The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Reign of William Rufus and the Accession of Henry the First, Volume II (of 2), by Edward Augustus Freeman

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Reign of William Rufus and the Accession of Henry the First, Volume II (of 2)

Author: Edward Augustus Freeman

Release Date: February 21, 2022 [eBook #67459]

Language: English

Produced by: Carol Brown, MWS and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries)


Transcriber’s Note: In ebook readers, sidenotes appear in-line, highlighted in light grey. Additional notes are at the end of the book.




Illustration: Publisher logo















[All rights reserved.]



Illustration: decorative line
Events of the year 1093; relations between England and Scotland; results of the war of 1093 3–4
Growth of the English power and of the English nation under Rufus; the Scottish kingdom becomes English 4–5
1093 – Death of Malcolm; first reign of Donald 5
1094 – Reign of Duncan; second reign of Donald 5
1097 – Establishment of Eadgar 5
1095 – Revolt of Robert of Mowbray 5–5
Affairs of Wales; comparison between Wales and Scotland 6
Effects of the reign on the union of Britain; comparison with Ireland and Normandy 6–8
§ 1. The last year of Malcolm.
Complaints of Malcolm against William Rufus; effects on Scotland of the restoration of Carlisle; other grounds of offence 8–9
March, 1093 – Scottish embassy at Gloucester; Malcolm summoned to Gloucester; Eadgar sent to bring him 9–10
Present favour of Eadgar with William 9–10
August – Malcolm sets forth; he stops at Durham 11
August 11 – He lays a foundation stone of the abbey; import of the ceremony 11–12
August 24 – Malcolm at Gloucester; William refuses to see him; questions between the kings; William observes his safe-conduct 13–14
Malcolm’s last invasion of England; he draws near to Alnwick; history of the place 15–16
English feeling about Malcolm 16
Nov. 13 – Malcolm slain by Morel 16–17 vi
Burial of Malcolm at Tynemouth; history of Tynemouth; his translation to Dunfermline 18–19
Local estimate of Malcolm’s death 19
Character of Margaret; Malcolm’s devotion to her; her children and their education 20–22
Margaret’s reforms; Scottish feeling towards them 22–26
Her religious reforms 22–23
She increases the pomp of the court 23–24
English influence in Scotland; English and Norman settlers 24–26
Nov. 27 – Death of Margaret; different versions; her burial at Dunfermline; Scottish feeling towards her 26–28
Donald elected king; he drives out the English; meaning of the words 29–30
Margaret’s children driven out; action of the elder Eadgar 30
Eadgyth and Mary brought up at Romsey; Malcolm at Romsey; story of Eadgyth and William Rufus 31–32
Events of 1094; order of Scottish events 32–33
Christmas, 1093–1094 – Assembly at Gloucester; Duncan claims the Scottish crown; his Norman education 33–34
1094 – He receives the crown from William, and wins the kingdom by the help of Norman and English volunteers 34–35
May, 1094 – Revolution in Scotland; the foreigners driven out 35
November – Duncan slain and Donald restored 36
1094–1097 – Second reign of Donald 36
§ 2. The revolt of Robert of Mowbray.
Conspiracy against William Rufus; no general support for the plot 37–40
Robert of Mowbray marries Matilda of Laigle 38
His dealings with Earl Hugh and Bishop William; other conspirators; William of Eu 38–39
Designs on behalf of Stephen of Aumale 39–40
Earl Robert plunders the Norwegian ships; the merchants complain to the King; Robert refuses redress 40–41
March 25, 1095 – Easter assembly at Winchester; Robert summoned, but refuses to come 41
April 4 – Falling stars 41–42
Messages between the King and Robert 42
May 13 – Whitsun assembly at Windsor; Robert again refuses to come 42
The King marches against Robert; his rebellion 42–43 vii
The rebels expect help from Normandy 44
The King marches to Nottingham; Anselm’s command in Kent 44–45
Robert’s fortresses; the New Castle, Tynemouth, Bamburgh; taking of the New Castle 46–47
July – Siege of Tynemouth; description of the site; taking of Tynemouth 47–48
The castle of Bamburgh; Robert defends it against the King 49–50
Failure of direct attacks; making of the Malvoisin; the King goes away 51–52
Robert entrapped by a false message; he flees to Tynemouth; he is besieged in the monastery, taken, and imprisoned 52–53
Bamburgh defended by Matilda of Laigle 54
November – She yields to save her husband’s eyes 54
Later history of Robert and Matilda 54–55
Morel turns King’s evidence 55
1095–1096 – Christmas assembly at Windsor; all tenants-in-chief summoned; constitutional importance of the meeting 56–59
January 13 – The meeting adjourned to Salisbury; action of the assembly; no general sympathy with the accused 56–59
Bishop William charged with treason and summoned to take his trial; portents foretelling his death 59–61
Dec. 25, 1095–
Jan. 1, 109 – His sickness and death
Debate as to his burial-place; he is buried in the chapter-house 61–62
Sentences of the assembly; Earl Hugh buys his pardon 62–63
January 13 – William of Eu appealed by Geoffrey of Baynard, and convicted by battle 63
He is blinded and mutilated; action of Earl Hugh 64–65
Story of Arnulf of Hesdin; his innocence proved by battle 65
He goes to the crusade and dies 66
William of Alderi sentenced to death; the King refuses to spare him 66–67
His pious end 67–68
Last days of William of Eu and of Morel 68–69
§ 3. The Conquest and Revolt of Wales.
Relations with Wales; character of the Welsh wars of Rufus; effect of the building of castles 69–71
Welsh campaigns of Harold and William Rufus compared 71–72 viii
Immediate failure and lasting success 71
Comparison of the conquest of Wales with the English and Norman conquests; difference of geographical conditions 72–74
Extension of England by conquest and settlement 74
Various elements in Wales; the Flemish settlements; ndurance of the Welsh language 74–75
The local nomenclature of Wales contrasted with that of England 75–76
The Welsh castles; contrast with England; the Welsh towns 76–77
Conquests before the accession of Rufus; Robert of Rhuddlan; reigns of Rhys ap Tewdwr and Cedivor 77–78
1091 – Saint David’s robbed by pirates 78
1093 – Beginning of the conquest of South Wales; legend of the conquest of Glamorgan 79–81
Story of Jestin and Einion; settlement of Robert Fitz-hamon and his knights 80–81
Estimate of the story; elements of truth 81–82
History of Robert Fitz-hamon; his lands, marriage, and settlement at Cardiff 82–83
His works at Gloucester and Tewkesbury; his grants of Welsh churches to English monasteries 84
Distinction between Morganwg and Glamorgan; extent of Glamorgan 85
The lords and their castles 86–87
The South-Welsh churches and monasteries 88–89
Saxon and Flemish settlements in South Wales; oundation of boroughs 88
Conquest of Brecknock; Bernard of Newmarch and his wife Nest 89–91
Easter, 1093 – Defeat and death of Rhys at Brecknock; effects of his death 91–92
April 30 – Cadwgan harries Dyfed 92
July 1 – Norman conquest of Ceredigion and Dyfed 92–93
Tale of Rufus’s threats against Ireland 92–93
Acquisition of Saint David’s; Bishop Wilfrith 94
The Pembrokeshire castles 95
Pembroke castle begun by Arnulf of Montgomery; second building by Gerald of Windsor; his wife Nest 96–97
Earl Hugh in Anglesey; castle of Aberlleiniog 97
Advance of Earl Roger in Powys; castle of Rhyd-y-gors 97
Seeming conquest of Wales; Gower and Caermarthen unsubdued 98
Effect of William’s absence; general revolt under Cadwgan son of Bleddyn 98–100 ix
Invasion of England 100
Deliverance of Anglesey; Aberlleiniog castle broken down 101
Character of the war; action of Cadwgan in Dyfed; Pembroke castle holds out 101–102
Question of a winter campaign; conquest of Kidwelly, Gower, and Caermarthen 102
1099 – Alleged West-Saxon settlement in Gower; the Gower castles 103
Pagan of Turberville helps the Welsh 104
North Wales holds out; the Welsh take Montgomery 104–105
Michaelmas, 1095 – William’s invasion of Wales 105
November 1 – He reaches Snowdon; ill-success of the campaign 105
1096 – The Welsh take Rhyd-y-gors; revolt of Gwent and Brecknock 106
English feeling towards the war 106–107
Vain attempts to recover Gwent 107
Importance of the castles; the Welsh attack Pembroke; defence of Gerald of Windsor 108–109
1097 – Gerald takes the offensive against the Welsh 110
Easter, 1097 – William’s second campaign; seeming conquest; fresh revolt under Cadwgan 110–111
June–Aug. 1097 – William’s third campaign; his ill-success 111–112
October – He determines to build castles 112–113
§ 4. The Establishment of Eadgar in Scotland.
August, 1097 – Decree for action in Scotland; the elder Eadgar commissioned to restore the younger 114
Story of Godwine and Ordgar; the Ætheling Eadgar cleared by battle 114–118
Estimate and importance of the story 117–118
September – The two Eadgars march to Scotland; exploits of Robert son of Godwine; defeat and blinding of Donald; later life of Eadmund 118–120
1097–1107 – Reign of Eadgar in Scotland 120–123
Eadgar’s gifts to Robert son of Godwine 121
1099–1100 – Eadgar and Robert go to the Crusade 121–122
1103 – Exploits and martyrdom of Robert son of Godwine; parallels and contrasts 122–123
1107–1124 – Reign of Alexander in Scotland; friendship of the Scottish kings for England; Turgot and Eadmer 124
1124–1153 – Reign of David in Scotland; English influence in Scotland; the Scottish kings of the second series 125–126 x
§ 5. The Expedition of Magnus.
Events of the year 1098; their wide geographical range; Anglesey the centre of the story 126–127
Winter, 1097–1098 – Schemes of Cadwgan and Gruffydd; they take wikings from Ireland into pay 127–128
The two Earls Hugh of Chester and Shrewsbury 129
The Earls enter Anglesey; they rebuild the castle of Aberlleiniog 129–130
The Earls bribe the wikings; Cadwgan and Gruffydd flee to Ireland 130–131
Cruelties of the Earls; mutilation and restoration of Cenred 131–132
1093–1103 – Reign of Magnus Barefoot in Norway; his surnames 133
He professes friendship for England; his treasure at Lincoln 133–134
Harold son of Harold in his fleet 134–136
Designs of Magnus on Ireland; Irish marriage of his son Sigurd; his voyage among the islands 136
1075–1095 – Reign of Godred Crouan in Man and the Sudereys 136–137
1078–1094 – His Irish dominion 136–137
His sons Lagman and Harold 137
Rulers of Man sent from Ireland and Norway; civil war in Man 137–138
Legend of Magnus and Saint Olaf 138–140
Magnus seizes the Orkney earls and gives the earldom to his son Sigurd 140
Further voyage of Magnus; he occupies Man; his designs 140–142
He approaches Anglesey; preparations of the earls; he fleet off Aberlleiniog 142–143
Death of Hugh of Shrewsbury; different versions 143–144
Peace between Magnus and Hugh of Chester 145
Anglesey and North Wales subdued by Hugh 145–146
Sigurd’s kingdom in the islands; dealings of Magnus with Scotland 145–146
§ 6. The Establishment of Robert of Bellême in England.
1098 – Effects of the death of Hugh of Shrewsbury; Robert of Bellême buys his earldom and his other possessions; doubtful policy of the grant 147–149
Unique position of Robert in England; effects of his coming; his cruelty and spoliations 149–151
His skill in castle-building; his defences in Shropshire; early history of the Shropshire fortresses 151–152 xi
896–912 – First works at the Bridge 152–153
Quatford; Earl Roger’s house and chapel 153–154
Robert of Bellême removes to Bridgenorth and Oldbury 155–158
The group of fortresses 158
Robert builds the castle of Careghova 158
Roger of Bully; his Yorkshire and Nottingham estates 159–160
The castle of Tickhill; use of the names Tickhill and Blyth 160–162
1088 – The priory of Blyth founded by Roger of Bully 161
Death of Roger of Bully; his lands granted to Robert of Bellême 162–164
1097–1100 – Character of the last years of William Rufus; his designs on France 165–167
1097–1098 – Beginning of the wars between France and Maine 167
Nov. 1097 – William crosses the sea 167
Comparison of France and Maine; Philip and Helias; advantage of the kingly dignity 168–170
Lewis son of Philip 170
Jan. 1098 – Beginning of the war of Maine 170
§ 1. The Beginning of the French War.
1092 – King Philip; his adulterous marriage with Bertrada of Montfort 171–172
Opposition of Ivo and Hugh of Lyons; excommunication of Philip and Bertrada 173–174
Sons of Philip and Bertrada; she schemes against Lewis 174
Philip invests Lewis with the Vexin 175
1097 – William’s grounds of offence; he demands the cession of the Vexin; his demand is refused 175–176
November 11–30 – William crosses to Normandy; excesses of his followers in England 176–177
William and Lewis; difficulties of Lewis; fate of the captives on each side 178–179
French traitors; Guy of the Rock; description of Roche Guyon 179–182
Policy of Robert of Meulan; he receives William’s troops; importance and description of Meulan 182–184 xii
Prospects of William; failure of his plans 184–185
The castle of Chaumont-en-Vexin 185–186
1096 – The castle of Gisors; its first defences strengthened by Robert of Bellême 186–188
Castles of Trye and Boury 188–189
National feeling in the French Vexin 189–190
Prisoners on both sides; Gilbert of Laigle; Simon of Montfort 190
§ 2. The First War of Maine.
November, 1097–1098 – Dates of the French war 191
Jan.–Aug. 1098 – War of Maine 191
1089 – Robert suspects the loyalty of Maine; he asks help of Fulk of Anjou; marriage of Fulk and Bertrada 191–194
1090 – Movements in Maine; Hugh son of Azo sent for 194–195
Character of Helias of La Flèche; his descent; his castles; he accepts the succession of Hugh 195–197
1090 – Revolt of Maine; Hugh received at Le Mans 197–200
Bishop Howel imprisoned by Helias 197–199
Release of Howel; his dealings with Robert 199–200
Disputes between Hugh and Howel; disputes of Howel with his chapter; he goes to England 201
June 28, 1090 – Return of Howel; unpopularity of Hugh 202
February, 1091 – Helias buys the county of Hugh 202–203
1091–1098 – First reign of Helias; peace of the land 203–204
October 17, 1093 – Translation of Saint Julian 204
November, 1095 – Visit of Pope Urban to Le Mans 205
1095–1097 – Sickness of Howel 205
1095–1096 – Helias takes the cross; estimate of his conduct 205–207
Aug. 1096 – William in Normandy; danger to Maine; negotiations of Helias with Robert 207
Interview of William and Helias; mutual challenge and defiance 208–210
1096–1097 – William delays his attack 210
July 29, 1097 – Death of Howel; disputed election to the bishopric 210–211
1097–1126 – Hildebert Bishop of Le Mans 211–212
Claims of the Norman dukes over the bishopric; anger of Rufus at the election of Hildebert 211–213
Nov. 1097 – William in Normandy; his designs on Maine 213
Robert of Bellême attacks Maine; Helias strengthens Dangeul; geographical character of the war 213–214 xiii
Jan. 1098 – Robert of Bellême invites the King; guerrilla warfare of Helias 214–215
William leaves Maine; Robert of Bellême continues the war; castles held by him 216–219
Nature of the country and of the war; comparison of Maine and England 219–221
Helias defeats Robert at Saônes; cruelty of Robert 221–223
April 28, 1098 – Second victory of Helias; he is taken prisoner near Danguel 223–224
Helias surrendered to the king; contrast between William Rufus and Robert of Bellême 224–225
Hildebert and the council at Le Mans 225–226
William at Rouen; a great levy ordered; numbers of the army 226–228
June, 1098 – The army meets at Alençon; invasion of Maine; truce with Ralph of Fresnay 228–230
Dealings with the nobles of Maine 230–231
May 5 – Fulk of Anjou at Le Mans; he leaves Geoffrey in command 231–232
March of William Rufus; he approaches Le Mans by Coulaines; he ravages Coulaines 232–234
Sally from the city; Rufus goes away; the siege of Le Mans raised 234–236
Ballon betrayed to Rufus; occupied by Robert of Bellême, and besieged by Fulk 235–236
July 20 – William relieves Ballon; his treatment of the captive knights 236–237
August – Fulk goes back to Le Mans; convention between William and Fulk; Le Mans to be surrendered and Helias set free 237–238
Submission of Le Mans; William’s entry 238–241
William leaves Le Mans; general submission of Maine 241
Meeting of William and Helias at Rouen; the offers of Helias rejected; his defiance 242–243
Helias set free; illustration of the King’s character 244–245
§ 3. The End of the French War.
, 1098.
1097–1099 – William on the Continent; extent of his conquest in Maine; he begins, but does not finish 245
September 27, 1098 – He sets forth against France; the sign in the sky 246
He marches to Pontoise; position of the town and castle; Pontoise his furthest point 247–248
Siege of Chaumont; castle not taken 248–249 xiv
Alliance between Normandy and Aquitaine; coming of Duke William of Poitiers 249–250
Campaign to the west of Paris; valley of the Maudre; the two Williams march against the Montfort castles 250–252
The castles resist singly; Peter of Maule 252–253
The two Simons of Montfort; the castle of Montfort; successful defence of the younger Simon 253–255
Christmas, 1098–1099 – William keeps Christmas in Normandy; truce with France 255
Ill-success of the French war; illustrations of William’s character 256
§ 4. The Gemót of 1099.
April 10, 1099 – Easter assembly 256
May 19 – Whitsun assembly in the new hall at Westminster 257
Buildings of William Rufus; they are reckoned among the national grievances; probable abuses of the law 257–260
Various grievances and natural phænomena 258
The wall round the tower, the bridge, and the hall; growth of the greatness of London; relations of London and Winchester 259–261
Westminster Hall; its two founders; its history 262–263
Object of the hall; personal pride of Rufus; the Whitsun feast; the sword borne by the King of Scots 263–264
Deaths of bishops and abbots; character and acts of Walkelin of Winchester 265–266
April 8, 1093 – The monks take possession of the new church of Winchester 266
1097–1098 – Walkelin joint regent with Flambard; the King’s demand for money 266–267
Jan. 3, 1098 – Death of Walkelin 267
Death of Turold of Peterborough and Robert of New Minster 267
Abbot Baldwin of Saint Eadmund’s; rebuilding of the church; the King forbids the dedication 267–269
April 30, 1095 – Various details of Abbot Baldwin; translation of Saint Eadmund 268–270
Dec. 29, 1097 – Death of Abbot Baldwin 270
The bishopric of Durham granted to Randolf Flambard 271
June 5, 1099 – Consecration of Flambard 271
1099–1128 – Character of the appointment; Flambard’s episcopate 271–274 xv
His works at Durham and Norham 272
Later events of the year 1099 274
§ 5. The Second War of Maine.
April–September, 1099.
Aug. 1098-April, 1099 – Helias withdraws to La Flèche; he strengthens the castles on the Loir 274–276
April, 1099 – He attacks the castle held by the King 277
June – He marches against Le Mans; battle at Pontlieue; he recovers Le Mans 277–278
The castles still held for the King; the Normans set fire to the city; comparison of Le Mans and York 279–281
Vain operations against the castles; use of the church towers; Robert of Bêlleme strengthens Ballon 281–282
The news brought to William in the New Forest; his ride to the coast 282–284
He crosses to Touques and rides to Bonneville; the castle of Bonneville 284–287
His levy; he marches to Le Mans; Helias flees to Château-du-Loir 287
William passes through Le Mans; he harries southern Maine; Helias burns the castles 288–289
William besieges Mayet; observance of the Truce of God; details of the siege; the siege raised 289–294
The land ravaged, but the campaign left unfinished 294–295
William at Le Mans; his good treatment of the city; he drives out the canons 295–296
Sept. 1099 – He goes back to England 296
Hildebert reconciled to the King; the King bids him pull down the towers of Saint Julian’s; question whether the order was carried out 297–300
1099 – Revolt in Anglesey; return of Cadwgan and Gruffydd; recovery of Anglesey and Ceredigion by the Welsh 300–301
Nov. 3, 1099 – The great tide in the Thames 302
December 3 – Death of Bishop Osmund of Salisbury 302
1000–1100 – End of the eleventh century; changes in Britain and in the world 303–307
Change from Æthelred to William Rufus; contradiction in William’s position; his defeats not counted defeats 307–308 xvi
The year 1100; lack of events in its earlier months; comparison with the year 1000; vague expectations, portents, and prophecies 308–310
§ 1. The Last days of William Rufus.
January–August, 1100.
The three assemblies of 1099–1100; no record of these assemblies; continental schemes of Rufus 310–311
Return of Robert from the crusade; his marriage with Sibyl of Conversana 311–313
William of Aquitaine; his crusade; he proposes to pledge his duchy to Rufus; preparations for the occupation of Aquitaine 313–314
Alleged designs of Rufus on the Empire 314
May, 1100 – Portents; death of Richard son of Robert 315–316
June, July – Warlike preparations 317
July 15 – Consecration of Gloucester abbey 317
August 1 – Visions and prophecies; Abbot Fulchered’s sermon at Gloucester 317–321
August 1 – William at Brockenhurst; his companions; Walter Tirel; his history; his gab with the King; illustrative value of the story 321–325
August 2 – Last day of William Rufus; various versions of his death; estimate of the received tale 325–327
Versions of Orderic and William of Malmesbury 327–331
Versions which assert a repentance for Rufus 331–332
Version charging Ralph of Aix 333–335
Impression made at the time by the death of Rufus; its abiding memory; local traditions; end and character of Rufus 335–337
Accounts of William’s burial; the genuine story; his popular excommunication; he is buried in the Old Minster without religious rites 338–341
July 31 – Portents at William’s death; dream of Abbot Hugh of Clugny 341
August 1 – Vision of Anselm’s doorkeeper 341
August 2 – News brought to Anselm’s clerk; vision of Count William of Mortain 341–343
§ 2. The First Days of Henry.
August 2-November 11, 1100.
Vacancy of the throne; claims of Robert by the treaty of 1091; choice between Robert and Henry; claims of Henry; his speedy election 343–345
August 2 – Story of Henry on the day of the King’s death; he hastens to Winchester 345–346 xvii
He demands the treasure and is resisted by William of Breteuil; popular feeling for Henry 346–347
August 3 – Meeting for the election; division in the assembly; influence of Henry Earl of Warwick; Henry chosen King 347–348
Henry grants the bishopric of Winchester to William Giffard 349
August 5 – Henry crowned at Westminster; form of his oath; joy at his accession 349–351
He puts forth his charter; its provisions 352–357
Privilege of the knights and its effects 355–356
Renewal of the Law of Eadward 357
Witnesses to the charter 358
August 5 – Appointments to abbeys; Robert of Saint Eadmund’s and Richard of Ely; their later history 359–360
1100–1120 – Herlwin Abbot of Glastonbury 360
1100–1117 – Faricius Abbot of Abingdon 360
Imprisonment of Flambard 361–362
The King’s inner council 362–363
The news of the King’s death brought to Anselm; his grief 363
Letters to him from his monks and from the King; popular language of Henry’s letter 363–366
Intrigues of the Norman nobles with Robert; renewed anarchy in Normandy 366–367
Sept. 1100 – Return of Robert to Normandy; his renewed no-government 367–368
Henry keeps his own fief; war between Henry and Robert 368
Sept. 23. – Return of Anselm 368
Helias returns to Le Mans; the King’s garrison holds out in the royal tower 370
Helias calls in Fulk; siege of the tower 370
Courtesies between Helias and the garrison; messages sent to Robert and Henry; surrender of the castle 370–373
1100–1110 – Just reign of Helias; his friendship for Henry 373
1109 – His second marriage; later history of Maine; descent of the later English kings from Helias 374
Meeting of Anselm and Henry; comparison of the dispute between Anselm and William Rufus and that between Anselm and Henry 374–375
Henry calls on Anselm to do homage; Anselm refuses; hange in his views 375–377
Truce till Easter; the Pope to be asked to allow the homage; the spiritual power strengthened through Rufus’ abuse of the temporal power 375–378 xviii
The temporalities of the archbishopric provisionally restored 378
Reformation of the court; personal character of Henry; his mistresses and children; story of Ansfrida and her son Richard 379–382
Henry is exhorted to marry; he seeks for Eadgyth daughter of Malcolm; policy of the marriage 382–383
Objections to the marriage; Eadgyth said to have taken the veil 384
Anselm holds an assembly to settle the question; adgyth declared free to marry; other versions of the story 384–387
November 11, 1100 – Marriage of Henry and Eadgyth; she changes her name to Matilda 387–388
Anselm’s speech at the wedding; objections not wholly silenced 388
1100–1118 – Matilda as Queen; her children and character; “Godric and Godgifu” 388–391
Guy of Vienne comes as Legate; his claims not acknowledged 391
Nov. 18 – Death of Thomas Archbishop of York 391
1100–1108 – Gerard of Hereford Archbishop of York 392
§ 3. Invasion of Robert.
January–August, 1101.
Likeness of the years 1088 and 1101; plots to give the crown to Robert; a party in Normandy to give the crown to Henry 392–393
Character of Robert and Eadgar; Robert as crusader; is relapse on his return to Normandy 394
Parties in England and Normandy; Henry’s strict rule distasteful to the nobles 394–395
Plots of Robert of Bellême and others; Duke Robert’s grants to Robert of Bellême 395–396
Christmas 1100–1101 – Assembly at Westminster 396
Flambard escapes to Normandy; his influence with Robert 396–398
April 21 – Easter assembly at Winchester; the questions between Henry and Anselm adjourned; growth of the conspiracy 399
June 9 – Whitsun assembly; its popular character; mediation of Anselm; renewed promise of good laws 399–400
The Church and the people for Henry; England united against invasion 401
Importance of the campaign of 1101; last opposition of Normans and English; their fusion under Henry 401–402 xix
July, 1101 – Robert and his fleet at Tréport 401–403
Henry’s levée; Anselm and his contingent; the English at Pevensey 403–404
The English fleet sent out; some of the crews desert to Robert 404
July 20 – Robert lands at Portchester; comparison with former invasions 405–406
Robert marches on Winchester; Matilda in child-bed in the city; he declines to attack Winchester 406
Estimate of his conduct; personal character of the chivalrous feeling 406–408
Robert marches towards London; the armies meet near Maldon 408–409
Desertion of Robert of Bellême and William of Warren 408–409
July 26 – Death of Earl Hugh 410
Anselm’s energy on the King’s side; zeal of the English; exhortations of the King 410–411
Negotiations between Henry and Robert; their personal meeting; they agree on terms 412–413
Treaty of 1101; Robert resigns his claim to England; enry gives up his Norman possessions, but keeps Domfront; other stipulations 413–414
Michaelmas, 1101 – Robert goes back; mischief done by his army 415
§ 4. Revolt of Robert of Bellême.
Continued disloyalty of the Norman nobles; Henry’s plans for breaking their power 415
Flambard in Normandy; his dealings with the see of Lisieux 415–416
Banishment and restoration of Earl William of Warren 416
Other banishments; trial of Ivo of Grantmesnil; his bargain with Robert of Meulan 417–418
1102–1118 – Robert of Meulan Earl of Leicester; his death; his ecclesiastical foundations 418–421
Christmas, 1101–1102 – Assembly at Westminster; danger from Robert of Bellême; the King watches him 420–421
April 6, 1102 – Easter assembly at Winchester; Robert of Bellême summoned, but does not come 421–422
Second summons to Robert; the war begins 422
Robert and his brothers Arnulf and Roger; his acquisition of Ponthieu; his dealings with Wales, reland, and Norway 423–424
Condition of Wales; return of Gruffydd and Cadwgan 424
Alliance of Robert of Bellême with the Welsh 425 xx
Arnulf’s dealings with Murtagh; the Irish king’s daughter promised to him 425–426
Henry’s negotiations with Duke Robert; the Duke attacks Robert of Bellême’s fortress of Vignats 426
Treason of Robert of Montfort; defeat of the besiegers; eneral ravages 427–428
Robert of Bellême strengthens his castles; his works at Bridgenorth 428
The King besieges Arundel; truce with the besieged 428–429
Robert and Arnulf harry Staffordshire 429
Surrender of Arundel 430
Surrender of Tickhill; its later history 431–432
Autumn, 1102 – Henry’s Shropshire campaign; Robert of Bellême at Shrewsbury; the three captains at Bridgenorth 432–433
Story of William Pantulf; he joins the King; his services 434–435
Siege of Bridgenorth; division between the nobles and the mass of the army 435–437
Gathering of the mass of the army; they stand by the King 437–438
William Pantulf wins over Jorwerth to the King 439–440
The captains at Bridgenorth agree to surrender 440–441
Arnulf goes to Ireland; Robert asks help of Magnus in vain 442–443
The mercenaries at Bridgenorth refuse to surrender; hey are overpowered by the captains and the townsmen 443–444
Surrender of Bridgenorth; the mercenaries march out with the honours of war 444–445
Robert still holds Shrewsbury; his despair 445–446
The King’s march to Shrewsbury; zeal of the English; learing of the road 446–447
The King refuses terms to Robert; he submits at discretion, and is banished from England 448–449
Joy at Robert’s overthrow; banishment of his brothers; later history of Robert of Bellême 449–450
1103 – Death of Magnus 451
1103 – Later history of Jorwerth; his trial at Shrewsbury and imprisonment 451–453
Assemblies held in various places under Henry 452
1104–1106 – Establishment of Henry’s power; banishment of William of Mortain; his imprisonment and alleged blinding 453
1102–1135 – Peace of Henry’s reign; its character; Henry the refounder of the English nation 454–455
1107 – The compromise with Anselm 455
1106 – Battle of Tinchebrai 456 xxi
General character and results of the reigns of William Rufus and Henry 456–457

Note A. The Accession of William Rufus 459
B. The Beginning of the Rebellion of 1088 465
C. The Share of Bishop William of Saint-Calais in the Rebellion of 1088 469
D. The Deliverance of Worcester in 1088 475
E. The Attempted Landing of the Normans at Pevensey 481
F. The Bishopric of Somerset and the Abbey of Bath 483
G. The Character of William Rufus 490
H. The Ecclesiastical Benefactions of William Rufus 504
I. Chivalry 508
K. The Purchase of the Côtentin by the Ætheling Henry 510
L. The Death of Conan 516
M. The Siege of Courcy 519
N. The Treaty of 1091 522
O. The Siege of Saint Michael’s Mount 528
P. The Adventures of Henry after the Surrender of Saint Michael’s Mount 535
Q. The Homage of Malcolm in 1091 540
R. The Earldom of Carlisle 545
S. The Early Life of Randolf Flambard 551
T. The Official Position of Randolf Flambard 557
U. The alleged Domesday of Randolf Flambard 562
W. The Dealings of William Rufus with vacant Bishoprics and Abbeys 564
X. The Appointment of Herbert Losinga to the See of Thetford 568
Y. The Letters of Anselm 570
Z. Robert Bloet 584
AA. The Mission of Abbot Geronto 588
BB. The Embassies between William Rufus and Malcolm in 1093 590
CC. The Death of Malcolm 592
DD. The Burial of Margaret 596
EE. Eadgyth-Matilda 598
FF. Tynemouth and Bamburgh 603
GG. The Conquest of Glamorgan 613
HH. Godwine of Winchester and his son Robert 615 xxii
II. The Expedition of Magnus 618
KK. The Relations between Hildebert and Helias 624
LL. The Surrender of Le Mans to William Rufus 628
MM. The Fortresses of Le Mans 631
NN. The Dates of the Building of Le Mans Cathedral 632
OO. The Interview between William Rufus and Helias 640
PP. The Voyage of William Rufus to Touques 645
QQ. The Siege of Mayet 652
RR. William Rufus and the Towers of Le Mans Cathedral 654
SS. The Death of William Rufus 657
TT. The Burial of William Rufus 676
UU. The Election of Henry the First 680
WW. The Objections to the Marriage of Henry and Matilda 682
XX. The Treaty of 1101 688



p. 19, note 3. This picture of the two natives, most likely churls, carrying the King’s body on the cart, is singularly like the story of Rufus’ own end to which we shall come presently.

p. 27, l. 5. I should not have said “a relic,” as I find that the black cross of Scotland is a relic of great fame, as indeed is almost implied in the story.

p. 27, note 5. See vol. i. p. 167.

p. 28, note 5. Munch (Det Norske Folks Historie, ii. 471–475, for an introduction to which I have to thank Professor Fiske of Cornell University) connects this entry with the account of Magnus’ dealings with Man, spoken of in p. 138, and with every likelihood supposes an earlier expedition of Magnus in 1093, in which he appeared in both Scotland and Man, and which the writers of the Sagas have confounded with his expedition in 1098. We can thus understand the mention of Godred, who was certainly alive in 1093, and certainly dead in 1098. See also Anderson, Preface to Orkneyinga Saga, pp. xxxiii-xxxiv.

p. 31, l. 14. Not “the Breton Count Alan,” at least not the Count of the Bretons, but Alan of Richmond. See p. 602.

p. 49, l. 22, for “south-western” read “north-western.”

p. 62, note 5. Mr. Fowler writes to me that “what is left of William of Saint-Calais is under the floor in the part of the chapter-house still used. W. G. has one of his shoes. They began at the west end in burying the bishops in the chapter-house, and gradually worked eastward, ending with Kellow before the bishop’s seat at the east end. Rites of Durham (Surtees Society ed. p. 47) gives the names as they were ‘ingraven upon stone with the figure of the crosse + annexed to every of their said names,’ i.e. on the chapter-house floor, and between ‘Walcherus’ and ‘Ranulphus comes’.

‘Willielmus Episcopus.’

We found further east ‘Will. Secundus Episcopus’ [that is William of Saint Barbara, bishop from 1143–1152]. Wyatt smashed them all more or less.”

p. 81, note 1. See p. 614.

p. 88, l. 17. See below, p. 103.

p. 93, note 2. I presume this is the same king of whom we shall hear a great deal from p. 137 onwards.

p. 97, l. 2 from bottom. I have been unable to fix the exact site of Rhyd-y-gors; but I believe it is to be looked for in Caermarthenshire.

p. 101, l. 13. I am also unable to fix the exact site of Yspwys.

p. 134, l. 7 from bottom, for “Ulf” read “Wulf,” as in vol. i. p. 14. The xxiv English spelling is the better, but I suppose I was carried away by Scandinavian associations.

p. 134, l. 11. Munch (Det Norske Folks Historie, ii. 511) oddly refers to William of Malmesbury as making the companion of Magnus Barefoot, not a younger Harold, but the Magnus whom we have already heard of as our Harold’s son, as I suppose, by Eadgyth Swanneshals. But William of Malmesbury distinctly says Harold, and I can see nothing about it in the places in the Saga of Magnus and the Orkneyinga Saga to which he refers.

p. 136, l. 4 from bottom, for “Cronan” read “Crouan.”

p. 138, note 1. This is placed in the year 1098.

p. 144, l. 1. I know not by what carelessness I contrived, after referring (see p. 131) to Giraldus’ account of the earlier doings of the two Earls in Anglesey, to leave out all mention of his account of Hugh of Shrewsbury’s death, which follows immediately (It. Kamb. ii. 7, vol. vi. p. 129) on the story of the desecration of the church of Llantryfrydog. It agrees on most points very minutely with the narrative of Orderic; but it does not seem to be borrowed from it;

“Accesserant ad insulæ portum ab Orchadum insulis piratæ in navibus longis; quorum adventum ubi comes audivit, statim eis usque in ipsum mare, forti residens equo, animose nimis occurrit. Et ecce navium princeps, cui nomen Magnus, primæ navis in prora cum arcu prostans sagittam direxit. Et quanquam comes a vertice capitis usque ad talum pedis, præter oculos solum, ferro fideliter esset indutus, tamen dextro percussus in lumine, perforato cerebro, in mare corruit moribundus. Quem cum sic corruentem victor ab alto despiceret, superbe in victum et insolenter invectus, dixisse memoratur lingua Danica, ‘Leit loupe,’ quod Latine sonat Sine salire. Et ab hac in posterum hora potestas Anglorum in Monia cessavit.”

The only difference between this story and Orderic’s is that, while Orderic makes Magnus mourn when he learns whom he has slain, Giraldus puts into his mouth two good Teutonic words of triumph, which sound a great deal more natural. On the other hand we cannot accept Giraldus’ account of the immediate result of the encounter as regards Anglesey, which quite contradicts the witness of the Welsh writers. His statement however is true in the long run, as Anglesey was delivered again the next year. See p. 146.

In the Orkneyinga Saga, c. xxix. (p. 55, Anderson), Magnus “takes a psalter and sings during the battle.” Then, by his order, he and the man from Hálogoland shoot at the same time, and hit “Hugh the Proud,” much as in the other versions. He and “Hugh the Proud” are oddly spoken of as “British chiefs.”

p. 146, l. 17. See below, pp. 442, 623; but the words “and of other parts of North Wales” had better be left out.

p. 153, note 1, for “muentione” read “inuentione.”

p. 174, l. 4, for “from” read “for.”

p. 175, l. 3. I think we must accept this distinct statement as more trustworthy than the flourish of Orderic a few pages later, which I have quoted in p. 178, note 1. The present passage, besides its more distinct character, has the force of a correction.

p. 178, note 3. Suger is a discreet writer, or one might suspect him of xxv exaggeration in his figures both ways. If we take “milites” in the strict sense of knights, the French numbers seem strangely small, and the English strangely large. But any other sense of “miles” would make the French numbers quite incredible.

p. 181, note 1. And by the Loir too; see below, p. 276.

p. 190, l. 9 from bottom, “superinducta” is the favourite epithet for her.

p. 201, note 2. “Fraterculus” is an odd word; but it most likely points to Geoffrey as being one of the “canonici pueri” of whom we hear sometimes (see below, p. 521). “Frater” did not get its special meaning till the rise of the Friars, and we have seen the word “fratres” applied to the canons of Waltham. One might for a moment think that Geoffrey was a brother of the Bishop’s own, but this is forbidden by the account of his kindred which directly follows.

p. 207, note 1. This time, when William and Robert were together at Rouen, can only have been about September, 1096, just after the conference between the brothers spoken of in vol. i. p. 559, and just before Robert set forth on the crusade.

p. 230, last line, for “he” read “we.”

p. 243, note 1. It is rather odd that exactly this same phrase of “callidus senex,” here applied to Robert of Meulan, should be also applied to the old Roger of Beaumont in the story told in vol. i. p. 194. We must remember that our present “callidus senex” had been married, seemingly for the first time, only two years before (see vol. i. p. 551), and that he lived till 1118.

p. 250, l. 8. This is doubtless true, but the specially strange guise, described in the passage of William of Malmesbury referred to in the note, was not put on till William of Aquitaine had come back from the crusade. See above, p. 113.

p. 252, note 2. See above, p. 178, and the correction just above, p. 175.

p. 260, note 3. See at the end of the chapter, p. 302, and note 1.

p. 290, l. 2 from bottom. Yet see the piece of Angevin scandal quoted in p. 609.

p. 312, l. 10, for “both Rogers, the Duke of Apulia and the young Count of Sicily, to be one day the first and all but the most famous of Sicilian kings,” read “both Rogers, the Duke of Apulia and the Count of Sicily, now drawing near to the end of his stirring life.” The elder Roger was still alive, though he did not live long after.

p. 343, l. 1. The abbey of Saint Alban’s was not vacant at this time, see p. 666; and for “thirteen” and “twelve” read “twelve” and “eleven,” see note.

p. 347, note 2. Orderic is rather full on the circumstances of the election than on the election itself; see p. 680.

p. 359, l. 11, for “thirteen” read “eleven.”

p. 360, note 1. It must have been at the same time that Abbot Odo of Chertsey was restored to his abbey. See vol. i. p. 350.

p. 380, note 4. We have had one or two other cases of a church tenant like this Eadric or Godric, giving back his lease by way of a benefaction.

p. 389, l. 18. The imperial dignity of Matilda is greatly enlarged on by the poet of Draco Normannicus, i. 4. Two lines are,

xxvi “Suscipit Henricus sponsam, statimque coronat,
Hoc insigne decus maxima Roma dedit.”

p. 396, l. 4. See vol. i. p. 184.

p. 413, l. 6 from bottom, for “in a neighbour” read “a neighbour in.”

p. 416, l. 1. I cannot admit the statement of Flambard’s Durham biographer, who puts his restoration at this point. It is not so much that he had no claim to restoration by the general terms of the treaty, for he might have been specially included in it. But his restoration at this time is quite inconsistent with Orderic’s account of his dealings with the bishopric of Lisieux, which cannot be mere confusion or invention.

p. 450, l. 3. After the words “give thanks to the Lord God,” insert “for thou hast now begun to be a free king.”

p. 454, l. 13 from bottom, for “his” read “the King’s.”

p. 472, l. 1. This grant of Northallerton must be the same as the grant mentioned in the charter which I have quoted in p. 535; cf. pp. 299, 508.

p. 487, ll. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. It does not appear that any of the regular assemblies of the year 1101 was held at Windsor. The Whitsun assembly (see p. 399) may have been held there, but it is hardly likely. But the mere confirmation of an earlier grant need not have been made in a regular gemót.

p. 503, l. 13. For “hanc terram” read “hac terra.”

p. 508. Several gifts of Rufus to the Abbey of Gloucester are recorded in the Gloucester Cartulary, i. 68, i. 102, i. 115. This last, which appears again in ii. 293, is a grant to the abbey of the right of catching sturgeons. This cannot have been one of the grants made during his sickness at Gloucester (see vol. i. p. 395), as it is dated from Huntingdon; but in the grant in i. 102, it is expressly said that it was made when the King was “apud Gloucestriam morbo gravi vexatus.” In i. 238, 239, 240, Henry and Stephen confirm gifts of their brother and uncle. The document in ii. 107, which in the index is referred to William Rufus, clearly belongs to the Conqueror, and to the earlier part of his reign, before the death of William Fitz-Osbern in 1071; it refers to the lands of the church of Gloucester which were held by Archbishop Thomas. See N. C. vol. ii. p. 690.

In the Register of Malmesbury (p. 330) there is a singular charter in favour of the Abbey of Malmesbury granted during his stay at Hastings in 1094. It brings in several familiar names great and small, and illustrates the relations between landowners of any kind and the King and his huntsmen;

“Willelmus rex Angliæ O. episcopo et W. Hosato, et C. venatori, et A. falconario, salutem. Sciatis me abbati Godefrido silvas suas ad custodiendum commendasse. Nolo ergo ut aliquis forestarius meus de eis se intromittat. Et Croco venatori præcipio ut de ix. sol. quos super homines suos placitaverat eum et suos clamet quietos. Teste Willelmo episcopo, et F. filio Hamonis, R. capellano, apud Hastinge.”

p. 569, heading, for “Losinga” read “Herbert.”

p. 585, l. 1. It is odd that William of Malmesbury should speak of the all-powerful Roger of Salisbury as “alius quidam episcopus;” for we see from the Chronicle (see p. 587) that it was no other.

p. 592, l. 10, for “þaes” read “þæs.”

p. 600, l. 6 from bottom. I seem in p. 30 to have taken “puellæ nostræ” xxvii to mean the nuns; but it would rather seem, both here and in the next page, to mean, other girls sent merely for education, like Eadgyth herself.

p. 605, l. 8 from bottom. I cannot get rid of a lurking notion that this “Aldredi” should be “Alberici.” But I do not know how Alberic could appear with the title of earl in the time of Waltheof.

p. 611, l. 9 from bottom. See M. Paris, ed. Wats, Additamenta, p. 199.





THE year of Anselm’s appointment to the archbishopric, Events of the year 1093. that part of the year which passed between the day when the bishop’s staff was forced into 4 his hand and the day when he received consecration from Thomas of Bayeux, was a time full of stirring and memorable events of quite another kind. Relations between England and Scotland. War of 1093. It was now that some of the events of former years were to bring forth fruit. The relations between England and Scotland were of a kind which might lead to open warfare at any moment.[2] This year the open warfare came. And it was a warfare which was far more important in its direct results than mere plundering inroads on either side of the border commonly were. Its results. The direct results of the warfare of this year were in truth the crowning result of causes which had been working for a whole generation. Growth of the English power It was a singular irony of fate which made William the Red in some sort a missionary, not only of the political power of the English kingdom, but of the ascendency of the English blood and speech. He began the later position of England as an European power. He extended the boundaries of the kingdom of England within his own island. and of the English nation under William Rufus. And, more than this, he gave decisive help to a work which wrought one of the greatest of victories, not so much for England as a power as for the English-speaking folk in their English-speaking character. That he gave kings to Scotland was a small matter; that was done by other rulers of England before and after him. What specially marks his reign is that in his day, and largely by his agency, it was ruled that, of the three elements in Northern Britain, British, English, and Scottish or Irish, the English 5 element should have the upper hand. The Scottish kingdom becomes English. It was ruled that the kingdom of Scotland, whatever might be its relations towards the kingdom of England, whether separate or united, whether dependent or independent, whether friendly or hostile, should be itself truly an English kingdom, a kingdom which was for some generations more truly English than the southern England itself.

Summary of Scottish affairs. The Scottish affairs with which we shall have to deal in the present chapter begin with the controversy between William Rufus and Malcolm which led to the death of Malcolm in his last invasion of England. Death of Malcolm; first reign of Donald. 1093. On this follows that first outburst of the true Scottish nationality which led to the election of Donald, followed by his overthrow and the establishment of Duncan by the power of England. Reign of Duncan. Then, after a short interval, comes the second national uprising, and the restoration of Donald. After a longer interval comes the second overthrow of Donald, and the establishment of the younger Eadgar by the arms of the elder. Second reign of Donald. 1094. Establishment of Eadgar. 1097. The question was now decided in favour of the line of Malcolm and Margaret and of the form of English influence which was represented by that line. And between these two last revolutions we may record, as a kind of episode for which it is not easy to find a place in the general run of any other narrative, Revolt of Robert of Mowbray. 1095. the revolt and overthrow of the great earl of Northern England which forms at least a poetical sequence to the overthrow of Malcolm. Between the second establishment and the second overthrow of Donald, I propose to tell, in its chronological order, the tale of the slayers of Malcolm, of Earl Robert of Mowbray and his kinsman Morel. There is little doubt that their revolt was connected with movements in Normandy also; but it would have been hard to describe it in a chapter in which Anselm is the chief actor. It 6 comes better in its moral and geographical relation towards the affairs of Scotland.

But Scotland was not the only land within the four seas of Britain with which the kingdom of England has much to do, especially in the way of fighting, within the few years of this memorable reign. Affairs of Wales. The affairs of Wales are still more constantly coming before our eyes. While the Red King is on the throne, Welsh warfare supplies, year after year, no small part of the events which the chronicler of England has to record. The Welsh history of this time is one of deep interest on many grounds. But it is specially important as giving us an example of a third type of conquest in our own island, a conquest differing widely both from the English Conquest of Britain and from the Norman Conquest of England. Comparison between Wales and Scotland. Nor do the affairs of Wales fail to supply us with some instructive contrasts as compared with the affairs of Scotland. Scotland and the other dominions of the Scottish king seem throughout this time to act as a whole, at least as regards England. The land is conquered, or it wins back its freedom; it receives foreign influences, or it casts them out; but it seems to do all these things as a whole. The union was perhaps very much on the surface, but the events of this time bring whatever there was of union to the front. Disunion in Wales. The British story, on the other hand, is the story of disunion in its strongest form. Alike in victory and in defeat, all is local and personal; common action on the part of the whole nation seems impossible. The result of English dealings with Wales during these years may be summed up as immediate loss and final success, as defeat in detail leading to substantial conquest. Effects of the reign on the union of Britain. It is to this reign more than to any other that we may trace up the beginning of the chain of events which has gradually welded together England, Scotland, and Wales, into the thoroughly united island of 7 Great Britain. The remote causes begin far earlier; now we begin to enter on the actual story itself. And from that story we may perhaps draw another lesson. Its causes. Three nations, differing in blood and speech, once parted by bitter enmities, have been worked together into one political whole, while still keeping so much of old diversity as is really healthy, so much as hinders a dull and lifeless uniformity, so much as sometimes kindles to wholesome rivalry in a common cause. But this has been because the facts of geography allowed and almost compelled their union; it has been because the nature of the old enmities was such as did not hinder union. England, Scotland, and Wales, have at various times done one another a good deal of mischief; there has been no time when any one of the three held either of the others in abiding Turkish bondage. But these very facts may teach us that the same result cannot be looked for in a land where the undying laws of nature and the events of past history alike forbid it. Such union cannot be where the boundaries of land and water on the map, where the memory of abiding Turkish bondage in days not long passed by, join to hinder the same process of welding together which has so happily taken place among the three nations of the isle of Britain. Comparison with Ireland and Normandy. William the Red did much for the final union of Britain, because nature favoured that union. He brought Normandy under the same rule as England, but only for the two lands to be again parted asunder, because nature forbad their union. And if it be true that from the rocks of Saint David’s he looked out on the dim outline of distant Ireland, he did well to turn away from the prospect, to bluster and threaten, it may be, but to keep the practical exercise of his warfare and his policy for other lands. He did well to keep it, as far as the island world was concerned, for those lands which, as the event has shown, nature did 8 not forbid to be, in course of ages, fully united with his kingdom.

§ 1. The Last Year of Malcolm.

We should be glad of a clearer account than we have of the immediate causes which led to the open breach between William and Malcolm in the year which followed the restoration of Carlisle. Complaints made by Malcolm. It is certain that Malcolm complained through an embassy that the King of the English had failed to carry out the provisions of the treaty made two years before. Nothing is more likely; it was not the manner of William Rufus to carry out his treaties with other princes, any more than his promises to his subjects. Both alike, being parts of his everyday duty, and not lighted up with the rays of chivalrous honour, were reckoned by him under the head of those promises which no man can carry out. But we should be well pleased to know whether the alleged breach of treaty had anything to do with William’s Cumbrian conquest. Effects on Scotland of the restoration of Carlisle. The strengthening of Carlisle, the annexation of its district, could in no case have been agreeable to the King of Scots. And if, as there seems every reason to believe, the land had been held by its late lord Dolfin as a vassal of the Scottish crown, what William had done was a distinct aggression on the rights of that crown. Probable wrong to Scotland. The superiority of the English crown over both Scotland and Cumberland would in no way justify the act; it would have been a wrong done to the Duke of the Normans if the King of the French had annexed Ponthieu and strengthened Saint Valery against Normandy. Other grounds of offence. But we are not told whether this was the ground of offence, or whether William had failed to carry out any of the clauses of the treaty, those for instance which secured to the King of Scots certain payments 9 and possessions in England.[3] What followed may perhaps suggest that, however much the occupation of Carlisle may have rankled in the mind of Malcolm, the formal ground of complaint was something of this last kind. Scottish embassy at Gloucester. March, 1093. Whatever were his wrongs, the Scottish king sent to complain of them, and the answer which he received was one which shows that, at this first stage, Rufus was not disposed to slight the complaint. We are not told the exact date of this first Scottish embassy. It may very well have come during the short season of William’s reformation; his seeming readiness to deal reasonably with the matter, as contrasted with his conduct a few months later, may pass as one of the fruits of his temporary penitence, along with the appointment of Anselm and the promise of good laws. Malcolm summoned to Gloucester. He sent an embassy to Scotland, inviting or summoning the Scottish King to Gloucester, and giving hostages for his safety. This looks very much as if the ground of complaint was the refusal of some of the rights which had been promised to Malcolm whenever he came to the English court. The Scottish King agreed to come on these terms. William, in his present frame of mind, was seemingly anxious to do all honour to the prince with whom he was dealing. Eadgar sent to bring him. The Scottish ambassadors were sent back to bring their king, and with them, as the most fitting of mediators, was sent the man who had himself for a moment been a king, the brother-in-law of Malcolm, the favoured guest of William, the Ætheling Eadgar.[4]

Eadgar in favour with William. We last heard of Eadgar somewhat more than a year before, when Robert left England in anger, and Eadgar went with him.[5] This seems to imply that the relations between William and Eadgar were at that moment unfriendly. 10 We have no account of Eadgar’s return to England; but the duty on which he was now sent implies that he was now not only in William’s formal favour, but in his real confidence. His mission to Scotland. He who had lately been Malcolm’s representative in a conference with William now acts as William’s representative in a conference with Malcolm. Eadgar, like his friend Duke Robert, was clearly one of those men who can act better on behalf of others than on behalf of themselves.[6] In his present mission he seems to have acquitted himself to William’s full satisfaction; the King of Scots was persuaded to come to the English court. If his coming did not prove specially lucky either to himself or to the over-lord to whom he came, that was at all events not the fault of Eadgar.

Events of the year 1093. While Eadgar was away on his mission to Scotland, he left behind him a busy state of things in England. His embassy came in the midst of the long delays between Anselm’s first nomination and his investiture, enthronement, and consecration. It came in the time when William of Eu was plotting,[7] and when, as we shall presently see, seeming conquest was going on throughout Wales. Meeting at Gloucester. August 24, 1093. The place and day for which Malcolm was summoned to the King’s court was Gloucester on the feast of Saint Bartholomew. This can hardly have been a forestalling of the regular Christmas Gemót, for which, by the rule of the last reign, Gloucester was the proper place. But this year, like most years when William Rufus was in England, was a year of meetings. This cannot be the meeting at which Anselm was invested and did homage, for that, as we have seen, was at Winchester.[8] But, if Winchester was near to the New Forest, Gloucester was near to the Forest of Dean, and would on that account not be without its attractions for the Red King.[9] Or it 11 may well be that the presence of the King at Gloucester, both now and earlier in the year, may have been caused by the convenience of that city for assemblies in which action against the Britons might have to be discussed.[10] Malcolm sets forth. August, 1093. Malcolm accordingly set forth, “with mickle worship,” in the beginning of August as it would seem, to go to the court of the over-lord by the Severn.

He stops at Durham. On his way he tarried to take part in a great ecclesiastical ceremony, his share in which was not without a political meaning. Rebuilding of the abbey. The Bishop of Durham, William of Saint-Calais, now again the King’s chief counsellor, already his partisan in the opening strife with Anselm,[11] was ready to begin his great work of rebuilding Saint Cuthberht’s abbey. The church of Ealdhun, which had escaped the flames on the day of Robert of Comines,[12] could not really have been ruinous beyond repair; but, after the fashion of the time, it was doomed to make way for a building, built not only on a vaster scale, but in an improved form of art surpassing every contemporary building.[13] Malcolm lays a foundation stone. August 11, 1093. Of the mighty pile which still stands, the glory of the Northern Romanesque, King Malcolm now laid one of the foundation-stones, along with Bishop William and Prior Turgot.[14] The invitation to take part in such 12 a work was clearly meant as a mark of honour and friendship on both sides. But it must surely have meant more. The King of Scots could not on any showing have claimed any authority at Durham. But he was something more than a mere foreign visitor. As ecclesiastical geography was understood at Durham, Malcolm was no stranger there; he was rather quite at home. At York he might have been told that the whole of his dominions owed spiritual allegiance to that metropolis. But the Bishops of Durham, practically the only suffragans of the see of York and suffragans almost on a level with their metropolitan, were at no time specially zealous for the rights of the Northern Primate. Much of Malcolm’s dominions in Durham diocese. But, as they drew the ecclesiastical map, a great part of Malcolm’s dominions, his earldom of Lothian, his Castle of the Maidens, perhaps even lands beyond those borders, all came within their own immediate spiritual charge. To the counsellor of King William Malcolm came as the highest vassal of the English crown; to the Bishop of Durham he came as the highest layman in his own diocese. As such, he was fittingly asked to take a share in a work which concerned the kingdom and the church of which he was one of the chief members. Import of the ceremony. His consent, besides being a mark of friendship alike towards King William and Bishop William, was doubtless taken as an acknowledgement that he belonged to the temporal realm of the one and to the spiritual fold of the other. And if Malcolm had learned any of the subtleties of some of his contemporaries and of some of his successors, he might have comforted himself with the thought that, whatever the laying of the stone implied, it was laid only by the Earl of Lothian and not by the King of Scots.

From Durham and its ceremonies Malcolm, Earl and 13 King, went on to the court of the over-lord at Gloucester. Malcolm at Gloucester. August 24, 1093. He had evidently come disposed to make the best of matters, as William himself had been during his time of sickness and penitence. But now in August Rufus was himself again; he had repented of his repentance; he was more than ever puffed up with pride and with the feeling of his own power. Rufus refuses to see Malcolm. Out of mere insolence, it would seem, in defiance of the advice of his counsellors who wished for peace, he refused to have any speech with, or even to see, the royal vassal and guest who had made such a journey to come to his presence.[15] Whatever passed between the kings must have passed by way of message through third parties. Dispute between the kings. In one account we read generally that Rufus would do nothing of what he had promised to Malcolm.[16] In another version we are told, with all the precision of legal language, that William Question of “doing right.” demanded that Malcolm should “do right” to him by the judgement of the barons of England only, while Malcolm maintained that he was bound by ancient custom to “do right” only on the borders of the two kingdoms, where the kings of Scots were wont to “do right” to the kings of the English, and that by the judgement of the great men of both kingdoms.[17] The meaning of these words is plainly open to dispute, and it has naturally given rise to not a little.[18] Probable pretensions of Rufus. Their most natural meaning seems to be that William wished to deal with the kingdom of Scotland as with an ordinary fief. Such a claim would have been against all precedent, and it would be specially dangerous when William Rufus was king and when Randolf Flambard was his minister. On the other hand, Malcolm in no way denies the superiority of the English crown; he stands simply on the ground of 14 ancient custom. He is ready to “do right,” a process clearly to be done by an inferior to a superior; but he will do it only as by ancient custom it was wont to be done. Because a kingdom acknowledged the external superiority of another kingdom, it did not at all follow that its king was bound to submit himself to the judgement of the barons of the superior kingdom. The original commendation had been made, not only by the King of Scots, but by the whole Scottish people,[19] and their king might fairly claim that he should have the advice and help of his own Wise Men in making answer to any charge that was brought against him. This is one of the cases in which the use of technical language, without any full explanation of the circumstances, really makes a matter darker; and we must perhaps be content to leave the exact point at issue unsettled. William in the wrong. But it is plain from the English Chronicle that William was in the wrong; he refused to do something for Malcolm which he had promised to do. The obligations of a treaty sat lightly on the Red King; but on one point his honour was pledged. Malcolm had come under a safe-conduct—​the sending of hostages, if nothing else, shows it. William observes his safe-conduct. And a safe-conduct from Rufus might always be trusted. We cannot say that the two kings parted in wrath, seeing they did not meet at all. But Malcolm naturally went away in great wrath, and he left Rufus behind him in great wrath also. He reached his own kingdom in safety; what he did with the hostages we are not told.[20]

Northumberland Campaign

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the
A.D. 1093–95.

The silly pride shown by William Rufus at Gloucester led to a series of events of the highest importance both as to the relations between England and Scotland, and as to the internal affairs of the northern kingdom. 15 Malcolm’s last invasion of England. As soon as Malcolm reached Scotland, he gathered together his forces, and began his fifth, and, as it happened, his last, invasion of England. He entered the earldom of Northumberland, and harried after his usual fashion as far as some point which, there is no reason to doubt, was in the near neighbourhood of Alnwick. He draws near to Alnwick. We may fairly accept the tradition which carries him to the spot known as Malcolm’s Cross, where a commemorative rood once stood, and where the ruins of a Romanesque chapel may still be seen. The spot is on high ground overlooking the river Alne, while on the opposite side of the stream a lower height is crowned by the town of Alnwick castle. Alnwick, and by such remains of its famous castle as modern innovation has spared. The neighbourhood of Alnwick and the Percies. that castle, the fame of the historic house which once held it, has caused every place and every act into which the name of Alnwick or of Percy can be dragged to be surrounded by an atmosphere of legend. The first Percy at Alnwick. 1309. It needs some little effort to take in the fact that, as the Percies of history have long passed away from Alnwick, so in the days of Malcolm some centuries had to pass before the Percies of history reached Alnwick. It needs some further effort to take in the further fact that the true Percy, The true Percies. the Percy of Domesday, the Percy of Yorkshire, never had anything to do with Alnwick or with Northumberland at all. And it perhaps needs a further effort again to take in the fact that it is by no means clear whether in the days of Malcolm there was any castle of Alnwick in being. One may guess that the site had been fortified at some earlier time; The Vescies at Alnwick. but the known history of Alnwick, castle and abbey, begins with the works of the elder lords of Alnwick, the house of Vescy, in the next century.[21] Of that date a noble gateway has still been spared, which may 1174. well have looked on the captivity of the Scottish William 16 in the days of Henry the Second, but which assuredly did not look on the death of Malcolm in the days of the Red King. The height to which Malcolm’s harryings reached may have looked down on some earlier fortress beyond the Alne, or it may simply have looked down on the town of Alnwick, which was doubtless already in being. But whatever was there at that time in the way of artificial defence, there were stout hearts and a wary leader ready to meet the king who was invading England for the fifth time.

English feeling about Malcolm. It is certainly strange that in not a few English writers, generally indeed those who are parted from the event by some distance of time and place, the overthrow of the invaders which now followed is told with a certain feeling for the invader and with a certain feeling against those who overthrew him. Malcolm perhaps drew to himself some share of the national and religious halo which gathered round his wife, while there was nothing attractive, either on national or on personal grounds, in the men who at that time stood forth as the champions of England. Yet it must have been the “good men” of two years past[22] who now went forth under the cunning guidance of Earl Robert of Mowbray. By some ambush or other stratagem, that skilful captain led his forces on the Scottish King unawares, under circumstances which are not detailed, but which have led even English writers to speak of the attack as treacherous.[23] Death of Malcolm. November 13, 1093. Malcolm was killed; and with him died his son and expected heir Eadward. They fell on the day of Saint Brice, ninety-one years after the great slaughter of the Danes which has made that day memorable in the kalendar of England.[24] Malcolm slain by Morel. The actual slayer of Malcolm was his gossip Morel, Earl Robert’s nephew 17 and steward, guardian of the rock and fortress of Bamburgh. From him it would seem that Alnwick, or perhaps rather the dale between Alnwick and Malcolm’s Cross, took the name of Moreldene.[25] Morel was, it was noticed, the gossip, the compater, of Malcolm, as William Malet was of Harold;[26] and it seems almost to be implied, by writers far away from Alnwick, that this spiritual affinity made the slaughter of the invader a crime.

Burial of Malcolm at Tynemouth. The body of Malcolm, like the bodies of Harold and Waltheof, received a first burial and a later translation. It was first borne to the church of Saint Oswine at Tynemouth, a place which was growing into great reputation under the special favour of Earl Robert. History of Tynemouth. Through his bounty the walls of a new minster were rising within his fortress which crowned the rocky height on the left bank of the mouth of the great Northumbrian river. That fortress and that minster will again play a memorable part in the chequered history of their founder. But the church of Saint Oswine, the martyred King of Deira, did not owe its first origin to Robert of Mowbray or to any other stranger.[27] Martyrdom of King Oswine. The body of the sainted king, slain by the practice of the Bretwalda Oswin, was laid in a church which was said to have been first built of wood by the Bretwalda Eadwine, and then rebuilt of stone by the sainted Bretwalda Oswald. First church of Tynemouth. The position of Tynemouth marked it out as a special point for attack and defence in the days of the Danish invasions; but, after the havoc which they caused, the holy place had been neglected and forgotten. Invention of Saint Oswine. March 15, 1065. In the days of Earl Tostig 18 and Bishop Æthelwine the pious care of the Earl’s wife Judith had led to the invention of the martyr’s relics, and to the beginning of a new church. Of that Tostig begins the new church. church Tostig laid the foundations in the year of his fall, but men of another speech were to finish it. The unfinished church was granted by Earl Waltheof to the monks of the newly restored house of Jarrow, and his gift was confirmed by the Norman Earl Alberic. Tynemouth granted to Jarrow by Waltheof. A gift to Jarrow proved, as events turned out, to be the same thing as a gift to Durham; but, before the change of foundation at Durham, the monks of Jarrow had removed the relics of Saint Oswine from Tynemouth to their own church. Earl Robert grants Tynemouth to Saint Alban’s. With the reign of Earl Robert a change came. Out of devotion, and at the heavenly bidding, as was believed at Saint Alban’s—​out of a quarrel with Bishop William, as was believed at Durham—​but at all events out of a feeling for the memory of Oswine which showed that he had learned some reverence for the worthies of the land in which he had settled—​Earl Robert deprived the church of Durham of this possession, and refounded Tynemouth as a cell to the distant abbey of Saint Alban. Death of Abbot Paul. 1093. Abbot Paul came in person to take possession, in defiance of all protests on behalf of Durham, where it was believed that his death which soon followed was the punishment of this wrong. Translation of Saint Oswine. August 23, 1103. Saint Oswine himself was not translated back to Tynemouth till the power of Robert of Mowbray had passed away. But the church on the rock became famous, and it fills a considerable place in the local history of Saint Alban’s. There, in the chosen sanctuary of his conqueror, the body of Malcolm lay for awhile. Malcolm translated to Dunfermline. He was afterwards moved to his own Dunfermline[28] , where the pillars of his minster, in their deep channellings, bear witness to an 19 abiding tie, at least of the artistic kind, between the royal abbey of Scotland and the great church of Northern England of which a Scottish king laid the foundation-stone.

But, if English writers in later times, and even men who wrote at the time in distant parts of England, found some flowers to strew on the tomb of the husband of the saintly daughter of the old kingly line, no such feelings were shared by those who had seen Malcolm and his invading host at their own doors. Local estimate of Malcolm’s death. The chronicler who wrote nearest to the spot stops, as he records the death of Malcolm, to mark the judgement of God which cut off the merciless enemy of England. He stops to reckon up all the times that Malcolm had laid waste the fields of Northumberland, and had carried away the folk of Northumberland into bondage.[29] He tells with glee how the invading host utterly vanished; how they were either cut down by the sword of the avenger, or swept away by the floods of Alne, swollen by the winter’s rain beyond its wonted depth and strength.[30] He records the burial at Tynemouth; but he takes care to tell how none of the Scottish host was left to bury the Scottish king, but how the charity of two men of the land bore him on a wain to the place of burial.[31] And he adds the moral, equally applicable to all ambitious kings, that he who had deprived so many of life and goods and 20 freedom now, by God’s just judgement, lost his life and his goods together.[32]

The invading king was dead, and with him the son whom he had designed to wear his crown after him was dead also. The saintly wife of Malcolm and mother of Eadward was soon to follow her husband and her son. Character of Margaret. Of the true holiness of Margaret, of her zeal, not only for a formal devotion, but for all that is morally right, none can doubt.[33] A woman evidently of great natural gifts and of a cultivation unusual in her time, she deeply impressed all whom she came across, her own husband most of all. Malcolm’s devotion to her. To Malcolm his Margaret was indeed a pearl of great price, to be cherished, almost to be worshipped, as already a saint on earth. She taught him to share her devotions, till men wondered at such piety in a man of this world.[34] It is touching to read how the unlettered king loved to look with wonder on the books in which his queen delighted; how those which she delighted in more than others he would cherish and kiss like holy relics, how he would have them adorned with gold and gems, and would then bring them back to his wife in their new splendour, as sacred offerings.[35] 21 Her prayers, her fasts, her never-failing bounty to the poor, stand out in her biography even more conspicuously than her gifts to churches, to distant Iona among them.[36] Margaret’s education of her children. It is perhaps a rarer merit that the influence of her personal example hindered the slightest approach to foul or profane speech in her presence,[37] and that her careful education of her children handed on her virtues to another generation. For Margaret was not one of those who sought for their own soul’s health in neglecting the most obvious duties of the state of life to which God had called them. In the petty and selfish devotion of her great-uncle she had no share; called to be wife, mother, and queen, it was by doing her duty as wife, mother, and queen that she won her claim to a higher saintship than that of Æthelthryth at Ely or of Eadgyth at Wilton. The witness of Margaret is in her children, children many of whom bore the great and kingly names of her own house. The careful training which the Conqueror gave to his children showed its fruits in his daughters only; the teaching of Margaret lived in her sons as well. Her sons; Eadward died with his father; but in 22 Eadgar and Alexander and the more renowned David, she gave three kings to Scotland, of whom the two latter were kings indeed, while all three inherited the gentleness and piety of their mother, along with the virtue so rare among the princes of that day, the strictest purity of personal life.[38] David; David, son-in-law of Waltheof, who gave Scotland worthy heirs to succeed him, surely ranks higher on the roll of royal saints than Eadward, son-in-law of Godwine, who left England to the chances of a disputed succession. One child only of this goodly stock is spoken of as falling away from the bright example of his parent.[39] Eadmund. Yet Eadmund, alone of the children of Margaret, lived to become a cloistered monk; and he was perhaps deemed degenerate only because he fell back on the character of a Scottish patriot of an older type.

Had Margaret confined her cares to bringing up her own children in strict piety and virtue, one of her sons would in all likelihood have mounted his father’s throne immediately after the bloody day of Alnwick. Margaret’s reforms. But in Malcolm’s kingdom she came, in her own eyes at least, as the representative of a higher morality, a purer religion, and a more advanced civilization, and she felt specially called on to play the part of a reformer. State of religion in Scotland. The ecclesiastical condition of Scotland was by no means perfect, according to the standard which Margaret had 23 brought with her. The Scots still kept Easter at a wrong time; they said mass in some way which at Durham was deemed barbarous;[40] they cared not for the Lord’s day; and they are said to have neglected the most ordinary Christian rules in the matter of marriage. They took to wife, after Jewish models, the widows of their brothers, and even, after old Teutonic models, the widows of their fathers. All these evils, ecclesiastical and moral, Margaret set herself zealously to root out. Councils were gathered to work the needful reforms, and Malcolm acts as his wife’s interpreter. Margaret found her husband an useful interpreter. For the king who had been placed on the Scottish throne by the will of Eadward and the arms of Siward naturally spoke the English tongue as readily as that of his own people.[41] But Margaret was a queen as well as a saint; and she either took a personal pleasure in the pomp of royalty or else she deemed royal state to be wholesome in its effects on the minds of the barbarous people. She increases the pomp of the Scottish court. The King of Scots was taught to show himself in more gorgeous apparel, to ride with a greater and more stately train, than his forefathers had been wont to do. But the righteous queen knew something of the evils which might come of a king’s great and stately following, and she took care that the train of King Malcolm should not, like the train of King William, pass among the fields and households of his people like a blight or a pestilence[42] . That Margaret should innovate in the 24 direction of state and ceremony was not wonderful. Her early associations. Daughter of kings, kinswoman, perhaps daughter, of Cæsars, she had, in her childhood and youth, seen something of many lands. She may have seen the crown of Saint Stephen, still in its freshness, on the brow of a Magyar king, and the crown of Charles and Otto on the brow of an Imperial kinsman. She had assuredly seen King Eadward, King Harold, and King William, in all the glory of the crown to which her husband’s crown owed homage. And we may be sure that the kingly state of Scotland was mean besides that of Germany, of England, and even of Hungary. Margaret might well think it a duty to herself and to her husband to raise him in outward things nearer to a level with his brother kings both of the island and of the mainland. Feeling of the Scots. But the policy of such a course, among such a people as the Scots of that age, may well be doubted. A fierce race, hard to control at any time, may well have had no great love for an outward show of kingship, which would be taken, and rightly, as the sign of a growth of the kingly power such as agreed neither with their customs nor with their wishes.

English influence in Scotland. Margaret moreover was a stranger in Scotland. One can well believe that the native Scots were already beginning to be jealous of English influence in any shape. Before Margaret came, they must have felt that the English element in the triple dominion was growing into greater importance than their own. Lothian was becoming greater than the true Scottish land beyond the Scots’-water. Fife, it may well be, was already becoming as Lothian. Malcolm himself had been placed on the throne 25 by English arms; he had become the man of two kings who were politically English, though they held England as a conquered realm. His five invasions of England must have been quite needful to keep up even Malcolm’s character among his own people. Scottish feeling towards Margaret. And his English queen, bringing in English ways, trying to turn Scotland into another England, stopping good old Scottish customs and good old Scottish licence, tricking out the King of Albanach in some new devised foreign garb, English, Norman, German, or Hungarian, must have been looked at in her own time, by the Scots of her own day, with very different feelings towards the living queen from those with which they soon learned to look towards the national saint. English and Norman settlers. She came too with her English following, and her English following was only the first wave of many which came to strengthen the English element which was already strong in the land. While Malcolm and Margaret reigned, Scotland, the land which had sheltered Margaret and her house in their days of banishment, stood open to receive, and its king’s court stood open to welcome, every comer from the south. Native Englishmen flying from Norman oppression and Norman plunder,—​Normans who thought that their share in the plunder of England was too small—​men of both races, of both tongues, of every class and rank among the two races,—​all found a settlement across the Scottish border. The King spoke English; the Queen most likely spoke French also; Englishmen and Normans alike seemed civilizing elements among the people whom Margaret had to polish and to convert. Both Normans and English kept Easter at the right time, and neither Normans nor English thought of marrying their step-mothers. Scotland and the court of Scotland were crowded with English and Norman knights, with English and Norman clerks. They got benefices, temporal and 26 spiritual, in the Scottish land. They may have converted; they may have civilized; but conversion and civilization are processes which are not always specially delighted in by those who are to be converted and civilized. Anyhow they were strangers, brought into the land by kingly favour, to flourish, as men would naturally deem, at the cost of the sons of the soil. Jealousy of the native Scots. The national spirit of the Scottish people arose; the jealousy of the strangers established in the land waxed stronger and stronger. It might be in some measure kept down as long as novelty was embodied in the persons of the warrior king and the holy queen. As soon as they were gone, the pent-up torrent burst forth in its full strength.

The news of Malcolm’s death brought to Margaret. November 17, 1093. The first to bring the news of the death of her husband and son to the ears of Margaret was another of her sons, the future King Eadgar. As the tale reached Peterborough, Worcester, and Saint Evroul, the Queen, when she heard the tidings, became as one dead at heart; she settled her temporal affairs; she gave gifts to the poor; then she entered the church with her chaplain; she communicated at the mass which he sang; she prayed that her soul might pass away, and her prayer was granted.[43] English version of her death. This is a version which has already received a legendary element. It is not, strictly speaking, miraculous, but is on the way to become so. A person, seemingly in health, is made to die in answer to prayer on the receipt of ill news. The tale, as told by an eye-witness, is different. The Queen had long been expecting death; for half a year she had never mounted 27 a horse, and had but seldom left her bed.[44] On the fourth day after her husband’s death, feeling somewhat stronger, Turgot’s version. she went into her private oratory; she heard mass, and communicated. Her sickness increased; she was taken back to her bed, holding and kissing a relic known as the Black Cross of Scotland,[45] and waiting for her end. She prayed and repeated the fifty-first psalm,[46] with the cross in her hand. The agony was already near when Eadgar came from the war. She was able to ask after his father and brother. Fearing to distress his mother yet more, Eadgar said that they were well.[47] Margaret conjured him as her son, and by the cross which she had in her hand, to speak the truth. He then told her the grievous tale. She murmured not, nor sinned with her lips.[48] She could even give thanks for her sorrows, sent, as she deemed, to cleanse her from her sins.[49] As one who had just 28 partaken of the holy rite, she began the prayer which follows communion, and, as she prayed, her soul left the world. The deadly paleness passed away from her face, and she lay, red and white, as one sleeping.[50] Her burial at Dunfermline. The place of her death was Edinburgh, the castle of maidens;[51] her body was borne to Dunfermline and buried there, before the altar of the church of the Holy Trinity of her own rearing.[52]

We read the touching tale with different feelings from those with which it was heard at the moment by Scots who clave to old Scottish ways, good or bad. We have even hints that the funeral of the sainted queen could not go from Edinburgh to Dunfermline without danger. Scottish feeling towards her. It needed either a miracle or the natural phænomena of the country to enable the body of the English lady to be carried out of one gate of the Castle of the Maidens, while the champions of the old times of Scotland were thundering at another.[53] Such a story may be legendary in its details, but it is clearly no legend, but true tradition, as regards the national feeling of the times which it describes. Scotland, at the time of Malcolm’s death, was still torn by local and dynastic factions;[54] but all parties in the old Scottish realm were 29 agreed on one point. A Scottish king to be chosen. They would have no more innovations from England or from Normandy; they would have no more English or Norman strangers to eat up their land in their own sight. They would have no son of Margaret, no son even of Malcolm, to reign over them; they would again have a king of the true stock of Albanach, who should reign after the old ways of Albanach and none other. The settled English element south of the Scots’-water would be weak against such a movement as this; or indeed it may be that the men of Lothian were no more eager to be reformed after Margaret’s fashion than the men of Scotland and Strathclyde. Election of Donald. Such a king as was needed was soon found in the person of Donald Bane, Donald the Red—​Scotland had her Rufus as well as England—​the brother of the late king and son of that Duncan who had been cut off in his youth in the civil war between his house and the house of Macbeth.[55] He was at once raised to the Scottish crown as the representative of Scottish nationality. He drives out the English. His first act was emphatic; “he drave out all the English that ere with the King Malcolm were.”[56]

Meaning of the words. This is of course no more to be understood of a general driving out of the settled English inhabitants of Lothian than the massacre of Saint Brice is to be understood of a general slaughter of the settled Danish inhabitants of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.[57] The driving out was 30 confined to the newly come English, who filled the court of Malcolm and Margaret, and who doubtless kept, or seemed to keep, many a true-born Scot from the favour of his king. For these there was to be no longer a place in the Scottish realm or in the other dominions of its sovereign. They had to go and seek shelter in their own land. The language of our guides suggests that they were mainly English in the strictest sense; though we cannot but fancy that some Normans or other strangers may have crept in among them.[58] One thing is certain; among the English that ere with the King Malcolm were his own children by his English wife held a place. Margaret’s children driven out. Of his sons Eadmund and Æthelred we cannot speak with certainty; but Eadgar, Alexander, and David, had to flee, and the Scottish story describes their uncle the Ætheling Eadgar as in some way helping their escape. He did it, we are told, by stealth, that he might not kindle any suspicion in the Norman King of England.[59] Action of the elder Eadgar. It is hard to see what Eadgar, who could not have been in Scotland at the time of his sister’s death, could have done for her children till they were at least within the English border, and there is nothing to make us think that Eadgar had in any way lost that full favour with William Rufus which he had enjoyed at the beginning of the year. But the mere use of his name witnesses to the belief that he who could do so little for himself was able to do a good deal for others. In this 31 story he is said to have sheltered his sister’s daughters as well as her sons. Malcolm’s daughters; More trustworthy accounts say that Eadgyth and Mary had already been sent by their parents to be brought up in the abbey of Romsey, where their aunt Christina was a nun.[60] Mary; Mary in time married the younger Eustace of Boulogne, and was the mother of a Queen of the English, that valiant Matilda who strove so well to keep the English crown for her husband Stephen.[61] Eadgyth or Matilda; Eadgyth, in her loftier destiny, will meet us again under the new name which she had to share with her niece and to hand on to an Imperial daughter.[62] The second Queen Matilda of our story, the good Queen Maud of tradition, had been designed to be the bride of the Breton Count Alan.[63] That was not to be her fate; neither was it to be her fate to embrace the holy calling which her aunt Christina strove to force upon her. her sojourn at Romsey. For the present she remained unprofessed, loathing the veil which her aunt ever and anon put upon her head, to shield her, as she said, from Norman outrage.[64] When Christina’s back was turned, the lively girl tore the veil from her head and trampled on it.[65] Malcolm at Romsey. Her father too, on some visit to England—​could he have turned aside to Romsey before or after his memorable visit to Gloucester?—​saw the veil on her head with anger; he had not designed her for that, but for the bridal of Count Alan. Her relations with Henry. It seems plain that her marriage with Henry was a marriage of old affection on both sides, and one version even makes the Ætheling seek for her as his 32 wife in her father’s lifetime. Tale of Eadgyth and William Rufus. One version, strange indeed, but perhaps the more likely to have some truth in it because of its strangeness, gives her an unlooked-for lover. We are told that, for once, in the person of Eadgyth of Scotland, female charms kindled in the heart of the Red King a passion which in his case might be called virtuous.[66] He came to Romsey with a body of his knights; the wily abbess, dreading his purpose, caused Eadgyth to put on the veil. She then drew the King into the cloister to see her roses and other flowers; but he caught a glimpse of the nuns as they passed by; he saw the veil on the head of Eadgyth, and turned away. She was then twelve years old. Presently her father came; he saw her veiled; he tore the veil from her head, he trampled it under his feet, and took away his daughter. Such a tale must be taken for what it is worth; but the picture of William Rufus contemplating either maidens or roses at least puts him in a light in which we do not meet him elsewhere.

A series of events now follow which our guides seem to place within the year of Malcolm’s death, but for which room can hardly have been found in the few weeks of it which were still to come. Christmas, 1093–1094. The winter of that year, it will be remembered, was a stirring winter. It saw the consecration of Anselm; it saw the Gemót at Gloucester at which William received the challenge from his brother in Normandy;[67] it saw the first beginnings of fresh disputes between the King and the Archbishop.[68] Events of 1094. The next year was the year of William’s second Norman expedition, and it is clear that his absence from England had an influence on the affairs of Scotland, as it undoubtedly had on those of Wales. Order of Scottish events. The election of 33 Donald and the driving out of the English from Scotland may have followed as swiftly on the deaths of Malcolm and Margaret as the election of Harold followed on the death of Eadward or the election of Henry on the death of William Rufus. But we can hardly find room for an English expedition to Scotland, for the establishment of a new king, and for a domestic revolution limiting his powers, between the driving out of the English and the last day of the year. One is inclined to think that the Gemót of Gloucester saw a discussion of the affairs of Scotland as well as of the affairs of Normandy, and that the results of that discussion, direct consequences as they were of the death of Malcolm and the election of Donald, were set down under the year in which the chain of events began, though some of them must, almost in the nature of things, have really happened in the year which followed.

Gemót of Gloucester. Christmas, 1093–1094. I am inclined therefore to think that it must have been at the Christmas assembly which decreed the war with Robert that a claimant appeared to demand the Scottish crown at the hands of the southern over-lord. This was Duncan, the son of Malcolm and Ingebiorg. Duncan claims the Scottish crown. He was in truth the eldest of Malcolm’s children, and, though, under the influence of a new set of ideas, it became usual to speak of him as a kind of Ishmael, he was most likely as lawful an heir to the Scottish throne as any of the three kings who were sons of the English saint.[69] In itself the succession of Duncan would have seemed an intermediate course between the succession of Donald and the succession of Margaret’s son Eadgar. But Duncan, 34 given years ago as a hostage to William the Great,[70] had long been a follower of William the Red. Duncan’s Norman education. He lived in his court, and did him faithful service as his man and his knight. He must have been unknown in Scotland, and his feelings and habits must have been those of a Norman rather than those of a Scot. He represented neither the old Scottish traditions which were embodied in Donald nor yet the new foreign reformation which was embodied in Margaret and her sons. It was no wonder then that no party in his father’s kingdom thought of his claims at his father’s death. He receives the crown from William. But he now came to the King’s court; he set forth the usurpation of his uncle Donald and his own rights; he demanded the crown of his father, and did homage for it to the Monarch of Britain.[71] The event is singularly like the earlier event which had placed Duncan’s own father on the Scottish throne; 1054. it is still more like the later event which gave Scotland a momentary king in Edward Balliol. 1332. The King’s designs on Normandy hindered him from either marching himself to the help of Duncan or sending any part of the regular forces of his kingdom. He wins it by the help of Norman and English volunteers. 1094. But Duncan was allowed to get together a body of volunteers, English and French—​doubtless of any nation that he could find—​at whose head he marched into Scotland. He overthrew his uncle Donald, and took possession of 35 the throne by the help of his new allies.[72] Details are lacking; the Scots must have been overthrown for a moment by some sudden attack. Second revolution; the foreigners driven out. What follows is instructive. The reign of Duncan, as a king surrounded by a Norman and English following, was but for a moment. May? 1094. But there was clearly no feeling in Scotland against allowing him to reign, if he were willing to reign as a national Scot. The people, startled for a moment, took heart again. A new movement broke forth; the King was surrounded, and the foreigners who accompanied him were this time, not driven out, but slaughtered. He himself escaped with a few only.[73] But, this work once done, the son of Malcolm was not less willingly received than his brother. Donald was not restored; but Duncan was accepted as King of Scots on condition of his allowing no English or French settlers within his realm.[74]

We may perhaps suspect that this national movement in Scotland was timed so as to grasp the favourable moment when the King of the English, with the mass of his forces, was beyond the sea. This is more clearly marked in the next revolution, which took place towards the end of the year. While King William was still in Normandy, while the Welsh were in 36 triumphant revolt, a powerful confederacy was formed against Duncan. Donald now leagued himself with Malpeter, the Mormaor of Mærne, the representative of the old party of Macbeth, and also with Eadmund, son of Malcolm and Margaret. This last, their only degenerate son, as he is called, joined with his uncle against his half-brother. He was lured, it is said, by the promise of half the kingdom.[75] Death of Duncan and restoration of Donald. November? 1094. Duncan was slain, by treachery, we are told, and Donald began a second reign.[76] This revolution was perhaps among the causes which brought William back from Normandy.[77] But both English and Welsh affairs were in a state which forbade any immediate intervention in Scotland. William had to put up with the insults which he had received, the driving out of his subjects and the slaughter of the king to whom he had given the kingdom. Second reign of Donald. 1094–1097. Donald was allowed to reign without disturbance for three years.

§ 2. The Revolt of Robert of Mowbray.

Events contemporary with Donald’s second reign. The three years of Donald’s second reign were contemporary with much that we have already told, with the whole dispute between William and Anselm, with the preaching of the crusade, with the acquisition of Normandy. They were contemporary with stirring events in Wales 37 which we shall speak of in another section. And they were contemporary with events in England which, as I have said, have a kind of connexion with the fate of Malcolm which makes it seem on the whole most natural to speak of them at this point. We will now therefore go on to the chief English event of the year which followed the second accession of Donald, namely the revolt of Robert Earl of Northumberland.

Conspiracy against William Rufus. It is not the least strange among the strange events of this reign that the only rebellion against William Rufus within his kingdom, after that which immediately followed his accession, was directly occasioned by one of the few good deeds which are recorded of him. The King did a simple act of justice; one of his greatest nobles at once openly rebelled, and the open rebellion of one brought to light the hidden conspiracy of many more. We may be sure that there had long been a good deal of lurking discontent which was waiting for even a slight opportunity to break forth into a flame. The conspiracy was devised among men of the highest rank and power, some of them near of kindred to the King; and the open rebel was certainly the foremost man of his own generation in the kingdom. There were in the days of Rufus grounds enough for discontent and revolt among any class, and there were special grounds which specially touched the men of highest rank. They are said to have been offended by the King’s general harshness, and, above all, by the strictness of his hunting-code.[78] The head 38 and author of the seditious movement was the stern guardian of the northern frontier of the kingdom, Robert of Mowbray Earl of Northumberland. He is said to have been specially puffed up to rebellion by his successes against Malcolm and his Scots.[79] But, great as he deemed himself, he held that he might become greater by a powerful alliance. The gloomy Earl, with whom speech and laughter were so rare, thought to help his projects by taking a wife. Robert of Mowbray marries Matilda of Laigle. He married Matilda of Laigle, the daughter of that Richer who died so worthily beneath the keep of Sainte-Susanne,[80] the sister of that Gilbert whom we have seen foremost in the work of slaughter among the seditious citizens of Rouen.[81] Her mother Judith was the sister of Earl Hugh of Chester; and Robert seems to have entangled his new uncle in his rebellious schemes. His dealings with the Earl of Chester and the Bishop of Durham. One would have thought that Bishop William of Durham had had enough of rebellion. He was now as high in the King’s favour and counsels as any man in the realm. He was, or at least had been, on bad terms with his neighbour Earl Robert;[82] and it is hard to see what can have been his temptation to join in any seditious movement. Yet we know that there were churchmen concerned in the conspiracy;[83] it is certain that Bishop William lost the King’s favour about this time; and there seems little doubt that he was at least suspected of being in league with the Earl. Other conspirators. Others concerned are said to have been Philip of Montgomery, son 39 of the late Earl of Shrewsbury,[84] Roger of Lacy, great in Herefordshire and in several other shires,[85] and one nearer to the royal house than all, William of Eu. William of Eu, the late stirrer up of strife between the King and his brother. Conspiracy in favour of Stephen of Aumale. The object of the conspiracy was said to be to put the King to death, and to give the crown to Stephen of Aumale, the son of Adelaide, whole sister of the Conqueror, by her third husband, Odo Count of Champagne and lord of Holderness.[86]

In short, the two men who had been the first to put castles into the King’s hands in Normandy were now plotting against him in England. Stephen of Aumale was to receive the English crown at the bidding of William of Eu. No general support for the plot. Such a conspiracy as this must have been merely the device of a few discontented nobles; it could have met with no broad ground of general support among men of any class. No doubt many men of all ranks and of all races would have been well pleased to get rid of William; but there must surely have been few who seriously hoped to set up Stephen of Aumale as his successor. No ground for Stephen’s claim. By a solemn treaty only five years old, the reigning Duke of the Normans was marked out as the successor to the English crown.[87] And if that arrangement was held to be set aside by later warfare between the brothers, there was nothing to bar the natural claims of Henry. Neither Norman nor English feeling could have endured that the man who was at once Norman and English should be set aside for a stranger from Champagne. Neither Norman nor English 40 feeling could have endured that all the sons of the Conqueror should be set aside in favour of the son of his sister. Truly men of any rank or any race had good reason to revolt against William Rufus. But this was like the revolt of the Earls in the days of the elder William,[88] a purely personal and selfish revolt, which called forth no sympathy, Norman or English. Still a large party was ready to revolt on any occasion. And the occasion was presently found.

It was found, as far as Earl Robert was concerned, in a wanton breach of common right and of the law of nations, which it was assumed that the King would treat as an act of defiance against his authority. Four Norwegian trading ships had peacefully anchored in some Northumbrian haven. Earl Robert plunders the Norwegian ships. Earl Robert, his nephew Morel, and their followers, wantonly plundered the ships, and took away their whole cargoes. And the tale is told as if the act of plunder was meant directly as an act of rebellion against the King, whose peace was certainly broken in the most outrageous way.[89] The merchants complain to the King. The merchants, despoiled of all that they had, made their way to the King and laid before him their complaint against the Earl of the Northumbrians.[90] Had such an act been done by any of William’s own following, the injured men would most likely have met with no redress. But plunder done by anybody else on his own account was an outrage on the royal authority—​one might perhaps say an encroachment on the royal monopoly of oppression—​with which the Red King was not minded 41 to put up. William straightway sent the strictest and sternest orders to Earl Robert to restore at once all that had been taken from the Norwegian merchants. Robert refuses redress. The Earl scornfully took no notice. The King then asked the amount of the merchants’ losses, and made it good to them from his own hoard. He is summoned to the King’s court. He then summoned the Earl to his court; but he refused to come.[91]

Such is the story which reached the cloister of Saint Evroul, a story altogether likely in itself, and which well fits in with and explains the entries in our own Chronicle. These bring us into the thick of the regular assemblies of this year of assemblies. The gathering at Rockingham dealt wholly with the affairs of Anselm; Gemót of Winchester. March 25, 1095. to the regular Easter assembly at Winchester which so soon followed it, Earl Robert, though specially summoned, refused to come. The King was very wroth against him, and sent word that, if he did not wish to be altogether put out of the King’s peace, he must come to the court to be held at Pentecost.[92] Signs in the heavens seem to have foretold that something was coming. The falling stars. April 4. It was now, on the night of the feast of Easter and again ten days later, that a crowd of stars was seen to fall from heaven, not one or two, but so thickly that no man could tell them.[93] If the stars fought against 42 Malcolm on the day of Saint Brice, it was only in their courses, and no chronicler has recorded the fact. But it looks as if this special Easter shower, of which we have elsewhere heard other meanings,[94] was by some at least held to portend the fall of the great earl of the North. Messages between the King and Robert. The time between Easter and Pentecost, the time so busily occupied in another range of subjects by the coming of Cardinal Walter and the acknowledgement of Pope Urban,[95] was no less busily occupied by an exchange of messages between the King and his undutiful subject. Robert, like Godwine two-and-forty years before, demanded hostages and a safe-conduct, before he would risk himself before the Assembly.[96] This the King refused; Robert, arraigned on a definite charge of open robbery, had no such claim to hostages as Godwine, as King Malcolm, or even as his own neighbour Bishop William. Whitsun Gemót. Windsor, May 13, 1095. The Whitsun-feast was held; the King was at Windsor—​not at Westminster—​and all his Witan with him. Anselm was there, to be received into the King’s favour, and to engage to observe the customs of the realm.[97] But the Earl of the Northumbrians was not there.[98] The two accounts fit in perfectly without contradiction or difficulty. One gives us the cause of the special summons of Earl Robert to the Gemót; the other gives us its exact date and form.

The King’s march. Rufus, thus defied, at once took to arms. It would seem that he did not wholly rely on his mercenaries, but called out the national force of the kingdom.[99] He 43 was again the King of the English, marching at the head of his people. He was marching against the rebel fortresses of the North, as he had once marched against Tunbridge, Pevensey, and Rochester. His motives. But these great preparations were not made simply to avenge the wrongs of the Norwegian merchants. Their wrongs were the outward occasion, and that was all. The refusal of Earl Robert to come to the King’s court was the counterpart of the more general refusal of the Norman nobles to come to the Easter Assembly seven years earlier.[100] The King knew, or had good reason to suspect, that there was again a wide-spread conspiracy afloat to deprive him of his crown and life. Of this conspiracy the open disobedience of Earl Robert was simply the first outward sign; the affair of the Norwegian merchants had merely brought matters to a head. Rufus may even have made use of their wrongs as a pretext for proving Robert’s doubtful loyalty. Robert was as yet the only open rebel. When the King drew the sword, he met with no resistance anywhere save where the Earl of the Northumbrians was in possession. Robert’s accomplices remained accomplices and conspirators; they did not dare to risk the chances of open rebellion. The Earl may have thought that the strength which had twice overcome a King of Scots might defy a King of the English also.[101] Robert resists. At all events, Robert of Mowbray withstood the King in arms, and a stirring and varied campaign followed.

It appears however from an incidental notice that 44 Earl Robert and his fellows by no means trusted only to movements within the realm. Help expected from Normandy. It is certainly strange that a conspiracy in which William of Eu could be even suspected of taking a part should have found any support in Normandy; yet in those times men changed sides so easily that it is not impossible that he might have been again intriguing with Duke Robert himself. It is still more likely that some intrigue was going on, not with the Norman Duke but with the enemies of Rufus in Normandy as well as in England. It is certain that an invasion of south-eastern England was at this time daily dreaded;[102] and it is perhaps more likely that William of Eu, Stephen of Aumale, and the rest, were planning an expedition at their own risk than that Duke Robert was designing anything with the regular forces of Normandy. The invasion was plainly looked on as a serious danger; but there is no reason to think that it ever took place. The King thought it needful to take special means for guarding the coast. The King marches to Nottingham. He had gone on his northern march as far as Nottingham, accompanied not only, as we might expect, by many of his nobles, but what we might less have looked for, by both the archbishops and by the Cardinal Bishop of Albano.[103] Anselm’s command in Kent. One might almost think that some special news was brought to the King at this point; for it was now that Anselm, in this his short season of renewed favour with the King, was sent back to guard his city and diocese. He received the trust from the King’s own mouth; he went back to Canterbury, whither a 45 writ from the King followed him bidding him stay in care of the city, ready at any moment, when news should be brought from the threatened havens, at once to gather together horse and foot for the defence of the land.[104] Anselm went back to his metropolis, and there stayed, as we have seen, ready to discharge these unusual duties, which, as the expected invasion never came, did not in the end involve any military action on his part.

Meanwhile the King went on, taking with him the Archbishop of York, who at Nottingham was already in his own province and diocese. The King draws near to Northumberland. When the march had gone on somewhat further, when the King and his host were drawing near to the borders of the Northumbrian earldom, that is, we may suppose, when they were near the banks of the Tyne, an incident happened which showed that the enemies of Rufus had other schemes besides those of open warfare either at home or abroad.[105] Gilbert of Clare or of Tunbridge, of whom we have already heard as a rebel in earlier days,[106] and who seems now to be looked on as a traitor in the King’s camp, calls the King aside, and, to his amazement, falls at his feet and craves his pardon for his offences. Confession of Gilbert of Clare. Let the King promise him forgiveness, and he will do something which shall deliver him from a great danger.[107] 46 Rufus wonders and hesitates, but, after a little debate in his own mind, he promises the pardon that is asked for. Gilbert then warns the King not to enter a certain wood—​have we again the tale of the hunting-party as the scene of assassination?[108] He was himself one of a body who had plotted the King’s death, and a party of them were now in the wood ready to slay him. He told the King their number and names;[109] but the story reads as if no immediate action was taken against them. The conspirators are baulked of their prey, and the King’s host marches on to attack the fortresses of the rebel Earl.[110]

Defence of Robert’s fortresses. Robert of Mowbray had made good preparations for defence. The main body of his followers, among them the men highest in rank and most trusted in valour, guarded the great frontier fortress of his earldom, The New Castle. the New Castle which Duke Robert had reared to guard the way to the further north by the old line of the Ælian Bridge.[111] Placed opposite the scene of Walcher’s slaughter at Gateshead,[112] it rose above the Tyne with far more of the usual position of a fortress than would be dreamed by one who merely passes so strangely near to it on the modern railway, or who lights almost by chance on gateway and castle imbedded in the streets of the modern town. The gateway, even the keep as it now stands, are both of later date than the time of our story. But the days of Monkchester were passed; the New Castle was already a place of arms, a strong post standing right in the way of the King’s advance against the rebellious land. Lower down the tidal stream, beyond the relics—​they 47 were then still something more than relics—​of the great Roman rampart which left its name at Wallknol, at Wallcar, and at Wallsend[113]—​fast by the mouth of the estuary whose shores and whose waters are now so thickly set with the works of modern industry—​the Tynemouth. Earl’s castle of Tynemouth at once sheltered the rising monastery of Saint Oswine and guarded the approach to the river and to all to which the river led. Tynemouth was held by the Earl’s brother; Bamburgh. Robert himself, far to the north, kept the great stronghold of all, the old seat of Northumbrian power, which frowns over land and sea from the basaltic rock of Bamburgh. The King’s first attack was lucky; we have no details; but we read that the New Castle was taken, and that all the men that were in it were kept in ward. Taking of the New Castle. The choicest men of Earl Robert’s following were thus in the King’s hands; the inland centre of his power was lost; but he and his brother still held out in their fastnesses by the Ocean.

Tynemouth and Bamburgh both stood long sieges. The strong site of the monastic stronghold enabled it to bear up for two months, while the fortress of Ida remained, as far as any strictly military operation was concerned, untaken during the whole war. Siege of Tynemouth. Tynemouth, which had so lately seen the burial of Malcolm, had now to endure the assaults of the royal force in the cause of Malcolm’s chief enemy. The holy place of Saint Oswine was strong alike by nature and art. Description of the site. At the mouth of the great Northumbrian river, on that bank of it which lay within Robert’s earldom, two headlands, divided by a small bay, stand forth boldly 48 to meet the waves of the German Ocean. In later times the fortified precinct took in both points. Both came within the wall and ditch which cut off the peninsulas from the mainland. The castle of Tynemouth, strictly so called, covered the southern height immediately above the river. The northern promontory was crowned by the church and the monastic buildings, themselves sheltered by a vast gatehouse, which itself grew into a castle. Such, there is reason to believe, was the arrangement in the days of Malcolm and William. The castle of Robert of Mowbray rose sheer above the estuary, on its left bank. To the north, on the other headland, protected by a smaller fortress, stood the church and monastery which were growing up at his bidding, a tribute paid by the conquerors to the ancient worthies of the land. The monastic peninsula. The peninsula crowned by the monastic stronghold stretches forth into the waters, like a miniature of that which is at once the oldest and the newest Syracuse, since the art of man joined the island of Ortygia to the mainland of Sicily. While the neck is strengthened by works of defence, the rocky headland rises boldly from the waves on two sides. To the south the ground rises more gently above the bay between the two peninsulas, the bay to which the monastery above it gave the name of the Prior’s haven. The town which grew up in after times sprang up directly to the west of the approach to the northern headland; it now spreads itself on all sides save only on the two headlands themselves. Taking of Tynemouth. July? 1095. The first attack must have been made from the older site of the town; the small fortress, that most likely which guarded the neck of the monastic headland, was taken. The main castle to the south fell at the end of two months, and the Earl’s brother and the knights who defended it shared the fate of the defenders of the New Castle.

49 And now came the hardest struggle of all, the struggle for the old home of Ida and Bebbe. The castle of Bamburgh. Bebbanburh, Bamburgh—​the royal city of Bernicia, which its founder had fenced first with a hedge and then with a wall or earthwork—​the city small but strong, with its steep height approached only by steps[114]—​though its main purpose was military and not religious, contained within its walls a sanctuary and a relic as worshipful as aught that was sheltered by Tynemouth or Jarrow or Durham itself. The relic of Saint Oswald. The ancient church of Bamburgh was honoured by the presence of the wonder-working hand of the martyred Bretwalda Oswald. That relic had in earlier days helped, along with the prayers of Aidan, to save Bamburgh from the fires of Penda; we are not told whether it was by the favour of the martyr that the elder Waltheof sheltered himself within the impregnable walls, while his valiant son marched forth to victory. The city, the small city which took in the space only of a few fields, had doubtless by this time given way to the Norman fortress, strengthened by all the arts which the Norman had brought with him. The castle precincts, in their widest extent, clearly cover the whole of the ancient site; at the south-western end they are still approached by steps which doubtless represent those which in the days of the old Northumbrian chronicler were the only means of mounting the height. At Bamburgh, as elsewhere, we are met by the never-failing difficulty which besets the student of the castles of that age. Can any of the work at Bamburgh which bears the impress of Norman art be safely assigned to the eleventh century? The keep. Or must we give up all to the twelfth, and believe that no part of the great centre of the building, the keep “huge and square,” was already in being when Robert of Mowbray defied the Red King from 50 his rock? On such a point it is dangerous to be over-positive. The surrounding walls are of all dates down to the basest modern imitations; the chapel which guarded the relic of Saint Oswald, standing apart in the great court with its eastern apse overlooking the sea, was clearly, when perfect, no mean work of the next age. But whatever was the character or the material of the defences of Robert’s day, they were doubtless as strong as any skill within the Northumbrian earldom could make them. There, from the castle raised on the land side on the bulwarks of the rock out of which its walls and bastions grow, rising on the sea side over deep and shifting hills of sand, the eye might take in the long indented coast, the sea dotted with islands of which many play a part in the sacred story of northern England,[115]—​Farn and its fellows hard by, hallowed by the abode and death of Saint Cuthberht—​Holy Island itself further to the north-west, the landscape bounded in the far distance by the border hills of the two British kingdoms, beyond which Malcolm no longer stood ready to ravage the pastures of Northumberland. Robert defends Bamburgh against the King. Within that ancient fortress, rich with so many earlier associations, the proud and gloomy Earl now kept his ground, adding a new and stirring page to the long history of Bamburgh. His brother and his best knights were the King’s prisoners; but, strong on his rocky height, the Earl of the Northumbrians, heedless of the lesson of seven years earlier, dared to bid defiance 51 to the King of the English and to the whole strength of his kingdom.

Strength of the position. And in truth the event proved that the rebellious daring of Robert of Mowbray had better grounds than the daring of those who had held Rochester and Pevensey, Tynemouth and the New Castle, against their sovereign. The well of the purest water, hollowed out on the highest point of the rock, and then, or at some later day, taken in within the massive walls of the huge keep, made Robert safe from all such dangers as threatened the Ætheling Henry when he held out on the rock of Saint Michael.[116] Direct attacks fail. All the power and skill of the Red King was brought to bear upon the ancient stronghold; but all was in vain; the castle of Bebbe was not to be taken by any open attack. William therefore took to slower means of warfare. Making of the Malvoisin. He made one of those towers which were so often made in such cases, to act as a check on the besieged castle, to form in fact an imperfect kind of blockade. This tower must have stood on the land side, to cut off all hope of help from any friendly quarter. It therefore could not have stood very far from the site of the present village; and in the fields nearly south of the castle some faint traces of earthworks seem not unlikely to mark the site of the tower to which the King gave the significant name of Malvoisin. Its effects. The new work is described as exercising all the energies of the royal army, and as striking such fear into the hearts of the besieged that many of Robert’s party now forsook him and entered the King’s service. Alleged despair of Robert. We are even told that the fierce Earl looked out from the height of Bamburgh in all fear and sadness, crying out to his accomplices by name to be mindful of the traitorous oaths which they had sworn to him. The King and his friends were merry as they heard, 52 and none of those who were appealed to, tormented as they were with fear and shame, went back to share the Earl’s waning fortunes. Be this as it may, as far as open force went, Bamburgh and its lord remained unsubdued. The castle still not taken. To bring either of them under his power, the King and his followers were fain to have recourse to false promises and cruel threats.

The Evil Neighbour of Bamburgh was built; it was well stocked with guards, arms, and victuals. But Bamburgh itself was not taken any the more. William did not in this case, as he did in some of his continental enterprises, throw up the whole undertaking, because he did not succeed in the first or second attack. So to have done would have been pretty much the same as throwing up his crown; it would have been to unteach the great lesson of his reign, and to declare that the Earl of the Northumbrians was stronger than the King of the English. He might turn away in wilfulness from this or that Norman or Cenomannian fortress which he had attacked in wilfulness; but he knew the art of reigning better than to leave Bamburgh in the possession of a rebel earl. The King goes away. The work was to go on; but he was so far tired of it that he left it to be done by others. When the Malvoisin was well strengthened, the King turned away, and appeared no more before Bamburgh during the rest of the campaign.

Michaelmas, 1095. When Rufus left Bamburgh, he went southward; he then went to the war in Wales, and left the garrison of the Malvoisin to keep watch over their besieged neighbour. It may be left to casuists in chivalry to judge whether the knightly king approved of the means which were now taken in order to entrap the besieged earl. Robert entrapped by a false message. The garrison of the New Castle, doubtless not without the knowledge of the garrison of the Malvoisin, sent a false message to Robert, saying that, if he came thither privily, he would be received into the castle. 53 The Earl, naturally well pleased at such a prospect of winning back his lost stronghold, set forth by night for the New Castle at the head of thirty knights. The men from the Malvoisin watched and followed him, and sent to the men of the New Castle to say that he was on the way. Knowing nothing of what was going on, Earl Robert drew near to the New Castle on a Sunday, expecting, it would seem, to be received there with welcome. His hopes were vain; he was taken, and the more part of his followers also were taken, killed, or wounded. He flees to Tynemouth. The version which goes most into detail says that, when he saw that he was betrayed by the garrison of the New Castle, he fled, with a part at least of his following, to his own monastery at Tynemouth. It is not easy to see how this could be, unless he was able either to win back the small fortress on the neck of the monastic peninsula, or else to climb up from the seaside at some less steep or less strongly defended point of the height. But the tale is so told that there must be at least some kernel of truth in it. He is besieged in the monastery, We read that the Earl stood something like a siege in his own monastery. He was able, with his small party, to defend himself in it for six days, and to kill and wound many of his assailants. At last, on the sixth day, he himself received a severe wound in the leg; the whole of his followers were taken, some of them also as wounded men. The Earl, himself among the latter, contrived to drag himself to the church of his own rearing, where still lay the body of the Scottish King whom some looked on as his victim. If claims of sanctuary were thought of, they were not allowed, and one who had turned the consecrated precinct into a castle had perhaps little claim to plead such privileges, even within his own foundation. taken, and imprisoned. Earl Robert was dragged away from his own church, and was kept in prison to await the King’s pleasure.

54 Bamburgh defended by Matilda of Laigle. A tale of twenty years back now repeats itself in our story. A strong castle is again defended by a valiant bride. As Norwich, after the revolt and flight of Ralph of Wader, was defended by Emma of Breteuil, so Bamburgh, after the revolt and capture of Robert of Mowbray, was defended by Matilda of Laigle. Married just as the revolt broke out, she had had, we are told, but little taste of joyful or peaceful wedlock; but she was at least zealous in the cause of her husband. She had Morel to her counsellor and captain, and the two held out in the ancient stronghold against all attacks. November, 1095. It was now winter, and King William had come back from Snowdon, not covered with much glory. He felt no mind to renew the siege of Bamburgh in his own person; but he bade that the captive Earl should be taken thither, and led before the walls, with the threat to his wife and nephew that, if the castle was not at once given up, the eyes of its lord should be then and there seared out in their sight. She yields to save her husband’s eyes. To this threat Matilda and Morel yielded, and the gates of the unconquered fortress were thrown open to the King’s forces. The valiant Countess thus saved her husband’s eyes; but his eyes were all that she could save. Robert was sent back to prison at Windsor, to live in bonds, at least for a season, and in no case to return to the rights and duties of an earl or a husband. Later history of Robert; two versions. But there are two widely different stories as to his later fate. The local history of Saint Alban’s told how one who, however guilty towards others, was at least a benefactor to that house, was allowed to spend his remaining days as a monk within its walls. At Saint Evroul a widely different tale was believed. It was there recorded by the contemporary writer that Robert survived his capture thirty years, but that the whole of that time was passed in hopeless imprisonment. If so, he must have been looked on as dangerous by the calm prudence of Henry 55 no less than by the wrath or the revenge of Rufus. The story indeed runs that his imprisonment was deemed so irrevocable that it was held to amount to a civil death. The once proud Earl of Northumberland was counted to have passed away from among men as much as if the grave had closed over him alongside of Malcolm in his own Tynemouth. Later history of Matilda; her second marriage and divorce. By a special permission from Pope Paschal, Matilda was allowed to marry again, as though she had been his widow and not his wife. Nigel of Albini became her second husband; but, after the death of her brother Gilbert of Laigle, he thought he could better himself by marriage in another quarter. His marriage with Matilda was declared void, not on the ground that Robert was alive, but because of some kindred, real or alleged, between Robert and Nigel. The papal dispensation must have been badly drawn, if it did not provide for the lesser irregularity as well as for the greater. Of Matilda we hear no more; Nigel took him another wife of the house of Gournay. Gerard had by that time died on his way to the crusade;[117] his widow Eadgyth had married again, and their son Hugh was lord of Gournay. Their daughter, who inherited the name of Gundrada from her mother’s mother, took the place of the forsaken Matilda, who was thus left in a strange plight, as the widow, so to speak, of two living husbands.

Morel turns King’s evidence. Meanwhile her partner in the defence of Bamburgh, Morel, the nephew and steward of the fallen Earl, made his peace with the King by naming all who had any share in the late conspiracy. Not a few men of high rank, clerical and lay, were accused by him.[118] The time of the Midwinter Gemót drew nigh, at which the offenders would 56 regularly be brought for trial. The King’s prisons were full,[119] and he determined that the gaol delivery should be a striking and a solemn one. Christmas Gemót of 1095–1096. The Assembly of that Christmas-tide was to be a Mickle Gemót indeed, a Gemót like those which had gathered in King Eadward’s day beneath the walls of London and in King William’s day upon the plain of Salisbury. A summons of special urgency went forth, bidding all men who held any land of the King, if they wished to be deemed worthy of the King’s peace, to come to his court at the appointed time.[120] The call was answered. The appointed place of meeting was Windsor, and there the Assembly came together. But the business to be done needed a longer time than the usual twelve days of Christmas, and the gathering was greater than the royal castle and its courts could hold. Adjourned from Windsor to Salisbury. January 13, 1096. The work began at Windsor; but an adjournment was needed, and on the octave of the Epiphany in the opening year we find the King and his Witan at Salisbury.[121] The wide fields which had seen the great review and the great homage in the days of the elder William could alone hold the crowd which came together to share in the great court of doom which was now holden by the younger.

Constitutional importance of the meeting. The Gemót of this winter, and specially the strict general summons sent forth by the King, are of high constitutional importance. They show how, even under such a king as Rufus, the old constitutional forms went 57 on. They show how great is the error of those who dream that the Norman kingship in England was as thorough a despotism in form as it undoubtedly was in substance. Continuance of the old forms. In the eleventh century, as in the sixteenth, the whole future of English history turned on the fact that constitutional forms still went on, that assemblies were still brought together, even if they came together for little more than to register the edicts of the King.[122] So now Rufus himself, when about to make a great display of kingly power, specially summons no small part of the nation to take a share in his acts. Import of the summons. On the one hand, the need of the summons shows that, unless at some specially exciting moment, men did not flock eagerly to such gatherings.[123] On the other hand, the fact of the summons shows that kings then knew, that Rufus himself knew, that the gathering of such an assembly was both a sign and a source, not of weakness but of strength, on the part of the kingly power.[124] But in the form of the summons we may see that the assembly, though still large, is gradually narrowing. Tenants-in-chief only summoned. The summons goes, not to all freemen, not to all land-owners, but only to the King’s tenants-in-chief. Their great number. These, it must be remembered, were a very large body, including land-owners on every scale, from the greatest to the smallest. And it must be further remembered that in this body a vast majority of the influential members were strangers by birth, but that a great numerical proportion, most likely a numerical majority, were natives. The King’s thegn, who had kept a scrap of his old estate, was as much a member of the court as Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury or Earl Walter of Buckingham, though he was not so likely to be listened to in any debate that might arise as Earl Hugh or Earl Walter was. Still 58 the special summons to the King’s tenants-in-chief marks a change; it marks the growth of the new ideas. The immediate reason was doubtless to be found in the main object for which the Assembly came together. The main work of the earlier Gemót of Salisbury was that all men in the realm, of whatever lord they held, should become the men of the King. Comparison with the Conqueror’s Gemót at Salisbury. William the Great therefore summoned the men of other lords, who had not up to that moment been his own men, who owed obedience to him as head of the kingdom, but who was not bound to him by any more personal tie. He summoned them in order that they might bind themselves to him by that personal tie, that they might become his men as well as his subjects. But the main work of the present Gemót was to sit in judgement on a crowd of offenders, of various ranks and orders, but all of whom were likely to be tenants-in-chief of the King. According to the notions which were coming in, the right court for their trial was the court of their peers, their fellow tenants-in-chief. The King, who could summon whom he would, who sometimes summoned few and sometimes many, this time, for this special purpose, summoned the whole body of his tenants-in-chief, great and small, and summoned no others. Effects of the practice of summons. But, as every summons tends practically to the exclusion of those who are not summoned, this summons of a particular class marks a stage in the process by which the Assembly shrank up from the crowd which decreed the restoration of Godwine to a House of Lords of the reign of Henry the Eighth.[125] Still the actual gathering, even of the summoned members only, must have been very great. Action of the Assembly. When it came together, the Assembly must have followed the same law as all other assemblies of that age. Practically it decreed as the King willed; only a few of the great men were likely to 59 say anything to guide the King’s will; the mass of the assembly were not likely to do more than to make the King’s acts their own by crying Yea, Yea. We must however remember that they had not the slightest temptation to cry Nay, Nay. No general sympathy with the accused. The mass of the inhabitants of the land, Norman and English alike, were not likely to have the faintest sympathy with any one who really had a share in the late treason. The only question was whether any were accused who had no share in it. In the case of those who were charged only with conspiracy and not with open revolt, this might easily be. Otherwise the Red King, in the vengeance which he now took, did no more than justice, as justice was deemed in his day. But his justice was far sharper than the justice of the old kings, far sharper than the justice of his father. And the tone in which the story is told implies that men at the time felt that it was so.

Sickness of the Bishop of Durham. One of the great men of the realm, who, whether guilty or not, seems to have been at least suspected, died, while the Assembly was in session, before any formal charge had been brought against him. Before the Bishop of Durham came to Windsor, it was known in his own diocese that he had not long to live. Portents foretelling his death. One of his knights, Boso by name, had, while lying under a dangerous sickness, been favoured with trances and visions, which told him much that was comforting about the monks of Durham, and much that was fearful about other folk. He saw the old inhabitants of the land, he saw the new French settlers, above all, he saw the priests’ wives—​these seem to be looked on as three classes of offenders, gradually increasing in blackness—​suffering each a grievous doom.[126] His visions about the 60 Bishop himself might perhaps point to an intermediate destiny; at all events they were understood as implying his speedy death.[127] His work at Durham. 1083. 1093. His work perhaps was done. Thirteen years before he had filled the church of Durham with monks;[128] three years before he had begun the great work of its rebuilding; and, by pressing it on with almost incredible speed, he had carried it on so far as to set an example of unsurpassed grandeur in its own style, an example which his own monks could not follow, but which Randolf Flambard could.[129] He is summoned to take his trial. William of Saint-Calais came to the Gemót, and was summoned by the King to appear to take his trial.[130] He pleaded sickness 61 as his excuse for not appearing. Rufus declared, with his usual oath, that the excuse was a feigned one.[131] He sickens and dies. December 25, 1095-January 1, 1096. It was however thoroughly real. Bishop William was sick, and sick unto death. He was smitten on the day of the Nativity, and died on the day of the Circumcision.[132] His death-bed. He was comforted in his sickness by the presence and exhortations of several of his brother bishops who had come together for the business of the Assembly. There was Anselm whom he had withstood at Rockingham; there was his own metropolitan Thomas; there was Walkelin of Winchester; there was John of Bath, born, like himself and Anselm, beyond the bounds either of England or of Normandy. Debate as to his burying-place. These prelates debated concerning the place of his burial. They argued that he who had done such great things for Saint Cuthberht’s abbey should be buried in the place of highest honour within its walls. He himself declined any such place. He would be no party to any breach of Saint Cuthberht’s own rule, which forbade that any man should be buried within his minster.[133] The bishops therefore ruled that he should be buried in the chapter-house, so that his monks, when they came together, should have the tomb of their founder ever before their eyes.[134] So it was; 62 He is buried in the chapter-house. he was borne to Durham, and there laid in the place which the bishops had chosen for him, among the tears and wailings of the brotherhood which he had founded, any one of whom, we are told, would gladly have died for him.[135]

This touching picture of the death which ended the varied life of William of Saint-Calais comes as an episode in the middle of the stern doings of the Gemót of Windsor and Salisbury. The Red King did not bear the sword in vain. Sentences of the Gemót. Yet, if his justice was sharp towards those whom it did smite, it was certainly somewhat capricious, or at least guided by expediency, with regard to those whom it smote and those whom it failed to smite. Some of the offenders were men of the highest rank, some even, it is implied, of the rank of Earl. But these powerful rebels, ashamed and weakened by the fall of their brother of Northumberland, were now deemed fitting objects of mercy. By the advice of the Wise Men, they were spared a public trial;[136] but some of them were made to pay a heavy price for being left safe in life, limb, and estate. Hugh of Shrewsbury buys his pardon. One is mentioned by name. Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury, who was at least suspected of a share in the plot, was dealt with privately by the King 63 as his father had been at Arundel.[137] He bought his restoration to favour at the high price of three thousand pounds.[138] Roger of Lacy. Roger of Lacy lost his lands and was banished, as he would have been in the days of King Eadward, and his possessions were given to his loyal brother Hugh. But heavier penalties, unknown in King Eadward’s days, were in store for others of the conspirators, including one of the loftiest descent. January 13, 1097. At the adjourned meeting at Salisbury, Geoffrey of Baynard, bearing a name famous in London city, appealed no less a man than William of Eu of treason against the King, of conspiring to slay him, and to give his crown to Stephen of Champagne.[139] Combat of Geoffrey of Baynard and William of Eu. The charge was denied, and, as both parties were Frenchmen, the trial was, by the law of the Conqueror, referred to the wager of battle. The judicial combat which followed is memorable in the history of the time, and forms one of the landmarks in our early jurisprudence.

Defeat of William of Eu. On the plain of Salisbury the combatants met, and William of Eu was overthrown.[140] By the laws of the combat his defeat was full evidence of his guilt. But what was to be his punishment? Save the case of the 64 beheading of Waltheof, there was no precedent in the ordinary jurisprudence either of England or of Normandy for any sentence harsher than banishment, forfeiture, and imprisonment.[141] The older English precedents went for banishment and forfeiture. The precedents of Normandy and of Norman rule in England went for imprisonment, such an imprisonment, it might be, as that of Robert of Mowbray. For the course actually taken there was no precedent in either land, unless it were the dealings of Harold the son of Cnut with the Ætheling Ælfred.[142] Sentence of mutilation on William of Eu. The punishment decreed was that of bodily mutilation. Urged by Hugh of Chester. It is said that this course was proposed by Earl Hugh of Chester, and that on a singular ground. William of Eu was the husband of the Earl’s sister—​her name is not mentioned. He had neglected his wife, while he had three children by a mistress.[143] If this was to be ground for the loss of eyes or limbs, the brothers of the Countess Ermentrude would have had a right to demand that the portly person of Earl Hugh should be cut down to a shapeless trunk.[144] Feeling with regard to mutilation. Mutilation, it should be remembered, was a familiar punishment, a punishment which in that generation aroused no horror when the persons so dealt with were held to be real criminals.[145] But, with that common inconsistency which reverses the sound rule of smiting the leaders and sparing the commons, mutilation, death, or any heavy punishment, seems always to have aroused horror, or at least amazement, when it was inflicted on any criminal of lofty rank. Such things had been done in the isle of Britain and out of it, but hardly by the 65 solemn sentence of the King of the English at the head of his Witan. But now William of Eu was blinded, and underwent a fouler mutilation as well.[146] His sentence was seemingly carried out at Salisbury, perhaps in sight of the assembly. Are we to infer that any show of indignation was called forth by the bloody sight, when we read directly afterwards that some of the lord of Eu’s fellow-sufferers were taken to London, and were blinded or otherwise mutilated there?[147]

Story of Arnulf of Hesdin. If we may trust a tale to be found in one of those secondary writers who often preserve scraps of truth, another accused man appealed to the wager of battle with better luck than William of Eu. This was Arnulf of Hesdin, a man whose name is familiar enough to us in Domesday, though it does not call up any distinct personal idea like the King’s unlucky kinsman.[148] He is set before us as a man of great bodily stature, brave and active, and in the enjoyment of large possessions, out of which he and his wife Emmeline had made gifts to the abbey of Gloucester.[149] He was charged, unjustly and enviously we are told, with the same crime as the rest.[150] His innocence proved by battle. He defended himself by his champion, who proved his lord’s innocence by overthrowing a man of the King’s who was matched against him.[151] But Arnulf 66 was so stirred up with wrath and grief at the unjust charge, that, notwithstanding the King’s entreaties to stay, he threw up all the lands that he held of him, and left England for ever.[152] He goes to the Crusade, Before the end of the year, the Crusade offered him worthy occupation elsewhere. He marched with the Christian host as far as Antioch; he there fell sick, and declined all medical help; none should heal him save Him for whose sake he had gone on pilgrimage. and dies. Arnulf, professing the opposite doctrine to Asa of Judah, fared no better than that king. Antioch was the last stage reached by the armed pilgrim of Hesdin.[153]

Confiscation of lands. Arnulf, according to this story, became landless, as far as England was concerned, by his own act. Others underwent the same loss by sentence, it seems, of the Assembly. Count Odo of Champagne and many others lost their lands.[154] In one case only does death seem to have been inflicted. William of Alderi is condemned to death. William of Alderi, cousin and steward of William of Eu, was, as the Chronicle tells us, “hanged on rood.”[155] This somewhat startling formula doubtless means nothing but ordinary hanging; but it seemingly marks hanging of any kind as something which was not ordinary. As to the guilt or innocence of William of Alderi we have contradictory accounts. One weighty authority declares him to have been a sharer in the plot.[156] Others class him among many brave and 67 guiltless men who were ruined by the charges brought by Morel and by Geoffrey of Baynard.[157] Guilty or innocent, he was, we are told, a man of high birth, goodly presence, and lofty spirit.[158] He was moreover the King’s gossip, bound to him by the same tie which bound Morel to Malcolm. We thus incidentally learn that there were those whom William Rufus had held at the font, and for whose Christian faith and Christian life he had pledged himself. But the spiritual kindred went for nothing with the Red King. The King refuses to spare him. Many of the great men are said to have earnestly begged for the life of William of Alderi, and to have striven to move the King’s greed by a mighty bribe. The Conqueror had refused Harold’s weight in gold as the price of his Christian burial; his son refused three times the weight of William of Alderi, both in gold and in silver, as the price of his life.[159] Why Rufus was so bent on his death does not appear; but nothing could move him. It marks the way in which the King’s will practically ordered everything, even in so great an assembly of the realm as that which had now come together, that William of Alderi was condemned and hanged without any attempt to rescue him, though many believed him to be guiltless, and though powerful men were eager to save him. His pious end. When hope was gone, he made an ending at once as pious and, according to the ideas of other ages, more manly than the ending of Waltheof. He confessed his sins to 68 Bishop Osmund, and was, seemingly at his own asking, scourged in the new-built minster and the other churches of the city on the waterless hill.[160] Then he gave away his clothes to the poor, and went naked or slightly clad to the place of hanging, staining his limbs with blood by often kneeling on the rough stones.[161] The Bishop and a crowd of people followed him to the place. He then made the most solemn protestations of his innocence. The Bishop sprinkled him with holy water, said the commendatory prayer, and then withdrew.[162] It was not for Osmund of Salisbury, whatever it might have been for Odo of Bayeux or Geoffrey of Coutances, to look on what was next to come. The work of death was then done, and all who beheld wondered that not a groan escaped the victim as death drew near, and not a sigh in the act of dying.[163]

Last days of William of Eu. There was thus a marked difference in the fate of the kinsmen and chief officers of the two leaders, if leaders they both were, in the conspiracy. The steward and cousin of William of Eu was done to death, while his master underwent a fate which to modern ideas seems worse than death. We are not told how long William of Eu lived on in blindness and misery; but his punishment did not involve forfeiture, at all events not corruption of blood; for a few years later we find his son Henry in possession of his county.[164] End of Morel. The steward and nephew of Robert of Mowbray seems to have gained but little by 69 the act which, if it were formally allowed to be loyalty to the King, was likely to be far more commonly looked on as treason to his immediate lord. When he saw that his kinsman and master was condemned to life-long bonds, he left England, and died in banishment, poor and hated of all men.[165]

§ 3. The Conquest and Revolt of Wales.

Relations with Wales. These years, so rich in events in Scotland and on the English lands nearest to the Scottish border, were at least equally rich in events on the other border of the English kingdom, towards the lands which were still held by the remnant of our British predecessors. Wars with the Welsh may be looked for, as a matter of course, in every reign during this period; but in the reign of William Rufus such wars form a special feature, and the position which they hold is a little singular. Nature of the Welsh wars of Rufus. It is plain from the records of the time, it is still plainer from the results, that this reign was a time of great and lasting advance at the cost of the Britons. It was the time when large parts of Wales were more or less fully brought under the authority of the English crown. Territorial advance and military ill-success. It is still more distinctly the time when Norman adventurers, subjects of the English crown, carved out for themselves, as its vassals, possessions and lordships within the British land. Yet the first impression which we draw from the writers who record the British warfare of this reign is that it was a time of ill success on the English side, especially in those campaigns in which the King himself took a part. The Chronicler records an expedition, and he sends up a wail at its ill luck. Nothing came of 70 it; horses and men not a few were lost; the Welsh escaped to their moors and mountains where no man might come at them. One chief is put to flight in a battle, but the others go on doing mischief all the same.[166] The same story comes almost every year; one would think that the warfare of the Red King with the Welsh was a warfare than which none was ever more bootless. And a historian who aspires to more of critical and philosophical insight sums up the whole British warfare of the reign as a distinct case of failure.[167] Yet it is clear from the result that it was not so. And one passage in the Chronicle seems to give us the key to the whole matter. “When the King saw that he could there further nothing of his will, he came back into this land, and took rede that he might let make castles on the borders.”[168] Effect of the building of castles. An expedition which seemed mere failure, in which many men and horses were lost, while the Welsh escaped to moors and mountains with hardly any loss at all, was really successful in the long run, if it led to the building of a border castle. The Britons fled unhurt to their mountains; but while they lurked in the fastnesses where none might come at them, the most valuable part of their land was taken from them bit by bit. When they came down again from the mountains, they found a castle built, they found so much land as the castle could protect 71 changed into a settlement of strangers. The lands might be harried; the castle might at some favourable moment be broken down; but it was sure to spring up again and again to do its work. The lasting possession of the fertile land had passed away to the invaders; the moors and mountains alone were left to the sons of the soil.

Welsh campaigns of Harold and of William Rufus. The mention of these Welsh wars naturally carries us back to the thought of the great Welsh campaign of a generation earlier. We see how true, from one point of view, was the saying of the next century that none since Harold had known how to deal with the Welsh as Harold had known.[169] As a matter of military success, the failures of William Rufus stand out in marked contrast to the victories of Harold. The Red King had no pillars to set up to mark where he had overcome the Briton in open fight.[170] A single word helps us to at least one part of the cause. Use of horses. Harold, in his victorious campaign, must have undergone some loss of men, but he underwent no loss of horses. He found that the English tactics were not suited for British warfare, and he made his housecarls turn themselves into light-armed Welshmen.[171] But the Norman tactics were still less suited for British warfare than the English. There were places in the moors and mountains which the mailed housecarl might reach, if with difficulty, but which the mounted knight could not reach at all. But William Rufus does not seem to have suited his tactics to the country as Harold had done; the mention of horses suggests that he repeated the old mistake of Ralph the Timid in a worse shape.[172] Immediate defeat and lasting success. As a matter of fighting then, Rufus failed where Harold had succeeded; but as a matter of enduring conquest, the failures of Rufus did more than the successes of Harold. Harold 72 indeed had no general schemes of Welsh conquest. Different objects of Harold and Rufus. He overthrew the Welsh; but, except in the districts which were definitely ceded to England,[173] he made no attempt to occupy Wales. He gave back the land whose people he had overcome to princes of their own blood, bound to him simply by their oath of homage.[174] But wherever Rufus or his lords planted a castle, there was at once a piece of Welsh soil occupied, and a centre made ready for occupying more. The object of Harold in short was simply the defence of England; the object of William Rufus was the conquest of Wales.

Comparison of the conquest of Wales with the English and Norman Conquests. The conquest which now began, that which we may call either the English or the Norman Conquest of Wales, differed widely both from the English Conquest of Britain and from the Norman Conquest of England. It wrought far less change than the landing at Ebbsfleet; it wrought far more change than the landing at Pevensey. The Briton of those lands which in the Red King’s day were still British was gradually conquered; he was gradually brought under English rule and English law; but he was neither exterminated nor enslaved nor wholly assimilated. He still abides in his ancient land, still speaking his ancient tongue. The English or Norman Conquest of Wales was not a national migration, like the English Conquest of Britain. Nor was it a conquest wrought under the guise of an elaborate legal fiction, like the Norman Conquest of England. William Rufus did not ask the people of Wales to receive him as their own lawful king; he did not give himself out to all mankind as the true heir of Gruffydd the son of Llywelyn, defrauded of his rights by perjured usurpers. Europe had passed the stage at which a conquest of the earlier kind was possible; and there was in this case no excuse or opportunity for a conquest of the later kind. William 73 Rufus was not a man to seek, like his father, to justify his acts by legal fictions; nor had he the same room for devising them as his father had. He had doubtless, with the crown of the Old-English kings, inherited their claims to Imperial supremacy over the whole island; he called himself “Monarch of Britain” no less than the kings who had gone before him.[175] But that monarchy gave him no claim to bring the lands of his subordinate princes under his immediate rule. If an invasion of Wales needed any justification in the eyes of William Rufus and his barons, that justification would take the shape of reprisals. We may be sure that there was no moment when the men on the border, either on the English or the Welsh side, could not have brought some complaint against the other side which might have been deemed to justify reprisals by a more scrupulous prince than the Red King. But for men like the Norman adventurers of his day it was enough that a land adjoining to the land which they had made their own lay open to be conquered. Geographical conditions of the conquest. Therein lay another great difference between this conquest and either of the other two conquests with which we have compared it, in the fact that the land to be won lay adjoining to the land which was already won. The Angles and Saxons wholly forsook their old homes beyond the sea, and, if the Normans in England did not in the same way wholly forsake theirs, the sea at least rolled between the old home and the new. But the Norman whose lot was cast on the Welsh frontier of England had nothing to do but to press on from the point where he already was. He had simply to add on the next field to his own field, subject to such resistance as the actual occupiers of the next field might be able to make. From this geographical cause, while the 74 Norman Conquest of England was in no sense an extension of Normandy, the English or Norman Conquest of Wales was in every sense an extension of England. Extension of England by conquest and settlement. The Normans in England did not bring Normandy with them; they had from the very beginning to put on more or less fully the character of Englishmen, and to live according to English law. But the Norman who from England went on into Wales had no thought of putting on the character of a Welshman or of living according to Welsh law. Wherever he settled, he most truly carried England with him, such as England had been made through his own coming. But then for a long time he settled only here and there in the British land. Where he did settle, the speech, the laws, the national life, of the Briton passed away in such sort as the speech, the laws, the national life, of the Englishman never at any moment passed away from England. But alongside of these conquered districts there long remained independent districts, where the natives under their native princes still bade defiance to the invaders. England had already an uniform aspect; it was the old England with certain changes; its laws were the laws of King Eadward with the amendments of King William. Wales, for a long while after the time with which we are now dealing, was as far from uniformity as any land east of the Hadriatic. Various elements in Wales. Here was the castle of the Norman lord, with his following, Norman, English, Flemish, anything but British. Here was the newly-founded town, with its free burghers, again Norman, English, Flemish, anything but British. Here again was a whole district from which the Briton had passed away as thoroughly as he had passed away from Kent or Norfolk, but which the Norman had not taken into his own hands. The Flemings. He had found that it suited his purpose to leave it in the hands of the hardy and industrious Fleming, the last wave of Low-Dutch occupation in the 75 isle of Britain. And alongside of all, there was the still independent Briton, still keeping his moors and mountains, still ready to pour down from them upon the richer lands which had been his fathers’, but which had passed into the stranger’s grasp. Those days have long passed away; for three centuries and more Briton and Englishmen have been willing members of a common state, willing subjects of a common sovereign. But the memory of those days has not passed away; it abides in the most living of all witnesses. Endurance of the Welsh language. England has for ages spoken a single tongue, her own ancient speech, modified by the coming of the conquerors of eight hundred years ago. But in Wales the speech of her conquerors, the speech of England, is still only making its way, slowly and fitfully, against the abiding resistance of that stubborn British tongue which has survived three conquests.[176]

Local nomenclature of Wales. The results of this state of things, where so many contending elements so long stood side by side, are still to be seen on the face of the British land. The local nomenclature of Wales tells a wholly different tale from that of England. Contrast with that of England. In England the nomenclature is everywhere essentially Teutonic; we might say that it is everywhere essentially English; for the names given by the Danes form one class along with those given by the Angles and Saxons, as opposed either to Celtic survivals or to Romance intruders. Both these two last classes are in England mere exceptions to the general law of Teutonic nomenclature. Teutonic and French names. But in Wales, while the great majority of the names are Celtic, the Teutonic names are somewhat more than exceptions. In some districts, as I have already said, they are the all but invariable rule. French names, too, though not very common, are, I think, less rare than in England. Places bearing two names. Nothing is more 76 common than for a place to bear different names, according as English or Welsh is spoken. And these names sometimes translate one another, and sometimes do not. All this is natural in a land where distinct and hostile races so long dwelled side by side, each one a thorn in the side of the others. It marks a kind of conquest different alike from the conquest where the conquered vanish from the soil and from the conquest where they swallow up their conquerors.

The Welsh castles. There is again a visible feature, one so characteristic of the scenery of Wales as to be all but a natural feature, which arises out of the nature of the conquest with which we have now to deal. The traveller who comes back, I will not say from the land of the Grey Leagues, but from that nearer land of Maine with which our tale will soon have so much to do, to one of the hilly districts of England, feels something missing in the landscape, or in the memories called up by the landscape. On the isolated hill, on the bluff which ends the long ridge, he comes instinctively to look for the shattered castle or for the lines which show that the castle once stood there. Lack of castles in England. It is one of the special signs of what English history has been, one of the signs which should make us thankful that it has been what it has been, that in England those bluffs, those island hills, on which the castle or its traces can still be seen, are in truth few and far between. After all that we hear of castles and castle-builders, the castle was, at any moment of English history save the nineteen years of anarchy, a rare thing in England compared to what it was in other lands. Houses in England. Save where there was a town to protect or to keep in obedience, save where there was some special post of military strength that needed to be guarded, the lord of an English lordship, in whichever host his forefather had fought on Senlac, found that a simple manor, sheltered perhaps by some slight defence, 77 served his purpose as well as the threatening tower. Border castles. On all the borderlands it was otherwise; the pele-tower of the north is but the Norman keep on a miniature scale. And, above all, Wales is, as every one knows, pre-eminently the land of castles. Through those districts with which we are specially concerned, castles, great and small, or the ruins or traces of such castles, meet us at every step. It was needful to strengthen every height, to guard every pass, while the moors and mountains, the Asturias or the Tzernagora of the Cymry, still remained unsubdued. The castles are in truth the leading architectural features of the country; the churches, mostly small and plain, might themselves, with their fortified towers, almost count as castles. The Welsh towns. The towns, almost always of English foundation, were mostly small; they were military colonies rather than seats of commerce. As Wales had no immemorial cities like Exeter and Lincoln, so she had no towns which sprang up into greatness in later times, like Bristol, Norwich, and Coventry. Every memorial of former days which we see in the British land reminds us how long warfare remained the daily business alike of the men of that land and of the strangers who had made their way into it at the sword’s point.

Advance before the accession of Rufus. We have seen that neither the days of Eadward nor the days of the elder William were days of peace along the Welsh border. The English frontier had advanced during both reigns. Rhuddlan,[177] Montgomery,[178] Cardiff,[179] had become border fortresses of England. An indefinite tract of North Wales was held by Robert of Rhuddlan;[180] Radnor was an English possession;[181] the followers of Earl 78 Roger of Montgomery had harried as far as the peninsula of Dyfed.[182] The whole land seems to have made some kind of submission to William the Great at the time when he made his pilgrimage to Saint David’s, and set free so many of his captive subjects.[183] Robert of Rhuddlan. But real conquest does not seem to have gone very far beyond the border fortresses, as within the march of the Marquess of Rhuddlan it did not go very far from the coast. In the days of the rebellion we have seen that the hearts of the Cymry rose again, and that they again ventured on offensive warfare with no small effect. They and their Scandinavian allies had broken the power and taken away the life of the man who had so long kept their northern tribes in awe. Rhys ap Tewdwr. In that work we have seen that Rhys ap Tewdwr, the King of Deheubarth, whose dominions took in the greater part of South Wales, had a hand.[184] Under him Cedivor seems to have been the vassal prince of Dyfed. The reign of Cedivor ended in a time of misfortune, ominous of greater misfortunes to come. Saint David’s robbed by pirates. 1091. The shrine of Saint David was robbed. The holy bishop Sulien died, and presently his church and city, the holy place of Saint David, were again sacked by the pagans of the isles.[185] Is this simply a traditional way of speaking of Scandinavian invaders, or were there still any wild wikings who avowedly clave to the faith of Odin? Then Cedivor himself died, and his sons revolted against their over-lord Rhys, but were again overthrown.[186] This was the year of the Red King’s siege of Saint Michael’s Mount, the 79 year of his journey to the North; and one account hints that the movements in Wales as well as in Scotland had a share in bringing him back from the mainland.[187] But it is not till two years later that Welsh warfare began to put on enough of importance for its details to be recorded by English writers.

Welsh Wars

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the

Beginning of the Conquest of South Wales. 1093. It seems to have been in the year of Anselm’s appointment, the year of Malcolm’s death, that the conquest of South Wales began in earnest. It seems now to have been for the first time taken up by the King as part of the affairs of his kingdom. But the geography of the campaign shows that a gradual advance must have already begun along the south coast. Our public entries are concerned only with the land stretching nearly due west, from the mountains of Brecknock and Abergavenny to the Land’s End of Saint David’s. This leaves out the sea-land which, with the bold curve of its coast, projects to the south, the land of Morganwg or Glamorgan. Yet it may be taken as a matter of course that this land was not left to be won later than inland Brecheiniog and far distant Dyfed. Legend of the conquest of Glamorgan. The unlucky thing is that, while the conquest of Brecheiniog and Dyfed is recorded in notices which, though meagre enough, are fully trustworthy as far as they go, the conquest of Morganwg, strangely left out in all authentic records, has become the subject of an elaborate romance which has stepped into the empty place of the missing history. The romance is, as usual, the invention of pedigree-makers, working, after their manner, to exalt the glory and increase the antiquity of this and that local family. This is perhaps the meanest of the many forms of falsehood against which the historian has to strive; but it is also one of 80 the strongest and most abiding, and one which is specially strong and abiding on the northern coast of the Bristol Channel.[188]

The legend pieces itself on to that point of the genuine history when the sons of Cedivor were defeated by Rhys ap Tewdwr. Story of Jestin and Einion. A brother of Cedivor, Einion by name, who had been in the service of either the elder or the younger William, and had served the King in his continental wars, now flees to another enemy of Rhys, Jestin son of Gwrgan, described as prince of Gwent and Morganwg.[189] Jestin promises his daughter to Einion with an ample estate, if he can obtain help from England against the common enemy Rhys. This, it is supposed, Einion’s friendship with the King and his knights will enable him to do. Nor was Jestin’s hope disappointed. Story of Robert Fitz-hamon and his knights. No less a man than Robert Fitz-hamon hearkened to the invitation of Einion; he set out at the head of a company of twelve knights and their followers to give help to the prince of Morganwg. Their joint forces overcame Rhys in a battle on the borders of Brecheiniog, and Rhys himself, flying from the field, was taken and beheaded. His kinsmen and followers seem to have been killed or dispersed, and we are told that Robert Fitz-hamon and his companions, being well paid for their services by Jestin, went away towards London. Then Einion demands his reward; but Jestin says that he will not give either his daughter or his land to a traitor. Einion recalls Robert. Then Einion persuades Robert and his companions to come back, and take Jestin’s dominions for themselves. They are of course in no way unwilling; and they are joined by some of Jestin’s Welsh enemies. Jestin is driven out, and his land is partitioned. The rough mountain land is assigned to Einion and his Welsh companions, and Einion also marries Nest the daughter of Jestin. 81 Robert Fitz-hamon and his twelve knights divide the fertile vale of Glamorgan among them. Division of Glamorgan. Each man establishes himself in a lordship and castle, and all do homage to Robert as lord of Glamorgan, holding his chief seat in his castle of Cardiff. Share kept by the children of Jestin. But, while the traitor Einion obtains so sorry a portion, a son of Jestin is admitted to a share in the rich vale, and is allowed to hand on his lordship to his descendants. Another of the family, a grandson of Jestin, Gruffydd son of Rhydderch, refuses to submit, withstands the invaders in arms, contrives to defend Caerleon, and to hand on to his son Caradoc a principality in Gwent, seemingly east of the Usk.

Estimate of the story. Now how much of this story is to be believed? Jestin is a most shadowy being, of whom personally nothing is recorded. But there is evidence enough for the existence of his descendants, and for their retention of an important lordship in Glamorgan.[190] This may make us inclined to put some faith in the account of the transactions between Jestin, Einion, and Robert Fitz-hamon. Elements of truth. The general outline of the tale is perfectly possible, except the very unlikely story that Robert or any other Norman, when once standing in arms on British or any other ground, simply marched out again after receiving a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work. Settlement of Robert Fitz-hamon at Cardiff. That Robert Fitz-hamon did conquer Glamorgan and establish himself at Cardiff cannot be doubted. The settlement of some of his followers is equally historical; but the list of them as given in the legend is untrustworthy, Legendary names in the list. as containing names of families which did not 82 appear in the district till later. That the Normans were invited by a Welsh prince to help him against his enemies, and that they then took his lands to themselves, is quite possible, though the story rests on no certain evidence. That the Norman invaders took the valuable land, the fertile vale, to themselves, and left the rugged mountains to the Britons, is doubtless a true description of the general result, though it is not likely to have been caused by any formal division. The only thing to suggest such a division is the portion which was kept by the descendants of Jestin. But such an anomaly as this last might be accounted for in various ways. The defeat and death of Rhys in Brecheiniog is beyond doubt, and it is not unlikely that Robert Fitz-hamon may have had a hand in it; but at all events the date is utterly wrong.[191] Question of Jestin’s descendants. The most unlikely part of the story is that which describes a grandson of Jestin as founding a principality in that part of Gwent which had already long been an English possession. This story might almost seem to be a confusion with an event of earlier times. We are tempted to think that the Caradoc son of Gruffydd and grandson of Rhydderch, who now settles himself in Gwent, is a mythical repetition of the Caradoc son of Gruffydd and grandson of Rhydderch who destroyed King Eadward’s hunting-seat at Portskewet.[192]

Robert Fitz-hamon; Robert Fitz-hamon, conqueror of Glamorgan—​for of his right to that title there is no doubt—​has his place in the history of this reign and of the early years of the next. other notices of him. We have already heard of him as one of the few faithful among the Normans in England at the time of the great rebellion against the present King.[193] Son or grandson of the famous rebel of Val-ès-dunes,[194] he had an elder brother of his father’s name, 83 who appears, with the title of Dapifer, among the land-owners of eastern England.[195] He holds the lands of Brihtric. He had himself, at one time in the present reign, received those lands which had once been Brihtric’s, which had then been Queen Matilda’s, and which had been afterwards held or claimed by the Ætheling Henry.[196] These made him great in the shires of Gloucester and Somerset, shires from which he might look with a longing eye towards the lands beyond the Severn and the Severn sea. To these, it appears, was added the honour of Gloucester, or rather the lands of Brihtric were made into an honour of Gloucester for his benefit.[197] He marries Earl Roger’s daughter. He married a daughter of Earl Roger, Sibyl by name,[198] and so had the privilege of being brother-in-law to Robert of Bellême. Marriage of his daughter to Robert of Gloucester. His daughter Mabel, heiress of her uncle as well as of her father,[199] became, as we have often had occasion to notice, the wife of King Henry’s son Robert, 84 with whom Gloucester became an earldom. His works at Gloucester and Tewkesbury. He founded the abbey of Tewkesbury, one of the line of great religious houses along the Severn, where his work may still be seen in the vast pillars and mysterious front of his still surviving minster.[200] To the older abbey of Gloucester he was a bountiful benefactor. And the nature of his gifts to these two favoured houses would be almost enough of itself to enable us to set down Robert Fitz-hamon as conqueror of Glamorgan. Grant of Welsh churches to English monasteries. Gloucester and Tewkesbury were enriched at the cost of the churches of Glamorgan, proof enough that he who could thus enrich them had won great possessions in Glamorgan. The holy places of the Briton, Llantwit and Llancarfan, with a crowd of churches of lesser note, supplied the conqueror with an easy means of being bountiful with no cost to himself.[201] So again the mere fact that a man who held such a position as that of Robert Fitz-hamon, one who, though not an earl, ranked by possessions and connexions alongside of earls, plays so small a part as he does in the recorded history of the reign, might almost of itself suggest that he was busy on some enterprise of his own, such as that which legend assigns to him. Conquest of Glamorgan. When the mound by the swift and shallow Taff was crowned by the shell-keep of Cardiff, the progress of invasion was not likely to tarry. The fertile 85 lowlands from the mouth of the Taff to the mouth of the Neath were a natural accession to the lowlands of Gwent which were already won. They were won; they were guarded by a crowd of castles. Building of castles. And the winning of the land, the building of the castles, events about which the genuine local history is strangely silent, were, there is not the slightest reason to doubt, the work of Robert Fitz-hamon and of the men who shared with him in that work.

Distinction between Morganwg and Glamorgan. In strict geographical accuracy the names Morganwg and Glamorgan do not answer to one another.[202] Morganwg in the wider sense is said to have taken in a vast district from the Severn to the Towy, while Glamorgan, said to be called from a prince named Morgan in the tenth century, was less than the present county, taking in only the vale. The distinction between the two was preserved in the style of the lords of “Morgania and Glamorgania.” Extent of Glamorgan. But the country with which we have now to deal may be practically looked on as answering to the present county, somewhat cut short to the west and somewhat lengthened to the east. It takes in the present Monmouthshire between Usk and Rhymny; it does not take in the peninsula of Gower. This last, with the town of Swansea on its isthmus, still forms no part of the diocese of Glamorgan or Llandaff; it marks its formerly distinct character by still belonging to the diocese of Saint David’s. Within this district Robert Fitz-hamon and his successors the Earls of Gloucester held a position like that of the Earl of Chester or the Bishop of Durham. Without bearing their lofty titles, the Lord of Glamorgan practically held, like them, a vassal principality of the crown. Like the other lords marchers, he held most of the powers of kingship within his lordship, and the position of his lordship enabled 86 him to carry out those powers more thoroughly than most of his fellows.[203] Cardiff castle. The chief seat of the lord was at Cardiff on the Taff, where the castle had been, as we have seen, founded in the Conqueror’s day.[204] Bishopric of Llandaff. A little higher up the river was the seat of the bishopric of Glamorgan at Llandaff, with its church, most unlike Le Mans or Durham, nestling by the river at the foot of the hill. Under the chief lord settled several lesser lords, tenants-in-chief, we may almost venture to call them, within Glamorgan, who founded castles and families, and under whom the land was again divided among a crowd of smaller tenants. Some of these lesser lords held within their own lordships powers almost equal to those of the lord of Glamorgan himself. William of London. First perhaps among them was the house founded by William of London, better known under the French form of Londres.[205] The name suggests some thoughts. Who was a William of London in the days of William Rufus? A Norman doubtless, but hardly a Norman of any very lofty rank in his own land. May we follow the analogy of the great bearer of the same name in the next age, and see in him the son of a Rouen citizen settled in London in the very first days of the Conquest, or even in the days of the Confessor? Kidwelly and Ogmore. The house of London spread beyond the bounds of Glamorgan; their chief seat was at Kidwelly; but within the lordship of Fitz-hamon the square keep of Ogmore and the fortified priory of Ewenny, one of the most precious specimens of the Norman minster on the smallest scale, still remain as memorials of their presence. Richard Siward. But the name of Siward—​its first bearer appears in the legend as Richard Siward—​bespeaks English or Danish descent, and we are tempted to see in the colonist of 87 Glamorgan a son or grandson of Thurkill of Warwick.[206] Pagan of Turberville at Coyty. Pagan of Turberville held Coyty, married a Welsh heiress, and became the founder of a house whose feelings became British rather than Norman or English. Aberafan held by the children of Jestin. Aberafan, the fortress at the mouth of the Glamorgan Avon, remained in the hands of the descendants of Jestin, the only native line which, like such Englishmen as Thurkill, Eadward of Salisbury, Coleswegen and Ælfred of Lincoln, abode on its own ground on equal terms with the conquerors. They alone shared the fertile plain with the strangers; the rest of their countrymen, even those who held acknowledged lands and lordships, were confined to the barren hills.[207]

The lords and their castles. These few families have each something in their name and history which entitles them to special notice. A few others were of really equal eminence from the first, and the legend, to make up the full tale of twelve peers, adds on several names of later date. These great lords, and a crowd of smaller land-owners as well, built each man his castle; in Glamorgan the peaceful manor-house, soon to become the rule in England, seems to have been the reform of a much later day. The castles with which we are to deal are of course for the most part castles of the older and simpler type; it was not till long after the times with which we are dealing that Caerphilly, with its mighty gateway-towers, its princely hall, its lake wrought by the hand of man, became the proudest of South-Welsh fortresses, the peer of Caernarvon itself. Caerphilly lies indeed beyond our immediate range, in the land still left to the natives, parted off by hills from Cardiff and from the rich plain which the conquerors kept for themselves. Not a few others of the famous castles of the district belong to times far too 88 late for us. The South-Welsh churches. From the castles the churches also caught a military air, and kept it during the whole time of mediæval architecture. The fortified towers of Glamorgan have the military character less strongly marked than the towers of Pembrokeshire; but it is marked quite strongly enough to strike the English visitor as something altogether in harmony with the endless traces of castles which meet him at every step. He sees at once that a state of things which in England existed only during the first years of the Conquest, or which more truly, unless during the nineteen years of anarchy, never existed at all, went on in the half conquered British land for ages.

Saxon settlements in South-Wales. The leaders in the settlement were of course mainly Norman. It has been acutely remarked that they mostly came, as followers of Robert Fitz-hamon most naturally would come, from the old lands of Brihtric in Gloucestershire and Somerset. They doubtless brought with them an English following, a strictly Saxon invasion of South Wales. Among the Teutonic settlers in this district, it is not easy to distinguish the Saxon from the Fleming. The Flemings in Pembrokeshire. It must always be remembered that, while the Flemish settlement in Pembrokeshire is matter of history, the Flemish settlements in Gower and Glamorgan are merely matters of inference.[208] Foundation of boroughs. The English and Flemish settlers were doubtless the chief inhabitants of the boroughs which now began to arise under the shadow of the castles. Cardiff, Kenfig, Aberafan, and Neath, arose on the coast or on the rivers from which some of them took their names. Cowbridge and Llantrissant lay in the inland part of the vale; the last, a borough mainly British, was the only one which held at all a commanding site among the hills. In later times these towns sank into insignificance—​Kenfig indeed well nigh perished under heaps of sand. 89 But some of them have in later times been called up to a new life by the wonderful development of mineral wealth which has changed the barren hills which were left to the Briton into one of the busiest regions of our whole island.

Ecclesiastical affairs. In ecclesiastical matters the conquest of this district was for awhile chiefly marked, as has been mentioned, by the spoliation of the ancient British foundations, to the behoof of the conqueror’s favourite monasteries at Gloucester and Tewkesbury. Llandaff. The bishopric of Llandaff or Glamorgan kept its place, though it never became, either in the extent of its possessions or in the fabric of its church, at all the peer of Saint David’s. Ewenny. Cistercian foundations. Ewenny arose, if not in the very first days of the conquest, yet within the first or second generation. The Cistercian movement reached this district early. Neath. 1130. The abbey of Neath arose in King Henry’s time, under the patronage of Earl Robert;[209] and in the last year of his life, while the anarchy still raged, the same earl, the most renowned of the lords of Glamorgan, Margam. 1147. found means to found the more famous abbey of Margam.[210]

The conquest of Glamorgan thus stands out as an event which is altogether unrecorded in authentic history, but of which it is not hard to put together a picture from its results. Other parts of the conquest of South Wales are more clearly entered in both British and English annals. Conquest of Brecknock. The mountain land of Brecheiniog must have been occupied early in the reign of Rufus, if not earlier still. Bernard Newmarch. Its conqueror, Bernard of Neufmarché, better known in the English form of Newmarch, has already figured in our story;[211] and he was clearly 90 in possession when William Rufus lay sick and penitent at Gloucester. His followers are then spoken of as the French who inhabited Brecheiniog. By that time then the upper valley of the Usk, from Abergavenny westward, must have been already subdued. The rich land of the holy King Brychan, with his twenty-four sainted daughters—​the church where the worship of one of them turned the people of the land into frenzies which offended the soberer devotion of the Norman[212]—​the rivers full of fish, the lake of marvels, the whole pleasant valley cut off by its hills from the extremes of heat and cold[213]—​all had passed away from British rule. The castle of Brecknock. Bernard had doubtless by this time reared on the hill of Aberhonwy at least some rude forerunner of the castle of Brecknock, the fragments of which still stand, facing the southern mountains, alongside of the massive church of his own priory, the church which he made his far-off offering to Saint Martin of the Place of Battle.[214] Bernard’s gifts to Battle Abbey. We know not whether Bernard had by this time striven to confirm his power on British soil by a marriage which connected him with the noblest blood, alike British and English. His wife Nest. His wife Nest united the blood of Gruffydd with the blood of Ælfgar. We are not told the name or race of her father;[215] but her mother was Nest the daughter of Gruffydd and Ealdgyth, the stepdaughter of Harold, the half-sister of 91 his twin wanderers, the granddaughter of Ælfgar and his perhaps Norman Ælfgifu.[216] Nest thus came on the spindle-side from Godgifu the mirror of English matronhood; but the woman who shamelessly avowed to King Henry that her son was not the son of her husband Bernard hardly walked in the steps of her renowned ancestress.[217] During that memorable Lent, while King William lay sick at Gloucester, the new lord of Brecknock found it needful to gather his strength to withstand an attack from the people whom he had despoiled. Defeat and death of Rhys at Brecknock. 1093. The Britons came together under Rhys the son of Tewdwr, the king of whom we have often heard, and who must have been at this time the most powerful prince of South Wales.[218] He invaded the invaders; and in the very Easter week, while matters were busy between William and Anselm on the one hand, between William and Malcolm on the other hand, a battle took place near Brecknock. There Rhys was killed, by the help, according to the Glamorgan legend, of Robert Fitz-hamon. According to the same legend, Rhys did not fall in open fight, but as a prisoner to whom quarter was refused. Another account describes him as being slain by the treachery of his own men. His death was marked as an epoch in the history of Wales. End of “the kingdom of the Britons.” With him, the native historian writes, fell the kingdom of the Britons, a phrase which an English writer seems to have misunderstood as meaning that after him no Welsh prince bore the kingly 92 title.[219] The overthrow of Rhys led to great movements in other parts of South Wales. Effect of the death of Rhys. We can hardly doubt that, whether Robert Fitz-hamon had a hand in the fight at Brecknock or not, his settlement in Glamorgan was at any rate already begun. But the fall of Rhys laid the lands to the south-west, the lands of Ceredigion and Dyfed, open to invasion; and two sets of invaders were equally ready to make the most of the chance which was now laid open to them. The British enemy came first. Cadwgan harries Dyfed. April 30, 1093. Cadwgan son of Bleddyn, who had once before driven Rhys from his throne,[220] seized the moment of his death to carry a wasting inroad into Dyfed.[221] He was presently followed by invaders who were to do something more than make a wasting inroad. Norman conquest of Ceredigion and Dyfed. July 1, 1093. “About the kalends of July the French for the first time held Dyfed and Ceredigion, and set castles in them, and thence occupied the whole land.”[222]

These words of the British annalist mark a most important stage in the occupation of his country. The campaign of this summer completed the conquest of South Wales, so far as a land could be said to be conquered which was always revolting, and where native chiefs still kept, sometimes by their own strength, sometimes by formal acknowledgement, such parts of the land as the invaders could not or did not care to occupy. But it was now 93 that a land was planted with castles which is still pre-eminently the land of castles; Pembrokeshire. it was now that a land was brought under the power of those who bore rule in England which was itself to become a new England beyond the line of the Briton. Ceredigion, the land of Cardigan, the vale of Teifi with its still abiding beavers,[223] the sites of the castles of Aberystwyth and Cilgerran, of the abbey of Strata Florida and the priory of Saint Dogmael, were added to the dominion of the conquerors. Thence they pressed on to the extreme south-western land, and added Dyfed by a new name to the possessions of the English crown. Tale of Rufus’ threats against Ireland. A tale has been told how the Red King himself made his way to the most western point of all, to the headland of Saint David’s; there, from the treeless rocks, he looked over the sea to the land beyond, which may now and then be seen on a cloudless evening. Then he boasted that, lord as he was of Britain, he would be lord of Ireland too, how he would gather round that headland the fleets of his whole kingdom, and would make of them a bridge by which he might pass over and win the great island for himself. The tale goes on to tell how, when the threatening words were brought to King Murtagh,[224] he asked whether the King of the English had added to his threat the words, “If God will?”[225] The Red King had not used 94 the formula which he hated to hear even from the lips of others,[226] and the Irish prince at once answered that he did not fear the coming of one who meant to come only in his own strength, and not in that of the Most High.[227]

Estimate of the story. The tale is eminently characteristic of William Rufus; yet it sounds somewhat like an echo of the real visit and the real schemes of the great William translated into the boastful language of his son. The Conqueror did visit Saint David’s;[228] he did plan the conquest of Ireland;[229] but it is not likely that he threw the expression of his designs into such a shape as that which William Rufus would have been likely enough to choose. The younger William may have made his way to Saint David’s; but it is not easy to find a time for his coming, either in this year or in any other. Acquisition of Saint David’s. But, whether through his coming or not, Saint David’s itself passed under the obedience of the conquerors. Bishop Wilfrith. We presently find its bishop, a bishop spoken of as a Briton, but bearing the English name of Wilfrith, acting in their full confidence.[230] But the holy place, deep in its hollow, was left to be guarded by its own holiness. No castle of king or earl or sheriff invaded its precincts; the home of its bishop did not, as at Llandaff, take the form of a castle looking down upon the minster, but that of a peaceful palace resting by 95 its side. The conquerors pressed on, through the land of Cemaes and Emlyn and by the hills of Preseleu, till they reached the south-western land, the land of creeks and peninsulas, where the tides of Ocean rise and fall beneath the walls of far inland towns and fortresses. Milford Haven. In those waters the wandering wiking had seen the likeness of his own fiords, and he had left his mark here and there on a holm, a gard, a thorp, a ford, some of them bearing names which seem to go back to the gods of Scandinavian heathendom.[231] The Norman won the land, to hand it over in the next reign to the Flemish settlers, who rooted out whatever traces of the Cymry Northmen and Normans had left. Two of the chief towns, Pembroke and Tenby, kept their British names in corrupt forms.[232] Milford and Haverford would seem to have been already named by the Northmen. The Pembrokeshire castles. On every tempting point overlooking the inland waters, sometimes on points overlooking the Ocean itself, castles arose, some of which grew into the very stateliest of their own class. Tenby, Haverfordwest—​Manorbeer, birthplace of Giraldus[233]—​Caerau, connected with so many famous names of later date[234]—​and a crowd of castles of lesser note, witness the means by which the conquerors knew how to hold down the land which they had won.

At the head of all stands the great fortress which 96 gave its name to a town, a shire, and a long line of earls, and in our own time to a great workshop of the naval strength of the land. Pembroke Castle. Pen bro, the head of the sealand, grew into Pembroke, with its vast castle rising on a peninsula above two arms of the inland sea—​with its stately hall looking down on the waters—​with the deep cave underneath its walls, with the huge mass of the round tower—​with the one hill-side covered by the houses and churches of the town, the other crowned by the long line of the priory of Monkton, with its stern square tower and its now roofless choir. Pembrokeshire buildings. The character of military strength and simplicity, which is stamped in a lesser measure on the churches and houses of Glamorgan, comes out in all its fulness in the churches and houses of Pembrokeshire. Of all this the days of which we are speaking saw the beginnings, but only the beginnings. The castle begun by Arnulf of Montgomery. On the tongue of land between the two creeks a fortress was raised by Arnulf of Montgomery, son of Roger and Mabel, a man of whom we have already heard and shall hear again. But his defences were as yet small and feeble as compared with what was to follow; the first castle of Pembroke was a mere earthwork with a palisade.[235] Second building of Gerald of Windsor. 1105. Arnulf placed his work under the care of a valiant knight named Gerald of Windsor, who afterwards was the beginner of a castle 97 of greater strength on the same spot.[236] His wife Nest. In after times he married a wife of the noblest British blood, yet another Nest, the daughter of Rhys son of Tewdwr, and grandchild through her mother of that Rhiwallon who had received a kingdom at the hands of Harold.[237] Before her marriage she was the mother of one of the sons of King Henry, though assuredly not of the great Earl of Gloucester.[238] In later days, through another marriage, she became the grandmother of Giraldus Cambrensis.

The course of events in North Wales during these years is less easy to mark with exact dates. But it is plain that the death of Robert of Rhuddlan had been only a momentary triumph for the Cymry, and that it had not given any real check to the Norman power. Hugh of Chester in Anglesey. Earl Hugh of Chester, strong on the border of the continental Britons, still held a hand no less firm on their island kinsfolk. Castle of Aberlleiniog. He even pressed on into Anglesey, and there built a castle, most likely at Aberlleiniog on the eastern coast of the island, a spot of which we shall have to speak again more fully in recording a memorable day later in our story. Advance of Earl Roger in Powys. Earl Roger meanwhile, from his capital at Shrewsbury and his strong outpost at his new British Montgomery,[239] pushed on his dominion into Powys. The King at least approved, if he did not at this stage help in the work; Castle of Rhyd-y-gors. the castle of Rhyd-y-gors was built at the royal order by William son of Baldwin.[240]

98 The conquest of Wales was thus, to all appearance, nearly complete. Seeming conquest of Wales. The two great earls were going on with their old work in the north, while in the south the tide of conquest was advancing with such speed as it had never advanced before. In the south-east Gwent and Morganwg seemed to be firmly held, while in the south-west the torrent of Norman invasion had rushed by a single burst from the hill of Brecknock to the furthest coast of Dyfed. In the south at least the only independent region left was that which lies between the conquest of Robert Fitz-hamon and the conquest of Arnulf of Montgomery. Gower and Caermarthen unsubdued. Gower, with its caves, its sands, its long ridge, where the name of Arthur has made spoil of a monument of unrecorded times—​with its Worm’s Head looking out in defiance at the conquered land beyond the bay—​the whole range too of coast with its sandy estuaries, from the mouth by Llwchr to the mouth by Laugharne—​Kidwelly also, not yet crowned by the gem of South-Welsh castles—​Caermarthen and the whole vale of Towy—​were still unsubdued. Otherwise the Britons might truly say with their chronicler that on the death of Rhys their kingdom passed away from them. 1093–1094. So things slept while Anselm received his archbishopric, while Malcolm pressed on to die at Alnwick, while King William was kept by the winds at Hastings. Effects of William’s absence. But when the king was beyond the sea, when he and the great men of England were busy with Norman affairs—​when Argentan bowed to Robert and Philip and when the brother of the conqueror of Pembroke was a prisoner[241]—​when the great Earl, the father of both of them, had died with the cowl on his head at Shrewsbury—​then the Britons deemed that the hour of deliverance was come. The English 99 Chronicler, though he does not at this stage help us to the names of British men or of British places, paints the general picture in his strongest colours; Revolt of the Welsh. 1094. “The Welshmen gathered themselves together, and on the French that were in Wales or the nighest parts and had ere taken away their lands, they upheaved war, and castles they broke and men they offslew, and as their host waxed, they todealed themselves into more. With some of those deals fought Hugh Earl of Shropshire and put them to flight. And none the less the others all this year never left off from none evil that they might do.”[242]

In this version the Norman or English champion stands clearly forth. We see that Earl Hugh had sharp work upon his hands from the moment that he stepped into his father’s earldom. The British writers give us a clearer sight of the geographical extent of the movement, and they help us to the name of its chief leader. Cadwgan son of Bleddyn. This was Cadwgan son of Bleddyn, whom we last heard of as harrying Dyfed, and who even now seems at least as anxious to make Dyfed a land subject to Gwynedd as to drive Normans, English, or Flemings, out of either. Thus the Britons were, as ever, in the words of the Chronicler, todealed; they were divided into local and dynastic parties. Divisions of the Welsh. Yet, as he puts it, even this division, if it did not give strength, at least delayed subjection. If Earl Hugh or any other leader of a regular force was able to overthrow one deal, another deal was ready all the same to do as much evil as before. But it was in 100 Gwynedd and under Cadwgan that the work began. General revolt of Wales. The Britons could not bear the yoke of the French; they rose, they broke down the castles, and, as men commonly do in such cases, they did by the invaders as the invaders had done by them. It is not very wonderful if, in their hour of victory, they revenged the reavings and slaughters done on them by the French with new reavings and slaughters done on the French themselves.[243] And, as our Chronicler hints, it was not only on the French within Wales, but on those also in the nighest parts that they rose. By this time the whole land had risen; South-Welsh and West-Welsh—​that is now no longer the men of the peninsula of Cornwall, but the men of the peninsula of Dyfed—​were in arms no less than the men of Gwynedd. Invasion of England. Gruffydd and Cadwgan burst into the neighbouring shires, Cheshire, Shropshire, and Herefordshire; they burned towns, carried off plunder, and slew Frenchmen and Englishmen alike.[244] The Saxon, 101 the old enemy, had not become less an enemy, because he had, through his own conquest, become an accomplice in the invasions of his conquerors. Deliverance of Anglesey. Gwynedd was now free; the deliverers crossed into Anglesey; Aberlleiniog castle broken down. they broke down the castle at Aberlleiniog or elsewhere, and put an end for a while to the foreign dominion in the island.[245]

The Britons now seemed to have altogether undone the work of the invaders. It was now time for vigorous action on the other side. The French—​Hugh of Chester, Hugh of Shrewsbury, or any other—​entered Gwynedd with a regular force; but if one deal was put to flight, another, under Cadwgan himself, claims to have overcome the invaders at Yspwys.[246] The path was now open for a march of the Britons to the south. Late in the year a general attack was made on all the castles throughout Ceredigion and Dyfed. Two only held out; Gerald of Windsor successfully defended Pembroke; William the son of Baldwin successfully defended Rhyd-y-gors.[247] Action of Cadwgan in Dyfed. But the warfare of Cadwgan was waged in the interest of Gwynedd, not in that of Dyfed. By a harsh, though possibly prudent policy, he enforced a migration somewhat in the style of an Eastern despot. The men and the cattle of Ceredigion and Dyfed—​we must take so general a statement with those deductions which the laws of possibility imply—​were transported to the safer region, and south-western Wales was made, so far as Cadwgan could make it, a wilderness.[248] Pembroke holds out. Gerald, in his castle among the 102 creeks, was left to lord it over whom he might find, and to feed himself and his followers how he might, in the wasted land. As far as we can see, Gwent, Morganwg, and Brecheiniog, remained in the hands of the conquerors. The rest of the British land, from the isthmus of Gower to the furthest point of Mona, was either free or a wilderness.

Question of a winter campaign. It is almost past belief that William Rufus could have found time for a winter campaign against the Welsh in the few weeks, or rather days, which passed between his return from Normandy at the end of December and his interview with Anselm at Gillingham in the middle of January.[249] December 28,1094-January, 1095. But there was plenty of fighting in the course of the year in Wales and elsewhere. The Britons seem to have kept their independence in the newly liberated districts, while the Norman conquerors of Glamorgan made a successful attack on the intermediate lands which had not yet been subdued. Conquest of Kidwelly, Gower, and Caermarthen. “The French laid waste Gower, Kidwelly, and the vale of Towy;” and we are further told that those lands, as well as Dyfed and Ceredigion, remained waste.[250] But if Normans laid waste, they did not simply lay waste, like the Welsh. What they found it expedient to lay waste for a season they meant to put in order some day for their own advantage. This was no doubt the time when William of London established himself at Kidwelly, and made the first beginnings of castle, church, borough, and haven.[251] It was now too that the way was at least opened for the work of colonization 103 which made Gower a Teutonic land. 1099. According to an authority to which we turn with a certain doubt, the actual settlement dates from five years later. Swansea Castle. The castles of Gower. Castles were built, Abertawy or Swansea guarding its own bay and the approach to the peninsula, Aberllwchr guarding the sandy estuary between the peninsula and the opposite coast to the north, Oystermouth, Penrice, Llanrhidian, on points within the peninsula itself.[252] Alleged West-Saxon settlement of Gower. And in this version the settlement is made, not by Flemings, according to the common tradition, but by West-Saxons brought across the channel from Somerset.[253] It is certain, as has been already said, that there is not the same historical evidence for Flemings in Gower which there is for Flemings in Pembrokeshire. But it is perhaps less important to fix the exact origin of each Teutonic settlement along this coast than to insist on the fact that, as compared with the native Cymry, any two branches of the Nether-Dutch stock, whether Flemish or Saxon, came to very much the same thing.

Along with this territorial advance on the part of the invaders, we hear, from the same somewhat doubtful quarter, of a movement among the invaders themselves which turned to the advantage of the natives. It is characteristic of the outwardly legal nature of the Norman Conquest of England that it gave no opportunity for a character not very rare in less regular invasions, the invading chief who finds it to his interest to separate 104 himself from his own fellows and to place himself at the head of those whom he has helped to subdue. In the conquests both of Wales and of Ireland there was room for such a part to be played, and the story sets before us one of the Norman conquerors of Glamorgan as playing it with some effect. Pagan of Turberville joins the Welsh. The lord of Coyty, Pagan of Turberville, married to a wife of the house of Jestin, took the side of his wife’s countrymen, and, we are told, went so far as to attack Cardiff on their behalf. The result, it is said, was a confirmation of the ancient laws of Wales on the part of the lord of Glamorgan. This, it is added, led many to transfer their dwellings from the disturbed parts of the country to the more settled lands under his rule.[254]

North Wales keeps its independence. Meanwhile in the northern parts of Wales the Britons still kept the independence that they had won by the struggle of the last year. They had got the better of the local powers on their own borders, and the King, busied with the peaceful opposition of Anselm and the armed opposition of Robert of Mowbray, had little time to spare from councils and sieges within his kingdom. Autumn, 1095. At last, towards autumn, while the siege of Bamburgh was going on, after he had himself turned away from it, and left the Evil Neighbour to do its work, William heard a piece of news from the British border which at once stirred him to action. One of the great fortresses of the march had fallen. In vain had Earl Roger made his nest on the rock to which he gave the name of his own Norman home.[255] The Welsh take Montgomery. Montgomery, Tre Baldwin, 105 was in the hands of the Britons, and all Earl Hugh’s men within it were slain.[256] William was wroth at the tidings, and he at once called out the fyrd of his realm, so much of it as was not needed for the lingering leaguer-work in Northumberland.[257] William’s invasion of Wales. Michaelmas, 1095. Soon after Michaelmas he entered Wales at the head of his host. He divided it into parties, and caused them to go thoroughly through the land. He reaches Snowdon. November 1. At last, by the feast of All-hallows, the whole army met together by Snowdon. If merely marching through a country could subdue it, William Rufus had now done a good deal towards the conquest of Gwynedd. But William Rufus was not Harold; the master of continental chivalry could not bring himself to copy Harold’s homely tactics. While the royal army scoured the dales, the Welsh betook them to the moors and mountains where no man might come at them.[258] Harold had found out the way to come at them; but the Red King knew it not. Ill-success of the campaign. All that he could do was to go homeward, when he saw that he there in the winter might do no more.[259] The British annalists, with good right, rejoice as they tell how God their people sheltered in the strong places of their land, and how the King and his host went away empty, having taken nothing.[260]

106 1096. The next year saw the bloody Gemót at Salisbury; it saw Europe pour forth its forces for the deliverance of Eastern Christendom; it saw the Red King become master of the Norman duchy. Among such cares, William had no time, perhaps he felt no strong call, for another Welsh campaign, either in winter or summer. But the lords of the marches could not be thus idle; with them the only choice was to invade or to be invaded. The year seems to have begun with another gain on the part of the Britons. The Welsh gain Rhyd-y-gors. 1096. William son of Baldwin, who had kept the castle of Rhyd-y-gors safe through all perils up to this time, now died. His spirit did not abide in his garrison; they left the castle empty, a prey to the enemy.[261] The spirit of the Britons, even in the lands which seemed most thoroughly subdued, now rose. Within the bounds of the present Glamorgan the favourable composition of the last year seems to have kept men quiet; but the lands to the east, parts of which had been so long under English rule, were now encouraged to strike another blow for independence. Revolt of Gwent and Brecknock. The natives were in arms along the whole line of the Usk; Brecheiniog, Gwent, and Gwenllwg, the land between Usk and Wye and the land between Usk and Rhymny, threw off, as their own writers say, the yoke of the French.[262] The marchers had now to act in earnest. English feeling towards the war. Our own Chronicler says mournfully how “the head men that this land held ofttimes sent the fyrd into Wales, and many men with that sorely harassed, and man there sped not, but man-marring and fee-spilling.”[263] We see that the old duty 107 of every man to fight for the land when called on had come to awaken some of the feelings which attach to a conscription. Men were, we may believe, ready for a campaign in Normandy or Maine, where plunder was to be had, and where there was most likely still some satisfaction felt in fighting against French-speaking enemies, even under French-speaking captains. To drive back Malcolm would come home to every man’s heart as a national duty; to dispose of Malcolm’s crown under the leadership of an English Ætheling might call up long-forgotten feelings of national pride. But who could be tempted by the prospect of a march to Snowdon, even in the fairest weather? What interest had the men of perhaps far-off English shires in rivetting the dominion of a Norman lord on the men of Brecknock or Pembroke? No doubt every Englishman was ready to drive back the Briton from Shropshire and Herefordshire; but it was an irksome and bootless work to go and attack him in his own land, a land from which even conquerors could draw so little gain. Even to win back Gwent, the conquest of Harold, was an enterprise which would lead mainly to man-marring and fee-spilling. Vain attempt to recover Gwent. Into Gwent however they were marched; but nothing was done; the land was not subdued; the army was even attacked on its retreat, and after great slaughter put to flight.[264] A second greater attempt came to nothing more. The grandsons of Cadwgan, Gruffydd and Ivor, attacked this army too on its return, and cut it also off at Aberllech.[265]

108 The British chronicler here makes a comment which fully explains the final issue of these wars. The Normans or English, whichever we are to call the hosts of England under the Red King, had thus for three years met with nothing but defeat. Yet they had in truth won the land. “The folk stayed in their homes, trusting fearlessly, though the castles were yet whole, and the castlemen in them.”[266] Effects of the castle-building. The fortresses might be hemmed in for a moment; but, as long as they stood whole with the castlemen in them, the newly won freedom of the open country was liable to be upset at any moment. In Gwent and Brecheiniog at least the natives might for the moment stay fearlessly in their homes; they might at some favourable point surprise and cut to pieces the armies that were sent against them; they might withdraw to moors and mountains when the invading force was too strong for them; but, as long as the castles stood firm, the real grasp of the stranger on the land was not loosened. How long a castle could stand out we see by the example of this very year’s campaign. Pembroke castle holds out. All the castles of Dyfed and Ceredigion had been destroyed two years before, save Pembroke and Rhyd-y-gors; and Rhyd-y-gors was now in the hands of the Britons. Pembroke, the castle of earth and wood, the outpost cut off from all help, still stood through the whole of these two years, the one representative of Norman dominion in the whole region of which it had become the head. No wonder that the Britons, victorious everywhere else, resolved on one great attack on this still unconquered stronghold of the enemy. The Welsh attack Pembroke. 1096. A host led by several chieftains of the house of Cadwgan, Uhtred son of Edwin,--one whom we should rather have looked for in Northumberland,--and Howel son of Goronwy, set forth and fought against Pembroke. Gerald of Windsor was hard pressed. One night, fifteen 109 of his knights, despairing of resistance, made their escape from the castle in a boat. Resistance of Gerald of Windsor. Their esquires were more faithful, and Gerald at once gave them the arms of knighthood, and also granted—​or professed to grant to them—​the fiefs of their recreant lords.[267] His devices. We read too how Gerald, to hide his real plight from the enemy, betook himself to some of those simple devices of which we hear in so many times and places. He had four swine in the castle; he cut them in pieces, and threw them over to the besiegers.[268] The next day he wrote or caused letters to be written sealed with his seal, saying that there was no need to trouble Earl Arnulf—​he is made to bear the title—​for any help for four months to come. His dealings with Bishop Wilfrith. These letters he took care should be found near a neighbouring house of Bishop Wilfrith of Saint David’s, as if they had been lost by their bearer.[269] They were read out in the Welsh army. The Britons, we are told, having no mind for a four months’ siege, marched away.[270] They claim to have marched away without loss, 110 with much booty, especially with all the cattle belonging to the castle.[271] Offensive action of Gerald. 1097. But the castle was not taken; it stood there to do its work; and early in the next year Gerald was harrying in his turn as far as the borders of Saint David’s.[272] Friendship for the Bishop perhaps kept him from harrying the holy soil of Dewisland itself.

This year, the King, as he had done two years before, deemed the affairs of Wales to call for his own presence, and for a greater effort on his part than ever. He had come back from taking possession of the mortgaged land of Normandy; Easter, 1097. he had held the Easter Assembly at Windsor somewhat after the regular time.[273] At that Assembly Welsh affairs must have formed a subject of discussion, as the King presently set out for Wales with a great host. This was the time when the knights sent by the Archbishop were deemed so unfit for their duty.[274] William’s second Welsh campaign. The King’s coming appears to have led to a seeming, perhaps a pretended, submission. Led by native guides, he passed through the whole country,[275] Seeming conquest. and he clearly believed that he had brought Wales to a state of peace. So he deemed when he came back to hold the Whitsun Assembly, the assembly in which Anselm for the first 111 time that year craved leave to go to the Pope.[276] But he was called back by a fresh revolt. Fresh revolt. The Welsh, in the emphatic phrase of our Chronicler, “bowed from the King.”[277] They had once bowed to him; now they bowed from him; they cast away his authority; perhaps they formally defied him in the strict feudal sense; certainly they defied him in the more general sense which that word has now come to bear. And now, for the first time in these wars, the English Chronicler gives us the name of a Welsh leader, a name which from British sources has long been familiar to us. Cadwgan. “They chose them many elders of themselves; one of them was Cadwgan hight, that of them the worthiest was; he was brother’s son of Gruffydd the King.”[278] The name of the great prince who had ruled all Wales, who had won the battle by the Severn,[279] who had put Earl Ralph to flight[280] and burned Hereford town and minster,[281] the prince whom it needed all the strength and all the arts of Harold to overthrow, was still famous even among Englishmen. The nephew of Gruffydd had this time too to dread no such tactics as had worn down his uncle on his own soil. William’s third campaign. June-August, 1097. King William set forth with a host of horse as well as of foot, vowing to put to death every male of the rebel nation.[282] Again the pomp and pride of Norman 112 chivalry was shivered against the natural defences of the land which was so rashly attacked. The Britons seem, by their own account, to have made the war a religious one; perhaps, like the Irish king, they deemed that higher powers would fight for them against the blasphemer. The King’s ill-success. Strengthened by prayers, fastings, and other pious exercises, the Welsh took to their woods and rocks and mountains, while the Red King’s host marched and rode bootlessly through the valleys and plains.[283] “Mickle he lost in men and in horses, and eke in many other things.”[284] This state of things went on from midsummer to August.[285] Then the King came back to hold two assemblies at unusual times, in the second of which he and Anselm met for the last time.[286] And now it was that he took that wise resolution which I have quoted above.[287] He determines to build castles. October, 1097. As invasions by mounted knights led to nothing but losing both the knights and their horses, he would build castles on the borders. This Harold, who knew so much better than William Rufus how to carry on a Welsh campaign, had not done. But then the objects of Harold and the objects of William Rufus were not the same.

We should have been well pleased to know what was the immediate result of the resolve for the building of 113 the border-castles. What were the fortresses which were built, as surely some must have been built, in obedience to it? This is the last entry which connects Rufus personally with Welsh affairs. But we can hardly help connecting this resolve with the building, a little time later, of several fortresses in the lands threatened by the Welsh, specially of one, the greatest of them all. Action of Robert of Bellême. 1098–1102. In the next year one part of the British land becomes the scene of a series of events of far-reaching interest and importance, but also of a local interest quite as great in its own way. We shall then see that, if the Red King did not do much in the way of building border-castles himself, much was done by others, of course with his approval, most likely by his order. Our next year’s tale brings Robert of Bellême to the Welsh border, and, where he was lord, castle-building went on with all vigour.

Affairs of Scotland. But before we enter on a branch of our story which touches all parts of the British islands, and many lands beyond the British islands, it may be well to take up the thread of our Scottish narrative at a point where the affairs of Scotland and those of Wales seem again to be brought into some measure of connexion. The year which saw that wise resolution of the Red King with regard to the Welsh castles, a resolution which really meant the final union of Wales with the English realm, saw also the end of those revolutions whose final result was, not the union of Scotland with the English realm—​that was not to come about till long after, and by other means—​but the extension of English influence within the kingdom of Scotland till it might be looked on as in truth a second English realm.

114 § 4. The Establishment of Eadgar in Scotland.

Decree for action in Scotland. August, 1097. It must have been at one of the later assemblies of the year which we have now reached, most likely at the August gathering,[288] that the resolution was taken for vigorous action in Scotland. The King himself had had enough of Welsh warfare; he must have been already looking forward to those French and Cenomannian campaigns which form the main feature of the next year; he was in the middle of his final dispute with Anselm. But William Rufus seems always to have been well pleased to set others in motion, even on enterprises in which he did not share himself. Designs of the Ætheling Eadgar. So he gladly hearkened to the proposals of the Ætheling Eadgar for an expedition into Scotland. Its object was to overthrow the usurper Donald, as the chosen of Dunfermline was deemed at Winchester, to restore the line of Malcolm and Margaret, and to bring the Scottish kingdom once more into its due obedience to the over-lord in England.

Relations between Eadgar and the King. Our last certain notice of Eadgar sets him before us as enjoying the fullest confidence on the part of the reigning King, as sent by him on the important errand of negotiating with Malcolm and bringing him to William’s court at Gloucester.[289] Story of Godwine and Ordgar. One hardly knows what to make of the tale which describes him as awakening a certain amount of suspicion in the King’s mind later in the same year;[290] but that, either before or after this time, he was in some such danger appears from another tale in the details of which there may or may not be a legendary element, but which undoubtedly brings before us real persons and a real state of things. To this tale I have 115 already referred elsewhere, as having that kind of interest which belongs to every story in which we see any one of those who are recorded in the Great Survey as mere names stand forth as a living man, playing his part in the world of living men. However obscure the man, however small his deeds, there is always an interest in finding any part of the dry bones of Domesday clothed with flesh and blood. And the interest becomes higher when the man thus called forth out of darkness is a man of native English birth, and the father of one whom England may well be glad to reckon among her worthies.[291]

Eadgar accused by Ordgar. The story runs then that a knight of English birth, Ordgar by name, seeking favour with the King, brought a charge against the English Ætheling. He told William that Eadgar, trusting to his own descent from ancient kings, was seeking to deprive the reigning king of his crown. William hearkened to the accuser, and some grievous doom—​would it have been the doom of William of Eu?--was in store for Eadgar, if his guilt—​his ambition or patriotism—​could be proved. The ordeal and the battle. But how was the charge to be proved or disproved? By Old-English law the appeal to the judgement of God in doubtful cases was by the ordeal; and, as between Englishman and Englishman, this rule had not been changed by the laws of the Conqueror.[292] But we can well believe that Englishmen who were admitted to a place in the Red King’s court had largely put on the ideas and feelings of Normans. They would doubtless look down on the ancient practice of their fathers, and they would be more inclined to follow the fashion of their Norman companions in better liking the more chivalrous test of the wager of battle. It seems in the present story to be taken for granted that the trial will be by wager of battle. But who will do battle 116 for Eadgar, when the royal favour is so clearly shown on behalf of Eadgar’s accuser? The Ætheling was sad at heart, forsaken, as it seemed, of all men. Godwine volunteers to fight for Eadgar. But at last one stepped forward who was ready to dare the risk on behalf of a man to whom he was bound by a double tie. As an Englishman he was stirred to come to the help of the descendant of the ancient kings, and he was further bound to Eadgar by the special tie which binds a man to his lord. He was a knight of noble English descent, known as Godwine of Winchester. Notices of him in Domesday. We know him in Domesday as a tenant of the Ætheling for lands in Hertfordshire, and the Survey further suggests that he may have had a private grudge against the opposite champion. There were lands in Oxfordshire which were held by an Ordgar, and which had been held by a Godwine. Duel of Godwine and Ordgar. The matter is to be decided by the hand-to-hand fight of the two English knights. For they so far cleave to the customs of their fathers that they fight on foot and deal handstrokes with their swords. Ordgar comes forth in splendid armour, surrounded by a crowd of courtiers.[293] Godwine has nothing to trust to but his sword and his good cause. But there was at least no attempt made to hinder a fair fight—​so to do would have been altogether foreign to the spirit of the chivalrous king. The herald and the umpire do their duty;[294] the knights take their oath to forbear the use of all weapons but those which were needed in the knightly duel. A long and hard fight follows, the ups and downs of which are described with 117 Homeric minuteness. Victory of Godwine, and acquittal of Eadgar. Ordgar at last, sorely wounded, is pressed to the ground, with the foot of the victorious Godwine upon him.[295] As a last resource, he strives, but in vain, to stab Godwine with a knife which, in breach of his oath, he had treacherously hidden in his boot.[296] Godwine snatches the knife from him; Ordgar confesses the falsehood of his charge, and presently dies of his wounds.[297] Godwine now becomes an object of universal honour, and receives from the King the lands of the slain Ordgar, while Eadgar rises higher than ever in the King’s favour.

Estimate of the story. I see no reason to doubt the main outline of this story, which rests on the evidence of undesigned coincidences. Men of no special renown, about whom there was no temptation to invent fables, are made to act in a way which exactly agrees with what we know from the surest of witnesses to have been their real position. Without pledging ourselves to the details of the combat, which have a slightly legendary sound, we may surely believe that we have here the record of a real wager of battle, like those which happened at no great distance of time in the cases of William of Eu and Arnulf of Hesdin. Its general truth. Englishmen under Rufus. We may surely believe that Eadgar was wrongfully accused, and that Godwine cleared his lord in the duel. We see then that in the Red King’s day there was nothing to hinder men of Old-English 118 birth, exceptionally lucky men doubtless, from holding an honourable rank and a high place in royal favour. But we learn also, as we might expect to find, that such Englishmen found that it suited their purposes to adopt Norman fashions. Robert son of Godwine. Of Godwine we hear no more; but his son, as I have noticed elsewhere, bears, according to a very common rule, the Norman name of Robert.[298] Had we chanced to hear of him without hearing the name of his father, we might not have known that the hero and martyr was a man of our own blood.

The Eadgars march to Scotland. September, 1097. We now follow the Ætheling to a warfare in which Robert the son of Godwine is his companion. Eadgar set out about Michaelmas to place his nephew and namesake on the Scottish throne. He had a bright comet and a shower of falling stars to light him on his way.[299] But Donald was hardly of importance enough for the heavenly powers to foretell his fall; The comet. the shining and departure of the comet was rather understood to mark the approaching day when Anselm, the light of England, turned away from our land and left darkness behind him.[300] The force of the Ætheling seems to have been of much the same kind as the force which 119 Duncan had led on the same errand three years before. He went with the King’s approval and support, but certainly without the King’s personal help, perhaps without any part of the royal army.[301] That army, as we have lately seen, was just then coming together for another errand.[302]

Vision of the younger Eadgar. The host then marched northward. On the way, we are told, the younger Eadgar was honoured by a vision of Saint Cuthberht, who bade him take his banner from the abbey at Durham—​the abbey now without a bishop—​and he should have victory in the battle.[303] The banner was borne before the army; the fight in which it was unfurled was long and hard; but the valour of the men who fought under its folds was not to be withstood. Exploits of Robert son of Godwine. Without binding ourselves to details which may well be legendary, we may believe that Robert son of Godwine was foremost in the fight, and that the victory in which Defeat and blinding of Donald. Donald was the second time overthrown was largely owing to his personal prowess.[304] Little mercy was shown to the vanquished; Donald spent the rest of his days blinded and a prisoner;[305] Fate of Eadmund; he becomes a monk at Montacute. his confederate Eadmund lived 120 to become somewhat of a saint. He put on the garb of Clugny in the priory of Montacute, at the foot of that hill of Saint Michael where the castle of Robert of Mortain now covered the spot which had beheld the finding of England’s Holy Cross.[306] But as that house did not arise till some years later, at the bidding of Count William the son of Robert,[307] we may gather that Eadmund spent the intermediate time in some harsher captivity. When he died, he was buried, at his own request, in chains, as a sign of penitence for his share in his half-brother’s death.[308]

Eadgar King of Scots. The younger Eadgar now reigned over Scotland as the sworn liegeman of King William of England.[309] The elder Eadgar went back to England, to end there a year of heavy time, a year of evil weather, Character of the year 1098. a year in which men could neither till the earth nor gather in its tilth, and when the folk was utterly bowed down by unrighteous gelds.[310] His valiant comrade abode for a while in the dominions of the Scottish King. Eadgar was grateful to all who had helped him in heaven or in earth. The battle had been won by Saint Cuthberht and Robert son 121 of Godwine. Saint Cuthberht, in the person of the monks of his abbey, received the lands of Coldingham, the seat in ancient times of a house of nuns famous in the days of Danish warfare.[311] Eadgar’s gifts to Durham and to Robert son of Godwine. A little later—​for it was when Durham had again a bishop—​he received, in the person of his own successor, the greater gift of the town of Berwick.[312] Robert, by the leave of his own sovereign, received a fief in the same land of Lothian, and began the building of a castle. Action of Eadgar, Robert, and Randolf Flambard; after 1099. But, while King Eadgar went to do service to his over-lord in England, the bishop—​it was already Randolf Flambard—​and the barons of the bishopric, whom Robert’s fortress seems in some way to have offended, attacked it and made its lord a prisoner.[313] King Eadgar came back with letters from his over-lord, ordering the release of their common subject. The Bishop and his barons obeyed; but the King of Scots withdrew his gift of Berwick from the bishopric, as a punishment for the wrong done to the man to whom he owed his crown.[314]

Eadgar and Robert go to the Crusade. Robert the son of Godwine was presently called to a nobler work. His lord the Ætheling went to the Holy War. Eadgar was not one of those who marched first of all with the two Roberts of Normandy and Flanders. He was one of that second party who set forth about the time of the siege of Antioch, 1099. and joined the Norman 122 Duke in his ignoble retreat at Laodikeia.[315] Robert the son of Godwine, if he stayed in Britain long enough to have any dealings with Flambard in his character of Bishop of Durham, must have set out later still. He could have had no share in the leaguer of Nikaia or of Antioch; most likely he had no share in the rescue of the Holy City. Robert in Palestine. He could hardly have reached Syria till Jerusalem was again a Christian kingdom under its second king. Godfrey, the mirror of Christian knighthood, was gone. His successor was his less worthy brother Baldwin, he who had told the dream of his calling to Dame Isabel in the hall of Conches.[316] But there was still work to be done; the land which had been won had to be defended. King Baldwin was besieged in Rama by the misbelievers.[317] 1103. The King, attended by five knights only, made a sally to cut his way through the besiegers. His exploits and death. The valiant Englishman rode in front of him, cutting down the infidels on each side with his sword. As Robert pressed too fiercely on, his sword fell from his hand; he stooped to grasp it again; he was overpowered by numbers, and was carried off a prisoner.[318] He was led to the Egyptian Babylon; he was offered his choice of death or apostasy; he clave to his faith; placed as a mark in the market-place, like the East-Anglian Eadmund, he died beneath the arrows of his merciless captors.[319] Such men could England, even in 123 her darkest day, send forth for the relief and defence of Christendom in the Eastern world. Modern parallels and contrasts. Such men she could send forth even in the days of our fathers, to draw the sword for right in the haven of Pylos or beneath the akropolis of Athens. Now the men who go forth from England to the same quarter of the world seem to share more of the spirit of another Robert who, a century later, went forth from the same shire as the son of Godwine on another errand. In our own story we come across no renegade or traitor save the single name of Hugh of Jaugy.[320] But in the course of the twelfth century we see the forerunners of a class of men whose names stain the annals of our own time. Robert of Saint Alban’s. The glory of Robert son of Godwine is balanced by the shame of Robert of Saint Alban’s, English by birth and blood, the apostate Templar who joined the host of Saladin and mocked the last agonies of the defenders of the Holy City.[321] Of the earlier Robert our century has seen the true successors in the honoured names of Gordon and Church and Hastings. Of the later Robert it has seen the successor in the Englishman who sells his soul and his sword to keep down the yoke of the barbarian on the necks of his Christian brethren. It has seen him in the Greek who sells his soul and his glib tongue to argue in the councils of Europe against the deliverance of his own people.

Reign of Eadgar in Scotland. 1097–1107. With the accession of Eadgar to the Scottish crown the direct connexion between English and Scottish affairs comes to an end, as far as concerns the period with which we have immediately to do. Eadgar reigned in peace, as far as his own kingdom was concerned, for ten years, 124 earning the doubtful praise of being in all things like to his remote uncle the Confessor.[322] At his death the Scottish dominions were divided between his two more energetic brothers. Alexander. 1107–1124. Alexander took the kingdom; David, by a revival of an ancient custom,[323] held as an appanage that part of Strathclyde or Cumberland which still belonged to the Scottish crown. Friendship of the Scottish kings for England. Both princes maintained strict friendship with England, and both sought wives in England. Alexander married a natural daughter of King Henry, Sibyl by name;[324] the wife of David was, more significantly, the widowed daughter of Waltheof.[325] Alexander had to strive against revolts in the North,[326] and his reign marks a great period in the ecclesiastical history of Scotland. Turgot and Eadmer. It is the time in which we meet with the familiar names of Turgot and Eadmer, the one as bishop, the other as bishop-elect, of the first see in Scotland.[327] The influence of the reign of Eadgar told wholly in favour of the process by which Scotland was becoming an English kingdom. The reign of Alexander told perhaps less directly in favour of things specially English,[328] but it 125 worked strongly towards the more general object of bringing Scotland into the common circle of western Christendom. Effects of the reign of David. 1124–1153. The succession of David reunited the Scottish dominions, and his vigorous rule of twenty-nine years brought to perfection all that his parents had begun. That famous prince was bound to England by every tie of descent, habit, and affinity. His English position; Brother of her Queen, uncle of her Imperial Lady,[329] David was an English earl in a stricter sense than any king of Scots who had gone before him. his earldoms. He was not only Earl of Lothian, which was becoming fast incorporated with Scotland—​or more truly was fast incorporating Scotland with itself—​nor yet only of Northumberland and Cumberland, with which the same process might easily have been carried out.[330] He was Earl also of distant and isolated Huntingdon, an earldom which could not be held except on the same terms as its fellows of Leicester or Warwick. English influence in Scotland. Under David, the great reformer, the great civilizer, but at the same time the king who made the earlier life of Scotland a thing of the past, all that was English, all that was Norman, was welcomed in the land which was now truly a northern England. His invasion of England. If David, like his father, appeared as an invader of England, if, in so doing, he made England feel that he had subjects who were still far from being either English or Norman,[331] he did so only as a benevolent mediator in the affairs of England, as the champion of the claims of one of his nieces against the claims of the other. The Scottish kings of the second series. With the three sons of Malcolm and Margaret begins the line of those whom we may call the second series of Scottish kings, those who still came in the direct line of old Scottish royalty, but under whom Scotland was a disciple of England, and on the whole friendly to England. They stand distinguished alike from the purely Celtic kings who went before them, 126 and from the kings, Norman or English as we may choose to call them by natural descent, who were politically more hostile to England than the old Malcolms and Kenneths. Eadgar and Alexander died childless; the later kings were all of the stock of David. The English or Norman candidates for the Scottish crown. Of that stock—​and thereby of the stock of Waltheof and Siward and their forefathers of whatever species—​came that motley group who in after days wrangled for David’s crown. Bruce, Balliol, Hastings, Comyn, all came by female descent of the line of David and Matilda. In every other aspect all of them were simply English nobles of the time. It is an odd destiny by which, according as they supported or withstood the rights of their own prince over the kingdom which they claimed, some of them have won the name of Scottish traitors and others the name of Scottish patriots.

§ 5. The Expedition of Magnus. 1098.

Events of the year 1098. The events of the year which followed the last revolution in Scotland amount to a general stirring of all the lands which could in ordinary times have any influence on the affairs of England. Their wide geographical range. We shall see in the next chapter that it was the busiest of times in the Gaulish mainland, where the designs of Rufus, now undisputed master of Normandy, spread far beyond anything that had been dreamed of by any earlier holder of the Norman duchy. For warfare or for alliance, the range of our story during this most stirring year stretches from the fiords of Norway to the gorges of the Pyrenees. In the present section we have to look to the northern side of this tangled drama, and to take the specially British aspect of it as our centre. A mighty undertaking, which moved the whole of north-western Europe, which touched England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the smaller islands which lie between and around them, comes home to us 127 mainly as it touches that one among those islands which might almost pass for a part of the mainland of southern Britain. Magnus of Norway. The great warfare of Magnus of Norway mainly concerns our story so far as it almost casually became a part of warfare in Wales, and specially of warfare in Anglesey. Anglesey the centre of the story. And, as regards England itself, the most important aspect of a movement which stirred every northern land was that it indirectly lifted one man who was already great beyond endurance in Normandy and its border lands into a place of greatness even less endurable in England and its border lands. The Earls of Shrewsbury. We have to tell a tale spreading over many lands and seas, a tale full of personal pictures and personal exploits. To Englishmen of the last years of the eleventh century and the first years of the twelfth, its most practical aspect was that it took away Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury and set his brother Robert in his place.

The winter of 1097. We must now look back to the moment, late in the last year, when the Welsh seemed to have completely won back their freedom, except in Glamorgan and at the single point covered by the unconquered fortress of Pembroke.[332] It is startling to find in our next notice that the Britons, without any mention of any fresh loss, are beginning to stand on the defensive, and to seek out as it were a last shelter. The war of Anglesey. 1098. The war is now shifted to a quarter of which we have hitherto heard less than of some other parts of Wales, and it becomes connected with movements in other parts of the world which carry us back a generation. The island off the north-west corner of Wales, that Mona or Mevania to which half-forgotten English conquests had given the name of Anglesey,[333] became now, as in the days of 128 Roman invasion, the chief—​at the time it may have seemed the last—​stronghold of British resistance. The island, parted from the British mainland by the narrow strait—​the Hellespont—​of Menai, lying within sight of the fortress of Robert of Rhuddlan at Dwyganwy, seems for the last four years to have been left untouched by any Norman invader. Schemes of Cadwgan and Gruffydd. But now we read that the princes of Gwynedd, Cadwgan son of Bleddyn, their worthiest elder, and Gruffydd the slayer of Robert, with the general assent of the Britons of the north, agree in council, as one of their own chroniclers puts it, to save Mona.[334] This form of words seems to imply less trust in their own resources than we might have looked for in the elders of the Britons after their late successes. If Mona needed to be saved, one would think that they must already have found that there was little real chance of saving Gwynedd or Dyfed. And the way by which they sought to save Mona was hardly a wise one, though it was one which might have been defended by many precedents. The Welsh take wikings from Ireland into pay. Just as Gruffydd had done ten years before, they took into their pay a fleet of pirates from Ireland, wikings doubtless from the Scandinavian settlements, whom one Welsh writer, perhaps more from habit than as meaning his words to be taken in their full force, speaks of as heathens.[335] With these allies, and with the main body of their own forces, the British leaders withdrew into Anglesey.

129 The two Earls Hugh, of Chester and Shrewsbury. The news of this alliance was thought serious enough to call for vigorous action on the part of the two earls of the border. Both now bore the same name. Hugh of Avranches still ruled at Chester—​we last heard of him as counselling the cruel punishment of William of Eu; Hugh of Montgomery was drawing near to the end of his short dominion over Shropshire. The Scandinavian writers couple the two Hughs together, and they distinguish the elder by the well-earned surname of Hugh the Fat, and the younger by that of Hugh the Proud.[336] They gathered their forces, Norman and English, and crossed over to Anglesey. The first step towards the occupation of the island was the usual Norman means, the building of a castle. In this case they had not to build for the first time, but to build up afresh what the Welsh had destroyed in the moment of victory. It will be remembered that, four years before, the Britons in their great revolt had won back Anglesey and broken down the castle.[337] Rebuilding of the castle of Aberlleiniog. There seems no reason to doubt that the site of the old work was the site of the new, and that that site marks at once the landing-place of the two earls and the scene of the fall of one of them. It lies on the eastern side of the island, quite free from the strait, and nearly due west from the scene of the Marquess Robert’s death at Dwyganwy.[338] It lies about half way between the priory of Penmon—​the head of Mona—​parts of whose simple and venerable church must be nearly contemporary 130 with our times,[339] and the great fortress of later days at Beaumaris, the head of the island shire. A small expanse of flat and marshy ground marks the spot where the small stream of Lleiniog, mere brook as it is, makes its independent way into the sea. Traces of the castle. On its left bank the careful enquirer will find, what he will certainly not see at a glance, a castle-mound with its ditches, now, after the usual senseless and provoking fashion, masked with trees. But he who makes his way within will find, not only the mound, but the square tower crowning it, though he will hardly deem this last to be a work of the two earls. In front of the castle, immediately above the sea, a slight natural height seems to have been improved by art into a smaller mound. The earthworks at least the earls doubtless found ready to their hand, whether they had been thrown up in the earlier invasion of the island, or whether the invaders had then taken advantage of mounds thrown up by men of earlier times. Here we have beyond doubt the remains of the castle of Aberlleiniog, the castle which Hugh the Fat and Hugh the Proud designed to hold Anglesey in check.[340] But it was not only to the craft of the engineer that the two Hughs trusted. The earls bribe the wikings. The earls of the Red King’s day had learned to practise the special arts of their master. The wikings were bribed with the gold of England to betray the cause of their British allies, and they gave the earls 131 valuable help in making good their entrance into Anglesey.[341]

Cadwgan and Gruffydd flee to Ireland. It was in strange contrast with the vigour which for several years had been shown by the Welsh leaders, and with the success which had commonly waited on their arms, but quite in harmony with their last action of all, when Cadwgan and Gruffydd, seeing the turn which things had taken, threw up the common cause altogether and fled to Ireland to secure their own safety.[342] Anglesey was now left to the mercy of the two earls. The character for gentleness which Hugh of Shrewsbury bears, and which he may have deserved in the government of his own earldom, brought no lessening of suffering to British enemies. Wherever the two Hughs marched, men were slaughtered, or were, in modern eyes at least, worse than slaughtered. Cruel treatment of the Welsh captives. They were blinded, deprived of hands and feet, or made to undergo the other mutilations usual at the time.[343] In some cases at least the earls trampled on every privilege of holy places and holy persons. Desecration of the church of Saint Tyfrydog. It may be deemed a lesser matter that one of them caused his hounds to pass a night in the church of Saint Tyfrydog, and found them all mad in the morning.[344] The privileges of the Church could not 132 shelter even her human and priestly servants. One special victim was an aged priest, who is said to have taken a leading part in the war by the advice which he gave to the Welsh. Mutilation of Cenred. His name Cenred bespeaks English birth; the form of the name is Mercian; if he had passed from the earldom of either Hugh to the side of the Welsh, he would naturally be looked on as a traitor, and his treason would explain the excessive harshness with which he was treated. The old man was dragged out of a church; besides more shameful suffering, one eye was torn out, and his tongue was also cut out.[345] This last form of mutilation seems to have been confined to himself, and it may have been meant as specially befitting one who had used that dangerous member to give counsel to the enemy. Restoration of his speech. And now, according to our story, happened one of those signs and wonders which were at the time naturally deemed miraculous, but for which modern times have supplied, if not an explanation, at least a parallel. Cenred fared like the victims of Gelimer of old, like the victims of Djezzar in modern times; three days after the loss of his tongue, his speech came back to him.[346] Four days later again, so men deemed at Worcester, came vengeance on one at least of the two earls for the cruel deed which they had wrought on him.[347]

Expedition of Magnus Barefoot. If wikings from Ireland had betrayed the cause of the 133 Britons, a far mightier wiking was now afloat, if not to give help to the Britons, at least to act as a minister of wrath upon their enemies. The tale of Stamfordbridge seems to come over again on the western, instead of the eastern, side of the British islands. For a grandson of Harold Hardrada shows himself at the head of a power almost equalling that of his grandfather; he brings a grandson of Godwine in his train, he overcomes two Mercian earls, and finds his own doom, not indeed in Yorkshire, but in Ireland. But the enterprise which recalls so many points in the enterprise of two-and-thirty years earlier was not in any strict sense an invasion of England. Character of his reign. 1093–1103. Magnus, the son of that peaceful Olaf of whom we have heard in the Conqueror’s day,[348] now reigned in Norway in the spirit of his grandfather rather than in that of his father. His surnames. He bore various surnames, as the Tall and the Lover-of-Strife; but his name has gone down in history with the special epithet of Magnus Barefoot—​more strictly it would seem Bare-leg—​a name which is said to have been given to him as one of the results of the enterprise of which we have now to speak. 1093–1098. After showing himself for five years as a mighty warrior in his own peninsula, Magnus set forth to bring more western lands under his obedience. He professes friendship for England. Against England he professed to have no designs, and the little that we casually hear of him in connexion with England seems to imply friendly relations. His son Sigurd, afterwards famous as the Crusader, was the child of an English captive. Her name of Thora witnesses to her Scandinavian descent;[349] but her captivity could not have been the work 134 of the arms of Magnus. His treasure at Lincoln. Either now or at some later time, he entrusted a great treasure, twenty thousand pounds of silver, to the keeping of a rich citizen of Lincoln,[350] a sign of the high place which was still held by the city of the Danish Lawmen, and of the connexion which its citizens still kept up with the kingdoms of the North.[351]

Harold son of Harold in his fleet. But, peaceful as might be the professions of Magnus toward England, there was one in his fleet whose presence could not fail to call up thoughts of deeds which had been done, or which might again be done, on English ground. We learn from one of the most casual of notices that Magnus had with him a man who, if the course of things had gone otherwise a generation earlier, might then himself have been the wearer of the English crown, who would at least have stood nearer to it than either the Ætheling of the blood of Cerdic or the Ætheling of the blood of Rolf. It could hardly have been without an object that the grandson of Harold the son of Sigurd brought with him the son of Harold the son of Godwine. Strange indeed was the fate of the twin sons of the doubly widowed Ealdgyth.[352] Each flashes across our sight for a moment, and only for a moment. Ulf we have seen the prisoner of the Conqueror; we have seen him sent forth by the Conqueror’s son to go in freedom and honour, but to go we know not whither.[353] And now, for once in the course of a life which must have been a chequered one, we hear the name of his brother. Some ship in the fleet of Magnus bore, as its guest or as its captain, Harold the son of Harold King of the English.[354] 135 Whence he came, whither he went, before and after that one voyage to the shores of Britain, we know not. Grandson of Godwine, grandson of Ælfgar, begotten, but not born, to the kingship of England, the child of the widow did not see the light in the City of the Legions till his father had found his cairn upon the rocks of Hastings, perhaps his tomb before the altar at Waltham. What friendly hand saved him, when his brother came into the Conqueror’s power, we know not, any more than we know the later fortunes of his mother. But now the younger Harold came, the guest of one whose grandfather had felt the might, as his father had felt the mild-heartedness, of the elder Harold.[355] His voyage brought him not near to either the most glorious or the most mournful memories of his father. The fleet of Magnus kept aloof alike from the shores of Yorkshire and from the shores of Sussex. But the younger Harold came to look for a moment on the land where his mother had dwelled as a queen, and which his father had filled with the trophies of his conquest.[356] He came to see the British shores lined with English warriors, but to see them under the rule of the Norman leaders who had divided between them so great a part of the earldom of his mother’s house, and the elder of whom reigned as all but a king in the city of his own birth. Son and nephew of the three who died on Senlac, he saw from the Norwegian ship the fall of the son of the man who led the charge which first broke down the English palisade upon that hill of doom.[357] And then, his name once spoken, he passes away into utter darkness. Of Ulf, the knight of the Norman duke, 136 of Harold the comrade of the Norwegian king, we have no tale to tell save that they were such.

Magnus’ designs on Ireland. One version of our tale speaks of Ireland as the main object of the expedition of Magnus, as it certainly was the object of his last expedition some years later. His alleged Irish marriage. He had, it is said, married the daughter of an Irish king, but his father-in-law had failed to carry out the marriage-contract.[358] There is nothing of this in the Norwegian account, which speaks only of a later marriage between Sigurd son of Magnus Irish marriage of his son Sigurd. and a daughter of King Murtagh.[359] But it seems clear from a comparison of the various accounts that Magnus did, at some stage of the present voyage, make an attack on Ireland; it seems reasonable therefore to suppose that Irish enterprise formed part of his scheme from the beginning.[360] His voyage among the islands. Our own narrative is more concerned with his course along the shores of our own island, in which however he seems to have barely touched Britain itself, in either its Scottish or its English regions. His exploits lay among the smaller islands of the British seas, most of which had at that moment more to do with Ireland than with either England or Scotland. It is not easy to call up from among many conflicting statements an exact picture of the state of things at the time. Dominion of Godred Cronan. In the interval between the expedition of Harold Hardrada and the expedition of his grandson, Godred the son of Harold, surnamed Cronan, he whom we have heard of at Stamford bridge,[361] 1075–1091. had raised up a considerable dominion of which Man was the centre. 1078. He ruled over Dublin and the greater part of Leinster, and over 137 the Sudereys or Hebrides; and, if the chronicle of his own island may be believed, he drove the Scots to a singular treaty, the object of which must have been to hinder Scotland from becoming a naval power.[362] We may guess that some of the piratical adventurers of whom we have heard once or twice in our Welsh notices, as for instance in the story of Robert of Rhuddlan and again in the tale which we have just told, were in truth subjects of Godred. But the dominion of Godred was one of those powers which seem as it were casually founded, and which seldom long outlive the reign of their founder. His Irish dominion did not last even so long as his own life. Godred driven out of Dublin. 1094. After seventeen years of possession, he was driven out of Dublin by Murtagh, and in the next year he died, leaving three sons, Lagman, Harold, and Olaf, of whom Lagman succeeded to his island dominion. His death. 1095. His sons, Lagman and Harold. In the Manx version of the tale, Lagman, disturbed by a rebellion of his brother Harold, took a frightful revenge by inflicting on him the usual cruel mutilations. Then, smitten with remorse, he made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and died there.[363] The chief men of the Sudereys, hearing of his death, asked King Murtagh for a ruler during the minority of Olaf. Donald sent by Murtagh to the Sudereys. This would almost look as if Murtagh had not only driven Godred out of Ireland, but had established some kind of supremacy over Man itself. But the ruler sent, Donald by name, proved a tyrant, and was 138 driven out.[364] Ingemund sent by Magnus. Then we are told that Magnus himself sent one Ingemund to take the crown of the Isles, that the chief men came together in Lewis to make him king but that his outrages on their wives and daughters made them change their purpose. Instead of crowning him, they burned him in his house, and slew all his followers with fire and sword.[365] Civil war in Man. Directly after, we read of a civil war in the isle of Man itself, in which the leaders of both parties were killed.[366] The Norwegian story tells us nothing of all this; it conceives Godred as still living at the time of the expedition of Magnus, and Lagman as acting under his father.[367] The Manx version, though confused in its chronology and mixed up with some legendary details, gives the more intelligible story of the two. We see a time of confusion in Man, Ireland, and the Sudereys, which the Norwegian King tries to turn to his own advantage. The slaughter of his candidate for the island crown might have been looked on as ground for war by princes more scrupulous in such matters than Magnus Barefoot.

Signs and wonders. A King of the Northmen could hardly set out on a great enterprise without signs and wonders; but the 139 signs and wonders which marked the expedition of Magnus are of a different kind from those which marked the expedition of Harold Hardrada. Or rather, one of the two elements which we see in the tale of Harold had, in the thirty years which had passed, waxed strong enough to drive out the other. In the days of Harold the omens and visions still savour of the old times of Scandinavian heathendom. Saint Olaf indeed appears in his character of a Christian martyr, to remind us that we are reading the deeds of baptized men; but the general tone is that of the worshippers of Thor and Odin.[368] But the tale which is now told of Magnus is a mere piece of every-day mediæval hagiology. It reminds us of some of the tales which are told of William the Great and of others.[369] Legend of Magnus and Saint Olaf. Magnus, great-nephew of Saint Olaf, is seized with an irreverent longing to test the truth of the boast that the body of his martyred kinsman had not seen corruption. The body, first buried in a sandhill near Nidaros or Trondhjem, was soon, like those of our own Harold and Waltheof, translated to a worthier place in the great church of Nidaros. Its incorruption had been already proved, and in their new place the holy remains wrought wonders of healing and deliverance.[370] But now, heedless of the remonstrances of the bishop and his clergy, Magnus bade that the shrine should be opened, that he might see whether it was even as the tale went. He saw and believed; and he not only believed but trembled. He rushed out of the church, smitten with sudden fear. In the night the martyr appeared to him and gave him his choice of two forms of punishment. He must either lose his kingdom and his life within thirty 140 days, or else he must set forth from Norway and never see the land again. His fleet. Magnus gathered together his wise men; he told them the vision, and by their advice, he chose the second alternative, by far the less terrible to a king of the seas.[371] He set forth, but it was on an errand of conquest, at the head of a fleet of a hundred and sixty ships, a number far less than that of the mighty armada which had come together at the bidding of his grandfather.[372]

The teller of this tale has either misplaced the date of the real or supposed vision, or else he has mixed up the present voyage of Magnus with a later one. Magnus certainly saw Norway again after that one of his expeditions which alone directly touches English history. Magnus at Orkney. He first sailed to the Orkneys, where the brother earls, the sons of Thorfinn and Ingebiorg, the half-brothers of Duncan of Scotland, still reigned.[373] Their reign now ended. He seizes the earls. On what ground we are not told, Paul and Erling, the allies of his grandfather, were dealt with by Magnus as enemies. They were made prisoners, and were sent to Norway, where they afterwards died.[374] He gives the earldom to Sigurd. His own young son Sigurd was established in the rule of the earldom, with a council to advise him.[375] Magnus then sailed among the Sudereys, plundering, burning, and slaying. Magnus among the Sudereys; His minstrels and sagamen boast of his doings in this way in the islands of Lewis, Uist, 141 Skye, Mull, and Islay. But he spared—​the new faith of the Northmen prevailed thus far—​the holy island of Saint Columba, all whose inhabitants were freely received to his peace.[376] in Cantire; The only part of the isle of Britain itself which he seems to have touched was the long peninsula of Cantire, which might pass rather for another island than for part of the mainland, and which in truth formed a part of the insular realm. Thence, we are told, he plundered such parts of the Irish and Scottish coasts as lay within reach.[377] his dealings with Galloway. We read also in other versions that he made the men of Galloway become hewers of wood for fortresses to be raised, perhaps along their own shores.[378] His fruitless design on Ireland. We read too that at this stage he designed a more deliberately planned attack on Ireland, but that he shrank from carrying it out when he saw how strongly the Irish coasts were guarded.[379] He occupies Man. His next point was Man, which one narrator of his exploits strangely describes him as finding forsaken, and as peopling with inhabitants, from what quarter we are not told.[380] The local chronicler tells us, doubtless with far greater truth, that he landed on the island of Saint Patrick,--Holm Peel, the place of the famous castle and cathedral church—​that he was pleased with the land, and built fortresses therein, meaning—​so at 142 least it was believed in Man—​to make the island his own dwelling-place.[381] His designs. Man, once established as the seat of a great Northern empire, would certainly have been a standing menace to all the regions and races of the British islands. But the dominion of Magnus over Man was not handed on to any successor of his own house, and during the few years which he still lived, he did not make Man the centre of his power.

Version of Orderic. We now come near to that point in the expedition which brings it immediately within the range of our present history. The writer who gives us most detail deems the exploits of Magnus so great that he lashes himself up to his highest flight of classical rhetoric. He paints the Norwegian king as the conqueror of the Kyklades—​not those Kyklades of the Ægæan which his grandfather may well enough have visited, but the other Kyklades in the great sea, lying as it were outside the world.[382] To match this unlooked-for definition of the Western islands, the winds which filled the sails of Magnus are honoured with unusual names; and, by a sad relapse into paganism Amphitritê seems to be called up as a special guardian of the English shore.[383] Of the two islands which bore the name of Mevania, both of which had 143 obeyed the Bretwalda Eadwine, Magnus was already master of one; he now drew near to the other. He approaches Anglesey. We are told that he sent a small part of his fleet, consisting of six ships, to some unnamed point of the more strictly English shore, bearing a red shield as a sign that their purposes were peaceful.[384] Preparations for resistance. But the people of Britain of all races seem to have put little faith in the peaceful purposes of the Northmen. A vast host, French and English, presently came together from all parts of the dominions of the two Mercian earls. The meeting-place is said to have been at Dwyganwy on the peninsula opposite Anglesey, the scene of the fall of Robert of Rhuddlan.[385] The fleet off Aberlleiniog. But there can be no doubt that the scene of the tale which we have to tell lies on the opposite shore of Anglesey, and seemingly hard by the newly restored castle of Aberlleiniog. Most likely the sea then came in further over the low and marshy ground, and nearer to the castle-mound, than it does now. Both the earls were on the spot; the younger Hugh of Shrewsbury had been the first to come, and he had had to wait some days for his allies. At last the Norwegian ships were seen at sea near the coast, and the inhabitants were running to and fro for fear. By this time the forces of Hugh of Chester must have come up; but it is Hugh of Shrewsbury, the younger and more active of the pair, who plays the chief part in the story. He mounted his horse, and rode backwards and forwards along the shore, bringing his followers together, lest the invaders should land and overcome them piecemeal.[386] In his zeal he rode so near to the water 144 as to come within reach of the advancing tide and within bow-shot of the Norwegian ships. Two archers on the ship of King Magnus spied him out, and took aim. His body was so well guarded by his coat of mail that it was his face only that supplied a mark for the archers. Of these one was King Magnus himself; the other was a warrior from Halagoland, the most northern part of the strictly Norwegian shore. The arrow shot by the King’s comrade struck and turned aside from the nose-piece of the Earl’s helmet. The shaft sent by the King’s own hand went yet more truly to its mark; it pierced the eye of Hugh and went through his head. Hugh the Proud sank, and perished amid the advancing waves.[387] He died by a stroke like that by which the elder Harold fell on Senlac; and we could almost wish that it had been the hand of the younger Harold that sent the shaft.

Norwegian and Welsh versions. That shaft was, according to the monk of Saint Evroul, sent by the hand of Magnus, but by the special instigation of the devil. To the minstrels of Norway the death of Earl Hugh seemed a worthy exploit. They sang, not of a single shot, but of a fierce battle, in which the Norwegian king, lord of the islands, met the Welsh earls[388] face to face. They told how the arrows rattled on the coats of mail, and how the King’s own arrow overthrew Earl Hugh the Proud by the waters of Anglesey.[389] The British chronicler too tells us, if not of the fierce struggle described by the Northern poet, yet of arrows shot on both sides, alike from the ships and by the defenders of the land.[390] All agree that it was by the royal hand that the Earl fell. But it is only from Saint Evroul that we hear that Magnus shot Hugh unwittingly, and that he mourned when he knew who it was whom he had slain. Peace between Magnus and Hugh of Chester. It is added that he at 145 once made full peace with the surviving Earl Hugh of Chester, declaring that he had no hostile purposes against England, but that he only wished to wage war with Ireland, and to assert his dominion over the islands.[391] The body of Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury was sought for with pains by Normans and English, and was found at last, as the tide went back.[392] The only gentle one among the sons of Mabel[393]—​gentle, we may easily believe, to all but the Britons, perhaps cruel to them only under the evil influence of his elder namesake—​was mourned by all, Burial of Hugh of Shrewsbury. and was buried the seventeenth day after his death in the cloister of his father’s abbey at Shrewsbury.[394]

The words which we have just seen put into the mouth of Magnus are words of doubtful meaning, and they might imply a claim to Anglesey, as well as to the other islands. Designs of Magnus on Anglesey. That Magnus came thither with purposes of conquest we may set down as certain; it is less clear whether those purposes were carried out, even for a moment. In Norway it was believed that the overthrow of Earl Hugh put the King of the Northmen in possession of Anglesey, which is strangely spoken of as a third of the British land.[395] In Man it was said that Magnus, having slain one earl and put another to flight, occupied Anglesey, but that he was persuaded by the Welsh, on 146 the payment of a heavy ransom, to leave the island and sail back to Man.[396] Certain it is that, if Magnus took any real possession of Anglesey, it was a momentary possession indeed. According to the British chroniclers, he sailed away at once, so that his coming and the death of one of the earls did not really hinder the joint work of the two. Anglesey and North Wales subdued by Hugh. For a moment Anglesey, and with it seemingly the greater part of North Wales, was brought more thoroughly than ever under Norman or English rule. The phrase by which the Welsh writer sets forth the result has a strange sound; but it does not badly describe the final work of these endless wars. The French, he says, made the people become Saxons.[397] But for the present this work was done only for a moment. In the course of the next year, Anglesey was again, neither in French nor in Saxon, but in British hands.[398]

We shall hear again of Magnus in the revolutions both of Anglesey and of other parts of North Wales. For the present, satisfied with the glory of having carried the Norwegian arms further south in the British islands than any of his predecessors had done,[399] he seems to have sailed, first to Man and then to Ireland. There he made a truce with Murtagh, and, at a later time, he married the daughter of the Irish king to his own son Sigurd. Sigurd’s kingdom. This youth was now entrusted with the rule of all the Orkneys and Hebrides, and that with the kingly title.[400] Of his kingdom Cantire formed a part; 147 the peninsula had been formally taken possession of by the Norwegian king. Occupation of Cantire. This was done by a symbolic rite, which well expressed the dominion of a king of the seas over the land. Magnus was drawn in a ship across the isthmus which joins Cantire to the mainland. Dealings of Magnus with Scotland. The occupation of Cantire was, according to the Norwegian writer, the result of a treaty with Malcolm King of Scots;[401] but the expedition of Magnus took place during the reign of Eadgar. Magnus then went back to Norway, to receive his surname from the dress of the islanders, the use of which he and his followers brought into their own land. He then occupied himself for a while with Scandinavian affairs, till his restless spirit again brought him within the range of our story.

§ 6. The establishment of Robert of Bellême in England.

Of the two earls who had crossed over to Anglesey to meet with such singular ups and downs of fortune, it was the elder who came back alive. Hugh of Chester, Hugh the Fat, had still to rule for a few years longer till he died a monk at Saint Werburh’s. Effects of the death of Hugh of Shrewsbury. But the short-lived reign of Hugh the Proud at Shrewsbury and Arundel had come to an end, and his death led to important changes in all those parts of England with which he had had to deal, but above all in his own earldom on the Welsh border. Robert of Bellême Earl of Shrewsbury. 1098. A large part of that district, a district the most important of all in a military point of view, passed under the rule of the man who was at once the most merciless of oppressors and the most skilful of military 148 engineers. The Red King and his minister had now an opportunity of carrying out their doctrines with regard to the redemption of lands on a grand scale. The King was doubtless ready to be the heir of Earl Hugh, as of all other men; but, as in the case of other men, he was willing to allow the next kinsman to redeem the inheritance, if he offered a becoming price. He buys his brother’s possessions. So now, when Robert of Bellême claimed the earldom and lands of his deceased brother, he obtained a grant of them on a payment of three thousand pounds.[402] This was nearly half the sum for which William Rufus had made himself master of all Normandy; but it was perhaps not too great a price to pay for the great earldom of Shropshire with its endless castles and lordships, for Arundel and Chichester and the other South-Saxon lands of Roger of Montgomery, and for the rest of his possessions scattered over many English shires. Extent of his estates. Robert of Bellême, specially so called as the son of his mother, but who was no less Robert of Montgomery as the son of his father, and who now became no less Robert of Arundel and of Shrewsbury, thus joined together in his own person three inheritances, any one of which alone might have set him among princes. Doubtful policy of the grant. One might doubt whether William the Conqueror would have been tempted by any price to allow the accumulation of such vast powers in the hands of one man, and that a man whose homage was not due to himself only. But with William the Red the services and the payments of Robert of Bellême together outweighed any thought of the policy which might have led him rather to bestow the vacant earldom and other lands on some other among the sons of Earl Roger. Robert was now at 149 the height of his power and his fame—​such fame as his was—​beyond the sea. Position of Robert on the continent. We shall read in the next chapter of his doings in Maine this very year, the doings of which he now received the reward. To the Norman heritage of his father, to the marchlands which he had inherited from his mother, to the lands which mother and son had snatched from so many Norman and Cenomannian holders, Robert now added all that his father had received from the Conqueror’s grant among the conquered English, and all that his father had won for himself among the half-conquered Welsh.

His new position in England. The establishment of Robert of Bellême in England marks an epoch in our story. Though we have already so often heard of him, not only in continental affairs but in the affairs of our own island, he had not yet, as far as we can see, held any English possessions at all; certainly he had none which put him on a level with the great Norman land-owners. From this time he is something more than merely one among them; he at once begins to play the part of the foremost among them, foremost alike in power and in ambition. His namesake, Robert of Mortain and of Cornwall, had held as great a number of English acres, and his death had handed over the vast heritage to his son. Comparison with the Counts of Mortain. But neither of the Counts of Mortain had any personal gifts which could win for them the personal position which was held by Robert of Bellême. The father was sluggish; the son was turbulent; neither of them was the peer of the great captain and engineer who was now to lord it over the British march. Nor did the nature and position of his estates give to the grandson of Herleva the same advantages which belonged to the son of Mabel. The one was, bating the title of Earl, as great in Cornwall as the other was in Shropshire; but the lord of Cornwall might, if he chose, sleep idly, while the lord of Shropshire was driven to constant 150 action against a restless enemy. Each had a great position in Sussex; but the position of the lord of Arundel and Chichester was practically higher than that of the lord of Pevensey. The vast scattered possessions held by the Count of Mortain throughout England added more to his wealth than to his political power. Comparison of Robert of Bellême and Hugh of Chester. Earl Hugh of Chester was in his own earldom even greater than Robert was in his; but Earl Hugh was growing old, and ambitious as he was, he seems to have kept his ambition within certain geographical bounds, in those regions of Normandy and of Britain which destiny seemed to have set before him. Unique position of Robert. There can be no doubt that, at this moment, Robert of Bellême held a position in England which he shared with no rival in the island, and which was backed by a power beyond sea which put him rather on a level with sovereign dukes and counts than with ordinary nobles.

Effects of his coming. To the men of the borderland, of whatever race, the change of masters was a frightful one. To the settled inhabitants, Norman and English, it must have been like yet another foreign conquest. The change is marked in the change of name; the surname of the new lord comes from the lands of his mother which lay beyond the bounds either of England or of Normandy. Hugh of Montgomery is exchanged for Robert of Bellême. Robert a stranger in England. The new master from the march of Normandy and Maine must, twenty-nine years after the conquest of Shropshire, have seemed a stranger, not only to Englishmen, but to Normans of the first settlement, still more so to men who were of Norman parentage but of English birth. In its personal aspect the change of lords must have been a matter of shuddering. The rule of Earl Roger had been tolerable; the four years of Earl Hugh we have seen spoken of as a reign of special mildness, at least for his own people. But now they had a lord of another kind. English and 151 Welsh, we are told, had smiled at the tales of the deeds of Robert in other lands; Cruelty of the new earl. they listened to them as to the song of the bard or the gleeman, deeming that, if such things were done, they were at least done far away from themselves. But now they found in their own persons that those tales were true, when, in the strong words of a writer of those times, they were flayed alive by the iron claws of Earl Robert.[403] The Earl himself, great as he was in power and wealth, was only puffed up by what he had to hanker after yet more. His spoliations. He spared no man, of whatever race or order, whose lands lay conveniently to his hand, nor did he scruple to take away from the saints themselves what the men of the elder time had given to them.[404]

But Robert of Bellême was something more than an ordinary plunderer; he was a man of genius in his way; whatever he either inherited or seized on was sure to be strengthened by the best engineering skill of his time.[405] His skill in castle-building. In the gradual work of planting both England and Normandy with castles he had no small share; and his skill is nowhere more to be admired than in the way in which he adapted his designs to the varying circumstances of different places. He built at Bridgenorth and he built at Gisors; there is little that is alike in the two fortresses, because there is little that is alike in the position of the two points which those fortresses severally had to defend. The former, Robert of Bellême’s great creation on English 152 ground, held a most important place in the defences of the middle course of the Severn. His defence of Shropshire. The Welsh wars of this reign had brought that whole line of country into renewed importance. If the power of England under her Norman masters was stretching further and further over the British lands, that very advance laid the English lands more and more open to passing and occasional British ravages. The experience of such warfare within the English border was quite fresh. 1094. When Robert of Bellême took his earldom, four years only had passed since Shropshire and Herefordshire had been laid waste,[406] just as in the old days when Gruffydd smote the Saxon at Rhyd-y-Groes.[407] The new Earl of Shropshire therefore found it needful to strengthen the whole line of defences of the Severn. Early history of the Shropshire fortresses. Strong as was the capital of his earldom on its peninsular height, it was well to have, in the rear of Shrewsbury, another great fortress on a lower point of the river, a point whose importance is witnessed by its name; it is emphatically the Bridge. The whole region had been carefully fortified, perhaps in earlier days still, certainly in the days when the Dane as well as the Briton had to be guarded against. 896. In the last campaign of Ælfred, the Danes, finding it expedient to leave the neighbourhood of London, had marched across the whole breadth of England from Thames to Severn, and had wrought a work beside that river at Quatbridge.[408] Æthelflæd fortifies Bridge (north). 912. Sixteen years later, the victorious Lady, the guardian of the Mercian land, had timbered the burh at Bridge. At a somewhat lower point, the enemy against whom Ælfred and his daughter had to strive has left his memory in the name of Danesford. The Bridge was the site 153 of the chosen stronghold of Robert of Bellême. But when his discerning eye marked the spot for a great military centre, he did but do afresh what had been already done by the native guardian of England. The fortress of Robert of Bellême was but a calling into fresh being, a strengthening with new works, of the older fortress of Æthelflæd.[409]

Shropshire Campaign

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the
A.D. 1102.

It is somewhat singular that in the line of defence traced by Robert’s father so commanding a site as that of the Bridge did not hold the first place. The strong place of Roger of Montgomery lies between three and four miles lower down the river. Older mound of Quatford. There, on the left, the English, side of the Severn, we meet with the first—​first to one going up the stream—​of our present group of fortresses. A bold height, of no very great positive elevation, marks the position of the church and mound of Quatford, standing side by side, as is so often seen both in our own island and beyond sea. The mound is a natural height rising close above the river, ditched and scarped as was needed, but raised only slightly above its original height. Quatford Castle. This elder fortification, the dwelling-place of some English thegn of the old time, seems to have given way, either before or after the coming of the Norman, to a stronghold a little way further up the river, which still bears the name of Quatford 154 Castle. A sandstone hill, standing isolated, near to the river but not immediately on its banks, was, like the smaller and older post, improved and raised into a castle mound, perhaps by Earl Roger himself, perhaps by some earlier holder. Earl Roger’s house. There the Survey records his new house and his borough; and we may fairly see his work in the well which still remains bored deep in the heart of the rock.[410] In the days of King Eadward the lordship of Eardington had been held by Saint Mildburh of Wenlock. His chapel. But, if Earl Roger, who passes for the refounder of that house,[411] did any wrong to its patroness, he may be held to have atoned for it by the collegiate chapel which he raised at Quatford. It was founded at the request of his wife, not the proud and cruel Mabel, but her pious and gentle successor Adeliza. A pleasing legend is told of the origin of the chapel and of the house, a legend which, if it contains any kernel of truth, points to Earl Roger as having been the first to occupy Quatford Castle as a dwelling, and which may account for the restoration of the far more tempting site of the old fortress of the Lady being left to be the work of his son.[412]

155 The new rule now began, and the home of Roger and Adeliza was forsaken by Earl Robert for the far stronger point higher up the river, and on the opposite, the right or Welsh bank.[413] Robert of Bellême removes to Bridge (north). Here, in contrast to the mere fords at other points, to Quatford itself and to the Danesford above it, stood the bridge which still forms so marked a feature, and which had given the spot its name. Bridge then, the stronghold of Æthelflæd, became the stronghold of Robert of Bellême; and now, perhaps from its position with regard to his father’s dwelling at Quatford, it came to be specially distinguished as Bridgenorth. A steep cliff overhangs the river at a point where the opposite ground is high, where the stream is far wider than it again becomes lower down, and where the channel is divided by an island, such as those by which the Danes loved to anchor, whether in the Seine or in the Severn. Oldbury. And, as the Danes are recorded to have wrought a work in clear distinction from the burh which the Lady afterwards timbered, we are tempted to see that work in a mound not far from the bridge, and on the same side as the river, but not rising immediately above the river’s banks. A natural height has been ditched, scarped, and raised to a level somewhat lower than that of the cliff immediately above the stream, the cliff which was chosen for the fortress, first of the Lady and then of the rebel Earl. It is plainly in opposition to this last that the place had, before the time of Domesday, received the name of Oldbury, which is still borne by the parish in which it stands.[414] The cliff itself, the site of the castle and town of Bridgenorth, has a peninsular shape so strongly marked that it is hard to believe that the river runs on one side of it only, and that Bridgenorth and Oldbury are divided, not 156 by a stream, but by a dry valley, in those days doubtless not dry, but marshy. Oldbury and Bridgenorth. The sites of the older and the newer fortress still look on one another, though the older has again become only a grassy mound, while the younger grew into a fortress, parish, and town, and still remains a parliamentary borough.

The position of the great fortress of the oppressor is a noble one. The mere height of the cliff at Bridgenorth is so much lower than many of the surrounding hills of that lovely region that it makes less show than might have been looked for in the general view. But, as we stand close under it on the other side of the river, we feel that Bridgenorth needs only buildings of equal majesty on its height to make it rank with Lincoln, with Le Mans, almost with Laon itself. But against the proud minsters of those cities Bridgenorth has nothing to set in its general view save two church towers, one of them modern, whose ugliness is not relieved by the fact that it represents the castle church, the college of Bridgenorth, transferred thither by Robert of Bellême, when he moved castle, church, and everything from their older home at Quatford. Bridgenorth castle; But Bridgenorth still keeps one object of surpassing interest in our present story, that which is of a truth the very cradle and kernel of the place, the shattered keep of Robert of Bellême. Robert’s keep. There we have the good luck which we enjoy but seldom in examining the military remains of this age, the strongholds of the men of the Conquest and their immediate successors. Most commonly we light on little more than the mere site, or the works of earlier or of later times; it is only now and then that we actually see, in however imperfect a state, some piece of genuine masonry belonging to the time with which we are dealing. This satisfaction we have in no small measure at Bridgenorth. There is the square keep of the terrible founder of the 157 fortress, broken down, riven asunder by some explosion in the warfare of later times—​what is left of it driven to overhang its base like the tower of Caerphilly or the Muro Torto of Rome—​but still keeping its main and distinctive features, still showing, in its flat pilasters, its double-splayed windows,[415] the traces of its double-sloped roof with the deep gutter,[416] what that stern, hard, tower was when the Devil of Bellême first called it into being. We can just trace the gateway which the keep commanded between the inner and outer courts of the castle, and we can see the ruins of the advanced building which sheltered the actual entrance of the keep itself. The square tower, so characteristic of Norman military work, is after all so rare in this its earlier form that every such fragment as this of Bridgenorth calls for most attentive study. Here we see the highest advances in the art of defence, as practised by the man whose name makes us shudder through almost every page of our story. At Bridgenorth nature had done almost everything. The tall and steep cliff called for nothing to be done in the way of mounds and ditches. It was enough to fence in the height—​that the Lady had doubtless done after the fashion of her age—​and to raise the keep—​the distinctive feature of Earl Robert’s age—​as the last shelter in case of attack from the land side. The churches and town of Bridgenorth. We can trace the inner and outer courts, the latter containing the unsightly church which represents the college within the castle. The other church stands nearly on a level with the castle, parted from the castle hill by a dip which takes the form of a steep road--Cartway is the name it 158 still keeps—​leading down from the town to the river. Few stronger or more striking sites of its own scale could have been found. The Castle by the Bridge is not a mountain fortress; far higher hills than the hill of Bridgenorth or the hill of Quatford come within the general view. But the stronghold of Æthelflæd and Robert served better than any loftier point could have done for its own immediate work. No other point could have served so well to guard the most important point of the river, and to shelter the older borders of England against any desperate attempt of the Britons to carry their endless warfare far within her later borders. The group of fortresses. The whole group, Bridgenorth, Oldbury, the two Quatfords, are a succession of strongholds which form a whole. All are within sight of one another, though it might be hard to find a point which directly commands all four at once. Burf Castle. A little further inland, on the Quatford side of the river, a broad hill, fenced in by a slight earthwork, and known as Burf Castle, commands the widest and most striking view of all, the round back of the Wrekin, the sharp rise and fall of the Titterstone, with a boundless view over the lower country to the north-east. This is undoubtedly the site of an early stronghold, which may have played its part in the days of the Lady or in the old time before her. But there is no sign that it entered into the military reckoning of Roger of Montgomery or of Robert of Bellême.

The great engineering works at Bridgenorth seem to have occupied the mind of Earl Robert during the whole of the few remaining years of his English career. We shall find that they were not fully finished four years later. Robert builds the castle of Careghova. At the same time, while he fenced in Bridgenorth in the rear of the capital of his earldom, he raised another stronghold in advance of it, within the later 159 Welsh border, at Careghova, immediately on Offa’s Dyke.[417] And he was at the same time extending his possessions in a more peaceful region, where no inroads of Britons or Northmen were to be feared. His Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire estates. On the borders of Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire stood a chief seat of one who, in the extent of his possessions, ranked as one of the foremost men in England. This was Roger of Bully, who took his name from a Norman lordship in the land of Braye, lying west of what was to be the New Castle of King Henry, on the high ground which overlooks the forest of Saint-Saen, the home of the faithful Helias. Roger of Bully. The name of Roger of Bully—​the spellings of the name are endless—​is less commonly mentioned in our tale than we might have looked for. He was a great land-owner in Yorkshire; he was one of the greatest land-owners in Nottinghamshire, and he held considerable estates in other parts of England. He had supplanted two English earls in their special homes; he sat by the hearth of Eadwine and by the hearth of Waltheof; in another spot, the holdings of ten English thegns had been rolled together into a single lordship to enrich the fortunate stranger.[418] His Yorkshire estates. Among his Yorkshire 160 estates he held the exceptionally favoured lands of Sprotburgh and Barnburgh, which had remained untouched in the general harrying of Northumberland.[419] He seems to have won the special favour of the greatest ladies of the Conqueror’s court; if he held the hall of Hallam, the hall of Waltheof, it was by the gift of Waltheof’s widow Judith;[420] and an estate which he held in distant Devonshire is set down as the gift of Queen Matilda herself.[421] Yet this man, who holds so great a place in the Survey, plays no visible part in history; he lives only in the record of Domesday and in his still abiding work in a minster and a castle of his own rearing. Just within the borders of Yorkshire, at no great distance from the shires both of Nottingham and Lincoln, Roger had occupied an English dwelling-place, entered in the Survey as Dadesley, but which afterwards grew into greater note by the name of Tickhill.[422] Position of Tickhill. Like many other dwelling-places of English lords, Dadesley or Tickhill must have been chosen simply as a convenient centre for the estates of its owner. It is no natural stronghold; the post seems to have no special military advantages; it crowns no steep, it commands no river, it bars the entrance to no valley. The castle. A low hill of sandstone was improved by art into one of the usual mounds, and it had been in King Eadward’s day the 161 possession of Ælfsige and Siward. The mound, as in other places, was in after time taught to bear a polygonal keep, and its sides were themselves strengthened by masonry. The keep, of which the foundations only are left, was of later date than the days with which we are concerned. And we may fully believe that parts at least of the circuit wall of the castle, and still more, that the elder parts of the gatehouse, with a face of ornaments and sculptures which almost remind us of the work of the great Emperor’s day at Lorsch, are due to the taste, such as it was, of the first Norman lord of Tickhill.

The nomenclature of the lands of Roger of Bully has been singularly shifting. Dadesley gave way to Tickhill. But Tickhill is not the only name borne by Roger’s stronghold. It not uncommonly takes the name of a more certain memorial of him which lies only a few miles off, but within the bounds of another shire. The priory of Blyth, founded 1088. In the year of the first rebellion of the Red King’s reign, Roger of Bully had founded a monastery dependent on the abbey of the Holy Trinity at Rouen. It was reared on a point of his possessions known as Blyth, lying within the borders of Nottinghamshire, and near a river which joins the old historic stream of the Idle.[423] The nave of Roger’s church still stands; there is no mistaking the distinguishing marks of the earliest Norman style, even in a building whose loftiness and narrowness have more in common with later forms of art.[424] Blyth became at 162 least as famous as Tickhill. Name of Blyth and Tickhill used indiscriminately. The castle, with the honour of which it formed the head, is called by both names, and we shall find as we go on that the same incident in our story is placed by some of our authorities at Blyth and by others at Tickhill.[425] Death of Roger of Bully. Roger, founder of both castle and monastery, seems to have died about the time when Robert of Bellême was strengthening himself at Bridgenorth and Careghova. His lands went at once to swell the possessions of the terrible Earl. On some plea of kindred, Robert demanded them of the King. The lands of Roger of Bully granted to Robert of Bellême. William was as ready to grant him the lands of Blyth and Hallam as he had been to grant him the earldom of Shropshire and the other possessions of his father. But he was no more inclined than he was then to grant anything without a consideration. Earl Robert was allowed to redeem the heritage of his kinsman, but to redeem it only on payment of a great sum.[426] Impolicy of the grant. We may again doubt whether William the Great would have 163 allowed such a redemption, even in the days when he had fallen into covetousness and greediness he loved withal. With the Conqueror neither greediness nor anything else ever came before policy. He whose policy it had been to separate Norman and English estates in the second generation, who had taken care that no son of his own chosen friend should hold Breteuil and Hereford in a single hand,[427] would surely never have allowed any one man to have reached the gigantic height of wealth and power which was now reached by Robert of Bellême. Greatness of Robert of Bellême. The gathering together of such vast possessions in Normandy and England in the hands of one who had some pretensions to rank as a prince beyond the bounds of Normandy and England almost amounted to a direct challenge to their owner to dispute the great lesson of Rochester, and to see whether there was not at least one subject in England whom the King of England could not control.

That question had yet to be tried, and to be tried in the person of the new lord of Tickhill. But it was not raised during the short remnant of the days of William the Red. The two powers of evil contrived to pull together in friendly guise as long as the days of unlaw and unright lasted. And the longer those days lasted, the blacker and the bitterer they grew. The greater the power and wealth which was gathered together in the hands of Robert of Bellême, the greater, we are told, was the pride and cruelty of that son of Belial.[428] He may by this time have grown weary of oppression in the familiar scenes of his evil deeds on both sides of the sea. The death of Robert of Bully 164 opened to him a new and wide human hunting-ground in Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. But his hold on all that he had within our island was fated to be short. We are drawing near to the end of the reign and the life of William Rufus, and, when the reign and life of William Rufus were over, the English power of Robert of Bellême did not last long.

But before we come to the last days of the Red King in his island kingdom, we must again cross the sea, to follow the warlike campaigns of his latest days, to trace out the wide-reaching schemes of dominion which filled his restless soul, his fitful energy in beginning enterprises, his strange waywardness in leaving them half done. And now will come the living contrast between unright, as embodied in William Rufus, and right, as embodied this time, not in a man of the church and the cloister, but in a man of his own order, a layman, a prince, a soldier. We have had one chapter where the main interest has gathered round Anselm of Aosta; we are now coming to another in which the main interest will gather round Helias of La Flèche.




THE latter years of the reign of the Red King, Character of the last years of Rufus. 1097–1100. beginning from the departure of Anselm, are far richer in foreign than in domestic events. Even within the isle of Britain we have, as we have already seen, chiefly to deal with the lands which lie beyond the actual English kingdom. Scotland has received a king at the bidding of the over-lord in England. A deep plan has been laid for the better subjugation of the seemingly unconquerable Welsh. A Norwegian king has slain an earl of England in strife on the shore of a Welsh island. But within England itself the greatest event which we have had to record has been the immediate result of that distant strife in the succession to an English earldom. When Robert of Bellême became the most powerful subject in England, it was undoubtedly an event of no small importance both at the moment and in its results. It added perceptibly to the evils even of the reign of 166 unlaw. Still it was not in itself an event on the same scale as the rebellion of Odo or the rebellion of Robert of Mowbray, or as the beginning or the ending of the dealings between Anselm and the King. Little to record at home, and much abroad. And the same character of the time goes on to the end. There is in England itself nothing to record besides the great architectural works of the King, a few ecclesiastical deaths and appointments, and those natural portents and phænomena which are characteristic of the whole time, and which come thicker upon us as we draw nearer to the end. Beyond sea, on the other hand, this time of less than three years is the most stirring time of the whole reign. King of England, over-lord of Scotland, not in form Duke of the Normans, but master of Normandy as his brother never was, the Red King goes on to greater schemes. Rufus seems to have been always puffed up by success, but never cast down by bad luck. His personal failure in Wales was really a marked contrast to the success of Eadgar in Scotland. Temper and schemes of Rufus. But Rufus seems to have had the happy gift of plucking out of all states of things whatever tended to gratify his pride, and of forgetting all that looked the other way. He, or others in his name, had set up a king at Dunfermline. This was enough to make him put out of sight all thought that he had in his own person marched to Snowdon and taken nothing by his march. He felt himself more than ever Monarch of Britain, King of kings within his own island. We can believe that it rankled in his soul that, outside that island, he was less than a king. The lord of Normandy had in any case a formal over-lord in the French King, and William Rufus was lord of Normandy only by an anomalous and temporary title. He held the duchy only as a merchant holds a pledge. We can well understand how such a man would chafe at the thought that he had anywhere even a nominal superior. 167 Such an one as William deemed himself was dishonoured by being, even in the most nominal way, the man of such an one as Philip. His designs on France. And the noblest way of escaping from the acknowledgement of a superior was by himself taking that superior’s place. The Monarch of Britain would be also Monarch of Gaul, of so much at least of Gaul as in any sense admitted the over-lordship of Paris. The lord of Winchester and Rouen would be lord of Paris also. William wished for a war with France, and a war with France could at any moment be had. The eternal question of the Vexin stood always awaiting its solution.

Wars with France and Maine. But a war with France was not the only war which William Rufus had now to wage on the Gaulish mainland. He had to strive against a noble city, a valiant people, ruled by a prince worthy of his city and his people. Besides striving with France and Philip, he had to strive against Maine, he had to strive against Helias. The war with France was doubtless the object with which he crossed the sea; but mischief had long been brewing in the troublesome land to the south of Normandy, and about the time when the French war began, the standing Cenomannian difficulty grew into open war also. William had thus two wars to wage at once. These two wars, with France and with Maine, are told in our narratives as if they were altogether distinct, and had no bearing on one another. Yet the two were going on at the same time at no great distance from one another, and some of the chief actors on one side were flitting to and fro between the two. Beginning of war. 1097–1098. It is hard to say in which region the first actual fighting took place. In both it must have begun in the winter after Anselm had gone on one errand into Burgundy and Eadgar on another into Scotland. William crosses the sea. It was then that King William crossed the sea also, with the object doubtless of making war on France. The Cenomannian war was thrown in 168 as something incidental. The war with Maine has in itself, as a tale, by far the greater charm of the two. But it is needless to say that far higher interests were, or might have been, at stake in the war with France. Of the wide-reaching schemes of William Rufus, and of their remarkable position among those things which might have been but which were not, I have spoken at some length elsewhere.[430] But it is only in its latest stage that the war showed even any likelihood of growing beyond the scale of a border struggle. It was, in profession at least, a war for the Vexin, and it was in the Vexin that it was mainly waged.

Comparison of the two wars. The result of the war was widely different in the two cases. We may sum it up by saying that Maine was subdued and that France was not. Maine was at least held to be subdued. In the first Cenomannian war the capital was taken; the prince was made a prisoner; so much of the land as was really attacked was subdued. In the second war the capital was taken and the prince was driven out. But against France no real advantage at all seems to have been gained. To modern ideas this difference may seem no wonderful result of the difference between the invasion of a county and the invasion of a kingdom. Comparative position of France and Maine. But in the eleventh century the resources of Maine could not have been very greatly inferior to the resources of France. In one sense indeed the resources of Maine were by far the greater of the two, Helias and Philip. inasmuch as Helias reigned at Le Mans and Philip reigned at Paris. But in truth the comparison between a county and a kingdom is not a fair one. The France of those days was not a kingdom; it was simply that small part of a great kingdom which was held to obey—​which under Philip certainly did not obey—​the nominal king of the whole. The king was simply that one among the 169 princes of the kingdom who always claimed, and who sometimes received, the homage of the others. Advantage of the kingly dignity. We must never underrate the vast moral advantage which the king drew from his kingly dignity;[431] but, on the other hand, we must not be thereby led to overrate the material strength of the king’s actual dominion. Supposing that the resources of Maine and of France had been positively equal, if Helias had the advantage over Philip that the one was Helias and that the other was Philip, this advantage was far more than counterbalanced by the fact that Philip was a king while Helias was only a count. That he was a count of doubtful title, always threatened by a neighbour more powerful than himself, was of course a further incidental disadvantage; but the essential difference is inherent in the position of the two princes and their dominions. The king, even though the king was Philip, was a king, and men had scruples about personally attacking one who was at once their own lord on earth and the anointed of the Lord of Heaven. William Rufus doubtless had no such scruples about that or about any matter; but such scruples had been felt by his father; they were to be felt in times to come by Henry of Le Mans and of Anjou, of Normandy and of England.[432] Such scruples would not be felt by Normans withstanding French aggression on their own land; we may remember how a lance from the Côtentin had laid Philip’s father on the ground at Val-ès-dunes.[433] They would not be felt by native Englishmen, to whom Normandy, France, and Maine, were all alike foreign and hostile lands. But we may suspect that there was many a knight in William’s host who, when he went forth to invade the lands of the lord of his lord in an utterly unprovoked quarrel, did 170 not go forth with quite so light a heart as that with which he went forth to win back for his lord a land of which his lord had some shadow of ground for professing that he had been robbed by one of his own men.

Maine then was, in a sense, conquered; France was not conquered in any sense. Le Mans was taken; Paris was hardly threatened. And this, we may believe, was at least partly owing to the fact that Le Mans was only the city of a count, while Paris was the city of a king. Both lands had a champion in whom we may feel a personal interest. Lewis son of Philip. While we follow the steps of an old acquaintance in Count Helias, we gladly watch the beginnings of a new acquaintance, not indeed in King Philip himself, but in his gallant son the Lord Lewis.[434] He has his special biographer, and we only wish that the minute detail in which we can read his actions in dealing with the immediate vassals of the French duchy had been extended to the greater though shorter strife which he had to wage against the sovereign of Normandy and England.

It is not easy to tell the story of these two wars in exact chronological order. Beginning of the war of Maine. January, 1098. The early part of the French war is told without any dates, while we know when the actual fighting began in Maine. This was in the January which followed William’s crossing to the continent, the January of the year in which Earl Hugh was killed in Anglesey. Whether there was any fighting on the French border earlier than that we cannot tell. For a later stage of the French war we have dates, and its dated stage clearly follows the end of the first Cenomannian war. If we go back to the causes of the two struggles, it is equally hard to find the beginning. In both cases there was a standing quarrel, which might 171 have broken out into war at any time. But the French war has a certain right to precedence, inasmuch as it was doubtless rather to attack France than to attack Maine that William Rufus crossed the sea. It may therefore be our best course, first to trace out the earlier undated part of the French war down to the point where there is a clear break in the story. We may then follow the fortunes of Le Mans and Maine, till we reach the later dated part of the French war which followed their first momentary conquest.

§ 1. The Beginnings of the French War.

King Philip; Of Philip King of the French, the fourth king of the house of Paris, we have often heard already, and from what we have heard we shall hardly expect him to take any leading part either in war or in council. his adulterous marriage with Bertrada of Montfort. He is chiefly memorable for his adulterous marriage with Bertrada of Montfort, the wife of Fulk Rechin of Anjou. He had got rid of his first wife, the daughter of Count Florence of Friesland and step-daughter of that Count Robert of Flanders who bore the Frisian name. He puts away his first wife. The mother of his son Lewis and his daughter Constance was put away by Philip on some plea of kindred, and was shut up in the castle of Montreuil.[435] Some years later 172 Bertrada became her successor. Of her and Fulk we shall hear again in our Cenomannian story; she was in some sort given to Fulk as the price of Cenomannian bondage. But, as Fulk had at least one wife living, the validity of the marriage might have been fairly called in question. Philip and Bertrada; If the scandal of the time may be trusted, Bertrada, wearying of Fulk, and fearing that he might deal by her as he had dealt by others, offered herself to King Philip to supply the place which he had made vacant.[436] She won his heart, so far as he had any, and she seems to have been the only thing that he really cared for. But she who had been a countess at Angers would not be less than queen at Paris, and a ceremony of marriage was gone through. More than one prelate was charged with the uncanonical deed. their alleged marriage by Odo. 1092. The version which most concerns us is that which tells how, when no prelate in France would thus profane the sacraments of the Church, the King looked beyond the border, and found one less scrupulous in the person of the Bishop of Bayeux. The churches of Mantes, it is said, were Odo’s reward for his thus pandering to the misdeeds of his royal neighbour.[437]

173 Scandal occasioned by the marriage. Much scandal and searching of heart followed on the pretended marriage, scandal which spread throughout all France, throughout all Gaul, throughout all Christendom. Opposition of Ivo and Hugh of Lyons. The famous Bishop Ivo of Chartres protested in many letters to the King and others.[438] If a council of the prelates of France, gathered by the King’s authority at Rheims, was inclined to deal gently with the royal sinner, there were higher ecclesiastical powers who were more unbending. Archbishop Hugh of Lyons, Primate of all the Gauls, no subject of Parisian dukes or kings, but a prince of that Imperial Burgundy which knew no king but Cæsar, gathered an assembly which spoke in another voice. The friend of Anselm, the friend of Urban, called together the bishops of the Gauls at Autun, and their voice denounced the offence which the bishops of France alone had been inclined to pass over.[439] Higher powers still spoke at Piacenza and at Clermont. Excommunication of Philip and Bertrada. Philip and Bertrada were excommunicated often and absolved now and then. None would eat at their table; the dogs were said to refuse the morsels which fell from it. Wherever they went, the public exercise of Christian worship stopped, though, by a somewhat inconsistent 174 indulgence, they were allowed to have a low mass said before them in a private chapel.[440] It would seem as though, in spiritual as well as in temporal things, subjects were to suffer from the crimes of kings, while the kings themselves went unscathed. But when Philip and Bertrada left any town, the bells at once struck out. Then, with allusion no doubt to the supposed power of the bells to chase away thunder and pestilence, the King would say to his companion, “Do you hear, my beauty, how they drive us away?”[441] For fifteen years, allowing perhaps for occasional times of reconciliation, the King of the French never wore his crown or his kingly robes or appeared in royal state at any public ceremony.[442]

Sons of Philip and Bertrada. By this second marriage or adultery, which was held to be in no way done away by the death of the lawful Queen in prison,[443] Philip had two sons, Philip and Florus. Bertrada’s schemes against Lewis. Bertrada wished to be the mother of a king, and in after times the lawful heir Lewis was said to have been the object of not a few plots on the part of his step-mother, if even step-mother she is to be called. But at this stage Philip seems to have kept sense enough to see the merits of his son, and to place full trust in him. By the consent 175 of his realm, he made Lewis the immediate ruler and defender of the exposed frontier of the royal dominions. He granted him in fief the towns of Mantes and Pontoise, and the whole French Vexin.[444] Philip invests Lewis with the Vexin. 1092. But Lewis was made more than this. Practically, whether by any formal act or not, Lewis became the ruler of France, so far as France just then had any ruler. Philip, scorned and loathed of all men, with the curses of the Church hurled over and over again against him, withdrew from ruling, fighting, or anything else but his own pleasures, and threw the whole burthen of the government and defence of his kingdom on the shoulders of his young and gallant son.

Question of the Vexin. We are not told at what exact moment the old question of the Vexin was again first stirred. Philip was not likely to stir it, neither was Robert; William Rufus might not care to stir it while he was lord only of part of Normandy, and not of the whole. But when all Normandy became his, the old dispute naturally came up again in his mind. He would not have been William Rufus if he had not sought to win all that his father had held, all that his father had claimed, and among the rest the place where his father found his death-wound. Grounds of offence on the part of Rufus. The special acts of authority exercised by Philip in the Vexin, the grant of the land as his son’s fief, the grant of the churches of Mantes, the churches which were rebuilding out of his father’s dying gifts, to his own rebellious uncle Odo, would be likely to stir him up still more to put forward his old claim. William demands the French Vexin. 1097. At last, after reflecting, we are told, on the wars and the fate of his father in that region, he sent, in the year of the departure of Anselm, solemnly to demand the cession of the whole 176 Vexin, specially naming the towns and fortresses of Pontoise, Chaumont, and Mantes.[445] Of these Mantes and Chaumont were in the strictest sense border fortresses; Pontoise—​the bridge on the Oise, as its name implies—​lies far nearer the heart of the King’s territory; Pontoise in an enemy’s hand would indeed be a standing menace to Paris. The demands of the Red King almost amounted to a demand for the surrender of the independence of the French kingdom.

French Campaign

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the
A.D. 1098.

The demand is refused. It is needless to say that the demand was refused. Lewis and his counsellors declined to give up the Vexin or any of its fortresses.[446] King William accordingly crossed the sea to assert his rights, and the French campaign possibly began before the end of the year. It is wonderful, when we remember that it is chiefly from our own writers that we get the details of William Rufus’ Norman campaigns, how little they tell us about his French campaigns. Of the war of Maine to which we shall presently come they tell us little enough. Still the name of Maine does appear in their pages, while the name of France at this stage does not. William crosses to Normandy. November 11–30, 1097. We learn indeed that in the November of this year the King crossed into Normandy, but with what object we are not told.[447] What we are told is eminently characteristic of the Red King and his reign. Excesses of the King’s followers. As so often happened, his crossing was delayed by the weather; meanwhile his immediate followers carried out to the full that licence 177 which the King’s immediate followers were wont to allow themselves till Henry and Anselm found sharp means to check them.[448] “His hired in the shires there they lay the most harm did that ever hired or here in frithland should do.”[449] If the army at large is meant, the expression is a strange one. The hired is the King’s household, taking in doubtless household troops in personal attendance on the King, like the old housecarls, but not surely the whole force, national or mercenary. But it was the King’s household whose excesses were specially complained of; and this casual outburst of bitterness is a speaking comment on the general pictures of their misdoings which we have already come across.[450] But it is only of damage done in England by the King’s household that our Chronicler tells us anything. Silence of English writers as to the French war. Of warlike exploits on the other side of the Channel neither he nor any other English writer tells us at this stage a single word.[451]

If from the silence of our own writers we turn to our chief authority on the French side, we shall find a vivid general picture of the war, but hardly any account of particular events. We get indeed one of the most striking of personal contrasts. Though the war which was now waged by Rufus was in every sense a war waged against France, yet it could hardly be called a war personally waged against the nominal ruler of France. It was a war for the Vexin, waged against the lord of the Vexin, and, in its first stages at least, mainly confined to 178 the Vexin. William and Lewis. The struggle between William and Lewis, as it is set forth by the biographer of the French prince, was an unequal one. William had his old weapons at command—​the wealth of England, the traitors whom that wealth could bribe, the mercenaries whom that wealth could hire.[452] He had his own experience in war; he had his veteran troops and their veteran commanders. Chief men on William’s side. Next under the King, comparatively young in years, but first of all in daring as in wickedness, was Robert of Bellême. Then came the King’s brother Henry, and the well-known names of Count William of Evreux, Earl Hugh of Chester, and the old Earl Walter of Buckingham.[453] These were formidable foes for an untried youth like Lewis; the aged warrior who was old on the day of Senlac must have been a strange contrast indeed to the gallant lad on whom the fortune of France now rested. Difficulties of Lewis. Lewis had, we are told, neither men nor money nor allies; he had to pick up all where and how he could. Whenever, often by running to and fro as far as the borders of Berry or Auvergne or Burgundy, he had got together three hundred, or perhaps five hundred, knights, he met King William of England marching against him with ten thousand.[454] Here was little room for pitched 179 battles; Lewis could not risk a meeting with such an enemy in the open field. He had often to retire, sometimes openly to fly.[455] And the different state of the hoards of the two princes showed itself in an effect on their military operations which is characteristic of the time. Fate of the captives on each side. When warriors on the English side—​we must use the language of our French informant—​fell into French hands, the price of their ransom was speedily paid. When French warriors were made prisoners by the forces of Rufus, there was no money to ransom them. They had to languish in bonds with only one hope of deliverance. Those only were set free who were willing to become the men of the King of England and to bind themselves by oath to fight against their own natural lord.[456]

Some then at least of the native subjects of the French crown, who had no conflicting engagements to plead, did not scruple, in the extremities in which they found themselves, to take service on behalf of the invader against their own lord. It is therefore the less wonderful if another class of men, whose interests and whose duties were more doubtful, deemed, when they had to choose between two lords, that Rufus was the lord to be chosen. French traitors. Others again were found of baser mould, who simply took the money of the Red King, and for its sake turned against their own people on behalf of strangers. Among 180 these one is specially marked, one who by his geographical position was called on to be among the foremost champions of France against Norman invasion. This was one of the lords who commanded the fortresses on the Seine, a man whose possessions lay close to the Norman border, Guy of the Rock. Guy of the Rock, the Rock which has taken its name from him and which still is known as La Roche Guyon.[457] The position of his chief stronghold made his adhesion of no small importance. Norman possessions beyond the Epte. The stream of Epte, flowing during a great part of its course through a deep valley, seems designed by nature to part Normandy and France; but, as we have seen, the frontier was ever disputed, and here and there the Norman held small portions of territory on the left bank of the river. One of these Norman holdings on the French side lies by the small village of Gasny, where the boundary, surviving in that of the modern department, is still marked at some distance up the opposite hill. A slight further ascent brings the traveller in sight of one of the noblest bends of the Seine, where the great river, with all its islands, runs immediately below a long line of chalk hills, with their white spurs jutting out in endless fantastic shapes. The windings of the Seine have in fact left at this point little more than a narrow isthmus between itself and its lowlier tributary. Roche Guyon. Just within the French territory at this point, and commanding this important sweep of the great French river, lay the domains of the lord of the Rock. The ridge on which 181 the traveller stands ends in a bluff to the south-east. There, where the hills open for another tributary of the Seine, close by the island of Lavancourt, stood Guy’s now vanished fortress of Vetheuil. But, as we now gaze, by far the most prominent object in the whole curved line of the hill, placed like the imperial seat in the centre of an ancient amphitheatre, rising over the church, the more modern castle, the town, and the airy bridge which modern art has thrown across the river, soar the relics of the fortress which still bears Guy’s name. A spur of the hill is crowned by a small keep, with a round tower attached to a square mass within its compass. But in the days of the Red King, the Guy’s Cliff of the Vexin, now the site of a castle so preeminently visible, was specially known as the site of the stronghold that was invisible. The castle bored in the rock. The lords of the rock had, like the Kenite of old, literally made their nest in the rock itself. The chalk is to this day habitually bored to make houses, churches,[458] any kind of excavation that may be needed. In days before our time this custom had been applied to a more dangerous use; the plundering chiefs of the rock had scooped themselves out a castle in its side. More than one of the chambers remain—​comfortless to our eyes, but perhaps not more comfortless than the chambers within many a tower of timber or masonry—​whence these troglodyte barons looked out to mark the craft upon the Seine, and to exact, by a custom which lingered on till late times, a toll from every passer by. Guy submits to Rufus. Guy of the Rock now submitted to the island king, and his submission supplied a new fetter to pen up the king of the mainland within his havenless realm. At the very entrance of the French territory on this side, Guy’s Rock, Vetheuil, and all that is implied in the 182 possession of Vetheuil and of the Rock, passed from the obedience of the lord of Paris to the obedience of the lord of Winchester and Rouen.

While Guy thus sold to the invader the very entrance-gate of the French kingdom, the Red King found another ally in a far more famous man who held a position of at least equal importance higher up the Seine. Policy of Robert of Meulan. At the head of the nobles who held lands of both kings stood the acknowledged master of all subtle policy, Count Robert of Meulan. We have been so long familiar with his name, whether as the youthful warrior of Senlac or as the experienced counsellor of the Red King, that we may have almost forgotten that the title by which we call him is French, and that he was as great a lord in France as he was in England or in Normandy. We find it hard to think of him as one of those who had thus to choose between two lords, and that he might conceiveably have chosen the cause of Philip—​or rather of Lewis—​against William. We cannot fancy that he took long to decide. He may have argued that William, lord both of Normandy and of England, had two parts in him, while Philip of France had only one. He receives William’s troops. He received the troops of the Red King into his castles, and his adhesion was held to have been of special help to his undertaking. He opened, we are told, a clear path for the English into France.[459] The words sound as if they belonged to the fourteenth, fifteenth, or sixteenth century rather than to the last years of the eleventh. And they are clothed with a strange significance when we remember that the man who now opened a way into France for the combined host of Normandy and England 183 was the same man who, two-and-thirty years before, had opened a way into the very heart of England for the combined host of Normandy and France.[460] But in a geographical point of view the expression is fully justified. Importance of the position of Meulan. In a war between the lord of Rouen and the lord of Paris, no man’s friendship could be more valuable to either side than the friendship of the Count of Meulan. A man weaker in fight and less wary in council than the Achitophel of his day might, if he kept the Seine barred as the lord of Meulan could bar it, have gone far to hold the balance between the contending kings. As at Mantes, as at Rouen, as at Paris itself, the islands so characteristic of the Seine are at Meulan also brought into play for purposes of habitation and defence. Description of Meulan. Meulan indeed is, what neither Paris nor Rouen is, at once a hill-fortress and a river-fortress. At a point of the river lying between Mantes, the seat of the Conqueror’s death-wound, and Poissy, the spot where he went to crave help of his lord before the day of Val-ès-dunes, a hill which the surrounding valleys gird as with a natural fosse rises from the right bank of the river. A group of islands is formed at this spot by the branches of the winding stream, fit places for the landing of the forefathers of the Normans in their pirate days. The spot was seized on for defence. A castle arose on the side of the hill, with a town at its foot sloping swiftly down to the river. There a bridge of some antiquity joins the right bank to a central island, which is joined again to the left bank by another bridge. The island, once strongly fortified, still keeps the significant name of the Fort. The bridge which joins the island to the left bank of the river, where lies the suburb known as Les Mureaux, was, at least in later times, defended by a tower bearing the name of La Sangle. A considerable extent of the outer walls of the 184 castle may be traced, and a specially diligent inquirer may thread his way to a small fragment of the castle itself, and may there mark work of a somewhat later date than the time with which we have to do. It is more easy to trace out a large part of the defences of the Fort, and to mark the churches, surviving and desecrated, one of which, high on the hill side, also belongs, like so many others, to the age next following. As in so many other places, so at Meulan, we cannot lay our hand on anything which we can positively affirm to be the work of its most famous lord. But we can well see that the strength of the spot, a spot which in later times played no small part in the wars of the League, was well understood in the days of our story, and that so important a position was strengthened by all the art of the time. When Count Robert received the forces of Normandy and England on the height and in the island of Meulan, he did indeed open a way for those forces into the heart of France. It was a way which might have been expected to lead them straight to the city which then, as ever, might be deemed to be more than the heart of France, to be France itself.

William’s prospects. Count Robert was doubtless guided, then and always, by policy. Many of his neighbours who found themselves in the like case followed his lead. They could not serve two masters; so they made up their minds to serve the master who was strongest either to reward or to punish, him whose purse was the deeper and whose spirit was the fiercer.[461] Altogether the odds seemed frightfully against the French side. Rufus might indeed have small chances of carrying out his grand scheme of 185 uniting Paris—​perhaps Poitiers and Bourdeaux—​under the same lord as Winchester and Rouen; but things at least looked as if the conquest of the disputed lands was about to advance the Norman frontier most dangerously near to the French capital. Above all, when the Seine was barred both at Roche Guyon and at Meulan, we ask how things stood in the border town which lay between them, the town which was one of the special subjects of William’s demands on Philip. How fared it at Mantes when the stream both above and below was in the hands of the enemy? To this question we get no answer; but we see that, in any case, the King of the French was more closely shut up than ever in the central prison-house of his nominal realm.

Failure of William’s plans. But, small as seemed young Lewis’s means of defence, weakened as he further was by treason among his own or his father’s vassals, the resistance made by the French to the Norman or English invasion was valiant, stubborn, and, we may add, successful. William Rufus was much further from conquering France than Henry the Fifth, or even than Edward the Third, was in after times. With all his wealth, all his forces, he could not conquer the land; he could not even take the fortresses to which he specially laid claim. He could not conquer the Vexin; he could not take either Pontoise or Chaumont. Pontoise and Chaumont not taken. While we hear nothing of Mantes, we know that both these two last-named fortresses successfully withstood his attacks. Of the three fortresses which were the special objects of the war, one, that of Chaumont, became in some sort its centre. Castle of Chaumont. The Chaumont with which we have to deal is still distinguished from other places of the same name as Chaumont-en-Vexin. It stands about five miles east of the Epte, at the point where the frontier stream of Rolf is joined by the smaller stream of the Troesne, and makes a marked turn in its course from nearly due south 186 to south-west. The region is a hilly one, though it contains no heights of any remarkable elevation. The Bald Mount itself, which—​unluckily for the inquirer—​is bald no longer, is a wide-spreading hill crowned with a mound which stands out prominently to the eye on every side. The line of the wall which it supported may still be easily traced, and in a few places it is actually standing. On the steep north-eastern side of the hill the small town of Chaumont nestles at its foot, while the stately church of the later days of French architecture soars above the town as the castle again soars above the church. Of the part played in the war by this stronghold we shall hear a little later.

The height of Chaumont commands a vast prospect on all sides; the eye stretches far away over the friendly land to the south, towards the hills bordering on the Seine; but the special rival of Chaumont, the fortress at the junction of the Epte and Troesne, is shut out from sight by a near range of hills which follow the line of the smaller stream. Where the two rivers join, the Epte, like the greater Seine, divides to form a group of islands at the foot of a low hill on the right, the Norman, bank. The castle of Gisors. Here stands the town and fortress of Gisors, the chief bulwark of Normandy towards the north-eastern corner of the Vexin. Once a dependency of the neighbouring Neauflé, whose mound and square tower form a prominent object in the landscape, Gisors had now become a stronghold indeed. Its first defences. 1096. It had been first fenced in about two years before by Pagan of Gisors, a man of whom we shall hear in the course of the war.[462] Somewhat later William gave orders that 187 the border post should be made into a fortress of the greatest possible strength, and he committed the work to the most skilful engineer at his command. Strengthened by Robert of Bellême. All the craft and subtlety of the Devil of Bellême were employed to make Gisors a stronghold which might shelter the eastern frontier of Normandy against all enemies. As far as one can see, the islands in the Epte and the hill which rises above them near to the right bank of the main river were united in one common plan of defence. The town itself, taking in the islands, was walled, either now or at a later time, and defended with a ditch throughout those parts of its circuit which were neither sheltered by the river nor by the castle hill. In the great defences of this last we see the fruit of the engineering skill of Robert of Bellême, and we better learn what in those days was deemed a specially strong fortress. On all sides save that where town and castle join, the hill is girded by a deep ditch, and on the north, the side which lies away from both town and river, the ditch is doubled, and the chief entrance on this side is defended by an outpost between the two. The ditch fences in a vast walled space, in the middle of which art has improved nature by piling up a vast artificial mound crowned by a shell keep. The earthworks are most likely older than either Robert of Bellême or Pagan of Gisors. The outer wall and the shell keep may well be part of Robert’s design, if they are not actually his work; but the towers which now rise so proudly over Gisors, not only the round tower, precious in local legend, but the vast octagon on one side of the keep which bears the name of the martyr of Canterbury, must all be of later date than our time. A graceful chapel within the keep, where the visitor is told with special emphasis that 188 Saint Thomas once said mass, has thus much to show in favour of the legend that it is clearly a work of Henry the Second’s days. Gisors under Henry the Second. His days were stirring days at Gisors as well as the days of Rufus, and a hundred years of sieges had brought new improvements into the art of fortification. All in short that strikes the eye as the traveller draws near to Gisors, Present appearance of Gisors. the castle towers, no less than the strange and striking outline of one of the stateliest of those churches which boasted no bishop or abbot at their head, belongs to later days than those of the Red King’s campaign of Chaumont. Of the defences of the town below little can now be traced, and that part of the defences of the castle on which the historian looks with the deepest interest is carefully hidden from distant view. The tower of Saint Thomas and its lower fellow both seem to rise from the midst of a wood—​a wood artificially planted, seemingly for the express purpose of robbing Gisors of its characteristic feature, of shutting out from sight the mighty motte and keep which Robert of Bellême made ready at the Red King’s bidding to be the strongest bulwark of the Norman land.

Castle of Trye. Near as Gisors stands to Chaumont, another fortress barred the way between them. The road between the two towns passes through Trye—​distinguished from its neighbour Trye-la-Ville as Trye-Château—which appears in our story along with Chaumont as one of the French fortresses which Gisors was specially meant to keep in check. Yet Trye must have been itself specially meant as an outpost against Gisors. Close by Gisors is one of the points where the Norman frontier overlaps the Epte; so that Trye, lying between two and three miles from Gisors, is yet nearer than Gisors to the actual frontier. Trye does not lie, like Chaumont, hidden behind the hills; it stands boldly in the teeth of the enemy, 189 clearly seen from the hill of Gisors, and barring the main road between Gisors and Chaumont, a road which led over level ground and neither over hill nor swamp. Otherwise the site has not, like Gisors and Chaumont, any marked advantages of ground, nor, at present at least, are any earthworks visible. In our time, though a gate and a tower of later date than our story recall the days of the military importance of Trye, the attractions of the spot are chiefly of other kinds. Primæval and later antiquities. Between Trye and Chaumont a cromlech, known as the Three Stones, calls up the thought of days and men which were as mysterious in the time of Rufus as they are now. More than one fragment of mediæval architecture may be lighted on by the way, and Trye itself stands conspicuous for the singular and beautiful Romanesque work—​again too late for our immediate time—​to be found both in its ecclesiastical and its secular buildings.

Chaumont and Trye may practically be looked on as one piece of defence. Castle of Boury. A third fortress, that of Boury,[463] lay further apart to the south-west, hidden from Gisors, like Chaumont, by another line of hills. All three castles seem to have remained unsubdued through the whole war. The valour of the French resistance is dwelled on with pleasure by our Norman or English guide. Did the monk of Saint Evroul, the young scholar of the Severn side, remember that, after all, his father belonged neither to the land of his birth nor to the land of his adoption, but was in truth a Frenchman from Orleans?[464] National feeling in the French Vexin. The French Vexin was inhabited by a valiant race, in whom, if we are not pressing too far the words of our story, a distinct feeling of French nationality 190 was strong. They were ready to run all risks—​it is not said for their King, but for the defence of their country, for the glory of their nation, for the honour of the French name.[465] Valiant men, mercenaries it would seem—​but who was to pay them?--from all parts of Gaul, or at least of France, pressed to their help, and a brave and successful defence was made. Prisoners on both sides. Prisoners on both sides underwent the two different fates which were already spoken of. The name on the Norman side which is best known to us is that of the fierce Gilbert of Laigle; Gilbert of Laigle. with him we hear of the former lord and fortifier of Gisors.[466] Among the captives on the French side the national historian records one who bore a far loftier name, but one which at that moment was hardly a name of honour. Simon of Montfort. Two of the long line of Simons of the French Montfort are heard of in the course of our story, father and son, father and brother of her who in our authorities appears commonly as the woman from Anjou, but who on the Strong Mount of her fathers may have been deemed a Queen of the French. One Simon is now spoken of as a prisoner; both are found somewhat later fighting stoutly in the cause of France. We have heard that the Red King let none free who would not undertake to fight on his side. Are we to infer that a forefather of our own deliverer had learned the lesson of Harold, that an extorted oath is of no strength?

191 § 2. The First War of Maine.

Dates of the French war. November, 1097–September, 1098. These events on the French side, of which thus far we have but a vague account, would seem to have happened during the first half of the year with which we are dealing. But all that we can say for certain is that they happened between the November of one year and the September of the next. Of the struggle which was going on at the same time in Maine, the dates are far more clear. War of Maine. January—​August, 1098. It began in January and it was deemed to be over in August. But its immediate occasion arose the year before, and its general causes go much further back. Fully to understand the war of William and Helias, more truly the war of Helias and Robert of Bellême, we must trace out the events of several years. History of Maine. 1089–1098. While we have been following the fates of England, Normandy, Scotland, and Wales, much of high interest has been going on in Maine which had no connexion with the affairs of any part of Britain, and which had but little influence on Norman affairs either. But now that England and Normandy have again a common ruler, the affairs of England, or at least the affairs of her King, have again a close connexion with the affairs of Maine. We have now therefore to take up the tale of that noble city and county from the days when we had to tell of Duke Robert’s campaign before Ballon and Saint Cenery.[467]

Robert suspects the loyalty of Maine. 1089. The submission of Maine to the Norman Duke which then took place lasted only till the next favourable opportunity for asserting the old independence of the city and county. No great time after he had taken 192 possession, Robert began to suspect the loyalty of his Cenomannian subjects. A strange story follows, which connects itself in a way yet stranger with the tale of the royal household of France which we have lately been telling. Robert, it seems, was sick at the moment when he, or some one else for him, thought it needful to take action against impending revolt in Maine. He asks help of Fulk of Anjou. He sent messengers and gifts to Count Fulk of Anjou, the famous Rechin, praying him to come to him.[468] Fulk, it will be remembered, claimed the over-lordship of Maine, and Robert himself had, long before, at the peace of Blanchelande, done a formal homage to Fulk for the county.[469] The Angevin Count was supposed to have influence with the people of Maine, influence which might be enough to hinder them from revolting. That influence Robert now prayed Fulk to use. The Angevin agreed on one condition, namely that the Norman would use his own influence in quite another quarter, for quite another purpose. Fulk asks for Bertrada of Montfort. Fulk wanted a wife. As the story is told us, he is said to have had two living wives already; but that seems not to have been the case.[470] His first wife, the daughter of a lord of Beaugency, died, leaving a daughter. He then married Ermengarde of Bourbon—​a description not to become royal for some ages—​the mother of his son Geoffrey Martel. Her he put away on the usual plea of kindred, and now it was that he appeared as the wooer of that Bertrada of whom we 193 have already spoken of in her later character. The daughter of Simon of Montfort was the niece of Count William of Evreux, through her mother Agnes, Count William’s sister. Bertrada brought up by Heloise. Her mother would seem to have been dead, and she was brought up in her uncle’s house, under the schooling of Countess Heloise.[471] The Count of Anjou, no longer young, driven to strange devices as to his shoes,[472] and burthened with a former wife whose divorce might be called in question, felt that he was hardly likely to win favour as a lover in the eyes either of Bertrada herself or of her guardians. But the Rechin was skilful at a bargain. He would engage to keep Maine in the Duke’s obedience, if the Duke would get him the damsel of Montfort to wife.[473] Robert set off for Evreux in person, and pleaded Fulk’s cause with Count William. The Count of Evreux was duly shocked, and set forth the obvious objections to the marriage. William of Evreux’s bargain about his niece. But he too was open to a bargain; he would get over his scruples if the Duke would restore to him certain lordships to which he asserted a right, and would grant certain others to his nephew William of Breteuil. These lands had been the possession of his uncle Ralph of Wacey, guardian of the Great William in his early days, who it seems was sportively known as Ralph with the Ass’s Head.[474] Let 194 the Duke give him and his nephew back their own, and Bertrada should be, as far as the Count of Evreux was concerned, Countess of Anjou.

Robert consents. The Duke did not venture to answer without the advice of his counsellors. His counsellors. But the combined wisdom of Robert of Bellême, lately a rebel but now again in favour,[475] of the Ætheling Eadgar, and of that monastic William of Arques of whom we have already heard,[476] advised the acceptance of Count William’s terms. The whole county of Maine was of more value than the lordships which the Count of Evreux demanded as the price of his niece.[477] The power and the will of Fulk to do what he promised about Le Mans and Maine seems not to have been doubted. The double bargain was struck, and it was carried out for a season. Count William and his nephew got all that they asked, except that one lordship passed to Gerard of Gournay. Fulk marries Bertrada. Fulk too got what he asked, namely Bertrada, till such time as King Philip took her away. She had time to quarrel with her stepson Geoffrey, and to become the mother of Fulk, afterwards Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem, and grandfather of the first Angevin King of England. Maine kept quiet for a year. And Count Fulk was able, by whatever means, to keep the Cenomannian city and county in a formal allegiance to the Norman Duke, till such time as the temptations to revolt became too strong to be withstood.

Movements in Maine. Our story however seems to imply that the submission of Maine to Robert was wholly on the surface, and that all this while schemes were going on for shaking off the hated Norman yoke. The present movement took the 195 same form which had been taken by the movement in the Conqueror’s day.[478] The avowed object of Cenomannian patriotism was now, as then, the restoration of the ancient dynasty. The valour and energy of the citizens of Le Mans are constantly spoken of; but we hear nothing this time of the commune. The rule of some prince seems to be assumed on all hands, and for a while all seem to have agreed in seeking that prince in the same quarter in which they had sought a prince already. Hugh son of Azo sent for. 1090. Little indeed of good for Le Mans or Maine had come of the former application to Azo and Gersendis; but their son Hugh had now reached greater years and experience, and the men of Maine again sent into Italy to ask for him to reign over them.[479] Union of Geoffrey and Helias. The application was supported both by Geoffrey of Mayenne, of whom we have so often heard during the last thirty years, and by Helias of La Flèche, who might well have asserted his own claims against those of the distant house of Este.[480]

Helias of La Flèche. Helias now becomes the hero of the Cenomannian tale. He is one of the men of his time of whom we can get the clearest idea. We see him alike in his recorded acts and in his elaborately drawn portrait; and by the light of the two we can hail in him the very noblest type of the age and class to which he belonged. We see in him a no less worthy defender of the freedom of Maine than Harold was of the freedom of England. His character He stands 196 before us with his tall stature, his strong, thin, and well-proportioned frame, his swarthy complexion, his thick hair cropped close after Norman or priestly fashion.[481] Brave and skilful in war, wise and just in his rule in peace, ready and pleasant in speech, gentle to the good and stern to the evil, faithful to his word, and corrupted neither by good nor evil fortune, a man withal of prayer and fasting, the bountiful friend of the Church and the poor, Helias stands forth within the narrow range of a single county of Gaul as one who, on a wider field, might have won for himself a place among the foremost of mankind.[482] With the house of the old Counts of Maine he had a twofold connexion. and descent. The male line of Herbert Wake-dog had come to an end; but in the female line Helias came of it in two descents, while Hugh came in one only. Not only was his mother Paula one of the sisters of the younger Herbert, but his father John of La Flèche was son of a daughter of Wake-dog himself.[483] His castles. To his father’s Angevin fief of La Flèche, among the islands of the Loir, his marriage with Matilda, a grand-niece of Archbishop Gervase of Rheims, known to us better as Bishop of Le Mans,[484] had added a string of castles in the south of Maine. Two of these, Mayet and the one which is specially called the Castle of the Loir, fill a prominent 197 place in our story.[485] Helias was plainly the greatest lord of eastern Maine, the modern department of Sarthe, as Geoffrey of Mayenne was the greatest in western Maine, the modern department which still bears the name of his own fortress.[486] His possible claim on the county. One might have thought that the position of Helias as a great local chief might, when the elders of Maine were called on to choose a prince, have outweighed any slight genealogical precedence on the part of the stranger Hugh. But the great men of the county may not have been disposed to place one of themselves over their own heads. He accepts the succession of Hugh. Anyhow Helias, like his father before him,[487] waived his own claim to the succession. Along with the lord of Mayenne and the great mass of the people of the city and county, he welcomed the Ligurian prince—​such is the geography of our chief guide—​when he came to take possession of the dominion to which the voice of the Cenomannian people had called him a second time.[488]

Negotiations with Hugh. We are to suppose that the negotiations with the house of Este were going on during the year when Count Fulk contrived to keep Maine outwardly quiet. But when the quarrel between William and Robert broke out, when Normandy was divided and dismembered, the Angevin over-lord’s influence gave way. The time for action was clearly come. Revolt of Maine. 1090. Le Mans and all Maine now openly rose against the Norman dominion. Duke Robert’s garrisons were driven out;[489] the Cenomannian 198 land was again free. Invitation to Hugh. But the first act of restored freedom was to invite Hugh of Este, descendant of the ancient counts, to come at once to take possession, and to rule in the palace on the Roman wall which fences in the Cenomannian hill.

Opposition of Bishop Howel. The chief opponent of the movement for independence was, as before, the Bishop. The throne of Saint Julian was still filled by the Breton Howel, the nominee of the Conqueror, and he stood firm in his loyalty to his patron’s eldest son.[490] He withstood the revolt by every means in his power, and scattered interdicts and anathemas against the supporters of the newly-elected Count.[491] Hugh had not yet come, and the opposition of the Bishop was felt to be dangerous. Howel imprisoned by Helias. Helias therefore, whose piety did not lead him to any superstitious reverence for ecclesiastical privileges, dealt with Howel as an enemy, or at least as one whom it was well to keep out of the way for a season. As the Bishop was going through his diocese with a train of clergy, in the discharge of some episcopal duty, Helias seized him, carried him off, and put him in ward at La Flèche.[492] The great 199 grievance seems to have been that Howel was denied the company of his attendant clergy, and was allowed the services only of one unlettered rustic priest. The fear was lest the Bishop and his more learned companions would, in their Latin talk, plot something which their keepers would not understand.[493] This very complaint shows that the Bishop’s imprisonment was not of a very harsh kind. But the cause of the captive prelate was zealously taken up by his clergy. Interdict of Le Mans. Le Mans and its suburbs were put under a practical interdict; divine worship ceased; the bells were silent; the doors of the churches were stopped up with thorns.[494] Great, it is said, was the joy when the Bishop was set free and came back to his city. Liberation of Howel on Hugh’s coming. We are told by a writer in the episcopal interest that Helias set him free in a fit of penitence, in answer to many intercessions from nobles, clergy, and neighbouring bishops. Howel was gracious and forgiving, and let his wrongs be forgotten 200 on the restoration of whatever had been taken from him.[495] All this is possible; but the more definite statement that Howel was kept in ward till Hugh came shows that his captivity was a matter of policy, and that he was set free as soon as it seemed that no object could be gained by prolonging it.

Hugh reaches Le Mans. Meanwhile Hugh was on the road. At the border fortress of La Chartre he was met by the magistrates of Le Mans—​the city seems, as often in Cenomannian history, to act for the whole county—​who swore oaths to him, counting, it is added, their former oaths to Duke Robert for nought.[496] Howel flees to Robert. The Bishop, determined not to acknowledge the revolution, fled to the court of the prince whom he did acknowledge. But he found little help there. Robert’s carelessness as to his loss. The idle and luxurious Robert seemed not to care, he seemed almost to rejoice, that so noble a part of his dominions had fallen away from him.[497] One thing only he would not give up; he would at all hazards cleave to his rights over the Cenomannian bishopric.He cleaves to his rights over the bishopric. Robert bade Howel to go back to Le Mans, but to do nothing which could be taken as an admission of Hugh as temporal lord of the bishopric.[498] Howel went home, and found the new Count, for whatever reason, quartered in the episcopal palace. He had himself to live in the 201 abbey of Saint Vincent, just outside the city. Dispute between Hugh and Howel. A long dispute followed between the Breton Bishop and the Italian Count, and then came a still fiercer dispute between the Bishop and a party in his own Chapter. One or two points are of constitutional interest, and remind us of questions which we have just before heard of in our own land. Howel refuses to acknowledge Hugh as advocatus. The Count called on Howel to acknowledge himself as his feudal superior for the temporalities of the bishopric.[499] He refused and left the city, on which Hugh seized the temporalities of the bishopric. Howel and his Chapter. Worse even than the Count were the Bishop’s clerical enemies, one Hilgot at their head. By a cruel subtlety they had persuaded him to appoint as Dean a mere boy from his own land, Geoffrey by name, of the age of twelve years only—​so it is said. Disputes about the deanery. Now they turned about, found fault with the appointment, and set up an anti-dean of their own.[500] The Bishop crossed over to England for help, and, strange to say, he found a friend in the King.[501] Howel comes to England. But meanwhile all kinds of wrongs were done to 202 his people, even to branding an innocent boy in the face.[502] At last a reconciliation between the Count and the Bishop was brought about, partly because of the turn taken by public feeling. Saint Julian’s, in the absence of its chief pastor, was forsaken, while crowds flocked to keep the feasts of the Church at the Bishop’s monastic retreat. This was at the priory of Solêmes, near Sablé, lying south-west of the city, towards the Angevin border.[503] Return of Howel. June 28, 1090. At last the prelate came back amidst universal joy, and the Count made good all wrongs and losses that he had undergone.[504]

Unpopularity of Hugh. But happier days were to come for the Bishop and the people of Maine. It was not only to Howel and his clergy that the Italian Count had made himself hateful. He had none of the qualities which were needed in the ruler of a high-spirited people in a time of danger. Idle, timid, weak of purpose, he had no power among the men over whom he was set; and he had not, as seems to have been hoped for, brought with him any store of money from the south.[505] His wife, a daughter of Robert Wiscard, a woman of a lofty spirit, was too much for him. He put her away, and was excommunicated by Pope Urban for so doing.[506] Despised of all men, he was thinking of flight.[507] February, 1091. It was now moreover the moment when 203 the Norman power had again become specially dangerous to Maine. Danger of Maine. The sons of the great William, lately at variance, were now reconciled, and the subjugation of Maine was one of the terms of their agreement.[508] Helias saw his opportunity. He set forth the dangers of the land to his cousin. Hugh said that he wished to sell his county and be off.[509] Helias argued that, in that case, he ought to sell it to no one but himself. He set forth his right by birth; he said that it was no easy place that he was seeking. But his just rights and a love for the freedom of the land called him to it, and he trusted that God would help him in his post of danger.[510] A bargain was soon struck. Helias buys the county. For a sum of ten thousand Cenomannian shillings Hugh agreed to abdicate in favour of his cousin. The coronet of Maine passed from the son of Gersendis to the son of Paula. Hugh went back into Italy with his money, and Helias was received without opposition as Count of Maine.[511]

First reign of Helias. 1091–1098. The reign of Helias over Le Mans and Maine lasted for about twenty years, with a break of three years of warfare of which we shall presently have to speak. First came a time of seven or eight years, during which the Cenomannian people might indeed be objects of envy to the people either of Normandy or of England. The new 204 prince, by every account of his actions, showed himself the model of a ruler of those times. His strong and just rule. He did justice and made peace; as far as a prince of those days could do so, he sheltered the weak from the oppressions of the strong.[512] His personal piety was not lessened, nor was his devotion to the Church less zealous, now that the ecclesiastical power was no longer a political enemy. His friendship for Howel. Strong in the friendship of his late gaoler, Bishop Howel could rule his diocese in peace, and could carry on his works of building, both in the city itself and in his neighbouring lordship of Coulaines.[513] Peace of the land. And these happy years were years of peace without as well as within. The rule of Helias was undisputed; Maine saw neither revolt within her own borders nor invasion from any power beyond them. Whatever designs either Robert or William may have cherished against the independence of Maine, those designs did not for the present take the shape of any overt act. Robert seems to have done absolutely nothing; the first signs of impending evil showed themselves soon after William’s acquisition of Normandy; 1096. but there was no open warfare for two years longer.

Translation of Saint Julian. October 17, 1093. In these times of exceptional quiet there is little to record beyond ecclesiastical ceremonies. It was a bright day at Le Mans when Bishop Howel was able to translate the body of the venerated patron of the city to the place of honour in his new building.[514] That was the time when Anselm, already enthroned, was waiting for consecration, and when Malcolm had turned away from Gloucester to plan his last invasion of Northumberland.[515] 205 In these years too Howel must have finished the two stately towers of Saint Julian’s minster, of which we shall before long have a tale to tell. But Le Mans presently saw a greater day than all, as it seemed at least in the eyes of the biographer of her bishops. Visit of Pope Urban to Le Mans. November or December, 1095. After the days of Piacenza and Clermont, Pope Urban honoured the Cenomannian city with his presence. For three days the sovereign Pontiff was the guest of Howel, and we are told that, though it was a year of scarceness, yet the Bishop of Le Mans was able to entertain the Pope and his following right bountifully.[516] Howel, it is said, appeared among his fellow-bishops conspicuous for the gifts of both mind and body. Men rejoiced with him on the happiness of receiving such a guest, and deemed from his health and vigour that he might long enjoy his honours.[517] Sickness of Howel. 1095–1097. Before long he fell sick, and his sickness was unto death, although his end did not come till nearly two years after the preaching at Clermont. The visit of Urban, the death of Howel, led to important events in the history of Maine.

The preaching of the crusade, above all the presence, and doubtless the preaching, of the crusading Pope in his own city, stirred up the same impulse in the heart of Helias which was stirred up in the hearts of so many other men of his day. Helias takes the cross. 1095–1096. Young and strong, devout and valiant, he would go and fight to win back the sepulchre of his Lord from the misbelievers and to deliver his Christian brethren in other lands from their cruel bondage. By the counsel of the Pope, the Count of Maine 206 took the cross, and made ready to go on the armed pilgrimage along with his neighbours, with Robert of Normandy and Stephen of Chartres.[518] Estimate of his action. Our feeling perhaps is that Helias, like Saint Lewis, had a stronger call to stay at home than to go on the crusade. A certain part of mankind, a small part certainly, but that part among which his immediate duty lay, was peaceful and happy under his rule as they were not likely to be under the rule of any other. Could it be right, we might argue, for him to leave a work which none could do but himself, a work which he had taken on his shoulders of his own free will, for another work, however noble, which others could do as well as himself? Let Robert go and win honour abroad instead of dishonour at home. Normandy was in such a case that the coming even of Rufus was a happy change. Let Stephen of Chartres go; he left his royal-hearted Adela behind him. Let King Philip go, if he could go; his son Lewis would rule his realm far better than he. But let Helias stay, and keep for his land and city that well-being which he had given and which another might take away. Sigurd and Eystein. An argument nearly the same as this was actually pressed on the crusading Sigurd by his stay-at-home brother Eystein. While Sigurd was warring far away, Eystein had done a great deal of good to his own people in Norway.[519] But there are moments in the world’s history, moments when all has to be sacrificed to a great cause, when arguments like these, so sound against ordinary warfare, sound above all against the utterly purposeless warfare of those days, cannot be listened to. Argument in favour of the Crusade. If Western Christendom was to arm for a crusade, 207 it was well that that crusade should be headed by the noblest men in Western Christendom. The work would not be done, if it were only left to lower souls. If Godfrey was to march, it was fit that Helias should march beside him. Godfrey went; Helias did not go. He had now a neighbour who made it vain for him to think of leaving his own land in jeopardy, even to carry out his promise to Pope Urban and to go on the holy war.

William in Normandy. August (?), 1096. The bargain between William and Robert had just been struck. The two brothers were together at Rouen. Robert was about to set out for Jerusalem; William had come to take possession of Normandy. It would have been the height of rashness for Helias to join in the enterprise of Robert, unless he could make his county safe during his absence against any aggression on the part of William. Danger to Maine. According to Norman doctrines, Maine was simply a rebellious province. Robert had done nothing to stop the rebellion, but he had never acknowledged either Hugh or Helias as lawful Prince of the Cenomannians. Where Robert had done nothing, William would be likely to act with vigour. The claims which Robert had simply not acknowledged William might be inclined to dispute with the sword. Importance of Norman neutrality. It was therefore of the utmost moment for the Count of Maine to secure the friendship, or at least the neutrality, of the new ruler of Normandy. Helias doubtless knew that, if William bound himself by his knightly promise, that promise would be faithfully kept, and he perhaps hoped that towards one who was bound on a holy errand, an errand during which he would be harmless and powerless as far as Maine and Normandy were concerned, the chivalrous king might be disposed to pledge such a promise. He therefore went to Rouen, and sought interviews with both brothers. Helias and Robert. He first took counsel with the Duke.[520] Helias and William. Robert, we know, could 208 give counsel to others,[521] and he had no temptation at this moment to give unfriendly counsel to Helias. By his advice, the Count of Maine went to the King; He professes himself William’s vassal. he addressed him reverently, and, if his words be rightly reported, acknowledged himself his vassal. So to do was no degradation, and the acknowledgement might turn the King’s heart towards him. He set forth his purpose of going to the crusade; he said that he wished to go as the King’s friend and in his peace.[522] Answer of Rufus; he demands the cession of Maine. Then Rufus burst forth in a characteristic strain. Helias may go whither he thinks good; but let him give up the city and county of Maine; whatever his father held it was William’s will to hold also.[523] Helias answers that he holds his county by lawful inheritance from his forefathers, and that he hopes by God’s help to hand it on to his children. But if the King has a mind to try the question in a peaceful pleading, he is ready to maintain his right before kings, counts, and bishops, and to abide by their judgement.[524] Rufus tells him that he will plead against him with swords and spears and countless arrows.[525] Challenge of Helias. Then Helias spoke his 209 solemn challenge. He had wished to fight against the heathen in the name of the Lord, but he had found the enemies of Christ nearer to his own doors. The county which he held was his by the gift of God;[526] he would not lightly give it up, nor leave his people to the wolves as sheep without a shepherd. Let the King and all his nobles hear. He bore the cross of a pilgrim; that cross he would not lay aside; he would bear it on his shield, on his helmet, on the saddle and bridle of his horse. Under the protection of that sign he would go forth to defend himself against all who might attack him, that all might know that those who were fighting against him were fighting against a warrior of the cross. He trusted in Him who ruled the world and who knew the secrets of his heart, that a day would come when he would be able to discharge his vow according to the letter.[527] Rufus lets Helias go with a defiance. The Red King bade him go whither he would and do what he would; he had no mind to fight against crusaders, but he would have the city which his father had once won.[528] Let Helias get together workmen to repair his broken walls.[529] He would presently visit the citizens of Le Mans, and would show himself before their gates with a hundred thousand pennoned lances.[530] He would send cars drawn by oxen, and laden with arrows and javelins. But before the oxen could reach Le 210 Mans, he would be there with many legions of armed men.[531]

Such was the threatening message which Helias was bidden to receive as the most certain truth and to go back and tell his accomplices—​that is, we may understand, his faithful subjects. Helias makes ready for defence. He went back to his capital, and began to put his dominions into a state fit to withstand an attack. But as yet no attack came; for a year or more neither king nor legions nor oxen were seen before the gates of Le Mans. William delays his attack. 1096–1097. William was busy with many matters, with the dispute with Anselm, with the Welsh war, with the affairs of Scotland. We are told, characteristically enough, that in the midst of all these affairs he forgot Maine altogether. Helias meanwhile remained in actual possession of the county, not attacked or disturbed by Rufus, but in no way acknowledged by him, with the King’s threats hanging over him, and knowing that an attack might come at any moment. At last this armed neutrality came to an end. An event happened which called the King’s mind back to Cenomannian affairs in a manner specially characteristic of Cenomannian history.

Affairs of the bishopric. Again, as so often in our story, the bishopric of Le Mans becomes the centre of the drama and the subject of dispute among the princes of the world. Death of Howel July 29, 1097. In the middle of the summer, shortly before the council of Winchester, Bishop Howel died, seemingly of the same sickness which had come upon him soon after the visit of Pope Urban. Helias, like Hugh, deemed himself, as the reigning Count, to be the temporal lord of 211 the bishopric, and he at once nominated to the vacant see. Helias nominates Geoffrey. His choice was the Dean of Saint Julian’s, that same Geoffrey who had been placed by Howel in the deanery in his childhood, and who, if the dates be right, must still have been wonderfully young for a bishop.[532] The canons choose Hildebert. But the canons of Saint Julian’s stood upon their right of free election, and chose a man of greater name, their Chancellor and Archdeacon, the famous Hildebert.[533] They placed him at once, seemingly against his own will, on the episcopal throne.[534] At first Helias was wroth, and was minded to set aside this direct slight to his authority. Helias accepts the election. But the rights of the Chapter were set before him, and, unlike our own Confessor under less provocation, he yielded, and accepted the election.[535] The Dean, deeming himself sure of the bishopric, had made ready a great feast; but his dainties were spread and eaten to no purpose.[536] Geoffrey Archbishop of Rouen. 1111. His time of promotion was only deferred. Fourteen years later, Geoffrey succeeded William the Good Soul in the archbishopric of Rouen. So 212 his now more successful competitor was not fated always to remain in the second rank of prelacy. Hildebert Bishop of Le Mans. 1097–1126. One of the great scholars of his day, renowned for his writings both in prose and verse, a diligent writer of letters and thereby one of the authorities for our history, a builder, a reformer, an enemy of heresy who could yet deal gently with the heretic,[537] a model in short, we are told, of every episcopal virtue, Hildebert ruled the church of Le Mans for more than twenty-nine years, Archbishop of Tours. 1126–1134. and then for the last nine years of his long life was removed to the metropolitan throne of Tours.[538]

All the elements of the Cenomannian state, prince, clergy, and people, had joined in the elevation of Hildebert. But there was one to whom any free election or nomination by any of the local powers was in its own nature distasteful. Claims of the Norman Dukes over the bishopric. It was perhaps because their claim was very doubtful that the princes of the Norman house clave with such special obstinacy to their rights over the temporalities of the see of Le Mans. The bishopric was the one thing in Maine which even the careless Robert cared about.[539] And to William Rufus, who so deeply cherished his father’s memory, it would seem a crowning indignity that a bishop appointed by his father, a special and loyal friend of his father, should be succeeded by any one, whether the choice of count, chapter, 213 or commune, in whose election he himself had no share. Anger of Rufus at the election of Hildebert. When the King heard of the election of Hildebert, he was very wroth. He forbade his consecration, seemingly under threats of open war.[540] Hildebert was consecrated none the less, and the war which Rufus had hitherto planned in his heart, broke out in action.[541]

William in Normandy. November, 1097. When William crossed the sea in the November following the election of Hildebert, we may believe that the wrong which he held to have been done to him in the matter of that election was in his mind as a secondary cause of action, along with his demand of the Vexin from the King of the French. His designs on Maine. He came for war with France; he was ready for war with Maine also. But we do not hear of any actual military operations till the next year had begun. And, when warfare began, it was at first warfare carried on, just as often happened in Wales and even in Scotland, by the King’s licence indeed, but not by the King himself. Robert of Bellême attacks Maine. The immediate danger lay on the side of the county which was threatened by the constant enemy of Maine and of Helias, Robert of Bellême. From him came the first acts of warfare. It was against him that Helias now found it needful to strengthen his castle of Dangeul.[542] Helias strengthens the castle of Dangeul. Its position. This point lies to the north-east of Ballon, at only a few miles’ distance. The castle stands on a height nearly equal to that of Ballon, though Dangeul does not take the same 214 marked form of a promontory, but rather stands on the edge of a wide expanse of high ground sinking by stages down to the plain below. The fortress has wholly vanished; but its site may be traced within the grounds of the modern château which has taken its place, and which represents, in a figure, the stronghold of Helias. The view which the spot commands shows how well the site was chosen. The eye ranges as far as the height of Sillé-le-Guillaume on one side, as far as the Norman Chaumont on the other. Dangeul stood right in the way of an advance of the arch-enemy, whether from his own home at Bellême or from any of his Norman or Cenomannian fortresses.

Geographical character of the war; waged chiefly with Robert of Bellême. The war of Maine is largely a war between Helias and Robert of Bellême. This gives the war its special geographical character. The immediate possessions of Helias lay in the south-eastern part of the county; the fortresses of the enemy threatened him from the north-east. The capital lay between them. The result is that the seat of war is confined to the eastern part of Maine, the modern department of Sarthe, and that Le Mans itself is its special centre. Of western Maine, the modern department of Mayenne, we hear nothing. There is no news from the old battle-field of Domfront, Ambrières, and Mayenne itself, though of the lord of Mayenne we still continue to hear. There is nothing this time to tell of Sainte-Susanne or of Sillé-le-Guillaume.[543] The war takes up such an area as is natural when the strife is waged mainly for the city of Le Mans, when it is waged between the lord of La Flèche and the lord of Bellême. The enemy advances from Alençon and Mamers; he is checked by the fortification of Dangeul.

Campaign of Maine

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the
A.D. 1098.

Effects of the occupation of Dangeul. The occupation of this last strong post by Helias was not without effect. He did not indeed win back any of 215 the castles which were held by Robert of Bellême; but the garrison of Dangeul kept the invader in check, and hindered him from carrying his accustomed ravages through the whole country. This move of Helias seems even to have convinced Robert that the conquest of Maine was an undertaking too great for his own unassisted power. Robert of Bellême invites the King. January, 1098. In January he went to the King, and stirred him up to a direct attack on Helias. With a lover of warfare like Robert winter went for nothing; it would be just the time to take the enemy by surprise, while they were not expecting any attack. The King, we are told, was unwilling. It is hard to understand why this should be, unless he was too busily occupied with the war in the Vexin. He was ashamed however—​the chivalrous feeling again comes in—​to shrink from any warlike enterprise which was proposed to him.[544] William and Robert against Helias. The King and the Count of Bellême set forth; but they found the Count of Maine fully their match. He knew how war was to be carried on in his own land against an enemy stronger than himself. Guerrilla warfare of Helias. He planted detachments at every convenient post; he lined the hedges and defences of every kind with men; he guarded the passages of the streams, and the difficult approaches of the woods. Against this kind of skirmishing warfare the mighty Rufus and all his knights were able to do as little as they were able to do against the light-armed Welsh.[545] The King waxed fiercer than ever against the 216 men of Maine and their Count; William leaves Maine. but he withdrew his own personal presence, betaking himself doubtless to the other seat of war.

Robert of Bellême continues the war. Meanwhile Robert of Bellême was left to carry on the struggle with Helias. He was ordered by Rufus to bring together as large a force as he could in his own fortresses, nor did the King forget to supply him with abundance of money for that purpose.[546] On such a bidding as this, Robert of Bellême, Robert the Devil on Cenomannian lips, set to work with a will which fully bore out his surname. He built new fortresses, he strengthened the old ones with deep ditches.[547] He had already occupied nine castles, besides fortified houses, on Cenomannian ground.[548] Castles held by him in Maine. The list is given as Blèves, Perray, Mont-de-la-Nue, Saônes, Saint Remy-du-plain, Lurçon, Allières, Motte de Gauthier-le-Clincamp, and Mamers. All these lie in the north-eastern part of the county, the part immediately threatened from Alençon and Bellême. They occupy nearly the whole of the land between the Cenomannian Orne and the upper course of the Sarthe above Alençon, lying on each side, north and south, of the great forest of Perseigne. The line of the Sarthe from Alençon to Le Mans remained untouched, while Ballon stood as the advanced guard of the capital, and Dangeul was a yet further outpost of Helias, in the very teeth of the invader from Bellême. Perray, alone 217 among the points held by Robert, stands as far south as the lower course of the Orne.

Several of the castles on this list occupied marked sites, and have left considerable traces. Mamers and Blèves were strictly border fortresses, points which Robert had seized just within the Cenomannian border; the others were more advanced points in the heart of the Cenomannian land. Mamers. Mamers, with its streets sloping down to the young Orne, is the only one of the places on our list which is now at all a considerable town. But the only signs of its fortifications which are to be seen are found in the names of its streets, which suggest the former presence of a fort by the river and of a castle on somewhat higher ground. Mamers, due west from Bellême, may well have been Robert’s first conquest, and its occupation may have marked his first advance into the dominions of his neighbour. But he must also, early in his career, have made himself master of Blèves. Blèves. This is a point which has no natural advantages of height, but which, standing in the very north-east corner of Maine, separated from Perche by a small tributary of the Sarthe, is important from its border position and as commanding a bridge. A mound which once stood there has been levelled; a graceful Renaissance house near its site is the present representative of the castle; but parts of the ditches may still be seen; the church, near but not within the enclosure, contains work which may have been looked on by Hildebert and Helias, and ancient masonry still remains at the manorial mill. Blèves lies north of the forest of Perseigne; Allières. at Allières, on its eastern verge, all actual traces of the castle have vanished; but the church again contains some small parts which seem contemporary with our story, and the site of the fortress may well be marked by the modern château on the hill-side commanding a wide view to 218 the south. But more speaking witnesses of this war may be seen at two points lying south of the forest and directly west of Mamers. Saint Remy-du-plain. Saint Remy, distinguished as Saint Remy du Plain from a namesake to the south-east known as Saint Remy du Mont, stands, not indeed in the plain, but on the edge of the high ground. It commands an extensive view, reaching to the point which bounds most of the views in northern Maine, the butte of Chaumont. Saônes. A site of the like kind, but with a less wide prospect, is held by Saônes at a short distance to the south, hard by that unusual feature in these lands, a small lake. Saônes is now a small village, but it was once of importance enough to give its name to the surrounding district of Saosnois or Sonnois. In both these cases the castle-mound rises immediately to the west of the church, the latter at Saint Remy being a late building of more pretension than is usual in the neighbourhood. Each mound has its surrounding ditch, which at Saint Remy is of most striking depth; each has its encircling wall; each has its inner tower, that at Saônes of an irregular four-sided shape, that of Saint Remy octagonal without and round within. Here are two unmistakeable and most striking sites of the fortresses which the invader from Perche rent away from the Cenomannian county. But, with such small remains of walls as are still left, it is hard to say in each case how much may be the work of Robert of Bellême himself. The mounds—​natural hills improved by art—​and their ditches are doubtless far older than his day; the walls must often be far later. Small architectural remains of the eleventh century. There is little architectural detail left to decide such points; we are left to the less certain evidence of masonry. Some of the masonry in the inner building at Saônes certainly has the air of work of the eleventh century. In any case, whatever may be the exact amount of his work among the 219 existing remains, everything bears witness to the impression which Robert’s invasion made on the district and to the reputation which he left behind him. Not far from Saônes, some remains of dykes, of the age or object of which it would be rash to speak with certainty, still keep the name of Robert the Devil.

Nature of the country and of the war. A visit to the scene of this war, a look-out from any of the chief fortified points, brings forcibly home to us the nature of that kind of struggle with which we are dealing. Nothing but an actual sight of Italy and Greece fully brings home to the mind the state of things when each city was a sovereign commonwealth, armed with all the powers of war and peace. Till we take in the fact with our own eyes, we do not thoroughly understand how men felt and acted when they constantly lived with rivals, rivals who might at any moment become enemies, within sight of their own territory. Teaching of the landscapes in Maine. The out-look from any of the Cenomannian heights, the out-look from the home and centre of mischief on the hill of Bellême, brings home to us another state of things with equal force. Had the commune of Le Mans lived on, had other neighbouring cities followed its example, the older Greek, the later Italian, model might have been seen in all its fulness on the soil of northern Gaul. And warfare between Le Mans and Tours, between Le Mans and Alençon, carried on with that mixture of lofty and petty motives which is characteristic of warfare between rival cities, would have been ennobling compared with the state of things which actually was. The castles. For here we see every available point seized on to make what, at least in the hands of Robert of Bellême, was a mere den of robbers.[549] From his own scarped mound at 220 Bellême the destroyer could see far enough into the Cenomannian land to give a keen whet to his appetite for havoc. Within the land which thus lay open to his attack, we see from every height the sites, not of one or two only, but of a whole crowd of strongholds which have passed away. A very few only of these strongholds could ever have been needed for the protection of any town or for the general defence of the country. Their object private war. They were strongholds which had been first raised for the purpose of private war, and which, in the hands of their present master, were turned to the purpose of general oppression. One wonders how, in such a state of things, when almost every village was overshadowed by its robber’s nest, a single husbandman could till his field, or a single merchant carry his wares from town to town. Contrast with England. And we must remember that, unless during the nineteen years of anarchy, this state of things never existed in England. Our forefathers raised their wail over the building of the castles and over the evil deeds which were wrought by those who built them. Comparative rarity of castles in England. But at no time in England, save on the borders which were exposed to the foreign enemies of the kingdom, did castles stand so thick on the ground as they did in the land on which we now look. The eye which has been used to track out the scenes of the Cenomannian war comes back to an English landscape of the same kind, to mark the steep bluff or the isolated mount, which seems designed to be girt with a ditch and crowned with a donjon, and almost to wonder that no ditch or donjon ever was there. And, as we gaze on the land where they crowned every tempting site, we better understand 221 the joy and thankfulness with which men hailed the reign of any prince who put some curb on the pride and power of the knightly disturbers of the peace and gave to smaller men some chance of possessing their own in safety. We can understand how in such a prince this overwhelming merit was held to outweigh not a few vices and crimes in his own person. We can understand how, at the beginning of every period of restored order, a general sweeping away of castles was as it were the symbolic act of its inauguration. State of the Cenomannian castles. And perhaps the thought comes all the more home to the mind, because the Cenomannian castles are, to so great an extent, a memory and not a presence. They are not like those castles by the Rhine which have come to take their place as parts of a picturesque landscape. As a rule, it is not the castles themselves, but the sites where we know that they once stood, which catch the eye as it ranges from Mamers to Sillé, from Ballon to Alençon. But when we see how many spots within that region had been made the sites of these dens of havoc—​when we think how many of them had, in the hands of Robert of Bellême, become dens of havoc more fearful than ever—​we shall better understand how men cherished the names of William the Great and of his youngest son; we shall better understand the work which had now to be done in the Cenomannian land by one nobler than either the son or the father.

Wrong and sacrilege of Robert of Bellême. In the minds of Helias and his contemporaries the occupation of so large a part of their country was yet more keenly embittered by the despite done to holy places and the wrong wrought on men who enjoyed exceptional respect even in the fiercest times. Some of the strongholds of Robert the Devil were planted on lands belonging to the Church, especially to the abbeys of 222 Saint Vincent and La Couture without the walls of Le Mans. The peaceful tenants of these religious houses, accustomed to a milder rule than their neighbours, groaned under the oppressions of their new masters.[550] Stirred up by this wrong and sacrilege, the Count of Maine marched forth to protect his people. Now that the King was gone, he even ventured on something like a pitched battle. Helias defeats Robert at Saônes. He met Robert of Bellême at the head of a superior force near the lake and castle of Saônes, not far, it may be, from the dyke which specially bears the tyrant’s name. The pious Count and his followers, calling on God and Saint Julian, attacked the sacrilegious invaders and put them to flight.[551] Several of the nobles of Normandy were wounded or taken prisoners. Robert of Courcy, a name not new to us,[552] lost his right eye. William of Wacey and several others were taken, and were released on the payment of heavy ransoms.[553] Helias, in short, carried on a defensive warfare in the spirit of a Christian knight. Not so his enemy. Cruelty of Robert. Robert of Bellême carried on a war of aggression in the spirit of a murdering savage. All the worst horrors of war were let loose upon the land. Robert’s treatment of prisoners was not that which the captive Normans met with at the hands of Helias. In the holy season of Lent, when other sinners, we are told, forsook their sins for a while, the son of Mabel only did worse than ever. Three hundred prisoners perished in his dungeons. Large 223 ransoms were offered for their release; but Robert would not forego for money the pleasure of letting them die of cold, hunger, and wretchedness.[554]

April, 1098. The war thus went on till the end of April. On the Wednesday in the last week of that month Helias made an expedition against Robert. Second victory of Helias. April 28, 1098. The exact point of attack is not told us; but doubtless it was some of the fortresses held by the enemy. It was perhaps Perray, the hostile point furthest to the south, perhaps Saônes, the scene of his own former victory over the invaders. The starting-points of the Count’s operations were the two points which he held as outposts of the city against attacks from the north, Ballon and his own immediate dwelling-place at Dangeul. From these castles Helias led forth his forces. The day’s skirmish was successful; the pride of Robert the Devil received another check.[555] But fortune soon turned from the better to the worse cause. Helias taken prisoner near Dangeul. The Count bade the main body of his followers march on to Ballon, while he himself, with seven knights only, was minded to halt at his own castle of Dangeul. As he drew near to the fortress, he saw a few men lurking among the trees and bushes.[556] Trees and bushes are still there in abundance, surrounding the modern house which in a figure represents the castle of Helias. The 224 presence of liers-in-wait so near his own home was threatening. Helias rode against them and scattered them; in so doing he also scattered his own small party. But the few men in the thickets were only the advanced guard of a larger body. The arch-fiend Robert was himself near in ambush. At the lucky moment he sprang forth; his comrades seized the Count, along with his standard-bearer Hervey of the Cenomannian Montfort,[557] and the more part of his small following. The few who escaped made their way to Ballon, to turn the joy of their comrades into sorrow at the news that Count Helias was a prisoner.[558]

Contrast between Robert of Bellême and William Rufus. The noblest man in Gaul was now at the mercy of the vilest. Helias was helpless in the hands of Robert of Bellême. The tale which follows is picturesque in itself, and it is specially valuable as throwing light on the mixed character of the Red King. With all his evil deeds, he was at least not the worst man with whom we have to do. We now see what mere chivalry could do and what it could not do. It could not raise a man 225 to the level of Helias; but it kept him from sinking to the level of Robert of Bellême. Helias surrendered to the King. Helias was far too important a captive to be left to die a lingering death in the dungeons of Robert. He was taken to Rouen, and handed over to the King; and in the King’s hands he at least ran no risk as to life or limb. William Rufus might perhaps not understand a patriot fighting for his city and country. He could perhaps understand a prince fighting for the inheritance of his fathers. He could most fully understand and admire a gallant and honourable knight fighting manfully in any cause, even though his gallantry was directed against himself. William and Helias. In one or other of those characters, Helias extorted a kind of respect from the King who was so bitterly enraged against him. Helias kept at Rouen. The fortune of war had gone against the defender of Maine, but William was not disposed to press his advantage harshly. Helias was kept in the castle of Rouen, a prisoner, but a prisoner whose durance was, by the King’s express order, relieved by honourable treatment.[559]

State of things at Le Mans; the new municipality. One element of the Cenomannian state, and that the highest, was thus lost to it. But at Le Mans the prince 226 was only one element in the state; the ecclesiastical and the civic powers appear alongside of him at every stage. As soon as the Count was in the hands of the enemy, another power, perhaps not the old commune, yet some form of republican or municipal government, at once sprang up. Bishop Hildebert and the Council. Bishop Hildebert appears at the head of a council or assembly of some kind which devised measures daily for the safety of the commonwealth.[560] We must not build too much on the expressions of rhetorical writers who loved to bring in classical allusions; still, considering what Le Mans had been, a momentary burst of the old freedom is no more than we might reasonably look for. If so, the restored commonwealth had, at its first birth, to brave the full might of the younger William, as the former commonwealth had had to brave the full might of the elder. We can only tell the tale as we have it, and we have no means of connecting what was going on in Maine with what was going on at the same time in the Vexin. William’s council at Rouen. Yet one is a little surprised to find William, at this stage of the year, sitting quietly at Rouen, holding a council, and presently sending forth orders for the levying of a great army, as if two wars were not already waging. His speech. In his council of the Norman barons the Red King is made to express himself in a humane and devout strain. Hitherto he had been careless about winning back the heritage of his father; he had been unwilling, for the mere sake of enlarging his dominions, to trouble a peaceful population or to cause the death of human beings.[561] Now however God, who knew his right, had, without any knowledge of his, delivered his 227 enemy into his hands; what should he do further?[562] The writers of these times do indeed allow themselves strange liberties in putting speeches, and sometimes very inappropriate speeches, into the mouths of the actors in their story. But surely to put words like these into the mouth of William Rufus, as something uttered in seriousness, would be going beyond any conceivable licence of this kind. Considering his better authenticated speeches, one is tempted to believe that we have here the memory of some mocking gibe. He, King William, had not laid waste the fields of Maine nor caused men to die of hunger in prison. It was only Robert of Bellême who had done such things. It would be quite in character with Rufus, as with Jehu, to ask, Who slew all these?[563] Nor is such brutal mockery in any way inconsistent with the display of chivalrous generosity whenever any appeal is made personally to himself in his knightly character. A great levy ordered. Anyhow we are told that the barons advised that a summons should go forth bidding the whole force of Normandy to come together for an expedition to win back the land of Maine. They themselves would come, willingly and with all daring, in their own persons.[564]

All this reads strangely in a narrative which, a page or two before, had told us of the warfare around Gisors which, one would think, must have been going on at this very moment. But we read that the messengers went forth, and that the host came together. Not only from 228 Normandy, but from Britanny and Flanders, from Burgundy and France—​not a word as to the treason implied in this last name—​men flocked to the banners of the prince who was so bountiful a paymaster.[565] At some stage of their march, an aged French warrior, a survivor of the wars of King Henry—​one therefore who could remember the ambush of Varaville and the flames of Mortemer, perhaps even the clashing of lances at Val-es-dunes—​Gilo de Soleio by name, beheld the host from the top of a high hill. Numbers of the army. He had seen many and great gatherings of men, but never on this side the Alps—​had he fought then in Apulia or at Dyrrhachion?--had he seen so vast an army. He told the number of the men at fifty thousand.[566] Be the figures trustworthy or not as to this particular army, this is one of several hints which help to show us what passed in those days for an army of unusual numbers.[567]

The army meets at Alençon. June, 1098. The trysting-place of this great host was at Alençon, the border town and fortress of Normandy, where the Sarthe divides the Norman and Cenomannian lands.[568] Once famous as the town whose people had felt so stern a vengeance for their insults to the great William, it was now a stronghold of Normandy against Maine, at all events a stronghold of Robert of Bellême against those who still maintained the cause of the captive Helias. 229 There the army met in June.[569] Rufus, in invading Maine, was repeating an exploit of his father. He entered by the same road, and began by threatening the same fortress. The words of our authorities may lead us to think that he himself tarried at Alençon, while his army, or the bulk of it, marched to Fresnay.[570] The army at Fresnay. Fresnay-le-Vicomte, Fresnay-on-Sarthe, was the first castle in Maine to which the Conqueror had laid siege, and under its walls Robert of Bellême had been girt with the belt of knighthood.[571] At that time Fresnay, along with Beaumont lower down the river, had dared to withstand the invader. Both fortresses stand on heights overlooking the Sarthe; Fresnay, seated on a limestone rock rising sheer from the stream, might seem well able to defy any enemy. The castle and church of Fresnay. Of the ancient part of the castle nothing is left but shattered walls and a stern gateway of a later age. The church, a gem of the art of an age nearly a hundred years later, contains only a small part which can have been standing in the days of Rufus. Beaumont-le-Vicomte. Beaumont is not mentioned in our present story. But its square keep must have already looked down on the Sarthe and its islands, while a mound on each side of the town, one seemingly artificial, one by the river-side only improved by art, may perhaps mark the sites of besieging towers raised by the Conqueror to bring town and castle into subjection.[572] The then lord of Fresnay and Beaumont, 230 the Viscount Hubert, had at a later stage forsaken both his castles on the Sarthe, to defy, and that successfully, the whole might of William the Great from his more inaccessible donjon on the rock of Sainte-Susanne.[573] His successor, the Viscount Ralph, felt no call to run any such risks. The Viscount Ralph asks for a truce. When the army drew near to Fresnay, when no hostilities beyond a little skirmishing had as yet taken place, Ralph went to the King at Alençon and asked for a truce. He pleaded that he was but one member of a body; he could not take on himself the duties of the head of that body; he could not without dishonour be the first man in Maine to yield his castle without fighting. The council of Maine was sitting in the city; he, Ralph, was bound by their resolves; let the King go on to Le Mans and negotiate; as he should find peace or war at Le Mans, he should find peace or war at Fresnay.[574] Rufus grants it. Rufus, always ready to answer any appeal to his personal generosity, praised the proposal of Ralph, and granted him the truce which he asked for.[575] He did the like to others whose lands lay on his line of march. Action of Geoffrey of Mayenne. Among these we hear of Rotrou of the Cenomannian Montfort, and of one whose name has for so many years been sure to meet us the first moment he set 231 foot on Cenomannian soil, the now surely aged Geoffrey of Mayenne.[576]

Estimate of their conduct. The conduct of these lords seems to show lukewarmness, to say the least, in the cause of Cenomannian independence. We are again reminded of the days of the commune, of the unwillingness of the nobles to accept the republican government, of the special treason of Geoffrey himself.[577] We can understand that many of the lords of castles throughout Maine, though they might prefer their own count to the king who came against them, might yet prefer the king to any form of commonwealth. The local historian does not scruple to use strong language on the subject. For we can hardly doubt that Geoffrey, Ralph, Rotrou, and others in the like case, are the persons who are referred to as the faithless men by whose consent Rufus was led to hasten to the city.[578] But the King had another motive to call him thither. Fulk Rechin at Le Mans. By this time there was no longer a commonwealth to be dealt with; Le Mans had again a prince, though no longer her native prince. May 5, 1098. In the very week after Helias was taken prisoner, Fulk of Anjou came to Le Mans, and brought with him his son Geoffrey. He himself came in his character of superior lord,[579] 232 while Geoffrey, to whom Eremburga, the only child of Helias, was betrothed, might pass in some sort for the heir of the county.[580] He is received. The citizens, we are told, received the Angevin count willingly; any master was better than the Norman. Fulk’s son Geoffrey left at Le Mans. Fulk put garrisons in the fortresses of La Mans, with his son in command. He then left the city, seemingly for operations in other parts of Maine.[581]

Le Mans

E. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.


March of Rufus. Against this new enemy William Rufus set out from Alençon. He had to overtake the host which was already at Fresnay. He crossed the Sarthe; he continued his course along its left bank, and stopped for the first time at Rouessée-les-fontaines.[582] This point is no great distance from Alençon, and it is still some way north of Fresnay. The present village of Rouessée contains no signs of any castle or mansion fitted for a king’s reception. Castle of Bourg-le-roi. One suspects that the exact spot meant must be the neighbouring castle of Bourg-le-roi, a castle said to take its name from Rufus himself. Here a ruined round tower, with walls of amazing thickness and girded by a deep ditch, looks down from a small hill on what seems to be the preparation for a large town which has never been built. A small village and church are sheltered within walls of vast compass, pierced by gates of later date than the days of Rufus and Helias. His next stage is distinctly spoken of as an encampment. The King had now joined his army. Rufus at Montbizot That night his camp was pitched at Montbizot, in the 233 peninsula between the Sarthe and the Cenomannian Orne.[583] and Coulaines. On the third day he encamped in the meadows, by the Sarthe, hard by the village of Coulaines.[584] He was still on the left bank of the river, the same bank as the city itself, though the bend which the stream makes immediately under the hill of Le Mans gives the city almost the look of standing on the other side. Wide meadows spread from the village of Coulaines to the foot of the hill; they were now covered by the tents of Rufus. View of Le Mans. Right before the eyes of the army, high on its hill, rose the city which they were come to attack, and it rose so as to bring at once before their leader’s eyes the objects which would specially stir up his wrath. As Le Mans is seen from the meadows of Coulaines, the city and its hill lie almost out of sight to the south-west. The prominent objects are those which stand in the north-east corner of the city and in the adjoining suburb. Highest of all, rising above the city itself, soared the abbey of Saint Vincent without the walls, the house whose tenants had been so cruelly oppressed by Robert of Bellême.[585] Saint Julian’s, on its lower ground, almost closes in the view on the other side. When Rufus drew nigh, the twin towers of Howel rose high in all the freshness of their newly-finished masonry, to remind the King that the chair of the prelate whom his father had appointed was now filled by a successor in whose choice no regard had been paid to his own pleasure. Between the two minsters rose the royal tower, the tower of his father, the fortress which had passed away from him and from his father’s house, held no longer even by a rebellious vassal, as he 234 might deem Helias, but by the invading stranger from Anjou. How deeply one at least of these feelings rankled in the mind of Rufus is shown by his dealings with the immediate neighbourhood of his encampment. The village of Coulaines was an episcopal lordship. Rufus ravages Coulaines. For the churl chivalry taught no mercy; in his wrath against Hildebert, the King burned the church and the whole village, and cruelly laid waste the neighbouring lands.[586]

But however fiercely Rufus might wreak his spite on the unlucky lands and tenants of the bishopric without the walls, the flock of Hildebert within the city was safe for a while. Le Mans was not to pass into the King’s hands just yet, and Ralph of Beaumont and Geoffrey of Mayenne might still keep their bat-like nature for some while longer. Sally from the city. For it is at this stage that the local historian places an exploit of the citizens of Le Mans which reminds us of the way in which our own Godwine was said to have won the special favour of Cnut for himself and his fellow-Englishmen.[587] The men of the city marched forth—​whether under Angevin leadership we are not told—​to attack the King’s camp at Coulaines. Rufus goes away. Rufus, deeming that some treachery was on foot, marched off in the night with his army. In the morning the citizens occupied the camp and found no one there.[588] It is hard to say what we are to make of 235 this story, which has a somewhat mythical sound. But it has at least thus much of truth in it, that Rufus was obliged to break up the siege of Le Mans for a while. Ballon betrayed to Rufus and occupied by Robert of Bellême. The castle of Ballon, of which we have already so often heard, was betrayed to Rufus by its lord Pagan of Mont-Doubleau, and it was held that this strong position, nearly due north of the city, almost put the city itself into the King’s power. Robert of Bellême was put in command at Ballon, with three hundred knights. At his bidding the land was ravaged in every way; the vines were rooted up and the crops were trampled down. But at last the invaders began to feel the effects of the damage they themselves had done. A failure of provisions, especially of oats for the horses, hindered the Red King from keeping on the siege.[589] The siege of Le Mans raised. He went away into Normandy, bidding his men go home and see to their harvests, and come again when the crops were reaped.[590] Nothing is more natural in the case of the native Normans, who would feel in such a case very much as Englishmen felt; but one can hardly believe that William allowed his great mercenary force to be wholly broken up. And again, the question keeps always presenting itself, What was going on in the Vexin? 236 Was there any moment when so eager a warrior, with two wars on his hands at once, left both of them to take care of themselves? Throughout this story the relations between the French and the Cenomannian wars form a never-ceasing puzzle. But we presently come to an incident of the campaign which is the most characteristic in the whole history of William Rufus.

Fulk attacks Ballon. While William was away, Count Fulk, at the head of a mixed host, Angevin and Cenomannian, laid siege to the newly-betrayed castle of Ballon. The attack went on for some days; a message was sent to the King for help. To meet this fresh danger, the nobles of Maine and Anjou pressed in greater numbers to help the Count and his force. Successful sally of the besieged. The defenders of the castle planned a sally. Beggars went out as spies, and brought in news that the besiegers were busy dining at the hour of tierce. The sally was made; the besiegers were surprised in the midst of their meal;[591] a hundred and forty knights and a crowd of foot-soldiers were taken prisoners. The rest took to flight and left a rich spoil of arms, clothes, and furniture as a prey to the Normans. Many of the captives were men of high rank and great possessions. The story almost reads as if Robert of Bellême condemned them to die of hunger; if so, Rufus came before hunger had done its work; cold would no longer be a means of torture. William at Ballon, c. July 20, 1098. It was now not Lent, but the third week in July, when King William with a great force came to Ballon. A cry presently reached him from the prisoners, “Noble King William, set us free.” The chivalrous King, who had 237 no mercy for the peasants of Coulaines, felt his heart stirred towards the captive knights of Anjou. His treatment of the captive knights. He ordered that a meal should be made ready for them along with his own followers, and he set them free on their parole till the meal was ready. Some of his companions suggested to him that, in the crowd and confusion, they might easily escape. Rufus cast aside such a suggestion with scorn. He would never believe that a good knight would break his word; he who should do so would have punishment enough in the scorn of all mankind that would follow him.[592] Illustration of the chivalrous spirit. Here we see the chivalrous character in all its fulness. Justice and mercy go for nothing; the law of God and the law of man go for nothing; the oath of the crowned king, the promise of a prince and a brother, go for nothing; but the class tie of knighthood is sacred; the promise made under its guaranty is sacred. As a good knight, William Rufus is faithful to his own word pledged as such to others; as a good knight, he will not believe that a brother of his order can be other than faithful to his word pledged as such to him.

Fulk goes back to Le Mans. The siege of Ballon was at an end. Fulk, we are told, betook himself to the city, and there stayed in some of the monasteries, waiting to see what would happen.[593] But the defenders of Le Mans, both native and Angevin, had now made up their minds that resistance to the power of Rufus was hopeless; their 238 object was to treat for peace. Negotiations for peace. The captive Helias was allowed a share in the negotiations; he was specially fearful that Fulk might make some agreement by which he himself might be cut off from Maine for ever.[594] Share of Helias. By the King’s leave, Bishop Hildebert and some of the chief men of the city visited Helias, and they agreed on terms which were put into the form of an agreement between Rufus and Fulk. Convention between William and Fulk. August, 1098. It was rather a military convention than a treaty of peace, and it left all the disputed questions unsettled. Nothing was said either as to the general question about the bishopric or as to the particular election of Hildebert. Nor was it at all ruled who was to be looked on as lawful Count of Maine. It was not even agreed that hostilities were to cease. The actual terms are conceived in words which seem to come from Rufus himself. The memory of his father is put prominently forward. Le Mans to be surrendered. Le Mans and all the fortresses which had been held by the late King William were to be surrendered to King William his son. Helias to be set free. Helias and all other prisoners on both sides were to be set free.[595] All sides, we are told, rejoiced at this agreement. To William and his followers it was a great immediate triumph. To the people of Le Mans it was at least immediate deliverance from a wasting struggle. And wary men may have seen that the liberation of Helias was not too dearly bought even by the surrender of his capital. If the valiant Count were set free, free alike from fetters and from promises, he would win back his lost city and dominion before long.

Submission of Le Mans. But for the present all went according to the pleasure of the Red King. Rufus, as his father had twice done, entered Le Mans without bloodshed, amidst at least the outward welcome of its inhabitants. And it may well be that, if Helias was not to be had, they may have 239 looked on William as a more promising master than Fulk. The convention was formally accepted, and it was immediately carried out. The castles occupied by the King’s troops. Robert the son of Hugh of Montfort, that Hugh whom we have already heard of on Senlac and at Dover,[596] was sent at the head of seven hundred chosen knights, full armed in their helmets and coats of mail, to occupy the fortresses of Le Mans.[597] They met with no opposition; the garrisons, native or Angevin, marched out; the Normans took possession. All the strong places of the city—​the ancient palace of the counts on the Roman wall—​the donjon of William the Great, the royal tower, standing so dangerously near to the north wall of Saint Julian’s minster—​the other fortress of the Conqueror, the tower of Mont Barbet on its height, overlooking the city from the side of Saint Vincent’s abbey—​all that the father had either subdued or called into being—​now passed without a blow into the hands of the son. The King’s banner—​what was the ensign wrought upon it?--was hoisted amid shouts of victory on the highest point of the royal tower. King William the Red had achieved the object which in his thoughts came nearest to the nature of a duty. He had brought under his hand all that had ever been under the hand of his father.[598]

240 William’s entry into Le Mans. On the day of the military occupation followed the day of the joyous entry. The Red King entered, doubtless by the northern gate, the gate between Saint Vincent’s abbey and the royal tower. His new subjects welcomed him with shouts and songs, and were received by him to his full peace.[599] His reception by Hildebert. Bishop Hildebert, seemingly now admitted to favour, with his clergy and people, met the King with psalms and processions. They led him by the royal tower, with his own banner floating on its battlements, to the cathedral church, now a vaster and more splendid pile than when the first Conqueror had been led to it with the same pomp.[600] The church of Saint Julian. The twin towers of Howel soared in their freshness; the aisles which we still see, with their abiding Roman masonry, had risen at his bidding; it may well have been by the mighty portal of his rearing that Rufus entered within the hallowed walls. Within, the sight was different in every stone, in every adornment, from that on which we now gaze. The columns and arches of Saint Julian’s nave were still the columns and arches of the basilica which Aldric had raised when Le Mans was a city of the Empire of the pious Lewis.[601] It may be that of those columns we can here and there spell out some faint traces amid the finer masonry and gorgeous foliage of the next age. But of the works to the east, still new when Rufus came, the splendid reconstructions of later times have left us no signs. The choir of Arnold still blazed in all its freshness with the rich decorations which had been added by the skill and bounty of 241 Howel. The first bloom had not passed away from the painted ceiling, from the rich pavement, from the narrow windows glowing with the deep richness of colour which no later age could surpass. Through all these new-born splendours of the holy place the scoffer and blasphemer was solemnly guided to the shrines of Saint Julian and of all the saints of Le Mans. And there were moments when the heart of Rufus was not wholly shut against better thoughts. As at Saint Martin of the Place of Battle, so at Saint Julian in newly-won Le Mans, we may deem that some dash of thankfulness was mingled with his swelling pride, as he felt that he had finished his father’s work.

William leaves Le Mans. The stay of William at Le Mans does not seem to have been long. The government of the city was put into the hands of Count William of Evreux and of Gilbert of Laigle. The royal tower, well provisioned, stocked with arms and with all needful things, was placed under the immediate command of Walter the son of Ansgar of Rouen.[602] General submission of Maine. The nobles of Maine now came in to make their submission and to receive the King’s garrisons into their castles. Among them were Count Geoffrey of Mayenne and the Viscount Ralph of Beaumont. The terms of their engagement were fulfilled. Their castles were to follow the fortune of Le Mans, and Le Mans now was King William’s.[603]

But he who had lately been the lord of them all 242 was waiting for the benefits of the convention to be extended to himself. We are a little surprised when we presently find the King at Rouen, and when we further find that Helias, who had been lately in ward in the castle there, had now to be brought hither from a prison at Bayeux.[604] Meeting of William and Helias. The King and his captive met face to face. The contrast between the outward look of the two men was as striking as the difference in their inward souls. Before the victorious King, short, bulky, ruddy, fierce of countenance, hasty and stammering in speech, stood the captive Count, tall, thin, swarthy, master of eloquent and winning words. Something of bodily neglect marked, perhaps not so much the rigour of his confinement as a captive’s carelessness of wonted niceties. His hair, usually neatly trimmed, was now rough and shaggy.[605] The King seems to have begun the dialogue;[606] “I have you, Sir.” Helias answered with dignity and respect, as a man of fallen fortunes speaking to a superior in rank, and yet not stooping to any unworthy submission. Proposals of Helias. He called on the King, in the name of his might and his renown, to help him. He had once, he said, been a count, lord of a noble county. Fortune had now turned against him, and he had lost all. He asked leave to enter the King’s service, to be allowed to keep his rank and title of count, but pledging himself not to make any claim to the Cenomannian county or city, till by some signal exploit on the King’s behalf he should be deemed worthy to receive them as a grant from the King’s free will. Till then it would be enough for him to have his place in the royal following and to enjoy the royal friendship.

William disposed to accept Helias’ proposal. Such an appeal as this went straight to the better 243 part of William’s nature, and he was at once disposed to agree to the proposal of Helias. But then stepped in the selfish prudence of Robert of Meulan, who measured other men by himself. He is hindered by Robert of Meulan. He was now the King’s chief adviser, and he jealously grudged all influence which might fall to the lot of any one else.[607] The admission of Helias to the King’s friendship and councils would of all things be the least suited for Robert’s purposes. He could not bear that any man, least of all a man of a spirit so much higher than his own, should be so near the throne as Helias threatened to be. The men of Maine, said the Count of Meulan, were a cunning and faithless race. All that the captive Helias sought by his offers was to insinuate himself into the King’s favour, to learn his secrets, that he might be able, when a fitting moment came, to rise up against him with more advantage and join himself to his enemies with greater power. The purpose of Rufus was changed by the malignant counsel of Count Robert. The petition of Helias was refused; it was again made; it was again refused. Defiance of Helias. Then the Count of Maine spoke his defiance. “Willingly, Sir King, would I have served you, if it had been your pleasure; willingly would I have earned favour in your sight. But now, I pray you, blame me not, if I take another course. I cannot bear with patience to see mine inheritance taken from me. All right is denied to me by overwhelming violence; wherefore let no man wonder if I again renew my claim, if I strive with all my might to win back the honour of my fathers.” Rufus was beside himself with wrath at words like these; but it was in words only that his wrath spent itself. He stammered out, “Scoundrel, what 244 can you do? Be off, march, take to flight; Answer of Rufus. I give you leave to do all you can, and, by the face of Lucca, if you ever conquer me, I will not ask you for any grace in return for my favour of to-day.” Even after this outburst, the Count had self-command enough to ask for a safe-conduct, and the King had self-command enough to grant it. Helias set free. Helias was guided safely through the Norman duchy, and made his way, to the delight of his friends, to his own immediate possessions on the borders of Maine and Anjou.[608]

Illustration of the King’s character. Of all the stories of the Red King there is none more characteristic than this. His first impulse is to accept a generous and confiding offer in the spirit in which it was made. For a moment he seems to rise to the level of the man who stood before him. Even when his better impulse is checked by an evil counsellor, he does not sink so low as many would have sunk in the like case. In the wildest wrath of his insulted pride, he does not forget that his word as a good knight is pledged to the man who has defied him. Rufus was bound by all the laws of chivalry to let Helias go this time, whatever he might do if he caught him again. And the laws of chivalry Rufus obeyed in the teeth of temptations of opposite kinds. A meaner tyrant might have sent Helias at once to death or blinding. A calmer or more wary prince, even though not a tyrant, might have argued that it was unsafe for him and his dominions to let the man go free who had uttered such a challenge. He might further have argued that a speech which was so like an open declaration of war at once set aside the conditions of peace. But William Rufus, when once on his point of honour, was not led away from 245 it either by the impulse of vengeance or by the calculations of prudence. His knightly word was pledged that Helias should go free. Free therefore he went, after his defiance had been answered by a counter defiance, each alike emphatically characteristic of the man who uttered it.

§ 3. The End of the French War.
September-December, 1098.

The war of Maine was, or seemed to be, over. And, just at this point we get a chronology clear enough to enable us to fix the connexion of the two works which were going on at once. We have seen William in his Norman capital at a time when we should rather have looked for him on one or other of his Norman frontiers. William on the continent. 1097–1099. But it seems plain that he spent the whole year on the mainland, and that he did not cross to England at any time between the two Christmas feasts which he is specially said to have kept in Normandy. Helias was set free in August, and we are led to believe that Rufus now deemed that the war of Maine was over, or at least that he could afford to despise it in its present stage. Extent of William’s conquests in Maine. We shall presently see that the war of Maine was by no means over, and that William’s Cenomannian conquests hardly reached beyond the capital and the lands north of the capital. He begins, but does not finish. We are inclined to wonder that a warlike prince like Rufus took no further heed to a campaign which was manifestly unfinished, while an active enemy was again at liberty and was still in possession of a strong line of castles. But this is neither the first nor the last time in which we find William the Red much more vigorous in beginning a campaign than in ending it. And in this case he may, with two wars on his 246 hands, have not unreasonably thought that, after so great a conquest as that of the capital of Maine, he could afford to turn his thoughts to the other seat of warfare. In the month after Helias was set free, he made up his mind for a special effort against the stubborn border-land of France.

William sets forth. September 27, 1098. Two days before Michaelmas, William set forth, from what head-quarters we are not told, at the head of a great army. On his way to the seat of war he enjoyed the hospitality of Ralph of Toesny on the hill of Conches. That night there was a sign in the heavens; The sign in the sky. the whole sky blazed and seemed as red as blood. At other times such a portent in the heavens might not have seemed too great to betoken some great victory or defeat on the part of one or other of the contending kings of the West. But, while Christendom was on its march to the eastern land, the heavens could tell of nothing meaner than the ups and downs of the strifes between two continents and two creeds. Its meaning. If the sky was red over Conches and Evreux and the whole western world, it was because at that moment Christians and heathens met in battle in the eastern lands, and by God’s help the Christians had the victory.[609] But William Rufus cared little for signs and wonders, even when he himself was deemed to be the subject of their warning. His heart was not in Palestine, but on the French border; and his present business was a march against the most distant of the three fortresses to which he laid claim. Chaumont and Trie still held out; but their garrisons could not hinder him from carrying a destructive raid into 247 districts far more distant from his head-quarters at Gisors. He marches to Pontoise. He marched to the south-east, burning, plundering, and carrying off prisoners from the whole French territory as far as Pontoise.[610]

The invading King had now reached a point of French soil nearer to Paris than the spot where Count Robert kept the Seine barred at Meulan. At Pontoise, as the name implies, was the bridge spanning the Oise, the tributary which joins its waters with those of the Seine at Conflans—​the Gaulish Confluentes—between Paris and Meulan. Castle and town of Pontoise. Here a precipitous rock rises above the stream, a rock which, strengthened and defended by art in every way, was crowned by the vast circuit of the castle of Pontoise. Here is no town sloping down from the castle to the river. The castle rock rises sheer—​it rose most likely from the water itself, till the Oise, like the Seine at Rouen, was curbed by a quay. In the view from the bridge, the castle, shorn as it is of its towers and of all that can give stateliness to such a building, still lords it over everything. The town of Pontoise seems to crouch by the side of the rock; the great church of Saint Maclou, with its lofty tower of late architecture, is wholly hidden from sight. It is only at some distance beyond the river, in the suburb known as that of Saint Ouen l’Aumône, that we begin to see that the church stands on ground not much lower than the site of the castle. Strong position of the town. We then learn that the town of Pontoise, standing on a height separate from the castle-rock, well walled, and with streets as steep as those of Le Mans or Lincoln, was in itself no contemptible fortress. As usual, there is little or nothing in town or church or castle that we can positively assign to the period of our 248 story. But the main features of the spot must be the same now as they were when the Red King led his plundering host as far as the bridge of the Oise. Pontoise the furthest point of the raid. It is plain that this was the end of his course on this side; it is plain that Pontoise was not added to the list of fortresses which were taken by him or betrayed to him. But we have nothing to explain why he turned back at this point, whether he met with any repulse in an attack on Pontoise or whether he attacked Pontoise at all. We only know that Pontoise marks in one sense the furthest point of the French campaigns of William Rufus. We shall presently find him on another side at a greater distance from his own dominions; but Pontoise marks his nearest approach to the capital of France. Had Pontoise been William’s as well as Meulan, Paris would indeed have been threatened. But this south-eastern journey was clearly, in its effect at least, a mere plundering raid, from which Rufus came back to attempt a more regular attack on the nearer enemy at Chaumont.

Siege of Chaumont. The siege of Chaumont is described to us in greater detail than the march on Pontoise, but we do not, any more than at Pontoise, get a really intelligible account. It is plain that the siege was a considerable enterprise, one to which Rufus led his whole army. It is also plain from the result that its issue must have an important effect on the turn of affairs. But of the siege itself all that we hear is one of those strange stories by which we are sometimes met, stories which must have some meaning, which must be grounded on some fact, and which yet, as they stand, pass all belief. We are told that the defenders of Chaumont were valiant men, strong to defend the battlements of their own castle. But to defend their own castle was all that they could do; their numbers were not enough 249 to enable them either to meet William’s great army in open battle, or even to hinder his plunderers from laying waste the neighbouring lands. But the defence of Chaumont itself was stout, and, as it turned out, successful. The archers of Chaumont shoot the horses only. Yet we are told that the garrison of Chaumont, out of the fear of God and out of tenderness towards men, stood strictly on the defensive, or took the offensive only towards brute beasts. In taking aim at the besiegers, they avoided the persons of the riders, and aimed all their blows at the horses. Seven hundred horses of great price fell under the arrows and darts of the men of Chaumont, and their carcases made a rich feast for the dogs and birds of prey of the Vexin.[611] Chaumont not taken. The virtue of these scrupulous warriors did not go unrewarded. Our story breaks off somewhat suddenly; but we see that at all events Chaumont was not taken.

The war now takes a turn of special interest, which makes us specially regret the very unsatisfactory nature of our materials. The field of our story is suddenly enlarged; but events do not crowd it at all in proportion to its enlargement. Rare notices of southern Gaul. It is but seldom that our tale brings us into any direct dealing with the lands and the princes south of the Loire. We have seen the tongue of oil supplant the Danish tongue in Normandy, and we have seen it appear as a rival to our own speech in our own island. But we have been seldom called on to listen to the accents of the tongue of oc. But at this moment the chief potentate of that tongue suddenly appears on the 250 field of our story, an appearance from which we naturally look for great events. The young lord of the Vexin and heir of France had to meet a new enemy, almost as powerful, and quite as reckless and godless, as the old one. Coming of William of Poitiers. Another William, William of Poitiers and Aquitaine, came to the help of William of Normandy and England.[612] He was in the end to go to the crusade—​to go not exactly in the guise of Godfrey or Helias.[613] But he had not yet set out; and, before he went, he came to strike a blow on behalf of the prince to whom he was said to have sold the reversion of his dominions. Alliance of Normandy and Aquitaine. The mighty dukes of the North and the South might seem to have utterly hemmed in the smaller realm of the king whose men they were or should have been.[614] The final results of their alliance were not memorable, but the coming of the southern duke had the immediate effect of carrying the war into districts little used to the presence of English or even of Norman warriors.

Campaign to the west of Paris. It can hardly fail to have been the march of William of Aquitaine which led to a campaign carried on in the lands west and south-west of Paris, within the triangle which may be drawn between the three points of Mantes, Paris, and Chartres. One side of this triangle is formed by the Seine itself, and here the adhesion of the Count of Meulan must have effectually guarded the seat of war from the north. Somewhat to the west of Meulan, between that fortress and Mantes, the small 251 stream of the Maudre empties itself into the Seine. Valley of the Maudre. The course of this stream and the valley through which it flows formed the chief seat of warfare at this stage, seemingly after the attacks on Chaumont had proved fruitless. Small as the Maudre is, its course makes a clearly marked valley, running nearly north and south. Maule. About the middle of it lies Maule, the fortress of Peter of Maule, the benefactor of the house of Saint Evroul, and therefore high in favour with its historian. Further to the south, where the stream is a mere brook, the valley widens into a plain between hills, and here some of the strongest points are occupied by the strongholds of the French house of Montfort, numbering among them the spot which gave that house its ever-memorable name. Montfort-l’Amaury. Here rose the hill which above all others glories in the name of the Strong Mount, the home of the Simons and the Amalrics. Under the name of Montfort-l’Amaury it still keeps the less illustrious of the two names, one or other of which was always borne by its successive counts. Neauphlé-le-Château. To the north-east of the cradle of their race, on the other side of the Maudre, the Counts of Montfort had planted another stronghold on a height, which, though all traces of a fortress have passed away, still keeps the name of Neauphlé-le-Château, as distinguished from another place of the same name, Neauphlé-le-Vieux. Epernon. Much further to the south-west, on the upper course of the Drouelle, a tributary of the Eure, stood Epernon, another fortress of the house of Montfort, a border fortress of the strictly French territory towards the lands of the Counts of Chartres. The two Williams march against the Montfort castles. On this district now fell the heavy wrath of the two Williams, who led a mighty multitude against Montfort and Epernon and laid waste the whole surrounding land. They had traitors in their service; they came under the guidance of Almaric the Young and 252 of Nivard of Septeuil.[615] This last place lies in the valley of the Vaucouleurs, a stream running almost parallel with the Maudre and joining the Seine at Mantes. Such a position, lying nearly due west from Maule, and at a greater distance north-east from Montfort, marks a dangerous outpost thrown out from the Norman side into the heart of the French territory. Seat of war affected by the coming of William of Poitiers. Of the line of march of the Poitevin duke we have no account; but it must have been his coming which caused the seat of war to be changed from the north-west of the threatened capital of France to the south-west, a region so much better suited for an invader from the south.

No special mention of Lewis. It is somewhat singular that, while we have so striking a general picture of the courage and conduct of the young Lewis during this struggle, we hear nothing of any particular exploit of his, we hear nothing of any help given by him to any of the threatened fortresses. It is their own lords, each for himself, who withstand, and successfully withstand, the attacks of the powers of North and South. Our chief informant—​English, Norman, and French, all at once—​enlarges on the failure of Philip to give any help to his vassals; but we should never learn from him that his place was supplied by his son.[616] The castles resist singly. Every man, it would seem, fought for his own hand. We are told this of a crowd of unnamed lords defending unnamed fortresses. Peter of Maule. But we are not left to guess at the name of the friend of Saint Evroul, Peter of Maule, who, with his sons Ansold and Theobald, successfully 253 defended his fortress in the valley of the Maudre.[617] We must suppose that the forces of the two Williams were scattered and frittered away in a series of desultory attacks against strongholds scattered all over the country. The two Simons of Montfort. But to us at least the main interest of the campaign gathers round the dwellings of the house of Montfort. We should be well pleased to have even such details of a warfare which affected them as we have had of the sieges of Chaumont and as we shall presently have of the siege of Mayet. But we hear only of the result, how the arms of the two Simons, elder and younger, The elder Simon defends Neauphlé. defended all the possessions which looked up to the Strong Mount as their head. The elder guarded the height of Neauphlé, where a curve in the hills, theatre-shape, awakens some faint remembrance of the kingly mount of Laon.[618] The castle of Montfort. But the Mons fortis itself, the hill from whence, in after times, Simon the father went to work the bondage of Toulouse and Simon the son to work the freedom of England, must have been among the strongholds which were saved by the energy of the younger bearer of the name which was to be so fearfully and so gloriously renowned. High on its peninsular hill, still keeping some small traces of elder towers along with one graceful fragment of far later days, the castle of Montfort looks down over church and town, over hills and plains, bidding defiance to foes on every side, but bidding the most direct defiance of all to any 254 foe who should advance by the path which must have been trodden by the Aquitanian duke. For of all the outlooks from the height of Montfort the widest and the most striking is that by which the eye looks out towards those southern lands which came so near to forming a South-Gaulish realm for its own lords. The church. The church stands beneath on a lower point of the steep. The works of later times, which have filled its windows with the painted forms of the basest of the later Valois, have spared one side of the more ancient central tower, preserving to us forms which were looked on, not indeed by the Simons of our own immediate story, but by the Simon of Muret and the Simon of Evesham. A gate at the base of the castle mound, though the actual building must be of later date, still keeps the name of that Hugh Bardolf, himself joined by a tie of affinity to the house of Montfort, of whom we have heard elsewhere as one of the most abiding of the enemies of Normandy.[619] Defence of the younger Simon. Here, while the father defended Neauphlé, the son defended the cradle of their race, and their other outlying possessions. Not a detail is given us; but our historian emphatically tells us that it was by the help of God that the lords of Montfort kept their fortresses safe from the twofold enemy.[620] Interest of the defence. And, though a King of the English marched against them, though doubtless there was no lack of native English warriors in his train, yet we may join in the pious thankfulness of our guide at Saint Evroul. It was not good for English interests in any wide or lasting sense that the sovereign of England should even hold his ancestral Normandy, much less that he should inherit Aquitaine and conquer France. When the lords of Montfort in the eleventh century beat back from their strongholds all the efforts of England and Normandy, of Poitiers and 255 Aquitaine, they were in truth working in the same cause as their glorious descendant in the thirteenth. Unknowingly and indirectly, they were, no less than he, fighting for the freedom and the greatness of what in their eyes seemed hostile England.

The war lingers on. Christmas, 1098. The war seems to have lingered on through another winter, the second of those when King William kept his Christmas feast in Normandy. But no successes are recorded either of William of England or of William of Aquitaine. No successes of the two Williams. The Red King had really done nothing, either alone or in company with his Poitevin ally. The gallant resistance of the men of the French borderland had beaten him back at every point. He was now glad to conclude a truce, A truce agreed to. which the events which followed made practically a peace.[621]

Survey of the French war. Its ill-success. It is not at first easy to understand why so very little came of such great preparations as those which William Rufus made for the French war. The strength of two great states, during the later stages of the war the strength of three great states, was broken by efforts which, even allowing as much as we can for the energy of young Lewis, were mainly those of the nobles and people of a single district. England, Normandy, and Aquitaine, were baffled by the men of the French Vexin. It is true indeed that the war of Maine was far from being really ended, but Rufus seems at this stage to have thought little of the efforts of the man whom he had bidden to do his worst against him. Nor was there anything this year in England, as there was the year before, to draw off the King’s attention from continental affairs. Scotland was quiet under a king of his own naming; Magnus did not really threaten England; the Welsh border 256 might be left to Robert of Bellême or those whom he had left in charge. All that we can do is to record this singular break-down of a great force, without being able fully to explain it. One remark may be made. Illustration of William’s character. Men of the temper of Rufus often get simply weary of undertakings which bring little success, and in which there is nothing to call forth any special point of personal vengeance or personal honour. Rufus claimed the Vexin; but his heart does not seem to have been set on its possession, as it clearly was set on the possession of Le Mans. There was no one on the French border who had stung him personally to the quick as Helias had done. The want of success in the joint undertaking of the two Williams is certainly hard to understand; but we can quite understand how William of England and Normandy might, in sheer disgust, throw up an undertaking in which he did not at once succeed. When he was once more wounded in the most sensitive part, he was, as we shall presently see, all himself again.

§ 4. The Gemót of 1099.

William, master of Le Mans, but hardly to be called master of Maine, and assuredly not master of the Vexin, stayed in Normandy during the winter which followed the double war in those regions. The time of his absence is spoken of as a time of special oppression in England, a time when the exactions of Flambard and his fellows grew worse and worse, on account of the great sums which had to be sent over the sea for the King’s wars.[622] William keeps Christmas in Normandy. 1098–1099. The Christmas feast was again kept in 257 Normandy, in what city or castle we are not told, but such incidental notices as we have seem to point to Rouen as his usual head-quarters when he was in the duchy. He came back to England in time for the Easter feast; the feast implies the assembly; Easter Gemót. April 10, 1099. but we have no account of its doings; there was no longer in England either an Anselm to afford subjects for discussion or an Eadmer to report the debates. Whitsun Gemót in the new hall at Westminster. May 10, 1099. The next festival was of greater importance, if only on account of the place where it was held, a place ever-memorable in the history of England from that day to this. “At Pentecost the King William held his court for the first time in the new building at Westminster.”[623]

Buildings of William Rufus. The architectural works of William Rufus form a marked feature in his reign; but the place which they hold in the national annals is singular. They are set down among the grievances of that unhappy time. They are reckoned among national grievances. Besides the bad weather, which was not the Red King’s 258 fault, and the bad harvests which were deemed to be in some measure his fault, there were the unrighteous taxes and the other forms of unlaw which were directly his fault; Various grievances. lastly there were the great buildings which are set down as not the least among his ways of oppressing the people. Complaints in 1096, We have heard some of the wails which the Chronicler sends up year by year. The year of the purchase of Normandy was a year when the land was pressed down by manifold gelds and by a heavy time of hunger.[624] in 1097. The next year, the year of Anselm’s going, was a year of signs in the heavens, and of ungelds and unweather below.[625] Signs and wonders in 1098. The next year, the year of Maine, the year of the Vexin, the year of Anglesey, had also its physical wonders. In the summer a pool at Finchampstead in Berkshire was said to have welled up blood.[626] At Michaelmas the heaven seemed well-nigh all night as if it were burning.[627] Bad weather of 1098. That was a very grievous year, through manifold ungeld and through mickle rains that all the year never stopped; and—​what came home to those who could look back to the bright days of the Golden Borough—​well-nigh all tilth in the marsh-land died out.[628] The great buildings in London. 1097. Such are the mournful voices to which we listen year by year; but in the central year of the three another grievance is added. “Eke many shires that with work to London belonged were sorely harassed 259 through the wall that they wrought around the Tower, and through the bridge that well nigh all flooded away was, and through the King’s hall-work that man in Westminster wrought, and many men therewith harassed.”[629]

This was the light in which three great works of building on which Englishmen of later days learned to look with national pride were looked on by the men of the time when they were wrought. We hear the cry of the Hebrew in the brick-field toiling to rear up the treasure-cities of the Pharaohs. Earlier parallels. We hear the cry of the Roman plebeian, as the proud Tarquin constrained him to give the sweat of his brow to fence in the seven hills with walls or to burrow beneath the ground to lay the foundations and turn the arches of the great sewer.[630] So it was in the days of the Red King with the Tower of London, the bridge of London, the hall of Westminster. Abuse of the old law. We may believe that, as so often happened, the old law of England was turned to purposes of oppression. The repair of bridges and fortresses was the universal 260 burthen on the Englishman’s eðel, the duty which he owed, not to a personal lord, but to the commonwealth of which he was a member.[631] In one case at least we know that the defences of the local capital were laid by local law upon the people of the whole shire.[632] What was law at Chester would seem from the words of the Chronicler to have been law in London also. There were certain “shires that with work to London belonged.” William Rufus may therefore have been quite within the letter of the ancient law in calling on the people of certain shires to contribute in money or labour to any works which were needed for either the Tower or the bridge of London. But it is clear that this is the kind of law which opens the way to a great amount of oppression in detail, and that the law itself supplies temptations to extort more than the law gives. The bridge and the Tower. The bridge at least was an useful work, and if the men of London thought that the Tower stood by their walls rather to overawe them than to defend them, that was an argument which could not be openly brought forward. Question as to the hall. But it is by no means clear whether the ancient law about bridges and fortresses could be stretched so as to take in works at the King’s palace. Anyhow the burthen laid on the people was frightfully oppressive, and those who felt the burthen bitterly complained. And, if we rightly understand the Chronicler, the grievance of building the bridge was doubled by a flood which swept away the unfinished work, and made it needful to build it over again.[633]

Thus, amid the toils and groans of the people, three mighty works arose, to hand down the name of William Rufus to after ages as a great builder. While Rufus 261 was harrying the land of Maine, a land which but for him might have remained peaceful and happy under a righteous ruler, while he was striving in vain to bring the heights of Chaumont and Montfort under his power, the people of a large part of England were giving their strength and their money to make London put on a new face, to make all things ready for the time when the King should again come to his island kingdom to wear his crown in or hard by its greatest city. Growth of the greatness of London. All these works point, among other things, to the steady growth of the greatness of London. The city had grown fast in importance during the whole century which was now drawing to an end, and at no time faster than during Harold’s nine months of little stillness.[634] Relations of London and Winchester. London had become the city of the King; Winchester was left to be the city of the Old Lady.[635] The attractions of the New Forest drew the Conqueror, specially after the death of Eadgyth, back again to the old West-Saxon capital; but this preference of Winchester as the head-quarters of sport in no way checked the advance of London as the real head of the kingdom. Harsh as may have been the means by which the Red King raised his great buildings, richly as he and they may have earned the curses of his subjects at the time, we can say nothing against either the taste or the policy which led him to the defence and the adornment of the great city and of the palace which lay under its shadow.

The wall round the Tower. Notwithstanding any momentary checks, the works went on and prospered. The great tower of Gundulf—​strange work for the meek follower of Anselm—​was fenced in with a surrounding wall. London Bridge. The river was spanned by its first stone bridge, that long range of 262 narrow arches, itself a thickly-peopled city over the stream, of which the last traces vanished in our own early days. Westminster Hall. But above all there now arose that famous hall of Westminster whose name has come to be another name for the law of England. Strange founder for such a pile might seem the prince whose reign was before all others the reign of unlaw. Its two founders. And yet it was not wholly unfitting that the Prytaneion of England should first arise at the bidding of William the Red, and should take a new form at the bidding of a later king in whose days unlaw was again mighty. Its architecture. The great hall arose at the bidding of Rufus, in the stern and solemn form of the art of his day—​the day, be it remembered, of William of Saint-Calais and the choir of Durham—​with its low massive walls, its two ranges of pillars and arches, far removed, we may be sure, from the graceful forms which had been at Spalato and which were to be again at Oakham, but standing firm in their strength, bearing the full impress of the style whose leading feature is that of simple, changeless, abiding, rest.[636] Recasting by Richard the Second. At the bidding of Richard of Bourdeaux the walls were cased, and pierced with windows of forms unknown in the days of the Red King; his pillars and arches were swept away; the central space and its aisles were thrown into a single body; the timber roof of wondrous span and wondrous workmanship leaped boldly from wall to wall, with a daring which might have pleased the swelling pride of Rufus himself. Thus, at the word of two despotic kings, arose the pile which may claim, no less than its neighbours, Saint Peter’s chapter-house and Saint Stephen’s chapel, to be the chosen home of English freedom. For in England law has ever grown out of unlaw. The despotism of Normans and of Tudors only paved the way for the outbursts of freedom in 263 the thirteenth century and in the seventeenth; a reforming Henry dogged the steps alike of Rufus and of Richard. Legal position of the reign of Rufus. And if from one side the reign of Rufus was a reign of unlaw, from another side it was a reign of overmuch law. It saw the beginning of those legal subtleties, that web woven by the wicked skill of Flambard, which makes the Red King’s day a marked epoch in legal history. His reign bridges the space between the days when we had laws but when we had no lawyers, and the days when lawyers had grown so many and so subtle that the true ends of law were sometimes forgotten among them. History of the hall. If from one side the hall of Westminster has been one of the cradles of English freedom, from another side it has been the special home of that form of unlaw by which men have been sent to a wrongful doom under the outward forms of justice. Of all that is good and bad in the history of the law of England the hall of Rufus is the material embodying. Within no other building reared by the hand of man has so great a share of English history been wrought.

Object of the hall. But it was not directly as the dwelling-place either of law or of its opposite that Rufus first reared his hall. It was built rather as a trophy of his own swelling pride. Personal pride of Rufus. The home of the Confessor, the home of the Conqueror, was not stately enough for the Red King. He would be lodged, at least in that special home of kingship, as better became the idea which he had formed of his own greatness. It was the hall of the king, rather than the hall of the kingdom, the centre and crown of his own house, the place for the display of his own splendour, which Rufus sought to call into being. Legends of the hall. When the work was done, other men deemed that it was as great, perhaps greater, than even so great a king could need. But its founder was not satisfied. Nero, when he had finished his Golden House, allowed that he was at last 264 lodged like a man. Rufus, when he had outdone the works of all that had gone before him, hardly deemed that he was lodged like a man in his palace of Westminster. Alleged sayings of Rufus. The new hall, when it was done, was not half so great as he had meant it to be.[637] Some add a wilder saying, that he would build a house on such a scale that the great hall should be but one of its bed-chambers.[638] But the hall, such as it was, vast in the eyes of other men, small in the eyes of its master, was ready for use by the day of the Pentecostal feast. The Whitsun feast. Then the assembly came together; then the accustomed rites were gone through in the West Minster; then the banquet and the council were held, as was wont, under its shadow, in the accustomed place, but within new walls and under a new roof. Within those walls, beneath that roof, men for the first time saw King William of England, lord, as he deemed, of Scotland, Normandy, and Maine, in all his own greatness and glory, in all the greatness and glory of his new work. One feature in that great gathering might indeed have helped to swell his heart even higher than it had ever before been swollen. The crown was, as usual, placed on his head in the minster and worn in the hall. And on that day at least he must have felt that the crown which was placed on his head was in truth an imperial diadem. William the Red was not indeed rowed on the Thames by vassal kings, like Eadgar the Giver-of-peace. But in the pomps of that 265 day he saw a king march before him as his vassal, a king who had received his crown at his own bidding. The sword borne by the King of Scots. When King William of England wore his cynehelm in church and hall, King Eadgar of Scotland, first of his men in rank and honour, bore the sword of state before his lord.[639] Was that day of pride and pomp merely a day of pride and pomp, or were any of the great affairs of William’s kingdom and empire dealt with in the joint presence of the Monarch of Britain and his kingly vassal? One thing only we know; one act alone of that gathering is recorded. But that act is one which has no small fitness as the one act which we know that the Red King did in his new building.

Deaths of bishops and abbots. The hands of Randolf Flambard must have been just then full of work, and the coffers of King William must have been just then well filled with wealth flowing in from the usual sources. Bishops and abbots had for some time been dying most conveniently for the King and his minister. Walkelin of Winchester. January 3, 1098. Within the first few days of the year of Le Mans and Chaumont died the friend, some said the kinsman, of the Conqueror, the Norman Walkelin, the successor of English Stigand in the see of Winchester.[640] Character and acts of Walkelin. Though he had 266 appeared as an adversary of Anselm,[641] though he had once designed to supplant the monks of the Old Minster by secular canons,[642] though he was said to have lessened the revenues of the monks to increase those of the bishopric,[643] he still left behind him a good name in the monastic annals of his church, both for the austerity of his own life and for the affection which he afterwards learned to show to the brethren.[644] Winchester tradition loved to tell of the pious fraud by which he had cajoled the Conqueror out of the whole timber of a great wood towards the rebuilding of his church.[645] The monks take possession of Walkelin’s church. April 8, 1093. It told how, in the year of the King’s temporary penitence, the monks had, in the presence of well-nigh all the prelacy of England, taken possession of the church of Walkelin’s building, and how they had presently gone on to rase to the ground the church of Æthelwald which had been deemed so stately a pile not much more than a hundred years before.[646] Walkelin joint-regent with Flambard. 1097. It told how, when the King set forth for the French war, the Bishop of Winchester was left as joint-ruler of the realm with the mighty chaplain and Justiciar.[647] 267 And it told the last tale, how, when he had barely entered on his new office, on the very Christmas morning, while the holiest rite of Christian worship was going on, The King’s demand for money. Christmas, 1097–1098. the King’s messenger came to demand two hundred pounds without delay. The Bishop, like Anselm, knew that he could raise no such sum without robbery of the Church and oppression of the poor. He prayed that he might be set free from a world of which he was weary. Two days later his prayer was answered; while the Red King warred at Chaumont and Mayet, Randolf Flambard remained sole ruler of England.[648]

On the death of Bishop Walkelin presently followed the deaths of two other heads of great monastic bodies. Death of Turold of Peterborough, and of Robert of New Minster. One was Turold, the martial abbot of Peterborough, of whom we heard in the days of Hereward;[649] the other was Robert of New Minster, he whose staff had been bought for him by his too dutiful son the Bishop of Norwich.[650] And, a few days before the death of Walkelin, another great abbot passed away who was, in a way in which none of those three was, a link with earlier days. Death of Baldwin of Saint Eadmund’s. December 29, 1097. Abbot Baldwin of Saint Eadmund’s, the skilful leech of King Eadward, if not himself of English birth, had at least received his staff from an English King. His house had been growing in wealth and fame ever since the penitent devotion of Cnut had changed the secular canons of Beadricsworth into the monks of Saint Eadmund’s. We have already heard of Baldwin’s medical skill and of his strivings for the privileges 268 of his church against the East-Anglian bishopric.[651] Acts of Baldwin. Rebuilding of the Church. He won fame also, like other abbots of his day, as the rebuilder of his church, the church which, besides his royal patron, sheltered the relics of the holy abbot Botolf and the valiant ætheling Jurwine.[652] The latest research has added largely to our knowledge of Baldwin and his house, and has brought to light several details which illustrate the reign of the Red King and the characters of some of the chief actors in it. Miracles of Saint Eadmund. Saint Eadmund had long ago begun to work signs and wonders. In King Eadward’s day he had avenged himself on our old friend Osgod Clapa, Osgod Clapa. reverenced at Waltham but not reverenced at Saint Eadmund’s, because he had thrust himself into the holy place with his Danish axe in warlike guise on his shoulder.[653] Bishop Herfast. In the days of the elder William, when the dispute was going on between the abbey and the bishopric, the saint had directly interfered to bring Bishop Herfast to a better mind by a bodily chastisement.[654] He had even appeared, as he had 269 done to the tyrant Swegen,[655] mounted and lance in hand, to smite, and in smiting to reform, a courtier of the Conqueror’s, Randolf by name.[656] But we are more concerned with stories which directly bear on our own history. Robert of Curzon. When Roger Bigod did so much evil in eastern England in the days of the general rebellion, Saint Eadmund did not fail to defend his own lands, and to smite with madness a certain Robert of Curzon to whom the rebel had presumed to grant a manor belonging to the abbey.[657] Completion of the Church. 1094. The King forbids the dedication. We read too how, when the new church was finished, King William, seemingly in the assembly at Hastings, by what caprice is not explained, gave permission for the translation of the martyr, but forbade the dedication of the church.[658] Meanwhile, a rumour, of which we have heard the like more than once, is spread abroad that the body of Saint Eadmund is not really there, and that the 270 precious things which adorned the empty shrine might well be applied to the objects of the King’s warfare. Translation of Saint Eadmund. April 30, 1095. The danger passed away, and, notwithstanding some opposition from Bishop Herbert, a solemn translation, in the presence of Bishop Walkelin of Winchester and of Randolf the chaplain, removed all doubts.[659] Abbot Baldwin survived this triumph two years and a half. His career had been a long and a busy one. In the course of his warfare with the East-Anglian bishops, he had found it needful to visit Rome, and he too, like others, found how great was the strength of gold and silver at the threshold of the Apostles.[660] Baldwin’s relation to the English. He had gone on that journey with English companions, and when he died, during the Christmas feast which followed the departure of Anselm, he was mourned by men of both races.[661]

We cannot, as these stories alone show, go very far in the reign of Rufus without coming across the name of Randolf Flambard, chaplain and Justiciar. We are now about to hear of him in a new character. The churches of the prelates who so opportunely died, remained unfilled; their temporalities passed into the King’s hands; their revenues were to be gathered in, their tenants were to be squeezed as might be needful, by the zealous care of the faithful Randolf. Vacancy of Durham. But one church, of higher dignity than all these, which had stood vacant longer than 271 all these, was at last to have a shepherd. The careful guardian of them all was at last to have his reward. The reward was a great one, but in the course of his long service he had doubtless gathered enough into his private hoard to pay the price even for such a gift. The bishopric granted to Flambard. The hall was built; the Witan were assembled in it; and, as the one recorded act of the assembly, the King gave the bishopric of Durham to Randolf his chaplain, that ere drave all his gemóts over all England.[662] In the new hall of Westminster, the hall of justice, often the hall of injustice, the man who had wrought so much of real injustice, but who had raised the name of justice, in its official meaning, to the high place which it has ever after kept—​the Justiciar Randolf Flambard, the founder of the greatness of his office, the creator of the feudal law of England—​received one of the greatest of the prizes to which men of his class could look forward. The driver of gemóts, the exactor of the moneys of rich and poor, became, not only lord of strong castles and of barons and knights not a few, but also shepherd of souls in a great diocese, abbot of monks in a monastery too young as yet to have wholly lost its first love. Consecration of Flambard. June 5, 1099. The new successor of Saint Cuthberht, Randolf Bishop of Durham, was presently consecrated in Saint Paul’s minster by his metropolitan Archbishop Thomas. But the local patriotism of Durham takes care to put on record that, as his predecessor William of Saint-Calais had made no profession, so neither did he.[663]

Character of the appointment. The appointment of Randolf Flambard to a great 272 bishopric, as it is the last recorded kingly act of Rufus in England, was the crowning act of that abuse of the royal power in ecclesiastical matters, that bringing low of the Church and her ministers, which is so marked a feature of his reign.[664] To place the bishop’s staff in the hands of Randolf Flambard was going a step further than to place it in the hands of Robert Bloet. Flambard’s episcopate. 1099–1128. His works at Durham. Yet Flambard showed himself in some ways, in all temporal ways, as a great prelate. A mighty builder, he joined his efforts with those of his monks to carry on Saint Cuthberht’s abbey on a plan as noble as that on which William of Saint-Calais had begun it, and with greater richness of detail.[665] He strengthened the fortifications of his castle and city; he laid out the green between the castle and the abbey. The castle of Norham. 1121. At the extreme border of what was now the English kingdom, not on the extreme border of his own diocese, he founded the famous castle of Norham. It was built, we are told, as a defence alike against border thieves and against attacks of invading Scots.[666] But this last 273 motive was hardly needed in the days of Eadgar, Alexander, and David. Every temporal right of his church he defended to the uttermost.[667] His personal character. Still eager to be first, pretending with voice and gesture more of wrath than he really felt, we see in the mighty Bishop of Durham essentially the same man as the royal officer who made sad the enthronization day of Anselm.[668] As to his life and conversation strange tales are told. The Bishop is said to have wantonly exposed his monks to temptations most contrary to monastic rule, to have entertained them in the episcopal hall along with guests most unbecoming for an episcopal castle, and to have marked as hypocrites all who refused to join in his unseemly revelries.[669] But the mass of Flambard’s doings as bishop, good or bad, belong to the reign of Henry, to his own second episcopate. 1106?-1128. Our own story will show him, after a short occupation of his see, an exile, an exile after the type of William of Saint-Calais rather than after the type of Anselm. From that exile he came back, as his predecessor 274 came back, to go on with his great work, to rule, with unabated strength of mind and body, to extreme old age, and to die with every sign of penitence.[670]

The appointment of Flambard is the last recorded act of the Red King on English ground. We take leave of him, as far as the affairs of our own country are concerned, in the new hall of Westminster, placing the bishop’s staff in a hand which doubtless grasped it more readily than the hand of Anselm. Later events of the year. 1099. But we have still to see somewhat of him in two other characters, in either of which he was more at home than in that of the civil ruler. We have to look at him as the hunter and as the warrior. From the great ceremony at Westminster he seems to have straightway taken himself to enjoy the sports of the woods in Wiltshire. The prince who ruled on both sides of the channel had come back to his island realm to busy himself both with English affairs and with English pleasures. While thus engaged, his thoughts were once more suddenly called to matters beyond the sea.

§ 5. The Second War of Maine.
April-September 1099.

In the August of the last year William had given Helias of Maine his full leave to do what he could against him, reserving doubtless to himself the like power to do what he could against Helias. Action of Helias. August, 1098-April 1099. In the months which had since passed the Count of Maine had shown that he could do a good deal; but it seemingly was not till he had shown the full range of his powers of doing that the King felt himself called on once more 275 to try his own powers against him. William did not stir himself till the news came that Helias was again in Le Mans, and then he stirred himself indeed. August, 1098. Helias, when he was set free in August, went at once to his own immediate possessions on the border of Maine and Anjou. Helias withdraws to La Flèche. If he was no longer Count of Maine, he was still lord of La Flèche. If he could no longer reign on the Cenomannian height, in the palace on the Roman wall or in the tower before whose rising strength the Roman wall itself had given way, he could at least keep his own native town and castle. He strengthens the castles on the Loir. At La Flèche, and in the whole southern part of the county, Helias still reigned, undisputed and unthreatened. He was still lord of the whole line of fortresses which guarded the course of the Loir, the tributary of the greater stream with which its name is so easily confounded. The castles along that river, reared doubtless to guard the Cenomannian border against attacks from the south, served, now that things had so strangely turned about, to protect the southern districts of Maine against attacks from its own capital. In front of the land to be guarded stood the castles of Mayet and Outillé. Along the Loir itself stood a formidable line of defences; La Chartre guarded one end, La Flèche the other; between them lay La Lude and the fortress which is still specially known as the Castle of the Loir. La Chartre. The stream flows below the hill-fort of La Chartre, once held by Geoffrey of Mayenne,[671] but the name of this castle is not mentioned in our present story. The omission is singular, as La Chartre must always have been a post of special importance, guarding Maine towards the land of Chartres as well as towards the now Angevin land of Tours. It rises, like Bellême and Saint Cenery, on the bluff of a promontory where two mounds with their fosses mark the site of the 276 fortress, and where the rocky sides of the hill are pierced, like the hill of Nottingham, like so many hills along the greater Loire, with the dwelling-places of man. La Flèche. Much lower down the Loir is Helias’ own special home of La Flèche, where all traces of his day have vanished, but where the castle of John and Paula must have stood, on a site most unlike that of La Chartre, on one of the rich and grassy islands which are there formed by the branching of the stream. Château-du-Loir. Château-du-Loir lies between the two, and the river from which it takes its name is a far less prominent feature there than at either La Flèche or La Chartre. The fortress which is specially called the Castle of the Loir stands at a greater distance from its waters than either of the other two. But of the stronghold itself it has more to show than either. The castle stands half-hidden in the midst of the small modern town, and the approaches to it have been carefully defaced and levelled. But the stump of a tower of irregular shape still remains, which may well be a fragment of the stronghold of Helias; the neighbouring church too still keeps under its choir a crypt which must be far older than his day. Still in possession of a considerable part of his dominions, master of a district so strongly guarded, the undisputed lord of La Flèche began to make everything ready for a campaign which might make him once more Count of Le Mans. Preparations of Helias. August 1098-April 1099. From August till April, Helias kept within his own lands—​like a bull in the hiding-places of the woods, says the local writer[672]—​strengthening his own fortresses and making alliances wherever he could. April 10, 1099. The whole line of castles, together with the fortified villages in the neighbourhood, had by Easter-tide been made ready for defence against the attacks of any enemy.[673]

277 Helias now deemed that the time was come for offensive operations against the invaders of Maine. Helias begins operations. He began to attack the posts which were occupied by the King’s forces, and to lay waste the lands in their possession. In this work he was secretly favoured by the people of the country,[674] and before long a large body of his friends and neighbours had openly joined his banner. He marches against Le Mans. June, 1099. In June he set forth at the head of a great force for an enterprise against the city itself.[675] We should like to know what, in such a case, was deemed a great force; but we may suspect that the following of Helias would largely consist of irregular levies, not well fitted, unless with the advantage of very superior numbers, to measure themselves with the picked and tried mercenaries of Rufus. The army marched northwards towards Le Mans. Junction of Sarthe and Huisne. A little to the south-west of the city the Sarthe is joined by the Huisne, the stream which, with its tributaries, waters the whole north-eastern part of Maine. The river is at this point shallow and weedy, with woody banks and small islands in its bed. Two old lines of road lead from the south towards the lower course of the Huisne. One leads towards the bridge of Pontlieue, a bridge 278 which has a history in modern times.[676] The other leads to a ford less than a mile lower down the stream, now known as the ford of Mauny. One of our accounts distinctly makes Helias cross by a ford; the other seems less distinctly to imply that he crossed by a bridge.[677] At any rate he crossed in this quarter, immediately south of Le Mans. Battle at Pontlieue. He challenged the King’s troops in the city to come forth. The challenge was accepted, and a battle followed on the ground between the Huisne and the city. Pontlieue may now pass as a suburb of Le Mans, and not its least busy suburb. In those days the flat ground was doubtless all open; the hospital reared by Henry the Second in the neighbourhood of his native city must have been placed there as in a rural retreat. Victory of Helias; he recovers Le Mans. The fight was stout; the King’s troops fought valiantly; but they were put to flight by the greater numbers of the liberating host. The beaten garrison sought shelter in the city; fliers and pursuers streamed in together; the gates could not be shut; Count Helias was again in Le Mans at the head of a conquering army.[678]

279 Joy of the citizens. The joy of the citizens of Le Mans was indeed great at his coming.[679] Their own lord, their native count, the happiness of whose former reign they remembered in its fair contrast with the Norman dominion, was again amongst his faithful people. The formal welcome which had greeted the coming of Rufus was exchanged for heartfelt delight at the coming of Helias. The castles still held for Rufus. But there was still work to be done. Helias was in Le Mans; but the garrison of Rufus was in Le Mans also. The garrison had not been able to hinder the Count’s followers from entering the city; but the Count’s followers had not been able to hinder the garrison from securing themselves in the fortresses of the city, in the King’s tower and in Mont-Barbet.[680] Comparison with the deliverance of York in 1069. And now the story reads almost word for word like a famous scene in our own history just thirty years before.[681] Helias entered Le Mans as Eadgar and Waltheof entered York. And at Le Mans, 280 as at York, the native deliverers occupied the city while the foreign garrison still held the castles. The Normans at Le Mans betook themselves to the same means of defence as the Normans at York, the familiar means of defence of their nation. Whether he would or not, the joyous entry of Helias was to be celebrated with the same kind of offerings as the crowning and the churching of the Conqueror. Westminster, York, Mantes, had felt the Norman power of destruction; the turn of Le Mans was now come. The Normans set fire to the city. Walter the son of Ansgar set his engineers to work, and, when the evening came, flaming brands and hot cinders were hurled from their engines upon the houses of the city. It was summer; all things were dry; a strong east wind was blowing, and all Le Mans was presently in a blaze.[682] How the great minster, so near to the King’s tower, escaped without damage does not appear. But, as the church stands between the castle and the main part of the city, we may conceive that the fiery bolts launched by the engines from the tower might fly over the roof of its nave without doing harm. In any case, before the end of the day on which Helias entered, a large part of the city and suburbs was burned. The true prince was again in his own city; but he had nothing there to reign over, except smoking ruins commanded by a hostile fortress. Discouragement of the citizens. And we are told that the love of the citizens for their count was somewhat lessened by this mischance of warfare, 281 which was surely no fault of his. We are significantly told that they were less eager to fight for him in the evening than they had been in the morning.[683] Wooden houses indeed could easily be rebuilt; it may even be that that day’s fire cleared the space for those noble domestic buildings of a little later date, some of which the official barbarism of our own day has deigned to spare, and of which those that still remain count among the choicest treasures of Le Mans.[684] But at the moment the effect must have been disheartening, and the change in the feelings of the people is in no way wonderful.

Operation against the castles. At Le Mans, as at York in the like case, the business of the moment was the assault of the castles; but at Le Mans the enterprise of the deliverers was less fortunate than it had been at York. The citizens of Le Mans were not, like the citizens of York, to have the pleasure of breaking down the stronghold of the stranger. Helias himself, after all, was a French prince of the eleventh century, and he would hardly have been so ready as Waltheof was to encourage such a work. He had never, during his earlier reign, thought of playing Timoleôn in that special fashion. But in any case the fortresses were first to be taken. Walter the son of Ansgar seems to have been a more wary captain than William Malet 282 and Gilbert of Ghent. He did not risk a sally, and Helias had not the same opportunity as Waltheof of showing his personal prowess by cutting off Norman heads in the gate.[685] The castles besieged in vain. He was driven to a formal siege of the castle. Amid the ashes of the burned city he planted his engines to play upon the royal tower. Question of the church towers. We may almost suspect, from a story which we shall come to presently, that the new towers of Saint Julian’s were profaned to warlike uses, and were made, as they well might be, to play a part in the attack. But in any case the attack was in vain. The strength of the fortresses, the skill with which their defenders brought engines to answer engines, were too great for all the battering-works of Helias.[686] Robert of Bellême strengthens Ballon. The King’s tower and Mont Barbet both held out, and Robert of Bellême took the further precaution of strengthening the defences of Ballon.[687]

The news sent to the King. But it was not enough for the garrisons to hold out. They served a master beyond the sea; and that master had yet to learn either that they were holding out or that there was any enemy for them to hold out against. We are in this story doubtless dealing with the work of a very few days. The fight by the ford, the entry of Helias, and the fire, all took place on the same day. The siege of the castles would begin at the first moment that any engines could be brought up. Whether Helias had brought them with him, or whether he had to send for 283 them, we are not told. We may be sure that there was no great delay in sending the news to the King; but the messenger did not start till he had something more to tell than that Le Mans, or what was left of it, was in the hands of its own count. A Norman Pheidippidês, Amalchis by name, the special courier of Robert of Bellême, was sent with the news.[688] The news brought to him in the New Forest. He crossed the sea; he hastened to the King’s hunting-seat of Clarendon, and met William and a party of his favourite companions going forth to hunt in the New Forest. The King asked the messenger what the news was. The news was speedily told; Le Mans was taken by treason. But Amalchis could add some words of comfort, how his own lord held Ballon, how the King’s troops in the city, though besieged and attacked by the enemy, still held out in the fortresses, how they were longing for the King to come in person to their help.[689] We can hardly believe that Rufus had heard nothing of the general movements of Helias in southern Maine; but all that had happened since the Count set forth for Pontlieue came to his ears in a single message.

William rides to the coast. At the hearing of such a tale as this William the Red did not tarry. He waited for no counsellors. His words were only, “Let us go beyond the sea and help our friends.” When those around him bade him wait till a force could be made ready, he answered, “I will see who will follow me. Do you think that I shall be left without men? I know well the youth of my lands, they will hasten to 284 come to me, even at the risk of shipwreck.” So saying, without following, without preparation, he loosened his bridle, he put spurs to his horse, he rode straight to the sea-shore at Southampton, and at once trusted himself all alone to an old crazy ship which he found there. He crosses to Touques. The sky was cloudy; the wind was contrary; the blasts tossed up huge waves; the sailors prayed him to wait till the winds and the waves should be more inclined to peace and mercy. “I never heard of a king being drowned,” cried Rufus; “make haste, loose your cables; you will see the elements join to obey me.” He set sail, and the next morning he reached the haven of Touques, God, we are told by the monk of Saint Evroul, being his guide.[690]

The spot where William landed must, especially at the moment of William’s landing, have had a widely different look from that which it bears in our own day. Touques in Rufus’ time. The river from which the town of Touques takes its name, flowing down from Lisieux to its mouth by the modern pleasure-town of Trouville, has had its course shifted by modern improvements; but it has perhaps not greatly changed in width or bulk of stream since the time of our story. Touques lies a few miles inland; but a high tide would easily bring up the small vessels of that day to the point which was once a busy haven, but which now affords at the most a landing-place for barges. The single long street, full of picturesque wooden buildings of later times, and containing a striking disused church of the days of Rufus or his father, now turns away from the stream, as if to show that the days of Touques as a haven have passed away. In those days the inland port, placed in the rich vale of the stream, under the shadow of the hills, those to the right forming the forest-land of Touques, was a frequented spot; and at the moment when the ship came 285 which bore Rufus and his fortunes, it presented a busy scene. Landing of the King. As was usual in the summer-tide, a crowd of persons, both clerical and lay, was gathered at the riverside.[691] When they saw a ship coming from England, they pressed to ask what the news might be. Specially they asked how the King fared. And lo, the King was there as his own messenger to answer them.[692] He returned their greetings in merry mood, and all wondered and were glad.[693] We must remember that Normandy had better reason to be glad at the presence of Rufus than either England or Maine. His ride to Bonneville. The King landed; he sprang on the first beast that he could find, a mare belonging to a priest, and so took the road which led towards the south-east to the castle of Bonneville, on the slope of the hills which overlook and guard the haven. The distance is short, and most of it is uphill, and the speed of the priest’s mare was most likely not equal to the speed of the King’s own horse which had borne him from Clarendon to Southampton. A loyal crowd, clerks and peasants, were thus able to follow him on foot, cheering their sovereign as he rode up the hill-side to the castle.[694]

The castle of Bonneville. The headlong rush by land and sea was now over, and the Red King again found himself in one of the chief strongholds of Normandy. The castle of Bonneville, placed, not on the top of the hill, but on a small spur projecting from its side, was in fact the citadel of 286 Touques. It specially guarded the inland haven; otherwise one might rather have looked for the site of such a fortress on the hills which overlook the sea and guard the actual mouth of the stream. Yet from the towers of Bonneville we look out on a wide and a goodly prospect. Almost at the foot of the hill lies Touques itself. The river stretches away to its mouth at Deauville; on the right the valley is fenced in by the high ground of the forest, on the left by the hill crowned by the castle of Lassay, famous in later times, with the small priory of Saint Arnold, still keeping work of the Conqueror’s day, nestling on the hill-side. But at Bonneville itself no strictly architectural work remains which can have served the Red King as a resting-place after his fierce journey. The existing castle, a shell-keep strengthened by round towers, seems to be in all parts later than the days of Rufus, later than the days of Norman independence. A single gateway only could possibly be placed even within the latter years of the twelfth century. But the site is an ancient one; the castle is girded by a ditch, and the ditch is in some parts further strengthened by an embankment, which seem more likely to have been taken advantage of by the Norman dukes than to be their original work. Early history and legends of Bonneville. Bonneville had been one of the dwelling-places of William the Great, and it is one of the many towns and castles which claim to have been the scene of the oath of Harold.[695] Though the existing buildings are later, the hill itself and its earthworks are there, as when Rufus drew breath among them. He there rested for a moment, after being borne with the swiftest speed of his own age from the sports of the West-Saxon forest to the 287 serious business which pressed on a ruler of Normandy when Le Mans was again held by a hostile power.

William at Bonneville. The castle which Rufus had now reached, the nearest fortress in Normandy to the spot in England from which he had so wildly rushed, now became the starting-point of a campaign which, in its beginning, was not unskilfully planned. At Bonneville the King began to make his preparations for the recovery of Le Mans. His levy. He sent his messengers to and fro, and soon gathered a large force. He marches towards Le Mans. He then began his march southward; he crossed the frontier, and pressed on towards Le Mans, harrying the land as he went.[696] The effect of his coming was immediate. When the news came that the King was on his way, the forces of Helias began to fail him; he no longer dared to go on with the siege of the castles; he no longer dared even to hold the city.[697] Helias flees to Château-du-Loir. He fled from Le Mans, and hastened to the defence of his immediate possessions in the southern part of the county. Here he took up his head-quarters in his own fortress specially known as the Castle of the Loir. Within its walls the Count of Maine again waited for better days, while the hosts of Normandy drew near to his capital.[698]

Flight of the citizens. Meanwhile despair reigned in Le Mans. A crowd of the citizens, with their wives and children and all that 288 they had, followed their prince.[699] When Rufus heard of the flight of Helias, he was still north of Le Mans.William passes through Le Mans. He pressed on to overtake his enemy; he reached the city; but, like Harold on the march to Stamfordbridge, he did not deem it a time to tarry even a single night within its walls. And in the mind of Rufus there was doubtless another motive at work besides either military precaution or even simple military ardour. With him it would be a point of honour to occupy, at the first moment that he could, the ground on which his choice troops had been put to flight by the hasty levies of Helias. His camp beyond the Huisne. He marched through the city, over the battleground of Pontlieue; he crossed the bridge of the Huisne, and pitched his camp on the broad plain[700] to the south of the stream. He had thus passed into what might seem the immediate dominions of his rival, as his rival had passed at the same point to attack the city which he claimed as specially his own.

He harries southern Maine. Helias burns the castles. From his camp on the left back of the Huisne Rufus began a deliberate and fearful harrying of the whole southern part of Maine. But before his troops could reach the strongholds of the enemy, they found the land laid waste before them. Even two castles, those of Outillé and Vaux-en-Belin,[701] were set fire to by the 289 Count’s own partisans. Robert of Montfort—​the Norman Montfort—​pressed on with five hundred knights, put out the fire at Vaux, repaired the fortress, and held it for the King.[702] Helias meanwhile was biding his time in the Castle of the Loir. Helias keeps on the defensive. His force was still strong; but he deemed it no time for any attack on his part. Perhaps he knew Rufus well enough to feel sure that against him the tactics of Fabius were the tactics which were most likely to prevail.

For in this campaign, exactly as in the earlier campaign in Maine and in the campaign in the Vexin, the thing which most strikes us is the way in which it ends, or, more truly, the way in which it comes to no end at all. William besieges Mayet. While Helias held out at Château-du-Loir, William, instead of attacking him, laid siege to Mayet. At this last point, lying some way north of Château-du-Loir, we find the scene of some of the most remarkable anecdotes in our whole story, and it is here that the last serious warfare of the Red King seems to have taken place.[703] The siege was not a long one, and its result was strange and unexpected; but the few days which it took are crowded with incident, and they set William Rufus before us in more than one character. He first appears in a mood which may be thought wholly unexpected; perhaps as touched by devotion himself, at all 290 events as hearkening readily to the devotional scruples of others. The King’s host appeared before Mayet on a Friday, and he gave orders for a general attack on the castle on the next day.[704] Observance of the Truce of God. The sabbath morning dawns; the warriors are vying with one another in girding on their weapons and making ready for the attack.[705] Then a pious scruple, a scruple which seems to have occurred to no man on the day of Senlac, touched the hearts of some of the elders of the host. Certain unrecorded wise men crave of the King that, out of reverence for the Lord’s burial and resurrection, he will spare the besieged both that day and the next, and will grant them a truce till Monday. In other words, they demand the observance of the Truce of God.[706] The King gives glory to God, and gives orders that it shall be as they wish; nothing shall be done against the castle on either Saturday or Sunday; on Monday the attack shall be made.[707]

We now get a glimpse within the walls. The defenders of Mayet, we are told, were men of proved valour and endurance, faithful to their lord and ready to fight for him to the death.[708] It is worth notice that, through the whole story, the Red King’s favourite arms are never heard of within the bounds of Maine. No bribery in Maine. The wealth of England, which carried such weight within Normandy and France, which proved such an unanswerable argument in the mind of King Philip, goes for nothing on the banks of the Sarthe and the Loir. It seems 291 never to enter into any man’s mind that it was worth trying to buy over any man who owned Helias as his lord. So now in the Red King’s camp steel lies idle on the holy days of the older and the newer law; and gold seems to lie idle no less. Preparations of the besieged. But those days were not days of idleness within the bulwarks of Mayet. The gallant defenders of the castle were making ready for the attack. One special means of defence was to place wicker crates along the walls in order to break the force of the stones hurled by the King’s artillery.[709] The castle attacked on Monday. At last Monday came, and the assault began. The deep and wide ditch of the castle was found to be no small hindrance to the besiegers. A wild story is told that the King ordered the ditch to be filled up with horses and mules, the beasts seemingly of draught and burthen.[710] Story of Robert of Bellême. For them, as the villains of the brute world, there was no mercy; the destrier of the knight was, in knightly hearts, entitled to some share of the respect due to his rider. But the tale adds that Robert of Bellême, the man so hateful in Cenomannian memory, improved on the King’s order, and bade the ditch be filled, not only with horses, but with human villains also.[711] Such an order would really be 292 thoroughly in the spirit of chivalry. Illustrations of chivalry. It would have come well from the mouths of those French gentlemen who called at Crecy for the slaughter of the so-called peasants whom they had hired from Genoa.[712] But William the Red had learned beneath the walls of Rochester what the churls of one land at least could do, and he was not likely to carry his knightly ideal quite so far as this. The tale, we may suspect, is a bit of local Cenomannian romance, part of the popular tale of the devil of Mamers. Those who tell it add that the effect of the order was to cause the immediate flight of all the members of the despised class who were within hearing.[713] The besiegers fill the ditch with wood. But the most trustworthy narrative of the siege of Mayet tells us nothing of any of these strange ways of filling up a ditch. There we read only of vast piles of wood which were hurled into it, and of a path raised on piles which the besiegers strove to make level with the palisade of the castle.

The besieged burn the wood. But the devices of the garrison of Mayet were at least equal to the devices of their enemies. They hurled down masses of burning charcoal, and so, by the help of the summer heat, they burned up the piles of wood with which the besiegers were filling up the ditch.[714] All 293 Monday both sides strove with all their might against one another, and the King began to be grieved and angry that all his efforts had availed nothing.[715] Narrow escape of William. While he was thus troubled in mind, a stone was aimed at him from a lofty turret. It missed William himself, but a warrior who stood by him was crushed to pieces by the falling mass.[716] Then there rose a loud shout of mockery from the wall; “Lo, the King now has fresh meat; let it be taken to the kitchen and made ready for his supper.”[717] We might have looked to hear that for such scorn as this the Red King vowed a vengeance like his father’s vengeance at Alençon. But either Rufus and his counsellors were strangely cowed, or else they were glad of any excuse to throw up an enterprise one day of which seems to have been enough to weary them. William’s captains advise a retreat. The lords and high captains of the King’s host impressed on their master’s mind that the defences of Mayet were very strong, that its defenders were very brave, that, sheltered as they were behind their strong walls, they had a great advantage over besiegers encamped in the open air.[718] These sound strange arguments in an age when warfare chiefly consisted in attacking and defending strong places. They sound strangest of all when they 294 are addressed to a king who, so short a time before, had taken it for granted that not only men and walls, but the winds and the waves, would yield to his will. But the reasoning of these prudent warriors is said to have carried conviction to the King’s mind. Rufus saw that the best thing that he could do was to march off while he was still safe. There were other ways besides besieging castles by which more damage could be done to the enemy with less risk to his own followers.[719] The siege raised on Tuesday. Orders were given to march to Lucé with the first light of Tuesday. The host arose early, and went on, making a fearful harrying as they went.The land ravaged. Vines were rooted up, fruit-trees cut down, walls and houses overthrown. The whole of that fertile land was utterly laid waste with fire and sword.[720]

No real success on the King’s part. This seems a somewhat paltry ending for a campaign which began with the King’s breathless rush from the New Forest to Bonneville. Not very much had come of the headlong ride or of the sail in the crazy ship. William Rufus had gained no real success, military or political. He was as far as ever from the real possession of the whole land of Maine. He had rooted up a great many vines and cut down a great many fruit trees; but he had neither won a battle nor taken a fortress. His garrisons at Le Mans and at Ballon had held out; Helias had left Le Mans open to him; at Vaux Robert of Montfort had overcome, not Helias, but the flames. On the other hand, Helias himself was safe, in full command of most of his southern castles; from the only one 295 of them which the King had actually attacked, he had turned away baffled after one day’s fighting. Illustration of Rufus’ character. In all these cases it would seem as if the fiery impulses of Rufus soon spent themselves, as if all depended on the first rush. If that failed, he never had perseverance to go on. In his strangely mingled nature, he could be either a ruler or a captain when the fit to be either took him. He had not steadiness to be either for any long time together. The campaign unfinished. Certain it is that he left all his continental campaigns unfinished; and this one, which was begun with such a special blaze of energy, was left more utterly unfinished than any of the others. And yet perhaps, after all, William Rufus had succeeded in the chief wish of his heart. William satisfied by the recovery of Le Mans. Le Mans was the special prize of his father; its castles were the work of his father. But his father had had no special dealings with Mayet or Château-du-Loir. He might be satisfied to do without such small and distant possessions, he might be satisfied even to undergo defeat before them, as long as the city which his father had twice won, as long as the royal tower which his father had reared, were his beyond dispute.

William’s good treatment of Le Mans. But it is at least to William’s honour that, in his last entry at Le Mans, he showed himself a benefactor to the city which had suffered so much. Rufus had, as we have seen in the case of Robert of Bellême, men about him who were worse than himself. Or rather, putting aside such exceptional sinners as Robert of Bellême, he had men about him who simply did, as a matter of course, according to the fashion of the time, without either rising or sinking to those parts of the character of Rufus which are special to himself. So now the citizens of Le Mans found in the Red King himself a deliverer from the oppressions done by his officers. 296 Those among the inhabitants who had stayed in the city and had not followed their Count in his flight, had suffered every kind of wrong-doing at the hands of the King’s garrisons. He enters the city. The tale, according to the local historian, was too long and sad to tell in full.[721] But matters grew better when the King came himself. William again entered Le Mans in triumph, a triumph won chiefly over vines and apple-trees, certainly not over the garrison of Mayet.[722] He stops the oppressions of his garrison. Anyhow he came in a merciful mood. He checked the excesses of his soldiers; it was owing to his bounty only that the city was saved from utter ruin.[723] But on one class of its inhabitants his hand was harder than on the rest. He drives out the canons. The canons of Saint Julian’s, or so many of them as had agreed to the election of Hildebert, were driven out by the King’s order.[724] He leaves garrisons and returns to England. September, 1099. William then disbanded his army,[725] leaving garrisons in the castles of Le Mans, and doubtless in that of Ballon also. He then left the mainland for the last time, and, after an absence of three months, came back to England about the time of the feast of Michaelmas.[726]

William and Hildebert. But, if William Rufus, on his last visit to Le Mans, 297 saved the inhabitants of the city from ruin, he presently deprived the city itself of one of its chief material ornaments. It was the election of Hildebert which had first stirred up his wrath, and he had picked out the lands of the bishopric, as the lands of a personal enemy, for special havoc.[727] Hildebert reconciled to the King. Yet we read that, at some very early stage of his march, before he had yet crossed the frontier of Normandy and Maine, Hildebert met the King, and was received as a friend, on showing that he had had no hand in bringing about the occupation of the city by Helias.[728] Charges brought against him. But, after William had again entered Le Mans, the charge was once more brought against the Bishop by some of the clergy of Saint Julian’s who had opposed his election from the beginning. It was by Hildebert’s counsel, they said, that Helias had been received, and that the King’s castles had been besieged; nay, the towers of the minster itself, the twin towers of Howel, had been used, as they well might be, for the attack on the royal tower. William bids Hildebert pull down the towers of Saint Julian’s. William hearkened to the enemies of Hildebert, and gave him his choice, either to pull down the towers which were so liable to abuse, or else to follow him at once into England.[729] To the Bishop of Le Mans the sea-voyage itself seemed frightful;[730] and when its dangers were passed, when Hildebert 298 had reached the shores of our island, his enemies, who seem to have crossed also, again began to accuse him to the King.[731] Dialogue between William and Hildebert. A strange dialogue followed between the two. William, in his craft, offered to purchase the destruction of the towers at a price which would have greatly increased the internal splendour of the church. Let the Bishop agree to pull down the towers, and he, King William, will give him a vast mass of gold and silver for the adornment of the new shrine of Saint Julian.[732] But the Bishop had his craft also. He was in the land so famous for gold and silver work, the land where Otto and Theodoric were doubtless still plying their craft. They had no such goldsmiths at Le Mans; let the King keep his precious ingots for works within his own kingdom.[733] Still the destruction of the towers is pressed upon him; all that he can gain, and that with difficulty, is a little delay. Hildebert at last went back to Le Mans, taking with him, not indeed the King’s great ingots, but some lesser ornaments for his church.[734] The burning of the city, the dispersion of his canons, the havoc wrought in his own lands, all weighed him down. He poured forth the full bitterness of his soul in his extant 299 letters. The unrepealed order for the pulling down of the two towers still hung over him. Was it ever carried out? Our author does not say distinctly. We might rather infer from his story that the death of Rufus and the return of Helias saved the Bishop from his difficulties.[735] Yet the appearance of the building itself looks the other way. The southern tower. As the church of Saint Julian now stands, the southern tower of Howel has its existing representative. It is slender, and, if it stood against a building of ordinary height, it would be tall. Its upper part belongs to the late rebuilding of the transepts, but the lowest stage belongs to the latest and richest style of Romanesque, contemporary with the great recasting of the nave. It is no work of Howel or even of Hildebert; but it is the work of one who wished to reproduce, with the richer detail of his own day, the general likeness of what Howel’s tower had been. Appearance on the north side. On the north side this tower has no fellow; the space at the end of the transept which answers to it is occupied by a ruined building of earlier Romanesque, which may well be the stump of the original tower of Howel.[736] Are we to infer that the bidding of Rufus was carried out—​that the towers, or their upper stages, were actually destroyed—​that every later ruler of Le Mans, the devout Helias among them, deemed the northern tower too near to the royal fortress to allow of its rebuilding, but that the rebuilding of the more distant tower on the southern side was begun in the earlier and finished in the later recasting of the church? May we look on the shattered building which joins hard to the northern transept of Saint Julian’s as being truly the remnant of a tower which Howel reared with the good will of William the Great, and which Hildebert, with a heavy heart, pulled down at the bidding of William the Red? If it be so, I know of no 300 spot where architectural evidence speaks more strongly to the mind, where walls and columns and arches bring us more directly into the presence of the men who made and who unmade them. Among all the wonders of Saint Julian’s minster—​beside the nave which is inseparably bound up with so many living pages of our story—​beside the choir which in itself concerns not the historian of Norman kings and Cenomannian counts, but on which we gaze in breathless wonder as one of the noblest of the works of man—​no spot comes more truly home to us than that where we see the small remnants of what once was there and is there no longer. Alongside of the soaring apse to the east, of the wide portal to the west, the northern tower of Howel is indeed conspicuous by its absence.

The second war with Maine is the only event beyond the bounds of England which our own annalists record under this year, except indeed those œcumenical events besides which the affairs of Maine, and even the affairs of England, seem for the moment but as trifles. Robert at Jerusalem. July, 1099. In the same month of July in which William made his way into Le Mans, his brother Robert, in quite another warfare, made his way into Jerusalem.[737] Presently, before he could have heard of his own work, the great preacher of the crusade, Death of Pope Urban. July 29. Pope Urban the Second, passed away.[738] With the affairs of Maine these events have a direct connexion. It was not the fault of Count Helias that he did not obey the teaching of Urban, that he did not enter the Holy City alongside of Robert and Godfrey. Revolt in Anglesey. 1099. But it needs an effort to turn away either from Jerusalem or from Le Mans to record the last counter-revolution in Anglesey. Yet it is not amiss to remember that two lands were at the same moment striving for freedom against the Red King, and that the 301 Briton and the Cenomannian had to hold their own against the same enemy. He who ruled at once at Bellême and at Shrewsbury was terrible to both alike. We may believe that the Britons marked their time while the fierce Earl had his hands full beyond the Channel, to strike another blow to win back their land, and specially to win back the island which had been the scene of the warfare of the last year. Return of Cadwgan and Gruffydd. But it would seem that, in some parts at least of the land, there was little need for blows. The two princes who had fled to Ireland, Cadwgan son of Bleddyn and Gruffydd son of Cynan, now came back. Cadwgan obtained a peaceful settlement in Ceredigion; Recovery of Anglesey and Ceredigion by the Welsh. Gruffydd got possession of Anglesey, perhaps as the price of warfare. A son of Cadwgan, Llywelyn, was presently killed by the men of Brecheiniog, that is doubtless by the followers of Bernard of Newmarch.[739] Another Welsh prince, Howel by name, had to flee to Ireland.[740] We may infer that the central border-land was still firmly held by the conquerors, but that, though the French had constrained the Britons of Anglesey to become Saxons,[741] French and Saxons alike had to yield to the returning Britons both in Anglesey and in Ceredigion. Gruffydd and Cadwgan, names which are by this time familiar to us, are again established in Britain. Both of them play a part in the later history of their own land, and Cadwgan at least will appear again within the range of our own story.

These Welsh matters find no place in the English 302 Chronicles, which find so little space even for the deeds of Helias. Most likely they made no great impression on the mind of Rufus, now that, not Maine indeed, but at least Le Mans, was again his. He came back to England, a conqueror doubtless in his own eyes, about the feast of Saint Michael. Natural phænomenon. The year did not end without one of those natural phenomena in which the reign is so rich. The great tide. November 3, 1099. This time it was the wonderful flood-tide which, in the beginning of November, on a day of new moon, came up the Thames, flooded the land, overwhelmed houses and villages, and swept away men, oxen, and sheep.[742] A month later a new source of revenue began to flow into the Red King’s coffers. Death of Bishop Osmund of Salisbury. December 3, 1099. Bishop Osmund of Salisbury, the founder alike of the elder church and of the abiding ritual of his diocese, died early in December.[743] His temporalities passed, like those of Canterbury and Winchester, into the King’s hands. The Bishop of Durham had doubtless bade farewell to such duties; but the race of exactores, of clerical exactores, had not died out. There were still plenty of men in the Red King’s court who were ready to help in wringing the last penny out of the lands of bishops till they had wrung enough to buy bishoprics for themselves. The end is now drawing nigh; but till the end came, the groans of the Church, of the tenants of the Church, and of the whole people of the land, went up with a voice ever louder and louder.




The last year of the eleventh century had now come. End of the eleventh century. The course of those hundred years had wrought many changes in the world. To our eyes the changes which it had wrought in the isle of Britain seem great and wonderful, and great and wonderful they were. Changes in Britain. 1000–1100. At the beginning of the century Englishmen were struggling for their country and their homes against the invading Dane. The Dane had won the land; he had given us one foreign ruler who became one of ourselves. The days of foreign rule had passed away, only, as the event proved, to pave the way for a foreign rule which was to be far more abiding. A foreign rule which, by adopting national feelings, in some sort deadened them paved the way for a foreign rule which, by seeming for a moment to crush the old life of the nation, really called it up again in new shapes. But the rule of the Norman could 304 not, like the rule of Cnut, itself become national during the life-time of the Conqueror or of his first successor. Internal changes. There was indeed a change between the England of Æthelred and the England of William Rufus. The outward aspect of the land itself must have changed, now that well-nigh every English mound was crowned by its Norman castle, now that well-nigh every English minster was giving way to a successor built after Norman patterns. But, if things had changed, men had changed also. Compare the signatures to a charter of Æthelred and the signatures to a charter of William. The change which had come over the land is marked by the difference between the list of English names among which it may be that some follower of the Norman Lady has crept in, and the list of Norman names among which it may be that some unusually lucky Englishman has contrived to hold his place. Changes in foreign relations. England had thus changed indeed in her internal state; she had changed no less in her relations to other lands. Within her own island she had made what it is no contradiction to speak of as a peaceful conquest made at the sword’s point. Scotland. The elder Eadgar had placed the younger on the Scottish throne as the work of warfare. So far as Eadgar’s work was the political submission of Scotland, its results were but for a moment. So far as it led to the peaceful change of Scotland into a second and separate English kingdom, its results have been indeed abiding. Wales. Towards Wales, amidst much of seeming ill-success, the work of conquest had in truth begun; the Red King had found out the true way to curb those bold spirits which he could not overcome in the field. Fusion of elements in Britain begins. Much indeed had the eleventh century done, in different ways, towards welding the three elements of the isle of Britain into one political whole. Ages had to pass before the work was finished; but it was in the eleventh 305 century, above all, in the reign of Rufus, that it really began. Ireland. Towards the impossible work, forbidden by geography and history, of welding another great island into the same whole, whatever either William may have dreamed—​yet to the Conqueror we may not dare to ascribe mere dreams—​neither had done anything. So far as the two great islands of the Ocean had begun to draw near to one another, it was as yet wholly through the advances which the princes and people of Ireland had made in spiritual things to the Pontiff of the other world, the Patriarch of all the nations beyond the sea.

Britain ceases to be another world. But one great work of the times over which we are casting our eyes was that Britain was now fast ceasing to deserve its ancient name of another world. The earliest and the latest years of the century are each marked by a marriage, by a change of name on the part of the bride, which puts the change before us in a living way. Marriages of Ælfgifu-Emma and Eadgyth-Matilda. A new epoch of intercourse with other lands had begun when, on her marriage with a King of the English of her day, Norman Emma had to become English Ælfgifu. How greatly things had turned the other way was shown when, on her marriage with a King of the English of her day, English Eadgyth had to become Norman Matilda. England becomes part of the Latin world. The land which was to be the realm of Henry and Matilda was, through the chain of events which began with Emma’s marriage, fast changing from the separate world of Æthelred’s day into a part of the larger world of Western Europe, the world of Latinitas, of Latin speech and of learning, the world which, amidst all the struggles of rival Popes and Emperors, still deemed itself the world of Rome. Advance of the Latin world in the eleventh century. And in few ages had that world done more to extend itself than in the age which began with Æthelred and ended with Henry. At the beginning of the century northern Europe was still largely heathen; England was fighting 306 the battle of Christendom against the Danish renegade. Conversion of the North. The Crusade. Now the kingdoms of the North had passed into the Christian fold. The change between the beginning of the century and the end is best marked by saying that before its end the crusades had begun, that the first crusade had been crowned with the greatest of crusading victories. But, in looking at the crusades of the East, the abiding crusade of the West must not be forgotten. The struggle in Spain. Our own Chronicler has not failed to tell us somewhat of the great strife of Christian and Saracen in the south-western peninsula,[745] and if the taking of Toledo was followed by reverses of the Christian arms, it was only by dint of help from Africa. Here is a sign that the tide was turned, and that it was only by such help from beyond the straits, by a new passage of Africa into Europe, that Islam could maintain itself in the once Roman and Gothic land. In the Eastern world, the crusade should not make us forget the causes of the crusade. Decline of the Eastern Empire. At the beginning of the century we saw the Eastern Rome in her full might, the might of Saracenic victories which were already won, of Bulgarian victories which were winning. But now, as the Western Mussulman has to call in help from Africa, so the Eastern Christian has to call in help from Western Europe. Renewed advance. The Christian frontier in Asia has indeed frightfully gone back since the beginning of the century; but it has again begun to advance; Nikaia, Antioch, Jerusalem itself, are restored to the Christian world, and Nikaia is restored, not only to the Christian world but to the obedience of the Eastern Augustus. Sicily. And, by not least memorable change among so many, the great Mediterranean island, the battle-field of Greek and Saracen, has passed away from the rule of either, while remaining the flourishing dwelling-place of both. Sicily has entered 307 within the range of Western Christendom, and Palermo, like Winchester, has entered within the range of Norman dominion. When Æthelred reigned at Winchester and Richard at Rouen, a bishop of Evreux could not have performed the funeral rites of a bishop of Bayeux within the walls and between the havens of the Happy City.

Changes then had been great in east and west and north and south during the century which carries us from Otto the Wonder of the World and Basil the Slayer of the Bulgarians to what at first sight seems the lower level of Henry the Fourth and Alexios Komnênos. Change from Æthelred to William Rufus. And when in our own land the same space carries us from Æthelred to William Rufus, the gap seems wider still. And it was at least not the fault of William Rufus that the changes wrought by the eleventh century were not greater still. Æthelred, the man without rede, was not likely to change the face of the world, unless by passively supplying the means for Swegen and Cnut to change it. But William Rufus had no lack of rede of one kind, though it was perhaps of a kind which better deserved to be called unrede. But it was unrede of a more active kind than the unrede of Æthelred. Schemes of Rufus. William was eager enough to change the face of the world for his own behoof. To win, after a sort, the submission of Scotland and Maine, to plan the conquest of Ireland and France, to negotiate for the purchase of Aquitaine—​here alone are far-reaching plans enough, plans which could not have been carried out without some large result on the history of mankind. That result could never have been the lasting establishment of that Empire of Gaul and Britain of which Rufus seems to have dreamed. But had his continental plans been successful, they might have led, as the marriage of Lewis and Eleanor in the next century might have led, to the formation of a kingdom of France in the modern sense some ages before its time.

308 Contradiction in William’s position. The strange thing is that a man who schemed so much, who filled so great a place in the eyes of his own generation, after all did so little. Almost more strange is the way in which he sees all his great plans utterly shattered, and yet seems to feel no shame, no discouragement, no shock to his belief in his own greatness. He comes back really defeated; he has twice won Le Mans, and that is all; but if he has won Le Mans, he cannot win Mayet. So far from winning Paris, he cannot win Chaumont. So far from reigning on the Garonne, he cannot keep even the frontier of the Loir. His defeats not counted defeats. But what would have been counted defeat in any one else does not seem to have been counted defeat in William Rufus. Beaten at all points but one, he still keeps the air of a conqueror; he still seems to be looked on as a conqueror by others. From the beginning to the end, there is a kind of glamour about the Red King and all that he does. He has a kind of sleight of hand which imposes on men’s minds; like the Athenian orator, when he is thrown in the wrestling-match, he makes those who saw his fall believe that he has never fallen.[746] We might even borrow a word from the piebald jargon of modern diplomacy; we might say that the reign of the Red King was the highest recorded effort of prestige.

The year 1100. And now we have entered on the last year of the reign and of the century. Lack of events in its earlier months. It is a year whose earlier months are, within our own range at least, singularly barren of events, while its latter months are full of matter to record. It is a kind of tribute to the importance of William Rufus that there is at once so much to record the moment he is out of the way. When he is gone, a large part of the world feels relief. But about the lack of events earlier in the year there is something strange and solemn. 309 Contrast with the year 1000. The last year of the eleventh century was not marked by that general feeling of awe and wonder and looking forward to judgement which marked the last year of the tenth century. Vague expectations afloat. But, at least within the range of the Red King’s influence, that year seems to have been marked by that vague kind of feeling of a coming something which some of us have felt before the great events of our own times. Whatever may be the cause, it is certain that, as the news of events which have happened sometimes travels with a speed which ordinary means cannot account for,[747] so the approach of events which have not yet happened is sometimes felt in a way which we can account for as little. Coming events do cast their shadows before them, in a fashion which, whether philosophy can explain it or not, history must accept as a fact. And coming events did preeminently cast their shadows before them in the first half of the year 1100. Portents and prophecies. In that age the feeling which weighed on men’s minds naturally took the form of portent and prophecy, of strange sights seen and strange sounds listened to. There is not the slightest ground for thinking that all these tales are mere inventions after the fact, though they were likely enough to be improved in the telling after the fact. The frightful state of things in the land, unparalleled even in those evil times, joined with the feeling of expectation which always attends any marked note of time, be it a fresh week or a fresh millennium—​all worked together to bring about a looking for something to come, partly perhaps in fear, but far more largely in hope. Things could hardly get worse; they might get better. Men’s minds were charged with expectation; every sight, every sound, became an omen; if some men risked prophecies, if some of their prophecies were fulfilled, it was not wonderful. The first half of 310 the year, blank in events, was rich in auguries; in the second half the auguries had largely become facts. In its first months men were saying with hope, “Non diu dominabuntur effeminati.”[748] Before the twelvemonth was out, they were beginning to say with joy, “Hic rex Henricus destruxit impios regni.”[749]

§ 1. The Last Days of William Rufus.
January—​August, 1100.

The three assemblies of 1099–1100. Christmas at Gloucester. 1099–1000. This year the King, occupied by no warfare beyond his realm, was able to hold all the assemblies of the year at their wonted times and in their wonted places.[750] At Christmas William Rufus wore his crown at Gloucester, the place of his momentary repentance and of his wildest insolence. He had there given the staff to Anselm; he had there sent away Malcolm from his court without a hearing. Easter at Winchester. April 1, 1100. At Easter he wore his crown at Winchester, the city which had first received him after the death of his father, where he had first unlocked his father’s treasures, and had put in bonds those whom his father had set free. Pentecost at Westminster. May 20, 1100. At Whitsuntide he wore his crown at Westminster, and again held the assembly and the banquet in the mighty hall of his own rearing. No record of these assemblies. We have no record of the acts of any of these three assemblies. The two former at least may well have been gatherings which came together more for the display of kingly magnificence than for the transaction of any real business of the realm. All things seemed to be as glorious as ever for the defeated of Mayet and Chaumont. In the death of Urban 311 Rufus saw the removal of an enemy, at least of a hindrance in his way. Death of Urban. He had indeed found that Urban could be won to his will by a bribe. Still he was a Pope, a Pope whom he had himself acknowledged, a Pope whom it might be needful to bribe. Better far was it to come back to the happy days before he had been cajoled by Cardinal Walter, before he had been frightened into naming Anselm, the happy days when he was troubled by no archbishop in the land and no pope out of it. Those days were come again. Anselm was far away; Urban was dead; Paschal he had not acknowledged. The last recorded words of Rufus before the day of Lammas and its morrow were those in which he set forth his fixed purpose to use as he would the freedom which was his once more.[751]

But if we have no record of the three assemblies of the year, if we have no traditional sayings of the King, if we have no record of anything that really happened during these months, we can see that great schemes were planned; great preparations were making, which must have been the matter of deep debates at the Pentecostal assembly. Our own Chroniclers are silent; our tidings come from our familiar teacher at Saint Evroul. Continental schemes of Rufus. Though the Red King kept himself so close in his island kingdom, he was planning greater things than ever beyond the sea. He had Normandy to keep and he had Aquitaine to win. For such objects he had need of both gold and steel, and we cannot doubt that in the assembly held at Whitsuntide within the new hall of Westminster King William demanded no small store of both to enable him to carry out the schemes of his overweening pride.

Robert’s return from the crusade. Normandy was to be kept. Duke Robert, the bold crusader, was coming back from the lands where his name, once so despised in his own duchy, had been 312 crowned with unlooked-for glory. He was coming back by the path by which he had gone, through the Norman lands of southern Italy. His marriage with Sibyl of Conversana. And he was coming with a companion whose presence promised something in the way of amendment alike of his private life and of his public government. He brought with him a wife, Sibyl of Conversana, daughter of Geoffrey lord of Brindisi, and grand-niece of Robert Wiscard. His reception in south Italy. He had been welcomed by his southern countrymen with all honours and with precious gifts; both Rogers, the Duke of Apulia and the young Count of Sicily, to be one day the first and all but the most famous of Sicilian kings, were zealous in showing their regard. Character of the Duchess Sibyl. But from the house of the Count of Conversana he took away the most precious gift of all in a woman who is described as uniting all merits and beauties within and without, and who was certainly far better fitted to rule the duchy of Normandy than he was.[752] His funds for buying back the duchy. His father-in-law and his other friends gave him great gifts in money and precious things towards redeeming his dominions from his brother.[753] 313 But William Rufus had no thought of restoring the pledge; he had Normandy in his grasp, and he had no mind to let it go.

William of Aquitaine; his crusade; But besides this, Aquitaine was to be won. It was indeed to be won in a peaceful sort, as far as the engagements of its sovereign went. Duke William of Poitiers, the ally of William of England in his French campaign, was at last ready for his crusade. Strange warrior of the cross, strange comrade for Godfrey or even for Robert, was he who, after his return from the Sepulchre, spared the life of a holy bishop who rebuked him on the ground that he hated him too much to send him to paradise, who brought together the monastic harem at Niort, and who marched to battle with the form of his adulterous mistress painted on his shield.[754] But now he was setting forth for the holy war. Thirty thousand warriors—​the conventional number everywhere—​from Aquitaine, Gascony, and other lands of southern Gaul, were ready, we are told, to follow in his train.[755] He proposes to pledge his duchy to Rufus. But Duke William, like Duke Robert, lacked money. He sent therefore to the master of the hoard which seemed open to all comers, seeking to pledge his duchy, as Robert had pledged his.[756] We cannot help suspecting that some such arrangement had been made at an earlier time, when the two Williams joined their forces together against France; but, if not made then, it was made now. King William readily agreed to an offer which would practically make him master of the greater part of Gaul. 314 He was lord of Normandy; he held himself to be master of Maine; he was about to become lord of Aquitaine. Preparations for occupation of Aquitaine. Maine and Poitou indeed did not march on each other; but Anjou might be won by some means. Fulk could not hold out against a prince who hemmed him in on either side. Either gold or steel would surely open the way to Angers, as well as to Rouen and to Bourdeaux. Prepared for all chances, William was gathering money, gathering ships, gathering men, for a greater work than fruitless attacks on Mayet and Chaumont, for the great task of enlarging his dominion,--our guide says to the Garonne; he should rather have said to the Pyrenees. Robert was to be kept out of Normandy; to restore to the debtor his pledge was the dull virtue of the merchant or the Jew; such duties touched not the honour of the good knight. No man could perform all his promises, and the restoration of Normandy was a promise of the class which needed not to be performed. Aquitaine was to be peacefully bought; but possibly arms might be needed there also. All who should dare to withstand the extension of William’s dominion to the most southern borders of Gaul were to be brought to obedience at the sword’s point.

His alleged designs on the Empire. I have said “dominion;” but the word in the writer whom I follow is Empire.[757] That name, one not unknown to us in the history of Rufus, may have been dropped at random; but it may have been meant to show that mightier schemes still were at work in the restless brain of the Red King. We may couple the phrase with vague hints dropped elsewhere, which show 315 that, whether Rufus really thought of it or not, men gave him credit for dreams of dominion greater even than the supplanting of Fulk of Angers, of William of Poitiers, and of Philip of Paris all at once. The doctrine that Britain was a land fruitful in tyrants was to be carried out on a greater scale than it had been in the days of Carausius or Maximus or the later Constantine. The father had once been looked for at kingly Aachen;[758] the son, so men believed, hoped to march in the steps of Brennus to imperial Rome.[759] He would outdo the glory of all crusaders, of princes of Antioch and kings of Jerusalem. Geoffrey, Bohemund, his own brother, had knelt as vassals in the New Rome; he would sit as an Emperor in the Old. Then he would have no question about acknowledging or not acknowledging popes; he would make them or refuse to make them as he thought good. The patrimony of Saint Peter might be let to farm, along with the estates of Canterbury and Winchester and Salisbury. Whether such thoughts really passed through the mind of William Rufus we can neither affirm nor deny. That men could believe that they were passing through his mind shows that they believed, and rightly, that he was capable of dreaming, of planning, of attempting, anything.

Portents. But while the preparations were making, the portents were gathering. First came a stroke which reads like a rehearsal of his own end. While Robert was coming back with his Sibyl to found a new and legitimate dynasty in the Norman duchy, a blow fell on one of the children of his earlier wanderings.[760] Death of young Richard. May, 1100. One Richard had already fallen in the haunted shades of the New Forest,[761] and his death opened the path for his younger brother to reign at Winchester and Rouen and Le Mans, 316 and to dream of reigning at Dublin, Paris, Poitiers, and Rome. Another Richard, the natural son of Duke Robert, who must have been enrolled in the service of his uncle, was cut off on the same fatal ground early in May, shortly before the Westminster assembly. The King’s knights were hunting the deer in the forest; one of them drew his bow to bring down a stag; the arrow missed the intended victim, and pierced Richard with a stroke which brought him dead to the ground.[762] Great grief followed his fall; his unwitting slayer, to escape from vengeance, fled and became a monk.[763] Young Richard thus died while his uncle was making ready to keep his father out of the dominions which he was pledged to restore. William, natural son of Robert. His brother William, the other son of Robert’s vagrant days, seems to have followed the fortunes of his father, till, after Tinchebrai, he went to Jerusalem and died fighting in the Holy War.[764]

The death of Richard might be a warning. It might be taken as a sign that some special power of destiny hovered over the spot where the dwellings of man and the houses of God had been swept away to make clearer ground for sports where joy is sought for in the wanton infliction of death and suffering. Still it was no portent out of the ordinary course of nature. But portents of this kind too were not lacking. Wonders and apparitions. The pool of blood in Berkshire welled again;[765] the devil was seen openly in many places, showing himself, it would seem, to Normans 317 only, and talking to them of their countrymen the King and the Bishop of Durham.[766] Strange births, stranger unbirths, were told as the news of the day to a visitor from another land.[767] As the day approaches, a crowd of vivid pictures seems to pass before us. Warlike preparations. June-July, 1100. June and July passed amidst preparations for war, but July saw also one great ecclesiastical ceremony. Abbot Serlo’s minster of Gloucester was now near enough to perfection for its consecration to be sought for. Whether all the lofty pillars of the nave were as yet reared or not, at least that massive eastern limb with its surrounding chapels, which may still be seen through the lace-work of later times, was already finished. Consecration of Gloucester Abbey. July 15, 1100. The rite of its hallowing was done by the diocesan Samson and three other bishops, Gundulf of Rochester, Gerard of Hereford, and Hervey the shepherd of the stormy diocese of Bangor. The zeal of the monks and their visitors was stirred up by the ceremony, and the house of Saint Peter at Gloucester became a special seat of vision and prophecy. Vision and prophecies. One godly brother[768] saw in the dreams of the night the Lord sitting on his throne, with the hosts of heaven and the choirs of the saints around 318 him. A fair and stately virgin stood forth and knelt before the Lord. She prayed him to have pity on his people who were ground down beneath the yoke of King William of England. The dreamer trembled, and understood that the suppliant was the holy Church of Christ, calling on her Lord and Saviour to look down on all that her children bore from the lusts and robberies and other evil deeds of the King and his followers.[769] Serlo, filled with holy zeal, set down the vision in writing, and sent the message of warning to the King.[770]

Abbot Fulchered’s sermon at Gloucester. August 1, 1100. But the visions of the night were not all. A more open voice of prophecy, so men deemed, was not lacking. A few days after the monk’s vision, on the day of Lammas, a crowd of all classes was gathered in Saint Peter’s church at Gloucester to keep the feast of Saint Peter-in-Chains.[771] Fulchered, Abbot of Earl Roger’s house at Shrewsbury, once a monk of Earl Roger’s house at Seez, an eloquent preacher of the divine word, was chosen from a crowd of elders[772] to make his discourse to the people. A near neighbour of the terrible son of his own founder, none could know better than he under what woes the land was groaning. Fulchered mounted the pulpit of the newly-hallowed minster, and the spirit of the old prophets came upon him.[773] In glowing words 319 he set forth the sins and sorrows of the time, how England was given as an heritage to be trodden under foot of the ungodly. Lust, greediness, pride, all were rampant, pride which would, if it were possible, trample under foot the very stars of heaven.[774] The words have the ring of the words of Eadward on his deathbed; but Eadward had to tell of coming sorrow, and of only distant deliverance. Fulchered could tell of a deliverance which was nigh, even at the doors. A sudden change was at hand; the men who had ceased to be men should rule no longer.[775] And then in a strain which seems to carry us on to the days of Naseby and Dunbar, he told how the Lord God was coming to judge the open enemies of his spouse. He told how the Almighty would smite Moab and Edom with the sword of vengeance, and overthrow the mountains of Gilboa with a fearful shaking. “Lo,” he went on, “the bow of wrath from on high is bent against the wicked, and the arrow swift to wound is drawn from the quiver. It shall soon smite, and that suddenly; let every man that is wise amend his ways and avoid its stroke.”[776]

Such is the report of Abbot Fulchered’s sermon, as it is told us by one who no doubt set down with a special interest the words of the first prelate of the minster into which the humble church of his own father had grown.[777] The alleged dream of the King. Other stories tell us how on the night of that same Wednesday a more fearful dream than that of the monk 320 of Gloucester disturbed the slumbers of some one. In the earlier version the seer is a monk from beyond sea; in its later form the terrible warning is vouchsafed to the King himself.[778] The story, as usual, puts on fresh details as it grows; but its essential features are the same in its simplest and in its most elaborate shape. The King, with his proud and swelling air, scorning all around him, enters a church. In one version it is a chapel in a forest; in another it is a minster gorgeously adorned. Its walls were robed with velvet and purple, stuffs wrought by the skill of the Greek, and with tapestry where the deeds of past times lived in stitch-work, like the tale of Brihtnoth at Ely and the newer tale of William at Bayeux.[779] Here were goodly books, here were the shrines of saints, gleaming with gold and gems and ivory, a sight such as the eyes of the master and spoiler of so many churches had never rested on. At a second glance all this bravery passed away; the walls and the altar itself stood bare. At a third glance he saw the form of a man lying bare upon the altar. A cannibal desire came on him; he ate, or strove to eat, of the body that lay before him. His victim endured for a while in patience; then his face, hitherto goodly and gentle as of an angel, became stern beyond words, and he spoke—“Is it not enough that thou hast thus far grieved me with so many wrongs? Wilt thou gnaw my very flesh and bones?” One version gives the words another turn; the stern voice answers simply, “Henceforth thou shalt eat of me no more.” Exhortation of Gundulf. In those accounts which make the King the dreamer, Rufus tells the vision to a bishop—​one tale names Gundulf—​who explains the easy parable. The exhortation follows, to mend his 321 ways, to hold a synod and to restore Anselm. The King, in one account, in a momentary fit of penitence, promises to do so. But his better feelings pass away; in defiance of all warnings, he goes forth to hunt on the fatal ground, the scene of the wrong and sacrilege of his father—​in some of these versions the scene of further wrong and sacrilege of his own.

The details of some of these stories I shall discuss elsewhere. If they prove nothing else, they prove at least the deep impression which the Red King’s life and the Red King’s end made on the men of his own days and of the days which followed them. William at Brockenhurst. August 1, 1100. One thing is certain; on the first day of August, while Fulchered was preaching at Gloucester, King William was in the New Forest, with his head-quarters seemingly at Brockenhurst.[780] His companions. He had with him several men whose names are known to us, as Gilbert of Laigle, once so fierce against William’s cause at Rouen, Gilbert and Roger of Clare, the former of whom had won his forgiveness by his timely revelations on the march to Bamburgh.[781] Henry. Henry, Ætheling and Count, if not one of the party, was not far off; he too had, if not his visions, at least his omens.[782] Walter Tirel. But chief among the company, nearest, it would seem, to the King in sportive intercourse, was one who was perhaps his subject in Normandy by birth, perhaps his subject in England by tenure, but whose chief possessions, as well as his feelings, belonged to another land.[783] This was a baron of France, whom we once 322 before heard of in better company, but whom the fame of the Red King’s boundless liberality had led into his service. His father the Dean of Evreux. In days before the stern laws of Hildebrand were strictly enforced, a churchman of high rank, Fulk, Dean of Evreux, was, seemingly by a lawful marriage, the father of a large family. Walter, one of his sons, bore the personal surname of Tirel, Tyrell, in many spellings, pointing perhaps to his skill in drawing the bow. His lordships and marriage. He became, by whatever means, lord of Poix in Ponthieu, and of Achères by the Seine between Pontoise and Poissy; at the former of these lordships, it would seem, he had once been the host of Anselm.[784] He was not, in the days of the Survey at least, a land-owner of much account in England. A small lordship in Essex, held under Richard of Clare, is the only entry under any name by which he can be conceived to be meant. He had married a wife, Adelaide by name, of the great line of Giffard, who seems to have lived till the latter days of King Henry. He was now a near friend of the Red King’s, a special sharer with him in the sports of the forest, so much so that, when legend came to attribute the laying waste of Hampshire to the younger instead of the elder William, Walter Tirel was charged with having been the adviser of the deed.[785]

Gab of the King and Walter Tirel. On the Wednesday of Fulchered’s sermon, the King and his chosen comrade were talking familiarly. Walter fell into that kind of discourse which is called in the Old-French tongue by the expressive words gaber and gab.[786] He began to talk big, to jeer at the King for the small results of his own big talk. But the matter of 323 the discourse sounds a little strange, if it was really uttered at a moment when such great preparations were making for the defence of Normandy, for the purchase of Aquitaine, perhaps for the conquest of Anjou, to say nothing of schemes greater and further off. Walter jeers at the king. The lord of Poix asked the King why he did nothing; with his vast power, why did he not attack some neighbour? Great as the Red King’s power was, Walter is made to speak of it as a good deal greater than the truth, so much so indeed that we can read the speech only as mockery. William’s alleged subjects and allies. All William’s men were ready at his call, the men of Britanny, of Maine,[787] he adds of Anjou. The Flemings held of him—​we have heard of his dealings with their Count;[788] the Burgundians held him for their king; Eustace of Boulogne would do anything at his bidding.[789] Why did he not make war on somebody? Why did he not go forth and conquer some land or other? The King’s answer; he will keep Christmas at Poitiers. The King answers that he means to lead his host as far as the mountains—​the Alps, we may suppose, are meant. He will thence turn back to the West, and will keep his next Christmas feast at Poitiers.[790] Angry words of Walter. The mocking vein of Walter Tirel now turns to anger; he bursts forth in wrathful words. It would be a great matter indeed to go to the mountains and thence back to Poitiers in time for Christmas. 324 Burgundians and French would indeed deserve to die by the worst of deaths, if they became subjects to the English.[791]

Illustrative value of the story. This talk, put into the mouth of the King and his chosen comrade by a writer of the next generation, is in every way remarkable. The King’s boast that he would keep Christmas at Poitiers is found also in an earlier writer, and it is almost implied in his preparations for taking possession of Aquitaine.[792] The words about French and Burgundians becoming subject to the English might sound more in harmony with the next generation; but we have already seen examples which show that, even so soon after the Norman Conquest of England, the English name was beginning to be applied on continental lips to all the subjects of the English crown. The armies of William Rufus were English in the same sense in which the armies of Justinian were Roman. The threat of a King of England, speaking on English ground, to overrun all the provinces of Gaul is conceived as calling forth a feeling of patriotic anger in the lord of Poix and Achères. Yet, while we might have expected such an one to fight valiantly for Ponthieu or the Vexin against a Norman invader, we might also have expected him to be quite indifferent to the fate of Poitiers, indifferent at all events to its transfer from the Aquitanian to the Norman William. The speech 325 is followed by words which imply that the King’s boast was taken more seriously than it was meant, and which almost suggest a plot on Walter’s part for the King’s destruction.[793] In the crowd of conflicting tales with which we are now dealing, we must not insist on any one as a trustworthy statement of undoubted facts; but the dialogue which is put into the mouths of William Rufus and Walter Tirel is almost as remarkable if we look on it as the invention of the rimer himself as if we deem it to have been, in its substance, really spoken by those into whose mouths it is put.

Last day of William Rufus. August 2, 1100. Of the events of the next day we may say thus much with certainty; “Thereafter on the morrow after Lammas day was the King William in hunting from his own men with an arrow offshot, and then to Winchester brought and in the bishopric buried.”[794] Statement of the Chronicle. These words of our own Chronicler state the fact of the King’s death and its manner; they suggest treason, but they do not directly assert it; they name no one man as the doer. Other versions; Walter Tirel mentioned in most. Nearly all the other writers agree in naming Walter Tirel as the man who drew the bow; but they agree also in making his act chance-medley and not wilful murder. Yet it is clear that there were other tales afloat of which we hear merely the echoes. Ralph of Aix. One tradition attributed the blow, not to Walter Tirel, but to a certain Ralph of Aix.[795] 326 As the tale is commonly told, the details of the King’s death could have been known from no mouth but that of Walter himself; The charge denied by Walter. yet it is certain that Walter himself, long after, when he had nothing to hope or fear one way or the other, denied in the most solemn way that he had any share in the deed or any knowledge of it.[796] The words of the Chronicler, though they suggest treason, do not shut out chance-medley; they leave the actor perfectly open. Estimate of the received tale. There is nothing in the received tale which is in the least unlikely; but it is the kind of tale which, even if untrue, might easily grow up. William may have died by accident by the hand of Walter Tirel or of any other. He may also have died by treason by the hand of Walter Tirel or of any other. In this last case there were many reasons why no inquiries should have been made, many reasons why the received tale should be invented or adopted. It was just such a story as was wanted in such a case. It satisfied curiosity by naming a particular actor, while it named an actor who was out of reach, and did not charge even him with any real guilt. In favour of the same story is the statement, which can hardly be an invention, that Walter Tirel fled after the King’s death. But this was a case in which a man who was innocent even of chance-medley might well flee from the fear of a suspicion of treason. And Walter’s own solemn denial may surely go for as much as any mere suspicion against him. Guesses in such a case are easy; the slayer may have been a friend of Henry, a friend of Anselm, a man goaded to despair by oppression—​all such guesses are likely enough in themselves; there is no evidence for any of them. All that can be said is that the words of the Chronicle certainly seem to point 327 out the actor, whether guilty or only unlucky, as belonging to the King’s immediate following. The statement of the Chronicle the only safe one. “The King William was in hunting from his own men by an arrow offshot.” Beyond that we cannot go with certainty. But the number of men of every class who must have felt that they would be the better, if an arrow or any other means of death could be brought to light on the Red King, must have been great indeed. Wonder that he was not killed sooner. The real wonder is, not that the shaft struck him in the thirteenth year of his reign, but that no hand had stricken him long before.

Accounts of the King’s last day. Of the last day of the Red King, Thursday, the second day of August, we have two somewhat minute pictures which belong to different hours of the day. There is no contradiction between the two; the two may be read as an unbroken story; but we have that slight feeling of distrust which cannot fail to arise when it is clear that he who records the events of the afternoon knew nothing of the events of the morning. The details of such a day would be sure to be remembered; for the same reason they ran a special chance of being coloured and embellished. We shall therefore do well to go through the details of the earlier hours of that memorable day as we find them written, not forgetting the needful cautions, but at the same time not forgetting that the tale has much direct evidence for it and has no direct evidence against it.[797]

Morning of August 2. The King then, even according to those who do not assign the specially fearful vision to himself, passed a restless night, disturbed by dreams which, on this milder showing, were ugly enough. William’s dreams. He dreamed that he was bled—​a process which in those days seems to have passed 328 for a kind of amusement—​and that the blood gushed up towards heaven, so as to shut out the light of day.[798] He woke suddenly with the name of our Lady on his lips; he bade a light to be brought, and bade his chamberlains not to leave him.[799] He remained awake till daybreak. Robert Fitz-hamon tells the monk’s dream. Then, according to this version, came Robert Fitz-hamon, entitled to do so as being in his closest confidence,[800] and told him the dream of the monk from beyond sea. William was moved; but he tried to hide his real feelings under the usual guise of mockery; William’s mocking answer. “He is a monk,” he said with his rude laugh, “he is a monk; monklike he dreams for the sake of money; give him a hundred shillings.”[801] Here we see the boasted liberality which recklessly squandered with one hand what was wrung from the groaning people with the other. His disturbance of mind. Seriously disturbed in mind, William doubted whether he should go hunting that morning; his friends urged him to run no risk, lest the dream should come true. His morning. He therefore, to occupy his restless mind, gave the forenoon to serious business;[802] there was enough of it on hand, if he was planning a march to Rome or even a march to Poitiers. The early dinner 329 of those days presently came; he ate and drank more than usual, hoping thus to stifle and drown the thoughts that pressed upon him.[803] In this attempt he seems to have succeeded; after his meal he went forth on his hunting.

He sets forth to hunt. At this point we take up the thread of the other story. The King, after his meal, has regained his spirits, and, surrounded by his followers and flatterers, he is making ready for the chase. The new arrows. He was putting on his boots—​boots doubtless of no small price—​when a smith drew near, offering him six new catapults, arrows, it would seem, designed, not for the long bow, but for the more deadly arbalest or cross-bow.[804] The King joyfully took them; he praised the work of the craftsman; he kept four for himself, and gave two to Walter Tirel. He gives two of them to Walter Tirel. “Tis right,” he said, “that the sharpest arrows should be given to him who knows how to deal deadly strokes with them.”[805] The two went on talking and jesting; the flatterers of the King joined in admiringly. Abbot Serlo’s letter. Suddenly there came a monk from Gloucester charged with a letter from Abbot Serlo. The letter told the dream of the monk, in which the Holy Church had been seen calling on her Lord for vengeance on the evil deeds of the King of the English. The letter was read to the King[806]—​there was a future king not far off who could read letters for himself. William’s mockery. William burst into his bitter laugh; he turned to his favourite comrade; “Walter, do thou do justice, according 330 to these things which thou hast heard.” “So I will, my lord,” answered Walter.[807] Then the King talks more at length about the Abbot’s letter. “I wonder at my lord Serlo’s fancy for writing all this; I always thought him a good old abbot. ’Tis very simple of him, when I have so much business about, to take the trouble to put the dreams of his snoring monks into writing and to send them to me all this way. His sneers at English regard for omens. Does he think I am like the English, who throw up their journey or their business because of the snoring or the dreams of an old woman?”[808] This speech has a genuine sound; it should be noticed as being the only speech put into the mouth of William Rufus which can be construed as expressing any dislike or scorn for his English subjects as such. Yet the words are rather words of good-humoured raillery than expressive of any deeper feeling. The Red King oppressed and despised all men, except his own immediate following. Practically his oppression and scorn must have fallen most heavily on men of native English birth; but there is no sign that he purposely picked them out as objects of any special persecution.

William and his companions go to the hunt. In the version which records this speech the sneer at the English regard for omens are the Red King’s last recorded words. He now mounted his horse and rode into a wooded part of the forest to seek his sport, the sport of those to whom the sufferings of the wearied, wounded, weeping, beast are a source of joy. Count Henry the King’s brother,[809] William of Breteuil, and other nobles, went forth to the hunt, and 331 were scattered about towards different points. The King and Walter Tirel. The King and the lord of Poix kept together, with a few companions, some say; others say that they two only kept together.[810] The King shot by an arrow. The sun was sinking towards the west when an arrow struck the King; he fell, and his reign and life were ended. This is all that we can say with positive certainty. That the arrow came from the bow of Walter Tirel is a feature common to nearly every account; but all the details differ. Various versions. In one highly picturesque version, not only the King and Walter Tirel,[811] but a company of barons are in a thickly wooded part of the forest near a marsh. The herd of deer comes near; the King gets down from his horse to take better aim; the barons get down also, Walter Tirel among them. Walter places himself near an elder-tree, behind an aspen. A great stag passes by; an arrow badly aimed pierces the King; by whose hand it was sent the teller of the tale knew not; but the archers who were there said that the shaft came from the bow of Walter Tirel. Walter fled at once; the King fell. He thrice cried for the Lord’s body. Alleged devotion of the King at the last moment. But there was none to give it to him; the place was a wilderness far from any church. But a hunter took herbs and flowers and made the King eat, deeming this to be a communion. Such a strange kind of figure of the most solemn act of Christian worship was not unknown.[812] Our author charitably hopes that it might be accepted in the case of the Red King, especially as he had received holy bread—​itself a substitute of the same kind—​the Sunday before.

In this version there is no mention of the warning 332 dreams either of the King or of any other person. The scene in the wood follows at once on the boasting discourse with Walter Tirel. Another version; In another version the King has the frightful dream; he receives, and receives in a good spirit, the warning interpretation of the Bishop.[813] His companions, knights and valets, make ready for the chase; they are mounted on their horses; the bows are ready; the dogs are following; the dogs bark; the horns blow; all is ready that could stir up the soul of the hunter. William unwilling to go to the hunt. The King is unwilling to stir; his companions tempt him, entreat him, jeer at him; it is time to set out; he is afraid. He tells them solemnly that he is sick and sad a hundredfold more than they wot of. The end is come; he will not go to the forest. They think that he is mocking, and at last constrain him to come. The chase is described; the King seems to be alone with one unnamed companion. He is shot by accident by a knight unnamed. The King calls on his comrade to shoot; he is frightened as being too near the King. He shoots; the devil guides the barbed arrow so that it glances from a bough, and pierces the King near the heart. He dies penitent. He has just strength enough to bid the knight to flee for his own life, and to pray to God for him who has lost his life by his own folly, and who has been so great a sinner against God. The knight rides off in bitter grief, wishing a hundred times that he had himself been killed instead of the King.

Tenderness towards Rufus in these two versions. In these versions, both written in the Red King’s own tongue, the details are very remarkable. They seem to come from a kind of wish, like the feeling which strewed flowers on the grave of Nero, to make the end of the oppressor and blasphemer one degree less frightful. Other versions know nothing of this conversion at the last moment. In one of them, the two, the King and Walter, are alone; the King shoots at a stag; he hits 333 the beast, but only with a slight wound. Other versions mention Walter Tirel. The stag flies; the King follows him with his eyes, sheltering them with his hand from the sun’s rays. Walter Tirel meanwhile aims at another stag, misses him, and strikes the King. Rufus utters no word; like Harold, he breaks off the shaft of the arrow; he falls on the ground, and dies. Walter comes up, finds him lifeless, and takes to flight.[814] Or again, the stag comes between his two enemies; Walter shoots; the King at the same moment shifts his place; Walter’s arrow flies over the stag’s back, and pierces the King.[815] In another version the arrow, as we have already heard, glances from a tree;[816] in another the King stumbles and falls upon it.[817] In later but not less graphic accounts the string of the King’s bow breaks; the stag stands still in amazement; the King calls to Walter, “Shoot, you devil,” “Shoot, in the devil’s name; shoot, or it will be the worse for you.” Walter shoots; his arrow, perhaps by a straight course, perhaps by glancing against a tree, strikes the King to the heart.[818]

In all these versions the arrow comes from the bow of a known companion, and in all but one that companion is said to be Walter Tirel. In another form of the story the general outline is the same, but the persons are different. Dunstable version. The vision which in the other version is seen at Gloucester is moved to Dunstable, and is seen there by the prior of that house. The change of place is unlucky, as the 334 priory of Dunstable was not yet founded.[819] The dream with new details. The Prince on his throne, and the fair woman complaining of the deeds of William Rufus, are seen, with some differences of detail, but quite a new element is brought in. A man all black and hairy offers five arrows to the Prince on the throne, who gives them back again to him, saying that on the morrow the wrongs of the suppliant woman shall be avenged by one of them. The Prior has the vision explained to him much as in the other versions of the story, but with the addition that, unless the King repented, the woman—​the Church—​would be avenged by one of the arrows on the morrow. The prior of Dunstable warns the King. The Prior starts from his sleep, and midnight as it was, he sets out at once on a journey to the New Forest, as swift and headlong as the King’s own ride to Southampton the year before. He reaches the place at one in the afternoon, and finds the King going forth to hunt. As soon as William sees him, he says that he knows why he is come, and orders forty marks to be given to him. For, it is added, the King, who destroyed other churches throughout all England, had a love for the church of Dunstable and its prior, and had even built the minster there at his own cost. The Prior says that he has come on much greater and weightier matters; he takes the King aside; he tells him his dream, and warns him on no account to go into the forest, but at once to begin to repent and amend his ways. The Prior has hardly ended his discourse when a man, like the man whom he had seen in his dream, comes and offers the King five arrows, like the arrows of the dream. The King shot by Ralph of Aix. The King gives them—​not to Walter Tirol, who is not mentioned, but to Ralph of Aix, to take with him into the forest. The Prior meanwhile prays him not to go, but in vain. He goes into the wood, and is presently shot with one of 335 those arrows by the hand of Ralph. No details are given, nor is it implied whether the King’s death was an act of murder or of chance-medley.

Impression made at the time by the death of Rufus. These varying tales, whose very variety shows the impression which the event made upon men’s minds, may make us glad to come back to the safe statement of the Chronicler, that the Red King was shot from his own men. The place and circumstances of the death of Rufus were such as could not fail to stamp themselves upon men’s minds. We see the proud and godless King, in the height of his pride and godlessness, with his heart puffed up with wilder plans and more swelling boasts than any of his plans and boasts in former years. He goes forth, in defiance of all warning—​for some kernel of truth there must surely be in so many tales of warning—​to take his pleasure in the place which men had already learned to look on as fatal to his house, the place where his brother had died by a mysterious death, where his nephew had died only a few weeks before his own end. He goes forth, after striving first to quiet his restless soul with business, and then to quench all thoughts and all warnings in the wine-cup. In the midst of his sport, he falls, by what hand no man knows for certain. One writer rejoices to tell us how the oppressor of the Church died on the site of one of the churches which had been uprooted to make way for his pleasures.[820] Others rejoice to tell how the King whose life and reign had been that of a wild beast, perished 336 like a beast among the beasts.[821] Its abiding memory. And the impression was not only at the time; it has been abiding. The death of William Rufus is one of those events in English history which are familiar to every memory and come readily to every mouth. His death lives in the thoughts of not a few who have no clear knowledge of his life. The arrow in the New Forest is well known to many who know nothing of the real position of the Red King’s reign in English history. The name of Walter Tirel springs readily to the lips of many on whose ears the names of Randolf Flambard and Robert of Bellême, of Helias of Maine and Malcolm of Scotland, nay the name of Anselm himself, would fall like unwonted sounds. Local traditions. No keener local remembrance can be found than that which binds together the name of Rufus and the name of the New Forest. At the scenes of the great events of his reign, at Rochester and Bamburgh and Le Mans, local memory has passed away, and the presence of the Red King has to be called up by book-learning only. In a word, in popular remembrance William Rufus lives, not in his life but in his death. Nor is this wonderful. Impressive character of the death of Rufus. In the widest survey of his reign, we can only say that his death was the fitting ending of his life; in a life full of striking incident, it is not amazing that the last and 337 most striking incident of all should be the best remembered. Rufus and Charles the First. Of all the endings of kings in our long history, the two most impressive are surely the two that are most opposite. There is the death of the king who fell suddenly in the height of his power, by an unknown hand in the thickest depths of the forest; and there is the death of the king who, fallen from his power, was brought forth to die by the stroke of the headsman, before the windows of his own palace, in the sight of his people and of the sun. The striking nature of the tale is worthy of its long remembrance; but one could almost wish that the name of the supposed actor in the death of Rufus had never attached itself to the story. The words of the Chronicle. The dark words of the Chronicle are in truth more impressive than the tale, true or false, of Walter Tirel. Rufus was shot in his hunting from his own men. That is enough; his day was over. End and character of Rufus. A life was ended, stained with deeds which, in our history at least, stand out without fellow before or after, but a life in which we may here and there see signs of great powers wasted, even of momentary feelings which might have been trained into something nobler. As it is, the career of William the Red is one of which the kindest words that we can say are that he always kept his word when it was plighted in a certain form, and that he was less cruel in his own person than many men of his time, than some better men than himself. Judgement on the reign of Rufus. But, however we judge of the man, there is but one judgement to be passed on the reign. The arrow, by whomsoever shot, set England free from oppression such as she never felt before or after at the hand of a single man.

Alleged final penitence of Rufus. One tale of the death of Rufus, it will be remembered, charitably describes him as seeking at the last for the mercy of the God whom he had so often defied. Others 338 paint him as stubborn to the end, and put the name of the fiend in his mouth as his last words. The other version prevails. The latter version is the one which left its abiding remembrance; it is the one which all men accepted at the time as the true picture of the oppressor whose yoke was broken at that memorable Lammas-tide. Accounts of William’s burial. But the versions which try to assert a repentance for William Rufus at the last moment try also to claim for him a solemn and honourable burial amid the tears of mourning friends. One story goes so far as to place at the head of the assembly the late Bishop of the diocese, Walkelin of Winchester, whose body was already resting in the Old Minster, while the revenues of his see were in the hands of the King. This version gives us a vivid picture of the scene which followed the King’s death.[822] A company of barons gather round the corpse. There were the sons of Richard of Bienfaite, pointedly distinguished, the one as Earl, the other only as Lord.[823] There were Gilbert of Laigle and Robert Fitz-hamon, names familiar to us, and William of Montfichet, a name afterwards well known, but which is not enrolled in Domesday. These lords weep and rend their hair; they beat themselves and wish they were dead; they could never have such another lord. Gilbert of Laigle at last bids them turn from vainly lamenting the lord who could not come back to them to paying the last honours to what was left of him. The huntsmen make a bier; they strew it with flowers and fern; they lay it on two palfreys; they place the corpse on the bier and cover it with the new mantles of Robert Fitz-hamon and William of Montfichet. Then they bear him to the minster of Saint Swithhun, where bishops, 339 abbots, clerks, and monks, a goodly company, are come together. Bishop Walkelin, strange to say, watches by the body of the King till the morning. Then it is buried with such worship, such saying of masses, as no man had ever heard before, such as no man would hear again till the day of doom.

The genuine story. Such is the tale of those who would soften down the story; but the version which bears on it the stamp of truth gives us quite another picture. The King, forsaken by his nobles and companions, lay dead in the forest, as little cared for as his father had been when he lay dead in his chamber at Saint Gervase. Those who had been his comrades in sport hastened hither and thither to their own homes, to guard them against troubles that might arise, now that the land had no longer a ruler. Only a few churls of the neighbourhood, men of the race at whom Rufus had sneered for heeding omens and warnings, were, now that omens and warnings had proved too true, ready to do the last corporal work of mercy to the oppressor. They laid the bleeding body on a rustic wain; they covered it as they could, with coarse cloths, and then took it, dripping blood as it went, to the gates of Winchester. He who had so dearly loved the sports of the woods was himself borne from the woods to the city, like a savage boar pierced through by the hunting-spear.[824] And now took place one of the most wonderful scenes that our history records.[825] Popular canonizations. That history records not a few cases of popular canonization; neither pope nor king could hinder Earl Waltheof and Earl Simon from working signs and wonders on behalf of the 340 folk for whom they had died.[826] Popular excommunication of Rufus. But nowhere else do we read of a popular excommunication. William Rufus, as I have more than once remarked, had never been openly cut off from the communion of the Church. He had died indeed unshriven and unabsolved, but so had many a better man in the endless struggles of those rough days. There was no formal ground for refusing to his corpse or to his soul the rites, the prayers, the offerings, which were the portion of the meanest of the faithful. But a common thought came on the minds of all men that for William Rufus those charitable rites could be of none avail. His foul life, his awful death, was taken as a sign that he was smitten by a higher judgement than that of Popes and Councils. A crowd of all orders, ranks, and sexes, brought together by wonder or pity—​we will not deem that they came in scorn or triumph—​met the humble funeral procession, and followed the royal corpse to the Old Minster. He is buried in the Old Minster without religious rites. The dead man had been a king; the consecrating oil had been poured on his head; his body was therefore allowed to pass within the hallowed walls, and was laid with all speed in a grave beneath the central tower. But in those rites, at once sad and cheerful, which accompany the burial of the lowliest of baptized men, the lord of England and Normandy had no share. No bell was rung; no mass was said; no offerings were made for the soul which was deemed to have passed beyond the reach even of eternal mercy. No man took from the hoard which Rufus had filled by wrong to win the prayers of the poor for him by almsgiving. Men deemed that for him prayer was too late; no scattering abroad of the treasure by the hands of others could atone for the wrong by which the treasure had first been brought together. Many looked on; but few mourned. None wept for him but the mercenaries who received his pay, 341 and the baser partners of his foul vices. They would gladly have torn his slayer in pieces, but he was already far away out of their reach. Thus unwept, unprayed for, a byeword, an astonishment, and a hissing, the Red King lay beneath the pavement of the minster of St. Swithhun. Fall of the tower. 1107. A few years later the tower under which he lay crumbled and fell. Men said that it fell because so foul a corpse lay beneath it.[827]

Portents at William’s death. But as portents had gone before the fall of the Red King, so portents did not wait for the crumbling of Walkelin’s tower to startle men in strange ways with the news that he had fallen. That news, so say the legends of the time, was known in strange ways in far-off places, long before the tidings could have been brought by the utmost speed of man; sooner, it would seem, than the moment when the arrow hit its designed or unwitting mark. Dream of Abbot Hugh of Clugny. July 31, 1100. Already on the last day of July, the holy abbot Hugh of Clugny was able to tell Anselm that he had seen in a dream the King of the English brought before the throne of God, accused, judged, and condemned to eternal damnation.[828] Vision of Anselm’s doorkeeper. August 1. The next day, the night of the kalends of August, a bright youth stood before Anselm’s door-keeper at Lyons, as he strove to sleep, and asked if he wished to hear the news. The news was that the strife between King William and Archbishop Anselm was over.[829] News brought to Anselm’s clerk. August 2. The next day, the day of the King’s death, one of the Archbishop’s clerks was at the matin service, singing with his 342 eyes shut. He felt a small paper put into his hand and a voice bade him read. He looked up; the bearer of the paper was gone; but he read the words, “King William is dead.”[830] Within our own island the news was said to have been spread abroad in yet stranger ways. Vision of Count William of Mortain. August 2. At the same hour when King William went forth to hunt in the New Forest, his cousin Count William of Mortain went forth for his sport also in some of his hunting-grounds in Cornwall. He too found himself by chance alone, apart from any of his comrades. No archer from Poix crossed his path, but a sight far more fearful. A huge goat, shaggy and black, met him, bearing on his back a king—​how was his kingship marked?--black and naked, and wounded in the midst of his breast. The Count adjured the beast in the holiest name to say what all this meant.[831] The power of speech was not lacking to the monster. “I bear,” he answered, “your king, rather your tyrant, William the Red, to his doom. For I am the evil spirit, I am the avenger of the wickedness with which he raged against the Church of Christ, and I brought about his death, at the bidding of the blessed Alban, protomartyr of England, who made his moan to the Lord, because this man sinned beyond measure in the island which he had been the first to hallow.”[832] From what mint this wild tale 343 comes it is needless to add. The house of Saint Alban was only one of thirteen abbeys which the King had kept vacant to receive their revenues.[833] But the other twelve were less rich in that special growth both of legend and of genuine history which adorns the house of the protomartyr.

§ 2. The First Days of Henry.
August 2--November 11, 1100.

Vacancy of the throne. The throne was again vacant; and now came the question which Englishmen knew so well whenever the throne was vacant, Whom should they choose to fill it? Claims of Robert by the treaty of 1091. There was indeed an instrument in being, dated nine years before, by which it had been agreed that, if either Robert or William died without lawful issue, the survivor should succeed to the dominions of his brother.[834] Such claims little regarded. But Englishmen had never allowed their most precious birthright to be thus lightly signed away beforehand. And many men of Norman birth must by this time have put on the feelings of Englishmen on this point as on many others. With the great mass of both races there could have been no doubt at all as to the right man to place upon the vacant throne. Choice confined to the house of the Conqueror. By this time, we may be sure, all thought had passed away of choosing outside the line of the Conqueror; and if such 344 a thought had come into the head of any man, there was no candidate who could have been brought forward. No thought of either Eadgar. The elder Eadgar was far away on his crusade, and no one was likely to think of sending to Scotland to offer the crown to his nephew. His nieces were near at hand; but the thought of a female ruler did not come into men’s minds till the next generation. Within the house of the Conqueror there were two claimants. Choice between Robert and Henry. Robert had whatever right the treaty could give him, a better right undoubtedly than any which he could put forward as the eldest son of his father. But a paper claim of this kind went for little when the man who asserted it was far away, and when, had he been at hand, everything except the letter of the treaty was against him. It went for naught when there, on the very spot, was the man whom every sign marked out for kingship. Claims of Henry; the only son of a king. There among them was the only man—​unless indeed they had gone to Norway to seek for the younger Harold—​who was the son of a crowned King of the English. There was the one man of the reigning house who, born on English soil of the Norman stock, could be looked on as a countryman by Normans and English alike. His personal merits. There was the man who, while his brothers had, in different ways, so deeply misgoverned on their several sides of the sea, had shown, by his wise rule of a small dominion, how far better suited he was than either of them to be entrusted with the rule of a mighty kingdom. The Count of the Côtentin, Henry the Ætheling, Henry the Clerk, was the man whose name spoke alike to English and to Norman hearts. To the Normans he was the son of their conquering Duke, the descendant of the dukes that had been before him, the man who had made one spot of Norman ground prosperous while anarchy tore the rest in pieces. To the English he was their own Ætheling, the one son of their king, their countryman, as they 345 fondly deemed, speaking the tongue of Ælfred, sent to renew the law of Eadward. With such a candidate at their doors, the bit of diplomatic parchment was torn to the winds. No time was to be lost; the land could not go without a king. Speedy election of Henry. The work was done speedily and decisively. The record which tells how the late king died in the midst of his unright, without shrift, without atonement, goes on to say, “On the Thursday was he slain and on the morrow was he buried; and, after that he buried was, the Witan that nigh at hand were his brother Henry to king chose.”[835]

Story of Henry on the day of William’s death. On the day of the Red King’s fall Count Henry was hunting in the New Forest, but not in the same immediate part of it as his brother. The tale ran that the string of his bow broke, that he went to the house of a churl to get wherewithal to mend it. While the bowstring is mending, an old woman of the house asks one of the Count’s companions who his master was. He answers that he is Henry, brother of the king of the land. She tells them that she knows by augury that the King’s brother shall soon be king himself, and bids them remember her words.[836] Henry turns again to his sport, but, as he draws near to the wood, men meet him, one, 346 two, three, then nine and ten, telling him of the King’s death.[837] Henry hastes to Winchester. In this account, he goes in grief to the place where the corpse lay;[838] a more likely version carries him straight to the hoard at Winchester, where, as lawful heir of the kingdom, he demands the keys at the hands of the guard.[839] The tale reminds us of Cæsar and Metellus.[840] William of Breteuil maintains the claim of Robert. Popular feeling for Henry. William of Breteuil withstands the demand. He pleads the elder birth of Robert and the homage which both Henry and himself had done to him. Robert had waged wars far off for the love of God; he was now on his way to take his crown and kingdom in peace.[841] A fierce strife arose; a crowd swiftly gathered, and it was soon seen on which side the feelings of the people lay. Men pressed together from all quarters to swell the company of him who in their eyes was the lawful heir claiming his right. The voice of England—​so much of England as had heard the news—​rose high against the stranger who dared to withstand the English Ætheling, the son of a crowned king born in the land. Thus, four-and-thirty years after the great battle, Englishmen still looked on the son of William Fitz-Osbern, nay on the 347 son of William the Great born to a duke in Normandy, as outlandish men. But the son of William the Great, born to a king in their own land, they claimed as their own countryman. Strengthened by the favour of the people, the Ætheling put his hand on his sword’s hilt; he would endure no vain excuses to keep him out of the inheritance of his father.[842] A stop seems to have been put to this open strife, perhaps by night, perhaps by the coming of the lowly funeral pomp of the fallen king on the Friday morning. Formal meeting for the election. August 3. The unhallowed ceremony over, the Witan came together in a more regular assembly for the formal choice of a king.

The place of their meeting, whether in the minster or in the king’s palace, is not recorded.[843] Division of the assembly; Wherever it was, other voices were now to be heard besides those of the Englishmen of Winchester and the coasts thereof. These called with one voice for their own Ætheling; but the voices of the Norman lords were by no means of one accord. English and Norman supporters of Henry; Some of the immediate companions of the late king had hastened at once on his fall to pledge themselves to the cause of Henry. supporters of Robert. But in the assembly which now came together a strong party, Normans we may be sure to a man, supported the cause of Robert. There are few assemblies of which we would more gladly hear the details than of this, in which the claims of two candidates for the crown were debated, not without 348 fierce strife, but at least without bloodshed. Comparison with the assembly after the death of Cnut. 1035. We are reminded of the assembly which, sixty-five years before, peaceably decided between the claims of Harthacnut and the first Harold.[844] But then the question was settled by a division of the kingdom; now such a thought is not breathed. The Conqueror had made England a realm one and indivisible; it was doubtful to which of his sons it was to pass, but, to whichever it passed, it was to pass whole. The divided kingdom now impossible. Unluckily, when debates concerned the kingdom only, without touching any ecclesiastical question, no Eadmer or William Fitz-Stephen was found to report them. We know only the result. Henry chosen; Henry was chosen, and he largely owed his election to one special friend. influence of Henry Earl of Warwick. This was his namesake Henry, Earl of Warwick, the younger son of the old Roger of Beaumont and brother of the more famous Count of Meulan, soon to be Earl of Leicester. Earl Henry and his wife Margaret of Mortagne bear a good character among the writers of their time, and they seem to have been designed for a more peaceful age than that in which their lot was cast. Chiefly by the influence of Henry of Warwick, Henry of Coutances and Domfront was chosen to the English crown. The work was almost as speedy as the burial of Eadward, the election and the crowning of Harold. Quite as speedy it could not be, when the Gemót of election was held at Winchester, while the precedents of three reigns made it seem matter of necessity that the unction and coronation should be done at Westminster. Before the sun set on the day after the death of Rufus, England had again, not indeed a full king, but an undisputed king-elect.

The hoard opened to the king-elect. Against a king-elect the gates of the hoard could no longer be shut. Not five thousand pounds only, but the whole treasure of the kingdom was now 349 Henry’s. His first act was to stop one of the many sources by which the hoard was filled. One of them was found in the revenues of the vacant bishopric of the city in which they were met. Henry, still only chosen and not crowned, took on him to do one act of royal authority which all men would hail as a sign that the new reign was not to be as the last. He grants the bishopric of Winchester to William Giffard. As the uncrowned Ætheling Eadgar had confirmed the election of Abbot Brand by the monks of Peterborough,[845] so the uncrowned Ætheling Henry bestowed the staff of the see of Winchester on the late king’s Chancellor, William Giffard, doubtless a kinsman of the aged Earl of Buckingham. In his appointment we may perhaps see a wish on the part of a king who was emphatically the choice of the English people to conciliate at once the Norman nobles and the royal officials.[846] But seven years were to pass before the bishop-elect appointed by the king-elect became a full bishop by the rite of consecration. Consecrated 1107; died 1129. And what we should hardly have looked for in a minister of the Red King, some of those years were years of confessorship and exile endured by the new prelate on behalf of an ecclesiastical principle.[847]

But Henry, Ætheling and Count, was not long to remain a mere king-elect. The interregnum ended on 350 the fourth day. Need for hastening the coronation. It was not a time to tarry; it was needful that the land should have a full king at the first moment that the rite of his hallowing could be gone through. It was known that Robert was on his way back from Apulia, and Henry and his counsellors feared lest, if the Duke should show himself in England or even in Normandy before the crown was safe on the new king’s brow, the Norman nobles in England might repent of an election in which it is clear that they had not very heartily agreed.[848] From Winchester therefore Henry went to London with all speed, in company with Count Robert of Meulan, who kept under the new reign the same post of specially trusted counsellor which he had held during the reign of Rufus.[849] Henry crowned at Westminster. August 5, 1100. On the Sunday after that memorable Thursday, Count Henry was admitted to the kingly office in the West Minster. As the Primate was far away, the rite of consecration was performed by the highest suffragan of his province, Maurice Bishop of London.[850] Form of his oath. The form of Henry’s coronation oath seems, like the oaths of his father and his brother,[851] to have had a special reference to the circumstances of the time. It is the oath of a reformer, of a king who has to bring back right after a season of wrong. As the memory of Rufus had been branded in his burial as the memory of no other king ever was, so it was branded no less in the coronation rites of his successor. He swears to undo the evils of his brother’s reign. The new 351 king swore, as usual, to hold the best law that on any king’s day before him stood; but he swore further to God and to all folk to put aside the unright that in his brother’s time was.[852] These weighty promises made, Bishop Maurice of London hallowed Henry to king, and, according to the great law of his father, all men in this land bowed to him and sware oaths and became his men.[853] The work was now done; the diplomatic meshes of nine years before had been broken asunder by the strong will of the English people. England had again a king born on her own soil, a king of her own rearing, her own choosing, King of the English in a truer sense than those who went either before him or after him for some generations. Joy at Henry’s accession. Great was the gladness as the news spread through the length and breadth of the land. The long hopes of the English, the dark sayings of the Britons, were fulfilled in the coming of the king sworn before all things to undo the wrongs of the evil time. The good state was brought back; the golden age had come again; the days of unlaw had passed away; the Lion of Justice reigned.[854]

352 He puts forth his Charter. Before the Sunday of his consecration had passed, King Henry had put the solemn promises which he had made before the altar into the shape of a legal document. That very day he set forth in writing that famous charter which formed the groundwork of the yet more famous charter of John.[855] Its provisions. I have commented on its main provisions elsewhere, and I have tried to show how it at once establishes the new doctrines as to the tenure of land, and promises to reform the abuses to which they had already led.[856] I will now go through its main provisions in order. First, Henry, King of the English, does his faithful people to wit that he has been crowned king by the common counsel of the barons of the whole realm of England.[857] He had found the realm ground down with unrighteous exactions. The Church to be free; For the fear of God and for the love which he has to his people, he first of all makes the Church of God free. He will not sell the Church nor put her to farm.[858] ecclesiastical vacancies. When an archbishop, 353 bishop, or abbot, dies, he will take nothing during the vacancy from the demesne of his church or from its tenants. And he will put away the evil customs with which the realm of England was oppressed, which evil customs he goes on to set down in order.

Reliefs. Secondly, he touches the question of reliefs. The heir of lands held in chief of the crown shall no longer, as was done in his brother’s time, be constrained to redeem his land at an arbitrary price; he shall relieve it by a just and lawful relief.[859] And as the King does by his tenants-in-chief, he calls on his tenants-in-chief to do in their turn by their under-tenants.

Marriage. Thirdly, he comes to the abuse of the lord’s rights in the matter of marriage.[860] He will take nothing for licence of marriage, nor will he meddle with the right of his tenants to dispose of their daughters or other kinswomen, unless the proposed bridegroom should be the King’s enemy. The rights of the childless widow are also secured.

Wardship. The fourth clause touches the case of the widow with children. The mother herself or some fitting kinsman shall have the wardship.[861] And as the King does by his barons, so shall they do in the case of the daughters and widows of their men.

The coinage. Fifthly, the coinage is to be brought back to the state in which it was in the days of King Eadward, and justice is denounced against false moneyers and other retailers of false coin.[862] Sharp justice it was, as we know from the annals of Henry’s reign.

354 Debts and suits. Sixthly, The King forgives all debts owing to his brother, and stops all suits set on foot by him. This is not the first time in which it is presumed that claims made by the crown must be unjust. Henry excepts debts arising out of the ordinary farming of the crown lands; he excepts also anything that any man had agreed to pay for the inheritances or other property of others.[863] Does this refer to property confiscated and sold by the King? Payments which had been made in relief for a man’s own inheritance are specially forgiven.[864]

Wills. Seventhly, he confirms the free right of bequest of personal property. If a man, through warfare or sickness, dies intestate, his wife, children, kinsfolk, and lawful men, are to dispose of his money as they may think best for his soul.[865]

Amercements. The eighth provision goes back a step further than the others. It cancels the practice of both Williams, and goes back in the most marked way to earlier times. If one of the King’s barons or other men incurred forfeiture, he should not bind himself to be at the King’s mercy, as had been done in the time of his father and brother; he should be fined a fixed amount according to custom, as was done in the days of the kings before his father.[866]

Murders. Ninthly, the King forgives all murders up to the day of his coronation. That is to say, he forgives all payments due from the hundreds according to the special 355 law made by his father for the protection of his foreign followers.[867] For the future the payment shall be according to the law of King Eadward.[868]

The forests. Tenthly comes the one illiberal provision in the document. “By the common consent of my barons, I have kept the forests in my own hands, as my father held them.”[869] Here, where the King’s personal pleasure was concerned, we hear nothing of the law of King Eadward or of the practice of yet earlier kings.

Privilege of the knights. The eleventh clause is a remarkable one. It does not speak, like the others, of reforming abuses or of going back to the practice of some earlier time. The King, of his own free will, bestows a certain privilege on one class of his subjects. Knights who held their lands by military service are to be free, as far as their demesne lands are concerned, from all gelds and other burthens. This the King grants to them as his own gift. In return for so great a boon, he calls on them to stand ready with horses and arms for his service and the defence of his kingdom.[870] This boon seems meant for a class whom it was very important for Henry to attach to his interest, the men namely of both races who were of knightly rank but not higher. Many of them were his tenants-in-chief; those who held only of other lords were still his men by virtue of the law of Salisbury. It was his 356 policy to strengthen both classes in opposition to the great nobles whom he knew to be disaffected to him. Effect of the provision. It may not be too much to see in this clause of Henry’s charter an important stage in the developement of an idea which is peculiar to England, the idea of the gentleman who has no pretensions to be a nobleman. Growth of the country gentry. The knights of Henry’s charter are the representatives of the thegns of Domesday, the forerunners of the country gentlemen of later times. Holding a place between the great barons and the mass of the people, and again between the greatest and the smallest of the king’s tenants-in-chief—​largely Norman by descent, but also largely English—​they were well suited to become the leaders of the people, as they worthily showed themselves in our early parliaments. Their existence and importance, as a class separate from the great barons, did much to establish that distinctive and happy feature of English political life, which spread freedom over the whole land, instead of shutting it up within a few favoured towns. The existence of the knight, as something separate from the baron, secured, not only his own freedom, but the freedom of land-owners smaller than himself. It helped to hinder the growth of the hard and fast line which in France divided the gentilhomme from the roturier. Policy of Henry towards the second order. It was part of the policy of Henry to raise particular men of this second rank, while he broke the power of the great barons of the Conquest. This clause shows that it was also his policy to strengthen and to win to his side this class as a class.

The King’s Peace. Of the other three clauses of the charter, the first two are general, the last is temporary. The twelfth clause establishes firm peace through the whole kingdom. The thirteenth expresses that mixture of old things and new which marks the time. The Law of Eadward. Henry lays down the great 357 basis of all later English jurisprudence; “I restore to you the law of King Eadward, with those amendments which my father made with the consent of his barons.”[871] The law of Henry was to be the old law of England, traditionally called by the name of the king to whose days men looked back as to the golden age, The Conqueror’s amendments. but modified by the changes, or rather additions, which were brought in by the few genuine statutes of the Conqueror.[872] Here, as throughout, Henry sets forth his full purpose to reign as an English king, and he carefully puts forward the nature of his kingship as a strict continuation of the kingship of Eadward and of the kings before Eadward. The alleged Laws of Henry. We have seen that the collection which goes by the name of the Laws of Henry is no real code of Henry’s issuing.[873] But it breathes the spirit of this clause and of the other clauses of the charter. It shows how English, in theory at least, the government of Henry was meant to be.

Amnesty. The fifteenth and last clause is a kind of amnesty for any irregularity which might have happened during the short interregnum. Two days and parts of two other days had passed after the peace of King William—​if we may so speak of the days of unlaw—​had come to an end, and before the peace of King Henry had begun. If any man had during that time taken anything which belonged to the King or to any one else, he might restore it without any fine; if he kept it after the proclamation, he was to be heavily fined.[874]

Such was the famous charter of Henry, the document 358 to which Stephen Langton appealed as the birthright of English freemen.[875] Witnesses to the charter. It was witnessed on the day of the crowning by the bishop who had officiated, Maurice of London, by Gundulf Bishop (of Rochester), William Bishop-elect (of Winchester), Henry Earl (of Warwick), Simon Earl (of Northampton), Walter Giffard, Robert of Montfort, Roger Bigod, and Henry of Port.[876] Such names look forward and backward. There is already a Bigod, forefather of the Earl who would neither go nor hang.[877] There is a Simon, and if the likeness of names is merely accidental, the tradition is carried back in another way when we remember that Earl Simon of Northampton was the son-in-law of Waltheof.[878] The fewness of the names may perhaps show that the coronation of Henry, celebrated as it was amidst a burst of popular joy, was but scantily attended by the great men of the realm. The whole thing was almost as sudden as the death of Eadward and the election of Harold, and it did not, like those events, happen while the Witan were actually in session. The summons, or even the news, could have gone through a very small part only of the kingdom. One would be glad to know how men heard in distant shires, in Henry’s own Yorkshire for 359 instance, not only that the oppressor was gone, but that the new king was crowned, pledged by his oath and his seal to give his land a new time of peace and righteousness.

The new King had taken upon himself to undo the evils of his brother’s reign, to bring back the days of Eadward, to reign as an English king. One step towards the restoration of the good state was to fill the churches which his brother had sacrilegiously kept vacant. Appointments to abbeys. The see of Winchester he had filled already; he now began to fill the thirteen abbeys which Rufus had held in his hands on the day of his death. Several were filled before the year was out; two at least were filled on the very day of his coronation. Saint Eadmund’s and Ely. These were the abbey of Saint Eadmund, void by the death of its abbot Baldwin, and that of Ely, which had stood void for seven years since the death of the aged abbot Simeon.[879] The staff of Saint Eadmund was now placed in the hand of Robert, a young monk of Bec, who is described as a son, seemingly a natural son, of Earl Hugh of Chester.[880] That of Ely 360 was given to Richard, another monk of Bec, son of Richard of Clare.[881] In these appointments and in some others we again see the need in which Henry stood of pleasing the great nobles, even at the cost of sinning against ecclesiastical rule. In the case of the appointment to Saint Eadmund’s we are distinctly told that the King’s nomination was made against the will of the monks, and a little later Anselm thought it his duty to remove both Robert and Richard from their offices. Two other prelates, appointed before any long time had passed, are of greater personal fame. Herlwin Abbot of Glastonbury. 1100–1120. The name of Herlwin of Caen, who now received the staff of Glastonbury, lives in local memory as a great builder.[882] Faricius Abbot of Abingdon. 1100–1117. And the Italian Faricius, now placed in the vacant stall of Abingdon, figures among the most renowned abbots of his house, famous amongst his other merits for his skill in the healing art. Oddly enough, his skill in this way kept him back from higher honour. Had Faricius been less cunning in leechcraft, he might have been Archbishop of Canterbury.[883]

But to undo the evils of the days of unlaw and to 361 reign as an English king, something more was needed than to put men of Norman, or even Italian, birth in possession of English abbeys. Towards carrying out the former of these objects, Henry had a criminal to punish and a sufferer to restore. Towards carrying out the second, he had a wife to marry. These three events pretty well filled up the rest of the year. Anselm and Flambard. Henry had two bishops to deal with, who needed to be dealt with in two very different ways. They were between them the living representatives of the late rule of unright. The one was the embodiment of what its agents did, the other was the embodiment of what its victims underwent. The King had promised to put away the unrighteousnesses of his brother and of Randolf Flambard; he began by putting away their surviving author. Flambard imprisoned in the Tower. By the advice of those about him, the Bishop of Durham, the dregs of wickedness, as he is called in the vigorous words of one of our writers, was sent as a prisoner to the Tower of London.[884] This was most likely not the first case, but it is the first recorded case, in which the great fortress of the Conqueror was used as a state-prison for great and notable offenders. Randolf Flambard heads the long list of its unwilling inmates, few of whom better deserved their place there than he did. We hear nothing of any claim of ecclesiastical privilege on behalf of the man who had brought God’s Church low. Flambard was not allowed the advantage 362 of any of the legal subtleties which his predecessor in his see had known how to play off so skilfully, and which, one would think, he could have played off more skilfully still. We do not even hear whether the Bishop of Durham was summoned before any court of any kind. The accounts read rather as if his imprisonment was simply a stretch of the royal power in answer to a popular demand. The Tower may even have been the best place for Flambard’s safety, as it was the best place for the safety of Jeffreys, as understood by Jeffreys himself.[885] The words which say that the act was done by the advice of those about the King are also worthy of notice. The King’s inner council. The King’s inner council must certainly have contained the two Beaumont brothers, the subtle Count of Meulan and the upright Earl of Warwick. It contained Roger the Bigod, more honoured in his descendants than in himself. It contained too some of Henry’s old friends from his Norman fief, Richard of Redvers and Earl Hugh of Chester. We are told that as soon as the news of the death of Rufus was known in Normandy, several of the great men who were there, specially the Earls of Chester and Shrewsbury, hastened to England to acknowledge Henry.[886] We do not find Robert of Bellême among Henry’s inner counsellors; we do find Hugh of Avranches. And to the list we may also most likely add the bishop-elect of Winchester, William Giffard, a tried court official, though 363 one who afterwards showed that he could suffer for a principle. Roger, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury. And a man who was to be more famous than all of them, the patriarch of the long line of English Justiciars and Judges, the poor clerk who was to be presently the all-powerful Bishop Roger of Salisbury, may have already given his voice among men who were as yet so far above him in worldly place.

We are told that the imprisonment of the Bishop of Durham was one of two acts which the new King did in order that nothing might be wanting to the universal joy at his accession.[887] The other was the recall of the Archbishop of Canterbury. We have seen that, in legendary belief at least, the death of Rufus was very speedily made known, if not to Anselm himself, at least to his friends.[888] The news of the King’s death brought to Anselm. The news was presently brought to him in a more ordinary way by two monks, one of Bec, one of Canterbury. His head-quarters were now at Lyons, but he was at the moment staying at a monastery called God’s House.[889] There the messengers met him, and told him that King William was dead. Anselm was overwhelmed at the tidings, and burst forth into the bitterest weeping. Those who stood by wondered; but he told them with a voice broken with sobs that, by the truth which a servant of God ought not to transgress, he would far rather have died himself than that William should die as he had died.[890]

He is invited to come back by his own monks, Anselm now went back to Lyons, where another monk of Canterbury met him, bringing with him a formal letter from the convent of the metropolitan church, praying 364 him, now that the tyrant was dead, to come back without delay to comfort his children.[891] He took counsel with his friend Archbishop Hugh, and by his advice began his return to England, to the great grief, we are told, of the whole city of Lyons and all the lands thereabouts.[892] and by the King. He had not reached Clugny when he was met by a still more important bearer of tidings. A messenger came in the name of the new King of the English and his lords, bearing a royal letter, calling on Anselm to come back, and even blaming his delay in not coming sooner.[893] Importance of Henry’s letter. We have its text, every word of which deserves to be studied, as showing how popular the constitution of England still was in theory, and what was the kind of language which had to be used by one who was called on to play the part of a popular king. Henry, in setting forth his right to the crown, uses more popular language than is to be found in the charter itself. Its popular language. There he spoke of the choice of the barons; in the letter to Anselm he tells the Archbishop that his brother King William is dead, and that he is chosen king by the will of God and by the clergy and people of England.[894] He excuses his hasty coronation in the Archbishop’s absence on the ground of the urgency of the time. He would more gladly have received the blessing at his crowning from him than from any one else; but the necessity of the moment forbade; enemies had arisen against him 365 and against the people whom he had to rule; his barons therefore and his whole people had thought that the coronation could not be delayed. He had therefore, against his will, received the rite from Anselm’s vicars, and he trusted that Anselm himself would not be displeased.[895] Himself and the whole people of England, all whose souls were entrusted to Anselm’s care, prayed him to come back with all speed to give them the benefit of his counsel.[896] He committed himself and the whole people of England to the counsel of Anselm and of those who ought to consult with Anselm for the common good.[897] He would have sent messengers with money of his own for Anselm’s use; only since the death of his brother the whole world is so stirred against the kingdom of England that he could not send any one with any safety.[898] Anselm is earnestly prayed not to pass through Normandy, but to sail from Whitsand and land at Dover. There some of the King’s barons shall be ready to meet him with money which will enable him to pay anything that he may have borrowed.[899] The letter ends in a pious and imploring strain; “Hasten then, father, to come, lest our mother the church of Canterbury, so long tossed 366 and desolate for your sake, should any longer suffer the loss of souls.” Signatures to the letter. The signatures to the letter should be noticed. It is said to be signed by other bishops and barons as well, but the actual names are Gerard Bishop of Hereford, William Bishop-elect of Winchester, William of Warelwast, of whom we have heard so often, Henry Earl of Warwick, in some sort a milder king-maker, Robert Fitz-hamon, and his brother Hamon the dapifer.[900] It is worth notice that the Achitophel of Meulan does not set his name either to this letter or to the charter. Was it to give as national a character as might be to both documents that Robert, as yet only a French count and not an English earl, abstained from putting his name to them? One can fancy no other reason for its absence from the earlier document. By the time the letter to Anselm was sent, the Count of Meulan’s presence may well have been needed in Normandy.

Dangers of the King and kingdom. The dangers which, according to King Henry’s letter, beset the kingdom of England may have been somewhat exaggerated in his picture of them; but they were perfectly real. And no description of them could be better than that which the King gave when he spoke of them specially as dangers which beset the King and the people whom he had to rule. Intrigues of the Norman nobles with Duke Robert. It was most truly the King and the people of England who were threatened by the intrigues of the great Norman nobles with the restored ruler of Normandy—​if ruler he may be called. The effects of the Red King’s death were exactly opposite in Normandy and in England. Renewed anarchy in Normandy on William’s death. In England his reign of unright was at once changed for a rule as strong and more righteous. In Normandy, which had seen the better side of him, where he had brought back peace of some kind after the anarchy of Robert’s first reign, anarchy came 367 back again the moment the news of his death came. Within a week the forces of Evreux and Conches were again in motion, this time indeed not in order to attack one another, but for a joint raid against the lands of the Norman Beaumont, the possessions of the Count of Meulan. The Count, we are told, had abused his influence with Rufus to do both of them some wrongs, which, while Rufus lived, they were unable to avenge.[901] They now took the law into their own hands; so did everybody else. Normandy again became the same confused field of battle, with every man’s hand against every other man, which it had been before William the Red at least did it the service of putting one tyrant in the room of many.[902]

Return of Robert to Normandy. September, 1100. To this disturbed land Duke Robert came back in the month of September, bringing with him his wise and beautiful Duchess from Conversana. They went to Saint Michael in-Peril-of-the-Sea to give thanks for their safe return,[903] and Robert was held to have again taken possession of his duchy. The English Chronicler says that he was received blithely;[904] it was certainly not the interest of those whom a ruler like Henry would have checked in their evil ways to make any opposition to his fresh acknowledgement. His renewed no-government. As soon as Robert was again in his native land, all the energy and conduct which 368 he had shown in the East once more forsook him. The old idleness, the old wastefulness, came back again. He had already squandered all the money which he had received from his father-in-law; luckily the death of Rufus relieved him from the necessity of repaying the sum for which the duchy had been temporarily pledged. It had not been alienated for ever, and Henry had no claim to it during Robert’s life. Henry keeps his own fief. Robert therefore had no difficulty in taking possession—​such possession as he could take—​of all Normandy, except the districts which formed the fief which Rufus had granted to Henry. There, in the lands of Coutances, Avranches, and Bayeux, King Henry’s men still kept the land for him, and withstood all Robert’s attempts to dislodge them.[905] War between Henry and Robert. A border warfare thus began between the brothers almost from the first moment of the reign of Henry, the second reign of Robert. And it would seem that, though there was no open outbreak till the next year, the turbulent Norman nobles in England were, from the very beginning, Intrigues of the Normans in England with Robert. making Robert the centre of their intrigues against a prince whose rule was eminently inconvenient for them.[906] The Lion of Justice was exactly the kind of ruler for whom they did not wish; Robert, who would put no check upon them, was far more to their tastes. Could they only put him on the throne, they might have their own way in all things in England as well as in Normandy. The same schemes which disturbed the second year of the reign of Rufus disturbed the reign of Henry from the very beginning. It was in the midst of all these disorders, directly after Robert’s return, that Henry’s letter was sent to Anselm. 369 It was therefore not without reason that the King warned the Archbishop not to come back through Normandy, but to make his way to Whitsand. Return of Anselm. September 23, 1100. To Whitsand Anselm accordingly came, and crossed safely to Dover a few days before Michaelmas.[907] The whole land from which he had been now nearly three years absent received him with a burst of universal joy.[908]

Connexion of Anselm with Norman history. The chief points in the primacy of Anselm had all along had a singular connexion, by way of coincidence at least, with the changes of things in the Norman duchy. It was when William was making ready for his second Norman expedition that Anselm had first drawn on himself the Red King’s anger by the alleged smallness of his gift towards its cost.[909] It was just before the King set out that the Primate had given him his most memorable rebuke.[910] The return of William was at once followed by the interview at Gillingham[911] and the great assembly at Rockingham. The collection of money for the final occupation of the duchy did not directly lead to the second dispute;[912] but the connexion of time is still marked. Rufus comes back from Normandy to find fault with Anselm’s contingent of troops for the Welsh war;[913] and he does not go again to the mainland for the French 370 and Cenomannian wars till after he has driven Anselm from England. Now that the Red King is dead, everybody seems to come back to his old place. Robert comes back to Rouen; Anselm to Canterbury. And along with them, a third actor in our story, whom, like them, Rufus had dispossessed, came back also. Before the year was out, Maine was again free; Helias had won back city and castle without slash or blow.

Helias returns to Le Mans. As soon as the news of his enemy’s fall reached the Count of Maine in some of those southern possessions from which he had never been driven, he at once gathered a force and marched to Le Mans. But no force was needed; the loyal city received its banished prince with all joy.[914] The King’s garrison holds out in the royal tower. But possession of the city did not give Helias possession of the royal tower; that was still held by the garrison which had been placed in it by the Red King. One of their commanders was a man whom we know already, Walter of Rouen, the son of Ansgar.[915] The castle was well provided with arms and provisions, and all that was needed for defence. Helias calls in Fulk of Anjou. Helias, before undertaking a siege, sought the alliance and help of Fulk of Anjou, whom he acknowledged as over-lord of Maine.[916] Siege of the tower; The two counts sat down before the castle of the Conqueror; but no strictly warlike operations followed. courtesies between besieged and besiegers. Besieged and besiegers seem to have been on the most friendly terms. They sometimes exchanged threats, but more commonly jokes. It was agreed between 371 the two parties that Count Helias should, whenever he chose, put on a white tunic, and should, by the name of the White Bachelor, be received within the tower.[917] Such was the chivalrous confidence shown on both sides that the Count of Maine went in and out as he chose, and much that was sportive and little that was hostile went on between the two parties. Conference between Walter and Helias. At last Walter and his colleague Haimeric[918] opened their minds to Helias. They were in exactly the opposite case to the Confessor when he told the churl that he would hurt him if he could.[919] They explained to their supposed enemy that they could hurt him if they would, but that they had no mind to do so. The ground and the defences of the castle gave them the stronger position. They were not afraid of his artillery, and they could shower down stones and arrows upon him at pleasure.[920] But they had no mind to fight against one for whom they had a deep regard, especially as they did not know for whom they were fighting. The garrison know not whose men they are. They had been the men of the late King William; they did not now know whether they were the men of King Henry of England or of Duke Robert of Normandy. They proposed a truce, during which they might send messengers to both their possible lords; when they got answers, they might settle what to do.[921] A truce is made; they apply to Robert, The messenger came to Robert, and asked him whether he wished to keep the 372 royal tower of Le Mans or not. If he wished to keep it, he must send a strong force to rescue it from its Angevin and Cenomannian besiegers. The Duke, tired, we are told, with his long journeyings and more anxious for the repose of his bed than for the labours of war,[922] is made to give two somewhat contradictory reasons for leaving matters alone. On the one hand, he was satisfied with the duchy of Normandy; on the other hand, the nobles of England were inviting him to come and take the crown of that kingdom. He told them that they had better make an honourable peace with the besiegers. and to Henry. The messenger, without going back to Le Mans, crossed to England, and told King Henry exactly how matters stood. Henry was too busy at the moment to meddle in affairs beyond the sea.[923] He rewarded the messenger, he sent his thanks to the garrison, and left them to their own discretion. When the answer came, a message was sent to the White Bachelor, asking him to visit the tower. The day was now come when he might rejoice in the possession of that for which he had long wished. If he had any money in his hoard, he might now make a fine bargain. He asked what they meant. They told him that he had not conquered them, that they were quite able to withstand him, but that they had no lord to serve and were quite willing to give up the castle to him. They knew his worth and valour; they chose him of their own free will, and made him that day truly Count of Maine.[924] Surrender of the castle. They gave up the 373 castle and all that was in it; Helias of course treated them with all honour, and gave them a strong guard to shelter them from any attacks on the part of the citizens whose houses they had burned the year before.[925]

Last reign of Helias. 1100–1110. Thus, after all struggles, Helias of La Flèche was at last undisputed lord of the Cenomannian city and county. He reigned, in all honour and seemingly in perfect friendship with Bishop Hildebert,[926] for ten years longer. His friendship for Henry. He was the firm friend, and in some sort the vassal, of King Henry of England, and did him good service at Bayeux and at Tinchebrai.[927] Under his second reign Maine seems to have been peaceful; but there must have been some wars and fightings on its borders, as we find Rotrou Count of Perche a prisoner in the Conqueror’s tower.[928] His second marriage. 1109. The year before his death Helias married a second wife, Agnes, the daughter of Duke William of 374 Aquitaine and widow of Alfonso King of Gallicia.[929] But his only child was Eremberga, the daughter of his first wife Matilda of Château du Loir. Helias, as he was the worthiest, was also the last, of the counts who held Maine as a separate sovereignty, and who had for some generations filled no small place in their own quarter of the world. Later fortune of Maine. Maine became the heritage of his daughter, and passed to her husband the younger Fulk, Count of Anjou and King of Jerusalem,[930] and to her son Geoffrey Plantagenet. Thus Maine became an appendage to Anjou, to Normandy, to England. Descent of the Angevin kings from Helias. And every sovereign of England, from the first Angevin king onwards, could boast that he had in his veins, besides the blood of William and Cerdic, the blood, less famous it may be, but assuredly not less worthy, of Helias of Le Mans.

Meeting of Anselm and Henry; beginning of fresh difficulties. Changes in Anselm. Anselm landed in England after Helias had been received at Le Mans, but before he had won back the royal tower. The King and the Primate soon met, and difficulties at once arose between them. The truth is that Anselm had come back, in some things, another man. Or rather the man was the same; his gentleness, his firmness, his perfect single-mindedness, had not changed a whit. But he had learned doctrines at Rome and at Bari which had never been revealed to him at Bec or at Canterbury. Comparison of the dispute between Anselm The tale of Anselm’s dispute with Henry, his second banishment, his second return, goes beyond the prescribed limits of our story, and I have pointed 375 out its leading features elsewhere.[931] and Rufus and the dispute between Anselm and Henry. There is hardly anything in which the difference between William Rufus and Henry the First stands out more strongly. But we are here concerned only with the very earliest stage of the dispute, if indeed it is to be called a stage of the dispute at all. Henry and Anselm met at Salisbury. The King received the Archbishop with joy; he again excused himself by the necessities of the time for having received the royal unction from another prelate. Anselm fully admitted his excuses.[932] There was less agreement between them on the next point which the King started. Henry calls on Anselm to do homage. Henry called on Anselm to do homage to him after the manner of his predecessors, and, in the language of the time, to receive again the archbishopric at his hands.[933]

Phrase of receiving the archbishopric. This last phrase has, I think, sometimes been misunderstood. It has nothing in common with the fresh commissions which the bishops of Edward the Sixth’s day took out after the death of Henry the Eighth. It has nothing whatever to do with the spiritual office; in this phrase, as in so many others, by the “archbishopric” is to be understood simply the temporalities of the see. These were at this moment in the King’s hands through their seizure in the days of Rufus. Since then a new reign had begun; England had a new king; her inhabitants had a new lord; for the archbishop, like any other subject, to become the man of the new king was simply according to the law of Salisbury. For him to receive back his lands was his right; for him to receive them as a fief was no more than he had already done at the hands of the Red King. Anselm had then done 376 without scruple all that he was now asked to do. Effect of the new teaching on Anselm’s mind. But since then the decrees of Piacenza and Clermont, above all the decrees of Bari and Rome, where he had been himself present, had been put forth. And by those decrees the ancient customs of England were condemned, and the censures of the Church were denounced against all who should conform to them. Anselm deemed it his duty, in all single-mindedness, to obey the bidding of Rome rather than the law of England. We may regret, but we can neither wonder nor blame. Anselm, after all, was not an Englishman; he could not help looking at things with œcumenical rather than with insular eyes. He fairly told the king’s counsellors how matters stood; he was bound by the new decrees. If Henry would accept them, there might be perfect peace between them.[934] If not, he himself could be of no use in England; he would have to refuse to communicate with any to whom the King might give bishoprics or abbeys in the ancient fashion; he could not stay in England on the terms of disobeying the Pope. He asked of those to whom he spoke that the King would consider the matter, and tell him his decision, that he might know which way to turn himself.[935]

Difficulties of Henry. Henry was now, at the very beginning of his reign, in a great strait. He was naturally unwilling to give up one of the chief flowers of his crown, one which had been handed down from all the kings before him.[936] To 377 give up the investiture of the churches and the homage of their prelates would be to give up the half of his kingdom. On the other hand, he felt that it would not do to quarrel with the Archbishop at the very moment of his return to England, or to allow him to leave England while he himself was not yet firm on his throne. He feared—​doing Anselm, we may be sure, utter injustice—​that, if Anselm left England, he might go to Robert, and take up his cause. It would be perfectly easy, as he knew very well, to persuade Robert to accept the new decrees. And on those terms, Anselm might, so the words run, make Robert King of England[937]—​that is, he might bestow on him a consecration more regular than that which Henry had himself received from the Bishop of London. A truce made till Easter; the Pope to be asked to allow the homage. It was therefore agreed on both sides to make a truce or adjournment of all questions till the next Easter. Meanwhile both King and Archbishop should send messengers to the Pope, to pray him so to change his decrees as to allow the ancient customs of the kingdom to stand.[938] No personal scruple on Anselm’s part. We here see, on the one hand, that Anselm still had no kind of scruple of his own about the homage and investiture; it was with him simply a question of obedience to a superior. Let Paschal withdraw the decrees of Urban, and Anselm was perfectly ready to do by Henry as earlier archbishops had done by earlier kings. Effects of the reign of Rufus. On the other hand, we see how the temporal power had been weakened 378 and the spiritual power strengthened through the late King’s abuse of the temporal power. Rufus had given the foreign dominion a moral advantage, of which Henry now felt the sting. Men had come to look on the King as the embodiment of wrong, and on the Pope as the only surviving embodiment of right. Abasement of the kingly power. The King of the English was driven to ask the Bishop of Rome to allow the ancient laws of England to be obeyed. True this was while the King’s hold on his crown was still weak; when his position was more assured, he took a higher tone; but it marks the change which had happened that an English king, and such a king as Henry, should be driven so to abase himself even for a moment.

The truce agreed to; provisional restoration of the Archbishop’s temporalities. By the terms of the truce, things were to remain as they were for the present. Anselm was to be restored to his temporalities without homage or other conditions; but, if Paschal could not be brought to yield on the matter of the decrees, they were to pass to the King again.[939] Anselm looked on all this as useless; he knew the temper of the papal court better than the King and his friends did. But he agreed for the sake of peace; he wished to avoid the slightest suspicion of any wish to disturb the King in the possession of his kingdom.[940] The truce was therefore agreed to; the messengers were sent, and Anselm, when the court broke up, went once more in peace to his metropolitan city or to some other of his many houses.

But, besides settling the affairs of his Church and 379 realm, Henry had other more distinctly domestic and personal duties to discharge. Reformation of the court. He had to reform the household which he had inherited from his brother; he had also—​so we are told that the bishops and others strongly pressed upon him—​to reform his own life.[941] Personal character of Henry. The vices of Henry were at least not the vices of Rufus; inclination as well as duty led him to cleanse the court of its foulest abuses, to make a clean sweep of the works of darkness.[942] But it was only in a wholly abnormal state of things that Henry the First could have been hailed as a moral reformer. Henry’s mistresses and children. His private life was very unlike the life of his father. Unmarried, like both of his brothers till the recent marriage of Robert, he was already the father of several children by mothers of various nations. Robert Earl of Gloucester. Of his eldest and most famous son, Robert, afterwards the renowned Earl of Gloucester, the mother is unknown; but she appears to have been French.[943] Henry son of Nest. The British Nest, of whom we have often heard, the daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, had, before her marriage with Gerald of Windsor, borne a son to Henry who bore his own name.[944] Matilda Countess of Perche. Two of his mistresses bore the characteristic English name of Eadgyth. One was the mother of Matilda Countess of Perche, who died in the White Ship;[945] the other, who afterwards, like Nest, obtained an honourable marriage with the younger Robert of Ouilly, Robert son of Eadgyth. was the mother of a Robert who plays 380 a part in the civil wars forty years later.[946] Henry’s daughter by Isabel of Meulan. His birth therefore most likely came long after the times of which we are speaking, as did the birth of the daughter whom Henry is said to have had by a woman of a Norman house of the loftiest rank, Isabel, daughter of his chief counsellor, Robert Count of Meulan and Earl of Leicester.[947] Richard son of Ansfrida. The list of Henry’s natural children is not yet exhausted—​we have no account of the mother of the valiant Juliana; but the birth of one who is second in personal fame to Earl Robert of Gloucester had already taken place, and it is connected with a characteristic story which is worth telling. Story of his mother and her husband Anskill. A wealthy man of Berkshire, Anskill by name, was one of the chief tenants of the church of Abingdon. As far as his name is concerned, he might be Norman; he might be English or rather Danish. His enemies brought a charge against him to the Red King, who caused him to be kept in so sharp a prison that before long he died of his hardships.[948] He left a widow, whose name is given as Ansfrida, and a son named William. The King then seized on the manor of Sparsholt, which Anskill had held of the abbey, and gave it—​or perhaps only its wardship—​to one of his officers named Toustain, without reserving any service to the Church.[949] By this grant both 381 the young William and the church of Abingdon were wronged. For the wardship of its tenant would even, by Flambard’s own law, go to the abbey. The widow, by what instinct we are not told, betook herself to Henry to ask his intercession with his brother the King. Young William did not get back his land, which was recovered for the abbey at a later time. Henry’s son Richard. But his mother presently gave him a half-brother, Richard, who afterwards distinguished himself in the French wars, and died in the White Ship.[950] The interest of Henry, if it did not get back Sparsholt for its lawful tenant, was enough to secure for his new mistress the safe possession of her dower, and to provide for her legitimate son by an advantageous marriage.[951] Ansfrida 382 herself was in the end buried in the minster of Abingdon with honours of which Saint Hugh would hardly have approved, and her lawful son did not fail to give gifts to the place of his mother’s burial.[952]

Henry is exhorted to marry. Henry then, if he was fully entitled to reform the worst abuses of his brother’s household, stood in some need of reformation himself. His counsellors exhorted him to mend matters by giving himself a wife and his kingdom a queen. He had not far to look for one when policy and inclination led him the same way. He seeks for Eadgyth daughter of Malcolm. Notwithstanding all his irregularities, we are told that he had long loved Eadgyth or Matilda, the daughter of Malcolm, and it is further implied that his love was returned on her part.[953] It is not clear where she was at this moment, but seemingly no longer with her aunt Christina in her monastic shelter at Romsey.[954] She was now about twenty years old, some say of remarkable beauty, at all events of a pleasing face, and mistress of an amount of learning which must have equalled or exceeded that of her clerkly lover.[955] She had no great 383 worldly possessions;[956] Policy of the marriage. but she came of a stock which made a marriage with her the most politic choice which the King could make at the moment. Eadgyth looked on as English. Eadgyth had lived so long in England that men seem to have forgotten that she was the daughter of Malcolm, and to have remembered only that she was the daughter of Margaret. As such she was held to be of the right kingly kin of England,[957] marked out as the most fitting bride for a king whose purpose was to reign as an Englishman. True she came of the blood of Cerdic only by the spindle-side, and by the spindle-side Henry came of the blood of Cerdic himself.[958] Henry’s descent from Ælfred. But no one was likely to remember that a daughter of Ælfred was a remote ancestress of Henry’s mother, while everybody remembered that Eadgyth was the daughter of Margaret, the daughter of Eadward, the son of Eadmund, the son of Æthelred, the son of Eadgar. It was for the English King to take an English Lady, and to hand on the English crown to kings born in the land and sprung of the true blood of its ancient princes.

So thought the people; so thought the King; so 384 seemingly thought the daughter of Malcolm herself. Objections made to the marriage. But not a few mouths were opened to denounce the marriage as contrary to the laws of the Church. Eadgyth, they alleged, was a consecrated virgin, and a marriage with her would be sacrilege. Eadgyth said to have taken the veil. She had, they said, taken the veil at Romsey, when she was dwelling there with her aunt Christina.[959] She appealed to the Archbishop, to whom all looked to decide the matter.[960] She told her story, as we have already heard it, and called on Anselm to judge her cause in his wisdom. Anselm holds an assembly to settle the question. The Archbishop called together at Lambeth—​the manor of his friend the Bishop of Rochester—​an assembly of bishops, abbots, nobles, and religious men, before whom he laid the matter, and the evidence bearing on it.[961] There was the evidence of the maiden herself; there was the evidence of two archdeacons, William of Canterbury and Humbald of Salisbury, whom Anselm had sent to the monastery, and who, after inquiries among the sisters, reported that there was no ground to think that Eadgyth had ever been a veiled nun.[962] The Archbishop then left the assembly, and the rest, who are spoken of as the Church of England gathered into one place,[963] debated the question in his absence. Much stress was laid on the case of those women who, in the first days of the Conquest, had sought shelter in the cloister from 385 shame and violence, but who had not taken religion upon themselves.[964] Eadgyth declared free to marry. The late Archbishop had declared them free to marry, and the judgement of the assembly was that the same rule applied to the case of the daughter of Malcolm.[965] Anselm came back, and the debate and the decision were reported to him. He declared that he assented to the judgement, strengthened as it was by the great authority of Lanfranc.[966] Then Eadgyth herself was brought in, and heard with a pleased countenance all that had passed.[967] She then offered to confirm all that she had said by any form of oath that might be thought good. She did not fear that any one would disbelieve her; but she wished that no occasion should be left for any one to blaspheme.[968] Anselm told her that no oath was needed; if any man out of the evil treasure of his heart should bring forth evil things, he would not be able to withstand the amount and strength of the evidence by which her case was proved.[969] He gave her his blessing,[970] and she went forth, we may say, Lady-elect of the English.

Other versions of the story. In another version, also contemporary but not resting on the same high authority, things are made to take 386 another turn. The King bids Anselm perform the marriage rite between himself and the nameless daughter of Malcolm, called in this version David.[971] Anselm made to object. Anselm refuses on the ground that, having worn the veil of a nun, she belonged to a heavenly, not to an earthly bridegroom. The King says that he has sworn to her father to marry her, and that he cannot break his oath, unless it can be shown by a canonical judgement that the marriage is unlawful.[972] Anselm is therefore bidden to summon the Archbishop of York, and the rest of the bishops, abbots, and other ecclesiastical persons of all England, to come together and examine the matter.[973] Story of Rufus and the Abbess. The Abbess is brought before them, and she tells the story of the Red King’s visit to her flowers.[974] The King bids Anselm call on the synod for its judgement. Decision in favour of the marriage. The assembled fathers debate; canons are read, and it is judged that the maiden is free to marry, chiefly on the ground that, if she was veiled, it was while she was under age and without her father’s consent.[975] Anselm’s scruples and warning. The King asks Anselm whether he objects to this decision; Anselm says that he has no fault to find with it. Henry then asks Anselm to marry them at 387 once. Anselm pleads that, though the judgement is right, yet, as the maiden had somehow or other worn the veil, it were better that she should not marry; there were others, daughters of kings and counts, one of whom the King might marry instead. Henry still insists; Anselm performs the ceremony; but with a warning that England would not rejoice in the offspring of the marriage.[976] The fate of the White Ship and the wars of Stephen and Matilda are quoted as a proof of Anselm’s prophetic power.

The tone of this story is quite unlike that of the more trustworthy version; yet there is perhaps no actual contradiction between them. But the foreign writer stumbles greatly in his names and pedigrees, and writes by the light of forty years later. Later fables. We may see in his version the beginnings of the wild stories of later times, where Eadgyth is pictured as forced into the marriage against her will, and even as devoting her future offspring to the fiend.[977]

Marriage of Henry and Eadgyth. November 11, 1100. She takes the name of Matilda. A few days later, on the feast of Saint Martin, the marriage was celebrated by Anselm, and Matilda, as we must now call her, was hallowed to Queen.[978] It is only 388 a guess that this was the time of her change of name. One hardly sees its motive; it was Henry’s policy at this moment to be as English as possible, and the name of his bride was one of the few English names which the Normans now and then adopted. Could it be Henry’s abiding reverence for his mother which made him wish to place another Matilda on his throne? Be this as it may be, the new Queen bears no other name. The wedding and coronation. All the great men of the kingdom and a crowd of folk of lower degree came together to her wedding and crowning. At the door of the West Minster, as the multitude thronged towards the King and his bride, the Archbishop stood on high and harangued the people. Anselm’s speech. He told them how the whole matter had been settled, and on what grounds. And he once again called on any one who had aught else to say against the marriage to stand forth and say it.[979] The only answer was a general shout of assent to the judgement and the marriage.[980] The rite was done. Objections not wholly silenced. But there were still some who blamed Anselm for the course that he had taken;[981] and years afterwards the validity of Matilda’s marriage, and the consequent legitimacy of her children, was called in question by those whose political objects it suited to do so.[982]

It is somewhat singular that Matilda practically stepped into the place of the Lady whose name she had forsaken. There had been no queen constantly living in England since the elder Eadgyth. The elder Matilda had been but little in England; William Rufus had been pre-eminently the “bachelor king.” 389 Novelty of a queen. It must have been a wonderful change when the riot and foul excess of the Red King’s court gave way to a household presided over by a devout and virtuous woman. Regular life of the King and Queen. For a time at least Henry as well as his wife lived a sober and regular life. As a generation back the strict conduct of Henry’s father had called forth the jeers of the profligate scoffers of his day, so now the profligate scoffers of another generation jeered at the decorous court of Henry and Matilda, “Godric and Godgifu.” and mocked the English King and his English Lady by the characteristic English names of Godric and Godgifu.[983] 1100–1118. The married life of Matilda reached over eighteen years only; Children of the marriage. William; of her two children, both born early in her wedlock, she did not live to see her son, the Ætheling William, cut off in the White Ship; she did live to see her daughter of her own name raised to a place which had never before been filled by a daughter of England,the Empress Matilda. sitting as a crowned Augusta in the seat of Livia and Placidia.[984] After a while Henry seems to have fallen back into his old courses; Later life of Henry and Matilda. some at least of his natural children must have been born after his marriage; and the same kind of language which was used about his first marriage was used about his second.[985] The Queen, for whatever reason, ceased to follow the endless wanderings of the court; and lived in all royal pomp at 390 Westminster.[986] Her character. Her piety rivalled that of her mother; it was shown in all the usual forms of the time; and her brother David, not an undevout prince, went so near to a scoff as to ask his sister whether King Henry would care to kiss the lips which had kissed the ulcers of the lepers.[987] Her boundless liberality to the poor, to clerks, scholars, and strangers of every kind, was perhaps not the less amiable for a manifest touch of vanity.[988] We read that the means for her lavish bounty in this way had to be found by harsh exactions from her tenants; but, here as ever, the blame is laid upon the reeves rather than on their mistress.[989] “Good Queen Mold.” The memory of “good 391 Queen Mold” was long cherished, and we can hardly doubt that her presence by Henry’s side did much to help the fusion of Normans and English in her husband’s kingdom.

Two ecclesiastical events wind up the last year of the eleventh century. Guy of Vienne comes as Legate. One of them showed that there were limits to Anselm’s submission to the see of Rome. Guy Archbishop of Vienne came into England, professing to be papal Legate throughout all Britain. Legates had been seen in England before, but not with such a commission as superseded the authority of an acknowledged Primate. Earlier Legates. They had come both under Eadward and under William the Great; but they came in the doubtful days of Stigand, and the last time they came to set Stigand finally aside.[990] One Legate had come under William the Red; but it was to bring the pallium to Anselm.[991] Guy’s pretensions not acknowledged. But now all men were amazed at a foreign prelate claiming to exercise powers which had hitherto been held to belong to none but the Patriarch of the island world.[992] Legates waxed mightier before Henry’s reign was out;[993] this time Guy went back as he came. We get no details; but we read that no one acknowledged him as Legate, and that he was not able to discharge any legatine function.[994]

Death of Archbishop Thomas. November 18, 1100. The other event was the death of Archbishop Thomas of York, after an episcopate of thirty years. He died a few days after the King’s marriage, leaving a good name 392 behind him as the honoured rebuilder of his church and legislator of its chapter.[995] This was the first prelacy which had fallen vacant since Henry’s accession. To deal with the vacant see after his brother’s fashion would have been in the teeth of all the new King’s promises. He therefore soon gave the church of York another shepherd. But his choice fell on a man of a character widely different from either Thomas or Anselm. The new archbishop was Gerard Bishop of Hereford, of whom we have already heard a good deal, and heard some things that are passing strange.[996] The see of York given to Gerard of Hereford. Archbishop 1100–1108. He held the throne of the northern metropolis for eight years, and, when he died, he had some difficulty in finding a resting-place in his own minster.[997]

§ 3. The Invasion of Robert.
January-August, 1101.

Likeness of the years 1088 and 1101. The first year of the twelfth century was a stirring time for England, though it was not crowded with great and striking events like the last year of the eleventh. It reads like an earlier chapter of our story coming over again. We have now again to tell well nigh the same tale which we told at the beginning of the reign of Rufus. Again we have a Norman rebellion on English soil; again we have a Norman invasion; again the 393 English people cleave steadily to the king whom they have chosen; again the Primate and the bishops in general take the side which was at once the side of the King and of the people. Action of the Bishop of Durham, And, as if to make the likeness square in the smallest details, a bishop set free from bonds is the foremost stirrer up of mischief, and again three sons of Earl Roger are the most active leaders of the revolt. of the sons of Earl Roger. The part of Bishop Odo of Bayeux in the former rebellion is in the present played to some extent by Bishop Randolf of Durham; the part of Robert of Bellême is played again in more than all its fulness by Robert of Bellême himself. Plots to give the crown to Duke Robert. There is again a party eager to place the Duke of the Normans on the throne of England; but this time that party is balanced by another which in the other tale does not appear till later, A party in Normandy for Henry. a party eager to place the King of the English in the ducal chair of Normandy.

Character of Robert and Eadgar. Robert, like his chosen companion Eadgar, could play an active and honourable part anywhere save in his own country. Both alike show to far greater advantage in Palestine and in Scotland than in Normandy or in England. The seeming inconsistency is not hard to understand. Neither of them perhaps lacked mere capacity—​Robert certainly did not. And Robert most certainly did not lack generous feeling. But both lacked that moral strength without which mere feeling and mere capacity can do very little. Such men can act well and vigorously now and then, by fits and starts, when some special motive is brought to bear upon them. They can act better on behalf of others than they can on behalf of themselves, because, when they act for others, a special motive is brought to bear upon them. Their own cause they may, if they like, neglect or betray—​forgetting that, when a prince betrays his own cause, he commonly betrays the cause of many 394 others; but it is a point of honour not to betray or to neglect the cause of another which is entrusted to them. Thus it was that both Robert and Eadgar, who could do nothing for themselves, could do a good deal for others, whether as counsellors, as negotiators, or as military commanders. Robert as crusader. The crusade had brought out all Robert’s best qualities; but we have seen that, even on the crusade, he had yielded to any great and sudden temptation. Amidst so many noble and valiant comrades, he could not shrink from the siege or the battle; and, once brought up to the siege or the battle, he showed himself, not only a daring soldier, but a skilful captain. But at Laodikeia he had been the same man that he was at Rouen. His relapse on his return to Normandy. Now that he was again at Rouen, Antioch and Jerusalem passed away; it was all Laodikeia with him. The dream of winning the English crown floated before his eyes, and at last stirred him up to action. His renewed misgovernment. Otherwise he sank into his old listlessness, his old lavishness, his old vices and follies of every kind. It may be an overdrawn picture which paints him as lying in bed till noon, and neglecting to attend mass, because he had no clothes to go in; the base persons of both sexes who surrounded him had carried them all off. Some odd chance that happened once must have been spoken of as a habit.[998] But there is no ground for doubting the general description of Robert’s misgovernment or rather no-government, both before he went to the crusade and after he came back from it.

Parties in England and Normandy. It may at first sight seem a paradox that there should be at the same moment a party in Normandy anxious to hand over the duchy to Henry and a party 395 in England anxious to hand over the kingdom to Robert. But quiet men in Normandy, who wished their country to enjoy some peace, would naturally wish to place it under the rule of Henry, while the kind of men who, at the accession of Rufus, had wished to bring Robert into England would equally wish to bring him now. Henry’s strict rule distasteful to the Norman nobles. They had perhaps already found out that where Henry reigned none might misdo with other, and to misdo with other was to a large part of the Norman nobles the very business of life.

Their plots against him. The greater part of those nobles were now beginning to plot against the King. The estates which most of them held in Normandy gave them special opportunities for so doing, by giving them excuses for going to and fro between England and Normandy. Robert of Bellême and his brothers. Of this they were not slow to take advantage. The three sons of Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, Robert of Bellême and his brothers Arnulf and Roger, were busy in this work; Robert of Pontefract. Ivo of Grantmesnil. so was Robert the son of Ilbert of Lacy, beginning to be known as Robert of Pontefract; so was Ivo of Grantmesnil, son of the deceased Sheriff of Leicestershire, himself best known as the rope-dancer of Antioch. Earl Walter. And we are somewhat surprised to find on the same list, now at the very end of his long life, the aged Walter Giffard, lord of Longueville and Earl of Buckingham. All these were in secret communication with the Duke.[999] But none of them, Robert of Bellême least of all, was inclined to serve the Duke or any other lord for naught. Duke Robert’s grants to Robert of Bellême. Duke Robert distributed castles and lands among them, and promised to give them greater gifts still when he should be king of England.[1000] To Robert of Bellême he granted the forest of Gouffers, 396 and the castle of Argentan of whose siege we heard seven years before;[1001] he further confirmed him in a claim very dear to the house of Bellême, by granting him the ducal right of advowson over the bishopric of Seez.[1002] He gives back Gisors to Pagan. And, strangest of all, the Duke gave back the fortress of Gisors, the bulwark of his duchy, to its former holder Theobald or Pagan, because he had once hospitably entertained him.[1003] Did not Robert of Bellême ask that, if his own master-piece of engineering was to pass out of the hands of the prince, it should pass into no hands but his own? Thus Duke Robert’s way of making ready for the conquest of England was to squander the resources of Normandy. Every inch of his territory, every stone of his fortresses, stood ready to be granted away, almost to any one who would take the trouble to ask for them.

Christmas Gemót at Westminster. 1100–1101. Things were thus brewing through the winter without any open outbreak. At Christmas King Henry wore his crown at Westminster.[1004] That was a better place than Gloucester for watching movements beyond the sea. And soon after the feast and assembly the cause of Robert was strengthened by an unexpected helper, whose coming seems to have put a new life into his supporters. Escape of the Bishop of Durham. The Bishop of Durham, Randolf Flambard, suddenly showed himself in his native land of 397 Normandy. We saw him but lately shut up, to the joy of all men, in the Conqueror’s Tower. His keeper, William of Mandeville, may have been negligent; at all events his captivity was easy.[1005] The King clearly did not mean it to be harsh, as he allowed him two shillings a day for his keep. Flambard, with all his sins, was a pleasant and liberal companion, and he kept many friends, even in his fall.[1006] He was allowed the company of those friends; with them he made merry in his prison, and gave costly banquets to them and to his keepers.[1007] At last the means of escape were given to him; a rope was brought hidden in a vessel of water or wine. The Bishop made a feast for his keepers, and plied them well with the wine. When they were snoring in their drunken sleep, Flambard tied his rope to the small column which divided one of the double windows usual in the architecture of his day.[1008] Even at such a moment, he did not forget that he was now a bishop; 398 he took his pastoral staff with him, and began to let himself down by the rope. But he had forgotten another, and at that moment a more useful, part of the episcopal dress. He left his gloves behind; so his hands suffered sadly in his descent. Moreover the Bishop was a bulky man and his rope was too short; so he fell with a heavy fall, and lay groaning and half dead.[1009] But his friends and followers were at the foot of the Tower ready to help him. How they came there it is not easy to see, unless there was treason in the fortress; they should surely have been kept out by the wall with which Rufus, at such cost to his people, had surrounded his father’s Tower.[1010] So however the tale is told. The Bishop’s faithful helpers had got good horses ready and his treasure all safe. They set sail for Normandy; Flambard went in one ship, his witch mother with the treasure in another. Adventures of his mother. This second vessel was seized by pirates and the treasure carried off; the old woman and the crew reached Normandy despoiled and sad.[1011] His reception by Duke Robert; he stirs him up against Henry. Flambard made his way to the court of Duke Robert, became his chief counsellor, and worked hard to stir him up by every means to an invasion of England.[1012]

399 Easter Gemót. April 21, 1101. Meanwhile King Henry held the Easter feast at Winchester. The questions between the King and Anselm adjourned. The only recorded business of the meeting is that, as the messengers who had been sent to the Pope had not come back, the matters in dispute between the King and the Archbishop were adjourned till their return.[1013] But meanwhile most of the chief men of Norman birth in England were, of their mickle untruth, the Chronicler says, plotting with the Duke against the King.[1014] Growth of the conspiracy. Any excuse was enough for treason; if Henry refused to make lavish grants after the manner of his brother, the refusal made another traitor.[1015] Instead of a list of the conspirators, we get a list of the few who remained faithful. The few faithful. These were the two Beaumont brothers, Roger Bigod, Henry’s old friend Richard of Redvers, and the lord of Gloucester and Glamorgan, Robert Fitz-Hamon.[1016] To these we ought surely to add old Earl Hugh; but he was drawing near to the end of his days. The rest sent secret messages to Robert, and mocked openly at Godric and Godgifu. It would seem however that there was as yet no open rebellion on English ground.

Whitsun Gemót. June 9, 1101. Popular character of the assembly. The King next kept the Whitsun feast; the place is not mentioned, but it was doubtless Westminster; and the malecontents do not seem to have followed the old tactics of refusing to appear in the assembly. This Pentecostal gathering is spoken of as a vast assemblage both of the nobles and of the people in general.[1017] In an 400 assembly held close to London the popular element would, as in the days of Stephen, be better able to make itself felt than at Winchester and Gloucester. Advice of Robert of Meulan. And it was on the popular element that the King relied. We are told that his subtle counsellor from Meulan taught him that, at such a moment as this, he must be lavish of promises, even to the length of promising London or York, if they should be asked for.[1018] He must promise now, and, when peace comes again, he may take all back again.[1019] In the assembly, King and nobles met with mutual suspicions. Mediation of Anselm. The common voice of all ranks put Anselm forward as the mediator between the nation and its sovereign. It was indeed his constitutional place, a place which in the late reign Anselm had never been able to fill, but in which he was now called on to act, and in which he acted honourably and vigorously. Renewed promise of good laws. A second promise of good laws was the result.[1020] Parties were now 401 divided very much as they had been at the beginning of the reign of Rufus. Anselm played the part of Lanfranc; The Church and the people for Henry. the bishops were all loyal; the English people clave unswervingly to the king of their own choice, the king born on their own soil, the king who could speak to the hearts of Englishmen in the English tongue. They, we are emphatically told, knew nothing of the rights of any other prince.[1021] They were for the English king, son of a king; they had no part or lot in the foreign duke, son of a duke. And it is implied that, not only the English by descent, but that men of all classes and all races, except the few great men who had a vested interest in anarchy, were with one consent steady in their loyalty to the King and ready to fight for him against any invader. England united against Norman invasion. There was again an united nation, a nation perhaps more united than it had been five-and-thirty years before, ready to withstand the new, the last attempt, at a Norman conquest of England. If a few earls and great lords played a game of yet more active treason than had been played by Eadwine and Morkere, they were not able, as Eadwine and Morkere had been able, to keep back any part of the force of England from joining the national standard.

Importance of the campaign of 1101. The campaign which now followed, if campaign is the right word when armies merely look at one another without fighting, marks an important stage in the process which it was the work of Henry’s reign finally to carry out, Fusion of Normans and English under Henry. Last opposition of Normans and English. the fusion of Normans and English in England. The siege of Rochester was the last time when 402 Normans and Englishmen, by those names, met in arms as enemies on English ground. Now, at Pevensey and at Portsmouth, we for the last time hear of Englishmen on English ground spoken of in such a way as to imply that there were other dwellers in England who were not English. In the first year of Henry such language was still true; to go no further, the chief counsellor of the King was the man who had been the first to break down the English barricade on Senlac. Long before the last year of Henry, the men who had fought on Senlac on either side had passed away; the sons and grandsons of the conquerors had put on the nationality of the conquered. Warfare of 1102. The struggle which did not come to blows this year did come to blows in the next; the fighting which was found not to be needed against Robert of Normandy was found to be needed against Robert of Bellême. Peace of King Henry. 1102–1135. Then for thirty-three years there was peace in the island, though there was often war on the mainland. Englishmen believed that the old score was wiped out when they won Normandy for an English king; and the belief, if partly a delusion, was not wholly so. English feeling about Tinchebrai. 1106. On English ground the distinction of races died out during the long peace of Henry; when the anarchy came, men tore one another in pieces on other pretences. But now Englishmen still go forth to withstand a Norman invasion, Englishmen marked off by the English name, not only from men of other lands, but also, though for the last time, from men who were not English within the English kingdom itself.

Meanwhile the exhortations of the Bishop of Durham had had their effect on the sluggish mind of the Norman Duke. Robert’s fleet. July, 1101. In the course of July the fleet which was to win England for Robert was ready at Tréport.[1022] The 403 ducal navy bore the force that was designed for the new conquest, horsemen, archers, and foot-soldiers of other kinds. King Henry meanwhile brought together the hosts of England. Henry’s levy. As of old, the fyrd flocked together from all parts, pressing on with a good will to the defence of England and her King. Henry now, like his brother thirteen years before, had on his side the two great moral powers, the people and the Church. Anselm and his contingent. There was no need this time to throw scorn on the men who came as the military contingent of the see of Canterbury. With them Anselm came in person,[1023] not surely to wield weapons with his own hands; but doubtless to bring about peace, if so he could, and, failing that, to exhort his flock to the last and most terrible of duties, to fight without flinching in a righteous war, when peace has become hopeless. It was not Anselm’s first sight of warfare; but he might now learn the difference between Duke Roger’s war of aggression against Capua, and the war which the English people were ready to wage for their native land and their native king.[1024] The English at Pevensey. The King and the Primate, the national force ready to act at their bidding, the stranger nobles ready to betray them to the 404 invader, gathered once more on the old battle-ground of Pevensey.[1025] There two invading Norman fleets had already shown themselves, with widely different results from their invasions. William Count of Mortain. The third was looked for on the same spot, perhaps all the more because of the very doubtful faith of the new lord of Pevensey, Count William of Mortain. For that same reason it was all the more needful to secure such a post against the invaders. At Pevensey then, under the ancient walls and the new donjon, the army came together, waiting for the coming of the hostile fleet. But Henry took means to check them on their voyage. The English fleet sent out. He sent forth his ships to watch the coasts, to watch the enemy and to hinder them from landing.[1026] But here we are met with a somewhat strange fact. Some of the crews desert to Robert. This is not the first time that we have found Englishmen at sea less faithful than Englishmen on land. Tostig found allies among the sailors who were sent to meet him;[1027] so now did Robert. Some of the crews threw aside their allegiance, joined the invaders, and guided them to land. Alleged agency of Flambard. This piece of treason is attributed to the craft and subtlety of the Bishop of Durham, perhaps only, as in the case of Eadric, from the general belief that, whatever mischief was done, he must have been the doer of it.[1028]

405 Coming of Robert and his fleet. This time the landing-place was not Pevensey, but it was a kindred spot. One writer contrasts Robert’s invasion with that of his father. William made his way into the land by his own strength, Robert only by the help of traitors.[1029] Comparison with his former attempt. But it might have been only fair to contrast Robert’s former attempt, when he sent others to land at Pevensey, but made no attempt to land anywhere himself, and this present attempt, when he came in his own person and actually landed on English ground. And the first and the third invasion have one point of likeness as distinguished from the second. The second invasion, that in the days of Rufus, was beaten back, because the attempt was made on Pevensey when Pevensey was well defended. Comparison of Harold and Henry. But as the Conqueror was able to land at Pevensey because Harold was far away in Yorkshire, so, because Henry was carefully guarding Pevensey, Robert was able to land elsewhere. The traitors guided his fleet along the narrow seas which had seen the Saxon landings which came next after those which made Anderida a wilderness. As the father had made his way to England almost in the wake of Ælle and Cissa, so the son made his way into England more nearly in the wake of Cerdic and Cynric. Robert lands at Portchester. July 20, 1101. The Norman fleet sailed up the haven of Portsmouth, and the Duke and his army landed as safely beneath the Roman walls of Portchester as his father and his army had landed beneath the Roman walls of Pevensey. Portchester castle and church. Those walls at least were there; the massive keep most likely was not yet; the priory of Austin canons, whose church, little altered, still abides within the castle walls, 406 was the work of Henry himself.[1030] Robert marches to besiege Winchester. From Portchester the invader naturally marched towards Winchester; there was the royal seat; there was the royal hoard. He pitched his camp in a fit place for a siege;[1031] He declines to attack the city because of the Queen. but, in one of his fits of generosity, he refused, on a purely personal ground, to attack the city. His godchild and sister-in-law Queen Matilda was already lying there in child-bed of her first child, either the Ætheling or the future Empress. Was the West-Saxon capital her morning-gift also, as it had been with Emma and the elder Eadgyth? When Robert heard of the Queen’s case, he turned away, saying that it would be the deed of a villain to assault the city at such a time.[1032]

Estimate of his conduct. In this story we see the better side of Robert, that spirit of true personal kindliness, which, like his dealings with his brother Henry at the siege of Saint Michael’s Mount, calls forth a personal liking for him in spite of all his follies and vices. But one and the same fallacy runs through all these stories of passing personal 407 generosity. War cannot be carried on without causing much distress to many people, to besieged garrisons suffering from thirst, to women in child-bed, and others. Therefore war should never be undertaken, except for some public object so great and righteous as to outweigh the distress caused to individuals. Therefore too he who is carrying on a war on what he believes to be adequate grounds, should not turn aside from any operation which will promote the cause which he has in hand, merely on account of the distress which it may cause to individuals. We can hardly fancy that Robert himself would have turned away from the siege of Jerusalem or Antioch out of thought for any single person, even a brother or sister. He would have felt such an act to be treason to the common cause of Christendom. At Saint Michael’s Mount and at Winchester he had no cause to betray; he was simply fighting for his own interests, which he might, if he chose, forbear to assert. The morality of his age, perhaps the military morality of any age, fails to see that what this proves is that he should not have been attacking Winchester or the Mount at all. Unless war is so high a duty as to outweigh all personal considerations, it is a crime.

Personal character of the chivalrous feeling. Again, in all these stories we see how the chivalrous spirit thinks of those only whose rank or kindred or some other personal cause brings their distress directly home to its thoughts. Others on the Mount were thirsty besides Henry; Winchester must have contained other women in child-bed besides Matilda. But Robert thinks only of those who are personally connected with himself. Of course that abstract way of looking at the matter which strict morality dictates is quite foreign to the notions of the eleventh century or of many later centuries, and must therefore not be pressed too far. And undoubtedly the personal kindliness which is always 408 shown by Duke Robert is quite enough to put him on another moral level from a monster like Robert of Bellême. It is also enough to put him on another level from William Rufus, whose generosity is simply a form of pride. Yet, after all, the Red King’s abiding duty and reverence towards his father, alive and dead, comes nearer to a moral principle than Robert’s momentary outbursts of kindly feeling.

Robert’s march from Winchester. From Winchester Robert is said to have turned towards London, under the belief that Henry was there.[1033] This is somewhat strange, as one would think that the sea-faring men who had guided him to Portchester must both themselves have known, and would take care to let him know, that the King was at Pevensey. But nothing would be more natural than that Robert should march on London while the King was known to be elsewhere. And the point where, in the only account which attempts any geographical detail, the armies are said to have met, suggests a march of Robert towards London, and a march of Henry from Pevensey designed to meet him on the road before he should reach London. The armies meet near Alton. Robert was by the wood of Alton when news was brought to him that his brother’s force was near, on the other side of the wood.[1034] This seems a likely point for the armies to 409 meet, when the one was going north-east from Portchester and the other going north-west from Pevensey. Wherever the spot was, the two hosts met face to face and made ready for battle. But, either then or earlier, many of the Norman barons in Henry’s army openly forsook the King’s cause and went over to the invaders. Desertion of the Earls of Shrewsbury and Surrey. Two of the traitors are mentioned by name. Robert of Bellême, who was a little time before plotting in Normandy in his character of lord of Montgomery, must now have been again in England to work this open treason in his character of Earl of Shrewsbury. The other was the King’s cousin, the Earl of Surrey, the younger William of Warren, who is spoken of as a bitter personal enemy of the King.[1035] William of Warren’s enmity to the King. Henry had, even in his charter of liberties, kept the forests in his own hands; for, besides his wars, his studies, and his love-intrigues, he found time for an indulgence in hunting, which even surpassed, it would seem, the measure of his fellows. His jests on the King’s love of hunting. This drew on him the mockery of Earl William, who jeered at his deer-slaying exploits, and bestowed on him the nickname of Hartsfoot.[1036] To mockery he now added treason, 410 and Henry did not forget either. Doubtful truth of other nobles. While these great lords forsook the King, other Norman nobles still clave to him outwardly, but only with a feigned heart. His trust was in the small band of faithful Normans, in the Primate and the bishops, and above all in the English people. Death of Earl Hugh. July 26, 1101. One of his oldest Norman friends was gone; Earl Hugh had ended his long and turbulent life as a three-days’-old monk in the house of Saint Werburh, the house which was the joint work of himself and Anselm.[1037]

Meanwhile every motive of religion, loyalty, and patriotism, was brought to bear on the minds of the royal army. While some among the barons were openly falling off, while the good faith of others was doubtful, the King put his whole trust in Anselm only. The Primate was set to exhort, publicly and privately, all whose defection was feared.[1038] Anselm’s energy on the King’s side. And exhort he did, and with good success, hindering at least any further open revolt. Robert himself was alarmed at the threat of excommunication which Anselm held over him.[1039] In the belief of Anselm’s biographer, the King at this moment owed his crown to the Archbishop.[1040] Henry’s promises to Anselm. It is added that, in this 411 moment of danger, Henry promised, not only to let Anselm exercise his full jurisdiction undisturbed, but also to obey in his own person all the decrees and orders of the Apostolic See.[1041] The former part of the promise Henry cannot be fairly charged with breaking; the latter engagement, if it was ever made at all, must surely have been made under some qualification, or else it must be referred to the same class of promises as the suggested grants of London and York. Still there can be no doubt that Anselm served the King well and loyally, and that his help went far to keep many wavering souls in their allegiance. Zeal of the English. But the mass of the English army hardly needed exhortation to keep them in their duty. They would perhaps be more deeply stirred by the voice of the King himself than even by that of the Primate. Never yet since the day of Senlac had Englishmen harnessed for the battle heard a crowned king call on them in their native tongue. Exhortation of the King. But now we see Henry marshalling his ranks in the old tactics, and speaking to his Englishmen as Brihtnoth or Harold might have spoken. The lifeless Latin catches some spark or echo from the song of Maldon, when King Henry rides round the wedge of warriors, and bids them meet the charge of the Norman knights by standing firm in the array of the ancient shield-wall. No wonder that their hearts were stirred; no wonder that they shouted loud for the battle, and told their King with one voice that they were ready for the work, and feared not a Norman in the invading host.[1042]

412 Negotiations between Henry and Robert. But the merits of the Norman lance and the English battle-axe were not again to be put to the trial on English ground. Harold and William had tried negotiation before the final appeal to arms; how much more then should the brothers Henry and Robert? Message of Henry. The King of the English first sent a herald to the invader to ask why he had dared to enter his kingdom in arms. Robert’s answer. Robert sent word back again that it was the kingdom of his father which he had entered, and that he demanded it as his due by the right of elder birth.[1043] His claim of elder birth. In English ears this appeal to the new-fangled notions of other lands must have sounded meaningless. To whom could a crown be due but to him to whom the folk of his land had given it? What was Robert and his elder birth to them? He, the stranger-born, might, for aught they knew, be the eldest son of Duke William of Normandy; but King Henry, the countryman of his people, was the only son of King William of England. Other messages followed; wise men on both sides sought to bring about a reconciliation between the brothers; others sought war rather than peace.[1044] Personal meeting of the brothers. We read on the one hand that, after many messages had gone to and fro, the King found that he could trust no negotiator but himself.[1045] Yet we hear also of Henry being represented by Robert Fitz-hamon, who was surely faithful, while the representatives of Robert are somewhat strangely said to have been two of Henry’s own rebels, the Earl of Shrewsbury and the lord of Cornwall.[1046] However 413 this may be, those on both sides who shrank from a war of brothers brought about a personal interview between the rival princes. Nothing could be more to the advantage of the calm genius of Henry. Robert, able to negotiate for others, was sure not to be able to negotiate for himself. The hosts of Normandy and England stood marshalled in all their pride of war, while the King and the Duke went forth alone into the plain between them. They agree on terms. The brothers talked together; after a while they embraced and kissed.[1047] Terms of agreement had been come to which were to save the blood of the subjects of both.

The treaty of 1101. Robert gives up all claim to England; Henry gives up his Norman possessions. By the treaty now sworn to Robert gave up all claim to the kingdom of England. Henry, on his part, gave up to Robert his county of Coutances, and all that he possessed within the borders of Normandy. One continental possession alone, a small and isolated one, he kept. He might give up the lands which he had once bought of Robert and which he had afterwards received in fief of William. He keeps Domfront. But he could not give up the town and castle of Domfront, whose people had of their own free will chosen him as their lord, and had received his oath never to give them over to any other lord. Domfront therefore, the border post of Normandy and Maine, once the solitary possession of the wanderer, now remained the solitary continental possession of the island king.[1048] Henry and Helias neighbours. Thus, in his small dominion on the mainland, Henry had in a neighbour his friend and ally Count Helias, a neighbourhood which had some influence on the events of a few years later. Yearly payment to Robert. Stipulation as to the succession. Besides the territorial cessions, the Duke was to receive a yearly payment of three thousand pounds from his brother. The vain provision was again inserted that, if either brother died without lawful issue 414 in the lifetime of the other, the survivor should succeed to his dominions. Such a provision might seem even vainer than ever, now that both brothers were lately married to young and fruitful wives. Dying out of the legitimate male line of both brothers. Yet it is strange to look forward, and to see how each brother outlived his son, and how short a time the younger brother outlived the elder. Neither Robert nor Henry could have dreamed that the succession of both would pass to the son of their sister at Chartres. Natural sons of Henry. Anyhow the arrangement shut out those who afterwards showed themselves to be, in personal qualities, the most worthy to reign. These were the natural sons of Henry. Earl Robert. Robert, the son of the unknown French mother, came to fill no small place in history as the renowned Earl of Gloucester; Richard. and the short life of Richard, the son of the Berkshire widow, showed him as a gallant soldier and something more. Thus the relations and the succession of the two states of Normandy and England were settled. But a personal matter still remained between the princes. Henry released from his homage to Robert. At some earlier time, most likely when he first received the Côtentin, Henry had become the man of Robert. But now Henry was a king; Robert was to remain only a duke. It was not becoming for a crowned and anointed king to be the man of a mere duke. Henry was therefore released from all personal obligations of homage towards his brother. Each prince to restore the partisans of the other. Lastly, a provision borrowed from the elder treaty was inserted, seemingly only for form’s sake. Each prince bound himself to restore the lands and honours of all men who had suffered forfeiture for supporting the cause of the other. The treaty sworn to. The treaty thus agreed to was, like the elder one, confirmed by the oaths of twelve of the chief men on each side.[1049] Robert and his army go back. Michaelmas, 1101. Part of the Duke’s army at once left England; part stayed till he himself went back at Michaelmas. 415 He tarried till then as his brother’s guest, treated with all honour, and enriched with many gifts. Mischief done by the Norman army. But it is recorded that the part of his army which stayed with him did much harm in the land.[1050]

§ 4. The Revolt of Robert of Bellême.

Continued disloyalty of the Norman nobles. King Henry was now made fast in his kingdom; but he still had enemies to strive against. The allegiance of many of the chief men of Norman birth in England was still not a little doubtful. They had to be fully brought under the royal power before either the King or his kingdom could be safe. Henry’s plan for breaking the power of the great barons. Henry, there can be little doubt, cold and calculating as he was, formed a settled plan for breaking the power of those great barons who, at least if they joined together, might easily make themselves dangerous to the peace of the land. It was not his policy to hurry, nor to make over-many enemies by attacking all the dangerous men at once. The work was to be done bit by bit; opportunities were to be found as they offered themselves, to settle matters with those who had been traitors once and who were likely to be traitors again.

The treaty does not apply to Flambard. To some of the most dangerous traitors of all the provisions of the late treaty did not apply. The Bishop of Durham had lost nothing in the cause of Duke Robert. He had been imprisoned, and his temporalities had been seized, on the ground of his old offences, 416 before Robert’s claims had been heard of. He had no claims to restoration, nor did he as yet find any favour. Death of Gilbert Bishop of Lisieux. August, 1101. He went back to Normandy, and there, in his banishment to his native land, he found means to provide for himself at the cost of one of its bishoprics. Gilbert Maminot, the skilful leech whom the Conqueror had placed in the see of Lisieux,[1051] died in August, while Duke Robert was in England. Fulcher, Flambard’s brother, holds the see. June 1102-January 1103. The see was not filled till the next June, when it was given to Flambard’s brother Fulcher, who was consecrated and held the bishopric with a good reputation for liberality till his death seven months later. Then Flambard caused the see to be bestowed on a young son of his own, Thomas by name. As far as a not very intelligible account can be made out, Thomas remained unconsecrated, while his father received the revenues. Flambard receives the revenues under cover of his son. It was not till after Henry’s conquest of Normandy that a more regular appointment to the bishopric was made.[1052]

Banishment of the Earl of Surrey. Earl William of Warren too paid the penalty of rebellion, rebellion aggravated by personal gibes against the King. If our accounts are correct, he was disinherited so soon that he went away to Normandy in company with Duke Robert. He is said to have had other companions in the same case.[1053] He was afterwards restored at Robert’s intercession; but the chronology is confused, and we may guess that his fall did not happen quite so soon as is said. If he did suffer forfeiture directly after the treaty, it must have been on some other ground, and not that of taking Robert’s side during the quarrel, which would have been covered by the treaty. On Earl William 417 chastisement had a good effect; His restoration. he came back to be a loyal subject and special friend of King Henry during the rest of his reign.[1054]

Henry’s rewards and punishments. Other dangerous persons were got rid of one by one, as occasion served. Henry rewarded bountifully all who served him faithfully; but no enemy escaped him; no traitor avoided forfeiture or heavy fines.[1055] Forfeiture came before long on some men who were, after the earls, among the greatest of the men of Norman birth in England. Banishment of Robert Malet; of Robert of Pontefract. Such was Robert Malet, son of the gossip of King Harold, a man great in the east of England. Such was one equally great in the north, Robert of Pontefract, the son of Ilbert of Lacy. Charges were brought against them in the King’s court, and forfeiture and banishment followed.[1056] In another case we know the exact nature of the charge, nor can we condemn the punishment, except so far as it was turned to the private advantage of a favourite. Private war unlawful in England. It was our boast in England that we needed not the Truce of God, that, alike before and after King William came into England, private war, the dearest privilege of the continental noble, was always a crime against the law.[1057] Ivo of Grantmesnil harries his neighbours’ lands. But now Ivo of Grantmesnil, the rope-dancer of Antioch, took upon him to bring the licence of Normandy into England, and to lay waste the lands of some of his neighbours. This was a deed which could not be passed by in the days of the King who had come to make peace in the land. His trial, and conviction. A trial, and a huge fine 418 on conviction, followed.[1058] Ivo, on the verge of ruin, betook himself to Count Robert of Meulan. He asks help of Robert of Meulan. Bargain between them. Let the Count reconcile him to the King, and he would again go to the crusade, and try to wipe out the shame of his former pilgrimage.[1059] A bargain was struck; Count Robert was to give Ivo five hundred marks towards his journey to Palestine, and was in return to take possession of all Ivo’s lands for fifteen years. Then they were to go back to his son Ivo, now a child, who was to marry the Count’s niece, the daughter of the Earl of Warwick.[1060] The elder Ivo went on his second crusade with his wife, the daughter of Gilbert of Ghent, and died on his pilgrimage. With him ended the short-lived greatness of the house of Grantmesnil in England. The inheritance of his father and grandfather passed away from the younger Ivo to swell the fortunes of the chief counsellor of the King.[1061]

Origin of the earldom of Leicester. The subtlety of the Count of Meulan was famous, and it enabled him to change his fifteen years’ possession of the lands of Ivo of Grantmesnil into a great hereditary earldom. A chief part of Ivo’s position came from his relations to the town of Leicester. Ivo’s relations with Leicester. He had succeeded his father as Sheriff of the shire and farmer of the royal revenues. He was also castellan of the fortress above the Soar, the fortress which the elder Eadmund won back for England and for Christendom,[1062] where 419 a mound older than Æthelflæd[1063] looks down on the church of Robert of Meulan and the hall of Simon the Righteous. Other lords in Leicester. But the lordship of the house of Grantmesnil over the old Danish borough was not complete; besides the King and the Bishop of Lincoln, some rights in Leicester belonged to Earl Simon of Northampton.[1064] Robert Earl of Leicester. 1103. The cunning Count of Meulan contrived to unite all claims in himself, and became the first of the Earls of Leicester,[1065] that title which has passed to so many names, and which has drawn to itself alike the glory of a Montfort and the shame of a Dudley. Dies, 1118. Earl Robert kept his office and his prosperity for the remaining fifteen years of his life, and then died, fifty-two years after the great battle, with the wrongs of Ivo of Grantmesnil upon his conscience.[1066] Married, as we have seen, somewhat late in life,[1067] he was the father of two sons, both of whom were brought up with such care that they could, while still young, hold logical disputations with cardinals.[1068] Of these brothers, Robert, the elder, became a prosperous Earl of Leicester in England, while his brother Waleran 420 became an unlucky Count of Meulan beyond the sea.[1069] Of one of his daughters we have already heard as helping to swell the irregular household of King Henry.[1070] The Earl himself remained the King’s counsellor, keeping on friendly terms with Anselm, while cleaving steadfastly to the ancient law of England in the matter of investitures.[1071] He too was an ecclesiastical benefactor, though on no very great scale. His college at Leicester. 1107. He founded or restored a college of canons within the castle of Leicester, where the small church of his building may still be seen embedded in the greater fabric into which it has grown.[1072] Its endowments transferred to Leicester abbey. 1143. But the greater part of its endowments were taken by the second Earl Robert to enrich the abbey of our Lady of his own foundation, the abbey where a more famous cardinal than those with whom its founder had disputed 1530. came to lay his bones.[1073]

Christmas Gemót. 1101–1102. King Henry had thus overthrown several of his open or secret enemies, and he doubtless wore his crown at the Christmas Gemót at Westminster with a greater feeling of safety. But the greatest work of all had still to be done. There was still one man in England whose presence was utterly inconsistent with the rule of any king whose mind was to give peace to his kingdom. Danger from Robert of Bellême. Peace, in Henry’s sense of the word, could not be in a land where Robert of Bellême was, to say the least, the 421 mightiest man after the King. Henry knew his man; he knew that, sooner or later, the struggle must come between himself and such a subject. The King watches him. For a whole year he kept his eye upon the Earl of Shropshire and all his doings. Spies sent from the King watched all that he did; every blameworthy act was carefully reported and set down in writing.[1074] A bulky volume, one would think, must have been added to the library of the learned King. At last the moment came when Henry thought that it was time to act, and the form of action which he took was one which followed more than one precedent in earlier reigns. Easter Gemót. April 6, 1102. The Easter Gemót was to be held at Winchester. The King summoned Earl Robert to appear before the Assembly, and to answer openly on forty-five distinct charges of offences done either against the King or against his brother the Duke.[1075] Robert asks a licence to be accompanied by his men. We do not read that Robert, like others in the like case on earlier occasions, demanded a safe-conduct to go and to return; but we do read that he demanded—​and it is implied that the demand was an usual one—​a licence to come accompanied by his men. The licence is given. They were to serve, we may suppose, either as compurgators or as defenders by the strong hand, as things might turn out.[1076] The demand was granted; Earl Roger set forth; the King and his barons were waiting for his coming at Winchester; but he came not. Robert does not come. On the road he changed his mind; he knew that the result of any legal trial must be 422 against him; he deemed, and doubtless with truth, that he would be safer in his own strong castles than he could be in the King’s court. He fled, we are told, breathless and afraid, a description which does not savour much of the fierce lord of Bellême. But at any rate the King’s messenger had to report that the Earl of Shropshire had gone elsewhere, and was not on his way to obey the King’s summons.[1077] The King’s proclamation. Henry did not hurry; he put forth a proclamation, declaring that the Earl, lawfully charged with various crimes, had not come to make his defence, and that, if he did not come at once to do right—​to abide his trial—​he would be declared an outlaw.[1078] He again summons Robert, who refuses to come. Along with the issue of the public proclamation, the King, clearly anxious to give no occasion for any man to say that the Earl had been harshly or informally treated, sent him a second personal summons to appear before the Assembly. This time Robert directly refused to come,[1079] and open war broke out. The war begins. The work of King Henry, as we have already heard, was to destroy the ungodly within his kingdom.[1080] He had to 423 begin by doing that useful work on an offender whose ungodliness was on the grandest scale of all.

Greatness of Robert’s possessions. The overweening greatness of the house of Montgomery or Bellême, and the personal energy of its members, is shown in the range both of warfare and of negotiation which was opened by what was in its beginning a mere legal process on the part of the King of the English against an offending subject. We must always remember that, whatever Robert was at Shrewsbury or at Montgomery, at Bellême he was something more than an ordinary vassal of either king or duke. His acquisition of Ponthieu. He had lately increased his continental power by taking possession of the county of Ponthieu, the inheritance of his son, who bore the name of his own maternal grandfather, the terrible William Talvas.[1081] The Earl of Shrewsbury was thus entitled to deal with princes as one of their own order. His brothers Arnulf and Roger. He and the two best known of his brothers, those whom we have already seen leagued with him, Arnulf of Montgomery, lord of Pembroke, and Roger of Poitou, once lord of the land between Mersey and Ribble, were now again firmly joined together against the King.[1082] Wide range of warfare and negotiation. And they contrived to draw no small part of Northern Europe into a partnership in their private quarrel. That Robert of Bellême should be able to get together a large body of Welsh allies is in no way wonderful. He was indeed the sternest enemy of their nation; Welsh alliance of Robert. but, among that divided people, enmity on the part of one tribe or dynasty was a claim to support on the part of another, and all tribes and dynasties 424 forgot every enmity and every wrong when there was a chance of harrying the fields and homes of the Saxon. Welsh allies of the rebel Earl play an important part in the story, and the more distant powers of Ireland and Norway are also brought within its page.

Just at this time the Welsh seem to have been stronger and more united than usual. We have seen that their momentary subjugation after the death of Earl Hugh of Shropshire had led to a successful movement while his successor was busy on the continent.[1083] Revolt in Gwynedd. The men of Gwynedd could not bear Norman rule; whether it took the form of law or of unlaw, it was equally against the grain. Their leader now was Owen son of Edwin, who, we are told, had been the first to bring the French into Mona.[1084] Settlement of Gruffydd and of Cadwgan and his brothers. This was before the end of the year of Earl Hugh’s death; it was in the next year that Cadwgan and Gruffydd came back from their Irish shelter.[1085] The phrase of the Welsh writer, that they came to terms with “the French,” must be understood as referring to their relations with Robert of Bellême. Cadwgan kept Ceredigion and a part of Powys, for which he and his brothers Jorwerth and Meredydd became the men of the Earl of Shropshire. Gruffydd seems to have held Anglesey as a wholly independent prince; there is at least no mention of vassalage in his case.[1086] 425 Robert calls on the Welsh for help; Earl Robert now called on his British vassals to help him in his struggle with the King. As there is no sign that they had become the men either of King Henry or of any earlier king, the law of Salisbury did not apply to them. his gifts and promises. The promises of Robert of Bellême were splendid; so were his gifts; he almost seems to have won the help of the Britons by a promised restoration of complete freedom to their country.[1087] In the allies thus drawn to his banners he professed the most boundless trust. He put into their hands—​so the Welsh writer tells us—​his wealth and his cattle, perhaps also, what a Norman lord would specially value, the horses of noble breed which he had brought over from Spain, and whose race flourished in the land of Powys long after.[1088] A great and motley host was thus got together, which entered zealously into the cause of the Earl, and did not pass by so good an opportunity of finding great spoil.[1089]

Arnulf’s dealings with Murtagh. Meanwhile the Earl’s brother Arnulf at once strengthened the castle of Pembroke and looked further for allies than the land of Ceredigion and Powys. By the hands of his steward at Pembroke, Gerald of Windsor, he sent to Ireland to King Murtagh, to ask for the king’s daughter in marriage and for help in the struggle.[1090] 426 Negotiation with Magnus. From what followed, and from the connexion between Murtagh and Magnus, we can hardly doubt that the negotiations of Arnulf reached to Norway as well as to Ireland, and that Magnus himself was a party to the course which was at once followed by Murtagh. Murtagh sends his daughter to Arnulf. The Irish king promised his daughter to the lord of Pembroke, in some sort his neighbour, and actually sent her to her affianced husband on board a great fleet designed to support the rebel cause.[1091]

King Henry had thus plenty of foes to strive against in his work of bringing back the reign of law and order in his kingdom. Henry’s negotiation with Duke Robert. But he too could negotiate beyond sea; he could stir up a diversion against the Count of Bellême and Ponthieu, which might do something to weaken the power of the Earl of Shropshire and lord of Arundel. The King sent letters to his brother Duke Robert, setting forth how Earl Robert had incurred forfeiture in the dominions of both of them, and how he had treasonably refused to appear in the general Assembly of England. He called on his brother to do as he was doing himself, and to smite the man who was a traitor to both his lords with the vengeance that was his due.[1092] The Duke attempted something after his fashion, that is his fashion in Normandy and not his fashion in Syria. The man who had been foremost in the crusading host had on his native soil sunk again into the feeble and half-hearted ruler whom we knew of old. Duke Robert besieges Vignats. Yet he did make an attempt to subdue the castles which held out for Robert of Bellême in the land of Hiesmes. He laid siege to 427 Vignats, a castle lying south-east of Falaise, on a height looking to the north, not far from one of the tributaries of the Dive. It was an old possession of the house of Talvas, and in the next generation it became the site of an abbey of Benedictine nuns.[1093] It was now held on behalf of Robert of Bellême by a captain named Gerard of Saint Hilary. The garrison, if their state of mind is rightly described, wished the besiegers to make a fierce assault that they might have an excuse for surrendering without dishonour.[1094] But, under the generalship of Duke Robert on Norman ground, no fierce assault followed. Treason of Robert of Montfort and others. There were even traitors in the Duke’s camp. Robert of the Norman Montfort, whom we have heard of in the wars of Maine,[1095] and other lords in the Duke’s army, being, it would seem, in league with the rebels, burned their quarters and fled, no man pursuing them. They even constrained the loyal part of the army to flee with them.[1096] Victory of the besieged. It was not wonderful then that the garrison of Vignats plucked up heart, made a vigorous sally, and chased the voluntary fliers with loud shouts.[1097] A war 428 followed, in which the whole land of Hiesmes was laid waste. Not only Vignats, but Fourches, Argentan, and Château-Gonthier further down the river, were all held by the rebels. Ravage of the Hiesmes. The loyal lords on both sides of the Oudon, Robert of Grantmesnil, the other son of the old Sheriff of Leicestershire, his brother-in-law Hugh of Mont-Pizon, and his other brother-in-law, Robert of Courcy, strove in vain to defend their lands. But the rebels were too strong for them, and the whole of that district of Normandy was laid waste with havoc of every kind.[1098]

Robert of Bellême strengthens his castles. Works at Bridgenorth. King Henry managed matters better in his island. The rebel Earl put all his castles in a state of defence. Arundel, Shrewsbury, and Tickhill, were all garrisoned, all supplied with provisions. So too was the Castle by the Bridge, where, as well as at Careghova, the works, still, it would seem, not wholly finished, were pressed on by day and night.[1099] The King’s plans. The King had to choose which fortress he would attack first. His plan seems to have been first to cut off Robert’s outlying possessions, before he made any attack on the strongholds of his power on the Welsh border. He besieges Arundel. And, first of all, he led his force—​the host of England it is emphatically called—​to the siege of the Earl’s great South-Saxon castle, that which lay open to the chance of help from the supporters of the 429 rebel cause in Normandy.[1100] The King marched to Arundel; he set up, after the usual fashion, two evil neighbours to keep the fortress in check.[1101] He then gave part of his army leave of absence while the work of blockade went on.[1102] Truce with the besieged. The zeal of the defenders of Arundel in the cause of their rebel lord does not seem to have been strong; but they had a keen sense either of the honour of soldiers or of the duty of vassals. This last, to be sure, was a mistaken sense, according to the laws of England, above all according to the great law of Salisbury. They craved a truce, during which they might ask Earl Robert either to send them help or to give them leave to surrender. Robert was far away in his Mercian earldom, busy on two works. Robert and Arnulf harry Staffordshire. The defences of Bridgenorth were strengthening day by day, and Robert and Arnulf, at the head of their Gal-Welsh and Bret-Welsh forces—​it is significantly hinted that Englishmen had no share in the evil work—​were harrying the neighbouring parts of Staffordshire. A great booty of cattle, and some human captives, were carried 430 off into Wales, the price of the help given by Cadwgan and his brother.[1103] The messengers from Arundel found their lord at some stage of these employments, and set forth to him the danger in which they stood from the King’s leaguer. Terms of the surrender of Arundel. Mournful, but feeling himself unable to send help to so distant a post, Robert of Bellême gave his garrison of Arundel full leave to make what terms they could with the King.[1104] They surrendered at once and with great joy; but they honourably stipulated that their lord Earl Robert should be allowed to go safe into Normandy. The King received them graciously and rewarded them with rich gifts.[1105] Arundel passed into the royal hands, to become in the next reign the seat of a more abiding earldom in the hands of the famous houses of Aubigny and Fitzalan, and to pass through them to the more modern, but perhaps more English, line of Howard.[1106]

431 The surrender of Arundel took away all fear lest any help should come to Robert of Bellême from his Norman partisans. But before the King made any movement towards the lands on the Severn, he marched far to the north-east, to the lands watered by the tributaries of the northern Ouse, on the borders of Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. Surrender of Tickhill. Here the mound of Tickhill was still held for the rebel Earl, and the new gate-house of his predecessor’s building still frowned defiance in the teeth of any advancing enemy.[1107] But Tickhill proved yet an easier conquest than Arundel. It needed no Malvoisin, no messages sent to Shrewsbury or Bridgenorth, to persuade its garrison to surrender. Question of the King’s presence. According to one version, the siege was not even deemed worthy of the royal presence. While Henry himself marched to the greater enterprise at Bridgenorth, a spiritual lord was deemed to be captain enough for the siege of Tickhill. Action of Robert Bloet. The work to be done there was entrusted to the hands of Bishop Robert of Lincoln.[1108] According to another version, which is perhaps not quite inconsistent with the other, the King himself appeared before Tickhill, and the garrison at once marched forth with all readiness to meet their natural lord--cynehlaford to Normans and Englishmen alike, cynehlaford above all to Yorkshiremen, if he was really born in their shire—​and received him with all fitting joy.[1109] Later history of Tickhill. The castle of Tickhill or Blyth passed back 432 again for a while to the kinsfolk of its former owner, and afterwards became a possession of the Crown.[1110] A collegiate chapel was founded within its walls by the first Queen Eleanor, and in the reign of her son Richard the ground between Tickhill and Blyth became the special scene of fantastic displays of chivalrous rashness.[1111] There was no licensed tournament-ground at Tickhill or elsewhere in the days of the King who made peace for man and deer.[1112]

Henry’s Shropshire campaign. Autumn, 1102. The more distant possessions of the rebel Earl were thus brought under the King’s obedience. The peace of King Henry reigned in Sussex, in Yorkshire, and in Nottinghamshire. Now came the time for attacking the special strongholds of Robert’s own earldom; the stage of attacking himself was to come last of all. After the surrender of Arundel and Tickhill, the King allowed his men a breathing-time;[1113] then, in the course of the autumn, he gathered together the forces of all England for the final overthrow of the rebellion. Robert of Bellême at Shrewsbury. Defence of Bridgenorth. Robert of Bellême had chosen his capital of Shrewsbury as the post which he would defend himself. His new fortress of Bridgenorth he placed in the hands of three chosen captains, at the head of eighty mercenary knights, attended doubtless by a fitting following of lower degree.[1114] Of the three leaders, Robert son of Corbet—​a 433 name which was to become abiding in those parts—​was a hereditary follower of the house of Montgomery; The three captains. Robert son of Corbet. he appears in Domesday as the holder of a large estate under Earl Roger.[1115] To another captain, Robert de Nova Villa, we have no certain clue; Neuvevilles and Newtons abound in Normandy and England; he may or he may not have been a forefather of the historic Nevilles. Robert Neville? Wulfgar the huntsman. The third awakens more interest; his name seems to be English; he is Wulfgar the huntsman.[1116] Nor is there the slightest reason to think that Robert of Bellême would reject the services of a born Englishman in any post, if the man himself seemed likely to suit his purpose. These three, with the regular force at their command, had to defend the Castle by the Bridge; Action of the Welsh princes. the Welsh princes, Cadwgan and Jorwerth, with their less disciplined bands, were planted in the neighbourhood, to annoy the King’s troops, as they might find occasion.[1117]

434 Robert of Bellême seizes the land of William Pantulf. But, while Earl Robert knew how to make use of the services of Robert the son of Corbet, he had the folly to make an enemy of another old follower of his father. He had already, for what cause we are not told, seized the lands of William Pantulf, who appears in Domesday as holding under Earl Roger a great estate in Shropshire, a small one in Staffordshire, and an empty house in the town of Stafford.[1118] He rejects his services. He was a tried and valiant warrior, and he now, forgetting his late wrongs, offered his services to the son of his old benefactor in his time of need. William Pantulf joins the King. Earl Robert thrust him aside with scorn, on which William betook himself to the King, by whom his merits were better valued. Henry had known him of old, and now gladly received him. He commands at Stafford; William Pantulf was sent at the head of two hundred knights, to command the castle of Stafford, a castle which had risen and fallen in the 435 days of the Conqueror, and which must have by this time risen again.[1119] The local knowledge and interest of William Pantulf in the two neighbouring shires seems to have stood him in good stead. his services. He acted vigorously against the lord who had scorned him, and no one, we are told, did more towards bringing about the final overthrow of the proud Earl.[1120]

Relation of Normans and English. And now we get one of our most instructive pictures of the time, and of the difference of feeling among men of the time. We distinctly see the difference of feeling between Normans and English. But they are no longer labelled as Normans and English, as they were only a year before. They are spoken of simply as different classes in one army. Six-and-thirty years after the day of Senlac, we are but seldom dealing with the men who fought for Harold or for William; we have come to their sons or even their grandsons. Division of feeling in the army. But the great men of the army and the small men, of whom the former class would be all but wholly Norman, while the latter would be Normans and English intermingled in various proportions, had quite different views as to the proper policy for King Henry to follow. And King Henry’s own views agreed with the views of the small men, and not with the views of the great. Siege of Bridgenorth. The King builds a Malvoisin. The army was gathered before Bridgenorth, and a regular siege was opened. The King brought up his engines of war; he built a fort to check the approach of any relief to the castle[1121]—​was it on Oldbury, was it on the northern side, beyond the surviving gate of the town, or did it guard the river from the opposite side 436 of the bridge? The siege lasted three weeks;[1122] and the course of events shows that it cannot have been at any very late stage of it that King Henry found that he had in his camp two widely different classes of men. There were in it men who were working honestly in his service, men who strove heartily for his success, knowing that the interests of King and people were the same. There were also men there to whom the interests of their own order were dearer than those of either King or people, and who feared that the overthrow of the power of the Earl of Shropshire might tend to the lessening of their own power, perhaps of their own possessions. We have seen the same division of feeling before the walls of Rochester;[1123] we now see it beneath the cliff of Bridgenorth. The great men lean to Robert of Bellême. The earls and great men of the kingdom who were in the army came together in separate consultations. They argued that it was not for their interest that the power of Robert of Bellême should be utterly broken. If the King dealt so with the greatest of his nobles, he might deal in the like sort with the rest, and might tread them under his feet like servants and handmaidens.[1124] It would suit them far better to bring about a peace between the King and the Earl. It would have been, one may guess, a peace by which Robert of Bellême should keep his earldom and the castles within his earldom, but should leave to the King the castles and 437 lands which the King had already won. In this way they would put an end to disputes, and would make both the King and the Earl their debtors.[1125]

The smaller men, Normans and English, faithful to the King. So reasoned the great men, the Norman nobles, the men to most of whom Robert of Bellême was a countryman and a comrade, and none of whom were likely to have felt the grip of his iron claws[1126] in their own persons. So reasoned not the sons of the soil; so reasoned not men of any race who were lowly enough to feel that in the power of the King—​that is in Henry’s days, the power of law—​lay their only hope of shelter against smaller oppressors. Meeting of the nobles. The great men came together in a field—​perhaps in the meadows beside the Severn—​and there held a parliament with the King—​a meeting, one might say, of the Witan from which the land-sitting men were shut out—​and earnestly pressed peace upon the King.[1127] Henry’s own feelings were clearly the other way; and those who were shut out from the counsels of the great ones now came to his help. Gathering of the mass of the army. Three thousand men of the mass of the army, men seemingly of the shire most nearly concerned, who were stationed on one of the neighbouring hills, knew, by whatever means, the counsel of the leaders, and were minded to have their voice in the matter too.[1128] If the King chose to hold a military Gemót, an assembly of the armed nation,[1129] they 438 had a right to be heard as well as men of higher degree. At Rochester too the English soldiers had spoken their minds; but to the Red King they must have spoken them through an interpreter. But Henry knew the tongue of his people, and we may fancy him not unwilling to listen to counsels which he could hear and weigh, while the mass of those of whom he had reason to be jealous understood not what was said. Appeal of the army to the King. A vigorous speech, which doubtless fairly represents the feelings of the moment, is put into the mouths of the three thousand or their leaders; “Lord King Henry, trust not those traitors. They do but strive to deceive you, and to take away from you the strength of kingly justice. Why do you listen to them who would have you spare the traitor and leave unpunished the conspiracy of those who seek your death? Behold we all stand by you faithfully; we are ready to serve and help you in all things. Attack the castle vigorously; shut in the traitor on all sides, and make no peace with him till you have him alive or dead in your hands.”[1130] The speakers do not call, as the English before Rochester called in the case of Odo, for the judicial death of the traitor. Henry’s faith pledged for Robert’s life. The faith of Henry was pledged to the garrison of Arundel that Robert of Bellême should be allowed to go safe into Normandy.[1131] But the three thousand clearly cherished a hope, perhaps that Robert’s own men might turn against him, certainly that, when Bridgenorth should fall and Shrewsbury should be beleagued, then some lucky bolt from an arrow or a mangonel might light on him before the time of surrender came, or, best of all for those who had felt his iron claws, that he might fall beneath one of their own axes in a sally or a storm.

439 Henry seeks to detach the Welsh from Robert. The King listened to the counsels of his advisers of lower degree, but of more honest hearts. King and people were one, and the designs of the traitors in the camp were brought to naught.[1132] First of all, Henry determined to weaken the strength of Robert, and no doubt to relieve his own army from a never-ending annoyance, by detaching the Welsh force from the cause of the rebels. Dealings of William Pantulf with Jorwerth. William Pantulf, who was doubtless well known to the Britons, acted as the King’s agent with Jorwerth son of Bleddyn. We are not told why he was thought more easy to win over than his brothers; but it seems plain that the negotiation was carried on with him only, unknown to Cadwgan and Meredydd.[1133] Henry’s great promises to Jorwerth. The King invited Jorwerth to his presence, with the assurance that he would do more for him than Earl Robert and his brothers could do.[1134] Jorwerth came; the gifts of King Henry were acceptable; his promises were magnificent indeed. As long as Henry lived—​it was wise not to bind his successor—​the British prince should 440 have, free of all homage and all tribute, Powys, Ceredigion, half Dyfed with the castle of Pembroke, the vale of Teifi, Kidwelly, and Gower.[1135] Such a dominion would give its holder a seaboard on two seas; it would leave under English rule little beyond the central and southern lands of Brecheiniog, Gwent, and Morganwg, and the outlying land of Pembroke, which would thus be most distinctly “Little England beyond Wales.” We are not told what was to be the fate of Cadwgan when Jorwerth received this great inheritance; but Jorwerth himself naturally caught at such a prospect. Jorwerth makes the Welsh change sides. And it seems that his power over his countrymen was so great that, while his brothers knew nothing of what was going on, Jorwerth was able to turn the whole British force which had come to the Earl’s help to the side of the King. The Welshmen now harried the lands of the Earl and his friends instead of those of his enemies, and carried off a vast booty.[1136] In any case the lands of some one were harried, and for the Britons that was doubtless enough.

Henry’s dealings with the captains at Bridgenorth. Having thus relieved himself of the enemy who hung upon his flanks, Henry began to deal directly with the defenders of Bridgenorth. Three of the leaders—​we may safely guess that Roger son of Corbet, Robert of Neville, and Wulfgar, are the three meant—​were invited to the King’s presence. They doubtless had a safe-conduct for that once; but they had to take back an ugly message to their comrades. The King swore in the hearing of all men that, unless they surrendered the castle within three 441 days, he would hang every man of the garrison that he could catch.[1137] The three captains, whose necks were in as much danger as those of their followers, began to consult for their own safety. Mediation of William Pantulf. They asked William Pantulf, as their neighbour, to act as a mediator between them and the King.[1138] At their request, he came to them, and made them a set speech on the duty of surrendering the castle to the lawful king. And his eloquence was backed by one special argument which shows that, in one point at least, Henry had made some progress in the school of Rufus. William was commissioned to swear in the King’s name that submission should be rewarded by an addition to the estates of each of the captains of lands of a hundred pounds’ worth.[1139] The captains promise to surrender. Moved, we are told, by a sense of the common good, the captains agreed, and, to avoid all further danger, submitted to the King’s will.[1140] They were allowed to send a message to Earl Robert to say that they could hold out no longer against the invincible power of King Henry.[1141]

Position of Robert. Robert of Bellême was now nearly at the end of his hopes and of his wits. His distant castles were lost; Bridgenorth, his own work, his newest work, was as good as lost; William Pantulf, able and active, had 442 turned against him; his Welsh allies had failed him; Cadwgan and Meredydd were still at his side;[1142] but they were useless guests now that Jorwerth had turned the whole power of the Britons to the other side. He still held Shrewsbury; but it was hard to defy the strength of the whole kingdom from within the walls of a single fortress. His dealings with Ireland and Norway. In his despair, he caught at the hope of making his peace with the King;[1143] he caught also at the most distant chances of stirring up enemies against the King. The Britons had proved a broken reed; he would try the Irish and the Northmen. The Irish fleet was said to be actually coming; Arnulf goes to Ireland. Arnulf was sent, or went of his own accord, to hasten the pace of these new allies, who, beside such help as they might give to Robert, were to bring Arnulf himself a wife who might one day give him a crown. But as Arnulf took his own men with him, Robert was yet further weakened by his going.[1144] At this moment one more chance seemed to offer itself. Magnus in Anglesey. The Norwegian King was once more afloat, and that for the last time. His course was much the same as on his former voyage. He sailed by the Orkneys and the Sudereys to Man, and thence once more to Anglesey.[1145] His castle-building in Man. Here, we are told, he busied himself in cutting down timber for the repair of certain castles in Man which he had formerly destroyed. It must have been at this 443 stage of the voyage of Magnus that Earl Robert sent a message craving help at his hands. It must have cost Robert somewhat of an effort to ask help of the slayer of his brother, Robert vainly asks help of Magnus. and, unless we attribute to the Norwegian King a general interest in confusion everywhere, it is hard to see on what ground Magnus could be expected to help Robert of Bellême against King Henry. The Northman refused all help. Failure of the Irish scheme. It would seem too that the Irish alliance came to nothing; one version at least makes this the moment when the daughter of Murtagh was given to Sigurd the son of Magnus, and not to Arnulf of Montgomery.[1146] Robert of Bellême left alone. Every chance of help far and near had failed the once mighty lord of so many lands and castles; his old friends had turned against him; his strivings to win new friends had failed. As far as England was concerned, Earl Robert seemed to be left alone on the mound of Shrewsbury.

Divisions in Bridgenorth; And yet for a moment one hope seemed left to him. The message of the three captains which announced the speedy surrender of Bridgenorth was premature. Roger, Robert, and Wulfgar, had promised more than they could do at the moment. There was a wide difference of interest between two classes of men who stood side by side on the height of Bridgenorth. the captains and the townsmen for surrender; The captains and the burgesses of the town—​for such a class had already in the space of four years sprung up at the gate of Earl Robert’s castle[1147]—​were of one mind, the mercenary soldiers were of another. The three captains, the townsmen, and doubtless any of the Earl’s soldiers of whatever rank who were English by birth or settlement, any who 444 had any stake on English soil, were eager to come to terms with the King. So to do was their manifold interest and manifest duty; it was a special interest and duty of the captains who had promised so to do, and who looked for such rich rewards for so doing. the mercenaries wish to hold out. But to the mercenary soldiers of Earl Robert, professional fighting men picked out from many lands, things had another look. They had no stake in England; they cared nothing for King Henry and for the peace of his kingdom. The more the peace of England was likely to be disturbed, the better it would be for them. Any glimmering of duty which found a place in their minds would be a feeling of rude faithfulness to the master whom they served, the rebel Earl whose bread they had eaten. The mercenaries therefore cried out loudly against the submission to which, without taking them into their counsels, the captains and the townsmen had agreed. They seized their arms, and strove to hinder the carrying out of the surrender which had been promised.[1148] They are overpowered. But the captains, with the townsmen and the loyal party in the garrison, were too strong for them; they were themselves made prisoners and shut up within some one part of the castle.[1149] Surrender of Bridgenorth. The surrender was now carried out; the gates were opened; the royal troops marched up the path which led to the castle, and the banner of England again floated over the height crowned by the stronghold of Æthelflæd.[1150] The joy of the men of Bridgenorth was great, and on that day of deliverance no man was inclined to harshness. King Henry could honour the faithfulness of the Earl’s mercenaries to their own lord, even though that faithfulness was, in the eye of the law, 445 treason to himself and his kingdom. The mercenaries march out with the honours of war. They were allowed to go forth with the honours of war, with their arms and their horses. Whither they went we are not told. They may even have entered the King’s service. The prudence of Henry might be trusted not to let them go anywhither where they were likely to be dangerous. And, as they came forth between the ranks of the besiegers, they were allowed to tell their tale in the hearing of all men. It was not, they said, to be turned to the shame of their calling that the Castle by the Bridge had been given up without a blow. They were guiltless; the deed was done by the guile of faithless captains and of unwarlike townsmen.[1151] King and people might admire, in truth there is something to admire, in the mistaken faithfulness of these men, even to an evil cause. But King and people had still work on their hands; the arch-enemy had still to be found, alive or dead, in the last stronghold which held out for him.

And now came the last act of the drama, the last stage of the struggle which was to make Henry truly king, and to give England three-and-thirty years of peace under his rule. Robert still holds Shrewsbury. With the news of the fall of Bridgenorth all hope passed away from the heart of Robert of Bellême. One strong fortress indeed was still his. Earl of the Mercians, Earl of Shropshire, he could call himself no longer; lord of Shrewsbury he still was, while he still kept the castle of his capital as the last abiding seat of rebellion. Shrewsbury castle. All the distinctive features 446 of Shrewsbury in later times, town, churches, castle, abbey, were all there. On the neck of the peninsula girded by the Severn, on ground high in itself though lower than some points of the hill town behind it, the mound of Old-English days which had supplanted the old seat of British kingship, and which was now crowned by the fortress of his father, still was his.[1152] Its towers rose as high as the loftiest buildings of the town which they kept in awe; from their height he might look forth on the mountain land which had been won for his earldom by his father’s power; he might look down on the broad and rushing river, and on his father’s minster beyond its stream.[1153] But the mountain land, so lately his ally, had now turned against him; the stream of Severn brought no help to the beleaguered fortress; no prayers, we may be sure, went up for the son of Mabel from the altars whose guardians had seen the virtues and tasted the bounty of Adeliza. Despair of Robert. The stern earl, thus utterly forsaken, lost his fierce and defiant spirit; he groaned for sorrow; he knew not which way to turn for help or counsel.[1154] The King’s march to Shrewsbury. And soon he felt that his hour indeed was come, when he saw the royal banners draw near to his last stronghold. As soon as Bridgenorth had fallen, the march on Shrewsbury began. A mighty host it was which set forth on the errand of deliverance. Gathering of the English army. We take the figures as merely the conventional expression of a vast number, when we read that sixty thousand Englishmen gathered around the standard of King Henry 447 of England.[1155] Zeal of the troops. They marched with a will, eager to meet the great oppressor face to face, to bring the last stronghold of wrong under the dominion of law, to join in their king’s work of rooting out the ungodly that were in the land. Englishmen had gone forth with a will to the siege of Rochester, perhaps to the siege of Bamburgh; but then they had gone forth at the bidding of a king who was wholly a stranger. Now they gathered around a king, born indeed of the foreign stock, but a king of their own choice, born on their own soil, cheering them on in their own tongue, a king whom they might well deem a truer Ætheling than the grandson of Ironside born in distant Hungary or than the son of Harold brought up among the wikings of the North. Nature of the road. The road by which they had to march was one which had dangers of its own. It was a road among hills, sometimes rough with stones; in one part it was for a mile’s space a mere hollow way, overhung by a thick wood, a path so narrow that two horses could hardly pass, a path which men called the Evil Hedge. Among the trees on either side archers might easily lurk, to the no small loss of the host which had to march between two fires.[1156] The road is cleared. The King accordingly first sent forward his pioneers to clear the way for his army and for all travellers along that road for ever. The wood was cut down on both sides, the path was widened, and the evil hedge became a broad road along which the great host of England could march in safety.[1157]

448 Along the new-made road King Henry marched to a bloodless conquest. He had no need to throw up a bank or to shoot an arrow against the mound and the towers of Shrewsbury. Robert sends to ask for peace. On his way he was met by an embassy from Earl Robert, asking for peace. The terms are not told us, but the answer implied that Robert still asked for terms. He may have hoped, shut out as he was from everything else, still to keep the capital of his earldom, perhaps as a means for one day winning back all that he had lost. The King refuses terms. But the King and his host were in no mood to listen to terms; they longed for the last attack on the arch-enemy. The answer, the decree, as we read it, of the armed Gemót, was that Robert of Bellême must hope for no mercy, unless he came and freely threw himself into the King’s hands.[1158] In that case, it will be remembered, the King’s word was pledged for his life and his safe passage to Normandy. Robert consulted the few friends whom he had left, and their advice at last bent his proud heart to an unconditional submission. Nine days had passed since the surrender of Bridgenorth[1159] when the royal force drew near to Shrewsbury. Robert submits at discretion. Robert of Bellême came forth in person to meet them; he knelt, we may suppose, before the King; he confessed his treason, and placed in the King’s hands the keys of Shrewsbury, city and castle. He thus gave up for ever his last English possession, the head of that great earldom which his father had received from the hands of the King’s father.[1160] As far as 449 England was concerned, the lord of Bellême, a moment before lord of Shrewsbury, was a landless man. He is sent out of England. The King strictly kept his word to the suppliant; but he would not grant him the slightest favour beyond what his word bound him to. Robert was untouched in life and limb, he received a safe-conduct to the sea-shore, and he was allowed to keep his arms and horses, a needful defence in case of irregular attack.[1161] And so the land was free from its worst enemy; the devil of Bellême was cast out of the realm of England. Evil men no doubt were left behind; but none, we may believe, who would refuse to ransom his prisoners, for the mere pleasure of seeing them die of hunger or of torture.

The work was done; the host of victorious Englishmen marched back to their homes.[1162] Joy at Robert’s overthrow. The joy of the land at the great deliverance was beyond words. The tyrant was overthrown, the King was now king indeed. The national joy is set before us as bursting forth in a kind of rhythmical song, which reminds us of those fragments of primæval poetry which remain imbedded in the history of the Hebrews. We hear the same strain as that which denounced woe to Moab and rejoiced in the undoing of the people of Chemosh,[1163] when Englishmen 450 are described as gathering round their King, and shouting the hymn of victory. The song of deliverance. “Rejoice, King Henry, and give thanks to the Lord God, now that thou hast overthrown Robert of Bellême and hast driven him from the borders of thy kingdom.”[1164] Banishment of Arnulf and Roger. Nor was he driven forth alone. The King had good grounds for the banishment of his chief accomplices, his two brothers Arnulf and Roger, and for the seizure of their lands.[1165] The King’s hatred towards the whole family. His hatred towards the whole house of Montgomery, or rather towards the whole house of Talvas, had become so great that he would not endure that any member of it should hold lands or honours in his kingdom. Later history of Robert of Bellême. Robert of Bellême himself went over to Normandy, to raise new disturbances there. At a later time he was again twice to visit England, once as an ambassador, and again as a prisoner, a prisoner in a prison so strait that no man knew whether he lived or died.[1166] But his part, a part only of four years, as an English earl and perhaps the greatest of English land-owners, was played out for ever.

Death of Magnus. 1103. Of the other chief actors in the events of those four 451 years, King Magnus died the year after the fall of Robert of Bellême, in his last and greatest attack on Ireland.[1167] A Giffard in his fleet. It awakens some interest when we read that he had in his host a stranger who bore the great Norman name of Giffard.[1168] Was he an accomplice, was he a messenger, of Earl Robert of Shropshire? Later history of Jorwerth. Towards the Welsh prince Jorwerth, who had done so much on both sides in the course of the rebellion, Henry was, according to the Welsh writers, far from keeping his word. War between Jorwerth and his brothers. It is not wonderful that enmity arose between Jorwerth and his brothers after his conduct during the siege of Bridgenorth. He seems to have waged open war with them in the King’s name. Meredydd imprisoned. For we are told that he seized his brother Meredydd and handed him over to the King or imprisoned him in a royal prison.[1169] Jorwerth cedes Ceredigion to Cadwgan. But with Cadwgan he made peace, giving up to him a large share of his promised dominions, namely the lands which Cadwgan had before held of Robert of Bellême, Ceredigion and part of Powys. It was perhaps this agreement with an enemy which offended Henry. The King does not fulfil his promises to Jorwerth. When Jorwerth came, seemingly to receive his grant from the King’s hands, he received nothing. Dyfed and the castle of Pembroke, far too precious a stronghold to be left in the hands of any Briton, was entrusted to a knight named Saer, from whom it afterwards passed to Gerald of Windsor, a man who had already bravely defended it, and whom the King had his own reasons for promoting.[1170] Grant of Gower and other lands to Howel. But the remainder of the promised possessions of Jorwerth, the vale of Teifi, Gower, and Kidwelly, were, by a breach of promise 452 which must have been yet more galling, granted to another Welsh lord, Howel son of Goronwy.[1171] Jorwerth tried at Shrewsbury and imprisoned. 1103. The next year Jorwerth was summoned before an assembly at Shrewsbury, the place renowned for the trial of a more famous Welsh prince of later days. The choice of the place is characteristic of the reign of Henry, Gemóts held in various places under Henry. under whom national assemblies were held in various parts of the kingdom, and were no longer confined to the three places to which custom had confined them under Eadward, Harold, and the two Williams.[1172] Shrewsbury a former place of meeting. It was but a return to older custom; Shrewsbury had been the seat of more than one memorable assembly in earlier times;[1173] but this was the first time that Shrewsbury in its new form had seen a great national gathering; The earldom of Shrewsbury. it was the first assembly that had been held since the English mound had become the kernel of Earl Roger’s castle, and since Earl Roger’s abbey had arisen beyond the river. Earls had now passed away from Shrewsbury; no such title was heard again till the days of the famous Talbot, when it was in French and not in English ears that the name was terrible. After the four years’ rule of Robert of Bellême, there was doubtless much to settle in his former earldom and along the whole Welsh border. Trial of Jorwerth. In the assembly held for that end Jorwerth appeared and was put upon his trial. We should be well pleased to have as full an account of the proceedings against the British prince as we have of the proceedings against Bishop William of Durham. His conviction and imprisonment. But the story was not deemed worth recording by any English writer; the Welsh, who bitterly complain of the injustice of the court, tell us how, after a day’s pleading, Jorwerth was declared guilty and committed to prison.[1174] He was 453 afterwards set free, and again played a part among his own people; His later history. but a patriotic Welsh chronicler laments that the hope, the fortitude, the strength, and the happiness of all the Britons failed them when Jorwerth was put in bonds.[1175]

Establishment of Henry’s power. King Henry had at last done his work. When Robert of Bellême was cast out, his throne remained safe and his kingdom peaceful. Two years later indeed there was another enemy to cast out; but the ease with which the work was now done showed how thoroughly the harder work had been done before Bridgenorth and Shrewsbury. Banishment of William of Mortain, 1104. When the King’s near kinsman and bitter enemy, Count William of Mortain, would fain have had the earldom of Kent and have been another Odo in it, there was no need of a siege of Pevensey or of Montacute. His imprisonment after Tinchebrai. 1106. A simple legal process was enough to send him out of the land without slash or blow.[1176] He lived to try the chance of slash and blow at Tinchebrai, and to meet with a heavy doom, live-long bonds, perhaps borne in blindness, His alleged blinding. at the hands of his offended cousin and sovereign.[1177] His ambition could not disturb the peace of the land for a single day; the might of armed unlaw had been broken when the gates of Shrewsbury 454 opened to receive King Henry. Peace of Henry’s reign. 1102–1135. From that day for three-and-thirty years, a wonder in those days, a who