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Title: The Reign of William Rufus and the Accession of Henry the First, Volume 1 (of 2)

Author: Edward A. Freeman

Release date: February 21, 2022 [eBook #67458]

Language: English

Original publication: United Kingdom: Clarendon Press, 1882

Credits: 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)





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I HAVE now been able to carry out the design which I spoke of in the Prefaces to the fifth volume and to the second edition of the fourth volume of my History of the Norman Conquest. I have endeavoured to work out in detail the two sides of the memorable years with which I deal in these volumes, their deep importance for general and specially for constitutional history, and their rich store of personal and local narrative. In the former aspect, I believe I may claim to be the first to have dealt at length with the history of Bishop William of Saint-Calais, a history of deep constitutional importance in itself, and more important still with reference to the career of Anselm. It is no small matter to be able to show that it was not Anselm, but Anselm’s enemy, who was the first to appeal from an English court to the see of Rome. In this matter I have, I trust, brought out into its full importance a piece of history which has never, as far as I know, been told at length by any modern writer, though Dr. Stubbs has shown full appreciation of its constitutional bearings. Of less importance, but still more vi novel, is the mission of Abbot Jeronto to England, to which I have never seen any reference in any modern writer whatever. With regard to the career of Randolf Flambard, I have now worked out more fully many points which have been already spoken of both by myself and by Dr. Stubbs; but I cannot claim to have brought forward anything of great moment that is absolutely new.

In the part which consists of military and other narrative, I have, as usual, given all the attention that I could to the topography. I have visited every place that I could, and I have generally in so doing had the help of friends, often with more observant eyes than my own. I must specially thank Mr. James Parker for his help in Normandy and Maine, the Rev. J. T. Fowler of Durham for his help in Normandy, Maine, and Northumberland, Mr. G. T. Clark in Shropshire, Mr. F. H. Dickinson at Ilchester, the Rev. William Hunt at Bristol, and the Rev. W. R. W. Stephens in Sussex and Kent. I have also to thank His Grace the Duke of Norfolk for free access to Arundel castle, and M. Henri Chardon of Le Mans for much valuable help in that city. And, above all, I must again thank Mr. James Parker for much more than help in preparing the maps and plans which illustrate the book. Without him they could not have been done at all.

In North Wales and in some parts of Normandy and France I was left to my own inquiries. In South Wales I made no particular researches for this volume; but I hope that an old-standing knowledge vii of a large part of that country may not have been useless. Where I feel a real deficiency is in Hampshire. I could not have made any minute inquiries there without delaying the publication of the book for many months. But I have in former years been at Portchester, and I have seen something of the New Forest. And I feel pretty certain that no amount of local research can throw any real light on the death of William Rufus, unless indeed in the way of showing how local legends grew up. But something might perhaps be done more minutely to illustrate the landing and march of Duke Robert in 1101.

On this last point the place of the conference between Henry and Robert is satisfactorily fixed in the new text of Wace published by Dr. Andresen. I did not come across his volumes till most of the references to Wace had been copied and printed from the edition of Pluquet. But in the course of revision I was able in some cases to refer to Andresen also. His text is clearly a better one than that of Pluquet. But I cannot say that I have learned much from his notes, perhaps from the singularly repulsive way in which they are printed. Another German writer, Dr. Liebermann, has done good service to my period by publishing several unpublished chronicles to which I have often referred. Those of Saint Edmundsbury are of very considerable local importance. But there are other things that want printing. I hear from Mr. E. C. Waters that there lurks in manuscript a cartulary of Colchester Abbey, viii which contains distinct proof that Henry the First spoke English familiarly. I have never doubted the fact, which has always seemed to me as clear as anything that rested on mere inference can be. But it is something to know that there is direct witness to the fact, though it would be more satisfactory if one could refer to that witness for oneself. In the story, as told me by Mr. Waters, a document partly in English is produced in the Kings presence; the clerk in whose hands it is put breaks down at the English part; the King takes the parchment, and reads and explains it with ease.

I may mention one point with regard to topography in Normandy and Maine. I have now carefully written the names of all places in Normandy, Maine, and the neighbouring lands, according to the forms now received, as they appear for instance on the French Ordnance map. I am sure that people constantly read names like “Willelmus de Sancto Carilepho,” “Robertus de Mellento,” without clearly taking in that “Sanctus Carilephus,” “Mellentum”, &c. are names of real places, as real as any town in England. When one reads, as I have read, of “Bishop Karilef,” “the Honour of the Eagle,” and so forth, it is plain that those who write in that way have no clear notion of Saint-Calais and Laigle as real places. Yet all these towns are still there; to most of them the railway is open, and there are trains. On the other hand, the confusions of French writers about English places are, if possible, more amazing. A German writer, meanwhile, is pretty ix sure to know where any place, either in France or England, is, though he may be sometimes a little lifeless in his way of dealing with it.

I have now pretty well done with the history of the Norman Conquest of England, except so far as I still hope to put forth my story on a scale intermediate between five—​or rather seven—​large volumes and one very small one. But I should be well pleased to go on with another piece of history of the same date, the essential importance of which and its close connexion with that with which I have been dealing is being always brought more and fully home to me. The Norman in the great island of the Ocean and the Norman in the great island of the Mediterranean naturally form companion pieces. I have made some acquaintance with the Rogers and Williams of Sicily in their own home, and I should be well pleased to make that acquaintance more intimate. Palermo follows naturally on Winchester and Rouen. The pleasure-house of William the Bad is the skeleton of the Conqueror’s Tower with a wholly different life breathed into it by Saracenic artists. But the points of view from which we may approach Sicily, the meeting-place of the nations, and the rich and various sources of interest which are supplied by the history of that illustrious island, are simply endless.

In all technical points these volumes follow the exact pattern of the History of the Norman Conquest. And I take a knowledge of that work for granted, and I assume all points which I believe x myself to have explained or established in it. But I have added to these volumes, what I have not added to any of their predecessors, a Chronological Summary, distinct from the Table of Contents. It is, I think, a necessary companion to a narrative in which I could not strictly follow chronological order, but had to keep several contemporary lines of story distinct. Alongside of the History of William Rufus I set his Annals.



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Character of the reign of William Rufus 3
The Norman Conquest in one sense completed, in another undone 3
Feudal developement under Rufus and Flambard 4
Growth of anti-feudal tendencies 4
Extension of the power of England at home 4
Beginning of rivalry between England and France 5
Change in the European position of England 5
Personal character of William Rufus 5–6
His companions and adversaries; Anselm and Helias 6
Last warfare between Normans and English; results of the struggle 6–7
The Norman kingship becomes English 7
Effects of the French war 7
Scheme of the work 8
Character of the accession of Rufus; general acceptance without formal election 9–10
§ 1. The Coronation and Acknowledgement of William Rufus.
September, 1087.
Rufus the enemy of the Church, yet his election specially ecclesiastical 10
Wishes of the late King in his favour 11
Special agency of Lanfranc 12
Sept. 8, 1087. – William Rufus leaves his father’s death-bed and hastens to England 12–13 xii
He brings with him Morkere and Wulfnoth, and again imprisons them 13–14
Duncan and Wulf set free by Robert 13
Meeting of William and Lanfranc 15
Sept. 26. – Coronation of William Rufus at Westminster 15
His special oath 16
Dec. 1087-Jan. 1088. – His gifts to churches and to the poor 17–18
The Christmas Assembly; Odo restored to his earldom 18–19
Special circumstances of William’s accession; no other available choice; comparison between William and Robert 19–22
§ 2. The Rebellion against William Rufus.
March-November, 1088.
Beginning of the rebellion; discontent of Odo; influence of William of Saint-Calais 22–24
March, 1088. – Gatherings of the rebels; speech of Odo; arguments on behalf of Robert 24–26
Comparison of the elder and younger William 26–27
Geoffrey of Coutances joins the rebels 27
Treason of the Bishop of Durham; different statements of his conduct 28–29
March, 1088. – Early movements in Kent and Sussex 29
The Bishop forsakes the King; his temporalities seized 30
He is summoned to the King’s court; action of Ralph Paganel 31
March-May, 1088. – Lands of the bishopric laid waste 32
April 16. – The Easter Assembly; the rebels refuse to come 32
List of the rebels 33–35
Loyalty of Earl Hugh of Chester 34
Ravages of the rebels; of Bishop William, Roger Bigod, and Hugh of Grantmesnil 35–36
History and description of Bristol 36–40
Bristol occupied by Bishop Geoffrey; his works; ravages of William of Eu and Robert of Mowbray 40–41
Robert of Mowbray burns Bath 41–42
His siege and defeat at Ilchester 42–44
William of Eu plunders in Gloucestershire; history and description of Berkeley 44–46
Rebel centre at Hereford; action of Earl Roger 46–47
The rebels march on Worcester; history and description of the city 47–49 xiii
Action of Wulfstan; deliverance of Worcester 48–51
Movements of Odo in Kent; he occupies Rochester 52
Rochester, Tunbridge, and Pevensey 52–53
The war at Rochester; history and description of the city and castle 52–56
Duke Robert sends over Eustace of Boulogne and Robert of Bellême 56
The three sons of Earl Roger 57
Earl Roger at Arundel; history and description of the castle 58–59
William of Warren; his earldom of Surrey; his loyalty; he keeps Lewes 59–60
The King wins over Earl Roger 60–61
Robert of Mortain holds Pevensey against the King 62
Loyal Normans; Robert Fitz-hamon 62
The Church and the people for the King 63
William’s proclamations and promises; the English arm for him 63–65
Meeting of the English army at London; William accepted as English king 65–67
William’s march; English hatred of Odo 67
Taking of Tunbridge castle 68–70
March towards Rochester; Odo at Pevensey 70
Duke Robert fails to help the rebels 71
The English besiege Odo in Pevensey 72–73
Robert at last sends help; the Norman landing hindered by the English 74–75
Alleged death of William of Warren 76
Pevensey surrenders; terms granted to Odo; Rochester to be surrendered 76
The garrison of Rochester refuse to surrender; Odo taken prisoner by his own party 77
William’s Niðing proclamation; second English muster 78
Siege of Rochester; straits of the besieged; they agree to surrender 79–80
Lesson of the war; the King stronger than any one noble; the unity of England 80–81
The King refuses terms to the besieged 81
Pleadings for the besieged, Odo and others; the King grants terms 82–85
The honours of war refused to Odo; his humiliation; he leaves England 87–89
June 4, 1088. – The Whitsun Assembly; confiscations and grants; amnesty of the chief rebels 88
The Bishop of Durham again summoned 89 xiv
His dealings with Counts Alan and Odo; he comes with a safe-conduct 90–91
The Bishop’s ecclesiastical claims; he goes back to Durham 91–92
Sept. 8 – Agreement between the Bishop and the Counts 92–93
Nov. 2. – Meeting at Salisbury; trial of the Bishop; he denies the authority of the court 95–97
Lanfranc and William of Saint-Calais 97
The charge and the Bishop’s answer 98–99
Lanfranc and Geoffrey of Coutances 100–101
Debate in the Bishop’s absence; constitution of the court 100–101
Debate on the word fief 102
The Bishop’s seven counsellors 103
He appeals to Rome; character of the appeal; position of Lanfranc 103–106
The sentence pronounced; he renews his appeal 106–107
Dialogue between the King and the Bishop; intervention of Count Alan 107–109
The Bishop appeals again; the final sentence 109–110
The Bishop’s demand for money; answer of Lanfranc 110–111
The King’s offer; the Bishop gives sureties 111–112
Question of the safe-conduct; charges of the Bishop’s men 112–113
Conditions of the Bishop’s leaving England 113–114
Nov. 14 – Durham castle surrendered to the King 114
Nov. 21–26 – The Bishop’s voyage delayed 115
New charges and summonses; the Bishop’s dealings with Osmund and Walkelin 116–117
He at last sails to Normandy; his reception by Duke Robert 117
Character and importance of the story; William of Saint-Calais the first to appeal to Rome 117–119
Behaviour of the King, of Lanfranc, and of the lesser actors 119–120
State of Wales; Rhys restored by a fleet from Ireland 121
Gruffydd son of Cynan attacks Rhuddlan 122
Action of Robert of Rhuddlan; he returns to North Wales 123
Robert at Dwyganwy; description and history of the place 123–124
July 3 – Approach of Gruffydd’s fleet; death of Robert of Rhuddlan 124–127
His burial and epitaph 127–129
End of the Norman Conquest; its confirmation and undoing 129–130
Tendencies to union; the new dynasty and nobility accepted in an English character 131–132 xv
Rufus’ breach of his promises; his general oppression; no oppression of the English as such 132–133
His employment of mercenaries; their presence helps the fusion of races 133–134
Sale of ecclesiastical offices; prolongation of vacancies 134–135
Restoration of Thurstan of Glastonbury 135
Sept. 25 – Death of Geoffrey Bishop of Chichester 135
Death of Abbot Scotland of Saint Augustine’s, Abbot Ælfsige of Bath, and Bishop Gisa of Wells 136
1088–1122 – The bishopric of Somerset granted to John of Tours; he removes the see to Bath 136–137
He obtains the temporal lordship of Bath 137
Complaints of the canons of Wells and the monks of Bath 138–139
Guy forced on the monks of Saint Augustine’s; disturbances and their punishment 139–140
§ 3. Character of William Rufus.
May 24, 1089 – Death and burial of Lanfranc; his position in England and Normandy 140–142
Change for the worse in the King’s character; rebukes of Lanfranc 142–143
Personal description of William Rufus 143–144
His conduct in youth; his filial duty; his conduct during the rebellion 145–146
General charges against William Rufus; his marked personality 147
His alleged firmness of purpose; his lack of real steadiness; his unfinished campaigns 148–149
His alleged magnanimity; his boundless pride; story of the chamberlain 149–151
His alleged liberality; his wastefulness 151–152
His rewards to the loyal troops after the rebellion 152
His extortions 153
His generally strict government 153
His lavishness to his foreign mercenaries 153–154
1108 – They are restrained by the statute of Henry 154
Stricter forest laws; story of the fifty English acquitted by ordeal 155–157
Special vices of Rufus; old and new fashions of dress 157–159
His irreligion; his favour to the Jews 159–161
True position of the Jews in England 160
Dispute between Jews and Christians 162
He makes the converted Jews turn back; story of the convert Stephen 162–165 xvi
William’s defiance of God and the saints; frequency of blasphemy 165–167
Redeeming features in Rufus; little personal cruelty; respect for his father’s memory 167–169
His chivalrous spirit; his word when kept; and when broken 169–171
Chivalry a new thing; William Rufus marks the beginning of a new æra 169–171
Illustrations of the chivalrous character 171–174
Grouping of events in the reign of Rufus 174
Character of the year 1089; natural phænomena 175–176
August 11, 1089 – The great earthquake 176
Character of the year 1090; beginnings of foreign adventure and domestic oppression 177
The years 1090–1091; affairs of Normandy, Scotland, and Cumberland 177
Connexion of English and Norman history; the same main actors in both 177
Contrast between England and Normandy as to private war 178
The old and the new generation 179
History of Robert of Bellême 179–181
His character; his engineering skill; his special and wanton cruelty 181–183
His enmity towards Helias, Abbot Ralph, and others 183–184
1110 – His final imprisonment by Henry 184
History and character of Robert Count of Meulan and Earl of Leicester 184–187
His fame for wisdom and influence with Rufus and Henry 185–186
1118 – Story of his death-bed 187
§ 1. Normandy under Robert.
State of Normandy; interest of those who held lands in both countries 188–189
Temptations to invasion 188–189
Character of Robert; his weak good-nature and lack of justice 190–191 xvii
Spread of vice and evil fashions 191
Building of castles; garrisons kept by the Conqueror in the castles of the nobles 192
Robert of Bellême and others drive out the Duke’s forces 193
Robert’s lavish grants; Ivry; Brionne 194
The Ætheling Henry claims his mother’s lands 195
He buys the Côtentin and Avranchin; his firm rule 196–197
Summer, 1088 – Henry goes to England; William promises him his mother’s lands 197
He seizes them again; and grants them to Robert Fitz-hamon 198
Autumn, 1088 – Influence of Odo with Robert 198
Henry comes back to Normandy with Robert of Bellême; they are seized and imprisoned 199
Earl Roger makes war on the Duke; his fortresses 199–200
Odo’s exhortation to Robert 200–202
Affairs of Maine; relations with Fulk of Anjou 202–204
Robert acknowledged in Maine 204
Chief men of the county; Bishop Howel, Geoffrey of Mayenne, Helias of La Flèche 205
April 21, 1085 – Appointment of Howel to the see of Le Mans; his loyalty to the Norman dukes 205–208
Temporal relations to the see of Le Mans 207
Robert before Le Mans; general submission of the county 208–209
Aug.-Sept. 1088 – Ballon holds out; description of the place; siege and surrender of the castle 209–211
Robert attacks Saint Cenery; description and history of the place 211–215
Geroy and his descendants; Saint Cenery seized by Mabel 214–215
Siege and surrender of Saint Cenery; blinding of Robert Carrel 215–217
Castle granted to Robert grandson of Geroy 217
Surrender of Alençon, Bellême, and other castles; Robert disbands his army 218–219
Robert of Bellême set free at his father’s request 219–220
Henry set free; his good government of Coutances and Avranches 220–222
§ 2. The First Successes of William Rufus.
Easter, 1090 – Schemes of William Rufus; assembly at Winchester; the King’s speech; war voted by the Witan 221–224
William stays in England; his policy; his advantages in his struggle with Robert 224–226
Power of William’s wealth; mercenaries; bribes 226–227
Submission of Saint Valery; beginning of English action on the continent 227–228
Submission of various castles; Aumale, Eu, Gournay, Longueville; description of Gournay and Longueville 228–231
Ralph of Toesny and Count William of Evreux; their kindred; enmity of their wives 231–232
Heloise of Evreux and Isabel of Toesny 232–234
War between Ralph and Count William; Ralph vainly asks help of the Duke; he submits to King William 234
Helias of Saint-Saens; he marries Robert’s natural daughter 235
His faithfulness; importance of his castles; Saint-Saens, Bures, and Arques 236–237
William’s dealings with France; Robert asks help of Philip; Philip sets out, but is bribed to go back 237–239
The first English subsidy; first direct dealings between England and France; results of Rufus’ dealings with Philip 239–241
Private wars not interrupted by the invasion; action of Robert of Bellême 241–242
Robert of Meulan imprisoned and set free 243
Duke Robert takes Brionne 244
November, 1090 – Movement at Rouen; the municipal spirit; influence of Conan; his treaty with William Rufus 245–247
A day fixed for the surrender to William; Duke Robert sends for help 248
November 3. – Henry and Robert of Bellême come to the help of Duke Robert 248–249
Rouen in the eleventh century 249–253
Fright of Duke Robert; division in the city; Henry sends Duke Robert away 253–256
Gilbert of Laigle enters Rouen; slaughter of the citizens; Conan taken prisoner 256
Conan put to death by Henry 257–260
Robert brought back; treatment of the citizens; imprisonment of William son of Ansgar 260–261
November – Count William of Evreux marches against Conches 261–266
Siege of Conches; settlement of the county of Evreux on Roger of Conches 262–268 xix
The three dreams; death of Roger of Conches 268–270
1100–1108 – Later history of Ralph and William and their wives 270–271
Orderic’s picture of Normandy; his English feelings 271–272
§ 3. Personal Coming of William Rufus.
Christmas, 1090 – Assembly at Westminster 273
Feb. 1091 – The King crosses to Normandy 273
January – Duke Robert helps Robert of Bellême; siege of Courcy 273–274
The siege raised at the news of William’s coming 274
Treaty of Caen; cession of Norman territory to William 275–276
Saint Michael’s Mount passes to William, the rest of the Côtentin and Maine to Robert; agreement to despoil Henry 277–279
Settlement of the English and Norman succession; growth of the doctrine of legitimacy 279–280
Dealings with Henry and Eadgar; Eadgar banished from Normandy; he goes to Scotland 280–282
Partisans on each side to be restored 282
The treaty sworn to; it stands but a little while 283
Lent, 1091 – Robert and William march against Henry 283
Henry’s preparations; Hugh of Chester and others surrender their castles 283
Henry defends himself on Saint Michael’s Mount; he is welcomed by the monks 284–285
Siege of the Mount; its position; character of the siege 285–287
Personal anecdotes; story of Rufus and the knight who unhorsed him 287–290
Contrast between William and Robert; Henry allowed to take water, and William’s answer 291–292
Feb. 1091 – Henry surrenders 292–293
Aug. 1091 – William returns to England with his brothers 293
Stories of Henry’s adventures; evidence for his presence in England in 1091 293–295
§ 4. The Scottish Expedition of William Rufus.
August-October, 1091.
May, 1091 – Affairs of Scotland; Malcolm’s invasion of Northumberland; he is driven back 295–297
Aug. 1091 – William and Robert in England; relations between Robert and Malcolm; stronger side of Robert and Eadgar 297–298
September 3 – William’s march; state of Durham; restoration of Bishop William; his renewed influence 298–300 xx
Michaelmas – Loss of William’s ships 300
The kings by the Scots’ Water; mediation of Robert and Eadgar; Malcolm does homage to William 301–304
Questions as to the betrothal of Margaret and the earldom of Lothian 303–304
Return of William; signatures to the Durham charters 305–306
December 23 – Fresh disputes between William and Robert; Robert and Eadgar leave England 306–307
October 15 – Fall of the tower at Winchcombe 307
October 17 – Great wind in London 308
1092 – Fire in London 308
March 28 – Consecration of the church of Salisbury 308–309
April 10 – The tower and roof blown down 309
May 9 – Completion of Lincoln minster; the church ready for consecration; Thomas of York claims the jurisdiction of Lindesey; the King orders the consecration 309–312
May 6 – Remigius dies before the appointed day; the church remains unconsecrated 312
§ 5. The Conquest and Colonization of Carlisle.
William’s conquest of Carlisle; popular mistakes as to Cumberland and Westmoreland 313–314
603–685 – Early history of Carlisle; it forms part of the Northumbrian kingdom 314
Scandinavians in Cumberland; destruction of Carlisle 315
1092 – Dolfin lord of Carlisle; he is driven out; the city restored and the castle built 315
The Saxon colony at Carlisle 316
The earldom of Carlisle; later history of the city; the castle and the bishopric 317–318
1093 – Fortunes of Henry; the men of Domfront choose him as their lord; description of Domfront 319–320
Henry’s wars with Robert; he wins back his county 320–321
The castle of Saint James is granted to Earl Hugh 321–323
1087–1092 – Character of the early years of William Rufus; chronological sequence of the history 325–326
1093–1098 – Character of the next period; distinct lines of story 326–328xxi
Ecclesiastical affairs; working of the new ideas; new position of the King 328
1089–1093 – Vacancy of the see of Canterbury; influence of Randolf Flambard 328–329
§ 1. The Administration of Randolf Flambard.
1089–1099 – Early history of Flambard; question as to his settlement in England T. R. E. 329
His service with the Bishop of London 329–330
Flambard a priest, and said to have been Dean of Twinham 330
Character of Flambard; his parents; his surname; his financial skill 330–331
His probable share in Domesday; his alleged new Domesday 331–332
His rise under Rufus; he holds the justiciarship; growth of the office under him 332–333
His loss of land for the New Forest 333
His systematic charges and exactions; the King to be every man’s heir 333–335
The feudal tenure; wardship; marriage; dealings with bishoprics and abbeys 335–336
Agency of Flambard; systematizing of the feudal tenures 336–337
Flambard’s theory of land-holding; relief and redemption; dealings with wills 337–339
Wardship; its oppressive working; wardship and marriage special to England and Normandy 339–340
The two sides of feudalism; England in what sense feudal 340–341
Flambard’s oppression falls most directly on the greatest estates; no special oppression of the English as such 341–342
Dealings of the tenants-in-chief with their under-tenants 342
Submission of the nobles; position of the king’s clerks 342–343
Position of Rufus favourable for his schemes; effect on national unity 343–344
Abuse of the old laws 344
Dealings with church property; appointment and investiture of bishops and abbots 345
Grant of the temporalities by the king; church lands become fiefs; analogy between lay and spiritual fiefs; Flambard’s inferences 346–347
Vacant prelacies held by the King; power of prolonging the vacancy 347 xxii
Sale of bishoprics and abbeys; simony not systematic before Rufus 347–348
Treatment of vacant churches; Flambard the chief agent 349
Novelty of the practice; tenure in frankalmoign 350
1092–1100 – Resignation and restoration of Abbot Odo of Chertsey 350
Distinction between bishoprics and abbeys; the vacancies longer in the case of the abbeys 350–352
English abbots; story of the appointment to an unnamed abbey 352–353
Sees vacant in 1092 353
1091–1123 – Ralph Luffa Bishop of Chichester; his appointment and episcopate 353–354
1091 – Death of Bishop William of Thetford; history of Herbert Losinga; he buys the bishopric 354
1088–1091 – Three years’ vacancy of New Minster 355
1091–1093 – Herbert buys the abbey for his father Robert 355
1093 – Herbert repents; receives his bishopric again from the Pope; novelty of the act 355–356
1092–1094 – Vacancy of the see of Lincoln 356
1089–1093 – Vacancy of Canterbury 356
§ 2. The Vacancy of the Primacy and the Appointment of Anselm.
Effects of the vacancy of the see of Canterbury 357
Special position of the metropolitan see; place of the Archbishop as the leader of the nation 358–359
Appointment to the archbishopric; the see not granted to the King’s clerks 359
The King’s purpose to keep the see vacant; his motives 359–361
No fear of a bad appointment 361–362
No thought of election either by the monks or by the Witan; silent endurance of the nation 362–363
Results of the vacancy; corruption of the clergy; lack of ecclesiastical discipline 363–365
Anselm; debt of England to foreigners; the Burgundian saints, Anselm and Hugh 365
1080 – Birth and parentage of Anselm; Aosta 366–368
Comparison of Lanfranc and Anselm; various sides of Anselm’s character; he is not preferred in England by the Conqueror 368–369
Anselm and Eadmer; references to Eadmer in other writers 369–370
Childhood of Anselm; his youthful licence 370–371 xxiii
1057–1060 – He leaves Aosta; his sojourn at Avranches 371
1060 – He becomes a monk at Bec 371
1063 – He is elected Prior; stories of him as Prior 372
1078 – He is elected Abbot; Bec under his government; his widespread fame 373
His correspondence 374
Relations between Bec and England 374–376
1090 – Foundation of the priory of Clare 376
Frequency of lawsuits; Anselm’s desire to do justice 376–377
1078 – His first visit to England; his friendship with the monks of Christ Church; his first acquaintance with Eadmer 377–378
His general popularity in England; his love for England; his preaching and alleged miracles 378–380
His friendship with the Conqueror and with Earl Hugh 380–381
Feeling as to the vacancy of the archbishopric; Anselm looked to as the coming archbishop 381–382
Earl Hugh changes the canons of Saint Werburh’s at Chester for monks; he asks help from Anselm 382
Anselm refuses to go; repeated messages and refusals; he at last goes at the bidding of his own monks 382–385
September 8, 1092 – Anselm at Canterbury 385
His first interview with Rufus; his rebukes of the King; settlement of the affairs of Bec 385–387
Anselm at Chester 387
February, 1093 – The King refuses him leave to go back; William’s feeling towards Anselm 388
Christmas, 1092–1093 – The Christmas assembly; the vacancy discussed by the Witan; petition of the assembly to the King 387–389
Prayers for the appointment of an archbishop drawn up by Anselm 389–390
Character of the year 1093 390
Discourse about Anselm before the King; the King’s mockery 390–391
He falls sick at Alveston and is removed to Gloucester 391
Repentance of Rufus; advice of the prelates and nobles; Anselm sent for; Rufus promises amendment 392–393
His proclamation of reform; general satisfaction 393–394
Beginnings of reform; prisoners set free; the bishopric of Lincoln granted to Robert Bloet 394–395
March 6, 1093 – Rufus names Anselm to the archbishopric; unwillingness of Anselm 396
Arguments of the bishops, of the King, and his own monks 397–399 xxiv
He is invested and installed by force 398–401
Anselm’s renewed protest; his parable of the two oxen; the King orders the restitution of the temporalities of the see 401–403
The royal right of investiture not questioned; no scruples on the part of Anselm; later change in his views 403–404
No ecclesiastical election; sole action of the King; Gundulf’s letter to the monks of Bec 404–405
Anselm tarries with Gundulf; consent of the Duke, the Archbishop of Rouen, and the monks of Bec 406
April 17, 1093 – The King’s recovery; the Easter Gemót 407
The King falls back into evil ways; he recalls his acts of mercy 407–408
He keeps his purpose as to Anselm 408–409
March-Dec. 1093 – Affairs of England and Wales; dealings between William and Malcolm; designs of William on Normandy 409–410
Action of William of Eu; he suggests an attack on Normandy 410–411
Dealings of Rufus with the Counts of Flanders 411–412
Oct. 4 or 13, 1093 – Death of Robert the Frisian; accession of Robert of Jerusalem 411–412
Interview between Anselm and the King at Rochester; his three conditions 412–414
Anselm requires to be allowed to acknowledge Pope Urban; question of the acknowledgement of Popes; English feeling on the subject 414–416
The King’s answer; his special counsellors; Count Robert of Meulan and Bishop William of Durham 417
The King prays Anselm to take the archbishopric; he asks for the confirmation of grants made by him during the vacancy 418
Anselm refuses; statement of the case on both sides; the King’s advocatio of the archbishopric 418–421
State of public feeling; special Gemót at Winchester; Anselm receives the archbishopric and does homage 421–422
The King’s writ; the Archbishop’s thegns; clauses in favour of the monks 422–423
Relations of the Archbishop to the city of Canterbury and the abbey of Saint Alban’s 423–424
1093 – Death of Abbot Paul of Saint Alban’s; four years’ vacancy of the abbey 423–424
The question as to the Pope left unsettled; no reference to the Pope in English episcopal appointments 424–425 xxv
Order of episcopal appointments then and now; theory of the two systems 425–427
Sept. 25, 1093 – Enthronement of Anselm; Flambard brings a suit against him on the day of his enthronement 427–428
December 4 – Consecration of Anselm at Canterbury; list of the officiating bishops 429–430
Successful objection of Thomas of York to the phrase “Metropolitan of Britain” 430–432
Anselm’s general profession to the Roman church 432–433
Thomas claims jurisdiction over Lincoln; Robert Bloet’s consecration delayed 433
Christmas, 1093–1094 – Assembly at Gloucester; Anselm received by the King 434
§ 3. The Assembly at Hastings and the second Norman Campaign.
Events of the year 1094; affairs of Normandy; their connection with Anselm 434–435
Christmas, 1093–1094 – Robert’s challenge of William; war decreed 435–436
Contributions collected for the war; Anselm unwilling to contribute; he at last gives five hundred pounds 437–438
William first accepts the money and then refuses it 438–440
Dispute with Bishop Maurice of London; judgement of Wulfstan 440–441
February 2, 1094 – Assembly at Hastings; fleet delayed by the wind 441–442
February 11 – Consecration of the church at Battle; William and Anselm at Battle 442–445
February 3, 1093 – Death of Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances; his successor Ralph at Hastings and Battle 444
February 12 – Consecration of Robert Bloet to Lincoln; his gift to the King; plot against Anselm; compromise with York 445–446
1104–1123 – Character and episcopate of Robert Bloet 447–448
Return of Bishop Herbert of Thetford; he is deprived by the King 448
1094 – His restoration; he removes his see to Norwich 448
February 17 – The ceremonies of Ash-Wednesday; Anselm rebukes the minions 449–450
Anselm’s interview with the King; his silence about the war 450–451
Anselm asks for help in his reforms; he asks leave to hold a synod; his appeal against the fashionable vices 451–453 xxvi
Grievances of the Church; wrongs of the church tenants 454
He prays the King to fill the vacant abbeys; their relation to the King; hostile answer of Rufus 454–456
Comparison of Lanfranc and Anselm; estimate of Anselm’s conduct 456–457
Anselm tries to recover the King’s favour; the bishops advise him to give more money; his grounds for refusing 457–460
The King more hostile than ever; Anselm leaves Hastings 460
March 19, 1094 – William crosses to Normandy 461
Vain attempts to settle the dispute between William and Robert; verdict of the guarantors against William 461
Castles held by William; taking of Bures 462–463
Robert calls in Philip; siege and surrender of Argentan; ransom of the prisoners 463–464
Robert takes La Houlme 465
Difficulties of Rufus; further taxation; levy of English soldiers; Flambard takes away the soldiers’ money 465–466
Rufus buys off Philip 466–467
Contemporary notices of the campaign; differences between England and Normandy; private wars go on in Normandy 467–468
Relations between Rufus and Henry; war at Saint Cenery; the castle taken by Robert of Bellême 468–469
Henry and Earl Hugh summoned to Eu 469
October 31 – They go to Southampton and keep Christmas in London 470
December 28 – The King comes to England; William and Henry reconciled 470
February, 1095 – Henry goes to Normandy; his warfare with Robert 470–471
Norman supporters of William 471–474
Wretchedness of England; causes for the King’s return; affairs of Scotland and Wales; plots at home 474–475
§ 4. The Council of Rockingham.
December, 1094-March, 1095.
Notes of the year 1095; councils of the year 476
Jan., Feb., 1095 – Movements of William; alleged Welsh campaign 476–477
April, 1094-Jan., 1095 – Last days and sickness of Wulfstan; his friendship with Bishop Robert of Hereford 477–479 xxvii
January 18, 1095 – Death of Wulfstan; his appearance to Bishop Robert 480
January 22 – His burial 480
Anselm and Urban; need of the pallium; elder usage as to it 481–484
Anselm asks leave to go to Urban for the pallium; William refuses to acknowledge any pope 484–485
Anselm asks for an assembly to discuss the question; he will leave the realm if he may not acknowledge Urban 485–486
Frequency of assemblies under Rufus; a special meeting summoned 487
Sunday, March 11 – Assembly at Rockingham 487
Estimate of the question; the King technically right; no real objection to Urban on his part 487–489
History and description of Rockingham 490–491
Place of meeting; the King’s inner council 491
Anselm’s opening speech 492
The real point avoided on the King’s side; Anselm treated as an accused person 493
Conduct of the bishops; the meeting adjourned till Monday 493–494
Monday, March 12 – The bishops counsel submission; Anselm’s second speech; he asserts no exclusive claims; his two duties 494–496
Position of England towards the popes; Anselm and William of Saint-Calais 496–497
Anselm not the first to appeal to Rome 497
Answer of the bishops; the King’s messages; the bishops advise him to submit to the King in all things 497–499
Anselm sleeps during the debate 498
The bishops’ definition of freedom; Anselm will not forsake Urban 499–500
Schemes of William of Saint-Calais against Anselm; he aspires to the archbishopric 500–501
Objects of the King; promises of William of Saint-Calais; his speech to Anselm 502–503
William’s imperial claims; his relations at the time to the vassal kingdoms 503–505
The real question hitherto evaded; Anselm’s challenge; he states the real case 505–506
New position of the bishops 506
Anselm insulted; popular feeling on his side; story of Anselm and the knight 506–508 xxviii
Perplexity of the King; failure of William of Saint-Calais; the assembly adjourned 508–509
Tuesday, March 13 – Debates in the inner council; William of Saint-Calais recommends force; the lay nobles refuse; speeches of the King and Robert of Meulan 510–511
The King bids the bishops renounce Anselm; he withdraws his protection; Anselm’s answer 511–513
The King turns to the lay lords; they support Anselm 513–514
Shame of the bishops; the King further examines them; his rewards and punishments 514–516
Anselm wishes to leave England; another adjournment 516–517
Wednesday March 14 – Anselm summoned to the King’s presence; the lay lords propose a truce; adjournment to May 20 517–519
Importance of the meeting at Rockingham 519
William keeps faith to Anselm personally, but oppresses his friends 519–521
§ 5. The Mission of Cardinal Walter.
March-May 1095 – Events of the time of truce; assemblies of the year 521
Position of Urban 521
March 1–7, 1095 – Council of Piacenza; its decrees; no mention of English affairs 522–523
William’s schemes to turn the Pope against Anselm; mission of Gerard and William of Warelwast 523–524
April 10 – Urban at Cremona; dealings of William’s messengers with Urban 525
The Sicilian monarchy; relations between England and Sicily 525–526
Gerard and William bring Walter of Albano as Legate; he brings a pallium 526–527
Secrecy of his errand; his interview with the King; William acknowledges Urban 527–528
Walter refuses to depose Anselm 528–529
William and his counsellors outwitted by the Legate; he is driven to a reconciliation with Anselm 529
May 13 – Whitsun Assembly; the King’s message to Anselm 530
Anselm will not pay for the pallium; Anselm and William reconciled; their friendly discourse 531–532
Anselm refuses to take the pallium from the King 532
Popular aspect of the assembly 533
Anselm absolves two bishops, Osmund of Salisbury and Robert of Hereford; he restores Wulfrith of Saint David’s 533–534 xxix
June 10 – Anselm receives the pallium at Canterbury 534–535
June 26 – Death of Bishop Robert of Hereford; the Legate stays in England; his dealings with Anselm 535–537
The King’s northern march; Anselm entrusted with the defence of Canterbury 537–538
Letters between Anselm and the Legate; the bishops object to Anselm’s position; his answer 538–540
Question about the monks at Christ Church; Anselm and his tenants 540–541
Christmas, 1095–1096 – Assembly at Windsor and Salisbury 541–542
January 6 – Anselm attends William of Saint-Calais on his death-bed 541–542
June 6 – Consecration of bishops; Samson of Worcester and Gerard of Hereford 542–544
Anselm consecrates Irish bishops 544
§ 6. The Crusade and the Mortgage of Normandy.
November 1095-March 1097.
March 7, 1095 – Council of Piacenza; appeal of the Emperor Alexios 545
Nov. 18 – Council of Clermont; the first crusade 545–547
Bearing of the crusade on our story; no king engaged in the first crusade; share of Normandy and Flanders 546–547
The crusades a Latin movement; name of Franks 546
Decrees of the Council; lay investitures forbidden; sentence against Clement and the Emperor; against Philip and Bertrada 548–549
Urban preaches the crusade; his geography 549–550
French, Norman, and other crusaders 550–552
Marriage of Robert of Meulan 551
Duke Robert takes the cross; he applies to William for money; position of William towards the crusade 552–553
Mission of Abbot Jeronto; he rebukes William 553–554
Easter, April 13 – The Pope sends his nephew; peace between William and Robert 554–555
Normandy pledged to William 555
June 2 – Whitsun Assembly; taxation to raise the pledge-money; protest of the prelates 556–557
Oppression of the tenants; plunder of the churches 557–558
Contribution of Anselm; he mortgages Peckham to his monks 558–559
September, 1096 – Conferences between William and Robert; Robert goes on the crusade; his companions 559–560 xxx
Conduct of Robert; his treatment at Rome; his reception by Robert of Apulia 560–561
1096–1097 – The crusaders winter in Apulia; siege of Amalfi; Bohemond takes the cross 562
Feb. 1097 – Odo of Bayeux dies at Palermo 563
Duke Robert crosses to Dyrrhachion; he does homage to Alexios 563–564
Robert at Laodikeia; Hugh of Jaugy joins the crusaders; the rope-dancers of Antioch 564–565
Robert refuses the crown of Jerusalem and goes back 566
William takes possession of Normandy; character of his rule there 566–567
The Côtentin restored to Henry 567
1096 – Synod of Rouen; the Truce of God confirmed; other decrees; small results of the synod 568–569
William’s appointments to Norman prelacies 570
1090–1101 – Tancard Abbot of Jumièges 570
1096–1107 – Etard Abbot of Saint Peter on Dives 570
1098–1105 – Turold Bishop of Bayeux 571
§ 7. The Last Dispute between William and Anselm.
Events of the year 1096–1097 571
State of Wales at the end of 1096 571
April, 1097 – Assembly at Windsor; Welsh war and seeming conquest 572
William complains of Anselm’s contingent; position of the Archbishop’s knights; Anselm summoned to the King’s court 572–574
Change in Anselm’s feelings; his yearnings towards Rome; aspect of his conduct 574–578
Causes of his loss of general support 578
His continued demands of reform; he determines not to answer the summons but to make a last effort 579–580
May 24, 1097 – Whitsun assembly; Anselm favourably received; his last appeal 581
He determines to ask leave to go to Rome; the King refuses 581–583
June-Aug., 1097 – The charge against Anselm withdrawn; affairs of Wales; another assembly; Anselm’s request again refused 583
Wednesday, October 14 – Assembly at Winchester; Anselm renews his request; he is again impleaded 584–585
Thursday, October 15 – Anselm and the bishops and lords; speech of Walkelin; the bishops’ portrait of themselves; Anselm’s answer 586–588 xxxi
Part of the lay lords; Anselm’s promise to obey the customs; he is charged with breach of promise; alternatives given him 588–589
Anselm and the King; Anselm’s discourse; answer of Count Robert; the barons against Anselm 589–592
Anselm allowed to go, but the archbishopric to be seized 592–593
Anselm’s last interview with Rufus; he blesses him 593–594
Anselm at Canterbury; he takes the pilgrim’s staff 594
His treatment at Dover; he crosses to Whitsand 595
The King seizes the archbishopric; Anselm’s acts declared null; the monks keep Peckham 595–596
Rebuilding of the choir of Christ Church; works of Prior Ernulf 596–597
Comparison of the trials of William of Saint-Calais, Anselm, and Thomas 597–605
Anselm does not strictly appeal to the Pope 598
He asserts no clerical privilege 599
Question of observing the customs 600
Comparison of the proceedings in each case 600–601
Architectural arrangements 601–602
Constitution of the assemblies; they become less popular; lessened freedom of speech 602–603
The inner and outer council; foreshadowing of Lords and Commons 603–604
The Witan and the Theningmannagemót 604
Behaviour of Rufus, of Henry the First, of Henry the Second 605
Effect on Anselm of his foreign sojourn 606
His journey; dealings of Odo of Burgundy; he reaches Rome 607
Councils of Lateran and Bari; story of the cope of Beneventum 607–610
Position of Rufus; he is never excommunicated; probable effect of excommunication 611–612
Anselm at Lyons; his letters to the Pope 612
His letters to the King from Rome; William’s treatment of the letters 613
Mission of William of Warelwast 614–620
Nov., 1097-April, 1099 – William on the Continent 614
Anselm at Schiavia; he writes “Cur Deus Homo” 615
Anselm and Urban before Capua; Anselm and the Saracens 615–617
Anselm wishes to resign the archbishopric; Urban forbids him 617–618 xxxii
October 1, 1098 – Council of Bari 618
Anselm at Rome; dealings between the Pope and William of Warelwast; the excommunication threatened and respited 618–620
Urban’s treatment of Anselm 620–621
April 12, 1099 – Council of Lateran; protest of Reingard of Lucca; Anselm goes to Lyons 621–622
July 29 – Death of Urban; William’s words on his death 622–623
Aug. 13, 1099-Jan. 21, 1108 – Paschal the Second Pope; William’s words on his election 623
xxxiii -->

1087 September 8 William Rufus leaves his father’s death-bed and hastens to England.
He imprisons Morkere and Wulfnoth.
He is accepted by Lanfranc.
In Normandy Robert of Bellême and others drive out the Duke’s garrisons.
September 26 William is crowned at Westminster.
He makes gifts for his father’s soul.
December 25 The Christmas assembly. Odo restored to his earldom.
1088 -January 6
Death of Abbot Scotland.
Abbot Guy appointed at Saint Augustine’s.
March Conspiracy against the King. Rebellious movements in Kent and Sussex.
Bishop William secures London, Dover, and Hastings for the King.
March-May The Bishop forsakes the King; his temporalities seized. He is summoned to the King’s court, and his lands laid waste.
April 16 The Easter assembly; the rebel nobles fail to appear.
April-June Ravaging of Gloucestershire and Somerset. Deliverance of Worcester.
Attempted invasion of Robert. Sieges of Tunbridge, Pevensey, and Rochester.
June Return of Rhys; Gruffydd and the wikings harry Rhuddlan.
Bishop William at the King’s court.
Henry, now Count of the Côtentin, comes to England for his mother’s lands.
July 3 Death of Robert of Rhuddlan.
July John of Tours consecrated to the bishopric of Somerset void by the death of Gisa.
August-September Henry and Robert of Bellême go back to Normandy and are imprisoned.
Duke Robert received at Le Mans; sieges of Ballon and Saint Cenery.
Henry is released and restored to his county in the course of the autumn.
September 6 Agreement between Bishop William and the Counts. xxxiv
September 25 Death of Bishop Geoffrey of Chichester.
November 2 Bishop William before the assembly at Salisbury.
November 14 Durham castle surrendered to the King.
after 26 Bishop William crosses to Normandy.
November ? Grant of the abbey of Bath to Bishop John; the bishopric of Somerset removed thither.
The priory of Blyth founded in the course of the year by Roger of Bully.
1089 May 24 Death of Lanfranc.
1090 April 21 Easter assembly at Winchester; war declared against Normandy.
A large part of eastern Normandy won by William without crossing the sea.
Maine revolts from Robert; reign of Azo of Este; Howel imprisoned by Helias and visits England.
June 28 Howel returns to Le Mans.
Intrigues of Conan at Rouen.
November 3 Rouen secured to Duke Robert; death of Conan.
War of Evreux and Conches; peace between them.
Anselm visits England for the first time as abbot in the course of the year.
December 25 Christmas assembly at Winchester.
1091 -January 6
January Siege of Courcy.
February Helias buys the county of Maine from Hugh.
The King crosses to Normandy.
Treaty of Caen.
February William and Robert besiege Henry at Saint Michael’s Mount.
May Malcolm invades Northumberland and is driven back.
August William, Robert, and Henry go back to England. March towards Scotland.
September 3 Bishop William restored to his bishopric.
September 29 Loss of ships.
Treaty with Malcolm.
October 15 Fall of the tower at Winchcombe.
October 17 Great wind in London.
Death of Cedivor; victory of Rhys son of Tewdwr over Gruffydd son of Meredydd in the course of the year.
In the course of the year come the death of William Bishop of Thetford, the consecration of his successor Herbert Losinga, who also buys the abbey of New Minster for his father, and the consecration of Ralph Luffa Bishop of Chichester.
1092 Fire in London.
March 28 Consecration of the church of Salisbury.
April 10 The tower blown down.
May 6 Death of Bishop Remigius; the church of Lincoln remains unconsecrated. xxxv
William’s conquest and colonization of Carlisle.
Marriage of Philip and Bertrada.
September 8 Anselm comes to England; his reception at Canterbury; his first interview with the King.
Anselm helps Earl Hugh in his changes at Chester.
December 25 Christmas assembly; discussion of the vacancy of the archbishopric.
1093 -January 6
February William refuses leave to Anselm to go back to Normandy.
February 3 Death of Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances; Ralph succeeds.
Lent, March 2 Sickness of the King; his repentance and proclamation; he grants the see of Lincoln to Robert Bloet.
March 6 The King names Anselm to the archbishopric; his first installation.
April 17 Easter assembly at Winchester; the King recalls his reforms.
Scottish embassy at Winchester; Malcolm summoned to appear in the King’s court.
April 17–24 Defeat and death of Rhys at Brecknock.
April 30 Cadwgan harries Dyfed.
July 1 The Normans enter Ceredigion and Dyfed.
Advance of the Earls in North Wales; seeming conquest of all Wales.
August 11 Malcolm lays a foundation-stone at Durham.
August 24 Malcolm at Gloucester; William refuses to see him.
Questions between the King and Anselm; his investiture.
Intrigues of William of Eu; dealings of William with the Counts of Flanders.
September 25 Enthronement of Anselm.
October 4–13 Death of Robert the Frisian.
October 17 Translation of Saint Julian at Le Mans.
November 13 Death of Malcolm at Alnwick.
November 17 Death of Margaret.
Donald King of Scots; driving out of Margaret’s children.
December 4 Consecration of Anselm.
Death of Abbot Paul of Saint Alban’s.
Henry received at Domfront and wins back the Côtentin.
December 25 Christmas assembly at Gloucester.
1094 -January 6
Challenge received from Robert; Duncan claims the Scottish crown and receives it from William.
Contributions for the Norman war; Anselm’s gift refused.
February 2 Assembly at Hastings.
February 11 Consecration of the church of Battle.
February 12 Robert Bloet consecrated Bishop of Lincoln.
Bishop Herbert of Thetford deprived of his bishopric.
February 22 Anselm’s Lenten sermon; he rebukes the King.
March 19 William crosses to Normandy. xxxvi
Campaign of Argentan, Bures, &c.; the French king bought off.
May The foreigners driven out of Scotland.
October 31 Henry and Earl Hugh summoned to Eu; they sail to Southampton.
November Duncan killed; Donald’s second reign in Scotland.
December 28 The King goes back to England.
Deaths of Roger of Beaumont, Roger of Montgomery, and Hugh of Grantmesnil, in the course of the year.
In the course of the year the Welsh revolt under Cadwgan and recover the greater part of the country; Pembroke castle holds out.
1095 January 18 Death of Wulfstan.
February 9 Henry goes to Normandy.
February Interview of William and Anselm at Gillingham.
March 1–7 Council of Piacenza.
March 11–14 Assembly at Rockingham.
Gerard and William of Warelwast sent to Pope Urban.
March 25 Assembly at Winchester; Earl Robert of Mowbray summoned, but does not appear.
April 10 Urban at Cremona; Cardinal Walter sent to England.
May 13 Assembly at Windsor; Anselm and William reconciled; Earl Robert fails to appear.
June 10 Anselm receives the pallium at Canterbury.
June 26 Death of Bishop Robert of Hereford.
April 30 Translation of Saint Eadmund.
The King’s northern march; Anselm’s command in Kent.
July-Sept. Taking of Newcastle and Tynemouth; siege of Bamburgh.
Michaelmas Montgomery taken by the Welsh; the King marches against them.
November 1 The King reaches Snowdon; ill-success of the campaign.
November 18 Council of Clermont.
Pope Urban at Le Mans.
Robert of Mowbray taken at Tynemouth; surrender of Bamburgh.
December 25 Christmas assembly at Windsor.
1096 -January6
January 1 Death of Bishop William.
January 13 The assembly adjourned to Salisbury; sentences of William of Eu, William of Alderi, and others.
Imprisonment of Robert of Mowbray.
Synod of Rouen; confirmation of the Truce of God.
Mission of Abbot Geronto.
Easter, April 13 He is suspended by the Pope’s nephew.
Normandy pledged to William.
June 8 Consecration of Bishop Gerard of Hereford and Samson of Worcester.
August William takes possession of Normandy. xxxvii
Helias takes the cross; mutual defiance between him and William.
September Duke Robert, Bishop Odo, and others go to the crusade.
The King spends the winter in Normandy.
In the course of the year the Welsh take Rhyd-y-gors; Gwent and Brecknock revolt; Pembroke is besieged, but holds out; Gisors is fortified by Pagan Theobald.
1097 February Odo dies at Palermo.
April 4 William comes back to England.
Assembly at Windsor.
The King’s campaign in Wales; seeming conquest of the country.
The King complains of Anselm’s knights.
May 14 Whitsun assembly; the charge against Anselm dropped; he asks leave to go to Rome, but is refused.
Revolt of Cadwgan in Wales.
June-August The King’s last campaign in Wales; its ill-success.
July 24 Death of Howel; Hildebert Bishop of Le Mans.
August Assembly; an expedition against Donald decreed; Anselm’s request again refused.
September The two Eadgars march to Scotland; exploits of Robert son of Godwine; Donald defeated and blinded; the younger Eadgar King of Scots.
October 14 Assembly at Winchester; Anselm allowed to go, but his temporalities to be seized; his parting with the King.
Anselm leaves England.
William demands the French Vexin.
November He crosses to Normandy for the war with France and Maine. Flambard and Walkelin joint regents.
Nov. 1097-Sept. 1098. French war; Lewis and William; fortification of Gisors by Robert of Bellême.
December 19 Death of Abbot Baldwin of Saint Eadmund’s.
December 25 The King demands money of Walkelin.
1098 January 3 Death of Walkelin.
January Beginning of the war of Maine; castles occupied by Robert of Bellême.
Victories of Helias.
April 28 Helias taken prisoner.
May 5 Fulk Rechin at Le Mans.
June The King invades Maine; he retreats from Le Mans.
July 20 William at Ballon.
August Convention between Helias and Fulk.
William enters Le Mans.
Helias set free; he strengthens himself in his southern castles.
September 27 William’s march against France.
Attacks on Pontoise, Chaumont, and other castles. xxxviii
Coming of William of Aquitaine; attacks on the Montfort castles; failure of the two Williams.
October 1 Council of Bari; Anselm pleads for William.
In the course of the year the Welsh withdraw to Anglesey.
The Earls Hugh in Anglesey.
Expedition of Magnus of Norway; death of Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury at Aberlleiniog.
Establishment of Robert of Bellême in England; he buys his brother’s earldom.
His works at Bridgenorth.
He receives the estates of Roger of Bully.
Christmas The King spends the winter in Normandy; truce with France.
1099 Mission of William of Warelwast to Rome; he wins over Urban.
April 10 The King in England; Easter assembly.
April 12 Council of Lateran; William’s excommunication delayed.
Anselm leaves Rome for Lyons.
April Movements of Helias in southern Maine.
May 19 Whitsun assembly in the new hall at Westminster; the bishopric of Durham granted to Randolf Flambard.
June 3 Consecration of Flambard.
June-July Helios recovers Le Mans; the King’s garrisons hold out in the castles; burning of the city.
The news brought to William; his ride and voyage.
Helias leaves Le Mans and strengthens himself at Château-du-Loir.
William passes through Le Mans to southern Maine.
His failure before Mayet.
He enters Le Mans.
July 5 Taking of Jerusalem; exploits of Duke Robert.
July 12 Duke Robert refuses the crown of Jerusalem; Geoffrey chosen King.
July 19 Death of Pope Urban the Second.
August 12 Battle of Ascalon.
August 13 Paschal the Second elected Pope.
September The King returns to England.
November 3 The great tide in the Thames.
December 3 Death of Bishop Osmund of Salisbury.
Dec. 25-Jan. 6, 1100 Christmas assembly at Gloucester.
In the course of the year Gruffydd and Cadwgan return, and Anglesey and Ceredigion are recovered by the Welsh. Eadgar goes on the crusade. Affairs of Robert son of Godwine in Scotland.
1100 April 1 Easter assembly at Winchester.
May 20 Whitsun assembly at Westminster.
Great schemes of William Rufus. xxxix
May Death of Richard son of Duke Robert in the New Forest.
June-July Preparations for war.
July 13 Consecration of Gloucester abbey.
August 1 Abbot Fulchered’s sermon at Gloucester.
August 2 Death of William Rufus.
August 3 Burial of William Rufus; Henry elected King; he grants the bishopric of Winchester to William Giffard.
August 5 Coronation of Henry; his charter; he fills the vacant abbeys.
He imprisons Flambard, and asks Anselm to come back.
Helias recovers Le Mans; the castle holds out.
September Duke Robert comes back to Normandy.
War between Henry and Robert.
September 23 Anselm comes back to England.
Meeting of Anselm and Henry; question of homage and investiture; truce till Easter; mission to the Pope.
November Helias recovers the castle.
November 11 Marriage of Henry and Matilda.
November 18 Death of Archbishop Thomas of York.
Empty legation of Guy of Vienne.
Plots in England on behalf of Robert.
December 25 Christmas assembly at Westminster.
1101 -January 6
Escape of Flambard to Normandy; he stirs up Robert to action.
April 21 Easter assembly at Winchester; the question with Anselm again adjourned.
Growth of the conspiracy.
June 9 Whitsun assembly; mediation of Anselm; renewed promise of good laws.
July Robert’s fleet at Tréport; the English fleet sent against him; some of the crews join him.
Henry’s preparations at Pevensey.
July 20 Robert lands at Portchester; he declines to attack Winchester.
The armies meet at Alton; conference of Henry and Robert; the treaty of 1101.
Michaelmas Robert goes back to Normandy.
Henry’s rewards and punishments; banishment of Ivo of Grantmesnil and others.
Robert of Meulan Earl of Leicester.
December 25 Christmas assembly at Westminster.
1102 -January 6
April 6 Easter assembly at Winchester; Robert of Bellême summoned, but does not appear.
War against Robert of Bellême in England and Normandy.
Failure of Duke Robert’s troops at Vignats. xl
Surrender of Arundel to Henry.
Surrender of Tickhill.
Autumn Henry’s Shropshire campaign. Siege of Bridgenorth.
The King wins over Jorwerth and the Welsh.
Dealings of Robert of Bellême with Murtagh and Magnus.
Surrender of Bridgenorth.
The King’s march to Shrewsbury.
Surrender of Shrewsbury and banishment of Robert of Bellême and his brothers.
1103 Death of Magnus.
Jorwerth tried at Shrewsbury and imprisoned.
1104 Banishment of William of Mortain.
1106 Battle of Tinchebrai.
1107 Compromise with Anselm.



p. 33, l. 17, dele “the father of one of the men who had crossed the sea to trouble England.” Robert of Bellême had not come yet; see p. 56.

p. 37, note 3. The comparison of Bristol and Brindisi is a good deal exaggerated; but a certain measure of likeness may be seen.

p. 94, l. 18, dele “of the same kind.” See the distinction drawn in p. 604.

p. 96, note 2, for “abjuvare” read “abjurare.”

p. 133, note. See vol. ii. p. 330.

p. 180, note. I do not know how “Esparlon”—​Épernon—​comes to be reckoned among the possessions of Robert of Bellême. We shall find it in vol. ii. p. 251 in the hands of the French house of Montfort.

p. 183, l. 4 from bottom, for “Rotrou” read “Geoffrey.”

p. 184, note 1. See vol. ii. p. 396.

p. 214, side-note, for “William of Geroy” read “William son of Geroy.”

p. 217, l. 13, for “uncle” read “brother.”

p. 238, note 3, for “Aunde” read “Aumale.”

p. 243, note 2. I really ought to have mentioned the wonderful forms of torture which the man of Belial inflicted on his lord and his other prisoners (Ord. Vit. 705 A, B); “Per tres menses in castro Brehervallo eos in carcere strinxit, et multotiens, dum nimia hiems sæviret, in solis camisiis aqua largiter humectatis in fenestra sublimis aulæ Boreæ vel Circio exposuit, donec tota vestis circa corpus vinctorum in uno gelu diriguit.”

p. 247, l. 3. I suppose that Walter of Rouen, son of Ansgar, who appears high in the King’s confidence in vol. ii. pp. 241, 370, is a brother of this William. This is worth noting, as showing how Rufus picked out men likely to serve his purpose from all quarters.

p. 251, l. 5. See below, p. 461, note 3. It would be worth enquiring whether this name Champ de Mars is old or new. There is a Campus Martius at Autun, whose name is certainly at least mediæval; but, as it is within the Roman walls, it can hardly date from the first days of Augustodunum. It divides the upper and lower city, quite another position from that at Rouen.

p. 298, l. 6. Orderic is hardly fair to Edgar when he says (778 B), “Hic corpore speciosus, lingua disertus, liberalis et generosus, utpote Edwardi regis Hunorum filius [see 701 D and N. C. vol. ii. p. 672], sed dextera segnis erat, ducemque sibi coævum et quasi collectaneum fratrem diligebat.”

p. 302, note 1, for “Witan” read “Gemót.”

p. 307, l. 6. Something of the kind was actually done somewhat later; see below, p. 435. But that was a challenge through ambassadors. xlii

p. 326, note. In strictness Anselm did not appeal to the Pope at all. See below, p. 598.

p. 335, l. 15, for “unrighteousness” read “unrighteousnesses.”

p. 353, l. 6 from bottom. I ought not to have forgotten the character of Ralph Luffa given by William of Malmesbury (Gest. Pont. 205); “Radulfus proceritate corporis insignis, sed et animi efficacia famosus, qui contuitu sacerdotalis officii Willelmo juniori in faciem pro Anselmo archiepiscopo, quem immerito exagitabat, restiterit. Cumque ille, conscientia potestatis elatus, minas ingeminaret, nihil alter reveritus baculum protendit, annulum exuit, ut, si vellet, acciperet. Nec vero vel tunc vel postea austeritatem inflecteret si assertorem haberet. Sed quia discessu suo spem ejus et ceterorum, si qui boni essent, Anselmus enervavit, et tunc causa decidit et postmodum damno succubuit.” This seems at first sight to stand in contradiction to Eadmer’s picture of all the bishops, except possibly Gundulf (see below, pp. 497, 513, 516), forsaking and renouncing Anselm. We can understand that Eadmer would be inclined to make the worst of the bishops as a body, while William of Malmesbury would be inclined to make the best of the particular bishop of whom he was writing. This is one of the passages in which William of Malmesbury in his second edition watered down the vigorous language of the first. As he first wrote it, the King appeared as “leo ferocissimus Willelmus dico minor.” On second thoughts the comparison with the wild beast was left out.

p. 355, l. 15. I have sent Herbert to Rome at this time, in order to bring him back for the meeting at Hastings in 1094. See below, pp. 429, 448. I find that some difficulty has arisen on account of the words of Eadmer (see p. 429), which have been taken as implying that Herbert joined in the consecration of Anselm. Dr. Stubbs puts him on the list in the Registrum. But surely the words might be used if all the bishops came who were in England and able to come.

p. 355, side-note, for “1091–1093” read “1091–1098.” See vol. ii. p. 267.

p. 375, note 6, for “perversitatam” read “perversitatem.”

p. 385, l. 2, for “undoubtedly” read “by himself.”

p. 408, l. 15. There must however have been some exceptions. See the Additions and Corrections to vol. ii. p. 508.

p. 450, l. 3 from bottom. Yet the guarantors, even on William’s own side, held him to be in the wrong. See p. 461.

p. 469, note 1. The reference is to the passage of Orderic, quoted in vol. ii. p. 537. But it is hard to understand how Henry can have been at war with William in 1094. Yet there is the passage from Sigebert quoted in p. 471, note 3, where the date must be wrong, but which seems to hang together both with this passage of Orderic and with the suspicions on the Kings part implied in the narrative in the Chronicle.

p. 469, l. 10, and note 3, for “son” read “grandson.”

p. 485, l. 3, for “of” read “to.”

p. 492, l. 2, put semicolon after “within.”

p. 506, note 2. This passage is very singular, especially the words “nec ipsum advertere posse putaverunt.” On this last point the bishops seem to have been right, as Anselm himself nowhere puts forward any such claim to exemption. xliii

p. 516, note 3. Besides the difficulty about Gundulf, there is the further difficulty about Ralph of Chichester, who, as we have just seen, is said by William of Malmesbury to have taken Anselm’s side. He at least stood in no such special position to the Archbishop as the Bishop of Rochester did.

p. 522, side-note, for “May” read “March.”

p. 546, l. 12. Worthiest certainly when any actual work was to be done; but the idle sojourn at Laodikeia (see p. 565) makes the general epithet too strong.

p. 551, l. 10, for “Rotrou” read “Geoffrey.”

p. 571, l. 3. I believe there is no authority for this English form, “Evermouth,” though it is not unlikely that “Ebremou” may, like so many other names in Normandy, really be a corruption of some such Teutonic name. The place is in Eastern Normandy, in the present department of Lower Seine.

p. 579, note 1. This is that singular use of the words “Christianitas” and the like which we find in such phrases as “Courts Christian” and “Deanery of Christianity.” We must not think of such a “subventio Christianitatis” as the Spanish Bishop sought for at the hands of Anselm. See vol. ii. p. 582.

p. 586, l. 25. For “three” read “four,” and add the name of Robert Bloet. He is the Robert referred to in the next page.

p. 604, note 1. The right to be tried is confined to the Peers; other persons of course may be so tried, if they are impeached by the Commons.

p. 609, note 1. When I was at Benevento this year (1880), I had hoped to get a sight of the cope, as the treasury of the metropolitan church is rich in vestments. But they are all of much later date, and I could hear nothing of the relic which I sought for.

p. 614, last line. See more in vol. ii. p. 403.





Character of the reign of William Rufus.

THE reign of the second Norman king is a period of English history which may well claim a more special and minute examination than could be given to it when it took its place merely as one of the later stages in the history of the Norman Conquest, after the great work of the Conquest itself was done. There is indeed a point of view in which the first years of the reign of William the Red may be looked on as something more than one of the later stages of the Conquest. The Norman Conquest in one sense completed, in another undone. They may be looked on, almost at pleasure, either as the last stage of the Conquest or as the reversal of the Conquest. We may give either name to a struggle in which a Norman king, the son of the Norman Conqueror, was established on the English throne by warfare which, simply as warfare, was a distinct victory won by Englishmen over Normans on English soil. The truest aspect of that warfare was that the Norman Conquest of England was completed by English hands. But, in so saying, we must understand by the Norman Conquest of England all that is implied in that name to its fullest extent. When Englishmen, by armed support of a Norman king, accepted the fact of the Norman Conquest, they in some measure changed its nature. In the act of completing the Conquest, they in some sort undid it. If we hold that the end of the Conquest came in the days of Rufus, in the days of 4 Feudal developement under Rufus and Flambard.Rufus also came the beginnings of the later effects of the Conquest. The reign of William the Red, the administration of Randolf Flambard, was, above all others, the time when the feudal side, so to speak, of the Conquest put on a systematic shape. The King and his minister put into regular working, if they did not write down in a regular code, those usages which under the Conqueror were still merely tendencies irregularly at work, but which, at the accession of Henry the First, had already grown into abuses which needed redress. Growth of anti-feudal tendencies.But, on the other hand, it was equally the time when the anti-feudal tendencies of the Conquest, the causes and the effects of the great law of Salisbury,[1] showed how firmly they had taken root. The reign of Rufus laid down the two principles, that, in the kingdom of England, no man should be stronger than the king,[2] but that the king should hold his strength only by making himself the head of the state and of the people. As a stage then in the history of the Conquest and its results, as a stage in the general constitutional history of England, the thirteen years of the reign of Rufus form a period of the highest interest and importance.

Extension of the power of England at home. But those years are a time of no less interest and importance, if we look at them with regard to the general position of England in the world. Within our own island, the reign of William the Red was marked by a great practical extension of the power of England on the Welsh marches. Wales;On another side it was marked yet more distinctly by an enlargement of the kingdom itself, by the settlement of the north-western frontier, by the winning for England of a new land, and by the restoration of a fallen city as the bulwark of the new Carlisle.boundary. What the daughter of Ælfred was at Chester, the son of the Conqueror was at Carlisle. Beyond the 5 sea, we mark the beginnings of a state of things which has ceased only within our own memories. Beginning of rivalry between England and France.
Wealth of England.
The rivalry between France and Normandy grows, now that England is ruled by Norman kings, into a rivalry between France and England. In will, if not in deed, the reign of Rufus forestalls the reigns of Edward the Third and Henry the Fifth. It sets England before us in a character which she kept through so many ages, the character of the wealthy land which could work with gold as well as with steel, the land whence subsidies might be looked for to flow into the less well-filled coffers of the princes of the mainland.Change in the European position of England. In the reign of Rufus we see England holding an European position wholly different from what she had held in earlier days. She passes in some sort from the world of the North into the world of the West. That change was the work of the Conqueror; but it is under his son that we see its full nature and meaning. The new place which England now holds is seen to be one which came to her wholly through her connexion with Normandy; it is no less seen to be one which she has learned to hold in her own name and by her own strength.

And, if we pass from the domain of political history into the domain of personal character and personal incident, we shall find few periods of the same length richer in both.Personal character of William Rufus. The character of William Rufus himself, repulsive as from many points it is, is yet a strange and instructive study of human nature. The mere fact that no prince ever made a deeper personal impression on the minds of the men of his own age, the crowd of personal anecdotes and personal sayings which, whether true or false, bear witness to the depth of that impression, all invite us to a nearer study of the man of whom those who lived in his own day found so much to tell, and so much which at first sight seems strange 6 and contradictory. William Rufus stands before us as the first representative of a new ideal, a new standard. Our earlier experiences, English and Norman, have hardly prepared us for the special place taken by the king who has some claim to rank as the first distinctly recorded example of the new character of knight and gentleman. In the company of the Red King we are introduced to a new line of thought, a new way of looking at things, of which in an earlier generation we see hardly stronger signs in Normandy than we see in England. For good and for evil, if William Rufus bears the mark of his age, he also leaves his mark on his age. His own marked personality in some sort entitles him to be surrounded, to be withstood, by men whose personality is also clearly marked. His companions and adversaries.A circle of well-defined portraits, friends and enemies, ministers and rivals, gathers around him. Among them two forms stand out before all.Anselm and Helias. The holy Anselm at home, the valiant Helias beyond the sea, are the men with whom Rufus has to strive. And the saint of Aosta, the hero of La Flèche, are men who of themselves are enough to draw our thoughts to the times and the lands in which they lived. Each, in his own widely different way, stands forth as the representative of right in the face of a power of evil which we still feel to be not wholly evil. All light is not put out, all better feelings are not trampled out of being, when evil stands in any way abashed before the presence of good.

Rufus and England. Looked at simply as a tale, the tale of Rufus and Anselm, the tale of Rufus and Helias, is worth the telling. But better worth telling still is the tale of Rufus and England.The last warfare of Normans and English. The struggle which kept the crown for Rufus, the last armed struggle between Englishmen and Normans on English ground, the fight of Pevensey and the 7 siege of Rochester, form a stirring portion of our annals, a portion whose interest yields only to that of a few great days like the days of Senlac and of Lewes. But the really great tale is after all that which is more silent and hidden. Results of the struggle.This was above all things the time when the Norman Conquest took root, as something which at once established the Norman power in England, and which ruled that the Norman power should step by step change into an English power. The great fact of Rufus’ day is that Englishmen won the crown of England for a Norman king in fight against rebellious Normans.The Conquest accepted and modified. On that day the fact of the Conquest was fully acknowledged; it became something which, as to its immediate outward effects, there was no longer any thought of undoing. The house of the Conqueror was to be the royal house; there were to be no more revolts on behalf of the heir of Cerdic, no more messages sent to invite the heir of Cnut. And with the kingship of the Norman all was accepted which was immediately implied in the kingship of the Norman.The Norman kingship becomes English. But on that day it was further ruled that the kingship of the Norman was to change into an English kingship. It became such in some sort even under Rufus himself, when the King of England went forth to subdue Normandy, to threaten France, to dream at least, as a link between Civilis and Buonaparte, of an empire of the Gauls.[3] Effects of the French War.The success of the attempt, the accomplishment of the dream, would have been the very overthrow of English nationality; the mere attempt, the mere dream, helped, if not to strengthen English nationality, at least to strengthen the national position of England. But these years helped too, in a more silent way, if not to change the Norman rule at home into an English rule, at least to make things 8 ready for the coming of the king who was really to do the work. It was perhaps in the long run not the least gain of the reign of William the Red that it left for Henry the Clerk, not only much to do, but also something directly to undo.

Scheme of the work.In a former volume we traced the history of the Conqueror in great detail to his death-bed and his burial. In another volume we followed, with a more hasty course, the main features of the reign of William Rufus, looked at specially as bearing on the history of the Conquest and the mutual relations of English and Normans. We will now again take up the thread of our detailed story at the bed-side of the dying Conqueror, and thence trace the history of his successor, from his first nomination by his father’s dying voice to his unhallowed burial in the Old Minster of Winchester. And thence, though the tale of Rufus himself is over, it may be well to carry on the tale of England through the struggle which ruled for the second time that England should not be the realm of the Conqueror’s eldest son, and, as such, an appendage to his Norman duchy. The accession of Henry is essentially a part of the same tale as the accession of Rufus. The points of likeness in the two stories are striking indeed, reaching in some cases almost to a repetition of the same events. But the points of unlikeness are yet more striking and instructive. And it is from them that we learn how much the reign of Rufus had done alike towards completing the Norman Conquest and towards undoing it.




THE Character of the accession of Rufus.way by which the second William became fully established on the throne of his father has some peculiarities of its own, which distinguish it from the accessions of most English kings, earlier and later. The only claim of William Rufus to the crown was a nomination by his father which we are told that his father hardly ventured to make.No formal election. Of election by any assembly, great or small, we see no trace. Yet the new king is crowned, and he receives the nationalHis general acceptance. submission at his crowning, with the fullest outward national consent, with no visible opposition from any quarter, and, as events proved, with the hearty good will of the native English part of his subjects. Yet the King is hardly established in his kingdom before 10 he has to fight for his crown. William Rufus had, like his father, to win the kingdom of England by war after he was already its crowned king. But, as regards those against whom he fought and those at whose head he fought, his position was the exact reverse of that of his father. Nominated by his father, elected, one might say, by Lanfranc, crowned with no man gainsaying him, William Rufus was at last really established in the royal power by the act of the conquered English. It was they who won the crown for the son of their Conqueror in fight against his father’s nearest kinsmen and most cherished comrades.

§ 1. The Coronation and Acknowledgement of William Rufus.
September, 1087.

One prominent aspect of the reign of William Rufus sets him before us as the enemy, almost the persecutor, of the Church in his realm, as the special adversary of the ecclesiastical power when the ecclesiastical power was represented by one of the truest of saints. And yet there have been few kings whose accession to the throne was in so special a way the act of the ecclesiastical power. William Rufus was made king by Lanfranc in a somewhat fuller sense than that in which every king of those times might be said to be made king by the prelate who poured the consecrating oil upon his head. Nomination by the last king, in the form of recommendation to the electors, had always been taken into account when the people of England came together to set a new king over them. The nomination of Eadward had formed a part, though the smallest part, of the right of Harold to become the chief of his own people.[5] An alleged nomination by Eadward 11 formed the only plausible part of the claim by which William asserted his right to thrust himself upon a people of strangers. And now a nomination by William himself was the only right by which his second surviving son claimed to succeed to the crown which he had won. Modern notions of hereditary right would have handed over England as well as Normandy to the eldest son of the last king. English feeling at the time would doubtless, if a formal choice had to be made among the sons of the Conqueror of England, have spoken for his youngest son. Of all the three Henry alone was a true Ætheling; he alone had any right to the name of Englishman; he alone was the son of a crowned king and a man born in the land.[6] But the last wish of William the Great was that his island crown should pass to William the Red. He had not, as our fullest narrative tells us, dared to make any formal nomination to a kingdom which he had in his last days found out to be his only by wrong. He had not dared to name William as his successor; he left the kingdom in the hands of God; he only hoped that the will of God might be that William should reign, and should reign well and happily.[7] And as the best means of finding out whether the will of God were so, he left the actual decision to the highest and wisest of God’s ministers in his kingdom. He gave no orders for the 12 coronation of Rufus; he simply prayed Lanfranc to crown him, if the Primate deemed such an act a rightful one.[8] As far as the will of the dying king went, one alone of the Witan of England, the first certainly among them alike in rank and in renown, was bidden to make the choice of the next sovereign on behalf of the whole kingdom.

The special agency of Lanfranc in the promotion of William Rufus is noticed by all the writers who give any detailed account of his accession.[9] Nor was it likely that, when the Archbishop was to be the one elector, the claims of the candidate should be refused. It would seem indeed as if Lanfranc doubted for a moment whether he ought to take upon himself the responsibility of the choice.[10] But everything must have helped to make him ready to carry out the wishes of his late master. That they were the Conqueror’s last wishes was no small matter, and Lanfranc had every personal reason to incline him the same way. To make William Rufus king was to promote the man who stood in a special relation to himself, who had been in some sort his pupil, and whom he had himself girded with the belt of knighthood.[11] And it really seems as if there was no other elector besides Lanfranc himself. For once in our history we read of a king succeeding without any formal election, without any meeting of the Witan before the coronation. Within three weeks of the death of the first William, the second William was full king over the land. As soon as he had heard the last wishes of his father, as soon as the dying king had dictated the all-important letter which was to express 13 those wishes to the Primate, William Rufus left the bedside of his father while the breath was still in him. He started for the haven of Touques, a spot of which we shall get a vivid picture later in our story. With him set forth the bearer of the letter, one of the great King’s chaplains, and, as some say, his Chancellor. This was Robert Bloet, he who was presently to succeed Remigius of Fécamp in his newly-placed throne on the hill of Lincoln.[12] Before they had left Norman ground, the news came that all was over, that England had no longer a king.[13] William crossed with all speed, seemingly to Southampton, and found in England no rival, English or Norman. He indeed brought with him two men, either of whom, if Englishmen had still heart enough to dream of a king of their own blood, might have been his rival. Among the captives whom the Conqueror set free on his death-bed were two men who represented the mightiest of the fallen houses of conquered England. These were Morkere the son of Ælfgar, once the chosen Earl of the Northumbrians, and Wulfnoth, the youngest son of Godwine and brother[14] of Harold.Wulf and Duncan set free by Robert. Two other captives of royal blood, Duncan the son of Malcolm and Ingebiorg, so long a hostage for his father’s doubtful faith to his over-lord,[15] 14 and Wulf the son of Harold and Ealdgyth, the babe who had been taken when Chester fell,[16] were set free at the same time. Duncan and Wulf were in the power of Robert. They in no way threatened his possession of Normandy, and Robert, with all his faults, did not lack generous feeling. They were knighted and set free.[17] Of Wulf we hear no more; Duncan lived to sit for a moment on the throne of his father. The fate of their fellow-sufferers was harsher. Morkere and Wulfnoth had come, by what means we know not, into the power of William. As Morkere had once crossed the sea with the father,[18] he now came back with the son. But their day of freedom was short. The son of Godwine and the grandson of Leofric might either of them be dangerous to the son of William. They therefore tasted the air of freedom only for a few days. William, acting as already king, went to his capital at Winchester, and there thrust the delivered captives once more into the house of bondage.[19] Of Morkere we hear no more; we must suppose that the rest of his days, few or many, were spent in this renewed imprisonment. Wulfnoth seems to have been released at some later time, to enter religion, and to be made the subject of the praises of a Norman poet.[20]

15 Such was the first act of authority done by the new ruler. Having thus disposed of the men whom he seems to have dreaded, William found no opposition made to his succession. But it was important for him to take possession without delay. The time, September, was not one of the usual seasons for a general assembly of the kingdom, and William could not afford to wait for the next great festival of Christmas. No native English competitor was likely to appear; but he must at least make himself safe against any possible attempts on the part of his brothers beyond the sea. From Winchester he hastened to the presence of Lanfranc—​seemingly at Canterbury; as the story is told us, it seems to be taken for granted that it rested with the Primate to give or to refuse the crown.[21] Whether the younger William himself brought the news of the death of the elder is not quite clear; but we are not surprised to hear from an eye-witness that the first feeling of Lanfranc was one of overwhelming grief at the loss of the king who was dead, a king who, if he had been to him a master, had also been in so many things a friend and a fellow-worker.[22] Rufus is crowned at Westminster, September 26, 1087. The formal consecration of his successor was not long delayed; the new king was solemnly crowned and anointed by the hands of Lanfranc in the minster of Saint Peter, on Sunday the feast of the 16 saints Cosmas and Damian. So the day is marked by a scholar who had specially explored the antiquities of Rome; Englishmen, who knew less of saints whose holy place was by the Roman forum, were content to mark it by its relation to the great festival three days later, or even by the mere day of the month.[23] On that day, before the altar of King Eadward’s rearing, the second Norman lord of England took the oaths which bound an English king to the English people. And, besides the prescribed oaths to do justice and mercy and to defend the rights of the Church, Lanfranc is said to have bound the new king by a special engagement to follow his own counsel in all things.[24] William Rufus was thus king, and, if anything had been lacking in the way of regular election before his crowning, it was fully made up by the universal and seemingly zealous acceptance of him at his crowning. “All the men on England to him bowed and to him oaths swore.”[25] The crown which had passed to Eadward from a long line of kingly forefathers, the crown which Harold had worn by the free gift of the English people, the crown which the first William had won by his sword and had kept by his wisdom, now passed to the second of his name and house. And it passed, to all appearance, with the perfect good will of all the dwellers in the land, conquerors and conquered alike. William the Second, William the Younger, William the Red, took his place on the seat 17 of the great Conqueror without a blow being struck or a dog moving his tongue against him.

The first act of the uncrowned candidate for the kingly office had been one of harshness—​harshness which was perhaps politic in the son, but which trod under foot the last wishes of a repentant father. The first act of the crowned King was one which might give good hopes for the reign which was beginning, and which certainly carried out his father’s wishes to the letter. From Westminster William Rufus went again to Winchester, this time not to make fast the bars of his father’s prison-house, but to throw open the stores of his father’s treasury.Wealth of the treasury at Winchester. Our native Chronicler waxes eloquent on the boundless wealth of all kinds, far beyond the powers of any man to tell of, which had been gathered together in the Conqueror’s hoard during his one and twenty years of kingship. The Chronicler had, as we must remember, himself lived in William’s court, and we may believe that his own eyes had looked on the store of gold and silver, of vessels and robes and gems and other costly things, which it was beyond the skill of man to set forth.[26] These were the spoils of England, and from them were made the gifts which, in the belief of those days, were to win repose in the other world for the soul of her despoiler.Gifts to churches. Every minster in England received, some six marks of gold, some ten, besides gifts of every kind of ecclesiastical ornament and utensil, rich with precious metals and precious stones, among which books for the use of 18 divine service was not forgotten.[27] Gifts to Battle Abbey. And, above all, the special foundation of his father, the Abbey of the Battle, received choicer gifts than any, the royal mantle of the departed King among them.[28] Every upland church, every one at all events on the royal lordships, received sixty pennies.[29] Gifts to the poor. Moreover a hundred pounds in money was sent into each shire to be given away in alms to the poor for William’s soul.[30] Such a gift might be bountiful in a small shire like Bedford, where many Englishmen still kept their own; but it would go but a little way, even after eighteen years, to undo the work of the great harrying of Yorkshire. Meanwhile Robert, already received as Duke of the Normans, was doing the same pious work among the poor and the churches of his duchy.[31] The dutiful son and the rebel were both doing their best for the welfare of their father in the other world.

The Christmas Assembly. 1087–1088. From Winchester the new King went back to Westminster, and there he held the Christmas feast and assembly. It was attended by the two archbishops and by several other bishops, among whom the saint 19 of Worcester is specially mentioned. Odo restored to his earldom. At this meeting too appeared Odo of Bayeux, who received again from his nephew his earldom of Kent.[32] Released from his bonds by the pardon which had been so hardly wrung from the dying Conqueror,[33] he already filled the first place in the councils of the new Duke of the Normans,[34] and he hoped to win the like power over the mind of his other nephew in England. But before long events came about which showed how true had been the foresight of William the Great, when he had said that mighty evils would follow if his brother should be set free from his prison.

Unusual character of William’s accession. It is certainly something unusual in those times for a king thus to make his way to his crown by virtue, as it were, of an agreement between a dead king and a living bishop, without either the nobles or the nation at large either actively supporting or actively opposing his claim. It is clear that men of both races had very decided views about the matter; but they gave no open expression to them at the time. The discussion of the succession came after the coronation, among men who had already acknowledged the new King. It may be that all parties were taken by surprise. The accession 20 of William Rufus had not indeed followed the death of his father with anything like the same speed with which the accession of Harold had followed the death of his brother-in-law. But then the death of Eadward had long been looked for; the succession of Harold had long been practically agreed on; above all, the Witan were actually in session when the vacancy took place. Everything therefore could be done at a moment’s notice with perfect formal regularity. Now everything, if much less sudden, was much more unlooked for. The kingdom found itself called on to acknowledge a king whom no party had chosen, but whom no party had at the moment the means, perhaps not the will, to oppose. The Normans, we may believe, would, if they had been formally asked, have preferred Robert. The English, we may be sure, would, if they had been formally asked, have, at least among Norman candidates, preferred Henry. William the only available king at the moment. And practically the choice lay among Norman candidates only, and among them Henry was the one who was practically shut out. All hopes, we may be sure, had passed away of seeking for a king either in the house of Cerdic, in the house of Godwine, or in the house which, if not the house of Cnut, was, at least by female succession, the house of his father Swegen. Of the sons of the Conqueror, Henry, the one who was at once Norman and Englishman, was young and beyond the sea. William was in England, with at least his father’s recommendation to support him. The practical question lay between William and Robert. Was William to be withstood on behalf of Robert? Comparison between William and Robert. Between William and Robert there could at the moment be little doubt in the minds of Englishmen. Their father’s policy had kept both back from any great opportunity of doing either good or evil to the conquered kingdom. But, as far as their personal characters went, 21 Robert had as yet shown his worst side and William his best. There could be little room for doubt between the man who had fought against his father and the man who had risked his life to save his father.Political bearing of William’s accession. And, besides this, the accession of William would separate England and Normandy. England would again have, if not a king of her own blood, yet at least a king of her own. The island world would again be the island world, no longer dependent on, or mixed up with, the affairs of the world beyond the sea. The harshness which had again thrust back Morkere and Wulfnoth into prison might be passed by, as an act of necessary precaution. Morkere too might by this time be well nigh forgotten, and Wulfnoth had never been known. If a native king was not to be had, William Rufus was at the moment by no means the most unpromising among possible foreign kings.

No real choice. But in truth neither Normans nor Englishmen were in this case called on to make any real choice. Both were called on, somewhat after the manner of the sham plebiscita of modern France, to acknowledge a sovereign who was already in possession. Whatever might have been the abstract preference of the Normans for Robert or of the English for Henry, neither party felt at the moment that degree of zeal which would lead them to brave the dangers of opposition. At any rate, William Rufus was a new king, and a new king is commonly welcome. Men of both races might reasonably expect that the rule of one who had come peacefully to his crown would be less harsh than that of one who had made his entry by the sword. Employment of the treasure. It is further hinted that William partly owed his recognicitaition to his early possession of his father’s hoard, perhaps to his careful discharge of his father’s will, perhaps, even thus early in his reign, to 22 some other discreet application of his father’s treasures.[35] Certain it is that, from whatever cause, all men accepted Rufus with all outward cheerfulness, though perhaps without any very fervent loyalty towards him on any side. It needed the events of the next few months, it needed strong influences and strong opposing influences, to turn the Normans in England into the fierce opponents of the new King, and the native English into his zealous supporters. It needed the further course of his own actions to teach both sides how much they had lost when they passed from the rule of William the Great to that of William the Red.

§ 2. The Rebellion against William Rufus.
March-November, 1088.

The winter of the year which beheld the Conqueror’s death passed without any disturbance in the realm of his son.[36] Beginning of the rebellion. But in the spring of the next year it became plain that the general acceptance which Rufus had met with in England was sincere on the part of his English subjects only. As the native Chronicler puts it, “the land was mightily stirred and was filled with mickle treason, for all the richest Frenchmen that were in this land would betray their lord the King, and would have his brother to King, Robert that was Earl in Normandy.”[37] The leaders in this revolt were the bishops 23 whom the Conqueror had clothed with temporal power. Discontent of Odo. And foremost among them was his brother, the new King’s uncle, Odo Bishop of Bayeux, now again Earl of Kent; and, according to one account, already Justiciar and chief ruler in England.[38] But whatever might be his formal position, Odo soon began to be dissatisfied with the amount of authority which he practically enjoyed. He seems to have hoped to be able to rule both his nephews and all their dominions, and, in England at least, to keep the whole administration in his own hands at least as fully as he had held it before his imprisonment. In this hope he was disappointed. The Earl of Kent was not so great a man under the younger William as he had been under the elder. The chief place in the confidence of the new King was held by another man of his own order. Influence of William of Saint-Calais. This was William of Saint Carilef or Saint Calais, once Prior of the house from which he took his name, and afterwards Abbot of Saint Vincent’s without the walls of Le Mans.[39] He had succeeded the murdered Walcher in the see of Durham, and he had reformed his church according to the fashion of the time, by putting in monks instead of secular canons.[40] His place in the King’s counsel was now high indeed. “So well did the King to the Bishop that all England went after his rede and so as he would.”[41] Besides this newly 24 born jealousy of the Kings newly chosen counsellor, Odo had a long standing hatred against the other prelate who had so long watched over the King, and whose advice the King was bound by oath to follow.[42] He bore the bitterest grudge against the Primate Lanfranc, as the inventor of that subtle distinction between the Bishop of Bayeux and the Earl of Kent which had cost the Earl five years of imprisonment.[43]

Action of Odo. Of the two personages who might thus be joined or separated at pleasure, it is the temporal chief with whom we have now to deal. March 1, 1088. Lent was now come. Of the spiritual exercises of the Bishop of Bayeux during the holy season we have no record; the Earl of Kent spent the time plotting with the chief Normans in England how the King might be killed or handed over alive to his brother.[44] Gatherings of the rebels.We have more than one vigorous report of the oratory used in these seditious gatherings. According to some accounts, they went on on both sides of the sea, and we are admitted to hear the arguments which were used both in Normandy and in England.[45] Arguments on behalf of Robert. Both agree in maintaining the claims of Robert, as at once the true successor, and the prince best fitted for their purpose. But it is on Norman ground that the necessity for an union between Normandy and England is set forth most clearly. The main 25 object is to hinder a separation between the two kingdoms, as they are somewhat daringly called.[46] It is clear that to men who held lands in both countries it would be a gain to have only one lord instead of two; but, if we rightly understand the arguments which are put into the mouths of the speakers, it was held that, if England had again a king of her own, though it were a king of the Conqueror’s house, the work of the Conquest would be undone. The men who had won England with their blood would be brought down from their dominion in the conquered island.[47] If they have two lords, there will be no hope of pleasing both; faithfulness to the one will only lead to vengeance on the part of the other.[48] William was young and insolent, and they owed him no duty. Robert was the eldest son; his ways were more tractable, and they had sworn to him during the life-time of his father. Let them then make a firm agreement to stand by one another, to kill or dethrone William, and to make Robert ruler of both lands.[49] Robert, we are told, approved of the scheme, and promised that he would give them vigorous help to carry it out.[50]

26 These arguments of Norman speakers are given us without the names of any ringleaders. We may suspect that the real speaker, in the idea of the reporter, was no other than the Bishop of Bayeux.[51] Speech of Odo. We hear of him more distinctly on English ground, haranguing his accomplices somewhat to the same effect; only the union of the two states is not so distinctly spoken of. It may be that such a way of putting the case would not sound well in the ears of men who, if not Englishmen, were at least the chief men of England, and who might not be specially attracted by the prospect of another conquest of England, now that England was theirs. Reasons for preferring Robert to William. The chief business of the Bishop’s speech is to compare the characters of the two brothers between whom they had to choose, and further to compare the new King with the King who was gone. The speaker seems to start from the assumption that, in the interests of those to whom he spoke, it was to be wished that the ruler whom they were formally to acknowledge should be practically no ruler at all. William the Great had not been a prince to their minds; William the Red was not likely to be a prince to their minds either. Robert was just the man for their purpose. Under Robert, mild and careless, they would be able to do as they pleased; under the stern and active William they would soon find that they had a master. Comparison of the elder and younger William. The argument that follows is really the noblest tribute that could be paid to the memory of the Conqueror. It sets him before us, in a portrait drawn by one who, if a brother, was also an enemy, as a king who did justice and made peace, and who did his work without shedding 27 of blood. It is taken for granted that the death of the great king, at whose death we are told that peaceable men wept and that robbers and fiends rejoiced,[52] was something from which Odo and men like Odo might expect to gain. But nothing would be gained, if the rod of the elder William were to pass into the hands of the younger. The little finger of the son would be found to be thicker than the loins of the father. Their release from the rule of the King who was gone would profit them nothing, if they remained subjects of one who was likely to slay where his father had merely put in bonds.[53] In this last contrast, though we may doubt whether there could have been any ground for drawing it so early in the reign of Rufus, we see that the men of the time were struck by the difference between the King whose laws forbade the judicial taking of human life and the King under whom the hangman began his work again. To pleadings like these we are told that the great mass of the Norman nobility in England hearkened; a small number only remained faithful to the King to whom they had so lately sworn their oaths. Thus, as the national Chronicler puts it, “the unrede was read.”[54]

Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances joins the rebels. As the chief devisers of the unrede we have the names of two bishops besides Odo. One name we do not wonder to find along with his. Geoffrey Bishop of Coutances was a prelate of Odo’s own stamp, one of 28 whose doings as a wielder of the temporal sword we have heard in northern, in western, and in eastern England.[55] But we should not have expected to find as partner of their doings the very man whose high promotion had filled the heart of Odo with envy. Treason of the Bishop of Durham. It was indeed the most unkindest cut of all when the Bishop of Durham, the man in whose counsel the King most trusted, turned against the benefactor who had raised him so that all England went at his rede. What higher greatness he could have hoped to gain by treason it is hard to see. Different statements of his conduct. And it is only fair to add that in the records of his own bishopric he appears as a persecuted victim,[56] while all the writers of southern England join in special reprobation of his faithlessness. The one who speaks in our own tongue scruples not to make use of the most emphatic of all comparisons. “He would do by him”—​that is, Bishop William would do by King William—​“as Judas Iscariot did by our Lord.”[57] We should certainly not learn from these writers that, after all, it was the King, and not the Bishop, who struck, or tried to strike, the first blow.

It is certainly far from easy to reconcile the different accounts of this affair. At a time a little later the southern account sets Bishop William before us as one who “did all harm that he might all over the North.”[58] But at Durham it was believed that at all events a good deal of harm had been already done by the King to the Bishop; and the Bishop claims to have at an earlier time done the best of good service to the King.[59] That service must have been rendered while 29 the Lenten conspiracy was still going on; for at no later time does the Bishop of Durham seem to have been anywhere in the south of England. His alleged services to the King. Lent, 1088. Then, according to his own story, the Bishop secured to the King the possession of Hastings, of Dover, and of London itself. We have only William of Saint-Calais’ own statement for this display of loyal vigour on his part; but, as it is a statement made in the hearing of the King and of the barons and prelates of England, though exaggeration is likely enough, the whole story can hardly be sheer invention. Bishop William claims to have kept the two southern havens in their allegiance when the King had almost lost them. His action towards London. He claims further to have quieted disturbances in London, after the city had actually revolted, by taking twelve of the chief citizens to the King’s presence.[60] Our notes of time show that the events of which the Bishop thus speaks must have happened at the latest in the very first days of March. Early movements in Kent and Sussex. March, 1088. It follows that there must have been at the least seditious movements in south-eastern England, before the time of the open revolt in the west. In short, the rebellion in Kent and Sussex must have begun very early indeed in the penitential season.

We gather from the Durham narrative that, even at this early stage, both Bishop Odo and Earl Roger were already known to the King as traitors. Bishop William’s advice to the King. We gather further that it was by the advice of the Bishop of Durham that the King was making ready for military operations against them, and that, when the Bishop was himself summoned to the array, he made answer that he would at once join with the seven knights whom 30 he had with him—​seven chief barons of the bishopric, as it would seem—​and would send to Durham for more. He forsakes the King. But, instead of so doing, he left the King’s court without his leave; he took with him some of the King’s men, and so forsook the King in his need.[61] Such was afterwards the statement on the King’s side. Certain it is that, whatever the Bishop’s fault was, the royal vengeance followed speedily on it. His temporalities seized. March, 1088. Early in March, whether with or without the advice of any assembly,[62] Rufus ordered the temporalities of the bishopric to be seized, and the Bishop himself to be arrested. The Bishop escaped to his castle at Durham, whence it would not be easy to dislodge him without a siege. Meanwhile the King’s men in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, though they failed to seize the Bishop’s own person, took possession in the King’s name of his lands, his money, and his men. He writes to the King. From Durham the Bishop wrote to the King, setting forth his wrongs, protesting his innocence, and demanding restitution of all that had been taken from him. He goes on to use words which remind us in a strange way at once of Godwine negotiating with his royal son-in-law and of Odo in the grasp of his royal brother. He offers the services of himself and his men. He offers to make answer to any charge in the King’s court. But, like Godwine, he asks for a safe-conduct before he will come;[63] like Odo, he declares that it is not for every one to judge a bishop, and that he will make answer only according to his 31 order.[64] On the receipt of this letter, the King at once, in the sight of the Bishop’s messenger, made grants of the episcopal lands to certain of his barons;[65] those lands were therefore looked on as property which had undergone at least a temporary forfeiture. He is summoned to the King’s Court. He however sent an answer to the Bishop, bidding him come to his presence, and adding the condition that, if he would not stay with the King as the King wished, he should be allowed to go back safe to Durham. It must however be supposed that this promise was not accompanied by any formal safe-conduct; otherwise, though it is not uncommon to find the officers of a king or other lord acting far more harshly than the lord himself, it is hard to understand the treatment which Bishop William met with at the hands of the zealous Sheriff of Yorkshire. Action of Ralph Paganel. That office was now held by Ralph Paganel, a man who appears in Domesday as holder of lands in various parts, from Devonshire to the lands of his present sheriffdom,[66] and who next year became the founder of the priory of the Holy Trinity at York.[67] The Bishop, on receiving the King’s answer, sent to York to ask for peace of the Sheriff. But all peace was refused 32 to the Bishop, to his messengers, and to all his men. A monk who was coming back from the King’s presence to the Bishop was stopped; his horse was killed, though he was allowed to go on on foot. The lands of the bishopric laid waste. March-May, 1088. Lastly, the Sheriff ordered all men in the King’s name to do all the harm that they could to the Bishop everywhere and in every way. The Bishop was thus cut off from telling his grievances; and for seven weeks, we are told, the lands of the bishopric were laid waste.[68] This date brings us into the month of May, by which time important events had happened in other parts of England.

We have seen that, in south-eastern England at least, the unrede of this year’s Lent must have gone beyond mere words, and must have already taken the form of action. General rebellion. But it seems not to have been till after Easter that the general revolt of the disaffected nobles broke forth throughout the whole land. By this time they had all thoroughly made up their minds to act. And we may add that it is quite possible that the King’s treatment of the Bishop of Durham may have had some share in helping them to make up their minds. They may have been led to think that open rebellion was the safest course. The Easter Gemót. April 16, 1088. The first general sign was given at the Easter Gemót of the year, which, according to rule, would be held at Winchester. The rebel nobles, instead of appearing to do their duty when the King wore his crown, kept aloof from his court.The rebels refuse to come. They gat them each man to his castle, and made them ready for war.[69] Soon 33 after the festival the flame burst forth. The great body of the Norman lords of England were in open revolt against the son of the man who had made England theirs.

The rebel nobles. The list of the rebel nobles reads like a roll of the Norman leaders at Senlac or a choice of the names which fill the foremost places in Domesday. With a few marked exceptions, all the great men of the land are there. Robert of Mortain Along with Odo, Bishop and Earl, the other brother of the Conqueror, Robert of Mortain and of Cornwall, the lord of Pevensey and of Montacute, joined in the revolt against his nephew.[70] and William of Eu. So did another kinsman, a member of the ducal house of Normandy and gorged with the spoils of England, William son of Robert Count of Eu, grandson of the elder William and his famous wife Lescelina.[71] Earl Roger and the border lords. Of greater personal fame, and of higher formal rank on English soil, was the father of one of the men who had crossed the sea to trouble England, Roger of Montgomery, whose earldom of Shrewsbury swells, in the statelier language of one of our authorities, into an earldom of the Mercians.[72] He brought with him a great following from his own border-land. Among these was Roger of Lacy, great in the shires from Berkshire to Shropshire;[73] Osbern. and with him came the old enemy Osbern of Richard’s Castle, whose 34 name carries us back to times that now seem far away.[74] With Osbern came his son-in-law Bernard of Neufmarché or Newmarch, sister’s son to the noble Gulbert of Hugleville, the man who was soon to stamp his memory on the mountain land of Brecheiniog.[75] From the same border too came the lord of Wigmore, Ralph of Mortemer.[76] But the treason of the great Earl of the central march was not followed by his northern neighbour. Loyalty of Earl Hugh. Hugh of Chester clave to the King, while the mightiest of his tenants joined the rebels. For the old Hugh of Grantmesnil raised the standard of revolt in Northhamptonshire, and in Leicestershire, the land of his sheriffdom.[77] Rebellion of Robert of Rhuddlan; And his rebellion seems to have carried with it that of his nephew the Marquess Robert of Rhuddlan, the terror of the northern Cymry.[78] Robert thus found himself in arms, not only against his king, but against his immediate and powerful neighbour and lord Earl Hugh. But the tie which bound a man to his mother’s brother was perhaps felt to be stronger than duty towards either king or earl. of Roger the Bigod; Along with the lords of the British marches stood the guardian of the eastern coast of England against the Dane, Roger the Bigod, father of earls, whose name, fated to be so renowned in later times, appears in the records of these days with a special brand of evil.[79] of Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances; And with Odo and William of Durham a third prelate joined in the unrede, a prelate the worthy compeer of Odo, the warrior Geoffrey of Coutances, the bishop who knew better how to marshal mailed knights for the battle than to teach surpliced clerks to chant their psalms in the choir.[80] He brought with 35 him the last of the elder succession of Northumbrian earls, his nephew Robert of Mowbray, of Robert of Mowbray. tall of stature, swarthy of countenance, fierce, bold, and proud, who looked down on his peers and scorned to obey his betters, who loved better to think than to speak, and who, when he opened his lips, seldom let a smile soften his stern words.[81] With these leaders were joined a crowd of others, “mickle folk, all Frenchmen,” as the Chronicler significantly marks.[82] The sons of the soil, we are to believe, had no part in the counsels of that traitorous Lent, in the deeds of that wasting Easter.

Ravages of the rebels. The war now began, a war in which, after the example of the chief combatants, fathers fought against sons, brothers against brothers, friends against their former friends.[83] The rebel leaders, each from the point where his main strength lay, began to lay waste the land, specially the lordships of the King and the Archbishop. Evidence against the Bishop of Durham. And among these evil-doers the loyal monk of Peterborough distinctly sets down William of Saint-Calais, meek victim as he seems in the records of his own house. The Bishop may have argued that he was only returning what the King had done to him; but the witness is such as cannot be got over; “The Bishop of Durham did to harm all that he might over all the 36 north” Some others of the confederates and their doings are sketched in a few words by the same sarcastic pen; Ravages of Roger Bigod; “Roger hight one of them that leapt into the castle at Norwich, and did yet the worst of all over all the land.”[84] So does the English writer speak of the first Bigod who held the fortress which had arisen on the mound of the East-Anglian kings.[85] Roger had succeeded to the place, though not to the rank, of Ralph of Wader, and, as Ralph had made Norwich a centre of rebellion against the father, so Roger now made it a centre of rebellion against the son. of Hugh of Grantmesnil. Then we read how “Hugo eke did nothing better neither within Leicestershire nor within Northampton.”[86] This was the way in which the lord of Grantmesnil, so honoured at Saint Evroul, was looked on in the scriptorium of the house which had once been the Golden Borough. In some other parts of the country we get fuller accounts than these of the doers and of what was done. Three districts in the west and in the south-east of England became the scene of events which are set down by the writers of the age in considerable detail.

Bristol and its castle. Of Bristol, the great merchant-haven on the West-Saxon and Mercian border, we last heard when the sons of Harold failed to make their way within its walls,[87] and when its greedy slave-traders cast aside, for a while at least, their darling sin at the preaching of Saint Wulfstan.[88] The borough was now beginning to 37 put on a new character, one which, in the disturbances half a century later, won for it the name of the stepmother of all England.[89] Bristol in the eleventh century.A fortress, the forerunner of the great work of Robert Earl of Gloucester,[90] had now arisen, and its presence made Bristol one of the chief military centres of England down to the warfare of the seventeenth century. The Bristol of those days had not yet occupied the ground which is now covered by its two chief ecclesiastical ornaments. The abbey of Saint The chief churches not yet built. Augustine, the creation of Robert Fitz-Harding, had not yet arisen on the lowest slope of the hills to the west, nor the priory of Saint James, the creation of Earl Robert, on the ground to the north of the borough. These foundations arose in the next age on the Mercian ground without the walls. And any forerunner which may then have been of the church of Saint Mary on the Red cliff, for ages past the stateliest among the parish churches of England, stood beyond the walls, beyond the river, on undisputed West-Saxon ground. Peninsular site of the borough. The older Bristol lay wholly on the Mercian side of the Avon, at the point where the Frome of Gloucestershire still poured its waters into the greater stream in the sight of the sun.[91] But nowhere, unless at Palermo, have the relations of land and water been more strangely turned about than they have been at Bristol. The two rivers. The course of the greater river, though not actually turned aside, is disguised by cuts and artificial harbours which puzzle the 38 visitor till the key is found. The lesser stream of the Changes in later times. Frome has had its course changed and shortened, and the remnant is, like the Fleet of London, condemned by art to the fate which nature has laid on so many of the rivers of Greece and Dalmatia;[92] it runs, as in a katabothra, under modern streets and houses. The marshy ground lying at the meeting of the streams has been reclaimed and covered with the modern buildings of the city. In the twelfth century, still more therefore in the eleventh, this space was covered at every high tide, when the waters rushing up the channels of both rivers made Bristol seem to float on their bosom like Venice or Ravenna.[93] The castle. Of the castle again the more part of its site is covered by modern buildings; a great part of its moat is filled up; the donjon has vanished; the green is no longer a green; it is only by searching that we can find out some parts of the outer walls of the fortress, and some still smaller parts of the buildings which they fenced in.[94] But, when the key is once found, it is not hard to follow the line both of the borough and of the fortress. Bristol belongs to the same general class of peninsular towns as Châlons, Shrewsbury, Bern, and Besançon; but, as at Châlons, the height above the rivers is not great; and it is at Bristol made quite insignificant by comparison with the hills to the west and north. Yet on the narrow neck of the isthmus itself, the actual slope towards the streams on either side is 39 not to be despised. To the west of that isthmus, within the peninsula, stood the original town, girded to the north by the original course of the Frome, to the south-west by the marshy ground at the junction of the rivers.[95] To the west of the isthmus, outside the peninsula, stood the castle. Standing on the exposed side, open to an attack from the east, it was fenced in on three sides by a moat joining the two rivers at either end. Works of Earl Robert. A writer of the next age gives us a picture of Bristol Castle as it then stood, strengthened by all the more advanced art of that time.[96] But the great keep of Earl Robert, slighted in the days of the Commonwealth, was not yet. We can only guess at the state of borough and fortress, as they had stood when the sons of Harold were driven back from the walls of Bristol, or as they stood now at the opening of the civil war which we have now reached. But there are few towns whose general look must have been more thoroughly unlike what it is now. The central and busy streets which occupy the area of the older Bristol must, allowing for the difference between the eleventh century and the nineteenth, still keep the general character of the old merchant-borough. Growth of the town. But few changes can be greater than those which have affected Bristol both in earlier and in later times. One period of change first surrounded the elder town 40 with a fringe of ecclesiastical buildings, and then took them within a more extended line of wall. Another in later days has swept away well nigh every trace of the fortress which was so famous both in the twelfth century and in the seventeenth, and has covered the whole range of the neighbouring hills with a new and airy city of modern days.

Somerset and Gloucestershire Campaign

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the

Bristol occupied by Bishop Geoffrey. The castle of Bristol then, though not perched, like so many of its fellows, on any lofty height, was placed on a strong and important site. That site, commanding the lower course of the Avon and the great borough upon it, and guarding the meeting-place, still of two shires, as once of two kingdoms, supplied an admirable centre for the work of those whose object was, not to guard those shires, but to lay them waste.[97] To that end Bristol was occupied and garrisoned by the warrior Bishop of Coutances, Geoffrey of Mowbray. It is not unlikely that he was already in command of the castle. He was not only a land-owner in the two neighbouring shires, a very great land-owner in that of Somerset;[98] but the meagre notice of Bristol in the Great Survey His relation to the town. also shows that he stood in some special relation to the borough as the receiver of the King’s dues within it.[99] He doubtless added anything that the castle needed in 41 His works. the way of further defences, and conjecture has attributed to him one of the several lines which the city walls have taken, that which brought the line of defence most closely to the banks of the Frome.[100] But whatever were his works, we have no record of them; we know only that the fierce prelate, at the head of his partisans, turned Bristol Castle into a den of robbers. Ravages of William of Eu and Robert of Mowbray. His chief confederates were William of Eu, of whom we have already spoken[101] , and his own nephew Robert of Mowbray. Among them they harried the land, and brought in the fruits of their harrying to the castle.[102] The central position of Bristol made a division of labour easy. Of Bishop Geoffrey’s two younger confederates, Robert undertook the work in Somerset and William in Gloucestershire. Robert marched up the valley of the Robert burns Bath. Avon to the Roman town of Bath, emphatically the “old borough.”[103] At the foot of the hills on either side, lying, as wicked wits put it, amid sulphureous vapours, at the gates of hell,[104] the square, small indeed, of the Roman walls sheltered the abbey of Offa’s rearing, now widowed by the death of its English abbot Ælfsige.[105] The city had been overthrown by the arms of Ceawlin; it had lain 42 waste like the City of the Legions;[106] it had risen again as an English town to share with the City of the Legions in the two chief glories of the days of the peaceful Eadgar. If Chester saw his triumph,[107] Bath had seen his crowning. And now the hand of the Norman, not the Norman Conqueror but the Norman rebel, fell as heavily on the English borough as the hand of the West-Saxon invader had fallen five hundred years before. Bath was a king’s town; as such it drew on itself the special wrath of the rebels; the whole town was destroyed by fire, to rise again presently in another character.[108] From He marches through Wiltshire to Ilchester. Bath, the greatest town of Somerset, but which, as placed in a corner of the land, has never claimed to be one of its administrative centres, the destroyer passed on to another town of Roman origin, which once did aspire to be the head of the Sumorsætan, but from which all traces of greatness have passed away. From Bath Robert first marched into Wiltshire, most likely following the line of the Avon; he there wrought much slaughter and took great spoil. He then turned to the south-west along the high ground of Wiltshire; he made his way into the mid parts of Somerset, and laid siege to the King’s town of Givelceaster, Ivelchester, Ilchester, Position of Ilchester. the Ischalis of a by-gone day.[109] The town lay at the foot of the most central range of the hills of Somerset, 43 on the edge of one of the inlets of the great marshland of Sedgemoor. The site was marked by the junction of the great line of the Fossway with a number of roads in all directions. The spot was defended by the river, the Ivel, which gives the town its English name. Here, at the foot of the high ground, the stream widens to surround an island, a convenient outpost in the defences of the town which arose on its southern bank. The siege. Ilchester, like Bath, drew on itself the special enmity of the rebels as being a king’s town, an enmity likely to be the sharper because Ilchester stands within sight of Count Robert’s castle of Montacute, and is divided only by the river from lands which were held by his fellow-rebel William of Eu.[110] The Ilchester of our day seems a strange place for a siege; but in the days of the Red King the town was still surrounded by strong walls, and those walls were defended by valiant burghers. The walls and gates have perished; the ditches have been filled up; yet the lasting impress of the four-sided shape of the Roman chester may still be traced in the direction of the roads and buildings of the modern town.[111] The importance of Ilchester had passed away even in the sixteenth century, when of its five or six churches all but one were in ruins; but, in the times with which we are dealing, its hundred and seven 44 burgesses, with their market held in the old forum at the meeting-place of the roads, held no inconsiderable place among the smaller boroughs of Western England.[112] What Robert of Mowbray driven back from Ilchester. the men of Ilchester had they knew how to defend; the attack and the defence were vigorously carried on on either side. Our one historian of the leaguer—​he becomes almost its minstrel—​tells us how the besiegers fought for greed of booty and love of victory, while the besieged fought with a good heart for their own safety and that of their friends and kinsfolk. The stronger and worthier motive had the better luck. The dark and gloomy Robert of Mowbray, darker and gloomier than ever, turned away, a defeated man, from the unconquered walls of Ilchester.[113]

This utter failure of a man who stands forth in a marked way as one of the skilful captains of the age was a good omen for success at points which were still William of Eu plunders in Gloucestershire. more important in the struggle. Meanwhile the work of destruction was going steadily on in the lands on the other side of Bristol, among the flock of the holy Wulfstan. Gloucestershire was assigned as the province of William of Eu, and he did his work with a will along the rich valley of the Severn, still the land of pasture, then also the land of vines.[114] The district called Berkeley He harries Berkeley. Harness was laid waste with fire and sword, and the town of Berkeley itself was plundered.[115] Berkeley, once 45 the abode of Earl Godwine and the scene of the pious scruples of Gytha,[116] is now simply marked as a king’s town;[117] the abbey had vanished in a past generation; the famous castle belongs to a later generation; but the Position of Berkeley. place was not defenceless. Berkeley is indeed one of those places which have become strongholds almost by accident. It looks up at a crowd of points on the bold outlying promontories of the Cotswolds, points some of them marked by the earthworks of unrecorded times, which in Normandy or Maine could hardly fail to have been seized on for the site of fortresses far sooner than itself. Nor is it near enough to the wide estuary of the Severn to have been of any military importance in the way of commanding the stream. It is rather one of those places where the English lord fixed his dwelling on a spot which was chosen more as a convenient centre for his lands than with any regard to purposes of warfare. The mound, the church, the town, rose side by side on ground but slightly higher than the rich meadows around them. But the mound on which the great Earl of the West-Saxons had once dwelled had been, as usual, turned to Norman military uses. The castle. Earl William of Hereford, whose watchful care stretched on both sides of the river, had crowned it with what Domesday marks as “a little castle.”[118] One would be well pleased to know in what such a defence was an advance on the palisades or other defences which may have surrounded the hall of Godwine. In after days 46 the “little castle” was to grow into the historic home of that historic house in whom, whether they themselves acknowledge it or not, history must see the lineal offspring, not of a Danish king, but of an English staller.[119] At present however the savage William of Eu had not to assault the stronghold of Robert, son of Harding and grandson of Eadnoth, but merely to overcome whatever resistance could be offered by the castellulum of William Fitz-Osbern. Its defences were most likely much less strong than the Roman walls of Ilchester. Berkeley and the coasts thereof were thoroughly ravaged. On the whole, notwithstanding the defeat of Robert of Mowbray, the Bishop of Coutances and his lieutenants had done their work to their own good liking. No small spoil from each of the three nearest shires had been brought in to the robbers’ hold at Bristol.

Meanwhile the same work was going on busily to the north and north-west of Bishop Geoffrey’s field of action. Rebel centre at Hereford. Of the movements in Herefordshire and Worcestershire we have fuller accounts, accounts which, before we have done, land us from the region of military history into that of hagiography. The centre of mischief in this region was at Hereford. The city which Harold had called back into being, and where William Fitz-Osbern had ruled so sternly, had now no longer an earl; the rebel Roger was paying the penalty of his treason at some point far away alike from Hereford, from Flanders, and from Breteuil.[120] The city had now the King for its immediate lord. It was presently seized by Roger of Lacy,[121] and was turned into a meeting-place 47 for the disaffected. The host that came together is marked as made up of “the men that eldest were of Hereford, and the whole shire forthwith, and the men of Shropshire with mickle folk of Bretland.”[122] Some of their names, besides that of Roger of Lacy, we have heard already.[123] Action of Earl Roger. And we are significantly told that the men of Earl Roger—​the men of Shropshire—​were with them, a formula which seems specially meant to shut out the presence of the Earl himself.[124] And though the leaders were “all Frenchmen,”[125] yet among their followers were men of all the races of the land. Not only Normans and Britons, but Englishmen also, were seen in the rebel ranks. So it seemed, if not in the general prospect as it was looked at from distant Peterborough, yet at least in the clearer view which men took from the watch-towers of more nearly threatened Worcester.[126]

The rebels march on Worcester. For it was the “faithful city” of after days on which the full storm of the Western revolt was meant to burst. The Norman lords of the border, with their British allies, now marched on Worcester, as, thirty-three years before, English earl of the border, with his British allies, had marched on Hereford.[127] They came of their own will to deal by Worcester, shire and city, as, forty-seven years 1041. before, English earls had been driven against their will to deal with them at the bidding of a Danish king.[128] “They harried and burned on Worcestershire forth, and they came to the port itself, and would then the port burn and the 48 minster reave, and the King’s castle win to their hands.”[129] But Worcester was not doomed to see in the days of the second William such a day as Hereford had seen in the days of Eadward, as Worcester itself had seen in the days of Harthacnut. Deliverance of Worcester. The port was not burned, the minster was not reaved, nor was the King’s castle won into the hands of his enemies. And the deliverance of Worcester is, with one accord, assigned by the writers of the time to the presence within its walls of its bishop, the one remaining bishop of English blood, whose unshaken loyalty had most likely brought the special wrath of the rebels upon his city and flock. Action of Wulfstan. The holy Wulfstan was grieved at heart for the woes which seemed coming upon his people; but he bade them be of good courage and trust in the Lord who saveth not by sword or spear.[130] The man who had won the heart of Northumberland for Harold,[131] who had saved his own city for the first William,[132] was now to save it again for the second. Position of Worcester. At Worcester, castle, minster, and episcopal palace rose side by side immediately above the Severn. But Worcester is no hill city like Durham or Le Mans. The height above the stream is slight; the subordinate buildings of the monastery went down almost to its banks. The mound, traditionally connected with the name of Eadgar the Giver-of-peace, has now utterly vanished; 49 it then stood to the south of the monastery, and had become, as elsewhere, the kernel of the Norman castle. It will be remembered that it was the sacrilegious extension of its precincts at the hands of Urse of Abetot which had brought down on him the curse of Ealdred.[133] But by this time the new minster of Wulfstan’s own building, whose site, we may suppose, was further from the castle, that is, more to the north, than that of the church of Oswald,[134] was, if not yet finished, at least in making. It may be that at this moment the two minsters—​the elder one which has wholly passed away, the newer, where Wulfstan’s crypt and some other portions of his work still remain among the recastings of later times,—​both stood between the mound of Eadgar and its Norman surroundings, and the bishop’s dwelling, whatever may have been its form in Wulfstan’s day. Still along the line of the river, lay the buildings of the city further to the north, with the bridge leading to the meadows and low hills beyond the stream, backed by the varied outline of the heights of Malvern, the home of the newly-founded brotherhood of Ealdwine.[135] At the moment when the rebels drew near to Worcester, all the inhabitants of the city, of whatever race or order, were of one heart and of one soul under the inspiration of their holy Bishop. Wulfstan called to the command. Like the prophets and judges of old, Wulfstan suddenly stands forth as first, if not in military action, at least in military command. We know not whether the fierce Sheriff or some captain of a milder spirit formally bore rule in the castle. But we read that the Norman garrison, by whom the mild virtues of the English bishop were known and loved, practically put him at their head. They prayed him to leave his episcopal home beyond the church, and to take up his abode 50 with them in the fortress. If danger should be pressing, they would feel themselves all the safer, if such an one as he were among them.[136] Wulfstan enters the castle. Wulfstan agreed to their proposal, and set out on the short journey which he was asked to make, a journey which the encroachments of the Sheriff had made shorter than it should have been.[137] On his way he was surrounded by the inhabitants of Worcester of all classes, all alike ready for battle. He himself had, after the new fashion of Norman prelates, a military following,[138] and the soldiers of the King and of the Bishop, with all the citizens of Worcester, now came together in arms. From the height of the castle mound, Wulfstan and his people looked forth beyond the river. Advance of the rebels. The foes were now advancing; they could be seen marching towards the city, and burning and laying waste the lands of the bishopric.[139] Sally of the royal forces. Soldiers and citizens now craved the Bishop’s leave to cross the river and meet the enemy. Wulfstan gave them leave, encouraging them by his blessing, and by the assurance that God would allow no harm to befall those who went forth to fight for their King and for the deliverance of their city and people.[140] Grieved further by the sight of the harrying of 51 the church-lands, and pressed by the urgent prayer of all around him, Wulfstan curses the rebels. Wulfstan pronounced a solemn anathema against the rebellious and sacrilegious invaders.[141] The loyal troops, strengthened by the exhortations and promises of their Bishop, set forth. Victory of the king’s men. The bridge was made firm; the defenders of Worcester marched across it;[142] and the working of Wulfstan’s curse, so the tradition of Worcester ran, smote down their enemies before them with a more than human power. The invaders, scattered over the fields for plunder, were at once overtaken and overthrown. Their limbs became weak and their eyes dim; they could hardly lift their weapons or know friend from foe.[143] The footmen were slaughtered; the horsemen, Norman, English, and Welsh, were taken prisoners; of the whole host only a few escaped by flight. The men of the King and of the Bishop marched back to Worcester—​so Worcester dutifully believed—​without the loss of a single man from their ranks. They came back rejoicing in the great salvation which had been wrought by their hands, and giving all thanks to God and his servant Wulfstan.[144]

Among the sorrows which rent the breast of the holy Bishop of Worcester, one may have been to see a man of 52 his own order, one whom he had, somewhat strangely perhaps, honoured with his friendship, acting as a temporal leader in the rebellion against which he had to wield his spiritual arms. It was, it may be remembered, Geoffrey of Mowbray, the lord of the robbers’ hold at Bristol, who had rebuked the lamb-like simplicity of Wulfstan’s garb.[145] The lamb of Severnside had now overthrown alike the wolves of Normandy and the wild cats of the British hills. But, if Wulfstan mourned over the evil deeds of the warlike Bishop of Coutances, he had no such personal cause for grief over either the sins or the sorrows of another bishop who was meanwhile, like himself, besieged in an episcopal city. That bishop however was not, like Wulfstan, defending his own flock with either spiritual or temporal arms; he was doing all the wrong in his power to the flock of another. Movements of Odo in Kent. The source and leader of the whole mischief,[146] Odo, Bishop and Earl, chose his own earldom of Kent for the scene of his ravages. Our notes of time are very imperfect, and we have seen that there were movements in Kent, movements in which Odo seems to have had a share, much earlier in the year.[147] But it would seem that the great outbreak of rebellion in south-eastern England happened about the same time as the great outbreaks more to the west and north. As the Bishop of Coutances had fixed his head-quarters in the castle of Bristol, so the Bishop of Bayeux now fixed his head-quarters in the castle of Rochester, and thence ravaged the lands of the King and the Archbishop.[148] 53 Another great Kentish fortress, that of Tunbridge, was also in rebellion. Tunbridge and Pevensey. So in Sussex was Pevensey, the very firstfruits of the Conquest, where Odo’s brother Count Robert also held out against the King. These three fortresses now become the busy scene of our immediate story; but the centre of all is the post occupied by the Bishop of Bayeux and Earl of Kent. This part of the war is emphatically the war of Rochester.

Kent and Sussex Campaign

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the
CAMPAIGN. A.D. 1088.

Early history of Rochester. The city by the Medway had been a fortress from the earliest times. We have seen that it had already played a part both in foreign and in civil wars. In the days of Æthelred it still kept the Roman walls parts of which still remain, walls which were then able to withstand two sieges, one at the hands of the King himself, and one at those of the Danish invaders.[149] Importance of its position. In truth the position of Rochester, lying on the road from London to Canterbury, near to the sea on a navigable river, made it at all times a great military post.[150] The chief ornament of the city did not yet exist in the days of Odo. The later castle. The noble tower raised in the next age by Archbishop Walter of Corbeuil, the tower which in one struggle held out against John[151] and in the next held out for his son,[152] and still remains one of the glories of 54 Norman military architecture, had perhaps not even a forerunner of its own class.[153] The cathedral church. And the minster of Saint Andrew, which the enlargements of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries have still left one of the least among the episcopal churches of England, had then only the lowly forerunner which had risen, which perhaps was still only rising, under the hands of Gundulf.[154] The castle site fortified by the Conqueror. But the steep scarped cliff rising above the broad tidal stream was a stronghold in the Conqueror’s days, as it had doubtless been in days long before his. Whether a stone castle had yet been built is uncertain; the fact that such an one was built for William Rufus by Gundulf later in his reign might almost lead us to think that as yet the site, strong in itself, was defended only by earthworks and defences of timber.[155] The city. Below the castle to the south-east lay the city, doubtless fenced 55 by the Roman wall; and a large part of its space had now begun to form the monastic precinct of Saint Andrew. The town is said to have been parted from the castle by a ditch which, as at Le Mans and at Lincoln, was overleaped by the enlarged church of the twelfth century;[156] in any case the castle, in all its stages, formed a sheltering citadel to the town at its feet. Nature of the site. Neither town nor castle by itself occupies a peninsular site; but a great bend of the river to the south makes the whole ground on which they stand peninsular, with an extent of marshy ground between the town and the river to the north and east. The stronghold of Rochester, no lofty natural peak, no mound of ancient English kings, perhaps as yet gathering round no square keep of the new Norman fashion, but in any case a well-defended circuit with its scarped sides strengthened by all the art of the time, was the chief fortress of the ancient kingdom over which the Bishop of Bayeux now ruled as Earl. The castle occupied by Odo. It now became, under him, the great centre of the rebellion. Gundulf, renowned as he was for his skill in military architecture, must have been sore let and hindered in the peaceful work of building his church and settling the discipline of his monks,[157] when his brother bishop filled the castle with his men of war, five hundred of his own knights among them.[158] But 56 Odo was not satisfied with his garrison. Odo asks Robert to come. He sent beyond sea to Duke Robert for further help. The prince in whose name Rochester was now held was earnestly prayed to come at once at the head of the full power of his duchy, to take possession of the crown and kingdom which were waiting for his coming.[159]


E. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.


The news brought to Robert. According to the narrative which we are now following, it would seem that Robert now heard for the first time of the movement which was going on in his behalf in England. His heart is lifted up at the unlooked for news; he tells the tidings to his friends; certain of victory, he sends some of them over to share in the spoil; he promises to come himself with all speed, as soon as he should have gathered a greater force.[160] He sends over Eustace of Boulogne and Robert of Bellême. At the head of the party which was actually sent were two men whose names are familiar to us.[161] One of them, Count Eustace of Boulogne, united the characters of a land-owner in England and of a sovereign prince in Gaul. This was the younger Eustace, the son of the old enemy of England, the brother of the hero who was within a few years to win back the Holy 57 City for Christendom.[162] With him came Robert of Bellême; his share in the rebellion is his first act on English ground that we have to record. Three sons of Earl Roger at Rochester. Himself the eldest son of Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, he had either brought with him two of his brothers, or else they had already embraced the cause of Odo in England. Three sons of Roger and Mabel were now within the walls of Rochester.[163] Hugh of Montgomery. The second was Hugh, who was for a moment to represent the line of Montgomery while Robert represented the line of Bellême, and who was to be as fierce a scourge to the Britons of the Northern border as Robert was to be to the valiant defenders of the land of Maine.[164] Roger of Poitou. And with them was the third brother, Roger of Poitou, the lord of the debateable land between Mersey and Ribble,[165] carrying as it were to the furthest point of the earldom of Leofric the claim of his father to the proud title which the elder Roger bears at this stage of our story. Action of Earl Roger. It is as Earl of the Mercians that one teller of our tale bids us look for a moment on the lord of Montgomery and Shrewsbury.[166] But the Earl of 58 the Mercians was not with his sons at Rochester any more than he had been with his men before Worcester. He was in another seat of his scattered power. His presence was less needed at Shrewsbury, less needed at the continental or the insular Montgomery, than it was in the South-Saxon land where the lord of Arundel and Chichester held so high a place. He stays at Arundel. While his men were overthrown before Worcester, while his sons were strengthening themselves at Rochester, Earl Roger himself was watching events in his castle of Arundel.[167] The spot was well fitted for the purpose. Arundel lies in the same general region of England as the three great rebel strongholds of Rochester, Tunbridge, and Pevensey; it lies in the same shire and near the same coast as the last named of the three. Position of Arundel. But it lies apart from the immediate field of action of a campaign which should gather round those three centres. A gap in the Sussex downs, where the Arun makes its way to the sea through the flat land at its base, had been marked out, most likely from the earliest times, as a fitting spot for a stronghold. A castle at Arundel T. R. E. The last slope of this part of the downs towards the east was strengthened in days before King William came with a mound and a ditch, and Arundel is marked in the Great Survey as one of the castles few and far between which England contained before his coming.[168] Description of the castle. The shell-keep which crowns the mound, and the gateway which flanks it, have been recast at various later times from the twelfth century onward, but it would be rash to assert that the mere wall of the keep may not contain portions either of the days of King William or of the days of King Eadward. The traces of a vast hall, more immediately 59 overlooking the river, reared as usual on a vaulted substructure, almost constrain us to see in them the work of no age earlier or later than that of Roger or his successor of his own house.[169] The site is a natural watchtower, whence the eye ranges far away to various points of the compass, over the flat land and over the more distant hills, and over the many windings of the tidal river which then made Arundel a place of trade as well as of defence.[170] Less threatening than his vulture’s nest at Tre Baldwin,[171] less tempting to an enemy than his fortresses on the peninsula of Shrewsbury and within the walls of Chichester,[172] the stronghold of Arundel seems exactly the place for an experienced observer of men and things like Earl Roger to look out from and bide his time. He had to watch the course of things in the three rebel fortresses; he had further to watch what might come from a nearer spot, another break in the hill ground, where, between his doubtful Arundel and rebellious William of Warren at Lewes. Pevensey, the twin mounds of loyal Lewes,[173] the home of William and Gundrada, looked up to what was one day to be the battle-ground of English freedom. Its lord, long familiar to us as William of Warren, stood 60 firm in his allegiance, and it was now, according to some His earldom of Surrey. accounts, that he received his earldom of Surrey, an earldom to be borne in after times along with that which took its name from Roger’s own Arundel.[174] William became the King’s chief counsellor, and his position at Lewes must have thrown difficulties in the way of any communication between Arundel and Pevensey. His loyalty. And in truth, when Earl Roger found it safest to watch and be prudent, we are not surprised to find events presently shaping themselves in such a way as to make it his wisest course to play the part of the Curio of the tale.[175]

Action of the King. But meanwhile where was King William? Where was the king who had taken his place on his father’s seat with so much ease, but whose place upon it had been so soon and so rudely shaken? We have been called on more than once in earlier studies to mark how the two characters of fox and lion were mingled in the tempers of the Conqueror and his countrymen, and assuredly the Conqueror’s second surviving son was fully able to don either garb when need called for it.[176] At this moment we are told in a marked way that William Rufus showed himself in the character of that which is conventionally looked on as the nobler beast. He had no mind to seek for murky holes, like the timid fox, but, like the bold and fearless lion, he gave himself mightily to put down the devices of his enemies.[177] Yet the first time when 61 He wins over Earl Roger. we distinctly get a personal sight of him, the Red King is seen playing the part of the fox with no small effect. Earl Roger was assuredly no mean master of Norman craft; but King William, in his first essay, showed himself fully his equal. By a personal appeal he won the Earl over from at least taking any further personal share in the rebellion. At some place not mentioned, perhaps at Arundel itself, the Earl, disguising, we are told, his treason, was riding in the King’s company.[178] The King took him aside, and argued the case with him. He would, he said, give up the kingdom, if such was really the wish of the old companions of his father. He knew not wherefore they were so bitter against him; he was ready, if they wished it, to make them further grants of lands or money. Only let them remember one thing; his cause and theirs were really the same; it was safer not to dispute the will of the man who had made both him and them what they were. “You may,” wound up Rufus, “despise and overthrow me; but take care lest such an example should prove dangerous to yourselves. My father has made me a king, and it was he alone who made you an earl.”[179] Roger felt or affected conviction, and followed the King, in his bodily presence at least, during the rest 62 of the campaign.[180] Count Robert at Pevensey. But Robert, Count of Mortain and lord of Cornwall, still made Pevensey one of the strongholds of the revolt. Of the third great neighbour of these two lords, Count Robert of Eu, father of the ravager of Berkeley, we hear nothing on this side of the water.

Loyal Normans. But, amid the general falling away, the throne of William Rufus was still defended by some men of Norman birth on whom he could better rely than on the Earl Hugh.doubtful loyalty of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Earl Hugh of Chester remained faithful; so, as we have seen, did Earl Roger’s neighbour, now or afterwards Earl William.[181] William of Warren. And to these already famous names we must add one which was now only beginning to be heard of, but which was presently to equal, if not to surpass, the renown of either. Robert Fitz-hamon. This was Robert Fitz-hamon, the son or grandson of Hamon Dentatus, the rebel of Val-ès-dunes.[182] But it was not on the swords of the Norman followers of his father that the son of the Conqueror rested his hopes of keeping the crown which the Conqueror had left him. Forces on the side of Rufus, William Rufus had at his side two forces, either of which, when it could put forth its full power, was 63 stronger by far than the Norman nobles. All that in any way represented the higher feelings and instincts of man was along with him. All that in any shape was an embodiment of law or right was arrayed against the men whose one avowed principle was the desire to shake off the restraints of law in any shape. the Church, and the people. Against the openly proclaimed reign of lawlessness the King could rely on the strength of the Church and the strength of the people. With the single exception of him of Durham, the marauding bishops of Bayeux and Coutances found no followers among the men of their order in England. Loyalty of the Bishops. Lanfranc stood firmly by the King to whom he had given the crown; and the other bishops, of whatever origin, sought, we are told, with all faithfulness of purpose, the things which were for peace.[183] The King appeals to the English. Either by their advice or by his own discernment, the King saw that his only course was to throw himself on the true folk of the land, to declare himself King of the English in fact as well as in name. His proclamation. A written proclamation went forth in the name of King William, addressed, doubtless in their own ancient tongue, to the sons of the soil, the men of English kin. The King of the English called on the people of the English, on the valiant men who were left of the old stock; he set forth his need to them and craved for their loyal help.[184] At such a 64 moment he was lavish of promises. His promises. All the wrongs of the days of William the Elder were to be put an end to in the days of William the Younger. The English folk should have again the best laws that ever before were in this land. King William would reign over his people like Eadward or Cnut or Ælfred. The two great grievances of his father’s days were to cease; the King’s coffers were no longer to be filled by money wrung from his people; the King’s hunting-grounds were no longer to be fenced in by the savage code which had guarded the Conqueror’s pleasures. All unrighteous geld he forbade, and he granted to them their woods and right of hunting.[185] The English take up the King’s cause. At the sound of such promises men’s hearts were stirred. At such moments, men commonly listen to their hopes rather than to their reason; the prospects and promises of a new reign are always made the best of; and there was no special reason as yet why the word of William the Red should be distrusted. He had not conquered England; he had not as yet had the means of oppressing England; he had shown at least one virtue in dutiful attachment 65 to his father; his counsellor was the venerated Primate; chief in loyalty to him was one yet more venerated, the one native chief left to the English Church, the holy Bishop of Worcester. If the English dealt with William as an English king, he might deal with them as an English king should deal with his people. Motives for supporting William. In fighting for William against the men who had risen up against him, they would be fighting for one who had not himself wronged them against the men who had done them the bitterest of wrongs. If the Bishop of Bayeux and the Bishop of Coutances, if Robert of Mortain and Robert of Mowbray, if Eustace of Boulogne and the fierce lord of Bellême, could all be smitten down by English axes or driven into banishment from the English shores, if their estates on English soil could be again parted out as the reward of English valour, the work of the Norman Conquest would indeed seem to be undone. And it would be undone none the less, although the king whose crown was made sure by English hands was himself the son of the Conqueror of England.

Loyalty of the English. With such feelings as these the sons of the soil gathered with glee around the standard of King William. Not a name is handed down to us. We know not from what shires they came or under what leaders they marched. They meet in London. We see only that, as was natural when the stress of the war lay in Kent and Sussex, the trysting-place was London.[186] How did that great city stand at this moment with regard to the rebellion? It will be remembered by what vigorous means Bishop William of Durham claimed to have secured the allegiance of the citizens some time earlier.[187] At all events, whether by 66 the help of William of Saint-Calais or not, London was now in the King’s hands. William’s English army. There the royal host met, a motley host, a host of horse and foot, of Normans and English, but a host in which the English element was by far the greatest, and in which English feeling gave its character to the whole movement. Thirty thousand of the true natives of the land came together of their own free will to the defence of their lord the King.[188] The figures are of much the same value as other figures; it is enough if we take them as marking a general and zealous movement. Their zeal in his cause. The men who were thus brought together promised the King their most zealous service; they exhorted him to press on valiantly, to smite the rebels, and to win for himself the Empire of the whole island.[189] This last phrase is worth noting, even if it be a mere flourish of the historian. William accepted as the English king. It marks that the change of dynasty was fully accepted, that the son of the Conqueror was fully acknowledged as the heir of all the rights of Æthelstan the Glorious and of Eadmund the Doer-of-great-deeds. A daughter of their race still sat on the Scottish throne; but for Malcolm, the savage devastator of Northern England, Englishmen could not be expected to feel any love. William was now their king, their king crowned and anointed, the lord to whom their duty was owing as his men.[190] Him they would make fast on the throne of England; for him they were ready to win the Empire of all Britain. The English followers of Rufus loudly proclaimed their 67 hatred of rebellion. They even, we are told, called on their leader to study the history of past times, where he would see how faithful Englishmen had ever been to their kings.[191]

William’s march. At the head of this great and zealous host William the Red set forth from London. He set forth at the head of an English host, to fight against Norman enemies in the Kentish and South-Saxon lands. And in that host there may well have been men who had marched forth from London on the like errand only two-and-twenty years before. Great as were the changes which had swept over the land, men must have been still living, still able to bear arms, who had dealt their blows in the Malfosse of Senlac amidst the last glimmerings of light on the day of Saint Calixtus. The enemy was nationally and even personally the same. English hatred of Odo. The work before all others at the present moment was to seize the man whose spiritual exhortations had stirred up Norman valour on that unforgotten day, and whose temporal arm had wielded, if not the sword, at least the war-club, in the first rank of the invaders. Odo, the invader of old, the oppressor of later days, the head and front of the evil rede of the present moment, was the foremost object of the loyal and patriotic hatred of every Englishman in the Red King’s army. Could he be seized, it would be easier to seize his accomplices.[192] The great object of the campaign was therefore to recover the castle of Rochester, the stronghold where the rebel Bishop, with his allies from 68 Boulogne and from Bellême, bade their defiance to the King and people of England.

It was not however deemed good to march at once upon the immediate centre of the rebellion. A glance at the map will show that it was better policy not to make the attack on Rochester while both the other rebel strongholds, Tunbridge and Pevensey, remained unsubdued. Tunbridge castle. The former of these, a border-post of Kent and Sussex, guarding the upper course of the stream that flows by Rochester, would, if won for the King, put a strong barrier between Rochester and Pevensey. Attack on the castle. The march on Rochester therefore took a roundabout course, and this part of the war opened by an attack on Tunbridge which was the first exploit of the Red King’s English army. Position of Tunbridge. At a point on the Medway about four miles within the Kentish border, at the foot of the high ground reaching northward from the actual frontier of the two ancient kingdoms, the winding river receives the waters of several smaller streams, and forms a group of low islands and peninsulas. On the slightly rising ground to the north, commanding the stream and its bridge, a mound had risen, fenced by a ditch on the exposed side to the north. This ancient fortress had grown into the castle of Gilbert the son of Richard, called of Clare and of Tunbridge, the son of the famous Count Gilbert of the early days of the Conqueror.[193] As Tunbridge now stands, the outer defences of the castle stand between the mound and the river, and the 69 mound, bearing the shell-keep, is yoked together in a striking way with one of the noblest gateways of the later form of mediæval military art.[194] The general arrangements of the latter days of the eleventh century cannot have been widely different. The mound, doubtless a work of English hands turned to the uses of the stranger, was the main stronghold to be won. It was held by a body of Bishop Odo’s knights, under the command of its own lord Gilbert; to win it for the King and his people was an object only second to that of seizing the traitor prelate himself. The rebel band bade defiance to the King and his army. The castle held out for two days; but the zeal of the English was not to be withstood; no work could be more to their liking than that of attacking a Norman castle on their own soil, even with a Norman King as their leader. The castle stormed. The castle was stormed; the native Chronicler, specially recording the act of his countrymen, speaks of it, like the castles of York in the days of Waltheof, as “tobroken.”[195] Most likely the buildings on the mound were thus “tobroken;” but some part of the castle enclosure must have been left habitable and defensible. For the garrison, with their chief Gilbert, were admitted to terms; and Gilbert, who had been wounded 70 in the struggle, was left there under the care of a loyal guard.

The first blow had thus gone well to the mark. Such an exploit as this, the capture by English valour of one of the hated strongholds of the stranger, was enough to raise the spirit of William’s English followers to the highest pitch. And presently they were summoned to a work which would call forth a yet fiercer glow of national feeling. They march towards Rochester. After Tunbridge had fallen, they set forth on their march towards Rochester, believing that the arch-enemy Odo was there. Their course would be to the north-east, keeping some way from the left side of the Medway; Bishop Gundulf’s tower at Malling,[196] if it was already built, would be the most marked point on the road. But they were not to reach Rochester by so easy a path. While they were on their way, news came to the King that his uncle was no longer at Rochester. Odo at Pevensey. While the King was before Tunbridge, the Bishop with a few followers had struck to the south-east, and had reached his brother’s castle of Pevensey.[197] Odo exhorts Robert of Mortain to hold out. The Count of Mortain and lord of Cornwall was perhaps wavering, like his neighbour at Arundel. The Bishop exhorted him to hold out. While the King besieged Rochester, they would be safe at Pevensey, and meanwhile Duke Robert and his host would cross the 71 sea. The Duke would then win the crown, and would reward all their services.[198]

Interest of Duke Robert in the rebellion. It is well to be reminded by words like these what the professed object of the insurgents was. It would be easy to forget that all the plundering that had been done from Rochester to Ilchester had been done in the name of the lawful rights of Duke Robert. The men who harried Berkeley and who were overthrown at Worcester were but the forerunners of the Duke of His coming looked for. the Normans, who was to come, as spring went on, with the full force of his duchy.[199] It was not for nothing that King William had gathered his English army, when a new Norman Conquest was looked for. He fails to help the rebels. But as yet the blow was put off; Duke Robert came not; he seemed to think that the crown of England could be won with ease at any moment. When the first news of William’s accession came, when those around him urged him to active measures to support his rights, he had spoken of the matter with childish scorn. His childish boasting. Were he at the ends of the earth—​the city of Alexandria is taken as the standard of distance—​the English would not dare to make William king, William would not dare to accept the crown at their hands, without waiting for the coming of his elder brother.[200] Both the impossible 72 things had happened, and Robert and his partisans had now before them the harder task of driving William from a throne which was already his, instead of merely hindering him from mounting it. Up to this time Robert had done nothing; His promises. but now, in answer to the urgent prayers of his uncles, he did get together a force for their help, and promised that he would himself follow it before long.[201]

William marches on Pevensey. The news of Odo’s presence at Pevensey at once changed the course of William’s march. Wherever the Bishop of Bayeux was, there was the point to be aimed at.[202] Instead of going on to Rochester, the King turned and marched straight upon Pevensey. The exact line of his march is not told us, but it could not fail to cross, perhaps it might for a while even coincide with, the line of march by which Harold had pressed to the South-Saxon coast on the eve of the great battle. The English besiege Odo in Pevensey. Things might seem to have strangely turned about, when an English army, led by a son of the Conqueror, marched to lay siege to the two brothers and chief fellow-workers of the Conqueror within the stronghold which was the very firstfruits of the Conquest. The Roman walls of Anderida were still there; but their whole circuit was no longer desolate, as it had been when the Conqueror landed, and as we see it now again. The castle of Pevensey. One part of the ancient city had again become a dwelling-place of man. As Pevensey now stands, the south-eastern corner of the Roman enclosure, 73 now again as forsaken as the rest, is fenced in by the moat, the walls, the towers, of a castle of the later type, the type of the Edwards, but whose towers are built in evident imitation of the solid Roman bastions. Then, or at some earlier time, the Roman wall itself received a new line of parapet, and one at least of its bastions was raised to form a tower in the restored line of defence. When the house of Mortain passed away in the second generation, the honour of Pevensey became the possession of the house of Laigle, and from them, perhaps in popular speech, certainly in the dialect of local antiquaries, Anderida became the Honour of the Eagle.[203] Within the circuit of the later castle, close on the ancient wall, rises, covered with shapeless ruins, a small mound which doubtless marks the site of the elder keep of Count Robert. Within that keep the two sons of Herleva, Bishop and Count, looked down on the shore close at their feet where they had landed with their mightier brother two-and-twenty years before. Within that stern memorial of their victory, they had now to defend themselves against the sons and brothers of men who had fallen by their hands, and whose lands they had parted out among them for a prey.

The siege of Pevensey. The siege of Pevensey proved a far harder work than the siege of Tunbridge. The Roman wall with its new Norman defences was less easy to storm than the ancient English mound. William the Red had to wait longer before Pevensey than William the Great had had to wait before Exeter. The fortress was strong; the spirit of its defenders was high; for Odo was among them. The King beset the castle with a great host; 74 he brought the artillery of the time to bear upon its defences; but for six weeks his rebellious uncles bore up against the attacks of William and his Englishmen.[204] Duke Robert at last sends help. And, while the siege went on, another of the chances of war seemed yet more thoroughly to reverse what had happened on the same spot not a generation back. Again a Norman host landed, or strove to land, within the haven of Pevensey. But they came under other guidance than that which had led the men who came before them on the like errand. When William crossed the sea, his own Mora sailed foremost and swiftest in the whole fleet, and William himself was the first man in his army to set foot on English ground. William in short led his fleet; his son only sent his. Robert stays behind. Robert still tarried in Normandy; he was coming, but not yet; his men were to make their way into England how they could without him. They came, and they found the South-Saxon coast better guarded than it had been when Harold had to strive against two invaders at once. The English hinder the Normans from landing. When Robert’s ships drew nigh, they found the ships of King William watching the coast; they found the soldiers of King William lining the shore.[205] On such a spot, in such a cause, no Englishman’s heart or hand was likely to fail him. The attempt at a new Norman landing at Pevensey was driven back. Those who escaped the English sailors drew near to the shore, but only to fall into the hands of the English land-force. It must not be forgotten that, as the coast-line then stood, when the sea covered what is now the low ground between the 75 castle and the beach, the struggle for the landing must have gone on close under the walls of the ancient city and of the new-built castle. The English who beat back the Normans of Duke Robert’s fleet as they strove to land must have been themselves exposed to the arrows of the Normans who guarded Count Robert’s donjon. But the work was done. Some of the invaders lived to be taken prisoners; but the more part, a greater number than any man could tell, were smitten down by the English axes or thrust back to meet their doom in the waves of the Channel. Some who deemed that they had still the means of escape tried to hoist the sails of their ships and get them back to their own land. But the elements fought against them. The winds which had so long refused to bring the fleet of William from Normandy to England now refused no less to take back the fleet of Robert from England to Normandy. And there were no means now, as there had been by the Dive and at Saint Valery, for waiting patiently by a friendly coast, or for winning the good will of the South-Saxon saints by prayers or offerings.[206] Even Saint Martin of the Place of Battle had no call to help the eldest son of his founder against his founder’s namesake and chosen heir. The ships could not be moved; the English were upon them; the Normans, a laughing-stock to their enemies, rather than fall into their enemies’ hands, leaped from their benches into the less hostile waters. Utter failure of the invasion. The attempt of the Conqueror’s eldest son to do by deputy what his father had done in person had utterly come to nought. The new invaders of England had been overthrown by English hands on the spot where the work of the former invaders had begun.

After the defeat of this attempt to bring help to the 76 besieged at Pevensey, nothing more was heard of Duke Robert’s coming in person. Alleged death of William of Warren. If we may believe a single confused and doubtful narrative, the defenders of the castle had at least the satisfaction of slaying one of the chief men in the royal army. We are told that Earl William of Warren was mortally wounded in the leg by an arrow from the walls of Pevensey, and was carried to Lewes only to die there.[207] However this may be, the failure of the Norman expedition carried with it the failure of the hopes of the besieged. The castle surrenders. Food now began to fail them, and Odo and Robert found that there was nothing left for them but to surrender to their nephew on the best terms that they could get. Of the terms which were granted to the Count of Mortain and lord of Cornwall we hear nothing. The Bishop of Bayeux and Earl of Kent was a more important person, and we have full details of everything that concerned him. Terms granted to Odo. The terms granted to the chief stirrer up of the whole rebellion were certainly favourable. He was called on to swear that he would leave England, and would never come back, unless the King sent for him, and that, before he Rochester to be surrendered. went, he would cause the castle of Rochester to be surrendered.[208] For the better carrying out of the last of his engagements, the Bishop was sent on towards Rochester 77 in the keeping of a small body of the King’s troops, while the King himself slowly followed.[209] No further treachery was feared; it was taken for granted that those who held the castle for Odo would give it up at once when Odo came in person to bid them do so. These hopes were vain; the young nobles who were left in the castle, Count Eustace, Robert of Bellême, and the rest, were not scrupulous as to the faith of treaties, and they had no mind to give up their stronghold till they were made to do so by force of arms. Odo was brought before the walls of Rochester. The leaders of the party that brought him called on the defenders of the castle to surrender; such was the bidding alike of the King who was absent and of the Bishop who was there in person. But Odo’s friends could see from the wall that the voices of the King’s messengers told one story, while the looks of the Bishop told another. The garrison refuse to surrender; Odo taken prisoner by his own friends. They threw open the gates; they rushed forth on the King’s men, who were in no case to resist them, and carried both them and the Bishop prisoners into the castle.[210] Odo was doubtless a willing captive; once within the walls of Rochester, he again became the life and soul of the defence.

78 It perhaps did not tend to the moral improvement of William Rufus to find himself thus shamefully deceived by one so near of kin to himself, so high in ecclesiastical rank. At the moment the treachery of Odo stirred him up to greater efforts. Rochester should be won, though it might need the whole strength of the kingdom to win it. William’s Niðing Proclamation. But the King saw that it was only by English hands that it could be won. He gathered around him his English followers, and by their advice put out a proclamation in ancient form bidding all men, French and English, from port and from upland, to come with all speed to the royal muster, if they would not be branded with the shameful name of Nithing. That name, the name which had been fixed, as the lowest badge of infamy, on the murderer Swegen,[211] was a name under which no Englishman could live; and it seems to have been held that strangers settled on English ground would have put on enough of English feeling to be stirred in the like sort by the fear of having such a mark set upon them. What the Frenchmen did we are not told; The second English muster. but the fyrd of England answered loyally to the call of a King who thus knew how to appeal to the most deep-set feelings and traditions of Englishmen.[212] Men came in crowds to King 79 William’s muster, and, in the course of May, a vast host beset the fortress of Rochester. The siege of Rochester. According to a practice of which we have often heard already, two temporary forts, no doubt of wood, were raised, so as to hem in the besieged and to cut off their communications from without.[213] The site of one at least of these may be looked for on the high ground to the south of the castle, said to be itself partly artificial, and known as Boley Hill.[214] The besieged soon found that all resistance was useless. They were absolutely alone. Pevensey and Tunbridge were now in the King’s hands; since the overthrow of Duke Robert’s fleet, they could look for no help from Normandy; they could look for none from yet more distant Bristol or Durham. Straits of the besieged. Till the siege began, they had lived at the cost of the loyal inhabitants of Kent and London. For not only the Archbishop, but most of the chief land-owners of Kent were on the King’s side.[215] This is a point to be noticed amid the general falling away of the Normans. For the land-owners of Kent, a land where no Englishman was a tenant-in-chief, were a class preeminently Norman. But we can well believe that the rule of Odo, who spared neither French nor English who stood in his way,[216] may have been little more to the liking of his own countrymen than it was to that of 80 the men of the land. But all chance of plunder was now cut off; a crowd of men and horses were packed closely together within the circuit of the fortress, with little heed to health or cleanliness. Plague of flies. Sickness was rife among them, and a plague of flies, a plague which is likened to the ancient plague of Egypt, added to their distress.[217] There was no hope within their own defences, and beyond them a host lay spread which there was no chance of overcoming. At last the heart of Odo himself failed him. They agree to surrender. He and his fiercest comrades, Eustace of Boulogne, even Robert of Bellême, at last brought themselves to crave for peace at the hands of the offended and victorious King.

Lesson of the war: the King stronger than any one noble. It was a great and a hard lesson which Odo and his accomplices learned at Pevensey and Rochester. It was the great lesson of English history, the great result of the teaching of William the Great on the day of Salisbury, that no one noble, however great his power, however strong the force which he could gather round him, could strive with any hope of success against the King of the whole land. In the royal army itself Odo might see one who had risen as high as himself among the conquerors of England, the father of the fiercest of the warriors who stood beside him, following indeed the King’s bidding, but following it against his will. Odo and Roger of Montgomery. Roger of Montgomery was in the host before Rochester, an unwilling partner in a siege which was waged against his own sons. Both he and other Normans in the King’s army are charged with giving more of real help to the besieged than they gave to the King whom 81 they no longer dared to withstand openly.[218] But it was in vain that even so great a lord as Earl Roger sought to strive or to plot against England and her King. The unity of England. The policy of the Conqueror, crowning the work of earlier kings, had made England a land in which no Earl of Kent or of Shrewsbury could gather a host able to withstand the King of the English at the head of the English people.[219] When the days came that kings were to be brought low, it was not by the might of this or that overgrown noble, but by the people of the land, with the barons of the land acting only as the first rank of the people. Those days were yet far away; but an earlier stage in the chain of progress had been reached. The Norman nobles had taken one step towards becoming the first rank of the English people, when they learned that King and people together were stronger than they.

Rufus refuses terms to the besieged. The defenders of Rochester had brought themselves to ask for peace; but they still thought that they could make terms with their sovereign. Let the King secure to them the lands and honours which they held in his kingdom, and they would give up the castle of Rochester to his will; they would hold all that they had as of his grant, and would serve him faithfully as their natural lord.[220] The wrath of the Red King burst forth, as well it might. Odo at least was asking at Rochester for more favourable terms than those to which he had already sworn 82 at Pevensey. William answered that he would grant no terms; he had strength enough to take the castle, whether they chose to surrender it or not. The King’s threats.And the story runs that he added—​not altogether in the spirit of his father—​that all the traitors within the walls should be hanged on gibbets, or put to such other forms of death as might please him.[221] But those of his followers who had friends or kinsfolk within the castle came to the King to crave mercy for them. Pleadings for the besieged. A dialogue follows in our most detailed account, in which the scriptural reference to the history of Saul and David may be set down as the garnish of the monk of Saint Evroul, but which contains arguments that are likely enough to have been used on the two sides of the question. An appeal is made to William’s own greatness and victory, to his position as the successor of his father. God, who helps those who trust in him, gives to good fathers a worthy offspring to come after them. The men in the castle, the proud youths and the old men blinded by greediness, had learned that the power of kings had not died out in the island realm. Those who had come from Normandy—​here we seem to hear an argument from English mouths—​sweeping down upon the land like kites, they who had deemed that the kingly stock had died out in England, had learned that the younger William was in no way weaker than the elder.[222] Mercy 83 was the noblest attribute of a conqueror; something too was due to the men who had helped him to his victory, and who now pleaded for those who had undergone enough of punishment for their error. Answer of the King. Rufus is made to answer that he is thankful both to God and to his faithful followers. But he fears that he should be lacking in that justice which is a king’s first duty, if he were to spare the men who had risen up against him without cause, and who had sought the life of a king who, as he truly said, had done them no harm.[223] The Red King is made to employ the argument which we have so often come across on behalf of that severe discharge of princely duty which made the names of his father and his younger brother live in men’s grateful remembrance. He fears lest their prayers should lead him away from the strait path of justice. He who spares robbers and traitors and perjured persons takes away the peace and safety of the innocent, and only sows loss and slaughter for the good and for the unarmed people.[224] This course is one which the Red King was very far from following in after years; but it is quite possible that he may have made such professions at any stage of his life, and he may have even made them honestly at this stage. Pleadings for Odo. But on behalf of the chiefest of all culprits, the counsellors of mercy had special arguments. Odo is the King’s uncle, the companion of his father in the Conquest of England. He is moreover a bishop, a priest of the Lord, a sharer in the privileges to which, in one side of his twofold character, he had 84 once appealed in vain. The King is implored not to lay hands on one of Odo’s holy calling, not to shed blood which was at once kindred and sacred. Let the Bishop of Bayeux at least be spared, and allowed to go back to his proper place in his Norman diocese.[225] Pleadings for Eustace and Robert of Bellême. Count Eustace too was the son of his father’s old ally and follower—​the invasion which Eustace’s father had once wrought in that very shire seems to be conveniently forgotten.[226] Robert of Bellême had been loved and promoted by his father; he held no small part of Normandy; lord of many strong castles, he stood out foremost among the nobles of the duchy.[227] It was no more than the bidding of prudence to win over such men by favours, and to have their friendship instead of their enmity.[228] As for the rest, they were valiant knights, whose proffered services the King would do well not to despise.[229] The King had shown how far he surpassed his enemies in power, riches, and valour; let him now show how far he surpassed them in mercy and greatness of soul.[230]

85 To this appeal Rufus yielded. The King yields. It was not indeed an appeal to his knightly faith, which was in no way pledged to the defenders of Rochester. But it was an appeal to any gentler feelings that might be in him, and still more so to that vein of self-esteem and self-exaltation which was the leading feature in his character. If Rufus had an opportunity of showing himself greater than other men, as neither justice nor mercy stood in the way of his making the most of it, so neither did any mere feeling of wrath or revenge. As his advisers told him, he was so successful that he could afford to be merciful, and merciful he accordingly was. To have hanged or blinded his enemies would not have so distinctly exalted himself, as he must have felt himself exalted, when those who had defied him, those who had tried to make terms with him, were driven to accept such terms as he chose to give them. He grants terms. The Red King then plighted his faith—​and his faith when once so plighted was never broken—​that the lives and limbs of the garrison should be safe, that they should come forth from the castle with their arms and horses. But they must leave the realm; they must give up all hope of keeping their lands and honours in England, as long at least as King William lived.[231] To these terms they had to yield; but Odo, even in his extremity, craved for one favour. Odo asks for the honours of war. He had to bear utter discomfiture, the failure of his hopes, the loss of his lands and honours; but he prayed to be at least spared the public scorn of the victors. His proud soul was not ready to bear the looks, the gestures, the triumphant shouts and songs, of the people whom he had trodden to the earth, and who 86 had now risen up to be his conquerors. He asked, it would seem, to be allowed to march out with what in modern phrase are called the honours of war. His particular prayer was that the trumpets might not sound when he and his followers came forth from the castle. This, we are told, was the usual ceremony after the overthrow of an enemy and the taking of a fortress.[232] The King was again wrathful at the request, and said that not for a thousand marks of gold would he grant it.[233] Humiliation of Odo. Odo had therefore to submit, and to drink the cup of his humiliation to the dregs. With sad and downcast looks he and his companions came forth from the stronghold which could shelter them no longer. The trumpets sounded merrily to greet them.[234] But other sounds more fearful than the voice of the trumpet sounded in the ears of Odo as he came forth. Men saw passing before them, a second time hurled down from his high estate—​and this time not by the bidding of a Norman king but by the arms of the English people—​the man who stood forth in English eyes as the imbodiment of all that was blackest and basest in the foreign dominion. Odo might keep his eyes fixed on the ground, but the eyes of the nation which he had wronged were full upon him. Wrath of the English against him. The English followers of Rufus pressed close upon him, crying out with shouts which all could hear, “Halters, bring halters; hang up the traitor Bishop and his accomplices on the gibbet.” They turned to the King whose throne they had made fast for him, and hailed him as a national ruler. “Mighty King of the English, let 87 not the stirrer up of all evil go away unharmed. The perjured murderer, whose craft and cruelty have taken away the lives of thousands of men, ought not to live any longer.”[235] Cries like these, mingled with every form of cursing and reviling, with every threat which could rise to the lips of an oppressed people in their day of vengeance, sounded in the ears of Odo and his comrades.[236] But the King’s word had been passed, and the thirst for vengeance of the wrathful English had to be baulked. He leaves England for ever. Odo and those who had shared with him in the defence of Rochester went away unhurt; but they had to leave England, and to lose all their English lands and honours, at least for a season. But Odo left England and all that he had in England for ever.[237] The career of the Earl of Kent was over; of the later career of the Bishop of Bayeux we shall hear again.

End of the rebellion. The rebellion was now at an end in southern England. Revolt had been crushed at Worcester, at Pevensey, and at Rochester, and we hear nothing more of those movements of which Bishop Geoffrey had made Bristol the centre, and which had met with such a reverse at the hands of the gallant defenders of Ilchester. 88 The chronology of the whole time is very puzzling. Order of events. We have no exact date for the surrender of Rochester; we are told only that it happened in the beginning of summer.[238] But, as the siege of Pevensey lasted six weeks,[239] it is impossible The Whitsun Assembly. June 4, crowd all the events which had happened since Easter into the time between Easter and Whitsuntide. Otherwise the pentecostal Gemót would have been the most natural season for some acts of authority which took place at some time during the year. The King was now in a position to reward and to punish; and some confiscations, some grants, Confiscations and grants.were made by him soon after the rebellion came to an end. “Many Frenchmen forlet their land and went over sea, and the King gave their land to the men that were faithful to him.”[240] Of these confiscations and grants we should be glad to have some details. Did any dispossessed Englishmen win back their ancient heritage? And, if so, did they keep their recovered heritage, notwithstanding the amnesty which at a somewhat later time restored many of the rebels? One thing is clear, that the Frenchmen who are now spoken of were not the men of highest rank and greatest estates among the rebellious Normans. For them there was an amnesty at once. Amnesty of the chief rebels. Them, we are told, the King spared, for the love of his father to whom they had been faithful followers, and out of reverence for their age which opened a speedy prospect of their deaths. He was rewarded, it is added, by their repentant loyalty and thankfulness, 89 which made them eager to please him by gifts and service of all kinds.[241]

The speed with which some of the greatest among the rebel leaders were restored to their old rank and their old places in the King’s favour is shown by the way in which, within a very few months, we find them acting on the King’s side against one who at the worst was their own accomplice, and who himself professed to have had no part or lot in their doings. Versions of the story of the Bishop of Durham. We must now take up again the puzzling story of Bishop William of Durham. We left him, according to his own version, hindered from coming to the King by the violence of the Sheriff of Yorkshire, and suffering a seven weeks’ harrying of his lands which carries us into the month of May.[242] This is exactly the time when the national Chronicler sets the Bishop himself before us as carrying on a general harrying of the North country.[243] It is likely enough that both stories are true; in a civil war above all it is easy, without the assertion of any direct falsehood, to draw two exactly opposite pictures by simply leaving out the doings of each side in turn. Anyhow the King had summoned the Bishop to his presence, and the Bishop had not come. The King again summons the Bishop. The King now sends a more special and urgent summons, demanding the Bishop’s presence in his court, that is, in all likelihood, at the Whitsun Gemót, or at whatever assembly took its place 90 for that year.[244] The message was sent by a prelate of high rank, that Abbot Guy who had just before been forced by Lanfranc upon the unwilling monks of Saint Augustine’s.[245] The Bishop was to accompany the Abbot to the King’s presence. The Bishop’s complaints. But, instead of going with Guy, Bishop William, fearing the King’s wrath and the snares of his enemies, sent another letter, the bearer of which went under the Abbot’s protection.[246] The letter curiously illustrates some of the features of the case. We learn more details of the Sheriff’s doings. Doings of Counts Alan and Odo. He had divided certain of the Bishop’s lands between two very great personages, Count Alan of the Breton and of the Yorkshire Richmond, and Count Odo, husband of the King’s aunt, and seemingly already lord of Holderness.[247] The Sheriff had not only refused the King’s peace to the Bishop; he had formally defied him on the part of the King.[248] Some of the Bishop’s men he had allowed to redeem themselves; but others he had actually sold. Were they the Bishop’s slaves, dealt with as forfeited chattels, or did the Sheriff take on himself to degrade freemen into slavery?[249] The Bishop protests that he is 91 ready to come with a safe-conduct, and to prove before all the barons of the realm that he is wholly innocent of any crime against the King. He adds that he would willingly come at once with the Abbot. He had full faith in the King and his barons; but he feared his personal enemies and the unlearned multitude.[250] Who were these last? Are we again driven to think of the old popular character of the Assembly, and did the Bishop fear that the solemn proceedings of the King’s court would be disturbed by a loyal crowd, ready to deal out summary justice against any one who should be even suspected of treason? The Bishop comes with a safe-conduct. The King sent the safe-conduct that was asked for, and the Bishop came to the King’s court.[251]

The two Williams, King and Bishop, now met face to face. William of Saint-Calais pleaded his rights as a bishop as zealously, and far more fully, than they had been pleaded by the bishop who was also an earl. The Bishop’s ecclesiastical claims. The Bishop of Durham, as Bishop of Durham, held great temporal rights; but William of Saint-Calais was not, like his predecessor Walcher, personally earl of any earldom. Bishop William’s assertion of the new ecclesiastical claims reminds us of two more famous assemblies, in the earlier of which William of Saint-Calais will appear on the other side. In forming our estimate of the whole story, we must never forget that the man who surprised the Red King with claims greater than those of Anselm is the same man who a few years later became the counsellor of the Red King against Anselm. In 92 this first Assembly the Bishop refuses to plead otherwise than according to the privileges of his order. The demand is refused. He craves for the counsel of his Metropolitan Thomas of York and of the other bishops. This also is refused. He offers to make his personal purgation on any charge of treason or perjury. This is refused. The King insists that he shall be tried before the Court after the manner of a layman. He goes back to Durham. This the Bishop refuses;[252] but the King keeps his personal faith, and the Bishop is allowed to go back safely to Durham. We hear much of the ravages done on the Bishop’s lands, both while he was away from Durham and after he had gone back thither.[253] Of ravages done by the Bishop we hear nothing in this version. In this version William of Saint-Calais, blackest of traitors in the Peterborough Chronicle, is still the meekest of confessors.

June-September, 1088. We get no further details of the Bishop of Durham’s story till the beginning of September. But in the meanwhile the Bishop wrote another letter to the King, again asking leave to make his purgation. The only answer, we are told, on the King’s part was to imprison the Bishop’s messenger and to lay waste his lands more thoroughly than ever. But, from the beginning of September, the story is told with great detail. By that time southern England at least was at peace, and by that time too men who had taken a leading part in the rebellion were acting as loyal subjects to the King. Agreement between the Bishop On the day of the Nativity of our Lady an agreement was come to between the Bishop and three of the barons of 93 the North. Two of these were the Counts Alan and Odo, who had received grants of the Bishop’s lands. and the Counts. September 8. They, it seems clear, had had no share in the rebellion; but with them was joined a leading rebel, Roger of Poitou, son of the Earl of Shrewsbury, whom we last heard of as one of Odo’s accomplices at Pevensey. These three, acting in the King’s name, pledged their faith for the Bishop’s personal safety to and from the King’s court. The three barons seem to make themselves in some sort arbiters between the King and the Bishop. His personal safety is guaranteed in any case. But the place to which he is to be safely taken is to differ according to the result of the trial. The terms seem to imply that, if the three barons deem justice to be on the side of the Bishop, he is to be taken back safely to Durham, while, if they deem justice to be on the side of the King, he is to be allowed freely to cross the sea at any haven that he may choose, from Sandwich to Exeter.[254] In case of the Bishop’s return to Durham, if he should find that during his absence any new fortifications have been added to the castle, those fortifications are to be destroyed.[255] If, on the other hand, the Bishop crosses the sea, the castle is to be surrendered to the King. No agreement contrary to this present one was to be extorted from the Bishop on any pretext. 94 The terms were agreed to by the Bishop, and were sworn to, as far as the surrender of the castle was concerned, by seven of the Bishop’s men, seemingly the same seven of whom we have heard before and of whom we shall hear again. All matters were to be settled in the King’s court one way or the other by the coming feast of Saint Michael; but, as this term was plainly too short, the time of meeting was put off by the consent of both sides to an early day in November.

The Meeting at Salisbury. November 2, 1088. On the appointed day Bishop William of Durham appeared in the King’s court at Salisbury. We have not now, as we had two years before, to deal with a gathering of all the land-owners of England in the great plain. The castle which had been reared within the ditches that fence in the waterless hill became the scene of a meeting of the King and the great men of the realm which may take its place alongside of later meetings of the same kind in the castle by the wood at Rockingham and in the castle by the busy streets of Northampton. We have—​from the Bishop’s side only, it must be remembered—​a minute and lifelike account of a two days’ debate in the Assembly, a debate in which not a few men with whose names we have been long familiar in our story, in which others whose names and possessions are written in the Great Survey, meet us face to face as living men and utter characteristic speeches in our ears. Urse of Abetot. We are met at the threshold by a well-known form, that of the terrible Sheriff of Worcestershire, Urse of Abetot. Notwithstanding the curse of Ealdred, he flourished and enjoyed court favour, and we now find him the first among the courtiers to meet Bishop William, and to bid him enter the royal presence.[256] That presence the Bishop entered four times 95 in the course of the day, having had three times to withdraw while the Court came to a judgement on points of law touching his case. Conduct of the Bishop. At every stage the Bishop raises some point, renews some protest, interposes some delay or other. And during the whole earlier part of the debate, it is Lanfranc who takes the chief part in answering him; the King says little till a late stage of the controversy. Before Bishop William comes in to the King’s presence, he prays again, but prays in vain, to have the counsel of his brother bishops. None of them, not even his own Metropolitan Thomas, would give him the kiss of peace or even a word of greeting. When he does come in, he first raises the question whether he ought not to be judged, and the other bishops to judge him, in full episcopal dress. Lanfranc’s view of vestments. To the practical mind of Lanfranc questions about vestments did not seem of first-rate importance. “We can judge very well,” he said, “clothed as we are; for garments do not hinder truth.”[257] Case of Thomas at Northampton. 1164. This point, it will be remembered, again came up at Northampton, seventy-six years later. The entrance of Thomas into the King’s hall clad in the full garb of the Primate of all England was one of the most striking features of that memorable day.[258]

A long legal discussion followed, in which Bishop William and Lanfranc were the chief speakers. Some points were merely verbal. Much turned on the construction of the word bishopric. The Bishop of Durham 96 asked to be restored to his bishopric. Lanfranc answered that he had not been disseized of it.[259] In the course of this dispute one or two facts of interest come out. Hostile dealings of the Bishop’s own men. It appears from the Bishop’s complaint that some of the chief men of the patrimony of Saint Cuthberht had made their way to the meeting at Salisbury, and that not as their bishop’s friends. They, his own liegemen, had abjured him; they held the lands of the bishopric in fief of the King; they had made war upon him by the King’s orders, and were now sitting as his judges.[260] The Bishop called on to “do right.” But the main point was that the Bishop should, before matters went any further, do right to the King, that is, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Court.[261] This demand the Bishop tried to evade by every means; but it was firmly pressed both by Lanfranc and by the lay members of the Court. These last seem to act in close concert with the Primate, and the ecclesiastical writer brings out in a lively way the energy of their way of speaking.[262] In answer to them the Bishop spake words which amounted to a casting aside of all the earlier jurisprudence of England, but which were only a natural 97 inference from that act of the Conqueror which had severed the jurisdictions which ancient English custom had joined together. He denies the authority of the Court. He told the barons of the realm and the other laymen who were present that with them he had nothing to do, that he altogether refused their jurisdiction; he demanded, that, if the King and the Bishops allowed them to be present, they should at least not speak against him.[263] Growth of the new doctrines. The doctrine of ecclesiastical privilege had indeed grown, since, six and thirty years before, the people of England, gathered beneath the walls of London, had declared a traitorous archbishop to be deprived and outlawed, and had by their own act set another in his place. Position of Lanfranc and Bishop William. Yet the position of William of Saint-Calais was more consistent than the position of Lanfranc. William of Saint-Calais wholly denied the right of laymen to judge a bishop; Lanfranc, the assertor of that right, had been placed in his see on the very ground that the deposition of Robert and the election of Stigand were both invalid, as being merely acts of the secular power. Still, however logical might be the Bishop’s argument, his claims were practically new, either in English or in Norman ears. If they had ever been heard of before, it had been only for a moment from the lips of Odo. And we may mark again that, though the words of William of Saint-Calais would have won him favour with Hildebrand, they won him no favour with Lanfranc. Lanfranc represented the traditions of the Conqueror, and in the days of the Conqueror, all things, divine and human, had depended on the Conqueror’s nod.[264]

98 The King speaks. At this stage the King speaks for the first time, and, in this first speech the words of William the Red are mild enough. He had hoped, he said, that the Bishop would have first made answer to the charges which had been brought against him, and he wondered that he had taken any other course. But the charge had not yet been formally made. Roger Bigod demands that the charge be read. Amid the Bishop’s protests about the rights of his order, this somewhat important point was pressed by one of his fellow-rebels. This was Roger the Bigod, he who from the castle of Norwich had done such harm in the eastern lands, but who now appears as an adviser of the king against whom he had been fighting a few months before. Let the charge, he said, be brought in due form, and let the Bishop be tried according to it.[265] After more protests from the Bishop, the charge was made by Hugh of Beaumont.[266] The charge formally brought. It contained a full statement of the Bishop’s treason and desertion, as already described,[267] and the time is said to have been when the King’s enemies came against him, and when his own men, Bishop Odo, Earl Roger, and many others, strove to take away his crown and kingdom.[268] It is demanded that, on this charge and on any other charges that the King may afterwards bring, the Bishop shall abide by the sentence of the King’s court. We have 99 this statement only in the version of Bishop William himself or of a local partisan. Its probable truth. Yet there is no reason to doubt that it is a fair representation of the formal charge which was brought in the King’s court. That charge brings out quite enough of overt acts of treason to justify even the strong words of the Peterborough Chronicler.[269] With the secret counsels of the rebels during Lent it does not deal; what share Bishop William had had in them might be hard to make out by legal proof, and the charge is quite enough for the King’s purpose without them. But it brings out this special aggravation of the Bishop’s guilt, that, after the rebellion had broken out, after military operations had begun, the Bishop was still at the King’s side, counselling action while he was himself plotting desertion. The flight of Bishop William, as we have already told it, really reads not unlike the flight of Cornbury and Churchill just six centuries later; and it would be pressing the judgement of charity a long way to plead in his behalf the doctrine that in revolutions men live fast.[270] Points not dwelled on. We may notice also that nothing is said about the Bishop’s harryings in Northern England. They might, according to the custom of the time, be almost taken as implied in the fact of his rebellion; or they might be among the other charges which the King had ready to bring forward if he thought good.

The Bishop’s answer. The formal charge was thus laid before the Court, and it was for the Bishop to make his answer. It was the same as before. Hugh of Beaumont might say what he chose;[271] only according to his own ideas of canonical rule would he answer. By this time the wrath of the lay 100 members of the Assembly was waxing hot; Wrath of the lay members. they assailed the Bishop, some, we are told, with arguments, some with revilings.[272] At this stage Bishop William found a friend where we should hardly have looked for one. Speech of Bishop Geoffrey on behalf of William. The brigand Bishop of Coutances, already changed from a rebel into a loyal subject, was there among the great men of the realm. England knew him, not as a prelate of the Church, but as one of the greatest of her land-owners; but now, like Odo, he speaks as a bishop. He appeals to the Archbishops at least to give a hearing to Bishop William’s objection. They, the bishops and abbots, ought no longer to sit there; they ought to withdraw, taking with them some lay assessors, to discuss the point raised by the Bishop of Durham, whether he ought not to be restored to his bishopric before he is called on to plead.[273] Answer of Lanfranc. Again the great ecclesiastical statesman is inclined to scorn, almost to mock, the scruples of lesser men. Canonical subtleties might disturb the conscience of a bishop who had a few months before headed a band of robbers; but the lawyer of Pavia, the teacher of Avranches, the monk of Bec, the Abbot of Saint Stephen’s, the Patriarch of all the nations beyond the sea, had learned, in his long experience, that, as changes of vestments did not greatly matter, so changes of place and procedure did not greatly matter either. As Lanfranc had told Bishop William that they could judge perfectly well in the clothes which they then had on, so now he tells Bishop Geoffrey that they can judge 101 perfectly well in the place and company in which they were now sitting. The Bishop goes out. There was no need to rise; let the Bishop of Durham and his men go out, and the rest of the Court, clergy and laity alike, would judge what was right to be done.[274] The Bishop warned the Court to act according to the canons, and to let no one judge who might not canonically judge a bishop. Lanfranc calmly, but vaguely, assured him that justice would be done.[275] Defiance of Hugh of Beaumont. Hugh of Beaumont told him more plainly, “If I may not to-day judge you and your order, you and your order shall never afterwards judge me.”[276] With one more protest, one more declaration that he would disown any judgement which was not strictly canonical,[277] Bishop William and his followers left the hall of meeting.

Debate in the Bishop’s absence. Our only narrative of these debates, the narrative of Bishop William himself or of some one writing under his inspiration, complains of the long delay before the Bishop was allowed to come back, and gives a description, one which reads like satire, of the assembly which stayed to debate the preliminary point of law. Constitution of the Court. There was the King, with the bishops and earls, the sheriffs and the lesser reeves, with the King’s huntsmen and other officials.[278] The great officers of state, Justiciar, Chancellor, 102 Treasurer, had not yet risen to their full importance; still it is odd to find them, as they would seem to be, thrust in, after the manner of an et cetera, after, it may be, Osgeat the reeve and Croc the huntsman.[279] But anyhow, in this purely official assembly, we may surely see the Theningmannagemót gradually changing into the Curia Regis.[280] The Court, however constituted, debated in the Bishop’s absence on the point of the law which he had raised. The Bishop comes back. On his return, his own Metropolitan, Thomas of York, announced to him the decision of the Assembly. Till he acknowledged the jurisdiction of the Court, the King was not bound to restore anything that had been taken from him. Debate on the word fief. We seem to hear the voice of Flambard, when, in announcing this decision, Thomas makes use of the word fief, which had not hitherto been heard in the discussion.[281] Bishop William catches in vain at the novelty; Archbishop Thomas declines all verbal discussion; whether it is called bishopric or fief, nothing is to be restored till the jurisdiction of the court is acknowledged.[282] Thus baffled, Bishop William has only to fall back on his old protests, his old demand for the counsel of his brother bishops. Lanfranc meets him as a lawyer; the bishops 103 are his judges, and therefore cannot be his counsel.[283] The King now steps in; the Bishop may take counsel with his own men, but he shall have no counsel from any man of his.[284] The Bishop’s seven men. The Bishop answers that, in the seven men whom he has with him—​clearly the same seven of whom we have twice heard already—​he will find but little help against the power and learning of the whole realm which he sees arrayed against him.[285] He goes out the second time. But he gets no further help; he withdraws the second time for consultation, but it is only with the seven men of his own following.

The result of their secret debate suggests that Bishop William in truth took counsel with no one but himself. Surely no seven men of English or Norman birth could have been found to suggest the course which William of Saint-Calais now took. For he came back to utter words which must have sounded strange indeed either in English or in Norman ears. He comes back and appeals to Rome. “The judgement which has here been given I reject, because it is made against the canons and against our law; nor was I canonically summoned; but I stand here compelled by the force of the King’s army, and despoiled of my bishopric, beyond the bounds of my province, in the absence of all my comprovincial bishops. I am compelled to plead my cause in a lay assembly; and my enemies, who refuse me their counsel and speech and the kiss of peace, laying aside the things which I have said, judge me of things which I have not said; and they are at once accusers and judges; and I find it forbidden in our law to admit such a judgement as I in my folly was 104 willing to admit.[286] The Archbishop of Canterbury and my own Primate ought, out of regard for God and our order, to save me of their good will from this encroachment. Because then, through the King’s enmity, I see you all against me, I appeal to the Apostolic See of Rome, to the Holy Church, and to the Blessed Peter and his Vicar, that he may take order for a just sentence in my affair; for to his disposition the ancient authority of the Apostles and their successors and of the canons reserves the greater ecclesiastical causes and the judgement of bishops.”[287]

Character of the appeal. Such an appeal as this was indeed going to the root of the matter. It was laying down the rule against which Englishmen had yet to strive for more than four hundred years. William of Saint-Calais not only declared that there were causes with which no English tribunal was competent to deal, but he laid down that among such causes were to be reckoned all judgements where any bishop—​if not every priest—​was an accused party. Bishop William could not even claim that, as one charged with an ecclesiastical offence, he had a right to appeal to the highest ecclesiastical judge. Even such a claim as this was a novelty either in Normandy or in England; but William of Saint-Calais was not charged with any ecclesiastical offence. Except so far as the indictment involved the charge of perjury, that debateable ground of the two jurisdictions, the offence 105 laid to the Bishop’s charge was a purely temporal one, that of treason against his lord the King. So arraigned, he refuses the judgement of the King of the English and his Witan, and appeals from them to the Bishop of Rome. He justifies his appeal by referring to some law other than the law of England, some special law of his own order, by which, he alleges, he is forbidden to submit to any such judgements as that of the national assembly of the realm of which he is a subject. We again instinctively ask, how would William the Great have dealt with such an appeal, if any man had been so hardy as to make it in his hearing? But we again see how the ecclesiastical system which William the Great had brought in was one which needed his own mighty hand to guide.[288] He was indeed, in all causes and over all persons, ecclesiastical and temporal, within his dominions supreme. But the moment he himself was gone, that great supremacy seems to have fallen in pieces. Arguments of Lanfranc. Lanfranc himself, steadily as he maintains the royal authority throughout the dispute, seems to shrink from boldly grappling with the Bishop’s claim. Some lesser fallacies we are not surprised to find passed over. The daring statement that the sole right of the Bishop of Rome to judge other bishops was established by the Apostles may perhaps have seemed less strange even to Lanfranc than it does to us. William’s comprovincials. But Lanfranc must have smiled, and Thomas of York must have smiled yet more, at the Bishop of Durham’s grotesque complaint that he was deprived of the help of his comprovincial bishops.[289] It was a vain hope indeed, if he thought that King Malcolm would allow him the comfort of any brotherly counsel from Glasgow or Saint Andrews. But the real 106 point is that Lanfranc seems to avoid giving any direct answer to Bishop William’s claim to appeal to a court beyond the sea. Instead of stoutly denying the right of any English subject to appeal to any foreign power from the judgement of the highest court in England, he falls back into Bishop William’s own subtleties about “fief” and “bishopric;” and he appeals to the case of Odo, where it was only the Earl and not the Bishop who was dealt with.[290] The verbal question goes on, till the Bishop declares that he has no skill to dispute against the wisdom of Lanfranc; he has been driven to appeal to the apostolic see, and he wishes to have the leave of the King and the Archbishop to go to the see to which he has appealed.[291] The Bishop goes out the third time. A third time does he, at Lanfranc’s bidding, leave the hall while this question is debated by the King and his council. On his return the final sentence is pronounced by the mouth of Hugh of Beaumont. He comes back, and sentence is pronounced.As the Bishop has refused to answer the charges brought against him by the King, as he invites the King to a tribunal at Rome, the Bishop’s fief is declared forfeited by the judgement of the King’s court and the barons. It really says a good deal for the long-suffering of the prelates and barons, and of the Red King himself, He renews his appeal. that Bishop William again ventured to make his appeal in more offensive terms than before. He is ready, in any place where justice reigns and not violence, to purge himself of all charges of crime and perjury. He will prove in the Roman Church that the 107 judgement which has just been pronounced is false and unjust.[292] Hugh of Beaumont is driven to a retort; “I and my companions are ready to confirm our judgement in this court.” The Bishop again declares that he will enter into no pleadings in that court. Let him speak never so well, his words are perverted by the King’s partisans. They have no respect for the apostolic authority, and, even after he has made his appeal, they load him with an unjust judgement. He will go to Rome to seek the help of God and of Saint Peter.[293]

Up to this time the King has taken only a secondary part in the lively dispute which has been going on in his presence. We have listened chiefly to the pithy sayings of Lanfranc and to the official utterances of Hugh of Beaumont. Speeches of the King. But now Rufus himself steps in as a chief speaker, and that certainly in a characteristic strain. His patience had borne a good deal, but it was now beginning to give way. The King’s short and pointed sentences, uttered, we must remember, with a fierce look and a stammering tongue, are a marked contrast to the long-turned periods and legal subtleties of the Bishop. He now steps into the dispute from a very practical side; “My will is that you give me up your castle, as you will not abide by the sentence of my court.”[294] More distinctions, more protests, more appeals to Rome, only stir up the Red King to the use of his familiar oath; 108 “By the face of Lucca, you shall never go out of my hands till I have your castle.”[295] The Bishop was now fairly in the mouth of the lion; yet he again goes through the whole story of his wrongs and his innocence, with some particulars which we have not hitherto heard. When his possessions were seized by the King’s officers, though a hundred of his own knights looked on, no resistance had been offered to the King’s will.[296] He had now nothing left but his episcopal city; if the King wished to take that, he would offer no resistance, save by the power of God. He would only warn him, on behalf of God and Saint Peter and his Vicar the Pope, not to take it. He would give hostages and sureties that, while he went to Rome, his own men should keep the castle, and that, if the King wished, they should keep it for his service.[297] The King again spoke; “Be sure, Bishop, that you shall never go to Durham, nor shall your men hold Durham, nor shall you escape my hands, unless you freely give up the castle to me.”[298] The Bishop appeals to Counts Odo and Alan. The Bishop now for once says not a word about canonical rights; he appeals, more shortly and more prudently, to the plighted faith of the two Counts who had promised that he should go back to Durham. But Lanfranc argues that the Bishop has forfeited his safe-conduct, and that, if he refuses to give up the castle, the 109 King may rightly arrest him.[299] Cries of the lay members. At this hint the lay members of the Assembly joined in with one voice, the foremost among them being that Randolf Peverel of whose possessions and supposed kindred we have had elsewhere to speak.[300] “Take him,” was the cry, “take him; for that old gaoler speaks well.”[301] But at this stage the Bishop finds friends in the Counts whose faith had been pledged to his safe-conduct. Intervention of Count Alan. Count Alan formally states the terms of the agreement, and prays the King—​Odo and Roger joining with him in the prayer—​that he may not be forced to belie his faith, as otherwise the King should have no further service from him.[302] But in Lanfranc’s view the second of the two cases which were contemplated in the agreement had taken place. The King was not bound to let the Bishop go back to Durham; all that he was now bound to do was to give him ships and a safe-conduct out of the realm.[303] The dispute goes on in the usual style. The Bishop appeals yet again. The Bishop continues his appeal to Rome; he again invokes what he calls specially the Christian law, pointing, it would seem, to a volume in his own hand;[304] while 110 Lanfranc asserts the authority of the King’s court.[305] The King then steps in with one of his short speeches; “You may say what you will, but you shall not escape my hands, unless you first give up the castle to me.”[306] The Bishop then makes a shorter protest than usual, the drift of which seems to be that he is ready to suffer any loss rather than be personally arrested.[307] The final sentence. The sentence of the Court is now finally passed. A day is fixed by which the Bishop’s men should leave the city of Durham and the King’s men take possession of it instead.[308]

The judgement of the Assembly had thus formally gone against the claims of the Bishop of Durham; but his The Bishop asks for an allowance.resources were not at an end. Defeated on all points of law, he makes an appeal to the King’s generosity. Will his lord the King, he now prays, leave him something from his bishopric on which he may at least be able to live? Lanfranc again answers; “Shall you go to Rome, Answer of the King’s hurt and to the dishonour of all of us, and shall the King leave lands to you? Stay in his land, and he will give back to you all your bishopric, except the city, on the one condition that you do right to him in his court by the judgement of his barons.”[309] 111 Bishop William, almost parodying the words of a much earlier appeal to Rome, says that he has appealed to the Apostolic See, and to the Apostolic See he will go.[310] Lanfranc retorts; “If you go to Rome without the King’s leave, we will tell him what he ought to do with your bishopric.” Bishop William answers in a long speech, renewing his protests of innocence and his offers of purgation, and setting forth the services which he claimed to have done for the King at Dover, Hastings, and London. The Bishop many times makes his prayer, and the King as often refuses. Then Lanfranc counsels him to throw himself wholly on the King’s mercy; if he will do so, he himself will plead for him at the King’s feet. But the Bishop still goes on about the authority of the canons and the honour of the Church; he will earnestly pray for the King’s mercy, but he will accept no uncanonical judgement. The King’s offers. The King then makes a new proposal; “Let the Bishop give me sureties that he will do nought to my hurt on this side the sea, and that neither my brother nor any of my brother’s men shall keep the ships which I shall provide to my damage or against the will of their crews.”[311] It certainly was demanding a good deal to expect Bishop William to go surety for either the will or the power of Duke Robert to do or to hinder anything. The Bishop pleads that the Counts pledged their faith that he should not be obliged to enter into any agreement except the one which had been made at Durham. The King and Ralph Paganel. And the Sheriff of Yorkshire, Ralph Paganel, the same who had been the 112 spoiler of the Bishop’s goods, bears witness that his claim was a just one.[312] By this time the wrath of the Red King was gradually kindling; he turns on the Sheriff with some sharpness; “Hold your peace; for no surety will I endure to lose my ships; but if the Bishop will give this surety which I ask, I will ask for no other.”[313] The Bishop falls back on his old plea; he will enter into no agreement save that into which he entered with the Counts. The King again swears by the face of Lucca that the Bishop shall not cross the sea that year, unless he gives the required surety for the ships.[314] The Bishop then protests that, rather than be arrested, he will give the surety and more than the surety which is demanded; but he calls all men to witness that he does this unwillingly and through fear of arrest.[315] He gives the surety, and another stage in the long debate ends.

Question of the safe-conduct. A new point, happily the last, was raised when the Bishop, having given the required surety, asked for ships and a safe-conduct. The King says that he shall have them as soon as the castle of Durham is in the King’s power; till then, he shall have no safe-conduct, but shall stay at Wilton.[316] He again meekly protests; he will endure the wrong against which he has no means of 113 striving.[317] Then a man of Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances steps in with a new count. Charges against the Bishop’s men. The men who held the Bishop of Durham’s castle had—​before the Bishop came to the King’s court; therefore, it might be inferred, with his knowledge—​taken two hundred beasts belonging to the Bishop of Coutances which were under the King’s safe-conduct. Bishop Geoffrey had surely seen more than two hundred beasts brought into Bristol as the spoil of loyal men in Somerset, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire; but he is careful to exact the redress of his own loss from his brother bishop and rebel. The men of the Bishop of Durham had refused to pay the price of the beasts; they refused even when Walter of Eyncourt—​we have met him in Lincolnshire[318]—​bade them do so in the King’s name; he William, the man of Bishop Geoffrey, demands that the price be paid to his lord.[319] The King puts it to the barons whether he can implead the Bishop on this charge also.[320] Interposition of Lanfranc on behalf of the Bishop. Lanfranc, for the first time helping his brother prelate, rules that this cannot be done. Bishop William cannot be impleaded any further, because he now holds nothing of the King—​the surrender of the castle of Durham is thus held to be already made—​and is entitled to the King’s safe-conduct.[321] The Bishop to leave England. The Assembly now breaks up for the day; the Bishop is to choose the haven from which he will sail, and to make known his choice on the morrow.

The next day the Court again comes together. The 114 Bishop of Durham asks Count Alan to find him a haven and ships at Southampton. Conditions of the Bishop’s sailing. The King steps in; “Know well, Bishop, that you shall never cross the channel till I have your castle”—​adding, with a remembrance of the doings of another prelate at Rochester—​“for the Bishop of Bayeux made me smart with that kind of thing.”[322] If the castle of Durham was in the King’s hands by the fixed day, the fourteenth day of November, the Bishop should have the ships and the safe-conduct without further delay. November 21,1088. The King then bids Count Alan and the Sheriff Gilbert[323] to give the Bishop at Southampton such ships as might be needful for his voyage seven days after the day fixed for the surrender of the castle. November 14. Meanwhile, on the appointed day, the castle of Durham was received into the King’s hands by Ivo Taillebois and Erneis of Burun—​names with which we have long been familiar.[324] They disseized the Bishop of his church and castle and all his land; but they gave to the Bishop’s men a writ under the King’s seal, promising the most perfect safety to the Bishop and his men through all England and in their voyage.[325] And, according to the most obvious meaning of the narrative, Heppo, the King’s balistarius—​a man of whom, like Ivo Taillebois, we have heard in Lincolnshire—​was put into their hands as surety for the observance of the safe-conduct.

It might have seemed that the Bishop’s troubles were now ended, so far as they could be ended by leaving the land which he professed to look on as a land of persecution. 115 But a crowd of hindrances were put in the way of his voyage. Action of Ivo Taillebois. Notwithstanding the safe-conduct given to the Bishop’s men, a number of wrongs were done to them by Ivo Taillebois, whose conduct may be thought to bear out his character as drawn in the legendary history of Crowland. The great grievance was that in defiance—​so men thought at Durham—​of Lanfranc’s judgement that Bishop William was not bound to plead in the matter of the beasts taken from the Bishop of Coutances, two of his knights were forced to plead on that charge.[326] November 21. Meanwhile the day came which had been appointed for the Bishop’s voyage. He had been waiting at Wilton, under the care of a certain Robert of Conteville, who had been assigned, at his own request, to keep him from all harm.[327] The Bishop’s voyage delayed. The castle had been duly given up; all seemed ready for his crossing. Bishop William asked the Sheriff Gilbert and his guardian Robert for ships, to cross in the company of Robert of Mowbray.[328] Under orders from the King,[329] November 26. they kept him for five days longer, when Robert of Conteville took him to Southampton. The wind was favourable, and the Bishop craved for leave to set sail at once. The King’s officers forbade him to sail that day; the next day, when the wind had become contrary, they, seemingly in mockery, gave him 116 leave to sail. Charge against the monk Geoffrey. While he waited for a favourable wind, a new charge was brought against him, founded on the alleged doings of one of his monks, Geoffrey by name, of whom we shall afterwards hear as being in his special confidence. By the sentence of forfeiture pronounced by the Court, all the Bishop’s goods had become the property of the Crown. It was therefore deemed an invasion of the King’s rights when, after the Bishop had gone to the King’s court, Geoffrey took a large number of beasts from the Bishop’s demesne. He had also taken away part of the garrison of the castle, who had killed a man of the King’s. New summons against the Bishop. On this charge Bishop William was summoned to appear in the King’s court at the Christmas Gemót to be held in London. One of the bearers of the summons was no less famous a man than Bishop Osmund of Salisbury, a man of a local reputation almost saintly.[330] His argument with Osmund. Bishop William again appeals to the old agreement; he protests his innocence of any share in the acts of Geoffrey, though he adds that he might lawfully have done what he would with his own up to the moment when he was formally disseized.[331] These words might seem to imply that the act of Geoffrey, though done after the Bishop had left Durham, was done before the sentence was finally pronounced. But he cannot go to the King’s court; he has nothing left; he has eaten his horses; that is seemingly their price.[332] He is 117 still repeatedly forbidden to cross, even alone.[333] In answer to an earnest message that he might be allowed to go to Rome, The Bishop again summoned by Walkelin. the King sent Walkelin Bishop of Winchester with two companions, one of them Hugh of Port, a well-known Domesday name, to summon him to send Geoffrey for trial to Durham and to appear himself in London at the Christmas Gemót to answer for the deeds of his men.[334] In defiance of all prayers and protests, the King’s officers kept the Bishop in ward night and day; in his sadness he sent a message to the Counts who had given him the safe-conduct, praying them by the faith of their baptism to have him released from his imprisonment and allowed to cross the sea.[335] Interposition of the Counts. They answered his appeal. At their urgent prayer, the King at last let him cross. He at last crosses to Normandy. He sailed to Normandy, where he was honourably received by Duke Robert, and—​so the Durham writer believed—​entrusted with the care of his whole duchy.[336] Perhaps it was owing to these new worldly cares that, though we often hear of him again, we do not hear of him as a suppliant at the court of Rome.

Importance of the story of William of Saint-Calais. The tale of Bishop William of Durham is long, perhaps in some of its stages it is wearisome; but it is too important a contribution to our story to be left out or cut short. It sets before us the earliest of those debates in the King’s court of which we shall come 118 across other memorable examples before the reign of Rufus is over. Illustrations of jurisprudence. We see the forms and the spirit of the jurisprudence of England in the days immediately following the Norman Conquest, a jurisprudence which, both in its forms and its spirit, has become strongly technical, but which still has not yet become the exclusive possession of a professional class. Bishops, earls, sheriffs, are still, as of old, learned in the law, and are fully able to carry on a legal discussion in their own persons. And we see that a legal discussion in those days could be carried out with a good deal of freedom of speech on all sides. Legal trickery of the Bishop. As to the matter of the debate, all that we know of Bishop William, both afterwards and at this time from other sources, can leave hardly any doubt that he was simply availing himself of every legal subtlety, of every pretended ecclesiastical privilege, in order to escape a real trial in which he knew that he would have no safe ground on the merits of the case. Reasons for proceeding against him. And, if it be asked why the Bishop of Durham should have been picked out for legal prosecution, while his accomplices were forgiven and were actually sitting as his judges, the answer is to be found in the circumstances of the case. As we read the tale in all other accounts, as we read of it in the formal charge brought by Hugh of Beaumont, we see that there was a special treachery in Bishop William’s rebellion which distinguished his case from that of all other rebels. Why he should have joined the revolt at all, how he could expect that any change could make him greater than he already was, is certainly a difficulty; but the fact seems certain, and, if it be true, it quite accounts for the special enmity with which he was now pursued. The idea of the Bishop which the story conveys to us is that of a subtle man, full of resources, well able to counterfeit innocence, and to employ the highest ecclesiastical claims as a 119 means to escape punishment for a civil crime. The first appeal to Rome made by William of Saint-Calais. It was from the mouth of William of Saint-Calais that, for the first time as far as we can see, men who were English by birth or settlement heard the doctrine that the King of the English had a superior on earth, that the decrees of the Witan of England could be rightly appealed from to a foreign power. The later career of the Bishop makes him a strange champion of any such teaching. The largest charity will not allow us to give him credit for the pure single-mindedness of Anselm, or even for the conscious self-devotion of Thomas. We feel throughout that he is simply using every verbal technicality in order to avoid any discussion of the real facts. A trial and conviction would hardly have brought with them any harsher punishment than the forfeiture and banishment which he actually underwent. But it made a fairer show in men’s eyes to undergo forfeiture and banishment in the character of a persecuted confessor than to undergo the same amount of loss in the character of a convicted traitor.

Behaviour of Lanfranc; The part played by Lanfranc is eminently characteristic. Practically he maintains the royal supremacy on every point; but he makes no formal declaration which could commit him to anti-papal theories. of the King. As for William Rufus, one is really inclined for a long while to admire his patience through a discussion which must have been both wearisome and provoking, rather than to feel any wonder that, towards the end of the day, he begins to break out into somewhat stronger language. But in the latter part of the story, like Henry the Second but unlike Henry the First, he stoops from his own thoroughly good position. He shows a purpose to take every advantage however mean, and to crush the Bishop in any way, fair or foul. So at least it seems in our story; but one would like to hear the other side, as one is unwilling 120 to fancy either Bishop Walkelin or Bishop Osmund directly lending himself to sheer palpable wrong. The lesser actors. But, after all, not the least attractive part of the story is the glimpse which it gives us of the lesser actors, some of them men of whom we know from other sources the mere names and nothing more. We feel brought nearer to the real life of the eleventh century every time that we are admitted to see a Domesday name becoming something more than a name, to see Ralph Paganel, Hugh of Port, and Heppo the Balistarius playing their parts in an actual story. The short sharp speeches put into the mouths of some of the smaller actors, as well as those which are put into the mouth of the King, both add to the liveliness of the story and increase our faith in its trustworthiness. Conduct of the laity, As in some other pictures of the kind, the laity, both the great men and the general body, stand out on the whole in favourable colours. not favourable to the Bishop. It is perfectly plain, from Bishop William’s own words,[337] that he had not, like Anselm and Thomas, the mass of the people on his side. It is equally plain that the majority of the assembly, though they certainly gave him a fair hearing, were neither inclined to his cause nor convinced by his arguments. And the conduct of the Counts Alan and Odo and their companion Roger of Poitou is throughout that of strictly honourable men, anxious to carry out to the letter every point to which they have pledged their faith. The Red King, having merely pledged his faith as a king, and not in that more fantastic character in which he always held his plighted word as sacred, is less scrupulous on this head.

The affair of Bishop William brings us almost to the last days of the year of the rebellion. But, much 121 earlier in the year, events of some importance had been happening in other parts of the island. No recorded movement in Scotland. We are almost tempted to take for granted that so great a stir in northern England as that which accompanied the banishment of the Bishop of Durham must have been accompanied or followed by some action on the part of King Malcolm of Scotland. None such however is spoken of. Movements in Wales. But the stirs on the Western border had been taken advantage of by the enemies of England on that side. We have seen that British allies played a part on the side of the rebels in the attack on Worcester. Further north, independent Britons deemed that the time was come for a renewal of the old border strife. When Earl Hugh of Chester and the Marquess Robert of Rhuddlan took opposite sides in a civil war, it was indeed an inviting moment for any of the neighbouring Welsh princes. The time seems to have been one of even more confusion than usual among the Britons. State of Wales. The year after the death of the Conqueror is marked in their annals as a special time of civil warfare, in which allies were brought by sea from Scotland and Ireland. Rhys restored by a fleet from Ireland. Rhys the son of Tewdwr, of whom we have already heard,[338] was driven from his kingdom by the sons of Bleddyn, and won it again by the help of a fleet from Ireland.[339] Men were struck by the vast rewards in money and captives with which he repaid his naval allies, who are spoken of as if some of them were still heathens.[340] These movements 122 are not recorded by any English or Norman writer, nor do the Welsh annals record the event with which Norman and English feeling was more deeply concerned. But there was clearly a connexion between the two. Gruffydd the son of Cynan appears in the British annals as an ally of the restored Rhys,[341] Gruffydd’s Irish allies. and we now find a King Gruffydd, not only carrying slaughter by land into the English territory, but appearing in the more unusual character of the head of a seafaring expedition. We may feel pretty sure that it was the presence of the allies from Ireland—​both native Irish, it would seem, and Scandinavian settlers—​which combined with the disturbed state of England to lead Gruffydd to a frightful inroad on the lands of the most cruel enemy of the Britons, the Marquess Robert. He attacks Rhuddlan. The Welsh King and his allies marched as far as the new stronghold of Rhuddlan; they burned much and slew many men, and carried off many prisoners, doubtless for the Irish slave-market.[342] It was clearly through this doubtless far more profitable raid on the English territory that Rhys and Gruffydd found the means of rewarding their Irish and Scandinavian allies.

Robert of Rhuddlan. This inroad took place while the civil war in England was going on,[343] a war in which it must be remembered that other British warriors had borne their part.[344] While 123 the lands of Rhuddlan were wasted, the Marquess Robert was busy far away at the siege of Rochester. His probable change of party. This would make us think that, like Earl Roger, he changed sides early,[345] and that he was now in the royal camp, helping to besiege Odo and his accomplices. He returns to North Wales. After the surrender of Rochester, the news of the grievous blow which had been dealt to himself and his lands brought Robert back to North Wales, wrathful and full of threats.[346] The enemy must by this time have withdrawn from the neighbourhood of Rhuddlan; for we now hear of the Marquess in the north-western corner of the land which he had brought under his rule. The peninsula of Dwyganwy. He was now in the peninsula which ends to the north in that vast headland which, like the other headland which ends the peninsula of Gower to the west, bears the name of the Orm’s Head.[347] The mountain itself, thick set with remains which were most likely ancient when Suetonius passed by to Mona, forms a strong contrast to the flat ground at its foot which stretches southward towards the tidal mouth of the Conwy. But that flat ground is broken by several isolated hills, once doubtless, like the Head itself, islands. Of these the two most conspicuous, two peaks of no great height but of marked steepness and ruggedness, rise close together, one almost immediately above the Conwy shore, the other landwards behind it. They are in fact two peaks of a single hill, with a dip between the two, as on the Capitoline hill of Rome. 124 Here was the old British stronghold of Dwyganwy, The castle of Dwyganwy. famous in early times as the royal seat of Maelgwyn, him who is apostrophized in the lament of Gildas by the name of the dragon—​the worm—​of the island.[348] That stronghold had now passed into the hands of the Marquess Robert, and had been by him strengthened with all the newly imported skill of Normandy. The castle of Dwyganwy plays a part in every Welsh war during the next two centuries, and we can hardly fancy that much of Robert’s work survives in the remains of buildings which are to be traced on both peaks and in the dip between them. But it is likely that at all times the habitable part of the castle lay between the two peaks, while the peaks themselves formed merely military defences. Robert at Dwyganwy. Here then Robert was keeping his head-quarters in the opening days of July. At noon on one of the summer days the Marquess was sleeping—​between the peaks, we may fancy, whether in any building or in the open air. He was roused from his slumber by stirring tidings. Approach of Gruffydd. July 3, 1088. King Gruffydd, at the head of three ships, had entered the mouth of the Conwy; he had brought his ships to anchor; his pirate crews had landed and were laying waste the country. The tide ebbed; the ships stood on the dry land; the followers of Gruffydd spread themselves far and wide over the flat country, and carried prisoners and cattle to their ships.[349] The Marquess rose; he climbed the height immediately 125 above him, a height which looks on the flat land, the open sea, the estuary now crowned on the other side by Conwy with its diadem of towers, over the inland hills, and on the Orm’s Head itself rising in the full view to the northward. He saw beneath him a sight which might have stirred a more sluggish soul. As King Henry had looked down on the slaughter of his troops at Varaville,[350] so Robert, from his fortified post of Dwyganwy, saw his men carried off in bonds and thrown into the ships along with the sheep.[351] Eagerness of Robert. He sent forth orders for a general gathering, and made ready for an attack on the plunderers at the head of such men as were with him at the moment. They were few; they were unarmed; but he called on them to make their way down the steep hillside and to fall on the plunderers on the shore before the returning tide enabled them to carry off their booty.[352] The appeal met with no hearty answer; the followers of the valiant Marquess pleaded their small numbers and the hard task 126 of making their way down the steep and rocky height.[353] But Robert was not to be kept back; he still saw what was doing through the whole of the peninsular lowlands. He could not bear to let the favourable moment pass by. Without his cuirass, attended only by a single knight, Osbern of Orgères, he went down to attack the enemy on the shores of the estuary.[354] Death of Robert. When the Britons saw him alone, with only a single companion and no defence but his shield, they gathered round him to overwhelm him with darts and arrows, none daring to attack him with the sword.[355] He still stood, wounded, with his shield bristling with missiles, but still defying his enemies. At last his wounds bore him down. The weight of the encumbered shield was too much for him; he sank on his knees[356] , and commended his soul to God and His Mother. Then the enemy rushed on him with one accord; they smote off his head in sight of his followers, and fixed it as a trophy on the mast of one of the ships.[357] Men saw all this from the hilltop with grief and rage; but they could give no help. 127 A crowd came together on the shore; but it was too late; the lord of Rhuddlan was already slain. By this time the invaders were able to put to sea, and the followers of Robert were also able to get their ships together and follow them. They followed in wrath and sorrow, as they saw the head of their chief on the mast.[358] Gruffydd must have felt himself the weaker. He ordered the head to be taken down and cast into the sea. On this the pursuers gave up the chase; His burial at Chester. they took up the body of the slain Marquess, and, amidst much grief of Normans and English,[359] buried him in Saint Werburh’s minster at Chester.[360]

We are well pleased to have preserved to us this living piece of personal anecdote, which reminds us for a moment of the deaths of Harold and of Hereward. Connexion of Robert with Saint Evroul. Its preservation we doubtless owe to the connexion of Robert of Rhuddlan with the house of Saint Evroul. Otherwise we might have known no more of the conqueror of North Wales than we can learn from the entries in Domesday which record his possessions.[361] But Robert, nephew of Hugh of Grantmesnil, had enriched his uncle’s foundation with estates in England, and in the city of Chester itself.[362] He was therefore 128 not allowed to sleep for ever in the foreign soil of Chester. He had a brother Arnold, a monk of Saint Evroul, zealous in all things for his house, who had begged endless gifts for it from his kinsfolk in England, Sicily, and elsewhere. His translation to Saint Evroul. Some years after Robert’s death, Arnold came to England, and, by the leave of Bishop Robert of Chester or Coventry—​Bishop of the Mercians in the phrase of the monk who was born in his diocese—​translated the body of Robert to the minster of Saint Evroul. There a skilful painter, Reginald surnamed Bartholomew—​most likely a monk who had taken the apostolic name on entering religion—​was employed to adorn the tomb of Robert and the arch which sheltered it with all the devices of his art.[363] Orderic writes his epitaph. And the English monk Vital—​we know him better by his English and worldly name—​was set to compose the epitaph of one who had in some sort, like himself, passed from Mercia to Saint Evroul.[364] In his history Orderic deemed it his duty to brand Robert’s dealings with the Welsh as breaches of the natural law which binds man to man.[365] Its character. And it may be that something of the same feeling peeps out in the words of the epitaph itself, which prays with unusual fervour for the forgiveness of Robert’s sins.[366] Yet in the verses which record his acts, his campaigns against the Briton appear as worthy exploits alongside of his zeal for holy things and his special love for the house of Ouche. It is not 129 easy to track out all these exploits, even in the narrative of Orderic himself, much less in the annals of Robert’s British enemies. But all the mightiest names of the Cymry are set forth in order, as having felt the might of the daring Marquess. He had built Rhuddlan and had guarded it against the fierce people of the land. He had ofttimes crossed beyond Conwy and Snowdon in arms. He had put King Bleddyn to flight and had won great spoil from him. He had carried off King Howel as a prisoner in bonds. He had taken King Gruffydd and had overthrown Trahaern. That Howel, his former captive, should rejoice at his fall is in no way wonderful; but the epitaph speaks further of the treachery of a certain Owen, of which there is no mention in the prose narrative.[367] In any case Robert of Rhuddlan stands out as one of the mightiest enemies of the Northern Cymry, and the tale of his end is one of the most picturesque in this reign of picturesque incidents.

End of the Norman Conquest. The rebellion was now over, and the new King was firm upon his throne. And with the rebellion, the last scene, as we have already said, of the Norman Conquest 130 was over also. Englishmen and Normans had, for the last time under those names, met in open fight on English soil. Whether of the two had won the victory? The Conquest confirmed and undone.Such a question might admit of different answers when the Norman King vanquished the Norman nobility at the head of the English people. In one sense the Conquest was confirmed; in another sense it was undone. How far undone. Men must have felt that the Conquest was undone, that the wergeld of those who fell two-and-twenty years back was indeed paid, when the second Norman host that strove to land on the beach of Pevensey, instead of marching on to Hastings, to Senlac, to London, and to York, was beaten back from the English coast by the arms of Englishmen. They must have felt that it was undone, when the castles on which Englishmen looked as the darkest badges of bondage were stormed by an English host, gathered together at the same bidding which had gathered men together to fight at Sherstone and at Stamfordbridge. He must have been Nithing indeed who did not feel that the wrongs of many days were paid for, when the arch-oppressor, the most loathed of all his race, came forth with downcast looks to meet the jeers and curses of the nation on which he had trampled. Days like the day of Tunbridge, the day of Pevensey, and the day of Rochester, are among the days which make the heart of a nation swell higher for their memory. They were days on which the Englishman overcame the Norman, days which ruled that he who would reign over England must reign with the good will of the English people. Tendencies to union. The fusion of Normans and English was as yet far from being brought to perfection; indeed nothing could show more clearly than those days that the gap between the two nations still yawned in all its fulness. But nothing did more than the work of those days at once to fill up the gap and to rule in what 131 way it should be filled up. Those days showed that the land was still an English land, that the choice of its ruler rested in the last resort with the true folk of the land. Those days ruled that Normans and English should become one people; but they further ruled, if there could be any doubt about the matter, that they were to become one people by the Normans becoming Englishmen, not by the English becoming Normans. It is significant that, in recording the next general rebellion, the Chronicler no longer marks the traitors as “the richest Frenchmen that were on this land;” they are simply “the head men here on land who took rede together against the King.”[368]

How far confirmed. But, if in this way the Conquest was undone, if it was ruled that England was still to be England, in another way the Conquest was confirmed. The English people showed that the English crown was still theirs to bestow; but at the same time they showed that they had no longer a thought of bestowing it out of the house of their Conqueror. The Norman dynasty accepted. When the English people came together at the bidding of the Conqueror’s son, when they willingly plighted their faith to him and called on him, as King of the English, to trust himself to English loyalty, they formally accepted the Conquest, so far as it took the form of a change of dynasty. Men pressed to fight for King William against the pretender Robert; not a voice was raised for Eadgar or Wulf or Olaf of Denmark. The stock of the Bastard of Falaise was received as the cynecyn of England, instead of the stock of Cerdic and Woden; for there must have 132 been few indeed who remembered that William the Red, unlike his father, unlike Harold, unlike Cnut, did come of the stock of Cerdic and Woden by the spindle-side.[369] And, in admitting the change of dynasty, all was admitted which the change of dynasty immediately implied. Men who accepted the son could not ask for the wiping out of the acts of the father. They could not ask for a new confiscation and a new Domesday the other way. In accepting the son of the Conqueror, they also accepted the settlement of the Conqueror. Acceptance of the Norman nobility in an English character. His earls, his bishops, his knights, his grantees of land from Wight to Cheviot, were accepted as lawful owners of English lands and offices. But the very acceptance implied that they could hold English lands and offices only in the character of Englishmen, and that that character they must now put on.

In this way the reign of William Rufus marks a stage in the developement or recovery of English nationality and freedom. And yet at the time the days of Rufus must have seemed the darkest of all days. Rufus’ breach of his promises. No reign ever began with brighter promises than the real reign of William the Red; for we can hardly count his reign as really beginning till the rebellion was put down. No reign ever became blacker. No king was ever more distinctly placed on his throne by the good will of his people. No other king was ever hated as William Rufus lived to be hated. No other king more utterly and shamefully broke the promises of good government by which he had gained his crown. Englishmen not oppressed as such; And yet we may doubt whether William Rufus can be fairly set down as an oppressor of Englishmen, in the sense which those words would bear in the mouths of a certain school of writers. His reign is rather a reign of general wrong-doing, a reign of oppression which regarded no distinctions of 133 race, rank, or order, a time when the mercenary soldier, of whatever race, did what he thought good, and when all other men had to put up with what he thought good. but the general oppression touches them most. In such a state of things the burthen of oppression would undoubtedly fall by far the most heavily upon the native English; they would be the class most open to suffering and least able to obtain redress. The broken promises of the King had been specially made to them, and they would feel specially aggrieved and disheartened at his breach of them. Still the good government which Rufus promised, but which he did not give, was a good government which would have profited all the King’s men, French and English, and the lack of it pressed, in its measure, on all the King’s men, French and English. There is at least nothing to show that, during the reign of Rufus, Englishmen, as Englishmen, were formally and purposely picked out as victims. We must further remember that no legal barrier parted the two races, and that the legal innovations of the reign of Rufus, as mainly affecting the King’s military tenants, bore most hardly on a class which was more largely Norman than English. Rufus and the English. On the other hand, it is certain that native Englishmen did sometimes, if rarely, rise to high places, both ecclesiastical and temporal, in the days of Rufus. Of the many stories current about this king, not above one or two throw any light on his relations to the native English class of his subjects. The one saying of his that bears on the subject savours of good-humoured banter rather than of dislike or even contempt.[370] On the whole, dark as is the picture given us of the reign of Rufus, we cannot look on it as having 134 at all turned back or checked the course of national advance. The mercenaries. When mercenary soldiers have the upper hand, they are sure to be chosen rather from strangers of any race than from natives of the land of any race. There is indeed no reason to think that either a native Englishman or a man of Norman descent born in England would, if he were strong, brave, and faithful, be shut out from the Red King’s military family. The eye of Rufus must have been keen enough to mark many an act of good service done on the shore of Pevensey or beneath the stronghold of Rochester. But all experience shows that the tendency of such military families is to recruit themselves anywhere rather than among the sons of the soil. And nothing draws the sons of the soil more closely together than the presence of strangers on the soil. In their presence they learn to forget any mutual grievances against one another. Their favour helps the fusion of races. In after times Normans and English drew together against Brabançons and Poitevins. We may feel sure that they did so from the beginning, and that the reign of Rufus really had its share in making ready the way for the fusion of the two races, by making both races feel themselves fellow-sufferers in a time of common wrong-doing.

The rebellion and its suppression, the affairs of the Bishop of Durham, and the striking episode by the Orm’s Head, fill up the first stirring year of the Red King. But the year of the rebellion is also marked by one or two ecclesiastical events, which throw some light on the state of things in the early days of Rufus, while he still had Lanfranc to his guide. Sale of ecclesiastical offices. The great ecclesiastical crimes of the Red King in his after days were the bestowal of bishoprics and abbeys for money, and the practice of keeping them vacant for his own profit. Of these two abuses, the former seems to have been the earlier 135 in date. The keeping prelacies vacant was one of the devices of Randolf Flambard, Prolonging of vacancies. and it could hardly have been brought into play during the very first year of Rufus. The influence of Lanfranc too would be powerful to hinder so public an act as the keeping vacant of a bishopric or abbey; it would be less powerful to hinder a private transaction on the King’s part which might be done without the Primate’s knowledge. Add to this, that, while the filling a church or keeping it vacant was a matter of fact about which there could be no doubt, the question whether the King had or had not received a bribe was a matter of surmise and suspicion, even when the surmise and suspicion happened to be just. It is then not wonderful that we find Rufus charged with corrupt dealings of this last kind at a very early stage of his reign. Case of Thurstan of Glastonbury. We have seen that Thurstan, the fierce Abbot of Glastonbury, was, by one of the first acts of Rufus, restored to the office which he had so unworthily filled, and from which the Conqueror had so worthily put him aside. And we have seen that it was at least the general belief that his restoration was brought about by a lavish gift to the King’s hoard.[371] But three prelacies, two bishoprics and a great abbey, which either were vacant at the moment of the Conqueror’s death or which fell vacant very soon after, were filled without any unreasonable delay. Geoffrey Bishop of Chichester; dies September 25, 1088. Stigand, Bishop of Chichester, died about the time of the Conqeror’s death, whether before or after, and his see was filled by his successor before the end of the year.[372] Geoffrey’s own tenure was short; he died in the year of the rebellion, and, as his see did 136 then remain vacant three years, we may set that down as the beginning of the evil practice.[373] Death of Scotland of Saint Augustine’s and Ælfsige of Bath. About the same time died Scotland Abbot of Saint Augustine’s, and the English Ælfsige, who still kept the abbey of Bath. Not long after died Ælfsige’s diocesan, the Lotharingian Gisa, who had striven so hard to bring in the Lotharingian discipline among his canons of Wells.[374] Death of Bishop Gisa. 1088. The bishopric of the Sumorsætan was thus among the first sees which fell to the disposal of William the Red, and his disposal of it led to one of the most marked changes in its history. The bishopric of Somerset granted to John of Tours. The bishopric was given to John, called de Villula, a physician of Tours, one of the men of eminence whom the discerning patronage of William the Great had brought from lands alike beyond his island realm and beyond his continental duchy. John was a trusty counsellor of the Red King, employed by him in many affairs, and withal a zealous encourager of learning.[375] But he had little regard to the traditions and feelings of Englishmen, least of all to those of the canons of Wells. He removes the see to Bath. Like Hermann, Remigius, and other bishops of his time, he carried out the policy of transferring episcopal sees to the chief towns of their dioceses. But the way in which he carried out his scheme, if not 137 exactly like the violent inroad of Robert of Limesey on the church of Coventry,[376] was at least like the first designs of Hermann on the church of Malmesbury, which had been thwarted by the interposition of Earl Harold.[377] The change was made in a perfectly orderly manner, but by the secular power only. The abbey of Bath was now vacant by the death of its abbot Ælfsige. Bishop John procured that the vacant post should be granted to himself and his successors for the increase of the bishopric of Somerset. This was done by a royal grant made at Winchester soon after the suppression of the rebellion, and confirmed somewhat later in a meeting of the Witan at Dover.[378] John then transferred his bishopsettle from its older seat at Wells to the church which had now become his. Grant of the temporal lordship. He next procured a grant of the temporal lordship of the “old borough,” which was perhaps of less value after its late burning by Robert of Mowbray.[379] Thus, in the language of the time, Andrew had to yield to Simon, the younger brother to the elder.[380] That is, the church of Saint Peter at Bath, with its Benedictine monks, displaced the church of Saint Andrew at Wells, with its secular canons freshly instructed in the rule of Chrodegang, as the head church of the bishopric of Somerset. The line of the independent abbots of Bath came to an end; their office was merged in the bishopric, by the new style of Bishop of Bath. Thus the old Roman city in a corner of the land of the Sumorsætan, which has never claimed the temporal headship of that land, became for a while the seat of its chief pastor.

138 That so great an ecclesiastical change should be The change made wholly by the civil authority. wrought by the authority of the King and his Witan—​perhaps in the first instance by the King’s authority only—​shows clearly how strong an ecclesiastical supremacy the new king had inherited from his father and his father’s English predecessors. By the authority of the Great Council of the realm, but without any licence from Pope or synod, an ancient ecclesiastical office was abolished, the constitution of one church was altered, and another was degraded from its rank as an episcopal see. The change was made, so says the Red King’s charter, for the good of the Red King’s soul, and for the profit of his kingdom and people. It is more certain that it was eminently distasteful to both the ecclesiastical bodies which were immediately concerned. Power of bishops. The treatment which they met with illustrates the absolute power which the bishops of the eleventh century exercised over their monks and canons, but which so largely passed away from them in the course of the twelfth. Dislike to the change on the part of the canons of Wells To the canons of Wells Bishop John was as stern a master or conqueror as Bishop Robert was to the monks of Coventry. They were deprived of their revenues, deprived of the common buildings which had been built for them by Gisa, and left to live how they might in the little town which had sprung up at the bishop’s gate.[381] and the monks of Bath. To the English monks of Offa’s house at Bath the new bishop was hardly gentler; he deemed them dolts and barbarians, and cut short their revenues and allowances. It was not till he was surrounded by a more enlightened company of monks of his own choosing that he began to restore something for the relief of their poor estate.[382] Buildings of John of Tours. 1088–1122. But in his architectural works he was magnificent. His long reign of thirty-four years 139 allowed him, not only to begin, but seemingly to finish, the great church of Saint Peter of Bath, of which a few traces only remain, and the nave only of which is represented by the present building.[383] The church of Bath called abbey. And though, since the days of Ælfsige, there has never been an Abbot of Bath distinct from the Bishop, yet abbey, and not minster or cathedral, is the name by which the church of Bath is always known to this day.[384]

Disturbances on the appointment of Guy at Saint Augustine’s. The disturbances at Saint Augustine’s which followed the death of Abbot Scotland, and the chief features of which have been described elsewhere, must have taken place earlier in the year. For the appointment or intrusion of Guy took place while Odo was still acting as Earl of Kent.[385] But the great outbreak, in which the citizens of Canterbury took part with the monks against the Abbot, did not happen till after the death of Lanfranc. Then monks and citizens alike made an armed attack on Guy, and hard fighting, accompanied by many wounds and some deaths, was waged between them and the Abbot’s military following.[386] Flight of Guy. The Abbot himself escaped only by fleeing to the rival house of Christ Church. Then came two Bishops, Walkelin of Winchester 140 and Gundulf of Rochester, accompanied by some lay nobles, with the King’s orders to punish the offenders. Punishment of the rebellious monks. The monks were scourged; but, by the intercession of the Prior and monks of Christ Church, the discipline was inflicted privately with no lay eyes to behold.[387] They were then scattered through different monasteries, and twenty-four monks of Christ Church, with their sub-prior Anthony as Prior, were sent to colonize the empty cloister of Saint Augustine’s.[388] Punishment of the citizens. The doom of the citizens was harder; those who were found guilty of a share in the attack on the Abbot lost their eyes.[389] The justice of the Red King, stern as it was, thus drew the distinction for which Thomas of London strove in after days. The lives and limbs of monastic offenders were sacred.

§ 3. The Character of William Rufus.

Death of Lanfranc. May 24, 1089. The one great event recorded in the year after the rebellion was the death of Archbishop Lanfranc, an 141 event at once important in itself, and still more important in the effect which it had on the character of William Rufus, and in its consequent effect on the general Its effects.march of events. The removal of a man who had played so great a part in all affairs since the earliest days of the Conquest, who had been for so many years, both before and after the Conquest, the right hand man of the Conqueror, was in itself no small change. For good or for evil, the Lombard Primate had left his mark for ever on the Church and realm of England. Position of Lanfranc in England and Normandy. One of the abetters of the Conquest, the chief instrument of the Conqueror, he had found the way to the good will of the conquered people, with whom and with whose land either his feelings or his policy led him freely to identify himself.[390] It must never be forgotten that, if Lanfranc was a stranger in England, he was no less a stranger in Normandy. As such, he was doubtless better able to act as a kind of mediator between the Norman King and the English people; he could do somewhat, if not to lighten the yoke, at least to make it less galling. In the last events of his life we have seen him act as one of the leaders in a cause which was at once that of the English people and of the Norman King. We have seen too some specimens of his worldly wisdom, of his skill in fence and debate. An ecclesiastical statesman rather than either a saint or strictly a churchman, it seems rather a narrow view of him when the national Chronicler sends him out of the world with the hope that he was gone to the heavenly kingdom, but with the special character of the venerable father and patron of monks.[391] His primacy of 142 nearly nineteen years ended in the May of the year following the rebellion.[392] His burial at Christ Church. He was buried in the metropolitan church of his own rebuilding, and, when his shorter choir gave way to the grander conceptions of the days of his successor, the sweet savour that came from his tomb made all men sure that the pious hope of the Chronicler had been fulfilled.[393]

Lanfranc was borne to his grave amid general sorrow.[394] But the sorrow might have been yet deeper, if men had known the effect which his death would have on the character of the King and his reign. Change for the worse in the King’s character. Up to this time the worst features of the character of William Rufus had not shown themselves in their fulness. As long as his father lived, as long as Lanfranc lived, he had in some measure kept them in check. We need not suppose any sudden or violent change. It is the manifest exaggeration of a writer who had his own reasons for drawing as favourable a picture as he could of the Red King, when we are told that, as long as Lanfranc lived, he showed himself, under that wholesome influence, the perfect model of a ruler.[395] There 143 can be no doubt that, while Lanfranc yet lived, William Rufus began to cast aside his fetters, and to look on his monitor with some degree of ill will. Lanfranc’s rebukes of William. The Primate had already had to rebuke him for breach of the solemn promises of his coronation, and it was then that he received the characteristic and memorable answer that no man could keep all his promises. But there is no reason to doubt that the death of Lanfranc set Rufus free from the last traces of moral restraint.[396] His dutiful submission to his father had been the best feature in his character; and it is clear that some measure of the same feeling extended itself to the guardian to whose care his father, both in life and in death, had entrusted him. But now he was no longer under tutors and governors; there was no longer any man to whom he could in any sense look up. He was left to his own devices, or to the counsels of men whose counsels were not likely to improve him. It was not a wholesome exchange when the authority of Lanfranc and William the Great was exchanged for the cunning service of Randolf Flambard and the military companionship of Robert of Bellême.

Picture of William Rufus. As soon then as Lanfranc was dead, William Rufus burst all bounds, and the man stood forth as he was, or as his unhappy circumstances had made him. We may now look at him, physically and morally, as he is drawn in very elaborate pictures by contemporary hands. William, the third son of the Conqueror, was born before his father came into England; but I do not know that there is any evidence to fix the exact year of his birth. 144 Birth of William Rufus, c. 1060. He is spoken of as young[397] at the time of his accession, and from the date of the marriage of the Conqueror and Matilda, it would seem likely that their third son would then be about twenty-seven years of age. He would therefore be hardly thirty at the time of the death of Lanfranc. His outward appearance. The description of his personal appearance is not specially inviting. In his bodily form he seems, like his brother Robert,[398] a kind of caricature of his father, as Rufus, though certainly not Robert, was also in some of his moral and mental qualities. He was a man of no great stature, of a thick square frame, with a projecting stomach. His bodily strength was great; his eye was restless; his speech was stammering, especially when he was stirred to anger. He lacked the power of speech which had belonged to his father and had even descended to his elder brother; his pent-up wrath or merriment, or whatever the momentary passion might be, broke out in short sharp sentences, often showing some readiness of wit, but no continued flow of speech. His surname of Rufus. He had the yellow hair of his race, and the ruddiness of his countenance gave him the surname which has stuck to him so closely. The second William is yet more emphatically the Red King than his father is either the Bastard or the Conqueror. Unlike most other names of the kind, his surname is not only used by contemporary writers, but it is used by them almost as a proper name.[399] Up to the time of his accession, he had played no part in public affairs; in truth he had no opportunity of 145 playing any. The policy of the Conqueror had kept his sons dependent on himself, without governments or estates.[400] Rufus in youth. We have a picture of Rufus in his youthful days, as the young soldier foremost in every strife, who deemed himself disgraced, if any other took to his arms before himself, if he was not the first to challenge an enemy or to overthrow any enemy that challenged his side.[401] His filial duty. Above all things, he had shown himself a dutiful son, cleaving steadfastly to his father, both in peace and war. His filial zeal had been increased after the rebellion of his brother, when the hope of the succession had begun to be opened to himself.[402] By his father’s side, in defence of his father, he had himself received a wound at Gerberoi.[403] Such was his character beyond the sea; 146 but the one fact known of him in England before his father’s death is that he had, like most men of his time who had the chance, possessed himself in some illegal way of a small amount of ecclesiastical land.[404] It is quite possible that both his father and Lanfranc may have been deceived as to his real character. His natural gifts. In the stormy times which followed his accession, he had shown the qualities of an able captain and something more. He had shown great readiness of spirit, great power of adapting himself to circumstances, great skill in keeping friends and in winning over enemies. No man could doubt that the new King of the English had in him the power, if he chose to use it, of becoming a great and a good ruler. His conduct during the rebellion. And assuredly he could not be charged with anything like either cruelty or breach of faith at any stage of the warfare by which his crown was made fast to him. If he anywhere showed the cloven foot, it was in the matter of the Bishop of Durham. Case of the Bishop of Durham. Even there we can have no doubt that he spared a traitor; but he may have been hasty in the earliest stage of the quarrel; he certainly, in its latter stages, showed signs of that small personal spite, that disposition to take mean personal advantages of an enemy, which was so common in the kings of those days. Still, whatever Lanfranc may have found to rebuke, whatever may have been the beginnings of evil while the Primate yet lived, no public act of the new king is as yet recorded which would lead us to pass any severe sentence upon him, if he is judged according to the measure of his own times.

It is indeed remarkable that the pictures of evil-doing which mark the reign of Rufus from the Chronicle onwards are, except when they take the form of personal 147 anecdote, mainly of a general kind. General charges against Rufus. Those pictures, those anecdotes, leave no room to doubt that the reign of Rufus was a reign of fearful oppression; but his oppression seems to have consisted more in the unrestrained Little personal cruelty; licence which he allowed to his followers than in any special deeds of personal cruelty done by his own hands or by his immediate orders. comparison with his father and brother. Rufus certainly did not share his father’s life-long shrinking from taking human life anywhere but in battle; but his brother Henry, the model ruler of his time, the king who made peace for man and deer, is really chargeable with uglier deeds in his own person than any that can be distinctly proved against the Red King. We are driven back to our old distinction. The excesses of the followers of Rufus, the reign of unright and unlaw which they brought with them, did or threatened harm to every man in his dominions; the occasional cruelties of Henry hurt only a few people, while the general strictness of his rule profited every one. His profligacy and irreligion. What makes William Rufus stand out personally in so specially hateful a light is not so much deeds of personal cruelty, as indulgence in the foulest forms of vice, combined with a form of irreligion which startled not only saints but ordinary sinners. Redeeming features in his character. And the point is that, hateful as these features in his character were, they did not hinder the presence of other features which were not hateful in the view of his own age, of some indeed which are not hateful in the view of any age.

His marked personality. The marked personality of William Rufus, the way in which that personality stamped itself on the memory of his age, is shown by the elaborate pictures which we have of his character, and by the crowd of personal anecdotes by which those pictures are illustrated. Allowing for the sure tendency of such a character to get worse, we may take our survey of the Red King as he seemed in men’s eyes when the restraints of his earlier life were 148 taken away. As long as his father lived, he had little power to do evil; as long as Lanfranc lived, he was kept within some kind of bounds by respect for the man to whom he owed so much. When Lanfranc was gone, he either was corrupted by prosperity, or else, like Tiberius,[405] his natural character was now for the first time able to show itself in the absence of restraint. Comparison with his father. His character then stood out boldly, and men might compare him with his father. William the Red may pass for William the Great with all his nobler qualities, intellectual and moral, left out.[406] He could be, when he chose, either a great captain or a great ruler; but it was only by fits and starts that he chose to be either. His alleged firmness of purpose. His memory was strong; he at least never forgot an injury; he had also a kind of firmness of purpose; that is, he was earnest in whatever he undertook for good or for evil, and could not easily be turned from his will.[407] His caprice. But he lacked that true steadiness of purpose, that power of waiting for the right time, that unfailing adaptation of means to ends, which lends somewhat of moral dignity even to 149 the worst deeds of his father. The elder William, we may be sure, loved power and loved success; he loved them as the objects and the rewards of a well-studied and abiding policy. The younger William rather loved the excitement of winning them, and the ostentatious display of them when they were won. Hard as it was for others to turn him from his purpose, no man was more easily turned from it by his own caprice. No man began so many things and finished so few of them. His military undertakings are always ably planned and set on foot with great vigour. His unfinished campaigns. But his campaigns come to an end without any visible cause. After elaborate preparations and energetic beginnings, the Red King turns away to something else, often without either any marked success to satisfy him or any marked defeat to discourage him. If he could not carry his point at the first rush, he seems to have lacked steadiness to go on. We have seen what he could do when fighting for his crown at the head of a loyal nation. He does not show in so favourable a light, even as a captain, much less as a man, when he was fighting to gratify a restless ambition at the head of hirelings gathered from every land.

His “magnanimity.” The two qualities for which he is chiefly praised by the writer who strives to make the best of him are his magnanimity and his liberality. The former word must not be taken in its modern English use. It is reckoned as a virtue; it therefore does not exactly answer to the older English use of the word “high-minded;” but it perhaps comes nearer to it than to anything that would be spoken of as magnanimity now. It was at all events a virtue which easily degenerated into a vice; the magnanimity of William Rufus changed, it is allowed, by degrees into needless harshness.[408] The leading feature of the Red King’s character was a 150 boundless pride and self-confidence, tempered by occasional fits of that kind of generosity which is really the offspring of pride. His boundless pride. We see little in him either of real justice or of real mercy; but he held himself too high to hurt those whom he deemed it beneath him to hurt. His overweening notion of his own greatness, personal and official, his belief in the dignity of kings and specially in the dignity of King William of England, led him, perhaps not to a belief in his star like Buonaparte, certainly not to a belief in any favouring power, like Sulla,[409] but to a kind of conviction that neither human strength nor the powers of nature could or ought to withstand his will. This high opinion of himself he asserted after his own fashion. The stern and dignified aspect of his father degenerated in him into the mere affectation of a lofty bearing, a fierce and threatening look.[410] His private demeanour. This was for the outside world; in the lighter moments of more familiar intercourse, the grim pleasantry into which the stately courtesy of his father sometimes relaxed degenerated in him into a habit of reckless jesting, which took the specially shameless form of mocking excuses for his own evil deeds.[411] Indeed his boasted loftiness of spirit sometimes laid him open to be mocked and cheated by those around him. Trick of his chamberlain. One of the endless stories about him, stories which, true or false, mark the character of the man, told how, when his chamberlain brought him a pair of new boots, he asked the price. Hearing that they cost three shillings only—​a good price, one would have thought, 151 in the coinage of those times—​he bade his officer take them away as unworthy of a king and bring him a pair worth a mark of silver. The cunning chamberlain brought a worse pair, which he professed to have bought at the higher price, and which Rufus accordingly pronounced to be worthy of a King’s majesty.[412] Such a tale could not have been believed or invented except of a man in whose nature true dignity, true greatness of soul, found no place, but who was puffed up with a feeling of his own importance, which, if it could sometimes be shaped into the likeness of something nobler, could also sometimes sink into vanity of the silliest and most childish kind.

His “liberality.” But the quality for which the Red King was most famous in his own day, a quality which was, we are told, blazed abroad through all lands, East and West, was what his own age called his boundless liberality. The wealth of England was a standing subject of wonder in other lands, and in the days of Rufus men wondered no less at the lavish way in which it was scattered abroad by the open hand of her King.[413] But the liberality of Rufus had no claim to that name in its higher sense.[414] It was not that kind of liberality which spends ungrudgingly 152 for good purposes out of stores which have been honestly come by; it was a liberality which gave for purposes of wrong out of stores which were brought together by wrong. His wastefulness. It was a liberality which consisted in the most reckless personal waste in matters of daily life, and which in public affairs took the form of lavish bribes paid to seduce the subjects of other princes from their allegiance, of lavish payments to troops of mercenary soldiers, hired for the oppression of his own dominions and the disquieting of the dominions of others. It was said of him that the merchant could draw from him any price for his wares, and that the soldier could draw from him any pay for his services.[415] The sources which supplied William with his wealth were of a piece with the objects to which his wealth was applied; under him the two ideas of liberality and oppression can never be separated. What was called liberality by the foreign mercenary was called extortion by the plundered Englishman. His reward to the loyal troops after the rebellion. The hoard at Winchester, full as the Conqueror had left it, could not stay full for ever; it is implied that it was greatly drawn upon by gifts to those who saved William’s crown and kingdom at Pevensey and Rochester.[416] This was of a truth the best spent money of the Red King’s reign; for it rewarded true and honest service, and service done by the hands of Englishmen. But to fill the hoard again, to keep it filled amid the constant drain, to keep up with the lavishness of one to whom prodigality had become part of his nature,[417] needed 153 every kind of unrighteous extortion. His extortions. The land was bowed down by what, in the living speech of our forefathers, was called ungeld; money, that is, wrung from the people by unrede, unright, and unlaw.[418] His generally strict government. Like his father, Rufus was, as a rule, strict in preserving the peace of the land; his hand was heavy on the murderer and the robber. The law of his father which forbade the punishment of death[419] was either formally repealed or allowed to fall into disuse. The robber was now sent to the gallows; but, when he had got thither, he might still save his neck by a timely payment to the King’s coffers.[420] And the sternness of the law which smote offenders who had no such prevailing plea was relaxed also in favour of all who were in the immediate service of the King.[421] His lavishness to his mercenaries. The chief objects of William’s boasted liberality were his mercenary soldiers, picked men from all lands. A strong hand and a ready wit, by whomsoever shown and howsoever proved, were a passport to the Red King’s service and to his personal favour.[422] And those who thus won his personal favour were more likely to be altogether strangers than natives of the land, whether of the conquering or of the conquered race. Chiefly foreigners. We may suspect that the settled inhabitants of England, whether English or Norman, knew the King’s mercenaries mainly as a body of aliens who had licence to do any kind of wrong among them without fear of punishment. The native Englishman and his Norman neighbour had alike to complain of the chartered 154 brigands who went through the land, wasting the substance of those who tilled it, and snatching the food out of the very mouths of the wretched.[423] Their wrongdoings. A more detailed picture sets before us how, when the King drew near to any place, men fled from their houses into the woods, or anywhere else where they could hide themselves. For the King’s followers, when they were quartered in any house, carried off, sold, or burned, whatever was in it. They took the householder’s store of drink to wash the feet of their horses, and everywhere offered the cruellest of insults to men’s wives and daughters.[424] And for all this no redress was to be had; the law of the land and the discipline of the camp had alike become a dead letter in the case of offenders of this class. The oppressions of the King’s immediate company were often complained of in better times and under better kings; but they seem to have reached a greater height under William Rufus than at any time before or after. Statute of Henry against them. 1108. We hear of no such doings under the settled rule of the Conqueror; under Henry they were checked by a statute of fearful severity.[425] As usual, the picture of the time cannot be so well drawn in any words as those in which the native Chronicler draws it in our own tongue. King William “was very strong and stern over his land and his men and his neighbours, and very much to be feared, and, through evil men’s rede that to him ever welcome were, and through his own greediness, he harassed his land with his army and with ungeld. For in his days 155 ilk right fell away, and ilk unright for God and for world uprose.”[426]

Thus were the promises with which William Rufus had bought the help of the English people in his day of danger utterly trampled under foot. He had promised them good laws and freedom from unrighteous taxes; he had promised them that they should have again, as in the days of Cnut,[427] the right of every man to slay the beasts of the field for his lawful needs. Instead of all this, the reign of the younger William became, above all other reigns, a reign of unlaw and of ungeld. Stricter forest laws. The savage pleasures of the father, for the sake of which he had laid waste the homes and fields of Hampshire, were sought after by the son with a yet keener zest, and were fenced in by a yet sterner code. In the days of William the Red the man who slew a hart had, what he had not in the days of William the Great, to pay for his crime with his life.[428] The working of this stern law is shown in one of the many stories of William Rufus, a story of which we should like to hear the end a little more clearly.[429] Story of the fifty Englishmen. Fifty men were charged with having taken, killed, and eaten the King’s deer. We are so generally left to guess at the nationality of the lesser actors in our story that our attention is specially called to the marked way in which we are told that 156 they were men of Old-English birth, once of high rank in the land, and who had contrived still to keep some remnants of their ancient wealth.[430] They belonged doubtless to the class of King’s thegns; if we were told in what shire the tale was laid, Domesday might help us to their names. Why mentioned as Englishmen. This is one of the very few passages which might suggest the notion that Englishmen, as Englishmen, were specially picked out for oppression. And it may well be true that the forest laws pressed with special harshness on native Englishmen; no man would have so great temptation to offend against them as a dispossessed Englishman. What is not shown is that a man of Norman birth who offended in the same way would have fared any better. The mention of the accused men as Englishmen comes from the teller of the story only; and he most likely points out the fact in order to explain what next follows. On their denying the charge, they were sent to the ordeal of hot iron. Granting that killing a deer was a crime at all, this was simply the ancient English way of dealing with the alleged criminal. We are therefore a little surprised when our informant seems to speak of the appeal to the ordeal as a piece of special cruelty.[431] Their acquittal by ordeal. The fiery test was gone through; but God, we are told, took care to save the innocent, and on the third day, when their hands were 157 formally examined, they were found to be unhurt. The King in his wrath uttered words of blasphemy. The King’s blasphemous comment. Men said that God was a just judge; he would believe it no longer. God was no judge of these matters; he would for the future take them into his own hands.[432] To understand the full force of such words, we must remember that the ordeal was, in its own nature, an appeal to the judgement of God in cases when there was no evidence on which man could found a judgement.[433] What happened further we are not told; it can hardly be meant that the men in whose favour the judgement of God was held to have been given were sent to the gallows all the same.

Special vices of Rufus. In this last story the most distinctive feature of the character of William Rufus comes out. In many of his recorded deeds we see the picture of an evil man and an evil king, but still of a man and a king whose deeds might find many parallels in other times and places. But the story in which he mocks at the ordeal leads us to those other points in him which give him a place of his own, a place which perhaps none other in the long roll-call of evil kings can dispute with him. Other kings have been cruel; others have been lustful; others have broken their faith with their people, and have said in their hearts that there was no God. But the Red King stands well nigh alone in bringing back the foulest vices of heathendom into a Christian land, and at the same 158 time openly proclaiming himself the personal enemy of his Maker.

Contrast between Rufus and his father. It is with regard to his daily life and to the beliefs and objects which his age looked on as sacred that William Rufus stands out in the most glaring contrast to his father. William the Great, I need hardly repeat, was austere in his personal morals and a strict observer of every outward religious duty. His court was decent; the men who stood before him kept, we are told, to the modesty of the elder days. Old and new fashions of dress. Their clothes were fitted to the form of their bodies, leaving them ready to run or ride or do anything that was to be done.[434] They shaved their beards—​all save penitents, captives, and pilgrims—​and cut their hair close.[435] But with the death of William, of Pope Gregory, and of other religious princes, the good old times passed away, and their decorous fashions were forgotten through all the Western lands.[436] Then vain and foppish forms of attire came in. The gilded youth of Normandy and of Norman England began to wear long garments like women, which hindered walking or acting of any kind; they let their hair grow long like women; they copied the walk and mien of women.[437] The pointed shoes. Above all, their feet were shod with shoes with long curved points, like the horns of rams or the tails of scorpions. These long and puffed shoes 159 were the device of a courtier of Rufus, Robert henceforth surnamed the Cornard, and they were further improved by Count Fulk of Anjou, when he wished to hide the swellings on his gouty feet.[438] The long hair and the long-pointed shoes serve as special subjects for declamation among the moral writers of the time.[439] Fashionable vices of the time. But these unseemly fashions were only the outward signs of the deeper corruption within. The courtiers, the minions, of Rufus, forerunners of the minions of the last Henry of Valois, altogether forsook the law of God and the customs of their fathers. The day they passed in sleep; the night in revellings, dicing, and vain talk.[440] Vices before unknown, the vices of the East, the special sin, as Englishmen then deemed, of the Norman, were rife among them. Personal crimes of the King. And deepest of all in guilt was the Red King himself. Into the details of the private life of Rufus it is well not to grope too narrowly. In him England might see on her own soil the habits of the ancient Greek and the modern Turk. His sins were of a kind from which his brother Henry, no model of moral perfection, was deemed to be wholly free, and which he was believed to look upon with loathing.[441]

Sinners, even of the special type of the Red King, have before now been zealous supporters of orthodoxy. If William persecuted Anselm, Constans defended Athanasius. His irreligion. But the foulness of William’s life was of a piece with his open mockery of everything which other men in his day held sacred. Whatever else divided Englishman and Norman, they were at least one in religious doctrine 160 and religious worship. In matters of dogma Stigand was as orthodox as Lanfranc. But now, among the endless classes of adventurers whom the Conquest brought to try their luck in the conquered land, came men of a race whom Normans and Englishmen alike looked on as cut off from all national and religious fellowship. Coming of the Jews. In the wake of the Conqueror the Jews of Rouen found their way to London,[442] and before long we find settlements of the Hebrew race in the chief cities and boroughs of England, at York, Winchester, Lincoln, Bristol, Oxford, and even at the gates of the Abbots of Saint Edmund’s and Saint Alban’s.[443] Their position in England. They came as the King’s special men, or more truly his special chattels, strangers alike to the Church and to the commonwealth of England, but strong in the protection of a master who commonly found it to his interest to defend them against all others. Hated, feared, and loathed, but far too deeply feared to be scorned or oppressed, they stalked defiantly among the people of the land, on whose wants they throve. They lived safe from harm or insult, save now and then, when popular wrath burst all bounds, and when their proud mansions and fortified quarters could shelter them no longer from raging crowds eager to wash out their debts in the blood of their creditors.[444] The romantic picture of the despised, 161 trembling, Jew, cringing before every Christian that he meets, is, in any age of English history, simply a romantic picture. Favour shown to them by Rufus. In the days of Rufus at all events, the Jews of Rouen and London stood erect before the prince of the land, and they seem to have enjoyed no small share of his favour and personal familiarity. The presence of the unbelieving Hebrew supplied the Red King with many opportunities for mocking at Christianity and its ministers. He is even said to have shown himself more than once, when it was to his interest so to show himself, as a kind of missionary of the Hebrew faith. He was not the only prince of his age who discouraged conversions to Christianity on the part of distinct races who could be made more useful, if they remained distinct, and who could in no way be kept so distinct as if they remained in the position of infidels. Comparison with the Sicilian Saracens. Count Roger of Sicily found that the unbelieving Saracens,[445] and William Rufus found that the unbelieving Hebrews, were, each in their own way, more profitable to their several masters than if they had been allowed to lose their distinct being among their Christian neighbours. William’s vein of mockery. But in the whole dealings of Rufus with the Jews there is a vein of mockery in which, if Roger shared, it is not recorded. It is true that we do not find Rufus taking the part of the Jew, except when the Jew made it worth his while to do so. But when he did take the Jew’s part, he clearly found a malicious pleasure in taking it. He enjoyed showing favour to the Jew, because so to do gave annoyance to the Christian.

Question of William’s scepticism. Whether Rufus was in any strict sense an intellectual sceptic may be doubted. That he was such cannot be inferred from his bidding in bitter mockery the Jewish rabbis and the bishops of England to dispute before him on the tenets of their several creeds, promising to 162 embrace the faith of the strangers, if they should have the better in the discussion. The dispute between Jews and Christians. The discussion took place in London, most likely when the prelates were gathered for some Whitsun Gemót. The Christian cause was supported by several bishops and clerks—​one would like to have their names—​who argued, we are told, in great fear on behalf of the faith which was thus jeoparded.[446] As is usual in such cases, each side claimed the victory;[447] but in any case the arguments on the Hebrew side were not so overwhelming as to make the King become an avowed votary of Moses. Still he did what he could to hinder the ranks of the Church from being swelled at the cost of the synagogue. In a story which must belong to the latter part of his reign, we read how the Jews of Rouen began to be frightened at the great numbers of their body who fell away from the law of their fathers. Jews turn back again. They came to the King, and, by a large bribe, obtained from him a promise that the converts should be constrained to go back to the faith which they had forsaken. They were brought before Rufus, and most of them were by his terrible threats forced again to apostatize.[448] The tale 163 of the Red King’s success in this crooked kind of missionary enterprise reached the ears of a Jew father—​where we are not told—​whose only and well-beloved son was lost to him by conversion to the Christian faith. Story of the convert Stephen and his father. The young man had been favoured with a vision of the protomartyr Stephen, who had bidden him ask for baptism and take his own name at the font.[449] He went to a priest, told his tale, and was admitted to baptism by the name which was appointed to him. His father, mourning for his loss, went to King William and made his complaint; praying that at his command his son might be restored to his old faith.[450] Rufus held his peace; the argument which alone persuaded him to meddle in such matters had not yet been urged.[451] A promise of sixty marks of silver, payable on the second conversion of the youth, brought the King to another mind,[452] and Stephen was called into the royal presence. A dialogue took place 164 between the King and the neophyte, in which Rufus, remembering Dispute between Stephen and the King. perhaps the one redeeming feature in his own life, pressed Stephen’s return to Judaism as a matter of filial duty. The youth humbly suggests that the King is joking. Rufus waxes wroth, and takes to words of abuse and to his usual oath. Stephen’s eyes shall be torn out, if he does not presently obey his bidding.[453] The youth stands firm, and even rebukes the King. He can be no good Christian who, instead of trying to win to Christ those who are estranged from him, strives to drive back those who have already embraced his faith. Rufus, put to shame by the answer, has nothing to say, but drives Stephen from his presence with scorn.[454] The Jew father is waiting without. His son overwhelms him with words of abuse which even zeal for his new faith would hardly justify. He would no longer acknowledge a father in one whose own father was the Devil, and who, not satisfied with his own damnation, sought the damnation of his son.[455] With this somewhat harsh way of putting matters, the zealous youth vanishes from the story; the Jew father has yet another turn with the Red King. The King’s compromise with Stephen’s father. He is called in, and Rufus says that he has done what he had been asked to do, and demands the promised payment for his pains.[456] The Jew expostulates. His son, he says, is firmer than ever in his Christian faith and in his hatred towards himself. Yet the King says that he has done what 165 he had been asked, and demands payment. “Finish,” he goes on, with a boldness which challenges some sympathy, “what you have begun, and then we will settle about my promise; such was our agreement.”[457] It is characteristic of Rufus not to be angry at a really bold word. Evidently entering into the grotesque side of the dispute, he rejects the doctrine of payment by results; he answers that he has done his best, and that, though he had not succeeded, he cannot go away with nothing for his trouble.[458] At last, after some further haggling, the parties in this strange dispute come to a compromise. The Jew pays, and the King receives, half the sum which had been promised in the beginning.

A king of whom such stories as these could be told, whether every detail is literally true or not, must have utterly cast aside all the decencies of his own or of any other age. But Rufus, according to the tales told of him, went even further than this. William’s defiance of God. He is charged with a kind of personal defiance of the Almighty, quite distinct alike from mere carelessness and from speculative unbelief. When he recovered from the sickness which forms such an epoch in his life, 1093.“God,” he said, “shall never see me a good man; I have suffered too much at his hands.”[459] He mocked at God’s judgement and doubted his justice—​his disbelief in the ordeal is quoted as an 166 instance. Either God did not know the deeds of men, or else he weighed them in an unfair balance.[460] He was wroth if any one ventured to add the usual reserve of God’s will to anything which he, King William, undertook or ordered to be undertaken. He had that belief in himself that he would have everything referred to his own wisdom and power only.[461] Modern ideas might be less shocked at another alleged sign of his impiety. His contempt for the saints. He was said to have declared publicly that neither Saint Peter nor any other saint had any influence with God, and that he would ask none of them for help.[462] In all this we are again left in doubt whether we are dealing with a speculative unbeliever, or only with one who was so puffed up with pride that he liked not to be reminded of any power greater than his own, least of all of a power which might some day call him to account for his evil deeds. Frequency of blasphemy. And though William Rufus clearly went lengths in his defiance of God to which even bad men were unaccustomed, we must remember that something of the same kind in a less degree was not uncommon in his time. Blasphemy strictly so called, that is, neither 167 simple irreverence nor intellectual unbelief, but direct reviling and defiance of a power which, by the very terms of the defiance, is believed in, is a vice of which Englishmen of our own day have hardly any notion. But, as it has many parallels in heathen creeds, as it has not yet died out in all parts of Christendom, so it was by no means unknown in the days with which we are dealing. Its frequency at a somewhat later time is shown when Contrast of Saint Lewis. the biographer of Saint Lewis sets it down as one of his special virtues, that he never, under any circumstance, allowed any reviling of God or the saints.[463] Case of Henry the Second. On the other hand, we find Henry the Second, whom there is no reason whatever to look on as a speculative unbeliever, indulging, as in lesser forms of irreverence, so also in direct reviling of God.[464] But the vice, to us so revolting and unintelligible, seems to have reached its highest point in the King of whom men said in proverbs that he every morning got up a worse man than he lay down, and every evening lay down a worse man than he got up.[465]

Thus far we are inclined to see in our second William a character of unmixed blackness, alike as a man and as a King. There seems no room left for even pagan virtues in the oppressor, the blasphemer, the man given 168 up to vices at whose foulness ordinary sinners stood aghast. Redeeming features in Rufus’ character. Yet nothing is plainer than that there was something in the character of William Rufus which made him not wholly hateful in the eyes of his own age. There was a side to him which, if we may not strictly call it virtuous, has yet in it something akin to virtue, as compared with other sides of him. Little personal cruelty. There is, as I have already hinted, amidst all the general oppressions of his reign, amidst all the special outrages which he at least allowed to go unpunished, no sign in him of that direct delight in human suffering which marks some of his contemporaries. Respect to his father’s memory. I have spoken of his dutiful obedience to his father while he lived; and the sentiment of filial duty lived on after his father’s death, and showed itself in some singular forms of respect for his memory. Elsewhere the enemy and spoiler of the Church, towards his father’s ecclesiastical foundations Rufus appears as a benefactor. Saint Stephen’s, the monument of his father’s penance, Battle, the monument of his father’s victory, were both the objects of his bounty.[466] But it is singularly characteristic that the means for bounty towards Saint Stephen at Caen were found in the plunder of the Holy Cross at Waltham.[467] His foundations. At York, strangely out of the common range of his actions, we find him counted as a second founder of the hospital of Saint Peter; we find him changing its site, enlarging its buildings and revenues, but specially setting forth that he was confirming the gifts of his father.[468] We shall see that, in all his wars, it was his special ambition to keep whatever had been his father’s; whatever he lost or won, it was a point of honour to hold the great trophy of his father’s continental victories. Le Mans. In other warfare the Red King might halt or dally or put up with an imperfect conquest. But when Le Mans, castle and city, was to be kept or 169 won, when the royal tower of his father was in jeopardy or in hostile hands, then the heart of Rufus never waxed weak in counsel, his arm never faltered in the fight.

His chivalrous spirit. But one form of words which I have just used opens to us one special side of the character of the Red King which is apt to be overlooked. I have spoken of the point of honour. I am not sure that, in the generation before Rufus, those words could have applied in all their fulness either to Harold of England or to William of Normandy, either to Gyrth of East-Anglia or to Roger of Beaumont. Chivalry a new thing. But to no man that ever lived was the whole train of thoughts and feelings suggested by those words more abidingly present than they were to the Red King. It might be going too far to say that William Rufus was the first gentleman, as his claim to that title might be disputed by his forefather Duke Richard the Good.[469] But he was certainly the first man in any very prominent place by whom the whole set of words, thoughts, and feelings, which belong to the titles of knight and gentleman were habitually and ostentatiously thrust forward.

True character of chivalry. We have now in short reached the days of chivalry, the days of that spirit on which two of the masters of history have spoken in words so strong that I should hardly venture to follow them.[470] Of that spirit, the spirit which, instead of striving to obey the whole law of right, picks out a few of its precepts to be observed under certain circumstances and towards certain classes of people, William the Red was one of the foremost models. The knight and the monk. The knight, like the monk, arbitrarily picks out certain virtues, to be observed in such an exclusive and one-sided way as almost to turn them into vices. 170 He has his arbitrary code of honour to supplant alike the law of God and the law of the land. That code teaches the duties of good faith, courtesy, mercy—​under certain circumstances and towards certain people. His word when kept and when broken. Was William Rufus a man of his word? His subjects as a body had no reason to think so; the princes of other lands had no reason to think so. His promises to his people went for nothing; his treaties with other princes went for nothing.[471] To observe both of these was the dull everyday duty of a Christian man whom it had pleased God to call to a particular state of life, that namely of a king. Holding, as Rufus did, that no man could keep all his promises,[472] these were the class of promises that he thought it needless to try to keep. But when William plighted his word in the character of the probus miles, the preux chevalier, in modern phrase, as “an officer and a gentleman,” no man kept it more strictly. No man cared less for the justice of his wars; no man cared less for the wrong and suffering which his warfare caused. His knightly courtesy. But no man ever more scrupulously observed all the mere courtesies of warfare. He was not like Robert of Bellême. The life and limb of the prisoner of knightly rank were safe in his hands. Indeed any man of any rank who appealed to his personal generosity was always safe. Under the influence of the law of honour, the tyrant, the blasphemer, the extortioner, the oppressor who neither feared God nor regarded man, puts on an air of unselfishness, of unworldliness. His trust in the knightly word of others. Strict in the observance of his own knightly word, he places unbounded confidence in the knightly word of others. He thrusts indignantly aside the suggestion of colder spirits that a captive knight 171 may possibly break his parole.[473] Contrast with Helias. We shall see all this as we follow the tale of his strife with Helias of Maine, one who was as scrupulous an observer of the law of honour as himself, but one who did not let the law of honour stand in the place of higher and older laws. Importance of this side of his character. And this is a side of the character of Rufus on which it is important to dwell, as it is one which the popular conception of him, a conception perfectly true as far as it goes, is apt to leave out. We have not grasped the likeness of the real man, unless we remember that the man whose crimes and vices the popular picture has not exaggerated, carried with him through life a sentimental standard of filial duty and reverence, and a knightly conscience, if the phrase may pass, as quick to speak and as sure to be obeyed as the higher conscience of Anselm or Helias. Without fully taking this in, we shall not easily understand the twofold light in which Rufus looked to the men of his own age, in whose eyes he clearly was not wholly hateful. And without fully taking it in, we shall fail to give him his place in the general history of England, Normandy, and mankind in general. He marks the beginning of a new æra. In William Rufus we have not only to study a very varied and remarkable phase of human nature; we have also to look on a man who marks the beginning of a new age and a new state of feeling.

The Red King has indeed this advantage, that the other parts of his character are so bad that the chivalrous side of him stands out as a relief, as at least comparative light amid surrounding darkness. Chivalry the bad side of some princes; There are other princes in whom the chivalrous side is the dark side, because there are other parts of their character better than chivalry. The essence of chivalry is that the fantastic and capricious law of honour displaces all 172 the forms of the law of right. Its one-sided nature. The standard of the good knight, the rule of good faith, respect, and courtesy, as due from one knight to another, displaces the higher standard of the man, the citizen, and the Christian. There are perhaps whole ages, there certainly are particular men, in which this lower standard has its use. Any check, any law, is better than no check and no law. Its incidental use. He who cannot rise to the higher rank of an honest man had better be a knight and gentleman than a mere knave and ruffian. If a man cannot be kept back from all crimes by the law of right, it is a gain that he should be kept back from some crimes by the law of honour. It was better that William Rufus should show mercy and keep his word in some particular kind of cases than that he should never show mercy or keep his word at all. But the very fact that such an one as Rufus could feel bound by the law of honour shows how feeble a check the law of honour is. And we must remember that the very feeling of courtesy and deference towards men of a certain rank led only to more reckless and contemptuous oppression of all who lay without the favoured pale. And, at least as regards particular men, the beginning of the days of chivalry was the falling back from a higher standard. Instances of obedience to a higher law. We have come across men in our own story who showed that they obeyed a better law than that of honour. It was not at the bidding of chivalry or honour, it was not in the character of knight or gentleman, that Herlwin made light of his own wrongs by the side of those of his poor peasants,[474] or that Harold refused to harry the lands of the men who had chosen him to be their king.[475] Practical working of chivalry. But the law of honour and chivalry was most fully obeyed, the character of knight and gentleman was shown in its full perfection, when the Knight without Fear and without 173 Bayard.Reproach refused to expose himself to toils of war which were too dangerous for any but the base churl.[476] It was fully carried out when the mirror of chivalry, the The Black Prince. Black Prince himself, gave their lives to the French knights who fought against him, and murdered the unarmed men, women, and children, who craved for mercy.[477] Francis the First of France. It was no less worthily carried out by the king who ever had the faith of a gentleman on his lips, who boasted that he had never broken his word except to women, and who betrayed, not only the women, but the allied princes and commonwealths who trusted in him. William the Red at least need not shrink from a comparison with Francis of Valois.[478] Twofold character of the Black Prince. But it must not be forgotten that one of the chivalrous heroes on our list had a side to him better than his chivalry. William the Great assuredly, and I believe William the Red also, would have shrunk from such a deed as the slaughter of Limoges. But he who wrought the slaughter of Limoges 174 was also the patriotic statesman of the Good Parliament. The knight, courteous and bloody as became his knighthood, could turn about and act as something better than a knight. In such a man we must measure the balance of good and evil as we can, and the chivalrous side of him is the evil side. In William Rufus the chivalrous side is the better side; it is the comparatively bright spot in a picture otherwise of utter blackness.

Grouping of events in the reign of Rufus. The chief events of the reign of William Rufus fall into two classes. There is the military side; there is the ecclesiastical and constitutional side. There is the side which shows us the noblest and the basest type of the warrior in Helias of La Flèche and in Robert of Bellême. There is the side which shows us the noblest and the basest type of the priest in Anselm of Canterbury and in Randolf of Durham. The two sides go on together. The most striking features in both belong to a somewhat later time than that which we have now reached. But it is the military side in its earlier stages which most directly connects itself with the tale which we have gone through in the present chapter. The first Norman campaign of the Red King comes in date before the archiepiscopate of Anselm; it comes in idea before the administration of Randolf Flambard. On the other hand, it is directly connected with the war of Pevensey and Rochester, with the banishment of Bishop Odo and Bishop William. We will therefore pass to it as the chief subject of our next chapter.




THE Character of the year of the year in which Lanfranc died was unmarked by any striking public event, political or military. The causes of evil which had begun to play their part before the Primate’s death, which were 176 enabled to play it so much more powerfully after his death, were no doubt already at work; but they had as yet not wrought any open change, or done anything specially to impress men’s minds. Natural phænomena. The writers of the time have nothing to record, except natural phænomena, and it must be remembered that natural phænomena, and those mostly of a baleful kind, form a marked feature of the reign of William Rufus. Even he could hardly be charged with directly causing earthquakes, storms, and bad harvests; but, in the ideas of his day, it was natural to look on earthquakes, storms, and bad harvests, either as scourges sent to punish his evil deeds, or else as signs that some more direct vengeance was presently coming upon himself. The ever-living belief of those times in the near connexion between the moral and the physical world must always be borne in mind in reading their history. And in the days of William Rufus there was plenty in both worlds to set men’s minds a-thinking. The great earthquake. Aug. 11, 1089. Lanfranc had not been dead three months before the land was visited with a mighty earthquake. The strongest buildings—​the massive keeps and minsters lately built or still building—​seemed to spring from the ground and sink back again into their places.[480] Then came a lack of the fruits of the earth of all kinds; the harvest was slow in ripening and scanty when it came; men reaped their corn at Martinmas and yet later.[481]

177 Character of the year 1090. The next year we find no entries of this kind. There was a mighty stir in England and in Normandy; but it was not a mere stirring of the elements. Beginnings of foreign adventure. We now enter on the record of the foreign policy and the foreign wars of the Red King, and we hear the first wail going up from the oppressed folk within his kingdom. Throughout his reign the growth of the prince’s power and the grievances of his people go together. In the former year there was nothing to chronicle but the earthquake and the late harvest. First mention of domestic opposition. This year we hear of the first successes of the King beyond the sea, and we hear, as their natural consequence, that the “land was fordone with unlawful gelds.”[482]

The years 1090–1091. The two years which followed the death of Lanfranc saw the attempt of the first year of Rufus reversed. Instead of the lord of Normandy striving to win England, the lord Successes in Normandy. of England not only strives, but succeeds, in making himself master of a large part of the Norman duchy. Supremacy over Scotland. 1091. Having thus become a continental potentate, the King comes back to his island kingdom, to establish his Imperial supremacy over the greatest vassal of his crown, and to do what his father had not done, to enlarge the borders Annexation of Cumberland. 1092. of his immediate realm by a new land and a new city.

Through a large part then of the present chapter the scene of our story will be removed from England to Normandy. Close connexion of English and Norman history.Yet it is only the scene which is changed, not the actors. One main result of the coming of the first William into England was that for a while the history of Normandy and that of England cannot be kept asunder. The chief men on the one side of the water are the chief The same main actors in both. men on the other side. And the fact that they were so is the main key to the politics of the time. We have in the last chapter seen the working of this fact from one side; 178 we shall now see its working from the other side. The same men flit backwards and forwards from Normandy to England and from England to Normandy. Normandy the chief seat of warfare. But of warfare, public and private, during the reign of William Rufus and still more during the reign of Henry the First, Normandy rather than England is the chosen field. Without warfare of some kind a Norman noble could hardly live. And for that beloved employment Normandy gave many more opportunities than England. The Duke of the Normans, himself after all the man of a higher lord, could not be—​at least no duke but William the Great could be—​in his continental duchy all that the King of the English, Emperor in his own island, could be within his island realm. Contrast between Normandy and England as to private war. Private war was lawful in Normandy—​the Truce of God itself implied its lawfulness; it never was lawful in England. And wars with France, wars with Anjou, the endless struggle in and for the borderland of Maine, went much further towards taxing the strength and disturbing the peace of the Norman duchy, than the endless strife on the Welsh and Scottish marches could go towards taxing the strength and disturbing the peace of the English kingdom. Normandy then will be our fighting-ground far more than England; but the fighting men will be the same in both lands.

The old and the new generation. The old companions of the Conqueror were by this time beginning to make way for a new generation. The rebellion of 1088 saw the last exploits of some of them. Yet others among them will still be actors for a while. Bishop Odo. Bishop Odo, cut off from playing any part in England, still plays a part in Normandy. The great border earls, Hugh of Hugh. d. 1101. Chester and of Avranches, Roger of Shrewsbury and of Roger. d. 1094. Montgomery, die in the course of our tale, but not till we have something more to tell about both of them, and a good deal to tell about the longer-lived of the two. Robert of Mowbray. Their younger fellow, Robert of Mowbray, after becoming the 179 chief centre of one part of our story, leaves the world by a living death. William of Warren. The new Earl of Surrey, if not already dead, passes away without anything further to record of him; Walter Giffard, d. 1102. Walter Giffard, old as a man, but young as an earl, still lives on. But younger men are coming into sight. William of Eu. William of Eu, the son of the still living Count Robert, has already come before us as a chief actor in our story, and we shall see him as the chiefest sufferer. But above all, two men, whom we have hitherto seen only by fits and starts, now come to the front as chief actors on both sides of the sea. Before we enter on the details of Norman affairs, it will be well to try clearly to take in the character and position of two famous bearers of the same name, great alike in England, in Normandy, and in France, Robert of Bellême. Robert of Bellême, afterwards of Shrewsbury, of Bridgenorth, and of both Montgomeries, and Robert of Meulan. Robert, Count of the French county of Meulan, heir of the great Norman house of Beaumont, and forefather of the great English house of Leicester.

The two Rogers, fathers of the two Roberts, are still living; but for the rest of their days they play a part quite secondary to that played by their sons. History and character of Robert of Bellême. Robert of Bellême, the eldest son of Roger of Montgomery, has already come before us several times, most prominently as a sharer in the rebellion raised by the present Duke against his father in Normandy[483] and in the rebellion raised on his behalf against his brother. Succeeds his mother Mabel. 1082. As son of the slain Countess Mabel,[484] he was heir of the house of Talvas, heir alike of their possessions and of their reputed wickedness. Lord through his mother of the Her inheritance.castle from which he took his name, lord of a crowd of other castles on the border-lands of Normandy, Perche, and Maine, Robert of Bellême, Robert Talvas, Succeeds his father at Montgomery, 1094; stands forth for the present as the son of Mabel rather 180 than as the son of Roger. In after times counties and lordships flowed in upon him from various sources and in various quarters. The death of his father gave him the old Norman possessions of the house of Montgomery; and his brother at Shrewsbury, 1098. the death of his brother gave him the new English possessions of that house, the great earldom of Shrewsbury and all that went with it. We seem to be carried back to past times when we find that Robert of Bellême His wife Agnes of Ponthieu. was married to the daughter of Guy of Ponthieu, the gaoler of Harold, and that, at the accession of William Rufus, Guy had still as many years to reign as the Red King himself. Guy Count of Ponthieu. 1053–1100. Guy’s death at last added Ponthieu to the possessions of the house of Bellême, nominally in the person of Robert’s son William Talvas, practically in that of Robert himself. Greatness of Robert’s possessions. The lord of such lands, master of four and thirty castles,[485] ranked rather with princes than with ordinary nobles; and even now, when Robert held only the inheritance of his mother, the extent and nature of his fiefs gave him a position almost princely. The man alike of Normandy and of France, he could make use of the profitable as well as the dangerous side of a divided allegiance, and it is not 181 without reason that we find the lord of the border-land spoken of by the fitting title of Marquess.[486] Great part played by him. From the death of the Conqueror onwards, through the reigns of Robert and William, till the day when Henry sent him to a life-long prison, Robert of Bellême fills in the history of Normandy and England a place alongside of their sovereigns.

His character. With the inheritance of Mabel and William Talvas, their son and grandson was believed to have succeeded in full measure to the hereditary wickedness of their house. That house is spoken of as one at whose deeds dæmons themselves might shudder,[487] His surname. and Robert himself bears in the traditions of his Cenomannian enemies the frightful surname which has been so unfairly transferred to the father of the Conqueror. His name lives in proverbs. In the land of Maine his abiding works are pointed to as the works of Robert the Devil. Elsewhere the “wonders of Robert of Bellême” became a familiar saying.[488] That Robert was a man of no small natural gifts is plain; to the ordinary accomplishments of the Norman warrior he added a mastery of the more intellectual branches of the art of warfare. His skill in engineering. As the Cenomannian legend shows, he stood at the head of his age in the skill of the military engineer.[489] Firm and daring, ready of wit and ready of speech, he had in him most of the qualities which might have made him great in that or in any other age. His special and wanton cruelty. But, even in that age, he held a place by himself as a kind of incarnation 182 of evil. Restless ambition, reckless contempt of the rights of others, were common to him with many of his neighbours and contemporaries. But he stands almost alone in his habitual delight in the infliction of human suffering. The recklessness which lays waste houses and fields, the cruelty of passion or of policy which slays or mutilates an enemy, were common in his day. But even then we find only a few men of whom it was believed that the pangs of other men were to them a direct source of enjoyment. In Robert sheer love of cruelty displaced even greediness; he refused ransom for his prisoners that he might have the pleasure of putting them to lingering deaths.[490] The received forms of cruelty blinding and mutilation, were not enough for him; he brought the horrors of the East into Western Europe; men, and women too, were left at his bidding to writhe on the sharp stake.[491] Distrustful of all men, artful, flattering, courteous of speech, his profession of friendship was the sure path to destruction.[492] The special vices of William Rufus are not laid to his charge; it is at least to the credit of Latin Christendom in the eleventh century that it needs the union of its two worst sinners 183 to form the likeness of an Ottoman Majesty, Excellency, or Highness in the nineteenth. But his domestic life was hardly happy. His treatment of his wife His wife Agnes, the heiress of Ponthieu, the mother of his one child William Talvas, was long kept by him in bonds in the dungeons of Bellême.[493] and his godson. And, more piteous than all, we read how a little boy, his own godchild, drew near to him in all loving trust. Some say, in the sheer wantonness of cruelty, some say, to avenge some slight fault of the child’s father, the monster drew the boy under his cloak and tore out his eyes with his own hands.[494]

The list of the men, great and small, who were simply wronged and dispossessed by Robert of Bellême, is long indeed.[495] Some of them, it is true, were now and then able to revenge their wrongs with their own arms. His enmity to the men of Domfront; He seems, as might have been expected, to have been the special enemy of all that was specially good in individuals or in communities. He was the bitter foe of the valiant and faithful men of Domfront.[496] to Helias; He was before all things the enemy of Helias of La Flèche. to Rotrou of Perche; He was the enemy of his neighbour Count Rotrou of Perche, who also bears a good character among the princes of his day.[497] to the prelates of Seez. As temporal lord of Seez, he was the enemy of its churches, episcopal and abbatial; he had not that reverence for the foundation of his 184 father which is one of the redeeming features in the character of the Red King. Abbot Ralph, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. He underwent excommunication from the zeal of Bishop Serlo, and by the wrongs done by him to Abbot Ralph of Seez, which drove that prelate to seek shelter in England, he unwittingly gave England a worthy primate and Anselm a worthy successor.[498] One is inclined to wonder how such a man gained the special favour of the Conqueror, whose politic sternness had nothing in common with the fiendish brutality of Robert.[499] Perhaps, as in William Rufus, the worst features of his character may for a while have been hidden. It is less surprising that, in the days of William’s sons, we find him in honour at the courts of England, Normandy, and France. But at last vengeance came upon him. His imprisonment by Henry. 1110. When King Henry sent him to spend his days in prison, it was in a prison so strait and darksome that the outer world knew not whether he were dead or alive, nor was the time of his death set down in any record.[500]

Robert Count of Meulan and Earl of Leicester. The other Robert, the son of the other Roger, was a man of a different mould, a man who would perhaps seem more in place in some other age than in that in which he lived. He was the son of the old and worthy Roger of Beaumont, the faithful counsellor of princes, His father Roger of Beaumont. who, like Gulbert of Hugleville, refused to share in 185 the spoils of England.[501] Great, like his namesake, in France, Normandy, and England, Robert passed through a long life unstained by any remarkable crime, though it was hinted that, of his vast possessions on both sides of the sea, some were not fairly come by.[502] He inherits Meulan from his uncle, He is known in history by the name of his French county of Meulan, which he inherited from his mother’s brother, Count Hugh, son of Count Waleran, who withdrew to become a monk of Bec.[503] and Beaumont from his father. From his father, when he too had gone to end his days in his father’s monastery of Preaux, Robert inherited the lordship of Beaumont, called, from his father’s name, Beaumont-le-Roger.[504] His earldom of Leicester. He shared in the Conqueror’s distribution of lands in England, and in after days he received the earldom of Leicester from King Henry, as his less stirring brother Henry had already received that of Warwick from the Red King. His exploits at Senlac. That he was a brave and skilful soldier we cannot doubt; his establishment in England was the reward of good service done at one of the most critical moments of the most terrible of battles.[505] But the warrior of Senlac hardly appears again in the character of a warrior; he His fame for wisdom. lives on for many years as a cold and crafty statesman, the counsellor of successive kings, whose wisdom, surpassing that of all men between Huntingdon and 186 Jerusalem, was deemed, like that of Ahithophel, to be like the oracle of God.[506] His counsels were not always of an amiable kind. Character of his influence with Rufus and Henry. Under Rufus, without, as far as we can see, sharing in his crimes, he checked those chivalrous instincts which were the King’s nearest approach to virtue.[507] Under Henry his influence was used to hinder the promotion of Englishmen in their own land.[508] Yet on the whole his character stands fair. He discouraged foppery and extravagance by precept and example; he was the right-hand man of King Henry in maintaining the peace of the land, and he seems to have shared the higher tastes of the clerkly monarch.[509] Of Anselm he was sometimes the enemy, sometimes the friend.[510] His sons. His sons were well taught, and they could win the admiration of Pope and cardinals by their skill in disputation.[511] The eldest, Waleran, his Norman heir, plays an unlucky part in the reign of Henry;[512] his English heir Robert continued 187 the line of the Earls of Leicester.[513] His last days. His last days were clouded by domestic troubles;[514] and he is said to have formally perilled his own soul in his zeal for the temporal welfare of his sons. His death. 1118. On his death-bed, so the story runs, Archbishop Ralph and other clergy bade him, for his soul’s health, to restore whatever lands he had gained unjustly.[515] Story of his death-bed.What then, he asked, should he leave to his sons? “Your old inheritance,” answered Ralph, “and whatever you have acquired justly. Give up the rest, or you devote your soul to hell.” The fond father answered that he would leave all to them, and would trust to their filial piety to make atonement for his sins.[516] But we are told that Waleran and Robert were too busy increasing by wrong what had been won by wrong to do anything for the soul of their father.[517]

These are the two men who, of secondary importance in the tale of the Conquest and of the reign of the first 188 William, become the most prominent laymen of the reign of the second. The churchmen of the time who stand forth conspicuously for good and for evil will have their place in another chapter. Prominence of the two Roberts. But the two Roberts will, next to the King and the Ætheling, hold the first place in the tale which we have immediately to tell, as they held it still in days of which we shall not have the telling, long after the Ætheling had changed into the King. The force of him of Bellême, the wit of him of Meulan, had their full place in the affairs both of Normandy and of England, and both were brought to bear against the prince and people of Maine.

§ 1. Normandy under Robert.

Temptations to the invasion of Normandy. That the thought of an invasion of his elder brother’s duchy should present itself to the mind of William Rufus was not very wonderful. The fact that it was his elder brother’s duchy might perhaps be of itself enough to suggest the thought. The dutiful son of his father, whom alone his father had called to rule of his own free will, might feel himself in some sort defrauded, if any part of his father’s dominions was held by a brother whose only claim was the accident of his elder birth, and whose personal unfitness for the rule of men his father had emphatically set forth. Indeed, without seeking for any special motive at all, mere ambition, mere love of enterprise, might be motive enough to lead a prince like Rufus to a campaign beyond the sea, a campaign which might make him master of the native dominion of his father, the land of his own birth. Interest of those who held land in both countries. And such schemes would be supported on grounds of reasonable policy by a large part of the Norman possessors of the soil of England. Holding, many of them, lands on both sides of the sea, it was their interest that the same prince 189 should reign on both sides of the sea, and that they themselves should not be left open to the dangers of a divided allegiance. They had failed to carry out this purpose by putting Robert in possession of England; they might now carry it out by putting William in possession of Normandy. And the attempt might even be made with some show of justice. Provocation given by Robert. The help which Robert had given to the rebellion against Rufus might, in the eyes of Rufus, or of a much more scrupulous prince than Rufus, have been held to justify reprisals. State of Normandy. And to a prince seeking occasions or excuses for an invasion of Normandy the actual condition of that duchy might seem directly to invite the coming of an invader. The invader might almost comfort himself with the belief that his invasion was a charitable work. Any kind of rule, almost any kind of tyranny, might seem an improvement on the state of things which was now rife through the whole length and breadth of the Norman land. His invasion likely to be largely welcome. William Rufus might reasonably think that no small part of the inhabitants of Normandy would welcome invasion from an invader of their own blood, the son of their greatest ruler. And the event showed that he was by no means mistaken in so thinking.

The Conqueror foretells the character of Robert’s reign. No words of man were ever more truly spoken than the words in which William the Great, constrained, as he deemed himself, to leave Normandy in the hands of Robert, was believed to have foretold the fate of the land which should be under his rule. Robert was, so his father is made to call him, proud and foolish, doomed to misfortune; the land would be wretched where he was master.[518] The Conqueror was a true prophet; 190 Utter anarchy of the duchy. when Robert stepped into his father’s place, the work of the fifty years’ rule of his father was undone in a moment. Normandy at once fell back into the state of anarchy from which William had saved it, the state into which it fell when the elder Robert set forth for Jerusalem.[519] Once more every man did what was right in his own eyes. And the Duke did nothing to hinder them. Again we are brought to that standard of the duties of a sovereign of which we have heard so often, that standard which was reached by the Conqueror and by his younger son, but which neither Robert in this generation nor Stephen in the next strove to reach. Character of Robert. Robert, it must always be noticed, is never charged with cruelty or oppression of any kind in his own person. His weak good-nature. His fault was exactly of the opposite kind. He was so mild and good-natured, so ready to listen to every suppliant, to give to every petitioner, to show mercy to every offender, that he utterly neglected the discharge of the first duty of his office, that which the men of his time called doing justice.[520] William the Great 191 had done justice and made peace. Revival of brigandage and private war. The smaller brood of thieves and murderers had been brought to feel the avenging arm of the law. Thieves and murderers on a greater scale, the unruly nobles of the duchy, had been forced to keep back their hands from that form of brigandage which they dignified with the name of private war. Under Robert both classes of offenders found full scope for their energies. He did nothing to restrain either. He neither made peace nor did justice. Lack of “justice.” Brave, liberal, ready of speech, ready of wit and keen of sight in supporting the cause of another, Robert undoubtedly could be. But stronger qualities were needed, and those qualities Robert had not. Sunk in sloth and dissipation, no man heeded him; the land was without a ruler. Forgetful alike of injuries and of benefits, Robert, from the first moment of his reign, tamely endured the most flagrant outrages to the ducal authority, without doing anything to hinder or to avenge.[521]

192 Spread of vice and evil fashions. In other respects also Normandy suddenly changed from what it had been under the great King-duke. William the Great, strict to austerity in his private life, careful in the observance of all religious duties, a zealous supporter of ecclesiastical discipline, had made his duchy into a kind of paradise in ecclesiastical eyes. All this was now swept away. The same flood of foolish and vicious fashions which overspread England overspread Normandy also. There is nothing to convict Robert personally of the special vices of Rufus; but the life of the unmarried Duke was very unlike the life of his father. And vice of the grossest kind, the vices of Rufus himself, stalked forth into broad daylight, unabashed and unpunished.[522] Weakness of the spiritual power. The ecclesiastical power, no longer supported by the secular arm, was too weak to restrain or to chastise.[523] As every form of violence, so every form of licentiousness, had its full swing in the Normandy of Robert Curthose.

Building of castles. But, above all, this time stood out, like all times of anarchy, as a time of building and strengthening of castles. One of the means by which the Conqueror had The Conqueror keeps garrisons in the castles of the nobles.maintained the peace of the land had been by keeping garrisons of his own in the castles of such of his nobles as were likely to be dangerous. He had followed this wise policy with the castle of Evreux, the stronghold of Instances at Evreux, and in the Bellême castles.his kinsman Count William. He had followed it with the crowd of castles which, as the inheritance of his 193 mother, had passed to Robert of Bellême, the man who is to be the leading villain of our present drama. But the precautions of the Conqueror lasted no longer than his life; his successor might be defied without danger. At the moment of the King’s death, Robert of Bellême was on his way to the court to “speak with the King,” in the ordinary phrase,[524] on some affairs of his own. He had reached Brionne when he heard of the Conqueror’s death. Robert of Bellême drives out the ducal forces. Instead of going on to offer his homage or support to the new Duke, he turned back, gathered his own followers, marched on Alençon, and by a sudden attack drove the ducal garrison out of the fortress by the Sarthe, the southern bulwark of Normandy. He did the same with better right on his own hill of Bellême, which was not strictly Norman soil. He did so with all his other castles, and with as many of the castles of his neighbours as he could.[525] The lord of Bellême in short established himself as a prince who might well bear himself as independent of the lord of Rouen. The like done by the Count of Evreux and others. Count William of Evreux followed his example; the late King’s garrison was driven out of the fortress which had arisen within the walls of the Roman Mediolanum. William of Breteuil, Ralph of Toesny or of Conches, the nobles of Normandy in general wherever they had the power, all did the like.[526] They drove out the garrisons; they strengthened the old fortresses; they raised new ones, adulterine 194 castles in the phrase of the day, built without the Duke’s licence and placed beyond his control. Those who were strong enough seized on the castles of weaker neighbours. The land was again filled with these robbers’ nests, within whose walls and circuit law was powerless, lairs, as men said, of grievous wolves, who entered in and spared not the flock.[527] Robert’s lavish grants. Some nobles indeed had the decency to go through the form of asking the Duke for gifts which they knew that he would not have strength of mind to refuse them. One of them was William of Breteuil, the son of the famous Earl William of Hereford, the brother of the rebel Roger,[528] and once a sharer in Robert’s rebellion against his father. Ivry. He asked and received the famous tower of Ivry, the tower of Albereda, the now vanished stronghold which once looked down on the plain where Henry of Navarre was in after ages to smite down the forces of the League. This gift involved a wrong to the old Roger of Beaumont, who had held that great fortress by the Conqueror’s commission. Brionne. Roger was accordingly recompensed by a grant of Brionne, the island stronghold in the heart of Normandy, which had played such a part in the early wars of the Conqueror.[529] Thus places specially connected with the memory of the great William, places like Alençon and 195 Brionne, which had cost him no small pains to win or to recover, passed away from his son without a thought. Robert gave to every man everything that he asked for, to the impoverishment of himself and to the strengthening of every other man against him.[530]

The Ætheling Henry. In one corner only of the duchy was there a better state of things to be seen. The Ætheling Henry had received from his dying father a bequest in money, but no share in his territorial dominions.[531] He claims his mother’s lands. He claimed however the English lands which had been held by his mother Matilda, but which the late King had kept in his own hands after her death.[532] This claim had not as yet been made good, and Henry’s possessions still consisted only of his five thousand pounds in money. With part of this he was presently to make a splendid investment. Lavish waste of Robert. While Henry had money but no lands, Robert had wide domains, but his extravagance soon left him without money. The Norman portion of the Conqueror’s hoard was presently scattered broadcast among his mercenary soldiers and other followers. Of these he kept a vast number; men flocked eagerly to a prince who was so ready to give; but before long he was 196 without the means of giving or paying any more. He asks a loan of Henry. He asked Henry for a gift or a loan. The scholar-prince was wary, and refused to throw his money away into the bottomless pit of Robert’s extravagance.[533] The Duke then proposed to sell him some part of his dominions. At this proposal Henry caught gladly, and a bargain was struck. Henry buys the Côtentin and Avranchin. For a payment of three thousand pounds, Henry became master of a noble principality in the western part of the Norman duchy. The conquest of William Longsword,[534] the colony of Harold Blaatand,[535] the whole land from the fortress of Saint James to the haven of Cherbourg, the land of Coutances and Avranches, the castle and abbey of Saint Saviour,[536] and the house that was castle and abbey in one, the house of Saint Michael in Peril of the Sea—​all this became the dominion of Henry, now known as Count of the Côtentin. With these territories he received the superiority over a formidable vassal; he became lord over the Norman possessions of Earl Hugh of Chester.[537] Thus the English-born son of the Norman Conqueror held for his first dominion no contemptible portion of his father’s duchy, as ruler of the Danish land which in earlier days had beaten back an English invasion.[538] In that land, under 197 Henry’s firm rule. the rule of him who was one day to be called the Lion of Justice, there was a nearer approach to peace and order than could be found in other parts of Normandy. The young Count governed his county well and firmly; no such doings went on in the lands of Coutances and Avranches as went on in the rest of the duchy under the no-rule of Duke Robert.[539]

Henry goes to England. Summer, 1088. Henry, Ætheling on one side of the sea and now Count on the other side,[540] next thought of crossing the channel to seek for those estates in his native land which he claimed in right of his mother.[541] These lands, in Cornwall, Buckinghamshire, and specially in Gloucestershire, had mostly formed a part of the forfeited possessions of Brihtric, the man whose name legend has so strangely connected with that of Matilda.[542] Henry must have reached England about the time when the rebellion had been put down, and when the new King might be expected to be in a mood inclined either to justice or to generosity. William promises him the lands of Matilda. William received his brother graciously, and granted, promised, or pretended to grant, the restitution of the lands of their mother.[543] Henry, already a ruler on one side of the sea, a sharer in his father’s inheritance, went back to his peninsula in a 198 character which was yet newer to him, that of a sharer in his father’s conquest, a great land-owner on the other side of the sea. But his luck, which was to shine forth so brightly in after times, forsook him for the present. If Henry ever came into actual possession of his English estates, his tenure of them was short. He seizes them again. At some time which is not distinctly marked, the lands which had been Matilda’s were again seized by William. They are granted to Robert Fitz-hamon.They were granted to one of the rising men of the time, one of the few who had been faithful to the King in the late times of trouble, to Robert Fitz-hamon, perhaps already the terror of the southern Cymry. Thus the old possessions of Brihtric passed into the hands of the lord of the castle of Cardiff, the founder of the minster of Tewkesbury.[544] In the next generation the policy of Henry was to win them back, if not for himself, yet for his son.[545]

Influence of Odo with Robert. If the Count of Coutances failed of his objects in England, a worse fate awaited him for a season on his return to Normandy. He had enemies at the court of Duke Robert; first of all, it would seem, his uncle Odo, lately Earl of Kent and still Bishop of Bayeux. He was now driven from his earldom to his bishopric, like a dragon, we are told, with fiery wings cast down to the earth.[546] Autumn, 1088. The tyrant of Bayeux, the worst of prelates—​such are the names under which Odo now appears in the pages of our chief guide[547]—​had again become Robert’s chief counsellor. His counsel seems to have taken the 199 form of stirring up the Duke’s mind to abiding wrath against his brother of England, and against all who were, or were held to be, his partisans.[548] Henry brings back Robert of Bellême. When Henry left England to come back to Normandy, he brought with him a dangerous companion in the person of Robert of Bellême. That rebel of a few months back was now thoroughly reconciled to Rufus. Duke Robert was even made to believe that his namesake of Bellême, so lately his zealous supporter, was joined with Henry by a mutual oath to support the interests of the King of the English at the expense of the Duke of the Normans.[549] They are seized and imprisoned. The measures of Robert or of Odo were speedily taken; the coasts were watched; the voyagers were seized before they could disembark from their ships.[550] They were put in fetters, and presently consigned to prisons in the keeping of the Bishop. They had not even the comfort of companionship in bonds. While the Ætheling, Count of the Côtentin, was kept in Odo’s episcopal city, the place of imprisonment for the son of the Earl of Shrewsbury was the fortress of Neuilly, in the most distant part of Odo’s diocese, near the frontier stream of Vire which parts the Bessin from Henry’s own peninsula. The less illustrious captive was the first to find a champion. Earl Roger makes war on the Duke. Earl Roger, by the licence of the King, left England, crossed into Normandy, entered into open war with the Duke on behalf of his son, and garrisoned all his own castles and those of his son against him. Vassal of three lords, the lord 200 of Montgomery and Shrewsbury, the father of the lord of Bellême, might almost rank as their peer. As a prince rather than as a mere baron, Earl Roger took to arms. His fortresses. The border-fortresses on the frontier ground of Normandy, Maine, and Perche were all put into a state of defence.[551] Alençon, by the border stream, was again, as in the days when its burghers mocked the Tanner’s grandson,[552] garrisoned against his son and successor. Bellême itself, the cradle of the house of Talvas—​the Rock of Mabel, bearing the name of her who had united the houses of Talvas and Montgomery, and whose blood had been the price of its possession—​Saint-Cenery on its peninsula by the Sarthe, another of the spoils of Mabel’s bloody policy—​all these border strongholds, together with a crowd of others lying more distinctly within the Norman dominions, had again become hostile spots where the Duke of the Normans was defied.

The episcopal gaoler of Bayeux, in his character of chief counsellor of Duke Robert, is described as keeping his feeble nephew somewhat in awe. But his counsels, it is added, were sometimes followed, sometimes despised.[553] Odo’s exhortation to Robert. Now that all Normandy was in a blaze of civil war, Odo came to Rouen, and had an audience of the Duke, seemingly in an assembly of his nobles.[554] If our guide is to be trusted, Robert, who had no love for hearing sermons even from the lips of his father, was now condemned to hear a sermon of no small length from the perhaps even readier lips of his uncle. Odo 201 gave Robert a lecture on the good government of his duchy, on the duty of defending the oppressed and putting down their oppressors. A long list of princes are held up as his examples, the familiar heroes of Persia, Macedonia, Carthage, and Rome, among whom, one hardly sees why, Septimius Severus takes his place along with the first Cæsar. Rivalry of Normandy and France. On the same list too come the princes of his own house, the princes whom the warlike French had ever feared, winding up with the name of his own father, greatest of them all.[555] In all this we hear the monk of Saint Evroul rather than the Bishop of Bayeux; but any voice is worth hearing which impresses on us a clearer understanding of the abiding jealousy between Normandy and France. But we may surely hear Odo himself in the practical advice that follows.The line of Talvas to be rooted out. Now is the time to root out the whole accursed stock of Talvas from the Norman duchy. They were an evil generation from the beginning, not one of whom ever died the death of other men.[556] It is as the son of Mabel, not as the son of Roger, that Robert of Bellême comes in for this frightful inheritance, and Odo could not foresee how pious an end the Earl of Shrewsbury was to make in a few years.[557] He reminded the Duke that a crowd of castles, which had been ducal possessions as long as his father lived, had been seized on his father’s death by Robert of Bellême, and their ducal garrisons driven out.[558] It was the 202 Duke’s duty, as the ruler of the land, as a faithful son of Holy Church, to put an end to the tyranny of this usurper, and to give to all his dominions the blessing of lawful government at the hand of their lawful prince.

But the overthrow of the house of Talvas was not the only work to which Odo stirred up his nephew. Affairs of Maine. There was another enterprise to be undertaken before the great lord of the Cenomannian border could be safely attacked. These early days of Robert lead us on at once to that side of the continental wars and continental policy of Rufus which seems to have drawn to itself the smallest amount of English interest at the time,[559] but which is that on which we are now led to look with a deeper interest than any other. Before Robert could safely attack Bellême, he must make sure of Le Mans and of all Maine. Every mention of that noble city, of its counts and its bishops, its renowned church, and its stout-hearted citizens, has a charm which is shared by no other spot between the Loire and the Channel. Helias and Hildebert. And at no stage of its history did the Cenomannian state stand forth with greater brilliancy than in the last days of its independent being, when Le Mans had Helias to its count and Hildebert to its bishop. Those days are still parted from us by a few years; but the advice given by Odo to Robert brings us to the beginning of the chain of events which leads straight to them. The historian of William Rufus must now begin to look forward to the days when Rufus, like his father, tried his strength against the valiant men of the Cenomannian land and city, and tried it at a time 203 when land and city could put forth their full strength back again under a leader worthy of them. But as yet the land of Maine has neither to deal with so mighty a foe nor to rejoice in the guardianship of so worthy a champion. In the stage of the tale which we have now reached, Rufus plays no part at all, and Helias plays only a secondary part. History of Maine under the Conqueror. The general story of Le Mans and Maine has been elsewhere carried down to the last mention of them in the days of the Conqueror.[560] It has been told how the land passed under 1063. William’s power in the days before he crossed the sea to win England[561]—​how the city and land had revolted against the Norman—​how, after trying the rule of a foreign branch of their own princely house, its people had 1073. risen as the first free commonwealth north of the Loire—​how they had been again brought into William’s hand, and that largely by the help of his English warriors[562]—​and how, after the final submission of the city, isolated spots of the Cenomannian land had again risen against the Norman power. The last act of this earlier 1083. drama was when a single Cenomannian fortress successfully withstood the whole strength of Normandy and England.[563] We have seen how Hubert of Beaumont beheld the Conqueror baffled before his hill fortress of Sainte-Susanne, the shattered keep which still stands, sharing with Dol in the Breton land the honour of being the two spots from which William had to turn away, conqueror no longer.[564] 1086. But, if Hubert had beaten back William from his castle, he had found it expedient to return to his allegiance; and, at the death of the Conqueror, Maine seems to have been as thoroughly under William’s power as Normandy and England. Dissatisfaction in Maine. Things 204 changed as soon as the great King had passed away. The land and city which had striven so often against the Conqueror himself were not likely to sit down quietly under the feeble rule of Robert. Relations with Fulk of Anjou. And, besides the standing dislike of the people of Maine to Norman rule, there was a neighbour who was likely to be stirred up by his own ambition to meddle in the affairs of Maine, and to whom the actual provisions of treaties gave at least a colourable claim to do so. By the terms of the peace of Blanchelande, the new Duke of the Normans had become the man of Count Fulk of Anjou for the county of Maine.[565] It is true that the homage had been of the most formal kind. There had been no reservation of authority on the part of the superior lord, nor, as far as we can see, was any service of any kind imposed on the fief, if fief it is to be called. Robert’s homage to Fulk. The homage might almost seem to have been a purely personal act, a homage expressing thankfulness for the surrender of all Angevin rights over Maine, rather than an acknowledgement of Angevin superiority over the land and city. Still Robert, as Count of Maine, had, in some way or other, become Count Fulk’s man, and Count Fulk had, in some way or other, become Robert’s lord. A relation was thus established between them of which the Rechin was sure to take advantage, whenever the time came.

Robert Count of Maine. Robert, on his father’s death, had taken his title of Prince of the Cenomannians as well as that of Duke of the Normans,[566] and his authority seems to have been acknowledged at Le Mans no less than at Rouen. State of things in Maine. We may suspect that there was no very deep felt loyalty in the minds of a people whose rebellious tendencies had deeply impressed the mind of William the Great. He is 205 said—​though we may guess that the etymology comes rather from the reporter than from the speaker—​to have derived the name of their land and city from their currish madness.[567] But there was as yet no open resistance. Of the three chief men in Church and State, Howel. Bishop Howel was an active supporter of the Norman connexion, while Geoffrey of Mayenne and Helias of La Flèche were at least not ready openly to throw it off. Geoffrey of Mayenne. Geoffrey, who had fought against the Conqueror twenty-five years before,[568] who had betrayed the young commonwealth of Le Mans fifteen years before,[569] must have been now advanced in life; but we shall still hear of him for some years to come. Helias. Helias, the chief hero of later wars, was of a younger generation, and now appears for the first time. His descent and position. He was, it will be remembered, the son of John of La Flèche and of Paula the youngest sister of the last Count Herbert.[570] He was therefore, before any other man in the land, the representative of Cenomannian independence, as distinguished both from Norman rule and from Angevin superiority. But his father had, in the Conqueror’s second Cenomannian war, remained faithful to the Norman, alike against commonwealth, Lombard, and Angevin.[571] His son for the present followed the same course. Story of Bishop Howel’s appointment. Bishop Howel was in any case a zealous Norman partisan; according to one story he was a special nominee of the Conqueror, appointed for the express purpose of helping to keep the people of Maine in order. According to the local historian, he had been appointed Dean of Saint Julian’s by his predecessor Arnold, and was, on 206 Arnold’s death, freely and unanimously chosen to the bishopric.[572] In Normandy it was believed that King William, on Arnold’s death, offered the bishopric to one of his own clerks, Samson of Bayeux, who declined the offer on the ground that a bishop, according to apostolic rule, ought to be blameless, while he himself was a grievous sinner in many ways. The King said that Samson must either take the bishopric himself or find some fit person in his stead. Samson recommends him for the see. Samson made his nomination at once. There was in the King’s chapel a clerk, poor, but of noble birth and of virtuous life, Howel by name, and, as his name implied, of Breton birth or descent.[573] He was the man to be bishop of Le Mans. Howel was at once sent for. He came, not knowing to what end he was called. Young in years, slight and mean in figure, he had not the stately presence with which Walcher of Durham had once impressed the mind of Eadgyth, perhaps of William himself.[574] But Howel was not called upon, like Walcher, to be a goodly martyr, but only a confessor on a small scale. William was at first tempted to despise the unconscious candidate for the chair of Saint Julian. But Samson, who, sinner as he may have been, seems not to have been a bad preacher or reasoner, warned the King that God looked not at the 207 outward appearance, but at the heart. William examined further into Howel’s life and conversation, and presently gave him the temporal investiture of the bishopric.[575] At the same time a congé d’élire went to Le Mans, which led to Howel’s “pure and simple” election by the Chapter.[576] A point both of canon and of feudal law turned up. Temporal relations of the bishopric of Le Mans. The old dispute between the Norman Duke and the Angevin Count about the advowson of the bishopric had never been settled; the Peace of Blanchelande was silent on that point. Legally there can be no doubt that the true temporal superior of the Bishop of Le Mans was neither Fulk nor William, but their common, if forgotten, lord King Philip.[577] But, whoever might be his temporal lord, no one doubted that the Bishop of Le Mans was a suffragan, and the suffragan highest in rank, of the Archbishop of Tours.[578] Yet, as things stood, as Tours was in the dominions of Fulk, a subject of William who went to that metropolis for consecration might have been called on to enter into some engagement inconsistent with his Norman loyalty. Howel consecrated at Rouen. April 21, 1085. By a commission therefore from Archbishop Ralph of Tours, Howel received consecration at 208 Rouen from the Primate of the Normans, William the Good Soul.[579]

This story is worth telling, as it is thoroughly characteristic of the Conqueror; but there is this difficulty about it, that we can hardly understand either how the historian of the Bishops of Le Mans could fail to know the succession of the deans of his own church, or else how the head of the chapter of Saint Julian’s could be lurking as a poor clerk in King William’s chapel. Be this as it may, there is thorough agreement as to the episcopal virtues of Howel, as to his zeal in continuing the works in the church of Saint Julian,[580] Howel’s Norman loyalty. and as to his unwavering loyalty to the Norman house. And, builder and adorner of the sanctuary as he was, he did not scruple to rob the altars of the saints of their gold and silver to feed the poor in the day of hunger.[581] His loyalty to Robert seems to have carried with it, for a time at least, the submission of the city. Robert before Le Mans. The Duke drew near at the head of his army. Bishop Odo was again in harness as one of his nephew’s chief captains. With him came not a few of the lords who had seized castles in the Duke’s despite, but who were nevertheless ready to follow his 209 banner. There was the elder Ralph of Toesny, he who had taken the strange message to King Henry after the day of Mortemer, and who had refused to bear the banner of Normandy on the day of Senlac.[582] With him was his nephew, William of Breteuil, the elder and more lucky of the two sons of William Fitz-Osbern. He had been one of Robert’s companions in his day of rebellion, along with the younger Ralph of Toesny and with Robert of Bellême, now their enemy.[583] The host entered Le Mans without resistance, and was received, we are told, with joy by clergy and citizens alike.[584] Messages were sent forth to summon the chief men of the county to come and do their duty to their new lord. Helias came; so did Geoffrey of Mayenne. General submission of the county. When two such leaders submitted, others naturally followed their example. All the chief men of Maine, it would seem, became the liegemen of Duke Robert. Ballon holds out. One obstinate rebel alone, Pagan or Payne of Montdoubleau, defended with his followers the castle of Ballon against the new prince.[585]

The castle of Ballon. The fortress which still held out, one whose name we shall again meet with more than once in the immediate story of the Red King, was a stronghold indeed. About twelve miles north of Le Mans a line of high ground ends to the north in a steep bluff rising above the Cenomannian Orne, the lesser stream of that name which mingles its waters with the Sarthe. The river is not the same prominent feature in the landscape which the Sarthe itself is at Le Mans and at some of the other towns and castles which it washes; it does not in the same way flow directly at the foot of the hill. But it comes fully near enough to place 210 Ballon in the long list of peninsular strongholds. The hill forms a prominent feature in the surrounding landscape; and the view from the height itself, over the wooded plains and gentle hills of Maine, is wide indeed. He who held Ballon against the lord of Normandy, the new lord of Le Mans, might feel how isolated his hillfort stood in the midst of his enemies. To the south Le Mans is seen on its promontory; and, if the mighty pile of Saint Julian’s had not yet reached its present height, yet the twin towers of Howel, the royal tower by their side, the abbey of Saint Vincent then rising above all, may well have caught the eye even more readily than it is caught by the somewhat shapeless mass of the cathedral church in its present state. To the north and north-west the eye stretches over lands which in any normal state of things would have been the lands of enemies, the lands of the houses of Montgomery and Bellême. But at the moment of Robert’s siege the defenders of Ballon must have looked to them as friendly spots, joined in common warfare against the Norman Duke. To the north the eye can reach beyond the Norman border at now rebellious Alençon, to the butte of Chaumont, the isolated hill which looks down upon the Rock of Mabel. To the north-east the horizon skirts the land, at other times the most dangerous of all, but which might now be deemed the most helpful, the native home of the fierce house of Talvas. But, even if Ballon had been begirt on all sides by foes, its defenders might well venture to hope that they could defy them all. The hill had clearly been a stronghold even from præhistoric times. The neck of the promontory is cut off by a vast ditch, which may have fenced in a Cenomannian fortress in days before Cæsar came. This ditch takes in the little town of Ballon with its church. A second ditch surrounds the castle itself, and is carried 211 fully round it on every side. The castle of Ballon therefore does not, like so many of its fellows, strictly overhang the stream or the low ground at its foot. At no point does it, like many other fortresses in the same land, mingle its masonry with the native rock. Ballon is more like Arques[586] on a smaller scale than like any of the strictly river fortresses. Within the ditch, the wall of the castle remains, a gateway, a tower, a house of delicate detail; but every architectural feature at Ballon is later than the days of Rufus; the greater part of the present castle belongs to the latest days of mediæval art. Siege of Ballon. This stronghold, to be fought for over and over again in the course of our story, now underwent the earliest of its sieges which concerns us. August-September, 1088. It held out stoutly for some time during the months of August and September. The loss on both sides was great. At last the besieged The castle surrenders.surrendered, and were admitted to the Duke’s grace.[587] Robert was for a moment the undisputed lord of all Maine.

Further schemes of Odo. The first part of Bishop Odo’s counsel was thus successfully carried out. But the submission of Maine was in Odo’s scheme only a means to the thorough rooting out of the house of Bellême. And Robert found himself in such sure possession of Le Mans and Maine that he could call on the warriors of city and county to follow him in carrying out the second part of the Bishop’s scheme. Robert attacks Saint Cenery. The first point for attack among the fortresses held on behalf of Earl Roger or his captive son was the castle of Saint Cenery. Description and history of the fortress. This was a border fortress of Normandy and Maine, one which could boast of a long and stirring history, and its small remains still occupy a site worthy 212 of the tale which they have to tell. Just within the Norman border, some miles west of the town and castle of Alençon, not far from the junction of the lesser stream of Sarthon with the boundary river, a long narrow peninsula is formed by the windings of the Sarthe. It forms an advanced post of Normandy thrust forward with the Cenomannian land on three sides of it. The greater part of the peninsula consists of a steep and rocky hill,[588] which, as it draws near to its point, is washed by the stream on either side, though nearer to the isthmus the height rises immediately above alluvial meadows between its base and the river. The site was a tempting one for the foundation of a castle, in days when, though there might be hostile ground on three sides, yet no bow-shot or catapult from any hostile point could reach the highest part of the hill. Yet, as the name of the place is ecclesiastical, so its earliest memories are ecclesiastical, and its occupation as a fortress was, in the days of our story, a thing of yesterday. Cenericus or Cenery, a saint of the seventh century, gave the place its name. Monastery of Saint Cenery.A monastery arose, where a hundred and forty monks prayed around the tomb of their patron. His memory is still cherished on his own ground. A church contemporary with our story, a church of the eleventh century crowned by a tower of the twelfth, rises boldly above the swift stream which flows below the three apses of its eastern end. Within, the art of a later but still early age has adorned its walls with the forms of a series of holy persons, among whom the sainted hero of the spot holds a chief place.[589] But if 213 the name of Saint Cenery first suggests the ecclesiastical history of the place, its surname[590] marks a chief feature in its secular history. The place is still Saint Cenery-le-Gerey. That is, it keeps the name of the famous house of Geroy, the name so dear to the heart of the monk of Saint Evroul.[591] For the monastery of Saint Cenery was but short-lived. The monks flee to Château-Thierry. When the wiking Hasting was laying waste the land, the monks of Saint Cenery fled away with the body of their patron, like that of Saint Cuthberht in our own land, to the safer resting-place of Château-Thierry in the land of Soissons.[592] As things now stand, the peninsula of Saint Cenery, with its church and the site of its castle, might suggest, as a lesser object suggests, a greater, the grouping of abbey and castle on that more renowned peninsula where the relics of Saint Cuthberht at last found shelter. The forsaken monastery was never restored. The holy place lost its holiness; over the tombs of the ancient monks arose a den of thieves, a special fortress of crime.[593] In other words, after a century and a half of desolation, a castle arose on the tempting site which was supplied by the neck of the peninsula.[594] Fragments of its masonry may still be 214 seen, and its precinct seems to have taken in the church and the whole peninsula, though in the greater part of its circuit no defence was needed beyond the steep and scarped sides of the rocky hill itself. The castle founded by Geoffrey of Mayenne for William of Geroy.The castle was the work of a man whose name has been familiar to us for thirty years, a man who was still living, and who was actually in the host before the fortress of his own rearing. Geoffrey of Mayenne was closely connected, as kinsman and as lord, with William the son of Geroy. When Geoffrey fell into the hands of William Talvas, the faithful vassal ransomed his lord by the sacrifice of his own castle of Montacute, which stood just beyond the Sarthon within the borders of Maine. To repair this loss of his friend, no doubt also to repay the invasion of Cenomannian soil by a like invasion of Norman soil, and to put some check in the teeth of the house of Bellême, Geoffrey built the castle of Saint Cenery on the left bank of the Sarthe, and gave it as a gift of thankfulness to the son of Geroy.[595] But the inhabitants of the new stronghold, in their dangerous border position, never knew peace or good luck, but were visited with every kind of evil.[596] History of the descendants of Geroy. The sons of the pious and virtuous Geroy yielded to the influence of the spot; they fell into crime and rebellion, and were punished by banishments and strange deaths. The second lord of Saint Cenery, Robert the brother of William, had rebelled against the Conqueror; he had held his fortress against him, and he had died in a mysterious way of a poisoned apple.[597] His son and successor Arnold found how 215 dangerous was the greed and hate of a powerful and unscrupulous neighbour. Roche-Mabille. Nearly north from Saint Cenery, at much the same distance as Alençon is to the east, not far from the foot of the hill of Chaumont which makes so marked a feature in the whole surrounding landscape, on a peninsula formed by a bend of the Sarthon, just within the borders of Maine as Saint Cenery is just within the borders of Normandy, rises the solitary rock which once had been known as Jaugy. There we still trace the ruins of the castle which bore the name of the cruel Countess, the despoiler of the house of Jaugy, the castle of the Rock of Mabel.[598] To the possessor of the Rock of Mabel the mightier rock of Saint Cenery, forming part of the same natural line of defence, could not fail to be an object of covetousness. Arnold died of poison, by the practice of the ruthless wife of Roger of Montgomery. Saint Cenery seized by Mabel. Saint Cenery became part of the possessions of the fierce line of Bellême; and, under its present master, it doubtless deserved the strongest of the names bestowed on it by the monk of Saint Evroul.

Saint Cenery held by Robert Carrel. At this moment Saint Cenery was held on behalf of Robert of Bellême by a specially valiant captain named Robert Carrel.[599] We have no details of the siege. We are told nothing of the positions occupied by the besiegers, The siege. or how they became masters of the seemingly impregnable height. We are told that the resistance was long and fierce; Surrender of Saint Cenery. but at last the castle was taken; and, as failure of provisions is spoken of as the cause, we may guess that 216 the garrison was driven to surrender. If so, the surrender must have been to the Duke’s mercy, and the mercy of Duke Robert or of his counsellors was cruel. Robert Carrel blinded. The Duke, we are told, in his wrath, ordered the eyes of Robert Carrel to be put out. The personal act of the Duke in the case of the rebel leader seems to be contrasted with Other mutilations.the sentence of a more regular tribunal of some kind, by which mutilations of various kinds were dealt out to others of the garrison.[600] Yet personal cruelty is so inconsistent with the ordinary character of Robert that we are driven to suppose either that some strong personal influence was brought to bear on the Duke’s mind, or else that Robert Carrel had given some unpardonable offence during the course of the siege. But it is worth while to notice the words which seem to imply that the punishment of the other defenders of Saint Cenery was the work of some body which at least claimed to act in a judicial character. Question of the military tribunal. We can hardly look as yet for the subtlety of a separate military jurisdiction, for what we should now call a court-martial. That can hardly be thought of, except in the case of a standing body of soldiers, like Cnut’s housecarls, with a constitution and rules of their own.[601] But as in free England we have seen the army—​that is, the nation in arms—​act on occasion the part of a national assembly, so in more aristocratic Normandy the same principle would apply in another shape. The chief men of Normandy were there, each in command of his own followers. If Robert or his immediate counsellors wished that the cruel punishments to be dealt out to the revolted garrison should not be merely their own work, 217 if they wished the responsibility of them to be shared by a larger body, the means were easy. There was a court of peers ready at hand, before whom they might arraign the traitors.

Claims of Robert, grandson of Geroy. But if there were those within Saint Cenery who were marked for punishment, there was one without its walls who claimed restitution. A son of Geroy’s son Robert, bearing his father’s name, had, like others of his family, served with credit in the wars of Apulia and Sicily. He was now in the Duke’s army, seemingly among the warriors of Maine, ready to play his part in winning back the castle of his father from the son of the murderess of his uncle. Geoffrey of Mayenne and the rest of the Cenomannian leaders asked of the Duke that the son of the former owner of the castle, Geoffrey’s own kinsman and vassal, should be restored to the inheritance of his father, the inheritance which his father held in the first instance by Geoffrey’s own gift. The warfare which was now waging was waged against the son of the woman by whom one lord of Saint Cenery had been treacherously slain. The triumph of right would be complete, if the banished man were restored to his own, at the prayer of the first giver. The castle granted to him. The Duke consented; Saint Cenery was granted afresh to the representative of the house of Geroy; Geoffrey saw the castle of his own rearing once more in friendly hands. The new lord strengthened the defences of his fortress, and held it as a post to be guarded with all care against the common enemy, the son of Mabel.[602]

Two fortresses were thus won from the revolters; and the success of the Duke at both places, his severity at 218 one of them, had their effect on those who still defended other castles for Robert of Bellême.[603] Surrender of Alençon,
of Bellême.
Alençon, where the great William had wrought so stern a vengeance for the mockeries of its citizens, stood ready to receive his son without resistance. So did Bellême itself, the fortress which gave its name to the descendants of the line of Talvas, the centre of their power, where their ancient chapel of Mabel’s day still crowns the elder castle hill, standing, isolated below the town and fortress of later date.[604] Its defenders made up their minds to submit to the summons of the Duke, if only the Duke would come near to summon them. The other castles ready to surrender. So did the garrisons of all the other castles which still remained in rebellion. Frightened at the doom of Robert Carrel and his companions, they stood ready to surrender as soon as the Duke should come. But it is not clear whether the Duke ever did draw near to receive the fortresses which were ready to open their gates to him. Robert had had enough of success, or of the exertions which were needful for success. It would almost seem as if the siege of Saint Cenery had been as much as he could go through, and as if he turned back at once on its surrender. At all events he stopped just when complete victory was within his grasp. He longed for the idle 219 repose of his palace. Robert disbands his army. His army was disbanded; every man who followed the Duke’s banner had the Duke’s licence to go to his own home.[605]

Robert of Bellême still in prison. All this while, it will be remembered, Robert of Bellême himself was actually in bonds in the keeping of Bishop Odo. The war had been waged rather against his father Earl Roger than against himself. But it was wholly on Robert’s account that it had been waged. Whatever we may think of the right or wrong of his imprisonment at the moment when it took place, there can be no doubt that it was for the general good of the Norman duchy that Robert of Bellême should be hindered from doing mischief. He was the arch-rebel against his sovereign, the arch-plunderer of his neighbours, the man who, in that fierce age, was branded by common consent as the cruellest of the cruel. It was to break his power, to win back the castles which he had seized, that the hosts of Normandy and Maine had been brought together; it was for the crime of maintaining his cause that Robert Carrel and his comrades had undergone their cruel punishment. But the fates of the chief and of his subaltern were widely different. Duke Robert, weary of warfare, was even more than ever disposed to mercy, that is more than ever disposed to gratify the biddings of a weak good-nature. Earl Roger prays for his son’s release. Earl Roger marked the favourable moment, when the host was disbanded, and when the Duke had gone back to the idle pleasures of Rouen. He sent eloquent messengers, charged with many promises in his name—​promises doubtless of good behaviour on the part of his son—​and prayed for the release of the prisoner.[606] 220 With Duke Robert an appeal of this kind from a man like Earl Roger went for more than all reasonable forethought for himself and his duchy. The welfare of thousands was sacrificed to a weak pity for one man. Robert of Bellême set free.Robert of Bellême was set free. His promises were of course forgotten; gratitude and loyalty were forgotten. Till a wiser sovereign sent him in after days to a prison from which there was no escape, he went on with his His of plunder and torture, of utter contempt and defiance of the ducal authority.[607] But, under such a prince as Robert, contempt and defiance of the ducal authority was no disqualification for appearing from time to time as a ducal counsellor.[608]

Robert of Bellême was thus set free, because his father had asked for his freedom. A prince who sought to keep any kind of consistency in his acts could hardly have kept his own brother Henry in ward one moment after the prison doors were opened to his fellow-captive. But it would seem that the gaol-delivery at Bayeux did not follow at once on that at Neuilly. Henry set free. Henry was still kept in his prison, till, at the general request of all the chief lords of Normandy, he was set free.[609] He went back to his county of the Côtentin with no good will to either of his brothers.[610] Here he strove to strengthen himself 221 in every way, by holding the castles of his principality, by winning friends and hiring mercenaries. Henry strengthens his castles. He strengthened the castles of Coutances and Avranches, those of Cherbourg by the northern rocks and of Gavray in the southern part of the Côtentin. His partisans. Among his counsellors and supporters were some men of note, as Richard of Redvers, and the greater name of the native lord of Avranches, Earl Hugh of Chester.[611] Indeed all the lords of the Côtentin stood by their Count, save only the gloomy, and perhaps banished, Robert of Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland. That we find the lords of two English earldoms thus close together in a corner of Normandy shows how thoroughly the history of the kingdom and that of the duchy form at this moment one tale. His good government. While the Count and Ætheling was strengthened by such support, the land of Coutances and Avranches enjoyed another moment of peace and order, while the rest of Normandy was torn in pieces by the quarrels of Robert of Bellême and his like.

§ 2. The first Successes of William Rufus.

Schemes of William Rufus. While the duchy of Normandy had thus become one scene of anarchy under the no-government of its nominal prince, the King of the English had been carefully watching the revolutions of his brother’s dominions. He now deemed that the time had come to avenge the wrongs which he deemed that he had suffered at his brother’s hands. He must have seen that he had not much to fear from a prince who had let slip 222 such advantages as Robert had held in his hands after the taking of Saint Cenery. He watched his time; he made his preparations, and was now ready to take the decisive step of crossing the sea himself or sending others to cross it. But even William Rufus in all his pride and self-confidence knew that it did not depend wholly on himself to send either native or adopted Englishmen on such an errand. He had learned enough of English constitutional law not to think of venturing on a foreign war without the constitutional sanction of his kingdom. He consults the Assembly at Winchester. Easter, 1090.In a Gemót at Winchester, seemingly the Easter Gemót of the third year of his reign,[612] he laid his schemes before the assembled Witan, and obtained their consent to a war with the Duke of the Normans. His speech. If we may trust the one report which we have of his speech, William the Red had as good reasons to give for an invasion of Normandy as his father had once had to give for an invasion of England. He went forth to avenge the wrongs which his brother had done to him, the rebellion which he had stirred up in his kingdom. But he went also from the purest motives of piety and humanity. The prince who had tried to deprive him of his dominions had shown himself utterly unable to rule his own. A cry had come into the ears of him, the Red King, to which 223 he could not refuse to hearken. It was the cry of the holy Church, the cry of the widow and the orphan. All were alike oppressed by the thieves and murderers whom the weakness of Robert allowed to do their will throughout the Norman land. That land looked back with a sigh to the days of William the Great, who had saved Normandy alike from foreign and from domestic foes. It became his son, the inheritor of his name and crown, to follow in his steps, and to do the same work again. He called on all who had been his father’s men, on all who held fiefs of his granting in Normandy or in England, to come forward and show their prowess for the deliverance of the suffering duchy.[613] But it was for them to take counsel and to decide. His constitutional language. Let the Assembly declare its judgement on his proposal. His purpose was, with their consent, to send over an army to Normandy, at once to take vengeance for his own wrongs, and to carry out the charitable work of delivering the Church and the oppressed, and of chastising evil-doers with the sword of justice.[614]

This constitutional language in the mouth of William Rufus sounds somewhat strange in our ears; the profession of high and holy purposes sounds stranger still. There is of course no likelihood that we are reading a genuine report of an actual speech; still the words of our historian are not without their value. No one would have been likely to invent those words, unless they had fairly represented the relations which still existed 224 between a King of the English and the Assembly of his kingdom. The piety may all come from the brain of the monk of Saint Evroul; Its witness to constitutional usage. but the constitutional doctrines which he has worked into the speech cannot fail to set forth the ordinary constitutional usage of the time. Even in the darkest hour in which England had any settled government at all, in the reign of the worst of all our kings, it was not the will of the King alone, not the will of any private cabal or cabinet, but the will of the Great Council of the nation, which, just as in the days of King Eadward,[615] decided questions of peace and war.

The Witan unanimously agreed to the King’s proposal, and applauded, so we are told, the lofty spirit—​the technical name is used—​of the King himself.[616] War voted by the Witan. War was at once voted, and it might have been expected that a brilliant campaign would at once have followed on the warlike vote. We might have looked to see the Red King, the mirror of chivalry, cross the sea, as his father had done on the opposite errand, at the head of the whole force of his realm. We might have looked to see a series of gallant feats of arms take place between the two hostile brothers. The real story is widely different. The King stays in England. William Rufus did not cross the sea till a year after war had been declared, and remarkably little fighting happened, both while he stayed in England and after he set forth for Normandy. His policy. But we have seen that William Rufus, as a true Norman, was, with all his chivalry, at least as much fox as lion.[617] And a ruler of England, above all, a son of William the 225 Great, had many weapons at his command, one only of which could the Duke of the Normans hope to withstand with weapons of the like kind. His advantages in a a struggle with Robert. Robert was in his own person as stout a man-at-arms as Rufus, and, if the chivalry of Normandy could only be persuaded to rally round his banner, he might, as the valiant leader of a valiant host, withstand on equal terms any force that the island monarch could bring against him. But courage, and, we may add, whenever he chose to use it, real military skill, were the only weapons which Robert had at his bidding. The armoury of the Red King contained a choice of many others, any one of which alone might make courage and military skill wholly useless. William, headstrong as he often showed himself, could on occasion bide his time as well as his father, and, well as he loved fighting, he knew that a land in such a state as Normandy was under Robert could be won by easier means. Besides daring and generalship equal to that of Robert, Rufus had statecraft; and he was not minded to use even his generalship as long as his statecraft could serve his turn. He knew, or his ready wit divined, that there were men of all classes in Normandy who would be willing to do his main work for him without his striking a blow, without his crossing the sea in person, almost without a blow being struck in his behalf. He had only to declare himself his brother’s rival, and it was the interest of most of the chief men in Normandy to support his claims against his brother. Interest of the chief Normans. The very same motives which had led the Normans in England to revolt against William on behalf of Robert would now lead the Normans in Normandy to revolt against Robert on behalf of William. Norman nobles and land-owners who held lands on both sides of the sea had deemed it for their interest 226 that one lord should rule on both sides of the sea. They had then deemed it for their interest that that lord should be Robert rather than William. The former doctrine still kept all its force; on the second point they had learned something by experience. Position of William and Robert. If England and Normandy were to have one sovereign, that sovereign must needs be William and not Robert. There was not the faintest chance of placing Robert on the royal throne of England; there was a very fair chance of placing William in the ducal chair of Normandy. Simply as a ruler, as one who commanded the powers of the state and the army, William had shown that he had it in his power to reward and to punish. Robert had shown that it was quite beyond his power to reward or to punish anybody. He who drew on himself the wrath of the King was likely enough to lose his estates in England; he who drew on himself the wrath of the Duke had no need to be fearful of losing his estates in Normandy. Power of William’s wealth. And William had the means of making a yet more direct appeal to the interests of not a few of his brother’s subjects, in a way in which it was still more certain that his brother would not appeal to any of his subjects. The hoard at Winchester was still well filled. If it had been largely drawn upon, it was again filled to the brim with treasures brought in by every kind of unrighteous exactions. Already was the land “fordone with unlawful gelds;”[618] but the King had the profit of them. But there was no longer any hoard at Rouen out of which Robert could hire the choicest troops of all lands to defend his duchy, as William could hire them to attack it. Hiring of mercenaries. And the wealth at William’s command might do much even without hiring a single mercenary. The castles of Normandy were strong; but 227 few of them were so strong that, in the words of King Philip—​Philip of Macedon, not Philip of France—​an Bribes. ass laden with gold could not find its way into them.[619] Armed at all points, master alike of gold and steel, able to work himself and to command the services of others alike with the head and with the hand, William Rufus could, at least in contending with Robert, conquer when he chose and how he chose. Bribes. He conquers without leaving England. And for a while he chose, like the Persian king of old, to win towns and castles without stirring from his hearth.[620]

Norman Campaign

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map illustrating the
A.D. 1091.

Submission of Saint Valery. The first point of the mainland which the Red King won was one which lay beyond the strict bounds of the Norman duchy; but no spot, either in Normandy or in England, was more closely connected with the fortunes of his house. And it was one which had a certain fitness as the beginning of such a campaign. The first spot of continental ground which was added to the dominion of one who called himself King of the English, and who at least was truly King of England, was the spot from which his father had set forth for the conquest of England. He won it by the means which were specially his own. “By his cunning or by his treasures he gat him the castle at Saint Valery and the havens.”[621] Englishmen had fought for the elder William 228 in Maine and before Gerberoi;[622] but that was merely to win back the lost possessions of the Norman Duke. Now the wealth and the arms of England were used to win castles beyond the sea for a prince whose possessions and whose titles up to that moment were purely English. Beginning of English action on the continent. In the history of England as a power—​and the history of England as a power had no small effect on the history of the English as a people—​the taking of Saint Valery is the beginning of a chain of events which leads on, not only to the fight of Tinchebray and the first loss of Rouen, but to the fight of Crecy and the fight of Chastillon, to the taking of Boulogne and the loss of Calais.

Saint Valery had, by the forced commendation of the still reigning Count Guy, passed under Norman superiority;[623] but it was no part of the true Norman land. Submission of Stephen of Aumale. The first fortress within the Norman duchy which passed into the hands of Rufus was the castle of Aumale, standing just within the Norman border, on the upper course of the river of Eu. Its lord, the first of the great Norman nobles to submit to William and to receive his garrison into his castle, was Stephen, son of Count Odo of Champagne and of Adelaide, whole sister of the Conqueror, cousin-german therefore of the two contending princes.[624] Aumale was won, as Saint Valery had been won, by cunning or by treasure. Stephen may simply have learned to see that it was better for him to have the same lord at Aumale and in Holderness, or his eyes may have been yet further enlightened by the brightness of 229 English gold. But the Red King had other means at his disposal, and it seems that other means were needed, if not to win, at least to keep Aumale. Aumale strengthened as the King’s headquarters. The defences of the castle were greatly strengthened at the King’s cost,[625] and it became a centre for further operations. “Therein he set his knights, and they did harms upon the land, in harrying and in burning.”[626] Other castles were soon added to the Red King’s dominion. Submission of Count Robert of Eu and his son William; Count Robert of Eu, whom we have heard of alike at Mortemer and in Lindesey,[627] the father of the man whom we have more lately heard of at Berkeley, still held the house where William the Great had received Harold as his guest,[628] hard by the church where he had received Matilda as his bride.[629] The Count had been enriched with lands in southern England; he is not recorded as having joined in his son’s rebellion; and the lord of Eu now transferred the allegiance of his Norman county to the prince of whom he held his command on the rocks of Hastings.[630] Aumale and Eu, two of the most important points on the eastern border of Normandy, are thus the first places which we hear of as receiving Rufus on the mainland. We shall hear of both names again, but in quite another kind of tale, before the reign of Rufus is over.

of Gerard of Gournay. The next Norman noble to join the cause of William was another lord of the same frontier, who held a point of hardly less importance to the south of Eu and Aumale. 230 This was Gerard of Gournay, son of the warrior of Mortemer who had gone to end his days as a monk of Bec,[631] son-in-law of the new Earl of Surrey,[632] husband of perhaps the only woman on Norman ground who bore the name of English Eadgyth.[633] His castle of Gournay, from which many men and more than one place[634] in England have drawn their name, stood on the upper course of the Epte, close to the French border. The fortress itself has vanished; The church of Gournay. but the minster of Saint Hildebert, where the massive work of Gerard’s day has been partly recast in the lighter style of the next century, still remains, with its mighty pillars, its varied and fantastic carvings, to make Gournay a place of artistic pilgrimage. Nor is it hard to trace the line of the ancient walls of the town, showing how the border stream of Epte was pressed into the service of the Norman engineers. The adhesion of the lord of Gournay seems to have been of the highest importance to the cause of Rufus. The influence of Gerard reached over a wide district north of his main dwelling. Other castles of Gerard. Along with Gournay, he placed at the King’s disposal his fortress of La Ferté Saint Samson, crowning a height looking over the vale of Bray, and his other fortress of Gaillefontaine to the north-east, on another height by the wood of its own name, overlooking the early course of the Bethune or Dieppe, the stream which joins the eastern Varenne by the hill of Arques.[635] Gerard too was not only ready in receiving the King’s forces into his own castles, but zealous also in bringing over his neighbours to follow his example.[636] Among 231 these was the lord of Wigmore, late the rebel of Worcester, Ralph of Mortemer.[637] Submission of Earl Walter Giffard. Old Walter Giffard too, now Earl of Buckingham in England, had English interests far too precious to allow him to oppose his island sovereign. His castle of Longueville. He held the stronghold of Longueville—​the north-eastern Longueville by the Scie, the stream which, small as it is, pours its waters independently into the Channel between Dieppe and Saint Valery-in-Caux. There, from a bottom fenced in by hills on every side, the village, the church where the hand of the modern destroyer has spared only a few fragments of the days of Norman greatness, the priory which has been utterly swept away, all looked up to a hill on the right bank of the stream which art had changed into a stronghold worthy to rank alongside of Arques and Gisors. Girt about with a deep ditch, on the more exposed southern side with a double ditch, the hill was crowned by a shell-keep which still remains, though patched and shattered, and a donjon which has been wholly swept away. In this fortress the aged warrior of Arques and Senlac received, like so many of his neighbours, the troops which William of England had sent to bring the Norman duchy under his power.

Ralph of Toesny and Count William of Evreux. The domains of all these lords lay in the lands on the right bank of the Seine, the oldest, but, as I have often remarked, not the truest Normandy. But the Red King also won a valuable ally in quite another part of the duchy. This was Ralph of Conches or of Toesny, with whom we are now most concerned as the husband of the warlike Isabel of Montfort, and, in that character rather than in any other, the enemy of the Countess Heloise and of her husband Count William of Evreux. The rival lords were in fact half-brothers. The old 232 Roger of Toesny, the warlike pilgrim of Spain,[638] was succeeded by Ralph, who has so often played his part in our story, and whom we last met in Duke Robert’s army before Le Mans.[639] The widow of Roger, the mother of Ralph, had married Richard Count of Evreux, and was by him the mother of the present Count William.[640] Enmity of their wives. But this near kindred by birth had less strength to bind the brothers together than the fierce rivalry of their wives had to set them at feud with one another. The jealousy of these two warlike ladies kept a large part of Normandy in a constant uproar. Our historian bitterly laments the amount of bloodshed and havoc which was the result of their rivalry.[641] Countess Heloise of Evreux. Heloise was of the house of the Counts of Nevers, the Burgundian city by the Loire, a descent which carries us a little out of our usual geographical range.[642] Tall, handsome, and ready of speech, she ruled her husband and the whole land of Evreux with an absolute sway. Her will was everything; the counsels of the barons of the county went for nothing.[643] Violent and greedy, she quarrelled with many 233 of the nobles of Normandy, with Count Robert of Meulan among them, and stirred up her husband to many disputes and wars to gratify her fierce passions.[644] At this time some slight which she had received from the lady of Conches had led her to entangle her husband in a bitter feud with his half-brother. Isabel of Montfort. Isabel or Elizabeth—​the two names are, as usual, given to her indifferently—​the wife of Ralph of Toesny, was a daughter of the French house of Montfort,[645] the house of our own Simon. Like her rival, she must now have been long past her youth; but, while Heloise was childless,[646] Isabel was the mother of several children, among them of a son who has already played a part in Norman history. This was that younger Ralph of Toesny who married the daughter of Waltheof and who had taken a part in the present Duke’s rebellion against his father.[647] Handsome, eloquent, self-willed, and overbearing, like her rival, Isabel had qualities which gained her somewhat more of personal regard than the Countess of Evreux. She was liberal and pleasant and merry of 234 speech, and made herself agreeable to those immediately about her. Moreover, while of Heloise we read indeed that she stirred up wars, but not that she waged them in her own person, Isabel, like the ancient Queens of the Amazons, went forth to the fight, mounted and armed, and attended by a knightly following.[648] War between Conches and Evreux. The struggle between the ladies of Evreux and Conches was at its height at the moment when the castles of eastern Normandy were falling one by one into the hands of Rufus. Isabel and Ralph were just now sore pressed. Ralph in vain asks help of the Duke. The lord of Conches therefore went to Duke Robert and craved his help;[649] but from Duke Robert no help was to be had for any man. Ralph then bethought him of a stronger protector, in the sovereign of his English possessions. He submits to William.King William gladly received such a petition, and bade Count Stephen and Gerard of Gournay, and all who had joined him in Normandy, to give all the help that they could to the new proselyte.[650] Advance of William’s party. The cause of the Red King prospered everywhere; well nigh all Normandy to the right of Seine was in the obedience of Rufus. All its chief men had, in a phrase which startles us in that 235 generation, “joined the English.”[651] And for them the King of the English was open-handed. Into the hoard at Winchester the wealth of England flowed in the shape of every kind of unlawful exaction. Out of it it flowed as freely to enable the new subjects of King William to strengthen the defences of their castles and to hire mercenaries to defend them.[652]

Helias of Saint-Saens. During all this time Duke Robert himself does not seem to have thought of striking a blow. But there was one man at least between Seine and Somme who was ready both to give and to take blows on his behalf. He marries Robert’s daughter. Robert had given one of his natural children, a daughter born, to him in his wandering days,[653] in marriage to Helias, lord of Saint-Saens.[654] Helias, like so many of the Norman nobles, came of a house which had risen to importance His descent.through the loves of Gunnor and Richard the Fearless.[655] A daughter of one of Gunnor’s sisters married Richard Viscount of Rouen, and became the mother of Lambert of Saint-Saens, the father of Helias.[656] Helias and the daughter of Robert had thus a common, though distant, forefather in the father of Gunnor. He has Caux as his wife’s dowry. With his wife Helias received a goodly dowry, nothing less, we are told, than the whole land of Caux.[657] Helias’ own lordship of Saint-Saens lies on the upper course of the Position of Saint-Saens. 236 Varenne, in a deep bottom girt on all sides by wooded hills, one of which, known as the Câtelier, overhanging the town to the north, seems to have been the site of the castle of Helias. His stronghold has vanished; but the church on which the height looks down, if no rival to Saint Hildebert of Gournay, still keeps considerable remains of an age but little later than that with which we have to do. Importance of his position. The possessions of Helias, both those which he inherited and those which he received with his wife, made his resistance to the invader of no small help to the cause of his father-in-law. They barred the nearest way to Rouen, not indeed from Gournay, but from Eu and Aumale. They came right between these last fortresses and the domain of Walter Giffard at Longueville. Of the three streams which meet by Arques, while Helias himself held the upper Varenne at Saint-Saens, Bures. his wife’s fortress of Bures held the middle course of the Bethune or Dieppe below Gerard’s Gaillefontaine, and below Drincourt, not yet the New Castle of King Henry.[658] The massive church, with parts dating from the days of Norman independence, rises on the left slope of the valley above an island in the stream. But the site of the castle which formed part of the marriage portion of Duke Robert’s daughter is hard to trace. Helias holds Arques. But lower down, nearer the point where the streams meet, the bride of Helias had brought him a noble gift indeed. Through her he was lord of Arques, with its donjon and its ditches, the mighty castle whose tale has been told in recording the history of an earlier generation.[659] A glance at the map will show how strong a position in eastern Normandy was held by the man who commanded at once Saint-Saens, Bures, and Arques. But the son-in-law of Duke Robert deserves our notice 237 for something better than his birth, his marriage, or his domains. Faithfulness of Helias towards Robert. Helias of Saint-Saens was, in his personal character, a worthy namesake of Helias of La Flêche. Among the crimes and treasons of that age, we dwell with delight on the unswerving faithfulness with which, through many years and amidst all the ups and downs of fortune, he clave to the reigning Duke and to his son after him.[660] But this his later history lies beyond the bounds of our immediate tale. What directly concerns us now is that Helias was the one noble of Normandy whom the gold of England could not tempt. It would be almost ungenerous to put on record the fact that, unlike most of his neighbours, he had no English estates to lose. The later life of Helias puts him above all suspicion of meaner motives. Saint-Saens, Arques, Bures, and all Caux, remained faithful to Duke Robert.

With this honourable exception, an exception which greatly lessened the value of his new conquests, William Rufus had won, without hand-strokes, without his personal presence, a good half of the original grant to Rolf, the greater part of the diocese of Rouen. William’s dealings with France. He was soon to win yet another triumph by his peculiar policy. By those arms which were specially his own, he was to win over an ally, or at least to secure the neutrality of an enemy, of far higher rank, though perhaps of hardly greater practical power, than the Count of Aumale and the aged lord of Longueville. Robert asks help of Philip. Robert in his helplessness cried to his over-lord at Paris. Had not his father done the same to Philip’s father? Had not King Henry played a part at least equal to that of Duke William among the lifted lances of Val-ès-dunes?[661] Philip had 238 had his jest on the bulky frame of the Conqueror, and his jest had been avenged among the candles of the bloody churching at Mantes.[662] By this time at least, so some of our authorities imply, Philip had brought himself to a case in which the same jest might have been made upon himself with a good deal more of point. Philip comes to help. At the prayer of his vassal the bulky King of the French left his table and his dainties, and set forth, sighing and groaning at the unusual exertion, to come to the help of the aggrieved Duke.[663] It was a strange beginning of the direct rivalry between England and France. Meeting of the Norman and French armies. King Philip came with a great host into Normandy. And Robert must somewhere or other have found forces to join those of his royal ally. And now was shown the value of the position which was held by the faithful Helias in the land of Caux. They march on Eu. It must have been by his help that the combined armies of Robert and Philip were able to march to the furthest point of the Red King’s new acquisitions, to the furthest point of the Norman duchy itself, to the castle of Eu, which was held, we are told, by a vast host, Norman and English.[664] Let an honest voice from Peterborough 239 tell what followed. “And the King and the Earl with a huge fyrd beset the castle about where the King’s men of England in it were. Philip bribed to go back. The King William of England sent to Philip the Franks’ King, and he for his love or for his mickle treasure forlet so his man the Earl Robert and his land, and went again to France and let them so be.”[665] A Latin writer does not think it needful to allow Philip the perhaps ironical alternative of the English writer. Love between Philip and William Rufus is not thought of. We are simply told that, while Philip was promising great things, the money of the King of England met him—​the wealth of Rufus seems to be personified. Before its presence his courage was broken; he loosed his girdle and went back to his banquet.[666]

The first English subsidy. Thus the special weapons of Rufus could overcome even kings at a distance. But, ludicrous as the tale sounds in the way in which it is told, this negotiation between Philip and William is really, in an European, and even in an English point of view, the most important event in the whole story. We should hardly be wrong in calling this payment to Philip the first instance of the employment of English money in the shape of subsidies to foreign princes. For such it in strictness was. It was not, like a Danegeld, money paid to buy off a foreign invader. Nor was it like the simple hiring of mercenaries at home or abroad. It is, like later subsidies, money paid to a foreign sovereign, on 240 condition of his promoting, or at least not thwarting, the policy of a sovereign of England. The appetite[667] which was now first awakened in Philip of Paris soon came to be shared by other princes, and it lasted in full force for many ages. First direct dealings between England and France. Again, we have now for the first time direct political dealings between a purely insular King of England—​we may forestall the territorial style when speaking of England as a state rather than of Englishmen as a nation—​and a French King at Paris. The embassies which passed between Eadward and Henry, even when Henry made his appeal on behalf of Godwine,[668] hardly make an exception. Different position of the two Williams. William the Great had dealt with France as a Norman duke; if, in the latter part of his reign, he had wielded the strength of England as well as the strength of Normandy, he had wielded it, as far as France was concerned, wholly for Norman purposes. But William the Red, though his position arose wholly out of the new relations between England and Normandy, was still for the present a purely English king. Relation of England, Normandy, and France. The first years of Rufus and the first years of Henry the First are alike breaks in the hundred and forty years of union between England and Normandy.[669] Had not a Norman duke conquered England, an English king would not have been seeking to conquer Normandy; but, as a matter of fact, an English king, who had no dominions on the mainland, was seeking to conquer Normandy. And he was seeking to win it with 241 the good will, or at least the neutrality, of the French King. This was a state of things which could have happened only during the few years when different sons of the Conqueror ruled in England and in Normandy. Whenever England and Normandy were united, whether by conquest or by inheritance, the old strife between France and Normandy led England into the struggle. But at the present moment an alliance between England and France against Normandy was as possible as any other political combination. Results of Rufus’ dealings with Philip. And the arts of Rufus secured, if not French alliance, at least French neutrality. But either alliance or neutrality was in its own nature destructive of itself. Let either Normandy win England or England win Normandy, and the old state of things again began. The union of England and Normandy meant enmity between England and France, an enmity which survived their separation.[670] Friendly dealings between William and Philip were a step towards the union of England and Normandy, and thereby a step towards that open enmity between England and France which began under Rufus himself and which lasted down to our fathers’ times. The bribe which Philip took at Eu has its place in the chain of events which led to Bouvines, to Crécy, and to Waterloo.

State of Normandy. But while things were thus, unknown to the actors in them, taking a turn which was permanently to affect the history of mankind, the immediate business of the time went on as before in the lands of Northern Gaul. In Normandy that immediate business was mutual destruction—​civil war is too lofty a name; in Maine it was deliverance from the Norman yoke. I am not called on to tell in detail the whole story of every local strife between one Norman baron and another, not even in those 242 rare cases when the Duke himself stepped in as a judge or as a party in the strife. Those who loved nothing so well as slaughter, plunder, and burning, had now to make up for the many years during which the strong hand of William the Great had kept them back from those enjoyments. Private wars not interrupted by the invasion. They had no thought of stopping, though the kings of England and France, or all the kings of the earth, should appear in arms on Norman soil. Many a brilliant feat of arms, as it was deemed in those days, must be left to local remembrance; even at events which closely touched many of the chief names of our story we can do no more than glance. The revolt of Maine will have to be spoken of at length in another chapter; Action of Robert of Bellême. among strictly Norman affairs we naturally find Robert of Bellême playing his usual part towards his sovereign and his neighbours, and we find the tower of Ivry and the fortified hall of Brionne ever supplying subjects of strife to the turbulent nobles. We see Robert of Bellême at war with his immediate neighbour Geoffrey Count of Perche,[671] and driving Abbot Ralph of Seez to seek shelter in England.[672] We also find him beaten back from the walls of Exmes by Gilbert of Laigle and the other warriors of his house, the house of which we have heard in the Malfosse of Senlac 243 and beneath the rocks of Sainte-Susanne.[673] William of Breteuil loses, wins, and loses again, his late grant of the tower of Ivry, and the second time he is driven to give both the tower and the hand of his natural daughter as his own ransom from a specially cruel imprisonment at the hands of a rebellious vassal.[674] Brionne forms the centre of a tale in which its new lord and his son, the other Roger and the other Robert of our story, play over again the part of the Earl of Shrewsbury and his son of Bellême. Robert of Meulan claims the tower of Ivry. Robert of Meulan comes from England to assert his claim among others to the much-contested tower of Ivry. The Duke reminds him that he had given Brionne to his father in exchange for Ivry. The Count of Meulan gives a threatening answer.[675] He is imprisoned, but set free at the intercession of his father. The Duke, with unusual spirit, puts him in prison, seizes Brionne, and puts it into a state of defence. Then the old Roger of Beaumont, old a generation earlier,[676] obtains, by the recital of his own exploits, 244 the deliverance of his son.[677] He then prays, not without golden arguments, for the restitution of Brionne.[678] Robert takes Brionne. The officer in command, Robert son of Baldwin, asserts his own hereditary claim, and, at the head of six knights only, stands a siege, though not a long one, against the combined forces of the Duke and of the Count of Meulan and his father.[679] This siege is remarkable. The summer days were hot; all things were dry; the besiegers shot red-hot arrows against the roof of the fortified hall, and set fire to it.[680] So Duke Robert boasted that he had taken in a day the river-fortress which had held out for three years against his father.[681]

These events concern us only because we know the actors, and because they helped to keep up that state of confusion in the Norman duchy which supplied the Red King at once with an excuse for his invasion, and with the means for carrying out his schemes. Advance of Rufus. It must be remembered that the two stories are actually contemporary; while Robert was besieging Brionne, the fortresses of eastern Normandy were already falling one by one into the hands of Rufus. It is even quite possible that 245 Robert of Meulan’s voyage from England to Normandy, and the demands made by him and his father on the Duke, were actually planned between the cunning Count and the Red King as a means of increasing the confusion which reigned in the duchy. But there are tales of local strife which concern us more nearly. The war of Conches and Evreux. The war of the half-brothers, the war of the Amazons, the strife between Conches and Evreux, between Isabel and Heloise, is an immediate part of the tale of William Rufus. The lord of Conches was strengthened in his struggle with his brother by forces directly sent to his help by the King’s order.[682] Movement at Rouen. The war went on; and, while it was still going on, a far more important movement began in the greatest city of Normandy, a movement in which the King of the English was yet more directly concerned. Up to this time his plans had been everywhere crowned with success. His campaign, if campaign we can call it, had begun soon after Easter. Half a year had passed, and nearly the whole of the oldest, though not the truest, Normandy had fallen into his hands without his stirring out of his island realm. It now became doubtful whether Robert could keep even the capital of his duchy.

November, 1090. The month of November of this year saw stirring scenes alike in the streets of Rouen and beneath the walls of Conches. But, while Conches was openly aided by the King’s troops, no force from England or from the parts of Normandy which William had already won had as yet drawn near to Rouen. Rufus knew other means to gain over the burghers of a great city as well as the lords of castles and smaller towns. State of things in Rouen. The glimpse which we now get of the internal state of the Norman metropolis tells us, like so many other glimpses which are given us in the history of these times, just enough to make us wish to be 246 told more. A state of things is revealed to us which we are not used to in the history of Normandy. Rouen appears for a moment as something like an independent commonwealth, though an enemy might call it a commonwealth which seemed to be singularly bent on its own destruction. The municipal spirit. The same municipal spirit which we have seen so strong at Exeter and at Le Mans[683] shows itself now for a moment at Rouen. We may be sure that under the rule of William the Great no man had dreamed of a commune in the capital of Normandy. His arm, we may be sure, had protected the men of Rouen, like all his other subjects, in the enjoyment of all rights and privileges which were not inconsistent with his own dominion. But in his day Rouen could have seen no demagogues, no tyrants, no armies in civic pay, no dealings of its citizens with any prince other than their own sovereign. But the rule of William the Great was over; in Robert’s days it may well have seemed that the citizens of so great a city were better able to rule themselves, or at all events that they were entitled to choose their own ruler. When the arts of Rufus, his gifts and his promises, began to work at Rouen in the same way in which they had worked on the castles of the eastern border, his agents had to deal, not with a prince or a lord, but with a body of citizens under the leadership of one of whom one doubts whether he should be called a demagogue or a tyrant. We seem to be carried over two hundred and forty years to the dealings of Edward the Third with the mighty brewer of Ghent. Conan demagogue or tyrant. The Artevelde of Rouen was Conan—​the name suggests a Breton origin—​the son of Gilbert surnamed Pilatus. He was the richest man in the city; his craft is not told us; but we must always remember that a citizen was not necessarily a trader.[684] His wealth 247 was such that it enabled him to feed troops of mercenaries and to take armed knights into his pay.[685] Another leading citizen, next in wealth to Conan, was William the son of Ansgar,[686] whose name seems to imply the purest Norman blood. Conan’s treaty with William. Conan had entered into a treaty with William, the object of which, we are told, was to betray the metropolis of Normandy and the Duke of the Normans—​the sleepy Duke, as our guide calls him—​into the power of the island King.[687] The citizens favour William. Nor was this merely the scheme of Conan and William; public feeling in the city went heartily with them. A party still clave to the Duke; but the mass of the men of Rouen threw in their lot with Conan, and were, like him, ready to receive William as their sovereign instead of Robert.[688] They may well have thought that, in the present state of things, any change would be for the better; the utter lawlessness of the time, which might have its charms for turbulent nobles, would have no charms for the burghers of a great city. Or the men of Rouen may have argued then, much as the men of Bourdeaux argued ages later, that they were likely to enjoy a greater measure of municipal freedom, under a King of the English, dwelling apart from them in his own island, than they would ever win from a Duke of the Normans, holding 248 his court and castle in Rouen itself. Yet the friends of Robert might have their arguments too. A party for Robert. The party of mere conservatism, the party of order, would naturally cleave to him. But other motives might well come in. True friends of the commune might doubt whether William the Red was likely to be a very safe protector of civic freedom. They might argue that, if they must needs have a master, their liberties were less likely to be meddled with under such a master as Robert. But the party of the Duke’s friends, on whatever grounds it stood by him, was the weaker party. A majority of the citizens was zealous for William. A day fixed for the surrender to William. A day was fixed by Conan with the general consent, on which the city was to be given up,[689] and the King’s forces were invited to come from Gournay and other points in his obedience. Robert sends for help. Robert seems to have stayed in the capital which was passing from him; but he felt that, if he was to have supporters, he must seek for them beyond its walls. He sent to tell his plight to those of the nobles of Normandy in whom he still put any trust.[690] And he also hastened to seek help in a reconciliation with some neighbours and subjects with whom he was at variance.

Henry and Robert of Bellême come to the Duke’s help. It is certainly a little startling, after the history of the past year, to find at the head of the list of Duke Robert’s new allies the names of the Ætheling Henry and of Robert of Bellême. We may well fancy that they took up arms, not so much to support the rights of the Duke against the King as to check the dangerous example of a great city taking upon itself to choose among the 249 claims of kings, dukes, and counts. Danger of the example of Rouen. Robert of Bellême may indeed have simply hastened to any quarter from which the scent of coming slaughter greeted him. But Henry the Clerk could always have given a reason for anything that he did. Popular movements at Rouen might supply dangerous precedents at Coutances. The Count of Coutances too might have better hopes of becoming Duke of Rouen, if Rouen were still held for a while by such a prince as Robert, than he could have if the city became either the seat of a powerful commonwealth or the stronghold of a powerful king. But, from whatever motive, Henry came, and he was the first to come.[691] Others to whom the Duke’s messengers set forth his desolate state[692] came also. Others who help Robert. Robert of Bellême, so lately his prisoner, Count William of Evreux and his nephew William of Breteuil, all hastened, if not to the deliverance of Duke Robert, at least to the overthrow of Conan. And with them came Reginald of Warren, the younger son of William and Gundrada,[693] and Gilbert of Laigle, fresh from his victory over his mightiest comrade.[694] November 3, 1090. At the beginning of November Duke Robert was still in the castle of Rouen; but his brother Henry was now with him within its walls, and the captains Henry at Rouen. who had come to his help were thundering at the gates of the rebellious city.

Illustration: Rouen

E. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.


Rouen in the eleventh century. The Rouen of those days, like the Le Mans, the York, and the Lincoln, of those days, was still the Roman city, the old Rothomagus. As in those and in countless other cases, large and populous suburbs had spread themselves over the neighbouring country; at Rouen, as at York, 250 those suburbs had passed the river; but the city itself, the walled space to be attacked and defended in wartime, was still of the same extent as it had been in the days before Rolf and before Chlodwig. The rectangular space marking the Roman camp stretched on its southern side nearly to the Seine, whose stream, not yet fenced in by quays, reached further inland on that side than it now does. Position of the city. Rouen is essentially a river city, not a hill city. The metropolitan church does indeed stand on sensibly higher ground than the buildings close to the river; but to one fresh from Le Mans or Chartres the rise which has to be mastered seems trifling indeed. For a hill city the obvious site would have been on the natural akropolis supplied by the height of Saint Katharine to the south-east. Yet Rouen is a city of the mainland; the islands which divide the waters of the Seine must have been tempting points for Rolf in his Wiking days; but even the largest of them, the Isle of the Cross, was hardly large enough for a town to grow upon it. Of the walls of Rothomagus not a fragment is left; yet the impress of a Roman chester is hard to wipe out; it is still easy to trace its lines among the streets and buildings of the greatly enlarged mediæval and modern city. Frightful as has been the havoc which the metropolis of Normandy has undergone in our own time, mercilessly as the besom of destruction has swept over its ancient streets, churches, and houses, the dæmon of modern improvement has spared enough to enable us, if not to tell the towers, yet in idea to mark well the bulwarks, of the city where the Conqueror reigned. The ducal castles. Near the south-west corner of the parallelogram, not far from the river-side, had stood the earlier castle of the Dukes. Its site in after times became the friary of the Cordeliers, a small fragment of whose church, as well as another desecrated church within the castle 251 precinct, does in some faint way preserve the memory of the dwelling-place of Rolf.[695] But by the days of Robert, the dukes had moved their dwelling to the south-eastern corner, also near the river, where the site of the castle is marked by the vast halles, and by the graceful Renaissance porch, where the chapter of our Lady of Rouen yearly, on the feast of the Ascension, exercised the prerogative of mercy by saving one prisoner condemned to die. Here the memory of the castle, though only its memory, lives in the names of the Haute and the Basse Vieille Tour, one of which is soon to be famous in our story. The eastern side of the city. On the eastern side the wall was washed by a small tributary of the Seine, the Rebecq, a stream whose course has withdrawn from sight almost as thoroughly as the Fleet of London or the Frome of Bristol.[696] On this side of the city lay a large swampy tract, whose name of Mala palus still lives in a Rue Malpalu[697], though a more distant part of it has taken the more ambitious name of the Field of Mars. The archbishopric. Within the wall lay the metropolitan church of our Lady and the palace of the Primate of Normandy. If this last reached to anything like its present extent to the east, the Archbishops of Rouen, like the Counts of 252 Maine,[698] must have been reckoned among the men who sat on the wall. Abbey of Saint Ouen. Outside the city, but close under the wall, near its north-eastern corner, stood the great abbey of Saint Ouen, the arch-monastery,[699] still ruled by its Abbot Nicolas, though his long reign was now drawing to an end.[700] At the opposite north-western angle, but much further from the walls, where the higher ground begins to rise above the city, stood the priory of Saint Gervase, the scene of the Conqueror’s death.[701] Priory of Saint Gervase. Saint Gervase indeed stood, not only far beyond the Roman walls, but beyond those fortifications of later times which took Saint Ouen’s within the city. For Rouen grew as Le Mans grew. Castle of Bouvreil. On the higher ground like Saint Gervase, but more to the east, rose the castle of Bouvreil, which Philip of Paris, after the loss of Norman independence, reared to hold down the conquered city. Walls of Saint Lewis. Between his grandfather’s castle and the ancient wall Saint Lewis traced out the newer line of fortification which is marked by the modern boulevards. His walls are gone, as well as the walls of Rothomagus; but of the house of bondage of Philip Augustus one tower still stands, while of the dwelling-place of her own princes even mediæval Rouen had preserved nothing.

The gates. The four sides of the Roman enclosure were of course pierced by the four chief gates of the city, of three of which we hear in our story. Of these the western, the gate of Caux, is in some sort represented by the Renaissance gate of the Great Clock[702] with its adjoining 253 tower. The northern gate bore the name of Saint Apollonius. The river was spanned by at least one bridge, which crossed it by way of the island of the Cross, near the second ducal castle. Suburbs beyond the Seine. Beyond the stream lay the suburb of Hermentrudeville, now Saint Sever, where Anselm had waited during the sickness of the Conqueror.[703] There too the Duchess Matilda, soon to be Queen, had begun the monastery of the meadow, the monastery of our Lady of Good News, the house of Pratum or Pré, whose church still stood unfinished, awaiting the perfecting hand of her youngest son.[704]

Fright of Duke Robert. Meanwhile the elder and best-beloved son of Matilda was trembling within the city on the right bank of the broad river. Luckily he had the presence of his youngest brother, the English Ætheling, the Count of the Côtentin, to strengthen him. Personal courage Duke Robert never lacked at any time; but something more than personal courage was now needed. Robert was perhaps not frightened, but he was puzzled; at such a moment he seemed to the calm judgement of Henry to be simply in the way; it was for wiser heads to take counsel without him. But deliverance was at hand. Both sides of the Seine sent their helpers. Approach of Gilbert and Reginald. Gilbert of Laigle crossed the bridge by the island close under the ducal tower, and turned to the left to the attack of the southern gate. Reginald of Warren at the head of three hundred knights drew near to the gate of Caux.[705] Efforts of Conan. Against this twofold attack Conan strove hard to keep up the hearts of his partisans. He made speeches exhorting to a valiant defence. Division among the citizens. Many obeyed; but the city was already divided; while one party hastened to the southern gate to withstand the assault of Gilbert, 254 another party sped to open the western gate and to let in the forces of Reginald. Utter confusion. Soldiers of the King of the English, the advanced guard doubtless of a greater host to come, were already in the city, stirring up the party of Conan to swifter and fiercer action.[706] Soldiers and citizens were huddled together in wild confusion; shouts passed to and fro for King and Duke; men at either gate smote down neighbours and kinsmen to the sound of either war-cry.[707] The strength of the city was turned against itself. The hopes of the commonwealth of Rouen, either as a free city or as a favoured ally of the island King, were quenched in the blood of its citizens. Le Mans and Exeter had fallen; but they had fallen more worthily than this.

Henry sends Duke Robert away. Meanwhile Henry and those who were with him in the castle deemed that the time had come for the defenders of the ducal stronghold to join their friends within and without the city. But there was one inhabitant of the castle whose presence was deemed an encumbrance at such a moment. Men were shouting for the Duke of the Normans; but the wiser heads of his friends deemed that the Duke of the Normans was just then best out of the way. Robert came down from the tower, eager to join in the fray and to give help to the citizens of his own party.[708] But all was 255 wild tumult; it needed a cooler head than Robert’s to distinguish friend from foe. He might easily rush on destruction in some ignoble form, and bring dishonour on the Norman name itself.[709] He was persuaded by his friends to forego his warlike purposes, and to suffer himself to be led out of harm’s way. While every other man in the metropolis of Normandy was giving and taking blows, the lord of Normandy, in mere personal prowess one of the foremost soldiers in his duchy, was smuggled out of his capital as one who could not be trusted to let his blows fall in the right place. With a few comrades he passed through the eastern gate into the suburb of the Evil Swamp, just below the castle walls. No attacks from the east. It is to be noticed that no fighting on this side of the city is mentioned. The King’s troops were specially looked for to approach from Gournay, and the east gate was the natural path by which an army from Gournay would seek to enter Rouen. One would have expected that one at least of the relieving parties would have hastened to make sure of this most important point. Yet one division takes its post by the southern gate, another by the western, none by the eastern. Were operations on that side made needless, either by the neighbourhood of the castle, by any difficulties of the marshy ground, or by the disposition of the inhabitants of the suburb? Certain it is that Duke Robert’s nearest neighbours outside his capital were loyal to him. The men of the Evil Swamp received the Duke gladly as their special lord.[710] He allowed himself to be put into a boat, and ferried across to the suburb on the left bank. 256 There he was received by one of his special counsellors, William of Arques, a monk of Molesme, and was kept safely in his mother’s monastery till all danger was over.[711]

It was clearly not wholly for the sake of such a prince as this that so many Norman leaders, Henry of Coutances among them, had made up their minds that the republican movement at Rouen was to be put down. The moment for putting it down had come. Gilbert enters Rouen. Gilbert of Laigle had by this time, by the strength of his own forces and by the help of the citizens of his party, entered Rouen through the southern gate. His forces now joined the company of Henry; they thus became far more than a match for the citizens of Conan’s party, even strengthened as they were by those of the King’s men who were in the city. Slaughter of the citizens. A great slaughter of the citizens followed; the soldiers of Rufus contrived to flee out of the city, and to find shelter in the neighbouring woods;[712] the city was full of death, flight, and weeping; innocent and guilty fell together; Conan taken prisoner. Conan and others of the ringleaders were taken prisoners. Conan himself was led into the castle, and 257 there Henry took him for his own share of the spoil, not indeed for ransom, but to be dealt with in a strange and dreadful fashion. It is one of the contrasts of human nature that Henry, the great and wise ruler, the king who made peace for man and deer, the good man of whom there was mickle awe and in whose day none durst hurt other, should have been more than once guilty in his own person of acts of calm and deliberate cruelty which have no parallel in the acts of his father, nor in those of either of his brothers. Fate of Conan. So now Conan was doomed to a fate which was made the sterner by the bitter personal mockery which he had to endure from Henry’s own mouth. The Ætheling led his victim up through the several stages of the loftiest tower of the castle, till a wide view was opened to his eyes through the uppermost windows.[713] Henry and Conan in the tower. Henry bade Conan look out on the fair prospect which lay before him. He bade him think how goodly a land it was which he had striven to bring under his dominion.[714] These words well express the light in which Conan’s schemes would look in princely eyes; the question was not whether Robert or William should reign in Rouen; it was whether Conan should reign there as demagogue or tyrant in the teeth of all princely rights. Henry went on to point out the beauties of the landscape in detail; the eyes of the scholar-prince could perhaps better enjoy them than the eyes of Rufus or of Robert of Bellême. Beyond the river lay the pleasant park, the woody land rich in beasts of chase. There was the Seine washing the walls of the city, the river rich in fish, bearing on its waters the ships which enriched Rouen with the wares of many 258 lands.[715] On the other side he bade him look on the city itself thronged with people, its noble churches, its goodly houses. The modern reader stops for a moment to think that, of the buildings which then met the eye of Conan, churches, castles, halls of wealthy burghers like himself, clustering within and without the ancient walls, all doubtless goodly works according to the sterner standard of that day, hardly a stone is left to meet his own eye as he looks down from hill or tower on the great buildings of modern Rouen. It was another Saint Romanus, another Saint Ouen, of far different outline and style from those on which we now gaze, which Henry called on Conan to admire at that awful moment. He bade him mark the splendour of the city; he bade him think of its dignity as the spot which had been from of old the head of Normandy.[716] The trembling wretch felt the mockery; all that was left to him was to groan and cry for mercy. He confessed his guilt; he simply craved for grace in the name of their common Maker. He would give to his lord all the gold and silver of his hoard and the hoards of his kinsfolk; he would wipe out the stain of his past disloyalty by faithful service for the rest of his days.[717] The Conqueror would have granted such a prayer in sheer greatness of soul; the Red King might well have deemed it beneath him to harm so lowly a suppliant. But the stern purpose of Henry was fixed, and his wrath, when it was 259 once kindled, was as fierce as that of his father or his brother. “By the soul of my mother”—​that seems to have been the most sacred of oaths with Matilda’s defrauded heir, as he looked out towards the church of her building—​“there shall be no ransom for the traitor, but rather a hastening of the death which he deserves.”[718] Conan no longer pleaded for life; he thought only of the welfare of his soul. “For the love of God, at least grant me a confessor.”[719] Had the Lion of Justice reached that height of malice which seeks to kill the soul as well as the body? At Conan’s last prayer his wrath reached its height;[720] Conan should have no time for shrift any more than for ransom. If the clergy of Saint Romanus already enjoyed their privilege of mercy, they were to have no chance of exercising it on behalf of this arch-criminal. Death of Conan. With all the strength of both his hands, Henry thrust Conan, like Eadric,[721] through the window of the tower. He fell from the giddy height, and died, so it was said, before he reached the ground. His body was tied to the tail of a pack-horse and dragged through the streets of Rouen to strike terror into his followers. The spot from which he was hurled took the name of the Leap of Conan.[722] The tower, as I have said, has perished; the site of the Leap of Conan must be 260 sought for in imagination, at some point, perhaps the south-eastern corner, of the vast halles of ancient Rouen.

Policy of Henry. The rule of Robert was now restored in Rouen, so far as Robert could be said to rule at any time in Rouen or elsewhere. It is remarkable that after the death of Conan we lose sight of Henry; that is, as far as Rouen is concerned, for we shall before long hear of him again in quite different relations towards his two brothers. He may well have thought that one fearful example was needed, but that one fearful example was enough. He would secure the punishment of the ringleader, even by doing the hangman’s duty with his own hands; but mere havoc and massacre had no charms for him at any time. His policy might well have forestalled the later English rule, “Smite the leaders and spare the commons.” If Robert or anybody else was to reign in Rouen, nothing would be gained by killing, driving out, or recklessly spoiling, the people over whom he was to reign. But there were men at his side to whom the utmost licence of warfare was the most cherished of enjoyments. The Duke, never personally cruel,[723] was in a merciful mood. Robert brought back. When all danger was over, he was brought across the river from his monastery to the castle. He saw how much the city had already suffered; his heart was touched, and he was not minded to inflict any further punishment. Treatment of the citizens. But he had to yield to the sterner counsels of those about him, and to allow a heavy vengeance to be meted out.[724] He seems however to have prevailed so far as to hinder the shedding of blood. At least we hear nothing of any general slaughter. The fierce men who had brought him back seem to have contented themselves with plunder and leading into captivity. The citizens 261 of Rouen were dealt with by their countrymen as men deal with barbarian robbers. They were spoiled of all their goods and led away into bondage. Robert of Bellême and William of Breteuil, if they spared life, spared it only to deal out on their captives all the horrors of the prison-house.[725] Imprisonment and ransom of William son of Ansgar. The richest man in Rouen after the dead Conan, William the son of Ansgar, became the spoil of William of Breteuil. After a long and painful imprisonment, he regained his liberty on paying a mighty ransom of three thousand pounds.[726]

Before his captive was set free, the lord of Breteuil himself learned what it was to endure imprisonment, this time doubtless of a milder kind than that which he inflicted on William the son of Ansgar or that which himself endured at the hands of Ascelin.[727] Count William marches against Conches. November, 1090. The Count of Evreux and his nephew of Breteuil must have marched almost at once from their successful enterprise at Rouen to a less successful enterprise at Conches. For it was still November when Count William or his Countess resolved on a great attack on the stronghold of their rival.[728] Evreux was doubtless the starting-point for an undertaking which followed naturally on the work which had been done at Rouen. The Count of Evreux might keep on the garb of Norman patriotism which he had worn in the assault on the rebellious capital, and 262 his Countess might add to the other crimes with which she charged Ralph and Isabel a share in the crime of Conan, that of traitorous dealing with the invading enemy. The forces of Evreux and Breteuil were therefore arrayed to march together against the stronghold of the common kinsman and enemy at Conches.

No contrast could well be greater than the contrast between the spot from which Count William set forth and the spot which he led his troops to attack. Position of Evreux and Conches. Near as Conches and Evreux are, they are more thoroughly cut off from one another than many spots which are far more distant on the map. The forest of Evreux parts the hills of Conches from the capital of Count William’s county. The small stream of the Iton flows by the homes of both the rival heroines. But at Conches it flows below the hill crowned by castle, church, and abbey; at Evreux its swift stream had ages before been taught to act as a fosse to the four walls of a Roman chester. Position of Mediolanum or Evreux. Low down in the valley, like our own Bath, with the hills standing round about his city, the Count of Evreux lived among the memorials of elder days. The walls of Mediolanum, which can still be traced through a large part of their circuit, fenced in to the south the minster of Our Lady and the palace of the Bishop, then still tenanted by the eloquent Gilbert.[729] His home, like that of his metropolitan at Rouen,[730] might seem to stand upon the Roman wall itself. At the north-west corner, the wall fenced in the castle from which Count William had driven out the Conqueror’s garrison, and where he, either then or at some later time, overthrew the Conqueror’s donjon.[731] History of Evreux. The wall of Mediolanum, like the wall of the Athenian akropolis, had 263 fragments of ornamental work, shattered columns, capitals, cornices, built in among its materials. It would thus seem to belong to a late stage of Roman rule, when the Frank was dreaded as a dangerous neighbour, perhaps when he had already once laid Mediolanum waste. To the north, much as at Le Mans and at Rouen, the city in later times enlarged its borders, as, in later times still, it has enlarged them far to the south. The “Little City”—​a name still borne by a street within the Roman circuit—​is a poor representative of the Old Rome on the Cenomannian height;[732] but both alike bear witness to the small size of the original Roman encampments, and to the gradual process by which they were enlarged into the cities of modern times. The Roman walls. But in the days of William and Heloise the circuit of Roman Mediolanum was still the circuit of Norman Evreux. And, as in so many other places, the oldest monuments have outlived many that were newer. Small traces of the eleventh century at Evreux. Neither church, castle, nor episcopal palace, keeps any fragments of the days of the warlike Countess; it is only in the minster of Saint Taurinus without the walls that some small witnesses of those times are to be found. Even the Romanesque portions of the church of Our Lady must be later than Count William’s day, and the greater part of the building of the twelfth century has given way to some of the most graceful conceptions of the architects of the fourteenth. The home of the Bishop has taken the shape of a stately dwelling in the latest style of mediæval art; the home of the Count has vanished like the donjon which Count William overthrew. But the old defences within which bishops and counts had fixed themselves in successive ages still live on, to no small extent in their actual masonry, and in the greater part of their circuit in their still easily marked lines. And, high upon the hills, the eye rests 264 on the stronghold of yet earlier days, bearing the local The Câtelier. name of the Câtelier, the earth-works which rise above Evreux as the earth-works of Sinodun rise above the northern Dorchester. Here we may perhaps see the point where the Gaul still held out on the hill, when the Roman had already entrenched himself by the river-side. At Evreux the works of the earliest times, the works of the latest times, the works of several intermediate times, are there in their fulness. But there is nothing whatever left in the city directly to remind us of the times with which we are now dealing. A man might pass through Evreux, he might make a diligent search into the monuments of Evreux, and, unless he had learned the fact from other sources, he might fail to find out that Evreux had ever had counts or temporal lords of any kind.

Illustration: Evreux

E. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.


Position of Conches. It is otherwise with the fortress of the warlike lady of the hills, against which the warlike lady of the river-city now bade the forces of her husband’s county to march. The home of Isabel has no more of her actual work or date to show than the home of Heloise; but the impress of the state of things which she represents is stamped for ever on the stronghold of the house of Toesny. At Evreux the Count and his followers lived in the midst of works which, even in their day, were ancient; at Conches, on the other hand, all was in that day new. Conches had already its minster, its castle, most likely its growing town; but all were the works of its present lord or of his father. The hill of Conches is another of those peninsular hills which, as the chosen sites of castles, play so large a part in our story. But the castle of Conches does not itself crown a promontory, like the castle of Ballon. The cause doubtless was that at Conches the abode of peace came first, and the abode of warfare came only second. Either Ralph himself, the 265 first of his house who bears the surname of Conches as well as that of Toesny, Foundation of the monastery. or else his fierce father in some milder moment, had planted on the hill a colony of monks, the house of Saint Peter of Conches or Castellion.[733] The monastery arose on that point of the high ground which is most nearly peninsular, that stretching towards the north. To the south of the abbey presently grew up the town with its church, a town which, in after times at least, was girded by a wall, and which was sheltered or threatened The castle. by the castle of its lords at the end furthest from the monastery. To the east, the height on which town and castle stand side by side rises sheer from a low and swampy plain, girt in by hills on every side, lying like the arena of a natural amphitheatre. On the hill-side art has helped nature by escarpments; the mound of the castle, girt by its deep and winding ditch, rises as it rose in the days of Ralph and Isabel; but the round donjon on the mound and the other remaining buildings of the fortress cannot claim an earlier date than the thirteenth century. The donjon and the apse of the parish church, a gem of the latest days of French art, now stand nobly side by side; in Isabel’s day they had other and ruder forerunners. The abbey. But of the abbey, which must have balanced the castle itself in the general view, small traces only now remain; it has become quite 266 secondary in the general aspect of the place, which gathers wholly round the parish church and the donjon. The western side of the hill, towards the forest which takes its name from Conches, shows nearly the same features as the eastern side on a smaller scale. It looks down on another plain girt in by hills; but on this side the slope of the hill of Conches itself is gentler, and the town is here defended by a wall. Altogether it was a formidable undertaking when the lord of the ancient city in the vale carried his arms against the fortress, the work of his brother, which had arisen within his own memory on the height overlooking his own river.

Siege of Conches. Count William thus began his winter siege of Conches; but, as usual, we get no intelligible account of the siege as a military operation. We are told nothing of the Count’s line of march, or by what means he sought to bring the castle to submission. Near kindred of the combatants. But, as usual too, we have no lack of personal anecdotes, anecdotes some of which remind us how near were the family ties between the fierce nobles who tore one another in pieces. We have already mentioned one nephew of the Count of Evreux who came with him to the attack of Conches. But William of Breteuil was nephew alike of both the contending brothers. His mother Adeliza, daughter of Roger of Toesny, wife of Earl William of Hereford before he went to seek a loftier bride in Flanders,[734] was the whole sister of Ralph of Conches and the half-sister of Count William of Evreux.[735] Another nephew and follower of Count William, Richard of Montfort, son of his whole sister, was moreover a brother of the Penthesileia of Conches.[736] The fate of these two kinsmen was different. Death of Richard of Montfort. Richard, in warring against his sister’s castle, with some chance of meeting his sister personally in the 267 field, did not respect the sanctity of the neighbouring abbey of her husband’s foundation. He heeded not the tears of the monks who prayed him to spare the holy place. A chance shot of which he presently died was looked on as the reward of his sacrilege. Both sides mourned for one so nearly allied to both leaders.[737] William of Breteuil taken prisoner. William of Breteuil, the ally of his uncle of Evreux, became the captive of his uncle of Conches. That wary captain, when the host of Evreux came a-plundering, was at the head of a large force of his own followers and of the King of England’s soldiers.[738] But he bade his men keep back till the foe was laden with booty; they were then to set upon them in their retreat. His orders were successfully carried out. Many of the party became the prisoners of the lord of Conches, among them the lord of Breteuil, the gaoler of William the son of Ansgar.[739] Of this incident came a peace which ended the three years’ warfare of the half-brothers.[740] The captive William of Breteuil procured his freedom by a ransom of three thousand pounds paid to his uncle of Conches, which 268 was presently made good to him by the ransom of his own victim from Rouen. Settlement of the county of Evreux on young Roger of Conches. Moreover, as he had no lawful issue,[741] he settled his estates on his young cousin Roger, the younger son of Ralph and Isabel. The same youthful heir was also chosen by his childless uncle of Evreux to succeed him in his county.[742] Perhaps Duke Robert confirmed all these arrangements as a matter of course; perhaps the consent of such an over-lord was not deemed worth the asking.

The young Roger of Toesny thus seemed to have a brilliant destiny opened to him, but he was not doomed to be lord either of Evreux or of Breteuil. He was, it is implied, too good for this world, at all events for such a world as that of Normandy in the reign of Robert. Character of Roger. Pious, gentle, kind to men of all classes, despising the pomp of apparel which was the fashion of his day,[743] the young Roger attracts us as one of a class of whom there may have been more among the chivalry of Normandy than we are apt to think at first sight. An order could not be wholly corrupt which numbered among its members such men as Herlwin of Bec, as Gulbert of Hugleville,[744] 269 and the younger son of Ralph of Conches. A tale is told of him, a tale touching in itself and one which gives us our only glimpse of the inner and milder life of the castle of Conches under the rule of its Amazonian mistress. A number of knights sat idle in the hall, sporting and amusing themselves with talk in the presence of the lady Isabel.[745] At last they told their dreams. The three dreams. One whose name is not given, said that he had seen the form of the Saviour on the cross, writhing in agony and looking on him with a terrible countenance. All who heard the dream said that some fearful judgement was hanging over the head of the dreamer. Baldwin of Boulogne. Then spoke Baldwin the son of Count Eustace of Boulogne, one of the mightier sons of an ignoble father.[746] He too had seen his Lord hanging on the cross; but the divine form was bright and glorious; the divine face smiled kindly on the dreamer; the divine hand blessed him and traced the sign of the cross over his head.[747] All said that rich gifts of divine favour were in store for him. Roger’s dream. Then the young Roger crept near to his mother, and told her that he too knew one not far off who had beheld his vision also. Isabel asked of her son of whom he spoke and what the seer had beheld. The youth blushed and hesitated, but, pressed by his mother and his comrades, he told how there was one who had lately seen his vision of the Lord, how the Saviour had placed his hand on his head, and had bidden him, as his beloved, to come quickly that he might receive the joys of life. And he added that he knew that he who was thus called of his Lord would not long abide in this world.

270 Such talk as this in the hall of Conches, in the presence of its warlike lady, whether we deem it the record of real dreams or a mere pious imagining after the fact, seems like a fresh oasis in the dreary wilderness of unnatural war. Fulfilment of the dreams. Each vision was of course fulfilled. The nameless knight, wounded ere long in one of the combats of the time, died without the sacraments. Baldwin of Boulogne, afterwards son-in-law of Ralph and Isabel,[748] was indeed called to bear the cross, but in a way which men perhaps had not thought of six years before Pope Urban preached at Clermont. Count of Edessa, King of Jerusalem, the name of Baldwin lives in the annals of crusading Europe; to Englishmen it perhaps comes home most nearly as the name of a comrade of our own Robert son of Godwine.[749] Death of young Roger. But a brighter crown than that of Baldwin’s kingdom was, long before Baldwin reigned, the reward of the young Roger. A few months after the date of the tale, he died peacefully in his bed, full of faith and hope, and, amid the grief of many, his body was laid in the minster of Saint Peter of his father’s rearing.[750]

Later treaty between the two brothers.
There was thus peace between Conches and Evreux, a peace which does not seem to have been again broken. Ten years later, in a time of renewed licence, we find the two brothers joining in a private war against Count Robert of Meulan.[751] Eight years later again, when Banishment and death of Count William. April 18, 1108. Count William and his Countess were busy building a monastery at Noyon, they fell under the displeasure of King Henry, and died in banishment in the land of Anjou.[752] Ralph of Toesny was succeeded by his son 271 the younger Ralph, and Isabel, after a long widowhood, withdrew as a penitent to atone for the errors of her youth, one would think of her later days also, in a life of religion.[753]

Orderic’s picture of Normandy. It is after recording the war of Conches and the sack of Rouen that the monk of Saint Evroul takes up his parable to set forth the general wretchedness of Normandy in the blackest colours with which the pictures of Hebrew prophets and Latin poets could furnish him. And it is Orderic the Englishman[754] that speaks. His English feelings. In his Norman cell he never forgot that he first drew breath by the banks of the Severn. In his eyes the woes of Normandy were the righteous punishment for the wrongs of England. The proud people who had gloried in their conquest, who had slain or driven out the native sons of the land, who had taken to themselves their possessions and commands, were now themselves bowed down with sorrows. The wealth which they had stolen from others served now not to their delight but to their torment.[755] Normandy, like Babylon, had now to drink of the same cup of tribulation, of which she had given others to drink even to drunkenness. A Fury without a curb raged through the land, and smote down its inhabitants. 272 The clergy, the monks, the unarmed people, everywhere wept and groaned. None were glad save thieves and robbers, and they were not long to be glad.[756] And so he follows out the same strain through a crowd of prophetic images, the locust, the mildew, and every other instrument of divine wrath. We admit the aptness of his parallel when he tells us that in those days there was no king nor duke in the Norman Jerusalem; we are less able to follow the analogy when he adds that the rebellious folk sacrificed at Dan and Bethel to the golden calves of Jeroboam.[757] At last, when his stock of metaphors is worn out, he goes back to his story to tell the same tale of crime and sorrow in other parts of the Norman duchy.[758]

§ 3. Personal Coming of William Rufus.

In a general view of the state of affairs, William Rufus had lost much more by the check of his plans at Rouen 273 than he could gain by any successes of his Norman allies at Conches. The attempt of the Count of Evreux on the castle of his new vassal had been baffled; but his own far greater scheme, the scheme by which he had hoped to win the capital of Normandy, had been baffled also. It may have been this failure which led Christmas Gemót at Westminster. 1090.the King to see that his own presence was needed beyond the sea. The Christmas Gemót of the year was held, not, as usual, at Gloucester, but at Westminster. At Candlemas the King crossed to Normandy with a great fleet.[759] The King crosses to Normandy. February, 1091.The two things are mentioned together, as if to imply that a further sanction of the assembled Witan was given to this new stage of the war. War indeed between William and Robert there was none. It does not seem that a single blow was struck to withstand the invader. But blows were given and taken in Normandy throughout the winter with as much zeal as ever. And this time Duke Robert himself was helping to give and take them. Duke Robert helps Robert of Bellême. Stranger than all, he was giving and taking them in the character of an ally of Robert of Bellême against men who seem to have done nothing but defend themselves against the attacks of the last-named common enemy of mankind. Hugh of Grantmesnil and Richard of Courcy. Old Hugh of Grantmesnil, once the Conqueror’s lieutenant at Winchester and afterwards his Sheriff of Leicestershire,[760] was connected by family ties with Richard of Courcy,[761] and the spots from which they 274 took their names, in the diocese of Seez, between the Dive and the Oudon, lay at no great distance from one another. They thus lay between Earl Roger’s own Montgomery[762] and a series of new fortresses on the Orne and the neighbouring streams, by which Earl Roger’s son hoped to extend his power over the whole land of Hiesmes.[763] Hugh and Richard strengthened themselves against the tyrant—​such is the name which Robert bears—​gathering their allies and putting their castles in a state of defence. Their united forces were too much for the lord of Bellême. He sought help from his sovereign, and the Duke, who was not allowed to strike a blow for his own Rouen, appeared as the besieger of Courcy, no less than of Brionne. He who had fought to turn the tyrant out of Ballon and Saint Cenery now fought to put Courcy into the tyrant’s power.

Siege of Courcy. January, 1091. The siege of Courcy began in January.[764] At the end of the month or the beginning of the next, a piece of news came which caused the Duke and the other besiegers to cease from their work. News of William’s coming. February. Robert himself could see that there was something else to be done besides making war on Hugh of Grantmesnil on behalf of Robert of Bellême, when the King of the English was in his own person on Norman ground. The siege raised. The host before Courcy broke up; some doubtless went to their own homes;[765] but we may suspect that some found their way to Eu. For there it was that King William had fixed his quarters; there the great men of Normandy were gathering around him. They did not come empty-handed. They welcomed the King with royal gifts; but it 275 was to receive far greater gifts in return. Men flock to William from all parts. Thither too men were flocking to him, not only from Normandy, but from France, Flanders, Britanny, and all the neighbouring lands. And all who came went away saying that the King of the English was a far richer and more bountiful lord than any of their own princes.[766] In such a state of things it was useless for Robert to think of meeting his brother in arms. His only hope was to save some part of his dominions by negotiation before the whole Norman land had passed into the hands of the island king. Treaty of Caen. 1091. A treaty of peace was concluded, by which Robert kept his capital and the greater part of his duchy, but by which William was established as a powerful and dangerous continental neighbour, hemming in what was left of Normandy on every side.

The treaty was agreed to, seemingly under the mediation of the King of the French, in a meeting of the rival brothers at Caen.[767] Cession of Norman territory to William. The territorial cession made by Robert mainly took the form of recognizing the commendations which so many Norman nobles had made to the Red King. They had sought him to lord, and their lord he was to be. The fiefs held by the lords of Eu, Aumale, Gournay, and Conches, and all others who had submitted to William, passed away from Robert. They were to be held of the King of the English, under what title, if any, does not appear. To hold a fief of William Rufus meant something quite different from holding a fief of Robert. The over-lordship of Robert meant nothing at all; it did 276 not hinder his vassal from making war at pleasure either on his lord or on any fellow-vassal. But the over-lordship of William Rufus, like that of his father, meant real sovereignty; the lords who submitted to him had given themselves a master. If any of them had a mind to live in peace, their chance certainly became greater; in any case the dread of William’s power, combined with the attractions of the rich hoard which was so freely opened, might account for the sacrifice of a wild independence. Their geographical aspect. The territory thus ceded to the east, the lands of Eu, Aumale, and Gournay, involved a complete surrender of the eastern frontier of the duchy. The addition of the lands of Conches formed an outpost to the south. Rouen was thus hemmed in on two sides. But this was not enough, in the ideas of the Red King, to secure a scientific frontier. The lord of the island realm must hold some points to strengthen his approach to the mainland, something better than the single port of Eu in one corner of the duchy. Robert had therefore to surrender two points of coast which had not, as far as we have heard, been occupied by William or by his Norman allies. Cession of Fécamp and Cherbourg. Rouen was to be further hemmed in to the north-west, by the cession of Fécamp, abbey and palace. The occupation of this point had the further advantage for William that it put a check on the districts which had been kept for Robert by Helias of Saint-Saen. These were now threatened by Fécamp on one side and by Eu and Aumale on the other. And William’s demands on the Duke of the Normans contained one clause which could be carried out only at the cost of the Count of the Côtentin. Henry’s fortress of Cherbourg, not so long before strengthened by him,[768] was also to pass to William. So early was the art known by which a more powerful prince, with no ground to show except his own 277 will, claims the right to shut out a weaker prince or people from the seaboard which nature has designed for them.

William demands Saint Michael’s Mount. Besides Cherbourg, the Red King demanded the island fortress of Saint Michael’s Mount, the abbey in peril of the sea. Otherwise he seems to have claimed nothing in the west of Normandy. Robert might reign, if he could, over the lands which his father had brought into submission on the day of Val-ès-Dunes. Nor were the great cessions which Robert made to be wholly without recompence. It might be taken for granted that the Duke whose territories were thus cut off was to have some compensation in another shape out of the wealth of England. Money paid to Robert. So it was; vast gifts were given by the lord of the hoard at Winchester to the pauper prince at Rouen.[769] But he was not to be left without territorial compensation also. The lost dominions of the Conqueror to be restored to Robert. William not only undertook to bring under Robert’s obedience all those who were in arms against him throughout Normandy; he further undertook to win back for him all the dominions which their father had ever held, except those lands which, by the terms of the treaty, were to fall to William himself. This involved a very considerable enlargement of Robert’s dominions, besides turning his nominal rule into a reality in the lands where he was already sovereign in name. It was aimed at lands both within and without the bounds of the Norman duchy. Maine, city and county, was again in revolt against its Norman lords.[770] Projected recovery of Maine. By this clause of the treaty William bound himself to recover Maine for Robert. This obligation he certainly never even attempted to fulfil. He did not meddle with Maine till the Norman lord and the English King were again one. Then the recovery of 278 Maine, or at least of its capital, became one of the chief objects of his policy.

But this clause had also a more remarkable application. Its terms were to be brought to bear on one nearer by blood and neighbourhood to both the contending princes than either Cenomannian counts or Cenomannian citizens. Henry to be despoiled of the Côtentin. The terms of the treaty amounted to a partition of the dominions of the Count of the Côtentin between his two brothers. Cherbourg and Saint Michael’s Mount were, as we have seen, formally assigned to William, and the remainder of Henry’s principality certainly came under the head of lands which had been held by William the Great and which the treaty did not assign to William the Red. As such they were to be won back for Robert by the help of William. That is to say, William and Robert agreed to divide between themselves the territory which Henry had fairly bought with money from Robert. No agreement could be more unprincipled. Character of the agreement. As between prince and prince, no title could be better than Henry’s title to his county; while, if the welfare of the people of Coutances and Avranches was to be thought of, the proposed change meant their transfer from a prince who knew the art of ruling to a prince whose nominal rule was everywhere simple anarchy. Neither Robert nor William was likely to be troubled with moral scruples; neither was likely to think much of the terms of a bargain and sale; but one might have expected that Robert would have felt some thankfulness to his youngest brother for his ready help in putting down the rebellious movement at Rouen.[771] William 279 might indeed on that same account look on Henry as an enemy; but such enmity could hardly be decently professed in a treaty of alliance between Robert and William. We may perhaps believe that the chief feeling which the affair of Rouen had awakened in Robert’s mind was rather mortification than gratitude. A brother who had acted so vigorously when he himself was not allowed to act at all was dangerous as a neighbour or as a vassal. The memory of his services was humiliating; it was not well to have a brother so near at hand, and in command of so powerful a force, a brother who, if he had at one moment hastened to his elder brother’s defence, might at some other moment come with equal speed on an opposite errand. But whatever were their motives, King and Duke agreed to rob their youngest brother of his dominions. Henry attacked at once.And the importance which was attached to this part of the treaty is shown by the speed and energy with which it was carried out. While the recovery of Maine was delayed or forgotten, the recovery of the Côtentin was the first act of the contracting princes after the conclusion of the treaty.

Probable objects of William. But, when we look to some other terms of the treaty, it is possible that, in the mind of William at least, the spoliation of Henry had a deeper object. One purpose of the treaty was to settle the succession both to the kingdom of England and to the duchy of Normandy. Settlement of the English and Norman succession.Neither the imperial crown nor the ducal coronet had at this moment any direct and undoubted heir, according to any doctrine of succession. Both William and Robert were at this time unmarried; Robert had more than one illegitimate child; no children of William Rufus are recorded at any time. William and Robert to succeed one another. The treaty provided that, if either King or Duke died without lawful issue during the lifetime of his brother, the survivor should succeed 280 to his dominions. I have spoken elsewhere of the constitutional aspect of this agreement.[772] Constitutional aspect of the agreement.It was an attempt to barter away beforehand the right of the Witan of England to bestow the crown of a deceased king on whatever successor they thought good. And, like all such attempts, before and after, till the great act of settlement which put an end to the nineteen years’ anarchy,[773] it came to nothing. Growth of the hereditary principle, But that such an agreement should have been made shows what fresh strength had been given by the Norman Conquest to the whole class of ideas of which the doctrine of hereditary succession to kingdoms forms a part.[774] But, putting this view of the matter aside, the objects of the provision, as a family compact, were obvious. It was William’s manifest interest to shut out Robert’s sons from any share in the inheritance of their father. and of the doctrine of legitimacy. This was easily done. The stricter doctrine of legitimacy of birth was fast growing.[775] It was but unwillingly that Normandy had, sixty years earlier, acknowledged the bastard of an earlier Robert; it was most unlikely that Normandy would submit to a bastard of the present Robert, while there yet lived lawful sons of him who had made the name of Bastard glorious. Robert, on the other hand, might not be unwilling to give up so faint a chance on the part of his own children, in order to be himself declared presumptive heir to the crown of England. But there were others to be shut out, one of whom at least was far more dangerous than the natural sons of Robert. The two Æthelings There were then in Normandy two men who bore the English title of Ætheling, one of the old race, one of the new; one whom Englishmen had once chosen as the last of the old race, another to whom Englishmen looked 281 as the first of the new race who had any claim to the privileges of kingly birth. Henry; We must always remember that, in English eyes, Henry, the son of a crowned King of the English, born of his crowned Lady on English ground, had a claim which was not shared by his brothers, foreign born sons of a mere Norman Duke and Duchess.[776] Eadgar. The kingly and native birth of Henry might put his claims at least on a level with those of Eadgar, who, male heir of Ecgberht and Cerdic as he was, was born of uncrowned parents in a foreign land.[777] Indeed it might seem that by this time all thoughts of a restoration of the West-Saxon house had passed out of the range of practical politics, and that the claims of Eadgar were no longer entitled to a thought. The Red King however seems to have deemed otherwise. He was clearly determined to secure himself against the remotest chances of danger. Henry was to be despoiled; Eadgar banished from Normandy. Eadgar was to be banished. Eadgar had come back from Apulia;[778] he was now living in Normandy on terms of the closest friendship with the Duke, who had enriched him with grants of land, and, as we have seen, admitted him to his inmost counsels.[779] We know not whether Eadgar had given the Red King any personal offence, or whether William was simply jealous of him as a possible rival for the crown. At any rate, whether by a formal clause of the treaty or not, he called on Robert to confiscate Eadgar’s Norman estates and to make him leave his dominions.[780] William’s policy towards Henry and Eadgar. Neither towards Henry nor towards Eadgar would the policy of William Rufus seem to have been wise; but 282 sound policy, in any high sense, was not one of the attributes of William Rufus. Whatever may be said of Henry’s relations towards Normandy, he was more likely to plot against his brother of England if he became a landless wanderer than if he remained Count of Coutances and Avranches. As for Eadgar, it might possibly have been a gain if he could have been sent back to Apulia or provided for in his native Hungary. As it was, he straightway betook himself to a land where he was likely to be far more dangerous than he could ever be in Normandy. Eadgar goes to Scotland. As in the days of William the Great,[781] he went at once to the court of his brother-in-law of Scotland.[782] It may be that William presently saw that he had taken a false step in the treatment of both the Æthelings. At a later time we shall see both Henry and Eadgar enjoying his full favour and confidence.

The man before whose eyes the crown of England had twice been dangled in mockery, and the man who was hereafter to grasp that crown with a grasp like that of the Conqueror himself, were thus both doomed to be for the moment despoiled of lands and honours. The followers of each side to be restored. To men of less exalted degree the treaty was more favourable. King and Duke alike, so far to the credit of both of them, stipulated for the safety and restoration of their several partisans in the dominions of the other. All supporters of William in any of those parts of Normandy which were not to be ceded to him were to suffer no harm at the hands of Robert. The rebels of 1088 to be restored. And, what was much more important, all those who had lost their lands in England three years before on account of their share in the rebellion on behalf of Robert were to have their 283 lands back again. An exception, formal or practical, must have been made in the case of Bishop Odo. He certainly was not restored to his earldom of Kent.

The treaty sworn to. The treaty was sworn to by twelve chief men on each side.[783] The English Chronicler remarks, with perfect truth, It stands but a little while. that it stood but a little while.[784] But one part at least was carried out at once and with great vigour. William and Robert march against Henry. Within less than a month after William had landed in Normandy to dispossess Robert, he and Robert marched together to dispossess Henry. They spent their Lent in besieging him in his last stronghold. Lent, 1091.When the Count of Coutances heard of the coalition against him, he made ready for a vigorous resistance. Henry’s position. He put his two cities of Coutances and Avranches and his other fortresses into a state of defence, and gathered a force, Norman and Breton, to garrison them.[785] Britanny indeed was the only quarter from which he received any help in his struggle.[786] Earl Hugh of Chester and others betray their castles to William. Those who seemed to be his firmest friends turned against him. Even Earl Hugh of Chester, the foremost man in the land from which his father had taken his name,[787] had no mind to jeopard his great English palatinate for the sake of keeping his paternal Avranches in the obedience of the Ætheling. Henry’s other supporters, Richard of Redvers, it is to be supposed, among them, were of the same mind. They saw no hope that Henry could withstand the might, above all the wealth, of Rufus; they accordingly surrendered their fortresses 284 into the King’s hands.[788] Henry takes up his quarters at Saint Michael’s Mount. One stronghold only was now left to Henry, one of the two which had been specially marked out to be taken from him, the monastic fortress of Saint Michael. The sacred mount was then famous and venerable through all Normandy, and far beyond the bounds of Normandy. The buildings on the Mount. Of that vast and wondrous pile of buildings, halls, cloister, church, buildings which elsewhere stand side by side, but which here are heaped one upon another, little could then have been standing. The minster itself, which crowns all, had begun to be rebuilt seventy years before by the Abbot Hildebert,[789] and it may be that some parts of his work have lived through the natural accidents of the next age[790] and the destruction and disfigurement of later times. But the series of pillared halls, knightly and monastic, which give its special character to the abbey of the Mount, are all of far later date than the war of the three brothers. Yet the house of the warrior archangel was already at once knightly and monastic. Abbot Roger. 1085. The reigning abbot Roger was, in strict ecclesiastical eyes, a prelate of doubtful title. He had come in—​as countless other bishops and abbots of Normandy and England had come in—​less by free election of the monks than by the will of the great 285 Duke and King.[791] What personal share Roger took in the struggle is not recorded; but some at least of his monks, The monks welcome Henry. like the monks of Ely in the days of Hereward,[792] welcomed the small body of followers who still clave to Henry, and at whose head he now took up his last position of defence in the island sanctuary.[793]

Siege of the Mount. Lent, 1091 Here Henry was besieged by his two brothers, Duke and King. Yet we hear of nothing which can in strictness be called a siege. The Mount stands in the mouth of a bay within a bay. Its position. At high water it is strictly an island; at low water it is surrounded by a vast wilderness of sand—​those treacherous sands from which thirty years before Harold had rescued the soldiers of the elder William[794] , and which stretch back as far as the rocks of Cancale on the Breton shore. The inner bay. In this sense the bay of Saint Michael may be counted to stretch from Cancale to the opposite point on the Norman coast, where the land begins to bend inwards to form the narrower bay. This last may be counted to stretch from the mouth of the border stream of Coesnon below Pontorson to Genetz lying on the coast nearly due west from Avranches. The Mount itself and its satellite the smaller rock of Tombelaine lie nearly in a straight line between these two points. Alternately inaccessible by land and by water, accessible by land at any time only by certain known routes at different points, the Mount would seem to be incapable of direct attack by any weapons known in the eleventh century. On the other hand, it would be easy to cut it off from all communication with the outer world by the occupation of the needful points on 286 the shore and by the help of a blockading fleet. Later sieges. 1417–1424. And in the great siege three hundred and thirty years later—​when Normandy had again a kingly duke of the blood of Rolf and Henry, but when the Mount clave to the King of Paris or of Bourges—​we hear both of the blockading fleet of England and of the series of posts with which the shore was lined. No mention of ships. Without a fleet the Mount could hardly be said to be besieged; but, on the other hand, its insular position would be of no use to its defenders, unless they had either ships at command or friends beyond sea. In the present case we hear nothing of ships on either side, nor of any help coming to the besieged. Nor do we hear of any systematic occupation of the whole coast. Positions of the besiegers. We hear only that the besiegers occupied two points which commanded the two sides of the inner bay, On the north the Duke took up his quarters at Genetz; to the south the besiegers occupied Arderon, not far from the mouth of the Coesnon, while King William of England established himself in the central position of Avranches.[795] Character of the siege. The siege thus became an affair of endless small attacks and skirmishes. We hear of the plundering expeditions which Henry was able to make into the lands of Avranches and even of Coutances, lands which had once been his own, but which had now become hostile ground.[796] We hear too how, before each of the 287 extreme points occupied by the besiegers, before Genetz and before Arderon, Combats the knights on both sides met every day in various feats of arms, feats, it would seem, savouring rather of the bravado of the tourney than of any rational military purpose.[797]

Siege of St Michael's Mount'

Edwᵈ. Weller

For the Delegates of the Clarendon Press.

Map to illustrate the
A.D. 1091.

Personal anecdotes. We now get, in the shape of those personal anecdotes in which this reign is so rich, pictures of more than one side of the strangely mixed character of the Red King. At the other end of Normandy William had won lands and castles without dealing a single blow with his own sword, and with a singularly small outlay of blows from the swords of others. At Eu, at Aumale, and at Gournay, the work had been done with gold far more than with steel. Beneath Saint Michael’s Mount steel was to have its turn; and, when steel was the metal to be used, William Rufus was sure to be in his own person the foremost among those who used it. The change of scene seemed to have turned the wary trafficker into the most reckless of knights errant. Amidst such scenes he became, in the eyes of his own age, the peer of the most renowned of those Nine Worthies the tale of whom was made up only in his own day. William compared to Alexander. We shall see at a later stage how the question was raised whether the soul of the Dictator Cæsar had not passed into the body of the Red King; by the sands of Saint Michael’s bay he was held to have placed himself on a level with the Macedonian Alexander. The likeness could hardly be carried on through the general military character of the two princes; for Alexander, when he began an enterprise, commonly carried it on to the end. And it may be doubted whether Alexander ever jeoparded his own life 288 in the senseless way in which Rufus in the tale is made to jeopard his. We must picture to ourselves the royal head-quarters between the height of Avranches and the sands of Saint Michael’s bay. Knight-errantry of William. The King goes forth from his tent, and mounts the horse which he had that morning bought for fifteen marks of silver.[798] He sees the enemy at a distance riding proudly towards him. Alone, waiting for no comrade, borne on both by eagerness for the fray and by the belief that no one would dare to withstand a king face to face, he gallops forward and charges the advancing party.[799] The King upset. The newly bought horse is killed; the King falls under him; he is ignominiously dragged along by the foot, but the strength of his chain-armour saves him from any actual wound.[800] By this time the knight who had unhorsed him has his hand on the hilt of his sword, ready to deal a deadly blow. William, frightened by the extremity of his danger, cries out, “Hold, rascal, I am the King of England.”[801] The words had that kind of magic effect which is so often wrought by the personal presence of royalty. From any rational view of the business in hand, to slay, or better still to capture, the hostile king should have been the first object of every man in Henry’s garrison. To no case better applied the wise order of the Syrian monarch, “Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the King of Israel.”[802] But as soon as a voice which some at least of them knew proclaimed that it was a king who lay helpless among them, every arm was stayed. The soldiers of Henry tremble at the thought of what they were so near 289 doing; with all worship they raise the King from the ground and bring him another horse.[803] His treatment of the knight who unhorsed him. William springs unaided on his back; he casts a keen glance on the band around him,[804] and asks, “Who unhorsed me?” As they were muttering one to another, the daring man who had done the deed came forward and said, “I, who took you, not for a king but for a knight.” A bold answer was never displeasing to Rufus; he looked approval, and said, “By the face of Lucca,[805] you shall be mine; your name shall be written in my book,[806] and you shall receive the reward of good service.” Here the story ends; we are to suppose that William, instead of being carried a prisoner to the Mount, rode back free to Avranches, having lessened the small force of Henry by a stout knight and two horses.

Character of the story. The tale is told as an example of the magnanimity of the Red King. And there is something which moves a kind of admiration in the picture of a man, helpless among a crowd of enemies, yet bearing himself as if they were his prisoners, instead of his being theirs. The point of the story is that Rufus did no harm, that he felt no ill will, towards the man who had unhorsed, and all but killed him; that he honoured his bold deed and bold bearing, and promised him favour and promotion. But had the soldiers of Henry done their duty, William would have had no opportunity, at least no immediate opportunity, of doing either good or harm to his antagonist. 290 William assumes that the enemy will not dare to withstand him, and his assumption is so far justified that he is withstood only by one who knows not who he is, and whose words imply that, if he had known, he would not have ventured to withstand him. Trusting to this kind of superstitious dread, William is able to speak and act as he might have spoken if the man who unhorsed him had been brought before him in his own tent. Comparison with Richard the First. Richard of the Lion-heart, when the archer who had given him his death-wound was brought before him, first designed him for a death of torture, and then, on hearing a bold answer, granted him life and freedom.[807] In this, as in some other cases, the Red King, the earliest model of chivalry, certainly does not lose by comparison with the successor who is more commonly looked on as its ideal.[808]

Another and perhaps better known story which is told of this siege puts the character of William Rufus in another light, while it brings out the character of Robert in a lively form. Contrast between William and Robert. The Duke, heedless of the consequences of his acts but not cruel in his own person, was, above all men, open to those passing bursts of generosity which are quite consistent with utter weakness and want of principle. William Rufus was always open to an appeal to his knightly generosity, to that higher form of self-assertion which forbade him to harm one who was beneath him, and which taught him to admire a bold deed or word even when directed against himself. But the ties 291 of kindred, still more the ties of common humanity, sat very lightly on him. The gentler soul of Robert was by no means dead to them. He did not shrink from waging an unjust war against his brother and deliverer; he did not shrink from despoiling that brother and deliverer of dominions which he had sold to him by his own act for a fair price; but he did shrink from the thought of letting the brother against whom he warred suffer actual bodily hardships when he could hinder them. Lack of water on the Mount. The defenders of the Mount had, according to one account, plenty of meat; but all our narratives agree as to the difficulty of providing fresh water for the fortress which twice in the day was surrounded by the waves.[809] Henry asks to be allowed to take water. Henry sent a message to the Duke, praying that he might be allowed access to fresh water; his brothers might, if they thought good, make war on him by the valour of their soldiers; they should not press the powers of nature into their service, or deprive him of those gifts of Providence which were open to all human beings.[810] Answer of Robert and William. Robert was moved; he gave orders to the sentinels at Genetz not to hinder the besieged from coming to the mainland for water.[811] One version even adds that he added the further gift of a tun of the best wine.[812] This kind of generosity, where no appeal was made to his own personal pride, was by no means to 292 the taste of Rufus; as a commander carrying on war, he was ready to press the rights of warfare to the uttermost. When he heard what Robert had done, he mocked at his brother’s weakness; it was a fine way of making war to give the enemy meat and drink.[813] Robert answered, in words which do him honour, but which would have done him more honour if they had been spoken at the beginning as a reason for forbearing an unjust attack on his brother—​“Shall we let our brother die of thirst? Where shall we find another, if we lose him?”[814]

Such are these two famous stories of the war waged beneath the mount of the Archangel. Both are eminently characteristic; there is no reason why both may not be true. But we must withhold our belief when one of our tale-tellers adds that William turned away from the siege in contempt for Robert’s weakness.[815] A more sober guide tells us that when, for fifteen days, Henry and his followers had held up against lack of water and Henry surrenders. threatening lack of food,[816] the wary youth saw the hopelessness of further resistance, and offered to surrender the Mount on honourable terms. He demanded a free 293 passage for himself and his garrison. William, already tired of a siege in which he had made little progress and which had cost him many men and horses,[817] gladly accepted the terms. Henry, still Ætheling, though no longer Count, marched forth from his island stronghold with all the honours of war.[818] We are to suppose that, according to the terms of the treaty, the King took possession of the Mount itself, and the Duke of the rest of Henry’s former county. William at Eu. William stayed on the mainland, in the parts of Normandy which had been ceded to him, for full six months, having his head-quarters at Eu.[819] He goes back to England. August, 1091. In August the affairs of his island kingdom called him back again; and, strange to say, both his brothers went with him as his guests and allies.[820]

Fortunes of Henry. At this moment the past and the future alike lead us to look with more interest on the fates of the dispossessed Ætheling than on those of any other of the actors in our story. But there is at first sight some little difficulty in finding out what those fates were. His presence in England in 1091. From our English authorities we could only gather that Henry was in England before the end of the year in which the siege took place, and that three years later he was again beyond sea, in favour with William and at enmity with Robert. From other writers we get a version, which 294 Story of Henry’s adventures. takes no notice of any visit to England, but which gives us a moving tale of Henry’s experiences in Normandy and the neighbouring lands. It is one of those cases where a writer, telling his own part of the story, altogether forgets, perhaps without formally contradicting, other parts. In such a case he is likely to stumble in some of his dates and details; but this need not lead us altogether to cast aside the main features of his story. It is plain that, for some time after the surrender of the Mount, Henry was, to say the least, landless. In the pictures of his actual distress and adversity there may well be somewhat of exaggeration; but they draw from one who is not a flatterer the important remark that, having known adversity himself, he learned to be gracious in after years to the sufferings of others.[821] His alleged wanderings. We are perhaps startled by such a saying when we think of some particular acts of Henry; but this witness does not stand alone; and, among the contradictions of human nature, there is nothing impossible in the belief that such a spirit may have existed alongside of many particular acts of cruelty.[822] But it is certain that Henry’s season of adversity must have been shorter than it appears in the picture of it which is given to us. We are told that, soon after he left the Mount, he found himself very nearly a solitary wanderer. He first went into Britanny, the only land from which he had received any help, and thanked his friends there for their services. Thence he betook himself to France, and spent, we are told, nearly two years in the borderland of the Vexin, the land which had been the scene of his father’s last and fatal warfare, and which 295 was again to be the scene of warfare before his brother’s reign was ended. There, with a train cut down to one knight, one clerk, and three esquires, Henry wandered to and fro, seeking shelter where he could.[823] Whatever truth there may be in these details, the time of Henry’s probation could not have been spread over anything like a period of two years. He may have been a wanderer during the few months which immediately followed the surrender of the Mount; but, if so, he was reconciled to both his brothers long before the end of the year. Or he may, from some unexplained reason, have again become a wanderer during some months of the following year. There is nothing in any way impossible or unlikely in either story. What is certain is that, before the end of the next year, Henry had again an establishment on Gaulish ground, and one gained in the most honourable way. Robert and Henry accompany William to England. And it is equally certain that when King William went back to England in the month of August in the present year he took both of his brothers with him.[824]

§ 4. The Scottish Expedition of William Rufus.
August–October, 1091.

Affairs of Scotland. The business which called William back to his kingdom was a serious one; it was no other than to drive back or to avenge a Scottish invasion. King Malcolm, who seems to have stayed quiet during the rebellion three years before, now took up arms. We cannot help connecting this step with the visit of his brother-in-law, and the words of the Chronicler seem directly to imply that Malcolm’s invasion was the consequence of 296 Eadgar’s coming.[825] From one version we might almost think that Malcolm had been called on to do homage and had refused.[826] This is perfectly possible in itself; but the time of William’s special occupation with Norman affairs seems oddly chosen for such a summons. An earlier time, some point in the blank period between the rebellion and the Norman campaign, would have seemed more natural for such a purpose. Malcolm’s invasion of Northumberland. May, 1091. However this may be, now, in the month of May, Malcolm took advantage of William’s absence in Normandy to invade Northumberland for the fourth time. He designed, we are told, to go much further and do much more, words which might almost suggest a purpose of asserting the claims of Eadgar to the English crown. Whatever were his objects, they were not carried out, save one which was doubtless not the least among them, that of carrying off great spoil from Northumberland.[827] The furthest point that Malcolm reached was Chester-le-Street, a point unpleasantly near to the bishopless monks of Durham.[828] He is driven back. There the men in local command went against him and drove him back. In the national Chronicle they appear as “the good men who guarded this land.”[829] In this way 297 of speaking, as in many other phrases in our own and other tongues, the word “good” means rank and office rather than moral goodness. The “good men.” Yet the latter idea is not wholly absent; the name would hardly be given to men who were engaged in a cause which the writer wholly condemned. The “good men” here spoken of must have been mainly Normans, with Earl Robert of Mowbray at their head. Earl Robert was not likely to have won much love from the English people. Yet he passed for a “good man,” when he did his duty for England, when he guarded the land and drove back the Scottish invader. Of any wish to put Malcolm in the place of either the elder or the younger William we see no trace at any stage of our story. Beyond this emphatic sentence, we get no details. As in so many other cases, if conquest was the object of Malcolm’s expedition, plunder was the only result.

William and Robert in England. August, 1091. The news of this harrying of the northern part of his kingdom brought King William back from Normandy in the course of August. With him, as we have said, came Robert and Henry. Why was the Duke’s presence needed? One account hints that his coming had some reference to the actors in the late rebellion, some of whom at least were now restored to their estates.[830] Relations between Robert and Malcolm. Another version speaks of an old friendship between Robert and Malcolm;[831] and there was a tie of spiritual affinity between 298 them arising out of Robert’s relation as godfather to a child of Malcolm.[832] It was perhaps in this character that Robert came to act, if need should be, as a welcome negotiator with his Scottish gossip. Stronger side of Robert and Eadgar. One strange thing is that, on more than one occasion in our story, both Robert and Eadgar, two men who seem so incapable of vigorous or rational action on behalf of themselves, play a distinctly creditable part when acting on behalf of others. But this is really no uncommon inconsistency of human nature; men are often found who are good advisers in the affairs of others, while they are by no means wise managers of their own. Robert in truth appears to most advantage anywhere out of his own duchy. Neither the warrior of the crusade nor the negotiator with the Scot seems to be the same man as the Duke who could not be trusted to defend his own palace.

William sets forth. In the present case there was more of negotiation than of warfare. Of actual fighting there seems to have been none. William got together, as his father had done in the like case,[833] a great force by land and sea for the invasion of Scotland. With the land force the King and the Duke set forth; but seemingly with no haste, as time was found for a great ecclesiastical ceremony on the way. Durham in the absence of Bishop William. For three years the church of Durham had been without a shepherd, and the castle of Durham had been in the hands of the King. The monks of Saint Cuthberht’s abbey had feared that this irregular time would be an evil time for them. But they put their trust in God and their patron saint, and went to the King to ask his favour. The King’s favourable treatment of the monks. Rufus was specially gracious and merciful; he rose up to greet Prior Turgot, the head of the embassy, and he gave orders that the monks of Durham should be in no way disturbed, but should keep full 299 possession of their rights and property, exactly as if the Bishop had remained in occupation of his see.[834] We may even venture to guess that they had a somewhat fuller possession of them during the Bishop’s absence. We are expressly told by the local historian that the Red King did not deal with Durham as he dealt with other churches; he took nothing from the monks, and even gave them something of his own.[835] Works at Durham. The new society—​for it must be remembered that the monks of Durham were a body of Bishop William’s own bringing in[836]—​flourished so greatly during this irregular state of things that it was now that they built their refectory.[837] But a time of more settled order was now to come. Reconciliation of Bishop William with the King. Bishop William of Saint-Calais, whatever had been his crimes three years back, was among those whom King William had engaged by his treaty with his brother to restore to their lands and honours. Besides this general claim, it was believed, at Durham at least, that the banished prelate had earned his restoration by a signal service done to the King. In the third year of his banishment an unnamed Norman fortress was holding out for the King; but its garrison was sore pressed, and its capture by the enemy seemed imminent. The Bishop, by what means of persuasion we are not told, but it does not seem to have been by force, caused the besiegers to raise the siege.[838] This service won the King’s thorough good 300 He is restored to his bishopric. September 3, 1091. will, and William, on his march to Scotland, personally put the Bishop once more in possession of his see and of all its rights and belongings, temporal and spiritual.[839] Bishop William did not come back empty-handed; he brought with him costly gifts for his church, ornaments, gold and silver vessels, and, above all, many books.[840] And, at some time before the year was out, we find him confirming with great solemnity, with the witness of the great men of the realm, certain grants of the Conqueror to the monks of his church.[841] The return of the Bishop was an event not only of local but of national importance. His renewed influence with the King. He was restored by the King, not only to his formal favour, but to a high place in his innermost counsels. Bishop William was not one of those who come back from banishment having learned nothing and forgotten nothing. He had, in his sojourn beyond the sea, learned an altogether new doctrine as to the relations between bishops and kings.

The march which had been interrupted by the ceremony at Durham was clearly a slow one. William was at Durham in the first days of September; much later in the month a heavy blow fell on one part of the expedition. Loss of the ships. Michaelmas, 1091. The greater part of the ships were lost a few days before the feast of Michaelmas, and we are told that this happened before the King could reach Scotland. The King was therefore several weeks in journeying 301 from Durham to the border of the true Scotland, the Firth of Forth; and we are told that many of the land force also perished of cold and hunger.[842] The army however which remained was strong enough to make Malcolm feel less eager for deeds of arms than he had most likely felt in May. William and Malcolm by the Scots’ Water.At last, near the shore of the Scots’ Water, the estuary which parted English Lothian from Scottish Fife, the two kings met face to face, seemingly in battle array, but without coming to any exchange of blows. It is marked in a pointed way that Malcolm had crossed from his kingdom to his earldom. He “went out of Scotland into Lothian in England, and there abode,”[843] There a negotiation took place. Mediation of Robert and Eadgar. The ambassadors or mediators were Duke Robert and the Ætheling Eadgar.[844] According to the most picturesque version, Malcolm, who is conceived as still keeping on the northern side of the firth, sends a message to 302 William to the effect that he owes no homage to him, but that, if he can have an interview with Robert, he will do to him whatever is right. Conference of Robert and Malcolm. By the advice of his Wise Men,[845] William sends his brother, who is courteously received by the Scottish King for three days. Somewhat like the Moabite king of old, though with quite another purpose, Malcolm takes his visitor to the tops of various hills, and shows him the hosts of Scotland encamped in the plains and dales below. With so mighty a force he is ready to withstand any one who should try to cross the firth; he would be well pleased if any enemy would make the attempt. Malcolm’s homage to Robert. He then suddenly turns to the question of homage. He had received the earldom of Lothian from King Eadward, when his great-niece Margaret was betrothed to him. The late King William had confirmed the gifts of his predecessor, and, at his bidding, he, Malcolm, had become the man of his eldest son, his present visitor Duke Robert. To him he would discharge his duty; to the present King William he owed no duty at all. He appealed to the Gospel for the doctrine that no man could serve two lords, the doctrine which had been so practically pressed on Robert’s behalf three years before.[846] Robert admitted the truth of Malcolm’s statement; but he argued that times were changed, and that the decrees of his father had lost their old force. It would be wise to accept the reigning King as his lord, a lord nearer, richer, and more powerful, than he could pretend to be himself. Malcolm might be sure of a gracious reception from William, if he came on such an errand. He submits to William. Malcolm was convinced; he went to the King of the English; he was favourably received, and a peace 303 was agreed on. It is added that the two kings then disbanded their armies, and went together into England.[847]

This last statement throws some doubt upon the whole of this version; for Malcolm’s alleged journey to England at this moment is clearly a confusion with events which happened two years later. Question as to the betrothal of Margaret. The references too to the earldom of Lothian and to an earlier betrothal of Margaret are a little startling; yet it is perhaps not quite hopeless to reconcile them with better ascertained facts. As I have elsewhere suggested, this earlier betrothal of Margaret to Malcolm is not necessarily inconsistent with his later marriage with her after the intermediate stage of Ingebiorg.[848] Malcolm may at one time have been in no hurry to carry out a marriage dictated by political reasons; yet he may have afterwards become eager for the same marriage after he had seen her whose hand was designed for him. Question of Lothian. As for the Lothian earldom, we here see the beginning of the later Scottish argument, that homage was due from the Scottish to the English king only for lands held within the kingdom of England. At this stage Lothian was the land held within the kingdom of England; it was what Northumberland, Huntingdon, or any other confessedly English land held by the Scottish king, was in later times. When Malcolm was restored to his crown by the arms of Siward,[849] no doubt Lothian was granted to him among other things. Only Malcolm takes up the line, or our historian thinks it in character to make him take up the line, of implying, though not directly asserting, that Lothian was the only possession for which homage was due. And, on the strictest view of English claims, Malcolm would be right in at least drawing a marked 304 distinction between Scotland and Lothian. He owed both kingdom and earldom to the intervention of Eadward and Siward; but Lothian was a grant from Eadward in a sense in which Scotland was not. Over Scotland neither Eadward nor William could claim more than an external superiority. Lothian was still English ground, as much as the land which is now beginning to be distinguished as Northumberland.

Treaty between William and Malcolm. The version of Malcolm’s submission which I have just gone through is certainly worth examining, and I do not see that it contradicts the simpler and more certain version. According to this account, the negotiation was carried on between Robert and Eadgar. The agreement to which the mediators came was that Malcolm should renew to the younger William the homage which he had paid to the elder.[850] On the other hand, he was to receive all lands and everything else that he had before held in England, specially, it would seem, twelve vills or mansions for his reception on his way to the English court.[851] Malcolm does homage. On these terms Malcolm became the man of William; Eadgar also was reconciled to William. The two kings parted on good terms, but the Chronicler notices, in a phrase of which he is rather fond, that it “little while stood.”[852]

William, Robert, and Eadgar now took their journey 305 back again, as it is specially marked, from Northumberland into Wessex.[853] Return of William. The realm of Ælfred is still looked on as the special dwelling-place of his successors from beyond the sea. But it would seem that, at some stage of their southward journey, at some time before the year was out, they joined with other men of royal and princely descent in setting their crosses to a document, in itself of merely local importance, but which is clothed with a higher interest by the names of those who sign it. Evidence of the Durham charters. A grant of certain churches to the convent of Durham becomes a piece of national history when, besides the signatures for which we might naturally look, it bears the names of King William the Second, of Robert his brother, of Henry his brother, of Duncan son of King Malcolm, of Eadgar the Ætheling, and of Siward Barn.[854] This is the only time when all these persons could have met. There is no sign of any later visit of Robert to England during the reign of William. But the signatures of Henry and Duncan teach us more. Duncan. Duncan, it will be remembered, had been given as a hostage at Abernethy;[855] he had been set free by the Conqueror on his death-bed; he had been knighted by Robert, and allowed to go whither he would.[856] Had he already made his way back to his own land, or did he come in the train of his latest benefactor? In the former case, had he been again given as a hostage? Or had William found out that the son of Ingebiorg might possibly be useful to him? It is certain that, two years later, Duncan was at William’s court and in William’s favour; and it looks very much as if he had, in whatever character, gone back to England with the 306 King. Eadgar. The signature of Eadgar shows that the document must be later than the treaty with Malcolm by which he was reconciled to William, that is, that it was signed on the journey southward, not on the journey northward. Henry. The signature of Henry is our only hint that he had any share at all in the Scottish business, and it throws a perfectly new light on this part of his history. He was plainly in England, seemingly in favour with both his brothers, and things look as if he too, though he is nowhere mentioned, must have gone on the march to Scotland. Siward Barn. Siward Barn, like Duncan, was one of those who were set free by William the Great on his death-bed. We now learn that he shared the good luck of Duncan and Wulf, not the bad luck of Morkere and Wulfnoth. He signs as one of the great men of the north, with Arnold of Percy, with the Sheriff Morel, and with Earl Robert himself.

One thing is plain, namely, that this document was not signed in the regular Christmas Assembly of the year. By that time Robert and Eadgar were no longer in England. By that time Robert and William had again quarrelled. Fresh dispute between William and Robert. We may guess that some of Robert’s old partisans had been less lucky than the Bishop of Durham. At all events, some points in the treaty of Caen remained unfulfilled. Then, as in later times, a diplomatic engagement was not found strong enough to carry itself out by its own force, like a physical law of nature. We are not told what was the special point complained of; but something which the Red King should have done for Robert or for his partisans was left undone.[857] It was simply as a man and a king that Rufus had entered into any engagements with his brother. His knightly honour was not pledged; the treaty therefore came under the head of those promises which no man can 307 fulfil.[858] We are told in a pointed way that Robert stayed with his brother till nearly the time of Christmas. The matter in dispute, whatever it was, might have been fittingly discussed in the Christmas Assembly; only it might have been hard to find the formula by which the Duke of the Normans was to appeal the King of the English of bad faith before his own Witan. Robert and Eadgar leave England. December 23, 1091. Two days before the feast Robert took ship in Wight, and sailed to Normandy, taking the Ætheling Eadgar with him.[859]

Natural phænomena. Fall of the tower at Winchcombe. October 15, 1091. Either the reign of Rufus was really richer than other times in striking natural phænomena, or else they were specially noticed as signs of the times. About the time of the King’s Scottish expedition, the tower of the minster at Winchcombe was smitten by a mighty thunderbolt, and fell in ruins on the body of the church, crushing the most hallowed images in its fall. The Chthonian Zeus had no place in the mythology of the times; but this destruction, which left behind it a thick smoke and an evil smell, was deemed to be the work of the evil one, the signs of whose presence were got rid of only by the most solemn chants and processions.[860] Two days later, 308 Great wind in London. October 17, 1091. London was visited by a fearful wind, which blew down seven churches and houses to the number of six hundred. Above all, the wooden roof of the church of Saint Mary-le-bow was carried off, and its beams were hurled to the ground with such force that they were driven into the hard earth, and had to be sawn off as they stood.[861] Two men who were in the church were crushed. The citizens could have hardly repaired their houses before another blow came upon them. Fire in London. March 28, 1092. Early in the next year the greater part of London was destroyed by fire.[862] By Eastertide the cathedral churches of two of the dioceses whose seats had been moved in the late reign stood ready for consecration. Consecration of the church of Salisbury. April 5, 1092. On the waterless hill which then was Salisbury, within the everlasting ditches of the elder time, looking down on the field of battle which had decreed that Britain should be English[863] and on the field of council which had decreed that England should be one,[864] Norman Osmund, the doctor of the ritual lore of England, had finished the work which Lotharingian Hermann had began. The new mother church of the lands of Berkshire, Wiltshire, and Dorset, the elder minster of Saint Mary, whose stones were borne away to build the soaring steeple of its successor but whose foundations may still be traced on the turf of the forsaken city, now awaited its hallowing. There was then 309 no archbishop in southern England; the rite was done by Osmund himself with the help of his two nearest episcopal neighbours, Walkelin of Winchester and John of Bath.[865] The ceremony had thus a specially West-Saxon character. The three bishops who came together at Salisbury represented the three—​once four—​churches, among which the old West-Saxon diocese, the diocese of Winchester, had been parted asunder.[866] But at Salisbury too, the elements, if somewhat less hostile than at Winchcombe and London, were by no means friendly. The tower roof thrown down. April 10. Five days only after the hallowing, the lightning fell, as at Winchcombe; the peaked roof or low spire which sheltered the tower—​doubtless of wood covered with lead—​was thrown down, and its fall did much damage to the walls of the new minster.[867]

A day later by a month had been fixed for another ceremony of the same kind, the crowning of the work of a prelate who seems to have wished for a more stately ceremony and a greater gathering than the almost domestic rite which had satisfied Bishop Osmund. Remigius, Almoner of Fécamp, Bishop of Dorchester, Bishop of 310 Remigius of Lincoln. Lincoln, was drawing near the end of his famous episcopate. He had reformed the constitution of his chapter and diocese; and we hear that he was no less zealous in reforming the manners of his flock.[868] The darling sin of Bristol—​most likely the darling sin of every great trading-town—​was rife at Lincoln also; and Remigius, like Wulfstan, preached against the wicked custom by which men sold their country-folk, sometimes their kinsfolk, to a life of shame or of bondage in foreign lands.[869] Completion of the minster. But beyond all this, he had finished his great work on the hill of Lincoln; the elder church of Saint Mary had grown into the great minster of which later rebuildings and enlargements have still left us some small remnants.[870] The eastern limb had as yet no need to overleap the Roman wall of Lindum; but Remigius had reared, and sought to consecrate, no fragment, but a perfect church. His doorways are there in the western front to show that the building has received no enlargement on that side from Remigius’ day to our own. The work was done, and its founder felt his last end coming. He was eager to see the house which he had builded dedicated to its holy use before he himself passed away. But an unlooked-for hindrance came. The only archbishop in the land, Thomas of York, claimed the district in which 311 Remigius had built his church as belonging to his own diocese.[871] Thomas of York claims the jurisdiction of Lindesey. This does not seem to have been by virtue of the claim that the whole diocese of Dorchester came within his metropolitan jurisdiction.[872] The argument was that Lindesey, won for the Christian faith by Paullinus, won for the Northumbrian realm by Ecgfrith, was part of the diocesan jurisdiction of the Bishop of York. And, whatever the truth of the case might be, the warmest of all admirers of Remigius goes some way to strengthen the doctrine of Thomas, when he speaks of Lindesey almost as a conquered land won by the prowess of Remigius from the Northumbrian enemy.[873] The time was not one for doubtful disputations. Remigius wins over the King. Remigius, saint as he is pictured to us, knew how to use those baser arguments which were convincing above all others in the days of the Red King. His original appointment in the days of the Conqueror had not been altogether beyond suspicion;[874] and it was now whispered that it was by the help of a bribe that he won the zealous adhesion of William Rufus to his cause. Rufus was at least impartial; he was clearly ready to give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wages, and what he would do for a Jew he would also do for a bishop. All 312 the bishops of England were bidden by royal order to come together at the appointed day for the dedication of the church of Lincoln.[875] Gathering for the consecration at Lincoln. May 9, 1092. A vast crowd of men of all ranks came to Lincoln; the course of the story suggests that the King himself was there; all the bishops came, save one only. Robert of Hereford, the friend of Wulfstan, the Lotharingian skilled in the lore of the stars, knew by his science that the rite would not take place in the lifetime of Remigius. He therefore deemed it needless to travel to Lincoln for nothing.[876] Death of Remigius. May 6, 1092. His skill was not deceived; three days before the appointed time Remigius died.[877] The dedication of the church was delayed; it was done in the days of his successor, some years later.[878] Meanwhile Remigius himself won the honours of a saint in local esteem, and wonders of healing were wrought at his tomb for the benefit of not a few of divers tongues and even of divers creeds.[879]

313 § 5. The Conquest and Colonization of Carlisle.

William’s conquest of Carlisle. It was seemingly from this fruitless gathering at Lincoln that William the Red went forth to what was in truth the greatest exploit of his reign. He went on a strange errand, to enlarge the bounds of England by overthrowing the last shadow of independent English rule. Hitherto the northern border of England had shown a tendency to fall back rather than to advance, and a generation later the same tendency showed itself again. But Rufus did what neither his father nor his brother did; he enlarged the actual kingdom of England by the addition of a new shire, a new earldom—​in process of time a new bishopric—​and he raised as its capital a renewed city whose calling it was to be the foremost bulwark of England in her northern wars. Whatever any other spot on either side of the sea may be bound to do, Carlisle, city and earldom, is bound to pay to the Red King the honours of a founder. And the Saxon branch of the English people must see in him one who planted a strong colony of their blood on the lands of men of other races, kindred and alien. Mistakes as to the position of Cumberland and Westmoreland. There is a certain amusement in seeing the endless discussions in which men have entangled themselves in order to explain the simple fact that Cumberland and Westmoreland are not entered in Domesday, forgetful that it was just as reasonable to look for them there as it would have been to look there for 314 Caithness or the Côtentin. Cumberland and Westmoreland, by those names, formed no part of the English kingdom when the Conqueror drew up his Survey. Parts of the lands so called, those parts which till recent changes formed part, first of the diocese of York, afterwards of that of Chester, are entered in Domesday in their natural place, as parts of Yorkshire.[880] The other parts are not entered, for the simple reason that they were then no part of the kingdom of England. It was now, in the third or fourth year of William Rufus, that they became so.

History of Carlisle. Lugubalia or Caerluel was reckoned among the Roman cities of Britain. It was reckoned too among the cities of the Northumbrian realm, in the great days of that realm, 603–685. from the victory of Æthelfrith at Dægsanstan to the fall of Ecgfrith at Nectansmere.[881] Then the Northumbrian power fell back from the whole land between Clyde and Solway, and all trace of Lugubalia is lost in the confused history of the land of the Northern Britons. Its site, to say the least, must have formed part of that northern British land whose king and people sought Eadward the Unconquered to father and lord.[882] It must have formed part of that well nigh first of territorial fiefs which Eadmund the Doer-of-great-deeds granted to his Scottish fellow-worker.[883] It must have formed part of the under-kingdom which so long served as an appanage for the heirs of Scottish kingship. But, amidst all these changes, though the land passed under the over-lordship of the Basileus of Britain, yet it never, from Ecgfrith to Rufus, passed under the immediate dominion of any English king. And, as far as the city itself was concerned, for the last two centuries before Rufus the site was all 315 that was left to pass to any one. Scandinavians in Cumberland. The history of Scandinavian influence in Cumberland is one of the great puzzles of our early history. The Northman is there to speak for himself; but it is not easy to say how and when he came there.[884] But one result of Scandinavian occupation or Scandinavian inroad was the overthrow of Lugubalia. Carlisle destroyed by Scandinavians. We gather that it fell, as Anderida fell before Ælle and Cissa, as Aquæ Solis fell before Ceawlin, as the City of the Legions fell before Æthelfrith.[885] But now the son of the Conqueror was to be to Lugubalia what the daughter of Ælfred had been to the City of the Legions. The king who made the land of Carlisle English bade the walls of Carlisle again rise, to fence in a city of men, a colony of the Saxon land.

Dolfin lord of Carlisle. At this moment the land of Carlisle, defined, as we can hardly doubt, by the limits of the ancient diocese, was the only spot of Britain where any man of English race ruled. Its prince, lord, earl—​no definite title is given him—​was Dolfin the son of Gospatric, a scion of the old Northumbrian princely house and sprung by female descent from the Imperial stock of Wessex.[886] When or how Dolfin had got possession of his lordship we know not; but it can hardly fail to have been a grant from Malcolm, and it must have been held by him in the character of a man of the Scottish king.

Dolfin driven out, the city restored and the castle built. 1092. We are not told whether either Dolfin or Malcolm had given any new offence to William, or whether there was any other motive for the King’s action at this moment. We can record only the event. Rufus went northward with a great force to Carlisle. He drove out Dolfin; he restored the forsaken city; he built the castle; he left a garrison in it, and went southward again.[887] 316 But this was not all.The Saxon colony. Not only was the restored city to be a bulwark of England, but the conquered land was to become a colony of Englishmen. Many churlish folk were sent thither with wives and cattle, to dwell in the land and to till it.[888] We thus see, what seems always to be forgotten in discussions of Cumbrian ethnology, that, at least in the immediate district of Carlisle, the last element in its mixed population was distinctly Saxon.[889] Supposed connexion with the making of the New Forest. Ingenious writers have guessed that the men who were now settled at Carlisle were the very men who had been deprived of their homes and lands at the making of the New Forest. There is no evidence for this guess, and every likelihood is against it. Though I hold that the dispossessed land-owners and occupiers of Hampshire are not an imaginary class,[890] yet I cannot think that they can have formed so large a class as to have gone any way towards colonizing even so small a district as the old diocese of Carlisle. But it is plain that the land needed inhabitants, and that the new inhabitants were sought for in the south of England. In the Carlisle district then the order of settlement among the races of Britain is different from what it is anywhere else. Elsewhere it is Briton, Angle or Saxon, Dane or Northman. Here, as far as one can see, the order must be Briton, Angle, Pict, Northman, Saxon.

317 The land and earldom of Carlisle. The land now added to England is strictly the land of Carlisle. We do not hear the names of Cumberland or Westmoreland till after the times with which we are dealing. The restored city gave its name to the land, to its earls, when it had earls, to its bishops when it had bishops.[891] And truly of all the cities of England none is more memorable in its own special way than that which now for the first time became a city of united England. History and character of the city. The local history of Carlisle stands out beyond that of almost any other English city on the surface of English history. It has not, as local history so often has; to be dug out of special records by special research. Called into fresh being to be the bulwark of England against Scotland, Carlisle remained the bulwark of England against Scotland as long as England needed any bulwark on that side. In every Scottish war, from Stephen to George the Second, Carlisle plays its part. Its analogy with Edinburgh and Stirling. Nor is it perhaps unfit that a city whose special work was to act as a check upon the Scot should itself have in its general look somewhat of a Scottish character. The site of the city and castle instinctively reminds us of the sites of Edinburgh and Stirling. It is a likeness in miniature; but it is a likeness none the less. The hill which is crowned by Carlisle castle is lower than the hills which are crowned by the two famous Scottish fortresses; but in all three cases the original city climbs the hill whose highest point is crowned by the castle. At Carlisle the castle stands at the northern end of the city, and its look-out over the Eden, towards the Scottish march, is emphatically the look-out of a sentinel. It looks out towards the land which so long was hostile; but it looks out also on one spot which suggests the memories of times when Scots, Picts, and Britons may have been there, but when they found no English or Danish adversaries to meet them. The Roman wall avoids Lugubalia 318 itself, though the inner line of foss, which runs some way south of the wall itself, is said to be traced along the line which divides the castle from the city. But among the most prominent points of view from the castle is Stanwix, the site of the nearest Roman station, which seems to bear about it the memory of the stones of the ancient builders. The wall and the castle. Here, on the brow of the hill, cut off by a ditch like so many headlands of the same kind, on a site which had doubtless been a place of strength for ages before the Roman came, the Red King reared the new bulwark of his realm. Of the works of his age there are still large remains; how much is the work of Rufus himself, how much of his successor, it might be hard to say. The square keep is there, though sadly disfigured by the unhappy use of the castle as a barrack; a large part of the wall, both of city and castle, is still, after many patchings and rebuildings, of Norman date; it is still in many places plainly built out of Roman stones. Here and there one is even tempted to think that some of those stones in the lower part of the wall may have stood there since Carlisle was Lugubalia. Castle and city bear about them the memories of many later times and many stirring scenes in history. Works of Rufus and Henry at Carlisle. But on that spot we are most called on to trace out, in church and city and castle, every scrap that reminds us of the two founders of Carlisle, the two royal sons of the Conqueror. The names which before all others live on that site are those of William who raised up city and fortress from the sleep of ages, and of Henry who completed the work by adding Carlisle to the tale of English episcopal sees.[892]

Fortunes of Henry. In the same year in which King William of England thus advanced and strengthened the borders of his 319 kingdom by strength of arms, his youngest brother again became a ruler of men by a nobler title. Whatever was the date or the length of Henry’s day of distress, it came to an end about the time of the restoration of Carlisle. No call could be more honourable than that which again set him in a place of power. Domfront held by Robert of Bellême. Among the many victims of Robert of Bellême were the people of Domfront, the old conquest of William the Great. The castle had passed into the hands of the tyrant, and grievous was the oppression which Domfront and the coasts thereof suffered at his hands. The men of Domfront choose Henry to lord. 1093. The inhabitants, under the lead of a chief man of the place, Harecher or Archard by name, rose in revolt, and chose the banished Count of the Côtentin as their lord and defender against the common enemy of mankind. In company with this local patriot, Henry came to Domfront; he accepted the offered lordship, and entered into the closest relations with those who had chosen him. He bound himself to respect all their local customs, and never to give them over to any other master. Henry kept his word; amidst all changes, he clave to Domfront for the rest of his days as a specially cherished possession.[893]

Position of Domfront. It was indeed, both in its position and in its associations, a noble starting-point for one who had to carve out a dominion for himself by his wits or by his sword. It was a place of happy omen for a son of William the Conqueror, as the place where his father first began to deserve that title, his first possession beyond the elder bounds of his own duchy.[894] Henry was now lord of the rocky peninsula, which, impregnable as it had once been deemed, had yielded to the terror of his father’s name, and where the donjon of his father’s rearing opened its doors to receive his greatest son as a prince and a deliverer. On one side, the Varenne flowed 320 far beneath the rock, parting it from the wilder rocks beyond the stream. On the other side, on the same level as the castle, but with a slight dip between the two, just like the dip which parts town and castle at Nottingham,[895] was the walled town, in after days itself a mighty fortress, girded with double walls and towers in thick array, and entered by a grim and frowning gateway with two massive flanking towers grounded on the solid rock. But, of all spots in the world, Domfront is one whose lord could never bear to be lord of Domfront only. From few spots not fixed on actual Alps or Pyrenees can the eye range over a wider prospect than it ranges over from the castle steep of Henry’s new lordship. To the north the view is by comparison shut in; but on this side lies the way into the true heart of Normandy, to Caen and Bayeux and all that lies between. To the west the eye catches the hills of the Avranchin; to the south the land of Maine stretches far away, the land of his father’s victories at Ambrières and at Mayenne, the land whose sight suggests that the land of Anjou lies yet beyond it. To the south Henry might look on lands which were to be the inheritance of his children; to the north he looked on lands which were one day to be his own; but to the south-west, towards Mortain and Avranches and the Archangel’s Mount, his eye might light on a region some of the most famous spots of which he was presently to win with his own right hand.

Change in Henry’s affairs.
His old friends join him
For the tide in Henry’s affairs turned fast, as soon as the wanderer of the Vexin became the chosen lord of Domfront. His old friends in his former principality began to flock around him once more. Earl Hugh was again on his side, with Richard of Redvers and the rest.[896] Earl Hugh.And he had now a mightier friend than all. King 321 Henry restored to William’s favour. William of England soon found out that he had not played a wise part for his own interests, or at least for his own plans, in strengthening his elder brother at the expense of the younger. Henry at war with Robert. He was now again scheming against Robert; he therefore favoured the growth of the new power on the Cenomannian border. It was with the Red King’s full sanction that Domfront became the head-quarters of a warfare which Henry waged against both Roberts, the Duke and the tyrant of Bellême.[897] He made many expeditions, which were largely rewarded with plunder and captives, and in the course of which some picturesque incidents happened which may call for some notice later in our story.[898] For the present we are concerned rather with the re-establishment of Henry’s power, of which his possession of Domfront was at once the earnest and the beginning. He gets back his county. Favoured by William, helped by his former friends, Henry was soon again a powerful prince, lord of the greater part of his old county of Coutances and Avranches. And this dominion was secured on his southern border by the occupation of another fortress almost as important as Domfront itself, and no less closely connected with the memory of Henry’s father.

Castle of Saint James occupied by Henry. This was the castle of Saint James, the stronghold which the Conqueror reared to guard the Breton march,[899] which stands close on that dangerous frontier, in the southernmost part of the land of Avranches. That hilly and wooded land puts on at this point a somewhat bolder character. Its position. A peninsular hill with steep sides, and with a rushing beck, the Beuvron, between itself and the opposite heights, was a point which the eye of William the Great had marked out as a fitting site for a border-castle. Yet the castle did not occupy the exact spot where one would have looked for it. We should have 322 thought to find it at the very head of the promontory, commanding the valley on all sides. It is so at Ballon; it is not so at Saint Cenery or at Conches. But in a more marked way than either of these, the castle of Saint James stood on one side of the hill, the south side certainly, the side looking towards the dangerous land, but still not occupying the most commanding position of all. In this choice of a site we may perhaps see a mark of the Conqueror’s respect for religion. The ecclesiastical name of the place shows that, in William’s day, the church of Saint James already occupied the lofty site which its successor still keeps. Castle-builders less scrupulous than the great William might perhaps have ventured, like Geoffrey of Mayenne at Saint Cenery,[900] to build their fortress on the holy ground. The Conqueror had been content with the less favourable part of the hill, and at Saint James, as at Conches, church and castle stood side by side. The natural beauty of the site cannot pass away; the look-out over the valley on either side is fairer and more peaceful now than it was in William’s day; but every care has been taken to destroy or to mutilate all that could directly remind us of the days when Saint James was a stronghold of dukes and kings. Slight remains of the castle. The elder church has given way to a structure strangely made up of modern buildings and ancient fragments. The tower of the Conqueror still gives its name to the Place of the Fort; but there are no such remains as we see in the shattered keep of Domfront, hardly such remains as may be traced out at Saint Cenery and on the Rock of Mabel. A line of wall to the south, strengthening the scarped hill-side like the oldest walls of Rome, is all that is left to speak to us of the castle which was William’s most famous work on that border of his dominions. Nothing beyond these small scraps is left of the fortress whose 323 building led to that memorable march against the Breton in which William and Harold fought as fellow-soldiers.[901]

The castle granted to Earl Hugh. We are not told what were Henry’s relations with Britanny at the time when this great border fortress passed into his hands. Bretons had been his only friends at the time of the siege of the Mount; but their friendship for the Count of the Côtentin was perhaps felt for him, not so much in that character as in that of the enemy of the Norman Duke and the English King. It may possibly mark a feeling that the Celtic peninsula might again become a dangerous land, when the guardianship of the chief bulwark against the Bretwealas of the mainland was given to one who had full experience of warfare with the Bretwealas of the great island. The Earl of Chester had a hereditary call to be the keeper of the castle of Saint James. The fortress had, on its first building, been entrusted by the Conqueror to the guardianship of Earl Hugh’s father, the Viscount Richard of Avranches. Hugh’s treason when King and Duke came against him was now forgotten; his earlier and later services were remembered; and the restored prince, now once more Count as well as Ætheling, granted the border castle, not as a mere castellanship, but as his own proper fief, to the lord of the distant City of the Legions.[902]

We have thus seen the power of William the Red firmly established on both sides of the sea. He had received the homage of Scotland; he had enlarged the 324 bounds of England; he had won for himself a Norman dominion hemming in the dominions which are left to the nominal sovereign of the Norman land. And it is wonderful with how little fighting all this had been done. It was only before the island rock of Saint Michael that the chivalrous King had any opportunity of winning renown by feats of chivalry. A year follows, crowded with events, but all of them events which happened within the four seas of our own island. Our next chapter will therefore deal mainly with English affairs, and with some aspects of English affairs which yield in importance to none in the whole history of England. One of the chief personages of our story now comes before us in the form of the holy Anselm. Few more striking personal contrasts are to be found in the whole range of history than those parts of our tale where Anselm and William meet face to face. But more memorable still, in a general aspect of English history, is the work which has been silently going on ever since William Rufus was made fast on his throne, the work which stands broadly forth as a finished thing when the controversy between King and Primate begins. Assuredly no “feudal system” was ever introduced into England by any law of William the Great; but it is only a slight stretch of language to say that something which, if any one chooses, may be called a “feudal system” was, during these years, devised in and for England by the craft and subtlety of Randolf Flambard.




THE Character of the early years of William Rufus. 1087–1092. story of the first five years of the Red King’s reign may be written with little, if any, forsaking of strict chronological order. The accession, the rebellion, the affairs of Normandy, the affairs of Scotland, 326 follow one another in successive or nearly successive years, as the main subjects which challenge our attention. Chronological sequence of the history. One set of events leads to another. The rebellion followed naturally on the accession; the interference of Rufus in Normandy followed naturally on the rebellion; the Scottish invasion seems to have been the immediate occasion of the banishment of Eadgar from Normandy. But during the whole of the five years there is no great interlacing of different parts of the main story; at no stage are two distinct sets of events of equal moment going on at the same time; the historian is hardly called on to forsake the arrangement of the annalist. While the events recorded by the annalist were in doing, some of the greatest changes in English history were silently going on; but they were not changes of a kind which could be set down in the shape of annals. More complicated character of the next period. 1093–1098. From the end of the year which saw the restoration of Carlisle the nature of the story changes. Different scenes of the drama of equal importance are now acting at once. For the next five years we have three several lines of contemporary story, which are now and then intertwined, 327 but which on the whole did not seriously affect one another. Three distinct sets of contemporary events. Each is best told by itself, with as little reference to either of the others as may be. And each begins in the year of which we have now reached the threshold. The sixth year of William Rufus saw the beginning of the primacy of Anselm, the beginning of the main dealings of the reign with Wales and Scotland, the beginning of renewed interference in the Norman duchy. Aspects of Rufus with regard to each. It will be well to keep these three lines of narrative as distinct as may be. They show the Red King in three different characters. In the first story he appears as the representative of the new form which the kingship of Primacy of Anselm.England has taken with reference both to temporal and to spiritual matters within the kingdom. In the second story we see him asserting the powers of the English crown beyond the kingdom of England, but within the island of Britain. Affairs of Scotland and Wales. And here, alongside of the affairs of Scotland, perhaps not very closely connected with them by any chain of cause and effect, but forming one general subject with them as distinguished alike from purely domestic and from continental affairs, will come the relations between England and Wales during the reign of William Rufus. Continental schemes. In the third story we see the beginning of the events which led to those wider schemes of continental policy which almost wholly occupy the last three years of the reign. Revolt of Robert of Mowbray. 1095. One event only of much moment stands apart from the general thread of any of the three stories. It stands by itself, as one of those events which might easily have led to great changes, but which, as a matter of fact, passed away without much result. This is the conspiracy and revolt of Robert of Mowbray and William of Eu, which may, dramatically at least, be connected with either the Scottish or the Norman story, but which, as a matter of actual English history, stands apart from all.

328 Relations between Rufus and Anselm. Of these three the first on the list must claim the precedence. The relations between Rufus and Anselm involve the whole civil and ecclesiastical policy of the reign. Working of the new ideas. The dispute between King and Primate was the outcome of all that had been working in silence while the Red King was winning castles in Normandy, receiving the homage of Scotland, and enlarging the bounds of England. During those years one side of the results of the Norman Conquest was put into formal shape. Between the fall of Rochester and the restoration of Carlisle, new ideas, new claims, had come to their full growth. New position of the King. Those ideas, those claims, had made the kingship of William the Red something marked by not a few points of difference from the kingship either of the Confessor or of the Conqueror. Ecclesiastical position of the Conqueror. Nowhere does the difference between the elder and the younger William stand forth more clearly than in their dealings with the spiritual power. No king, as I have often shown, was more truly Supreme Governor of the Church within his realm than was the Conqueror of England, her defender against the claims of Rome. William and Lanfranc. But William the Great sought and found his fellow-worker in all things in an archbishop likeminded with himself. We can hardly conceive the reign of the Conqueror without the primacy of Lanfranc. Opposite conduct of Rufus. But the great object of William the Red was to avoid the restraints which could not fail to be placed upon his self-will, if he had one standing at his side whose place it was to be at once the chief shepherd of the English Church and the tribune of the English people. Vacancy of the see of Canterbury. 1089–1093. For three years and more from the death of Lanfranc the see of Canterbury remained vacant. Such a vacancy was without precedent; but it was designed itself to become a precedent. It was by no accident, from no momentary cause, that William delayed the appointment of any successor to his old guardian and counsellor. 329 Its policy. It was part of a deliberate policy affecting the whole ecclesiastical and civil institutions of the realm. Influence of Randolf Flambard. And that policy, there can be little doubt, was the device of a single subtle and malignant genius by whom the whole internal administration of the Red King’s reign was guided.

§ 1. The Administration of Randolf Flambard.

The chief minister, if we may so call him, of William Rufus, during these years, and indeed to the end of his reign, was that Randolf Flambard or Passeflambard of whom we have already heard.[904] Early history of Flambard. His early history is not easy to trace, beyond the general fact that he rose to power by the same path by which so many others rose in his day, by service in the King’s chapel and chancery.[905] Said to have been settled in England T. R. E. It has been generally thought that he was settled in England as early as the days of Eadward; but it may be doubted whether the evidence bears out this belief. And the course of his life is certainly easier to understand, if we do not bring him into England so soon, or attribute to him so great a length of life, as we must do if we look on him as having been already a land-owner in England before the Conquest.[906] Said to have been in the service of Bishop Maurice [Bishop of London 1086–1107]. On the other hand, if we accept the story which makes him pass to the King’s service from the service of Maurice Bishop of London, he must have been the King’s clerk for so short a time before the death of the Conqueror as hardly to give room for the usual stages of official promotion. Another version places him in the King’s service from his earliest years.[907] Perhaps we may guess that the name of 330 the Bishop of London is wrongly given, and that Flambard had really been in the service of one of Maurice’s predecessors, of Hugh of Orival or of the more famous William. Said to have held the deanery of Twinham. His reason for leaving his episcopal patron is said to have been that a deanery which he held was taken from him, a story which oddly connects itself with another, according to which he was at one time dean or other head of the canons of Twinham—​better known as Christchurch—​in Hampshire.[908] Preferments held by the clerks of kings and bishops. The story, true or false, like the earlier life of Thomas of London, illustrates the way in which the highest ecclesiastical preferments short of bishoprics and abbeys were held by these clerical servants of kings and bishops. Clerical they often were only in the widest sense; they were sometimes merely tonsured, and they seldom took priest’s orders till they were themselves promoted to bishoprics.[909] Flambard a priest. Randolf Flambard however was a priest;[910] he could therefore discharge the duties of his deanery in person, if he ever troubled himself to go near it. Character of Flambard. Otherwise there was very little of the churchman, or indeed of the Christian, about the future Bishop of Durham and builder of Saint Cuthberht’s nave. At all events it was wholly by his personal qualities, such as they were, that Randolf Flambard made his way to the highest places in Church and State. In his day the Church supplied the readiest opening for the service of the State, and service to the State was again rewarded by all but the highest honours of the Church.

His parents. The man who was practically to rule England had at least little advantage on the score of birth. He is set 331 before us as the son of a low-born priest in the diocese of Bayeux and of a mother who bore the character of a witch, and who was reported to have lost an eye through the agency of the powers with which she was too familiar.[911] Handsome in person, ready of wit, free of speech and of hand, unlearned, loose of life, clever and unscrupulous in business of every kind, he made friends and he made enemies; but he rose. The name Flambard. The surname which cleaves to him in various shapes and spellings is said to have been given to him in the court of the Conqueror by the dispenser Robert, because he pushed himself on at the expense of his betters, like a burning flame.[912] His financial skill. But his genius lay most of all in the direction of finance, in days when finance meant to transfer, by whatever means, the greatest amount of the subject’s money into the coffers of the King. Mention of him in the Conqueror’s reign. One story describes him as sent on such an errand by the Conqueror into the lands of his future bishopric, and as smitten for his crime by the wonder-working hand of Saint Cuthberht himself.[913] There is every reason to believe that he had a hand in drawing up the Great Survey.[914] His share in Domesday. But, while William the Great lived, he seems not to have risen to any high place. Towards the end of his reign the Conqueror did begin to give away bishoprics to his own clerks,[915] but still hardly to such clerks as Randolf Flambard. Nor 332 did the Conqueror need a minister, in the sense of needing one who should in some sort fill his place and exercise his powers. The elder William could rule his kingdom himself, or at most with the advice of the special counsellor whom ancient custom gave him in the person of Lanfranc. His rise under Rufus. But the younger William, sultan-like in his mood, needed, like other sultans, the help of a vizier. And he found the fittest of all viziers for his purpose in the supple clerk from the Bessin.

The reign of Flambard seems to have begun as soon as Lanfranc was gone. He thoroughly suited the Red King’s views. He was ready to gather in wealth for his master from every quarter; he knew how to squeeze the most out of rich and poor; when a tax of a certain amount was decreed, he knew how to make it bring in double its nominal value.[916] He alone thoroughly knew his art; no one else, said the laughing King, cared so little whose hatred he brought on himself, so that he only pleased his master.[917] His alleged new Domesday. He stands charged in one account of his deeds with declaring the Great Survey to be drawn up on principles not favourable enough to the royal hoard, and with causing it to be supplanted by a new inquisition which made the Red King richer than his father.[918] This story is very doubtful; but it is thoroughly in character. His official position. In any case Flambard rose to the highest measure both of power and of official dignity that was open to him. His office and its duties are described in various ways; in that age official titles and functions 333 were less accurately distinguished than they were a little later.[919] He holds the Justiciarship. But there seems no doubt that Flambard, the lawyer whom none could withstand,[920] held the formal office of Justiciar. Till his time that post had not, as a distinct office, reached the full measure of its greatness. Growth of the office under him. It was Flambard himself who raised it to the height of power and dignity which accompanied it when it was held by Roger of Salisbury and Randolf of Glanville. He was to the post of Justiciar what Thomas of London two generations later was to the post of Chancellor; he was the man who knew how to magnify his office.[921] His “driving” of the Gemóts. In that office “he drave all the King’s gemóts over all England.”[922] The King’s thegns who had come to the local assembly on the King’s errand in the days of Æthelred and Cnut[923] had now grown into a mighty and terrible power. How Flambard drave the gemóts we learn elsewhere. He was fierce alike to the suppliant and to the rebel.[924] Suppliant and rebel alike were in his eyes useful only as means for further filling the mighty chest at Winchester. He loses his land for the New Forest. Strangely enough, he himself, clerk and Norman as he was, had found neither birth nor order protect him when the Conqueror had needed a part of his land for the creation of the New Forest.[925] His zeal for the King’s interests. On the principle that man is ever most ready to inflict on others the wrongs which he has borne himself, Flambard, who himself in some 334 sort ranked among the disinherited, was of all ministers of the royal will the most eager to draw the heritage of every man, without respect to birth or order, into the hands of the master whom he served too faithfully.

But we shall altogether misunderstand both Flambard and his master, if we take either of them for vulgar spoilers, living as it were from hand to mouth, and casually grasping any sources of gain which chanced to be thrown in their way. His changes and exactions systematic. Whatever Flambard did he did according to rule and system; nay more, he did it according to the severest rules of logic. Amidst the vague declamations which set him before us as the general robber of all men, we light on particular facts and phrases which give us the clue to the real nature of his doings. His alleged spoliation of the rich. It is worth notice that, in more than one picture, the rich are enlarged on as the special victims of his extortions; in one the Ætheling Henry himself is spoken of as having suffered deeply at his hands.[926] His dealings with the Ætheling Henry. We may guess that this has some special reference to the way in which Henry was defrauded of the lands of his mother, a business in which Flambard is likely enough to have had a share.[927] These references to the wrongs done to the rich have their significance; they point to a cunningly devised system of Flambard’s, by which, the greater a man’s estate was, the more surely was he marked for extortion. The legislation of Flambard, if we can call that legislation which seems never to have been set down in any formal statute,[928] was not at all of the kind which catches the small flies and lets the large ones get through. Witness of the Chronicle. As we have seen in some other cases,[929] a seemingly casual expression of our native 335 Chronicler is the best record of a matter of no small constitutional importance. The King to be every man’s heir. The Red King “would be ilk man’s heir, ordered and lewd.”[930] In those words lay the whole root of the matter. The great work of the Flambard’s lasting burthens and exactions.administration of Flambard, the great work of the reign of Rufus, was to put in order a system of rules by which the King might be the heir of every man. Those few words, which might seem to have dropped from the Chronicler in a moment of embittered sarcasm, do indeed set forth the formal beginning of a series of burthens and exactions under which Englishmen, and preeminently the rich and noble among Englishmen, groaned for not much less than six hundred years after Flambard’s days.

The Feudal Tenures. In short the “unrighteousness” ordained by William Rufus and Randolf Flambard[931] are no other than those Abolished 1660. feudal tenures and feudal burthens which even the Parliament which elected Charles the Second, in the midst of its self-abasement and betrayal of its own ancient rights, declared to have been “much more burthensome, grievous, and prejudicial to the kingdom than they have been beneficial to the king.”[932] Assuredly they were as burthensome, grievous, and prejudicial to the kingdom in the eleventh century as they were in the seventeenth; but assuredly they were found in the eleventh century to be highly beneficial to the King, or they would not have been ordained by Rufus and Flambard. Tenure in chivalry. We have reached the age of chivalry; and tenure in chivalry, 336 with all its mean and pettifogging incidents, was put into a systematic form for the special benefit of the coffers of the king who was before all things the good knight, the preux chevalier, the probus miles. The King “would be the heir of ilk man, ordered and lewd.” Wardship. To that end the estate of the minor heir was to be made a prey; he was himself to be begged and granted and sold Marriage. like an ox or an ass;[933] the heiress, maid or widow, was in the like sort to be begged and granted, sold into unwilling wedlock, or else forced to pay the price which a chivalrous tenure demanded for the right either to remain unmarried or to marry according to her own will. Dealings with bishoprics and abbeys. The bishopric or the abbey was to be left without a pastor, and its lands were to be let to farm for the King’s profit, because the King would be the heir of the priest as well as of the layman. Agency of Flambard in systematizing the feudal tenures. That all this, in its fully developed and systematic form, was the work of Randolf Flambard, I hope I may now assume. I have argued the point at some length elsewhere,[934] and I need not now do more than pass lightly over some of the main points. The evidence. Certain tendencies, certain customs, of which, under the Conqueror and even before the Conqueror, Henry’s charters. we see the germs, but only the germs, appear at the accession of Henry the First as firmly established rules, which Henry does not promise wholly to abolish, while he does promise to redress their abuses. It follows that they had put on their systematic shape in the intermediate time, that is, during the reign of Rufus. One of these abuses, that which for obvious reasons was most largely dwelled on by our authorities, namely the new way of dealing with ecclesiastical property, is distinctly spoken of as a 337 novelty, and a novelty of Flambard’s devising. The obvious inference is that the whole system, a system which logically hangs together in the most perfect way, was the device of the same subtle and malignant brain. Importance of seemingly casual phrases. And having got thus far, we are now enabled to see the full force of those seemingly casual expressions in the writers of the time of which I have already spoken. It was the royal claims of relief, of wardship, and marriage, systematically and mercilessly enforced, no less than the royal claim to enjoy the fruits of vacant ecclesiastical benefices, which are branded in Latin as the injustitiæ of Rufus and Flambard, and which in our own tongue take the shape of the King’s claim to be the heir of every man.

This last pithy phrase takes in all the new claims which were now set up over all lands, whether held by spiritual or temporal owners, and, in some cases at least, over personal property also. All the “unrighteousnesses,” all “the evil customs,” which the charter of Henry promises to reform[935] come under this one head. Flambard’s theory of land-holding. In Flambard’s system of tenure there could be no such thing as an ancient eðel or allod, held of no lord, and burthened only with such payments or duties as the law might lay upon its owner. With him all land was in the strictest sense loanland.[936] The owner had at most a life-interest in it; at his death it fell back to the king, for the king was to be the heir of every man. Relief and redemption. The king might grant it to the son of the last owner; but, if so, it was by a fresh grant,[937] for which the new grantee had to pay. And the terms of Henry’s charter imply that 338 the payment was arbitrary and extortionate. Henry promises that the heir of a tenant-in-chief shall not be constrained to redeem—​to buy back—​his father’s lands as had been done in his brother’s time; he shall relieve them by a just and lawful relief.[938] Under Rufus then it was held that the land had, by the former holder’s death, actually passed to the king, as the common heir of all men, and that, if the son or other representative of the former holder wished to possess it, he must, in the strictest sense, buy it back from the king. Henry acknowledges the rights of the heir, while still maintaining the theory of the fresh grant. The heir is not to redeem—​to buy back—​his father’s land; he is merely to relieve it—​to take it up again, and he is to pay only the sum prescribed by legal custom, the equivalent of the ancient heriot or the modern succession-duty. So it is with personal property. Dealings with men’s wills. The Red King, it is plain, claimed to be the heir of men’s money, as well as of their land. For one of Henry’s promised reforms is that the wills of his barons and others his men shall stand good, that their money shall go to the purposes to which they may have bequeathed it, and that, if they die without wills, their wives, children, kinsfolk, or lawful men, shall dispose of it as they may think best for the dead man’s soul.[939] Such a reform could not have been needed unless William Rufus had been in the habit of interfering with men’s free right of bequest. Older theory of wills. And it might have been plausibly argued that the right of bequest was no natural 339 right of man, that the most ancient legal doctrine both of Rome and of England was that a will was an exceptional act, which needed the confirmation of the sovereign power. If such a doctrine had anyhow come to the knowledge of Flambard, it would assuredly seem to him a natural inference that no such confirmation should be granted save at such a price as the king might see fit to demand.

Wardship. But of all the devices of Flambard, there was one which, it would seem, was specially his own, one which was at once the most oppressive of all and that which followed most logically from the nature of feudal tenure. This was the lord’s right of wardship. This claim starts from the undoubted doctrine that the fief is after all only a conditional possession of its holder, that he holds it only on the terms of discharging the military service which is due from it. Nothing was easier than to argue that, when the fief passed to an heir who was from his youth incapable of discharging that service, the fief should go back into the lord’s hands till the heir had reached the time of life when he could discharge it. The abuses and oppressions which such a right led to need hardly be dwelled on; they are written in every page of our legal history from the days of Rufus to the days of Charles the First. Nothing now enriches an estate like a long minority; in those times the heir, when at last he came into possession, found his estate impoverished in every way by the temporary occupation of the king or of the king’s favourite to whom the wardship had been granted or sold. Its logical character. Yet it cannot be denied that the argument by which the right of wardship was established was, as a piece of legal argument, quite unanswerable. And of all the feudal exactions certainly none was more profitable. Its oppressive working. The tenant-in-chief who died, perhaps fighting in the king’s cause, and who left an infant son behind him, had the 340 comfort of thinking that his estate would, perhaps for the next twenty years, go to enrich the coffers of his sovereign. On this head Henry speaks less clearly than he speaks on some other points; but his words certainly seem to imply that the wardship of the tenant-in-chief was to go, not to the king, but to the mother or to some kinsman.[940] If so, either Henry himself or his successors thought better of the matter. The right of wardship, as a privilege of the king or other lord, appears in full force in the law-book of Randolf of Glanville.[941]

Extent of Flambard’s changes. When we attribute all these exactions and “unrighteousnesses” to the device of Flambard, it is of course not meant that they were altogether unheard of either before his day or beyond the lands over which his influence reached. Traces of these claims, or of some of them, are to be found wherever and whenever feudal notions about the tenure of land had crept in. All that is meant is that claims which were vaguely growing up were put by Flambard into a distinct and systematic shape. What William the Great did on occasion, for reasons of state, William the Red did as a matter of course, as an ordinary means of making money.[942] Wardship and marriage special to England and Normandy. And it is significant that two of the most oppressive of these claims, that of wardship and the kindred claim of marriage, were, in their fully developed shape, peculiar or nearly so to the lands where Rufus reigned and Flambard governed, to the English kingdom and the Norman duchy.[943] The two sides of feudalism. I have said elsewhere that, of the two sides of feudalism, our Norman kings carefully shut out the side which tended to 341 weaken the royal power, and carefully fostered the side which tended to strengthen it.[944] Both sides of this process were busily at work during the reign of Rufus. The great law of the Conqueror, the law of Salisbury, which decreed that duty to the king should come before all other duties, was practically tried and practically confirmed in the struggle which showed that no man in England was strong enough to stand against the king.[945] England in what sense feudal. England was not to become feudal in the sense in which Germany and France became feudal. But in all those points where the doctrines of feudal tenure could be turned to the king’s enrichment, England became of all lands the most feudal. Flambard the lawgiver of English feudalism. Enactor of no statute, author of no code or law-book, Randolf Flambard was in effect the lawgiver of feudalism, so far as that misleading word has any meaning at all on English soil.

Flambard’s oppression falls most directly on the greatest estates. All this exactly falls in with those phrases in our authorities which speak of Flambard as the spoiler of the rich, the plunderer of the inheritances of other men. It also bears out what I have said already,[946] that there is no evidence to show that Rufus was a direct oppressor of the native English as such. No special oppression of the native English. The subtle devices of tyranny of which we have just spoken directly concerned those only who were the King’s tenants-in-chief. That is to say, they touched a class of estates which were far more largely in Norman than in English hands. Most likely, even in that reign, a numerical majority of the King’s tenants-in-chief would have been found to be of English blood. But such a majority would have been chiefly made up of the very smallest members of the class; the greater landowners, those whose wrongs, under such a system, would be, if not heavier, at least more conspicuous, were mainly the 342 conquerors of Senlac or their sons. It was a form of oppression which would strike men as specially falling upon the rich. A special meaning is thus given to phrases which might otherwise be thought to be merely those common formulæ which, in speaking of any evil which affects all classes, join rich and poor together. The devices of Flambard were specially aimed at the rich. Indirect oppression of other classes. The great mass of the English people, and that large class of Normans who held their lands, not straight of the king but of some intermediate lord, were touched by them only when the lords who suffered by Flambard’s exactions tried to make good their own losses by exactions of the same kind on their own tenants. Dealings of the tenants-in-chief with their under-tenants. That they did so is shown by the reforming charter of Henry. When he promises to deal fairly and lawfully by his barons and his other men in the matters of relief and marriage, he demands that his barons shall deal fairly and lawfully by their men in the like cases.[947] But in the first instance it was mainly the rich, mainly the Normans, whom the feudal devices of Flambard touched. Strange submission of the nobles. And it is not the least strange thing in these times to see a race of warlike and high-spirited nobles, conquerors or sons of conquerors, submit to so galling a yoke, a yoke which must have been all the more galling when we think of the origin and position of the man by whom it was devised. Position of the king’s clerks. We cannot think that the king’s clerks were ever a popular body with any class, high or low, native or foreign. Their position appealed to no sentiment of any kind, military, religious, or national; their rule rather implied the treading under foot of all such sentiments. The military tenants must have looked on them with the dislike which men of the sword, specially in such 343 an age, are apt to look on the rule of men of the pen. In the eyes of strict churchmen they must have passed for ungodly scorners of the decencies of their order. To the mass of the people they must have seemed foreign extortioners, and nothing more. They represented the power of the king, and nothing else. In some states of things the power of the king, even of a despotic king, may be welcomed as the representative of law against force. The reign of unlaw. But under Rufus the power of the king was before all things the representative of unlaw. Yet though all murmured, all submitted. General submission. The son of the poor priest of the Bessin, clothed with a power purely official, lorded it over all classes and orders. Earls, prelates, and people, were alike held down by the guide and minister of the royal will.

Position of Rufus favourable for his schemes. One cause of this general submission is doubtless to be found in the immediate circumstances of the time. The alliance of the King and the English people had for the moment broken the power of the Norman nobles. The ecclesiastical estate was left without a head by the death of Lanfranc. The popular estate was left without a head, as soon as the King turned away from the people who had given him his crown, and broke all the promises that he had made to them. There was no power of combination; the great days when nobles, clergy, and commons, could join together against the king, as three orders in one nation, were yet far distant. Each class had to bear its own grievances as it could; no class could get any help from any other class; and the King’s picked mercenaries, kept at the expense of all classes, were stronger than any one class by itself. Effect on national unity. Yet we cannot doubt that even the rule of Rufus and Flambard did something towards the great work of founding national unity. All the inhabitants of the land, if they had nothing else in common, had common grievances and a common oppressor. 344 For a moment we can believe that the English people would feel a certain pleasure in seeing the men who had once conquered them and whom they had more lately conquered, brought under the yoke, and under such a yoke as that of Flambard. But such a feeling would be short-lived compared with the far deeper feeling of common grievances and common enmities.

Other forms of exaction. For the yoke of Flambard was one which, in different ways, pressed on all classes. If the native English, and the less wealthy men generally, were less directly touched by his feudal legislation than those who ranked above them, Flambard had no mind to let poor men, or native Englishmen, or any other class of men, go scot free. Working of the old laws. If his new devices pressed mainly on the great, he knew how to use the old forms of law so as to press on great and small alike. No one was too high, no one was too low, for the ministers of the King’s Exchequer to keep their eyes on him. No source of profit was deemed too small or too mean, if the coffers of a “Driving” of the Gemóts. chivalrous king could be filled by it. If Flambard sought to seize upon every man’s heritage, he also drave all the King’s gemóts over all England. We have no details; but it is easy to see how the ancient assemblies, and the judicial and administrative business which was done in them, might be turned into instruments of extortion. We have seen that the worst criminals could win their pardon by a bribe,[948] and means might easily be found, by false charges and by various tricks of the law, for wringing money out of the innocent as well as the guilty. Witness of Henry’s charter. We may again turn to Henry’s charter. It is a very speaking clause which forgives all “pleas” and debts due to his brother, except certain classes of them which were held to be due of lawful right.[949] In the days of 345 Rufus and Flambard the presumption was that a demand made on behalf of the crown was unlawful.

Dealings with church property. But there is one form of the exactions of the Red King which, for obvious reasons, stands forth before all others in the pages of the writers of the time. When the King would be the heir of every man, he was fully minded to be the heir of the clerk or the monk as well as of the layman. And Flambard, priest and chaplain as he was, had no mind to sacrifice the interests of his master to the interests of his order. By his suggestion William began early in his reign, as soon as the influence of Lanfranc was withdrawn, to make himself in a special way the heir of deceased bishops and abbots. These great spiritual lords were among the chief land-owners of the kingdom. The kings therefore naturally claimed to have a voice in their appointment. Appointment and investiture of bishops and abbots. They invested the new prelate with his ring and staff; and this right, so fiercely denied to the successor of Augustus, was exercised without dispute by the successor of Cerdic and Rolf.[950] The 346 new prelate received, by the king’s writ, as a grant from the king, the temporal possessions which were attached to the spiritual office.[951] We have seen that this action on the part of the king by no means wholly shut out action either on the part of the local ecclesiastical body or on the part of the great council of the kingdom.[952] Grant of the temporalities by the king. But it was from the king personally that the newly chosen or newly nominated prelate received the actual investiture of his office and its temporalities. The temporalities with which he was invested might have their special Church lands become fiefs. rights and privileges; but at least they were not exempt from the three burthens which no land could escape, among which was the duty of providing men for military service in case of need.[953] As feudal ideas grew, the inference was easy that lands granted by the king and charged with military service were a fief held of the king by a military tenure. We have seen signs of change in that direction in the days of the Conqueror;[954] in the days of Rufus the doctrine was fully established, and it was pushed to its logical results by the lawyer-like ingenuity of Flambard. Flambard’s inferences. If the lands held by a bishop or abbot were a fief held by military tenure, they must be liable to the same accidents as other fiefs of the same kind. Analogy between lay and ecclesiastical fiefs. When a bishop or abbot died, or otherwise vacated his office, the result was the same as when the lay holder of a fief died without leaving an heir of full age. 347 There was the fief; but there was no one ready to perform the duties with which it was charged. The fief must therefore fall back to the lord till it should be granted afresh to some one who could discharge those duties. The king thus, in the words of the Chronicler, became the heir of the deceased bishop or abbot, even more thoroughly than he became the heir of the deceased baron or other lay tenant-in-chief. For in the latter case, except when the late holder’s family became extinct by his death, there was always some one person who had by all law and custom a right above all other men to succeed him. The son or other natural successor might be constrained to buy back the lands of the ancestor,[955] or, if a minor, he might be kept out of them till his time of wardship was over. Still even Flambard would have allowed that such a natural successor had, if he could pay the price demanded, a claim upon the land which was not shared by any one else. But on the lands of a deceased bishop or abbot no man, even of his own order, had any better claim than another till such a claim was created by election or nomination. Vacant prelacies held by the King. The king was the only heir; the lands and all the other property of the vacant office passed into his hands; and, as no election or nomination could hold good without his consent, it was in his power to prolong his possession as heir as long as he thought good. That is to say, by the new device of Flambard, when a bishop or abbot died, the king at once Power of prolonging the vacancy.entered on his lands, and kept them as long as the see or abbey remained vacant. And, as it rested with the king when the see or abbey should be filled, he could prolong the vacancy for any time that he thought good. And William Rufus commonly thought good to prolong the Sale of bishoprics and abbeys. vacancy till some one offered him such a price in ready money as made it worth his while to put an end to it.[956]

348 The result was that, in the words of the Chronicler, “God’s Church was brought low.”[957] The great ecclesiastical offices, as they fell vacant, were either kept vacant for the King’s profit, or else were sold for his profit to men who, by the very act of buying them, were shown to be unworthy to hold them.[958] Innovations of Rufus. We are distinctly told that this practice was an innovation of the days of Rufus, and that it was an innovation of which Flambard was the author.[959] The charge of simony, like all other charges of bribery and corruption, is often much easier to bring than to disprove; but it is not likely to be spoken of as a systematic practice, unless it undoubtedly happened in a good many cases. Earlier cases of simony. We have come across cases in our earlier history where it was at least suspected that ecclesiastical offices had been sold, or, what proves even more, that they were looked on as likely to be sold.[960] And that the practice was common among continental princes there can be little doubt. Not systematic before Rufus. But there is nothing to make us believe that it was at all systematic in England at any earlier time, and the Conqueror at all events was clear from all scandal of the kind. But the chain of reasoning devised by Flambard would make it as fair a source of profit for the king to take money on the grant of a bishopric as to take it on the grant of a lay fief. And there is no reason to doubt that Rufus systematically acted on this principle, and that, save at the moment of his temporary repentance, he seldom or never gave away a bishopric or abbey for nothing. The other point of the 349 Treatment of vacant churches. charge, that bishoprics and abbeys were kept vacant while the king received the profits, was not a matter of surmise or suspicion, but a matter of fact open to all men. When a prelate died, one of the king’s clerks was sent to take down in writing a full account of all his possessions. All was taken into the king’s hands. Sometimes the king granted out the lands for money or on military tenure, in which case the new prelate, when one was appointed, might have some difficulty in getting them back.[961] In other cases the king kept the property in his own hands, letting it out at the highest rent that he could get, and, as his father did with the royal demesnes, at once making void his bargains if a higher price was offered.[962] In the case of the abbeys and of those churches of secular canons where the episcopal and capitular estates were not yet separated, the king took the whole property of the church, and allowed the monks or canons only a wretched pittance.[963] We have seen that, in one case where local gratitude has recorded that he did otherwise, it is marked as an exception to his usual practice.[964] Flambard the chief agent. And, in all these doings, Flambard, as he was the deviser of the system, was its chief administrator. The vacant prelacies were put under his management; he extorted, for his own profit and for the king’s, such sums both from the monks or clergy and from the tenants of the church lands that they all said that it was better to die than to live.[965]

350 The practice a new one. These doings on the part of Rufus are by the writers of the time put in marked contrast with the practice of earlier kings, and especially with the practice of his own father. As the old and inborn kings had done nothing of the kind, so neither had the Conqueror from beyond sea. The olden practice. In their days, when an abbot or bishop died, his spiritual superior, the bishop of the diocese or the archbishop of the province, administered the estates of his church during the vacancy, bestowing the income to pious and charitable uses, and handing the estates over to the new prelate on his appointment.[966] In later legal language, the guardian of the spiritualties was also the guardian of the temporalities. Tenure in frank-almoign. Bishoprics and abbeys were dealt with as smaller preferments have always been dealt with, as holdings in frank-almoign. The novelty lay, not in receiving the bishopric or abbey from the king, but in receiving it on the terms of a lay fief. Odo Abbot of Chertsey resigns, 1092. One prelate, Odo Abbot of Chertsey, the Norman successor of the English Wulfwold,[967] resigned his post rather than hold it on such terms.[968] For the rest of the reign of Rufus the estates of the abbey were left in the hands of Flambard. Restored by Henry, 1100. One of the earliest among the reforms of Henry and Anselm was the restoration of Odo.[969]

Vacancies longer in abbeys than in bishoprics. If we look more minutely into the chronology of this reign, it will appear that these long vacancies were more usual in the case of the abbeys than in that of the 351 bishoprics. At the time of William’s death he had in his hands, besides the archbishopric of the absent Anselm, the two bishoprics of Winchester and Salisbury and eleven abbeys.[970] Walkelin dies. Jan. 3, 1098. Of these Winchester had been vacant rather more than two years and a half, Salisbury had been vacant only eight months. Osmund dies. Dec. 3, 1099. And the bishoprics which were filled in his reign had mostly been vacant one, two, or at most three years, shorter times than bishoprics were often kept vacant in much later times.[971] The reason for the difference seems clear. Differences between bishoprics and abbeys. The bishoprics, when they were filled, commonly went to the king’s clerks, to Flambard himself and his fellows. The great temporal position of a bishopric was acceptable to men of this class, and they found in the king’s service the means of making up a purse such as would tempt the king to end the vacancy in their favour[972] . A bishopric was therefore likely to be filled, unworthily filled doubtless, but still filled, before any very long time had passed. The abbeys, on the other hand, would have small attractions for the king’s servants, who in fact, as secular clerks, could not hold them. And the men for whom such a post would have attractions, the monks of the vacant abbey or the abbots or priors of lesser houses, would not have the same means as the king’s servants of making up a purse. 352 The abbeys therefore were likely to remain vacant longer than the bishoprics. When they were filled, it was not without simony, or at least not without a payment of some kind to the King. Case of Peterborough. 1098. For it is rather harsh to apply the word simony to the payment by which the monks of Peterborough bought of the King the right to choose an abbot freely—​a free congé d’élire in short, without any letter missive.[973] Another thing may be noticed. The bishops appointed at this time all bear Norman names; Normans were the most likely men to English abbots. find their way into the King’s chapel and chancery. But the abbots are still not uncommonly English.[974] Rufus, who welcomed brave mercenaries from any quarter, also welcomed bribes from any quarter, with little of narrow prejudice for or against particular nations. An English monk was as likely as his Norman fellow to have, by some means quite inconsistent with his rule, scraped together money enough to purchase preferment. And when a body of monks bought the right of free election, they were likely to choose an Englishman rather than a stranger. At all times the kings interfered less with the elections to abbeys than they did with the elections to bishoprics.[975] And, if there is any truth, even as a legendary illustration, in a tale which is told both of Rufus and of other kings, there were moments when the Red King could prefer a practical joke to a bribe. Story of the appointment to an unnamed abbey. An abbey—​the name is not given—​is vacant; two of its monks come to the King, trying to outbid one another in offers of money for the vacant office. A third brother 353 has come with them, and the King asks what he will give. He answers that he will not give anything; he has simply come to receive the new abbot, whoever he may be, and to take him home with all honour. Rufus at once bestows the abbey on him, as the only one of the party worthy of it.[976] The tale is not impossible; had it been placed in Normandy and not in England, we might have even said that it was not unlikely. For we shall see, as we go on, that, from whatever cause, Rufus dealt with ecclesiastical matters in Normandy in a different spirit from that in which he dealt with them in England.

Sees vacant in 1092. At the point which we have reached in our general story, the time of the restoration of Carlisle, two English sees only were vacant. Two had been filled during the year of the Norman campaign, and both of them by prelates of some personal mark. Ralph Luffa Bishop of Chichester. 1091–1123. Ralph Luffa, Bishop of Chichester, holds a high place in the history of his own church, as the founder alike of the existing fabric and of the existing constitution of its chapter.[977] He bears altogether so good a character that he is not likely to have come to a bishopric in the way which was usual in the days of Rufus. Did the King give him his staff in some passing better moment, like that in which he gave the staff to the worthy abbot at the nameless monastery? But the other episcopal appointment of the same 354 year was one of the usual kind, as far as the motive of the appointment went, though the person to whom the bishopric was given or sold was not one of the class who in this reign commonly profited by such transactions. Death of William Bishop of Thetford. 1091. Bishop William of Thetford, the successor of the unlearned Herfast,[978] died in the year of negotiations, the year of the peace with Robert and the peace with Malcolm.[979] His bishopric was not long kept vacant; before the end of the year the church of Thetford had a new pastor, and one who plays no small part in local history. Herbert Losinga. This was the famous Herbert Losinga,[980] who, if we may trust such accounts of him as we have, made so bad a beginning and so good an ending. Norman by birth, an immediate countryman of the Conqueror, as sprung from the land of Hiesmes, a man of learning and Prior of Fécamp. evident energy, he became a monk of Fécamp and prior of that great house.[981] Early in the reign of Rufus or in the last days of the Conqueror, Abbot of Ramsey. 1087. he was raised to the abbey of Ramsey, when the long and varied life of Æthelsige came to an end.[982] He buys the see of Thetford. He now, on Bishop William’s death, at once bought for himself the see of Thetford for one thousand pounds.[983] Before the end of the year he was consecrated by Archbishop Thomas of York, making his profession to a future Archbishop of Canterbury.[984] At the same 355 time he also bought preferment for his father Robert, who, it must be supposed, had embraced the monastic life. Three years’ vacancy of New Minster. 1088–1091. The New Minster of Winchester had now been for three years, since the death of its last Abbot Ralph, in the hands of Flambard.[985] Herbert now bought the abbacy for his father.[986] Robert Losinga Abbot. 1091–1093. This twofold simony naturally gave great offence, and formed a fertile subject for the eloquence of the time, both in prose and verse.[987] The reign of the father was short; two years later Flambard again held the wardship of New Minster.[988] The career of the son in his East-Anglian bishopric was longer and more varied, and we shall come across him again in the course of our story. Herbert repents and receives his bishopric again from the Pope, c. 1093. At present it is only needful to say that Herbert very soon repented of the shameful way by which he had climbed into the sheepfold, that he went to Rome, that he gave up his ill-gotten bishopric into the hands of Pope Urban, and received his staff from him again in what was deemed to be a more regular way.[989] Herbert’s repentance was to his credit; and, as things stood at the moment, there was perhaps no better way of making amends. But the course which he took was not only one which was sure to bring on him the displeasure of the Red King; it was in the teeth of all the customs of William the Great and of the kings before him. A journey to Rome, without the royal licence, and seemingly taken by stealth,[990] the submission to a Pope whom the King had not acknowledged,[991] the surrender to any 356 Pope of the staff which he had received from the King of the English, were all of them offences, and the last act Novelty of Herbert’s act. was distinctly a novelty. Ulf, Ealdred, Thomas, Remigius, had all been deprived of their staves and had received them again;[992] but no English prelate of those times had of his own act made the Pope his judge in such a matter. When the holy Wulfstan was threatened with deposition, he had, even in the legend, given back his staff, not to the Pope who ruled at Rome, but to the King who slept at Westminster.[993] No wonder then that the Red King was moved to anger by a slight to his authority which his father could not have overlooked, and which might have stirred the Confessor himself to one of his passing fits of wrath. The return of Herbert from Rome forms part of a striking group of events to which we shall presently come.

The two bishoprics of Chichester and Thetford were thus filled soon after they became vacant. Vacancy of Lincoln. 1092–1094. In the year after the consecration of Ralph and Herbert, a third see, as we have seen, fell vacant by the death of Remigius of Lincoln.[994] That see was not filled so speedily as Chichester and Thetford had been; still it did not remain vacant so long as some of the abbeys. But a longer vacancy befell, a lasting vacancy seemed designed to befall, the mother church of all of them. Vacancy of Canterbury. 1089–1093. All this while the metropolitan throne of Canterbury remained empty. No successor to Lanfranc was chosen or nominated; it was the fixed purpose of the Red King to make no nomination himself, to allow no choice on the part of the ecclesiastical electors. Here at least the doctrines of Randolf Flambard 357 were to be carried out in their fulness. It is the state of ecclesiastical matters during this memorable vacancy, and the memorable nomination which at last ended it, which call for our main attention at this stage of our story.

§ 2. The Vacancy of the Primacy and the Appointment of Anselm.

Effects of the vacancy of the see of Canterbury. It needs some little effort of the imagination fully to take in all that is implied in a four years’ vacancy of the see of Canterbury in the eleventh century. For the King to keep any bishopric vacant in order to fill his coffers with its revenues was a new and an unrighteous thing, against which men cried out as at once new and unrighteous. Special position of the metropolitan see. But to deal in this way with the see of Canterbury was something which differed in kind from the like treatment of any other see. That the bishopric of Lincoln was vacant, that the Bishop of Durham was in banishment, was mainly a local grievance. The churches of Lincoln and Durham suffered; they were condemned to what, in the language of the times, was called a state of widowhood. The tenants of those churches suffered all that was implied in being handed over from a milder lord to a harsher one. The dioceses were defrauded of whatever advantages might have flowed from the episcopal superintendence of Robert Bloet or of William of Saint-Calais. But the general affairs of the Church and realm might go on much the same; there was one councillor less in the gemót or the synod, and that was all. It was another thing when the patriarchal throne was left vacant, when Church and realm were deprived of him who in a certain sense might be called the head of both. An Archbishop of Canterbury was something more than merely the first 358 of English bishops. Setting aside his loftier ecclesiastical claims as the second Pontiff of a second world, he held within the realm of England itself a position which was wholly his own.[995] Its antiquity and dignity. He held an office older and more venerable than the crown itself. There were indeed kings in England before there were bishops; but there were Archbishops of Canterbury before there were Kings of the English. The successor of Augustine, the “head of Angle-kin,”[996] had been the embodiment of united English national life, in days when the land was still torn in pieces by the rivalry of the kings of this or that corner of it.[997] This lofty position survived the union of the kingdoms; it survived the transfer of the united kingdom to a foreign Conqueror. Lanfranc stood by the side of William, as Dunstan had stood by the side of Eadgar. Place of the Archbishop in the assembly. In every gathering of the Church and of the people, in every synod, in every gemót, the Archbishop of Canterbury held a place which had no equal or second, a place which was shared by no other bishop or earl or ætheling. If we reckon the King as the head of the assembly, the Archbishop is its first member. If we reckon the King as a power outside the assembly, the Archbishop is himself its head. His leadership of the nation. He is the personal counsellor of the King, the personal leader of the nation, in a way in which no other man in the realm could be said to be. As of old, under the Empire of Rome, each town had its defensor civitatis, so now, under the kingship of England, the successor of Augustine might be said to hold the place of defensor regni. The position which 359 Lanfranc had held, and in which during these dreary years he had no successor, was a position wholly unlike that of the class of bishops to which we are now getting accustomed, royal officials who received bishoprics as the payment of their temporal services. It was equally unlike that of the statesman-bishops of later times, who might or might not forget the bishop in the statesman, but whose two characters, ecclesiastical and temporal, were quite distinct and in no way implied one another. An archbishop of those times was a statesman by virtue of his spiritual office; he was the moral guardian and moral mouth-piece of the nation. The ideal archbishop was at once saint, scholar, and statesman; of the long series from Augustine to Lanfranc, some had really united all those characters; none perhaps had been altogether lacking in all three. Appointments to the archbishopric. Hence the special care with which men were chosen for so great a place both before and for some time after the time with which we are dealing. The king’s clerks, his chancellor, his treasurer, even his larderer,[998] might beg or buy some bishopric of less account; but, seventy years after this time, the world was amazed when King Henry bethought him of placing Chancellor Thomas, Thomas of London. 1162. not in the seat of Randolf of Durham or Roger of Salisbury, but in the seat of Ælfheah, Anselm, and Theobald.[999] The King’s fixed purpose to keep the see vacant. The surprise which was then called forth by what was looked on as a new-fangled and wrongful nomination to the archbishopric of Canterbury may help us to judge of the surprise and horror and despair which came over the minds of men, as it became plain that the wish, perhaps 360 the fixed purpose, of the Red King was to get rid of archbishops of Canterbury altogether.

The King’s motives. The motives of the King are plain. He sought something more than merely to get possession of the rich revenues of the archbishopric, though that was doubtless not a small matter in the policy of either Rufus or Flambard. The estates of the see. The estates of the see of Canterbury furnished a very perceptible addition to the royal income, and they gave the King a convenient means of rewarding some of his favourites, to whom he granted archiepiscopal lands on military tenure.[1000] Lanfranc himself had already done something like this;[1001] but the usual tendency of lands so granted to pass away from the Church would be greatly strengthened when it was not the Archbishop, but the King, at whose hands they had been received, and to whom the first homage had been paid. But all this was doubtless very secondary. Further motives. In the case of other sees it was a mere reckoning of profit; Rufus had no objection to fill them at once, if any one would make it worth his while to do so. But it is plain that he had a fixed determination to keep the archbishopric vacant, if possible, for ever, at all events as long as the patience of his kingdom would endure such a state of things. To Rufus, whether as man or as king, the appointment of an archbishop was the thing of all others which was least to be wished. To fill the see of Canterbury would be at once to set up a disagreeable monitor by his side, and to put some check on the reign of unright and unlaw, public and private. William doubtless remembered how, as long as Lanfranc lived, he had had to play an unwilling part, and to put a bridle on his worst and most cherished instincts. An archbishop of his own naming could not indeed have the personal authority of his ancient guardian; but any archbishop would have 361 a charge to speak in the name of the Church and the nation in a way which could hardly be pleasing in his ears. The metropolitan see therefore remained unfilled till the day when William Rufus became for a short season another man.

No fear of a bad appointment. It is worth remarking that what might have seemed a very obvious way out of the difficulty clearly did not come into the head of the King or of any one else. The long vacancy of the archbishopric made men uneasy; they were grieved and amazed as to what might happen in so unusual a case; but they felt sure that the present distress must end some time, and they seem to have taken for granted that, when it did end, it would end by the appointment of some one worthy of the place. Men were troubled at the King’s failure to appoint any archbishop; they do not seem to have been at all troubled by fear that he might appoint a bad archbishop.[1002] Rufus himself seems never to have thought of granting or selling the metropolitan see to any of his own creatures, to Flambard for instance or to Robert Bloet. He might so deal with Lincoln or Durham; something within or without him kept him from so dealing with Canterbury. It is throughout taken for granted that the choice lay between a good archbishop or none at all. A good archbishop was the yoke-fellow of a good king, the reprover of an evil king. William Rufus wanted neither of those. But even William Rufus had not gone so far, his subjects did not suspect him of going so far, as to think of appointing an evil archbishop in order to be the tool of an evil king. Primates between Anselm and Thomas. The precedent of making the patriarchal throne of Britain the reward of merely temporal services[1003] did not come till it had been filled by 362 four more primates, all taken from the regular orders, numbering among them at least one saint and one statesman, but no mere royal official. The first degradation of the archbishopric led to its greatest exaltation, in the person of Thomas of London. But Thomas of London, even in his most worldly days, was a very different person from Randolf Flambard.

Seemingly no thought of election. Another point to be remarked is how utterly the notion either of ecclesiastical election or of election in the Great Council of the realm seems to have passed away. There is nothing like an attempt at the choice of an archbishop, either by the monks of Christ Church, No action of the monks.the usual electors, or by the suffragan bishops, who afterwards claimed the right. It might have been too daring a step if the monks had done as they once had done in the days of King Eadward,[1004] if they had chosen an archbishop freely, and then asked for the King’s approval of their choice. Eadward had rejected the prelate so chosen; William Rufus might have done something more than reject him. But we do not hear of their even venturing to petition for leave to elect; they do not, like the monks of Peterborough,[1005] make such a petition, and enforce it by the strongest of arguments. No action of the Witan. Nor do bishops, earls, thegns, the nation at large, venture to act, any more than the monks. They murmur, and that is all. No action on the subject is recorded to have been taken in any of the gemóts till the vacancy had lasted nearly four years; and we shall see that the action which was at last taken 363 showed more strongly than anything else that, as far as this world was concerned, Silent endurance of the action. it rested wholly with the King whether England should ever again have another primate or not. Through the whole time, the nation suffers, but it suffers in silence. We have already had to deal with a king on whose nod all things human and divine were held to hang;[1006] we are now dealing with a king who would have no petition made, no act ascribed, within his realm, to any God or man except himself.[1007]

Results, of the vacancy. The state of things during the time when William Rufus held firm to his purpose that no man should be archbishop but himself,[1008] and when the revenues of the archbishopric were paid into the hands of Randolf Flambard,[1009] was one of general corruption. Corruption of the clergy. It is immediately after recording the King’s way of dealing with bishoprics and abbeys that one of our chief guides breaks forth into his most vehement protest against the vices of the time, and specially against the corruption and degradation of the clergy.[1010] That they took to secular callings, that they became pleaders of causes and farmers of revenues, was not wonderful. Under the rule of Flambard there 364 were endless openings for employments of this kind, employments for which, as in the case of Flambard himself, the clerk was commonly better fitted than the layman. Fiscal spirit of the time. And the general fiscal spirit of the time, the endless seeking after gold and silver of which the King set the example, naturally spread through all classes; every rich man, we are told, turned money-changer.[1011] The constant demands for actual coin, the large outlay of actual coin in the payment of the King’s mercenaries, must have led to an increased activity in the circulation of the precious metals. The newly-come Jews, strong in royal favour, doubtless found their account in this turn of things; but some classes of Christians seem to have found their account in it also. Effects of the lack of ecclesiastical discipline. But, besides all this, the writers of the time seem clearly to connect the frightful profligacy of the time, specially rife among the King’s immediate following, with the vacancy of the archbishopric. It is true that things were not much better in Normandy, where the good soul of Archbishop William must have been daily grieved at the unlawful deeds of almost every one around him. But an Archbishop of Rouen had never been held to have the same authority over either prince or people as an Archbishop of Canterbury. Whatever power, moral or formal, was at any time wielded by the ecclesiastical state for the reformation of manners was altogether in abeyance, now that there was no Primate either to call together a synod of the national Church or to speak with that personal authority which belonged to none of the chiefs of the national Church but himself. Even darker times were in store, when there was a Primate in the land, but when his authority was defied and his person insulted. 365 But as yet the darkest times that men had known were the four years during which the sons of the English Church were left as sheep without a shepherd.

The shepherd was at last to come, like his immediate predecessor, in one sense from a distant land, in another sense from a land which was only too near. The house of Bec, the house of Herlwin, was for the second time to give a patriarch to the isle of Britain. Anselm. It had given us Lanfranc the statesman; it was now to give us Anselm the saint. Debt of England to foreigners. We may reckon it, not as the shame, but as the glory of our nation that we have so often won strangers, and even conquerors, to become our national leaders, and to take their place among the noblest worthies of the soil. Alongside of the lawgiver from Denmark, of the deliverer from France, we rank, as holding the same place among bishops which they hold among kings and earls, the holy man from the Prætorian Augusta.[1012] The annals of the eleventh and twelfth centuries are thick set with the names of foreign prelates holding English sees; and among them both Normandy and Lorraine, to say nothing of Pavia, had sent us some whom we might well be glad to welcome. The Burgundian saints. But the two whose names shine out above them all, the two from whose names all thought of their foreign birth passes away, the two whom we hail as our own by adoption and love, came from a more distant realm, and a realm which is well nigh forgotten. Hugh of Avalon. Hugh of Avalon and of Lincoln came from the more favoured and famous district where the Imperial Burgundy rises to the Alps and sinks 366 again to the Rhone.[1013] Anselm of Aosta. Anselm of Aosta and of Canterbury came from that deep valley which, after all changes, is still Cisalpine Gaul. He came from that small outlying fragment of the Middle Kingdom which has not risen to the destiny of Unterwalden and Bern, of Lausanne and Geneva, but which has escaped the destiny of Bresse and Bugey, of Chablais and Nizza, of royal Arles and princely Orange, and of Hugh’s own home by the city of Gratian.[1014] The vale of Aosta, still Burgundian in its speech and buildings, the last remnant of the great Burgundian dominion of its lords, still gives a title to princes of the house of its earliest and of its latest Humbert. His parentage. The father of Anselm, no less than the father of Lanfranc, was of Lombard birth. But Gundulf had been fully adopted at Aosta, and his son, born on Burgundian soil, son of a Burgundian mother of lofty, perhaps of princely stock,[1015] must be reckoned as belonging to the 367 Associations of his youth. Burgundy in which he was born and bred rather than to the Italy which in after days he visited as a stranger.[1016] There, in the last home of old Gaulish freedom, in an Augusta named after the first Augustus—​an Augusta which we doubt whether to call Prætorian from the conquerors or Salassian from the conquered—​in the long valley fenced in by the giant Alps on either side—​at the foot of the pass where local belief holds that Hannibal had crossed of old and where Buonaparte was to cross in days to come—​there where the square walls of the Roman town rise almost untouched above the rushing Dora—​where the street still bearing the name of Anselm leads from the Roman gate to the Roman arch of triumph, where the towers of Saint Gratus and Saint Urse, fellows of kindred towers at Verona and at Lincoln, at Schaffhausen and at Cambridge, rose fresh in all their squareness and sternness when Anselm lay as a babe beneath their shadow—​there, among the sublimest works of nature and among some of the most striking works of man, was born the teacher of Normandy, the shepherd of England, the man who dived deeper than any man before him into the most awful mysteries of the faith, but whom we have rather to deal with as one who ranks by adoption among the truest worthies of England, the man 368 who stood forth as the champion of right against both political and moral wrong in the days when both political and moral wrong were at their darkest.

Comparison of Lanfranc and Anselm. I have already pointed out the contrast between the characters of Lanfranc and Anselm, in recording one memorable discourse between them, in which Anselm won Lanfranc over to a better mind in the matter of our English Ælfheah.[1017] The calling and the work of the two men were different; and the work of Anselm implied the earlier work of Lanfranc. Lanfranc was, after all, in some sort a conqueror of the English Church, and the character of a conqueror was one in which Anselm could never have shown himself. Lanfranc was a statesman, one whose policy could spread itself far beyond the bounds of this or that kingdom or nation, but whose very policy compelled him not to let the distinctions of kingdoms and nations slip out of his sight. To Anselm we could almost fancy that such distinctions were of small account. He was the servant of God and the friend of all God’s creatures; he perhaps hardly stopped to think whether those whose souls and bodies he was ever ready to help were Burgundian, Norman, or English. Anselm not preferred in England by the Conqueror. With such a spirit as this, he could not have done Lanfranc’s work; and it is worthy of remark that the Conqueror, who so greatly valued him, seems never to have thought of him for any preferment in England. Lanfranc had to carry out a policy, in some measure harsh and worldly, but which, granting his own position and that of his master, could not be avoided. Anselm fittingly came after him, at a time when national distinctions and national wrongs were almost forgotten in the universal reign of evil, to protest in the name of universal right, and in so doing to protest against particular and national wrongs. He would have been out of place 369 in the first days of the Conquest; as a stranger, though only as a stranger, he would have been out of place in the days of our earlier freedom. Various sides of Anselm’s character. When he did come, he was thoroughly in place, as one who was before all things a preacher of righteousness, but who could, when need called for it, put on the mantle of the statesman and even that of the warrior. Like our own Wulfstan, in many things his fellow, we find him the friend and counsellor of men of a character most opposite to his own. And, as we have seen Wulfstan, if not commanding, at least directing, armies,[1018] so we shall see Anselm, if not waging war in his own person, at least hallowing more than one camp by his presence. And we can hardly blame him if, at some later stages of his career, he allowed himself to be swayed by scruples which he had never thought of at its beginning, if, in his zeal for eternal right, he allowed himself to sin against the ancient laws and customs of England. When England, Normandy, France, and the Empire, were as they all were in his day, we can forgive him for looking on the Roman Bishop as the one surviving embodiment of law and right, and for deeming that, when he spake, it was as when a man listened to the oracles of God.

Anselm and Eadmer. The tale of the early life of Anselm has been handed down to us by a loving companion, a man of our own nation, who was won in his youth by the kind words of the foreign saint when he came to England as a momentary visitor, and who in after times became the most faithful of disciples through all the changes of his fortunes. It is one of the marked features of the story that we know so little of Anselm, except from his own writings and from the narrative of Eadmer. Our own historians of the time 370 speak of Anselm with the deepest reverence; References to Eadmer in other writers. but they say little of him beside the broad facts which lie on the surface of English history. Some of them directly refer to his special biographer for fuller accounts.[1019] In telling his story I find myself in the like case. Church’s Life of Anselm. I am tempted to refer once for all for the acts of Anselm to his Life as written in our own day by a master both of description and of comment.[1020] I could be well pleased to send my readers elsewhere to study Anselm the monk and abbot, and to concern myself only with his career as archbishop in our own land. But the earlier and the later career of Anselm hang together, and he has already made his appearance at more than one earlier stage of our own story. I must therefore attempt some general notice, though at less length than if the ground had not been thus forestalled, of the primate who came to us from Aosta, as his predecessor did from Pavia, and who, like his predecessor, made Bec a halting-place on the way to Canterbury.

Childhood of Anselm. In the life of Anselm a childhood and a manhood of eminent holiness are parted by a short time of youthful licence. The little child in his dream climbed his native mountains to seek for the palace of God on a Christian Olympos. He reported the idleness of the handmaids of his Lord; he sat at the feet of his Lord; he was refreshed by the steward of the divine household with a meal of the purest bread.[1021] The scholarly boy was so eager for the monastic life that he prayed for some 371 sickness that might drive him into the cloister.[1022] His youthful licence. But the youth for a while cast aside his piety; he cast aside his learning; he gave himself to the thoughts and sports of the world; he even yielded to those temptations of the flesh which Wulfstan had withstood in the midst of his military exercises,[1023] and which Thomas withstood in the midst of his worldly business.[1024] But the love of his tender and pious mother kept him from wholly falling away. The yearning for a monastic life came He leaves Aosta. 1057.upon him again, though his wishes were greatly opposed by his father. At last, in his twenty-fourth year, Anselm left his own land. His sojourn at Avranches. After three years’ sojourn in Burgundy and France, he reached Normandy, and, in the steps of Lanfranc, first took up his abode at Avranches.[1025] But Lanfranc was now at Bec. He becomes a monk at Bec. 1060. Thither Anselm, fully bent on the monastic calling, followed the great scholar. He had doubted for a while between Bec and Clugny. We shall hardly think the worse of him for his frank confession of human feelings. He doubted, because at Clugny his human learning would be of no use, while at Bec it would be overshadowed by that of Lanfranc.[1026] In the end, by the advice of Lanfranc himself 372 and of Archbishop Maurilius, he became a monk of Elected prior. 1063. Bec, and, when Lanfranc became Abbot of Saint Stephen’s, Anselm succeeded him in the office of prior.[1027]

Stories of him as prior. This first preferment Anselm seems to have taken willingly. A crowd of beautiful stories, setting forth his faith towards God and his kindliness towards all men, belong to this part of his career, the time when he was specially employed in writing his theological works. We admire the mixture of wisdom and kindness with which he reproved the abbot of another house who complained that the boys who were entrusted to his teaching got more and more unruly, even though they were whipped day and night.[1028] We are tempted to feel a slight grudge when he counsels a knight who seems to have been leading a good and devout life in the world to embrace the monastic calling.[1029] Much as that age needed men like Anselm, it still more needed men like Gulbert of Hugleville and Helias of La Flèche. But we note with some interest the comment of Eadmer, so curiously illustrating the common rivalry between one monastery and another. In such cases Anselm did not counsel profession at Bec rather than in any other house, and this particular convert took the cowl at Marmoutiers. Elected Abbot. 1078. At last, on the death of Herlwin, the unanimous choice of the convent called him to the place of abbot. His deep reluctance to accept so great a charge was overcome only by the express command of Archbishop Maurilius, 373 who, on his election to the priorship, had bidden him by virtue of holy obedience to accept both that and any higher preferment which might come in his way.[1030] The election of Anselm to the abbacy marks a stage in our story. It was in his character of abbot that he was first brought into relations with England; in that character he paid his first visit to the land which was presently to make him her own.

Bec under Anselm. The fame of the new Abbot of Bec and of his house, great already, now grew still greater. Learning had shone at Bec ever since Lanfranc came thither; but hitherto it had shone only in the second rank. It now took the chief seat in the person of Abbot Anselm. He was sought by men from all parts as a friend, a teacher, a spiritual adviser. Of the open-handed hospitality of Bec it was not, we are told, for Norman neighbours to speak; those might speak who had found their way thither from the distant lands of Burgundy and Spain.[1031] His widespread fame. The whole Latin world drank in with eagerness the teaching of Anselm.[1032] Scholars of all lands came to sit at his feet. Noble ladies in their widowhood sought his neighbourhood and spiritual direction, and received the 374 honourable title of mothers of the house.[1033] His correspondence. Like all the saints and scholars of his day, he had a crowd of correspondents of all classes; amongst them we see Countess Ida of Boulogne and the Conqueror’s renowned daughter Adela.[1034] Intercourse between Bec and England. And throughout his life and letters we see constant signs of the daily intercourse which, as naturally followed on the circumstances of the time, was ever going on between Normandy and England. The endless going to and fro between the two countries strikes us at every step.[1035] There was an interchange of men; if many Normans found their way to England, some Englishmen found their way to Normandy. Bec had already begun to give bishops to England. Lanfranc had placed two monks of his old house in the episcopal chair of Rochester.[1036] The second of them, the famous Gundulf, had been, when at Bec, the familiar friend of Anselm, who spoke little himself, but who listened to the great teacher, and wept at his touching words.[1037] On the other hand, in the house of Bec itself there were monks who were English of the Old-English stock, monks whom Lanfranc thought fit to call back to their own land and to the monastery of which he was the spiritual father.[1038]

375 Anselm had thus many ties of friendship and kindly association with England, even before he had any official connexion with the land or its inhabitants. And a strictly official connexion began long before he became archbishop. Lands of Bec in England. The Abbot of Bec had both temporal possessions and spiritual duties within our island. He was the lord of English estates and the spiritual father of brethren settled on English soil. The house of Bec appears in four places in Domesday as holder of lands in England; but one manor only was held in chief of the king. The church of Saint Mary of Bec held the lordship of Deverel in Wiltshire, once the possession of Brihtric, whether the son of Ælfgar or any less famous bearer of the name. This had been the gift of Queen Matilda, and it is worth noting that the value of the land had lessened in the few years between her death and the taking of the Survey.[1039] A smaller estate at Swinecombe in Oxfordshire, held of Miles Crispin, was more lucky; it had grown in value by one third.[1040] In Surrey the house held lands at Tooting 376 and Streatham, the gift of Richard of Clare or of Tunbridge, him of whom we have so often heard. The possessions of Bec at Tooting, which had sunk to one fifth of their ancient value at the time of their grant to the abbey, had risen again to the value at which they were rated in the days of King Eadward.[1041] The business arising out of these lands, all seemingly held in demesne, with a mill, churls, slaves, and other dependents, must have called for some care on the part of the abbot or of those whom he employed for the purpose. And it would seem that, on the whole, the monastic body had been a careful husband of its English estates. In after times also Bec became the head of several alien priories in England; but one only of these can be carried back with certainty to Anselm’s day. This was the priory of Clare in Suffolk, afterwards moved to Stoke, which was founded as a cell to Bec while Anselm was abbot.[1042] The dependent priory of Clare. 1090. It was the gift of Gilbert of Clare, brother of Richard the other benefactor of the house, a house which seems to have had special attractions for the whole family of Count Gilbert.

Law-suits. Anselm was thus a land-owner on both sides of the sea, and, little as he loved temporal business, he could 377 not wholly escape it. No man, no society of men, in either the Normandy or the England of those days, could hope to keep clear of law-suits. The house of Herlwin, new as it was and holy as it was, seems to have been entangled in not a few. Anselm’s desire to do justice. Anselm’s chief wish was that in these disputes justice should be done to all concerned. There were among the monks of Bec, as among the monks of other houses, men who knew the law and who were skilful in legal pleadings. The Abbot had sometimes to charge them to make no unfair use of their skill, and not to strive to win any advantage for the house but such as was strictly just.[1043] Otherwise, as far as he could, he entrusted mere worldly affairs—​the serving of tables—​to others.[1044] Yet he could not avoid journeys beyond sea on behalf of the house. He was thus more than once compelled to visit England. His first visit to England. 1078. He crossed the sea in the first year of his appointment as abbot. He came to Canterbury; he was received with mickle worship by Lanfranc and the monks of Christ Church.[1045] The first touch of English soil seems to have changed the Burgundian saint, the Norman abbot, into an Englishman and an English patriot. It was now that he made the memorable discourse in which he showed that English Ælfheah was a true martyr.[1046] His friendship with the monks of Christ Church. The Abbot of Bec did not scorn to be admitted into the brotherhood 378 of the monks of Christ Church, and to dwell with them as one of themselves.[1047] It was the time when Lanfranc was doing his work of reform among them,[1048] a work which was doubtless helped by the sojourn and counsel of Anselm. With the more learned among them he lived familiarly, putting and answering questions, both in profane and sacred lore.[1049] And among them he made one friend, English by blood and name, whose memory is for ever entwined with his own. Eadmer. It was now that Eadmer, then a young monk of the house, won his deep regard, and attached himself for ever to the master whose acts he was in after times to record.[1050]

Anselm’s general popularity in England. But it was not only in the church which was one day to be his own, or among men of his own order only, that Anselm made friends in England. He made a kind of progress through the land, being welcomed everywhere, as well in the courts of nobles as in the houses of monks, nuns, and canons.[1051] Everywhere he scattered the good seed of his teaching, speaking to all according to their several callings, to men and women, married and unmarried, monks, clerks, laymen, making himself, as far as was lawful, all things to all men.[1052] Scholar and 379 theologian as Anselm was, his teaching was specially popular; His preaching. he did not affect the grand style, but dealt largely in parables and instances which were easy to be understood.[1053] The laity therefore flocked eagerly to hear him, and every man rejoiced who could win the privilege of personal speech with the new apostle.[1054] The men of that age, stained as many of them were with great crimes—​perhaps all the more because their crimes were of a kind which they could not help feeling to be crimes—​commonly kept enough of conscience and good feeling to admire in others the virtues which they failed to practise themselves. William Rufus himself had moments when goodness awed him. It was only a few exceptional monsters like the fiend of Bellême whom no such feelings ever touched. His love for England. Anselm became the idol of all the inhabitants of England, without distinction of age or sex, of rank or race. The land became to him yet another home, a home which he loved to visit, and where he was ever welcome.[1055] His alleged miracles. Men sought to him for the cure of bodily as well as spiritual diseases; and we read of not a few cases of healing in which he was deemed to be the agent, cases in which modern times will most likely see the strong exercise of that power which, from one point of view, is called imagination, 380 and from another faith.[1056] The highest in estate and power were the most eager of all to humble themselves before him. His friendship with the Conqueror; We have seen how the elder William, ever mild to good men, was specially mild to Anselm, how he craved his presence on his death-bed, and how Anselm, unable to help his master in life, was among those who did the last honours to him in death.[1057] We are told that there was not an earl or countess or great person of any kind in England, who did not seek the friendship of Anselm, who did not deem that his or her spiritual state was the worse if any opportunity had been lost of doing honour or service to the Abbot of Bec.[1058] Like some other saints of his own and of other times, he drew to himself the special regard of some whose characters were most unlike his own. with Earl Hugh. Earl Hugh of Chester, debauched, greedy, reckless, and cruel, beyond the average of the time, is recorded as being a special friend of the holy man.[1059] Hugh’s changes at Chester. He who rebuked kings doubtless rebuked earls also; but it would have been a better sign of reformation, if Hugh, under the teaching of Anselm, had learned to spare the eyes either of brother nobles or of British 381 captives, than if he was merely led to place monks instead of canons at Saint Werburh’s, and in the end to take the cowl among them himself.

Feeling as to the vacancy of the archbishopric. 1092. But the planting of monks at Saint Werburh’s had no small effect on the destiny of Anselm and of England. In the course of the year which saw the annexation of Cumberland men began to be thoroughly wearied of the long vacancy of the archbishopric. It may be that the great gathering at Lincoln had brought home to every Vacancy of Lincoln.mind the great wrong under which the Church was suffering. The bishops of the land had come together to a great ecclesiastical rite; but they had come together as a body without a head. And they had parted under circumstances which made the state of things even worse than it had been when they met. The death of Remigius had handed over another bishopric to the wardship of Flambard. The land from the Thames to the Humber, the great diocese which took in nine shires, was to be left without a shepherd as long as Rufus and Flambard should think good. That is, it was to be left till some one among the King’s servants should be ready to do by Lincoln as Herbert Losinga had done by Thetford. Men began to say among themselves that such unlaw as this could not go on for ever; the land could not abide without a chief pastor; an archbishop must soon come somehow, whether the King and Flambard willed it or not. Anselm looked to as the coming archbishop. The feeling was universal; and with it another feeling was almost equally universal; when the archbishop should come, he could come only in the shape of the man who was of all men most worthy of the office, the man whom all England knew and loved as if his whole life had been spent within her seas, the holy Abbot of Bec.[1060] That such was 382 the general feeling in England soon became known out of England; it became known at Bec as at other places; it was not hidden from the Abbot of Bec himself.

Earl Hugh seeks help from Anselm in his reforms. 1092. At the time which we have now reached Earl Hugh was planning his supposed reforms at Saint Werburh’s. Designing to fill the minster with monks, he would have his monks from the place where the monastic life was most perfectly practised; the men who were to kindle a new light at Chester must come from Bec.[1061] It was in the end from Bec that the first abbot Richard and his brethren came to wage that strife which we are told was so specially hard-fought in that region.[1062] But the founder further wished the work to be done under the eye of the Abbot of Bec himself; so, trusting in his old friendship, Earl Hugh prayed Anselm to come to him. His prayer was backed by that of other nobles of England;[1063] the monks of Bec too deemed that either the affairs of Saint Werburh’s or some other business of the monastery called for their abbot’s presence in England.[1064] Anselm refuses to go. But Anselm at 383 first steadily refused to go; the general rumour had reached his own ears; he had been told that, if he went to England, he would certainly become Archbishop of Canterbury. His motives. He shrank from the acceptance of such an office; he shrank yet more from doing anything which might even have the look of seeking for such an office. It might be a question of casuistry whether the command of Maurilius to accept any preferment that might be offered could have any force beyond the life and the province of Maurilius; yet that command may have made Anselm yet more determined to keep out of the way of all danger of having the see of Canterbury offered to him. He refused to go to England, when it was possible that his object in going might be cruelly misconstrued.[1065] Hugh’s sickness and second message. Another message came, announcing that Earl Hugh was smitten with grievous sickness, and needed the spiritual help of his friend. Moreover Anselm need not be afraid; there was nothing in the rumours which he had heard; he stood in no danger of the archbishopric.[1066] In this Hugh most likely spoke the truth. Others had brought themselves to believe that there must soon be an archbishop, and that that archbishop must be Anselm. But they had no ground for thinking that anything of the kind would happen, except that it was the best thing that could happen. The Earl of Chester was as likely as any man except Flambard to know the King’s real mind; and what followed makes it plain that as yet Rufus had no thought of filling the archbishopric at all. The third message. Still Anselm would not go till a third message from the Earl appealed 384 to another motive. It would not be for the soul’s health of Anselm himself if he stayed away when his friend so deeply needed his help.[1067] To this argument Anselm yielded; for the sake of friendship and of his friend’s spiritual welfare, he would go, let men say what they would about his motives for going.[1068]

He is bidden to go by his monks. But the invitation of Earl Hugh was not Anselm’s only motive for his journey. Another cause was added which a little startles us. The business of the abbey in England, business to be done with the King, still called for the abbot’s presence there. The monks sought to have the royal exactions on their English lands made less heavy.[1069] At this moment Anselm was not at Bec; he was spending some days at Boulogne with his friend and correspondent Countess Ida.[1070] While there, he received a message from Bec, bidding him, by virtue of the law of obedience, not to come back to the abbey till he had gone into England and looked after the matters about which he was needed there.[1071] Such a message as this from monks to their abbot sounds to 385 us like a reversal of all monastic order; but it seems to have been held that, while each monk undoubtedly owed obedience to the abbot, the abbot himself owed obedience to the general vote of the convent. To these two influences, the law of obedience and care for Earl Hugh’s soul, Anselm at last yielded. He set sail from Boulogne or Whitsand, and landed at Dover. Anselm goes to England. He was now within what was presently to be his own province, his own diocese; and that province he was not again to leave till he sought shelter on the mainland in the character of archbishop and confessor.

The immediate business of Anselm led him to Chester, and to the place, wherever it was, where the King was to be found. We are told that he made the best of his way to his sick friend,[1072] who was so eager for Anselm’s coming that he despised all other spiritual help.[1073] But it is plain that he tarried on the road to see the King. From Dover his first stage was Canterbury. Anselm at Canterbury. September 8, 1092. There he was alarmed by the welcome given him by a crowd of monks and laymen who hailed him as their future archbishop. It was a high festival, the Nativity of our Lady; but Anselm, wishing to give no encouragement to such greetings as he had just received, declined to officiate at the celebration of the feast. He tarried but one night in the city, and left it early the next morning.[1074] His first interview with Rufus. He then went to the King. The reception which he met with showed that Rufus must have been for the moment in one of his better moods. Anselm indeed was a chosen friend of his father, 386 and he had given him no personal offence. As soon as the approach of the Abbot of Bec was announced, the King arose, met him at the door, exchanged the kiss of peace, and led him by the hand to his seat.[1075] A friendly discourse followed. Perhaps the very friendliness of William’s greeting brought it more fully home to Anselm’s mind that it would be a failure of duty on his own part if he spoke only of the worldly affairs of his abbey. Anselm’s rebuke of the King. He must seize the moment to give a word of warning to a sinner whose evil deeds were so black, and who disgraced at the same time so lofty an office and such high natural gifts. Anselm asked that all others might withdraw; he wished for a private interview with the King. The affairs of the house of Bec were, for the moment at least, passed by; the welfare of the kingdom of England, and the soul’s health of its king, were objects which came first. Anselm told Rufus in plain words that the men of his kingdom, both secretly and openly, daily said things of him which in no way became his kingly office.[1076] From later appeals of Anselm to the conscience of Rufus, we may conceive that this general description took in at once the special wrongs done to the Church, the general abuses of William’s government, and the personal excesses of William’s own life. Anselm was not the man to hold his peace on any one of those three subjects; but we have no details of Anselm’s discourse from his own biographer, nor does he give us any notice of the way in which William received his rebuke.[1077] Yet it would seem 387 that the milder mood of the Red King had not wholly passed away. If Anselm had been thrust aside with any violent or sarcastic answer, it would surely have passed into one of the stock anecdotes of the reign. Our only other description of the scene paints Rufus as held back from any disrespectful treatment of Anselm by a lingering reverence for the friend of his parents. He turned the matter off with a laugh. He could not hinder what men chose to say of him; but so holy a man as Anselm ought not to believe such stories.[1078] It is not even clear whether Anselm brought himself to speak at all on the particular business which had brought him to the King’s presence. Settlement of the affairs of Bec. King and Abbot parted; it would seem that nothing was done about the affairs of Bec for the present; but we may gather that, at some later time, the lands of the monastery were relieved from the burthens of which they complained.[1079]

Anselm at Chester. Anselm now went on to Chester, where he found his friend Earl Hugh restored to health. But the change in the foundation at Saint Werburh’s still needed his presence, and the special affairs of his own house had also 388 to be looked to. Between these two sets of affairs, Anselm was kept in England for five months. The King refuses him leave to go back. February, 1093. He then wished to go back to Normandy; but the King’s leave, it seems, was needed, and the King’s leave was refused.[1080]

This refusal is worth notice. It does not seem to have been done in enmity; at least it was not followed by any kind of further wrong-doing on the King’s part towards Anselm. William’s feeling towards Anselm. It really looks as if William had, not indeed any fixed purpose of appointing Anselm to the archbishopric, but a kind of feeling that he might be driven to appoint him, a feeling that things might come to a stage in which he could not help naming some archbishop, and that, if it came to that stage, he could not help naming Anselm. It is plain from what follows that the thought of Anselm as a possible archbishop was in the King’s mind as well as in the minds of others. But certainly no offer or hint was at this stage made by William, nor was anything said to Anselm about the matter by any one else.[1081] Men no doubt knew Anselm’s feelings, and avoided the subject. But at one point during these five months the vacancy of the archbishopric was brought very strongly before Anselm’s mind, though Christmas Assembly, 1092–1093.not in a way which suggested his own appointment rather than that of anybody else. When the Midwinter Gemót of this year was held, the long vacancy, and the evils which flowed from it, The vacancy discussed by the Witan. became a matter of discussion among the assembled Witan. But they did not venture to attempt any election, or even to make any suggestion of their own; they did not even make any 389 direct petition to the King to put an end to the vacancy. Petition of the Assembly to the King. A resolution was passed—​our contemporary guide doubted whether future ages would believe the fact—​that the King should be humbly petitioned to allow prayers to be put up throughout the churches of England craving that God would by his inspiration move the King’s heart to put an end to the wrongs of his head church and of all his other churches by the appointment of a worthy chief pastor.[1082] We thus see that the power of ending or prolonging the vacancy is acknowledged to rest only with the King; it is not for the Witan to constrain, but only for God to guide, the royal will. But we further see that the right of ordaining religious ceremonies is held to rest with the King and his Witan, just as it had rested in the days of Cnut.[1083] The unanimous petition of the Assembly was laid before the King. He was somewhat angry, but he took no violent step. He agreed to the matter of the address, but in a scornful shape. Prayers for the appointment of an archbishop. “Pray as you will; I shall do as I think good; no man’s prayers will do anything to shake my will.”[1084] To draw up a proper form of prayer was the natural business of the bishops; and they had among them one specially skilled in such matters in the person of Osmund of Salisbury. But they all agreed to consult the Abbot of Bec, and to ask him to 390 draw up a prayer fitted for the purpose. Anselm draws up a form of prayer. Anselm, after much pressing, agreed; he drew up the prayer; it was laid before the Assembly, and his work was approved by all.[1085] The Gemót broke up, and prayers were offered throughout England, according to Anselm’s model, for the appointment of an archbishop, a prayer which on most lips doubtless meant the appointment of Anselm himself.[1086]

The year 1093. Before the Assembly broke up, a memorable year had begun. It is a year crowded with events, with the deaths of memorable men, with one death above all which led to most important results on the relations between the two great parts of the isle of Britain. With these events I shall deal in another chapter; we have now mainly to trace the ecclesiastical character of the year as the greatest of all stages in the career of Anselm. The Assembly had doubtless been held at Gloucester, and, after the session was over, the King tarried in the neighbourhood, at the royal house of Alvestone, once a lordship of Earl Harold.[1087] William’s sickness at Alvestone. There he was smitten with a heavy sickness. The tale has a legendary sound; yet there is nothing really incredible in the story that he fell sick directly after he had been guilty of a mocking speech about Anselm. Discourse about Anselm before the King. Some nobles were with the King at Alvestone, and one of them spoke of the virtues of the Abbot of Bec. He was a man who loved God only, and sought for none of the things of this world. The King says in mockery, “Not for the archbishopric of Canterbury?” The remark at least shows that Anselm and the 391 archbishopric went together in the King’s thoughts as well as in the thoughts of other men.[1088] The King’s mockery. The lord who had spoken answered that, in his belief and in that of many others, the archbishopric was the very thing which Anselm least wished for.[1089] The King laughed again, and said that, if Anselm had any hope of the archbishopric, he would clap his hands and stamp with his feet, and run into the King’s arms. But he added, “By the face of Lucca, he and every other man who seeks the archbishopric may this time give way to me; for I will be archbishop myself.”[1090] He repeated the jest several times. He falls sick and is moved to Gloucester. Presently sickness came upon him, and, in a few hours, he took to his bed. He was carried in haste from Alvestone to the neighbouring city, where he could doubtless find better quarters and attendance.[1091] He lay sick during the whole of Lent; Ash Wednesday, March 2, 1093.but, unless his sickness began somewhat earlier, the whole of the events with which we have to deal must have been crowded into the first few days of the penitential season. At all events, during the first week of Lent, William Rufus was lying at Gloucester, 392 sick of a sickness which both himself and others deemed to be unto death.[1092]

Repentance of Rufus. The heart of the Red King was not yet wholly hardened; with sickness came repentance. Believing himself to be at the gates of the next world, his conscience awoke, and he saw in their true light the deeds which he had been so long doing in this world. He no longer jested at his own crimes and vices; he bemoaned them and began to think of amendment. The great men of the realm, bishops, abbots, and lay nobles, pressed around his sick bed, looking for his speedy death, and urging him to make what atonement he could for his misdeeds, while he yet lived. Advice of the prelates and nobles. Let him throw open his prisons; let him set free his captives; let him loose those who were in chains; let him forgive his debtors—​it is again assumed that a debt to the Crown must be a wrongful debt—​let him provide pastors for the churches which he holds in his hands; above all, let him set free the head church of all, the church of Canterbury, whose bondage was the most crying wrong of his kingdom.[1093] All this they pressed, each to the best of his power, on the no longer unwilling mind of the King. It bethought them moreover that there was one not far off, who was more skilled than any of them in healing the diseases of the soul, and whose words would 393 strike deeper into the heart of the penitent than the words of any other. Anselm sent for. The Abbot of Bec was still in England; he was even, knowing nothing of what was going on, tarrying at no great distance from Gloucester.[1094] A messenger was sent, bidding him come with all speed; the King was dying, and needed his spiritual help before all was over. Anselm and Rufus. Anselm came at once; he asked what had passed between the sick man and his directors, and he fully approved of all the counsel that they had given to the repentant sinner.[1095] The duties of confession, of amendment, of reparation, the full and speedy carrying out of all that his advisers had pressed upon him, was the only means, the only hope. By the general voice of all, Anselm was bidden to undertake the duty of making yet another exhortation to the royal penitent. Anselm spoke, and William hearkened. He more than hearkened; he answered, and for the moment he acted. Rufus promises amendment. He accepted all that Anselm told him; he promised to amend his ways, to rule his kingdom in mildness and righteousness. To this he pledged his faith; he made the bishops his sureties, and bade them renew the promise in his name to God before the altar.[1096] His proclamation. More practical still, a proclamation was put forth under the royal seal, promising to the people, in the old form, good 394 laws, strict heed to right, strict examination into wrong. The vacant churches should be filled, and their revenues should be restored to them. The King would no longer sell them or set them to farm. All prisoners should be set free; all debts to the crown should be forgiven; all offences against the King should be pardoned, and all suits begun in the King’s name stopped.[1097] General satisfaction. Great was the joy through the land; a burst of loyal thankfulness was in every heart and on every mouth. The rule of King William was henceforth to be as the rule of the best of the kings who had gone before him. Thanksgivings went up to God through the whole land, and earnest prayers for the welfare of so great and so good a king.[1098]

This was the second time that the people of England had greedily swallowed the promises of the Red King. He had already deceived them once; but kings are easily trusted, and the awful circumstances under which reform was now promised might well lead men to believe that the promise was sincere. Beginnings of reform. Sincere for the moment it doubtless was; nor did the proclamation remain altogether a dead letter. The reforms were actually begun; some at least of the prisoners were set free. William 395 also now made grants to some monasteries,[1099] and, what was more important than all, he filled the vacant bishoprics. He grants the bishopric of Lincoln to Robert Bloet. The fame of one of the two appointments so fills the pages of our guides that we might easily forget that it was now that the staff of Remigius was given to Robert Bloet.[1100] We have heard of him already as an old servant of William the Great, and as trusted by him with the weighty letter which ruled the succession of the crown on behalf of William the Red.[1101] He was now the King’s Chancellor. He bears a doubtful character; he was not a scholar, but he was a man skilful in all worldly business; he was not a saint, but he was perhaps not the extreme sinner which some have painted him.[1102] His consecration was put off for nearly a year; and we shall meet him again in the midst of a striking and busy scene when the next year has begun. For the present we need only remember that two bishops, and not one only, were invested, according to the ancient use of England, by the royal hand at the bedside of William Rufus.

We may take for granted that it took no such struggle to change the King’s Chancellor into the Bishop-elect of Lincoln as it took to change the man on whom all eyes were now fixed into an Archbishop-elect of Canterbury. March 6, 1093. It was now a Sunday, the first Sunday in Lent; a gathering of bishops and other chief men stood around the King who was believed to be dying. He had solemnly repented; he must now make restitution. The 396 best men among those who stood around him pressed yet more strongly on his mind the duty of at once filling the metropolitan see. The sick man answered that such was his purpose. They asked whom he deemed worthy of such a post; none dared suggest any name; the choice rested wholly with the royal will.[1103] Rufus names Anselm to the archbishopric. The King made an effort; he sat up in his bed; he pointed out the Abbot of Bec among those who filled the room, and spake the words; “I choose this holy man Anselm.”[1104] The feeling which now bids men to listen in silence to the official utterances of royal lips was then unheard of; even the fear of danger to the sick man General delight. yielded to the universal joy; a loud shout of applause rang through the chamber which was soon, as men deemed, to be the chamber of death. One man alone joined not in the shout; one man grew pale and trembled in every limb. The moment so long dreaded had at last come; the burthen from which he shrank was at last to be forced on the shoulders of the struggling abbot. For in the case of Anselm the struggle was no metaphor. Unwillingness of Anselm. He was dragged to the King’s bedside to receive the investiture[1105]—​no thought of the elective rights of the monks of distant Christ Church seems to have come into the head of any man. Pouring out reasons against his own appointment, Anselm withstood by main force all efforts to 397 drag him nearer to the King. The bishops at last succeeded in drawing him apart from the crowd, and began Arguments of the bishops. to argue with him more quietly.[1106] They warned him not to withstand the will of God, or to refuse the work to which he was called. He saw that Christianity had almost died out in England; everything had fallen into confusion; every abomination was rife. One bolder voice—​was it the voice of English Wulfstan or of Norman Gundulf?—​added words such as are not often uttered in the chamber of a king, and which even then perhaps were not meant to reach kingly ears. “By the tyranny of that man”[1107]—​pointing to the sick king on his bed—​“we and the churches which we ought to rule have fallen into danger of eternal death; wilt thou, when thou canst help us, scorn our petition?” The appeal went on; Anselm was told how the church of Canterbury, in whose oppression all were oppressed, called to him to raise up her and them; could he, casting aside all thought for her freedom, all thought for the help of his brethren, refuse to share their work, and seek only his own ease? Anselm pleaded at length; he was old; he was unused to worldly affairs. He prayed to be allowed to abide in the peaceful calling which he loved. The bishops all the more called on him to take the rule over them which was offered to him; let him guide them in the way of God; let him pray to God for them, and they would manage all worldly affairs for him.[1108] He then pleaded that he was the subject of another realm;[1109] he owed obedience to his own prince, to his own archbishop; he could not cast off his duty to them without 398 their leave; nay, he could not, without the consent of his own monks, cast off the duties which he owed to them. The bishops told him that the consent of all concerned would be easily gained. He protested that all that they did, all that they purposed, was nought.[1110]

Anselm dragged to the King’s bedside. The bishops had certainly the better in the argument; they had also the better in the physical struggle; for they now dragged Anselm close to the King’s bedside. They set forth to Rufus what they called the obstinacy of the Abbot;[1111] it was for the King to try what his personal authority could do. The sick man, lately so proud and scornful, was stirred even to tears; he made a speech far longer than his wont, but which seems to carry with it the stamp of genuineness. He had raised himself to speak his formal choice with a voice of authority; he now spoke, in plaintive and beseeching words, in the ear of the holy man beside him. In the mind of Rufus at that moment it was his own personal salvation that was at stake. Pleadings of the King. “O Anselm,” he whispered, “why do you condemn me to eternal torments? Remember, I pray you, the faithful friendship which my father and my mother had to you and which you had to them; by that friendship I adjure you not to let their son perish both in body and soul. For I am sure that I shall perish if I die while I still have the archbishopric in my hands.[1112] Help me then, help me, lord and father; take the bishopric for the holding of which I am already greatly confounded, and fear that I shall be confounded for ever.” Still Anselm drew back and excused himself. Then the 399 bishops again took up their parable in a stronger tone. Further pleadings of the bishops What madness had possessed him? He was harassing the King, almost killing him; his last moments were embittered by Anselm’s obstinacy.[1113] They gave him to know that whatever disturbances, oppressions, and crimes, might hereafter disturb England would all lie at his door, if he did not stop them that day by taking on him the pastoral care. Still—​so he himself witnessed afterwards—​wishing rather, if it were God’s will, to die than to take on him the archbishopric, he turned to two of his own monks who had come with him, Eustace and Baldwin of Tournay, and asked them to help him.[1114] Baldwin answered, and of his own monks. “If it be the will of God that it shall be so, who are we that we should withstand the will of God?” His words were followed by a flood of tears, his tears by a gush of blood from his nostrils. Anselm, surely half-smiling, said, “Alas, how soon is your staff broken.” The King then, seeing that nothing was gained, bade the bishops fall at Anselm’s feet and implore him to take the see. A like scene had been gone through at Bec when it was first sought to raise Anselm to the abbacy.[1115] The bishops fell at his feet, and implored; Anselm fell at their feet, and implored back again. There was nothing to be done save the last shift of, so to speak, investing him with the bishopric by physical force. He is invested by main force. A cry was raised for a pastoral staff; the staff was brought, and was placed in the sick king’s hand.[1116] The bishops seized the right arm of Anselm; some pushed; some pulled; he was forced close up to 400 the Kings bed. The King held out the staff; the Abbot, though his arm was stretched out against his will, held his hand firmly clenched. The bishops strove to force open his fingers, till he shrieked with the pain. After much striving, they managed to raise his forefinger, to place the staff between that one finger and his still closed hand, and to keep it there with their own hands.[1117] This piece of sheer violence was held to be a lawful investiture. The assembled crowd—​we are still in the sick king’s room—​began to shout “Long live the Bishop.” The bishops and clergy began to sing Te Deum with a loud voice.[1118] He is installed in the church. Then the bishops, abbots, and nobles, seized Anselm, and carried rather than led him into a neighbouring church—​was it the great minster of Ealdred or its successor growing up under the hands of Serlo?[1119]—​while he still refused and struggled and protested that all that they did went for nothing.[1120] A looker-on, Anselm himself says, might have doubted whether a crowd in their right mind were dragging a single madman, or whether a crowd of madmen were dragging a single man who kept his right mind.[1121] Anyhow they reached the church and there went through the ceremonies which 401 were usual on such occasions.[1122] Anselm was now deemed to have become, however much against his own will, Archbishop-elect of Canterbury.

Anselm’s renewed protest. From the church Anselm went back to the King’s chamber. He there renewed his protest against the appointment, but he renewed it in the form of a prophecy. “My lord the King, I tell you that you will not die of this sickness; I would therefore have you know how easily you can undo what has been this day done with regard to me, as I never agreed, nor do I agree, that it shall be held valid.”[1123] He then left the sick room, and spoke to the bishops and nobles in some other place, perhaps the hall of the castle. Whether formally summoned as such or not, they were practically a Gemót of the realm.[1124] His parable to the prelates and nobles. Anselm spoke to them in a parable, founded on the apostolic figure which speaks of the Church as God’s husbandry.[1125] In England the plough of the Church ought to be drawn by two chief oxen of equal strength, each pulling with the same good will. These were the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury, one ruling by worldly justice and dominion, the other by divine doctrine and teaching. So, he implies, it had been in the days of William the Great and of Lanfranc his yoke-fellow.[1126] The figure is one which will bear much study. It is perhaps in England 402 alone that it could have been used. Its special fitness in England. In the highest rank of all, used to the loftier metaphors of the two great lights of heaven and the two swords on earth, figures drawn from ploughs and oxen might have seemed unworthy of the supreme majesty of the Roman Emperor and the Roman Pontiff. In other lands the metaphor would have failed from another side. The Primate of Rheims or of Rouen could hardly be spoken of as in the same sort the yoke-fellow of the French King or the Norman Duke. In England the parable had more truth. It set forth at once the supreme ecclesiastical authority of the King, and the check which ancient custom put on that authority in the shape of an archiepiscopal tribune of the people. But the happy partnership of the two powers had come to an end. The strong ox Lanfranc was dead. His surviving yoke-fellow was a young and untameable wild bull.[1127] With him they wished to yoke an old and feeble sheep, who might perhaps furnish them with the wool and milk of the Lord’s word, and with lambs for His service,[1128] but who was utterly unequal to the task of pulling in fellowship with such a comrade. His weakness and the King’s fierceness could never work together. If they would only think over the matter, they would give up the attempt which they had begun. The joy with which they had hailed his nomination would be turned into sorrow. They talked of his raising up the Church from widowhood; if they insisted on forcing him into the see, the Church would be thrust 403 down into a yet deeper widowhood, widowhood during the life of her pastor. He himself would be the first victim; none of them would dare to give him help, and then the King would trample them too under his feet at pleasure. He then burst into tears; he parted from the assembly, and went to his own quarters, whether in the city of Gloucester or at the unnamed place where he had before been staying.[1129] The King orders the restitution of the lands of the see. The King, foreseeing no further difficulties, gave orders that steps should be taken for investing him without delay with the temporal possessions of the see.[1130] But a whole train of unlooked-for hindrances appeared before Anselm could be put into possession of either the temporal or the spiritual powers of Lanfranc.

The royal right of investiture not questioned. At this first stage of the story, as at every other, as long as the scene is laid in England, we are struck in the strongest way by the fact that every one concerned takes the ancient customs of England for granted. If those customs have changed from what they may have been under Cnut or Eadward, they have at least not changed to the advantage of the Roman see, or indeed of the ecclesiastical power in any shape. Hildebrand has no followers either in England or in Normandy. No one has called in question the right either of the King of the English or of the Duke of the Normans to invest the prelates of his dominions with the pastoral staff. No scruples on the part of Anselm. There is not one word in the whole story implying that any one had any scruple on the subject. Anselm clearly had none. He had received 404 the staff of Bec from the Duke; if he was not ready to receive the staff of Canterbury from the King, it was not because of any scruple as to the mode of appointment, but because he refused to accept the appointment itself, however made. Not a single English bishop has a word to say on the matter. We could not look for such scruples in Wulfstan who had received his staff from the holy Eadward; but neither do they trouble William of Saint-Calais, so lately the zealous champion of the rights of Rome. If anything, the bishops seem to attribute a kind of mystic and almost sacramental efficacy to the investiture by the King’s hand. No ecclesiastical election. Nor is there a word said as to the rights of any ecclesiastical electors, the monks of Christ Church or any other. It is taken for granted that the whole matter rests with the King. Anselm protests against the validity of the act, but not on any ground which assumed any other elector than the King. The nomination was invalid, because he did not consent to it himself, because the Duke of the Normans, the Archbishop of Rouen, and the monks of Bec, had not consented to it. Anselm is very careful as to the rights of all these three; he has not a word to say about the rights of the monks of Christ Church. Had he been a subject of the crown of England, a bishop or presbyter of the province of Canterbury, and himself willing to accept the archbishopric, there would clearly have been in his eyes nothing irregular in his accepting it in the form in which it was forced upon him, by the sole choice and sole investiture of the King. Later change in Anselm’s views. He afterwards learned to think otherwise; but it was neither at Canterbury nor at Bec nor at Aosta that he learned such scruples. He had to go beyond English, Norman, and Burgundian ground to look for them. At present he does at every stage, as an ordinary matter of 405 course, something which his later lights would have led him to condemn. Gundulf’s letter to the monks of Bec. But it certainly does seem strange when Bishop Gundulf of Rochester, in a letter to his old companions the monks of Bec, tells them that the King had given the government of the church of Canterbury to their abbot Anselm, by the advice and request of his great men and by the petition and election of the clergy and people.[1131] We have often come across such phrases;[1132] and this case, where we know every detail, may help us to estimate their meaning in some other cases. That Anselm’s appointment had been the general wish of all classes before it was made, that it received the general approval of all classes after it was made, there is no manner of doubt. But there is no sign of any formal advice, petition, or election, by any class of men at any stage. It may be that the ceremony in the church at Gloucester was held to pass for an election by the clergy and people. But that was after the King had, by the delivery of the staff, given to Anselm the government of the church of Canterbury. Sole action of the King. Even in Gundulf’s formula, the advice, petition, and election are mere helps to guide the King’s choice; it is the King who actually bestows the see. And here again, of the rights of the monks of the metropolitan church there is not a word.

Several months passed after this amazing scene at Gloucester before Anselm was fully admitted to the full possession of the archbishopric. He had not yet given any consent himself, and the consents of the Norman 406 Duke, the Norman Archbishop, and the Norman monks, on all of which Anselm laid such stress, were still to be sought for. Anselm tarries with Gundulf. The King sent messengers to all of them, and meanwhile Anselm was, by the King’s order, lodged on some of the archiepiscopal manors under the care of his old friend Bishop Gundulf.[1133] One may suspect that it was the influence of this prelate, a good man plainly, but not very stout-hearted, and more ready than Anselm to adapt himself to the ruling powers, which brought Anselm to the belief that he ought to give way to what he himself calls the choice of all England, and which he now allows to be the will of God. At any rate Anselm brought himself to write letters to the monks of Bec, asking their consent to his resignation of the abbey and acceptance of the archbishopric.[1134] Consent of the Duke, the Archbishop of Rouen, and the monks of Bec. For it was with the monks of Bec that the difficulty lay; Duke Robert and Archbishop William seem to have made no objection.[1135] It was, after much hesitation, and by a narrow majority only that the convent agreed to part with the abbot who had brought such honour upon their house.[1136] In the end all the needful consents were given. Anselm was free from all obligations beyond the sea. But he still had not given his own formal consent to the acceptance of the archbishopric. A long series of acts, temporal and spiritual, were needed to change the simple monk and presbyter, as he was now once more, into an Archbishop of Canterbury, clothed with the full powers and possessions of the Patriarch of all the nations beyond the sea. Those acts needed the consent, some of them needed the personal action, of the King. And 407 King William the Red was now again quite another man from what he had been when he lay on his sick bed at Gloucester.

The King’s recovery. The King’s sickness is said to have lasted during the whole of Lent; but he seems to have been restored to health early enough to hold the Easter Gemót at Winchester.[1137] Anselm was there, in company with his guardian The Easter Gemót. 1093.Bishop Gundulf and his friend Baldwin the monk of Bec; but there is no mention of any business being done between him and the King. Doubtless the needful letters had not yet come from Normandy, even if Anselm had so soon brought himself to write those which were needful on his own part. By this time William was again in full health, and, with his former state of body, his former state of mind had also come back. William falls back into evil ways. He had repented of his repentance; he had fallen back into all his old evil courses with more eagerness than ever. All the wrong that he had done before he fell sick was deemed to be a small matter compared with the wrong which he did after he was restored to health.[1138] It is to this stage of his life that one of the most hideous of his blasphemous sayings is assigned. His renewed blasphemy. Instead of thankfulness for his renewed health, he looked on his sickness as a wrong done to him by his Maker, for which he would in some way have his revenge. It was now that he told Bishop Gundulf, whom we can fancy faintly exhorting him to keep in the good frame of mind which he had put on while he lay on his sick bed—​“God shall never see me a good man; I have suffered too much at his 408 hands.”[1139] And his practice was such as became the fool who said that there was no God, or rather the deeper fool who said that there was a God, and yet defied him. He recalls his acts of mercy. He even went on to undo, as far as lay in his power, the good works which he had done during his momentary repentance. Some of the prisoners to whom he had promised deliverance were already set free, and some of those who were set free had taken themselves beyond his reach. But those who were still in safe-keeping were kept in yet harsher bondage than before; and of those who had been set free as many as could be laid hold of were sent back to their prisons. The pardons, the remissions of debts, which had been put forth were recalled. Every man who had been held liable before the King’s sickness was held liable again. His gifts to monasteries were also recalled.[1140] But one thing which William had promised to do he remained as fully minded to do as before. He keeps his purpose as to Anselm. At no stage did he show the slightest purpose of recalling his grant of the archbishopric to Anselm. This distinction is quite in harmony with the general character of William Rufus. The reforms which he had promised, and which he had partly carried out, were part of the ordinary duty of a man in that state of life to which William had been called, the state of a king. As such, they were reckoned by him among those promises which 409 it was beyond his power to fulfil. But his engagement to Anselm was of another kind. To say nothing of Anselm being the old friend of his father, his engagement to him was strictly personal. If it was not exactly done in the character of a good knight, it was done as the act of a man to a man. It was like a safe-conduct; it touched, not so much William’s kingly duty as his personal honour. William’s honour did not keep him back from annoying and insulting Anselm, or from haggling with him about money in a manner worthy of the chivalrous Richard himself. But it did keep him back from any attempt to undo his own personal act and promise. He had prayed Anselm to take the archbishopric; he had forced the staff, as far as might be, into Anselm’s unwilling hand. From that act he would not draw back, though he was quite ready to get any advantage for himself that might be had in the way of carrying it out.

Events of March-December, 1093. But we must not fancy that the affairs of Anselm and of the see to which he had been so strangely called were the only matters which occupied the mind of England during this memorable year. The months which passed between the first nomination of Anselm and his consecration to the archbishopric, that is, the months from March to December, were a busy time in affairs of quite another kind than the appointment of pastors of the Church. The events of those months chiefly concerned the relations of England to the other parts of the island, Welsh and Scottish, and I shall speak of them at length in another chapter. Affairs of England and Wales. Here it is enough to say that the very week of the Easter Gemót was marked by striking events in Wales,[1141] and that during the whole 410 time from March to August, negotiations were going on between William and Malcolm of Scotland. In August Dealings between William and Malcolm. Malcolm came personally to Gloucester, but William refused to see him. Malcolm then went home in wrath, and took his revenge in a fifth and last invasion of England, in the course of which he was killed near Alnwick in the month of November. By that time Anselm was already enthroned, but not yet consecrated. The main telling of the two stories must be kept apart; but it is well always to keep the joint chronology of the two in mind. In reading the Lives of Anselm, where secular affairs are mentioned only casually, we might sometimes forget how stirring a time the year of Anselm’s appointment was in other ways; while the general writers of the time, as I have already noticed,[1142] tell us less about Anselm than we should have looked for. The affairs of Scotland and the affairs of Anselm were going on at the same time; and along with them a third chain of affairs must have begun of which we shall hear much in the next year. Designs of Rufus on Normandy. Rufus was by this time already planning a second attack on his brother in Normandy. Except during the short season of his penitence, he was doubtless ready for such an enterprise at any moment. And this same year, seemingly in the course of its summer, a special tempter came over from beyond sea. Action of William of Eu. This was William of Eu, of whom we have already heard as the King’s enemy and of whom we shall hear again in the same character, but who just now appears as the King’s counsellor. As the owner of vast English estates, he had played a leading part in the first rebellion against William, with the object of uniting England and Normandy under a single prince.[1143] That object he still sought; but he now sought to gain it by other means. He had learned which of 411 the brothers was the more useful master to serve. His divided allegiance. He was now, by the death of his father, Count of Eu, and Eu was among the parts of Normandy which Robert had yielded to William.[1144] For Eu then Count William was the man of King William; but he was still the man of Duke Robert for some other parts of his possessions. He suggests an attack on Normandy. He thought it his interest to serve one lord only; he accordingly threw off his allegiance to Robert, and came over to England to stir up William to take possession of the whole duchy.[1145] And it must surely have been in connexion with these affairs that, at some time between March and September, William and Robert Count of Flanders. William had an interview with Count Robert of Flanders at Dover. By this description we are doubtless to understand the elder Count Robert, the famous Frisian, of whom we have already heard as an enemy to the elder William,[1146] but who must now have been at least on terms of peace with his son. Death of Count Robert. October 4 or 13, 1093. He was drawing near the end of his life, a memorable life, nearly the last act of which had been honourable indeed. He had, several years before the preaching of the crusade, sent a body of the choicest warriors of Flanders to defend Eastern Christendom against the Turk.[1147] Robert died in October of this year, and was succeeded by his 412 Robert of Jerusalem. son Robert of Jerusalem,[1148] a name which the father had an equal right to bear. The younger Robert had been associated by his father in the government of the county; but one may suppose that, when our guide speaks of Robert Count of Flanders, it is the elder Robert who is meant. He was the enemy of the elder William rather in his Norman than in his English character, and his enmity may have passed to his successor in the duchy and not to his successor in the kingdom. Relation between William and the Flemish Counts. One can hardly help thinking that this meeting of William of England and Robert of Flanders had some reference to joint operations designed against Robert of Normandy. But, if so, the alliance was put an end to by the death of Robert the Frisian, and, when the time for his Norman enterprise came, William had to carry it on without Flemish help.

Interview between Anselm and the King at Rochester. By this time Anselm had received the letters from Normandy which were to make him free to accept the archbishopric; but the letters to the King from the same parties had not yet come. At this stage then Anselm wished for an interview with the King, the first—​unless they met at Easter at Winchester—​since they had parted in the sick room at Gloucester. William was on his way back from his meeting with the Count of Flanders at Dover; he came to Rochester, where Anselm was then staying with Bishop Gundulf. There Anselm took the King aside, and laid the case before him as it then stood.

Anselm’s position. Anselm was at this moment, in his own view, a private man. He was no longer Abbot of Bec. His monks had released him from that office, and he had formally 413 resigned it by sending back to them the pastoral staff.[1149] He was not yet Archbishop of Canterbury; he was not yet, in his own view, even Archbishop-elect; all that had been done at Gloucester he counted for null and void. But he was now free to accept the archbishopric, and, though he still did not wish for the post, he had got over the scruples which had before led him to refuse it. In such a case he deemed it his duty to be perfectly frank with the King, and to tell him on what terms only he would accept the primacy, if the King still persisted in offering it to him.

His conditions with the King. The conditions which Anselm now laid before William Rufus were three. The first of them had to do with the temporal estates of the archbishopric. I have elsewhere spoken of the light in which we ought to look at demands of this kind.[1150] Restoration of the estates of the see. We may be sure that Anselm would gladly have purchased the peace of the land, the friendship of the King, or anything that would profit the souls or bodies of other men, at the cost of any temporal possessions which were strictly his own to give up. But, if he became Archbishop of Canterbury, he would become a steward of the church of Canterbury, a trustee for his successors, the guardian of gifts which had been given to God, His saints, and His Church. In any of these characters, it would be a sin against his own soul and the souls of others, if he willingly allowed anything which had ever been given to his church to be taken from her or detained from her. If the King chose to keep the see vacant and to turn its revenues to his own use, that would be his sin and not Anselm’s; but Anselm would be a sharer in the sin, if he accepted the see without 414 requiring full restitution of everything to which the see had a lawful claim. In the private conference at Rochester, he therefore demanded, as a condition of his accepting the see, that he should receive all that Lanfranc had held, without delay or dispute or process in any court. As for lands to which his church had an ancient claim, but which Lanfranc had been unable to win back, for those he demanded that the King should do him justice in his court.[1151] The second demand touched the ancient relations between the crown and the archbishopric. The sheep, about to be yoked with the wild bull, sought to make terms with his fierce comrade. He demands to be the King’s spiritual guide. Anselm demanded that, in all matters which touched God and Christianity, the King should take him as his counsellor before all other men; as he acknowledged in the King his earthly lord, so let the King acknowledge in him his ghostly father and the special guardian of his soul.[1152]

Acknowledgement of Popes. To these two requests Anselm added a third, one which touched a point on which the Red King seems to have been specially sensitive. It had been the rule of his father’s reign that no Pope should be acknowledged in England without his consent.[1153] William Rufus seems to have construed this rule in the same way in which he construed some others. From his right to nominate to 415 bishoprics and abbeys he had inferred a right not to nominate to them; so, from his right to judge between contending popes, he inferred the right to do without acknowledging any pope at all. And, if the King acted in this way for his own ends, the country at large seems to have shown a remarkable indifference to the whole controversy. To Englishmen and to men settled in England it was clearly a much greater grievance to be kept without an Archbishop of Canterbury than it was to be left uncertain who was the lawful pope. Schism in the papacy. Victor the Third. 1086–1087. Urban the Second. 1088–1099. Urban and Clement. At this moment the Western Church was divided between the claims of Wibert or Clement, the Imperial anti-pope of the days of Hildebrand, and those of Urban, formerly Odo of Ostia, who, after the short reign of Victor, stepped into Hildebrand’s place. In the eyes of strict churchmen Urban was the true Vicar of Christ, and Wibert was a wicked intruder and schismatic. Yet it will be remembered that Lanfranc himself had, when the dispute lay between Wibert and Hildebrand, spoken with singular calmness and caution of a question which to more zealous minds seemed a matter of spiritual life and death.[1154] Our own Chronicler seems to have measured popes, as well as English feeling on the subject. kings and bishops, by the standard of possession; he found it hard to conceive a pope that “nothing had of the settle at Rome.”[1155] Even Anselm’s own biographer speaks very quietly on the point. Two rival candidates claimed the popedom; but which was the one rightly chosen no one in England, we are told, knew—​or seemingly cared.[1156] Another of our guides describes Urban and Clement as alike men of personal merit, and looks 416 on the controversy as one in which there was much to be said on both sides. The chief argument for Urban was that his supporters seemed to increase in number; otherwise no one really knew on which side the divine right was. In England opinion was divided; but fear of the King—​so we are told—​made it lean on the whole to Clement.[1157] Earlier in the reign we have heard Bishop William of Durham talk a great deal about going to the Pope; but he had taken care not to say to which pope he meant to go, and in the end he had not gone to either.[1158] Anselm requires to be allowed to acknowledge Urban. With Anselm the matter was more serious. Urban was his pope. All the churches of Gaul had acknowledged him; Bec and the other churches of Normandy had acknowledged him along with the rest.[1159] From the obedience which he had thus plighted he could not fall back. He told the King that, though he, King William, had not acknowledged Urban, yet he, Anselm, must continue to acknowledge him and to yield him such obedience as was his due.[1160] To be allowed freely to do so must be one of the conditions of his accepting the archbishopric.

417 The King’s answer was unsatisfactory, but not openly hostile. The King’s counsellors; Count Robert and Bishop William. He was however beginning to be on his guard; he called to his side the two subtlest advisers that the Church and realm of England could supply. The one was Count Robert of Meulan, at home alike in England, Normandy, and France. The other was William Bishop of Durham, once the strong assertor of ecclesiastical claims, who had appealed to the Pope against the judgement of the King and his Witan. He had indeed both learned and forgotten something in his exile. The Bishop’s new policy. He had come back to be the special counsellor of Rufus, the special enemy of Anselm, the special assertor of the doctrine that it was for the King alone to judge as to the acknowledgement of Popes. The King, having listened to Anselm, sent for these two chosen advisers. He bade Anselm say over again in their hearing what he had before said privately. The King’s answer. He then, by their advice, answered that he would restore to the see everything that had been held by Lanfranc; on other points he would not as yet make any positive engagement.[1161]

The letters come from Normandy. Up to this time the King had not yet received his expected letters from Normandy. They presently came, and Rufus evidently thought that some step on his part ought to follow. He had asked the Duke, the Archbishop, and the monks of Bec, to set Anselm free to accept the archbishopric. They had done so at his request. Unless then he wished to make fools of himself and of everybody else, he could not help again offering the see to the man whom he had himself chosen, and 418 who was now free to take it. He sent for Anselm to Windsor, where he now was; The King prays Anselm to take the archbishopric. he prayed him no longer to refuse the choice of the whole realm;[1162] but in so doing, he fell back somewhat from the one distinct promise which he had made at Rochester. When the estates of the see came into his hands on the death of Lanfranc, he had granted out parts of them on tenure of knight-service. He asks for the confirmation of grants made by him during the vacancy. These grants he asked Anselm, as a matter of friendship to himself, to allow.[1163] Was William merely seeking an excuse for backing altogether out of his offer of the archbishopric, or did he feel himself bound in honour to the men to whom he had made the grants? If so, his scruple of honour was met by Anselm’s scruple of conscience. Anselm refuses. Anselm would not be a party to any alienation of the goods of the Church; above all, he would not make any agreement about such matters before he was invested with any part of them.[1164] The point clearly is that so to do would be more than wasting the estates of the Church; it would be obtaining the archbishopric by a corrupt bargain. To agree to give up the estates of the see to the King’s grantees would be the same thing as obtaining the see by a bribe to the King. Anselm therefore refused to consent to the grants which the King had made during the vacancy. The whole matter thus came to a standstill. Rufus refused the investiture unless his grants were to stand good. Anselm went away rejoicing.

The whole case was set forth at length by Anselm 419 in a letter to his friend Hugh Archbishop of Lyons, the head prelate of his native Burgundy.[1165] Anselm’s statement of the case. The alienation to which Anselm was asked to consent was called by the King a “voluntary justice,” a phrase which has a technical sound, but the meaning of which is not very clear.[1166] The King’s argument was that, before the Normans invaded England, the lands in question had been held of the archbishopric by English thegns, that those thegns had died without heirs, and that it was open to the King to give them what heirs he would.[1167] It was certainly strange, if, on the one hand, not one of these thegns had been constrained to make way for a Norman successor, and if, on the other hand, not one of them had left a son to succeed him. But we must take the fact as it is stated. Nature of the King’s grants. Rufus seems to mean that, during Lanfranc’s incumbency, the lands which these thegns had held of the see had fallen back to the lord for lack of heirs, and had become demesne lands of the archbishopric. The King asserts his right, during the vacancy of the see, to grant out such lands by knight-service, service to be paid of course to the King as long as the vacancy lasted, but seemingly to the Archbishop, as soon as there should be an archbishop in possession. If this was the argument, an argument which savours of the subtlety of Flambard, there is, from Flambard’s point of view, a good deal that is plausible about it. The King’s case. The King, as temporary lord, claims to deal with the land as any other lord might do, and, when his temporary lordship 420 comes to an end, he calls on the incoming lord to respect his acts. The legal question would seem to be whether the new doctrine which gave the King the temporary profits of the archbishopric gave him any right to turn its demesne lands into fiefs. Anselm’s argument. Anselm’s argument seems to be that anyhow the possessions of the archbishopric were practically lessened, as they undoubtedly were. Experience showed that such a lordship as the see would keep over the lands so granted out would be both hard to enforce and of little value if enforced.[1168] Practically the grants were an alienation of the lands of the see. And to this Anselm could not consent. Open robbery from some quarter which owed no special duty to the archbishopric he might bear, and in such a case there would be more hope of gaining back what was lost by the help of the law.[1169] But for the King, the advocate of the see, and for himself, its guardian, to come to an agreement whereby the see would be damaged, was a thing to which Anselm would never consent.[1170] The King’s advocatio of the archbishopric. In this argument we hear the word advocate, the equivalent of the modern patron, in its elder sense. The advocatio, the advowson, of an ecclesiastical benefice carries with it, not only the right to name the incumbent of that benefice, but also the duty of acting as its protector.[1171] For the King, the advocate of the see of Canterbury, to do anything against its rights was a 421 greater crime than if another man did the same. For the Archbishop to betray the rights of his church and his successors was a greater crime still. And if King and Archbishop agreed to any such spoliation, all other men would naturally hold that the act could not be questioned. On these grounds Anselm refused to consent to the King’s grants. He left the royal presence trusting that he was now free from the burthen of ecclesiastical rule in any shape. He had been set free from the abbatial rule of Bec; he had escaped being loaded with the primatial rule of Canterbury. He was, as he wished to be, a private man.[1172]

Public feeling since the nomination at Gloucester. But a private man Anselm was not to remain. After the scene in the sick room at Gloucester, neither William nor Anselm could act exactly as if that scene had never taken place. The momentary repentance of the King, and the acts done during the time of that repentance, had given a strength to public opinion which even William Rufus could not despise. The old abuses, the old oppressions, began again; but men were now less disposed to put up with them than they had been before. They would no longer go on without an archbishop, after an archbishop, and Anselm as that archbishop, had been more than promised, after he had been given to them. The general murmur became so loud that the King had to give way.[1173] He could no longer help giving the archbishopric to Anselm, and that on Anselm’s own terms. And what he did, he did in the most solemn and, as far as outward appearances went, the most thorough manner. Gemót at Winchester. An extraordinary Gemót of the kingdom—​for the season was 422 neither Christmas, Easter, nor Pentecost—​was summoned to Winchester. The King renews his promises. In the presence of the assembled Witan, William Rufus, in full health, renewed the promises which he had made in his sickness. The wrongs done in his kingdom, above all, the wrongs done to the Church, were a second time to come to an end.[1174] Anselm receives the archbishopric, and does homage. Anselm was exhorted, and at last persuaded, to accept the archbishopric. He received it, seemingly without scruple, according to the ancient use of England; he became the man of the King.[1175] Anselm kneeling before Rufus, with his pure hands between the polluted hands of the King, pledging himself as the King’s man for all earthly worship, makes a scene which it is strange to think of.[1176] The deed was now done, and it could not be recalled. Bishop in the spiritual sense Anselm was not as yet; but he was the legal possessor of all the temporal estates and temporal jurisdiction of the see of Canterbury.

The King’s writ. The act which had just been done had now to be announced to the whole nation in the ancient form. The writ of King William went forth, announcing to all the King’s faithful men, French and English, that he had granted to Anselm the archbishopric of Canterbury, with all the rights, powers, and possessions—​rights, powers, and possessions, recited in the English tongue—​which belonged to the see, with all liberties over all his men, within boroughs and without. And words were added which seemed meant expressly to enforce Anselm’s 423 view of the point last in dispute. The Archbishop’s thegns. The new archbishop was to have all these liberties over as many thegns as King Eadward the King’s kinsman had granted to the see of Christ Church. This can hardly mean anything except the annulling of the grants which the King had made during the vacancy.[1177] Anselm was to have all such temporal rights as had been lawfully held by Lanfranc, as had been before him unlawfully held by Stigand. Clauses in favour of the monks. The writ further contains provisions on behalf of the metropolitan monastery. The estates of the convent were distinct from those of the see; still, in such a time of unlaw, it is likely that some excuse had been found to do them some wrong also. To the monks of Christ Church therefore the King confirms all their rights and possessions, with all the tolls and dues from the haven of Sandwich; no man, French or English, should meddle with them or their servants.[1178] The city of Canterbury and abbey of Saint Alban’s. Our Canterbury guide speaks also of a renewed grant, on more favourable terms than before, of the city of Canterbury and of the abbey of Saint Alban’s.[1179] These possessions were at least not granted by the writ which announces the grant of the archbishopric. Anselm and Saint Alban’s. Of one of them the local patriotism of Saint Alban’s naturally knew nothing, though we hear of the friendship which Anselm showed to the house and 424 to its abbot Paul. Death of Abbot Paul. 1093. This friendship could hardly have been shown in the character of archbishop, as Paul died during the year of Anselm’s appointment.[1180] And it is not wonderful that Anselm’s friendship for the abbey did not avail to save it from the usual fate. Vacancy of the abbey. For four years after the death of Paul, the church of Saint Alban remained without an abbot, while the King held the lands of the abbey, cut down its woods, and found many ingenious excuses, such as Flambard knew how to devise, for wringing money out of its tenants.[1181]

It would seem that, of the three points which had been insisted on by Anselm at Rochester, two were left out of sight in the public assembly at Winchester no less than in the private conference at Windsor. The question about the grants of the archiepiscopal lands was settled, at least in name and for the time, in favour of Anselm; The question as to the Pope left unsettled. but nothing was said either about William’s obligation to take Anselm as his spiritual guide or about the acknowledgement of Urban as Pope. The former of these two was in truth a matter for the King’s private conscience; it was hardly a matter to be discussed and legislated about in an assembly of the kingdom. And even the matter of the Pope did not touch Anselm’s conscience in exactly the same way as the question of the grants. If Anselm had allowed the grants, it would have been, in his view, an alienation of the rights of his see, and therefore a personal crime. But he might, without in any way giving up his position, receive the investiture 425 No reference to the Pope in English episcopal appointments. without saying anything about the papal question at all. It was not yet held that the Bishop of Rome was entitled to any voice as to the election, investiture, or consecration, of any English bishop. In the case of a diocesan bishop, there was no need for any reference to the Pope at any stage; in the case of a metropolitan, the pallium had to be asked for; but it was not asked for till after consecration. Anselm had given fair warning to the King that he meant to acknowledge Urban. But at no stage of the business which had yet been reached was there any need for any formal acknowledgement of any Pope. Anselm might therefore fairly hold that his first warning was enough, and that he was not called upon to raise the question again, till the time came when it would be his duty to seek for the pallium from one Pope or the other. When that time came, he would be ready to do or suffer as the circumstances of that yet future day might dictate.

Order of episcopal appointments. Before the time for any dealings with Rome should come, there were still two more ceremonies to be done in England. The process of making a bishop was, then as now, a long one; but the order of the several stages was different then from what it now is. Anselm had done homage and had received restitution of the temporalities; but he was not yet enthroned, still less consecrated. The order then was, homage, enthronement, consecration. Opposite present practice. The present order is the exact opposite. The bishop-elect is consecrated; then he takes corporal possession of the see by enthronement; last of all, he does homage to the King and receives restitution of the temporalities. In the elder state of things the spiritual office was bestowed on one who was already full bishop for all temporal purposes. By the later rule the temporal rights are bestowed on one who is already full bishop 426 for all spiritual purposes. Theories of the two systems. The difference in order seems to arise from the different theory of the episcopate which has prevailed since the restoration of ecclesiastical elections was fully established by the Great Charter. In the irregular practice of the eleventh century, the notion of investiture of a benefice by the king had come to the front. The king had in his hands a great fief, which he granted to whom he would; that fief was chargeable with certain spiritual duties. It was therefore for the Church, by her spiritual rite of consecration, to make the king’s nominee, already invested with his temporal rights, capable of discharging his spiritual duties. Such was clearly the established view of the days of Rufus, and the order of the process is in harmony with it. The office is treated as an appendage to the benefice. In the theory which is both earlier and later the benefice is treated as an appendage to the office. Present process. The order of the process is therefore reversed. The spiritual office is first filled by the three ecclesiastical processes of election, confirmation, consecration—​the last of course being needless when the person chosen is already a bishop. The bishop then takes personal possession of his church by installation or enthronement. The spiritual functions over, the bishop, now in full possession of his office, lastly receives the attached benefice by homage to the king and restitution of the temporalities at his hands. That elections were hardly ever really free at any time, that the royal leave was needed for the election, that kings recommended, that popes “provided,” that the later law requires the electors to choose only the king’s nominee and requires the metropolitan to confirm the person so chosen, makes no difference to the theory. The royal power is kept in the background; it is the ecclesiastical power which formally acts. The king’s hand pulls the wires of the ecclesiastical puppets; but the ecclesiastical 427 puppets play their formal part. The whole is done according to a theory which naturally places the formal act of the temporal power last. In the days of Rufus the whole was done according to another theory which, as naturally, placed the formal act of the temporal power first of all.

The next stage then was for Anselm, still only a presbyter, but already invested with all the temporal powers and possessions of the archbishopric, to take personal possession of his see in the metropolitan church. It was the only time that such a rite was performed in the short eastern limb of the new church of Lanfranc. Anselm’s own later days were to see the removal of the patriarchal throne of Britain to be the centre of the more stately apse of Conrad, as later days saw it again removed to be the centre of the yet more stately apse of the two Williams. Enthronement of Anselm. September 25, 1093. On that throne, Anselm, chosen to be Pope of the island Empire, was placed on one of the later days of September in the presence of a rejoicing crowd of monks, clergy, and lay folk. Well might they rejoice; the Church had again a shepherd; the nation had again a defender. But even that day of joy did not pass without signs that the favour of the temporal lord of the island Empire was already turned away from its new pontiff. The King’s sense of personal honour required him to carry out the promise made at Gloucester, to allow, even to compel, Anselm to become archbishop. But he had no sense of Christian or kingly duty to keep him from insulting and harassing the man whom he had promoted, or to constrain him to keep the promises contained in his own proclamation. Those things had not been done in the character of probus miles, of knight and gentleman. It was quite consistent with chivalrous honour to send Flambard to disturb the joyful day of enthronement 428 Flambard brings a suit against Anselm on the day of enthronement. by the announcement of a hostile suit against the new archbishop. We are not told what was its exact nature, only that it was something which, in the eyes of strict churchmen at least, wholly concerned the affairs of the Church, and with which the King’s court had nothing to do.[1182] In the older days of England such a distinction could hardly have been drawn; after the separation of the jurisdictions under the Conqueror, it may have been fair enough. Whatever the actual matter in dispute was, we can understand the general indignation at the choice of such a moment for the serving of the notice, at the malice which would not let even the first day of the Primate’s new dignity pass unmolested. We can also easily picture to ourselves the fierce swagger of Flambard, graphically as it is set before us.[1183] And we can listen also to the mild grief of Anselm, inferring from such treatment on the first day of his primacy what the troubles of his future life were likely to be.[1184]

Other events of the year. After the enthronement more than two months still passed before the final rite of consecration admitted Anselm to the fulness of his spiritual office. They were months of no small moment in the history of Britain. They beheld the last invasion of Malcolm, his death,[1185] the death of his saintly wife, the uprising of Scottish 429 nationality against the foreign innovations or reforms which Malcolm and Margaret represented in the eyes of their native subjects. The affairs of Scotland, of Consecration of Anselm at Canterbury. December 4, 1093.Wales, of Normandy, were all on the Red King’s mind at the same moment, as well as the affairs of Anselm. But it is these last that we have to follow for the present. Early in December, on the second Sunday in Advent, the more part of the bishops of England came together at Canterbury for the consecration of the new metropolitan. At their head was the Archbishop of York, Thomas of Bayeux. Thomas of York. It was the privilege of his see—​so the loyal historian of the church of York takes care that we should know—​when Canterbury was without an archbishop, to consecrate bishops and to put the crown on the king’s head within the vacant province.[1186] Whether the one available suffragan of the northern province came along with Thomas, in the form of William of Durham, we are not distinctly told. Other bishops present. But of the bishops of the province of Canterbury eight must have been there. Robert Bloet was the elect of Lincoln; but he, like Anselm, was himself awaiting consecration. Of the rest three were absent, and among those three were the only two Absence of Herbert, who were English either by birth or by adoption, the two whom we could have most wished to have a share in the work. Herbert of Thetford must now have been on his penitential journey to Rome or on his way back.[1187] The holy Wulfstan, the one Englishman by descent Wulfstan, as well as by birth who was left among the bishops of England, the only one who had been a bishop in 430 the old days of King Eadward, was still in the land, but was kept away by age or sickness. So was and Osbern. Osbern of Exeter, the only one of the foreign stock who had thoroughly made himself an Englishman by adoption. These two sent letters of consent instead of their personal presence.[1188] The others gathered round the high altar of Lanfranc’s rearing at Christ Church. Most of them are men with whose names we are familiar; Maurice of London, Walkelin of Winchester, Gundulf of Rochester, Osmund of Salisbury, Robert of Hereford, John who had moved from Wells to Bath, Robert of Lichfield or of Chester, who had moved in a fiercer sort to Earl Leofric’s Coventry. All of them, whatever they were in other ways, were mighty builders. If William of Durham, whose church had just begun to rise on the height above the Wear,[1189] was really in their company, there was indeed the master-builder of all, whose heart might already swell to think how the work which he had begun would surpass the work of Lanfranc under whose roof they were met. These eight came together in the new metropolitan church to perform the rite which should make Anselm at once their brother and their father.

But, before the rite could be gone through, an old question was stirred again, by no means for the last time. The leader of the episcopal band was fully minded that the rank to which they were about to admit the prelate elect should be clearly defined. Position of Thomas. Thomas of York had doubtless not forgotten the day when he had himself gone away unconsecrated from the spot where they were now met, because he could not bring himself to make such a submission to the higher dignity of Canterbury as Anselm’s predecessor had required of him.[1190] He now had his opportunity of raising his voice with greater 431 success on behalf of the dignity of his own church. Before the consecrating prelates went on to the examination of the bishop-elect, it was the business of the Bishop of London to read the formal document declaring the cause why they had come together.[1191] Bishop Maurice handed over this duty to the Bishop of Winchester. Walkelin began to read how the church of Canterbury, the metropolitan church of all Britain, was widowed of its pastor. Thomas objects to the description of Anselm as “Metropolitan of Britain.” The Archbishop of York stopped him; “Metropolitan church of all Britain? Then the church of York, which all men know to be a metropolitan church, is not metropolitan. We all know that the church of Canterbury is the primatial church of all Britain; metropolitan church of all Britain it is not.”[1192] This was not a distinction without a difference. To allow the claim of Canterbury to be the metropolitan church of all Britain would have been to admit that the church of York was a mere suffragan see of Canterbury. The other form simply asserted the precedency of Canterbury as the higher in rank of the two metropolitan sees of Britain. So Anselm’s correspondent at Lyons was Primate of all the Gauls, without endangering the metropolitan rank of Rheims and Rouen. But William the Good Soul would have been stirred to wrath had it been hinted that Lyons was the metropolitan church of all Gaul, and Rouen simply its suffragan. A zealot for 432 His objection admitted. the rights of Canterbury admits that the objection of Thomas was a good one.[1193] The wording of the document was at once changed;[1194] Anselm’s consecration. the rite went on, and Anselm was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of all Britain. If the more northern suffragans of York had any objections to make, they were just then less likely than ever to be at Canterbury to make them.

The position of the newly-consecrated Primate within his own island was thus settled to the satisfaction of the man who thought that he had a special interest in the matter. Question of acknowledging the Pope. It was perhaps more difficult to settle his relation to the ecclesiastical powers beyond his own island. Anselm had warned the King that, if he became archbishop, he must yield obedience to Urban. But, as the King had not acknowledged Urban, it would have been deemed unlawful to speak of Urban as Pope in any public act. The difficulty seems to have been got over by Anselm making a profession of obedience to the 433 Roman Church, without mentioning the name of any particular pontiff.[1195] Thus passed the day of the consecration; Thomas claims jurisdiction over Lincoln. but, on the morrow, Thomas of York, successful thus far, found yet another point to assert on behalf of the alleged rights of his church. He had, it will be remembered, striven to hinder Remigius from transferring the see of Dorchester to a spot which he deemed to be in his own province and diocese.[1196] Since that time, notwithstanding his remonstrances, the minster of Lincoln had arisen; but it remained unconsecrated, and its builder was dead. To the mind of Thomas these facts perhaps seemed to be signs as clear in their meaning as any which the Bishop of Hereford would find out from the lore of the stars.[1197] Thus emboldened, on the day after he had consecrated Anselm to the see of Canterbury, Thomas warned the new Primate against proceeding, as he had purposed, to consecrate Robert Bloet to the see of Lincoln. He might consecrate him, if he would, to the ancient see of Dorchester; but not to Lincoln or to any other place in that land of Lindesey which belonged to the jurisdiction of York.[1198] Robert Bloet’s consecration delayed. Anselm seems to have yielded; at least the matter remained unsettled, and the elect of Lincoln remained unconsecrated for two months longer.

Anselm now, after so many difficulties, was at last fully Archbishop. He remained in his metropolis for 434 eight days only after his consecration. Christmas Gemót at Gloucester. 1093–1094. He then set forth for the Christmas Assembly of the realm, to be held at Gloucester.[1199] The prayer which he had drawn up at the assembly held there twelve months before had indeed been answered. The King’s heart had been stirred; the Archbishop had been appointed. Unhappily also the King’s heart had been stirred back again. William was again the king who had mockingly bidden his bishops to pray as they thought good, not the king who had passionately called on Anselm to step in between him and eternal death. The breach between King and Primate had begun before Anselm was fully Primate, when Flambard had insolently summoned him in his own church on the day of his enthronement. Whatever the matter of the summons was, Anselm was now ready in the King’s court to answer it. But of that dispute we hear no more. The Archbishop came to Gloucester, and was courteously and cheerfully received, Anselm received by the King. not only by the assembled nobles, but by the King himself.[1200] But the Witan were not to depart from the place of meeting till new grounds of quarrel had arisen between the two unequal yokefellows who were at last fully coupled together.

§ 3. The Assembly at Hastings and the Second Norman Campaign.

Events of the year 1094.The events of the year on which we have now entered consist partly of warlike movements in Normandy and Scotland, partly of matters directly touching ecclesiastical questions, above all touching Anselm. Of these,435 the affairs of Scotland and the affairs of Anselm have hardly any bearing on one another. Affairs of Normandy; their connexion with Anselm. But the affairs of Normandy and the affairs of Anselm have a close connexion. They were discussed in the same assemblies; and one ground of quarrel between King and Primate arose directly out of the discussion of Norman affairs. Some of the details of the two stories are so mixed up with one another that it would be hard to keep them apart. Again, the Scottish warfare of this year is part of a continuous series of Scottish events spread over several years. But the Norman warfare is a kind of episode. It is connected by the laws of cause and effect with things which went before and with things which came after; but, as a story, it stands by itself or is mixed up with the story of Anselm. It cannot be dealt with, like the King’s first Norman war, as a distinct chapter of our history. It will therefore be better, during the year which follows the consecration of Anselm, to keep Scottish affairs apart from the history of the ecclesiastical dispute, but to treat the Norman campaign as something filling up part of the time between two great stages in Anselm’s history.

Robert’s challenge of William. 1093–1094. The chief business of the assembly which now met at Gloucester was the reception of a hostile message from the Duke of the Normans. This fact makes us wish to know more in detail what Count William of Eu had suggested, and what King William of England had done. It is certain that King William needed no pressing to make him inclined for another attempt on his brother’s dominions; but it is clear that the coming of Count William had led to some special action which had given Duke Robert special ground of complaint. The Norman embassy came, and challenged one brother in the name of the other, almost as an earlier Norman embassy had challenged Harold in the name of the father of both of 436 them.[1201] Form of the message. The diplomacy of those days was clear and outspoken. The bodes of Duke Robert seem to have spoken to King William in the midst of his Witan, much as the bodes of the Athenian commonwealth spoke, with a greater amount of personal deference, to King Philip on his throne. They told the King of the English that their master renounced all peace and treaty with him, unless he would do all that was set down in the treaty; they declared him forsworn and truthless, unless he would hold to the treaty, or would go and clear himself at the place where the treaty had been made and sworn to.[1202] Such a message as this was hardly wise in Robert, whatever it might have been in a prince who had the resources of his dominions more thoroughly at his command. It was in some sort an appeal to arbitration; but it was put in a shape which was sure to bring on war. War decreed. William had no doubt made up his mind for a Norman enterprise in any case; the message of Robert would really help him by turning a certain amount of public feeling to his side. An expedition was decreed; Normandy was to be a second time invaded by the Red King.

And now came the question how ways and means were to be found for the new war. That some of the ways and means which were employed were unworthy of all kingly dignity[1203] is not wonderful in this reign. But the only one of which we distinctly hear seems in itself less unworthy 437 than some others, though the particular form which it took is eminently characteristic of Rufus. The great men who had come together to the assembly made presents to the King, forerunners of the benevolences of later times. Contributions collected for the war. The great men of Normandy had, twenty-eight years before, made contributions of ships for the invasion of England.[1204] Now the great men of England, some of them the same persons, made contributions of money for the invasion of Normandy. This was at least less unworthy of the kingly dignity than some of the tricks by which Flambard wrung money out of more helpless victims. But the Red King’s way of dealing with such gifts shows the mixture of greed and pride which stands out in all his doings. If the sum offered was less than he thought it ought to be, he cast it aside with scorn; nor would he ever again admit the offerer to his friendship, unless he made amends by a second offer of such a sum as the King might think becoming.[1205] Anselm unwilling to contribute. To this custom Anselm now conformed, with the other nobles and prelates; but it was with some pains that his friends persuaded him to conform to it.[1206] With his usual fear of being misconstrued, he dreaded that if, so soon after his consecration, he gave the King any sum which the King would think worth taking, it might have the air of a simoniacal bargain.[1207] He might also hold that the goods of the Church ought not to be applied to worldly, least of all to warlike, 438 uses; he might even feel some scruple in helping towards a war against a prince who had so lately been his own worldly lord. But he was won over by the argument that a gift in season might win the King’s favour for ever, and that he might be allowed to give his mind with less disturbance to the spiritual duties of his office.[1208] He gives five hundred pounds. He brought himself therefore to offer the King five hundred pounds of silver. William was satisfied with the amount, and received the gift with courteous thanks.[1209]

William persuaded to refuse the money. What followed showed that William Rufus had counsellors about him who were worse than himself, or who at any rate were not ashamed to play upon the worst parts of his character to obtain their own ends. In this case they are nameless. Are we to fill up the blank with the names of the Bishop of Durham and the Count of Meulan? Or is it safer to lay any evil deed the doer of which is not recorded on the broad back of Randolf Flambard? At any rate, some malignant persons, whoever they were, came about the King, and persuaded him that the gift of the Archbishop was a contemptible sum which he ought to reject. One whom he had exalted and enriched above the other great men of England ought, in such need as that in which the King found himself, to have given him two thousand pounds, or one thousand at the very least. To offer so little as five hundred was mere mockery. Let the King wait a little, let him change his face towards the Archbishop, and Anselm would presently come, delighted to win back the King’s favour with the gift of five hundred pounds more.[1210] 439 Thus the Primate’s enemies, whoever they were, sought to frighten him, and to get more money out of him for the King’s use. But their schemes were disappointed.[1211] Anselm was presently surprised by a message to say that the King refused his gift—​the gift which he had already cheerfully accepted.[1212] Anselm prays Rufus to take the money. He then sought an audience, and asked the King whether such a message was really of his sending. Some tyrants might have seen in this question an escape from a difficulty. It would have been easy for Rufus to have denied his own act; but his pride was up, and direct lying was never in his vein. He avowed his message. Then Anselm prayed him not to refuse his gift; it was the first that he had offered; it should not be the last. It would be better for the King to receive a