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* 4 


My first volume was preliminary. I am now able to announce the 
exact extent and scheme of my book. My plan now extends to five 
volumes. The present volume takes in the first stage of the 
actual struggle between Normans and Englishmen, that is, the Reign 
of Eadward the Confessor. I begin with Eadward's election and I 
continue the narrative to his death. I take in also the early years of 
William in Normandy. In this period the struggle is not as yet a 
struggle of open warfare ; it is a political struggle within the Kingdom 
of England. Harold and William gradually come to be leaders and 
representatives of their several nations ; but they are not, during the 
time embraced in the present volume, brought into any actual hostile 
relation to one another. 

The third volume will, as far as England is concerned, be devoted 
to the single year 1066. But, along with the history of that great 
year, I shall have to trace the later years of William's Norman reign. 
The year itself is the time of actual warfare between England and 
Normandy under their respective sovereigns. It embraces the reign 
of Harold and the interregnum which followed his death. I shall, in 
this volume, describe the election of Harold, the campaigns of Stam- 
fordbridge and Hastings, and the formal completion of the Conquest 
by the acceptance and coronation of William as King of the English. 
Of this volume a considerable part is already written. * 

The fourth volume I shall devote to the reign of William in Eng- 
land. The Conquest, formally completed by his coronation, has now 
to be practically carried out throughout the land. The authority of 
William, already formally acknowledged, is gradually established over 
England ; local resistance is overcome ; the highest offices and the 
greatest landed estates throughout England are gradually transferred 
from natives to foreigners. Before William's death the work was 
thoroughly done, and the great Domesday Survey may be looked on 
as its record. The Conquest, in its immediate results, is now fully 

The second, third, and fourth volumes will therefore embrace the 
main narratives, the third being the centre of all. The fifth volume 
will answer to the first. It will be supplementary, as the first was 


preliminary. It will be devoted to the results of the Conquest, as the 
first was devoted to its causes. It will not be necessary to prolong 
the detailed history beyond the death of William the Conqueror, but 
it will be necessary to give a sketch of the history down to Edward 
the First in order to point out the stages by which the Norman 
settlers were gradually fused into the mass of the English nation. I 
shall also have to examine the permanent results of the Conquest on 
the government, language, and the general condition of England. 

I have again to give my best thanks for help of various kinds to 
several of the friends whom I spoke of in my first volume. To them 
I must now add Mr. DurTus Hardy and Mr. Edward Edwards. But, 
above all, I must again express my deep thanks to Professor Stubbs, 
not only for the benefit derived from his writings, but for his personal 
readiness to correct and to suggest on all points. Without his help, 
I may fairly say that this volume could not be what I trust it is. 


April 2ist y 1868. 



From the Election of Eadward to the Banishment 
of Godwine. 1042—1051. 


The struggle between Normans and Englishmen begins 
with the accession of Eadward .... 2 

Import of Eadward's Election ; resolve of the English 

people to have none but an English King . . 2 

Other possible candidates; Swegen Estrithson; Eadward 
the son of Eadmund ..... 2 

Eadward the one available representative of the old stock . 2 

§ 1. The Election and Coronation of Eadward. 1042 — 1043. 

Jane, I042 Popular Election of Eadward .... 3 

Delay of the Coronation ; its probable causes . . 3 
Eadward probably absent from England and unwilling to 

accept the Crown ..... 3 — 4 

Embassy % Eadward; negotiations between him and 

Godwine ...... 4 

Eadward accepts the Crown and returns to England; 

possibility of a Coronation at Canterbury . . 4 — 5 

Christmas? Witenagem6t of Gillingham ; opposition to Eadward's 

1042 — 1043 Election in the interest of Swegen Estrithson . . 5 

Eadward the only possible choice ; nature of his claims . . 6 — 8 

April 3, 1043 Eadward crowned at Winchester .... 8 

Exhortation of Archbishop Eadsige ; position of Eadward ; 

his relations to Godwine and the other great Earls . 8 — 9 
Presence of foreign ambassadors at the Coronation ; Ead- 
ward's foreign connexions ; his relations with Magnus of 

Denmark and with the French Princes . . . 9—1 2 
Gifts of the English nobles ; Godwine gives a ship to the 

King . . . . . • . 12 

% 2. Condition of England during the earfy years of Eadward. 

Character of Eadward ; his position as a Saint . . 12 — 13 




Eadward's memory acceptable to Englishmen and Normans 

alike ....... 13 — 14 

Eadward's personal character; purely monastic nature of 

his virtues; points of likeness to his father . . 14 — 15 

His love of hunting ; contrast with the humanity of An- 

selm ..... . 15 — 17 

Personal appearance and habits of Eadward . . 17 

His love of favourites; his fondness for foreigners; pro- 
motion of Normans to high office . . . 18 — 19 

The Norman Conquest begins under Eadward . . 19 

Relations between Eadward and Godwine ; Norman calum- 
nies against Godwine and his sons . . . 19 — 20 

Character of Godwine ; his relations to ecclesiastical bodies ; 

his over care for his own household . . . 20 — 2 1 

His good and strict government of his Earldom . . 21 — 22 

Godwine never reached the same power as Harold after- 
wards ....... 22 

Godwine's eloquence ; importance of speech at the time . 2 2 

1043 Godwine's family ; Swegen raised to an Earldom . . 22 — 23 

1045 ? Promotion of Beora and Harold .... 23 

Character of Harold ; his military genius . . . 23 — 24 

His civil virtues ; his singular forbearance ; his champion- 
ship of England against strangers . . . 24 — 25 

His foreign travels ; his patronage of Germans as opposed 

to Frenchmen . . . . . . 2&' 

Harold's personal character ; his alleged spoliation of mo- 
nasteries ; his friendship with Saint Wulfstan ; his foun- 
dation of Waltham ..... 26 — 27 

Frankness and openness of his personal demeanour; al- 
leged charges of rashness . . . . 27 

Story of Eadgyth Swanneshals . . . . 27 

Comparison between Harold and Constantine Palaiologos . 28 

Character of Swegen . . . . . 28 

Character of the Lady Eadgyth; her doubtful loyalty to 

England; her relations to her husband . . . 28 — 30 

Greatness of Godwine and his house . . 30 

The other Earldoms ; Mercia under Leofric ; Northumber- 
land under Siward ..... 30 — 3 2 

General condition of England ; tendency not to separation 

but to union; comparison with Frankish history . 32 

Nature of the Earldoms as affected by the Danish conquest ; 

special position of Northumberland .' . . 32 — 33 

The King's Writs ; light thrown by them on the condition 

ofFolkland ...... 33 — 34 

General powers of the Witan not lessened . 34 

1040 Affairs of Scotland ; reign and death of Duncan . . 34 — 35 

1040 — 1058 Reign of Macbeth ; his distribution of money at Rome . 35 — 36 

1039 — 1063 Affairs of Wales — reign of Gruffydd of North Wales . 36 

1039 His victory over Eadwine at Rhyd-y-groes . . 36 

1042 His wars in South Wales and victory at Aberteifi . . 36 

Eadward's relations with foreign powers; his connexion 

with Germany ...... 36 — 37 

His relations with the North ; claims of Maguus of Norway 

on the Crown of England . . . . 37 

The reign of Eadward comparatively peaceful . . 37 



§ 3. From the Coronation of Eadward to the Remission of the 

War-fax. 1043 — 1051. 

f 043 — 1 05 1 Character of the first nine years of Eadward . . 37 — 38 
Relations between Eadward and his mother; probable 

offence given by Emma .... 30" — 40 

November Witenagemot of Gloucester ; Eadward and the Earls despoil 

16, 1043 Emma of her treasure ..... 40 

1043 — 1046 Probable connexion of Emma with the partizans of Swegen ; 

banishments of Osbeorn, Osgod Clapa, Gunhild, and others 40 — 41 
April — Strgand appointed Bishop of the East-Angles and de- 

Nov. 1043 posed ....... 41 — 4a 

Importance of ecclesiastical appointments ; mode of ap- 
pointing Bishops ; increased connexion with Rome ; pre- 
valence of simony ..... 42 — 44 

1044 — 1050 Siward Abbot of Abingdon appointed Coadjutor to Arch- 
bishop Eadsige ; he retires to Abingdon and dies . 44 
July 25, 1044 Death of -ffilfweard, Bishop of London . . . 44 — 45 
August 10, Restoration of Stigand; Robert of Jumieges Bishop of 

1044 London ...... 45 

Baneful influence of Robert ; his calumnies against Godwine ; 

his connexion with the Norman Conquest . . 45 — 46 

Banishment of Gunhild ..... 46 
1044 — 1047 Condition of Northern Europe ; war between Swegen and 

Magnus ; conduct of Godescalc . . 47 
1044 — 1045 Magnus claims the English Crown; answer of Eadward; 

preparations against Magnus .... 47 — 48 
1030 — 1044 Early life and exploits of Harold Hardrada ; his escape from 

Stikkelstad ; he enters the Byzantine service . . 48 — 49 

1038 — 104O He commands the Warangians in Sicily ... 49 
His crusade or pilgrimage ; he escapes from Constantinople 

and joins Swegen in Sweden .... 50 — 5 1 

1045 Swegen and Harold attack Magnus and save England from 

invasion ...... 51 

January 23, Marriage of Eadward and Eadgyth ; promotions of Harold 

- 1045 and'Beorn . . . . . 5 1 

Death of Brihtwold, Bishop of the Wilsartas ; Hermann of 
Lotharingia succeeds ; policy of the promotion of Ger- 
man prelates ...... 5 1 — 53 

March 23,1046 Death of Bishop Lyfing; his career and character . . 53 — 54 

104(5 — 1072 Leofric succeeds him in Cornwall and Devonshire . . 54 
1050 He removes the see to Exeter, and subjects his Canons to 

the rule of Chrodegang .... 54 — 55 

1046 — 1062 Ealdred succeeds Lyfing at Worcester ; his character . 55 — 56 
GrufTydd ap Llywelyn reconciled with the King ; his joint 

expedition with Swegen against GrufTydd ap Rhydderch . 56 — 57 
Swegen's abduction of Eadgifu ; he throws up his Earldom 
and retires to Denmark; suppression of Leominster 

Abbey ....... 57 — 5^ 

Banishment of Osgod Clapa .... 58 

1047 Affairs of Scandinavia ; Harold joins Magnus and receives a 

share of the Kingdom of Norway . . . 58 — 59 
Swegen asks help from England ; his request is supported 
in the Witenagem6t by Godwine, but rejected on the 

motion of Leofric ' . • • ♦ 59 — 60 

vol. n. b 



1047 Magnus defeats Swegen ; occupies Denmark and dies sud- 

denly . ... . . . . 60 

1048 — 1 06 1 Harold succeeds in Norway; Swegen in Denmark; their 

long warfare ...... 60 

1048 Norwegian and Danish embassies to England; help again 

refused to Swegen ; peace concluded with Harold . 60 

1046 — 1047 Physical phenomena ..... 61 

Aug. 29, 1047 JElfwine, Bishop of Winchester, dies ; Stigand succeeds . 61 

1048 Ravages of Lothen and Yrling; the King and the Earls 

pursue the pirates, but they escape to Flanders . . 61 — 62 
Relations with Flanders ; their analogy with the relations 

with Normandy in 991 and 1000 . . 62 
Alliance with the Emperor Henry ; his nomination of Ger- 
man Popes ...... 62 — 63 

1048 — 1054 Pontificate of Leo the Ninth .... 63 

1047 Godfrey of Lotharingia and Baldwin of Flanders rebel 

against the Emperor ..... 63 

1049 Leo excommunicates Godfrey ; Godfrey submits, but Bald- 

win continues his ravages .... 63 

Denmark and England join the Emperor against Baldwin ; 
the English fleet watches the Channel; submission of 
Baldwin ...... 64 

Baldwin's submission lets loose the English exiles ; Osgod 
Clapa at sea ; Swegen the son of Godwine seeks recon- 
ciliation with Eadward ..... 64 — 65 

Harold and Beorn oppose his restoration; his outlawry is 

renewed ...... 65 

Beorn entrapped and slain by Swegen . . . 66 — 67 

Swegen declared Nithing by the army ; nature of the mili- 
tary Gem6t ...... 67 — 68 

Swegen escapes to Flanders and is received by Baldwin; 

universal indignation against him in England . . 68 — 69 

Midlent, 1050 Swegen restored to his Earldom by the intervention of 

Bishop Ealdred ...... 69—70 

1049 Various military operations ; movements of Osgod Clapa . 70—71 
July Ships from Ireland in the Bristol Channel joined by GrunVdd 

of South Wales . . . . . . 71 

July 29 Campaign of Bishop Ealdred ; his defeat by Gruffydd . 72 
1049 — io 5° Increasing connexion of England with the Continent ; Eng- 
lish attendance at synods ; synods at Rheim* and Mainz . 72 73 

1049 Deaths of Bishops and Abbots ; Siward dies and Eadsige 

resumes the primacy ; Eadnoth of Dorchester dies and is 
succeeded by Ulf the Norman .... 73 

Midlent, 1050 Witenagem6t of London ; reduction of the fleet ; Swegen 

inlawed ...... 

The King's vow of pilgrimage to Rome ; Bishops Ealdred 

and Hermann sent to obtain a dispensation . . 74 — 75 

Synods of Rome and Vercelli ; Lanfranc and Berengar ; Ulf 

confirmed in his Bishoprick ; pilgrimage of Macbeth ? . 75 — 76 
Oct. 29 Death of Archbishop Eadsige; the monks of Christ Church 
elect ^Elfric, who is supported by Godwine but re- 
jected by the King ..... 77 

Midlent, Witenagem6t of London ; Robert of Jumifeges appointed to 
IP51 Canterbury, Spearhafoc to London, and Rudolf to the 

Abbey of Abingdon ...... 77— 78 





105 1 
July 27 


Robert returns from Rome with the pallium ; he refuses to 
consecrate Spearhafoc, who holds his see without con- 
secration . . . . . . 

The remaining ships paid off; remission of the Heregeld ; 
distinction between Danegeld and Heregeld 



§ 4. The Banishment of Earl Godwint. 1051. 

The foreign influence at its height; contrast between 
Danish and Norman influences; revolt of England 
against the strangers ... . 81 — 84 

Universal indignation at the appointment of Robert; his 

cabals against Godwine ..... 84 

September Visit of Eustace of Boulogne to Eadward at Gloucester ; his 

outrages at Dover on his return .... 85 — 86 

Eustace accuses the men of Dover to Eadward ; Eadward 
commands. Godwine to inflict military chastisement on 
them ; Godwine refuses and demands a legal trial . 86—89 

Robert excites tlje King against Godwine ; the Witan sum- 
moned to Gloucester to hear charges against the Earl . 89 

Outrages of the Normans in Herefordshire; building of 

castles ; Richard's Castle .... 89 — 91 

Godwine and his sons gather the force of their Earldoms at 
Beverstone ; Siward, Leofric, and Ralph gather theirs at 
Gloucester ...... 91 

Sept. 8 Negotiations between Godwine and the King ; Godwine's 
offers refused through the influence of the Frenchmen ; 
he demands the surrender of Eustace and the other 
criminals ...... 91 — 92 

The full force of the Northern Earldoms assembles at Glou- 
cester ; Eadward refuses to surrender Eustace . . 9 3 *— 93 

Eagerness of the Northumbrians for battle; march of the 

West-Saxons and East-Angles on Gloucester . . 93 — 94 

Mediation of Leofric ; adjournment to a G6mot in London 94 — 95 
Sept. 29 Gemot of London ; Eadward at the head of an army ; 
outlawry of Swegen renewed; Godwine and Harold 
summoned to appear as criminals . . . 95 — 96 

Final, summons to the Earls; their demand for a safe- 
conduct is refused . . . . . 96 — 97 

Godwine and his family outlawed; Godwine, Swegen, &c. 

take refuge in Flanders . . . . • . 97 — 98 

Harold determines on resistance; he and Leofwine sail from 
Bristol to Dublin, where they are received by King Diar- 
mid ; vain pursuit, of Bishop Ealdred . . . 98 — 100 

Eadgyth sent to Wherwell . . . . 101 

General character of the story ; explanation of Godwine's 
conduct ; effect of his fall on the minds of his contem- 
poraries ...... I 01 — 104 

Oct. 105 1 — Temporary triumph of the Norman party; advancement 
Sept 1053 of Ralph, Odda, and JElfgar .... 1 04 

Spearhafoc deposed and William appointed Bishop of 

London ...... 105 

Visit of Duke William . . . ., 105 

b * 

xii ' CONTENTS. 


The Early Tears of 'William the Conqueror. 1028 — 1061. 

§ I. Birth, Character, and Accession of William. 1028 — 1035. 

A.D. paob 

Character and greatness of William ; lasting results of his 

career ....... 106 — 107 

English and Norman portraits of him . . . 107 — 108 

His strength of will, military, genius, statesmanship, and un- 

scrupulousness as to means .... 108 — 109 

His personal virtues ; general excellence of his ecclesiastical 

appointments . . . . . . 109 

Effects of his reign in Normandy, France, and England . no 

General excellence of his government in Normandy . no— in 

His reign in England ; skill displayed in his claim on the 
English Crown, in his acquisition of it, and in his subse- 
quent government . . . . . in — 112 

Severity of his police . . • * . • 112 

The worse features of his character brought out in Eng- 
land ; crimes and misfortunes of his later years . . 112 — 113 

William's surnames; the Great, the Conqueror, and the 

Bastard ...... 113 — 114 

Laxity of the Norman Dukes as to marriage and legitimacy ; 

special illegitimacy of William . . . . 1 14 

Story of William's birth ; description of Falaise ; historical 

associations of the castle .... 114 — 116 

English legend of the birth of William . . . 116 
1037—102$ Story of Robert and Herleva ; advancement of her family ; 

birth of William ..... 116 — 117 

Question of the succession; state of the Ducal family; 

various candidates, but none free from objection . 117 — 119 

Unpopularity of the prospect of William's succession . 119 

The great Norman houses; their connexion with English 

history. ...... Il9r— 120 

Greatness and wickedness of the house of Belesme ; crimes 
of William Talvas; he curses young William in his 

cradle ....... 120—122 

1034-^1035 Robert announces his intention of pilgrimage . . 122 — 123 

He proposes William as his successor; his succession un- 
willingly accepted . . . . . 123 
1035 Robert* dies on pilgrimage and William succeeds . . 124 

Childhood of William ; necessary evils of a minority . 1 24 — 125 

Anarchy of the time; building of castles; frequency of 

assassinations ...... 125 — 126 

Effects of William's government in Normandy . . 1 26 

* § 2. From the Accession of William to the. Battle of Val-Zs-dunes. 

Guardians of William ; Alan of Britanny ; Osbern ; Gilbert 126—127 

1039 — I0 4 a Murders of Alan and Gilbert . . . . 127 
House of Montgomery; history of Roger of Montgomery 

and his wife Mabel ..... 1*8 — 129 
Attempt of William of Montgomery on Duke William at 




1037— 1055 
1048 — 1098 

1005— 1039 
1039 — 1042 

1049 — I0 5° 


c 1015 

1050— 1063 


Vaudreuil ; murder of Osbcrn ; escape of the Duke ; 
friendship of the Duke for William Fitz-Osbem . 

Rebellion and Death of Roger of Toesny ; houses of 
Grantmesnil and Beaumont .... 

Ralph of Wacey chosen as the Duke's guardian 

Relations between Normandy and France; general good 
understanding since the Commendation to Hugh the 
Great ; return of ill-feeling on the accession of William ; 
ingratitude of King Henry .... 

Castle of Tillieres demanded by Henry; Gilbert Crispin 
refuses to surrender, and is besieged ; the castle surren- 
dered, burned, and restored by Henry contrary to his 
engagements ...... 

Treason of Thurstan Goz ; capture of Falaise Castle by the 

XJXXK.C ...•••. 

Developement of William's character 

Abuse of ecclesiastical appointments by the Norman Dukes 

Position of the Norman Prelates; their subjection to the 

Ducal authority ..... 

Death of Archbishop Robert; succession and primacy of 

Malgar. .... . 

Odo Bishop of Bayeux; his character in England and in 

Normandy ...... 

Ecclesiastical movement in Normandy; foundation of 

monasteries ...... 

Character of the monastic reformations in various ages 
Abbeys of Bee and Saint Evroul .... 

Descent, birth, and early life of Herlwin . 

Herlwin's foundation at Burneville 

He removes the monastery to Bee ; his administration 

Descent, birth, and character of Lanfranc . 

He teaches at Avranches ..... 

He becomes a monk and Prior of Bee ; his favour with 

William ...... 

He attends the synods of Rome and Vercelli 

Monastery of Saint Evroul ; history of its founder Ebrulf or 

Evroul ....... 

The house escapes the Danish ravages, but is plundered by 

Hugh the Qreat ...... 

The monastery forsaken and restored by Restold . 
Geroy and his family; their relations to the house of 

Belesme ...... 

William the son of Geroy blinded by William Talvas 
Saint Evroul restored by William the son of Geroy and his 

nephews Hugh and Robert of Grantmesnil 
Succession of Abbots ; intrigues and abbacy of the co- 
founder Robert ..... 
Connexion of the religious movement in Normandy with 

the Conquest of England . 

Origin of the Truce of God ; custom of private war ; com- 
parison between the Truce and the Crusades 
A reform in those times necessarily ecclesiastical . 
The Truce first preached in Aquitaine 
The Truce preached in a relaxed form in Burgundy and 

Lotharingia ...... 




131— J 33 


134— 1 35 







140 — 142 


143— J 44 

148 — 149 



151— 152 


x 53 


154— *55 




AJ>. • PAGE 

1042 — 1080 The Truce received in Normandy at the Councils of Caen 

and Lillebonne . . . . . . 158 

1047 Wide-sprea4 conspiracy against William . . . 159 
Intrigues of Guy of Burgundy with the Lords of the 

Bessin and the Cdtentin; scheme for a division of the 

Duchy ...... 159 — 160 

Geographical division of parties ; Rouen and the French 

lands loyal; Bayeux and the Danish lands join in the 

rebellion . . . . . . 160 

The rebel leaders ; Neal of Saint Saviour . . . 161 

Randolf Viscount of Bayeux . . . . 161 

Hamon Dentatus of Thorigny .... 161 — 162 

Grimbald of Plessis . . . . . 162 

Attempt to seize William at Valognes ; his escape ; story 

of Hubert of Rye ..... 162 — 164 
Progress of the rebellion; William seeks help of King 

Henry ; probable motives of Henry for granting it . 164 — 165 

Battle of Val-fcs-dunes ; its importance in the life of William 165 — 166 
Val-es-dunes a battle between Romanized and Teutonic 

Normandy ...... 166 

Description of the field . . . . . 167 

Junction of the Ducal and French forces ; Ralph of Tesson 

joins the Duke ..... 167 — 169 

The battle a mere combat of cavalry . . . 169 
Personal exertions and overthrow of King Henry ; death of 

Hamon ...... 169 — 170 

Exploits and good fortune of William . . . 171 

Defeat of the rebels ; flight of Randolf ; bravery of Neal . 171 — 172 

Escape of Guy ; he defends himself at Brionne . . 173 
1047 — 1050? Siege and surrender of Brionne; William's treatment of 

the vanquished ..... 173 — 1 75 

Guy returns to TJurgundy ; fate of Grimbald . . 1 76 
Establishment of William's power in Normandy; supremacy 

of the French element confirmed . . . 176 — 177 

§ 3. From the Battle of Val-es-dunes to William* s Visit to England. 

1047— 1051. 





April 22, 

1033— 1037 

The Counts of Anjou; their connexion with Normandy 
and England ; characteristics of Angevin history 

Saxon occupation of Anjou 

Ingelgar first Count ; legend of the origin of the family 

Succession of Counts ; Fulk the Red 

Fulk the Good ; his proverb about unlearned Kings 

Geoffrey Grisegonelle ; his wars . 

His services to King Lothar in the war with Otto 

Fulk Nerra, warrior and pilgrim . 

His war with Odo of Chartres 

Battle of Pontlevois ; defeat of Odo 

Fulk's pilgrimages to Jerusalem 

Geoffrey Martel ; origin of his surname 

Geoffrey imprisons William Duke of Aquitaine, marries 
Agnes, and rebels against his father 

Last days of Odo of Chartres ; his war with King Henry 
and attempt on the Kingdom of Burgundy . 

178 — 179 
179 — 180 







IOI5— IO36 
IO48 — IO49 

His sons Stephen and Theobald; their wars with King 

Henry and with Geoffrey ; Geoffrey receives Tours from 

Henry and imprisons Theobald . 
Duke William helps King Henry against Geoffrey ; his per 

sonal exploits ..... 
Position of Maine under Geoffrey . 
Succession of Counts ; Herbert Wake-the-Dog and Hugh 
Fortresses of Domfront and Alencon ; disloyalty of Alencon 

it receives an Angevin garrison 
William's march to Domfront; traitors in the Norman 

camp ...... 

Geoffrey comes to relieve Domfront and decamps • 
William's sudden march to Alencon ; insults offered to him 

his capture of the town and cruel vengeance 
Domfront surrenders ; William fortifies Ambrieres . 
Story of William the Warling ; he is charged with treason 

by Robert the Bigod .... 
Duke William makes him leave Normandy, and gives his 

county of Mortain to his own half-brother Robert 
Prosperous condition of Normandy 

William's courtship and marriage with Matilda of Flanders 
Condition of England .... 
William's visit to England; estimate of him in English eyes 
Eadward's alleged promise of the Crown to William pro 

bably made at this time 
Constitutional value of such a promise; its revocation in 

favour of Harold .... 

Improbability of any other time for the promise 
Nature of William's claims 
William's visit an important stage in the history 
March 6, 1052 Death of JElfgifu-Emma .... 

1049— 1054 

1049— 1053 


105 1 






I90 — I9I 

I9I — I92 





I98 — I99 


The Reign of Eadward, from the Return of Godwine to the Death 
of Eadward the <£Kheling. 1052—1057. 

Character of the period ; little direct connexion between 

English and Norman affairs .... 203— 2Q4 

§ 1. The Return and Death of Godwine. 1052— 1053. 

1052 General regret at the absence of Godwine ; . he receives 

invitations to return ..... 204 — 2 05 

Eadward gathers a fleet at Sandwich to oppose Godwine . 205 
Ravages of Gruffydd of North Wales ; his victory near 

Leominster . . . . . # • 205 — 206 
Godwine petitions for his restoration ; embassies of foreign 

princes on his behalf; his restoration is refused . . 206 — 207 
Godwine determines on a return by force ; estimate of his 

conduct ...... 207 — 208 

Harold and Leofwine sail from Dublin and enter the Bristol 

Channel . . . . . . 208—209 






2I 4 - 











1052 The people of Somersetshire and Devonshire ill-disposed 

towards them ; probable grounds for their hostility . 209 

Harold's landing and victory at Porlock ; estimate of his 

conduct ...... 209 — 211 

June 2 2 Godwine sets sail ; his first appearance off the English 

coast . ' . . . . . . 211 

Both fleets dispersed by a storm; Godwine returns to 

Bruges ...... 212 

Godwine sails the second time to Wight ; meeting of God- 
wine and Harold ; they sail eastward together . 

Zeal in their cause shown by the men of Sussex, Surrey, 
Kent, and Essex ..... 

They enter the Thames and sail towards Loudon . 
Sept. 1 4 Godwine reaches Southwark; London declares for him 

The King hastens to London with an army 

Godwine before London; zeal of his followers and luke- 
warmness of the King's troops .... 

Godwine demands his restoration ; Eadward hesitates 

The indignation of Godwine's men restrained by the Earl . 

Embassy of Stigand; hostages exchanged; and matters 
referred to a Gem6t on the morrow 

Godwine and Harold land ..... 

Fears of the King's Norman favourites ; general flight of the 

foreigners ; Robert and Ulf cut their way out of London 218 — 219 
Sept. 15 The My eel Gemot assembles without the walls of London; 

its popular character ..... 219 — 220 

Godwine at the Gemdt ; he supplicates the King and speaks 

to the people . . . . . . 221 

Votes of the Assembly ; acquittal and restoration of God- 
wine ; outlawry of Archbishop Robert and many other 
Normans; •• Good law decreed for all folk" . . 222 — 223 

Personal reconciliation between Godwine and the King . 223 

Restoration of Eadgyth ..... 223 — 224 

Absence of Swegen ; his pilgrimage to Jerusalem . . 2 24 

Sept. 29 He dies in Lykia . . . . . 224 

Disposal of Earldoms ; restoration of Harold ; Earldoms of 

Ralph and Odda ..... 224 — 225 

The vacant Bishopricks; relations between Church and 

State ....... 225 

Stigand appointed to Canterbury; his doubtful ecclesiastical 
position; handle given to the Normans by Robert's 
expulsion . ..... 226 — 228 

1053 — 1067 Wulfwig succeeds Ulf at Dorchester . . . 228 

1053 — 1067 Leofwine Bishop of Lichfield ; Leofwine and Wulfwig seek 

consecration beyond sea . . . . 228 

1051 — 1070 William of London retains his Bishoprick . . . 228 — 229 

Normans allowed to remain or return ; some of them pro- 
bably restored after Godwine's death ; Osbern of 
Richard's Castle ..... 229 — 231 

Estimate of Godwine's conduct ; his illness . . 231 

1052 — 1053 Christmas Gem6t at Gloucester . . . . 231 

Jan. 5, Rhys ap Rhydderch beheaded and his head brought to 

1053 Eadward . . . . . . 231 

1053 — 1066 Arnwig resigns the Abbey of Peterborough; succession and 

administration of Leofric . . . . 232 




April 12 

April 15 

Easter Gemot at Winchester .... 

Godwine taken ill at the King's table 
His death and burial ; gifts of his widow Gytha 
General grief of the nation; true estimate of Godwine's 
character ...... 




§ 2. From the Accession of Harold to the Earldom of the West-Saxons to 
his first War with Gruffydd. 1053 — 1056. 


1053— 1082 

1053— July 

l 1> 1054 

July 27 

1054— 1058 




March 20 

October 2,4 

Nature of the succession to Earldoms ; different positions 
of Mercia and Northumberland and of Wessex and East- 
Anglia ...... 

Reasons for retaining the West-Saxon Earldom 

Harold Earl of the West-Saxons ; -ffilfgar Earl of the East- 
Angles ; character of iElfgar and his sons 

Probable restoration of Bishop William and other Normans 

Position of the Normans in Eadward's later 'days ; political 

office forbidden, but court office allowed; Eadward's later 

policy thoroughly English ... 

Different positions of Godwine and Harold with regard to 

the foreigners ...... 

Ecclesiastical appointments; Leofwine of Lichfield and 
Wulfwig of Dorchester .... 

JEtbelnoth Abbot of Glastonbury 

Bishop Ealdred holds the Abbey of Winchcombe with his 


Weljsh inroad at Westbury .... 

Macbeth in Scotland; Siward's expedition against him; 

Macbeth's alliance with Thorium 
Siward defeats Macbeth ; Malcolm declared King of Scots ; 

legends about Siward ..... 

The war continued by Macbeth ; his final defeat and death 
Ephemeral reign of Lulach ; Malcolm King over all Scot- 
land ....... 

Erroneous popular conception of the war with Macbeth 
State of the royal family; position of Ralph; of the 

descendants of Eadmund Ironside 
The JEtheling Eadward invited to England ; import of the 

invitation ...... 

Embassy of Ealdred and JElfwine to the Emperor Henry ; 

Ealdred's long stay at Koln .... 
Death of Osgod Clapa . . 
Death of Earl Siward ; his foundation at Galmanho ; his 

son Waltheof ...... 

Tostig appointed Earl of the Northumbrians; novelty of 

the appointment ; its doubtful policy 
Character and government of Tostig ; his personal favour 

with Eadward ; legends about him and Harold . 
Tostig's sworn brotherhood with Malcolm 
Banishment of JElfgar ..... 
iElfgar hires ships in Ireland ; he ravages Herefordshire in 

alliance with Gruffydd ..... 
Battje near Hereford ; defeat of the English through the 

innovations of Earl Ralph . . . . 






241 — 242 



244 — 246 
246 — 247 






259— 260 

xviii CONTENTS. 


Oct. 24, 1055 Gruffydd and .flSlfgar sack and burn Hereford . . 260—262 
Harold sent against the Welsh ; comparison of his earlier 

and later Welsh campaigns .... 262 — 263 

Harold restores and fortifies Hereford . . . 263 — 264 
Christmas, Peace of Billingsley ; general mildness of English political 

1055 — 10 5^ warfare ...... 264 

JElfgar restored to his Earldom .... 264 

Feb. io, Death of iEthelstan Bishop of Hereford ; invasion of Mag- 

1056 nus and Gruffydd ..... 264 — 265 

March 27 — Short and warlike episcopate of Leofgar of Hereford ; his 

June 16 death in battle; character of the war with Gruffydd . 265 — 266 

1056 — 1060 Ealdred holds the See of Hereford with that of Worcester . 266 

1056 Gruffydd reconciled to Eadward; his oath of homage; he 

is mulcted of his lands in Cheshire . . . 266—267 

Co-operation of Harold, Leofric, and Ealdred . . 267 — 268 

§ 3. From Harold's first Campaign against Gruffydd to the Deaths of 

Leofric and Ralph. 1055 — 1057. 

Christmas, Ecclesiastical affairs ; Hermann, Bishop of Wiltshire, tries 
1055 — 1056 to annex the Abbey of Malmesbury to his Bishoprick ; 

his scheme hindered by Harold . . . 268 — 271 
1056 — 1058 Hermann retires to Saint Omer ; he returns and unites the 

Sees of Ramsbury and Sherborne . . . 271 

Au ^ St 6 31 ' Death of Earl Odda 272 

1056 — 1071 JEthelric of Durham resigns his See; succession of his 

brother ^Ethelwine ..... 272 — 273 

1057 The JEtheling Eadward comes to England; his intended 

succession to the Crown ; his death . . . 273 — 274 

Probable reasons why he never saw the King . . 274 — 275 
Surmise of Sir F. Palgrave that Harold caused his death ; 

its injustice ...... 275 — 276 

Death of Heaca Bishop of the South-Saxons; JEthelric 

succeeds ...... 276 — 277 

August 31 Death of Earl Leofric ; fate of Godgifu . . . 277 

Dec. 21 Death of Earl Ralph; his possible pretensions to the Crown 277 — 278 
Christmas, Redistribution of Earldoms ; JElfgar Earl of the Mercians ; 

1057 — 1058 marriage of his daughter Ealdgyth with Gruffydd . 278 
Herefordshire added to Harold's Earldom ; Harold the son 

of Ralph ...... 278 — 279 

Gyrth Earl of the East-Angles and of Oxfordshire ; policy 

of detached shires . 279 — 280 
Leofwine Earl of Kent, Essex, &c. ; London not under any 

Earl ....... 280 

1058 — 1065 The House of Godwine at its highest point of greatness . 280 

Harold's prospect of the Crown . . . . 281 

Position of Harold ; effects of Eadward's promise to Wil- 
liam; the candidates of the patriotic party, first the 

^theling, then Harold ..... 281 — 283 

Quasi-royal position of Harold ; probably no formal act, 

but a general understanding in his favour . . 283 — 285 

Harold chief ruler of England . . , » 285 




The Beign of Eadward, from the Death of the JEtheling to the 

Death of the King. 1057 — 1066. 

§ I. The Ecclesiastical Administration of Earl Harold. 1058 — 1062. 


a. D. 

Dominant position of Harold; predominance of eccle- 
siastical affairs ; Harold in relation to the Church . 286 — 287 
1058? Harold's pilgrimage to Rome; he studies the politics of 

the French Princes on his way .... 287 — 288 
1057 — 1061 Succession of Popes ; Stephen the Ninth ; Benedict the 

Tenth ; Nicolas the Second .... 288 

1058 Benedict probably in possession at the time of Harold's 

visit ; he grants the pallium to Stigand, probably through 
Harold's influence ..... 289 

Temporary recognition of Stigand after his receipt of the 
pallium ; the new Bishops JEthelric and Siward are con- 
secrated by him ..... 289 — 290 
Harold returns to England . . . . 290 
Second outlawry and return of iElfgar . . . 290 — 291 
681 — 1058 Ecclesiastical history of Gloucester; death of Abbot 
Eadric ; Bishop Ealdred rebuilds and consecrates the 
church and appoints Wulfstan Abbot . . . 291 

1058 Ealdred restores the See of Wiltshire to Hermann and 

makes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem . . . 291—292 

April 23, Mannig resigns the abbacy of Evesham and is succeeded by 

1059 iEthelwig ...... 292 

Deposition of Pope Benedict ; its effect on the position of 

Stigand ...... 293 

May 3, 1060 Consecration of Harold's minster at Waltham . . 293 — 294 

Nature and importance of the foundation; its character 

generally misunderstood .... 294 

Harold's acquisition of Waltham; he rebuilds the church 

and founds a secular college .... 294 — 295 

Distinction between the foundation of secular colleges and 

of monasteries ...... 295 

Harold's zeal for education ; Adelhard of Luttich . . 295 — 296 

Continuance of the struggle between regulars and seculars ; 
Harold a friend of the seculars ; general witness to his 
character borne by the foundation . . . 296 — 297 

The church consecrated by Archbishop Cynesige; the 

foundation charter dated two years later . . 297 — 298 

Dec. 22 Death of Cynesige ..... 298 

Dec. 25 Ealdred appointed Archbishop of York in the Gemo't at 

Gloucester ...... 298 

1060— 1079 Ealdred resigns the See of Hereford and is succeeded by 

Walter ....... 298 

1060 — 1088 Death of Dudoc Bishop of Somersetshire ; he is succeeded 

by Gisa ...... 298 

Later careers of Walter and Gisa; Gisa's dispute with 
Harold ; his changes at Wells ; comparison between the 
foundations of Harold and Gisa .... 298 — 302 

April 15, 1 06 1 Gisa and Walter consecrated at Rome ♦ . , 302 






April 18 — 

May 26 

Lent, 1062 

1012 — 1063 
Easter, 1062 

Sept. 8 



Death of Wulfric, Abbot of Saint Augustine's ; his suc- 
cessor iEthelsige receives the benediction from Stigand . 302 

Journey to Rome of Ealdred, Tostig, and Gyrth . . 303 

Pope Nicolas confirms the privilege of Westminster, but 
refuses the pallium to Ealdred, and deprives him of his 
See ...... 303—304 

Tostig and the Bishops robbed on their way home . 304 

They return to Rome, and the Pope yields the pallium to 

the threats of Tostig ..... 305 

111 effects of the practice of pilgrimage ; Malcolm invades 

Northumberland during the absence of Tostig . . 306 

Vacancy of the See of Worcester; papal legates in 

England ...... 306 — 307 

Ealdred hesitates between Abbot jEthelwig and Wulfstan 

Prior of Worcester . . . . . 307 

Life and character of Wulfstan .... 307 — 309 

Wulfstan elected Bishop; the election confirmed by the 

Witan ....... 309 — 310 

Wulfstan consecrated by Ealdred, but makes profession to 

Stigand ...... 310 

The King's charter to the College at Waltham . . 311 

iElfwig, uncle of Harold, appointed Abbot of New 

Minster . . . . . . 311 

§ 2. The Welsh War and its Consequences. 1062 — 1065. 


1062 — 1063 

May 26, 

August 5 

August I, 

August 24 

Renewed ravages of Gruffydd ; probable death of JElfgar, 

who is succeeded in his Earldom by his son Eadwine 
Gemot at Gloucester; Harold's sudden march to Rhud- 

dlan ....... 

Harold's great Welsh campaign; its permanent effect on 

men's minds; testimony of John of Salisbury and of 

Giraldus Cambrensis ..... 
Harold and Tostig invade Wales ; Harold adopts the Welsh 

tactics ; all Wales reduced to submission 
Gruffydd murdered by his own people 
The Welsh Kingdom granted to Bleddyn and Rhiwallon ; 

districts ceded to England .... 

Alleged legislation about Wales . . 

Harold . builds a hunting-seat for Eadward at Port- 

skewet. ...... 

Caradoc son of Gruffydd of South Wales kills the workmen 

311— 312 
311— 312 





§ 3. The Revolt of Northumberland, 1065. 

Oppressive government of Tostig in Northumberland . 
1064 Charges against him ; murder of Gamel and Ulf . 

Dec. 28 Murder of Gospatric in the King's Court; attributed to 
Tostig and Eadgyth ..... 
Oct. 3, 1065 Revolt of Northumberland ; rebel Gem6t at York . 

Constitutional position of Northumberland; frequent ab- 
sence of Tostig ; his deputy Copsige . 
Acts of the rebel Gemdt; vote of deposition and outlawry 
, against Tostig ; Morkere elected Earl . 



321 — 322 


CONTENTS. * xxi 


1065 Objects of Eadwine and Morkere; they aim at the di- 
vision of the Kingdom ; constant treasons of Eadwine . 322 — 323 

Oswulf Earl in Bernicia or Northumberland . . 323 — 324 

The Northumbrians put to death Amund and Reavenswart 324 
October 4 General massacre of Tostig's followers and plunder of his 

treasury . . . . . . 324 

Morkere and the Northumbrians march to Northampton ; 
Eadwine joins them; presence of Welshmen in his 

army ....... 325 

Ravages of the Northumbrians in Northamptonshire and 

the neighbouring shires ..... 325 — 326 

Negotiations between the King and the rebels; Harold 
carries a summons to lay down their arms and submit 

their grievances to legal discussion . . . 326 

Answer of the Northumbrians .... 326 — 327 

Eadward holds a Gem6t at Bretford; debates in the 

Council ...... 327 

Tostig charges Harold with stirring up the revolt; Harold 

denies the charge on oath .... 327 — 328 

Eadward's eagerness for war ; he is kept back by Harold 

and others ...... 328 329 

Position of Harold ; his public duty and private interest in 

the controversy ; complete agreement of the two . 329 — 331 
October 2% ^ Gemot of Oxford ; acts of the York Gemot confirmed ; 
Waltheof made Earl of Northamptonshire and Hunting- 
donshire ; renewal of Cnut's Law . . . 331 — 332 
Nov. 1 Banishment of Tostig ; he takes refuge in Flanders . 332 — 333 

§ 4. The Last Days of Eadward. 1065 — 1066. 

Eadward's last sickness ; his devotion to Saint Peter . 333 
1051 — 1065, His foundation at Westminster in honour of the Apostle ; 
reverse order of proceeding at Westminster and at Walt- 
ham . " . ' . . . . . 333—335 

653 — 1051 Earlyhistory t>f Westminster .... 335 — 336 

Permanenee of Eadward's minster and palace; existing 

remains of (us buildings .... 336—337 

1065 Completion of the church; the first, great example of 

Norman architecture in England . . . 337 — 339 

• Legends . . ..... 339—341 

S«pt. 1065 Consecration of Eadgyth's church at Wilton . . 341 
Dec. 25 — 28 Midwinter Gem6t at Westminster; consecration of the 

church ....... $41 — 342 

Jan. 5, 1066 Death of Eadward . . . . . 342 

Jan. 6 Burial of Eadward and coronation of Harold . . 342 

Summary . . . . . 342—343 




Note A. 














The Election and Coronation of Eadward . 

The Legendary History of Eadward • 

Eadward's fondness for Foreign Churchmen 

English and Norman Estimates of Godwine and Harold 

The alleged spoliations of the Church by Godwine and 

Harold ..... 

The Children of Godwine .... 
The Great Earldoms during the Reign of Eadward 
The Legend of Emma .... 
The Appointment of Bishops and Abbots . 
Harold Hardrada at Athens 
The Lotharingian Churchmen under Eadward 
The Titles of Bishops and Bishopricks 
Swegen and Eadgifu .... 

The Penance of Godfrey of Lotharingia 
The Welsh Campaign of 1049 
Danegeld and Heregeld . 

The Banishment of Godwine • . 

Castle-building in England • . . 

The Surnames of William , , 

The Birth of William .... 
The Battle of Val-fes-dunes . . . 

The Counts of Anjou and of Chartres . . 

The Imprisonment of William of Aquitaine 
The Ravages attributed to Harold and Godwine . 
The Narratives of the Return of Godwine 
The Pilgrimage of Swegen . 

The Ecclesiastical position of Stigand 
The Death of Earl Godwine . * 

The \Var with Macbeth .... 
The Mission of Ealdred and the Return of the ^theling 

Eadward ..... 

The Supposed Enmity between Harold and Tostig . 
JEthelstan Bishop of Hereford 
The Family of Leofric .... 
Harold the son of Ralph .... 
The Quasi-Royal Position of Earl Harold . 





37 1 





39 2 

















j0di-iii— a^^d 




Note MM. Harold's Foreign Travels and Pilgrimage . 

NN. The Abbey of Gloucester and its connexion with Arch 

bishop Ealdred ..... 
00. Abbots Mannig and -ffithelwig 
PP. Harold's Foundation at Waltham . 
QC^ The Quarrel between Earl Harold and Bishop Gisa 
RR. -ffilfwig Abbot of New Minster 
SS. The Dismemberments from Wales after the Death of 
Gruffydd ..... 

TT. The Revolt of Northumberland . 








[; GODWINE. 1 IO42-IO51. 

We have thus far gone through the course of those events which 
acted as the more distant causes of the Norman Conquest ; with the 
accession of Eadward we stand on the threshold of the Conquest 

1 Among our authorities for this period from the English side to set against the 

the English Chronicles of course still retain dominant Norman calumnies. It is to the 

their preeminent place, and the differences, Chronicles as harmonized by Florence that 

especially the marked differences in politi- we must go for our main facts ; the Bio- 

cal feeling, between the various versions grapher gives us their personal aspect, their 

become of constantly increasing import- personal colouring, and many personal de- 

aace. Florence also, always valuable, now tails. Just as the Encomiast of Eadgyth 

increases in value. His narrative is still becomes of so much value, we lose the 

grounded on that of the Chronicles, but Encomiast of Emma, who ends his narra- 

he gradually ceases to be a mere copyist, tive with the accession of Harthacnut. 

It is always of moment to see which of The purely Norman writers now gain in 

the several versions he follows; and, as importance. But, as regards purely Eng- 

he draws nearer his own time, he gradually lish affairs, their importance is of this 

acquires the character of a distinct autho- peculiar kind, that, after reading the Eng- 

rity. He can however hardly be looked lish account of any fact, it is needful to 

on as such during the period embraced in turn and see what is the Norman perver- 

this Chapter. The contemporary Biogra- sion of it. At the head of the class stands 

pber of Eadward now becomes of the William of Poitiers, Archdeacon of Lisieux, 

greatest value in his own special depart- the chaplain and biographer of William the 

ment. For all matters which are strictly Conqueror. His work, unluckily imper- 

personal to the King, the Lady, and the feet, is our primary authority for all that 

whole family of Godwine, his authority concerns his hero ; but allowance must be 

is primary. He is however very distinctly made throughout for his constant flattery 

not an historian, but a biographer, some- of his own master and his frantic hatred 

times a laureate. In his narrative there towards Godwine and Harold. The later 

are many omissions and some inaccuracies; Norman writers, William of Jumieges and 

his value lies mainly in his vivid personal his continuator, and the poetical chroni- 

portraits of the great men of the time, clers, Robert Wace and Benott de Sainte 

with all of whom he seems to have been More, are of use as witnessing to Norman 

personally acquainted. It must be borne tradition, but they do not yet assume that 

in mind that his book, dedicated to the special value which belongs to William of 

Lady Eadgyth, is to a great extent a pane- Jumieges and Wace at a somewhat later 

gyric on her family. Still it is highly im- time. The subsidiary English writers, and 

portant to have this description of them the occasional notices to be found in the 



itself. The actual subjugation of England by force of arms is still 
twenty-four years distant; but the struggle between Norman and 
Englishman for dominion in England has already begun. That such 
would be the result of Eadward's accession was certainly not looked 
for by those who raised him to the throne. Never was any prince 
called ^o assume a crown by a more distinct expression of the na- 
tional will. "All folk chose Eadward to King." The choice ex- 
pressed the full purpose of the English nation to endure no King but 
one who was their bone and their flesh. No attachment to the 
memory of the Great Cnut could survive the utter misgovernment of 
his sons. The thought of another -Danish King had become hateful. 
Yet the royal house of Denmark contained at least one prince who 
was in every way worthy to reign. Could the national feeling have 
endured another Danish ruler, Swegen Estrithson might have go- 
verned England as prudendy and as prosperously as he afterwards 
governed Denmark. But the great qualities of Swegen had as yet 
hardly shown themselves. He could have been known at this time 
only as a young adventurer, who had signally failed in the only great 
exploit which he had attempted. 1 And, above all things, the feeling 
of the moment called for an Englishman, for an JEtheling of the 
blood of Cerdic. One such JEtheling only was at hand. One 
son of Eadmund Ironside was now grown up to manhood, but he 
had been from his infancy an exile in a distant land. Most likely 
no one thought of him as a possible candidate for the Crown ; it 
may well be that his very existence was generally forgotten. In the 
eyes of Englishmen there was now only one representative of the 
ancient royal house. Eadward, the son of JEthelred and Emma, the 
brother of the murdered and half-canonized JElfred, had long been 
familiar to English imaginations, and, since the accession of his half- 
brother Harthacnut, the English Court had been his usual dwelling- 
place. Eadward, and Eadward alone, stood forth as the heir of 
English royalty, the representative of English nationality. In his 
behalf the popular voice spoke out at once and unmistakeably. 
" Before the King buried were, all folk chose Eadward to King at 

works of foreign historians, retain the same other hand, the value of William of Malmes- 

secondary value as before. Indeed, as bury increases as he draws nearer to his 

Scandinavian affairs are of great import- own time. He often sets before us two 

ance during several years of this period, versions of a story, and makes an attempt 

the Sagas of Magnus and of Harold Hard- at a critical comparison of them. But his 

rada may be looked upon as of something prejudices are distinctly Norman, and his 

more than secondary value. Among the utter lack of arrangement, his habit of 

secondary English writers. Henry of Hunt- dragging in the most irrelevant tales at the 

ingdon diminishes in importance, as he most important points of his narrative, 

gets more out of the reach of those an- makes him one of the most perplexing of 

cient ballads and traditions which it is his writers to consult. 

great merit to have preserved. On the l See vol. i. p. 353. 


§ 1. The Election and Coronation of Eadward. 1042-1043. 

The general course of events at this time is perfectly plain, but 
there is a good deal of difficulty as to some of the details. 1 The 
popular election of Eadward took place in June, immediately on 
the death of Harthacnut, and even before his burial ; but it is very 
remarkable that the Chronicles do not record the coronation of the 
new King till Easter in the next year. 8 This delay is singular, and 
needs explanation. The consecration of a King was then no mere 
pageant, but a rite of the utmost moment, partaking in some sort of a 
sacramental character. Without it the King was not King at all, or 
King only in a very imperfect sense. We have seen how impossible 
it was for the uncrowned Harthacnut to retain his hold upon Wessex. 8 
The election of the Witan gave to the person chosen the sole right to 
the Crown, but he was put into actual possession of the royal office 
only by the ecclesiastical consecration. Eadward then, if he re- 
mained uncrowned for nearly ten months after his first election, 
could not be looked on as " full King," 4 but at most as King-elect. 
What could be the cause of such a delay ? The notion of a general- 
war with the Danes in England, which might otherwise account for it, 
I have elsewhere shown to be without foundation. 5 The circum-: 
stances of the time would seem to have been singularly unsuited for 
any delay. We should have expected that the same burst of popular 
feeling which carried Eadward's immediate and unanimous election 
would also have demanded the exclusion of any possible competitor 
by an immediate coronation. But the fact was otherwise. The 
explanation of so singular a state of things is most likely to be found 
in certain hints which imply that it was caused, partly by Eadward's 
absence from England, partly by an unwillingness on his part to. 
accept the Crown. There is strong reason to believe that Eadward 
was not in England at the moment of his half-brother's death. Hartha- 
cnut had indeed recalled him to England, and the English court had 
become the JEtheling's ordinary dwelling-place. But this fact in 
no way shuts out the possibility that Eadward may have been absent 
on the Continent at any particular moment, on a visit to some of his 
French or Norman friends, or on a pilgrimage to some French or 
Norman sanctuary. Meanwhile the sudden death of Harthacnut left 
the throne vacant. As in other cases before and after, 6 the citizens 

1 On the different statements, see Ap- Harold the son of Godwine, the citizens of 

pendix A. London were foremost in choosing the 

* Chronn. and Flor. Wig. 1043. young Eadgar King. Fl. Wig. 1066. The 

* Vol. i. p. 336. expression of " all folk," and the extreme. 

4 See vol. i. p. 242. haste at a time when the Witan seem not 

5 Vol. i. p. 522. to have been sitting, point to an election. 

* As at the election of Eadmund Iron- of this kind, forestalling the next ordinary 
side, vol. i. p. 256. So, after the fall of Gem<5t. 

B 2 




of London, whose importance grows at every step, together with such 
of the other Witan as were at hand, met at once and chose Eadward 
Kkig. As he was absent, as his consent was doubtful, an embassy 
had to be sent to him, as embassies had been sent to his father 
JEthelred * and to his brother Harthacnut, 8 inviting him to return 
and Teceive the Crown. That embassy, we are told, consisted of 
Bishops and Earls; we can hardly doubt that at the head of their 
several orders stood two men whom all accounts set before us as the 
leaders in the promotion of Eadward. These were Lyfing, Bishop of 
Worcester, Devonshire, and Cornwall, and Godwine, Earl of the 
• West-Saxons. 8 A remarkable negotiation now took place between 
the Earl and the King-elect Details T>f private conversations are 
always suspicious. But the dialogue attributed to the Earl and the 
JEtheling contains nothing but what is thoroughly suited to the 
circumstances of the case. We can fully understand that Eadward, 
either from timidity or from his monastic turn, might shrink from the 
labour and responsibility of reigning at all, and that, with his Nor- 
man tastes, he might look forward with very little satisfaction to the 
prospect of reigning over Englishmen. Such scruples were driven 
away by the arguments and eloquence of the great Earl. The actual 
speech put into his mouth may be the composition of the historian, 
but it contains the arguments which cannot fail to have been used in 
such a case. It was better to live gloriously as a King than to die 
ingloriously in exile. Eadward was the son of JEthelred, the grand- 
son of Eadgar; the Crown was therefore his natural inheritance. 
His personal position and character would form a favourable contrast 
to those of the two worthless youths who had misgoverned England 
since the death of Cnut. 4 His years and experience fitted him to 
rule ; he was- of an age to act vigorously when severity was needed ; 
he had known the ups and downs of life ; he had been purified by 
poverty and exile, and would therefore know how to show mercy 
where mercy was called for. 8 If he had any doubts, he, Godwine, 
was ready to maintain his cause ; his power was great enough both to 
procure the election of a candidate and to secure his throne when 
elected. 6 Eadward was persuaded; he consented to accept the Crown; 
he plighted his friendship to the Earl, and it may be that he pro- 

** Vol. i. p. 247. » Will. Malms, ii. 196. "Jure ei com- 

* Vol i. p. 341. „ petere regnum, acvi maturo, laboribos de- 

* Lyfing's share in the business comes faecato, scienti administrare principatum 
from Florence; "Eadwardus, anhitentibus per aetatem severe, miserias provincialium 
maxime Comite Godwino et Wigornensi [Harthacnut's Danegeld?] pro pristina 
Prassule^ Livingo, Lundonue levatur in egetfate temperare." 

Re * ge 4^ lb * " Q- uo se P ronior inclinaverit, eo 

This contrast is not directly stated, but fortunam vergere ; si auxilietur, neminem 

it seems implied in the reference to the age ausurum obstrepere, et e converso." 
V and experience of Eadward. 

mte&agem6t of gillingham. 5 

mised to confer honours on his sons and to take his daughter in 
marriage. But stories of private stipulations of this kind are always 
doubtful. It is enough that Godwine had, as all accounts agree, the 
chief hand in raising Eadward to the throne. 

Eadward now seems to have returned to England, probably in 
company with Godwine and the other ambassadors. Some expres- 
sions of our authorities might lead to the belief that the King-elect 
was, immediately on his landing in Kent, consecrated in the metropo- 
litan church. 1 But if this were so, it is certain that both the civil 
election and the ecclesiastical consecration had to be repeated. The 
Witan presently met at Gillingham in Dorsetshire ; and it would seem 
that the acceptance of Eadward's claims was now somewhat less 
unanimous than it had been during the first burst of enthusiasm which 
followed the death of Harthacnut. Godwine brought forward Ead- 
ward as a candidate, he urged his claims with all his powers of 
speech, and himself set the example of becoming his man on the 
spot. Still an opposition arose in the Assembly, which it needed 
all the eloquence of Godwine and Lyfing to overcome. They had 
even, as it would seem, to stoop to a judicious employment of the 
less noble arts of statesmanship. The majority indeed were won 
over by the authority of the man whom all England looked on as 
a father. 9 But the votes of some had to be gained by presents, or, 
in plain words, by bribes. 8 Others, it would seem, stood out against 
Eadward's election to the last. This opposition, we cannot doubt, 
came from a Danish party which supported the claims of Swegen 
Estrithson. That prince, on return from his first unsuccessful war 
with Magnus, had found his cousin Harthacnut dead, and Eadward 
already King as far as his first election could make him so. 4 But 
the absence of the King-elect, the uncertainty of his acceptance of the 
Crown, might well make the hopes of Swegen and his partizans 
revive. We can hardly believe the tale, though it seems to rest 
on the assertion of Swegen himself, that he demanded the Crown, 
and that Eadward made peace with him, making the usual com- 
promise that Swegen should succeed him on his death, even though 
he should leave sons. 6 Such an agreement would of course be of no 
strength without the consent of the Witan. That consent may have 
been given in the Assembly at Gillingham ; but such an arrangement 
seems hardly credible. The English nation no doubt fully intended 
that the Crown should remain in the House of Cerdic, and Godwine 
probably already hoped that in the next generation the blood of 
Cerdic would be united with the blood of Wulfnoth. But it is certain 

1 See Appendix A. ' " Quidam auctoritatem ejus secutU" 

a Vita Eadw. 394. *« Qgoniam pro patre 8 WilU Malms, u. s. " Quidam muneri- 

ab omnibus habebatur, in pateroo consultu bus flexu" * See vol. i. p. 354. 

libenter andiebatur." WUl. Malms, ii. 197. 5 Adam Brem. ii. 74. See Appendix A. 


that Swegen was in some way or other reconciled to Eadward and 
Godwine, for we shall presently find Swegen acting as the friend 
of England and Godwine acting as the special champion of the 
interests of Swegen. 1 The son of Ulf was, it will be remembered, 
the nephew of Gytha, and this family connexion no doubt pleaded 
for him as far as was consistent with Godwine's higher and nearer 
objects. One of Swegen's brothers, Beorn, remained in England, 
where he was soon raised to a great Earldom, and seems to have 
been counted in all respects as a member of the house of Godwine. 
But the friends of Swegen in general were set down for future punish- 
ment. 2 In the end confiscation or banishment fell on the most 
eminent of them. Among them was Osbeorn, another brother of 
the Danish King, whom we shall hear of in later times as betraying 
the claims of his brother, and therewith the hopes of England, into 
the hand of the Norman Conqueror. 

Eadward was thus raised to the throne mainly through the exertions 
of the two patriotic leaders, Godwine and Lyfing. It is vain to argue 
whether Godwine did wisely in pressing his election. There was in 
truth no other choice. The only other possible candidates were Swe- 
gen, and Magnus of Norway, of whose claims we shall hear again 
presently. But English feeling called for an English King, and there 
was no English King but Eadward to be had. That Godwine could 
have procured his own election to the Crown, that the thought of such 
an election could have occurred to himself or to any one else, is an 
utterly wild surmise. 8 If Godwine met with some opposition when 
pressing the claims of Eadward, that opposition would have increased 
tenfold had he ventured to dream of the Crown for himself. The 
nomination of the West-Saxon Earl would have been withstood to the 
death, not only by an handful of Danes, but by Leofric and Siward, 
and that, in Siward's case at least, at the head of the whole force of 
their Earldoms. The time was not yet come for the election of a 
King not of the royal house. There was no manifest objection to the 
election of Eadward, and, though Godwine was undoubtedly the most 
powerful man in England, he had not reached that marked and undis- 
puted preeminence which was enjoyed by his son twenty-four years 
later. No English candidate but Eadward was possible. And men 
had not yet learned, Godwine himself probably had not fully learned, 
how little worthy Eadward was to be called an English candidate. 4 In 
raising Eadward to the throne, Godwine acted simply as the mouths 

1 See below under the years 1045 and ward's Normandizing tendencies, when he 

IO47. makes the English embassy stipulate that 

a Will. Malms, ii. 197. " Et hinc censorie he shall bring the smallest possible number 

notati et postmodum ab Anglift expulsi." of Normans with him ( M quod paucissimos 

3 Thierry, i. 180 ; St. John, ii. 13a. Normannorum secum adduceret"). But 

4 Henry of Huntingdon indeed (M. H. Henry's narrative just here is so very wild 
B. 759 A) hints at a suspicion of Ead- that it is not safe to rely on his authority. 


piece of the English people. The opposition, as far as we can see, 
came wholly from the Danes of what we may call the second importa- 
tion, those who had come into England with Cnut and Harthacnut. 
There is nothing to show that the old-settled Danish population of 
Northumberland acted apart from the rest of the country. 

Eadward then was King. He reigned, as every English King before 
him had reigned, by that union of popular election and royal 
descent which formed the essence of all ancient Teutonic kingship. 1 
But it would seem that, even in those days, the two elements in his 
tide, the two principles to whose union he and all other Kings owed 
their kingly rank, spoke with different degrees of force to different 
minds. Already, in the eleventh century, we may say that there were 
Whigs and Tories in England. At any rate there were men in whose 
eyes the choice of the people was the primary and legitimate source 
of kingship. There were also men who were inclined to rest the 
King's claim to his Crown mainly on his descent from those who had 
been Kings before him. This difference of feeling is plainly shown 
in the different versions of the Chronicles. One contemporary 
writer, a devoted partizan of Godwine, grounds the King's right solely 
on the popular choice — " All folk chose Eadward to King." That 
the entry was made at the time is plain from the prayer which follows, 
" May he hold it while God grants it to him." 2 Another version, the 
only one in any degree hostile to the great Earl, seems purposely to 
avoid the use of any word which might recognize a distinct right of 
choice in the people. " All folk received Eadward to King, as was 
his right by birth." 3 A third writer, distinctly, though less strongly, 
Godwinist, seems pointedly to combine both statements ; " All folk 
chose Eadward, and received him to King, as was his right by birth." 4 
There can be no doubt that this last is the truest setting forth both of 

1 See vol. i. p. 73. plied to young Eadgar. It will be remem- 

2 Chron. Petrib. 1041. "Eall folc ge- bered that the Abingdon Chronicle is the 
ceas Eadward to cynge on Lundene; only one which charges Godwine with a 
healde J>a hwile )>e him God unne." (Cf. share in the death of Mlfred. See vol. i. 
Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 759 A. "Electus est p. 512. The Biographer (p. 396) speaks 
in Regem ab omui populo.") This prayer of Eadward as reigning " ex Dei gratis et 
is the opposite to that of Antinoos, Od. haeredttario jure." This is of course a 
i. 386: — courtier's view. " Haereditario jure" must 

yri\ <rk y kv &fupia\q/ '1$6licq @a<xi\r}a here mean a right derived from ancestors, 

Kpovioov not a right to be handed on to descendants, 

vot^<T€i€v i 5 toi ycvcfi varp6j'C6v as must be the meaning of the words in 

kffri. the Waltham Charter, Cod. Dipl. iv. 154. 
See Gladstone, Homer, iii. 51. 4 Chron. Wig. 1042. " Eall folc geceas 

8 Chron. Ab. 1042. "Eall folc under- J>a Eadward, and underfengon hine to 

feng "5a Eadward to cinge, swa him gecynde kyninge, eallswa him wel gecynde waes." 

wxs." " Right of birth " does not very This expression is the exact counterpart of 

well express " gecynde," but I do not see that in which Rudolf Glaber describes the 

how better to translate it. The word election of Lewis in 946. See vol. i. p. 

occurs again in Chron. Wig. 1066, as ap- 404. 


the law and of the facts of the case. The people chose Eadward, and 
without the choice of the people he would have had no right to reign. 
But they chose him because he was the one available descendant of the 
old kingly stock, because he was the one man at hand who enjoyed that 
preference by right of birth, which required that, in all ordinary cases,, 
the choice of the electors should be confined to the descendants of 
former Kings. It might therefore be said with perfect truth that 
Eadward was chosen because the Kingdom was his by right of birth. 
But it is absolutely necessary, for the true understanding, of the case, 
to remember that this right by birth does not imply that Eadward 
would have been, according to modern ideas, the next in succession 
to the Crown. Eadward's right by birth would have been no right by 
birth at all in the eyes of a modern lawyer. The younger son of 
j&jthelred could, according to our present ideas, have no right to suc- 
ceed while any representative of his elder brother survived. The heir, 
in our sense of the word, was not the Eadward who was close at hand 
in England or Normandy, but the Eadward who was far away in 
exile in Hungary or Russia. Modern writers constantly speak of this 
Eadward and of his son Eadgar as the lawful heirs of the Confessor. 
On the contrary, according to modern notions, the Confessor was 
their lawful heir, and, according to modern notions, the Confessor 
must be pronounced to have usurped a throne which of right belonged 
to his nephew. In his own time such subtleties were unknown. Any 
son of JSthelred, any descendant of the old stock, satisfied the^ senti- 
ment of royal birth, which was all that was needed. 1 To search over 
the world for the son of an elder brother, while the younger brother 
was close at hand, was an idea which would never have entered the 
mind of any Englishman of the eleventh century. 

If any ceremony of coronation had gone before the meeting at Gil- 
lingham, it was deemed needful that, after that more solemn national 
acceptance of Eadward's claims, the rite should be repeated on the 
next great festival of the Church. Eadward was accordingly crowned 
on Easter Day at Winchester, 2 the usual place for an Easter Gem6t, 
by Archbishop Eadsige, assisted by JElfric of York and most of the 
other prelates of England. 8 We are expressly told that the Metro- 
politan gave much good exhortation both to the newly-made King and 
to his people. 4 The peculiar circumstances of the time might well 

1 With the expressions used about the 8 Flor. Wig. 

succession of Eadward compare the still 4 Chronn. Ab. and Petrib. *' Eadsige 

stronger expressions-used by Florence about arcebisceop hine halgade, and toforan eal- 

the succession of Eadred in 946 ; " Prox- lum J>am folce wel laerde, and to his agenre 

imus h*res Edredus, fratri succedens, reg- neode and ealles folces wel monude.*' So 

num naturale [gecynde] suscepit." Yet Will. Malms, ii. 197; " Ab Edsio archi- 

Eadmund left two sons, both of whom episcopo sacra regnandi prsecepta edoctus, 

afterwards reigned. quae ille tunc memorift libenter recondidit, 

2 Chron. Flor. Wig. See Appendix A. et postea sancte factis propalavit." 


suggest such a special admonition. There was a King, well-nigh the 
last of his race, a King chosen by the distinct expression of die will of 
the people, as the representative of English nationality in opposition 
to foreign rule. But the King so chosen as the embodiment of 
English feeling v& himself an Englishman in little more than in the 
accident of being liorn on English ground 1 as the son of a father who 
was a disgrace to the English name. There was a Kingdom to be 
guarded against foreign claimants, and there were the wounds inflicted 
by two unfortunate, though happily short, reigns to be healed at home. 
The duties which were laid upon the shoulders of the new King were 
neither few nor easy. He had indeed at hand the mightiest and 
wisest of guardians to help him in his task. But we can well under- 
stand that the feelings of Eadward towards the man to whom he owed 
his Crown were feelings of awe rather than of love. There could be 
tittle real sympathy between the stout Englishman and the nursling of 
the Norman court, between the chieftain great alike in battle and in 
council and the timid devotee who shrank from the toils and responsi- 
bilities of an earthly Kingdom. And we can well believe that, not- 
withstanding Godwine's solemn acquittal, some prejudice still lingered 
in the mind of Eadward against the man who had once been charged 
with his brother's death. And again, though it was to Godwine and 
his West-Saxons that Eadward mainly owed his Crown, yet Godwine 
and his West-Saxons did not make up the whole of England. Their 
counsels and interests had to be reconciled with the possibly opposing 
counsels and interests of the other Earldoms and of their rulers. 
Eadward could not afford to despise the strong arm of the mighty 
Dane who ruled his countrymen north of the Humber. He could not 
afford to despise the possible prejudices of the great Earl of central 
England, who, descendant of ancient Ealdormen, perhaps of ancient 
Kings, may well have looked with some degree of ill-will on the 
upstarts north and south of him. Eadward, called to the throne by 
the unanimous voice of the whole nation, was bound to be King 
of the English, and not merely King of the West-Saxons. He was 
bound yet more strongly to be King of the English in a still 
higher sense, to cast off the trammels of his Norman education, and 
to reign as became the heir of Alfred and iEthelstan. We have now 
to see how far the good exhortations of Eadsige were effectual ; how 
far the King chosen to the Crown which was his right by birth dis- 
charged the duties which were laid upon him alike by. his birth and by 
his election. 

It was perhaps ominous of the character of Eadward's future reign 
that his coronation was attended by an apparently unusual assemblage 
of the Ambassadors of foreign princes. 2 It was natural that Eadward 

* At Githslcp, now IsKp, in Oxfordshire. Cod. Dipl. iy. 215. 
3 Vita Eadw; 395. 


should be better known, and that his election should awaken a greater 
interest, in foreign lands than could usually be the case with an 
English King. He was connected by birth or marriage with several 
continental sovereigns, and his long residence in Normandy must 
have brought him more nearly within the circle of ordinary con- 
tinental princeship than could commonly be the case with the Lord 
of the Island Empire, the Caesar as it were of another world. The 
revolutions of England also, and the great career of Cnut, had evi- 
dently fixed the attention of Europe on English affairs to an unusual 
degree. Add to this that, when a King was chosen and crowned 
immediately on the death of his predecessor, the presence of con- 
gratulatory embassies from other princes was hardly possible. But 
the delay in Eadward's consecration allowed that great Easter-feast 
at Winchester to be adorned with the presence of the representatives 
of all the chief sovereigns of Western Christendom. Some there were 
whom England was, then as ever, bound to welcome as friends and 
brethren, and some whose presence, however friendly was the guise 
of the moment, might to an eye which could scan the future have 
seemed a foreboding of the evil to come. First came the ambas- 
sadors of the prince who at once held the highest place on earth and 
adorned it with the noblest display of every kingly virtue. King 
Henry of Germany, soon to appear before the world as the illustrious 
Emperor, 1 the great reformer of a corrupted Church, sent an embassy 
to congratulate his brother-in-law 2 on the happy change in his for- 
tunes, to exchange promises of peace and friendship, and to present 
gifts such as Imperial splendour and liberality might deem worthy of 
the one prince whom a future Emperor could look on as his peer. 3 
The King of the French too, a prince bearing the same name as the 
mighty Frank, 4 but far indeed from being a partaker in his glory, sent 
his representatives to congratulate one whom he too claimed as a 
kinsman, 5 and to exchange pledges of mutual good-will between the 
two realms. And, along with the representatives of Imperial and 
royal majesty, came the humbler envoys of the chief Dukes and 
princes of their two kingdoms, charged with the like professions of 

1 Vita Eadw. 395. *' Primus ipse Ro- coram item Heinricus nomine." 

manor um Imperator Heinricus," &c. But 8 lb. " Ejusdem Anglorum Regis vicina 

Henry was not crowned Emperor till 1047. carnis propinquitate consanguineus." The 

Herm annus Contractus in anno. Biographer throughout makes the most of 

2 On the marriage of Henry and Gun- his hero, but there is a marked difference 
hild, see vol. i. p. 304. in his tone towards the German King and 

3 Vita Eadw. 395. " Munera imperiali towards any other prince. The expression 
liberalitate exhibenda mittit, et quae tantos '» terrarum domini," reserved for the lords 
decebat terrarum dominos." ^Ethelred of of the continental and the insular Empires, 
Rievaux (X Scriptt. 375), who seems here is mosJurcmarkable. I am at a loss to see 
to copy the Biographer, says the same. what Kindred there was between Eadward 

4 Vita Eadw. 325. "Rex quoque Fran- and Henry of Paris. 


friendship — our flattering historian would fain have us believe, of 
homage. 1 Among these we can hardly doubt that a mission from the 
Court of Rouen held a distinguished place. It may be that, even 
then, the keen eye of the youthful Norman was beginning to look 
with more than a neighbour's interest upon the land to which he had 
in some sort given her newly-chosen King. We are even told that 
an embassy of a still humbler kind was received from a potentate who 
soon after appeared on the stage in a widely different character. 
Magnus of Norway had received the submission of Denmark on the 
death of Harthacnut, by virtue of the treaty by which each of those 
princes was to succeed to the other's dominions. 2 He now, we are 
told, sent an embassy to Eadward, chose him as his father, 8 promised 
to him the obedience of a son, and strengthened the promise with 
oaths and hostages. Now in the language used with regard both to 
Magnus and to the German and French princes, there is doubtless 
much of the exaggeration of a panegyrist, anxious to raise his hero's 
reputation to the highest point. But it is possible that Magnus might 
just now take some pains to conciliate Eadward, in order to hinder 
English help from being continued to his competitor Swegen. In the 
reception of the Imperial and the Danish envoys there is nothing 
which has any special meaning; but it is specially characteristic of 
this reign that the congratulations of the French princes were acknow- 
ledged by gifts from the King personally, and that some of them were 
continued in the form of annual pensions. 4 These were undoubtedly, 

'Vita Eadw. 395. " Ceteri quoque leaves him as his representative in Denmark, 

eorumdem Regum tyranni [a very singular 8 Vita Eadw. 395. '* Patrem eum sibi 

expression] et quique potentissimi duces et digit, seque ut filium ilia in omnibus sub- 

principes, legatis suis eum adeunt, amicum jicit." Compare the famous form of the 

et dominum sibi suisque constituunt, eique Commendation of Wales and Scotland to a 

fi deli tat em et servitium suum in manus po- greater Eadward, vol. i. pp. 39, 80, 383. 

DUDt." Is this merely the flourish of an Eng- The monastic biographer of Eadward gives 

lish Dudo (cf. the talk about Cnut, vol. i. quite another picture, by way of prepara- 

p. 505), or did any foreign princes really tion for his legendary account of the 

plight a formal homage to Eadward in death of Magnus ; " Sola tamen Dacia, 

exchange for his gifts and favours ? We adhuc spirans et anhelans caedes, Anglorum 

shall see hereafter (see vol. iii. Appendix interitum minabatur, verum quis fuerit 

R) that the mightiest vassal of the tanti conatus finis sequentia declarabunt." 

French Crown probably did so at a later iEthel. Riev. X Scriptt. 375. 

time. 4 Vita Eadw. 395. " Mittuntur singulis 

* See vol. i. p. 340. For the submission pro celsitudine su& ab ipso Rege regalia 

of Denmark to Magnus, see Adam of Bre- munera, quae ut nullius quamlibet multiplex 

men, ii. 74, 75 ; Snorro, Saga of Magnus, Regis vel principis umquam aequaret muni- 

c. 19 (Laing, ii. 377). Adam however ficentia, Regum pulcherrimus et nobilis- 

represents Magnus* first occupation of Den- simus Anglorum Rex jEdwardus facit eis- 

mark as the result of several battles with dem Francorum principibus vel annua vel 

Swegen, while Snorro makes Magnus be continual The money seems all to go 

peacefully elected in a Thing at Viborg, to France, none to Germany or Denmark, 
after which he makes Swegen an Earl and 


even if the Norman Duke himself was among the pensioners, the 
gifts of a superior to inferiors ; the point is that the connexion be- 
tween England and the different French states, Normandy above them 
all, was constantly increasing in amount, and receiving new shapes at 
every turn. 

Besides the gifts of foreign princes, the new King also received 
many splendid presents from his own nobles. First among them all 
shone forth the magnificent offering of the Earl of the West-Saxons. 1 
Godwine had given a ship to Harthacnut as the price of his acquittal 
on his memorable trial; 8 he now made the like offering to Eadward 
as a token of the friendship which was to reign between the newly- 
chosen King and his greatest subject Two hundred rowers impelled 
the floating castle. A golden lion adorned the stern ; at the prow the 
national ensign, the West-Saxon Dragon, shone also in gold, spread- 
ing his wings, the poet tells us, over the awe-struck waves. 8 A rich 
piece of tapestry, wrought on a purple ground with the naval exploits 
of former English Kings, 4 the sea-fights no doubt of JElfred, the 
peaceful triumphs of Eadgar, perhaps that noblest fight of all when 
the fleets of Denmark gave way before the sea-faring men of the 
merchant-city, 6 formed an, appropriate adornment of the offering of 
the English Earl to the first — men did not then deem that he was to 
be the last — prince of the newly-restored English dynasty. 

§ 2. Condition of England during the early years of Eadward. 

Before we go on to the events of the reign of Eadward, it will be 
well to endeavpur to gain a distinct idea of the King himself and of 
the men who were to be the chief actors in English affairs during his 
reign. In estimating the character of Eadward, we must never forget 
that we are dealing with a canonized saint. In such cases it is more 

1 Vita Eadw. 397 ; Aureus, ct Unguis flammam vomit ore 

" Multa dcdere quidem, reram super- trisulcis." 

eminet omnes Were the dragon and the lion thus coupled 

Larga Ducis probitas Godwini iminere to express Eadward's mixed origin* English 

talis [tali ?]." and Norman ? 

The Biographer here, as often, breaks forth 4 lb. 

into hexameters. " Nobilis appensum pretiatur purpura 

a Mr. Luard seems to think this ship velum, 

a mere repetition of the ship given tor Quo patrum series depicta docetvarias res, 

Harthacnut. Why? Bellaque aobilium turoata per sequora 

8 Vita Eadw. 397 ; Regpm." 

" Aureus e puppi leo prominet ; sequoia For instances of historical tapestry, see vol. 

pr or * i. p. 186. 

Celsae pennato perterret corpora draco 5 See vol. i. p. 189. 


\ *. 


needful than ever to look closely to a man's recorded acts, and to his 
character as described by those who wrote before his formal canoniza- 
tion. Otherwise we shall be in danger of mistaking hagiology for 
history. When a man is once canonized, his acts and character im- 
mediately pass out of the reach of ordinary criticism. Religious 
edification, not historical truth, becomes the aim of all who speak or 
write of one who has been formally enrolled as an object of religious 
reverence. 1 We must also be on our guard even in dealing with 
authors who wrote before his formal canonization, but after that 
popular canonization which was so often the first step towards it. It 
was of course the general reverence in which a man was held, the 
general belief in his holiness and miraculous powers, which formed 
the grounds of the demand for his formal canonization. But while we 
must be specially on our guard in weighing the character of particular 
acts and the value of particular panegyrics, we must remember that 
the popular esteem which thus led to canonization proves a great deal 
as to a man's general character. It proves still more when, as in the 
case of Eadward, there was no one special act, no one marked deed 
of Christian heroism or Christian endurance, which formed the holy 
man's claim to popular reverence. Eadward was not like one of those 
who died for their faith or for their country* and who, on the strength 
of such death, were at once revered as martyrs, without much inquiry 
into their actions and characters in other respects. He was not even 
like one of those, his sainted uncle and namesake for instance, 2 who 
gained the honours of martyrdom on still easier terms, by simply 
dying an unjust death, even though no religious or political principle 
was at stake. The popular reverence in which Eadward was held 
could rest on no ground except the genuine popular estimate of his 
general character. There were indeed strong political reasons which 
attached men to his memory. He was the one prominent man of the 
days immediately before the Conquest whom Normans and English- 
men could agree to reverence. The English naturally cherished the 
memory of the last prince of the ancient stock. They dwelt on his 
real or supposed virtues as a bright contrast to the crimes and vices 
of his Norman successors. Under the yoke of foreign masters they 
looked back to the peace and happiness of the days of their native 
King. The King who reigned on the English throne without a spark 
of English feeling, became the popular embodiment of English na- 
tionality, and men called for the Laws of King Eadward as in earlier 
times they had called for the Laws of Cnut or of Eadgar. 8 On the 
other hand, it suited the policy of the Normans to show all respect to 
the kinsman of their own Duke, the King by whose pretended bequest 

1 On the legendary history of Eadward 2 See vol. i. pp. 177, 226. 
see Appendix B. 3 See vol. i. pp. 147, 281. 


their Duke claimed the English Crown, and whose lawful successor h£ 
professed himself to be. In English eyes Eadward stood out in con- 
trast to the invader William ; in Norman eyes he stood out in contrast 
to the usurper Harold. A King whom two hostile races thus agreed 
in respecting could not fail to obtain both popular and formal canoni- 
zation on somewhat easy terms. Still he could hardly have obtained 
either the one or the other only on grounds like these. He must have 
displayed some personal qualities which really won him popular 
affection during life and maintained him in popular reverence after 
death. It is worth while to study a little more at length the character 
of a man who obtained in his own age a degree of respect which in 
our eyes seems justified neither by several of his particular actions nor 
by the general tenour of his government. 

That Eadward was in any sense a great man, that he displayed any 
of the higher qualities of a ruler of those days, no one probably will 
assert. He was doubtless in some respects a better man than Cnut, 
than Harold, or than William ; as a King of the eleventh century no 
one will venture to compare him with those three mighty ones. His 
wars were waged by deputy, and his civil government was carried on 
largely by deputy also. Of his many personal virtues, his earnest 
piety, his good intentions in every way, his sincere desire for the 
welfare of his. people, there can be no doubt. Vice of every kind, 
injustice, wanton cruelty, were hateful to him. But in all kingly 
qualities he was utterly lacking. In fact, so far as a really good man 
can reproduce the character of a thoroughly bad one, Eadward 
reproduced the character of his father JEthelred. Writers who lived 
before his canonization, or who did not come within the magic halo 
of his sanctity, do not scruple to charge him, as his father is charged, 
with utter sloth and incapacity. 1 Like his father, he was quite in- 
capable of any steady attention to the duties of royalty; 2 but, like his 
father, he had occasional fits of energy, which, like those of his father, 
often came at the wrong time. 8 His contemporary panegyrist allows 
that he gave way to occasional fits of wrath, but he pleads that his 
anger never hurried him into unbecoming language. 4 It hurried him 
however, more than once, into very unbecoming intentions. We 

1 Sec Appendix B. suscitaret animi motum, leonini videbatur 

2 His monastic biographer (#)th. Riev. terroris, iram tamen non prodebat jurgiis." 
X Scriptt. 388) says by way of praise, We shall presently come across a ludicrous 
" Cuncta regni negotia Ducibus proceri- example of his " nobilis ira/' venting itself 
basque [to Earl Harold and the Witan] in an oath. Possibly the reference may 
committens, totum se divinis mancipat ob- partly be to his abstinence, like that of 
sequiis. Quanto autem se corporalibus sub- Saint Lewis, from the French, and gener- 
trahebat, tanto luminosius se spiritalibus ally southern, vice of reviling God 'and the 
indidit theoriis." Saints. See Joinville, p. 120 ed. Ducange, 

8 See vol. i. p. 302. 1668; p. 217 ed. Michel, 1858. 

* Vita Eadw. 396. "Si ratio aliquem 


shall find that, on two memorable occasions, it needed the inter- 
vention of his better genius, in the form first of Godwine and then 
of Harold, to keep back the saintly King from massacre and civil 
war. 1 Here we see the exact parallels to JEthelred's mad expeditions 
against Normandy, Cumberland, and St. David's. 2 But Eadward was 
not only free from the personal vices and cruelties of his father ; there 
can be no doubt that, except when carried away by ebullitions of this 
kind, he sincerely endeavoured, according to the measure of his ability, 
to establish a good administration of justice throughout his dominions. 
But the duties of secular government, although doubtless discharged 
conscientiously and to the best of his ability, were with Eadward always 
something which went against the grain. His natural place was, not 
on the throne of England, but at the head of a Norman Abbey. 
Nothing, one would think, could have hindered him from entering on 
the religious life in the days of his exile, unless it were a vague kind 
of feeling that other duties were thrown upon him by his birth. For 
all his virtues were those of a monk ; all the real man came out in his 
zeal for collecting relics, in his visions, in his religious exercises, in 
his gifts to churches and monasteries, in his desire to mark his reign, 
as its chief result, by the foundation of his great Abbey of Saint Peter 
at Westminster. In a prince of the manly piety of JSlfred things of 
this sort form only a part, a pleasing and harmonious part, of the 
general character. In Eadward they formed the whole man. His 
time was oddly divided between his prayers and the pastime which 
seems least suited to the character of a saint. The devotion to the 
pleasures of the chase was so universal among the princes and nobles 
of that age that it is needless to speak of it as a feature in any man's 
character, unless when some special circumstance forces it into 
special notice. We remark it in the two Williams, because it was 
their love of hunting which led them into their worst acts of op- 
pression; we remark it in Eadward, because it seems so utterly 
incongruous with the other features of his character. 8 There were 

1 I allude to his wish, frustrated by votione, jocundabatur plurimum coram se 

Godwine, to subject Dover to military allatis accipitribus vel hujus generis avibus, 

chastisement (Chron. Petrib. 1048. Cf. vel certe delectabatur applausibus multorum 

the dealings of the Emperor Theodosius motuum canibus. His et talibus interdum 

with Thessalonica and Antioch), and his deducebat diem, et in his tantummodo ex 

wish, frustrated by Harold, to wage war natur& videbatur aliquam mundi captare 

with the Northumbrians on behalf of delectationem." So William of Malmes- 

Tostigin 1065. Vita Eadw. 423. bury (ii. 220), in a passage which, like 

J See vol. i. pp. 202, 320, 236, 428. several others, makes one think that he 

3 Vita Eadw. 414. " Benignissimus Rex had this Life of Eadward before him ; 

JBdwardus . . . plurimum temporis exige- " Unum erat quo in saeculo animum oblec- 

bat circa saltus et silvas in venationum taret suum, cursus canum velocium,' quo* 

jocunditate. Divinis enim expedites officiis, rum circa saltus latratibus solebat laetus 

quibus libenter quotidian^ intendebat de- applaudere; volatus volucrum quorum na- 


men even in those times who could feel pity for animal suffering and 
who found no pleasure in the wanton infliction of pain. Tenderness 
for animals is no unusual feature in either the real or the legendary 
portraits of holy men. Anselm, the true saint, like Ceadda in earlier 
times, saved the life of the hunted beast which sought his protection, 
and made the incident the text of a religious exhortation to his com- 
panions. He saw a worthy object for prayer in the sufferings of a 
bird tortured by a thoughtless child, and his gentle heart found 
matter for pious rejoicing in the escape of the feathered captive. 1 
Humanity like this met with but little response in the breast of the 
saintly monarch. The piercing cry, the look of mute agony, of the 
frightened, wearied, tortured beast awakened no more pity in the 
heart of the saintly King than in that of the rudest Danish Thegn 
who shared his savage pastime. The sufferings of the hart panting 
for the water-brooks, the pangs of the timid hare falling helpless 
into the jaws of her pursuers, the struggles of the helpless bird 
grasped in the talons of the resistless hawk, afforded as keen a 
delight to the prince who had never seen steel flash in earnest, as 
ever they did to men whom a life of constant warfare in a rude age 
had taught to look lightly on the sufferings and death even of their 
own kind. 3 Once, we are told, a churl, resisting, it well may be, 
some trespass of the King and his foreign courtiers on an English- 
man's freehold, put some hindrance in the way of the royal sport. 
An unsaintly oath and an unkingly threat at once rose to the lips of 
Eadward ; " By God and his Mother, I will hurt you some day if 
I can." 8 Had Anselm, in the might of his true holiness, thus crossed 
the path of his brother saint, he too, as the defender of the oppressed, 
might have become the object of a like outburst of impotent wrath. 
A delight in amusements of this kind is hardly a fair subject of blame 
in men of any age to whom the rights of the lower animals have 

tura est de cognatis avibus praedas agere. very business-like phrase]. Domesday, ii. 

Ad hacc exercitia continuis diebus, post 117. C£ Will. Fitz-Stephen, Giles, i. 180. 
audita mane divina officia, intendebat." s Will. Malms, ii. 196. " Dum qu&dam 

He retained these tastes to the last. In vice venatum isset, et agrestis quidam sta- 

1065 Harold built a house at Portskewet bulata ilia quibus in casses cervi urgentur 

as a hunting-seat for the King. Chronn. confudisset, ille sud nobili percitus ira * Per 

Ab. and Wig., and Flor. Wig. in anno. Deum' inquit 'et Matrem ejus, tantumdem 

1 For these two beautiful stories of Saint tibi nocebo si potero.' " William's whole 

Anselm, see his Life by Eadmer, ii. 27, comment is very curious. This story has 

28, who is followed by John of Salisbury, been made good use of by Lord Lytton, 

Anglia Sacra, ii. 165. in his romance of" Harold," which, if the 

a It is not clear whether Eadward did sentimental and supernatural parts were 

not take the same delight as Queen Eliza- struck out, would form a narrative more 

beth in another form of animal torture, accurate than most so-called histories of 

There is something suspicious in part of the time. For a somewhat similar tale 

the royal dues paid by the city of Nor- see Motley, United Netherlands, iii. 172. 
wich, "ursum et sex canes ad ursum" [a 


perhaps never been presented as matter for serious thought. But 
in a man laying claim to special holiness, to special meekness and 
gentleness of character, we naturally look for a higher standard, a 
standard which a contemporary example shows not to have been 
unattainable even in that age. 

In person Eadward is described as being handsome, of moderate 
height, his face full and rosy, his hair and beard white as snow. 1 His 
beard he wore long, according to what seems to have been the older 
fashion both of England and of Normandy. 2 Among his younger 
contemporaries this fashion went out of use in both countries, and the 
Normans shaved the whole face, while the English left the hair on the 
upper lip only. He was remarkable for the length and whiteness of 
his hands. When not excited by passion, he was gentle and affable 
to all men ; he was liberal both to the poor and to his friends ; but he 
had also the special art of giving a graceful refusal, so that the 
rejection of a suit by him was almost as pleasing as its acceptance by 
another. 3 In public he always preserved his kingly dignity ; but he 
took little pleasure in the pomp of royalty or in wearing the gorgeous 
robes which were wrought for him by the industry and affection of his 
Lady. 4 In private company, though he never forgot his rank, he could 
unbend, and treat his familiar friends as an equal. 5 He avoided how- 
ever one bad habit of his age, that of choosing the time of divine 
service as the time for private conversation. It is mentioned as a 
special mark of his devotion that he scarcely ever spoke during mass, 
except when he was interrupted by others.* The mention of his 

1 Vita Eadw. 396. " Hominis persona gem et dominum, in privato, salva quidem 

erat decentissima, discretae proceritatis, ca- regiamaje$tate,agebatsesuis utconsocium." 

pUlis et barbft canitie insigois lacte&, facie * lb. 415. "Inter ipsa divinorum my- 

plen& et cute rosea, man i bus macris et steriorum et missarum sacrosancta officia 

niveis, longis quoque interlucentibus digitis, agnina mansuetudine stabat, et mente tran- 

reliquo cor pore to to integer et regius quilla cunctis fidelibus spectabilis Christi- 

homo." William of Malmesbury (ii. 220) cola, inter quae, nisi interpellaretur, raris- 

seems again to copy the Biographer; "Erat sime cui loquebatur." Compare the oppo- 

discretcE proceritatis, barba et capillis cyg- site description given of Henry the Second, 

neus, facie roseus, toto corpore lacteus, who always talked of public affairs during 

membrorum babitudine commoda perido- mass (Gir. Camb. Exp. Hib. i. 46. p. 305 

neus." Eadward was seemingly an albino. Dimock, and see more at large Stubbs, 

* In the Bayeux Tapestry Eadward and Benedict, ii. xxx.), and the curious story of 
one or two others are represented with his holding a discourse at such a moment 
long beards. William and Harold, and the with Saint Thomas of Canterbury himself, 
mass of their respective countrymen, are as told by Roger of Pontigny (Giles, i. 
represented according to the later fashions 132). It is however somewhat differently 
described in the text. told by William Fitz-Stephen (ib. i. 2 1 8). See 

3 Vita Eadw. 396. "Cunctis poscenti- Gentleman's Magazine, April, i860, p. 386. 
bus ut benigne daret aut benigne negaret, The Ayenbite of Inwyt (p. 20 ed. 

tta et ut benigoa negatio plurima videretur Morris) reproves this practice as a com- 

largitio." mon fault ; " And huanne \>e ssoldest yhere 

1 Ib. 415. So Will. Malms, ii. 220. his messe o)>er his sermon at cberche, ]>ou 

* Ib. 396. " In frequentia vere se Re- iangledest and bourdedest to-vor God/' 

vol. n. c 



friends and familiar companions leads us directly to his best and worst 
aspects as an English King. Like his father, he was constantly under 
the dominion of favourites. It was to the evil choice of his favourites 
during the early part of his reign that most of the misfortunes of his 
time were owing, and that a still more direct path was opened for the 
ambition of his Norman kinsman. In the latter part of his reign, 
either happy accident, or returning good sense, or perhaps the sheer 
necessity of the case, led him to a better choice. Without a guide 
he could not reign, but the good fortune of his later years gave him the 
wisest and noblest of all guides. The most honourable feature in the 
whole life of Eadward is that the last thirteen years of his reign were 
virtually the reign of Harold. . 

But in the days before that great national reaction, in the period 
embraced in the present Chapter, it is the peculiar character of the 
favourites to whose influence Eadward was given up which sets its 
special mark on the time. The reign of Eadward in many respects 
forestalls the reign of Henry the Third. The part played by Earl 
Godwine in many respects forestalls the part played by Earl Simon of 
Montfort. Eadward was by birth an Englishman ; but he was the son 
of a Norman mother ; he had been carried to Normandy in his child- 
hood ; he had there spent the days of his youth and early manhood ; 
England might be the land of his duty, but Normandy was ever the 
land of his affection With the habits, the feelings, the language, of 
the people over whom he was called to rule he had no sympathy 
whatever. His heart was French. His delight was to surround him- 
self with companions who came from the beloved land and who spoke 
the beloved tongue, to enrich them with English estates, to invest them 
with the highest offices of the English Kingdom. Policy might make 
him the political ally of his Imperial brother-in-law, but a personal 
sentiment made him the personal friend of his Norman cousin. The 
needs of his royal position made him accept Godwine as his 
counsellor and the daughter of Godwine as his wife. But his real 
affections were lavished on the Norman priests 1 and gentlemen who 
flocked to his Court as to the land of promise. These strangers were 
placed in important offices about the royal person, 2 and before long 
they were set to rule as Earls and Bishops over the already half- 

1 Vita Eadw. 4 14. "Abbates religiosos 
et monachos, potissimum autem transmari- 
nos . . quam benigne susceperit." So Will. 
Malms. 220; *'Pauperibus hospitibusque, 
maxime transmarinis et religiosis, benig- 
nus appellando, muni fie us dando." See Ap- 
pendix C. 

2 Vit. Eadw. 399. "Quum praedictus 
sanctae memoriae JiEdwardus Rex repafri- 
aret a Francia, ex eadem gente comitati 

sunt quamplures non ignobiles viri, quos 
plurimis honoribus ditatos secum retinuit 
idem Rex, utpote compos totius regni, 
ordinariosque constituit secretorum consilii 
sui, et rectores rerum regalis palatii." It 
is remarkable how seldom, especially in 
the early part of Eadward's reign, the 
foreigners appear to sign charters. They 
were doubtless jealously watched. 


conquered soil of England. Even when he came over as a private 
man in the days of Harthacnut, Eadward had brought with him his 
Erench nephew, 1 and Ralph the Timid was but the forerunner of the 
gang of foreigners who were soon to be quartered upon the country, 
as these were again only the first instalment of the larger gang who 
were to win for themselves a more lasting settlement four and twenty 
years later. In all this the seeds of the Conquest were sowing, or rather, 
as I once before put it, 8 it is now that the Conquest actually begins. 
The reign of Eadward is a period of struggle between natives and 
foreigners for dominion in. England. The foreigners gradually win the 
upper hand, and for a time they are actually dominant. Then a 
national reaction overthrows their influence, and the greatest of living 
Englishmen becomes the virtual ruler. But this happy change did 
not take place till the strangers had become accustomed to look on 
English estates and honours as their right, a right which they soon 
learned to think they might one day assert by force of arms. The 
foreign favourites of Eadward were in truth the advanced guard of 
William. The conquests of England by Swegen and Cnut, the won- 
derful exploits of his own countrymen in the south, of Europe, no 
doubt helped to suggest to the Norman Duke that it was not impos- 
sible to win England for himself with his sword. But it must have 
been the feeling, on the part both of himself and of his subjects, that 
England was a land already half won over to Norman rule, which 
made the succession to the English Crown the cherished aim of the 
life of the mighty ruler who was now growing up to manhood and to 
greatness on the other side of the sea. 

The elevation of Eadward to the throne of course involved the 
establishment in still greater honour and authority of the man to whom 
his elevation was mainly owing, the great Earl of the West-Saxons. 
I have already thrown out some hints as to what the real relations 
between Eadward and Godwine probably were. 8 There is not a 
shadow of evidence for those calumnies of the Norman writers which 
represent Godwine and his sons as holding the King in a sort of 
bondage, as abusing his simplicity and confidence, sometimes as 
behaving to him with great personal insolence, sometimes, they even 
venture to add, practising all kinds of injustice and oppression through- 
out the Kingdom. The English writers tell a widely different tale. 
The contrast between the two accounts is well set forth by a writer 
whose sympathies lie wholly on the Norman side, but who makes 
at least an effort to deal fairly between the two. In the English 
version Godwine and his sons are high-minded and faithful counsellors 

1 Vol. i. p. 350. a Vol. i. p. 355. 

8 Sec above, p. 9. 
C 2 


of the King ; they are patriots who stood forward as the leaders of the 
national feeling against his foreign favourites, but who were never 
guilty of any undutiful word or deed towards the prince whom they 
had themselves raised to power. 1 Eadward probably both feared and 
suspected Godwine. But there is nothing to show that, up to the final 
outbreak between Godwine and the foreigners, the great Earl had 
ever deviated from even formal loyalty to his sovereign. There is 
distinct evidence that more than one of his sons had gained Eadward's 
warmest personal affection. From all that we can see, Godwine was not 
a man likely to win the same sort of personal affection from Eadward, 
perhaps not even from the nation at large, which was afterwards won 
by Harold. That Godwine was the representative of all English 
feeling, that he was the leader of every national movement, that he 
was the object of the deepest admiration on the part of the men at 
least of his own Earldom, is proved by the clearest of evidence. But 
it is equally clear that Godwine was essentially a wary statesman, and 
in no sense a chivalrous hero. We have seen that, mighty as was the 
power of his eloquence, he did not trust to his eloquence only. 2 He 
knew how to practise the baser as well as the nobler arts of statesman- 
ship. He knew how to win over political adversaries by bribes, 
threats, and promises, and how to find means of chastisement for 
those who remained to the last immoveable by the voice of the charmer. 
When we think of the vast extent of his possessions, 3 most or all of 
which must have been acquired by royal grant, it is almost impossible 
to acquit him of a grasping disposition. It is also laid to his qjiarge 
that, in the acquisition of wealth, he did not always regard the rights 
of ecclesiastical bodies. 4 This last charge, it must be remembered, is 
one which he shares with almost every powerful man of his time, even 
with those who, if they took with one hand, gave lavishly with the, other. 
And accusations of this sort must always be taken with certain deduc- 
tions. Monastic and other ecclesiastical writers were apt to make 
little or no distinction between acts of real sacrilege, committed by 
fraud or violence, and the most legal transactions by which the Church 
happened to be a loser. Still it should be noticed that Godwine 
stands perhaps alone among the great men of his own age in having 
no ecclesiastical foundation connected with his name. As far as I am 
aware, he is nowhere enrolled among the founders or benefactors of 
any church, religious or secular. 5 Such a peculiarity is most remark- 

1 Will. Malms, ii. 197. See Appendix D. D'or e de argent dunt out asez, 

2 See above, p. 5. Ke par plaiz e par achatz 

3 See vol. i. p. 285. The French bio- De grant aver out fait purchaz ; 
grapher of Eadward says (p. 57) ; Mut out cunquis par boesdie 

" Godwin k'out mis entente Plus ke par chivalerie." 

Cunquere tresor e rente, * See Appendix E. 

Mut fu garniz e estorez 5 A. Godwine appears (W. Thorn. X 


able. How far it may have arisen from enlightenment beyond his age, 
how far it was the result of mere illiberality or want of religious feeling, 
it is utterly impossible to say. But it is clear that Godwine is in this 
respect distinguished in a marked way from his son, whose liberality, 
guided as it was by a wise discretion, was conspicuous among his other 
great qualities. Again, it is hardly possible to acquit Godwine of 
being, like most fathers who have the chance, too anxious for the 
advancement of his own family. He promoted his sons, both worthy 
and unworthy, to the greatest offices in the Kingdom, at an age when 
they could have had but little personal claim to such high distinctions. 
In so doing, he seems to have overstepped the bounds of policy as 
well as those of fairness and good feeling. Such an accumulation of 
power in one family could not but raise envy, and higher feelings than 
envy, in the breasts of rivals, some of whom may have had as good or 
better claims to promotion. * That Godwine sacrificed his daughter to 
a political object is a charge common to him with princes and states- 
men in all ages. Few men in any time or place would have thrown 
away the opportunity of having a King for a son-in-law, and, as God- 
wine doubtless hoped, of becoming, at least in the female line, the 
ancestor of a line of princes. 

The faults of the great Earl then are manifest. But his virtues are 
equally manifest. In the eyes of contemporary Englishmen such 
faults as I have mentioned must have seemed little more than a few 
specks on a burnished mirror. His good government of his Earldom 
is witnessed, not only by the rhetoric of his panegyrist, which however 
may at least be set against the rhetoric of his accusers, but by the 
plain facts of the welcome which greeted him on his return from 
banishment, and the zeal on his behalf displayed by all classes. 1 As 
a ruler, Godwine is specially praised for what in those days was 
looked on as the first virtue of a ruler, merciless severity towards all 
disturbers of the public peace. In our settled times we hardly under- 
stand how rigour, often barbarous rigour, against thieves and mur- 
derers should have been looked on as the first merit of a governor, 
one which was always enough to cover a multitude of sins. Public 
feeling went along with the prince or magistrate who thus preserved 
the peace of his dominions, however great might be his own offences 
in other ways, and however cruel in our eyes might be the means by 
which he compassed this first end of government. To have dis- 
charged this great duty stands foremost in the panegyrics of Godwine 
and of Harold. 2 It was accepted at the hands of the Norman 

Scriptt. 21 24) as a benefactor of Christ l This comes out nowhere more empha- 

Church, Canterbury. This may be the tically than in the comparatively hostile 

great £arl, or it may be the Godwine Abingdon Chronicle, 1052. 

whose marriage settlement we have in a Vita Eadw. 408. Cf. Fl. Wig. 1 066. 
Cod. Dipl. iv. 10. 



Conqueror as almost an equivalent for the horrors of the Conquest. 1 
It won for his son Henry a splendid burst of admiration at the hands 
of a native writer who certainly was not blind to the oppression of 
which that prince himself was guilty. 2 A certain amount of tyranny 
was willingly endured at the hands of men who so effectually rid the 
world of smaller tyrants. And, in opposition to the praise thus 
bestowed on Godwine, Harold, William, and Henry, we find the 
neglect of this paramount duty standing foremost in the dark indict- 
ments against the ruffian Rufus s and the heedless Robert. 4 Godwine 
is set forth to us, in set phrases, it may be, but in phrases which do 
not the less express the conviction of the country, as a ruler mild and 
affable to the good, but stern and merciless to the evil and unruly. 5 
But with all his vigour, all his eloquence, it is clear that Godwine 
never reached to the same complete dominion over King and King- 
dom which, in later years, fell to the lot of his nobler son. He 
always remained an object of jealousy, not only to the French 
favourites of Eadward, but to the Earls of the other parts of England. 
We shall find that his eloquent tongue could not always command a 
majority in the Meeting of the Wise. 8 But the importance attributed 
to his oratory, the fluctuations of success and defeat which he under- 
went in the great deliberative Assembly, show clearly how advanced 
our constitution already was in an age when free debate was so well 
understood, and when free speech was so powerful. 7 In this respect 
the Norman Conquest undoubtedly threw things back. We shall have 
to pass over several centuries before we come to another chief whose 
influence clearly rested to so great a degree on his power of swaying 
great assemblies of men, on the personal affection or personal 
awe with which he had learned to inspire the Legislature of his 

The marriage of Godwine with his Danish wife Gytha had given 
him a numerous and flourishing offspring. Six sons and three 
daughters surrounded the table of the Earl of the West- Saxons. In 
the names which several of them bore we may discern the influence 
of their Danish mother. 8 The sons of Godwine were Swegen, Harold, 
Tostig, Gyrth, Leofwine, and Wulfnoth. His daughters were 
Eadgyth, Gunhild, and JElfgifu. 9 As twenty-three years had now 

1 Sec the Peterborough Chronicler's cha- 
racter of William, under the year 1087. 

2 lb. UX5- 

3 Will. Malms, iv. 314. 
Ord. Vit. 672 B. 
Vit. Eadw. 408. 
Fl. Wig. 1048, 1049. 
" When the chronicler praises the gift 

of speech, he unconsciously proves the ex- 
istence of constitutional freedom/' Lytton, 



Harold, i. 165. 

8 I attribute the Danish names in God- 
wine's family to the influence of Gytha 
rather than to any Danish tastes prevalent 
at the Court of Cnut, because the Danes 
settled in England seem to have so often 
adopted English names for their children. 
See vol. i. pp. 348, 354. 

9 On the sons and daughters of God- 
wine see Appendix F. 


passed since Godwine's marriage, we may assume that all of them 
were already born, though some of the younger ones may still have 
been children. The eldest sons had reached manhood, and we shall 
find two at least of them filling the rank of Earl during Jhe period 
with which we are now dealing. Swegen, the eldest son, seems to 
have been invested with an Earldom from the very beginning of 
Eadward's reign, as he signs a charter with that title in the King's 
second year. 1 Gytha's nephew, Beorn, also remained in England 
while his brother Osbeorn was banished, and while his other brother 
Swegen was putting forth his claims to the Crown of Denmark. He 
had doubtless firmly attached himself to the interests of his uncle. 
He also was, probably at a somewhat later time, raised to an Earldom, 
seemingly the Earldom of the Middle- Angles, lately held by Thored. 2 
The Earldom held by Swegen was geographically most anomalous. 
It took in the Mercian shires of Hereford, Gloucester, and Oxford, 
and the West-Saxon shires of Berkshire and Somerset.* 

But, along with the comparatively obscure names of Swegen and 
Beorn, a greater actor now steps upon the field. We have now 
reached the first appearance of the illustrious man round whom the 
main interest of this history will henceforth centre. The second son 
of Godwine lived to be the last of our native Kings, the hero and 
the martyr of our native freedom. We have indeed as yet to deal 
with him only in a subordinate capacity, and in some sort in a less 
honourable character. The few recorded actions of Harold, Earl of 
the East- Angles, could hardly have enabled men to look forward to 
the glorious career of Harold, Earl of the West-Saxons, and of 
Harold, King of the English. To his first great government, a 
trying elevation indeed for one in the full vigour of youth and 
passion, he was apparently raised about three years after the election 
of Eadward, when he himself could not have passed his twenty- 
fourth year. While still young, he saw somewhat of the fluctuations 
of human affairs, and he seems to have learned wisdom from ex- 
perience. Still there must have been in him from the beginning 
the germ of those great qualities which shone forth so conspicuously 
in his later career. It is not hard to paint his portraiture, alike 
from his recorded actions, and from the elaborate descriptions of 
him which we possess from contemporary hands. The praises of the 

1 Cod. Dipl. iv. 74. This charter must Swegen, Tostig, and Gyrth, all with the 

be early in the year 1043, earlier at least rank of " Dux," is deservedly marked as 

than the Gem6t which we shall presently doubtful by Mr. Kemble. 

see was held in November. Swegen was a See vol. i. p. 347, and Appendix G, 

therefore probably appointed in the Gem6t on the Great Earldoms. His first signature 

at which Eadward was finally established is in 1045. Cod. Dipl. iv. 97. 

as King. Another charter, of 1044 (Cod. 3 Fl. Wig. 105 1. 
Dipl. iv. 80), signed by Harold, Leofwine, 


great Earl sound forth in the latest specimen of the native minstrelsy 
of Teutonic England. And they sound forth with a truer ring than 
the half conventional praises of the saintly monarch, whose greatest 
glory, after all, was that he had called Harold to the government 
of his realm. 1 The Biographer of Eadward, the panegyrist of God- 
wine, is indeed the common laureate of Godwine's whole family ; but 
it is not in the special interest of Harold that he writes. He sets 
forth the merits of Harold with no sparing hand; he approves of 
him as a ruler and he admires him as a man ; but his own personal 
affection plainly clings more closely to the rival brother Tostig. 
His description of Harold is therefore the more trustworthy as it 
fully agrees with the evidence of his recorded actions. Harold then, 
the second son of Godwine, is set before us as a man uniting every 
gift of mind and body which could attract to him the admiration 
and affection of the age in which he lived. 2 Tall in stature, beautiful 
in countenance, of a bodily strength whose memory still lives in 
the rude pictorial art of his time, 8 he was foremost alike in the active 
courage and in the passive endurance of the warrior. In hunger and 
watchfulness, in the wearing labours of a campaign no less than in 
the passing excitement of the day of battle, he stood forth as the leader 
and the model of the English people. 4 Alike ready and vigorous in 
action, he knew when to strike and how to strike ; he knew how to 
measure himself against enemies of every kind, and to adapt his 
tactics to every position in which the accidents of warfare might 
place him. He knew how to chase the light-armed Briton from 
fastness to fastness, how to charge, axe in hand, on the bristling 
lines of his Norwegian namesake, and how to bear up, hour after 
hour, against the repeated onslaughts of the Norman horsemen and 
the more terrible thunder-shower of the Norman arrows. It is plain 
that in him, no less than in his more successful, and therefore more 
famous, rival, we have to admire, not only the mere animal courage 
of the soldier, but that true skill of the leader of armies which would 
have placed both Harold and William high among the captains of 
any age. 

But the son of Godwine, the heir of his greatness, was more than a 
soldier, more than a general. If he inherited from his father those 
military qualities which first drew on Godwine the notice alike of the 

1 Chronn. Ab. and Wig. 1065. See writer is comparing Harold and Tostig} 

Appendix D. satis pulcro et venusto corpore et, ut con- 

3 Vita Eadw. 408. " Virtu te corporis et jicimus, non inaequali robore, non disparis 

animi in populo praestabat ut alter Jndas audaciae. Sed major natu Haroldus proce- 

Machabseus." rior statural, patris satis [these words are 

8 In the -Bayeux Tapestry Harold is clearly corrupt] infinitis laborious, vigiliis 

represented as lifting the Norman soldiers et inedia, mult& animi lenitate et promp- 

from the quicksands with the greatest ease, tiori sapientiS." 

* Vita Eadw. 409. "Uterque [the 


English JEtheling 1 and of the Danish King, he inherited also that 
eloquence of speech, that wisdom in council, that knowledge of the 
laws of the land, 2 which made him the true leader and father of the 
English people. Great as Harold was in war, his character as a civil 
ruler is still more remarkable, still more worthy of admiration. One or 
two actions of his earlier life show indeed that the spirit of those days 
of violence had laid its hand even on him. But, from the time when 
he appears in his full maturity as the acknowledged chief of the English 
nation, the most prominent feature in his character is his singular 
gentleness and mercy. Never, either in warfare or in civil strife, do 
we find Harold bearing hardly upon an enemy. From the time of his 
advancement to the practical government of the Kingdom, there is not 
a single harsh or cruel action with which he can be charged. His 
policy was ever a policy of conciliation. His panegyrist indeed con- 
fines his readiness to forgive, his unwillingness to avenge, to his deal- 
ings with his own countrymen only. 8 But the same magnanimous 
spirit is shown in cases where his conduct was less capable of being 
guided by mere policy than in his dealings with Mercian rivals 
and with Northumbrian revolters. We see the same generous 
temper in his treatment of the conquered Princes of Wales and of 
the defeated invaders of Stamfordbridge. As a ruler, he is described as 
walking in the steps of his father, as the terror of evil-doers and the 
rewarder of those who did well. Devoted, heart and soul, to the ser- 
vice of his country, he was no less loyal in personal attention and 
service to her wayward and half-foreign King. 4 Throughout his 
career he was the champion of the independence of England against 
the dominion of strangers. To keep the court of England free from 
the shoals of foreigners who came to fatten on English estates and 
honours, and to meet the same enemies in open arms upon the heights 
of Senlac, were only two different ways of discharging the great duty 
to which his whole energies were devoted. And yet no man was ever 
more free from narrow insular prejudices, from any unworthy jealousy 
of foreigners as such. His own mind was enlarged and enriched by 

1 See vol. i. p. 481. Velox est ad veniam, ad vindictam 

* De Inv. c. 1 4. •• Turn . . . astutia et tardus." * 

legum terrse peritft, turn quia se talem Political Songs (Camd. Soc), p. 163. 

gerebat quod non solum Angli, verum * See the poem in the Chronicles. So 

etiam Normanni et Gallici imprimis invi- Snorro (Ant. Celt. Scand. 189; Laing, iii. 

debant pulcritudini et prudentise, militi* 75), while strangely making Harold the 

et sagacitati." youngest of the family and hardly realizing 

* Vita Eadw. 409. "Multum obloquia his position in the Kingdom, bears ample 
peiferre, nam non facile prodere, non facile testimony to the kindly relations existing 
quoqoe et in cirem sire compatxiorum, ut between him and the King. He is there 
reor, nusquam, ukrisci." Compare the cha- called Eadward's '* foster son." The Bio- 
racter of Edward the First ; grapher (p. 433) calls him " nutricius suus 

"Totus Christo traditur Rex noster frater." 
Edwardus ; 


foreign travel, by the study of the politics and institutions of other 
nations on their own soil. He not only made the pilgrimage to 
Rome, a practice which the example of Cnut seems to have made 
fashionable among English nobles and prelates, but he went on a 
journey through various parts of Gaul, carefully examining into the 
condition of the country and the policy of its rulers, among whom we 
may be sure that the renowned Duke of Rouen was not forgotten. 1 
And Harold was ever ready to welcome and to reward real merit in 
men of foreign birth. He did not scruple to confer high offices on 
strangers, and to call men of worth from foreign lands to help him in 
his most cherished undertakings. But, while the bounty of Eadward 
was squandered on Normans and Frenchmen, men utterly alien in 
language and feeling, it was the policy of Harold to strengthen the 
connexion of England with the continental nations nearest to us in 
blood and speech. 2 All the foreigners promoted by Harold, or in the 
days of his influence, were natives of those kindred Teutonic lands 
whose sons might still almost be looked upon as fellow-countrymen. 

Such was Harold as a leader of Englishmen in war and in peace. 
As for his personal character, we can discern that in the received piety 
of the age he surpassed his father. The charge of invasion of the 
rights of ecclesiastical bodies is brought against him no less than 
against Godwine ; but the instance which has brought most discredit 
upon his name can be easily shown to be a mere tissue of misconcep- 
tions and exaggerations. 3 And it is far more certain that Harold was 
the intimate friend of the best and holiest man of his time. Wulfstan, 
the sainted Prior and Bishop of Worcester, was the object of his 
deepest affection and reverence ; he would at any time go far out of 
his way for the benefit of his exhortations and prayers ; and the Saint 
repaid his devotion by loyal and vigorous service in the day of need. 4 
Of his liberality his great foundation at Waltham is an everlasting 
monument, and it is a monument not more of his liberality than of his 
wisdom. To the monastic orders Harold seems not to have been 
specially liberal ; 6 his bounty took another and a better chosen direc- 
tion. The foundation of a great secular College, in days when all the 
world seemed mad after monks, when King Eadward and Earl Leofric 

1 Vita Eadw. 410; a passage which I torian Hugo Candidus says (p. 44. ap. 

shall have to refer to again. Sparke), " Comes Haroldus dedit Cliftune 

8 I refer both to Harold's own proceed- et terram in Londoue juxta monasterium 

ings at Waltham and to the general pro- Sancti Pauli, juxta portum qui vocatur 

motion of Germans during this reign. See Etheredishythe." Harold's connexion with 

Stubbs, De In v. ix. London should be noticed. It was also at 

3 See Appendix E and QQ_ his advice that King Eadward made a 

* See William of Malmesbury's. Life of grant to Abingdon (Hist. Mou. Ab. i. 469), 

Wulfstan, Angl. Sacr. ii. 248, 253. and that a Thegu named Thurkill, of 

5 He was however a benefactor to the whom we shall hear again, commended 

Abbey of Peterborough. The local his- himself to the same church (lb. i. 484). 


vied with each other in lavish gifts to religious houses at home and 
abroad, was in itself an act displaying no small vigour and indepen- 
dence of mind. The details too of the foundation were such as 
showed that the creation of Waltham was not the act of a moment of 
superstitious dread or of reckless bounty, but the deliberate deed of a 
man who felt the responsibilities of lofty rank and boundless wealth, 
and who earnestly sought the welfare of his Church and nation in all 
things. As to his personal demeanour, he was frank and open in 
his general bearing, to a degree which was sometimes thought to be 
hurtful to his interests. 1 Yet he could on occasion dissemble and 
conceal his purpose, a gift which seems sometimes to have been mis- 
construed, 2 and which apparently led him to the one great error of his 
life. He appears not to have been wholly free from the common fault 
of noble and generous dispositions. The charge of occasional rash- 
ness was brought against him by others, and it is denied by his pane- 
gyrist in terms which seem to imply that the charge was not wholly 
groundless. 8 And we must add that, in his private life, he did not, at 
least in his younger days, imitate either the monastic asceticism of the 
King or the stern domestic purity of his rival the Conqueror. The most 
pathetic incident connected with his name tells us of a love of his early 
days, the days apparently of his East-Anglian government, unrecognized 
by the laws of the Church, but perhaps not wholly condemned by the 
standard of his own age, which shows, above every other tale in English 
history or legend, how much the love of woman can do and suffer. 4 

Such was the man who, seemingly in the fourth year of Eadward 
(1045), in the twenty-third or twenty-fourth of his own age, was 
invested with the rule of one of the great divisions of England ; 
who, seven years later, became the virtual ruler of the Kingdom ; 

1 Vita Eadw. 409. "Cum quovis, quern to Harold, in distinction to the "fortiter" 

fidelem putaret, interdum communicare ofTostig. 

consilium opens sui, et hoc interdum adeo 8 The charge of rashness brought against 

differre, si debet duci [dici?], ut minus con- Harold during the last scene of his life I 

ducibile a quibusdam videretur fore suae shall discuss elsewhere. I here add the 

comuioditati." Biographer's disclaimer (Vita Eadw. 409) ; 

* lb. 410. " Uterque [Harold and Tos- "Porro de vitio praecipitationis sive levi- 

tig] interdum quscdam simulare adeo egre- tatis, quis hunc vel ilium sive quemvis de 

gie ut qui eos non noverit incertius nil Godwino patre genitum, sive ejus discipline 

aestimare poterit." In connexion with this et studio educatum arguerit ? " There is 

curious passage I may quote a singular a very remarkable passage further on 

exaggeration from an unknown author; (p. 422), in which the Biographer says 

it is found in a marginal note on one of that Harold was " ad sacramenta niniis 

the manuscripts of the Winchester Annals (proh dolor) prodigus." The allusion 

(Luard, 27); "Haroldus Rex, si sapienter clearly is to Harold's oath to William, 

ageret qnidquid agebat furore, nullus homi- which the Biographer never distintly men- 

num ilium [sic] resisteret. Sed adeo erat tions 

anini inconstantis, quod nullus suorum se 4 I refer of course to the tale of Eadgy th 

credidit illi." Yet " sapienter" is the ad- Swanneshals, of which I shall have to speak 

verb which the Biographer specially applies again more than once. 


who, at last, twenty-one years from his first elevation, received, alone 
among English Kings, the Crown of England as the free gift of her 
people, and, alone among English Kings, died axe in hand on her 
own soil, in the defence of England against foreign invaders. One 
prince alone in the later history of Europe rivals the peculiar glory 
which attaches to the name of Harold. For him we must seek in 
a distant age and in a distant land, but in a land connected with our 
own by a strangely abiding tie. English warriors, soldiers of Harold, 
chafing under the yoke of the Norman Conqueror, sought service at 
the court of the Eastern Caesar, and there retained for ages their 
national tongue, their national weapon, 1 and the proud inheritance of 
their stainless loyalty. The memory of England and of Harold 
becomes thus strangely interwoven with the memory of the one prince 
of later times who died in a still nobler cause than that of the freedom 
of England. The King who died upon the hill of Senlac finds his 
only worthy peer in the Emperor who died before the Gate of Saint 
Romanos. The champion of England against the Southern invader 
must own a nobler martyr still in the champion of the faith and liberty 
of Christendom against the misbelieving horde who have ever since 
defiled the fairest and most historic regions of the world. The blood 
of Harold and his faithful followers has indeed proved the most fertile 
seed of English freedom, and the warning signs of the times seem to 
tell us that the day is fast coming when the blood of Constantine shall 
no longer send up its cry for vengeance unheeded from the earth. 

The second son of Godwine was no doubt raised to greatness in the 
first instance mainly because he was a son of Godwine ; but his great 
qualities gradually showed that the rank to which he was raised by his 
father's favour was one which he was fully entitled to retain by his own 
merits. The earlier elevation of the great Earl's eldest-born was less 
fortunate. Swegen lived to show that he had a soul of real nobleness 
within him ; but his crimes were great, he was cut off just as he was 
beginning to amend his ways, and he has left a dark and sad memory 
behind him. A youth, evidently of no common powers, but way- 
ward, violent, and incapable of self-control, he was hurried first into a 
flagrant violation of the sentiment of the age, and next into a still fouler 
breach of the eternal laws of right His end may well arouse our pity, 
but his life, as a whole, is a dark blot on the otherwise chequered 
escutcheon of the house of Godwine. It was clearly felt to be so ; the 
panegyrist of the family never once brings himself to utter the name 
of Swegen. Only one other child of Godwine calls for personal 
notice at this stage of our history. Eadgyth, his eldest daughter, 
became, nearly two years after. Eadward's coronation, 9 the willing or 

1 Sec vol. i. p. 346. 

a Chronn. Ab. Cant. 1044; Pctrib. 1043. I shall discuss the exact date afterwards. 


unwilling bride of the saintly monarch. She is described as being no 
less highly gifted among women than her brothers were among men; 
as lovely in person and adorned with every female accomplishment, as 
endowed with a learning and refinement unusual in her age, as in point 
of piety and liberality a fitting help-meet for Eadward himself. 1 But 
there are some strange inconsistencies in the facts which are recorded 
of her. Her zeal and piety did not hinder her from receiving rewards, 
perhaps, in plain words, from taking bribes. This is undoubtedly a 
subject on which the feelings of past times differed widely from our 
own ; still we are a little staggered when we find the saintly King and 
his pious Lady receiving money from religious houses to support 
claims which, if just, should have been supported for nothing, and, if 
unjust, should not have been supported at ail. 2 But Eadgyth has been 
charged with far heavier offences than this. She seems to have become 
in some degree infected with her husband's love of foreigners, perhaps 
even in some sort to have withdrawn her sympathies from the national 
cause. She has* won the doubtful honour of having her name extolled 
by Norman flatterers as one whose heart was rather Norman than 
English. 8 And all her reputation for gentleness and piety has not 
kept her from being branded in the- pages of one of our best chroni- 
clers as an accomplice in a base and treacherous murder. 4 Her 
character thus becomes in some sort an senigma, and her relation to 
her husband is not the least aenigmatica! part of her position. One of 
Eadward's claims to be looked on as a saint was the general belief, at 
least of the next generation, that the husband of the beautiful Eadgyth 

1 Vita Eadw. 415. She sat at his feet, iEthelwine the Black, but which were 

unless he lifted her up to sit at his side, withheld from it by one ^Elfric the son 

This must be compared with the account of Wihtgar, " apposuit quoque de divitis 

of the legislation about West-Saxon Kings' crumense dispendio viginti marcas auri, 

wives after the crime of Eadburh (Asser, quibus gratiam Regis mercarelur, JEdthi- 

M. H. B. 471 B). She had shown per- thae [sic] quippe Reginae sedulitatem quin- 

sonal kindness to the Biographer (427) ; que marcarum auri pretio exegit interponi, 

"Scribes Reginam primo tibi subveni- ut pias ejus preces regiis auribus fideliter 
entem, importaret/' So again, in a charter of 
Et quicquid scribes, laus et honor 1060 in Cod. Dipl. iv. 142, Eadgyth lays 
sit ei." claim to certain lands claimed by the 
This perhaps gave occasion for the more Abbey of Peterborough, but on the inter- 
elaborate and better known description in cession of her husband and her brothers 
the false Ingulf. Harold and Tostig (none of whom seem 

William of Malmesbury's account of her to have taken anything), and on the gift 

(ii. 197) is singular ; •' Femina in cujus of twenty marks and certain church orna- 

pcctore omnium liberalium allium esset ments, she is induced to confirm the grant, 

gymnasium, sed parvum in mundanis rebus That she looked carefully after her rents 

ingenium ; quam quum videres, si literas in money, kine, and honey, and after the 

stuperes, modestiam certe animi et speciem man who stole her horse (Cod. Dipl. iv. 

corporis desiderares." 257), is no blame to her. 

1 Hist. Rams. cxiv. (p. 457). Abbot 3 Will. Pict. 199 A, B (Duchesne). 
JElfwine, wishing to obtain certain lands * Flor. Wig. 1 065. 
bequeathed to the monastery by one 


lived with her only as a brother with a sister. 1 If this story be true, a 
more enlightened standard of morality can see no virtue, but rather a 
crime, in his conduct We can see nothing to admire in a King who, 
in such a crisis of his country, himself well nigh the last of his race, 
and without any available member of the royal family to succeed him, 
shrank, from whatever motive, from the obvious duty of raising up 
direct heirs to his Crown. But it seems probable that this report 
is merely part of the legend of the saint and not part of the history 
of the King. His contemporary panegyrists undoubtedly praise 
Eadward's chastity. But it is not necessary to construe their words as 
meaning more than might be asserted of Alfred, of William, of Saint 
Lewis, or of Edward the First The conjugal faith of all those great 
monarchs remained, as far as we know, unbroken ; but not one of 
them thought it any part of his duty to observe continence towards his 
own wife. Still, from whatever cause, the marriage of Eadward and 
Eadgyth was undoubtedly childless ; and the relations of the royal pair 
to each other in other respects are hardly more intelligible. Eadgyth 
is described as the partaker of all her husband's good works, and as 
nursing him with the most affectionate care during his last sickness. 2 
Yet, at the moment of his reign when he could most freely exercise a 
will of his own, if he did not absolutely of his own accord banish her 
from his court, he consented, seemingly without any reluctance, to her 
removal from him by the enemies of her family and her country. 3 
The anxiety of Eadward's Norman favourites to separate Eadgyth 
from her husband is, after all, the most honourable record of her to be 
found among the singularly contradictory descriptions of her character 
and actions. 

We thus find, within a few years after the accession of Eadward, 
the whole of the ancient Kingdoms of Wessex, Sussex, Kent, Essex, 
East-Anglia, and part of Mercia, under the government of Godwine, 
his two elder sons, and his nephew. His daughter meanwhile shared 
the throne of England with a King whom he had himself placed upon 
it. Such greatness could hardly be lasting. It rested wholly on 
Godwine's own personal character and influence, for the fame of 
Harold was yet to be won. Those parts of Mercia which were not 
otherwise occupied remained, as before, in the hands of Leofric the 
son of Leofwine, under whom Worcestershire seems, at all events 
some years later, to have been held by the King's nephew Ralph as a 
subordinate earldom. 4 Leofric and his famous wife Godgifu, the 
Lady Godiva of legend, 5 were chiefly celebrated for their boundless 

1 Sec Appendix B. 5 Godgifu was the sister of Thorold the 

2 Vita Eadw. 431 (cf. 433). Sheriff, founder of the Priory of Spalding, 
lb. 403. See below. who appears in Domesday (364 b) by the 

4 See Appendix G. name of " Turoldus Vicecomes " as a bene- 



liberality to ecclesiastical foundations. 1 Worcester, Leominster, Eves- 
ham, Chester, Wenlock, Stow in Lindesey, and, above all, Coventry, 
were special objects of their bounty. They seem not to have been 
satisfied with mere grants of lands and privileges, but to have taken 
a special interest in the buildings and ornaments of the houses which 
they favoured. The minster of Coventry, rebuilt and raised to 
cathedral rank after their time, has utterly vanished from the earth, 
and recent changes have abolished even the titular position of the 
city as a see of a Bishop. But at Stow, the ancient Sidnacester, a 
place even then of infinitely less consideration than Coventry, portions 
of the church enriched by Leofric still remain. 2 Leofric, his son 
^lfgar, his grandsons and his granddaughter, play an important part 
in the history of this period down to the complete establishment of 
the Norman power in England. It is clear that Leofric must have 
felt more personal annoyance at the rise ©f Godwine and his house 
than any other of the great men of England. A race whom he could 
not fail to look down upon as upstarts hemmed him in on every side 
except towards the North. Later in the reign of Eadward, we shall 
find the rivalries and the reconciliations of the two houses of Godwine 
and Leofric forming a considerable portion of the history. But while 
Leofric himself lived, he continued to play the part which we have 
already seen him playing, 8 that part of a mediator between two 
extreme parties which was laid upon him by the geographical 
position of his Earldom. 

North of the Humber, the great Dane, Siward the Strong, still 
ruled over the Earldom which he had won by the murder of his 
wife's uncle. 4 The manners of the Northumbrians were so savage, 
murders and hereditary deadly feuds were so rife among them, that 

factor of Crowland Abbey. Cf. John of 1 050); Leofric's benefaction took the form 

Peterborough, a. 1052. p. 49 Giles. See Mr. of ornaments. See Flor. Wig. 1057, where 

Nichols on the Earldom of Lincoln in the he calls Stow " locus famosus qui Sanctae 

Lincoln volume of the Archaelogical Insti- Marise Stou Anglice, Latine vero Sanctae 

tnte, p. 256. The legend of her riding naked Marias Locus appellator." The antiquity 

through Coventry is found in Roger of of part of the church is indisputable, but a 

Wendover (i 497), Bromton (949\ and more wretched village can hardly be found. 

Knighton (2334). They do not mention A document, professing to be a petition 

peeping Tom, who, it is some comfort to from Godgifu to Pope Victor, praying for 

think,'must at any rate have been one of the confirmation of her gifts to Stow, is 

King Eadward's Frenchmen. marked as doubtful by Mr. Kemble (Cod. 

1 See Will. Malms, ii. 196. Cf. JEthel. Dipl. iv. 168), doubtless on good grounds. 

Riev. 389 ; Chron. Evesham. 84 This But I do not understand his date, 1060- 

last writer extends Leofric's authority to 1066, as the Popedom of Victor the 

the borders of Scotland. Second was from 1055 to 1057. Siward, 

* "Stow sub promontorio Lincolniae." who died early in 1055, could hardly have 

Bromton, 949. See the charters of Bishop signed an address to Pope Victor. 

Wulfwig, Cod. Dipl. iv. 290. The church s See vol. i. p. 326. 

was not built by Leofric, but by Eadnoth 4 See vol. i. p. 352. 
the Second, Bishop of Dorchester (1034- 


it is quite possible that the slaughter of Eadwulf may have been 
looked on, by a party at least, as a praiseworthy act of vigour. 
Perhaps however, as we go on, we may discern signs that Siward 
and his house were not specially popular in Northumberland, and 
that men looked back with regret to the more regular line of their 
native Earls. However this may be, Siward remained for the rest of 
his days in undisturbed possession of both the Northumbrian govern- 
ments, and along with these he seems to have held the Earldoms of 
Northampton and Huntingdon within the proper limits of Mercia. 1 
He ruled, we are told, with great firmness and severity, labouring 
hard to bring his troublesome province into something like order. 2 
Neither was he lacking in that bounty to the Church, which might 
seem specially needful as an atonement for the crime by which he 
rose to power. 3 

The mention of these great Earls suggests several considerations as 
to the constitutional and administrative systems of the time. It is 
quite a mistake to think, as often has been thought, that the position 
of these powerful viceroys at all proves that England was at this time 
tending to separation. It was in truth tending to closer union, and 
the position of the great Earls is really one of the signs of that ten- 
dency. A mistaken parallel has sometimes been drawn between the 
condition of England under Eadward and the condition of Gaul under 
the later Karlings. The transfer of the English sceptre to the house 
of Godwine is of course likened to the transfer of the French sceptre 
to the house of Hugh of Paris. But if we are to look for a parallel in 
Gaulish history, we shall find one, by no means exact but certainly 
the closer of the two, in the state of things under the later Merwings, 
and in the transfer of the Frankish sceptre to the Carolingian dynasty. 
The position of Godwine and Harold is, of the two, more akin to the 
position of Charles Martel and Pippin than it is to that of Hugh the 
Great and Hugh Capet. The Earls of Eadward's reign were, as 
I have already explained,* not territorial princes, gradually with- 
drawing themselves from the authority of their nominal over-lord, 
but great magistrates, wielding indeed a power well nigh royal within 
their several governments, but wielding it only by delegation from the 
common sovereign. The Danish Conquest, and the fearful slaughter 
of the ancient nobility in the wars of Swegen and Cnut, had done 
much to break up the force of ancient local associations and the 
influence of the ancient local families. Many of these families, that 
of the East-Anglian Earls for instance, doubtless became extinct. 
From the accession of Cnut we find a new state of things. The rule 
of the old half-kingly families, holding an almost hereditary sway over 

1 See Appendix G. 8 See Chronn. 1055. 

3 Vita Eadw. 421, 42a. 4 See vol. i. p. 166. 


whole Kingdoms, and seemingly with subordinate Ealdormen in each 
shire, gradually dies out. Cnut divided the Kingdom as he pleased, 
appointing Danes or Englishmen, and Englishmen of old or of new 
families, as he thought good. England was now portioned out among 
a few Earls, who were distinctly representatives of the King. In 
Northumberland and Mercia the claims of ancient princely families 
were to some extent regarded ; in Wessex and East-Anglia not at all 
The rank of Earl is now held by a very few persons, connected 
either with the royal family or with the men whose personal influence 
was great at the time. The Earls appointed down to the last year of 
Eadward are always either the King's own kinsmen or else kinsmen 
of Godwine or Leofric. Siward keeps his Earldom for life; but, 
while he lives, his influence hardly extends beyond his own province, 
and, after his death, Northumberland falls under the same law as the 
rest of the Kingdom. It is only in the last moment of Eadward' s 
reign, after the great Northumbrian revolt, that Siward's son receives, 
not the Northumbrian but the Mercian possessions of his father, and 
that the heir of the old Northumbrian Earls receives a subordinate 
establishment within the ancestral province. 1 No doubt Northumber- 
land still retained more of the character of a distinct state than any 
Qther part of England; still the forces of Northumberland march at 
the command of the King, 2 and the Northumbrian Earldom is at the 
disposal of the King and his Witan. 8 We do not however find the 
same signs of the constant immediate exercise of the royal power in 
Northumberland which we find in Wessex, Mercia, and East-Anglia. 
We find throughout this reign a series of writs addressed to the 
Bishops and Earls of those districts, which show that an Earl of one 
of those great Earldoms commonly acted as the local Earl of each 
shire in his province, with no subordinate Earl or Ealdorman under 
him. While such writs are exceedingly common in Wessex and 
East-Anglia, only one such writ exists addressed to a Northumbrian 
Earl, and that is in the days of Tostig. 4 Those addressed to the 
Earls of the house of Leofric are also rare. It is clear that the King's 
power was more fully established under the Earls of Godwine's family 
than elsewhere. No doubt the royal authority was formally acknow- 
ledged in every part of the Kingdom alike, but the memories and 

1 See Appendix G. addressed, according to a form found else- 

8 Chron. 105 1. where, to the Bishops, Earls, and Thegns 

s Chron. 1055. of all those shires where Archbishop Ealdred 

* Cod. Dipl. vi. 203. There is also held any lands («« Eadward cyngc gret mine 

another writ which, though neither North- biscopas and mine eorlas and ealle myne 

humberland nor any Northumbrian Earl is ]>egenas on 'Sam scyran Saer Ealdred aerce- 

mentioned in it, is clearly meant to run in bisceop haefeo* land inne freondlice " ). 

Northumberland more than anywhere else. Among these shires Gloucestershire is 

This also comes during the government of doubtless reckoned, but Yorkshire must 

Tostig. It is the writ in Cod. Dipl. iv. 230, have stood foremost. 



traces of ancient independence in Northumberland and Northern 
Mercia made its practical exercise more difficult in those districts. 

The class of writs of which I have just spoken throw some light on 
constitutional questions in another way. They come in under Cnut, 1 
and they become very common under Eadward, being found along- 
side of documents of the more ancient form. They are announce- 
ments which the King makes to the Bishop, Earl, Sheriff, Thegns, 
and others of some one shire, or sometimes to the Bishops, Earls, 
and Thegns of the whole Kingdom, which do not, like documents of 
the ancient form, bear the signatures of any Witan. They are the 
manifest prototypes of the royal writs of later times. They are, like 
the other documents, mostly grants of one kind or another ; only they 
seem to proceed from the King's personal authority, without any 
confirmation from a national Gem6t. Now it is hardly possible that 
all the grants of this sort which are preserved can have been grants 
out of the King's private estate. And if they are grants of folkland 
to be turned into bookland on whatever tenure, allodial or feudal, 
a very important question arises. If the King could make such 
grants by his own authority, a change must have taken place in the 
ideas entertained as to folkland. In short, the change which was 
completed after the Conquest 2 must have already begun. The 
Folkland must have been beginning to be looked on as Terra Regis. 
And in this respect, as in others, the Danish Conquest doubtless did 
much to prepare the way for the Norman. But if the Witenagemtft 
insensibly lost its authority in a matter in which we may well believe 
that its voice had long been nearly formal, it retained its general 
powers undiminished. It still, as of old, elected Kings, outlawed 
Earls, discussed and determined the foreign relations of the Kingdom. 
The fame of Eadward as a lawgiver is mythical ; but the fame of 
government carried on in strict conformity to the laws and constitu- 
tion of the country is one which fairly belongs to him, or rather to 
the illustrious men by whom his power was practically wielded. 

I have now to end this sketch by a brief view of the condition of 
the subordinate Kingdoms and of the relations of England to foreign 
countries. Scotland was now ruled by the famous Macbeth. He 
had, as Maarmor or Under-king of Moray, done homage to Cnut 8 
along with his superior Malcolm. Duncan, the youthful grandson 
of Malcolm, unsuccessful, as we have seen, in his invasion of Eng- 
land,* was equally so in his warfare with the Northmen of Orkney. 5 
Soon after this last failure (1040), he was murdered by his own sub- 
jects, Macbeth being at least the prime mover in the deed. 6 The 

1 For the earliest example, one of ioao, ' Orkneyinga Saga, Ant. Celt. Scand. 

see Kemble, Archaeological Journal, xiv. 172 et seqq. ; Robertson, i. 1 14 ; Burton, 

61, 6a. * See vol. i. p. 64. i. 369. 

8 See vol. i. p. 301. * See vol. i. p. 339. • Fordun, iv. 44 ; Robertson, i 116. 


murdered prince had married a kinswoman of the Earl of the North- 
humbrians, 1 by whom he left two infant sons, Malcolm, afterwards 
famous as Malcolm Canmore, and Donald Bane. But the Crown was 
assumed by Macbeth (1040-1058), on some claim, it would seem, 
of hereditary right, either in himself or in his wife Gruach. 2 Macbeth, 
and Gruach even more, has been so immortalized in legend that it is 
not easy to recall either of them to their true historical personality. 
But from what little can be recovered about them, they certainly seem 
not to have been so black as they are painted. The crime of Macbeth 
against Duncan is undoubted ; but it was, to say the least, no baser 
man the crime of Siward against Eadwulf ; and Macbeth, like Si ward, 
ruled well and vigorously the dominion which he had won by crime. 
All genuine Scottish tradition points to the reign of Macbeth as a 
period of unusual peace and prosperity in that disturbed land. 8 Yet we 
hear dimly of a temporary driving out of Macbeth from his Kingdom 
by the hands of Siward, who was in later times to do the work more 
thoroughly.* Macbeth and Gruach were also bountiful to churches 
in their own land, and Macbeth's munificence to certain unknown 
persons at Rome was thought worthy of record by chroniclers beyond 
the bounds of Scotland. 5 One hardly knows whether this was merely 
by way of alms, like, the gifts of Cnut, and it seems uncertain whether 
Macbeth, like Cnut and Harold, personally made the Roman pil- 
grimage. 6 The words however in which the gifts of Macbeth are 
spoken of might almost imply that his bounty had a political object. 
It is possible that, even at this early time, the Scottish King may have 
thought it desirable to get the Roman Court on his side, and he may 
have found, like later princes and prelates, that a liberal distribution 
of money was the best way of winning the favour of the Apostolic 
See. The high character of the reigning Pontiff, Leo the Ninth, puts 
him personally above all suspicion of unlawful gain; but then, as 
afterwards, subordinates were probably less scrupulous. The few 
notices which we find of Scottish affairs during the early years of 

Marianus Scotus (Pcrtz, v. 557) says ex- discessum Macbeoft recuperavit regnum." 

pressly, •• Donnchad Rex Scotise in an- There is nothing of this in the Chronicles, 

tiimno occiditur a duce suo Macbethad 6 Marianus, ap. Pertz, v. 558. " Rex 

mac Finnloech, cui successit in regnum Scottise Macbethad Romae argentum pauper - 

annis xvii." Chron. Scot. 273; Annals of ibus seminando distribuit." Florence (1050) 

Loch-le\ 1 -40. leaves out the word a pauperibus," and 

1 Fordun, u. s. " Consanguinea Siwardi changes " seminando " into " spargendo." 

Comitis." The change can hardly be undesigned, and 

8 Robertson, i. 120 et seqq. ; Burton, i. of the influence of money at Rome we 

371-2. shall hear presently in the case of Bishop 

8 Innes, Scotland in the Middle Ages, Ulf. Chron. Petrib. 1047. JohnofPeter- 

p. it 8. borough (48) combines the two readings, 

* Ann. Dun. 1046. " Comes Siward cum saying, " Machetus Rex Scotorum Romae 

magno exercifu venit Scotiam et, expulso argentum spargendo pauperibus distribuit." 

regeMacbeo$,aliumconstituit,sed post ejus 6 See Robertson, i. 122; Burton, i. 373. 

D 2 


Eadward might suggest that Macbeth felt his position precarious with- 
regard to his English over-lord. He had done homage to Cnut, but 
there is no record of his having renewed it to Eadward There is 
however no sign of open enmity for many years. 

In Wales a remarkable power was growing up, which will often 
call for notice throughout the whole of the Teign of Eadward (1039- 
1063). The year before the death of Harold, Gruffydd the son of 
Llywelyn became King of Gwynedd or North Wales, a description 
which now begins to be used in its modern sense. He ruled with 
great vigour and ability. He gradually extended his dominion over 
the whole of Wales, not scrupling to avail himself of Saxon help 
against enemies of his own race. On the other hand, he more than 
once, sometimes alone, sometimes in concert with English traitors, 
rJroved himself a really formidable enemy to England. He was the 
last prince under whom any portion of the Welsh nation played a 
really important part in the history of Britain. 1 He was, for Wales in 
the narrower sense, pretty well what Cadwalla had been, ages before, 
for Strathclyde. 2 In the very first year of his reign he had made an 
inroad into Mercia, and had won the victory of Rhyd-y-Groes. 3 At 
the time of Eadward's accession he was busily engaged in various 
conflicts with the princes of South Wales, who (fed not scruple to call 
in the help of the heathen Danes of Ireland against him.* In the year 
of Eadward's election he had just won a great victory over a com- 
bined host of this kind at Aberteifi or Cardigan. 5 

The relations of King Eadward to foreign powers were, for the 
most part, friendly. With Normandy and other French states they 
were, as we have seen and shall see, only too friendly. But this was 
a time of growing intercourse, not with France only, but with Con- 
tinental nations generally. Pilgrimages to Rome, and other foreign 
journeys and embassies, were becoming far more usual than before 
among eminent Englishmen, both clergy and laity. Earl Harold's 
travels, undertaken in order to study the condition and resources 
of foreign countries on the spot, form a memorable example. The 
connexion between England and Germany was now very close ; the 

x It is curious to see Gruffydd from the et semper fugaces, turn contra indigenas 

other side, as he may be seen in some of the solito more bellicosos, turn contra Danaos 

charters printed in Mr. Haddan's Councils marinos, turn contra insularum Orcadum 

and Ecclesiastical Documents. He appears habitatores, et semper versis dorsis in fugam 

there (i. 292) as " invictus Rex Grifidus, et firmato fcedere ad libitum suum paci- 

Monarcha Britonum praepollens," as (i. 294) ficatos." 

•' rex Britanniae et (ut sic dieam) totius a See vol. i. p. 24. 8 See vol. i. p. 339. 

Guaiiae de fine ad finem." We then hear * Brut, 1040, 1042 ; Ann. Camb. 

of his exploits ; •' Non degenerans a prae- 1039-104 7. In one battle in 1040 

decessorum nobilitate, pietate, et largitate, Gruffydd seems to have been taken pri- 

immo imitans et prsecellens rigore et forti- soner by the Danes of Dublin. But the 

tudine, turn contra barbaros Anglos ex und whole narrative is very confused. See the 

parte temper fugitivosvisd, facie sua in acie entries under 1041 and 1042. 

belli, turn contra Hibernienses occidental 5 Brut, 1042 ; Ann. Camb. 1045 ? . 


^reat Emperor Henry the Third sedulously sought the friendship of 
his English brother-in-law; 1 and there is, as we have seen, little 
doubt that the German connexion was cultivated by the patriotic 
party as a counterpoise to the French tendencies of the King. 2 The 
promotion of German churchmen began early in Eadward's reign, 
when it could hardly have taken place except with the sanction of 
Godwine. The only danger that seemed to threaten England lay in 
the North. Magnus of Norway conceived himself to have acquired, 
by virtue of his agreement with Harthacnut, a claim on the English 
Crown; 8 but his wars with Swegen hindered him from putting it 
forward for some years to come. 

The reign of Eadward was, on the whole, a reign of peace. His 
admirers use somewhat exaggerated language on this head,* as his 
reign was certainly more disturbed than those of either Eadgar or 
Cnut. Still, compared with most periods of the same length in those 
troubled times, the twenty-four years of Eadward form a period of 
unusual tranquillity. Foreign war, strictly so called, there was none. 
England was threatened by Norway, and she herself interfered in 
the affairs of Flanders ; but no actual fighting seems to have taken 
place on either occasion. Within the island matters were somewhat 
less quiet. Scotland was successfully inyaded, and the old royal line 
was restored. A few incursions of Scandinavian pirates are recorded, 
and Gruflfydd of Wales remained for many years a thorn in the side 
of his English neighbours. But the main interest of this reign 
gathers round domestic affairs, round the revolts, the banishments, 
and the reconciliations of the great Earls, and, still more, round that 
great national movement against French influence in Church and 
State of which Godwine and his family were the representatives and 

§ 3. From the Coronation of Eadward to the Remission of the 

War -lax. 1 043-1 051, 

This first period of the reign of Eadward is not marked by any 
very striking events till we draw near to its close. At home we have 

1 We may for once quote the romantic Quoniam diu Rege pacifko regnante in 

Biographer of Harold (p. 157); "Ale- uno vinculo pads omnia convenient, ut 

mannorum Imperator qui, Regi Anglorum nihil pestilentiosum esset in aere, nihil in 

affinitate proxinius, dilectione et amicitia mari tempestuosum, m terra, nihil infe- 

erat conjunctissimus." cundum, nihil inordinatum in clero, nihil 

* See above, p. 26. 8 See above, p. 1 1. in plebe tumultuosuro." It would be end- 

4 ./Ethel. R. 375. " Tunc elevatus est less to contrast all these details with those 

sol et luna stetit in ordine suo, quando, found in the Chronicles and the Biographer. 

Edwardo gloria et honore coronato, sacer- Even William of Malmesbury, compara- 

dotes sapientia et sanctitate fulgebant, tively sober as he is, goes too far when he 

monasteria omni relligione pollebant, clerus says (ii. 196), •• Denique eo regnante, 

in officio suo, populus stabat in gradu suo; nullus tumult us domesticus quinoncitocom- 

videbatur etiam terra fecundior, aer salu- primeretur, nullum bellum forinsecus. omnia 

brior, sol serenior, maris unda pacatior. domi forisque quieta, omnia tranquilla,' 


to mark the gradual expulsion of those who had been conspicuous 
in opposing Eadward's election, and, what is of far more importance, 
the gradually increasing influence of the foreign favourites. This 
is most easily traced in the disposal of ecclesiastical preferments. 
The foreign relations of England at this time lay mainly with the 
Kingdoms of the North, where the contending princes had not yet 
wholly bidden farewell to the hope of uniting all the crowns of the 
Great Cnut on a single brow. But the relations between England 
and the Empire were also of importance, and the affairs of Flanders 
under its celebrated Count Baldwin the Fifth form a connecting link 
between those of England, Germany, and Scandinavia. The usual 
border warfare with Wales continues; with the renowned usurper 
of Scotland there was most likely a sort of armed truce. These 
various streams of events seem for some years to flow, as it were, 
side by side, without commingling in any marked way. But towards 
the end of our first period they all unite in that tale of crime and 
misfortune which led to the disgrace and downfall of the eldest son of 
Godwine, but which thereby paved the way for the elevation of the 

The first act of the new King was one which was perhaps neither 
unjust nor impolitic, but which, at first sight, seems strangely incon- 
gruous with his character for sanctity and gentleness. With all his 
fondness for Normans, there was one person of Norman birth for 
whom he felt little love, and to whom indeed he seems to have 
owed but little gratitude. This was no other than his own mother. 
It is not very easy to understand the exact relations between Emma 
and her son. We are told that she had been very hard upon him, 
and that she had done less for him than he would — that she had 
contributed too little, it would seem, from her accumulated hoards — 
both before he became King and since. 1 Now it is not clear what 
opportunities Emma had had of being hard upon her son since the 
days of his childhood. During the greater part of their joint lives, 
Eadward had been an exile in Normandy, while Emma had shared 
the throne of England as the wife of Cnut. Her fault must have 
been neglect to do anything for his interests, refusal, it may be, to 
give anything of her wealth for the relief of his comparative poverty, 

* " Forffam heo hit heold £r to facste minus quam volebai Mi dederat, et ei valdc 

witS hine," say the Abingdon, Peter- dura exstiterat ;" and by Roger of Wend- 

borough, and Canterbury Chronicles. Wor- over, "eo quod priusquam Rex fuerat, 

cester is more explicit ; " For]>an \>e heo nihil Mi contuler at quod petebat" (i. 482). 

r* s f ror > am cynge hire sunaswi«e heard, William of Malmesbury says (ii. 196), 

Ef ^1 u !<BSSe dyde *° nne he wolde ' XT " Mater ' an gustos filii jamdudum riserat 
pam pe he cyng wyre, and eac sySSan." annos,' nihil umquam de suo largita." He 

»«u*11Tk tCd by F1 ° r 2 1CC ; " Vcl <* uia thcn ^ ves the reason > na "*ly her prefer- 
priusquam Rex esset effectus, vel post, ence for Cnut over .Ethelred 


rather than any actual hardships which she could have inflicted on 
him. She had, as we have seen, altogether thrown in her lot with 
her second husband, and she had seemingly wished her first marriage 
to be wholly forgotten. 1 But there seems to be no ground for the 
scandal which represented her as having acted in any way a hostile 
part to her sons after the death of Cnut.* All the more probable 
versions of the death of iElfred represent Emma as distinctly favour- 
able to his enterprise. 3 She had herself suffered spoliation and exile 
in the days of Harold; 4 she had returned with Harthacnut, and, in 
his days, she seems almost to have been looked on as a sharer in the 
royal authority. 8 That authority she had at least not used to keep 
back her favourite son from the recall of his banished half-brother. 
Still it is not wonderful if, under all circumstances, there was little 
love between mother and son. But there does not, up to the death 
of Harthacnut, seem to have been any unpardonable offence com- 
mitted on the part of Emma. But the charge that she had done less 
for Eadward than he would, since he came to the Crown, seems 
to have a more definite meaning. It doubtless means that she had 
refused to contribute of her treasures to the lawful needs of the State. 
It may also mean that she had been, to say the least, not specially 
zealous in supporting Eadward's claims to the Crown. She is 
described as dwelling at Winchester in the possession, not only of 
great landed possessions, the morning-gifts of her two marriages, but 
of immense hoarded wealth of every kind. 4 Harthacnut had doubt- 
less restored, and probably increased, all that had been taken from 
her by Harold. Of her mode of employing her wealth we find 
different accounts; putting the two statements together, we may 
perhaps infer that she was bountiful to churches and monasteries, 
but niggardly to the poor. 7 But neither this bounty nor this nig- 
gardliness was a legal crime, and it is clear that some more definite 
offence must have lurked behind. Her treasures, or part of them, 
may have been gained by illegal grants from Harthacnut ; it is almost 
certain, from the language of our authorities, that they had been 
illegally refused to the public service. But what happened seems 

1 See vol. i. p. 486. pidibus, aliisve rebus pretiosum habuerat." 

3 See vol. i. pp. 333, 517. T Will. Malms, ii. 196. •• Congestis 

8 See vol. i. p. 328 et seqq. undecumque talentis crumenas infecerat, 

* See vol. i. pp. 32a, 336. pauperum oblita; quibus non patiebatur 

8 See the writ quoted at vol. i. p. 507, dari nummum ne diminueret numerum. 

which cannot belong to the first reign of Itaque quod injuste coacervarat non in- 

Harthacnut in Wessex only. honeste ablatum, ut egenorum proficeret 

6 Besides land, the Abingdon Chronicle compendio etfiscosufficeretregio." Though 

speaks of her wealth " on golde and on accepting this account ('• hsec referentibus 

seolfre and on unasecgendlicum j>ingum." etsi plurimum fides haberi debeat"), he 

So that of Worcester says of her treasures, goes on, as he does elsewhere (ii. 181 ; see 

" >a waeron unatellendlice." So Florence ; vol. i. p. 295), to speak of her bounty to 

" quicquid in auro, argento, gemmis, la- monasteries, especially at Winchester. 


to imply some still deeper offence. The conduct of Emma became 
the subject of debate at a meeting of the Witan ; her punishment was 
the result of a decree of that body, and all that was done to her was 
done with the active approval of the three great Earls, Godwine, 
Leofric, and Siward. 1 In the month of November after Eadward's 
coronation, a Gem6t — perhaps a forestalling of the usual Midwinter 
Gem6t — was held at Gloucester. That town seems now to take the 
place which was held by Oxford a little earlier 2 as the scene of courts 
and councils. 8 It became during this reign, what it remained during 
the reign of the Conqueror, the place where the King wore his Crown 
at the Christmas festival, as he wore it at Winchester at Easter. It 
was convenient for such purposes as lying near at once to the borders 
of two of the great Earldoms and to the borders of the dangerous 
Welsh. Their motions, under princes like the two Gruflfydds, it was 
doubtless often expedient to watch with the whole wisdom and the 
whole force of the realm. The result of the deliberations of the Wise 
Men was that the King in person, accompanied by the three great 
Earls,* rode from Gloucester to Winchester, came unawares 5 upon the 
Lady, occupied her lands, 6 and seized all that she had in gold, silver, 
jewels, and precious stones. They left her, however, we are told, 
enough for her maintenance, and bade her live quietly at Win- 
chester. 7 She now sinks into utter insignificance for the remainder 
of her days. 8 

Now the last order, to live quietly at Winchester, seems to imply 
some scheme or intrigue on the part of Emma more serious than 
even an illegal refusal to contribute of her wealth to the exigencies 
of the State. Is it possible that she had been one of the opponents 

1 A meeting of the Witan is implied in let geridan ealle J>a land \>e his modor ahte 
the language of the Worcester Chronicle, him to handa." The Worcester Chronicler 
** Man gersedde J>an cynge |wet he rad of says nothing of the land. 
Gleawcestre;" and in the presence and con- 7 Flor. Wig. •• Verumtamen sufficienter 
sent of the three Earls — M ut illi [Leofricus, ei ministrari necessaria praecepit et illam 
Godwinus, et Siwardus] consilium ei dede- ibidem quietam manere jussit." 

rant," as Florence says. 8 Emma signs a charter of her son 

2 See vol. i. p. 325. during this year 1043 (Cod. Dipl. iv. 74), 
8 See vol. i. p. 352. which therefore belongs to an earlier Ge- 
4 So says the Worcester Chronicle, fol- mdt than this of November, probably to 

lowed by Florence ; " He rad of Gleaw- the one held at Winchester at the time of 

cestre, and Leofric eorl and Godwine eori the coronation. From this time we find 

and Sigwarft eorl mid heora genge, to Win- her signing only a few private documents 

cestre;" "Festinato Rex cum comitibus (Cod. Dipl. iv. 86, 116) and documents 

Leofrico, Godwino, et Siwardo de civitate connected with the Church of Winchester 

Glaworna Wintoniam venit." The other (iv. 90, 93). After her son's marriage she 

Chronicles do not imply the King's per- seems not to sign his charters at all. The 

sonil presence ; " se cyng let geridan," &c. documents at iv. 80, 99 are doubtful or 

6 Chron. Wig. "On unwaer on J?a spurious. On the Legend of Emma see 

hlaefdian." Flor. Wig. « Venit improvise." Appendix H. 

6 Chronn. Ab. Petrib. Cant. " Se cyng 


of her son's election? A woman who had so completely transferred 
her affection to her second husband and his children may, even 
though she had no hand in actual conspiracies against the offspring 
of her first marriage, have very possibly preferred the nephew of Cnut 
to her own son by JSthelred. If so, her punishment was only the 
first act of a sort of persecution which during the next three or four 
years seems to have fallen upon all who had supported the claims 
of Swegen to the Crown. The whole party became marked men, 
and they were gradually sent out of the Kingdom as occasion served. 1 
A few of their names may probably be recovered. We have records 
of several cases of banishment and confiscation during the early, years 
of Eadward, which are doubtless those of the partizans of Eadward's 
Danish opponent. First and foremost was a brother of Swegen him- 
self, Osbeorn, who, like his brother Beorn, seems to have held the 
rank of Earl in England. The brothers must have taken different 
sides in the politics of the time, as Osbeorn was banished, while 
Beorn retained his Earldom. 2 The banishment of Osbeorn did not 
stand alone. The great Danish Thegn Osgod Clapa was banished 
a few years later, 3 and it was probably on the same account that 
JSthelstan the son of Tofig lost his estate at Waltham, 4 and that 
Gunhild, the niece of Cnut and daughter of Wyrtgeorn, was banished 
together with her two sons Heming and Thurkill. 5 She was then 
a widow for the second time through the death of her husband Earl 
Harold. 6 He had gone on a pilgrimage to Rome, and was on his 
way back to Denmark, when he was treacherously murdered by 
Ordulf, the brother-in-law of Magnus of Norway. 7 That Harold was 
bound for Denmark, and not for England, where his wife and chil- 
dren or stepchildren were, may perhaps tend to show that he was 
already an exile from England. It is not impossible that Godescalc 
the Wend ought to be added to the Hst 8 

Whether the fall of Emma was or was not connected with the 
penalties which thus fell on the relics of the Danish party, it certainly 
carried with it the momentary fall of one eminent Englishman. The 

1 See above, p. 6. Hakon who died in 1030. Thenames Heming 

• * Adam of Bremen, iii. 13. and Thurkill have already appeared as those 
s Chron. and Flor. Wig.- 1044, I0 45» of a pair of brothers See vol. i. pp. 231, 

IO46, 1047. All dates are given. 444. Cf. Knytlinga Saga, ap. Johnstone, 

4 De Inv. -14. " Adelstanus . . . de- Ant. Celt. Scand. 105. 

generans a patris astutiS, et sapientia ... 6 On this Harold see vol. i. p. 2S8. The 

multa ex His perdidit, et inter cetera signature to a charter of Bishop Lyfing in 

Waltham." This may however only mean 1042 (Cod. Dipl. iv. 69), must be his. 

that he squandered his estate. His son 7 Adam Brem. ii. 75. " Caussa mortis 

Esegar was Staller two years later. See ea fuit quod de regali stirpe Danorum 

Professor Stubbs' note, and vol. i. p. 354. genitus, propior sceptro videbatur quam 

* Chron. Wig. 1045; Flor. Wig. 1044. If Magnus." 
Gunhild's sons were old enough to be dan- 8 See vol. i. p. 492. 
gerous,they must have been the children of 


disgrace of the Lady was accompanied by the disgrace of the remarks- 
able — we might almost say the great — churchman by whose counsels 
she was said to be governed. We have already seen Stigand, once 
the priest of Assandun, 1 appointed to a Bishoprick and almost im- 
mediately deprived of it. 2 The like fate now happened to him a 
second time. He was, it would seem, still unconsecrated ; 8 but, 
seemingly about the time of Eadward's coronation, he was named 
and consecrated to the East-Anglian Bishoprick of Elmham.* But 
the spoliation of Emma was accompanied by the deposition of 
Stigand from the dignity to which he had just been raised. He was 
deprived of his Bishoprick, and his goods were seized into the King's 
hands, evidently by a sentence of the same Gem6t which decreed the 
proceedings against the Lady. Whatever Emma's fault was, Stigand 
was held to be a sharer in it. The ground assigned for his depo- 
sition was that he had been partaker of the counsels of the Lady, and 
that she had acted in all things by his advice. 5 That Stigand should 
have supported the claims of Swegen is in itself not improbable. He 
had risen whojly through the favour of Cnut, his wife, and his sons. 
The strange thing is that so wary a statesman should not have seen 
how irresistibly the tide was setting in favour of Eadward. One thing 
is certain, that, if Stigand mistook his interest this time, he knew how 
in the long run to recover his lost place and to rise to places far 

During the whole of this period ecclesiastical appointments claim 
special notice. They are at all times important witnesses to the state 
of things at any particular moment, and in a period of this kind they 
are the best indications of the direction in which popular and royal 
favour is setting. The patrons or electors of an ecclesiastical office 
can choose far more freely, they can set themselves much more free 
from the control of local and family influences, than those who are 
called on to appoint to temporal offices. For King Eadward to 
appoint a French Earl would prove much mere than his appointment 
of a French Bishop. It would prove much "more as to his own in- 
clinations ; it would prove much more again as to the temper of the 
people by whom such an appointment was endured. To appoint a 
French or German Earl as the successor of Godwine or Leofric 
would doubdess have been impossible. But Eadward found means 


1 See vol. i. p. 287. which Stigand received his appointment as 

a See vol. i. p. 338. Bishop and Swegen as Earl. 

3 A private document in Cod. Dipl. iv. * Chrpn. Ab. 1043 1 Chronn. Petrih. 

116 is signed by '* Stigand p." It is as- and Cant. 1042. 

signed to the year 1 049, but this date must 8 Chron. Ab. " And rafte J>aes man sette 

be wrong, as it is signed by iElfweard Stigant of his bisceoprice, and nam eal J>aet 

Bishop of London, who died in 1044. As he ahte J>am cinge to handa ; forftam he 

it is signed by Eadward and Emma, it must waes nehst his modor raede, and heo for swa 

belong to the early Gemot of 1043, that at swa he hire racdde ; J>aes $e men wendon." 


to fill the sees of Canterbury, London, and Dorchester with French 
Prelates. In ecclesiastical appointments he had a freer choice, be- 
cause, in the case of an ecclesiastical office, no hereditary claim or 
preference could possibly be put forward. The same freedom of 
choice still remains to the dispensers of church patronage in our own 
times. The Lord Lieutenant, the Sheriff, the ordinary magistrates, of 
any county are necessarily chosen from among men belonging to that 
county. But the Bishop, the Dean, the ordinary clergy, may never 
have set foot in the diocese till they are called on to exercise their 
functions within it Then, as now, various influences limited the 
choice of temporal functionaries which did not limit the choice of 
spiritual functionaries. It is therefore of special moment to mark the 
course of ecclesiastical appointments at this time, as supplying our 
best means of tracing the growth of the foreign influence and the 
course of the resistance made to it. 

It is not very clear what the exact process of appointing a Bishop 
at this time was. 1 It is clear that the royal will was the chief power in 
the appointment It is clear that the official document which gave the 
Bishop-elect a claim to consecration was a royal writ, to which now, 
under the French influences of Eadward's court, a royal seal, in imi- 
tation of continental practice, was beginning to be attached. It is also 
clear that the appointment was regularly made in full Witenagemtft. 
This of course implies that the Witan had at least the formal right of 
saying Yea or Nay to the King's nomination. But we hear at the 
same time of capitular elections, which clearly were not a mere form, 
though it rested with the King to accept or reject the selected can- 
didate. In ordinary speech the appointment is always said to rest 
with the King, who is constantly described as giving a Bishoprick to 
such and such a man. The King too at this time exercised the right, 
which afterwards became the subject of so much controversy, of in- 
vesting the Bishop-elect with the ring and staff. It is clear also, from 
the case of Stigand just recorded, that the King and his Witan had 
full power of deposing a Bishop. On the other hand, probably owing 
to the number of foreign ecclesiastics now in the Kingdom, references 
to the Court of Rome become from this time far more frequent than 
before. For an Archbishop to go to Rome for his pallium was 
nothing new ; but now we hear of Bishops going to Rome for con- 
secration or confirmation, and of the Roman Court claiming at least 
a veto on -the nomination of the English King. 

It is perhaps more startling to find that the court of Saint Eadward 
was no more free from the suspicion of simony than the courts of 
ruffians like Harold and Harthacnut. 2 It is clear however that it was 
neither on the King personally nor on the Earl of the West-Saxons 
that this disgraceful imputation rested. One can hardly help sus- 

1 Sec Appendix I, * See vol. pp. 338, 353. 


pectiiig that it was the itching palms of the King's foreign favourites 
which proved the most frequent resting-place for the gold of those 
who sought for ecclesiastical dignities by corrupt means. In the year 
after Eadward's coronation we meet with a story which brings out all 
these points very strongly. Archbishop Eadsige found himself in- 
capacitated by sickness from discharging his functions, and wished 
either to resign his see or, as it would rather seem, to appoint a co- 
adjutor. But he feared lest, if his intentions were made publicly 
known, some man whom he did not approve of might beg or buy the 
office. 1 He therefore took into his counsels none but the two first 
men in the realm, Earl Godwine and King Eadward himself. God- 
wine would naturally be glad of the opportunity to put some check on 
the growing foreign influences, and Eadward, easily as he was led 
astray, would doubtless be anxious, when the case was fairly placed 
before him, to follow any course which tended to preserve the purity 
of ecclesiastical rule. By the authority then of Eadward and God- 
wine, but with the knowledge of very few other persons, 2 Siward, 
Abbot of Abingdon, was consecrated as Coadjutor- Archbishop. 8 He 
acted on behalf of the Primate for about six years, till sickness caused 
him in his turn to resign his office and return to Abingdon, where he 
died. 4 On this Eadsige again assumed the administration of the 
Archbishoprick 5 for a short time before his own death. 

But a more memorable appointment was. made in the course of the 
same year. ^Elfweard, Bishop of London and Abbot of Evesham, a 
Prelate whose name has already occurred in our history, 6 fell sick of 
leprosy. He returned to his Abbey, but the brotherhood with one 
consent refused him admission. They met, we are told, with the just 
reward of their churlishness. JElfweard turned away to the distant 

1 Chronn. Ab. 1044 ; Petrib. 1043. Malmesbury (De Gest. Pont. 116) has a 

" Forftam se arcebiscop wende J>aet hit sum strange story how Siward was intended to 

ofter man, abiddan wolde, o\>\>e gebicgan, succeed Eadsige, but on his treating him 

j>e he wyrs truwode and ufte, gif hit ma harshly and not even allowing him enough 

manna wiste." to eat, he was deprived of the succession 

3 Chronn. Ab. 1044; Petrib. 1043. "Be to the Archbishoprick, and had to content 

pass cynges leafe, and racde, and Godwines himself with Rochester — " quo leviaret 

eorles. Hit waes elles feawum mannum verecundiam, quo detrimentum consola- 

cu$ xr hit ged6n waes." So William of retur." Siward signs charters with the 

Malmesbury, ii. 197 ; " Ante cum Rege title of Archbishop, Cod. Dipl. iv. 96, 103, 

tantum et Comite communicato consilio, 105; as Bishop only in i v. 99; as Abbot 

ne quis ad tantum fastigium aspiraret in- only in a very doubtful charter, iv. 102. 

dignus, vel prece vel pretio." See also Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 759 B ; 

8 He was consecrated to the see of Angl. Sacr. i. 106 ; Bromton, 938. 
Upsala, according to Professor Stubbs (Ep. * Chron. Ab. 1048; Chron. Wig, 1050; 
Succ. p. 20) and Dean Hook (i. 491); to Fl. Wig. 1049. See Hist. Ab. i. 461. Si- 
Rochester, according to the Abingdon ward was a benefactor to his abbey, and 
History (i. 452). But Florence (1049) ^ lls a considerable place in its history, 
calk htm " Siwardus, Edsii Dorubernensis • Chronn. Ab. 1048; Petrib. 1046. 
archiepiscopi chorepiscopus." William of 6 See vol. i. p. 341. 


Abbey of Ramsey, where he had spent his early years, and where he 
was gladly received. He soon after died, leaving great gifts to the 
hospitable monks of Ramsey. 1 Rumour however added that they 
largely consisted of his own former gifts to Evesham, and that he 
even did not scruple to remove from that undutiful house some 
precious things which had been the gifts of other benefactors. 3 Two 
great spiritual preferments were thus vacated, one of them, the see of 
London, one of the most important in the Kingdom. They were 
bestowed in a full Witenagem6t held in London in the month of 
August. 3 The lesser office at Evesham was conferred on an English- 
man, Wulfmaer or Mannig, a monk of the house, 4 renowned for his 
skill in the fine arts ; but in the nomination to the great East-Saxon 
Bishoprick, the foreigners obtained one of their most memorable 
triumphs. For it must have been in this same Gem6t in which 
Mannig was appointed that the Bishoprick of the city in which the 
Assembly was held was bestowed 5 on one Robert, a Norman monk, 
who had first been Prior of Saint Ouen's at Rouen, and afterwards 
Abbot of the great house of Jumieges. 6 He has there left behind him 
a noble memorial in the stately minster which still survives in ruins, 
but in England it is not too much to say, that he became, in this high 
post and in the still higher post which he afterwards reached, the pest 
of the Kingdom. His influence over the mind of the feeble King was 
unbounded. 7 We are ludicrously told that, if Robert said that a black 

1 Chron. Wig. 1045 »* Fl. Wig. 1044 ; nor Florence mention Robert's appoint- 

Hist. Eves. p. 85 ; Hist. Rams. c. 104. ment to London, though they take it for 

* Fl. Wig. u. s. " Ablatis ex maximH granted in 1050, when they record his ap- 
parte libris et ornamentis, quae ipse eidem pointment to the Arch bishoprick. 
contulerat loco, et quaedam, ut fertur, quae 6 Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 134 b. He 
alii contulerant." Cf. Hist. Rams. u. s. is there spoken of simply as a monk of 
But the Evesham historian, who uses very Jumieges, but from the Biographer (399) 
strong language against the monks of his and from the Nova Chronica Normannisc, 
own house, does not charge iElfweard with A. 1037, it appears that he had been Ab- 
more than transferring his intended gifts bot. (See Neustria Pia, p. 309.) He be- 
frorn Evesham to Ramsey ; " quae huic came Abbot in 1037, and began the church 
loco offerre cogitabat, versa vice praefatae in 1040. William himself, in his History 
ecclesise Ramesiae omnia cendonabat." (ii. 199), speaks of Robert's building as 
Hist. Eves. p. 85. " ecclesia Sanctsc Marias, quam ipse prae- 

8 Fl. Wig. 1044. " In generali concilio cipuo et sumptuoso opere construxerat." 

quod eodem tempore cek bra turn est Lun- He begins to sign as Bishop in 1046. Cod. 

donise." It was between July 25 and Dipl. iv. 110. 
August 10. See Appendix I. T William of Malmesbury (Gest. Pont. 

* Chron. Wig. 1045; Fl. Wig. 1044; 116) makes Robert's influence with Ead- 
Hist. Eves. p. 86. Mannig rebuilt the ward the recompense of some services done 
church of Evesham, and practised his skill to him in Normandy. He goes on, " Is 
for the adornment of the churches of ergo et amore antiquo et recenti henore 
Canterbury and Coventry as well as his primas partes in consiliis regalibus vendi- 
own. Chronn. Ab. and Wig. 1054. cabat, quos vellet deponeret, cuos liberet, 

* Oddly enough, neither the Chronicles sublimaret." 


crow was white, King Eadward would at once believe him. 1 He ik 
described at all hands as being the chief stirrer up of strife between 
Eadward and his native subjects. He it was who separated the hus- 
band from the wife, and the King from his most faithful counsellors. 
He it was whose slanderous tongue again brought up against the 
great Earl 2 that charge of complicity in the death of JSlfred of which 
he had been solemnly pronounced guiltless by the highest Court in 
the realm. 8 And the career of Robert is one of great historical im- 
portance. It is closely connected with the immediate causes — it may 
even be reckoned among the immediate causes — of the Norman in- 
vasion. 4 Robert's appointment to the see of London may be fairly 
set down as marking a distinct stage in the progress of Norman 
influence in England. He was the first man of utterly alien speech 
who had held an English Bishoprick since the days of Roman, Scot- 
tish, or Cilician missionaries. His overthrow at a later time was one 
of the first-fruits of the great national reaction against the strangers, 
and its supposed uncanonical character was one of the many pre- 
tences put forth by William to justify his invasion of England. 

This appointment of Robert shows the great advance of the Nor- 
man influence. But that influence had not as yet reached its height. 
Godwine and the popular party seem still to have been able to ma£e 
a kind of compromise with the King. It was necessary to yield to 
the King's strong personal inclination in the case of Robert ; but the 
other vacant preferments were secured for Englishmen. We have 
seen that ^Elfweard's Abbey was not allowed to be held in plurality 
by his successor in the Bishoprick, but was bestowed on an English- 
man of high character. Stigand too had by this time made his peace 
with Eadward and Godwine, and he now began to climb the ladder 
of preferment afresh. He now again received the Bishoprick of 
Elmham or of the East-Angles. 5 And it was in the same year, and 
seemingly at the same Gemot, that Gunhild, "the noble wife," the 
widow of the Earls Hakon and Hwold, the mother of Heming and 
Thurkill, was banished together with her sons. 8 

This last event was one of that series of banishments which have 

1 Ann. Wint. 21, Luard. "Tanti fuit ille clarius classicum cecinit, instantius ac- 
homo ille in oculis Regis ut si diceret cusavit." 

nigram cornicem esse candidam Rex chius 3 See vol. i. p. 344. 

ori illius quam oculis suis crederet." 4 Bishop Godwin (Cat. of Bishops, p. 

2 Vita Eadw. 400. So William of 25) says truly, but without fully under- 
Malmesbury (u. s.) ; " IUe contra pertina- standing the force of his owe words ; 
cius insistere, donee praecipuos optimates, "This man is said to have laid the first 
Godwinum dico et filios ejus, proditionis foundation of the Normans conquest in 
apud Regem accusatos Anglift expelleret. England." 

Expulsionis aliae quoque fuere caussae, et * Chron. Petrib. 1043 ; Fl. Wig. 1044. 
alii auctores, sicut alias non tacuimus. Sed • See above, p. 41. 


been already spoken of as gradually falling on all who had made 
themselves in any way prominent in opposition to the election of 
Eadward. But it was most likely not unconnected with the present 
threatening state of affairs in Northern Europe. The early years of 
Eadward in England were contemporary with the great struggle 
between Swegen and Magnus (1 044-1047) for the Crown of Den- 
mark. The details of that warfare are told in our Scandinavian 
authorities with the usual amount of confusion and contradiction, and 
it seems hopeless to think of altogether reconciling their conflicting 
statements. Our own Chronicles, as usual, supply the most promising 
means of harmonizing them in some small degree. We have seen that 
Magnus was in actual possession of both Norway and Denmark at 
the time of Eadward's coronation. 1 Swegen, after several battles, had 
found himself forsaken by every one, and had taken refuge in 
Sweden. 3 Godescalc the Wend, who had accompanied him from 
England, had forsaken him with the rest, 8 and had entered on that 
mingled career as missionary and warrior among his heathen country- 
men of which I have already spoken. 4 In this warfare he most likely 
acted as an ally of Magnus, who was also renowned for victories over 
the same enemy. 5 Magnus, now at the height of his power, King of 
Denmark and Norway, conqueror of his heathen neighbours, enjoying, 
as it would seem, the respect and attachment of the people of both 
his Kingdoms, regretted and retracted the engagements of fidelity, 
perhaps even of submission, which he had made to Eadward when his 
own position seemed less secure. He now fell back on the claim by 
virtue of which he had possessed himself of Denmark, and which, in 
his eyes, gave him an equal right to the possession of England. 
Magnus sent an embassy to England (1045), claiming the Crown, and 
setting forth his right. 6 He and Harthacnut had agreed that which- 
ever of them oudived the other should succeed to his dominions. 
Harthacnut was dead; Magnus had, by virtue of that agreement, 
succeeded to the Crown of Denmark ; he now demanded Harthacnut's 
other Kingdom of England. Eadward, we are told, answered in a 
magnanimous strain, in which he directly rested his right to the 
English Crown on the choice of the English people. 7 While his 
brother lived, he had served him faithfully as a private man, and had 
put forward no claim by virtue of his birth. On his brother's death, 

1 See above, p. II. autem Rex pro justitifc et fortitudine cams 

3 Snorro, Saga of Magnus, 33, of Harold, fuit Danis, verum Sclavis terribilis, qui post 

18 (Laing, ii. 391 ; iii. 17) ; Chron. Ros- mortem Chnut Daniam infestabant." 
kild. Lang. i. 377 ; Saxo, 303. 8 Snorro, Magnus, 38 (Laing, ii. 397) ; 

8 Saxo, 204. Ant. Celt. Scand. 184. 
* See vol. i. p. 49a. 7 Snorro, Ant. Celt. Scand. 185. " Var 

8 Saxo, 203; Swegen Agg. c. 5 (Lang. J>at J>2 rad her allra landsmanna at taka 

i. 56). So Adam Brem. ii. 75 ; " Magnus mik till Konungs her 1 Englandi." 


he had been chosen King by the whole nation and solemnly con- 
secrated to the kingly office. Lawful King of the English, he would 
never lay aside the Crown which his fathers had worn before him. 
Let Magnus come ; he would raise no army against him, but Magnus 
should never mount the throne of England till he had taken the life of 
Eadward. 1 Magnus, so the Norwegian Saga tells us, was so struck 
with this answer, that he gave up all thoughts of attacking England, 
and acknowledged Eadward's right to the English Crown. This 
account, as perhaps Eadward's answer also, savours somewhat of 
romance. But that Magnus did contemplate an invasion of England 
is certain, and, as England had given him no cause for war, an 
invasion of England would seem to imply a claim on the English 
Crown. The Norwegian King was looked on as dangerous in the 
year after Eadward's coronation, and in the next year he was kept 
back from an invasion of England only by a renewal of the war in 
the North. In both these years Eadward found it necessary to gather 
a fleet together at Sandwich. 2 In the first year the fleet amounted to 
thirty-five ships only; in the second year we are told that it was a 
fleet such as no man had ever seen before, 8 In this last case we are 
distinctly told that its object was to repel an expected invasion on the 
part of Magnus. 

The war was now renewed by Swegen, seemingly in partnership 
with an actor of greater, though perhaps less merited, renown than 
himself. 4 Harold the son of Sigurd, the half-brother of Saint Olaf, 
had escaped as a stripling from the field of Stikkelstad, where his 
brother, according to one view, received the crown of martyrdom, 
while, according to another, he received only the just reward of hasty 
and violent, however well-meant, interference with the ancient institu- 
tions of his country. Harold, surnamed Hardrada — the stern in 
council — lived to become the most renowned warrior of the North, 
the last Scandinavian King who ever set foot as an enemy on purely 
English ground, the last invader who was to feel the might of English- 
men fighting on their own soil for their own freedom, and who was, 
in his fall, to pave the way for the victory of an invader yet mightier 
than himself. The fight of Stamfordbridge, the fight of the two 
Harolds, will form one of the most striking scenes in a later stage of 
our history. As yet, Harold was known only as the hero of a series 
of adventures as wild and wonderful as any that have ever been 

1 Does this mean that Eadward meant * For the life of Harold Hardrada our 
to meet Magnus in single combat ? chief authority is his Saga in Snorro, which 

2 Chron. Ab. 1044, 1045 ; Chron. Pe- will be found in the third volume of Laing's 
trib. 1043. Translation. It fits in better than might 

8 Chron. Ab. 1045. " And J>ar waes have been expected with authentic history, 

swa mycel here gegaederod swa nan man There are also notices in Adam of Bremen 

ne geseh, sciphere naenne maran on )>ysan and the Danish writers, 


recounted in poetry or romance. Wounded at Stikkelstad, the young 
prince was saved by a faithful companion, and was cherished during 
the following winter by a yeoman ignorant of his rank. He passed 
through Sweden into Russia, where he formed a friendship with King 
Jaroslaf of Novgorod. Thence, after a few years, he betook himself, 
with a small train of companions, to the Byzantine Court He found 
the Eastern Empire in one of those periods of decay which so 
strangely alternate in its history with periods of regeneration at home 
and victory abroad. The great Macedonian dynasty was still on the 
throne; but the mighty Basil was in his grave, and the steel-clad 
lancers of the New Rome were no longer the terror of Saracen, 
Bulgarian, and Russian. The Empire which he had saved, and which 
he had raised to the highest pitch of glory, had now become the 
plaything of a worthless woman, and the diadem of the Caesars was 
passed on at every caprice of her fancy from one husband or lover to 
another. The Norwegian prince reached the Great City, the Mickel- 
gard of Northern story, in the period of Byzantine history known as 
the Reigns of the Husbands of Z66. 1 The Eastern Caesars had 
already begun to gather the Northern adventurers who appeared at 
their doors as friends or as enemies into that famous Warangian 
body-guard, the counterpart of the Housecarls of Cnut, which as yet 
seems to have been recruited wholly from Scandinavia, but which was 
afterwards to be reinforced by so large a body of exiles from our 
own land. 2 Harold apparently received the command of this force, 
and at their head he is said to have performed a series of amazing ex- 
ploits. 8 It would almost seem as if the arrival of these Northern 
auxiliaries had inspired the Empire with a new life. Certain it is that, 
just about this time, we find the Byzantine armies, after an interval 
of deadness, once more in vigorous action, and that in the very 
region in which the Norwegian Saga places the most memorable 
exploits of Harold. He waged war, we are told, against the Saracens 
both in Sicily and in Africa ; he fought eight pitched battles, and took 
castle after castle from the misbelievers. That is, there can be little 
doubt, Harold and his followers served in the Sicilian expedition of 
Maniakes, who was at this time waging a vigorous war against the 
Saracens of Sicily, and who won back many of their towns to the 
Empire. 4 It does not appear that Maniakes actually ventured on an 
African campaign, but, as the Saracens of Africa undoubtedly aided 
their Sicilian brethren, 5 a landing of imperial troops on their coast 
is quite possible. At all events, warfare with African Saracens any- 
where might easily, in the half-legendary language of the Sagas, grow 

1 See Finlay, Byz. Emp. i. 466. et in Scythiac regionibus multa contra bar- 

* See vol. i. p. 346, and above, p. 28. baros prcelia confecit." For some legends, 

8 Adam Brem. iii. 16. "Erat vir po- see Saxo, 205. 

tens et clams victoriis, qui prius in Gratia 4 See Finlay, i. 487 5 lb. 



into a tale of an actual invasion of Africa. Harold is next represented 
as entering on another series of adventures for which it is more 
difficult to find a place in authentic history. He set out, we are told, 
on a premature Crusade ; he marched with his followers to Jerusalem, 
clearing the way of robbers, and winning back countless towns and 
castles to the allegiance of Christ and CsBsar. Here we have of 
course the mere reflection of the age of the writer, who could not 
conceive so famous a warrior as entering the Holy City in any 
character but that of a conqueror. But that Harold, as a peaceful 
pilgrim, the brother of a canonized Saint, visited Jerusalem, that he 
prayed and gave gifts at the Holy Sepulchre, and bathed in the 
hallowed stream of Jordan, is quite in the spirit of the age and of the 
man. 1 To the holy places of Christendom Harold would be led of 
set purpose by every feeling of the time. If, as there is reason to 
believe, his course of adventure led him to the most renowned seat of 
heathen freedom and heathen wisdom, it was, we may be sure, with 
very little recollection of its ancient glories. At some stage of his 
exploits, Harold and his companions seem to have appeared in a 
hostile character in the haven of Peiraieus arid, either on their own 
account or by an Imperial commission, to have put down certain 
disturbances among the Athenians of the eleventh century. 2 At all 
events, Harold of Norway shared in the penitential devotion of 
Robert the father of Norman William and of Swegen the brother of 
English Harold; and, more fortunate than either, he returned in 
safety and glory to his own land. He came back to Constantinople 
to find himself maligned at the Imperial Court, and to be refused the 
hand of a niece of the Empress. 8 Scandal went so far as to say that 
the cause of this refusal was that Z66, a woman whose passions sur- 
vived to an unusually late period of life, herself cast an eye of love on 
the valiant Northman. Harold now made his escape from Constan- 
tinople, after — so his Northern admirers ventured to say — putting out 
the eyes of the Emperor Constantine Monomachos. This of course 
is pure fiction. The historical truth of Harold's warlike exploits is in 
no way impugned by the silence of the Byzantine writers ; but so 
striking an event as the blinding of an Emperor could hardly fail to 
have found a native chronicler. But we may believe, if we please, 

1 It is worth noticing that the reigning story, some niece or other kinswoman of 
Emperor Constantine Monomachos had a Constantine is intended; hut Ducange 
hand in restoring the church of the Holy (Fam. Byz. 145) does not help us to iden- 
Sepulchre. It would be singular indeed if tify her. William of Malmesbury (iii. a 60) 
Harold Hardrada were in any way the in- gives another turn to the story. He was 
strument of his bounty. SeeFinlay, i. 503. "pro stupro illustris foeminae leoni ob- 

2 See Appendix K. jectus." Of course he kills the beast. In 
8 So says the Saga, but it is hard to say Saxo (205) the crime becomes murder, 

who is meant by this niece of Zoe. It is and the lion is exchanged for a dragon, 
possible that, if there be any truth in the 


that Harold carried off the princess by force, that the Scandinavian 
galleys burst the chain which guarded the Bosporos, that Harold then 
left his fair prize on shore, bidding her tell her Imperial kinswoman 
how litde her power availed against either the might or the craft of 
the Northman. 1 Harold now returned to Russia. He had carried 
off the Byzantine princess only as a bravado ; his heart was fixed on 
Elizabeth, the daughter of his former host Jaroslaf of Novgorod. He 
now hastened to her father's court, obtained her in marriage, and 
passed over with her into Sweden. He there found Swegen, defeated 
and in banishment. With him he concerted measures for a joint 
expedition against Magnus, now in possession of Denmark. 2 There 
can be little doubt that it was this joint expedition of Swegen and 
Harold which saved England from a Norwegian invasion. King 
Eadward watched at Sandwich with his great fleet during the whole 
summer, expecting the approach of the enemy. But Magnus came 
not Harold and Swegen together, by their invasion of Denmark, 
gave him full occupation throughout die year. 8 

It seems to have been early in this year of expected invasion that 
Eadward at last married Eadgyth the daughter of Godwine. 4 It is not 
easy to see why the marriage had been so long delayed ; but, if the 
Norman influence was advancing, the wary Earl might well deem that 
no time was to be lost in bringing about the full completion of a 
promise which the King was most likely not very eager to fulfil. 
Godwine's power however was not as yet seriously shaken. It was 
also probably in this year, as we have seen, that his son Harold and 
his wife's nephew Beorn received their Earldoms. 5 The ecclesiastical 
appointments of the year seem also to point to the predominance of 
the patriotic party. In this year died Brihtwold, Bishop of the Wil^ 
saetas, a Prelate who had in past times been honoured with a vision 
portending Eadward's accession to the Crown, and who had had the 
good luck of living to see his prophecy fulfilled. 6 The appointment 

1 On these exploits of Harold Hardrada, Eadward " adveniens multa probitate mul- 

see Appendix K. taque animi industrial coepit florere, et 

* Snorro, Harold, c. 18 (Laing, iii. 17). Normannos quos adduxerat princ'tpes per 

8 Chron. Wig. 1046. "On J*am geare Angliam constituere ; contra hunc quoque 

gegaderade Eadward cyng mycele scypferde Comes Godwhras, pads inimicus, tentans 

on Sandwic, Jrarh Magnus t>reatuoge on rebellare, ir& commotus, Anglia discessit, 

Norwegon ; ac his gewinn and Swegenes on moxque repatrians usque in ipsam metro- 

Denmarcon gdetton |wet he her ne com." polim Londoniam classem suam advexit. 

So Fl. Wig. 1045 ; Rog. Wend. i. 483. Denique se non posse prcevalere animadver- 

4 Chronn. Ab. 1044; Petrib. 1043; tens, pacem cum Edwardo statuit compo- 

Cant. 1045. B°t io 43 m Peterborough nere, et ut nullius rebellions suspicio rema- 

really means 1045, and the 1044 of Abing- neret, filianl suam Editham nomine ei 

don takes in the whole Christmas season matrimonio copulavit, filiumque suum Ha- 

rnnning into the next year. The Hyde roldum ejus dapiferum constituit." 

writer (288), amusingly enough, places the * See above, p. 23. 

marriage after Godwine's return in 1052. 6 This legend occurs in the Vita Ead- 

E 2 


of his successor should be carefully noticed. He was Hermann of 
Lotharingia, a chaplain of the King, the first of the series of German 
or other Imperialist Prelates of whom I have already spoken. 1 The 
promotion of Germans in England was not wholly new. It had 
begun under Cnut, in whose time the Saxon Duduc had obtained the 
Bishoprick of Somersetshire, and another German, Wythmann by 
name, had held the great abbey of Ramsey. 2 Had the appointment 
of Hermann stood alone, we might have simply looked on it as the 
result of Eadward's connexion with King Henry. Or we might even 
have looked on it in a worse light, as a sign that Eadward preferred 
foreigners of any kind to his own countrymen. But several con- 
siderations may lead us to look on the matter in another way. These 
German appointments are clearly parts of a system ; the system is 
continued after the death of Henry the Third, when the close con- 
nexion between Germany and England ends ; Harold himself, in the 
height of his power, appears as a special promoter of German church- 
men. We can therefore hardly fail to see in these appointments, as I 
have already hinted, an attempt of Godwine and the patriotic party to 
counterbalance the merely French tendencies of Eadward himself. 
We must observe that most of these Prelates were natives of Lothar- 
ingia, a term which, in the geography of that age, includes — and 
indeed most commonly means — the Southern Netherlands. That is 
to say, they came from the border-land of Germany and France, 
where the languages of both Kingdoms were already familiar to every 
educated man. 3 We can well understand that, in those cases in which 
the patriots found it impossible to procure the King's consent to the 
appointment of an Englishman, they might well be content to accept 
the appointment of a German of Lotharingia as a compromise. One 
whose blood, speech, and manners had not wholly lost the traces of 
ancient brotherhood would be more acceptable to Godwine and to 
England than a mere Frenchman. And one to whom the beloved 
speech of Gaul was as familiar as his mother-tongue would be more 
acceptable to the denationalized Eadward than one of his own sub- 
jects. This policy was probably as sound as any that could be hit 
upon in such a wretched state of things. But its results were not 
wholly satisfactory. I know of no reason to believe that any of these 
Lotharingian Prelates proved actual traitors to England; but they 
certainly did not, as a class, offer the same steady resistance to French 
influences as the men who had been born in the land. And, if they 
were not Normannizers, they were at least Romanizers. They 
brought with them habits of constant reference to the Papal See, and 
a variety of scruples on points of small canonical regularity, to which 

wardi, p. 394. It is of course not omitted 1 See above, p. 26. 
by the professed hagiographers. See Ap- a See Appendix L. 
pendix B. , * See vol. i. p. 410. 



'Englishmen had hitherto been strangers. Still something was gained, 
when, on the death of Brihtwold, a Lotharingian, instead of a French, 
successor was procured, in the person of Hermann, one of the King's 
Chaplains. 1 A slight counterpoise was thus gained to the influence of 
the Norman Bishop of London. But at the next great ecclesiastical 
vacancy the patriotic party were more successful. In the course of 
the next year (1046) England lost one of her truest worthies; the 
great Earl lost one who had been his right hand man in so many 
crises of his life, in so many labours for the welfare of his country. 
Lyfing, the patriot Bishop of Worcester, died in March in the follow- 
ing year. Originally a monk of Winchester, he was first raised to the 
Abbacy of Tavistock. While still holding that office, he had been 
the companion of Cnut in his Roman pilgrimage, and had been the 
bearer of the great King's famous letter to his English subjects. 2 The 
consummate prudence which he had displayed in that and in other 
commissions 3 had procured his appointment to the Bishoprick of 
Crediton or Devonshire. With that see the Bishoprick of Cornwall had 
been finally united during his episcopate. 4 With that double see he 
had held, according to a vicious use not uncommon at the time, the 
Bishoprick of Worcester in plurality. 5 In this high position he had 
steadily adhered to the cause of the great Earl through all the storms 
of the days of Harold and Harthacnut, and he had had a share second 
only to that of Godwine himself in the work of placing Eadward upon 
the throne. 6 Either his plurality of benefices had given, as it reason- 
ably might, offence to strict assertors of ecclesiastical rule, 7 or, what is 
at least as likely, the patriotic career of Lyfing had made him, like 
Godwine himself, a mark for Norman slander alike in life and death. 
His end, we are told, was" accompanied by strange portents, which 
were however quite as capable of a favourable as of an unfavourable 
interpretation. 8 But his memory was loved and cherished in the 
places where he was best known. Long after the Norman Conquest, 

1 See Appendix I. and L. 

2 Fl. Wig. 1031; Will. Malms. Gest. 
Pont. 145 b. 

3 •' Vir prudentissimus Livingus," says 
Florence (1031) ; " Omnibus cjuae injuncta 
fuerant, sapienter et mirifice ante adven- 
tum Regis consummatis," says William. 

4 Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 145 b. Cf. 
Gest. Regg. iii. 300. 

5 See vol. i. p. 501. There is a curious 
notice of Lyfing's plurality of Bishopricks 
in a deed in Cod. Dip], vi. 195. It is a 
conveyance of lands to Sherborne Minster 
made in a Scirgem<5t of Devonshire under 
the presidency of Earl Godwine. Lyfing 
is one of the witnesses, and he is described 

as "Lyfing bisceop be norftan," as if a 
Devonshire man's idea of Worcester were 
not very clear. Worcester was clearly the 
see which Lyfing loved best. 
• See above, p. 4. 

7 Will. Malms, u. s. " Ambitiosus et 
protervus ecclesiasticarum legum tyrannus, 
ut fertur, invictus, qui nihil pensi haberet, 
quominus omni voluntati suae assisteret." 

8 Will. Malms, u. s. •' A majoribus 
accepimus, quum ille spiritum efflaret, turn 
horrisonum crepitum per totam Angliam 
auditum, ut ruina et finis totius putaretur 
orbis." The loss of men like Lyfing is 
indeed the ruin of nations. 


the name of the Prelate whose body rested in their minster still lived 
in the hearts and on the mouths of the monks of Tavistock. 1 And 
the simple entry of a Chronicler who had doubtless heard him with 
his own ears bears witness to that power of speech in the exercise of 
which he had so often stood side by side with his illustrious friend. 
The other Chronicles merely record his death ; the Worcester writer 
adds the speaking title, " Lyfing the eloquent." a 

The great mass of preferment held by Lyfing did not pass un- 
divided to a single successor. The Bishopricks of Devonshire and 
Cornwall remained united, as they have done ever since. They were 
conferred on the King's Chancellor, Leofric, who is described as a 
Briton, that is, doubdess, a native of the Cornish portion of his 
diocese. 8 His name however shews that he was of English, or at 
least of Anglicized, descent. But in feeling he was neither British nor 
English; as Hermann was a Lotharingian by birth, Leofric was 
equally a Lotharingian by education. 4 Four years after his appoint- 
ment (1050), he followed the example of Ealdhun of Durham in re- 
moving his episcopal see to a new site. He did not however, like 
Ealdhun, create at once a church and a city ; 6 he rather forestalled 
the practice of Prelates later in the century by transferring his throne 
to the greatest town of his diocese. The humbler Crediton had to 
yield its episcopal rank to the great city of the West, the city which 
J2thelstan had fortified as a cherished bulwark of his realm, 6 the city 
whose valiant burghers had beaten back the Dane in his full might, 
and which had fallen into his hands only when the Norman traitor 
. was set to guard its walls. 7 She whose fatal presence had caused that 
great misfortune still lived. The first years of Emma in England 
beheld the capture and desolation of her noble morning-gift. Her 
last years saw the restored city become the spiritual capital of the 
great western peninsula. And within the life-time of many who 
saw that day, Exeter was again to stand a siege at the hands of a 
foreign King, and again to show forth the contrast between citizens 
as valiant as those who drove Swegen from before their walls and 
captains as incompetent or as treacherous as Hugh the Churl. The 
church of Saint Peter in Exeter now became the cathedral church of 
the western diocese, and there Leofric was solemnly enthroned in his 

1 Will. Malms, (u. s.), who speaks of his Conrabiensis datus est prsesulatus." 

gifts to the monastery, and of the services * Will. Malms. Gest. Pont, 145 b. 

still said for him, " ut hodieque xv. graduum " Lefricus apud Lotharingos altus et doc- 

psalmos continuata per successores consue- tus." 

tudine pro ejus decantent quiete." * See vol. i. p. 197. 

a " Lyfing se wordsnotera biscop." On * Will. Malms, u. s. He again speaks 

the description of Lyfing's and other Bt- of ^thelstan's walls. See vol. i. pp. 307 

shopricks see Appendix M. et seqq. 

3 Flor. Wig. 1046. •• Regis cancellario T See vol. i. p. 315. 
Leofrico Brytonico mox Cridiatunensis et 


episcopal chair by the saintly King and his virgin wife. 1 Hitherto 
the church had been occupied by nuns. They were now removed, 
and the Chapter of the Bishop was formed of secular Canons. Leofric 
however required them to conform to the stricter discipline which he 
had learned in Lotharingia. The rule of Chrodegang of Metz, the 
model rule of secular Canons, though it did not impose monastic 
vows, yet imposed on those who conformed to it much of the strict- 
ness of monastic discipline. 2 The clerks who submitted to it were 
severed, hardly less than actual monks, from all the ordinary habits 
of domestic life. They were condemned to the common table and the 
common dormitory; every detail of their life was regulated by a 
series of minute ordinances ; they were cut off from lay, and especially 
from female, society, and bound to a strict obedience to their Bishop 
or other ecclesiastical superior. Still they were not monks; they 
were even strictly forbidden to wear the monastic garb,* and the 
pastoral duties of baptism, preaching, and hearing confession were 
stricdy enforced upon them. In accordance with the precepts of 
Chrodegang, the Canons of Exeter were required to eat in a common 
hall and to sleep in a common dormitory. Their temporal concerns 
were managed by an officer, who provided them with daily food and 
with a yearly change of raiment This sort of discipline never found 
favour in England. All who were not actual monks clave earnestly 
to the usage of separate houses, in which they were often solaced by 
the company of wives and children. Every earlier and later attempt 
to introduce the Lotharingian rule in England utterly failed. 4 Leofric's 
discipline seems to have lasted somewhat longer than commonly hap- 
pened in the like cases. Vestiges of the severer rule still remained 
at Exeter in the next century, but even then the purity of ancient 
discipline had greatly fallen off. 5 

One of the sees vacated by the death of Lyfing thus fell to the lot 
of a zealous ecclesiastical reformer, but a man who plays no important 

1 On this personal installation see Ap- The rule of Chrodegang will be found 

peodix I. at length in D'Achery's Spicilegium, i. 565 

9 See the whole subject fully illustrated et seqq. 
by Professor Stubbs in the Preface to the 8 Cap. 53. " Ut Canonici cucullos mo. 
Dt InvenHone, p. ix. et seqq. See also his nachorum non induant." 
note to Mosheim, ii. 47. Richer (iii. 24) 4 See Stubbs, De Inventione, p. x. 
gives an account of the changes introduced 5 Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 145 b. " Ca- 
by Archbishop Adalbero (c. 969) in his nonicos statuit qui, contra morem Anglo- 
church, of Rheims, which seems to have rum, ad fonnam Lotharingorum uno tri- 
brought in a still stricter discipline than clinio comederent, uno cubiculo cubitarent. 
that of Leofric at Exeter or Gisa at Wells. Transmissa est hujuscemodi regula ad po- 
Adalbero had been a member of the church steros, quamvis pro luxu temporum non- 
of Metz. Amongst other things the In- nulla jam ex parte deciderit, habentque 
stitutes of Saint Augustine were to be read clerici ceconomum ab episcopo constitutum, 
daily. Here we get the first glimmer of qui eis diatim necessaria victui, annuatim 
Austin Canons. amictui commoda suggerat." 


part in the general history of the time. The fate of Lyfing's other 
Bishoprick was widely different. It was bestowed on a Prelate who, 
without ever displaying any very great qualities, played a prominent, 
and on the whole not a dishonourable, part for many years to come. 
The early career of the famous Ealdred, who now succeeded Lyfing 
in the see of Worcester, had led him through nearly the same stages 
as that of his predecessor. Like him, he had been a monk at Win- 
chester; like him, he had been thence called to the government of 
one of the great monasteries of the West. The Abbey of Tavistock, 
destroyed by Danish invaders in the reign of iEthelred, 1 had risen 
from its ashes, and it now proved a nursery of Prelates like Lyfing 
and Ealdred. 2 The new Bishop was a man of ability and energy. 
He exhibits, like Harold, the better form of the increasing connexion 
between England and the continent. As an ambassador at the 
Imperial court, as a pilgrim at Rome and Jerusalem, he probably saw 
more of the world than any contemporary Englishman. He was 
renowned as a peacemaker, as one who could reconcile the bitterest 
enemies. 8 But he was also somewhat of a time-server, and, in com- 
mon with so many other Prelates of his time, he did not escape the 
charge of simony. This charge is one which it is easy to bring 
and often hard to answer, but the frequency with which it is brought 
shows that the crime itself was a familiar one. Like many other 
churchmen of his time, Ealdred did not scruple to bear arms both in 
domestic and in foreign warfare, but his campaigns were, to say the 
least, not specially glorious. His most enduring title to remembrance 
is that it fell to his lot to place, within a single year, the Crown of 
England on the brow, first of Harold and then of William, and to die 
of sorrow at the sight of his church and city brought to ruin by the 
mutual contentions of Normans, Englishmen, and Danes. 

We shall find the new Bishop of Worcester appearing a few years 
later in arms against the Welsh, to whose incursions the southern part 
of his diocese lay open. But as yet it was only his powers of per- 
suasion and peace-making which he was called upon to exercise in 
that quarter. It was probably by Ealdred's intervention that a recon- 
ciliation was now brought about between the famous King of North 
Wales, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, 4 and his English over-lord. 

1 See vol. i. p. 199. eo mortales inimicos reconciliaret et de 

2 The name of Ealdred will be found inimicissimis amicissimos faceret." 
constantly recurring in our history for the * The reconciliation of Gruffydd appears 
next twenty- three years. His general life from his acting immediately afterwards in 
and character are described by William of concert with Earl Swegen. That Ealdred 
Malmesbury, De Gest. Pont. 154, and brought about this present reconciliation 
Thomas Stubbs, Gest. Pont. Eb. X Scriptt. is not distinctly stated, but it quite falls in 
1700 et seqq. with his general character as described in 

8 T. Stubbs, u. s. "Iste apud Regem the last note, and with the fact that he 
Edwardum tantae erat auctoritatis, ut cum played a prominent part in a later recon- 



GruffydcTs immediate neighbour to the east was Swegen, whose 
anomalous earldom took in the border shires of Gloucester and 
Hereford. Gruffydd accordingly gave hostages, and accompanied 
Swegen in an expedition against the other Gruffydd, the son of 
Rhydderch, the King of South Wales. 1 On his triumphant return 
Swegen was guilty of an act which embittered the remainder of his 
days, a breach of the laws of morality which the ecclesiastical feelings 
of the time clothed with tenfold guilt. He sent for Eadgifu, Abbess 
of Leominster, kept her awhile with him, and then sent her home. 2 
Like the Shechem of patriarchal story, he next sought, with a genero- 
sity as characteristic of his wayward temper as any of his worst 
deeds, to make reparation by marriage. But the law of the Church 
stood in his way. Richard of Normandy, as we have seen, had 
found it easy to raise his mistress to all the honours due to a matron 
and the wife of a sovereign. The Lady Emma herself, wife and 
mother of so many Kings, was the offspring of an union which the 
Church had thus hallowed only after the fact. 3 But no such means 
of reparation were open to the seducer of a consecrated virgin. The 
marriage was of course forbidden, and Swegen, in his disappointment, 
threw up his Earldom, left his country, and betook himself, first to 
Flanders, the usual place of refuge for English exiles, and thence 
to the seat of war in the North. 4 A formal sentence of outlawry 
seems to have followed, as the lordships of Swegen were confiscated, 
and divided between his brother Harold and his cousin Beorn. 6 On 
Eadgifu and her monastery the hand of ecclesiastical discipline seems 
to have fallen heavily. The nunnery of Leominster, one of the objects 

ciliation between Eadward and Gruffydd. be that recorded under the next year, when 

The success of Ealdred in reconciling both Gruffydd ap Llywelyn ravaged all South 

Swegen and Gruffydd to the King is spe- Wales in revenge for the treacherous 

cially commented on by Thomas Stubbs, slaughter of one hundred and forty of his 

the biographer of the Archbishops of York nobles. In any case the two independent 

(X Scriptt. 1 701). Now Stubbs wrote accounts exactly fit in to one another. 
more than three hundred years after the a See Appendix N. 
time ; still he is not a romancer like Brom- 3 See vol. i. p. 1 70. 
ton or Knighton, but a really honest and 4 Chronn. Pet rib. 1045 ; Cant. 1046. 

careful writer, and he doubtless had access " On 'Sam ilean geare ferde Swegen eorl 

to materials which are now lost or un- ut to Baldewines lande to Brycge, and 

printed. He may indeed refer to the later wundde Jwr ealne winter, and wende )>a 

reconciliation in 1056, but the combination to sumere fit." " tJt " means, of course, to 

of the names of Swegen and Gruffydd Denmark. William of Malmesbury says, 

might lead us to think that he was speak- (ii. 200), " Swanus, perversi ingenii et infidi 

ing of some event at this time. in Regem, multotiens a patre et fratre 

1 Chron. Ab. 1046. '* Her on )>ysum Haroldo descivit, et pi rata factus, praedis 

geare for Swegn eorl into Wealan, and marinis virtutes majorum polluit." Whom 

Griffin se Norj)erna cyng forft mid him, did William look on as the forefathers of 

and him man gislode." In Ann. Camb. Swegen? 

•1046 we read, " Seditio magna orta fuit * Chron. Petrib. 1046. Swegen on his 

inter Grifud filium Lewelin et Grifud filium return asks for their restoration. 
Riderch." Or possibly the expedition may 


of the bounty of Earl Leofric, 1 now vanishes from history.. The 
natural inference is that the misconduct of Eadgifu led, not only 
to her own disgrace, but to the dissolution of the sisterhood over 
which she had so unworthily presided. 8 We hear of no later marriage 
on the part of Swegen, but in after years we shall meet with a son of 
his, probably a child of the frail Abbess of Leominster. Born under 
other circumstances, he might have been head of the house of God- 
wine. As it was, the son of Swegen and Eadgifu was the child of 
shame and sacrilege, and the career to which he was doomed was 
short and gloomy. 

The banishment of the Staller Osgod Clapa, at the bridal of whose 
daughter King Harthacnut had come to his untimely end, took place 
this year. 8 Like the banishment of Gunhild, this measure was evi- 
dently connected with the movements in the North of Europe. Osgod 
was doubtless one of those who had been marked men ever since the 
election of Eadward, 4 and who, in the present state of Scandinavian 
affairs, were felt to be dangerous. The immediate peril came from 
Magnus ; but there could be little doubt that, of the three princes 
who were disputing the superiority of Scandinavia, the successful one, 
whether Magnus, Harold, or Swegen, would assert some sort of claim 
to the possession of England. Magnus had done so already. Harold 
lived to invade England and to perish in the attempt. It was 
only the singular prudence of Swegen which kept him back from 
any such enterprise till he was able to interfere in English affairs 
in the guise of a deliverer. Partizans of any one of the contending 
princes were clearly dangerous in England. Osgod was driven out, 
seemingly by a decree of the Christmas Gemdt, 6 and he presently, 
after the usual sojourn in Flanders, took himself to the seat of war 
in Denmark. 6 

Osgod and Swegen most probably took service with Swegen 
Estrithson. The presence of Swegen the son of Godwine would 
be welcome indeed to the partizans of his Danish namesake. The 
nephew of Ulf, the cousin of their own leader, the son of the great 
English Earl, renowned in the North as the conqueror of the Wends, 7 
was a recruit richly to be prized. And the cause of Swegen Estrith- 

1 Will. Malms, ii. 196. " Leofricus . . . Chronicles is remarkable. On " ut adri- 

monasteria multa constituit . . . Leorunse, ven," see vol. i. p. 499. Florence, 1046, 

et nonnulla alia." So Flor. Wig. 1057. says, " Osgodus Clapa expellitur Angli&." 
On Leominster, see Monasticon, iv. 51. * See above, p. 5. 

a See Appendix N. 5 The Abingdon Chronicle says, " on Jris 

3 Chronn. Ab. 1046 ; Wig. 1047. " Man ylcan geare man gefitlagode Osgod Clapan 

utlagode Osgod stallere." Chron. Petrib. foran to middanwintre" 
1044. " On Jris ilcan geare wearft aflemed • This is implied in the narrative of 

ut Osgot Clapa.*' Chron. Cant. 1045. Florence, 1049. " Osgodus autem . . . 

" And Osgod Clapa wxrS ut adriven." Danemarciam rediit." 
The difference of expression in the different 7 See vol. i. p. 283. 


son just then greatly needed recruits. His hopes, lately so flourishing, 
had been again dashed to the ground. Magnus had contrived to gain 
over his uncle Harold to his side (1047), by the costly bribe of a share 
in the Kingdom of Norway. The gift indeed was not quite gra- 
tuitous. Besides joining in the war with Swegen, Harold was to share 
with Magnus the treasures which he had gathered in his Southern 
warfare. 1 The two Kings now joined their forces, and drove Swegen 
out of Jutland and the Danish Isles. He retained only Scania, that 
part of the old Danish realm which lies on the Swedish side of the 
Sound, and which is now politically part of Sweden. 2 In the course 
of the next year Swegen was again aiming at the recovery of his 
Kingdom. It was probably the presence of English exiles in his 
camp, which suggested to him the idea of obtaining regular help from 
England as an ally of the English King. He sent and asked for the 
help of an English fleet. In those days questions of peace and war 
were not decided either by the Sovereign only or by the Sovereign 
and a few secret counsellors ; they were debated openly by the Witan 
of the whole land. The demand of Swegen was discussed in full 
Gemdt. Swegen had certainly acted, whether of set purpose or not, 
as a friend of England; the diversion caused by him had saved 
England from a Norwegian invasion. But setting aside any feelings 
of gratitude on this account, any feelings of attachment to the kins- 
man of Cnut and of Godwine, it does not appear that England had 
any direct interest in embracing the cause of Swegen. A party which 
sought only the immediate interest of England might argue that the 
sound policy was to stand aloof, and to leave the contending Kings 
of the North to wear out each other's power and their own. Such 
however was not the view taken by Godwine- In the Gemdt in 
which the question was debated, the Earl of the West-Saxons sup- 
ported the petition of his nephew, and proposed that fifty ships should 
be sent to his help. It is clear that such a course might be supported 
by plausible arguments. It is clear that. equally plausible arguments 
might be brought forward on the other side. And if, as is possible, this 
question was discussed in the same Gem6t in which sentence of outlawry 
was pronounced against Swegen the son of Godwine, it is clear that the 
father of the culprit would stand at a great disadvantage in supporting 
the request of the prince with whom that culprit had taken service. It 
marks the still abiding influence of Godwine that he was able to pre- 
serve the confiscated lordships of Swegen for Harold and Beorn. But 
in his recommendation of giving armed support to Swegen Estrith- 
son all his eloquence utterly failed. The cause of non-intervention 
was pleaded by Earl Leofric, and his arguments prevailed. All 
the people, we are told — the popular character of the Assembly still 
impresses itself on the language of history — agreed with Leofric, and 

1 Snorro, Harold, 21 (Laing, iii. 19). a Ibid. 26, 28 (Laing, Hi. 25, 27). 


determined the proposal of Godwine to be unwise. The naval force 
of Magnus, it was said, was too great to be withstood. 1 Swegen 
Estrithson had therefore to carry on the struggle with his own un- 
aided forces. Against the combined powers of Magnus and Harold 
those forces were utterly unavailing. Swegen was defeated in a great 
sea-fight ; Magnus took possession of all Denmark, and laid a heavy 
contribution upon the realm. 2 Swegen again took refuge in Sweden, 
and now began to meditate a complete surrender of his claims upon 
Denmark. Just at this moment, we are told, a messenger appeared, 
bringing the news of the sudden death of Magnus. 3 The victorious 
King had perished by an accident not unlike that which had caused 
the death of Lewis of La6n. 4 His horse, suddenly startled by a hare, 
dashed his rider against the trunk of a tree. 6 On his death-bed he 
bequeathed the crown of Norway to his uncle Harold and that of 
Denmark to his adversary Swegen. Such a bequest is quite in har- 
mony with the spirit of the correspondence between Magnus and 
Eadward. 6 Swegen returned and took possession of his Kingdom, 
and though he was for years (1048-106 1) engaged in constant war- 
fare with Harold, he never wholly lost his hold upon the country. The 
first act of both the new Kings was to send embassies to England. 
Harold offered peace and friendship ; Swegen again asked for armed 
help against Harold. 7 The debate of the year before was again 
reopened. Godwine again supported the request of his nephew, and 
again proposed that fifty ships should be sent to his help. Leofric 
again opposed the motion, and the people again with one voice sup- 
ported Leofric. Help was refused to Swegen and peace was con- 
cluded with Harold (1048). 8 Swegen, despairing of English aid, 

1 The application of Swegen and the to invade England. For this tale, mixed 
refusal by the Witan come from the Wor- up with a story of a vision of Eadward, 
cester Chronicle, 1048. " And Swegen eac see iEthel. Riev. X Scriptt. 378. Alberic 
sende hider, bead him fylstes ongeon Mag- of Trois Fontaines (1055) improves on 
nus Norwega cyng ; Jraet man sceolde sendan this by dividing Swegen into two people ; 
l. scypa him to fultume ; ac hit Jmhte " Sueno junior qui paullo post rait submer- 
unred eallum folce ; and hit wearft |» sus," and " Swanus ille nobilis, qui decern 
gelet, )>urh pxt J>e Magnus haefde mycel et quattuor filios. habuit." Cf. the Hebrew 
scypecraeft." The personal share of God- Chronicler's panegyric on Abijah, 2 Chron. 
wine and Leofric in the debate comes from xiii. 21. 

Florence, 1047. *' Tunc comes Godwinus • See above, p. 47. 

consilium Regi dedit ut saltern l. naves 7 Flor. Wig. 1048. I insert this story 

militibus instructas ei mitteret; sed quia with a certain amount of fear and trem- 

Leofrico comiti et omni populo id non bling, as it reads so like a mere repetition 

videbatur consilium, nullam ei mittere vo of what happened the year before. Still 

luit." the authority of Florence is high, and it is 

2 Flor. Wig. 1047. not unlikely that Swegen, in his new cir- 

3 Snorro, Harold, 30 (Laing, iii. 29). cumstances, might make a second appli- 
* Saxo, 204. Cf. vol. i. p. 154. cation. 

5 The legendary writers confounded Swe- 8 lb. '* Haroldus . . . nuntios ad Re- 
gen and Magnus, making a King of Den- gem Eadwardum misit et pacem amici- 
mark be drowned as he was setting forth tiamque illi obtulit et rccepit." 


seems to have sought for protection in another quarter, and to have 
acknowledged himself a vassal of the Empire. 1 

These two years seem to have been marked by several physical 
phaenomena. In the former we hear of the unusual severity of the 
winter, accompanied by an extraordinary fall of snow. 2 In the latter 
several of the midland shires were visited by an earthquake. 8 We 
read also of epidemics among both men and beasts, and of the 
appearance called wild fire. 4 A few ecclesiastical appointments are 
also recorded; but one only calls for notice. iElfwine, Bishop of 
Winchester, died, and his Bishoprick fell neither to Frenchman nor to 
Lotharingian. Stigand rose another step in the ladder of promotion 
by his translation from the humbler see of Elmham to the Bishoprick 
of the Imperial city. 6 

As far as we can make out through the confused chronology of 
these years, it was in the year of the peace with Norway (1048) that 
England underwent, what we have not now heard of for many years, 
an incursion of Scandinavian pirates. 6 Two chiefs, named Lothen and 
Yrling, came with twenty-five ships, and harried various parts of the 
coast. This event must have been in some way connected with the 
course of the war between Harold and Swegen. Probably some 
enterprising Wikings in the service of one or other of those princes 
found a moment of idleness just as the two Kings were taking posses- 
sion of their crowns, and thought the opportunity a good one for an 
attack on England. Such an attack was doubtless unexpected, espe- 
cially as such good care had been taken to keep on good terms with 
both the contending Kings. But possibly the more daring policy of 
Godwine would really have been the safer. 7 Had fifty English ships, 

1 See below, p. 64. signed here to the year 1046, is of a much 

* Chron. Ab. 1046; Fl. Wig. 1 047; earlier date" — one seemingly before the 
Chron. Wig. 1048. It was after Candle- year 1000. This is because a Lothen and 
mas, i.e. of 1047. an Yrling occur in the story of Olaf Trygg- 

s Chronn. Ab. 1048 ; Wig. 1049 ; Fl. wesson. But the Chronicler could hardly 

Wig. 1048. be mistaken on such a point. Lappenberg 

* Chron. Wig. 1049. " pset wilde fyr (499. Thorpe, ii. 239) seems to have no 
on Deorbyscire micel yfel dide." Florence doubt on the matter. 

(1048) calls it "ignis aerius, vulgo dictus There is an entry in the Hampshire 

silvaticus." Domesday, 40 6, which perhaps points to 

5 Chronn. Ab. 1047 ; Wig, 1048 ; Pe- this particular irruption, which at all events 

trib. 1045; Cant. 1046; Fl. Wig. 1047. points to the possibility of irruptions of 

By some extraordinary confusion Florence the kind. • Certain lands of the see of 

places here the death of Eadmund, Bishop Winchester are taxed at a lower rate be- 

of Durham, and the succession of Eadred, cause of their being exposed to the attacks 

which happened in 1041. See vol. i. pp. 352. of Wikings ; " T. R. E. et modo se defen- 

* Chron. Ab. 1048; Chron. Petrib. dit pro 20 hidis. Tamen sunt numero 
1046. These clearly refer to the same 30 hidae. Sed Rex £. ita donavit causa 
event. I hardly understand Mr. Thorpe's Wichingarum quia super mare est." 

note to his Translation of the Chronicles, 7 " God wines Rath wurde bald als der 
p. 137. " This predatory expedition, as- richtige erkannt." Lappenberg, 499. 


whatever their errand, been afloat in the Northern sea9, Lothen and 
Yrling could hardly have come to plunder the shores of England. 
Anyhow the story shows us the sort of spirit which still reigned in the 
North. There were still plenty of men ready to seek their fortunes in 
any part of the world as soon as a moment of unwelcome quiet 
appeared at home. Harold and Swegen at least did the world some 
service by finding employment for such men in warfare with one 
another. The Wikings harried far and wide. From Sandwich they 
carried off a vast booty in men, gold, and silver. 1 In the Isle of 
Wight they must have met with more resistance, as many of the best 
men of the island are said to have been slain. 3 In Thanet too the 
landfolk withstood them manfully, refused them landing and water, 
and drove them altogether away. 8 Thence they sailed to Essex, 
where they plundered at their pleasure. 4 By this time the King and 
the Earls had got together some ships. The Earls were doubtless 
Godwine and Harold, on whose governments the attack had been 
made, and the words of our authorities seem to imply that Eadward 
was really present in person. 5 They sailed after the pirates, but they 
were too late. The enemy had already made his way to the common 
refuge alike of banished Englishmen and of foes of England. The 
Wikings were now safe in the havens of Flanders — of Baldwines land; 
there they found a ready market for the spoils of England, and thence 
they sailed back to their own country. 6 

We here seem to be reading over again the history of the events 
which led to the first hostile relations between England and Nor- 
mandy. 7 The Northmen are again plundering England, and a con- 
tinental power again gives them so much of help and comfort as is 
implied in letting them sell their plunder in his havens. This time the 
offending power was not Normandy but Flanders, and Eadward, 
unlike his father, had no lack of powerful friends on the continent. 
The great prince who had, a year before, 8 been raised to the throne 
of the world was, as we have seen, 9 on the most intimate terms with 
his English brother, and it is plain that close alliance with the Empire 
formed part of the policy of the patriotic party. The illustrious 

1 I make up the details by joining the Probably in other cases the landfolk had to 

narratives of the two Chronicles. Both provide provisions out of sheer fear, 

mention Sandwich ; but the Peterborough * Chron. Petrib. u. s. 

Chronicle alone speaks of the vast booty. s Chron. Ab. 1048. " And Eadward 

3 Chron. Ab. 1048. " Man gehergode cining and >a eorlas foran setter Jam fit 

Sandwic and Wiht, and ofslohan j» betsta mid heore scypun." Eadward had been 

men £e J>a waeron." on board the fleet once before (see p. 48), 

8 Chron. Petrib. 1046. " And wendon but that time he saw no service. 

J>a onbuton Tenet, and woldon fat pet ilce • Chron. Petrib. 1046. 

don ; ac )>et landfolc hardlice wiostodon, T See vol. i. pp. 192, 203, 426. 

and forwerndon heom aegfter ge upganges * Lamb. Herz. 1047. 

ge waeteres, and aflymdon hi Janon mid • See above, p. 10. 
ealle." The refusal of water is remarkable. 


Caesar had filled the Papal chair with a Pontiff like-minded with him- 
self. A series of German Popes of Imperial nomination had followed 
one another in a quick succession of short reigns, but they had had 
time to show forth in their virtues a marked contrast to the utter 
degradation of the Italian Pontiffs who had gone immediately before 
them. The throne of Peter was now filled, at the Imperial bidding, 
by Bruno, Bishop of Toul, a native of Elsass and a kinsman of the 
Emperor, who had taken the name of Leo the Ninth. 1 He was now 
in his second year of office, having been appointed in the year of the 
peace between England and Norway. It was perhaps only a later 
legend which told how, on his way to Rome, he fell in with the 
famous Hildebrand, then in exile, how he listened to his rebukes for 
the crime of accepting a spiritual office from an earthly lord, how he 
entered Rome as a pilgrim, and did not venture to ascend the Pon- 
tifical throne till he was again more regularly chosen thereto by the 
voice of the Roman clergy and people. 4 But, in any case, this con- 
cession to ecclesiastical rule or prejudice had abated nothing of Leo's 
loyalty to his Teutonic sovereign, nothing of his zeal for the welfare, 
both spiritual and temporal, of lands which the Italian Pontiffs so 
seldom visited. The Pope was now at Aachen, ready with his spiritual 
weapons to help the Emperor against a league of his rebellious 
vassals. They had waged war against their suzerain; they had 
burned the city and church of Verdun ; they had destroyed the noble 
palace of the Emperor at Nimwegen. Foremost among the offenders 
were Theodoric of Holland» Baldwin of Flanders, and Godfrey of 
Lotharingia. Godfrey was specially guilty. After a former rebellion 
he had been imprisoned and released, and now he was foremost in 
the new insurrection, especially in the deed of sacrilege at Verdun. 8 
The Pope therefore did not hesitate to issue his excommunication 
against him (1049). Godfrey yielded; the ban of the Father of 
Christendom bent his soul ; he submitted to scourging, he redeemed 
his hair at a great sum, he contributed largely to the rebuilding of the 
cathedral which he had burned, and himself laboured at the work like 
a common mason. But Baldwin of Flanders,' possibly trusting to his 
ambiguous position as a vassal both of the Empire and of the French 
Crown, was more obstinate, and still continued his ravages. The 
Emperor accordingly called on his vassals and allies for help against 
a prince whose power might well seem dangerous even to Kings and 

1 See the Life of Leo by the contem- germ of the story is to be found in Wibert ; 

porary Archdeacon Wibert, in Muratori, Leo entered Rome barefoot, and though 

iii. 282. he announced his appointment by the Em- 

3 The intervention of Hildebrand, as peror, he demanded the assent of the 

told by Otto of Freisingen in his Annals, clergy and people before he entered on bis 

lib. vi. c. 33, seems apocryphal, as, Mura- office, 
tori remarks in his note, iii. 29a. But the s On this war see Appendix O. 


Caesars. King Swegen of Denmark — so low had Denmark fallen 
since the days of Cnut — obeyed the summons as a vassal. 1 King 
Eadward of England contributed his help as an ally, and as one who 
was himself an injured party. The reception of English exiles at 
Baldwin's court, the licence allowed to Scandinavian pirates of selling 
the spoils of England in Baldwin's havens, caused every Englishman 
to look on the Count of Flanders as an enemy. The help which had 
been refused to Swegen was therefore readily granted to Henry. The 
King of the English was not indeed asked to take any part in con- 
tinental warfare by land. The share of the enterprise assigned to him 
was to keep the coast with his ships, in case the rebellious prince 
should attempt to escape by sea. 2 Again, as in the days of JEthelstan 
and Eadmund, an English. fleet appeared in the Channel, ready, if 
need be, to take a part in continental warfare. But now, as in the 
days of iEthelstan and Eadmund, 8 nothing happened which called for 
its active service. Eadward and his fleet watched at Sandwich, while 
the Emperor marched against Baldwin by land. But the Count of 
Flanders, instead of betaking himself to the sea, submitted in all things 
to the will of the mighty over-lord whom he had provoked. 4 

The immediate object for the assembling of the fleet had been 
attained ; but the events which immediately followed showed that the 
fleet was just as likely to be needed for protection at home, as for a 
share in even just and necessary warfare abroad. The submission of 
Baldwin to the Emperor seems to have let loose the English exiles 
who had been flitting backwards and forwards between Flanders and 
Denmark, 6 and who had possibly taken a part on Baldwin's side in 
the last campaign. Both Osgod Clapa and Swegen the son of God- 
wine now appeared at sea. Swegen had only eight ships; but Osgod 
had — we are not told how — gathered a force of thirty-nine. While 
the King was still at Sandwich, Swegen returned to England. He 
sailed first to Bosham, a favourite lordship of his father, and one 
whose name we shall again meet with in connexion with events of 
still greater moment to the house of Godwine. He there left his 
ships, and went to the King at Sandwich, and offered to become his 
man. 6 His natural allegiance as an English subject was perhaps held 
to be cancelled by his outlawry or by his having become the man of 
Swegen of Denmark or of some other foreign prince. A new personal 

1 Florence (1049) seems pointedly to a Flor. Wig. 1049; Chronn. Ab. and 

distinguish the relations in which Swegen Wig. ib. "J>aet he ne ge)>afode J>aet he 

and Eadward stood to the Emperor, him on waetere ne aetburste." 

" Suanus . . . ut Imperator illi manddrat, 3 See vol. i. pp. 137, 148. 

cum sua classe ibi affuit, et ea, vice fideli- 4 See Appendix O. 

tatem imperatori juravit. Misit quoque fi See pp. 58. 

ad Re gem Anglorum Eadwardum et ro~ • Chron. Ab. 1049. "He com hider 

gavit ilium ne Baldwinum permitteret mid hiwunge, cwaeft ]>«t he wolde his man 

effugere, si vellet ad mare fugere." bcon." 


commendation was seemingly needed for his reconciliation with his 
natural sovereign. He seems to have asked for his Earldom again ; 
at any rate, he was tired of the life of a sea-rover, and asked that his 
lands which had been confiscated might be given back to him for his 
maintenance. He seems to have found favour, either with the King 
personally or with some of those who were about him, for it was pro- 
posed, if not actually resolved, that Swegen should be restored to all 
his former possessions. 1 But the strongest opponents of such a 
course were found in the kinsmen to whom his confiscated lands had 
been granted, his cousin Beorn and his brother Harold. They both 
refused to give up any part of what the King had given them. 2 
Swegen's petition was accordingly refused; his outlawry was con- 
firmed ; only, as seems to have been usual in such cases, he was 
allowed four days to get him out of the country. How far Harold 
and Beorn were actuated in this matter by mere regard to their own 
interests, how far by a regard to the public good, how far by that 
mixture' of motives which commonly determines men's actions, we 
have no means of judging. This is not the only act of Harold's 
early life which may be taken to show that he had not yet acquired 
those wonderful gifts of conciliation and self-restraint which mark his 
more mature career. Of the character of Beorn we know nothing 
except from this story ; what we hear of him directly afterwards cer- 
tainly sets him before us in a generous and amiable light. The tale 
is told us in a perfectly colourless way, without any hint how the con- 
duct of the two cousins was judged of in the eyes of contemporaries 
in general or in the eyes of Earl Godwine. At all events, Swegen 
went away from Sandwich empty-handed. He thence went to 
Bosham, where his ships were lying in the land-locked haven of that 
place. This was just at the moment when the fleet, no longer needed 
for service against Baldwin, was beginning to disperse. We see that 
this fleet also had been gathered in the ancient way by the contingents 
or contributions of the shires, 8 and that only a small number of the 
ships were in the King's permanent service. Those of the crews who 
had come from distant, especially inland, districts were naturally weary 
of tarrying when there was no prospect of active service, and the 
contingent of Mercia was accordingly allowed to return home. 4 The 
King remained at Sandwich with a few ships only. Meanwhile a 

1 Chron. Pctrib. 1046. " And com The Worcester Chronicle and Florence do 

Swegn eorl in mid vii. scypum to Bosen- not mention this opposition of Harold and 

ham, et griftode witt ]x>ne cyng, and behet Beorn. 

man him J>aet he moste wurtfe [beon] aelc s See vol. i. p. a 28. 

Jwera Jringa Jje he £r ahte." * " F6ron fela scypa ham," says the 

* lb. " Da wifflaeg Harold eorl his Worcester Chronicle ; but Abingdon puts 

bro'Sor and Beorn eorl Jraet he ne moste it more distinctly ; " And J» se cing lyfde 

beon nan j>aere |>inga wurSe \t se cyng eallon Myrceon ham ; and hig swa dydon," 
him geunnen hsefde." So Chron. Ab. 1049. 

VOL. n. F 


rumour came that hostile ships had been seen ravaging to the west. 
The Earl of the West-Saxons accordingly sailed forth to the rescue, 
with forty-two ships belonging to the men of his Earldom. 1 He took 
also two ships of the King, commanded respectively by Harold and 
by his third son Tostig, of whom we now hear for the first time. 2 
Stress of weather however hindered them from getting further west 
than Pevensey. While they lay there, a change, of the motive of 
which we are not told, was made in the command of the two royal 
ships which had accompanied Godwine. Harold gave up the ship 
which he had commanded to his cousin Beorn. 3 This accidental 
change possibly saved Harold's life. 4 For Swegen now came from 
Bosham -to Pevensey, and there found his father and cousin. He 
there spoke with both of them. The result of their discourse was 
that Beorn was persuaded to undertake the office of intercessor with 
the King on Swegen's behalf. What arrangement was to be proposed 
— whether Beorn brought himself to consent to the sacrifice which he 
had before refused — whether Swegen was to be again invested with 
his Earldom or only with his private lordships — whether Harold, 
Beorn, or Swegen was to be compensated in any other way for the 
surrenders which one or more of them would have to make — of all 
this nothing is explained to us. We hear however that Beorn, trusting 
to his kindred with Swegen, 5 did not hesitate to set out to ride with 
him to the King at Sandwich. He even agreed to a proposal of 
Swegen, according to which they left the road from Pevensey to 
Sandwich, and went westward to Bosham. For this deviation from 
his original scheme Swegen made an excuse, which was doubtless 
more intelligible then than it is now, namely a fear lest the crews of 
his ships should forsake him, if they were not confirmed in their faith 
towards him by the presence of Beorn. The young Earl fell into the 
snare, and accompanied his cousin to the haven of Bosham. But 
when Swegen pressed him to go on board one of his ships, Beorn' s 
suspicions were at last aroused, and he vehemently refused. At last 

1 Abingdon and Worcester mention eorl tip Jwbs cynges scipe pe Harold eorl Ser 

Gcdwine's going yrith forty-two ships, but steorde." Mr. Earle's conjecture that for 

Peterborough says more distinctly, "Da " Harold eorl " we should read " Beorn 

ge[wende] Godwine eorl west onbuton mid eorl " is absolutely necessary to make sense 

Jwbs cynges ii. scipum )>an anan steorde of the passage. Parallel Chronicles, 343. 
Harold eorl and )>an oftran Tostig his 4 Was it some feeling that a brother's 

broftor, and landesmanna scipa xlii." Hfe had been at least in jeopardy that led 

a The first certainly authentic signature William of Malmesbnry, or those whom 

of Tostig seems to be in this year. Cod. he followed, into the strange statement (ii. 

Dipl. iv. 115. The charter, after the sig- 200) that Swegen's penance was under- 

natures of Godwine, Leofric and Siward, taken " pro conscientia Brunonis cognati 

has those of " Harold Dux," " Beorn Dux," interempti, et, ut quidam dicunt, fratris " ? 
" Tosti nobilis," " Leowine nobilis." Leof- 6 Chron. Ab. " pa wende Beorn for 

wine must have been very young. >aere sibbe J>*t he him swican nolde." So 

8 Chron Petrib. " Da scyfte man Harold Wig. 


Swegen's sailors bound him, put him in a boat, rowed him to the 
ships, and there kept him a prisoner. They then hoisted their sails 
and steered for Dartmouth. 1 There Beorn was killed by Swegen's 
orders, but his body was taken on shore and buried in a church. As 
soon as the murder became known, Earl Harold, 2 with others of 
Beorn's friends, and the sailors from London — a clear mark of 
Beorn's popularity — came and took up the body, carried it to Win- 
chester, and there buried it in the Old Minster by the side of Beorn's 
uncle King Cnut. 

The general indignation at the crime of Swegen was intense. The 
King and the army publicly declared the murderer to be Nithing? 
This was the vilest epithet in the English language, implying utter 
worthlessness. It was evidently used as a formal term of dishonour. 
We shall find it at a later time resorted to by a Norman King 
as a means of appeal to his English subjects. William Rufus, when 
he needed English support, proclaimed in the like sort that all who 
failed to come to his standard should be declared to he Nithing. 
But this proclamation has a deeper importance than the mere use of 
this curious expression of public contempt. It is to be noted that the 
proclamation is described as the act of the King and his army. Here 
is clearly a case of a military Gemdt. 4 The army, as representing the 
nation, assumes to itself in time of war the functions which belonged 
to the regular Gemdt in time of peace. The army declares Swegen 
to be Nithingi and it was doubtless the army, in the same sense, 
which had just before hearkened to, and finally rejected, his pe- 
tition for restoration to his estates. So it was the army, Cnut's 
Danish army, which assumed to itself the functions of the English 
Witan by disposing of the English Crown on the death of the elder 
Swegen. 5 In the ancient Teutonic constitution the army was the 
nation and the nation was the army. In the primitive Gemots 
described by Tacitus,* to which all men came armed, no distinction 
could be drawn between the two. But it should be npticed that the 
word used is not that which denotes the armed levy of the Kingdom, 

1 "To Dertamurtan," Chron. Ab. and nire, nisi si qui veliut sub nomine Nitiing, 

Wig. ; " to Axamuftan," Chron. Petrib. quod nequatn sonat, remanere." Matt. 

a The personal share of Harold in the Paris, p. 15 (Wats); "Absque mor& ut ad 

burial comes from the Abingdon Chronicle, obsidionem veniant jubet ; nisi velint sub 

the one least favourable to Godwine. nomine Nithing, quod Lzt'me nequam sonat, 

Peterborough, so strongly Godwinist, is recenseri. Angli, qui nihil contumeliosius 

^ilent. et vilius sestimant quam hujusmodi igno- 

8 Chron. Ab. " And se cing )» and eall minioso vocabulo notari, catervatim ad 

here cwaeffon Swegen for nitiing" Cf. Regem confluentes," &c. 

Chron. Petrib. 1088. " Da *e cyng ... 4 On military Assemblies, Macedonian, 

sende ofer eall Englalande, and bead Jrat iEtolian, and even Achaian, see Hist. Fed. 

aelc man \>e waere utmi&ing sceolde cuman Gov. i. pp. 4 1 3, 51 1, 549. 

to he." Will. Malms, iv. 306. "Jubet ut * See vol. i. p. 247. 

compatriotas advocent ad obsidionem ve- * See vol. i. p. 55. 

F 2 



but that which expresses the army in its special relation to the King. 1 
This fact exactly falls in with the practical, though not formal, change 
which had taken place in the constitution of the ordinary Gemdts. 2 
•The military Gemdt which passed this sentence on Swegen was not 
the whole force of England, for we were just before told that the con- 
tingents both of Mercia and Wessex had left Sandwich. This 
assembly must have consisted of the King's Comiiatus of both kinds, 
of the Thegns bound to him by the older and more honourable tie, 
and also of the standing force of the Housecarls, or at any rate of 
their officers. 3 Setting churchmen aside — though we have seen that 
even churchmen often bore arms both by land and by sea — such a 
body would probably contain a large proportion of the men who were 
likely to attend an ordinary Witenagemdt. By an assembly of this 
kind, acting, whether constitutionally or not, in the character of a 
National Assembly, the outlawry and disgrace of Swegen were 

It would seem that this decree preceded the translation of Beorn's 
body to Winchester, a ceremony which may not improbably have 
been ordered by the Assembly. For it was before that translation 4 
that the men of Hastings, most probably by some commission from 
the King or his military council, sailed forth to take vengeance on the 
murderer. Swegen was already forsaken by the greater part of his 
following. Of his eight ships six had left him. Their crews were 
probably rough Wikings from the North, men familiar with all the 
horrors of ordinary pirate warfare, not troubled with scruples about 
harrying a land whose people had never wronged them, but who 
nevertheless shrank from the fouler wickedness of slaying a kinsman 
by guile. Two ships only remained with Swegen, those doubtless 
whose crews had been the actual perpetrators of the deed. The men 
of Hastings chased and overtook these ships, slew their crews, and 
brought the ships to the King. 6 How Swegen himself escaped it is 

1 Here, which implies a standing force, writer adds, " ehta scypa he haefde aer he 

very often a paid force, not fyrd, the Beorn beswice ; sy'S'San hine forleton ealle 

genera] levy of the country. buton twam." The only meaning of these 

a See voL. i. p. 69. words seems to be that which I have given, 

3 On the Housecarls, as a later and though it involves the difficulty as to the 
inferior form of the Comitates, see vol. i. personal escape of Swegen. But it is clear 
p. 297. that Florence took them differently; *' Di- 

4 " Lytel xr )>an " (namely the second miserunt ilium sex naves, quarum duas 
burial of Beorn), the men of Hastings set paullo post . cceperunt Hastingenses . . . 
forth, according to the Worcester Chronicle, Swarms vero ad Flandriam duabus fugiens 
the only one which mentions their exploit, navibus ibi mansit." This accounts for 

5 So I understand the words of the his escape, but I cannot see how " his twa 
Worcester Chronicle. The men of Hast- scypa" can mean two of the ships which 
ings go after Swegen and take "his twa had left him. The Abingdon Chronicle 
scypa " — the only ships he then had. To also mentions the desertion of the six ships, 
explain his having only two ships the but not the exploit of the Hastings men. 


hot easy to see; possibly the men of Hastings still scrupled personally 
to lay hands upon a son of Godwine. At any rate the murderer 
baffled pursuit, and again took shelter in his old quarters. Baldwin, 
so lately restored to his dominions, again began his old practice of 
receiving English exiles, and Swegen spent the whole winter at the 
court of Flanders under the full protection of its sovereign. 1 

The story of the murder of Beorn is told in so minute and graphic 
a way that it seems impossible to throw doubt on any part of the tale. 
And every account represents the deed as a deed of deliberate 
treachery. 2 An act of mere violence would not have greatly offended 
the morality of that age. Had Swegen killed even a kinsman in a 
moment of provocation or in a fair fight to decide a quarrel, his guilt 
would not have seemed very black. Had he even used craft in 
carrying out an ancestral deadly feud, he might have quoted many 
precedents in Northumbrian history, and, among them, an act in the 
life of the reigning Earl of the North hardly inferior in guilt to the 
worst aspect of his own. 3 But to kill a kinsman, a confiding kinsman, 
one who had just granted a somewhat unreasonable prayer, was a 
deed which offended the natural instincts not only of contemporary 
Englishmen but of Scandinavian pirates. At the moment Swegen 
feeems to have found no friends ; the voice of all England was against 
him ; there is no sign that any of his family stood by him ; the 
sympathies of Harold clearly lay with his murdered cousin. It is 
hardly possible to conceive a blacker or more unpardonable crime. 
One would have thought that Swegen would have failed to find 
patrons or protectors in any corner of Christendom. Yet, strange to 
say, the murderer, forsaken by all, was at once received with favour 
by Baldwin, even though Baldwin must have known that by receiving 
him he was running the risk of again offending the King of the 
English and even the Emperor himself. And what followed is 
stranger still. In the next year, in a Witenagemflt held in London 
in Midlent, Swegen* s outlawry was reversed, and he was restored to 
his Earldom. 4 And, strangest of all, his restoration is attributed, not 
to the influence of Godwine or his family, not to any revulsion of 
feeling on the part of the King or the nation, but to the personal 
agency of Bishop Ealdred the Peacemaker. He it was who, it would 

For other examples of the vigorous Beorn eorl mid facne," "aer he Beorn 

action of the men of the " Cinque Ports " beswice." Chron. Ab. 1049. " «r he Beorn 

in 1293 and 1297, see Walter of Heming- amyrftrode." 

burgh, vol. ii. pp. 4T, 158 (Hist. Soc. Ed.). 3 See vol. i. p. 35a. 

1 Chron. Ab. "And )>ar wunode mid * I think that by comparing the Abingdon 
Baldwine." Chron. Petrib. "And Swegen Chronicle under 1050 with the Peterborough 
gewende J»a east to Baldewines lande, and Chronicle under 1047, it will appear that 
sact J>aer ealne winter on Brycge mid his Swegen was reinstated in this Gemot of 
fullan grifte." Midlent 1050, one which I shall have to 

2 Chron. Wig. 1 050. " Swein eorl baed mention again. 



seem, crossed over to Flanders, brought Swegen to England, and 
procured his restoration at the hands of the King and his Witan. 1 
There is nothing to show that Ealdred was specially under the 
influence of Godwine. We shall before long find him acting in a 
manner which, to say the least, shows that he was not one of 
Godwine's special followers. No part of his diocese lay within the 
Earldom of Godwine. 2 And if part of it lay within the Earldom of 
the man whom he sought to restore, that only makes him the more 
responsible for the act which was so directly to affect a portion of his 
own flock. In the restoration of Swegen, Ealdred seems to have 
acted purely in his capacity of peacemaker. 3 At first sight it might 
seem that Ealdred strove to win the blessing promised to his class by 
labouring on behalf of a sinner for whom the most enlarged charity 
could hardly plead. The very strangeness of the act suggests that 
there must have been some explaining cause, intelligible at the time, 
but which our authorities have not recorded. The later history of 
Swegen shows that, if he was a great sinner, he was also a great 
penitent. We can only guess that Ealdred had already marked in him 
some signs of remorse and amendment, that he had received from 
him some confession of his crime, to which we possibly owe the full 
and graphic account of the murder of Beorn which has been handed 
down to us. 4 If so, it was doubtless wise and charitable not to break 
a bruised reed ; still again to entrust the government of five English 
shires to the seducer of Eadgifti and murderer of Beorn was, to say 
the least, a perilous experiment. 

We must now go back to the time when King Eadward had just 
dismissed the Mercian contingent after the reconciliation between 
Baldwin and the Emperor. While the unhappy events which I have 
just narrated were going on, Englishmen had cause to be alert in 
more than one quarter of the island against assaults of various kinds. 
In the comparatively peaceful reign of Eadward this year stands forth 
as marked by warlike operations of every sort. England had to resist 
the assaults of foreign enemies, of faithless vassals, and of banished 
men seeking their restoration. Besides the small force of Swegen, 

1 Flor. Wig. " Swanus . . . ibi mansit, 8 The reconciliation of Swegen with Ead- 
quoad Wigornensis episcopus Aldredus ilium ward is mentioned by Thomas Stubbs (see 
reduceret, et cum Rege pacificaret." This above, p. 57) as an instance of the peace- 
seems to imply that Ealdred brought him making powers of Ealdred, along with that 
over in person. of Gruffydd. 

2 The old diocese of Worcester took in 4 It is clear that the details of the 
the shires of Worcester and Gloucester murder could come only from Swegen 
and part of Warwick. Of these Gloucester- himself, as his accomplices were killed by 
shire was in Swegen's Earldom, the rest the Hastings men. Ealdred would be the 
most probabiy in Ralph's. See above, p. obvious person for Swegen to relate them. 
30, and Appendix G. to. 


Osgod Clapa was, as has been already said, 1 at sea with a much 
larger number of ships. He first appeared at Wulpe near Sluys on 
the coast of Flanders, and the news of his arrival there was brought 
to Eadward at the moment when the King was left at Sandwich at 
the head of a very small force. The Mercian contingent had just 
been dismissed, and Godwine, with the force of Wessex, had sailed 
westward. Eadward was therefore nearly defenceless. He therefore 
countermanded the orders for the dismissal of the Mercian vessels, 
and as many of them as was possible were brought back. Osgod 
however did not act personally as the enemy of England. He 
merely took his wife from Bruges, where she had been left, and 
sailed back to Denmark with six ships. The remainder of his fleet 
took to piracy off Eadulfsness in Essex, and there did much harm. 
But a violent storm arose and destroyed all the vessels except four. 2 
These were chased and captured, and the crews slain, whether by 
Eadward's own fleet in pursuit or by some of the foreign allies of 
England is not very clear. 3 

The rumour which had called Godwine westward from Sandwich 
was not wholly a false one. The ships which were then said to be 
ravaging the south coast were doubtless Danish pirate vessels from 
Ireland, the same which, in the course of July, sailed up the Bristol 
Channel as far as the mouth of the Usk. 4 There they were welcomed 
by the South- Welsh King Gruffydd, 5 who was doubtless rejoiced at 
the prospect of such allies, alike against the English and against his 
Northern namesake, the momentary confederate of England. After 
a certain amount of harrying along the coast of the Channel, the 
combined forces of Gruffydd and the pirates crossed the Wye, and 
slew and plundered within the diocese of Worcester. It is not clear 
who was the Earl responsible for the safety of the country since the 
banishment of Swegen. It was probably the King's nephew, Ralph 
the' Timid, whose name begins about this time to appear in the 
charters with the title of Earl, 8 and who seems to have been invested 

1 See above, pp. 58, 64. The rivers of the same name in Somerset- 

a Four, according to the Worcester shire and Devonshire had ceased to be 

Chronicle, two, according to Florence, looked on as Welsh. 

The Abingdon Chronicle does not mention * On the details of this perplexing cam- 

this last incident, and that of Peterborough paign see Appendix P. 

passes by the whole story of Osgod. • Ralph's signatures seem to begin in 

8 Chron. Wig. •« pa man ofsloh be- 1050. See Cod. Dipl. iv. 123, 125. That 

geondan sac." Flor. Wig. " Quae in trans- in 121 is more doubtful. The document 

marinis partibus captae sunt, occisis omnibus in 113 Mr. Kemble marks as doubtful, but 

qui in illis erant." refers it to 1044 -1 04 7. But it must be 

4 Chron.Wig. "OnWylisce Axa." Flor. spurious. It makes Eadsige Archbishop 

Wig. " Ostium intrantes Sabrinae, in loco and iEIfgar Earl at the same time, as also 

qui dicitur Wylesc Eaxan appulerunt." Tostig, who was not an Earl till long after. 

The " Welsh Axe " is of course the Usk. See Appendix G. 


with the government of Worcestershire. If this be so, this was the first 
appointment of a foreigner to a great temporal office, a further step in 
the downward course, still more marked than that of appointing foreign 
Prelates. Under such a chief as Ralph no vigorous resistance was 
to be looked for, and the person who really took upon himself the 
defence of the country was Bishop Ealdred. He gathered a force 
from among the inhabitants of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire ; 
but part of his army consisted of Welshmen, whether mere mer- 
cenaries hired for the occasion, or Welshmen living as immediate 
subjects of England. But whoever these Welshmen were, their 
sympathies lay wholly with Gruffydd and not with Ealdred. They 
sent a secret message to the Welsh King, suggesting an immediate 
attack on the English army. Gruflfydd willingly answered to the call. 
With his twofold force, Welsh and Danish, he fell on the English 
camp (July 29, 1049) early in the morning, slew many good men, 
and put the rest, together with the Bishop, to flight. 1 Of the further 
results of this singular and perplexing campaign, especially when and 
how the retreat of the invaders was brought about, we hear nothing. 

Everything which happened about this time sets before us the great 
and increasing intercourse which now prevailed between England and 
the Continent. Our fathers were now brought into a nearer connexion 
with both the spiritual and the temporal chiefs of Christendom than 
they had ever known before. We have already seen England in 
close alliance with the Empire; we have now to contemplate her 
relations with the Papacy. The active and saintly Pontiff who now 
presided over the Church held at this time a series of Councils in 
various places, at most of which English Prelates attended. Leo, after 
receiving the submission of Godfrey at Aachen, entered France, at 
the request of Heremar, Abbot of Saint Remigius at Rheims, to 
hallow the newly-built church of his monastery. 2 He then held a 
synod, which sat for six days, and passed several canons of the usual 
sort, against the marriage of priests and against their bearing arms. 3 
The days of Otto the Great seemed to have returned, when the Pope 
and the Emperor, 4 seemingly without reference to the Parisian King, 

1 Chron. Wig. 1050. "And hi comon Gem. vii. 15. An unusual amount of the 
unwaer on heom, on ealne seme morgen, original work of this church survives. The 
and fela godra manna )>a?r ofslagon ; and nave and transepts are in fact those of the 
j?a oj>re aetburston for5 mid )>am biscope." church consecrated by Leo, with mere 

2 " past micele mynster aet Remys," says insertions of later date, 
the Worcester Chronicle, which might seem s Ord. Vit. 575 A. 

to mean the Metropolitan church ; but * The presence of the Emperor is as- 

Florence makes it plain that the Abbey is serted by the Worcester Chronicle ; " paer 

meant ; " Rogatu eximiae religionis Abbatis waes se Papa Leo and se Casere." Florence 

Herimari .... sancti Remigii Francorum does not speak of the Emperor, but says 

apostoli monasterium, Remis constitutum, that Leo took with him " praefectum et 

maximo cum honore dedicavit." Cf. Will, digniores quosdam Romuleae urbis." 


held a Council on French ground, attended by a vast multitude of 
Prelates, clergy, and laity from the Imperial Kingdoms and from 
other parts of Europe. There, besides the Metropolitan of the city 
in which the synod was held, was the Archbishop of Burgundy, as 
our Chronicles call him, 1 that is, the Archbishop of the great see of 
Lyons, Primate of all the Gauls, but no subject or vassal of the 
upstart dynasty of Paris. There were the Archbishops of Trier and 
Besancon; and from England came Duduc, the Saxon Bishop of 
the Sumorsaetas, and the Abbots Wulfric of Saint Augustine's and 
iEifwine of Ramsey, whom King Eadward had sent to bring him 
word of all that should be done for the good of Christendom. 2 It 
does not appear that any English Prelates were present at the synod 
which Leo held soon after at Mainz ; 3 but the two Italian synods 
which were held soon after were, as we shall see, connected in a 
singular manner with English affairs. There seems to have been 
about this time a kind of mortality among the English Prelates. 
Among those who died was the Abbot of Westminster or Thorney, 
the humbler foundation which was soon to give way to the great 
creation of the reigning King. He bore the name of Wulfnoth, a 
name which suggests the likelihood of kindred with the house of 
Godwine. Another was Oswiu, the Abbot of the other Thorney in 
the fen land, the neighbour of Peterborough and Crowland. This 
year too died Siward the Coadjutor- Archbishop, and Eadsige again 
resumed his functions for the short remainder of his life. 4 Eadnoth 
too, the good Bishop of Dorchester, 5 the builder of Stow-in-Lindesey, 
died this year, and his death offered a magnificent bait to Norman 
ambition and greediness. The great Bishoprick stretching from the 
Thames to the Humber, was conferred by the King on one of his 
Norman chaplains, who however bore the Scandinavian name of Ulf. 
As to the utter unfitness of this man for such an office there is an 
universal consent among our authorities. The King, even the holy 
Eadward,, did evil in appointing him; the new Prelate did nought 
bishoplike ; it were shame to tell more of his deeds. 6 

1 Chron. Pctrib. 1046. "paer waes on Leo * See above, p. 44. 

se Papa, and se arcebiscop of Burgundia, 8 Chron. Ab. 1049. " Forffferde Eadnoft 

and se arcebiscop of Bysincun, and se arce- se goda biscop on Oxnafordscire." The 

biscop of Treviris, and se arcebiscop of Re- same words seem to have dropped out of 

mis, and manig mann faerto ge hadode ge the Worcester Chronicle, 

laewede." 6 Chron. Ab. 1049. " Eadwerd cing 

8 lb. " Eadward cyng sende j)ider Du- geaf Ulfe his preoste )>aet biscoprice, and 

doce [the Abbots only and not Dudoc are hit yfele beteah." Chron. Wig. 1050. "Ac 

mentioned by the Worcester Chronicle, he waes syffflan of adryfon, forj?an \>e he ne 

1050] . . . J>aet hi sceolden )>am cynge gefremede naht biscoplices J?aeron, swa J>aet 

cySan hwaet )?aer to Christendome gecoren us sceama'S hit nu mare to tellanne." Flor. 

waere." Wig. " Regis capellanus Ulfus genere Nort- 

8 Lambert, 1050 (see Appendix O); mannus." 
Herm. Contr. 1050. 



The year which followed was one of great note in ecclesiastical 
history. In England the first event recorded is the usual meeting of 
the Witan in London at Midlent. The proceedings of this Gem<St, 
like those of many others about this time, give us a glimpse of that 
real, though very imperfect, parliamentary life which was then growing 
up in England, and which the Norman Conquest threw back for 
many generations. Then, as now, there were economists who pressed 
for the reduction of the public expenditure, and what we should now 
call the Navy Estimates were chosen as being no doubt a popular sub- 
ject for attack. The narrative of the naval events of the last year 
shows that, on special occasions, naval contingents were called for, 
according to the old law, 1 from various parts of the Kingdom, but that 
the King still kept a small naval force in constant pay. This force 
had, under Cnut and Harold, consisted of sixteen ships ; a it seems 
now to have consisted only of fourteen. The experience of the last 
year showed that England was still open to attack from the West ; but 
the great fear, fear of invasion from the North, had now quite passed 
away. It seemed therefore to be a favourable moment for further 
reductions. By the authority of this Gemot nine ships were ac- 
cordingly paid off, the crews receiving a year's pay, and the standing 
force was cut down to five. 8 It was in this same assembly that 
Swegen was inlawed* that is, his outlawry was reversed, by the inter- 
cession of Bishop Ealdred. That Prelate, as we have seen, seems 
to have gone over to Flanders, and to have brought Swegen back 
with him. 5 

But Ealdred had soon to set forth on a longer journey. He and 
the Lotharingarian Bishop Hermann were now sent to Rome on the 
King's errand. 6 What that errand was we learn only from legendary 
writers and doubtful charters, but, as their accounts completely fit in 
with the authentic history, we need not scruple to accept the general 
outline of their story. 7 The King had in his youth vowed a pilgrimage 
to Rome, and the non-fulfilment of this vow lay heavy on his con- 
science. It probably lay heavier still when he saw so many of his 
subjects of all ranks, led by the fashionable enthusiasm of the time, 
making both the pilgrimage to Rome and also the more distant 
pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 8 A broken vow was a crime ; still Eadward 

1 See vol. i. p. 228. 

2 See vol. i. p. 342. 

3 Chron. Petrib. 1047. "Her on J)isum 
geare waes mycel gemot on Lundene to 
midfestene, and man sette ut ix. litsmanna 
scipa, and fif belifan wiS aeftan." The 
Abingdon Chronicle, 1049, to much the 
same account as that just quoted, adds the 
words, " and se cyng heom behet xii. 
mona$ gyld." 

4 Chron. Ab. 1 050 (the chronology of 
this Chronicle is utterly confused) ; •• and 
man geinlagode Swegen Eorl." 

8 See above, p. 70. 

8 Chron. Ab. 1049. " On J>aes cinges 

7 See the charter in Cod. Dipl. iv. 175, 
and the accounts in .flSthelred of Rievaux, 
379; Estorie de S. iEdward, 65 et seqq. 

8 Besides the many exalted persons who 


had enough of political sense and right feeling left to see that his 
absence from his Kingdom at such a time as the present would be a 
criminal forsaking of his kingly duty. The Great Cnut might venture 
on such a journey ; his eye could see and his hand could act from 
Rome or Norway or any other part of the world. But the personal 
presence of Eadward was the only check by which peace could be for 
a moment preserved between the true sons of the soil and the 
strangers who were eating into its vitals. The King laid his case 
before his Witan ; the unanimous voice of the Assembly forbade him 
to forsake his post ; the legend adds that the Witan further counselled 
him to satisfy his conscience by obtaining a Papal dispensation from 
his vow. This was the King's errand on which Ealdred and Hermann 
were sent to attend the great synod 1 which was held this year at 
Rome. They made good speed with their journey ; starting at Mid- 
lent, they reached the Holy City on Easter Eve. 2 In that synod they 
stood face to face with a man then known only as a profound scholar 
and theologian, the bulwark of orthodoxy and the pattern of every 
monastic virtue, but who was, in years to come, to hold a higher 
place in the English hierarchy, and to leave behind him a far greater 
name in English history, than either of the English Prelates whose 
blessing he may now have humbly craved. In that synod of Rome 
the doctrines of Berengar of Tours were debated by the assembled 
Fathers, and the foremost champion of the faith to which Rome still 
cleaves was Lanfranc of Pavia. Suspected of complicity with the 
heretic, he produced the famous letter in which Berengar had main- 
tained the Eucharist to be a mere figure of the Body of Christ. 3 How 
far Ealdred or Hermann took part in these theological debates we 
know not ; but they are said to have successfully accomplished their 
own errand. The King's vow of pilgrimage was dispensed with on 
condition of the rebuilding and endowment on a grander scale of that 
renowned West Minster whose name was to be inseparably bound 
together with that of the sainted King. 4 Before the year was out the 

followed the example of Cnut, some of femina Lundonica " (a holder of property 

whose pilgrimages are of historical import- in Lincolnshire) dying on her way to 

ance, the prevalence of the fashion is shown Jerusalem. 

by its incidental mention in more than one x Chron. Petrib. 1047. " On jjysum 

charter. Thus in Cod. Dipl. iv. 140 we ilcan geare waes se mycclasino'5 on Rome" 

find the mention of the Roman pilgrimage — like our own *' mycel gemot " just 

of a Lincolnshire Thegn whose name of before. 

Anskill or Anscytel witnesses to his Danish * lb. " Hi comon j>yder on Easter 

origin. The signature of *• Wulfwinus Lm- acfen." 

colniensis episcopus " need not throw any 8 Vita Lanfr. c. 10, ap. Giles, i. 288 ; 

doubt on the genuineness of the document, as Will. Malms, iii. 284; Sig. Gemb. 105 1. 

such descriptions, sometimes, as in this case, See Mil man, Latin Christianity, iii. 24. 

involving an anachronism, were often added 4 iEthel. Riev. ap. X Scriptt. 381. If 

at a later time to a simple signature of the the letter there given be genuine, the dis- 

name. At p. 141 also we find " Leofgyva pensation was granted by the authority o£ 


unwearied Leo held another synod at Vercelli. Here the theological 
controversy was again raised, and Lanfranc again shone forth as the 
irresistible smiter of heresy. Berengar was finally condemned, not- 
withstanding his appeals to the elder teaching of John Scotus, and his 
protests that those who rejected John Scotus rejected Augustine, 
Jerome, Ambrose, and all the Fathers of the Church. 1 These dis- 
putes, renowned in the Church at large, are wholly passed over by 
our insular Chroniclers. To them the famous Synod of Vercelli 
seems to have been memorable only as showing the Roman Court in 
what was apparently a new relation towards the prelacy of England. 
Before the assembled Fathers came the newly appointed Bishop of 
Dorchester, Ulf the Norman, seeking, it would seem, for consecration 
or confirmation. His unfitness for his post was manifest ; he was 
found incapable of going through the ordinary service of the Church. 
The Synod was on the point of deposing him, of breaking the staff 
which, according to the ceremonial of those times, he had already 
received from the King. But the influence which was already all- 
powerful at Rome saved him. He kept his Bishoprick ; but he kept 
it only at the cost of a lavish expenditure of treasure, of which we 
may be sure that none found its way into the private coffers of Leo. 2 
It was in this same year that Macbeth made that mysterious bestowal 
of alms or bribes at Rome from which some have inferred a personal 
pilgrimage on the part of the Scottish usurper. 3 It is not beyond the 
bounds of possibility that one who seems to us hardly more real than 
the creations of Grecian tragedy may have personally appeared at 
Rome or at Vercelli, that he may have shown his pious indignation 
at the heresies of the Canon of Tours, or have felt his soul moved 
within him at the incapacity of the Bishop of Dorchester. A personal 
meeting between Leo, Lanfranc, Ealdred, and Macbeth would form 
no unimpressive scene in the hands of those who may venture on 
liberties with the men of far-gone times which to the historian are 

Ealdred and Hermann thus came back from Rome with the 

the Synod as well as of the Pope. Eadward 3 Our ancient tongue appears to ad- 
was either to build a new or restore an old vantage in the pithy narrative of this 
monastery of Saint Peter ; •' aut novum affair given in the Peterborough Chronicle 
construas aut vetustum augeas et'emendes." (1047); "And eft se Papa haefde sino*o* 
Cf. the French Life, 1601 et seqq., where on Uercel, and Ulf biscop com )>serto; and 
the Bishops are both quartered on wrong forneah man sceolde tobrecan his stef, gif 
sees, Ealdred prematurely at York, Her- he ne sealde J>e mare gersuman ; fortJan he 
mann at Winchester, no doubt by the easy ne cutJe don his gerihte swa wel swa he 
confusion between '• Wintoniensis " and sceolde." Florence passes by the story; 
" Wi/toniensiV The story does not occur his Latin would be feeble after such vigor- 
in the contemporary Life, p. 417. ous English. 

1 See the first letter in Dr. Giles's Lan- * See above, p. 35. 
franc, i. 17. 


wished -for dispensation for the King, and Ulf came back from 
Vercelli to hold the great see of Mid-England, and to rule it in his 
unbishoplike fashion for a little time. But before long a still greater 
ecclesiastical preferment became vacant. Eadsige, who had so lately 
resumed his archiepiscopal functions, died before the end of the year. 1 
The day of complete triumph for the Norman monks and chaplains 
who surrounded Eadward now seemed to have come. A Frenchman 
might now sit on the throne of Augustine. Patriotic Englishmen 
were of course in equal measure alarmed, and among them none 
more so than those who were most immediately concerned, the 
Chapter of the metropolitan church. The monks of Christ Church 
met, and made what is called a canonical election. 2 In the eye of 
English law such a process was a mere petition to the King and 
his Witan for the appointment of the man of their choice. That 
choice fell on a member of their own body, their selection of whom 
showed that seclusion from the world had not made them incapable 
of a happy union of the dove and the serpent. There was in their 
house a monk, jElfric by name, who had been brought up in the 
monastery from his childhood, and who enjoyed the love of the whole 
society. Notwithstanding his monastic education, he was held to be 
specially skilled in the affairs of the world. And he had a further 
merit as likely as any of the others to weigh either with an English 
Chapter or with an English Witenagemot ; he was a near kinsman 
of Earl Godwine. 3 The monks petitioned the Earl, the natural patron 
of a corporation within his government, to use his influence to obtain 
the King's confirmation of their choice. Godwine was* doubtless 
nothing loth to avail himself of so honourable an opportunity to 
promote an Englishman and a kinsman. But his influence was 
crumbling away. Four years before he had been able to obtain 
the confirmation of Siward as Eadsige's coadjutor; he was now 
unable to obtain the confirmation of JSlfric, or of any other man 
of native birth, as Eadsige's successor. The saintly King paid no 
regard to the canonical election of the Convent, and in the Midlent 
Witenagemot of the next year (1051), the Archbishoprick of Can- 
terbury was bestowed on the King's French favourite, Robert, Bishop 
of London. 4 The national party however prevailed so far as to 
secure an English successor to the see which Robert vacated. 
Spearhafoc, Abbot of Abingdon, a man famous for his skill in the 
goldsmith's craft, 6 was named to the see of London by the King's 

1 Chron. Petrib. 1047 ? * lor - Wi g- 10 5°- 5 See the Abingdon History, i. 463. He 

* Vita Eadw. 399, 400. On the whole was a monk of Saint Eadmund's, and was 

story see Appendix I. charged with alienating some of the lord- 

3 Vita Eadw. 399. •• Ex supradicti ducis ships of the house to Stigand. The ao 
Godwini stirpe." count of his promotion to London I do not 

4 Chron. Ab. 1050. See Appendix I. fully understand ; " Spearhavoc autem a 


writ under his seal. 1 The Abbacy of Abingdon was given to a man 
whose description raises our curiosity ; he was one Rudolf, described 
as a kinsman of King Eadward and as a Bishop in Norway. 2 For 
a native Northman to have been a kinsman of the son of .ASthelred 
and Emma is hardly possible, unless the common ancestor was to 
be looked for so far back as the days before the settlement of Rolf. 
A Norman is hardly likely to have desired or obtained preferment 
in so unpromising a land ; but it is highly probable that Cnut, who 
appointed several Englishmen to Bishopricks in Denmark, may have 
made use of a see in Norway either to reward or to remove some 
remote and unrecorded member of the English royal family. It is 
therefore not unlikely that Rudolf may have been an Englishman. 8 
He was an aged man and weary of his office. The hand of Harold 
Hardrada pressed heavily on the Church. Pilgrim of the Holy 
Sepulchre as he was, he is charged with destroying ecclesiastical 
buildings, and even with sending Christian men to martyrdom.* 
Rudolf sought and found a place of more quiet, if of somewhat less 
honour, in the dominions of his kinsman. The monks of Abingdon 
received him, not very willingly, it would seem, but they were won 
over by the prospect that the old man would not live very long, 
and by the King's promise that at the next vacancy free election 
should be allowed. 5 Presently (July 27, 105 1) the new Archbishop 
Robert came back from Rome with his pallium ; he was enthroned 
in the metropolitan church, and soon hastened to the royal presence. 6 
Spearhafoc, the Bishop -elect of London, came with the royal writ, 
and demaftded consecration from his Metropolitan. Robert refused, 
saying that the Pope had forbidden him to consecrate Spearhafoc. 7 

Rege civitati Lundonensi [civitatis Lundo like the rare names of Carl and Lothar 

nensis ?] eodem praedictae pactionis anno, (Hlofthaere). See vol. i. p. 206. 

in episcopatum promotus, dum auri gem- 4 Adam Brem. iii. 16. " Rex Haraldus 

marumque electarum pro coron& imperiali crudelitate sua omnes tyrannorum excessit 

cudenda, Regis ejusdem assignatione re- furores. Multae ecclesiae per ilium virum 

ceptam haberet copiam." Was Saint dirutae, multi Christiani ab illo per supplicia 

Eadward's favour purchased by the mate- sunt necati Itaque multis imperans 

rials of an earthly crown ? nationibus, propter avaritiam et crude- 

1 Chron. Petrib. 1048. * MidJ>aescinges litatem suam omnibus erat invisus." He 

gewrite and insegle." See above, p. 43. goes on to give a full account of Harold's 

3 Rudolfs kindred to the King is as- dealings with the Archbishop of Trondhjem. 

serted more positively in the local Chro- 6 Hist. Mon. Ab. 463. See Appendix I. 

nicle just quoted than in the local History Rudolf survived only two years. 

(463) ; " Inde Rodulfum quemdam longae- 6 Chron. Petrib. 1048. '« pxs sylfan 

vum abbatis loco ponendum Rex transmisit, Lentenes he for to Rome aefter his pallium 

qui episcopatum apud Norweiam gentem ... Da com se arcebiscop fram Rome ane 

diu moderans, et tandem ab hujusmodi daege aer Scs Petrus maesse aefene, and gesaet 

fasce privatum se agere malens, ad Regem his arcebiscopstol at Xpes cyrcean on Scs 

ipsum suum, ut ferebatur, cognatum venit ; Petrus maessedseg, and sona \ices to \am 

a quo et susceptus est." cyng geuxBitde." 

8 Rudolf, in any of its forms, is not an 7 The Peterborough Chronicle (1048) is 

usual English name, but it might occur, here again very graphic ; " Da com Sparha- 



Things had come to such a pass- that an Englishman, appointed 
to an English office by the King and his Witan, was to be kept out 
of its full possession by one foreigner acting at the alleged bidding 
of another. There were times when the Roman See showed itself 
a real refuge for the oppressed, and, as far as good intentions went, 
so it doubtless was in the days of good Pope Leo. But Englishmen 
now needed protection against no man except against the foreign 
favourites of their own King, and it was on behalf of those foreign 
favourites, and against Englishmen, that these stretches of Papal 
authority were now made. The unworthy Ulf was allowed, by the 
power of bribes, to retain his see — for he was a stranger. Spearhafoc, 
on what ground we know not — except so far as his English birth 
was doubtless a crime in the eyes of Robert — was refused the rite 
which alone could put him into full possession of his office. A 
second demand was again made by the Bishop-elect, and consecration 
was again refused by the Norman Archbishop. 1 Spearhafoc, rejected, 
unconsecrated, nevertheless went to Saint Paul's, and took possession 
of the see which he held by the King's full and regular grant. 2 No 
doubt he did not pretend to discharge any purely episcopal functions, 
but he kept possession of the see and its revenues, and probably 
exercised at least its temporal authority. This he did, the Chronicler 
significantly adds, all that summer and autumn. 8 Before the year 
was out, the crisis had come, and had brought with it the momentary 
friumph of the strangers. 

One act more must be recorded before we come to the end of this 
portion of Ead ward's reign. In a meeting of the Witan, seemingly 
that in which Robert, Spearhafoc, and Rudolf received their several 
appointments, the remaining five ships of the standing or mercenary 
naval force were paid off. 4 The war-contribution or Heregyld was 
therefore no longer exacted. This tax had now been paid for thirty- 
eight years, ever since Thurkill and his fleet entered the service of 

foe abbod to him mid Jjsbs cynges gewrite the King's personal act. Florence is per- 

and insegle (see Appendix I) ; to fan )>et haps confounding this business with the 

he hine hadian sceolde to biscop into final expulsion of Spearhafoc later in the 

Lundene. )>a wi'Scwe'o 1 se arcebiscop, and year, which he however places under 

cwaeft )?et se papa hit him forboden haefde." another year. 

1 Chron. Petrib. The pithy narrative 2 Chron. Petrib. 1048. " Da gewende 

of this writer is cut much shorter by the se abbod to Lundene, and saet on J?am 

Worcester Chronicler (1051), who is fol- biscoprice, \t se cyng him ar geunnan 

lowed by Florence; "Spearhafoc . . . feng hcefde be his fulre UafeV This is one of 

to j>an biscoprice on Lundene, and hit waes those little touches which show the sym- 

eft of him genumen aer he gehadod waere." pathies of the writer. 
Florence turns this into, " Antequam esset 3 lb. ** Ealne J?one sumor .and Jwjne 

consecratus, a Rege Eadwardo est ejectus." haerfest." 

Now the Chronicles do not at all imply * Chron. Ab. 1050. "And j>ses ylcan 

that the refusal of Robert was in any way geare he settle ealle )>a litsmen of male." 


JSthelred. 1 This impost had all along been felt to be a great 
burthen ; we are told that it was paid before all other taxes, the other 
taxes themselves, it would seem, being looked upon as heavy. 2 The 
glimpse which is thus given us of the financial system of the time 
is just enough to make us wish for fuller knowledge. We must 
remember that in a rude state of society any kind of taxation is 
apt to be looked on as a grievance. *It requires a very considerable 
advance in political knowledge for a nation to feel that the power 
of the purse is the surest safeguard of freedom. But there must have 
been something specially hateful about this tax to account for the way 
in which it is spoken of by the contemporary Chroniclers, and for the 
hold which, as the legends show, 3 it kept on the popular imagination. 
The holy King, we are told, in company with Earl Leofric, one day 
entered the treasury in which the money raised by the tax was 
collected ; he there saw the Devil sitting and playing with the coin ; 
warned by the sight, he at once remitted the tax. In this story 
the tax is called Danegeld, and as many of the sailors in the English 
service were likely to be Danes, the Heregyld seems to have been 
confounded with the Danegeld, and to have been popularly called 
by that name. 4 The Danegeld was in strictness a payment made 
to buy off the ravages of Danish invaders, a practice of which we 
have seen instances enough and to spare in the days of ^Ethelred. 
But the tax now taken off was simply a war -tax for the maintenance 
of a fleet, a fleet whose crews may have been to a great extent Danes, 
but Danes who were not the enemies of England, but engaged in 
her service. The two ideas however easily ran into one another; 
it might be difficult to say under which head we ought to place some 
of the payments made both under Cnut and under Harthacnut. 
But the Heregyld, in its more innocent shape, would, according to 
modern ideas, be an impost absolutely necessary for the defence 
of the country. If the tax were taken off, no naval force would 
be retained, except the contingents of the shires, which could not 
in any case be very readily forthcoming. But, besides the general 
dislike to taxation of any kind, this particular tax was a painful 
and hateful badge of national disgrace. It was a memory of times 

1 Chron. Wig. 1052. "On J>an ylcan militia, 

geare aiede Eadward cyng J?aet heregyld a Chron. Wig. 1052. "paet gyldgedrehte 

)>aet JE^elred cyng aer astealde ; J>aet was ealle Engla )>eode on swa langum fyrste 

on J>am nigon and JjrittigoSan^geare \>xs J)e swa hit bufan her awriten is ; ftaet was 

he hit ongunnon haefde." Flor. Wig. 105 1. aefre aetforan oftrum gyldum J?e man myslice 

" Rex Eadwardus absolvit Anglos a gravi geald, and men mid menigfealdlice drehte." 

vectigali tricesimo octavo anno ex quo 8 See Bromton, 942 ; Estoire de S.JEd- 

pater suus Rex ^Egelredus primitus id ward, 919 et seqq. Leofric is also Ead- 

Danicis solidariis solvi mandarat." See ward's partner in another vision. iEtheL 

vol. i. p. 239. The Heregyld is a tax for Riev. X Scriptt. 389 ; Bromton, 949. 

the maintenance of the here or standing 4 See Appendix Q^ 
army as distinguished from the fyrd or 


when England could find no defence against strangers except by 
taking other strangers into her pay. Its remission was doubdess 
looked on as a declaration that England no longer needed the 
services of strangers, or of hired troops of any kind, but that she 
could trust to the ready patriotism and valour of her own sons. The 
Law required every Englishman to join the royal standard at the 
royal summons. 1 The effectual execution of that law was doubtless 
held to be a truer safeguard than the employment of men, whether 
natives or strangers, who served only for their pay. Such reasonings 
had their weak side even in those days, but they were eminently 
in the spirit of the time. The measure was undoubtedly a popular 
one, and we are hardly in a position to say that, under the circum- 
stances of the time, it may not have been a wise one. 

§ 4. The Banishment of Earl Godwine. 1051. 

The influence of the strangers had now reached its height. As yet 
it has appeared on the face of the narrative mainly in the direction 
given to ecclesiastical preferments. During the first nine years of 
Eadward's reign, we find no signs of any open warfare between the 
national and the Normannizing parties. The course of events shows 
that Godwine's power was being practically undermined, but he was 
still outwardly in the enjoyment of royal favour, and his vast posses- 
sions were still being added to by royal grants. 2 It is remarkable 
how seldom, at this stage of Eadward's reign, the acts of the Witan 
bear the signatures of any foreigners except churchmen. 8 We meet 
also with slight indications showing that the King's foreign kinsmen 
and the national leaders were not yet on terms of open enmity. 4 It 
was probably the policy of the strangers to confine their action in 
public matters to influencing the King's mind through his ecclesias- 
tical favourites, while the others were gradually providing in other 
ways for their own firm establishment in the land. But the tale 

1 See vol. i. p. 227. the Chancellor and others, are more com- 

8 There is a grant of lands to Godwine mon. 

(•' uni meo fideli Duci nuncupate) nomine 4 Ralph's wife bore the name of Gytha, 

Godwino ") as late as 1050. Cod. Dipl. and their son was named Harold. See Ap- 

iv. 123. The description of the grantee pendix KK. Robert the son of Wimarc 

as " Dux " of course identifies him with had also a son named Swegen, afterwards 

the Earl. famous in Domesday. See Ellis, i. 433, 

9 The only absolutely certain instances 489; ii. 117. These names certainly point 
that I can find at this time are the signa- to a certain identification with England, 
tures of Earl Ralph in 1050. See above, and suggest the idea that the sons of 
p. 109. His name is added to doubtful Ralph and Robert were godsons of the 
charters in Cod. Dipl. iv. 113, 121, and two sons of Godwine. Cf. the sons of 
another doubtful one is signed by Robert Danes in England bearing English names, 
the son of Wimarc, of whom more anon. See vol. i. pp. 348, 522. 

The signatures of ecclesiastics, R&gnbold 



which I now have to tell clearly reveals the fact that the number of 
French land-owners in England was already considerable, and that 
they had made themselves deeply hateful to the English people. 
Stealthily but surely, the foreign favourites of Eadward had eaten 
into the vitals of England, and they soon found the means of showing 
how bitter was the hatred which they bore towards the champions of 
English freedom. England now, under a native King of her own 
choice, felt, far more keenly than she had ever felt under her Danish 
conqueror, how great the evil is when a King and those who imme- 
diately surround him are estranged in feeling from the mass of his 
people. The great Dane had gradually learned to feel and to reign 
as an Englishman, to trust himself to the love of his English subjects, 
and to surround the throne of the conqueror with the men whom his 
own axe and spear had overcome. Even during the troubled reigns 
of his two sons, the degeneracy was for the most part merely personal. 
Harthacnut indeed laid on heavy and unpopular taxes for the pay- 
ment of his Danish fleet ;* but it does not appear that, even under 
him, Englishmen as Englishmen were subjected to systematic oppress 
sion and insult on the part of strangers. And, after all, the Danish 
followers of Cnut and his sons were men of kindred blood and speech. 
They could hardly be looked on in any part of England as aliens 
in the strictest sense, while to the inhabitants of a large part of the 
Kingdom they appeared as actual countrymen. But now, as a fore- 
taste of what was to come fifteen years later, men utterly strange in 
speech and feeling stood around the throne, they engrossed the per- 
sonal favour of the King, they perverted the course of justice, they 
shared among themselves the highest places in the Church, and they 
were already beginning to stretch out their hands to English lands 
and lordships as well as to English Bishopricks. The Dane, once 
brought to the knowledge of a purer faith and a higher civilization, 
soon learned to identify himself with the land in which he had settled, 
and to live as an Englishman under the Law of England. But to the 
French favourites of Eadward the name, the speech, the laws of Eng- 
land were things on which their ignorant pride looked down with 
utter contempt. They had no sympathy with that great fabric of 
English liberty, which gave to every freeman his place in the common- 
wealth, and even to the slave held out the prospect of freedom. 
Gentlemen of the school of Richard the Good, 2 taught to despise 
all beneath them as beings of an inferior nature, could not understand 
the spirit of a land where the Churl had his rights before the Law, 
where he could still raise his applauding voice in the Assemblies 
of the nation, and where men already felt as keenly as we feel now 
that an Englishman's house is his castle. Everything in short which 
had already made England free and glorious, everything which it is 

1 See vol. i. pp. 342, 343, 346. a See vol. i. p. 1 72. 


bow our {wide and happiness to have preserved down to our own 
times, was looked on by the foreign counsellors of Eadward as a mark 
of manifest inferiority and barbarism. The Dane spoke a tongue 
which hardly differed more widely from our own than the dialects 
of different parts of the Kingdom differed from one another. But 
the ancient mother-speech, once common to Dane and Frank and 
Angle and Saxon, the speech of which some faint traces may still have 
lingered at Laon and at Bayeux, had now become only one of many 
objects of contempt in the eyes of men whose standards were drawn 
from the Romanized courts of Rouen and Paris. The Dane met the 
Englishman in battle, face to face and hand to hand, with the same 
tactics and the same weapons. Shield-wall to shield-wall, sword 
to sword or axe to axe, had men waged the long warfare which had 
ranged from the fight of Reading to the fight of Assandun. To the 
Frenchman the traditions of Teutonic warfare appeared contemptible. 1 
His trust was placed, not in the stout heart and the strong arm of the 
warrior, but in the horse which is as useful in the flight as in the 
charge, and in the arrow which places the coward and the hero upon 
a level. 2 Men brought up in such feelings as- these, full too no doubt 
of the insolent and biting wit of their nation, now stood round the 
throne of the King of the English. They were not as yet, to any 
great extent, temporal rulers of the land, but they had already begun 
to be owners of its soil ; they were already the Fathers of the Church ; 
they were the personal friends of the King ; they were the channels 
of royal favour ; their influence could obtain the highest ecclesiastical 
office, when it was refused alike to the demand of the Earl of the 
West-Saxons and to the prayer of the canonical electors. In the 
company of these men the King was at home ; among his own people 
he was a stranger. The sight of a denationalized Court, a Court 
where the national tongue is despised and where the sounds of a 
foreign speech are alone thought worthy of royal lips, a Court in 
which the heart of the sovereign beats more warmly for foreign 
favourites or foreign kinsmen than for the children of the soil, 
is a sight which in any age is enough to stir up a nation's blood. 
But far heavier is the wrong in an age when Kings govern as well as 
reign, when it is not the mere hangers-on of a Court, but the nation 
itself, which is made personalty to feel that strangers fill the posts 
of influence and honour on its own soil and at its own cost. Often 
indeed since the days o( Eadward has the Court of England been 
the least English thing within the realm of England. But for ages 

1 " Nescia gens belli solamina spemit * Thuc. iv. 40. dirc/epivaro avr<p woK^ 

eqooram/' says Guy of Amiens (369) of Xov hv a£iov thai rbv drpajcrov (\iy<uv 

the English, but his following lines are, rbv bimby), cl roift dyaOovs di€yiyvco<TJC€. 
however unwittingly, a noble panegyric. 

G 2 


past no sovereign, however foreign in blood or feeKng, could have 
ventured to place a stranger ignorant of the English tongue on the 
patriarchal throne of Dunstan and J£lfheah. Against such a state 
of things as this the heart of England rose. And the soul of the 
patriotic movement, the leader of the patriotic struggle, was the man 
whom Norman calumny has ever since picked out as its special victim, 
but with whom every true English heart was prepared to live and die. 
The man who strove for England, the man who for a while suffered 
for England, but who soon returned in triumph to rescue England, 
was once more Godwine, Earl of the West^Saxons. 

The refusal of the King to bestow the Archbishoprick of Canter- 
bury on a kinsman of the great Earl regularly chosen by the Convent 
of the metropolitan church, its bestowal instead on an intriguing 
monk from Jumieges, had no doubt deeply embittered the feelings of 
Godwine and of all true Englishmen. All the sons of the Church, we 
are told, lamented the wrong; 1 and we may be sure that the feeling 
was in no way confined to those who are doubtless chiefly intended 
by that description. It now became the main object of the foreign 
Archbishop to bring about the ruin of the English Earl. Robert 
employed his influence with the King to set him still more strongly 
against his father-in-law, to fill his ears with calumnies against him, 
above all, to bring up again the old charge of which Godwine had 
been so solemnly acquitted, that which made him an accomplice 
in the death of JElfred. 2 A dispute about the right to some lands 
which adjoined the estates both of the Earl and of the Primate 
further embittered the dissension between them. 3 It was plain that 
Godwine's influence was fast giving way, and that an open struggle 
was becoming imminent. Just at this moment, an act of foreign 
insolence and brutality which surpassed anything which had hitherto 
happened brought the whole matter to a crisis. 

We have seen that Eadward's sister Godgifu — the Goda of Norman 
writers — the daughter of jEthelred and Emma, had been married to 
Drogo, Count of Mantes or of the French Vexin. Their son, Ralph 
the Timid, was now high in favour at the court of his uncle, and was 
already invested with an English Earldom. 4 Drogo had accompanied 
Duke Robert on his pilgrimage, and, like him, had died on his 
journey. 5 His widow, who must now have been a good deal past her 
prime, 6 had nevertheless found a second French husband in Eustace 

1 Vita Eadw. 400. " Totius ecclesiae 8 Vita Eadw. 400. See Appendix E. 

fUiis hanc injuriam pro nisu sub reclamanti- * See above, pp. 30, 71* 

bus." 5 Ord. Vit. 487 D, 655 C. 

* lb. 401. See vol. i. pp. 330-335, '• A daughter of JEthelred and Emma 

344. must have been thirty-five years old at this 



Count of Boulogne. This prince, whom English history sets before 
us only in the darkest colours, was fated by a strange destiny to be 
the father of one of the noblest heroes of Christendonij of Godfrey, 
Duke of Lotharingia and King of Jerusalem. We cannot however 
claim the great Crusader as one who had English blood in his veins 
through either parent. The second marriage of Godgifu was childless, 
and the renowned sons of Eustace, Godfrey and his brother Baldwin, 
were the children of his second wife Ida. The Count of Boulogne, 
now brother-in-law of the King of the English, presently came, like 
the rest of the world, ta the English Court. The exact object of his 
coming is not recorded, but we are told that whatever he came for he 
got. 1 Some new favours were doubtless won for foreign, followers, 
and some share of the wealth of England for himself. It was now 
September, and the King, as seems to have been his custom, was 
spending the autumn at Gloucester. 2 Thither then came Count 
Eustace, and after his satisfactory interview with the King, he turned 
his face homewards. We have no account of his journey till he 
reached Canterbury; 8 there he halted, he refreshed himself and his 
men, and rode on towards Dover. Perhaps, in a land so specially 
devoted to Godwine, he felt himself to be still more thoroughly in an 
enemy's country than in other parts- of England. At all events, when 
they were still a few miles from Dover, the Count and all his company 
took the precaution of putting on their coats of mail> They entered 
the town; accustomed to the unbridled licence of their own land y 
puffed up no doubt by the favourable reception which they had met 
with at the King's Court, they deemed that the goods and lives of 
Englishmen were at their mercy. Who was the villain or the burgher 
who could dare to refuse ought to a sovereign prince, the friend and 
brother-in-law of the Emperor of Britain? Men born on English 
soil, accustomed to the protection of English Law, men who for one 
and thirty years 6 had lived under the rule of Godwine, looked on* 
matters in quite another light. The Frenchmen expected to fkid free 
quarters in the town of Dover, and they attempted to lodge them- 

time^ and she may have been forty-seven. 
Considering the position held by her son, 
Godgifu is likely to have been approach- 
ing the more advanced age of the two. 

1 Will. Malms, ii. 199. " Colloqoutus 
cum eo, et re impetrata quam petierat." 
This comes from Chron. Petrib. 1048; 
"And space wift hine J>set )>aet he jja 

* Chronn. Wig. 1052; Petrib. 1048. See 
vol. i. p. 352. 

8 I reserve an examination of the au- 
thorities for this narrative for the Appen- 

dix. See Note R. I here refer to the 
Chronicles only for details. 

* Chron. Petrib. 1048. " Da he waes 
sume mila oSSe mare beheonan Dofran, 
J?e dyde he on his byrnan, and his geferan 
ealle, and foran to Dofran." 

5 Thirty-one, reckoning from Godwine's 
appointment as Earl of the West-Saxons in 
1020. See vol. i. p. 285. If Godwine 
really became Earl of Kent in 1 01 7 or 1 01 8 
(see vol. i. p. 275) two or three years more 
must be added. 


selves at their pleasure in the houses of the burghers. There was one 
Englishmen especially — his name unluckily is not preserved — into 
whose house a Frenchman was bent on forcing himself against the 
owner's will. The master of the house withstood him ; the stranger 
drew his weapon and wounded him; the Englishman struck the 
intruder dead on the spot 1 Count Eustace mounted his horse as if 
for battle ; ' his followers mounted theirs ; the stout-hearted English- 
man was slain within his own house. The Count's party then rode 
through the town, cutting about them and slaying at pleasure. But 
the neighbours of the murdered man had now come together ; the 
burghers resisted valiantly; a skirmish began; twenty Englishmen 
were slain, and nineteen Frenchmen, besides many who were 
wounded. Count Eustace and the remnant of his party made their 
way out of the town, and hastened back to King Eadward at Glou- 
cester. They there told the story after their own fashion, throwing of 
course all the blame upon the insolent burghers of Dover. 8 It is not 
hard to throw oneself into the position of the accusers. To chivalrous 
Frenchmen the act of the English burgher in defending his house 
against a forcible entry would seem something quite beyond their 
understandings. To their notions the appeal to right and law to 
which Englishmen were familiar, would seem, on the part of men of 
inferior rank, something almost out of the course of nature. We 
often see the same sort of feeling now-a-days in men whom a long 
course of military habits, a life spent in the alternation of blind 
obedience and arbitrary command, has made incapable of under- 
standing those notions of right and justice which seem perfectly plain 
to men who are accustomed to acknowledge no master but the Law. 4 
The crime of Eustace was a dark one ; but we may be inclined to 
pass a heavier judgement still on the crime of the English King, who, 
on the mere accusation of the stranger, condemned his own subjects 

1 Chron.Petrib. ")?a com an his manna, French noble of that age to strike a blow 
and wolde wician aet anes bundan huse, his except on horseback, that Eustace and his 
unftances, and gewundode j)one husbundon, companions mounted their horses at such 
and se husbunda ofsloh J>one ofterne." So a moment as this, when one would have 
Will. Malms, ii. 199 ; '* Unus antecursorum thought that horses were distinctly in the 
ejus ferocius cum cive agens, et vulnere way. 

magis quam prece hospitium exigens, ilium 8 Chron.Petrib. "ForfanEustatiushjefde 

in sui excidium invitavit." I do not know gecydd )>am cynge j)et hit sceolde beon 

why Sir Thomas Hardy says that William mare gylt Jjaere burhwaru )>onne his. Ac 

implies that all this happened at Canter- hit naes na swa." So William of Malmes- 

bury. Surely " per Doroberniam " means bury ; " Inde ad curiam pedem referens, 

Dover. nactusque secretum, suae partis patronus 

2 Chron. Petrib. " Da wear 1 ©* Eustatius assistens, iram Regis in Anglos exacuit." 
uppon his horse, and his gefeoran uppon * Herod, vii. 104. 2ir««m y6p <t<Jh 5«- 
beora, and ferdon to j>am husbundon, and uv6rt]9* v6pos, /rbv vwodeifiaivovfft iroAAy 
ofslogon hine binnan his agenan heoroW In fiaWov fj ot act <ri' noitvei ywy t<1 
It shows how impossible it seemed to a hv knuvot tobyy. 


without a hearing. When Eustace had told his tale, the King became 
very wroth with the burghers of Dover, 1 and this time he thought 
that he had not only the will but the power to hurt. 9 He sent for 
Godwine, as Earl of the district in which the offending town lay. 
The English champion was then in the midst of a domestic rejoicing. 
He had, like the King, been strengthening himself by a foreign 
alliance, and had just connected his house with that of a sovereign 
prince. Tostig, the third son of Godwine, had just married Judith, 
the sister of Baldwin of Flanders. 8 Such a marriage could hardly have 
been contracted without a political object. An alliance with a prince 
reigning in the debateable land between France and Germany, a land 
which, though its princes were rapidly becoming French, had by no 
means wholly lost its Teutonic character, was quite in harmony with 
the Lotharingian connexion so steadily maintained by Godwine and 
Harold. At the same time, an alliance with a prince who had been 
so latelv in arms against England may not have tended to in- 
crease Godwine's favour with the King. The Earl left the marriage- 
feast of hiis son, and hastened to the King at Gloucester. Eadward 
then told him what insults had been offered within his Earldom to a 
sovereign allied to himself by friendship and marriage. Let Godwine 
go and subject the offending town to all the severity of military chas- 
tisement 4 Godwine had once before been sent on the like errand in 
the days of Harthacnut. 6 He then had not dared to refuse, though he 
had done what he could to lighten the infliction of a harsh and unjust 
sentence. Arid, after all, the two cases were not alike. In the case 
of Worcester, Godwine was called on to act as a military commander 
against a town which was not within his government, and whose 
citizens stood in no special relation to him. The citizens of Wor- 
cester too had been guilty of a real crime. Their crime was indeed 
one which might readily have been pardoned, and the punishment 
decreed was out of all proportion to the offence. Still the death of 
the two Housecarls fairly called for some atonement, though certainly 
not for an atonement of the kind commanded by Harthacnut. At that 
time too it was probably sound policy in Godwine to undertake the 


1 Chron. Petrib. 1048. " Aad weafS se early as this time, see Appendix G. 

cyng swyj>e gram wi$ )>a btirhware." * Chron. Petrib. *• And ofsaende se cyng 

2 See above, p. 16. Godwine eorl, and baed hine faran into 
* Sister, not daughter. The whole matter Cent mid unfri'oa to Dofran." The full 

is gone into in vol. iii. p. 656. It is from force of the word " unfrifta " may be 

the Biographer (404) that we learn that all understood by its being so constantly ap- 

this happened just at the very time of plied to the Danish armies and fleets. See 

Tostig's marriage; " Acciderant haec in vol. i. p. 426. So William of Maimesbury 

ipsis nuptiis filii sui ducis Tostini." The (ii. 199) ; " Quamvis Rex jussisset ilium 

title of " Dux " seems to be premature, continuo cum exercitu in Cantiam proficisci, 

On the bare possibility that Tostig may in Dorobernertses graviter ulturum." 
have held some subordinate government as 5 See vol. i. p. 347. 


commission in which he was joined with the other great Earls of 
England, and merely to do his best to lighten its severity in act But 
in the present case all the circumstances were different. Dover 
was a town in Godwine's own Earldom ; it would almost seem 
that it was a town connected with him by a special tie, a town whose 
burghers formed a part of his personal following. 1 At all events it 
was a town over which he exercised the powers of the highest civil 
magistracy, where, if it was his duty to punish the guilty, it was 
equally his duty to defend and shelter the innocent. Such a town he 
was now bidden, without the least legal proof of any offence, to visit 
with all the horrors of fire and sword. Godwine was not long in 
choosing his course. Official duty and public policy, no less than 
abstract justice and humanity, dictated a distinct refusal. Now or 
never a stand was to be made against the strangers. Now that Eng- 
lishmen had been insulted and murdered by the King's foreign 
favourites, the time was indeed come to put an end to a system under 
which those favourites were beginning to deal with England as with 
a conquered country. The eloquent voice of the great Earl was 
raised, in the presence of the King, probably in the presence of 
Eustace and the other strangers, in the cause of truth and justice. 2 
In England, he told them, there was a Law supreme over ail, and 
courts in which justice could be denied to no man. Count Eustace 
had brought a charge against the men of Dover. They had, as he 
alleged, broken the King's peace, and done personal wrong to himself 
and his companions. Let then the magistrates of the town be sum- 

1 Chron. Pctrib. " And se eorl nolde na very clear and full, and thoroughly favour- 

geftwaerian Jjacre infare; forj?an him wses able to Godwine; "Intellexit vir acrioris 

laft to amyrrene his agene folgalS." One ingenii, unius tantum partis auditis allega- 

might be tempted to believe that this last tionibus, non debere proferri sententiam. 

word implied some special connexion be- Itaque . . . rest i tit, et quod omnes alieni- 

tween Godwine and Dover, were it not genas apud Regis gratiam invalescere in- 

that we directly after read, ** on Swegenes videret, et quod compatriotis amicitiam 

eorles folgooe," where it can hardly mean praestare vellet. Pratterea videbatur ejus 

more than that the place was within his responsio in rectitudinem propensior, ut 

jurisdiction as Earl. The very first entry magnates illius castelli blande in curi& 

in Domesday represents Godwine as re- Regis de seditione convenirentur ; si se 

ceiving a third of the royal revenues in possent explacitare, illxsi abirent; si ne- 

Dover, but this was of course simply his quirent, pecunia vel corporum suorum dis- 

regular revenue as Earl. The relations of pendio, Regi cujus pacem infregerant, et 

the townsmen to the Crown are rather Comiti quern laeserant, satisfacerent : ini- 

minutely described. They held their privi- quum videri ut quos tutari debeas, eos ipse 

leges by the tenure of providing twenty potissimum inauditos adjudices." Here are 

ships yearly for fifteen days ; each had a the words which either tradition put into 

crew of twenty-one men. There is not a the mouth of Godwine, or else which a 

word to show that the demands of Eustace hostile historian deliberately conceived as 

and his followers were other than utterly most in keeping with his character. Who 

illegal. would recognize in this assertor of the 

a I get my speech from William of purest principles of right the object of the 

Malmesbury (ii. 1 19), whose account is savage invectives of William of Poitiers ? 


moned before the King and his Witan, and there be heard in their 
own defence and in that of their fellow-burghers. If they could make 
a good excuse for their conduct, let them depart unhurt ; if they could 
be proved to have sinned against the King or against the Count, let 
them pay for their fault with their purses or with their persons. He, 
as Earl of the West-Saxons, was the natural protector of the men of 
Dover; he would never agree to any sentence pronounced against 
them without a fair trial, nor would he consent to the infliction of any 
sort of illegal hardship upon those whom he was bound to defend. 
The Earl then went his way ; he had done his own duty ; he was 
accustomed to these momentary ebullitions of wrath on the part of 
his royal son-in-law, and he expected that the affair would soon be 
forgotten. 1 

But there were influences about Eadward which cut off all hope of 
any such peaceful settlement of the matter. Eustace probably still 
lingered about the King, to repeat his own story, to enlarge on 
the insolence of the men of Dover, and on the disobedience — he 
would call it the treason — of the West-Saxon Earl himself. And 
there was another voice ever at the royal ear, ever ready to poison the 
royal mind against the English people and their leader. The foreign 
monk who sat on the throne of so many English saints again seized 
the opportunity to revive the calumnies of past times. Robert once 
more reminded the King that the man who refused to obey his orders, 
the man who had protected, perhaps stirred up, rebellious burghers 
against his dearest friends, was also the man who had, years before, 
betrayed his brother to a death of torment. 2 The old and the new 
charges worked together on the King's mind, and he summoned 
a meeting of the Witan at Gloucester, to sit in judgement, no longer 
on the men of Dover, who seem by this time to have been forgotten, 
but on Godwine himself. 8 The Earl now saw4hat he must be pre- 
pared for all risks. And, just at this moment, another instance of the 
insolence and violence of the foreigners in another part of the King- 
dom served to stir up men's minds to the highest pitch. Among the 
Frenchmen who had flocked to the land of promise was one named 

1 Will. Malms, ii. 199.* "Ita tunc dis- nicle; "Da sende se cyng acftre eallon his 

cessum, Godwino parvi pendente Regis witan, and bead heom cuman to Gleawe- 

furorem quasi momentaneum." On these ceastre neh )>aere setter Sea Maria nisessan." 

occasional fits of wrath on the part of The charge against Godwine comes from 

Eadward, see above, p. 14. the Life of Eadward, p. 401 ; "Ergo per- 

a The revival of the story about Alfred turbato Rege de talibus plus justo, con r 
and the special part played by Archbishop venerunt de totd Britannid [did any Scot- 
Robert comes from the Biographer of Ead- tish or Welsh princes appear ?] quique 
ward. I shall discuss this point in Appw potentes et duces Glaucestrse regio palatio, 
dix R. ubique in eo querimoniam talium habentc, 

8 The summoning of the Witan is dis- perlata est in insontem Ducem taati. cri- 

tinctly set forth in the Peterborough Chro- minis accusation" 



Richard the son ♦of Scrob, who had received a grant of lands in 
Herefordshire. He and his son Osbern had there built a castle on a 
spot which, by a singularly lasting tradition, preserves to this day the 
memory of himself and his building. 1 The fortress itself has vanished, 
but its site is still to be marked, and the name of Richard's Castle, 
still borne by the parish in which it stood, is an abiding witness of the 
deep impression which its erection made on the minds of the men of 
those times. The building of castles is something of which the 
English writers of this age frequently speak, and speak always with a 
special kind of horror. 8 Both the name and the thing were new. To 
fortify a town, to build a citadel to protect a town, were processes 
with which England had long been familiar. To contribute to such 
necessary public works was one of the three immemorial obligations 
from which no Englishman could free himself. 8 But for a private 
landowner to raise a private fortress to be the terror of his neighbours 
was something to which Englishmen had hitherto been unaccustomed, 
and for such a structure the English language had hitherto contained 
no name. But now the tall, square, massive donjon of the Normans, 
a class of buildings whose grandest type is to be seen in the Con- 
queror's own Tower of London and in the more enriched keep of 
Rochester, began, doubtless on a far humbler scale, to rear itself 
over the dwellings of Englishmen. Normandy had, during the 
minority of William, been covered with such buildings, and his wise 
policy had levelled many of them with the ground. Such strongholds, 
strange to English eyes, bore no English name, but retained their 
French designation of castles. Such a castle at once became a centre 
of all kinds of oppression. Men were harboured in it, and deeds 
were done within its impregnable walls, such as could find no place 
in the open hall of the ancient English Thegn. So it was with the 
castle which was now raised within the government of the eldest son 
of Godwine. The Welshmen, as they are called — that is, not Britons, 
but Frenchmen, Gal-Welsh, not Bret-Welsh — built their casde, and 
" wrought all the harm and besmear " — an expressive word which has 
dropped out of the language — " to the King's men thereabouts that 
they might." 4 Here then was another wrong, a wrong perhaps 

1 Richard, the soil of Scrob or Scrape, Wdisce menu gewroht enne castel on Here- 
and son-in-law of Robert the Deacon (Flor. fordscire on Swegenes eorles folgofte, and 
Wig. 1052), appears in Domesday, 186 b. wrohton sclc Jjaera harme and bismere J?ees 
His son Osbern, of whom we shall hear cynges maiman J»efcr abutan |>e hi mihton." 
again, appears repeatedly in Domesday as These Welshmen are undoubtedly French- 
a great landowner in Herefordshire and men (see Earle, p. 345; Lingard, i. 337; 
elsewhere. See 176 b, 180, 186 6, 260. Lappenberg, 508); Britons did ndt build 

2 On the castles and the English feeling catties, nor were they on such terms of 
with regard to them, see Appendix S. friendly intercourse with King Eadward. 

8 See vol. i. p. 63. William of Malmesbury's misconception of 

* Chron. Petrib. 1048. "pah«fdon)>a the whole passage (ii. 199) is amusing; 


hardly second to the wrong which had been done at* Dover. Alike in 
Kent and in Herefordshire men had felt the sort of treatment which 
they were to expect if the King's foreign favourites were to be any 
longer tolerated. The time was now come for Englishmen to make 
a stand. 

The Earl of the West-Saxons was not a man to be wanting to his 
country at such a moment. He, with his sons Swegen and Harold, 
gathered together the force of their three Earldoms at Beverstone in 
Gloucestershire. This is a point on the Cot»wolds, not far from 
the Abbey of Mahnesbury, which is still marked by a castle of far 
later date, the remaining fragments of which form one of the most 
remarkable antiquities of the district. At this time it seems to have 
been a royal possession, and it may not unlikely have contained a 
royal house, which would probably be at the disposal of Swegen 
as Earl of the shire. 1 At Beverstone then assembled the men of 
Wessex, of East-Anglia, and of that part of Mercia which was under 
the jurisdiction of Swegen. They came, it would seem, ready either 
for debate or for battle, as might happen. We must here again 
remember what the ancient constitution of our National Assemblies 
really was. If all actually came who had a strict right to come, 
the Gemdt was a ready-made army. On the other hand we have 
seen that an army, gathered together as an army, sometimes took 
on itself the functions of a Gemtft. 2 Meanwhile, while Godwine 
assembled his men at Beverstone, the forces of the Earldoms of 
Siward, Leofric, and Ralph were assembling round the King at 
Gloucester. Each of the two gatherings might pass for the local 
Witenagemdt of one half of England. At the head of the men of 
three Earldoms Godwine was still bolder than he had been when 
he had stood alone in the royal presence. He then had only refused 
to punish the innocent; he now demanded the punishment of the 
guilty. His first steps however were conciliatory. He first de- 
manded an audience for himself and his sons, as Earls of the three 
Earldoms; they were ready and anxious to take counsel with the 
King and his Witan on all matters touching the honour of the King 
and his people. 8 He even offered to renew his compurgation on 

"ut Walenses compescerent qui, tyranni- possession of Godwine. Otherwise one 
dem in Regem meditantes, oppidum in would have expected to find one of the 
pago Herefordensi obfirmaverant, ubi tunc Earl's many houses chosen as the place of 
Swanus, unus ex filiis Godwini, militise meeting. But perhaps the suggestion in 
praetendebat excubias." This last is simply the text may explain matters, 
a misunderstanding of the words " on Swe- On the other hand the mysterious con- 
genes eorles folgo'oe," which seems merely nexion between Godwine and Berkeley (see 
to mean " within Swegen's government." Appendix E) must not be forgotten. 

1 Beverstone appears in Domesday (163) 2 See above, p. 67. 

only as an appendage to the royal lordship 8 Chron. Petrib. 1048. " Da c6m God- 

of Berkeley, and is not mentioned as a wine eorl and Swegen eorl and Harold eorl 


the old charge of the death of JElfred. 1 But the Frenchmen swarmed 
around the King ; they filled his ears with the usual charges against 
Godwine and his sons; they assured him that the only object of 
the Earls was to betray him. 2 Eadward therefore refused the audi- 
ence, and declined to receive the compurgation. 8 Godwine then 
took a higher tone; messages were sent in his name and in the 
name of the men of the three Earldoms, demanding the surrender 
of Eustace and his men and of the Frenchmen at Richard's Castle. 4 
The demand was a bold one; Godwine asked for the surrender of 
the person of a foreign prince, the King's own favourite and brother- 
in-law. But the demand, if bold, was perfectly justifiable. The two 
parties of Frenchmen had been guilty of outrageous crimes within 
the jurisdictions of Godwine and Swegen respectively. The King, 
instead of bringing them to justice, was sheltering them, and was 
even listening to their charges against innocent men. Their lawful 
judges, the Earls of the two districts, were ready, at the head of 
the Witan of their* Earldoms, to do that justice which the King 
had refused. The demand was seemingly backed by threats of an 
appeal to that last argument by which unrighteous rulers must be 
brought to reason. Godwine and his followers threatened war against 
Eadward, as the later Barons of England threatened war against 
John. 5 The King was frightened and perplexed. He sent to hasten 
the coming of Siward, Leofric, and Ralph, and bade them bring a 
force strong enough to keep Godwine and his party in check. It 
would seem that they had at first brought or sent only a small body 
of men ; when they heard the full state of the case, they hastened 
to the King with the whole force of their Earldoms, and restored 

togaedere act Byferesstane and manig mann audire posset." 

mid heom, toflon Jjact hi woldon faran to 4 Chron. Wig. 1052. "Ealle gearwe to 

heora cyne-hlaforde, and to }>am witan wige ongean ]?one cyng, buton man ageafe 

eallon pe mid him gegaderode waeron, J?aet Eustatsius and his men heom to handsceofe, 

hi J>aes cynges red haefdon, and his fultum, and eac )>a Frencyscau pe on \an castelle 

and ealra witena, hu hi mihton J>acs cynges waeron." " The castle " undoubtedly means 

bismer awrecan and ealles peodscipes." Richard's Castle, as it must mean in the 

1 Vita Eadw. 401. "Quod ubi 'per entry of the next year in the same Chronicle, 
quosdam fideles comperit [Godwinus], The Frenchmen in the castle are distin- 
missis legatis, pacem Regis petivit, legem guished from Eustace and his men. So 
purgandi se de objecto crimine frustra Lappenberg, 508. Florence (1051) clearly 
praetulit." misunderstood the passage when he trans- 

2 Chron. Petrib. • • Da waeron j>a Waelisce lated it " insuper et Nortmannos et Bono- 
menn set for an mid )?am cynge, and for- nienses qui castellum in Doruverniae clivo 
wregdon j?a eorlas pxt hi ne moston cuman tenuerant." See Appendix S. 

on his eagon gesihSe, for 5 an hi saedon Jjaet 5 Rog« Wend. iii. 294. '• Juraverant 

hi woldon cuman jnder for }>es cynges super majus altare, quod, si Rex leges et 

swicdome." libertates jam dictas concedere diffugeret, 

3 Vita Eadw. p. 401. " Nam adeo super ipsi ei guerram tamdiu moverent et ab 
hujus sceleris fide animum Rex induxerat ejus fidelitate se subtraherent." 

ut nee verbum aliquod oblatae purgationis 


confidence to his timid mind. 1 This was the sort of occasion which 
was sure to awaken those provincial jealousies which in that age 
were often lulled to sleep, but which were never completely got 
rid of. The northern and southern parts of England were again 
arrayedagainst each other, just as they had been in the great Gem6t 
of Oxford sixteen years before. 2 The French followers of Ralph and 
the French friends of Eadward were doubdess glad of any excuse 
to shed the blood or to seize the lands of Englishmen. Siward 
and his Danes were seemingly not displeased with a state of things 
in which jealousy of the West- Saxon Earl could be so honourably 
cloked under the guise of loyalty to the West-Saxon King. 8 They 
were therefore quite ready to play into the hands of the strangers. 
They were still on their march, but seemingly close to the town, 
when Eadward gave his final answer to the messengers of Godwine ; 
Eustace and the other accused persons should not be given up. 
The messengers had hardly left Gloucester, when the Northern host 
entered the city, eager to be led to battle against the men of Wessex 
and East-Anglia. 4 Godwine and his followers saw by this time that 
there was little hope of bringing the King to reason by peaceful 
means. Every offer tending to reconciliation had been spurned ; 
every demand of the Earls and their people had been refused. The 
punishment of the innocent had been commanded ; the punishment 
of the guilty had been withheld ; the old charges, of which Godwine 
had been so solemnly acquitted eleven years before, were again raked 
up against him by the slanderous tongue of a foreign priest. Loath 
as the Earl and his followers were to fight against their Lord the 
King, 6 they saw no hope but in an appeal to arms, and the men 
of the three Earldoms made themselves ready for battle. From 
the heights of the Cotswolds on which they had been gathered, they 
marched down the hill-side which overlooks the fairest and most 
fertile of English valleys, 6 The broad Severn wound through the 

1 Flor. Wig. 105 1. "Ob id autcm ad swa anrede mid Jjamcynge, J>aet hy woldon 

tempus Rex perterritus, et in angore magno Godwines fyrde gesecan, gif se cyng j?aet 

constitutus, quid ageret ignorabat pcnitus. wolde." 

Sed ubi exercitum Comitum Leofrici, Si- 6 Chron. Petrib. 1048. " And was J>am 

wardi, et Radulfi adventare comperit, se eorfe Godwine and his sunan gecydd, Jjact 

nullatenus Eustatium aliosque requisite* se cyng and }>a menn J>e mid him waeron 

traditurum constanter respondit." woldon radon on hi. And hi trymedon 

* See vol. i. p. 325 et seqq. gefaestlice ongean, J>aeh him la*S waere £«t 

3 It is perhaps owing to some trace of hi ongean heora cyne-klqford standan sce- 
this local Northumbrian feeling that the oldon." 

Durham Annals say, under the year 1050, 8 See the splendid panegyric of William 

" Godwinus comes et filii ejus propter inso- of Malmesbury on this region in the Gesta 

lentiam exilio damnantur." This is quite Pontificum, 29 1. He especially speaks of 

another tone from that of our West-Saxon the abundance of the vineyards and the 

and Mercian Chronicle*. excellence of the wine, which was not soiir, 

4 Chron. Wig. 1052. "Wurdan |>a ealle as seemingly other English wine was, but, 


plain beneath them; beyond its sandy flood rose, range beyond 
range, the hills which guarded the land of the still unconquered 
Briton. Far away, like a glimpse of another world, opened the 
deep vale of the Welsh Axe, 1 the mountain land of Brecheiniog, 
where, in the furthest distance, the giant Beacons soar, vast and 
dim, the mightiest natural fortress of the southern Cymry. Even 
then some glimpses of days to come may have kindled the soul 
of Harold, as he looked forth on the land which was before many 
years to ring with his renown, and to see his name engraved as 
conqueror on the trophies of so many battle-fields. They passed 
by relics of unrecorded antiquity, by fortresses and tombs reared 
by the hands of men who had been forgotten before the days of 
Ceawlin, some perhaps even before the days of Caesar. They passed 
by the vast hill-fort of Uleybury, where the Briton had bid defiance 
to the Roman invader. They passed by the huge mound, the 
Giants'-Chamber of the dead, covering the remains of men whcnse 
name and race had passed away, perhaps before even the Briton 
had fixed himself in the islands of the West* Straight in their 
path rose the towers, in that day no doubt tall and slender, of the 
great minster of the city which was their goal, where their King 
sat a willing captive in the hands of the enemies of his people. 
And still far beyond rose other hills, the heights of Herefordshire 
and Shropshire, the blue range of Malvern and the fax distant 
Titterstone, bringing the host as it were into the actual presence of 
the evil deeds with which the stranger was defiling that lovely 
region. Godwine had kept his watch on the heights of Bevergtone, 
as Thrasyboulos had kept his on the heights of Phyle\ 8 and he now 
came down, with the truest sons of England at his bidding, ready, as 
need might be, to strive for her freedom either in the debates of the 
Witan or in the actual storm of battle. But there were now men 
in the King's train at Gloucester who were not prepared to shed the 
blood of their countrymen in the cause of strangers. Eadward had 
now counsellors at his side who had no mind to push personal or 
provincial jealousy to the extent of treason to their common country. 
Earl Leofric had obeyed the command of the King, and had 
brought the force of Mercia to the royal muster at Gloucester. Some 
jealousies of Godwine may well have rankled in his breast, but love 

as good as that of France. No wine is Dr. Thurnam and Professor C. C. Babing- • 

now grown in the vale of Severn, but ton, see the Archaeological Journal, vol. xi. 

there is excellent cider and perry. (1854), pp. 315, 328. 

On the prospect here spoken of, see 3 Childe Harold, u. 84 ; 

Sydney Smith's Sketches of Moral Philo- " Spirit ofj Freedom, when on PhyleV 

sophy, p. 218. brow 

1 See above, p. 71. Thou sat'st with ThrasybsJus and 

a For descriptions of these two remark- his train/' &c. 
able monuments of primeval times, by 


of his country was a stronger feeling still. He was not ready to 
sacrifice the champion of England to men who had trampled on 
every rule of English law and of natural right, men who seemed 
to deem it a crime if Englishmen refused to lie still and be butchered 
on their hearth-stones. The good old Earl of the Mercians now, 
as ever, 1 stood forth as the representative of peace and compromise 
between extreme parties. The best men of England were arrayed 
in one host or the other. It were madness indeed for Englishmen: 
to destroy one another, simply in order to hand over the defenceless 
land to its enemies. 2 But, while two armed hosts stood ready for 
battle, there was no room for peaceful debate. Let both sides 
depart; let hostages be given on both sides, and let the Meeting 
of the Witan* stand adjourned^ to assemble again, after a few weeks, 
in another place. Meanwhile all enmities on either side should cease, 
and both sides should be held to be in full possession of the King's 
peace and friendship. 8 The proposal of Leofric was accepted by both 
parties, and the Gem6t was accordingly adjourned, to meet in 
London at Michaelmas. 

The objects of Leofric in this momentary compromise were un- 
doubtedly honourable and patriotic. But King Eadward and his 
foreign advisers seem to have been determined to employ the breath- 
ing-space thus given them as best they might for the damage of the 
national cause. The King made use of the time in collecting an 
army still more powerful than that which had surrounded him at 
Gloucester. He seems to have got together the whole force of North- 
humberland and Mercia, and to have summoned his own immediate 
following, the royal Housecarls, and perhaps the King's immediate 
Thegns, even within Godwine's own Earldom. 4 The King's quarters 
were probably at his favourite palace of Westminster. Godwine came, 
accompanied by a large force of the men of his Earldom, to his own 
house in Southwark. 6 Several messages passed to and fro between 
him and the King. But it soon became clear that, though the King's 
full peace and friendship had been assured to Godwine, there was no 
intention in the royal councils of showing him any favour, or even of 
treating him with common justice. The two parties had separated at 
Gloucester on equal terms. Each had been declared to be alike the 
King's friends; each alike had given hostages to the other; the 
matters at issue between them were to be fairly discussed in the ad- 

1 See vol. i. p. 326. 8 Chron. Petrib. 1048. «« Da gereedden 

9 Chron. Wig. 1052. " J5*t mycel un- }>a witan on segtfer halfe, J>aet man 0a 

red wasre j?aet hy togederc comon [see vol. sices yfeles geswac, and geaf se cyng 

L p. 467}, forjum )>aer wxs maest \>xt godes gri$ and his fulne freondscipe on- 

rotoste Jwet was on JEnglalande on ]>am segftre healfe." 

twam gefylcum ; and letpn J>set hi urum * See Appendix R. 

feondum rymdon to lande, and betwyx us 6 lb. 
sylfum to mycclum forwyrde." 


journed Gem&t Instead of this agreement being carried out, God- 
wine and his sons found themselves dealt with as criminals. The first 
act of the Assembly, seemingly before Godwine and his sons had 
appeared at all, was to renew the outlawry of Swegen. 1 No act could 
be more unjust His old crimes could no longer be brought up 
against him with any fairness. The time when they might have been 
rightly urged was on the motion for the repeal of his former out- 
lawry. 8 But, whether wisely or unwisely, that outlawry had been 
legally reversed ; Swegen had been restored to his Earldom, a re- 
storation which of course implied the absolute pardon of all his 
former offences. Since his restoration we hear of no fresh crime on 
his part, unless it were a crime to have been a fellow-worker with his 
father, his brother, and the men of his Earldom in resistance to the 
wrongs inflicted by the strangers. To condemn Swegen afresh for 
his old offences was a flagrant breach of all justice ; to condemn him 
for his late conduct was a breach of justice equally flagrant in another 
way. Besides this, his condemnation on this last ground would carry 
with it an equal condemnation of Godwine and Harold. Swegen then 
was outlawed, and outlawed, as far as we can see, without a hearing ; 
and Godwine and Harold were summoned to appear before the King, 
seemingly as criminals to receive judgement. Bishop Stigand, in 
whose diocese Godwine was then living, procured some delay; 8 but 
Archbishop Robert took advantage of that very delay, still further to 
poison the King's mind against the Earl. 4 Godwine, after the treat- 
ment which his eldest son had just received, declined to appear, 
unless he received an assurance of the King's favour, guaranteed by 
the placing of special hostages in his hands, as pledges for his per- 
sonal safety during the interview. The King's answer was apparently 
a demand that the Earls should allow, or perhaps compel, all the 
King's Thegns who had joined them to go over to the King's side. 5 
The demand was at once obeyed. By this time the tide was clearly 
turning against Godwine, and the force which he had brought with 
him to Southwark was getting smaller and smaller. 6 The King again 
summoned the Earls to appear, with twelve companions only. We 
can hardly believe that Stigand was compelled, however against his 
will, to announce as a serious message to Godwine that the King's 

1 So I infer from the Peterborough crastinata est judicii dies, dum Rex suo- 

Chronicle, 1048 ; " Da cwacS man Swegen rum uteretur consilio." 
eorl fitlah, and stefnode man Godwine * lb. 

eorle and Harolde eorle to j>on gemote." 5 Such on the whole I take to be the 

The Worcester Chronicle puts it a little meaning of the very difficult expressions 

later, along with the demand for the of the two Chroniclers, which I have dis- 

hostages. cussed at length in Appendix R. 

8 See above, p. 69. • Chron. Wig. 1052. "And his wered 

8 Vita Eadw. 402. " Elaborante Sti- wanode acfre \>e leng \>e swrlfor." 
gando . . qui etiam tunc medius ibat, pro- 


final resolution was that Godwine could hope for his peace only when 
he restored to him his brother JSlfred and his companions safe and 
sound. 1 It is inconceivable that such words can have formed part of 
a formal summons, but it is quite possible that they may have been 
uttered in mockery, either by the King or by his Norman Archbishop. 
But whatever was the form of the summons, Godwine and Harold 
refused to appear, unless they received hostages and a safe-conduct 
for their coming and going. 2 Without such security they could not 
safely appear in an Assembly which had sunk into a mere gathering 
of their enemies. 8 They had obeyed, and they would obey, the King 
in all things consistent with their safety and their honour. But both 
their safety and their honour would be at stake, if they appeared 
before such a tribunal without any sort of safeguard and without their 
usual retinue as Earls of two great Earldoms. 4 The demand was 
perfectly reasonable. 6 Godwine and his son could not be expected to 
appear without safeguards of any kind in such an assembly as that 
which now surrounded the King. The adjourned Gemdt had been 
summoned for the free and fair discussion of all disputes between two 
parties, each of which was declared to be in the full enjoyment of the 
King's peace and friendship. It was now turned into a Court, in 
which one son of Godwine had been outlawed without a crime or a 
hearing, in which Godwine himself was summoned to receive judge- 
ment on charges on one of which he had been years before solemnly 
acquitted. The hostages and the safe-conduct were refused. The 
refusal was announced by Stigand to the Earl as he sat at his evening 
meal. The Bishop wept ; the Earl sprang to his feet, overthrew the 
table, 8 sprang on his horse, and, with his sons, rode for his life all that 
night. 7 In the morning the King held his Witenagemdt, and by a 
vote of the King and his whole army, 8 Godwine and his sons were 

1 Vita Eadw. 402. " Eo [Rodberto] 5 Kemblc, ii. 231. «• They very pro- 
agente tandem a Rege prolata est in Du- perly declined, under such circumstances, 
cem haec indissolubilis caussse quae agebatur to appear." 

diffinitio ; Ilium scilicet a Rege tunc pri- 6 Vita Eadw. p. 402. " Flente nimium 

mum posse sperare pacem, ubi ei reddidit episcopo Stigando, qui hujus legationis 

vivum suum fratrem cum suis omnibus et mcerens bajulus erat, reppulit a se mensam 

quae eis viventibus vel inter fectis ablata qua adstabat, equis ascensis, viam ad Bosan- 

sunt cum integritate eorum." ham maritimam celerius tetendit." This 

2 Chron. Petrib. 1048. " Da geornde little touch, coming from a contemporary 
se eorl eft griftes and gisla, Jjaet he moste and friendly writer, increases our confi- 
hinde betellan act selc fsera jringa J>e him dence in the story of the Biographer, hard 
man onlede." as it is at first sight to reconcile it with 

8 William of Malmesbury (ii. 199), from the Chronicles, 

whom f get the materials of Godwine's 7 Chron. Wig. 1052. " For $a on niht 

answer, makes them call the Assembly awaeg ; and se cyng hsefde J?aes on morgen 

•' conventiculum factiosorum." witenagemot." 

4 Will. Malms, ii. 199. " Si veciant 8 lb. •• Se cyng . . . cwaed hine utlage, 

inermes, vitae timeri dispendium ; si paucos and eaU here." See above, p. 67. 
stipatores habeant, glorias fore opprobrium." 



declared outlaws, but five days were allowed them to get them out of 
the land. 1 By this time Godwine, Swegen, Tostig, and Gyrth, together 
with Gytha and Judith the newly-married wife of Tostig, had reached 
either Bosham or the South-Saxon Thorney. 8 There could be little 
doubt as to the course which they were to take. Flanders, Baldwines 
land, was the common refuge of English exiles, and Godwine and the 
Flemish Count are said to have been bound to one another by the tie 
of many mutual benefits. 8 It was at the court of Baldwin that Swegen 
had taken refuge in his exile, and the Count was the brother of 
Tostig's bride, whose bride-ale had been so cruelly interrupted by these 
sudden gatherings of Gemots and armies. 4 For Bruges then they set 
sail in a ship laded with as much treasure as it would hold. 8 They 
reached the court of Flanders in safety; they were honourably re- 
ceived by the Count, 6 and passed the whole winter with him. 7 

Godwine then, with the greater part of his family, 8 had found shelter 
in the quarter where English exiles of that age commonly did find 
shelter. But two of his sons sought quite another refuge. To seek 
shelter in Flanders, a land forming the natural point of intercommuni- 
cation between England, France, and Germany, was the obvious 
course for one whose first object, as we shall presently see, was to 
obtain his restoration by peaceful diplomacy. Such were the designs 
of Godwine, the veteran statesman, the man who never betook himself 
to force till all other means had been tried in vain. But Harold, still 
young, and at all times more vehement in temper than his father, had 
not yet learned this lesson. His high spirit chafed under his wrongs, 
and he determined from the first on a forcible return to his country, 
even, if need be, by the help of a foreign force. This determination 
is the least honourable fact recorded in Harold's life. It was indeed 

1 Chron. Petrib. 1048. "And sceawede 4 See above, p. 87. 

him mann v. nihta grift fit of lande to ° Chron. Wig. " Mid swa miclum gacr- 

farenne." See vol. i. p. 337. suman swa hi mihton Jwcr on mxst gelo- 

2 To "Bosenham," according to the gian to aelcum mannum." Cf. Florence 
Peterborough Chronicler and the Biogra- and the Biographer, 402. " Cum conjuge 
pher; to " Thornege," according to the et liberis et omnibus quae illius erant ad 
Worcester Chronicler and Florence. As it manum." 

is of course the South-Saxon Thorney near 8 " Cum magno honore." Vita Eadw. 

Chichester (see Lappenberg, 509) which 404. 

is meant, the two accounts no doubt merely 7 Chron. Petrib. "And gesohton Balde- 

refer to different stages of the same journey, wines grift, and wunodon peer ealne J>one 

3 Vita Eadw. 404. " Turn pro antiquae winter." Vita Eadw. 404. " Hiemati sunt 
foederationis jure, turn pro multorum ipsius a Comite Baldwino in Flandriam." 

Ducis beneficiorum vicissitudine." One 8 The younger members of the family, 

would like to know more of this con- Wulfnoth, Gunhild, JElfgifu, and Hakon 

nexion between Godwine and Baldwin, the son of Swegen, are not mentioned. 

It is odd, when we think of the war of They doubtless accompanied Godwine and 

1049, that the Biographer (p. 403) calls are included among the " liberi " of the 

Baldwin "antiquum Anglicae gentis ami- Biographer, 


no more than was usual with banished men in his age. It is what we 
have already seen done by Osgod Clapa; 1 it is what we shall pre- 
sently see done by JSlfgar the son of Leofric ; it was in fact the natural 
resource of every man of those times who found himself outlawed by 
any sentence, just or unjust. If we judge Harold harshly in this 
matter, we are in fact doing him the highest honour. So to judge him 
is in fact instinctively to recognize that he has a right to be tried by 
a higher standard than the mass of his contemporaries. Judged by 
such a standard, his conduct must be distinctly condemned; but it 
should be noticed that, among the various charges, true and false, 
which were brought against Harold, we never find any reference to 
this, which, according to our ideas, seems the worst action of his life. 
In company with his young brother Leofwine, 2 he despised the peace- 
ful shelter of Bruges, and preferred to betake himself to a land where, 
above all others, it would be easy to engage warlike adventurers in his 
cause. The eastern coast of Ireland, with the numerous towns peopled 
by Danish settlers, lay admirably suited for their purpose. Thither 
then the two brothers determined to make their way, with the fixed 
purpose of raising forces to effect their own return and to avenge their 
father's wrongs. 8 For the port of their departure they chose Bristol, 
a town in Swegen's Earldom, unknown to fame in the earlier days of 
our history, but which was now rising into great, though not very 
honourable, importance. The port on the Avon, the frontier stream 
of Wessex and Western Mercia, was the natural mart for a large 
portion of both those countries. Commanding, as it did, the whole 
navigation of the Channel to which it gives its name, Bristol was then, 
as now, the chief seat of communication between England and the 
South of Ireland. That is to say, it was in those days the chief seat 
of the Irish slave-trade. 4 In the haven of Bristol Earl Swegen had, 
for what cause we are not told, a ship made ready for himself. 5 The 
two brothers made the best of their way towards Bristol, in order to 
seize this ship for the purpose of their voyage to Ireland. Perhaps 
they had, wittingly or umvittingly, allowed their purpose of appealing 

1 See above, p. 64. of Malmesbury winds up his panegyric on 

2 ""Harold eorl and Leofwine," says the Gloucestershire (Gest. Pont, in Scriptt. p. 
Worcester Chronicle; the Biographer has Bed. 161); "In eadem valle est vicus 
" Haroldus et Leofricus " in the printed celeberrimus Bristow nomine, in quo est 
text, but it appears from the fly-leaf of navium portus ab Hibernia et Noregia et 
Mr. Luard's edition of Bartholomew ceteris transmarinis terris venientium re- 
Cotton that the true reading is " Leof- ceptaculum, ne scilicet genitalibus divitixs 
winus." The Peterborough Chronicle tarn fortunata regio peregrinarum opum 
mentions Harold only. fraudaretur commercio." 

5 Vita Eadw. 404. «• Transfretaverant 5 Chron. Wig. 1052. " Harold eorl and 

in Hiberniam, ut, inde adduct& militari Leofwine forau to Brycgstowe, on j?aet scip 

copia, patris ulciscerentur injuriam." )>e Swegen eorl haefde him silfum ser gege- 

* See vol. i. p. 225. Compare also the arcod and gemetsod." 
passage about Bristol with which William 

H 2 


to arms to become known. This would be the only excuse for an act 
on the King's part, which, in any other case, would be one of the most 
monstrous and unprovoked breaches of faith on record. It is not 
likely that the five days which had been allowed the outlaws to leave 
the country were yet passed. Harold and Leofwine would be sure to 
make better speed than that. Yet Bishop Ealdred, whose diocese of 
Worcester then took in the town of Bristol, was sent after them from 
London with a party to overtake them, if possible, before they got on 
ship-board. But the Bishop and his company were not zealous on an 
errand which had at least the appearance of shameless perfidy. They 
failed to overtake the fugitives ; " they could not or they would not," 
says the Chronicler. 1 Harold and Leofwine reached Bristol in safety. 
They went on board Swegen's ship ; stress of weather kept them for 
a while at the mouth of the Avon, but a favourable wind presently car- 
ried them to Ireland. 2 They were there favourably received by Dermot 
or Diarmid Mac Mael-na-mbo, King of Dublin and Leinster. 3 He 
was a prince of native Irish descent, who had lately (1050) obtained 
possession of the Danish district round Dublin, and whose authority 
seems to have been acknowledged by the Danes as well as by the 
Irish. 4 In such a state of things it would not be difficult to find bold 
spirits ready for any adventure, and a King whose position must have 
been somewhat precarious would doubtless welcome any chance of 
getting rid of some of them. Diarmid gave Harold and Leofwine as 
kind a reception at Dublin as the rest of the family had found from 

1 Chron. Wig. 1052. "And se cining This fact should be noticed, because ft 
sende Ealdred biscop of Lundene mid seems to show that he was not considered 
genge, and sceoldon hine ofridan aer he as being out of the king's dominions ; or, 
to scipe come. Ac hi ne mihton oo*$e hi in other words, that the opposite coast of 
jioldon." Compare the unwillingness of Ireland was part of Eadward's realm." 
the Earls under Harthacnut to act against This is rather slight evidence, even with 
Worcester, vol. i. p. 348. According to the further support of a spurious charter 
the Biographer (403), Godwine was also (see vol. i. p. 43), to prove that Ireland, 
pursued, through the devices of Archbishop or its eastern coast, was part of the English 
Robert. Empire. Lappenberg (510; Mr. Thorpe's 
8 Chron. Wig. u. s. version, ii. 250, again does not represent 
3 Vita Eadw. 404. M Hiemati sunt a the original) saw that, odd as the expres- 
Rege Dermodo in Hiberniam." These sion is, an Irish King must be meant, and 
words at once explain the whole matter, now the Life of Eadward puts the matter 
and give us the true explanation of the beyond doubt. The " grift " of Diarmid 
otherwise difficult expression in the Peter- answers to the " grift " of Baldwin, 
^borough Chronicle, " Harold eorl gewende # 4 Diarmid conquered the Fine-gall or 
west to Yrlande, and ware Jwer ealne j?one Danish district in 1052, according to the 
winter, on )>es cynges gritSe." Sir Francis Four Masters (ii. 860) and Dr. Todd 
Palgrave (Hist. Ang. Sax. 342) takes this (Wars of Gaedhill and Gail), 291) ; in 
King to be Eadward, and says, " Harold 1050, according to the Chronica Scotorum, 
crossed to Ireland, and he was so far 280. The incidental evidence of the Bio- 
favoured as to be allowed to remain in grapher shows the earlier date to be the 
that country under the king's protection. Tight one. 


Baldwin at Bruges, and they stayed at hi& court through the whole 
winter, plotting schemes of vengeance. 

One member only of the family of Godwine still remained to be 
disposed of. What had been the position or the feelings of Eadgyth 
during the scenes which have been just described we have no means 
of knowing ; but she too was doomed to have her share in the down- 
fall of her father's house. The English Lady, the daughter of God- 
wine, could not be allowed to share the honours of royalty, now that 
all her kinsfolk were driven from the land, 1 now that the reign of the 
Normans was about to set in. The language of one contemporary 
authority seems almost to imply an actual divorce, of which Arch- 
bishop Robert was of course the main instigator J* The lawfulness or 
possibility of divorce in sucta a case might fonn a curious subject of 
speculation for those who are learned in the Canon Law. Eadward 
consented, perhaps willingly, to the separation ; he allowed the Lady 
to be deprived of all her goods, real and personal; 3 but he inter- 
fered at least to save her from personal ignominy. Eadgyth was sent, 
with no lack of respect or royal attendance, 4 to the royal monastery 
of Wherwell, 5 and was there entrusted to the safe keeping of the 
Abbess. This Abbess was a sister of the King, 8 no doubt one of the 
daughters of JEthelred by his first wife. One of the widows of the 
slain and banished Earls v the relict of the traitor Eadric or of the hero 
Ulfcytel, 7 had taken the veil in the holy house of Eadgar and JElf- 
thryth, 8 and she could there confer withr her guest on the uncertainty 
of human happiness and the emptiness of human greatness*. 

The whole of this history of the fall of Godwine is most remark- 
able; and it is singular that, though it is told in great detail in three 

1 Will. Malms, ii. 199. " Ne scilicet pedissequfi, ad Hwereweallam earn sine ho- 
omnibus suis parentibus patriam suspiranti- nore misit." In the Life of Eadward 
bus sola sterteret in plum&." This odd (403), on the other hand, we read, ** Cum 
phrase sounds like a real sneer of some regio honore et imperiali comitatu, mcerens 
contemporary Frenchman. tamen perducitun" The narrative, ad- 

2 Vita Eadw. 403. See above, p. 30. dressed to Eadgyth herself, is here the 
Florence says " repudiavit." better authority. 

8 The Worcester Chronicle, Florence, 5 Wherwell, according to all our autho- 

and the Biographer do not mention the rities, except the Biographer. He says 

seizure of the Lady's property. The Peter- Wilton. As he could hardly be mistaken 

borough Chronicle says, " )>a forlet se cyng on sueh a point, and as the evidence for 

pa. hhefdian, seo wsbs gehalgod him to Wherwell seems conclusive, we must set 

cwene, and let ninian of hire eall J>set heo down Wilton as a clerical error, 

ahte on lande and on golde and on seol- 6 The Worcester Chronicle, Florence, 

fre." So William of Malmesbury ; " Om- and the Biographer do not mention the 

nis reginae substantia ad unum nummum kindred of the Abbess with the King; 

emuncta." it is asserted by the Peterborough Chro- 

4 Both the Chronicles are quite colour- nicle and by William of Malmesbury. 

less on this head ; it is simply " man 7 On the daughters of -flEthelred, see 

gebrohte," "betaehte." So William of vol. i. pp. 222, 224, 233, 278, 433, 455* 

Malmesbury. But Florence says "Cum una * See vol. i. p. 211* 


distinct accounts, so much still remains which is far from being intel- 
ligible. The first point which at once strikes us is the strength of 
Godwine in the Gem6t of Gloucester and his weakness in the Gem6t 
of London. Next year indeed we shall see the tide turn yet again ; 
we shall behold Godwine return in triumph with the good will of all 
England. This is of course no difficulty ; it would be no difficulty, 
even if popular feeling had been thoroughly against Godwine during 
the former year. Englishmen welcomed Godwine back again, because 
they had learned what it was to be without him. But the change of 
Godwine's position during that eventful September of which we have 
just gone through the history is certainly perplexing. At Beverstone 
and at Gloucester he appears at the head of the whole force of 
Wessex, East-Anglia, and part of Mercia. All are zealous in his 
cause, ready, if need be, to fight in his quarrel against the King him- 
self. He is clearly not without well-wishers even in the ranks of the 
Northern Earldoms. A compromise is brought about in which his 
honour is carefully guarded, and in which his party and the King's 
party are studiously put on equal terms. In the London Gem<St, 
a few weeks later, all is changed. His followers gradually drop away 
from him; he does not venture to take his place in the Assembly 
which he had so often swayed at his pleasure ; he is dealt with as an 
accused, almost as a convicted, criminal; he is subjected with im- 
punity to every sort of unjust and irritating treatment ; and he is at 
last driven to flee from the land, without a blow being struck, almost 
without a voice being raised, in his behalf. Such a falling away is 
difficult to understand; it is hard to see how Godwine could have 
given fresh offence to any one in the time between the conference at 
Gloucester and his appearance at Southwark. Norman flatterers and 
talebearers may have fanned the King's prejudice against him into a 
still hotter flame ; but there is at first sight nothing to account for the 
desertion of his own followers. As for the Northern Earls and their 
followers, they had no ground of jealousy against Godwine in London 
which they had not equally at Gloucester; and at Gloucester they 
clearly were not disposed to push matters to extremities. Still it was 
clearly the number and strength of the following of Siward and Leofric 
in the London Gemdt which decided the day against Godwine. The 
Earl of the West- Saxons was entrapped. He and his party came as 
to a peaceful assembly, and they found the King and his foreign 
followers bent on their destruction, and a powerful military force 
assembled to crush them. But why did even Siward lend himself to a 
scheme like this ? Why, still more, did Leofric forsake the part, which 
he had so often and so worthily played, of mediator between extreme 
parties ? Unless we are to believe, which one would not willingly do, 
that Leofric was won by the bait of Harold's Earldom for his son, we 
can only suppose that a mistaken feeling of loyalty hindered him from 


opposing a project on which he saw that the King was fully bent It is 
in his position aflld that of Siward that the main difficulty lies. When 
Godwine found himself face to face with all the strength of Northern 
England, the rest of the story becomes more intelligible. He had 
come expecting a fair discussion of all the questions at issue. But 
fair discussion was not to be had amid the clash of the axes of 
Siward's Danes and of the lances of Ralph's Frenchmen. Godwine 
had really no choice but to fight or to yield. Had he chosen to fight, 
the whole force of Wessex and East-Anglia would no doubt have 
soon been again at his command. But he shrank from a civil war ; 
he saw that it was better policy to bide his time, to yield, even to flee, 
certain that a revulsion of national feeling would soon demand his 
recall. Such a course was doubtless wise and patriotic ; but it was 
not one which would be at the time either acceptable or intelligible to 
the mass of his followers. If he meant to resist, he should doubtless 
have resisted at once; the hopes of an insurrection always lie in 
promptness and energy ; every hour of delay only adds to the strength 
of the other side. We can thus understand how men began to fall 
off from a chief who, it might be said, dared not meet his sovereign 
either in arms or in council. Still, after all, there is something 
strange in the details of the story. There is something amazing in so 
sudden and so utter a fall, not only from the general exaltation of 
himself and his family, but from the proud and threatening position 
which he had so lately held at Beverstone and Gloucester. It is 
not wonderful that Godwine's fall from such an unparalleled height of 
greatness made a deep impression on the minds of the men of his 
own age. The Biographer of Eadward, who had before likened the 
children of Godwine to the rivers of Paradise, 1 now deems it a fitting 
occasion to call upon his Muse to set forth the sufferings of the 
innocent, and to compare the outlawed Earl to Susanna, Joseph, and 
other ancient victims of slander. 2 The plain English of the Chronicler 
who is less strongly committed to Godwine's cause speaks more di- 
rectly to the heart ; " That would have seemed wonderful to ilk man 
that in England was, if any man ere that had said that so it should 
be. For that ere that he was so upheaven, so that he wielded the King 
and all England, and his sons were Earls and the King's darjings, and 
his daughter to the King wedded and married." 8 He fell from his 
high estate ; but in his fall he doubtless foresaw that the day of his 
restoration was not far distant. Another Gem6t of London was soon 

1 Vita Eadw. 397. See Appendix F. Jwet hit swa gewurjjan sceolde. ForSam 

2 Vita Eadw. 403. Twenty hexameters j>e he waes acr to >am swyce up ahafen, 
are devoted to the comparison. swyfte he weolde }>aes cynges and ealles 

5 Chron. Wig. 1052. " part wolde Englalandes, and his sunan waeron eorlas 
$yncan wundorlic aelcum men )>e on Eng- and }>aes cynges dyrliogas, and his dohtor 
lalande waes, gif aenig man aer ]nm sacde j>aem cynge bewedded and beawnod." 


to repeal the unrighteous vote of its predecessor ; the champion of 
England was to return for a moment to his old honours and his old 
power, and then to hand them on to a son even more worthy of them 
than himself. 

But for the moment the overthrow of the patriotic leaders 
was complete. The dominion of the strangers over the mind of 
the feeble King was fully assured. The Norman Conquest, in 
short, might now seem to have more than begun.' Honours and 
offices were of course divided among the foreigners and among 
those Englishmen who had stood on the King's side. Through 
the banishment of Godwine and his sons three great Earldoms 
were vacant. No one Earl of the West-Saxons seems to have been 
appointed. Probably, as in the early days of Cnut, 1 the Imperial 
Kingdom, or at least its greater portion, was once more put under 
the immediate government of the Crown. The anomalous Earldom 
of Swegen was dismembered. The King's nephew Ralph seems 
to have been again invested with the government of its Mercian 
portions, 2 Of the two West-Saxon shires held by Swegen, Berkshire 
is not mentioned, but Somersetshire was joined with the other western 
parts of Wessex to form a new government under Odda, a kinsman 
of the King." 3 His Earldom took in the whole of the ancient Wealh- 
cyn, but it is now Cornwall only which is distinguished as Welsh. 
The policy of JSthelstan 4 had been effectual, and no part of the 
island east of the Tamar is now looked on as a foreign land. Odda 
was a special favourite of the monks, and is spoken of as a man of 
good and clean life, who in the end became a monk himself. 6 The 
third Earldom, that of East-Anglia, hitherto held by Harold, was 
bestowed on JSlfgar the son of Leofric, 8 of whom we hear for the 
first time during these commotions. He had himself, it would seem, 
played a prominent part in them, 7 and one would wish to believe that 
his promotion was the reward of acts of his own, rather than of his 

1 Sec vol. i. pp. 273. Ab. and Fl. Wig. in anno. Florence seems 
8 See Appendix G. to translate " clacne " by " virginitatis 
8 See Appendix G. Compare the Earl- custos." He built the present church of 
doms granted by Richard the First to his Deerhurst (see vol. i. p. 237), as an offer- 
brother John in 11 89 (Ben. Petrib. ii. 99). ing for the soul of his brother ^Blfric. 
" Comitatum Cornubiae et comitatum De- See Earle, p. 345. 

voni*, et comitatum de Dorseta et comi- • Chron. Petrib. 1048 ; Will. Malms, ii. 

tatum de Sumerseta." Devonshire and 199. " Comitates ejus [Haroldi] attri- 

Somersetshire have a different grammatical butus Elgaro, Leofrici filio, viro industrio ; 

construction in Latin as well as in Old- quern ille suscipiens tunc rexit nobiliter, 

English. See the Chronicles, 1051, 105a. reverso restituit libenter." 

4 See vol. i. p. 209. T The Biographer (401, a) mentions his 

* Chron. Wig. 1056. " Se wacs to coming to Gloucester along with his father 

munece gehadod aes his ende, god man and Siward. 
and clacne and swifje «Sele. M Cf. Chron. 


father's seeming desertion of the patriotic cause.. Among churchmen, 
Spearhafoc, who had throughout the summer and autumn held the 
see of London without consecration, 1 had now to give up his doubtful 
possession. The Bishoprick was then given to a Norman named 
William, a chaplain of the King. 2 A man might now go from the 
Straits of Dover to the Humber, over Kentish, East-Saxon, and 
Danish ground, without once in the course of his journey going out 
of the spiritual jurisdiction of Norman Prelates. It is due however 
to Bishop William to say that he bears a very different character in 
our history from either his Metropolitan Robert or his fellow-suffragan 
Ulf. Banished for a while, he was restored when the patriotic party 
was in the height of its power — a distinct witness in his favour, 
perhaps a witness against his English competitor. 8 William kept 
his Bishoprick for many years, and lived to welcome his namesake 
and native prince to the throne of England. But he had not to wait 
for so distant an opportunity of displaying his new honours in the 
eyes of his natural sovereign. While Godwine dwelt as an exile at 
Bruges, while Harold was planning schemes of vengeance in the 
friendly court of Dublin, William the Bastard first set foot on the 
shores of England. 4 

We are thus at last brought face to face with the two great actors 
in our history. Harold has already appeared before us. We have seen 
him raised at an early age to the highest rank open to a subject ; we 
have seen him, in the cause of his country, deprived of his honours 
and driven to take refuge in a foreign land. His great rival we have 
as yet heard of only at a distance ; he now comes directly on the field. 
There can be no doubt that William's visit to England forms a stage, 
and a most important one, among the immediate causes of the Norman 
Conquest. I pause then, at this point, to take up the thread of Nor- 
man history, and to give a sketch of the birth, the childhood, the early 
reign, of the man who, in the year of Godwine's banishment, saw for 
the first time the land which, fifteen years later, he was to claim as* 
his own. 

1 See above, p. 79. 3 Flor. Wig. 105 2. 

2 Chron. Wig. 1052; Petrib. 1048 ; 4 Chron. Wig. 1052 ; Flor. Wig. 1051. 
Flor. Wig. 105 1. 



A.D. I028-I05I. 

§ 1. Birth, Character ', and Accession of William. 

a.d. 1028-1035. 

William, King of the English and Duke of the Normans, bears a 
name which must for ever stand forth among the foremost of man- 
kind. No man that ever trod this earth was ever endowed with greater 

1 In this Chapter I have had of course Abbot of Saint Michael's Mount, commonly 
mainly to depend on the Norman writers called Robert de Monte (see Pertz, vi. 
as my authorities. The Latin writers are 475). William of Jumifeges begins to be 
to be found in the great collection of a contemporary writer in William's reign ; 
Duchesne. The first place is of course with perhaps smaller opportunities of in- 
due to William of Poitiers. His Gesta formation than William of Poitiers, he is 
Guillelmi has every advantage which can less violently prejudiced, and his work is 
belong to the writings of a well-informed of great value. His narrative forms the 
contemporary. But the work is disfigured groundwork of the poetical history in the 
by his constant spirit of violent partizanship Roman de Rou. Its author, Master Wace, 
(see above, p. 1). He must therefore be Canon of Bayeux early in the reign of 
always followed with great caution, and in Henry the Second, seems to have been a 
all purely English matters he is utterly really honest and painstaking inquirer, and 
untrustworthy. The beginning of his work I do not look on his work as being any 
is lost, so that we have no account from the less trustworthy on account of its 
him of his » hero's birth and childhood, poetical shape. But of course, whenever 
William Calculus, a monk of Jumieges, he departs from contemporary authority, 
according to Orderic (Prol. ad Lib. iii. p. and merely sets down floating traditions 
458), abridged Dudo, and continued the nearly a hundred years after the latest 
History of Normandy, through the reigns events which he recordsi his statements 
of Richard the*Good, Richard the Third, need to be very carefully weighed. I have 
Robert, and of William himself down to used M. Pluquet's edition (Rouen, 1827) 
the Battle of Senlac (Ord. Vit. 618 D), and the English Translation of part of the 
presenting his work to William himself, work by Mr. Edgar Taylor, whose genea- 
This portion of the existing work ends at logical and topographical notes are of great 
lib. vii. c. 42. He seems afterwards to value. The other riming chronicler, Benoit 
have added the account of William's death de Sainte-More, a younger contemporary 
(vii. 44), in which William of Poitiers and of Wace, is of a far more romantic turn, 
Guy of Amiens are spoken of. An eighth and is therefore of much smaller historical 
book, together with many interpolations in authority. Still he also preserves many 
the earlier books, were added by a later curious traditions. Orderic Vital, whose 
hand, apparently by Robert of Torigny, work afterwards becomes of such pre- 



natural gifts ; to no man was it ever granted to accomplish greater 
things. If we look only to the scale of a man's acts without regard to 
their moral character, we must hail in the victor of Val-es-dunes, of 
Varaville, and of Senlac, in the restorer of Normandy, the Conqueror 
of England, one who may fairly claim his place in the first rank of the 
world's greatest men. No man ever did his work more thoroughly at 
the moment ; no man ever left his work behind him as more truly an 
abiding possession for all time. And when we consider all the cir- 
cumstances of his life, when we judge him by the standard of his own 
age, above all when we compare him with those who came after him 
in his own house, we shall perhaps be inclined to dwell on his great 
qualities, on his many undoubted virtues, rather than to put his no less 
undoubted crimes in their darkest light. As we cannot refuse to place 
him among the greatest of men, neither will a candid judgement incline 
us to place him among the worst of men. If we cannot give him a 
niche among pure patriots and heroes, he is quite as little entitled to a 
place among mere tyrants and destroyers. William of Normandy 
has no claim to a share in the pure glory of Timoledn, J31fred, and 
Washington ; he cannot even claim the more mingled fame of 
Alexander, Charles, and Cnut ; but he has even less in common with 
the mere enemies of their species, with the Nabuchodonosors, the 
Swegens, and the Buonapartes, whom God has sent from time to time 
as simple scourges of a guilty world. Happily there are few men in 
history of whom we have better materials for drawing the portrait. 
We see him as he appeared to admiring followers of his own race ; we 
see him also as he appeared to men of the conquered nation who had 
looked on him and had lived in his household. 1 We have to make 
allowance for flattery on the one side ; we have not to make allow- 
ance for calumny on the other. The feeling with which the Normans 
looked on their conquering leader was undoubtedly one of awe rather 
than of love ; and the feeling with which the vanquished English 
looked on their Qwiqueror was undoubtedly one of awe rather than of 
simple hatred. Assuredly William's English subjects did not love 
him ; but they felt a kind of sullen reverence for the King who was 
richer and mightier than all the Kings that were before him. In 
speaking of him, the Chronicler writes as it were with downcast eyes 
and bated breath, as if he were hardly dealing with a man of like 
passions with himself, but were rather drawing the portrait of a being 

1 Chron. Petrib. 1087. " Gif hwa ge- 
wilnigeft to gewitane hu gedon mann he 
waes, o'SSe hwilcne wurftscipe he hsefde, 
o$$e hu fela lande he waere hi a ford, )>onne 
wille we be him awritan swa swa we hine 
ageaton, \>e him on locodan and diSre hwile 
on his hirede wunedon." 

eminent importance, is just now beginning 
to be of use, but as yet his main value is 
for information about Norman families and 
Norman monasteries. But his constant 
repetitions and utter lacjc of arrangement 
make him still more difficult to read or 
consult than William of Malmesbury him- 


of another nature. Yet he holds the balance fairly between the dark 
and the bright qualities of one so far raised above the common lot of 
man. He does not conceal bis crimes and his oppressions ; but he 
sets before us the merits of his government and the good peace that he 
made in this land ; he judicially sums up what was good and what was 
evil in him ; he warns men to follow the good and to avoid the evil, 
and he sends him out of the world with a charitable prayer for the 
repose of his soul. And at the moment when he wrote, it was no 
marvel if the Chronicler was inclined to dwell on the good rather than 
on the evil. The Crown of WHliam passed to one who shared largely 
in his mere intellectual gifts, but who had no fellowship in the greater 
and nobler elements of his character^ To- appreciate William the Con- 
queror we have but to cast our glance onwards to William the Red. 
We shall then understand how men writhing under the scorpions of the 
son might well look back with regret to the whips of the father. We 
can understand how, under his godless rule, men might feel kindly 
towards the memory of one who never wholly cast away the thoughts 
of justice and mercy, and who in his darkest hours had still somewhat 
of the fear of God before his eyes. 

In estimating the character of William one feature stands out 
preeminently above all others. Throughout his career we admire in 
him the embodiment, in the highest degree that human nature will 
allow, of the fixed purpose and the unbending will. From time to 
time there have been men who seem to have come into the world to 
sway the course of events at their good pleasure, men who have made 
destiny itself their vassal, and whose decrees it seems in vain for lesser 
men to seek to withstand. Such was the man who, with the blood of 
thousands reeking on his hands, could lay down despotic power, could 
walk unattended to his house, and calmly offer to give an account for 
any of his actions ;* and such in might, though assuredly not such in 
crime, was our first Norman King. Whatever the will of William 
decreed, he found a means to bring it about Whatever his hand 
found to do, he did it with all his might. As a warrior, as a general, 
it is needless to sound his praises. His warlike exploits set him among 
the foremost captains of history, but his warlike exploits are but the 
smallest part of his fame. Others beside him might have led the 
charge at Val-es- dunes ; others beside him might have chosen the 
happy moment for the ambush at Varaville ; others beside him might 
have endured the weariness of the long blockade beneath the donjon of 
Brionne. Others, it may even be, beside him might have cut their 
way through palisade and shield-wall and battle-axe to the royal 
Standard of England. But none in his own age, and few in any age, 
have shown themselves like him masters of every .branch of the con- 
summate craft of the statesman. Calm and clearsighted, he saw his 

1 See the article "Lucius Cornelius Sulla," Historical Essays, Second Series. 


object before him ; he knew when to tarry and when to hasten ; he 
knew when to strike and how to strike, and how to use alike the 
noblest and the vilest of men as his instruments. Utterly unscrupulous, 
though far from unprincipled, taking no pleasure in wrong or oppres- 
sion for its own sake, always keeping back his hands from needless 
bloodshed, he yet never shrank from force or fraud, from wrong or 
bloodshed or oppression, when they seemed to him the straightest 
paths to accomplish his purpose. His crimes admit of no denial ; but, 
with one single exception, they never were wanton crimes. And when 
we come to see the school in which he was brought up, when we see 
the men whom he had to deal with from his childhood, our wonder really 
ought to be that his crimes were not infinitely blacker. His personal 
virtues were throughout life many and great. We hear much of his 
piety, and we see reason to believe that his piety was something more 
than the mere conventional piety of lavish gifts to monasteries. 
Punctual in every exercise of devotion, paying respect and honour 
of every kind to religion and its ministers, William showed, in two 
ways most unusual among the princes of that age, that his zeal for 
holy things was neither hypocrisy nor fanaticism nor superstition. Like 
his illustrious contemporary on the Imperial throne, he appeared as a 
real ecclesiastical reformer, and he allowed the precepts of his religion 
to have a distinct influence on his private life. He was one of the few 
princes of that age whose hands were perfectly clean from the guilt of 
simony. His ecclesiastical appointments for the most part do him 
honour; the patron of Lanfranc and Anselm can never be spoken of 
without respect. In his personal conduct he practised at least one 
most unusual virtue ; in a profligate age he was a model of conjugal 
fidelity. He was a good and faithful friend, an affectionate brother— 
we must perhaps add, too indulgent a father. And strong as was his 
sense of religion, deep as was his reverence for the Church, open- 
handed as was his bounty to her ministers, no prince that ever reigned 
was less disposed to yield to ecclesiastical usurpations. No prince 
ever knew better how to control the priesthood within his own 
dominions ; none knew better both how to win the voice of Rome to 
abet his purposes, and how to bid defiance to her demands when they 
infringed on the rights of his Crown and the laws of his Kingdom, 
While all Europe rang with the great strife of Pope and Caesar, Eng- 
land and Normandy remained at peace under the rule of one who 
knew how, firmly and calmly, to hold his own against Hildebrand 
himself. 1 

1 The philo-Roman side of William's Willihelmi Regis, qui totam Anglorum 

character is strongly set forth by the Papal terrain Romano Pontifici tributariam fecit, 

writer Beraold, Pertz, v. 439. Under the nee aliquem in su& potestate aliquid emere 

year 1084 he thus records the death of vel vendere permisit, quern Apostolicae sedi 

Matilda ; " Regina Ahglorum obiit, uxor inobedientem deprehendit." Here we may 


But to know what William was, no way is so clear as to see what 
William did in both the countries over which he was so strangely 
called to rule. We are too apt to look on him simply as the Con- 
queror of England. But so to do is to look at him only in his most 
splendid, but at the same time his least honourable, aspect. William 
learned to become the Conqueror of England only by first becoming 
the Conqueror of Normandy and the Conqueror of France. He 
found means to conquer Normandy by the help of France and to 
conquer France by the help of Normandy. He turned a jealous 
over-lord into an effective ally against his rebellious subjects, and he 
turned those rebellious subjects into faithful supporters against that 
jealous over-lord. He came to his Duchy under every disadvantage. 
At once bastard and minor, with competitors for his coronet arising 
at every moment, with turbulent barons to hold in check and envious 
neighbours to guard against, he was throughout the whole of his early 
life beset by troubles, none of which were of his own making, and he 
came honourably out of all. The change which William wrought in 
Normandy was nothing less than a change from anarchy to good 
order. Instead of a state torn by internal feuds and open to the 
attacks of every enemy, his Duchy became, under his youthful rule, a 
loyal and well-governed land, respected by all its neighbours, and 
putting most of them to shame by its prosperity. In the face of 
every obstacle, the mighty genius of the once despised Bastard raised 
himself and his principality to a place in the eyes of Europe such as 
Normandy and its prince had never held before. And these great 
successes were gained with far less of cruelty or harshness than 
might have been looked for in so ruthless an age. He shared indeed 
in the fierce passions of his race, and in one or two cases his 
wrath hurried him, or his policy beguiled him, into acts at which 
humanity shudders. At all stages of his life, if he was debonair to 
those who would do his will, he was beyond measure stern to all who 
withstood it. 1 Yet when we think of all that he went through, of the 
treachery and ingratitude which he met with on every side, how his 
most faithful friends were murdered beside him, how he himself had 
to flee for his life or to lurk in mean disguises, we shall see that it is 
not without reason that his panegyrist praises his general forbearance 
and clemency. In short, the reign of William as Duke of the Nor- 
mans was alike prosperous and honourable in the highest degree. 

welcome an indirect tribute to the com- is rather oddly altered in the version of 

parative independence of England under Robert of Gloucester (p. 374) ; 

her native Kings. " To hem J?at wolde his wyUe do, debo- 

1 Chron. Petrib. 1087. "He wses milde nere he was and mylde, 

)>am godum mannum j>e God lufedon, and And to hem ]?at hym wy)? seyde strong 

ofer eall gemett stearc )>am mannum ]>t tyrant and wylde." 
wiftcwaedon his willan." The former clause 


Had he never stretched forth his hand to grasp the diadem which was 
another's, his fame would not have filled the world as now it does, but 
he would have gone down to his grave as one of the best, as well as 
one of the greatest, rulers of his time. 

If we turn from William Duke of the Normans to William King of 
the English, we may indeed mourn that, in a moral sense, the fine 
gold has become dim, but our admiration for mere greatness, for the 
highest craft of the statesman and the soldier, will rise higher than 
ever. No doubt he was highly favoured by fortune ; nothing but an 
extraordinary combination of events could have made the Conquest of 
England possible. But then it is the true art of statesmanship, the art 
by which men like William carry the world before them, to know how 
to grasp every fortunate moment and to take advantage of every 
auspicious turn of events. Doubtless William could never have 
conquered England except under peculiarly favourable circumstances; 
but men none but such a man as William could have conquered Eng- 
land under any circumstances at all. He conquered and retained a 
land far greater than his paternal Duchy, and a land in which he had 
not a single, native partizan. Yet he contrived to put himself forward 
in the eyes of the world as a legal claimant and not as an unprovoked 
invader. We must condemn the fraud, but we cannot help admiring 
the skill, by which he made men believe that he was the lawful heir of 
England, shut out from his inheritance by a perjured usurper. Never 
was a more subtle web of fallacy woven by the craft of man ; never 
did diplomatic ingenuity more triumphantly obtain its end. He con- 
trived to make an utterly unjust aggression bear the aspect, not only 
of righteous, but almost of holy, warfare. The wholesale spoiler of a 
Christian people contrived to win for himself something very like the 
position of a Crusader. And, landed on English ground, with no 
rights but those of his own sword, with no supporters but his own 
foreign army, he yet contrived to win the English Crown with every 
circumstance of formal legality. He was elected, crowned, and 
anointed like his native predecessors, and he swore at the hands of an 
English Primate to observe the ancient laws of England By force 
and by craft, but with the outward pretext of law always put pro- 
minently forward, he won, step by step, full possession of the whole 
land ; he deprived the nation one by one of its native leaders, and put 
in their places men of foreign birth and wholly dependent on him- 
self. No prince ever more richly rewarded those to whom he owed 
his Crown, but no prince ever took more jealous care that they should 
never be able to bring his Crown into jeopardy. None but a man 
like him could have held down both conquerors and conquered, and 
have made his will the only law for Norman and Englishman alike. 
His consummate policy guarded against the dangers which he saw 
rife in every other country ; he put the finishing stroke to the work of 


Ecgberht, and made England the most united Kingdom in Western 
Christendom. Normans and Englishmen conspired against him, and 
called the fleets and hosts of Denmark to their help. But William 
held his own alike against revolters at home and against invaders 
from abroad. Norman and English rebels were alike crushed ; some- 
times the Dane was bought off, sometimes he shrank from the firm 
array with which the land was guarded. All opposition was quelled 
by fire and sword ; but when it was quelled, whenever and wherever 
William's rule was quietly accepted, his hand was heavy upon all 
smaller disturbers of the peace of the world. Life, property, female 
honour, stood indeed but a small chance while the process of Con- 
quest was going on, but, when William's work was fully accomplished, 
they were safer under him than they had ever been under England's 
native Kings. As the stern avenger of crime, even the conquered 
learned to bless him, and to crown his good deeds with a tribute of 
praise hardly inferior to that which waits on the name of his illustrious 
rival. 1 

Here then was a career through which none but one of the greatest 
of mankind could have passed successfully. But it was a career 
which brought out into full play all those darker features of his 
character which found but little room for their developement during 
his earlier reign in his native Duchy. There is no reason to believe 
that William came into England with any fixed determination to rule 
otherwise in England than he had already ruled in Normandy. Cnut 
can hardly fail to have been his model, and William's earliest days in 
England were far more promising than the earliest days of Cnut. At 
no time of his life does William appear as one of those tyrants who 
actually delight in oppression, to whom the infliction of human suffer- 
ing is really a source of morbid pleasure. But if he took no pleasure 
in the infliction of suffering, it was at least a matter about which he 
was utterly reckless ; he stuck at no injustice which was needed to 
carry out his purpose. His will was fixed, to win and to keep the 
Crown of England at all hazards. We may well believe that he would 
have been well pleased could he have won that Crown without blood- 
shed. But, rather than not win it, he did not shrink from the guilt of 
carrying on a desolating war against a people who had never wrbnged 
him. We may well believe that, when he swore to govern his new 
subjects as well as they had been governed by their own Kings, it was 

1 Chron. Petrib. 1087. " Betwyx oftrum the good government of Eadwine, Alfred, 

jnngum nis na to forgytane j>act gode fri© and others. The writer carries out the 

j>e he macode on )usan lande, swa J?aet an panegyric on William's strict police at 

man ]>e himsylf aht ware mihte faran ofer some length. All this is of course praise 

his rice mid his bosum full goldes ungede- of exactly the same kind as that bestowed 

rad." This last is of course the same tra- on Godwine and Harold. See above, pp. 

ditional formula which is used to set forth 21, 25, and the passages there referred to. 


his full purpose to keep his oath. That he acted on any settled 
scheme of uprooting the nationality, the laws, or the language of 
England is an exploded fable. 1 But he could not govern England as 
he had governed Normandy ; he could not govern England as Cnut 

. had governed England; he could not himself be as Cnut, neither could 
» his Normans be as Cnut's Danes. He gradually found that there was 
no way for him to govern England save by oppressions, exactions, arid 
confiscations, by the bondage or the death of the noblest of the land. 
He made the discovery, and he shrank not from its practical conse- 
quences. A reign which had begun with as good hopes as the reign 
of a foreign conqueror could begin with gradually changed into one 
of the most tremendous tyrannies on record. Northumberland was 
hard to be kept in order, and Northumberland was made a desert. 
This was the dictate of a relentless policy; but when William had 
once set forth on the downward course of evil, he soon showed that 
he could do wrong when no policy commanded it, merely to supply 
means for his personal pleasure. To lay waste Hampshire merely to 
make a hunting-ground was a blacker crime than to lay waste North- 

« humberland to rid himself of a political danger. He could still be 
merciful when mercy was not dangerous, but he had now learned to 
shed innocent blood without remorse, if its shedding seemed to add 
safety to his throne. The repeated revolts of Eadgar were forgiven as 
often as they occurred ; but Waltheof, caressed, flattered, promoted, 
was sent to the scaffold on the first convenient pretext. It is hardly 
superstitious to point out, alike with ancient and with modern authori- 
ties, 8 that the New Forest became a spot fatal to William's house, and 
that, after the death of Waltheof, his old prosperity forsook him. 
Nothing indeed occurred to loosen his hold on England ; but his last 
years were spent in bickerings with his unworthy son, and in a petty 
border warfare, in which the Conqueror had, for the first time, to 
undergo defeat. At last he found his death- wound in an inglorious 
quarrH in the personal commission of cruelties which aroused the 
indignation of his own age; and the mighty King and Conqueror, 
forsaken by his servants and children, had to owe his funeral rites to 
the voluntary charity of a loyal vassal, and within the walls of his own 
minster he could not find an undisputed grave. 

Such was William the Great, a title which, in the mouths of his 
contemporaries, he shared with Alexander and with Charles, but 
which in later times has been displaced by the misunderstood de- 
scription of Conqueror. 8 But before he had won any right to either of 

1 I conceive that this idea owes its pre- a See Palgrave, iii. 522. 

valence mainly to the false Ingulf; still 8 On the surnames of William see Ap- 

we have to account for the notion pre- pendix T. 
senting itself to the mind of the forger. 

VOL. II. 1 


those lofty titles, William was already known by another surname 
drawn from the circumstances of his birth. Of all princely lines the 
ducal house of Normandy was that which paid least regard to the 
canonical laws of marriage or to the special claims of legitimate birth. 1 
The Duchy had been ruled by a whole succession of princes who 
either were sprung from that irregular kind of union which was known 
as the Danish marriage, 2 or else were the sons of concubines raised to 
the rank of wives after the birth of their children. But, among all 
this brood of spurious or irregular heirs, the greatest of the whole line 
was the one to whom .the reproach, if reproach it was deemed, of 
illegitimate birth clave the most abidingly. William the son of 
Robert was emphatically William the Bastard, and the name clave to 
him through life, on the Imperial throne of Britain no less than on 
the ducal chair of Normandy. For of the whole line William was the 
one whose bastardy was the most undoubted, the least capable of 
being veiled under ambiguous and euphemistic phrases. The position 
of Popa and Sprota was a doubtful one ; it may, according to Danish 
ideas, have been perfectly honourable. The children of Richard and 
Gunnor were, according to the law recognized everywhere but in our 
own country, legitimated by the subsequent marriage of their parents. 
But we may doubt whether the notion of the Danish marriage survived 
as late as the days of Robert, and it is certain that no ecclesiastical 
sacrament ever gave William a right, according to the law of the 
Church, to rank as the lawful son of his father. The mother of 
William is never spoken of in the respectful terms which we find 
applied to the mother of Richard the Fearless. Throughout the 
whole of Duke Robert's life, she remained in the position of an 
acknowledged mistress, and her illustrious son came forth before the 
world with no other description than the Bastard. 

The irregular birth of one so renowned naturally became the sub- 
ject of romance and legend. And the spot on which William first 
saw the light is one which seems to call for the tribute of the legend- 
maker as its natural due. The town of Falaise, in the Diocese of 
Seez, is one of the most famous spots both in the earlier and in the 
later history of Normandy, and none assuredly surpasses it in the 
striking character of its natural position. Lying on the edge of the 
great forest of GoufTer, the spot had its natural attractions for a 
line of princes renowned, even above others of their time, for their 

1 Rob. Glab. iv. 6. " Fuit enim usui a Emperor Constantius. British patriotism 

primo adventu ipsius gcntis in Gallias, ut would perhaps not have endured that the 

superius peraotavimus, ex hujusmodi con- mother of Constantine should be dragged 

cubinarum commixtione illorum Principes down to the level of the mother of Wil- 

exstitisse." He goes on, if not to justify, Ham. 

at least to palliate, the practice by the 2 See vol. i. pp. 21, 139, 414. 
examples of the patriarch Jacob and the 


devotion to the sports of the field. The town itself lies in a sort of 
valley between two heights. The great Abbey, a foundation of a later 
date than the times which we are concerned with, has utterly vanished; 
but two stately parish churches, one of them dating from the days of 
Norman independence, bear witness to the ecclesiastical splendour of 
the place. Passing by them, the traveller gradually ascends to the 
gate of the Castle, renowned alike in the wars of the twelfth, the 
fifteenth, and the sixteenth centuries. A tall round tower still bears 
the name of the great Talbot, the guardian of the castle in the great 
English war, and who afterwards won a still higher fame as the last 
champion of the ancient freedom of Aquitaine against the encroach- 
ments of the Kings of Paris. 1 But this witness of comparatively 
recent strife is but an excrescence on the original structure. It is the 
addition made by an English King to one of the noblest works of his 
Norman forefathers. The Castle where legend fixes the birth of 
William of Normandy, and where history fixes the famous homage of 
William of Scotland, is a vast donjon of the eleventh or twelfth 
century. 2 One of the grandest of those massive square keeps which 
I have already spoken of as distinguishing the earliest military archi- 
tecture of Normandy crowns the summit of a precipitous rock, fronted 
by another mass of rock wilder still, on which the cannon of England 
were planted during Henry's siege. To these rocks, these felsen, the 
spot owes its name of Falaise, 3 one of the many spots in Normandy 
where the good old Teutonic speech still lingers in local nomen- 
clature, though in this case the Teutonic name has also preserved its 
permanent being in the general vocabulary of the Romance speech. 
Between these two rugged heights lies a narrow dell, through which 
runs a small beck, a tributary of the neighbouring river Ante. The 
dell is crowded with mills and tanneries, but the mills and tanneries 
of Falaise have their share in the historic interest of the place. The 
mills play no inconsiderable part in the records of the Norman 

1 For the sieges of Falaise in 1417 and course, the destruction — of this venera- 

1450, see Monstrelet, i. 263 and iii. 30 b ble keep. See his " Rapport," 1 864, 

(ed. Paris 1595). Talbot was not actually p. 27. 

present during the defence against the 8 Will. Brit. Philipp. lib. viii. Du- 

French King. chesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt. v. 183 ; 

8 More probably, I think, of the twelfth " Vicus erat scabra circumdatus undique 

than of the eleventh. Not that I at all rupe, 

think the building of such a castle to have Ipsius asperitate loci Falesa vocatus, 

been impossible in the eleventh century, Normannse in medio regionis, cujus in 

but because it seems likely that Falaise was aha 

one of the castles which were destroyed Turres rupe sedent et moenia, sic ut 

and rebuilt in the wars of William and ad illam 

his successors. This point is well put Jactus nemo putet aliquos contingere 

by M. Ruprich-Robert, the architect em- posse." 
ployed in the "restoration" — that is, of 

I 2 


Exchequer, 1 and the tanneries at once suggest the name of the greatest 
son of Normandy. In every form which the story has taken in history 
or legend, the mother of the Conqueror appears as the daughter of a 
tanner at Falaise, who plied his unsavoury craft on the spot where it 
has continued to be plied through so many ages. The conquered 
English indeed strove to claim the Norman Duke as their own, by 
representing his mother as a descendant of their own royal house. 2 
But even in this version the traditional trade of her father is not for- 
gotten. The daughter of the hero Eadmund disgraced herself by a 
marriage or an intrigue with her father's tanner, to whom in process 
of time she bore three daughters. The pair were banished from 
England, and took refuge on the opposite coast. In the course of 
their wanderings they came to beg alms at the gate of Duke Richard 
the Good. The Prince discovered the lofty birth of the mother, and 
took the whole family into his favour. The youngest daughter became 
the mistress of his son Robert, and of them sprang the mighty 
William, great-grandson of Eadmund Ironside no less than of Richard 
the Fearless. 

Such a tale is of course valuable only as illustrating the universal 
tendency of conquered nations to try to alleviate the shame and 
grief of conquest by striving to believe that their tyrants are at least 
their countrymen. The story of William's English origin clearly 
comes from the same mint as the story in which Egyptian vanity gave 
out that KambysSs was Egyptian by his maternal origin, 8 as the story 
which saw in Alexander himself a scion of the royal house of Persia.* 
It seems however to preserve one grain of truth in the midst of so. 
much that is mythical. It represents the connexion between Robert 
and his mistress as having begun before he ascended the ducal throne. 
There can be little doubt that this was the case, though the story is 
generally told as if Robert had been already Duke of the Normans at 
the time of William's birth. But it is more likely that Robert was as 
yet only Count of the Hiesmois, and, as such, Lord of Falaise, when 
4iis eye was first caught by the beauty of Arlette, or rather Herleva, 
ihe daughter of Fulbert the Tanner. Some say that he first saw her 
engaged in the dance, 6 others that she was busied in the more homely 
work of washing linen in the beck which flows by her father's tannery 
at the foot of the castle. 6 The prince, himself a mere stripling, saw 

1 Stapleton, Roll of the Norman Ex- 6 Benoit de Ste. More, 31 216 et seqq. 
diequer, i. xcvi. ; ii. cix. (vol. ii. p. 555), who becomes rapturous 

2 See Appendix T. in his description of her beauty. He makes 
8 Herod. Hi. 2. Robert see her on his return from hunting. 
* Malcolm's History of Persia, i. 70. Local tradition, endowing Robert with a 
5 Will. Malms, iii. 229; R. Wend. i. singular gift of discerning beauty at a dis- 

469. Cf. Chron. Alberici, 1035 (ap. Leib- tance, makes him see her from a window 
nitz, Accessiones, ii. 66), and Appendix U. of the castlje. 


and loved her. He sought her of her father, who, after some re- 
luctance, gave up his child to his lord, by the advice, according to 
one account, of a holy hermit his brother. 1 She was led the same 
evening to the castle ; the poetical chroniclers are rich in details of 
her behaviour. 2 She became the cherished mistress of Robert, and 
her empire over his heart was, we are told, not disturbed by any other 
connexion, lawful or unlawful. 3 After the example of former princes, 
Robert in after times raised the kinsfolk of his mistress to high 
honours. Half the nobility of Normandy had sprung from the brothers 
and sisters of Gunnor, so now Fulbert the Tanner, the father of 
Herleva, was raised to the post of ducal chamberlain, 4 and her 
brother Walter was placed in some office which in after times gave 
him close access to the person of his princely nephew. 5 After 
Robert's death, Herleva obtained an honourable marriage, and be- 
came, by her husband Herlwin of Conteville, 6 the mother of two sons 
who will fill no small space in our history. But her union with the 
Duke produced but one son, perhaps but one child. 7 That child 
however was one whose future greatness was, so we are told, pre- 
figured by omens and prodigies from the moment of his birth, and 
even from the moment of his conception. On the night of her first 
visit to the castle, Herleva dreamed that a tree arose from her body 
which overshadowed all Normandy and all England. 8 At the moment 
of his birth, the babe seized the straw on the chamber floor with so 
vigorous a grasp that all who saw the sight knew that he would 
become a mighty conqueror, who would never let go anything that he 
had once laid his hand upon. 9 Leaving tales like these apart, it is 
certain that William, the bastard son of Robert and Herleva, was born 
at Falaise (1027-1028), perhaps in the year in which the Great Cnut 
made his famous pilgrimage to the threshold of the Apostles. 10 

Before Robert undertook the same perilous enterprise, it was clearly 
needful for him to regulate the succession to the Duchy. The 
reigning prince had no legitimate child, no undoubtedly legitimate 
brother. The heir, according to modern notions of heirship, was 
a churchman, Robert Archbishop of Rouen. This Prelate we have 
already seen in rebellion against his namesake the Duke, 11 probably 
on account of this very claim to the succession. He was one of 

1 Benoit, 31276. • Will. Gem. vii. 3. See Appendix U. 

2 Roman de Ron, 7998 ; Bromton, 7 See Appendix U. 

910; Benoit, 31441 et seqq. 8 Roman de Rou, 8021 ; Will. Malms. 

3 See Appendix U. iii. 229. 

* Will. Gem. vii. 3. "Willelmus ex • Roman de Rou, 8037 ; Will. Malms. 

concubinA Roberti Ducis, nomine Herleva, iii. 229. 
Fulberti cubicularii Duets filifc, natus." 10 Siee Appendix U. 

8 Ord. Vit. 656 D. " See vol. i. p. 313. 


those children of Richard the Fearless who were legitimated and 
made capable of ecclesiastical honours by the tardy marriage of 
their parents. Indeed, according to one account, the marriage of 
Richard and Gunnor was contracted expressly to take away the 
canonical objections which were raised against the appointment of 
a bastard to the metropolitan see. 1 Archbishop Robert was thus 
an uncle of Duke Robert and a great-uncle of the child William. 
Besides his Archbishoprick, he held the County of Evreux as a lay 
fee. Like the more famous Odo of Bayeux, he drew a marked 
distinction between his ecclesiastical and his temporal character. As 
Count of Evreux, he had a wife, Herleva by name, 2 and was the 
father of children of whom we shall hear again in our history. In 
his latter days, his spiritual character became more prominent; he 
repented of his misdeeds, gave great alms to the poor, and began 
the rebuilding of the metropolitan church. 8 There were also two 
princes whose connexion with the ducal house was by legitimate, 
though only female, descent. One was Guy of Burgundy, a nephew 
of Duke Robert, being grandson of Richard the Good through his 
daughter Adeliza. 4 The other was Robert's cousin, Count Alan 
of Britanny, the son of Hadwisa daughter of Richard the Fearless. 5 
Nearer in blood, but of more doubtful legitimacy, were Robert's 
own half-brothers, the sons of Richard the Good by Papia. These 
were the churchman Malger, who afterwards succeeded Archbishop 
Robert in the see of Rouen, 6 and William, who helcr the County 
and castle of Arques near Dieppe. 7 There was also the monk 
Nicholas, the young, and no doubt illegitimate, son of Richard the 
Third. 8 None of these were promising candidates for the ducal 
crown. Robert, the lineal heir, might be looked on as disqualified 
by his profession; Alan and Guy were strangers, and could claim 

1 Will. Gem. viii. 36. gratia Dei praeveniente, vitam suam cor- 

8 Ord. Vit. 566 B. " Conjugem rexit. Feminam enim reliquit, et de hoc 

nomine Herlevam ut Comes habuit, ex qua ceterisque pravis actibus suis poenitentiam 

tres filios Ricardum, Radulfum, et Guillel- egit, et sic bono fine, in quantum humana 

mum genuit, quibus Ebroicensem comi- fraeilitas capere potest, quievit." 

tatum et alios honores amplissimos se- * See vol. i. p. 310. 

candum jus saeculi distribuit." 8 See vol. i. p. 306. 

3 lb. C. This church was finished by • Will. Gem. vii. 7. 

Maurilius in 1063. lb. 568 B. See Pom- 7 Will. Gem. u. s. ; Will. Malms, iii. 

meraye, Concilia Ecclesiae Rotomagensis, 232. William of Malmesbury says <* pa- 

p. 73; Bessin, Concilia, p. 49. No part truus ejus, sed nothus," but William of 

of his building remains. The account of Jumifeges distinctly calls Papia the wife of 

the Archbishops of Rouen in Mabillon Richard; "aliam uxorem nomine Papiam 

(Vet. Anal. ii. 438), written while duxit." So Chron. Fontanellense, ap. 

Robert's church was standing (" Ecclesiam D'Achery, iii. 289 ; " Papia matrimonio 

prasentetn miro opere et magnitudine Richardi potita." 

asdificare ccepit"), gives him much the 8 See vol. i. p. 313. 
same character; "Ante obitum suum, 


only through females; the nearer kinsmen were of spurious or 
doubtful birth, and some of them were liable also to the same objec- 
tion as Archbishop Robert. Had any strong opposition existed, 
William of Arques would probably have been found the best card 
to play; but there was no candidate whose claims were absolutely 
without cavil; there was none round whom national feeling could 
instinctively centre; there was none who was clearly marked out, 
either by birth or by merit, as the natural leader of the Norman 
people. This state of things must be borne in mind, in order to 
understand the fact, otherwise so extraordinary, that Robert was 
able to secure the succession to a son who was at once bastard 
and minor. There were strong objections against young William; 
but there were objections equally strong against every other possible 
candidate. Under these circumstances it was possible for William 
to succeed; but it followed, almost as a matter of course, that the 
early years of his reign were disturbed by constant rebellions. Wil- 
liam's succession was deeply offensive to many of his subjects, 
especially to that large portion of the Norman nobility who had 
any kind of connexion with the ducal house. From the time of 
the child's birth, there can be little doubt that his father's intentions 
in his favour were at least suspected, and the suspicion may well 
have given rise to some of the rebellions by which Robert's reign 
was disturbed. 1 

At this stage of our narrative it becomes necessary to form some 
clear conception of the personality and the ancestry of some of 
the great Norman nobles. Most of them belonged to houses whose 
fame has not been confined to Normandy. We are now dealing 
with the fathers of the men, in some cases with the men themselves, 
who fought round William at Senlac, and among whom he divided 
the honours and the lands of England. These men became the 
ancestors of the new nobility of England, and, as their forefathers 
had changed in Gaul from Northmen into Normans, so, by a happier 
application of the same law, their sons gradually changed from Nor- 
mans into Englishmen. Many a name famous in English history, 
many a name whose sound is as familiar to us as any word of our 
own Teutonic speech, many a name which has long ceased to suggest 
any thought of foreign origin, is but the name of some Norman 
village, whose lord, or perhaps some lowlier inhabitant, followed 
his Duke to the Conquest of England and shared in the plunder 
of the conquered. But the names which are most familiar to us as 
names of English lords and gentlemen of Norman descent belong, 
for the most part, to a sort of second crop, which first grew into 
importance on English soil. The great Norman houses whose acts — 
for the most part whose crimes — become of paramount importance 

1 See vol. i. p. 313. 


at the time with which we are now dealing, were mostly worn out 
in a few generations, and they have left but few direct representatives 
on either side of the sea. 

High among these great houses, the third in rank among the 
original Norman nobility, 1 stood the house of Belesme, whose present 
head was William, surnamed Talvas. 8 The domains held by his 
family, partly of the Crown of France, partly of the Duchy of 
Normandy, might almost put him on a level with princes rather 
than with ordinary nobles. The possession from which the family 
took its name lay within the French territory, and was a fief of the 
French Crown. . But, within the Norman Duchy, the Lords of 
Belesme were masters of the valley bounded by the hills from which 
the Orne flows in one direction and the Sarthe in another. Close 
on the French frontier, they held the strong fortress of Alencon, the 
key of Normandy on that side. They are called Lords of the city 
of Seez, 8 and, at the time of which we are speaking, a member 
of their house filled its episcopal throne. 4 Their domains stretched 
to Vinoz, a few miles south-east of Falaise, and separated from 
the town by the forest of Gouffer. Ivo, the first founder of this 
mighty house, had been one of the faithful guardians of the child- 
hood of Richard the Fearless, and had been enriched by him as 
the reward of his true service in evil days. 6 But with Ivo the virtue 
of his race seems to have died out, and his descendants appear in 
Norman and English history as monsters of cruelty and perfidy, 
whose deeds aroused the horror even of that not over scrupulous 
age. Open robbery and treacherous assassination seem to have 
been their daily occupations. The second of the line, William of 
Belesme, had rebelled against Duke Robert, and had defended his 
fortress of Alencon against him. 8 His eldest son Warren murdered 
a harmless and unsuspecting, friend, and was for this crime, so the 
men of his age said, openly seized and strangled by the fiend. Of 
his other sons, Fulk, presuming to ravage the ducal territory, was 


1 Sec Palgrave, ii. 536. of Rhcims, and defended himself by the 

a "William Talevaz," according to the necessity of the case. He was bidden by 

Roman de Rou, 8061. "Willelmus Tal- Pope Leo, as a penance, to rebuild the 

vacius," Will. Gem. vi. 7. church. He went as far as Apulia, and 

3 Roman de Rou, 8062. "Ki tint Sez, even as Constantinople, collecting contribu- 
Belesme, h Vinaz." tions and relics, and he began the work on 

4 Ivo, son of the elder William, a Pre- such a scale that, forty years later, the 
late of whom Orderic draws a very favour- efforts of his three successors had not en- 
able picture (469 D), did not scruple to abled them to finish it. Will. Gem. vii. 
attack and burn his own church, when it 13-15. No part of his building* now 
had been turned into a fortress by certain remains. 

turbulent nobles. He tried to repair it, and * Will. Gem. viii. 35. See Palgrave, ii. 

reconsecrated it; but the walls, having been 313, 536. 

damaged by the fire, fell down. He was • Will. Gem. vi. 4. See vol. i. p. 313. 
then charged with sacrilege at the Council 


killed in battle ; Robert was taken prisoner by the men of Le Mans 
and was beheaded by way of reprisals for a murder committed by 
his followers. The surviving heir of the possessions and of the 
wickedness of his race was his one remaining son William Talvas. 1 
This man, we are told, being displeased by the piety and good 
life of his first wife Hildeburgis, hired ruffians to murder her on 
her way to church. 2 At his second wedding-feast he put out the 
eyes and cut off the nose and ears of an unsuspecting guest. 3 
This was William the son of Geroy, one of a house whose name 
we shall often meet again in connexion with the famous Abbeys 
of Bee and Saint Evroul. A local war followed, in which William 
Talvas suffered an inadequate punishment for his crimes in the 
constant harrying of his lands. At last a more appropriate avenger 
arose from his own house. The hereditary wickedness of his line 
passed on to his daughter Mabel and his son Arnulf. Mabel, the 
wife of Roger of Montgomery, will be a prominent character in our 
story for many years. Arnulf rebelled against his father, and drove 
him out to die wretchedly in exile. An act of wanton rapacity was 
presently punished by a supernatural avenger ; Arnulf, like his uncle 
Warren, was strangled by a daemon in his bed. 4 Such was the 
character of the family whose chief, first in power and in crime 
among the nobility of Normandy, stood forth, as the story goes, 
as the mouthpiece of that nobility, to express the feelings with which 
the descendants of the comrades of Rolf, the descendants of Richard 
the Fearless, even the descendants of the brothers and sisters of 

1 Will. Gem. vi. 7. "Ipse cunctis fratri- holy woman pleaded earnestly for the re- 
bus suis in omnibus flagitiis deterior fuit, et storation of her favourite (" gemens eum 
in ejus seminis baeredibus immoderata ne- insequuta est, ac ut porcellus, quern nutrie- 
quitia usque hodie viguit." So vii. 10. rat, sibi pro Deo redderetur obnixe depre- 
" Hie a par en turn suorum perfidia nequa- cata est "), but all was in vain ; the oppressor 
quam sua retorsit vestigia." killed the pig and ate him for supper. The 

2 lb. vii. 10. same night he was strangled in his bed. In 

3 lb. Orderic (460 D) adds, " amputatis those times no alternative was thought of 
genitalibus." These stories of the extreme except a supernatural intervention and an 
wickedness of the house of Belesme are assassination by Arnulfs brother Oliver, 
doubtless not without foundation, but one But our historian altogether rejects this last 
cannot help suspecting exaggeration, espe- view, as inconsistent with the high character 
daily when we remember that Orderic of Oliver, who passed many years as a 
writes in the interest of the hostile house brave and honourable knight, and at last 
of Geroy. This particular outrage of Wil- died in the odour of sanctity as a monk of 
liam Talvas can hardly be an invention; Bee. 

but it must surely have had some motive This story contains nothing absolutely 

which does not appear in our authorities. incredible ; yet one is tempted to see in it 

4 Will. Gem. vii. 12. The tale is that a slightly ludicrous version of Nathan's 
he one day went out with his followers parable, taking a shape impossible under 
(•• clientes ") to rob, and seized on the pig the elder dispensation. Arnulf too does 
of -a certain nun ("inter reliqua porcum not seem to have had even the poor excuse 
cujusdam sanctimonialis rapuit "). The of the presence of a wayfaring man. 



Gunnor, looked on the possible promotion of the Tanner's grandson 
to be their lord. 

William Talvas, says the tale, in the days of his prosperity, was one 
day in the streets of Falaise, a town where the close neighbourhood of 
his possessions doubtless made him well known. The babe William, 
the son of the Duke and Herleva, was being nursed in the house of 
his maternal grandfather. A burgher, meeting the baron, bade him 
step in and see the son of his lord. William Talvas entered the 
house and looked on the babe. He then cursed him, saying that by 
that child and his descendants himself and his descendants would be 
brought to shame. 1 A curse from the mouth of William Talvas might 
almost be looked on as a blessing, and the form of the prediction 
was such as to come very near to the nature of a panegyric. It is 
indeed the highest praise of the babe who then lay in his cradle, that 
he did something to bring to shame, something to bring under the 
restraints of law and justice, men like the hoary sinner who instinc- 
tively saw in him the destined enemy of his kind. But the words, 
when uttered, would be meant and understood simply as a protest 
against the insult which was preparing for the aristocratic pride of the 
great Norman houses. Possibly indeed the tale, like other tales of the 
kind, may have been devised after the event ; still it would mark none 
the less truly the feelings with which men like William Talvas, 
boasting of a descent from the original conquerors of the land, looked 
on the unworthy sovereign whom destiny seemed to be providing for 

Duke Robert however was bent on his purpose. He gathered an 
assembly of the great men of his Duchy, among whom the presence 
of Archbishop Robert, perhaps as being a possible competitor for the 
succession, is specially mentioned. 2 The Duke set forth his intention 
of visiting the Holy Sepulchre (1034-5), and told his hearers, that, 
aware of the dangers of such a journey, he wished to settle the suc- 
cession to the Duchy before he set out. The voice of the Assembly 
bade him stay at home and continue to discharge the duties of 
government in person, especially at a time when there was no one 
successor or representative to whom they could be entrusted with any 
chance of the general good will. It was of course desirable to stave 
off the question. Robert might yet have legitimate heirs ; or, in the 
failure of that hope, the Norman chiefs might gradually come to an 
agreement in favour of some other candidate. Let the Duke then 

1 Roman de Rou, 8059 et seqq. ; Pal- See vol. i. p. 117. On the other hand, 
grave, Hi. 149. Wace (8081) gathers together Bishops, 

2 Will. Gem. vi. 12. "Robertum ergo Abbots, and Barons, but this may be only 
archiepiscopum cum optimatibus sui Duca- in conformity with the custom of his own 
tfls accersivit." This may be taken as if time. • 
Robert were the only churchman present. 


stay at home and guard his Duchy against the pretensions of the 
Breton and the Burgundian. 1 But Robert would brook no delay in 
the accomplishment of his pious purpose ; he would go at once to the 
Holy Land; he would settle the succession before he went. He 
brought forward the young William, and acknowledged him as his son. 
He was little, he told them, but he would grow ; he was one of their 
own stock, brought up among them. 2 His over-lord the King of the 
French had engaged to acknowledge and protect him. 3 He called on 
them to accept, to choose— the never-ceasing mixture of elective and 
hereditary claims appears here as everywhere — the child as their 
future Lord, as his successor in the Duchy, should he never return 
from the distant land to which he was bound. 4 The Normans were 
in a manner entrapped. There can be no doubt that nothing could 
be further from the wishes of the majority of the Assembly than to 
agree to the Duke's proposal ; but there was nothing else to be done. 
If Robert could not be prevailed on to stay at home, some settlement 
must be made ; and, little as any of them liked the prospect of the 
rule of the young Bastard, there was no other candidate in whose 
• favour all parties could come to an agreement on the spot. Un- 
willingly then the Norman nobility consented ; they accepted the only 
proposal which was before them ; they swore the usual oaths, and did 
homage to the son of Herleva as their future sovereign. 6 The kins- 
men of Gunnor, the descendants of the comrades of Rolf, became the 
men of the Tanner's grandson, and he himself was received as the 
man of King Henry at Paris. 6 As far as forms went, no form was 

1 Roman de Rou, 8091 et seqq. 8 Roman de Rou, 8125 ; 

8 lb. 8107 et seqq. ; " Li Dus por la chose afermer, 

•• II est peti, mais il creistra, E por fere lunges durer, 

£ se Deu plaist amendera. Al Rei de France Tad mcne, 

..... £ par li puing li a livre* ; 

Cil est de vostre norreture." Sun home le fist devenir 

3 lb. 8105 ; • E de Normendie seisir." 

" Par li cunseil el Rei de France, There is nothing however to imply that 

Ki l'maintiendra o sa poessance." William stayed longer at Paris than was 

* Will. Gem. vi. 12. " Exponens autem needed for the ceremony. It is an exag- 

eis Willelmum filium suum, quern unicum geration when we read in the Winchester 

apud Falesiam genuerat, ab eis attentissime Annals (p. 19 Luard), " Willelmo filio Ro- 

exigebat, ul hunc sibi loco sui dominum eli- berti Ducis juvenculo morante cum Rege 

gerent, et militise suae principem praefice- Francorum in Galliis." Rudolf Glaber (iv. 

rent." A good precedent for the # congt 6) describes the accession of William in 

cTelire and letter missive. much the same way as the national writers; 

5 Will. Gem. vi. 12. "Juxta decretum "Cui [Willelmo] antequam proficisceretur, 

Ducis protinus eum prompts, vivacitate suum universos sui ducaminis principes militari- 

collaudavere principem ac dominum, pan- bus adstrinxit sacramentis, qualiter ilium in 

gentes ill! fidelitatem non violandis sacra- Principem pro se, si non rediret, eligerent. 

mentis." Cf. Roman de Rou, 8 117 et Quod etiam statim ex consensu Regis 

seqq. The events which followed make one Francorum Henrici unanimiter postmodum 

doubt as to the genuineness of the " prompta firmaverunt." Does the phrase " militari- 

vivacita*." bus sacramentis " mean " on their knightly 



wanting which could make William's succession indisputably lawful. 
Duke Robert then set forth on the pilgrimage from which he never 
returned. Within a few months,- his short life and reign came to an 
end at Nikaia. 1 Thus, in the same year which beheld the great 
empire of Cnut parted among his sons, did William, the seven years' 
old grandson of the Tanner Fulbert, find himself on the seat of Rolf 
and Richard the Fearless, charged with the mission to keep down, as 
his infant hands best might, the turbulent spirits who had been 
unwillingly beguiled into acknowledging him as their sovereign. 

Anarchy at once broke forth ; all the evils which wait on a minority 
in a* rude age were at once poured forth upon the unhappy Duchy, 
We see the wisdom with which the custom of our own and of most 
contemporary lands provided that the government of men should 
be entrusted to those only who had themselves at least reached 
man's estate. In England the exceptional minorities of the sons of 
Eadmund and of Eadgar had been unlucky, but they were nothing 
to compare to the minority of William of Normandy. In England 
the custom of regular national assemblies, the habit of submitting all 
matters to a fair vote, the acknowledgement of the Law as supreme 
over every man, hindered the state from falling into utter dissolution, 
even in those perilous times. The personal reign of JEthelred proved 
far weaker than the adminstration which Dunstan carried on in his 
name in his early years. But in Normandy, where constitutional 
ideas had found so imperfect a developement as compared with 
England, — or, to speak more truly, where they had gone back in a 
way in which they had not gone back in England, — there was nothing 
of this kind to fall back upon. Nothing but the personal genius of a 
determined and vigorous Prince could keep that fierce nobility in any 
measure of order. With the accession of an infant there at once 
ceased to be any power to protect or to punish. " Woe to the land 
whose King is a child " is the apt quotation of an historian of the 
next age. 2 The developement of the young Duke both in mind and 
body was undoubtedly precocious ; but his early maturity was mainly 
owing to the stern discipline of that terrible childhood. It was in 
those years that he learned the arts which made Normandy, France, 
and England bow before him; but, at the age of seven years, 
William himself was no more capable than JEthelred of personally 
wielding the rod of rule. The child had good and faithful guardians, 

honour," or is it merely a pedantic refer- merito posset querimoniam facere, • Vae 

ence to the Roman military oath ? terras cujus Rex puer est.' " See Ecclesi- 

1 See vol. i. p. 319. astes x. 16. The same text is used by 

3 Will. Malms, iii. iy>. " Clarissima R. Glaber, iv. 5, with a more general 

olim patria, intestinis dissensionibus exulce- application. 

rata, pro latronum libitu dividebatur, ut 


guardians perhaps no less well disposed to fulfil their trust towards 
him than Dunstan had been towards the children of Eadgar. But 
there was no one man in Normandy to whom every Norman could 
look up as every Englishman had looked up to the mighty Primate, 
and the bowl and the dagger soon deprived the young Prince of the 
support of his wisest and truest counsellors. The minority of William 
was truly a time when every man did that which was right in his own 
eyes. And what seemed right in the eyes of the nobles of Normandy 
was commonly rebellion against their sovereign, ruthless oppression 
of those beneath them, and endless deadly feuds with one another. 
We have already seen some specimens of their doings in the crimes 
of the house of Belesme. That house is indeed always spoken of 
as exceptionally wicked ; but a state of things in which such deeds 
could be done, and could go unpunished, must have come very nearly 
to an utter break-up of society. The general pictures which we find 
given us of the time are fearful beyond expression. Through the 
withdrawal of all controlling power, every land-owner became a petty 
sovereign, and began to exercise all the sovereign rights of slaughter 
and devastation. The land soon bristled with castles. The mound 
crowned with the square donjon rose as the defence or the terror of 
every lordship. This castle-building is now spoken of in Normandy 
with a condemnation nearly as strong as that with which it was 
spoken of in England, when, a few years after this time, the practice 
was introduced into England by the Norman favourites of Eadward. 1 
But there is a characteristic difference in the tone of the two com- 
plaints. The English complaint always is that the Frenchmen built 
castles and oppressed the poor folk, 2 or that they did all possible 
evil and shame to their English neighbours. 8 The Norman complaint, 
though not wholly silent as to the oppression of the humbler ranks, 4 yet 
dwells mainly on the castle-building as a sign of rebellion against the 
authority of the Prince, and as an occasion of warfare between baron 
and baron. And it would have been well for the reputation of the 
Norman nobles of that age if they had confined themselves to open 
warfare with one another and open rebellion against their sovereign. 
But they sank below the common morality of their own age ; private 
murder was as familiar to them as open war. The house of Belesme 
had a bad preeminence in this as in other crimes ; but if they had a 
preeminence, they, were far from having a monopoly. Perhaps no 
period of the same length in the history of Christendom contains the 
record of so many foul deeds of slaughter and mutilation as the early 
years of the reign of William. And they were constantly practised, % 
not only against avowed and armed enemies, but against unharmed 

1 On the building of castles see Ap- 1 137; and Appendix S. 
pendix S. s See above, p. 90. 

2 See Chronn. Wig. 1066; Petrib. 1087, * See the story quoted in p. 121. 



and unsuspected guests. Some of the tales may be inventions or 
exaggerations; but the days in which such tales could even be 
invented must have been days full of deeds of horror. Isolated cases 
of similar crimes may doubtless be found in any age ; but this period 
is remarkable alike for the abundance of crimes, for the rank of the 
criminals, and for the impunity which they enjoyed. To control 
these men was the duty laid upon the almost infant years of William, 
a duty with which nothing short of his own full and matured powers 
might seem fit to grapple. Yet over all these difficulties the genius 
of the great Duke was at last triumphant. His hand brought order 
out of the chaos, and changed a land wasted by rebellion and intestine 
warfare into one of the most prosperous regions of Europe, a land 
flourishing as no Norman ruler had seen it flourish before. When we 
think of the days in which William spent his youth, of the men 
against whom his early years were destined to be one continued 
struggle, we shall be less inclined to lift up our hands in horror at his 
later crimes than to dwell with admiration on that large share of 
higher and better qualities which, among all his evils deeds, clave to 
him to his dying day. 

§ 2. From the Accession of William to the Battle of Val-h-dunes. 


We have seen among what kind of men the young Duke of the 
Normans had to pass the first years of his life and sovereignty. But 
his father, in leaving his one lamb among so many wolves, had at 
least provided him with trustworthy guardians. Alan of Britanny, 
a possible competitor for the Duchy, a neighbouring prince with 
whom Duke Robert had so lately been at war, 1 was disarmed when 
his over-lord committed his son to his faith as kinsman and vassal, 
and even invested him with some measure of authority in Normandy 
itself. 2 The immediate care of the young Duke's person was given to 
oneThurcytel or Thorold, names which point to a genuine Scandinavian 
descent in their bearer, and which would make us look to the Bessin 
as the probable place of his birth. 8 Other guardians of high rank 
were the Seneschal Osbern, and Count Gilbert, both of them con- 
nected in the usual way with* the ducal family. Osbern was the 
son of Herfast, a brother of the Duchess Gunnor; he was also 
married to a daughter of Rudolf of Ivry, the son of Asperleng 
and Sprota, the savage suppressor of the great peasant revolt. 4 

8 The " Turoldus " of William of Ju- 
mieges (vii. 2), and the " Turchetillus " of 
Orderic (656 C), certainly seem to be the 
same person. 

4 See vol. i. p. 173. 

1 See vol. i. p. 313. 

2 Roman de Rou, 8 1 31 ; 

" A Alain qui esteit sis huem, 
Par l'Archeveske de Ruem, 
Livra sa terre k cumandise, 
Cum a senescal e justise." 


Gilbert's connexion was still closer. He was illustrious alike in his 
forefathers and in his descendants. He sprang of the ducal blood 
of Normandy, and of his blood sprang the great houses of Clare 
and Pembroke in England. His father Godfrey was one of those 
natural children of Richard the Fearless who did not share the pro- 
motion of the offspring of Gunnor. 1 He was lord of the border 
fortress of Eu, renowned in Norman history as early as the days of 
Rolf; 2 he was lord too of the pleasant valley of the Risle, separated 
only by one wooded hill from the more memorable valley which is 
hallowed by the names of Herlwin, Lanfranc, and Anselm. All these 
worthy men paid the penalty of their fidelity. Count Alan died 
of poison (1039-1040), while he was besieging the castle of Mont- 
gomery, the stronghold of a house which we shall often have again 
to mention. He died at Vinmoutier, and was buried in the abbey 
of Fecamp. Breton slander afterwards threw the guilt of this crime 
upon the Duke himself, 8 the person who had leak to gain by it. 
Norman slander threw it on Alan's own subjects ; 4 but one can 
hardly doubt that, if the poisoned bowl was administered at all, it 
was administered by some one or other of the rebellious Norman 
nobles. 5 Count Gilbert was murdered by assassins employed by 
Ralph of Wacey, son of Archbishop Robert. 8 The sons of the 
murdered man fled to Flanders, and took refuge with the common 
protector of banished men, Count Baldwin. The lands of Gilbert 
were divided among various claimants; the County of Eu seems 
to have passed into the hands of his uncle William; 7 but his 
famous castle of Brionne fell to the lot of Guy of Burgundy, of 
whom, and of whose possession of the fortress, we shall hear much 
as we go on. 8 

1 Will. Gem. viii. 37. " Gislebertus only, " 1039. Obiit Alanus Dux Britan- 
raerat filius Godefridi Comitis Aucensis, nise films Gauffredi. 3 Kal. Oct." Cf. 
riaturalis videlicet filii primi Richardi Ducis Roman de Rou, 8139; 
Normannorum." See vol. i. p. 1 70. " Murut Alains a Normandie ; 

2 See vol. i. p. 18, Gilbert is called A Fescamp jut en l'Abeje." 
" Comes Ocensis " by William of Jumieges See Prevost's note, i. 403. 

(vii. 2), and the same writer (iv. 18) also 4 Roman de Rou, 8136. 
says, "Licet Comes Gislebertus filius 5 Orderic (56 7 A) says distinctly, "Alan- 
Godefridi Comitis ipsum comitatum parum- num Comitem Britonum suique Ducis ta- 
per tenuerit, antequam occideretur." But torem Normanni veneno perimere." 
see Stapleton, i. lvi. • Will. Gem. vii. 2 ; Will. Malms, iii. 
* Will. Gem. vii. 33. " Alanum pattern 330. " Interfecto Gisleberto a Radulph.o 
meum apud Winmusterium in Normannia patruele suo, ubique caedes, ubique ignes 
veneno peremisti." Ord. Vit. 655 C. versabantur." 

** Alanno, dum Montem Gomerici obsidet, 7 This seems the meaning of the context 

per fraudem Normannorum letaliter cor- of the passage from William of Jumieges 

rupto venenosa potione." But the Breton quoted just above. 
Chronicle in Morice (Memoires pour servir 8 Ord. Vit. 686 D. 
de Preuves a l'histoire de Bretagne) says 




Another still more criminal attempt introduces us yet more directly 
to one of the great Norman houses whose name has been more abid- 
ing than any other. I have just before mentioned Count Alan's siege 
of the castle of Montgomery. The name of that castle, a hill fortress 
in the diocese of Lisieux, enjoys a peculiar privilege above all others 
in Norman geography. Other spots in Normandy have given their 
names to Norman houses, and those Norman houses have transferred 
those names to English castles and English towns and villages. But 
there is only one shire in Great Britain which has had the name of a 
Norman lordship impressed upon it for ever. Roger, the present 
Lord of Montgomery, was, at the time of Duke Robert's death, in 
banishment at Paris. 1 His five sons remained in Normandy, and 
were among the foremost disturbers of the peace of the country. 2 
But one of the five, Hugh, had a son, named, like his grandfather, 
Roger, who bore a better character and was destined to a higher 
fate. He had, through his mother, a connexion of the usual kind 
with the ducal house. Weva, a sister of Gunnor, was the wife of 
Thorulf of Pont-Audemer, the son of Torf, 3 and her daughter Josce- 
lina was the wife of Hugh of Montgomery, and mother of the younger 
Roger. 4 On this Roger, William Talvas, in his old age, bestowed 
the hand of his daughter Mabel, who handed on the name, the 
honours, and the hereditary wickedness of the house of Belesme to 
her sons of the house of Montgomery. 5 Mabel, small in stature, 
talkative, and cruel, guilty of fearful crimes and destined to a fearful 
doom,* fills a place in history fully equal to that filled by her husband. 
Of him we shall hear again as literally the foremost among the con- 
querors of England ; we shall see him enriched with English estates 
and honours, bearing the lofty titles of Earl of Arundel and Shrews- 
bury, and, once at least, adorned with the loftier title which had been 
borne by ^Ethelred and Leofric. Once (1087), and that while 
engaged in rebellion against his prince, he flits before us for a 
moment as Roger Earl of the Mercians. 7 A munificent friend of 
monks both in England and in Normandy, he has left behind him 
a different reputation from that of either his father, bis wife, or his 

1 Will. Gem. vii. 2. 

2 lb. •• In Normanni& summopere in- 
scrviebant diris facinoribus." 

8 lb. viii. 37. 

4 lb. viii. 35. 

8 lb. vii. 16. See above, p. 121. William 
gives the daughters of Roger and Mabel a 
good character. Of the sons he says, " Illi 
ferales et cupidi, et inopum rabidi oppres- 
sors exititerunt. Quam callidi, vel mili- 
tares, i eu perfldi fuerint, aut quantum super 
vicinos paresque suos excreverint, iterura- 

que sub eis pro facinoribus suis decederint, 
non est nostrum in hoc loco enarrare." 

6 lb. "Praefata mulier erat corpore 
parva, multumque loquax, ad malum satis 
prompta, et sagax atque faceta, nimiumque 
crudelis et audax." Above, vii. 10, she is 
" Mabilia, crudelissimae sobolis mater." So 
Ord. Vit. 470 A ; "Praefata Mabilia multum 
erat potens et saecularis, callida et loquax, 
nimiumque crudelis." 

7 Ord. Vit. 667 B. " Kogerius Mercio- 
rum Comes." 


sons. In one of those sons we shall see the name of his maternal 
ancestors revive, and, with their name, a double portion of their 

But we have as yet to deal with the house of Montgomery only 
in its least honourable aspect. William, son of the elder, and uncle 
of the younger, Roger, stands charged with an attempt, aimed no 
longer at guardians or tutors, but at the person of the young Duke 
himself. William was staying with his guardian Osbern at Vaudreuil, 
a castle on an island in the Eure, said to have been the place of 
captivity of the famous Fredegunda in Merowingian times. 1 Thorold, 
it would seem, had been already murdered, but his assassins are 
spoken of only in general terms. 8 But Osbern still watched over his 
young lord day and night. But he was butchered at Vaudreuil by 
William of Montgomery in the very bedchamber of the Duke, and 
the young prince owed his own safety on this, and on many 
other occasions, to the zealous care of his maternal uncle Walter. 
Many a time did this faithful kinsman carry him from palace and 
castle to find a lurking-place in the cottages of the ppor. 8 The blood 
of Osbern was soon avenged; a faithful servant of the murdered 
Seneschal presently did to William of Montgomery as William of 
Montgomery had done to Osbern. 4 In the state of things in Nor- 
mandy at that moment crime could be punished only by crime. The 
remembrance of the faithful Osbern lived also in the memory of the 
Prince whose childhood he had so well guarded.. His son William 
grew up from his youth as the familiar friend and counsellor of 
his namesake the Duke. This is that famous William Fitz-Osbern 
who lived to be, next to the Duke himself, the prime agent in the 

1 Will. Gem. vii. 2. See Palgrave, tii. bern together in general terms ; " Turche- 

198 ; Stapleton, i. cxxvi. tillum nutricium meum et Osbernum Her- 

a Will. Gem. ib. "Deinde [after the fasti filium, Norma nniae dapiferum, Comi- 

death of Gilbert] Turoldus teneri Ducis temque Gislebertum patrem patriae, cum 

paedagogus perunitur a perfidu patriae de- multis aliis reipublicae necessariis fraudulen- 

sertoribus." ter interfecerunt." The murder of Osbern 

- s This is the way in which I read the can hardly fail to have been one of the 

story in William of Jumieges (vii. 2), com- occasions so patheticaily referred to in Or- 

pared with that put into Duke William's deric ; " Noctibus multotiens cognatorum 

own mouth by Orderic (656 C). Sir timore meorum a Gualterio avunculo meo 

Francis Palgrave seems to make Thorold de camera principali furtim exportatus sum, 

and Osbern be murdered at once (199). ac ad domicilia latebrasque pauperum, ne a 

But William of Jumieges seems to make perfidis, qui ad mortem me quaerebant, 

these murders two distinct events. After invenirer, translatus sum." 
the passage just quoted he goes on ; " Os- * Will. Gem. vii. 2. " Barno quippe de 

bernus quoque . . quadam nocte, dum in Glotis, propositus Osberni, injustam necem 

cubiculo Ducis cum ipso in Valle Rodoili domini sui cupiens ulcisci, nocte quadam 

securus soporatur, repente in stratu suo a expedites pugiles congregavit, et domum, 

Willelmo Rogerii de Monte-gumeri filio ubi Willelmus et complices sui dormiebant, 

jugulatus." Orderic puts the murders of adiit, ac omnes simul, sicut meruerant, 

Gilbert, Thorold (or Thurcytel), and Os- statim trucidavit/ 

VOL. U. K 


Conquest of England, who won, far more than the Duke himself, the 
hatred of the conquered people, and who at last perished in a mad 
enterprise after a wife and a crown in Flanders. 

The next enemy was Roger of Toesny, whom we have already 
heard of as a premature Crusader, the savage foe of the Infidels 
of Spain. 1 Disappointed in his dream of a kingdom in the Iberian 
peninsula, he returned to his native land to find it under the sway 
of the son of the Tanner's daughter. The proud soul of the de- 
scendant of Malahulc scorned submission to such a lord ; " A bastard 
is not fit to rule over me and the other Normans." 2 He refused all 
allegiance, and began to ravage the lands of his neighbours. The 
one who suffered most was Humfrey de Vetulis, a son of Thorulf 
of Pont-Audemer and of Weva the sister of Gunnor. He sent his 
son Roger of Beaumont against the aggressor. A battle followed, 
in which Roger of Toesny and his two sons were killed, and Robert 
of Grantmesnil received a mortal wound. 3 This fight was fought 
rather in defence of private property than in the assertion of any 
public principle. But the country gained by the destruction of so 
inveterate an enemy of peace as Roger of Toesny. And here, as 
at every step of this stage of our narrative, we become acquainted 
with men whose names are to figure in the later portion of our 
history. Robert of Grantmesnil was the father of Hugh of Grant- 
mesnil, who had no small share in the conquest of England and the 
division of its spoil. Roger of Beaumont became the patriarch of 
the first house of the Earls of Leicester. One of his descendants 
played an honourable part in the great struggle between King and 
Primate in the latter half of the twelfth century, 4 and his honours 
passed by female succession to that great deliverer who made the 
title of Earl of Leicester the most glorious in the whole peerage 
of England. 5 

By this time William was getting beyond the years of childhood, 
and he was beginning to display those extraordinary powers of mind 
and body with which nature had endowed him. He could now in 
some measure exercise a will of his own. He still needed a guardian, 

1 See vol. i. p. 310. cestrise Robertus, qui maturitate setatis et 

2 Will. Gem. vii. 3. " Comperiens au- morum aliis prominebat ; " and Herbert of 
tem quod Willelmus puer in Ducatu patri Bosham (i. 147 Giles) ; «' Nobilis vir Ro- 
successerit, vehementer indignatus est, et bertus, tunc Leicestrae Comes, inter honor- 
tumide despexit illi servire, dicens quod no- atos honoratior." 

thus non deberet sibi aliisque Normannis 5 Amicia, daughter of Robert, third Earl 

imperare." of Leicester, married Simon the Third, Lord 

8 See Will. Gem. vii. 3, viii. 37 ; Ord. of Montfort. She was the mother of Simon 

Vit. 460 C, 686 B. " the leader of the Crusade against the Albi- 

4 Gamier, Vie de S. Thomas, 1830 (p. genses, and the grandmother of our own 

66 ed. Hippeau) ; " E cil [quens] de Lei- Simon the Righteous. See Pauli, Simon 

cestre, ke mut par est senez." So William von Montfort, 19, 20. 
Fitz-Stephen (i. 235 Giles) ; " Comes Lege- 


but, according to the principles of Roman Law, he had a right to 
a voice in determining who that guardian should be. He summoned 
the chief men of his Duchy, and, by their advice, he* chose as his 
own tutor and as Captain-General of the armies of Normandy, 1 Ralph 
the son of Archbishop Robert The choice seems a strange one, 
as Ralph was no other than the murderer of William's former guar- 
dian Count Gilbert. 2 But it may have been thought politic for the 
young Duke to strengthen his hands by an alliance with a former 
enemy, and to make, as in the case of Count Alan of Britanny, a 
practical appeal to the honour of a possible rival. The appointment 
of Ralph seems in fact to have had that effect. A time of com- 
parative internal quiet now followed. But still there were traitors 
in the land. Many, we are told, of the Norman nobles, even of those 
'who professed the firmest fidelity to the Duke, and were loaded by 
him with the highest honours, still continued to plot against him in 
secret. 8 For a while they no longer revolted openly on their own 
account ; but there was a potentate hard by whose ear was ever open 
to their suggestions, and who was ever ready to help them in any 
plots against their sovereign and their country. > 

From this point a new chapter opens in the relations between 
Normandy and France. We have seen that, ever since the Com- 
mendation made by Richard the Fearless to Hugh the Great, 4 the 
relations between the Norman Princes and the Dukes and Kings of 
Paris had been invariably friendly. 6 It was to Norman help that 
the Parisian dynasty in a great measure owed its rise to royalty; 6 
it was to Norman help that the reigning King of the French owed 
his restoration to his throne. 7 Henry of Paris, made King by 
the help of Robert, had received Robert's son as his vassal, 8 and 
had promised to afford him the protection due from a righteous 
over-lord to a faithful vassal. But we now, from the accession of 
William, begin to see signs of something like a return on the French 
side to the old state of feeling in the days when the Normans were 
still looked on as heathen intruders, and their Duke was held to 
be Duke only of the Pirates. 9 We find the French applying con- 

1 Will. Gem. vii. 4. " Rodulphum de nollem. Attamen non alii exstiterunt, vobis 
Wacceio ex consultu majorum sibi tutorem in aure loquor circumstantibus, quam hi qui 
eligit, et principem militiae Normannorum fideliores se profitentur et quos nunc major- 
constituit." ibus Dux cumulavit honoribus." 

2 See above, p. 127. * See vol. i. p. 149. 
8 The expressions of William of Jumifeges * Vol. i. p. 165. 

(vii. 4) are remarkable; " Henricum igitur 6 Vol. i. pp. 150, 164. 

Regem Francorum adeunt, et titiones ejus 7 Vol. i. p. 314. 

per Normannicos limites hac illacque spar- 8 See above, p. 123. 

gunt. Quos nominatim litteris exprime- • See vol. i. pp. HO, 129, 171. 

rem, si inexorabilia eorum odia declinare 

. K 2 



temptuous epithets to the Norman people/ and we find the King 
of the French ready to seize every opportunity for enriching himself 
at the expense of the Norman Duke. 

It is not easy at first sight to explain this return to a state of 
things which seemed to have passed away for more than a generation. 
Still we must not forget that any prince reigning at Paris could hardly 
fail to look with a grudging eye on the practically independent power 
which cut him off from the mouth of his own river. The great 
feudatory at Rouen seemed, m a way in which no other feudatory 
seemed, to shut up his over- lord in a kind of prison. The wealth 
and greatness and prosperity Of Normandy might seem, both histori- 
cally and geographically, to be something actually taken away from 
the possessions of France. This feeling would apply to Normandy^ 
in a way in which it did not apply to the other great fiefs of Flanders" 
and Aquitaine. And the feeling would on every ground be stronger 
in the mind of a King reigning at Paris than in that of a King 
reigning at Ladn. To a French King at Paris the Normans were 
the nearest and the most powerful of all neighbours, those whose 
presence must have made itself far more constantly felt than that 
of any other power in Gaul. Hitherto this inherent feeling of 
jealousy had been kept in check by the close hereditary connexion 
between the two states. The league established between Richard 
and Hugh had hitherto been kept unbroken by their descendants. 
But the main original object of that league, mutual support against 
the Carolingian King at Ladn, had ceased to exist when the Parisian 
Duke assumed the royal dignity. Since that time, the league could 
have rested on little more than an hereditary sentiment between the 
Norman and French princes, a sentiment which probably was never 
very deeply shared by their subjects on either side. And now that 
sentiment was giving way to the earlier and more instinctive feeling 
which pointed out the Rouen Duchy as the natural enemy of the 
Parisian Kingdom. It had once been convenient to forget, it was now 
equally convenient to remember, that the original grant to Rolf had 
been made at the immediate expense, not of the King of La6n but of 
the Duke of Paris. 2 Under these changed circumstances, the old feeling, 

1 Roman de Rou, 9907 et seqq. The 
great offence was calling the Normans 

•' bigoz h draschiers." The first name has 
given cause to much controversy; the 
second is said to mean drinkers of ale, a 
wholesome witness of their Teutonic de- 
scent. But cf. JEsch. Suppl. 930 ; 
d\X' dpffevd* rot Ti?tfe yrj$ oIacVjto/xx* 
€vpf}(FtT\ oil -aivovra* \k KpiBwv pi$v. 
2 See vol. i. p. 166. The whole feeling 
between France and Normandy is best 

summed up in the passage from Wace just 

referred to, especially the lines, 
" Sovent les unt medll al Rei, 
Sovent dient : Sire, por kei, 
Ne tollez la terre as bigoz ? 
A vos ancessors e as nos 
La tolirent lor ancessor, 
Ki par mer vindrent robeor." 

The feeling is thus represented as being 

mainly a popular one. 



dormant for a time, seems to have again awakened in all its strength. 
And now that Normandy held out temptations to every aggressor, now 
that Norman nobles did not scruple to invite aid from any quarter 
against a prince whose years were the best witness of his innocence, 
every feeling of justice and generosity seems to have vanished from 
the mind of King Henry. The King who owed his Crown to the 
unbought fidelity of Duke Robert did not scruple to despoil the 
helpless boy whom his benefactor had entrusted to his protection. 
The border fortress of Tillieres formed the first pretext. That 
famous creation of Richard the Good had been raised as a bulwark, 
not against the King, but against the troublesome Count of Chartres. 1 
But Odo had found it convenient to surrender the disputed territory 
of Dreux to the Crown; 2 the Arve therefore now became the 
boundary between Normandy and the royal domain. Tillieres was 
accordingly declared to be a standing menace to Paris, the further 
existence of which was inconsistent with any friendly relations be- 
tween King and Duke. 8 The loyal party in Normandy thought it 
better to yield than to expose their young Duke to fresh jeopardy.* 
But the actual commander of the fortress was of another mind. 
Tillieres had been entrusted by Duke Robert to Gilbert Crispin, the 
ancestor of a race by whom, after its restoration to Normandy, the 
border fortress was held for several generations. 5 He scorned to 
agree to a surrender which he looked on as dangerous and dis- 
graceful; 6 he shut himself up in the castle with a strong force, and 
there endured a siege at the hands of the King. Besides his own 
subjects, Henry had a large body of Normans in the besieging host. 7 
It is not clear whether these were Normans of the disaffected party, 
or whether the Duke's own adherents, when they had once pledged 
themselves to surrender the castle, deemed it expedient to display this 
excess of zeal against a comrade who had carried his loyalty to the 
extreme of disobedience. It is certain that it was only in deference 
to orders given in the Duke's name, and which seem to imply the 
Duke's personal presence, 8 that the gallant Gilbert at last surrendered 

1 See vol. i. p. 307. 

3 Art de Verifier les Dates, ii. 670. 

3 Will. Gem. vii. 5. *' Duxit se placa- 
bilem ei nullo modo fore, quamdiu Tegu- 
lense castrum videret in pristino statu 

4 lb. " Cujus fraudes anirai ob salutem 
pueri vitare cupientes, in fide stantes Nor- 
manni decrevenint fieri quod egisse post- 
modum pcenituit." 

* On the family of Crispin or of Tillieres 
see Stapleton, i. cxx. ; ii. xliv. There is a 
special treatise, "De nobili Crispinorum 

Genere," which will be found in Giles' 
Lanfranc, i. 340. This Gilbert must not 
be confounded with Count Gilbert of 
Brionne, who seems also to be called 
Crispin. See Prevost, note on Roman de 
Rou, ii. 5. 

6 Will. Gem. vii. 5. " Mox ut molestis- 
simum agnovit decretum." 

7 lb. "Exercitibus tam Francorum quam 
Normannorum contractis." 

8 lb. * 4 Gislebertus tandem, precibus 
Ducis victus, moerens castrum reddidit." 



his trust. The fortress of which Normandy had been so proud waft 
handed over to the French King, and was at once given to the 
flames, to the sorrow of every true Norman heart. 1 The King 
pledged himself, as one of the conditions of the surrender, not to 
restore the fortress for four years. 2 But if the Norman writers may 
be trusted, he grossly belied his faith. His somewhat unreasonable 
demand had been granted, and no further provocation seems to 
have been given on the Norman side. But now that the protecting 
fortress was dismantled, Henry ventured on an actual invasion. He 
retired for a while; but he soon returned and crossed the border. 
He passed through the County of Hiesmes, the old appanage of Duke 
Robert ; from the valley of the Dive he passed into the valley of the 
Orne, and burned the Duke's own town of Argentan. He then 
returned laden with booty, and on his way back, in defiance of his 
engagements, he restored and garrisoned the dismantled fortress of 
Tiliieres. 8 The border fortress, so long the cherished defence of 
Normandy, now became the sharpest thorn in her side. 

It is impossible to doubt that this devastation of the County of 
Hiesmes was made by special agreement with the man who was most 
bound to defend it. The commander of the district was Thurstan 
surnamed Goz, the son of Ansfrid the Dane. 4 In this description, so 
long after the first occupation of the country, we must recognize a 
son of a follower of Harold Blaatand, 5 not a son of an original com- 
panion of Rolf. And a son of a follower of Harold Blaatand must 
by this time have been a man advanced in life. But neither his age 
and office, nor his Scandinavian descent and name, hindered Thur- 
stan from playing into the hands of the French invaders. Seeing that 
the Duke had been thus compelled to yield to the King, Thurstan 
looked upon the moment as one propitious for revolt. He took some 
of the King's soldiers into his pay, and with their help he garrisoned 
the castle of Falaise against the Duke. 6 Young William's indignation 

1 lb. " Quod [castrum] sub oculis om- 
nium sub maximo dolore cordis confestim 
igne concremari perspexit." The speedy 
restoration of the fortress, of which we 
shall hear directly, shows what is really 
meant by this burning. That the castle 
was wholly of wood is inconceivable. But 
all the wooden appendages, all the roofs, 
floors, and fittings of the main building, 
were burned. The principal tower would 
thus remain dismantled, blackened, perhaps 
a little damaged in its masonry, but quite 
fit to be made available again in a short 

2 lb. "Sacramenta quae Duci juraverat 
ne a quoquam suo in quatuor annis refi- 

cerenlur, irrita fecit." 

3 Will. Gem. vii. 5. 

4 lb. vii. 6. " Turstenus cognomento 
Goz, Ansfridi Dani filius, qui tunc praeses 
Oximensis erat." 

5 See vol. i. pp. 126, 129, 146, 157. 
Without trusting all Dudo's details, there 
can be no doubt as to the general fact of 
these later settlements. 

• Will. Gem. vii. 6. "Zelo succensus 
infidelitatis, regales milites stippendiis con- 
duxit, quos complices ad muniendum Fa- 
lesiac castellum, ne inde Duci serviret, sibi 
adscivit." The presence of the French 
soldiers is thus plain enough, and their pre- 
sence seems to imply the complicity of the 


was naturally great. To select that particular spot as a centre of 
rebellion was not only a flagrant act of disloyalty, but the grossest 
of personal insults. Acting under the guidance of his guardian Ralph 
of Wacey, the Duke summoned all loyal Normans to his standard, 
and advanced to the siege of his birthplace. The castle was attacked 
by storm, a fact which shows that the town was loyal, proud as it well 
might be of numbering among its sons not only a sovereign, but a 
sovereign who was beginning to be renowned even in his boyhood. 
It was only on the side of the town that the castle could be assaulted 
in this way. William himself could hardly have swarmed up the steep 
cliffs which looked down upon the dwelling of his grandfather, nor 
could he, like the English invader four centuries later, command the 
fortress by artillery planted on the opposite height. By dint of sheer 
personal strength and courage, the gallant Normans assaulted the 
massive walls of the Norman fortress, in the heart of the Norman 
land, which French hirelings, in the pay of a Norman traitor, were 
defending against the prince to whom that fortress owes a renown 
which can never pass away. Their attacks made a breach, perhaps 
not in the donjon itself, but at any rate in its external defences ; night 
alone, we are told, put an end to the combat, and saved Thurstan 
and his party from all the horrors of a storm. But the rebel chief 
now saw that his hopes were vain ; he sought a parley with the Duke, 
and was allowed to go away unhurt on condition of perpetual banish- 
ment from Normandy. Thurstan's son, Richard Viscount of Avranches, 
proved a loyal servant to William, and in the end procured the 
pardon of his father. 1 The son of the loyal Richard, the grandson of 
the rebel Thurstan, finds a place in English history by the name 
of Hugh the Wolf, the first of the mighty but short-lived line of the 
Counts Palatine of Chester. 2 

The young Duke's great qualities were now fast displaying them- 
selves. At the earliest age which the rules of chivalry allowed, he 
received the ensigns of knighthood from King Henry, and his sub- 
jects now began, not without reason, to look forward to a season of 
peace and order under his rule. 3 We hardly need the exaggerated 
talk of his extravagant panegyrist to feel sure that William, at an un- 

French King; but there seems to be no manesque work in Normandy. See De 

sufficient authority for bringing in a second Caumont, Statistique Monumental du Cal- 

devastating invasion of the County of vados, i. 306. 

Hiesmes by Henry in person, as we find 2 See Will. Gem. viii. 38 ; Ord. Vit. 

described in the Roman de Rou, 8526, 488 B, 522 A, B. 

where I do not understand Prevost's note. 3 Will. Malms, iii. 240. " At ille, ubi 

1 Will. Gem: vii. 6. He founded Saint primum per astatem potuit, militias insignia 

Gabriel's Priory near Bayeux, the small re- a Rege Francorum accipiens, provinciates 

mains of which are among the finest Ro- in spem quieris erexit." 


usually early age, taught men to see in him the born ruler. We hear, 
not only of his grace and skill in every warlike exercise, not only of 
his wisdom in the choice of his counsellors, but of his personally 
practising every virtue that becomes a man and a prince. William, we 
are told, was fervent in his devotions and righteous in his judgements, 
and he dealt out a justice as strict as that of Godwine or Harold upon 
all disturbers of the public peace. 1 All this we can well believe. Of 
all these virtues he retained many traces to the last A long career 
of ambition, craft, and despotic rule, never utterly seared his con- 
science, never brought him down to the level of those tyrants who 
neither fear God nor regard man. And in the fresh and generous 
days of youth, we can well believe that one so highly gifted, and who 
as yet had so little temptation to abuse his gifts, must have shone 
forth before all men as the very model of every princely virtue. But 
in one important point the public acts of William, or of those who 
acted in his name, hardly bear out the language of his panegyrists. 
His first ecclesiastical appointments were quite unworthy of the prince 
who was, somewhat later in life, to learn to appreciate and to reward 
the virtues of Maurilius, Lanfranc, and Anselm. The two greatest 
preferments of the Norman Church fell vacant during this period, and 
the way in which they were filled illustrates a not uncommon practice 
of the Norman princes which had few or no parallels in England. 
There have been few instances in England in any age of great 
spiritual preferments being perverted into means of maintenance for 
cadets or bastards of the royal house. In Normandy, at least since 
the days of Richard the Fearless, the practice had been shamefully 
common, and in the early days of William the scandal still continued. 

It must be remembered that the Prelates of Normandy, like the 
Prelates of the other great fiefs of the French Crown, were, in every 
sense, the subjects of the Prince within whose immediate dominions 
they found themselves. Here was one great point of difference be- 
tween the condition of France and the condition of Germany. In 
Germany all the great churchmen, in every part of the country, held 
immediately of the Emperor. Every Bishop was therefore reckoned 
as a Prince. The episcopal city also commonly became a Free City 
of the Empire, and, as such, was a commonwealth enjoying practical 
independence. No such oases of ecclesiastical or municipal privilege 

1 See above, p. ill. William of Poitiers perantid deviarent. Imprimis prohibere 

(Giles, Scriptt. Will. Conq. 80 ; Duchesne, cades, incendia, rapinas. Rebus enim illi- 

1 79 B) gives him, as might be expected, a citis nimia ubique, ut supra docuimus, li- 

splendid panegyric. Among other virtues centia fuit." See also the later panegyrics 

we read, " Summo studio ccepit ecclesiis on his administration of justice, p. 88, and 

Dei patrocinari, canssas impotentium tutari, on his piety in 113, to which I shall have 

jura imponere quae non gravarent, judicia again to refer, 
facere quae nequaquam ab sequitate vel tem- 



interrupted the continuous dominion of a Norman or Aquitanian 
Duke. The Metropolitan of Rouen or of Bourdeaux might be either 
the loyal subject or the refractory vassal of his immediate Prince ; but 
in tio case was he a coordinate sovereign, owning no superior except 
m the common over-lord. It is only among those Bishops whose 
sees lay within the Crown lands, those who, in the extemporized juris- 
prudence of a later age, sat as Peers of France alongside of the great 
Dukes and Counts, that the slightest signs of any such hierarchical 
independence can be discerned. At an earlier age we have indeed 
seen the metropolitan see of Rheims holding a position which faintly 
approached that of Mainz or Koln; 1 but even Rheims had now fallen 
not a little from its ancient greatness, and no such claims to princely 
authority were at any time put forward by the proudest Prelate of 
Bayeux or Rouen. It was as Count of Evreux, rather than as Primate 
of Normandy, that Archbishop Robert had been able to make himself 
so troublesome to his nephew and sovereign. That turbulent Prelate, 
after an episcopate of forty-eight years, had mended his ways, and 
had at last vacated both County and Archbishoprick by death. 2 In 
his temporal capacity he was succeeded by a son and a grandson, 
after whom the County of Evreux passed by an heiress to the house 
of Montfort, giving the Count-Primate the honour of being, through 
female descendants, a forefather of the great Simon. 8 The vacancy 
of the Archbishoprick placed the greatest spiritual preferment in the 
Duchy at the disposal of the young Duke. The choice of the new 
Primate was as little directed by considerations of ecclesiastical merit 
as that of his predecessor, and it proved in every way unfortunate. 
At the head of the Norman Church William's counsellors placed his 
uncle Malger (1037-1055), one of the sons of Richard the Good by 
Papia. 4 We shall presently find him displaying no very priestly 
qualities, and the only act of his life which could be attributed to 
Christian or ecclesiastical zeal was one which wounded the Duke him- 
self in the tenderest point. So too when, some years later, the great 
see of Bayeux fell vacant, William bestowed it on his half-brother 

1 See vol. i. p. 131. 

3 Ord. Vit. 566 B, C. See above, p. 

* Robert was succeeded at Evreux by his 
sou Richard and his grandson William. On 
the death of William his inheritance passed 
to his sister Agnes, wife of Simon the 
Second of Montfort, ancestor of the great 
Simon. See the pedigree in Duchesne, pp. 
1084, 1092, and Pauli, 19. 

4 Will. Gem. vii. 7 ; Ord Vit. 566 D. 
The verses on him in the series of Arch- 
bishops are, 

" Malgerius juvenis sedem suscepit ho- 
Natali clarus, sed nullo nobilis actu." 
See, for a fearful description of his mis- 
deeds, Will. Pict. 116 ed. Giles. Amongst 
other things, he never received the pallium. 
The list of Archbishops in Mabillon (Vet. 
An. ii. 439) says, " Non etectione meriti, 
sed caruali parentum [parents in the French 
sense] amore et adulatorum sum-agio in 
pueritift sedem adeptus est pontificalem; 
omni destitutus rutel&, potius adquievit 
carni et sanguini quam divinis mandatis.' 1 



Odo, the son of Herleva by her husband Herlwin of Conteville. 1 Odo, 
like Hugh of Rheims in earlier times, 2 must have been a mere boy 
at the time of his appointment; 3 but he held the see ofBayeux for 
fifty years 4 (104 8- 109 8), and during most part of that time his name 
was famous and terrible on both sides of the Channel. The character 
which he left behind him was a singularly contradictory one. 5 In 
England he was remembered only as the foremost among the con- 
querors and oppressors of the land, the man who won a larger share 
of English hatred than William himself, the man whose career of 
wrong was at last cut short by his royal brother, who, stern and un- 
scrupulous as he was, at least took no pleasure in deeds of wanton 
oppression. Of Odo's boundless ambition and love of enterprise 
there is no doubt The one quality led him to aspire to the Papal 
throne; 6 the other led him first to forsake his diocese to rule as 
an Earl in England, and then to forsake it again to follow his nephew 
Duke Robert to the first Crusade. That he was no strict observer of 
ecclesiastical rules in his own person is shown by the fact that he left 
behind him a son, on whom however he at least bestowed the ecclesi- 
astical name of John. 7 Still Norman ecclesiastical history sets Odo 
before us in a somewhat fairer light than that in which we see him in 
English secular history. He at least possessed the episcopal virtue 
of munificence, and, whatever were the defects of his own conduct, 
he seems to have been an encourager of learning and good conver- 
sation in others. He was bountiful to all, spepially to those of his 
own spiritual household. He rebuilt his own church at Bayeux 
(1077), where parts of his work still remain. The lower part of the 
lofty towers of the western front, the dim and solemn crypt beneath 
the choir, of that stately and varied cathedral, are relics of the church 
reared by its most famous Bishop. These precious fragments, severe 
but far from rude in style, form a striking contrast to the gorgeous 
arcades which in the next century succeeded Odo's nave, and to the 
soaring choir and apse raised by a still later age. Besides renewing 
the fabric, he increased the number of the clergy of his church, and 

1 Will. Pict. 118 Giles; Will. Gem. vii. in longinquas regiones celeberrima fama ; 

3, 17; Ord. Vit. 660 B, 664 B. See sed ipsius liberalissimi a'tque kunuUimi 

Appendix U. multa et in du stria et bonitas amplius 

a See vol. i. p. 138. , meretur." 

s A son of Herlwin and Herleva could * Ord. Vit. 646 D. Here Odo is " prac- 

not be born before 1036 ; Odo therefore, sumptor episcopus, cui principatus Albionis 

at the time of his appointment, could not et Neustrise non sufficiebat." 
have been above twelve years old. 7 lb. 665 A. Up to this time scriptural 

4 Will. Gem. vii. 17 ; Ord. Vit. 664 D. names seem to have been hardly more usual 

5 See especially the portrait of him in in Normandy than in England. The sons 
Orderic, u. s. William of Poitiers (118 of Archbishop Robert bore names of the 
Giles) ventures to say, " Odonem ab annis usual Teutonic type, but his successor Mai- 
pueriljbus optimorum numero consona prae- ger called his son Michael. lb. 566 D. 
couia optimorum inseruerunt. Fertur hie 


founded or enriched a monastery in the outskirts of the city, in 
honour of Saint Vigor, a canonized predecessor in the see of Bayeux. 1 
The name of, Odo is one which will be found constantly recurring in 
this history, from the day when his Bishop's staff and warrior's mace 
were so successfully wielded against the defenders of England, till the 
day when he went forth to wield the same weapons against the mis- 
believers of the East, and found on his road a tomb, far from the 
heavy pillars and massive arches of his own Bayeux, among the light 
and gorgeous enrichments with which the art of the conquered 
Saracen knew how to adorn the palaces and churches of the Norman 
lords of Palermo. 2 

But though the appointments of Malger and Odo might bode but 
little good for the cause of ecclesiastical reformation, it is certain that 
a great movement was at this time going on in the interior of the 
Norman Church. The middle of the eleventh century was, in Nor- 
mandy, the most fruitful aera of the foundation of monasteries. The 
movement in that direction, which had begun under Richard the Fear- 
less, was continued under Richard the Good, and it seems to have 
reached its height under Robert and William. A Norman noble of 
that age thought that his estate lacked its chief ornament, if he failed to 
plant a colony of monks in some corner of his possessions. 8 No doubt 
the fashion of founding monasteries became, in this case, as in other 
cases earlier and later, little more than a mere fashion. Many a man 
must have founded a religious house, not from any special devotion or 
any special liberality, but simply because it was the regular thing for 
a man in his position to do. 4 And as an age of founding monasteries 
must also be an age in which men are unusually eager to enter the 
monastic profession, we may infer that many men took that profession 

1 On these works of Odo see Will. Gem. aut monachos in sua possessione ad Dei 
vii. 1 7 ; Ord. Vit. 665 A. Orderic's words militiam rebus necessariis non sustentabat." 
might seem to assert a more complete re- So also Will. Gem. vii. 22. * *' Unusquisque 
building of the cathedral than those of optimatum certabat in pradio suo ecclesias 
William. Orderic says, u Ecclesiam sanctse fabricare, et monachos qui pro se Deum 
Dei genitricis Maria? a fundamentis coepit, rogarent rebus suis locupletare." Each adds 
eleganter consummavit." William has only, a long list of the foundations of the time. 
" Pontificalem ecclesiam in honorem sancta? The expressions "clerici" and "ecclesias 
Dei genitricis Mariae novam auxit." Per- fabricare " would seem to apply to parish 
haps this means that he rebuilt it on a churches also. But not many parish 
larger scale. It was consecrated, like many churches of so early a date exist in Nor- 
other Norman churches, in 1077. Ord. Vit. mandy. The great mass seem to have 
548 D. Compare the many dedications of been built or rebuilt in the next century. 
English churches in 1 238- 1239. See Matt. * This seems recognized by William of 
Paris, 449, 481, 522, Wats. Jumieges (vii. 22). Roger of Montgomery 

2 Ord. Vit. 765 C. founded monasteries, •' indignans videri in 
8 Ord. Vit. 460 A. •' Quisque potentum aliquo inferior suis comparibus." 

se derisione dignum judicabat, si clericos 


on them out of mere imitation or prevalent impulse, without any true 
personal call to the monastic life. Still, though movements of this sort 
may end in becoming a mere fashion, they never are a. mere fashion 
at their beginning. The Norman Benedictine movement in the 
eleventh century, the English Cistercian movement in die twelfth 
century, the still greater movement of the Friars in the thirteenth cen- 
tury — we may add the revulsion in favour of the Seculars in the 
fourteenth century, and the great Jesuit movement in the sixteenth — 
all alike point to times when all classes of men were dissatisfied 
with the existing state of the Church, and were filled with a general 
desire for its reformation. 1 The evil in every case was that the 
monastic reformations were never more than temporary. Some new 
foundations were created, perhaps even some old ones were reformed ; 
the newly kindled fire burned with great fervour for a generation or 
two ; a crop of saints arose, with their due supply of legends and 
miracles. But presently love again waxed cold ; the new foundations 
fell away like the elder ones, and the next age saw its new order arise, 
to run the same course of primitive poverty and primitive holiness, 
degenerating into wealth, indolence, and corruption. Still there is a 
special charm in beholding the early years, the infant struggles, the 
simple and fervent devotion, of one of these religious brotherhoods in 
the days of its first purity. And, among the countless monasteries 
which arose in Normandy at this time, there are two which call for 
special notice at the hands of an historian whose chief aim is to connect 
the history of Normandy with that of England. The famous Abbey 
of Bee became the most renowned school of the learning of the 
time, and, among the other famous men whom it sent forth, it gave 
three Primates to the throne of Augustine. Thence came Lan- 
franc, the right hand man of the Conqueror — the scholar whose 
learning drew hearers from all Christendom, and before whose logic 
the heretic stood abashed — the courtier who could win the favour of 
Kings without stooping to any base compliance with their will — the 
ruler whose crozier completed the conquest which the ducal sword 
only began, and who knew how to win the love of the conquered, 
even while rivetting their fetters. Thence too came also the man 
of simple faith and holiness, the man who, a stranger in a strange 
land, could feel his heart beat for the poor and the oppressed, the man 
who braved the wrath of the most terrible of Kings in the cause at once 
of ecclesiastical discipline and of moral righteousness. Such are the 
truest claims of Anselm to the reverence of later ages, but it must not 
be forgotten that, if Bee sent forth in Lanfranc the great reformer of 
ecclesiastical discipline, it sent forth also in his successor the. father of 

1 Compare the remarks of Giraldus on the characters of the different orders in his 
time. It. Kamb. i. 3 (p. 41 Dimock). 


the whole dogmatic theology of later times. The third Metropolitan 
who found his way from Bee to Canterbury cannot compete with 
the fame of either of his great predecessors ; yet Theobald lives 
in history as the first to discern the native powers of one whose 
renown presently came to outshine the renown of Lanfranc and of 
Anselm. The early patron of Thomas the burgher's son of London 
may fairly claim some reflected share of the glory which surrounds the 
name of Thomas the Chancellor of England, the Primate and the 
Martyr of Canterbury. By the side of the house which sent forth men 
like these the name of the other Norman monastery of which I speak 
may seem comparatively obscure. Yet the Abbey of Ouche or Saint 
Evroul has its own claim on our respect. It was the spot which 
beheld the composition of the record from which we draw our main 
knowledge of the times following those with which we have imme- 
diately to deal ; it was the home of the man in whom, perhaps more 
than in any other man, the characters of Norman and Englishman 
were inseparably mingled. There the historian wrote, who, though 
the son of -a French father, the denizen of a Norman monastery, still 
clave to England as his country and gloried in his English birth 3 — the 
historian who could at once admire the greatness of the Conqueror 
and sympathize with the wrongs of his victims, who, amid all the con- 
ventional reviling which Norman loyalty prescribed, could still see and 
acknowledge with genuine admiration the virtues and the greatness 
even of the perjured Harold. 2 To have merely produced a chronicler 
may seem faint praise beside the fame of producing men whose career 
has had a lasting influence on the human mind ; yet, even beside the 
long bead-roll of the worthies of Bee, some thought may well be 
extended to the house where Orderic recorded the minutest details of 
the lives alike of some of the saints and of the warriors of his time. 

The tale of the early days of Bee is one of the most captivating 
in the whole range of monastic history or monastic legend. It has 
a character of its own. The origin of Bee differs from that of those 
earlier monasteries which gradually grew up around the dwelling- 
place or the burial-place of some revered Bishop or saintly hermit. 
It differs again from the origin of those monasteries of its own age 
which were the creation of some one external founder. Or rather 
it united the two characters in one. Bee gradually rose to greatness 
from very small beginnings ; but, gradual as the process was, it took 

1 Ord. Vit. 547 C. *' Ego dc extremis lus exsul, ut seterno Regi militarem, desti- 

Mercioruro finibus decennis Angligena hue natus sum/' See also pp. 579-581. His 

advectus, barbarusque et ignotus advena father Odelerius was a priest of Orleans, 

callentibas indigenis admhetus, inspirante Of the importance of these passages I shall 

Deo Normannorum gesta et evenlus Nor- have to speak again, 
mannis promere scripto sum conatus." So * See Orderic, 492 B, and Appendix D. 
548 A. " De Anglia in Normanniam tenel- 



place within the lifetime of one man. And that man was at once its 
founder and its first ruler. The part of Cuthberht at Lindisfarne, the 
parts of William and of Lanfranc at Caen, were all united in Herlwin, 
Knight, Founder, and Abbot. This famous man passed thirty-seven 
years of his life as a man of the world, a Norman gentleman and 
soldier. His father Ansgod boasted of a descent from the first Danes 
who occupied Neustria, 1 that is to say, from the original companions 
of Rolf as distinguished from the later settlers under Harold Blaatand. 2 
And this descent agrees with the geographical position of his estates, 
which lay, though on the left bank of the Seine, yet on the right bank 
of the Dive, within the limits of the original grant of Charles the 
Simple. 3 On the spindle side he boasted of a still loftier ancestry; his 
mother Heloise is said, on what authority it is not very clear, to have 
been a near kinswoman of the reigning house of Flanders. 4 He was 
a vassal of Count Gilbert of Brionne, the faithful guardian of William, 
in the neighbourhood of whose castle his own estates lay. He had 
proved his faithfulness to his immediate lord by many services of 
various kinds, and he had won the favour, not only of Count Gilbert 
but of their common sovereign Duke Robert. On one occasion, 
a wrong received from the Count had caused him to forsake his 
service. But presently the Count was engaged in a more dangerous 
warfare with Ingelram, Count of Ponthieu. Herlwin with his followers 
came at a critical moment to Gilbert's help, and the Count restored 
all, and more than all, that he had taken away from one who so well 
knew how to return good for evil. 6 At another time Gilbert sent 
Herlwin to the ducal court on an errand of which his conscience 
disapproved ; 6 he failed to execute the unjust commission ; in revenge 
the Count ravaged the lands of Herlwin and did great damage to 
their poor occupiers. 7 Herlwin went to the Count, and made light 
of his own injury, but prayed that in any case the losses of the poor 
might be made good to them. Such a man was already a saint 

1 Will. Gem. vi. 9. "A Danis igitur "Ducum Flandriae," without the flourish 
qui Normanniam primi obtinuere pater about the Morini. Herlwin may thus have 
ejus originem duxit." So Milo Crispin, been, in the female line, a descendant of 
Vitac Abb. Becc. (Giles, Lanfranc, i. 261), our Alfred. 

who copies William. Both give the name 5 Milo, ap. Giles, i. 262; Orderic, 460 B. 

Ansgotus. I know not why pedigree- Herlwin, hard pressed in the battle, vows 

makers (see one quoted by Taylor, Wace that, if he survives, he will serve God only 

209, and another in Sir A. Malet's Wace, — " nulli ulterius nisi soli Deo militaret.'* 
269) identify this Ansgod with "Crispinus • Milo, i. 264. The "Count was seeking 

of Bee." the destruction of some neighbour; "de 

2 See above, p. 134. cujusdam compatriots sui damno agens, 
8 See vol. i. pp. 114. quod in illius vergebat perniciem." 

4 Will. Gem. vi. 9. «• Mater proximam 7 lb. " Continuo abripiuntur omnia sua, 

Ducum Morinorum, quos moderni Flandros nee curat, vastantur quoque pauperes sui, 

cognominant, consanguinitatem attigit." unde non parva sollicitatur cura." 
Milo is satisfied with the description of 


in practice, if not in profession; and we have no right to assume 
that, in this carrying out of Christian principles into daily life, Herlwin 
stood alone among the gallant gentlemen of Normandy. But the 
misfortune always was that men like Herlwin, who were designed 
to leaven the world by their virtues, were in that age open to so 
many temptations to forsake the world altogether. Herlwin began 
to feel himself out of place in the secular world of Normandy, full, 
as it was in those days, of strife and bloodshed, where every man 
sought to win justice for himself by his own sword. But he was 
hardly more out of place in the Norman ecclesiastical world, where 
priests not only married freely, but bore arms and lived the life 
of heathen Danes, 1 and where even monks used their fists in a way 
which would hardly have been becoming in laymen. 2 The faith of 
Herlwin nearly failed him when he saw the disorder of one famous 
monastery; but he was comforted by accidentally beholding the 
devotions of one godly brother, who spent the whole night in 
secret prayer. He was thus convinced that the salt of the earth had 
not as yet wholly lost its savour. 3 

Herlwin now, at the age of forty, retired from the world, and 
received the habit of religion from Herbert, Bishop of Lisieux. 4 
Count Gilbert released him from his service, and seemingly released 
his lands from all feudal dependence on himself. 5 Herlwin then 
began the foundation of a monastery on his own estate of Burneville 
near Brionne. 6 A few devotees soon gathered round him. They 
lived a hard life, Herlwin himself joining them in tilling the ground, 
and in raising with his own hands the church and the other buildings 
needed by the infant brotherhood. 7 The church, when finished, 

1 See the description in Orderic, 574 D to 1 050. He began to rebuild the cathe- 
et seqq. His words are remarkable. AfteT dral, which was finished by his successor 
describing the marriage or concubinage of Hugh. No part of their work remains. 
the clergy and even of the Bishops, he goes 8 Milo, i. 264, 265. The release of 
on (575 A); "Hujusmodi mos inolevit the lands seems implied in the foundation 
tempore neophytorum, qui cum Rollone of the monastery. 

baptizati sunt, et desolatam regionem non • Will. Gem. vi. 9 ; Milo, i. 265. 

litter is sed armis instructi violenter in vase- 7 Will. Gem. u. s. " Ipse non solum 

runt. Deinde presbyteri de stirpe Daco- operi prsesidebat, sed opus ipsum efficiebat, 

rum litteris tenuiter edocti parochias tene- terram fodiens, fossam efferens, lapides, 

bant, et arma ferentes laicalem feudum sabulum, calcemque humeris comportans, 

militari famulatu defendebant." ac ea in parietem ipsemet componens." 

2 Milo, i. 266. ** Quidam monachus The church of Burneville then, like Cnut's 
monachum pugno repertussum avertit, ac church on Assandun (see vol. i. p. 423), 
impulsum supinis dentibus demisit ad so- was clearly a minster of stone and lime, 
lum ; adhuc enim, ut dictum est, omnes For a like example of humility, take Saint 
omnium per Normanniam mores barbari Hugh of Lincoln, who worked at the build- 
erant." ing of his own cathedral church. (Metrical 

8 lb. i. 266, 267. Life of St. Hugh, ed. Dimock, p. 32.) 

4 Will. Gem. vi. 9; Ord. Vit. 549 A. Compare the penance imposed on Duke 

Herbert was Bishop of Lisieux from 1026 Godfrey for his sacrilege at Verdun; see 


was consecrated by Bishop Herbert, who at the same time (1037) 
ordained Herlwin a priest, and gave him the usual benediction as 
Abbot of the new society. 1 About the same time he for the first 
time learned to read, and that to such good purpose that he gradually 
became mighty in the Scriptures, and that without ever neglecting 
the daily toil which his austere discipline imposed upon himself. 3 
His mother Heloise also, struck by the example of her son, gave 
up her dower-lands, and became a sort of serving-sister to the 
brotherhood, washing their clothes, and doing for them other menial 
services. 3 But after a while it was found that the site of Burneville 
was unsuited for a religious establishment; it seems not to have 
been well supplied with the two great monastic necessities of wood 
and water. 4 Herlwin therefore determined to remove his infant 
colony to a spot better suited to his purpose, a spot to which his 
own name has ever since been inseparably attached. A wooded 
hill divides the valley of the Risle, with the town and castle of 
Brionne, from another valley watered by a small stream, or, in 
the old Teutonic speech of the Normans, a beck? That stream 
gave its name to the most famous of Norman religious houses, 
and to this day the name of Bee is never uttered to denote that 
spot without the distinguishing addition of the name of Herlwin. 
The hills are still thickly wooded; the beck still flows, through 

above, p. 97. In somewhat the same spirit s MUo, i. 268. "Simili se inibi propter 

Edward the First worked personally in Deum servituti nobilis mater ejus addixit, 

making the ditch at Berwick in 1296. et concessis Deo praediis, quae habebat, an- 

Rishanger, ed. Riley, p. 375. cillae fungebatur officio." 

1 Will. Gem. u. s. " Ab eodem prsesule * Chron. Becc. ap. Giles, i. 194. u Quia 

sacerdos ordinatus atque Abbas constitutus campestris et inaquosus est locus." On the 

est." Cf. Milo, i. 267. The last writer necessity of wood and water for monks, 

seems to make Herlwin delay his monastic we have the witness of Orderic (461 A) in 

profession till the consecration of the the case of his own house. " Locus iste," 

church, but it seems from William of Ju- says William the son of Geroy, " ubi cgb- 

mieges and Orderic (549 A) that an interval pistis sedificare, habitationi monachorum 

of three years passed between his first pro- aptus non est, quia ibi aqua deest et nemus 

fession and his ordination and benediction longe est. Certum est quod absque his 

as Abbot. Milo himself, though in a con- duobus dementis monachi esse non pos- 

fused way, recognizes an interval of three sunt/' The description of Bee in William 

years. of Jumieges enlarges on the advantages of 

a Will. Gem. vi. 9 ; Milo, i. 265. " Pri- the spot. It is *• omni opportunitate bu- 

ma literarum elementa didicit, quum jam mano usui commodus. Propter densitatem 

exsisteret annorum prope quadraginta, et, ac rivi recreationem, ferarum illic multus 

divinS, opitulante gratia, eo usque processit erat accursus." 

ut etiam ipsis apprime eruditis grammatics 5 Will. Gem. vi. 9. " Locus, qui a rivo 
in exponendis ac intelligendis divinarum illic mananti Beccus appellator." So Chron. 
scriptu arum sententiis merito haberetur Becc. ap. Giles, i. 194. " Locus qui dicitur 
admirabi! s." With this plain testimony Beccus, et ita vocitatus a rivulo ibi decur- 
before me, I do not understand the re- rente, qui adhuc hodiernis temporibus de- 
marks of Dean Milman, Latin Christianity, currit juxta muros prati." 
iii. 436, and Dean Hook, Archbishops, ii. 85. 


rich meadows and under trees planted by the water-side, by the 
walls of what once was the renowned monastery to which it gave 
its name. But of the days of Herlwin no trace remains besides 
these imperishable works of nature. A tall tower, of rich and fanciful 
design, one of the latest works of mediaeval skill, still attracts the 
traveller from a distance ; but of the mighty minster itself all traces, 
save a few small fragments, have perished. 1 The monastic buildings, 
like those of so many other monasteries in Normandy and elsewhere 
in Gaul, had been rebuilt in the worst days of art, and they are now 
applied to the degrading purposes of a receptacle of French cavalry. 
The gateway also remains, but it is, like the rest of the buildings, 
of a date far later than the days of Herlwin. The truest memorial 
of that illustrious Abbey is now to be found in the parish church of 
the neighbouring village. In that lowly shelter is still preserved 
the effigy with which after times had marked the resting-place of 
the Founder. Such are all the relics which now remain of the house 
which once owned Lanfranc and Anselm as its inmates. 

In this valley it was that Herlwin finally fixed his infant settlement, 
devoting to it his own small possessions in the valley itself, and ob- 
taining from Count Gilbert a grant of the adjoining wood, one of the 
most precious possessions of the lordship of Brionne. 2 There Herlwin 
built his first church, and added a wooden cloister, which he after- 
wards exchanged for one of stone. 8 There he ruled his house in 
peace and wisdom, his knowledge of the outer world, and especially 
his familiarity with the laws of Normandy, standing him, we are told, 
in good stead. 4 Bee seemed destined to the ordinary lot of a monastic 
house — to a short succession of men of primitive zeal and primitive * 
virtue, followed by a period of worldly prosperity, leading to its usual 
results of coldness and laxity. And such doubtless would have been 
its fate, the glory of Bee would have been as transitory -as that of 
other monastic houses, but for the appearance of one illustrious man, 
who came to be enrolled as a private member of the brotherhood, and 
who gave Bee for a while a special and honourable character with 
which hardly any other monastery in Christendom could compare. 

1 It must be remembered that Herlwin's gifts at Burneville and elsewhere, see his 
first church at Bee was on a different site charter in Neustria Pia, 437. 

from the existing remains, which represent 8 Will. Gem. vi. 9 ; Milo, i. 269. 

his second building. " Consecrata, paucis exstructa annis, nou 

2 Milo, i. 268. " Comes Gilbertus nil parva ecclesia, columnis ex ligneis clau- 
usquam eo saltu pretiosius possidebat." strum construxit." The church then was 
The only human habitations in the valley of stone. 

were three mills, in two of which Herlwin * Milo, i. 270. "Abbas peritus erat in 

had the right of a third part. Partly by dirimendis caussarum saecularium contrc- 

gift, partly by purchase, he obtained pos- versiis, prudens in iis quae ad exteriora per-, 

session of the whole valley. For his own tinent, . . • legum patriae scientissimus." 



Abbot Herlwin survived his first conversion for forty-four years ; * his 
first humble* church was pulled down and rebuilt, and the new fabric 
was hallowed in his presence by one whom he had himself received to 
the monastic order, one who had made Bee the light of the world, and 
who then returned to his old home in all the greatness of the Patriarch 
of the nations beyond the sea. 2 If the first origin of the house was 
owing to the simple devotion of its founder and Abbot Herlwin, its 
lasting fame and splendour were no less owing to the varied learning 
and soaring genius of its renowned Prior Lanfranc. 
• The future Primate of England was one of the most illustrious 
witnesses to that feature in the Norman character which made the 
men of that race welcome strangers from every quarter, and which 
led to the settlement of so many eminent men of various nations, both 
in Normandy itself and in the conquered lands of Britain and Sicily. 3 
In the days of Richard the Good, monks and priests had flocked into 
Normandy, even from such distant lands as Greece and Armenia, and 
the Norman Duke had kept up a close intercourse even with the 
monks of Mount Sinai. 4 The first great teacher of Bee came from a 
nearer, though still a distant, region. Lanfranc, Prior of Bee, Abbot 
of Saint Stephen's, Archbishop of Canterbury, was a native of the 
Lombard city of Pavia, and was born (1005) of a family which, 
though perhaps not technically noble, was at any rate eminent and 
honourable. 5 He was full of all the secular learning of the time, and 
his range of study seems to have taken in the unusual accomplish- 
ment of a knowledge of Greek.* A knowledge of that tongue was 

1 Will. Gem. vi. 9 ; Ord. Vit. 549 A. Pont. 1 16 b) says only, "non adeo abjecta 

3 Will. Gem. u. s. " Gentium transma- et obscura progenie oriundus erat." Milo's 

rinarum summus Pontifex." Milo, i. 275. description (i. 281) points to a sort of 

" Gentium transmarinarum Apostolicus." nobility of the robe ; " Parentes illius, ejus- 

Ib. 272. " Summus antistes et in ecclesiis dem urbis cives, magni et honorabiles habe- 

transmarinis vices apostolicas gerens." See bantur inter suos concives. Nam, ut fertur, 

vol. i. pp. 90, 376. pater ejus de ordine illorum qui jura et 

3 Will. Malms, iii. 246. " Omnium leges civitatis asservabant fuit." Dr. Hook 
gentium benignissimi advenas aequali se- (Archbishops, ii. 74) refers to his letter to 
cum honore colunt." Queen Margaret of Scotland (Giles, i. 59), 

4 Chron. Fontanellense (Saint Wand- in which he calls himself " hominem ex- 
rille), ap. D'Achery, iii. 286. traneum, vilem, ignobilem." A sort of 

5 Orderic's description of him (519 A) civic nobility seems to reconcile the dif- 
begins, '* Hie ex nobili parentela ortus, Pa- ferent descriptions. 

piae urbis Itaiiae civibus, ab annis infantiae 6 I suppose that a knowledge of Greek 

in scholis liberalium artium studuit, et secu- is implied in the description given by Wil- 

larium legum peritiam ad patriae suae morem Ham of Jumieges (vi. 9) ; " Ortus Italia 

intentione laica fervidus edidicit." Gervase quidam vir erat, quern Latmitas, in anti- 

(X Scriptt. 1652), from whom we get the quum ab eo restituta scientise statum, tota 

names of his parents, says, " natus in urbe supremum debito cum amore et honore 

Papiensi civibus egregiis et honesta condi- agnoscit, nomine Lanfrancus. Ipsa quoque 

tione ; pater ipsius Hanbaldus, mater Roza in liberaltbus studiis gentium magistra Grae- 

vocabatur." William of Malmesbury (Gest. cia discipulos illius libenter audiebat, et 


then probably less rare than it became somewhat later, and it is an 

accomplishment which might be looked for in Italy, even in the 

northern part of the peninsula, more naturally than in any country 

north of the Alps. At the time of Lanfranc's birth and youth, a large 

part of Southern Italy wa£ still subject to the Eastern Emperors, and 

the use of the Greek language survived, both in Sicily and on the 

main land, long after the establishment of the Norman dynasty. A 

knowledge of that tongue must therefore have been highly useful for 

those who were likely to have any intercourse, diplomatic or com- \ 

mercial, with the parts of Italy where it was spoken ; still we cannot 

suppose that its acquirement formed any part of the ordinary course 

of study of a Lombard scholar. But the great object of Lanfranc's 

study was one especially adapted to the Imperialist city where he was 

born, the study of the Civil Law. It was an hereditary calling in his 

family ; his father Hanbald was a lawyer of distinction, 1 and his son 

more than maintained the credit of his house. As a pleader, he was 

eminently successful ; the veterans of the courts could not resist the 

learning and the eloquence with which he spoke, and his legal 

opinions were accepted as decisive by the magistrates of his native 

city. 2 His father died while Lanfranc was still young, and his honours 

and offices were offered to his son. 3 Why a man who had such fair 

prospects at home should have forsaken that home for the distant 

and barbarous Normandy, it is not easy to guess. 4 We are told only 

that he heard that Normandy was a land which lacked learning, and 

that its young Duke was disposed to give encouragement to learned 

men. 5 At all events, early in the period of anarchy which formed the 

early years of the reign of William, Lanfranc came into Normandy 

with a following of scholars, and opened a school (1039) in the 

episcopal city of Avranches. 6 The cathedral church of that city beheld 

in after times the penance by which the greatest successor of 

William atoned for his share in the death of the most renowned among 

admirabatur." The word " Latinitas " 00- tores civitatis acceptabant." 

curs also in the passage in the Saint Wand- s Milo, i. 282. " In primseva state 

rille Chronicle just referred to ; " Potestas patre orbatus, quum ei in honorem et dig- 

secundi Richardi, velut amore diluculi, in nitatem succedere deberet." Was Hanbald's 

toto Latin itatis orbe serena refulsit." See post, whatever it was, hereditary ? 

also Will. Malms. Prol. in Lib. v.; Orderic, 4 Dr. Hook (ii. 76, 80) discusses the 

753 B » 779 D. question at length. I cannot infer from 

1 See the quotation from Orderic just the use of the word " exsilium " by Orderic 

above, and Dr. Hook's (ii. 75) discussion (519 A) that Lanfranc was driven from 

as to his exact position. Pavia by any political revolution, any more 

a Ord. Vit. 519 A. " Adolescentulus than Orderic himself, when "tenellusexsul" 

orator veteranos adversantes in actionibus in Normandy. See above, p. 141. 
caussarum frequenter pracipitavit, torrente 8 Chron. Becc. i. J 95; Hook, ii. 77. 
facundia apposite dicendo senes superavit. e The sojourn at Avranches comes from 

In ipsa aetate sententias promere statuit quas Milo, i. 28a. The other accounts seem to 

gratanter juris periti aut judices aut pre- bring him to Bee at once, 

L 2 


the successors of Lanfranc. But the glory of Avranches has passed 
away. From it, alone among the seven episcopal towns of Nor- 
mandy, minster and Bishoprick have wholly vanished. 1 But, during 
those few year^ of the life of Lanfranc, Avranches must have been an 
intellectual centre without a rival on this side of the Alps. The fame of 
the great teacher was spread abroad, and scholars flocked to him from 
all quarters. But as yet his learning was wholly secular ; his pursuits 
were peaceful, but he thought perhaps less of divine things than Herl- 
win had thought when he rode after Count Gilbert to battle. At last 
divine grace touched his heart ; a sudden conversion made him resolve 
to embrace the monastic profession. He left Avranches suddenly, 
without giving any notice to his friends and scholars, and set forth to 
seek for the poorest and most lowly monastery that could be found, 
for one which his own fame had never reached. 2 A happy accident 
led him to Bee, which then fully answered his ideal. 8 Received as a 
monk by Abbot Herlwin (1042), he strove to hide himself from the 
world ; he even at one time thought of leaving the monastery, and 
leading a life of utter solitude in the wilderness. 4 But the Abbot 
required him on his obedience to remain, and he was advanced (1045) 
to the dignity of Prior. 6 He had already proved his fitness to com- 
mand by his readiness to obey. His predecessor in the Priorship, an 
unlearned man, had bidden him, when reading in the refectory, to 
shorten the second syllable of docere. The great scholar did as he was 
bid, deeming holy obedience to be something higher than the rules of 
Donatus.® But such necessity was not long laid upon him ; such a 

1 The Bishoprick of Avranches is now the chronological difference spoken of by 

merged in that of Coutances, and the the Dean, except that the Chronicler, like 

cathedral is destroyed ; Lisieux is also most of the other writers, leaves out the 

merged in Bayeux, but the cathedral re- sojourn at Avranches. The two versions 

mains. are worth comparing, as illustrating the 

8 Will. Gem. vi. 9. * Beccum itaque growth of a legend, which is not the less 

adiit, quo nullum usquam pauperius aestima- plainly a legend because it contains nothing 

batur vel abjectius ccenobium." Ord. Vit. miraculous. The earlier form is the more 

519 B. "Ccenobiolum Beccense loci situ et consistent with the general story, as it 

paupertate elegit." Milo, i. 282, 283. represents Lanfranc as ignorant of Scripture 

"Locum adire nolebat, ubi litterati qui and divine things. The meeting between 

eum honori ac reverentiae haberent. . . . Lanfranc and Herlwin is well conceived 

Rogavit sane ut vilius et pauperius coeno- and well told, 

bium quod in regione nossent sibi demon- 4 Milo, i. 285. 

strarent." Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 116 b. * lb. 286. *• Lanfrancum Priorem con- 

" Multis diu locis curcumspectis, ex omni stituit, et quidquid ditioni monasterii 

abbatiarum copia Beccum apud Norman- subjacebat, interius et exterius ipsius curse 

niam potissimum elegit, paupertate loci et commisit." 

monachorum religione captus." 6 lb. 284. " Vir sapiens sciens magis 

3 The legend is found in a simpler form obedientiam Christo debere quam Donato, 

in Milo, i. 282, 283, and in a fuller shape dimisit quod bene prominciaverat, et dixit 

ki the Chronicou Beccense, i. 195, 196, quod non recte dicere jubebatur. Nam 

followed by Hook, i. 81, 82. I do not see producere brevem vel longam compere 


light as his could not long be hid under a bushel; his fame was 
again spread abroad, and with it the fame of the house in which he 
sojourned. Clerks and scholars, men of noble birth, even sons of 
princes, flocked to profit by the instructions of the learned Prior, and 
enriched the Abbey with costly gifts for his sake. 1 The society in- 
creased so fast that the buildings were found to be too small, and the 
site not healthy enough for so great a multitude. 2 By the persuasion 
of Lanfranc, Herlwin was induced to change his abode once more, 
and to raise a third house, larger and more stately than either of its 
predecessors, 8 but still within the same valley and upon the banks of 
the same beck. At last the name of the Prior of Bee reached the 
ears of Duke William himself. Lanfranc became his trusted coun- 
sellor, 4 and we shall presently find him acting zealously and success- 
fully on his sovereign's behalf, in pursuit of the object which, next to 
the Crown of England, was nearest to William's heart. The fame of 
Lanfranc soon spread beyond the bounds of Normandy; he appeared, 
as we have already seen, at a succession of synods, as the champion 
of the received doctrine of the Church. 5 The theological position of 
Lanfranc I leave to be discussed by others ; 6 it is enough to say that, 
summoned before Pope and Council as a suspected heretic, he came 
away from Rome and Vercelli with the reputation of the most pro- 
found and most orthodox doctor of his time. 7 

The monastery of Ouche or Saint Evroul had, as far as the eleventh 
century was concerned, an origin of a different kind from that of 
Bee; but its story is really little more than that of Bee carried back 
into an earlier age. That is to say, while Bee was altogether a new 
foundation, Saint Evroul was, like many other religious hous3S both 
in England and Normandy, a restoration of an earlier one. In 

syllabam non capitale noverat crimen ; ve- happen till 1 066 (Ord. Vit. 494 B). Did 

rum jubenti ex parte Dei non parere culpam the rebuilding not begin till 1063 ? 

non levem esse sciebat." 4 I reserve the account of Lanfranc's 

1 Will. Gem. vi. 9. ** Accurrunt clerici, connexion with William till I come to the 

Ducum filii [one would like to know their history of the Duke's marriage, 
names], nominatissimi scholarum Latini- 5 See above, p. 75. 
tarJs magistri, laid potentes, alta nobilitate * See Hook, ii. 89. 
viri. Multi pro ipsius amore multaj eidem 7 Orderic (519 D) describes the work of 

ecclesise terras contulere." Lanfranc against Berengar as *• dilucido 

a lb. " Adunatam etenim illic fratrum venustoque stilo libellum, sacris auctoritati- 
multitudinem quia domorum spaciositas bus ponderosum, et indissolubiliter con- 
jam eapere non valebat, et quia situs stantem consequentiis rationum, yerae in- 
loci degentium incolumitati contrarius ex- telligentiac adstructione de Eucharistia co- 
sistebat." piosum, facundo sermone Juculentum, nee 

9 William of Jumieges (u. s.) describes prolixitate tediosiim." One could wish 

the work, and says that •' post triennii that the excellent Orderic had, in this last 

completionem, sola necdum completa basi- respect, imitated the work which he so 

lica,** Lanfranc became Abbot of Saint Ste- much admired, 
phen's. This last appointment did not 


both countries the Scandinavian invaders had destroyed or pil- 
laged countless churches and monasteries. Many of these last, 
sometimes after complete destruction, sometimes after dragging on 
a feeble existence during the intermediate time, rose again, like 
Crowland and Jumieges, in more than their former greatness. But 
the case of Saint Evroul was a peculiar one. Its temporary fall 
was owing, not to the devastations of heathen Northmen, but 
to the wars between Christian Normandy and Christian France. 
The history of its founder, Ebrulf or Evroul, a saint of the 
sixth century, in many respects forestalls the history of Herlwin of 
Bee. 1 Of noble birth in the city of Bayeux, — perhaps therefore of 
Saxon, rather than of either Frankish or Gaulish, blood, — high in 
favour at the court of Hlodhar the son of Hlodwig, he lived, even as 
a layman, the life of a saint. 2 At last he forsook the world ; his wife 
and himself both took monastic vows ; but Ebrulf, as Lanfranc had 
wished to do, presently forsook his monastery for a deeper seclusion. 
With three companions only, he sought out a lonely spot by the river 
Charenton, close by the forest of Ouche, on the borders of the 
dioceses of Lisieux, Evreux, and Seez. There he lived a hermit's 
life, adorned, as we are told, by many miracles, 8 and his cell, like the 
cell of Guthlac at Crowland, became the small beginning of a famous 
monastery. The secluded site of the house saved it from the ravages 
of the Northmen, and the votaries of Saint Evroul, with almost unique 
good luck, remained undisturbed, while Hasting and Rolf were over- 
throwing so many holy places of their brethren elsewhere.* But 
during the troubled minority of Richard the Fearless, when King 
Lewis of La6n and Duke Hugh of Paris were invading the defenceless 
Duchy, 6 the monks of Saint Evroul received two seemingly honour- 
able, but, as it turned out, highly dangerous, guests. These were 

1 The -whole early history of his house bus et oppidis desolate sunt ; nos, suffra- 
is given by Orderic at great length, 609 et gante Deo, in silvestri stcrilique rure latui- 
seqq. So also Will. Gem. vii. 23. mus, et debacchantium gladios, licet in 

2 Ord. Vit. 609 C. *' Degens adhuc sub timore trimio et egestate, sospites evasi- 
laicali habitu vitam instituerat ut nihil ab mus." This must have been forgotten 
his discrepare videretur, quos imperium when it is said in Neustria Pia, p. 90, that 
regulare coercebat." His piety however Saint Evroul was ravaged by the Danes, 
was not wholly after the type of Eadward * See vol. i. pp. 210, 211. Orderic gives 
the Confessor, for we read (609 D) that his version of these events in p. 619. He 
"conjugem, ut patris nomen haberet, ac- calls Hugh "Hugo Magnus Aurelianorum 
ceperat." Dux," and Lewis receives his surname of 

8 One legend of Saint Ebrulf (6i 1 C) is " Ultramarinus," which we do not find in 

the same as the well-known story of JElfred contemporary writers. Most names of the 

and his last loaf. kind were doubtless used in common dis- 

4 Ord. Vit. 623 C. " Olim dum Daci, course during the lifetime of the princes 

qui adhuc pagant erant, cum Hastingo designated by them, but they did not find 

Neustriam yastaverunt, et rursus Rollone their way into written history till later, 
cum suis saeviente, plures ecclesiae cum urbi- 


Herlwin, Abbot of Saint Peter's at Orleans, the Chancellor of Hugh 
the Great, and Ralph of Drangy his Chamberlain. 1 Both, we are 
told, were men of great piety, but they showed their piety in a strange 
fashion. Soon after their visit, Duke Hugh gave orders for the 
ravage of that part of Normandy. His devout officers either despised 
or scrupled at plunder of a more vulgar kind ;* they remembered the 
hospitality of the monks of Saint Evroul, and requited it by carrying 
off all the ornaments of their church, including, what they most 
valued, the relics of their founder and other saints. The holy spoil 
was duly shared among various churches of the Duchy of France, 8 
and a large body of the monks of Saint Evroul followed the objects of 
their veneration. A few however remained behind, and the brother^ 
hood still dragged on a feeble existence for some time. At last the 
house of Saint Evroul was utterly forsaken and forgotten, and 
miracles were needed* to point out the spot where it had stood. A 
pious priest 4 from Beauvais, Restold by name, moved by a divine 
vision, came and dwelt on the spot, and found benefactors willing to 
repair the ruined church. 5 At last one special benefactor arose. 
Geroy, a man of great valour and piety, was lord of Escalfoy by the 
forest of Ouche, and of Montreuil near the Dive. 6 Of mingled 
French and Breton extraction, he had been attached to the fortunes 
of the elder William of Belesme, probably as a vassal of some of the 
estates held by him under the Crown of France. In a fight against 
Count Herbert of Maine (c. 10 15), when William and all the rest of 
his followers had fled, Geroy regained the day by his single valour. 7 
In return for this exploit, William introduced him at the court of 
Richard the Good, by whom he was allowed to succeed to the lord- 
ships already spoken of. 8 They had been the property of Helgo, a 

1 Ord. Vit. 619 D, 62a D. a mistake for Hugh Capet] et Roberti 

* lb. 621 B. "Rusticorum pecudes sive Regum Francorum nobiliter viguit." 
supellectilem non curaveruot ; sed Uticensis 7 lb. 463 A. 

hospitii memores, illuc reversi sunt, et ex 8 Orderic (464 A, B) tells a curious story 

iosperato cum suis in coenobium irruerunt." about these lordships. When they were 

Then follow the details of the plunder. granted to Geroy, they were, by what acci- 

* lb. 622 D. dent does not appear, not included in the 
4 lb. 624 C. This holy man, like diocese of any Bishop. Geroy's conscience 

Orderic's own father, was married. " Uti- was troubled at a state of things so con- 

cum perrexit ibique cum conjuge et Ilberto trary to all ecclesiastical rule. He accord- 

filio suo primus habitavit." (625 A.) He ingly inquired which of the neighbouring 

afterwards had a companion named In- Bishops was the most worthy, and, hearing 

gram. (461 A.) much of the virtues of Roger, Bishop of 

8 lb. 625 C, D. Lisieux (990-1024), he annexed his lands 

6 He is described as " Ernaldi Grossi de to that diocese. He procured however 

Corte Sedaldi Abonii Britonis filii filius." certain privileges for the clergy of his lord- 

(Ord. Vit. 463 A.) He goes on to say that ships, especially an exemption from the 

he " ex magna nobilitate Francorum et oppressive jurisdiction of the Archdeacons ; 

Britonum processit, miraque probitate et " Ut clerici terrse suae non irent ad placitan- 

audacia temporibus Hugonis Magni [clearly dum extra potestatem eorum, nee opprime- 


Norman noble, to whose daughter Geroy had been betrothed, but the 
marriage was hindered by the premature death of the bride. 1 By 
another wife he had a numerous family, many of whom were dis- 
tinguished in Norman history. 2 He was himself succeeded by his 
second son William, who, like his father, was attached to the house of 
Belesme, and also distinguished himself in the war with Maine. 8 He 
had however to contend for the possession of his estates against the 
violence of Count Gilbert of Brionne, a man who, on this as on some 
other occasions, 4 seems to have failed to carry into his private rela- 
tions those principles of honourable conduct which in so marked a 
way distinguished his administration of public affairs. William was a 
brave soldier and a faithful vassal, ready to undergo any personal loss 
on behalf of his lord or of his friend. 5 He was also bountiful to the 
Church, though he strictly maintained the ecclesiastical privileges of 
his own lordships. 6 Twice he made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, 
once during the height of his prosperity, and once after the great 
misfortune which clouded his later days. For he it was whom the 
fierce Talvas, in defiance of every tie of gratitude, of hospitality, and 
of feudal honour, blinded and mutilated when he came as a guest to 
his bridal. 7 The daughter of Talvas too, the cruel Mabel, pursued the 
house of Geroy throughout life with unrelenting hatred. 8 In his old 
age he became a monk at Bee, a house to which he had already been 
a benefactor. 9 He had given to Herlwin and his monks the lands of 
Saint Evroul and the church lately restored by Restold. It now 
became a cell to the Abbey, inhabited by a small body of monks with 
Lanfranc at their head. lQ But presently William's nephews, Hugh and 

rentur injustis circumventionibus Archidia- 4 Compare his dealings with Herlwin, 

conorum." He might well make this sti- above, p. 14a. 

pulation, if the Archdeacons of his time 5 He held lands of Count Geoffrey of 

were like those described by John of Salis- Mantes, who was taken prisoner by William 

bury some generations later (Ep. clxvi. ap. Talvas, who required the destruction of the 

Giles, i. 260). castle of Montacute as his ransom. This 

In Mr. Stapleton's map Escalfoy is castle belonged to William the son of 

marked in the diocese of Lisieux, but Mont- Geroy, who at once destroyed it to bring 

reuil in that of Seez. about the liberation of his lord. Ord. Vit. 

1 William of Jumifcges (vii. 11) makes 464 C. 

him receive these lordships from Duke 6 Ord. Vit. 464 A. " Episcopates con- 
Richard, "Richardi Ducis, cujus dono in suetudines Monasterioli et Escalfoii fundo 
Normannia duo municipia obtinuit," but it habebat, nee ullus Archidiaconorum ibidem 
seems from Orderic (463 B) that the ducal presbyteros ejusdem honoris circumvenire 
grant was only a confirmation of the will audebat." 
ofHelgo; " Libfralis Dux agnita virtute 7 See above, p. 121. 
ejus honoravit, eique totam terram Hel- 8 578 A. 
goiris hsereditario jure concessit." • According to William of Jumifeges (vii. 

2 Will. Gem. u. s. "Ex his filiorum et 23), he died at Gaeta on his return from a 
nepotum militaris turma propagata est, mission of some sort (" pro quibusdam ra- 
quac barbaris in Anglia vel Apulia seu Tra- tionalibus caussis ") to Apulia. 

chi& vel Syri& nimio terrori visa est." 10 Ord. Vit. 461 A; Chron. Becc. i. 195. 

8 Will. Gem. vi. 7. This is doubtless the grange which Lan- 



Robert of Grantmesnil, 1 formed the design of founding a monastery 
near the lordship on the Oudon from which they took their name. 
Of these two brothers, Robert became a monk of Saint Evroul ; of 
Hugh we shall hear again in the history both of Normandy and 
of England. Their pious uncle approved of the design, but pointed 
out that the site which they had chosen was lacking in the two great 
monastic necessaries of wood and water. 2 Let them rather join with 
him in restoring to its ancient splendour the fallen house of Saint 
Evroul, placed on a spot suited for every monastic want. 8 Uncle and 
nephews joined their energies and their purses ; the rights of Bee 
over the spot were exchanged for another estate, and the new Saint 
Evroul arose with the full licence of Duke William, of Archbishop 
Malger, and of the other Prelates of Normandy. Monks were 
brought from Jumieges, and a brother of that house, Theodoric by 
name, became the first Abbot of the new foundation. 4 But the house 
seems to have been far less fortunate in its rulers than Bee. Theo- 
doric after a while laid aside his office, driven to resignation, it is said, 
by the cabals of the co-founder Robert of Grantmesnil, who, having 
made his profession in the house, had obtained the rank of Prior. 5 
Robert was chosen to the Abbotship, but, a few years after, he was 
himself deposed, or driven to resignation, by Duke William, 6 and long 
controversies followed between him and his successor Osbern. 7 

I have given a sketch of the origin of these two famous monasteries, 
partly because their stories bring before us so many members of the 
leading Norman families, but mainly as illustrating the great religious 

franc found greatly troubled by rats. His 
biographer (i. 284, 285) cites it as a proof 
of his humility that he personally carried a 
cat to make war upon them. 

1 They were the sons of Robert of 
Grantmesnil (see above, p. 197) and Had- 
wisa, daughter of Geroy (Orderic, 465 B). 
After Robert's death Hadwisa married 
William, son of Archbishop Robert. Their 
daughter Judith, having taken the veil, 
afterwards married Roger, Count of Sicily 
(484 B), but, as a punishment for her 
sacrilege, she remained childless. 

* See above, p. 144. 

8 William of Jumieges (vii. 23) puts into 
his mouth a long historical discourse, in 
which, I am sorry to say, he speaks of 
Charles the Simple as "filius Ludovici 
cognomine Nihil-fecit" 

* Ord. Vit. 461 C et seqq., 625 D ; 
Will. Gem. vii. 23. He - was the only 
monk for whom the cruel Mabel had any 
reverence. Ord. Vit. 470 A. 

5 See his character, Ord. Vit. 467 D; 
his intrigues, 474 C et seqq. ; his election, 
477 A. He began a new church, but did 
not finish it, 480 C. He also gave to the 
house (468 B) an illuminated psalter — 
doubtless of English work — which the 
Lady Emma had given to her brother 
Archbishop Robert. His son William 
seemingly stole it from his father, and 
gave it to his wife Qadwisa, mother of 
Robert of Grantmesnil, "de camera patris 
sui familiariter sustulerat, dilectaeque suae 
conjugi Hadwisae omnimodis placere volens 
detulerat." On Abbot Robert see also 
Will. Gem. vii. 26. 

• Ord. Vit. 481 B. 

7 The whole story is given at some 
length in Neustria Pia, pp. 104-110. But 
remark the expression of William of 
Jumifeges (vii. 23), " multos labores postea 
in procuratione servorum Dei perpessus 
est." There were probably two sides to 
his story, as to most others. 



movement which was then at work in Normandy, and which was not 
without its share in bringing about the Conquest of England. When 
we come to a later stage in our history, we shall see with what art 
both William and his trusty counsellor Lanfranc contrived to appeal 
to the religious feelings of the Normans, to represent the English 
King as a sinner against the local saints of Normandy, and to 
represent the Conquest of England as a holy war undertaken to 
chastise the ungodly. Such a vein of sentiment could hardly have 
been safely appealed to except at a time when there was a great 
religious stir in the national mind. One side of this movement is 
shown in the foundation of so many monasteries, in the zeal with 
which men gave of their substance for their erection, in the eagerness 
with which men, often the same men, pressed to become members of 
the holy brotherhoods. But a still more honourable fruit of the 
religious mind of Normandy, one however which Normandy only 
shared with many other parts of Europe, is to be found in the 
acceptance during this period of the famous Truce of God. 

This extraordinary institution is the most speaking witness, at once 
to the ferocity of the times, and also to the deep counter feeling 
which underlay men's minds. Clergy and laity alike felt that the 
state of things which they saw daily before their eyes was a standing 
sin against God and man, repugnant alike to natural humanity and to 
the precepts of the Christian religion. States were everywhere so 
subdivided, governments, were everywhere so weak, that, in most 
parts of Europe, every man who had the needful force at his com- 
mand simply did that which was right in his own eyes. We cannot 
doubt that in those parts of Britain where the authority of the English 
Kings was really established, the evil was smaller than it was in any 
part of Gaul. 1 Neither can we doubt that in Normandy, during 
the minority of William, the evil was even greater than it was in other 
parts of Gaul. But the extreme disorder of that minority was simply 
an exaggerated form of what might be called the normal state of 
things throughout the greater part of Western Europe. Every mail 
claimed the right of private war against every other man who was not 
bound to him by some special tie as his lord or his vassal. And the 
distinction between private war and mere robbery and murder was 
not always very sharply drawn. It is clear that, in such a state of 
things, an utterly unscrupulous man, to whom warfare, however un- 
just, was a mere trifle, had a decided advantage over his more 
peaceable neighbours. A few men like William Talvas might throw 
a whole province into disorder; and men who were in no way 
naturally disposed to wrong or violence were necessarily driven to 

1 Was the Truce of God ever preached, called Laws of Eadward, c. a (Schmid, 
or ever needed, in England? I am not 492), at all refer to it. See below, p. 236. 
aware of any mention of it, unless the so- 


constant warfare in sheer self-defence. The poor and the weak were 
q( course the chief victims ; when one gentleman harried the lands of 
another, the immediate tillers of the earth must have suffered far more 
severely than their master. It was the tenants of Herlwin, rather than 
Herlwin himself, who had most bitterly to complain of the ravages of 
Count Gilbert. 1 The lower classes then had especial reason to curse 
the lawlessness of the times ; yet we can well believe that there were 
many men of higher rank who were dragged into these wretched 
contests against their own will, and who would have been well pleased 
to keep their swords sheathed, save when the lawful command of 
their sovereign required them to be drawn. These two contending 
feelings can always be traced side by side. Every attempt to put any 
kind of check on the violence of the times was always received with 
general good will; and yet the practical result of so many praise- 
worthy attempts was, after all, something extremely small. The men 
who were ready to keep the peace, and to observe the rules made to 
preserve it, were left in a manner at the mercy of those who refused 
to obey any rule whatsoever. Whatever laws were made to preserve 
the peace, the peaceable man was still, as before, driven to fight in 
his own defence. Still the movement in favour of law and order was 
a very remarkable and a very general one. The call to observe peace 
towards Christians at home was a call, quite as general, though much 
more gradual, than^ the call to wage war against the Infidels in other 
lands. But the call to the crusade fell in with every side of the 
temper of the times ; the proclamation of the Truce of God fell in 
with only one, and that its least powerful, side. Good and bad men 
alike were led by widely different motives to rush to the Holy War. 
The men who endeavoured to obey the Truce of God must often 
have found themselves the helpless victims of those who despised it. 

A movement on behalf of peace and good will towards men could 
not fail in those days to assume an ecclesiastical form. As of old the 
Amphiktyonic Council, the great religious synod of Greece, strove to 
put some bounds to the horrors of war as waged between Greek and 
Greek, 2 so now, in the same spirit, a series of Christian synods strove, 
by means of ecclesiastical decrees and ecclesiastical censures, to put 
some bounds to the horrors of war as waged between Christian 
and Christian. And at both times the spiritual power showed 
its wisdom in not attempting too much. War was not wholly 
forbidden in either case, for such a precept would have been hope- 
lessly impossible to carry out. But certain extreme measures 
were to be avoided, certain classes of persons were to be 
respected, certain holy seasons were to be kept altogether free from 
warfare. Such at least was the form in which the Truce of God was 

1 See above, p. 142. 3 See History of Federal Government, i. 128. 


preached in Normandy. But Normandy was one of the last countries 
to receive the Truce, and it seems not to have appeared there in its 
earliest shape. It would rather seem as if the first attempts at its 
establishment had tried to compass too much, and as if later preachers 
of peace had been driven to content themselves with a much less close 
approach to universal brotherhood. The movement began in Aqui- 
taine (1034), and the vague and rhetorical language of our authority 
would seem to imply that all war, at any rate all private war, was 
forbidden under pain of ecclesiastical censures. 1 It must not be for- 
gotten that, in that age, it must have been exceedingly difficult to 
draw the distinction between public and private war. In England 
indeed, where an efficient constitutional system existed, the distinction 
was plain. Except when sudden invasion called for the immediate 
action of the local power, no war could be lawful which was not 
decreed by the King and his Witan. There might be rebellious and 
civil wars, but there was no recognized private warfare in the con- 
tinental sense. But in Gaul it would have been impossible to deny 
the right of war and peace to the great vassals of the Crown, to the 
sovereigns of Normandy and Aquitaine. And if the vassals of the 
Crown might make war on each other, on what principle could the 
same right be refused to their vassals, to the Lords of Alencon and 
Brionne ? Among the endless links of the feudal chain, it was hard 
to find the exact point where sovereignty ended % and where simple 
property began. A preacher therefore who denounced private war 
must have had some difficulty in so doing without denouncing war 
altogether. But the doctrine, hard as it might be to carry out in 
practice, was rapturously received at its first announcement. As the 
first preaching of the Crusade was met with one universal cry of" God 
wills it," so the Bishops, Abbots, and other preachers of the Truce 
were met with a like universal cry of Peace, Peace, Peace. 2 Men bound 

1 The account is given by R. Glaber, culpse obnoxius confugium faceret, illaesus 

iv. 5. " Tunc ergo primitus coepere in evaderet, nisi solummodo ille qui pactum 

Aqu it anise partibus ab Episcopis et Abbati- predictae pacis violasset, hie tamen captus 

bus, ceterisque viris sacra? religionis devotis, ab altare praestitutam vindictam lueret. 

ex universa plebe coadunati conciliorum Clericis similiter omnibus, monachis, et 

conventus." He goes on to give a summary sanctimonialibus, ut si quis cum eis per 

of their legislation ; " In quibus potissimum regionem pergeret nullam vim ab aliquo 

erat de inviolabili pace conservanda, -ut pateretur." He adds some more purely 

scilicet viri utriusque conditionis, cujus- religious provisions about fasting and the 

cumque an tea fuissent rei obnoxii, absque like. 

formidine procederent armis vacui. Praedo 2 R. Glaber, iv. 5. " Quibus universi, 

namque aut invasor alterius facultatis, tanto ardore accensi ut per manus Episco- 

legum districtione arctatus, vel donis facul- porum baculum ad ccelum elevarent, ipsique 

tatum seu poenis corporis acerrime mulcta- palmis extensis ad Deum, Pax, pax, pax, 

retur. Locis nihilominus sacris omnium unanimiter clamarent. Ut esset videlicet 

ecclesiarum honor et reverentia talis ex- signum perpetui pacti de hoc, quod spo- 

hiberetur, ut si quis ad ea cujuscuraque ponderant inter se et Deum." 



themselves to God and to one another to abstain from all wrong and 
violence, and they engaged solemnly to renew the obligation every 
five years. 1 From Aquitaine the movement spread through Burgundy, 
Royal and Ducal. 2 But it seems to have teen gradually found that 
the establishment of perfect peace on earth was hopeless. After 
seven years from the first preaching of peace, we find the require- 
ments of its apostles greatly relaxed. It was found vain to forbid all 
war, even all private war. All that was now attempted was to forbid 
violence of every kind from the evening of Wednesday till the 
morning of Monday. 8 It was in this shape that the Truce was first 
preached in northern and eastern Gaul. The days of Christ's supper, 
of His passion, of His rest in the grave and His resurrection, were all 
to be kept free from strife and bloodshed. The Burgundian Bishops 
were zealous in the cause; so especially was Richard, Bishop of Verdun 
in Lotharingia. 4 But Bishop Gerard of Cambray maintained, on the 
other hand, that the whole affair was no concern of the ecclesiastical 
power. It was, he argued, the business of temporal rulers to fight, 
and the business of spiritual men to pray ; the pious scheme of his 
brethren could never be carried out, and the attempt to enforce it 
would lead only to an increase of false-swearing. 6 This Prelate, in 

1 R. Glaber, iv. 5. " In hac tamen ra- 
tione ut evoluto quinquennio confirmandae 
pacis gratia id ipsum ab universis in orbe 
fieret minim in modum." 

% lb. •• Dehinc per Arelatensem pro- 
vinciam atque Lugdunensem, sicque per 
universam Burgundiam usque in ultimas 
Franciae partes, per universos episco- 
patus indictum est qualiter cert is in locis 
a praesulibus magnatisque totius patriae de 
reformanda pace et sacrae fidei institutione 
celebrarentur concilia." In Martene and 
Durand's Thesaurus, i. 159, is a circular 
letter on the subject from Ragenbald Arch- 
bishop of Aries and other Burgundian 

8 Rudolf, under the year 1 04 1 (v. 1, 
Duchesne, Rer. Franc. Scriptt. iv. 55 A), 
recurs to the subject ; *' Contigit vero ipso 
in tempore, inspirante divina gratia, primi- 
tus m partibus Aquitanicis, demde paulla- 
tim per universum Galliarum territorium 
firmari pactum propter timorem Dei pariter 
et amorem. Taliter ut nemo mortal ium, 
a ferbe quartz vespere usque ad secundam 
feriam incipiente luce, ausu temerario prae- 
sumeret quippiam alicui hominum per vim 
auferre, ueque ultionis vindictam a quo- 
cumque inimico exigere, nee etiam a fidei- 
jussore vadimonium sumere. Quod si ab 

aliquo fieri contigisset contra hoc decretum 
publicum, aut de vita componeret aut a 
Christianorum consortio expulsus patria 
pelleretur. Hoc insuper placuit- universis, 
veluti vulgo dicitur, ut Treuga Domini 
vocaretur." I conceive this relaxation to 
mark a change from the Pax Dei to the 
Treuga Dei. See Ducange in Treuga, 
and Palgrave, Hi. 201. Something must 
be allowed for the inherent confusion of 
Rudolfs way of expressing himself. 

4 Hugo Flav. Chron. ap. Pertz, viii. 403. 

5 Gest. Epp. Cam. ap. Pertz, vii. 474, 
485. Gerard's objections are given at 
great length, and are well worth studying, 
as a setting forth of the Regale and 
Pontificate. Some of the French Bishops 
seemed to have ventured on a pious fraud ; 
" Unus eorum ccelitus sibi delatas dixit 
esse literas, quae pacem monerent renovan- 
dam in ten ft." The chronicler of Cam- 
bray fully approves of the opposition of 
the local Prelate; "Alia quoque importa- 
bilia quamplurima dederunt mandata, quae 
oneri visa sunt replicare. Hac novitate 
pulsatus mandati praesul noster, infirmita- 
tique peccantium condescendens, secundum 
decreta sanctorum patrum ad singula 
suum formavit eloquium." 


his worldly wisdom, seems to have looked deeper into the hearts of 
the men of his time than his more hopeful and enthusiastic brethren. 
At last the new teaching reached Normandy. The luxury of mutual 
destruction was dear to the Norman mind; for a long time any 
restraint upon it was strongly resisted, and even the preaching of 
Bishop Richard himself had for a long time no effect. 1 Miracles 
were needed to convince so stiff-necked a generation, but at last the 
apostolic labours of Richard's successor Hagano brought even Nor- 
mandy to a better mind. 2 The young Duke and his counsellors were 
urgent in behalf of the Truce, and it was at last received by the 
Clergy and Laity of Normandy in the famous Council held for that 
purpose at Caen. 3 We are told that it was most carefully observed; 4 
but, nearly forty years after, when the long reign of William was 
drawing towards its end, it had to be again ordained in another 
Council at Lillebonne, and all the powers of the State, ecclesiastical 
and temporal, were called on to help in enforcing its observance. 5 

The men who» laboured to put even this small check on the violence 
of the times are worthy of eternal honour, and it is probable that the 
institution of the Truce of God really did something for a while to 
lessen the frightful anarchy into which Normandy had fallen. But we 
can hardly doubt that a far more effectual check was supplied by the 
increasing strength of William's government, as he drew nearer to 
manhood, and more and more fully displayed the stern and vigorous 
determination of his character. But neither the one nor the other 

1 Hugo Flav. ap. Pertz, viii. 403. sole nascente finit, haec quae dicam vobis 
" Quam quum noluisset recipere gens promptissima mente dchinc inantea debetis 
Neustriae, viro Dei Richardo praedicante, observare. Nullus homo nee femina ho- 
et ut earn susciperent, quia voluntas Do- minem aut feminam usquam assaliat, nee 
mini erat, et a Deo non ab homine decre- vulneret, nee occidat, nee castellum, nee 
turn, hoc processerat, admonente divino burgum, nee villam in hoc spatio quatuor 
judicio ccepit in eos desaevire ignis qui eos dierum et quinque noctium assaliat nee 
torquebat; eo anno fere totus orbis [was depraedetur nee- capiat, nee ardeat ullo 
the whole world plagued for the sins of ingenio 'aut violentia aut aliqua fraude." 
Normandy ?] penuriam passus est pro See Roman de Rou, 10485 et seqq. The 
raritate vini et tritici. Sequuta est e ves- church of Sainte Paix at Caen was built to 
tigio mortalitas hominibus praemaxima ab commemorate the event, but Prevost (note 
inc. Dom. 1042." This passage is made to Roman de Rou, ii. 99) places its build- 
up out of R. Glaber (iv. 5), where how- ing in 1061. 

ever Richard is not mentioned. 4 Will. Pict. 113, Giles. " Sanctis- 

3 Hugo Flav. u. s. sime in Normannia observabatur sacra- 

8 The decree of the synod of Caen is mentum Pads quam Treviam jrocant, quod 

given at length in the Concilia Rotoma- effraenis regionum aliarum iniquitas fre- 

gensis Provinciae, p. 39. The Fathers are quenter temerat." 

stringent against " caballicationes et hos- 8 Ord. Vit. 552 A. It was confirmed 

tilitates. ' The main decree runs, " In pace again for Christendom generally at the 

quae vulgo dicitur Trevia Dei, et quae die Council of Clermont in 1095. Will. 

Mercurii sole occidente incipit, etdie Lun« Malms, iii. 345 ; Ord. Vit. 719 D, 721 B, 


could avail wholly to preserve Normandy for some years to come 
either from civil war or from foreign invasion. A far more deeply 
spread conspiracy than any that we have as yet heard of was now 
formed against the Duke (1047). We have now reached one of 
the great epochs in the life of the Conqueror ; we shall soon have to 
tell of his first battle and his first victory. Within a few years after 
the proclamation of the Truce of God, not this or that isolated Baron, 
but the whole nobility of the most Norman part of Normandy rose in 
open revolt against their sovereign. The prime mover in the rebellion 
was Guy of B.urgundy. 1 He had been brought up with the Duke as his 
friend and kinsman, 2 and he had received large possessions from his 
bounty. Among other broad lands, he held Vernon, the border fortress 
on the Seine, so often taken and retaken in the wars between France 
and Normandy. He held also Brionne, the castle on the Risle, lately 
the home of William's faithful guardian Count Gilbert. 3 But the old 
jealousy was never lulled to sleep ; the sway of the Bastard was insure 
portable, and, the greater the qualities that William displayed, the 
more insupportable was it doubtless felt to be. William had now 
reached manhood. After such a discipline as he had gone through, 
his nineteen years of life had given him all the caution and experience 
of a far more advanced age. He was as ready and as able to show him- 
self a born leader of men as Cnut had been at the same time of life. 4 
The turbulent spirits of Normandy began to feel that they had found 
a master ; unless a blow were struck in time, the days of anarchy and 
licence, the days of castle-building and oppression, would soon be 
over. Guy of Brionne therefore found many ready listeners, especially 
among the great lords of the true Norman land west of the Dive. He, 
the lawful heir of their Dukes, no bastard, no tanner's grandson, but 
sprung of a lawful marriage between the princely houses of Burgundy 
and Normandy, claimed the Duchy as his right by birth. 6 But if the 
lords of the Bessin and the C6tentin would aid him in dispossessing 

1 Will. Pict. 80 (Giles). " Hujus ve- Orderic (657 A), is made to say, "Ille 

saniae signifer prosiluit Guido." "Will. [Guido] vero verbis et actibus mihi dero- 

Malms. iii. 230. " Sator discordiarum gavit, me nothum degeneremque et prin- 

erat Guido quidam." cipatu indignum detestatus judicavit et 

9 Will. Pict. u. s. "A puerilibus annis hostiliter diframavit. Roman dcRou, 8770; 

cum ipso familiariter nutritus." Will. •* De Willeame aveit grant envie, 

Gem. vii. 1 7. " Crudelem convivam ... Ki sor li aveit seignorie, 

qui cum eo a puerilibus annis educatus Cumenca sei k corucier, 

raerat." Will. Malms, u. s. " Convictus Et Normendie k chalengier ; 

familiaritatem, familiaritas amicitias, para* Reprovout li sa batardie." 

verat." So Roman de Rou, 8728 et So again, 8782 ; 

seqq. " N'i a, dist il, plus procain eir, 

8 See above, p. 127. Ki Normendie deie aveir : 

4 See vol. i. p. 247. Pere sa mere fu Richart, 

5 William, in his autobiography in D'espuse esteit, n'ert pas bastart." 


the Bastard, he would willingly share the land with them. 1 This most 
probably means that he would content himself with the more purely 
French parts of the Duchy, the original grant to Rolf, and would leave 
the Barons of the later settlements in the enjoyment of independence. 
We can thus understand, what at first sight seems puzzling, why the 
cause of Guy was taken up with such zeal. Otherwise it is hard to see 
why the chiefs of any part of Normandy, why, above all, the chiefs of 
this more strictly Scandinavian part, should cast aside a prince who 
was at any rate a native Norman, in favour of one whose connexion 
with Normandy was only by the spindle-side, and who must have 
seemed in their eyes little better than a Frenchman. We can thus also 
understand the geographical division of parties during the war which 
followed. William is faithfully supported by the French districts to the 
east, by Rouen and the whole land to the right of the Dive. These are 
the districts which the division between Guy and the confederate 
Lords would have given to the Burgundian prince, and which no doubt 
armed zealously against any such arrangement. To them the over- 
throw of William's authority meant their own handing over to a 
foreign ruler. But by the inhabitants, at any rate by the great lords, 
of the Lower Normandy, the Scandinavian land, it would seem that 
the struggle against the ducal power was felt as a struggle for renewed 
independence. We are told indeed that the sympathies of the mass of 
the people, even in the Bessin and the Cotentin, lay with William. 2 
This is quite possible. The peasant revolt may well have left behind 
it some abiding root of bitterness, bitterness which would show itself 
far more strongly against the immediate lords of the soil than against 
the distant sovereign, who is in such cases always looked to as a possible 
protector. But the great lords of the western districts joined eagerly 
in the rebellion ; and the smaller gentry, willingly or unwillingly, 
followed their banners. The descendants of the second colony of 
Rolf, 3 the descendants of the colonists of William Longsword and 
Harold Blaatand, drew the sword against the domination of those dis- 
tricts which, even a hundred years before, had become French. 4 
Saxon Bayeux and Danish Coutances rose against Romanized Rouen 
and Evreux. We know not whether the old speech and the old 
worship may not still have lingered in some out-of-the-way corners ; 
it is certain that the difference in feeling between the two districts was 
still living and working, just as the outward difference is still to this 
day stamped on their inhabitants. The foremost men of western 


1 Roman de Rou, 8786 ; ant maximam portionem Normanniae am- 

** E ki li voldreit fere dreit, biebat." 

Normendie li apendreit, ' Roman de Ron, 8896 et seqq. 

E e meintenir le voleient * See vol. i. p. 119. 

Ensemle od li le partireient." * See vol. i. pp. 129, 411. 
So Will. Pict. 80. " Sed aut principatum 


Normandy at once attached themselves to Guy, and joined zealously 
in his plans. First in the revolt was the Viscount 1 of Coutances, 
Neal of Saint Saviour, the son' of the chief who had, forty-six years 
before, beaten back the host of ^Ethelred. 2 The elder Neal had died, 
full of years, during the days of anarchy, 8 and his son was destined to 
an equally long possession of his honours. In the very heart of his 
peninsula stood his castle by the Ouve, already consecrated by a small 
college of Canons, the foundation of his grandfather Roger, soon to 
give way to his own famous Abbey of Saint Saviour. 4 This point 
formed the natural centre of the whole conspiracy. From that castle, 
Neal, the ruler of the C6tentin, commanded the whole of that varied 
region, its rich meads, its hills and valleys, its rocks and marshes, the 
dreary landes by the great minster of Lessay, the cliffs which look 
down on the fortress of Caesar, and which had stood as beacons to 
guide the sails of Harold Blaatand to the rescue. 6 The Viscount of 
Saint Saviour now became the chief leader of the rebellion, won over 
by the promises and gifts of Guy, who did not scruple to rob his 
mother of her possessions, and to bestow them on his ally. 6 With 
Neal stood Randolf, Viscount of Bayeux, who, from his castle of 
Brichessart, held the same sway over the Saxons of the Bessin which 
Neal held over the Danes of the C6tentin. 7 In the same company 
was Hamon, lord of Thorigny, lord too Of the steep of Creuilly, where 
a vast fabric of later times has displaced his ancient donjon, and 
where the adjoining church bears witness to the splendour and bounty 
of the generation immediately following his own. 8 Some personal 

1 Both Ncals bear the title of Viscount occupation of Cherbourg, 
of the Cdtentin, but others also bore it in • This very curious fact comes out in a 

their lifetime. See Delisle, Histoire du charter of the Abbey of the Holy Trinity 

Chateau et des Sires de Saint-Sauveur-le- at Caen, printed by Mr. Stapleton in the 

Vicomte (Valognes, 1867), p. 23. The Archaeologia, xxvi. 355. "Adeliza, Ri- 

collection of charters in this work is most cardi Comitis filia, Ricardi Comitis soror, 

valuable. contra eumdem pradictum fratrem suum, 

8 See vol. i. p. 203. The three chief scilicet Robertum Comitem, castrum quid 

conspirators, Neal, Randolf, and Hamon, dicitur Hulmc in Constantino situm cum 

are mentioned in various accounts. Will, omnibus ibidem pertinentibus mercata 

Pict. 80 ; Will. Malms, iii. 230 ; Roman est. Quod postea Guido filius suus, in- 

de Rou, 8748, 8778. William of Ju- juste sibi auferens, dedit illud Nigello Vice- 

mifeges (vii. 17) speaks of Gay and Neal comiti." See also Stapleton, Roll of Ex- 

('• Nigellus Constantiensis praeses ") only. chequer, ii. xxix. The charter bears date 

8 In 1040 or 1042. Delisle, p. 3. in 1075, when Adeliza was still living. 

4 The abbey was founded by Neal him- 7 Roman de Rou, 8938. 
self in the next year, 1048, according to 8 lb. 9182 ; 

Neustria Pia, 540. Cotman, Antiquities " Dan As Dens esteit un Normant 

of Normandy, i. 9. But what seems to De fi£ h d'homes bien poissant, 

be Neal's foundation charter in Delisle Sire esteit de Thorignie 

(Preuves, p. 42 ; cf. 55, 59) is placed by E de Mezi e de Croillie." 

him in 1080. On Creuilly church and castle, see Cotman, 

5 See vol. i. p. 146, for Harold Blaatand 's ii. 91 ; De Caumont, i. 320. 


peculiarity entitled him to bear, in the language of our Latin chroni- 
clers, one of the most glorious cognomina of old Rome, and Hamon 
Dentatus became the forefather of men famous in British as well as in 
Norman history. 1 One loyal chronicler, in his zeal, speaks of the 
rebel by the strange name of Antichrist; 2 but, as in the case of 
Thurstan of Falaise, the stain was wiped out in the next generation. 
His son, Robert Fitz-Hamon, was destined to set the seal to the work 
of Offa and of Harold, to press down the yoke for ever upon the 
necks of the southern Cymry, and to surround his princely fortress of 
CardhT with the lowlier castles of his twelve homagers of the land of 
Morganwg. Hardly less famous was a third Baron from the Saxon 
land, Grimbald of Plessis, whose ancestors and whose descendants 
have won no renown, but whose own name still remains impressed 
upon his fortress, and whose sister's son became the forefather of a 
mighty house in England. Of her stock came William of Albini, who, 
like the Tudor of later days, won the love of a widowed Queen, and 
whose name still lives among his works in the fortresses of Arundel 
and Castle Rising. 3 By the help of these men the claims of the 
Burgundian became widely acknowledged. They swore to support 
his rights, and to deprive the Bastard of the Duchy which he had 
invaded, whether by force of arms or by the baser acts of treachery. 
They put their castles into a* state of thorough defence ; they stored 
them for a campaign or a siege, 4 and made ready for the most 
extensive and thoroughly organized revolt which the troubled reign of 
the young Duke had yet beheld. 

The revolt began, as an earlier revolt had begun, 8 with a treacherous 
attempt to seize or murder the Duke, in which Grimbald seems to 
have been the immediate agent. 6 The opportunity was tempting, as 
William was now at a point in Neal's own Viscounty, at no great dis- 
tance from his own castle. He was at Valognes, the old town so rich 
in Roman remains, and the rich and fanciful outline of whose Gothic 

1 William of Malmesbury introduces pendix W), and I see not what else it can 

him (ii. 230) as " Haimo Dentatus [Dan mean. 

As Dens], avus Roberti quo nostro tern- s Taylor's Wace, 11. Castle Rising is 

pore in Anglia mult arum possessionum in- eminently the castle of dowager Queens, 

cubator exstitit." Robert died of a wound the earlier parts having been built for 

received at Tinchebrai, 1106 (Will. Malms. Adeliza, and the later for Isabella, mother 

v. 398), and his daughter Mabel married of Edward the Third, 

the famous Robert Earl of Gloucester * Roman de Rou, 8796; 

(Hist. Nov. i. 3). *' Issi unt lur chastels garniz 

a Benolt, 32, 742 ; Fossez parcel, dreciez paliz." 

"Per eel Rannol de Beiesin, B See above, p. 129. 

E par Neel de Costentin, • See Roman de Rou, 9347 et seqq. 

E par Hamun uns Antecriz.** For the present story see vv. 8800-8895, 

The expression is very strange, but it is and Palgrave, iii. 212. 
so understood by M. Le Cointe (see Ap- 


cupola is one of the most striking objects in the architecture of the 
district. Perhaps some scent of the coming danger reached him, and 
he had ventured into the enemy's country in order to search out 
matters for himself. But, in any case, he did not neglect the chosen 
amusement to which he and his race were given up, even beyond 
other men of their time. Several days had been spent in the employ- 
ment of William's favourite weapon the bow 1 against either savage or 
harmless victims. At last one night, when all his party except his 
immediate household had left him, while he was yet in his first sleep, 
Gallet his fool, like his uncle Walter at an earlier stage of his life, 2 
burst into his room, staff in hand, and aroused him. If he did not 
arise and flee for his life, he*would never leave the C6tentin a living 
man. The Duke arose, half dressed himself in haste, leaped on his 
horse, seemingly alone, and rode for his life all that night. A bright 
moon guided him, and he pressed on till he reached the estuary 
formed by the rivers Ouve and Vire. There the ebbing tide supplied 
a ford, which was afterwards known as the Duke's Way. William 
crossed in safety, and landed in the district of Bayeux, near the 
church of Saint Clement. He entered the building, and prayed for 
God's help on his way. His natural course would now have been to 
strike for Bayeux; but the city was in. the hands of his enemies; he 
determined therefore to keep the line between Bayeux and the sea, 
and thus to take his chance of reaching the loyal districts. As the 
sun rose, he drew near to the church and castle of Rye, 8 the dwelling- 
place of a faithful vassal named Hubert. The Lord of Rye was 
standing at his own gate, between the church and the mound on 
which Kis castle was raised. 4 William was still urging on his foaming 
horse past the gate f but Hubert knew and stopped his sovereign, and 
asked the cause of this headlong ride. He heard that the Duke was 
flying for his life before his enemies. He welcomed his prince to his 
house, he set him on a fresh horse, he bade his three sons ride by his 
side, and never leave him till he was safely lodged in his own castle 
of Falaise. 5 The command of their father was faithfully executed by 

1 Roman de Rou, 8803. '* Par li boiz Guillame vit de*saturne* 

chacie et berseV' " Berser " is explained E sun cheval tuit tressueV' 

(Roquefort, Glos&aire de la Langue Ro- Hubert seems to have been an early riser 

maine) by "tirer de rare." On Wil- and a good church-goer. On the "mote" 

Ham's skill with the bow, see Will. Malms/ see Appendix S. 
Hi. 279. 5 Roman de Rou, 8860 et seqq. I see 

* See above, p. 129. no reason to doubt the general truth of 
8 On the church of Rye, parts of which the story, but there is a passage in the 

may be as old as this time, sec De Cau- sequel which sounds mythical. William's 
mont, iii. 572. pursuers presently ask Hubert which way 

* Roman de Rou, 8846 ; the Bastard is gone, and he puts them on a 

" Hubert de Rie ert h sa porte, wrong scent (vv. 8874). This story is as 

Entre li mostier et sa mote, old as the babyhood of Hermes. 

M 2 


his loyal sons. We are not surprised to hear that the house of Rye 
rose high in William's favour; one son, Robert, became Bishop of 
Seez, and another, Eudo, 1 the King's Dapifer and Sheriff of Essex, 
and founder of the great house of Saint John at Colchester, has a 
place in the history of England as well as in that of Normandy. 2 

The Bessin and the Cdtentin were now m open rebellion. We are 
told that men cursed the rebels, and wished well to the Duke in their 
hearts. But the revolted Barons had for the time the upper hand. 
They seized on the ducal revenues within their districts, and robbed 
and slew many who still clave to their allegiance. The dominion of 
the male Jine of Rolf, the very existence of Normandy as an united 
state, seemed in jeopardy. William tlid not venture to meet his 
enemies with the forces t>f the districts which still remained faithful. 
He was driven to seek for foreign aid, and he sought it in a quarter 
where one would think that nothing short of despair could have led 
him to dream of seeking for it. He craved help of one who was 
indeed bound to grant it by every official and by every personal tie, 
but who had hitherto acted towards William only as a faithless 
enemy, ready to grasp at any advantage, however mean and 
treacherous. The Duke of the Normans, driven to such humiliation 
by the intrigues of an ungrateful kinsman, crossed the French border, 
and made his suit to his Lord King Henry at Poissy. 8 He met with 
favour in the eyes of his over-lord ; a French army, with the King at 
its head, was soon ready to march to the support of Duke William 
against his rebels. It is hard to see why Henry, whose whole earlier 
and later conduct is of so opposite a kind, stood forth for this once 
faithfully to discharge the duties of an honourable over-lord 'towards 
an injured vassal. One would have thought that a revolt which, 
above all others, tended to the dismemberment of Normandy would 

1 Ord. Vit. 520 C. " Par pleintes ke Wfflame fist, 
a On Eodo see the Colchester History E par paroles ke il dist, 
in the Monasticon, iv. 607-608, and Ellis, Fist li Reis assembler son ost." 
Introduction to Domesday, i. 415. Orderic Other writers are less eager to set forth 
(489 C) calls him " Normannici Ducis William's humiliation. William of Ju- 
dapiferum, qui in pago Constantino di- mieges (vii. 17) says, " Necessitate coac- 
vitiis et potestate inter Normannise pro- tus Henricum Francorum Regem expetiit 
ceres eminebat." He married Roberta, pro subveniendi ©btentu." The Brevis 
daughter of Richard son of Count Gilbert * Relatio (ap. Giles, Scriptt. .3) says simply, 
(lb. 6o8>. "Contulit se ad Regem Franciae." Wil- 
3 We learn the place of meeting from Ham of Poitiers (81) slurs over William's 
Orderic (372 A) ; " Unde coactus juvenis application to the King, and takes no 
Dux Pexeium convolavit, ibique pronus further notice of Henry's share in the cam- 
ad pedes Henrici Regis corruit, et ab eo paign, beyond adding, after his account of 
contra malefidos proceres et cognates • the battle, " Interfuit huic prcelio Franciae 
anxilium petivit." So Roman de Rou, Rex Henricus, victrici caussse auxilians." 
8 94* ; 


have been hailed by Henry as exactly falling in with the interests of 
the superior power. Instead of the one strong and united state 
which had hitherto cut him off from the whole coast from Britanny to 
Ponthieu, there was now a chance of the establishment of two or 
three small principalities, each insignificant in itself, and all probably 
hostile to one another. Such states would run a fair risk of being 
recovered one by one by their over-lord. Henry had himself in past 
years encroached on the Norman territory, and he had not scrupled 
to give encouragement to Norman traitors against their own sove- 
reign. Yet the common interest of princes may have led him to see 
that it was bad policy to abet open rebellion, and he may have 
doubted whether the aggrandizement of the mutinous Barons of the 
Bessin and the Cdtentin would be any real gain to France. Such 
neighbours might prove far more turbulent as vassals, and might not 
be much more easy to subdue as enemies, than the comparatively firm 
and orderly government of the Dukes of Rouen. At all events 
French aid was freely granted to the princely suppliant. 1 The King 
set forth at the head of his army to join the troops which William had 
gathered from the loyal districts, and to share with them in a decisive 
encounter with the rebel forces. 

The French and the loyal Normans joined their forces some 
miles to the east of Caen, in the neighbourhood of the memorable 
field of Val-es-dunes. The spot is not one specially attractive in 
itself; it is not one of those spots which seem marked out by the 
hand of nature as specially designed to become the scene of great 
historical events. But we shall see that, for the purposes of the 
particular battle which was fought there, no ground could have been 
better suited. Nor, at first sight, does the fight of Val-es-dunes, an 
engagement of cavalry between two Norman factions, seem to have 
any claim to a place among the great battles of history. But Val-es- 
dunes was the first pitched battle of the Conqueror ; it was the field on 
which he first won a right to that lofty title, and the lessons which he 

1 The original writers do not greatly dunas in defectores irruit." We then find 
trouble themselves about the seeming in- ourselves in the thick of the battle, 
consistency of Henry's conduct. There Orderic*(372 A) seems to make it an act 
is perhaps a slight touch of sarcasm in the of simple magnanimity on the King's 
words of William of Jumfeges (vii. 17), part; •' At ille [Henricus], ut eratclemens, 
" Tunc tandem Rex memor beneficii quod desolato adolescenti compatiens, robur 
a patre ejus sibi quondam impensum fuerat, exercitus Francorum excivit, et in Neu- 
vires Francorum simul coegit." But Wil- striam Duci auxiliaturus pen-exit." Wil- 
liam of Malmesbury knows no motive but Ham, or Orderic, ia the death-bed sum- 
pure gratitude (iii. 230); "Necessitas mary (657 B), leaves out the French aid 
Regem tutorem excivit ut desperatis parti- altogether ; " Tunc auxiliante Deo, qui 
bus pupilli succurreret. Itaque paternae Justus judex est, inter Cadomum et Ar- 
benevolentiae recordatus, quod eum favore gentias hostes vici." 
suo in regnum sublimaverat, apud Wales- 


learned there stood him in good stead on a far more awful day. And 
more than this, it was there that William conquered his own land and 
his own people, and by that earlier conquest both schooled and 
strengthened himself for his mightier conquest beyond the sea. Nor- 
mandy had first to be firmly grasped, and her fierce Barons to be 
brought under the yoke, before the hand of William could be stretched 
forth to fix its grasp on England, and to press the yoke upon the 
necks of her people. In a word, the strife with Randolf and Neal 
and their revolted provinces was the needful forerunner of the strife 
with Harold and his Kingdom. The tourney of Norman horsemen 
upon the open slope of Val-es-dunes was William's school of fence 
for the sterner clashing of axe and spear upon the palisaded heights of 

And there is another aspect in which the two battles have a 
common feature. Val-es-dunes, no less than Senlac, was a struggle 
between the Roman and the Teuton. The fact was not indeed 
forced in the same way upon men's minds by the outward contrast of 
language, of tactics, of every badge of national difference. Still it is 
none the less true that, at Val-es-dunes, the old Scandinavian blood 
of Normandy found its match, and more than its match, in the power 
of France and of the French portions of the Norman Duchy. Danish 
Coutances and Saxon Bayeux were brought face to face with Romanized 
Rouen and Evreux and with royal Paris itself. From all the lands 
east of the Dive men flocked to the Ducal standard. The episcopal 
cities of Lisieux and Evreux, no less than primatial Rouen, sent forth 
their loyal burghers, and the men of the surrounding districts pressed 
no less eagerly to the muster. They came, according to the old 
divisions which the suppression of the peasant revolt had not wholly 
broken up, arranged in companies which still retained the name of 
communes, suggesting the freedom which they had perhaps not wholly 
lost 1 From beyond the Seine came the troops of Caux, from between 
the Seme and Dive came the men of Auge, and from the south of the 
Duchy came the men of Duke Robert's County of Hiesmes. And 
who can doubt that foremost among them all were the burghers of 
William's own Falaise, zealous on behalf of a Prince who was also 
their own immediate countryman ? But the whole west of Normandy, 
the land where the old Norman speech and spirit had longest lingered, 
was arrayed on the side of the rebels. Except the contingent of his own 
birthplace and its neighbourhood, no part of the Duke's force seems 
to have come from the lands west of the Dive ; all else came from the 
old domain of Rolf, the oldest, but, then as now, not the most 
Norman Normandy. 2 

1 Roman de Rou, 8997. •' La s'asemble- which helped William see vv. 8946 et seqq. 
rent li cumunes/' For the list of the districts a See Appendix W. 



The field of battle lies just within the hostile country. 1 South-east 
of Caen, in continuation of the high ground of Allemagne 2 immediately 
south of the town, stretches a long, broad, and slightly elevated plain, 
sloping gently towards the east. 8 It hardly deserves to be called a hill, 
and the indentations with which its sides are broken hardly deserve to 
be called valleys. 4 Several villages and churches, Secqueville, Bellen- 
grevilie, Billy, Chicheboville, form the boundaries of the field, but the 
plain itself is open and without any remarkable feature. A ridge 
somewhat higher than the rest of the ground, known as Mount Saint 
Lawrence, is the only conspicuous point of the plain itself, and this 
marks the western boundary of the actual battle-ground. The little 
stream of the Muance, a tributary of the Orne, bounds the plain to the 
south-east. 5 To the north lies the high-ground of Argences, over 
which William advanced with the troops of the loyal districts. The 
French auxiliaries, approaching from the south by way of Mezidon, 
first reached the little village of Valmeray, where a ruined tower of 
later date marks the site of the church of Saint Brice in which King 
Henry heard mass before the battle. 6 Meanwhile the Duke's forces 
crossed the Muance at the ford of Berengier, 7 and at once joined the 
French. King and Duke now ranged their troops in the order in 
which it was most natural to meet an enemy advancing from the west. 
The Normans, who had come from the north, formed the right wing, 
while the French, coming from the south, naturally formed the left 8 
There was pitched the royal standard, on which we are told that the 
presumption of the upstart house of Paris had dared to emblazon the 

1 My account of the field and battle of 
Val-£s-dunes is drawn from an examination 
made on the spot in May, 1867. In com- 
pany with Mr. J. R. Greeu, I went over 
the whole ground, Wace in hand. No 
modern description can do more than 
amplify Wace's few topographical touches 
(Roman de Ron, 8978 et seqq.), and his 
minute and spirited account of the battle. 
Every detail shows in how thoroughly 
honest and careful a spirit he set to work. 
On the topography, see De Caumont, Sta- 
tistique Monumental du Calvados, ii. 84 et 
seqq., and Appendix W. 

2 I should greatly like to come across 
some explanation of this puzzling name 
(see De Caumont, i. 53). Nothing is more 
likely than a Teutonic colony anywhere in 
these parts, but such a colony would hardly 
be called Allemannia. The name is ancient, 
as it occurs in William's foundation charter 
of Saint Stephen's. See Neustria Pia, 626. 
The copy there given is not very accurate, 

as I can witness from having (for once) 
examined an original manuscript. 
8 Roman de Rou, 8986 ; 
" Maiz encuntre soleil levant 
Se funt la terre en avalant." 
4 lb. 8982 ; 

" Li plaines sunt lunges h l&s, 
N'i a granz monz ne granz vallees." 
8 lb. 8988 ; 

" Une riviere l'avirone, 
Deverz midi e devers none." 
« lb. 8990 ; 

" A Saint-Bricun de Valmerei 
Fu la messe change el Rei, 
Li jor ke la bataille fu ; 
Grant poor i unt li cler 6u." 
lb. 9001. 
lb. 9004 ; 

" La gent Willame fu k destre, 
£ Franceiz furent k senestre ; 
Verz ocident tornent lor vis, 
Quer lit sourent les anemis/' 



1 68 


eagle of Julius and Charles. 1 King Henry and Duke William, each 
baton in hand, 2 were now marshalling their troops, and the battle 
seemed about to begin, when, if we may trust our only detailed narra- 
tive of that day's fight, one side was cheered and the other dispirited 
by an unlooked-for incident. 

Ralph of Tesson was lord of the forest of Cingueleiz, the forest some 
way to the south of Caen, between the rivers Orne and Lise, and his 
chief seat was at Harcourt Thury. He was a lord of great power, and 
his contingent is said to have mustered no less than a hundred and 
twenty knights with their banners and tokens. 8 He had no ground of 
offence against the Duke ; yet he had joined in the conspiracy, and had 
sworn on the saints at Bayeux to smite William wherever he found 
him. 4 But his heart smote him when he found himself standing face 
to face against his lord in open battle. His knights too pressed 
around him, and reminded him of his homage and plighted faith, 
and how he who fought against his natural lord had no right to fief or 
honour. 5 On the other hand the Viscounts Neal and Randolf 
pressed him to stand firmly by them, and promised great rewards as 
the price of his adherence. For a while he stood doubtful, keeping 
his troop apart from either army. We are told how the King and the 
Duke marked them as they stood, and how William told Henry that 
he knew them for the men of Ralph of Tesson, that their leader had no 
grudge against him, and that he believed that they would all soon be 
on his side. Presently the arguments of his own knights prevailed 
with Ralph ; he bade them halt, and he himself spurred across the 
field, shouting as his war-cry the name of his lordship of Thury. 6 He 
rode up to the Duke, he struck him with his glove, and so performed 

1 Benoit, 33490 ; 

*' Or fait son estandart drerier, 
La fu l'eigle d'or qui resplent." 
3 Roman de Rou, 9020 ; 

" En sa main chescun un bast on." 

3 lb. 9012 ; 

** Set vingz chevaliers out od sei 
Tant dut aveir en sun cunrei, 
Tuit aloent lances levies, 
Et en totes guimples fermees." 

4 lb. 9042 ; 

" Cil lor aveit ainz asseurl, 
Et k Baex sor sainz jure\ 
Ke Gu ilia me sempres ferreit 
En kel lieu il le trovereit." 
One might wish that another oath on the 
saints at Bayeux could have found as easy 
and convenient fulfilment. 
3 Roman de Rou, 9050 ; 

" Guillame est son natural sire, 
Et il sis horns ne puet desdire, 
Pensa ke il li fist homage 

Veant sun pere et sun barnage ; 
N'a dreit el fie ne a l'onor, 
Ki se cumbat & son seignor." 
The feudal scruple is stronger in the minds 
of the inferior tenants, a point worth no- 
ticing, whether the tale be trustworthy in 
detail or not. This agrees with Wace's 
former statement that, even in the revolted 
provinces, the popular feeling was on 
William's side. The poor gentleman might 
need the protection of the common sove- 
reign hardly less than the peasant. 

• I wish I could believe, with Thierry 
(i. 150) and Pluquet (Wace, ii. 32, 528), 
that this war-cry was an invocation of 
Thor, •• Thor aie," as opposed to the 
•• Dex aie " of the French Normans. But 
I fear we must see in it nothing more 
profound or venerable than the lordship 
of Thury. See Prevost, Wace, p. 528, 
and Taylor, 21 ; Palgrave, iii. 216. 


his oath to smite William wherever he found him. 1 The Duke 
welcomed the returning penitent, and Ralph rode back to his men. 
His detachment stood aside for a space till the two hosts were engaged 
in the thick of the battle. He then watched his opportunity, and made 
a vigorous charge on the side of the Duke. 

Such an auspicious reinforcement might well stir up the spirits 
of the young Duke and his followers. Every man was eager for 
battle. A fierce combat of cavalry began. We have heard of the 
infantry of the communes as appearing at the ducal muster, but we 
hear nothing of them in the battle. We hear nothing of the Norman 
archers, who were to win so terrible a renown upon a later field. 
All is one vast tourney; it is a struggle between two companies 
of mounted knights charging one another with shield, sword, and 
lance. The first great battle of William, like the first great battle 
of Alexander, 2 was truly a battle of chivalry in every sense of the 
word, a hand to hand personal fight between mounted nobles on 
either side. On pressed the Duke, sword in hand, seeking out the 
perjured .Viscounts, 8 and shouting the war-cry of Normandy, " Dex 
aie." k On the same side rose the shout of "Monf/qye-Sainf-Denys" 
the national war-cry of the French Kingdom. From the rebel host 
arose the names of various local saints, patrons of the castles and 
churches of the revolted leaders, Saint Sever, Saint Amand, and 
others of less renown. 5 On the rebel left rode the men of the Bessin, 
on the right those of the C6tentin. The men of the peninsula thus 
came face to face with the royal troops; the King of the French, 
as in the old days of Lewis and Harold, 8 had to meet in close fight 
with the fiercest and most unconquerable warriors of the Norman 
name. And well and bravely did King Henry do his duty on that 
one day of his life. Even in the Norman picture, it is around the 
King, rather than around the Duke, that the main storm of battle is 
made to centre. The knights now met on each side, lance to lance, 

1 Examples of entrapping men to de Li dui Viscuntes vait querant, 

struction by the literal fulfilment of an E li perjures demandant." 

oath are common enough. This opposite * lb. 9094 ; 
case may be compared with Aurelian's " Cil de France crient, Montjoie ; 
way of discharging his oath when be- Ceo lor est be! ke Ten les oie ; 

sieging Tyana ; " Canem in hoc oppido Willame cri, Dex ate ; 

non relinquam." The city was taken, Cest l'enseigue de Normendie." 

and the Emperor slew all the dogs. Vo- * See Taylor, 22. 

piscus, Aurelian, 23, 33 (Hist. Aug. ii. • See vol. i. p. 217. Wace seems rather 

472). to delight in opposing his own province to 

8 Arrian, vi. II. 9. 'AXAcfc irpfo Tpa- the French. 9108; 
W«y fiJr £wi&ri pax*) Ivm/c^. iv. 8. II. "El Rei de France et as Franceiz 
1} irwopaxia *l Ivl rpavfop. Si vint ensemb Costentineiz." 

3 Roman de Rou, 9074 ; So 91 28 ; 

u Willame va par la campaigne ; " Constentineiz h Franceiz sunt 

Des Normanz meine grant compaigne, Li uns as altres contrestunt." 



and, when their lances were shivered, sword to sword. There was no 
difference of tactics, no contrast between one weapon and another ; 
the fight of Val-es-dunes was the sheer physical encounter of horse 
and man, the mere trial of personal strength and personal skill in 
knightly exercises. The King, as in such a fight any man of common 
courage could not fail to do, exposed himself freely to danger ; but as 
far as his personal adventures went, the royal share in the battle was 
somewhat unlucky. Once, if not twice, the King of the French, the 
over-lord of Normandy, was hurled from his horse by the thrust of a 
Norman lance. A knight of the C6tentin first overthrew him by a 
sudden charge. The exploit was long remembered in the rimes of 
his warlike province, 1 but the hero of it purchased his renown with 
his life. The King was unhurt, but the report of such an accident 
might easily spread confusion among his army. Like more renowned 
warriors before and after, like Eadmund at Sherstone, like William at 
Senlac, 2 it was needful that he should show himself to his followers, 
and wipe out the misfortune by fresh exploits. Henry was therefore 
soon again in the thickest of the fight ; but less fortunate than either 
Eadmund or William, the like mishap befell him a second time. 8 The 
King presently encountered one of the three great chiefs of the 
rebellion; another thrust, dealt by the lance of Hamon, again laid 
Henry on the ground ; but a well-timed stroke from a French Knight 
more than avenged this second overthrow; the Lord of Thorigny 
was carried off dead on his shield like an old Spartan. 4 The King 
honoured his valiant adversary, and, by his express order, Hamon 
was buried with all fitting splendour before the Church of Our Lady 
at Esquai on the Orne. 5 

The King is thus made decidedly the most prominent figure in the 

1 Roman dc Rou, 9144; a certain confusion in the way of telling 

•' De 90 distrent li pafsant, the story, and one might be tempted to 
£ dient encore en gabant : beliere that the one overthrow was a 
De Costentin iessi la lance mere repetition of the other. But each 
Ki abati le Ret de France,'* story seems to receive a certain amount 
I have found the rime remembered in a of corroborative evidence. The first over- 
Norman cottage, close by the field of Val- throw is supported by the C6tentin rime, 
es-Duncs. the second by. the independent testimony 

a See vol. i. p. 260; iii.c. 15. Cf. vol. i. of William of Malmesbury (iii. 230) ; 

p. 184. William's overthrow was real, "Haimo in acie caesus, cujus insignis vio- 

though his death was imaginary ; in the lentia laudatur, quod ipsum Regem equo 

case of Eadmund all was an invention of dejecerit; quare a concurrentibus stipatori- 

Eadric. But the effect on the army would bus interemtus." 

be the same in all three cases. 4 Roman de Rou, 9199. " Mez sor 

3 The narrative in the Roman de Rou l'escu fu mort leveV' 

(9134-9207) clearly implies that Henry 5 Will. Malms, u. s. "Pro fortitudinis 

was overthrown twice, first by a nameless miraculo Regis jussu tumulatus est egre- 

knight of the Cdtentin, secondly by gie." Wace (9200) mentions the place. 

Hamon himself. At the same time there He is buried " devant l'iglise," seemingly 

certainly is, as Mr. Taylor (p. 25) says, not in the church. 



picture, and, somewhat inglorious as were Henry's personal expe- 
riences that day, it is to him and his Frenchmen that the Norman poet 
does not scruple to attribute the victory. 1 The fight appears throughout 
as a fight between Normans and Frenchmen. 2 But the Duke of the 
Normans himself was not idle. If his royal ally was personally un- 
lucky, it was on this day that William began that career of personal 
success, of good fortune in the mere tug of battle, which, till the 
clouded evening of his life, was as conspicuous as the higher triumphs 
of his military genius and his political craft. Men loved to tell how 
the young Duke slew with his own hand the beloved vassal of Ran- 
dolf, Hardrez, the choicest warrior of Bayeux; 3 how the veteran 
champion, in the pride of his might, rode defiant in the front rank ; 
how the Duke rode straight at him, not justing with his lance as in a 
mimic tourney, but smiting hand to hand with the sword. The poet 
rises to an almost Homeric flight, when he tells us how William 
smote the rebel below the chin, how he drove the sharp steel between 
the throat and the chest, how the body fell beneath his stroke and 
the soul passed away. 4 

The fortune of the day was now distinctly turning against the 
rebels ; but had all of them displayed equal courage, the issue of the 
struggle might still have been unfavourable to King and Duke. Neal 


1 Roman de Rou, 9258; 

" N£el se cumbati cum pros ; 
Si tiex les trovast li Reis tos, 
Mar i fussent Franceiz vcnuz, 
Descunfiz fussent b veincuz." 
So again, 9280 ; 

" Mais 90 sai ke li Reis veinki.' 

It is not wonderful that this line should 
be still more emphatically taken by a 
French writer (Duch&sne, iv. 97) ; " Anno 
denique Incarnationis Dominica? MXLvn. 
saepe nominatus Rex Henricus cum tribus 
tantum millibus armatorum commisit 
belram cum xxx. milHbus Normannorum, 
eosque superavit, et venerabilem adoles- 
centem Willelmum, magni Normannorum 
Principis Roberti filinm, eis vi superposuit, 
quern exhaereditare valebant. " So in Abbot 
Hugh's Chronicle (Pertz, riii. 40a); 
"Willelmus, fraude suorum NormanniS, 
pulsus, Robertutn Francorum expetivit 
Regem, qui, bello et manu valid& con- 
gresses, victis et prostratis Normannis, de 
traditoribus judicio dato, comitatum ei 

* Roman de Rou, 91 73 ; 

" £ Franceiz Normans envair, 
E Norman* torner b guenchir." 
So 9266 ; 

" Franceiz de tutes parz espeissent, 

Normanz deeheient h d^creissent." 
We must remember that all the local 
feelings of Wace, a native of Jersey and 
Canon of Bayeux, would be on the side 
of the rebels, however much they might 
be balanced by loyalty to the memory of 
the Great William. 
8 Benoit, 33660 ; 
" Hardrez uns chevalier hardiz, 
De Baiues nez e norriz, 
Preissiez d'armes e concuz." 
4 The anatomical precision of Wace 
(9222) is quite in the style of the Iliad ; 
" Willame vera li s'eslessa, 
Un glaive tint, bien l'avisa ; 
Parmi li cors lez le menton, 
Entre la gorge et le gotron, 
Li fist passer le fer trenchant ; 
Ne li pout rien aveir garant, 
Willame empoint e cil chai, 
Li cors en vers, 1'alme en issi." 
These are spirited lines ; so is the whole 
description of the battle ; yet how feebly 
does the Romance of Gaul, even in this 
its earliest and most vigorous shape, sound 
beside the native ring of the Ludwigslied 
and the Song of Maldon. 


of Saint Saviour still fought among the foremost of the men of his 
peninsula, but the heart of his accomplice from Bayeux began to fail 
him. Randolf had seen his most cherished vassal fall by the hand 
of his young sovereign ; his heart quailed lest the like fate should 
be his own ; he feared lest Neal had fled ; he feared that he was 
betrayed to the enemy; he repented that he had ever put on his 
helmet ; it was sad to be taken captive, it was a still worse doom to 
be slain. The battle ceased to give him any pleasure ;* he gave way 
before every charge ; he wandered in front and in rear ; at last he lost 
heart altogether ; he dropped his lance and his shield, he stretched 
forth his neck, 2 and rode for his life. The cowards, we are told, 
followed him; but Neal still kept up the fight, giving and taking 
blows till his strength failed him. The French pressed upon him ; 
their numbers increased, the numbers of the Norman lessened ; some 
of his followers had fled, others lay dead and dying around him. 
At last the mighty lord of the C6tentin saw that all hope was lost. 
On the rising ground of Saint Lawrence the last blow seems to have 
been struck. The spot was afterwards marked by a commemorative 
chapel which was destroyed by the Huguenots in the religious wars. 
On its site it doubtless was that the valiant Neal at last turned and 
left the field, seemingly the last man of the whole rebel army. 

The rout now became general. The example of Randolf drew 
after it far rnpre followers than the example of Neal. The rebels 
rode for their lives in small parties, the troops of the King and 
the Duke following hard upon them, and smiting them from the 
rear. From the ridge of Saint Lawrence they rode westward, to 
reach the friendly land of Bayeux; 8 they rode by the Abbey of 
Fontenay and the quarries of Allemagne ; but the flood of the Orne 
checked their course; men and horses were swept away by the 
stream, or were slaughtered by the pursuers in the attempt to cross ; 
the mills of Borbillon, we are told, were stopped by the dead bodies. 4 

The victory was a decisive one, and it was one which proved no 

1 Roman de Ron, 9249; 8 lb. 9388. •• En Beessin volent torner." 

" La bataille mult Ji desplait." * lb. 9295-8. In most of our accounts 

1 assume that this means something the Orne plays an important part in the 

more than mere sorrow at ill success; it destruction of the rebels. Will. Pict. 81. 

seems to imply the loss of the " certaminis " Absorbuit non paucos fluvius Olna equites 

gaudia," which he had doubtless enjoyed cum equts." Will. Gem. vii. 17. "Rex 

in the opening charge of the battle, cum Duce . . tantft eos illico strage de- 

Through the whole of this paragraph I levit, ut quos gladius non extinxit, Deo 

do little more than translate the life-like formidinem inferente, fugientes fluvius Qlnae 

description of Wace. absorberet." Will. Malms, iii. 230. •• Multi 

3 lb. 9254; fluminis Olnae rapacitate intercepti, quod, 

" Lessa la lance b puiz l'escu, in arcto locati, equos ad transvadandos 

Fuiant s'en vait, col estendu.' vortices instimularent." 


less decisive in its lasting results than it had been as a mere success 
on the field of battle. King Henry had done his work well and 
faithfully ; he now went back to his own land, and left William to 
complete the reduction of his revolted subjects. One of them, the 
original author of the plot, still offered a long and vigorous resistance. 
Of the conduct of Guy of Burgundy in the field we hear nothing, 
except an incidental mention of a wound which he received there. 1 
Indeed, since the appearance of his three great Norman adherents, 
the iBurgundian prince has nearly dropped out of sight. 2 He now 
reappears, to receive from the Norman writers a vast outpouring 
of scorn on account of his flight from the field, 8 though it does 
not appear to have ■ been in any way more shameful than the flight 
of the mass of his Norman allies. At any rate he was not borne 
away in the reckless rush of his comrades towards the Orne. He 
escaped, with a large body of companions, 4 in quite the opposite 
direction, to his own castle of Brionne on the Risle. There he took 
up a position of defence, and was speedily followed and besieged by 
Duke William. The castle of Brionne of those days was not the hill- 
fortress, the shell of a donjon of that or of the next age, which now 
looks down upon the town and valley beneath. The stronghold 
of Count Guy had natural defences, but they were defences of another 
kind. The town itself seems to have been strongly fortified ; but the 
point of defence which was most relied on at Brionne was the fortified 
hall of stone which stood on an island in the river. 5 William had once 
brought his own native Falaise to yield to one vigorous assault; 8 but at 
Brionne, though we are expressly told that the stream was everywhere 
fordable, the island fortress seems to have been deemed proof against 
any attacks of this kind. A regular siege alone could reduce it, and 
William was driven to practise all the devices of the military art of his 
day against his rebellious cousin. He built a castle, this time doubt- 
less of wood, on each side of the river, and thus cut off the besieged 

1 Ord. Vit. 657 B. " Guidonem vul- Poitiers (u. s.) is remarkable; "Brionium 

neratum et de bello fuga elapsum." . . contendit. Oppidum hoc, quum loci 

8 The only writer, I think, who intro- natura, turn opere inexpugnabile vide- 

duces Guy personally in his account of the batur. Nam, prstter alia firmamenta, 

war is William of Malmesbury (iii. 230) ; quae moliri consuevit belli necessitudo, 

" Cum his per totam Normanniam grassa- aulara habet lapideam [cf. Orderic, 687 

batur praedo improbissimus, inani spe ad B] arcis usum pugnantibus praebentem, 

comitatum illectus." quam fluvius Risela nullo quidem tractu 

8 "E prcelio lapsus," says William of vadi impatiens circumfluit." This seems 

Jumifeges ; " vix elapsus," according to to show that the town had fortifications of 

William of Malmesbury ; while, in Wil- its own ; and this again suggests the ques- 

liam of Poitiers, it rises to " turpissime tion, what was the state of the point over- 

elapsus." hanging the town where the present castle 

* " Cum magno equitatu," says Wil- stands ? See Appendix S. 
liam of Poitiers (81). • See above, p. 135. 

* The description given by William of 


from their supplies of provisions. 1 Constant assaults on the be- 
leaguered hall are spoken of, but their aim seems to have been 
mainly to frighten the besieged rather than to produce any more 
practical effect;* hunger was the sure and slow means on which 
William relied to bring Guy to reason. The siege was clearly a 
long one, though it is hardly possible to believe, on the incidental 
statement of a single authority, that it was spread over a space of 
three years. 3 At last the endurance of Guy and his companions 
gave way, and he sent messengers praying for mercy. The Duke 
required the surrender of the castle ; but touched, we are told, by 
the tie of kindred blood, he bade Guy remain in his court. 4 Nor 
was the Duke's hand, on the whole, heavy on the other offenders.. 
No man was put to death, though William's panegyrist holds that 
death was the fitting punishment for their offences. 8 But in those 
days, both in Normandy and elsewhere, the legal execution of a 
state criminal was an event which seldom happened. 6 Men's lives 
were recklessly wasted in the endless warfare of the times, and there 
were men, as we have seen, who did not shrink from private murder, 
even in its basest form. 7 But the formal hanging or beheading of 
a noble prisoner, so common in later times, was, in the eleventh 
century, a most unusual sight. 8 And, strange as it may sound, there 

1 Will Pict. 8 1. "Castetla utrimque curia sua commanere eum concessit." So 

ad ripas fluminis bipartiti opponens." So Will. Gem. u. s. " Dux, suorum consult u, 

Will. Gem. "Stabilitis munitionibus in miseriae misertus, clementer illi pepercit, 

utraque parte fluminis vocabulo Risle." et, recepto castello Brioci, cum suis do- 

3 Will. Pict. 8l. " Oppugnatione di- mesticis cum manere in domo sua jussit." 
urna territans." 5 Will. Pict. 8i. u Supplicia item con- 

8 William of Poitiers merely says " pos- sociis, quae capitalia ex aequo irrogarentur, 

tremo." Orderic (687 B), in describing condonare maluit ob rationabiles caussas." 

the speedy capture of Brionne by Duke This distinct statement cannot be shaken 

Robert in 1 090, says, " Sic Robertus Dux by the vastly inferior authority of Henry 

ab hora nona Brionnam ante solis occasum of Huntingdon (M. H. B. p. 759 C), who 

obtinuit, quam Guillelmus pater ejus, cum says, " Quosdam exsulavit, quosdam cor- 

auxilio Henrici Francorum Regis, sibi vix pore minuit." 

in tribus annis subigere potuit, dum Guido * As for our English practice in this 

filius Rainaldi Burgundionis post proelium matter, it is enough to say that not a drop 

Vallisdunensis illic presidium sibi statuit." of English blood was shed by the exe- 

But there is nothing in any other writer to cutioner during all the civil disturbances of 

imply that Guy held out for any such the reign of Eadward. Under William, 

length of time, and it seems quite incon- Waltheof is made by Orderic (535 A) to 

sistent with the account of William of say, " Anglica lex capitis obtruncatione tra- 

Jumifeges. Moreover it is clear that Henry ditorem mulctat." If so, the Law had 

took no part in the siege ; " Quern [Guido- taken a sleep of sixty years, • when it was 

nem] Dux, Rege Franciam repetente, pro- revived in his own case, 

pere insequutus," &c. (Will. Gem. vii. 7 See above, pp. 127-129, and compare 

17.) the whole career of Eadric. 

4 Will. Pict. u. s. "Motus Dux con- * Compare the remarks ofPalgrave, iii. 
sanguinitate, supplicitate, miseria, victi, aon 78. 

acerbius vindicavit. Recepto castro, in 



was a sense in which William the Conqueror was not a man of blood. 
He would sacrifice any number of lives to his boundless ambition ; he 
did not scruple to condemn his enemies to cruel personal mutila- 
tions ; * he would keep men for years, as a mere measure of security, 
in the horrible prison-houses of those days; but the extinction of 
human life in cold blood was something from which he shrank. His 
biographer exultingly points out this feature in his character, and his 
recorded acts do not belie his praise. 2 Once only did he swerve 
from this rule, when he sent the noble Waltheof to the scaffold. And 
as that act stands out conspicuously from its contrast to his ordinary 
conduct, so it is the act from which it is impossible not to date the 
decline of his high fortune. And at the time of his first great victory, 
William was of an age when men are commonly disposed to be 
generous, nor had any of the worst features of his character as 
yet come to the surface. With one exception only, no very hard 
punishments were inflicted on the conquered rebels. The mass 
of the rebellious Barons paid fines, gave hostages, and had to submit 
to the destruction of the castles which they had raised without the 
ducal licence. 3 To this, and to other measures of the same kind, 
it is owing that such small traces of the Norman castles of the 
eleventh century now remain. Neal of Saint Saviour had to retire 
for a time to Britanny, but his exile must have been short, as we find 
him, seemingly in the very next year, again in office and in the ducal 
favour. He survived his restoration forty-four years; 4 he lived to 

1 See his alleged Laws, R. Howden, ii. of capital punishment, save in the case of 
218, and the remarks of Professor Stubbs, Waltheof only. 

Preface, xxix, xxxii. 8 Will. Pict. 82. " Dein ad jussum 

2 William of Poitiers, speaking of a ejus festinanter ac funditus destruxere 
somewhat later stage of his life, has the munitiones novarum rerum studio con- 
words (p. 93), " More suo illo optimo, structas." Will. Gem. vii. 1 7. " Con- 
rem optans absque cruore confectum iri ; " spicLentes itaque cuncti optimates qui de- 
and he continues at length (94) ; " Monet viarant a Ducis fidelitate ilium omne 
equidem digna ratio et hoc memoriae pro- presidium fugae partim destruxisse, partim 
dere, quam pia continentia cardera semper interclusisse, datis obsidibus, rigida cofla ei 
vitaverit, nisi bellica vi aut alia, gravi ne- ut domino suo subdidere. Sic castellis 
cessitudine urgent e. Exsilio, carcere, item ubique eversis, nullus ultra ausus est contra 
aUa animadversione qua vitam *on adi~ eum rebellem animum detegere." 

meret, ulcisci malebat: quos juxta ritum * Will. Pict. u. s. "Nigellum alio tern- 

sive legum instituta caeteri principes gladio pore [I do not understand this], quoniam 

absumunt, bello captos vel domi criminum improbe offensabat, exsilio punitum fuisse 

capitalium manifestos." The words in comperio." Wace (931 1) gives the place 

Italics are clearly an euphemism for mu- of his exile ; 

tilation, as we shall see by his conduct " N£el ne se pout acorder, 

at Alenc.on. So the Abingdon Chronicler Ne el paiz n'osa cunverser, 

(1076), speaking of William's worst doings, En Bretaigne fu lungement, 

tells us ; " Sume hi wurdon geblende, and Ainz ke il fist acordement." 

sume wrecen of lande, and sume getawod Notwithstanding Wace's " lungement" he 

to scande. pus wurdon jwes kyninges must have been restored in the next year, 

swican genytferade." Here is no mention when we find him consenting to certain 


repay at Senlac the old wrong done by Englishmen to his father's 
province, but, almost alone among the great Norman chiefs, he 
received no share in the spoils of England. As for Guy, he presently 
left the country of his own free will. His sojourn at William's court 
must have been little else than an honourable imprisonment, and it 
would seem that he now found little respect or sympathy in Nor- 
mandy. 1 He returned to his native land, the Burgundian Palatinate, 
and there, we are told, spent the rest of his days in plotting against 
his brother, the reigning Count William. 2 One criminal only was 
reserved for a harsher fate. Grimbald was taken to Rouen, and 
there kept in prison — such as prisons were in those days — and in 
fetters. He was looked on as the foulest traitor of all; he it was 
whom the Duke charged with the personal attempt on his" life at 
Valognes. 8 Grimbald confessed the crime, and named as his accom- 
plice a knight named Salle the son of Hugh. The accused denied 
the charge, and challenged Grimbald to the judicial combat. Before 
the appointed day of battle came, Grimbald was found dead in his 
prison. He was buried with his fetters on his legs, his lands were 
confiscated, and part of them was given to the church of Bayeux. 
Plessis became a domain of the see, and other portions of the estates 
of Grimbald became the corpses of various prebends in the cathedral 
church. 4 

The power of William was now on the whole firmly established. 
He had still to withstand many attacks from hostile neighbours, and 
we shall have yet to record one more considerable revolt within the 
Norman territory. But the Norman Barons now knew that they had 

grants to the Abbey of Marmoutier which s Roman de Rou, 9346 ; 

the Duke had made out of his estates in " Se il le prist, il out raisun, 

Guernsey (" insula quae appellatur Grene- Kar il l'eust par traisun, 

sodium ") during his banishment. See the Ce dist, k Valuignes murdri, 

charters in Delisle, Preuves, a 1-25. By Quant un fol Golet Ten garni." 

some evident slip of dictation or copying, 4 lb. 9362 ; 

Neal instead of Guy is made, in Palgrave, " A Baieues fu lors otr&ee, 

iii. 217* to defend himself at Brionne. Quant 1'iglise fu dediee, 

He died in 1092. Delisle, p. 24. De la terre Grimout partie 

1 Will. Pict. 82. "Guido in Bur- A Madame Sainte Marie, 

gundiam sponte rediit propter molestiam Partie fu ki ke 1' en die 

probri. Ferre apud Normannos pigebat Mise k chescun en Pab&e," 

vilem se cunctis, odiosum esse multis." See Pluquet and Taylor's notes. The 

8 Will. Pict. 82 ; Will. Malms, iii. 230. " abe*ie " must mean the cathedral church, 

Mr. Thomas Roscoe, on the other hand but it was a great sacrifice to the rime for 

(History of William the Conqueror, p. one of its canons to speak as an 

61), tells us that " at a subsequent period abbey. The grant of Plessis and other 

he highly distinguished himself in the ser- possessions " Grimoldi perfidi " to Odo and 

vice of the duke, and headed a large body his successors in the see of Bayeux will be 

of veteran troops at the famous battle of found in Gallia Christiana, xi. 64. 


a master. 1 For some years to come, internal discord, strictly so 
called, underwent a sort of lull to a degree most remarkable in such 
an age. Under the firm and equal government of her great Duke, 
Normandy began to recover from her years of anarchy, and to rise to 
a higher degree of prosperity than she had ever yet attained to. 2 The 
Duchy became, more completely than it had ever been before, a 
member of the Capetian and of the European commonwealth. The 
Capetian King indeed soon learned again to look with a grudging 
eye on his northern neighbour ; but the general result of the struggle 
must have been to make Normandy still more French than it was 
before. The French and the Scandinavian elements had met face to 
face, and the French element had had the upper hand. Frenchmen 
and French Normans had overthrown the stout Saxons of the Bessin 
and the fierce Danes of the Cdtentin. The distinction between the 
two parts of Normandy is still one which even the passing traveller 
may remark ; but, from the day of Val-es-dunes, it ceased to show 
itself in the great outward expressions of language and political 
feeling. The struggle which began during the minority of Richard 
the Fearless was now finally decided at the close of the minority of 
William the Bastard. The Count of Rouen had overcome Saxons 
and Danes within his own dominions, and he was about to weld them 
into his most trustworthy weapons wherewith to overcome Saxons and 
Danes beyond the sea. The omen of the fight against Neal and 
Hamon might well have recurred to the mind of William, when Neal 
himself and the soti of Hamon marched forth at his side from the 
camp at Hastings, and went on to complete the conquest of England 
at Exeter and York. 

§ 3. From the Battle of Val-es-dunes to William 's Visit to 

England. 1 04 7- 1 05 1 . 

William was thus at peace at home ; his next war was indeed one 
of his own seeking, but it was one from which he could not have 
shrunk without breaking through every tie alike of gratitude and of 
feudal duty. This is the first time that I have had directly to mention 
a power, which had been, for more than a hundred years, steadily 
growing up to the south of Normandy, and which w,as to exercise a 
most important influence on the future history of Normandy and, 

1 Will. Pict. 82. "Normanni superati audiebat, miseriGorditer agebat, rectissime 

semel universi colla subdidere domino suo, definiebat. Ejus aequitate reprimente ini- 

atque obsides dedere plurimi." quam cupiditatem vicini minus valentis aut 

8 lb. 113. "Ejus animadversione et limitem agri movere aut rem ullam usur- 

legibus e Normannia sunt exterminati pare, nee potens audebat quisquam nee 

latrones, homicidae, malefici Caus- familiaris. Villae, castra, urbes, jura per 

sam viduac, inopis, pupilli, ipse humiliter eum habebant stabilia et bona." 



through Normandy, on that of England. I mean the dynasty of the 
Counts of Anjou. That house, the house which mounted the throne 
of England in the person of a great-grandson of William, produced a 
succession of princes to whose personal qualities it must mainly have 
been owing that their dominions fill the place which they do fill in 
French and in European history. Anjou holds a peculiar position 
among the great fiefs of France. It was a singular destiny which gave 
so marked a character, and so conspicuous a history, to a country 
which seems in no way marked out for separate existence by any 
geographical or national distinction. Normandy, Britanny, Flanders, 
Aquitaine, Ducal Burgundy, all had a being of their own ; they were 
fiefs of the Crown of France, but they were in no sense French pro- 
vinces. But Anjou was at most an outpost on the Loire, a border 
district of France and Aquitaine ; beyond this position it had nothing 
specially to distinguish it from any other part of the great Parisian 
Duchy. 1 A momentary Saxon occupation in the fifth century 2 cannot 
be supposed to have left behind it any such abiding traces as were 
certainly left by the settlement of the same people at Bayeux, perhaps 
even by their less famous settlement at Seez. 8 It was wholly to the 
energy and the marked character of its individual rulers that Anjou 
owed its distinct and prominent place among the principalities of 
Gaul. The restless spirit of the race showed itself sometimes for 
good and sometimes for evil, but there was no Count of Anjou who 
could be called a fool, a coward, or a faineant. The history or 
legends of the family which was to rise to such greatness laid claim to 
no very remote or illustrious pedigree. 4 The first Count of Anjou, 
who held a part only of the later County, 6 was invested with that 

1 The dependence of Anjou on the D'Achery's Spicilegium, iii. 234. It is 
Duchy of France is acknowledged in a introduced by a most curious fragment, 
charter of Geoffrey Grisegoneile quoted in namely a short Angevin history written or 
the Art de Verifier les Dates, ii. 833. He dictated by Count Fulk, nephew and suc- 
calls himself " Gratia Dei, et Senioris Hu- cessor of Geoffrey Martel. A lay historian 
gonis largitione, Andegavensis Comes." is a phenomenon which we have not come 
Anjou seems to have been a possession of across since the time of our own ^Ethel- 
Robert the Strong before he received weard, and it is not to be denied that the 
Paris. See Chron. S. Ben. Div. ap. Count shows much sounder sense, and a 
D'Achery, ii. 377. much nearer approach to historical cri- 

2 On the Saxon occupation of Anjou, ticism, than the monastic writer. He had 
see Greg. Tur. ii. 1% ; Hist. Franc. Epit. at least one advantage in his princely rank, 
1,2. that he had nothing to gain by flattering 

3 On the Saxons of Seez, the Saxones his own forefathers. • 
Diablintes, see Stapleton, i. xliii. Gest. Cons. 235. " Datus est ei et 

* The history of the Counts of Anjou is dimidius comitatus Andegavis civitatis ad 

given at length, but mixed up with much defendendam regionem et urbem, saevisque 

legendary matter in the early parts, in the predonibus oppositus est, et Comes ibi 

"GestaConsulum Andegavensium," written factus." So in the fuller account in p. 

by a monk of Marmoutier in the time 239, which adds, " quia ultra Meduanara 

of Henry the Second, and printed in in Andegavo alter Comes habebatur." 


dignity either by Charles the Bald or by his son Lewis the Stammerer. 
He bore the name of Ingelgar, and he seems to be the first member 
of the family who can be unhesitatingly set down as historical. His 
grandfather, Torquaftius or Tortulfus, was, according to the legend, a 
peasant, and seems to have sprung from that Breton race of which his 
descendants became the most persevering enemies. It must have 
been a later version of the tale which invented for him a Roman 
name and a Roman descent. 2 The son of Torquatius, Tertullus, rose, 
we are told, to importance at the court of Charles, and founded the 
greatness of his house. 8 Whatever may be the amount of strictly 
historical truth preserved in these stories, they are, in one point of 
view, of no small historical value. Like the kindred story of the 
origin of Godwine, they point to a belief, which can hardly have been 
ill-founded, that, in Gaul in the ninth century and in England in the 
eleventh, ignoble birth did not disqualify a man from rising to the 
highest dignities, or from founding a dynasty of Princes or even of 
Kings. 4 But when we reach Ingelgar, we seem to stand on more 
distinctly historical ground. He held Amboise in Touraine as an 
allodial possession, 5 and he was, as we have seen, invested with the 
Countship of Anjou on the hither side of the Mayenne. But it is 

The " sacvi praedones " are explained to be perors taken from the plough. 
Northmen and Bretons. 8 Gest. Cons. 237. 

1 The authors of the Art de Verifier les * See vol. i. pp. 169, 319, 478. The 

Dates (ii. 828), as also Sir F. Palgrave (i. author of theGesta Consilium becomes elo- 

502), place the enfeoffment of Ingelgar quent on this head (p. 237) ; •• Tempore 

under Charles the Bald in the year 870. enim Caroli Calvi complures novi atque 

But the story in theGesta Consulum (238 et ignobiles, bono et honesto nobilibus po- 

seqq.) seems to make the reigning King to tiores; clari et magni effecti sunt. Quos 

be Lewis the Stammerer. Count Fulk him- enim appetentes gloriae militaris conspicie- 

self (233) describes the benefactor of his bat, periculis objectare et per eos foitunam 

ancestor as "Rex Franciae, non a genere temperare non dubitabat. Erant enim 

impii Philippic sed a prole Caroli Calvi." illis diebus homines veteris prosapiae mul- 

Fulk had excellent reasons for the epithet tarumque imaginum, qui acta majorum 

oestowed on Philip. See Will. Malms, iii. suorum, non sua, ostentabant ; qui quum 

157. ad aliquod grave officium mittebantur, 

s Gest. Cons. 237. "Fuit vir quidam aliquem e populo monitorem sui officii 

de Armorica Gallia, nomine Torquatius, sumebant, quibus quum Rex aliis impe- 

genus cujus olim ab Armorica jussu rare jussisset, ipsi sibi alium imperatorem 

Maximi Imperatoris a Britonibus expul- poscebant. Ideo ex illo globo paucos 

sum est. Iste a Britonibus, proprietatem secum Rex Carolus habebat; novis mili- 

vetusti ac Romani nominis ignorantibus, taria dona et haereditates pluribus laboribus 

comipto vocabulo Tortulfus dictus fuit. n et periculis acquisitas benigne praebebat. 

We may be pretty sure that Tortulf, or Ex quo genere fuit iste Tertullus, a quo 

something like it, of which his son's name Andegavorum Consulum progenies sump- 

Tertullus seems another and happier sit exordium." See Palgrave, i. 404, 500- 

Latinization, was the true name. Charles 502; cf. ii. II. 

made Torquatius a forester, *' illius forestae 5 Gest. Cons. 239. "Alodium enim 

quae Nidus-meruli nuncupatur." The writer cognationis eorum erat Ambazium villa." 
goes on to talk about Senators and Em- 

N 2 


plain that no detailed account of his actions, or of those of his im- 
mediate successors, was preserved. 1 His son Fulk the Red (888) 
received from Charles the Simple the remaining portion of the County 
of Anjou, that beyond the Mayenne, and he vigorously defended his 
enlarged dominions against the attacks of Northmen and Bretons. 2 
Xhis Romulus was appropriately succeeded (938) by a Numa, Fulk 
the Good, renowned for his piety, his almsdeeds, his just and 
peaceful government, and for being the traditional author of the 
proverb that an unlettered King is but a crowned ass. 8 His son, 
Geoffrey Grisegonelle 4 (958), renewed the warlike fame of his house; 
he fought with his neighbours of Britanny and Aquitaine, and he is 
said to have borne (978) an important share in the wars between 
King Lothar and the Emperor. Otto the Second. 5 After him (987) 
came his son Fulk, 6 surnamed Nerra or the Black, renowned as a 
warrior and still more renowned as a pilgrim, and who is the first 
prince of his house whose name has found its way into the general 
history of France. He overthrew his brother-in-law Conan of 
Britanny in one or more pitched batdes, which French, as well as 
Breton and Angevin, writers thought worthy of record. He was also 
engaged in a war with his neighbour Odo the Second, Count of Blois 
and Chartres, the grandson of the famous Theobald, a war which 
passed on as an inheritance to the next generation, and which proved 
the origin of the first entanglements between Normandy and Anjou. 7 
It sounds like an incursion from another hemisphere, when we read 
how Aldebert, Count of Perigueux, Perigueux with its cupolas and its 
Roman tower, far away in the heart of Aquitaine, appeared as an ally 
of the Angevin Count. 8 He took Tours and gave it to Fulk (990), 
but the citizens were ill-disposed to their new master, and Odo re- 

1 Count Fulk (p. 233) says, with much son Drogo. 

good sense, " Quorum quatuor Consulum 3 See the story of Fulk and King Lewis 

virtutes et acta, quia nobis in tantum de From-beyond-Sea in the Gesta, p. 245. 

longinquo sunt, ut etiam loca ubi corpora The proverb was a favourite with our 

eorum jacent nobis incognita sunt, digne Henry the First, and was at least approved 

memorare non possumus." Ingelgar, in by the Great William. See Will. Malms. 

the legend (p. 239), slays the accuser of a v. 390. 

slandered lady — in this case his own god- 4 "Grisa gonella"='*grisa tunica." Gest. 

mother and benefactress — much in the Cons. 246, 247. 

style of the ballad of Sir Aldingar or of the. 5 See Appendix X. 

story of Queen Gunhild. 6 Count Maurice, who in the Gesta (249) 

2 Gest. Cons. 235 (so 244). "Integrum comes between Geoffrey Grisegonelle and 
comitatum, qui prius bipertitus erat, re- Fulk Nerra, finds no place in the list 
cepit." The Breton story (Chron. Brio- given by Fulk Rechin, and is rejected by 
cense, ap. Morice, Memoires pour servir de the authors of the Art de Verifier les 
Preuves a l'Histoire de Bretagne, pp. 29, Dates. 

30) makes him — " vir maledictus et diabo- 7 See Appendix X. 

licus" — marry the widow of the Breton * Ademar, iii. 34 (Pertz, iv. 131); 

prince Alan, and procure the death of her Duchfesne, iv. 80. 


covered it after a short time. Later in his reign (1016), Fulk defeated 
Odo in a great battle at Pontlevois in Touraine, and afterwards gained 
or recovered Saumur. We have already met with him in the cha- 
racter of a mediator between contending candidates for the Crown of 
France, 1 and he appears also in the less honourable light of an as- 
sassin, who removed a courtier of King Robert who stood in the way 
of the plans of his own termagant niece Queen Constance. 2 We hear 
also heavy complaints of him as a violator of ecclesiastical rule, by 
setting up the usurped authority of the See of Rome against the rights 
of the independent Metropolitans of Gaul. 3 But he is perhaps best 
known for his two pilgrimages (1028, 1035) to the Holy Sepulchre, 
for the ready ingenuity which he displayed on his first journey, and 
for the extreme of penitential humiliation by which he edified all men 
on the second. 4 Less happy in his private than in his public career, 
he was troubled in his last years by a rebellion of his son ; 5 he 
was charged, truly or falsely, with the murder of one wife, and with 
driving another from him by ill-treatment. 6 A reign of unusual length 
made him, during a few years, a contemporary of the Great William, 
and at last (1040) he left his dominions to a son under whom Nor- 
mans and Angevins met for the first time in open warfare. 

This son, Geoffrey by name, rejoiced in the surname of Martel, 
which he bestowed upon himself to express the heavy blows which, 
like the victor of Tours, he dealt around upon all his enemies. 7 He 

1 See vol. i. p. 314. blown down on the night following its 

2 According to R. Glaber (iii. 2), he consecration. Rudolf takes this oppor- 
sent assassins, who murdered Hugh, the tunfty to set forth his theory of the 
courtier in question, before the King's Papal authority, which is well worth 
eyes. The murder is done, according to studying, and which breathes in its fulness 
good English precedent, at a hunting-party, the spirit of the later Gallican liberties, 
which perhaps makes the story a little The Bishop of Rome is the first of 
suspicious. See vol. i. p. 220. Bishops, but he may not interfere with 

8 Fulk founded a monastery near Loches the diocesan jurisdiction of any of his 

— " in honore ac memoria illarum ccelestium brethren. 

virtutum quas Cherubin et Seraphin sub- * On Fulk's pilgrimage see Fulc. Rech. 

limiores sacra testatur auctoritas," (R. Gla- p. 233 ; Gest. Consul. 252; Will. Malms, 

ber, ii. 4, copied in the Gesta Consulum, iii. 235. The Chronicler of Saint Max- 

251) — and applied to Hugh, Archbishop entius makes him die, " ut dicitur," on 

of Tours, to consecrate the church. The pilgrimage in 1032. 
Primate refused, unless Fulk restored some * See at length Will. Malms, u. s. 
alienated possessions of his see. Fulk then fl See Art de Verifier les Dates, ii. 838. 
went to Rome with well-stored money- T Fulk, p. 233. "Propter quae omnia 

bags, by the help of which he persuaded bella, et propter magnanimitatem quam 

Pope John — which of all the Johns con- ibi exercebat, merito Martellus nominatus 

temporary with Fulk we are not told — est, quasi suos conterens hostes." William 

to send a Cardinal to consecrate it. The of Malmesbury (iii. 231) calls him " Gau- 

Bishops of Gaul were horrified at this in- fredus cognomento Martellus, quod ipse 

vasion of their rights, and divine ven- sibi usurpaverat, quia videbatur sibi felici- 

geance showed itself by the church being tate quadam omnes obsistentes contundere." 


began his distinctive career in his father's lifetime. A dispute for the 
possession of the county of Saintonge led to a war between him and 
William the Sixth or the Fat, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou. 1 
Geoffrey was successful ; he took the Aquitanian prince prisoner (April 
2 2, 1033), and kept him in close bondage, till his wife Eustacia ran- 
somed him at a heavy price. According to one version, the ransom 
consisted only of gold and silver, the spoil or contribution of the 
monasteries of his Duchy. Others however assert that it was nothing 
short of the cession of Bourdeaux and other cities, and an engagement 
to pay tribute for the rest of his dominions. Three days after this 
hard bought deliverance, William died. Immediately afterwards, or, 
according to some accounts, in the course of the year before, Geoffrey 
married Agnes, the step-mother of his victim, the widow of William's 
father, William the Fifth or the Great. The marriage was, on some 
ground or other, branded as incestuous, and it was this imprisonment 
of William and this marriage with Agnes which, we are told, gave 
rise in some way to Geoffrey's rebellion (1033) against his father and 
to the discord between Fulk and his second wife Hildegardis the 
mother of Geoffrey. 

The imprisonment of William of Aquitaine evidently made a deep 
impression upon men's minds at the time ; but it was the standing 
war with the house of Chartres which brought Anjou into direct col- 
lision with Normandy, and thereby, at a somewhat later time, into 
connexion with England. The last energies of Odo were mainly 
directed to objects remote from Anjou, and even from Chartres and 
Blois. He was one of the party which opposed the succession of 
King Henry, and in so doing he must have crossed the policy of 
Henry's great champion Duke Robert. In a war with the King which 
followed Odo was unsuccessful, 2 but his mind was now set upon 
greater things. Already Count of Champagne, he aimed at restoring 
the great frontier state between the Eastern and the Western Franks, 
at reigning as King of Burgundy, of Lotharingia, perhaps of Italy. 
After meeting for a while with some measure of success, he was at 
last defeated and slain by Duke Gozelo (1037), the father of Godfrey of 
whom we have already heard, 3 in a battle near Bar in the Upper Lothar- 
ingia. 4 His great schemes died with him. His sons were only Counts 
and not Kings, and their father's dominions were divided between them. 
But the sons of both brothers obtained settlements in England, and a 
grandson of one of them figures largely in English history. Stephen 
reigned in Champagne; his son Odo married a sister of the Con- 

Another account makes the name derived 9 See the Chronicle in Duchesne, Rer. 

from the trade of Geoffrey's foster-father, Franc. Scriptt. iv. 97. 

a blacksmith, something like Donald of 8 See above, p. 63. 

the Hammer in Scottish stor^. * See Appendix X. 
1 On the whole story see Appendix Y. 


queror, and was one of the objects of his brother-in-law's bounty in 
England. 1 Theobald inherited Blois and Chartres. His son Stephen 
married William's daughter Adela, and thereby became father of a 
King of the English. But at present we have to deal with Count 
Theobald as a vassal of France at variance with his over-lord, as a 
neighbour of Anjou inheriting the hereditary enmity of his forefathers. 
Touraine, part of which was already possessed by Geoffrey, 2 and, 
above all, the metropolitan city of Tours, were ever the great objects 
of Angevin ambition. It was a stroke of policy on the part of Henry, 
when he formally deprived the rebel Theobald of that famous city, 
and bestowed it by a royal grant on the Count of Anjou. 3 Geoffrey 
was not slow to press a claim at once fresh and most plausible. He 
advanced on the city to assert his rights by force. Saint Martin, we 
are specially told, favoured the enterprise. 4 The brothers resisted in 
vain. Stephen was put to flight ; Theobald was taken prisoner, and 
was compelled, like William of Aquitaine, to obtain his freedom by 
the surrender of the city. 5 

Both French and Angevin writers agree in describing Geoffrey as 
taking possession of Tours with the full consent of King Henry. Yet 
in the first glimpse of Angevin affairs given us by our Norman 
authorities, the relations between the King of the French and the 
Count of Anjou are set forth in an exactly opposite light. Geoffrey 
is engaged in a rebellious war against Henry, and the Duke of 
the Normans simply comes to discharge his feudal duty to his lord, 
and to return the obligation incurred by the King's prompt and 
effectual help at Val-es- dunes. 6 These two accounts are in no way 
inconsistent; in the space of four years the relations between the 
King and so dangerous a vassal as Geoffrey may very well have 

1 See Appendix U. victory and the captivity ©f Theobald, 

2 Fulk (p. 233) describes the cession and adds, *'Nulli dubium est, beato Mar- 
made by Theobald to Geoffrey, and adds, tino auxiliante, qui ilium pieAivocaverat, 
•• Pars autem alia Turonici pagi sibi con- suorum fnimicorum victorem exstitisse." 
tigerat possessione paternii." We have 6 On the captivity of Theobald, see 
seen that the Counts of Anjou held Am- Fulk, p. 233 ; Gesta Cons, (largely after 
boise and Loches. R. Glaber), 256; Chronn. Andd. a. 1044, 

3 This grant is distinctly asserted, not ap. Labbe, i. 276, 287; Will. Pict. 86; 
only by Fulk (u. s. " Ex voluntate Regis Will. Gem. vii. r8 ; Will. Malms, iii. 231. 
Henrici accepit donum Turonicae civitatis R. Glaber is also followed by Hugo Flav. 
ab ipso Rege"), but also by R. Glaber (Labbe, i. 186; Pertz, viii. 403). 

(v. 2), followed by Gesta Cons. 256; fl Will. Pict. 82. " Vicissitudinem post 

"Contigit ut . . Rex, ablato ab iisdem hsec ipse Regi fide studiosissimfc reddidit, 

dominio Turonicae urbis, daret illud Goz- rogatus ab eo aux ilium contra quosdam 

fredo cognomento Tuditi, filio scilicet Ful- inimicissimos ei atque potentissimos ad 

conis jam dicti Andegavorum comitis." ofBciendum." This writer is very con- 

The Norman writers of course know fused in his chronology of the war, placing 

nothing of all this, and make Geoffrey the details about Domfront and Alencon 

an unprovoked aggressor. at a long distance from this passage, which 

* R. Glaber (v. 2) describes Geoffrey's seems to record the beginning of hostilities. 


changed. Henry may well have found that it was not sound policy 
to foster the growth of one whose blows might easily be extended 
from Counts to Kings. The campaign which followed is dwelt on 
at great length by our Norman authorities and is cut significantly 
short by the Angevins. In its course, we are told, William gained 
the highest reputation. The troops of Normandy surpassed in 
number the united contingents of the King and of all his other vassals. 1 
The Duke's courage and conduct were preeminent, and they won 
him the first place in the King's counsels. 2 But on one point Henry 
had to remonstrate with his valiant ally. He was forced, says the 
panegyrist, to warn both William himself and the chief Norman 
leaders against the needless exposure of so precious a life. 3 William 
never shrank from danger at any time of his life, and we may be sure 
that, at this time of his life especially, he thoroughly enjoyed the 
practice of war in all its forms. But William's impulses were already 
under the control of his reason. He knew, no doubt, as well as any 
man that to plunge himself into needless dangers, and to run the risk 
of hairbreadth scapes, was no part of the real duty of a prince or a 
general. But he also knew that it was mainly by exploits of this kind 
that he must dazzle the minds of his own generation, and so obtain 
that influence over men which was needful for the great schemes of 
his life. 4 In any other point of view, one would say that it was un- 
worthy of William's policy to win the reputation of a knight-errant at 
the expense of making for himself a lasting and dangerous enemy in 
the Count of Anjou. 

The undisputed dominions of the two princes nowhere touched 
each other. But between them lay a country closely connected both 
with Normandy and with Anjou, and over which both William and 
Geoffrey asserted rights. This was the County of Maine, a district 
which was always said to have formed part of the later acquisitions of 
Rolf, 6 but of which the Norman Dukes had never taken practical 
possession*. The history of the Cenomannian city and province will 
be more fittingly sketched at another stage of William's career ; it is 

1 Will.Pict. 82. " Cernebant Francigenae, etiam primates obsecrabat, ne committi. 

quod invidia non cerni vellet, exercitum de- prcelium vel levissimum ante municipium 

ductum e Normannia sol& regio majorem, aliquod paterentur ; metuens videlicet oc- 

omnique collegio, quantum adduxerant vel casurum virtutem ostentando, in quo regni 

miserant Comites plurimi." presidium firmissimum et ornamentum 

3 lb. 83. " Rex ei quam libenter splendidissimum reponebat." 
proponebat consultanda, et maxima quae- * William of Poitiers' explanation of 

que ad ejus gerebat sententiam, anteponens William's rashness (83) is not very clear ; 

in perspicientia consulti melioris eum " Caeterum quae velut immoderatam forti- 

omnibus." tudinis ostentationem multopere dissua- 

3 lb. '• Unicum id redarguebat, quod debat Rex atque castigabat, ea nos fer- 

nimium periculis objectabat se, ac plerum- vidae atque animosae cetati aut officio ad- 

que pugnam quaeritabat, decurrens palam scribimus." 
cum denis aut paucioribus. Normannos 5 See vol. i. p. 118. 


enough to say here that Geoffrey was now practical sovereign of 
Maine, in the character of protector, guardian, or conqueror of the 
young Count Hugh, the son of the famous Herbert, surnamed Wake- 
the-dog} William and Geoffrey thus became immediate neighbours, 
and Geoffrey, with the craft of his house, knew how to strike a blow 
where William was weakest. Two chief fortresses guarded the frontier 
between Maine and Normandy. Each commanded its own valley, its 
own approach into the heart of the Norman territory ; each watched 
over a stream flowing from Norman into Cenomannian ground. These 
were Dom front towards the western, and Alen9on towards the eastern, 
portion of the frontier. Domfront commanded the region watered 
by the Mayenne and its tributaries, while Alencon was the key of the 
valley of the Sarthe, the keeper of the path which led straight to the 
minster of Seez and to the donjon of Falaise. Of these two strongholds, 
Alencon stood on Norman, Domfront on Cenomannian soil. 2 But 
Norman writers maintained that Domfront, no less than Alencon, was 
of right a Norman possession, both fortresses alike having been reared 
by the licence of Richard the Good. 8 But even Alencon, whatever 
may have been its origin, was at this time far from being a sound 
member of the Norman body politic. As a lordship of William 
Talvas, it shared in the ambiguous character, half Norman, half 
French, which attached to all the border possessions of the house of 
Belesme. And, as events presently showed, its inhabitants shared 
most fully in the spirit in which the Lord of Alencon had cursed the 
Bastard in his cradle. 4 We are told also that the citizens both of 
Alenc,on and of Domfront disliked the rule of William, on account of 
the strict justice which he administered and the checks which he put 
on their marauding practices. 6 This complaint sounds rather as if 
it came from turbulent barons than from burghers ; yet it is quite 

1 Gesta Dom. Ambasiens. ap. D*Achery, tis Andegavorum, obsidione coronavit." 
iii. 273. " Quidam Comes pernimium So also Roman de Rou, 9382 ; 

juvenis Herbertus, cognomento Evigilans •• Alencon ert de Normendie 

Canem." See Palgrave, iii. 240. E Danfronz del Maine partie." 

2 One might fancy from the words of s Will. Pict. 89. " Perhibent homines 
William of Jumieges (vii. 18), " Ccepit antiquioris memorise, castra haec ambo 
Normanniam rapinis vehementer demoliri, Comitis Ricardi concessu esse fundata, 
intra Danfrontis castrum seditiosis custo- unum intra alteram, proxime fines Nor- 
dibus immissis," that Domfront was now manniae." 

Norman. But is clear from William of * See above, p. 122. So William of 

Poitiers (86) that it was, as a town of Malmesbury (iii. 231), " Pronis in perfidiam 

Maine, in Geoffrey's possession at the be- habitatoribus." 

ginning of the war; " Willelmus . . adi- 5 Will. Pict. 87. " Deferre haudquaquam 

bat cum exercitu terram Andegavensem, volebant dominum sub quo licenter quaestum 

ut reddens talionem primo abalienaret Gau- latrociniis contraherint : quali caussa fuerant 

fredo Damfrontum, post reciperit Alen- seducti inhabitantes Alentium." He then 

tium." So WilHam of Malmesbury (iii. goes on with one of his panegyrics ou 

231), "Damfruntum, quod erat tunc comi- William's stern justice. 


possible that the burghers of a frontier town, especially on a frontier 
which was very doubtful and ill-defined, may have indulged in those 
breaches of the peace which it was William's greatest praise, both in 
Normandy and in England, to chastise without mercy. At any rate 
the people of Alencon were thoroughly disloyal to Normandy, and 
they willingly received the Angevin Count and his garrison. 1 William 
returned the blow of Geoffrey's hammer in kind. Leaving Alencon 
for a while to itself, he crossed the frontier, Angevin or Cenomannian 
as we may choose to call it, and laid siege to Domfront. On his 
march he found that treason was not wholly extinguished, even among 
his own troops. He had gone on a foraging or plundering party with 
fifty horse; 2 a traitor, a Norman noble, sent word of his whereabout 
to the defenders of the town, who sent forth, we are told, three 
hundred horse and seven hundred foot to attack the Duke unex- 
pectedly. It sounds like romance when we read that William at once 
charged and overthrew the horseman nearest to him, that the rest 
were seized with a sudden panic and took to flight, that the Duke and 
his little band chased them to the gates of Domfront, and that William 
carried off one prisoner with his own hands. 3 Such stories are no 
doubt greatly exaggerated ; the details may often be pure invention ; 
but, as contemporary exaggerations and inventions, they show the 
kind of merit which Normans then looked for in their rulers, and they 
show the kind of exploit of which William himself was thought 
capable. And the perfectly casual mention of the traitor in the 
Norman camp is instructive in another way. It is no doubt merely 
an example of what often happened, and the way in which treason is 
spoken of as an everyday matter sets vividly before us the difficulties 
with which William, even now after the victory of Val-es-dunes, had 
still to contend at every step. 4 

William now laid siege to Domfront. The town was strong both 
by its fortifications and by its natural position. The spirit of the 
citizens was high, and they were further strengthened by the presence 
of a chosen body of Angevin troops sent by Count Geoffrey. An 
assault was hopeless where two steep and narrow paths were the 
only ways by which the fortress could be approached even on foot. 6 

1 Will. Pict. 86. " Inhabitatores ad se ierit, et quam paucis comitatus, atque hunc 
pronos reppererat." esse qui mortem fugae praeferret." 

2 lb. 87. " Ubi approximabatur Dan- 8 lb. " Captum suis unum manibus re- 
fronto, cum equitibus divertit quinqua- tinuit." 

ginta, acceptum qua jtippendium auge- * Compare, on tbe chances of treason 

rent." But this curious euphemism for near William's person, those remarkable 

what one would have thought in those days expressions of William of Jumifeges (vii. 4) 

hardly needed apology is explained in the which have been already quoted in p. 131. 

next sentence, " Prada autem index cas- 8 Will. Pict. 87. "Celerem irruptionem 

tellanis prodidit ipsum quidam ex Nor- situs oppidi denegabat omni robori sive 

mannis majoribus, intimans quo aut cur peritiae; quum scopulorum asperitas pedites 


William surrounded the town with four towers, 1 and the Norman 
army sat down before it. The Duke was foremost in every attack, 
in every ambush, in every night march to cut off the approach of 
those who sought to bring either messages or provisions to the 
besieged town. 2 Yet we are told that he found himself so safe in 
the enemy's country that he often enjoyed the sports of hunting and 
hawking, for which the neighbouring woods afforded special oppor- 
tunities. 3 The siege had continued for some time (1048-1049) in 
this way, and it was now seemingly winter, 4 when news was brought 
that Count Geoffrey was advancing with a large force to the relief of 
the town. A tale of knight-errantry follows, the main substance of 
which, coming as it does from a contemporary writer, we have no 
ground for disbelieving, even though some details may have been 
heightened to enhance the glory of William. The story is worthy 
of attention as showing that, amidst all the apparent rudeness of the 
times, some germs of the later follies of chivalry had already begun to 
show themselves. As the Angevin army approached, William sent a 
message to Geoffrey by the hands of two of his chosen friends, two 
youths who had grown up along with him, and who were destined to 
share with him in all his greatest dangers and greatest successes. 
Both were men who lived to be famous in English history, Roger of 
Montgomery, the son-in-law of the terrible Talvas, 5 and William, the 
son of that Osbern who had lost his life through his faithfulness 
to his master. 6 These two trusty companions were sent to see Count 
Geoffrey, and to get from him an explanation of his purpose. Geof- 
frey told them that, at daybreak the next morning, he would come 
and beat up William's quarters before Domfront. There should 
be no mistake about his person; he would be known by such a 
dress, such a shield, 7 such a coloured horse. The Norman messengers 
answered that he need not trouble himself to come so far as the 
Norman quarters; he whom he sought would come and visit him 

ctiam deturbaret, praeter qui angustis itine- " Accipiter," so Mr. Dimock explains to 

ribus duobus atque arduis accederent." me, is the goshawk. From the point of 

There is here something of the Norman view of the small birds, the distinction is 

trust in cavalry ; there is a feeling as if a probably of no great importance, 

place where horsemen were of no use had 4 lb. " Non loci difficultas, aut saevitia 

some unfairness about it. hiemis," &c. 

1 Will. Pict. 87. •« Castella circumponit 8 See above, pp. 120, 122. 

quatuor." • See above, p. 126. 

• lb. " Aliquando perdius et pernox T Will. Pict. 88. •• Praesignat qualem in 

equitans, vel in abditis occultus explorat, prcelio equum sit habiturus, quale scutum, 

si qui offeudantur aut commeatum advec- qualem vestitum." The device on the shield 

tantes, aut in legatione directi, aut pabula- was therefore still left to the fancy of the 

toribus suis insidiantes." wearer. Had the Counts of Anjou already 

8 lb. "Est regio ilia silvis abundans possessed hereditary armorial bearings, the 

ferarum feracissimis. Sape falconum, Normans could hardly have needed to be told 

s<zpissime accipitrum volatu oblectatur." what kind of shield Geoffrey would carry. 


nearer home. Duke William would be ready for battle, with such 
a horse, such a dress, such manner of weapons. 1 The Normans 
appeared the next morning, eager for fight, and their Duke the most 
eager among them. 2 But no enemy was there to await them ; before 
the Normans came in sight, the Count of Anjou and his host had 
decamped. Geoffrey doubtless, like some later generals, retired only 
for strategical reasons; but the Norman writers can see no nobler 
motive for his conduct than his being seized with a sudden panic. 8 
Here, and throughout the war, the lions stand in need of a painter, 
or rather their painters suddenly refuse to do their duty. We have 
no Angevin account of the siege of Domffont to set against our 
evidently highly-coloured Norman picture. 

The whole country now lay open for William to harry; but he 
knew better than to waste time and energy on mere useless ravages. 4 
He determined rather to strike another sudden blow. Leaving a 
force before Domfront, he marched all night, through the enemy's 
country, along the course of the Mayenne, passing by Mehendin, 
Pointel, and Saint-Samson. 5 He thus suddenly appeared before 
Alencon with the morning light. 6 A bridge over the Sarthe, strongly 
fortified with a ditch and a palisade, divided the Norman from the 
Cenomannian territory. 7 This bridge now served as a barrier against 

1 Will. Pict. 88 "111 contra opus non them all. 

esse respondent instituto eutn itinere Ion- s Will. Pict. 88. " Subitaneo terrore 

gius fatigari. Nam continuo propter quern consternatus Gaufredus, ad versa acie nec- 

vadit adfore. Equum vicissim domini sui dum conspecta, profugio salutem suam cum 

prsesignant, vestitum, et arma." Here, it agmine toto committit." Wace (9601) 

may be remarked, is no special mention of makes him make a little show of prepara- 

the shield ; it comes under the general head tion for battle, but he presently yields to 

of " arma." the wiser advice of a knight who counsels 

It is almost profanation to compare war- flight. Wace (9527-9628) puts this whole 

fare of this sort with the patriot struggle at story later, after the taking of Alencon. 

Maldon, yet there is in all this something He adds a third to the two messengers in 

analogous to Brihtnoth's over-chivalry in William of Poitiers, namely William Fitz- 

allowing the Northmen to cross the river. Thierry (9539). 

See however the instances quoted in vol. i. * Will. Pict. u. s. " Novit esse pru- 

p. 184. dentium victorias temperare, atque non satis 

2 The reason given by William of Poi- potentem esse qui semet in potestate ulsci- 
tiers (u. s.) for the Duke's special zeal is scendi continere non possit." William of 
one of the most amazing things that I ever Jumieges (vii. 18) adds another reason ; 
came across. "Omnium acerrimus ipse " Ecce adsunt ex plora tores, Alencium cas- 
Dux inurget accelerantes. Tyrannum for- trum absque suorum detrimento eum capere 
tasse absumi desiderabat adolescens piissi- posse nuntiantes." This is his first mention 
mus; quod ex omnibus praeclaris factis of Alencon. 

pulcerrimum judicavit Senatus Latinus et 5 Roman de Rou, 9436 et seqq. 

Atheniensis." The instances of Tyrannicide fl Will. Gem. u. s. " Tot& nocte equi- 

collected by Jean Petit (see Hist. Fed. Gov. tans diluculo Alencium venit." 

i. 383) are strange enough, but the idea of 7 William of Jumieges (vii. 18) merely 

William gaining the honours of a Timo- says, " In quodam municipio trans flu men 

leun by slaying Geoffrey in battle beats posito." Wace is much fuller (9440 et seqq.); 


a Duke of the Normans attacking his own town^ from the Cenoman- 
nian side. The defenders of the bridge, whether Angevins or disaf- 
fected Normans, received the Duke with the grossest personal insult. 
They spread out skins and leather jerkins, and* beat them, shouting, 
"Hides, hides for the Tanner." 1 The Duke of the Normans had 
acted a merciful and generous part towards the rebels of Val-es-dunes 
and Brionne; but the grandson of Fulbert ofFalaise could not endure 
the jeers thus thrown on his descent by the spindle-side. In the eyes 
of princes, anything like a personal insult, whether offered to them- 
selves or to their belongings, is commonly deemed far more unpardon- 
able than a real injury. The one act of cruelty .which stains the reign 
of our great Edward is the slaughter (1296) of the inhabitants of 
Berwick in revenge for a jesting and not very intelligible ballad sung 
against him from the walls. 2 So now William swore, according to 
his fashion, by the Splendour of God, 8 that the men who thus mocked 
him should be dealt with like a tree whose branches are cut off by the 
pollarding-knife. 4 He kept his word. A vigorous assault was made 
upon the bridge. Houses were unroofed, and the timbers were 
thrown into the fosse. 6 Fire was set to the mass; the wood was 
dry, the flame spread, the palisades and gates were burned down, 

" Alen9on est sor Sartre asiz, insults which they had offered to his 

Iloec devize le paiz ; mother. Rishanger (Halliwell), 12, 32. 

Normanz sunt devers li chastel, Compare also William's own indignation 

Et ultre l'ewe sunt Mansel." at the insults offered to him at Exeter 

He then goes on to describe the bridge and (Will. Malms, ii. 248), though he seems to 

its defences. have been in a much less savage mood 

1 Will. Gem. vii. 18. "Pellesenim et there than he was at Alen£on. In like 

renones ad injuriam Ducis verberaverant, manner the wrath of Philip and Charles of 

ipsumque pelliciarium despective vocitave- Burgundy was specially aroused against the 

rant, eo quod parentes matris ejus pelliciarii people of Dinant on account of the insinua- 

exstiterant." So Wace, 9458 ; tions against the Duchess Isabella thrown 

" Willeame unt asez convicie* ; out in the cries of the besieged. See Kirk, 

Plusurs feiz li unt hucie' ; i. 346, 362, 368. Compare also the in- 

La pel, la pel al parmentier, dignation of James the Second at the indig- 

Pur ceo ke a Faleize fu nez, nities offered to him by the fishermen 

U peletiers aveit asez ; (Macaulay, i. 569), and that of William 

Li unt eel mestier reproce\ the Third at Sir John Fenwick's impertin- 

E par cuntraire h par vilteV* ence to the Queen (lb. iv. 34). 

Wace seems to wish to evade the Duke's 3 Roman de Rou, 9466 ; 

actual kindred with the professors of the " Jura par la resplendor De\ 

unsavoury craft. Co ert suvent sun serement." 

3 Annates Angliae et Scotiae, ap. Riley, * This very expressive formula comes 

Rishanger, p. 373. The words were, from Wace, 9468 ; 

" Kyng Edward, wanne Jro havest Berwic, " S'il pot eels prendre, malement 

pike )>e, Lur sera eel dit achate^ : 

Wanne >u havest geten, dike ]?e." Des membres serunt esmundi. 

Cf. Peter Langtoft, ii. 272 (Hearne). Com- Ne porterunt ne pi6 ne puing, 

pare Edward's wrath against the Londoners Ne ne verrunt ne preus ne luing." 

at the battle of Lewec on account of the 5 Roman de Rou, 9477. 


and William was master of the bridge, and with it of the town of 
Alen9on. The castle still held out The Conqueror, faithful to 
his fearful oath, now gave the first of that long list of instances 
of indifference to human suffering which have won for him a worse 
name than many parts of his character really deserve. Thirty-two 
of the offenders were brought before him; their hands and feet 
were cut off, 1 and the dismembered limbs were thrown over the 
walls of the castle, as a speaking menace to its defenders. 2 The 
threat did its work; the garrison surrendered, bargaining only for 
safety for life and limb. 8 Alencon, tower and town, was thus taken 
so speedily that William's panegyrist says that he might renew the 
boast of Caesar, "I came; I saw; I conquered/' 4 Leaving a garrison 
in Alencon, the Duke hastened back to Domfront, the fame of his 
conquest and of his cruelty going before him. The man before 
whom Alencon had fallen, before whom the Hammer of Anjou 
had fled without striking a blow, had become an enemy too fearful 
for the men of Domfront to face. 6 They surrendered on terms some- 
what more favourable than those which had been granted to the 
defenders of the castle of Alencon; they were allowed to retain 
their arms as well as their lives and limbs.* William entered Dom- 
front, and displayed the banner of Normandy over the donjon. 7 The 
town henceforth became a standing menace on the side of Normandy 
against Maine, and it formed, together with Alencon, the main defence 
of the southern frontier of the Duchy. If William undertook the war 
to discharge his feudal duty towards King Henry, he certainly did 
not lose the opportunity for permanently strengthening his own 
dominions. In fact, in our Norman accounts, the King of the French 

1 Will. Gem. vii. i8. "Illusores vero (9500) makes the terms 

coram omnibus infra Alencium consistent- " Quitement aler s'en porreient ; 

bus manibus privari jussit et pedibus. Nee Salvs lur membres e salvs lur cors." 

mora, sicut jusserat, triginta duo debilitati So William of Malmesbury (iii. 231) ; 

sunt." So Roman de Rou, 9489 et seqq. " Alentini se dedidere, pacti membrorum 

William of Poitiers is silent altogether both salutem." But he had not mentioned the 

as to the vengeance and as to the insult, mutilation. 

Neither subject was perhaps altogether 4 Will. Pict. 89. " Oppidum enim 

agreeable to a professed panegyrist. But natura, opere, atque armaturft munitissi- 

William cuts the whole story of Alencon mum adeo currente proventu in ejus manum 

very short. venit ut gloriari his verbis liceret, Veni, Vidi, 

2 Roman de Rou, 9493 ; Vici." 

" El chastel fist li pies geter 6 lb. " Percutit citissime hie rumor Dan- 

Por eels dedenz espoanter." frontinos. Diffidentes itaque alius clipeo se 

8 Will. Gem. vii. 18. " Custodes autem liberandos post fugam famosissimi bella- 

castelli tarn severam austeritatem Ducis tons Gaufredi Martelli," &c. 
cognoscentes timuerunt, et ne similia pate- • Roman de Rou, 9624. 
rentur, ilico portas aperuerunt, Ducique 7 lb. 9625 ; 
castellum reddiderunt, malcnies illud reddere " E li Dus fist sun gonfanon 

quam cum suorum periculo membrorum Lever e porter el dangon." 

tam gravia tormenta tolerare." Wace 


has long ago slipped away from the scene, and the Count of Chartres 
has vanished along with him. William and Geoffrey remain the only 
figures in the foreground. The Duke, having secured his frontier, 
inarched, seemingly without resistance, into the undoubted territory 
of Maine: he there fortified a castle at Ambrieres, and returned in 
triumph to Rouen. 1 

The men of Alencon had jeered at the grandson of the Tanner ; 
but the sovereign who so sternly chastised their jests was determined 
to show that the baseness of his mother's origin in no way hindered 
him from promoting his kinsmen on the mother's side. If one 
grandson of Fulbert wore the ducal crown of Normandy, another 
already wore the mitre of Bayeux; and another great promotion, 
almost equivalent to adoption into the ducal house, was now to 
be bestowed upon a third. The county of Mortain — Moritolium 
in the Diocese of Avranches 2 — was now held by William, surnamed 
Warling, son of Malger, a son of Richard the Fearless and Gunnor. 3 
He was therefore a first cousin of William's father, a descendant 
of the ducal stock as legitimate as any other branch of it. We 
have not heard his name in the accounts of any of the former 
disturbances; but it is clear that he might, like so many others, 
have felt himself aggrieved by the accession of the Bastard. Among 
the knights in Count William's service was one, so the story runs, 
who bore a name hitherto unknown to history, though not unknown 
to legend and fanciful etymology, but a name which was to become 
more glorious on English ground than the names of Fitz-Osbern 
and Montgomery. The sons of Robert the Bigod 4 were to rule 
where Harold now held his Earldom, and his remote descendant was 
to win a place in English history worthy of Harold himself, is the 
man who wrested the freedom of England from the greatest of 
England's later Kings. 5 The patriarch of that great house was now 

1 Will. Gem. vii. 18; Roman de Rem, 1055, the date which Delisle gives. 

9631. 4 Will. Gem. vii. 19. " Quidamtiro de 

a This Moretolium or Moretonium must familia sua nomine Robertus Bigot." The 

be carefully distinguished from Mauritania, name Bigod or Bigot, which we have al- 

Moretonia, or Mortagne-en-Perche, in the ready seen (see above, p. 132) applied as a 

Diocese of Seez. term of contempt for the Normans, has 

3 William of Jumieges (vii. 19) merely been connected with Rolf's " English " (see 

calls him "Willelmus cognomento Wer- vol. i. p. 411) oath, "Ne se bigoth." 

lencus, de stirpe Richardi Magni." Or* Chron. Tur. ap. Duchesne, iii. 360. 

deric (660 B) calls him " Guillelmum s For the famous dialogue between Ed- 

cognomento Werlengum, Moritolii Comi- ward the First and the Earl Marshal Roger 

tern, filium Malgerii Comitis," and Malger Bigod, see Walter of Hemingburgh, ii. 121 

appears as an uncle of Duke Robert in Will. (ed. Hamilton). Could we suppose that 

Gem. vi. 7. " Willelmus Comes de Mauri" the King and the Earl spoke in English, one 

tonio " signs a charter in Delisle, Preuves might see in the King's oath (" Per Deum, 

30, which must therefore be older than Comes, aut ibis aut pendebis") and the 



a knight so poor that he craved leave of his lord to leave his service, 
and to seek his fortune among his countrymen who were carving out 
for themselves lordships and principalities in Apulia. The Count 
bade him stay where he was; within eighty days he, Robert the 
Bigod, would be able, there in Normandy, to lay his hands on 
whatever good things it pleased him. In such a speech treason 
plainly lurked; and Robert, whether out of duty to his sovereign 
or in the hope of winning favour with a more powerful master, 
determined that the matter should come to the ears of the Duke. 
The Bigod was a kinsman of Richard of Avranches, the son of 
Thurstan the rebel of Falaise, 1 and Richard was now high in favour 
at the court of William. By his means Robert obtained an intro- 
duction to the Duke, 2 and told him of the treasonable words of the 
Count of Mortain. William accordingly sent for his cousin, and 
charged him with plotting against the state. He had, the Duke told 
him, determined again to disturb the peace of the country, and again 
to bring about the reign of licence. But while he, Duke William, 
lived, the peace which Normandy so much needed should, by God's 
help, never be disturbed again. 8 Coupt William must at once leave 
the country, and not return to it during the lifetime of his namesake 
the Duke. The proud Lord of Mortain was thus driven to do what 
his poor knight had thought of doing. He went to the wars in 
Apulia in humble guise enough, attended by a single esquire. The 
Duke at once bestowed the vacant County of Mortain on his half- 
brother Robert, the son of Herlwin and Herleva. Of him we shall 
hear again in the tale of the Conquest of England. Thus, says our 
informant, did William pluck down the proud kindred of his father 
and lift up the lowly kindred of his mother. 4 

This affair of William of Mortain is one of which we may well 
wish for further explanation. We are hardly in a position to judge 
of the truth or falsehood of the charge brought by Robert the Bigod 
against his lord. 5 We have no statement from the other side; we 
have no defence from the Count of Mortain ; all that we are told is 
that, when arraigned before the Duke, he neither confessed nor 

Earl's retort (" Per idem jura men turn, O 
Rex, nee ibo nee pendebo ") an allusion to 
the punning derivation of the name Bigod 
just mentioned. That Edward could 
speak English easily appears from Walter 
of Hemingburgh, i. 337. 

1 See above, p. 134. 

2 Will. Gem. vii. 19. " Per Richardum 
Abrincatensem cognatum suum familiari- 
tatem Ducis consequutus est." 

3 lb. " Seditiosis tumultibus Norman- 
niam perturbare decrevisti, et contra me 

rebellans me nequiter exhaeredare disposu- 
isti, ideoque rapacitatis tempus egeno militi 
promisisti. Sed nobiscum, cum dono 
Creatoris, ut indigemus, maneat pax per- 

4 lb. •* Sic tumidos sui patris parentes 
aspere prostravit, humilesque matris suae 
propinquos honorabiliter exaltavit." 

5 The whole story is highly coloured by 
Sir F. Palgrave, iii. 224. William of Mor- 
tain may very likely have been guilty, but 
the evidence, as we have it, is very weak. 


denied the charge. 1 We need not doubt that William was honestly 
anxious to preserve his Duchy from internal disturbances. But in 
this case his justice, if justice it was, fell so sharply and speedily 
as to look very like interested oppression. It was impossible to 
avoid the suspicion that William the Warling was sacrificed to the 
Duke's wish to make a provision for his half-brother. We are not 
surprised to find that the charge of having despoiled and banished 
his cousin on frivolous pretences was brought up against William 
by his enemies in later times, and was not forgotten by historians 
in the next generation. 2 

The energy of William had thus, for the time, thoroughly quelled 
all his foes, and his Duchy seems for some years to have enjoyed 
as large a share of peace and prosperity as any state could enjoy 
in those troubled times. The young Duke was at last firmly settled 
in the ducal seat, and he now began to think of strengthening himself 
by a marriage into the family of some neighbouring prince. And he 
seems to have already made up his mind in favour of the woman 
who retained his love during the remainder of their joint lives, 
Matilda, 3 the daughter of Baldwin, Count of Flanders. He must 
have been in treaty for her hand very soon after the Angevin war, 
as the marriage was forbidden by a decree of the Council of Rheims 4 
(1049). B ut the marriage itself did not take place till several years 
later (1053), and the negotiation opened so many questions, and was 
connected with so many later events, that I reserve the whole subject 
of William's marriage for a later chapter. 5 William had to struggle 
through as many difficulties to obtain undisputed possession of his 
wife as he had to obtain undisputed possession of either his Duchy 
or his Kingdom. And he struggled for all three with the same 
deliberate energy, ever waiting his time, taking advantage of every 
opportunity, never cast down by any momentary repulse. His struggle 
for Normandy was now, for the time, over; he had fairly conquered 
his own Duchy and he had now only to defend it. His struggle for 
Matilda had already begun ; a struggle almost as hard as the other, 

1 Will. Gem. vii. 19. "Nee negare s The grand old Teutonic name of 
potuit, neque intentionem dicti declarare Machthild had by this time become in 
praesumpsit." Latin Mathildis, and in French mouths and 

2 Ord. Vit. 534 B. " Ipse Guillelmum in the mouths of Englishmen pronouncing 
Guarlengum Moritolii Comitem pro uno French names, it became Mahtild, Mahault, 
▼erbo exhseredavit et de Neustria penitus Molde, Maud, and so forth. The name is 
efiugavit." This comes in the speech at familiar to students of Saxon history, and 
the famous bride-ale of 1075, but the his- to the students, if there be any, of our own 
torian afterwards says in his own person .ASthelweard. See his Preface and that of 
(660 B), " Guillelmum cognomento Wer- Widukind. 

lengum . . . pro minimis occasionibus de 4 See above, p. 73, and vol. iii. c. xii. 
Neustria propulsaverat." s See vol. iii. Appendix N. 

vol. n. o 


though one which was to be fought, not with bow and spear, but with 
the weapons of legal and canonical disputation. Whether he had 
already begun to lift up his eyes to the succession of his childless 
cousin, whether he had already formed the hope that the grandson 
of the despised Tanner might fill, not only the ducal chair of Nor- 
mandy, but the Imperial throne of Britain, is a question to which 
we can give no certain answer. But there can be little doubt that, 
soon after this time, the idea was forcibly brought before his mind. 
And, with characteristic pertinacity, when he had once dreamed 
of the prize, he never slackened in its pursuit till he could at last 
call it his own. 

Normandy was now at rest, enjoying the rest of hard- won* peace 
and prosperity. England was also at rest, if we may call it rest to lie 
prostrate in a state of feverish stillness. She rested as a nation rests 
whose hopes are crushed, whose leaders are torn from her, which sees 
for the moment no chance of any doom but hopeless submission to 
the stranger. It was at this crisis in the history of the two 'lands 
(1051) that the Duke of the Normans appeared as a guest at the 
court of England. Visits of mere friendship and courtesy among 
sovereign princes were rare in those days. The rulers of the earth 
seldom met, save when a superior lord required the homage of a 
princely vassal, or when Princes came together, at the summons of 
the temporal or the spiritual chief of Christendom, to discuss the 
common affairs of nations and churches. Such visits as those which 
William and Eustace of Boulogne paid at this time to Eadward were, 
in England at least, altogether novelties. And they were novelties 
which were not likely to be acceptable to the national English mind. We 
may be sure that every patriotic Englishman looked with an evil eye on 
any French-speaking prince who made his way to the English court. 
Men would hardly be inclined to draw the distinction which justice 
required to be drawn between Eustace of Boulogne and William of 
Rouen. And yet, under any other circumstances, England, or any 
other land, might have been proud to welcome such a guest as the 
already illustrious Duke. Under unparalleled difficulties he had dis- 
played unrivalled powers; he had shone alike in camp and in council; 
he had triumphed over every enemy ; he had used victory with mode- 
ration; he was fast raising his Duchy to a high place among European 
states, and he was fast winning for himself the highest personal 
place among European Princes. Already, at the age of twenty- 
three, the Duke of the Normans might have disputed the palm 
of personal merit even with the great prince who then filled the 
throne of the world. He had, on a narrower field, displayed quali- 
ties whicji fairly put him on a level with Henry himself. But in 
English eyes William was simply the most powerful, and there- 
fore the most dangerous, of the greedy Frenchmen who every 


day flocked in greater numbers to the court of the English King. 
William came with a great following; he tarried awhile in his 
cousin's company; he went away loaded with gifts and honours. 1 
And we can hardly doubt that he also went away encouraged by 
some kind of promise, or at any rate by some kind of implied hope, 
of succeeding to the Kingdom which he now visited as a stranger. 
There was indeed everything to raise the hope in his breast. He 
landed in England; he journeyed to the court of England; his course 
lay through what were in truth the most purely English parts of Eng- 
land ; but the sons of the soil lay crushed without a chief. On the 
throne sat a King of his own kin, English in nothing but in the 
long succession of glorious ancestors of whom he showed himself so 
unworthy. His heart was Norman ; his speech was French ; men of 
foreign birth alone were welcome at his court ; men of foreign birth 
were predominant in his councils. The highest places of the Church 
were already filled by Norman Prelates. The Norman Primate of all 
England, the choicest favourite of the King, the man at whose bidding 
he was ready to believe that black was white, would doubtless be the 
first to welcome his native sovereign to his province and diocese. 
The great city which was fast becoming the capital of England, the 
city beneath whose walls Eadward had fixed his chosen dwelling, had 
been made to own the spiritual rule of another Norman priest. A 
short journey, a hunting-party or a pilgrimage, would bring King and 
Duke within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of a third Norman, the un- 
worthy stranger who disgraced the episcopal throne of Dorchester. 
Among the temporal chiefs of the Kingdom there was already one 
French Earl, kinsman alike of William and of Eadward, who would 
not fail in showing honour to the most renowned of his speech and 
kindred. Norman Stallers, Treasurers, personal officers of every 
kind, swarmed around the person of the King. Norman Thegns were 
already scattered through the land, and were already filling the land 
with those threatening castles, of which the wise policy of William 
had destroyed so many within his own dominions. Robert the son of 
Wymarc, Richard the son of Scrob, and the whole herd of strangers 
who were fattening on English soil, would flock to pay their duty to a 
more exalted countryman who came on the same errand as them- 
selves. They would tell him with delight and pride how the insolence 
of the natives had been crushed, how the wrongs of Count Eustace 
had been avenged, and how the rebel leaders had been driven to flee 

1 Chron. Wig. 1052; Flor. Wig. 1051. " Et Ewart forment l'enora ; 

" His gestis Nortmannicus Comes Willel- Mult H dona chiens h oisels 

mus cum multitudine Nortmannorum El altres aveir boens fc bels, 

Angliam venit, quern Rex Eadwardus et E kanke il trover poeit 

socios ejus honorifice, suscepit, et magnis Ki k haut horn cunveneit." 

multisque donatum muneribus ad Nortman- In Wace's account (10539 et se< H«) the 

niam remisit." So Roman de Rou, 10548 ; journey is put much too late. 

O 2 


from justice. They would speak of England as a land which Norman 
influences had already conquered, and which needed only one effort 
of the strong will and the strong hand to enable the Norman to take 
formal possession. The land was fast becoming their own. Some 
wild tribes, in parts of. the island to which William's journey was not 
likely to extend, might still remain under aged chieftains of English or 
Danish birth. But even these rude men had been found, whether 
through fear or policy, ready to fall in with the plans of the Norman 
faction, and to range themselves against the champions of the national 
cause. And the richest and most civilized parts of the land, the very 
parts which had been so lately held by the sturdiest champions of 
Norman innovations, had now become one great field for Normans of 
every class to setde in. From Kent to Hereford they might enrich 
themselves with the lands and largesses which a gracious King was 
never weary of showering upon them. That King was childless ; he 
had no heir apparent or presumptive near to him ; he had once had a 
brother, but that brother had been done to death by English traitors, 
with the fallen captain of traitors at their head. Not a single near 
kinsman of the royal house could be found in England. The only 
surviving male descendant of ^Ethelred was the banished son of 
Eadmund, who, far away in his Hungarian refuge, was perhaps hardly 
remembered in the minds of Norman courtiers. William was Ead- 
ward's kinsman; it was convenient to forget that, though he was 
Eadward's kinsman, yet not a single drop of royal or English blood 
flowed in his veins. It was convenient to forget that, even among 
men of foreign birth, there were those who were sprung, by female 
descent at least, from the kingly stock of England. 1 Ralph of Here- 
ford was the undoubted grandson of jEthelred, but the claims of the 
timid Earl of the Magesaetas could hardly be pressed against those of 
the renowned Duke of the Normans. It was convenient to forget 
that, by English Law, mere descent gave no right, and that, if it had 
given any right, William had no claim by descent to plead. It was 
easy to dwell simply on the nearness by blood, on the nearness by 
mutual good offices, which existed between the English King and the 
Norman Duke. There was everything to suggest the thought of the 
succession to William's own mind ; there was everything to suggest it 
to the foreign counsellors who stood around the throne of Eadward. 

1 According to modern laws of succes- never been recognized, one can hardly 

sion, the heir of Eadward was undoubtedly suppose that the children of Godgifu were 

Walter of Mantes, the son of his sister looked on as iEthe lings, or as at all en* 

Godgifu, and elder brother of Ralph of titled to any preference in disposing of the 

Hereford. The ^Stheling Eadward, it Crown. I am therefore justified in saying 

must always be remembered, was not, ac- that Eadward had neither apparent nor 

cording to our notions, the heir of the presumptive heir. This is a principle to 

King, but the King was the heir of the which I shall have again to refer to. 
iEtheling. But, as female descent had 



Probably William, Eadward, and Eadward's counsellors were alike 
ignorant or careless of the English Constitution. They did not, or 
they would not, remember that the Kingdom was not a private estate, 
to be passed from man to man either according to the caprice of a 
testator or according to the laws of strict descent. They did not 
remember that no man could hold the English Crown in any way but 
as the free gift of the English people. The English people would 
seem to them to be a conquered race, whose formal consent, if it 
needed to be asked at all, could be as easily wrung from them as it 
had been wrung from them by Swegen and Cnut. If they dared to 
refuse, they might surely be overcome by the Norman no less easily 
than they had been overcome by the Dane. It would probably seem 
to them that the chances were all in favour of William's being able to 
succeed quietly as the heir or legatee of Eadward. If those chances 
failed, it would still be open to him to make his entry by arms as the 
avenger of the blood of jElfred and his companions. 

The moment was thus in every way favourable for suggesting to 
William on the one hand, to Eadward on the other, the idea of an 
arrangement by which William should succeed to the English Crown 
on Eadward's death. We have no direct evidence that any such 
arrangement took place at this time, but all the probabilities of the 
story lead irresistibly to the belief that such was the case. The purely 
English writers are silent, but then they are silent as to any bequest or 
arrangement in William's favour at any time. They tell us nothing as 
to the nature of his claim to the Crown ; they record his invasion, but 
they record nothing as to his motives. 1 The Norman writers, on the 
other hand, so full of Eadward's promise to William, nowhere connect 
it with William's visit to England, which one only among them speaks 
of at all. 2 But Norman writers, Norman records, the general consent 
of the age, confirmed rather than confuted by the significant silence of 
the English writers, all lead us to believe that, at some time or other, 
some kind of promise of the succession was made by Eadward to 
William. The case of Eadward's promise is like the case of Harold's 
oath. No English writer mentions either; but the silence of the 
English writers confirms rather than disproves the truth of both. All 
those Norman calumnies which they could deny, the English writers 
do most emphatically deny. 8 The fact then that they never formally 
deny the reports, reports which they must have heard, that Harold 

1 See the Abingdon and Worcester of Harold's election and coronation, we 

Chronicles and Florence of Worcester shall* see how carefully every word is 

under 1066. weighed, with the obvious intention of 

* Namely Wace, quoted above, p. 195. excluding some Norman misrepresentation 
He must have got his account from an or other. The fables about Harold seizing 
English source. the Crown, about his crowning himself, 

* When we come to Florence's account his being crowned by Stigand, and so 


swore an oath to William, that Eadward made a promise in favour of 
William, may be accepted as the strongest proof that some kind of 
oath was sworn, that some kind of promise was made. Had either 
Eadward's promise or Harold's oath been a pure Norman invention, 
William could never have paraded both in the way that he did in the 
eyes of Europe ; he could never have turned both to the behoof of 
his cause in the way that he so successfully did. I admit then some 
promise of Eadward, some oath of Harold. But that is all. The 
details, as they are given by the various Norman writers, are so dif- 
ferent, so utterly contradictory, that we can say nothing, on their 
showing, as to the time, place, or circumstances of either event. We 
are left with the bare fact, and for anything beyond it we must look to 
the probabilities of the case. The oath of Harold I shall discuss at 
the proper time ; at present we are concerned with the bequest of the 
English Crown said to have been made by Eadward in favour of 

Every one who has grasped the true nature of the English Consti- 
tution, as it stood in the eleventh century, will fully understand that, 
strictly speaking, any bequest of the kind was altogether beyond the 
power of an English King. The Law of England gave the King no 
power to dispose of a Crown which he held solely by the free choice 
of the Witan of the land. All that Eadward could constitutionally do 
was to pledge himself to make in William's favour that recom- 
mendation to the Witan which the Witan were bound to consider, 
though not necessarily to consent to. 1 That, when the time came, 
Eadward did make such a recommendation, and that he did not 
nlake it in favour of William, we know for certain. The last will of 
Eadward, so far as such an expression can be allowed, was undoubt- 
edly in favour of Harold. We shall see as we go on that Eadward 
at one time designed his namesake the -^Etheling as his successor. 
It is even possible that his thoughts were at one time directed towards 
his nephew Ralph of Hereford. In a weak prince like Eadward 
changes of. purpose of this kind are in no way wonderful. And in 
truth the changes in the condition of the country were such that 
a wiser King than Eadward might well have changed his purpose 
more than once between the visit of William and his own death. 
Now there is not the slightest sign of any intention on behalf of 
William during the later years of Eadward ; first the JStheling, and 
then the great Earl, are the persons marked out in turn for the 
succession. And yet, as we have seen, it is impossible not to believe 
that some promise was, at some time or other, made in William's 

forth, are all implicitly denied ; so is Ead- oath on the part of Harold. Both these 

ward's alleged last bequest to William ; but subjects are avoided, 

there is not a word to exclude either an l See vol. i. pp. 73, 178, 322. 
earlier promise on the part of Eadward, or an 


favour. The details of the Norman stories are indeed utterly in- 
credible. 1 The version which is least grotesquely absurd represents 
Eadward as promising the Crown to his dear cousin and companion 
William, when they were both boys or youths living together in 
Normandy. It is enough to upset this tale, taken literally, if we 
remember that Eadward, who is here represented as the familiar 
and equal companion of the boy William, was, when he left Nor- 
mandy, nearly forty years old, some five and twenty years older 
than his cousin. He is moreover made to dispose of a Crown 
which was not yet his, and which he afterwards assumed with a 
good deal of unwillingness. Yet this story is distinctly less absurd 
than the other versions. It is even possible that William or his 
advisers may have begun to look on the succession to the English 
Crown as a matter within the scope of their policy, from the time 
when* the English embassy came to bring the King-elect Eadward 
from Normandy to his own Kingdom. 2 It is a far wilder story which 
describes Archbishop Robert as going over to announce to William 
the decree of the English Witan in his favour, a decree confirmed by 
the oaths of the Earls Leofric, Siward, and — Godwine ! But even 
this story is less marvellous than that which represents Harold 
himself, at a time when he was the first man in England, and when 
his own designs on the Crown must have been perfectly well known, 
as sent by Eadward into Normandy to announce to the Duke the 
bequest which the King had made in his favour. All these stories 
are simply incredible ; they are simply instances of that same daring 
power of invention by virtue of which Dudo of Saint Quintin describes 
William Longsword and Richard the Fearless as reigning over half the 
world, 8 by virtue of which Guy of Amiens describes Robert the Devil 
as the actual conqueror of England. 4 Yet some promise must be 
accepted, and some time and some place must be found for it. 6 
What time and place are so obvious as the time and place 
when Eadward and William, once and once only during their joint 
reigns, met together face to face? Every earlier and every later 
time seems utterly impossible; this time alone seems possible and 
probable. At the moment everything would tend to suggest the 
idea both to the King and to the Duke. The predominance of 
the Norman faction, the actual presence of the Norman Duke, the 
renown of his exploits sounding through all Europe, the lack of any 
acknowledged English heir, the absence of any acknowledged English 
leader, all suggested the scheme, all seemed to make it possible. 
Everything at that moment tended in favour of William's succession ; 
every later event, every later change of circumstances, tended in 

1 I shall deal with these stories in my s See vol. i. pp. 125, 149. 
third volume. * See vol. i. p. 313. 

* See Appendix A. 5 Cf. Rapin, Hist. d'Angl. i. 435. 


favour of the succession of any one rather than of William. At that 
moment the Norman party were in the full swing of power. Before 
another year had passed, the cause of England had once more 
triumphed; Eadward again had Englishmen around him, and he 
gradually learned to attach himself to men of his own race, and 
to give to the sons of Godwine that confidence and affection which 
he had never given to Godwine himself. He either forgot his promise 
to William, or else he allowed himself to be convinced that such 
a promise was unlawful to make and impossible to fulfil. But William 
never forgot it. We may be sure that, from that time, the Crown 
of England was the great object of all his hopes, all his thoughts, 
all his policy. Even in his marriage it may not have been left quite 
out of sight. The marriage of William and Matilda was undoubtedly 
a marriage of the truest affection. But it was no less undoubtedly 
a marriage which was prompted by many considerations of policy. 
And, among other inducements, William may well have remembered 
that his intended bride sprang by direct, if only by female, descent 
from the stock of the great Jsifred. 1 His children therefore would 
have the blood of ancient English royalty in their veins. Such 
a descent would of course give neither William, nor Matilda, nor 
their children, any real claim; but it was a pretension one degree 
less absurd than a pretension grounded on the fact that Eadward's 
mother was William's great-aunt. And William knew as well as 
any man that in politics a chain is not always of the strength 
only of its weakest link. He knew that a skilful combination of 
fallacious arguments often has more practical effect on men's minds 
than a single conclusive argument. He contrived, in the end, by 
skilfully weaving together a mass of assertions not one of which 
really proved his point, to persuade a large part of Europe that 
he was the true heir of Eadward, kept out of his inheritance by 
a perjured usurper. That all these schemes and pretensions date 
from the time of William's visit to Eadward, that the Norman 
Duke left the English court invested, in his own eyes and in those 
of his followers, with the lawful heirship of the English Crown, 
is a fact which seems to admit of as little doubt as any fact which 
cannot be proved by direct evidence. 2 

1 I am indebted to Lord Lytton's ro- wicked Arnulf. 
mance of Harold for the suggestion of 2 I suppose that this would have oc- 
Matilda's descent from iElfred as a possible curred to every one as the obvious ex- 
element in William's calculations. It is planationof the difficulty, had not a passage 
highly probable in itself, though I do not of the false Ingulf been held to settle the 
remember to have seen it put forward by question another way ; " De successione 
any ancient writer. Matilda was lineally autem regni spes adhuc aut mentio nulla 
descended from -531fthryth daughter of facta inter eos fait." (Gale, i. 65.) Now 
iElfred, wife of Count Baldwin the Second, this strong negative assertion is undoubt- 
and mother, I am sorry to say, of the edly one of those passages which suggest 


In short, it marks one of the most important stages of our history, 
when " William Earl came from beyond sea with mickle company of 
Frenchmen, and the King him received, and as many of his comrade* 
as to him seemed good, and let him go again/' 1 From that day 
onwards, we feel that we have been brought nearer, by one of 
the longest stages of our. journey, to the fight on Senlac and the 
coronation at Westminster. 

William then visited England at the moment while God wine was 
sheltered at the court of Bruges, while Harold was planning ven- 
geance at the court of Dublin, while Eadgyth was musing on the 
vanity of earthly things in her cell at Wherwell. He therefore met 
none of the family who were most steadily hostile to all his projects. 
But we ask in vain, Did he meet the stout warrior Siward ? Did he 
meet the mediator Leofric ? Did he meet the Primate who was fifteen 
years later to place the Crown on his own brow, or the other Primate 
whom he was himself to pluck down from the throne whence England 
had driven the Norman Robert ? And we cannot but ask, Did he 
meet the now aged Lady through whom came all his connexion with 
England * or English royalty, the wife and mother of so many Kings, 
the victim of so many spoliations ? With what grace could Eadward 
bring his kinsman into the presence of the parent through whom 
alone William could call him kinsman, but between whom and himself 
there had been so little love ? At all events, if Eadward was now for 
a season set free from the presence of his wife, he was soon set free 
for ever from the presence of his mother. Early in the next year 
(March 6, 1052) died JSlfgifu-Emma, the Old Lady, the mother of 
Eadward King and of Harthacnut, and her body lay in the Old 
Minster by Cnut King. 2 

the idea that the forger had some materials geare forftferde seo ealde hlaefdige, Ead- 

before him which we have not. But so werdes ciuges moder and HarSacnutes, 

▼ague a possibility can hardly be set Imme hatte, ii Id. Marf . and hyre lie lit 

against the whole probability of the case, on ealdan mynstre wiS Cnut cing." In 

It is curious to see Lappenberg (ii. 251 Worcester (1052) she is "JElfgyfu seo 

Thorpe, 511 of the German) swaying to hlefdige, iESelredes laf cynges and Cnutes 

and fro between the obvious probability cynges." In Peterborough (1052) and 

and the supposed authority of Ingulf. Canterbury (105 1) she bears her double 

Before him, Prevost (Roman de Rou, ii. name '* iElfgiue Ymma." 
100) had ventured, in the teeth of Ingulf, I need hardly remind any reader that 

to connect William's visit with Ead ward's the Old Minster is Winchester Cathedral, 

alleged bequest. The bones of Cnut and Emma were among 

1 Chron. Wig. 1052. "Da sone com those which were so strangely exalted by 

Willelm Eorl fram geondan s», mid myc- Bishop Fox in the chests which surround 

clum werode Frenciscra manna; and se the presbytery. Between him, Henry of 

cyning hine underfeng, and swa feola his Blois, and the Puritans, it is now impos- 

geferan swa him to onhagode, and let sible to distinguish the bones of Cnut from 

Sine eft ongean." those of William Rufus. 

8 Chron. Ab. 1051. " On J>ys ylcan 


The course of our story has thus brought us once more to the 
shores of our own island. In our next Chapter we shall have to begin 
the picture of the bright, if brief, regeneration of England. We shall 
have to listen to the spirit-stirring tale, how the champions of England 
came back from banishment, how the heart of England rose to wel- 
come her friends and to take vengeance on her enemies, how for 
fourteen years England was England once again under the rule of the 
noblest of her own sons. 






The two streams of English and Norman history were joined to- 
gether for a moment in the year when the sovereigns of England and 
Normandy met face to face for the only time in the course of their 
joint reigns. Those streams will now again diverge. England shook 
off the Norman influence, and became once more,- to all outward 
appearance, the England of iEthelstan and Eadgar. For several years 
the history of each country seems to have no direct influence upon 
the history of the other. But this mutual independence is more ap- 
parent than real. England once more became free from Norman 
influence as regarded her general policy ; but the effects of Eadward's 
Norman tendencies were by no means wholly wiped away. Normans 
still remained in the land, and some of the results of the deliverance 
of England were not without their effect as secondary causes of the 
expedition of William. Through the whole period we may be sure 
that the wise statesmen of both countries were diligently watching 
each other's actions. Harold and William, though not as yet open 
enemies or avowed rivals, must have found out during these years 
that each was called on by his own policy to do all that he could to 
thwart the policy of the other. But though there was this sort of 
undercurrent closely connecting the interests of the two countries, yet, 
in all the outward events of history, it was a period of remarkable 
separation between them. The events recorded by English historians 

1 There is nothing specially to remark pared with the English. During these 

on the authorities for this period, which years we have little to do with Scandina- 

are substantially the same as those for vian affairs, so that the Sagas are of little 

the seventh Chapter. We have still to moment. Welsh affairs, on the other 

look, just in the same way as before, to hand, are of unusual importance, and the 

the Chronicles, the Biographer, and Flo- two Welsh Chronicles, the Annales Cam- 

rence, to William of Malmesbury and the briae and the Brut y Tywysogion, or 

other subsidiary writers. Just as before, Chronicle of the Princes, must be carefully 

whenever Norman affairs are at all touched compared with our own records, 
on, the Norman writers should be com- 


within this period belong almost exclusively to the affairs of our own 
island. It is a period in which the relations between the vassal King- 
doms of Britain and the Imperial power again assume special im- 
portance. But it is still more emphatically marked by the death of 
the greatest of living Englishmen, and the transmission of his power, 
and more than his power, to a worthy successor. We left Godwine 
and Harold banished men. We have now to record their triumphant 
return to a rejoicing nation. We shall then have to record the death 
of Godwine, the accession of Harold to his father's formal rank, and 
the steps by which he gradually rose to be the virtual ruler of the 
Kingdom, perhaps the designated successor to the Crown. 

§ 1. The Return and Death of Godwine. 


If the minds of Englishmen had been at all divided in their estimate 
of Godwine during his long tenure of power, it only needed his exile 
to bring over every patriotic heart to one opinion with regard to him. 
Godwine doubtless had his enemies ; no man ever stood for thirty 
years and more at the head of affairs without making many enemies ; 
and there were points in his character which may have given reason- 
able offence to many. Even if the whole of his enormous wealth was 
fairly and legally acquired, its mere accumulation in the hands of one 
man 1 must have excited envy in many breasts. His eagerness to 
advance his family may well have offended others, and the crimes and 
the restoration of Swegen, even under the guaranty of Bishop Ealdred, 
cannot fail to have given general scandal. It is possible then that 
there were Englishmen, not devoid of love and loyalty to England, 
who were short-sighted enough to rejoice over the fall of the great 
Earl. But, when Godwine was gone, men soon learned that, what- 
ever had been his faults, they were far outweighed by his merits. 
Men now knew that the Earl of the West-Saxons had been the one 
man who stood between them and the dominion of strangers. During 
that gloomy winter England felt as a conquered land, as a land too 
conquered by foes who had not overcome her in open battle, but 
who had, by craft and surprise, deprived her of her champions and 
guardians. The common voice of England soon began to call for the 
return of Godwine. The banished Earl was looked to by all men as 
the Father of his Country ; England now knew that in his fall a fatal 

1 At the same time, it is worth con- private property, and whether some parts 

sidering whether the whole of the estates may not have been official estates attached 

set down in Domesday as belonging to to their Earldoms. Still, after all possible 

Godwine and his sons were always their deductions, their wealth was enormous. 


blow had been dealt to her own welfare and freedom. 1 Men began 
openly to declare that it was better to share the banishment of God- 
wine than to live in the land from which Godwine was banished. 2 
Messages were sent to the court of Flanders, praying 'the Earl to 
return. If he chose to make his way back into the land by force, he 
would find many Englishmen ready to take up arms in his cause. 
Others crossed the sea in person, and pledged themselves to fight for 
him, and, if need were, to die in his behalf. 8 These invitations, we 
are told, were no secret intrigue of a few men. The common voice 
of England, openly expressed and all but unanimous, demanded the 
return of the great confessor of English freedom. 4 

These open manifestations on behalf of the exiles could not escape 
the knowledge of the King and his counsellors. It was thought 
necessary to put the south-eastern coast into a state of defence against 
any possible attack from the side of Flanders. The King and his 
Witan 6 — one would like to have fuller details of a Gem6t held under 
such influences — decreed that ships should be sent forth to watch at 
the old watching-place of Sandwich. 6 Forty ships were accordingly 
made ready, and they took their place at the appointed station under 
the joint command of the King's nephew Earl Ralph and of Odda, 
the newly appointed Earl of the Western shires. 7 

Precautions of this kind against the return of one for whose return 
the mass of the nation was longing must have been unpopular in the 
highest degree. And if anything could still further heighten the 
general discontent with the existing state of things, it would be the 
events which were, just at this time, going on along the Welsh 
border. The Norman lords whom Eadward had settled in Hereford- 
shire proved but poor defenders of their adopted country. The last 
continental improvements in the art of fortification proved vain to 
secure the land in the absence of chiefs of her own people. Gruffydd 

1 Vita Eadw. 404. " Et quoniam supra 5 Chron. Petrib. 1052. " Gersedde se 

diximus eum ab omnibus Anglis pro patre cyng and his witan." Abingdon and 

coli, subito auditus discessus ejus exterruit Worcester do not mention the Witan. 

cor populi. Ejus absentiam sive fugam • See above, p. 64. 

habuere perniciem suam, interitum gentis T Chronn. Ab. Wig. Petrib. The 

Anglicae, excidium insuper totius patriae." number of the ships, " xl. snacca," comes 

a lb. '• Felicem se putabat qui post eum from Worcester ; the names of the com- 

exsulari poterat." manders from Peterborough, " and setton 

8 lb. '* Quidam post eum vadunt, Raulf Eorl and Oddan Eorl to heafod- 

quidam legationes mittunt, paratos se, si mannum )?serto." Florence seems to put 

velit reverti, eum cum violentft in patrft these preparations later, after Harold's 

suscipere, pro eo pugnare, pro eo, si necesse lauding at Porlock. But surely the choice 

sit, velle se pariter occumbere." made both by Gruffydd and by Harold of 

4 lb. " Et hoc accitabatur non clam vel their points for attack, shows that the 

privatim, sed in manifesto et publice, et Earls of those districts were already absent 

non modo a quibusdam, sed pene ab omni- with the fleet. 
bus indigenis patriae." 


of North Wales marked his opportunity; he broke through his short- 
lived alliance with England, and the year of the absence of Godwine 
and his sons was marked by an extensive and successful invasion of 
the land of -the Magesaetas. 1 Gruffydd doubtless took also into his 
reckoning the absence of the -local chief at Sandwich. He crossed 
the border, he harried far and wide, and he seems not to have met 
with any resistance till he had reached the neighbourhood of Leo- , 
minster. 2 There he was at last met by the levies of the country, 
together with the Norman garrison of Richard's Castle. 8 Perhaps, 
as in a later conflict with the same enemy in the same neighbour- 
hood, English and foreign troops failed to act well together; at all 
events the Welsh King had the victory, and, after slaying many men 
of both nations, he went away with a large booty. 4 Men remarked 
that this heavy blow took place exactly thirteen years after Gruffydd's 
first great victory at Rhyd-y-Groes. 6 Though the coincidence is 
thus marked, we are not told what day of what month was thus 
auspicious to the Welsh prince; but the dates of the events which 
follow show that it must have been early in the summer. 

Godwine must by this time have seen that the path for his return 
was now openj and it was seemingly this last misfortune which deter- 
mined him to delay no longer. 6 It was not till all peaceful means 
had been tried and failed, that the banished Earl made up his mind to 
attempt a restoration by force. He sent many messages to the King, 
praying for a reconciliation. He offered now to Eadward, as he had 
before offered both to Harthacnut and to Eadward himself, to come 
into the royal presence and to make a compurgation in legal form in 
answer to all the charges which had been brought against him. 7 But 

1 Chron. Wig. and Flor. Wig. 1052. got among Herefordshire matters, under- 

This incursion seems not to be mentioned stood the description. Here again the 

in the Welsh Chronicles. Its perpetrator expressions witness to the deep feeling 

is described only as " Griffin se Wylisca awakened by the building of this castle, 

ting," " Walensium Rex Griffinus;" but 4 Chron. Wig. 1052. "And man )>aer 

the King intended must be the Northern ofsloh swy)?e feola Engliscra godra manna, 

Gruffydd. and eac of J?am Frenciscum." (The French 

a The Worcester Chronicle says, " pact get no honourable epithet.) All this evapo- 

he com swy)>e neah to Leomynstre." rates in Florence's " multis ex illis occisis." 

Florence speaks of the harryiug, but does 5 See above, p. 36, and vol.'i. p. 339. 

not mention the place. 6 I infer this from the way in which 

8 Chron. Wig. " And men gadorodon Harold's expedition is spoken of as happen- 

ongean, aegSer ge landes men ge Fren- ing almost immediately (" sona," *' parvo 

cisce men of 8am castele." So Florence, post hoc tempore ") after Gruflydd's vic- 

" Contra quern provinciates illi et de cas- tory, as if the two things had some 

tello quamplures Nortmanni ascenderunt." connexion with each other. 

The " castle" is doubtless Richard's Castle. 7 Vita Eadw. 405. " Mittit tamen 

Florence, who had mistaken the meaning adhuc pacem et misericordiam petere a 

of the Chronicler in the entry of the former Rege domino suo [cynehlaford], ut sibi 

year (see above, p. 92), now that he had liceat cum ejus grati& ad se purgandum 


all such petition? were in vain. It marks the increasing intercourse 
between England and the Continent, that Godwine, when his own 
messages were not listened to, sought, as a last resource, to obtain his 
object through the intercession of foreign princes. 1 Embassies on his 
behalf were sent by his host Count Baldwin and by the King of the 
French. Baldwin, who had so lately been at war with England, might 
seem an ill-chosen intercessor ; but Godwine's choice of him for that 
purpose may have been influenced by Baldwin's close connexion with 
the Court of Normandy. William was just now earnestly pressing his 
suit for Matilda. The ally of the great Duke might be expected to 
have some influence, if not with Eadward, at least with Eadward's 
Norman favourites. King Henry, it will be remembered, claimed 
some sort of kindred with Eadward, though it is not easy to trace the 
two princes to a common ancestor. 2 But King and Marquess alike 
pleaded in vain. Eadward was surrounded by his foreign priests and 
courtiers, and no intercessions on behalf of the champion of England 
were allowed to have any weight with the royal mind, even .if they 
were ever allowed to reach the royal ear. 8 

The Earl was now satisfied that nothing more was to be hoped 
from any attempts at a peaceful reconciliation. He was also satisfied 
that, if he attempted to return by force, the great majority of English- 
men would be less likely to resist him than to join his banners. He 
therefore, towards the middle of the summer, 4 finally determined to 
attempt his restoration by force of arms, and he began to make pre- 
parations for that purpose. His conduct in so doing hardly needs 
any formal justification. It is simply the old question of resistance 
or non-resistance. If any man ever was justified in resistance to 
established authority, or in irregular enterprises of any kind, 
undoubtedly Godwine was justified in his design of making his 
way back into England in arms. So to do was indeed simply to 
follow the usual course of every banished man of those times who 
.could gather together the needful force. The enterprises of Osgod 
Clapa 5 at an earlier time, and of JElfgar at a later time, are not 
spoken of with any special condemnation by the historians of the 
time. And the enterprise of Godwine was of a very different kind 
from the enterprises of JElfgar and of Osgod Clapa. JSlfgar and 
Osgod may have been banished unjusdy, and they may, according to 
the morality of those times, have been guilty of* no very great crime 

legibus venire coram eo." See above, p. Baldwin had a common ancestor, though 
91, and vol. i. p. 344. certainly a very remote one, in -^Elfred 

1 Vita Eadw. 405. " Hoc quoque pro himself. See above, p. 200. 

ejus dilectione et suo officio missis legatis 3 Vita Eadw. 405. " Sed et illi hoc sug- 

suis, Rex petit Francorum, et ipsum cum gerebant satis frustra ; obstruxerat enim 

quo hiemabat idem persuadebat Marchio pias Regis aures pravorum malitia." 
Flandrensium." 4 lb. *'Mediante proximo aestate." 

2 See above, p. 10. Eadward and 5 See above, p. 64. 


in seeking restoration with weapons in their hands, ^till the question 
of their banishment or restoration was almost wholly a personal 
question. The existence of the welfare of England in no way- 
depended on their presence or absence. But the rebellion or in- 
vasion of Godwine was a rebellion or an invasion in form only. His 
personal restoration meant nothing* short of the deliverance of Eng- 
land from misgovernment and foreign influence. He had been driven 
out by a faction ; he was invited to return by the nation. The enter- 
prise of Godwine in short should be classed, not with the ordinary 
forcible return of an exile, but with enterprises like those of Henry 
of Bolingbroke in the fourteenth century and of William of Orange 
in the seventeenth. In all three cases the deliverer undoubtedly 
sought the deliverance of the country; in all three he also un- 
doubtedly sought his own restoration or advancement. But Godwine 
had one great advantage over both his successors. They had to deal 
with wicked Kings; he had only to deal with a weak King. They 
had to -deal with evil counsellors, who, however evil, were still English- 
men. Godwine had simply to deliver King and people from the 
influence and thraldom of foreigners. He was thus able, while his 
' successors were not able, to deliver England without resorting to the 
death, deposition, or exile of the reigning King, and, as far as he himself 
was personally concerned, without shedding a drop of English blood. 
The narrative of this great deliverance forms one of the most 
glorious and spirit-stirring tales to be found in any age of our history. 
It is a tale which may be read with unmixed delight, save for one 
event, which, whether we count it for a crime or for a misfortune, 
throws a shadow on the renown, not of Godwine himself, but of his 
nobler son. Harold and Leofwine, we have seen, had made up their 
minds from the beginning to resort to force, whenever the oppor- 
tunity should come. They had spent the winter in Ireland in making 
preparations for an expedition. 1 They were by this time ready for 
action, and now that their father had found all attempts at a peaceful 
reconciliation to be vain, the time for action seemed clearly to have* 
come. It was doubtless in concert with Godwine that Harold and 
Leofwine 2 now set sail from Dublin with nine ships. Their crews pro- 
bably consisted mainly of adventurers from the Danish havens of Ire- 
land, ready for any enterprise which promisefl excitement and plunder. 
But it is quite possible that Englishmen, whether vehement partizans 
or simply desperate men, may have also taken service under the 
returning exiles. The part of England which they chose for their 
enterprise would have been well chosen, if they had been attacking 
a hostile country. They made for the debateable land forming the 

1 See above, p. 99. rence, and the Biographer (405) speaks of 

2 Leofwine is not mentioned in the " duo prsedicti filii." 
Chronicles, but his name is given by Flo- 


southern shore of the Bristol Channel, where no doubt large traces of 
the ancient British blood and language still remained. 1 The country 
was left, through the absence of its Earl Odda with the fleet, 
without any single responsible chief. But it soon appeared that, from 
whatever cause, the wishes of the people of this part of the Kingdom 
were not favourable to the enterprise of Harold and Leofwine. 
Possibly the prevalence of Celtic blood in the district may have made 
its inhabitants less zealous in the cause of the English deliverer than 
the inhabitants of the purely English shires. Possibly the evil deeds 
of Swegen, of whose government Somerset had been a part, may 
have made men who had lived under his rule less attached to the 
whole House of Godwine than those who had lived under the rule 
of Harold or of Godwine himself. And we must remember that, up 
to this time, Harold had done nothing to win for himself any special 
renown or affection beyond the bounds of his own East-Anglian 
Earldom. As yet he shone simply with a glory reflected from that of 
his father. And his enterprise bore in some points an ill look. He had 
not shared the place of exile of his father, nor had he taken any part in 
his father's attempts to bring about a peaceful restoration. He had 
gone, determined from the first on an armed return, to a land which 
might almost be looked on as an enemy's country. He now came back 
at the head of a force whose character could not fail to strike English- 
men with suspicion and dread. We are therefore not surprised to hear 
that the men of Somerset and Devon met him in arms. He landed on 
the borders of those two shires, in a wild and hilly region, which to this 
day remains thinly peopled, cut off from the chief centres even of 
local life, the last place within the borders of South Britain where the 
wild stag still finds a shelter. The high ground of Exmoor, and the 
whole neighbouring hilly region, reaches its highest point in the 
Beacon of Dunkery, a height whose Celtic name has an appropriate 
sound among the remains of primaeval times with which it is crowned. 
It -is the highest point in its own shire, and it is overtopped by no 
point in Southern England, except by some of the Tors of Dartmoor 
in the still further west. A descent, remarkably gradual for so great 
a height, leads down to the small haven of Porlock, placed on a bay 
of no great depth, but well defined by two bold headlands guarding it 
to the east and west. The coast has been subject to many changes. 
A submarine forest, 2 reaching along the whole shore, shows that the 

1 The language of the Biographer is here still debateable character of large parts of 

remarkable. He had just before spoken of Somerset and Devon, neither purely Welsh 

the people of the East and South of Eng- nor purely English. Compare the significant 

land as "Orientales sive Australes Angli." use of the word «* Britanni" by Thietmar, 

He now calls the point where Harold landed commented on in vol. i. p. 463. 

•• Occidentalium Britonum sive Anglorum 2 I do not remember any mention in any 

fines.*' So marked a change of expression ancient writer of this submarine forest on 

cannot be accidental; it must point to the the Somersetshire coast ; but a forest of 



sea must have made advances in earlier times. And there is as little 
doubt that it has again retreated, and that what is now an alluvial flat 
was, eight hundred years back, a shallow and muddy inlet, accessible* 
to the light craft of those days. Harold therefore landed at a spot 
nearer than the present small harbour to the small town, or rather 
village, of Porlock. 1 A landing in this remote region could contribute 
but little to the advancement of the general scheme of Godwine ; the 
object of Harold must have been merely to obtain provisions for his 
crews. He came doubtless, as we shall find his father did also, ready 
for peaceful supplies if a friendly country afforded them, but ready 
also to provide for his followers by force, if force was needed for his 
purpose. 2 But the whole neighbourhood was hostile ; a large force 
was gathered together from both the border shires, and Harold, 
whether by his fault or by his misfortune, had to begin his enterprise 
of restoration and deliverance by fighting a battle with the countrymen 
whom he came to deliver. The exiles had the victory, but it is clear 
that they had to contend with a stout resistance on the part of a 
considerable body of men. More than thirty good Thegns and 
much other folk were slain. 3 So large a number of Thegns collected 
at such a point shows that the force which they headed must have 
been gathered together, not merely from the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Porlock, but from a considerable portion of the two shires. 4 
We may conceive that the system of beacons, which has been traced 
out over a long range of the hill-tops in the West of England, had 
done good service over the whole country long before the fleet of 
Harold had actually entered the haven of Porlock. But the crews of 
Harold's ships were doubtless picked men, and there would- have 
been nothing wonderful in their success, even if the irregular levies 
of the shires greatly exceeded their own numbers. Harold now 
plundered without opposition, and carried off what he would in the 
way of goods, cattle, and men. 5 He then sailed to the south-west, he 

the, same kind on the other side of the Eadward the Elder, Chronn. 915. 

Bristol Channel is spoken of by Giraldus, 2 See Appendix Z. 

Exp. Hib. i. 36 (vol. v. p. 284 Dimock). s The Worcester and Abingdon Chroni- 

In the year 1171 a violent storm laid it cles (1052) give the numbers; "And )>»r 

bare. ofsloh mS )>orme xxx. godera J)egena 

1 The Abingdon and Worcester Chroni- (*' nobilibus ministris," Flor.) butan oSrum 

cles (1052) have simply "neh Sumersalan folce." 

gemaeran and Dafenasclr*" (see the same 4 Chronn. Ab. and Wig. '« JEgSer ge 
forms in the entries for the last year, and of Sumersaeton ge of Defenescire." 
Appendix G); so Florence, "in confinio 5 Chron. Pctrib. "And nam him on 
Sumersetaniae et Dorsetania" this last erfe and on mannum and on sehtum, swa 
word being a mistake for Domndnia, as him gewearrj." Were these captives dealt 
appears from the next sentence. The with as conscripts or galley-slaves, or, con- 
Peterborough Chronicle gives the name of sidering whence the fleet came, were they 
the spot, " and com )>a up art Portlocan." intended for the Irish slave-trade? 
Porlock is also mentioned in the wars of 


doubled the Land's End, 1 and sailed along the English Channel lo 
meet his father. 

This event is the chief stain which mars the renown of Harold, 
and which dims the otherwise glorious picture of the return of 
Godwine and his house. Harold's own age perhaps easily forgave 
the deed. No contemporary writer speaks of it with any marked 
condemnation; one contemporary writer even seems distinctly to 
look upon it as a worthy exploit. 2 It was in truth nothing more 
than the ordinary course of' a banished man. Harold acted hardly 
worse than Osgod Clapa ; he did not act by any means so badly 
as JElfgar. But a man who towers above his own generation must 
pay, in more ways than one, the penalty of his greatness. We 
instinctively judge Harold by a stricter standard than any by which 
we judge ^Elfgar and Osgod Clapa. On such a character as his 
it is distincdy a stain to have resorted for one moment to needless 
violence, or to have shed one drop of English blood without good 
cause. The ravage and slaughter at Porlock distinctly throws a shade 
over the return of Godwine and over the fair fame of his son. It is a 
stain rather to be regretted than harshly to be condemned ; but it is 
a stain nevertheless. It is a stain which was fully wiped out by later 
labours and triumphs in the cause of England. Still we may well be- 
lieve that the blood of those thirty good Thegns and of those other 
folk was paid for in after years by prayers and watchings and fastings 
before the Holy Rood of Waltham; we may well believe that it 
still lay heavy on the hero's soul as he marched forth to victory at 
Stamfordbridge and to more glorious overthrow at Senlac. 

Harold and Leofwine were thus on their way to meet their father. 
Meanwhile the revolution was going on with ail speed on the other 
side of England. 3 Godwine had gathered together a fleet in the 
Yser, 4 the river of Flanders which flows by Dixmuyden and Nieuport, 
and falls into the sea some way south-west of Bruges. He thence 
set sail, one day before Midsummer eve, and sailed straight to 
Dungeness, south of Romney. 6 At Sandwich the Earls Ralph and 
Odda were waiting for him, and a land force had also been called 
out for the defence of the coast.* Some friendly messenger warned 

1 Chronn. Ab. and Wig. " And sona It is clearly not Gesoriacum or Boulogne, 

after J>an for abutan Penwiosteort." Cbron. as Mr. Earle makes it in his Glossary. 
Petrib. " And gewende him J>a eastweard s Chron. Petrib. '• And let fit ane daege 

to his feder." aer midsumeres maesse efene [" mediante 

* Vita Eadw. 405. See Appendix Z. aestate," Vit. Eadw.] ]wet he com to Naessc, 
8 On the narratives of Godwine's return, )>e is be suftan Rumenea." 

see Appendix AA. 6 William of Malmesbury (ii. 199) makes 

* Chron. Petrib. 105 2. "Da gewende Eadward himself present; *'Nec segnem 
Godwine eorl fit fram Brycge mid his sensit Regem ilia necessitas quin ipse in 
scipum to Yseran ;" so the-Biographer (405), navi pernoctaret, et latronum exitus specu- 
"parat& multiplied classe in fluvio Hysara." laretur, sedulo explens consiiio quod raami 

P 2 


Godwine of his danger, and he sailed westward to Pevensey. In 
Sussex he was in his own country, among his immediate possessions 
and his immediate followers, and he seems to have designed a landing 
on the very spot where a landing so fatal to his house was made 
fourteen years later. The King's ships followed after him, but 
a violent storm hindered either party from carrying out its designs. 
Neither side knew the whereabouts of the , other ; l the King's fleet 
put back to Sandwich, while Godwine retired to his old quarters 
in Flanders. 2 Great discontent seems to have followed this mishap 
on the King's side. The blame was clearly laid on the Earls and 
on the force which they commanded. Eadward perhaps had not 
learned the lesson of Cnut, and he may have thought that the 
elements were bound to submit to his will. The fleet was ordered 
to return to London, where the King would put at its head other 
Earls, and would supply them with other rowers. 3 To London 
accordingly the fleet returned, but it was found easier to get rid 
of the old force than to bring together a new one ; everything 
lagged behind; probably nobody was zealous in the cause; even 
if any were zealous, their zeal would, as ever happened in that 
age, give way beneath the irksomeness of being kept under arms 
without any hope of immediate action. At last the whole naval force, 
which was to guard the coast and keep out the returning traitor, 
gradually dispersed, and each man went to his own home. 4 

The coast was now clear for Godwine's return, and his friends 
in England were doubtless not slow to apprize him that his path 
was now open. He might now, it would seem, have sailed, without 
fear of any hindrance, from the mouth of the Yser to London Bridge. 
But with characteristic wariness, he deemed it better not to make his 
great venture till he had strengthened his force by the addition of 
the ships of Harold and Leofwine, and till he had tried and made 

nequibat pros senio" Eadward was now setbaerst, and him sylfan gebearh ]wer \txr 

fifty at the most, and his personal presence he ]>a mihte." So Florence ; ** Quo in loco 

is hardly possible, according to the authentic potuit se occulta vit." But Peterborough 

narratives. He had perhaps seen enough says expressly, " And gewende J>a Godwine 

of naval service in 1049. See above, p. 64. eorl ut agean J>aet he com eft to Brycge;" 

1 Chron. Petrib. " And wear"S J>aet and so William of Malmesbury ; " Denique 

waeder swifte Strang J>aet )>a eorlas ne mih- God win us ej usque comites eo unde venerant 

ton gewitan hwet Godwine eorl gefaren vento cogente reducti." Mark the cadence 

haefde." The ignorance could hardly fail to of an hexameter. 

be mutual. So William of Malmesbury (u.s.); 8 Chron. Petrib. "And sceolde man 

" Quum cominus ventum esset, et jam pene setton o$re eorlas and oSre hasaeton to )>am 

manus consererentur, nebula densissima re- scipum," Mr. Thorpe translates " hasse- 

pente coorta furentum obtutus confudit, ton" by "chief officers," Mr. Earle by 

miseramque mortalium audaciam compes- " rowers." I commonly bow to Mr. 

cuit." William had just got one of his fits Earle's authority on such matters ; but the 

of fine writing upon him. other version seems to make better sense. 

* Chron, Ab, " He [Godwine] hcom * See vol. i. p. 360 note, 


himself sure of the friendly feeling of a large part of England. In 
the first district however where he landed, he found the mass of 
the people either unfriendly to him or kept in check by fear of the 
ruling powers. From Flanders he sailed straight for the Isle of 
Wight, as a convenient central spot in which to await the coming 
of his sons from Ireland. He seems to have cruised along the 
coast between Wight and Portland, and to have harried the country 
without scruple wherever supplies were refused to him. 1 But of 
armed resistance, such as Harold had met with at Porlock, we hear 
nothing, and there is nothing which implies that a single life was lost 
on either side. At last the nine ships of Harold, rich with the plunder 
of Devon and Somerset, joined the fleet of his father at Portland. 
We need hardly stop to dwell on the mutual joy of father, sons, 
and brothers, meeting again after so many toils and dangers, and 
with so fair a hope of restoration for themselves and of deliverance 
for their country. 2 It is more important to note that, from this 
time, we are expressly told that all systematic ravaging ceased; 
provisions however were freely taken wherever need demanded* But 
as the united fleet steered its course eastward towards Sandwich, 
the true feeling of the nation showed itself more and more plainly. 
As the deliverer sailed along the South-Saxon coast, the sea-faring 
men of every haven hastened to join his banners. From Kent, 
from Hastings, 3 from inland Surrey and from comparatively distant 
Essex, 4 from those purely Saxon lands, whence the Briton had 
vanished, and where the Dane had never settled* came up the voice 
of England to welcome the men who had come to set her free. 
At every step men pressed to the shore, eager to swell the force 
of the patriots, with one voice pledging themselves to the national 
cause, and raising the spirit-stirring cry, " We will live and die with 
Earl Godwine." 5 At Pevensey, at Hythe, at Folkestone, at Dover, at 
Sandwich, provisions were freely supplied, hostages were freely given, 6 
every ship in their havens was freely placed at the bidding of their 
lawful Earl. The great body of the fleet sailed round the Forelands, 
entered the mouth of the Thames, and advanced right upon London. 
A detachment, we are told, lagged behind, and did great damage in 
the Isle of Sheppey, burning the town of King's Middleton. They 

1 See Appendix Z. mid him woldon licgan and lybban." I 

a Vita Eadw. 405. transfer these empathic words hither from 

8 .On Hastings, as distinct from Sussex, the earlier place which they have in the 

see vol. i. p. 235. Abingdon and Worcester Chronicles, and 

4 " Eallne J>aene east ende," says the in Florence. See Appendix AA. 
Abingdon Chronicle (cf. the words " ofer 6 That hostages should have been taken 

ealne )>isne nor$ ende" in the Worcester from such a friendly population is a speak- 

Chronicle, 1052 or 1051), which Florence ing comment on the inveterate custom of 

translates by " East-Saxones." taking hostages on all occasions. 
8 Chron. Ab. '• pa cwaedon ealle Jwet hi 


then sailed after the Earls towards London. 1 The language of our 
story seems to imply that neither Godwine nor Harold had any hand 
in this seemingly quite wanton outrage. Needlessly to harm the 
house or estate of any Englishman at such a moment was quite 
contrary to Godwine's policy, quite contrary to the course which both 
he and Harold had followed since they met at Portland. The deed 
was probably done by some unruly portion of the fleet, by some 
Englishman who seized the opportunity to gratify some local jealousy, 
by some Dane who, consciously or unconsciously, looked with a 
pirate's eye on the corner of Britain where his race had first found 
a winter's shelter. 2 

The fleet was now (September 14) in the Thames. Strengthened by 
the whole naval force of south-eastern England, the Earl had now a 
following which was formidable indeed. The river was covered with 
ships ; their decks were thick with warriors harnessed for the battle. 8 
In such wise the Earl advanced to Southwark, and halted there, in sight 
doubtless of his own house, of the house whence he and his sons had 
fled for their lives a year before. 4 He had to wait for the tide, and 
he employed the interval in sending messages to the citizens of 
London. 6 The townsfolk of the great city were not a whit behind 
their brethren of Kent and Sussex in zeal for the national cause. 
The spirit which had beaten back Swegen and Cnut, the spirit which 
was in after times to make London ever the stronghold of English 
freedom, the spirit which made its citizens foremost in the patriot 
armies alike of the thirteenth and of the seventeenth centuries, was 
now as warm in the hearts of those gallant burghers as in any earlier 
or later age. With a voice all but unanimous, the citizens declared 
in favour of the deliverer ; a few votes only, the votes, it may be, of 
strangers or of courtiers, were given against the emphatic resolution 
that what the Earl would the city would. 6 

But meanwhile where was King Eadward ? At a later crisis of 
hardly inferior moment we shall find him taking his pleasure among 
the forests of Wiltshire, and needing no little persuasion to make him 
leave his sport and give a moment's thought to the affairs of his 
Kingdom. He must have been engaged at this time in some such 

1 Chron. Petrib., where see Mr. Earle's 6 " pact hi woldon mcest ealle ]>xt ]wet he 

note (p. 346), and Appendiz Z. wolde," say the Abingdon and Worcester 

3 See vol. i. pp. 30, 261. Chronicles. This answer to a message 

3 Vita Eadw. 405. " Pelagus operieba- sounds to me like the vote of an assembly 

tur carinis, ccelum densissimis resplendebat of some kind, in which we may al6o discern 

armis." If this was so when they were in the opposition of a small minority. The 

the open sea, it must a fortiori have been Biographer (406) also witnesses to the 

so when they were in the river. good disposition of the Londoners ; •• Sed 

* See above, p. 95. omnis civitas Duci obviam et auxilio pro- 

5 Chronn. Ab. and Wig. " He gefadode cessit et praesidio, acclamantque illt omnes 

wi|> $a burhwaru." un& voce prospere in adventu suo," 


absorbing pursuit, as he appears to have heard nothing of Godwine's 
triumphant progress along the southern coast till the Earl had actually 
reached Sandwich. The news awakened him to a fit of unusual 
energy. The interests at stake were indeed not small ; the return of 
Godwine might cut him off from every face that reminded him of his 
beloved Normandy; he might be forced again to surround himself 
with Englishmen, and to recall his wife from her cloister to his palace. 
In such a cause King Eadward did not delay. Accompanied by the 
Earls Ralph and Odda and surrounded by a train of Norman knights, 
and priests, he came with all speed to London, and thence sent out 
orders for the immediate gathering in arms of such of his subjects as 
6till remained loyal to him. 1 But men had no heart in the cause ; 
the summons was slowly and imperfecdy obeyed. The King con- 
trived however, before the fleet of Godwine actually reached the city, 
to get together fifty ships, 2 those no doubt whose crews had forsaken 
them a few weeks earlier. And he contrived, out of his own House- 
carls, strengthened, it would seem, by the levies of some of the 
northern shires, to gather a force strong enough to line the northern 
shore of the Thames with armed men. 8 

The day on which Godwine and his fleet reached Southwark was 
an auspicious one. It was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy 
Cross. 4 It was the day kept in memory of the triumphant return and 
the devout humility of that renowned Emperor who restored the glory 
of the Roman arms, who rivalled the great Macedonian in a second 
overthrow of the Persian power, and who brought with him, as the 
choicest trophy of his victories, that holiest of Christian relics which 
his sword had won back from heathen bondage. Harold, like Hera- 
clius, was returning to his own, perhaps already the sworn votary 
of that revered relic whose name he chose as his war-cry, and in 
whose honour he was perhaps already planning that great foundation 
which was of itself enough to make his name immortal. The day of 
the Holy Cross must indeed have been a day of the brightest omen to 
the future founder of Waltham. And a memorable -and a happy day 

1 " pa. sende he up after maran ful- hsefde cac mycele landfyrde on his healfe, 

tume," says the Abingdon Chronicle, which to eacan his scypmannum ") was doubtless 

Florence rather pathetically expands into drawn up on the same side, as the South- 

" Nuntiis propere missis, omnibus qui a se wark side was clearly in the hands of 

non defecerant mandavit ut in adjutorium Godwine. From the words in Italics, cona- 

sui venire maturarent." pared with the expressions quoted just be- 

* The Peterborough Chronicle, which, fore, it would seem that some at least of the 

just at this point, is less full than Abingdon northern levies came, perhaps under the 

and Worcester, gives the number ; " Da hi command of their own Earls. 
to Lundene comon ; ]>a laeg se cyng and * The Abingdon Chronicle describes the 

J>a eorlas ealle jwcr ongean mid l. scipum." day; " Dart waes on |x>ne Monandaeg aefter 

s The King's ships were on the north Sea Marian maesse." Florence and Roger 

bank of the river, " wi8 )»s norSlandes " of Wendover (i. 491) mark it as " dies ex- 

{Chron. Ab.); his land-force (*'se cyng altationis Sanctae Crucis." 


it was. Events were thickly crowded into its short hours, events 
which, even after so many ages, may well make every English heart 
swell with pride. It is something indeed to feel ourselves of the 
blood and speech of the actors of that day and of its morrow. The 
tide for which the fleet had waited came soon after the Earls had 
received the promise of support from the burghers of London. The 
anchors were weighed ; the fleet sailed on with all good hope. The 
bridge was passed without hindrance, and the Earls found themselves, 
as they had found themselves a year before, face to face with the 
armies of their sovereign. But men's minds had indeed changed 
since the Witan of England had passed a decree of outlawry against 
Godwine and his house. Besides his fleet, Godwine now found him- 
self at the head of a land force which might seem to have sprung out 
of the earth at his bidding. The King's troops lined the north bank 
of the Thames, but its southern bank was lined, at least as thickly, 
with men who had come together, like their brethren of the southern 
coasts, ready to live and die with the great Earl. The whole force of 
the neighbourhood, instead of obeying the King's summons, had 
come unsummoned to the support of Godwine, and stood ready 
in battle array awaiting his orders. 1 And different indeed was the 
spirit of the two hosts. The Earl's men were eager for action ; it 
needed all his eloquence, all his authority, to keep them back from 
jeoparding or disgracing his cause by too hasty an attack on their 
sovereign or on their countrymen. 2 But the Englishmen who had 
obeyed Eadward's call were thoroughly disheartened and lukewarm in 
his cause. The King's own Housecarls shrank from the horrors of 
a civil war, a war in which Englishmen would be called on to slaughter 
one another, for no object but to rivet the yoke of outlandish men 
about their necks. 3 With the two armies in this temper, the success 

1 Chron. Ab. " And seo landfyrd com facultas undique superiores vires adminis- 
ufenon, and trymedon hig be )>am strande." trabat, hortabantur quam plures, ut etiam 
Flor. Wig. '• Venit et pedestris exercitus, in ipsum Regem inherent/' This feeling 
ac se per oram fluvii ordinatim disponens, was still stronger a little later in the day. 
spissam terribilemque fecit testudinem." We must remember that in this story we 
•* Pedestris exercitus " is only accidentally are dealing, not with days but with hours, 
an accurate rendering of " landfyrd." 3 Chron. Ab. " Ac hit wses heom maest 
Doubtless they were on foot, but what the eallon la"5 J>aet hig sceoldon fohtan wi$ 
word specially implies is that the popular heora agenes cynnes mannum .... Eac 
levies, the militia of the shires round Lon- hig noldon J>aet utlendiscum j>eodum ware 
don, came unbidden to support Godwine. ]>es eard Jrorh J>aet J?e swi"5or gerymed \>e hi 
The King had only his Housecarls and any heom sylfe aelc ofterne forfore." The words 
troops that may have come from the doubtless simply mean men of their own 
north. nation. Roger of Wendover (i. 491) must 

2 Chron. Ab. "And hi hwemdon ]>a have had this Chronicle before him, and 
mid )>am scypon wi$ J>ses norSlandes, swylce must have taken the words to mean kins- 

. hig woldon \>xs cynges scipa abutan be- men in the later and narrower sense ; 
rymman." Vita Eadw. 406. "Etquoniam "Angli, quorum filii, nepotes, et consau- 


of Godwine was certain; all that was needed was* for the Earl to 
insure that it should be a bloodless success. The object of Godwine 
was to secure his own restoration and the deliverance of his country 
without striking a blow. He sent a message to the King, praying 
that he and his might be restored to all that had been unjustly taken 
from them. 1 The King, with his Norman favourites around him, 
hesitated for a while. The indignation of the Earl's men grew deeper 
and louder ; fierce cries were heard against the King and against all 
who took part with him ; no power less than that of Godwine could 
have checked the demand for instant batde. 2 The result of a battle 
could hardly have been doubtful. Ralph the Timid and Richard the 
son of Scrob, even the pious Earl Odda himself, would hardly, even 
at the head of more willing soldiers, have found themselves a match 
for the warrior who had fleshed his sword at Sherstone and Assandun, 
and who had made the name of Englishman a name of terror among 
the stoutest warriors of the shores of the Baltic. 3 But it was not with 
axe and javelin that that day's victory was to be won. The mighty 
voice, the speaking look and gesture, of that old man eloquent could 
again sway assemblies of Englishmen at his will. 4 His irresistible 
tongue now pleaded with all earnestness against any hasty act of 
violence or disloyalty. His own conscience was clear from any lack 
of faithfulness ; he would willingly die rather than do, or allow to be 
done on his behalf, any act of wrong or irreverence towards his Lord 
the King. 6 The appeal was successful in every way. The eagerness 
of his own men was checked, and time was given for more wholesome 
counsels to resume their sway on the other side. Bishop Stigand and 

guinei cum Godwino 'erant, nolcerant con- 4 Chron. Petrib. u Swa Jwet se eorl sylf 
tra eos dimicare." Florence has the inter- eaxfoftlice gestylde jwet folc." So the Bio- 
mediate expression " propinquos ac compa- grapher, in his more rhetorical way, " Ve- 
triotas." rum fidelis et Deo devotus Dux verbis et 

1 Chron. Petrib. " pa sendon J>a eorlas nutu admodum abhorruit." William of 

to jjam cynge, and gerndon to him )>aet hi Malmesbury, a little later, pays a fine tri- 

moston beon wurfte aelc J?aera )>iuga J?e bute to Godwine's eloquence, which is 

heom mid unrihte ofgenumen waes." rather a favourite subject of his ; " Senex 

a lb. " Da wrtflaeg se cyng sume hwile, ille et lingud, potens [some read " et fam& 

}>eah swa lange, 0$ J>et folc >e mid J>am clams et lingu& potens "] ad flectendos 

eorle wes wearS swifte astyred ongean ]>one animos audientium." 
cyng and ongean his folc." 5 Vita Eadw. 406. " Dum," inquit, "fide- 

s See vol. i. p. 283. The Worcester litatis suae in corde meo habeam hodie tes- 

and Abingdon Chronicles, a little way be- tern, me scilicet ma lie mortem, quam 

fore, have a singular remark that the only aliquid indecens et iniquum egerim, vel 

good troops on both sides were English ; agam, vel me vivo agi permittam in do- 

" Foroan )>ar wacs lyt elles J?e aht mycel minum meum Regem [cynehlaforde]." 

myhton buton Englisce men on aeg)>er William of Malmesbury is certainly justified 

healfe." This sounds like a slur on the in saying of Godwine personally, if not of 

military prowess alike of the King's French- all Godwine's followers, "pacifico animo 

men, of Harold's Irish Danes, and of any repatriates." 
Flemings who may have come with Godwine. _ 


other wise men* both from within and from without the city, appeared 
on board the Earl's ship in the character of mediators. It was soon 
agreed to give hostages on both sides, and to refer the decision of all 
matters to a solemn Gem<5t to be holden the next morning (Septem- 
ber 15). 1 Godwine, Harold, and such of their followers as thought 
good, now left their ships, and once more set foot in peace on the 
soil of their native island. 2 The Earl and his sons no doubt betook 
themselves to his own house in Southwark, and there waited for the 
gathering of the next day with widely different feelings from those 
with which they had last waited in that house for the decisions of 
an Assembly of the Wise. 

But there were those in the court of Eadward who could not with 
the like calmness await the sentence of the great tribunal which was 
to give judgement on the morrow. There were those high in Church 
and State who knew too well what would be the inevitable vote of a 
free assembly of Englishmen. There were Thegns and Prelates 
in Eadward's court who saw in the promised meeting of the Witan 
of the land only a gathering of men eager to inflict on them the 
righteous punishment of their evil deeds. First and foremost among 
them was the Norman monk whom the blind partiality of Eadward 
had thrust into the highest place in the English Church. Robert of 
Jumieges, the man who, more than any other one man, had stirred 
up strife between the King and his people, the man who, more than 
any other one man, had driven the noblest sons of England into 
banishment, now knew that his hour was come. He dared not face 
the assembled nation which he had outraged; he dared not take 
his place in that great Council of which his office made him the 
highest member. The like fear fell on Ulf of Dorchester, the Bishop 
who had done nought bishoplike, on William of London, and on 
all the Frenchmen, priests and knights alike, who had sunned them- 
selves in the smiles of the court, but who shrank from meeting the 
assembly of the people. Flight was their only hope. As soon as the 
news came that peace was made, and that all matters were referred to 
a lawful Gem6t, the whole company of the strangers who had been 
the curse of England mounted their horses and rode for their lives. 
Eastward, westward, northward, Norman knights and priests were 
seen hurrying. Godwine and Harold, in the like case, had been 
treacherously pursued; 3 but these men, criminals as they were, 
fleeing from the vengeance of an offended nation, were allowed to go 
whither they would without let or hindrance. Whatever violence was 

1 See Appendix AA. mycel swa heom j>a gejnihte." 

a Chron. Ab. " And Godwine for upp, 8 Harold certainly, perhaps Godwine 
and Harold his sunu, and heora US swa also. See above, p. 100, 



done was wholly the deed of the strangers. Some rode west to the 
castle in Herefordshire, Pentecost's castle, the first cause of so much 
evil; some rode towards a castle in the north, belonging to the Nor- 
man Staller, Robert the son of Wymarc. 1 The Bishops, perhaps 
the objects of a still fiercer popular indignation than even the lay 
favourites, undertook a still more perilous journey by themselves. 
What became of William of London is not quite plain, 2 but we have 
a graphic description of the escape of the Prelates of Canterbury and 
Dorchester. Robert and Ulf, mounted and sword in hand, cut their 
way through the streets, wounding and slaying as they went ; 3 they 
burst through the east gate of London; they rode straight for the 
haven of Eadwulfsness ; 4 there they found an old crazy ship ; 5 they 
went on board of her, and so gat them over sea. Never again 
did those evil Prelates trouble England with their personal presence ; 
but the tongue of Robert was still busy in other lands to do hurt 
to England and her people. The patriotic chronicler raises an 
emphatic note of triumph over the ignominious flight of the stranger 
Primate. " He left behind his pall and all Christendom here in the 
land, even as God it willed; for that he had before taken upon 
him that worship, as God willed it not/' 6 

In the morning the great Assembly met. 7 The great city and 

1 Chron. Petrib. " Sume west to Pente- doubt, would hardly have followed if he 
costes castele, sume nor$ to Rodbertes had any share in the murderous adventure 
castele." Pentecost, as we gather from of his brethren. 

Florence, who speaks of '*Osbernus cogno- 3 Chron. Petrib. "And Rodbert arce- 

mento Pentecost " — what can be the mean- bisceop and Ulf bisceop gewendon fit set 

ing of so strange a surname ? — is the same aest geate, and heora geferan, and ofslogon 

as Osbern, the son of Richard of Richard's and elles amyrdon manige ivnge. men? 

Castle, of whom we have already heard so One might almost fancy London ap- 

much. Robert's castle must be some castle prentices, as in after times, zealous for the 

belonging to Robert the son of Wymarc, as popular cause. 

distinctly the most notable man of his 4 Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex ; see 

name in the country after Robert the Arch- above, p. 71. 

bishop. Most of his lands lay in the East 8 Chron. Petrib. " And wearS him faer 

of England ; but he had also property in on anon unwraeste scipe, and ferde him on 

the shires of Hertford, Huntingdon, and a*n ofer sae." See Mr. Earle's note on 

Cambridge, though I do not find any men- " unwraeste," p. 346. 

tion of a castle on any of his estates there. 6 Chron. Petrib. " And forlet his pal* 

2 The Abingdon Chronicle, followed by lium and Christendom ealne her on lande, 
Florence, makes William accompany Ro- swa swa hit God wolde ; jwe he aer begeat 
bert and Ulf on their desperate ride ; J>one wurfiscipe swa swa hit God nolde." 
** Rodbeard bisceop and Willelm bisceop The English tongue has not gained by 
and Ulf bisceop uneaSe aetburstan mid )>am dropping the negative verb, which sur- 
Frenciscum mannum J>e heom mid waeron, vives only in the saying '• will he, nill 
and swa ofer sae becomon." But the he." 

Peterborough writer speaks only of Robert 7 Chron. Petrib. " Da cwaefl mann my- 
and Ulf, and William's restoration to his eel gemot wiflutan Lundene ; " " Statutum 
see, a matter of which there is no kind of est magnum placitum " is the translation ia 


its coasts were now clear of strangers, save such as had come in the 
train of the deliverers. 1 The people of England — for such a gather- 
ing may well deserve that name — came together to welcome its 
friends and to give judgement upon its enemies. The two armies 
and the citizens of London formed a multitude which no building 
could contain. That Mickle GemSt, whose memory long lived in the 
minds of Englishmen, came together, in old Teutonic fashion, in the 
open air without the walls of London. 2 The scene was pictured ages 
before by the pencil of Tacitus and sung in yet earlier days by the 
voice of Homer. It may still be seen, year by year, among the 
mountains of Uri and. in the open market-place of Trogen. Other 
Assemblies of those times may have shrunk into Councils of a small 
body of Thegns and Prelates; but on that great day the English 
people stood forth, in all the fulness of its ancient rights, as a co- 
ordinate authority with the English King. 3 Men came armed to 
the place of meeting ; 4 our fathers did so in their old homes beyond 
the sea, and our distant kinsmen still preserve the same immemorial 
use in the free assemblies of Appenzell. 5 But the enemy was no 
longer at hand ; in that great gathering of liberated and rejoicing 
Englishmen sword and axe were needed only as parts of a solemn 
pageant, or to give further effect to the harangue of a practised 
. orator. There, girt with warlike weapons, but shorn of the help and 
countenance of Norman knights and Norman churchmen, 6 sat the 
King of the English, driven at last to deal face to face with a free 
assembly of his people. There were all the Earls and all the best 
men that were in this land ; 7 there was the mighty multitude of 
English freemen, gathered to hail the return of the worthiest of their 

the Waverley Annals, p. 1 86 Luard. Flor. 8 I saw the armed Landesgemeinde of 

Wig. " Mane autem facto, concilium Rex Appenzell-ausser-rhoden in 1864. The 

habuit." Chron. Ab. " And was )>a Law requires each landman to bring his 

Witenagem6t." But it is the Peterborough sword ; it also forbids the sword to be 

writer only who dwells with evident delight drawn. In Uri the custom of bearing arms 

on the popular character of the Assembly. has been given up. Cf. Thuc. i. 5, 6. 

1 Compare the position of the Dutch • Vita Eadw. 406. " Destitutus inprimis 
Guards and other foreign troops who ac- fuga Archipraesulis et suorum multorum 
companied William of Orange. verentium adspeclum Ducts" 

2 " Wiffutan Lundene," says the Peter- 7 Chron. Petrib. " And ealle J>a eorlas 
borough Chronicler. See Appendix AA. and )>a betstan menn J>e waeron on ]rison 

3 Chron. Petrib. " paer baer Godwine lande waeron on Jjam gemote." Does this 
Eorl up his mal, and betealde bine pxr wi$ merely mean the Earls who had been al- 
Eadward cyng his hlaford and wti& ealle ready spoken of, Godwine and Harold on 
landleodan." the one side, Ralph and Odda on the other? 

* We shall presently see that Godwine Or does it imply the presence of Leofric, 

and Eadward were both armed ; it is not JElfgar, and Siward ? Their presence is 

at all likely that they stood alone in being perfectly possible; but, if they had had any 

so. We have already heard enough of share either in this GenuSt or in the earlier 

votes passed by the army and the like to military proceedings, it is odd that they are 

make an armed Gemot nothing wonderful, not spoken of. 


Own blood. And there, surrounded by his four valiant sons, stood 
the great deliverer, the man who had set the King upon his throne, 
the man who had refused to obey his unlawful orders, who had 
cleared the land of his unworthy favourites, but who had never 
swerved in his true loyalty to the King and his Kingdom. The 
man at whose mere approach the foreign knights and Prelates had 
fled for their lives, 1 could now afford to put on the guise of humble 
supplication towards the sovereign who had received his Crown at his 
hands. Godwine' stood forth; he laid his axe at the foot of the 
throne, and knek, as in the act of homage, before his Lord the King. 2 
By the Crown upon his brow, whose highest and brightest ornament 
was the cross of Christ, he conjured his sovereign to allow him 
to clear himself before the King and his people of all the crimes 
which had been laid against him and his house. 8 The demand could 
not be refused, and the voice which had so often swayed assemblies of 
Englishmen was heard once more, in all the fulness of its eloquence, 
setting forth the innocence of Godwine himself and of Harold and all 
his house. 4 Few B and weighty were the words which the great Earl 
spoke that day before the King and all the people of the land. 6 But 
they were words which at once carried the whole Assembly with 
them. Those who have heard the most spirit-stirring of earthly 
sounds, when a sovereign people binds itself to obey the laws which 
it has itself decreed, when thousands of voices join as one man in the 
rehearsal of one solemn, formula, 7 can conceive the shout of assent 

1 II. 2. T98 ; every class of hearers. But what was the 

dAA* avrocs kirl rcuppov iwv, Tpwcaat Crown like ? The allusion seems to point 

<pavij9i, to something like the Imperial Crown with 

at K€ a 3 vnobd(iaavT€9 &w6<rx <UVTai a cross on l ^ e t0 P> DUt tne crowns in the 

Tro\€fxoio. Tapestry are quite different. 

" Verentes adspectum Ducis," says the Bio- * Chron. Petrib. '• pet he wses unscyl- 

grapher just above. dig J>aes j)e him geled waes, and on Harold 

2 Vita Eadw. 406. " Viso Rege, pro- his sunu and ealle his beam." This is the 
tinus abjectis armis, ejus advolvitur pedi- "purgatio" of the Biographer. So Will. 
bus." I conceive the weapon borne to have Malms, ii. 199. "Probe se de omnibus 
been the axe, as a sort of official weapon, quae objectabantur expurgavit." Compur-i 
It appears in the Bayeux Tapestry in the gators seem not to have been called for. 
hands of the attendants upon Eadward ; so 3 Will. Malms, u. s. •' Tanturn brevi 
also in the scene where the Crown is offered valuit ut sibi liberisque suis honores integros 
to Harold, both Harold himself and one of restitueret." 

those who make the offer to him bear 6 '» Ealle landleodan." We have lost 

axes. this, like so many other expressive words. 

3 lb. "Orans suppliciter ut in Christi " Landleute" is the old official name of the 
nomine, cujus signiferam regni coronam people of the democratic cantons of Switzer- 
gestabat in capite, annueret ut sibi liceret land; but Land is there useMin its ordinary 
purgare se de objecto crimine, et purgato opposition to Stadt. 

pacem concederet gratiae suae." This sur- 7 I refer to the oath of the people of 
viving fragment of Godwine's eloquence Appenzell-ausser-rhoden in their Landes- 
shows how well he could adapt himself to gemeinde. First the newly elected Land- 


with which the assembled multitude agreed to the proposal that 
Godwine should be deemed to have cleared himself of every charge. 
The voice of that great Assembly, the voice of the English nation, at 
once declared him guiltless, at once decreed the restoration of himself, 
his sons, and all his followers, to all the lands, offices, and honours 
which they had held in the days before his outlawry. The old 
charges were thus again solemnly set aside, and an amnesty was 
proclaimed for all the irregular acts of the last three months of revolu- 
tion. The last year was as it were wiped out; Godwine was once 
more Earl of the West-Saxons, Harold was once more Earl of 
the East-Angles, as if Eustace and Robert had never led astray 
the simplicity of the royal saint. And yet more ; it was not enough 
merely to put England again into the state in which she stood at 
the moment of the banishment of Godwine. It was needful to 
punish the authors of all the evils that had happened, and to take 
heed that no such evils should ever happen again in days to comer. 
The deepest in guilt of all the royal favourites was felt to be the 
Norman Archbishop. He had taken himself beyond the reach of 
justice; but, had he been present, the mildness of English political 
warfare would have hindered any harsher sentence than that which 
was actually pronounced. 1 "He had done most to stir up strife 
between Earl Godwine and the King" 3 — the words of the formal reso- 
lution peep out, as they so often do, in the words of the chronicler — * 
and, on this charge, Robert was deprived of his see, and was solemnly 
declared an outlaw. The like sentence was pronounced against " all 
the Frenchmen" — we are again reading the words of the sentence 
— " who had reared up bad law, and judged unjust judgements, and 
counselled evil counsel in this land." 8 But the sentence did not 
extend to all the men of Norman birth or of French speech who were 
settled in the country. It was meant to strike none but actual 
offenders. By an exception capable of indefinite and dangerous 
extension, those were excepted " whom the King liked, and who were 

a mm arm swears to obey the laws ; he then 8 Chron. Ab. '• And geutlageden J>a 

administers the oath to the vast multitude ealle Frencisce men, )>e a?r unlage raerdon, 

before him. The effect of their answer is and undom demdon, and unraed raeddon 

something overwhelming in its grandeur. into Bissum earde.** Modern English 

1 See above, p. 1 74, utterly fails to express the power of the 

2 Chron. Petrib. '• And cweft mann negative words, which modern High-Dutch 
utlaga Rotberd arcebisceop fullice, and ealle only partially preserves. So Florence ; 
|>a Frencisce menn, forftan J>e hi macodon " Omnes Nortmannos qui leges iniquas 
maest J>et unseht betweonan Godwine Eorle adinvenerant [a poor substitute for " unlage 
and J>am Cynge." So William of Malmes- raerdon"] et injusta judicia judicaverant, 
bury ; " ProlatS. sententiS, in Robertum multaque Regi msilia [an attempt at trans- 
archiepiscopum ejusque complices quod ferring the Teutonic negative to the Latin] 
statum regni contnrbarent, animum regium advresus Anglos [a touch from Peter- 
in provinciales agltantes." borough] dederant, exlegavrunt." 


true to him and all his folk." 1 Lastly, in the old formula which 
we have so ofteji already come across — "Good law was decreed 
for all folk." 2 As in other cases, the expression refers far more to 
administration than to legislation, to the observance of old laws rather 
than to the enactment of new. The Frenchmen had reared up bad 
law ; that is, they had been guilty of corrupt and unjust administra- 
tion ; the good law, that is, the good government of former times, was 
now to be restored. There was no need to renew the Law of Eadgar 
or of Cnut or of any other King of past times. The " good state," 
as an Italian patriot might have called it, was not, in the eyes of that 
Assembly, a vision of past times, a tradition of the days of their 
fathers or of the old time before them. It was simply what every man 
could remember for himself, in the days before Robert, and men like 
Robert, had won the royal ear wholly to themselves. There was no 
need to go back to any more distant standard than the earliest 
years of the reigning King. Good Law was decreed for all folk. 
Things were to be once more as they had been in the days when 
Earl Godwine had been the chief adviser of the King on whom he 
had himself bestowed the Crown. 

The work of the Assembly was done ; the innocent had been re- 
stored, the guilty had been punished ; the nation had bound itself to 
the maintenance of law and right. Godwine was again the foremost 
man in the realm. But though the political restoration was perfect, the 
personal reconciliation seems still to have cost the King a struggle. 
It required the counsel of wise men, and a full conviction that all 
resistance was hopeless, before Eadward again received his injured 
father-in-law to his personal friendship. At last he yielded. He 
returned to Godwine the axe which the Earl had laid at his feet, the 
restoration of the official weapon being evidently the outward sign of 
restoration to office and to royal favour. 8 King and Earl then walked 
together to the Palace of Westminster, and there, on his own hearth, 
Eadward again admitted Godwine to the kiss of peace. To receive 
again to his friendship the wife and sons of Godwine, Gytha, Harold, 
Tostig, Gyrth, and Leofwine, probably cost Eadward no special 
struggle. They had never personally offended him, and they seem, 
even before their outlawry, to have won his personal affection. But 
the complete restoration of the family to its former honours required 
another step which may perhaps have cost Eadward a pang. When 
Godwine, his wife and his sons, were restored to their old honours, it 
was impossible to refuse the like restitution to his daughter. The 
Lady Eadgyth was brought back with all royal pomp from her cloister 
at Wherwell ; she received again all the lands and goods of which she 

1 Chron. Ab. and Fl. Wig. I shall have beheton." 

to speak of this exception again. s See the passage on which I ground this 

2 lb. " And eallum folce gode lage description in Appendix AA. . 


had been deprived, and was restored to the place, whatever that place 
may have been, which she had before held in the court and household 
of Eadward. 1 

The restoration of the house of Godwine to its rank and honours 
was thus complete, so far as the members of that house had appeared 
in person to claim again that which they had lost. But in the glories 
of that day the eldest born of Godwine and Gytha had no part. 
Swegen had shared his father's banishment ; he had not shared his 
father's return. His guilty, but not hardened, soul had been stricken 
to the earth by the memory of his crimes. * The blood of Beorn, the 
wrongs of Eadgifu, lay heavy upon his spirit. At the bidding of his 
own remorse, he had left his father and brothers behind in Flanders, 
and had gone, barefooted, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Tomb. He 
fulfilled his vow, but he lived not to return to his Earldom or to 
his native land. While his father and brothers were making their 
triumphant defence before their assembled countrymen, Swegen was 
toiling back, slowly and wearily, through the dwelling-places of men 
of other tongues and of other creeds. The toil was too great for a 
frame no doubt already bowed down by remorse and penance. Cold, 
exposure, and weariness were too much for him, and fourteen days 
after Godwine's solemn restoration in London (September 29, 1052), 
the eldest son of Godwine breathed his last in some unknown spot 
of the distant land of Lykia. 8 

There is no doubt that the three great decrees, for the restoration 
of Godwine and his family, for the outlawry of the Archbishop and the 
other Normans, and for the renewal of the good laws, were all passed 
in the great Gemot of this memorable Tuesday. 8 Other measures 
which naturally followed may well have been dealt with in later, 
perhaps in less crowded and excited, assemblies. Some of the 
greatest offices in Church and State had to be disposed of. Godwine 
and Harold received their old Earldoms back again. The restoration 
of Harold implied the deposition of JElfgar. It is singular that we 

} Chron. Petrib. 1052. "And se Cyng erat, apparatu ad monasterium Wiltunense 

geaf j?aere Hlaefdian eall J>aet heo aer ahte." [on this confusion see p. 10 1] et [I leave 

Chron. Ab. " And Godwine Eorl and Harold out metaphors about the sun, &c] reducitur 

and seo Cwen [this title is unusual, but not Regina, ejusdem Ducis filia, ad thalamum 

quite unique] saeton on heora are." She Regis." This last expression should be 

had just before come in incidentally in the noticed, and compared with the account in 

list of Godwine's family ; " his sunum . . , Roger of Wendover. 

and his wife and his dehter." Flor. Wig. 2 On the pilgrimage of Swegen see Ap- 

"Filiamquoque Ducis, EadgithamReginam, pendix BB. 

digniter Rex recepit et pristinae dignitati 8 "On J?one Tiwesdasg hi gewurdon sehte, 

restituit." The Biographer (406) of course swa hit her beforan stent," says the Abing- 

waxes eloquent ; " Modico ex hide inter- don Chronicle, 
fluente tempore mittitur aeque regio, ut par 


find no distinct mention either of him or of his father, nor yet of 
Siward, through the whole history of the revolution. The only hint 
which we have on the subject seems to imply that they at least 
acquiesced in the changes which were made, and even that ^llfgar 
cheerfully submitted to the loss of his Earldom. 1 As Swegen did not 
return, there was no need to disturb Ralph in his Earldom of the 
Magesaetas. Odda must have given up that portion of Godwine's 
Earldom which had been entrusted to him, 2 but he seems to have 
been indemnified by Ralph's former Earldom of the Hwiccas, both 
Ralph and Odda probably holding under the superior authority of 
Leofric. 3 

The disposal of the Bishopricks which had become vacant by the 
flight of their foreign occupants was a more important matter ; at 
least it led to more important consequences in the long run. At the 
moment of Godwine's restoration, it probably did not occur to any 
Englishman to doubt that they were vacant both in fact and in law. 
Robert and Ulf had fled from their sees; they had been declared 
outlaws by the highest authority of the nation, or rather by the nation 
itself. Our forefathers most likely thought very little about canonical 
subtleties. They would hardly argue the point whether the Bishops 
had resigned or had been deprived, nor would they doubt that the 
nation had full power to deprive them. In whatever way the vacancies 
had occurred, the sees were in fact vacant ; there was no Archbishop 
at Canterbury and no Bishop at Dorchester. That the King and his 
Witan would be stepping beyond their powers in filling those sees 
was not likely to come into any man's head. We must remember 
how thoroughly the English nation and the English Church were 
then identified. No broad line was drawn between ecclesiastical and 
temporal causes, between ecclesiastical and temporal offices. The 
immediate personal duties of an Earl were undoubtedly different from 
those of a Bishop ; but the two dignitaries acted within their shire 
with a joint authority in many matters which, a hundred years later, 
would have been divided between a distinct civil and a distinct eccle- 
siastical tribunal; In appointing a Bishop, though we have seen that 
canonical election was not shut out, we have also seen that the Witan 
of the land had their share in the matter, and that it was by the 
King's writ that the Bishoprick was formally bestowed. 4 What the 
King and his Witan gave, the King and his Witan could doubtless 
take away, and they accordingly dealt with the sees of the outlawed 
Bishops exactly as they would have dealt with the Earldoms of out- 
lawed Earls. It might almost seem that the see of the chief offender, 

1 See the passage of William of Malmes- 3 See Appendix G. 

bury quoted above, p. 104. 4 See above, p. 30, and Appendix I, 

2 See above, p. 104. 



the Norman Primate, was at once bestowed by the voice of the great 
Assembly which restored Godwine. 1 It was at all events bestowed 
within the year, while the Bishopricks of London and Dorchester 
were allowed to remain vacant some time longer. It may perhaps be 
thought that the appointment which was actually made to the see of 
Canterbury bears signs of being an act of the joyous fervour with 
which the nation welcomed its deliverance. It might have been 
expected that the claims of JElfric to the Primacy would have revived 
on the expulsion of Robert. JSlfric had been canonically elected by 
the monks of Christ Church ; no one seems to have objected to him 
except the King and his Frenchmen; he possessed all possible 
virtues, and he was moreover a kinsman of Earl Godwine. But, in 
the enthusiasm of the moment, there was one name which would 
attract more suffrages than that of any other Prelate or Priest in 
England. On that great Holy Cross Day the services of Stigand to 
the national cause had been second only to those of Godwine himself. 
As Robert had been the first to make strife, so Stigand had been the 
first to make peace, between the King and the great Earl. For such 
a service the highest place in the national Church would not, at the 
moment, seem too splendid a reward. -/Elfric was accordingly for- 
gotten, and Stigand was, either in the great Gem6t of September or 
in the regular Gem6t of the following Christmas, appointed to the 
Archbishoprick of Canterbury. With the Primacy, according to a 
practice vicious enough in itself, but which might have been defended 
by abundance of precedents, he continued to hold the see of Win- 
chester in plurality. 

This appointment of Stigand was one of great moment in many 
ways. Amongst other things, it gave an excellent handle to the wily 
Duke of the Normans, and thus became one of the collateral causes 
of the Norman Conquest. The outlawed Robert retired in the end to 
his own monastery of Jumfeges, and there he died and was buried. 
But he did not die till he had made Europe ring with the tale of his 
wrongs. The world soon heard how a Norman Primate had been 
excelled from his see, how an Englishman had been enthroned in his 
place, by sheer secular violence, without the slightest pretence of 
canonical form. Robert told his tale at Rome; 2 we may be sure 
that he also told it .at Rouen. William treasured it up, and knew 
how to use it when the time came. In his bill of indictment against 
England, the expulsion of Archbishop Robert appears as a prominent 

1 The Peterborough Chronicle seems to then turns to other matters, 

record his appointment in the same breath 2 Will. Malms. Gest. Reg. ii. 199. 

with the other acts of September 15th. " Romam profectus et de caussS su& sedem 

Immediately after the outlawry of Robert apostolicam appellans." In Gest, Pont. 

and the Frenchmen follow the words, " And 116, he adds that he returned *' cum epi* 

Stigand Bisceop feng to )>am arcebisceop- stolis innocentix et restitutionis suae allega- 

rice on Cantwarabyrig." The Chronicler tricibus." 


count. 1 It is bracketted with the massacre of Saint Brice, with the 
murder of Alfred, and with all the other stories which, though they 
could not make William's claim to the Crown one whit stronger, yet 
served admirably to discredit the cause of England in men's minds. 
No one knew better than William how to make everything of this sort 
tell. The restoration of Godwine was an immediate check to all his 
plans; it rendered his hopes of a peaceful succession far less probable. 
But the expulsion of Robert and the other Normans was a little sweet 
in the cup of bitterness. The English, with Godwine at their head, 
had in their insular recklessness of canonical niceties, unwittingly put 
another weapon into the hands of the foe who was carefully biding 
his time. 

Even in England the position of Stigand was a very doubtful one. 2 
He was de facto Archbishop ; he acted as such in all political matters, 
and was addressed as such in royal writs. We hear of no opposition 
to him, of no attempt at his removal, till William himself was King. 
He was undoubtedly an able and patriotic statesman, and his merits 
in this way doubtless hindered any direct steps from being taken 
against him. And yet even Englishmen, and patriotic Englishmen, 
seem to have been uneasy as to his ecclesiastical position. For six 
years he was an Archbishop without a pallium; it was one of the 
charges against him that he used the pallium of his predecessor 
Robert, At last he obtained the coveted ornament from Rome 
(1058), but it was from the hands of a Pontiff whose occupation 
of the Holy See was short, and who, as his cause was unsuccessful, 
was not looked on by the Church as a canonical Pope. In fact,, in 
strict ecclesiastical eyes, Stigand's reception of the pallium from 
Benedict the Tenth seems only to have made matters worse than 
they were before. At any rate, both before and after this irregular 
investiture, men seem to have avoided recourse to him for the per- 
formance of any great ecclesiastical rite. Most of the Bishops of his 
province were, during his incumbency, consecrated by other hands. 3 
Even Harold himself, politically his firm friend, preferred the ministry 
of other Prelates in the two great ecclesiastical ceremonies of his life, 
the consecration of Waltham and his own coronation. One of our 
Chroniclers, not indeed the most patriotic of their number, distinctly 
and significantly denies Stigand's right to be called Archbishop.^ 

1 Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 761 D. Of Harold. So, in nearly the same words, 

William's three causes for his invasion two Bromton, X Scrip tt. 958. 

are, "Primo, quia Alfredum cognatum a On the ecclesiastical position of Sti- 

suum Godwinus etfilii sui dehonestaverant gand see Appendix CC. 

et peremerant; secundo, quia Robertum 8 We shall find many examples as we 

episcopum et Odonem consulem [see Ap- go on, and the general fact is asserted in 

pendix G] et onmes Francos Godwinus et the Profession made by Saint Wujfstan 

filii sui arte sua ab Anglia exsulaverant." to Lanfranc. See Appendix CC. 

The third count is of course the perjury of 4 Chron. Ab. 1053. See Appendix CC*. 

q 2 


One cannot help thinking that all this canonical precision must have 
arisen among the foreign ecclesiastics who held English preferment, 
among the Lotharingians who were favoured by Godwine and Harold 
no less than among the King's own Normans. But at all events the 
scruple soon became rife among Englishmen of all classes. An 
ecclesiastical punctilio which led Harold himself, on the occasion of 
two of the most solemn events of his life, to offer a direct slight to a 
political friend of the highest rank, must have obtained a very firm 
possession of the national mind. 

The case of Stigand is the more remarkable, because no such 
difficulties are spoken of as arising with regard to the position of 
another Prelate whose case seems at first sight to have been just the 
same as his own. If Robert was irregularly deprived, Ulf was equally 
so. Yet no objection seems to have been made to the canonical 
character of Wulfwig, who, in the course of the next year, succeeded 
Ulf in the see of Dorchester. 1 It is possible that the key to the 
difference may be found in the fact of the long vacancy of Dorchester. 
That long vacancy may be most naturally explained by supposing 
that some application was made to Rome, which was successful in 
the case of Wulfwig and unsuccessful in the case of Stigand. We 
can well conceive that the deprivation of Ulf may have been con- 
firmed, and that of Robert, as far as the Papal power could annul it, 
annulled. It must be remembered that Ulf, on account of his utter 
lack of learning, had found great difficulty in obtaining the Papal 
approval of his first nomination. The sins of Robert, on the other 
hand, seem to have been only sins against England, which would 
pass for very venial errors at Rome. This difference may perhaps 
account for the different treatment of their two successors. At any 
rate, Wulfwig seems to have found no opposition in any quarter 
to his occupancy of the great Mid-English Bishoprick. And he seems 
to have himself set the example of the scruple which has been just 
mentioned against recognizing Stigand in any purely spiritual matter. 
Along with Leofwine, who in the same year became Bishop of 
Lichfield, he went beyond sea to receive consecration, and the way 
in which this journey is mentioned seems to imply that their motive 
was a dislike to be consecrated by the hands of the new Metro- 
politan. 2 

The see of London was treated in a different way from those of 
Canterbury and Dorchester, and in a way which was certainly most 
honourable to its Norman occupant. We have seen that it is not 

1 Unless indeed some such feeling lurks charter in Cod. Dipl. iv. 102, Wulfwig 

in the words of the Abingdon Chronicler, had been the King's Chancellor, " regise 

1053 ; " Se Wulfwi feng to r5am biscoprice dignitatis cancellarius." Perhaps he was 

)?e Ulf hsefde be him libbendum and of succeeded by Regenbald. See below, p. 238. 

adrsefdum." If we may trust a doubtful a Chron. Ab. 1053. See Appendix CC. 


certain whether Bishop William accompanied Robert and Ulf in their 
escape from England. 1 It is certain that, if he left England, he was 
before long invited to return and again to occupy his see. This may 
have been the act of Harold after the death of his father. It is 
an obvious conjecture that Harold would be somewhat less strict 
in suoh matters than his wary, and experienced parent, and that he 
would listen with somewhat more favour to the King's requests for 
the retention or restoration of some of his favourites. 2 But it is 
certain that a Norman whom either Godwine or Harold allowed either 
to retain, or to return to, the great see of London must have been a 
man of a very different kind from Robert and Ulf. We are expressly 
told that William's Bishoprick was restored to him on account of his 
good character. 3 Indeed the character which could obtain such for- 
bearance for a Norman at such a moment must have been unusually 
good, when we remember that he actually had an English competitor 
for the see. Spearhafoc, it will not be forgotten, had been regularly 
nominated to the Bishoprick, and though he had been refused conse- 
cration, he had held its temporalities till the outlawry of Godwine 
allowed a Norman to be put in his place. 4 But the claims of Spear- 
hafoc on the see of London seem to have been as wholly forgotten as 
the claims of ^Elfric on the see of Canterbury. William retained the 
Bishoprick throughout the reigns of Eadward and Harold, and he 
died, deeply honoured by the city over which he ruled, four years 
after the accession of his namesake. 

William was the only Norman who retained a Bishoprick after 
the restoration of Godwine, as Ralph was the only stranger of any 
nation — for we can hardly count Siward as a stranger — who retained 
an Earldom. But under the terms of the exception to the general 
outlawry of Normans, a good many men of that nation retained or 
recovered inferior, though still considerable, offices. We have a list 
of those who were thus excepted, which contains some names which 
we are surprised to find there. The exception was to apply to those 
only who had been true to the King and his people. Yet among the 
Normans who remained we find Richard the son of Scrob, 5 and 
among those who returned we find his son Osbern. These two men 
were among the chief authors of all evil. Osbern was so conscious 

1 See above, p. 219. nothing to do with the matter. They 

3 Thierry (i. 202) makes Godwine resist refer to a supposed opposition on the part 

the retention of any Normans, especially of of Godwine to the union of the sees of 

Bishop William and of the Lotharingian Ramsbury and Sherborne, of which more 

Hermann, Bishop of the Wilsaetas. For anon. 

bis authority he quotes " Godwinus Comes 8 Flor. Wig. 1052. «* Willelmus, propter 

obstiterat (Ranulphus Higden, p. 281)." suam bonitatem, parvo post tempore revo- 

To say nothing of going to. R. Higden on catus, in suum episcopatum recipitur." 

such a point, any one who makes the 4 See above, p. 78. 

reference will find that the words have 5 Flor. Wig. 1052. 



of guilt, or so fearful of popular vengeance, that, in company with a 
comrade named Hugh, he threw himself on the mercy of Earl Leofric. 
Osbern and Hugh surrendered their castles,' and passed with the Earl's 
safe-conduct into Scotland, where, along with other exiles, they were 
favourably received by the reigning King Macbeth. 1 Yet it is certain 
that Osbern afterwards returned, and held both lands and offices in 
Herefordshire. 2 Others mentioned are Robert the Deacon, described 
as the father-in-law of Richard, and who must therefore have been an 
old man, 3 Humphrey Cocksfoot, whom I cannot further identify, and 
iElfred the King's stirrup-holder. 4 The list might be largely extended 
on the evidence of Domesday and the Charters. Two of the most 
remarkable names are those of the Staller, Robert the son of Wymarc, 
of whom we shall often hear again, and the King's Chamberlain, 
Hugh or Hugolin, a person who has found his way from the dry 
entries in the Survey and the Charters into the legend of his sainted 
master. 5 Altogether the number of Normans who remained in Eng- 
land during the later days of Eadward was clearly not small. And, as 
some at least were evidently restored after flight or banishment, the 
suggestion again presents itself that their restoration was owing to 
special entreaties of the King after the death of Godwine. Harold, 
in the first days of his administration, may hardly have been in a 

s Flor. Wig. 1052. "Osbernus vero, cog- lordships in Herefordshire, " Hsec duo 

nomento Pentecost, et sccius ejus Hugo sua maneria tenuit Osbernus avunculus Alveradi 

reddiderunt castella, et Comitis Leofrici li- T. R. £. quando Godwinus et Heraldus 

centia, per suum com it a turn Scottiam ade- erant exsulati." iElfred is iElfred of 

untes a Rege Scottorum Macbeotha suscepti Marlborough, the owner at the time of 

sunt." the Survey. 

2 On Osbern's possession of land in 8 Flor. Wig. 1052. "Robertumdiaconum 
Herefordshire and elsewhere, see Domes- et generum ejus Ricardum filium Scrob." 
day, 176 by 180, 186 b, 260. That he * Several Alfreds occur in Domesday, 
was Sheriff of Herefordshire appears from as the great landowners, iElfred of Marl- 
a writ of 1060 (Cod. Dipl. iv. 194), borough (Osbern's nephew) and ^Elfred of 
announcing the nomination of Walter to Spain, but it is not easy to identify their 
the see of Hereford, in which the King possessions with any holder of the name 
greets " Haroldum Comitem et Osebarnum in Eadward's time. The names iElfred 
et omnes meos ministros in Herefiordensi and Eadward, and the female name Ead- 
comitatu amicabiliter." See Ellis, i. 460. gyth, seem to have been the only English 
The position in the writ in which his names adopted by the Normans. The 
name occurs is one which generally belongs two former would naturally be given to 
to the Sheriff. The appearance of a French godsons or dependants of the two ^Ethel- 
Sheriff ki this particular shire may be ings while in Normandy, and Eadgyth 
accounted for by the presence of a French would gain currency as the name of the 
Earl. It is more remarkable that Robert wife of the sainted King. But on the 
the son of Wymarc was Sheriff of Essex, name iElfred see vol. i. p. 507. 
as may be inferred from the similar posi- 5 He signs as •• Huhgelin minister." 
tion of his name in a writ in Cod. Dipl. Cod. Dipl. iv. 173. In two doubtful 
iv. 214. But some of the lands held by charters (iv. 148, 150) he is " cubicula- 
Osbern must have been confiscated and rius" and " earner ari us." So in Domes- 
granted — perhaps restored — to Earl Harold, day, Hunt. 208, he is " camerarius." Cf. 
For we read in Domesday 186 of two -32th. Riev. X Scriptt. 376. f 


position to refuse such entreaties. And in any case, though we may 
call it a weakness to allow men, some of whom at least were danger- 
ous, to remain in, or return to, the country, yet for a subject newly 
exalted to give too willing an ear to the prayers of his sovereign, is 
a weakness which may easily be forgiven. 

The revolution was thus accomplished, a revolution of which Eng- 
land may well be proud. In the words of a contemporary writer, the 
wisdom of Godwine had redressed all the evils of the country without 
shedding a drop, of blood. 1 The moderation of the Earl, the way in 
which he kept back his eager followers, the way in which he preserved 
his personal loyalty to the King, 2 are beyond all praise. He had 
delivered his country, he and his had been restored to the favour of 
their prince, and he now again entered on his old duties as Earl of 
the West-Saxons and virtual ruler of the Kingdom of England. We 
may be sure that his popularity had never been so high, or his general 
authority so boundless, as it was during the short remainder of his 
life. For Godwine was not destined to any long enjoyment of his 
renewed honour and prosperity ; England was not destined to look 
much longer upon the champion who had saved her. Soon after his 
restoration the Earl began to sicken; 8 but he still continued his 
attention to public affairs, and we can see the working of his vigorous 
hand in the energetic way in which a Welsh marauder was dealt with 
at the Christmas Gemdt of this year (1 052-1053), held as usual at 
Gloucester. Rhys, the brother of Gruffydd King of the South- Welsh, 
had been guilty of many plundering expeditions at a place called 
Bulendun, the position of which seems to be unknown. Early in the 
year the Northern Gruffydd had ravaged the border at pleasure; 
now we read, as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world, tha$ 
a decree of the Witan — a bill of attainder we may call it — was passed 
for the execution of the Welsh prince. 4 The decree was duly carried 
out, and the Christmas festivities were not over, when the head of 
Rhys was brought to King Eadward, on the vigil of the Epiphany 

1 Vita Eadw. 406. "Unde post tam s Chron. Ab. 1052. "Godwine J)* 

grande malum absque sanguine sedatum gesiclode hra$e Jjsbs \>e he upcom." 

Ducis sapientia, sollennis celebratur laetitia 4 Chron. Wig. 1053. " And man raedde 

tam a palatinis quam ab omni patria." J?aet man sloh Ris )>«s Wyliscean cynges 

3 On this point the Biographer becomes broker, fofSy he -hearmas dyde." Florence 

enthusiastic, and bursts forth, after his says more fully ; " Griffim Regis Aus- 

manner, into no less than forty hexameters, tralium Wallensium frater, Res nomine, 

Godwine suffering under false accusations propter frequentes prsedas quas egit in loco 

had been likened to Joseph and Susanna ; qui Bulendun dicitur, jussu Regis Ead- 

now that he spares and honours a King wardi, occiditur." There ate Bullingdons 

whom he has ia his power, he is likened both in Oxfordshire .and in Hampshire, but 

to David doing the like towards Saul. Welsh ravages could hardly reach to either 

Altogether the comparison is not a very of them, 
lucky one for either Godwine or Eadward. 


(January 5, 1053), exactly thirteen years before his own death. 1 It was 
seemingly in the same Gem<5t that Arnwig, Abbot of Peterborough, 
resigned his abbey, and was succeeded by Leofric, a monk of his 
house, who was raised to his dignity at the recommendation of his 
predecessor, and by that union of royal, capitular, and we may add 
parliamentary, action, which we have already noticed as prevailing in 
the appointment of English Prelates in those days. Arnwig, we are 
told, " gave the abbey to Leofric the monk by the King's leave and 
that of the monks/' 2 Abbot Leofric, a nephew of his namesake the 
Earl, 3 was a man of high birth and of high spirit. He ruled the 
great house of Saint Peter with all honour for thirteen years; he 
enriched the monastery with lands and ornaments of all kinds, and 
won for it the favour of the King and all the great men of the land. 
Peterborough, under his rule, became so rich in the precious metals 
that men called the house Gildenborough.* Nor was Peterborough 
the only seat of his spiritual dominion. " He was lief to all folk," and 
he stood so high in favour of the King and the Lady that, along with 
Peterborough, he held, seemingly as dependent houses, not only the 
neighbouring Abbeys of Thorney and Crowland, but the more distant 
houses of Coventry, the great foundation of his uncle, and Burton, the 
creation of Wulfric Spot. 5 But in the eyes of English patriots, Abbot 
Leofric has won a still higher fame by an act less clearly coming 
within the range of his ecclesiastical duties. He was one of those 
great Lords of the Church who did not feel that they were hindered 
by their monastic vows from marching by the side of Harold to the 
great battle. 6 

The next great festival of the Church, the next great assembly of 
the English Witan, beheld the death of the most renowned English- 

1 Chron. Wig. " And man brohte his 3 Chron. Petrib. 1066 ; Hugo Candidus, 
heafod to Glewcestre [" Glawornam ad Re- ap. Sparke, 42. 

gem"Fl. Wig.]onTwelftan£fen." William 4 Chron. Petrib. 1052, "And se abbot 

of Malmesbury (ii. 196) makes Harold Leofric gildede )>a J)aet mynstre swa )>aet 

the agent, which is quite possible, but he man hit cleopede J?a gildene Burn (cf. 

mixes the matter up in a strange way with 1 066) ; ]>a wsex hit switfe on land and on 

the fate of Gruffydd of North Wales, ten gold and on seolfer." 
years later. " Haroldum West-Saxonum 5 Chron. Petrib. 1 066. " He waes leaf 

[Comitem], filium Godwihi, qui duos fra- eall folc, swa. \>xX se cyng [Hugh speaks 

tres Reges Walensium Ris et Griffinum of the Lady as well] geaf See Peter and 

sollertia sua in mortem egerit." William, him J>aet abbotrice on Byrtune and se of 

perhaps pardonably, confounds the two Couentre J>set se eorl Leofric, \t waes his 

Gruffydds. See Appendix P. earn, £r haefde macod, and se of Crulande, 

2 Chron. Petrib. 105 2. The local and se of porneie." On Coventry, see 
writer, Hugo. Candidus, seems (Sparke, above, p. 31 ; on Burton, see vol. i. p. 
41) to place Leofric's appointment in 445. 

1057. So John of Peterborough, a. 1057, 6 Chron. Petrib. 1 066. 
who calls him " egregius pater Leofricus." 



man of that generation. The King kept the Easter festival (1053) at 
Winchester, and on the Monday of that week of rejoicing, the Earl of 
the West-Saxons, with his sons Harold, Tostig, and Gyrth, were ad- 
mitted to the royal table. During the meal Godwine fell from his seat 
speechless and powerless. His sons lifted him from the ground, and 
carried him to the King's own bower, in hopes of his recovery. Their 
hopes were in vain ; the Earl never spoke again, and, after lying in- 
sensible for three days, he died on the following Thursday (April 15). 
Such is the simple, yet detailed, account which a contemporary writer 
gives us of an event which has, perhaps even more than any other 
event of these times, been seized upon as a subject for Norman 
romance and calumny. There was undoubtedly something striking 
and awful in the sight of the first man in England, in all the full glory 
of his recovered power, thus suddenly smitten with his death-blow. 
He had been, as we have seen, ailing for some months, but the actual 
stroke, when it came, seems to have been quite unlooked for. It was 
not wonderful that, in such a death at such a moment, men saw a 
special work of divine judgement. It was not wonderful that Norman 
enemies brought the old scandals up again, and that they- decked out 
the tale of the death of the murderer of JElfred with the most ap- 
palling details of God's vengeance upon the hardened and presump- 
tuous sinner. I shall elsewhere discuss their romantic inventions, 
which in truth belong less to the province of the historian than to that 
of the comparative mythologist. 1 It is more important to mark that 
one English writer seems to see in Godwine's death the punishment 
of his real or supposed aggressions on the property of the Church. 2 
On this last score however the bounty of his widow did all that she 
could to make atonement for any wrongdoings on the part of the 
deceased. The pious munificence of Gytha is acknowledged even by 
those who are most bitter against her husband, and it now showed 
itself in lavish offerings for the repose of the soul of Godwine. 8 His 

1 See Appendix DD. ejus multis ecclesiis in eleemosyna multa 

8 See Chron. Ab. 105 a, and Appendix contulit, et Wintoniae ecclesiae dedit duo 

£. and DD. maneria, scilicet, Bleodonam et Crawecum- 

8 Liber de Hyda, 289. "Porto uxor bam et ornamenta diversi generis." Of 

ejus [she is " Geta, genus, ut aiunt, ex these lordships, Bleadon and Crowcombe in 

insula Nortoegid ducens"], magnx sancti- Somersetshire, Bleadon still remained to 

taris multteque religionis tram item incedens, the Church at the time of the Survey 

omni die duas ad minus missas studiose (Domesday, 87 b), but Crowcombe had 

[see above, p. 17] audiebat, omnique fere been alienated to Count Robert of Mor- 

sabbato per duo aut amplius miliaria nudis tain (91 6). Another gift for her husband's 

pedibus vicina ambiebat monasteria, largis soul made by Gytha to the church of 

muneribus cumulans altaria, largisque donis Saint Olaf at Exeter — mark the reve- 

pauperes recreans." Of her gifts for her rence of the Scandinavian princess for the 

husband's soul we read in the Winchester Scandinavian saint — is found in Cod. Dipl. 

Annals, p. 26 ; " Githa, uxor Godwini, iv. 264. This charter, signed by her sons 

femina multas habeas facilitates, pro anim& Tostig and Gyrth as Earls, must be of 


place of burial need hardly be mentioned. The man who was greater 
than a King, the maker and the father oP Kings, found his last 
resting-place among Kings. His corpse was laid by that of the King 
under whom he had risen to greatness, by that of the Lady whose 
rights he had so stoutly defended, by that of the first King whom he 
had placed on the West- Saxon throne, by that of the murdered 
nephew whose death had cast the first shade of gloom upon his 
house. The Earl of the West-Saxons, dying in the West-Saxon 
capital, was buried with all pomp in the greatest of West-Saxon 
sanctuaries, in the Old Minster of Winchester. 1 That renowned 
church was enriched with lands and ' ornaments in memory of the 
dead. But the noblest offering of all was the grief of the nation 
which he had saved. His real faults, his imaginary crimes, were all 
forgotten. Men remembered only that the greatest man of their 
blood and speech was taken from them. They thought of the long 
years of peace and righteous government which they had enjoyed 
under his rule ; they thought of the last and greatest of his great 
deeds, how he had chased the stranger from the land, and had made 
England England once again. Around the bier of Godwine men 
wept as for a father ; they wept for the man whose hand had guided 
England and her people through all the storms of so many years of 
doubt and danger. 2 They deemed not that, ages after his death, 
calumnies would still be heaped upon his name. They deemed not 
that the lies of the stranger would take such root that the deliverer 
for whom they mourned would live in the pages of pretended history 
as Godwine the traitor. The time is now come to redress the wrong, 
and to do tardy justice to the fair fame of one of the greatest of 
England's worthies* To know what Godwine was, we have but to 
cast away the fables of later days, to turn to the records of his own 
time, to see how he looked in the eyes of men who had seen and 
heard him, of men who had felt the blessings of his rule and whose 
hearts had been stirred by the voice of his mighty eloquence. No 
man ever deserved a higher or a more lasting place in national grati- 
tude than the first man who, being neither King nor Priest, stands 
forth in English history as endowed with all the highest attributes of 
the statesman. In him, in those distant times, we can revere the great 

a later date (1057-1065), and shows binnan ealdan mynstre." Vita Eadw. 408. 

that her pious anxiety still continued. "Tumulatur ergo condigno honore in 

Of Gytha's religious scruples a specimen monasterio quod nuncupant veteri Win* 

will be found in Appendix E. She is also toniae, additis in eadem ecclesi& multis 

said (Tanner, Notitia Monastica, Devon, ornamentorum muneribus et terraruni 

xxv. ; New Monasticon, iv. 435) to have reditibus pro redemptione ipsius animae." 

founded a College at Hartland in Devon. 9 Vita Eadw. 408. " Exsequiis suis in 

A secular establishment founded by Harold's luctum decidit populus, hunc patrem, hunc 

mother should be noted. nutricium suum regnique, memorabant sus* 

1 Cbron. Ab. 1053. "And he litf facr piriis et assiduis fletibus." 


minister, the unrivalled parliamentary leader, the man who could sway 
councils and assemblies at his will, and whose voice, during five and 
thirty years of political strife, was never raised in any cause but that 
of the welfare of England. Side by side with all that is worthiest in 
our later history — side by side with his own counterpart two ages after- 
wards, the second deliverer from the yoke of the stranger, the victor 
of Lewes, the martyr of Evesham — side by side with all who, from his 
day to ours, have, in the field or in the senate, struggled or suffered in 
the cause of English freedom — side by side with the worthies of the 
thirteenth and the worthies of the seventeenth century — will the voice 
Of truthful history, rising above the calumnies of ages, place the name 
of the great deliverer of the eleventh, the Earl of happy memory, 1 
whose greatness was ever the greatness of England, whose life was 
One long offering to her welfare, and whose death came fittingly as 
the crown of that glorious life, when he had once more given peace 
and freedom to the land which he loved so well. 

§ 2. From the Accession of Harold to the Earldom of the West- 
Saxons to his first War with Gruffydd. 

1053— 1056. 

The great Earl was dead, and the office which he had held, an 
office which no man had ever held before him, 2 was again at the 
disposal of the King and his Witan. As Godwine's death had 
happened at the Easter festival, the Great Council of the nation 
was doubtless still in session. We may therefore assume, with 
perfect safety, that the appointments which the Earl's death ren* 
dered needful were made at once, before the Assembly dispersed. 
The nature of the succession to these great governments must by 
this time be perfectly well understood. The King and his Witan 
might nominate whom they would to a vacant Earldom ; but there 
was a strong feeling, whenever there was no special reason to the 
contrary, in favour of appointing the son of a deceased Earl. In 
Earldoms, like those of Mercia and Northumberland, where an 
ancient house had been in possession for several generations, this 
sort of preference had grown into the same kind of imperfect 
hereditary right which existed in the case of the Crown itself. It 
would have required a very strong case indeed for King and Witan 
to feel themselves justified in appointing any one but a son of Leofric 
to succeed Leofric in the head government of Mercia. -But in the 
case of Wessex and East-Anglia no such inchoate right could be 
put forward by any man. The old East- Anglian house had doubtless 

1 Vita Eadw. 408. " Dux felicis memoriae." * See vol. i. pp. 285, 48a. 


become extinct, either through the slaughter of Assandun, or through 
the executions in the early days of Cnut. 1 If not extinct, it had, 
at all events, sunk into insignificance, and had become lost to history. 
The Danish Thurkill had founded no dynasty in his Earldom. We 
cannot even make out with certainty the succession of East- Anglian 
Earls between him and Harold. 3 The Earldom of the West-Saxons 
was a mere creation of Cnut himself. It would have broken in upon 
no feeling of ancient tradition, if the office had been abolished, and 
if the King had taken into his own hands the immediate government 
of the old cradle of his house. But such a step would have been 
in every way a step backward. The King of the English was now 
King in every part of his realm alike. Certain parts of his realm 
might enjoy more of his personal presence than others ; certain parts 
might even be practically more amenable to his authority than others ; 
each great division of the Kingdom might still retain its local laws 
and customs ; but there was now only one English Kingdom ; no 
part of that Kingdom was a dependency of any other part ; the King 
was King of the West-Saxons in no other sense than that in which 
he was King of the Northumbrians. But, if the local West-Saxon 
Earldom had been abolished, instead of a King of the English, 
reigning over one united Kingdom, there would again have been 
a King of the West- Saxons, holding East-Anglia, Mercia, and North- 
humberland as dependent provinces. Here then were good political 
reasons for retaining the institution of Cnut, and for again appointing 
an Earl of the West- Saxons. Reverence also for the memory of 
the great man who was gone pleaded equally for the same course. 
An Earl of the West- Saxons had done more for England than any 
other subject had ever done. With Godwine and his great deeds 
still living in the minds and on the tongues of men, there could 
be little doubt as to giving him a successor ; there could be hardly 
more of doubt as to who that successor should be. 

The choice of the King and his Witan fell upon the eldest sur- 
viving son of the late Earl. 8 Harold was translated from the govern^ 
ment of the East- Angles to the greater government of the West- 
Saxons. This was, under such a King as Eadward, equivalent 
to investing him with the practical management of the King and 
his Kingdom. Harold then, when he could not have passed the 
age of thirty-two,* became the first man in England. His career 
up to this time had been stained by what in our eyes seems to 
be more than one great fault, but it is clear that, in the eyes of 
his contemporaries, his merits far outweighed his errors. He had 

1 See vol. i. p. 264 ; cf. 278. to eallum )?am J?e his faeder ahte." So the 

9 See Appendix G. others m other words. 
8 Chron. Petrib. 1053. «• And feng * See above, pp. 33, 37. 
Harold Eorl his sunu to ftara eorldorae and 



perhaps been guilty of selfishness in the matter of his brother 
Swegen j 1 he had certainly been guilty of needless violence in the 
affair at Porlock. But the universal joy of the nation at his new 
promotion 2 shows that the general character of his East -Anglian 
government must have given the brightest hopes for the future. 
Grief for the loss of Godwine was tempered by rejoicing at the 
elevation -jof one who at once began to walk in his father's steps. 
From henceforth, as Earl and as King, the career of Harold is 
one of vigorous and just government, of skill and valour in the 
field, of 'unvarying moderation towards political foes. He won and 
he kept the devoted love of the English people. And, what was 
a harder task, he won and kept, though in a less degree than 
another member of his house, the personal confidence and affection 
of the weak and wayward prince with whom he had to deal. 

The translation of Harold to the greater government of Wessex 
made a vacancy in his former Earldom of the East -Angles. It would 
probably have been difficult to refuse the post to the man who had 
already held it for a short space, JSlfgar, the son of Leofric of Mercia. 
His appointment left only one of the great Earldoms in the House 
of Godwine, while the House of Leofric now again ruled from 
the North -Welsh border to the German Ocean. 3 But it quite fell 
in with Harold's conciliatory policy to acquiesce in an arrangement 
which seemed to reverse the positions of the two families. The 
possession of Wessex was an object paramount to all others, and 
all the chances of the future were in favour of the rising House. 
JElfgar accordingly became Earl of the East -Angles. 4 His career 
was turbulent and unhappy. The virtues of Leofric and Godgifu 
seem not to have been inherited by their descendants. 5 We hear 
of iElfgar and of his sons mainly as rebels in whom no trust could 
be placed, as traitors to every King and to every cause, as men 
who never scrupled to call in the aid of any foreign enemy in order 
to promote their personal objects. Rivalry towards Harold and his 
house was doubtless one great mainspring of their actions, but the 
Norman Conqueror and the last male descendant of Cerdic found 
it as vain as ever Harold had found it to put trust in the grandsons 
of Leofric. 

I have already suggested that it was probably in consequence of 

1 See above, p. 65. 

2 Vita Eadw. 408. " Subrogatur autem 
regio favore in ejus [Godwini] ducatu 
filius ejus major natu et sapientia Haroldus, 
unde in consolationem respirat universus 
Anglorum exercitus." Then follows the 
panegyric quoted in Appendix D. 

8 See Appendix G. 

* Chronn. Ab. Wig. fetrib. Cant, in anno. 

5 We have one panegyric on -SSlfgar in 
Orderic (511 A), but it is a panegyric by 
misadventure. Orderic clearly confounded 
iElfgar with his father. William of 
Malmesbury however (see above, p. 104) 
speaks well of his government of East- 
Anglia during Harold's banishment. 


the death of Godwine and the succession of Harold that the re- 
storation of some of the King's Norman favourites, especially of 
William Bishop of London, was allowed. 1 This may have taken 
place at this same Easter festival ; but it is more natural to refer it to 
some later Gemdt of the same year. It is certain that, during this 
second portion of the reign of Eadward, a considerable number of 
Normans, or others bearing Norman or French name's, were estab- 
lished in England. 2 It is equally certain that their position differed 
somewhat from what it had been before the outlawry of Qodwine. 
The attempts to put them in possession of the great offices of the 
Kingdom were not renewed. Ralph retained his Earldom, William 
was allowed to return to his Bishoprick. The royal blood of the 
one, the excellent character of the other, procured for them this 
exceptional favour, which, in the case of Ralph the Timid, proved 
eminently unlucky. But we hear of no other Norman or French 
Earls or Bishops, and we have only one certain notice of a Nor- 
man or French Abbot, in the person of Baldwin of Saint Eadmund's, 
a native of Gaul, who seems to have owed his promotion to his 
skill in medicine. 8 Otherwise, excepting a few of the favoured 
natives of Lotharingia, none but Englishmen are now preferred to 
the great posts of Church and State. No local office higher than 
that of Sheriff, and that only in one or two exceptional cases, 4 was 
now allowed to be held by a stranger. But mere Court preferment, 
offices about the King's person, seem to have been freely held by 
foreigners to w T hom there was no manifest personal objection. The 
King was allowed to have about him his Norman Stallers, his 
Norman chaplains, and, an officer now first beginning to creep into 
a little importance, his Norman Chancellor. 6 And those Normans 
who were tolerated at all seem to have been looked on with less 
suspicion than they had been during the former period. They are 

1 See above, p. 230. Domesday, 180 6, by the description of 

2 That the number of Frenchmen who " Reinbaldus canceler," as holding lands in 
remained in England was considerable is Herefordshire T. R. E., which before the 
shown, as Lappenberg says (p. 514. ii. Survey he had exchanged with Earl Wil- 
255 Thorpe), by a passage in the so-called Ham Fitz-Osbern. He still held lands in 
Laws of William (Thorpe, i. 491 ; Schmid, Berkshire (56 6, 6o, 63), Gloucestershire 
354)i ty which it appears that many of (166 6), and Wiltshire (68 6), if he is, as 
them had become naturalized English sub- he doubtless is, the same as " Reinbaldus de 
jects ; " Omnis Francigena, qui tempore Cirencestre " and " Renbaldus Presbyter." 
Eadwardi propinqui nostri fuit in Anglia He was Dean of Cirencester (see Ellis, i. 
particeps consuetudinum Anglorum, quod 398), and besides his lay fees he held 
ipsi dicunt an hlote et an scote, persolvat several churches in Wiltshire (Domesday, 
secundum legem Anglorum." 65 b). It should be noticed that all his 

8 See Appendix L. Gloucestershire property had other owners 

* See above, p. 230. T. R. E„ one of whom was a tenant of 

5 Regenbald the Chancellor appears in Earl Tostig. 


now freely allowed to witness the royal charters, which implies their 
acting as members of the national assemblies. 1 Their position 
becomes now one of mere personal favour, not of political influence. 
They are hardly mentioned in our history; we have to trace them 
out by the light of their signatures and of entries in Domesday. 
Once only shall we have any reason to suspect that the course of 
events was influenced by them. And in that one case their influence 
is a mere surmise, and if it was exercised at all, it must have been 
exercised in a purely underhand way. The po'icy of Eadward's reign 
is from henceforth a policy thoroughly English. In other words, 
it is the policy of Harold. 

It is easy to understand that the feelfngs of Harold with regard to 
the foreigners differed somewhat from those of his father. Godwine 
and Harold belonged to different generations. Godwine* s whole 
education, his whole way of looking at things, must have been purely 
English. It is hardly needful to make any exception on behalf of 
influences from Denmark. The rule of Cnut was one under which 
Danes became Englishmen,' not one under which Englishmen became 
Danes. We can hardly conceive that Godwine understood the French 
language. Such an accomplishment would in his early days have 
been quite useless. We can well believe that, along with his really 
enlightened and patriotic policy, there was in the old Earl a good 
deal of mere sturdy English prejudice against strangers as strangers. 
But every act of Harold's life shows that this last was a feeling alto- 
gether alien to his nature. His travels of inquiry abroad, his encour- 
agement of deserving foreigners at home, all show him to have been 
a statesman who, while he maintained a strictly national policy, rose 
altogether above any narrow insular prejudices. That he understood 
French well it is impossible to doubt. 2 If he erred at all, he was far 
more likely to err in granting too much indulgence to the foreign 
fancies of his wayward master. His policy of conciliation would 
forbid him to be needlessly harsh even to a Norman, and he had 
every motive for dealing as tenderly as possible with all the wishes 

1 I quote, as one example of many, the and Thegns. 
signatures to the foundation charter of a I do not ground this belief on the 
Harold's own church at Waltham (Cod. well-known saying of the false Ingulf 
DipL iv. 158). The seemingly Norman (Gale, i. 62), how in Eadward's days " Gal- 
names, besides Bishop William, are " Rod- licum idioma omnes magnates in suis curiis 
bertus Regis consanguineus [no doubt the tamquam magnum gentilitium loqui [cce- 
Staller Robert the son of Wymarc], Hes~ perunt]." Harold's foreign travels, and 
bemus Regis consanguineus, Regenbaldus his sojourn at the Norman court, neces- 
*Hegis cancellarius, Petrus Regis capellanus, sarily imply a knowledge of French, and I 
Baldewinus Regis capellanus." (Baldwin can well believe that at home King Ead- 
however, unless he was the future Abbot, ward looked more favourably on a coun- 
may have been Flemish and not Norman.) sellor who could frame his lips to the be- 
But the deed is also signed by many Eng- loved speech, 
lish courtiers, as well as Earls, Prelates, 


and prejudices of the King. Harold stood towards Eadward m a 
position wholly different from that in which Godwine had stood. 
Godwine might claim to dictate as a father to the man to whom he 
had given a crown and a wife. Harold could at most claim the 
position of a younger brother. That Harold ruled Eadward there is 
no doubt, but we may be sure that he ruled by obeying. 1 Habit, 
temper, policy, would all forbid him to thwart the King one jot more 
than the interests of the Kingdom called for. The position of the 
strangers during the remaining years of Eadward's reign is a manifest 
compromise between Eadward's foreign weaknesses and Harold's 
English policy. They were to be allowed to bask in the sunshine of 
the court ; they were to be carefully shut out from political power. If 
Harold erred, his error, I repeat, lay in too great a toleration of the 
dangerous intruders. 

The remaining events of the year of Godwine's death are some 
ecclesiastical appointments, which must have been made at the 
Christmas Gem6t (i 053-1 054), and a Welsh inroad, which seems to 
have happened about the same time. In the one month of October 
three Prelates died, 2 Wulfsige, Bishop of Lichfield, and the Abbots 
Godwine of Winchcombe and JEthelweard of Glastonbury. The see 
of Lichfield was bestowed on Leofwine, Abbot of Earl Leofric's 
favourite monastery of Coventry. 8 In this appointment we plainly 
see the hand of the Mercian Earl, of whom, considering his name, the 
new Bishop is not unlikely to have been a kinsman. 4 At the same 
time, it would seem, the see of Dorchester was at last filled by the 
appointment of Wulfwig, and the two Bishops elect, as we have seen, 
got them beyond sea for consecration. 5 The new Abbot of Glaston- 
bury was JEthelnoth (1053-1082), a monk of the house, who bears 
an ill name for squandering the revenues of the monastery, but who 
contrived to weather all storms, and died in possession of his Abbey 
sixteen years after the Norman invasion. 6 The disposition of Winch- 

1 This seems implied in the famous vol. i. p. 280. 
poetical panegyric on Eadward and Harold 8 See above, p. 343. 

in the Chronicles for 1065. * • On Abbot iEthelnoth see William of 

2 Chron. Wig. 1053. " And J>ses ykan Malmesbury, Glastonbury History, ap. 
geres, foran to alra halgena msssan, foriS- Gale, ii. 324. iEthelweard spoiled the 
ferde Wulsyg bisceop set Licetfelda, and lands, ^Ethelnoth the ornaments, of the 
Godwine abbod on Wincelcumbe, and house. " Ex illo res Glastoniae retro relabi 
^Sgelward abbod on Glestingabyrig, ealle et in pejus flu ere." He has much to tell 

'binnan anum mon]?e." about the miracles wrought by King Ead- 
8 Chron. Ab. and Flor. Wig. It was gar about this time — Eadgar, it must be 
probably now that the Abbey of Coventry remembered, passed at Glastonbury, in 
was given to Leofric of Peterborough. See defiance of all legends, for a saint- 
above, p. 232. If so, it still kept in the specially in healing a mad German, 
family. " furiosus Teutonicus genus." Was he one 

4 Leofric, it will be remembered, was of the suite of the iEtheling ? 
the son of an Ealdorman Leofwine. See 


combe is more remarkable. Ealdred, the Bishop of the diocese, who 
seems never to have shrunk from any fresh duties, spiritual or tem- 
poral, which came in his way, undertook the rule of that great 
monastery in addition to his episcopal office. 1 This may have been 
mere personal love of power or pelf; but it may also have been a 
deliberate attempt, such as we shall see made in other cases also, 
to get rid of a powerful, and no doubt often troublesome, neighbour, 
by annexing an abbey to the Bishoprick. If such was the design of 
Ealdred, it did not prove successful. After holding Winchcombe for 
some time, he next year, willingly or unwillingly, resigned it to one 
(July 17, 1054), Godric who is described as the son of Godman, the 
King's Chaplain. 2 

Of the Welsh inroad, recorded by one Chronicler only, all that is. 
said is that many of the " wardmen" at Westbury were slain. 8 This is 
doubtless Westbury in Gloucestershire, on the Welsh side of the 
Severn. The expression seems to imply the maintenance of a per- 
manent force to guard that exposed frontier. 

The next year was marked by a military and a diplomatic event, both 
of which were of high importance. The former is no other than the 
famous Scottish expedition of Earl Siward, an event which has almost 
passed from the domain of history into that of poetry. Macbeth, it 
will be remembered, was now reigning in Scotland. 4 Like Siward 
himself, 5 he had risen to power by a great crime, the murder of his 
predecessor, the young King Duncan. And, like Siward, he had 
made what atonement he could by ruling his usurped dominion 
vigorously and well. We have seen that there is no reason to believe 
that Macbeth had, since he assumed the Scottish Crown, renewed the 
fealty which he had paid to Cnut when he was Under-king, 6 or, in 
more accurate Scottish phrase, Maarmor of Moray. We have also 
seen that he had been striving, in a remarkable way, to make himself 
friends of the mammon of unrighteousness in the quarter where that 
mammon was believed to have the greatest influence, namely at the 
threshold of the Apostles. 7 We may be sure that Earl Siward, the 

1 1 infer that Ealdred's holding of Winch- episcopus abbatiam Wincelcumbensem tam- 

combe was something more than a mere diu in manu sua tenuit, donee Godricum, 

temporary holding till a successor could be Regis cape Hani Godmanni filium abbatem 

found. The Worcester Chronicle (1053) constituent." 
speaks of it in the same form of words as a Flor. Wig. 1054. 
the appointments of Leofwine and iEthel- 8 Chron. Ab. 1053. "Eac Wylsce menn 

notb ; " And Leofwine feng to |)am bis- geslogan mycelne dael Englisces folces ftaera 

ceoprice art Licedfelde, and Aldret bisceop weardmanna wi"S Waestbyrig." 
feng to J>am abbodrice on Wilcelcumbe," * See above, p. 34. 
&c. Florence however says, after men- 6 See vol. i. p. 353. 
tioning the appointments of Leofwine and • See vol, i. p. 301. 
.flSthelnoth, " Aldredus vero Wigorniensis 7 See above, p. 35. 

VOL. II. P. 


kinsman, probably the guardian, of the young prince whom Macbeth 
shut out from the Scottish Crown, 1 had all along looked on his for- 
midable northern neighbour with no friendly eye. It is not easy to see 
why the attack on Macbeth, if it was to be made at all, was so long 
delayed. It may be that the internal troubles of England had hitherto 
forbidden any movement of the kind, and that Siward took advantage 
of the first season of domestic quiet to execute a plan which he had 
long cherished. It may be that the scheme fell in better with the 
policy of Harold than with the policy of Godwine. Between God wine 
and Siward, between the West-Saxon and the Dane, there was doubt- 
less a standing rivalry, partly national, partly personal. But it would 
fall in with the conciliatory policy of Harold to help, rather than to 
thwart, any designs of the great Northern Earl which were not mani- 
festly opposed to the public welfare. At all events, in this year the 
consent of Eadward a was given, a consent which certainly implies the 
decree of a Witenagem6t, and which no less certainly implies the good 
will of Earl Harold. An expedition on a great scale was undertaken 
against the Scottish usurper. 3 That it was undertaken on behalf of 
Malcolm, the son of the slain Duncan, can admit of no reasonable 
doubt. To restore the lawful heir of the Scottish Crown was an 
honourable pretext for interference in Scottish affairs on which any 
English statesman would gladly seize. And to Siward it was more 
than an honourable pretext ; it was asserting the rights and avenging 
the wrongs of a near kinsman. The Earl of the Northumbrians 
accordingly attacked Scotland at the head of a great force both by 
land and by sea. The army was largely composed of the Housecarls 
of the King and of the Earl, picked and tried soldiers, Danish and 
English. Macbeth was supported 4 by a prince who had now become a 
neighbour of England, and a neighbour probably quite as dangerous as 
himself. This was Thorfinn, the famous Earl of the Orkneys, who had 
established his power over the whole of the Western Islands, and even 
over the coast of Scotland and Strathclyde as far south as Galloway. 
With his help the Scottish King ventured to meet the host of Siward 
in a pitched battle (July 27, 1054). He was encouraged by the 
presence of a body of the Normans who had been driven out of 
England at the return of Godwine. They are spoken of as if their 
number was large enough to form a considerable contingent of the 
Scottish army. The fight was an obstinate one. The Earl's son 
Osbeorn and his sister's son Siward were slain, and with them a large 
number of the Housecarls, both those of the Earl himself and of the 
King. The slaughter on the Scottish side was more feafful still. 

1 See above, p. 34. * See Munch, Chron. Regum Manniae, 

• " Ju f su Regis," says Florence, 1054. 46 et seqq. ; Burton, History of Scotland, 

8 On the war with Macbeth see Ap- i. 374. 
peodix ££. 


Dolfinn, seemingly a kinsman of the Earl of Orkney, was killed, 1 and 
the Norman division, fighting no doubt with all the gallantry of their 
race, enhanced by all the desperation of exiles, were slaughtered to a 
man. We thus see that the battle was a most stoutly contested one, 
and that, as usual, the slaughter fell mainly on the best troops on both 
sides, the Normans on the Scottish side and the Houseearls on the 
English. But the fortune of England prevailed ; the Scots, deprived 
of their valiant allies, were utterly routed, and King Macbeth escaped 
with difficulty from the field. The plunder was of an amount which 
struck the minds of contemporary writers with wonder. 2 

Siward was a hero whose history has had a mythical element about 
it from the beginning; 3 it would have been wonderful indeed if this, 
the last and greatest exploit of so renowned a warrior, had not sup- 
plied the materials for song and legend. The tale is told how Siward, 
hearing of the death of his son, asked whether his wounds were 
in front or behind. Being told that all were in front, the old warrior 
rejoiced ; he wished for no other end either for his son or for himself. 
The story is eminently characteristic ; but, as it is told us* it is diffi- 
cult to find a place for it in the authentic narrative of the campaign. 
But fiction has taken liberties with the facts of Siward's Scottish 
campaign in far more important points. As we have seen, the Eng- 
lish victory was complete, but Macbeth himself escaped. Malcolm 
was, as King Eadward had commanded, proclaimed King of Scots 
(1054), and a King of Scots who was put into possession of his 
Crown by an invading English force most undoubtedly held that 
Crown as the sworn man of the English Basileus. It took however 
four years before Malcolm obtained full possession of his Kingdom. 
Macbeth and his followers maintained their cause in the North, being, 
it would seem, still supported by help from Thorfinn. Malcolm, on 
the other hand, was still supported by help from England, and we 
shall find that he deemed it expedient to enter into a very close 
relation with Siward* s successor in the Northumbrian Earldom. At 
last Macbeth was finally defeated and slam at Lumfanan in Aber- 
deenshire. An attempt was made to perpetuate the Moray dynasty 
in the person of Lulach, a kinsman, or perhaps a step-son, of Mac- 
beth, a son of his wife Gruach by a former marriage. But this prince, 
who bears the surname of the Fool, could not long resist the power of 
Malcolm ; in a few months' time he was hunted down and slain. The 
rival dynasty was now crushed ; all Scotland came into the hands of 
Malcolm, who was solemnly crowned at Scone (1058). The power 
of Thorfinn was broken no less than the power of Macbeth, and 


1 Annals of Ulster, 1054. See Appendix J>onan micele herehujw, swilce nan man aer 
EE. ne begeat." 

2 Chron. Wig. 1054. "And laedde 8 See vol. i. pp. 351, 521. 

R 2 


Malcolm apparently recovered the full possession of Cumberland, 
possibly on the death of Thorfinn, when Malcolm married his widow 
Ingebiorg, a marriage of whose results we shall hear again. 

These Scottish affairs had but little interest for our English writers, 
who were satisfied with recording the brilliant victory of Siward and 
the rich booty which he won, without going on to dwell on events 
which were purely Scottish. As their narrative ends with the defeat 
of Macbeth and Malcolm's first proclamation as King, it naturally 
passed out of mind that that proclamation did not at once give him 
full possession of all Scotland. The two defeats of Macbeth were 
confounded together, and it was believed that the usurper met his 
death in the battle which he fought against Siward. The error 
began very early, and it obtained prevalence enough to become 
enshrined in the poetry which, far more than any historical record, 
has made the name of Macbeth immortal. 

In the course of this year (1054), seemingly at a Gem<5t held at 
Midsummer, possibly that in which the expedition against Macbeth 
was decreed, 1 a most important step was taken with regard to the 
succession to the Crown. It was a step which proved altogether 
fruitless, but it is most important as showing what men's feelings 
and wishes were at the time. It proves beyond doubt that now, 
two years after the return of Godwine, the idea of the succession 
of William had altogether passed away, while the idea of the suc- 
cession of Harold had not yet occurred to men's minds. The state 
of the royal house was such as to cause the deepest anxiety. The 
English people, though they cared little for any strict law of suc- 
cession, still reverenced the blood of their ancient princes, and they 
had ever been wont, save under the irresistible pressure of foreign 
conquest, to choose 'their Kings only from among the descendants 
of former Kings. But now the line of their former Kings seemed 
to be altogether dying out. Eadward Was without children or hopes 
of children. There was no man in the land sprung from the male 
line of JEthelred and Eadgar. It is quite possible that there may 
have been men descended from earlier Kings ; but they could only 
have been distant kinsmen, whose royal descent was well nigh for- 
gotten, and who were no longer allowed to count as -^Ethelings. 
There was indeed a grandson of -^Ethelred dwelling in the Kingdom 
in the person of Ralph of Hereford. Ralph would very likely have 
been the successor to whom Eadward's personal inclinations would 

1 Now that the Housecarls are an estab- voted at the end of June, Siward could 

lished institution, wars are carried on with easily have met Macbeth in the field before 

much greater speed than they were in the end of July, 
.ffithelred's time. If the expedition was 


have led him. He shared with William of Normandy the merit of 
being a stranger speaking the French tongue, and he had the ad- 
vantage over William of being a real descendant of English royalty. 
And the tie which bound Ralph to Eadward was a very close one. 
Old Teutonic feeling held the son of a sister to be hardly less near 
and dear than a son of a man's own loins, 1 and we have seen some 
indications that this feeling was not wholly forgotten in England 
in the eleventh century. The sister's son of Brihtnoth and the 
sister's son of Siward 2 are mentioned in a special way among the 
chosen companions of their uncles, beneath whose banners they 
fought and died. Eadward, in his heart of hearts, would naturally 
fall back upon Ralph, his own nephew, the son of the daughter of 
JEthelred and Emma, as a candidate whom the English people 
might perhaps be persuaded to accept, when the cause of the Nor- 
man became hopeless after Godwine's revolution. But however 
sacred was the relation between a man and his sister's son, it was 
not one which by the Law of England conferred any right to the 
royal succession. The preference attaching to kingly blood- was 
confined to those who were of kingly blood by direct male descent ; 
it does not appear that the son of a King's daughter had any sort 
of claim to be considered in a royal election more than any other 
man in the realm. And as for Ralph himself, his foreign birth and 
his personal conduct were, either of them, quite enough to make 
him thoroughly distasteful to the English people. Men had had 
quite enough of him as Earl, and they certainly had no wish to 
have any further experience of him as King. In the present lack 
of heirs, men's thoughts turned to a branch of the royal family whose 
very existence was perhaps well nigh forgotten. Seven and thirty 
years before, the infant sons of Eadmund Ironside, Eadmund and 
Eadward, had found a shelter from the fears of Cnut under the 
protection of the sainted Hungarian King Stephen. 3 Eadmund was 
dead; he had died seemingly while still young. Eadward was still 
living. He had, no doubt through the influence of Stephen's Queen 
Gisela, a sister of the Emperor Henry the Second, received in mar- 
riage a lady of royal descent named Agatha, who most probably was 
a niece of the Hungarian Queen and of the sainted Emperor. 4 This 
marriage would seem to show that, in those distant lands, Eadward 
was acknowledged as a prince, perhaps that he was looked to as one 
who might some day reign in his native island. And the fact that the 
son of Eadward and Agatha bore the renowned English name of 

1 Tac. Mor. Germ. c. 20. " Sororum a See above, p. 242, for Siward nephew 

filiis idem apud avunculum, qui apud patrem of Siward, and vol. i. p. 184 for Wulfmaer 

honor. Quidam sanctiorem arctioremque nephew of Brihtnoth. 

hunc nexum sanguinis arbitrantur, et in 8 See vol. i. p. 277. 

accipiendis obsidibus magis exigunt." * See Appendix FF. 



Eadgar, shows that the ^Etheling himself cannot have wholly forgotten 
his native land. Yet banished, as he was, in his cradle, he could have 
retained hardly any of the feelings of an Englishman, and it is hardly 
possible that he could have spoken the English tongue. Eadward 
must have been even less of an Englishman than his royal namesake 
and uncle. Eadward the King had left England when he was many 
years older than Eadward the ^theling, and he had lived in a land 
which had a much closer connexion with England. Still Normandy 
was dangerous, and Hungary was not. Whatever the ^theling was, 
at least he was not a Frenchman ; his connexions, though foreign, 
were in every way honourable and in no way formidable. Hungary 
was too distant a land to do England either good or harm, but 
the fame of the youngest Christian Kingdom and of its renowned 
and sainted King was doubtless great throughout Europe. And 
the connexion with the Imperial House, the distant kindred of the 
iEtheling's children with the illustrious Caesar, the friend and brother- 
in-law of King Eadward, was of all foreign ties that which it most 
became Englishmen to strengthen. In default therefore of any 
member of the royal house brought up and dwelling in the land, 
it was determined to recall the banished JEtheling with his wife and 
family. 1 Besides his son Eadgar, he had two daughters, who bore 
the foreign names of Margaret and Christina. We shall hear of all 
three again. Eadgar, the last male descendant of Cerdic, lived to 
be in an especial manner the sport of fortune ; a King chosen, but 
never crowned, a rival whom the Conqueror scorned to fear or to 
hurt, the friend and pensioner of successive usurpers of his own 
Crown. One of his sisters won a worthier fame. Margaret obtained 
the honours alike of royalty and of saintship; she became one of 
the brightest patterns of every virtue in her own time, and she be- 
came the source through which the blood and the rights of the 
Imperial House of Wessex have passed to the Angevin, the Scottish, 
and the German sovereigns of England. 2 

It is impossible to doubt that the resolution to invite the JEtheling 
was regularly passed by the authority of the King and his Witan. 
No lighter authority could have justified such a step, or could have 
carried any weight with foreign courts. Such an invitation was 
equivalent to declaring the JEtheling to be successor to the Crown, 
so far as English Law allowed any man to be successor before the 
Crown was actually vacant. It is possible that, as in some other 
cases, an election before the vacancy may have been attempted; 8 but 

1 See Appendix FF. mund, or Eadgar. But it must not be for- 

2 It is only through Margaret that our gotten that every descendant of Matilda of 
Kings from Henry the Second onward were Flanders was a descendant of ^Elfred. 
descended from Eadward the Elder, Ead- 8 See vol. i. pp. 73, 332. 


it is perhaps more likely lhat all that was done was to guarantee to 
Eadward that same strong preference which naturally belonged only 
to a son of a reigning King. Such a preference, in favour of one 
who was the last remaining member of the royal family, would in 
effect hardly differ from an exclusive right. The resolution in short 
placed the Jikheling in the same position as if his father and not his 
uncle had been on the throne. His position would thus be the same 
as that of Eadwig and Eadgar during the reign of Eadred. 1 But 
when we remember what followed, it is important to bear in mind 
that the preference which undoubtedly belonged to Eadward would 
not belong to his son. Eadward, though so long an exile, was an 
Englishman born, the son of a crowned King and his Lady. 2 The 
young Eadgar was a native of a foreign land, and was not the son of 
royal parents. This quasi designation of Eadward to the Crown 
involves, as I before said, two things. It implies that the King had 
learned that the succession of William was a thing which he never 
could bring about.* It implies also that neither Hardld himself nor 
the English people had as yet formed any serious thought of the 
possible succession of one not of royal descent. Indeed one can 
hardly doubt that the resolution to send for the JEtheling, if it was 
not made on Harold's own motion, must at any rate have had his 
full approval. No proposal could be more contrary to the wishes 
and interests of the Norman courtiers, who must either have unsuc- 
cessfully opposed it or else have found it their best wisdom to hold 
their peace. It was therefore, seemingly at the Whitsun Gem<5t, resolved 
to send an embassy to ask for the return of the JEtheling. And about 
the time that Earl Siward was warring in Scodand, the English am- 
bassadors set forth on their errand* 

A direct communication with the court of Hungary seems to have 
been an achievement beyond the diplomatic powers of Englishmen in 
that age. The immediate commission of the embassy (July, 1054) 
was addressed to the Emperor Henry, with a request that he would 
himself send a further embassy into Hungary. At the head of th# 

1 Sec vol. i. pp. 42, 73. omni familia sua mitteret ; futurum ut aut 

2 See vol. i. pp. 73, 424. ille aut filii sui succedant regno haereditario 
8 I rely far more on the probability of Angliae; orbitatem suam cognatorum suf- 

the case than on the account given by fragio sustentari debere." He then goes on 

William of Malmesbury under the influence to describe the -flStheling (•« vir neque 

of those Norman prejudices against which promptus manu neque probus ingenio "), 

he sometimes struggles, but to which he his family, his return, and his death. He 

sometimes yields. He tells us (ii. 228), then adds, " Rex itaque, defuncto cognato, 

41 Rex Edwardus, pronus in senium [fifty, quia spes prioris erat soluta suffragii, Wil- 

or a year or two older], quod ipse non lelmo Comiti Normanniae succession em 

susceperat liberos, et Godwini videret in- Angliae dedit." I believe exactly the re- 

valescere JMtis, misit ad Regem Hunorum verse to be the truth, 
ut filiura fratris Edmundi, Edwardum, cum 


English legation was the indefatigable Bishop Ealdred, and with him 
seems to have been coupled Abbot JElfwine of Ramsey. 1 Both these 
Prelates had already had some experience of foreign courts. Ealdred 
had gone on the King's errand to the Apostolic throne, 2 and -ZElfwine 
had been one of the representatives of the English Church at the 
famous Council of Rheims. 8 The Bishop of Worcester clearly 
reckoned on a long absence, and we get some details of the arrange- 
ments which he made for the discharge of his ecclesiastical duties 
during his absence. The Abbey of Winchcombe, which he had 
annexed to his Bishoprick the year before, he now resigned, 4 and 
the general government of the see of Worcester he entrusted to a 
monk of Evesham named jEthelwig. 6 The church of that famous 
monastery, raised by the skill of its Abbot Mannig, 6 was now awaiting 
consecration. For that ceremony he deputed his neighbour Bishop 
Leofwine of Lichfield. 7 He then set forth for the court of Augustus. 
The Emperor was then at Koln, on his return from the consecration 
of his young son Henry as East-Frankish or Roman King in the 
Great Charles's minster at Aachen. 7 The immediate tie between 
Eadward and Henry had been broken by the death of Queen Gun- 
hild ; the King who was now to be crowned was the child of Henry's 
second wife, the Empress Agnes of Poitiers. 9 But the interchange of 
gifts and honours between the Roman and the insular Basileus was 
none the less cordial and magnificent. English writers dwell with 
evident pleasure on the splendid reception which the English Bishop 
met with both from the Emperor and from Hermann, the Archbishop 
of the city where Ealdred had been presented to Henry. We hear 
also how greatly edified the English Primate was, and what reforms 
he was afterwards enabled to make in England, through his inter- 

1 See Appendix FF. 8 Young Henry was crowned at the age 

2 See above, p. 74. of five at Aachen, July 17th, 1054, by 
8 See above, p. 241. Hermann, Archbishop of Koln. See Lam- 

, * See above, p. 73. . bert in anno. 

' 5 So I understand the passage in the • Agnes, daughter of William the Great, 

Evesham History, p. 87, about .flSthelwig's Duke of Aquitaine, married King Henry in 

appointment to the Abbey of Evesham in 1043 (Lambert and Chron. And. ap. Labbe, 

1059. He is there spoken of as one "qui i. 276) or 1045 (Hugo Flav. ap. Labbe, i. 

multo antea tempore episcopatum Wigor- 187) or 1049 (Chron. S. Maxent. in anno), 

nensis ecclesiae sub Aldredo archiepiscopo Her father being dead, she is described as 

laudabiliter rexerat." See Mr. Macray's " filia Agnetis," the Agnes so famous in the 

note. That Ealdred is called Archbishop history of Geoffrey Martel (see above, p. 

need be no difficulty. It is the old ques- 274). Abbot Hugh, in recording the mar- 

tion about the days of Abiathar the Priest, riage, cannot retrain from the strange com- 

Cf. Appendix 00. ment, " Quum enim esset [Heinricus] alias 

6 On Mannig, see above, p. 45. bonus, et omnes ejus sitirent dominium, 

7 Chron. Wig. 1054. " And ne lofode carnis tamen incontinentiam fraenare non 
Leofwine bisceop to halgianne J>aet mynster potuit." Was Henry the Third bound to 
act Eofeshamme, on vi. Id. Oct." imitate Henry the Second ? 


course with the well-ordered churches of Germany. 1 These reforms in- 
cluded perhaps the introduction of the Lotharingian discipline, or some- 
thing like it, among the secular churches of his diocese. 2 But the 
immediate business of the embassy advanced but slowly. The time 
was ill-chosen for an Imperial intervention with the Hungarian court. 
Andrew, the reigning King of Hungary, was about this time abetting 
the rebellious Duke Conrad of Bavaria against the Emperor. 8 We 
have no details of the further course of the negotiation. Ealdred 
abode a whole year at Koln, probably waiting for a favourable oppor- 
tunity. His embassy was in the end successful ; for the JEtheling did 
after a while return to England. But we have no further details, 
and Eadward did not return to England till long after Ealdred had 
gone back, and till at least a year after the death of the Emperor. 

The year of Ealdred's mission was marked also by the sudden 
death of a somewhat remarkable person, namely Osgod Clapa, whose 
movements by sea had been watched with such care five years before. 4 
The Chronicler remarks, seemingly with some little astonishment, that 
he died in his bed. 5 Early in the next year death carried off a far 
more famous man, no other than the great Earl of the Northum- 
brians. 6 The victory of the last year, glorious as it was, had been 
bought by the bitterest domestic losses, which may not have been 
without their effect even on the iron spirit and frame of the old Earl. 
His nephew and his elder son had fallen in the war with Macbeth, 
and his only, or at least eldest surviving son, afterwards the famous 
Waltheof, was still a child. 7 Siward's first wife ^Ethelflaed was dead*, 
and he had in his old age married, and survived, a widow named 
Godgifu. 8 We might have fancied that Waltheof was her son, but we 
know for certain that he was the son of the daughter of the old 
Northumbrian Earls, and that he unhappily inherited all the deadly 
feuds of his mother's house. 9 Siward died at York, the capital of his 

1 See Appendix FF. Higden, lib. vi. Gale, ii. 281), when we 

2 See T. Stubbs, X Scriptt. 1704. think of his importance twelve years later. 
8 See Appendix FF. Another possible son of Siward, Eadward 
4 See above, p. 64. We have no ac- by name, is spoken of by Orderic, 703 A. 

count of the time or circumstances of his 8 We know her through a document in 

return from banishment. Cod. Dipl. iv. 26*5. " Godgiva vidua " 

8 Chron. Ab. 1054. " Swa swa he on gives lands to Peterborough " pro redemp- 

his reste lag." Chron. Wig. " on his tione animse suae per consensum Regis 

bedde." Eaduuardi." She then married Siward; 

6 All the Chronicles and Florence, in " Postea accepit earn Siuuardus Comes in 
anno. So the Durham Annals, 1654 ; " Si- conjugio; post tempus non multum mortua 
wardus . . . sequenti anno moritur Eboraci, est." The singular story about these lands 
cui successit in ducatum Tosti." will be best told when discussing the cha- 

7 Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 760 C. «« Ad- racter of Waltheof. 

hue parvulus." So Bromton, 946. But • See vol. i. p. 352. Sim. Dun. X 
he could hardly be "in cunis jacens" (R. Scriptt. 81. "Nepos Aldredi Comitis 


Earldom. A tale, characteristic at least, whether historically true or 
not, told how the stern Danish warrior, when he felt death approach- 
ing, deemed it a disgrace that he should die, not on the field of battle, 
but of disease, " like a cow." If he could n6t actually die amid the 
clash of arms, he would at least die in warrior's garb. He called for 
his armour, and, harnessed as if again to march against Macbeth, the 
stout Earl Siward breathed his last. 1 But this fierce spirit was not 
inconsistent with the piety of the time. Saint Olaf, the martyred 
King of the Northmen, had by this time become a favourite object 
of reverence, especially among men of Scandinavian descent. 2 In his 
honour Earl Siward had reared a church in a suburb of his capital 
called Galmanho, 3 a church which, after the Norman Conquest, grew 
into that great Abbey of Saint Mary, whose ruins form the most truly 
beautiful ornament of the Northern metropolis. In his own church 
of Galmanho Siward the Strong, the true relic of old Scandinavian 
times, was buried with all honour. 

The death of Siward led to most important political consequences. 
The direct authority of the House of Godwine was now, for the first 
time, extended to the land beyond the Humber. This fact marks 
very forcibly how fully the royal authority was now acknowledged 
throughout the whole realm. The King and his Witan could now 
venture to appoint as the successor of Siward an Earl who had no 
connexion whatever with any of the great families of Northumberland. 
Cnut, in the moment of victory, had given the Northumbrians the 
Dane Eric as their Earl. 4 But this was the act of a conqueror, and 
such was the strength of the Danish element in Northumberland that 
the appointment of a Dane from Denmark probably seemed less 
irksome than the appointment of an Englishman from any other part 
of the Kingdom. This last was the act, one wholly without a parallel, 
on which Eadward now ventured. The vacant Earldom of Northum- 
berland, including also the detached shires of Northampton and Hunt- 
ingdon, 6 was conferred on Tostig the son of Godwine (1055). The 

Comes Waltheof, erat enim filius filiac Olaf at Exeter, p. 350. 
illius." Simeon (ib. 82) seems to imply 3 Chronn. Ab. and Wig. 1055. " And 

that Waltheof held Bernicia under his he ligefl aet Galmanho, on J?am mynstre J?e 

father (** filio suo Waltheofo comitatum he sylf let timbrian and halgian on Godes 

Northymbrorum dedit ") ; but he clearly and Olafes naman [Gode to lofe and eallum 

was not in possession in 1065. See his halgum]." Bromton, 946, using the 

Simeon's own account, X Scriptt. 204. language of later times, says, •' Sepultus est 

On the question whether he received in monasterio sanctse Marise apud Ebora- 

Northamptonsbire on his father's death or cum in claustro." There is still a parish 

fen years later, see Appendix G. church of Saint Olaf in that part of the 

1 Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 760 C ; Brom- city, 
ton, 946 ; Ann. Wint. 26. * See vol. i. pp. 255, 273. 

9 Compare the gifts of Gytha to Saint 8 See Appendix G. 


novelty of the step is perhaps marked by the elaborate description of 
the influences which were brought to bear on the mind of Eadward to 
induce him to make the appointment. We hear, not only of Tostig' s 
own merits, but of the influence employed by his many friends, 
especially by his sister the Lady Eadgyth and also by his brother Earl 
Harold, whom Norman calumny has represented as depriving Tostig 
of his hereditary rights. 1 We may suspect that we are here reading 
the history of influences which it was more necessary to bring to 
bear on the minds of the Witan than on that of the King. 2 For 
there is no appointment of Eadward's reign which is more likely to 
have been the King's personal act. Tostig, rather than Harold, was 
Eadward's personal favourite. He was the H£phaisti6n, the friend of 
Eadward, while Harold was rather the Krateros, the friend of the 
King. 3 Tostig also stood higher in the good will of their common 
sister the Lady. Cut off in a great measure from his Norman 
favourites, the affections of Eadward had settled themselves on the 
third son of Godwine. He would therefore naturally desire to raise 
Tostig to the highest dignities in his gift, or, if he felt hesitation in 
doing so, it could only be from the wish to keep his favourite always 
about his own person. In fact we shall find that Eadward could not 
bring himself to give up the society of Tostig to the degree which the 
interests of his distant Earldom called for. And this frequent absence 
of the Earl from his government seems to have been among the 
causes of the misfortunes which afterwards followed. 4 

This appointment of a West-Saxon to the great Northern Earldom 
was, as I have already implied, a distinct novelty. Ever since North- 
humberland had ceased to be ruled by Kings of her own, she had been 
ruled by Earls chosen from among her own people. The ancient 
Kingdom had sometimes been placed under one, sometimes under 
two, chiefs ; but they had always been native chiefs. 5 The rule of the 
stranger Eric had been short, and he seems to have allowed the line of 

1 Vita Eadw. 408. " Agentibusque <j>i\hv 5£ 'Htpaiariaiva' Kpartpbs p\v ycLp, 
amicis potissimum autem et pro merito hoc $<pq t <pi\o&acri\(vs kffnv, 'Ucpaieriwu 8« 
ejus fratre Haroldo Duce et ejus sorore <pt\a\4£avdpos. Eadward's affection for 
Regina, et non resistente Rege ob in- Tostig is also marked by William of Mal- 
numera ipsius fideliter acta servitia, ducatum mesbury, iii. 252; "Quia Tostinum dili- 
ejus suscepit Tostinus, vir scilicet fortis et geret, . . . ut dilecjo auxiliari non posset." 
magna praeditus animi sagacitate et sol- * This seems implied in the Biographer's 
lertia." description of the state of things when the 

2 The Biographer, essentially a courtier, Northumbrian revolt broke out in 1065 
always likes to attribute as much as pos- (421); "Erat . . . Tostinus in curia Regis, 
sible to the personal action of the King, diutiusque commoratus est cum eo, ejus 
and to keep that of the Witan as far as detentus amore et jussis in disponendis re- 
may be in the back ground. galis palatii negotiis." 

3 Plutarch. Apophth. Alex. 29. TifiQv 5 Unless JElfhelm of Deira was an ex- 
fikv 45<5/c€( Kparcpbv /*aA«rra navTojv, ception. See vol. i. p. 437. 


the ancient princes to retain at least a subordinate authority. 1 Siward, 
a stranger by birth, was connected with the ancient family by mar- 
riage. 2 And both Eric and Siward were Danes ; Tostig came of a 
line which most probably sprang from the most purely Saxon part of 
England. The experiment was a hazardous one, yet it was one which 
was not only dictated by sound policy, but which circumstances made 
almost unavoidable. The great Earldoms, I may again repeat, were 
neither strictly hereditary nor strictly elective. They were in the gift 
of the King and his Witan, but there was always a strong tendency, 
just as in the case of the Kingdom itself, to choose out of the family 
of the deceased Earl, whenever there was no obvious reason to do 
otherwise. But on the death of Siward there was an obvious reason 
to do otherwise, just as there was in the case of the Kingdom when it 
became vacant by the death of Eadward. The eldest son of Siward 
had fallen in the Scottish war, and the one survivor of his house was 
still a child. 8 Oswulf, seemingly the only male representative of the 
ancient Earls, 4 was still a mere boy. 6 There was therefore no avail- 
able candidate of the old princely line. And when we think of the 
state of the country, of the deadly feuds and jealousies which prevailed 
even between the reigning Earls and other powerful men, we shall see 
that the nomination of any private Northumbrian would have been a 
still more hazardous experiment than the nomination of a stranger. 
The Northumbrians themselves seemed to have felt this, when, ten 
years later, the choice of their Earl was thrown into their own hands. 
They then chose, not a Northumbrian, but a Mercian. But it may 
well be doubted whether it was good policy to appoint a West-Saxon, 
and especially a member of the House of Godwine. This was per- 
haps going too far in the way of reminding the proud Danes of the 
North of their subjection to the Southern King. It could not fail to 
suggest the idea of an intention to heap together all honours and all 
authority on a single family. And, as events showed, the personal 
character of Tostig proved unfitted successfully to grapple with the 
difficult task which was now thrown upon him. 

In weighing the character of the third son of Godwine, we must be 
on our guard against several distinct sources of error. We are at first 
tempted to condemn without mercy one who became the enemy of his 
nobler brother, who waged open war with his country, and whose 
invasion of England, by acting as a diversion in William's favour, was 
one main cause of the success of William's expedition. We read the 
account of his crimes as set forth by his Northumbrian enemies, and 

1 See vol. i. p. 255. of Durham (X Scriptt. 204) ten year* later. 

3 See vol. i. p. 352. His father had now been dead fourteen 

* See above, p. 249. years ; Oswulf must therefore have been a 

* See vol. i. p. 352. mere babe at the time of his death. 
6 He is called " adolescens" by Simeon 


we think that no punishment could be too heavy for the man who 
wrought them. On the other hand, though Tostig, as an adversary of 
Harold, comes in for a certain slight amount of Norman favour, there 
was also a temptation, which for the most part was found irresistibly 
strong, to blacken both sons of the Traitor equally. The opposition 
between Harold and Tostig during the last two years of their joint lives 
has thus supplied the materials for a heap of legends of revolting 
absurdity. The two brothers, who clearly acted together up to those 
two last years, are described as being full of the most bitter mutual 
rivalry and hatred, even from their childhood. 1 The effect of these 
two different pictures is that admirers and depredators of Harold are 
alike led to look on the acts of Tostig in the most unfavourable light. 
The crimes of his later years cannot be denied. He died a traitor, in 
arms against his country, engaged in an act of treason compared to 
which Harold's ravages at Porlock and even jElfgar's alliance with 
Gruffydd sink into nothingness. His Northumbrian government too 
was evidently stained with great errors, and even with great crimes. 
But it is remarkable that it is not till the last two years of his life that 
we hear of anything which puts him in an unfavourable light. And 
there is nothing in his few recorded earlier actions which is at all 
inconsistent with the generally high character given of him by the 
Biographer of Eadward. That writer contrasts him with Harold in an 
elaborate comparison which I have already made large use of in 
drawing the picture of Harold. And it is clear that, whether from his 
own actual convictions or from a wish to please his patroness the 
Lady Eadgyth, it is Tostig rather than Harold whose partizan he is 
to be reckoned, and it is Tostig whose actions he is most anxious to 
put in a favourable light. But the two are the two noblest of mortals ; 
no land, no age, ever brought forth two such men at the same time. 
He makes a comparison of virtues between the two, but he hardly 
ventures to make the balance decidedly weigh in favour of either. In 
person Tostig was of smaller stature than his elder brother, but in 
strength and daring he was his equal. 2 But he seems to have lacked 
all Harold's winning and popular qualities. He is set before us as a man 
of strong will, of stern and inflexible purpose, faithful to his promise, 
grave, reserved, admitting few or none to share his counsels, so that 
he often surprised men by the suddenness of his actions. 3 His zeal 
against wrong-doers, the virtue of the ruler for which his father and 
brother are so loudly praised, grew in him to a passion which carried 
him beyond the bounds of justice and honour. 4 The whole picture 

1 See Appendix GG. paullisper in persequenda malitid, virili 

3 See above, p. 24. praeditus et indissolubili mentis constantia." 
8 Vita Eadw. 409. In a writer who is striving hard to make 

4 lb. '* At Dux Tostinus et ipse gravi out a case for Tostig, the words in Italics 
quidem et sapienti continenlia, sed acrior mean a great deal. We shall see, as we go 


describes him as a man of honest and upright intentions, but of an 
unbending sternness which must have formed a marked contrast to the 
frank and conciliatory disposition of his brother. Such a man, placed 
as a ruler over a turbulent and refractory people, might, almost 
unconsciously, degenerate into a cruel tyrant. Northumberland, we 
are told, was, at the time when he undertook its government, in a state 
to which it is impossible to believe that either Normandy or southern 
England afforded any likeness. Siward's strong arm had done some- 
thing to bring its turbulent inhabitants into order; yet thieves and 
murderers still had so completely the upper hand that travellers had to 
go in parties of twenty and thirty, and even then were hardly safe. 1 
Tostig set himself vigorously, evidently too vigorously, to work to put 
an end to this state of things. His severity was merciless and impar- 
tial ; death and mutilation were freely dispensed among all disturbers 
of public order. His efforts, we are told, were effectual ; it is said, 
in a proverbial form of speech, that under his administration any 
man could safely travel through the whole land with all his goods. 2 
Even powerful Thegns were not spared, and here comes the point in 
which Tostig most deeply erred. Putting our various accounts 
together, we shall find that, when offenders were too powerful to be 
reached by the arm of the law, Tostig did not scruple to rid the land 
of them by treacherous assassination. We can well understand that a 
man of Tostig' s disposition, bent on bringing his province into order 
at any price, may have persuaded himself that the public good was 
superior to all other considerations, and may have blinded himself to 
the infamy of the means by which the public good was to be compassed. 
Very similar conduct in public men of our own day has been con- 
doned by large bodies of men, and by some has even been warmly 
applauded. The unswerving dictate of justice is that he who, in any 
age, sheds blood without sentence of law deserves the heaviest 

on, reason to justify infinitely stronger ex- et amator eximius Dux adeo illo adte- 

pressions ; but the point is that Tostig was nuaverat tempore, patriam scilicet pur- 

not a mere wanton oppressor, but a ruler gando talium cruciatu vel nece, et nulli 

who carried a severe justice to such a de- quantumlifret nobili parcendo qui in hoc 

gree as to become injustice. This is the deprehensys es«et crimine, ut quivis solus 

impression conveyed by the no doubt etiam cum quavis possessione ad votum 

nattering, but still very carefully drawn, possent commeare, absque a lieu jus hostili- 

portrait given by the Biographer. tatis formidine." This last is the proverbial 

1 Vita Eadw. 42 1. "Licet antecessor saying which is applied also to the strict 
ejus Dux Siwardus ex feritate judicii valde police of William (Chron. Petrib. 1087) ; 
timeretur, tamen tanta genti? illius crude- •' Swa j>aet an man J>e himsylf aht waere 
litas et Dei incultus habebatur ut vix tri- mihte faran ofer his rice mid his bosum full 
ginta vel viginti in uno comitatu possent goldes ungederad." Jt is essentially the 
ire, quin aut interficerentur aut depraeda- same story as that which is told of the 
rentur ab insidiantium latronum multi- vigilant administration of the Bretwalda 
tudine." Eadwine ; see Baeda, Hist. Eccl. ii. 16. 

2 lb. 422. "Qups pacis deificae filius 


condemnation and the heaviest punishment. Still such conduct does 
not always imply any original corruption of heart in the offender. 
Tostig richly deserved all that afterwards fell upon him. Like most 
sinners, he went on from bad to worse ; but there is no reason to 
believe that he undertook the government of Northumberland with 
any less sincere intention of doing his duty there than Harold had 
when he undertook the government of Wessex. Tostig in the end 
became a great criminal ; but he clearly was not a monster or a 
villain from the beginning of his career. 

The strange thing is that a man of this disposition, whose virtues 
were all of the sterner sort, should have become a personal favourite 
with a feeble King like Eadward. One may perhaps explain it by 
the principle which often makes men, both in love and in friendship, 
prefer those who are most unlike themselves. A man like Eadward 
would cling to a man like Tostig as his natural protector, and, after all, 
weak as Eadward was, there were elements in his character to which 
the extreme severity of Tostig would not be unacceptable or even 
unlike. The King who had commanded God wine to march against 
the untried citizens of Dover would not be likely to condemn the 
harshness of Tostig's rule in Northumberland. And there were other 
points in Tostig's character which would naturally and rightly com- 
mend him to the favcur of the saintly King. Tostig, like William, 
practised some virtues which Harold neglected. While Harold's 
affections seem to have dwelt wholly on an English mistress, Tostig 
set an example of strict fidelity to his foreign wife. 1 Of the two, the 
husband of Judith would doubtless be more acceptable to Eadward 
than the lover of Eadgyth Swanneshals. Tostig too was of a bounti- 
ful disposition, and Judith, who was a devout woman, directed a large 
share of his bounty to pious objects. 2 Through all these causes 
Tostig easily won the highest place in the affection of his royal 
brother-in-law. With his sister the Lady he stood only too well. 
There is too much reason to fear that Eadgyth did not scruple to 
become something more than the accomplice of one of his worst 
deeds. 8 

1 Vita Eadw. 409. " Propter eamdem and were bountiful in their gifts to his 
regiae stirpis uxorem suam omnium ab- church at Durham. But Judith chafed 
dicans voluptatem, ccelebs moderatius cor- under the discipline which forbade women 
poris et oris sui prudenter regere consue- to pay their personal devotions at his 
tudinem." On this singular use of the shrine. She accordingly, before venturing 
word ccelebs, which is found also in William herself, sent a handmaid to try her luck, 
of Malmesbury, see Appendix B. The poor girl was sadly buffeted by the in- 

2 Vita Eadw. 409. " Quum largiretur, dignant saint, on which Tostig and his wife 
liberali erTundebat munificentia, et fre- offered a splendid crucifix with the usual 
quentius hoc hortatu religiosse conjugis suae accompanying figures. Sim. Dun. Hist, 
in Christi fiebat honore quam pro aliquo Eccl. Dun. iii. 11. 

hominum labili favore." Tostig and Judith 8 See above, p. 29. We shall come to 
had much reverence for Saint Cuthberht, the details in the next Chapter. 


Such was the man to whom, probably at about the age of thirty- 
two, 1 was entrusted the rule of the ancient realm beyond the Humber. 
The general picture of his government I have already given ; but for 
nine years no domestic details are supplied. We shall find him, like 
his brother, making the fashionable pilgrimage to Rome, and aiding 
his brother in his wars with the Welsh. Notwithstanding Norman 
legends, there is, at this stage of their history, not the slightest sign of 
any dissension between them. 

One fact however we learn quite incidentally which touches, not 
indeed the internal administration of bis Earldom, but the measures 
taken at once for its external defence and for the maintenance of the 
supremacy of the Imperial Crown over the great Northern depen- 
dency of England. At some time during the first six years of his 
government ( 1055-106 1), Earl Tostig became the sworn . brother of 
Malcolm, the restored King of Scots. 2 This was a tie by which 
reconciled enemies often sought to bind one another to special friend- 
ship. It was the tie by which Cnut had been bound to Eadmund, 3 
and by which Tostig's predecessor Ealdred had been bound to the 
faithless Carl. 4 But there is nothing to show that the establishment 
of this tie between Tostig and Malcolm had been preceded by any 
hostilities between them. It is far more probable, considering the 
date of Tostig's appointment to his Earldom, that the engagement 
took place early in Tostig's government, and that it was made with a 
view to the joint prosecution of hostilities against a common enemy. 
When Tostig succeeded Siward, Malcolm was still struggling for his 
crown against Macbeth, and we cannot doubt that Tostig continued 
to support the man of King Eadward against the usurper. 5 Then 
doubtless it was that the King of Scots and the Earl of the Northum- 
brians entered into this close mutual relation. But the tie of sworn 
brotherhood was one which was seldom found strong enough to bind 
the turbulent spirits of those times. It sat almost as lightly on the 
conscience of Malcolm as it had sat on the conscience of Carl. The 
engagement was observed as long as it happened to be convenient, 
and no longer. While Tostig was the guardian of the English border, 
Malcolm's brotherhood with Tostig did not hinder him from violating 
the frontiers of Tostig's Earldom. When Tostig was an exile in arms 

1 I have no means of reckoning save the gagement must therefore have been entered 
vague one which I have had to follow into before that year and after 1055. 
throughout. As Godwine and Gytha were Tostig was not likely to become Malcolm's 
married in 1019, their third or fourth child sworn brother till he found himself his 
would probably be born about 1023 or neighbour. 

1024. 8 See vol. i. p. 266. 

2 Simeon of Durham (Gest. Regg. in 4 See vol. i. p. 351. 
anno) speaks of Malcolm being Tostig's B See Appendix EE. 
"conjuratus frater" in 1061. The en- 


against his country, the tie was remembered, and iUprocured him a 
warm welcome at the Scottish Court. 

The appointment of Tostig to the Earldom must have been made 
in the Gemdt which was held in London in the Lent of this year. 1 
(March 20, 1055). In the same Assembly, JDlfgar, Earl of the East- 
Angles, was banished. The accounts which we have of this transaction 
are not very intelligible. The fullest narrative that we have, that of 
the Chronicler who is most distinctly a partizan of Harold, tells us 
that he was charged with treason towards the King and all the people 
of the land. It adds that he publicly confessed his guilt, though the 
confession escaped him unawares. 2 The other accounts are satisfied 
with saying that he was guiltless or nearly guiltless. 8 With such 
evidence as this, we are not in a position to determine on the guilt or 
innocence of jElfgar. We do not even know what the treason was 
with which he was charged. But a charge to which the accused 
party, even in a moment of confusion, pleaded guilty, could hardly 
have been wholly frivolous on the part of the accuser. This point is 
important; for, though we have no direct statement who the accuser 
was, the probability is that a charge against one who stood so high in 
the rival family could have been brought only by Harold or by some 
one acting in his interest. At any rate, if JDlfgar was not a traitor 
before his condemnation, he became one very soon after it. In seek- 
ing a forcible restoration, he did but follow the least justifiable act in 
the career of his rival. But, if Harold had set a bad example, JElfgar 
improved upon it. Harold had sought to force his way into the 
country at the head. of mercenaries hired in a foreign land. But he 
had not allied himself with the enemies of his country; he had not 

1 Chron. Petrib. 1055. " J?a bead man construed into a representation of Harold 
ealre witeua gem6t vii. nihton aer mid- as a false accuser. One can hardly con- 
lenctene." Flor. Wig. " Habito Lundonise ceive any other motive for the change, 
consilio." And care taken on such a point seems to 

2 Chron. Petrib. 1055. " Utlagode mann show that Harold had some hand in the 
^Elfgar eorl, for&on him man wearp on Jwct accusation, whether true or false. It is 
he was }>es cynges swica and ealra land- singular however that Henry of Hunt- 
leoda. [On this phrase, see above, pp. ingdon, who is generally most bitter 
220, 221/] And he |>aes geanwyrde waes against Harold, should be the writer who 
setforan eallum )>am niannum \t |>aer gega- expresses the most distinct conviction of 
decode waeron, Jjeah him J>aet word ofscute the guilt of iElfgar (M. H. B. 760 D) ; 
hi? unn)>ances." So Chron. Cant. " Eodem anno Algarus consul Cestricc [a 

8 " Butan selcan gylte," Chron. Ab. confusion of his present and later offices] 

" Forneh butan gylte," Chron. Wig. " Sine exsulatus est, quia de proditione Regis in 

culpS," Florence. Just as in the case of consilio convictus fuerat." On the other 

the ballad charging God wine with the hand, a later writer, John of Peterborough 

murder of -flSlfred (vol. i. p. 513), these (1055), commits himself to the banishment 

differences look very much as if the Wor- being done both * sine caussa " and " per 

cester writer had seen the Abingdon text, Haroldi consilium." i 

and had altered a passage which might be 



carried on a war against England in the interest of an ever restless 
foe of England. To this depth of infamy .^Elfgar did not scruple to 
sink. He went over, as Harold had done, to Ireland, and there 
gathered a force of eighteen ships, besides the one in which he had 
made his own voyage. These ships were doubtless manned by the 
Scandinavian settlers in that country. 1 With this fleet he sailed to 
some haven in Wales, probably in North Wales, where he met 
GrufFydd and made an alliance with him. 2 The Welsh Prince was 
now at the height of his power. He had this very year overthrown 
and slain his South- Welsh rival, GrufFydd the son of Rhydderch. 8 
He seems now to have been master of the whole Cymrian territory, 
and, at the head of such a power, he was more dangerous, and 
probably more hostile, to England than ever. Nothing then could be 
more opportune for his purposes than the appearance of a banished 
English Earl at the head of a powerful force of Irish Danes. JDlfgar 
at once asked for Gruffydd's help in a war to be waged against King 
Eadward. 4 The plan of a campaign was speedily settled. GrufFydd 
summoned the whole force of the Cymry 5 for a great expedition 
against the Saxons. JElfgar, with his Irish or Danish following, was 
to meet the Welsh King at some point which is not mentioned, and 
the combined host was to march on a devastating inroad into Here- 
fordshire. The plan was successfully carried out, and the forces of 
GrufFydd and JElfgar entered the southern part of the shire, the 
district known as Archenfeld, and there harried the country. The 
border land which they entered was one bound to special service 
against British enemies. The priests of the district had the duty of 
carrying the King's messages into Wales ; its militia claimed the right, 
in any expedition against the same enemy, to form the van in the 
march and the rear in the retreat. 6 To ravage this warlike district 

1 Chron. Ab. 1055. " He gewende fta Regem Eadwardum sibi esset in auxilium." 
to Irlande, and begeat him fSxi li 1 © 1 ; J)aet B Fl. Wig. " De toto regno suo co* 
waes xviii. scipa but an his agenan." So piosum exercitum congregans." The Welsh 
•• xviii. piraticis navibus acquisitis " in Chronicler says that " Gruffydd raised 
Florence. The part of Ireland whence an army against the Saxons," but he takes 
they came is not mentioned, but Diarmid, care to say nothing of his English, Irish, 
the protector of Harold, was still reigning or Danish allies. 

at Dublin, and he would doubless be equally 6 Domesday, 179. "In Arcenefclde 

ready to protect iElfgar. I can find no habet Rex tres ecclesias ; presbyteri harum 

mention of the matter in the Irish Chronicles, ecciesiarum ferunt lega times Regis *in 

2 The language of the three Chronicles Wales. . . . Quum exercitus in hostem 
and of Florence is singularly varied, but pergit,ipsiperconsuetudinemfaciuntil»a»/- 
they all assert the same fact. warde et in reversione Redrewarde. Has 

s Ann. Camb. 1055. " Grifinus filius consuetudines erant Walensium T. R. E. in 

Lewelin, Grifud filium Riderch occidit et Arcenefelde." These customs are described 

Herefordiam vastavit." So Brut y Tywy- at length (see also 181), and they give a 

sogion, 1054. curious picture of a border district, largely 

* Fl. Wig. " Petivit [Algarus] ut.contra inhabited by Welshmen living under English 


was no doubt a special object with the Welsh King, one which would 
be carried out with special delight. He did his work effectually. The 
effects of the harrying under Gruffydd were still to be seen at the time 
of the Norman survey. 1 

The work of destruction thus begun seems to have been carried on 
by Gruffydd and his allies without opposition, till they came within 
two miles of the city of Hereford. 2 There they were at last met 
(October 24, 1055) by a large force under Ralph, the Earl of the shire, 
consisting partly of the levies of the district, and partly of his own 
French and Norman following. Richard the son of Scrob, it will 
be remembered, was among the Normans who had been allowed 
to remain in England, 3 and no doubt the forces of Richard's Castle 
swelled the army of Ralph. The timid Earl 4 thought himself called 
upon to be a military reformer. The English, light-armed and heavy- 
armed alike, had hitherto always been accustomed to fight on foot. 
The Housecarl, the professional soldier, with his coat of mail and his 
battle-axe, and the churl who hastened to defend his field with nothing 
but his javelin and his leather jerkin, alike looked on the horse only 
as a means to convey the warrior to and from the field of battle. The 
introduction of cavalry into the English armies might perhaps have 
been an improvement, but it was an improvement which could not be 
carried into effect with a sudden levy within sight of the enemy. Rut 
Ralph despised the English tactics, and would have his army arrayed 
according to the best and newest continental models. A French 
prince could not condescend to command men who walked into 
action on their own feet, according to the barbarous English fashion. 
The men of Herefordshire were therefore called on to meet the 
harassing attacks of the nimble Welsh, and the more fearful onslaught 
of ^Elfgar's Danes, while still mounted on their horses. The natural 
consequences followed ; before a spear was hurled, the English took 
to flight. 6 Nothing else could have been reasonably looked for; 
however strong may have been the hearts of their riders, horses which 

allegiance and bound to service against their Harold in 1063. There are other entries 

independent brethren. The district is also of " Wasta " on the same page ; also at 

spoken of by the name of Yrcingafelda in 181 6, 182 6, 183, 183 6, 185, and 187. 

the Chronicles for 915, when the country 9 Flor. Wig. 1055. •* Duobus miliariis 

was harried by Danish pirates, and a Bishop a civitate Here ford a." 

Camelgeac, seemingly a Bishop of Llandaff 8 See above, p. 229. 

(see Stubbs, Reg. Sacr. Ang. 156, and 4 It is now that Florence introduces 

Thorpe, Chronological Index), but at any him as " timidus Dux Radulfus, Regis 

rate a valued subject of Eadward the Elder, Eadwardi sororis films." 

was taken prisoner. 8 Chron. Ab. 1055. " Ac aer J>«r w«re 

1 Domesday, 181. "Rex Grifin et Blein aenig spere gescoten, aer fleah flaet Englisce 

vastaverunt hanc terram T. R. E. et ideo folc, foroan J?e hig weran on horsan." 

nescitur qualis eo tempore merit." Blein Florence is more explicit; "Radulfus . . 

is doubtless Bleddyn the brother of Gruf- Anglos contra morem in equis pugnare 

fydd, to whom his kingdom was given by jussk." 

S 2 


had not gone through the necessary training would naturally turn tail 
at the unaccustomed sights and sounds of an army in battle array. 1 
But in one account we find a statement which is far stranger and 
more disgraceful. If Ralph required his men to practise an unusual 
and foreign tactic, he and his immediate companions should at least 
have shown them in their own persons an example of its skilful and 
valiant carrying out. But we are told that Ralph, with his French and 
Normans, was the first to fly, and that the English in their flight did 
but follow the example of their leader. 2 I suspect some exaggeration 
here. Whatever may have been the case with the timid Earl himself, 
mere cowardice was certainly not a common Norman, or even French, 
failing. For a party of French knights to take to flight on the field of 
battle without exchanging a single spear-thrust, is something almost 
unheard of. It is far more likely that we have here a little perversion 
arising from national dislike. It is far more likely that, whatever Ralph 
himself may have done, the Normans in his company were simply 
carried away by the inevitable, and therefore in no way disgraceful, 
flight of the English. Anyhow the battle, before it had begun, was 
changed into a rout. The enemy pursued. The light-armed and 
nimble Welsh were probably well able to overtake the clumsily 
mounted English. Four or five hundred were killed, and many more 
were wounded. On the side of JElfgar and Gruffydd we are told 
that not a man was lost. 8 

The Welsh King and the English Earl entered Hereford the same 
day* without resistance. The chief object of their wrath seems to 
have been the cathedral church of the diocese, the minster of Saint 
JDthelberht. The holy King of the East-Angles, betrothed to the 
daughter of the famous Offa, had come to seek his bride at her 
father's court. He was there murdered by the intrigues of Cynethryth, 
the wife of the Mercian King. 6 He became the local saint of Here- 
ford, and the minster of the city boasted of his relics as its choicest 
treasure. That church was now ruled by JEthelstan, an aged Prelate, 
who had already sat for forty-three years (1012-1056). 6 But, for the 

1 See Macaulay's remarks on Mon- of the battle. The Brut (1054^ is much 
mouth's raw cavalry at Sedgemoor. Hist, fuller. It makes no mention of JElfgar 
Eng. i. 588, 604. and his contingent, but it speaks of Reinolf 

2 Flor. Wig. 1055. "Comes cum suis or Randwlf as the commander of the Eng- 
Francis et Nortmannis fugam primitus lish. It says nothing of the special reason 
capessit. Quod videntes Angli ducem for the flight of the English, which it says 
suum fugiendo sequuntur." But the Chro- happened " after a severely hard battle." 
nicies do not necessarily imply this. * The battle, according to the Abingdon 

8 Chron. Ab. " And man sloh tfacr Chronicle and Florence, the " harrying " 

mycel wael, abutan feower hund manna according to the Worcester Chronicle, was 

o'S'Se fife, and hig nacnne agean." The An- on the 24th of October, ix. Kal. Nov. 
nalesCambri*(i055)havesimply,"Grifinus 5 So all the Chronicles under 79a. 
. . . Herfordiam vastavit," without mention e See Appendix HH. 


last twelve years, blindness had caused him to retire from the active 
government of his diocese, which was administered by a Welsh 
Bishop named Tremerin. 1 iEthelstan is spoken of as a man of 
eminent holiness, and he had, doubtless in his more active days, 
rebuilt the minster of Saint jEthelberht, and enriched it with many 
ornaments. The invaders attacked the church with the fury of 
heathens ; indeed among the followers of JElfgar there may still have 
been votaries of Thor and Odin. Seven of the Canons attempted 
to defend the great door of the church, but they were cut down 
without mercy. 2 The church was burned, and all its relics and orna- 
ments were lost. Of the citizens many were slain, and others were 
led into captivity. 8 The whole town was sacked and set fire to, and 
the Welsh account specially adds that Gruffydd destroyed the fort 
or citadel. 4 The history which follows seems to imply that the town 
itself was not fortified, but merely protected by this fortress. At its 
date or character we can only guess. Hereford is not spoken of 
among the fortresses raised by Eadward the Elder and his sister 
^Ethelflaed. It is an obvious conjecture that the fortress destroyed by 
GrufFydd was a Norman castle raised by Ralph. A chief who was so 
anxious to make his people conform to Norman ways of fighting 
would hardly lag behind his neighbour at Richard's Castle. He 
would be among the first at once to provide himself with a dwelling- 
place and his capital with a defence according to the latest con- 
tinental patterns. If so, we may easily form a picture of the Hereford 
of those days. By the banks of the Wye rose the minster, low and 
massive, but crowned by one or more of those tall slender towers 
in which the rude art of English masons strove to reproduce the 
campaniles of Northern Italy. Around the church were gathered the 
houses of the Bishop, the Canons, the citizens, the last at least mainly 
of wood. Over all rose the square mass of the Norman donjon, an 
ominous foreboding of the days which were soon to come. All, 
church, castle, houses, fell before the wasting arms of JDlfgar and 
Gruffydd. They went away rejoicing in their victory and in the rich 

1 Chrpnn. Ab. and Wig. and Flor. Wig. captivatis," says "Florence, but the Wor- 

1055. This can hardly be the Tramerin, cester Chronicle, after mentioning the 

Bishop of Saint David's, who was consecrated slaughter of the clergy, adds, " and manege 

at Canterbury by Archbishop iElfric in 994. J>aerto eacan ;" while Abingdon says, u and 

R. de Diceto, X Scriptt. 461. See Stubbs, >aet folc slogan, and sume onweg laeddan." 

Reg. Sac. 20, 155. Cf. the exaggeration as to the slaughter at 

3 Flor. Wig? 1055. " Septem canonicis Canterbury in ion. See vol. i. p. 446. 
qui valvas principalis basilicae defeuderant * The Brut y Tywysogion plainly dis- 

occisis." The Worcester Chronicler, with- tinguishes the "gaer," or castle, which was 

out mentioning the number, says ; •* For- demolished, from the town, which was 

baernde [-ffilfgar] J?aet macre mynster J/e burned. The castle was doubtless of stone, 

iEthelstan bisceop getimbrode, and ofsloh while the houses of the town would be 

J>a preostas innan J?an mynstre." chiefly of wood. 

3 " Nonnullis e civibus necatis, multisqae 


booty which they carried. The blow seems to have broken the 
hearts of the two Prelates whose flock suffered so fearfully. Tremerin 
died before the end of the year, and JEthelstan early in the year 
following. 1 

King Eadward was now in his usual winter-quarters at Gloucester. 
Either the time of the Christmas Gem6t was hastened, or the King, 
in such an emergency, acted on his own responsibility. The 
defence of the country and the chastisement of the rebels could no 
longer be left in the hands of his incapable nephew. The occasion 
called for the wisest head and the strongest arm in the whole realm. 
Though his own government had not been touched, the Earl of the 
West-Saxons was bidden to gather a force from all England, and 
to attack the Welsh in their own land. It is not unlikely that his 
brother was, as in a later war with the same enemy, summoned from 
Northumberland to his help. Late as was the season of the year, 
Harold did not shrink from the task. 2 This seems to have been his 
first experience of Welsh war fare, and we are not told whether he now 
adopted those special means of adapting his operations to the peculiar 
nature of the country, which he tried so successfully in his later 
and more famous campaign. He then, as we shall see, caused his 
soldiers to adopt the light arms and loose array of the Welsh, and 
thereby proved more than a match for them at their own weapons. 
The story seems rather to imply that he did not do so on this oc- 
casion, and that - the later stroke of his genius was the result of the 
lessons which he now learned. In neither case did a Welsh enemy 
dare to meet Harold in a pitched battle; but there is a markfed 
difference between the two campaigns ; in the earlier one the Welsh 
successfully escaped Harold's pursuit, while in the later one they were 
unable to do so. Harold gathered his army at Gloucester ; he passed 
the Welsh border, and pitched his camp beyond the frontier district 
of Straddele. 3 But the main point is that Gruffydd and JDlfgar, who 
had marched so boldly to the conflict with Ralph, altogether shrank 

1 Chronn. Ab. and Wig. and Flor. Wig. "Stratelei" (see Domesday, 182 6, 186, 

1055, 1056. 187) is a border district reckoned along 

■ Florence, at this point, seems quite to with Herefordshire in Domesday. Here 

boil over with admiration for Harold ; also we find (18 a b) " unam hidam Wales- 

" Quod ubi Regi innotuit, de totA mox cam T. R. E. vastatam ;" and it is added, 

Anglft exercitum congregari jussit, cui " Hujus terrae maxima pars erat in defensu 

Grlawornae congregato strenuum Ducem Regis." Roger of Wendover (i. 494), in a 

Haroldum praefecit, qui, devote jussis ol> fine fit of exaggeration, carries Harold as 

temperans, Griffinum et Algarum impigre far as Snowdon ; " Castra usque ad Snau- 

insequitur, ac fines Walanorum audacter dunam perduxit." Mr, Woodward (His- 

ingressus, ultra Straddele castrametatus est; tory of Wales, 210) makes Straddele to be 

sed illi, quia virum fortem et bellicosum Ystrad-clwyd, the southern Strathclyde of 

ipsum sciebant, cum eo committere bellum Denbighshire, but the witness of Florence 

non audentes, in Suth-Waliam fugerunt." and Domesday seems decisive. 

8 See Flor. Wig. 1055. « Straddele " or 


from giving battle to Harold. They escaped into South Wales. 
Harold, finding it vain to pursue such an enemy, gave up the attempt. 
He dismissed the greater part of his army, that is probably the militia 
of the shires, merely bidding them keep themselves in readiness to 
withstand the enemy in case of any sudden inroad. 1 With the rest of 
his troops, that is probably with his own following, he went on to take 
measures for securing the important post of Hereford against future 
attacks. The castle had been levelled with the ground, the church 
was a ruin, the houses of the townsmen were burned. Harold set 
himself to repair the mischief, but his notions of defending a city 
were different from those of the Frenchman Ralph. The first object 
of the English Earl was to secure the town itself, not to provide a 
stronghold for its governor. It does not appear that he rebuilt 
the castle, but he at once supplied the city itself with the needful 
defences. So important a border town was no longer to be left open 
to the raids of every enemy and every rebel. As a military measure, 
to meet a temporary emergency, he surrounded the town with a ditch 
and a strong wall. This wall, in its first estate, though strengthened 
by gates and bars, seems to have been merely a dyke of earth and 
rough stones. But, before the reign of Eadwarxl was ended, Harold, 
then Earl of the shire, followed the example of Eadward at Tow- 
cester and J3thelstan at Exeter, and surrounded the town with a wall 
of masonry. 2 The wooden houses of the citizens could soon be re- 
built. Hereford was soon again peopled with burghers, both within 
and without the wall, some of them the men of the King and others 
the men of Earl Harold. 8 The minster had been burned, but we 
must remember how laxly that word is often taken. All its wood- 
work, all its fittings and ornaments, were of course destroyed, the 
walls would be blackened and damaged, but it was capable of at least 

1 Fl. Wig. 1055. " Majorem exercitus fortification, when, as I shall presently show, 

partem ibi dimisit, mandans eis ut suis Hereford came under his immediate govern - 

adversariis, si res exposceret, viriliter rests- merit. On the walls of Exeter and Tow- 

terent." cester see vol. i. pp. 309, 1214. 

a I infer this from a comparison of the 8 One hundred and three burghers held 

Chronicles, Florence, and Domesday. The of the King, twenty-seven of Earl Harold, 

Abingdon Chronicle says, " And Harald whose customs were the same as those of 

Eorl let dician $a die abutan Jjsct port \>% the King's men. The customs are detailed 

hwile." Florence says more distinctly, at great length. The burghers were liable 

" Herefordam rediens, vallo lato et alto to military service against the Welsh, and 

illam cinxit, portis et seris munivit." These they paid a fine of forty shillings to the 

accounts, as well as the probability of the King in case of disobedience to the Sheriff's 

case, point to a mere " vallum." But in summons for that purpose. Some served 

Domesday, 1 79, we read of there being a with horses. The Reeve paid twelve pounds 

44 mums" at Hereford in the time of King to the King and six to Earl Harold, that is 

Eadward, which seems to imply a stone the Earl's third penny. The King had a 

wall. Nothing is more likely than that mint, and also the Bishop. The whole 

Harold should throw up a hasty mound details are exceedingly curious, and I shall 

now, and afterwards make a more elaborate probably have to refer to them again. 


temporary repair, as Bishop JEthelstan was buried in it next year. 1 
Under the care of Earl Harold, Hereford was again a city. 

Meanwhile JDlfgar and Gruffydd sued for peace. Messages went 
to and fro, and at last a conference was held between them and 
Harold at Billingsley in Shropshire, a little west of the Severn. Harold 
was never disposed to press hardly on an enemy, and he may possibly 
have felt that he was himself in some sort the cause of all that had 
happened, if he had promoted any ill-considered charges against his 
rival. In fact, rude and ferocious as those times were in many ways, 
the struggles of English political life were then carried on with much 
greater mildness than they were in many later generations. Blood 
was often lightly shed, but it was hardly ever shed by way of judicial 
v sentence. 2 A victorious party never sent the vanquished leaders 
either to a scaffold or to a dungeon. Banishment was the invariable 
sentence, and banishment in those days commonly supplied the means 
of return. Thus when Gruffydd and ^Elfgar sought for peace, it was 
easily granted to them; JElfgar was even restored to the Earldom 
which he had forfeited. It was probably thought that he was less 
dangerous as Earl of the East- Angles than as a banished man who 
could at any time cause an invasion of the country from Wales 
or Ireland. His fleet sailed to Chester, and there awaited the pay 
which he had promised the crews. 3 Whether the payment was 
defrayed out of the spoils of Herefordshire we are not told. ^Elfgar 
now came to the King, and was formally restored to his dignity. 4 
This was done in the Christmas Gem6t (105 5- 105 6), in which we 
may suppose that the terms of the peace of Billingsley were formally 

Peace with Gruffydd was easily decreed in words, but it was not so 
easily carried out in act. The restless Briton eagerly caught at any 
opportunity of carrying his ravages beyond the Saxon border. The 
Welsh Annals here fill up a gap in our own, and make the story more 
intelligible. With the help of a Scandinavian chief who is described 
as Magnus the son of Harold, 5 Gruffydd made a new incursion into 

1 Chronn. Ab. and Wig. and Flor. Wig. borough, wholly leaves out Harold's ex- 
1056. "Cujus corpus Herefordam delatum, ploits, seems to record ^ElFgar's restoration 
in ecclesia quam ipse a fundament is con- with some degree of sarcasm ; " And J>a j>a 
struxerat, est tumulatum." Yet he had the hi haefdon maest to yfele gedon, man 
year before said, " monasterio quod . . . geraedde J>one rsed, J?aet man jElfgar Eorl 
iEthelstanus const ruxerat . . . combusto." geinnlagode, and ageaf him his eorldom, 

2 See vol. i. p. 331, and above, p. 175. and eall J>aet him ofgenumen waes." 

3 Chror. Ab. 1055. "And J?aet scipliS 5 The Annales Cambriae have " Magnus 
gewende to Legeceastre, and }>aer abiden filius Haraldi vastavit regionem Anglorum, 
heora males J>e iElfgar heom behet." So auxiliante Grifino Rege Britonum." The 
Florence. Brut gives him the strange description 

4 The Worcester Chronicle, which, as " Magnus uab Heralt, brenhin Germania,*' 
well as (still more strangely) that of Peter- which I do not understand. Was he JElf- 

jELFCTAR restored to his earldom. 265 

Herefordshire (1056). We may well believe that the restoration and 
fortification of Hereford was felt as a thorn in his side. This time the 
defence of the city and shire was not left in the hands of any Earl, 
fearful or daring, but fell to one of the warlike Prelates in whom that 
age was so fertile. Bishop ^Ethelstan, as I have already said, died early 
in the year at Bosbury, an episcopal lordship lying under the western 
slope of the Malvern Hills. 1 His burial in Saint ^Ethelberht's minster 
must have been the first great public ceremony in the restored city. 
In the choice of a successor, Eadward, or rather Harold, was guided 
at least as much by military as by ecclesiastical considerations. The 
see of the venerable and pious -^Ethelstan was filled by a Prelate of 
.whom, during a very short career, we hear only in the character of a 
warrior. This was Leofgar, a chaplain of the Earl, whose warlike 
doings seem to have been commemorated in popular ballads. He 
laid aside his chrism and his rood, his ghostly weapons, and took to 
his spear and his sword and went forth to the war against GrufFydd 
the Welsh King. 2 But the warfare of this valiant churchman was 
unlucky. He had not been three months a Bishop before he was 
killed (June 16, 1056), and with him his priests, as also ^Elfnoth the 
Sheriff 3 and many other good men. The Chronicler goes on to 
complain bitterly of the heavy grievances attending on a Welsh war. 
It is clear that no way had yet been found out of really quelling the 
active sons of the mountains, when their spirits were thoroughly 
aroused by an able and enterprising prince like GrufFydd. The com- 
plaint does not dwell on losses in actual fight, which were most likely 
comparatively small. The Welsh would seldom venture on an actual 
battle with the English, even when commanded by captains very 
inferior to Harold. They would not run such a risk, except when 
they were either supported by Scandinavian allies, or else when they 


gar's Irish ally, defrauded of his pay ? The and swa for to fyrde ongean Griffin J>one 

entry the year before, about waiting at Wyliscan cing." Yet a fighting Bishop 

Chester, looks like it. But it is just pos- was not so wonderful a thing in those 

sible that Magnus the son of Harold may times. See vol. i. p. 264. William of 

mean the son of Harold Hardrada. Malmesbury, Gest. Pont. 300, makes some 

1 Fl. Wig. 1056. " In episcopali villa confusion, when he says, " Leovegar. 

quae vocatuir Bosanbyrig decessit." A fine Hunc tempore Regis Edwardi Grifin Rex 

thirteenth century church and some re- Walensium, urbe cremata, expulit sede et 

mains of the episcopal manor still exist. vita." And Roger of Wendover makes some 

3 The Abingdon and Worcester Cbroni- further confusion or other when he writes 

cles here get poetical; Peterborough is, (i. 495), "Ethelstanus Herefordensis praesul 

just here, strangely meagre ; " And man obiit, et Levegarus, Ducis Haroldi capel- 

sette Leofgar to biscupe ; se waes Haroldes lanus, successit ; hunc praesulem, in omni 

Eorles maesse-preost ; se werede his kene- religione perfectum, GrifHnus Rex Walen- 

pas on his preosthade, oflftaet he waes bis- sium, Herefordensi civitate cremata, per- 

cop. Se forlet his crisman and his hrode, emit." 

his gastlican waepna, and feng to his spere 8 Was JElfhoth succeeded by Osbern ? 

and to his sweorde setter his biscuphade, See p. 345. 



were able to take the Saxons at . some disadvantage. What the 
Chronicler paints is the wearing, cheerless, bootless kind of. warfare 
which is carried on with a restless enemy who can never be brought 
to a regular battle. It is not ill success in fighting that he speaks of, 
but the wretchedness of endless marching and encamping, and the 
loss of men and horses, evidently by weariness rather than by the 
sword. 1 The wisest heads in the nation agreed that a stop must, at 
any cost, be put to this state of things. On the death of Leofgar, the 
see of Hereford was committed to Bishop Ealdred, whose energy 
seems to have shrunk from no amount of burthens, ecclesiastical, 
military, or civil. 2 By the counsel of this Prelate and of the Earls 
Leofric and Harold, the Welsh King was reconciled to his English 
over-lord. 3 This expression may be only a decorous way of attributing 
to the King personally a measure which was really the act of the 
three able statesmen who were represented as intervening between 
him and his dangerous vassal. But Eadward did sometimes exert a 
will of his own, and when he did so, his will was often in favour of 
more violent courses than seemed wise or just in the eyes of his coun- 
sellors. I.t is quite possible then that Eadward was, as he well might 
be, strongly incensed against Gruffydd, and that it needed all the 
arguments of Leofric and Harold, and of Ealdred so renowned as a 
peacemaker, 4 to persuade the King to come to any terms with one so 
stained with treason and sacrilege. And undoubtedly, at this distance 
of time, there does seem somewhat of national humiliation in the 
notion of making peace with Gruffydd, after so many invasions and 
so many breaches of faith, on any terms but those of his unreserved 
submission. We must take the names of Harold, Leofric, and Eal- 
dred as a guaranty that such a course was necessary. Gruffydd did 
indeed so far humble himself as to swear to be for the future a faithful 
Under-king to Eadward. 6 It would also seem that the rebellious 
vassal was mulcted of a small portion of his territories. Eadward had, 
at some earlier time, granted to Gruffydd certain lands, seemingly that 
portion of the present shire of Chester which lies west of the Dee. 
These lands were now forfeited, and they were restored to the see of 
Lichfield and to other English possessors from whom they had been 

1 Chron. Ab. 1056. "EafofSlic is to 
atellanne seo gedrecedncs, and seo fare eall, 
and seo fyrdung, and J>jet geswinc and 
manna fyll and eac horn, ]>e eall Englahere 

3 See above, pp. 15a, 361, 371. The 
Chronicles distinctly say, '• Ealdred bisceop 
feng to J?am bisceoprice )»e Leofgar haefde." 
Florence rather softens this, when he says, 
"Aldredo Wigornensi prasuli, donee an- 
tistes constitueretur, commissus est episco- 

patus Herefordensis." He kept it for four 
years, holding also the Bishoprick of Wilt- 
shire during part of the time. 

8 Flor. Wig. " Idem episcopus et 
Comites Leofric us et Harold us cum Rege 
Eadwardo Walanorum Regem Griffinum 

* See above, p. 56. 

5 Chron. Ab. 1656. "Swa-J>aet Griffin 
swor afias )>aet he weolde beon Eadwarde 
Kinge hold Underkingc and unswicigende." 


originally taken. 1 We know not whether the grant was an original 
act of Eadward, or whether it was a convenient legal confirmation of 
some irregular seizure made by the Welsh King. GrufFydd was per- 
haps bought off in this way after some of his former incursions, most 
likely at the moment of his temporary cooperation with Swegen. 2 If 
so, the restoration of the alienated lands was now required as a con- 
dition of peace. This homage of Gruffydd, and this surrender of 
lands, remind us of the homage and surrender made, under the like 
circumstances, by the last successor of Gruffydd to a greater Edward. 8 
As for the Welsh King's oath, it was kept after the usual fashion, that 
is, till another favourable opportunity occurred for breaking it. 

One other point may be noted in connexion with this last transac- 
tion. That is the way in which Harold, Leofric, and Ealdred are 
described as acting together. If this implies no further cooperation, 
it at least implies that these three took the same side in a debate in 
the Witenagem6t. Yet Leofric was the father of Harold's rival 
JElfgar, and the last time that the names of Harold and Ealdred were 
coupled together was when Ealdred was sent to follow after Harold 
on his journey to Bristol. But now all these old grudges seem to 
have been forgotten. In fact not one of the three men was likely 
to prolong a grudge needlessly. Harold's policy was always a policy 
of conciliation; if — what we can by no means affirm — his conduct 
with regard to the outlawry of -^Elfgar was at all of another character, 
it was the last example in his history. Ealdred was emphatically the > 
peacemaker. He had no doubt long ago made his own peace with 
Harold, and he had probably used his influence to reconcile him with 
any with whom reconciliation was still needful. Leofric had often 
been opposed to Godwine, and he must have looked with uncomfort- 
able feelings on his wonderful rise. But he had never been a bitter 
or violent enemy ; we have always found him playing the part of a 
mediator between extreme parties. There is no trace of any personal 
quarrel between him and Harold. He may have thought himself 
wronged in the outlawry of his son ; but he could not fail to condemn 
JElfgar's later conduct and to approve that of Harold. He must 


1 Domesday, 263. " Rex Eadwardus and homage is obviously the most natural 

dedit Regi Grifino totam terram quae jace- time for a partial surrender. We have here 

bat trans aquam quae De vocatur. Sed also another example of church lands being 

postquam ipse Grifin forisfecit ei, abstulit dealt with for political purposes in a way 

ab eo hanc terram, et reddidit episcopo de which would naturally give rise to those 

Cestre [the see had been moved thither charges of sacrilege against Harold and 

before the Survey. See Will. Malms. Gest. others* of which I have spoken elsewhere. 

Pont. 308 6] et omnibus suis hominibus See Appendix E. 

qui ante* ipsam tenebant." A " foris- ' See above, p. 57. 

factk) " on the part of Gruffydd can hardly * See the whole account in W. Rishanger, 

refer to his loss of his whole kingdom in 90, ed. Riley. 
1063, and this moment of reconciliation 



have admired Harold's energetic carriage in the Welsh campaign and 
in the restoration of Hereford. And Leofric doubtless felt, whether 
MMgzx felt or not, some gratitude to Harold for his conciliatory 
behaviour at Billingsley, and for the restoration of -^Elfgar to his 
Earldom. All that we know of the good old Earl of the Mercians 
leads us to look on him as a man who was quite capable of sacri- 
ficing the interests and passions of himself or his family to the general 
welfare of his country. 

§ 3. From Harold's first Campaign against Gruffydd to the 
Deaths of Leofric and Ralph. 1055-105 7. 

A few detached ecclesiastical events must be mentioned as hap- 
pening in the course of these two years of war with Gruffydd. The 
Bishoprick of Wiltshire was, it will be remembered, now held by 
Hermann, one of the Lotharingian Prelates who were favoured by 
Godwine and Harold as a sort of middle term between Englishmen 
and Frenchmen. 1 This preferment was not, at least in Hermann's 
eyes, a very desirable one. The church of Ramsbury, the cathedral 
church of his diocese, unlike other churches of its own rank, seems 
not to have been furnished with any company of either monks or 
canons, 2 and the Bishop therefore found himself somewhat lonely. 
The revenues also of the see were small, an evil which seems to have 
pressed more heavily on a stranger than it would have done on a 
native. The Bishops before him, Hermann said, had been natives of 
the country, and the poverty of their ecclesiastical income had been 
eked out by the bounty of English friends and kinsfolk. He, a 
stranger, had no means of support to look to except the insufficient 
revenues of his Bishoprick. 3 He had, it appears, been long looking 
forward to annexing, after the manner of the time, a second Bishoprick 
to his own. As Leofric had united the Bishopricks of Cornwall and 
Devonshire, so Hermann hoped to unite those of Wiltshire and Dor- 
setshire, whenever the episcopal chair of Sherborne should become 
vacant. Hermann, as the mission with which he had been entrusted 
shows,* stood high in royal favour, and the Lady Eadgyth had long 

1 See above, pp. 79-81, and 357. 

3 Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 182. " Ejus 
animi magnitudini, vel potius cupiditati, 
quum non sufficeret rerum angustia, 
quoniam apud Ramesbsriam nee clericorum 
conventus nee quo sustentaretur erat." 

3 lb. 182. " Antecessors suos indigenas 
fuisse ; se alienigenam nullo parentum com- 
pendio vitam quo sustentet habere." Her- 
mann however had a nephew, who, as he is 

described as an Englishman, was doubtless 
a sister's son, who was made a knight by 
William, and held lands of his uncle's 
church. This comes from Domesday 66, 
where of two Englishmen ('• duo Angli") 
who held certain lands of the church of 
Salisbury, we read that " unus ex eis est 
miles jussu Regis, et nepos fuit Hermanni 

* See above, p. 114. 


before promised to use her influence on his behalf, whenever the 
wished for opportunity should occur. 1 But another means of in- 
creasing the episcopal wealth of Ramsbury now presented itself. The 
Abbot of Malmesbury was dead. Though the monasteries had not 
yet reached their full measure of exemption from episcopal control, 
we may be sure that the Bishops had already begun to look with 
jealousy on those heads of great monastic houses who had gradually 
grown up into rival prelates within their own dioceses. Hermann at 
Ramsbury felt towards the Abbey of Malmesbury much as in after 
days his countryman Savaric at Wells felt towards the Abbey of 
Glastonbury. 2 Here was a good opportunity at once for raising his 
Bishoprick to a proper standard of temporal income, and for getting 
rid of a rival who was doubtless a thorn in his side. He would for- 
sake Ramsbury, with its poor income and lack of clerks, and fix his 
throne in the rich arid famous minster which boasted of the burying- 
place of ^Ethelstan. 8 He laid his scheme before the King, who 
approved of it; he went away from the royal presence already in 
expectation Bishop of Malmesbury. But two parties interested in the 
matter had not been consulted, the monks of Malmesbury and the 
Earl of the West-Saxons. The monks were certain to feel the 
keenest dislike to any such union. They might reasonably fear that 
the Lotharingian Prelate, might seek to reconstruct the foundation of 
his newly-made cathedral church according to the canonical pattern 
of his own country. The rule of Chrodegang, which to the Canons 
of Wells and Exeter 4 seemed to be an insufferable approach to mo- 
nastic austerity, would seem to the monks of Malmesbury to be a 
no less insufferable approach to secular laxity. Or, even if the Bishop 
allowed the Church to retain its ancient monastic constitution, the 
monks would have no desire for any such close connexion with the 
Bishoprick. They doubtless, as the monks of Glastonbury did after- 
wards, greatly preferred a separate Abbot of their own. The monks 
of Malmesbury therefore betook themselves to the common helper of 
the oppressed, and laid their grievances at ,the feet of Earl Harold. 5 

1 Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. p. 183. is nothing in this short notice inconsistent 

" Episcopum Schireburnensem . . . cujus with the fuller account given by William of 

episcopatum suo uniendum antiquis Edgithae Malmesbury. 

Reginae promissis operiebatur." 4 I have spoken above (p. 55) of the 

3 On the history of Savaric and his changes made by Leofric at Exeter, and I 

designs on Glastonbury, see the History of shall have to speak in my next Chapter of 

Adam of Domersham in Anglia Sacra, i. the like changes made by Gisa at Wells. 

578, and Mr. J. R. Green and Professor 6 Will Malms. Gest. Pont. 182. "Excel- 

Stubbs in the Somersetshire Archaeological lentis prudentiee monachi, audito quid 

Proceedings for 1863, pp. 39-42. in curia actum, quid justitiae subreptum 

8 Fl. Wig. 1055. "Offensus qui ei esset, ad Comitem Godwinum ejusquefilium 

sedem episcopalem transferre de villa quae summa celeritate contendunt." William is 

Reamnesbyrig dicitur ad abbatiam Malmes- here mistaken in mentioning Godwine, who 

byriensem Rex nollet concedere." There of course was dead. The story cannot be 


As the natural protector of al} v men, monks and otherwise, within his 
Earldom, Harold pleaded their cause before the King. Within three 
days after the original concession to Hermann, 1 before any formal 
step had been taken to put him in possession of the Abbey * the 
grant was revoked, and the church of Malmesbury was allowed to 
retain its ancient constitution. 8 

The speed with which this business was dispatched shows that it 
must have been transacted at a meeting of the Witan held at no great 
distance from Malmesbury. Such a change as the transfer of a 
Bishop's see from one church to another could certainty not have 
been made or contemplated without the consent of the national 
Assembly. And for the monks to hear the news, to debate, to obtain 
Harold's help, and for Harold to plead for them, and all within three 
days, shows that the whole took place while the Witan were actually 
in session. Among the places where Gem6ts Were usually held the 
nearest to Malmesbury is Gloucester, the usual scene of the Christmas 
Assembly. The monks, or a body of them large enough to act in the 
name of the house, may perhaps have, been themselves present there, 
and they may have determined on their course without going home 
to Malmesbury. But the distance between Malmesbury and Glou- 
cester is not too great to have allowed the business, at a moment of 
such emergency, to have been discussed within the three days both in 
the Gem6t at Gloucester and in the chapter-house at Malmesbury. 
One can hardly doubt that this affair took place in the Christmas 
Gem6t (i 055-1056) in which the Peace of Billingsley was confirmed 
and ^lfgar reinstated in his Earldom. ( 

The part played by Harold in this matter should also be noticed. 
Harold was no special lover of monks ; the chief objects of his own 
more discerning bounty were the secular clergy. But he was no 
enemy to the monastic orders ; he was ready to do justice to monks 
as well as to other men ; he had, as we have seen in more than one 
case, approved and suggested the favours shown to religious houses 
by others ; he had even, pnce at least, appeared as a monastic bene- 
factor himself. 4 In any case the brethren of Malmesbury were a 

put back to a time before Godwine's death, deducunt. Facile id rait yiris summis am- 

as it is fixed to 1055 by the witness of plissima auctoritate preditis, quibus et 

Florence. caussse rectitudo et Regis facilitas suffra- 

1 Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 182. garetur. Ita Hermannus, necdum plane 
" Id Rex pro simplicitate, cui pronior injtiatus, expulsus est." 

quam prudentiae semper erat, legitime con- * See above, p. 41. See also the story 

cedendum ratus, tertio abhinc die disso- in the Abingdon History, i. 457, 473, 

hiit." - where the monks of Abingdon recover the 

2 lb. " Antequam Hermannus in re vel possession of Leckhampstead through the 
saisitione inviscaretur." interference of Harold, having, it would 

8 lb. p. 183. *• Illi [Godwine and Harold, seem (see 458-9), vainly appealed to God* 
or, more truly, Harold only] , rei indigna novi- wine, 
tate pennoti, Regem adeunt, et a sententi* 


society of Englishmen who were threatened with the violation of an 
ancient right through what clearly was a piece of somewhat hasty 
legislation. To step in on their behalf was an act in no way unworthy 
of the great Earl, and it was quite in harmony with his* usual moderate 
and conciliatory policy. 

The remainder of the story is curious. Hermann, displeased at 
being thus balked when he thought himself so near success, gave up, 
or at least forsook, his Bishoprick, crossed the sea, and assumed the 
monastic habit in the Abbey of Saint Bertin at Saint Omer. 1 But the 
fire so suddenly kindled soon burned out ;• Hermann chafed under 
the fetters of monastic discipline, and wished to be again in the 
world. 2 After three years, his earlier scheme once more presented 
itself to his mind, when the see of Sherborne became vacant by the 
death of Bishop JSlfwold. He returned to England, he pleaded his 
cause with the King, and found no opposition from the Earl. 3 No 
appointment to the chair of Ramsbury had been made during Her- 
mann's absence ; the administration of the diocese was entrusted to 
the indefatigable Bishop Ealdred, who thus had the care of three 
separate flocks, at Worcester, at Hereford, and in Wiltshire. 4 Perhaps 
Hermann was. looked on as still being Bishop, and the promise of the 
Lady with regard to the union of the sees of Ramsbury and Sher- 
borne was held to be still binding. At all events, on Hermann's 
return, Ealdred gave up the Wiltshire Bishoprick, and Hermann 
( i 058) became Bishop of the united sees. He held them for twenty 
years longer ; he survived the Conquest twelve years, 5 and he lived to 
merge the old diocesan names of Wiltshire and Dorsetshire, of Rams- 
bury and Sherborne, in a name drawn from an altogether n«w seat of 
episcopal authority, the waterless hilj of the elder Salisbury. 8 

1 Fl. Wig. 1055. " Episcopatum dimisit, Hermann's absence at Saint Omer, and that 
marique transfretato, apud Sanctum Berti- Hermann was more likely to gain his point 
mim monachicum habitum suscepit, ibique ■ after Godwine's death. He is followed by 
in ipso monasterio tribus annis mansit." R. Higden, XV Scriptt. ii. 281, the passage 
Saint Omer, it must be remembered, was at so oddly perverted by Thierry. See above, 
this time. Flemish, and Flauders, and lands p. 343. 

south of Flanders, were still largely Teu- * See Flor. Wig. 1058. 

tonic. 5 William of Malmesbury continues to 

2 William of Malmesbury (Gest. Pont, jeer at him to the last ; " Accepit ergo 
183) makes * himself merry over the Hermannus Schireburnensem episcopatum 
grievances of a Bishop who had turned integrum cum tribus pagis, Edwardo Rege 
monk in a momentary fit of pique ; " Sed dante; vivacitateque su& d at oris annos 
ut fere fit in talibus, repentino ilk) impetu transcendens, ad Willehni tempora duravit." 
relligionis frigescented indies, in Angliam The three " pagi " are the three shrres of 
reditum meditabatu Pigebat hominem which the united diocese was formed, Berk- 
assuetum obsequiis, innutritum deliciis, shire, Wiltshire, and Dorsetshire. See Ap- 
carere delinimentis quae ab iueunte fuerat pendix M. 

expertus state." • See vol. i. p. 318. Will. Malms. 

8 William, strangely confounding his Gest. Pont. 183. 
•dates, fancies that Godwine died during 


The year of Bishop Leofgar's unlucky attempt to win fame as a 
warrior was marked (August 31, 1056) by the death of Earl Odda, 
the King's kinsman. He had been set over the western shires of 
Godwine's Earldom during the year of his banishment, 1 and since his 
return he had probably held, under the superiority of Leofric, the 
Earldom of the whole or part of the whole land of the Hwiccas. 2 His 
unpatriotic conduct in the evil days seems, even in the eyes of our 
most patriotic chroniclers, to have been fully atoned for by his per- 
sonal virtues and by the favour which he showed to monasteries. 
He is accordingly sent out of the world with a splendid panegyric. 3 
Before his death he was admitted a monk by his diocesan Ealdred, 4 
who might thus, by bringing so goodly a sheep into the monastic 
fold, atone for having himself forsaken the cloister for the cares of 
government and warfare. He died at Deerhurst, under the shadow 
of the minster of his own building, but his own burial-place was at 
Pershore, 6 another of the many Abbeys of a land which, next to the 
Eastern fens, was the richest district of England in monasteries of 
early date. In the course of the same year, .^Ethelric, Bishop of 
Durham, the successor of the simoniacal Eadred, 6 resigned his see and 
again became a monk of Peterborough, in which monastery he had 
spent his youth. 7 He was, through the influence of Tostig, 8 succeeded 
in his Bishoprick by his brother alike in the flesh and in monastic 

1 See above, p. 104. him ofgenumon "), on which he took Dur- 

3 See Appendix G. ham. Hugo Candidus, the Peterborough 
8 Flor. Wig. 1056. " Ecclesiarum ama- writer (ap. Sparke, 46), attributes his loss 

tor, pauperum recreator, viduarum et pupil- of the see of York to the natural dislikeof 

lorum defensor, oppressorum subventor, the seculars to a monk; "facientibus 

virginitatis custos, comes Agelwinus, id est quibusdam ex canonicis vel ex clericis, 

Odda." Cf. above, p. 104. quia pene naturale est eis semper invidere 

4 lb. " Ab Aldredo Wigornensi epi- monachis, quia monachus erat, noluerunt 
scopo, ante suum obitum, monachizatus." pati eum archiepiscopum esse." But what 
So Chronn. Ab. and Wig. 1056. " He vacancy was there at York in 1041 or 
wses to munece gehadod aer his ende." 1042 ? Hugh is loud in his praise, but 

5 Fior. Wig. u. s. •' Apud Deorhyrste Simeon of Durham (Hist. Dun. Eccl. iii. 9, 
decessit, sed in monasterio Persoresni X Scriptt. 34) has much to .say against him, 
honorifice sepultus quiescit." So Chronn. charging him with robbing his church. In 
Ab. and Wig. " His lie lift on Perscoran." the third year of his episcopate he was 
His brother ^Elfric, for whose soul Deer- driven out, but was restored by Earl Siward, 
hurst church was built (see above, p. 104), on the receipt of a bribe (" munere 
who died in 1053 (Fl. Wig. in anno), also oblato "). Digging at Chester-le-street to 
died at Deerhurst and was buried at Per- build a stone church on the site of the old 
shore. wooden one, he found a treasure, which he 

6 See vol. i. p. 353. According to the spent in building churches and repairing 
Worcester Chronicle under the years 1 041 roads near Peterborough. 

and 1073, and the Peterborough Chronicle 7 Flor. Wig. ; Chronn. Wig. 1072, and 

under 1072, -ffithelric was consecrated Petrib. 1073 ; Sim. Dun. Hist. Dun. Eccl. 

to York, and was unjustly deprived of the iii. 9. 

metropolitan see (" hit waes mid unrihte 8 Sim. Dun. u. s. 


profession, JEthelwine, another monk of the Golden Jtorough. 1 Both 
brothers survived the Norman Conquest, and we shall see each of 
them, alike on the throne of Durham and in the cloister of Peter- 
borough, become victims of the watchful jealousy of the Norman 

The next year (1057) * s conspicuously a year of deaths, and a year 
of deaths which affected the state of England far more deeply than the 
deaths of Earl Odda and Bishop ^Ethelric. The first recorded event 
of the year is the return of the ^Etheling Eadward from Hungary. 2 
The mission of Ealdred had not failed through the death of the great 
prince to whom he was sent, 8 and, three years after the reception of 
the English Bishop at Koln, the English .^Etheling, if English we may 
call him, set foot on the shores from which he had been sent into 
banishment as a helpless babe. 4 He now, at the age of forty-one, 
came for the first time to his native country, and he came in a character 
as nearly approaching to that of heir presumptive to the English 
Crown as the laws of our elective monarchy allowed. He came with 
his foreign wife and his children of foreign birth. And it can hardly 
fail but that he was himself, in speech and habits, not less foreign 
than the Norman favourites of the King, far more foreign than the 
men of kindred tongue whom Godwine and Harold were glad to 
encourage in opposition to them. 6 The succession of such a prince, 
even less of an Englishman than the reigning King, promised but little 
good to the Kingdom. Still the succession of the JStheling would 
have had one great advantage. It was hardly possible that the claims 
of William could be successfully pressed against him. A supposed 

1 These two brother monks and Bishops Florence says, " Ut ei mand&rat suus 
remind one of the opening of the Ormu- patruus Rex Eadwardus, de Ungari& . . . 
lum ; Angliam venit. Decreverat enim Rex 
•' Nn, broken Wallterr, bro)»err min ilium post se regni hseredem constituere." 
Affterr J>e flaeshess kinde ; s The death of the Emperor Henry the 
And broj>err min i Crisstenndom Third is recorded in the Abingdon Chroni- 
purrh fulluhht and Jmrrh troww)?e ; cle under 1056, under the name of Cona, 
And bro|>err min i Godess hus that is, of course, Conrad. The mistake 
3et o )>e pride wise." in the name is odd, but there is no need to 
.flSthelwine, according to Simeon, had ad- have recourse to Mr. Thorpe's strange con- 
ministered the Bishoprick of Durham under jecture, A. S. Chronicles, ii. p. 159. The 
his brother. same error is found in the Chronicle of 
9 Chronn. Wig. and Petrib. 1059. The Lupus Protospatarius, Pertz, v. 59, where 
former breaks out into song, and gives " Conus Rex Alemannorum " appears under 
us good authority for the surrftmc of Iron- the year 1046. The Peterborough Chreni- 
side ; cle has a Latin entry with the true name 
" Se waes Eadwerdes ' •' Henricus." 
Broftor sunu kynges 4 See vol. i. pp. 372, 377. 
Eadmund clng* 5 The tongues most familiar to Eadward 
Irenstd waes geclypod would naturally be Magyar and Higb- 
For his snelLscipe." Dutch. 



promise of King Eadward in William's favour could hardly be asserted 
in the teeth of a bequest and an election in favour of an Englishman of 
royal birth and mature years, and one against whom William could 
have no personal complaint whatever. Incomparably inferior as 
Eadward doubtless was to Harold in- every personal qualification, his 
succession could never have given William the opportunities which 
were afterwards given him by the accession of Harold. Eadward 
could not have been held up as an usurper, a perjurer, a man faithless 
to his lord, nor, had he been the opponent, could the superstitions of 
the time have- been appealed to to avenge the^ancied insult offered to 
the relics of the Norman saints. We can thus fully understand why an 
English poet, writing by the light of later experience, laments the 
death of the iEtheling as the cause of all the woes which came upon 
this poor nation. 1 Even at the time, when men's eyes were not yet so 
fully opened, we may be sure that England rejoiced in his coming, and 
bitterly lamented his speedy removal. The son of the hero Ironside, 
the last grown man in the royal house, must, whatever were his 
personal qualities, have drawn to himself an interest which was not 
wholly sentimental. 

The ^Etheling then came to England ; but he never saw his name** 
sake the King. He died almost immediately afterwards in London, 2 
and was buried with his grandfather ^Ethelred in Saint Paul's minster 
Why he was never admitted to the royal presence was unknown 
then as well as now. 8 The fact that his exclusion was commented 
on at the time might seem to forbid, and yet perhaps it does not 
wholly forbid, the simplest explanation of all, that he was sick at 
the time of his landing, and that the sickness which caused his death 
also hindered his presentation to his uncle. If the exclusion had a 
political object, to what party ought we to attribute it ? A distin- 
guished modern writer attributes it, though not very confidently, to the 
partizans of Harold. 4 But it is not at all clear that Harold as yet 

1 Chron. Ab. 1057; 

" Wala |>aet waes hreowlic sift 
And hearmlic 
E a lire )>issere j>eode, 
paet be swa rafte 
His lif geendade, 
pxs J>e he to Englalande com ; . 
For ungesaelhtfe 
Jrissere earman J>eode." 

2 Chron. Petrib. 1057. " Her . . . com 
iEdward aefteling, Eadmundes sunu cynges, 
hider to lande, and sona Jwes gefor." So 
Florence ; •• Ex quo venit parvo post tem- 
pore vit& decessit Lundoniae." 

3 The song in the Abingdon Chronicle 
fays ; 

*• Ne wiston we 

For hwylcan intingan 

past gedon wear"o\ 

pxt he ne moste 

His maeges Eadwardes 

Cynges geseSn." 
4 Lappenberg, p. 517 (ii. 259 Thorpe) J 
Doch ehe er noch seinen koniglichen 
Oheim erblickte, von dessen Augen eine 
ihm ling tin st ige Partei, vermuthlich Earl 
Harolds, des nachherigen Konigs, Freunde, 
ihn fern zu halten wusste, starb er plotz- 
lich zu London." He goes on however 
distinctly to absolve Harold from all share 
in his death. 



aspired to the throne ; it is far more likely that it was the death of the 
jEtheling which first suggested to Harold and his friends that Eadward 
might be succeeded by a King not of the royal house. Because 
Harold did in the end succeed Eadward, we must beware of suppos- 
ing that his succession had been looked forward to during the whole 
reign of Eadward. There must have been some moment when the 
daring thought — for a daring thought it was — of aspiring to a royal 
■crown first presented itself to the mind of Harold or of those to whom 
Harold hearkened. - And no moment seems so clearly marked out for 
that purpose by all the circumstances of the case as the moment of tlie 
death of the J3theling. If Harold had wished to thwart a design of 
King Eadward in favour of his nephew, he would hardly have waited 
for his landing in England to practise his devices. He would rather 
have laboured to hinder Ealdred's mission in the first instance, or to 
render it abortive, in some way or other, during the long period over 
which the negotiation was spread. If the exclusion of the J3theling 
from his uncle's presence was really owing to the machinations of any 
political party, there is another party on which the charge may fall 
with far greater probability . There was another possible successor who 
had far more to fear from the good will of the King towards the 
^Etheling than Harold had. Whether Harold had begun to aspire to 
the Crown or not, there can be little doubt that William had, and 
William was still by no means without influence at the English Court. 
There were still Normans about Eadward, Bishop William- of London, 
Robert the son of Wymarc, Hugolin the Treasurer, and others whom 
Godwine or Harold had, perhaps unwisely, exempted from the general 
proscription. To shut out — by some underhand means, if at all — a 
prince of the blood from the presence of his uncle and sovereign, 
looks much more like the act of a party of this kind than the act of 
a man whom both office and character made the first man in the realm. 
The thing, if done at all, was clearly some wretched court intrigue, the, 
fitting work of a foreign faction. The Earl of the West-Saxons, had 
his interests been concerned in the matter, would have set about hin- 
dering the JEtheling's succession in quite another way. But after all, 
it is far more likely that the fact that the two Eadwards never met was 
not owing either to the partizans of Harold or to the partizans of 
William, but that it was simply the natural result of the sickness of 
which the -^Etheling presently died. 

Another, and a far worse, insinuation against the great Earl hardly 
needs to be refuted. Among all the calumnies with which, for eight 
hundred years, the name of Harold has been loaded, there is one of 
which suggestion has been reserved for our own times. Norman 
enemies have distorted every action of his life ; they have misrepre- 
sented every circumstance of his position ; they have charged him with 
crimes which he never committed ; they have looked sX all his acts 

t 2 



through such a mist of prejudice that the victory of Stamfordbridge is 
changed under their hands into a wicked fratricide. 1 But no writer of 
his own time, or of any time before our own, 2 has ever ventured to 
insinuate that Earl Harold had a hand in the death of the JDtheling 
Eadward. That uncharitable surmise was reserved for an illustrious 
writer of our own time, in whom depreciation of the whole House of 
Godwine had become a sort of passion. 8 It is enough to say that, had 
there been the faintest ground for such an accusation, had the idea, 
ever entered into the mind of any man of Harold's own age, some 
Norman slanderer or other would have been delighted to seize upon 
it. 4 Nothing is more easy than to charge any man with having 
secretly made away with another man by whose death he profits, and 
the charge is one which, as it is easy to bring, is sometimes very hard 
to disprove. For that very reason, it is a charge on which the his- 
torian always looks with great suspicion, even when it is known to have 
been brought at the time and to have been currently believed at the 
time. The general infamy of Eadric is fully established, but we need 
not believe in every one of the secret murders which rumour charged 
him with having committed or instigated. Still less need we believe 
the tales which charge the Great William with having more than once 
stooped to the trade of a secret poisoner. 6 When we think how easy 
the charge is to bring, and how recklessly it has been brought at all 
times, the mere fact that no such charge was ever brought against 
Harold does in truth redound greatly to his honour. Calumny itself 
instinctively shrank from laying such a crime to the charge of such a 
man. William was, as I believe, as guiltless of any such baseness as 
Harold himself. But the charge did not seem wholly inconsistent 
with the crafty and tortuous policy of the Norman Duke. The West- 
Saxon Earl, ambitious no doubt and impetuous, but ever frank, 
generous, and conciliatory, was at once felt to be incapable of such a 

Three other deaths followed among the great men of the land, two 
of which were of no small political importance. It was not of any 

1 See vol. iii. Appendix CC. his grave. . . . Harold gained exceedingly 

a Unless indeed some tradition of the by this event. Did the Atheling die a 

sort had found its way into the confused natural death ? . . . The lamentations of 

mind of Saxo (p. 203), when he made the chroniclers seem to imply more than 

Harold murder King Eadward. He may meets the ear.*' Mr. C. H. Pearson (Hist. 

have been thinking of Eadward the ./Ethel- of Eng. in the Early and Middle Ages, i. 

ing, or he may have been writing purely 244) does not scruple to repeat the in- 

at random. sinuation. 

8 Palgrave, Hist. Ang. Sax. 352. " He 4 This is well put by Lappenberg in the 

was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral ; and sad passage quoted above, p. 274. 

andruthful [rueful?] were the forebodings of * See vol. iii. Capp. 12, 13. 

the English, when* they saw him borne to 


special moment, as far as we know, when Heaca, Bishop of the South- 
Saxons, died, and was succeeded in the chair of Selsey by -^Ethelric, 
a monk of Christ Church, of whom we shall hear in the days of the 
Conqueror. 1 It was quite another matter when the great Earl of the 
Mercians, so long the honoured mediator between opposing races and 
opposing interests, died in a good old age in his own house at 
Bromley in Staffordshire 2 (August 31, 1057). Of all the churches 
and monasteries which had been enriched and adorned by the bounty 
of Leofric and Godgifu, none was dearer to them than the great 
minster of Coventry, the city with which their names are inseparably 
connected in one of those silly legends which have helped to displace 
our early history. 8 There Leofric was buried in the church which he 
and his wife had raised from the foundations, 4 and had enriched with 
gifts which made it wealthier and more magnificent than all the 
minsters of England. 6 Godgifu survived her husband many years ; 
she saw her son and grandsons rise and fall ; she saw her grand- 
daughter share first a vassal and then an Imperial Crown, and then 
vanish out of sight as a homeless widow. At last she herself died, 
still in the possession of some part at least of her vajst estates, a 
subject of the Norman invader. 6 

A few months after the death of Leofric came the death of the 
stranger who had seemingly held a subordinate Earldom under his 
authority. Ralph, Earl of the Magesaetas, the French # nephew of King 
Eadward, died near the end of the year (December 2,1, 1057), and 
was buried in the distant minster of Peterborough, 7 to which he had 
been a benefactor. 8 I have already started the question whether the 
thoughts of Eadward had ever turned towards him as a possible suc- 
cessor.' After the death of the JDtheling, the hopes of Ralph and 
his brother Walter, if they had any, might again revive. But if so, 
death soon cut short any such schemes. Walter, the reigning prince 
of a foreign state, would have no chance. If any such prince were 

1 Chronn. Wig. 1057, Petrib. and Cant, trense ccenobium construxit," and goes on 
1058; Fl. Wig. 1057. to speak of Godgifu's gifts of ornaments; 

2 Fl. Wig. 1057. " Laudabilis Comes he is clearly confounding father and son. 
Leofricus, Ditcis Leofwini filius [Earl 5 Fl. Wig. 1057. *• Adeo ditaverunt ut 
Leofric, son of Ealdorman Leofwine, see in Anglia tanta copia auri, argenti, gem- 
vol. i. p. 719], in propria villa quae dicitur marum, lapidumque pretiosorum in nullo 
Bromleage, in bona decessit senectute, ii. inveniretur mohasterio, quanta tunc tem- 
Kal. Sept." He had been Earl at least poris habebatur in illo." The charter 
twenty-five years, perhaps thirty-three. about Coventry in Cod. Dipl. iv. 253 can 

8 See above, p. 31. hardly be genuine as it stands. Pope 

4 Florence (u. s.) distinctly says that Alexander was not reigning in 1043. 

Leofric and Godgifu built the church ; " de 6 See Appendix II. 

suo patrimonio a fundamentis construxe- 7 Chron. Wig. and Flor. Wig. in anno. 

runt." So the Peterborough Chronicler, 8 Hugo Candidus, p. 44. 

1066 ; see above, p. 48. But Orderic • See above, p. 198. 

(511 A) says, "Elfgarus Comes Coven- 


to be chosen, it would be better at once to take the renowned Duke 
of the Normans than the insignificant Count of Mantes. But Ralph, 
whether he was ever actually thought of or not, was clearly a possible 
candidate ; his death therefore, following so soon after die death of 
the JDtheling, removed another obstacle from the path of Harold. 

The deaths of the two Earls involved a redistribution of the chief 
governments of England, which would naturally be carried out in the 
following Christmas Gemot. The Earldom of the Mercians, such 
parts of it at. least as had been under the immediate authority of 
Leofric, was conferred. on his son .JDlfgar. 1 It shows how vast must 
have been the hereditary influence of his house, when such a trust 
could not be refused to a man who . had so lately trampled on every 
principle of loyalty and patriotism. But care was taken to make 
him as little dangerous as possible. JDlfgar may have hoped that, 
on the death of Ralph, the Earldom of the Magesaetas would again 
be merged in Mercia, and that, excepting the shires attached to 
Northumberland, he might rule over the whole realm of Oflfa and 
iEthelflsed. But policy altogether forbade that the Herefordshire 
border should be again placed in the hands of one who had so lately 
acted as the ally of Gruffydd. We know not whether the Welsh King 
had already entered into a still closer relation with the English Earl 
by his marriage with JElfgar's beautiful daughter Ealdgyth. 8 The date 
of that marriage is not recorded ; it may have already taken place, or 
it may have happened on the next occasion, one distant only by a 
few months, when we shall find the names of Gruffydd and J31fgar 
coupled together. But if the Welsh King was already the son-in-law 
of the Mercian Earl, there was a still further reason for placing some 
special safeguard on that border of the realm. In short, the govern- 
ment of Herefordshire was so important that it could not be safely' 
placed in any hands but those of the foremost man in England. 
There is distinct evidence to show that, within two or three years 
after the death of Leofric, the Earldom of Herefordshire was in the 
hands of Harold. 8 We can therefore hardly doubt that, on the re- 
settlement which must have followed the deaths of Leofric and Ralph, 
the Earldom of the Magesaetas was attached to the Earldom of the 
West-Saxons, and that Harold now became the immediate ruler of 
the district of which he had been the deliverer, and of the city of 
which he might claim to be the second founder. Earl Ralph had left 
a son, a namesake, probably a godson, of the great Earl, and Harold 
the son of Ralph appears in Domesday as a landowner both before 
and after the Conquest. His name still survives within his father's 
Earldom, where it cleaves to an existing parish and to the site of a 
castle which has wholly vanished. But Earldoms were not hereditary, 

1 See Appendix G. 2 See Appendix II. 9 See Appendix G. 


and the son of Ralph was so young that, «ight years later, he was still 
under wardship. 1 On this ground, if on no other, Harold, the great- 
nephew of Eadward, the great-grandson of .JDthelred, was so far from 
appearing as a competitor for the Crown of his ancestors that he was 
not even thought of as a possible successor for his father's Earldom. 
His name is altogether unknown to history, and but for his place in 
Domesday and in local tradition, his very existence might have been 
forgotten. His renowned namesake was now entrusted with the great 
border government. But it is by no means clear whether Harold held 
Herefordshire as a detached possession, as Northamptonshire and 
Huntingdonshire were held by Siward and Tostig, or whether it was 
connected with his West-Saxon Earldom by the possession of Glou- 
cestershire. If so, the rule of the House of Godwine must now have 
been extended over nearly all the region which had been West-Saxon 
land in the days of Ceawlin. 2 

For, while the power of Harold was thus increased, the time 
seemed to have come for raising the younger sons of Godwine to a 
share in the honours of his house. The East-Anglian Earldom, 
vacated by the translation of JElfgar to Mercia, Vas now conferred 
on Gyrth (1057-1058). But the boundaries of the government were 
changed. Essex was detached from East-Anglia. The new Earl 
probably received only the two strictly East-Anglian shires, with the 
addition of Cambridgeshire, to which was afterwards added the de- 
tached shire of Oxford. 8 The policy of attaching these detached 
shires to distant Earldoms is not very clear. It could not be the same 
policy which afterwards led the Conqueror to scatter the fiefs of his 
great vassals over distant portions of the Kingdom. There was cer- 
tainly no intention of weakening any of the Earls whose governments 
were thus geographically divided. The object was far more probably 
to bring the influence of the House of Godwine to bear upon all parts 
of the country. Some old connexion had attached Northamptonshire 
to Northumberland at an earlier time, and the example thus given was 
seized on as a means for planting the authority of the rising house 
in every convenient quarter. Oxfordshire, it will be remembered, had 
formed part of the Earldom of Swegen ; it was now placed in the 
hands of Gyrth. For it was highly important that the great frontier 
town of Mercia and Wessex, the seat of so many important national 
meetings, should be in thoroughly trustworthy hands. JElfgar's 
loyalty was most doubtful ; it was impossible altogether to oust him 
from command, but it was expedient to confine his powers of mis- 
chief within the smallest possible compass, and to hem him in, 

1 See Appendix KK. JSlfgar. But the other West-Saxon lands. 

8 See vol. i. pp. 17, 24. Harold how- north of the Thames were in the hands of 

ever did not command the whole Severn his brothers. See Appendix G. 
valley, as Worcestershire was now held by 8 See Appendix G. 


wherever it could be, by men who could be relied on. Unfortunately 
at Chester, the most dangerous point of all, the family interest of the 
House of Leofric was too strong to allow of that important shire 
being put into any hands but those of jElfgar. We shall presently 
see the result. 

Leofwine also seems to have been provided for at the same time. 1 
His government, like that of Swegen at an earlier time, was carved 
out of several ancient Kingdoms and Earldoms, but it lay much 
more compactly on the map than the anomalous province which 
took in Oxford, Taunton, and Hereford. It consisted in fact of 
south-eastern England — of Kent, Essex, Middlesex, Hertford, Surrey, 
probably Buckinghamshire — that is of the shires round the mouth 
of the Thames. London, as was natural, remained exempt from 
any jurisdiction but that of its Bishop and the chief officers of the 
city. The whole East of England was thus placed under the rule 
of the two younger sons of Godwine. But the evidence of the writs 
seems to show that Harold retained a general superintendence over 
their governments, whether simply as their elder brother or in any 
more exalted character. 

The House of Godwine had thus reached the greatest height of 
power and dignity which a subject house could reach. Whatever 
was the origin of the family, they had won for themselves a posi- 
tion such as no English family ever won before or after. Four 
brothers, sons of a father who, whether Earl or churl by birth, had 
risen to greatness by his own valour and counsel, divided by far 
the greater part of England among them. The whole Kingdom, 
save a few shires in the centre, was in their hands. And three at 
least out of the four showed that they well deserved their greatness. 
To the eldest among them there evidently belonged a more marked 
preeminence still. Two of his brothers, those most recently appointed 
to Earldoms, were clearly little more than Harold's lieutenants. And 
a prospect of still higher greatness now lay open to him and his 
house. The royal line was dying out Save the King himself, no 
adult male descendant of JSthelred remained ; no adult descendant 
of any kind remained within the Kingdom. The only survivors of 
the true kingly stock were the son and daughters of the iEtheling, 
children born in a foreign land. If any hopes of royalty had ever 
flitted before the eyes of Ralph, such hopes could not extend to 
his son the young Harold or to his brother the Count of Mantes. 
The time was clearly coming when Englishmen might choose for 
themselves a King from among their brethren, unfettered by any 
traditional reverence for the blood of iElfred, Cerdic, and Woden. 

1 See Appendix G. 


And when that day should come, on whom should the choice of 
England fall save on the worthiest man of the worthiest house 
within the realm? We cannot doubt that, from the year when the 
three deaths of Eadward, Leofric, and Ralph seemed to sweep away 
all hindrances from his path, Harold looked forward to a day when 
he and his might rise to a rank yet loftier than that of Earl. It 
was no longer wholly beyond hope that he might himself ascend 
the Imperial throne of Britain, and that the Earldoms of England 
might be held by his brothers as uEthelings of the House of God- 
wine. The event proves that such were the hopes of Harold, that 
such, we may add, were the hopes of England. Such hopes may, 
even at an earlier time, have flashed across the mind of Harold 
himself or across the minds of zealous friends of his house or 
zealous admirers of his exploits. But this was the first moment 
when such hopes could have assumed anything like form and sub- 
stance ; it was the first moment when the chances seemed distinctly 
to be rather for than against their fulfilment That Harold from 
this time doubtless aspired to the Crown, that he directed all his 
conduct by a hope of securing the Crown, cannot be doubted. 
And the unanimity with which he was raised to the throne when 
the great day came seems to show that men's minds had long been 
prepared to look to him as their future sovereign. We cannot 
doubt that, after the death of the iEtheiing Eadward, Wessex and 
East-Anglia at least were ready to transfer the English Crown from 
the line of iEthelred to the line of Godwine. 

Two questions still remain. Did Harold, in thus looking forward 
to the Crown, know, as he came to know at last, how formidable 
a rival was making ready for him beyond the sea? And was the 
succession of Harold merely a probability, a moral certainty it may 
be, to which men learned to look forward as a matter of course, 
or were the hopes of the great Earl confirmed by any act of the 
Witan or any promise of the King? Both questions are hard to 
answer. Both are inseparably mixed up with the most difficult 
questions in our whole history, the alleged promise made to William • 
by Eadward and the alleged oath made to him by Harold. I have 
already expressed my belief that Eadward's alleged promise to the 
Norman Etake, which formed the main ground of William's preten- 
sions to the English Crown, though exaggerated and perverted in 
the Norman accounts, was not a mere Norman invention. I believe 
that some promise really was made, and that the time when it was 
made was when William visited Eadward during the banishment of 
Godwine. 1 Of the nature and form of that promise it is difficult 
to say anything. We may indeed unhesitatingly dismiss the notion 

1 See above, p. 196 et seqq. 


that a settlement was made in William's favour by a decree of the 
Witan. Still any promise of any kind could hardly have been kept 
a complete secret ; it must have got blazed abroad and have reached 
the ears of the Earl and his countrymen. The Norman party, during 
their short moment of complete triumph, would have no motive to 
keep the matter a secret. They would deem themselves to have 
reached the great accomplishment of all that they had been scheming 
for, when there seemed a prospect of the English Crown passing, 
without slash or blow, to the brow of the Norman. The fact of the 
promise would doubtless be known, and by statesmen it would be 
remembered. But it does not follow that it would make any deep 
impression on the mass of the nation. Men would hear of the 
promise in a vague sort of way, and would at the time be divided 
between wonder and indignation. But the idea of the succession 
of the Norman would be looked on as something which had passed 
away with other Norman ideas, when the English Earls came back 
to claim their own. Even after Harold's election as King, the pros- 
pect of the Norman invasion is spoken of in a way which seems 
to show that, to the mass of Englishmen, the claim of William was 
even then something new and surprising. 1 But by a statesman like 
Harold, if the matter was once known, it would never be forgotten. 
It would hardly be a thing to talk much of openly ; but to counteract 
any possible schemes of William must have been the main object 
of Harold's policy from the day when he was first called to the head 
of affairs. We can understand how Eadward was led to deem his 
promise null, and to send for the jEtheling as his destined successor. 
This was, under the circumstances, a great triumph of the national 
policy. A competitor, accepted by the voice of the nation, was 
placed in William's path, a competitor whom William himself would 
hardly dare to attack. The death of the JStheling made matters 
more difficult. There was now no such unexceptionable rival to 
oppose to the Norman. Harold indeed, before his oath, was a far 
more formidable, rival to William than Harold after his oath. He had 
•not yet given his enemy that fatal advantage which the wily Duke 
knew so well how to employ. But Harold's succession would have 
all the disadvantages of a novelty. If he could not yet be branded as 
a perjurer, yet he might be, in a way that the jEtheling never could 
be, branded as an usurper. Either of the Eadwards, in short, with 
Harold for his guide and counsellor, would be really stronger than 
Harold himself as King. But the risk had now to be run. The 
nation at large had most likely but vague notions as to the danger. 
But Harold, Stigand, and all the leaders of the nation must have 
known that any step that they took would bring on their country 

1 This seems implied in the way in of by the Chroniclers and Florence under 
which William's preparations are spoken 1066. 


the enmity of a most active and dangerous foe. Harold's main 
object during his whole administration clearly was to strengthen 
England at home and abroad, to make her powerful and united when 
the inevitable day should come. 

It is a more difficult question whether Harold's succession was at 
all guaranteed, at this or at any time before Ead ward's death, by any 
formal act either of the King or of the Witan. We know that 
Eadward did exercise in Harold's favour whatever influence or 
authority an English King had in the nomination of his successor. 
That nomination appears to have been finally and formally made 
on Eadward's death-bed. 1 But such a death-bed nomination is in 
no way inconsistent with a promise to the same effect at an earlier 
time. Any one to whom such a promise had been made would 
undoubtedly seek to have it confirmed with all the solemnity which 
attaches to the last act of a dying man. And there are several 
circumstances, none perhaps of any great weight singly, but having 
together a sort of cumulative force, which seem to point to Harold 
from this time as being something more than an ordinary Earl, 
however powerful and popular, as being in some sort a sharer in 
the powers and honours of royalty. 2 We find his name coupled in 
public documents with that of the King in a way Which certainly 
is not usual with the name of any subject. We find vassal princes 
plighting their faith to the King and to the Earl, as if they were 
senior and junior colleagues in a common office. We find Harold 
appearing in the eyes of foreigners under the lofty guise of a Duke 
of the English. That sounding title cannot have been really borne 
by him at home, but it seems to show that, even among strangers, 
he was felt to hold the position of a prince rather than that of the 
most exalted private noble. Lastly, in our best Latin chronicler we 
find him distinctly called by a title which is nowhere else, to my 
knowledge, conferred on a mere subject, but which is the familiar 
designation of vassal princes. 8 All these touches, coming from such 
different quarters, seem naturally to suggest the view that Earl 
Harold was, seemingly from the death of the ^Etheling, publicly 
recognized as holding a quasi-royil position, as being, in fact, the 
designated successor to the Crown. 

On the other hand, there are difficulties about the belief that this 
position was conferred on Harold by any formal vote of the Witan. 
It is plain that a perfectly free choice of the King during the actual 
vacancy was a right which the English people, or their leaders, 
prized very dearly. All attempts to limit the choice of the electors 
beforehand had always signally failed. Since the abortive scheme 

1 Flor. Wig. 1066. " Quem Rex ante a See Appendix LL. 
mam decessionem regni successorem elege- 8 He is •• subregulus" in Florence, 1066. 





of ^Ethelwulf, nothing at all answering to a King of the Romans 
had been seen in England. 1 And if there were some reasons which, J 

under present circumstances, might make such an unusual course 
specially desirable, there were other reasons which told against it , 

with nearly equal force. With the royal house on the verge of | 

extinction, with such a competitor as William carefully watching the 
course of events, it was most desirable to setde the succession with 
as much certainty as the laws of an elective monarchy allowed. It 
was most needful that the successor to the throne should be the 
man best fitted for the highest of offices, the man of the wisest 
head and the stoutest arm in the land. It was, in a word, the 
wish of every clearsighted patriot that the successor of Eadward 
should be no other than Earl Harold. But on the other hand, the 
choice of Earl Harold, or of any other man not of kingly blood, 
was something strange and unprecedented, something which might 
well shock the feelings and prejudices of men. The choice of a 
new King would in fact be the choice of a new dynasty ; it would 
be to wipe out a sentiment as old as the days when the first 
West-Saxon set foot on British ground ; it would be to transfer 
the Crown of Wessex, of England, of Britain, from the house of 
Cerdic, of Ecgberht, and of JEthelstan to the house of Godwine 
the son of Wulfnoth. Men might not as yet be so ready for 
so momentous a change as they certainly were nine years later. 
And an irrevocable decision in favour of Harold might well be 
looked on as a wrong done to a third possible competitor. The 
royal house, though on the verge of extinction, was not yet extinct. 
The jEtheling had left a son, the young Eadgar. The son was 
undoubtedly not entitled to the same constitutional preference as 
his father. But in some respects he was a more promising candi- 
date than his father. Like the renowned Bastard himself, he was 
litde, but he would grow. 2 If a vacancy happened at once, his 
claims could hardly be pressed. But the King might live many 
years, and Eadgar might succeed his great-uncle in all the vigour 
of early manhood. He was not indeed, like his father, an English- 
man born, the son of an English King by an English mother. But 
then he might be, as his father had not been, brought up with the 
feelings of an Englishman, of a destined ruler of England. Nine 
years before the death of Eadward, men might well deem that it 
was not expedient, by any premature declaration in favour of the 
great Earl, to cut off the chances of a succession in many ways 

1 Compare on the other hand the joint In the Empire the cases are endless. See 

kingship of Hugh and Robert in France above, p. 248, for that of the reigning 

(see vol. i. p. 167). So in England in King Henry the Fourth, 
after times we find Henry the son of Henry a See above, p. 123. 
the Second crowned in his father's lifetime. 


so desirable as that of the young ^Etheling. If King Eadward lived 
long enough to make Eadgar's succession possible and expedient, 
that succession might, like that of his father, form a better check 
to the ambition of William than the succession of Harold. 

On the whole then it is perhaps safer not to suppose any formal act 
of the Witan on behalf of Harold. The circumstances of the case 
may be explained by supposing that Eadward promised to recom- 
mend Harold as his successor in case of his own death during 
Eadgar's childhood. It would be a sort of understood thing that, in 
case of such an event, the Earl of the West-Saxons would be a candi- 
date for the Crown with every chance of success. As Harold's 
renown increased, as the chances of Eadward's life grew weaker i as 
Eadgar's unfitness became more and more manifest, men would look 
with more and more certainty to the great Earl as their future King. 1 
Without any formal decree, he would, by common consent, step into 
the position, or more than the position, of a born -ZEtheling, and he 
would find himself insensibly sharing the powers, and even the titles, 
of royalty. And we cannot doubt that the great rival beyond sea was 
carefully watching every step of this process. If we realize that 
Harold — the Duke of the English — was virtually, if not formally, the 
designated successor to the Crown, we can still better understand the 
eagerness of William to obtain by any means the Earl's recognition of 
his claims. It was not merely to bind the most powerful man in the 
land to his cause ; it was to obtain what was virtually an abdication 
from one who was virtually the destined heir. 

The famous oath of Harold is so uncertain as to its date and all its 
circumstances that it might be treated without impropriety at almost 
any stage of my narrative. But, as it is so uncertain, as it is recorded 
by no contemporary English writer, I prefer to put off its considera- 
tion till it is convenient to take up again the thread of Norman affairs, 
to examine fully into William's claims, and to show how he made 
ready to assert those claims. Meanwhile we have to see how Harold 
ruled over England, now that he was without any equal competitor 
within the land. Save the shires ruled by the turbulent jElfgar, the 
government of all England was now divided between himself and 
his brothers ; and there was now nothing but the life of the reigning 
King between him and the English Crown. 

1 De Inv. c. 14. '• Quem [Haroldum] temporis videre meruerunt qui tunc prae- 

indigenar prac caeteris postulabant et ar- sentes fuerunt." When the Waltham writer 

dcnter sitiebant post sanctum Regem wrote, "Eadwardus Simplex" had become a 

Edwardum, ipsius morum et vitae haeredem. canonized saint. 
Quod quidem divin& miseratione processu 






§ 1. The Ecclesiastical Administration of Earl Harold. 


We thus see Harold at the greatest height of real power which he 

ever attained while still a subject. He was Earl of the West-Saxons 
and principal counsellor of the King, and he was, in all probability, 

1 The authorities for this chapter are ham, and of Harold in relation to Waltham, 

essentially the same as those for the last, in a paper printed in the Transactions of 

With regard to the Chronicles, it may be the Essex Archaeological Society, vol. ii. 

noticed that the Abingdon Chronicle, which p. 34. But M. Michel's editions are by no 

must be looked on as in some degree means accurate, and of the De Inventions 

hostile to God wine, is in no sort hostile to he left out many chapters altogether. I 

Harold. The Peterborough Chronicler, was therefore led into some errors of detail. 

* who seems rather to keep himself for great Since that time, a perfect edition of the De 

occasions, is rather meagre during this Inventione has been published, with a Pre- 

period. As Welsh matters are still pro- face, by Professor Stubbs (Oxford, 1861). 

minent, the Welsh Chronicles have still to The Vita Haroldi was written after 1205. 

be consulted, and, towards the end of the In its essence, as regards the main facts of 

period, the Northern Sagas again become English history, it is a mere romance, but 

of some little importance. But the charac- like other local romances, it has its value 

teristic of the period is the prominence of for points of local description, and even for 

ecclesiastical affairs, which brings several purely local facts. The De Inventione is 

local and legendary writers into a position a work of higher character. It was written 

of some consequence. Thus, for the history by an anonymous Canon of Waltham, who 

of Westminster, the tales of ^thelred of was born in 11 19, who entered the College 

Rievaux and his followers have to be com- in 1124, who was made a Canon before 

pared with the authentic narratives of 1 144, and who wrote, or perhaps enlarged 

contemporary chroniclers, and, as the com- his work, after 1177, when he lost his 

pletion of Harold's great foundation comes prebend at the change in the foundation of 

within these years, we now begin to make Waltham under Henry the Second. This 

use of the local Waltham writers. The tract contains a good deal of legend, but 

main facts and fictions belonging to the no romance. The author writes in evident 

local Waltham history are found in the good faith, and with a manifest desire to 

two tracts, De Inventione Sane tee Cruris be fair and accurate. He repeats the 

and Vita Haroldi, which were first pub- legends of his house as he heard them from 

lished by M. Francisque Michel in his his childhood; he was inclined, like the 

Cbroniques Anglo - Normandes (Rouen, rest of his contemporaries, to see, and even 

1840). From these I endeavoured in 1857 to expect, miracles where we see only 

to put together the early history of Walt- natural causes. But when the necessary 


already looked on as the practical heir presumptive to the Crown. 
Three other great Earldoms were in the hands of his three brothers. 
The greatness of the House of Godwine seemed now to be fully 
established. Save for a single moment, and that probably during 
Harold's absence from England, the authority of Harold and his 
family remained untouched till quite the end of Eadward's reign. The 
first few years of this period form a time of unusual quiet, a time in 
which, as is usual in times of quiet, our attention is almost wholly 
occupied with ecclesiastical affairs. The great Earl now appears as 
something like an ecclesiastical reformer, as a founder, a pilgrim, the 
fast friend of one holy Bishop, a rightful or wrongful disputant against 
another Prelate of less renown. But we have evidence that care for 
the Church did not occupy the whole of the attention of Earl Harold. 
The Earldom of Wessex and the Kingdom of England had still to be 
watched over ; and the candidate for a Crown which was likely to be 
disputed by the Duke of the Normans kept a diligent eye on all that 
was going on in the lands beyond the sea. 

Harold, like Cnut and like a crowd of other persons great and 
small, fell in with the popular devotion of the day with regard to pil- 
grimages. The Earl of the West-Saxons went to pray at the tombs 
of the Apostles, and, though the date of his pilgrimage is not abso- 
lutely certain, there are strong reasons for believing that it happened 
in the year which followed the deaths of the JEtheling and of the 
Earls Leofric and Ralph. 1 But Harold, like Cnut, did not, even 
while engaged in this holy work, wholly forget his own interests or 
the interests of his friends and his country. He had, we are told, 
been for a long time watching the condition, the policy, and the 
military force of the princes of France, among whom we cannot 
doubt that the Duke of the Normans came in for the largest share of 
his attention. He therefore took the opportunity of his pilgrimage to 
go through France, and by personal examination to make himself 
thoroughly master of the politics of the land. 2 His name was well 
known in the country; he was doubtless received everywhere with 
honour ; he did not go on till he had gained such a thorough insight 

deductions on these scores are made, he is controversy with Harold, in the "Ecclesiastic 

distinctly more trustworthy than the aver- cal Documents" published by the Camden 

age of local historians. On his general Society. For Worcester we have the 

character as an historian, and especially on life of its great Bishop Saint Wulfstan, by 

the miraculous element in his narrative, see William of Malmesbury, in the second 

the remarks in Professor Stubbs' Preface, p. volume of Anglia Sacra, and the shorter 

xxvii. Life by the contemporary Heming. This 

As we have to deal with Westminster last is given in Old-English in Hearne's 

and Waltham, we have also to deal in a edition of Heming's Worcester Cartulary 

less degree with Wells and Worcester, two (a book which ought to be reprinted), p. 

churches which figure prominently in the 403, and in Latin in the first volume of 

ecclesiastical history of these years. For Anglia Sacra. 
Wells we have Gisa's own narrative of his * See Appendix MM* s lb. 


into all that he needed to know that no deception could for the future 
be practised upon him. This description is vague and dark ; it is no 
dtfubt purposely vague and dark ; but it doubtless veils a good deal. 
One longs to know whether Harold was at this time personally 
received at the Court of Rouen, and what was the general result of 
his inquiries into the policy of his great rival. And the question at 
once forces itself upon the mind, Was this the time of Harold's 
famous oath or homage to William ? Did anything happen on this 
journey which formed the germ out of which grew the great accusa- 
tion brought against him by his rival ? I reserve the full discussion of 
all these questions for another occasion ; but on the whole it seems 
more likely that the event, whatever it was, on which the charge of 
perjury against Harold was founded, took place at some time nearer 
to the death of Eadward. 

When Harold had finished his political inquiries in France, he 
continued his religious journey to Rome. If I am right in the date 
which I assign to his pilgrimage, he found the Holy See in the 
possession of a Pontiff whom the Church has since agreed to brand 
as an usurper. Early in this year Pope Stephen the Ninth, otherwise 
Frederick of Lotharingia, Abbot of Monte Casino, died after a reign 
of only one year 1 (105 7-1 058). On his death, Mincius, Bishop of 
VeJletri and Cardinal, was placed in an irregular manner on the 
pontifical throne by the influence of the Counts of Tusculum. 2 He 
took the name of Benedict the Tenth (1058-1059). The Cardinals 
seem not to have acknowledged him ; Hildebrand — the first time that 
great name occurs in our history — obtained the consent of the 
Empress Agnes to a new and more canonical election. In the next 
April Benedict was driven out, and the new Pope, Gerard of Bur- 
gundy, Bishop of Florence, was enthroned by the name of Nicolas the 
Second 8 (1059-106 1). But, for the space of a year, Benedict had 
actual possession of the Papal throne, and was seemingly generally 
recognized in Rome. A Roman, of the house of the famous Consul 

1 All our Chronicles save Abingdon, was called Benedict the Eleventh. Mura- 
which is just now silent for a few years, tori, iii. 672. On these Popes, see Milman, 
mention the death of Stephen and the Latin Christianity, iii. 47. 

accession of Benedict. None of them s Our Chronicles (Worcester and Peter- 
imply any doubt as to Benedict's legitimacy, borough) record the fact in nearly the 
but they use three different words to same words under the year 1059. " Her 
express his appointment. He is " to on )nsum geare waes Nicolaus to Papan 
Papan geset" in Worcester, " gehalgod to gecoren; se waes biscop set Florentie J>aere 
Papan" in Peterborough, "gebletsod Jjarto" burn; and waes Benedictus ut adrifen, se 
in Canterbury — in the last entry of that waes aer Papa." These last words may 
Chronicle. seem to imply a certain cleaving to Bene- 

2 See the Cardinal of Aragon's Life of diet. It is a pity that the strict and 
Nicolas, Muratori, iii. 301. He does not orthodox Abingdon writer (see above, pp. 
allow Benedict a place in his list. Yet the 227, 233) is silent, as he might have em- 
next Pope who took the name, in 1303, ployed some other formula. 


Crescentius, he was probably more acceptable than a more regularly 
appointed Pontiff from Burgundy or Lotharingia. Benedict was in 
all probability the Pope whom Earl Harold found in possession at 
the time of his pilgrimage. It is certain that Benedict sent to Arch-* 
bishop Stigand the long delayed ornament of the pallium, the 
cherished badge of the archiepiscopal dignity. 1 One can hardly 
avoid the surmise that Harold pleaded for his friend, and that the 
concession to the English Primate was the result of the personal 
presence of the first of living Englishmen. Stigand was not per- 
sonally present at Rome; the pallium was sent to him, and most 
likely Earl Harold himself was its bearer. In this act Harold no 
doubt thought, and naturally thought, that he was healing a breach, 
and doing a great service to his Church and country. The evils 
arising from the doubtful position of Stigand were manifest. That 
a man should be, in the eye of the Law, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
and yet that his purely spiritual ministrations should be very generally 
declined, was an anomaly to which it was desirable to put a stop as 
soon as might be. Harold would naturally deem that he had done 
all that could be needed by procuring the solemn recognition of 
Stigand from the Pope whom he found in actual possession of the 
Holy See. That Pope Benedict was himself an usurper, that his 
ministrations were as irregular as those of Stigand himself, that he 
could not confer a commission which he did not himself possess, was 
a canonical subtlety which was not likely to occur to the mind of the 
English Earl. He could not foresee that an ecclesiastical revolution 
would so soon hurl Benedict from his throne, and that he and all who 
clave to him would be branded as schismatics. In fact the recognition 
of Stigand by Benedict did harm instead of good. After Benedict's- 
fall, it became a further charge against Stigand that he had received 
the pallium from the usurper. For the moment indeed the Arch- 
bishop seemed to have regained his proper position. Two Bishop- 
ricks were now vacant, that of the South-Saxons by the death of 
Heaca, and Rochester, it is not quite clear how. 2 The newly ap- 
pointed Bishops, jEthelric of Selsey and Siward of Rochester, 
received consecration from a Primate who was now at last held to 
be in canonical possession. 8 The fact is most significant that these 

1 Chronn. Wig. Petrib. Cant. 1058. See a Suffragan Bishop of Saint Martin's near 
above, pp. 227, 228. Benedict was " cor- Canterbury. 

ruptus pecunft," according to John of 3 The Chronicles significantly connect 

Peterborough, 1058. the consecration of JEthelric and Siward 

2 The long-lived Godwine, or the latter with the receipt of the pallium by Stigand. 
of the two Godwines, vanishes in 1046. The Peterborough writer (1058) seems 
We hear nothing, as far as I know, of the specially to mark it ; " Her on )?isum geare 
disposal of the see in the meanwhile. The forftferde Stephanus Papa, and was Bene- 
Godwine who (Chronn. Wig. and Petrib.) dictus gehalgod to Papan. Se ylca saende 
died in 1061 seems to be a different person, Stigande Arcebiscope pallium hider to laude. 



were the first and last Bishops whom Stigand consecrated during the 
reign of Eadward. 

Harold returned to England, having by some means, the exact 
nature of which is lost in the rhetoric of his panegyrist, escaped the 
dangers which seem to have specially beset pilgrims on their journey 
homeward. 1 If I am right in my conjecture as to the date of his 
pilgrimage, an event had taken place in his absence which showed 
the weakness of the government when his strong hand was not nigh 
to guide it. We are told by a single Chronicler that this year (1058) 
Earl jElfgar was again outlawed, but that he soon recovered his 
Earldom by the help of Gruffydd and of a Norwegian fleet which 
came unexpectedly to his help. 2 We hear not a word as to the 
causes or circumstances. One is inclined to guess that the story 
may be merely an accidental repetition, under a wrong year, of 
.^Elfgar's former outlawry three years before. 8 It is certainly not 
likely that Harold would have tamely submitted to so outrageous a 
breach both of the royal authority and of the national dignity. But to 
suppose that these events happened during the time of his absence 
from the country is an explanation of this difficulty quite as easy as 
to suppose the story to be a mere misconception. One thing at least 
should be noted. A feud with the House of Leofric, which, in the 
case of Harold, is a mere matter of surmise, is, in the case of Tostig, 
distinctly asserted by a contemporary writer. 4 It is quite possible 
that TQStig may, in his brother's absence, have acted a part towards 

And on )>isum geare fofSferde Heaca biscop quae ad ilium venerat ex improviso, cito 

on Suftseaxan, and Stigand Arcebiscop per vim suum comitatum recuperavit." Is 

hadode -ffigelric monuc act Christes cyrcean this the fleet mysteriously referred to by 

to biscop to Suftseaxum, and Siward abbot Tigernach (O' Conor, i. 301) under the 

to biscop to Hrofeceastre." same year ? " Classis cum Alio Regis 

1 Of these dangers we shall hear more Danorum [he probably means Norwegians] 
distinctly in the case of the pilgrimage of cum alienigenis Insularum Orcnensium et 
Tostig in 1061. The Biographer now Ebudensium et Dubliniensium, ut subigeret 
(410) tells us that Harold, " potenti muni- sibi regnum Saxonum. Sed Deus contrarius 
ficentia veneratus sanctorum limina, per fuit ei in re ista." 

medios insidiantes cautus derisor more suo 8 This would apply to the entry in the 

Dei gratia pervenit ad propria." These Chronicle ; but a if so, Florence, who marks 

words might have a deeper meaning ; the the repetition of the word by the word 

visit to Normandy and the oath might be " secundo," was misled by it. 
on his return; but the chances are the * When Morkere heads the Northum- 

other way. . brian revolt in 1065, the Biographer (p. 

2 Chron. Wig. 1058. "Her man ytte 421) says of the sons of iElfgar, "inter 
ut iElfgar Eorl, ac he c6m sona inn on- eos regise stirpis pueros et eumdem Ducem 
gean mid strece Jjurh Gryflines fultum ; Tostinum ex veteri simultate odio [odia ?] 
and her com scyphere of Norwegan. Hit erant." The " regia stirps " can refer only 
is langsum to attellane eall hu hit gefaren to some possible descent of the House of 
waes.' So Florence; " Algarus Merciorum Leofric from ancient Mercian Kings. (Cf. 
Comes a Rege Eadwardo secundo exlegatus vol. i. p. 486.) There is no sign of any 
est; sed Regis Walanorum Griffini juva- connexion between them and the West* 
mine et Norrcganicae classis a4miniculo, Saxon royal family. 


the rival house which his brother's conciliatory policy would not have 
approved of. He may also have found himself, in his brother's 
absence, unable to quell the storm which he had raised. But all 
speculations of this kind must be quite uncertain. The statement 
stands before us ; we may put our own value on its authority and we 
may make our own explanation of the facts, but we cannot get 
beyond conjecture. 

The pilgrimage of Earl Harold may perhaps have suggested to the 
active Bishop Ealdred a longer pilgrimage still. That diligent Prelate 
was at this time busy about many matters. Gloucester, the frontier 
city on the Severn, the usual mid-winter seat of the national Councils, 
had just received a special ornament from his munificence. 1 The 
city had been in early times the seat of an Abbey of nuns, which 
came to an end during the confusions whiqh fell on the Mercian 
Kingdom towards the end of the eighth century. The house then 
became a College of secular priests, which lasted till the days of Cnut. 
In the same spirit in which Cnut himself substituted monks, for 
secular canons in the Church of Saint Eadmund at Bury, 2 Wulfstan, 
Archbishop of York and Bishop of Worcester, made the same change 
in the Church of Saint Peter at Gloucester. The rule of Saint 
Benedict was now rigidly carried out, and one Eadric became the 
first Abbot. His government lasted for more than thirty-six years, 
but his local reputation is not good, as he is charged with wasting the 
property of the monastery. Meanwhile the bounty of Ealdred rebuilt 
the church of Saint Peter from its foundations, and it now stood ready 
for consecration. Abbot Eadric most opportunely died at this time, 
so that Ealdred was able at once to furnish his new minster with a 
new chief ruler. He consecrated the church, and bestowed the 
abbatial benediction on Wulfstan, a monk of his own church of 
Worcester, on whom, by the King's licence, he conferred the vacant 
office (1058). It was just at this time that Bishop Hermann came 
back from Saint Omer. Ealdred, charged with the care of three 
dioceses, restored that of Wiltshire, the poorest and least dis- 
tinguished, to its former 'owner. 8 But there seems reason to believe 
that any loss of revenue which Ealdred thus incurred was made up by 
the annexation to his see of several lordships belonging to the church 
of Gloucester. 4 The diocese of Worcester was no doubt entrusted to 
the care of jEthelwig; 5 of any arrangements for the benefit of Here- 
ford we hear nothing. Ealdred then undertook a journey which no 
English Bishop had ever before undertaken, 6 which indeed we have 

1 On the history of Gloucester and its * See Appendix NN. 
connexion with Ealdred, see Appendix NN. * See above, p. 248, 

a See vol. i. p. 294. • After the consecration at Gloucester, 

8 Fl. Wig. 1058. See above,.p. 268. says the Worcester Chronicler (1058), "gwa 

U 2 


not heard of as undertaken by any eminent Englishman of that 
generation, except by the repentant Swegen. Duke Robert of 
Normandy and Count Fulk of Anjou had visited the tomb of Christ, 
but Cnut and Harold had not gone further than the threshold of the 
Aposdes. But Ealdred now undertook the longer journey; he 
passed through Hungary, 1 a country which the negotiations for the 
return of the jEtheling had doubtless opened to English imaginations, 
and at last reached the holy goal of his pilgrimage. He went, we are 
told, with such worship as none had ever gone before him; his 
devotion was edifying and his gifts were splendid A chalice of gold, 
of five marks weight, and of wondrous workmanship, was the offering 
of the renowned English Prelate at the most sacred spot on earth. 1 

Under the next year the national Chronicles find nothing of 
greater importance to record than the fact that the steeple of 
Peterborough minster was hallowed. 8 The zeal and bounty of Abbot 
Leofric * was busily at work. But from other sources we find that 
the year was not quite so barren of events as we might thus have 
been led to think. A new and in some respects remarkable appoint- 
ment was made to the Abbey of Evesham. Abbot Mannig, the 
architect, painter, and general proficient in the arts, 5 had been smitten 
by paralysis, and had resigned his office. He lived however in 
honour for seven years longer, and died, so it was said, on the same 
day and hour as King Eadward. His successor was jEthelwig, the 
monk who acted for Ealdred when absent from his diocese, and who 
was now Provost of the monastery of Evesham.* Of him we shall 
often hear again. As in the case of Wulfstan at Gloucester, we 
hear nothing distinctly of any capitular election. The retiring Abbot 
seems to nominate his successor. Pleading his sickness as an excuse 
for not coming personally, he sends certain monks and laymen to 
the King, recommending J3thelwig for the Abbacy. The King 
approves, and, by his order, Ealdred gives the abbatial benediction 
to iEthelwig at Gloucester in the Easter Gem6t holden in that city. 
Another ecclesiastical event which took place at the Whitsun Gemtft 

ferde to Hierusalem, mid swilcan weofS- clearly rejoices in the splendour and bounty 

stipe swa nan o'oer ne dyde act fo ran him ;" of his own Bishop. 

♦• quod nullus," adds Florence, " archiepi- * Oddly enough, it is the Worcester and 

scoporum vel episcoporum Anglix eatenus not the Peterborough Chronicler who re- 

dinoscitur fecisse." cords this purely local fact ; " on );isan 

1 ** Per Ungariam," says Florence. gere wses se stypel gehalgad act Burn on 

* Chron. Wig. M And hine sylfne \*x xvi. kal. Novemb." 

Gode betschte, and wurftlic lac eac geof- * See above, p. 232. 

frode to ures Drihtenes byrgene, j>a?t was * See Appendix OO. 

an gylden calic, on (if marcon swifte wun- • Chron. Mon. Evesham, p. 87. " Nunc 

dorlices geworces." The Chronicler, just sub eo jure propositi totius abbatiae hujus 

as at the time of the mission to Kom, curam agebat." 


of this year is of more immediate importance as marking the eccle- 
siastical relation between the English Empire and the vassal states. 
Herewald, a Welshman by birth, but who bore an English name and 
had been much in England, had, three years before, been chosen 
Bishop by the Chapter of Llandaff; the election had been confirmed 
by King Gruffydd and all the great men of the Britons, and three 
years before this time he had been consecrated by Joseph Bishop of 
Saint David's. But his election and consecration were now again 
confirmed by Cynesige Archbishop of York and the Bishops of 
England, by the authority of King Eadward and his Witan. 1 During 
the same year, and perhaps in the same Gem6t, Malcolm King of 
Scots made his appearance, for what special business we are not 
told ; but he seems to have been solemnly accompanied by his three 
greatest English neighbours, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop 
of Durham, and his own sworn brother the Northumbrian Earl. 2 

This year too was the time of an event in a foreign land which 
proved of no small importance in English history. It was now that, 
as alj our Chronicles so carefully note, the intruding Benedict was 
deposed, and Nicolas succeeded to the Papacy. The revolution 
at Rome was followed hy a revolution of feeling in England. The 
recognition of Stigand lasted no longer than the temporary recog- 
nition of Benedict. When the Pontiff from whom he had received 
his pallium sank to the position of an Antipope and schismatic, 
the English Primate sank again to the anomalous position in which 
he had before stood. His ministrations were again avoided, even 
in the quarter which one would have least expected to find affected 
by such scruples. Earl Harold himself, when he needed the per- 
formance of a great ecclesiastical ceremony, now shrank from having 
it performed by the hands of the Primate who in all political matters 
was his friend and fellow- worker. 

For we have now reached the date of an event which closely binds 
together the ecclesiastical and the secular history of the time. It 
was in the year following the expulsion of Benedict that Earl Harold 
brought to perfection the minster which he had doubtless for some 
time been engaged in rearing on his East-Saxon lordship of Waltham. 
Whether any portion of the fabric still existing is the work of its 
great founder is a matter of antiquarian controversy on which I will 
not here enlarge. But whether the existing nave, or any part of it, 
be Harold's work or not, the historic interest of that memorable spot 

1 See the document printed by Mr. osus Angli-Saxonum Basilius Eduuardus." 
Haddan, Councils and Ecclesiastical Docu- 2 Ann. Dun. 1058. "Kinsi Archiepi- 

meats, i. 292. Gruffydd appears as " invictus scopus et Egelwinus Dunelmensis et Tosti 

Rex Grifidus, monarcha Britonum praepol- comes deduxeran.t regem Malcolmum ad 

lens," and his over-lord as "Dominus glori- regem Eadwardum." 


remains in either case the same. As we go on we shall see Waltham 
win for itself an abiding fame as the last resting-place of its great 
founder; at present we have to look to the foundation itself as a 
most remarkable witness to that founder's wisdom as well as his 
bounty. 1 The importance of the foundation of Waltham in forming 
an estimate, both of Harold's personal character and of the eccle- 
siastical position of England at the time, has been altogether slurred 
over through inattention to the real character of the foundation. 
Every writer of English history, as far as I know, has wholly mis- 
represented its nature. It is constantly spoken of as an Abbey, 
and its inhabitants as monks. 2 Waltham and its founder thus get 
mixed up with the vulgar crowd of monastic foundations, the crea- 
tion in many cases of a real and enlightened piety, but in many 
cases also of mere superstition or mere fashion. The great eccle- 
siastical foundation of Earl Harold was something widely different* 
Harold did not found an Abbey; Waltham did not become a reli- 
gious house till Henry the Second, liberal of another man's purse, 
destroyed Harold's foundation by way of doing honour to the new 
Martyr of Canterbury. Harold founded a Dean and secular Canons ; 
these King Henry drove out, and put in an Abbot and Austin Canons 
in their place (1177-1184).' Harold's foundation, in short, was an 
enlargement of the original small foundation of Tofig the Proud. 3 
Tofig had built a church for the reception of the miraculous crucifix 
which had been found at Lutegarsbury, and had made an endowment 
for two priests only. The Holy Rood of Waltham became an object 
of popular worship and pilgrimage, and probably the small settlement 
originally founded by Tofig in the middle of the forest was already 
growing into a considerable town. The estate of Tofig at Waltham 
had been lost by his son iEthelstan, 4 and was confiscated to the 
Crown. I have already suggested that .JDthelstan, the son of a 
Danish father, may not improbably have been one of the party which 
opposed the election of Eadward, and most of whose members 
suffered more or less on that account. 5 But the royal disfavour 
which fell on ^Ethelstan did not extend to his son Esega'r, who held 
the office of Staller from a very early period of Ead ward's reign 
till the Norman invasion. 6 But the lordship of Waltham was granted 

1 See above, p. 26. * See above, p. 41. 

2 On the foundation of Waltham see • De Inv. c. 14. " Adelstanus, pater 
Appendix PP. Esegari qui stake inventus est in Angliae 

3 See vol. i. p. 353. conquisitione a Normannis." Esegar, the 

4 De Inv. c. 14. There is something Ansgardus of Guy of Amiens, was Staller as 
. strange in the statement of the Waltham early as 1644,- and Sheriff of Middlesex. 

writer that -flSthelstan did not succeed to See vol. iii. p. 730. He signs many 
all his father's estates, but only to those charters, among others the Waltham 
attached to the stallership. charter of 1062 (Cod. Dipl. iv. 159), with 


by the King to his brother-in-law Earl Harold, with whom it evidently 
became a favourite dwelling-place. The Earl now rebuilt the small 
church of Tofig on a larger and more splendid scale, no doubt 
calling to his* aid all the resources which were supplied by the 
great contemporary developement of architecture in Normandy. 
One who so diligently noted all that was going on in contemporary 
Gaul would doubtless keep his eye on such matters also. When 
the church was built, he enriched it with precious gifts and relics 
of all kinds, some of which he had himself brought personally from 
Rome on his pilgrimage. 1 Lastly, he increased the number of clergy 
attached to the church from two to a much larger number, a Dean 
and twelve Canons, besides several inferior officers. He richly en- 
dowed them with lands, and contemplated larger endowments still. 

This is something very different from the foundation of a 
monastery. Harold finds that a church on his estate has become 
the seat of a popular worship ; he therefore rebuilds the fabric and 
increases the number of its ministers. The order of his proceedings 
is very clearly traced out in the royal charter by which the foundation 
was confirmed two years later. The founder of a monastery first 
got together his monks, and gave them some temporary dwelling; 
the church and the other buildings then grew up gradually. The 
church of a monastery exists for the sake of the monks, but in 
a secular foundation the canons or other clergy may be said to 
exist for the sake of the church. So at Waltham, Harold first rebuilt 
the church; he then secured to it the elder endowment of Tofig; 
he had it consecrated, and enriched it with relics and other gifts; 
last of all, after the consecration, he set about his plan for increasing 
the number of clergy attached to it. 2 Tofig's two priests of course 
were still there to discharge the duties of the place in the meanwhile. 
And the clergy whom Harold placed in his newly founded minster 
were not monks, but secular priests, each man living on his own 
prebend, and some of them, it would seem, married. Education 
also occupied a prominent place in the magnificent and enlightened 
scheme of the great Earl. The Chancellor or Lecturer — for the 
word Schoolmaster conveys too humble an idea — filled a dignified 
place in the College, and the office was bestowed by the founder 
on a distinguished man from a foreign land. We have seen through- 
out that, stout English patriot as Harold was, he was never hindered 
by any narrow insular prejudice from seeking merit wherever he 
could find it. Harold had seen something of the world ; he had 
visited both France and Italy; but it was not from any land of 
altogether foreign speech that he sought for coadjutors in his great 

the title of " regiac procurator aulse," equi- 1 See Appendix MM. 
valent, according to Professor Stubbs, to a See Appendix PP. 
" dapifer." See bis note to De Inv. c. 14. 


work. As in the case of so many appointments of Prelates, so now, 
in appointing an important officer in his own College, Harold, when 
he looked beyond our own island, looked in the first place to those 
lands of kindred Teutonic speech where ecclesiastical discipline was 
said to be most strictly administered. 1 As JElfred had brought over 
Grimbald and John the Old-Saxon, so now Harold brought over 
Adelhard, a native of Luttich who had studied at Utrecht, to be 
the head of the educational department of his foundation, and to be 
his general adviser in the whole work. He came over to England, 
he became a Canon and Lecturer at Waltham, and, using his genuine 
Teutonic liberty, he handed on his office to his son. 2 

The truth is, as we have already seen several indications, that 
Harold, so far from being an ordinary founder of a monastery, was 
a deliberate and enlightened patron of the secular clergy. He is 
described in the foundation-charter of his College as their special 
and active friend. 8 The old struggle which had been going on from 
the days of Dunstan was going on still, and it went on long after. 
Harold, like the elder Eadward in his foundation at Winchester, like 
JDthelstan in his foundation at Milton, preferred the seculars, the 
more practically useful class, the class less removed from ordinary 
human and national feelings. In his eyes even a married priest 
was not a monster of vice. To make such a choice in the monastic 
reign of Eadward, when the King on his throne was well nigh himself 
a monk, was worthy of Harold's lofty and independent spirit ; it was 
another proof of his steady and clear-sighted patriotism. In truth, 
of the two great foundations of this reign, Earl Harold's College 
at Waltham stands in distinct opposition, almost in distinct rivalry, 
to King Eadward's Abbey at Westminster. And it is not unlikely 
that Harold's preference for the secular clergy may have had some 
share in bringing upon him the obloquy which he undergoes at 
the hands of so many ecclesiastical writers. It was not only the 
perjurer, the usurper, but the man whose hand was closed against 
the monk and open to the married priest, who won the hate of 
Norman and monastic writers. With the coming of the Normans the 
monks finally triumphed. Monasticism, in one form or another, was 
triumphant for some ages. Harold's own foundation was perverted 
from his original design ; his secular priests were driven out to make 
room for those whom the fashion of the age looked on as holier than 
they. At last the tide turned ; men of piety and munificence learned 
that the monks had got enough, and from the fourteenth century 
onwards, the bounty of founders again took the same direction which 
it had taken under ^Ethelstan and Harold. Colleges, educational 

1 See above, p. 248. diately succeeded his father, as iEthelric 

a See Appendix L. Peter however, the appears as Childmaster in 1066. 
son of Adelhard, could not have imme- 8 See Appendix PP, 


and otherwise, in the Universities and out of them, again rose along- 
side of those monastic institutions which had now thoroughly fallen 
from their first love. In short, the foundation of Waltham, instead 
of being simply slurred over as a monastic foundation of the ordinary 
kind, well deserves to be dwelt upon, both as marking an aera in our 
ecclesiastical history, and also as bearing the most speaking witness 
to the real character of its illustrious founder. The care and thought- 
fulness, as well as the munificence, displayed in every detail of the 
institution, the zeal for the advancement of learning as well as for 
mere ecclesiastical splendour, the liberal patronage of even foreign 
merit, all unite to throw a deep interest round Earl Harold's minster, 
and they would of themselves be enough to win him a high place 
among the worthies of England. No wonder then that this noble 
foundation became in a peculiar manner identified with its founder ; 
no wonder that it was to Waltham that he went for prayer and 
meditation in the great crisis of his life, that it was at Waltham that 
his body found its last resting-place, that at Waltham his memory 
still lived, fresh . and cherished, while elsewhere calumny had fixed 
itself upon his glorious name. No wonder too that the local relic 
became a centre of national reverence ; that the object of Harold's 
devotion became the badge and rallying -point of English national 
life; that the "Holy Rood" — the Holy Rood of Waltham — became 
the battle-cry of