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Title: Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (2 of 6): England (2 of 12) - William Rufus
Author: Holinshed, Raphael
Language: English
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[Sidenote: 1087. An. Reg. 1.] William, surnamed Rufus or William the
Red, second sonne to William Conqueror, began his reigne ouer England
the ninth of September, in the yeare 1087. about the 31. yeare of the
emperour Henrie the fourth, and the 37. of Philip the first, king of
France, Urbane the second then gouerning the sée of Rome, and Malcolme
Cammoir reigning in Scotland. [Sidenote: _Polydor._ _Sim. Dunel._
_Matth. Paris._] Immediatlie after his fathers deceasse, and before
the solemnitie of the funerals were executed, he came ouer into
England with no lesse spéed than was possible, and following the
counsell of Lanfranke archbishop of Canturburie (in whome he reposed
all his trust) he sought to win the fauour of the Péers and Nobilitie
of the realme by great and liberall gifts. For although there were but
few of the homeborne states that bare rule in the land at this
season; yet those that remained, and whome his father in extreme sort
had wronged, he verie gentlie enterteined, promising them not onlie to
continue their good lord and souereigne, but also to make more
fauourable ordinances than his father had left behind him; and
furthermore to restore the former lawes and liberties of the realme,
which his said father had abolished. Thus by faire words and politic
he obtained his purpose. [Sidenote: _Sim. Dunel._ Marchar and Wilnot.]
Howbeit soone after he forgat himselfe, and imprisoned Marchar and
Wilnot, whom he had brought ouer with him from Normandie, being set at
libertie by his father.

[Sidenote: Lanfranke had fauoured him euen of a child. _Matth. Paris._
William Rufus is crowned the 26. of September. _Polydor._ His
bountifull munificence.] The nobles at the first wished rather to haue
had the elder brother duke Robert to haue gouerned them: howbeit by
the aide onelie of the said Lanfranke, whose authoritie was of no
small force amongst all the lords of the land, this William (according
to his fathers assignation) was proclaimed and crowned at Westminster
on the 26. of September (being Sundaie, the 6. kalends of October) and
the 11. indiction, as the best writers doo report. After his
coronation, to gratifie the people, he went to Winchester, where he
found great treasure which his father had laid vp there for his owne
vse: this he fréelie spent in large gifts, and all kind of princelie
largesse. He set verie manie prisoners at libertie, and did many other
things to benefit the people, wherein the diligence and good aduice of
Lanfranke did not a little preuaile. For he perceiued that there was
in the king a variable mind, an vnstable nature, and a disposition to
lightnesse and follie. Wherefore hée tooke oftentimes the more paines
in persuading him not onelie to liberalitie (which is none of the
least vertues in a prince) but also to vse a discreet and orderlie
behauiour in all his dooings. Moreouer, he sticked not to put him in
feare of an euill end, and troublesome regiment likelie to insue, if
he did giue himselfe to vice and wilfulnesse, & neglect the charge
thus by the prouidence of GOD committed to his hands. After this maner
did the said prelat trauell with the king, whom we will leaue at this
time as it were hearkening to his admonitions, and set foorth by the
waie what his brother Robert did, whilest William Rufus his brother
was occupied in such wise as you haue heard.

It happened that this Robert was abroad in Germanie, when king William
his father died (whither he went to raise a power, to the intent he
might therby obteine the possession of Normandie, which he trusted to
enioy in his fathers life time) where hearing newes of his death, he
hasted straightwaies into Normandie, and there being ioyfullie receiued,
was peaceablie proclaimed duke of that countrie, with great gladnesse
and shouting of the people.

[Sidenote: 1088.] After this, considering with himselfe how
dishonorable a thing it was for him, that his yoonger brother should
possesse the crowne of England, which of right (as he said) belonged
vnto him, by reason of his age; he determined with all expedition to
passe the seas with an armie, and recouer that into his hands, which
his father had giuen from him, partlie (as it is thought) for his
wilfulnesse and disobedience towards him, and partly also bicause he
doubted that if he should leaue it vnto him, he would through his too
much gentlenesse and facilitie, giue occasion to the English to resume
strength, and therby to reuolt. Wherefore he iudged his yoonger
brother the saied William (a man of a rougher nature) the meeter of
the twaine for the gouernement.

As duke Robert was thus mooued by his owne desire to bereue his brother
of the dominion of England, so he was not a little incensed thervnto by
such of the English Nobilitie and Normans, as came dailie ouer vnto him
out of the realme, complaining of the present state of the world, as
those misliked of the whole maner of regiment vsed in the beginning of
the reigne of his brother William. His vncle Odo also (then bishop of
Baieux) furthered the matter all that he might. This Odo was at first in
great estimation with his brother the Conqueror, and bare great rule
vnder him, till at length for enuie that the archbishop Lanfranke was
preferred before him, he conspired against him, who vnderstanding
thereof, committed him foorthwith to prison, where he remained, till
the said prince then lieng on his death-bed, released and restored
him to his former libertie. When the king was dead, William Rufus
tooke him backe into England, supposing no lesse but to haue had a
speciall fréend and a trustie counceller of him in all his affaires.
But yer long after his comming thither, he fell againe into the same
offense of ingratitude, wherof he became culpable in the Conquerors
daies: for perceiuing that Lanfranke was so highlie esteemed with the
king, that he could beare no rule, and partlie suspecting that
Lanfranke had been cheefe causer of his former imprisonment,
[Sidenote: Odo the bishop of Baieux conspireth against his nephue
William Rufus.] he conspired with the rest against his nephue, and
therevpon wrote sundrie letters ouer vnto duke Robert, counselling him
to come ouer with an armie in all hast, to take the rule vpon him,
which by his practise should easilie be compassed.

Duke Robert being thus animated on all sides, and yet wanting
sufficient monie to the furniture of this iournie, engaged a portion
of his duchie of Normandie, as the countie of Constantine to his
yoongest brother Henrie, for a great sum of gold, and therwith
returned answer to the foresaid bishop, that he should prouide and
looke for him vpon the south coast of England, at a certeine time
appointed. [Sidenote: The castell of Rochester.] Herevpon Odo
fortified the castell of Rochester, & began to make sore wars against
the kings friends in Kent: he procured others of the complices also to
do the like in other parts of the realme; [Sidenote: _Simon Dun._
_Wil. Malm._ The bishop of Constance taketh the town of Bath.] and
first on the west part of England, where Geffrey bishop of Constans
with his nephue Robert de Mowbray earle of Northumberland setting
foorth from Bristow, came toward Bath, which towne they tooke and
sacked, and likewise Berkley, with a great part of Wiltshire, and
brought the spoile and booties backe to Bristow, where they had a
castell stronglie fortified for their more safetie. In like maner
Roger de Bygod, departing from Norwich, with great forraies ouerrode
and robbed all the countries about, and conueied such riches as he had
gotten into the said citie. [Sidenote: Hugh Grandmesnill. _Hen. Hunt._
_Wil. Mal._] In like sort did Hugh de Grandmesnill at Leiceister,
spoiling and wasting all the countries about him.

[Sidenote: The earle of Shrewsburie.] The earle of Shrewsburie called
Roger de Mountgomerie, with a power of Welshmen set foorth from
Shrewsburie, and with him were William bishop of Durham the kings
houshold chapline, Barnard of Newmerch, Roger Lacie, and Rafe
Mortimer, (all Normans or Frenchmen) who ioyning their powers
togither, inuaded the countrie, and with fire and sword did much hurt
where they came, killing and taking a great number of people.
[Sidenote: Worcester assaulted.] Afterwards comming to Worcester, they
assaulted the citie, ouerran the suburbs, & set the same on fire. But
the citizens shutting fast the gates of their citie (though with the
sudden comming of the enimies they were somewhat afraid) made valiant
resistance; and conueieng their goods, their wiues, and their children
into the castell, got them to the walles and places of defense, to
repell and beat backe the enimies. [Sidenote: Bishop Woolstan.] Among
them in the towne was bishop Woolstan, whom the citizens would haue
compelled to go into the castell for his surer safegard, but he
refused it.

At length it chanced that the enimies (continuing the said siege)
began to wax negligent, and ranged abroad in the countrie, little
regarding watch and ward about their campe, wherevpon the English
within the citie tooke this oportunitie, being mooued thereto with the
comfortable exhortation of bishop Woolstan, and sailing foorth of the
towne did set on their enimies with great fiercenes, whome they got at
such aduantage, [Sidenote: They slue fiue hundred, and chased the
residue as saith _Simon Dunel._] that they slue and tooke that daie
aboue fiue M. men (as Henrie of Huntingdon recordeth.) For the English
bearing a continuall malice in their hearts against the French and
Normans, did now their best to be fullie reuenged of them, vpon so
conuenient an occasion offered. Those that escaped by flight, hid
themselues in the next townes, making such shifts for their liues as
the present necessitie could minister.

[Sidenote: The diligence of the archbishop Lanfranke.] Whilest the
realme was thus troubled on ech side, archbishop Lanfranke sendeth,
writeth, and admonisheth all the kings fréends to make themselues
readie to defend their prince. And after he vnderstood that they were
assembled togither for that purpose, he counselleth the king to march
into the field with them spéedilie, to represse his enimies.
[Sidenote: The great curtesie shewed to the Englishmen by Wil. Rufus.
_Simon Dun._] The king following his counsell, first appointed his
nauie to scowre and keepe the seas, and to withstand (if it were
possible) the arriuall of his brother by faire words. Also he
reconcileth Roger de Mountgomerie earle of Shrewsburie vnto him, and
therewith maketh large promises to the English, that he would out of
hand giue and restore vnto them such fauourable lawes as they would
wish or desire. Moreouer he commanded all vniust imposts, tolles and
tallages to be laid downe, and granted frée hunting in the woods,
chases and forrests. All which grants and promises he kept not long,
though for the time he greatlie contented the people with such a shew
of good meaning towards them. [Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._] This doone, he
goeth with a mightie armie into Kent, where the sedition began, and
first comming to the castell of Tunbridge, he compelled capteine
Gilbert to yeeld vp the fortresse into his hands. Then went he to
Horne castell, where he heard saie Odo was (but the report was vntrue,
for he had betaken himselfe to the castell of Pemsey) which when he
had ouerthrowne, he hasted forth vnto Pemsey, and besieged the castell
there a long season, which the bishop had stronglie fortified.

During this time, and about the fiftieth daie after the beginning of
the siege, word was brought to the king, that his brother duke Robert
was landed at Southampton, and minded with all possible spéed to come
to the succour of the bishop, and of other his fréends, whom he and
his power had not a little afflicted. [Sidenote: _H. Hunt._ _Simon
Dun._] ¶ Here authors varie: for some report that duke Robert came not
ouer himselfe the first at all, but sent a part of his armie, with a
certeine number of ships, which encountring with the kings fleet, were
discomfited. Others write that duke Robert hearing of the losse of his
men, came after himselfe, and landed with a mightie armie as before,
which is most likelie. [Sidenote: _Gemeticensis._ Eustace earle of
Bullongne.] And certeinlie (as Gemeticen. affirmeth) he might easilie
as then haue recouered England from his brother, if he had not lingred
the time, considering that Eustace earle of Bullongne, Odo bishop of
Baieux, and the earle of Mortaigne, with other lords of Normandie that
were passed to England, had alreadie taken Rochester, and diuers other
castels in the prouince of Canturburie, keeping the same a certeine
time, still looking that he should haue come ouer to their aid, which
he deferred to doo, till they were constreined by siege and lacke of
necessarie succor to returne into Normandie, leauing those places
which they had won vnto the king, and that to their great dishonor.
[Sidenote: _Simon Dun._] But howsoeuer it was, the king still
continued the siege before Pemsey castell, till Odo (through want of
victuals) was glad to submit himselfe, and promised to cause the
castell of Rochester to be deliuered: but at his comming thither, they
within the citie suffered him to enter, and streightwaies laid him
fast in prison. Some iudge that it was doone vnder a colour by his
owne consent.

There were in Rochester a sort of valiant gentlemen (the flower in
maner of all Normandie) with Eustace earle of Bolongne, and manie
gentlemen of Flanders, which were in mind to defend the place against
the king: [Sidenote: Rochester besieged by the king.] who hearing what
was doone, came with his armie and besieged the citie of Rochester on
ech side so sharpelie, that they within were glad to deliuer it vp
into his hands. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 2.] [Sidenote: _Polydor._]
[Sidenote: 1089.] Thus lost bishop Odo all his liuings and dignities
in England, and so returned into Normandie, where vnder duke Robert he
had the chéefe gouernement of the countrie committed vnto him.

After this he ouercame diuers of his enimies some by faire and some by
fowle meanes. Notwithstanding this, there yet remained the bishop of
Durham, one of the chéefe conspirators, who withdrew himselfe into the
citie of Durham, there to lie in safetie, till he saw how the world
would go: but being therein besieged by the king, who came thither
personallie, he was at length forced to surrender the city, and yeeld
himselfe: [Sidenote: The bishop of Durham exiled.] wherevpon also he
was exiled the land, with diuerse of his complices. But within two
yeares after, he was called home againe, and restored to his church,
wherein he liued not long, but died for sorrow, bicause he could not
cleere himselfe of offense in the said rebellion, albeit that he
laboured most earnestlie so to doo, that he might thereby haue
atteined to the kings fauor againe.

[Sidenote: Lanfranke archbishop of Canturburie departeth this life.]
Whilest these things were thus in hand, the archbishop Lanfranke
falleth sicke and dieth, in the 19. yeare after his first entring into
the gouernment of the sea of Canturburie. This Lanfranke (as should
seeme) was a wise, politike, and learned prelate, who whilest he
liued, mollified the furious and cruell nature of king William Rufus,
instructing him to forbeare such wild and outragious behauiours as his
youthfulnesse was inclined vnto: and moreouer persuaded the English to
obey the same king as their loiall prince, whereby they should
occasion him to be their good lord and king, not vsing them
rigorouslie as his father had doon. So that Lanfranke could not well
haue beene spared in the time of the rebellion, without great danger
of subuerting the state of the commonwealth. He builded two hospitals
without the citie of Canturburie, for the releefe of poore people and
strangers, the one of S. John, the other at Harbaldowne. He aduanced
the church of Rochester from foure secular clerkes, to the number of
fiftie moonkes: [Sidenote: _Matth. Westm._ Paule abbat of S. Albons]
he repaired Christes church in Canturburie, and the abbey of S.
Albons, whereof he made one Paule that was his nephue abbat, which
Paule gouerned that house by his vncles assistance greatlie to the
aduancement thereof, as well in temporall as spirituall preferments,
as it was then iudged. Likewise the said Lanfranke was verie fortunate
in the gouernement of his church and sée of Canturburie, recouering
sundrie portions of lands and rents alienated from the same before his
daies, insomuch that he restored to that sée 25 manors. [Sidenote:
_Eadmerus._] For amongst other, whereas Odo the bishop of Baieux, who
also was earle of Kent, bearing great rule in England vnder his nephue
king William the Conquerour, had vsurped diuerse possessions which
belonged to the sée of Canturburie, and had seized the franchises
apperteining to the same Lanfranke, into his owne hands, by sute and
earnest trauell he recouered the same, and being impleaded about that
matter by the said Odo, he so defended his cause, that in the end
(though with much adoo) he had his will, and so remained in quiet
possession of his right after that so long as he liued, without any
trouble or vexation concerning the said possessions and liberties.

Whereas also not onelie Walkhem the bishop of Winchester, but diuerse
other bishops in England were in mind to haue displaced moonks out of
their cathedrall churches, and to haue brought canons into their
roomes, Lanfranke withstood them, and would tollerate no such
dislocation: [Sidenote: Lanfranke praised for holding with the
moonks.] an act at that time so well liked, that he was highlie
commended for the same. [Sidenote: The king giuen to sensuall lust and
couetousnesse.] After Lanfrankes death, the king began greatlie to
forget himselfe in all his dealings, insomuch that he kept many
concubines, and waxed verie cruell and inconstant in all his dooings,
so that he became an heauie burthen vnto his people. For he was so
much addicted to gather goods, that he considered not what perteined
to the maiestie of a king, insomuch that nothing tending to his gaine,
and the satisfieng of his appetite, was estéemed of him vnlawfull,
sith he measured all things by the vncontrolled rule of his roialtie,
and considered nothing what so high an office required. He kept the
sée of Canturburie foure yeares in his hands, to see who would giue
most for it, in the meane time taking the profits thereof, and making
the vttermost of the same that by any meanes could be deuised.

[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._] The like he vsed when other benefices and
abbeies were vacant, and furthermore that little which the prince
spared, his officers and farmers, no lesse couetous than he, conuerted
to their aduantage: so that what by the king, and what by his
procurators, the church of England was now sore charged and fléeced of
hir wealth. Diuerse of hir prelates in like maner were not a little
offended, to sée their mother so spoiled of hir treasure and
liuelihood, insomuch that they practised a redresse: and to begin
withall, complained of the king to pope Vrban: but he was so busied
with other troubles of his owne néerer home, that he could haue no
time to séeke meanes how to redresse enormities a far off, [Sidenote:
_Wil. Malm._ _Matt. Paris._] whereby the lands and goods belonging to
the church here in England were still wastfullie spent and consumed
by the king and others, to whome he gaue or let them foorth to farme
at his owne pleasure, and to his most commoditie.

But albeit the prince was of such a disposition by nature, yet there is
one thing written of him which ought not to be forgotten, to admonish vs
that there is no man of so euill an affection, but that sometime he
dealeth vprightlie, though it be by hap or other extraordinarie motion.
It chanced that an abbeie was void of an abbat, wherein were two moonkes
verie couetous persons aboue the rest, and such as by scraping and
gathering togither, were become verie rich, for such (saith Polydor) in
those daies mounted to preferment. These two appointed to go togither to
the court, ech hoping at their comming thither to find some meanes that
he might be made abbat of that house. Being thus agréed, to the court
they come, and there offer verie largelie to the king to obteine their
sute: who perceiuing their gréedie desires, and casting his eies about
the chamber, espied by chance an other moonke (that came to beare them
companie, being a more sober man, and simple after his outward
appearance) whom he called vnto him, and asked what he would giue him to
be made abbat of the foresaid abbeie. The moonke after a little pause,
made answere, that he would giue nothing at all for anie such purpose,
since he entred into that profession of méere zeale to despise riches &
all worldlie pompe, to the end he might the more quietlie serue God in
holinesse & puritie of conuersation. Saiest thou so, quoth the king,
then art thou euen he that art worthie to gouerne this house: and
streightwaie he bestowed the house vpon him, iustlie refusing the other
two, to their open infamie and reproch.

[Sidenote: _Matt. Paris._] [Sidenote: An. Reg. 3. 1090.] But to
returne to our historie. After the expulsion of the bishop of Durham,
and other of his adherents, the king passed ouer into Normandie,
purposing to depriue his brother of that dukedome, and being arriued
there, he besieged and tooke S. Ualerie, Albemarle, and diuerse other
townes and castels, wherein he placed a number of his best souldiers,
[Sidenote: _Simon Dun._ Warres betwixt the king and his brother
Robert.] the better to mainteine warre against his foresaid brother.
Herevpon also the said Robert sent vnto the French king for aid, who
came downe at his request with a noble armie, and besieged one of
those castels which king William had latelie woone; howbeit by such
meanes as king William made, in sending to the French king an huge
summe of monie, he raised his siege shortlie & returned home againe.
[Sidenote: An. Reg. 4 1091.] [Sidenote: _Gemeticensis._ A peace
concluded. _Simon Dun._ _Matth. West._ _Matt. Paris._] At length a
peace was concluded betwixt king William and the duke his brother, but
yet verie dishonorable to the said Robert: for it was accorded, that
king William should reteine & still inioy the countie of Ewe, with
Fescampe, the abbasie of mount S. Michell, Chereburg, and all those
other places which he had woone & gotten out of his hands in this his
late voiage. On the other side it was agréed, that king William should
aid the duke to recouer all other places beyond the seas, which
belonged to their father. Also, that such Normans as had lost anie of
their lands & liuings in England, for taking part with the duke in the
late rebellion, should be restored to the same. And furthermore, that
whether soeuer of both should die first, the suruiuer should be his
heire, and succeed in his dominions.

[Sidenote: _Gemeticensis._] This peace was concluded at Caen, and that
by procurement of the French king, at what time king William was verie
strong in the field neare vnto Ewe. After which conclusion, they
vnited their powers, and besieged their yoongest brother Henrie in the
castell of mount S. Michell, which (being situat in the confines of
Normandie and Britaine) he had stronglie fortified not long before for
feare of afterclaps. But when they had lien about it by the space of
all the Lent season, and had made manie bickerings with his men, more
to their losse than lucre, they raised their siege, and voluntarilie
departed. [Sidenote: _Sim. Dunel._] Not long after this, king William
depriued Edgar Etheling of his honor, which duke Robert had assigned
vnto him, banishing him out of Normandie for euer.

Shortlie after also the aforesaid Henrie wan a strong towne called
Damfront, and furnishing it at all points, he kept the same in his
possession as long as he liued, mauger both his brethren. Thus the war
waxed hot betwéene those three, howbeit suddenlie (I wot not vpon what
occasion) this Henrie was reconciled with king William and his brother
Robert, so that all debates being quieted on euerie side, they were made
friends and welwillers. King William also returned into England, hauing
his brother Robert in his companie, all men reioising at their
pacification and amitie, which happened in the yeare 1091, and fourth of
the reigne of the king.

Toward the end whereof, and vpon the fift daie of October, a
maruellous sore tempest fell in sundrie parts of England, but
especiallie in the towne of Winchcombe, where (by force of thunder and
lightning) a part of the steeple of the church was throwne downe, and
the crucifix with the image of Marie standing vnder the rood-loft, was
likewise ouerthrowne, broken, and shattered in péeces; then folowed a
foule, a noisome, and a most horrible stinke in the church. [Sidenote:
A mightie wind.] On the 17. daie of the same moneth much harme was
doone in London with an outragious wind, the violence whereof
ouerturned and rent in péeces aboue fiue hundred houses, at which time
and tempest the roofe of S. Marie bowe church in cheape was also
ouerthrowne, wherewith two men were slaine. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 5.
1092.] Moreouer, at Salisburie much hurt was doone with the like wind
and thunder, for the top of the stéeple and manie buildings besides
were sore shaken and cast downe. But now we will speake somewhat of
the doings of Scotland, as occasion moueth. [Sidenote: The scots
inuade England.] Whilest (as yée haue heard) variance depended
betweene king William and his brother duke Robert, the Scotish king
Malcolme made sore wars vpon the inhabitants of Northumberland,
carrieng great booties and preies out of that countrie, which he
inuaded euen to Chester in the street. Wherefore king William, soone
after his returne, gathered his power togither, and sped him
northwards. But king Malcolme hearing of his puissance & great
strength sent to him for peace, which was granted in the end.

[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._ _Sim. Dun._] Some writers affirme, that king
William prepared a great armie both by sea and land against Malcolme;
and that his nauie being abroad on the seas, was lost by tempest, and
the most part of his ships drowned; that the armie by land entring
into Scotland, suffered manie damages through want of vittels, and so
recoiled: finallie, that duke Robert lieng on the borders with an
armie in his brothers name (wherby it should appeare that the king
himselfe was not there) by the helpe and furtherance of Edgar
Etheling, who then serued K. Malcolme in his wars, concluded a peace
betwixt his brother and the said Malcolme, vpon certeine articles, by
vertue wherof certeine places in Northumberland were restored vnto
Malcolme, which he had held in William Conquerours daies. Some other
write in like maner, that king Malcolme did homage to king William and
duke Robert that brought the said Edgar Etheling into the fauour of
the king.

Howsoeuer the truth of the storie dooth stand in this behalfe,
certeine it is, that the king returned out of Northumberland into the
west parts of the realme, reteining still with him duke Robert, who
looked dailie when he should performe such couenants as were concluded
vpon betwixt them in their late reconciliation. But when he saw that
the king meant nothing lesse than to stand to those articles, and how
he did onlie protract and delaie the time for some other secret
purpose, he returned into Normandie in great displeasure, and tooke
with him the said Edgar Etheling, of whom he alwaies made verie great
account. [Sidenote: The repairing and new peopling of Carleil.] Soone
after king William returned into the north parts, and (as it chanced)
he staied a few daies about Carleil, where being delited with the
situation of the towne (which had beene destroied by the Danes two
hundred yeares before) he set workemen to repaire the same (meaning to
vse it in steed of a bulworke against the Scots on those west borders)
which when he had fensed with walles, and builded a castell in the
most conuenient place thereof, he caused churches and houses to be
erected for the benefit of such people as he had determined to bring
vnto the same. This being doone, he placed a colonie of southren men
there with their wiues and children and gaue large priuileges vnto the
towne, which they inioy at this daie.

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._] ¶ Here haue I thought good to aduertise you
of an error in Matth. West. crept in either through misplacing the
matter by means of some exemplifier, either else by the authors
mistaking his account of yeares, as 1072. for 1092. referring the
repairing of Carleil vnto William Conquerour, at what time he made a
iournie against the Scots in the said yeare 1072. And yet not thus
contented; to bewraie the error more manifestlie, he affirmeth that
the king exchanged the earledome of Chester with Rafe or Ranulfe de
Micenis, aliàs Meschines, for the earledome of Carleil, which the said
Meschines held before, and had begunne there to build and fortifie
that towne: whereas it is certeine that Ranulfe de Meschines came to
enioy the earledome of Chester by way of inheritance, as after shall
appeare. For better proofe whereof ye shall vnderstand, that we find
by ancient records, how one Hugh Lou or Lupus enioied the earledome of
Chester all the daies of the Conqueror, and long after, which Hugh was
sonne to Richard earle of Auranges and the countesse Emma daughter of
a noble man in Normandie named Herlowin, who maried Arlet the daughter
of a burgesse in Falois, and mother to William Conquerour. So that the
said Hugh, being sisters sonne to the Conqueror, receiued by gift at
his hands the earledome of Chester, to hold of him as fréelie by right
of the sword, as he held the realme of England in title of his crowne.
For these be the words: "Tenendum sibi & hæredibus ita liberè ad
gladium, sicut ipse (Rex) totam tenebat Angliam ad coronam."

Earle Hugh then established in possession of this earledome, with most
large priuileges and fréedoms, for the better gouernement thereof,
ordeined vnder him foure barons; [Sidenote: Foure barons. Nigell or
Neal. Piers Malbanke. * Eustace whose surname we find not. Warren
Vernon.] namelie, his cousine Nigell or Neal baron of Halton, sir
Piers Malbanke baron of Nauntwich, sir Eustace * baron of Mawpasse,
and sir Warren Uernon baron of Shipbrooke. Nigell held his baronie of
Halton by seruice, to lead the Uauntgard of the earles armie when he
should make anie iournie into Wales; so as he should be the foremost
in marching into the enimies countrie, and the last in comming backe:
he was also conestable and Marshall of Chester. [Sidenote: The
Lacies.] From this Nigell or Neal, the Lacies that were earles of
Lincolne had their originall. When earle Hugh had gouerned the
earledome of Chester the terme of 40. yeares, he departed this life,
in the yeare 1107. He had issue by his wife Armetrida, Richard the
second earle of Chester after the conquest; Robert, abbat of Saint
Edmundsburie: and Otnell, tutor to the children of king Henrie the
first. [Sidenote: _Iohn Bohun._] Moreouer, the said earle Hugh had a
sister named Margaret, that was maried to John Bohun, who had issue by
hir, Ranulfe Bohun, otherwise called Meschines, which Ranulfe by that
meanes came to enioy the earledome of Chester in right of his mother
(after that earle Richard was drowned in the sea) and not by exchange
for the earledome of Carleil, as by this which we haue alreadie
recited may sufficientlie be prooued.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 6.] Now to returne where we left. After that king
William Rufus had giuen order for the building, fortifieng, and
peopling of Carleil, he returned southwards, and came to Glocester,
where he fell into a greeuous and dangerous sicknesse; [Sidenote:
1093.] so that he was in despaire and doubt of his life: [Sidenote:
_Simon Dun._ _Hen. Hunt._ _Matth. Paris._ The king being sicke
promiseth amendment of life. _Polydor._ _Eadmerus._] wherefore he
repented him of his former misdéeds, and promised (if he escaped that
dangerous sicknesse) to amend and become a new man. But when he had
his health, that promise was quickelie broken, for his dooings which
were so bad and wicked before his sicknesse, being compared with those
which followed after his recouerie, might haue béene reputed good and

[Sidenote: Anselme elected archbishop of Canturburie.] Moreouer,
whereas he reteined and kept in his hands the bishoprike of
Canturburie the space of foure yeares, he now bestowed it vpon
Anselme, who was before abbat of Bechellouin in Normandie; and for
certeine abbeis which he had held long time in his possession, he
ordeined abbats: by meane wherof all men (but especiallie the
spiritualtie) began to conceiue a verie good opinion of him.
[Sidenote: _Eadmerus._] The yere wherein Anselme was thus elected, was
from the birth of our Sauiour 1093. on the sixt of March, being the
first sundaie in Lent (as Eadmerus recordeth.) [Sidenote: _Matth.
Paris._ _Polydor._ Robert Bluet L. Chancelor elected bishop of
Lincolne.] Furthermore he gaue the see of Lincolne (being void by the
death of Bishop Remigius) to his councellour Robert Bluet; but
afterward repenting himselfe of such liberalitie, in that he had not
kept it longer in his hands towards the inriching of his coffers, he
deuised a shift how to wipe the bishops nose of some of his gold,
which he performed after this maner. He caused the bishop to be sued,
quarelinglie charging him that he had wrongfullie vsurped certeine
possessions, togither with the citie of Lincolne, which appertained to
the sée of Yorke. [Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._] Which although it was but a
forged cauillation, and a shamefull vntruth; yet could not the bishop
be deliuered out of that trouble, till he had paid to the king fiue
thousand pounds. And as he dealt with the spiritualtie, so he caused
diuerse of the Nobilitie to be put to gréeuous fines, for
transgressing of his lawes, though the fault were neuer so little. He
also caused the archbishop Anselme to paie him a great summe of monie,
vnder colour of a contribution which was due in Lanfrankes daies,
though it was certeinlie knowne that Lanfranke had paied it. Thus grew
king William from time to time more sharpe and rigorous to his
subiects, so that whosoeuer came within the danger of the laws, was
sure to be condemned; and such as would plaie the promooters and giue
informations against any man for transgressing the lawes, were highlie

In this sixt yeare there chanced such an excessiue raine, and such high
flouds, the riuers ouerflowing the low grounds that lay néere vnto them,
as the like had not béene seene of many yeares before; and afterwards
insued a sudden frost, whereby the great streames were congeled in such
sort, that at their dissoluing or thawing, manie bridges both of wood
and stone were borne downe, and diuerse water-milles rent vp and caried

[Sidenote: _Polydor._] Furthermore king William perceiuing that by his
cruell and couetous gouernment, sundrie of his subiects did dailie
steale out of the realme, [Sidenote: A proclamation that none should
depart the realme.] to liue in forreine countries, he published a
proclamation, charging that no man should depart the realme without
his licence and safe-conduct. Hereof it is thought, that the custome
rose of forbidding passage out of the realme, which oftentimes is vsed
as a law, when occasion serueth. Soone after, he went against the
Welshmen, whom he vanquished in battell néere to Brecknocke, and slue
Rees their king, who had doone much hurt within the English borders,
when he was their incamped. [Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._ Rées king of Wales
slaine.] This Rise or Rées was the last king that reigned ouer the
Welshmen, as authors affirme: for afterwards, though they oftentimes
rebelled, yet the kings of England were reputed and taken as supreme
gouernors of that part of the Iland. [Sidenote: _Wil. Thorne._]
Moreouer, to haue the countrie the better in quiet, he did cut downe
their woods, and builded manie castels and piles in places conuenient,
by meanes whereof they were somewhat tamed, and trained in due time to
obedience, though not at the first, nor in the daies of sundrie of his

[Sidenote: Malcolme king of Scots commeth to Glocester. _Wil. Malm._
_Polydor._] Hauing thus finished his iournie into Wales, Malcolme king
of Scotland came vnto Glocester to sée the king, and to common with
him of sundrie matters touching the peace betwixt both the realms, as
he returned homewards: but bicause king William disdained to
enterteine him in such pompous maner as he expected and made account
of; [Sidenote: K. Malcolme inuadeth England.] and forsomuch as he did
not at the verie first admit him to his presence, the said Malcolme
returned into Scotland in great displeasure, and immediatelie raising
a power, entred into England, destroieng the country vnto Alnewike
castell, where he was so enuironed with an ambushment laid by Robert
earle of Northumberland, that he and his eldest sonne Edward were
slaine. At which mishap his whole host being vtterlie discomfited,
fled out of the field with the losse of manie, whereof some were
slaine, and some taken by pursute. [Sidenote: _Simon Dun._] Thus came
king Malcolme to his end (by the iust prouidence of God) in that
prouince which he had wasted and spoiled at fiue seuerall times, as
first in the daies of king Edward, when earle Tostie was gone to Rome;
the second time, in the daies of William Conquerour, when he spoiled
Cleueland; thirdlie, in the same Conquerours daies, whilest bishop
Walkher possessed the see of Durham, at what time all the countrie was
spoiled and forraied, euen to the riuer of Tine; fourthlie, about the
fourth or fift yeare of the reigne of this William Rufus, at which
time he entered the land as farre as Chester in the stréet, whilest
king William was in Normandie; the fift time was now, when he lost
his life on saint Brices day, by the hands of a verie valiant knight
named Morkell. King Malcolme being thus surprised by death, his bodie
was buried at Tinmouth (as in the Scotish histories more plainelie
appeareth) where also ye may find, how the sonnes of king Malcolme
were aided by king William Rufus to obteine the crowne of Scotland,
wherevnto they were interessed; whereas otherwise by the force and
practise of their vncle Donald they had beene kept from the scepter
and crowne of the kingdome.

[Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._] [Sidenote: An. Reg. 7. 1094] This yeare
England and Normandie were sore vexed with mortalitie both of men and
beasts, insomuch that tillage of the ground was laid aside in manie
places, by reason whereof there folowed great dearth & famine.
[Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._ _Wil. Malm._ _Simon Dun._ Death & murren of
cattell. Strange woonders. _Matth. Paris._ _Polydor._ _Simon Dun._]
Manie grizelie and hideous sights were seene also in England, as hosts
of men fighting in the aire, flashes of fier, stars falling from
heauen, and such like strange wonders. About this time new occasions
of breach of amitie grew betwixt the king and his brother Robert, who
accused him of periurie, for not obseruing the articles of the last
peace concluded betwixt them: wherefore he purposed to saile ouer into
Normandie, and so came vnto Hastings, about the first of Februarie,
where he soiourned for a time, and caused the church of Battell abbeie
to be dedicated in the honour of S. Martin. He depriued Herbert bishop
of Thetford of his bishops staffe, because he meant to haue stolen
awaie secretlie to Rome, and there to haue purchased absolution of
pope Urban for his bishoprike, which he had bought of the king for
himselfe; and likewise for the abbasie of Winchester, which he had
purchased for his father, paieng for them both a thousand pounds.

[Sidenote: King William passeth ouer into Normandie.] After this,
about midlent he passed ouer into Normandie with an armie, purposing
to trie the matter with his brother in plaine battell, that thereby he
might rather grow to some certeine point of losse or lucre, than to
stand ouer vpon vncerteinties, whether to haue peace or war, that he
must be constreined to be at all times in a readinesse to defend
himselfe. [Sidenote: Wars betwixt the king and his brother.] But after
he was come into Normandie, & had forraied part of the countrie once
or twice, he fell to a parle with his brother duke Robert, & in the
end condescended to put the matter in compromise to the arbitrement of
certeine graue persons, whose iudgement the king reiected, bicause
they gaue not sentence on his side. [Sidenote: _Matth. West._]
Herevpon both parts prepared for war afresh, insomuch that the king
perceiuing how his brother was aided by the French king, and that his
power was too weake to withstand them both, he sent his commission
into England for the leuieng of 20. thousand men, commanding that they
should be sent ouer vnto him into Normandie by a daie, which was
diligentlie performed. But as they were come togither about Hastings,
readie to enter a shipboord, immediatlie commeth the kings lieutenant
with a countermand, and signifieth to them, that the king minding to
fauour and spare them for that iournie, would that euery of them
should giue him 10. shillings (as Matt. Paris hath, or 20. shillings
as others haue) towards the charges of the war, and therevpon depart
home with a sufficient safeconduct; which the most part were better
content to doo, than to commit themselues to the fortune of the sea,
and bloudie successe of the wars in Normandie. [Sidenote: _Polydor._]
In deed king William changing his mind, was now determined to end the
matter with monie, and not with the sword, as it afterward appeered;
for by bribing of king Philip, in whom duke Robert had reposed his
whole trust, [Sidenote: A peace concluded betwixt the king and his
brother Robert.] he concluded peace vpon such articles and conditions
as he himselfe required.

[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._ _Simon Dun._ The Welshmen inuade England.]
Hauing dispatched his businesse in Normandie, he returned into
England, where he happened to méet with new and more dangerous wars:
for the Welshmen hearing of the variance betwixt the brethren, after
their accustomed maner begin to inuade the English marshes, taking
booties of cattell, destroieng the countries, killing and spoiling
many of the kings subiects, both English and Normans. [Sidenote: The
castell of Mountgomerie won by the Welshmen.] After this (waxing proud
of their good successe) they besieged the castell of Mountgomerie,
where though the garison made stout resistance for a time, yet in the
end the enimie finding shift to ouerthrow the walles, entred
perforce, and slue all that they found within. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 8.
1095.] Wherewith though king William was offended when he heard of it,
yet could he not remedie the matter as then, being troubled with a
conspiracie newlie kindled against him by Robert earle of
Northumberland, [Sidenote: Robert earle of Northumberland refuseth to
come to the king.] who vpon displeasure conceiued against him (bicause
he was not rewarded nor thanked at his hands for his good seruice
shewed in the killing of Malcolme king of Scotland) refused to come
vnto him being sent for by letters, and herewith began to practise
with certeine other Noble men of that countrie, how to depose king
William. But yer he could bring anie peece of his purpose to passe,
the king hauing aduertisement of his attempts, [Sidenote: _Matth.
Paris._] first appointed his brother the lord Henrie to go thither
with an armie, and foorthwith foloweth himselfe; and comming to
Newcastell, where the most part of his complices were assembled, he
surprised them yer they could haue time to prouide for their safetie.
That doone, he went to Tinmouth, and in the castell tooke the earles
brother there, and after came to Banbourgh castell, which the said
earle with his wife and children did hold for their better safegard
and defense.

[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._] Some authors write, that when the king
perceiued it would be hard for him to win Banbourgh castell (by reason
of the great strength thereof) without famine, [Sidenote: Maluoisin a
fortresse built against Banbourgh.] he builded vp an other castell or
bastilion fast by it, calling the same Maluoisin, wherein he placed a
great power of men, by whose meanes at length the earle was so
narrowlie driuen, that when he sought to haue escaped by night, he was
espied, [Sidenote: _Polydor._] and therewith pursued so closelie by
the kings souldiers, that he was forced to take sanctuarie within the
church of S. Oswins at Tinmouth, from whence he was quicklie taken,
and brought as prisoner to the kings presence. Notwithstanding, those
that remained within the castell vpon trust of the strength of that
place, would not yeeld by anie meanes; but stood still to their
tackling: wherevpon the king caused the earle their maister to be
brought foorth before the gates, and threatened that he should haue
his eies put out, if they within did not streightwaies giue vp the
hold into his hands. [Sidenote: Banbourgh yéelded to the king.] Here
vpon it came to passe, that the castell was yéelded, and those that
kept it were diuerslie punished, some by banishment, some by loosing
their eares, & diuerse by the losse of their hands, in example to
others. The earle himselfe was conueied to Windsor castell, and there
committed to prison.

[Sidenote: _Simon Dun._ The earle of Ewe.] Some write that the meaning
of the earle and his complices (amongst whom was William earle of Ewe,
who renouncing his allegiance to Robert duke of Normandie, was become
the kings man) was to haue displaced the king from his roiall throne,
and to haue set vp his sonne William de Albemarle, whom he had
begotten of his concubine. But whatsoeuer their purpose was, after
that the king had quieted his countrie in the north parts, [Sidenote:
_Matth. Paris._] he bent all his force against the Welshmen, who the
yeare before had destroied and ouerthrowne the castell of Moungomerie,
and slaine the Normans that laie there in garison to defend it,
whereat he was verie much offended, [Sidenote: King William inuadeth
Wales.] & therefore entering into Wales, he began to spoile and wast
the countrie. For he saw that the Welshmen would not ioine in battell
with him in the plaine field, but kept themselues still aloofe within
the woods and marishes, and aloft vpon mountaines: albeit oftentimes
when they saw aduantage, they would come foorth, and taking the
Englishmen and Normans at vnawares, kill manie, and wound no small
numbers, he still pursued them by hils and dales, though more to the
losse of his owne people than the hurt of the Welshmen, who easilie
eschewed the danger of battell, and still at the straites and
combersome passages distressed manie of their enimies: whereby the
king at length perceiuing that he could not preuaile against them,
ceassed further to follow on with his purposed voiage, and therewith
returned home, not without some note of dishonor.[Sidenote: The king
returneth out of Wales with dishonour. _Eadmerus._ Murcherdach king of

About the same time Murcherdach king of Ireland, with the clergie and
people of the citie of Dublin, elected one Samuell a moonke of S.
Albons, an Irish man borne, to the gouernement of the church and bishops
sée of Dublin, and (according to the ancient custome) presented him by
sufficient letters of testimonie vnto Anselme archbishop of
Canturburie, to be consecrated of him, who (according to their request)
did so, and receiued from him a promise of his canonicall subiection,
after the old vsuall maner, hauing foure bishops (suffragans to the sée
of Canturburie) ministring to him at that consecration.

[Sidenote: The councell of Clermount.] In like maner, pope Urban
calling a councell at Clermont in Auuergne, exhorted the christian
princes so earnestlie to make a iourneie into the holie land,
[Sidenote: The iournie into the holie land.] for the recouerie thereof
out of the Saracens hands, that the said great and generall iournie
was concluded vpon to be taken in hand; [Sidenote: Godfray de
Bullion.] wherein manie Noble men of christendome went vnder the
leading of Godfray of Bullion, and others, as in the chronicles of
France, of Germanie, and of the holie land dooth more plainlie
appeare. There went also among other diuers Noble men foorth of this
relme of England, speciallie that worthilie bare the surname of
Beauchampe. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 9. 1096.] Robert duke of Normandie
minding also to go the same iournie, and wanting monie to furnish and
set foorth himselfe, morgaged his duchie of Normandie to his brother
king William, for the summe of ten thousand pounds. [Sidenote: _Hen.
Hunt._ _Will. Thorne._ _Simon Dun._ A subsidie.] About this time
another occasion was offered vnto king William, to laie a new paiment
vpon his subiects, so gréeuous and intolerable, as well to the
spiritualtie as the temporaltie, that diuerse bishops and abbats, who
had alreadie made away some of their chalices and church iewels to
paie the king, made now plaine answer that they were not able to helpe
him with any more. Unto whom on the other side (as the report went)
the king said againe; "Haue you not (I beséech you) coffins of gold
and siluer full of dead mens bones:" Meaning the shrines wherein the
relikes of saints were inclosed. Which (as his words seemed to import)
he would haue had them conuert into monie, therewith to helpe him in
that need, iudging it no sacrilege, though manie did otherwise esteeme
it, considering (as he pretended) that it was gathered for so godlie
an vse, as to mainteine warres against Infidels and enimies of Christ.

[Sidenote: _Eadmerus._] The archbishop Anselme tooke the worth of two
hundred markes of siluer of the iewels that belonged to the church of
Canturburie (the greater part of the couent of moonks winking thereat)
towards the making vp of such paiment as he was constreined to make
vnto the king towards his aid at that time. But bicause he would not
leaue this for an example to be followed of his successours, he
granted to the church of Canturburie the profits and reuenues of his
manour of Petteham, vnto the vse of the same church for the terme of
seauen yeares, which amounted to the summe of thirtie pounds yearelie
in those daies.

[Sidenote: _Polydor._] Thus king William seeking rather to spoile the
realme of England, than to preserue the roiall state thereof, after he
had gotten togither a great masse of monie, sailed ouer into
Normandie, and there deliuering vnto the duke the ten thousand pounds
aforesaid, was put in possession of the duchie, to enioy the same, and
the profits rising thereof, till the said ten thousand pounds were
paid him againe: [Sidenote: The duchie of Normandie morgaged to king
William. _Eadmerus._] or (as some write) it was couenanted that in
recompense thereof, the king should enioy the profits for terme onelie
of three yeares, and then to restore it without any further interest
or commoditie. [Sidenote: _Polydor._] This doone, he returned againe
into England.

Now duke Robert setteth forward on his iornie, in companie of other
Noble men, towards the holie land. In which voiage his valorous hart at
all assaies (when any seruice should be shewed) was most manifestlie
perceiued, to his high fame and renowme among the princes and nobilitie
there and then assembled.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 10. 1097.] [Sidenote: _Eadmerus._ Waterford in
Ireland made a bishoprike. The archbishop of Canturburie primate of
Ireland.] About the same time, the citizens of Waterford in Ireland,
perceiuing that by reason of the great multitude of people in that
citie, it was necessarie for them to haue a bishop; obteined licence
of their king and rulers to erect in their citie a bishops sée, and
besought them that it might please them to write vnto Anselme the
archbishop of Canturburie their primate, to haue his consent therein,
so as it might stand with his pleasure to institute and ordeine such a
one bishop, to haue gouernement of their church, as they should name,
knowing him to be a man of such learning, knowledge, discretion and
worthines as were fit for the roome. [Sidenote: Murcherdach K. of
Ireland.] Herevpon were letters sent by messengers from Murcherdach
king of Ireland vnto Anselme, informing him of the whole matter:
wherein one Malchus was commended and presented vnto him to be
admitted and consecrated, if he thought good. These letters were
subscribed with the hands, not onelie of king Murcherdach, but also of
his brother duke Dermeth, bishop Dufnald, Idiman bishop of Methe,
Samuell bishop of Dublin, Ferdomnachus bishop of Laginia or Leinister,
and many others both of the spiritualtie and temporaltie.

Anselme considering their request to be iust and necessarie, granted
to fulfill their desires, and so vpon examination had of the man, and
taking of him his oth of obedience, according to the maner, he
consecrated the same Malchus, and so ordeined him to rule the church
of Waterford as bishop. [Sidenote: Malchus consecrated bishop of
Waterford.] This was doone at Canturburie the 28. day of October, Rafe
bishop of Chichester, and Gundulfe bishop of Rochester helping Anselme
in the consecration as ministers vnto him in that behalfe. The said
Malchus was a monke, and sometime vnder Walkhelme bishop of

[Sidenote: The king eftsoones inuadeth the Welshmen. _Polydor._] But
to the purpose, king William after his returne into England,
remembring what damage he had susteined two yéeres before at the hands
of the Welshmen, determined eftsoones to inuade their countrie, and
therefore doubling his power, commeth into the marshes, pitcheth his
field, and consulteth with his capteines what order he were best to
vse in that his enterprise, for the taming of his enimies. The
Welshmen hearing of the kings approch, and that his armie was farre
greater than the last which he brought into their countrie, fell to
their woonted policie, [Sidenote: The Welshmen withdraw into the
woods. _H. Hunt._] and got them into the woods, there to lie in wait,
trusting more to the aduantage of starting holes, than to their owne
force & puissance.

When the king vnderstood their practise, he set armed men in diuers
places, and builded towers and fortifications to defend him and his,
bicause he durst not assaie to enter into wild and wast grounds where
he had béene hindred and damnified before that time, hoping by this
meanes in stopping vp the waies and passages of the countrie, to bring
the rebels to more subiection. But when this policie was found by
proofe to wearie the kings souldiors rather than to hurt the enimies,
which straieng vp and downe in the woods intrapped oftentimes the
Normans and English, in taking them at aduantage, the king without
bringing his purpose to any good effect, departed home into England.
[Sidenote: _Simon Dun._ _R. Houed._] After this he sent Edgar Etheling
with an armie into Scotland, that he might place his coosine Edgar the
sonne of king Malcolme in the gouernement of that kingdome, and expell
his vncle Duffnald, who had vsurped the same.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 11. 1098.] King William, being still inflamed with
ire, for that he could not haue his will, determined with continuall
warres to wearie the rebellious stomachs of the Welshmen: and
therefore was fixed first to set vpon them of Anglesey, which being an
Ile enuironed with the sea, was euer a refuge for them when they were
sharpelie pursued. [Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._] This enterprise was
chéeflie committed vnto Hugh earle of Shrewsburie and Arundell, and to
Hugh earle of Chester, who at their first comming wan the Ile, and
tempered the victorie with great crueltie and bloudshed, putting out
the eies of some, cutting off the noses, the armes, or hands of
others, and some also they gelded. [Sidenote: _Gyral. Cam._] Moreouer
(as authors write) the said earle of Shrewesburie made a kenell of the
church of Saint Fridancus, laieng his hounds within it for the night
time, but in the morning he found them all raging wood. How true so
euer this report is I wote not, but shortlie after they had executed
(in maner as before is said) such strange kinds of crueltie in that
Ile, it chanced that a nauie of rouers came thither from the Iles of
Orkney, whose chéefe admirall was named Magnus, who incountring with
the said earle of Shrewesburie, [Sidenote: Hugh earle of Shrewsburie
slaine.] shot him into the eie with an arrow, which part of his body
remained bare and vnarmed, so that by & by he fell downe dead out of
his ship into the sea. When Magnus beheld this, he said scornefullie
in the Danish toong, _Leit loupe_, that is; Let him leape now: the
English neuerthelesse had the victorie at that time (as some write)
and ouercame their enimies with great slaughter and bloudshed.
[Sidenote: _Fab. ex Guido de Columna._] Not long after, the earle of
Chester going ouer to Wales, with long and continual warres tired and
tamed the wild Welshmen, who for a good while after durst not shew
their faces.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 12. 1099.] The king being thus at quiet and
without warre in all places, began now to set his mind on building,
and first caused new walles to be made about the tower of London, and
also laid the foundation, of Westminster hall, which though it be a
verie large and roomthie place, yet after it was finished at his
returne out of Normandie, he came to view it, held his court therein
with great pompe and honor. [Sidenote: _Fabian._ _Ran. Higd._ _Matth.
Paris._] He repented that he had made it no larger, saieng; it was too
little by the halfe, and therefore determined to haue made a new, and
that this other should haue serued but for a dining chamber. A
diligent searcher (saith Matthew Paris) might yet find out the
foundation of the hall, which he had purposed to build, stretching
from the Thames side vnto the common street. But though those his
buildings were great ornaments to the realme, yet bicause he tooke vp
monie by extortion of his subiects towards the charges of the same, he
was euill spoken of; [Sidenote: _Polydor._] the report being spred,
that he should take them in hand but onelie vnder a colour to spoile
his subiects, in gathering a farre greater summe than the expenses of
them did amount vnto. [Sidenote: The king goeth ouer into Normandie.]
About the same time that king William beganne these buildings, he went
ouer into Normandie, to vnderstand in what state that countrie stood.

[Sidenote: Finchamstéed. _Ran. Higd._ _Hen. Hunt._ _Matth. West._
_Wil. Malm._] About the same time also, or rather two yéere before; to
wit 1097. néere to Abington, at a towne called Finchamsteed in
Berkshire, a well or fountaine flowed with bloud, in maner as before
it vsed to flow with water, and this continued for the space of three
daies, or (as William Malmes. saith) fifteene daies togither.

After the king had dispatched his businesse in Normandie, & was
returned into England (as he was making prouision to ride foorth on
hunting) a messenger came suddenlie vnto him, bringing word, that the
citie of Mans was besieged, and like to be surprised. [Sidenote: _Hen.
Hunt._ _Matth. Paris._] The king was then at dinner, meaning first to
make an end thereof, and after to take aduice in that matter: but
being reprooued by the messenger, for that to the great danger of his
subiects which were besieged he passed not to make delaies, rather
than to go and succour them with all spéed, he taketh the mans blunt
spéech in so good part, that he called straightwaie for masons to
breake downe the wall, to the end he might passe through the next way,
and not be driuen to step so farre out of his path, as to go foorth by
the doores: and so without any long aduisement taken in the cause, he
rode straightwaie to the sea, sending his lords a commandement to
follow; [Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._] who when they came in his presence,
counselled him to staie till his people were assembled. Howbeit he
would not giue eare to their aduice in that point, but said; Such as
loue me, I know well will follow me, and so went a shipboord, setting
apart all doubts of perils; and yet was the weather verie darke, rough
and cloudie, insomuch that the maister of the ship was afraid, and
willed him to tarrie till the wind did settle in some quiet quarter:
[Sidenote: The saieng of king William Rufus.] but hee commanded to
hoise vp sailes, and to make all spéed that could be for life,
incouraging the shipmaster with these words, "that he neuer heard as
yet of anie king that was drowned."

Thus passing the seas, he landed in Normandie, where he gathered his
power, and made towards Mans. When those which held the siege before
the citie, heard of his approch, they brake vp their campe and
departed thence: [Sidenote: Mans deliuered from an asséege.] howbeit,
the capteine named Helias, that pretended by title and right to be
earle of Mans, was taken by a traine; and brought before the king, who
iested at him, as though he had beene but a foole and a coward.
[Sidenote: Helias.] Wherevpon, the said Helias kindled in wrath,
boldlie said vnto him; "Whereas thou hast taken me prisoner, it was by
méere chance, and not by thy manhood: but if I were at libertie
againe, I would so vse the matter with thee, that thou shouldest not
thinke I were a man so lightlie to be laughed at." "No should (saith
the king); Well then I giue thée thy libertie, and go thy waies, doo
euen the worst that lieth in thy power against me, for I care not a
button for thée." Helias being, thus set at libertie, did nothing
after (to make anie account of) against the king, but rather kept
himselfe quiet. [Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._ _Polydor._] Howbeit some
write, that he was not taken at all, but escaped by flight. To
procéed king William being returned into England, and puffed vp with
pride of his victories, and now séeing himselfe fullie deliuered from
all troubles of warre, began after his old manner to spoile and wast
the countrie by vnreasonable exactions, tributes and paiments.

[Sidenote: Variance betwixt the king and the archbishop Anselme.]
Herevpon fell a great controuersie betweene Anselme and the king, who
pretended a reproch of cruell surcharging of his commons with
subsidies, lones, and vnreasonable fines: but the cheefe cause was,
for that he might not call his synods, nor correct the bishops, but
all to be doone as the king would. The king also chalenged the
inuestiture of prelates, and indéed sore taxed both the spiritualtie
and temporaltie, spending the monie vpon the reparations and buildings
of the Tower, & Westminster hall, as is before remembred. Besides
this, his seruants spoiled the English of their goods by indirect
meanes: but especiallie one Rafe sometime chaplaine vnto William the
Conquerour, & at this time the kings proctor and collector of his
taskes and subsidies was so malicious & couetous, that in stéed of two
taskes, he would leuie thrée, pilling the rich, and powling the poore,
so that manie through his cruell dealing were oftentimes made to
forfeit their lands for small offenses: and by his meanes also diuerse
bishoprikes were bought and sold as other kinds of merchandizes,
whereby he was in singular fauour with the king. [Sidenote: The
clergie out of order.] The clergie also were vsed verie streightlie,
and (as I suppose) not without good cause; for suerlie in those daies
it was far out of order, not onelie in couetous practises, but in all
kinds of worldlie pompe and vanitie: for they had vp bushed and
braided perukes, long side garments verie gorgeous, gilt girdels, gilt
spurs, with manie other vnséemelie disorders in attire. To be short,
the contention grew so hot betwixt the king and Anselme, who would
also haue corrected such vices in the clergie (as some write)
[Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._] that in the end the archbishop was quite
cast out of fauour. [Sidenote: A thousand markes demanded of Anselme.]
There are which alledge the verie first and originall occasion of
their falling out to be, for that the archbishop denied to paie a
thousand marks of siluer at his request; in consideration of the great
beneuolence shewed in preferring him to his sée, whereas the
archbishop iudged the offense of simonie, to rest as well in giuing
after his promotion receiued, as if he had bribed him aforehand, and
therefore refused to make anie such paiment: [Sidenote: _Eadmerus._]
but yet (as Eadmerus writeth) he offered him fiue hundred pounds of
siluer, which would not be receiued, for the king was informed by some
of his councell, that the archbishop (in consideration of his
bountious liberalitie extended towards him) ought rather to giue him
two thousand pounds, than fiue hundred, adding, that if he would but
change his countenance, and giue him no fréendlie lookes for a while,
he should perceiue that Anselme would ad to the first offer, other
fiue hundred pounds. But Anselme was so far from being brought to the
kings lure with such fetches, that openlie to the kings face he told
him, that better it should be for his maiestie to receiue of him a
small summe granted of him with a free and franke hart, so as he might
helpe him eftsoones with more, than to take from him a great deale at
once, without his good will, in such sort as if he were his bondman.
For your grace (saith he) may haue me, and all that is mine, to serue
your turne with fréendlie beneuolence: but in the waie of seruitude
and bondage you shall neither haue me nor mine. With which words the
king was in maruellous choler, and therewith said in anger: "Well
then, get thee home, take that which is thine to thy selfe that which
I haue of mine owne I trust will suffice me." The archbishop béeing on
his knees, rose herewith and departed, reioising in his mind that the
king had refused his offer, whereby he was deliuered out of suspicion
to haue bribed the king, and giuen him that monie in waie of reward
for his preferment to the miter, as of malicious men would happilie
haue béene construed. [Sidenote: _Matth. Paris._] Wherevpon béeing
after laboured to double the summe he vtterlie refused, and
determining rather to forsake the realme than to commit such an
offense, made suit to the king for licence to go to Rome to fetch his
pall of the pope. [Sidenote: The king could not abide to heare the
pope named.] The king hearing the pope named, waxed maruellous angrie:
for they of Rome began alreadie to demand donations and
contributions, more impudentlie than they were hitherto accustomed.
And as it chanced, there was a schisme at that time in the church, by
reason the emperor Henrie had placed a pope of his owne aduancing,
(namely Wibteth archbishop of Rauenna) against pope Urban: for the
emperor mainteined that it belonged to his office onlie to elect and
assigne what pope it pleased him.

King William therefore conceiued displeasure against Urban, who
withstood the emperours pretense, and alledged by the like, that no
archbishop or bishop within his realme should haue respect to the
church of Rome, nor to anie pope, with whome they had nothing to doo,
either by waie of subiection, or otherwise; sith the popes wandered
out of the steps which Peter trode, séeking after bribes, lucre, and
worldlie honor. He said also that they could not reteine the power to
lose and bind, which they sometime had, since they shewed themselues
nothing at all to follow his most vertuous life and holie
conuersation. He added furthermore, that for himselfe, sithens the
conuersion of the realme to the christian faith, he had as great
authoritie, franchises and liberties within the same, as the emperour
had in his empire. And what hath the pope then to doo (quoth he) in
the empire, or in my kingdome touching temporall liberties, whose
dutie it is to be carefull for the soule of man, and to sée that
heresies spring not vp, which if the prelates of the prouince be not
able to reforme, then might the pope doo it, either by himselfe or his
legats. [Sidenote: _Eadmerus._ The kings demand to Anselme.] Againe,
by reason of the schisme, & for the displeasure that he bare pope
Urban, he asked Anselme of which pope he would require his pall, sith
he was so hastie to go to Rome for it. Wherto Anselme answered, that
he would require it of pope Urban. Which words when the king had
heard, he said, I haue not as yet admitted him pope: adding further
that it was against the custome vsed either in his or his fathers
time, that anie man within the realme of England should name or obeie
anie man for pope, without the kings licence and consent, saieng
moreouer, that if the said Anselme would séeke to take that
prerogatiue and dignitie from him, it should be all one, as if he
should go about to take awaie from him his crowne, and all other
roiall dignitie. Wherevnto Anselme answered, that at Rochester (before
he was consecrated bishop) he had declared his mind therein, and that
beeing abbat of Bechellouin in Normandie, he had receiued Urban for
pope; so that whatsoeuer chanced, he might reuolt from his obedience
and subiection.

The king beeing the more kindled herewith, protested in plaine words,
that Anselme could not kéepe his faith and allegiance towards him, and
his obedience also to the see of Rome, against his will and pleasure.
[Sidenote: A councell at Rockingham in Rutlandshire.] But (to
conclude) this matter went so far in controuersie betwixt the king and
the bishop, that a councell was called at Rockingham in Rutlandshire,
and there in the church within the castell, the matter was earnestlie
decided, and much adoo on euerie side, to haue constreined Anselme to
renounce his opinion, but he would not. Wherfore it was then deuised,
that if he would not agrée to the kings pleasure, they would by and by
sée if they might by any meanes depriue him: but Anselme still held
hard, and could not be feared by all these threats; and in like maner
to iudge of an archbishops cause, the other bishops concluded that
they had no authoritie.

Moreouer, while the matter was in consultation among the bishops,
another of the kings councell that was a knight, came before Anselme
in place where he sat almost alone, to looke for an answer by them
from the king, which knight knéeling downe before the archbishop,
spake these words vnto him: "Reuerend father, your humble children
beséech your Grace not to haue your heart troubled with these things
which you heare; but call to remembrance that blessed man Job,
vanquishing the diuell on the dunghill, and reuenging Adam whome he
had ouercome in paradise." Which words the archbishop considering with
a fréendlie countenance, perceiued that the minds of the people
remained on his side, whereof both he and such as were about him, were
right ioyfull and greatlie comforted, [Sidenote: * If they be Gods
people.] hauing hope, (according to the scripture) that the * voice
of the people was the voice of God. When the king vnderstood all these
things, he was maruelouslie disquieted in mind, and therefore
perceiuing that the bishops and other of his councell had promised
more than they could performe, he blamed them for it: vnto whom the
bishop of Durham that was the chéefe dooer in this matter, framed this
answer: "He spake so faintlie (quoth he) and so coldlie at the first,
that he séemed not to haue any store of wit or wisdome."

Finallie, the matter was deferred vntill the next morning, and then the
said bishop of Durham, alledging that they could not well ouercome him
by arguments, so long as he grounded his opinion in such sort vpon the
scripture, and the authoritie of Saint Peter; "The best way therefore
(said he) shall be, to compell him by force, either to agrée to the
kings mind, or else to depriue him of his ring and staffe, and after
banish him the realme." But the lords of the councell allowed not the
bishops words herein. "Well (saith the king) and what other way will you
thinke good, if this like you not: so long as I may liue, I will not
surelie suffer any to be my péere within my realme: and if you knew his
cause to be so good, why did you suffer me to commense this action
against him: go your waies therefore, and take aduice togither, for by
Gods face (for that was his oth) if you condemne him not at my will, I
will reuenge myself vpon you." Neuerthelesse, when he was informed,
that bicause he was an archbishop, they had no power to iudge or
condemne him, though his cause prooued neuer so euill, which they
could not perceiue[1] so to be; he told them yet they might at the
leastwise renounce their obedience to him, and forsake his companie,
which they said they might doo. "Then doo it (saith the king) with
spéed, that he may (when he shall sée himselfe abandoned, and despised
of all men) repent that he hath followed Urban, and neglected me his
souereigne lord and maister. [Sidenote: The king renounceth the
archbishop for his subiect.] And that he may doo it the more safelie,
first of all I depriue him of the suertie and allegiance which he may
pretend to haue of me within all my dominions, and from hencefoorth I
will haue no affiance in him, nor take him for an archbishop."

The bishops would faine haue persuaded Anselme to haue shewed himselfe
comformable to the kings pleasure, and therefore tooke paines with him
earnestlie in that behalfe, but all would not serue. He answered indéed
verie curteouslie, but his benefice he would not renounce, as touching
the name and office, though in exterior things he were neuer so much
disquieted. The king perceiuing him to stand stiffe in his opinion, said
vnto his lords; "His words are euer contrarie to my mind, and I will not
take him for my fréend, whosoeuer dooth fauour him. I shall therefore
require you that be péeres of my realme, to renounce all the faith and
freendship which you beare him, that he may see what he hath gained by
that allegiance, which (to the offending of my person) he obserueth to
the apostolike sée." Whereto the lords answered; "As for vs, we were
neuer his men, and therefore we cannot abiure any fealtie which we neuer
acknowledged. He is our archbishop, and hath rule in matters perteining
to christian religion within this land, for which cause we that are
christians may not refuse his authoritie whilest we remaine here on
earth, bicause he is attainted with no blemish of any heinous crime,
which may constreine vs otherwise to doo." The king refrained and
dissembled his wrath, least he should prouoke them to further
displeasure by speaking against their reason.

[Sidenote: The bishops driuen to their shifts how to shape an answer.]
The bishops were sore abashed hereat, and driuen to a shrewd pinch. Now
when, not long after, the king required to know of euerie of them apart,
whether they vtterlie renounced all manner of subiection and obedience
vnto Anselme without any condition intermitted, or else that onelie
which he did pretend by authoritie of the pope: the bishops making
answer diuerslie herevnto, the king appointed those to sit downe by him
as faithfull subiects, who acknowledged that their renuntiation was
absolutelie made, without intermitting of any condition: as for the
other, who protested that they renounced their subiection and obedience
vnto him onelie in that which he presumed vpon in the behalfe of the
pope, he commanded them to go aside, and to remaine in a corner of the
house to heare the sentence of their condemnation pronounced.

[Sidenote: The meane to pacifie the king.] Wherefore being put in a
maruellous feare, they withdrew themselues aside, but yet straightwaies
they deuised a shift wherewith they had beene well acquainted before, as
followeth. They presented to the king a great masse of monie to appease
his wrath, and so thereby were restored to his fauour. [Sidenote: The
stiffenes of Anselme in withstanding the kings pleasure.] Anselme
notwithstanding was obstinate in his opinion, so that in the end, the
sentense touching this controuersie betwixt him and the king was
respited till the octaues of Pentecost next ensuing. [Sidenote: _Matth.
Paris._] All this was notified well inough to the pope, who vsed the
matter with such moderation, that by secret aduertisements giuen, he
tooke awaie from his brethren all rigorous waies of procéedings, saieng;
    Dum furor in cursu est, currenti cede furori.

But yet the kings enmitie towards Anselme was openlie declared, and that
chéefelie for the deniall of the monie which he demanded; but at length
he got it, though not with any frée heart or goodwill of the archbishop:
insomuch that the king reputed him giltie of treason. Within a few daies
after, Walter bishop of Alba, bringing to him his pall, verie wiselie
reconciled the pope and the king. Notwithstanding all this, Anselme
could not purchase the kings goodwill to his contentment, though he
wiselie dissembled for the time; so that when the bishop of Alba should
returne to Rome, he made sute for licence to go with him. Neuerthelesse,
the king offered him, that if he would desist from his purpose, and
sweare vpon the euangelists neither to go to Rome, nor to appeale in any
cause to the popes court, he might and should liue in quietnesse frée
from all danger: [Sidenote: _Eadmerus._] but if he would not be so
contented, he might and should depart at his perill, without hope to
returne hither againe. "For surelie (saith he) if he go, I will seize
the archbishoprike into mine owne hands, and receiue him no more for

[Sidenote: _Fabian._ _Matth. Paris._] Anselme herewith departing from
the court came to Canturburie, declaring openlie what had bin said vnto
him, and immediatelie sought to flee out of the realme in the night,
prouiding for himselfe a ship at Douer. But his purpose being reuealed
to the king, one William Warlewast the kings seruant was sent after him,
and finding him readie to depart, tooke from him all that he had, & gaue
him a frée pasport out of the land. [Sidenote: Anselme comming to Rome
complaineth of the king.] Anselme repairing to Rome, made vnto pope
Urban a greeuous information against the king, declaring into what
miserable state he had brought the Realme, and that for want of
assistance in his suffragans it laie not in him to reforme the matter.

[Sidenote: Ranelfe bishop of Chichester.] Indéed we find not that any of
the bishops held with Anselme in the controuersie betwixt him and the
king, Ranulph bishop of Chichester excepted, who both blamed the king
and rebuked all such bishops as had refused to stand with Anselme, and
fauoured the king in cases concerning the foresaid variance. Moreouer,
the same bishop of Chichester withstood the king and his officers in
taking fines of préests for the crime of fornication; by reason of which
presumption, the king became sore offended with him: & found meanes to
suspend many churches of his diocesse. Howbeit in the end, the bishop
demeaned himselfe in suchwise, that he had his owne will, and his church
doores were opened againe, which had béene stopped vp before with
thornes. [Sidenote: Fines of préests that had wiues as by some writers
it seemed.] Besides this, the king was contented, that the said bishop
should haue the fines of préests in crimes of fornication within his
diocesse, and enioy many other priuileges in right of his church.
[Sidenote: _Polydor._] But how beneficiall soeuer he was vnto the see of
Chichester, true it is (as Polydor writeth) that he let out diuers
abbeies, and the bishoprike of Winchester and Salisburie, with the
archbishoprike of Canturburie vnto certeine persons that farmed the same
at his hands for great summes of monie, in so much that (beside the said
sees of Canturburie, Winchester, and Salisburie, which at the time of
his death be kept in his hands) he also receiued the profits of eleuen
abbeies which he had let out, or otherwise turned to his most

[Sidenote: Robert Losaunge. _Ran. Higd._ _Wil. Malm._] Robert Losaunge,
of some called Herbert, that sometime had bin abbat of Ramsey, and then
bishop of Thetford by gift of a thousand pounds to the king (as before
ye haue heard) repented him, for that he was inuested by the king, who
after he had bewailed his offense, went to Rome, and did penance for the
same in all points as the pope enioined him. Which being doone, he
returned into England, remoouing yer long his sée from Thetford to
Norwich, where he founded a faire monasterie of his owne charges, and
not of the churches goods (as some say) wherein is a doubt, considering
he was first an abbat, and after a bishop.

[Sidenote: Stephan Harding a moonke. _Ran. Higd._ _Iacobus Philippus
Berigonias._] About this time, by the meanes of Stephan Harding a Monke
of Shireborne, an Englishman, the order of Cisteaux or white moonkes had
his beginning within the countrie of Burgongne, as witnesneth Ranulph
the moonke of Chester: but other writers (as Iacob. Philippus) say that
this Stephan was the second abbat of that place, and that it was founded
by one Robert abbat of Molmense, in the yeare of Grace 1098. This order
was after brought into England by one called Walter Espeke, who founded
the first abbeie of that religion within this relme at Riuall, about the
yeare of Grace 1131.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 13. 1100.] [Sidenote: The kings lauish prodigalitie.
Strange woonders. _Wil. Malm._] But to returne againe to the king, who
still continued in his wilfull couetousnesse, pulling from the rich and
welthie, to waste and spend it out in all excesse, vaine riot, and gifts
bestowed on such as had least deserued the same. And yet he was warned
by manie strange woonders (as the common people did discant) to refraine
from these euill doings: for the Thames did rise with such high springs
and tides, that manie townes were drowned, and much hurt doone in places
about London, and elsewhere. Diuerse rare things happened also at the
same time, which I passe ouer. But the king hearing hereof, did nothing
regard those which were so bold as to tell him that they were euident
significations of some vengeance to follow therevpon. [Sidenote: A
dreame. _Matth. West._ _Wil. Malm._] The king also himselfe on a night
as he slept & dreamed, thought that the veines of his armes were broken,
and that the blood issued out in great abundance. Likewise, he was told
by Robert Fitz Hammon, that a moonke should dreame in his sléepe, how he
saw the king gnaw the image of Christ crucified, with his teeth, and
that as he was about to bite awaie the legs of the same image, Christ
with his feet should spurne him downe to the ground, insomuch that as he
lay on the earth, there came out of his mouth a flame of fire, and such
abundance of smoke, that the aire was darkened therewith. But the king
made a iest of these and the like tales; "He is a right moonke (saith
he) and to haue a péece of monie, he dreameth such things, giue him
therefore an hundred shillings, and bid him dreame of better fortune to
our person." Neuerthelesse, the king was somewhat mooued herewith in the
end, and doubted whether he should go into the new forest to hunt on
Lammas day (as he had purposed) or no, bicause his fréends councelled
him not to trie the truth of dreames to his owne losse and hinderance.
Wherevpon he forbare to go foorth before dinner, but when he had dined
and made himselfe merrie with receiuing more drinke than commonlie he
vsed to doo, abroad he got him into the forest with a small traine:
[Sidenote: Sir Walter Tirel.] amongst whom was one sir Walter Tirell a
French knight, whom he had reteined in seruice with a large stipend.

This Sir Walter chanced to remaine with the king, when all the rest of
the companie was dispersed here and there, as the maner in hunting is.
Now as the sunne began to draw lowe, the king perceiuing an hart to come
alongst by him, shot at the same, and with his arrow stroke him; but not
greatlie hurting him, the beast ran awaie. The king, to mark which way
the hart tooke, and the maner of his hurt, held vp his hand: betweene
the sunne and his eies; who standing in that sort, out came another
hart, at whom as sir Walter Tirell let driue an arrow, the same by
glansing stroke the king into the brest, so that he neuer spake word,
but breaking off so much of the arrow as appeared out of his bodie, he
fell downe, and giuing onelie one grone, immediatlie died, without more
noise or moouing. [Sidenote: The king slaine.] Sir Walter running to
him, and perceiuing no spéech nor sense to remaine in him, straitwaies
got to his horsse, and riding awaie, escaped and saued himselfe: for few
there were that pursued him, euerie man being amazed at the chance,
some departing one waie, and some another, euerie one for his owne
aduantage and commoditie, as the time then serued. The dead bodie of the
king was straight conueied to Winchester, and there buried the morrow
after, which was the second day of August, the yere of our Lord 1100.
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._] To this end came king William, after he had
reigned almost 13 yeares, and liued 43 and somewhat more.

This prince, although euill reported of by writers for the couetous
tasking of his subiects, and reteining of ecclesiasticall liuings in his
hands; yet was he endued with manie noble and princelie qualities. He
had good knowledge in feats of warre, and could well awaie with bodilie
labour. In all his affaires he was circumspect; of his promise, trustie;
of his word, stedfast; and in his wars no lesse diligent than fortunate.
He gaue to the moonkes called Monachi de charitate in Southwarke, the
great new church of S. Sauiour of Bermondsay, and also Bermondseie
itselfe. He founded a goodlie hospitall in the citie of Yorke, called S.
Leonards, for the sustentation and finding of the poore as well brethren
as sisters. Towards souldiers and men of warre he was verie liberall,
and to enrich them, he passed not for taking from farmers and
husbandmen, what soeuer could be gotten. He was indéed of a prodigall
nature, and therefore when in the begining of his reigne, doubting some
troubles, he had assembled manie men of warre for his defense, there was
nothing that they could aske which he would denie them, in somuch that
his fathers treasures were soone consumed, by reason whereof he was put
to his shifts to prouide more. For though substance wanted to shew his
liberalitie, yet there failed not in him a mind still to be bountifull,
sith continuall vse of giuing rewards, was in manner turned in him to a
nature, so that to furnish himselfe with monie and necessaries, he was
put to extremities vnbeséeming a king; and to bestow his beneuolence
vpon some, he spared not to impouerish others. [Sidenote: The liberall
hart of king William.] For in such sort he was liberall, that therewith
he was prodigall; and in such wise stout of courage, as proud withall;
and in such maner seuere, as he séemed cruell and inexorable. But what
meanes he vsed to make his best of benefices and spirituall liuings,
partlie appeareth before.

[Sidenote: Jewes.] In déed such was his condition, that who soeuer would
giue, might haue, & that oftentimes without respect, whether their sute
was reasonable and allowable or not, in somuch that it is said of him,
that being in Roan on a time, there came to him diuerse Jewes who
inhabited that citie, complaining to him, that diuerse of their nation
had renounced their Jewish religion, and were become christians:
wherefore they besought him, that for a certeine summe of monie which
they offered to giue, it might please him to constreine them to abiure
christianitie, and turne to the Jewish law againe. He was contented to
satisfie their desires, and so receiuing the monie, called them before
him, & what with threats, and putting them otherwise in feare, he
compelled diuerse of them to forsake Christ, and returne to their old

There was about the same time a yoong man a Jew, who by a vision
appearing vnto him (as is said) was conuerted to the christian faith,
and being baptised, was named Stephan, bicause S. Stephan was the man
that had appeared to him in the vision, as by the same he was informed.
The father of the yoong man being sore troubled, for that his sonne was
become a christian, and hearing what the king had doone in such like
matters, presented to him 60 markes of siluer, condittionally that he
should inforce his sonne to returne to his Jewish religion. Herevpon was
the yoong man brought before the king, vnto whom he said; "Sirra, thy
father here complaineth that without his licence thou art become a
christian: if this be true, I command thee to returne againe to the
religion of thy nation, without anie more adoo". To whom the yoongman
answered, "Your grace (as I gesse) dooth but iest." Wherewith the king
being mooued said, "What thou dunghill knaue, should I iest with thée?
Get thée hence quicklie, and fulfill my commandement, or by S. Lukes
face I shall cause thine eies to be plucked out of thine head."
[Sidenote: An answer of a good Jew.] The yoongman nothing abashed
hereat, with a constant voice answered "Trulie I will not doo it, but
know for certeine, that if you were a good christian, you would neuer
haue vttered anie such words, for it is the part of a christian to
reduce them againe to Christ which be departed from him; & not to
separate them from him, which are ioined to him by faith." The king
herewith confounded, commanded the Jew to auant & get him out of his
sight. But his father perceiuing that the king could not persuade his
sonne to forsake the christian faith, required to haue his monie againe.
To whom the king said, he had doone so much as he promised to doo, that
was, to persuade him so far as he might. [Sidenote: A prettie diuision.]
At length, when he would haue had the king to haue dealt further in the
matter, the king (to stop his mouth) tendered backe to him the one halfe
of his monie, & reteined the other to himselfe.

[Sidenote: King William suspected of infidelitie.] Moreouer, to increase
the suspicion which men had of his infidelitie, it is written, that he
caused a disputation to be kept betwixt the Jewes & the christians,
promising that if the Jewes ouercame the christians in argument, he
would be a Jew: but the Jewes being ouercome, and receiuing the foile,
would not confess their errors, but alledged, that by factions (and not
by reason) they were put to the worse. Howbeit, what opinion soeuer he
had of the Jewes faith, it appéereth by writers that he doubted in manie
points of the religion then in credit. [Sidenote: _Eadmerus._] For he
sticked not to protest openlie, that he beléeued no saint could profit
anie man in the Lords sight, and therefore neither would he nor anie
other that was wise (as he affirmed) make intercession, either to Peter,
or to anie other for helpe. [Sidenote: Praieng to saincts.]

[Sidenote: His stature. Whereof he tooke his surname Rufus.] He was of
stature not so tall as the common sort of men, red of haire, whereof he
tooke his surname Rufus, somwhat big of bellie, and not readie of toong,
speciallie in his anger, for then his vtterance was so hindered, that he
could scarselie shew the conceits of his mind: he died without issue,
and vsed concubines all the daies of his life. I find that in apparell
he loued to be gaie and gorgeous, & could not abide to haue anie thing
(for his wearing) estéemed at a small valure. [Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
Wherevpon it came to passe on a morning, when he should pull on a new
paire of hose, he asked the groome of his chamber that brought them to
him what they cost? Thrée shillings saith he; "Why thou hooreson (said
the king) dooth a paire of hose of thrée shillings price become a king
to weare? Go thy waies, and fetch me a paire that shall cost a marke of
siluer." The groome went, and brought him another paire, for the which
he paid scarselie so much as for the first. But when the king asked what
they stood him in, he told him they cost a marke: and then was he well
satisfied, and said; "Yea marie, these are more fit for a king to weare,
and so drew them vpon his legs."

In this kings daies John bishop of Welles ioined the monasterie of Bath
vnto his see, and repairing the same monasterie, began to inhabit there
in the yeere 1094. [Sidenote: Couentrie church ioined to the sée of
Chester.] The Church of Couentrie was in like sort ioined vnto the sée
of Chester by Robert bishop of that diocesse. Woolstan bishop of
Worcester died about the same time, and Anselme hauing purchased bulles
of pope Paschall, wherein was conteined an admonition vnto king William
to desist from his gréeuous oppressing of the church, and to amend his
former dooings, was now on his returne towards England, and by the waie
heard of the kings death. Hugh earle of Chester in this kings daies
builded the abbeie of Chester, and procured Anselme (afterwards
archbishop of Canturburie) to come ouer from Normandie, that he might
erect the same abbeie, and place such religious persons as were
necessarie and conuenient for so good a foundation.

Long it was yer Anselme would come ouer, bicause he doubted to be had in
suspicion of an ambitious desire in seeking to be made archbishop of
Canturburie. For it was talked that if he went ouer into England, he
should surelie be elected before he returned into Normandie. But at
length so it chanced, that the aforesaid Hugh earle of Chester fell
sicke, and despairing of life, sent with all spéed to Anselme, requiring
him most instantlie to come ouer to him lieng in extremitie of sickness;
adding, that if he hasted not the sooner, it would be too late, whereof
he would after repent him. Then Anselme, for that he might not faile his
fréend in such necessitie, came ouer, and gaue order to the abbeie,
according as it séemed best to him for the establishment of religion

     thus farre William Rufus.

Transcriber's notes

There are no footnotes in the original. The original spelling and
punctuation have been retained, with the exception of obvious errors
which have been corrected by reference to the 1587 edition of which
the original is a transcription.

[1] Original reads 'perceuie'; changed to 'perceiue'.

[2] Original reads 'mostaduantage'; changed to 'most aduantage'.

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