 
their own country ; while his own vassals and adherents 
were exalted to wealth and honours and raised to all 
the offices of the state. Among these Hugh D'Av- 
ranches, son of Bichard surnamed Goz, was highly dis- 
tinguished among the chief nobility, and invested with the 
earldom of Chester by the advice of the king's counsel after 
Gerbod of Flanders had returned home. 3 This Hugh was 
fondly attached to the world and worldly pomps, in which 
he considered the highest portion of human happiness to 
consist. He was a brave soldier, lavish in his liberalities, 
and took great delight in riotous sports, in jesters, horses 
and dogs, with other vanities of that sort. He was always 
surrounded by a numerous household, in which a crowd of 
young men of all ranks both low and high continually 
revelled. But the earl also entertained about him many 
honourable men, clerks as well as knights, and was well 
pleased to share with them both his cares and his riches. 
Attached to his chapel was a clerk from Avranches, named 
Gerald, 8 who was eminent for piety and virtue as well as 
for learning. This chaplain performed daily the service of 
God and frequently celebrated the holy offering with great 
devotion. He used his best offices with the courtiers of his 

1 December 25, 1066 September 9, 1087. 

1 Our author has given some further particulars of Hugh d' Avranches, 
earl of Chester, in b. iv. c. 7. See before pp. 47, 48. 

8 Gerald assumed the monastic habit in the Benedictine Abbey attached 
to the cathedral of Winchester. 



lord, by setting before them tbe example of those who had 
gone before, to move them to amendment of life. He observ- 
ed in many, and justly condemned, their headstrong tendency 
to carnal pursuits, and mourned over the neglect of divine 
worship generally shown. Great barons, simple knights, and 
noble youths all received their share of his salutary admoni- 
tions, and he drew both from the Old Testament and the 
more recent Christian records copious accounts of holy 
warriors who were worthy of their imitation. He described 
with eloquence the combats of Demetrius and George, The- 
odore and Sebastian, of Maurice, tribune of the Theban legion, 
and Eustachius, the illustrious commander of the forces, 
with his comrades, who obtained heaven by the crown of 
martyrdom. 1 To these he added the history of "William the 
noble champion, who after a long military service renounced 
the world and gloriously fought the fight of faith under the 
monastic rule. Many profited by Gerald's exhortations, 
and like gallant ships were towed through this world's 
waves and safely moored in the haven of a regular life. 

CH. III. The story of St. William (Court-nez) duke of Sep- 
timania and count of Toulouse and Barcelona under Char- 
lemagne His wars with the Saracens Becomes a monk 
-founds the abbey of St. Saviour in the Herault. 

HAVING happened to mention St. William, I take the oppor- 
tunity of inserting in my history a short account of his life. 
I am satisfied that it is very little known in this province, 
and there are many persons who will be gratified by being 
furnished with a faithful memoir of so distinguished a saint. 
Anthony, a monk of Winchester, brought it here not long 
since, and, complied with our eager desire to see it. There 
is indeed a story in verse concerning St. William which is 
commonly %ung by glee-men, 1 but the preference must be 

1 An opportunity will occur in b. ix. of our author's history, for giving 
some account of the first three saints here mentioned, who belonged to the 
Greek church. St. Maurice, and his soldiers of the Theban legion, 
suffered martyrdom on September 22, 286, under the emperor Maximian, 
at a place then called Agaunum, but now well known as St. Maurice in 
the Valais. St. Sebastian was martyred at Rome about the year 288 
(Jan. 20). St. Eustachius also suffered martyrdom at Rome under 
Adrian (Nov. 1). 

8 These songs on the acts of St. William, called William Court-Nez, 
B 2 


justly given to an authentic narrative, written with care 
by learned monks, and which is respectfully recited by 
studious readers in the presence of the assembled brethren. 
But as the bearer was in haste to depart and the severe 
winter's frost prevented me from writing, I made a short 
abridgment on my tablets, 1 which I now hasten to transfer 
correctly to parchment and thus spread abroad the fame of 
the brave lord-marcher. 

In the time of Pepin, king of the Franks, count Theodoric 3 
had by his wife Aldana a son named William. The boy 
was taught letters from his childhood, and afterwards took 
arms in the service of Charlemagne. He obtained the title and 
office of a count and the command of the first cohort in the 
army. Charles afterwards made him duke of Aquitain, 3 and 
confided to him an expedition against king Theodebald, 4 the 
Spaniards and Saracens. Having lost no time in marching 
into Septimania, he crossed the Ehone and laid siege to the 
city of Orange which he reduced, defeating the invaders. 
He then fought many battles with the infidels from beyond 
sea and the Arabs of the neighbourhood, his sword, by G-od's 
help, giving safety to the faithful, enlarging the bounds of 

are preserved in the Royal Library at Paris. See description of the MSS. 
by M. Pauslin. Paris, t. iv. p. 113 and 172. 

1 The author again speaks of his sufferings from the cold at the close of 
the present book. The climate of Normandy does not appear to have 
been much improved since he wrote, for even at a recent period Mr. St. 
John, in his entertaining journal of a residence near Caen, describes the 
winter to have been so severe as to have often incapacitated him for literary 
occupation, much in the same terms as Ordericus used eight hundred years 
before. The nature and scarcity of the fuel must, doubtless, have added 
to the distress. Our author seems to indicate that the frost interfered less 
with his tracing his extracts on tablets coated with wax, using a hard stile 
or pen, than with his writing on parchment with pen and ink, which is per- 
fectly natural. 

2 Some authors have supposed that this Count Theodoric is the same 
person as the Theodoricus comes described by Eginhard as a relation of 

* St. William was not created duke of Aquitain by Charlemagne in 
789, but count de Toulouse, in the place of Corson, with the title of 
duke, probably of Septimania. 

* We find no such name as this among the Saracen kings and emirs 
with whom St. William was in conflict during his long military career, 
789 806, in the time of Hatchem and El-Hakem, successively caliphs of 


the Christian empire, and subduing the Saracens. 1 William 
built a monastery in honour of St. Saviour and the twelve 
apostles in the territory of Lodeve in a valley called Grellone 
surrounded by rocks, 2 placing in it an abbot and a company 
of devout monks, and largely endowing it with all things 
necessary for them, and he had their grants confirmed by 
his own and royal charters. His two sisters Albana and 
Bertha became nuns there and continued perseveringly in 
the service of God. 

A long time afterwards, William coming to France on the 
summons of Charles* was honourably received and disclosed 
to him his desire of becoming a monk. The king could not 
refrain from tears in granting his permission, and bid him 
take whatever he would from his treasury to carry to his 
church. However William rejected all worldly riches, but 
asked for and obtained a reliquary containing a portion of 
the wood of the holy cross. It had been sent to Charles by 
Zachariah, patriarch of Jerusalem, a prelate of great worth, 
while the king was at Rome in the first year of his reign. 
When William's intention to change his state of life became 
known, the king's court was agitated and all the city in an 
uproar. A crowd of nobles forced their way into his presence, 
and sorrowfully entreated him not to desert them. He 
however, inflamed with divine ardour, abandoned all, and, 
being brought on his way with great honour, bidding them 
farewell, at length left the army of the Franks amid their 
tears and groans. When he reached the town of Brives he 
offered his armour on the altar of St. Julian the martyr, 4 
hanging his helmet and splendid shield over the martyr's 
tomb in the church, and suspending outside the door his 

1 It does not appear that the invasions of the Saracens during the 
government of Duke William ever reached the banks of the Rhone, and 
still less the territory of Orange. His most remarkable exploit was the 
taking of Barcelona in the year 801. 

* The little valley of Gellone, near its junction with that of the Herault, 
in the canton of Lodeve. 

3 According to the original legend, the emperor did not send for the 
count. This intercourse took place in the year 806. 

4 The altar of the church of the celebrated chapter of St. Julian of 
Brives in the Limosin. The arms offered by St. William were still pre- 
served in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the treasury of this chapter, 
and attested by their weight, as well as their dimensions, the strength and 
size of the warrior who bore them. 


quiver and bow w'th his long lance and two-edged sword, 
as an offering to Grod. He then set forth in the guise of a 
pilgrim of Christ and passed through Aquitain to the monas- 
tery which he had built a short time before in the wilderness. 
He drew near to it with naked feet and with hair-cloth 
about his body. When the brethren heard of his approach, 
they met him at the cross roads, and forming a festive pro- 
cession against his will, conducted him to the abbey. He 
then made his offering of the reliquary more precious than 
gold, with gold and silver vessels and all kinds of ornaments, 
and having proffered his petition gave up the world with all 
its pomps and enticements. 

In the year of our Lord, therefore, 806, in the fifth ' year 
of the reign of the Emperor Charles, on the feast of SS. 
Peter and Paul, Count William became a monk, and was 
suddenly changed and made another person in Christ 
Jesus. For after his profession he was taught without 
being offended, and corrected without being angry. He 
suffered blows and injuries unresistingly and without 
having recourse to threats. He rejoiced to be subject, and 
delighted in every kind of humiliation, being ready to serve, 
obey, and submit to all. He made daily progress in all 
sanctity and religion and the observance of the sacred rule, 
like gold made bright in the furnace. He completed, 
according to his design, the monastery which was in an 
unfinished state when he became a monk, receiving the aid 
of his sons Bernard and William (to whom he had resigned 
his counties 2 ), and of other counts in the neighbourhood. 
He made a road to the monastery by a sharp and difficult 
ascent through the mountains, cutting the rocks with 

1 It should be the sixth year. 

* M. Le Prevost remarks that " our author, following his original, here 
represents the pious monk as disposing of his dignities just as if he had 
lived several generations later." The titles of duke, count, Sue., certainly 
were not hereditary in the time of Charlemagne, nor till long afterwards. 
They were merely personal, and conferred official rank and power as 
governors of provinces, &c., at the will of the emperor or king. Still St. 
William, as a favourite general of Charu magne, may have obtained per- 
mission to resign his governments in favour of his sons. In point of fact, 
we find Bernard, the eldest, in possession of the duchy of Ssptimania 
and the counties of Toulouse and Barcelona, but not till the year 817. as 
to the tirst, and 820 as far as concerns the two last. 


hammers and pickaxes and other iron tools, and with the 
fragments laid the base of a causeway along the river 
Herault and abutting on the heights. 1 

Lewis, king of Aquitain, the son of Charlemagne, at the 
request of "William, gave to the monastery, with great 
willingness, several fiefs in his territories, and confirmed the 
grant by a royal charter sealed with his ring. 2 Meanwhile, 
William caused vineyards and oliveyards, and several gardens 
to be laid out on the ground surrounding the monastery, and 
clearing the valley of the woods which naturally grew there, 
planted fruit-trees in their place. He devoted himself with 
intense industry to these and similar works, labouring with 
his own hands, for the love of God, in rural occupations, and 
continually thus employed himself with true humility and 
religion. He often prostrated himself before the abbot and 
brethren, beseeching that for God's mercy, he might be 
allowed still greater self-renunciation and humiliation. He 
sought the lowest offices in the monastery ; it was his 
desire to be considered the vilest of all, and to be held in 
contempt. He would be a beast of burthen, and as an ass's 
colt bear the burthens of the brethren in the house of the 
Lord. He who had been a mighty duke was not ashamed 
to mount a miserable ass with a load of bottles. See the 
Lord William from a count become a cook, from a duke 
become a menial, loading his shoulders with faggots, carry- 
ing vessels of water, lighting and extinguishing fires. With 
his own hand he washes the bowls and platters, gathers 
vegetables, makes the soup and mixes the pulse with it. 
When the hour of refection is come, without delay he 
spreads the table for the monks in due order, while he 
himself, still fasting, watches and guards the house. He 

1 The Herault, which now gives its name to a department of France, 
rises in the Cevennes, and runs into the gulf of Lyons between Montpelier 
and Narbonne. The abbey of St. Saviour being built in a rocky valley, 
surrounded by mountains, far up towards the source of the river, the diffi- 
culties St. William had to contend with in making the road may be easily 
conceived. But the old general seems to have been a good engineer ad 
well as planter and gardener, to say nothing of the more humble offices 
ascribed to him in this most amusing legend, in which truth and fiction are 
strangely mingled. . 

2 The royal charter bears date, Dec. 28, 808. The lands granted are in 
the district of Beziers. 


undertakes the baking, heats the oven, places the loaves in 
it and draws the bread when it is baked. 

Once, when wood for baking was scarce, he was forced to 
gather twigs, straw, and whatever he could lay hands on, 
which he threw into the oven in order to heat it quickly. 
But as time pressed and those within sharply chid this 
servant of God because the usual hour for the brethren's 
meal was somewhat passed, and he had nothing that would 
serve to clear out the ashes, he invoked Christ, and making 
the sign of the cross, entered the oven and did all that was 
needful without sustaining any injury. Throwing out the 
hot cinders with his naked hands, he collected the ashes in 
his cowl without its being singed, put the oven in order 
and sprinkled it for putting in the loaves. Though "William 
thus stood in the fire for some time, neither his body nor his 
clothes were scorched. After this, however, the abbot, by 
the advice of the brethren, forbad his engaging in any servile 
works, and, allotting him a suitable cell, enjoined him to 
apply his leisure to prayer and holy meditation. Thus 
having had a long experience of active exercises, he began 
to take rest in a life of reflection, and, having performed 
the service and busy occupations of Martha, joined with 
Mary in the delights of heavenly contemplation. 

When, at length, "William was full of perfection in virtue, 
he was endowed with the spirit of prophecy, and his course 
of life was shown him by divine revelation. He predicted 
the day of his death to the abbot and brethren, and even 
announced it in writing to many of the neighbours. He also 
sent a messenger to Charlemagne to inform him distinctly by 
what sign he should know the hour of his death. At last, 
after all offices had been duly performed, the blessed 
William departed on the fifth of the calends of June, 1 [May 
28], to the joy of angels and the grief of men. There im- 
mediately followed in all the churches, great and small, 
throughout the neighbouring districts, a loud and strange 
tolling of the bells, both tenor and treble ; 2 and the knell 
was rung and the small bell tinkled for a long space of time, 

1 In the year 812. 

1 " II est visible que dans ce passage, signum ordinairement Fynonyme de 
tympana, a et6 employ^ dans le Bens de clochettes ou grelots, tintinnabula." 
Le Provost. 


although no human hands pulled the ropes or swung the 
clappers, but solely by divine power acting on them from 
heaven. The holy body of the illustrious saint was honourably 
interred in the abbey of St. Saviour, and the praises of God 
were devoutly sung "for many miracles gloriously performed, 
The venerable monastery remains there to the present day, 
in which a great company of monks, the army of the Lord 
God of Sabaoth triumphantly serves, and by the merits of 
St. "William, who from an illustrious knight became a pious 
monk, crowds of sick people receiving health rejoice in 
Christ Jesus, who gives eternal glory to all who are united 
to him. 

CH. IV. Gerald of Avranches, prior of Cranbourn after- 
wards abbot of Tewksbury Robert Fitz-Hamon, its 
founder Roger Fitz-Warrene a noble monk of St. 

IT was thus that Gerald of Avranches frequently re- 
counted the triumphs of the invincible soldiers of Christ, 
and stirred up the knights with whom he associated, and 
their well-born squires, both by persuasions and alarms, to a 
similar course of life. The result was, that in the first 
instance five men of eminence quitted the earl's household, 
whose names are these ; Roger, son of Erneis, nephew of 
William Warrene, earl of Surry, Arnulf, son of Humphrey 
de Tilleul, nephew of Hugh de Grantmesnil, viscount of 
Leicester, and Guy of Mantes his squire ; Dreux, son of 
Geoffrey de Neuf-Marche ; and Odo, son of Arnulf of 
D61, and chaplain to the earl. At the suggestion of Ar- 
nulf, whose kinsmen had assisted in building the abbey 
of St. Evroult, all these went to Ouche and were gladly 
received into the monastery by abbot Mainier. They lived 
there regularly for a long time, and contributed to the 
prosperity of the community by their exertions and care. 

Thus Gerald had by preaching the word of God stirred 
up to better things those who were sunk in fatal oblivious- 
ness in the gulf of the world's temptations, as the cock 
rouses those who are sleeping in the dead of the night. He 
now shook his wings, and casting off his sluggishness, with 
a lively effort prepared to follow his disciples, who have just 
been named, to St. Evroult. But God's providence com- 


pelled him to remain in England. For, having reached 
Winchester, he was taken very ill, and, in fear of death, 
devoutly assumed the monastic habit in the old monastery 
of St. Peter, where he long lived a regular life under the 
abbot Walkeline, and G-odfrey the religious and learned 
prior. 1 Some time afterwards he was canonically advanced 
to ecclesiastical rule, and was appointed the first abbot of 
Tewksbury, when Samson of Bayeux 2 was bishop of 
Worcester. Robert Eitz-Hamon 3 had founded this abbey 
of Tewksbury, on the river Severn, in the reign of William 
the younger, king of England, and richly endowed it. 4 Ge- 
rald, now raised to the summit of pastoral care, diligently ful- 
filled the holy duty of preaching, which he had willingly per- 
formed while he was only a clerk, and by that means drawn 
many from the depths of debauchery and rapacity to purity 
and innocence of life. He gave the regular institutions of 
the order to his new society, admitted a number of novices 

l Godfrey de Cambray was made prior of Winchester in 1082, when his 
predecessor Vauquelin was appointed abbot of Ely. He died in the odour 
of sanctity, Dec. 27, 1107. 

* He was brother of Thomas, archbishop of York, and was consecrated 
bishop of Worcester, June 15, 1096, and died, May 5, 1112. 

3 Robert, earl of Gloucester, the natural son of Henry I., married the 
daughter and heiress of this Robert Fitz-Hamon, and succeeded to his 
great estates. Hamon-aux-Dents, lord of Creulli and Torigni, who was 
killed at the battle of Valesdunes (1047) left two sons, Hamon, steward of 
King William, and Robert, who appears to have died without children 
before the Domesday book was compiled. Hamon, the steward, was 
viscount of Kent, and one of the judges in the cause between Lanfranc 
and Odo, bishop of Bayeux. He had two sons, the eldest of whom was 
this Robert Fitz-Hamon, and the second was named Hamon, like his 
father and grandfather. 

* It was originally a priory, founded as early as the year 715. Alward, 
or Ethelward, surnamed Mew, was its patron in the time of King Ethelred 
and St. Dunstan. About the year 980 he founded a small monastery on 
his domains at Cranbourn in Dorsetshire. Brictric Mew was his lineal 
descendant and heir. His estates were given to Queen Matilda, and after her 
death, by William Rufus to Robert Fitz-Hamon. That king, and afterwards 
his brother Henry in 1 1 00, confirmed to the abbey of St. Mary at Tewks- 
bury the endowment made by Robert Fitz-Hamon, who, at the instance 
of his wife Sibyl, and Gerald d'Avranches, abbot of Cranbourn, deter- 
mined in 1102 to rebuild the church of Tewksbury from the foundation, 
and to transfer there the monks of Cranbourn, except a prior and two 
brethren. The union of the two establishments dates only from this 
period and not from the time of Alward. 


under the monastic rule, and gave them the best regulations 
for a life of strictness. He took part with those who were 
under his government in religious offices, and sometimes 
even exceeded the juniors in the labours to be undergone; 
while he managed the aifairs of the monastery both internally 
and externally with diligence and prudent address. How- 
ever, after some years the malice of Satan was directed 
against the Lord's flock, grievously afflicting the tender 
sheep by the trouble iniquitously caused to their shepherd. 
For, after Eobert Fitz-Hamon's death, Eobert of Brittany 
brought some false charges before King Henry against his 
abbot, by whom he had been admitted into the monastery. 
The abbot being summoned before the king declined to 
enter into long explanations, but, satisfied with the con- 
sciousness of his innocence, voluntarily resigned to the king 
the government of his abbey, and after submitting to 
Martha's toilsome services, chose with Mary the better part, 
by returning again to his retirement in the monastery at 
Winchester. To finish his history, he sometime afterwards 
received an invitation from the venerable Ralph, bishop of 
Rochester, 1 and at the request of many persons, went to the 
bishop for the purpose of conferring with him on sacred 
subjects ; but while there, at the summons of God, he took 
to his bed, and having duly performed all that was fitting 
for a servant of God died in sanctity. 2 

Roger de Warrenne, who was converted, as we have 
already seen, by the exhortations of Gerald, escaping as it 
were from the destruction of Sodom, went to St. Evrpult 
with four of his companions to become a monk, and lived 
there nearly forty-six years, filled with zeal for the duties 
of his order, and abounding in all virtues. Though his 
person was handsome, he chose to disfigure it by a mean, 
dress. A respectful modesty marked his whole demeanour, 

1 He was born near St. Pierre-sur-Dive, and assumed the monastic habit 
at St. Martin-de-Sez, of which he became abbot in 1089. Being obliged 
to leave Normandy on acconnt of the tyranny of Robert do Belcsme, he 
took refuge in England in 1103, was made bishop of Rochester in 1103, 
and translated to the archbishopric of Canterbury, April 26, 1114. 

2 It appears from the chronicle of Tewksbury, that Gerald (who is 
cailed Giralde) was at first abbot of Cranbourn, before the change men- 
tioned in the preceding note. He was therefore the first abbot of the new 
monastery, as our author says, and the last of the old. 


his voice was musical, and he had an agreeable way of 
speaking. His strength of body enabled him to undergo 
much toil, while he was at all times ready to sing psalms 
and hymns. He was gifted with pleasing manners and 
courteous towards his brother monks. He was abstemious 
himself but generous to others, always alive for vigils, and 
incredibly modest. He did not plume himself with carnal 
ostentation on account of his noble birth, but obeyed the 
rule with unhesitating humility, and chose with pleasure to 
perform the lowest offices required of the monks. For 
many years he was in the habit of cleaning the brethren's 
shoes, washing their stockings, and cheerfully doing other 
services which appear mean to stupid and conceited persons. 
He ornamented a book of the gospels with gold, silver, and 
precious stones, and procured several vestments and copes 
for the chanters, with carpets, and curtains, and other 
ornaments, for the church. He got all he could from his 
brothers and relations, as occasion offered, and what he 
wrested from their bodily gratifications he applied with joy 
to divine offices for the good of their souls. 

Richard de Coulonces, the brother of this Roger, came to 
St. Evroult and gave to the abbey the church of Etouvi, 
which lie bad redeemed from one Ernest, his tenant, adding 
the tithe of two mills. The grant of these possessions, in 
which Adelaide, his wife, and tho aforesaid Ernest, joined, 
he placed on the altar. In return for this grant, the monks 
gave to Richard eight livres, and to Robert de Mowbray, 1 
who was the paramount lord, a hundred shillings, where- 
upon he forthwith, in the orchard of Turstin de Soulangi,* 
confirmed the grant of the church of Etouvi as the monks 
required. This Richard de Coulonces became very rich, 
and being a favourite with King Henry rose to eminence 
among his peers. His prosperity continued to an advanced 
age, and he had by his wife eleven sous and four daughters, 
whose names are here given : Hugh, Geoffrey, Richard. 
John, Robert, Odo, Henry, Ivo, Rodolph, William, and 
Henry; Rohais, Adeliza, Matilda, and Avicia. Of these, 
two were dedicated to God from their infancy ; for John 

1 Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, nephew of Geoffrey, 
bishop of Coutances. 
3 boulangi, near Falaise. 


was admitted a monk at St. Evroult, and Adeliza became a 
nun in the convent of the Holy Trinity at Caen. 

Eichard de Coulonces died on the seventeenth of the 
calends of October [September 15], in the year of our Lord 
1125 ; and the year following his son Hugh came to St. 
Evroult, and making an offering to God upon the altar, of a 
golden salver, truly confirmed the grant of all that his father 
had given as before-mentioned, placing also the charter on 
the altar. He also devoted himself to St. Evroult. 

CH. Y. Abbot Mainier's journey to England Obtains 
grants of lands and tithes for St. Evroult The charter 
of William I. Queen Matilda's visit Abbots Roger-du 
Sap and Warin des-Essarts. 

ENCOURAGED by the serenity shed on affairs by prosperous 
times, Abbot Mainier crossed the sea to England in the 
fourteenth year of his government, 1 having in his company 
Eoger de Warrene and Dreux de Neuf-Marche. He pre- 
sented himself at the court of King William, from whom 
he had often received invitations, and paid friendly visits to 
Lanfranc the archbishop, and others, to whom he was greatly 
attached. He was treated with great respect by the king 
and his nobles, and took the opportunity of addressing pru- 
dent admonitions to the brethren of St. Evroult, who had 
left Normandy to better their fortunes, and obtained 
promotion in England. These distinguished monks were 
also received with favour by the great lords of the realm, 
whose kindness to the strangers was shown by the gifts 
heaped upon them out of the wealth acquired with violence 
in a foreign land. The king and his nobles joyfully made 
them gifts of farms, sums of money, and ornaments for their 
church, commending themselves to their prayers with confi- 
dence and devotion. At this time the possessions, churches, 
and tithes, which the friends and neighbours of the monks 
of St. Evroult had granted to them, were recorded in a 
charter for the better knowledge of posterity. The charter 
by which the illustrious William freely confirmed the grants 
made by himself and his liege-men to the abbey of St. 
Evroult, by his royal authority, is in these words : 

" William, by the grace of God, king of England, duke of 
1 In the year 1081. 


Normandy and prince of Maine, to all who profess the 
catholic faith and keep the peace of the church, sends full 
and infinite joy. Whereas the life of man is short, and all 
things are transitory from one generation to another, we 
are pleased to confirm the statutes of our time by an instru- 
ment in writing, that what we duly execute, of our own 
right and the power given to us by Q-od, none of our suc- 
cessors may presume to violate, lest he should be found to 
withstand Him who disposes kingdoms according to his will. 
I therefore William, by the grace of God king, have deter- 
mined to endow, in frank-almoign, in the kingdom commit- 
ted to me by G-od for my eternal profit, the convent of St. 
Evroult ; and whatever my faithful subjects lawfully dedicate 
to God, for the common salvation of all, out of the pos- 
sessions given them by me I ratify, and by these presents, 
under my hand, make known the confirmation to all now 
living, and to all the faithful in time to come. In the first 
place therefore I give, out of my domains, to the abbey of 
Ouche, which Evroiflt the holy confessor of Christ built in 
the wilderness, the ville called Rawell, that is, Goatswell, 
in Gloucestershire, 1 and, in Lincolnshire, the church of Net- 
tleham, 2 with all its appurtenances. Moreover, the lords 
who hold under me having given the following domains to 
St. Evroult, have demanded that they should be secured by 
the authority of a royal charter against all pretenders. 
Roger of Shrewsbury hath given all that he holds at 
Melbourne, in Cambridgeshire, 3 together with Onne and 
Marston 4 in Staffordshire, and one hide of land in Graff- 

1 Before the conquest this manor belonged to the Saxon Ulward. The 
monks of St. Evroult exchanged it, by licence from Ed. I., with those of 
Winchcomb for twenty pounds rent out of their manors of Drymarston 
and Admington. 

2 Nettlehum, three miles from Lincoln. Domesday book contains no 
record of this grant to St. Evroult. The patronage of the church has be- 
longed from time immemorial to the bishop of Lincoln. 

* Melbourne and Meldreth, two parishes in the present hundred of 
Armingford in Cambridgeshire, are recorded in Domesday book as belong- 
ing to Roger de Montgomery. 

4 Little-On, in the parish of Church-Eaton, Staffordshire; the church is 
of Norman architecture. Marston is a manor near Stafford, and gave 
name to a prebend in the collegiate church of St. Mary there. In 
Domesday book, Marston is appropriated to the abbey of St. Evroult, under 
Eaxl Roger. The manor afterwards belonged to the Giffards of Chillington. 

A.D. 1081.] CHARTEB OP WILLIAM I. 255 

ham, 1 and the land of Wulfine the goldsmith, at Chichester, 
and the tithes of cheese and wool at Poulton, 2 and the tithes 
of Shengay in Cambridgeshire. Likewise Mabel, the said 
earl's daughter, gave out of her rents in England sixty 
pence sterling for the lights of the church. Warm, viscount 
of Shrewsbury, gave to St. Evroult Newton 3 and the church 
and tithes of Hales, with the tithes of "Weston in Stafford- 
shire. All these Earl Eoger his lord confirmed. Moreover, 
Hugh de Grantmesnil, (who, with his brother Bobert and 
his uncles William and Eobert, sons of Giroie, rebuilt the 
abbey of St. Evroult), gave the following hereditaments in 
England to hold for ever: all the land he had in Little 
Pillerton in Warwickshire, and two parts of the tithes of 
all his lands, together with sixteen villeins to collect the 
tithes, and nine churches. He gave also three villeins at 
Shilton,* two at Ware, 4 two at Belgrave, one at Stoughton, 
one at Laughton, one at Tormodeston, one at Kirkby, 6 one 
at Merston, one at Oxhill, 7 one at Charlton, and one in the 
other Charlton. 8 He also gave the church of Ware, with all 
the tithes belonging thereto, and two plough-lands ; and 

1 Graffham, a parisn near Midhurst in Sussex. 

8 Poulton, in the hundred of Highworth, Wilts. 

3 Newton, a hamlet in the parish of Blithfield, Sherriff-Halea (from 
Warin the viscount), and Weston-under-Lizzard, all in Staffordshire. 
Newton and Weston were held of the king in capile at the time of 
making Domesday book, by Reginald de Baliol, who married 'the widow of 
Warin the viscount, and succeeded him in his office. Hales was at the 
same time held in capite by Earl Roger, and under him by Reginald de 
Baliol. It afterwards became the chief seat in England of the family of 
Pantoul, called also Paunton, Pantulf, or Pandulf. William Pantoul 
was a great benefactor to St. Evroult, and the connexion continued after 
the family settled in England. See b. v. c. 16. 

* Earl-Shilton, a manor and chapel in the parish of Kirkby-Malory, in 
the hundred of Sparkenhoe in Leicestershire. 

5 Ware in Hertfordshire, a priory dependent upon the abbey of St. 
Evroult. The prior acted as general proctor for the abbey in England, not 
only as regarded the possessions of that house, but also for those of its 
priories of Noyon and Neuf-Marche. 

6 Belgrave, near Leicester ; Stoughton, a hamlet in the parish of 
Thornby; Church-Langton, near Market-Harborough; Tormodeston (Thur- 
meston), a hamlet and chapel in the parish of Belgrave; Kirkby-Malory, 
mentioned before, in Leicestershire. 

7 Dutlers-Merston ; Oxhill (Ostesilvp.) ; parishes in the hundred of 
Kineton in Warwickshire. 

B Charlton-Curlicu, Leicestershire, and Charlton-upon-Olmoor, Oxford- 


the church of Turchillestone, the tithes thereto belonging, 
and two yard-lands ; the church of Grlendfield, with .all the 
tithes, and two yard-lands; the church of Charlton with 
the tithes, and five yard-lauds ; the church of Nosley 1 with 
the tithes, and two yard-lands ; the church of Mergrave, 
now called Belgrave, with the tithes and eleven yard-lands ; 
with "Wilcot, 3 and whatever Hugh the clerk of Sap held 
under him in England; the church of Merston 3 with the 
tithes and land thereto belonging; also the church of 
Pilardenton, with the tithes and tenements appertaining to 
the church; the church of the other Charlton, with the 
tithes and three yard-lands ; the church of Cotesford, 4 
with the tithes and one hide of land ; and the church of 
Peatling, with all that Leofric held there under him. 5 These 
are the possessions which Hugh de Grantmesnil hath given 
to St. Evroult with my consent. Also Ealph de Conches 
hath given to the said saint two manors, Alvinton in Wor- 
cestershire and Caldecot in Norfolk ; 6 and Hugh, the son of 
Constantius, hath given the church of G-uafra and one hide 
of land. 7 Moreover, Hugh, earl of Chester, hath dedicated 
his son Robert to God, as a monk in the abbey of St. 
Evroult, and hath given to the same church one hide of 

1 Turchillestone (Thurcaston) Glendfield, NosJey, all in Leicestershire. 
3 Wilcot, a manor and hamlet in the parish of Quinton, Gloucestershire. 

3 Merston; Butler's-Merston, already mentioned. The patronage of the 
church did not rest with the abbey of St. Evroult, which possessed only 
the tithes. Ralph-the-Butler gave it to the abbey of Alcester. 

4 Cotesford, a parish in the hundred of Ploughley, Oxfordshire. The 
manor had been granted to Ralph d'lvri, Hugh de Grantmesnil's son-in- 
law, when Domesday book was compiled. His wife, Adeline de Grant- 
meonil, gave it to the abbey of Bee, with several other manors composing 
her dowry, and her sister Rohais, married to Robert de Courci, gave to 
the same abbey a manor she held by the same title at Cotesford. The 
monks of St. Evroult ceded the patronage of this church to the priory 
of Okebourne, a cell of Bee. 

* In Leicestershire ; part of the domains of Adeliza, Hugh de Grant- 
mesnil's wife, when Domesday book was made, which says that Leofric 
held under her eight plough-lands and a half. Peatling was called a priory 
until about the year 1379, when it is described as a dependency on Ware. 

6 Alton, a hamlet in the parish of Rock, hundred of Doddingtree, 
Worcestershire ; Caldecot, a hamlet, formerly a parish, in the hundred of 
Guenhow, Norfolk. 

7 Guafra, Wara, Over, Churchover, in the hundred of Knighton, 
Warwickshire. In Domesday book it is part of the fief of Rob.-rt de 
Stafford, brother of this Ralph de Conches, or Toni. 

A.D. 1081.] CHAUTEB OF WILLIAM I. 257 

land in Little Pilardenton, 1 and the tithes of one farmer iu 
the vill called Birch-hill, 2 and the tithes of Shenley in 
Buckinghamshire. Also Robert de Ehuddlan, with the con- 
sent of his lord, the said Hugh, earl of Chester, gave Kirby, 3 
with two churches, one in the village itself, and the other at 
the manor lying near, surrounded by the sea ; together with 
the church of St. Peter the apostle and its appurtenances, 
in the city of Chester ; 4 and the church of St. Lawrence at 
Marston, in Northamptonshire, with its appurtenances ; and 
in the same county the church of Byfield, with two plough- 
lands. 5 Also other mesne-tenants of Earl Hugh gave to St. 
Evroult tithes in Lincolnshire, viz., Boscelin of Staiuton, 
Osbern, son of Tezson, of Newbold, Baldric de Fairford, 6 
the tythe with one villein ; Koger de Millai, 7 and Brisard, 
and Kobert Pultrel 5 in Leicestershire. All these gave their 
tithes to St. Evroult, and the aforesaid earl freely con- 
firmed the grant. All the aforesaid lands which I have 
given to the abbey, often before mentioned, from my own 
demesne, and which my barons and I have confirmed to the 
same, I ratify by this present charter, made at the city of 

1 Little Pillerton, in the hundred of Kineton, Warwickshire. 

a There are three adjoining parishes of this name in the hundred of 
Newport, Buckinghamshire. Shenley, in the same hundred, has been 
mentioned before. 

1 West Kirby, a parish in the hundred of Wirra!, Cheshire. The 
church is dedicated to St. Bridget. The other church here mentioned is 
St. Mary's, in Hilburg-Eye (Norsk for an islet), now Hillbree, and annexed 
to the parish of St. Donald, belonging to the cathedral of Chester. 

* The abbey and convent of St. Evroult afterwards gave up to the monks 
of St. Werburgh at Chester all their rights in this and the two preceding 
churches, in consideration of a yearly rent of twenty pounds issuing out of 
the manor of Peatling in Leicestershire. 

8 Marston-St.-Lawrence, a parish in the hundred of King-Sutton; By- 
field, in that of Chipping- Warden, both in Northamptonshire. These two 
manors formed part of the hundred of the earl of Chester, and were held 
under him by Robert de Rhuddlan when Domesday-book was compiled. 

* All in the division of Lindsey in Lincolnshire. These three places 
were part of the domains of Earl Hugh, and the names mentioned in the 
charter are included among his vassals in Domesday-book. 

7 Roger de Millai was also a mesne tenant of Earl Hugh in Tedding- 
worth. His surname was brought with him from Normandy, very probably 
from the parish of Mlai in Cinglais. 

8 This Robert de Pultrel gave his name to Hotton, a hamlet of the 
parish of Pustwold, also held of Earl Hugh. The name of Poultrel is 
Btill common in Normandy. 


258 OfiDEEICt/S VITAL1S. [B.TI. CH.T. 

Winchester, in the year of our Lord 1081, the fourth indic- 
tion ; and I deliver this instrument to be executed with the 
mark of the holy cross, to those my capital tenants, who 
have given their lands in frank alinoign or their sureties, 
that this endowment may be for ever ratified by royal au- 
thority, and that sacrilegious invaders of sacred rights may 
incur the penalty of an irrevocable anathema, unless they 
repent of their crime." 

In consequence "William, the great king of England, first 
affixed the sign of the holy cross to this charter, and after 
him the following nobles also subscribed, whose names are 
hereuuder written : viz. Bobert and William, the king's sons 
and earls of the highest rank; Eoger of Shrewsbury, Hugh of 
Chester, Ealph de Conches, and William de Breteuil, Hugh 
de Grantmesnil and his nephew Robert de Ehuddlan, 1 Eobert 
son of Murdac, 2 Groulfier de Villerai, 3 William de Molines, 4 
Eicher de Laigle, Eudes the steward, and Warin, Viscount 
of Shrewsbury. 5 

On his return from England, Abbot Mainier brought with 
him this charter and laid it up in the archives of the church. 
Then Queen Matilda, hearing a goof: report of the life of the 
monks, came to St. Evroult to pay her devotions, and being 
received by the brethren with due honours offered a mark of 
gold on the altar, and commended herself with her daughter 
Constance to the prayers of the brethren. 8 She also ordered 

1 Rhuddlan in Flintshire. 

2 This noble family, which has extended its branches both in Normandy 
and England, and a member of which was archbishop of York in the 
twelfth century, appears to have been originally lords of Courtonne-la- 
Meurdrac, near Lisieux. In Domesday-book we find Robert, son of Mur- 
dac, described as tenant in capite of two manors, one in Oxfordshire, the 
oilier in Hampshire. 

3 Seeb. iii. c. 19. 

4 See b. v. c. 1 3. 

* Warin, the viscount, often mentioned before. See p. 196. He was 
not, however, the brother of Reginald de Baliol, but his first wife's 

8 It appears from this passage that Queen Matilda remained in Nor- 
mandy while William was in England. M. Le Prevost remarks that he 
was mistaken in fixing the marriage of Constance with Alan Fergan, duke 
of Brittany, about the year 1077, when she was quite young. See c. 1!!, 
p. 105. She may have been betrothed about that time (1076), but the 
marriage did not take place till 1086. 


that a refectory of stone, for their common use, should be 
built at her expense. She further gave to St. Evroult a 
chasuble enriched with gold and jewels, and an elegant cope 
for the chanter, with a promise to make further offerings if 
she lived ; but she was prevented by death from fulfilling it. 
Likewise Adeline, wife of Roger de Beaumont, 1 gave to the 
monks of St. Evroult an alb fringed with gold, which the 
priest was used to wear when celebrating mass on solemn 
occasions. In like manner many persons of both sexes made 
offerings of various kinds to the abbey, desiring to participate 
in the spiritual benefits which were there conferred by the 
Maker of the universe. 

At this time three brothers served God with merit in the 
monastic habit at St. Evroult ; Roger, surnamed Nicholas, 
Roger and Odo. They were the sons of a priest named 
Gervase de Montreuil, who had been long ago transferred by 
abbot Theodoric from being curate of the parish of Les 
Essarts to that of Sap. The three brothers made their 
profession while they were youths, and becoming remarkable 
among the brethren for their worth, were highly esteemed 
both by God and man. The eldest was an unlearned man, 
but a devoted lover of virtue, and he skilfully superintended 
the work of building the new church. The two others were 
eminent scholars and priests, firm supporters of their superior, 
and his able vicars, both within and without the convent. 
The abbot made Odo prior of his monastery, for though he 
was the youngest brother he was the best speaker and most 
fitted for active affairs. Roger the eldest brother who had 
made the greatest advances in learning, was sent to England 
on affairs of the church. In this he promptly obeyed his 
superior's command ; he also made by his own efforts a shrine 
to hold relics of the saints, which he elegantly ornamented 
with silver and gold. 2 His skill procured many treasures for 
the church, such as a variety of furniture, and copes and 
vestments for the chanters, sconces, silver dishes, and other 

1 She was daughter of Waleran, and sister of Hugh, count de Meulan, 
who became a monk at Bee in 1077, and died in 1079 or 1089. She 
married Roger de Beaumont in 1036, and died in 1081. 

3 A chasse, or reliquary, of very ancient and curious workmanship, 
which may possibly have been that here mentioned, escaped the plunder 
of the revolution, and is still preserved at St. Evroult. 

8 2 


ornaments used in divine service. He was gentle and 
modest, temperate in food, drink, and sleep, and beloved by 
all for his kind disposition. Having filled the various offices 
which the monastic system requires for twenty years, he was 
afterwards promoted, by common consent of the brethren, to 
succeed Mainier and Serlo in the government of the abbey of 
St. Evroult. 1 He held it for thirty-three years through good 
and evil fortune, but finding himself broken by the infirmi- 
ties of age, he committed it to one of his disciples named 
"Warin, and for three years before his death, made him, as 
far as possible, his deputy and successor. 8 But of these 
affairs, if life be spared me, I shall, with God's help, give a full 
account in the sequel of this history. I now return to the 
enumeration of the possessions granted to the abbey of 
St. Evroult. 

CH. VI. Sow the tithes of Lommoie were granted to the abbey 
of St. Evroult. 

THE young Ralph, son of Albert de Cravent, at the com- 
mencement of his military career, fell in with Q-uitmond the 
monk 3 in the valley of Guyon, coming from Maule, attended 
by a servant ; and unhorsing the monk, carried off the 
palfreys. The monk made his way to Paci on foot, and in 
great tribulation implored Albert's protection against his 
son. 4 The knight however replied superciliously, and at once 
refused to render him any assistance in the recovery of his 
horses. Upon finding this, Alberede his wife began making 
lamentations, tossing her hands, and tearing her hair, and 
mourning for her son as if he were just dead. She cried out 
like a distracted person, exclaiming with mingled groans and 
tears : " My son Ralph, you have begun your career in folly 
rather than in arms. Alas ! you have listened to detestable 
teachers, and, foolish boy ! have been led astray by their fatal 
sophisms, by which you are miserably drawn to the brink 

1 Roger du Sap was consecrated abbot of St. Evroult the 24th of 
August, 1099. 

2 Warin des Essarts was consecrated on Ascension day, the 24th of 
May, 1123. His predecessor survived till January 13, 1126 or 1127. 

8 Prior of Maule. See book v. c. 1 9. 

4 Paci-sur-Eure. Albert probably had a command in the garrison. 
The valley of Guyon must have lain between it and Maule. 


of perdition. "What a sad message have you sent me ! what 
bitter grief have you occasioned me ! misguided young man ! 
what shall I say to you ? Ton have incurred fatal degrada- 
tion by unjustly treating an unarmed servant of Christ. O 
my son Ralph ! what were you doing in your folly when your 
first passage in arms was against the Almighty ? I am 
persuaded full well, that I shall have small cause for joy and 
abundant sorrow for your exploit. Do not all the doctors 
of the church agree in asserting unanimously, that the Most 
High dwells in his saints and shares with them good and 
evil ? And you, his father, come to the aid of your infatuated 
son, and use all diligence to have the stolen horses restored 
to the disconsolate monk, lest your only son should, for such a 
crime, be forthwith given over to the devil." The prudent 
mother thus supplicating for her son's welfare, and seriously 
endeavouring to console the distressed monk, Albert and all 
his household were moved and frightened, and his mule being 
returned he sent his men-at-arms with him as far as Breval, 
and having severely reprimanded his son insisted on his 
instantly giving up every thing he had taken from him. 
Gruitmond therefore, recovering his horses, departed for Paci, 
having returned thanks to Albert and his wife, both of whom 
solicited and obtained his pardon for the offence which had 
been committed. Alberede was daughter of Hugh bishop of 
Evreux, 1 and was highly esteemed by the neighbours for her 
great worth, as far as things were in her power. 

The same year the young man just spoken of fell sick, and 
repenting of his crime sought for pardon from the monks of 
St. Evroult. and devoted himself and all he posessed to the 
saint. At his death his sorrowing father caused his corpse 
to be conveyed to the abbey, and gave one moiety of the 
tithes of Lommoie to St. Evroult, free as he himself possessed 
it. The other moiety was held of him by the monks of 
Coulombs, 8 under the agreement that they should pay and 
perform on his behalf all episcopal dues and all services which 
were reserved. This grant was made to St. Evroult in the 
year of our lord 1070, when Philip was king of France and 
Geoffrey (nephew of Keginald, bishop of Paris) was bishop 

1 Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, who died at the council of Rheims, held in 
October, 1049, was eldest son of Ralph, count d'lvri, uncle of Richard II. 
8 An abbey on the right bank of the Eure, near Nogent-le-roL 


of Chartres. 1 Ralph Malvoisin, who was the lord of the fee, 
freely granted at Medan, on the request of abbot Mainier, 
the tithes of Lommoie, which as before related belonged to 
the church. 

Not long afterwards Albert himself died, and his body- 
was carried to St. Evroult, and the gift of the tithes was con- 
firmed by his heirs, Guy his son-in-law, Everard de Rai his 
son, and Ealph de La Cunelle, and others who have succeeded 
to the present time ; and the monks of St. Evroult, by God's 
mercy, have quietly possessed them for nearly sixty years 
under three bishops, Geoffrey, Ivo, and Geoffrey. 2 

CH. VII. Foundation of the priory of Aufay near Dieppe, a 
cell to St. Evroult Possessions belonging to it in Normandy 
and England. 

I WISH now to commit to writing for the benefit of 
posterity how and at what time the cell of Aufay, in the 
county of Talou, 8 was erected, and subjected to the monks of 
St. Evroult, in the time of King William and Archbishop 
John, and to record in this work the charter of donation 
and confirmation which was authorized by King Henry. 

As human life is constantly fleeting, and mortal man must 
irrecoverably part with the possessions which he has used 
the greatest exertions to acquire, every one ought faithfully 
to obey the commandments of God while he lives and has it 
in his power, that, holding transitory things in contempt, he 
may by God's grace obtain those that are eternal. Taking 
this into his serious consideration, a noble Norman knight, 
named Gilbert, son of Richard de Heugleville,* at the instance 

1 From July 30, 10771089. The date given in the text is incorrect, 
though it is written at full length in the MS. of St. Evroult. It should 
probably have been 1080. This Geoffrey, bishop of Chartres, has been 
mentioned before, book v. c. 16. 

1 Geoffrey I., 10771089; Ives, 10901115; Geoffrey II., 1116 
1 149. This paragraph must have been written some time about the year 

8 The priory of Aufay, in the county of Talou, on the Sie, a rivulet 
which discharges itself into the sea a little to the west of Dieppe. Aufay 
is the second station on the railroad to Rouen, as Longueville, presently 
mentioned, the original seat of the Giffards, earls and dukes of Bucking- 
ham, is the first. 

* Heugleville-sur-Sie. 


of his wife Beatrice, determined to establish monks on his 
patrimonial domains at Aufay, by whose intercessions and 
merits he might be aided in the day of account. His nephew 
Dreux had lately retired from his worldly service, and become 
a monk in the monastary of St. Evroult the confessor, for 
which reason Gilbert had become much attached to abbot 
Mainier and the monks, and gave them the church of St. 
Mary d' Aufay, with all his prebends ; in such wise that six 
monks should be appointed instead of the six canons who 
then served the church, and should succeed to their prebends 
when the canons died or gave up their secular calling for a 
stricter rule of life. The aforesaid lord gave also to the 
same monks all the vill of Pare, 1 with the church and entire 
tithes of the same vill, as free and discharged from all 
burdensome services, as he held it himself. He released the 
men of Pare from all compulsory service, except they were 
summoned by the duke of Normandy in a general levy. He 
gave for yearly tithes from his mill at Aufay two bushels of 
wheat, and half a bushel of any sort of grain from another 
mill on the Sie. He also granted liberty for the monks to 
receive daily two ass-loads of fire-wood from his forest of 
Herichards. The aforesaid knight had the fee of two waggon 
loads of wine yearly from the duke of Normandy, out of 
which he granted for ever to the monks one muid for use 
in celebrating the mass. He further gave two churches, 
with all the tithes and land belonging to them, one at Pare 
which was built in honour of St. Mary, mother of God, and 
the other at Beaunai, dedicated to St. Peter, prince of the 
apostles. These being prebends of the church of Aufay were 
then held by two of the canons. Ralph served the church 
of Pare, but some time afterwards he was overtaken by a tem- 
pest as he was returning from England, and the ship being 
wrecked, perished in the sea with all on board. Walter 
had the church of Beaunai, but he soon afterwards became 
a monk of St. Evroult. 

All these Gilbert, with his wife Beatrice, freely gave to 
the church of God for the good of his soul, and he often 
used his best efforts to persuade his tenants and friends to 
augment his endowment. Geoffrey therefore, one of his 
knights, gave to St. Mary the church of St. Denys* with all 
1 Notre-Dame-du-Parc. * St. Denys-sur-Sie. 


the tithes, recovering for the church by entreaties and 
purchase the portions thereof which three knights, Osbern 
Capes, and two sons of Aszo, Bernard and Ralph, held of him. 
He also gave a farm, with the villeins and all the services 
due from them, in La Rue-Sauvage. Robert, a knight of 
Heugleville, gave to the monks the church of St. Aubin with 
the tithes, receiving a gratuity of sixteen livres of Rouen. 
Bernard, son of Geoffrey de Neuf Marche, granted to St. 
Mary the church of Speen 1 with the land belonging to it, and 
all the tithes which Everard the priest held, and gave for 
exchange of the churches of Burghill and Brinsop 2 twenty- 
pence of the rents of Newbury, at the feast of St. Michael. 
Baldric son of Nicholas, gave one burgess at Dieppe, 3 and 
Ralph son of Ansered one cottier at Hotot.* 

In the year of our Lord 1079, the second indiction, in the 
fourteenth year of "William the Great, 5 king of England and 
duke of Normandy, the aforesaid Gilbert and Beatrice his 
wife deposited the donation of the possessions before men- 
tioned on the altar of St. Mary, in the presence of the 
following witnesses : Gilbert, Ralph, Walter, and John, the 
four canons of that church ; Bernard de Neuf- Marche, 
Geoffrey de St. Denys, Osbern Capes, and Osbern Buflo, 
Eustace de Carcuit, and Eustace de Torci, Robert de 
Heugleville, Roger de Pare, and many others. 

At last, Gilbert dying on the eighteenth of the 
calends of September [the 15th August], and having been 
honourably interred by the monks he had established on 
his domains, his son Walter succeeded to the fief, and con- 
firmed the grant of all that his father and his vassals had 

1 Speen, near Newbury, Berkshire. 

8 Burghill and Brinsop, two parishes in Herefordshire. 

8 Dieppe had been recently built. It appears not to have been in 
existence as a town when William first embarked there on his return to 
England in 1067. (See book iv. c. 4.) There might have been a few 
scattered huts near the mouth of the river Arques from an early period, as 
Roger de Toni, who was contemporary with Duke Richard L, gave his 
vill of Dieppe to the abbey of Conches ; but the place really owed its 
foundation to the intercourse with England which sprung up after the 

* Hotot-sur-Dieppe. 

B As the donation here referred to was made before the 1 5th of August, 
1079, it must have been in the thirteenth year of William I., reckoning 
hia reign from Christmas, 1066. 


given to St. Mary. Again also, in the time of Robert duke 
of Normandy, having married Avicia, daughter of Herbrand 
de Sackville, at her instance he ratified the endowment 
made by his father and mother by his own act. He also 
added the tenth of the tolls of Aufay, and six burgesses, 
with all their services, entirely releasing them from all obli- 
gation to himself, except in respect of the general service 
due to the duke of Normandy. He also granted to the 
monks liberty to fish at their pleasure in all his waters. 

Moreover, his wife Avicia, in her zealous love of God, 
gave to the monks sixty pence out of her rents payable on 
the calends [1st] of October to buy, yearly, oil and wax for 
lights in the church, together with incense ; and she offered 
the deed of gift with her husband on the altar of St. Mary. 
The witnesses to these grants were Adam and William, sons 
of Tedfred, Osbern Buflo, and Eustace de Torci, Robert de 
CropUs, 1 and Robert, son of Godmond, John-Catus, and 
many others. Some years afterwards the same Walter and 
Avicia his wife, making progress in devotion to God, de- 
manded from Roger, abbot of St. Evroult, twelve monks, and 
assigned for their necessary sustenance the mill of Pare, 
which paid eleven bushels, and five acres of land at Heugle- 
ville, with three cottiers paying fifteen pence of yearly rent, 
and the church of the Holy Trinity, with the whole tithe, 
at the ville called " The Hundred Acres." 

All these grants to the monks of St. Evroult by Gilbert 
and his mesne-tenants, were ratified by the confirmation of 
William, king of England, and John and William, arch- 
bishops of Rouen. Afterwards Robert II., duke of Nor- 
mandy, granted to the monks of St. Evroult all that Walter, 8 
son of Gilbert, added to his father's endowment ; and also 
granted them licence to hold a fair at Pare on the nativity 
of St. Mary, and, by Walter the elder, surnamed Giffard, 
entirely prohibited every one from having any toll or privi- 
ledge in it except the monks. Moreover, his brothers 
William Rufus and Henry, kings of England, and Geoffrey 
the archbishop, granted to the monks of St. Evroult all the 

1 Cropus, to the N.E. of Aufay. Walter de Cropus settled in Breck- 
nockshire after the conquest. 

a Walter Giffard, second of that name, earl of Buckingham and lord of 


premises before mentioned, which they have now peaceably 
possessed for many years. The canons gave place to monks, 
perceiving that the latter excelled them in virtues to which 
they were unable to attain. Guinimar, Benedict, and John 
his son, associated themselves with the monks for many 
years, and their infirmities increasing, at last departed. But 
Gilbert, who was far the most intelligent of the canons, and 
Walter, voluntarily embraced the monastic rule, and, engag- 
ing in a stricter course of life, died worn out with age. 

CH. VIII. Account of the lords ofAufay and their connections 
Bernard de Neuf-Marche, lord of Brecknock and others 
The author advocates the practice of endowing monas- 

IT is now my intention to give some account of the origin 
of the lords of Aufay, and their acts. Gilbert, surnamed 
the Advocate of St. Valeri, 1 married a daughter of -Duke 
Richard, by whom he had Bernard, father of Walter de 
St. Valery and Richard Heugleville. Richard was long 
employed in the military service of his uncle, Richard, duke 
of Normandy, from whom he received in marriage the 
noble Ada, widow of the elder Herluin of Heugleville, with 
all her inheritance. The duke also made him many presents, 
and promised him more ; which promises he would have libe- 
rably performed if Richard had taken pains to please him. 
He built a town at the place formerly called Isnelville, on 
the river Sie, and called it from the hill above it overspread 
with beech-trees, Aufay [Alfagium], introducing among hia 
colonists the customs of Corneilles. This Richard was 
distinguished for his military conduct and great liberality, 
whereby he was formidable to his enemies, and faithful to 
his friends. 

1 Advocatus. It is meant that the lords of St. Valery (sur Somme) 
did not hold the fief in their own right. They were tributaries to the 
abbey founded there by Clothaire in 013, to which the lordship belonged. 
It was not likely, that as this was the port from which the Norman fleet 
sailed for the conquest of England, its lords would be forgotten in the 
division of the spoil. We find, accordingly, Walter de St. Valery 
possessed, among other domains, of the extensive manor of Isleworth, 
Middlesex, which continued to be part of the English barony of St. Valery. 
It was still held by Robert, count de Dreux, in 1220, in right of his wife 
Annora, daughter and heiress of Thomas, lord of St. Valery-sur-Soinuie. 

A.D. 1066 1091.] BEBNABD DE JTEUF-MABGUfe. 267 

During the non-age of "William, Duke Robert's son, when 
"William d'Arques revolted against the duke, 1 and almost all 
the lords of Talou likewise deserted the cause of the bastard 
prince, Richard alone held his castle near the church of 
St. Aubin against the rebels, and endeavoured to defend the 
country round in its allegiance to the duke against the 
irruptions of the garrison of Arques. He was seconded in 
this enterprise by his sons-in-law Geoffrey and Hugh de 
Morimont, both sons of Turketil de Neuf-Marche ; 2 but 
Hugh having been suddenly surrounded, with his followers, 
by the people of Arques near Morimont, they were cut to 
pieces, defending themselves bravely. As for Geoffrey, he 
had two sons by Ada, daughter of Richard, Bernard and 
Dreux, whose lots were very different. Dreux relinquished 
military service and devoted himself to a religious life at 
St. Evroult ; becoming a monk, he learnt letters, and rose 
through the different gradations of holy orders to the priest- 
hood. On the contrary, Bernard continued in the career 
of arms till an advanced age, and served in the wars under 
three kings of England with great bravery. 3 In the time of 
"William Rufus, he fought a battle with Rhys, king of Wales, 
and having slain him, built the castle of Brecknock, and 
possessed the kingdom of the Welsh, of which Talgarth was 
the capital for many years. 4 He also built a church in 
honour of St. John the Evangelist in his town of Brecknock, 

1 This rebellion broke out in 1053. 

2 As to Geoffrey de Neuf-Marche", see book iii. c. 10, and book v. c. 12. 

3 For Bernard de Neuf-Marche", lord of Brecknock, and his wife Nesta 
or Agnes, daughter of Trahaern-ap-Caradoc, king of North Wales, and 
their posterity, see Dugdale'i Monast. Anglic, vol. i. p. 319. 

At the time Domesday-book was compiled, Bernard did not possess any 
estates in England. The manor of Speen belonged to Humphrey Vis-de- 
Lew; Burghill and Brinsop to a Saxon named Alfred de Marlborough, 
and Newbury was not yet built on the territory of Speen. Bernard's 
signature appears on the charter of William the Conqueror to Battle 
Abbey, but it is probable that he did not acquire the domains here 
mentioned till the time of William Rufus. 

4 Rhys-ap-Tewdor, king of South Wales, was slain in 1091, at the age 
of ninety-eight, gallantly defending his country and throne, in the battle 
fought near Brecknock with Robert Fitz-Hamon and his confederates. 
His tomb is seen in the cathedral of St. David's. Talgarth is situated ten 
miles N.E. from Brecknock. 


and settling monks there, endowed them with the tithes of 
all his possessions. 1 

Gilbert, Richard's son, married Beatrice, daughter of 
Christian de Valenciennes, 2 an illustrious captain, who bore 
to her husband Walter, Hugh and Beatrice. This lord, the 
duke's kinsman, fought by his side at the head of his vassals 
in all the principal actions during the English war. But 
when William became king and peace was restored, Gilbert 
returned to Normandy, notwithstanding William offered 
him ample domains in England ; for with innate honesty of 
character, he refused to participate in the fruits of rapine. 
Content with his patrimonial estates, he declined those of 
others, and piously devoted his son Hugh to a monastic 
life under abbot Mainier in the monastery of St. Evroult. 
He lived long with his religious wife, who was a cousin of 
Queen Matilda, and continued to the end in the practice of 
almsgiving, prayers, and other good works. The venerable 
Beatrice survived her husband three years, and died in a 
holy confession on the second of the nones [4th of January]. 

AValter was a young man of elegance but little wisdom ; 
in consequence of which he paid a ready submission to 
Edmund and other false teachers. Frequenting the society of 
spendthrifts, he wasted his inheritance by their pernicious 
advice, and troubled the monks and clergy and tenants with 
frequent and unjust attacks. Having been knighted, he 
married Avicia, the accomplished and beautiful daughter of 
Herbrand, 3 by whose counsels and wise influence he was in 
a measure withdrawn from his evil ways. She was prudent, 
fluent in speech, and devoted to God from her youth, exer- 
cising herself in good works to the utmost of her power. 
She had three brothers, Jordan, William, and Robert, 
distinguished knights, by whose assistance their brother-in- 
law prevailed against his crafty advisers, and recovered much 
which he had dissipated and lost by fraud and robbery. 
Avicia bore her husband twelve sons and daughters, most of 
whom died prematurely in their infancy. She herself, after 

1 Bernard made the priory of Brecon a dependency on Battle Abbey. 
8 This lady probably came into Normandy with the Duchess Matilda, 
being her cousin, as we are told towards the close of the paragraph. 
3 De Sackville. 


living fifteen years with her husband, died on the eighth of 
the calends of March [22nd February], and was buried in 
the cloisters of the monks she so much loved, near the 
church door. Prior Warin caused an arch of stone to be 
built over her grave, and Vitalis the Englishman composed 
her epitaph, as follows : 

HAVISE, a noble lady, lies below, 

May Christ on her eternal rest bestow ! 

Her life to excellence in virtue's ways 

She framed with earnest zeal her highest praise. 

Still she was fair, and to her beaming face, 

Wisdom gave eloquence, and talent grace. 

To God her earliest years she willing lent, 

Her steps to mass and vespers daily bent ; 

Then WALTER D'ACFAY'S honoured wife became, 

Bore him twelve scions of his ancient name, 

And fifteen years maintained her spotless fame. 

For sacred rites this priory she endowed, 

With her own ornaments the altars glowed ; 

Nor cost nor care for priests and monks she spared, 

And widows, sick, and poor, her bounty shared. 

When February's latter days gave promise fair, 

And holy church kept feast of " Peter's chair," l 

High festival, o'ershadowed then with gloom, 

Saw pious Havise summoned to the tomb. 

Ye men of Aufay, mourn your lady lost ; 

Christ, number her among the heavenly host ! Amen. 

Walter survived his wife's funeral nearly three years, and 
suffering under a lingering disease, assumed the habit of a 
monk, and soon afterwards, having made his confession and 
received absolution, he died on the sixth of the calends of 
June [26th May]. Prior Hildegord buried him at the feet 
of his wife, and Yitalia made the following verses upou 

SIR WALTER, LORD OP AUFAY, here finds rest ; 

Peace be his endless portion with the blest ! 

A cloistered monk, he went from hence to heaven, 

When May's bright suns had numbered twenty-seven. 

His sins confessed, his lingering tortures ceased, 

Christ's mercy shield him, from his guilt released ! Amen. 

1 The 22nd of February, the day on which the church celebrates the 
anniversary of the installation of St. Peter as patriarch of Antioch, which 
is supposed to have taken place on the 22nd of February, 37. His 
installation at Rome has the date assigned il of January 18, 44. These 
two feasts, which are of very high antiquity, bear the name of " St. Peter's 


Walter left at his death four orphan children ; Richard, 
Jordan, "Walter, and Elias ; who fell to the guardianship of 
King Henry, and he entrusted the government of the 
lordship of Aufay to Robert the viscount, for two years. 
Meanwhile, Jordan de Sackville obtained the whole fief by 
his services and presents to the king, and had the custody 
of his nephews to bring them up out of their own patri- 
mony, which for four years he managed well and improved. 
Richard, however, died when he was only twelve years old, 
and was buried in the church of St. Mary, mother of God. 
Jordan then succeeded his brother ; he was a handsome 
youth, and his conduct was excellent. Having learnt his 
military exercises in the court of Henry, that king gave him 
a prudent and handsome wife, Juliana, the daughter of 
Godescalch, who had followed Queen Adelaide to England 
from the country of Louvaine. 1 

Thus far I have frequently spoken of the affairs of St. 
Evroult, which fill the greatest part of my book. I entreat 
my reader not to be displeased, if, mindful of benefits con- 
ferred, I make mention of our benefactors. It is indeed my 
desire to fix firmly in the memory of postery the history of 
our founders and their benevolent fellow labourers, that the 
children of the church may be mindful before God, in the 
presence of angels, of those by whose endowments subsis- 
tence is provided for them while they perform the services 
of the Creator of all things. Thus when Abram returned 
victorious from the slaughter of the four kings, and recovered 
his nephew Lot, with his fellow captives of both sexes and 
all his substance, he commanded his confederates to take 
their share of the spoils of Sodom. By Abram, which 
signifies the supreme father, are to be understood those 
men of perfection who contend daily with evil spirits and 
the sins of the flesh, overcoming the world and the prince 
of this world, and treading under foot and esteeming as 
dung worldly vanities and the temptations of the flesh. By 
Lot led into captivity by the barbarians, but nobly delivered 

1 Adelaide, Adeliza, or Alice, de Lourain, daughter of Godfrpy I., 
count of Brabant and Louvain, and Ida of Namur, was married to Henry 
I. in 1121, his first queen, Matilda, daughter of Malcolm, king of Scot- 
land, having died in 1118. Adeliza was remarkable for her great beauty. 
See Huntingdon's History, p. 249 (JBohn's edition). 


by the active valour of his spiritual uncle (Lot signifying 
one bound or led aside), is meant the carnal mind or brutal 
people, enchained in Sodom, that is in sinful delights, and 
which fast bound in the embraces of sin, is led astray from 
God and made captive by evil spirits. By the confederates 
of Abram who, as we read, fought in his company, are 
justly signified those faithful laymen who at his command 
are said to have received a share of the spoils. For thus it 
is written in the book of Genesis : " And the king of Sodom 
said unto Abram, Give me the persons and take the goods 
to thyself. And Abram replied to him, I will not receive 
anything that is thine, save only that which the young 
men have eaten and the portion of the men which came 
with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre : let them take their 
portion." 1 Many of the laity are distinguished by their 
courteous and decorous manners, are united in faith and 
good-will to the regular soldiers of Christ, and kindly cheer 
them in their manful conflicts with the demons. But they 
do not give up the fleeting world, nor entirely relinquish its 
advantages, they are bound to it by a legal servitude, and 
they offend God by repeated transgressions of his law ; but 
they expiate their sins by alms, as Daniel counsels. They 
found monasteries for the service of God, from the portions 
they receive of the spoils of the enemy, and from the 
mammon of iniquity they piously erect hospitals for the sick 
and poor, and provide food and clothing for the votaries 
of heaven out of their substance. Moreover, the king 
of Sodom, when congratulating Abram on his victory, 
represents the devil who daily tempts the saints with a 
thousand artifices, assailing them night and day with 
blandishments and terrors, and craftily employing all the 
delights of the world, its wealth and its honours, to the sole 
purpose of drawing souls into his own pit of perdition. 
We find, however, that Abram despised the king's smooth 
flatteries, and disdained to accept either his praises or his 
gifts, only suffering his companions in arms to receive their 
portions, and what was necessary for their subsistence. So 
it is that holy men while they spend the time of their war- 
fare in this present life despise all worldly things in their 

1 Genesis xiv. 21 24. Our author, as usual, is not very exact in his 
quotations from the sacred writings. 


desire after heavenly, and desire no reward for their sanctity. 
Still they warn the great men of the world, who are their 
fellow heirs of the catholic faith and the hope of everlasting 
bliss, that they ought to endow the monasteries with some 
portion of their domains and fortunes, and thus support by 
their gifts the poor and the despisers of the world, that they 
may claim eternal glory from Christ who saith, that he 
dwells with the poor. It may be proved by many authorities 
and examples that men are the gainers towards their 
eternal salvation to the full extent of all they mercifully 
distribute in alms, according to our Saviour's precept ; 
for what they lavishly spend in carnal delights, or throw 
away to no purpose on the empty splendour of worldly 
felicity, passes away like flowing water never to return. 
Those also who amass great wealth to leave it to their heirs 
often, alas ! lay up for themselves an increase of perversity 
and wretchedness, and only take pains to bring up their chil- 
dren to many misfortunes, while they themselves, abandoned 
to robbery, rapine, and all kinds of wickedness, deservedly 
perish, undergoing the vengeance merited by their crimes. 
Thus it happens that they are neither fit for heaven or 
earth, and while their ungrateful heirs succeed to their 
ample possessions, those who have gathered enormous riches 
for unworthy successors are subject to the maledictions of 

Wise and provident men make themselves friends of 
the mammon of unrighteousness, who, while they receive 
their carnal things for the sustenance of life, repay their 
benefactors by their merits and prayers with spiritual and 
eternal benefits. Evroult of Bayeux took great pains to 
obtain such debtors. I have already related many things 
concerning him in the present work ; I shall now enter into 
further particulars of this father, shortly abridging his acts 
as they have been handed down to us from old times, either 
in writing or by tradition, and endeavouring to insert his 
life in these pages for the edification of my readers. 1 

1 This legend of St. Evroult is very inferior, both in point of antiquity 
and as a composition, to that published by Mabillon in the Ada SS. ord. 
S. lienediclt, saec. I., from the the two MSS. of Bee and Conches. But 
both literally agree in all the details. 

A.D. 517 560.] LIFE OF ST. EVBOULT. 273 

CH. IX. The life of St. Evroult, the founder of the abbey of 
that name in the forest of Ouche, in the sixth century. 

THE venerable father Evroult was descended from a noble 
family, and born at Bayeux. 1 His parents educated him 
with great care, and entrusted him to teachers of the 
catholic faith. Such was the facility with which he pursued 
his studies both in divinity and human learning that he is 
said to have excelled his masters while he was yet a boy. 
For divine grace, which foresaw that he would become a 
doctor of religion, efficaciously rendered him docile in all 
things. Nor did he, by the pride or self-conceit natural to 
his age, spoil the dignity of his exalted character. His person 
was graceful and his discourse agreeable, and no fickleness of 
temper ever led him to be severe to any one. Illustrious, 
as we have just remarked, by birth, and already marked 
out by the prescience of Almighty God, he presently became 
known to King Clothaire, son of Clovis, who was the first of 
the Frank kings who became Christian, and was baptized 
by St. Kemigius, bishop of Rheims, with three thousand of 
his nobles. Clothaire, discovering who Evroult was and his 
high nobility, ordered that he should be forthwith presented 
to him, judging that one so gifted with brilliant talents 
should serve in the offices of the state. Notwithstanding 
his humility, the Supreme Ruler gave him such favour with 
the earthly sovereign that he was preferred before others, and 
obtained the highest appointment in the palace. Endowed 
with great eloquence, he took his seat among the most 
learned officers of the court who had the administration of 
affairs. But while thus applying himself to secular affairs 
he never diverted his mind from the contemplation of 
heavenly love. 

As on him rested the hope of continuing the line of his 
father's family, he was induced by the frequent well-intended 
instances of his friends to choose a wife of fitting birth. 
Marrying for the sake of offspring and not for carnal 
pleasure, he frequently meditated on the divine precepts, 

1 Mahillon places the birth of St. Evroult in the year 517. The 
flourishing state of the church of Bnyeux during the first half of the sixtli 
century is very remarkable. It then produced the two first heiuls of 
monastic establishments in Normandy, S*. Marcellus and St. Evroult. 



which he devoutly fulfilled. The man of God thus fully 
enjoyed temporal blessings, while using great care not 
to displease his Maker in the use of his benefits ; and be- 
coming very wealthy, delighted more in good works than in 
the abundance of his possessions. It was his anxious study 
to transfer to himself the virtues of the old fathers of whom 
he read accounts in many volumes. Multiplying his alms, 
and prayers, and vigils, he induced his wife to join him in 
the same holy course, so that, herself pious, her piety was 
increased by that of her husband. Thus living, though as 
yet a layman, he seemed scarcely to differ from those who 
were under the restraints of monastic discipline. 

While this blessed man was thus worthily living under a 
certain rule of his own, and zealously submitting to the 
evangelical precepts, he happened to be struck with what 
was said by our Lord to his disciples in the gospel : " If 
any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take 
up his cross, and follow me." 1 The man of God had deeply 
stored in his mind, as the sum of perfection, that which 
truth itself promises to the contemners of this world : 
" Verily, I say unto you, that ye which have forsaken all 
things for my name's sake shall receive an hundredfold, 
and shall inherit eternal life." 2 Inflamed by these divine 
promises Evroult no longer confined himself within the 
boundary of his former discretion, but sold all that he had, 
and gave whatever was in his power to the poor. The wife 
he had married in order to become a father, he caused to take 
the veil, espoused to a heavenly husband, whilst he himself 
hastened to a monastery, like one escaped from shipwreck, . 
and becoming a monk remained there for some time serving 
God in all humility ; and the love of that holy state of life 
increased in him more and more. 

The author of his life has not told us the name of the 
monastery to which the holy man retired. I think it, there- 
fore, worth while shortly to note for the information of 
posterity what I have learnt from the reports of old persons 
respecting it. The venerable Martin, abbot of Vertou, 3 had 

1 Luke ix. 23. z Matthew xix. 29. 

3 The history of this saint may be found in the Ada SS. ord. lienedicti, 
sa;c. i. p. 371. He was a native of Nantes, and founded the abbey of 
Vertou, near that city, about the 24th of October, 600. 

A.D. 560596.] ST. EYEOULT BECOMES A MONK. 275 

founded a monastery in a place which from ancient times 
was commonly called Deux Jumeaux, 1 from the restoration 
to life of the twins which old accounts represent to have 
taken place there. For the twin children of a powerful lord 
had died prematurely and without baptism, which occasioned 
excessive sorrow to both their parents. But the blessed 
Martin, on his return from England, found his friends 
plunged in grief, and, imploring Heaven to give them relief, 
restored the twins to life by his prayers and merits, and 
dedicated them to God as monks on their own property. 
The village preserves to the present day the ancient name 
it derived from this occurrence, and great masses of stones, 
which formed the foundations of buildings, and ruined walls, 
prove that the territory of Bayeux was formerly the residence 
of men of great dignity. It is reported that Evroult, while 
yet a layman possessed of great wealth and honours, was a 
liberal contributor to the erection of this monastery. He 
aided with his counsel those who undertook it, encouraged 
the hesitating, and forwarded the new work by supplying 
funds, and in various other ways. At length he stripped 
himself of every thing, and retiring there became truly 
one of the poor in Christ, embracing the monastic rule, 
and engaging in the Christian warfare with the arms of 
obedience, so that he was a bright example to all observers. 
When, however, the glorious confessor Evroult began to 
be honoured by the brethren on account of the grace of 
sanctity, he felt the danger he incurred of self-elation, and 
determined without delay to plunge into the wilderness and 
devote himself altogether to the contemplation of God, 
taking with him three monks who were attached to him by a 
familiar intercourse, and were as he knew well fitted for the 
struggle after the highest perfection. Passing therefore 
through the district of Exmes, they came to a place called 
Montfort, 2 and resting there, because the spot was pleasant 
and abounded with woods and springs, they led for awhile a 
solitary life according to the rules of holiness. But as there 

1 In the canton of Isigni. It is possible that a monastery may have 
existed in this place in the sixth century, and even that St. Evroult may 
have assumed the habit there. But it could not have been under St. 
Martin de Vertou, whose foundation was not anterior to that of St. Evroult. 

* St. Evroult de Montfort, half a league north of Gace". 
T 2 



were two castles in the neighbourhood, Exmes and Gace 1 to 
which a number of people were attracted by judicial proceed- 
ings, the servants of God were often exposed to inter- 
ruptions by the resort of so many strangers. It is reported 
that these towns existed in the time of Cesar 2 and stoutly 
resisted him, and that they were the seats of princes for 
many ages. It now happened that numbers of persons of 
all ranks, both high and low, to whom the noble lord was 
known when he was in an exalted station, came to visit him 
while he was fervently devoting himself to heavenly con- 
templations, and by their multiplied conversations on affairs 
in which they were interested, disturbed his mind when he 
was meditating on divine things. The venerable men there- 
fore quitted the spot ; on which a church was afterwards built 
in honour of St. Evroult, which is standing at this day. 

In their ardour for a hermit's life, the monks then struck 
into a forest which the people of the neighbourhood call 
Ouche. It was fearfully gloomy from its depth of shade, 
the frequent resort of robbers after their predatory excur- 
sions, and the abode of ferocious animals. 3 However, they 
traversed its vast solitudes with fearless steps, without being 
able to find a spot suited to their devotional purposes, 
when at length St. Evroult, in the fervour of his pure spirit, 
prayed to the Lord, saying : " Lord Jesus Christ, who 
shewedst thyself to thy people Israel as their faithful guide 
in their journey through the wilderness by a column of cloud 
and of fire, vouchsafe mercifully to show us, who desire to 

1 Roger de Montgomery was viscount D'Exmes. Gac6 is a little bourg 
on the post road from Lisseux to Alenfon. Gace stands on the skirts of 
the forest, through which it is a pleasant walk to St. Evroult. 

a Our author evidently obtained the references he makes to the Roman 
antiquities of Normandy from a fabulous composition which was popular 
in the eleventh century under the title of Gesta Romanorum, but is now 
lost. There is no foundation for the accounts of Julius Cassar's proceed- 
ings in this part of Gaul. See a preceding note respecting Lillebonne, p. 

3 This forest still overspreads the country in a circuit of fifty or sixty Eng- 
lish miles. Like most of the French forests, it is for the most part denuded 
of timber, but while traversing its dense thickets on a gloomy evening for 
three leagues in one direction, the scene struck us as even now possessing 
many of the features ascribed to it by our author. The forest abounds 
with wild animals, including wolves, numbers of which are killed every 

A.D. 560 596.] CELL IX THE FOBEST OF OUCHE. 277 

escape the condemnation of Egyptian servitude, a place of 
liberty and an asylum for our weakness." Scarcely had he 
finished his prayer when an angel of the Lord appeared to 
the holy man, commissioned to point out what he desired. 
Following his guidance, the solitaries came to springs well suit- 
ed for drinking, which, issuing from several sources shortly 
collected in one large pond. Kneeling down on this spot 
they offered fervent praises to God their conductor, who never 
forgets his servants who trust in him. After this thanks- 
giving, they invoked the name of the Lord, and built a hut with 
boughs and leaves, just large enough to shelter its intended 
inhabitants ; and having made an inclosure round it by a 
slight fence of the same materials, settled themselves in it, 
having obtained the quiet resting place they had long co- 
veted. The freer their service now was, the more acceptable 
it proved to be to God. Trampling under their feet all the 
turmoils of the world, they gave their thoughts entirely to 
heavenly contemplations, and having abandoned all earthly 
things, had nothing left but God only. They might well 
therefore say with the Psalmist : " Thou art my portion, O 
Lord ; I have promised to keep thy law." l Obedient to the 
law of the most high God, they sought him as their only 

While, however, their whole attention was directed to their 
spiritual progress, and neither the wildness of the place nor 
fears of savage beasts diverted them from their object, it 
happened that one of the robbers who made their resort in 
the woods paid them a visit. Admiring their resolution 
and perseverance in the service of Christ, he said to them : 
" monks, what disturbances have driven you to take 
shelter in these thickets ? How can you venture to make 
your abode in such a desert ? You have not chosen a fitting 
spot. Do you not know that this is a place for robbers, and 
not for hermits ? The inhabitants of this forest live by 
plunder, and will not suffer among them those who live by 
the labour of their hands. Here you cannot long be safe. 
Besides, you will meet with nothing but a barren and 
unproductive soil, on which' your labour would be spent to 
no purpose." To this the venerable father Evroult, as he 
was a man of eloquence, replied with reference to each pro- 
1 Psalm cxix. 57. 


position : " In truth, brother, it is no swelling tumult, but 
the providence of Almighty God which has conducted us 
here ; nor do we come to usurp this place, but to have mor 
liberty to bewail our sins. And as the Lord is with us, 
having him for our defence, we fear not the threats of men, 
since he himself hath said : ' Pear not them which kill the 
body, but are not able to kill the soul.' 1 As to what you 
said last concerning our labours, you should know that the 
Lord is able to prepare a table for the sustenance of his 
servants in the wilderness. You also, my son, may be par- 
taker of his abundance, if you turn from your evil courses 
and promise devoutly to serve the living and true God. 
For saith the prophet : ' In the day that the sinner turneth 
away from his wickedness, our God shall deliver to oblivion 
all the evil that he hath done.' 2 Do not despair therefore, 
my brother, of the goodness of God on account of the enor- 
mity of your sins, but follow the admonition of the Psalmist : 
' Flee from evil and do good,' 3 understanding of a surety that 
' the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are 
open unto their prayers.' But I would not have you igno- 
rant that the same passage contains a terrible threat : ' The 
countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil, to 
root out the remembrance of them from the earth.' 4 If the 
regards of divine mercy are present with the just, it is 
doubtless plain that they must be turned away from the 
unjust, that their wickedness may be some time severely 
punished." The robber, touched to the heart by grace from 
above as he listened to this discourse, presently departed. 
When however morning was come, he left all that he had, 
and, taking with him only three cakes, baked on the embers, 
and a honey-comb, returned with hasty steps to the servants 
of God, and throwing himself at the feet of St. Evroult made 
a holy offering, and shortly afterwards, inspired by the Holy 
Ghost, promised to amend his life and there first assumed 
the profession of a monk. Following his example many 
robbers, who infested the same forest, either became monks 
through the preaching of the holy man, or abandoning their 
life of rapine became cultivators of the soil. His fame and 
merits being noised abroad, some came to him also from the 

1 Matthew x. 28. 2 Ezek. xviii. 21. 

3 Psalm xxxiv. 14. * Psalm xxxiv. 17. 


neighbouring districts desiring to see his angelical counte- 
nance and hear his delightful discourse. They supplied him 
with things necessary for his bodily wants and returned home 
with joyful hearts refreshed with his spiritual gifts. Some 
of them also entreated him to admit them into his holy com- 
pany that they might have the advantage of constant inter- 
course with him, so that from the numbers who frequented 
it, the forest soon lost its character for solitude. 

As the number of the brethren increased, so also grace and 
virtue increased in the blessed Evroult. His patience was 
singular, his abstinence remarkable, his prayers incessant, 
his exhortations fervent. He did not permit himself to be 
elated by prosperity nor cast down by adversity. What 
was brought to him by pious people who flocked about him 
he ordered to be distributed to the poor, saying that monks 
ought not to be anxious for the morrow. 

One day when there was not sufficient bread, a poor man 
came to the gate and asked for alms. As the minister to 
whom he applied informed him that they had nothing to 
give him, the venerable father said : " Brother, why do you 
disregard the cries of the needy ? give alms, I pray you, to 
this poor man." Upon which he answered; "My father, I 
have only half a loaf which I have kept for our poor children, 
all the rest I have distributed according to your orders." 
But he said ; " Son, you ought not to hesitate, have you not 
read what the pvophet saith : ' Blessed is he that considereth 
the poor and needy ; the Lord shall deliver him in the time 
of trouble ?' * Never, indeed, will the faithful Creator of all 
things fail to nourish those for whom he condescended to 
shed his precious blood, nailed to the cross." The minister 
on hearing these words of the venerable father gave the half 
loaf which he had reserved for the children to one of the 
servants, saying : " Run quickly, and give this to the poor 
man, but do not call him back." The servant, in obedience 
to his commands, ran after the poor man until he overtook 
him at the distance of almost a stadium from the monastery, 
and addressed him saying : " Take, master, the alms which 
the abbot sends you," whereupon he stuck in the ground 
the staft' which he carried, and received the offering of cha- 
rity in both hands. But when he withdrew the staff which 
1 Psalm xlL 1. 


lie had planted in the ground, before the bearer of the alms 
had left the spot a plentiful spring of water suddenly burst 
forth on the spot following the point of the staff, and it con- 
tinues flowing there to the present day. 1 Many diseases have 
been cured at that place, and persons afflicted with fevers 
are attracted from distant quarters in the hope of obtaining 
relief. Many also received visions commanding them to 
seek out the forest of Ouche, and, for the recovery of their 
health, drink of the spring which flows there. Several came 
from Burgundy, Aquitaine, and other parts of Prance, and 
made inquiries for Ouche under great difficulties, for the 
place was desert and unknown, so that it was scarcely pos- 
sible to find it out. When at length they had discovered 
the fountain, and drawn the water and drunk it in faith, 
invoking the holy name, or bathed the head or limbs, they 
had the happiness to recover their health, and giving thanks 
to Grod, returned joyfully home. 

Miracles were wrought at this place for many ages, until 
the times of Henry, king of France, 2 when, in consequence 
of the ravages during the Danish invasions, the district of 
Ouche had become thinly populated, and was thrown out of 
estivation. At that time a certain peasant named Beranger 
succeeded by inheritance to that farm, and inclosed the 
spring with a hedge to prevent the sick people who resorted 
to it from treading down his crops ; for the farmer was often 
incensed and grieved because his meadows, gardens, and all 
his land round about were trampled upon by strangers who 
flocked there for the benefit of their health. Thenceforth 
miracles of healing ceased to be performed as long as 
Beranger and his heirs, Lethier, AVilliam, and Grervase, 
possessed the farm. 

1 About a league from the abbey there is a hollow in the wood 
covered with green sward, and shaded by scattered forest trees, beneath 
which the spring mentioned in the legend bursts forth, still bearing the 
name of the fountain of St. Evroult. Its cool and pellucid waters 
collected in a large tank of solid masonry, are still resorted to by pilgrims 
and sick persons in reliance on their virtues. On the bank above stands 
a little chapel, with a statue of the saint in a niche over the door. The 
building had fallen to decay, but was under repair in the autumn of 1853, 
the bishop of Sedz being expected to re-open it with solemn services in the 
ensuing summer. 

* July 20, 1031 August 29, 10CO. 


St. Evroult, having caused the bread to be given to .the 
poor man, lo ! before sunset a beast of burden was seen to 
stop before the door of the cell with a full load of bread 
and wine. The conductor called the minister ; and, saying 
that he was a borrower at usury, delivered to him what he 
had brought, adding, " Go, brother, and give it to your 
abbot:" so saying, he mounted the horse, as if to hasten 
his journey, and quickly departed ; so that, when the holy 
father wished to see him, he was told with what despatch he 
had taken his leave. He therefore understood that the 
provisions were sent by God ; and, rejoicing in spirit, gave 
thanks to His unbounded loving kindness, who magnifies his 
mercy to his servants, and makes a rich return for small 
offerings. Prom that day there never failed to be a sufficient 
supply of what human wants required. 

The temporal goods of the new society, through the 
merciful providence of the Lord, beginning to increase, two 
fierce robbers from another province, hearing that their sub- 
stance was multiplied, directed their steps towards the cell 
of the holy man, and seizing a herd of swine, hastened to 
make their escape from the forest ; but, instead of doing 
so, found themselves repeatedly following the same track in 
a circuit round the inclosure. Being unable -to discover 
any free way of exit, they were astonished at what happened ; 
when, just as they were worn out with wandering, they 
heard the bell which summoned the brethren to assemble to 
their usual office of prayer. 1 The sound struck them with 
excessive terror, and leaving the swine, they came with all 
haste to the man of God, and, confessing the crime of which 
they had been guilty, became monks on the spot. 

To render the glory of the master more conspicuous, we 
must not omit what the sevenfold grace of the Spirit per- 
formed by means of one of the disciples of so illustrious a 
saint. A crow which had built its nest near the monastery, 
secretly stole eggs, and getting into the refectory by one of 
the windows, put everything in disorder, and carried off to 
its nest all that it found. Then one of the brethren, whose 

1 This circumstance concurs with others of the same kind mentioned by 
Gregory of Tours, to prove that the use of bells in the western church was 
far anterior to the time of Pope Sabinian to which its introduction is 
frequently attributed. 


duty it was to look after the refectory, praying with sim- 
plicity, said : " Lord, avenge us of the enemy who carries 
off what thy mercy has bestowed on us." And the bird 
was forthwith found dead under the tree where she had 
made her nest. Thus whoever attempted to injure the 
monks, either quickly perished, or, repenting of it, engaged 
in a better course of life. 

God, who beholds all things, regarding with favour the 
glorious conflict of his beloved servant Evroult, strength- 
ened his heart with all the firmness of faith, that, persevering 
in his good work, he might become a model of regular 
discipline to others. He, indeed, longed to retire to the 
deepest recesses of the wilderness, and free himself entirely 
from human companionship ; but wiser counsels led him to 
consider how best his presence might profit the band of 
combatants, whose leader and master he had become. 
Fearing, therefore, that if he, the founder of the establish- 
ment, withdrew, the work, in its infant state, would receive a 
shock, he took precautions that he might not cause injury 
to others, while he was providing a quiet retreat for himself, 

In consequence, as the general of this militant body, he 
remained at his post, fighting in the ranks as a private 
soldier, and also exalting himself by his eminent virtues as 
a brave commander in front of the ranks. His great 
reputation for sanctity, being spread abroad through many 
provinces, attracted numbers of wealthy, resolute, and God- 
fearing persons, to enrol themselves for the same conflict. 
They surrendered to the holy man, their houses, farms, 
possessions, and families, entreating him to cause monas- 
teries to be built for them ; and that, as their wise pastor, 
he would give them a rule under which to live. The saint 
granted their petitions, arid founded fifteen monasteries for 
men and women, with regular institutions, appointing a 
person of approved conduct to govern each. He himself 
continued to preside over the convent which he first built, 
exhorting the brethren to make a loftier progress, and to 
shun the multiform snares of the devil. At length the 
fame of the sanctity of so eminent a father reached the ears 
of the princes who then held the reins of government among 
the Franks, recently brought into subjection to the light 
yoke of Christianity. 

A/D. f>Gl 613.] THE KINGS OP THE FRANKS. 283 

Clotaire the elder reigned fifty-one years, 1 and at his 
death divided his kingdom into tetrarchies among his sons. 
Caribert fixed the seat of his government at Paris, Chilperic 
at Soissons, G-ontran at Orleans, and Sigebert at Metz. 
Sigebert, the youngest, was the first to marry, taking for hia 
wife JBrunehaut, daughter of the king of Galicia, 2 who 
bore him Childebert, who became king, Ingoude, wife of 
Herminigilde, king of the Goths and martyr, 3 Bertha, wife 
of Ethelbert king of Kent, 4 and Beuve, who became a nun. 5 
Eight years afterwards 6 Sigebert was slain by the treachery 
of his brother Chilperic, and Childebert, who was yet a 
child, mounted the throne, with his mother Brunehaut 
as regent. He maintained himself in it resolutely twenty- 
five years, as it is related in his acts ; but, after many diffi- 
culties, was taken off by poison. 7 He left the two portions 
which belonged to hia father and his uncle Gontran to his 
sons Theodebert and Theodoric, 8 with whom Clotaire the 
Great, son of Chilperic, was at variance for nearly twenty 
years. At length he slew King Theodebert in battle, and 
caused Brunehaut, who was now advanced in age, to be 
cruelly bound to the tails of wild horses, and this powerful 
queen, whose favour had been humbly implored by Pope 

1 511 after November 10,561. 

8 Youngest daughter of Athanagilde, king of the Visigoths, 554 567. 
We do not understand why our author makes him king of Galicia, as he 
made Toledo the capital of his kingdom of the Visigoths. 

* Ingonde was married in 580, and died in 585. Herminigilde suffered 
martyrdom the 13th of April, 586. 

* Bertha married Ethelbert, king of Kent, in 566, and he was converted 
in 597. She was not the sister of Ingonde, but her cousin-german, and 
daughter of Caribert, king of Paris. 

s St. Beuve, abbess of Rheims, was not a daughter of Sigebert I. 
Frodoard supposed her to be daughter of Sigebert II., but she was 
probably his niece. 

6 It does not appear from what event our author reckons these eight 
years, unless from Brunehaut's marriage in 566, or 568. We know, 
however, that Sigebert, king of Metz in 561, was assassinated in 575 by 
Fredegonde's emissaries. 

7 Childebert, king of Austrasia, was poisoned in 596, his reign having 
then lasted only twenty years, in the twenty-sixth year of his age. His 
government did not merit the epithet applied to it by our author. 

8 Theodebert II., king of Austrasia, 596612. Theodoric II., king of 
Orleans and Burgundy, 596 613. Theodebert II. was killed at Chaloas- 
sur-Saone by Theodoric and Brunehaut. 


Gregory (as it is stated in the Pontifical Acts and the 
Register), was torn to pieces. 1 Thus Clotaire, having got 
rid of all his rivals, reigned sole king of France, and at his 
death left the kingdom to his son Dagobert, whose history 
is very well known to the French. 

At that time, while these princes governed the Franks, 
Justinian and Justin the younger, Tiberius, Maurice, 
Phocas, and Heraclius were emperors of Home ; 2 and the 
apostolical see was filled by Hormisdas, John, Felix, Boni- 
face, John, Agapete, Silverius, Vigilius, Pelagius, Gregory 
the great doctor, Sabiuian, Boniface, Deusdedit, and Boni- 
face, famous for the dedication of the church of All-Saints. 8 
In those times Flavius, Pretestatus, Melantius, Hildulfus, 
and Romanus, the celebrated son of Benedict, were metro- 
politans of Rouen.* 

I have collected these particulars from the Chronicles, 
and shortly noted them for the reader's benefit, in order 
that it may clearly appear in what times the holy father St. 
Evroult, whose life was prolonged for eighty years, 8 nou- 
rished in the world. I must now endeavour to retrace my 
steps for the purpose of relating some circumstances which 
I have not found in books, but have learned from stories 
told me by old persons. The writings of the ancients, as 
well as the churches and monasteries, were destroyed in the 
furious storms which devastated Normandy in the time of 
the Danes ; and with whatever ardour posterity thirsts for 
them, the most zealous students of our day have failed to 
recover them. Some, which were adroitly saved from the 
hands of the barbarians by the care of our predecessors, 
have since perished, shame to say, by the culpable negli- 
gence of their successors, who took no pains to preserve the 
profound wisdom contained in the works of their spiritual 
fathers. With the loss of the books, the actions of the men 
of former ages sunk into oblivion, and all the efforts of 

1 In 613, at Reneve, in Burgundy, five miles from Dijon. The 
Register was the name given to a collection of St. Gregory's Epistles. 

* The reigns of these emperors embraced the period from 527 to Feb. 
11.641. See vol. i. pp. 114 11.9. 

* These popes filled the papal chair from the month of July, 514, to 
the 21st of October, 625. See vol. i. pp. 338349. 

* For these archbishops, see before, pp. 145 147. 

* St. Evroult lived from A.D. 517 December 29, 596. 


modern times to retrace them are fruitless, these ancient 
monuments having disappeared with the revolutions of the 
world from the memory of men, like hail or snow lost in the 
waters of some rapid river, and flowing onward, past 
recovery, in its mingled current. 1 

The names of the places at which father Evroult founded 
the fifteen monasteries, and of the fathers he set over the 
religious societies, as vicars of Christ, have been lost in the 
various revolutions of four hundred years, during the reigns 
of the numerous kings who have governed France from 
Lothaire the Great and Childebert to Philip and his son 
Lewis. 2 Nevertheless, some old men, bowed down with 
years, have related to their sons with natural garrulity what 
they saw and heard, which these again retained by strong 
efforts of a tenacious memory, and handed down to the 
succeding age. These traditions of things worthy of 
remembrance they make known to their brethren, thereby 
stirring up the hard hearts of men to the love of their 
Creator, and not hiding their talent in the earth with the 
useless servant, and incurring his condemnation. Listen, 
then, to what I heard myself, when a boy, from our old 
fathers, and magnify with me the wonderful works of 
God in his saints. 

The fame of the holy father Evroult being noised abroad 
far and near, reached the ears of Childebert king of France, 
who, impelled by a strong desire to see him, undertook a 
journey to Ouche with his wife and some of his family. 3 
Approaching the monastery of the man of God, at the 
place where the church dedicated to St. Mary, mother of 
God, now stands, 4 he dismounted from his horse, and com- 

1 This noble image recalls to memory a passage in the bible which con- 
tains the same idea : " Let them fall away like water that runneth apace." 
Ps. Iviii. 6. 

a This passage was written in the reign of Lcwis-le-Gros, and con 
sequently before the month of August, 1137, the date of that king's death. 

s See note to book iv. c. 16 (p. 101). This visit of Childebert and his 
queen to St. Evroult probably took place shortly after the 28th of March, 
893, when Gontran left to his nephew vast possessions in the west of 
France, of which Childebert might wish to take possession in person. 

4 Probably the church now called Notre-Dame-du-Bois, built on the 
site of the oratory, under the same invocation, acquired by Abbot Theodoric. 
See vol. i. p. 399. The church stands on the right bank of the Charenton, 


manded all to prepare themselves duly for meeting the 
saint. Then the clerks who were in his train stood ready in , 
their vestments, laying their hands on the crosses and relics 
which they had spread on palls ; but when they attempted 
to remove them, they could by no means do so. All, there- 
fore, in great tribulation, threw themselves on the ground, 
and humbly prayed for God's mercy. The queen, also, 
bound herself by a vow, saying : " If Almighty God shall 
give us the power of safely removing the holy things which 
we have here deposited, I will cause a venerable church to 
be built on this spot in honour of his mother." After she 
had said this, the clerks again laid their hands on the sacred 
things, but to no purpose. Then the queen was very 
sorrowful, and said with tears : " I know that I deserve for 
my sins not to see the servant of God; but if God the 
Creator of all things shall, by the intercession of the saint 
himself, take pity on us, and permit us to remove the holy 
relics, I will have a marble altar made at my own expense, 
and cause it to be brought to the holy man." When she had 
uttered these words, all the relics moved of themselves, and 
they took them up, and went in joyful procession to meet 
the man of God. Already the blessed man was on his way, 
attended by a body of the monks ; and a crowd of people of 
both sexes hastened with him in great triumph towards the 
king. Being received into the monastery, the king 
remained there three days. On the third day he signed a 
charter granting ninety-nine vills to St. Evroult, and then 
returned homewards rejoicing. 

The queen, remembering her vow, caused a church to be 
built in honour of Mary, mother of God, always a virgin, on 
the hill which stands between the rivulet of Charenton and 
the wood, 1 and also sent the marble altar which she promised 
to the venerable man, which remained for many years in the 

overlooking the valley in which the abbey of St. Evroult stood on the other 
side of the river. The French editor of Ordericus here corrects a note 
which is inserted in vol. i. p. 399, describing this church as having been 
originally the mother-church of the parish in which the abbey was built. 
However that may be, it is the parish church at the present day. 

1 The church of Notre-Dame-du-Bois stands on the side of the hill 
above the Charenton, and must formerly have been surrounded by the 
forest, the verge of which in the course of time has receded to some little 


same place. Long afterwards, in the course of years, a 
worthless fellow attempted to transfer part of the marble 
to another place ; but it happened to break in the middle. 
It was plain to all that this act was displeasing to God, and 
he did not suffer it to remain long unpunished, for before 
the year was past the man lost his life. 

In the church built by the queen, as I have just stated, 
two altars were consecrated ; one of them dedicated to the 
Holy and Undivided Trinity the other to the pure virgin 
mother of God. It is reported that there was there a 
convent of monks, and a cemetery for the monks and men 
of distinction. Their bodies were carried thither for inter- 
ment, because the ground in the valley was marshy, and in 
the winter wherever it was dug, the water forthwith sprung 
up, and, overflowing, filled the graves. Traces of a building 
of importance are discovered near the church of the Virgin 
Mother, and to this day stately tombs are preserved there, 
which are believed to have certainly belonged to eminent 
persons. After this description, I proceed to relate what 
further remains. 

The man of God, seeing that he could not bear the crowds 
of people who flocked to him, set his convent in order, and 
withdrawing from it privately, concealed himself for three 
years in a crypt, so that none of the monks knew where he 
was, except one whose name was Malchus, a godson of the 
saint, who knew his secrets better than the rest. The crypt 
stood by the side of a rivulet under a wooded hill, and was 
almost half a league distant from the monastery. 1 Mean- 
while, the devil, that enemy of all that is excellent, perceiving 
that the brethren were growing in good works, sought to 
fill them with the gall of bitterness, and to cause lamenta- 
ble disturbances among them. He therefore raised a 
tumult, which was carried so far that two were killed and 
the rest were plunged in unutterable grief. "When the god- 
son of the holy man perceived this incurable wound in the 
body of the brethren, he ran with all haste to the abbot. 
The man of God, seeing him from a distance thus running, 
concluded that it was not without reason he made such 
haste, and going to meet him inquired the cause of his 

1 This crypt was probably in the neighbourhood of the fountain of St. 
Evroult, described in a former note. 


coming. Upon this, Malchus related at length how the 
monks had been stirred up to insurrection by the instigation 
of the devil. Hearing this, the holy man, inflamed with zeal 
for God, shuddered, and hastened to accompany the mes- 
senger on his return. When he drew near to the convent, 
and had reached the spot where the church founded in 
honour of him now stands, all the bells of the monastery 
began to ring of their own accord. So also did the bells in 
the church of St. Mary, and in that of St. Martin, called 
The Elegant, at a place commonly called La Bercoterie. 

Then the devil, perceiving that the saint was come, as- 
sumed a human form, and began to flee. The holy man 
seeing this, said to his godson : " My brother, do you see 
that man running?" He replied, "My lord, I see no 
one." Then said the saint, " Lo, the devil flees, trans- 
figured into the form of a man, and fearing to remain any 
longer in this place." As he said this, he pursued Belial 
as he fled ; but when he was come to the village now called 
by the inhabitants, Echaufour, Satan, not having permission 
to flee any further, stood still. Upon which the blessed 
Evroult boldly went up to trim, and threw him into a fiery 
oven which was heated in readiness for baking bread, and 
immediately closed its mouth with an iron stopper which 
he chanced to find. From this circumstance the place took 
its name of Echaufour. 1 The women who had brought their 
loaves to be baked, seeing with astonishment what was done, 
said to the man of God, " What, sir, shall we do with our 
loaves ?" To which he replied, " God is able to bake your 
loaves without corporeal fire ; clear well the hearth before 
the oven, and lay your loaves in order upon it, and when 
they are thoroughly baked, depart to your homes, which 
was done accordingly ; all who saw it giving glory to God. 
Then the blessed Evroult returned to his monastery and 
having commanded the two monks who had been killed 
to be brought before him, laid himself prostrate on the 

1 From echauffer, to heat ; four, an oven. Echaufour is a small bourjr, 
with a fine old church, on the verge of the forest, about three leagues from 
St. Evroult, the monks of which had large possessions in the parish. 
There was a castle here, probably on the site of the present chateau, about 
a mile from the village, which was the scene of a surprise described in 
vol. i. p. 433. 

A.D. 582 596.] ACTS or ST. EYBOULT. 289 

ground, and continued praying until such time as the 
brethren were roused from the sleep of death. Having con- 
fessed and communicated with the Lord's body, they again 
gave up the ghost, to the joy and astonishment of all who 
saw it. The venerable father ordered them to have honour- 
able burial, and being assured of their salvation, gave devout 
thanks to God. 

Old men report these and many such miracles performed 
by Evroult, adding that they had seen at Ouche a very aged 
monk named Natalia, who had a large volume filled with 
accounts of the miracles and actions of this servant of the 
Lord. One day, mass being ended, a lighted candle was 
carelessly left on the altar, and while the attendants were busy 
about other matters, the wick burnt down till it set fire 
to a napkin, and the flame caught the altar-cloth, which was 
utterly destroyed, as well as the book, of which we have 
never been able to discover another copy ; and every thing 
on and about the altar which was of a combustible nature 
was burnt. All joined in lamenting this irreparable loss 
of the record of past events : but as the monks wre illite- 
rate, they did not supply it by writing, but transmitted 
verbally to the younger members of the society the particu- 
lars of what they had seen and heard. When they were 
removed by death, the thick clouds of ignorance overspread 
their successors, and hid under an impenetrable veil the 
knowledge of past events, except only what some erudite 
man made, a short abstract of the life of St. Evroult to be 
read in the church. Having already inserted in my work 
the first part of this recital, I will now proceed to relate 
from it the end of the holy father's life and labours in a 
profitable manner without any false colouring. 

Twenty-two years having passed since the monks began 
their settlement in the depth of the wilderness, the monas- 
tery was subjected to the ravages of a plague producing 
sudden death, by the assaults of the great deceiver of man- 
kind. 1 The blessed Evroult did not act as a mercenary who 

1 The same plague appears to have ravaged at this time the rising 
convent of Glanfeuil, now St. Maur-sur- Loire. It is also mentioned by 
Gregory of Tours as having prevailed in 580. The date here given by 
our author enabled Mabillon to calculate the time of the establishment of 
St. Evroult in the forest of Ouche, which he fixed in 560. 



took to flight and left the sheep in the midst of the wolves, 
but like a true shepherd, engaged with them in the conflict, 
and, fulfilling the apostle's admonition, "rejoiced with them 
that did rejoice, and wept with them that did weep." 1 Ad- 
dressing them in words of exhortation, he said, " Brethren, 
strengthen your hearts, and be prepared. Be courageous 
and comforted in the Lord, knowing that tribulation worketh 
patience. 2 Be renewed in the spirit of your minds and 
fight against the old serpent. Be of one heart and one 
mind in the Lord. Behold the day of our vocation is near, 
when our works shall be made manifest, and the righteous 
Judge will give to every man according to his merits. Watch, 
then, and pray, for ye know neither the day nor the hour. 
Blessed is that servant who, when the Lord cometh, shall be 
found watching." By these and such like evangelical dis- 
courses, the wise preacher addressed himself to the con- 
sciences of the brethren, enlarging on the joys prepared for 
the good, and the torments which awaited evil doera. 

Sudden deaths becoming frequent, it happened, in order 
to exhibit in a clearer light the powers of the saint, that one 
of the monks named Ansbert died without receiving the 
viaticum. The brother who had the care of him immediately 
oame to the abbot, saying : " Father, pray for your son who 
has just departed out of this life most unhappily. Let your 
intercessions prevail to bring him safely on the way, seeing 
that he was not strengthened for it by the communion of the 
blessed sacrament. St. Evroult severely blamed himself for 
this occurrence, as if it happened from his own negligence, and 
hastening to the bed of the deceased, shed tears, and threw 
himself in the dust, using the arms of prayer, on which he 
relied. When however he felt within himself the presence 
of the divine power, he arose from the earth, and called on 
the dead man. At the sound of that voice, he who had lost 
his sight raised his head and opened his eyes, and perceiving 
the restorer of his freedom, said, " Welcome, my liberator, 
welcome ! your prayers have saved me, having unravelled 
the devices of the enemy, who had claimed me as his own, 
because he found me without communion. Shut out from 
the feast of the blessed, I was condemned, as not having 
received the viaticum to the torments of cruel hunger. 
1 Rom. xii. 15. a Rom. vii. 3. 

A.D. 582 596.] ACTS OF ST. EVEOTTLT. 291 

Wherefore, kind father, I pray you not to delay allowing 
me to partake of the life-giving host." Need I say more ? 
The sacrament \vas ordered to be brought, and as soon as he 
had received it, while all were wondering at his revival, he 
again gave up the ghost by the wise dispensation of God. 
The glorious saint exults in the certainty of the brother's 
salvation ; the monks exult, praising God for this new 
miracle. Evroult rejoiced because he had restored to life, 
by the accepted way, a brother snatched from death ; the 
monks rejoiced that they had a father at whose prayers hell 
trembled. Great as they felt the perils of the pestilence 
which threatened them with destruction, with such a leader 
and guide they were encouraged to be less fearful of being 
cut off unprepared. However, the mortality was so great, 
that eighty-eight of the monks died of the pestilence, and 
the loss among the domestics was not less. 

I must not pass over in silence what happened to one of 
the number, a most useful officer of the abbey, who breathed 
his last on the very day of our Lord's nativity. Everything 
having been properly arranged for bis funeral, he was borne 
forth from the monastery to the spot where the place of burial 
lay. There the corpse was deposited until the mass was 
finished preparatory to its being committed to the grave. 
The whole society grieved for the loss of so worthy a servant. 
He was a most active steward, and managed the affairs of 
the monks with great industry, so that he was held in high 
esteem by them all. While they were thus plunged in 
general grief, St. Evroult felt the Holy Spirit conceived 
within him, and trembling with awe, while he compassionated 
the sorrow of the brethren, had recourse to his familiar 
remedies. His prayers were fervent, he smote his breast, 
and he shed tears, and continued his intercessions until 
such time as the domestic for whom they were offered rose 
to life and threw himself at the holy father's feet, giving 
thanks for his restoration. Then shouts rose to heaven ; 
the name of the Holy Trinity was blessed by all, and Evroult 
was acknowledged to be illustrious and apostolical, because 
he raised the dead. The servant restored to life resumed 
his duties, and lived for many years afterwards. At length, 
through divine mercy, this fatal pestilence terminated. 

Notwithstanding, however, the mortality ceased, the 
TJ 2 


good shepherd continued to pray for the departed, believing 
that true charity is more concerned about the soul than 
about the body. Although his head was become grey with 
venerable age, he was far from being bowed down by the 
burden of years, but prolonged his labours of reading and 
praying into the night, according to what the psalmist says 
amongst other descriptions of the man who is blessed : " He 
meditates in the law of the Lord both day and night." 1 
Inflamed with ardent charity, he devoted himself more 
zealously to the exercise of all virtues. Though he was 
compassionate to sinners, he carefully guarded his own dis- 
course. Neglecting the care of his person, his hair was 
cut only three times in a year. He was never known to 
return evil for evil. When any loss of transitory things 
was reported to him, his constant reply was : " The Lord 
hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." 2 He 
had such a happy art of reconciling differences that, however 
much at variance persons came to him, they returned at 
peace, soothed by his honeyed words. Indeed, all who 
approached him, high and low, poor and pilgrims, met with 
a cheerful reception. He made himself pleasant to all, and 
seldom any one was permitted to retire from his presence 
without receiving some little present. The sick, who 
regained their health by his benediction, departed, joy- 
fully giving thanks to Grod. It was restored to all who 
resorted to the holy man in the hope of recovering it. 
Many, also, who were so prostrated by the violence of fever 
that they could not come into the presence of the saint, sent 
messengers to entreat that, of his goodness, he would send 
them some token, such as a girdle which he had made him- 
self from rope, or some fragment of his clothing ; and those 
who handled these things with faith regained their former 

A certain mother of a family, who could not obtain a cure 
from any physician, hearing a report of the virtues of the 
blessed man, sent to beg the fringe of his garment, and 
having received it, she was relieved from her disorder, as 
were many others. Behold this admirable physician, who 
not oaly granted the gift of health to those who hastened to 
his presence, but failed not when absent to impart it to those 
i Psalm L 2. a Job i. 21. 

A.D. 596.] ST. EVBOTTLT'S DEATH. 293 

who were at a distance. Those felt his influence who never 
saw his face. 

"While all flocked to him in their several necessities, one 
poor wretch among the rest came from a strange country. 
Perceiving that his whole frame was wasted by severe disease, 
and that he was bent to the knees as he walked, the most 
compassionate saint said to him : " Brother, how could you 
bear the fatigue of such a journey, seeing under what debi- 
lity you labour?" He replied: "My lord, it was under 
compulsion by a double necessity that I determined to come 
to your holiness ; first, I was hungry and wanted employ- 
ment, and secondly, I was infirm and depended upon you 
for a cure." The holy man told him to remain there, and 
immediately restoring his health, made him a monk, and set 
him to work in the garden. So he who came with two 
requests, rejoiced at obtaining three benefits, for he escaped 
the danger of famine, found a remedy for his infirmity, and 
was admitted to the profession of a better course of life. 

Another pauper presented himself who, though he was in 
sound health, pretended to be sick and somewhat palsied, in 
order to obtain something more than the others. Presently, 
however, when he had received alms from the man of God, 
he was struck with fever, what he had feigned becoming a 
reality ; and he breathed his last a few days afterwards in 
the monastery, having confessed his wicked fraud. 

In the midst of so many striking proofs of his miraculous 
powers, the aged soldier of Christ, having attained the age 
of eighty years, fervently desired to see the face of him he 
had so long served; regarding him as an unbelieving servant 
who would wish to avoid the presence of his master. For 
forty-seven days, during which he was afflicted with a fever, 
he was never seen to take food, except occasionally the 
sacrament of the body of the Lord Jesus, and was inces- 
santly engaged in imparting the mysteries of the divine word 
to the brethren, as if he suffered no inconvenience. And 
when pious persons of the neighbourhood came to see him, 
and begged of him to accept something, as an offering of 
their love, which might serve to sustain his feeble body, he 
said to them : " Cease, brethren, cease from persuading me 
to receive what I altogether loathe." Truly he was in no 
need of earthly food who was nourished within by the Holy 


Spirit. He was fed by the sweet hope of eternal delights, 
and assured of enjoying a blessed immortality as the reward 
of his labours. At length the day approaching on which it 
was his desire to be dissolved and to obtain the wished-for 
vision of his Maker, he called, together the brethren, and as 
they were sorrowing at his departure, and considering what 
they should do when their shepherd was dead, he thus 
addressed them : " My children, continue to be of one mind, 
united by the bond of charity ! Let there be divine love 
among you, one toward the other! Be not betrayed into 
the deceitful snares of the devil, and study to fulfil your 
vows to God ! Be lovers of temperance ; observe strict con- 
tinence ; cultivate humility ; esohew pride, and let each 
strive to excel the others in good works ! Receive with 
benevolence pilgrims and strangers for the sake of Him who 
said, 'I was a stranger and ye took me in.'" 

The glorious Evroult uttering these and other his last 
words to the same purpose, and having given his blessing to 
the brethren, his most holy soul departed from the body, and 
immediately his face shone with so much brightness, that no 
one doubted that his free spirit was already triumphing 
among the angels in heaven. He left the world on the 
fourth of the calends of January [December 29], in the 
time of Robert bishop of Seez, and in the twelfth year of the 
reign of King Childebert. 3 The brethren carried the corpse 
into the church with great reverence, and chanted hymns 
and praises to God for three days and nights, while they 
carefully watched the holy body, waiting for the assembling 
of the servants of God. When it was known at Seez that 
the benefactor of the whole country was removed from the 
world, all the inhabitants flocked together to the monastery 
to have the happiness of being present at his solemn 
funeral. 8 The poor lamented him who was indeed one of 

1 Matt. xxv. 43. 

3 It should be Clotaire, which is the ancient reading of the MS. of St. 
Evroult. In fact, St. Evroult died the 29th of December, 596, in the 
eightieth year of his age, which was the twelfth of the reign of Clotaire, 
and the twentieth of that of Childebert, king of Austrasia, 575 596. 
The notice here taken of Robert, bishop of Seez, 584628 ? is the only 
trace of that prelate to be found in history. 

8 fe'e"ez, the smallest city in France, is about thirty miles distant from 
St. Evroult, which belonged to the diocese. The cathedral is a fine 

A.D. 596 7.] ST. EYEOULT'S MIEACLES. 295 

Christ's poor ; the rich, him who was rich in spiritual bless- 
ings ; children, a father ; the aged, one stricken in years. 
All had found him a common friend, and all lamented their 
common loss. 

I think I ought not to omit mentioning that remarkable 
proof of his goodness which, amongst others, the holy man 
gave, when he was now in the enjoyment of eternal light. 
One of the brethren, distinguished for his piety and the 
grace of obedience, had served in the monastery, and was 
raised to the rank of deacon. Evroult loved him much on 
account of his merit of sanctity. When this deacon found 
that he was deprived of so great a father, he became 
overwhelmed with grief, and said : " Alas ! wretched man 
that I am, what shall I do ? Why, my father, have you left 
him whom you confessed you loved ? Why have you suf- 
fered him who was in your entire confidence to be separated 
from you ? Do you treat as an enemy him you called your 
son ? Assuredly I never deserved that you should wish to 
descend into the tomb before me." 

" In sighs and tears thus vented he his grief:" * 

And behold, on the very night of the circumcision of our 
Lord, the deacon, by God's will, gave up the ghost. This 
plainly appears to have been accomplished through the 
intercession of the holy father Evroult, that he whom he 
loved might not become the sport of the world, and that he 
himself might exhibit his readiness to hear the petitions of 
those who invoked his aid. Thus the monk, according to 
his wishes, was carried out for burial on the morrow, at the 
same time with his abbot. Oh, glorious death, more precious 
than life ! It secured him in heaven what he lost on earth. 
As far as I can conjecture, it was better thus to die than to be 
restored from death to life. For now, assured of his salvation, 
he has not to fear being defiled by sin. If he were raised up 
again, he would have to struggle with uncertain hope against 

edifice, with one of those deep porches for which the French churches are 
remarkable, flanked by two spires, and a nave of the early pointed style. 

1 " Talia perstabat memorans, lacrymasque ciebat." 
The first part of this verse is taken from Virgil, ./En. ii. 650 ; the second 
from /En. vL 46U. 


a double danger. This miracle is therefore not to be consi- 
dered less than that of the resurrection of dead persons 
before related. 

The venerable father Evroult was interred in a marble 
tomb of admirable workmanship in the church of St Peter, 
prince of the apostles, which he had built himself of stone. 
To this day many persons are there healed of their infirmi- 
ties, and by the goodness of our merciful Redeemer the 
sorrowful find consolation. To Him be honour and power, 
with the Father and the Holy Ghost, throughout all ages ! 

CH. X. Materials for history destroyed by the Northmen 
Relics of saints dispersed Those of St. Evroult translated 
to Orleans The abbey deserted Its restoration Notices 
of public events Letter of Abbot Warin, in the name of 
Jifervey, bishop of Ely. 

I have thus faithfully described the life of the holy father 
Evroult, inserting it in this work, as it was compiled by our 
predecessors, that the knowledge of so exalted a patron may 
profit the reader, and my labour and regard be pleasing to 
the Lord God, while I have endeavoured to publish the 
glorious actions of my nursing father to the praise of Him 
in whom we live, and move, and have our being. But, from 
the time that this illustrious man was taken from the world, 
who and what his successors were in the convent of Ouche 
for four hundred years, or what were the fortunes of the 
monks or the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, I am 
entirely ignorant. In the times which succeeded, as I have 
already distinctly stated on several occasions, bands of pirates 
issued from Denmark, first with Hasting for their leader, and 
afterwards Hollo, invaded Neustria, and ignorant of Chris- 
tianity and of the pure worship of Q-od, inflicted the most 
cruel disasters on the believing natives. They burnt Noyon 
and Rouen, and many other cities, towns, and villages, 
destroyed a number of monasteries of venerable sanctity, 
devastated a vast extent of country with their incessant 
ravages, and having either exterminated or driven out the 
inhabitants, reduced the towns and villages to utter solitude. 
In the midst of so much desolation, the defenceless monks, 
not knowing what to do, were often in the greatest terror ; 


and in their tribulation gave vent to their distress in conti- 
nual lamentations, and waited their end in caverns and 
thickets, absorbed in grief. Some indeed in terror at the 
savage cruelty of the barbarians, fled to foreign lands which 
had hitherto escaped the hostile attacks of the pagans. Some 
also bore with them the remains of their fathers, whose souls 
reign with the Lord of Sabaoth, whom they devoutly served 
while on earth. The fugitives also carried abroad with them 
the writings which contained the acts of these same fathers 
in the Lord, and accounts of the possessions of the churches, 
their nature and extent, and by whom they were given ; but 
great part of these documents was swept away in the 
storms of the times, and alas ! irrecoverably lost amidst such 
fearful commotions. 

This is what the monks of Jumieges and Fontenelles did j 1 
overtaken by a terrible disaster they never brought back 
what they carried away. The monks of Jumieges translated 
to Haspres * the relics of St. Hugh the archbishop and abbot 
Aicadre, which the inhabitants of Cambray and Arras pre- 
serve in precious shrines, and venerate to this day. The 
monks of Fontenelles carried to Ghent the relics of the holy 
confessors Wandrille the abbot, and Ansbert and Wulfran, 
archbishops, 3 which are in the possession of the Flemings to 

1 Both these abbeys stood in the valley of the Seine, and were therefore 
particularly exposed to the devastations of the Northmen. For some 
account of Jumieges, see a note towards the close of the present chapter, 
under date of the year 1050. The abbey of St. Wandrille, originally 
Fontenelles, was founded in 648. Its ruins are now seen embosomed by 
woods in a glen which issues on the road from Rouen to Havre, about 
three miles from Caudebec. The refectory exhibits the only relics of the 
Norman structure, and with some pointed arches of the church destroyed at 
the revolution, is the principal remains of this once stately abbey. 

2 Haspres, between Cambray and Valenciennes. It appears that Pepin 
d'Herinstal, towards the end of the sixth century, founded a priory in this 
place, which he attached to Jumieges. The remains of St. Aicadre and 
St. Hugh, archbishop of Rouen, were translated there to secure them 
from the outrages of the Northmen, but it must have been after their first 
devastation of Jumieges, which took place the 24th of May, 841. 

3 The relics of St. Wandrille and St. Ansbert, after several migrations 
from Fontenelles to Boulogne-sur-Mer, and from thence to Chartres and 
back again to Boulogne, between the years 858 and 944, found their final 
resting place on the 3rd of September of the latter year in the abbey of 
St. Peter at Blankenberg, near Ghent. The account of the translation of 
the relics of St. Wulfraii is not so clear, but there are formal records 01 


the present time, and are held by them in high veneration. 
The monks of several other abbeys did the same thing, 
whose names I omit partly from want of information (as I 
have not discovered them all), and partly that I may avoid a 
wearisome prolixity on matters of small importance. 

Dudo, dean of St. Quintin, wrote with care concerning 
the arrival of the Normans and their barbarous cruelty, and 
dedicated his work to Eichard II., son of G-onnor, duke of 
Normandy. William, surnamed Calculus, a monk of Jumi- 
eges made a skilful use of the materials furnished by Dudo 
cleverly abridging them, and adding the history of Richard's 
successors to the conquest of England, finished his narrative 
with the battle of Senlac. 1 He addressed his work to King 
William, the greatest of his native princes. As others have 
published magnificent accounts of sublime actions dedicated 
to exalted personages, and have voluntarily offered them- 
selves to describe important events in fitting colours, I too, 
moved by their example have undertaken a similar enter- 
prise, and have already written an account at some length, 
of the monastery in the forest of Ouche which was honoura- 
bly restored in the time of William, who was first, duke of 
Normandy, and afterwards king of England. However, I have 
been able to find no written records of ancient times after the 
decease of father Evroult, and I shall therefore more especially 
endeavour to commit to writing the traditions I have col- 
lected from old persons respecting the translation of the re- 
mains of the holy confessor from his own abbey of Evroult. 
A short account is to be found at Rebais, which I do not 
altogether approve, and it seems to have been drawn up by 
an ignorant writer, not fully informed with any certainty, as 
it appears to me, of dates and circumstances. As therefore 
I cannot rely on the narrative of another writer, I propose 

their having also been carried to Blankenberg, with the others already 
mentioned. On the other hand, the monka of St. Wandrille (Fontenelles) 
maintained that the body of St. Wulfran, discovered in their monastery in 
1027, had never been removed from it ; while the inhabitants of Abbeville 
also claim the possession of these remains on respectable authority, as 
having been conveyed there direct from Fontenelles. See Mabillon, Ada 
S. Benedict, saec. iii. part i. pp. 365, 366 . 

1 Some account of these two Norman historians is given in the notes to 
pp. 375 and 37b' of vol. i. of the present work. 


to commit to writing a clear account of what I have myself 
gathered from old inhabitants of Ouche respecting the time 
and manner of the French obtaining possession of the pre- 
cious remains of the venerable Evroult. 

In the year of our Lord 943, after Arnulph count of 
Flanders had slain William Long-sword, duke of Normandy, 
and Richard son of Sprote, his son then aged only ten years, 
had succeeded to the dukedom and received at Eouen before 
his father's funeral the homage and fealty of all the barons, 
Lewis D'Outre-Mer, king of France entered Normandy with 
an army and succeeded by fraud in carrying off the young 
duke to Laon, promising the Normans on oath that he 
would bring him up as his own son, and have him fitly edu- 
cated in his royal court for governing the state. But things 
turned out otherwise ; for king Lewis, at the instigation of 
the traitor Arnulph, resolved to put the boy to death, or at 
least to deprive him of the power of bearing arms by ampu- 
tating some of his limbs. Osmund, the youth's tutor, learn- 
ing this from Ives de Creil, 2 grand master of the royal 
ordnance, he secretly persuaded Richard to feign sickness, 
that he might thereby induce his guards to be less vigilant. 

One day, while the king was at supper, and every one was . 
engaged in his own concerns or those of others, Osmond 
bought a truss of green forage, and ascending the castle rolled 
it round the young duke. Then descending the tower he 
made all haste to his quarters with the truss of grass and 
spreading it before his horse, concealed the lad. When the 
sun was set, he got out of the town, cautiously taking the 
prince with him, and made for Couci where he gave him in 
charge to Bernard, count de Senlis, his uncle.* 

Meanwhile, Bernard the Dane, who was governor of Nor- 
mandy, sent envoys to Harold, king of Denmark, announcing 
to him the death of Duke William, and that his son was 
deprived of his inheritance. Harold, in consequence, sailed 
to Normandy with a powerful fleet, and, being received in 
the Cotentin by order of Bernard, waited two years for a 

1 Near Senlis. 

* Bernard, count de Senlis and Valois, son of Pepin II., a descendant 
of Charlemagne. He was not Richard's uncle, bnt cousin-german of the 
Duchess de Leutegarde, William Long-sword's queen. 


favourable opportunity of falling on the French, but at length 
took a bloody revenge for the murder of his cousin William 
and the banishment of that duke's son. For, hostilities 
breaking out during a conference between the Danes and 
French, he seized king Lewis, and put to the sword Herluin 
and Lambert, with sixteen barons and numbers of inferior 

While however, Eichard, the young duke, was detained 
for nearly three years in exile, and the king of France 
supposed that Normandy was entirely his own, he had some 
apprehension of Hugh the Great, duke of Orleans, rendering 
aid to the Normans, and he therefore ceded to him Exmes, 
Bayeux and all the district of the Cotentin as far as Mont St. 
Michel-in-peril-of-the-sea, giving him strict orders to reduce 
the rebellious Normans with a strong force, and get possession 
of their fortified places. The ambitious marquis received 
these commands with great satisfaction, and, at once break- 
ing the treaties which he had previously entered into, invaded 
Normandy with a powerful army. Hugh himself established 
himself with his household at Gace, while his troops overspread 
the whole province. Herluin, the duke's chancellor, and Ralph 
de Tracy, were quartered at Ouche, and lodged in the con- 
vent of St Evroult the confessor. Both were men of piety 
and lived in the fear of God. The simple monks rejoiced to 
entertain such distinguished men, and rendered them all 
hospitable attentions in their power with the utmost kind- 
ness. Conducting them without reserve through their 
chapels, oratories, and secret recesses, they showed them, to 
their loss, the shrines and relics of the saints which they 
contained. The strangers examined with great reverence 
these objects preserved with so much secrecy, and on their 
departure offered their prayers and gifts ; but they returned 
shortly afterwards, like the Chaldeans to Jerusalem, and 
cruelly carried off the holy vessels of the church, and all its 
valuable treasures. 

Hugh the Great sat down before Exmes with his array, 
but the garrison made a brave resistance and prevented his 
further advance. At the same time, the king of France en- 
tering the country of Evreux with a strong force spread 
fire and rapine through all Normandy. Bernard the Dane 


being apprized of these incursions, and receiving sure ac- 
counts of the devastation of the country, was in great dismay 
at his inability to withstand the attacks of such powerful 
princes, with only his Norman levies. In consequence, 
having keenly surveyed the state of affairs, his crafty genius 
devised the means of extricating himself and the people he 
governed from the difficulties in which they were placed. 
He therefore met the king with the air of a suppliant and 
thus addressed him : " What are you doing, my lord the king ? 
Tour undertaking is impious and unbefitting your rank. 
All this Normandy, which you are ravaging, is your own. 
Kouen and the other cities, with the villages and strong places, 
throw open their gates at your command, and the whole 
population, both rich and poor, submits to you, and having 
no other lord respect and love you. Who can have given 
you the disastrous counsel to ravage your own property with 
the sword of the destroyer, and to butcher a people devoted 
to you ? He must be a wicked traitor who has persuaded you 
to devastate your own states with fire and sword." The 
king's heart was softened by this specious language, so that 
he dismissed his army and entered Rouen with Bernard. 
Bernard gave him a brilliant reception, surrounded with 
the citizens full of joy, and having prepared for him a mag- 
nificent banquet entertained him for several days with great 
respect. However, as the king was sitting one day after 
dinner in the great hall, conversing cheerfully with those 
about him on affairs of state, the crafty Barnard addressed 
them in ambiguous terms : " We have," he said, " O Norman 
lords, great cause for joy, and let us render thanks to God for 
it, as we ought. Hitherto we have obeyed a duke of the race 
of Bollo ; now, by God's will, we are the subjects of a great 
king of the race of the emperor Charlemagne. To this time 
we have been ducal, now we are royal, and, what is more, 
imperial." All the company applauding this discourse, and 
deceiving the French by flattering words, Bernard again 
entreated silence, and thus proceeded while there was gene- 
ral attention : " I acknowledge the shrewdness of the French 
in many affairs, but there is one thing my lord the king baa 
done which I cannot approve, for I perceive in it his own dis- 
advantage and great dishonour. We all know that Hugh 
the Great is a traitor, and the son of a traitor ; and yet the 


king has aggrandized him, as I think, to his own great injuiy, 
by giving him the districts of Exmes and the Cotentin, with 
many thousand men bearing arms. Some pestilent adviser 
has taken advantage of his master's simplicity, and, to speak 
the truth, has plunged a dagger into his heart by persuading 
his lord to strengthen his enemy against himself. I wonder 
much, my lord the king, that you have so entirely forgotten 
the past. It is plain to all the world, for such crimes cannot 
be committed in private, that Robert, 1 Hugh's father, was a 
traitor, and having rebelled against your father Charles, and 
breaking his oath of allegiance usurped the crown and de- 
servedly fell in battle. Hugh was a party to these designs, 
and disturbed France for seven years while you were an 
exile with your uncle Athelstan in England. 2 Is it not 
clear as the light to any sensible person that he is guilty of 
high treason who wickedly suggests to the king that strip- 
ping himself of his own estates, he should lessen his own 
dominions to augment the strength of an enemy who will 
turn it against yourself. Let no one have a share in 
the duchy of Normandy, but the king of France be the 
sole ruler of the Normans who pay him their willing obe- 

On hearing this, the king became anxious about the gift 
he had voluntarily made to Hugh, without any application 
on his part, and asked to be advised what he should do jn 
the affair. The crafty Dane replied that the king ought 
without hesitation to annul his engagements, and give a posi- 
tive command to Hugh to raise the siege of Exmes ; and if 
he should rebelliously resist the order, they should fall upon 
him with their united forces. Bernard selected two knights 
for this embassy, and the king dictated to them the impe- 
rious orders they were to carry to Hugh. Thereupon, the 
envoys made all haste to the camp of Hugh, and reported 
to him faithfully the king's message : " Your presumption," 
they said, " is intolerable in invading the dominions of your 
lord the king of France, and besieging the castle of Exmes, 

1 Robert, duke of France, second of the name, was son of Robert the 
Strong, king of France, June 24, 922 June 15, 923. 

3 Louis d'Outre-Mer, who was born in 920, resided at the court of his 
uncle Athelstan nearly thirteen years, from the captivity of King Charles, 
his father, in 923 to 936, when he was crowned at Laon. 


which has been a royal seat from ancient times. 1 Hoar now 
his commands in this matter; and on the fealty you owe 
him, obey them without delay. Raise the siege before sun- 
set, and give account of your rash enterprise to the king at 
Laon, with the advice and judgment of his peers, when he 
shall appoint a time. Otherwise, prepare yourself and your 
people for battle, for the king your lord, if he finds you here, 
will attack you with the forces of Prance and Normandy 
before the week is passed." 

This message violently enraged Hugh the Great, and 
rousing him to the highest pitch of resentment, he exclaimed 
to his attendants : " This weak king must be demented to 
send me such a message while I am supporting him with 
all my power. I never coveted the possession of Normandy, 
or demanded any part of it from him ; but he made me the 
voluntary offer of the whole country on this side of the 
Seine, as far as the sea, and required my assistance to sub- 
due these indomitable pirates. Does he not manifest his folly 
to all the world when he threatens to fight me at the very 
time I am obeying his orders. The man who serves an 
unjust master is much to be pitied, and he who submits to 
one who is at once faithless and weak is a fool himself. Let 
us make a hasty retreat ; but see that you devastate the 
whole country, ruin the churches, burn the houses, level the 
ovens and mills, drive oif the flocks and herds of cattle, and 
carry away with you, never to return, every sort of plunder, 
and, loaded with booty, leave those miscreants to them- 

Receiving such orders, the troops dispersed themselves 
like bands of robbers throughout the province, and taking 
the country-people by surprise, while they thought them- 
selves safe under the duke's protection, executed his orders 
without mercy. Then Herluin, the chancellor, and Ralph 
de Tracy did not trouble themselves about the cattle or the 
goods of the peasantry, but recollecting their sojourn at 
Ouche, returned thither, and unexpectedly entered the con- 
vent with their followers. While the monks who suspected 
no evil, stood aghast, the armed band burst into the church 
with violence, and penetrated into its secret recesses, and 

1 M. Le Prevost remarks that Exmes had never any pretensions to be 
a renal residence. 


even broke open the tombs. Taking the bodies of the three 
saints Evroult, Evremond, 1 and Ansbert 2 out of their coffins 
and wrapping the bones in deer-skins, they carried them off 
with the relics of other saints. The armed retainers pene- 
trated into every corner of the abbey and irreverently laid 
hands on all that was serviceable to human existence, in 
spite of the lamentations of the weeping monks. Setting 
no bounds to their rapacity, and respecting no one, they 
pillaged the books, vestments, and various articles of furni- 
ture belonging to the monks and their servants, and 
ransacking every place which the brethren themselves had 
opened to them on a former occasion, as already related, 
they swept every thing away. They then joined the rest of 
the invaders, and the whole, united in one body, marched out 
of Normandy, and hastened back to their own country with 
the booty they had collected. The monks of Ouche were 
overwhelmed with grief at their sad desolation, and were at 
a loss 'to determine what they should do or where they should 
go now that they had been stripped of all. After consider- 
ing, however, all circumstances, they resolved to leave the 
country, and follow the relics of their sainted founder. 

A venerable old man, whose name was Ascelin, filled at 
that time the office of prior of Ouche, diligently performing 
its functions according to the circumstances of the times. 
Seeing the monks and their servitors plunged in excessive 
grief, and all preparing to leave together their now desolate 
abode and follow their blessed patron among hostile bands, 
after much careful reflection he determined to wait the time 
of his dissolution in that place in the fear of the Lord. He, 
therefore, called the brethren together, and when they were all 
assembled, thus spoke: "For our sins, and those of our fathers, 

1 St. Evremond was a native of Bayeux, as well as St. Evroult, and 
their legends are very similar. St. Evremond quitted the world to retire 
into a solitude in another part of the diocese of Se"ez, Fontenay-les- 
Louvets, after previously founding a monastery half a league from thence. 
Annobert, bishop of S6ez, drew him from his retreat to take the govern- 
ment of another convent, called Mons Major, supposed to be Montme're', 
between Argentan and Seez, where he died in the odour of sanctity about 
the year 720. 

a This saint is the monk restored to life by St. Evroult, in order that he 
might receive the viaticum, and not St. Ansbert, archbishop of Rouen, 
mentioned before, p. 290. 


the scourge of God has fallen upon us, and its terrible stroke 
has levelled us and ours, and brought us to irreparable ruin. 
Behold the Judge Almighty, as he destroyed Jerusalem by 
the hands of Nebuchodnosor and the Chaldees, justly 
humbling his own sanctuary, so he has punished this house 
by the hands of Hugh and the French with afflictions of 
various kinds, but principally (which is most to be lamented) 
by depriving us of the bones of the blessed father Evroult 
and other saints. As for you who propose to follow the 
relics of your founder, for various reasons, I do not venture 
to prohibit your enterprise, as this whole neighbourhood is 
now a desert, and defenceless monks would starve while 
princes are in arms. Go, with God's blessing, and be faith- 
ful servants to the kind father who has hitherto sustained 
you in his own country, becoming now pilgrims with him in 
a strange land. For myself I shall not desert Ouche, but 
shall still serve my Creator in this place where I have 
enjoyed so many blessings, and never quit it while life 
remains. I know that the bodies of many saints repose 
here, and the spot was pointed out to our holy father by an 
angelic vision, for the exercise of his spiritual warfare to the 
profit of numbers. A great company of the faithful have 
here offered to the King Most High the acceptable incense 
of a devout life, of which they are now receiving the crown 
and the rewards in paradise. Here, then, I shall remain 
after your departure, and in imitation of our founder, 
become the guardian of these solitudes in the name of the 
Lord, until, through his mercy who is King of kings, better 
times shall dawn upon us." 

At these words, the afflicted brethren parted. There- 
upon, the monks of St. Evroult and their attendants aban- 
doned their home, and joining their enemies, followed 
weeping the relics of their patron. Their number, including 
their domestics, was about thirty, and they all marched on foot 
in company with the [duke's] chaplains. The latter knew 
the monks well enough, but showed them no courtesy, as 
they suspected and feared that their object was privately to 
rob the French of their precious treasure. But the merciful 
Lord, who chastises the erring to bring them back to the 
right way, treats those who are converted with fatherly 



kindness, and gives his aid in a wonderful manner to those 
who need it. 

The troop encamped the first night after leaving Nor- 
mandy at a place called Champs, 1 and after supper some of 
the duke's boon companions fell into bantering and unseemly 
talk. One of these jesters said jocosely to the duke : " Have 
you heard, my lord duke, what your chancellor Herluin and 
your chamberlain Ealph have done ? They have dug up the 
bodies of some Norman peasants, and deluding themselves 
with the notion that they are holy relics, they have deposited 
them in your chapel, and are reverently conveying them 
into France." The duke asking the names of those whose 
bodies they were carrying, the jester said: "Evroult, 
Evremond, and Ansbert;" whereat the French, to whom 
these names were not familiar, and who were ignorant of the 
glory to which the blessed saints were exalted in heaven, 
indulged in much idle banter about the relics. But in the 
first night-watch, when all were asleep, the Almighty thun- 
dered awfully out of heaven, and shooting forth his lightning 
in bright flashes, struck the buffoon and his companions who 
had made light of the holy relics. Their sudden death 
caused no small alarm to the duke and his whole army ; 
whereupon he assembled the troops very early in the morning, 
and commanding the chancellor to bring the relics reverently 
into his presence, he made every one offer their devotions 
to them before they began their march. He also summoned 
before him the weeping monks and their attendants, and 
requiring from them some account of Evroult and his com- 
panions, listened with pleasure to the history they gave of 
the venerable men, and called on the Belgian nobles 2 to hear 
the marvels. He was also touched by the worth and sim- 
plicity of the monks of Ouche, and being moved to compas- 
sion towards them by the inspiration of Grod, who shows 
mercy to his faithful servants on all occasions, he said to 
them : " I esteem above gold and silver the relics of your 
founder which you voluntarily follow. For his sake, too, I will 

1 Champs, in the canton of Torouvre, the church of which is dedicated 
to St. Evroult, probably in memory of this circumstance. 

3 Our author is mistaken in his references to the Roman topography of 
Gaul. The nobles who followed Hugh in his expedition did not belong to 
the Belgian provinces. 


show you favour and take you under my protection, ordering 
my chancellor to take charge of you and treat you well, and 
to permit you to receive all the offerings made to the holy 
relics, until you shall reach Orleans, the capital of my 
duchy, 1 when I will provide for your sufficient main- 

The prospects of the monks of Ouche in a strange 
country now began to brighten, and they daily received 
large o'fferings from the faithful, and, through God's mercy, 
were comforted by the abundant gifts which flowed from the 
necessities of the sick or the benevolence of the devout. 
"When they arrived at Orleans, the troops of soldiers with 
their squires and horses, filled all the houses and buildings 
in the city, so that the monks with the holy relics took 
refuge in a bakehouse, where they rested the first night. 
The citizens afterwards built a church on the spot, dedicated 
to St. Evroult, and through the merits of the saints many 
miracles of healing were performed there. Herluin the 
chancellor was abbot of St. Peter-en- Point, where he depo- 
sited the holy relics by command of Hugh the Great. 2 Then 
Ralph de Tracy claimed his part of the spoil, and would not 
relinquish it at any price. He was an eminent citizen of 
Soissons and the duke's first chamberlain, possessed large 
domains, honours, and wealth, and was distinguished by his 
piety and other virtues. No one dared to wrong so powerful 
a lord, and by a general order the relics were brought into 
court and divided in the presence of the judges. Herluin 
being a priest, and abbot of the canons of St. Peter, as well 
as first chaplain to the duke, retained for his share the head 
and the greatest part of the bones of St. Evroult, also a book 
and a portable altar plated with silver, the gown and 
girdle of St. Evroult, and the charters of donation ; the rest 
of the body he yielded to Ralph. There was no difficulty 
about the division of the other relics, for the Orleannois 
chose the bones of St. Evremond the abbot for their share, 

1 Orleans was not Hugh's capital as duke of France, but as count of 

4 This monastery became afterwards a collegiate and parochial church, 
and the anniversary of the translation of the relics of St. Evroult was 
annually celebrated in it till the revolution. Its site is now occupied by 
a Rotunda lately built for Protestant worship. 

x 2 


and left those of St. Ansbert, the monk, to Ealph. He 
hastened with this precious treasure to Rebais, 1 and devoutly 
offered it to that abbey of which he was a brother and 
friend. The monks of Rebais, in white and silken vestments, 
came forth in procession with lighted tapers and censers 
fuming with incense to receive the relics in great triumph, 
and they preserve them with reverence to this day. Then 
Ealph, wishing to augment the property of the church out of 
his own domains, gave them Port d'Aunois and Bonneil, 3 
and that there might be abundant means for supplying 
shrines for the relics he added large sums of gold and silver. 
In return for these offerings, this lord at his death was 
buried in the church. 

In such changes foreign worshippers are sometimes de- 
ceived, but as their object is good, they easily obtain pardon 
for unintentional error. They venerate, indeed, the relics 
which chance gave them, to the utmost of their power; 
being mistaken, however, in their notions respecting Ans- 
bert, a stranger to them, and exalting him beyond his due 
by making him to have been archbishop of Kouen. But I 
boldly assert what I have learnt from careful inquiries, that 
this Ansbert was the young monk who, having died sud- 
denly without the viaticum, was soon afterwards restored to 
life by St. Evroult, and having received the communion 
departed in the Lord, and was admitted to partake in the 
feast of the saints. As for Ansbert of Eouen, his remains 
are preserved at Fontenelles with those of abbot Wandrille 
and Wulfran, archbishop of Sens, and are daily honoured by 
the devotions of the faithful. 3 Thus I have given a faithful 
account of the division of the relics of St. Evroult, as I 
received it myself long ago from truthful and religious old 

On the death of Hugh the Great, his son, also called 

1 The abbey of Rebais in Brie was founded by St. Ouen in 634. It 
was at first called Jerusalem, but afterwards took the name of the stream 
on which it was built. St. Agile was the first abbot, and it was under him , 
that St. Philibert, the founder of Jumieges, embraced the monastic 

2 Probably the hamlet of Aunois, on the bank of the Marne, between 
Chateau-Thierre and Bonneil. 

3 See what our author says of the translation of these relics, and the 
notes, p. 297. 


Hugh the Great, 1 succeeded him in the duchy, and disturb- 
ances breaking out between Charles and the nobles of the 
realm, Hugh usurped the crown, which has descended to his 
heirs to the present day. Geoffrey, 2 son of the count of 
Anjou, was this Hugh's godson, and having been brought 
up by him until he arrived at man's estate, received at his 
hands the honour of knighthood. Having learnt with sor- 
row at court that his father was dead, he demanded of the 
king to be invested in his hereditary domains, at the same 
time earnestly beseeching him to give him some part of the 
bones of St. Evroult, whose miracles he had often witnessed 
while residing at Orleans. Hugh had a great regard for the 
young man, and he therefore granted him his father's 
estates, and gave him some of the relics of St. Evroult. It 
was therefore through him that the relics of St. Evroult 
were obtained, which still receive the veneration of the 
faithful in the church of St. Main-beuf at Angers. 3 The 
monks of Ouche, who expatriated themselves with the holy 
body found, by God's providence, a welcome home among 
their foreign hosts, and receiving abundance of bread and 
wine, and also of fish, which the Loire supplies, ended their 
days in France, after experiencing the many changes of 
unstable fortune. 

Meanwhile the aged Ascelin remained in the wilderness 
at Ouche with a few poor inhabitants, bringing up his 
nephew Ascelin, with Guisbert de Gace and Harmoud de 
la Tillaie, and some other youths whom he taught reading, 4 
that they might perform the daily service of God in that 
place. One day he assembled all the scattered dwellers in 

1 It does not appear that Hugh Capet ever bore the surname of Hugh 
the Great as well as his father. The author has committed the same 
error before. See vol. i. p. 141, where the dates of the events here referred 
to are given. 

* Geoffrey, first count of Anjou of that name, who succeeded his father 
in 958, could not have been the godson of Hugh Capet, nor received 
knighthood or the investment of his county from him, as ha was much his 
junior. But as Geoffrey lived till the 21st of July, 987, it is very 
probable that he was on friendly terms with Hugh Capet, and received 
from him some relics of St. Evroult. 

3 The collegiate church of St. Mainbeuf at Angers. It would appear 
from what follows that all the relics of St. Evroult which were deposited 
at Orleans, were afterwards translated to Angers. 

*_" Communes literas edocuit." Taught them their letters. 


those solitudes, and announced to them his intention to hold 
a festival, which at the appointed time he celebrated to the 
best of his power, and after a solemn mass delivered this 
discourse to the people who were present : " We ought to 
fear the divine threatenings, but our hearts are so hardened 
that we take no account of the warnings addressed to us, 
until, like the wicked servant, we feel the rod with which 
we are scourged, and its sharp strokes cause us to wail and 
lament. When formerly the Danes, who were then pagans, 
ravaged Neustria under Hasting, and returned with new 
fury under the command of Rollo, they ruined numberless 
churches and monasteries, cities, and fortified places, but we, 
living in a wild and barren country, escaped, under God's 
protection, the swords of the invaders, although we were 
subject to great alarm and severe penury. 1 Now, alas ! the 
day of the Lord's wrath is come unexpectedly upon us, and 
we have been robbed of the sacred relics which we valued 
above all precious things by those we trusted on the score 
of the hospitality we had shown them. We read in the holy 
Scriptures that God forsook the tabernacle in Silo and de- 
livered his tent that he had pitched among men to the 
uncircumcised, that is the falsely accusing, Philistines. 2 A 
like judgment has now fallen upon us ; we have lost the 
bodies of the saints, in which we placed our main dependence, 
and our brethren having followed the coffins of our fathers 
into a foreign country, we are left alone, few and weak in 
this wild solitude. But although the French have trans- 
lated the sacred bones, and carried off our books, vestments, 
and other precious articles, they have still left us the tombs 
and the most sacred ashes of the saints' bodies, through 
God's mercy, to our great consolation, with other holy 
things which they could not remove. It is our duty to use 
diligence, in carefully concealing and preserving with re- 
verence, what our enemies have left us. We still have, by 

1 M. Le Provost considers that our author is perfectly correct in stating 
that St. Evroult and the country round escaped the devastations of the 
Northmen. He remarks that it was too poor and too remote to attract the 
pirates from the neighbourhood of the navigable rivers. Ordericus falls 
into the error, common to the Norman historians, of perpetually introduc- 
ing the name of Hasting into a province in which, as far as is known, he 
never set foot. 

* Psalm Ixxviii. 61. 


God's mercy, a hair of the apostle St. Peter's beard, which 
Pope Romanus sent to St. Evroult at the dedication of this 
church. We also know of other precious relics which have 
been hidden in this church by the old fathers. I now pro- 
pose, if it is agreeable to you, to examine and inspect all 
these memorials, and conceal them in a place of safety, to 
preserve them from sacrilege, until they shall be discovered 
by a revelation of God to future worshippers." All who 
were present approving his design, the old monk finished 
the mass, and when the service was ended gave the benedic- 
tion and dismissed the people, retaining however the young 
scholars to carry the candles and censer of incense. He 
then proceeded, accompanied by a mason, to the grave of 
St. Evroult, and causing the stone which covered it to be 
removed with reverence, collected some nodules of the 
sacred dust. He also took out several cases and reliquaries 
inscribed with the names of the relics they contained. Then 
desiring the youths to go to dinner, he caused the mason, 
with the assistants required, all of whom were of mature 
age, to build up the relics in a place of concealment, having 
dismissed the youths that they might not learn the secret. 1 
I received this account from themselves many years after- 
wards, but the exact spot where the relics were deposited I 
was unable to discover, because, as I have already said, my 
informants were excluded at the time of their concealment. 

These events happened in the time of Duke Eichard I., 
who governed Normandy fifty-two years, and, as it has been 
before related, was at first driven into exile and enduivu 
many tribulations, but afterwards, by God's help, subdued 
his enemies and became powerful. In the midst of furious 
storms, the good old Ascelin continued to live under tho 
monastic rule until he was bowed down with age, and at his 
death committed the guardianship of Ouche to his nephew 

1 It is very difficult to reconcile this statement with the dates furnishr-d 
by our author. He says, just afterwards, that the circumstances took piace 
in the time of Duke Richard I., who died in 995, and Asceline may h-ivft 
lived till about the same period, and probably did not conceal the relics till 
his end was approaching. But supposing the choristers to have been ton 
years old at that time, they would have been one hundred in 1085, when 
Ordericus, at the age of eleven, was admitted a novice at St. Evroult. The 
account has an air of great probability, but a link in the chain of traditioas 
appears to be wanting. 


Ascelin, who was a clerk. This young man, in the ardour 
of youth, became disgusted with his rude and solitary life, 
and longed after the enjoyments of a town ; and betaking 
himself to France for the purpose of gaining instruction, he 
was so captivated by all sorts of pleasures, that he lived 
there almost fifty years, rising by the regular steps to the 
rank of priest. Enslaved by carnal delights, and inflated by 
growing prosperity during his residence in Prance, he lost 
all recollection during his long life, even to old age, of what 
his predecessors had entrusted to him in Normandy. 

Meanwhile, by the death and departure of its inhabitants, 
Ouche returned to its original solitude, and all vestiges of 
human life having disappeared, the oratories and houses be- 
came overgrown with thick wood, and for a long period were 
the resort of wild animals. Then it was said in a vision to 
a certain priest named Restold, who lived in the province of 
the Beauvaisis ; " Go to St. Evroult in Normandy, and you 
will enjoy there length of days, and a life full of joy and 
pleasure." The priest therefore left his native country, and 
journeying through Normandy searched for the house of St. 
Evroult, but although he continued his inquiries for many 
days, he could find no one to point it out. At last he found 
the old church of St. Evroult at Montfort, 1 and sojourned 
there for some time, in the belief that it was the spot 
assigned by his heavenly oracle to him and his posterity. 

A peasant of the name of Fala, in the territory of 
Bauquence, had a bull which, frequently separating from 
the herd, ran into the forest, and though the owner sought 
for it a long time with his servants and dogs, he never could 
find it, but at the end of five or seven days, when it was 
supposed to be irrecoverably lost, it made its appearance in 
good condition. This happened so repeatedly that it be- 
came a customary thing. It became a joke among the 
neighbours who observed it, and the bull had free leave to 
go and come when he pleased. After a time, however, the 
curiosity of the herdsmen was roused, and attempts were 
made to trace the bull's wanderings in the forest, and it was 
followed through the thickest brakes. Fala obtained the 
assistance of an experienced hunter, whose name was Dui- 
lett, and he tracked the bull with the sagacity of a hound, 
1 Near Gac6. 


until it was discovered lying before the altar of St. Peter 
the apostle as if it were at prayers. The walls of the 
church were shattered and held together by roots of ivy, 
and the ruins of ancient buildings could be traced by the 
observers. A dense wood had sprung up both within and 
without, no one having lived there for fifty years. Upon 
this discovery grey-headed old men recollected, that accord- 
ing to what their fathers had told them, St. Evroult and 
many others, who held the world in contempt, had dwelt 

Restold also had a new vision, which rebuked him for not 
having justly obeyed the former command ; and upon the 
priest's anxiously inquiring by what means he could bet- 
ter fulfil the injunctions laid on him, he was told to go 
to Ouche, and there serve God as the follower of St. 
Evroult. Eestold therefore left his first habitation at Mont- 
fort, and going to Ouche with his wife and his son Ilbert, 
was the first who now took up his abode there. 

There was at that time a noble knight, named Gaston de 
Montfort, who, inspired by the fear of the Lord, formed the 
design of restoring all the churches in his neighbourhood 
which had fallen to decay from age and neglect during the 
many troubles I have before mentioned ; and to this good 
work he devoted his whole attention, and consecrated all the 
means in his power. In consequence, he repaired the old 
church of St. Peter at his own expense, endeavouring to 
propitiate Almighty God by this undertaking. One morn- 
ing, as his herdsman was keeping his oxen on a hill, washed 
at its base by the rivulet of Charenton, 1 and was resting 
among the ruins where the herbage was most luxuriant, all 
of a sudden, one in the guise of a pilgrim stood before him, 
and appearing wearied by his journey, sat down and began 
to converse with him: " Go," said he, "quickly to Gaston, 
and tell him to come to me without delay." The herdsman 

1 The Charenton is only a rivulet in this part of its course, but has 
worked for itself a deep channel in the soft bed of the valley. Alter its 
confluence with the Risle, their united waters discharge themselves into the 
estuary of the Seine, between Honfleur and Quillebceuf. The Orne, also, 
and the Dive, the Touques and the Iton, all take their rise in the elevated 
forest district about St. Evroult which is the water-shed between the rivers 
which discharge themselves into the Manche, and the Sarthe, the Huine, 
and other rivers and streams flowing into the Loire. 


hastened to his master and gave him the pilgrim's message, 
but Gaston was idly disposed and would not obey the sum- 
mons, but desired the pilgrim, through his servant, to come 
to him. The pilgrim repeated his message to G-aston a 
second and a third time, but being occupied by I know not 
what affairs, he obstinately refused to come. When there- 
fore the herdsman returned the third time and told this to 
the pilgrim, the old man said, " Come with me and mark 
carefully what I say: this place was sanctified in ancient 
times by the divine benediction, and is rich in most sacred 
relics." Thus saying, the hoary speaker rose and pointed 
out, in the middle of the area, the site of the altar of the 
holy Mary, mother of G-od, 1 and to the east that of the 
holy and undivided Trinity. He then said further to the 
astonished herdsman : " If your master had come to me as I 
required him by you, I would have discovered to him hidden 
treasures, by means of which he might have repaired this 
old church, and I would have made known to him another 
secret, which would have caused great joy throughout all 
Normandy. Upon hearing these last words, the servant 
retraced his steps and repeated them to Gaston, who im- 
mediately mounted his horse and came with all speed to the 
place pointed out, but the pilgrim had disappeared. He 
was now extremely sorry for the indifference he had mani- 
fested, and eagerly questioned the herdsman as to all he had 
heard about the holiness of the place and the two altars. 
He then had a conference with Ralph Fresnel, 2 son of 
Thorold, who was then lord of the soil, and with God's help 
undertook the restoration of the church of St. Mary-always- 
a-virgin. The labourers cleared out the old ruins, in which 
they found a prodigious quantity of stones, enabling them 
to carry on the work with great dispatch. They found the 
tombs of many noble persons, in which old men declare, 
from certain marks they discovered, the bodies of kings and 
bishops were laid. 

1 The church here spoken of is that built by Queen Faileube in honour 
of the Virgin, and on the site of which Notre-Dame-du-Bois now 

2 A person of this name is related in the sequel to have built the castle 
of La Ferti-Fresnil. His sons William and Robert are mentioned before, 
vol. i. p. 399. 


Some miracles were also wrought there. A knight named 
Harduin, having observed a large block of stone among the 
ruins of the church, desired to appropriate it to his own use, 
and caused it to be transported to his house and converted 
into a cistern for himself and his cattle ; but when they 
began to hollow it out, he fell ill. During 1 ' his illness, 
Gunfold de Touquette, 1 a knight of that country, had a 
vision ; instructed by which he visited Harduin, who was 
lying sick, and admonished him to restore the block of stone 
to its original site, otherwise he would inevitably die. On 
hearing this, the sick man immediately called his servants, 
ordered them to harness four yoke of oxen to a waggon, and 
earnestly begged them to carry back the stone to the church 
of the holy Virgin Mother. The block of stone being loaded 
on the waggon, he caused himself to be lifted on it, and 
thus conveying it back to the holy building from which he 
had purloined it he confessed his sin, and invoking the 
mercy of the Almighty Lord, was immediately cured. 

Many other miracles were wrought in this place which 
have fallen into oblivion by the death of the neighbours 
then living, not having been committed to writing, from the 
great dearth of penmen at that time in Normandy. 

When, at last, the church was erected on a wooded hill, 
all the inhabitants of the district were full of joy, and the 
cure of it with the government of the parish was committed 
to Eestold of the Beauvaisis, as well by G-aston and Ealph, 
as by the bishop of Evreux, in whose diocese it stood. 

At that time William, son of Giroie, 2 , was lord of Echau- 
four, and heard of the existence in the forest of the fountain 
of St. Evroult and the old church of St. Peter the apostle on 
the rivulet called Charenton. Led by curiosity, he surveyed 
this spot, and, perceiving it to be a fitting place for the 
worshippers of God, honoured it with respect, and settled 
there the priests B-estold and Ingeran, providing them a 
sufficient maintenance out of the revenues of Echaufour. In 
process of time, as is fully related in the third book of the 
present work, the abbey of St. Evroult was restored by this 
William Giroie and his brothers and nephews, and received 

Touquette, a commune to the west of St. Evroult. 

3 A full account of William Giroie is given in vol. i. p. 384, &c. The 
abbcv church of St. Evroult was dedicated to St. Peter. 


regular institutions by the labours and means of the monks 
of Jumieges. 

In the year of our Lord 1051 Theodoric, a monk of 
Jumieges, undertook the administration of the abbey, edu- 
cating the voung flock with piety and prudence for eight 
years, 1 and instructing them to work worthily in the law of 
the Lord according to the rule of St. Benedict. Afterwards, 
as I have already related, he shrank from the burden of the 
government, and resigning it, to the great grief of the pre- 
lates Mauritius of Rouen, and Hugh of Lisieux, he became 
a pilgrim in foreign lands, treading under foot worldly 
things, and, longing for the heavenly Jerusalem, laboured to 
reach the terrestrial. But he died in the island of Cyprus, 
in the church of St. Nicholas, before the altar, on the calends 
[1st] of August, and was interred with respect by the con- 
vent of monks, in that place, which he made illustrious by 
frequent miracles in healing the sick. I composed the 
following epitaph in heroic verse, to his memory : 
Trained in Jumieges' holy school, 
Thence called St. Evroult's monks to rule, 

1 Our author states in b. iii. p. 387, that Theodoric was appointed in 
1050. There is a further mistake here respecting the period of his admi- 
nistration. It lasted from October 3, 1050, to August 29, 1057. Jumieges, 
founded by St. Philibert in 654, was one of the most magnificent of those 
Benedictine abbeys which were celebrated for their learning in the dark 
ages. A short notice of William Calculus, one of the monks who wrote 
the histories of the dukes of Normandy, and who died in 1090, is given in 
a note, p. 376, of vol. i. The situation of the abbey on a peninsula round 
which the Seine makes a bold sweep, almost encircling it with its 
stream and high wooded banks, was well calculated for a studious and con- 
templative life. The remains are among the most considerable and the best 
preserved of the monastic buildings of Normandy. The west front of the 
abbey church is still surmounted by two lofty octagonal towers, but one 
side only of the great central tower is standing. The nave, with its 
massive pillars and columns supporting circular Norman arches, remains 
entire. These parts of the building are of the date 1067. The choir has 
been razed to the ground, except part of the apsis, and some arches exhi- 
biting the pointed style of the thirteenth century. The site is strewed 
with interesting fragments of the building and monumental slabs and 
effigies, which are carefully preserved though the ruins have repeatedly 
changed owners. Many portions of the conventual buildings may still be 
traced. The gate-house has been converted into a residence, and a lofty 
wall surrounds the large enclosure formerly the convent gardens, and now 
a well planted park, over the trees and shrubberies of which the grey ruins 
tower with a most picturesque effect. 


THEODORIC taught the discipline 
Which thirty years his task had been, 
While Satan's malice he defied, 
And triumphed o'er his hellish pride. 
The flock he reared in forest glade 
Eight years his gentle sway obeyed ; 
Religion in the wilderness 
He nurtured in her humblest dress, 
And, pattern of wise industry, 
The scribe's art practised skilfully. 
At length inspired with ardent zeal, 
Before the Saviour's tomb to kneel, 
The pilgrim found a hallowed grave, 
Where Cyprus fronts the eastern wave; 
The last of July saw him die, 
Christ give him endless life on high ! 

The monks of St. Evroult, profoundly grieved at not pos- 
sessing the body of their patron, have made various efforts 
to obtain its restoration, but hitherto without success. 
Having been unable to fulfil their wishes in this respect, 
they have procured several relics by various ways, and, by 
God's favour, recovered some at different times. 

Fulk, prior of St. Evroult, who was afterwards abbot of 
Dive, was sent by "William the Bastard, king of England, to 
the countess Bertha, at Brie, on particular business. While 
there he obtained from a chaplain of the countess, a Norman 
who belonged to the church of Eebais, a tooth of St. Evroult, 
which on his return he restored to the abbey at Ouche to 
the joy of all. 

During the reign of King Lewis, 1 there was a canon at 
Paris named Fulbert, who possessed one of the vertebral 
bones of St. Evroult, which a chaplain had purloined from 
the chapel of Henry king of France, and had presented to 
him long before as a pledge of his regard. Fearing how- 
ever, on various accounts, to keep it in his possession, 
Fulbert, through the intervention of Fulk, a priest of Maule, 
sought an interview with "William de Montreuil, prior of 
Maule, 2 and delivered the relic to him for transmission to 
the church of St. Evroult. The prior received the present 
with great delight, and speedily fulfilled the errand. "While 

1 Lewis !e Gra, August 3, 1108 August 1, 1137. 
9 According to b. v. c. 19 (p. 236), this William was third prior of 


he was still speeding on his way, he experienced the holy 
father's aid ; for without being aware of it he partook of 
poison in hrs food, which the exercise of riding diffused 
through his limbs and entrails. Finding that death was ap- 
proaching his vitals, he cried to God in great anguish of 
mind praying that, for the merits of St. Evroult, he would 
have mercy on him. His prayers and invocations being 
ended, he vomited the poison, and was soon cured ; so that, 
having returned thanks to God, he arrived safely at St. 
Evroult, where he deposited the relic with great joy, en- 
closing it decently in a silver shrine. 

In the year of our Lord 1130, Warin seventh abbot, of 
St. Evroult, paid a visit to Rebais, where he understood one 
half of the saint's body was deposited. He was attended by 
two monks, Odo of Montreuil, and Warin of Seez, in this 
search after their holy father's remains, in which they met 
with considerable difficulties. Natalis, the abbot of Eebais, 1 
was absent at that time, and it was the pleasure of the con- 
vent to receive them not with hospitality, but with hostility. 
They found the neighbours equally averse to them, and they 
were warned to depart with threatening language. How- 
ever, their good resolution was only strengthened, and 
pushed them forward to the object they had in view. 
Abbot "Warin therefore, leaving his two companions at 
Rebais, and laying aside his state as abbot, undertook a toil- 
some journey, and riding as a poor monk, was not ashamed 
of being met on the road. Determined to find Abbot JNa- 
talis, he went first to the court of Count Theobald at Eugni ; 2 
and on the second day he was introduced to the abbot, but 
did not tell him who he was or what he wanted. Natalis 
told him that it 'was his intention to go to Clairvaux, and 
offered to conduct him there. In consequence, they went in 
company to Clairvaux, with their attendants, and were 
kindly received by the brethren of that monastery, who en- 
deavour to practise the rule of St. Benedict to a letter. 
They presented themselves to the Lord Bernard, 3 abbot of 

1 Natalis, abbot of Rebais in 11 33, was chance_or of France in 1140. 
He retired to end his days at Cluny, and died there in 1 145. 

2 Rugni, near Tonnere. Theobald the Great, count of Champagne. 

3 St. Bernard, first abbot of Clairvaux, which he founded in 1115. The 
two abbots were fortunate in meeting him in his monastery this year, for 


that monastery, and, conversing with him, made many 
inquiries, and were struck with his profound wisdom. He 
commented with clearness on the sacred scriptures, satisfy- 
ing all their questions and demands. On hearing the claims 
of the monks of St. Evroult, he kindly supported Abbot 
Warm, and gave letters of exhortation to the convent at 
Eebais. The abbots "Warin and Katalis now returning 
thither, found the monks Odo and "Warin in good spirits 
and on most friendly terms with the monks of Eebais ; for 
they were both of mature age, courteous and modest and 
well founded in both sacred and profound learning. But 
though they were equally distinguished for their eloquence 
and erudition, Odo, in his loving zeal, did all in his power to 
have Warin preferred to himself. Indeed, Warin had much 
grace and wisdom in discoursing on religion, and during the 
eight days they staid there he gave, at the request of 
Amaury the prior, exhortations to all who were in the 
cloister ; so that he obtained the good opinion of the whole 
convent, and was no longer regarded as an enemy, but as a 
faithful friend. Abbot Warin delivered the letter of the 
venerable Abbot Bernard, which was well received by the 
chapter of Eebais, and when it was read they determined to 
comply with the request. By G-od's will, Stephen 1 bishop of 
Paris, and Burchard 2 bishop of Meaux, were present, and 
earnestly exhorted the monks of R-ebais that they should 
comfort those of St. Evroult with a sweet charity. A day 
was therefore appointed by the bishops when, by common, 
consent, the relics of the saints reserved there should be 
exhibited together, and the people of the neighbourhood be 
assembled to see them and made joyful with a multiplied 
benediction ; whereupon the monks of St. Evroult should 
receive what they desired and return home. 

But now Abbot Natalis changed his mind, and gave un- 
easiness to the monks of St. Evroult by his caution and incon- 

hc was twice absent on remarkable occasions; first in April, to attend the 
council of Etampes at which he presided, and secondly, to have an inter- 
view with Henry I., king of England, and induce him to embrace the cause 
of Innocent II. in the schism which then divided Christendom. 

1 Stephen, bishop of Paris in 1 1 24, had been chancellor of France in 
11061119, and died May 6, 1142. He was son of Guy de Seulis, lord 
of Chantilly and Ermenonville. 

Burchard, bishop of Meaux, 11201134. 


sistency ; for he said, that without Count Theobald's consent 
lie would never part with what he had given to the convent. 
It was, therefore, agreed that Odo of St. Evroult should 
proceed to Normandy and see the count, who had gone 
there to confer with his uncle, King Henry. The monk, 
obedient to his orders, undertook this toilsome journey, and 
following the count, arrived at Vernon, 1 where, in the first 
instance, he made known his secret object to the king him- 
self, begging him to further it. The king promised his 
assistance, and interfered with his nephew on behalf of the 
monks. The count acceded to his uncle's request, and 
transmitted his consent to the monks of Rebais by his 
steward Andrew, who, however, did not appear on the day 
when the relics were exhibited, but remained at Coulom- 
miers, the duke's castle. In consequence, the abbot of St. 
Evroult, with "Warin of Seez, and Andrew of Coulommiers, 1 , 
proceeded to the steward, who received them graciously, and 
commending himself to their prayers, informed them of the 
count's consent, and declared himself his master's envoy and 
commissioner in the affair. Abbot Warin and his compa- 
nions now returned to Eebais with great joy, and Abbot 
Natalis, that hearing the count's licence was obtained, and 
repenting of the vexation he had caused the monks of 
St. Evroult, granted their petition. (The prior, Amaury, 
therefore, assembled the chapter the following morning, and 
led the way to the church with the monks of St. Evroult ; 
the whole assemblage forming a procession to the sacristy. 
The silver coffer, which contained the memorials of St. 
Evroult 8 was then opened, and the relics reverently taken 
out, consisting of the right arm, and a casket full of frag- 
ments of bones. The monks of St. Evronlt now returned to 
Normandy, arriving at Ouche on the seventh of the calends 
of June [May 26th]. They were met by a vast multitude 
of both sexes to the number of four thousand, who assem- 
bled to partake of the blessings of their great patron, and 
to obtain by their prayers his intercession with God. Those 
who were labouring under various disorders hastened to 

1 Vernon-sur-Seine. 

* Coulommiers in Brie, too leagues from Rebais, and on the same river. 
3 An ancient chasse, or reliquary, supposed to have contained the relics 
of the saint, is still preserved at St. Evroult. 


implore the Most High to relieve them of their pains, for 
the merits of the good father Evroult, of whom numbers 
having their petitions granted, triumphantly confided in the 
merits of the holy saint. 

There was a man named Geoffrey, a native of Brittany, 
but living in the Corbonnais, 1 who, as he related himself, was 
in his youth addicted to rapine and theft, but after a time, 
by God's grace, changed his course of life for the better. 
He took a wife in lawful marriage whose name was Hilde- 
burge, and listening to her good advice, dismissed his fierce 
and bloody followers, and laboured with his own hands for 
the means of existence. He even gave alms of what he 
procured by the sweat of his brow, distributing among the 
poor, the clergy, hermits, and monks all the superfluity he 
thus earned, beyond what was absolutely necessary for the 
subsistence of himself and his family. He frequented the 
society of the monks of St. Evroult, and becoming their 
brother in Christ, maintained well the bond of fraternity. 
He was always present in the abbey at the principal festivals 
of the saints, and remembering the precepts of the law, did 
not come empty handed. 

A singular occurrence happened two years before the 
death of King Henry. On the night of the Nativity of 
the Holy Innocents, 2 a snow storm came on suddenly with 
such violence that the like had not been seen in the memory 
of any man living, or of those who were their teachers. All 
entrance to the houses was blocked up, the surface of the 
roads was covered, valleys were filled to the level of hills, 
birds and animals were suffocated, and even men were buried 
in the drifts, and numbers of the faithful were prevented 
from attending the service in the churches on that day. 
Geoffrey, however, got up while the storm was raging, and, 
disregarding the depth of snow, loaded a pack-horse with 
bread made of wheaten flour, 3 took his son with him and set 
forth to attend the feast of the holy father, St. Evroult. 

1 Also called La Perche, lying to the south of Normandy, and the 
east of Maine. 

2 The night of Thursday, December 28, 1133. The feast of St. Evroult 
was held on the morrow, December 29. 

3 Bread made of the flour of wheat was at that period esteemed a great 
luxury. Several centuries afterwaids the meal used in making bread wa 
composed of one part of wheat, one of barley, and one of oats. 



But when he reached the water called the Bisle, 1 over which 
there was no bridge, he found that it was not fordable as 
the waters were in flood, and in great terror and dismay he 
cried to the Lord of merer, and implored his aid. He 
immediately became sensible of the divine support in the 
pious undertaking in which he was engaged, and found him- 
self carried over the river without any visible conductor. 
But he stood there alone, discovering that his son and the 
beast, with its burden, were still on the other side of the 
stream. At last the son, whose faith and merits were 
perhaps less than his father's, trembling, entered the water, 
up to the middle, and dragged the horse with its load of 
bread after him, getting safe through with some difficulty. 
Although the loaves intended for God's servants were 
plunged in the stream, they remained dry and uninjured, so 
that they were in a fit state for the use of Christ's house- 
hold, being miraculously preserved in the midst of the waters. 
Father and son then proceeded in company to their place of 
destination, and triumphantly described the perils they had 
escaped, both on the roads and in the waters, attributing 
their safety to the merits of St. Evroult, for whose feast 
they were bound. The crowds collected at this solemnity, 
having heard their account, glorified the Lord God of 
Sabaoth, who is for ever the Saviour of his people. 

At that time Warin was abbot of St. Evroult, 2 and he 
had a great regard for G-eoffrey, and respected him much for 
his fervent devotion to God. The abbot himself was zealous 
in the performance of divine worship, and set an example 
by his constant attendance. He highly esteemed religious 
men, giving place to them with the greatest marks of 
respect ; and he also applied himself diligently to useful 
studies. Deeply learned as he was, he readily divested him- 
self of his magisterial authority, and putting himself on a 
level with his juniors, joined as one of themselves in the 
pursuits suited to their age with an alacrity which aiforded 

1 To reach St. Evroult from the south-east, this rivulet, not the 
Charenton, would have to be crossed. They afterwards form a junction. 
See note, p. 313. 

2 This paragraph was written, as it appears, after the death of Abbot 
Warin des Essarts, which happened on June 21, 1137. He was then of 
the age of sixty-six years, forty-six of which he had spent in the abbey. 

A.D. 1115 1116.] WABIJT, ABBOT OF ST. ETEOULT. 323 

an excellent example to all who were under his government. 
Geoffrey was of middle stature, tall and thin, so that not 
being burdened with flesh, his activity was remarkable. In 
his humility he heard with attention the words of instruc- 
tion and doctrine which fell from the lips of others, and 
frequently made diligent inquiries from his equals and 
inferiors on subjects with which he was very well acquainted, 
listening to them with the deference of a disciple. He 
handled the lessons of the divine law with overflowing elo- 
quence, and skilfully explained the most profound doctrines 
by his lucid dissertations. Having assumed the profession of 
a monk when he was a young man of > the age of twenty-three 
years, he was a soldier of the most high King forty-six years, 
and gave to the world the fruits of his penetrating genius 
and deep meditations in metrical poems, eloquent epistles, 
and other works. I will extract from them, and insert' in 
this book of mine, an account of one miracle which he learnt 
when he was at Thorney Abbey in England with Abbot 
Robert, 1 and committed to writing, at the request of the 
bishop of Ely 2 and the convent of monks. The following ia 
the text of the letter : 3 

" To all the faithful sons of holy church, and especially to 
those who are subject to the rule of the excellent father 
Benedict, Hervey, the humblest servant of the servants of 
God and the unworthy minister of the church of Ely, send- 
eth greeting, and trusts that what is well begun may be 
happily ended. It is our wish to publish for the praise and 
honour of St. Benedict, the patron of monks, a circumstance 
worthy to be recorded as most agreeable to those who hear 
it, most useful to those who retain it in their memories, and 
perhaps very profitable to those who are at present ignorant 
of it. 

"In the time of Henry, king of England and duke of 
Normandy, in the sixteenth year of his reign over England and 
the tenth of his government of the duchy,* there was on the 

1 Robert was abbot of Thorney (in Cambridgeshire), 1113 1151. 

* Hervey, first bishop of Ely, 11081130, Henry I. having erected the 
bishopric in October; 1108. 

8 This letter, though bearing the name of the bishop of Ely, was in fact 
written by Warm des Essarts, as our author tells us. 

* Henry I., crowned king of England, August 5, 1100, obtained 



possessions of our church a certain free- ten ant called Bric- 
stan, who lived at Chatteris. 1 This man, according to the 
testimony of his neighbours, never injured any one, and, 
content with what he had, meddled not with what belonged 
to others. Neither very rich nor very poor, he conducted his 
affairs and brought up his family, in moderate independence, 
according to the habits of laymen. He lent money to his 
neighbours who wanted it, but not at usury, while, on account 
of the dishonesty of some of his debtors, he required security. 
Thus holding a middle course, he was considered not better 
than other good men, nor worse than the ill-disposed. Being 
thus at peace with all mankind, and believing that he had not 
a single enemy, he was inspired by divine influence (as it 
appeared in the sequel) to entertain the desire of submitting 
himself to the rule of St. Benedict, and assuming the habit. 
In short, he came to our convent dedicated to St. Peter the 
apostle and St. Etheldrida, 2 implored the favour of the 
monks, and engaged to put himself and all he had under 
their rule. But, alas ! the evil spirit, through whose malice 
Adam fell in paradise, will never cease from persecuting his 
posterity to the last man who shall exist. God, however, 
whose providence ordereth all things in mercy and goodness, 
in his omnipotence bringeth good out of evil, and out of 
good what is still better. When, therefore, the news was 
spread abroad (for Bricstan, though his acquaintance was 
not extensive, was sufficiently well known), a certain man 
who was in King Henry's employment, but more especially 
a servant of the devil, interfered with malicious spite. 

" We must make a short digression that you may under- 
stand what sort of man this was. His name was Robert 
Malart (which signifies in Latin malum artificeni) and 
not without reason. He had little else to do but to 
make mischief against all sorts of persons, monks, clerks, 
soldiers, and country folk ; in short, men of all ranks, whether 

possession of the duchy of Normandy, September 28, 1100. The circum- 
stance here related occurred, therefore, between September, 1115, and 


Cliatteris, in the fens, ten miles from Ely. At the time when Domes- 
day-book was compiled, it was divided between the abbeys of Ely and 
8 See vol. L p. 124, for an account of this saint. 

A.D. 1115 1116.] THE STOET OF BBICSTAN. 325 

they lived piously, or the contrary. That I may not be 
accused of calumny, this was his constant practice, wherever 
he was able to vent his malice. He slandered every one 
alike to the best of his ability, and exerted himself to the 
utmost for the injury of others. Thus mischievous to one 
and another, he may be counted among those of whom it is 
said that ' they rejoice to do evil and delight in the froward- 
ness of the wicked.' 1 When he failed of truth for hia 
accusations he became a liar, inventing falsehoods by help 
of the devil, the father of lies. It would be impossible for 
any one, even if he had been his constant companion from 
childhood, to recount, much more to commit to writing, all 
the evil doings of this man, who was truly called Thousand- 
craft ; 2 let us, therefore, proceed with our story. 

"When Robert heard the news that Bricstan wished to 
assume the habit of a monk, he lost no time, in accordance 
with the teaching of his master the devil, who is always 
lying and deceiving, in presenting himself at the convent. 
Having a false account to give, he began with a falsehood, 
saying: 'This Bricstan is a thief; he has fradulently appro- 
priated the king's money in secret, and wishes to become a 
monk, not to save his soul, but to save himself from the 
sentence and punishment which his crimes merit. In short, he 
has found a hidden treasure, and has turned usurer with 
sums clandestinely subtracted from what is the king's by 
right. Being therefore guilty of the grave offences of theft 
and usury, he is afraid to appear before the king or the judges. 
In consequence, I have the royal authority to forbid your 
receiving him into your convent.' Whereupon, having heard 
the king's prohibition, and dreading his anger, we refused to 
admit the man into our society. What shall I say more ? 
He gave bail and was brought to trial. Ralph Basset was 
judge, 3 and all the principal men of the county were assem- 
'led at Huntingdon, according to the custom in England : I, 

i l 

1 Prov. ii. H. 

a Mille-Artifex ; a name commonly given to the devil in the middle 
ages. Our author has made use of it in the legend of St. Martial, vol. i. 
p. 304. 

1 Ralph Basset was one of the minions of Henry I., whom he raised, 
from a low origin, to the highest offices in the state, in preference to his 


Hervey, was also there with Beginald, abbot of Bamsey, 1 and 
Robert abbot of Thorney, and many clerks and monks. 
Not to make the story long, the accused appeared with his 
wife, the charges falsely made against him were recapitulated. 
He pleaded not guilty, he could not confess what he had not 
done ; the other party charged him with falsehoods, and made 
sport of him ; he was indeed rather corpulent, and was short 
in stature, but he had, so to speak, an honest countenance. 
After having unjustly loaded him with reproaches, they pre- 
judged him, as in the case of Susannah, and sentenced him 
and all his substance to be at the king's mercy. After this 
judgment, being compelled to surrender all that he possessed, 
he gave up what he had in hand, and owned where his effects 
were, and who were his debtors. Being however pressed to 
give up and discover more, he replied in the English tongue : 
Wat min Laert Godel Mihtin that ic sege soth, which means 
' My Lord G-od Almighty knows that I speak the truth.' 
He often repeated this, but said nothing else. Having 
delivered up all that he had, the holy relics were brought 
into court, but when he was called upon to swear, he said to 
his wife: 'My sister, I adjure you by the love there is 
between us, not to suffer me to commit perjury ; for I have 
more fear of perilling my soul than of suffering bodily 
torments. If therefore there is any reservation which affects 
your conscience, do not hesitate to make it known. Our 
spiritual enemy covets more keenly the damnation of our 
souls, than the torture of our bodies.' To this she replied : 
Sir, besides what you have declared, I have only sixteen 
pence and two rings weighing four drachms.' These being 
exhibited, the woman added: 'Dearest husband, you may 
now take the oath in safety, and I will afterwards confirm, 
on the testimony of my conscience, the truth you have sworn 
by the ordeal of carrying hot iron in my naked hand, in the 
presence of all who desire to witness it, if you so command.' 
In short, Bricstan was sworn, he was then bound and 
carried in custody to London, where he was thrown into a 
gloomy dungeon. There, heavily ironed with chains of unusual 
weight, in a most cruel and outrageous manner, he suffered for 
some time the horrors of cold and hunger. In this extremity 

1 Reginald, abbot of Ramsay (in Huntingdonshire), from 1114 May 
20, 1133. 


of distress, he implored divine assistance according to the best 
of his ability, inspired by his urgent necessity. But as he 
felt that his own merits were but very small, or to speak the 
truth, of no account whatever, having no confidence in them 
he incessantly invoked, with sorrowful heart and such words 
as he could command, St. Benedict, to whose rule, as we have 
seen before, he had unfeignedly proposed to devote himself, 
and the holy virgin St. Etheldrida in whose monastery he 
intended to make his profession. In this dark dungeon, 
loaded with chains, tortured with cold, and wasted with 
hunger, he wore out five wretched months, and would rather, 
in my opinion, have chosen to die at once than live thus 
miserably. But still, seeing no hopes of human help, he 
continued to call on SS. Benedict and Etheldrida with sighs 
and groans and tears, and with heart and mouth. To pro- 
ceed ; one night when the bells in the city were ringing for 
lauds, and Bricstan, in his dungeon, besides his other 
suiferings, had received no food for three days, so that he was 
quite exhausted and entirely despaired of his recovery, he 
repeated the names of the saints with a sorrowful voice. 
Then at last, the clement and merciful God, the never-failing 
fountain of all goodness, who never despises those that are 
in adversity, and chooses none for their wealth or power, 
at last vouchsafed to show his loving-kindness to the 
supplicant. It had been long indeed implored, but it was de- 
ferred, that the earnestness of his supplications might be more 
intense and the mercy shown be more ardently loved. For 
now St. Benedictand St. Etheldrida, withher sister Sexburga, 1 
stood before the sorrowful prisoner. The light which pre- 
ceded their appearance was so extraordinary that he screened 
his eyes with his hands ; and when the saints were seen 
surrounded by it, Etheldrida spoke first : ' Bricstan,' she said, 
'why do you so often pour out your griefs before us. 
What do you implore us, with such earnest prayers, to grant?' 
But he, spent with fasting, and being now thrown into a 
sort of trance by excessive joy and the supernatural visita- 
tion, could say nothing in reply. Then the holy virgin 

1 Sexburga, eldest sister of St. Etheldrida, was married to Ercombert, 
king of Kent. She founded a monastery in the isle of Sheppy, and after- 
wards succeeded her sister as abbess of Ely. See Bede's Eccles. Hist. p. 
205, of Bohn's Antiquarian Library. 


said : ' I am Etheldrida, whom you have so often invoked, 
and this is St. Benedict under whose rule you devoted 
yourself to the service of Gk>d, and whose aid you have 
continually implored. Do you wish to be set free ?' On 
hearing this his spirit revived, and waking, as it were, from 
a dream, he said : ' My lady, if life can by any means be 
granted me, I should wish to escape from this horrible 
dungeon, but I find myself so worn out by sufferings of every 
description, that my bodily powers are exhausted and I have 
no longer any hope of obtaining my liberty.' Then the holy 
virgin turning to St. Benedict, said : ' Holy Benedict, why 
do you hesitate to do what the Lord has commanded you.' 
At this, the venerable Benedict laid his hand on the fetters, 
and they fell in pieces, so that the prisoner's feet were 
released without his being sensible of any act, the saint 
appearing to have shattered his chains by his word alone. 
Having detached them, he threw them indignantly against 
the beam which supported the floor of the prison, making a 
great opening, and waking the guards, who lay in the gallery, 
in great alarm at the crash which took place. They supposed 
that the prisoners had made their escape, and lighting 
torches hastened to the dungeon, and finding the doors fast 
closed, they opened them with the keys and went in. Upon 
seeing the prisoner they had left in fetters freed from his 
chains, their astonishment increased, and upon their demand- 
ing an account of the noise they had heard, and who had 
caused it, and how his fetters were struck off, Bricstan said 
nothing, but a fellow prisoner replied : ' Some persons, I 
know not who, entered the prison with a great light, and 
talked with this man my companion, but what they said or 
did I know not ; ask him who knows best.' Then the 
guards turning to Bricstan, said : ' Tell us what you saw 
and heard.] He replied : ' St. Benedict, with St. Etheldrida 
and her sister Sexburga appeared to me and struck the 
fetters off my feet : if you will not believe me, at least 
believe your own eyes.' As they did not doubt the miracle 
they saw, the gaolers sent in the morning to queen Matilda, 1 
who happened to be in the city at the time, to tell her of it. 

1 Matilda, a princess of great piety and excellence, daughter of 
Malcolm, king of Scotland, and Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, waa 
married to Henry I. in December, 1100, and died May, 1 1118. 

A..D. 11151116.] BBICSTAN'S BELEASE. 329 

The queen sent Ralph Basset to the prison, the same who 
had before doomed Bricstan, who said that magical art 
was now employed. Ralph entering the dungeon addressed 
the prisoners derisively, as he had done on the former occa- 
sion : ' What has happened Bricstan ? Has God spoken to 
you by his angels ? Has he visited you in your prison ? 
Tell me what witchcraft you have been practising.' But 
Bricstan made no more reply than if he had been dead. 

" Then Ealph Basset, perceiving that his fetters were 
broken, and hearing from his fellow prisoners of the three 
persons who entered the dungeon surrounded by light, the 
words they had spoken, and the crash they had made, and 
perceiving the hand of God in these events, began to weep 
bitterly ; and, turning to Bricstan, he said : ' My brother, I 
am a servant of St. Benedict and the holy virgin Etheldrida; 
for the love of them speak to me.' He replied : ' If you 
are a servant of those saints, you are welcome. Be assured 
that what you see and hear about me is the truth, and not 
the effect of magic.' Ralph, then, taking charge of the 
prisoner, conducted him with tears of joy into the pre- 
sence of the queen, where many nobles were present. 
Meanwhile the report flew swifter than a bird throughout 
London, and coming to the ears of almost all the citizens, 
they raised shouts to heaven, and people of both sexes and 
every age praised together the name of the Lord, and 
flocked to the court where it was reported Bricstan was 
taken ; some shedding tears of joy, and others wondering at 
what they saw and heard. The queen, rejoicing in so 
great a miracle (for she was a good Christian), ordered the 
bells to be rung in all the monasteries throughout the city, 
and thanksgivings to be offered by the convents belonging 
to every ecclesiastical order. Bricstan went to many of the 
churches to return thanks to God in the fulness of his joy 
for his liberation, great crowds preceding and following 
him through the suburbs, and every one being anxious to 
see him, as if he were some new man. When he reached 
the church of St. Peter, called in English Westminster, 
Gilbert, 1 the abbot of that place, a man of great eminence 

1 Gilbert Crespin, abbot of Westminster, son of William Crespin, 
governor of Neaufle, one of the greatest benefactors to the abbey of Bee. 
Gilbert was one of the most able and voluminous writers of the age. It 


in sacred and profane literature, came forth to meet htm 
outside the abbey in a procession formed of the whole body 
of monks, with all the pomp of the church ; for he said : ' If 
the relics of a dead man are to be received with ceremony 
in a church, we have much more reason for giving an 
honourable reception to living relics, namely such a man as 
this : for as to the dead, we who are still in this mortal life 
are uncertain where their spirits are, but for this man, we 
cannot be ignorant that he has been visited and delivered 
by God before our eyes, because he has not acted unjustly.' 

" "When thanksgivings had been offered to God, to the best 
of their ability, according to what in their estimation was 
due for Bricstan's deliverance, the queen sent him with great 
honour to the abbey of St. Etheldrida in the isle of Ely. I 
went myself, attended by the whole convent of monks, to 
meet him, with candles and crosses, chanting Te Deum 
laudamus. Having conducted him into the church with 
befitting ceremony, and offered thanksgivings to God, we 
delivered to him, in honour of the blessed Benedict his 
liberator, the monastic habit he had so long desired. "We 
also hung up in the church, in view of the people, the 
fetters with which he was bound, that they might be a 
memorial of this great miracle, to the honour of St. Bene- 
dict, who broke them, and of St. Etheldrida, who was his 
colleague and assistant; and they long continued to be 
suspended there to keep alive the remembrance of these 

" I have been desirous of making known to the sons of holy 
church these acts of the venerable father Benedict, not 
because he had not performed greater wonders, but because 
they are more recent, and such miracles appear in our days 
to be infrequent in England. Nor, as regards our blessed 
father Benedict, let any one be surprised that he wrought 
great and inconceivable wonders ; for, according to Pope 
Gregory, he may be equalled to Moses for having brought 
water out of the rock ; to Elijah for receiving the ministry of 
a raven ; to Elisha for raising iron from the bottom of a pit 
and to Peter for having caused a disciple to walk on the water 

appears that he was still living in 1123. For his life and writings, see th 
Itatoire Literairc de France, i. x. p. 192 201. 


at his command. 1 St. Benedict likewise, as is well known, 
showed himself to be a prophet by predicting events to 
come, and an apostle by the miracles he wrought ; and to 
sum up all in few words, he was full of the spirit of all the 
just. Since, therefore, we know with certainty that he 
obtains from the Lord all that he desires, let us continue 
joyfully in his service, knowing that through his intercession 
we shall not lose our reward : and if St. Benedict did not 
refuse his aid to one who had engaged to become a monk, 
what must be the protection he will afford to those who 
are actually bound by their voluntary engagements to the 
rules of his discipline ? It is clearly manifested by many 
evident tokens that our kind patron, who is now glorified 
by God in heaven, unceasingly intercedes for his suppliant 
disciples, and daily renders them effective aid in their 
necessities. "We then, who have submitted to the light yoke 
of Christ, and labouring in his vineyard, bear the burden 
of the day with constancy and perseverance, may, through 
the divine goodness, be assured that Almighty God will 
save and protect us for the merits and prayers of our 
wonder-working master. Let us, therefore, earnestly sup- 
plicate the Creator of the universe that he will bring us out 
of Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans, and conduct us 
to Jerusalem by the observance of his laws, and that He who 
is the Almighty and merciful God will give us a place in the 
company of the citizens above, to praise him who liveth and 
reigneth for all ages. Amen." 

Having thus far discoursed on various subjects, I am 
weary of my task of writing, and bring to an end this sixth 
book of the Ecclesiastical History, in another volume, 2 by 

1 The four special miracles of St. Benedict here alluded to are described 
in the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th chapters of his history by St. Gregory. 

a That this is the volume which was saved by M. Du Bois from the wreck 
of the library of the abbey of St. Evroult, and deposited at Alen9on, as 
related in the introduction to this work, p. xiii. appears from its exact 
coincidence with the description here given by our author. The two 
volumes of the Colbert library, mentioned in the introduction comprising 
the first six books, are evidently of the same age, and written by the same 
hands, for the author dictated to scribes and in the commencement of the 
ninth book complains of the want of them. They are, therefore, con- 
sidered to have formed part of the MS. of St. Evroult, and there is little 
doubt that we thus possess the original manuscript dictated by, and in 
Borne places the autograph of, the learned and pious author. 


God's help, I have already completed seven books, in 
which I have, in addition, given accounts of the death of 
King William, of his three sons, of the crusade to Jerusalem, 
and of various events which have occurred in my own times. 
The Omnipotent Creator, as he did from the beginning, still 
wonderfully directs the course of time, and instructs the 
docile minds of the inhabitants of the earth, calling them off 
from the dangerous pursuit of worthless objects, and rousing 
them to better desires, by the display of memorable deeds. 
For mankind receives continual lessons from the fall of the 
proud and the exaltation of the humble, the damnation of 
the reprobate and the salvation of the just, that it may not 
lapse into impiety by an execrable warfare against God, but 
may constantly fear his judgments and love his commands, 
avoiding the fault of disobedience and offering perpetually 
faithful service to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, 
One God, the King of ages, and Lord of the universe, who 
liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen. 

Guide us, O Virgin Mother, gate of heaven, 
Whose gentle aid in every storm is given ! l 

Monks, knights, priests, nobles, crowd the busy stage, 
Vitalis notes them in his lively page; 
Courts, abbeys, camps, in varying shades he blends, 
And here the fourth book of his story ends.* 

1 Although these verses appear in the manuscript of St. Evroult, they 
are evidently a subsequent addition, and it_appears plain that they are not 
the author's composition. 

1 Instead of these verses, the MS. of St. Evroult has the following 
words in a hand of the thirteenth century : Explicit quarta pars Vitalis, 
" here ends the fourth part of Vitalis." Although now the sixth, it was 
the fourth book in the author's first arrangement. 



CH. I. Annals of the Carlovingian kings of the Franks and 
of the succeeding kings of France from Hugh Capet to 
Philip I. 

IN the year of our Lord's incarnation 688, Pepin the Aus- 
trasian, mayor of the royal palace, assumed the government 
of the Franks. 1 

In the year of our Lord 711, Childebert king of the Franks 
departed this life. 3 

In the year of our Lord 712, Pepin the elder died, and his 
son, who was called Charles Martel, usurped the throne. 4 

In the year of our Lord 715, on the 14th of the calends of 
February [19th January] died Dagobert the younger, after 
having reigned in France five years. 4 In the second year 
after his death, the prince Charles Martel fought his first bat- 
tle with Radbod, near Cologne, under the reign of Theodoric, 
son of the before-named Dagobert the younger. 8 At this 
time the heathen nation of the Vandals began to ravage 
France, when churches were destroyed, monasteries ruined, 
cities taken, habitations made desolate, castles demolished, 
innumerable numbers slaughtered, and there was a vast 
effusion of human blood in every quarter. During this 
period the furious tempest of the Vandal invasion raged 

1 In Duchesne's edition of Ordericus, which divides the History into 
three parts, the third, commencing with this seventh book, and including 
the remaining six, has this notice of the contents prefixed: . . . " In which 
many things are related concerning the death of King William and his 
three sons, as well as the expedition to Jerusalem, and other contemporary 

* is correct. It was in 687 or 688 that, after a struggle from 
the year 680, the power of Pepin d'Heristal was firmly established through- 
out the whole of France. 

3 Childebert III. died April 14, 711, and was buried in the church of 
St Stephen, at Choisi-sur-Aisne. 

* Pepin died Dec. 16, 714, but it was not till the following year that 
Charles Martel escaped from the prison in which his mother-in-law Plec- 
trude had immured him, and seized the reins of power in Austrasia. 

5 Dagobert III. died June 24, 715, after a reign of four years. 

6 This battle was fought in 715. Our author might have added that 
Charles Martel sustained a defeat. 


through the whole of France, which was laid waste with fire 
and sword. Sitting down before the city of Sens they 
assaulted the place with all the force of projectiles and 
engines of war. Perceiving which, the bishop, whose name 
was Eboba, 1 made a sally at the head of the citizens, trust- 
ing in divine aid, and repulsed the besiegers, pursuing the 
fugitives until they were driven out of their territories. 

In the year of our Lord 741, the prince Charles Martel 
died, and was buried in the church of St. Denys at Paris. 1 
The exigencies of continual wars caused him to make over 
the possessions of the churches to laics. At his death, his 
sons Carloman and Pepin succeeded to the government. 

In the year of our Lord 750, Pepin was elected king, and 
Childeric, the last representative of the royal race of Clovis, 
received the tonsure. 8 With him the line of that king became 

In the year of our Lord 768, King Pepin died,* and his 
sons Charles, the emperor, surnamed the Great, and Carlo- 
man, were elected kings. 

In the year of our Lord 771, Carloman died.* 

In the year of our Lord 809, died Alcuin the philospher 
who was abbot of St. Martin at Tours. 6 

In the year of our Lord 814, the emperor Charles the Great 
died, 7 and his son Lewis, surnamed the Pious, became king 
of the Franks and emperor of the Romans. In his time the 

1 For Eboba read Ebbo, and for Vandals in this paragraph, substitute 
Saracens. Their siege of the city of Sens appears to have been laid in 
the year 732. 

2 Charles Martel died at Quierzi-sur-Oise, October 22, 741, and was 
interred at St. Denys, as our author states. 

* Pepin was proclaimed king in the general assembly of the nation at 
Soissons in March, 752, and crowned a few days afterwards by St. 
Boniface, archbishop of Mayence. Childeric was sent into confinement at 
St. Berlin, and his son Theodoric to Fontenelles, now called St. Wandrille. 
See note, p. 297. 

4 Pepin died of dropsy at St. Denys, Sept. 24, 768. 

* Carloman died at at Samouci, near Laon, Dec. 4, 771. 

* Alcuin, abbot of Tours in 796, died May 19, 804. 

1 Charlemagne died, as every one knows, at Aix-la-Chapelle, Jan. 28, 
814. It will also be understood, that by Pagans the author means the 
Northmen ; but their ravages in Ponthieu were much later. They endea- 
Toured, indeed, to land on the coast of Flanders, but were vigorously 
repulsed. The invasion of the valley of the Somme did not take place 
until after that of the valleys of the Seine and the Loire. 

A.D. 840.] LEWIS-THE-PIOITS. 335 

pagans overran the province called Ponthieu. In the 
twentieth year of the reign of the emperor Lewis the Pious, 
his son Lothaire rebelled against him and wrested from him 
the kingdom of the Franks ; but the same year his father 
Lewis collecting a great army recovered his kingdom which 
his son had deprived him of. 1 

In the year of our Lord 840, the twelfth of the calends of 
July [20th June], the emperor Lewis the Pious died. 2 The 
same year there was an eclipse of the sun on the fourth day 
before the feast of our Lord's Ascension, being the second 
of the nones [5th] of May, at the ninth hour of the day. 
The year following, on Ascension-day, a battle was fought 
at Fontenai 3 in Burgundy, between the four sons of Lewis 
the Pious, namely, Charles Lothaire, Lewis, and Pepin, in 
which there was a great effusion of human blood. Of these, 
Charles, surnamed the Bald, was acknowledged king of the 
Franks and emperor of the Romans : 4 Lothaire obtained that 
part of France which to the present day is called from him 
the kingdom of Lorraine ; and Lewis secured Burgundy, 
and was anointed king. 5 

1 The first deposition and restoration of Lewis le Debonnaire (or Pius, 
as the Italians called him), belongs to the year 830. The second deposition 
took place in the Champ Rouge, or Champ du Mensonge, near Colmar, in 
the beginning of July, 833. It was confirmed in the month of October at 
Compiegne, and Lewis recovered his authority the spring following. It is 
of the first of these depositions our author speaks. 

3 Lewis le Debonnaire died June 20, 840. The eclipse here mentioned 
occurred on Wednesday, May 5, the eve of Ascension day. Our author 
is mistaken in fixing it at nine o'clock instead of mid-day. 

* Near Auxerre. This battle of Fontenai was fought on Saturday, June 
25, 840. Its issue, with the partition treaty of Verdun made shortly after- 
wards, completed the dismemberment of the empire of Charlemagne. 
Pepin was not the son, but grandson, of Lewis le Debonnaire. 

4 Charles the Bald was not elected emperor till Dec. 25, 875, many 
years after his accession to the throne of the Franks, which took place 
June 20, 840. 

4 Lorraine formed but a small part of the states of Lothaire, and it 
took its name, not from the emperor Lothaire, but from his second son of 
the same name, who reigned from Sept. 22, 853 Aug. 8, 867. By the 
treaty of Verdun, the Carlovingian empire was thus divided : Lothaire, 
the emperor, had Italy and all the country comprised within the Alps, 
the Rhine, and the Scheld, together with the ancient kingdom of Bur- 
gundy, comprising the territories from the source of the Saone to its con- 
fluence with the Rhone, and along the left bank of the Rhone to the sea. 
To Lewis, of Bavaria, was allotted all Germany beyond the Rhine, with 


In the year of our Lord 867, Charles the emperor, sur- 
named the Bald, son of the most pious emperor Lewis, as he 
was on a journey to Borne for the second time, died on the 
road on the third of the calends of October, at the city of 
Vercelli, and was buried in the church of St. Eusebius the 
martyr. 1 After resting there seven years, the body was 
brought to France in compliance with a vision, and honour- 
ably interred in the church of St. Denys the Martyr at 
Paris.* His son Lewis succeeded him in the kingdom of the 
Franks. The year following, John, the pope of Eome, came 
into France with Formosus bishop of Porto, bringing with 
him very precious relics, and disembarking at Aries, passed 
through Lyons and other cities till he reached Troyes, where 
he had a conference with King Lewis, son of Charles the 

the three cities of Worms, Spire, and Mayencc, on its left bank. Charles 
the Bald retained the countries situated between the Scheld, the Meuse, 
the Rhone, the Ebro, and the two seas. 

1 Charles the Bald died in a poor cottage on this side of the Mont- 
Cenis, on the 6th of October, 877, in returning from Rome, and not on his 
journey there. The contemporary chronicles call the place where the 
violence of his disorder compelled him to stop, Brios. It is certain that it 
must have been between the summit of the pass, which he had just crossed, 
and the town of St. Jean-de-Maurienne, where the Empress Richilde, at 
his instance, came to attend him. The principal places on the route are 
St. Michel, Modane, and Lanslebourg, but these are considerable bourgs, 
and would have afforded better accommodation to the dying emperor than 
the " miserable cottage " spoken of by the chronicles. Besides, the road 
did not then run by Modane. Every one who has crossed the Mont-Cenis 
must have observed the succession of secluded villages in the beautiful 
valley leading down to St. Jean-Maurienne, on the right bank of the Arc, 
which the rp:id followed till the year 1688. One of these is named 
Avrievx, which appears to be the Brieux or Brios mentianed in the 
chronicles. It is about eighteen English miles from St. Jean-Maurienne. 
Ordericus deserves commendation for having rejected the imputations cast 
by the ecclesiastical historians on Sedecias, the Jewish physician of Charles 
the Bald, of having ended his days by administering poison; the more 
improbable, as although his health was already undermined, he survived his 
seizure eleven days. 

3 It was proposed to carry the corpse of Charles to St. Denys at once, 
but it so infected the air, that they were compelled to deposit it at the 
abbey of Nantua, where, under the care of Helmodeus, the eighth abbot, it 
was interred near the high altar; and an epitaph, which has been preserved 
in the obituary of the abbey, engraved on the wall. Seven years after- 
wards the remains were removed to the royal resting place of the Frank 
kings at St. Denys. 

A.D. 878 898.] INVASIONS OF THE UOBTHilEff. 337 

Bald,and then returned to Italy. 1 After this,Lewis king of the 
Franks, the son of Charles the Bald, died, leaving a son of 
tender years named Charles the Simple, whom he entrusted 
with his kingdom to the guardianship of the Prince Eudes. 2 
At that time the pagan Northmen overran all France, 
venting their fury in rapine, slaughter, and every kind of 
barbarity. Thereupon the chiefs of the Franks, the Bur- 
gundians, and the Aquitaui, assembling together, unanimously 
elected Eudes king. 3 But he dying on the calends [1st] of 
January, Charles the Simple, the son of Lewis, recovered 
his throne.* At this same time the Normans advanced into 
Burgundy as far as St. Florentin, but Richard duke of Bur- 
gundy met them with his army at Tonnerre, and attack- 
ing them on the nones [8th] of June ; numbers of them 
fell by the edge of the sword, and the rest were put to 
flight. 3 The same year there was an earthquake near the 
monastery of St. Columb the Virgin, on the fifth of the ides 
[9th] of January. 6 About the same period the pagans 
besieged the city of Chartres, whereupon Richard, duke of 
Burgundy, and the prince Robert, collecting an army, 
attacked them on Saturday the thirteenth of the calends of 
August [20th July], put to the sword six thousand eight 
hundred, and took hostages of the few that were left, the 
Divine mercy assisting through the intercession of St. Mary, 
mother of God. After this, in the middle of the month of 
March, a star appeared in the north-west for nearly four- 
teen days emitting very luminous rays. 1 

1 Pope John VIII. arrived at Aries the llth of May, 878. There 
must have been more than a single conference at Troyes between the king 
and the pope, for the pope crowned Lewis on Sunday, the 7th of Septem- 
ber of that year, 

8 Lewis-le-Begue died at Compiegne on Holy Thuraday, April 10, 879. 
The Norman chronicles are wrong in stating that this prince left Charles 
the Simple under the guardianship of Eudes, the count of Paris. 

3 Eudes was not elected king until after the death of Lewis III. and 

* The 3rd of January, 898. Charles had been crowned on the 28th of 
January, 893, in opposition to Eudes. 

8 The battle was fought at Argenteuil, three leagues and a half from 
Tonnerre, in 848, 

* The monastery of St. Columb was an abbey of Benedictines in the 
Buburbs of Sens. 

1 A.D. 912. The comet was named at Constantinople Xippias, because 
it presented somewhat the appearance of a sword. 


The year following, there was a great famine throughout 
France. About five years afterwards, on the calends 
[1st] of February, fiery armies were seen in the heavens 
of various colours pursuing each other in a wonderful 
manner. The same year there was a sharp quarrel between 
the king and his barons, which caused much slaughter of 
Christian people, but through the mercy of God that con- 
troversy was brought to an end. 

In the third year after this calamity, Rodolph, duke of 
Burgandy, died on the day before the calends [1st] of 
September, and was buried in the church of St. Columb in 
the oratory of St. Symphorian 1 the martyr. The second 
year after his death, Robert the prince revolted against 
Charles the Simple, and received the royal unction on the 
third of the calends of July [29th June]. Before a year 
was expired, Charles the Simple gave battle to Robert at 
the city of Soissons, in which battle Robert the pretender 
tj the throne of the Pranks was slain. 2 While, however, 
Charles was retiring victorious from the carnage of the 
battle, 3 Herbert, the most abandoned of traitors, met him 
and, under cover of pretended amity, induced him to accept 
his proffered hospitality in the castle of Peronne, where 
having thus deceitfully inveigled him, he detained him 
prisoner : for Robert had married Herbert's sister,* from 
which union sprung Hugh the Great. In this strait Charles, 
with the advice and consent of Hugh the Great, son of the 
said Robert, and his nobles of France, raised to the throne 
Rodolph, the illustrious son of Richard, duke of Burgundy, 
whom he had held at the baptismal font. 5 Charles the 

1 It was not Rodolph, but his father Richard, who died at the end of 
August, 921, and was buried the 1st of September, in the church of St. 

* Robert was crowned the 20th of June, 922. The battle of Soissons 
was fought the 15th of June, 923. 

* Charles did not assume an air of triumph after the battle : " He 
retired to Belgium without any spoils." It was on his return from thence, 
and not from Soissons, that Herbert seized his person, and conducted him 
us a prisoner to Soi&sons. 

* Beatrix, second daughter of Herbert, count de Vermandois. 

5 Charles took no part in the election of Rodolph, and it does not 
elsewheie appear that he was his godfather. Charles died in prison at 
Peronne, the 7th of October, 929. Rodolph was crowned at fcoissons, 
with his wife Emma, on the 13th of July, 923. 

A.D. 936 954.] LEWIS D'OUTRE-MEB. 339 

Simple himself, after undergoing the sufferings of a long 
captivity, died in confinement, and was buried in the church 
of St. Fursey the confessor, within the castle of Peronne. 
Rodolph was consecrated king in the city of Soissons ou the 
fourth of the ides [13th] of July. 

At this time the pagans again devastated Burgundy, and 
there was a battle between them and the Christians at 
Mont Chalaux 1 on the eighth of the ides [6th] of De- 
cember, in which many thousands of the Christians were 
slain by the pagans. 

King Eodolph dying on the eighteenth of the calends of 
February 8 [15th January], he was buried in the church of 
St. Columb the Virgin. On his death, Hugh the Great 
with the Franks applied to Duke William, surnamed Long- 
sword, 3 to undertake a mission to Ogive, wife of Charles the 
Simple, and bring back his son Lewis, who had taken refuge 
with his uncle the king of England for fear of Herbert and 
Hugh. William, therefore, proceeding to England, and 
Laving given hostages, under the sanction of an oath, to the 
mother of the young prince, returned with him to France. 

Thereupon, Lewis, son of Charles the Simple, was anointed 
king at Laon on the eighteenth of the calends of July 
[19th June]. 4 Two years afterwards, on the sixteenth of 
the calends of March [14th February], at the time of cock- 
crowing till the dawn of day, there was the appearance of 
armies dyed in blood over all. the face of the heavens. The 
month following, on the ninth of the calends of April 
[25th March], the Huns, who were still pagans, began to 
ravage France, Burgandy, and Aquitain with fire and sword. 
After this, the Frank nobles, and especially Hugh the 
Great, revolted against King Lewis. 5 The same year a 

1 Near Clameci, in the Nievre. 

* Rodolph died at Auxerre of the morbus pedicularis, on the 15th of 
January, 936, and was buried in the abbey at Sens. 

s Ordericus, following the error or misrepresentation of his prede- 
cessor, Dudon, substitutes here Duke William Long-s>word for William, 
archbishop of Sens. 

* First at Laon, as here stated, by William, archbishop of Sens, who 
brought him back from England, and a second time at Rheims, by arch- 
bishop Arnold. 

s This league, formed in 938, seized Rheims in 940, and compelled 
Lewis d'Outre-Mer to take refuge with Charles Constantine, prince of 

z 2 


severe famine prevailed throughout all the kingdom of the 
Franks, so that a muid of wheat was sold for twenty-four 
pence. Not long afterwards King Lewis, son of Charles 
the Simple, was, by contrivance of Hugh the Great, 
treacherously made a prisoner by the Normans in the city of 
Bayeux, where many of the Franks were massacred by the 
people. After this, on Tuesday in the month of May, 1 it 
rained blood upon the labourers at work in the fields. The 
same year, in the month of September, King Lewis having 
spent his whole life in straits and mortifications, came to 
his end and was burid at Rheims, in the cathedral of 
St. Eemi. 2 

The month following, the second of the ides [[12th] of 
November, his son Lothaire, then a boy, was crowned at 
Bheims, and Hugh the Great was made duke of France. 3 
Two years afterwards, in the month of August, Hugh the 
Great laid siege to the city of Poitiers, but without success ; 
for while he was engaged in the siege, on a certain day the 
thunder of the Lord crashedterribly, and the duke's tent was 
rent by a whirlwind from top to bottom, so that both he and 
his army were struck with horror, and being in fear for their 
lives, took to flight, and abandoned the siege. The Al- 
mighty did this through the intercession of St. Hilary, the 
constant guardian and protector of the city of Poitiers.* 

The same year died Gilbert, duke of Burgundy, leaving 
the Duchy to Otho, son of Hugh the Great, who had mar- 
ried Gilbert's daughter : 5 two years afterwards Hugh him- 
self, duke of France, died on the sixteenth of the calends 
of July [June 16], at Dourdan, and was buried in the 

Vienne. He returned by AquitaiA, and reached Poitiers the 5th of 
January, 942. 

1 A.D. 954. 

8 Lewis d'Outre-Mer terminated his miserable existence at Rheims the 
1 Oth of September, 954, from the effects of a fall from his horse. 

3 Hugh the Great had been confirmed as long before as 943 in the 
dignity of duke of France. If there was a fresh confirmation after the 
coronation of Lothaire, it was a mere form. He died at Dourdan the 16th 
of June, 956, and his son, Hugh Capet, was invested in 90'0 with the 
duchy of France, the counties of Paris and Orleans, and the abbeys held 
by his father. 

* See vol. i. p. 139. 

* Gilbert died on the 8th of April, 956, and his son-in-law Otho, son of 
Hugh the Great, the 23rd of February, in 965, according to Frodoard. 

A.D. 956 965.] BATTLE NEAB SENS. 341 

church of St. Denys the martyr, at Paris. He was suc- 
ceeded by his sons, Hugh, Otho, and Henry, born of the 
daughter of Otho, king of the Saxons. Hugh became duke 
of the Franks, and Otho of the Burgundians, and on Otho'a 
death, his brother Henry succeeded him as duke of Bur- 
gundy. 1 

About the same time there was a quarrel between An- 
segise, bishop of Troyes, and Count Kobert. Whereupon 
bishop Ansegise, being expelled from his see by the count, 
went into Saxony to the Emperor Otho, and returning with 
an army of Saxons, sat down before the city of Troyes in 
the mouth of October, and besieged it for a long time. The 
Saxons having made an attack on Sens, with the inten- 
tion of pillaging the city, Archembold the archbishop, and 
the aged Count Rainard, encountered them with a large 
body of troops at a place called Villiers, 2 and the men of 
Sens were victorious in the battle, the Saxons, with Helpo 
their general, being put to the sword. Helpo had threat- 
ened to burn the churches and villages on the river Vanne, 3 
as far as the city of Sens, and to drive his spear into the 
gate of St. Leo. But he was slain, as we have said, with 
his followers, by the men of Sens, and his corpse was 
carried back by his servants to his own country in the 
Ardennes, as pursuant to the commands of his mother 
Warna. Count Eainard and Archbishop Archembold de- 
plored his death in deep affliction, for he was their kinsman. 
His fellow leader, Bruno, who conducted the siege of 
Troyes, on the loss of Helpo and his troops, returned home. 4 

Not many days afterwards King Lothaire, assembling a 
large force, recovered possession of the kingdom of Lor- 
raine, and obtaining an entrance, without resistance just at 

1 The dates of the succession of Hugh Capet and Otho are alrendy 
given. Hudwide, or Hadwidge, their mother, second wife of Hugh the 
Great, was sister, not daughter, of the Emperor Otho I., and consequently 
daughter of Henry I. of Saxony, surnamed the Fowler, king of Germany. 
Henry, duke of Burgundy, called the Great, succeeded his brother Ottio 
in 965, and died about 1002. 

1 Villiers- Louis, about eight leagues east of Sens. 

3 The Vanne takes its rise in the department of the Aube, passes a 
league and a half to the south of Villiers, and joins the Yonne near, and to 
the south, of the city of Sens. 

* See vol. i. p. 139. 


the hour of dining, into the palace at Aix-la-Chapelle, where 
the Emperor Otho and his wife were residing, Lothaire and 
his followers feasted on what was provided for the emperor's 
table, who, with his wife and attendants, made their escape 
from the palace. It was pillaged by King Lothaire, as well 
as the whole province, and he then returned into France 
without molestation, no one opposing him. 1 

After that the Emperor Otho, having assembled his army, 
marched on Paris, where his nephew Otho and many others 
were slain before the city gate, having set fire to the sub- 
urb, and insolently boasted that he would fix his lance in 
the gate. King Lothaire summoned Hugh duke of France, 
and Henry duke of Burgundy, to his aid, and joined by 
their forces attacked the Lorrainers, whom they defeated 
and pursued as far as the city of Sens. . Retreating across 
the river Aisne they missed the ford, and numbers perished. 
More indeed were drowned than fell by the sword, and the 
channel was choked with the corpses of the dead, the river 
being then in flood. King Lothaire pursued the survivors 
for three days and three nights, until they reached a river, 
which takes its course near the Ardennes or Argonne, 
putting multitudes of the enemy to the sword. 2 He then 
drew off his troops and returned into France in great 
triumph, while the Emperor Otho, with the remnant of his 
army, retired into his own states. After this defeat neither 
the Emperor Otho nor his army again invaded France. The 
same year King Lothaire concluded a peace with Otho at 
Rheims, contrary to the wishes of his brothers Hugh and 
Henry and of his own army. King Lothaire ceded to Otho 
the kingdom of Lorraine, to be held as a fief of his own 
crown, and this cession caused great dissatisfaction in the 
minds of the principal Frank nobles. 3 

In the year of our Lord 976 King Lothaire departed this 
life, far advanced in years ; 4 he was buried in the church of 

1 This surprise, which our author has also before related (vol. i. p. 140), 
took place towards the end of June, 977. 

a This invasion was made in the month of October, 977. 

3 The treaty by which Lothaire ceded Lorraine to Otho II., reserving 
that suzerainty, was made at Rheims in 980. 

* The second figure in the text is incorrect in all the editions ; this 
prince died the 2nd of March, 986, at the age of only forty-five years. 


St. Remi at Rheims, and his son Lewis, then a youth, suc- 
ceeded to the throne of France. 

In the year of our Lord 977, the young King Lewis died, 
having reigned over the Franks six years. 1 He was interred 
in the church of St. Cornelius at Compiegne. He was suc- 
ceeded by his brother Charles, son of King Lothaire. The 
same year Hugh, duke of France, revolted against him, 
because he had married the daughter of Herbert count of 
Troyes. Hugh assembled a very large army and laid siege 
to Laon, where Charles had taken up his residence with his 
queen. The king marched out of the city, and routing 
Hugh and his army, burnt the huts in which they had been 
quartered. Duke Hugh, finding that he could not conquer 
Charles by open force made a league with Ascelin, an old 
traitor, who had intruded himself into the bishopric of 
Laon, and was counsellor of King Charles. In consequence, 
Ascelin betrayed the city to Hugh, duke of the Franks, in 
the night-time, while the citizens were asleep, and Charles 
and his wife were thrown into chains and conducted to 
Orleans. He had not yet been anointed as king by reason 
of Duke Hugh's opposition. While he was detained prisoner 
in the Tower at Orleans, his wife bore him two sons, Lewis 
and Charles. The same year Duke Hugh was crowned at 
Rheims as king of the Franks, and in the course of the 
same year his son Robert was also consecrated king. Thus 
ended the dynasty of Charlemagne. 2 

At that time Arnulph, a mild and excellent prelate, who 
was brother of King Lothaire by a concubine of his father, 
held the archbishopric of Rheims. He was hated by King 
Hugh, who wished to exterminate the family of King 
Lothaire. He therefore assembled a synod at Rheims, to 
which he invited Sewin, archbishop of Sens, with his suffra- 
gans. In this council he caused the Lord Arnulph, the 
archbishop of Rheims, to be degraded to the annoyance of 
his nephew, 3 whom he detained in prison, declaring that the 

1 Louis V. died the 21st of May, 987, at the age of about twenty years. 
He suffered more from misfortune and treason than from indolence or 
incapacity. His reign lasted less than two years aflei the death of his 
father, and seven years after his coronation. 

2 On these events, see vol. i. p. 14J. 

3 Charles was not the nephew, but just the contrary the uncle of 

344 OEDEiiicus YITALIS. [B.TII. CH.I. 

son of a concubine was unfit to be a bishop. In his place 
he procured the consecration of the Lord Gerbert, the 
monk and philosopher, who had been the tutor of his son 
King Robert and of Leotheric, the archbishop who suc- 
ceeded the venerable Sewin. Arnulph was committed to 
prison in the city of Orleans. But the worthy archbishop 
Sewin was no party to the degradation of Arnulph and the 
consecration of Gerbert. Some other bishops, with great 
reluctance, were induced, by the king's threats, to degrade 
the one and consecrate the other ; but Sewin, fearing God 
more than an earthly sovereign, refused his consent to the 
iniquitous transaction, and, not only so, but he opposed to the 
utmost of his power the royal wish, in consequence of which 
the king's wrath was inflamed against him. The king 
having caused Arnulph to be shamefully expelled from the 
church of St. Mary, mother of God, at Rheims, thrust him 
bound into prison, and then removed him in chains to a 
dungeon at Orleans, where his nephew was a prisoner ; and 
he was confined there three years. These transactions were 
reported to the pope of Rome, who, in great indignation, 
suspended all the bishops who had degraded Arnulph and 
consecrated Gerbert. He also sent the abbot Leo as legate 
of the apostolic see to the Lord Sewin, archbishop o&^Sens, 
with instructions to summon a synod at Rheims as the 
pope's vicar, and commanding him, without delay, to recall 
Arnulph from his confinement and degrade Gerbert. The 
synod therefore being assembled, Arnulph was released from 
his imprisonment by the apostolical command, and restored 
with great honour to his own see. Gerbert being sensible 
that he had illegally usurped the archiepiscopal authority 
submitted to penance. The instructive controversy between 
him and the abbot Leo may be found at length in the 
archives of the archbishop of Rheims. After this the Lord 
Gerbert was elected bishop of Ravenna by the Emperor 
Otho and the people of that city, and having held the see 
many years, was, on the death of the pope of Rome, called 
by acclamation of the whole Roman people to succeed him. 
He was therefore removed from Ravenna and consecrated 
pope in the city of Rome. 1 

1 See the account of these transactions and the notes, vol. i. pp. 144. 

A..D. 999.] EGBERT I. KING OF FBANCE. 345 

In the year of our Lord 918, the king Hugh departed this 
life, 1 and was interred in the church of St. Denys at Paris. 
He was succeeded by his son Eobert, the most pious and 
temperate of kings. 

In the year of our Lord 999, the venerable Archbishop 
Sewin began to restore the abbey of St. Peter at Melun from 
the foundations, and establishing there a fraternity of monks, 
appointed Walter their abbot. The same year, the knight 
Walter and his wife betrayed the castle of Melun to Count 
Eudes. Upon this, King Robert assembled a strong force 
with Count Bouchard, and calling in the Normans under 
their Duke Richard, laid siege to Melun. The castle being 
taken, Walter and his wife were hung on a gallows, and 
Melun was restored to Count Bouchard its former lord. 2 

Now, Rainard, the old count of Sens, came to his end 
after many evil practices, and was buried in the church of 
St. Columb the virgin. He was succeeded by his son Fro- 
mond who had married the daughter of Reynold, count of 

In the year of our Lord 1000, the thirteenth in diction, 
on the sixteenth of the calends of November [17th October], 
the venerable Sewin, metropolitan bishop, departed in Christ. 
After his death the church of Sens was deprived of the epis- 
copal benediction for a whole year. All the people demanded 
with acclamation that the Lord Leotheric, of a noble family, 
who was then archdeacon and eminent for his virtues, should 
be ordained. But opposition was made by some of the 
clergy who aspired themselves to the archiepiscopal throne. 
More especially Count Fromond, son of the old Rainard, 
and thus sprung from a bad stock, forbade the appoint- 
ment, because he had a son named Bruno in holy orders, and 
he desired to make him bishop. However, by God's provi- 
dence, the suffragan bishops of the diocese of Sens, having 
the authority and consent of the apostolical see and regard- 
less of the fear of man, solemnly consecrated the lord Leo- 
theric, and installed him in the episcopal throne to govern 
the diocese of Sens. 3 

1 October 24, 996. 

9 Bouchard, count of Vcnd6me, eldest son of Fulk the Good, count of 
Anjou, received from Hugh Capet the county and castle of Melun, with 
the hand of Elizabeth, wife of Aimon, count of Corbeil. 

* Sewin died October 27, 999. Bruno his competitor with Leotheric, 


In the year of our Lord 1001, Henry duke of Burgundy 
died without issue, and the Burgundians rebelled against King 
Robert, whom they refused to acknowledge as their sove- 
reign. In consequence, Landri, Comte de Nevers, occupied 
the city of Auxerre. 1 

In the year of our Lord 1003, King Robert having called 
in the Normans with their Duke Richard, and assembled a 
very large army, ravaged Burgundy and besieged Auxerre 
for a long time. The Burgundians, being by no means dis- 
posed to submit to him, were unanimous in their resist- 
ance ; but he besieged the castle of Avalon for nearly three 
months, and at length it was compelled by famine to 
surrender to King Robert, who then returned to France. 2 

On the death of Fromont, count of Sens, he was succeeded 
by his son Rainard, a most worthless infidel. His perse- 
cution of the churches of Christ and his faithful servants 
was such as has not been heard of from heathen times to 
the present day. Archbishop Leotheric was consequently 
plunged into such difficulties that he knew not which way 
to turn. Committing himself, however, entirely to the 
Lord, he implored Christ in prayers and vigils that of his 
heavenly mercy he would vouchsafe to aiford relief. 

Thereupon, in the year of our Lord 1016, the thirteenth 
indiction, on the tenth of the calends of May [22nd April], 
the city of Sens was taken possession of by Leotheric, by 
the advice of Reynold bishop of Paris, and was given up to 
King Robert. Rainard was forced to betake himself to 
flight and escaped naked. His brother Fromond and some 
other knights took refuge in a tower which stood within the 
city. The king, however, reduced it, after an assault of 

was second son of Fromond II., count of Sens. It required two journeys 
by Leotheric to Rome and an express order of Silvester II. (Gerbert), his 
former tutor, to determine them to consecrate him in opposition to the 
count. The ceremony was performed, in 1001, in the church of St. Fare. 

1 Henry the Great died in 1002. Mabillon. Otho- William, his son-in- 
law, and also his adopted heir, took possession of the duchy. King Robert 
seized the province in 1003, with the aid of thirty thousand Normans, 
commanded by their duke, Richard II.; but he was compelled to retire 
without taking Auxerre, which was defended by Landri, count de Nevers, 
and son-in-law of Otho-William. 

4 The siege and taking of Avalon belong to the campaign of 1005, in 
the course of which the king also took Sens, and besieged Dijon in vain. 
It was defended by Otho-William in person, and his most gallant knights. 

A.T). 1031.] ISSUE OF BOBEET, KTJfG OF FEAtfCE. 347 

many days' duration, and taking Fromond captive, sent him 
to Orleans, where he died in prison. 1 

Eobert, king of the Franks, reigned thirty-seven years.* 
He married Constance, a princess celebrated for her wisdom 
and virtue. She bore him a noble offspring, Henry, Eobert, 
and Adele. King Eobert died in the year of our Lord 

1031, the fourteenth indiction, and Henry his son reigned 
nearly thirty years. Eobert had the duchy of Burgundy, 
and was the father of three sons, Henry, Eobert, and Simon. 
Henry, the eldest, had two sons, Hugh and Eudes, but he 
died before his father. Hugh therefore succeeded his 
grandfather in the duchy, which he governed for three 
years with distinguished merit. He then abdicated in favour 
of his brother Eudes, and inflamed by divine love, became a 
monk of Cluni, where he piously served God fifteen years. 
Adele, the daughter of King Eobert, was given in mar- 
riage to Baldwin count of Flanders, to whom she bore a 
numerous offspring, Eobert the Frisian, Arnulph, and 
Baldwin, counts ; Eudes, archbishop of Treves, and Henry, 
a clerk ; also Matilda queen of England, and Judith the 
wife of Earl Tostig. 

During this period, while Eobert and Henry were kings of 

1 The archbishop made the engagement to deliver the city to the king 
on April '22, 1015 ; but it required a regular siege to triumph over the 
resistance of Rainard and his eldest brother Fromond, whom he had called 
to his aid. Fromont finished his days in prison in the castle of Orleans, 
but Rainard, having taken refuge with Eudes II., count de Champagne, 
built with his assistance the castle of Montreuil-sur-Seine, which he 
afterwards ceded to him, and, forcibly re-establishing himself in Sens, lived 
afterwards in peace with the king and the archbishop until the death of 
Leotheric (June 26, 1031). 

2 October 24, 996 July 20, 1031. Robert and Constance had four 
sons, Hugh, Henry, Robert, and Hugh, and two daughters, Adelaide, or 
Havise, and Adele. Henry I. died August '29, 1060, after a reign of 
twenty-nine years. Robert I., duke of Burgundy, called the Elder, 
received that province of his brother Henry in full sovereignty in the year 

1032. This prince had four sons and two daughters. Hugh I., who 
succeeded in 1075, was son of Henry his second son. He resigned the 
duchy in 1078 to his brother Eudes Borel, in order to retire to Cluni, 
where he died in 1093, after having been ordained priest. Adele de 
France, first married to Richard III., duke of Normandy, and afterwards 
to Baldwin, count of Flanders, died in 1071. The archbishop of Treves 
must be excluded from this genealogy. His parentage is otherwise given 


France, ten popes filled successively the apostolic see ; that 
is, Gerbert the Philosopher, who assumed the name of 
Silvester, John, Benedict, and John his brother, Benedict 
their nephew, Clemens, Damasus, eminent for his nobility 
and love of justice, Leo, Victor, Stephen and Nicholas. 1 
Henry, king of the Franks, married Bertrade, daughter of 
Julius Claudius king of Eussia, 2 by whom he had Philip, and 
Hugh the Great, Count de Crepi. Philip reigned after his 
father's death forty-seven years, and espoused Bertha, 
daughter of Florence duke of Frisia, who bore him Lewis- 
Theobald and Constance. 3 

CH. II. Short notices of the battle of Val-des-Dunes Of 
Sing William's marriage and children Of the invasion 
of Normandy by King Henry of France And the battle 
of Mortemer. 

ITT the year of our Lord 1047, the fifteenth indiction, 
"William the Bastard, duke of Normandy, invited King 
Henry into Neustria, 4 and with his assistance fought a 
battle against his kinsfolk at Val-des-Dunes, in which he 
defeated Guy of Burgundy and other rebels, forcing some to 
submit, and putting others to flight. After this, his power 
being established, he married Matilda, daughter of Baldwin 
marquis of Flanders, who bore him four sons and five 
daughters ; 5 Robert, Richard, William, and Henry, Agatha, 

1 Silvester II.; John XVII. (John XVIII.; Sergius IV.); Benedict 
VIII.; John XIX.; Benedict IX. (Gregory VI.); Clement XI.;Da:nasus 
II.; Leo IX.; Victor II.; Stephen IX.; and Nicholas II. 

* Henry I. married in 1061 Anne, daughter of Jaroslaw, duke of Russia, 
by whom he had two sons, king Philip, and Hugh, count of Vermandois in 

8 Philip I. reigned nearly forty-eight years (August 29, 1060 August 
3, 1108). It was in 1071 that he married Bertha, daughter of Florence, 
count of Holland, by whom he had Lewis-le-Gros, and Constance, married 
first to Hugh, count de Champagne, and afterwards to Bohemond, prince 
of Antioch. 

* William threw himself at the feet of King Henry at Poissi to implore 
succour against the league, at the head of which WHS Guy of Burgundy, 
his uncle according to the customs of Brittany (son of Reynold, count of 
Burgundy, and Adeliza, daughter of Duke Richard II ). Guy was defeated 
in 1047 at the battle of Val-des- Dunes, three leagues to the south-east of 
Caen. See the dying discourse of King William in the fifteenth chapter of 
this book. 

6 The marriage of William and Matilda probably soon followed the 

A.D. 1054.] HENET I. rtTVADES NOBMANDY. 349 

Adeliza, Constance, Adele, and Cecilia. A variety of for- 
tunes was the lot of this illustrious progeny, and each in 
their day was subject to mischance, as my pen has elsewhere 
sufficiently noted. In course of time seditions burst forth, 
and the seeds of dissension were sown among these princes, 
which gave rise to great wars between the French and Nor- 
mans, wherein much blood was shed. 

At length, in the year of our Lord 1054, King Henry 
invaded the territory of Evreux, and made great devasta- 
tions, both by pillage and fire ; at the same time causing his 
brother Eudes to cross the Seine with many thousand troops 
by the Beauvaisis. Meanwhile Duke William hung with 
his force on the flank of King Henry's army watching for a 
favourable opportunity of bringing him to an engagement. 
Moreover, he ordered Roger de Mortemer and the Cauchois 
to throw themselves on the royal troops [commanded by 
Eudes]. Obeying his orders without delay, they encoun- 
tered the French at Mortemer, and having gained the 
victory, took prisoner Gruy count of Ponthieu, and put 
to flight Eudes and Ralph count de Mont-Didier, many of 
their followers falling by the sword. 1 Then Pope Leo died 
in the sixth year of his pontificate, 2 in the second year of 
which the abbey of St. Evroult was restored, and Theodoric, 
the first abbot, was consecrated on the nones [the 7th] of 
October. Eight years afterwards he went on a pilgrimage, 
and died in the island of Cyprus, on the calends [the 1st] 
of August, many miracles being wrought on his tomb. 3 

CH. III. A fragment, containing part of the genealogy of 
Edward the Confessor. 

EDWAHD, king of England, after a reign of twenty-three 

successful issue of this contest, which established the young duke's power. 
For the children who were the issue of this marriage, see before, pp. 22, 23. 

1 More full details of this double invasion of Normandy by King 
Henry are given in the discourse supposed to have been made by William 
1. on his death-bed, for which see the fourth chapter of the preseut book. 

1 Leo IX. Feb. 1049 April 19, 1054. 

3 The abbey of St. Evroult was restored and the blessed Theodoric 
consecrated abbot Oct. 5, 1050 ; he went in pilgrimage to the Holy Lane 
in the beginning of September, 1057, and died in the ehurch of St. 
ISieholas, in the island of Cyprus, August 1, 1058, as already related. Se 
b. iii. iv. vol. i. pp. 402422. 


years * departed this life in the sixth year of Philip king of 
Prance. His genealogy from Shem, the son of Noah, may be 
thus traced. Shem begat Arphaxad and Beadung ; Beadung 
begat Wala; Wala begat Hatra; Hatra begat Itermod: 
Itermod begat Heremod ; Heremod begat Sceldunea ; 
Sceldunea begat Beaw ; Beaw begat Cetuna ; Cetuna begat 
Geata ; whom the heathen long since worshipped as a god. 
Geata begat Findggoldwulf, the father of Fidhulput ; of 
whom came Fealap, the father of Frithowald. From him 
sprung Woden, from whom the English call the sixth day, 
Woden's day. 2 He was highly exalted among his people 

and attained great power. 


CH. IV. The Emperor Henry IV. supports the Anti-pope 
Guibert (Clement III.) besieges and takes Home Gre- 
gory VIIL (Hildebrand) retires into Apulia. 

IN the year of our Lord 1084, Henry king of the Germans, 
having assembled a great multitude of Saxons, Germans, 
Lorrainers, and other people, made a violent inroad into Italy 
which he overran and besieged and assaulted Eome. The 
Kornans surrendering, being tempted by the rewards pro- 

1 Edward the Confessor succeeded to the throne of England June 8, 
1042, but was not crowned till Easter in the following year. For this 
reason our author counts only twenty-three years in his reign, which ended 
Jan. 5, 1066. The genealogy here ascribed to this king is found in most 
of the English chronicles. 

4 It was not the sixth but the fourth day which was consecrated to 
Odin in the primitive religion of our Saxon ancestors, and which still bears 
his name. 

8 The conclusion of this chapter appears to be lost. Dur.hesne appends 
the following note to the fragment preserved : " Some things are wanting 
here which seem to have been a recapitulation of those events which the 
author had related more at large in former books, viz., from the expedition 
of Duke William to England until the year of Christ, 1083." M. Le 
Prtvost observes, that it cannot escape the reader's observation that the 
preceding chapter (the third) consists of detached paragraphs strung 
together without order. Some persons, he says, have supposed that it 
belonged originally to b. iii., others to b. iv. He applies to chap. iii. 
what Duchesne says of the recapitulation, which consists of events already 
related in books iv. and v. M. Le Prdvost, while acknowledging the 
evident existence of a chasm in the history, is unable to offer any 
conjecture on its extent, its contents, or the place it filled in the author's 
original plan. 


mised them, he took possession of the city. Having 
expelled Gregory VII. from the apostolic see, he shamefully 
intruded in his place Guibert metropolitan of Ravenna. 
Thereupon Gregory retired to Beneventum, and a great 
schism was created throughout the world, which caused 
much evil to the sons of the church, and long continued to 
the injury of many persons. 1 Pope Gregory, whose name in 
baptism was Hildebrand, had been a monk from his child- 
hood, and his whole life was a pattern of wisdom and 
religion, maintaining a perpetual conflict against sin. 
He rose through the several degrees of the ecclesiastical 
orders to the popedom the summit of all, in which for sixteen 
years he applied himself diligently to the observance of the 
divine law. Inflamed with zeal for truth and justice he 
denounced every kind of wickedness, sparing no offenders, 
either through fear or favour. He therefore suffered perse- 
cution and exile from the stubborn and insubordinate, who 
refused to submit to the Lord's yoke ; yet no device of 
theirs prevailed against him to the hour of his death. 

Pope Gregory repeatedly admonished and corrected, and 
at length excommunicated Henry, king of the Germans, 
as an incorrigible transgressor of the divine law. For that 
prince deserted his wife, the daughter of the illustrious 
count Eustace de Bouillon, and like a swine wallowing in 
the mire abandoned himself to foul and adulterous pleasures, 
disregarding the commandments of God and the admonitions 
of good men. However, Godfrey duke of Lorraine, incensed 
at the shameful repudiation of his sister, declared war 
against Henry, and, collecting together a force of several 
thousand troops, gave him battle, and forcing him to quit 
the field in a shameful flight, thus revenged his sister's 
wrongs. 8 

1 The emperor Henry IV., called by our author king of the Germans, 
and the anti-pope Guibert, made their solemn entry into Rome on 
Tuesday, March 21, 1084, by the Lateran gate; and on Palm Sunday, 
the 24th of the same month, Guibert was consecrated at St. Peter's under 
the name of Clement III. After Henry's departure, and the raising of 
the siege of the castle of St. Angelo, to "which Gregory VII. had retired, 
and the sack of Rome by Robert Guiscard, the pope retired to Monte 
Cassino and Salernum. 

5 All this paragraph is incorrect. The emperor did not marry the sister 
of Godfrey de Bouillon, and so far from their being at war, Godfrey 


Henry often treacherously invited to his court the 
nobles whose wives or daughters or estates he coveted, and, 
causing them to be privately way-laid by his emissaries, had 
them despatched on the road when they expected no evil. 
This abandoned king disgraced himself by these and many 
such enormities, dragging with him the numerous accom- 
plices of his crimes to a common ruin. Pope Gregory, 
receiving complaints of these iniquities, frequently implored 
Henry to amend his life, but he wickedly laughed to scorn 
his physician and doctor, and disregarded his remonstrances. 
Gregory therefore held frequent councils with a great 
number of prelates, consulting on the means of affording 
relief to the Christian empire which Henry so foully and 
infamously polluted. At last, finding that notwithstanding 
his frequent admonitions Henry obstinately persisted in his 
crimes, the pope excommunicated him according to the 
sentence of a synod, deprived the obdurate prince of the 
imperial power which he had damnably usurped, and by his 
apostolical authority caused Count Conrad to be anointed 
king by the hands of an assembly of bishops. In conse- 
quence Henry, deprived of his sceptre, remained quiet a 
whole year in his own abode, shutting himself up in the 
county which was his own by right of inheritance. Mean- 
while, he lavishly employed the treasures he had amassed to 
secure himself allies. Having thus collected a force of 
many thousand accomplices, this public enemy, in contempt 
of the decree of excommunication, broke into rebellion, 
engaged in battle with King Conrad, and overthrew and 
killed him, routing his army with losses of all kinds. 1 

Elated with this victory, Henry re-assumed his imperial 

received from the emperor's hands the investiture of the duchy of the 
Lower- Lorraine in 1093. 

1 This paragraph is not more correct than the preceding one. It was 
not till 1093, and, consequently, ei^ht years after the death of Gregory 
VII., that Conrad, son of Henry IV., revolted against his father at the 
instigation of the Countess Matilda, his aunt, and caused himself to be 
crowned king of the Normans. Our author has confounded Conrad with 
Rodolph, duke of Swabia, elected king of Germany in the place of his 
brother-in-law Henry, in March, 1077, by the influence of Gregory VII. 
It was Rodolph who was slain fighting with Henry at the battle of 
Marsbourg (Oct. 15, 1080). We are informed that he received his mortal 
wound from the lance of Godfrey de Bouillon, who is represented by our 
author as the determined enemy of the emperor. 


authority, coerced his rebellious subjects, and, having 
strongly reinforced his army, laid siege to Home, directing 
all his efforts against Pope Gregory. 1 It had, I consider, 
entirely escaped his memory how Absalom, having gathered 
a large force against his father David, had by the advice of 
Ahithophel the Gilonite levied arms against him, attacking 
his own father and his followers as they were departing from 
Jerusalem, and caused at length the death of many thousand 
warriors, but miserably perished when he had accomplished 
his impious project to the loss of many. Thus Henry took 
up arms against his father, and justly merited in return to 
be cruelly persecuted by his own offspring. When he was 
asked how he presumed to engage in such fearful enterprises 
against the head of the church, he replied, laughing, that 
the cause of this great quarrel between himself and the pope 
was that the physician had recourse to remedies too violent 
for an unruly patient. 

The lawless monarch therefore vigorously urged the siege 
of Rome, alarmed the citizens with assaults and menaces, 
seduced them with bribes and promises, and by such means 
won over the people and got possession of the city. The 
Romans thus deserting his cause, Pope Gregory took refuge 
in Apulia, and, being received by the Normans with distin- 
guished honours, dwelt there four years and, having given 
rules of life to the sons of the church, ended his labours. 4 
Thereupon the emperor Henry uncanonically intruded into 
the Lord's fold, Guibert, metropolitan of Ravenna, whom 
they called Clement ; on account of which a long and grievous 

1 The emperor arrived under the walls of Rome with the anti-pope 
Guibert, a few days before Whitsuntide, 1081. The wege was not 
interrupted from that period until the city was taken in 1084. 

2 The pope retired from Rome in 1084, and died at Salernum, May 2.% 
1085, long before the four years of which Ordericus speaks. The anti- 
pope Guibert continued the struggle long after the death of Gregory VII., 
maintaining his position at Rome. There is a well known epigraph in 
which he rallied his rival, Urban II., on the unsuitableness of the name he 
assumed to his condition as an exile from the city. 

Diceris Urbantis, cum sis projeclus ab urbe ; 
Vel muta nomen ; vcl reyrediaris ad urbem. 

How can you call yourself Urban when you are banished from the city 
(ab urbe) I You would do well to change your name if you cannot return 
to Rome (ad urbem). 



schism throughout the Christian world caused the ruin o/ 
numbers of persons by a twofold death. The people of 
Milan and Mayence, and many others who espoused the party 
of Guibert, not only excommunicated the friends of Gregory 
but cruelly rose in arms against them. On the other hand 
Gregory and his supporters invited the erring partisans of 
Guibert to return to the unity of the church, and upon their 
refusing to obey the summons excommunicated them accord- 
ing to ecclesiastical right. 

Eudes, count of Sutri, who was nephew of the in- 
truder Guibert, used every exertion, by violent measures 
and entreaties, to bring over all he could, whether foreigners 
or natives, to his criminal faction, either tormenting or put- 
ting to death those who opposed him, and refused to submit 
to the unfounded claims of a heretic. 1 The Catholic church, 
involved in these dark clouds, and full of grief, sent up her 
prayers to the Lord, the source of true light and of justice, 
beseeching him to humble and remove out of the way the 
fomentors of discord, and to restore peace and truth on 
earth among the men of good-will. 

CH. V. The Emperor Alexius Commcnus ascends the throne 
of Constantinople Expedition of Robert Guiscard and his 
son Bohemond to the coast of Greece Durazzo besieged 
and taken Robert Guiscard recalled by the affairs of 

AT this time, Greece, the mother of eloquence, was shaken 
by the storms of war ; and, afflicted with grievous calamities, 
was overwhelmed with grief and alarm. For the Greek 
Bitinacius, impelled by his overweening ambition and 
arrogant temper, usurped the government, expelling 
Michael, the emperor of Constantinople ; and, putting out 
the eyes of his son who ought to have succeeded him on the 
throne, threw him into a dungeon, imprisoning also the two 
daughters of Eobert Guiscard, one of whom was betrothed 

1 Sutri is an episcopal city belonging to the patrimony of St. Peter. 
Although its lord joined the party opposed to the pope, and persevered in 
his hostility to the pontificate of Urban II. as we shall find in the succeed- 
ing book, its bishop acted quite differently. That prelate, who wa- 
eminent for his piety and learning, was taken prisoner by the emperor in 
the campaign of 1083. 


to the young prince. The discomfited Michael sought 
refuge in Italy, humbly imploring the aid of the Normans 
on behalf of himself and his family. The illustrious Duke 
Guiscard received the imperial exile with due honours, 
soothed his misfortunes by attentions and good offices, and 
readily promised him his powerful aid. Nor did he delay in 
taking determined measures for accomplishing the revenge 
he had promised. 1 But such not being the will of God, all 
his vast preparations ended in vain threats, and it was not 
permitted him to carry out the designs which he anxiously 

Alexius, the general of the army, had by Michael's order 
gone into Paphlagonia at the head of the Greek troops to 
oppose the Turks, who claimed Nice, a city of Bithynia, as a 
pledge of peace. Having received intelligence of the 
expulsion of the lawful emperor, and the mad tyranny of 
the traitorous usurper, he harangued his troops, and 
demanded of them what was to be done. Alexius was 
prudent and virtuous, brave, liberal, and a general favourite. 
He was therefore received with universal acclamations, and 
the whole army declared itself ready to obey his commands. 
He therefore exhorted the troops to join unanimously in 
besieging Byzantium, and manfully wrest it from the reck- 
less usurper of the imperial throne. Constantinople was 
consequently closely invested for some days ; but it was 
opened to the besiegers by Eaimond of Flanders, in concert 
with the citizens, he being the chief warder of the gates, 
and having the custody of the place entrusted to him. 
Alexius took possession of the imperial palace, hurled 
Bitinacius 2 from the throne, and, causing his long beard to 

1 Nicephorus Botaniates, after having dethroned Michael Parapinaces, 
made his solemn entry into Constantinople, March 25, 1078. All that 
Ordericus here says on the cruelties inflicted on prince Constantine, and 
of the emperor Michael having taken refuge with Robert Guiscard is con- 
troverted. It is certain, however, that the marriage of Constantine with 
his daughter was broken off in consequence of the revolution which had 
jutt taken place. 

s Botaniates. " The life of the emperor Alexius Commenus has been 
delineated with laudable though partial zeal by his learned daughter Anna 
Commend." Ordericus, in describing him MS engaged in the siege of Nice, 
has confounded the movement which placed him on the throne with (hat 
of Nicephoras Melissens, which, in point of fact, was simultaneous with 
it, or with that of Botaniates himself which occurred three ytars belbre. 
A A 2 


be shaved, threw him into a dungeon, without further 
injury. Assuming the imperial sceptre and diadem, 
amidst general rejoicings, he reigned thirty years with 
firmness and dignity, both in prosperous and adverse 
circumstances. He was a prince of great sagacity, com- 
passionate to the poor, a brave and magnanimous soldier, 
affable to his army, to which he made liberal largesses, and 
a devout observer of the Divine law. At the beginning of 
his reign, he released from prison the son of Michael, who, 
as before mentioned, had been deprived of sight, and placed 
him under the care of the abbot of St. Cyrus. The young 
prince, whose worldly career was ended, became a monk in 
that monastery, and spent the rest of his life with the 
servants of Grod. Alexius affectionately regarded and 
kindly treated the daughters of Ghiiscard, as if they had 
been his own, and nurtured them for almost twenty years 
with the utmost indulgence. Their office was, every 
morning, when the emperor had risen from his bed and was 
washing his hands, to present him with a towel, and holding 
an ivory comb, to dress the emperor's beard. Such was 
the light and easy service assigned to these noble 
females by a generous prince ; and in the course of years 
they were sent back to Roger, count of Sicily, by the kind 
offices of their imperial friend. 1 

The changes of the reeling world afford 
Proof of the wisdom of the Sacred Word. 

"With the same measure that ye mete, it shall be 
measured to you again." 2 Thus, as Michael had driven his 

1 M. Le Prevost considers the office assigned to these ladies about the 
person of the emperor as indelicate and improbable. But such light 
services about the person of the sovereign, partaking of the nature of 
grand-serjeanty, were considered honourable, and are characteristic of the 
age. Every one must remember that of loosing the royal sandals after 
battle, assigned by our great novelist to the baron of Bradwardine, and which 
he has so humorously travestied. Our author says nothing about the 
isolation of these ladies at the court of Alexius, as M. Le Prevnst appears 
to intimate. Not only their cousin Constantine Humbertopoule, son of 
Humbert de Hauteville, who assisted in the emperors elevation, was to be 
found there, but the crusade drew to Constantinople all the flower of the 
Norman chivalry. It is questioned whether more than one of the daughters 
of Robert Guiscard was sent there the eldest, called by the Greeks 
Helena, who, after Robert's death, was sent back to his brother Roger. 

a Luke vi. 38. 


father-in-law from the imperial throne, he himself was hurled 
from it by Bitinacius, who, in his turn, was dethroned by 

In concert with the patriarch of the royal city, and the 
wise men and senators of the Greek state, Alexius 
resolved that the holy empire should not be restored to 
Michael, who had sought refuge with the public enemy, 1 and 
had entrusted himself and his fortunes to the faithless 
Normans, whose practice it was not to replace their allies in 
their dominions, but to usurp their states, and to subject to 
their own rule, and strip of their honours, by a refinement 
of cruelty, those whom it should have been their duty to 
liberate, and to aid in the recovery of their lawful authority. 
Alexius therefore formed a close connection with the 
English, who, with their chiefs, quitted England after the 
death of King Harold, and, flying from the face of King 
William, embarked on the Black Sea, and landed in Thrace. 
He committed to their custody his principal palace, and the 
royal treasures, and even made them the guards of his own 
person and household. 2 From the four quarters of the 
globe bands of warriors assembled for the prize, which their 
efforts to deprive him of his life and his throne might secure. 
But all their efforts were fruitless; for under God's 
protection he escaped the many plots of his enemies, and 
living to a good old age associated with himself his son John 
in the imperial title. 3 Thus it is evident to all judicious 
observers, that no human power can overthrow and ruin 
those who have God for their supporter and protector. 

1 Michael, " whose character," as described by Gibbon, " was degraded 
rather than ennobled by the virtue of a monk and the learning of a 
sophist," does not appear to have made any further pretenio7is to the 
throne ; but having been decorated with the title of archbishop of 
Ephesus, found so much charm in a monastic life and manual labour 
that he returned to his convent to devote himself to them without inter- 

1 M. Le Prevost considers that our author has exaggerated the services 
of the English Varangian guards ; we may, however, be permitted to 
remark, with great respect, that no facts ore better authenticated. See the 
note in vol. i. pp. 9, 10. 

3 John Commenus took possession of the throne on August 15, 1118, 
rather with the tacit consent of the dying emperor, than by any formal act 
of association. The opposition of the empress Irene, up to the last 
moment, to this transmission of the imperial authority is well known. 


While the storms of the revolution of which we have now 
spoken were raging in Illyricum, and Michael 1 was 
imploring the aid of the Italians with lamentations and 
tears, Robert GKiiscard assembled a powerful force of 
Normans and Lombards from all parts of his duchie of 
Apulia and Calabria, and, having equipped a powerful fleet, 
entered the port of Otranto. He then sailed with a favour- 
able wind for Durazzo, 2 the citizens of which offering a 
formidable resistance, towards the end of June he laid siege 
to the place. His army did not consist of more than ten 
thousand troops, but he relied more on the valour than on 
the numbers of his soldiers to strike the enemy with terror, 
in his invasion of G-reece renowned for its warlike character 
since the times of Adrastus and Agamemnon. Robert 
Griffard and William de Grantmesnil, 3 with other gallant 
young soldiers, who had recently arrived from Normandy, 
took part in this expedition. Mark Bohemond, the son of 
Guiscard by a Norman lady, seconded his father in his 
absence, led a division of the army with great prudence, and, 
exhibiting much discretion in the conduct of affairs, gave 
promise of his future worth. His brother Robert, 
surnamed Bursa, remained in Apulia by his father's orders, 
and took charge of the duchy, the succession of which 
belonged to him in right of his mother. 

The emperor Alexius, roused by the complaints of the 

1 The false Michael, who was only a monk named Rector, the puppet 
of Robert Guiscard, was paraded by that prince through the whole of 
Southern Italy. Gregory VII seems to have been really the dupe of this 
imposture, and recomended the pretended Michael with all his influence to 
the support of the friends of the church. 

1 On the opposite shore of the Adriatic, near Jannina, the modem 
capital of Albania. Robert Guiscard sailed from the port of Brundusium 
about the end of June, 1081, and while he was engaged in the conquest of 
Corfu detached his brother Bohemond to the continent with fifteen vessels. 
Both arrived together before Durazzo on July 14, the fleet of Bohemond 
laving been dispersed by a violent storm. The Norman army was reduced 
to 15.000, not 10,000 men. 

3 Robert Giffard belonged to the family of Giffard of Longueville, being 
probably brother of Walter Giffard, the second of that name, who was 
earl of Buckingham, and not a younger son of the family of Tillieres, or 
Fougeres, according to an erroneous statement of the continuator of Wil- 
liam de Jumieges, to he found in Duchesne, Hist. Norm. Script, p. 312. 
Ot William, second son of Hugh de Grantmesnil, there will be many 
opportunities to speak in the sequel. 

A.D. 1081.] BATTLE OF DURAZZO. 359 

inhabitants of Durazzo, assembled a powerful army, and 
prepared to defeat the besiegers of his city in engagements 
both by sea and land. While, however, the imperial mes- 
sengers were despatched in every direction, and bands of 
soldiers were being collected from the islands and adjacent 
provinces, it happened that one day Mark Bohemond going 
out to forage at the head of fifty men-at-arms, found himself 
unexpectedly in face of five hundred light-armed troops, 
who were in advance of the enemy's army, to carry succours 
to the besieged. As soon as they perceived each other a 
sharp encounter ensued, in which the Greeks, not being 
able to sustain the charge of the Normans gave way and 
abandoned a considerable booty. In this engagement they 
left the brazen cross which the emperor Constantine, when 
lie was about to give battle to Maxentius, made in imitation 
of the cross he had seen in the sky. The Normans, return- 
ing from the conflict, spread the greatest joy and hope of 
xictory among their comrades ; while the Greeks were in 
the greatest tribulation and despair at the loss of our 
Lord's cross, which they strove hard to redeem for a very 
large sum of gold. 1 But Guiscard disdained any such bar- 
ter, esteeming for Christ's merits the brazen cross more 
precious than all the gold in the world. He therefore 
carried it with him through many dangers, and since his 
death the convent of the Holy Trinity at Venosa reverently 
preserves it to this day, honouring it with many other relics 
of the saints. 

In the month of October the emperor Alexius ap- 
proached Durazzo at the head of his legions, composed of 
different nations. Battle was joined, with great effusion of 
blood and vast loss on both sides in the severe encounter. 
At length, however, the Almighty had regard to the small, 
but faithful and resolute, band of the pilgrims from the 
West, and giving them the victory, terrified and scattered 

1 Alexius began his march for the relief of Durazzo at the end of 
August, after two successful naval engagements with Bohemond, one by 
the Venetians, the other by the Greeks, which had not discouraged Robert 
Guiscard. The emperor did not arrive before the besieged city until 
October 15, when the skirmish between Bohemond and his advanced guard 
here related occurred. The Labarum was not lost on this occasion, but at 
the battle of Durazzo. 


with disgrace the forces of the East, who trusted in their 
own might. Then Duke Robert, encouraged by so signal 
a triumph, departed from Durazzo, and, after a long inarch, 
wintered his army in Bulgaria ; for the country about 
Durazzo had been so devastated during the three months' 
siege, that no subsistence was left there either for men or 
horses. 1 

At this time Duke Robert received envoys from Rome, 
who were the bearers of apostolical letters, and humbly 
saluting him, said, " Most valiant duke, Pope Gregory 
earnestly and suppliantly entreats you, as a father his son, 
to come to the aid of the apostolical see with your invin- 
cible courage, and not to suffer, for the love of God, any 
excuse whatever to interfere with this succour: for 
Henry, king of Germany, has laid siege to Rome, and 
closely invested the pope and the clergy who adhere to him 
in the castle of Crescens. 2 Shut up in that fortress, with 
a crowd of the faithful people, he is apprehensive of being 
betrayed by the defection of the Roman populace, who are 
greedy and versatile, and of being shamefully delivered into 
the hands of his enemies. He has therefore sent us to you 
to demand yoxir speedy assistance in his urgent need. By 
God's favour your might is established over all your foes, 
nor can mortal power resist it while you are in arms for the 
cause of God and are obedient to the vicar of St. Peter, the 
prince of the apostles." 

On receiving this message the mighty lord was deeply 
troubled, for he had a great desire to hasten to the succour 
of the venerable pope, worried by fierce lions like Peter in 
Herod's prison ; while he strongly hesitated at leaving his 
army, which he reckoned to be weak in numbers, among 
hosts of crafty and cruel enemies, in a foreign land, without 
a leader, like sheep among wolves. At length, having men- 

1 The battle was fought on October 1 8, three days after tbe arrival of 
Alexius. Robert distributed his troops in winter quarters in the territory 
of the besieged city, particularly at Glabinniza and Jannina. Durazzo sur- 
rendered on February 18. 

3 Originally the tomb of Adrian, converted into a fortress in the middle 
aes, and now Called the Castle of St. Angelo. The pope did not shut 
himself up in it until 1083. The emperor broke up his army from their 
winter quarters at Ravenna in the spring of 1082, and again sat dowu 
before Rome with a powerful force ; but the siege made little progress. 


tally raised his eyes to the Lord, from whom all good 
proceeds, he assembled his troops with his son Bohemoud 
and thus addressed them : " It is our duty to obey God 
who speaks to us by the common pastor of the catholic 
church. 1 By his help I shall comply with the pope's injunc- 
tions, endeavouring to return to you as quickly as I can. 
Meanwhile remain quiet in this province, and be very cir- 
cumspect, surrounded as you are by enemies on every side. 
If any one should venture to give you battle, in God's name 
make a stout resistance. Take care however not to com- 
mence hostilities, nor to give the enemy an opportunity of 
fighting, nor provoke the natives until I shall return. I 
will undertake the service enjoined me by the Lord, and if 
life is spared will soon be with you. I swear by the soul of 
Tailored my father, and give you my solemn oath, that until 
I return to you I will neither use the bath, nor have my 
beard shaved, or my hair cut." 

After this speech the brave warrior set sail with a small 
number of companions in arms, and by God's guidance 
landed in Apulia, from whence, having assembled troops, he 
marched to Borne. Meanwhile the Emperor Henry, having 
received a true report of the victory which Duke Robert 
had gained over the emperor of Constantinople, and learn- 
ing that he was unexpectedly hurrying, with the speed of 
lightning, to the pope's assistance, and taking these various 
circumstances into mature consideration, he became greatly 
alarmed, and having concluded a peace with certain of the 
Roman nobles, and obtained possession of some part of the 
city, he withdrew to the western provinces of his empire. 
Eor he chose rather to take his departure freely in honour 
and safety, than to wait for the arrival of his furious ad- 
versary, and involve himself in a whirlwind of war for which 
he was unprepared. 

1 Notwithstanding all the fine words which our author has put into the 
mouth of Robert Guiscard, his ardent zeal for the defence of the church 
anil its head, did not prevent his directing his first efforts exclusively to tha 
safety of his own states, which were threatened by local revolt* and the 
hostile demonstrations of the emperor. It was not until 1084, after 
Rome was taken by the emperor, and the close investment of the castle of 
St. Angelo that be determined, at the earnest entreaty of the pope, to 
march to his aid. 


Cii. VI. Death of Robert de Grantmemil, at first abbot of 
St. Evroult, and afterwards of St. Euphemia. 

WHILE the world was agitated by these severe commotions, 
and wars were raging in every quarter, so that the kingdoms 
of the world reeled like a ship tossed by the waves, the vene- 
rable Eobert, abbot of St. Euphemia, after his return from 
the battle at Durazzo, fell sick, it is said of poison taken in 
his food, on the eleventh of the calends of December [21st 
November.] * It appears that a certain Saracen was 
employed as a baker in the convent at Brescia. This man 
had married the sister of the prior William, son of Ingram, 
and for some unknown and trifling cause, nurtured a secret 
hatred of the abbot. In consequence, at the instigation of the 
devil, he mixed poison with his food, following the example 
of his father Ishmael, who, by a criminal artifice, endea- 
voured to delude the unsuspecting Isaac. The man of G-od 
languished for thirteen days, surrounded by the weeping 
monks, and having made his confession and received the 
holy communion, expired on the second of the ides [12th] 
of December. He was interred in the church of St. 
Mary, Mother of God, which he himself had built from 
the foundations, and the anniversary of his death was 
appointed to be reverently kept every year to his memory. 
This is willingly done by the monks whom he carefully 
brought up in the house of God, as a father does his 
children. It is also the custom to distribute liberal alms to 
the poor on that day, on behalf of their deceased pastor. 

CH. VII. Restoration of Gregory VII. and the sack of Home 
by Robert Ouiscard Battle of Durazzo Death of Bohe- 
mond And of Robert Guiscard. 

AT the approach of Guiscard, the proud Eomans gathered 
in great indignation that the capital of the world should be 
exposed to the attack of foreign assailants. Encouraging 
themselves therefore with mutual exhortations, they flew to 
arms, and marched out to meet the enemy. But they were 

1 Robert de Grantmesnil was at first abbot of St. Evroult, and afterwards 
of St. Euphemia. See vol. i. pp. 422, 438. Our author continues in this 
paragraph his former error of placing the latter in the neighbourhood of 
Brescia. Robert died on November 21, probably in the year 1082. 


instantly repulsed by a charge of the veteran and dis- 
ciplined Norman troops, who entered the city mingled 
with the retreating citizens, and by order of their furious 
duke, set flames to the houses. 1 Guiscard thus forced an 
entrance into Eome by fire and sword ; nor did any of the 
citizens afterwards venture to mutter a word against him. 
As he drew near to the castle of Crescens, the pope with 
his clergy came out to meet him, and returned him thanks 
for the toil he had undergone in coming to his aid, absolved 
him from his sins as a reward for his obedience, and implored 
for him the eternal benediction of Almighty God. 

After a conference had taken place between these illus- 
trious men, and the pope had given an account of his 
vexations, the incensed duke gave vent to his anger in 
threatening language to this effect : " The citizens of Eome 
are worthless traitors ; they are, and always will be, un- 
grateful to God and his saints for the innumerable benefits 
conferred upon them. Eome, which was formerly called 
the capital of the world, and the fountain of health for 
sinful souls, is now become the habitation of dragons and 
the foul pit of all iniquity. I shall therefore destroy this 
den of thieves with the sword or with fire, and root out its 
vile and impious inhabitants. The persecution of their 
bishops, of which the Jews set them the example, the 
Romans have obstinately persisted in accomplishing. As 
the Jews crucified Christ, have not the Romans crucified 
his members ? Did they not martyr Peter and Paul f Need 
I speak of Linus and Cletus, Clemens and Alexander, Sextus 
and Telesphorus, Calixtus and Urban, Cornelius and Fabian? 
All these laboured, as bishops, for the cure of the diseased 
souls of their flock, and were cruelly butchered by their 

1 Robert Guiscard disgraced his entry into the capital of the Christian 
world by the most fearful devastations of a city which had preserved till 
that time the greatest part of the monuments of its ancient splendour. 
The Romans did not march out to encounter him, but contented them- 
selves with manning the walls. Towards evening he forced an entry by 
the Flaminian gate. His occupation of the city only lasted three days, 
during which it -was abandoned to pillage, fire, and rape. To excuse the 
Normans, the main barbarities are attributed to the Sarncens, of whom, it 
is said, there were great numbers in the army. The pope, restored to the 
palace of the Lateran, had great difficulty in preventing the destruction of 
Borne of the churches. 


fellow citizens whom they strove to save. Shall I mention 
Sebastian, pierced by them with arrows in a sewer and hung 
in chains P 1 What shall I say of Lawrence, who was placed 
on a gridiron over burning coals and broiled like a fish ? 
"What of Hippoly tus, bound to wild horses and torn asunder ? 
What of Hermes, Tiburtius, Zeno, Valentine, and other 
saints whose numbers are beyond the power of memory to 
recount ? It is commonly reported, and affirmed by the 
assertions of many persons, that entire Rome reeks with the 
precious blood of martyrs, and unnumbered bodies of the 
aaints lie concealed in the Roman catacombs. The same 
ferocity which formerly actuated the pagans, now animates 
the fury of pseudo-Christians, who inflamed with covetous- 
ness ally themselves with the excommunicated, and lend 
their aid to senseless heretics against the catholic church. 
They merit not that any pity should be extended to them. 
I will punish the impious with the avenging sword ; I will 
give the bloody city to the flames ; and, by God's help, I 
will restore it to a better condition, and fill it with inhabit- 
ants from the Transalpine nations." 

Then the pope threw hmself at the duke's feet, 2 and 
bathed in tears, exclaimed, " Far be it from me that Rome 
should be destroyed on my account ! I was not elected its 
pastor for the destruction of the city, but for the salvation 
of the people. I would rather follow the steps of our Lord 
Jesus Christ to death than cruelly avenge my injuries by the 
punishment of sinners. They are the enemies of our Creator 
who despise his statutes, maliciously trouble the order of 
the church, and scatter the Lord's flock like ravening 
wolves. The injury and the vengeance are alike his, the 
service and the reward. He knows his faithful servants, and 
abhors his furious enemies. I therefore commit myself and 
my concerns to his Almighty disposal, and implore him 
with a full heart to cut off with the sword of discipline all 
that is opposed to his holy law, and to guide me according 
to his good pleasure." 

1 Gumfo, which signifies a chain, is a word used in the Acts of St. 

2 Pope Hildebrand was not in the habit of throwing himself at the feet 
of any man. Robert himself did so the first time he met the pope, at 
Aquino, in the month of June, 1080. 

A.D. 1084.] BATTLE OF LAKISSA. 365 

In this manner the pope calmed the incensed duke, and, 
having prevailed with him to accept his counsel, came forth 
from the tower of Crescens, and, followed by his clergy, and 
attended by the duke and a strong band of troops, repaired 
to Albano. That city was founded by Ascanius Julius, the 
son of ^Eneas, and was given by the emperor Constantine 
to Pope Silvester ; thereupon, the duke having received the 
apostolical benediction, marched in haste to the coast, and 
crossing the sea without delay, rejoined his army as he had 

Meanwhile, the crafty Greek emperor, when he learnt 
that Robert was gone to Italy, thought that it would be in 
his power to reduce the power of the Normans while their 
leader was absent : he therefore, collecting a large body of 
troops, marched against them, and compelled them to fight 
a battle which they would have willingly avoided. In the be- 
ginning of the conflict, the Normans betrayed some weakness, 
and at the first onset being under alarm on many accounts 
were nearly worsted ; for disheartened by their inferiority of 
numbers, and the absence of their successful leader, they had 
scarcely commenced the battle, when they began to think of 
flight. While, however, Bohemond and his troops were in 
this state of hesitation and dismay, and in his anxiety he 
fervently called upon G-od, he suddenly experienced the 
divine aid, and a voice from heaven sounded in his ears : 
" Bohemond, why do you shrink from the conflict ? Fight 
it out bravely ; for he who was your father's support will be 
yours also, if you trust in him and faithfully maintain his 
cause." The courage of the Normans was restored by 
these words, and pressing onwards they charged the Greeks 
with energy, so that they were repulsed by this sudden 
attack, and taking to flight, left an immense booty to the 
foreigners, who were in great need of supplies. 2 

1 The duke did not conduct the pope to Albano, having left him at the 
palnee of the Lateran. He did not depart himself for Illym till the 
month of September. Gregory VII. did indeed sojourn at Albano, but it 
was in the year 1074, when hq was on his way to Monte Cassino and 
Capun. He arrived at Monte Cassino in the month of August, and did 
not leave Capua on his return to Rome till the middle of November. 

1 Several statements in this paragraph are contrary to the facts. Bohe- 
mond, who was victorious at Jannina, and afterwards at Arta, ended by 


On his return from Tuscany, Guiscard found his troops 
highly rejoicing at their success, and he also exulting at so 
signal a triumph returned thanks to God. Bohemond, who 
had been wounded in the battle, was sent for his cure to the 
surgeons of Salerno, whose reputation for skill in medicine 
was established throughout the world. 1 

Meanwhile, the citizens of Durazzo, taking into account 
that the Normans had penetrated far into Bulgaria, and had 
detached by force of arms several provinces from the 
Byzantine empire, as well as that they were entirely cut 
off from receiving succours from the Thracians, Macedo- 
nians, and all their neighbours, began to lose their confi- 
dence, and consulted among themselves how they might 
best escape from their difficult position. At length, the 
most resolute among them determined on their course ; 
they secretly despatched a messenger to the duke, asking for 
peace, and faithfully promising to deliver up the defence of 
the city to his troops. The duke granted their demands, 
and detached three hundred soldiers to take possession of 
the place. The Normans arriving before it at night, were 
admitted within the walls, and having established themselves 
securely, peace was made between them and the citizens. 3 

Sichelgade, wife of Robert Guiscard, was daughter of 
Gaimard duke of Salerno, 3 and sister of Gisulf who was 
deprived of his duchy by the ambitious usurpation of his 
brother-in-law. 4 This princess conceived a violent hatred of 
Bohemond her step-son, apprehending that as he was much 
braver and superior in sense and worth, her son Roger would 
forfeit in his favour the duchy of Apulia and Calabria to 
which he was heir. In consequence, she prepared a deadly 
potion and sent it to the physicians of Salerno, among whom 
she had been brought up and by whom she had been 

being nearly beaten at the battle of Larissa, and was obliged to cross into 
Ittly in consequence of the mutiny of his troops. 

1 It was towards the close of the year 1084, after a naval victory over 
the Greeks and Venetians, that Bohemond was compelled to seek medical 
assistance in Italy. 

J Durazzo capitulated as early as February 18, 1082. 

3 Guimard IV., prince of Salerno, 1027 11)52. 

* Gisulf II., youngest son of Gaimard IV., 10521077. This prince 
appears to have retained the sovereigpty of Amain" as long as the veer 
108, and not to have died till 1092. 

A.D. 1084 1085.] BOHEMOND POISOITBD. 367 

instructed in the use of poisons. The physicians lent them- 
selves to the wishes of their lady and scholar, and gave the 
deadly poison to Bohemond whom it was their duty to heal. 
Having taken it, he was reduced to death's door, and 
instantly despatched a messenger to his father informing him 
of his danger. The shrewd duke became immediately aware 
of his wife's treachery, and calling her to him in great dis- 
tress thus interrogated her. " Is my lord Bohemond still 
alive?" To which she replied: "I know not, my lord." 
Upon which he said : " Bring me a copy of the holy gospels 
and a sword." On their being brought, he took the sword 
and swore as follows upon the sacred writings : " Listen to 
me, Sichelgade, I swear by this holy gospel that if mv son 
Bohemond dies of the malady under which he labours, 1 will 
plunge this sword into your bosom." Alarmed at this 
menace, she prepared a sure antidote and forthwith sent a 
messenger with it to the physicians at Salerno who had 
been her instruments for poisoning Bohemond, urging them 
with prayers and promises to extricate her from the peril to 
which she was exposed. The physicians learning that the 
treachery was detected and the embarrassment of their lady, 
prayed that the duke's terrible threats might not be put in 
execution, and used every effort which their skill in the art 
of medicine suggested to restore the young prince to health 
Through Gop's blessing, who designed him for the scourge 
of the Turks and Saracens, the enemies of the faith, Bohe- 
mond recovered ; but such had been the virulence of the 
poison that his countenance was pallid all the rest of hia 

Meanwhile, the treacherous and wily woman reflected 
within herself, in a state of great alarm, that if her messen- 
ger should meet with any delay in crossing the sea, and the 
sick prince should die before he arrived, there would be no 
escaping the death which her husband had sworn to inflict 
on her. She therefore devised another murderous and 
execrable scheme. Sad to say, she gave poison to her 
husband. And as soon as he began to sicken, having no 
doubt of the inevitable result, she assembled her attendants 
and the rest of the Lombards in the middle of the night, and 
hurrying to the sea shore embarked with her partisans in. 
the swiftest ships, burning the rest that she might not be 


pursued by the Normans. Having reached the coast of 
Apulia, one of the knights who attended her landed privately 
and hastening to Salerno by night suddenly appeared before 
Bohemond, saying : " Eise quickly and fly and save yourself." 
On his inquiring the reason, the bearer of the tidings replied : 
" Tour father has perished, and your mother has landed in 
Apulia. She is hurrying here to seek your death." Bohe- 
mond, on hearing this alarming intelligence, was greatly 
agitated, aud mounting an ass, clandestinely withdrew from 
the cityandfled to Jordan, prince of Capua, his cousin, 'by whom 
he was kindly received, and thus escaped from the machina- 
tions and threats of his stepmother. She was much mortified 
on arriving at Salerno, that she had been outwitted by the 
object of her persecutions. Her son Eoger, surnamed 
Crumena, secured the succession to the rich duchy of his 
ancestors lying on this side of the sea. 2 

The Normans who found themselves in a foreign country 
with their great and brave leader in the utmost peril from a 
woman's wiles were overwhelmed with anxieties. They felt 
also that the strength of their army was diminished by the 
defection of the Lombards who had secretly departed in 
attendance on their mistress, and that they could not return 
to Italy without great difficulty and delay, as their ships 
were burnt. The noble duke therefore summoned to his 
bide Robert count de Loritello, 3 and GreoiFrey de Conversana, 
his nephews, Hugh Le Borgne of Clermont,' 4 and William de 
G-rantmesnil, with Hugh the good marquis, 5 his brother-in- 
law, and others his kinsmen and chief counsellors, and 
inquired of them what they proposed to do. But as they 
all whispered together and were unable to propose any 
certain plan, he thus addressed them : " The divine vengeance 

1 Jordan, prince of Capua, April 5, 1 078 December 19 or 20, 1091 ; 
he was cousin-german of Bohemond by his mother Fredeline, sister of 
Robert Guiscard. 

2 The only truth in this paragraph is the death of Robert Guiscard, 
which took place July 17, 1085, in the island of Cephalonia (where Bohe- 
mond and Sichelgade went to receive his last breath), and the favouritism 
shown to Roger in the division of his territories. 

3 See vol. i. p. 453. 

* Hugh, the first of that name, count de Clermont in the Beauvoisis, 
was then living, but does not appear to be the person here spoken of. 
6 Odo, the good marquis, was father of the celebrated Tancred. 


scourges us for our sins, and punishes us for our ambition. 
The Lord justly chastises his servants and plainly teaches 
us that worldly glory is not to be coveted. Let us give him 
thanks for all the favours which he has vouchsafed to confer 
upon us, and implore him with our whole hearts that he will 
always show mercy to us. We were sprung from poor and 
obscure parents, and leaving the barren fields of the Cotentin 
and homes ill supplied with the means of existence, we set out 
for Rome, and it was not without great difficulty and much 
alarm that we passed beyond that place. Afterwards, by 
God's aid, we got possession of many great cities. But we 
ought to attribute our success not to our own valour or 
merits, but to divine Providence. Now at length, for the 
sins of the natives, we have wrested from the empire of 
Constantinople as much country as it has taken us fifteen 
days to penetrate. Tou know well, that I was invited to 
undertake the protection of the emperor Michael who was 
unjustly driven from his throne by his subjects, my daughter 
having been lawfully betrothed to his son. I had deter- 
mined, if it pleased God, that Constantinople, which is in. 
possession of an unwarlike people abandoned to pleasure and 
lasciviousness, should be subjugated to Catholic warriors, 
who would deliver Jerusalem, God's holy city, from the 
Turks, and expelling the infidels by their victorious arms 
enlarge the bounds of Christendom. It was for this purpose 
that I undertook so vast an enterprise, so perilous a conflict. 
The mysterious will of Almighty God has otherwise ordered. 
David formed the design of building the temple at Jerusalem 
to God's honour, biit God decreed that this should be accom- 
plished with great triumph by his son Solomon. So I con- 
ceive that my enterprise will be completed in future years, 
aud the fruit of my labours will one day appear, and they 
will be profitably cited to posterity as an incitement to the 
like virtues. Receive then, brave men, prudent counsel, and 
do not lose yoiir former courage which I have often proved 
in difficulties and dangers. I am but a single Avarrior,, and 
mortal, as others ; but ye are many, and by the goodness of 
God in the possession of many advantages. You have per- 
formed great actions which are published far and near; 
ancient history affords no examples of greater achievements 
wrought by a small number of obscure men, than those 



which, by God's help, you have accomplished. Choose 
amoug yourselves the bravest and wisest of your number, and 
appoint him your leader. Do not evacuate this rich country 
which you have made your own by such exertions and in so 
short a time. My son Bohemond, if life and health are spared 
him, will soon fly to your succour." 

The duke having said this and more to the same purpose, 
Peter, a Frenchman, and others his friends, after keenly 
canvassing the duke's proposals, thus replied; "There is 
much danger and great difficulty in the injunctions you lay 
on us. Our enemies are countless, while we are few in 
number, and we have opposed to us a powerful and saga- 
cious emperor, to whom at your instance we have often 
given grave offence. We are unable to resist his prowess 
and widespread power, for his rule extends over many 
kingdoms and nations. Would to God we could return in 
peace and safety to the homes from which we departed." 

The duke groaned deeply on hearing these sentiments, and 
began calling upon God, with tears, .and lamenting his son 
with bitter grief: "Alas! what sorrows surround me in my 
misfortunes ! In times past I have done much injury, and 
many of my actions have been unjust ; now the punishments 
which I deserved long since have accumulated upon me. 
Most High God, spare me ! merciful God, have pity upon me 
a sinner ! Almighty God, succour thy people whom I have 
led hither ! O my son Bohemond, the equal of Epaminondaa 
the Theban in valour and wisdom, where shall I find thee ? 
Bohemond, thou noble warrior, who may be compared in 
arms to the Thessalian Achilles or Eoland the Frank, do 
you yet live, or are you detained for your destruction ? What 
has happened to thee ? What has become of your proved 
courage,? If you were in health as I left you when I parted 
for Italy, you would quickly be here and take possession of 
this rich region of Bulgaria conquered by our arms. For 
I feel assured that, if you live, such is your resolution that if 
divine providence allowed you to be present at my death, 
you would by God's help never cede the rights I have gained 
by arms. Courage, my valiant comrades ! consider carefully 
among yourselves, and weigh well that you are far away 
from your own homes. Eecollect what great deeds the 
Normans have wrought, and how often our fathers have 


resisted the French, the Bretons, and the people of Maine, 
and bravely conquered them. Becall to your minds the 
great exploits you have performed, with me for your leader, in 
Italy and Sicily, when you reduced Salerno and Bari, 
Brundisium and Tarento, Bismano 1 and Reggio, Syracuse and 
Palermo, Cosenza and Castro- Giovanni, and many other 
cities and towns. By God's assistance, you subdued under my 
command Gisulf duke of Salerno, Waszo, count of Naples, 2 
and many other powerful princes. Strive therefore not to 
lower your position by the loss of your former magnanimity. 
Choose one of yourselves, as I said before, by mutual agree- 
ment, and retain with honour the fertile provinces which 
you have now gained." 

Of all those who were present at this council, no one dared 
to assume the command, all preferring to provide for their 
safety by flight. At length, in the year of our Lord 1085, 
Robert Guiscard, the illustrious duke of Apulia, a man 
whose equal can scarcely be found in our times, having con- 
fessed and been absolved from his sins, and fortified by 
receiving the holy communion, as the hour of death approach- 
ed, was taken from the world, not struck down by a warrior's 
arm, but infected by a woman's crime as at first Adam was 
driven out of paradise, not the victim of war but of poison. 
As soon as he was dead, the Normans preserved his body in 
salt, aud demanded permission to depart in peace to their own. 
country. Though the emperor rejoiced at being freed from 
his formidable enemy, yet he wept with much feeling over 
the deceased duke who had never turned back in battle. 3 

1 JJismanus, Bismantus, Bismantum, Bismantoa, a villnge and mountain 
in the Modenese, in the neighbourhood of Reggio, which our author 
transposes into Calabria, misled, probably, by both having a town with 
the common name of Reggio. Bismano is now called Pietra Bismantova, 
and is a mountain which bounds on the north-west the valley of the 
Secchia, between that river and the village of Castelnuovo ne' Monte, to 
the south-west of Curpineti, about eighteen miles from Reggio, and twenty- 
two from Modena. 

1 It is not known with certainty of whom our author speaks. Surgius VI. 
was prince of Naples when Richard, prince of Capua, made u fruitless 
siege of it in 1077 1078 ; but it does not appear that Robert Guiscard, 
who was then engaged in the siege of Beneventum, took any active part in 
that of Naples. 

1 The tears of Alexius Commenus, on hearing of the death of his most 
formidable enemy, do him honour. Durazzo was speedily restored to hia 
B B 2 


He therefore gave his willing consent to those who desired 
it, that all his household might return to Italy with the 
corpse of their prince, while he offered high pay to others 
who were willing to remain and enter his service. Thus those 
who had vigorously attacked the Byzantine monarch after- 
wards faithfully served him. The rest, returning to Apulia, 
carried the body of Gruiscard to Venosa, 1 and there buried it 
with great lamentations in the monastery of the Holy Trinity. 
That convent was presided over by the venerable abbot 
Berenger, the son of Arnold, the sou of Helgo; he had been 
brought up by the pious abbot Theodoric at St. Evroult, and 
abbot Robert had brought him in his company from thence 
to Calabria. 2 Pope Alexander 3 consecrated him abbot of tho 
monastery of Yenosa, and some years afterwards, for his 
virtuous life and sound doctrine he was promoted by pope 
Urban to the bishopric of that city. 

CH. VIII. Ode, bishop of Bayeux, takes measures for succeed- 
ing Hildebrand in the papacy fie is arrested by King 
William for abusing his authority, and imprisoned at 

WHILE the storms which we have just described were 
agitating the world, certain sorcerers at Rome applied their 
art to discover who would succeed Hildebrand in the 
papacy, 4 and found that after the death of Gregory, 5 a prelate 

dominion, either re-taken by the Venetians or by Bodin, king of Servia. A 
remnant of the Normans in 'the isle of Cephalonia entered his service, 
among whom was Peter d'Aulps, the founder of the powerful Byzantine 
house of the Petraliphos, and who is supposed to be one of the ancestors 
of the family of Blacas, of which there will be occasion to speak in the 
next book. 

1 Some disasters were experienced in fulfilling Robert Guiscard's direc- 
tions that his body should be interred at Venosa. The ship which was 
freighted with the corpse encountered a violent storm off Otranto, and the 
coffin was washed overboard. It was, indeed, recovered, but notwithstand- 
ing the rude embalmment mentioned by our author, the body was in such a 
state of decomposition that it was necessary to deposit the heart and 
entrails at Otranto. William of Malmesbury has preserved Robert Guis- 
card's epitaph. See his account of this celebrated Norman chief, b. iii. p. 
294 296. ttohn's Antiq. Lib. 

* See vol. i. p. 439. 

8 Alexander II., Sept. 30, 1061 April 21, 1073. 

* Urban II., March 12, 1088 July 29, 1099. 

* Gregory VII., April 22, 1073 May 25, 1085. The last words of 


of the name of Odo would be pope of Borne. "When 
Odo, bishop of Bayeux, who, under his brother King 
William, had the chief rule over the Normans and English, 
heard this, he made light of the authority and wealth which 
the government of a western kingdom conferred, and aspired 
to the papal power which would give him wider sway and 
raise him above all earthly princes. He therefore despatched 
his emissaries to Home, where he purchased a palace, and 
conciliating the senators by magnificent gifts, he ornamented 
his residence with lavish expense and costly superfluities. 
Attaching to his person Hugh, earl of Chester, and a goodly 
company of distinguished knights, he engaged them to attend 
him to Italy, by prodigal promises added to his entreaties. 
The Normans are ever given to change and desirous of 
visiting foreign lands, and they therefore readily joined 
themselves to the aspiring prelate whose ambition was not 
satisfied by the dominion of England and Normandy. In 
consequence they resolved on abandoning the vast estates 
which they possessed in the west of Europe, and pledged 
themselves to attend the bishop beyond the Po. 1 

this pope, pronounced at the point of death, are well known : " I have 
loved justice and hated iniquity ; therefore I die in exile." But the mag- 
nificent reply of one of the prelates who attended him is not so commonly 
known: " You, my lord, cannot die in exile, for as the vicar of Christ and 
his apostles, you have received the nations for your inheritance, and the 
utmost, parts of the earth for your possession." 

1 M. Le Prevost remarks that, notwithstanding the vanity and ambition 
of Odo were equal to his avarice, there is difficulty in believing that the 
bishop ever seriously contemplated obtaining the papacy, or even fixing his 
residence near a pontiff of such rigid morals and resolute character as 
Gregory VII., in the midst also of all the difficulties and dangers which 
arose out of the contest between the chief of the church and the emperor, 
seconded by the anti-pope Guibert, which was then at its highest pitch 
of violence. Our brother editor conjectures that Odo, ill-informed of the 
obstacles which these two personages raised to free communication with 
the legitimate pope, only proposed to exhibit his pomp at the council con- 
voked for the autumn of the following year. It is, however, scarcely to 
be supposed that the bishop of Bayeux would have taken the steps related 
by our author for a merely temporary purpose. History is not without an 
example of English wealth spent for a more chimerical purpose in the 
case of Richard's (earl of Cornwall) ambition for the empty title of king 
of the Romans. Wolsey, too, whose character in many respects was 
singularly identical with that of Odo, made pretensions to the papacy. On 
the whole we are led to conclude that the bishop's real intentions had 
transpired, and that our historian's statements are at least founded on 

374 ORDERICUS TITALIS. [B. Til. CH. Till. 

The wise king William speedily heard of these prepara- 
tions, but the scheme did not meet his approbation, for he 
considered that it was fraught with injury to his own king- 
dom as well as to others. He therefore lost no time in crossing 
the sea, and at the isle of Wight presented himself unexpect- 
edly to bishop Odo, when he was on the point of sailing for 
Normandy with a pompous retinue. Having assembled the 
great nobles of the realm in his royal court, the king thus 
addressed them : 

" Illustrious lords, listen attentively to what I shall say, 
and give me, I pray you, salutary counsel. Before I went 
over to Normandy, I entrusted the government of England 
to my brother the bishop of Bayeux. There were in 
Normandy many who revolted against my authority, and, if 
I may so say, both friends and foes set themselves against 
me. Even my own son Eobert, and the young nobles whom I 
had brought up and invested with the ensigns of knighthood 
rebelled against me, while some traitorous vassals and my 
border foes eagerly joined the ranks of the malcontents. But 
by God's help, whose servant I am, they failed of success, and 
got nothing from me but the sword which pierced them with 
wounds. By the terror of my arms I restrained the people of 
Anjou, who were leagued for war against me, and I also 
curbed the rebellious inhabitants of Maine. Thus occupied, 
I found myself embarrassed by affairs beyond sea, and was 
long detained labouring earnestly for the public good. 
Meanwhile, my brother grievously oppressed the English, 
robbing the churches of their lands and revenues, and 
stripping them of the ornaments with which our forefathers 
enriched them ; while he seduced my knights, whose duty it 
was to defend England against the Danes and Irish, and 
other enemies who threatened hostilities, ' and has made 
preparations, in contempt of me, for transporting them into 
foreign regions beyond the Alps. My heart is overwhelmed 
with grief, especially on account of the injury he has done to 
the churches of God. The Christian kings who reigned 
before me were devoted to the church, on which they heaped 

what he thought credible authority. The accurate Malmesbury says that 
Odo, " by stuffing the scrips of the pilgrims with letters and money, had 
nearly purchased the Roman papacy from the citizens." B. iii. p. 307, 
Bohn's Antiq. Lib. 


honours and gifts of every kind, and hence, as we believe, 
they now repose in the seats of bliss, rejoicing in their 
glorious rewards. Ethelbert, Edwin and St. Oswald, 
Ethelwulfa and Alfred, Edward the elder and Edgar, with 
Edward my cousin and most dear lord, richly endowed our 
holy church, which is the spouse of Christ. And now, my 
brother, to whom I entrusted the care of my entire kingdom, 
has laid violent hands on her substance, has cruelly oppressed 
the poor, has seduced my knights on frivolous pretences, and 
has spread disorder through the whole of England by his 
unjust exactions. Consider then prudently what is to be 
done, and let me know, 1 pray you, what you advise." 

All the council, however, being restrained by fear of the 
powerful prelate, and hesitating to make a decision against 
him, the stout-hearted king said: "A dangerous ambition 
must always be curbed, and an individual must not be 
spared, for favour or affection, to the public detriment. 
Let this man therefore who disturbs the state be arrested, 
and closely confined, that he may not do further mischief." 
No one however daring to lay hands on a bishop, the king 
was the first to seize him, upon which Odo cried out, " I am 
a clerk, and the Lord's minister ; it is not lawful to condemn 
a bishop without the judgment of the pope." To which the 
prudent king replied : " I do not condemn a clerk or a 
bishop, but I arrest an earl I have myself created, 1 and to 
whom, as my vicegerent, I entrusted the government of my 
realm, it being my will that he should render an account of 
the stewardship I have committed to him." 

In this manner the royal authority was exerted to arrest 
the bishop, who was conducted to Normandy, and being 
imprisoned in the castle of Rouen, was kept there in close 
custody four years, that is, as long as the king lived. 2 The 
chief disturber of the peace being thus laid low, the knights 
returned to their duty, and, by the king's wisdom, his throne 
was fortified against all attacks from within or without. 

In this prelate we see clearly exemplified what Fulgentius 

1 William had created his brother earl of Kent. 

1 The Saxon Chronicle, followed by Roger de Hoveden and others, 
places the arrest of Bishop Odo in the year 1082 (in the autumn), 
consequently his captivity must have continued for five, or nearly five, 
years. _ 


says, in his book on Mythology: 1 "The man who makes 
pretensions to which he is not entitled, will sink lower than 
he is." The bishopric of Bayeux, and the rich earldom of 
Kent, and the exercise of royal power in common with his 
own through England and Normandy, was not enough for 
one clerk, who aspired to the government of the whole 
world, moved neither by Divine inspiration nor a canonical 
election, but by the impulses of his own insatiable ambition. 
He lost therefore what he already possessed, was left to pine 
in captivity, and has left a warning to posterity not to be too 
eager in the pursuit of honours. 

CH. IX. Death of Queen Matilda Her epitapli She is 
buried in the abbey of the Holy Trinity, at Caen Succes- 
sion of the abbesses. 

AT this time, the seventh indiction, Matilda, queen of 
England, fell sick, and, her illness being prolonged and 
becoming serious, she confessed her sins with bitter tears, 
and having duly performed all the offices which the Christian 
profession requires, and been fortified by the life-giving 
sacrament, she died on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of 
November. 2 Her body was carried to the convent of the 
Holy Trinity, which she had founded at Caen for nuns, and 
interred with great respect by many bishops and abbots, 
between the choir and the altar. The monks and clergy 
celebrated her obsequies with a great concourse of the poor, 
to whom she had been a generous benefactress, in the name 
of Christ. A tomb was erected to her memory, admirably 
ornamented with gold and jewels, and the following epitaph 
was elegantly engraved on it in letters of gold : 

This stately momiment Matilda's name 

In gold and marble gives to endless fame. 

High was her birth, sprung from a royal race, 

To which her virtues lent a nobler grace. 

Her fair Adele to Flemish Baldwin bore, 

The crown of France whose sire and brother wore. 

1 Planciates Fulgentius, supposed to have been bishop of Carthage in 
the sixth century. His work on mythology in three books, addressed to a 
priest named Catus, has been printed at Augsburg in 1507, at Bale in 1543, 
and at Geneva in 1599. 

2 Queen Matilda died on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 1083. 


When conquering William made her England's queen, 
'Twas here her noblest, holiest work was seen, 
This fane, this house, where cloistered sisters dwell, 
And with their notes of praise the anthem swell, 
Endowed and beautified, her earnest care. 
Nor others failed her liberal alms to share; 
The sick, the indigent partook her store, 
She laid up wealth by giving to the poor. 
To heaven by pious deeds she won the way, 
Departing on November's second day. 1 

The Abbess Matilda carefully governed the convent at 
Caen, dedicated to the holy and undivided Trinity, for 
forty-seven years, ably educating and instructing in the 
service of God, according to the monastic rule, Cecilia, the 
king's daughter, and many other noble ladies. 1 On her 
death, she was succeeded by the illustrious Cecilia, who 
tilled the office of mother of the nuns for several years, in 
the time of her brother, King Henry. After her, the 
daughter of Count William, who was son of Stephen of 
Blois, undertook the government of the convent, but she 
held it only for a short time, being cut off by a premature 

Cn. X. Disturbances in Maine Protracted siege ty King 
William's troops of the castle of Sainte Suzanne. 

AFTEB the death of the glorious Queen Matilda, King 
William, who survived her almost four years, was deeply 
involved in severe troubles, which closed around him like 
stormy clouds. First, some of his subjects in Maine, a 
people of naturally unsettled temper, and ever ready to 

1 The slab of black marble on which this epitaph was engraved is still 
in existence. After the tomb was first demolished by the protestants in 
1562, and a second time by the revolutionists in 1793, when it was placed 
in a lateral chapel of the church of St. Stephen, it was brought back to 
the choir of the convent of nuns, and a third tomb was erected for the 
royal foundress by the care of M. le Comte de Montlivault in 1819. The 
original epitaph which it bears, presents very few changes in orthography 
from the copy our author gives of it. 

3 The administration of the Abbess Matilda appenrs, by an authentic 
document, to have lasted fifty-four years, and not forty -seven only, as our 
author states. She died July 6, 1120, and the princess Cecilia, who 
succeeded her, July 13, 1127. Isabelle, or Elizabeth, whose government 
lasted only one year, was the eldest daughter of Stephen, count de Blois, 
and consequently great niece of Cecilia. 


disturb the peace of others, and disquiet themselves by their 
love of change, flew to arms against the king, and occasioned 
great expenditure and damage in their own state, as well 
as to many others. Hubert, the viscount, son-in-law of 
William, Comte de Nevers, 1 gave umbrage to the king at 
first on some trivial occasions, but his delinquencies after- 
wards increasing, he retired from his castles of Beaumont 
and Fresnai, 2 and established himself, as a public enemy, 
with his wife and all his followers, at the castle of 3*. 
Suzanne. 3 The fortress in which he took refuge stands on 
a high rock above the river Erve, on the borders of Maine 
and Anjou. He assembled there a band of soldiers, and 
lost no time in inflicting loss on the Normans, who were 
employed in guarding the country of Maine, and keeping 
them in constant alarm. The viscount was a man of 
illustrious lineage, distinguished for his talent and conduct, 
and full of courage and enterprising boldness, qualities 
which established his reputation far and wide. The 
garrisons of the city of Mans, and the neighbouring castles, 
were kept in constant alarm by Hubert's incursions, in 
consequence of which they laid their complaints before King 
William, and implored his aid. 

Upon this the king assembled troops in Normandy 
without delay, and, summoning such of the people of Maine 
as were friendly to him, entered the enemy's country with a 
powerful force. He did not however venture to lay siege to 
the castle of S te . Suzanne, it being rendered impregnable by 
its position on rocks, and the dense thickets of vineyards 
which surrounded it, nor could he closely confine the enemy 
within the fortress as he desired, as he was strong enough to 
command supplies, and was master of the communications. 
The king therefore constructed a fortified camp in the 
Valley of Bonjen, 4 and placed in it a strong body of troops to 

1 Hubert de St. Suzanne, viscount of Maine, married, Dec. 6, 1067, 
Ermengarde, daughter of William I., count de Nevers. 

2 Beaumonte-le-Vicomte, and Fresnai-sur-Sarte. 

8 St. Suzanne, on the river Erve, in the arrondissement of Laval. This 
place consisted of a castle with a detached keep, and a walled town about 
1000 feet in circumference. 

* The remains of this fortification may still be traced. It was divided 
into tvro enclosures separated by a ditch, each being about eighty feet long 

A.D. 1083 1085.] SIEGE OF SAIKTE SUZAlTCfE. 37D 

check the enemy's incursions, being obliged to return into 
Normandy himself on weighty affairs. The royal troops, 
under the command of Alan-the-Red, count of Brittany, 1 
made a brilliant display of wealth, feasting, and military 
array, but the garrison of the castle was superior in valour 
and numbers. For knights of established fame hastened to 
Hubert's standard from Aquitain, Burgundy, and other 
provinces of France, anxious tor an opportunity of rendering 
him earnest aid and displaying their own intrepidity. 
Hence it happened that the castle of S te . Suzanne waa 
supplied at the expense of those who were encamped at 
Bonjen, and their means of resistance were continually 
increased. Many wealthy nobles of Normandy and 
England were taken prisoners, and their ransoms honour- 
ably enriched the viscount, and Robert of Burgundy, whose 
niece he had married, with his other comrades. In this 
manner Hubert resisted the Normans for three years, and, 
growing rich by his enemies' wealth, foiled all their assaults. 
In this war, Eobert de Vieux-Pont, Robert d'Ussi, and other 
gallant Norman knights were slain. On the fourteenth of 
the calends of December [18th November], while the 
Norman troops were on the march to attack the enemy, a 
beardless youth, concealed in the bushes by the road-side, 
nhot an arrow, which mortally wounded Richer de Laigle, son 
of Engenulf, 3 piercing his eye. His followers rode up, 
burning with rage, and, seizing the youth, would have 
avenged the noble Richer by putting him to death on the 
spot, but the dying baron saved his life. For when they 
were on the point of cutting the youth's throat, the 
wounded man with a violent effort cried out : " Spare 
him, for the love of God ; it is for my sins that I am 
called thus to die." His assassin being dismissed, the 
lamented lord confessed his sins to his companions in arms, 
and expired before they could convey him to the city. The 
corpse waa borne to the convent of monks which his father 

by forty wide. The walls appear to have been about six feet high, and the 
trenches four feet bro:id. 

1 Alan the Red, earl of Richmond in England, was fourth son of Eudes, 
count de Panthievre. 

* Richer de Laigle, second ion of Engenulf, who waa killed at the battle 
of Hastings. 


Richer had founded on his domains in honour of St. 
Sulpitius, bishop of Bourges; 1 and he was buried there, 
with great lamentations of his kinsfolk and connexions, by 
Gilbert, the venerable bishop of Evreux. 

This lord was deservedly regretted by his acquaintance 
for the many virtues with which he was endowed. In 
person he was strong, handsome, and active; a faithful 
observer of the divine law, courteous and humble with men 
of religion, prudent and eloquent in worldly affairs, and 
gentle and liberal in all his conduct. He married Judith, 
daughter of Richard of Avranches, 2 surnamed G-oz, and 
sister of Hugh^ earl of Chester, by whom he had Gilbert 
de Laigle, Engenulf, Matilda, and several other sons and 
daughters. They all died except Gilbert, who became the 
heir to his father's virtues, estates, and honours. He married 
Juliana, daughter of Geoffrey, the brave count de Mortagne, 
who bore him Richer, Engenulf, Geoffrey, and Albert ; the 
second and third of whom perished by shipwreck with 
William the Etheling, 3 King Henry's son, and many other 
nobles, on the eighth of the calends [25th] of November. 4 
His sister Matilda, 5 married Robert de Mowbray, the 
powerful earl of Northumberland,* who rebelled the same 
year against William Ruf'us, king of England. But, being 
taken prisoner shortly afterwards, he was detained in cap- 
tivity for nearly thirty-four years by that king and his 
brother Henry, living to an advanced age without having 
any children. I now return to the events from which I 
have somewhat digressed. 

In the month of January, William de Warrene, Baudri 
de Guitri, son of Nicholas, and Gilbert de Laigle, who 
sought to avenge the death of his brother Richer, made a 
desperate assault on the garrison of S". Suzanne, with a 
strong band of Normans, but they gained nothing but the 
steel in their wounds. In this attack William, count 

1 St. Sulpice-sur-Risle, near Laigle. 

* On thib family of Avranches, see before, p. 47. 

* Our author gives King Henry's son the title generally appropriated to 
the heir apparent to the crown in the Anglo-Saxon times. 

* In the shipwreck of the Blanche-Nef. 

' Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, was nephew of Geoffrey, 
bishop of Coutancfs. 
6 Richer 'b younger brother. 

A.D. 1083 1085.] SIEGE OF SAINTE SUZANNE. 381 

d'Evreux, 1 was made prisoner, and Matthew de Vitot, 2 son of 
Godfrey the Little, mortally wounded. Being carried to 
his quarters by his sorrowing squires and comrades, a priest 
was sent forth, and having confessed his sins and received 
the comfort of the holy viaticum, he was then prepared for 
the approach of death. 

The Normans who held the entrenched camp in the 
valley of Bonjen, having suffered serious losses, and had 
their numbers thinned by the swords of the bravest knights, 
were apprehensive of still greater discomfiture. Finding 
that they were no match for Hubert, either by their valour 
or good fortune, they changed their plan, and tried to bring 
him to an agreement with the king. The viscount, although 
in the present contest he had greatly advanced his power 
and wealth, was so sensible of the value of peace and 
security, that he prudently fell in with the plans of the 
mediators. No time was lost in despatching envoys to the 
king, who was now in England ; and William, finding that 
Kerrey the Breton, whom he had appointed to the command 
of the troops, 3 with Richer and other brave knights, had 
fallen in battle, and that his adversary, in the enjoyment of 
his good fortune, found his position become daily stronger, 
was careful not to make matters worse by an obstinate per- 
sistance in hostilities. He, therefore, prudently pardoned 
the viscount for all his past offences, and having granted 
him a safe conduct, Hubert crossed the sea, and, coming to 
court on terms of amity, was honourably restored to all hia 
father's rights. The people of Normandy and Maine, who 
had deeply suffered for four years * in the prolonged conflict, 
made great rejoicings. 

1 William, count d'Evreux, Dec. 13, 1067 April 18, 1118. 

a Matthew de Vitot, near Neubourg. For this person and his uncle, 
see vol. i. pp. 449, 450. 

* He must have been second in command, under Alan the Red, earl of 
Brittany and Richmond. 

4 It is thought that Ordericus has greatly exaggerated the duration of the 
siege of the castle of S tc . Suzanne. While it is agreed on all hands that it 
commenced in the year 108C, it is considered impossible that it could have 
been prolonged beyond 1085, a period when the alarm of a Danish 
invasion induced the king to return to England with all the troops he 
could muster, even including the volunteers and stipendiaries he levied on 
the continent, as afterwards appears. The Saxon Chronicle, however, 
tells us that William disbanded part of these forces in the course of the 


Hubert continued faithful to the king during the remain- 
der of William's life, rejoicing in his independence, and 
happy in the possession of his domains, which at his death 
he bequeathed to his sons Ealph and Hubert. 

CH. XI. Threatened invasion of England by Canute, king 
of Denmark The armament dispersed Canute (St.) is 
murdered in a church at Odensee. 

AT this period King "William caused a record to be made of 
all the knights' fees in his realm of England, which were 
found to amount to sixty thousand ; ' and he commanded all 
who were subject to him by military tenure to be prepared 
for service in case of need; for at this time Canute the 
younger, king of Denmark, 2 was fitting out a powerful fleet, 
and making preparations for the invasion of England, to 
assert his claims in right of his ancestors Sweyn and 
Canute, who had formerly subjugated it. This king was 
distinguished for his piety to Grod, his great worldly power, 
and his many virtues. By his threats and preparations he 
occasioned much alarm to the Normans who were in posses- 
sion of England, but he was prevented by various circum- 
stances from carrying them into effect during the life 
of the Bastard king. In the reign, however, of William 
the younger, 3 a large fleet was fitted out, and being moored 

same year. As to his having returned to England, OUT author tells us that 
it was there the viscount came to terms with him. 

1 This is a reference to Domesday-book, the survey for which was 
commenced in 1080, and the record presented to William at Winchester, 
where it was deposited, at Easter, 1086. It is mentioned in nearly the 
same terms in b. iv. c. 7. See before, p. 51. 

3 Canute (St.) IV., king of Denmark in 1080, assassinated, Friday, 
July 10, 1086, canonized in 1101. The project of the invasion of 
England seems to have been suggested to this prince by Robert the 
Frisian, earl of Flanders, his father-in-law, and brother-in-law of William. 
Our author is mistaken in representing that the census taken of the tenant* 
of the crown subject to military service had reference to this threatened 
invasion. As just observed, the survey was commenced long before; and 
the precaution which William took consisted in drawing forces from the 
continent, who were quartered on the the convents and barons. When 
the alarm of invasion had blown over, part of these mercenary troops 
were dismissed, and the rest followed the king to Gloucester where he 
fpent Christmas (1085). 

* These occurrences did not take place in the reign of William Rufus 

A.D. 1086.] MABTYEDCm OF KING (ST.) CANUTE. 383 

to the shore, the crews were employed in embarking the 
troops destined for the invasion of England, for which the 
wind was then favourable. Meanwhile King Canute, 
desirous of learning the will of God, entered a church, and 
humbly kneeling before the altar, besought him with tears 
to direct his course according to his goodwill. His brother, 
coming to the church at this moment, and seeing the 
king unattended and prostrate before the altar, the thought 
struck him what vast difficulties and serious perils impended 
over thousands on account of one man, and what a sudden 
and decided change would be made if he were removed 
out of the way. Without reflection he drew his sword, 
and cutting off the head of the prostrate king, forthwith 
fled into exile. On receiving the melancholy intelligence, 
the army quickly dispersed, each one returning to his own 
affairs. 1 The elders of the nation raised to the throne 
Calomanoth, the lung's brother, the assassin being banished. 
The body of King Canute was honourably interred in the 
church, where many miracles were performed at his tomb. 
A great convent for monks was afterwards built, and the mo- 
nastic discipline there established, after the same order as 
that of Evesham in England.;, For from thence it waa 

as our author supposes, but more than a year before the Conqueror's 

1 Ordericus has given an entirely erroneous account of the circumstances 
connected with the tragic end of the Danish king. After the assemblage 
of the armament intended for the invasion of England in the gulf of Lym- 
tiord, in Finland, some delays occurred which created impatience among 
the troops, and they deputed the prince Olaf to remonstrate with the 
king his brother. Canute, however, was greatly irritated at this insubordi- 
nation, and suspecting Olaf of having fomented it, sent him prisoner 
under arrest to the earl of Flanders. The armament then dispersed, and 
Canute treated the malcontents with excessive rigour, and imposed a tax 
in the shape of tithes most odious to the Scandinavian nations. At last 
the people broke into open rebellion, and the king took refuge in Zealand. 
There a traitor named Black invited him to Odensee, representing that his 
presence would appease the people ; but he had scarcely entered the 
church of St. Alban, accompanied by his two brothers, Benedict and Eric, 
when Black introduced the conspirators. Canute was slain after a short 
resistance in which Benedict and some of the officers of his suite felL 
Olaf, whom he had shortly before invested with the duchy of Sleswig, and 
who was still in Flanders, succeeded him, and reigned till 1095. 

3 The monastery at Odensee wiis at first a priory attached to the abbey 
of Evesham in Worcestershire. It was dedicated'to St. Alban the proto- 


that the first monks sent missionaries among the Danes, 
and carefully instructed them in conventual rule to the 
admiration of the barbarous natives. This King Canute 
was held in deserved honour by the monks and others 
devoted to a religious life. For he was the first to correct 
the manners of his people, who were new converts and 
lived disorderly. He also founded metropolitan and epis- 
copal sees according to the canons, and introduced monks, 
who were before unknown to and disliked by the Danes, 
liberally providing them with fitting sites for their establish- 
ment in his kingdom. 1 

CH. XII. Legend of the translation of the relics of St. 
Nicholas, bishop and confessor, fror/i Myra, in Asia Minor, 
to Bari, in Italy. 

IN the year of our Lord 1087, the tenth indiction, on the 
nones [9th] of May, the body of St. Nicholas, archbishop 
and confessor, was translated from Myra to Bari. John, 
archdeacon of Bari, has eloquently related in what manner 
and by whom this translation was effected. 2 I propose to 
make some extracts from his narrative, and insert in my 
present work a short notice of this remarkable event, for 

martyr of England, whose relics by soine unaccountable means are said to 
have found their way to Denmark, and have been deposited in this church. 
One account says that they were carried off from the abbey at St. Albans 
in 914, at a time when the invaders were still (for the most part at least) 
heathens; another that they were purloined from Canterbury, and translated 
to Odensee in 1085, the monk Elnoth, the biographer of Canute, accom- 
panying them, and the transaction escaping the cognizance of King Wil- 
liam. They were deposited in a wooden church at first dedicated to the 
Virgin, but which speedily assumed the name of its new patron. 

1 The relics of St. Canute, which had been inclosed in a magnificent 
shrine after his canonization, were ejected from it at the era of the Re- 
formation, but were visited in the years 1582 and 1696, and again dis- 
covered, Jan. 24, 1833, in a cavity in the east wall of of the stone church 
which had been substituted for the wooden edifice just mentioned. 

3 It bears this title : " Translatio S. Nicolai episcopi ex Myra Lycia? 
urbe ad Apuliae oppidum Barium vel Barim, scripta ab Jchanne archi- 
diacono Barensi jubente Ursone Barensi et Canusino archiepiscopo, circa 
annum Domini 1088, apud Surium die nono Maii." There is another 
cotemporary account of this translation by Niccphorus, a monk of the 
convent of St. Benedict at Bari, published by Falconius in hia Ada 
primiyenia S. Nicolai, of which the substance is given by Father Beatillo 
of Bari, in his history of St. Nicholas. 


the information of students who have not seen the arch- 
deacon's book, if they condescend to cast an eye on what I 

In the time of the emperor Alexius, the Turks and other 
infidel nations vented their fury by making an irruption 
beyond their frontiers, and, by God's permission, devastated 
Lycia and other Christian countries, destroyed the churches 
for the sins of the faithful, profaned the crosses, and images, 
and sanctuaries of Christ, and gave to the flames a number 
of cities with their inhabitants. Their ravages continued 
for many years, and multitudes of Christians fell a sacrifice 
to their cruelty. 

During this time Myra, the capital of Lycia, 1 fell into the 
hands of the Turks, being evacuated by its own citizens, for 
the punishment of their sins. Meanwhile, some people of 
Bari, who were on their way to Antioch, in three ships, 2 
for the purpose of trade, approaching joyfully to the huts 
which some of the Myrians occupied, sent forward a certain 
pilgrim to the church of St. Nicholas, which stands in the 
town, 3 to make observations. On his return he reported 
that a great number of Turks were assembled to perform 
the obsequies of the head man of the town, who then lav 
dead. On hearing this, the Barians forthwith set sail, and 
tumiug the prows of their vessels towards Antioch, having 
a favourable wind, they reached Myra 4 in the course of a few 

1 This conquest of Lycia by Solyman must have occurred at the time 
when he overran Caramania, that is, in 1084 and 1085. It appears that 
Myra was not taken till 1086. 

3 Sixty persons were embarked in the three ships, viz. forty-seven 
inhabitants of Bari (among whom were two priests and a clerk, the others 
being merchants and armed mariners), a pilgrim, and twelve foreign 
passengers. The ships were on their voyage to Antioch with cargoes of 
wheat, lor which they were to receive in return the products of the East 
for the merchants of Bari. On the voyage they fell in with eleven other 
vessels engaged in the same trade, whose crews, like their own, had resolved 
on carrying off the relics of St. Nicholas. 

3 This church, which is now deserted and used only as a burying place, 
with the adjoining convent inhabited by a few caloyers, are all that remains 
of the town of the middle ages. Plans and drawings of them are given in 
the Atlas of M. Charles Texier's Travels. The caloyers pretend that they 
are in possession of the remains of their patron saint. 

* This reading should clearly be Antioch. Having found there the 
Venetian ship, the Barians, as soon as they discovered the intentions of the 
crew, hurried their own departure in order to reach Myra before them. 


days. Finding there a ship from Venice, the crews began, 
as people are wont, to inquire of each other for news. It 
happened that among the men from Bari, there were some 
friends and acquaintances of the Venetians, and they began 
talking together about the body of the saint. The Venetians 
made no reserve in disclosing their intentions, acknow- 
ledging that they were furnished with iron crowbars and 
hammers ; and they hastened to take their dinner in order 
that there might be no delay in carrying their purpose into 
execution. The Barians, on learning this, were the more 
resolved to engage in and complete the enterprise which 
they likewise had determined on, not so much for their own 
glory and honour, nor for the advantage of their country, 
as for the love they bore to so eminent a confessor. They 
therefore hastened to complete the business which had drawn 
them to Antioch, and then, under God's guidance, set sail 
on their return. But when they drew near the coast of 
Myra with a favourable wind, their zeal flagged and they 
would have sailed onward, had it not changed to the north 
and become contrary by Grod's providence. 1 The south wind 
failing, the mariners of Bari were forced to come to anchor. 
Learning from thence the Divine will, they immediately 
seized their arms, and leaving a small party to guard the 
ships in their absence, the rest, 2 being well armed, and using 
the same precautions as if they had to encounter an enemy, 
proceeded in a body to the church, which stood about three 
miles from the shore. At length they reached the enclosure 
surrounding the church, and, laying down their arms, entered 
the sacred building with deep humility, and began to 
address their prayers to the holy bishop. Having finished 
their devotions, they demanded of the sacristan where the 
body of St. Nicholas was deposited. 3 Accordingly he 
pointed out the spot, and drawing out a portion of the 

1 The wind being, at first, favourable for their homeward voyage to 
Bari, they were unwilling to lose the opportunity of prosecuting it, but 
changing to the north, it drove them to the coast of Myra, and they were 
induced to resume their original design. 

* To the number of forty-seven, it may be supposed all the crew who 
belonged to Bari. 

3 It appears that the convent stood apart, but not far distant, from the 
houses; un pezzetto, ae the Italian author says. Therj were four monks, 
not three, ns Ordericus states. 


holy liquor, gave it to them. Thereupon, Lupus, a priest of 
Bari, received the holy unguent in a glass bottle, and 
deposited it on a high shelf for its safe preservation ; but it 
chanced that while they were conversing, the bottle fell on 
the marble pavement, but was not broken, remaining unin- 
jured, to the wonder of all present. Meanwhile, the 
Barians began to confer with three monks who remained 
there to guard the relics, trying to seduce them from their 
duty : " We wish," they said, " to bear off this holy body, 
and transport it to our own country. "We are come here in 
three ships, commissioned by the pope of Borne to effect 
this. If you will consent to our doing it, we will give you 
a hundred pieces of gold from each ship." 

On hearing this the monks were struck with surprise and 
alarm, and replied : " How shall we dare to engage in an 
enterprise which no human being has yet attempted with 
impunity ? Who is there so audacious as to venture to be 
either the buyer or seller in such a traffic ? What is there so 
precious and so admirable as to be put in comparison with 
so vast a treasure ? l If the rulers of the earth have never 
attempted such an enterprise rashly, however they may 
have urged it with prayer and supplications, how can you 
succeed ? Relinquish the further prosecution of this 
impious design, for it is ddious to the Divine Majesty. 
But you may make the trial; behold the place!" They 
said this, believing that it was impossible for the Barians to 
effect their purpose ; for it was nearly two hundred Olym- 
piads since the death of St. Nicholas, 2 who is said to have 
departed during the Nicene council held under Pope Sil- 
vester and the emperor Constantiue, and hitherto no person 
had been able either to purloin by stealth, or obtain by 
open violence or by prayers to the Lord, any portion of his 
relics. The men of Bari now began to be alarmed, for they 1 
were in a strange place, they were few among many, the 

1 Our author's nurrative abounds with accounts not only of the extreme 
value attached to the relics of saints in the middle ages, but of the unscru- 
pulous means constantly resorted to for obtaining possession of things 
esteemed so holy. 

* The exact date of the death of St. Nicholas cannot be ascertained. 
Since the council of Nice, there had now been one hundred and ninety 
Olympiads and a half, which, consisting each of four years, makes 762 

c c 2 


sun was near setting, and their return to the ships was 
attended with danger. But, divinely supported, they first 
seized the monks and kept them closely guarded, and also 
.sent out videttes with great caution, to observe all who 
might approach the spot, while they stationed themselves in 
arms at regular distances to guard the avenues. Thus, forty- 
four 1 young men, full of courage, were ready to make a 
determined resistance without, while two priests, Lupus 
and Grimoald, with a few others, were doing what was 
necessary in the church, and began the prayers called lita- 
nies; but they were in such a state of alarm that their 
voices faltered in the service they had commenced. 

Meanwhile Matthew, one of the mariners, 2 manfully 
seized an iron mallet, and striking violently the marble 
pavement, shattered it, and discovered masonry under it, 
which being broken up and thrown out, the face of a 
marble urn quickly appeared. This discovery filled them 
with joy and inspired them with ardour to dig still deeper, 
so that, having rent asunder and reduced to fragments the 
joints of the ancient masonry with a small pickaxe, they threw 
out the rubbish in great haste. When this had been cleared 
out and the urn 3 was uncovered, one side of it being broken 
an exquisite odour exuded which intoxicated "all who were 
present with its delicious fragrance. The young man then 
inserting his hand only at first, the urn, which was of consider- 
able size, appeared to be full of liquor as iar as the middle. 
He then thrust in his right arm, and, feeling the invaluable 
treasure which it was the object of his most ardent wishes 
to secure, began fearlessly to extract it without loss of time. 
At last in searching for the head, he plunged bodily into 
the full urn, and groping about with his hands and feet 
while endeavouring to find it, he came out with his whole 
person and his garments dripping with the sacred liquid. 

1 The whole number of the armed crew mustered only forty-seven, and 
from these must be deducted the two priests and the clerk, with the " few 
others " who entered the church with them, BO that forty-four is too high a 
figure for the guard left without. , 

- In the original legend this Matthew is described as a very young man, 
and is said to have drawn his sword and threatened to kill the monks if 
thev did not comply with the demands of his comrades. 

8 Pila. It is afterwards called an urn. It appears to have been a sarco- 
phagus of white marble. 


This took place on the twelfth of the calends of May 
[April 20th], 1 nearly eight hundred years after the death of 
St. Nicholas. 

And now, as they were not prepared with any receptacle 
for the relios, so sudden and unexpected was their success, 
the Barians wrapped them as well as they could in the 
vestment of Lupus, 2 and followed him in procession as he 
carried the holy burden. Thus they hastened to the sea- 
side, giving thanks to God for the inestimable prize which 
they had snatched, not from an enemy's hands, but from 
the treasury of the Lord. Some of them also carried away 
the fragments of the broken urn, from which many altars 
and tables were consecrated by the bishops in several parts 
of Italy. "When they reached the port, a contention arose 
among the sailors as to which of the ships should bear the 
precious freight, for all were desirous of securing the com- 
panionship of so powerful a patron. At last it was settled, 
with general concurrence, that Matthew's ship should carry 
the treasure, he first taking a solemn oath that he would 
faithfully keep company with the rest ; which was the case. 

Upon this, they embarked full of joy, and wrapping the 
relics in an additional covering of new white cloth, they 
enclosed them in a wooden vessel, such as sailors use for a 
wine-cask. 3 It is needless to describe the grief of the people 
of Myra for the loss they had sustained, when they w-ere 
informed of what had happened. As soon as the report 
reached their ears in the town, which stands on a hill not 
more than a mile from the church,* they nocked together in 

1 April 20, 1087. 

* The relios were wrapped in a white vestment belonging to Grimoald, 
not Lupus; probably his alb or surplice. According to the narrative of 
Nicephorus, the sailors attempted to carry off a picture of the saint which 
stood upon the altar, but were unable to detach it. The white vestment 
with which the relics were covered during the voyage was afterwards 
partod among several cathedral churches in Italy, as well as all the frag- 
ments of the lid 6f the sarcophagus on which the party could lay their 

3 Beatillo calls it " una piccola botta a portar acqua." 

* This does not agree with the previous statement, that the church was 
in the town or its suburbs ; but in that case it would have been hardly 
possible that such an outrage could have been committed without the 
inhabitants being alarmed, and running to rescue the relics of their patron 
from the violence ottered to them. 


crowds, and hastened to the shore full of rage and grief, 
tearing their hair and beards, and, wailing for the loss 
of their pastor and patron, joined with one accord in a 
mournful chant : 

>Vh wretched day ! Ah foul disgrace ! 

Ah sad dishonour to our race ! 

The gift of God, the glorious prize, 

Has vanished from our longing eyes. 

Not lost upon the battle-field, 

By thronging numbers forced to yield, 

But ravished by a skulking crew, 

(Alas ! the deed was done by few). 

We wail our country's treasure gone, 

Too easily by pirates won. 

Where now our Lycia's proudest boast, 

Her fame renowned o'er every coast, 

The strength her sainted patron gave, 

The glory shed around his grave ? 

Mourn, Myrians, mourn, this day of gloom, 

The offerings lost, the rifled tomb ! 

O FATHER NICHOLAS, hast thou left 

Thy country and thy home bereft 

Of the, fond care and sheltering aid 

Thou gav'st her, for her homage paid, 

When raging foes around her prest, 

And storms of trouble her distrest. 

For this, thy home, thy native soil, 

Beheld thee through life's lengthened coil, 

In youth, in age, her fortunes share ; 

She thy beloved, thy flock, thy care, 

Hanging upon thy every word. 

And thou her pastor, patron, lord. 

Here pilgrims flocked from every shore 

Thy intercession to implore ; 

Before thy tomb their offerings laid, 

And sought in faith thy healing aid. 

But when the sad report is spread, 

Of rifled shrine and spirit fle.i, 

Who then our hallowed courts will throng, 

With votive gifts, and prayer, and song ? 

The wonders wrought, the ancient glory, 

Will only fill the page of story. 

And now, O shepherd, who shall keep 

From ravening wolves thy faithful sheep ? 

Deprived of thee, our guardian, guide, 

Our hope, our comfort, and our pride, 

Where shall we turn to find relief 

From shame and suffering, fear and grief ! 


VVoe to the base marauding band, 
Who dared with sacrilegious hand 
To violate the sacred soil, 
And bear away the holy spoil ! 
Alas ! alas ! a glorious prize 
Rewarded their bold enterprise ; 
But we, forlorn and desolate, 
Are left to mourn our hapless fate. 1 

While the Myrians, unable to avenge their grief, were 
giving utterance to it in loud lamentations, the exulting 
Barians quickly unmoored, and setting sail reached the 
island of Cacabus 2 the same night, from whence they con- 
tinued their course to the Magestran islands. 3 Here the 
crew took to their oars in urgent haste, and reaching the 
shores of Makry, 4 were detained there three days by contrary 
north winds. This caused them great uneasiness, and they 
began to doubt their really having on board the relics of St. 
Nicholas, or whether it was the saint's pleasure to be 
transported further by them. Then one of them, whose 
name was Eustace,* had his doubts removed by a dream, but 
was terrified by seeing in the vision his tongue bloody with 
the bites of leeches. 

In consequence all the crews, with general consent, 
brought into the common stock the minute fragments of the 

1 The pains bestowed in illustration of our author's account of the 
translation of the relics of St. Nicholas may appear misspent But it 
must be recollected how characteristic it is of the feelings and habits of 
the middle ages; and that, considering it only as a religious romance, 
the popular literature of those times was, as 11. Guizot remarks in his 
Histoire de la Civilisation, principally composed of such legends. The 
present narrative, however, has an intrinsic value from the vividness with 
which the details of a bold enterprise are presented to the reader. 

* The isle of Kakava, the Dolichistos of the ancients, not far from 
Myra, to the south-west. 

3 Probably the island of Megista, to the west of Kakava, with the 
numerous islets surrounding it. This island, which was also named 
Cisthenes, is now called Castelorizo or Cailelrosso. The ships of Bari 
ought anchorage there, the island of Kakava not offering it. From thence 
they made Patara, the country of St. Nicholas, " come se avesse voluto 
egli," says Father Beatillo, " prima di Venire in Italia, visitar la sua partria, 
e prenderne, come si dice, grata licenza." Patara is near the mouth of 
the Xanthus, to the W.N.W. of Castelorizo. 

* The Gulf of Makry (the Glaucus Sinus of the ancients), to the 
N.N.W., is very near Patara. Makry is the Tetmistus of the ancients. 

* Stafio (Eustace) Stanuaria, of a distinguished family in Ban. 


relics they had individually purloined, making solemn 
asseverations that they retained no portion of what they 
had thus appropriated. Eomoald produced two teeth and 
some small bones which he had concealed, and in like 
manner all the rest surrendered the various particles they 
had secretly taken, that they might be re-united with the 
other parts of the saint's remains. After this, the adven- 
turers were favoured with a fair wind, and while their keels 
were ploughing the wide sea, St. Nicholas appeared in a 
dream to one of the sailors, Disigio by name, and gave him 
the encouraging promise that they should enter the port of 
Bari on the twentieth day after that on which they had 
borne off his relics. The report of this vision to his ship- 
mates filled them with entire confidence. 

A little bird also was suddenly seen by the -sailors flitting 
about the ship, and inspired them with hope by its repeated 
visits. 1 They were also frequently sensible of a most fragrant 
odour, and encouraged by other delightful indications of 
the saint's presence, so that as they drew near to the shores 
of their own country their spirits were raised to a high pitch 
of joy and exultation. 

At length piloted by the providence of God, the mariners 
moored their vessels in the port of St. George, distant some 
five miles from the walls of Bari. 2 Announcing their 
arrival to the clergy and people of the place, the unexpected 
news threw the whole city into a tumult of delight, and the 
entire population of every age and both sexes flocked to the 
port. Meanwhile the mariners had entrusted the coffer 5 

1 The sailors considered this bird an apparition of St. Nicholas. 

* The port of St. George, about four miles to the E.S.E. of Bari, 
affords now only anchorage to vessels of small burden. It is the nearest 
place of anchorage, after Bari, in this direction. We need not be surprised 
at finding a place which is now only a roadstead, described as a port in the 
middle ages. It is the natural consequence of the deposits made by the 
sea, and the gradual increase of the land, on all this part of the coast. 
Porto San Giorgio must not be mistaken for another anchorage, called 
Torre di San Giorgio, on the same coast, two miles east of Monopoli. 
The three ships arrived in the port of St. George on the evening of Satur- 
day, the 8th of May. 

* During the voyage the relics were transferred from the cask which had 
served at first to hold them, into a wooden chest made expressly for that 
purpose, and the remains of which were preserved with great care to the 
cKse ol the seventeenth centuiy, probably to the present day. 


containing the relics to Elias, the devout abbot of the 
monastery of St. Benedict which stands near the harbour, 
and receiving with respect the sacred deposit, he and his 
monks placed it in their church on the ninth of the month 
of May and there carefully guarded it three days. 1 

At that time Urso, archbishop of Bari, 2 a pious prelate, 
acceptable to God, and the intimate acquaintance and friend 
of the Italian princes, was absent from his see. A ship 
had been equipped and was ready for sea at Irani, 3 and the 
archbishop had determined to embark on the morrow with 
the intention of undertaking a voyage to offer his devotions 
at Jerusalen. He was, however, met at Trani by a 
messenger with letters from the citizens of Bari informing 
hirn of the intelligence which had filled them with joy. In 
consequence Urso deferred his pilgrimage without hesitation, 
and lost no time in returning to Bari, highly rejoicing. The 
body was then transported by the townsmen to that city, the 
solemnity of the translation being fixed for the seventh of 
the ides [the 9th] of May. It was carried at first to the 
palace of the Catapan, 4 and there deposited, with great 
reverence, at the request of the mariners and all the 
citizens in the church of St. Stephen the proto-martyr, 
which had been erected by the archbishop three years 
before. 5 

1 Here our author's narrative is very incomplete. The ships were 
moored in the port of Bari in the morning of Sunday, the 9tn of May, 
which was in the octave of the Ascension. Violent disputes then arose as 
to the disposal of the relics, which were terminated, for the present, by the 
offer of abbot Elias to take charge of them provisionally, and they were 
accordingly deposited in the church of St. Benedict, before the close of the 
same day, and rested there till the Thursday following. 

" Urso, archbishop of Bari and Canosa, June, 107U Feb. 14, 1089. 

8 Trani, an arrhiepiscopal city in the kingdom of Naples, on the" 
Adriatic, nine leagues to the north-west of Bari. 

* " Curia Catapana." Beatillo calls this residence Curia del Capitano, 
the palace of the Catapan, as the governor, who resided at Bari, in the last 
days of the Greek empire in Italy, was called. It stood on the sea-shore. 

* The archbishop, who arrived from Trani on the Sunday evening, was 
zealous in his endeavours to have the relics of St. Nicholas deposited in his 
cathedral; but the mariners and their friends, after a struggle which cost 
the lives of two youths, carried off their precious deposit about ten o'clock 
on Thursday morning by a private door, and lodged it in the palace of the 
Catapan. The oxen which drew the carriage, frightened by the tumult, 
turned out of the road, and made towards the sea. The spot on the shore 


The foundations of a church dedicated expressly to St. 
Nicholas were immediately laid, and the holy relics, with the 
offerings of the faithful, and the carrying on of the work 
were entrusted to the venerable abbot Elias, who was 
appointed overseer of the whole undertaking by general 
consent, with the approbation of the archbishop. Multitudes 
speedily flocked to the spot from all parts of Italy, and 
innumerable signs and miracles were daily wrought by the 
power of God. The very first day, while the holy relics 
were deposited, as it has been just related, in the church of 
St. Benedict, more than thirty sick persons of both sexes and 
every age were freed from various infirmities, and having 
recovered perfect health returned with hearts full of joy 
and uttering thanksgivings, to their own homes. As for 
the succeeding times, we shall not attempt to give a par- 
ticular account, or to reckon the numbers, of the demoniacs, 
the deaf, lame, dumb, and blind, with others suffering from 
a variety of disorders, who were effectually relieved and 
cured. In short, as we have before clearly intimated, the 
number is infinite and beyond our knowledge. 1 

John, archdeacon of Bari, of whom I have already spoken 

where they stopped was afterwards selected as the site of the high altar in 
the new church, and to commemorate this circumstance two oxen and a 
car of white marble were sculptured over the door. From this place the 
coffer was borne on the shoulders of priests to the palaqe, and placed in a 
church built three years before, and dedicated to St. Stephen. Here they 
were again entrusted to the care of abbot Elias, as well as the rich offerings 
which devotion and gratitude soon poured in from all quarters. 

1 The superintendence of the building a new church was also confided 
to abbot Elias, and he pushed forward the work with such activity, that as 
early as the 30th of September, 1089, Pope Urban II. was able to come and 
consecrate the lower church and altar, where the relics of St. Nicholas were 
deposited. Two days afterwards he ordained the pious abbot, who had 
been his fellow scholar in the monastery of La Cava, as archbishop of Bari. 
It was in this church that the same pope opened, on the 1st of October, 
1099, the celebrated council in which were discussed the controverted points 
between the Latin and Greek churches, and especially the procession of 
the Holy Ghost. The distinguished part which Anselm, the Norman 
archbishop of Canterbury, took in these weighty theological discussions, is 
well known. It appears that the zeal with which the building the upper 
church had been carried on was afterwards relaxed, for it was not until the 
22nd of June, 1199, a century afterwards, that by delegation of Pope 
Pascal II., it was consecrated by Conrad, bishop of Heldesheim and chan- 
cellor of the Aulic Council of the emperor Henry IV. 


and from whose book I have made this brief extract, 
enumerates distinctly twelve signal miracles. But it was 
not in his power, or that of any other writer, to hand down 
to posterity all the cures and other benefits which Almighty 
God has conferred in his mercy on his servants faithfully 
imploring it for the merits of the most holy bishop St. 
Nicholas from that time to the present. Afterwards, by 
God's permission, several churches obtained portions of the 
sacred relics of St. Nicholas, and not only Italians and 
Greeks, but other nations also give thanks to God for the 
precious deposit. One Christopher, a knight, who had 
assisted at the translation of the illustrious Nicholas, con- 
cealed one of the ribs in his sleeve, and not long afterwards 
falling sick retired to the monastery of Venosa, imploring 
the abbot Berenger to admit him as a monk. Having 
obtained his request, he presented the rib of St. Nicholas 
which he had in his possession to the abbey of the Holy 
Trinity, and was cured of his malady. 

CH. XIII. Some relics of St. Nicholas carried from Sari to 
Venosa Also, by William Pantoul, a Norman knight, to 

ABOUT the same time, Stephen, the chanter of the monas- 
tery which the elder Count Fulk erected to the honour of 
of St. Nicholas in the city of Angers, 1 went to Apulia, and 
by express permission of the lord Natalis, his abbot, 
divested himself of the monastic habit and lived as a clerk 
at Bari, where he established familiarity, and afterwards 
influence, with the sacristans of the church dedicated to the 
holy bishop. At length, watching hie opportunity, he 
secretly purloined an arm of St. Nicholas, which, set in 
silver, was kept outside the shrine, for the purpose of giving 
the benediction to the people.* He then attempted to 
withdraw into France, that he might enrich his own monas- 

1 This abbey had been founded by Fulk Nerra in 1020. 

2 The custom of removing an arm from the skeleton of a saint, to place 
it in a special reliquary, existed also in Normandy. The arm of St. 
Aubert at Mont St. Michael was not only used in giving the benediction, 
but also to sanction oaths taken upon it. The magnificent chartulary 
of this abbey contains many nets in which this formality is mentioned, 
and on some of its beautiful illuminations there are drawings of the 
reliquary so used. 


tery with the precious treasure. The people o "Bari, 
however, speedily discovering the loss they had sustained, 
despatched messengers to their neighbours, their friends and 
patrons, and had all the avenues on the road to France 
carefully guarded to prevent the thief s escape. Notwith- 
standing, Stephen reached Venosa safely, where he passed 
the winter in great alarm, trying to conceal himself; but while 
waiting for the spring to bring fair weather he fell sick, and 
his means of subsistence failing he was compelled to detach 
the silver from the holy relic and apply it for his support. 
Meanwhile the report that the arm of St. Nicholas was 
stolen by the French spread through the whole of Italy and 
Sicily, and the robbery becoming the subject of frequent 
conversation, and being much canvassed among the peo- 
ple, the silver covering was seen and recognized by some 
of the inhabitants of Venosa and servants of the convent. 
The tidings thus reached the ears of the monks, whereupon 
Erembert, an active brother, suddenly presented himself 
with the servants before the ex-monk, who was lying sick, 
and with great vehemence, demanded the arm of St. 
Nicholas as if it had been expressly committed to his charge. 
The sick, man, perceiving that he was detected, and not 
knowing where to turn in his emergency, all pale and 
trembling, produced the precious relic to the resolute monk, 
who joyfully seizing it, carried it to the abbey of the Holy 
Trinity, the monks and citizens returning thanks to God. 
To this day, St. Nicholas there miraculously succours in 
their several necessities those who faithfully implore his 
aid in virtue of the sacred relic. This Erembert, a Norman 
by birth, was before his conversion a brave soldier, and after- 
wards becoming a monk was a zealous member of his order. 
In these times a certain Norman knight, named William 
Pantoul, 1 betook himself to Apulia, and having a great 
respect for St. Nicholas, made diligent inquiries after his 
relics. By God's blessing on his endeavours he obtained 
from those who had translated the body one tooth and two 
fragments of the marble urn. William Pantoul was a 
gallant soldier, endowed with great talents, and well known 

1 A further accunt of William Pantoul, or Pantulf, will be found in 
book v. c. 16. It appears that he undertook this (his second) journey to 
Apulia after the death of King William. See btfore, pp. 208 21 1. 


among the nobles of England and Italy as one of the 
wisest and richest among his neighbours. Having obtained 
the tooth of so great a man, he returned to Normandy, and 
on an appointed day called together a number of persons at 
his own domain called Noron to receive the relics in a 
worthy manner. 

Accordingly, in the year of our Lord 1092, the tooth of 
the blessed confessor Nicholas, with other relics of the saints 
brought by William Pantulf from Apulia, was deposited 
with great reverence in the church of Noron erected in 
ancient times in honour of St. Peter. He invited Roger, 
abbot of St. Evroult and Ralph, who was at that time abbot 
of Seez but who afterwards became archbishop of Canterbury ,' 
to be present at the ceremony, and in the month of June 
they received the holy relics amid great devotion of the 
monks and rejoicings of the laity, carefully placing them in 
a silver coffer liberally provided by the before mentioned 
knight. The deposit so often spoken of became in frequent 
request by persons suffering from fevers and other maladies, 
whose devout prayers aided, by the merits of the good 
bishop Nicholas obtained what they desired in the recovery 
of their health. 

Soon afterwards, this knight laid the foundation of a new 
church, and having given twenty marks of silver for the 
work, completed a considerable part of the building. 
Unfortunately its progress was stopped by unfavourable 
events, and in consequence of the founder's death it was 
not finished. He died on the sixteenth of the calends of May 
[16th April], and his wife Lesceline on the eleventh of the 
calends of October [21st September] ; both were interred in 
the monk's cloister. Their sons Philip, Robert, Ivo, and 
Arnulph have not hitherto made any efforts to carry into 
execution their parent's designs in matters of religion. 2 

Having thus introduced a faithful account of the transla- 

1 For an account of Ralph d'Ecures, archbishop of Canterbury, see 
before, p. '2.51. 

a Nearly the same details are given in book v. c. 16. One of these 
personages, Robert Pantoul, figures among the robbers of the abbey of 
nuns at Caen after the death of King William, and the losses it sustained 
by his devastations are valued in the chartulary at six pounds of silver. 
From this conduct, it may be easily conceived that he was in no hurry to 
complete the religious establishments commenced by his parents. 


tion of the relics of St. Nicholas in this my work I devoutly 
implore him who worked so many miracles, that mindful of 
those who have had him in remembrance, his pity may be 
bestowed upon us while he continually intercedes with Grod 
on our behalf. Let us now return to the course of our 
history, from which I have somewhat digressed. 

CH. XIV. Disturbances on the banks of the Eure in the Vexin 
Account of the cession of that district by Henry I. oj 
France to Robert, duke of Normandy King William's 
expedition to recover it He burns the town of Mantes 
and falls mortally sick. 

[1087.] The old funds between the Normans and Trench 
being renewed, hostilities again burst forth, and the flames 
of war occasioned the most serious losses both to the clergy