A.D. 1087. After the birth of our Lord and Saviour Christ, one thousand and eighty-seven winters; in the one and twentieth year after William began to govern and direct England, as God granted him, was a very heavy and pestilent season in this land. Such a sickness came on men, that full nigh every other man was in the worst disorder, that is, in the diarrhoea; and that so dreadfully, that many men died in the disorder. Afterwards came, through the badness of the weather as we before mentioned, so great a famine over all England, that many hundreds of men died a miserable death through hunger. Alas! how wretched and how rueful a time was there! When the poor wretches lay full nigh driven to death prematurely, and afterwards came sharp hunger, and dispatched them withall! Who will not be penetrated with grief at such a season? or who is so hardhearted as not to weep at such misfortune? Yet such things happen for folks' sins, that they will not love God and righteousness. So it was in those days, that little righteousness was in this land with any men but with the monks alone, wherever they fared well. The king and the head men loved much, and overmuch, covetousness in gold and in silver; and recked not how sinfully it was got, provided it came to them. The king let his land at as high a rate as he possibly could; then came some other person, and bade more than the former one gave, and the king let it to the men that bade him more. Then came the third, and bade yet more; and the king let it to hand to the men that bade him most of all: and he recked not how very sinfully the stewards got it of wretched men, nor how many unlawful deeds they did; but the more men spake about right law, the more unlawfully they acted. They erected unjust tolls, and many other unjust things they did, that are difficult to reckon. Also in the same year, before harvest, the holy minster of St. Paul, the episcopal see in London, was completely burned, with many other minsters, and the greatest part, and the richest of the whole city. So also, about the same time, full nigh each head-port in all England was entirely burned. Alas! rueful and woeful was the fate of the year that brought forth so many misfortunes. In the same year also, before the Assumption of St. Mary, King William went from Normandy into France with an army, and made war upon his own lord Philip, the king, and slew many of his men, and burned the town of Mante, and all the holy minsters that were in the town; and two holy men that served God, leading the life of anachorets, were burned therein. This being thus done, King William returned to Normandy. Rueful was the thing he did; but a more rueful him befel. How more rueful? He fell sick, and it dreadfully ailed him. What shall I say? Sharp death, that passes by neither rich men nor poor, seized him also. He died in Normandy, on the next day after the Nativity of St. Mary, and he was buried at Caen in St. Stephen's minster, which he had formerly reared, and afterwards endowed with manifold gifts. Alas! how false and how uncertain is this world's weal! He that was before a rich king, and lord of many lands, had not then of all his land more than a space of seven feet! and he that was whilom enshrouded in gold and gems, lay there covered with mould! He left behind him three sons; the eldest, called Robert, who was earl in Normandy after him; the second, called William, who wore the crown after him in England; and the third, called Henry, to whom his father bequeathed immense treasure. If any person wishes to know what kind of man he was, or what honour he had, or of how many lands he was lord, then will we write about him as well as we understand him: we who often looked upon him, and lived sometime in his court. This King William then that we speak about was a very wise man, and very rich; more splendid and powerful than any of his predecessors were. He was mild to the good men that loved God, and beyond all measure severe to the men that gainsayed his will. On that same spot where God granted him that he should gain England, he reared a mighty minster, and set monks therein, and well endowed it. In his days was the great monastery in Canterbury built, and also very many others over all England. This land was moreover well filled with monks, who modelled their lives after the rule of St. Benedict. But such was the state of Christianity in his time, that each man followed what belonged to his profession -- he that would. He was also very dignified. Thrice he bare his crown each year, as oft as he was in England. At Easter he bare it in Winchester, at Pentecost in Westminster, at midwinter in Glocester. And then were with him all the rich men over all England; archbishops and diocesan bishops, abbots and earls, thanes and knights. So very stern was he also and hot, that no man durst do anything against his will. He had earls in his custody, who acted against his will. Bishops he hurled from their bishoprics, and abbots from their abbacies, and thanes into prison. At length he spared not his own brother Odo, who was a very rich bishop in Normandy. At Baieux was his episcopal stall; and he was the foremost man of all to aggrandise the king. He had an earldom in England; and when the king was in Normandy, then was he the mightiest man in this land. Him he confined in prison. But amongst other things is not to be forgotten that good peace that he made in this land; so that a man of any account might go over his kingdom unhurt with his bosom full of gold. No man durst slay another, had he never so much evil done to the other; and if any churl lay with a woman against her will, he soon lost the limb that he played with. He truly reigned over England; and by his capacity so thoroughly surveyed it, that there was not a hide of land in England that he wist not who had it, or what it was worth, and afterwards set it down in his book. (110) The land of the Britons was in his power; and he wrought castles therein; and ruled Anglesey withal. So also he subdued Scotland by his great strength. As to Normandy, that was his native land; but he reigned also over the earldom called Maine; and if he might have yet lived two years more, he would have won Ireland by his valour, and without any weapons. Assuredly in his time had men much distress, and very many sorrows. Castles he let men build, and miserably swink the poor. The king himself was so very rigid; and extorted from his subjects many marks of gold, and many hundred pounds of silver; which he took of his people, for little need, by right and by unright. He was fallen into covetousness, and greediness he loved withal. He made many deer-parks; and he established laws therewith; so that whosoever slew a hart, or a hind, should be deprived of his eyesight. As he forbade men to kill the harts, so also the boars; and he loved the tall deer as if he were their father. Likewise he decreed by the hares, that they should go free. His rich men bemoaned it, and the poor men shuddered at it. But he was so stern, that he recked not the hatred of them all; for they must follow withal the king's will, if they would live, or have land, or possessions, or even his peace. Alas! that any man should presume so to puff himself up, and boast o'er all men. May the Almighty God show mercy to his soul, and grant him forgiveness of his sins! These things have we written concerning him, both good and evil; that men may choose the good after their goodness, and flee from the evil withal, and go in the way that leadeth us to the kingdom of heaven. Many things may we write that were done in this same year. So it was in Denmark, that the Danes, a nation that was formerly accounted the truest of all, were turned aside to the greatest untruth, and to the greatest treachery that ever could be. They chose and bowed to King Cnute, and swore him oaths, and afterwards dastardly slew him in a church. It happened also in Spain, that the heathens went and made inroads upon the Christians, and reduced much of the country to their dominion. But the king of the Christians, Alphonzo by name, sent everywhere into each land, and desired assistance. And they came to his support from every land that was Christian; and they went and slew or drove away all the heathen folk, and won their land again, through God's assistance. In this land also, in the same year, died many rich men; Stigand, Bishop of Chichester, and the Abbot of St. Augustine, and the Abbot of Bath, and the Abbot of Pershore, and the lord of them all, William, King of England, that we spoke of before. After his death his son, called William also as the father, took to the kingdom, and was blessed to king by Archbishop Landfranc at Westminster three days ere Michaelmas day. And all the men in England submitted to him, and swore oaths to him. This being thus done, the king went to Winchester, and opened the treasure house, and the treasures that his father had gathered, in gold, and in silver, and in vases, and in palls, and in gems, and in many other valuable things that are difficult to enumerate. Then the king did as his father bade him ere he was dead; he there distributed treasures for his father's soul to each monastery that was in England; to some ten marks of gold, to some six, to each upland (111) church sixty pence. And into each shire were sent a hundred pounds of money to distribute amongst poor men for his soul. And ere he departed, he bade that they should release all the men that were in prison under his power. And the king was on the midwinter in London.
A.D. 1088. In this year was this land much stirred, and filled with great treachery; so that the richest Frenchmen that were in this land would betray their lord the king, and would have his brother Robert king, who was earl in Normandy. In this design was engaged first Bishop Odo, and Bishop Gosfrith, and William, Bishop of Durham. So well did the king by the bishop [Odo] that all England fared according to his counsel, and as he would. And the bishop thought to do by him as Judas Iscariot did by our Lord. And Earl Roger was also of this faction; and much people was with him all Frenchmen. This conspiracy was formed in Lent. As soon as Easter came, then went they forth, and harrowed, and burned, and wasted the king's farms; and they despoiled the lands of all the men that were in the king's service. And they each of them went to his castle, and manned it, and provisioned it as well as they could. Bishop Gosfrith, and Robert the peace- breaker, went to Bristol, and plundered it, and brought the spoil to the castle. Afterwards they went out of the castle, and plundered Bath, and all the land thereabout; and all the honor (112) of Berkeley they laid waste. And the men that eldest were of Hereford, and all the shire forthwith, and the men of Shropshire, with much people of Wales, came and plundered and burned in Worcestershire, until they came to the city itself, which it was their design to set on fire, and then to rifle the minster, and win the king's castle to their hands. The worthy Bishop Wulfstan, seeing these things, was much agitated in his mind, because to him was betaken the custody of the castle. Nevertheless his hired men went out of the castle with few attendants, and, through God's mercy and the bishop's merits, slew or took five hundred men, and put all the others to flight. The Bishop of Durham did all the harm that he could over all by the north. Roger was the name of one of them; (113) who leaped into the castle at Norwich, and did yet the worst of all over all that land. Hugh also was one, who did nothing better either in Leicestershire or in Northamptonshire. The Bishop Odo being one, though of the same family from which the king himself was descended, went into Kent to his earldom, and greatly despoiled it; and having laid waste the lands of the king and of the archbishop withal, he brought the booty into his castle at Rochester. When the king understood all these things, and what treachery they were employing against him, then was he in his mind much agitated. He then sent after Englishmen, described to them his need, earnestly requested their support, and promised them the best laws that ever before were in this land; each unright guild he forbade, and restored to the men their woods and chaces. But it stood no while. The Englishmen however went to the assistance of the king their lord. They advanced toward Rochester, with a view to get possession of the Bishop Odo; for they thought, if they had him who was at first the head of the conspiracy, they might the better get possession of all the others. They came then to the castle at Tunbridge; and there were in the castle the knights of Bishop Odo, and many others who were resolved to hold it against the king. But the Englishmen advanced, and broke into the castle, and the men that were therein agreed with the king. The king with his army went toward Rochester. And they supposed that the bishop was therein; but it was made known to the king that the bishop was gone to the castle at Pevensea. And the king with his army went after, and beset the castle about with a very large force full six weeks. During this time the Earl of Normandy, Robert, the king's brother, gathered a very considerable force, and thought to win England with the support of those men that were in this land against the king. And he sent some of his men to this land, intending to come himself after. But the Englishmen that guarded the sea lighted upon some of the men, and slew them, and drowned more than any man could tell. When provisions afterwards failed those within the castle, they earnestly besought peace, and gave themselves up to the king; and the bishop swore that he would depart out of England, and no more come on this land, unless the king sent after him, and that he would give up the castle at Rochester. Just as the bishop was going with an intention to give up the castle, and the king had sent his men with him, then arose the men that were in the castle, and took the bishop and the king's men, and put them into prison. In the castle were some very good knights; Eustace the Young, and the three sons of Earl Roger, and all the best born men that were in this land or in Normandy. When the king understood this thing, then went he after with the army that he had there, and sent over all England. and bade that each man that was faithful should come to him, French and English, from sea-port and from upland. Then came to him much people; and he went to Rochester, and beset the castle, until they that were therein agreed, and gave up the castle. The Bishop Odo with the men that were in the castle went over sea, and the bishop thus abandoned the dignity that he had in this land. The king afterwards sent an army to Durham, and allowed it to beset the castle, and the bishop agreed, and gave up the castle, and relinquished his bishopric, and went to Normandy. Many Frenchmen also abandoned their lands, and went over sea; and the king gave their lands to the men that were faithful to him.
A.D. 1089. In this year the venerable father and favourer of monks, Archbishop Landfranc, departed this life; but we hope that he is gone to the heavenly kingdom. There was also over all England much earth-stirring on the third day before the ides of August, and it was a very late year in corn, and in every kind of fruits, so that many men reaped their corn about Martinmas, and yet later.
A.D. 1090. Indiction XIII. These things thus done, just as we have already said above, by the king, and by his brother and by this men, the king was considering how he might wreak his vengeance on his brother Robert, harass him most, and win Normandy of him. And indeed through his craft, or through bribery, he got possession of the castle at St. Valeri, and the haven; and so he got possession of that at Albemarle. And therein he set his knights; and they did harm to the land in harrowing and burning. After this he got possession of more castles in the land; and therein lodged his horsemen. When the Earl of Normandy, Robert, understood that his sworn men deceived him, and gave up their castles to do him harm, then sent he to his lord, Philip, king of the Franks; and he came to Normandy with a large army, and the king and the earl with an immense force beset the castle about, wherein were the men of the King of England. But the King William of England sent to Philip, king of the Franks; and he for his love, or for his great treasure, abandoned thus his subject the Earl Robert and his land; and returned again to France, and let them so remain. And in the midst of these things this land was much oppressed by unlawful exactions and by many other misfortunes.
A.D. 1091. In this year the King William held his court at Christmas in Westminster, and thereafter at Candlemas he went, for the annoyance of his brother, out of England into Normandy. Whilst he was there, their reconciliation took place, on the condition, that the earl put into his hands Feschamp, and the earldom of Ou, and Cherbourg; and in addition to this, that the king's men should be secure in the castles that they had won against the will of the earl. And the king in return promised him those many [castles] that their father had formerly won, and also to reduce those that had revolted from the earl, also all that his father had there beyond, except those that he had then given the king, and that all those, that in England before for the earl had lost their land, should have it again by this treaty, and that the earl should have in England just so much as was specified in this agreement. And if the earl died without a son by lawful wedlock, the king should be heir of all Normandy; and by virtue of this same treaty, if the king died, the earl should be heir of all England. To this treaty swore twelve of the best men of the king's side, and twelve of the earl's, though it stood but a little while afterwards. In the midst of this treaty was Edgar Etheling deprived of the land that the earl had before permitted him to keep in hand; and he went out of Normandy to the king, his sister's husband, in Scotland, and to his sister. Whilst the King William was out of England, the King Malcolm of Scotland came hither into England, and overran a great deal of it, until the good men that governed this land sent an army against him and repulsed him. When the King William in Normandy heard this, then prepared he his departure, and came to England, and his brother, the Earl Robert, with him; and he soon issued an order to collect a force both naval and military; but the naval force, ere it could come to Scotland, perished almost miserably, a few days before St. Michael's mass. And the king and his brother proceeded with the land-force; but when the King Malcolm heard that they were resolved to seek him with an army, he went with his force out of Scotland into Lothaine in England, and there abode. When the King William came near with his army, then interceded between them Earl Robert, and Edgar Etheling, and so made the peace of the kings, that the King Malcolm came to our king, and did homage, (114) promising all such obedience as he formerly paid to his father; and that he confirmed with an oath. And the King William promised him in land and in all things whatever he formerly had under his father. In this settlement was also Edgar Etheling united with the king. And the kings then with much satisfaction departed; yet that stood but a little while. And the Earl Robert tarried here full nigh until Christmas with the king, and during this time found but little of the truth of their agreement; and two days before that tide he took ship in the Isle of Wight, and went into Normandy, and Edgar Etheling with him.
A.D. 1092. In this year the King William with a large army went north to Carlisle, and restored the town, and reared the castle, and drove out Dolphin that before governed the land, and set his own men in the castle, and then returned hither southward. And a vast number of rustic people with wives and with cattle he sent thither, to dwell there in order to till the land.
A.D. 1093. In this year, during Lent, was the King William at Glocester so sick, that he was by all reported dead. And in his illness he made many good promises to lead his own life aright; to grant peace and protection to the churches of God, and never more again with fee to sell; to have none but righteous laws amongst his people. The archbishopric of Canterbury, that before remained in his own hand, he transferred to Anselm, who was before Abbot of Bec; to Robert his chancellor the bishopric of Lincoln; and to many minsters he gave land; but that he afterwards took away, when he was better, and annulled all the good laws that he promised us before. Then after this sent the King of Scotland, and demanded the fulfilment of the treaty that was promised him. And the King William cited him to Glocester, and sent him hostages to Scotland; and Edgar Etheling, afterwards, and the men returned, that brought him with great dignity to the king. But when he came to the king, he could not be considered worthy either of our king's speech, or of the conditions that were formerly promised him. For this reason therefore they parted with great dissatisfaction, and the King Malcolm returned to Scotland. And soon after he came home, he gathered his army, and came harrowing into England with more hostility than behoved him; and Robert, the Earl of Northumberland, surrounded him unawares with his men, and slew him. Morel of Barnborough slew him, who was the earl's steward, and a baptismal friend (115) of King Malcolm. With him was also slain Edward his son; who after him should have been king, if he had lived. When the good Queen Margaret heard this -- her most beloved lord and son thus betrayed she was in her mind almost distracted to death. She with her priests went to church, and performed her rites, and prayed before God, that she might give up the ghost. And the Scots then chose (116) Dufenal to king, Malcolm's brother, and drove out all the English that formerly were with the King Malcolm. When Duncan, King Malcolm's son, heard all that had thus taken place (he was then in the King William's court, because his father had given him as a hostage to our king's father, and so he lived here afterwards), he came to the king, and did such fealty as the king required at his hands; and so with his permission went to Scotland, with all the support that he could get of English and French, and deprived his uncle Dufenal of the kingdom, and was received as king. But the Scots afterwards gathered some force together, and slew full nigh all his men; and he himself with a few made his escape. (117) Afterwards they were reconciled, on the condition that he never again brought into the land English or French.
A.D. 1094. This year the King William held his court at Christmas in Glocester; and messengers came to him thither from his brother Robert of Normandy; who said that his brother renounced all peace and conditions, unless the king would fulfil all that they had stipulated in the treaty; and upon that he called him forsworn and void of truth, unless he adhered to the treaty, or went thither and explained himself there, where the treaty was formerly made and also sworn. Then went the king to Hastings at Candlemas; and whilst he there abode waiting the weather, he let hallow the minster at Battel, and deprived Herbert Losang, the Bishop of Thetford, of his staff; and thereafter about mid-Lent went over sea into Normandy. After he came, thither, he and his brother Robert, the earl, said that they should come together in peace (and so they did), and might be united. Afterwards they came together with the same men that before made the treaty, and also confirmed it by oaths; and all the blame of breaking the treaty they threw upon the king; but he would not confess this, nor even adhere to the treaty; and for this reason they parted with much dissatisfaction. And the king afterwards won the castle at Bures, and took the earl's men therein; some of whom he sent hither to this land. On the other hand the earl, with the assistance of the King of France, won the castle at Argence, and took therein Roger of Poitou, (118) and seven hundred of the king's knights with him; and afterwards that at Hulme; and oft readily did either of them burn the towns of the other, and also took men. Then sent the king hither to this land, and ordered twenty thousand Englishmen to be sent out to Normandy to his assistance; but when they came to sea, they then had orders to return, and to pay to the king's behoof the fee that they had taken; which was half a pound each man; and they did so. And the earl after this, with the King of France, and with all that he could gather together, went through the midst of Normandy, towards Ou, where the King William was, and thought to besiege him within; and so they advanced until they came to Luneville. There was the King of France through cunning turned aside; and so afterwards all the army dispersed. In the midst of these things the King William sent after his brother Henry, who was in the castle at Damfront; but because he could not go through Normandy with security, he sent ships after him, and Hugh, Earl of Chester. When, however, they should have gone towards Ou where the king was, they went to England, and came up at Hamton, (119) on the eve of the feast of All Saints, and here afterwards abode; and at Christmas they were in London. In this same year also the Welshmen gathered themselves together, and with the French that were in Wales, or in the neighbourhood, and had formerly seized their land, stirred up war, and broke into many fastnesses and castles, and slew many men. And when their followers had increased, they divided themselves into larger parties. With some part of them fought Hugh, Earl of Shropshire, (120) and put them to flight. Nevertheless the other part of them all this year omitted no evil that they could do. This year also the Scots ensnared their king, Duncan, and slew him; and afterwards, the second time, took his uncle Dufenal to king, through whose instruction and advice he was betrayed to death.
A.D. 1095. In this year was the King William the first four days of Christmas at Whitsand, and after the fourth day came hither, and landed at Dover. And Henry, the king's brother, abode in this land until Lent, and then went over sea to Normandy, with much treasure, on the king's behalf, against their brother, Earl Robert, and frequently fought against the earl, and did him much harm, both in land and in men. And then at Easter held the king his court in Winchester; and the Earl Robert of Northumberland would not come to court. And the king was much stirred to anger with him for this, and sent to him, and bade him harshly, if he would be worthy of protection, that he would come to court at Pentecost. In this year was Easter on the eighth day before the calends of April; and upon Easter, on the night of the feast of St Ambrose, that is, the second before the nones of April, (121) nearly over all this land, and almost all the night, numerous and manifold stars were seen to fall from heaven; not by one or two, but so thick in succession, that no man could tell it. Hereafter at Pentecost was the king at Windsor, and all his council with him, except the Earl of Northumberland; for the king would neither give him hostages, nor own upon truth, that he might come and go with security. And the king therefore ordered his army, and went against the earl to Northumberland; and soon after he came thither, he won many and nearly all the best of the earl's clan in a fortress, and put them into custody; and the castle at Tinemouth he beset until he won it, and the earl's brother therein, and all that were with him; and afterwards went to Bamborough, and beset the earl therein. But when the king saw that he could not win it, then ordered he his men to make a castle before Bamborough, and called it in his speech "Malveisin"; that is in English, "Evil Neighbour". And he fortified it strongly with his men, and afterwards went southward. Then, soon after that the king was gone south, went the earl one night out of Bamborough towards Tinemouth; but they that were in the new castle were aware of him, and went after him, and fought him, and wounded him, and afterwards took him. And of those that were with him some they slew, and some they took alive. Among these things it was made known to the king, that the Welshmen in Wales had broken into a castle called Montgomery, and slain the men of Earl Hugo, that should have held it. He therefore gave orders to levy another force immediately, and after Michaelmas went into Wales, and shifted his forces, and went through all that land, so that the army came all together by All Saints to Snowdon. But the Welsh always went before into the mountains and the moors, that no man could come to them. The king then went homeward; for he saw that he could do no more there this winter. When the king came home again, he gave orders to take the Earl Robert of Northumberland, and lead him to Bamborough, and put out both his eyes, unless they that were therein would give up the castle. His wife held it, and Morel who was steward, and also his relative. Through this was the castle then given up; and Morel was then in the king's court; and through him were many both of the clergy and laity surrendered, who with their counsels had conspired against the king. The king had before this time commanded some to be brought into prison, and afterwards had it very strictly proclaimed over all this country, "That all who held land of the king, as they wished to be considered worthy of protection, should come to court at the time appointed." And the king commanded that the Earl Robert should be led to Windsor, and there held in the castle. Also in this same year, against Easter, came the pope's nuncio hither to this land. This was Bishop Walter, a man of very good life, of the town of Albano; and upon the day of Pentecost on the behalf of Pope Urban he gave Archbishop Anselm his pall, and he received him at his archiepiscopal stall in Canterbury. And Bishop Walter remained afterwards in this land a great part of the year; and men then sent by him the Rome-scot, (122) which they had not done for many years before. This same year also the weather was very unseasonable; in consequence of which throughout all this land were all the fruits of the earth reduced to a moderate crop.
A.D. 1096. In this year held the King William his court at Christmas in Windsor; and William Bishop of Durham died there on new-year's day; and on the octave of the Epiphany was the king and all his councillors at Salisbury. There Geoffry Bainard challenged William of Ou, the king's relative, maintaining that he had been in the conspiracy against the king. And he fought with him, and overcame him in single combat; and after he was overcome, the king gave orders to put out his eyes, and afterwards to emasculate him; and his steward, William by name, who was the son of his stepmother, the king commanded to be hanged on a gibbet. Then was also Eoda, Earl of Champagne, the king's son-in-law, and many others, deprived of their lands; whilst some were led to London, and there killed. This year also, at Easter, there was a very great stir through all this nation and many others, on account of Urban, who was declared Pope, though he had nothing of a see at Rome. And an immense multitude went forth with their wives and children, that they might make war upon the heathens. Through this expedition were the king and his brother, Earl Robert, reconciled; so that the king went over sea, and purchased all Normandy of him, on condition that they should be united. And the earl afterwards departed; and with him the Earl of Flanders, and the Earl of Boulogne, and also many other men of rank (123). And the Earl Robert, and they that went with him, passed the winter in Apulia; but of the people that went by Hungary many thousands miserably perished there and by the way. And many dragged themselves home rueful and hunger-bitten on the approach of winter. This was a very heavy-timed year through all England, both through the manifold tributes, and also through the very heavy-timed hunger that severely oppressed this earth in the course of the year. In this year also the principal men who held this land, frequently sent forces into Wales, and many men thereby grievously afflicted, producing no results but destruction of men and waste of money.
A.D. 1097. In this year was the King William at Christmas in Normandy; and afterwards against Easter he embarked for this land; for that he thought to hold his court at Winchester; but he was weather-bound until Easter-eve, when he first landed at Arundel; and for this reason held his court at Windsor. And thereafter with a great army he went into Wales, and quickly penetrated that land with his forces, through some of the Welsh who were come to him, and were his guides; and he remained in that country from midsummer nearly until August, and suffered much loss there in men and in horses, and also in many other things. The Welshmen, after they had revolted from the king, chose them many elders from themselves; one of whom was called Cadwgan, (124) who was the worthiest of them, being brother's son to King Griffin. And when the king saw that he could do nothing in furtherance of his will, he returned again into this land; and soon after that he let his men build castles on the borders. Then upon the feast of St. Michael, the fourth day before the nones of October, (125) appeared an uncommon star, shining in the evening, and soon hastening to set. It (126) was seen south-west, and the ray that stood off from it was thought very long, shining south-east. And it appeared on this wise nearly all the week. Many men supposed that it was a comet. Soon after this Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury obtained leave (127) of the king (though it was contrary to the wishes of the king, as men supposed), and went over sea; because he thought that men in this country did little according to right and after his instruction. And the king thereafter upon St. Martin's mass went over sea into Normandy; but whilst he was waiting for fair weather, his court in the county where they lay, did the most harm that ever court or army could do in a friendly and peaceable land. This was in all things a very heavy-timed year, and beyond measure laborious from badness of weather, both when men attempted to till the land, and afterwards to gather the fruits of their tilth; and from unjust contributions they never rested. Many counties also that were confined to London by work, were grievously oppressed on account of the wall that they were building about the tower, and the bridge that was nearly all afloat, and the work of the king's hall that they were building at Westminster; and many men perished thereby. Also in this same year soon after Michaelmas went Edgar Etheling with an army through the king's assistance into Scotland, and with hard fighting won that land, and drove out the King Dufnal; and his nephew Edgar, who was son of King Malcolm and of Margaret the queen, he there appointed king in fealty to the King William; and afterwards again returned to England.
A.D. 1098. In this year at Christmas was the King William in Normandy; and Walkelin, Bishop of Winchester, and Baldwin, Abbot of St. Edmund's, within this tide (128) both departed. And in this year also died Turold, Abbot of Peterborough. In the summer of this year also, at Finchamstead in Berkshire, a pool welled with blood, as many true men said that should see it. And Earl Hugh was slain in Anglesey by foreign pirates, (129) and his brother Robert was his heir, as he had settled it before with the king. Before Michaelmas the heaven was of such an hue, as if it were burning, nearly all the night. This was a very troublesome year through manifold impositions; and from the abundant rains, that ceased not all the year, nearly all the tilth in the marsh- lands perished.
A.D. 1099. This year was the King William at midwinter in Normandy, and at Easter came hither to land, and at Pentecost held his court the first time in his new building at Westminster; and there he gave the bishopric of Durham to Ranulf his chaplain, who had long directed and governed his councils over all England. And soon after this he went over sea, and drove the Earl Elias out of Maine, which he reduced under his power, and so by Michaelmas returned to this land. This year also, on the festival of St. Martin, the sea-flood sprung up to such a height, and did so much harm, as no man remembered that it ever did before. And this was the first day of the new moon. And Osmond, Bishop of Salisbury, died in Advent.
A.D. 1100. In this year the King William held his court at Christmas in Glocester, and at Easter in Winchester, and at Pentecost in Westminster. And at Pentecost was seen in Berkshire at a certain town blood to well from the earth; as many said that should see it. And thereafter on the morning after Lammas day was the King William shot in hunting, by an arrow from his own men, and afterwards brought to Winchester, and buried in the cathedral. (130) This was in the thirteenth year after that he assumed the government. He was very harsh and severe over his land and his men, and with all his neighbours; and very formidable; and through the counsels of evil men, that to him were always agreeable, and through his own avarice, he was ever tiring this nation with an army, and with unjust contributions. For in his days all right fell to the ground, and every wrong rose up before God and before the world. God's church he humbled; and all the bishoprics and abbacies, whose elders fell in his days, he either sold in fee, or held in his own hands, and let for a certain sum; because he would be the heir of every man, both of the clergy and laity; so that on the day that he fell he had in his own hand the archbishopric of Canterbury, with the bishopric of Winchester, and that of Salisbury, and eleven abbacies, all let for a sum; and (though I may be tedious) all that was loathsome to God and righteous men, all that was customary in this land in his time. And for this he was loathed by nearly all his people, and odious to God, as his end testified: -- for he departed in the midst of his unrighteousness, without any power of repentance or recompense for his deeds. On the Thursday he was slain; and in the morning afterwards buried; and after he was buried, the statesmen that were then nigh at hand, chose his brother Henry to king. And he immediately (131) gave the bishopric of Winchester to William Giffard; and afterwards went to London; and on the Sunday following, before the altar at Westminster, he promised God and all the people, to annul all the unrighteous acts that took place in his brother's time, and to maintain the best laws that were valid in any king's day before him. And after this the Bishop of London, Maurice, consecrated him king; and all in this land submitted to him, and swore oaths, and became his men. And the king, soon after this, by the advice of those that were about him, allowed men to take the Bishop Ranulf of Durham, and bring him into the Tower of London, and hold him there. Then, before Michaelmas, came the Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury hither to this land; as the King Henry, by the advice of his ministers had sent after him, because he had gone out of this land for the great wrongs that the King William did unto him. And soon hereafter the king took him to wife Maud, daughter of Malcolm, King of Scotland, and of Margaret the good queen, the relative of King Edward, and of the right royal (132) race of England. And on Martinmas day she was publicly given to him with much pomp at Westminster, and the Archbishop Anselm wedded her to him, and afterwards consecrated her queen. And the Archbishop Thomas of York soon hereafter died. During the harvest of this same year also came the Earl Robert home into Normandy, and the Earl Robert of Flanders, Eustace, Earl of Boulogne, from Jerusalem. And as soon as the Earl Robert came into Normandy, he was joyfully received by all his people; except those of the castles that were garrisoned with the King Henry's men. Against them he had many contests and struggles.
A.D. 1101. In this year at Christmas held the King Henry his court in Westminster, and at Easter in Winchester. And soon thereafter were the chief men in this land in a conspiracy against the king; partly from their own great infidelity, and also through the Earl Robert of Normandy, who with hostility aspired to the invasion of this land. And the king afterwards sent ships out to sea, to thwart and impede his brother; but some of them in the time of need fell back, and turned from the king, and surrendered themselves to the Earl Robert. Then at midsummer went the king out to Pevensey with all his force against his brother, and there awaited him. But in the meantime came the Earl Robert up at Portsmouth twelve nights before Lammas; and the king with all his force came against him. But the chief men interceded between them, and settled the brothers on the condition, "that the king should forego all that he held by main strength in Normandy against the earl; and that all then in England should have their lands again, who had lost it before through the earl, and Earl Eustace also all his patrimony in this land; and that the Earl Robert every year should receive from England three thousand marks of silver; and particularly, that whichever of the brothers should survive the other, he should be heir of all England and also of Normandy, except the deceased left an heir by lawful wedlock." And this twelve men of the highest rank on either side then confirmed with an oath. And the earl afterwards remained in this land till after Michaelmas; and his men did much harm wherever they went, the while that the earl continued in this land. This year also the Bishop Ranulf at Candlemas burst out of the Tower of London by night, where he was in confinement, and went into Normandy; through whose contrivance and instigation mostly the Earl Robert this year sought this land with hostility.
A.D. 1102. In this year at the Nativity was the King Henry at Westminster, and at Easter in Winchester. And soon thereafter arose a dissention between the king and the Earl Robert of Belesme, who held in this land the earldom of Shrewsbury, that his father, Earl Roger, had before, and much territory therewith both on this side and beyond the sea. And the king went and beset the castle at Arundel; but when he could not easily win it, he allowed men to make castles before it, and filled them with his men; and afterwards with all his army he went to Bridgenorth, and there continued until he had the castle, and deprived the Earl Robert of his land, and stripped him of all that he had in England. And the earl accordingly went over sea, and the army afterwards returned home. Then was the king thereafter by Michaelmas at Westminster; and all the principal men in this land, clerk, and laity. And the Archbishop Anselm held a synod of clergy; and there they established many canons that belong to Christianity. And many, both French and English, were there deprived of their staves and dignity, which they either obtained with injustice, or enjoyed with dishonour. And in this same year, in the week of the feast of Pentecost, there came thieves, some from Auvergne, (133) some from France, and some from Flanders, and broke into the minster of Peterborough, and therein seized much property in gold and in silver; namely, roods, and chalices, and candlesticks.
A.D. 1103. In this year, at midwinter, was the King Henry at Westminster. And soon afterwards departed the Bishop William Giffard out of this land; because he would not against right accept his hood at the hands of the Archbishop Gerard of York. And then at Easter held the king his court at Winchester, and afterwards went the Archbishop Anselm from Canterbury to Rome, as was agreed between him and the king. This year also came the Earl Robert of Normandy to speak with the king in this land; and ere he departed hence he forgave the King Henry the three thousand marks that he was bound by treaty to give him each year. In this year also at Hamstead in Berkshire was seen blood [to rise] from the earth. This was a very calamitous year in this land, through manifold impositions, and through murrain of cattle, and deficiency of produce, not only in corn, but in every kind of fruit. Also in the morning, upon the mass day of St. Laurence, the wind did so much harm here on land to all fruits, as no man remembered that ever any did before. In this same year died Matthias, Abbot of Peterborough, who lived no longer than one year after he was abbot. After Michaelmas, on the twelfth day before the calends of November, he was in full procession received as abbot; and on the same day of the next year he was dead at Glocester, and there buried.
A.D. 1104. In this year at Christmas held the King Henry his court at Westminster, and at Easter in Winchester, and at Pentecost again at Westminster. This year was the first day of Pentecost on the nones of June; and on the Tuesday following were seen four circles at mid-day about the sun, of a white hue, each described under the other as if they were measured. All that saw it wondered; for they never remembered such before. Afterwards were reconciled the Earl Robert of Normandy and Robert de Belesme, whom the King Henry had before deprived of his lands, and driven from England; and through their reconciliation the King of England and the Earl of Normandy became adversaries. And the king sent his folk over sea into Normandy; and the head-men in that land received them, and with treachery to their lord, the earl, lodged them in their castles, whence they committed many outrages on the earl in plundering and burning. This year also William, Earl of Moreton (134) went from this land into Normandy; but after he was gone he acted against the king; because the king stripped and deprived him of all that he had here in this land. It is not easy to describe the misery of this land, which it was suffering through various and manifold wrongs and impositions, that never failed nor ceased; and wheresoever the king went, there was full licence given to his company to harrow and oppress his wretched people; and in the midst thereof happened oftentimes burnings and manslaughter. All this was done to the displeasure of God, and to the vexation of this unhappy people.
A.D. 1105. In this year, on the Nativity, held the King Henry his court at Windsor; and afterwards in Lent he went over sea into Normandy against his brother Earl Robert. And whilst he remained there he won of his brother Caen and Baieux; and almost all the castles and the chief men in that land were subdued. And afterwards by harvest he returned hither again; and that which he had won in Normandy remained afterwards in peace and subjection to him; except that which was anywhere near the Earl William of Moretaine. This he often demanded as strongly as he could for the loss of his land in this country. And then before Christmas came Robert de Belesme hither to the king. This was a very calamitous year in this land, through loss of fruits, and through the manifold contributions, that never ceased before the king went over [to Normandy], or while he was there, or after he came back again.
A.D. 1106. In this year was the King Henry on the Nativity at Westminster, and there held his court; and at that season Robert de Belesme went unreconciled from the king out of his land into Normandy. Hereafter before Lent was the king at Northampton; and the Earl Robert his brother came thither from Normandy to him; and because the king would not give him back that which he had taken from him in Normandy, they parted in hostility; and the earl soon went over sea back again. In the first week of Lent, on the Friday, which was the fourteenth before the calends of March, in the evening appeared an unusual star; and a long time afterwards was seen every evening shining awhile. The star appeared in the south-west; it was thought little and dark; but the train of light which stood from it was very bright, and appeared like an immense beam shining north-east; and some evening this beam was seen as if it were moving itself forwards against the star. Some said that they saw more of such unusual stars at this time; but we do not write more fully about it, because we saw it not ourselves. On the night preceding the Lord's Supper, (135) that is, the Thursday before Easter, were seen two moons in the heavens before day, the one in the east, and the other in the west, both full; and it was the fourteenth day of the moon. At Easter was the king at Bath, and at Pentecost at Salisbury; because he would not hold his court when he was beyond the sea. After this, and before August, went the king over sea into Normandy; and almost all that were in that land submitted to his will, except Robert de Belesme and the Earl of Moretaine, and a few others of the principal persons who yet held with the Earl of Normandy. For this reason the king afterwards advanced with an army, and beset a castle of the Earl of Moretaine, called Tenerchebrai. (136) Whilst the king beset the castle, came the Earl Robert of Normandy on Michaelmas eve against the king with his army, and with him Robert of Belesme, and William, Earl of Moretaine, and all that would be with them; but the strength and the victory were the king's. There was the Earl of Normandy taken, and the Earl of Moretaine, and Robert of Stutteville, and afterwards sent to England, and put into custody. Robert of Belesme was there put to flight, and William Crispin was taken, and many others forthwith. Edgar Etheling, who a little before had gone over from the king to the earl, was also there taken, whom the king afterwards let go unpunished. Then went the king over all that was in Normandy, and settled it according to his will and discretion. This year also were heavy and sinful conflicts between the Emperor of Saxony and his son, and in the midst of these conflicts the father fell, and the son succeeded to the empire.
A.D. 1107. In this year at Christmas was the King Henry in Normandy; and, having disposed and settled that land to his will, he afterwards came hither in Lent, and at Easter held his court at Windsor, and at Pentecost in Westminster. And afterwards in the beginning of August he was again at Westminster, and there gave away and settled the bishoprics and abbacies that either in England or in Normandy were without elders and pastors. Of these there were so many, that there was no man who remembered that ever so many together were given away before. And on this same occasion, among the others who accepted abbacies, Ernulf, who before was prior at Canterbury, succeeded to the abbacy in Peterborough. This was nearly about seven years after the King Henry undertook the kingdom, and the one and fortieth year since the Franks governed this land. Many said that they saw sundry tokens in the moon this year, and its orb increasing and decreasing contrary to nature. This year died Maurice, Bishop of London, and Robert, Abbot of St. Edmund's bury, and Richard, Abbot of Ely. This year also died the King Edgar in Scotland, on the ides of January, and Alexander his brother succeeded to the kingdom, as the King Henry granted him.
A.D. 1108. In this year was the King Henry on the Nativity at Westminster, and at Easter at Winchester, and by Pentecost at Westminster again. After this, before August, he went into Normandy. And Philip, the King of France, died on the nones of August, and his son Louis succeeded to the kingdom. And there were afterwards many struggles between the King of France and the King of England, while the latter remained in Normandy. In this year also died the Archbishop Girard of York, before Pentecost, and Thomas was afterwards appointed thereto.
A.D. 1109. In this year was the King Henry at Christmas and at Easter in Normandy; and before Pentecost he came to this land, and held his court at Westminster. There were the conditions fully settled, and the oaths sworn, for giving his daughter (137) to the emperor. (138) This year were very frequent storms of thunder, and very tremendous; and the Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury died on the eleventh day before the calends of April; and the first day of Easter was on "Litania major".
A.D. 1110. In this year held the King Henry his court at Christmas in Westminster, and at Easter he was at Marlborough, and at Pentecost he held his court for the first time in New Windsor. This year before Lent the king sent his daughter with manifold treasures over sea, and gave her to the emperor. On the fifth night in the month of May appeared the moon shining bright in the evening, and afterwards by little and little its light diminished, so that, as soon as night came, (139) it was so completely extinguished withal, that neither light, nor orb, nor anything at all of it was seen. And so it continued nearly until day, and then appeared shining full and bright. It was this same day a fortnight old. All the night was the firmament very clear, and the stars over all the heavens shining very bright. And the fruits of the trees were this night sorely nipt by frost. Afterwards, in the month of June, appeared a star north-east, and its train stood before it towards the south-west. Thus was it seen many nights; and as the night advanced, when it rose higher, it was seen going backward toward the north-west. This year were deprived of their lands Philip of Braiose, and William Mallet, and William Bainard. This year also died Earl Elias, who held Maine in fee-tail (140) of King Henry; and after his death the Earl of Anjou succeeded to it, and held it against the king. This was a very calamitous year in this land, through the contributions which the king received for his daughter's portion, and through the badness of the weather, by which the fruits of the earth were very much marred, and the produce of the trees over all this land almost entirely perished. This year men began first to work at the new minster at Chertsey.
A.D. 1111. This year the King Henry bare not his crown at Christmas, nor at Easter, nor at Pentecost. And in August he went over sea into Normandy, on account of the broils that some had with him by the confines of France, and chiefly on account of the Earl of Anjou, who held Maine against him. And after he came over thither, many conspiracies, and burnings, and harrowings, did they between them. In this year died the Earl Robert of Flanders, and his son Baldwin succeeded thereto. (141) This year was the winter very long, and the season heavy and severe; and through that were the fruits of the earth sorely marred, and there was the greatest murrain of cattle that any man could remember.
A.D. 1112. All this year remained the King Henry in Normandy on account of the broils that he had with France, and with the Earl of Anjou, who held Maine against him. And whilst he was there, he deprived of their lands the Earl of Evreux, and William Crispin, and drove them out of Normandy. To Philip of Braiose he restored his land, who had been before deprived of it; and Robert of Belesme he suffered to be seized, and put into prison. This was a very good year, and very fruitful, in wood and in field; but it was a very heavy time and sorrowful, through a severe mortality amongst men.
A.D. 1113. In this year was the King Henry on the Nativity and at Easter and at Pentecost in Normandy. And after that, in the summer, he sent hither Robert of Belesme into the castle at Wareham, and himself soon (142) afterwards came hither to this land.
A.D. 1114. In this year held the King Henry his court on the Nativity at Windsor, and held no other court afterwards during the year. And at midsummer he went with an army into Wales; and the Welsh came and made peace with the king. And he let men build castles therein. And thereafter, in September, he went over sea into Normandy. This year, in the latter end of May, was seen an uncommon star with a long train, shining many nights. In this year also was so great an ebb of the tide everywhere in one day, as no man remembered before; so that men went riding and walking over the Thames eastward of London bridge. This year were very violent winds in the month of October; but it was immoderately rough in the night of the octave of St. Martin; and that was everywhere manifest both in town and country. In this year also the king gave the archbishopric of Canterbury to Ralph, who was before Bishop of Rochester; and Thomas, Archbishop of York, died; and Turstein succeeded thereto, who was before the king's chaplain. About this same time went the king toward the sea, and was desirous of going over, but the weather prevented him; then meanwhile sent he his writ after the Abbot Ernulf of Peterborough, and bade that he should come to him quickly, for that he wished to speak with him on an interesting subject. When he came to him, he appointed him to the bishopric of Rochester; and the archbishops and bishops and all the nobility that were in England coincided with the king. And he long withstood, but it availed nothing. And the king bade the archbishop that he should lead him to Canterbury, and consecrate him bishop whether he would or not. (143) This was done in the town called Bourne (144) on the seventeenth day before the calends of October. When the monks of Peterborough heard of this, they felt greater sorrow than they had ever experienced before; because he was a very good and amiable man, and did much good within and without whilst he abode there. God Almighty abide ever with him. Soon after this gave the king the abbacy to a monk of Sieyes, whose name was John, through the intreaty of the Archbishop of Canterbury. And soon after this the king and the Archbishop of Canterbury sent him to Rome after the archbishop's pall; and a monk also with him, whose name was Warner, and the Archdeacon John, the nephew of the archbishop. And they sped well there. This was done on the seventh day before the calends Of October, in the town that is yclept Rowner. And this same day went the king on board ship at Portsmouth.
A.D. 1115. This year was the King Henry on the Nativity in Normandy. And whilst he was there, he contrived that all the head men in Normandy did homage and fealty to his son William, whom he had by his queen. And after this, in the month of July, he returned to this land. This year was the winter so severe, with snow and with frost, that no man who was then living ever remembered one more severe; in consequence of which there was great destruction of cattle. During this year the Pope Paschalis sent the pall into this land to Ralph, Archbishop of Canterbury; and he received it with great worship at his archiepiscopal stall in Canterbury. It was brought hither from Rome by Abbot Anselm, who was the nephew of Archbishop Anselm, and the Abbot John of Peterborough.
A.D. 1116. In this year was the King Henry on the Nativity at St. Alban's, where he permitted the consecration of that monastery; and at Easter he was at Odiham. And there was also this year a very heavy-timed winter, strong and long, for cattle and for all things. And the king soon after Easter went over sea into Normandy. And there were many conspiracies and robberies, and castles taken betwixt France and Normandy. Most of this disturbance was because the King Henry assisted his nephew, Theobald de Blois, who was engaged in a war against his lord, Louis, the King of France. This was a very vexatious and destructive year with respect to the fruits of the earth, through the immoderate rains that fell soon after the beginning of August, harassing and perplexing men till Candlemas-day. This year also was so deficient in mast, that there was never heard such in all this land or in Wales. This land and nation were also this year oft and sorely swincked by the guilds which the king took both within the boroughs and without. In this same year was consumed by fire the whole monastery of Peterborough, and all the buildings, except the chapter-house and the dormitory, and therewith also all the greater part of the town. All this happened on a Friday, which was the second day before the nones of August.
A.D. 1117. All this year remained the King Henry, in Normandy, on account of the hostility of the King of France and his other neighbours. And in the summer came the King of France and the Earl of Flanders with him with an army into Normandy. And having stayed therein one night, they returned again in the morning without fighting. But Normandy was very much afflicted both by the exactions and by the armies which the King Henry collected against them. This nation also was severely oppressed through the same means, namely, through manifold exactions. This year also, in the night of the calends of December, were immoderate storms with thunder, and lightning, and rain, and hail. And in the night of the third day before the ides of December was the moon, during a long time of the night, as if covered with blood, and afterwards eclipsed. Also in the night of the seventeenth day before the calends of January, was the heaven seen very red, as if it were burning. And on the octave of St. John the Evangelist was the great earthquake in Lombardy; from the shock of which many minsters, and towers, and houses fell, and did much harm to men. This was a very blighted year in corn, through the rains that scarcely ceased for nearly all the year. And the Abbot Gilbert of Westminster died on the eighth day before the ides of December; and Faritz, Abbot of Abingdon, on the seventh day before the calends of March. And in this same year....
A.D. 1118. All this year abode the King Henry in Normandy on account of the war of the King of France and the Earl of Anjou, and the Earl of Flanders. And the Earl of Flanders was wounded in Normandy, and went so wounded into Flanders. By this war was the king much exhausted, and he was a great loser both in land and money. And his own men grieved him most, who often from him turned, and betrayed him; and going over to his foes surrendered to them their castles, to the injury and disappointment of the king. All this England dearly bought through the manifold guilds that all this year abated not. This year, in the week of the Epiphany, there was one evening a great deal of lightning, and thereafter unusual thunder. And the Queen Matilda died at Westminster on the calends of May; and there was buried. And the Earl Robert of Mellent died also this year. In this year also, on the feast of St. Thomas, was so very immoderately violent a wind, that no man who was then living ever remembered any greater; and that was everywhere seen both in houses and also in trees. This year also died Pope Paschalis; and John of Gaeta succeeded to the popedom, whose other name was Gelasius.
A.D. 1119. All this year continued the King Henry in Normandy; and he was greatly perplexed by the hostility of the King of France, and also of his own men, who with treachery deserted from him, and oft readily betrayed him; until the two kings came together in Normandy with their forces. There was the King of France put to flight, and all his best men taken. And afterwards many of King Henry's men returned to him, and accorded with him, who were before, with their castellans, against him. And some of the castles he took by main strength. This year went William, the son of King Henry and Queen Matilda, into Normandy to his father, and there was given to him, and wedded to wife, the daughter of the Earl of Anjou. On the eve of the mass of St. Michael was much earth-heaving in some places in this land; though most of all in Glocestershire and in Worcestershire. In this same year died the Pope Gelasius, on this side of the Alps, and was buried at Clugny. And after him the Archbishop of Vienna was chosen pope, whose name was Calixtus. He afterwards, on the festival of St. Luke the Evangelist, came into France to Rheims, and there held a council. And the Archbishop Turstin of York went thither; and, because that he against right, and against the archiepiscopal stall in Canterbury, and against the king's will, received his hood at the hands of the pope, the king interdicted him from all return to England. And thus he lost his archbishopric, and with the pope went towards Rome. In this year also died the Earl Baldwin of Flanders of the wounds that he received in Normandy. And after him succeeded to the earldom Charles, the son of his uncle by the father's side, who was son of Cnute, the holy King of Denmark.
A.D. 1120. This year were reconciled the King of England and the King of France; and after their reconciliation all the King Henry's own men accorded with him in Normandy, as well as the Earl of Flanders and the Earl of Ponthieu. From this time forward the King Henry settled his castles and his land in Normandy after his will; and so before Advent came to this land. And in this expedition were drowned the king's two sons, William and Richard, and Richard, Earl of Chester, and Ottuel his brother, and very many of the king's household, stewards, and chamberlains, and butlers. and men of various abodes; and with them a countless multidude of very incomparable folk besides. Sore was their death to their friends in a twofold respect: one, that they so suddenly lost this life; the other, that few of their bodies were found anywhere afterwards. This year came that light to the sepulchre of the Lord in Jerusalem twice; once at Easter, and the other on the assumption of St. Mary, as credible persons said who came thence. And the Archbishop Turstin of York was through the pope reconciled with the king, and came to this land, and recovered his bishopric, though it was very undesirable to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A.D. 1121. This year was the King Henry at Christmas at Bramton, and afterwards, before Candlemas, at Windsor was given him to wife Athelis; soon afterwards consecrated queen, who was daughter of the Duke of Louvain. And the moon was eclipsed in the night of the nones of April, being a fortnight old. And the king was at Easter at Berkley; and after that at Pentecost he held a full court at Westminster; and afterwards in the summer went with an army into Wales. And the Welsh came against him; and after the king's will they accorded with him. This year came the Earl of Anjou from Jerusalem into his land; and soon after sent hither to fetch his daughter, who had been given to wife to William, the king's son. And in the night of the eve of "Natalis Domini" was a very violent wind over all this land, and that was in many things evidently seen.
A.D. 1122. In this year was the King Henry at Christmas in Norwich, and at Easter in Northampton. And in the Lent-tide before that, the town of Glocester was on fire: the while that the monks were singing their mass, and the deacon had begun the gospel, "Praeteriens Jesus", at that very moment came the fire from the upper part of the steeple, and burned all the minster, and all the treasures that were there within; except a few books, and three mass-hackles. That was on the eighth day before the ides of Marcia. And thereafter, the Tuesday after Palm-Sunday, was a very violent wind on the eleventh day before the calends of April; after which came many tokens far and wide in England, and many spectres were both seen and heard. And the eighth night before the calends of August was a very violent earthquake over all Somersetshire, and in Glocestershire. Soon after, on the sixth day before the ides of September, which was on the festival of St. Mary, (145) there was a very violent wind from the fore part of the day to the depth of the night. This same year died Ralph, the Archbishop of Canterbury; that was on the thirteenth day before the calends of November. After this there were many shipmen on the sea, and on fresh water, who said, that they saw on the north-east, level with the earth, a fire huge and broad, which anon waxed in length up to the welkin; and the welkin undid itself in four parts, and fought against it, as if it would quench it; and the fire waxed nevertheless up to the heaven. The fire they saw in the day-dawn; and it lasted until it was light over all. That was on the seventh day before the ides of December.
A.D. 1123. In this year was the King Henry, at Christmastide at Dunstable, and there came to him the ambassadors of the Earl of Anjou. And thence he went to Woodstock; and his bishops and his whole court with him. Then did it betide on a Wednesday, which was on the fourth day before the ides of January, that the king rode in his deer-fold; (146) the Bishop Roger of Salisbury (147) on one side of him, and the Bishop Robert Bloet of Lincoln on the other side of him. And they rode there talking together. Then sank down the Bishop of Lincoln, and said to the king, "Lord king, I die." And the king alighted down from his horse, and lifted him betwixt his arms, and let men bear him home to his inn. There he was soon dead; and they carried him to Lincoln with great worship, and buried him before the altar of St. Mary. And the Bishop of Chester, whose name was Robert Pecceth, buried him. Soon after this sent the king his writ over all England, and bade all his bishops and his abbots and his thanes, that they should come to his wittenmoot on Candlemas day at Glocester to meet him: and they did so. When they were there gathered together, then the king bade them, that they should choose for themselves an Archbishop of Canterbury, whomsoever they would, and he would confirm it. Then spoke the bishops among themselves, and said that they never more would have a man of the monastic order as archbishop over them. And they went all in a body to the king, and earnestly requested that they might choose from the clerical order whomsoever they would for archbishop. And the king granted it to them. This was all concerted before, through the Bishop of Salisbury, and through the Bishop of Lincoln ere he was dead; for that they never loved the rule of monks, but were ever against monks and their rule. And the prior and the monks of Canterbury, and all the other persons of the monastic order that were there, withstood it full two days; but it availed nought: for the Bishop of Salisbury was strong, and wielded all England, and opposed them with all his power and might. Then chose they a clerk, named William of Curboil. He was canon of a monastery called Chiche. (148) And they brought him before the king; and the king gave him the archbishopric. And all the bishops received him: but almost all the monks, and the earls, and the thanes that were there, protested against him. About the same time departed the earl's messengers (149) in hostility from the king, reckless of his favour. During the same time came a legate from Rome, whose name was Henry. He was abbot of the monastery of St. John of Angeli; and he came after the Rome-scot. And he said to the king, that it was against right that men should set a clerk over monks; and therefore they had chosen an archbishop before in their chapter after right. But the king would not undo it, for the love of the Bishop of Salisbury. Then went the archbishop, soon after this, to Canterbury; and was there received, though it was against their will; and he was there soon blessed to bishop by the Bishop of London, and the Bishop Ernulf of Rochester, and the Bishop William Girard of Winchester, and the Bishop Bernard of Wales, and the Bishop Roger of Salisbury. Then, early in Lent, went the archbishop to Rome, after his pall; and with him went the Bishop Bernard of Wales; and Sefred, Abbot of Glastonbury; and Anselm, Abbot of St. Edmund's bury; and John, Archdeacon of Canterbury; and Gifard, who was the king's court-chaplain. At the same time went the Archbishop Thurstan of York to Rome, through the behest of the pope, and came thither three days ere the Archbishop of Canterbury came, and was there received with much worship. Then came the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was there full seven nights ere they could come to a conference with the pope. That was, because the pope was made to understand that he had obtained the archbishopric against the monks of the minster, and against right. But that overcame Rome, which overcometh all the world; that is, gold and silver. And the pope softened, and gave him his pall. And the archbishop (of York) swore him subjection, in all those things, which the pope enjoined him, by the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul; and the pope then sent him home with his blessing. The while that the archbishop was out of the land, the king gave the bishopric of Bath to the Queen's chancellor, whose name was Godfrey. He was born in Louvain. That was on the Annunciation of St. Mary, at Woodstock. Soon after this went the king to Winchester, and was all Easter-tide there. And the while that he was there, gave he the bishopric of Lincoln to a clerk hight Alexander. He was nephew of the Bishop of Salisbury. This he did all for the love of the bishop. Then went the king thence to Portsmouth, and lay there all over Pentecost week. Then, as soon as he had a fair wind, he went over into Normandy; and meanwhile committed all England to the guidance and government of the Bishop Roger of Salisbury. Then was the king all this year (150) in Normandy. And much hostility arose betwixt him and his thanes; so that the Earl Waleram of Mellent, and Hamalric, and Hugh of Montfort, and William of Romare, and many others, went from him, and held their castles against him. And the king strongly opposed them: and this same year he won of Waleram his castle of Pont-Audemer, and of Hugh that of Montfort; and ever after, the longer he stayed, the better he sped. This same year, ere the Bishop of Lincoln came to his bishopric, almost all the borough of Lincoln was burned, and numberless folks, men and women, were consumed: and so much harm was there done as no man could describe to another. That was on the fourteenth day before the calends of June.
A.D. 1124. All this year was the King Henry in Normandy. That was for the great hostility that he had with the King Louis of France, and with the Earl of Anjou, and most of all with his own men. Then it happened, on the day of the Annunciation of St. Mary, that the Earl Waleram of Mellent went from one of his castles called Belmont to another called Watteville. With him went the steward of the King of France, Amalric, and Hugh the son of Gervase, and Hugh of Montfort, and many other good knights. Then came against them the king's knights from all the castles that were thereabout, and fought with them, and put them to flight, and took the Earl Waleram, and Hugh, the son of Gervase, and Hugh of Montfort, and five and twenty other knights, and brought them to the king. And the king committed the Earl Waleram, and Hugh, the son of Gervase, to close custody in the castle at Rouen; but Hugh of Montfort he sent to England, and ordered him to be secured with strong bonds in the castle at Glocester. And of the others as many as he chose he sent north and south to his castles in captivity. After this went the king, and won all the castles of the Earl Waleram that were in Normandy, and all the others that his enemies held against him. All this hostility was on account of the son of the Earl Robert of Normandy, named William. This same William had taken to wife the younger daughter of Fulke, Earl of Anjou: and for this reason the King of France and all the earls held with him, and all the rich men; and said that the king held his brother Robert wrongfully in captivity, and drove his son William unjustly out of Normandy. This same year were the seasons very unfavourable in England for corn and all fruits; so that between Christmas and Candlemas men sold the acre-seed of wheat, that is two seedlips, for six shillings; and the barley, that is three seedlips, for six shillings also; and the acre-seed of oats, that is four seedlips, for four shillings. That was because that corn was scarce; and the penny was so adulterated, (151) that a man who had a pound at a market could not exchange twelve pence thereof for anything. In this same year died the blessed Bishop Ernulf of Rochester, who before was Abbot of Peterborough. That was on the ides of March. And after this died the King Alexander of Scotland, on the ninth day before the calends of May. And David his brother, who was Earl of Northamptonshire, succeeded to the kingdom; and had both together, the kingdom of Scotland and the earldom in England. And on the nineteenth day before the calends of January died the Pope of Rome, whose name was Calixtus, and Honorius succeeded to the popedom. This same year, after St. Andrew's mass, and before Christmas, held Ralph Basset and the king's thanes a wittenmoot in Leicestershire, at Huncothoe, and there hanged more thieves than ever were known before; that is, in a little while, four and forty men altogether; and despoiled six men of their eyes and of their testicles. Many true men said that there were several who suffered very unjustly; but our Lord God Almighty, who seeth and knoweth every secret, seeth also that the wretched people are oppressed with all unrighteousness. First they are bereaved of their property, and then they are slain. Full heavy year was this. The man that had any property, was bereaved of it by violent guilds and violent moots. The man that had not, was starved with hunger.
A.D. 1125. In this year sent the King Henry, before Christmas, from Normandy to England, and bade that all the mint-men that were in England should be mutilated in their limbs; that was, that they should lose each of them the right hand, and their testicles beneath. This was because the man that had a pound could not lay out a penny at a market. And the Bishop Roger of Salisbury sent over all England, and bade them all that they should come to Winchester at Christmas. When they came thither, then were they taken one by one, and deprived each of the right hand and the testicles beneath. All this was done within the twelfth-night. And that was all in perfect justice, because that they had undone all the land with the great quantity of base coin that they all bought. In this same year sent the Pope of Rome to this land a cardinal, named John of Crema. He came first to the king in Normandy, and the king received him with much worship. He betook himself then to the Archbishop William of Canterbury; and he led him to Canterbury; and he was there received with great veneration, and in solemn procession. And he sang the high mass on Easter day at the altar of Christ. Afterwards he went over all England, to all the bishoprics and abbacies that were in this land; and in all he was received with respect. And all gave him many and rich gifts. And afterwards he held his council in London full three days, on the Nativity of St. Mary in September, with archbishops, and diocesan bishops, and abbots, the learned and the lewd; (152) and enjoined there the same laws that Archbishop Anselm had formerly enjoined, and many more, though it availed little. Thence he went over sea soon after Michaelmas, and so to Rome; and (with him) the Archbishop William of Canterbury, and the Archbishop Thurstan of York, and the Bishop Alexander of Lincoln, and the Bishop J. of Lothian, and the Abbot G. of St. Alban's; and were there received by the Pope Honorius with great respect; and continued there all the winter. In this same year was so great a flood on St. Laurence's day, that many towns and men were overwhelmed, and bridges broken down, and corn and meadows spoiled withal; and hunger and qualm (153) in men and in cattle; and in all fruits such unseasonableness as was not known for many years before. And this same year died the Abbot John of Peterborough, on the second day before the ides of October.
A.D. 1126. All this year was the King Henry in Normandy -- all till after harvest. Then came he to this land, betwixt the Nativity of St. Mary and Michaelmas. With him came the queen, and his daughter, whom he had formerly given to the Emperor Henry of Lorrain to wife. And he brought with him the Earl Waleram, and Hugh, the son of Gervase. And the earl he sent to Bridgenorth in captivity: and thence he sent him afterwards to Wallingford; and Hugh to Windsor, whom he ordered to be kept in strong bonds. Then after Michaelmas came David, the king of the Scots, from Scotland to this land; and the King Henry received him with great worship; and he continued all that year in this land. In this year the king had his brother Robert taken from the Bishop Roger of Salisbury, and committed him to his son Robert, Earl of Glocester, and had him led to Bristol, and there put into the castle. That was all done through his daughter's counsel, and through David, the king of the Scots, her uncle.
A.D. 1127. This year held the King Henry his court at Christmas in Windsor. There was David the king of the Scots, and all the head men that were in England, learned and lewd. And there he engaged the archbishops, and bishops, and abbots, and earls, and all the thanes that were there, to swear England and Normandy after his day into the hands of his daughter Athelicia, who was formerly the wife of the Emperor of Saxony. Afterwards he sent her to Normandy; and with her went her brother Robert, Earl of Glocester, and Brian, son of the Earl Alan Fergan; (154) and he let her wed the son of the Earl of Anjou, whose name was Geoffry Martel. All the French and English, however, disapproved of this; but the king did it for to have the alliance of the Earl of Anjou, and for to have help against his nephew William. In the Lent-tide of this same year was the Earl Charles of Flanders slain in a church, as he lay there and prayed to God, before the altar, in the midst of the mass, by his own men. And the King of France brought William, the son of the Earl of Normandy, and gave him the earldom; and the people of that land accepted him. This same William had before taken to wife the daughter of the Earl of Anjou; but they were afterwards divorced on the plea of consanguinity. This was all through the King Henry of England. Afterwards took he to wife the sister of the king's wife of France; and for this reason the king gave him the earldom of Flanders. This same year he (155) gave the abbacy of Peterborough to an abbot named Henry of Poitou, who retained in hand his abbacy of St. John of Angeli; but all the archbishops and bishops said that it was against right, and that he could not have two abbacies on hand. But the same Henry gave the king to understand, that he had relinquished his abbacy on account of the great hostility that was in the land; and that he did through the counsel and leave of the Pope of Rome, and through that of the Abbot of Clugny, and because he was legate of the Rome-scot. But, nevertheless, it was not so; for he would retain both in hand; and did so as long as God's will was. He was in his clerical state Bishop of Soissons; afterwards monk of Clugny; and then prior in the same monastery. Afterwards he became prior of Sevigny; and then, because he was a relation of the King of England, and of the Earl of Poitou, the earl gave him the abbacy of St. John's minster of Angeli. Afterwards, through his great craft, he obtained the archbishopric of Besancon; and had it in hand three days; after which he justly lost it, because he had before unjustly obtained it. Afterwards he procured the bishopric of Saintes; which was five miles from his abbey. That he had full-nigh a week (156) in hand; but the Abbot of Clugny brought him thence, as he before did from Besancon. Then he bethought him, that, if he could be fast-rooted in England, he might have all his will. Wherefore he besought the king, and said unto him, that he was an old man -- a man completely broken -- that he could not brook the great injustice and the great hostility that were in their land: and then, by his own endearours, and by those of all his friends, he earnestly and expressly entreated for the abbacy of Peterborough. And the king procured it for him, because he was his relation, and because he was the principal person to make oath and bear witness when the son of the Earl of Normandy and the daughter of the Earl of Anjou were divorced on the plea of consanguinity. Thus wretchedly was the abbacy given away, betwixt Christmas and Candlemas, at London; and so he went with the King to Winchester, and thence he came to Peterborough, and there he dwelt (157) right so as a drone doth in a hive. For as the drone fretteth and draggeth fromward all that the bees drag toward [the hive], so did he. -- All that he might take, within and without, of learned and lewd, so sent he over sea; and no good did there -- no good left there. Think no man unworthily that we say not the truth; for it was fully known over all the land: that, as soon as he came thither, which was on the Sunday when men sing "Exurge quare o D-- etc." immediately after, several persons saw and heard many huntsmen hunting. The hunters were swarthy, and huge, and ugly; and their hounds were all swarthy, and broad-eyed, and ugly. And they rode on swarthy horses, and swarthy bucks. This was seen in the very deer-fold in the town of Peterborough, and in all the woods from that same town to Stamford. And the monks heard the horn blow that they blew in the night. Credible men, who watched them in the night, said that they thought there might well be about twenty or thirty horn-blowers. This was seen and heard from the time that he (158) came thither, all the Lent-tide onward to Easter. This was his entry; of his exit we can as yet say nought. God provide.
A.D. 1128. All this year was the King Henry in Normandy, on account of the hostility that was between him and his nephew, the Earl of Flanders. But the earl was wounded in a fight by a swain; and so wounded he went to the monastery of St. Bertin; where he soon became a monk, lived five days afterwards, then died, and was there buried. God honour his soul. That was on the sixth day before the calends of August. This same year died the Bishop Randulph Passeflambard of Durham; and was there buried on the nones of September. And this same year went the aforesaid Abbot Henry home to his own minster at Poitou by the king's leave. He gave the king to understand, that he would withal forgo that minster, and that land, and dwell with him in England, and in the monastery of Peterborough. But it was not so nevertheless. He did this because he would be there, through his crafty wiles, were it a twelvemonth or more, and come again afterwards. May God Almighty extend his mercy over that wretched place. This same year came from Jerusalem Hugh of the Temple to the king in Normandy; and the king received him with much honour, and gave him rich presents in gold and in silver. And afterwards he sent him into England; and there he was received by all good men, who all gave him presents, and in Scotland also: and by him they sent to Jerusalem much wealth withal in gold and in silver. And he invited folk out to Jerusalem; and there went with him and after him more people than ever did before, since that the first expedition was in the day of Pope Urban. Though it availed little; for he said, that a mighty war was begun between the Christians and the heathens; but when they came thither, then was it nought but leasing. (159) Thus pitifully was all that people swinked. (160)
A.D. 1129. In this year sent the King to England after the Earl Waleram, and after Hugh, the son of Gervase. And they gave hostages for them. And Hugh went home to his own land in France; but Waleram was left with the king: and the king gave him all his land except his castle alone. Afterwards came the king to England within the harvest: and the earl came with him: and they became as good friends as they were foes before. Soon after, by the king's counsel, and by his leave, sent the Archbishop William of Canterbury over all England, and bade bishops, and abbots, and archdeacons, and all the priors, monks, and canons, that were in all the cells in England, and all who had the care and superintendence of christianity, that they should all come to London at Michaelmas, and there should speak of all God's rights. When they came thither, then began the moot on Monday, and continued without intermission to the Friday. When it all came forth, then was it all found to be about archdeacons' wives, and about priests' wives; that they should forgo them by St. Andrew's mass; and he who would not do that, should forgo his church, and his house, and his home, and never more have any calling thereto. This bade the Archbishop William of Canterbury, and all the diocesan bishops that were then in England, but the king gave them all leave to go home. And so they went home; and all the ordinances amounted to nothing. All held their wives by the king's leave as they did before. This same year died the Bishop William Giffard of Winchester; and was there buried, on the eighth day before the calends of February. And the King Henry gave the bishopric after Michaelmas to the Abbot Henry of Glastonbury, his nephew, and he was consecrated bishop by the Archbishop William of Canterbury on the fifteenth day before the calends of December. This same year died Pope Honorius. Ere he was well dead, there were chosen two popes. The one was named Peter, who was monk of Clugny, and was born of the richest men of Rome; and with him held those of Rome, and the Duke of Sicily. The other was Gregory: he was a clerk, and was driven out of Rome by the other pope, and by his kinsmen. With him held the Emperor of Saxony, and the King of France, and the King Henry of England, and all those on this side of the Alps. Now was there such division in Christendom as never was before. May Christ consult for his wretched folk. This same year, on the night of the mass of St. Nicholas, a little before day, there was a great earthquake.
A.D. 1130. This year was the monastery of Canterbury consecrated by the Archbishop William, on the fourth day before the nones of May. There were the Bishops John of Rochester, Gilbert Universal of London, Henry of Winchester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, Simon of Worcester, Roger of Coventry, Geoffry of Bath, Evrard of Norwich, Sigefrith of Chichester, Bernard of St. David's, Owen of Evreux in Normandy, John of Sieyes. On the fourth day after this was the King Henry in Rochester, when the town was almost consumed by fire; and the Archbishop William consecrated the monastery of St. Andrew, and the aforesaid bishops with him. And the King Henry went over sea into Normandy in harvest. This same year came the Abbot Henry of Angeli after Easter to Peterborough, and said that he had relinquished that monastery (161) withal. After him came the Abbot of Clugny, Peter by name, to England by the king's leave; and was received by all, whithersoever he came, with much respect. To Peterborough he came; and there the Abbot Henry promised him that he would procure him the minster of Peterborough, that it might be subject to Clugny. But it is said in the proverb,
"The hedge abideth,
that acres divideth."
May God Almighty frustrate evil designs. Soon after this, went the Abbot of Clugny home to his country. This year was Angus slain by the army of the Scots, and there was a great multitude slain with him. There was God's fight sought upon him, for that he was all forsworn.
A.D. 1131. This year, after Christmas, on a Monday night, at the first sleep, was the heaven on the northern hemisphere (162) all as if it were burning fire; so that all who saw it were so dismayed as they never were before. That was on the third day before the ides of January. This same year was so great a murrain of cattle as never was before in the memory of man over all England. That was in neat cattle and in swine; so that in a town where there were ten ploughs going, or twelve, there was not left one: and the man that had two hundred or three hundred swine, had not one left. Afterwards perished the hen fowls; then shortened the fleshmeat, and the cheese, and the butter. May God better it when it shall be his will. And the King Henry came home to England before harvest, after the mass of St. Peter "ad vincula". This same year went the Abbot Henry, before Easter, from Peterborough over sea to Normandy, and there spoke with the king, and told him that the Abbot of Clugny had desired him to come to him, and resign to him the abbacy of Angeli, after which he would go home by his leave. And so he went home to his own minster, and there remained even to midsummer day. And the next day after the festival of St. John chose the monks an abbot of themselves, brought him into the church in procession, sang "Te Deum laudamus", rang the bells, set him on the abbot's throne, did him all homage, as they should do their abbot: and the earl, and all the head men, and the monks of the minster, drove the other Abbot Henry out of the monastery. And they had need; for in five-and-twenty winters had they never hailed one good day. Here failed him all his mighty crafts. Now it behoved him, that he crope in his skin into every corner, if peradventure there were any unresty wrench, (163) whereby he might yet once more betray Christ and all Christian people. Then retired he into Clugny, where he was held so fast, that he could not move east or west. The Abbot of Clugny said that they had lost St. John's minster through him, and through his great sottishness. Then could he not better recompense them; but he promised them, and swore oaths on the holy cross, that if he might go to England he should get them the minster of Peterborough; so that he should set there the prior of Clugny, with a churchwarden, a treasurer, and a sacristan: and all the things that were within the minster and without, he should procure for them. Thus he departed into France; and there remained all that year. Christ provide for the wretched monks of Peterborough, and for that wretched place. Now do they need the help of Christ and of all Christian folk.
A.D. 1132. This year came King Henry to this land. Then came Abbot Henry, and betrayed the monks of Peterborough to the king, because he would subject that minster to Clugny; so that the king was well nigh entrapped, and sent after the monks. But through the grace of God, and through the Bishop of Salisbury, and the Bishop of Lincoln, and the other rich men that were there, the king knew that he proceeded with treachery. When he no more could do, then would he that his nephew should be Abbot of Peterborough. But Christ forbade. Not very long after this was it that the king sent after him, and made him give up the Abbey of Peterborough, and go out of the land. And the king gave the abbacy to a prior of St. Neot's, called Martin, who came on St. Peter's mass-day with great pomp into the minster.
A.D. 1135. In this year went the King Henry over sea at the Lammas; and the next day, as he lay asleep on ship, the day darkened over all lands, and the sun was all as it were a three night old moon, and the stars about him at midday. Men were very much astonished and terrified, and said that a great event should come hereafter. So it did; for that same year was the king dead, the next day after St. Andrew's mass-day, in Normandy. Then was there soon tribulation in the land; for every man that might, soon robbed another. Then his sons and his friends took his body, and brought it to England, and buried it at Reading. A good man he was; and there was great dread of him. No man durst do wrong with another in his time. Peace he made for man and beast. Whoso bare his burthen of gold and silver, durst no man say ought to him but good. Meanwhile was his nephew come to England, Stephen de Blois. He came to London, and the people of London received him, and sent after the Archbishop William Curboil, and hallowed him to king on midwinter day. In this king's time was all dissention, and evil, and rapine; for against him rose soon the rich men who were traitors; and first of all Baldwin de Redvers, who held Exeter against him. But the king beset it; and afterwards Baldwin accorded. Then took the others, and held their castles against him; and David, King of Scotland, took to Wessington against him. Nevertheless their messengers passed between them; and they came together, and were settled, but it availed little.
A.D. 1137. This year went the King Stephen over sea to Normandy, and there was received; for that they concluded that he should be all such as the uncle was; and because he had got his treasure: but he dealed it out, and scattered it foolishly. Much had King Henry gathered, gold and silver, but no good did men for his soul thereof. When the King Stephen came to England, he held his council at Oxford; where he seized the Bishop Roger of Sarum, and Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, and the chancellor Roger, his nephew; and threw all into prison till they gave up their castles. When the traitors understood that he was a mild man, and soft, and good, and no justice executed, then did they all wonder. They had done him homage, and sworn oaths, but they no truth maintained. They were all forsworn, and forgetful of their troth; for every rich man built his castles, which they held against him: and they filled the land full of castles. They cruelly oppressed the wretched men of the land with castle-works; and when the castles were made, they filled them with devils and evil men. Then took they those whom they supposed to have any goods, both by night and by day, labouring men and women, and threw them into prison for their gold and silver, and inflicted on them unutterable tortures; for never were any martyrs so tortured as they were. Some they hanged up by the feet, and smoked them with foul smoke; and some by the thumbs, or by the head, and hung coats of mail on their feet. They tied knotted strings about their heads, and twisted them till the pain went to the brains. They put them into dungeons, wherein were adders, and snakes, and toads; and so destroyed them. Some they placed in a crucet-house; that is, in a chest that was short and narrow, and not deep; wherein they put sharp stones, and so thrust the man therein, that they broke all the limbs. In many of the castles were things loathsome and grim, called "Sachenteges", of which two or three men had enough to bear one. It was thus made: that is, fastened to a beam; and they placed a sharp iron [collar] about the man's throat and neck, so that he could in no direction either sit, or lie, or sleep, but bear all that iron. Many thousands they wore out with hunger. I neither can, nor may I tell all the wounds and all the pains which they inflicted on wretched men in this land. This lasted the nineteen winters while Stephen was king; and it grew continually worse and worse. They constantly laid guilds on the towns, and called it "tenserie"; and when the wretched men had no more to give, then they plundered and burned all the towns; that well thou mightest go a whole day's journey and never shouldest thou find a man sitting in a town, nor the land tilled. Then was corn dear, and flesh, and cheese, and butter; for none was there in the land. Wretched men starved of hunger. Some had recourse to alms, who were for a while rich men, and some fled out of the land. Never yet was there more wretchedness in the land; nor ever did heathen men worse than they did: for, after a time, they spared neither church nor churchyard, but took all the goods that were therein, and then burned the church and all together. Neither did they spare a bishop's land, or an abbot's, or a priest's, but plundered both monks and clerks; and every man robbed another who could. If two men, or three, came riding to a town, all the township fled for them, concluding them to be robbers. The bishops and learned men cursed them continually, but the effect thereof was nothing to them; for they were all accursed, and forsworn, and abandoned. To till the ground was to plough the sea: the earth bare no corn, for the land was all laid waste by such deeds; and they said openly, that Christ slept, and his saints. Such things, and more than we can say, suffered we nineteen winters for our sins. In all this evil time held Abbot Martin his abbacy twenty years and a half, and eight days, with much tribulation; and found the monks and the guests everything that behoved them; and held much charity in the house; and, notwithstanding all this, wrought on the church, and set thereto lands and rents, and enriched it very much, and bestowed vestments upon it. And he brought them into the new minster on St. Peter's mass-day with much pomp; which was in the year, from the incarnation of our Lord, 1140, and in the twenty-third from the destruction of the place by fire. And he went to Rome, and there was well received by the Pope Eugenius; from whom he obtained their privileges: -- one for all the lands of the abbey, and another for the lands that adjoin to the churchyard; and, if he might have lived longer, so he meant to do concerning the treasury. And he got in the lands that rich men retained by main strength. Of William Malduit, who held the castle of Rockingham, he won Cotingham and Easton; and of Hugh de Walteville, he won Hirtlingbury and Stanwick, and sixty shillings from Oldwinkle each year. And he made many monks, and planted a vine-yard, and constructed many works, and made the town better than it was before. He was a good monk, and a good man; and for this reason God and good men loved him. Now we will relate in part what happened in King Stephen's time. In his reign the Jews of Norwich bought a Christian child before Easter, and tortured him after the same manner as our Lord was tortured; and on Long- Friday (164) hanged him on a rood, in mockery of our Lord, and afterwards buried him. They supposed that it would be concealed, but our Lord showed that he was a holy martyr. And the monks took him, and buried him with high honour in the minster. And through our Lord he worketh wonderful and manifold miracles, and is called St. William.
A.D. 1138. In this year came David, King of Scotland, with an immense army to this land. He was ambitious to win this land; but against him came William, Earl of Albemarle, to whom the king had committed York, and other borderers, with few men, and fought against them, and routed the king at the Standard, and slew very many of his gang.
A.D. 1140. In this year wished the King Stephen to take Robert, Earl of Gloucester, the son of King Henry; but he could not, for he was aware of it. After this, in the Lent, the sun and the day darkened about the noon-tide of the day, when men were eating; and they lighted candles to eat by. That was the thirteenth day before the kalends of April. Men were very much struck with wonder. Thereafter died William, Archbishop of Canterbury; and the king made Theobald archbishop, who was Abbot of Bec. After this waxed a very great war betwixt the king and Randolph, Earl of Chester; not because he did not give him all that he could ask him, as he did to all others; but ever the more he gave them, the worse they were to him. The Earl held Lincoln against the king, and took away from him all that he ought to have. And the king went thither, and beset him and his brother William de Romare in the castle. And the earl stole out, and went after Robert, Earl of Glocester, and brought him thither with a large army. And they fought strenuously on Candlemas day against their lord, and took him; for his men forsook him and fled. And they led him to Bristol, and there put him into prison in close quarters. Then was all England stirred more than ere was, and all evil was in the land. Afterwards came the daughter of King Henry, who had been Empress of Germany, and now was Countess of Anjou. She came to London; but the people of London attempted to take her, and she fled, losing many of her followers. After this the Bishop of Winchester, Henry, the brother of King Stephen, spake with Earl Robert, and with the empress, and swore them oaths, "that he never more would hold with the king, his brother," and cursed all the men that held with him, and told them, that he would give them up Winchester; and he caused them to come thither. When they were therein, then came the king's queen with all her strength, and beset them, so that there was great hunger therein. When they could no longer hold out, then stole they out, and fled; but those without were aware, and followed them, and took Robert, Earl of Glocester, and led him to Rochester, and put him there into prison; but the empress fled into a monastery. Then went the wise men between the king's friends and the earl's friends; and settled so that they should let the king out of prison for the earl, and the earl for the king; and so they did. After this settled the king and Earl Randolph at Stamford, and swore oaths, and plighted their troth, that neither should betray the other. But it availed nothing. For the king afterwards took him at Northampton, through wicked counsel, and put him into prison; and soon after he let him out again, through worse counsel, on the condition that he swore by the crucifix, and found hostages, that he would give up all his castles. Some he gave up, and some gave he not up; and did then worse than he otherwise would. Then was England very much divided. Some held with the king, and some with the empress; for when the king was in prison, the earls and the rich men supposed that he never more would come out: and they settled with the empress, and brought her into Oxford, and gave her the borough. When the king was out, he heard of this, and took his force, and beset her in the tower. (165) And they let her down in the night from the tower by ropes. And she stole out, and fled, and went on foot to Wallingford. Afterwards she went over sea; and those of Normandy turned all from the king to the Earl of Anjou; some willingly, and some against their will; for he beset them till they gave up their castles, and they had no help of the king. Then went Eustace, the king's son, to France, and took to wife the sister of the King of France. He thought to obtain Normandy thereby; but he sped little, and by good right; for he was an evil man. Wherever he was, he did more evil than good; he robbed the lands, and levied heavy guilds upon them. He brought his wife to England, and put her into the castle at... (166) Good woman she was; but she had little bliss with him; and Christ would not that he should long reign. He therefore soon died, and his mother also. And the Earl of Anjou died; and his son Henry took to the earldom. And the Queen of France parted from the king; and she came to the young Earl Henry; and he took her to wife, and all Poitou with her. Then went he with a large force into England, and won some castles; and the king went against him with a much larger force. Nevertheless, fought they not; but the archbishop and the wise men went between them, and made this settlement: That the king should be lord and king while he lived, and after his day Henry should be king: that Henry should take him for a father; and he him for a son: that peace and union should be betwixt them, and in all England. This and the other provisions that they made, swore the king and the earl to observe; and all the bishops, and the earls, and the rich men. Then was the earl received at Winchester, and at London, with great worship; and all did him homage, and swore to keep the peace. And there was soon so good a peace as never was there before. Then was the king stronger than he ever was before. And the earl went over sea; and all people loved him; for he did good justice, and made peace.
A.D. 1154. In this year died the King Stephen; and he was buried where his wife and his son were buried, at Faversham; which monastery they founded. When the king died, then was the earl beyond sea; but no man durst do other than good for the great fear of him. When he came to England, then was he received with great worship, and blessed to king in London on the Sunday before midwinter day. And there held he a full court. The same day that Martin, Abbot of Peterborough, should have gone thither, then sickened he, and died on the fourth day before the nones of January; and the monks, within the day, chose another of themselves, whose name was William de Walteville, (167) a good clerk, and good man, and well beloved of the king, and of all good men. And all the monks buried the abbot with high honours. And soon the newly chosen abbot, and the monks with him, went to Oxford to the king. And the king gave him the abbacy; and he proceeded soon afterwards to Peterborough; where he remained with the abbot, ere he came home. And the king was received with great worship at Peterborough, in full procession. And so he was also at Ramsey, and at Thorney, and at.... and at Spalding, and at....
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