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Title: The Lives of the III Normans, Kings of England: William the First, William the Second, Henrie the First
Author: John Hayward
Release Date: January 7, 2012 [eBook #38513]
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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LIVES OF THE III NORMANS, KINGS OF ENGLAND: WILLIAM THE FIRST, WILLIAM THE SECOND, HENRIE THE FIRST***
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vr late, too late borne, or too soone dying Prince, Henry of famous memorie, your deceased brother, sent for mee, a few monethes before his death. And at my second comming to his presence, among some other speeches, hee complained much of our Histories of England; and that the English Nation, which is inferiour to none in Honourable actions, should be surpassed by all, in leauing the memorie of them to posteritie. For this cause hee blamed the negligence of former ages: as if they were ignorant of their owne deseruings, as if they esteemed themselues vnworthie of their worth.
I answered, that I conceiued these causes hereof; One, that men of sufficiencie were otherwise employed; either in publicke affaires, or in wrestling with the world, for maintenance or encrease of their priuate estates. Another is, for that men might safely write of others in a tale, but in maner of a History,4 safely they could not: because, albeit they should write of men long since dead, and whose posteritie is cleane worne out; yet some aliue, finding themselues foule in those vices, which they see obserued, reproued, condemned in others; their guiltinesse maketh them apt to conceiue, that whatsoeuer the words are, the finger pointeth onely at them. The last is, for that the Argument of our English historie hath bene so soiled heretofore by some vnworthie writers, that men of qualitie may esteeme themselues discredited by dealing in it.
And is not this (said he) an errour in vs, to permit euery man to be a writer of Historie? Is it not an errour to be so curious in other matters, and so carelesse in this? We make choise of the most skilfull workemen to draw or carue the portraiture of our faces, and shall euery artlesse Pensell delineate the disposition of our minds? Our apparell must be wrought by the best Artificers, and no soile must be suffered to fall vpon it: and shall our actions, shall our conditions be described by euery bungling hand? Shall euery filthie finger defile our reputation? Shall our Honour be basely buried in the drosse of rude and absurd writings? Wee are carefull to prouide costly Sepulchers, to preserue our dead liues, to preserue some memorie what wee haue bene: but there is no monument, either so durable, or so largely extending, or so liuely and faire, as that which is framed by a fortunate penne; the memory of the greatest Monuments had long since perished, had it not bene preserued by this meanes.
To this I added; that I did alwayes conceiue, that we should make our reckoning of three sorts of life: the short life of nature, the long life of fame, and the eternall life of glorie. The life of glorie is so farre esteemed before the other two, as grace is predominant in vs: the life of fame before our naturall life is so farre esteemed, as a generous spirit surmounteth sensualitie; as humane nature ouerruleth brutish disposition. So farre as the noble nature of man hath dominion in our minds, so farre do we contemne, either the incōmodities, or dangers, or life of our body, in regard of our reputation and fame. Now seeing this life of fame is both preserued and enlarged chiefly by history; there is no man (I suppose) that will either resist, or not assist, the commendable or at5 least tolerable writing thereof, but such as are conscious to themselues, either that no good, or that nothing but ill, can bee reported of them. In whom notwithstanding it is an errour to thinke, that any power of the present time, can either extinguish or obscure the memorie of times succeeding. Posteritie will giue to euery man his due: Some ages hereafter will affoord those, who will report vnpartially of all.
Then he questioned whether I had wrote any part of our English Historie, other then that which had been published; which at that time he had in his hands. I answered, that I had wrote of certaine of our English Kings, by way of a briefe description of their liues: but for historie, I did principally bend, and binde my selfe to the times wherein I should liue; in which my owne obseruations might somewhat direct me: but as well in the one as in the other I had at that time perfected nothing.
To this he said; that in regard of the honour of the time, hee liked well of the last; but for his owne instruction, he more desired the first: that he desired nothing more then to know the actions of his Auncestours; because hee did so farre esteeme his descent from them, as he approached neere them in honourable endeauours. Hereupon, beautifying his face with a sober smile, he desired mee, that against his returne from the progresse then at hand, I would perfect somewhat of both sorts for him, which he promised amply to requite; and was well knowen to be one who esteemed his word aboue ordinary respects. This stirred in mee, not onely a will, but power to perfourme; so as engaging my duety farre aboue the measure either of my leisure or of my strength, I finished the liues of these three Kings of Norman race, and certaine yeeres of Queene Elizabeths Reigne.
At his returne from the Progresse to his house at S. Iames, these pieces were deliuered vnto him; which hee did not onely courteously, but ioyfully accept. And because this seemed a perfect worke, he expressed a desire that it should be published. Not long after he died; and with him died both my endeauours and my hopes. His death, alasse! hath bound the liues of many vnto death, face to face; being no wayes able, either by forgetfulnesse to couer their griefe, or to diminish it with consideration.
For in trueth he was a Prince of a most Heroical heart: Free from many vices which sometimes accompanie high estates, full of most amiable and admirable vertues: of whose perfections the world was not worthy. His eyes were full of pleasant modestie; his countenance manly beautifull; in bodie both strongly and delicately made; in behauiour sweetely sober, which gaue grace to whatsoeuer he did. He was of a discerning wit; and for the facultie of his mind, of great capacitie and power, accompanied with equall expedition of will: much foreseeing in his actions, and for passions a commander of himselfe; and of good strength to resist the power of prosperitie. In counsaile he was ripe and measured, in resolution constant, his word euer led by his thought, and followed by his deede. And albeit hee was but yong and his nature forward and free, yet his wisedome reduced both to a true temper of moderation; his desires being neuer aboue his reason, nor his hopes inferiour to his desires. In a word, hee was the most faire fruit of his Progenitours, an excellent ornament of the present age, a true mirrour to posteritie: being so equally both setled to valour, and disposed to goodnesse and Iustice, as hee expressed not onely tokens, but proofes, both of a courage, and of a grauitie and industrie right worthie of his estate.
Glorious Prince, my loue and duety hath caried me further, then happily is fit for the present purpose: and yet this is but an earnest onely of my earnest affection and zeale to thy Honour. I shall hereafter haue a more proper place to display at large, the goodlinesse of thy shape, the goodnesse of thy nature, the greatnesse of thy minde: all thy perfections, whereby our affections were much enflamed. And euillworthy may he be of any happy hopes, who will not adde one blast of his breath, to make vp the glorious gale of thy fame.
In the meane time I haue here accomplished his desire in publishing this worke: More to testifie to the world the height of his heart, then for any pleasure I haue to set foorth any thing, to the view of these both captious and vnthankefull times; wherein men will be, not readers onely, but interpreters, but wresters, but corrupters and deprauers of that which they reade; wherein men thinke the reproofe of others, to be the greatest parcell of their7 owne praise. But how should I expect any better vsage? The Commentaries of Cæsar, neuer disliked before, are esteemed by Lypsius, a dry saplesse piece of writing. The most famous Tacitus is tearmed by Alceate, a thicket of thornes; by Budæus,  a most lewd Writer; by Tertullian, an exceeding lyar; by Orosius, a flatterer; then which assuredly he is nothing lesse. I will not expect any better vsage, I will not desire it; I will hereafter esteeme nothing of any worth, which hath not many to detract from it.
Whatsoeuer this is, I haue presumed to present it to your Highnesse, for these causes following: First, for that it receiued this being from him, who was most dearely esteemed by you; who may be iustly proposed, as an example of vertue, as a guide to glory and fame. Secondly, for that the persons of whom it treateth, are those most worthy Ancestors of yours, who laid the foundation of this English Empire; who were eminent among all the Princes of their times, and happely for many ages after, as well in actions of Peace as of Warre. Lastly, for that I esteeme Histories the fittest subiect for your Highnesse reading: For by diligent perusing the actes of great men, by considering all the circumstances of them, by comparing Counsailes and meanes with euents; a man may seeme to haue liued in all ages, to haue beene present at all enterprises; to be more strongly confirmed in Iudgement, to haue attained a greater experience, then the longest life can possibly affoord.
But because many errours doe vsually arise, by ignorance of the State wherein we liue; because it is dangerous to frame rules of Policie out of Countreys differing from vs, both in nature, and custome of life, and forme of gouernment; no Histories are so profitable as our owne. In these your Highnesse may see, the noble disposition and delights of your Ancestors; what were their sweete walkes, what their pleasant Chases: how farre they preferred glory, before either pleasure or safetie; how by the braue behauiour of their sword, they hewed honour out of the sides of their enemies. In these you may see, the largenesse, commodities, and strength of this Countrey; the nature of the people,8 their wealth, pleasure, exercise and trade of life, and what else is worthy of obseruation. Generally, by these you may so furnish your selfe, as not easily to be abused either by weake or deceitfull aduise.
The Most High preserue and prosper your Highnesse: that as you succeed many excellent Ancestours in blood, so you may exceed them all in Honourable atchieuements.
obert Duke of Normandie, the sixth in descent frō Rollo, riding through Falais a towne in Normandie, espied certaine yong persons dauncing neere the way. And as he stayed to view a while the maner of their disport, he fixed his eye especially vpon a certaine damosell named Arlotte; of meane birth, a Skinners daughter, who there daunced among the rest. The frame and comely carriage of her body, the naturall beautie and graces of her countenance, the simplicitie of her rurall both behauiour and attire pleased him so well, that the10 same night he procured her to be brought to his lodging; where he begate of her a sonne, who afterward was named William.
I will not defile my writing with memory of some lasciuious behauiour which she is reported to haue vsed, at such time as the Duke approched to embrace her. And doubtfull it is, whether vpon some speciall note of immodestie in herselfe, or whether vpon hate towards her sonne, the English afterwards adding an aspiration to her name (according to the naturall maner of their pronouncing) termed euery vnchast woman Harlot.
It is remembred by some, rather seruile then fond in obseruations, who will either finde or frame predictions for euery great action or euent; that his mother before the time of her deliuery had a dreame, that her bowels were extended ouer Normandie and England. Also, that at the time of his birth, he fell from his mothers body to the ground; and there filled both his hands with rushes, which had bene cast thicke vpon the floore, and streined them with a very streit gripe. The wiues laughed at large, and soone grew prodigall of idle talke. But the Midwife somewhat more soberly said;11 That he should not onely hold well his owne, but graspe somewhat from other men.
When he was about 9. yeeres of age, his father went vpon deuotion to Hierusalem; and in his returne died at the Citie of Nice. So William at that age succeeded his father; hauing then very generous and aspiring spirits, both to resist abroad, and to rule at home. Hee was committed to the gouernment of two of his vnckles; and the French King was entreated by his father to take vpon him the protection, both of his person and State. But his vnckles pretended title to his dignitie, by reason of his vnlawfull birth; the King of France also desired much and had often attempted to reduce Normandie to his absolute subiection, as it was before the inuasion of the Normans. So as it may seeme he was committed to these Tutors, as a Lambe should be committed to the tutelage of wolues. The onely meanes of his preseruation consisted in a factious Nobilitie, deuided into so many parts, as there were parties: Some contending for possession of the yong Dukes person; others, of his authoritie and power; all of them incompatible to endure either equals, or els superiours: All of them vni12ted against a common enemie; all deuided among themselues.
Here it may be demanded how he being vnlawfully borne, could succeed his father in the dutchie of Normandie; his father leauing two brothers borne in lawfull marriage, and much other legitimate kindred behind him.
Will. Malmesburie and some others haue reported, that albeit hee was borne out of marriage, yet Duke Robert his father did afterwards entertaine his mother for lawfull wife: which by the Law of that Countrey, agreeable in that point to the Ciuill and Canon Lawes, sufficed to make the issue inheritable, although borne before.
And further, it was a generall custome at that time in France, that bastards did succeed, euen in dignities of highest condition, no otherwise then children lawfully begotten. Thierrie bastard of Clouís, had for his partage with the lawfull children of the same Clouís, the Kingdome of Austrasie, now called Lorraine. Sigisbert bastard of King Dagobert the first, had his part in the Kingdome of France, with Clouís the 12. lawfull sonne to Dagobert. Loys and Carloman bastards of King Loys le13 Begue, succeeded after the death of their father. So likewise in England, Alfride bastard sonne of Oswine, succeeded his brother Egfride. So Adelstane the bastard sonne of Edward the elder, succeeded his father, before Edmund and Eldred his yonger brothers; notwithstanding they were lawfully begotten. So Edmund, surnamed the Martyr, Bastard sonne to King Edgar, succeeded him in the state, before Ethelbred his lawfull issue. Afterward, Harold surnamed Harefoote, bastard to Canutus, succeeded him in the kingdome, before Hardicanutus, his lawfull sonne. The like custome hath been obserued in Spaine, in Portugale, and in diuers other countreys. And it is probable that this vse was grounded vpon often experience, that bastards (as begotten in the highest heate and strength of affection) haue many times been men of excellent proofe, both in courage and in vnderstanding. This was verified in Hercules, Alexander the Great, Romulus, Timotheus, Brutus, Themistocles, Arthur: in Homer, Demosthenes, Bion, Bartholus, Gratian, Peter Lumbard, Peter Comestor, Io. Andreas, and diuers of most flourishing name: among whom our Conquerour may worthily be ranged.
And yet in the third race of the Kings of France a law was made, that bastards should not inherite the Crowne of the Realme. This custome was likewise banished out of England, and other countreys of Europe. Notwithstanding in France, other bastards of great houses were still aduowed.
The exercises of this Duke from his verie youth were ingenuous, manly, decent, & such as tended to actiuitie and valure: Hee was of a working minde and vehement spirit, rather ambitious then onely desirous of glory: of a piercing wit, blind in no mans cause, and well sighted in his owne: of a liuely and present courage; neither out of ignorance, or rash estimation of dangers, but out of a true iudgement both of himselfe and of them. In peace he was politicke: In warre valiant and very skilfull, both to espie, and to apprehend, and to follow his aduantages: this valure and skill in militarie affayres, was alwayes seconded with good successe. He was continually accustomed both to the weight and vse of armour, from his very childhood. Oftentimes hee looked death in the face with a braue contempt. He was neuer free from actions of armes; first vpon necessity15 to defend himselfe, afterwards vpon ambition to offend and disturbe the possessions of others.
In his first age he was much infested with rebels in Normandie; who often conspired both against his life, and against his dignitie and State; traducing him, as a bastard, as a boy, as borne of a base ignoble woman, as altogether vnworthy to be their Prince. Of these, some he appeased and reconciled vnto him: others he preuented, and dispersed their power before it was collected: others hee encountred in open field, before he had any haire vpon his face; where hee defeated their forces in full battell, then tooke their strongholds, and lastly chased them out of his dominion.
And first Roger Tresnye, hauing gained exceeding great both fauour and reputation by his seruices against the Sarasins in Spaine, made claime to the duchie of Normandie; as one lawfully descended from Rollo their first Duke. And albeit many others were before him in title, yet (said he) if they will sit still; if they, either through sloath, which is ill, or through feare, which is worse, will abandone the aduenture, he alone would free the Normans from16 their infamous subiection. He was followed by many, partly vpon opinion of his right, but chiefly of his valour. But when he brought his cause to the arbitrement of Armes, hee was ouerthrowne in a strong battaile, wherein his claime and his life determined together.
After this, William Earle of Arques, sonne to Richard the second, and vnckle to Duke William, vpon the same pretence declared himselfe against his nephew. And albeit the Normans were heauie to stirre in his fauour, yet hee so wrought with the French King, by assuring him great matters in Normandie; that with a mightie armie of his owne people, hee went in person, to place him in possessiō of that dutchy. The way which the King tooke, led him to a large valley, sandie and full of short bushes and shrubs; troublesome for horsemen either to fight or to march. On either side were rising hils, very thicke set with wood. Here the Armie entred with small aduisement, either for clearing the passage, or for the safetie of their carriages. The Vaward consisted chiefly of battle-axes and pikes. In the right wing were many Almans among the French. In the left were many of Aniou and Poictou. After these fol17lowed the baggage, with an infinite number of scullians, carters and other base drudges attending vpon it. Next came the French King with the maine battaile, consisting for the most part of valiant and worthy Gentlemen, brauely mounted. The lances and men at Armes cloased the Rereward.
When they were well entred this valley, the Normans did liuely charge vpon them in head; they deliuered also their deadly shot from the hils on both sides, as thicke as haile. Notwithstanding the Vantgard, casting themselues into a pointed battaile in forme of a wedge, with plaine force of hand made themselues way; and marching in firme and close order through the thickest of their enemies, gained (albeit not without great losse) the top of a hill, and there presently encamped themselues. The like fortune happily might the residue haue had, if they had followed with the like order and courage. But failing herein, the right wing was hewed in pieces: the left wing was broken and beaten vpon the carriages; where ouerbearing and treading downe one an other, they receiued almost as much hurt from themselues, as they did from their ene18mies. The maine battaile and Rereward aduancing forward to rescue the carriage, were first miserably ouerwhelmed with a storme of arrowes from the hill on both sides: and the gallant horses once galled with that shot, would no more obey or endure their riders; but flinging out, either ouerthrew or disordred all in their way. And the more to encrease the miserie of that day, the dull and light sand which was raised, partly by the feete of horses and men, and partly by violence of the wind, which then blew full in the faces of the French, inuolued them all as in a thicke and darke cloud; which depriued them of all foresight and direction in gouerning their affaires. The valiant was nothing discerned frō the coward, no difference could be set betweene contriuance and chance: All laboured in one common calamitie, and euery one encreased the feare of his fellow.
The Normans hauing well spent their shot, and perceiuing the French in this sort both disordered and dismayed, came downe from the hils where they houered before; and falling to the close stroke of battaile-axe and sword, most cruelly raged in the blood of their enemies. By19 whom if any sparke of valour was shewen, being at so great disaduantage, it was to no purpose, it was altogether lost; it was so farre from relieuing others, that it was not sufficient to defend themselues. And doubtlesse no thing so much fauoured the state of the French that day, as that the number of the Normans sufficed not to enclose them behind. For then they had bene entrapped as Deere in a toile; then not one of them could haue escaped. But the entrance of the valley remayning open, many fled backe to the plaine ground; tumbling together in such headlong hast, that if the Normans had sharply put vpon them the chase, it is certaine that they had bene extreemely defeated. But the Duke gaue ouer the execution vpon good aduise. For knowing himselfe not to be of force vtterly to vanquish the French, he assayed rather by faire forbearance to purchase their friendship.
Here the French king assembled his broken companies, and encamped them for that night so well as he could. The ioy of their present escape expelled for the time all other respects. But after a little breathing, their remembrance began to runne vpon the losse of their cariages;20 whereby they had lost all meanes to refresh themselues. Of their Vaward they made a forelorne reckoning, and the like did the Vaward of them. Many were wounded, all wearied; and the Normans gaue notice by sounding out their instruments of warre, that they were at hand on euery side. The rudest of the Souldiers did boldly vpbraid this infortunitie to the King; one asked him where his Vaward was, where were his wings, where were the residue of his battell, and Rereward. Others called for the cariages, to preserue those in life who had not been slaine. Others demanded if he had any more mouse-traps to leade them into. But most sate heauy and pensiue, scarce accounting themselues among the liuing. The King swallowed downe all with a sad silence, sometimes he dissembled as though he had not heard; sometimes hee would fairely answere; Good words, good souldiers; haue patience a while, and all will be well: which was indeede a truer word then he thought it possible to bee when he spake it.
In this extremity the King assembled the chiefe of his commanders, to aduise with them what was best to be done. It was generally con21cluded, that in staying their case was desperate; and dangerous it was to stirre. But here lay the question; whether it was least dangerous to remoue together, or euery man to shift for himselfe. Whilest this point was in debating, whilest they expected euery minute to be assailed, whilest no man saw any thing but death and despaire; behold, a messenger came from the Duke, not to offer but to desire peace; and to craue protection of the French king, according to the trust which Robert the Dukes father reposed in him. There needed not many words to perswade. Peace was signed, protection assured, in a more ample maner then it was required. Then the messenger with many good words appeased the Kings heauinesse, telling him, that his Vaward was safe, his cariages not touched, and that he should be furnished with horses both for burthen and draught, in stead of those that had been slaine. These words, as a sweete enchantment, rauished the French King with sudden ioy. But when they came to gather vp their baggage, a spectacle both lamentable and loathsome was presented vnto them. The valley couered, and in some places heaped with dead bodies of men and horses:22 many not once touched with any weapon, lay troden to death, or else stifled with dust and sand: many grieuously wounded, reteined some remainder of life, which they expressed with cries and groanes: many not mortally hurt, were so ouerlaid with the slaine, that they were vnable to free themselues: towards whom it is memorable, what manly both pitie and helpe the Normans did affoord. And so the French King more by courtesie of his enemies, then either by courage or discretion of his owne, returned in reasonable state to Paris.
Vpon these euents of open hostilitie, Guy Earle of Burgogne, who had taken to wife Alix, daughter to Duke Richard the second, and Aunt to Duke William, conspired with Nicellus president of Constantine, Ranulph Vicecount of Bayon, Baimond, and diuers others, suddenly to surprise the Duke, and slay him in the night. A certaine foole, (nothing regarded for his want of wit) obseruing their preparations, secretly got away, and in the dead of the night came to Valogne, where the Duke then lay; no lesse slenderly guarded with men, then the place it selfe was sleight for defence. Here he23 continued rapping at the gate, and crying out, vntill it was opened, and hee brought to the presence of the Duke. To whom he declared the conspiracie, with circumstances of such moment, that the Duke foorthwith tooke his horse, and posted alone towards Falais, an especial place for strength for defence. Presently after his departure the conspirators came to Valogne, they beset the house, they enter by force, they search euery corner for the Duke: And finding that the game was start, and on foote, in hote haste they pursued the chase.
About breake of day the Dukes horse tired, and he was ignorant of his right way. He was then at a little village called Rie, where the chiefe Gentleman of the place was standing at his doore ready to goe abroad. Of him the Duke enquired the next way to Falais. The Gentleman knew the Duke, and with all duetie and respect desired to know the cause of his both solitarie and vntimely riding. The Duke would willingly haue passed vnknowne; but perceiuing himselfe to be discouered, declared to him the whole aduenture. Hereupon the Gentleman furnished him with a fresh horse,24 and sent with him two of his sonnes to conduct him the direct way to Falais.
No sooner were they out of sight, but the conspirators came, and enquired of the same Gentleman (who still remained at his doore) whether he saw not the Duke that morning: as if, forsooth, they were come to attend him. The Gentleman answered, that he was gone a little before, and therewith offered them his company to ouertake him. But he lead them about another way, vntill the Duke was safely alighted at Falais. And thus the more we consider these and the like passages of affaires, the lesse we shall admire either the wisdome, or industry, or any other sufficiencie of man. In actions of weight it is good to employ our best endeuours; but when all is done, he danceth well to whom Fortune doeth pipe.
When the conspirators vnderstood that their principall purpose was disappointed, they made themselues so powerfull in the field, that the Duke was enforced to craue ayde of the King of France; who not long before was his greatest enemie. The King preferring to his remembrance the late honourable dealing of the Duke, came in person vnto him; by whose25 countenance and aide the Duke ouerthrew his enemies in a full battell, in the vale of Dunes: albeit not without great difficultie, and bold aduenture of his owne person. Guy de Burgogne escaped by flight, and defended himselfe in certaine castles which he had fortified in Normandie for his retreite; but in the end hee rendred both himselfe and them to the Dukes discretion. The Duke not onely pardoned him, but honoured him with a liberall pension; which he did afterward both with valiant and loyall seruice requite.
Not long after, the French King had wars against Ieoffrey Martell, and Duke William went with a faire companie of Souldiers to his ayde. In this seruice he so wel acquited himselfe, both in iudgement and with hand, that the French King was chiefly directed by him; onely blaming him for too carelesse casting himselfe into the mouth of dangers; imputing that to ostentation, which was but the heate of his courage and age. Oftentimes hee would range from the maine battell with very fewe in his company; either to make discoueries, or to encounter such enemies as could not bee found with greater troupes. Once hee withdrew26 himselfe onely with foure, and was met with by fifteene of the enemies. The most forward of them he strake from his horse, and brake his thigh with the fall. The residue hee chased foure miles; and most of them being hurt, tooke seuen prisoners. Hereupon Ieoffrey Martell then said of him; that he was at that time the best souldier, and was like to prooue the best commander in the world.
And as hee was both fauourable and faithfull towards them who fairely yeelded, so against such as either obstinately or scornefully caried themselues, he was extreamely seuere, or rather cruell. When hee besieged Alençon, which the Duke of Aniou had taken from him, the defendants would often crie from the walles, La pel, La pel; reproaching him thereby with the birth of his mother. This base insolencie, as it enflamed both his desire and courage to atchieue the enterprise, so did it his fury, to deale sharpely with them when they were subdued; by cutting off their hands and feete; and by other seuerities which were not vsuall.
Besides these, some others of his owne blood prouoked Engelrame Earle of Ponthieu to moue against him in armes: but the Duke receiued27 him with so resolute valour, that the Earle was slaine in the field, and they well chastised who drew him to the enterprise. The Britaines did often feele the force of his victorious armes. Hee had many conflicts with Ieoffrey Martell Earle of Aniou, confederate with the Princes of Britane, Aquitaine, and Tours; a man equall vnto him both in power and in skill to command, but in fortune and in force of arme much inferiour. Many excellent atchieuements were performed betweene them; insomuch as their hostilitie seemed onely to bee an emulation in honour. Once the Duke fell into an ambushment addressed for him by the Earle of Aniou; wherewith he was so suddenly surprized, that he was almost in the midst of the danger before he thought any danger neere him. An exceeding great both terrour and confusion seazed vpon his souldiers; because the more sudden and vncertaine a perill is, the greater is it alwayes esteemed. Many of his brauest men were slaine; the residue so disordered, or at least shaken, as they began to thinke more of their particular escape, then of the common either safety or glory.
When they were thus vpon the point to dis28band, the Duke rather with rage then courage cried vnto them, If you loue me not Souldiers, yet for shame follow me; for shame stand by mee; for shame let not any of your friends heare the report, that you ran from mee and left me fighting. With that he threw himselfe into the thickest throng of his enimies, and denounced those either traitours or cowards who would not follow. This example breathed such braue life into his Souldiers, that they rallied their loose rankes, and in close order seconded him with a resolute charge: encouraging one another, that it was shameful indeede not to fight for him, who so manfully did fight with them. The Duke brandishing his sword like a thunderbolt, dung downe his enemies on euery side; made at Earle Martell in the midst of his battallion, strake him downe, claue his helmet, and cut away one of his eares. This so diuerted the Aniouans to the rescue of their Earle, that they let the other part of the victorie goe. The Earle they recouered againe to horse, and so left the Duke master of the field. Verely, it is almost impossible, that a commander of such courage should haue, either faint or false hearted Souldiers.
Now it happened not long before, that Fulc Earle of Aniou hauing drawen Herbert Earle of Maine vnder faire pretenses to Xantonge, cast him in prison, from whence he could not be released vntill he had yeelded to certaine conditions, both dishonourable and disaduantageable vnto him. Hugh succeded Herbert; from whom Ieoffrey Martell Earle of Aniou tooke the citie of Maine, and made himselfe lord of all the countrey. Hugh hauing lost his dominion, left both his title and his quarrell to his sonne Herbert: who hauing no issue, appointed Duke William to bee his heire. Hereupon the Duke inuaded Maine, and in short time subdued the whole countrey, and built two fortifications for assurance thereof; hauing first sent word to the Earle of Aniou, vpō what day the worke should begin. The Earle vsed all diligence and means to impeach the buildings; but hee not onely failed of that purpose, but further lost the countie of Medune.
Againe, Henry King of France did many other times with great preparation inuade his Countrey; sometimes with purpose to winne vpon him, and sometimes to keepe him from winning vpon others. Vpon a time the King30 led his troupes ouer the foord of Dine; and when halfe his army had passed, the other halfe by reason of the rising of the Sea, was compelled to stay. The Duke apprehending the aduantage, came vpō them with a furious charge, being now deuided from the chiefe of the Armie; and either slew them or tooke them prisoners, in the plaine view of their King. After this they concluded a peace, whereof the conditions were, That the Duke should release such prisoners as he had taken; and that hee should retaine whatsoeuer he had wonne, or afterwards should winne from the Earle of Aniou. And yet the King did againe enterprise vpon him, with greater forces then at any time before: But the Duke entertained his Armies with so good order and valoure, that the King gained nothing but losse and dishonour: and the greater his desire was of victorie and reuenge, the more foule did his foiles and failings appeare; which so brake both his courage and heart, that with griefe thereof (as it was conceiued) hee ended his life. And thus during all the time that he was onely Duke of Normandy, he was neuer free from action of armes: in all his actions of armes hee was caried with a31 most rare and perpetuall felicitie.
As he grew in yeeres, so did he in thicknesse and fatnesse of body: but so, as it made him neither vnseemely, nor vnseruiceable for the warres; and neuer much exceeding the measure of a comely corpulencie. He was most decent, and therewith terrible in armes. He was stately and maiesticall in his gesture; of a good stature, but in strength admirable: in so much as no man was able to draw his bow, which hee would bend sitting vpon his horse, stretching out the string with his foot. His countenance was warlike and manly as his friends might terme it; but as his enemies said, truculent and fierce. He would often sweare By Gods resurrection and his brightnesse: which he commonly pronounced with so furious a face, that hee strooke a terrour into those that were present. His head was bald; his beard alwayes shauen; which fashion being first taken vp by him, was then followed by all the Normans. Hee was of a firme and strong constitution for his health; so as he neuer was attached with sicknesse, but that which was the summons of his death: and in his age seemed little to feele the heauie weight and burthen of yeeres.
In his first age he was of a mild and gentle disposition; courteous, bountifull, familiar in conuersation, a professed enemie to all vices. But as in Fortune, as in yeres, so changed he in his behauiour; partly by his continuall following the warres (whereby he was much fleshed in blood) and partly by the inconstant nature of the people ouer whom he ruled: who by often rebellions did not onely exasperate him to some seueritie, but euen constraine him to hold them in with a more stiffe arme. So hee did wring from his subiects very much substance, very much blood; not for that he was by nature either couetous or cruell, but for that his affaires could not otherwise be managed. His great affaires could not be managed without great expence, which drew a necessity of charge vpon the people: neither could the often rebellions of his Subiects be repressed or restrained by any mild and moderate meanes. And generally as in all States and gouernments, seuere discipline hath alwayes bin a true faithfull mother of vertue and valour; so in particular of his Normans he learned by experience, and oftentimes declared this iudgement: That if they were held in bridle, they were most valiant, and33 almost inuincible; excelling all men both in courage, and in strength, and in honourable desire to vanquish their enemies. But if the reines were layd loose vpon their necke, they were apt to runne into licentiousnes and mischiefe; ready to consume either themselues by riot and sloath, or one another by sedition: prone to innouation and change; as heauily mooued to vndertake dangers, so not to bee trusted vpon occasion.
He tooke to wife Matilde daughter to Baldwin Earle of Flanders, a man for his wisedome and power, both reuerenced and feared euen of Kings; but because she was his cousin Germane, he was for his marriage excommunicate by his owne vnckle Mauger Archbishop of Roan. Hereupon he sued to Pope Victor, and obteined of him a dispensation: and afterwards so wrought, that by a prouinciall Councell his vncle Mauger was depriued of his dignitie. But by this meanes both he & his issue were firmely locked in obedience to the Sea of Rome; for that vpon the authoritie of that place the validitie of his marriage, and consequently the legitimation of his issue seemed to depend.
When he was about 50. yeeres of age, Edward34 King of England ended his life. This Edward was sonne to Egelred King of England, by Emma, sister to Richard the second Duke of Normandie, who was grandfather to Duke William: so as King Edward and Duke William were cousins germane once remoued.
At such time as Egelred was first ouercharged with warres by the Danes, he sent his wife Emma, with two sonnes which she had borne vnto him, Alphred and Edward, into Normandie to her brother; where they were enterteined with all honourable vsage for many yeeres. Afterward giuing place to the malice of his Fortune, he passed also into Normandie, and left his whole state in the possession and power of Swanus King of Denmarke. But after the death of Swanus, partly by the aide of the Normans, and partly by fauour of his owne people, he recouered his Kingdome, and left the same to his eldest sonne Edmund, who either for the tough temper of his courage and strength, or for that he almost alwayes liued in Armes, was surnamed Ironside.
Hereupon Canutus the sonne of Swanus made sharpe warre, first against Egelred, then against Edmund: and finally after many varie35ties of aduenture, but chiefly by the fauour of the Clergie of England (because they had sworne allegiance to his father) spread the wings of his victory ouer the whole Kingdome. He expelled out of the Realme Edwine and Edward the two sonnes of King Edmund: of whom Edwine married the Kings daughter of Hungarie, but died without issue; Edward was aduanced to the marriage of Agatha, daughter to the Emperour Henry, and by her had issue two sonnes, Edmund & Edgar, and so many daughters, Margaret and Christine. The same Canutus tooke Emma to wife, who had bene wife to King Egelred; by whom he had a sonne named Hardicanutus.
After the death of Canutus, Alphred the sonne of Egelred came out of Normandie, and with fiftie saile landed at Sandwich: with purpose to attempt the recouerie of his fathers kingdome. In which enterprise hee receiued not onely encouragement, but good assurance from many of the English Nobilitie. But by Earle Goodwine he was abused and taken; his company slaine, his eyes put out, and then sent to the Ile of Elie, where in short time hee ended his life. Edward also arriued at Hampton with 40. ships,36 but finding the Countrey so farre from receiuing, as they were ready to resist him, he returned into Normandie, and attended the further fauour of time. So after Canutus succeeded in England, first Harold sirnamed Harefoot, bastard sonne to Canutus; and after him Hardicanutus, sonne to Canutus by Emma, mother also to King Edward.
Hardicanutus being dead, the Nobilitie of the Realme sent into Normandie for Edward to be their King; whereto also he was appointed as some haue written by Hardicanutus. But because Alphred his brother vpon the like inuitation had bene traiterously taken and slaine before, William at that time Duke of Normandie would not permit him to depart, vntill he had receiued for pledges of his safety, Woolnoth son to Earle Goodwine, and Hacon sonne to Swaine, Earle Goodwins eldest sonne. Vpon this assurance he was furnished by the duke his cousin, with all meanes fit both for his enterprise and estate. And so hee passed the Seas, arriued in England, and with generall ioy was receiued for King. He tooke to wife Edith the daughter of Earle Goodwine; but whether vpon vow of chastitie, or whether vpon impotencie of nature, or37 whether vpon hatred to her father, or whether vpon suspition against herselfe (for all these causes are alleaged by seuerall writers of those times) he forbore all priuate familiaritie with her.
When he was well locked into the chaire of State, Duke William came out of Normandie to see him, to shew his magnificence to the English people; to shew to the English, both that he loued their King, and that he was of power to relieue him, in case his necessities should so require. Here, besides honourable enterteinement, besides many rich gifts both to himselfe and to his followers, the King hauing neither hope nor desire of issue, promised him, in regard of his great fauours and deserts, that hee should be his next successour in the Kingdome. And for further assurance thereof, sent him also the like message into Normandie, by Robert Archbishop of Canterburie.
After this Harold sonne to Earle Goodwine passed the Seas into Normandie, to deale for the discharge of his brother Wolnoth and Hacon his nephew, who had bene deliuered for hostages to the Duke. In his passage he was much tossed with troublesome weather, and in the38 end was cast vpon the coast of Ponthieu, and there taken by the Earle and committed to prison. But at the request of the Duke of Normandie, hee was released with honourable respect, and by the Earle himselfe accompanied to the Duke; who enterteined him with great magnificence at Roan. The Duke was then going in Armes against the Britaines; in which iourney Harold did accompany him, and shewed himselfe a man, neither rash in vndertaking, nor fearefull in perfourming any seruices of the field. After prosperous returne, the Duke declared to Harold, the purpose of King Edward cōcerning the Dukes succession to this Crowne. Harold did auow the same to be true; and promised to affoord thereto the best furtherance that he could. Hereupon the Duke assembled a Councell at Boneuill; where Harold did sweare fidelitie vnto him: and promised likewise by oath, that after the death of King Edward, he would keepe the Realme of England to the vse of the Duke: that he would deliuer vnto him the castle of Douer, and certaine other pieces of defence, furnished at his owne charge. Hereupon the Duke promised vnto him his daughter in marriage, and with her halfe the Realme39 of England in name of her dower. He also deliuered to him his nephew Hacon; but kept his brother Wolnoth as an hostage, for performance of that which Harold had sworne.
In short time after King Edward died, and Harold being generall commander of the forces of the Realme, seized vpon the soueraignetie, and without any accustomed solemnities set the crowne vpon his owne head. The people were nothing curious to examine titles; but as men broken with long bondage, did easily entertaine the first pretender. And yet to Harold they were inclinable enough, as well vpon opinion of his prowesse, as for that hee endeauoured to winne their fauour, partly by abating their grieuous paiments, and partly by increasing the wages of his seruants and Souldiers; generally, by vsing iustice with clemencie and courtesie towards all. About this time a blasing starre appeared and continued the space of seuen dayes; which is commonly taken to portend alteration in States. Of this Comet a certaine Poet, alluding to the baldnesse of the Norman, wrote these verses.
Duke William sent diuers Ambassadours to Harold; first to demaund perfourmance of his oath, afterward to mooue him to some moderate agreement. But ambition, a reasonlesse and restlesse humour, made him obstinate against all offers or inducements of peace. So they prepared to buckle in armes; equall both in courage and in ambitious desires, equall in confidence of their fortune: but Harold was the more aduenturous, William the more aduised man: Harold was more strong in Souldiers, William in Alies and friends.
Harold was seated in possession, which in case of a kingdome is oftentimes with facilitie attained, but retained hardly: William pretended the donation of King Edward, and that he was neere vnto him in blood by the mothers side.
Now there wanted not precedents, both ancient and of later times, that free kingdomes and principalities, not setled by custome in succession of blood, haue been transported euen to strangers by way of guift. Attalus king of Pergamus did constitute the people of Rome his heire; by force wherof they made his kingdome a part of their empire. Nicomedes King41 of Bithynia made the people of Rome likewise his heire; whereupon his kingdome was reduced to the forme of a Prouince. So Alexander King of Egypt, gaue Alexandria and the kingdome of Egypt; and so Ptolemie gaue the kingdome of Cyrene to the same people of Rome. Prasutagus one of the kings of great Britaine, gaue the kingdome of the Iceni to Cæsar Nero, and to his daughters. Yea, in the Imperial state of Rome, Augustus designed Tiberius to be his successour; and by like appointment Nero became successour to Claudius; Traiane to Nerua; Antonius Pius to Adrian; and Antoninus the Philosopher to another Antoninus. When the Emperour Galba did openly appoint Piso for his successour, he declared to the people, that the same custome had been obserued by most approued and ancient Princes. Iugurth being adopted by Mycipsa, succeeded him in the kingdome of Numidia; and that by the iudgement as well of Mycipsa himselfe, as of the Senate and people of Rome.
The holy histories report that Salomon gaue twentie cities to Hiram king of Tyre: and if the argument be good from the part to the whole, he might in like sort haue disposed of all his42 kingdome. Who hath not heard of the donation falsly attributed to Constantine the great, being in trueth the donation of Lewis, sirnamed the pious; whereby he gaue to Pope Paschal the citie of Rome, and a large territorie adioyning vnto it; the instrument of which gift Volaterrane doth recite. So the Ladie Matild, daughter to Roger the most famous Prince of Cicilie, and wife to king Conrade, sonne to Henrie the 4. Emperour, gaue the Marquisate of Apulia to the Bishop of Rome: which when the Emperour Otho the 4. refused to deliuer, hee was for that cause excommunicate by the Pope. In like sort the countrey of Daulphin was giuen by Prince Vmbert to the King of France, vpon condition, that the eldest sonne of France should afterward be called Daulphine. Lastly, the Dukes first auncestor Rollo, receiued the Dukedome of Normandie by donation of Charles King of France: And himselfe held the Countie of Maine by donation of Earle Herebert, as before it is shewed. And by donation of the King of Britaine, Hengist obtained Kent; the first kingdome of the English Saxons in Britaine. After which time the Countrey was neuer long time free from inuasion: first, by43 the English and Saxons against the Britaines, afterward by the seuen Saxon kingdomes among themselues, and then lastly by the Danes. By meanes whereof the kingdome at that time could not bee setled in any certaine forme of succession by blood, as it hath been since; but was held for the most part in absolute dominion, and did often passe by transaction or gift: and he whose sword could cut best, was alwaies adiudged to haue most right. But of this question more shall hereafter be said, in the beginning of the life of King William the second.
Touching his propinquity in blood to King Edward by the mothers side, he enforced it to be a good title: because King Edward not long before had taken succession from Hardicanutus, to whom hee was brother by the mothers side. And although King Edward was also descended from the Saxon Kings, yet could not he deriue from them any right: For that Edgar and his sisters were then aliue, descended from Edmund Ironside, elder brother to King Edward. Hee could haue no true right of succession, but onely from Hardicanutus the Dane. So Pepine, when he was possessed of the State of France, did openly publish, that hee was descended of44 the blood of Charles the Great, by the mothers side. And albeit the said Edgar was both neerer to King Edward then the Duke of Normandie, and also ioyned to him in blood by the fathers side; yet was that no sufficient defence for Harold. The vsurped possession of Harold could not be defended, by alleaging a better title of a third person. The iniurie which hee did to Edgar, could not serue him for a title against any other.
These grounds of his pretence, beautified with large amplifications of the benefits which he had done to King Edward, he imparted to the Bishop of Rome; who at time was reputed the arbitrator of controuersies which did rise betweene princes. And the rather to procure his fauour, and to gaine the countenance of religion to his cause, hee promised to hold the kingdome of England of the Apostolike Sea. Hereupon Alexander then Bishop of Rome allowed his title, and sent vnto him a white hallowed banner, to aduance vpon the prowe of his ship: also an Agnus Dei of gold, and one of S. Peters haires, together with his blessing to begin the enterprise.
But now concerning his further procee45dings, concerning his victorious both entrance and cōtinuance within the Realme of England, two points are worthy to be considered: one, how he being a man of no great either power or dominion, did so suddenly preuaile against a couragious King, possessed of a large and puissant State. The other is, how he so secured his victorie, as not the English, not the Britains, not the Danes, not any other could dispossesse or much disturbe him & his posteritie, from enioying the fayre fruits thereof. And if we giue to either of these their true respects, wee shall find his commendation to consist, not so much in the first, as in the second: because that was effected chiefly by force, this by wisedome only; which as it is most proper to man, so few men doe therein excell. Hee that winneth a State surmounteth onely outward difficulties; but he that assureth the same, trauaileth as well against internall weaknes, as external strength. To attaine a Kingdome is many times a gift of Fortune; but to prouide that it may long time continue firme, is not onely to oppose against humane forces, but against the very malice of Fortune, or rather the power and wrath of time, whereby all things are na46turally inclineable to change.
For the first then, besides the secret working and will of God, which is the cause of all causes; besides the sinnes of the people, for which (the Prophet saith,) Kingdomes are transported from one Nation to another: King Edward not long before made a manifest way for this inuasion and change. For although he was English by birth, yet by reason of his education in Normandie, he was altogether become a Normane, both in affection and in behauiour of life. So as in imitation of him, the English abandoned the ancient vsages of their Country, and with great affection or affectation rather, conformed themselues to the fashions of France. His chiefe acquaintance and familiar friends were no other then Normans; towards whom being a milde and soft spirited Prince, he was very bountifull, and almost immoderate in his fauours. These he enriched with great possessions; these he honoured with the highest places both of dignitie and charge. Chiefly he aduanced diuers of them to the best degrees of dignitie in the Church: by whose fauour Duke William afterward was both animated & aided in his exploit. Generally as the whole Clergie47 of England conceiued a hard opinion of Harold; for that vpon the same day wherein King Edward was buried, he set the Crowne vpon his owne head, without Religious Ceremonies, without any solemnities of Coronation: so they durst not for feare of the Popes displeasure, but giue either furtherance or forbearance to the Dukes proceedings; and to abuse the credite which they had with the people, in working their submission to the Normans. Now of what strength the Clergie was at that time within the Realme, by this which followeth it may appeare.
After that Harold was slaine, Edwine and Morcar Earles of Northumberland and Marckland, brothers of great both authoritie and power within the Realme, had induced many of the Nobilitie to declare Edgar Athelinge to be their King: but the Prelates not onely crossed that purpose, but deliuered Edgar the next heire from the Saxon Kings to the pleasure of the Duke.
Againe, when the Duke after his great victorie at Hastings aduanced his armie towards Hartford-shire; Fredericke Abbot of S. Albanes had caused the woods belonging to his48 Church to be felled, and the trees to be cast so thicke in the way, that the Duke was compelled to coast about to the castle of Berkhamstead. To this place the Abbot vnder Suerties came vnto him; and being demanded wherefore he alone did offer that opposition against him, with a confident countenance he returned answere: that he had done no more then in conscience and by Nature he was bound to doe: and that if the residue of the Clergie had borne the like minde, hee should neuer haue pierced the land so farre. Well, answered the Duke, I know that your Clergie is powerfull indeed; but if I liue and prosper in my affaires, I shall gouerne their greatnesse well ynough. Assuredly, nothing doeth sooner worke the conuersion or subuersion of a State, then that any one sort of Subiects should grow so great, as to be able to ouerrule all the rest.
Besides this disposition of the Clergie, diuers of the Nobilitie also did nothing fauour King Harold or his cause: for that he was a manifest vsurper, naked of all true title to the Crowne, pretending onely as borne of the daughter of Hardicanutus the Dane. Yea he was infamous both for his iniurie and periurie towards the49 Duke, and no lesse hatefull for his disloyaltie in former times, in bearing Armes with his father against King Edward. Hereupon the Nobilitie of the Realme were broken into factions. Many (of whom his owne brother Tosto was chiefe) inuited Harold King of Norway to inuade; with whom whilest Harold of England was incountring in Armes, the residue drew in Duke William out of Normandie. And these also were diuided in respects. Some were caried by particular ends, as being prepared in diuers maner by the Normane before hand: others vpon a greedy and for the most part deceiueable ambition, in hunting after hazard and change: others were led with loue to their Countrey, partly to auoyd the tempest which they saw to gather in clouds against them, and partly to enlarge the Realme both in dominion and strength, by adioyning the Country of Normandie vnto it. In which regard, (because the lesse doeth alwayes accrue to the greater) they thought it more aduantageable to deale with a Prince of an inferiour state, then with a Prince of a state superiour or equal.
As for Edgar Atheling, the next successour to the Crowne in right of blood, he was not of50 sufficient age; of a simple wit and slow courage; not gracious to the English, as well for his imperfections both in yeeres and nature, as for that he was altogether vnacquainted with the customes and conditions of their Countrey: vnfurnished of forces and reputation, vnfurnished of friends, vnfurnished of all meanes to support his title. So Duke William hauing better right then the one, and more power then the other, did easily cary the prize from both.
Now touching the state of his owne strength, albeit Normandie was but little in regard of England, yet was it neither feeble nor poore. For the people, by reason of their continuall exercise in Armes, by reason of the weightie warres which they had managed, were well inabled both in courage and skill for all Militarie atchieuements. Their valour also had bene so fauoured by their Fortune, that they were more enriched by spoile, then drawne downe either with losses or with charge. Hereupon when preparation was to be made for the enterprise of England, although some disswaded the Duke from embracing the attempt; affirming that it was a vaine thing to streine at that which the hand is not able to51 conteine, to take more meat then the stomacke can beare; that he who catcheth at matters too great, is in great danger to gripe nothing: Yet did others not onely encourage him by aduise, but enable him by their aide. Among which William Fitz-Auber did furnish 40. ships with men and munition; The Bishop of Baieux likewise 40: the Bishop of Mans 30: and in like sort others, according to the proportion of their estates.
And yet he drew not his forces onely out of Normandie, but receiued aide from all parts of France; answerable not onely to his necessitie, but almost to his desire. Philip King of France at that time was vnder age, and Baldwine Earle of Flanders was gouernour of the Realme; whose daughter the Duke had taken to wife. By his fauour the Duke receiued large supplies from the state of France, both in treasure and in men of warre: for countenance whereof it was giuen foorth, that the Duke should hold the Realme of England as hee did the Duchie of Normandie, vnder homage to the Crowne of France. Hereupon diuers Princes of France did adioyne to his aide; and especially the Duke of Orleance, the Earles of Britaine, Aniou,52 Boloigne, Ponthieu, Neuers, Poictou, Hiesmes, Aumale, and the Lord of Tours. Many other of the Nobilitie and Gentlemen did voluntarily aduenture, both their bodies and whole estates vpon the euent of this enterprise. So greatly had he either by courtesie wonne the loue, or by courage erected the hopes of all men: yea of many who had bin his greatest enemies. With these also the Emperour Henry 4. sent him certaine troupes of Souldiers, commanded by a Prince of Almaine. Hee receiued also many promises of fauour from Swaine King of Denmarke. And who can assure (for the sequele maketh the coniecture probable) that he held not intelligence with Harold Harfager King of Norway, to inuade England with two armies at once. So partly by his owne Subiects, and partly by supply from his Alleys and friends, hee amassed a strong Armie, consisting chiefly of Normans, Flemings, French and Britaines, to the number of fiftie thousand men; and brought them to S. Valeries, before which Towne his ships did ride. Here he stayed a certaine time attending the wind, as most writers doe report; but rather as it may be coniectured, to awaite the arriuall of Harold Harfager K. of Norway:53 knowing right well, that the inuasion of Harold of Norway vpon the North parts of the realme, would draw away Harold of England to leaue the coasts towards the South vndefended.
During his abode at S. Valeries, certaine English espials were taken, whom King Harold had sent to discouer both the purposes and power of the Duke. When they were brought to his presence, with a braue confidence he said vnto them: Your Lord might well haue spared this charge; hee needed not to haue cast away his cost to vnderstand that by your industrie and faith, which my owne presence shall manifest vnto him; more certainly, more shortly then he doth expect. Goe your wayes, goe tell him from me, If he find me not before the end of this yeere, in the place where hee supposeth that hee may most safely set his foote, let him neuer feare danger from mee whilest hee liue. Many Normans disliked this open dealing of the Duke: preferring to his iudgement the valour and experience of King Harold; the greatnesse of his treasure; the number and goodnes of his men; but especially his strong Nauie, and expert Saylers; accustomed both to the fights and dangers of the Sea, more then any other people in the world. To these the Duke54 turned, and sayd: I am glad to heare this opinion run, both of his prowesse and of his power; the greater shall our glory bee in preuailing against him. But I see right well that I haue small cause to feare his discouery of our strength, when you, who are so neere vnto mee, discerne so little. Rest your selues vpon the Iustice of your cause and foresight of your Commaunder. Who hath lesse then hee, who can iustly tearme nothing his owne? I know more of his weakenesse, then euer he shall know of my strength, vntill he feele it. Performe you your parts like men, and he shall neuer be able to disappoint either my assurance, or your hopes.
Now Harold King of England had prepared a fleet to resist the inuasion of the duke of Normandie: but by reason of his long stay at S. Valeries, speeches did spread, whether by error or subornation, yea, assured aduertisement was sent out of Flanders, that he had for that yeere abandoned his enterprise. In the meane time Harold Harfager King of Norway, then whom no man was esteemed more valiant, hauing assured both intelligence and aide out of England, arriued in the mouth of Humber: and from thence drawing vp against the streame of55 the riuer Owse, landed at a place called Richhall. Here he Marshalled his Armie, and marched foorth into the Countrey: and when hee came neere vnto Yorke, he was encountred by the English, led by Edwine and Morchar the principall commanders of all those quarters. The fight was furious, but in the end the English were ouerthrowne, and with a great slaughter chased into Yorke.
Vpon aduertisement hereof, Harold King of England caried all his forces against Harfager. His readinesse was such, and such his expedition, that the fifth day after the fight before mentioned he gaue him battell againe; wherein Harold Harfager was slaine, and so was Tosto the King of Englands brother: Tosto by an vncertaine enemie, but Harfager by the hand of Harold of England. Their armie also was routed, and with a bloody execution pursued, so long as day and furie did last. Here a certaine Souldier of Norway was most famous almost for a miracle of manhood. He had been appointed with certaine others, to guard the passage at Stamford bridge. The residue vpon approach of the English forsooke their charge; but hee alone stepped to the foote of the Bridge, and56 with his Battle-axe sustained the shocke of the whole armie; slew aboue fourty assailants, and defended both the passage and himselfe, vntill an English Souldier went vnder the Bridge, and through a hole thereof thrust him into the bodie with a Launce.
If this victory of King Harold had been so wisely vsed as it was valiantly wonne, he should haue neglected the spoyle, and returned with the like celeritie wherewith he came. But hee gaue discontentment to his Souldiers, in abridging their expectation for free sharing the spoile; and hauing lost many in that conflict, he retired to Yorke, and there stayed; as well to reforme the state of the Countrey, greatly disordered by meanes of these warres, as also both to refresh and repaire his armie.
In the meane time the Duke of Normandie receiuing intelligence, that the Sea-coasts were left naked of defence, loosed from S. Valeries with three hundred, or, as some writers report, 896, or, as one Norman writer affirmes, with more then one thousand saile: and hauing a gentle gale, arriued at Pemsey in Sussex, vpon the 28. of September. The ship wherein the Duke was caried is said, (as if it had runne for57 the garland of victory) to haue outstripped the rest so farre, that the sailers were enforced to strike saile, and hull before the winde to haue their companie. When hee first stepped vpon the shoare, one of his feete slipped a little. The Duke to recouer himselfe stepped more strongly with the other foote, and sunke into the sand somewhat deepe. One of his Souldiers espying this, sayd merrily vnto him: You had almost fallen my Lord, but you haue well maintained your standing, and haue now taken deepe and firme footing in the soyle of England. The presage is good, and hereupon I salute you King. The Duke laughed; and the souldiers, with whom superstition doth strongly worke, were much confirmed in courage by the ieast.
When he had landed his forces, he fortified a piece of ground with strong trenches, and discharged all his ships; leauing to his souldiers no hope to saue themselues, but by onely by victory. After this he published the causes of his comming in armes, namely:
1 To chalenge the kingdome of England, giuen to him by his cousin King Edward, the last lawfull possessor at that time thereof.
2 To reuenge the death of his cousin Alfred,58 brother to the same K. Edward, and of the Normans, who did accompanie him into England; no lesse cruelly then deceitfully slaine by Earle Goodwin and his adherents.
3 To reuenge the iniurie done vnto Robert Archbishop of Canterburie; who by the practise (as it was then giuen foorth) of Harold, had been exiled in the life time of King Edward.
This last article was added either to please the Pope, or generally in fauour of the Cleargie: to whom the example grew then intollerable, that an Archbishop should bee once questioned by any other then by themselues.
So the Duke, leauing his fortification furnished with competent forces to assure the place, as wel for a retreit, as for daily landing of fresh supplies, marched forward to Hastings; and there raised another fortresse, and planted likewise a garison therein. And in all places he restrained his Souldiers, either from spoyling or harming the Countrey people, for feare that thereby they would fall into disorder: but giuing forth, that it were crueltie to spoile them, who in short time should be his Subiects. Here the Duke, because he would not either aduen59ture or trust his Souldiers, went foorth in person to discouer the Countrey, with 15. horsemen in his company, and no more. His returne was on foote, by reason of the euill qualitied wayes: and when Fitz-Osberne who went with him, was ouerwearied with the weight of his armour, the Duke eased him by bearing his helmet vpon his shoulder. This action may seeme of slender regard; but yet did gaine him, both fauour and dutie among his Souldiers.
K. Harold hearing of these approches, hasted by great iourneyes towards London; sending his messengers to all places, both to encourage and entreate the people to draw together for their common defence. Here he mustered his Souldiers; and albeit hee found that his forces were much impaired by his late battaile against Harfager, yet he gathered an able armie, countenanced and commanded by diuers of the Nobilitie, which resorted vnto him from many parts of the Realme. The Duke in the meane time sent a messenger vnto him, who demanded the Kingdome in so stout maner, that he was at the point to haue bene euill entreated by the King. Againe the King sent his messenger to the Duke, forbidding him60 with loftie language, to make any stay within that Countrey; but to returne againe no lesse speedily, then rashly he had entred. The Duke betweene mirth and scorne returned answere; That as he came not vpon his entreaty, so at his command he would not depart. But (said he) I am not come to word with your King, I am come to fight, and am desirous to fight: I will be ready to fight with him, albeit I had but 10000. such men as I haue brought 60000.
K. Harold spent little time, lost none (vnlesse happely that which hee might haue taken more) both in appointing and ordering his Armie. And when he was ready to take the field, his mother entreated him, first moderately, then with words of passion and with teares, that he would not aduenture his person to the battaile. Her importunitie was admired the more, for that it was both without any apparant cause, and not vsuall in former times. But Harold with vndaunted countenance and heart, conducted his Armie into Sussex, and encamped within seuen miles of the Normans: who thereupon approched so neere to the English, that the one Armie was within view of the other.
First, espials were sent on both sides, to discouer the state and condition of their enemies. They who were sent from the English made a large report, both of the number, and appointment, and discipline of the Normans. Whereupon Girth, yonger brother to King Harold presented him with aduise, not to play his whole State at a cast; not to bee so caried with desire of victory, as not to awaite the time to attaine it: that it is proper to Inuaders presently to fight, because they are then in the very pride and flourish of their strength; but the assailed should rather delay battell, rather obserue only and attend their enemies, cut off their reliefe, vexe them with incommodities, weary them, and weare them out by degrees: that it could not be long before the Dukes armie, being in a strange Countrey, would be reduced to necessities; it could not bee long but by reason it consisted of diuers nations, it would draw into disorder: that it was proper to an armie compounded of different people, to be almost inuincible at the first, whilest all contend to excell or at least to equal other in braue performance; but if they be aduisedly endured, they will easily fall into disorders, and lastly of themselues62 dissolue. Or if (sayd he) you resolue to fight, yet because you are sworne to the Duke, you shall doe well to withdraw your presence; to imploy your authoritie in mustering a new armie, to bee readie to receiue him with fresh forces. And if you please to commit the charge of this incounter vnto me, I will not faile to expresse, both the loue of a brother, and the care and courage of a Commander. For as I am not obliged to the Duke by oath, so shall I either preuaile with the better cause, or with the quieter conscience die.
Both these counsailes were reiected by Harold: The first out of a violent vehemencie of these Northerne nations, who doe commonly esteeme delay of battell a deiected cowardise, a base and seruile deflouring of time; but to beare through their designes at once, they account a point of honourable courage. The second he esteemed both shamefull to his reputation, and hurtfull to the state of his affaires. For what honour had he gained by his former victories, if when he came to the greatest pinch of danger, hee should fearefully shrinke backe? with what heart should the Souldiers fight, when they haue not his presence for whom they fight? when they haue not their Generall63 an eye witnesse of their performance? when they want his sight, his encouragement, his example to enflame them to valour? The presence of the Prince is worth many thousands of ordinarie Souldiers: The ordinary Souldier wil vndertake both labour and danger for no other respects so much, as by the presence of the Prince. And therefore he did greatly extenuate the worth of the Normans, terming them a company of Priests; because their fashion was to shaue their faces: But whatsoeuer they were, as he had (hee said) digested in his minde the hardest euents of battell; so either the infamie or suspicion of cowardise in no case hee would incurre. Hee resolued not to ouerliue so great dishonour; he resolued to set vp as his last rest, his Crowne, and Kingdome; and life withall. And thus oftentimes Fortune dealeth with men, as Executioners doe with condemned persons; she will first blindfold, and then dispatch them.
After this the Norman sent a Monke to offer the choise of these conditions to Harold; Either to relinquish his kingdome vpon certaine conditions; or to hold it vnder homage to the Duke; or to try their cause by single combate;64 or to submit it to the iudgement of the Pope, according to the Lawes of Normandy or of England, which he would. Againe, some conditions were propounded from K. Harold to the Duke: But their thoughts were so lifted vp both with pride and confidence, by reason of their former victories, that no moderate ouerture could take place: and so they appointed the day following, which was the 14. of October, to determine their quarrell by sentence of the sword. This happened to be the birth day of K. Harold, which for that cause by a superstitious errour, he coniectured would be prosperous vnto him.
The night before the battaile for diuers respects was vnquiet. The English spent the time in feasting and drinking, and made the aire ring with showtings and songs: the Normans were more soberly silent, and busied themselues much in deuotion; being rather still then quiet, not so much watchful as not able to sleepe. At the first appearance of the day, the King and the Duke were ready in Armes, encouraging their Souldiers, and ordering them in their arrayes; in whose eyes it seemed that courage did sparckle, and that in their face65 and gesture victorie did sit. The Duke put certaine reliques about his necke, vpon which King Harold had sworne vnto him. It is reported that when he armed, the backe of his Curasses was placed before by errour of him that put it on: some would haue bin dismayed hereat, but the Duke smiled, and said; Assuredly this day my Fortune will turne, I shall either be a King, or nothing before night.
The English were knit in one maine body on foot; whereof the first rancks consisted of Kentishmen (who by an ancient custome did challenge the honour of that place,) the next were filled with Londoners; then followed the other English. Their chiefe weapons were pole-axe, sword and dart, with a large target for their defence. They were paled in front with paueises in such wise, that it was thought impossible for the enemie to breake them. The King stood on foot by his Standard, with two of his brothers, Girth and Leofwine; as well to relieue from thence all parts that should happen to be distressed, as also to manifest to the Souldiers, that they reteined no thought of escaping by flight. On the other side, the Normans were diuided into three battailes: The66 first was conducted by Roger Montgomerie, and William Fitz-Osborne; it consisted of horsemen of Aniou, Maine and Britaine, commanded by a Britaine named Fergent; It caried the Banner which the Pope had sent. The middle battaile consisting of Souldiers out of Germanie and Poictou, was led by Geoffrye Martell, and a Prince of Almaine. The Duke himselfe closed the last battaile, with the strength of his Normans and the flowre of his Nobilitie. The Archers were diuided into wings, and also dispersed by bands through all the three battails.
Thus were both sides set vpon a bloody bargaine; ambition, hope, anger, hate, enflaming them to valour. The duke edged his Souldiers, by declaring vnto them the noble Acts of their ancesters, the late admirable atchieuement of their fellow Normans in subduing the Kingdome of Sicill, their owne braue exploits vnder him; by shewing them all that pleasant and plentifull Countrey, as the purchase of their prowesse, as the gaine and reward of their aduenture: by putting them in minde, that they were in a Countrey both hostile & vnknowne, before them the sword, the vast Ocean behind, no place of retreit, no surety but in valour and67 in victory; so as they who would not contend for glory, were vpon necessitie to fight for their liues: Lastly, by assuring them, that as he was the first in aduise, so would he be the foremost in aduenture, being fully resolued either to vanquish, or to die. The King encouraged his men, by presenting to their remembrance, the miseries which they susteined not long before, vnder the oppression of the Danes; which whether they were againe to endure, or neuer to feare, it lieth (said he) in the issue of this field. The King had the aduantage both for number of men, and for their large able bodies; The Duke both in Armes, (especially in regard of the Bow and arrowes,) and in experience and skill of Armes; both equall in courage; both confident alike in the fauour of Fortune, which had alwayes crowned their courage with victory. And now by affronting of both the Armies, the plots and labours of many moneths, were reduced to the hazard of a few houres.
The Normans marched with a song of the valiant acts of Rowland, esteeming nothing of perill in regard of the glory of their aduenture. When they approched neere their enemies, they saluted them first with a storme of Ar68rowes: Robert Fitz Beaumonte a yong Gentleman of Normandie, beginning the fight from the right Wing. This maner of fight as it was new, so was it most terrible to the English, so were they least prouided to auoyd it. First, they opened their rancks, to make way for the Arrowes to fall; but when that auoydance did nothing auaile, they cloased againe, and couered themselues with their Targets, ioyned together in maner of a pendhouse; encouraging one another, to hast forward, to leape lustily to hand-strokes, and to scoure their swords in the entrailes of their enemies. Then the Duke commanded his horsemen to charge: but the English receiued them vpon the points of their weapons, with so liuely courage, in so firme and stiffe order, that the ouerthrow of many of the foremost, did teach their followers to aduenture themselues with better aduise. Hereupon they shifted into wings, and made way for the footmen to come forward. Then did both armies ioyne in a horrible shocke, with Pole-axes, & the Prince of weapons the sword: maintaining the fight with so manlike furie, as if it had bene a battaile of Giants, rather then of men. And so they continued the greatest69 part of that day, in close and furious fight; blow for blow, wound for wound, death for death; their feet steadie, their hands diligent, their eyes watchfull, their hearts resolute; neither their aduisement dazeled by fiercenesse, nor their fiercenesse any thing abated by aduisement.
In the meane time the horsemen gaue many sharpe charges, but were alwayes beaten backe with disaduantage. The greatest annoyance came from the Archers; whose shot showred among the English so thicke, as they seemed to haue the enemy in the middest of their Armie. Their armour was not sufficiently either compleate or of proofe to defend them, but euery hand, euery finger breadth vnarmed, was almost an assured place for a deepe, and many times a deadly wound. Thus whilest the front was maintained in good condition, many thousands were beaten downe behind; whose death was not so grieuous vnto them, as the maner of their death, in the middest of their friends, without an enemie at hand, vpon whom they might shew some valour, and worke some reuenge.
This maner of fight would soone haue de70termined aswell the hopes as the feares of both sides, had not the targets of English been very seruiceable vnto them; Had not King Harold also with a liuely and constant resolution, performed the part, not onely of a skilfull commander, by directing, encouraging, prouiding, relieuing; but of a valiant Souldier by vsing his weapon, to the excellent example of his Souldiers. In places of greatest danger hee was alwayes present; repayring the decayes, reforming the disorders, and encouraging his company, that in doing as men, whether they preuailed, or whether they perished, their labour was alwayes gloriously employed. So they knit strongly together, and stood in close and thicke array, as if they had been but one body: not onely bearing the brunt of their enemies, but making such an impression vpon their squadron, that the great bodie began to shake. The Duke aduentured in person so farre, moued no lesse by his naturall magnanimitie, then by glory of the enterprise, that besides his often alighting to fight on foote, two, or (as some report) three horses were slaine vnder him. And hauing a body both able by nature, and by vse hardened to endure trauaile, hee exacted the greater ser71uice of his Souldiers: commending the forward, blaming the slow, and crying out (according to his nature) with vehement gesture and voice vnto all; that it was a shame for them who had been victorious against all men with whom they dealt, to be so long held by the English in delay of victory. So partly by his authoritie, and partly by his example, he retained his Souldiers, and imposed vpon them the fayrest necessitie of courage; whilest euery man contended to win a good opinion of their Prince.
Then the fight entred into a new fitte of heate; nothing lesse feared then death, the greatnesse of danger making both sides the more resolute: and they who could not approach to strike with the hand, were heard to encourage their fellowes by speach, to pursue the victory, to pursue their glory, not to turne to their owne both destruction and disgrace. The clashing of armour, the iustling of bodies, the resounding of blowes, was the fairest part of this bloody medley: but the grislinesse of wounds, the hideous fals and groanes of the dying, all the field defiled with dust, blood, broken armour, mangled bodies, represented Ter72rour in her foulest forme. Neuer was furie better gouerned; neuer game of death better played. The more they fought the better they fought; the more they smarted, the lesse they regarded smart.
At the last, when the Duke perceiued that the English could not be broken by strength of arme, he gaue direction that his men should retire and giue ground; not loosely, not disorderly, as in a fearefull and confused haste, but aduisedly and for aduantage; keeping the front of their squadron firme and close, without disbanding one foote in array. Nothing was more hurtfull to the English, being of a franke and noble spirit, then that their violent inclination caried them too fast into hope of victory. For, feeling their enemies to yeeld vnder their hand, they did rashly follow those who were not hasty to flee: And in the heate of their pursuit, vpon a false conceit of victory, loosed and disordered their rankes, thinking then of nothing but of executing the chase. The Normans espying the aduantage to be ripe, made a stiffe stand, redoubled vpon the English, and pressing on with a furie equall to their fauourable fortune, with a cruell butchery brake into73 them. On the other side it is scarce credible with what strength both of courage and hand the English euen in despight of death, sustained themselues in this disorder; drawing into small squadrons, and beating downe their enemies on euery hand, being resolued to sell their liues with their place.
But a mischiefe is no mischiefe, if it comes alone. Besides this disaduantage of disarray, the shot of the Normans, did continually beate vpon the English with a grieuous execution. Among other King Harold about the closing of the euening, as he was busie in sustaining his armie, both with voyce and with hand, was strooke with an arrow through the left eye into his braines, of which wound hee presently died. His two brothers, Girth and Leofwine were also slaine, and also most of the nobilitie that were present: So long as the King stood, they stood stoutly, both with him, and for him, and by him: his directions supported them, his braue behauiour breathed fresh boldnesse and life into them. But his death was a deadly stabbe to their courage; vpon report of his death, they began to wauer in resolution, whether to trust to the force of their armes, or to74 commend their safetie to their good footemanship. In this incertainty many were slaine: Many retired in reasonable order to a rising ground, whither they were closely followed by the Normans; but the English hauing gotten aduantage of the place, and drawing courage out of despaire, with a bloody charge did driue them downe. Count Eustachius supposing fresh forces to be arriued, fled away with fiftie Souldiers in his company; and meeting with the Duke, rounded him secretly in his eare, that if hee went any further hee was vndone. Whilest he was thus speaking, hee was strooke betweene the shoulder with so violent a blowe, that he fell downe as dead, and voided much blood at his nose and mouth. In this conflict many of the noblest Normans were slaine, which mooued the Duke to make a strong ordered stand, giuing libertie therby for those English to retire. Others fled through a watery channell, the passages whereof were well knowen vnto them: and when the Normans did more sharpely then aduisedly pursue, the place being shadowed partly with Sedges and Reedes, and partly with the night, they were either stifled in the waters, or easily destroyed75 by the English, and that in so great numbers, that the place was filled vp with dead bodies. The residue scattered in smaller companies, and had their flight fauoured by increasing darkenesse: the enemie not aduenturing to follow, both in a strange Countrey, and in the night. Earle Edwine and Earle Morchar, brothers of approoued both courage and faith, did great seruice at that time, in collecting these dispersed Troupes, and leading them in some fashion to London.
Duke William surprised with Ioy, gaue publike charge for a solemne thanksgiuing to God. Then he erected his pauilion in the middest of the field, among the thickest of those bodies whom death had made to lie quietly together. There he passed the residue of that night; and the next morning mustered his souldiers, buried those that were slaine, and gaue libertie to the English to do the like. The bodie of King Harold could not be knowen by his face, it was so deformed by death, and by his wound; by his armour and by certaine markes vpon his body it was knowen. As it lay vpon the ground, a Norman Souldier did strike it into the legge with his sword: for which vnmanly acte he was76 cassed by the Duke with open disgrace. It was caried into the Dukes Pauilion, vnder the custodie of William Mallet. And when his mother made suite for it to bee buried, the Duke denied it at the first; affirming, that buriall was not fit for him, whose ambition was the cause of so many Funerals. The mother, besides her lamentations and teares, offered for it (as one Norman writer affirmes) the weight thereof in gold. But the Duke, with a manly compassion gaue it freely; as holding it dishonourable both to value the bodie of a King, and make sale of a slaine enemie. So his body was buried by his mother at Waltham Crosse within the monasterie which hee had founded. Verely there was nothing to be blamed in him, but that his courage could not stoupe to be lower then a King.
I haue been the more long in describing this battel, for that I esteem it the most memorable and best executed that euer was fought within this land: as well for skilfull direction, as for couragious performance, and also for the greatnesse of the euent. The fight continued with very great both constancie of courage, and variety of fortune, from seuen of the clocke in the morning vntill night. Of the Normans were77 slaine 6000 and more, besides those that were drowned and beaten downe in the water. The slaughter of the English is vncertainely reported, but certainely it was farre greater then that of the Normans. Certaine also that their death was most honourable and faire, not any one basely abandoning the fielde; not any one yeelding to bee taken prisoner. And yet one circumstance more I hold fit to bee obserued; that this victory was gotten onely by the meanes of the bow and arrow: The vse whereof was by the Normans first brought into this land. Afterward the English being trained to that fight, did thereby chiefly maintaine themselues with honourable aduantage, against all nations with whom they did contend in armes; being generally reputed the best shot in the world.
But of late yeeres it hath bene altogether layed aside, and in stead thereof the harquebuze and calliuer are brought into vse: yet not without contradiction of many expert men of Armes; who albeit they doe not reiect the vse of these small pieces, yet doe they preferre the Bow before them. First, for that in a reasonable distance, it is of greater both certainty and78 force. Secondly, for that it dischargeth faster. Thirdly, for that more men may discharge therewith at once: for onely the first rancke dischargeth the piece, neither hurt they any but those that are in front; but with the bow 10. or 12. rancks may discharge together, and will annoy so many ranckes of the enemies. Lastly, for that the arrow doeth strike more parts of the body: for in that it hurteth by discent; (and not onely point blancke like the bullet) there is no part of the body but it may strike; from the crowne of the head, euen to the nayling of the foot to the ground. Hereupon it followeth, that the arrowes falling so thicke as haile vpon the bodies of men, as lesse fearefull of their flesh, so more slenderly armed then in former times, must necessarily worke most dangerous effects.
Besides these generall respects in many particular seruices and times, the vse of the Bow is of greatest aduantage. If some defence lye before the enemy, the arrow may strike where the bullet cannot. Foule weather may much hinder the discharge of the piece, but it is no great impediment to the shot of the Bow. A horse strooke with a bullet if the wound be not mor79tall, may performe good seruice; but if an arrow be fastened in his flesh, the continuall stirring thereof, occasioned by the motion of himselfe, will enforce him to cast off all command, and either beare downe or disorder those that are neere.
But the cracke of the piece (will some man say) doeth strike a terrour into the enemie. True, if they bee such as neuer heard the like noise before. But a little vse wil extinguish these terrours: to men, yea to beasts acquainted with these cracks, they worke a weake impression of feare. And if it be true which all men of action doe hold, that the eye in all battailes is first ouercome, then against men equally accustomed to both, the sight of the arrow is more auaileable to victorie then the cracke of the piece. Assuredly, the Duke before the battaile encouraged his men, for that they should deale with enemies who had no shot. But I will leaue this point to be determined by more discerning iudgements, and happily by further experience in these affaires, and returne againe to my principall purpose.
The next day after the victorie the Duke returned to Hastings, about seuen miles from the80 place of the encounter, partly to refresh his Armie, and partly to settle in aduise and order for his further prosecution. First, he dispatched messengers to signifie his successe to his friends abroad; to the Pope he sent King Harolds Standerd, which represented a man fighting, wrought curiously with golde and precious stones. Afterwards placing a strong garrison at Hastings, he conducted his Armie towards London: not the direct way, but coasted about through part of Kent, through Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Barkeshire: the wayes where hee passed being as free from resistance, as his thoughts were from change. At Wallingford he passed ouer the Thames; and then marched forward through Oxford-shire, Buckingham-shire, and Hartford-shire, vntill he came to the Castle at Berkhamstead. In this passage many of his Souldiers languished and died of the Fluxe. And whether it were vpon licentiousnesse after the late victorie, or whether for want of necessary prouision, or whether to strike a terrour into the English, or whether to leaue no danger at his backe, he permitted the sword to range at large, to harrie freely, to defile many places with ruine and blood.
In the meane time the English Lords assembled at London, to aduise vpon their common affaires; but the varietie of opinions was the chiefe impediment to the present seruice; the danger being more important, then the counsaile resolute, or the confidence assured. The Nobilitie enclined to declare Edgar grandchild to Edmund Ironside, to be their King: and with these the Londoners wholy went. But those of the Clergie were of opinion (some vpon particular respects, all vpon feare to displease the Pope) to yeeld to the storme and streame of the present time, to yeeld to the mightie Arme of God; that their forces being prostrated, their hopes feeble and forlorne, they must be content not to be constrained; they must not prouoke the Victor too farre; against whose forces and felicities, time gaue them not power to oppose. This deliberation held so long, that all the time of action was spent. For the Duke approched so neere the Citie, that many preferring their safetie before other respects, withdrew themselues and went vnto him. Hereupon the residue dissolued: and Alfred Archb. of Yorke, Wolstane Bishop of Worcester, Wilfire B. of Hereford, and many82 other Prelates of the Realme went vnto the Duke at Berkhamstead; accompanied with Edgar, Earle Edwine, Earle Morchar, and diuers others of the Nobilitie: who gaue pledges for their allegiance, and were thereupon receiued to subiection and fauour. The Duke presently dispatched to London, was receiued with many declarations of ioy, the lesser in heart, the fairer in appearance, and vpon Christmas day next following was crowned King.
Now the meanes whereby this victory was assured, were the very same whereby it was atchieued; euen by a stiffe and rigorous hand. For whosoeuer supposeth that a State atteined by force, can be reteined by milder meanes, he shall find himselfe disappointed of his hopes. A people newly subdued by force, will so long remaine in obedience, as they finde themselues not of force to resist.
And first he endeauoured either to preuent or appease all forren warres, especially against the Danes, who were then chiefly feared in England, as well in regard of their former victories, as for that they pretended title to the Crowne. And herein two things did especially fauour his affaires. One, for that the Normans83 were in some sort allied to the Danes; being the progenie of those Noruegians and Danes, which vnder the conduct and fortune of Rollo inuaded France, & after many great atchieuements, seated in Normandie. The other was, for that after the death of Canutus, the state of Denmarke was much infeebled by diuision. For the Noruegians set vp Magnus the sonne of Olaus for their King; but the Danes acknowledged Canutus the third of that name: by meanes whereof that puissant empire did languish in consumption of it selfe, and could not be dangerous to any neighbour Countrey. Yet ceased they not for many yeeres, to continue claime to the Crowne of England: But King William had purchased many sure and secret friends in that diseased state, wherein all publike affaires were set to sale; especially he vsed the authoritie of Adelbert, Archbishop of Hamburgh, either to crosse all counsaile of hostilitie against him, or else to delay, and thereby to delude the enterprise, or lastly so to manage the action, that it should not worke any dangerous effect.
After the death of Swaine, Canutus prepared a Nauie of one thousand saile for inuasion84 of England; and was aided with sixe hundred more by Robert le Frizon, whose daughter hee had taken to wife. But either for want, or else by negligence, or happily of purpose, this Nauie continued, partly in preparation, and partly in a readinesse, the space of two yeeres, and then the voyage was layd aside. The cause was attributed to contrarietie of winds; but the contrariety of wils was the truest impediment. Likewise Swaine had furnished against England a Nauie of 200. sayle, commanded by Earle Osborne his brother. Another fleete of 200. saile was set foorth vnder the charge of Earle Hacon: But King William so corrupted them both, that the one departed out of the Realme without performing any great exploit, the other neuer would arriue.
Also out of these confusions in England, Malcolme King of Scots, did take his opportunitie for action. Hee receiued into protection many English, who either for feare, or for discontentment, forsooke their Countrey; of whom many families in Scotland are descended, and namely these; Lindsey, Vaus, Ramsey, Louell, Towbris, Sandlands, Bissart, Sowlis, Wardlaw, Maxwell, with diuers others. Hee85 entertained into his Court Edgar Atheling; and tooke his sister Margaret to wife. He possessed himselfe of a great part of Cumberland, and of Northumberland; wherewith the people were well content, for that hee was their Earles sisters sonne.
Hereupon King William sent against him, first, Roger a Norman, who was traiterously slaine by his owne Souldiers, then Gospatrick, Earle of Gloucester: These did onely represse the enemie, but were not able to finish the warre fully. Lastly, hee went himselfe with a mighty armie into Scotland, where hee made wide waste, and in Lothiam found King Malcolme, prepared both in force and resolution to entertaine him with battell. The great armie of King William, their faire furniture and order, their sudden comming, but especially their firme countenance and readinesse to fight, much daunted the Scots: whereupon King Malcolme sent a Herault to King William, to mooue him to some agreement of peace. The more that the King was pleased herewith, the more hee seemed vnwilling and strange: the more he must be perswaded to that, which if it had not bin offered, he would haue desired. At86 the last, a peace was concluded, vpon conditions honourable for King William, and not vnreasonable for the King of Scots: whereby all the English were pardoned, who had fled into Scotland, and borne armes against their King.
As for the Welsh, albeit both their courage and their power had been extreamely broken in the time of King Edward, and that by the valour and industry of Harold; yet vpon aduantage of these troubled times, they made some incursions into the borders of England; but in companies so disordered and small, so secretly assaulting, so suddenly retiring, so desirous more of pillage then of blood, that they seemed more like to ordinarie robbers then to enemies in field. Against these the King ledde an armie into Wales, reduced the people both to subiection and quiet, made all the principall men tributary vnto him, receiued pledges of all, for assurance of their obedience and faith.
Whilest the King thus setled his affaires abroad, he secured himselfe against his subiects, not by altering their will, but by taking away their power to rebell. The stoutest of the Nobilitie and Gentlemen were spent, either by warre, or by banishment, or by voluntary87 auoidance out of the Realme. All these hee stripped of their states, and in place of them aduanced his Normans: insomuch as scarce any noble family of the English blood did beare either office or authoritie within the Realme. And these ranne headlong to seruitude; the more hasty and with the fairer shew, the more either countenanced or safe. These he did assure vnto him, not onely by oath of fidelitie and homage, but either by pledges, or else by reteining them alwaies by his side.
And because at that time the Clergie were the principall strings of the English strength, he permitted not any of the English Nation to be aduanced to the dignities of the Church, but furnished them with Normans, and other strangers. And whereas in times before, the Bishop and Alderman were absolute Iudges in euery Shire, and the Bishop in many causes shared in forfeitures and penalties with the King; he clipped the wings of their Temporall power, and confined them within the limits of their Ecclesiasticall Iurisdiction; to maintaine the Canons and customes of the Church, to deale in affaires concerning the soule. He procured Stigand Archbishop of Canterburie, Agelwine88 Bishop of East-Angles, and certaine other Bishops and Abbots, to be depriued by authoritie from Rome, and deteined them in prison during their liues, that strangers might enioy their places. The matters obiected against Stigand were these.
1 That hee had entruded vpon the Archbishopricke whilest Robert the Archb. was in life.
2 That he receiued his Pall from Benedict the fifth, who for buying the Papacie had bene deposed.
3 That hee kept the Sea of Winchester in his handes, after his inuestiture into the Sea of Canterburie.
He was otherwise also infamous in life; altogether vnlearned, of heauie iudgement and vnderstanding, sottishly seruiceable both to pleasure and sloath; in couetousnesse beneath the basenesse of rusticitie: insomuch as he would often sweare, that he had not one penie vpon the earth, and yet by a key which hee did weare about his necke, great treasures of his were found vnder the ground. And this was a griefe and sicknesse to honest mindes, that such spurious and impure creatures should susteine, or rather destaine the reuerence and maiestie of Religion.
Further, the King caused all the Monasteries and Abbeys to be searched, pretending that the richer sort of the English had layd vp their money in them: vnder colour whereof he discouered the state of all, and bereaued many of their owne treasure. Some of these Religious houses he appropriated wholly to himselfe; of diuers others he seized the liberties, which they redeemed afterward at a very high and excessiue rate. Those Bishopricks and Abbeis which held Baronies, and had bene free before from secular subiection, he reduced vnder the charge of his seruice; appointing how many Souldiers, and of what sort, they should furnish for him and his successours in the time of their warres. Those strangers which he entertained in pay, he dispersed into Religious houses, and some also among the Nobilitie, to be maintained at their charge: whereby he not onely fauoured his owne purse, but had them as a watch, and sometimes as a garrison ouer those, of whose alleageance he stood in doubt.
Now against the inferiour sort of people, knowing right well that hee was generally hated, hee prepared these remedies for his estate: All their armour was taken from them, they90 were crushed downe with change of calamity, which held them prostrate vnder yoke, and brake the very heart of their courage: leauing them no hope to be relieued, no hope to rise into any degree of libertie, but by yeelding entire obedience vnto him. Those who either resisted or fauoured not his first entrance, he bereaued of all meanes afterward to offend him; holding them downe, and keeping them so lowe, that their very impotencie made him secure. All such as had their hand in any rebellion, albeit they were pardoned their liues, lost their liuings, and became vassals to those Lords to whom their possessions were giuen. And if they attained any thing afterward, they held it onely at the pleasure of their Lords; at the pleasure of their Lords they might bee despoyled.
Hee much condemned the iudgement of Swanus the Dane, sometimes King of England, who permitted those whom hee had vanquished, to retaine their former both authoritie and estates: whereby it happened, that after his death, the inhabitants were of force to expell the strangers, and to quit themselues both from their societie and subiection. Hereupon91 many seuere lawes were made; diuers of all sorts were put to death, banished, stripped of their wealth, disabled in their bodies by vnusuall variety of punishments; as putting out the eyes, cutting off the hands and such like: not onely to diminish his feares, if they were suspected; but sometimes if they were of wealth, to satisfie therewith either his pleasure or wants. His cruelty made the people rebellious, and their rebellions made him the more cruell; in which case many Innocents were made the oblations of his ambitious feares. Many heauy taxations were imposed vpon them; their ancient Lords were remoued, their ancient lawes and policies of State were dashed to dust; all lay couched vnder the Conquerours sword, to bee newly fashioned by him, as should bee best fitting for his aduantage.
Hee erected Castels in diuers parts of the Realme, of which the Towre neere London was the chiefe, which afterward was increased both in compasse and in strength by addition of the outward walls. In these he planted garrisons of Normans, as if it had bene in a hostile Countrey; not without oppression to the people although they remained quiet, and suffi92cient to suppresse them if they should rebell. Thus he secured the Realme against a generall defection; as for particular stirres, they might happily molest him, but endanger him they could not. Exceter, Northumberland, and some other parts did rise against him in armes; but being vnable to maintaine their reuolt, their ouerthrow did much confirme his State.
Hee either imitated or concurred with Cæsar in aduise: For, as Cæsar inuaded the Germans which kept the great forrest of Ardenna, not with his owne Souldiers, but with his aides out of Gallia; gaining thereby victory ouer the one, and securitie from the other, without any dispence of the Romane blood: so after the Kings great victory against the valiant, but too aduenturous King Harold, when many of the English fled into Ireland, and from thence with fresh both courage, and supplies returned into England; commaunded by two of Harolds sonnes; hee encountred them onely with English forces. In the first conflict the Kings partie was ouerthrowen, and the valiant leader Ednothus slaine, who had bene master of the horses to King Harold. In the second his enemies were so defeated, as they were neuer93 able to make head againe. So the victorers being weakened, and the vanquished wasted, the King with pleasure triumphed ouer both. Likewise when he was occasioned to passe the Seas into Normandie, either to establish affaires of gouernement, or to represse rebellions, which in his absence were many times raised; he drew his forces out of England, and that in a more large proportion then the importance of the seruice did require. Hee also tooke with him the chiefe men of English blood, as well to vse their aduise and aide, as also to hold them and their friends from working innouation in his absence.
He enclosed the great Forrest neere vnto the Sea in Hamshire, for which he dispeopled villages and townes, about the space of thirtie miles, to make a desert for beasts of chase; in which place afterward two of his sonnes, Richard and William ended their liues; Richard by a fall from his horse, and William by the stroke of an arrow. The Kings great delight in hunting was made the pretence of this Forrest; but the true end was rather, to make a free place of footing for his Normans and other friends out of France, in case any great reuolt should94 be made. Diuers other parts of the Realme were so wasted with his warres, that for want both of Husbandrie and habitation, a great dearth did ensue; whereby many were inforced to eate horses, dogs, cats, rats, and other loathsome and vile vermine: yea, some absteined not from the flesh of men. This famine and desolation did especially rage in the North parts of the Realme. For the inhabitants beyond Humber, fearing the Kings secret hate, so much the more deepe and deadly because vniust; receiued without resistance, and perhaps drew in the Armie of the King of Sueueland, with whom Edgar Atheling and the other English that fled into Scotland ioyned their power. The Normans within Yorke fired the suburbs, because it should not be a lodging for their enemies: but the strength of the winde caried the flame into the Citie, which consumed a great part thereof, with the Minster of S. Peter, and therein a faire Librarie. And herewith whilest the Normans were partly busied, and partly amazed, the enemies entred, and slue in Yorke, in Duresme, and thereabout, three thousand Normans; among whom were many of eminent dignitie, as well for birth, as for place95 of their charge. But in short time the King came vpon them, and hauing partly by Armes, and partly by gifts dispatched the strangers, exercised vpon the English an ancient and assured experience of warre, to represse with maine force a rebellion in a State newly subdued. Insomuch as all the land betweene Duresme and Yorke, except onely the territorie of S. Iohn of Beuerlace, lay waste for the space of nine yeeres, without inhabitants to manure the ground.
And because conspiracies and associations are commonly contriued in the night, he commanded, that in all Townes and villages a Bell should be runge in the euening at eight of the clocke; and that in euery house they should then put foorth their fire and lights, and goe to bed. This custome of ringing a Bell at that houre, in many places is still obserued.
And for that likenesse is a great cause of liking and of loue, he enioyned the chiefe of the English (and these were soone imitated by the rest) to conforme themselues to the fashions of Normandie, to which they had made themselues no strangers before. Yea, children in the schoole were taught their letters and principles of grammar in the Norman language. In96 their speech, attire, shauing of the beard, seruice at the Table; in their buildings and houshold furniture, they altogether resembled the Normans.
In the beginning of his reigne he ordeined that the Lawes of King Edward should be obserued, together with those Lawes which hee did prescribe: but afterwards he commanded that 9. men should be chosen out of euery shire, to make a true report what were the Lawes and customes of the Realme. Of these hee changed the greatest part, and brought in the customes of Normandie in their stead: commanding also that causes should be pleaded, and all matters of forme dispatched in French. Onely hee permitted certaine Dane-Lawes, (which before were chiefly vsed in Northfolke, Suffolke, and Cambridge-shire) to be generally obserued; as hauing great affinitie with his Norman-customes; both being deriued from one common head.
Likewise at the great suit of William a Norman then Bishop of London, he granted a Charter of libertie to that Citie, for enioying the vse of K. Edwards Lawes: a memoriall of which benefite, the Citizens fixed vpon the Bishops97 graue, being in the middest of the great West Ile of S. Pauls. Further, by the counsaile of Stigand Archb. of Canterburie, and of Eglesine Abbot of S. Augustines (who at that time were the chiefe gouernours of Kent) as the King was riding towards Douer, at Swanescombe two mile from Grauesend, the Kentish men came towards him armed, and bearing boughes in their hands, as if it had bene a moouing wood; they encloased him vpon the sudden, and with a firme countenance, but words well tempered with modestie and respect, they demanded of him the vse of their ancient Liberties and Lawes: that in other matters they would yeeld obedience vnto him: that without this they desired not to liue. The King was content to strike saile to the storme, and to giue them a vaine satisfaction for the present; knowing right well, that the generall customes & Lawes of the residue of the Realme, would in short time ouerflow these particular places. So pledges being giuen on both sides, they conducted him to Rochester, and yeelded the Countie of Kent and the Castle of Douer into his power.
In former times many Farmes and Mannors98 were giuen by bare word, without writing, onely with the sword of the Lord, or his head-peece; with a horne or standing goblet, and many tenements with a quill, with a horse-combe, with a bow, with an arrow; but this sincere simplicitie at that time was changed. And whereas Charters and deeds were before made firme by the subscription of the partie, with crosses of gold, or of some other colour; then they were firmed by the parties speciall Seale, set vpon waxe, vnder the Teste of three or foure witnesses.
He ordained also his counsaile of State, his Chancery, his Exchequer, his Courts of Iustice, which alwaies remoued with his Court. These places he furnished with Officers, and assigned foure Termes in the yere for determining controuersies among the people: whereas before all suites were summarily heard and determined in the Gemote or monthly conuention in euery hundred, without either formalities or delay.
He caused the whole Realme to be described in a censuall Roll, so as there was not one Hide of land, but both the yerely rent and the owner thereof, was therein set downe; how many99 plowlands, what pastures, fennes, or marishes; what woods, parkes, farmes and tenements were in euery shire; and what euery one was worth. Also how many villaines euery man had, what beasts or cattell, what fees, what other goods, what rent or commoditie his possessions did yeeld. This booke was called The Roll of Winton, because it was kept in the Citie of Winchester. By the English it was called Doomes day booke; either by reason of the generalitie thereof, or else corruptly in stead of Domus Dei booke; for that it was layed in the Church of Winchester, in a place called Domus Dei. According to this Roll taxations were imposed; sometimes two shillings, and sometimes sixe shillings vpon euery hide of land (a hide conteyning 20. acres,) besides ordinarie prouision for his house.
In all those lands which hee gaue to any man, he reserued Dominion in chiefe to himselfe: for acknowledgement whereof a yeerely rent was payd vnto him, and likewise a fine whensoeuer the Tenant did alien or die. These were bound as Clients vnto him by oath of fidelitie and homage; And if any died his heire being in minoritie, the King receiued the profits of100 the land, and had the custodie and disposing of the heires body, vntill his age of one and twentie yeeres.
It is reported of Caligula, that when he entended to make aduantage of his penal Edicts, he caused them to be written in so small letters, and the tables of them to be fastened so high, that it was almost impossible for any man to read them. So the King caused part of those Lawes that he established, to be written in the Norman language, which was a barbarous and broken French, not well vnderstood of the naturall French, and not at all of the vulgar English. The residue were not written at all, but left almost arbitrarie, to be determined by reason and discretion at large. Hereupon it followed, partly through ignorance of the people, and partly through the malice of some officers of Iustice, who many times are instruments of secret and particular ends; that many were extreamely intangled, many endangered, many rather made away, then iustly executed.
But here it may be questioned, seeing these Lawes were layed vpon the English, as fetters about their feet, as a ponderous yoke vpon their necke, to depresse and deteine them in sure sub101iection; how it falleth, that afterward they became not onely tolerable, but acceptable and well esteemed.
Assuredly, these lawes were exceeding harsh and heauy to the English at the first: And therefore K. William Rufus, and Henry the first, at such time as Robert their eldest brother came in armes against them to challenge the crowne, being desirous to winne the fauour of the people, did fill them with faire promises, to abrogate the lawes of K. William their father, and to restore to them the Lawes of K. Edward. The like was done by K. Stephen, and by K. Henry the second; whilest both contending to draw the State to himselfe, they did most grieuously teare it in pieces. The like by others of the first Kings of the Norman race, whensoeuer they were willing to giue contentment to the people: who desired no other reward for all their aduentures and labours, for al their blood spent in the seruice of their Kings, but to haue the Lawes of K. Edward restored. At the last the Nobilitie of the Realme, with great dispence both of their estates and blood, purchased a Charter of libertie, First from K. Iohn, which was soone reuoked, as violently enforced from102 him: afterwards from King Henry the third, which remained in force. And hereby the sharpe seuerity of these lawes was much abated.
In that afterwards they became, not onely tolerable, but easie and sweete, and happily not fit to bee changed, it is by force of long grounded custome, whereby those vsages which our ancestors haue obserued for many ages, do neuer seeme either grieuous or odious to bee endured. So Nicetas writing of certaine Christians, who by long conuersing with the Turkes, had defiled themselues with Turkish fashions, Custome (saith he) winneth such strength by time, that it is more firme then either Nature or Religion. Hereupon Dio. Chrysostome compareth Customes to a King, and Edicts to a Tyrant; because we are subiect voluntarily to the one, but by constraint and vpon necessitie to the other. It is manifest (saith Agathias) that vnder whatsoeuer law a people hath liued, they doe esteeme the same most excellent and diuine. Herodotus reporteth, that Darius the sonne of Hysdaspis, hauing vnder his Dominion certaine Grecians of Asia, who accustomed to burne their dead parents and friends, and certaine na103tions of India, who vsed to eate them; called the Grecians before him: and told them that it was his pleasure, that they should conforme themselues to the custome of the Indians, in eating their deceased friends. But they applied all meanes of intreatie and perswasion, that they might not be inforced, to such a barbarous, or rather brutish obseruation. Then hee sent for the Indians, and mooued them to conformitie with the Grecians; but found that they did farre more abhorre to burne their dead, then the Grecians did to eate them.
Now these seuerities of the King were much aggrauated by the English, and esteemed not farre short of cruelties. Notwithstanding hee tempered it with many admirable actions both of iustice and of clemencie and mercie: for which hee is much extolled by the Normane writers. Hee gaue great priuiledges to many places; & the better to giue the people contentment, and to hold them quiet, he often times renued the oath which first he tooke at his Coronation: namely, to defend the holy Church of God, the pastors thereof, and the people subiect to him iustly to gouerne, to ordaine good lawes, and obserue true iustice, and to the vttermost of his power104 to withstand all rapines and false Iudgements. Such of the nobilitie as had been taken in rebellion, were onely committed to prison; from which they were released in time: such as yeelded and submitted themselues, were freely pardoned, and often times receiued to fauour, trust, and imployment.
Edric, the first that rebelled after hee was King, he held neere and assured vnto him. Gospatric who had been a stirrer of great commotions, he made Earle of Glocester, and employed him against Malcolme King of Scots. Eustace Earle of Bologne, who vpon occasion of the Kings first absence in Normandie attempted to surprize the Castle of Douer, he imbraced afterward with great shew of loue and respect. Waltheof sonne to Earle Siward, who in defending the Citie of Yorke against him, had slaine many Normans, as they assayed to enter a breach, hee ioyned in marriage to his Neece Iudeth. Edgar who was the ground and hope of all conspiracies, who after his first submission to the King, fled into Scotland, and maintained open hostilitie against him, who pretended title to the Crowne as next heire to the Saxon Kings, he not onely receiued to fauour, but ho105noured with faire enterteinments. Hee furnished him to the warre of Palestine, where he atteined an honourable estimation with the Emperours of Almaine and of Greece. After his returne he was allowed 20. shillings a day by way of pension, and large liuings in the Countrey, where he mellowed to old age in pleasure and vacancie of affaires; preferring safe subiection, before ambitious rule accompanied both with danger and disquiet.
Thus was no man more milde to a relenting and vanquished enemie; as farre from crueltie, as he was from cowardice, the height of his spirit, ouerlooking all casuall, all doubtfull and vncertaine dangers. Other great offenders he punished commonly by exile or imprisonment, seldome by death. Onely among the English Nobilitie Earle Waltheof was put to death, for that after twice breaking allegiance, he conspired the third time with diuers both English and Normans to receiue the Danes into England, whilest the King was absent in Normandie. And for the same conspiracie Ralph Fitz-aubert a Norman was also executed; who had furnished 40. ships for the King in his voiage for England: for which and for his other106 seruices in that warre, he was afterward created Earle of Hereford. But present iniuries doe alwayes ouerballance benefits that are past.
He much delighted in hunting and in feasting. For the first he enclosed many forrests and parks, and filled them with Deere; which he so deerely loued, that he ordained great penalties for such as should kill those or any other beasts of game. For the second hee made many sumptuous feasts, especially vpon the high Festiuall dayes in the yeere. His Christmasse hee often kept at Glocester, his Easter at Winchester, his Whitsontide at Westminster; and was crowned once in the yeere at one of these places, so long as he continued in England. To these feasts he inuited all his Nobilitie, and did then principally compose himselfe to courtesie, as well in familiar conuersation, as in facilitie to grant suits, and to giue pardon to such as had offended. At other times he was more Maiesticall and seuere; and imployed himselfe both to much exercise and great moderation in diet; whereby he preserued his body in good state, both of health and strength, and was easily able to endure trauaile, hunger, heat, cold, and all other hardnesse both of labour and of want.
Many wrongs he would not see, of many smarts he would not complaine; he was absolute master of himselfe, and thereby learned to subdue others. He was much commended for chastitie of body; by which his Princely actions were much aduanced. And albeit the beginning of his reigne was pestered with such routs of outlawes and robbers, that the peaceable people could not accompt themselues in surety within their owne doores; hee so well prouided for execution of Iustice vpon offenders, or rather for cutting off the causes of offence; that a young maiden well charged with gold, might trauaile in any part of the Realme, without any offer of iniurie vnto her. For if any man had slaine another vpon any cause, he was put to death; and if he could not be found, the hundred paide a fine to the King; sometimes 28. and sometimes 36. pounds, according to the largenesse of the hundred in extent. If a man had oppressed any woman, he was depriued of his priuie parts. As the people by Armes, so Armes by lawes were held in restraint.
He talked little and bragged lesse: a most assured performer of his word: In prosecution or his purposes constant and strong, and yet108 not obstinate; but alwayes appliable to the change of occasions: earnest, yea violent, both to resist his enemies, and to exact dueties of his Subiects. He neither loued much speech, nor gaue credite to faire; but trusted truely to himselfe, to others so farre as he might not be abused by credulitie.
His expedition (the spirit of actions and affaires) may hereby appeare. He inuaded England about the beginning of October; He subdued all resistance, he suppressed all rising Rebellions, and returned into Normandy in March following. So as the time of the yeere considered, a man should hardly trauaile through the land in so short a time as he did win it. A greater exploit then Iulius Cæsar or any other stranger could euer atchieue vpon that place.
He gaue many testimonies of a Religious minde. For he did often frequent Diuine seruice in the Church, he gaue much Almes, hee held the Clergie in great estimation, and highly honoured the Prelats of the Church. He sent many costly ornaments, many rich presents of gold and siluer to the Church of Rome; his Peter paiments went more readily, more largely then euer before. To diuers Churches in France109 after his victorie he sent Crosses of gold, vessels of gold, rich Palles, or other ornaments of great beautie and price. He bare such reuerence to Lanfranck Archbishop of Canterburie, that he seemed to stand at his directions. At the request of Wolstane Bishop of Worcester, he gaue ouer a great aduantage that he made by sale of prisoners taken in Ireland. He respected Aldred Archbishop of Yorke, by whom he had bene crowned King of England, as his father. At a time vpon the repulse of a certaine suit, the Archbishop brake forth into discontentment, expostulated sharpely against the King, and in a humorous heat offered to depart. But the King staied him, fell downe at his feet, desired pardon, and promised satisfaction in the best maner that he could. The Nobilitie that were present, put the Archbishop in minde that he should cause the King to arise. Nay (answered the Archb.) let him alone; Let him still abide at S. Peters feet. So with much adoe he was appeased, and entreated to accept his suite. And so the name of Saint Peter, and of the Church hath been often vsed as a mantle, to couer the pride, passions and pleasures of disordered men.
He founded and enlarged many houses of Religion: Hee furnished Ecclesiasticall dignities, with men of more sufficiencie and worth then had been vsuall in former times. And because within his owne Dominions studies did not flourish and thriue, by reason of the turbulent times, by reason of the often inuasions of barbarous people, whose knowledge lay chiefly in their fists; hee drew out of Italy and other places many famous men, both for learning and integritie of life, to wit, Lanfranke, Anselm, Durand, Traherne and others. These he honoured, these hee aduanced, to these hee expressed great testimonies both of fauour and regard.
And yet he preferred Odo his brother by the mothers side to the Bishopricke of Baion, and afterwards created him Earle of Kent: A man proud, vaine, mutinous, ambitious; outragious in oppression, cruelty and lust; a prophaner of Religion, a manifest contemner of all vertue. The King being called by occasions into Normandie, committed vnto him the gouernment of the Realme: In which place of credite and command he furnished himselfe so fully with treasure, that hee aspired to the Papacie of111 Rome: vpon a prediction then cast abroad, (which commonly deceiue those that trust vnto them) that the successour of Hildebrand was named Odo. So filled with proud hopes, hee purchased a palace and friends at Rome; hee prepared for his iourney, and drew many gentlemen to be of his traine. But the King returning suddenly out of Normandie, met with him in the Isle of Wight, as he was ready to take the Seas. There hee was arrested, and afterwards charged with infinite oppressions; also for seducing the Kings subiects to forsake the Realme; and lastly, for sacrilegious spoyling of many Churches. Hereupon his treasure was seized, and he was committed to prison; not as Bishop of Baion, but as Earle of Kent, and as an accomptant to the King. And so he remained about foure yeeres, euen vntill the death of the King. His seruants, some in falshood, and some for feare, discouered such hidden heapes of his gold, as did exceede all expectation: yea, many bagges of grinded gold were drawen out of riuers, wherein the Bishop had caused them for a time to be buried. After this hee was called the Kings spunge: as being preferred by him to that place of charge, wherein112 he might in long time sucke that from others, which should at once be pressed from himselfe. By this meanes the King had the benefit of his oppression without the blame; and the people (being no deepe searchers into secrets of State) were so well pleased with the present punishment, as they were thereby, although not satisfied, yet well quieted for all their wrongs.
Towards the end of his reigne he appointed his two sonnes, Robert and Henry, with ioynt authoritie, gouernours of Normandie; the one to suppresse either the insolencie, or leuitie of the other. These went together to visit the French King, lying at Conflance: where entertaining the time with varietie of disports, Henry played with Louis then Daulphine of France at Chesse, and did win of him very much. Here at Louis beganne to growe warme in words, and was therein little respected by Henry. The great impatiencie of the one, and the small forbearance of the other, did strike in the end such a heate betweene them, that Louis threw the Chesse-men at Henries face, and called him the sonne of a bastard. Henrie againe stroke Louis with the Chesse-boord, drew blood with the blowe, and had presently slaine him vpon the113 place, had hee not been stayed by his brother Robert. Hereupon they presently went to horse, and their spurres claimed so good haste, as they recouered Pontoise, albeit they were sharpely pursued by the French.
It had been much for the French King to haue remained quiet, albeit no prouocations had happened, in regard of his pretence to many pieces which King William did possesse in France. But vpon this occasion he presently inuaded Normandie, tooke the Citie of Vernon, and drew Robert, King Williams eldest sonne, to combine with him against his owne father. On the other side King William, who neuer lost anything by loosing of time, with incredible celeritie passed into France; inuaded the French Kings dominions, wasted and tooke many principall places of Zantoigne and Poictou, returned to Roan, and there reconciled his sonne Robert vnto him. The French King summoned him to doe his homage for the kingdome of England. For the Duchie of Normandie he offered him homage, but the kingdome of England (he said) he held of no man, but onely of God, and by his sword. Hereupon the French King came strongly vpon him; but finding him both114 ready and resolute to answere in the field: finding also that his hazard was greater then his hope; that his losse by ouerthrow would farre surmount his aduantage by victory; after a few light encounters he retired: preferring the care to preserue himselfe, before the desire to harme others.
King William being then both corpulent and in yeeres, was distempered in body by meanes of those trauailes, and so retired to Roan; where hee remained not perfectly in health. The French King hearing of his sickenesse, pleasantly said, that hee lay in child-bed of his great belly. This would haue been taken in mirth, if some other had spoken it; but comming from an enemie, it was taken in scorne. And as great personages are most sencible of reproach, and the least touch of honour maketh a wide and incurable wound; so King William was so nettled with this ieast, that hee swore By Gods resurrection and his brightnesse, (for this was the vsuall forme of his oath) that so soone as hee should be churched of that child, he would offer a thousand lights in France. So presently after his recouery hee entred France in armes, tooke the Citie of Meux, set many Townes115 and Villages and corne fields on fire; the people abandoning all places where he came, and giuing foorth, that it was better the nests should be destroyed, then that the birds should be taken in them. At the last he came before Paris, where Philip King of France did then abide: to whom he sent word, that he had recouered to be on foote, and was walking about, and would be glad likewise to find him abroad. This enterprise was acted in the moneth of August, wherein the King was so violent and sharpe, that by reason both of his trauaile, and of the vnseasonable heate, he fell into a relapse of his sicknesse. And to accomplish his mishap, in leaping on horse-backe ouer a ditch, his fat belly did beare so hard vpon the pommell of his saddle, that hee tooke a rupture in his inner parts. And so ouercharged with sickenesse, and paine, and disquietnesse of minde, hee returned to Roan; where his sickenesse increased by such dangerous degrees, that in short time it led him to the period of his dayes.
During the time of his sickenesse hee was much molested in conscience, for the blood which hee had spilt, and for the seueritie which116 he had vsed against the English: holding himselfe for that cause more guilty before God, then glorious among men. Hee spent many good speeches in reconciling himselfe to God and the world, & in exhorting others to vertue and Religion. He gaue great summes of money to the Clergie of Meux, and of some other places in France, to repaire the Churches which a little before he had defaced. To some Monasteries he gaue tenne markes of gold, and to others sixe. To euery Parish Church hee gaue fiue shillings, and to euery Borough Towne a hundred pounds for reliefe of the poore. Hee gaue his Crowne, with all the ornaments therto belonging, to the Church of Saint Stephen in Caen, which hee had founded: for redeeming whereof, King Henry the first did afterwards giue to the same Church the Mannour of Brideton in Dorcetshire. Hee reteined perfect memorie and speach so long as he reteined any breath. Hee ended his life vpon the ninth day of September: full both of honour and of age, when hee had reigned twenty yeeres, eight moneths and sixteene dayes; in the threescore and fourth yeere of his age.
So soone as he was dead, the chiefe men that117 were about him went to horse, and departed forthwith to their owne dwellings: to prouide for the safety of themselues, and of their families and estates. For all men were possessed with a marueilous feare, that some dangerous aduentures would ensue. The seruants and inferiour Officers also fled away; and to double the basenesse of their disposition, tooke with them whatsoeuer was portable about the king; his Armour, plate, apparell, household-stuffe, all things were held as lawfull bootie. Thus the dead body was not onely abandoned, but left almost naked vpon the ground: where it remained from prime vntil three of the clocke, neither guarded nor regarded by any man. In the meane time the Religious persons went in procession to the Church of S. Geruase, & there commended his soule to God. Then William Archb. of Roan commaunded, that his body should be caried to Caen, to be there buried in the Church of S. Stephen. But hee was so forsaken of all his followers, that there was not any found who would vndertake either the care or the charge. At the last Herlwine a countrey Knight, vpon his owne cost, caused the body to be embalmed and adorned for funerall118 pompe: then conueyed it by coach to the mouth of the Riuer Some; and so partly by land, and partly by sea brought it to Caen.
Here the Abbot with the Couent of Monks came foorth with all accustomed ceremonies, to meet the corps: to whom the whole multitude of the Clergie and Lay-people did adioyne. But when they were in the middest of their sad solemnities, a fire brake out of a certaine house, and suddenly embraced a great part of the towne. Hereupon the Kings body was once againe abandoned; all the people running from it in a headlong haste; some to saue their goods, others to represse the rage of the flame, others (as the latest nouelty) to stand and looke on. In the end a few Moncks returned, and accompanied the Hearse to the Abbey Church.
Afterward all the Bishops and Abbots of Normandy assembled to solemnize the funerall. And when the diuine Office was ended, and the coffin of stone set into the earth, in the presbytorie, betweene the Quire and the Altar (but the body remained vpon the Herse) Guislebert bishop of Eureux made a long Sermon; wherein hee bestowed much breath in extolling the119 honourable actions of the King. In the end he concluded; That forsomuch as it was impossible for a man to liue, much lesse to gouerne, without offence; First, by reason of the multitude of a Princes affaires; Secondly, for that he must commit the managing of many things to the conscience and courtesie of others; Lastly, for that personall grieuances are many times beneficiall to the maine body of State; in which case, particular either losses or harmes, are more then manifoldly recompenced by the preseruation or quiet of the whole: If therefore any that were present did suppose they had receiued iniurie from the King, he desired that they would in charitie forgiue him.
When the Bishop had finished his speach, one Anselme Fitz-Arthur stood vp amongst the multitude, and with a high voice said; This ground whereupon wee stand, was sometimes the floore of my fathers house; which that man of whom you haue spoken, when he was Duke of Normandie, tooke violently from my father, and afterward founded thereon this Religious building. This iniustice hee did not by ignorance or ouersight; not vpon any necessitie of State; but to content his owne couetous desire. Now therefore I doe challenge120 this ground as my right; and doe here charge you, as you will answere it before the fearefull face of Almightie God, that the body of the spoiler be not couered with the earth of mine inheritance.
When the Bishops and Noble men that were present heard this, and vnderstood by the testimony of many that it was true, they agreed to giue him three pounds presently for the ground that was broken for the place of burial; and for the residue which he claimed, they vndertooke he should be fully satisfied. This promise was performed in short time after, by Henrie the Kings sonne, who onely was present at the Funerall; at whose appointment Fitz-Arthur receiued for the price of the same ground one hundred pounds.
Now when the body was to be put into the earth, the sepulchre of stone which stood within the graue, was hewen somewhat too strait for his fat belly; whereupon they were constrained to presse it downe with much strength. By this violence, whether his bowels burst, or whether some excrements were forced out at their natural passage, such an intolerable stinck proceeded from him, as neither the perfumes that smoaked in great abundance, nor any o121ther meanes were able to qualifie. Wherefore the Priests hasted to finish their office, and the people departed in a sad silence; discoursing diuersly afterward of all these extraordinarie accidents.
A man would thinke that a sepulchre thus hardly attained, should not easily againe bee lost. But it happened otherwise to this vnquiet King; not destined to rest, either in his life or after his death. For in the yeere 1562. when Chastilion tooke the Citie of Caen, with those broken troupes that escaped at the battaile of Dreux; certaine sauage Souldiers of diuers nations, led by foure dissolute Captaines, beate downe the Monument which King William his sonne had built ouer him, and both curiously and richly adorned with gold & costly stones. Then they opened his Tombe, & not finding the treasure which they expected, they threw forth his bones with very great derision & despight. Many English souldiers were then in the Towne, who were very curious to gather his bones; whereof some were afterwards brought into England. Hereby the report is conuinced for vaine, that his body was found vncorrupt, more then foure hundred yeeres after it was122 buried. Hereby also it is found to be false, that his body was eight foote in length. For neither were his bones proportionable to that stature, (as it is testified by those who saw them) and it is otherwise reported of him by som who liued in his time; namely, that he was of a good stature, yet not exceeding the ordinary proportion of men.
And this was the last end of all his fortunes, of all that was mortall in him besides his fame: whose life is too much extolled by the Normans, and no lesse extenuated by the English. Verely, he was a very great Prince: full of hope to vndertake great enterprises, full of courage to atchieue them: in most of his actions commendable, and excusable in all. And this was not the least piece of his Honour, that the Kings of England which succeeded, did accompt their order onely from him: not in regard of his victorie in England, but generally in respect of his vertue and valour.
For his entrance was not by way of conquest but with pretence of title to the Crowne: wherein he had both allowance and aide from diuers Christian Princes in Europe. He had also his partie within the Realme, by whose123 meanes he preuailed against the opposite faction, (as Cæsar did against Pompey) and not against the entire strength of the State.
Againe, hee did not settle himselfe in the chaire of Soueraignetie, as one that had reduced all things to the proud power and pleasure of a Conquerour, but as an vniuersall successor of former Kings, in all the rights and priuiledges which they did enioy. Hee was receiued for King by generall consent; He was crowned with all Ceremonies and Solemnities then in vse; Hee tooke an oath in the presence of the Clergie, the Nobilitie, and of much people, for defence of the Church, for moderate and carefull gouernement, and for vpright administration of iustice.
Lastly, during the whole course of his gouernement, the kingdome receiued no vniuersall change, no losse or diminution of honour. For, neither were the olde inhabitants expelled, as were the Britaines; neither was the kingdome either subiected or annexed to a greater: but rather it receiued encrease of honour, in that a lesse State was adioyned vnto it. The change of customes was not violent and at once, but by degrees, and with the silent124 approbation of the English; who haue alwaies been inclinable to accommodate themselues to the fashions of France. The grieuances and oppressions were particular, and with some appearance either of iustice, or of necessitie for the common quiet; such as are not vnusuall in any gouernement moderately seuere. So the change was chiefly in the stemme and familie of the King: which whether it be wrought by one of the same nation (as it was in France by Pepine and Capett) or by a stranger, (as in the same Countrey by Henry 5. and Henry 6. Kings of England) it bringeth no disparagement in honour; it worketh no essentiall change. The State still remained the same, the solid bodie of the State remained still English: the comming in of many Normans, was but as Riuers falling into the Ocean; which change not the Ocean, but are confounded with the waters thereof.
This King had by his wife Matild, daughter to Baldwine Earle of Flanders, foure sonnes; Robert, Richard, William and Henrie: Hee had also fiue daughters; Cicely, Constance, Adela, Margaret and Elianor.
Robert his eldest sonne surnamed Courtcuise,125 by reason of the shortnesse of his thighs, succeeded him in the duchie of Normandie. He was a man of exceeding honourable courage and spirit, for which cause he was so esteemed by the Christian Princes in the great warre against the Saracens, that when they had subdued the Citie and territorie of Hierusalem, they offered the kingdome thereof first vnto him. Yet afterwards, either by the malice of his Fortune, or for that he was both suddaine and obstinate in his owne aduise (two great impediments that valour cannot thriue) he receiued many foiles of his enemies, which shall be declared in their proper place. Before the King made his descent into England, hee gaue the duchie of Normandie vnto him: but whether he did this onely to testifie his confidence, or whether afterwards his purpose changed, being often demanded to performe this gift, he would neither deny nor accomplish his word, but enterposed many excuses and delayes; affirming that he was not so surely setled in England, but the duchie of Normandie was necessary vnto him, both for supply for his seruices (which he found like Hydraes heads to multiply by cutting off) and also for an assured place126 for retreit, in case hee should be ouercharged with extremities. Hereupon Robert vnable to linger and pine in hopes, declared openly against him in armes. Philip King of France was ready to put fuell to the flame; who as he neuer fauoured in his owne iudgement the prosperous encreases of the King of England, so then he was vigilant to embrace all occasions, either to abate or limit the same. And thus Robert both encouraged and enabled by the King of France, inuaded Normandie, and permitted his souldiers licentiously to wast; to satisfie those by spoile, which by pay he was not able to maintaine. At the last he encountred the King his father in a sharpe conflict, before the castle of Gerberie, wherein the King was vnhorsed and wounded in the arme; his second sonne William was also hurt, and many of his souldiers slaine. And albeit Robert so soone as he knew his father by his voyce, allighted forthwith, mounted him vpon his owne horse, and withdrew him out of the medley; yet did he cast vpon his sonne a cruell curse, which lay so heauie vpon him, that he neuer prospered afterward in any thing which hee vndertooke. And although after this he was reconciled to127 his father, and imployed by him in seruices of credit and weight, yet did the King often bewray of him an vnquiet conceit, often did he ominate euill vnto him: yea, a little before his death he openly gaue forth, That it was a miserable Countrey which should be subiect to his dominion, for that he was a proud and foolish knaue, and to be long scourged by cruell Fortune.
Richard had erected the good expectation of many, as well by his comely countenance and behauiour, as by his liuely and generous spirit. But he died yong by misaduenture, as he was hunting within the New-forrest, before he had made experiment of his worth. Some affirme that he was goared to death by the Deere of that Forrest, for whose walke his father had dispeopled that large compasse of ground: others report, that as he rode in chase, hee was hanged vpon the bough of a tree by the chaps: others more probably doe write, that he perished by a fal from his horse. He was buried at Winchester with this inscription: Hic iacet Richardus filius Wilielmi senioris Berniæ Dux.
William did succeed next to his father in the Kingdome of England. To Henry, the King gaue at the time of his death fiue thousand128 pounds out of his treasure; but gaue him neither dignitie nor lands: foretelling, that hee should enioy the honour of both his brothers in time, and farre excel them both in dominion and power. Whether this was deuised vpon euent; or whether some doe prophesie at their death; or whether it was coniecturally spoken; or whether to giue contentment for the present; it fell out afterward to be true. For hee succeeded William in the Kingdome of England, and wrested Normandie out of the possession of Robert. Of these two I shall write more fully hereafter.
His daughter Cicelie was Abbesse of Caen in Normandie. Constance was married to Allen Fergant Earle of Britaine. Adela was wife to Stephen Earle of Blois, to whom she bare Stephen, who after the death of Henry was King of England. Margaret was promised in marriage to Harold; she died before hee attained the Kingdome, for which cause he held himselfe discharged of that oath which he had made to the Duke her father. Elianor was betroathed to Alphonso King of Gallicia; but she desired much to die a Virgine: for this she daily prayed, and this in the end she did obtaine. After129 her death her knees appeared brawnie and hard, with much kneeling at her deuotions. Assuredly it will be hard to find in any one Familie, both greater Valour in sonnes, and more Vertue in daughters.
In the beginning of this Kings reigne, either no great accidents did fall, or else they were obscured with the greatnesse of the change: none are reported by the writers of that time.
In the fourth yeere of his reigne, Lanfranke Abbot of Caen in Normandie, but borne in Pauie, a Citie of Lumbardie, was made Archbishop of Canterbury: And Thomas a Norman, and Chanon of Bayon was placed in the Sea of Yorke. Between these two a controuersie did arise at the time of their consecration, for prioritie in place: but this contention was quieted by the King, and Thomas for the time subscribed obedience to the Archb. of Canterbury. After this they went to Rome for their Palles, where the question for Primacie was againe renued, or as some affirme, first moued before Pope Alexander. The Pope vsed them both with honorable respect, and especially Lanfrank, to whom he gaue two Palles, one of honour, and the other130 of loue: but their controuersie he referred to be determined in England.
About two yeeres after it was brought before the King and the Clergie at Windsore. The Archbishop of Yorke alleadged, that when the Britaines receiued the Christian faith, in the time of Lucius their King Eleutherius then Bishop of Rome, sent Faganus and Damianus vnto them, who ordeined 28. Bishops, and two Archbishops within the Realme, one of London, and the other of Yorke. Vnder these the Church of Britaine was gouerned almost three hundred yeeres, vntill they were subdued by the Saxons. The Saxons remained Infidels vntill Gregorie Bishop of Rome sent Augustine vnto them. By his preaching Ethelbert King of Kent was first conuerted to the Christian faith: By reason whereof Augustine was made Archbishop of Douer, by appointment of Pope Gregorie; who sent vnto him certaine Palles with his letter from Rome. By this letter it is euident, that Gregorie intended to reduce the Church of the Saxons to the same order wherein it was among the Britaines; namely, to be vnder twelue Bishops and two Archbishops; one of London and the other of Yorke. Indeede131 he gaue to Augustine during his life, authority and iurisdiction ouer all Bishops and Priests in England: but after his decease he ioyneth these two Metropolitanes in equall degree, to constitute Bishops, to ouersee the Church, to consult and dispose of such things as appertaine to the gouernement thereof, as in former times among the Britaines. Betweene these he put no distinction in honour, but only as they were in prioritie of time: and as he appointeth London to be consecrated by no Bishop, but of his own Synod, so he expresseth, that the Bishop of Yorke should not bee subiect to the Bishop of London. And albeit Augustine for the reason before mentioned, translated the Sea from London to Douer, yet if Gregorie had intended to giue the same authoritie to the successours of Augustine which hee gaue vnto him, he would haue expressed it in his Epistle: but in that he maketh no mention of his successours, he concludeth, or rather excludeth them by his silence.
The Archbishop of Canterbury alleaged, that from the time of Augustine, vntill the time of Bede, (which was about 140. yeeres) the Bishops of Canterburie (which in ancient time (said he) was called Douer) had the Primacie132 ouer the whole land of Britaine, and Ireland; that they did call the Bishops of Yorke to their Councels, which diuers times they kept within the Prouince of Yorke; that some Bishops of Yorke they did constitute, some excommunicate, and some remoue. He alleaged also diuers priuiledges granted by Princes for the Primacie of that Sea; diuers graunted from the Apostolike Sea to confirme this dignitie in the successours of Augustine: that it is reason to receiue directions of well liuing, from whence we first receiued directions of right beleeuing; & therfore as the Bishop of Canterbury was subiect to the Bishop of Rome, because hee had his faith from thence; for the very same cause the Bishop of Yorke should be in subiection to the Bishop of Canterbury: that like as the Lord said that to all the Bishops of Rome, which hee said to S. Peter; so that which Gregorie said to Augustine, hee said likewise to all his successours. And whereas much is spoken of the Bishop of London, what is that to the Archbishop of Canterbury? For, neither is it certaine that Augustine was euer resident at London, neither that Gregorie appointed him so to be.
In the end it was decreed, That Yorke for133 that time should be subiect to Canterburie; that wheresoeuer within England the Archbishop of Canterburie should hold his Councell, the Archbishop of Yorke should come vnto it, with the Bishops of his Prouince, and be obedient to his decrees: that when the Archbishop of Canterburie should decease, the Archbishop of Yorke should goe to Canterburie, to consecrate him that should succeed: that if the Archbishop of Yorke should decease, his successour should goe to Canterbury, or to such place as the Archbishop of Canterburie should appoint, there to receiue his Consecration, making first his oath of Canonicall obedience. And thus was the contention for this first time taken vp; but in succeeding times it was often renued, and much busied the Clergie of the Realme.
In the ninth yeere of the reigne of King William a Councell was holden at London, where another matter of like qualitie and nature was decreed: namely, that Bishops should translate their Sees from villages to Cities; whereupon in short time after, Bishops Sees were remoued, from Selese to Chichester, from Cornewall to Exeter, from Wells to Bath, from Shirbourne to Salisburie, from Dorcester to Lincolne,134 from Lichfield to Chester, and from thence againe to Couentree. And albeit the Archbishop of Yorke did oppose against the erecting of a Cathedrall Church in Lincolne, because he challenged that Citie to be of his Prouince; yet Remigius Bishop of Dorchester, being strong both in resolution and in friends, did prosecute his purpose to effect. Not long before the Bishopricke of Lindafferne otherwise called Holy land, vpon the riuer Tweed, had bene translated to Durhame.
In the tenth yeere of his reigne the cold of Winter was exceeding memorable, both for sharpenesse and for continuance: For the earth remained hard frozen from the beginning of Nouember, vntill the middest of April then ensuing.
In the 15. yere a great earthquake happened in the month of April; strange for the strong trembling of the earth, but more strange for the dolefull and hideous roaring which it yeelded foorth.
In the 20. yeere there fell such abundance of raine, that the Riuers did greatly ouerflow in all parts of the Realme. The springs also rising plentifully in diuers hils, so softned and decaied135 the foundations of them, that they fell downe, whereby some villages were ouerthrowne. By this distemperature of weather much cattel perished, much corne vpon the ground was either destroyed, or greatly empaired. Herehence ensued, first a famine, and afterwards a miserable mortalitie of men.
And that all the Elements might seeme to haue conspired the calamity of the Realme, the same yeere most of the principall Cities in England were lamentably deformed with fire. At London a fire began at the entry of the West gate, which apprehending certaine shops and Ware-houses, wherein was Merchandise apt to burne, it was at once begun and suddenly at the highest. Then being caried with a strong wind; and the Citie apt to maintaine the flame, as well by reason of the crooked and narrow streets, as for that the buildings at that time had open and wide windowes, and were couered with base matter fit to take fire, the mischiefe spread more swiftly then the remedies could follow. So it raged vntill it came to the East gate, prostrated houses and Churches all the way, being the most grieuous that euer as yet hath happened to that Citie. The Church136 of S. Paul was at that time fired; Whereupon Maurice then Bishop of London, began the foundation of the new Church of S. Paul. A worke so admirable, that many did iudge, it would neuer haue bene finished; yet all might easily esteeme thereby his magnanimitie, his high erected hopes, his generous loue and honour to Religion. The King gaue towards the building of the East end of this Church, the choise stones of his Castle at the West end of the Citie, vpon the bancke of the Riuer Thames; which Castle at the same time was also fired: in place whereof Edward Killwarby Archbishop of Canterburie did afterwards found a Monasterie of blacke Friers. The King also gaue the Castle of Storford, and all the lands which thereto belonged, to the same Maurice, and to his successours in that See. And doubtlesse nothing more then either parcimonious or prophane expending the Treasures of the Church, hath since those times much dried vp those fountaines which first did fill them.
After the death of Maurice, Richard his next Successour, as well in vertue as in dignitie, bestowed all the Rents rising out of this137 Bishopricke, to aduance the building of this Church; maintaining himselfe by his Patrimonie and friendes: and yet all which hee could doe, made no great shewe: so that the finishing of this worke was left to many other succeeding Bishops. Hee purchased the ground about the Church whereupon many buildings did stand, and inclosed the same with a strong wall of stone for a place of buriall. It seemeth that this wall was afterwards either battered and torne in some ciuill warres, or else by negligence suffered to decay: for that a graunt was made by King Edward the second, that the Church-yard of Saint Pauls should bee enclosed with a wall, because of the robberies and murthers that were there committed. Many parts of this wall remaine at this time, on both sides of the Church, but couered for the most part with dwelling houses.
The same yeere in Whitsun-weeke, the King honoured his sonne Henrie with the order of Knighthood. What Ceremonies the King then vsed it is not certainly knowen: but before his time the custome among the Saxons138 was thus. First, hee who should receiue the order of Knighthood, confessed himselfe in the euening to a Priest. Then hee continued all that night in the Church, watching and applying himselfe to his priuate deuotions. The next morning he heard Masse, and offered his sword vpon the Altar. After the Gospel was read, the sword was hallowed, and with a benediction put about his necke. Lastly, he communicated the mysteries of the blessed body of Christ, and from that time remained a lawfull Souldier or Knight. This custome of Consecrating Knights the Normans did not onely abrogate, but abhorre; not for any euill that was therein, but because it was not altogether their owne.
This yeere in a Prouince of Wales called Rosse, the Sepulchre of Wawyn, otherwise called Gawen, was found vpon the Sea shore. Hee was sisters sonne to Arthur the great King of the Britaines; a man famous in our Britaine Histories, both for ciuill courtesie, and for courage in the field. I cannot but esteeme the report for fabulous, that his bodie was fourteene foote in length. I doe rather coniecture139 that one credulous writer did take that for the length of his body, which happily might bee the length of his tombe.
It is constantly affirmed that the ground
whereon the English and the Normans did
shew after euery raine manifest markes of blood vpon the grasse:
which if it was not a proprietie of the soyle before, it is
hard now to assigne, either from what naturall
cause it doth proceede, or what
it should supernaturally
ing William the Victor when hee drew towards the end of his dayes, commended the Kingdome of England to his second sonne William: with many blessings, with many admonitions, with many prayers for the prosperous successe of his succession. And because the presence of the next successour is of greatest moment to establish affaires, the King a little before his passage to death, dispatched him into England, with letters vnder his owne Seale to Lanfranck then Archbishop of Canterbury: a man highly esteemed in forraine Countreys, but with the Cleargie and vulgare peo141ple of the Realme, his authoritie was absolute. In these letters the King expressed great affection and care towards his sonne William; commending him with many kind words, for his sufficiencies, for diuers vertues; especially for that hee did alwayes stand firmely by him, alwayes declare himselfe both a faithfull Subiect and dutifull sonne. It was also coniectured by some, that the King was guided in this choise, no lesse by his iudgement, then by his affection: for that he esteemed the fierce disposition of his sonne William more fit to gouerne a people not well setled in subiection, then the flexible and milde nature of his eldest sonne Robert. So William taking his last leaue of his father, who was then taking his last leaue of this world, iourneyed towards England; and in short time arriued at the port called Whitesand, where he receiued the first report of his fathers death. Hereupon with all speed hee posted to Lanfranck, deliuered his fathers letters, and foorthwith was declared King, vpon the 9. day of September, in the yere 1087. and vpon the first of October next ensuing was by the same Lanfranck, with al ceremonies and solemnities perteining to that action, crowned at Westminster.
Robert, either by negligence and want of foresight, or by the perpetuall malice of his destinie, or happily not without his fathers contriuance, was absent in Germanie, whilest his yonger brother William did thus possesse himselfe, both of the Kingdome of his father, and of his treasure. Otherwise he wanted neither pretence, nor purpose, nor fauour of friends to haue empeached his brothers proceedings. For it was then doubted by many, and since hath bene by many debated; whether in any case, vpon any cause or consideration whatsoeuer, a King hath power to disinherite his eldest sonne, and to appoint another to succeed in his estate.
That a King may aduance any of his sonnes to bee his successour, without respect of prioritie in birth, there seemeth to want neither warrant of example, nor weight of authoritie. Dauid a man greatly prooued and approoued by God, did preferre Solomon to succeede him, before his eldest sonne Adonia. And in like sort Rehoboam the sonne of Solomon, appointed the yongest of all his sonnes to succeed him in the Kingdome. So some Lawyers affirme, That a King may determine in his life,143 which of his sonnes shall reigne after him.
But this must be vnderstood, either when a State is newly raised to the title of a kingdome, or else when by Conquest, Vsurpation, or some other meanes of change, the gouernment thereof is newly transferred from one stemme to another: For then because there is no certaine Law or Custome of succession in force, the right seemeth to depend vpon the disposition of the Prince. And yet euen in this case, the eldest or neerest cannot be excluded without iust cause. For so when Iacob depriued his eldest sonne Reuben of his priuiledge of birth, he expressed the cause, For that he had defiled his fathers bed; which fact of his Hierome applieth to the case in question. So when Ptolemie the first King of Egypt commended the State to his yongest sonne, he yeelded a reason for that which he did. So Henrie the fourth Emperour, crowned Henrie his yonger sonne King, reiecting Conrade his eldest sonne, for that hee had borne armes against him, and ioyned in league with his open enemies.
But when by expresse Lawe or long grounded Custome the Succession of a State is established to the eldest sonne, the best approoued144 interpreters of the Canon and Ciuill law doe conclude, that the father hath no power to inuert or peruert that course of order. For parents may debarre their children of that which proceedeth from themselues, of that which dependeth vpon their appointment; but of that which is due by nature, by the immutable law of the State, the parents can haue no power to dispose. When by a fundamentall Lawe or Custome of State, Succession is annexed to the dignity of a Crowne, according to prioritie in birth, it followeth, that so soone as the first borne commeth into light, the right of succession is fixed in him; not in hope onely, but also in habite; whereof neither the father nor any other can dispossesse him.
And therefore when Prusias intended to depriue his eldest sonne Nicomedes of his prerogatiue of birth, and to preferre his yonger sonnes, which he had by another wife, in succession before him, he could not assure it by any meanes, but by determining the death of Nicomedes; which Nicomedes to preuent, dispoiled his father both of kingdom and of life. Ptolemie the first King of Egypt of that name, who after the death of Alexander the great pos145sessed himselfe of Egypt, & part of Arabia, and of Affrick, left his kingdom to the yōgest of his sons: but afterward when Ptolemie, surnamed Phiscon, vpon the importunity of his wife Cleopatra, attempted the like, the kingdome being then setled in succession, the people opposed, & reuersed his order after his death. So Pepine after hee had made seisure of the kingdome of France, & ordered all things which he thought necessary for the suerty therof, disposed the succession therein by his Testament; leauing the Realme of Noion to his sonne Charles, and to Carloman his other sonne the Realme of Soissons. The like was done by some other of the first Kings of his race. But since that time the custome hath been strongly stablished, that the kingdome passeth entirely to the eldest sonne, and possessions are assigned to the rest vnder the name of Appanage. And therefore the French writers affirme, that the eldest sonne of France cannot be depriued of succession, vpon any cause of ingratitude against his parents; and that if the King should institute his eldest sonne, yet cannot hee take the kingdome by force of his fathers guift, but onely by the immutable law of the Realme. Yea, Girard wri146teth of Charles the simple, that hee was King of France before hee was borne. And in this regard the Glossographer vpon the Decrees noteth, that the sonne of a King may bee called King during the life of his father, as wanting nothing but administration. And the same also doth Seruius note out of Virgil, where hee saith of Ascanius: regémq; requirunt, his father Aeneas being then aliue.
Now then, for that the right of Succession to the Crowne of England was not at that time so surely setled as it hath been since; but had waued in long vncertainetie: First, in the Heptarchie of the Saxons and English, afterward betweene the English and the Danes, and was then newly possessed by the Normane, and that chiefly by the sword: For that also Robert the Kings eldest sonne gaue iust cause of offence, by bearing armes against his father; it may seeme that the King might lawfully direct the succession to his second sonne. And yet, because as Herodotus saith, It is a generall custome amongst all men, that the first in birth is next in succession; because as Baldus affirmeth, Semper fuit, & semper erit, &c. Alwayes it hath been, and alwayes it shall bee, that the first borne succeedeth147 in a kingdome; because as S. Hierome writeth, A kingdome is due vnto the first borne; and as S. Chrysostome saith, The first borne is to bee esteemed more honourable then the rest; whereupon diuers Lawyers obserue, that the word Senior is often times taken for a Lord. Lastly, because this precedencie both in honour, and in right seemeth to be the Law of all nations, deriued from the Law of Nature, and expresly either instituted or approoued by the voice of God: First, where he said to Cain of his yonger brother Abel; His desires shall be subiect to thee, and thou shalt haue dominion ouer him: Secondly, where he forbiddeth the father to disinherite the first sonne of his double portion, because by right of birth it is due vnto him: Lastly, where hee maketh choice of the first borne to be sanctified and consecrated to himselfe; it hath almost neuer happened that this order hath been broken, that the neerest haue bene excluded from Succession in State, but it hath been followed with tragicall euents.
Yea, albeit the eldest sonne be vnfit to beare rule, albeit hee be vnable to gouerne either others or himselfe; as if hee be in a high degree furious, or foolish, or otherwise defectiue in bo148dy or in minde, (vnlesse he degenerate from humane condition) yet can he not therefore be excluded from succession: because it is due vnto him, not in respect of abilitie, but by reason of his prioritie of birth. As for the kingdom, it shall better be preserued by the gouernment of a Protector (as in diuers like causes it is both vsual and fit) then by receiuing another Prince: as well for other respects, as for that by cutting off continuance in the Royall descent, by interrupting the setled order of gouernment, by making a breach in so high a point of State, opportunitie is opened both for domesticall disturbances, and for inuasions from abroad: whereupon greater inconueniences do vsually ensue, then did euer fall by insufficiencie of a Prince. For if these pretenses may be allowed for good, what aspiring Subiect, what encroaching enemy, finding themselues furnished with meanes, will not be ready to rise into ambitious hopes? Gabriel the yonger brother of the house of Saluse, kept his eldest brother in prison, vsurped his estate, giuing foorth to the people that he was mad. And seldome hath any vsurpation happened, but vpon pretence of insufficiencie in gouernment. Assuredly, if these principall149 points of Principalitie be not punctually obserued, the ioynts of a State are loosened, the foundation is shaken, the gates are opened for all disorders, to rise vp, to rush in, to prosper, to preuaile.
Hereupon Medon the eldest sonne of Codrus, albeit he was lame and otherwise defectiue, was by sentence of the Oracle of Apollo preferred to succeed his father in the kingdome of Athens, before Neleus his yonger brother. So when Alexandrides King of Sparta left two sonnes, Cleomenes the eldest, distracted in wits, and Doricus the yongest, both able and enclined to all actions of honour; the Spartans acknowledged Cleomenes for their King. Agisilaus the famous King of Sparta was also lame, as Plutarch and Prob. Æmilius do report; Orosius saith, that the Spartans did rather choose to haue their King halt, then their Kingdome. And therefore when Lisander moued them to decree, that the worthiest and not alwayes the next in blood of the line of Hercules should reigne, he found no man to second his aduise. Aristobulus and Hircanus after a long and cruel contention for the Kingdome of Iewrie, committed their controuersie to the arbitre150ment of Pompey: Hircanus alledged, that hee was the eldest brother; Aristobulus obiected, that Hircanus was insufficient to gouerne: but Pompey gaue iudgement for Hircanus. The like iudgement did Annibal giue for the kingdome of that Countrey which is now called Sauoy; restoring Brancus to his State, from which he had bene expelled by his yonger brother. And although Phirrus did appoint that sonne to succeed, whose sword had the best edge; yet was the eldest acknowledged, who bare the least reputation for valour.
Ladislaus King of Hungarie left by his brother Geysa two Nephewes; Colomannus the eldest, who was lame, bunch-backed, crab-faced, blunt-sighted, bleare-eyed, a dwarfe, a stammerer, and (which is more) a Priest; and Almus the yongest, a man of comely presence, and furnished with many princely vertues: In regard of these natural prerogatiues Ladislaus appointed Almus to succeed; but in regard of the prerogatiue in blood, the Hungarians receiued Colomānus for their King. Barbatius writeth, that Galeace Duke of Milane did oft times expresse his griefe, for that he could not preferre in successiō Philip Maria his yongest sonne, before Iohn his151 eldest; for that he seemed the most sufficient to vndertake the manage of the State. Girard affirmeth that it hath bene the custome of the French, to honour their Kings whatsoeuer they are; whether wise or foolish, valiant or weake; esteeming the name of King to be sacred by whomsoeuer it be borne. And therefore they obeyed not only Charles the simple, but Charles the sixt also; who reigned many yeres in plaine distraction of his mind. It was an ancient custome in Scotland, that the most sufficient of the blood of Fergusus was receiued for King; but such warres, murthers, and other mischiefes did thereupon ensue, that a law was made vnder Kenet the third, and afterwards confirmed by Millcolumbus, that the nighest in blood should alwayes succeede. And accordingly the Scots refused not for their King Iohn the eldest sonne of Robert the second, albeit he was borne out of marriage, and did halt, and was both in wit and in courage dull.
For what if he who is debarred for disabilitie shall afterward haue a sonne free from all defects? It is without question that the right of the Kingdome should deuolue vnto him: for that the calamitie of parents doeth152 not preiudice their children, especially in their naturall rights, which they may claime from the person of former ancestors. But what if another be in possession of the Kingdome? will he readily giue place to this right? will he readily abandon that honour, for which men will not spare, to climbe ouer all difficulties, to vndergoe all dangers; to put their goods, their liues, their soules in aduenture? If a man be once mounted into the chaire of Maiestie, it standeth not, I will not say with his dignitie, but with his safetie, to betake himselfe to a priuate State; as well for the eternall iealousie wherein he shall be held, as for the enuie which shall be borne against him vpon many of his actions: So as what some few would not doe for ambition, the same they must doe to preserue themselues. Hereupon it will follow, that the possession of the Kingdome being in one, and the right in another; disunions, factions, warres may easily ensue.
It is inconuenient (I grant) to be vnder a King who is defectiue in body or in mind; but it is a greater inconuenience, by disturbing a setled forme of gouernment, to open an entrance for all disorders; wherein ambition and153 insolencie (two riotous humours) may range at large. For as euill is generally of that nature, that it cannot stand, but by supportance of another euill; and so multiplieth in it selfe, vntill it doth ruine with the proper weight: so mindes hauing once exceeded the strict bounds of obedience, cease not to strengthen one bouldnesse by another, vntil they haue inuolued the whole State in confusion.
Bvt now to returne to the person and gouernment of this King William. He was a man of meane stature, thicke and square bodied, his belly swelling somewhat round; his face was red, his haire deepely yealow, by reason whereof he was called Rufus; his forehead foure square like a window, his eyes spotted and not one like the other; his speech vnpleasant and not easily vttered, especially when he was mooued with anger. He was of great abilitie in body, as well for naturall strength, as for hardinesse to endure all ordinary extremities both of trauaile and of want. In Armes he was both expert and aduenturous; full of inward brauerie and fiercenesse; neuer dismayed, alwayes forward, and for the most part fortunate; in154 counsaile sudden, in performance a man; not doubting to vndertake any thing which inuincible valour durst promise to atchieue. Hee had bene bred with the sword; alwayes in action, alwayes on the fauourable hand of Fortune: so as, albeit he was but yong, yet was he in experience well grounded; for inuention subtill, in counsaile quicke, in execution resolute; wise to foresee a danger, and expedite to auoid it. In a word, the generall reputation of his valour and celeritie, made him esteemed one of the best Chiefetaines in his time.
His behauiour was variable and inconstant; earnest in euery present passion, and for the most part accompanying the disposition of his mind, with outward demonstrations. Of nature he was rough, haughtie, obstinate, inuincible, which was much enlarged both by his soueraigntie and youth: so singular in his owne conceit, that he did interprete it to his dishonour, that the world should deeme, that he did not gouerne by his owne iudgement. In publicke he composed his countenance to a stately terrour; his face sowerly swelling, his eyes truculent, his voyce violent and fierce, scarce thinking himselfe Maiesticall in the155 glasse of his vnderstanding, but when he flashed feare from his presence. And yet in priuate he was so affable and pleasant, that he approched neere the degree of leuitie: much giuen to scoffing, and passing ouer many of his euill actions with a ieast. In all the other carriages of his life, he maintained no stable and constant course; but declared himselfe for euery present, as well in vertue as in vice, strong, violent, extreeme.
In the beginning of his reigne he was esteemed a most accomplished Prince; and seemed not so much of power to bridle himselfe from vice, as naturally disposed to abhorre it. Afterwards, either with variation of times, or yeelding to the pleasures which prosperity vseth to ingender euen in moderate minds, or perhaps his nature beginning to disclose that which hee had cunningly concealed before, corruptions crept vp, and he waued vncertainely betweene vertue and vice. Lastly, being imboldned by euill teachers, and by continuance both of prosperitie and rule, he is said to haue made his height a priuiledge of loosenesse, and to haue abandoned himselfe to all licentious demeanour; wherein he seemed little to regard God, and nothing man.
Assuredly, there is no greater enemie to great men, then too great prosperitie in their affaires; which taketh from them all iudgement and rule of themselues; which maketh them ful of libertie, and bould to doe euill. And yet I cannot conceiue that this King was so bould, so carelesse, so shamelesse in vices, as many writers doe report. It is certaine that hee doubted of some points of Religion, at that time without any great contradiction professed; and namely, of praying to Saints, worshipping of Reliques, & such like. It is certain also, that out of policie in State, he endeuoured to abate the tumorous greatnes of the Clergie at that time; as well in riches, as in authority and power with the people: and that he attributed not so much to the Sea of Rome, as diuers Kings before him had done. Insomuch as he restrained his subiects from going to Rome, and withheld the annuall paiment of Peter pence, and was oftentimes heard to giue foorth, that they follow not the trace of S. Peter, they greedily gape after gifts and rewards, they retein not his power, whose pietie they do not imitate. These were causes sufficient for the writers of his time (who were for the most part Clergie-men) to enlarge his vi157ces beyond the trueth, to surmise many vices vntruely, to wrest his true vertues to be vices.
And this I doe the rather coniecture, for that I doe not find his particular actions of like nature, with the generall imputation which is cast vpon him; for that also I finde the chiefe of these generall imputations to bee these: That he was grieuous to the Church, of no deuotion to God, preferring respect of temporall state before the rules of the Gospel. Verely, it is hard to doe that which will beare a cleere beauty in the eyes of all men; and if our actions haue not the fauour of time, and the opinion of those men who doe estimate and report them, they are much dimmed with disgrace. Out of all doubt he was a magnanimous Prince, mercifull and liberall, and in martiall affaires most expert, diligent and prosperous; wise to contriue his best aduantage, and most couragious to atchieue it. But two things chiefly obscured his glory; one, the incomparable greatnesse of his father, to whom he did immediatly succeede; the other was the prowesse of those men, against whom he did contend in armes; especially of Malcolme King of Scots, and of Robert Duke of Normandie. To these I may158 adde, that hee died in the principall strength and flourish of his age, before his iudgement had full command ouer his courage.
Many doe attribute his excellent beginnings to Lanfranck Archb. of Canterburie: who during the time of his life, partly by authoritie, and partly by aduise, supported the vnstable yeeres and disposition of the King: which after the death of Lanfranck returned by degrees to their proper sway. But I do rather attribute many of his first vertues to the troubles which happened in the very entrance of his reigne; which partly by employment, and partly by feare, held his inclination in some restraint. For Odo Bishop of Baion and Earle of Kent, the Kings vncle by the mothers side, had drawen the greatest part of all the Prelates and Nobilitie that were Normans, into a dangerous confederacie against the King; to deiect him from his State, and to aduance Robert his elder brother for their King.
The secret cause of this conspiracie was partly vpon a generall discontentment, at the great, though worthy estimation and authoritie (a most capitall offence in the eye of enuie) of Lanfrank Archbishop of Canterburie; by means159 whereof many of the conspirators liued in farre meaner reputation, then their ambitious minds could easily breake: but chiefly it was vpon a more particular grudge, which Odo did beare against the same Lanfranck; because by his perswasion, Odo had been committed to prison by King William the elder. For when the King complained to Lanfranck of the intolerable both auarice and ambition of his brother Odo, the Archbishop gaue aduise, that hee should bee restrained of his libertie. And when the King doubted, how he being a Bishop, might be committed to prison, without impeaching the priuiledges of the Church; indeede answered Lanfranck, you may not imprison the Bishop of Baion, but you may doe what you please with the Earle of Kent.
The publike and open pretenses were these. Robert Duke of Normandie had the prerogatiue of birth; which being a benefit proceeding from nature, could not bee reuersed by his fathers acte. He had also wonne a most honorable reputation for his militarie vertues; and had by many trauels of warre wasted the wilde follies of youth. Hee was no lesse famous for courtesie and liberalitie, two most amiable or160naments of honour; being so desirous that no man should depart discontented from him, that he would oftentimes promise more then hee was able to performe, and yet performe more then his estate could expediently afford. As for K. William, besides that he was the yonger brother, his nature was held to be doubtfull and suspect, and the iudgement of most men enclined to the worst. And what are we then aduantaged, (said they) by the death of his father? if whom he hath fleeced, this shall flay; if this shall execute those whom he hath fettered and surely bound; If after his seuerities that are past, wee shall be freshly charged with those rigours, which tyrants in the height and pride of their Fortune are wont to vse? And as stronger combinations are alwayes made betweene men drawne together by one common feare, then betweene those that are ioyned by hope or desire; so vpon these iealousies and feares, accompanied also with vehement desires, the Confederats supposed that they had knit a most assured league.
Now it happened that at the time of the death of William the elder, Robert his eldest sonne was absent in Almaine; and at once161 heard both of the death of his father, and that his brother William was acknowledged to be King. Hereupon in great hast, but greater heat both of anger and ambition, he returned into Normandie: and there whilest he was breathing foorth his discontentment and desire of reuenge, he receiued a message from the Confederats in England; that with all speed hee should come ouer vnto them, to accomplish the enterprise, to furnish their forces with a head: that they had no want of able bodies; they wanted no meanes to maintaine them together; they wanted onely his person both to countenance and conduct them. The Duke thought it no wisdome, to aduenture himselfe altogether; vpon the fauour and faith of discontented persons: and he had bene so loosely liberall before, that he was vnprouided of money, to appoint himselfe with any competent forces of his owne. Hereupon he pawned a part of Normandie to his brother Henry, for waging Souldiers: many also flocked voluntarily vnto him; vpon inducement, that hee who of his owne nature was most liberall & full of humanitie, would not faile both of pay and reward, vnlesse by reason of disabilitie & want.
In the meane time the Confederats resolued to breake forth in Armes, in diuers parts of the Realme at once; vpon conceit, that if the King should endeuour to represse them in one place, they might more easily preuaile in the other. And so accordingly Odo fortified and spoiled in Kent; Geoffrey Bishop of Exceter, with his nephew Robert Mowbray Earle of Northumberland, at Bristow; Roger Montgomerie in Northfolke, Suffolke and Cambridgeshire; Hugh de Grandemenill, in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire; William Bishop of Durhame, in the North parts of the Realme; diuers others of the Clergie and Nobilitie in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, and all the Countreys adioyning to Wales. And as in time of pestilence all diseases turne to the plague; so in this generall tumult, all discontentments sorted to Rebellion. Many who were oppressed with violence or with feare; many who were kept lower either by want or disgrace then they had set their mounting minds, adioyned daily to the side, and encreased both the number and the hope. And thus was all the Realme in a ruinous rage against K. William, who wanted neither courage to beare, nor wisdome to decline it.
And first hee endeuoured by all meanes to make the English assured vnto him. And albeit few of them were at that time in any great place, either of credite or of charge, but were all wounded by his fathers wrongs; yet for that they were the greatest part, he made the greatest reckoning of them. For this cause hee released many English Lords who had bene committed to custodie by his father. He composed himselfe to courtesie and affabilitie towards the people, and distributed much treasure among them. But especially hee wanne their inclination by promises of great assurance, to restore vnto them their ancient lawes, to ease them of tributes and taxations, and to permit them free libertie of hunting: which being their principall pleasure and exercise before, was either taken away, or much restrained from them by King William the elder. Herewith he applied himselfe to appease the mutinous minds of his Nobilitie, to seuer the Confederats, to breake the faction; to diuide it first, and thereby to defeat it.
To this purpose he dealt with Roger Montgomerie, who next vnto Odo was a principall both countenance and strength to the reuolt;164 he dealt also with diuers others, inferiour vnto him in authority and degree; that he could not coniecture for what cause they were so violent against him: did they want money? His fathers treasure was at their deuotion: desired they encrease of possessions? they should not be otherwise bounded then by their owne desires: that hee would willingly also giue ouer his estate, in case it should be iudged expedient by themselues, whom his father had put in trust to support him: that they should doe wel to foresee, whether by ouerthrowing his fathers iudgement in appointing the kingdome vnto him, they should not doe that which might be preiudiciall to themselues; for the same man who had appointed him to bee King, had also conferred vnto them those honours and possessions which they held. Thus sometimes dealing priuately with particulars, and sometimes with many together, and eftsoones filling them with promises and hopes, and that with such new vehemencie of words as they beleeued could not proceede from dissembled intents; he so preuailed in the end, that hereby, and by example of some inducing the rest, Roger Montgomerie and diuers others were recon165ciled to the King; in whom was thought to rest no smal matter to hold vp the reputation of the enterprise.
And further, hee prepared a nauie to guard the seas, and to impeach the passage of his brother into England. Hee prepared great forces also by meanes of the treasure which his father had left, and disposed them in places conuenient, either to preuent or to represse these scattered tumults. But the successe of his affaires was by no meanes so much aduanced, as by Lanfranck Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Woolstane Bishop of Worcester: the authority of which two men, the one for his learning, wisedome, and mild moderation, the other for his simple sanctitie and integritie of life, was greatly regarded by all sorts of people. By encouragement of Woolstane not onely the citie of Worcester was maintained in firme condition for the King, but his enemies receiued there a famous foyle; the greatest part being slaine, and the residue dispersed. This was the first sad blow which the confederates tooke; afterward they declined mainely, and the King as mainly did increase.
The King in person led his chiefe forces in166to Kent, against Odo his vncle, the principall firebrand of all this flame. Hee tooke there the castle of Tunbridge and of Pemsey, which Odo had fortified; and lastly hee besieged Odo himselfe in the castle of Rochester, and with much trauell tooke him prisoner, and compelled him to abiure the Realme. Vpon these euents, the Bishop of Durham, aduising onely with feare and despaire, fled out of the Realme; but after three yeeres he was againe restored to the dignitie of his Sea. The residue did submit themselues to the Kings discretion; and were by him receiued, all to pardon, some to gracious and deare account. For in offences of so high nature, pardon neuer sufficeth to assure offenders, vnlesse by further benefits their loyaltie bee bound.
Robert Duke of Normandy was busied all this time, in making preparation for his iourney into England: but his delayes much abated the affections of those who fauoured either his person or cause. At the length, hauing made vp a competent power, he committed to sea; where, his infelicities concurring with his negligence, diuers of his ships which he had sent somewhat before him, to assure the confederats167 of his approach, were set vpon and surprised by the nauie of King William. After this hee arriued in England, sent vnto many of his secret friends, and made his comming knowen vnto all: but no man resorted to him, he receiued no aduertisement from any man; but plainely found, that by the fortunate celeritie of King William, the heart of the conspiracie in all places was broken. So the Duke returned into Normandie, hauing then good leisure, to looke into the errour of his leisurely proceedings.
When the King had in this sort either wisely reconciled, or valiantly repressed his domesticall enemies; because an vnperfect victory is alwayes the seede of a new warre, he followed his brother with a mighty armie, and remoued the seate of the warre into Normandie. For he coniectured (as in trueth it fell out) that the Duke his brother vpon his returne, would presently disperse his companies, for want of money; and for the same cause would not easily be able to draw them together againe. So his valour and his power being much aduantaged by his sudden comming, ioyned to the want of foresight and preparation in the Duke;168 he tooke in short time the Castles of Walerick and Aubemarle, with the whole Countrey of Eu; the Abbacie of Mount S Michael, Fescampe, Chereburge, and diuers other places; which he furnished with men of Armes, and Souldiers of assured trust.
The Duke feeling his owne weakenesse, dealt with Philip King of France, and by liberall promises so preuailed with him, that he descended into Normandie with a faire Armie, and bent his siege against one of those pieces which K. William had taken. But he found it so knottie a piece of worke, that in short time wearied with hardnesse and hazards of the field, he fell to a capitulation with King William, and so departed out of Normandie; receiuing a certaine summe of money in regard of his charges, and conceiuing that he had won honour ynough, in that no honour had bene won against him.
The money that was payd to the King of France, was raised in England by this deuise. King William commanded that 20. Thousand men should be mustered in England, and transported into Normandie, to furnish his warres against the French. When they were conducted neere to Hastings, and almost ready to be169 embarked, it was signified to them from the King; that aswell for their particular safeties, as not to disfurnish the Realme of strength, whosoeuer would pay 10. shillings towards the waging of Souldiers in Normandie, he might be excused to stay at home. Among 20. Thousand scarce any was found, who was not ioyfull to embrace the condition; who was not ready to redeeme his aduenture with so small a summe: which being gathered together, was both a surer and easier meanes to finish the warres, then if the King had still struggeled by force of Armes. For when the French King had abandoned the partie, Duke Robert, being prepared neither with money, nor constancie of mind to continue the warre, enclined to peace; which at the last, by diligence of friends, was concluded betweene the two brothers, vpon these conditions.
That the Duke should yeeld to the King the Countie of Eu, the Abbey of Fescampe, the Abbey of S. Michaels mount, Chereburge, and all other Castles and fortifications which the King had taken.
That the King should subdue to the vse of the Duke, all other Castles and houldes, which170 had reuolted from him in Normandie.
That the King should giue to the Duke certaine dignities and possessions in England.
That the King should restore all those to their dignities and lands in England, who had taken part with the Duke against him.
That if either of them should die without issue male, the suruiuour should succeed in his estate.
These Articles were confirmed by twelue Barons on the Kings part, and as many on the part of the Duke; so long obserued, as either of them wanted either power or pretence to disanull them.
This peace being made, the Duke vsed the aide of King William, to recouer the fort of Mount S. Michael, which their brother Henrie did forceably hold, for the money which hee had lent to the Duke of Normandie. Fourtie dayes they layed siege to this castle; hauing no hope to carrie it, but by the last necessity, which is hunger. Within the compasse of this time, as the King straggled alone vpon the shoare, certaine horsemen salied foorth and charged vpon him; of whom three strooke him together so violently with their lances, as because he could not be driuen out of his saddle, together171 with his saddle he was cast vpon the ground, and his horse slaine vpon the place, for which he had payed the same day 15. markes. Extremitie of danger (as it often happeneth) tooke from the King all feare of danger: wherefore taking vp his saddle with both his hands, he did therewith defend himselfe for a time. But because to stand vpon defence onely is alwayes vnsure, he drew his sword, and would not depart one foot from his saddle; but making shew of braue ioy, that he had nothing to trust vnto but his owne valour, he defended both his saddle and himselfe, till rescue came. Afterward when some of his Souldiers in blaming maner expostulated with him, wherefore he was so obstinate to saue his saddle: his answere was, that a King should loose nothing which he can possibly saue: It would haue angred mee, (said he) at the very heart, that the knaues should haue bragged, that they had wonne the saddle from mee. And this was one of his perpetuall felicities, to escape easily out of desperate dangers.
In the end Henry grew to extreeme want of water, and other prouisions: by which meanes he was ready to fall into the hands of those,172 who desired to auoyd necessitie to hurt him. And first he sent to the Duke his brother, to request some libertie to take in fresh water. The Duke sent to him a tunne of wine, and granted a surcease of hostilitie for one day, to furnish him with water. At this the King seemed discontented, as being a meanes to prolong the warre. But the Duke told him, that it had bene hard to deny a brother a little water for his necessitie. Herewith likewise the King relenting, they sent for their brother Henry; and wisdome preuailing more then iniuries or hate, they fell to an agreement, That vpon a day appointed, Henry should receiue his money at Roan; and that in the meane time, hee should hold the countrey of Constantine in morgage. The King enterteined with pay many of his brother Henries souldiers; especially he receiued those who ouerthrew him, to a very neere degree of fauour. And thus all parties ordered their ambition with great modestie; the custome of former warres running in a course of more humanitie, then since they haue done.
The King was the more desirous to perfect these agreements of Peace, for that Malcolme King of Scots (as Princes often times make vse173 of the contentions of their neighbours) tooke occasion vpon these confusions, to enterprise vpō the parts of England which confined vpon him. So as he inuaded Northumberland, made great spoile, tooke much prey, caried away many prisoners; whose calamitie was the more miserable, for that they were to endure seruitude in a hard Countrey. For this cause the King with his accustomed celeritie returned into England, accompanied with the Duke of Normandie his brother; and led a mighty armie against the Scots by land, and sent also a nauie to infest them by sea. But by a sudden and stiffe storme, by a hideous confusion of all ill disposed weather, his ships were cruelly crushed; and hauing long wrought against the violence and rage of the tempest, were in the end dispersed, and diuers of them cast away. Many of his souldiers also perished, partly by penurie and want, and partly by the euill qualitied ayre.
Notwithstanding the Scots, knowing the King of England to bee an enemie mighty and resolute, began to wauer in their assurance; framing fearefull opinions, of the number, valour and experience of his armie. Hereupon174 some ouertures of peace were made; the Scots expecting that the King, by reason of his late losses, would be the more moderate in his demands. But hee then shewed himselfe most resolute and firme; following his naturall custome, not to yeelde to any difficulty. King Malcolme coniecturing that such confidence could not be without good cause, consented at the last to these conditions.
That King Malcolme should make a certaine satisfaction for the spoyles which hee had done in England.
That King William should restore to him certaine lands in England.
That K. Malcolme should doe homage to King William.
Now the day was come wherein Henrie was appointed to receiue his money at Roan, from the Duke of Normandie. But as affaires of Princes haue great variations, so they are not alwayes constant in their Counsels. And so the Duke, caried by his occasions, and ready to lay downe his faith and word more to the traine of times, then to the preseruation of his honour; instead of paying the money, committed his brother Henry to prison: from175 whence he could not be released, vntill hee renounced the Countie of Constantine, and bound himselfe by oath neuer to claime any thing in Normandie.
Henrie complained hereof to Philip King of France; who gaue him a faire enterteinement in his Court, but was content rather to feede then finish the contention: either expecting thereby some opportunitie to himselfe, or els the opinion of his owne greatnesse not suffring him to feare, that others might grow to haue fortune against him. Henry had not long remained in the Court of France, but a Normane Knight named Hacharde conueyed him disguised into Normandie; where the Castle of Damfronç was deliuered vnto him; and in short time after hee gate all the Countrey of Passays, and a good part of Constantine; either without resistance, or without difficultie and perill.
Hereupon the Duke leuied his forces, and earnestly assayed to recouer Damfronç: but then hee found that his brother Henrie was secretly, yet surely vnderset by the king of England. Hereupon, incensed with the furie of an iniuried minde, hee exclaimed against his bro176ther of England, and almost proclaimed him a violator of his league. On the other side, the King of England iustified his action, for that hee was both a meanes and a partie to the agreement: and therefore stood bound in honour, not onely to vrge, but to enforce performance. So the flame brake foorth more furious then it was before, and ouer went King William with an able armie; where hee found the Duke also in good condition of strength commanding the field. And albeit in so neere approach of two mighty enemies, equall both in ambition and power, it is hard to conteine men of seruice; yet was nothing executed betweene them, but certaine light skirmishes, and surprizements of some places of defence. In the end, the King hearing of new troubles in England, and the Duke finding himselfe vnable either to preuaile with few souldiers, or to maintaine many, and both distrusting to put a speedie end to the warre; they were easily drawne to capitulations of peace. And thus ended the contention betweene these brethren; who vntill this time had continued like the waues of the Sea, alwayes in motion, and one beating against the other.
Besides these businesses which befell the King, against his Nobilitie, against the Duke of Normandie his brother, and against the King and nation of the Scots; the Welshmen also (who alwayes struggled for libertie and reuenge) perceiuing that the King was often absent, and much entangled with hostile affaires; enforced the fauour of that aduantage, to free themselues from subiection of the English, and happily to enlarge or enrich themselues vpon them. So hauing both desire and opportunitie, they wanted not meanes to assemble in armes, to expell the English that were amongst them, and to cast downe the Castles erected in their Countrey, as the principall yoakes of their subiection. Afterwards, rising in boldnesse with successe, they made diuers incursions vpon the bordering parts of England; spoiled the Citie of Glocester, and exercised all those outrages, which vnciuill people, incensed both with want and with hate doe not vsually omit. But being a company neither in discipline nor pay, raw and vnarmed, they proceeded more like to robbers then to Souldiers; hauing no intention to vanquish, but to spoile.
Hereupon the King twice in person inua178ded Wales, but with small shew of successe for the present. For the Welsh-enemies scattered the warre, by diuiding themselues into small companies, and retiring into the mountaines and woods, and other places of naturall defence. Here they trauailed the King with a fugitiue fight; flying when they were pursued, and houering vpon him when they were giuen ouer: cutting off many stragling souldiers, and taking some carriages, which in those rough places could not easily either be passed, or defended. And so by shifting alwayes into places of aduantage, they sought at one time, both to auoyd fighting, and to hinder the King from doing any thing of importance. At the last, the King hauing made sufficient proofe how vaine it is, to follow a light footed enemie with a heauie Armie, pestered with traine of carriage, in places where the seruice of horsemen is almost vnprofitable; he gaue ouer the pursuit, and retired into England. But first he repaired those Castles which the Welsh had destroyed, and built new Castles also vpon the frontiers and within the bosome of Wales; which he furnished with so sure garrisons, as might suffice with fauour of opportunitie, ei179ther to weary or consume the enemies.
And indeed the Welsh being by this meanes, alwayes exercised, and dayly wasted; declined in short time, no lesse to cowardise then to wearinesse and wants; so as Hugh Earle of Chester, & Hugh Earle of Shrewesbury, dispossessed them of the Isle of Anglesey, which they had surprised not long before. The Welsh that were there taken, were very hardly, or rather vnmercifully and cruelly entreated; Some had their eyes pulled out, some their hands cut off, some their armes, some their noses, some their genitalles. An aged Priest named Kenredus, who had bene a chiefe directer of the common affaires, was drawne out of a Church whereinto he had fled, had one of his eyes pulled out, and his tongue torne from his throat. I make no doubt but these seuerities were vsed against them, vpon some sauage outrages which they had done; wherein the lesse compassion was borne to their calamities, for the cowardise which they shewed in their owne defence.
Shortly after, Magnus King of Norway the sonne of Olaus, the sonne of Harold Harfager, hauing brought the Isles of Orkeney vnder his dominion, subdued also from the Welsh the Isle180 of Man; and enterprised vpon the Isle of Anglesey against the English. But at his landing he was encountred by the Earle of Shrewsbury and the Earle of Chester; in which fight the Norwegians were vanquished and repelled, but the Earle of Shrewsbury with too braue boldnesse lost his life: leauing his honourable both actions and end as an excellent ornament to his posteritie. Afterwards the Earle of Chester led an armie into Wales; and found the people so consumed by the English garisons, that he easily reduced many to professe obedience to the Crowne of England; and disabled others, hauing no leaders of experience and valour, for shewing their faces as enemies in the field.
Also vpon some variances which did rise betweene Iustinus, sonne to Gurguntus, Earle of Glamorgane and Morganock; and Rhesus sonne to Theodore Prince of Southwales: Iustinus, not of power to maintaine either his right or his will, sent Æneas, sonne to Genidorus, sometimes Lord of Demetia, to craue aide in England. This he obtained, not onely readily, but in greater measure then the seruice did require. Robert Fitzhamond was generall Commander of the English armie; who en181countred Rhesus at a place called Blackhill; and in that fight Rhesus was slaine: after whose death the name of King ceased in Wales. Then Iustinus failing, and happily not able to performe such conditions as in necessitie hee had assured, Fitzhamond turned his forces against him; chased the Welsh out of the champaine Countrey, and diuided the same among his principall Gentlemen. These erected Castles, in places conuenient for their mutuall ayde; and so well defended themselues, that they left the Countrey to their posterity. Thus was the Lordship of Glamorgane and Morganock, which conteineth 27. miles in length, & 22. in bredth, subdued to the English; giuing example how dangerous it is for any people, to call in a greater force of strangers to their ayde, then being victorious, they may easily be able to limit and restraine. This being a Lordship marcher, hath enioyed royall liberties, since the time wherein it was first subdued. It hath acknowledged seruice and obedience onely to the Crowne. It hath had the triall of all actions, as well reall as personall, and also held Pleas of the Crowne; with authority to pardon all offences, Treason onely excepted.
Whilest the King was entertained with these chases, rather then warres in Wales, hee lay at Gloucester many times; as not esteeming that his presence should alwayes be necessary, and yet not farre off if occasion should require. To this place Malcolme King of Scots came vnto him, vpon an honourable visitation. But the King hauing conceiued some displeasure against him, refused to admit him to his presence. Hereupon King Malcolme, full of fury and disdaine, returned into Scotland, assembled an armie, enuaded Northumberland, harrased and spoyled a great part thereof; hauing done the like foure times before. Such is the heate of hate in mindes that are mighty; who seldome hold it any breach of Iustice, to bee reuenged of him who offereth dishonor. When he was come neere to Alnewicke, and his souldiers were much pestered with prey, (a notable impediment both for readinesse and resolution to fight) hee was set vpon both suddenly and sharply by Robert Mowbray Earle of Northumberland; his troupes hewen in pieces, himselfe together with his eldest sonne Edward slaine. The third day ensuing, Margaret wife to King Malcolme, and sister to Edgar Adeling, not able183 to beare so sad and heauie a blow of fortune, ended also her life. Shee was famous for pietie and for modestie, two excellent endowments of that Sexe. By her perswasion Malcolme made a law, that whereas by a former law made by King Eugenius, the Lord enioyed the first night with any new married woman within his dominion; the husband might redeeme that abuse by paiment of halfe a mark of siluer.
King Malcolme being slaine, Dunwald his brother vsurped the kingdome; but after a few dayes he was dispossessed thereof by Duncane, bastard son to K. Malcolme. In this action Duncane was chiefly supported by the King of England; with whom he had remained in hostage, and to whom hee had made his submission by oath. And because the Scots did either see or suspect that hee bare a fauourable affection to the English, they would not receiue him for their King, but vnder promise that hee should not entertaine any English or Normane, either in place of seruice, or as a follower at large. The yeere next following Duncane was slaine, and Dunwald was againe possessed of the kingdom. Hereupon King William sent Clito Edgar with an armie into Scotland; by whose meanes Dunwald184 was dispoiled againe of his Kingdome, and Edgar sonne to King Malcolme aduanced to his fathers estate.
These were the principall aduentures by Armes which concerned England, during the reigne of K. William the second: wherein he so behaued himselfe, that he did worthily winne an opinion to be one, who both knew and durst. In all actions hee esteemed himselfe greatly dishonoured, if hee were not both in Armes with the first, and with the forwardest in fight; doing double seruice, as well by example, as by direction: In which heate of valour, the fauour of his Fortune excused many of his attempts from the blame of rashnesse. He was oftentimes most constant, or rather obstinate in pursuing those purposes, which with small deliberation he vndertooke.
At a certaine time when he was in hunting within the new Forrest, he receiued aduertisement, that Mans was surprised by Helie, Count de la Flesch, who pretended title thereto in right of his wife: that he was aided in this enterprise by Fouques d'Angiers, an ancient enemie to the Dukes of Normandie: and that the castle which held good for the King, must also be rendered,185 if in very short time it were not relieued. Vpon these newes, as if he had bene in the heat of a chase, he presently turned his horse; and his passion not staying to consult with reason, in great haste roade towards the Sea. And when he was aduised by some to stay a time, and take with him such forces as the importance of the seruice did require; with a heart resolute and violent voice he answered, That they who loued him, would not faile to follow; and that if no man else would stirre, he alone would relieue Mans.
When he came to Dortmouth, he commanded ships to be brought for his passage. The winds were then both contrary and stiffe, and the Sea swelled exceeding bigge; for which cause the Shipmasters perswaded him to await a more fauourable season, and not to cast himselfe vpon the miserable mercie of that storme. Notwithstanding the King, whose feare was alwayes least when dangers were greatest, mounted vpon Shipboard, and commanded them to put to Sea; affirming, That it was no Prince-like mind to breake a iourney for foulenesse of weather; and that he neuer heard of any King that had bene drowned. And so for that the chiefe point of rescue rested in expedition, hee186 presently committed to Sea; taking few with him, and leauing order that others should follow. After hee had long wrastled with the winds and waues, he arriued in France, where running on in the humour of his courage and forwardnesse, he acquitted himselfe with greater honour then at any time before. So effectuall is celeritie for the benefit of a seruice, that oftentimes it more auaileth, then either multitude or courage of Souldiers.
In this expedition, Helie the principall commander against him was taken. And when he was brought to the Kings presence, the King said pleasantly vnto him: Ah master! in faith I haue you now; and I hope I shal be able to keepe you in quiet. Then he: It is true indeed, the successe of my attempts haue not bene answerable to the resolution of my minde; by meere aduenture now you haue me: but if I were at libertie againe, I doe better know what I had to doe, and would not so easily be held in quiet. The King with a braue scorne replied: I see thou art but a foolish knaue; vnable to vse, either thy libertie or thy restreint aright. But goe thy wayes, make good thy confidence: I set thee free and at libertie againe; vse thy aduantage, and doe thy worst. Helie daunted more187 with this high courage, then before he had bin with the victory of the King, submitted himselfe, and made his peace vnder such conditions as it pleased the King to lay vpon him. Certainely this magnanimous example hath seldome bin equalled, neuer excelled by those, who are admired for the principall worthies of the world.
He little fauoured flatterers; the flies which blow corruption vpon sweetest vertues; the myrie dogs of the Court, who defile Princes with fawning on them; who commonly are fatted with bread which is made with the teares of miserable people. He was most firme and assured in his word: and to those who did otherwise aduise him, he would say; That God did stand obliged by his word.
He is commended for his manly mercie; in releasing prisoners, and in pardoning offences of highest qualitie: which to a people that then liued vnder a Law, both rigorous, and almost arbitrarie, and (as well for the noueltie as for the vncertaintie thereof) in a manner vnknowne, was a most high valued vertue. He not onely pardoned many great offenders, but partly by gifts, and partly by aduancements he188 knit them most assuredly vnto him. And therefore although in the beginning of his reigne, most of the Nobilitie, and many Gentlemen of best quality and rancke endeuoured to displace him, and to set vp Robert his elder brother for their King; yet doeth it not appeare, either that any seueritie was executed vpon them, or that afterward they were dangerous vnto him. Notwithstanding in some actions he was noted of crueltie, or at the least of sharpnesse and seuerity in iustice. For albeit hee promised to the English, whilest his first feares and iealousies continued, that they should enioy free libertie of hunting; yet did hee afterwards so seuerely restraine it, that the penalty for killing a Deere was death.
Robert Mowbray Earle of Northumberland, after he had defeated the Scots and slaine Malcolme their King, not finding himselfe either honoured or respected according to his seruice; first refrained, and afterwards refused to come vnto the Court. Hereupon the King, ouerruled indifferently with suspition and hate, (two violent passions in minds placed in authoritie) sent his brother Henry with an armie against him; who spoyled the Countrey, tooke the Earle,189 and committed him to prison. Then was hee charged with diuers crimes, which were sufficient (although but surmised) to vndoe an Innocent. Many examinations were also made, but for appearance onely and terrour, not to any bottome or depth. The especiall matter obiected against him was, for contriuing to despoyle the King both of life and state, and to set vp Stephen Albamerle his Aunts sonne for King. And thus it often happeneth, that great deserts are occasions to men of their destruction; either because Princes generally loue not those to whom they are exceedingly beholding, or else for that thereby men doe grow proud, insolent, disdainefull, bould, immoderate both in expectation and demand, discontented, impatient if they be not satisfied, and apt to breake forth into dangerous attempts.
Of those who any wayes declared themselues in his fauour or defence; some were despoiled of their goods, some were banished the Realme; others were punished with losse of their eyes, or of their eares, or of some other part of their bodie. William d'Owe was accused in a Councell holden at Salisbury, to bee a complice of this Treason. And albeit he chal190lenged his accuser to the combate, yet his eyes were pulled out, and his stones cut off by commandement of the King. And yet some authours affirme, that he was ouercome in combate before. For the same cause the King commanded William Aluerie to be hanged; a man of goodly personage and modest behauiour; the Kings sewer, his Aunts sonne, and his godfather. Before his execution hee desired to be whipped through manie Churches in London: he distributed his garments to the poore, and bloodied the street as he went, with often kneeling vpon the stones. At the time of his death he tooke it vpon the charge of his soule, that he was cleere of the offence for which he suffered. And so committing his innocencie to God, and to the world his complaints, he submitted himselfe to the Executioners hands: leauing an opinion in some, a suspition in many, that others also died without desert. For the king gaue an easie eare to any man, that would appeach others for his aduantage: whereby it sometimes happened, that offenders were acquited by accusing innocents.
He was liberall aboue measure; either in regard of his owne abilities, or of the worthinesse191 of the receiuers. Especially hee was bountifull (if that terme may be applyed to immoderate lauishing) to men of warre: for which cause many resorted to him from farre Countries for entertainement. To winne and retaine the fauour of these, hee much impouerished his peaceable people. From many he tooke without iustice, to giue to others without desert: esteeming it no vnequall dealing, that the money of the one, should bee aduentured and expended with the blood of the other.
He much exceeded in sumptuousnes of diet and of apparell, wherewith great men vse to dazel the eyes of the people: both which waies he esteemed the goodnesse of things, by their price. It is reported, that when his Chamberlaine vpon a certaine morning brought him a new paire of hose, the King demaunded what they cost; and the Chamberlaine answered, three shillings. Hereat the King grew impatient, and said: What? heauie beast! doest thou take these to be conuenient hose for a King? Away begger, and bring me other of a better price. Then the Chamberlaine departed and brought a farre worse paire of hose (for a better could not at that time bee found) and told the king192 that they cost a marke. The king not onely allowed them for fine enough, but commended them also as exceeding fit. Assuredly this immoderate excesse of a King is now farre exceeded by many base shifting vnthrifts.
In building his expences were very great. He repaired the Citie and Castle of Caerlile, which had been wasted by the Danes 200. yeres before. Hee finished New castle vpon Tine. Many other Castles he erected or repaired vpon the frontiers of Scotland; many also vpon the frontiers and within the very brest of Wales. Hee much enlarged the Towre of London, and enuironed it with a new wall. Hee also built the great Hall at Westminster, which is 270. foote in length, and 74. foote in breadth. And when many did admire the vast largenes thereof, he would say vnto them, that it was but a bed chamber, but a closet, in comparison of that which he intended to build. And accordingly he layd the foundation of another Hall, which stretched from the Riuer Thames to the Kings high street: the further erection wherof, with diuers other heroicall enterprises, ceased together with his life.
Thus partly by reason of his infinite plots193 and inuentions, and partly by his disorders and vnbrideled liberalities, he alwayes liued at great charges and expences; which whilest the large treasure lasted which his father left him, were borne without grieuance to the subiects: But when that was once drained, he was reduced to seeke money by extraordinary meanes. So, many hard taxes were laid vpon the people, partly for supplie to his owne necessities, and partly to imitate the policie of his father; that the people being busied how to liue, should reteine small either leisure or meanes to contriue innouations. For this cause he was supposed, vpon purpose to haue enterprised many actions of charge; that thereby he might haue colour to impose, both imployments and taxations vpon the people.
And because the riches of the clergie at that time were not onely an eye-sore vnto many, but esteemed also by some, to bee very farre aboue due proportion; Hee often fleeced them of great summes of money. For which cause it is euident, that the writers of that age (who were for the most part Clergie men) did both generally enueigh against him, and much depraue his particular actions. He withheld his194 annuall paiment to the Sea of Rome, vpon occasion of a Schisme betweene Vrbane at Rome, and Clement at Rauenna. He claimed the inuestiture of Prelates to be his right: Hee forbade Appeales and entercourse to Rome: For which and other like causes he had a very great contention with the Clergie of his Realme, especially with Anselme Archbishop of Canterbury.
The seedes of this contention were cast, when Anselme was first receiued to his Sea. For at that time two did striue for the Papacie of Rome; Vrbanus and Guibert, called Clement the third: some Christian States fauouring the one, and some the other. King William inclined to Clement the third, and with him the Realme generally went; but Anselme did fully goe with Vrbane; making so his condition before he did consent to accept his dignitie.
When he was elected and before his consecration, the King demanded of him, that such lands of the Church of Canterbury as the King had giuen to his friends since the death of Lanfranck, might still be held by them as their lawfull right: but to this Anselme would in no case agree. Hereupon the King stayed his consecration a certaine time; but at length by im195portunitie of the people hee was content to receiue his homage, and to giue way to his consecration. Not long after, the Archbishop desired licence of the king to goe to Rome, to receiue his Pall; which when the King refused to grant, he appealed to the Sea of Rome. Now this was the first Appeale that euer before had been made in England. For Appeales were not here in ordinarie vse, vntil after this time, vnder the reigne of King Stephen; when Henrie Bishop of Wint. being the Popes Legate, brought them in.
Wherefore the King offended with this noueltie, charged Anselme with breach of his fealtie and oath. Anselme answered, that this was to be referred to the iudgement of a Councell, whether it bee a breach of allegiance to a terrene Prince, if a man appeale to the Vicar of Christ. The King alleaged; that the custome of his Realme admitted no appeale from the king; that supreame appeale was a most principall marke of Maiestie, because no appeale can be made but to a superiour; that therefore the Archbishop by appealing from him, denied his Souereignty, derogated from the dignitie of his Crowne, and subiected both him and that196 to another Prince, to whom as to a superiour he did appeale; That herein hee was an enemie and a Traitour to him and to the State. Anselme replyed, that this question was determined by our Lord, who taught vs what allegiance is due to the Pope, where he saith; Thou art Peter, and vpon this Rocke will I build my Church, &c. And againe; To thee will I giue the Keyes of the Kingdome of Heauen, &c. And againe in generall; Hee that heareth you heareth me, and who despiseth you despiseth me. And againe, He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of my eye. But for the allegiance due to the King, he saith; Giue to Cæsar that which belongeth to Cæsar, and to God what pertaineth to God. To this the king finally said; That hauing made themselues Masters to interprete and giue sence to the Scriptures, it was easie to maintaine by them whatsoeuer they desired or did; it was easie for them to burst their ambition with their swelling greatnes. But well he was assured, that Christ intended not to dissolue orders for Ciuill gouernment, to ruine kingdoms, to embase authority and right of Kings, by meanes of his Church: this right of a King he had, and this right he would maintaine.
In this contention few of the Bishops did openly take part with Anselme; but some, and especially the Bishop of Durhame, did directly declare against him. The residue, when he asked their aduise, would answere him, That he was wise ynough, and knew what was best for him to doe; as for them, they neither durst nor would stand against their Lord. By assistance of these the King purposed to depriue Anselme, and to expell him out of the Realme. But Anselme auowed, That as he was ready to depart the Realme, so would he take his authoritie with him, though he tooke nothing else.
Now the King had sent two messengers to Pope Vrbane at Rome, to entreat him to send the Pall to the King; to be disposed by him as he should thinke fit. These messengers were by this time returned; and with them came Guibert the Popes Legate, who brought the Pall. The Legate went first priuily to the King, and promised that if Vrbane should be receiued for Pope in England, the King should obtaine of him whatsoeuer he would. The King required that Anselme might be remoued. The Legate answered, that it could not be, that such a man without iust cause should be remo198ued; Notwithstanding some other things being granted to the King, Vrbane was declared to be lawfull Pope; and the King was content to swallow downe that morsel, which had bene so vnpleasant for him to champe on. The Pall was caried to Anselme with great pompe, in a vessell of siluer; and he came foorth bare footed, in his Priestly Vestments to meete and to receiue it.
The yeere next following the King inuaded Wales; where he repressed the rebellious enemies, and returned victorious. Anselme prepared to goe vnto him, to salute him, to congratulate his good successe. But the King preuented him by messengers, who layde to his charge, both the small number, and euill appointment of the Souldiers, which he sent to that seruice; and therefore warned him to appeare at the Court, to make his answere. Happely also the King was incensed by matters more light; but taken in the worst part, as it commonly falleth out in suspitions and quarels. At the day appointed Anselme appeared, but auoyded his answere by appealing to the Pope: for prosecution whereof, hee made suit for the Kings licence to goe to Rome. The199 King said as before; That this appeale was against the custome of the Realme, and against the dignitie of his Crowne, to both which Anselme had sworne. Anselme answered, That he was sworne to neither of them, but so farre as they were consonant to the Lawes of God, and to the rules of equitie and right. The King replied, That no limitation being expressed, it was not reasonable that vpon his owne conceit of pietie or equitie, he should slip out of the band of his oath. Thus was the contention on both sides obstinately maintained; and for a long time Anselme was commanded to attend the Court.
At the last hee was released, but vnder expresse charge, that he should not depart out of the Realme; or if he did, that it should neuer be lawfull for him to returne. Anselme departed from the Court, went streight to Douer, with purpose to passe the Seas into France. Here hee was either awaited or ouertaken by William Warlewast the Kings officer; not to stay him from his passage, but to rifle him of all that he had. Others also were appointed to seise his goods in other places, and to conuert the profits of his Archbishopricke to the vse of the200 King; making a bare allowance to the Monks, of meat, drinke and cloathing. So the Archbishop crossed the Seas into France, rested a while at Lions, and then trauailed ouer the Alpes to Rome; where he was enterteined by Pope Vrbane, with more then ordinarie ceremonies of honour.
And first the Pope wrote to the king of England on the behalfe of Anselme; and reteined him in his Palace vntill he should receiue answere from the king. When the messenger was returned with such answere as Anselme did not like, he desired of the Pope to be discharged of his dignitie; which he had found (he said) a wearisome stage, whereon hee played a part much against his will. But hereto the Pope would in no case agree; charging him vpon vertue of his obedience, That wheresoeuer he went, he should beare both the name and honour of Archbishop of Canterburie. As for these matters, (said he) we shall sufficiently prouide for them at the next Councell where your selfe shalbe present.
When the Councell was assembled, Anselme sate on the outside of the Bishops; but the Pope called him vp, and placed him at his201 right foot with these words; Includamus hunc in orbe nostro, tanquam alterius orbis Papam. Afterwards in all generall Councels, the Archb. of Canterburie tooke that place. In this Councell the points of difference betweene the Greeke and Latine Churches were strongly debated; especially concerning the proceeding of the Holy Ghost, and for leauened bread in the administration of the Eucharist: wherein Anselme shewed such deepe learning, weight of iudgement, and edge of wit, that he approched neerer admiration then applause. These matters determined, complaints were brought against the King of England, and the Pope is said to haue bene ready to excommunicate him: but Anselme kneeled before the Pope, and obteined for the King a longer terme. The Pope was then at great contention with Henry the fourth Emperour, who had bene excommunicated before by Hildebrand, and was then againe excommunicate by Vrbane: being the first Christian Prince with Souereigne power, who was euer excommunicate by any Pope. And for that Vrbane at that time had his hands full against the Emperour, for that also hee would not make the example too odious at the202 first; he was willing ynough to forbeare excommunication against the King. And the rather for that Anselme had intelligence from his friends in England, that the excommunication would not be regarded. Hereupon, accompting it a sufficient declaration of his power for the time, to haue menaced excommunication, he caused a generall decree to be made; That as well all Lay-persons who should giue inuestiture of Churches, as those of the Clergie who should be so inuested; also those who should yeeld themselues in subiection to Lay-men for Ecclesiastical liuings, should be excōmunicate.
This generall sentence was pronounced. The Pope also signified by letters to the King, that if he would auoyd particular proceeding against himselfe, he should foorthwith restore Anselme to the exercise of his Office in his Church, and to all the goods and possessions perteining thereto. Hereupon the King sent messengers to the Pope, who declared vnto him; That their great Master the King marueiled not a litle, wherefore he should so sharply vrge the restitution of Anselme; seeing it was expresly told him, That if he departed out of England without licence, he should expect no203 other vsage. Well, said the Pope, Haue you no other cause against Anselme, but that he hath appealed to the Apostolicall Sea, and without licence of your King hath trauailed thither? They answered, No. And haue you taken all this paines (said he) haue you trauailed thus farre to tell me this? Goe tell your Lord, if he will not be excommunicate, that he presently restore Anselme to his Sea: And see that you bring mee answere hereof the next Councell, which shalbe in the third weeke after Easter: make haste, and looke to your terme, lest I cause you to be hanged for your tarryance.
The messenger was herewith much abashed; yet collecting himselfe, he desired priuate audience of the Pope: affirming, that he had some secret instructions from the King to impart vnto him. What this secret was it is vnknowne. Whatsoeuer it was, a longer day was obtained for the King, vntill Michaelmas then next ensuing. And when that day was come, albeit complaints were renued, yet was nothing done against the King. The Archb. seeing the small assurance of the Pope, returned to Lions in France; and there remained vntil the death, first of Pope Vrbane, and afterwards of the204 king; which was almost the space of 3. yeeres.
By this great conflict the king lost the hearts of many of the Clergie; but his displeasure had seasoned reuenge with contentment: and finding himselfe sufficient, both in courage and meanes to beare out his actions, he became many other wayes heauie vnto them. When any Bishopricke or Monasterie fell voyd, he kept them vacant a long time in his hands, and applied the profits to himselfe: At the last hee would set them to open sale, and receiue him for Prelate, who would giue for them the greatest price. Herehence two great inconueniences did ensue; the best places were furnished with men of least sufficiencie and worth; and no man hoping to rise by desert, the generall endeuour for vertue and knowledge were layd aside: the direct way to aduancement, was by plaine purchase from the king.
In this seazing and farming and marchandizing of Church-liuings, one Ranulph, commonly called the Kings Chapleine, was a great agent for the King. Hee was a man of faire vse of speach, and liuely in witte, which hee made seruants to licentious designes; but both in birth and behauiour base, and shamelesse in205 dishonestie; a very bawde to all the Kings purposes and desires. Hee could be so euill as hee listed, and listed no lesse then was to his aduantage. The King would often laugh at him, and say; that he was a notable fellow to compasse matters for a King. And yet besides more then ordinary fauour of countenance, the King aduanced him, first to be his Chancellour, and afterward to be Bishop of Duresme. By his aduise, so soone as any Church fell voide, an Inuentory was made of all the goods that were found, as if they should bee preserued for the next successor; and then they were committed to the custodie of the King, but neuer restored to the Church againe. So the next incumbent receiued his Church naked and bare, notwithstanding that he paid a good price for it. From this King the vse is said to haue first risen in England, that the Kings succeeding had the Temporalties of Bishops Seas so long as they remained voide. Hee also set the first enformers to worke, and for small transgressions appointed great penalties. Hee is also reported to haue been the first King of this Realme, who restreined his subiects from ranging into forreine Countreys without licence.
And yet what did the King by this sale of Church dignities, but that which was most frequent in other places? For in other places also few attained to such dignities freely. The difference was this: here the money was receiued by the King, there by fauorites or inferiour officers: here it was expended in the publike vses of the State; there to priuate and many times odious enrichments: this seemeth the more easie, that the more extreme pressure, as done by more hungrie and degenerous persons: this may bee esteemed by some the more base, but assuredly it was the better dealing. And further, it is euident that the King did freely aduance many excellent persons to principall dignities in the Church; and especially Anselme to the Archbishopricke of Canterburie, who was so vnwilling to accept that honour, that the King had much to doe to thrust it vpon him. And the rather to enduce him, he gaue him wholly the citie of Canterburie, which his predecessors had held but at the pleasure of the King. This Anselme was one whose learned labours doe plainely testifie, how little his spirits were fed with the fulsome fumes of surfeting and ease; which to many others, toge207ther with their bodies, doe fatten and engrosse their mindes. He so detested singularitie, that he accounted it the sinne which threw Angels out of Heauen, and man out of Paradise. This detestation of singularitie might happily encline him to the other extreme; to adhere ouer lightly to some common receiued errours. It is attributed to him that hee would often wish, to bee rather in hell without sinne, then with sinne in heauen.
The king also aduanced Robert Bloet, to the Bishopricke of Lincolne: a man whose wisedom was highly graced, with goodly personage, and good deliuery of speach: from whom notwithstanding the king afterwards wiped fiue thousand markes. Hee also freely receiued Hugh de Floriaco, a man for his vertue much esteemed, to be Abbot of the Monastery of S. Augustines in Canterburie; and likewise diuers others to other Ecclesiasticall preferments: whereby I am confirmed in opinion, that many odious imputations against the king, were either altogether inuented, or much enlarged aboue the trueth.
It happened vpon auoidance of a certaine Monastery, that two Monkes went to the king,208 either of them contending, as well by friends, as by large offer of purse, to procure to be made Abbot of the place. The king espying a third Monke standing by, who came with the other two, either to accompany them, or to obtaine some inferiour place vnder him that should preuaile, demaunded of him what hee would giue? The Monke answered, that hee had small meanes, and lesse minde, to purchase that or any other dignitie of the Church: For with that intention did he first betake himselfe to a religious life, that holding riches and honour (the two beauties of the world) in contempt, he might more freely and quietly dispose himselfe to the seruice of God. The King replied, that he iudged him most worthy of that preferment; and therefore first offred it vnto him, then intreated, and lastly enioyned him to accept it. Assuredly, the force of vertue is such, that often times wee honour it in others, euen when we little esteeme it in ourselues.
He is charged with some actions and speaches tending to profanenesse. The Iewes at Roan so preuailed with him by gifts, that they drew him to reprehend one who had forsaken their superstition. At London a disputation was209 appointed betweene certaine Christians and Iewes. The Iewes a little before the day prefixed, brought to the King a rich present; At which time he encouraged them (no doubt but by the way of ioylitie and mirth) to acquite themselues like tall fellowes, and if they preuailed by plaine strength of trueth, hee sware (as was his vsuall) by S. Lukes face, that hee would become one of their Secte. These things happely not much spoken amisse, might easily bee depraued by report.
It is affirmed of him that he so much exceeded in bodily lust, (then which nothing maketh a man more contemptible) that thereby hee seemed to decline from the Maiestie of a Prince. This vice did cast a great mist ouer his glorie. And yet neither is it infrequent in lusty bodies, placed in a State both prosperous and high, neither can the pleasure of one man that way extend it selfe to the iniurie of many. The worst was, that after his example, many others did follow licentious traces; examples of Princes being alwayes of greater force then their Lawes, to induce the people to good or to euill. As the King turned the prosperitie of his actions to serue his vanities and delights, so his210 followers by felicitie became insolent, and let goe at aduenture serious affaires; not receiuing into their thoughts any other impression then of brauery and pleasure. And they who were greatest in the counsailes and fauours of the King, respected all things no further, then as they were aduantageable to themselues.
Then rose vp costly apparell, and dainty fare, two assured tokens of a diseased State; the one the vainest, the other the grossest prodigalitie that can be. Then was brought into vse the laying out of haire, strange fashions and disguisings in attire, and all delicacies pertaining to the bodie. Then were practised nice treadings, lasciuious lookes, and other dissolute and wanton behauiour: many effeminate persons did accompanie the Court, by whose immodest demeanour the maiestie of that place was much embased. From hence also the poyson brake foorth, first into the citie, and after wards into other places of the Realme; for as in fishes, so in families, and so likewise in States, putrifaction commonly beginneth at the head.
In the second yeere of this kings reigne Lanfranck Archb. of Canterburie ended his life: A man highly esteemed, with good men, for his learning and integritie; with great men, for his diligence and discretion to sound deepely into affaires; with the common people for his moderate and modest behauiour. King William the first did honour and embrace him with great respect, and was much guided by his aduise. He was as a Protector to King William the second. When he went to Rome to obteine his Pall, the Pope rose from his chaire, stepped forwards to meet him, and with many ceremonies of courtesie did enterteine him. Then he returned to his seat, and said: Now Lanfrancke, I haue done to thee what is due to thy vertue, come thou and doe to me what apperteineth to my place. He was an earnest enemie to all vices, especially to auarice and pride, the two banes of all vertues. He renued the great Church of Canterburie, and enriched it with 25. mannours. He repaired the walles of that Citie, and built two Hospitals therein; one of S. Iohn, the other Harlebaldowne. He gaue a thousand markes towards the repairing and enlarging of the Abbey of S. Albones, and procured Redbourne to be restored there212to. By his Testament hee gaue to the same Church 1000. pounds, besides many rich ornaments. He tooke great paines in purging ancient Authors frō such corruptions as had crept into them: diuers workes also he wrote of his owne, but the greatest part of them are perished. Thus he liued in honour, and died with fame; his time imployed in honest studies and exercises, his goods to good and Religious vses.
The same yeere a strange and great earthquake happened throughout all the Realme; after which ensued a great scarcitie of fruit, and a late haruest of corne, so as much graine was not fully ripe at the end of Nouember.
In the fourth yere of the reigne of this King, a strong stroke of lightning made a hole in the Abbey steeple at Winchelscombe, neere to the top; rent one of the beames of the Church, brake one of the legges of the Crucifixe, cast downe the head thereof, together with the Image of the Virgine Marie that was placed by it: Herewith a thicke smoke darkened the Church, and breathed foorth a marueilous stincke, which annoyed the Church a long time after. In the same yeere a mightie winde from the Southwest did prostrate 606. houses213 in London: And breaking into the Church of S. Mary Bow in Cheape, slew two men with some part of the ruines which it made, raised the roofe of the Church, and carried many of the beames on such a height, that in the fall six of them, being 27. or 28. foot in length, were driuen so deepe into the ground (the streets not then paued with stone) that not aboue 4. foote remained in sight: and so they stood, in such order and rancke as the workemen had placed them vpon the Church. The parts vnder the earth were neuer raised, but so much was cut away as did appeare aboue the groūd; because it was an impediment for passage. The Tower of London at the same time was also broken, and much other harme done.
The next yeere Osmund Bishop of Salisbury finished the Cathedrall Church of old Salisburie; and the fifth day after the Consecration, the steeple thereof was fired with lightning.
The yeere following much raine fell, and so great frosts ensued, that riuers were passable with loaden carts.
The yeere next ensuing was exceeding remarkeable both for the number and fashion of gliding Starres, which seemed to dash together in maner of a conflict.
About this time Pope Vrbane assembled a Councell at Cleremont in Auergne, wherein hee exhorted Christian Princes to ioyne in action for recouery of Palestine, commonly called The Holy Land, out of the seruile possession of the Saracenes. This motion was first set on foote, and afterwards pursued by Peter the Heremite of Amiens; which falling in an age both actiue and Religious, was so generally embraced, as it drew 300000. men to assemble together from diuers Countreys; and that with such sober and harmlesse behauiour, that they seemed rather Pilgrimes then Souldiers. Among others, Robert Duke of Normandie addressed himselfe to this Voyage; and to furnish his expenses therein, he layed his Duchie of Normandie to gage to his brother of England for 6666. li. or as other Authors report, for 13600. pounds of Siluer.
This money was taken vp part by imposition, and part by loane, of the most wealthy inhabitants within the Realme: But especially the charge was layd vpon religious persons, for that it was to furnish a religious warre. When many Bishops and Abbots complained, that they were not able to satisfie such215 summes of money as the King demanded of them, vnles they should sel the Chalices & siluer vessels which pertained to their Churches. Nay answered the King, you may better make meanes with the siluer and gold which vainely you haue wrapped about dead mens bones; meaning thereby their rich Relickes and Shrines.
The yeare following a blasing starre appeared, for the space of fifteene dayes together; the greatest bush whereof pointed towards the East, and the lesser towards the West. Gliding starres were often seene, which seemed to dart one against another. The people began (as to mindes fearefull all fancies seeme both weightie and true) to make hard constructions of these vnusuall sights; supposing that the heauens did threaten them, not accustomed to shew it selfe so disposed, but towards some variation.
In the 13. yeere of his reigne, the Sea surmounted his vsuall bounds, in diuers parts of England and Scotland: whereby not only fields, but many villages, castles, and townes were ouerflowen, and some ouerturned, and some ouerwhelmed with sand; much people, and al216most innumerable cattel was destroyed. At the same time certaine lands in Kent, which did once belong to Godwine Earle of Kent, were ouerflowed and couered with sand, which to this day do beare the name of Godwins sands. Thunders were more frequent & terrible then had been vsuall; through violence whereof diuers persons were slaine. Many feareful formes and apparitions are reported to haue bin seene; whether errours, or inuentions, or truethes, I will not aduow. The heauens often seemed to flame with fire. At Finchamsted in Barkeshire neere vnto Abington, a spring cast vp a liquor for the space of fifteene dayes, in substance and colour like vnto blood; which did taint and infect the next water brooke whereinto it did runne. The King was often terrified in his sleepe with vncouth, ougly, vnquiet dreames: and many fearefull visions of others were oftentimes reported vnto him. At the same time hee held in his handes three Bishoprickes, Canterburie, Winchester, and Salisburie; and twelue Abbeys.
The same yeere vpon the second of August, a little before the falling of the Sunne,217 as the King was hunting within the newe forrest, at a place called Choringham (where since a Chappell hath beene erected) hee strooke a Deere lightly with an arrow. The Deere ranne away, and the King stayed his horse to looke after it; holding his hand ouer his eyes, because the beames of the Sunne (which then drew somewhat lowe) much dazeled his sight. Herewith another Deere crossed the way; whereat a certaine Knight, named Sir Walter Tirrell, aimed with an arrow: and loosing his bowe, either too carelessly at the Deere, or too steadily at the King, strooke him therewith full vpon the brest. The King hauing so receiued the wound, gaue foorth a heauie groane, and presently fell downe dead; neither by speach nor motion expressing any token of life. Onely so much of the arrowe as was without his bodie was found broken; whether with his hand, or by his fall, it is not certainely knowen. The men that were neere vnto him (especially Sir Walter Tirrell) galloped away; some for astonishment, others for feare. But a fewe collecting themselues returned againe,218 and layd his bodie vpon a Colliers Cart, which by aduenture passed that way; wherin it was drawen by one leane euill-fauoured, base beast, to the Citie of Winchester; bleeding abundantly all the way, by reason of the rude iogging of the Carte. The day following hee was buried, without any funerall pompe, with no more then ordinarie solemnities, in the Cathedrall Church or Monasterie of Saint Swithen; vnder a plaine flat marble stone, before the Lectorne in the Quire. But afterwards his bones were translated, and layd by King Canutus bones.
Most writers doe interprete this extraordinarie accident to bee a iudgement of God, for the extraordinarie loose behauiour of the King, But it may rather seeme a iudgement of God, that King William the first, who threw downe Churches, and dispeopled Villages and Townes; who banished both the seruice of God, and societie of men, to make a vaste habitation for sauage beasts, had two sonnes slaine vpon that place. It may also seeme a iudgement of God, that King William the second, who so greatly fauoured beastes of219 game, that he ordeined the same penaltie for killing of a deere, as for killing of a man; should as a beast, and for a beast, and among beasts be slaine. And thus God doth often punish vs by our greatest pleasures; if they be either vnlawfull, or immoderately affected; whereby good things become vnlawfull.
Hee died in the principall strength, both of his age, and of his distastfull actions; wherein hee had bene much carried by the hoate humour of his courage and youth; his iudgement not then raised to that stayednesse and strength, whereto yeeres and experience in short time would haue brought it. Hee reigned in great varietie of opinion with his Subiects (some applauding his vertues, others aggrauating his vices) twelue yeeres, eleuen moneths wanting eight dayes: and was at his death fourtie and three yeeres old. At this time he presumed most highly, and promised greatest matters to himselfe, hee proiected also many difficult aduentures, if his life had continued the naturall course; wherein his hopes were nothing inferiour to his desires.
Hee gaue to the Monckes of Charitie in220
Southwarke his Mannour of Bermondsey, and
built for them the great new Church of Saint
Also of an old Monasterie in the Citie of Yorke, he founded an Hospitall
for the sustentation of poore persons and dedicated
it to S. Peter. This Hospitall was afterward
augmented by King Stephen,
and by him dedicated
to S. Leonard.
obert Duke of Normandie, the eldest brother to King William the second, was in Palestina when King William was slaine; being one of the principal leaders in that Heroical warre, which diuers Christian Princes of Europe set vp, to recouer Hierusalem out of the power and possession of the Saracens. In this expedition hee purchased so honourable reputation, for skill, industrie, and valour of hand, that when the Christian forces had surprised Hierusalem, and diuers other Cities in those quarters, the kingdome thereof was offered vnto him. But223 the Duke, whether he coniectured the difficulties of that warre, for that the enemie was both at hand, and vnder one command, but the Armie of the Christians was to be supplied from farre, and also consisted of many Confederats; In which case albeit sometimes men performe well at the first, yet in short time inconueniences encreasing, they alwayes either dissipate and dissolue, or else fall into confusion. Or whether he heard of the death of his brother, to whose Kingdome he pretended right; as well by prerogatiue of blood, as by expresse couenant betweene them confirmed by oath; refused the offer, which was the last period of all his honour, and in short time after tooke his iourney from Palestine towards France.
But Henry the Kings yonger brother, apprehending the opportunitie of the Dukes absence, did foorthwith seaze vpon the treasure of the King, and thereby also vpon his State, and so was crowned at Westminster vpon the second day of August, in the yeere 1100. by Maurice Bishop of London; because Anselme Archb. of Canterburie was then in exile. This enterprise was much aduanced by the authoritie and industrie of Henry Newborow Earle of Warwicke,224 who appeased all opposition that was made against it. The people also, albeit they had bene managed so tame, as easily to yeeld their backe to the first sitter; yet to Henry they expressed a prone inclination, for that hee was borne in England, at a place called Selby in Lincolneshire, since his father was crowned King: whereas Duke Robert his brother was borne before his father attained the kingdome.
This serued Prince Henry not onely to knit vnto him the affections of the people, but also to forme a title to the Crowne. For it hath bin a question often debated, both by Arguments and by Armes, and by both trials diuersly decided; when a king hath two sonnes, one borne before he was King, and the other after, whether of them hath right to succeed?
Herodotus writeth, That when Darius the sonne of Hysdaspis King of Persia made preparation for warre against the Græcians and Egyptians, he first went about to settle his succession: because by the Lawes of Persia, the King might not enter into enterprise of Armes, before he had declared his successour. Now Darius had three children before he was King, by his first wife the daughter of Gobris. After he225 was King he had other foure, by Atossa the daughter of Cyrus. Artabazanes, or (as other terme him) Arthemenes was eldest of the first sort; Xerxes of the second. Artabazanes alleaged that he was the eldest of all the Kings sonnes, and that it was a custome among all nations, That in principalities the eldest should succeed. Xerxes alleaged, that he was begotten of Atossa the daughter of Cyrus, by whose valour the Persians had obteined their Empire. Before Darius had giuen sentence, Demaratus the sonne of Aristo, cast out of his kingdome of Sparta and then liuing an exile in Persia, came vnto Xerxes, and aduised him further to alleage, that he was the eldest sonne of Darius after hee was King; And that it was the custome of Sparta, that if a man had a sonne in priuate state, and afterwards another when he was King, this last sonne should succeed in his kingdome. Vpon this ground Artabazanes was reiected, and Darius gaue iudgement for Xerxes. This history is likewise reported by Iustine, and touched also by Plutarch: although they disagree in names, and some other points of circumstance.
So when Herode King of Iudea appointed226 Antipater his eldest sonne, but borne to him in priuate state, to succeed in his Royaltie, and excluded Alexander and Aristobulus his yonger sonnes, whom he had begot of Mariamne, after he had obteined his kingdome; Iosephus plainly reprehendeth the fact, and condemneth the iudgement of Herode for partiall and vniust. So Lewes borne after his father was Duke of Milane, was preferred in succession before his brother Galeace, who was borne before. And so when Otho the first was elected Emperour, his yonger brother Henry pretended against him; for that Otho was borne before their father was Emperour, and Henry after. In which quarrell Henry was aided by Euerharde Earle Palatine, and Giselbert Duke of Lorreine, with diuers other Princes of Almaine: But when the cause came to be canuased by the sword, the victorie adiudged the Empire to Otho.
Furthermore, this right of title seemeth to be confirmed by many grounds of the Imperial Law. As that sonnes borne after their father is aduanced to a dignitie, doe hold certaine priuiledges, which sonnes formerly borne doe not enioy. That those children which are borne after a person is freed from any infamous or227 seruile condition, doe participate onely of that libertie, and not they who were borne before. That if a man taketh a wife in the Prouince wherein he holdeth office, the marriage is good, if after the time his Office shall expire, they continue in the same consent: but so that the children borne before, shall not be thereby helde for legitimate. That those children which are borne after their father is honoured with the title of Clarissimus, do enioy the rights due vnto that degree of dignitie, and not they who were borne before. That as a sonne borne after the father hath lost his kingdome, is not esteemed for the sonne of a King: so neither hee that is borne before the father be a King.
And although these and diuers like passages of Law commonly alleadged, doe seeme little or nothing pertinent to this purpose; for that they concern not any vniuersall right of inheritance, which is due vnto children after the death of their parents; but certaine particular priuiledges and rights attributed vnto them whilest their parents were in life, which for the most part are228 arbitrarie and mutable, as depending vpon the pleasure of the Prince: Yet many Interpreters of both Lawes haue bene drawen by these reasons to subscribe their iudgements for this kind of Title: and namely Pet. Cynus, Baldus, Albericus, Iac. Rebuffus, & Luc. Penna. Also Panormitane, Collect., Dynus, Franc. Cremen., Marti. Laud., Card. Alexander, Phil. Decius, Alceat, Bon. Curti.. And lastly, Anton. Corsetta, deliuereth it for a common receiued and followed opinion. Which must be vnderstood with this distinction, if the kingdome be either newly erected, or else newly acquired by Conquest, Election, or any such title, other then by hereditarie succession according to proximitie in blood. For if the kingdome bee once seded in a certaine course of succession, because the dignitie is inherent in the blood of that stocke; because it is not taken from the father but from the ancestors; because it is not taken onely from the ancestors, but from the fundamentall law of the State; the eldest sonne shall indistinctly succeede, although hee were borne before his father was King. And therefore after the kingdome of Persia had been caried by succession229 in some descents, when Darius the King had foure sonnes, Artaxerxes the eldest, Cyrus the next, and two others; Parysates the wife of Darius hauing a desire that Cyrus should succeede in the kingdome, alleaged in his behalfe the same reason wherewith Xerxes had preuailed before: to wit, that shee had brought foorth Artaxerxes to Darius, when hee was in priuate state; but Cyrus was borne to him when he was a King. Yet Plutarch affirmeth, that the reason which she vsed was nothing probable, and that Artaxerxes the eldest sonne was appointed to be King. And so Blondus and Ritius doe report, that Bela the King of Hungarie being dead, Geysa succeeded, although borne vnto him before he was a King.
Others inferiour in number, but not in weight of Iudgement do affirme, that whether a Kingdome be setled in succession, or whether by any other title newly attained, the right to succeed by all true grounds of law pertaineth to the eldest sonne; albeit borne before his fathers aduancement to the kingdome, in case there be no expresse law of the state to the contrary. The principall reason is, because this is the nature of all successions by way of inheri230tance: For, if a father purchaseth lands, leases, cattell, or other goods, the inheritance shall bee transmitted to his eldest sonne, although borne before the purchase. Likewise if a father be aduanced to any title of honour, as Duke, Earle, Marquesse, &c. it was neuer, I will not say denied, but once doubted, but that the eldest sonne should succeede in the same, albeit he was borne before the aduancement. And therefore seeing this is the generall rule of all other inheritable successions, and there is no reason of singularitie in a kingdome; it followeth, that in like case the succession of a kingdome should also descend to the eldest sonne, although borne before the kingdome were atchieued.
Againe, the sonne who was borne before his father was a King, had once a right to succeede in the kingdome; for if another sonne had not afterwards beene borne, without all question hee should haue succeeded. But a right which a man by his owne person hath acquired; albeit in some cases it may be diminished, yet can it not bee altogether extinguished by any externall or casuall euent, which hath no dependencie vpon himselfe. And so231 the right which the eldest sonne hath to his fathers inheritance, may bee diminished by the birth of other children, in regard of those goods which are to bee distributed in parts among them; but it cannot possibly be extinguished. Neither can it bee diminished in those things which are not of nature to bee either valued or diuided (of which sort a Kingdome is the chiefe) but doe passe entirely vnto one. For the right of blood which onely is regarded in lawfull successions, is acquired and held from the natiuitie of the childe, and doth not begin at the fathers death; at which time the inheritance doth fall.
Lastly, if it be true in sonnes, that he shal succeede in a kingdome who is first borne, after the father is exalted to bee a King; then is it true also in other remote degrees of consanguinitie. And hereby it should often happen, that when a King dieth without issue of his body, they who are not onely inferiour in age, but more remote in degree, should exclude both the elder and the neerer in blood; because perhaps borne after the kingdome was attained: which is against all lawes of lawfull succession.
Howsoeuer the right standeth, Henry the232 yonger brother to King William Rufus, vpon aduantage of the absence of Duke Robert his eldest brother, formed this title to the Crowne of England. In which pretence he was strongly supported, first by a generall inclination of the common people, for that he had both his birth and education within the Realme, and they were well perswaded of his good nature and disposition. Secondly, by the fauour and trauaile of many of the nobilitie, especially of Henry Neuborow Earle of Warwicke. Thirdly, (for that the sailes of popular fauours are filled most violently with reports) by his giuing forth, that his brother Robert intended neuer to returne; for that he was elected King of Hierusalem, and of all those large Countreys in Asia, which the Christians had lately wrung out of the Saracens hands. Lastly, by vsing celeritie the very life of actions; for he was Crowned at Westminster (as it hath bene said) vpon the fifth day of August, in the yeere 1100. which was the third day after his brothers death.
In person he was both stately and strong; tall, broad brested, his limmes fairely fourmed, well knit, and fully furnished with flesh. He was exceeding both comely and manly in counte233nance, his face wel fashioned, his colour cleere, his eyes liuely and faire, his eye-browes large and thicke, his haire blacke and somewhat thinne towards his forehead. He was of an excellent wit, free from ostentation; his thoughts high, yet honourable and iust: in speach ready and eloquent, much graced with sweetnesse of voyce. In priuate he was affable, open, wittily pleasant, and very full of merrie simplicitie: in publicke he looked with a graue Maiestie, as finding in himselfe cause to be honoured. He was brought vp in the studie of Liberall Arts at Cambridge, where he attained that measure of knowledge, which was sufficient both for ornament and vse; but ranne not into intemperate excesse, either for ostentation, or for a cloake to vnprofitable expense of time. By his example the yong Nobilitie of the Realme began to affect a praise for learning: Insomuch as, at a certaine enteruiew betweene the King and Pope Innocent the 2. the sonnes of Robert Earle of Mellent, maintained open disputations against diuers Cardinals and Chapleines of the Pope.
He was an exact esteemer of himselfe, not so much for his strength as for his weakenesses:234 lesse inclined to confidence then to distrust; and yet in weighty affaires resolute and firme; neuer dismaied, and alwayes fortunate; his spirits being of force to oppose against any sort of difficulties or doubts. Extremities made him the more assured; and like a well knit Arch, hee then lay most strong when hee sustained the greatest weight. Hee was no more disposed to valour, then well setled in vertue and goodnes; which made his valour of more precious valuation. He had good command ouer his passions; and thereby attained both peace within himselfe, and victory ouer others. In giuing hee was moderate, but bountifull in recompence; his countenance enlarging the worth of his gift. Hee was prone to relieue, euen where there was least likelihood of requitall. He hated flatterie, the poysoned sugar, the counterfeit ciuilitie and loue, the most base brokery of wordes: yet was no musicke so pleasing vnto him as well deserued thankes. He was vigilant and industrious in his affaires; knowing right well that honour not onely hath a paineful and dangerous birth, but must in like manner be nourished and fed.
He was somewhat immoderate and exces235siue, as well in aduancing those he fauoured, as in beating downe and disabling his enemies. The sword was alwayes the last of his trials; so as he neuer either sought or apprehended occasions of warre, where with honour he could reteine peace. But if it were iniuriously vrged, he wanted neither wisedome, nor diligence, nor magnanimous heart to encounter the danger; to beare it ouer with courage and successe. He was frugall of the blood and slaughter of his Souldiers; neuer aduenturing both his honour & their liues to the hazard of the sword, without either necessitie or aduantage. He oftentimes preuailed against his enemies more by policie then by power; and for victories thus attained, he attributed to himselfe the greatest glory. For wisedome is most proper to man, but force is common and most eminent in beasts; by wisedome the honour was entire to himselfe, by force it was participated to inferiour Commanders, to euery priuate ordinarie Souldier: the effects of force, are heauie, hideous, and sometimes inhumane; but the same wrought to euent by wisedome, is, as lesse odious, so more assured and firme.
After that he was mounted into the seate of236 Maiestie, hee neglected no meanes to settle himselfe most surely therin, against the returne of his brother Robert. To this end he contracted both amitie and alliance with Edgar King of Scots, by taking his sister Matild to wife: by which meanes he not onely remoued his hostilitie, but stood assured of his assistance, in case his occasions should so require. Shee was daughter to Malcolme King of Scots, by Margaret his wife; who was sister to Edgar surnamed Adeling, and daughter to Edward, sonne to Edmund Ironside, the most valiant Saxon King, the scourge and terrour of the Danes. So as after the death of Adeling who left no issue, this Matild was next by discent from the Saxon Kings to the inheritance of the Crowne of England: and by her entermariage with King Henry, the two families of Normans and Saxons were vnited together both in blood and title to the Crowne. This more then any other respect made the whole nation of the English not onely firme to King Henrie, against his brother, but loyall and peaceable during all his reigne: for that they saw the blood of their Saxon Kings restored again to the possession of the Crowne.
Shee was a Lady vertuous, religious, beauti237full and wise: farre from the ordinary either vices or weakenesses incident to her sexe. She had been brought vp among the Nunnes of Winchester, and Rumsey, whether professed or onely veiled our writers doe diuersly report; but most affirme that shee was professed. Yet for the common good, for the publique peace and tranquilitie of the State, shee abandoned her deuoted life, and was ioyned to King Henrie in mariage, by consent of Anselme, without any dispensation from Rome. Of this Matild the King begate William a sonne, who perished by shipwracke; and Matild a daughter, first married to Henry the fifth Emperour, by whom she had no issue; afterward to Geoffrey Plantagenet Earle of Aniou, by whom shee brought foorth a sonne named Henrie, in whom the blood of the Saxon Kings was aduanced againe to the gouernment of this Realme.
Now to purchase the fauour of the Clergie, he called Anselme out of exile, and restored him both to the dignitie and reuenues of the Sea of Canterbury. Other Bishoprickes and Abbeys which King William kept voide at the time of his death, hee furnished with men of best sufficiencie and reputation. Hee committed238 Radulph Bishop of Durham to prison, who had been both authour and agent to King William in most of his distastfull actions against the Clergie. This Radulph was a man of smooth vse of speach, wittie onely in deuising, or speaking, or doing euill: but to honestie and vertue his heart was a lumpe of lead. Enuious aboue all measure; nothing was so grieuous to his eyes as the prosperitie, nothing so harsh to his eares as the commendations of others. His tongue alwayes slauish to the Princes desires; not regarding how truely or faithfully, but how pleasingly he did aduise. Thus as a principall infamie of that age, hee liued without loue, and died without pitie; sauing of those who thought it pitie that he liued so long.
Further, to make the Clergie the more assured, the King renounced the right which his Ancesters vsed in giuing Inuestitures; and acknowledged the same to appertaine to the Pope. This hee yeelded at his first entrance, partly not knowing of what importance it was, and partly being in necessitie to promise any thing. But afterwards he resumed that right againe; albeit in a Councell not long before held at Rome, the contrary had bene decreed.239 For hee inuested William Gifford into the Bishopricke of Winchester, and all the possessions belonging to the same. He gaue the Archbishopricke of Canterburie to Radulph Bishop of London, and inuested him therein by a Ring and a staffe: he inuested also two of his Chapleins at Westminster; Roger his Chanceller in the Bishopricke of Salisburie, and Roger his Larderer in the Bishopricke of Hereford. Further he assumed the custome of his father and brother, in taking the reuenues of Bishopricks whilest they remained void: and for that cause did many times keepe them a longer season vacant in his hands, then many of the Clergie could with patience endure.
But especially the Clergie did fauour him much, by reason of his liberall leaue either to erect, or to enlarge, or else to enrich Religious buildings. For to these workes the King was so ready to giue, not onely way, but encouragement and helpe, that in no Princes time they did more within this Realme either flourish or increase. And namely the house of S. Iohn of Hierusalem was then founded neere Smithfield in London, with the house of Nunnes by Clerken-well. Then were also founded the Church240 of Theukesburie, with all Offices thereto belonging: the Priorie and Hospitall of S. Bartholomewes in Smithfield, the Church of S. Giles without Creeplegate; the Colledge of Seculare Canons in the castle of Leicester; the Abbey without the Northgate of the same towne called S. Mary de prato. Also the Monasterie of S. Iohn of Lanthonie by Glocester; the Church of Dunmow in Essex; the Monasterie of S. Iohn at Colchester, which was the first house of Augustine Chanons in England: the Church of S. Mary Oueries furnished with Chanons in Southwarke; the Priory of the holy Trinity now called Christs Church within Algate; and the Hospitall of S. Giles in the field: The Priorie of Kenelworth; The Abbey of Kenshame; The Monasterie of Plimpton in Deuonshire; with the Cathedrall Church of Exceter; the Priorie of Merton; the Colledge of Warwicke; the Hospitall of Kepar; the Priorie of Osney neere Oxeford; the Hospital of S. Crosse neere Winchester; the Priorie of Norton in Cheshire, with diuers others. The King also founded and erected the Priorie of Dunstable, the Abbey of Circester, the Abbey of Reading, the Abbey of Shirebourne. Hee also changed the Abbey of Eley into a Bishops Sea; he erected a241 Bishopricke at Caerlile, placed Chanons there, and endowed it with many honours. These and many other Religious buildings either done, or helped forward, or permitted and allowed by the King, much encreased the affection of the Clergie towards him.
Now to draw the loue of the common people, he composed himselfe to a sober ciuilitie; easie for accesse, faire in speach, in countenance and behauiour kind: his Maiestie so tempered with mildnesse and courtesie, that his Subiects did more see the fruits, then feele the weight of his high estate. These were things of great moment with the vulgar sort; who loue more where they are louingly intreated, then where they are benefited, or happely preserued. He eased them of many publicke grieuances. Hee restored them to the vse of fire and candle after eight of the clocke at night, which his father had most straitly forbidden. Punishments of losse of member vsed before, he made pecuniarie. Hee moderated the Law of his brother, which inflicted death for killing any of the Kings Deere; and ordeined, that if any man killed a Deere in his owne wood, the wood should be forfeited to the King. He permitted242 to make enclosures for Parkes; which taking beginning in his time, did rise to that excessiue encrease, that in a few succeeding ages more Parkes were in England, then in all Europe beside. He promised that the Lawes of K. Edward should againe be restored; but to put off the present performance, he gaue forth, that first they should be reuiewed and corrected, and made appliable to the present time. And albeit in trueth they were neuer either reuiewed or corrected, yet the onely hope thereof did worke in the people a fauourable inclination to his part.
Whilest the King did thus Immure himselfe in the state of England, as well by ordering his affaires, as by winning the hearts of the people vnto him, Duke Robert was returning from Palestine, by easie and pleasurable iourneys; vsing neither the celeritie nor forecast which the necessitie of his occasions did require. Hee visited many Princes by the way, and consumed much time in entertainments and other complements of Court. Hee tooke to wife as he came Sibell the daughter of Roger Duke of Apulia and Earle of Cicill, who was a Norman: and the great portion of money243 which he receiued for her dower, he loosely lauished foorth amongst his followers; of whom he receiued nothing againe, but thankes when he (scattered rather then) gaue, and pitie when he wanted.
At the last he arriued in Normandie, and foorthwith was sollicited out of England by letters from many, who either vpon conscience or discontentment fauoured his Title; and especially from Radulph Bishop of Durham, who had lately escaped out of prison, a man odious ynough to vndoe a good cause; that he would omit no time, that hee would let fall no diligence, to embarke himselfe in the enterprise for England: that he had many friends there, both powerfull and sure, who would partake with him in his dangers, although not in the honour atchieued by his dangers: that therewith the peoples fauour towards the King did begin to ebbe, and that it was good taking the first of the tide. Hereupon he shuffled vp an Armie in haste; neither for number, nor furniture, nor choise of men answerable to the enterprise in hand. Then he crossed the Seas, landed at Portesmouth, and marched a small way into the Countrey; vainely expecting the con244course and ayd which had bene assured him out of England. But King Henry had made so good vse both of his warning and time to prouide against this tempest, that hee did at once both cut from the Duke all meanes of ayd, and was ready to encounter him in braue appointment. Hereupon many who were vnable by Armes to relieue the Duke, by aduise did to him the best offices they could. For they laboured both the King and him to a reconcilement; The King with respect of his new vnsettled estate, the Duke with respect of his weakenesses and wants; both with regard of naturall duetie and loue, knit betweene them by band of blood. So after some trauaile and debatement, a peace was concluded vpon these Conditions.
That Henry should reteine the kingdome of England, and pay to his brother Robert 3000. markes yeerely.
That if either of them should die without issue, the suruiuour should succeed.
That no man should receiue preiudice for following the part of the one or of the other.
These conditions being solemnely sworne by the king and the Duke, and twelue Noble245 men on either part, the Duke returned into Normandie, and about two yeeres after went againe into England, to visit the King, and to spend some time with him in feasting and disport. At which time, to requite the Kings kind vsage and entertainment, but especially to gratifie Matild the Queene, to whom he was godfather, he released to the King the annuall payment of 3000. markes. But as a wound is more painefull the day following, then when it was first and freshly taken; so this loose leuitie of the Duke, which was an exceeding sad and sore blow to his estate, was scarce sensible at his departure out of England, but most grieuous to him after hee had remained in Normandie a while: whereby many motions were occasioned, as well in the one place as in the other.
The Duke complained, that hee had bene circumuented by his brother the King: that his courtesies were nothing else but allurements to mischiefe; that his gifts were pleasant baites, to couer and conuey most dangerous hookes; that his faire speaches were sugred poysons; that his kinde embracements were euen to tickle his friends to death. Robert Belasme Earle of Shrewsbury, a man of great estate,246 but doubtfull whether of lesse wisedome or feare, tooke part with the Duke, and fortified the Towne and Castle of Shrewsbury, the Castles of Bridgenorth, Tichel, and Arundel, and certaine other pieces in Wales against King Henry. And hauing drawen vnto him some persons of wretched state and worse minde, whose fortunes could not bee empaired by any euent, hee entred Stafford shire, and droue away light booties of cattell; being prepared neither in forces nor in courage, to stay the doing of greater mischiefe.
But neither was this sudden to the King, neither was he euer vnprouided against sudden aduentures. Wherefore encountring the danger before it grew to perfection and strength, he first brought his power against the Castle of Bridgenorth, which was forthwith rendred vnto him. The residue followed the example (which in enterprise of armes is of greatest moment) and submitted themselues to the Kings discretion. Onely the Castle of Arundel yeelded vpon condition, that Robert Belasme their Lord should be permitted to depart safely into Normandie: And vpon the same condition they of Shrewsbury sent to the King the keys of247 their Castle, and therewith pledges for their allegeance. Then Robert with his brother Ernulphus, and Roger of Poictiers abiured the Realme, and departed into Normandie: where being full of rashnesse, which is nothing but courage out of his wits; and measuring their actions not by their abilities, but by their desires; they did more aduance the Kings affaires by hostilitie, then by seruice and subiection they could possibly haue done.
Also William Earle of Mortaigne in Normandie, and of Cornewall in England, sonne of Robert, vncle to the king, and brother to king William the first, required of the King the Earledome of Kent, which had been lately held by Odo vncle to them both. And being a man braue in his owne liking, and esteming nothing of that which hee had in regard of that which hee did desire, he was most earnest, violent, peremptorie in his pursuit. Insomuch as, blinded with ambitious haste, he would often say, that hee would not put off his vpper garment, vntill hee had obtained that dignitie of the King. These errours were excused by the greenenesse of his youth, and by his desire of rising, which expelled all feare of a fall. Where248fore the King first deferred, and afterwards moderately denied his demaund. But so farre had the Earle fed his follies with assured expectation, that he accompted himselfe fallen from such estate as his hungry hopes had already swallowed. Hereupon his desire turned to rage, and the one no lesse vaine then the other: but both together casting him from a high degree of fauour, which seldome stoppeth the race vntill it come to a headlong downefall.
For now the King made a counter-challenge to many of his possessions in England; and thereupon seazed his lands, dismantled his castles, and compelled him in the end to forsake the Realme. Not for any great offence he had done, being apt to the fault rather of rough rage then of practise and deceit; but his stubborne stoutnesse was his offence; and it was sufficient to hold him guiltie, that he thought himselfe to haue cause and meanes to be guiltie. So hauing lost his owne state in England, he departed into Normandie, to further also the losse of that countrey. There he confederated with Robert Belasme, and made diuers vaine attempts against the Kings castles; neither guided by wisedome, nor followed by successe.249 Especially hee vented his furie against Richard Earle of Chester, who was but a childe, and in wardship to the King, whom he daily infested with inuasions and spoiles; being no lesse full of desire to hurt, then voyd of counsaile and meanes to hurt.
On the other side, diuers of the Nobilitie of Normandie, finding their Duke without iudgement to rule, had no disposition to obey; but conceiued a carelesse contempt against him. For he seemed not so much to regard his substantiall good, as a vaine breath of praise, and the fruitlesse fauour of mens opinions, which are no fewer in varietie then they are in number. All the reuenues of his Duchie he either sold or morgaged; all his Cities he did alien, and was vpon the point of passing away his principall Citie of Roan to the Burgers thereof, but that the conditions were esteemed too hard. Hereupon many resolued to fall from him, and to set their sailes with the fauourable gale which blew vpon the fortune of the King. To this end they offered their submission to the King, in case he would inuade Normandie; whereto with many reasons they did perswade him: especially in regard of the late hostile at250tempts there made against him, by the plaine permission of the Duke his brother, and not without his secret support.
The King embraced the faire occasion, and with a strong Armie passed into Normandie. Here he first relieued his forts, which were any wayes distressed or annoyed; then he recouered those that were lost; Lastly, he wanne from the Duke the towne and castle of Caen, with certaine other castles besides: And by the help of the President of Aniou, fired Baion, with the stately Church of S. Marie therein. Vpon these euents, all the Priories of Normandie, resembling certaine flowers, which open and close according to the rising or declining of the Sunne; abandoned the Duke, and made their submission to King Henry. So the King hauing both enlarged and assured his state in Normandie, by reason of the approch of winter, departed into England: but this was like the recuiling of Rammes, to returne againe with the greater strength.
He had not long remained in England, but his brother Robert came to him at Northampton, to treat of some agreement of peace. Here the words and behauiours of both were obser251ued. At their first meeting they rested with their eyes fast fixed one vpon the other; in such sort as did plainely declare, that discourtesie then trencheth most deep, when it is betweene those who should most dearely loue. The Duke was in demaunds moderate, in countenance and speech enclined to submisnesse; and with a kinde vnkindnesse did rather entreate then perswade, that in regard of the naturall Obligation betweene them by blood, in regard of many offices and benefits wherewith he had endeuoured to purchase the Kings loue, all hostilitie betweene them, all iniurie or extremitie by Armes might cease. For I call you (said he) before the Seate of your owne Iudgement, whether the relinquishing of my Title to the Crowne of England, whether the releasing of my annuity of 3000. markes, whether many other kindnesses, so much vndeserued as scarce desired; should not in reason withdraw you from those prosecutions, where warre cannot be made without shame, nor victory attained without dishonour.
The King vsed him with honourable respect; but perceiuing that he was embarked in some disaduantage, conceiuing also that his courage with his Fortune began to decline, he252 made resemblance at the first, to be no lesse desirous of peace then the Duke: But afterwards, albeit he did not directly deny, yet hee found euasions to auoyd all offers of agreement.
The more desirous the Duke was of peace, the greater was his disdaine that his brother did refuse it. Wherefore cleering his countenance from all shewes of deiection or griefe, as then chiefly resolute when his passion was stirred, with a voice rather violent then quicke, he rose into these words.
I haue cast my selfe so low, as your haughty heart can possibly wish; whereby I haue wronged both my selfe and you: my selfe, in occasioning some suspition of weakenesse; you, in making you obstinate in your ambitious purposes. But assure your selfe, that this desire did not proceed from want either of courage, or of meanes, or of assistance of friends: I can also be both vnthankefull and vnnaturall if I bee compelled. And if all other supportance faile, yet no arme is to be esteemed weake, which striketh with the sword of necessitie and Iustice.
The King with a well appeased stayednesse returned answere; that he could easily endure the iniurie of his angry wordes: but to men of moderate iudgement hee would make it ap253peare, that hee entended no more in offending him, then to prouide for defending himselfe. So the Duke obseruing few complements, but such as were spiced with anger and disdaine, returned into Normandie, associated to him the English exiles, and made preparation for his defence.
The King followed with a great power, and found him in good appointment of armes: nothing inferiour to the King in resolute courage, but farre inferiour both in number of men, and in fine contriuance of his affaires. For the King had purchased assured intelligence, among those that were neerest both in place and counsaile to the Duke: in whom the Duke found treacherie, euen when he reposed most confident trust. Herewith Pope Paschal, to attaine his purpose in England, for deuesting the King of inuesting Bishops; did not onely allow this enterprise for lawful, but encouraged the King, that hee should doe thereby a noble and a memorable benefit to his Realme.
So, many stiffe battels were executed betweene them, with small difference of aduantage at the first; but after some continuance, the Dukes side (as it commonly happeneth to euill254 managed courage) declined dayly, by reason of his dayly increase of wants. At the last the Duke, wearied and ouerlayed, both with company of men and cunning working, resolued to bring his whole state to the stake, and to aduenture the same vpon one cast: committing to Fortune, what valour and industry could bring forth. The king being the Inuader, thought it not his part to shrinke from the shocke; being also aduertised that the French King prepared to relieue the Duke. On the Dukes side, disdaine, rage, and reuenge, attended vpon hate: the King retained inuincible valour, assured hope to ouercome, grounded vpon experience how to ouercome.
They met vpon the same day of the moneth iust 40. yeeres, after the great battaile of William the first against King Harold of England. The Kings footemen farre exceeding their enemies in number, began the charge, in small and scattering troupes; lightly assayling where they could espie the weakest resistance. But the Dukes Armie receiued them in close and firme order; so as vpon the losse of many of the foremost, the residue began somewhat to retire. And now, whether the Duke had255 cause, or whether confidence the inseparable companion of courage perswaded him that he had cause; he supposed that hee had the best of the field, and that the victory was euen in his hand. But suddenly the King with his whole forces of horse charged him in flanke, and with great violence brake into his battaile. Herewith the footmen also returned, and turned them all to a ruinous rout. The Duke performed admirable effects of valour, and so did most of the English exiles: as fearing ouerthrow worse then death. But no courage was sufficient to sustaine the disorder; the Normans on euery hand were chased, ruffled, and beaten downe. Hereupon the Dukes courage boyling in choller, hee doubled many blowes vpon his enemies; more furiously driuen, then well placed and set: and pressing vp hardly among them, was suddenly engaged so farre, that hee could not possibly recouer himselfe. So he was taken manfully fighting, or as some other authours affirme, was beastly betrayed by his owne followers. With him were also taken the Earle of Mortaigne, William Crispine, William Ferreis, Robert Estotiuill, with foure hundred men of armes, and ten thousand ordinary256 souldiers. The number of the slaine on both sides, is not reported by any authour; but all authours agree, that this was the most bloody medly that euer had been executed in Normandie before: portended as it is thought by a Comet, and by two full Moones, which late before were seene, the one in the East, and the other in the West.
After this victorie the King reduced Normandie entirely into his possession, and annexed it to the Realme of England. Then hee built therein many Castles, and planted garrisons; and with no lesse wisedome assured that State, then with valour he had wonne it. When he had setled all things according to his iudgement, he returned into England, brought with him his brother Robert, and committed him to safe custodie in the Castle of Cardiff. But either by reason of his fauourable restraint, or else by negligence or corruption of his keepers, he escaped away, and fled for his libertie as if it had been for his life. Notwithstanding this proued but a false fauour, or rather a true flatterie or scorne of Fortune. For being sharply pursued, he was taken againe, sitting vpon horsebacke; his horse legs fast locked in deep & tough clay.
Then hee was committed to straight and close prison, his eyes put out (as if hee should not see his miserie) and a sure guard set vpon him. Thus he remained in desolate darkenesse; neither reuerenced by any for his former greatnesse, not pitied for his present distresse. Thus hee continued about 27. yeeres, in a life farre more grieuous then death; euen vntill the yere before the death of King Henrie. So long was he a suitor in wooing of death: so long did the one brother ouerliue his good fortune, the other his good nature and disposition; esteeming it a faire fauour, that the vttermost extremitie was not inflicted. Albeit some writers doe affirme, that the Dukes eyes were not violently put out, but that either through age or infirmitie he fell blind: that he was honourably attended and cared for: that hauing digested in his iudgement the worst of his case, the greatnesse of his courage did neuer descend to any base degree of sorrow or griefe: that his braue behauiour did set a Maiestie vpon his deiected fortunes: that his noble heart like the Sunne, did shew greatest coūtenance in lowest state. And to this report I am the more inclineable, for that it agreeth best, both to the faire258 conditions, and to the former behauiours, and to the succeeding fortunes and felicities of the King: For assuredly hee had a heart of manly clemencie; and this was a punishment barbarously cruell: For which cause Constantine did forbid, that the face of man, adorned with Celestiall beauty, should be deformed for any offence.
Others auow that he was neuer blind; but that it was the Earle of Mortaigne whose eyes were put out. And this seemeth to be confirmed, by that which Matth. Paris and Matth. Westm. doe report. That not long before the death of Robert, the King vpon a festiuall day had a new robe of Scarlet brought vnto him: the cape whereof being somewhat too streight for his head, he did teare a little in striuing to put it on. And perceiuing that it would not serue, hee laid it aside and said: Let my brother Robert haue this Robe, for whose head it is fitter then for mine. When it was caried vnto him, being then not perfectly in health, he espied the crackt place, and thereupon enquired, if any man had worne it before? The messenger declared the whole matter. Which when Robert heard, he tooke it for a great indignitie, and259 said: I perceiue now that I haue liued too long, that my brother doth clothe me like his almoseman, with cast and torne garments. So hee grew weary of his life: and his disease encreasing with his discontentment, pined away, and in short time after died, and was buried at Glocester.
And this was the end of that excellent commander; brought to this game and gaze of fortune, after many trauerses that he had troden. He was for courage and direction inferiour to none; but neither prouident nor constant in his affaires, whereby the true end of his actions were ouerthrowen. His valour had triumphed ouer desperate dangers: and verely he was no more setled in valour, then disposed to vertue and goodnesse; neuer wilfully or willingly doing euill, neuer but by errour, as finding it disguised vnder some maske of goodnesse. His performances in armes had raised him to a high point of opinion for his prowesse; which made him the more vnhappy, as vnhappie after a fall from high state of honor. He had one sonne named William, vpon whose birth the mother died: of this William shall somewhat hereafter be said.
And now, as Princes oftentimes doe make260 aduantage of the calamity of their neighbours, so vpon this downefall of the Duke of Normandie, Fulke Earle of Aniou sharing for himselfe, seized vpon Maine, and certain other places; made large waste, tooke great booties and spoyles; not onely out of ancient and almost hereditary hate against the house of Normandie, but as fearing harme from the King of England, hee endeauoured to harme him first. In like sort Baldwine Earle of Flanders declared in armes against the King for a yeerely pension of 300. markes; the occasion of which demand was this. King William the first, in recompence of the ayde which he receiued in his enterprise for England, from Baldwine 5. Earle of Flanders, payd him yeerely three hundred markes, which after his death was continued to his sonne. Robert Earle of Flanders from a collaterall line, demanded the same Pension; but it was denied him by K. Henrie: wherefore Baldwine his sonne attempted now to recouer it by Armes.
With these, or rather as principall of these, Lewes the grosse King of France, seeing his ouersight in permitting Normandie to bee annexed to the Realme of England, assembled a great armie; and vpon pretence of a trifling261 quarrell about the demolishing of the Castle of Gisors, declared William sonne to Robert Curtcuise for Duke of Normandie: and vndertooke to place him in possession of that state, which his vnfortunate father had lost. And besides those open hostilities in Armes, Hugh the kings Chamberlaine and certaine others were suborned traiterously to kill the King: but the practise was in good time discouered, and the conspirators punished by death.
Hereupon the King both with celeritie and power answerable to the danger at hand, passed the Seas into Normandie: hauing first drawen to his assistance Theobald Earle of Champaine, the Earles of Crecie, Pissaux, and Dammartine, who aspired to be absolute Lords within their territories, as were many other Princes at that time in France. These deteined the French King in some tariance in France, whilest the King of England either recouered or reuenged his losses against the Earle of Aniou. At the last hee was assailed in Normandie on three parts at once: by the Earle of Aniou from Maine, from Ponthieu by the Earle of Flanders, and by the French King betweene both. The King of England appointed certaine forces to262 guard the passages against the Earle of Aniou: with directions to hold themselues within their strength, and not to aduenture into the field. Against the Earle of Flanders hee went in person; and in a sharpe shocke betweene them the Earle was defeated and hurt, and (as some Authors affirme) slaine: albeit others doe report, that hee was afterwards slaine in a battaile betweene the two Kings of England and of France.
After this he turned against Lewes King of France, and fought with him before the towne of Nice in Normandie; which towne the French had surprised and taken from the King of England. This battaile continued aboue the space of nine houres, with incredible obstinacie; the doubt of victory being no lesse great, then was the desire: and yet neither part so hastie to end, as not to stay for the best aduantage. The first battaile on both sides was hewen in pieces; valour of inestimable value was there cast away: much braue blood was lost; many men esteemed both for their place and worth, lay groaning and grinning vnder the heauy hand of death. The sad blowes, the grisle wounds, the grieuous deathes that were dealt that day,263 might well haue moued any man to haue said, That warre is nothing else but inhumane manhood.
The Kings courage, guided with his Fortune, and guarded both with his strength and his skill, was neuer idle, neuer but working memorable effects. In all places his directions were followed by his presence; being witnesse both of the diligence and valour of euery man, and not suffering any good aduantage or aduise for want of timely taking to be lost. He aduentured so farre in perfourming with his hand, that his armour in many places was battered to his body, and by reason of the sturdie strokes set vpon his helme, he cast blood out of his mouth. But this was so farre from dismaying his powers, that it did rather assemble and vnite them: so as aduancing his braue head, his furie did breath such vigour into his arme, that his sword made way through the thickest throngs of his enemies, and hee brake into them euen to the last ranckes. He was first seconded by the truely valiant; whose vndanted spirits did assure the best, and therewith contemne the very worst. Then came in they whom despaire, the last of resolutions had264 made valiant; who discerned no meanes of hope for life, but by bold aduenturing vpon death. Lastly he was followed by all; being enflamed by this example to a new life of resolution. Generally, the swords went so fast, that the French vnable to endure that deadly storme, were vtterly disbanded and turned to flight. K. Henry after a bloody chase, recouered Nice; and with great triumph returned to Roan. Afterwards he would often say, That in other battailes he fought for victory, but in this for his life: and that hee would but little ioy in many such victories.
Vpon this euent the King sent certaine forces into France, to harrase the countrey, and to strike a terrour into the enemie. The French King, besides the abatement of his power by reason of his late ouerthrow, was then preparing in Armes against Henry the Emperour, who intended to destroy Rhemes: partly drawen on by Henry King of England, whose daughter he had taken to wife; but chiefly for that a Councell had bene there held against him by Pope Calixtus a French man, wherein the Emperour was declared enemie to the Church, and degraded from his Imperiall dig265nitie. This brought the English to a carelesse conceit, and to a loose and licentious demeanure in their action; a most assured token of some mischiefe at hand. And so, as they scattered and ranged after prey (as greedy men are seldome circumspect) they were suddenly set vpon by Almaricke Earle of Mountfort, appointed by the French K. to defend the Country, & with no small execution put to the chase. The more they resisted, the greater was their losse: The sooner they fled, the more assured was their escape. And for that they were dispersed into many small companies, they had the better opportunitie to saue themselues.
Many other like aduentures were enterprised betweene the two Kings and their adherents; some in France, and some in Normandie; with large losse on both sides. But especially the King of France was most subiect to harme; for that his countrey was the more ample, open and rich. The King of England held this aduantage, that no aduantage could be wonne against him: which in regard of the number, valour and greatnesse of his enemies, was a very honourable aduantage indeed.
At the last he made peace with the Earle of266 Aniou; taking the Earles daughter to be wife to his sonne William, whom he had declared for successour in his estate; to whom all the Nobilitie and Prelates were sworne; and who seemed to want nothing through all his fathers dominions, but onely the name and Title of King. This sinew being cut from the King of France, and also for that Henry the Emperour made preparation of hostilitie against him, he fell likewise to agreement of peace. By the conditions whereof, William sonne to the King of England was inuested into the Duchie of Normandie, doing homage for the same to the K. of France. In this peace was comprised on the part of the French K. Williā son to Robert Curtcuise, who had bene declared Duke of Normandie. On the part of the king of England, the Earle of Champeigne and certaine other Lords were comprised; who had either serued or aided him against the king of France. After this the warres betweene the Emperour and the French king did forthwith dissolue.
King Henry hauing happily finished these affaires, returned out of Normandie, and loosing from Barbeflote, vpon the 24. of Nouember towards euening, with a prosperous gale267 arriued in England; where great preparation was made to entertaine him with many well deuised honours. His sonne William then duke of Normandie, and somewhat aboue 17. yeeres of age, tooke another ship; and in his company went Mary his sister Countesse of Perch, Richard his brother, begotten of a concubine as some affirme; and the Earle of Chester with his wife Lucie, who was the Kings niece by his sister Adela. Also the yong Nobilitie and best knights flocked vnto him, some to discharge their dueties, others to testifie their loue and respect. Of such passengers the ship receiued to the number of 140. besides 50. sailers which belonged vnto her.
So they loosed from land somewhat after the King; and with a gentle winde from the Southwest, danced through the soft swelling floods. The sailers full of proud ioy, by reason of their honourable charge; and of little feare or forecast, both for that they had bene accustomed to dangers, and for that they were then well tippeled with wine; gaue forth in a brauery, that they would soone outstrip the vessell wherein the King sailed. In the middest of this drunken ioylitie the ship strake against a rocke,268 the head whereof was aboue water, not farre from the shoare. The passengers cried out, and the sailers laboured to winde or beare off the ship from the danger; but the labour was no lesse vaine then the cry: for she leaned so stiffely against the rocke, that the sterage brake, the sides cracked, and the Sea gushed in at many breaches.
Then was raised a lamentable cry within the ship; some yeelding to the tyrannie of despaire, betooke themselues (as in cases of extremitie weake courages are wont) to their deuotions; others emploied all industrie to saue their liues, and yet more in duetie to nature, then vpon hope to escape: all bewailed the vnfortunate darkenesse of that night, the last to the liues of so many persons both of honour and of worth. They had nothing to accōpany them but their feares, nothing to helpe them but their wishes: the confused cries of them al, did much increase the particular astonishment of euery one. And assuredly no danger dismayeth like that vpon the seas; for that the place is vnnaturall to man. And further, the vnusuall obiects, the continuall motion, the desolation of all helpe or hope, will perplexe the minds euen of those269 who are best armed against discouragement.
At the last the boat was hoysed foorth, and the Kings sonne taken into it. They had cleered themselues from the danger of the ship, and might safely haue rowed to land. But the yong Prince hearing the shrill shrikes of his Sister Mary Countesse of Perch, and of the Countesse of Chester his cousin, crying after him, and crauing his help; he preferred pitie before safety, & commanded the boat to be rowed back to the ship for preseruation of their liues. But as they approached, the boate was suddenly so ouercharged with those, who (strugling to breake out of the armes of death) leaped at all aduentures into it, that it sunke vnder them: and so all the company perished by drowning. Onely one ordinary Sayler, who had been a butcher, by swimming all night vpon the mast escaped to land; reserued as it may seeme, to relate the manner of the misaduenture. This ship raised much matter of nouelty and discourse abroad; but neuer did ship bring such calamitie to the Realme: especially for that it was iudged, that the life of this Prince would haue preuented those intestine warres, which afterwards did fall, betweene King Steuen and270 Matild daughter to King Henry. The King was so ouercharged with this heauy accident; that his reason seemed to bee darkened, or rather drowned in sorrow. Hee caused the coasts a long time after to bee watched; but scarce any of the bodies were euer found. Afterwards he tooke to wife Adalisia daughter to Godfrey Duke of Louaine, of the house of Lorraine: She was crowned at Westminster by Roger B. of Salisburie, because Radulph Archbishop of Canterburie, by reason of his palsey was vnable to performe that office. And yet because Roger was not appointed by him, the doting old man fell into such a pelting chafe, that hee offered to strike the Kings Crowne from his head. And albeit this Lady was in the principall flower both of her beauty and yeeres, yet the King had no issue by her.
Now as after a storme a fewe gentle drops doe alwayes fall, before the weather turnes perfectly fayre, so after these great warres in France, certaine easie conflicts did ensue: neither dangerous nor almost troublesome to the King. For Robert Earle of Mellent, who for a long time had continued both a sure friend, and most close and priuate in counsaile with271 the King, vpon some sudden either discontentment on his part, or dislike on the Kings, so estranged himselfe, as it was enterpreted to be a reuolt: being charged with intent, to aduance William, cousin to William, sonne to Robert Curtcuise, to the Duchie of Normandie. Wherefore the King besieged, and at last tooke his chiefe Castle called Pont. Audomer; and at the same time enuironed the towre of Roan with a wall. He also repaired and fortified the Castles of Caen, Arches, Gisore, Falace, Argentine, Donfronç, Oxine, Aubrois, Nanroye, Iuta, and the Towne of Vernone in such sort, as at that time, they were esteemed impregnable, and not to bee forced by any enemie; except God or gold.
In the meane time the Earle of Mellent, with Hugh Geruase his sonne, and Hugh de Mountfort his sisters sonne, calling such as either alliance or friendship did draw vnto them; besides those whom youthful either age or minds had filled with vnlimited desires; whom discontentment also or want did vainly feed with hungry hopes; entred into Normandy in armes: being so transported with desire to hurt, and troubled with feare of receiuing hurt, that they272 had neuer free scope of iudgement, either to prepare or manage the meanes to hurt. They were no sooner entred the Confines of Normandie, but William Tankeruill the kings Chamberlaine came against them, brauely appointed, and resolute to fight. The very view of an enemie turned their euill guided furie into a feare: and whatsoeuer they did (proceeding rather from violence of passion then ground of reason) made them stumble whilest they ran, and by their owne disorders hindered their owne desires. So with small difficultie they were surprised and taken, and brought to the King; who committed them to streit prison at Roan. An ordinary euent when rage runneth faster, then iudgement and power are able to hold pace.
About this time Charles Earle of Flanders as he was at his deuotions in the Church of S. Donatus in Bruxels, was suddenly slaine by conspiracie of his owne people. And because hee left no issue in life, Lewes King of France inuested William sonne to Robert Curtcuis late Duke of Normandie, in the Earledome of Flanders; as descended from Earle Baldwine sirnamed the Pious, whose daughter Matilde was wife to273 King William the first, and grandmother to this William. This he did, not so much in fauour to William, or in regard of his right, as to set vp an assured enemie against King Henry: an enemie not onely of singular expectation, but proofe: whose courage was apt to vndertake any danger; whether for glory, or for reuenge. And herein his proiect did nothing faile. For no sooner was the Earle aduanced to that estate, but he raised a great hostilitie against the King of England: as well to recouer the Duchie of Normandie, as either to relieue or to reuenge the hard captiuitie of his father.
In this warre the Earle did winne a great opinion, both for iudgement to discerne, and for valour to execute what hee did discerne: shewing himselfe in nothing inferiour to his vnckle the king, but onely in treasure and command of men. For this cause he craued supply of Lewes king of France; who, as he was the first that blew the cole, so was he alwayes ready to put fuell to the flame. But the King of England entered France with a strong Armie, where his sword ranged and raged without resistance: and yet more in prosecution of prey, then in execution of blood. He lodged at Hesperdune274 the space of 8. dayes; no lesse quietly, no lesse safely, then if he had bene in the principall Citie of his kingdome. By this meanes hee kept the French King from sending succour to the Earle of Flanders. And in the meane season drew Theodoricke Earle of Holsteine, nephew to Robert who had bene Earle of Flanders, and Arnoldus sisters sonne to Earle Charles, not long before slaine, to inuade Earle William: Both pretending title to his dignitie, both bringing seueral armies, consisting of men, tough in temper, and well exercised in affaires of the field.
Theodorick vpon his first approch tooke Bruges, Ipres and Gandt; either willingly yeelding, or with small resistance: and vpon the necke thereof Arnoldus tooke the strong towne of S. Omer. Earle William being thus set as it were betweene the beetle and the blocke, was nothing deiected, nothing dismayed, either in courage or in hope. And first he went against Arnoldus, with a small company, but with such a liuely countenance of a Souldier, that Arnoldus fell to capitulation for his safe departure; and so returned home as if he had bene vanquished. Then the Earle made head against Theodorick, and gaue him battaile, albeit farre275 inferiour to him, both for number and furniture of his men. The fight betweene them was long, furious and doubtfull. The Germans confident in their number, which made them trust the lesse to their valour: the Flemings rather desperate then resolute, vpon importance of their danger. And indeed it often happeneth, that good successe at the first doeth occasion the ouerthrow of many great actions: by working in the one side a confidence in themselues, and contempt of their enemies; and by making the other more earnest and entire. So at the last the violent valour of the Earle, well followed with the braue and resolute rage of his Souldiers, did such effects, that the Germans were shaken and disordered, many slaine in the field, and the residue chased out of Flanders.
The Earle hauing now no enemie in open field, layed siege to the castle of Alhurst, which was defended against him by the English. The assaults were so liuely enforced, and with such varietie of inuention and deuise; that a wide way was opened through all impediments, and the defendants were constrained by many necessities, to desire faire conditions of yeelding. This whilest the Earle delayed to grant, he re276ceiued in a certaine light cōflict a wound in his hand, whereof in a short time after he died: hauing first raised himselfe very high in opinion with all men, for his courage, industrie and skill in Armes. And thus Duke Robert and his sonne William were brought to their vnhappy ends; rather through the malice of their Fortune, then through any bad merit or insufficiencie in themselues: whereby the Duchie of Normandie, which had bene both the cause and the seate of very great warres, was then strongly setled in possession of King Henry.
Hee was neuer infested with domesticall warres; which in regard of those tumultuous times, is a manifest argument both of his iustice and prouidence; the one not giuing cause, the other no hope, for his subiects to rebel. The King of Scots did homage vnto him; for what territories I doe not determine. Morcard King of Ireland and some of his successors were so appliable vnto him, that they seemed to depend vpon his command. The Welsh who hated idlenesse and peace alike, did striue beyond their strength to pull their feete out of the mire of subiection; but in loose straggling companies, without either discipline or head. For this277 cause hee made diuers expeditions into Wales, where he had many bickerings, and put many chases vpon them: but found nothing worthy the name, either of enemie or of warre. Wherefore by maintaining garrisons, and light troups of Souldiers, he consumed the most obstinate, and reduced the rest to his allegeance: receiuing the sonnes of their Nobilitie for hostages.
At that time many Flemings inhabited in England; of whom some came ouer in the time of King William the first, by occasion of his mariage with Matild daughter to Baldwine their Earle: but the greatest part came vnder the reigne of this King Henrie, by reason that Flanders at that time by irruption of the sea, was in many places ouerflowen. The King was willing to entertaine them, because they brought with them both industrie and trades; because they made the Countrey both populous and rich. For in making a place populous, it is thereby also made rich: draw people to a place, and plentie will follow; driue away people, and it is vndone. They were first planted neere the riuer of Tweede; besides those who dispersed into diuers Townes. But at this time the King sent many of them into Rose in Pembrokeshire,278 whose progeny did euer since maintaine themselues in good condition against the Welsh: being a people euen at this day distinguished from all other bordering vpon them, both in language, and in nature, and in fashion of life.
On a time as the king marched through Powesland in Southwales, hee came to certaine streights, through which his maine army could not passe, by reason of their multitude and traine of cariage: wherefore hee sent the greatest part a further way about, and himselfe with a small company tooke the neerer way thorow those streights. When he was well entred, he was charged very sharpely, but rudely, and disordredly by the Welsh; who hauing the aduantage both in number and in place, did much annoy him from the higher ground; but durst not approach to close fight at hand. The King himselfe was smitten with an arrow full vpon the breast: whereat hee swore By our Lords death (which was his vsuall oath) that it was no Welsh arme which shot that arrow. Many of his men also were hurt, and the residue strangely disordred; the amazement being farre greater then the distresse. But the279 king with a firme countenance retired in time, the enemies not daring to pursue him any further, then they might be assured by aduantage of place. Then he sent peaceably vnto them, and after some ouertures, brought them to agree, that for a thousand head of cattell the passage should be left open vnto him.
In his politicke gouernment he so managed the State, that neither subiects wanted iustice, nor Prince obedience. He repaired many defects, hee reformed many abuses, which would in the meane time enfeeble, and at last oppresse the Common-wealth. Hee ordred his affaires with such moderation, that he was not onely well obeyed by his subiects, but highly honoured and respected by forreine Princes: wherby it appeared, that learning may be both a guard and guide to Princes, if it be not so immoderately affected, as to bereaue them, either of the minde, or time for action. He vsed much seueritie in punishing offenders; seueritie, the life of iustice; of iustice, the most assured preseruer of States: affording no more fauour for the most part, then dead mercilesse law did allot. Against theeues he prouided, that no mo280ney should saue them from hanging. He ordeined that counterfeitures of money should loose both their eyes, and be depriued of their priuie parts. He tooke away the deceit which had been occasioned by varietie of measures, and made a measure by the length of his owne arme: which hath been Commonly vsed euer since by the name of a yard.
And wheras there are two infallible signes of a diseased State; excesse in eating, and in attire; which could neuer be restrained by penalties or feare, but the more the people are therin forbidden, the more are they rauished into riot and vanitie: the King by two meanes cast a general restraint vpon them both: by example, and by reproofe: which by reason of the inclination of men to imitate and please their Prince, haue alwayes been of greater force then lawes, to reforme abuses in that kind. He much abhorred excesse in eating and drinking, and was so moderate in his owne diet, that he seemed to feede onely for necessitie of nature. Hee both vsed and commended ciuill modestie in apparell: especially he could not endure an absurd abuse of men in those times, in wearing long haire like vnto women. And when their owne haire281 failed, they set artificiall Peruques, with long locks vpon their heads; whereas by censure of the Apostle, it is reprochfull for men to weare long haire. He discharged his Court of many loose lasciuious persons; affirming, that they were no good instruments of the kingdome; as being in peace chargeable, and vnprofitable for warre.
During his absence in Normandie, which was sometimes three or foure yeeres together, he committed the gouernement of his Realme to Roger Bishop of Salisburie: A man harmelesse in life, in mind flourishing and fresh, in intention vpright: most wise in taking, and most faithfull and fortunate in giuing aduise. Hee had gouerned the Kings expenses of house when hee was but a Prince of priuate estate; whereby he gained that reputation for integritie and skill, which aduanced him to a higher trust. He was Doctor of the Canon and Ciuill lawes, as most of the Bishops at that time were, and did beare the title and name of Iusticiarius totius Angliæ. Hee built the Deuises in Wiltshire, the Castles of Malmesburie and Shireburne. He repaired the Castle of Salisburie, and enuironed the same with a wall; hee282 built the stately Church at Salisburie, destined to a longer life then any of his other workes. And further, by reason of the Kings much abode in Normandie, the prouisions of his house were valued at certaine prices, and receiued in money, to the great contentment and ease of the people.
In these times were mighty woods about the place where the two high wayes Watling and Ikening doe ioyne together; which woods were a safe couert and retreite for many robbers, who much infested those high wayes. The most famous thiefe among them, was named Dunne, a man mischieuous without mercie, equally greedie of blood and of spoile, the first infamie of his name: Hee was in a sort as the most villanously aduentrous and vile; (for in lewd actions, the worst are greatest) Commander ouer the rest, and of him the place was called Dunstable. To represse this annoyance, the King caused the woods to bee cut downe, built there a Borough, to which hee granted Faire & Market, and that the Burgesses should be so free as any other Burgesses within the Realme. Hee erected there also a Palace for himselfe, and also a faire Church or Priorie;283 whereto he gaue large priuiledges and endowments. By these meanes hee made the place first populous, and consequently both plentifull and safe.
Many other royall workes hee performed, some for Religion, as the Religious buildings specified before; some for strength, as diuers Castles in Normandie, in Wales, and some also in England: and namely the Castle of Warwicke, of Bristoll, the Castle Colledge and Towne of Windsore on the hill, about a mile distant from the old Towne of Windsore; which afterward was much encreased by King Edward the third, and after him by many Kings and Queenes succeeding. Many Palaces also he built for ornament & pleasure. And to this end he maintained his Parke at Woodstocke, wherein hee preserued diuers sorts of strange beasts; which because he did with many demonstrations of pleasure both accept and esteeme, were liberally sent vnto him from other Princes.
Hee first instituted the forme of the high Court of Parliament, as now it is in vse. For before his time, onely certaine of the Nobilitie and Prelats of the Realme were called to con284sultation about the most important affaires of state: he caused the commons also to be assembled, by Knights and Burgesses of their owne appointment, and made that Court to consist of three parts; the Nobilitie, the Clergie, and the Common people; representing the whole body of the Realme. The first Councell of this sort was held at Salisbury, vpon the 19. day of April, in the 16. yeere of his reigne.
His seueritie in iustice, the very heart string of a Common-wealth, his heauie hand in bearing downe his enemies, in disabling those from working him harme whom he knew would neuer loue him at the heart; was traduced by some vnder termes of crueltie. And yet was he alwayes more mindfull of benefits then of wrongs; and in offences of highest nature, euen for bearing Armes against him, he punished oftentimes by imprisonment or exile, and not by death.
When Matilde his daughter was giuen in mariage to Henry the fifth Emperour, he tooke 3. shillings of euery hide of land throughout the Realme: which being followed by succeeding Kings, did grow to a custome of receiuing ayd, whensoeuer they gaue their daughters in285 marriage. For albeit the same be found in the great Custumier of Normandie, yet was it neuer practised in England before. This happened in the fifteenth yeere of his reigne: and he neuer had the like contribution after, but one for furnishing his warres in France. So the people were not charged with many extraordinary taxations, but their ordinary fines and payments were very great; and yet not very grieuous vnto them. For that they saw them expended, not in wanton wast, not in loose and immoderate liberalitie, but either vpon necessitie, or for the honour & dignitie of the state: wherein the preseruation or aduancement of the common good, made particular burthens not almost sensible.
But both his actions and exactions were most displeasing to the Clergy; the Clergy did often times not onely murmure, but struggle and oppose against his actions: as taking their liberties to be infringed, and their state diminished; by abasing their authority, and abating both their riches and power. When any Bishopricke or Abbey fell voyd, hee did apply the reuenues thereof for supply of his necessities and wants: and for that cause kept some of them many286 yeeres together vacant in his hands. He would not permit appeales to Rome. Canons were not of force within the Realme, vnlesse they were confirmed by the King. Legats from the Pope were not obeyed; and no man would come to their conuocations. In so much as one of the Popes Legates in France did excommunicate all the Priests of Normandy, because they would not come to his Synode. For this cause the King sent the Bishop of Exceter to Rome, albeit he was both blind and in yeeres, to treat with the Pope concerning that businesse. Hee gaue inuestitures to Prelates, by Crosse, Ring and Staffe: and is charged to haue receiued of some of them great summes of money for their places. About this time the marriage of Priests was forbidden in England; but the King for money permitted them to reteine their wiues, and in the end set an imposition in that respect vpon euery Church throughout the Realme. It auailed not any man to say, that he had no purpose to keepe a wife: he must pay for a facultie to keepe a wife if he would.
For these causes they fastened the infamie of couetousnesse vpon him. For these causes and especially for inuesting and receiuing ho287mage of Prelats, he had a stiffe strife with Anselme Archb. of Canterburie. For the King said, that it was against the custome of his ancesters, it could not stand with the safety of his State; that the Prelats, who at that time held the principall places both of trust and command in his kingdome, who in very deed ruled all the rest, should not be appointed onely by himselfe; should not sweare faith and allegiance vnto him; should either bee aduanced or depend vpon any forren Prince. On the other side Anselme refused, not onely to confirme, but to communicate or common friendly with those who had bene inuested by the King: reproching them, as abortiues and children of destruction; traducing the King also, as a defiler of Religion, as a deformer of the beautie and dignitie of the Church. Hereupon by appointment of the King, they were confirmed & consecrated by the Archb. of Yorke. Onely William Gifford, to whom the K. had giuen the Bishopricke of Winchester, refused Consecration from the Archb. of Yorke; for which cause the King depriued him of all his goods, and banished him out of the Realme.
Then the King required Anselme to doe288 him homage, and to be present with him at giuing Inuestitures; as Lanfranck his predecessor had bene with King William his father. Against these demaunds Anselme obiected the decrees of the Councell lately held at Rome; whereby all Lay-persons were excommunicate, who should conferre any Spiritual promotions; and all those accursed, who for Ecclesiasticall dignities, should subiect themselues vnder the homage or seruice of any Lay-man. Hereupon messengers were dispatched from both parties to the Pope: who determined altogether in fauour of Anselme, or rather in fauour of himselfe. Notwithstanding the king desisted not to vrge Anselme, to sweare homage vnto him. Anselme required, that the Popes letters should bee brought foorth; and he would doe as by them hee should be directed. The King answered, that he had nothing to doe with the Popes letters; that this was a Soueraigne right of his Crowne; that if any man may pull these Royalties from his Crowne, he may easily pull his Crowne from his head: that therefore Anselme must doe him homage, or else depart out of his kingdome. Anselme answered, that hee would not depart out of the Realme, but goe home to289 his Church, and there see, who would offer him violence.
Then were messengers againe sent to the Bishop of Rome; two Bishops from the King, and two Monckes from Anselme. The King wrote to the Pope, first congratulating his aduancement to the Sea of Rome; then desiring the continuance of that amitie which had bene betweene their predecessours; Lastly, he tendred all honour and obedience, which in former times the Kings of England did yeeld to the See of Rome; desiring againe, that he might not be abridged of such vsages as his father did enioy: concluding, that during his life, hee would not suffer the dignities of his Crowne to be empaired; and if he should so doe, yet the Nobilitie and common people of the Realme would in no case permit it, but would rather recede from obedience to his See.
The Pope wrote backe againe to Anselme; that for one mans pleasure hee would not reuerse the decrees of former Popes; and therefore gaue him both encouragement & charge, to continue constant, and to see them obserued in euery point. Hee directed also his letters to the King, which the King did suppresse: but his290 Embassadours declared by word, that the Pope permitted Inuestitures to the King, so as in other things hee would execute the Office of a good Prince. Anselme called for the Popes letters. The King answered, that his Bishops were to be credited before the Monckes, who were disabled either for voyce or testimonie in Secular affaires. Anselme said, that he was desirous to yeeld vnto the King, but he durst not although it should cost him his head, vnlesse he had a warrant from Rome: and therefore he would send thither againe, to haue a more full and ample answere. The King and diuers of the Nobilitie perswaded him to goe in person, to trauaile to the Pope, and to trauaile with him, for the quiet of the Church, and of his countrey. With much adoe he was entreated, and so set forth on his iourney towards Rome: and after followed the kings Embassadour William Warlewast, new elect Bishop of Exceter.
When the Bishop came to the Popes presence, he declared vnto him; what great commodities did rise out of England to the See of Rome; that the Inuesting of Prelats had bene an ancient right to the crowne of that Realme; that as the King was by nature liberall, so was291 he stout and resolute in courage, that it should be a great dishonour to him, who in power exceeded any of his ancesters, if hee should not maintaine the dignities which they held; that for this cause the Pope should doe well to preferre to his consideration, what preiudice might follow to his Estate, if hee should remit nothing of the seuerities of those Canons which had bene lately made.
The Pope gaue an attentiue eare, and seemed to pause vpon that which had been sayd. Which the Kings Ambassadour taking to be a degree of yeelding, did more earnestly insist, and said: that the King his master would not for the Crowne of his Realme, loose the authoritie of inuesting his Prelates. Hereto the Pope with a starting voice and countenance answered; Neither will I lose the disposing of spirituall promotions in England, for the Kings head that beareth the Crowne; before God (said hee) I aduow it. His flattering followers applauded this speach, as proceeding from a magnanimous courage, or rather as some flash of diuine inspiration: and the Kings Ambassador not a little abashed, was content to descend to lower demands. In the ende it was ordered, that the292 King should be restored to certaine customes which had been vsed by his father; but that all they who had bin inuested by the King, should be excōmunicate, & that their satisfaction and absolution should be committed vnto Anselme.
Thus Anselme, with full saile of victorie and ioy returned towards England; but the Kings Ambassadour stayed behind, to assay whether by any meanes hee could worke the Pope to a milder minde. But when hee saw that he trauailed in vaine, he followed Anselme, and ouertooke him at Placentia, and there deliuered vnto him certaine priuate instructions from the King: that if he would come into England, and behaue himselfe as his predecessours had done towards the Kings father, hee should be welcome; otherwise, you are wise enough (said hee) you know what I meane, and may easily coniecture what will ensue. With these words he flang suddenly away; by occasion whereof his speaches setled with a more strong impression, and multiplied many doubtfull constructions. So the Embassadour returned to the King; but Anselme went to Lions, and remained there a yeere and halfe.
In the meane time much posting was made293 betweene England, Lions, and Rome; but nothing was concluded, nothing could please: For neither the Pope would yeeld to the King, nor the King to Anselme. At the last Anselme threatned to excommunicate the King: whereof the King being aduertised by the Countesse Adela his sister, hee desired her to come to him into Normandy, and to bring Anselme with her. Here the King restored Anselme to his former possessions; but his returne into England was respited, vntill the Pope had confirmed certaine things which Anselme did assure. So the King tooke his passage into England, and Anselme abode at the Abbey of Beck. Then were dispatched for Rome, William Warlewast mentioned before, and Baldwine Abbot of Ramsey; by whose meanes the controuersie was composed betweene the King and the Pope; that the King should receiue homage of Bishops elect, but should not inuest them by Staffe and Ring. After this the king went into Normandie, and there agreed to Anselme in these points following.
1 That all his Churches which had been made tributary to King William the second should bee set free.
2 That the King should require nothing of the sayd Churches, whilest the Sea should remaine vacant.
3 That such Priests as had giuen money to the King to reteine their wiues, should surcease from their function the space of three yeeres; and that the king should take no more after such maner.
4 That all such goods fruits and possessions as the King had taken from the Sea of Canterbury, should bee restored to him at his returne into England.
Thus Anselme returned into England, and after a short time the king followed; hauing taken his brother prisoner, and subdued Normandie to his subiection.
Forthwith Anselme by permission of the K. assembled a great Councell of the Clergie at Westminster; wherein hee so wrought with the King, that at length (albeit not without great difficultie) it was newly decreed; that no temporal man should giue inuestiture with Crosse, or with Ring, or with Pastoral staffe. Also he directed Iniunctiōs to the Priests of his Prouince, that they and their wiues should neuer meete within one house; that they should not keepe any woman in their house, but such as were295 next in kinred vnto them; That hee who held his wife and presumed to say Masse within eight dayes after, should solemnely be excommunicate. That all Archdeacons and their Officials should bee sworne, not to winke at the meetings of Priests and their wiues for any respect, and if they would not take this oath, then to lose their office; that such Priests as would forsake their wiues, should cease fourty dayes from ministration in their office, and performe such penance as should be enioyned them by their Bishop. The execution of these Canons importing both a great and sudden alteration, occasioned much disquiet and disorder in many parts of the Realme.
In the same Councel the censure of Excommunication was cast vpon those, who did exercise the vile vice of Sodomitrie: and it was further decreed, that the same sentence should be published euery Sonday in al the parish Churches of England. But afterward it was esteemed fit; that this general excommunication should be repealed. The pretence was, for that the prohibiting, yea, the publike naming of that vice might enflame the hearts of vngracious persons with desire vnto it. But wise men con296iectured, that after this seuere restreint of marriage in the Clergie, it did grow so frequent and familiar among them, that they would not giue way to so generall a punishment. It is certaine that in this Kings dayes Io. Cremensis a Priest Cardinal, by the Kings licence came into England, and held a solemne Synode at London; where hauing most sharpely enueighed against the marriage of Priests, the night following hee was taken in adulterie, and so with shame departed the Realme. It is certaine also that Anselme, the most earnest enforcer of single life, died not a Virgine; as by the lamentation which hee wrote for the losse thereof it may appeare.
Not long after Anselme died, being of the age of 70. yeeres. He had bestowed much money on Christs Church in Canterburie; as well in buildings, as in ornaments, and encrease of possessions. Other workes of charge he left not many; neither in very deed could he, by reason of his often banishments, and the seasures of the reuenues of his Church. But this he did more then liberally supply by the eternall labours of his penne. After his decease the Archbishopricke remained voyd fiue yeeres: during297 which time, the King applied the fruits to himselfe. The like hee did to other vacant Churches; and compounded also with Priests for reteining their wiues; and made his profit by Ecclesiasticall persons and liuings, more largely and freely then he had done before. For which cause it is not vnlike that the imputation of couetousnesse was fixed vpon him. At the last Radulph Bishop of Rochester was aduanced to the See of Canterburie; and notwithstanding all former agreements and decrees, the King inuested him with Ring and with Staffe.
But howsoeuer we may either excuse or extenuate the two vices of crueltie and couetousnesse, wherewith he is charged, his immoderate excesse in lust can no wayes be denied, no wayes defended: And when age had somewhat abated in him the heat of that humour, yet was hee too much pleased with remembrance of his youthfull follies. For this vice it is manifest, as well by the sudden and vnfortunate losse of his children, as for that he was the last King by descent from males of the Norman race, that the hand of God pressed hard vpon him.
As Radulph succeeded Anselme in the See of298 Canterburie. So after the death of Thomas, Thurstine the Kings Chapplaine was elected Archb. of Yorke. And because he refused to acknowledge obedience to the See of Canterbury, hee could not haue his Consecration, but was depriued of his dignitie by the King. Hereupon he tooke his iourney to Rome, complained to the Pope, and from him returned with a letter to the King: that the putting of a Bishop elect from his Church, without iudgement, was against diuine Iustice, against the decrees of holy Fathers: that the Pope intended no preiudice to either Church, but to maintaine the constitution which S. Gregorie, the Apostle of the English Nation, had stablished betweene them: that the Bishop elect should be receiued to his Church, and if any question did rise between the two Churches, it should be handled before the King.
Vpon occasion of this letter a solemne assembly was called at Salisburie, where the variance betweene the two Prelats was much debated. Radulph would not giue Imposition of hands to Thurstine, vnlesse hee would professe obedience. Thurstine said, that he would gladly embrace his benediction, but professe obedi299ence to him he would not. The King signified to Thurstine, that without acknowledgement of subiection to the Archb. of Canterburie, hee should not be Consecrated Archb. of Yorke. Thurstine replied nothing; but renounced his dignitie, and promised to make no more claime vnto it.
Not long after, Calixtus Bishop of Rome assembled a Councell at Rhemes; and Thurstine desired licence of the King to goe to that Councell. This hee obtained vnder faithfull promise, that he should there attempt nothing to the preiudice of the Church of Canterburie. In the meane time the King dealt secretly with the Pope, that Thurstine should not bee consecrated by him. This the Pope did faithfully assure; and yet by meanes of some of his Cardinals, whom Thurstine had wrought to bee suiters for him; by reason also of his hate against Radulph, for taking Inuestiture from the King; The Pope was drawen to giue him consecration, and therewith the Pall. For this cause the King was displeased with Thurstine, and forbad him to returne into the Realme.
After this, the Pope came to Gisors, to which place the King went vnto him; and desired300 that he would not send any Legates into England, except the King should so require. The reason was, for that certaine Legates had come into England lately before, to wit, one Guido, and another named Anselme, and another called Peter; who had demeaned themselues, not as Pillars of the Church, but as Pillagers of all the Realme. Also he required that hee might reteine all such customes, as his auncestors had vsed in England and in Normandie. The Pope vpon promise that the King should ayd him against his enemies, yeelded to these demands: and required againe of the King, to permit Thurstine to returne with his fauour into England. The King excused himselfe by his oath. The Pope answered, that he might and would dispence with him for his oath. The King craued respite, affirming that he would aduise with his Counsaile, and then signifie to the Pope what he should resolue. So in short time hee declared to the Pope, that for loue to him, Thurstine should bee receiued both into the Realme and to his Church: vpon condition, that he should professe subiection to the Sea of Canterburie, as in former times his predecessors had done; otherwise (said hee) so long as I301 shall bee King of England, hee shall neuer sit Archbishop of Yorke.
The yeere following the Pope directed his letters to the King, and likewise to Radulph. And herewith he interdicted both the Church of Canterburie and the Church of Yorke, with all the Parish Churches of both Prouinces; from Diuine seruice, from Buriall of the dead, from all other offices of the Church; except onely baptizing of children, and absolution of those who shal lie at the point of death: vnlesse within one moneth after the receit of the same letters, Thurstine should be receiued to the Sea of Yorke, without acknowledging subiection to the Sea of Canterburie. It was further signified to the King, that he should also be excommunicate, vnlesse hee would consent to the same. Vpon these letters Thurstine was sent for, and reconciled to the King, and quietly placed in his Church at Yorke. And thus when the Bishops of Rome had gained absolute superiority ouer the state of the Church, euen for managing external actions and affaires (which seeme to be a part of ciuill gouernement) there wanted nothing but either a weake Prince, or a factious Nobilitie, or a headstrong tumultuous302 people, to giue him absolute superioritie ouer all.
In the second yeere of this Kings reigne the Cities of Gloucester and Winchester were for the most part wasted with fire.
In the fourth yeere a blasing starre appeared, and foure circles were seene about the Sunne. The yeere next following the King preuailed much in Normandie, and so did the Sea in Flanders: insomuch as a great part of that Countrey lay buried in the waters.
In the seuenth yeere a blazing starre appeared: and vpon thursday night before Easter, two full Moones were seene, one in the East, and the other in the West. The same yeere Robert Duke of Normandie was taken & brought prisoner into England.
In the tenth yeere the Abbey of Elie was made a Bishops Sea, and Cambridge shire was appointed for the Diocesse thereof. In regard whereof, the King gaue the mannour of Spalding to the Bishop of Lincolne, for that the shire of Cambridge was formerly vnder the Iurisdiction of Lincolne. The same yeere a Comet appeared after a strange fashiō. About Shrewsburie was a great earthquake. The water of303 Trent was dried vp at Nottingham the space of a mile, from one of the clocke vntill three: so as men might passe ouer the Channell on foote. Warres ensued against the Earle of Aniou; a great mortalitie of men; a murraine of beastes both domesticke and of the fielde: yea, the foules perished in great abundance.
In the 13. yeere the Citie of Worcester, and therein the chiefe Church, the Castle, with much people were consumed with fire. A pigge was farrowed with a face like a childe. A chicken was hatched with foure legs. The yeere next ensuing the riuer of Medeway so fayled for many miles, that in the middest of the channell the smallest boates could not floate. In the Thames also was such defect of water, that betweene the Tower and the Bridge many men and children did wade ouer on foote. This happened by reason of a great ebbe in the Ocean, which layd the sands bare many miles from the shoare, and so continued one whole day. Much rage and violence of weather ensued, and a blasing starre. The Citie of Chichester with the principall Monastery was burnt. The yeere next following almost all the Bridges in England being then of timber, by reason304 of a hard Winter were borne downe with Ice.
In the 17. yeere the towne of Peterborough with the stately Church were burned to the ground. The Citie of Bath also was much ruined and defaced with fire. In March there happened fearefull lightning, and in December grieuous thunder and haile. The Moone at both times seemed to be turned into blood, by reason of the euill qualited vapours through which it gaue light. The yeere following, Mathild the Queene departed this life: a woman in pietie, chastitie, modestie, and all other vertues nothing inferiour to her mother; but in learning and iudgement farre beyond her: who did not act, nor speake, nor scarce thinke any thing, but first it was weighed by wisdome and vertue. When the king desired her in marriage, for the publicke good and tranquilitie of the State, in reducing the Saxon blood to the Crowne; she first modestly, then earnestly refused the offer; shewing no lesse magnanimitie in despising honours, then others doe in affecting them. But when she was not so much perswaded as importuned to forsake her profession, she is reported by some to haue taken the matter so to heart, that she cursed such issue305 as she should bring forth: which curse did afterwards lie heauie vpon them. For her sonne William perished by shipwrack, and her daughter Matild was neuer voyd of great vexations. As she trauailed ouer the riuer of Lue, at the Old-foord neere London, she was well washed, and somewhat endangered in her passage: whereupon he caused two Stone-bridges to be built ouer the same riuer, one at the head of the towne of Stratford, the other ouer another streame thereof, commonly called Channels-bridge; and paued the way betweene them with grauel. She gaue also certaine mannours, and a mill called Wiggon mill, for repairing of the same bridges and way. These were the first Stone-bridges that were made in England. And because they were arched like a bow, the towne of Stratford was afterwards called Bow.
In the 20. yere, a great earthquake hapned, in the moneth of September. In the 22. yeere, the Citie of Glocester, with the principal Monasterie was fired againe. The yeere next following, the Citie of Lincolne was for the most part burned downe, and many persons perished with the rage of the flame. In the 27. yeere, the King receiued an oath of the chiefe of the306 Prelats and Nobilitie of the Realme; that after his death, they should maintaine the kingdom against al men for his daughter Matild, in case she should suruiue, and the king not leaue issue male in life.
In the 30. yeere, the Citie of Rochester was much defaced with fire, euen in the presence and view of the King. The yeere next following the oath to Matild was receiued againe. About this time the King was much troubled with fearefull dreames; which did so affright him, that he would often leape out of his bed, and lay hand on his sword, as if it were to defend himselfe. This yeere as he returned out of Normandie into England, when he had bene caried not farre from land, the winde began to rise, and the Sea swelled somewhat bigge. This weather did almost suddenly encrease to so dangerous a storme, that all expected to be cast away. The King, dismayed the more by his sonnes mishap, reconciled himselfe to God; and vowed to reforme many errours of his life, if he did escape. So after his arriuall, he went to the Monasterie of S. Edmund; and there both ratified and renued the promise he had made. After this he was better ordered in his actions; he307 erected a Bishopricke at Caerlile, and endowed it with many honours: he caused Iustice indifferently to be administred; and eased the people of the tribute called Dane guilt.
In the 32. yeere, Matilde daughter to the King was deliuered of a sonne, who was named Henry. Hereupon the king assembled his Nobilitie at Oxeford, where he did celebrate his feast of Easter; and there ordeined, that shee and her heires should succeed him in the kingdome. And albeit they were often sworne to this appointment; albeit Stephen Earle of Bloise was the first man who tooke that oath: yet was he the first who did rise against it; yet did many others also ioyne with him in his action. For oathes are commonly troden vnder foote, when they lye in the way, either to honour or reuenge. The same yeere the Citie of London was very much defaced with fire.
The yeere next following, many prodigies happened, which seemed to portend the death of the King, or rather the troublesome times which did thereupon ensue. In the moneth of August, the Sunne was so deepely eclipsed, that by reason of the darkenesse of the ayre, many starres did plainely appeare. The second308 day after this defect of light, the earth trembled with so great violence, that many buildings were shaken downe. Malmesb. sayth, that the house wherein he sate, was lift vp with a double remooue, and at the third time setled againe in the proper place. The earth in diuers places yeelded foorth a hideous noyse; It cast foorth flames at certaine rifts diuers dayes together, which neither by water nor by any other meanes could be suppressed.
During the time of the eclipse mentioned before, the King was trauersing the sea into Normandie; whither hee vsually went, sometimes euery yeere, but euery third yeere at the furthest. Here he spent the whole yeere following, in ordering affaires of State, and in visiting euery corner of the Countrey. He neuer gaue greater contentment to the people, as well by his gifts, as by his gentle and courteous behauiour: he neuer receiued greater contentment from them, by the liuely expressing of their loue. But nothing did so much affect him with ioy, as that his daughter Matild had brought foorth other two sonnes, Geoffrey and William: whereby hee conceiued, that the succession of his issue to the Crowne of England309 was so well backed, that he needed not to trouble his thoughts with any feare that his heires would faile.
At the last he began to languish a little and droupe in health; and neither feeling nor fearing any great cause, hee rode on hunting, to passe it ouer with exercise and delight. Herewith being somewhat cheered, hee returned home, and eate of a Lamprey, albeit against his Physicians aduise, which meate he alwayes loued, but was neuer able well to digest. After this, and happely vpon this vicious feeding, he fell into a feuer; which increased in him by such dangerous degrees, that within seuen dayes it led him to the period of his life. Hee died vpon the first of December, in the 67. yere of his age: when hee had reigned 35. yeeres and foure moneths, wanting one day. His bowels and eyes were buried at Roan: The rest of his bodie was stuffed with salt, wrapped vp in Oxe hides, and brought ouer into England; and with honourable exequies buried in the Monastery of Reading, which hee had founded. His Physician who tooke out his braines, by reason of the intolerable stinch which breathed from them, in short time after310 ended his life. So of all that King Henrie slue, this Physician was the last.
He had by his first wife a sonne named William, who perished by shipwracke; and Matild a daughter, who was espoused to the Emperour Henrie the 5. when she was scarce sixe yeeres olde, and at the age of eleuen yeeres was married vnto him. When shee had been married vnto him twelue yeeres, he died; and shee returned to the King her father, both against her owne minde, and against the desire of the greatest Princes of the Empire: who in regard of her wise and gracious behauiour, were suitors to the King more then once, to haue her remaine as Empresse among them. But the king would not consent to their intreatie: For that shee was the onely heire to his Crowne. Then many great Princes desired her in marriage. But the King bestowed her vpon Geoffrey, sonne to Fulke Earle of Aniou: somewhat against her owne liking, but greatly to the suretie of his estate in France. By him she had Henrie, who afterwards was King of England.
Further, the King had by a Concubine, Richard a sonne, and Mary a daughter; who were311 lost vpon the sea with their brother William. By another Concubine hee had a sonne named Robert, whom he created Earle of Glocester: a man for valour of minde and abilitie of bodie inferiour to none; in counsailes so aduised, as was fit for a right Noble commander. By his faith, industrie, and felicitie chiefly, his sister Matild did afterwards resist and ouerbeare, both the forces and fortunes of King Stephen. He is reported to haue had 12. other bastards; which were of no great either note or continuance, according to that saying of the Wise man: Bastard plants take no deepe rootes.
This King in the beginning of his Reigne made many fauourable lawes: And namely, That he would reserue no possessions of the Church vpon their vacancies: that the heires of his Nobilitie should possesse their fathers lands without redemption from him, and that the Nobilitie likewise should afford the like fauour to their Tenants: that Gentlemen might giue their daughters and kinsewomen in marriage without his licence, so it were not to his enemie: that the widow should haue her ioynture, and not be compelled to marrie against her owne liking: that the mother or next of kinred312 should bee Guardian of the lands of her children: that all debts to the Crowne and certaine offences also should bee remitted. But these lawes afterwards were but slenderly obserued.
Three vertues were most famous in him; wisedome, courage, and sweetenesse of speach. By the last hee gained much fauour from the people. By the other two he purchased, both peace at home, and victory abroad. He was noted also for some vices: but out of doubt they were farre exceeded by his vertues. And for these vices also, being himselfe of a pleasant disposition, he was well pleased with pleasant reproofes. Guymund his Chapleine (obseruing that vnworthy men for the most part were aduanced to the best dignities of the Church) as he celebrated Diuine seruice before him, and was to read these words out of S. Iames; [It rained not vpon the earth iij. yeres and vj. moneths:] Hee did read it thus: [It rained not vpon the earth one, one, one yeres, and fiue, one, moneths.] The King obserued this reading, and afterwards rebuked his Chapleine for it: But Guymund answered, that he did it of purpose, for that such readers were soonest preferred by the King. The King smiled, and in short time after313 preferred him to the gouernment of S. Frideswides in Oxeford. In this King failed the heires male of King William the first: and then the Crowne was possessed by Title of heires generall.
In these times flourished two excellent ornaments
of the Church; Anselme in England, and
Bernard in France: both of them enrolled in
the list of Saints. And no lesse infamous for
vice was Gerard, Archbishop of Yorke; a man of
some learning; not so much in substance, as in
seeming and shew; of commendable wit, which
he applied chiefly, to giue a couler for euery
vice of his owne, and for euery vertue of others
either a slander or a ieast: Of enuious disposition;
plagued lesse with his owne calamities,
then with the well either doing or being of other
men; in wiping money from his Subiects
by dishonest meanes, subtill and shamelesse;
and no lesse sordide in his expences: giuen to
Magicall enchantments as many doe affirme.
On a certaine day as he slept vpon a cushion
after dinner, in his Garden at Southwell, and
many of his Chapleines walked neere him; he
was found in such a stiffe cold dead sleepe, as
will require the trumpe of an Archangel to a314wake
him. His face then looked with an ougly
hell-burnt hue. His body was caried to Yorke;
few vouchsafing to accompany,
none to meete it (according to the vse of Exequies) when it came to the Citie;
but the boyes in scorne throwing stones at the hearse. He was
basely buried without the Church without any
funerall solemnities, without any
signe either of honour
or of griefe.
 Scriptor omnium sceleratissimus.
 Lib. 3. in princ. Ingulph. lib. 6. cap. 19.
 πολλάκις δέ τοι νόθοι τε πολλοὶ γνησίων ἀμείνονες. Eurip. in Androm.
 Heu vani monitus, fiustráq; morantia Parcas Prodigia. Lucan.
 Flo. lib. 2. Eutr. lib. 4. epit. Liu. 59.
 Eutro. lib. 6. epit. Liu. 93.
 Cic. Agrar. orat. 2. Liu. lib. 70.
 Tacit. lib. 14.
 Tacit. An. 17.
 Salust. bel. Iug.
 1. Reg. 9.
 Geogr. 3.
 Tritem. cap. 22.
 Theod. Nehem. lib. 2. cap. 25.
 Arg. l. creditor. & l. Claudius. D qui pot. in pign. ha.
 Moribus antiquis res stat Romana Virisque. Aeneid.
 Imperium ijs artibus facilime retinetur quibus partum est. Sal. Catil.
 Quos viceris caue amicos tibi credas. Curt. lib. 7.
 Tranquil. in Calig.
 Nicet. pag. 19. οὕτω χρόνῳ κρατυνθὲν ἔθος γένους καὶ θρησκείας ἐστιν ἰσχυρότερον.
 Chrys. orat. 76. περὶ ἒθους, Suid. dict. ἔθος.
 Agath. lib. 2. εὔδηλον μὲν ὅτι δὴ τῶν ἀνθρωπείων ἐθνῶν ὡς ἕκαστος εἲγε ὅτῳδηουν νόμῳ ἐκ πλείστου νενικηκότι ἐμβιοτεύσαιεν, τοῦτον δὴ ἄριστον ἥγουνται καὶ θεσπέσιον.
 Temperatus enim timor est qui cohibet, assiduus & acer ad vindictam excitat. Senec. 1. de clemen.
 Perfecto demum scelere, magnitudo eius intelligitur. Tacit. xv. Annal.
 3. Reg. 1. & 2
 2. Paral. 11.
 Bald. in proem. decr. §. rex. nu. 11. Archid. 2. q. 7. § item obijcitur.
 Gen. 49.
 Iust. lib. 16.
 Host. Io. And. Collect. Pet. Anch. Anto. Imo. Card. Flo. & sere omnes in c. licet de Voto.
 L. si arrogator. D. de Arrog. l. 3 de interd. & rel.
 Io. And. in c. significasti de fo. comp. Pan. cons. 85. li. 1. Molin. consuet. Paris. tit. 1. § 85. gl. 3. q. 2. infi.
 Iust. lib. 34
 Iust. lib. 16.
 Pausan. lib. 1. Iustin. lib. 39.
 Girard. lib. 1. de l'estate.
 D. Benedict. in. rep. c. Rainutius Verb. in eodem testamento le. 1. nu. 209.
 Io. de terr. Rub. concl. 9. 10. 11. 12.
 Li. 1. de l'estate de France.
 In c. vlt. 24. q. 1.
 In Polyhim.
 L. ex hoc D. de Iust. & iure.
 In Epist. ad O nagr. & in gen. 49.
 Chrys. hom. 5. aduers. Iudæos.
 Glo. Pan. in. c. 1. de cens. Luc. Pen. in l. decurio. c. de decu. lib. 10.
 Gen. 4. 7.
 Deut. 21. 17.
 Exo. 13. & 22. & 34. Leuit. 27. Num. 3. & 8. & 18. Neh. 10. Ezech. 44. Luc. 2. 23.
 Io. Ign. in. qu. An. Rex Franciæ recognoscat superiorem. col. 28. Ang. in l. cum Prætor. § non autem. D. de Iudi. Ias. in l. nemo D. de leg. 1.
 L. 1. c. de tut. vel. cur. Illustr. c. grandi de sup. negl. præl.
 Herod. in Terpsych.
 Herod. ibidem Pausan. lib. 7.
 Plut. Aemil. in eius vita. Oros. lib. 3. cap. 2.
 Plut. in Lisandr.
 Ioseph. Ant. 14. cap. 1.
 Liu. lib. 1. 2. belli Punici.
 Plut. in eius vita.
 Mich. Riccius.
 Cons. 20. lib. 2.
 De l'estate de France. lib. 1.
 Onely the Persians had rather a superstition thē a law, that no man might be King who had but one eye: for which cause Cosroes the sonne of Cabades was preferred before Bozi his elder brother. Procop. lib. 1.
 Bald. cons. 389. l. 1. Socin. cons. 47. l. 3. Card. Alex. in c. 1. tit. an. mut. vel imperfect. And. Isern. in c. vlt. tit. episc. vel Abb.
 L. vlt. D. de senat. l. 3. D. de interd. & rel. l. 2. c. de libert. & eo. lib. l. Diui. D. de iure patr. l. quæritur. D. de bo. lib. Pan. cons. 85. l. 1. Io. And. in c. significasti. de fo. comp.
 Nubrig. lib. 1. ca. 3.
 Nihil est quod male narrando non possit deprauarier. Ter. in Eun.
 καλόν τὶ γλώσς' ὅτῲ πίστις παρῇ, Eurip. Res pulchra lingua cui siet fides.
 τοὺς στρατιώτας πλουτίζετε, τῶν ὀλίγων πάντων καταφρονεῖτε. Milites ditate, reliquos omnes spernite. Severus apud Dionem.
 Concilium Baronense.
 Hæc conditio principum vt quicquid faciant præcipere videantur. Quint. declam. 4.
 Quæ fato manent quamuis significata non vitantur. Tacit. 1. hist.
 Seris venit vsus ab annis. Ouid. 6. Metam.
 In Polyhim.
 Iust. lib. 2. Plut. de fraterna benevolentia.
 Antiq. lib. 16. cap. 3.
 Guicc. lib. 1. Blond. decad. 2. lib. 2.
 Sigeb. in Chron.
 L. neque Doroth. 61. l. doctitij 63. l. neminem. 64. cum l. pen. & vit. C. de decur. lib. 10 l. ex libera. 6. C. suis & legit.
 L. imperialis. 23. § his illud. C. de nupt. l. quincunque 7. C. de princip. agent. in reb.
 L. eos qui. 65. D. de rit. nupt. l. Etsi 6. C. de nupt.
 L. senator. 11. C. de dignit. lib. 10.
 L. emancipatum. 7. D. de Senat. facit l. Diuo Marco. 11. C. de quæst. l. 3. D. de Interd. & rel. l. 2. C. de lib. & eor. libe.
 Gl. in d. l. Imperialis. Bar. in l. si. Senator. C. de dig. li. 12. Bald. in l. cum suis D. de lib. posth. Anch. & Phil. Franc. in c. ne aliqui de priuil. li. 6. 4. Ana. in c. 2. de Iudæ. facit l. ex libera. C. de su. & le. l. j. § fi. D. de bo. po. co. ta. l. si neque. §. si deport. D. de bon. libert. l. filij. §. senatores. D. ad municipia. l. quicunq; C. de princ. agen. in reb. lib. 12. & ib. Luc. Pen.
 In d. l. Imperialis. § illud.
 In l. si Senat. C. de dign. li. 12.
 In c. licet. de Vot.
 In c. ex tenore. qui fil. sunt legit.
 In l. 2. §. in filijs. D. de Decu. & in l. moris. §. sed vtrum D. de pœnis.
 Sing. 50. & ib. addit.
 In tract. primogen.
 In c. Adrianus. di. 63.
 In c. inter ceteras de rescrip.
 In l. bona fides. D. deposit.
 In tract. nobilitatis. part. 3. ad fin.
 In tract. de poten. & excellentia regia.
 Pet. Iac. in. arb. succ. Reg. Franc. Io. Ray. in c. prætereà. de prohi. feud. ali. & in tract. nobil. q. 10. Iac. à S. Georgio. in tract. feud. D. Benedict. in rep. c. Ramutius. n. 200. de test.
 In Artax.
 Blond. dec. 2. lib. 6. Mich. Ritius. de Reg. Hung. lib. 6.
 L. si quis. C. de poenis.
 δρυὸς πεσούσης πᾶς ἀνὴρ ξυλεύεται.
 1. Cor. 11. 14.
 Dunne a famous thiefe.
 Sapien. 4. 3.
 Iam. 5. 17.
Inconsistent and original spelling were retained.
Sidenotes have been replaced with footnotes.
Macrons represent a missing nasal (m, n) e.g. frō = from.
Greek ligatures have been expanded.
Spaced out text (gesperrt) represented in bold.
Table of contents added.
Errata below have been corrected in the text.
Pag. Lin. Errat. Correct. 7 17 Tresuy Tresny 15 7 for strength of defence of strength for defence 17 17 in hand with hand 41 12 Troiane Traiane 68 1 Beaumane Beaumonte 70 8 example excellent example 71 25 desiled defiled 75 7 Marcher Morchar 77 11 blow of an arrow bow and arrow 84 11 204 200 18 those these 102 5 become became 19 but vpon but by 104 13 Boline Bologne 113 4 Pontoife Pontoise 121 11 Castilion Chastilion 127 19 Bowe Bough 146 8 Aescanius Ascanius 188 4 rancks rancke 201 4 the place that place 209 in marg. principium principum 216 in marg. fata fato 260 7 hose house 279 8 this his 283 18 with great pleasure Dele.
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