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Title: The Chronicle of the Norman Conquest - from the Roman de Rou
Author: Wace, 1100?-1175?
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Master Wace



Roman de Rou













     ILLUSTRATIONS--Frontispiece, the oath administered to
     Harold; from the Bayeux Tapestry. Title page vignette,
     including a coin of William, from Ruding, vol. iv.
     Dedication vignette, a group _after_ the Bayeux Tapestry.[1]
     Map of Normandy. Initial letter to introduction, from the
     Battle abbey chronicle, p. xv. The Tapestry roll, as
     preserved at Bayeux, p. xxix.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Baptism of Rollo, from the Museum MS. of
     Benoit Sainte-More, to face p. 1. Initial letter, from the
     MS. of William of Jumieges in the library at Rouen, p. 1.
     Norman soldiers, from a capital in the chapel of Norwich
     castle, p. 6. [These may be compared with the two knights
     opposite, (p. 7,) from Bocherville.]



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Norman knights, from a capital in the church
     of St. Georges de Bocherville, p. 7. Two norman messengers;
     from the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 16.



     ILLUSTRATION--Group from the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 17.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Two illuminations from the Cambridge MS.
     Estoire de Seint Ædward le Rei, representing the dispatch of
     messengers for Edward, p. 32. The like, representing his
     landing and his coronation, p. 36.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Messengers to William, from the Tapestry, p.
     40. Surrender of a town, from the Tapestry, p. 46.



     ILLUSTRATION--Guy count of Ponthieu, from the Bayeux
     Tapestry, (going there to receive Harold,) p. 52.



     ILLUSTRATION--Group from the Bayeux Tapestry, (representing
     there the Duke embarking at St. Valery,) p. 57.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Abbey church of the Holy Trinity at Caen,
     from Cotman, p. 63. Edward dissuaded by his nobles from his
     vow, from the Cambridge MS. p. 69.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Harold taking his leave of king Edward, p.
     74. Harold proceeding to Bosham, p. 77. Harold claimed, by
     Norman messengers, from count Guy of Ponthieu, p. 81. Guy
     delivering Harold to William, p. 82. William receiving
     Harold at his palace, p. 84; all from the Tapestry. Edward
     the Confessor's great seal, p. 86.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Edward naming Harold his successor, from the
     Cambridge MS. p. 88. Edward carried for burial to
     Westminster Abbey, from the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 91. Edward
     entombed, from the Cambridge MS., p. 92. Harold's election
     and coronation, from the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 99. Ship
     bearing the messenger with the news to William, also from
     the Tapestry, p. 100.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Remains of the great hall at Lillebonne, from
     Cotman, p. 101. William ordering ships to be built, from the
     Bayeux Tapestry, p. 107. The Comet, and information to
     Harold [of William's preparations?], both from the Tapestry,
     p. 114.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Ship-building, p. 116. Storing the ships, p.
     121. William's ship, p. 122; all from the Tapestry.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Unloading and dismantling the ships, p. 126.
     The supper after landing, p. 129. Group, (the same as at p.
     55,) p. 132; all from the Bayeux Tapestry.





     ILLUSTRATIONS--Figure from a Saxon MS. now in the King's
     library at Paris, representing Harold, (according to
     Montfaucon,) p. 141. Two Norman scouts or messengers, from
     the Bayeux Tapestry (before, p. 16), p. 147.



     ILLUSTRATION--Fort at Hastings, with a messenger coming to
     William, from the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 148.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--William and his half brothers, from the
     Bayeux Tapestry, p. 155. William exhorting his men, p. 158;
     also from the Tapestry.



     ILLUSTRATION--A Norman baron, with gonfanon, coming out of
     Hastings to take horse, from the Tapestry, p. 166.



     ILLUSTRATION--Saxon armour,--compiled from various sources
     in Planché's 'British Costume,'--p. 173.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--William enquiring news of the English from
     Vital one of his officers looking out, from the Bayeux
     Tapestry, p. 180. Continuation of the exhortation,
     (commenced at p. 158); from the Tapestry, p. 185.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Attack by the Normans on the English placed
     on an eminence, and defended by a fosse, from the Bayeux
     Tapestry, p. 188. Bishop Odo rallying and encouraging the
     varlets, also from the Tapestry, p. 192.



     ILLUSTRATION--Engagement between the Normans and English,
     from the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 196.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Norman Knights advancing 'ad prelium contra
     Haroldum,' from the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 204. Group, also
     from the Tapestry, p. 205.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--William knighting Harold at La Lande, from
     the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 224. Group from the same, p. 225.
     Signet ring of one of the Bigots, p. 235.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Deaths of Lewin and Gurth, p. 248. William
     fighting, p. 249, and death of Harold, p. 253; all from the
     Bayeux Tapestry. Burial of Harold, from the Cambridge MS. p.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Seal of William as king and duke, p. 261.
     Seal of Battle abbey, p. 269. Apsis of St. Gerrais, p. 276.



     ILLUSTRATION--St. Stephen's, Caen, (Cotman,) p. 277.



     ILLUSTRATIONS--Initial letter from the Battle abbey
     chronicle, p. 283. Dutchy arms, 287.



[Footnote 1: A shield of pure _sable_ is appended to the principal
figure, with full notice of our liability, on that account, to the
charge of heraldic anachronism. Waving any defence on the scientific
point, we merely observe that when Wace tells us of 'escuz painz de
plusors guises,' it may safely be presumed that there was at least _one_
of sable hue; and that our fancy may not be considered as running very
wild, if it presumes that the lord of the Marches was wont so to
distinguish himself; and if it connects the subsequent use of so simple
an heraldic bearing by the norman Gornais, with its previous use as a
mere badge, a cognoissance or entre-sain; see p. 22, 172, 302.]

[Illustration: A map of Normandy]


A detailed narrative of events so interesting as those which preceded
and attended the conquest of England by William, duke of Normandy, needs
little apology for its introduction, for the first time, to the english
reader. If his feelings are at all in unison with those of the
translator, he will welcome the easy access thus afforded to this
remarkable chronicle;--by far the most minute, graphic, and animated
account of the transactions in question, written by one who lived among
the immediate children of the principal actors. The historian will find
some value in such a memorial of this great epoch in english
affairs;--the genealogist will meet in it some interesting materials
applicable to his peculiar pursuits;--and the general reader will hardly
fail to take a lively interest in such an illustration of the history of
the singular men, who emerged in so short a time from the condition of
roving barbarians into that of the conquerors, en noblers, and
munificent adorners of every land in which they settled, and to whom the
proudest families of succeeding ages have been eager to trace the
honours of their pedigree.

MASTER WACE, the author of the ROMAN DE ROU and chronicle of the dukes
of Normandy, from which the ensuing pages are extracted, tells
concerning himself, in his prologue, all that is known with any degree
of certainty. His name, with several variations of orthography, is not
an unusual one in early norman history, though he has not claimed an
identification with any known family distinguished by it. The name of
Robert, which has been usually assigned to him as an addition, has no
sufficient warranty. It certainly occurs in connection with that of Wace
in the charters of the abbey of Plessis-Grimoult; (see the Mémoires des
antiquaires de Norm, viii.); but Richard Wace, a priest whose name
occurs in the chartulary of the abbey of St. Sauveur le Vicomte, has
been speculated upon by the Abbé de la Rue as having a more probable
claim of identification.

In speaking of the numbers which composed William's invading fleet, Wace

     --jo oï dire a mon pere,
     Bien m'en sovint, mais varlet ere;

and it has been in consequence supposed that he intended to represent
his father as a cotemporary and even an eye witness of the expedition.
It will, however, be easily seen that this is extremely improbable. Wace
lived and wrote as late as at least 1173, and could hardly have been
born earlier than the commencement of the eleventh century. The
assumption that his father was adult in 1066 would give to the latter an
improbable age at his son's birth, and a very great one at the time when
the 'varlet' could have listened to the tale of his parent's experience.
The probability, therefore, is, that Wace only meant to refer to his
father as a suitable authority, conveying information which he might
easily have derived from living among those who actually shared in the
expedition. It is clear, however, that in another place, p. 115, he
directly asserts his own communication with persons adult at the
conquest; for, in speaking of the comet that preceded it, he refers to
the report of eye-witnesses as his personal authority:

     Asez vi homes ki la virent,
     Ki _ainz_ e _poiz_ lunges veskirent.

Master Wace tells us that he was born in Jersey;--probably soon after
1100. He was taken young to be educated at Caen, and proceeded thence to
the proper dominions of the king of France; returning eventually to
Caen, where he betook himself to writing 'romanz.' He says that he
finished his 'Roman de Brut' (now in course of publication at Rouen) in
1155; and that he lived under three Henries; namely Henry I. and II. of
England, and the latter's son Henry, who died young. His principal
patron was Henry II. who gave him a prebend of the cathedral of Bayeux.
It appears, we are told, from the archives of that church, that he held
the office nineteen years. We learn from him, however, that he did not
consider his reward equal to his desert; and he dwells on further
promises, which would have been more acceptable if followed by

His chronicle (which he says he wrote in 1160) continues down to 1106;
and ends in apparent ill humour at Benoit de Sainte-More's being
employed upon a similar task. His concluding words are,

     Ci faut li livre maistre Wace,
     Qu'in velt avant fere--s'in face!

He is reported to have died in England as late as 1184. He certainly
wrote after 1173, for his ascending chronicle of the dukes of Normandy
speaks of events which occurred in that year.

The earlier portions of his chronicle, like the pages of Ordericus
Vitalis, teem with wonders. His principal sources of these materials
were Dudo de St. Quintin, and William of Jumieges. But, as M. Guizot
observes in vindication of the latter, the reproach is certainly not,
that having truth and error within his reach he selected the latter, but
that with no choice about the matter he used the only materials that
were in his power. When he reached the era of the conqueror, more
complete and authentic information was within his reach; and the perusal
of this later portion of his work will perhaps leave no unfavorable
impression as to the judgment and fidelity with which he has used his
materials, especially with regard to the narrative of the great english
expedition. There is an obvious desire to represent the truth, and to
state the doubt when certainty was not attainable; and it may not escape
the reader, that though Wace is far from wanting in poetic spirit, he
sometimes rejects precisely those ornaments of his story which were most
attractive for a poet's purpose, and for the use of which grave example
might be pleaded.

He is particularly interesting whenever his subject leads to local
description applicable to his more immediate neighbourhood. From that
part of Normandy in particular his list of the chiefs present at the
battle of Hastings has its principal materials. The allusions, in which
he abounds, to the personal history and conduct of many of these leaders
give great value to this portion of his chronicle. Anachronisms no doubt
are easily to be discovered, from which none of the chroniclers of the
day were or could be expected to be exempt. His christian names are
sometimes incorrect; an error which he certainly might have avoided had
he followed the safer policy of Brompton, who covers his inability to
enter upon that branch of his work, by roundly asserting that truth was

If Wace is followed on the map, it will readily be seen to what extent
the fiefs in his own district of Normandy predominate in his catalogue.
He even commemorates the communes of neighbouring towns; and the
arrangement throughout is determined by circumstances of propinquity, by
rhyme, or other casual association.

But with all the drawbacks which may be claimed, Wace's roll, partial
and confined in extent as it is, must always be considered an
interesting and valuable document. Even if it be taken as the mere
gossip and tradition of the neighbourhood, it belongs to a period so
little removed from that of the immediate actors, that it cannot be read
with indifference. It bears a character of general probability in the
main, of simplicity and of absence of any purpose of deception. It puts
together much local and family information, gathered by an intelligent
associate of those whose means of knowledge was recent and direct; and
it may be read, so far as it goes, with far less distrust, and is in
fact supported by more external authority both positive and negative,
than those lists which were once of high pretension, but are now
universally abandoned as fabricated or corrupt.[1]

The narrative of the english expedition is the main object of the
present volume: but it seemed desirable to prefix the leading passages
of William's early history; not only for the purpose of introducing many
of the persons with whom the reader is afterwards to become better
acquainted, but with the view of exhibiting a lively picture of the
difficulties attending William's opening career--of the energy with
which he triumphed over his enemies, and directed his turbulent subjects
to useful purposes--and of the hazards he incurred, in attempting so
bold an expedition in the presence of such dangerous neighbours. The
narratives of the revolt quelled at Valdesdunes, and of the affairs of
Arques, Mortemer, and Varaville, are among the most picturesque and
graphic portions of Wace's chronicle, and derive much interest from
their bearing upon local history and description.

The division into chapters, it may be proper to observe, is a liberty
taken with the original by the translator; and his further liberties are
those of omitting portions of the duke's early adventures, and of
restoring, in one or two cases, the proper chronological arrangement,
which Wace does not always observe.

It may be asked, why the version is prose? The answer may be, that the
translator's wish was to place before the english reader a literal
narrative, and not to attempt the representation of a poetical
curiosity; if conscious of the power of so doing, to which however he
makes no pretension. To those, who wish to judge of the style and
diction of the original chronicle, it is easily accessible in the Rouen
edition; and occasional extracts will be given, which may answer the
purpose of most readers. It was considered to be an idle attempt to
pretend to represent such a work in modern english verse. In so doing,
the fidelity of the narrative must have been more or less sacrificed,
especially if rhyme had been attempted; and without rhyme there could
hardly have been much resemblance.

The object in view has been to represent the author's narrative simply
and correctly; but the printed text is obviously inaccurate, and its
want of precision in grammar often creates difficulty in translation.
The lapse of words, and even of lines, defects in the rhymes, and other
circumstances noticed in M. Raynouard's observations, betry the
inaccuracy of the MS. from which it is taken. Nevertheless, this
MS.--the one of the British Museum, MS. Reg. 4. C. xi.,--appears to be,
on the whole, the best of the existing transcripts. It is of the date of
about 1200; its style is anglicized, the grammar loose, and parts of it
are lost. It has one peculiar interest, that of having belonged to the
library of Battle abbey, for which it was no doubt made; it bears the

The plan and extent of this volume did not admit of discussions
concerning the many disputed historical questions as to the respective
rights, wrongs, pretentions or grievances of the great rivals, whose
fates were decided by the expidition. Abundant materials are now open
for the English reader's judgment, in the historical works adapted to
such inquiries. Wace's account, published at a norman court, and under
the patronage of the conqueror's family, may be expected to represent
the leading facts in light favourable to norman pretensions; but on the
whole, the impression left on a perusal of his report will probably be,
that it is fair, and creditable to the author's general judgment and
fidelity as an historian.

Notes are appended to the text, directed mainly to local and
genealogical illustrations, and particularly to that species of
information which is, in a great degree, new to the english reader,--the
pointing out the cradles of great norman families, whose representatives
are stated to have been present at the expedition. Much of the material
for this purpose was supplied in the truly valuable and interesting
notes to the Rouen edition, written by M. Auguste Le Prevost, a resident
antiquary of great and deserved reputation, who has also obliged the
translator by additional illustrations in MS. Further information has
been sought in various other quarters. The translator's wish has been to
keep the branch of his work within reasonable limits; though the result
may after all be, that he will be thought too diffuse on these points
for the general reader, and too brief for the satisfaction of those
whose pursuits lie in the direction of such inquiries. Wherever notes,
borrowed substantially from M. Le Prevost, may be considered as turning
on his personal or local information, his authority is cited by adding
his initials, A.L.P. It was believed that all were likely to attach
importance on doubtful subjects to the testimony or opinion of an active
and intelligent local inquirer. But, on the other hand, the translator
has not scrupled on all occasions to use his own judgment, and the
assistance derived from other sources; and these have sometimes led him
to different conclusions from those of his predecessors. He has
particularly to acknowledge his great obligations to Mr. Stapleton, for
supervision of his notes on chapters 22 and 23. Those who know the
extent and accuracy of that gentleman's acquaintance with these
subjects, will appreciate the great value of his assistance.

In the notes on those chapters, the translator's design has mainly been
to trace the locality of the fiefs in question, and to refer to other
evidence, such as that of Domesday, with regard to each holder's share
in the expedition; adding, where it could be done, the state and
ownership of such fiefs at the time of the compilation of the roll of
Hen. II. copied into the Red book of our exchequer. The english history
of these families has not been dwelt upon. Those who wish to follow up
that branch of the subject, can at once refer to Dugdale's Baronage, and
other authorities easily accessible. In the references to Domesday book,
the obviously convenient method has been to have recourse to the very
useful Introduction to that record, published in 1833, under the
direction of the Record-commissioners.

In the orthography of the proper names, that of Wace has been strictly
observed in the translator's text; his notes generally giving what is
conceived to be the proper or more modern version of each. The necessity
for this precaution is abundantly shown by the confusion and mistakes
that have arisen from modernizing names, (of the true relation or
derivation of which a translator is sometimes scantily informed,)
without supplying at the same time the opportunity of correction, by a
faithful quotation of the original. The translator here begs to express
his fear lest he has in one respect violated his own rule, by the use he
has made of FITZ as a prefix. It is right the reader should bear in
mind, that throughout the original the term used is filz,--such as 'le
filz Osber de Bretuil,' &c.; and it might have been better, by a literal
translation, to have avoided the appearance of an anachronous use of the
patronymic form afterwards so common.

The proper completion of the notes would consist in tracing the identity
and possession of the fiefs, from the Red book roll of the exchequer
down-wards, to the lists formed, after the general confiscation of the
estates of king John's adherents, by Philip Augustus. The translator has
only had access to the former, as to which a few words may be said. It
is a beautiful transcript from a roll, a portion of which still exists,
according to the report of Mr. Stapleton, in the Hotel Soubise at Paris.
Ducarel has printed, though very incorrectly, a transcript from our
exchequer record.[2] The roll itself was probably completed between the
twentieth and thirtieth years of Hen. II.; but that part of it which
relates to the fees of the cathedral church of Bayeux is an abstract of
an inquest of an _earlier_ date, namely, of about 1133, taken on the
death of Richard Fitz-Samson the bishop, and lately printed in the 8th
vol. of the 'Mémoires des antiquaires de Normandie.' This circumstance
creates anachronisms in the roll, that are still more apparent in the
one published--also incorrectly--in Duchesne's Scriptores, from a MS.
now in the King's library at Paris. The roll of Hen. II. is only the
_basis_ of Duchesne's; which was obviously compiled after the
confiscations of Philip Augustus; to whose era, and the then existing
state of things, the entries are made to conform. Some who have not
examined into the minutise of these records, have supposed that the
list, with which they close, of men who neither appeared nor made any
return, refers to those who adhered to John; instead of its being, as
the fact is, a mere record of defaulters under Hen. II.

There are historical traces of attempts under that monarch, to form a
sort of norman Domesday, for purposes, no doubt, of revenue. It would
seem that this design was resisted, and perhaps was only imperfectly
executed in the form we find the existing roll. Philip Augustus
afterwards caused much more complete registers of the Fœda
Normannorum to be formed. Transcripts of these are in the King's
library, and at the Hotel Soubise, and partially in the Liber-niger of
Coutances which M. de Gerville quotes. The 'Fœda Normannorum' in
Duchesne seems part of a document of this later period.

While this volume was in progress, and after the notes had been
prepared, the 7th and 8th vols, of the 'Mémoires des antiquaires de
Normandie' reached the translator. They contain a calendar and analysis
of a vast number of charters to religious houses within the department
of Calvados, and furnish a perpetual recurrence of the names of the
early owners of the principal fiefs in that district.

Another great addition has at the same time been made to the stock of
materials for the illustration of Wace, in the publication at Rouen of
the first vol. of the 'Chroniques Anglo-Normandes,' comprising such
portions of Gaimar, of the Estotre de Seint Ædward le Rei, of the
continuation of Wace's Brut d'Angleterre, and of Benoit de Sainte-More,
as relate to the norman conquest. They had all been previously resorted
to in MS. and more copious extracts would have been added, if they had
not been made so accessible by the publication referred to. Its
continuation will add other valuable historic documents relative to the
period in question.

For the graphic illustrations of the volume recourse has been had to a
few of the illuminations of the beautiful Cambridge MS. of the Estoire
de Seint Ædward le Rei. Several other subjects, that appeared
appropriate, have been added from various sources. But the principal
storehouse of the illustrations has been that noble and exquisite relic
of antiquity, the tapestry of the cathedral of Bayeux. To this series of
pictures the chronicle of Wace, (a prebend of that church, as already
observed,) would almost seem to have been intended as what, in modern
times, would be called the letter press. The controversies long carried
on, as to the age of this interesting piece of workmanship, and as to
the identity of the Matilda to whom it may owe its origin, need not be
reviewed here. The reader will find in Ducarel, in the observations of
M.H.F. Delauney annexed to the French translation of Ducarel, in the
Archæologia, in Mr. Dawson Turner's Letters, Dr. Dibdin's Tour, and
other modern works, ingenious and ample discussions upon what is known
or conjectured on the subject.

Speculations have been hazarded, with the view of testing the era of the
tapestry by Wace's supposed want of agreement with the story of the
former. It seems assumed that this variance would not have occurred, had
the tapestry been in existence when he wrote. It is not clear, however,
that there is any material variance; but if there be, it is surely
somewhat hasty to assume on that account, either that Wace preceded, or
that he was unacquainted with the worsted chronicle. He obviously sought
his authorities in various quarters; and he might very well have known
and rejected the testimony of the tapestry, on any matter of fact
regarding which there were conflicting accounts. It is very curious that
two such monuments of antiquity should be connected with the same
church; but it is left to others to speculate whether this was
accidental, or what influence, if any, the work of either party had on
that of the other.

Lastly, a small map of Normandy has been added, for the illustration of
Wace's work and of the accompanying notes. With the exception of the
leading monastic establishments, (which were considered a convenient
addition, though many of them were founded at a later period), little is
shown upon the map beyond the towns and fiefs introduced by Wace; and
these are laid down so far as the means of knowledge or probable
conjecture presented themselves. In the execution of this little map, no
pretension is made to strict geographical or even chronological
accuracy; neither has uniformity been preserved in the language of the
names; but such as it is, it will probably be found sufficiently full
and precise to answer the general purpose for which it is designed.

[Footnote 1: The list in the printed 'Chronique de Normandie,' though
very inaccurately given, is based upon Wace's. It may be found much more
correctly in the fine MS. Chronicle of Normandy, (which ought to be
printed.) in the British Museum, Bibl. Reg. 15 E. vi. fol. ccccx.]

[Footnote 2: A much more correct copy is printed in the french
translation of Ducarel, published in 1823.]




To commemorate the deeds, the sayings, and manners of our ancestors, to
tell the felonies of felons and the baronage of barons[1], men should
read aloud at feasts the gests and histories of other times; and
therefore they did well, and should be highly prized and rewarded who
first wrote books, and recorded therein concerning the noble deeds and
good words which the barons and lords did and said in days of old. Long
since would those things have been forgotten, were it not that the tale
thereof has been told, and their history duly recorded and put in

Many a city hath once been, and many a noble state, whereof we should
now have known nothing; and many a deed has been done of old, which
would have passed away, if such things had not been written down, and
read and rehearsed by clerks.

The fame of Thebes was great, and Babylon had once a mighty name; Troy
also was of great power, and Nineveh was a city broad and long; but
whoso should now seek them would scarce find their place.

Nebuchadnezzar was a great king; he made an image of gold, sixty cubits
in height, and six cubits in breadth; but he who should seek ever so
carefully would not, I ween, find out where his bones were laid: yet
thanks to the good clerks, who have written for us in books the tales of
times past, we know and can recount the marvellous works done in the
days that are gone by.

Alexander was a mighty king; he conquered twelve kingdoms in twelve
years: he had many lands and much wealth, and was a king of great power;
but his conquests availed him little, he was poisoned and died. Cæsar,
whose deeds were so many and bold, who conquered and possessed more of
the world than any man before or since could do, was at last, as we
read, slain by treason, and fell in the capitol. Both these mighty men,
the lords of so many lands, who vanquished so many kings, after their
deaths held of all their possessions nought but their bodies' length.
What availed them, or how are they the better for their rich booty and
wide conquests? It is only from what they have read, that men learn that
Alexander and Caesar were. Their names have endured many years; yet they
would have been utterly forgotten long ago, if their story had not been
written down.

All things hasten to decay; all fall; all perish; all come to an end.
Man dieth, iron consumeth, wood decayeth; towers crumble, strong walls
fall down, the rose withereth away; the war-horse waxeth feeble, gay
trappings grow old; all the works of men's hands perish[2]. Thus we are
taught that all die, both clerk and lay; and short would be the fame of
any after death, if their history did not endure by being written in the
book of the clerk.

The story of the Normans is long and hard to put into romanz. If any
one ask who it is that tells it and writes this history, let him know
that I am Wace, of the isle of Jersey, which is in the western sea,
appendant to the fief of Normandy. I was born in the island of Jersey,
but was taken to Caen when young; and, being there taught, went
afterwards to France, where I remained for a long time. When I returned
thence, I dwelt long at Caen, and there turned myself to making
romances, of which I wrote many.

In former times, they who wrote gests and histories of other days used
to be beloved, and much prized and honoured. They had rich gifts from
the barons and noble ladies; but now I may ponder long, and write and
translate books, and may make many a romance and sirvente, ere I find
any one, how courteous soever he may be, who will do me any honour, or
give me enough even to pay a scribe. I talk to rich men who have rents
and money; it is for them that the book is made, that the tale well
told and written down; but noblesse now is dead, and largesse hath
perished with it; so that I have found none, let me travel where I
will, who will bestow ought upon me, save king Henry the second. He gave
me, so God reward him, a prebend at Bayeux[4], and many other good
gifts. He was grandson of the first king Henry, and father of the
third[5]. Three kings--dukes and kings--dukes of Normandy, and kings of
England--all three have I known, being a reading clerk, in their days.

In honour of the second Henry, of the line of Roul, I have told the tale
of Roul, of his noble parentage, of Normandy that he conquered, and the
prowess that he showed. I have recounted the history of William
Lunge-espee, till the Flemings killed him by felony and treason; of
Richard his son, whom he left a child; [of the second Richard, who
succeeded him; of his son the third Richard; who was soon followed by
Duke Robert his brother, who went to Jerusalem, and died by poison; and
now the tale will be of William his son, who was born to him of the
'meschine, Arlot of Faleise[6].']

[Footnote 1: The list in the printed 'Chronique de Normandie,' though
very inaccurately given, is based upon Wace's. It may be found much more
correctly in the fine MS. Chronicle of Normandy, (which ought to be
printed.) in the British Museum, Bibl. Reg. 15 E. vi. fol. ccccx.]

[Footnote 2: A much more correct copy is printed in the french
translation of Ducarel, published in 1823.]

[Footnote 3: These laments are frequent in the minstrels' songs of that
age in all countries. Walther von der Vogelweide, the German
minnesinger, by for the most varied and interesting poet of his day, is
often very plaintive in his lamentations;

     'Hie vor do was diu welt so schöne,
     Nu ist si worden also höne,'
     The world was once so beautiful,
     And now so desolate and dull.'

See notice of his life and works in _Lays of the Minnesingers,_ London,
1825. At the conclusion of his Chronicle, Wace mentions Maistre Beneit
(de Sainte-More) as commissioned to undertake a similar task, and
expresses himself by no means satisfied with his patron, Henry II.

     Mult me duna, plus me pramist:
     E se il tot duné m'eust
     Ço k'il me pramist, mielx me fut.]

[Footnote 4: The names and values of the forty-nine prebends of Bayeux
appear in the _Mémoires des Antiq. Norm_. viii. 458-467. Seven of them
were created by Bishop Odo, out of the forfeited lands of Grimoult du
Plessis after mentioned.]

[Footnote 5: These three Henrys were Henry I. and Henry II. of England,
and Henry the latter's son, who died in 1182, in his father's lifetime,
but was living when Wace wrote. He was expectant heir of England and
Normandy, and was then in the possession or government of the latter, so
as in some measure to justify Wace's epithets.]

[Footnote 6: Roul is of course the personage usually called Rollo. The
sentence in brackets comprises a few words, added by the translator;
condensing the intervening part of the Chronicle, so as to introduce
that portion of the work which he proceeds to translate.]



The mourning for Duke Robert was great and lasted long; and William his
son, who was yet very young, sorrowed much. The feuds against him were
many, and his friends few; for he found that most were ill inclined
towards him; those even whom his father held dear he found haughty and
evil disposed. The barons warred upon each other; the strong oppressed
the weak; and he could not prevent it, for he could not do justice upon
them all. So they burned and pillaged the villages, and robbed and
plundered the villains, injuring them in many ways.

A mighty feud broke out between Walkelin de Ferrieres[1], and Hugh Lord
of Montfort[2]; I know not which was right and which wrong; but they
waged fierce war with each other, and were not to be reconciled; neither
by bishop nor lord could peace or love be established between them. Both
were good knights, bold and brave. Once upon a time they met, and the
rage of each against the other was so great that they fought to the
death. I know not which carried himself most gallantly, or who fell the
first, but the issue of the affray was that Hugh was slain, and Walkelin
fell also; both lost their lives in the same affray, and on the same

William meantime grew, and strengthened himself as his years advanced;
yet still he was forced to hear and see many a deed which went against
his heart, though he could do nothing to prevent it The barons' feuds
continued; they had no regard for him. Every one according to his means
made castles and fortresses. On account of the castles wars arose, and
destruction of the lands; great affrays and jealousies; maraudings and
challengings; while the duke could give no redress[3] to those who
suffered such wrongs.

Still as he advanced in age and stature he waxed strong; for he was
prudent, and took care to strengthen himself on many sides. He had now
held the land twelve years, when the country was involved in war, and
suffered greatly through Neel de Costentin[4] and Renouf de Beessin, two
viscounts of great power, who had the means of working much mischief.

William had about his person Gui, a son of Regnald the Burgundian[5],
who had married Aeliz, the daughter of Duke Richard, and had two sons
by her. Oui was brought up with William. When he was a young varlet, and
first began to ride and to know how to feed and dress himself, he was
taken into Normandy and brought up with William, who was very fond of
him, and when he had made him a knight, gave him Briune[6] and Vernun,
and other lands round about. When Gui had got possession, and had
strengthened them till they had become good and fair castles, he became
very envious of William, who had seigniory over him, and began to annoy
him, and to challenge Normandy itself as his own right, reproaching
William for his bastardy, and feloniously stirring up war against him;
but it fell out ill for him, for in trying to seize all he lost the
whole. He assembled and talked with Neel and Renouf, and
Hamon-as-dens[7], and Grimoult del Plesseiz[8], who served William
grudgingly. "There was not," he said, "any heir who had a better right
to Normandy than himself. Richard was father to his mother; he was no
bastard, but bora in wedlock; and if right was done, Normandy would
belong to him. If they would support him in his claim, he would divide
it with them." So, at length, he said so much, and promised so largely,
that they swore to support him according to their power in making war on
William, and to seek his disherison by force or treason. Then they
stored their castles, dug fosses, and erected barricades, William
knowing nothing of their preparations.

He was at that time sojourning at Valognes, for his pleasure as well as
on business; and had been engaged for several days hunting and shooting
in the woods. One evening late his train had left his court, and all had
gone to rest at the hostels where they lodged, except those who were of
his household; and he himself was laid down. Whether he slept or not I
do not know, but in the season of the first sleep, a fool named Golet[9]
came, with a staff slung at his neck, crying out at the chamber door,
and beating the wall with the staff; "Ovrez!" said he, "Ovrez! ovrez! ye
are dead men: levez. levez! Where art thou laid, William? Wherefore dost
thou sleep? If thou art found here thou wilt die; thy enemies are arming
around; if they find thee here, thou wilt never quit the Cotentin, nor
live till the morning!"

Then William was greatly alarmed; he rose up and stood as a man sorely
dismayed. He asked no further news, for it seemed unlikely to bring him
any good. He was in his breeches and shirt, and putting a cloak around
his neck, he seized his horse quickly, and was soon on the road. I know
not whether he even stopped to seek for his spurs, or whether he took
any companion of his flight, but he hasted on till he came to the fords
nearest at hand, which were those of Vire, and crossed them by night in
great fear and anger. From thence he bent his way to the church of St.
Clement[10], and prayed God heartily, if it were his will, to be his
safe conduct, and let him pass in safety. He dared not turn towards
Bayeux, for he knew not whom to trust, so he took the way which passes
between Bayeux and the sea. And as he rode through Rie before the sun
rose, Hubert de Rie[11] stood at his gate, between the church and his
castle[12], and saw William pass in disorder, and that his horse was all
in a sweat. "How is that you travel so, fair sire?" cried he. "Hubert,"
said William, "dare I tell you?" Then Hubert said, "Of a truth, most
surely! say on boldly!" "I will have no secrets with you; my enemies
follow seeking me, and menace my life. I know that they have sworn my
death." Then Hubert led him into his hostel, and gave him his good
horse, and called forth his three sons. "Fair sons," said he, "muntez!
muntez! Behold your lord, conduct him till ye have lodged him in
Falaise. This way ye shall pass, and that; it will be ill for you to
touch upon any town." So Hubert taught them well the ways and turnings;
and his sons understood all rightly, and followed his instructions
exactly. They crossed all the country, passed Folpendant[13] at the
ford, and lodged William in Falaise. If he were in bad plight, what
matters so that he got safe?

Hubert remained standing on his bridge; he looked out over valley, and
over hill, and listened anxiously for news, when they who were pursuing
William came spurring by. They called him on one side, and conjured him
with fair words to tell if he had seen the bastard, and whither and by
what road he was gone. And he said to them, "He passed this way, and is
not far off; you will have him soon; but wait, I will lead you myself,
for I should like to give him the first blow. By my faith, I pledge you
my word, that if I find him, I will strike him the first if I can." But
Hubert only led them out of their way till he had no fear for William,
who was gone by another route. So when he had talked to them enough of
this thing and that, he returned back to his hostel.

The Cotentin and the Bessin were in great dismay that day, for the
alarming news soon went through the country of William's being betrayed,
and how he was to have been murdered by night. Some said he was killed;
others that he was taken; many said that he had fled:--"May God protect
him," said all. Between Bayeux and the fords[14] the roads were to be
seen covered with those who came from Valognes, holding themselves as
dead or disgraced men, for having lost their lord, whom they had safe
overnight. They know not where to seek their lord, who had been among
them but last evening: they go enquiring tidings of him around, without
knowing whither to repair. And heavily do they curse Grimoult del
Plesseiz, and those who trust in him; for they vehemently suspect that
he has done foul treason by his lord. Thus all Normandy was frightened
and troubled at what had happened.

The viscounts hated the duke; they seized his lands, and omitted to lay
hold of nothing which they could reach. They plundered him so
completely, that he was unable to do any thing, either for right or
wrong. He could not enter the Bessin, neither demand rent or service; so
he went to France, to King Henry[15], whom his father Robert served, and
complained against Neel, that he had injured him, and had seized his
rents. He complained also of Hamon-as-dens, and of Guion le Burgenion;
of Grimoult, who would have betrayed him, and whom he might well hate
more than any other; and of Renouf de Briquesart, who took and spent his
rents; and of the other barons of the country who had risen up against


[Footnote 1: This combat is mentioned by William of Jumieges. Vauquelin
or Vauclin is a name still common in Normandy. See as to Ferrieres
_Mémoires des Antiq, Norm_. iv. 434. Vauquelin de Ferrieres left two
sons, William and Henry, who distinguished themselves at the conquest,
and were liberally rewarded. We shall find the name hereafter.]

[Footnote 2: The Montforts will be noticed afterwards.]

[Footnote 3: See as to this state of anarchy _William of Jumieges,_ and
_Ordericus Vitalis_. We pass over a portion of the Chronicle, as to the
French king's demand of the destruction of Tillieres, and Gilbert
Crespin's defence of it, and other disputes with the king.]

[Footnote 4: This date is correct; Neel de Saint Sauveur, Viscount of
the Cotentin, will be further noticed hereafter. Renouf, Viscount of the
Bessin, is afterwards called by Wace Renouf de Bricasard, from the
castle of Bricasard, which formed the caput of the barony of the
viscounts of the Bessin. Either this Renouf, or a son, married the
sister of Hugh Lupus; and their son Ranulpb, of Bayeux or Bricasard,
succeeded to the earldom of Chester and other possessions of the
Avranche family, on the death of Earl Richard, about 1121. As to the cry
of St. Sever, it looks very like an anachronism; unless this Renouf was
the one who married the sister of Hugh Lupus, and, being already so
married, was sufficiently connected with St. Sever to adopt that

[Footnote 5: Guy of Burgundy, or of Maçon, see _Wace_, i. 352.]

[Footnote 6: Brionne, a small town in the arrondissement of Bernay. An
account of it and its possessions, and of the acquisition of the castle
by Guy of Burgundy, may be seen in _Mém. Ant. Norm_. iv. 415. It is also
described in _William of Poitiers_.]

[Footnote 7: Hamon with the teeth, Lord of Thorigny, in the
arrondissement of Saint Lo, father or grandfather of Robert Fitz Hamon,
who settled in England, and held lands there. In the roll of Norman fees
under Henry II. in the red book of the Exchequer, we find, among the
knights of the see of Bayeux, 'Robertus filius Ham. 10 mil. tenebat de
honore Ebr.' See as to Thorigny M. de Gerville's Recherches in the _Mém.
Ant. Norm_. v. 220.]

[Footnote 8: Grimoult du Plessis, lord of the place still called
Plessis-Grimoult, in the arrondissement of Vire. M. de Gerville, in his
Recherches, states that besides this Plessis the fief and castle of
Plessis in the arrondissement of Coutances, also belonged to Grimoult.
He does not determine which of the two gave him his name. We know
nothing of his family, except that his sister married William de Albini,
great grandfather of the first Albini, Earl of Arundel, whose Cotentin
estates were near Plessis.]

[Footnote 9: William of Jumieges calls him Gallet; and says he was of

[Footnote 10: The church of St. Clement, a commune at the embouchure of
the Vire, near Isigny. The fords of Vire are also mentioned by Wace
again in narrating William's rapid journey from Valognes to Arques. He
seems to have crossed by the route (abandoned under Louis XIV.) called
the Grand-vey (ford), by Montebourg, Emondeville, Surqueville, the
Chaussée d'Audouville, and St. Marie du Mont, where the water was
entered near Brucheville for Saint Clement, and thence to Rye. Froissart
mentions it as the road by which the Earl of Arundel returned to
Cherbourg in 1388, after ravaging the Bessin. The great Talbot narrowly
escaped by the same road, from an unfortunate expedition. _Mém. Ant.
Norm_, v. 295.]

[Footnote 11: Rye, three leagues north of Bayeux. The church of Rye is
very ancient and curious. Hubert was the father of five sons--Ralf,
Hubert, Adam, Eudo (called Eudo the Dapifer in Domesday,) and Robert, a

[Footnote 12: 'Entre li mostier es a _mote,_' the mound or elevation on
which the castle or mansion of Hubert stood; a sense very different from
that in which we use the word _moat_, namely, the surrounding fosse.]

[Footnote 13: What spot or stream is here indicated is now, we believe,
unknown. It is said there is a Foupendant in the environs of Moutiers,
but that there is no stream there.]

[Footnote 14: Of Vire.]

[Footnote 15: It was, according to Ordericus Vitalis, at Poissy
(Pexeium), that William met the King of France, to seek his aid.]




The King of France, upon hearing the words that William spoke, and the
complaints he made, sent forth and summoned his army, and came quickly
into Normandy. And William called together the Cauchois, and the men of
Roem, and of Roumoiz[1], and the people of Auge, and of the Lievin[2],
and those of Evreux, and of the Evrecin. In Oismeiz also they quickly
assembled when the summons reached them.

Between Argences and Mezodon[3], upon the river Lison[4], the men of
France pitched their tents; and those of the Normans, who held fast to
William, and came in his cause, made their camp near the river Meance,
which runs by Argences[5].

When the Viscount of the Costentin, and the Viscount of the Bessin knew
that William was coming, and was determined to fight, and had brought
with him the King of France, in order to conquer them with his aid, they
gave heed to evil counsel; and in the pride of their hearts, disdained
to restore to him his own, or to seek peace or accept it. They sent for
their people, their friends and relations, from all quarters; the
vavassors and the barons, who were bound by oath to obey their
commandment, were all sent for and summoned. They passed by various
rivers and fords, and assembled at Valedune.

Valedune is in Oismeiz, between Argences and Cingueleiz[6]; about three
leagues from Caen, according to my reckoning. The plain is long and
broad, without either hill or valley of any size. It is near the ford
of Berangier, and the land is without either wood or rock, but slopes
towards the rising sun. A river bounds it towards the south and west.

At Saint Briçun de Valmerei[7], mass was sung before the king on the day
of that battle, and the clerks were in great alarm. The French armed and
arranged their troops at Valmerei, and then entered Valedune. There the
communes[8] assembled well equipped, and occupied the river's bank.
William advanced from Argences, and passing at the ford of Berangier,
followed the river's course till he joined the French. His men were on
the right, and the French on the left hand, with their faces towards the
west, for their enemies came from that quarter.

Raol Tesson de Cingueleiz[9] saw the Normans and French advancing, and
beheld William's force increasing. He stood on one side afar off, having
six score knights and six in his troop; all with their lances raised,
and trimmed with silk tokens[10]. The king and Duke William spoke
together; each armed, and with helmet laced. They divided their troops,
and arranged their order of battle, each holding in his hand a baston;
and when the king saw Raol Tesson with his people standing far off from
the others, he was unable to discover on whose side he was, or what he
intended to do. "Sire," said William, "I believe those men will aid me;
for the name of their lord is Raol Tesson, and he has no cause of
quarrel or anger against me." Much was thereupon said and done, the
whole of which I never heard; and Raol Tesson still stood hesitating
whether he should hold with William.

On the one hand the viscounts besought him, and made him great promises;
and he had before pledged himself, and sworn upon the saints at Bayeux,
to smite William wherever he should find him. But all his men besought
and advised him for his good, not to make war upon his lawful lord,
whatever he did; nor to fail of his duty to him in any manner. They said
William was his natural lord; that he could not deny being his man; that
he should remember having done him homage before his father and his
barons; and that the man who would fight against his lord had no right
to fief or barony.

"That I cannot dispute," said Raol; "you say well, and we will do even
so." So he spurred his horse forth from among the people with whom he
stood, crying TUR AIE[11]; and ordering his men to rest where they were,
went to speak with Duke William. He came spurring over the plain, and
struck his lord with his glove, and said laughingly to him, "What I have
sworn to do that I perform; I had sworn to smite you as soon as I should
find you; and as I would not perjure myself, I have now struck you to
acquit myself of my oath, and henceforth I will do you no further wrong
or felony." Then the duke said, "Thanks to thee!" and Raol thereupon
went on his way back to his men.

William passed along the plain, leading a great company of Normans,
seeking the two viscounts, and calling out on the perjured men to stand
forth. Those who knew them pointed them out on the other side among
their people.

Then the troops were to be seen moving with their captains; and there
was no rich man or baron there who had not by his side his gonfanon, or
other enseigne, round which his men might rally; and cognizances or
tokens, and shields painted in various guises[12]. There was great stir
over the field; horses were to be seen curvetting, the pikes were
raised, the lances brandished, and shields and helmets glistened. As
they gallop, they cry their various war cries: those of France cry,
MONT-JOIE! the sound whereof is pleasant to them. William cries, DEX
AIE! which is the signal of Normandy; and Renouf cries loudly, SAINT
SEVER, SIRE SAINT SEVOIR[13]; and Dam as-denz goes crying out, SAINT
AMANT! SIRE SAINT AMANT[14]! Great clamour arose in their onset; all
the earth quaked and trembled; knights were pricking along, some
retiring, others coming up; the bold spurring forward, the cowards
shrinking and trembling.

Against the King of France and the Frenchmen came up the body of the
Costentinese; each party closing with the other, and clashing with
levelled lances. When the lances broke and failed, then they assailed
each other with swords. Hand to hand they fight, as champions in the
lists, when two knights are matched; striking and beating each other
down in many ways; wrestling and pushing and triumphing whenever any
one yields. Each would be ashamed to flee, each tries to keep the field,
each one boasts of his prowess with his fellow; Costentinese[15] and
French thus contending with each other.

Great is the clamour and hard the strife; the swords are drawn, the
lances clash. Many were the vassals to be seen there fighting, serjeants
and knights overthrowing one another. The king himself was struck and
beat down off his horse. A Norman whom no one knew had come up among
them; he thought that if the king should fall, his army would soon be
dispersed; so he struck at him 'de travers,' and overthrew him, and if
his hauberk had not been very good, in my opinion he would have been
killed. On this account the men of that country said, and yet say,

     From Costentin came the lance
     That struck down the King of France[16].

and if their knight had got clear away, they might well pass with their
jeer. But when he tried to go off, and his horse had begun its course, a
knight came pricking, and hit him, striking him with such violence as
to stretch him out at full length. And he soon fared still worse than
even that; for as he recovered himself, and would have mounted his
horse, and had laid his hand on the saddle bow, the throng increased
around, and bore him from the saddle, throwing him down; and the horses
trod him underfoot, so that they left him there for dead.

There was great press to raise the king up, and they soon remounted him.
He had fallen among his men, and was no way hurt nor injured: so he
arose up nimbly and boldly; never more so. As soon as he was on
horseback, many were the vassals who were again to be seen striking with
lance and sword; Frenchmen assaulting Normans, and Normans turning,
dispersing, and moving off the field: and the king shewed himself every
where in order to encourage his men, as he had been seen to fall.

[Then Hamon-as-denz was beaten down, and I know not how many of his
kindred with him, who never returned home thence, save as they might be
borne home on their biers. Dan as-denz was a Norman, very powerful in
his fief, and in his men. He was Lord of Thorigny, of Mezi[17], and of
Croillie[18]. He had fought on all day, striking down the Frenchmen, and
crying out SAINT AMANT! but a Frenchman marked him carrying himself thus
proudly; so he stood still on one side, and watched him until he came
near; and when he saw him turn and strike the king[19], the Frenchman
charged forward with great force, and struck him gallantly, so that he
fell upon his shield. I know not exactly how he was wounded, but only
that he was carried away on his shield dead; and was borne thence to
Esquai[20], and buried before the church. Many were the people who saw
this feat done; how Hamon struck the king, and beat him off his horse,
and how the French killed him for it, taking vengeance for their king.]

Raol Tesson stood by and looked on, till he saw the two hosts meeting,
and the knights jousting; then he rode forward, and his course was easy
to be marked. I know not how to recount his high deeds, nor how many he
overthrew on that day.

Renouf the Viscount (I will not dwell long on the story) had with him a
vassal named Hardé[21], born and bred at Bayeux, who rode in the front
of all, and gloried much in his prowess; William rushed against him,
sword in hand, and aiming his blow aright, drove the trenchant steel
into his body below the chin, between the throat and the chest, his
armour not saving him. The body fell backward to the earth, and the soul
passed away therefrom.

Renouf saw how the combat raged; he heard the clamour, the cry of war,
and the clashing of lances; and he stood still, and was astounded, like
one whose heart is faint. He feared much lest he were betrayed, and lest
Neel had fled; and he was greatly afraid of William, and of the people
who were with him. Evil betide him, he thought, if he were taken, and
worse still would it be to be killed. He repented of having put on his
armour, and was eager to get out of the battle; so he wandered in front
and in rear, and at last, separating himself from his companions,
determined to flee. Accordingly he threw away his lance and shield, and
took to flight, running off with outstretched neck. Those about him who
were cowards accompanied his flight, complaining much more than they
had any occasion.

But Neel fought on gallantly; and if all had been like him, the French
king would have come in an evil hour, for his men would have been
discomfited and conquered. He was called on account of his valour and
skill, his bravery and noble bearing, CHIEF DE FAUCON;--NOBLE CHIEF DE
FAUCON was his title. He gave and received many a blow, and did all that
lay in his power; but his strength began to fail; he saw that many of
his men were lying dead, and that the French force increased on all
sides, while the Normans fell away. Some fell wounded around him; some
took fright and fled; and Neel at length quitted the field with more
regret than he had ever before felt.

I will not tell, and in truth I do not know, (for I was not there to
see, and I have not found it written) which of those present fought
best; but this I know, that the king conquered, and that Renouf fled
from the field. The crowd of fugitives was great, and the press of the
pursuers was great also. Horses were to be seen running loose, and
knights spurring across the plain. They sought to escape into the
Bessin, but feared to cross the Osgne[22]. All fled in confusion
between Alemaigne and Fontenai[23]; by fives, by sixes, and by threes,
while the pursuers followed, pressing hard upon and destroying them. So
many of them were driven into the Osgne, and killed or drowned there, as
that the mills of Borbillon[24], they say, were stopped by the dead

And the king then gathered together his men, to return each into his own
land. The sick and wounded were carried away, and the dead were buried
in the cemeteries of the country.

William remained in his own land, and for a long while there was no more
war. The barons came to accord with him, and paid such fines, and made
him such fair promises, that he granted them peace, and acquittance of
all their offences. But Neel could not come to an arrangement with him,
and dare not stay in the land; so he remained long in Brittany before
any accord was come to. Gui retreated from Valedune and fled to Brione;
and William followed hard after him, and shut him up in a strong castle.
In those days there was a fortress standing on an island of the river
Risle[25], which surrounds the fortress and the mansion. And there, in
Brione, Gui was shut up; but he had neither peace nor rest, and was in
great bodily fear. The duke built up two castles near; so that
provisions failing, and the besiegers pressing him hard, Gui surrendered
up Brione and Vernun, when he could get no better terms. He might have
remained with the duke, who would have provided for him; but he did not
stay long; there was no friendship between them; so he went away to
Burguine[26], to the country where he was born.

When the other Norman barons saw that the duke had obtained the upper
hand of them all, they delivered hostages to keep the peace, and did
fealty and homage to him. They obeyed him as their lord, and pulled down
the new castles, and willingly or unwillingly rendered their service. He
seized Grimoult del Plesseiz, and put him in prison at Rouen; and he had
very good cause for so doing; for Grimoult would have murdered him
traitorously, as we have said, at Valognes, had not Golet the fool given
him warning. Grimoult confessed the felony, and accused of fellowship in
it a knight called Salle[27], who had Huon for his father. Salle
offered to defend himself from the charge, and a single combat was
thereupon arranged between them; but when the appointed day came,
Grimoult was found dead in the prison. It occasioned great talk; and he
was buried, chained as he was, with the irons on his legs. At Bayeux,
when the church was dedicated, part of Grimoult's lands was granted to
Our Lady the Blessed Mary; and part divided in the abbey, to each his

[Footnote 1: Rouen, and the district attached.]

[Footnote 2: The pays de Lisieux. Oismeiz is the pays d'Exmes.]

[Footnote 3: Argences and Mezidon, both situate in the pays d'Auge.]

[Footnote 4: Laison.]

[Footnote 5: All the topographical details concerning this battle of
Val-des-dunes are stated to be perfectly correct, and to show Wace's
acquaintance with the neighbourhood.]

[Footnote 6: A small district, of which Harcourt-Thury is the principal

[Footnote 7: Valmeray, near Croissanville.]

[Footnote 8: 'Li cumunes,' the troops brought by the barons from their
villages and towns. See the very curious passage in _Wace_, vol. i. page
307, as to another sense of 'cumune,' in his account of the popular
insurrection against Duke Richard II.]

[Footnote 9: One of the greatest proprietors in Normandy: we shall find
his son subsequently, as one of those present at Hastings.]

[Footnote 10:

     Tuit aloent lances levées
     Et en totes guimples fermées.

M. Pluquet in his notes interprets guimples as 'cornettes de taffetas
attachées à la lance:' for which purpose the knights may have already
learned to adopt the colours or tokens of their ladies.]

[Footnote 11: 'Thor-aide,' according to M. Pluquet, which he considers
may have been derived from the ancient North-men. Another MS. reads
'Turie:' and M. Le Prevost considers the latter to be the true reading,
and that the cry was really Thury, and most probably referred to the
chief seat of Raol Tesson.]

[Footnote 12:

     Congnoissances u entre-sainz,
     De plusors guises escuz painz.]

[Footnote 13: The cry of Saint Sever! has been noticed in a preceding

[Footnote 14: The church of the commune called le vieux Thorigny is
stated to have been dedicated to St. Amand; but see the observations in
_Mém. Ant. Norm_. v. 221.]

[Footnote 15: Men of the Cotentin, a district comprehended in, though
not so large as, the present department of La Manche.]

[Footnote 16:

     De Costentin iessi la lance,
     Ki abati le rei de France.]

[Footnote 17: Maissy, arrondissement of Bayeux.]

[Footnote 18: Creully, Croleium, or Credolium, in the arrondissement of
Caen; celebrated for its castle, and the lords of the name, who also
held among others the chateau de Gratot. _Mém. Ant. Norm_. ii. 251.
Thorigny and Creully passed with one of Robert Fitz Hamon's daughters to
Robert, Earl of Gloucester, natural son of Henry I.]

[Footnote 19: The Chronicle of Normandy says it was Guillesen, uncle of
Hamon, who overthrew the king; William of Malmesbury says it was Hamon
himself. There is some obscurity in the account of this assault on the
king. The passage marked with brackets looks like merely another version
of the incident just before related; thus incorporating perhaps the
various readings of two MSS. instead of selecting one.]

[Footnote 20: Notre dame d'Esquai is on the banks of the Orne, near
Vieux. There is, however, another Esquai, a league from Bayeux.]

[Footnote 21: The Chronicle of Normandy calls him Bardon; Dumoulin says
he was nephew to Grimoult. Another MS. reads Hardré.]

[Footnote 22: The Orne.]

[Footnote 23: Allemagne and St. André de Fontenay, both in the
arrondissement of Caen. There was an abbey of ancient foundation at the

[Footnote 24: The Chronicle of Normandy reports the same.]

[Footnote 25: Brionne is on the Risle. The castle here described must
not be confounded with the one whose remains still exist. There is no
vestige of the old castle on the island. See an article on Brionne in
_Mém. Ant. Norm_. iv. 415. Ordericus Vitalis says the siege lasted three

[Footnote 26: Burgundy.]

[Footnote 27: The name Salle and Saulz occurs in this district in
_Gallia Christiana_. There is a Saulx-mesnil near Valognes, the scene of
the treachery planned against William.]

[Footnote 28: The charter of donation to Bayeux is in _Gallia
Christiana_, and is dated 1074. Among the witnesses are Robert Fitz
Hamon, son of one of the traitors, and Eudo Dupifer, one of Hubert de
Rie's sons. The curious inquest of the possessions of the see of Bayeux,
(taken temp. Hen. I. and printed in _Mém. Ant. Norm_. vol. viii.) of
which the list of Bayeux knights in the Norman Roll of the Red book is
only an abridgement, says, in speaking of Grimoult, 'in carcere regis
apud Rothomagum mortuus est; et sepultus in cimiterio Sti. Gervasii
extra villam; habens adhuc tibias in compedibus ferreis, in signum
proditionis, de quâ erat ab ipso rege accusatus.' In the roll, which
agrees with the inquest, is this entry, 'Feodum Grimundi de Plesseiz
erat fœdum 8 mil. cum terrâ de Bougeio et de Danvou, quam Grimundus
dederat Willelmo de Albinneio cum sorore sua in maritagio.' Further
particulars are given in the inquest, and in the Bull of Eugenius III.
1144, also printed in _Mém. Ant. Norm_. viii. The word 'abbey' is
probably only used here by Wace to suit his rhyme; though the Chronicle
of Normandy, improving upon the error, says the abbey of Caen. Wace
meant to allude to an appropriation of Grimoult's lands among the
prebends; and in fact, in the Bayeux inquest, it is stated that Odo
created out of them seven prebends; retaining in demesne Plessis, and
the forest of Montpinçon.]




He who made the history of the Normans, tells us that in those days[1]
Kenut, who was father of Hardekenut, and had married Emma, the wife of
Alred[2], the mother of Edward and of Alfred, died at Winchester.
Hardekenut, during the lifetime of his father, by the advice of his
mother Emma, had gone to Denmark, and became king there, and was much
honoured. On account of Hardekenut's absence, and by an understanding
with her, England fell to Herout[3], a bastard son of Kenut.

Edward and Alfred heard of Kenut's death, and were much rejoiced; for
they expected to have the kingdom, seeing that they were the nearest
heirs. So they provided knights and ships, and equipped their fleet;
and Edward, having sailed from Barbeflo[4], with forty ships, soon
arrived at the port of Hantone, hoping to win the land. But the
Englishmen, who were aware that the brothers were coming, would not
receive them, nor suffer them to abide in the country. Whether it was
that they feared Herout the son of Kenut, or that they liked him best;
at any rate they defended the country against Edward; and the Normans on
the other hand fought them, taking and killing many, and seizing several
of their ships. But the English force increased; men hastened up from
all sides, and Edward saw that he could not win his inheritance without
a great loss. He beheld the enemy's force fast growing in numbers, and
that he should only sacrifice his own men; so fearing that, if taken, he
himself might be killed without ransom, he ordered all his people to
return to the ships, and took on board the harness. He could do no more
this time, so he made his retreat to Barbeflo.

Alfred meantime sailed with a great navy from Wincant[5]; and arriving
safely at Dovre, proceeded thence into Kent. Against him came the earl
Godwin[6], who was a man of a very low origin. His wife was born in
Denmark, and well related among the Danes, and he had Heraut, Guert,
and Tosti for his sons. On account of these children, who thus came by a
Dane, and were beloved by their countrymen, Godwin loved the Danes, much
better in fact than he did the English.

Hearken to the devilry that was now played; to the great treason and
felony that were committed! Godwin was a traitor, and he did foul
treason; a Judas did he show himself, deceiving and betraying the son of
his natural lord,--the heir to the honor (lordship),--even as Judas sold
our Lord. He had sainted and kissed him; he had eaten too out of his
dish, and had pledged himself to bear faith and loyalty. But at
midnight, when Alfred had laid down to rest and slept, Godwin surprised
and bound him; and sent him to London to king Herout, who expected him,
knowing of the treason. From thence he sent him to Eli, and there put
out his eyes and murdered him dishonourably, and by treachery which he
dared not to avow. Those too who came with Alfred (hearken to the foul
cruelty!) were bound fast and guarded; and taken to Gedefort[7], where
all, except every tenth man, lost their heads and died miserably. When
the English had numbered them, setting them in rows, they then
decimated them, making every tenth man stand on one side, and striking
off the heads of the other nine; and when the tithe so set apart
amounted to a considerable number, it was again decimated, and all that
was at last saved was this second tithe.


Herout soon after died, and went the way he deserved; whereupon the men
of England assembled to consider about making a king in his place. They
feared Edward who was the right heir, on account of the decimation of
the Normans, and the murder of his brother Alvred; and at last they
agreed to make Hardekenut king of England. So they sent for Hardekenut,
the son of Emma and Kenut, and he repaired thither from Denmark, and the
clergy crowned him: but he sent for Edward his brother, the son of Emma
his mother, and kept him in great honour at his court, and was king over
him only in name. Hardekenut was king twelve years, and then fell ill.
He did not languish long, but soon died. His mother lamented over him
exceedingly; but it was a great comfort to her that her son Edward was
come; and he obtained the kingdom[8], the English finding no other heir
who was entitled to the crown.

Edward was gentle and courteous, and established peace and good laws. He
took to wife Godwin's daughter, Edif[9] by name. She was a fair lady,
but they had no children between them, and people said that he never
consorted with her; but no man saw that there was ever any disagreement
between them[10]. He loved the Normans very much, and held them dear,
keeping them on familiar terms about him; and loved duke William as a
brother or child. Thus peace lasted, and long will last, never I hope to
have an end[11].


[Footnote 1: Canute died 12th November, 1035, or four months and a half
after Duke Robert; so that Wace here retraces his steps to take up
English affairs.]

[Footnote 2: Ethelred, Edward and Alfred are spelt by Wace, Ewart and

[Footnote 3: Harold.]

[Footnote 4: Barfleur. This expedition took place in 1036. Hantone is
Hampton, probably Southampton.]

[Footnote 5: This port seems to have been Wissant, between Calais and
Boulogne: see _William of_ _Jumieges_ and the _Encomium Emmæ_. Alfred
went by land to the Boulognese.]

[Footnote 6: Spelt Gwine by _Wace_.]

[Footnote 7: Guildford, in Surrey.]

[Footnote 8: Hardicanute died 10th July, 1042. Edward's conduct to his
mother was not consistent with any sense of obligation towards her, nor
indeed with his own generally received character. See an anecdote in
_Roger Hoveden_, 1043.]

[Footnote 9: Or Editha. 'Sicut spina rosam genuit Godwinus Editham.'
Ingulfs account of her kindness, literary tastes, and liberality, in
giving him money, as well as access to the royal larder, may be seen in
his chronicle, and is quoted in the collection of Norman historians by
_Mascres_. As to her matrimonial position with her husband, Wace's words

     E ço alouent la gent, disant
     Ki charnelment od li ne jut,
     Ni charnelment ne la conut:
     Maiz unkes hom ne l'aparçut,
     Ne mal talent entrels ne fut.

[Footnote 10: Wace seems not aware that Editha, at the time of the
disgrace of her family, was stripped of all she had, and sent to a

[Footnote 11: Wace would appear here to be merely translating some
cotemporary chronicle;--perhaps the same, as he begins this part of his
story by quoting.]



William of Arches was a brave and gallant knight[1], brother to the
archbishop Maugier, who loved him well. He was also brother on one side
to duke Robert, being the son of Richard and Papie, and uncle of William
the bastard. He was versed in many a trick and subtlety, and plotted
mischief against the duke, claiming a right of inheritance, inasmuch as
he was born in wedlock. On account of his relationship, and to secure
his fealty, the duke had given him, as a fief, Arches and Taillou[2];
and he received them and became the duke's man; promising fealty, though
he observed it but for a very brief space of time. To enable him the
better to work mischief to his lord, he built a tower above Arches,
setting it on the top of the hill[3], with a deep trench around on
every side. Then confiding in the strength of his castle, and in his
birth in wedlock, and knowing that the king of France had promised to
succour him in case of need, he told William he should hold his castle
free from all service to him; that he was in wrongful possession of
Normandy, being a bastard and without any title of right.

But the duke had now great power; for he was very prudent, and no man is
weak who possesses wisdom. He sent for William of Arches, and summoned
him to attend, and do his service: but he altogether refused, and defied
the bastard, relying on aid from the king of France. He plundered the
country round of provisions and stores of every sort, heeding little
whence it came, and thus supplied his castle and tower.

The duke bore with this behaviour but a very little while, and without
further 'parlement' sent for his people from all sides. Then with
ditches and stakes and palisades he quickly formed a fort[4], at the
foot of the hill in the valley, so as to command all the country round,
and prevent those in the castle from obtaining either ox, or cow, or
calf: and the fort was so strong, and was garrisoned by so many knights,
the best of the chivalry of all Normandy, that no effort of either king
or earl to take it, was likely to be of any avail. So the duke, having
thus completed his work, went his way to attend to his affairs

The king of France soon knew that the duke had fortified his post, and
blockaded the tower, so that no provisions could enter therein. Then he
assembled a great chivalry, and got together much store of provisions
and arms, intending to relieve the tower of Arches, where the supply of
corn began to fail. Having reached Saint-Albin[5], with an ample store
both of corn and wine, the king made a halt, ordering sumpter horses to
be made ready to carry the stores onward, and providing a troop of
knights to form the convoy.

Those in the besiegers' fort soon heard of the great preparations
waiting at Saint-Albin to provision and relieve Arches. Then they
selected their strongest and best fighting men, and privily formed an
ambuscade in the direction of Saint-Albin. Having done this, they sent
out another party with orders to charge the king's force, and then to
turn back, making as if they would flee. But when they had passed the
spot where the ambuscade lay, they turned quickly round on those who
were pursuing, and fiercely attacked the French; those also who were
lying in ambuscade riding forth, and joining in the assault.

The Frenchmen were thus grievously taken in; and being separated from
the rest of their army, the Normans charged them boldly, and took and
killed many. Hue Bardous[6] was taken early in the affray; Engerrens
count of Abevile[7], was killed, and all suffered greatly. The king of
France was in great grief; he mourned heavily, and was sorely vexed for
the knights that had been thus surprised, and for his brave barons who
had fallen. He made ready the baggage horses, and carried the stores to
the town of Arches; and when he had so done, he returned back to
Saint-Denis with no small shame and disgrace, as it seems to me.

The duke was sojourning at Valognes, for the sake of the woods and
rivers which abound there, and on other affairs and business of his own,
when a messenger came spurring on with pressing speed, and hastening
unto him, cried out and said, "Better would it be for thee to be
elsewhere! they who guard the frontiers have need of thy aid; for thy
uncle William of Arches hath linked himself by oath and affiance to king
Henry of France. The king hasteth to relieve and store Arches, and
William will do him service for it in return."

Then the duke tarried not till the varlet should speak further, nor
indeed till he had well said his say; but called for his good horse.
"Now I shall see," said he, "who of you is ready, now I shall see who
will follow me." And he made no other preparation, but forthwith crossed
the fords[8], passed Baieues and then Caen, and feigned as though he
would go to Rouen. But when he came to Punt-Audumer, he crossed over to
Chaudebec, and from Chaudebec rode on to Bans-le-Cunte. What need of
many words? He hasted and galloped on till he joined his people before
Arches; but none of those who took horse at the same time at Valognes
kept up with him; and all wondered how he had come so soon from such a
distance, when no one else had been able to do as much[9].

Then he rejoiced greatly to learn what had happened; how the French had
been discomfited, and their people routed and taken prisoners. William
of Arches however kept close, defending his castle bravely and long; and
he would have held it longer still, had not provisions failed him. So at
length he abandoned land, and castle, and tower; and surrendering all up
to duke William, fled to the king of France.


[Footnote 1: The adventure of William of Arques is out of chronological
order in _Wace_, who, however, follows _William of Jumieges._]

[Footnote 2: Arques is the capital of the district around, formerly
called Tallou, Tellau, or Tallogium.]

[Footnote 3: The MSS. differ; we follow Duchesne's. M. Pluquet's text
reads 'La tur rut fete el _pié_ del munt.']

[Footnote 4: 'Chasteillun,' afterwards 'Chastelet.']

[Footnote 5: St. Aubin-le-Cauf, on the other side of the valley. There
is another St. Aubin, south of Arques.]

[Footnote 6: Hugh Bardolf, a distinguished name in Norman and English
history. In the roll of Norman fees in the red book of the Exchequer, we
find Doon Bardulf returned as one of those, 'qui non venerunt nec
miserunt nec aliquid dixerunt.']

[Footnote 7: Enguerran, count of Ponthieu, the second of the name,
nephew of Guy the bishop, who afterwards wrote the latin poem on the
battle of Hastings, which is now in the press at Rouen. He succeeded his
father, Hugh II. in 1052; and was himself succeeded by his brother Guy,
afterwards taken prisoner at the battle of Mortemer, their brother
Valeran being killed there. Mr. Stapleton has, in the _Archæologia_,
vol. 26, shown that this Enguerran married Adelidis, sister of the
_whole_ blood to the Conqueror; and that Adelidis, wife of Odo, Count of
Champagne, was one of her daughters; the other being Judith, wife of

[Footnote 8: The fords of St. Clement, which have been before noticed.
The places next mentioned are Bayeux, Pont-Audemer, Caudebec, and Bans
or Baons-le-Comte, near Ivetot.]

[Footnote 9: _William of Poitiers_ varies somewhat from Wace's account;
he gives William six attendants on this occasion.]



The French had often insulted the Normans by injurious deeds and words,
on account of the great dislike and jealousy which they bore to
Normandy. They continually spoke scornfully, and called the Normans
BIGOZ and DRASCHIERS[1]; and often remonstrated with their king, and
said, "Sire, why do you not chase the Bigoz out of the country? Their
ancestors were robbers, who came by sea, and stole the land from our
forefathers and us." By the persuasion of these felons, who talked thus
because they hated the duke, the king undertook the enterprise[2];
though it was disliked by many of his men. He said he would go into
Normandy, and would conquer it; he would divide his army into two parts,
and invade in two directions. And what he said, he endeavoured to
execute; summoning his people from all sides.

He collected them in two positions, according as the river Seine divided
them; those of Reins and those of Seissons, of Leun[3], and of Noions;
those of Melant[4], and of Vermandeiz; of Pontif[5] and of Amineiz;
those of Flanders and of Belmont[6]; of Brie and of Provens. All these,
who are beyond Seine he assembled by twenties, by hundreds, and by
thousands, in Belveisin, meaning to enter the pays de Caux from that
side. To the Conestable and Guion[7], he sent his brother Odo[8], and
directed them to enter by Caux, and ravage all the land around.

And he summoned all the rest of his people, according as the river Seine
divides them from the others, to meet him at Meante[9]; those of
Toroigne and of Bleis; of Orlianz and of Vastineis; of the Perche and
of the Chartrain; of the bocage and of the plain; those of Boorges[10],
of Berri; of Estampes and of Montlheri; of Grez and of Chasteillun; of
Senz and of Chastel-Landun, the king ordered to come to Meante. And he
menaced the Normans, and boasted much that he would destroy Evrecin,
Rosineis, and Lievin[11], and would ride even as far as the sea,
returning by Auge.

William was in great alarm, for he was much afraid of the king's power;
and he also formed his men into two companies. About Caux, he placed
Galtier Giffart[12], and the men of that country; Robert, count d'Ou,
and old Huon de Gornai; and with these he ranged William Crespin[13],
who had much land in Velquessin[14]. These had under them the people of
the country around them, their relations and friends. The duke retained
the other company under his own command, to oppose the king. He
assembled the men of the Beessin, and the barons of the Costentin, and
those of the valley of Moretoing[15]; and of Avranches, which is beyond
it; Raol Tesson of Cingueleis, and the knights of Auge and of
Wismeis[16]; all these the duke summoned to meet him. He would, he said,
be close upon the king, and encamp hard by him, looking keenly after the
foragers, that they should not stray far without having some damage, if
he could help it; and he caused all provisions to be removed from the
way by which the king must pass; and drove the beasts into the woods,
and made the villains keep watch over them there.

The barons who were stationed in Caux, to defend that part of the
country, kept themselves to the woods and forests till the people of the
country could be got together; and passed from wood to wood, concealing
themselves in the thickets. But the men of France marched on, and
encamped at Mortemer. They remained there one night for the convenience
of the hostels; expecting that they could roam as they pleased over the
whole country, without meeting any knights who would dare to encounter,
or bear arms against them; for they believed that all the Norman knights
were gone towards Evreues with their lord, and that he had retreated
thither from fear of the king.

The Frenchmen demeaned themselves insolently, and with great cruelty.
Wherever they had passed, they destroyed all they found, ravaging the
villages and manors, burning houses, and plundering them of the
furniture; seizing the villains, violating the women, and keeping
whatever they pleased; till they had come to Mortemer, where they found
fair quarters in the hostels. By day they delivered the country up to
pillage, and devoted the night to revelry, searching out the wine and
killing the cattle, eating and drinking their fill.

The Normans knew well from their spies where the French lay, and what
their plans were; so they assembled their men together during the night,
summoning their friends and companions; and in the morning before
day-break, while the French were yet sleeping, behold! they surrounded
Mortemer, and set fire to the town. The flames spread from one hostel to
another, till the fire raged through all the streets. Then the Frenchmen
were to be seen in consternation: the whole town was in confusion, and
the melée became fierce; they rushed from the hostels, seizing such arms
as they could find, and were grievously discomfited, for the Normans
stopt them at the barriers. One man endeavours to mount his horse, but
cannot find the bridle; and another would quit his hostel, but is unable
to reach the door. The Normans guard all the issues, and the heads of
the streets; and there the encounters are rudest, and the feats of arms
the fairest.

From the rising of the morning's sun, till three in the afternoon, the
assault lasted in its full force, and the battle continued to be hot and
fierce. The French could not escape, for the Normans would let no one
pass. The first who quitted the field and fled was Odes; and the Normans
took Guion, the count of Pontif, alive and in arms; but they killed
Valeran his brother, a very brave and valiant knight. There was no
varlet, let him be ever so mean, or of ever so low degree, but took some
Frenchman prisoner, and seized two or three horses with all their
harness; nor was there a prison in all Normandy, which was not full of
Frenchmen. They were to be seen fleeing around, skulking in the woods
and bushes; and the dead and wounded lay amidst the burning ruins, and
upon the dung-hills, about the fields, and in the by-paths.


That same night, the news passed quickly to where the duke lay with his
army; how that the French were discomfited, and the invasion stayed.
News travels fast, and is swift; and whoso bears good tidings may safely
knock at the gate[17]. The duke rejoiced greatly at the discomfiture of
his enemies; and he sent a man, whether varlet or esquire I know not, to
the place where the king was encamped, and had retired to his bed. He
ordered the man to climb up into a tree, and all night to cry aloud,
"Frenchmen, Frenchmen, arise! arise! make ready for your flight, ye
sleep too long! Go forth at once to bury your friends, who lie dead at

As the king heard the cry, he marvelled much, and was sorely dismayed.
So he sent out for his friends, and besought and conjured them to tell
him if they had heard any such tidings as the man proclaimed from the
tree. And whilst they yet talked and conversed with the king, concerning
what had happened, behold the news came and spread all around, how that
the best of their friends lay dead at Mortemer, and how they who had
escaped alive were made captive, and were in chains and in prison in

The French were greatly moved and troubled at the news, and went crying
out that they tarried too long. They seized the palfreys and
war-horses, harnessed and loaded the baggage horses, set fire to the
tents and huts, emptied them of every thing, and sent all on forward;
and the king went off on his way homeward, looking cautiously around
him. Had the duke wished to pursue, he might have injured him much, but
he did not desire to annoy him more. "He has had quite enough," said he,
"to trouble and cross him;" and he would not add more to his annoyance.

The king returned to Paris, the barons to their homes, and the great
people whom he had led forth returned to their own countries. But his
wrath against the Normans was very great, on account of those whom they
had taken prisoners, and still more for those who were killed. The dead
he could not recover, but he wished to redeem those who were prisoners;
so he sent word to the duke, that if he would release his prisoners, he
would make truce and peace with him till other cause of difference
should arise; and that whatever the duke had taken or might take from
Giffrei Martel, should never be a cause of war between them, or be
alleged as a grievance against him.

And thereupon accordingly was done as I tell you; the duke restored the
Frenchmen who were prisoners, but the harness was left to those who had
won it; and the prisoners repaid to their captors the charges they had
occasioned to them.

[Footnote 1: BIGOT has been supposed to have its origin in the BY-GOD of
a northern tongue; and to have been used as a war cry by early Normans,
answering to the later DEX-AIE. Anderson, in his _Genealogical Tables_,
says, without quoting his authority, that Rollo was called By-got, from
his frequent use of the phrase. See our subsequent note on Bigot as a
family name. DRASCHIERS is understood to mean consumers of barley,
probably as the material of beer.]

[Footnote 2: The affair at Mortemer, next related, took place in 1054,
after the siege and retreat of Arques; which this attack was probably
meant to revenge.]

[Footnote 3: Laon.]

[Footnote 4: Meulan.]

[Footnote 5: Ponthieu, and the country of Amiens.]

[Footnote 6: Beaumont-sur-Oise.]

[Footnote 7: Guy, count of Ponthieu, successor of the one killed at

[Footnote 8: Eudes, or Odo, fourth son of King Robert.]

[Footnote 9: Mantes, Touraine, Blois, Orleans, Gâtinais.]

[Footnote 10: Bourges.]

[Footnote 11: The country of Evreux, of Rouen and Lisieux, and of Auge,
not that of Eu; the latter, being called in Latin Augum, is sometimes
confounded with Auge.]

[Footnote 12: WALTER GIFFARD, who will be further noticed hereafter.]

[Footnote 13: WILLIAM CRESPIN, son of Gilbert I. and eldest brother of
Gilbert II. whom we shall meet at the battle of Hastings. Wace does not
mention Roger de Mortemer, who was a prominent leader in this affair,
according to Ordericus Vitalis, p. 657; and fell into disgrace with the
Duke, on account of the favour shown by him to Raol de Montdidier, one of
the French leaders. See note below on Hue de Mortemer.]

[Footnote 14: The Vexin.]

[Footnote 15: Mortain, in La Manche.]

[Footnote 16: The pays d'Hyèmes or Exmes.]

[Footnote 17:

     C'est une chose ke novele,
     Ki mult est errant et isnele,
     E ki bone novele porte
     Seurement bute a la porte.]

[Footnote 18: Mortuum-mare in the latin of the day. The chronicle of
Normandy and Dumoulin cite the following verses, as popular on the
subject of this battle:

     Réveillez vous et vous levez,
     François, qui trop dormi avez!
     Allez bientôt voir vos amys,
     Que les Normans out a mort mys,
     _Entre Ecouys et Mortemer!_
     Là vous convient les inhumer.

But it seems admitted that the battle nevertheless was not at
Mortemer-en-Lyons near Ecouys, where the abbey was, but at
Mortemer-sur-Eaulne, in the arrondissement of Neufchâtel. Wace's account
of the proclamation by the varlet--or herald, as others call
him--(William of Jumieges naming him Ralf de Toeny), runs in the
original thus:

     Là ù li reis fu herbergiez,
     Ki en sun liet ert jà cochiez,
     Fist un home tost envéier,
     Ne sai varlet u esquier;
     En un arbre le fist munter
     E tute nuit en haut crier--
     'Franceiz! Franceiz! levez! levez!
     'Tenez vos veies, trop dormez!
     'Alez vos amiz enterrer,
     'Ki sunt occiz a Mortemer!'
     Li reis oi ke cil cria,
     Merveilla sei, mult s'esmaia;
     Par cels ke li plout envéia,
     Demanda lor è conjura
     S'il unt mile novele oïe,
     De ço ke cil en l'arbre crie.
     Endementres k'al rei parloent,
     E des noveles demandoent,
     Eis vus! la novele venue
     E par tute terre espandue,
     Be tut li mielx de lor amiz
     Esteit à Mortemer occiz;
     E cil ki erent remez vif
     En Normendie erent chetif,
     Miz en anels et en gaoles.]




Duke William carried himself gallantly, and triumphed over all his
enemies; he was loved for his liberality, and feared for his bravery. He
conquered many and won over many, lavishing his gifts around, and
spending much; till the French became very jealous of his chivalry; of
the troops that he had, and of the lands he conquered. Their king
moreover could never be reconciled to the Normans; but said that he
would sooner perjure himself, than not have his revenge for the battle
of Mortemer. Then under the advice of Giffrei Martel[1], before August,
when the corn was on the ground, he summoned together all his barons,
and the knights who held fiefs of him, and owed him service, and entered
Normandy, passing by Oismes[2], which they assaulted without tarrying
before it long. From thence they traversed all Oismes, and through the
Beessin as far as the sea coast; burning the villages and bourgs, and
ruining and plundering both men and women, till at length they came to
St. Pierre-sor-Dive. The town was completely garrisoned by them, and the
king lay at the abbey[3].

The duke was with his people at Faleise, when the news came, concerning
the wrong the king was doing him; and it grieved him sorely. So he sent
out and assembled his knights, and strengthened his castles, cleansing
the fosses, and repairing the walls; being determined to let the open
country be laid waste, if he could maintain his strong places. He could
easily, he said, recover the open lands, and repair the injury done to
them. So he did not shew himself at all to the French, but let them
wander over the country, intending to give them scurvy usage on their
return back from their expedition.

The king meantime went on with his project. He would go, he said,
towards Bayeux, and ravage the whole of the Beessin, and on his return
thence would pass by Varavile[4], and lay waste Auge and Lievin.
Accordingly the French overran the Beessin, as far as the river
Seule[5]; and returned from thence to Caen, where they passed the
Ogne[6]. Caen was then without a castle, and had neither wall nor fence
to protect it[7]. When the king left Caen, he proceeded homeward by
Varavile, as he had proposed.

His train was great and long, so that it could not all be kept together;
and the press was great to pass the bridge, every one wanting to be the

The duke, knowing some how or another all that was going on, and by what
route the king would pass, hastened upon his track with the great body
of troops that he led, and conducted his people in close order along the
valley below Bavent[8]. All over the country he sent out word, and
summoned the villains to come to his aid as quickly as they could, with
whatever arms they could get. Then from all round the villains were to
be seen flocking in, with pikes and clubs in their hands.

The king had passed the river Dive, which runs through that country,
together with all those of his host who had taken care to move quickly
forward. But the baggage train was altogether, and far behind, extending
over a great length. The duke, seeing that all who were thus in the rear
were certain to fall into his hands, pressed on his men from village to
village; and when he reached Varavile, he found those of the French
there who remained to form the rear guard. Then began a fierce melée,
and many a stroke of lance and sword. The knights struck with their
lances, the archers shot from their bows, and the villains attacked with
their pikes; charging and driving them along the chaussée, overwhelming
and bearing down numbers. The Normans kept continually increasing in
numbers, till they became a great force, and the French pressed
forwards, one pushing the other on. The chaussée incommoded them very
much, being long and in bad repair, and they were encumbered by their
plunder. Many were to be seen breaking the line, and getting out of the
track, who could not retrace their steps, nor reach the main road again.

The great press was at the bridge, every one being eager to reach it.
But the bridge was old, the boards bent under the throng, the water
rose, and the stream was strong; the weight was heavy, the bridge shook
and at length fell, and all who were upon it perished. Many fell in
close by the bridge foot where the water was deep; all about harness was
to be seen floating, and men plunging and sinking; and none had any
chance of life save skilful swimmers.

The cry arose that the bridge was broken. Grievous and fearful was that
cry, and no one was so brave or bold as not to tremble for his life when
he heard what had happened, and to see that his hour of exultation was
gone by. They see the Normans meanwhile pressing on from behind, but
there was no escape; they go along the banks of the river, seeking for
fords and crossings, throwing away their arms and plunder, and cursing
their having brought so much. They go straggling and stumbling over the
ditches, helping each other forward, the Normans pursuing and sparing no
one, till all those who had not crossed the bridge were either taken
prisoners, killed, or drowned. Never, they say, were so many prisoners
taken, or such great slaughter made in all Normandy. And William
glorified God for his success.

The river and the sea also swept away numbers, the king looking on in
sorrow and dismay. From the height of Basteborc, he looked down and saw
Varavile and Caborc; he beheld the marshes and the valleys, which lay
long and broad before him, the wide stream, and the broken bridge; he
gazed upon his numerous troops thus fallen into trouble; some he saw
seized and bound, others struggling in the deep waters; and to those who
were drowning he could bring no succour, neither could he rescue the
prisoners. In sorrow and indignation he groaned and sighed, and could
say nothing; all his limbs trembled, and his face burned with rage.
Willingly, he cried, would he turn back, and endeavour to find a
passage, if his barons would so counsel, but no one would give such
advice. "Sire," said they, "you shall not go; you shall return another
time and destroy all the land, taking captive all their richest men."

Then the king went back into France, full of rage and heaviness of
heart, and never after bore shield or lance; whether as a penance or not
I know not. He never again entered Normandy: nor did he live long, but
did as all men must do; from dust he came, to dust he returned. At his
death he was greatly lamented, and his eldest son Philip[9] was crowned
king in his stead.

[Footnote 1: We have seen that after the battle of Mortemer, the king of
France abandoned Jeffery Martel 'un quens d'Angou,' a deadly enemy to
the duke. Wace narrates the feuds between them; and among the rest
William's terrible revenge on those who, in defending Alençon, had
annoyed him by allusions to his birth, crying out, 'La pel, la pel al
parmentier!' These passages of the chronicle we pass over as not
material to our present purpose.]

[Footnote 2: Hyèmes or Exèmes, now in the arrondissement of Argentan.]

[Footnote 3: The abbey of St. Pierre-sur-Dives was founded before 1040,
by Lesceline, wife of William, count d'Eu.]

[Footnote 4: In the arrondissement of Caen, near the Dives.]

[Footnote 5: A small river passing near Bayeux to the sea at Bernières.]

[Footnote 6: The Orne.]

[Footnote 7: Huet cites this passage in his _Origines de Caen_. Quesnel
(translated above _fence_) seems properly a wooden barricade, being
derived from quesne, or chêne.]

[Footnote 8: A little south of Varaville, along the Dives.]

[Footnote 9: Philip I. was, at Henry's death, in 1060, an infant of
seven years old. Baldwin, count of Flanders, William's father-in-law,
was Philip's guardian; having married Henry's sister. Wace calls her
Constance, instead of Adela; but Constance was in fact the name of her
mother, king Robert's queen. See Chap. VII.]




The story will be long ere it close, how William became a king, what
honour he reached, and who held his lands after him. His acts, his
sayings and adventures that we find written, are all worthy to be
recounted; but we cannot tell the whole. In his land he set good laws;
he maintained justice and peace firmly, wherever he could, for the poor
people's sake, and he never loved the knave nor the company of the

By advice of his baronage he took a wife[1] of high lineage in Flanders,
the daughter of count Baldwin, and the granddaughter of Robert king of
France, being the daughter of his daughter Constance. Her name was
Mahelt[2], related to many a noble man, and very fair and graceful. The
count gave her joyfully, with very rich appareillement, and brought her
to the castle of Ou[3], where the duke espoused her. From thence he took
her to Roem, where she was greatly served and honoured.

At Caem the duke built two abbeys, endowing them richly. In the one,
which was called SAINT STEPHEN, he placed monks; Mahelt his wife took
charge of the other, which is that of THE HOLY TRINITY; she placed nuns
there, and was buried in it as she had directed in her life, from the
love which she had always used to bear towards it[4].

And the duke did what, I believe, no one before or after did. He sent[5]
for all his bishops to assemble, with his earls, abbots, and priors,
barons and rich vavassors, at Caem, there to hear his commandment; and
caused the holy bodies, wherever he could find them, to be brought
thither, whether from bishopric or abbey, over which he had seigniory.
He had the body of St. Oain[6] taken from Roem to Caem in a chest; and
when the clergy, and the holy relics, and the barons, of whom there were
many, were assembled on the appointed day, he made all swear on the
relics to hold peace and maintain it from sunset on Wednesday to sunrise
on Monday. This was called THE TRUCE, and the like of it I believe is
not in any country. If any man should beat another meantime, or do him
any mischief, or take any of his goods, he was to be excommunicated, and
amerced nine livres to the bishop. This the duke established, and swore
aloud to observe, and all the barons did the same; they swore to keep
the peace and maintain the truce faithfully.

To commemorate this peace through all time, that it might endure for
ever, they forthwith built a minster of hewed stone[7] and mortar, on
the spot where they swore upon the relics which had been brought to the
council. Many who had assisted at founding the minster called it
Toz-sainz[8], on account of so many holy relics having been there; but
it pleased many men to call it Sainte-paiz, on account of the peace
sworn to when it was built: at least I have heard it called both
Sainte-paiz and Toz-sainz. Close by they built a chapel called
Saint-Oain's, on the spot where his bones had rested while the council

William was generous, and the strangers who knew him, cherished him
much. He was very gentle and courteous, therefore king Edward loved him
well; great indeed was their love, each holding the other his lord. The
duke went to see Edward and know his mind; and having crossed over into
England[9], Edward received him with great honour, and gave him many
dogs and birds, and whatever other good and fair gifts he could find,
that became a man of high degree. He did not tarry long, but returned
into Normandy; for he was engaged with the Bretons, who were at that
time disturbing him.

Godwin had great wealth in England; he was rich in lands, and carried
himself proudly. Edward had his daughter to wife; but Godwin was fell
and false, and brought many evils on the land; and Edward feared and
hated him on account of his brother whom he had betrayed, and of the
Normans whom he had decimated, and many other mischiefs plotted by him.
And thus, both in words and deeds, great discord arose between them,
which was never thoroughly healed. Edward feared Godwin much, and
banished him from the land; swearing that he should never come back, or
abide in his kingdom, unless he swore fealty to him, and delivered him
hostages, and pledges for keeping the peace during his life. Godwin
dared not refuse, and as well to satisfy the king, as for the sake of
his relations, and the protection of his men, he delivered one of his
nephews and one of his sons[10] as hostages to the king. Edward sent
them to Duke William in Normandy, as to one in whom he placed great
trust, and desired him to keep them safe till he should himself demand
them. This looked, people said, as if he wished William always to keep
them, for the purpose of securing the kingdom to himself in case of
Edward's death. On these terms the king suffered Godwin to remain at
home in peace. I do not know how long this lasted, but I know that
Godwin in the end choked himself, while eating at the king's table
during a feast.

King Edward was debonaire; he neither wished nor did ill to any man; he
was without pride or avarice, and desired strict justice to be done to
all[11]. He endowed abbeys with fiefs, and divers goodly gifts, and
Westminster in particular. Ye shall hear the reason why. On some
occasion, whether of sickness or on the recovery of his kingdom, or on
some escape from peril at sea, he had vowed a pilgrimage to Rome, there
to say his prayers, and crave pardon for his sins; to speak with the
apostle, and receive penance from him. So at the time he had appointed,
he prepared for his journey; but the barons met together, and the
bishops and the abbots conferred with each other, and they counselled
him by no means to go. They said they feared he could not bear so great
a labour; that the pilgrimage was too long, seeing his great age; that
if he should go to Rome, and death or any other mischance should prevent
his return, the loss of their king would be a great misfortune to them;
and that they would send to the apostle[12], and get him to grant
absolution from the vow, so that he might be quit of it, even if some
other penance should be imposed instead. Accordingly they sent to the
apostle, and he absolved the king of his vow, but enjoined him by way of
acquittance of it, to select some poor abbey dedicated to St. Peter,
honoring and endowing it with so many goods and rents, that it might for
all time to come be resorted to, and the name of St. Peter thereby


Edward received the injunction of the apostle in good part. On the
western side of London, as still may be seen, there was an abbey of St.
Peter, which had for a long time been greatly impoverished; it is
situate on an island of the Thames called Zonee (Thorn-ee)[13], so named
because there were plenty of thorns upon it, and water around it; for
the English call an island 'ee,' and what the French call 'espine' they
call 'zon' (thorn); so that 'Zon-ee' (Thorn-ee) in English means 'isle
d'espine' in French. The name of Westminster was given to it afterwards,
when the minster was built King Edward perceived that there was much to
improve at Westminster; he saw that the brotherhood were poor, and the
minster decayed; and by counsel of clerks and laymen, while the country
was in prosperity, he with great labour and attention, restored and
amply endowed it with lands and other wealth. He gave indeed so much of
his own, of fair villages, rich manors and lands, crosses and other
goodly gifts, that the place will never know want, if things are managed
honestly. But when each monk wants much service, is greedy of money,
and makes a purse; the common stock soon wastes accordingly. Thus,
however, the king restored Westminster, and held the spot dear, and
loved it well. He also afterwards gave so much to St. Edmund (Bury),
that the monks who dwell there are very rich.

King Edward was now of a good age; his reign had been long, and to his
sorrow he had no child, and no near relation to take his kingdom after
him, and maintain it. He considered with himself who should inherit it
when he died; and often bethought him, and said he would give his
inheritance to duke William his relation, as the best of his lineage.
Robert his father had brought him up, and William himself had been of
much service to him; and, in fact, all the good he had received had come
from that line, and he had loved none so well, however kindly he might
behave to any one else. For the honor thereof of his good kinsman, with
whom he had been brought up, and on account of the great worth of
William himself, he determined to make him heir to the realm.

[Footnote 1: The marriage was, it is supposed, in 1053. See the last
note to Chapter VI.]

[Footnote 2: Matilda. The anonymous continuer of Wace's Brut says of

     Ceste Malde de Flandres fu née,
     Meis de Escoce fu appelée,
     Pur sa mère ke fu espusé
     Al roi de Escoce ki l'out rové;
     Laquele jadis, quant fu pucele,
     Ama un conte d'Engleterre.
     Brictrich-Mau le oï nomer,
     Apres le rois ki fu riche ber.
     A lui la pucele enveia messager
     Pur sa amur a lui procurer:
     Meis Brictrich Maude refusa,
     Dunt ele mult se coruça.
     Hastivement mer passa
     E a Willam bastard se maria.

He then relates that after the conquest, Matilda revenged herself on
this Brictrich-Mau, by seizing him 'a Hanelye, a sun maner,' and
carrying him to Winchester, where he died 'par treison.' See, as to this
Brictrich, Dugdale, _Monasticon_, title TEWKESBURY; and Palgrave,
_English Commonwealth_, vol. i. ccxciv.]

[Footnote 3: Eu.]

[Footnote 4: The churches of each of these celebrated foundations
remain; we shall find William interred in his church; while Matilda's
remains rested in the other.]

[Footnote 5: The 'Truce of God' was introduced in Normandy in 1061. If
Wace meant to assert that the institution originated there, it is of
course erroneous. It had existed in other countries twenty years before;
but the Normans resisted its introduction among them, till enforced by
William's authority, as a measure of restraint on their excesses. See
Jolimont, _Monuments de Calvados_, page 42, and plate xx, as to the
ruins of the church of St. Paix.]

[Footnote 6: Saint Ouen.]

[Footnote 7: Carreau, or carrel--squared, quadrated, or quarried stones,
for which the neighbourhood of Caen became celebrated.]

[Footnote 8: All-Saints.]

[Footnote 9: This journey took place in 1051, during the exile of Godwin
and his sons; see Higden, _Polychronicon_. Most of the old historians
are silent about it; but it admits of little question, and had important
influence on subsequent events. See _Thierry_, i. 220.]

[Footnote 10: In 1052.]

[Footnote 11: Benoit de Sainte-More thus describes Edward:

     Ewart li juz e li verais,
     Qui Engleterre tint en pais,
     Cume hauz reis, veirs crestiens,
     Pleins de duçur et de toz biens.]

[Footnote 12: The pope.]

[Footnote 13: Wace's Saxon, where it occurs, is very imperfect, and
probably his French transcribers (we having no original MSS.) have made
it worse than it was. Zonee or Zon-ey is of course Thorn-ey; the Saxon
'th' being turned into 'z.' An old Latin chronicle, quoted by M.
Pluquet, has, 'in loco qui Thornie tune dicebatur, et sonat
quasi--spinarum insula,' One of William's first religious donations was
to this his predecessor's favourite establishment; and he records in the
charter his title to the kingdom of England, and the mode he adopted for
vindicating it. 'In nomine sanctæ et individuæ Trinitatis, anno Dom.
incarn. mixº vijº. Ego Willelmus Dei gratiâ dux Normannorum, per
misericordiam divinam, et auxilium beatissimi apostoli Petri pii
fauctoris nostri, favente justo Dei judicio, Angliam veniens, _in ore
gladii_ regnum adeptus sum, anglorum devicto Haroldo rege, cum suis
complicibus; qui michi regnum, providentiâ Dei destinatum, et beneficio
concessionis domini et cognati mei gloriosi regis Edwardi concessum,
conati sunt auferre,' See MSS. Cott. Faust. A. III. fol. 37, quoted in
Ellis, _Domesday_, i. 312.]




Now in that country of England there was a seneschal[1], Heraut[2] by
name, a noble vassal, who on account of his worth and merits, had great
influence, and was in truth the most powerful man in all the land. He
was strong in his own men, and strong in his friends, and managed all
England as a man does land of which he has the seneschalsy. On his
father's side he was English, and on his mother's Danish; Gite[3] his
mother being a Danish woman, born and brought up in great wealth, a very
gentle lady, the sister of King Kenut. She was wife to Godwin, mother to
Harold, and her daughter Edif[4] was queen. Harold himself was the
favourite of his lord, who had his sister to wife. When his father had
died (being choked at the feast), Harold, pitying the hostages, was
desirous to cross over into Normandy, to bring them home. So he went to
take leave[5] of the king. But Edward strictly forbade him, and charged
and conjured him not to go to Normandy, nor to speak with duke William;
for he might soon be drawn into some snare, as the duke was very shrewd;
and he told him, that if he wished to have the hostages home, he would
choose some messenger for the purpose. So at least I have found the
story written[6]. But another book tells me that the king ordered him
to go, for the purpose of assuring duke William, his cousin, that he
should have the realm after his death. How the matter really was I never
knew, and I find it written both the one way and the other.


Whatever was the business he went upon, or whatever it was that he meant
to do, Harold set out on his way, taking the risk of what might fall
out. What is fated to happen no man can prevent, let him be who he will.
What must be will come to pass, and no one can make it nought.

He made ready two ships, and took the sea at Bodeham[7]. I know not how
the mischief was occasioned; whether the steersman erred, or whether it
was that a storm arose; but this I know, that he missed the right
course, and touched the coast of Pontif, where he could neither get
away, nor conceal himself. A fisherman of that country, who had been in
England and had often seen Harold, watched him; and knew him, both by
his face and his speech; and went privily to Guy, the count of
Pontif[8], and would speak to no other; and he told the count how he
could put a great prize in his way, if he would go with him; and that if
he would give him only twenty livres, he should gain a hundred by it,
for he would deliver him such a prisoner, as would pay a hundred livres
or more for ranson. The count agreed to his terms, and then the
fisherman showed him Harold. They seized and took him to Abbeville; but
Harold contrived to send off a message privily to duke William in
Normandy, and told him of his journey; how he had set out from England
to visit him, but had missed the right port; and how the count of Pontif
had seized him, and without any cause of offence had put him in prison:
and he promised that if the duke would deliver him from his captivity,
he would do whatever he wished in return.

Guy guarded Harold mean time with great care; fearing some mischance, he
sent him to Belrem[9], that he might be further from the duke. But
William thought that if he could get Harold into his keeping, he might
turn it to good account; so he made so many fair promises and offers to
the earl, and so coaxed and flattered him, that he at last gave up his
prisoner[10]; and the duke thus got possession of him, and gave in
return to the count Guy a fair manor lying along the river Alne[11].



William entertained Harold many days in great honour, as was his due. He
took him to many rich tournaments, arrayed him nobly, gave him horses
and arms, and led him with him into Britanny--I am not certain whether
three or four times--when he had to fight with the Bretons[12]. And in
the meantime he bespoke Harold so fairly, that he agreed to deliver up
England to him, as soon as king Edward should die; and he was to have
Ele[13], one of William's daughters, for his wife if he would; and to
swear to all this if required, William also binding himself to those


To receive the oath, he caused a parliament to be called. It is commonly
said that it was at Bayeux[14] that he had his great council assembled.
He sent for all the holy bodies thither, and put so many of them
together as to fill a whole chest, and then covered them with a pall;
but Harold neither saw them, nor knew of their being there; for nought
was shewn or told to him about it; and over all was a philactery, the
best that he could select; OIL DE BOEF[15], I have heard it called. When
Harold placed his hand upon it, the hand trembled, and the flesh
quivered; but he swore, and promised upon his oath, to take Ele to wife,
and to deliver up England to the duke: and thereunto to do all in his
power, according to his might and wit, after the death of Edward, if he
should live, so help him God and the holy relics there! Many cried "God
grant it[16]!" and when Harold had kissed the saints, and had risen
upon his feet, the duke led him up to the chest, and made him stand near
it; and took off the chest the pall that had covered it, and shewed
Harold upon what holy relics he had sworn; and he was sorely alarmed at
the sight.

Then when all was ready for his journey homeward, he took his leave; and
William exhorted him to be true to his word, and kissed him in the name
of good faith and friendship. And Harold passed freely homeward, and
arrived safely in England.

[Footnote 1: Seneschal, 'lieutenant du duc pour l'administration
civile;' 'ce mot, dérivé de la langue Franke, signifie proprement
serviteur gardien des troupeaux ou gardien de la famille,
_senes-skalch._ C'était un office de la maison des rois franks, et, par
suite de la conquête, une dignité politique de la Gaule.' _Thierry_, i.

[Footnote 2: Wace generally writes Harold's name thus; we shall,
however, henceforth use the usual historical spelling: as also in the
case of Godwin, whom Wace calls Gwigne, and some of the Norman
chronicles Gaudvin.]

[Footnote 3: Alias Githe or Githa.]

[Footnote 4: Ead-githa of the Saxon chronicle, who married in 1043, and
died in 1075.]

[Footnote 5: The scene of the Bayeux tapestry opens here.]

[Footnote 6:

     'I cannot say how the truth may be,
     I but tell the tale as 'twas told to me.'

Benoit de Sainte-More sends the archbishop of Canterbury to William, at
Edward's desire, to convey his intention of leaving to the duke the
inheritance of the English crown.

     L'arcevesque de Cantorbire,
     Li plus hauz hom de son empire,
     Out en Normendie tramis,
     Les anz avant, si cum je vos dis,
     Por afermer ce qu'il li done,
     Tot le reaume e la corone.

And Harold's mission is described as being expressly intended, in the
following year, to confirm the same bequest:

     Por estre plus certains e meres,
     E qu'il n'i sorsist encombrier,
     Resout l'ovre plus esforcier.
     Heraut, qui quens ert del pais,
     Trestot li plus poestéis
     Que nul des autres del reiaume,
     Ce lui tramist al duc Guillaume,
     Que del regne enterinement
     Tot qui a la corone apent
     Li feist feuté jurée,
     Eissi cum ele ert devisée:
     Veut qu'il l'en face serrement
     Et qu'il l'en donge tenement....]

[Footnote 7: Bosham, near Chichester; a manor which Domesday shows to
have belonged to Harold's father Godwin. See Ellis, _Domesday,_ i. 310.]

[Footnote 8: Guy succeeded his brother Enguerran, William's
brother-in-law, who was killed before Arques. Guy, after being captured
at Mortemer, was, according to _Ordericus Vitalis_, p. 658, kept
prisoner at Bayeux, and was ultimately released on homage and fealty to
the duke. See our previous notes on this family, and a subsequent one on
Aumale. Benoit states positively that a storm carried Harold to

     --trop lor fu la mer sauvage:
     Kar granz tempers e fort orage
     Ne les i laissa ariver:
     Ainceis les covint devaler
     Dreit en Pontif. La pristrent port,
     Eissi ateint e eissi mort;
     Mieux vousissent estre en sezile.]

[Footnote 9: Beaurain on the Canche, arrondissement of Hesdin.]

[Footnote 10: According to _William of Poitiers_, Guy himself conducted
his prisoner to William at Eu. Benoit ascribes the surrender to
William's threats and military preparations, for which purpose

     ....manda li dux ses genz
     Sempres, a milliers e a cenz;
     Vers Ou chevaucha irascuz
     Dunt Heraut ne li ert renduz.]

[Footnote 11: The Eaulne.]

[Footnote 12: 'Tales togeder thei told, ilk on a good palfray.' _Robert
Brunne's_ Chronicle, quoted in _Thierry_, i. 250. Benoit de Sainte-More
says of this part of the story,

     Od que li Dux out jostées,
     Mult granz e mult desmesurées:
     Por aller essilier Bretons,
     Vers lui torcenos e felons
     Qui n'el deignoient sopleier,
     Le mena od sei osteier;
     Là fist de lui si grant cherté
     C'unc tant n'out de sa volunté,
     Ne fu nul leu mais tant joiz
     Qu'il cil afaires fu feniz.]

[Footnote 13: Adela. According to _Ordericus Vitalis_ it was Agatha,
another daughter. He adds a pathetic story as to her felling in love
with Harold, and dying of grief at her disappointment, and at an attempt
made to consign her to a new match with the king of Gallicia. See
_Maseres's_ note, p. 103, and Mr. Amyot's dissertation in the
_Archæologia_. The story of her attachment to Harold is rather
inconsistent with the date of 1053, usually assigned to William's
marriage; as his daughter would not be more than eleven years old at
Harold's visit. The date, however, of the marriage is uncertain. See a
note in M. Deville's volume on _St. Georges de Bocherville_. According
to Benoit de Sainte-More, it was part of the agreement that Harold
should not only have "Aeliz la proz e la sage," but with her "del regne
une moitie." Nothing is said by him of any contrivance as to the relics
on which the oath was administered. The oath and agreement, as narrated
by him, will be found in the appendix I.]

[Footnote 14: _Ordericus Vitalis_ fixes the scene at Rouen, and _William
of Poitiers_ at Bonneville-sur-Touques. The latter places the event
before the expedition to Brittany; which, except on Wace's authority, is
not known to have occurred more than once.]

[Footnote 15: Either from its figure or the ornaments upon it.]

[Footnote 16: "Ki Dex li dont!" It is unnecessary to observe how
variously these events have been told. In the words of _William of
Malmsbury_, 'Lectorem premonitum velim, quod hic quasi ancipitem viam
narrationis video, quia veritas factorum pendet in dubio.' The accounts
of Thierry, Sir Francis Palgrave, and Depping, may be referred to as
those of the latest writers. In Wace we are following the story of a
Norman, as told at a Norman court: but on the whole there is little in
his history that is at variance with probability, or with the best
evidence on the subject. It will be observed that he does not go the
full length of some of the Norman historians, in pretending that the
English nation gave any formal assent to Edward's views as to the
disposition of his kingdom in favour of his kinsman William.]




The day came that no man can escape, and king Edward drew near to die.
He had it much at heart, that William should have his kingdom, if
possible; but he was too far off, and it was too long to tarry for him,
and Edward could not defer his hour. He lay in heavy sickness, in the
illness whereof he was to die; and he was very weak, for death pressed
hard upon him[1].

Then Harold assembled his kindred, and sent for his friends and other
people, and entered into the king's chamber, taking with him whomsoever
he pleased. An Englishman began to speak first, as Harold had directed
him, and said; "Sire, we sorrow greatly that we are about to lose thee;
and we are much alarmed, and fear that great trouble may come upon us:
yet we cannot lengthen thy life, nor alter thy fate. Each one must die
for himself, and none for another; neither can we cure thee; so that
thou canst not escape death; but dust must return to dust. No heir of
thine remains who may comfort us after thy death. Thou hast lived long,
and art now old, but thou hast had no child, son or daughter; nor hast
thou other heir, who may remain instead of thee to protect and guard us,
and to become king by lineage. On this account the people weep and cry
aloud, and say they are ruined, and that they shall never have peace
again if thou failest them. And in this, I trow, they say truly; for
without a king they will have no peace, and a king they cannot have,
save through thee. Give then thy kingdom in thy lifetime to some one who
is strong enough to maintain us in peace. God grant that none other than
such may be our king! Wretched is a realm, and little worth, when
justice and peace fail; and he who doth not or cannot maintain them, has
little right to the kingdom he hath. Well hast thou lived, well hast
thou done, and well wilt thou do; thou hast ever served God, and wilt be
rewarded of him. Behold the best of thy people, the noblest of thy
friends; all are come to beseech thee, and thou must grant their prayer
before thou goest hence, or thou wilt not see God. All come to
implore thee that Harold may be king of this land. We can give thee no
better advice, and no better canst thou do."



As soon as he had named Harold, all the English in the chamber cried out
that he said well, and that the king ought to give heed to him. "Sire,"
they said, "if thou dost it not, we shall never in our lives have

Then the king sat up in his bed, and turned his face to the English
there, and said, "Seignors, you well know, and have ofttimes heard, that
I have given my realm at my death to the duke of Normandy; and as I have
given it, so have some among you sworn that it shall go."

But Harold, who stood by, said, "Whatever thou hast heretofore done,
sire, consent now that I shall be king, and that your land be mine; I
wish for no other title, and want no one to do any thing more for me."
"Harold," said the king, "thou shalt have it, but I know full well that
it will cost thee thy life. If I know any thing of the duke, and the
barons that are with him, and the multitude of people that he can
command, none but God can avail to save thee."

Then Harold said that he would stand the hazard, and that if the king
would do what he asked, he feared no one, be he Norman or other. So the
king turned round and said,--whether of his own free will I know
not,--"Let the English make either the duke or Harold king as they
please, I consent." Thus he made Harold heir to his kingdom, as William
could not have it. A kingdom must have a king; without one, in fact, it
would be no kingdom; so he let his barons have their own will.

And now he could abide no longer. He died, and the English lamented much
over him. His body was greatly honoured, and was buried at Westminster;
and the tomb which was made for him was rich, and endureth still. As
soon as king Edward was dead, Harold, who was rich and powerful, had
himself anointed and crowned, and said nought of it to the duke, but
took the homage and fealty of the richest, and best born of the land[2].

The duke was in his park at Rouen[3]. He held in his hand a bow, which
he had strung and bent, making it ready for the arrow; and he had given
it into the hands of a page, for he was going forth, I believe, to the
chace, and had with him many knights and pages[4] and esquires, when
behold! at the gate appeared a serjeant, who came journeying from
England, and went straight to the duke and saluted him, and drew him on
one side, and told him privily that king Edward was dead, and that
Harold was raised to be king.

When the duke had listened to him, and learnt all the truth, how that
Edward was dead, and Harold was made king, he became as a man enraged,
and left the craft of the woods. Oft he tied his mantle, and oft he
untied it again; and spoke to no man, neither dared any man speak to
him. Then he crossed the Seine in his boat, and came to his hall, and
entered therein; and sat down at the end of a bench, shifting his place
from time to time, covering his face with his mantle, and resting his
head against a pillar. Thus he remained long, in deep thought, for no
one dared speak to him; but many asked aside, "What ails the duke, why
makes he such bad cheer?" Then behold in came his seneschal[5], who
rode from the park on horseback; and he passed close by the duke,
humming a tune as he went along the hall; and many came round him,
asking how it came to pass that the duke was in such plight. And he said
to them, "Ye will hear news, but press not for it out of season; news
will always spread some time or another, and he who gets it not fresh,
has it old."

Then the duke raised himself up, and the seneschal said to him, "Sire,
sire, why do you conceal the news you have heard? If men hear it not at
one time, they will at another; concealment will do you no good, nor
will the telling of it do harm. What you keep so close, is by this time
known all over the city; for men go through the streets telling, and all
know, both great and small, that king Edward is dead, and that Harold is
become king in his stead, and possesses the realm."

"That indeed is the cause of my sorrow," said the duke, "but I know no
help for it. I sorrow for Edward, and for his death, and for the wrong
that Harold has done me. He has wronged me in taking the kingdom that
was granted and promised to me, as he himself had sworn."

To these words Fitz Osber, the bold of heart, replied, "Sire, do not vex
yourself, but bestir yourself for your redress; that you may be revenged
on Harold, who hath been so disloyal to you. If your courage fail not,
the land shall not abide with him. Call together all that you can call;
cross the sea, and take the kingdom from him. A bold man should begin
nothing unless he pursue it to the end; what he begins he should carry
through, or abandon it without more ado."

Thus the fame of king Harold's act went through the country. William
sent to him often, and reminded him of his oath; and Harold replied
injuriously, that he would do nought for him, neither take his daughter,
nor yield up the land. Then William sent him his defiance, but Harold
always answered that he feared him nought[6]. The Normans who dwelt in
England, who had wives and children there, men whom Edward had invited
and endowed with castles and fiefs, Harold chased out of the country,
nor would he leave one there; he drove out fathers and mothers, sons and
daughters, brothers and sisters[7].

Harold received the crown at Easter (Christmas--see note--mdh); but it
would have been better for him if he had done otherwise, for he brought
nought but evil on his heirs, and on all the land. He perjured himself
for a kingdom, and that kingdom endured but little space; to him it was
a great loss, and it brought all his lineage to sorrow. He refused to
take the duke's daughter to wife, he would neither give nor take
according to his covenant, and heavily will he suffer for it; he, and
all he loves most.


When William found that Harold would do nothing towards performing his
covenant, he considered and took counsel, how to cross the sea, and
fight him, and by our Lord's leave, take vengeance for his perjury. He
pondered much on the wrongs Harold had done him, and on his not deigning
even to speak with him before he got himself crowned, and thus robbed
him of what Edward had given him, and Harold himself had sworn to
observe. If, he said, he could attack and punish him without crossing
the sea, he would willingly have done so; but he would rather cross the
sea than not revenge himself, and pursue his right. So he determined to
go over sea, and take his revenge.

[Footnote 1: According to the quotation in _Thierry_, i. 236, Edward's
last moments were disturbed by melancholy forebodings. 'Behold,' he
cried, 'the Lord hath bent his bow; the Lord hath brandished his sword,
and made ready; by fire and sword will he chasten!' Benoit merely says,
'Glouriouse fin out e sainte!' The reader may usefully compare the
narrative here, with the illustrative quotations from the old
chroniclers, which are to be found in _Thierry_.]

[Footnote 2: Benoit de Sainte-More's account is somewhat different. He
in particular denies that Harold was anointed at all, or had any title
but his own usurpation.

     Heraut de coveitise espris,
     Senz autre conseil qui'n fust pris,
     Saisi le reigne demaneis;
     Parjurez e faus se fist reis,
     Eissi, senz icele unction,
     E senz cele sacration,
     Qu'en deit faire à rei saintement
     Le jor de son coronement.

In this part of his chronicle he relates an expedition by Harold against
'li Galeis' and 'reis Griffins, qui d'eus ert sire.'

     ----Heraut l'ocist,
     Sa femme Aldit saisi e prist,
     Qui fille ert del bon conte Algar.]

[Footnote 3: The park of Quevilly. Henry II. built a palace there, which
eventually became the priory of St. Julien; the chapel of which still
subsists. An extensive forest adjoined.]

[Footnote 4: 'Damoisels,' young men of gentle birth, not yet knights.]

[Footnote 5: WILLIAM FITZ OSBERN, lord of Breteuil (de Bretolio), in the
arrondissement of Evreux. He was, by his father, the grandson of
Herfast, brother of the duchess Gunnor; and, by his mother, grandson of
Ralf, count of Ivry. Both father and son held the office of seneschal,
these household offices being among the Normans held by the persons of
highest birth and eminence. Wace says of the household of duke Richard

     Gentil furent li capelain,
     Gentil furent li escrivain,
     Gentil furent li cunestable,
     E bien poessanz e bien aidable;
     Gentil furent li senescal,
     Gentil furent li marescal,
     Gentil furent li buteillier,
     Gentil furent li despensier;
     Li chamberlenc e li uissier
     Furent tuit noble chevalier.

William became earl of Hereford, and was killed in 1070. _Ordericus
Vitalis_ 536, exclaims, 'Ubi est Guillelmus Osberni filius, Herfordensis
comes, et regis vicarius, Normanniæ dapifer, et magister militum
bellicosus? Hic nimirum primus et maximus oppressor Anglorum fuit, et
enormem causam per temeritatem suam enutrivit, per quam multis millibus
ruina miseræ mortis incubuit.' His family were soon involved in
rebellion, and disappeared in England. The Osbernus episcopus--of
Exeter--in _Domesday_, was his brother. See Ellis's _Introduction to
Domesday,_ i. 460-511.]

[Footnote 6: Benoit's more particular account of William's messages to
Harold will be found in our appendix.]

[Footnote 7: The _Estoire de Seint Ædward le rei_, (a MS. in the
university library at Cambridge) makes Harold's tyrannical proceedings a
prominent motive for William's expedition.]




To consult on this matter before he opened his mind to any other, he
sent for Robert, the count d'Ou[1], who dwelt by the men of Vimou[2], and
Rogier de Montgomeri, whom he accounted a great friend, and Fitz Osber
of Bretuil, William by name, the proud of spirit; and for Gautier
Giffart, a man of great worth; and for his brother Odun, the bishop, and
Robert of Moretoin[3], who was his brother also, and loved him much.
Both these were his brothers, but only on the mother's side. He sent
moreover for Rogier de Vilers[4], who was much honoured and esteemed
for his wisdom, and was now of considerable age, having sons who were
already noble and brave knights. He was lord of Belmont-le-Rogier[5],
and possessed much land. And he sent also for Iwun al Chapel, who had
Muriel to wife, sister of the duke on the mother's side, Herluin being
her father[6]. I know not if children were born to them; I never heard
speak of any.

To these barons he told his design, before he made any great preparation.
He told them how he had lost his right, which Harold had seized; and
that if they approved, he would cross the sea to avenge himself. If
they were willing, he could easily recover his right by the aid of the
people he could summon, and by God's permission. And they said they were
all ready to go with him, if need were; and to pledge their lands, and
even sell them, if necessary; that he need lose nothing of his right,
but might rely on his men and his clerks. "You have," said they, "a
great baronage, many valiant and wise men, who have very great power,
and are as able as we to whom you speak: shew these things to them; all
should be taken into counsel who have to share the labour."

So the barons were all summoned, and being assembled at a set day[7],
the duke shewed to them that Harold had cheated him, and had stolen the
realm whereof Edward had made him heir; that he wished to avenge himself
if he could, but that great aid was wanted; and that he could not,
without their help, have many men and many ships, as he needed; let each
say what he would do, how many men and ships he would bring. And they
said they would speak together about it, and that after holding counsel,
they would answer him; and he consented thereto.

They remained long in council; and the debate lasted a great while; for
they hesitated long among themselves what they should say, what answer
they should give, and what aid they would afford. They complained much
to each other, saying that they had often been aggrieved; and they
murmured much, conferring together in small parties; here five, there
fifteen, here forty, there thirty, sixty, a hundred. Some said they were
willing to bring ships and cross the sea with the duke; others said they
would not go, for they owed much and were poor. Some would, others would
not, and there was great contention amongst them.

Then Fitz Osber came forward and said, "Why do you go on wrangling with
your natural lord, who seeks to gain honour? You ought never to be
wanting. You owe him service for your fiefs, and what you owe him you
ought to render with all your might. Wait not for him to beseech you;
ask him for no respite; but go forward at once, and offer him even more
than you can perform. Let him not have cause to complain, nor miss his
undertaking on your account. If he fail, he will perchance soon say (for
he is of a jealous temper) that you are the cause of his loss. Take care
that he has not to say, that his expedition failed through you."

"Sire," said they, "we fear the sea, and we are not bound to serve
beyond it; speak for us, we pray you, we put the speech upon you. You
shall say what you will, and we will do accordingly." "Do you put it
upon me?" said he. "Yes," said each, "I agree, let us go to the duke;
speak for us, for you know our minds."

Then Fitz Osber went at their head, and spoke for them. "Sire, sire,
look around; there is no people under Heaven that so love their lord, or
that will do so much for his honour, as the people you have; and much
should you love and protect them. They say that to advance you, they
would swim through the sea, or throw themselves into the raging fire;
you may trust them much, for they have served you long, and followed you
at great cost, and they will willingly continue to serve you. If they
have hitherto done well, they will hereafter do yet better. They will
pass with you over sea, and double their service. He who should bring
twenty knights, will cheerfully bring forty; he who should serve with
thirty, will now serve you with sixty; and he who owes a hundred will
willingly bring two hundred. For myself, I will in good love bring to my
lord, in his need, sixty ships, well furnished and charged with fighting

At these words the barons marvelled and murmured much, grumbling loudly
at the great promises he made, for which he had no warranty. Many began
to disavow him, and the court became much troubled; great noise arose,
and the barons stormed. They feared that doubling their service would be
turned into a charge on their fiefs, that it would grow to a custom, and
would thenceforth become permanently due. The assembly was greatly
troubled, the noise was great, and the clamour loud. No one could hear
another speak; no one could either listen to reason, or render it for


Then the duke, being greatly disturbed by the noise, drew on one side,
and sent for the barons one by one; and spoke with and entreated each,
telling them what need he had; how much they stood in his love and
grace; and that if they doubled their service, and did of their own
accord more than they were bound in this undertaking, they would do
well; but he pledged himself that they should not be called on in future
for service beyond what was the custom of the land, and such as their
ancestors were wont to do for their lord[8]. Each said what he would do,
and how many ships he could bring; and the duke had it all recorded at
once, numbering the ships and knights which the barons agreed to find;
thus each named how many knights he would provide, and how many ships he
could bring. Of his brother Odo, the bishop, he received forty ships as
a gift. The bishop of Mans furnished thirty ships with their crews; for
he desired much to advance the duke. Each of the barons in like manner
promised ships, but how many each one said he would bring I do not

Then the duke called on his good neighbours, the Bretons, Mansels, and
Angevins, and those of Pontif and Boloigne, to come with him in his
need. To those who wished he promised lands, if he should conquer
England. To many he promised other rewards, good pay, and rich gifts.
From all sides he summoned soldiers who would serve for hire.

He shewed to the king of France his lord, how for good cause and for his
honour's sake he was about to cross the sea against Harold, who had
broken faith and defrauded him. The duke went to speak with the king at
St. Girmer[10] in Belveisen. He sought and found him there, and told him
his situation, and that if he would aid him, and if by his help he
should have his right, he would hold England of him, and would willingly
serve him for it.

But the king of France said he would not do it, and that with his
consent William should not go. For the French had besought their king,
and counselled him not to advance the duke, or suffer him to strengthen
himself. They said he was too strong already, and that it would be
foolish to let him become still stronger; for if he were allowed to add
the great power beyond sea, the wealth and great force of England, to
the good chivalry and pride of Normandy, the king would never have peace
in his life; he therefore ought rather to think of disturbing William,
and preventing his rising higher, or passing into England. "You cannot
aid the duke if you would," they said, "without means and money; all
France would thereby be injured and impoverished, and therefore no
Frenchman will follow you; no one will pass the sea, and if mischance
befall you, you will be brought to great shame. The duke seeks your aid
only for his own interest, for no good can come of it to you. When he
shall have conquered England, you will have no more service from him; he
serves you but little now, and he will then serve you still less. The
more he has, the less he will do for you."

After what the Frenchmen said, still more and more opposing it, the king
would not assist the duke, but rather hindered him all he could. I know
not exactly what the king answered, but I know well that he failed him
altogether. When the duke took leave of him, he said like a man who is
wroth at heart, "Sire, I will go, and will do the best I can. If God
please, I will seek my right. If I win it (which God grant) you shall do
me no harm; and if the English are able to defend themselves, so that I
fail, I shall not lose heart or head on that account. All things shall
be set in order[11]; my children shall have my land, and you shall not
take any advantage of them; whether I die or live, whatever befall me, I
fear the threats of no man." Then William tried no more to persuade the
king, but went his way.

He besought the count of Flanders[12] to go with him as his
brother-in-law and friend; but the count answered, that if he would make
sure of aid from him, he must first let him know what share of England
he was to have, and what division he would make of the spoil.

The duke said that he would go and talk with his barons about the
matter, and take their counsel, and afterwards state by letter what they
advised him to do. So he went away without more ado, and did such a
thing as no one ever did before; for he took a small piece of parchment
which had neither letter nor writing upon it, sealed it up with wax, all
blank as it was, and wrote upon the label that the count should have
such part of England as the letter within stated.

Then he sent the letter to the count by a cunning varlet[13], who had
long been with him; and the varlet delivered it to the count, who broke
the seal, and opened the parchment, and looked within, but saw nothing.
So he shewed it to the messenger, and the shrewd varlet said to him off
hand, "Nought is there, and nought shalt thou have! therefore look for
nothing! The honour that the duke seeks will be for your sister and
nephews as much as for himself; and if he and they should win England,
no one would have more advantage from their success than yourself. All
theirs would in truth be yours. If God please, he will conquer it by
himself, and seek none of your help." What the count answered I know
not, but the varlet thereupon went his way.


The duke determined to make his preparations prudently. He sent to the
apostle, by clerks who could tell truly how Harold had used him; how he
had broken his oath and lied; and how he would neither take his
daughter, nor render him up the kingdom which Edward had given him, and
Harold had guaranteed on oath. He said that perjury ought to be punished
according to the rules of holy church; and that if by God's will he
should conquer England, he would receive it of St. Peter, and do
service for it to none but God. The apostle granted his request, and
sent him a gonfanon[14], and a very precious, rich and fair ring, which,
he said, had under the stone one of Saint Peter's hairs[15]. With these
tokens he commanded, and in God's name granted to him, that he should
conquer England, and hold it of Saint Peter.

Now while these things were doing, a great star appeared, shining for
fourteen days, with three long rays streaming towards the south; such a
star as is wont to be seen when a kingdom is about to change its king. I
have seen many men who saw it, men of full age at the time, and who
lived many years after[16]. Those who discourse of the stars would call
it a comet[17].

[Footnote 1: _Benoit de Sainte-More's_ account of William's council will
be found in our appendix.]

[Footnote 2: Vimeu.]

BAYEUX, and ROBERT, COUNT OF MORTAIN--comes Moritolii--see our
subsequent notes on the chiefs at the battle of Hastings.]

[Footnote 4: ROGER DE VIEILLES, not Villers,--nor Veules, as often
written, owing to incorrect translation of the latin title, de
Vetulis,--son of Humfry of the same name, who is stated to have died at
Preaux, 1074. Vieilles is a small commune in the canton of Beaumont,
arrondissement of Bernay; where the family appears to have been
established before the building the castle, which still bears the name
of Roger. Roger is below, and usually, stiled DE BEAUMONT or BELLOMONT.
He could not have been very old at the conquest, (if Wace is to be
understood as so asserting), for he lived till thirty years after. His
son Robert became earl of Leicester on the grant of Hen. I.; having been
adult, and distinguished himself at Hastings, according to _William of
Poitiers_. See our subsequent note, and Ellis's _Domesday_, i. 380.]

[Footnote 5: Beaumont-le-Roger on the Rille.]

[Footnote 6: Historians have not mentioned an uterine sister of William,
called Muriel. We remarked, at p. 45, their error as to Adelidis,
usually so reckoned; but who, as we have seen, was of the _whole_ blood,
and married Enguerran, count of Ponthieu; not Odo of Champagne, who, in
fact, married her daughter. The mistakes hitherto prevailing as to
Adelidis, render us less averse to suspect others of the same sort among
the genealogists; and Wace's account of Muriel is confirmed from other
sources. It would seem to have been to her, then a widow--ad Muriel
sancti-monialem--sister of Odo, bishop of Bayeux--and therefore sister,
or more properly half-sister of Adelidis, that the poet Serlon, the
canon of Bayeux, (as to whom see _Wace_, ii. 235, 393) addressed his
verses _de captâ Bajocensium civitate_. The baron here called
Iwun-al-Chapel seems to be EUDO DE CAPELLO--du manteau, or capuchon--son
of Turstain Halduc and Emma his wife, and subscribing himself Eudo
Haldub in a charter of 1074. _Mém. Ant. Norm_. viii. 436. He was dapifer
to duke William; although not the Eudo dapifer of _Domesday_, who was
son of Hubert de Rie. He was the head of the house of Haie-du-Puits in
the Cotentin, and undoubtedly married a Muriel, as appears by the
charters of Lessay, whether she were a daughter of Herluin or not. The
estates of Eudo went to his nephew, which confirms Wace's account of his
having no issue. See the Lessay charters in _Dugdale_ and _Gallia
Christiana_, and our subsequent note on Haie.]

[Footnote 7: Wace does not name the place of meeting of this great
council. _William of Malmesbury_ informs us that it was at Lillebonne;
where the remains of the ancient castle still exist; see the roofless
hall in our vignette above, at p. 101.]

[Footnote 8: This jealousy, which from the nature of the meeting may
well be called parliamentary, characterized the assemblies of the Norman
estates much later. See Delafoy's _Constitution du duchi de Normandie,_
p. 159. At the meeting in 1350, when an extraordinary supply was
granted, the states stipulated expressly, and the king agreed, that no
prejudicial consequences should follow; 'cette imposition ne portera
préjudice aux gens du pays de Normandie, ne a leurs privileges ou
chartes en aucune manière, ou temps présent ne a venir; et ne sera trait
a conséquence.']

[Footnote 9: See in M. Le Prevost's notes to Wace, vol. ii. 531, the
curious list from Taylor's anon. MS. (supposed to be of the age of Hen.
I.) containing the proportions in which William's naval force was
furnished. Fitz Osbero's number agrees with Wace's account of his
promise. The same list, with some variations, (whence arising we know
not) is printed in Turner's _History of the Anglo-Saxons_; and in
Littleton's _History of Hen. II_. vol. i. See also Ellis, _Domesday_, i.

[Footnote 10: Saint Germer near Gournay. The king of France at this time
was Philip, the successor of Henry, whose army was defeated at Mortemer.
Philip was a minor; Baldwin the fifth, William's father-in-law, being
his guardian; but not, as Sismondi says, taking any active part in the
management of French affairs. Philip, however, could personally have
taken no conduct of such matters.]

[Footnote 11:

     Son regne laisse si assis,
     E a si tres feeus amis,
     A sa femme, la proz, la sage,
     Que n'el en pot venir damage.

                     _Benoit de Sainte-More.]

[Footnote 12: Part of this passage is obscure in the original:

     Li conte de Flandres requist,
     K'en sa busuigne _a li_ venist,
     _Cum od_ serorge et _od_ ami.

The meaning _may_ be that the reigning count of Flanders was requested
to come to William _with_ the latter's brother-in-law, i.e. bringing
with him his, the then count's, son. But the succeeding speech of the
varlet directly addresses the count as himself the brother-in-law; and
most likely the sentence is elliptic, and what is meant is, that the
count should come _to_ him, and go on the expedition _with_ him, as with
a brother-in-law and friend. If this, however, be Wace's meaning, he is
historically wrong; as Baldwin V. William's father-in-law, did not die
till the succeeding year; and the application, therefore, must have been
to him, not to the brother-in-law, afterwards Baldwin VI. Wace's account
of the count's feelings and conduct is at variance with the received
historical opinion, that he assisted William zealously; particularly by
using his influence in restraining any opposition from the young French
king his ward. According to Sismondi, however, Baldwin did not interfere
in French affairs; and the course pursued by the king does not appear to
have been friendly, but as hostile as the weakness attendant on a
minority allowed. As to the policy of the court of Flanders, a variance
in the accounts may possibly have arisen from confusion between the
different counts, who succeeded each other quickly, and perhaps had
opposite views: so that what is said by historians as to William's
transactions with Baldwin V. may apply to a later period and another
person. Though there were many adventurers from Flanders in William's
service, we are not aware of any decisive proof that the count avowedly
sent a force to aid the expedition in 1066. Gilbert de Gant is not heard
of before 1069. He and such captains as Gherbod of Chester, Walter
Flandrensis and Drogo de Bevrere may have been only volunteers,
assisting for personal rewards. It may be added that Wace's account of
the course pursued by France and Flanders is at any rate consistent; and
it is probable, as being dictated by motives of obvious policy.]

[Footnote 13: Or page.]

[Footnote 14: See Wace's account of the gonfanons, devices, shields, &c.
at the battle of Valdesdunes.]

[Footnote 15: Another MS. reads 'une des _denz_ Saint Pierre.' _Benoit
de Sainte-More_ says of the pope,

     A Rome ert done Pape Alixandre
     Jusz hoem, saintismes e verais.

See his report concerning the apostolic grant in our appendix.]

[Footnote 16: Wace's words, of which we believe we give the meaning,

     Asez vi homes ki la virent,
     Ki ainz e poiz lunges veskirent.]

[Footnote 17: The original passage, and the parallel accounts in _Benoit
de Sainte-More_ and _Gaimar_, will be found in our appendix.]




The duke rejoiced greatly at receiving the gonfanon, and the license
which the apostle gave him. He got together carpenters smiths and other
workmen, so that great stir was seen at all the ports of Normandy, in
the collecting of wood and materials, cutting of planks, framing of
ships and boats, stretching sails, and rearing masts, with great pains
and at great cost. They spent all one summer and autumn in fitting up
the fleet and collecting the forces; and there was no knight in the
land, no good Serjeant, archer, nor peasant of stout heart, and of age
for battle, that the duke did not summon to go with him to England:
promising rents to the vavassors, and honors to the barons.

When the ships were ready, they were moored in the Somme at St Valeri,
and there delivered to the barons. Many were the ships and boats in the
river there, which is called the Somme, and separates Ponthieu and
Vimou. Vimou extends as far as Ou, which separates Normandy from Vimou,
a country under different government. Ou is a river, and Ou is also a
fair castle[1] situate upon that river.

The duke had men from many and various parts. Haimon, the viscount of
Toarz[2] came thither, a man of very great power, who could bring much
people. Alain Felgan also came to the crossing, and brought with him
great baronage from among the Bretons[3]; and Fitz Bertran de Peleit,
and the Sire de Dinan came also; and Raol de Gael, and many Bretons from
many castles, and from about Brecheliant, concerning which the Bretons
tell many fables. It is a forest long and broad, much famed throughout
Brittany. The fountain of Berenton rises from beneath a stone there.
Thither the hunters are used to repair in sultry weather; and drawing up
water with their horns, they sprinkle the stone for the purpose of
having rain, which is then wont to fall, they say, throughout the whole
forest around; but why I know not. There, too, fairies are to be seen
(if the Bretons tell truth) and many other wonders happen. The ground
is broken and precipitous, and deer in plenty roam there, but the
husbandmen have deserted it. I went thither on purpose to see these
marvels. I saw the forest and the land, and I sought for the marvels,
but I found none[4]. I went like a fool, and so I came back; I sought
after folly, and hold myself a fool for my pains.

The fame of the Norman duke soon went forth through many lands; how he
meant to cross the sea against Harold, who had taken England from him.
Then soldiers came flocking to him, one by one, two by two, and four by
four; by fives and sixes, sevens and eights, nines and tens; and he
retained them all, giving them much and promising more. Many came by
agreement made with them beforehand; many bargained for lands, if they
should win England; some required pay, allowances and gifts; and the
duke was often obliged to give at once to those who could not wait the

I shall never put in writing, and would not undertake to set down, what
barons, and how many knights, how many vavassors, and how many soldiers
the duke had in his company, when he had collected all his navy; but I
heard my father say--I remember it well, although I was but a lad--that
there were seven hundred ships, less four[6], when they sailed from St.
Valeri; and that there were besides these ships, boats and skiffs for
the purpose of carrying the arms and harness. I have found it written
(but I know not whether it be true) that there were in all three
thousand vessels bearing sails and masts. Any one will know that there
must have been a great many men to have furnished out so many vessels.


They waited long at St. Valeri for a fair wind, and the barons were
greatly wearied[7]. Then they prayed the convent to bring out the shrine
of St Valeri, and set it on a carpet in the plain; and all came praying
the holy reliques, that they might be allowed to pass over sea. They
offered so much money, that the reliques were buried beneath it; and
from that day forth, they had good weather and a fair wind. The duke
placed a lantern on the mast of his ship, that the other ships might see
it, and hold their course after it. At the summit was a vane[8] of
brass, gilt. On the head of the ship, in the front, which mariners call
the prow, there was the figure of a child in brass, bearing an arrow
with a bended bow.[9] His face was turned towards England, and thither
he looked, as though he was about to shoot; so that whichever way the
ship went, he seemed to aim onwards.


Of so large a fleet with so many people, only two ships were in any
peril, and those perhaps from being overloaded. The duke had a great
chivalry in his ships; and besides these, he had many archers and
Serjeants, many brave men and warriors, carpenters and engineers, good
smiths and other handicraftsmen.

[Footnote 1:

     Ou est ewe, Ou est chastel
     Ke seit sor l'ewe d'Ou mult bel.]

[Footnote 2: AIMERI, viscount of THOUARS, the fourth of the name. ALAIN
FELGAN and the other chiefs in the expedition will be more conveniently
noticed hereafter. The only list which _Benoit_ gives will be found in
our appendix.]

[Footnote 3: _Benoit_ goes into much detail concerning William's
previous arrangements with the Bretons.]

[Footnote 4:

     Fol m'en revins, fol i alai,
     Fol i alai, fol m'en revins,
     Folie quis, por fol me tins.]

[Footnote 5: _Benoit de Sainte-More_ thus expresses himself on the

     Ci receveront les granz loiers
     Qu'aveir deivent bons chevaliers;
     Les terres, les fieus, les honors,
     Plus c'unc n'orent lor anceisors;
     Par lor valor, par lor proeces,
     Auront dès or les granz richesces,
     Les granz tenures e les fieus.]

[Footnote 6: The accounts differ as to the number of vessels, arising
principally from a different principle of computation; some reckoning
'the small craft,' others not. _Benoit de Sainte-More_ says,

     Si out treis mile nefs au meins,
     De ce nos fait l'autor certains.]

[Footnote 7: The fleet sailed on the 29th September, 1066.]

[Footnote 8: 'Wire-wire.']

[Footnote 9: In the Bayeux tapestry, the child will be seen at the poop,
not at the prow, to which, however, he looks; he holds a trumpet. In
Taylor's Anon. MS. (_Littleton_, i. 464) it is stated that William's own
ship was called Mora, being the gift of Matilda; and the child is stated
to have pointed towards England with his right forefinger, and to have
held to his mouth an ivory horn with his left. According to _Ordericus
Vitalis_, one Fitz Stephen under Hen. I. claimed to take the king in the
unfortunate Blanche-Nef, because his father had carried over the
conqueror. _Benoit de Sainte-More's_ short account of the voyage, of the
formation of the first fort, which he places at Pevensey, and of the
progress thence to Hastings, is as follows:

     D'entrer es nefs e de charger
     Ne sorst esmai ne destorbier,
     Kar l'aure venta duce e queie
     Eissi que li mers trop n'ondeie.
     Enz l'anuitant furent tuit enz;
     Od ce que mult fu dreiz li venz,
     Traïstrent les veiles, si siglèrent,
     Au rei des ceus se comandèrent
     Od joie e od tens duz e bel
     Arrivent a Pevenesel.
     Iloc sempres desus le port
     Ferment un chastel bel e fort.
     Chevalers bons des sues genz
     Laissa li dux assez dedenz
     Por tenir le deus anz garniz,
     Apres, ce conte li escriz,
     Vint a Hastinges senz demore,
     Ou maintenant e en poi d'ore
     En r'a un autre fait fermer.
     Tant entendirent al ovrer
     Que li mur i furent si haut
     De nule part ne dote assant.
     Là remist gardes seguraines
     E de lui fei porter certaines.]




The ships steered to one port; all arrived and reached the shore
together; together cast anchor, and ran on dry land; and together they
discharged themselves. They arrived near Hastings, and there each ship
ranged by the other's side. There you might see the good sailors, the
Serjeants and squires sally forth and unload the ships; cast the
anchors, haul the ropes, bear out shields and saddles, and land the
warhorses and palfreys. The archers came forth, and touched land the
foremost; each with his bow bent, and his quiver full of arrows slung at
his side. All were shaven and shorn, and all clad in short garments,
ready to attack, to shoot, to wheel about and skirmish. All stood well
equipped, and of good courage for the fight; and they scoured the whole
shore, but found not an armed man there. After the archers had thus gone
forth, the knights landed next, all armed; with their hauberks on, their
shields slung at their necks, and their helmets laced. They formed
together on the shore, each armed upon his warhorse. All had their
swords girded on, and passed into the plain with their lances raised.

The barons had gonfanons, and the knights pennons. They occupied the
advanced ground, next to where the archers had fixed themselves. The
carpenters, who came after, had great axes in their hands, and planes
and adzes hung at their sides. When they had reached the spot where the
archers stood, and the knights were assembled, they consulted together,
and sought for a good spot to place a strong fort upon. Then they cast
out of the ships the materials, and drew them to land, all shaped framed
and pierced to receive the pins which they had brought, cut and ready in
large barrels; so that before evening had well set in, they had finished
a fort. Then you might see them make their kitchens, light their fires,
and cook their meat. The duke sat down to eat, and the barons and
knights had food in plenty; for he had brought ample store. All ate and
drank enough, and were right glad that they were ashore.


Before the duke left the Somme, a clerk had come to him, who knew, he
said, astronomy and necromancy, and held himself a good diviner, and
predicted many things. So he divined for the duke, and predicted that he
should pass the sea safely, and succeed in his expedition, without
fighting at all; for that Harold would make such promises, and come to
such terms, that he would hold the land of the duke, and become his
liegeman, and so William would return in safety. As to the good
passage, he predicted right enough; but as to not fighting, he lied.
When the duke had crossed, and arrived safely, he remembered the
prediction, and inquired for the diviner. But one of the sailors said he
had miscarried and was drowned at sea, being in one of the lost ships.
"Little matters it," said the duke; "no great deal could he have known.
A poor diviner indeed must he be about me, who could predict nought
about himself. If the things to come were known to him, he might well
have foreseen his own death; foolish is he who trusts in a diviner, who
takes heed for others but forgets himself; who knows the end of other
men's work, and can not discern the term of his own life." Such was the
end of the diviner.

As the ships were drawn to shore, and the duke first landed, he fell by
chance upon his two hands. Forthwith all raised a loud cry of distress,
"An evil sign," said they, "is here." But he cried out lustily, "See,
seignors, by the splendour of God! I have seized England with my two
hands; without challenge no prize can be made; all is our own that is
here; and now we shall see who will be the bolder man." Then one of his
men ran forward and put his hand on a hut, and took a handful of the
thatch, and turned to the duke, saying heartily, "Sire, come forward and
receive seizin; of this land I give you seizin; without doubt the
country is yours." And the duke said, "I accept it; may God be with us."

Then he ordered proclamation to be made, and commanded the sailors that
the ships should be dismantled, and drawn ashore and pierced, that the
cowards might not have the ships to flee to[1].

All cannot be told or written at once; but, passing backward and forward
to each matter in its turn, I have now to tell that the duke immediately
after his arrival made all his host arm themselves.

The first day they held their course along the sea-shore; and on the
morrow came to a castle called Penevesel[2]. The squires and foragers,
and those who looked out for booty, seized all the clothing and
provisions they could find, lest what had been brought by the ships
should fail them; and the English were to be seen fleeing before them,
driving off their cattle, and quitting their houses. All took shelter in
the cemeteries[3], and even there they were in grievous alarm.

[Footnote 1: The Bayeux tapestry is considered to contradict Wace's
supposed story of the ships being destroyed. _Benoit_ says nothing of
it. Is it clear that the ships are not meant to be represented in the
tapestry as drawn ashore, dismantled, and in a state unfit for service?
This probably was done, and it may be all that was meant to be reported.
We venture to give this mitigated sense to 'despecies,' particularly as
the operations in the next line of 'drawing ashore and piercing,' are
hardly consistent with previous destruction. The dismantling of the
ships, left under protection of the fort, when going inland, seems a
prudent precaution against a surprise by Harold's fleet, as well as
against any sudden fit of despair arising in the Norman army; but their
destruction would have been a rash step. From such dismantling may have
arisen the report of destruction, which the chronicle of Battel Abbey,
_MS. Cott. Dom. A. ii._ improves into actual burning. It would appear
that they were soon refitted, and followed William's cautious course
along the coast to Dover. The _Carmen de hello Hastingensi_ makes
William rest five days at Hastings after the battle.]

[Footnote 2: Pevensey.]

[Footnote 3: This use of the cemeteries is again mentioned in _Wace_,
ii. 381. 'As cimetieres tot atraient,' See also _Ordericus Vit_. xi.




A knight of that country heard the noise and cry made by the peasants
and villains when they saw the great fleet arrive. He well knew that the
Normans were come, and that their object was to seize the land. He
posted himself behind a hill, so that they should not see him, and
tarried there, watching the arrival of the great fleet. He saw the
archers come forth from the ships, and the knights follow. He saw the
carpenters with their axes, and the host of people and troops. He saw
the men throw the materials for the fort out of the ships. He saw them
build up and enclose the fort, and dig the fosse around it. He saw them
land the shields and armour. And as he beheld all this, his spirit was
troubled; and he girt his sword and took his lance, saying he would go
straightway to king Harold, and tell the news. Forthwith he set out on
his way, resting late and rising early; and thus he journeyed on by
night and by day to seek Harold his lord.

He found him beyond the Humber, in a town where he had just dined[1].
Harold carried himself very loftily, for he had been beyond Humber, and
had had great success in overcoming Tosti. Tosti was Harold's brother;
but unfortunately they had become enemies, and Tosti had sent his
friends to Harold, calling upon him to give him his father's fief, now
that it had fallen out, that, right or wrong, he had become king; and
requiring him to let him have the lands their father held by
inheritance; and he promised on this being done to ask no more; but to
become his man, and acknowledge him for lord, and serve him as well as
he did King Edward.

But Harold would not agree to this; he would neither give nor exchange
ought with him; so Tosti became very wroth, and crossed over to Denmark,
and brought with him Danes and Norwegians, and landed over against
Euroïck[2]. When Harold learnt the news, he made himself ready, and set
out against Tosti, and fought with and conquered him and his troops.
Tosti was killed near Pontfrait[3], and his army besides suffered great
loss. Then Harold set out on his return from Pontfrait, and glorified
himself exceedingly. But foolish is he who glorifies himself, for good
fortune soon passeth away; bad news swiftly comes; soon may he die
himself who has slain others; and the heart of man often rejoiceth when
his ruin is nigh.

Harold returned rejoicing and triumphing, bearing himself right proudly,
when news met him that put other thoughts in his mind; for lo! the
knight is come who set out from Hastings. "The Normans," he cried, "are
come! they have landed at Hastings! thy land will they wrest from thee,
if thou canst not defend thyself well; they have enclosed a fort, and
strengthened it round about with palisades and a fosse."

"Sorry am I," said Harold, "that I was not there at their arrival. It is
a sad mischance; I had better have given what Tosti asked, so that I had
been at the port when William reached the coast, and bad disputed his
landing; we might then have driven so many into the sea that they would
never have made good their landing, nor have touched ought of ours:
neither would they have missed death on land, if they had escaped the
dangers of the sea. But thus it hath pleased the heavenly king; and I
could not be every where at once."

There was a baron of the land--I do not know his name[4]--who had loved
the duke well, and was in secret council with him, and desired, so far
as he was able, that no harm should befall him. This baron sent word to
him privily, that he was too weak; that he had come with too little
force, as it seemed to him, to do what he had undertaken; for that there
were so many men in England, that it would be very hard to conquer. So
he counselled him in good faith, and in true love, to leave the country
and go home to his own land before Harold should arrive; for he feared
lest he should miscarry, and he should grieve much, he said, if any
misfortune should befall him. The duke answered briefly, that he saw no
reason for doubt; that he might rely upon it, if he had but ten thousand
of as noble knights as those of whom he had sixty thousand or more, he
would still fight it out. Yea, he said, he would never go back till he
had taken vengeance on Harold.

Harold came full speed to London, ordering that from every part of
England all should come forthwith, fully equipped, by a time appointed
them, without allowing any excuse except sickness. He would have
challenged the duke, and at once fixed a day for the battle, but he
waited till his great baronage should come together: and they came in
haste on receiving the summons.

The duke soon heard that Harold was assembling a great host, and that he
was come to London from the north, where he had killed his brother
Tosti. Then he sent for Huon Margot[5], a tonsured monk of Fescam; and
as he was a learned man, well known, and much valued, the duke
despatched him to Harold. And Margot set out on his way, and finding
Harold at London, spoke to him thus:

"Harold! hearken to me! I am a messenger, hear ye from whom! The duke
tells thee, by my mouth, that thou hast too soon forgotten the oath,
which thou didst but lately take to him in Normandy, and that thou hast
forsworn thyself. Repair the wrong, and restore him the crown and
lordship, which are not thine by ancestry; for thou art neither king by
heritage, nor through any man of thy lineage. King Edward of his free
will and power, gave his land and realm to his best kinsman William. He
gave this gift as he had a right to do, to the best man he had. He gave
it in full health before his death, and if he did wrong, thou didst not
forbid it; nay, thou didst assent, and warrant and swear to maintain it.
Deliver him his land; do justice, lest greater damage befall thee. No
such hosts can assemble as thou and he must combat with, without great
cost and heavy loss; and thus there will be mischief to both sides.
Restore the kingdom that thou hast seized! woe betide thee if thou
shalt endeavour to hold it!"

Harold was exceedingly proud, and it is said that he had sometimes fits
of madness. He was enraged at the words with which Margot had menaced
him; and it is thought he would have ill used him, had not Gurth his
brother sprung forth and stood between them, and sent Huon Margot away;
and he went forth without taking leave, not choosing to stay longer, and
neither said nor did any thing more concerning the matter he came about,
but returned to duke William, and told him how Harold had insulted him.

Then Harold chose a messenger who knew the language of France, and sent
him to duke William, charging him with these words; "Say to the duke
that I desire he will not remind me of my covenant nor of my oath; if I
ever foolishly made it and promised him any thing, I did it for my
liberty. I swore in order to get my freedom; whatever he asked I agreed
to; and I ought not to be reproached, for I did nothing of my own free
will. The strength was all on his side, and I feared that unless I did
his pleasure, I should never return, but should have remained there for
ever. If I have done him any wrong, I will make him recompense. If he
want any of my wealth, I will give it according to my ability. I will
refit all his ships, and give them safe conduct; but if he refuse this
offer, tell him for a truth, that if he wait for me so long, I will on
Saturday seek him out, and on that day will do battle with him."

The messenger hastened to the duke, and on the part of king Harold, told
him that if he would return to his own land, and free England of his
presence, he should have safe conduct for the purpose; and if money was
his object, he should have as much gold and silver as should supply the
wants of all his host.

Duke William replied, "Thanks for his fair words! I am not come into
this country with so many _escus,_ to change them for his _esterlins_;
but I am come that I may have all his land, according to his oath, and
the gift of king Edward, who delivered me two youths of gentle lineage
as hostages; the one the son, the other the nephew of Godwin. I have
them still in my keeping, and keep them I will, if I can, till I have
right done unto me."

Then the messenger replied, "Sire, you ask too much of us, far too much
of my lord; you would rob him of his honour and fair name, requiring him
to deliver up his kingdom, as if he dared not defend it. All is still
safe, and in good order with us; there is no weakness or decay in his
force. He is not so pressed by the war, as that he should give up his
land to you; neither is it very agreeable that, because you wish for his
kingdom, he should at once abandon it to you. Harold will not give you
what you cannot take from him; but in good will, and as a matter of
favour, and without fear of your threats, he will give you as much as
you desire of gold and silver, money and fine garments: and thus you may
return to your country before any affray happen between you. If you will
not accept this offer, know this, that if you abide his coming, he will
be ready in the field on Saturday next, and on that day he will fight
with you."

The duke accepted this appointment, and the messenger took his leave;
but when he proposed to go, the duke gave him a horse and garments: and
when he came back to Harold thus arrayed, he shewed all that the duke
had given him, and told how he had been honoured, and all that had
passed; and Harold repented much that he had done otherwise by Huon

[Footnote 1: The time of Harold's coronation is, by our mistake, at p.
98, given as _Easter_, instead of 'Noël.']

[Footnote 2: York.]

[Footnote 3: Pomfret. _Benoit_ says Tosti's expedition (see appendix)
was concerted with William.]

[Footnote 4: According to _William of Poitiers_, he was a rich man of
Norman origin, named Robert, son of Guimare, a noble lady. _Benoit's_
account is in our appendix.]

[Footnote 5: _Wace_ is the only authority who gives the name of this
envoy. _William of Poitiers_ merely says he was a monk of Fécamp,
without further description. The two embassies are described by him in a
reversed order, and with different circumstances attending them.]




Whilst Harold and William communicated in this way by messengers, clerks
and knights, the English assembled at London. When they were about to
set out thence, I have heard tell that Gurth, one of Harold's brothers,
reasoned thus with him.

"Fair brother, remain here, but give me your troops; I will take the
adventure upon me, and will fight William[1]. I have no covenant with
him, by oath or pledge; I am in no fealty to him, nor do I owe him my
faith. It may chance that there will be no need to come to blows; but I
fear that if you fight, you will pay the penalty of perjury, seeing you
must forswear yourself; and he who has the right will win. But if I am
conquered and taken prisoner, you, if God please, being alive, may still
assemble your troops, and fight or come to such an arrangement with the
duke, that you may hold your kingdom in peace. Whilst I go and fight the
Normans, do you scour the country, burn the houses, destroy the
villages, and carry off all stores and provisions, swine and goats and
cattle; that they may find no food, nor any thing whatever to subsist
upon. Thus you may alarm and drive them back, for the duke must return
to his own country if provisions for his army shall fail him."

But Harold refused, and said that Ourth should not go against the duke
and fight without him; and that he would not burn houses and villages,
neither would he plunder his people. "How," said he, "can I injure the
people I should govern? I cannot destroy or harass those who ought to
prosper under me."

However all agreed that Gurth's advice was good, and wished him to
follow it; but Harold, to shew his great courage, swore that they should
not go to the field or fight without him. Men, he said, would hold him a
coward, and many would blame him for sending his best friends where he
dared not go himself[2]. So he would not be detained, but set out from
London, leading his men forward armed for the fight, till he erected his
standard and fixed his gonfanon right where THE ABBEY OF THE BATTLE is
now built. There he said he would defend himself against whoever should
seek him; and he had the place well examined, and surrounded it by a
good fosse, leaving an entrance on each of three sides, which were
ordered to be all well guarded.

The Normans kept watch and remained throughout the night in arms, and on
their guard; for they were told that the English meant to advance and
attack them that night. The English also feared that the Normans might
attack them in the dark; so each kept guard the whole night, the one
watching the other.

At break of day in the morning, Harold rose and Gurth with him. Noble
chiefs were they both. Two warhorses were brought for them, and they
issued forth from their entrenchment[3]. They took with them no knight,
varlet on foot, nor squire; and neither of them bore other arms than
shield, lance and sword; their object being to reconnoitre the Normans,
and to know where and how they were posted. They rode on, viewing and
examining the ground, till from a hill where they stood they could see
those of the Norman host, who were near. They saw a great many huts made
of branches of trees, tents well equipped, pavilions and gonfanons; and
they heard horses neighing, and beheld the glittering of armour. They
stood a long while without speaking; nor do I know what they did, or
what they said, or what counsel they held together there; but on their
return to their tent Harold spoke first.

"Brother," said he, "yonder are many people, and the Normans are very
good knights, and well used to bear arms. What say you? what do you
advise? With so great a host against us, I dare not do otherwise than
fall back upon London: I will return thither and assemble a larger

"Harold!" said Garth, "thou base coward! This counsel has come too late;
it is of no use now to flinch, we must move onward. Base coward! when I
advised you, and got the barons also to beseech you, to remain at London
and let me fight, you would not listen to us, and now you must take the
consequence. You would take no heed of any thing we could say; you
believed not me or any one else; now you are willing, but I will not. You
have lost your pride too soon; quickly indeed has what you have seen
abated your courage. If you should turn back now, every one would say
that you ran away. If men see you flee, who is to keep your people
together? and if they once disperse, they will never be brought to
assemble together again."

Thus Harold and Gurth disputed, till their words grew angry, and Gurth
would have struck his brother, had he not spurred his horse on, so that
the blow missed, and struck the horse behind the saddle, glancing along
Harold's shield. Had it gone aright, it would have felled him to the
ground. Gurth thus vented his humour, charging his brother with
cowardice; but they galloped on to the tents, and shewed no sign of
their dispute, neither let any ill will appear between them, when they
saw their people coming. Lewine, Harold's next brother after Gurth, had
also arisen early, and gone to Harold's tent; and when he found not his
two brothers where he left them over night, he thought he should see
them no more. "By Heaven," cried he, "they have been taken and delivered
to their enemies;" for he thought they must either have been killed, or
betrayed to the Normans; and he ran forth like a madman, shouting and
crying out as if he had lost his senses. But when he learned where they
were, and that they had gone out to reconnoitre the Normans, he and his
companions, and the earls and barons, mounted quickly upon their horses,
and set out from the tents; when behold! they met the brothers. The
barons took it ill that they went so imprudently, and without any guard;
but all turned back to the tents, and prepared for battle.

When they came in front of the enemy, the sight alarmed them grievously;
and Harold sent forth two spies[4] to reconnoitre the opposite troops,
and see what barons and armed men the duke had brought with him. As they
drew near to his army, they were observed, and being taken before
William, were sore afraid. But when he learnt what was their errand,
and that they wanted to estimate his strength, he had them taken through
all the tents, and shewed the whole host to them. Then he used them
exceeding well, gave them abundantly to eat and drink, and let them go
without injury or molestation.

When they returned to their lord, they spoke very honourably of the
duke; and one of them, who had seen that the Normans were so close
shaven and cropt, that they had not even moustaches, supposed he had
seen priests and mass-sayers; and he told Harold that the duke had more
priests with him than knights or other people. But Harold replied,
"Those are valiant knights, bold and brave warriors, though they bear
not beards or moustaches as we do."

[Footnote 1: This emulation between the brothers is also vouched by
_Ordericus Vitalis. Gaimar_, in one MS. calls Gurth, Gerard; another MS.
reads Gerd.]

[Footnote 2: _Benoit_ bears ample testimony to the personal
qualifications of Harold:

     Pros ert Heraut e virtuos,
     E empernanz e corajoz:
     N'estoveit pas en nule terre
     Sos ciel meillor chevaler querre:
     Beaus esteit trop, e beaus parlers,
     Donierre e larges viandiers.

His mother, according to the same authority, dissuaded him from the
enterprise, equally with his brother; who, besides the reasons urged in
_Wace_, presses the army's need of repose after the late campaign.]

[Footnote 3: In the continuation of Wace's _Brut d'Angleterre_, Harold's
morning is differently employed; and a curious legend is given,
assigning a reason for his defeat. See our appendix.]

[Footnote 4: The spy's mistake is also told by _William of Malmesbury_.
The Bayeux tapestry constantly represents the English with moustaches,
and the Normans with none. The latter, however, soon adopted the fashion
of flowing hair. In 1106, the bishop of Seez thought it necessary, in a
sermon before Hen. I. to inveigh bitterly against the custom of wearing
long hair and long toes, then assumed by the Normans.]





Then the duke chose a messenger, a monk learned and wise, well
instructed and experienced, and sent him to king Harold. He gave him his
choice, to take which he would of three things. He should either resign
England and take his daughter to wife; or submit to the good judgment of
the apostle and his people; or meet him singly and fight body to body[1],
on the terms that he who killed the other, or could conquer and take him
prisoner, should have England in peace, nobody else suffering. Harold
said he would do neither; he would neither perform his covenant, nor put
the matter in judgment, nor would he meet him and fight body to body.

Before the day of the battle, which was now become certain, the duke of
his great courage told his barons, that he would himself speak with
Harold; and summon him with his own mouth to render up what he had
defrauded him of, and see what he would answer; that he would appeal him
of perjury, and summon him on his pledged faith; and if he would not
submit, and make reparation forthwith, he would straightway defy, and
fight him on the morrow; but that if he yielded, he would, with the
consent of his council, give up to him all beyond the Humber towards

The barons approved this, and some said to him, "Fair sir, one thing we
wish to say to you; if we must fight, let us fight promptly, and let
there be no delay. Delay may be to our injury, for we have nothing to
wait for, but Harold's people increase daily; they come strengthening
his army constantly with fresh forces." The duke said this was true, and
he promised them that there should be no more delay.

Then he made a score of knights mount upon their war-horses. All had
their swords girt, and their other arms were borne by the squires who
went with them. A hundred other knights mounted next, and went riding
after them, but at a little distance; and then a thousand knights also
mounted and followed the hundred, but only so near as to see what the
hundred and the twenty did.

The duke then sent to Harold, whether by monk or abbot I know not, and
desired him to come into the field, and speak with him, and to fear
nothing, but bring with him whom he would, that they might talk of an
arrangement. But Gurth did not wait for Harold's answer, and neither let
him speak, nor go to talk with the duke; for he instantly sprang up on
his feet, and said to the messenger, "Harold will not go! tell your lord
to send his message to us hither, and let us know what he will take, and
what he will leave, or what other arrangement he is willing to make."

Whilst the messenger returned to carry this answer, Harold called
together his friends and his earls, all by their names, to hear what
message the duke would send back. And he sent word to Harold, that if he
would abide by his covenant, he would give him all Northumberland, and
whatever belonged to the kingdom beyond Humber; and would also give to
his brother Gurth the lands of Godwin their father. And if he refused
this, he challenged him for perjury in not delivering up the kingdom,
and not taking his daughter to wife, as he ought: in all this he had
lied and broken faith; and unless he made reparation he defied him. And
he desired the English should know and take notice, that all who came
with Harold, or supported him in this affair, were excommunicated by the
apostle and the clergy. At this excommunication the English were much
troubled; they feared it greatly, and the battle still more. And much
murmuring was to be heard on all hands, and consulting one with the
other; none was so brave, but that he wished the battle might be

"Seignors," said Gurth, "I know and see that you are in great alarm;
that you fear the event of the battle, and desire an arrangement: and so
do I as much, and in truth more, I believe; but I have also great fear
of duke William, who is very full of treachery. You have heard what he
says, and how low he rates us, and how he will only give us what he
likes of a land which is not his yet. If we take what he offers, and go
beyond the Humber, he will not long leave us even that, but will push us
yet further. He will always keep his eye upon us, and bring us to ruin
in the end. When he has got the uppermost, and has the best of the land,
he will leave little for us, and will soon try to take it all. He wants
to cheat us into taking instead of a rich country, a poor portion of
one, and presently he will have even that. I have another fear, which is
more on your than on my own account, for I think I could easily secure
myself. He has given away all your lands to knights of other countries.
There is neither earl nor baron to whom he has not made some rich
present: there is no earldom, barony, nor chatelainie, which he has not
given away: and I tell you for a truth, that he has already taken
homage from many, for your inheritances which he has given them. They
will chase you from your lands, and still worse, will kill you. They
will pillage your vassals, and ruin your sons and daughters: they do not
come merely for your goods, but utterly to ruin you and your heirs.
Defend yourselves then and your children, and all that belong to you,
while you may. My brother hath never given away, nor agreed to give away
the great fiefs, the honors, or lands of your ancestors; but earls have
remained earls, and barons enjoyed their rights; the sons have had their
lands and fiefs after their fathers' deaths: and you know this to be
true which I tell you, that peace was never disturbed. We may let things
remain thus if we will, and it is best for us so to determine. But if
you lose your houses, your manors, demesnes, and other possessions,
where you have been nourished all your lives, what will you become, and
what will you do? Into what country will you flee, and what will become
of your kindred, your wives and children? In what land will they go
begging, and where shall they seek an abode? When they thus lose their
own honour, how shall they seek it of others?"

By these words of Gurth, and by others which were said at his instance,
and by pledges from Harold to add to the fiefs of the barons, and by his
promises of things which were then out of his power to give, the English
were aroused, and swore by God, and cried out, that the Normans had
come on an evil day, and had embarked on a foolish matter. Those who had
lately desired peace, and feared the battle, now carried themselves
boldly, and were eager to fight; and Gurth had so excited the council,
that no man who had talked of peace would have been listened to, but
would have been reproved by the most powerful there[2].

[Footnote 1: _William of Poitiers_ mentions only the last of these
proposals, and says that it greatly alarmed Harold; on the same grounds,
no doubt, as Gurth had urged, against a vassal's coming into personal
conflict with one to whom he was bound in fealty, especially when
ratified by an oath; notwithstanding an entirely fraudulent creation of
the pledge in the first instance.]

[Footnote 2: _Benoit_ follows the story that Harold had planned a
surprise on William's army, and had sent another force round by sea to
intercept his retreat.

     La nuit que li ceus fu teniègres,
     Soprendre quidout l'ost Normant
     En la pointe del ajornant,
     Si qu'el champ out ses gens armées
     E ses batailles devisées:
     Enz la mer out fait genz entrer
     Por ceus prendre, por ceus garder
     Qui de la bataille fuireient,
     E qui as nefs revertireient.
     Treis cenz en i orent e plus.
     Dès ore ne quident que li dux
     Lor puisse eschaper, ne seit pris,
     Ou en la grant bataille occis.]



The duke and his men tried no further negotiation, but returned to their
tents, sure of fighting on the morrow. Then men were to be seen on every
side straightening lances, fitting hauberks and helmets; making ready
the saddles and stirrups; filling the quivers, stringing the bows, and
making all ready for the battle.

I have heard tell that the night before the day of battle, the English
were very merry, laughing much and enjoying themselves. All night they
ate and drank, and never lay down on their beds. They might be seen
carousing, gambolling and dancing, and singing; BUBLIE they cried, and
DRINC-HELF, and DRINC-TOME[1]. Thus they bemeaned themselves; but the
Normans and French betook themselves all night to their orisons, and
were in very serious mood. They made confession of their sins, and
accused themselves to the priests; and whoso had no priest near him,
confessed himself to his neighbour.

The day on which the battle was to take place being Saturday, the
Normans, by the advice of the priests, vowed that they would nevermore
while they lived eat flesh on that day. Giffrei[2], bishop of Coutanes,
received confessions, and gave benedictions, and imposed penances on
many; and so did the bishop of Bayeux, who carried himself very nobly.
He was bishop of the Bessin, Odes by name, the son of Herluin[3], and
brother of the duke on the mother's side. He brought to his brother a
great body of knights and other men, being very rich in gold and silver.


On the fourteenth day of October was fought the battle whereof I am
about to tell you.

The priests had watched all night, and besought and called on God, and
prayed to him in their chapels which were fitted up throughout the host.
They offered and vowed fasts, penances, and orisons; they said psalms
and misereres, litanies and kyriels; they cried on God, and for his
mercy, and said paternosters and masses; some the SPIRITUS DOMINI,
others SALUS POPULI, and many SALVE SANCTE PARENS, being suited to the
season, as belonging to that day, which was Saturday. And when the
masses were sung, which were finished betimes in the morning, all the
barons assembled and came to the duke, and it was arranged they should
form three divisions, so as to make the attack in three places.

The duke stood on a hill, where he could best see his men; the barons
surrounded him, and he spoke to them proudly:

"Much ought I," said he, "to love you all, and much should I confide in
you; much ought and will I thank you who have crossed the sea for me,
and have come with me into this land. It grieves me that I cannot now
render such thanks as are due to you, but when I can I will, and what I
have shall be yours. If I conquer, you will conquer. If I win lands, you
shall have lands; for I say most truly that I am not come merely to take
for myself what I claim, but to punish the felonies, treasons, and
falsehoods which the men of this country have always done and said to
our people. They have done much ill to our kindred, as well as to other
people, for they do all the treason and mischief they can. On the night
of the feast of St Briçun, they committed horrible treachery; they slew
all the Danes in one day; they had eaten with them, and then slew them
in their sleep; no fouler crime was ever heard of than in this manner to
kill the people who trusted in them.

"You have all heard of Alwered[4], and how Godwin betrayed him; he
saluted and kissed him, ate and drank with him; then betrayed, seized
and bound him, and delivered him to the felon king, who confined him in
the Isle of Eli, tore out his eyes, and afterwards killed him. He had
the men of Normandy also brought to Gedefort[5], and decimated them;
and when the tenth was set apart, hear what felony they committed! they
decimated that tenth once more, because it appeared too many to save.
These felonies, and many other which they have done to our ancestors,
and to our friends who demeaned themselves honourably, we will revenge
on them, if God so please. When we have conquered them, we will take
their gold and silver, and the wealth of which they have plenty, and
their manors, which are rich. We shall certainly easily conquer them,
for in all the world there is not so brave an army, neither such proved
men and vassals, as are here assembled[6]."

Then they began to cry out, "You will not see one coward; none here will
fear to die for love of you, if need be."

And he answered them, "I thank you well. For God's sake spare not;
strike hard at the beginning; stay not to take spoil; all the booty
shall be in common, and there will be plenty for every one. There will
be no safety in peace or flight; the English will never love or spare
Normans. Felons they were and are; false they were and false they will
be. Shew no weakness towards them, for they will have no pity on you;
neither the coward for his flight, nor the bold man for his strokes,
will be the better liked by the English, nor will any be the more spared
on that account. You may fly to the sea, but you can fly no further; you
will find neither ship nor bridge there; there will be no sailors to
receive you; and the English will overtake you and kill you in your
shame. More of you will die in flight than in battle; flight, therefore,
will not secure you; but fight, and you will conquer. I have no doubt of
the victory; we are come for glory, the victory is in our hands, and we
may make sure of obtaining it if we so please."

As the duke said this, and would have said yet more, William Fitz Osber
rode up, his horse being all coated with iron[7]; "Sire," said he to his
lord, "we tarry here too long, let us all arm ourselves. Allons!

Then all went to their tents and armed themselves as they best might;
and the duke was very busy, giving every one his orders; and he was
courteous to all the vassals, giving away many arms and horses to them.

When he prepared to arm himself, he called first for his good hauberk,
and a man brought it on his arm, and placed before him; but in putting
his head in, to get it on, he inadvertently turned it the wrong way,
with the back part in front. He quickly changed it, but, when he saw that
those who stood by were sorely alarmed, he said, "I have seen many a man
who, if such a thing had happened to him, would not have borne arms, or
entered the field the same day; but I never believed in omens, and I
never will. I trust in God; for he does in all things his pleasure, and
ordains what is to come to pass, according to his will. I have never
liked fortune-tellers, nor believed in diviners; but I commend myself to
our Lady. Let not this mischance give you trouble. The hauberk which was
turned wrong, and then set right by me, signifies that a change will
arise out of the matter we are now moving. You shall see the name of
duke changed into king. Yea, a king shall I be, who hitherto have been
but duke[8]."

Then he crossed himself, and straightway took his hauberk, stooped his
head, and put it on aright; and laced his helmet and girt his sword,
which a varlet brought him.

[Footnote 1: We make no attempt to translate Wace's Saxon; for which a
previous examination of his original MS. not now in existence, would
certainly be a necessary preliminary. The existing copies are obviously
the work of French transcribers, wholly ignorant, no doubt, of the
Saxon. The MS. of Duchesne is said to read, for the two first words,
'bufler' and 'welseil,' Three of the words sound at least like
'wassail,' 'drink to me,' and 'drink health' or 'half.' In the appendix
to M. Raynouard's observations on Wace, some suggestions are given from
high English authority; but they throw very little light upon the
matter. See _Jeffrey of Monmouth's_ story of Vortigern and Rowena.
_Robert de Brunne,_ in translating the passage, makes Rowena give this
explanation of the Saxon custom:

     This is ther custom and ther gest
     Whan thei are at the ale or fest;
     Ilk man that loves where him think
     Sall say _wassail_, and to him drink.
     He that bids sall say _wassail_;
     The tother sall say again _drinkhail_;
     That said _wassail_ drinkes of the cup,
     Kissand his felow he gives it up;
     _Drinkhail_, HE says, and drinkes thereof,
     Kissand him in bord and skof.
     The king said, as the knight gan ken,
     _Drinkhail_, smiland on Rouwen;
     Rouwen drank as hire list,
     And gave the king, sine him kist.
     Ther was the first wassail in dede,
     And that first of fame gede;
     Of that wassail men told grete tale, &c.]

[Footnote 2: JEFFERY DE MOUBRAY,--Molbraium in _Ordericus
Vitalis_,--chief justiciary of England. See in Cotman's _Normandy_, vol.
i. p. 111, details concerning the munificent spirit of this prelate; and
of the cathedral of Coutances, to the erection of which he dedicated his
immense wealth. See also Ellis, _Domesday_, i. 400. The Moubray family
at the conquest consisted of the bishop, his brother Roger, whom we
shall find noticed below, and a sister Amy, married to Roger d'Aubigny,
or de Albini, ancestor of the earls of Arundel. Roger Moubray's son
Robert succeeded to the bishop's estates, comprising, it is said, 280
manors in England, and he became earl of Northumberland. At his disgrace
not only his estates, but his wife passed to his cousin Nigel d'Aubigny,
Amy's son, whose descendants took the name of Moubray. The scite of the
castle of Monbrai is in the arrondissement of St. Lo. In the Norman
Roll, red book of the Exchequer, we find 'Nigellus de Moubrai 5 mil. de
honore de Moubrai, et de castro Gonteri: et ad servituum suum xi mil.
quart. et octav.']

[Footnote 3: ODO, the bishop of Bayeux; son of Herluin, the knight who
married Arlette, William's mother.]

[Footnote 4: These transactions have been noticed in an earlier portion
of our Chronicle, see page 35.]

[Footnote 5: Guildford.]

[Footnote 6: _Henry of Huntingdon_ puts quite a different speech into
William's mouth, reminding the Normans of their capture and detainer of
the king of France, till he delivered Normandy to duke Richard, and (as
the chronicler states) assented to the stipulation, that in conferences
between the king and the duke,--the latter should wear his sword, but
the king not even a knife. L'_Estoire de Seint Ædward le rei_ makes
William use similar expressions, but on a different occasion, that of
rallying his men.]

[Footnote 7:

     A ço ke Willame diseit,
     Et encore plus dire voleit,
     Vint Willame li filz Osber,
     _Son cheval tot covert de fer;_
     "Sire," dist-il, "trop demoron,
     Armons nos tuit; allon! allon!"
     Issi sunt as tentes alé, &c.

See the observations of M. Deville on this description, in _Mém. Ant.
Norm_. v. 81. Such an equipment of a horse at so early a period has no
other authority, and is probably an anachronism. But it may be observed
that Wace's description at least shows that the practice was already in
existence in his day, which we believe could not be otherwise proved.]

[Footnote 8: This circumstance is also told by _William of Poitiers_. In
the _Estoire de Seint Ædward le rei_ the scene of the reversed hauberk
is thus described;

     Li ducs, ki s'arma tost après,
     Sun hauberc endosse envers.
     Dist ki l'arma, "Seit tort u dreit
     Verruns ke li ducs rois seit,"
     Li ducs, ki la raisun ot,
     Un petit surrist au mot,
     Dist, "Ore seit a la devise
     Celui ki le mund justise!"]




Then the duke called for his good horse; a better could not be found. It
had been sent him by a king of Spain as a token of friendship[1].
Neither arms nor throng did it fear, when its lord spurred on. Galtier
Giffart, who had been to St. Jago, brought it. The duke stretched out
his hand, took the reins, put foot in stirrup and mounted; and the good
horse pawed, pranced, reared himself up, and curvetted.

The viscount of Toarz saw how the duke bore himself in arms, and said to
his people that were around him, "Never have I seen a man so fairly
armed, nor one who rode so gallantly, or bore his arms, or became his
hauberk so well; neither any one who bore his lance so gracefully, or
sat his horse and manœuvred him so nobly. There is no other such knight
under heaven! a fair count he is, and fair king he will be. Let him
fight and he shall overcome; shame be to him who shall fail him!"

The duke called for horses, and had several led out to him; each had a
good sword hanging at the saddlebow, and those who led the horses bore
lances. Then the barons armed themselves, the knights and the
lancemen[2]; and the whole were divided into three companies; each
company having many lords and captains appointed to them, that there
might be no cowardice, or fear of loss of member or life.

The duke called a serving man, and ordered him to bring forth the
gonfanon which the pope had sent him; and he who bore it having unfolded
it, the duke took it, reared it, and called to Raol de Conches[3]; "Bear
my gonfanon," said he, "for I would not but do you right; by right and
by ancestry your line are standard bearers of Normandy, and very good
knights have they all been." "Many thanks to you," said Raol, "for
acknowledging our right; but by my faith, the gonfanon shall not this
day be borne by me. To-day I claim quittance of the service, for I would
serve you in other guise. I will go with you into the battle, and will
fight the English as long as life shall last, and know that my hand will
be worth any twenty of such men."

Then the duke turned another way, and called to him Galtier Giffart[4].
"Do thou take this gonfanon," said he, "and bear it in the battle." But
Galtier Giffart answered, "Sire, for God's mercy look at my white and
bald head; my strength has fallen away, and my breath become shorter.
The standard should be borne by one who can endure long labour; I shall
be in the battle, and you have not any man who will serve you more
truly; I will strike with my sword till it shall be died in your
enemies' blood."

Then the duke said fiercely, "By the splendour of God[5], my lords, I
think you mean to betray and fail me in this great need." "Sire," said
Giffart, "not so! we have done no treason, nor do I refuse from any
felony towards you; but I have to lead a great chivalry, both soldiers
and the men of my fief. Never had I such good means of serving you as I
now have; and if God please, I will serve you: if need be, I will die
for you, and will give my own heart for yours."

"By my faith," quoth the duke, "I always loved thee, and now I love thee
more; if I survive this day, thou shalt be the better for it all thy
days." Then he called out a knight, whom he had heard much praised,
Tosteins Fitz Rou le blanc[6], by name, whose abode was at
Bec-en-Caux[7]. To him he delivered the gonfanon; and Tosteins took it
right cheerfully, and bowed low to him in thanks, and bore it gallantly,
and with good heart. His kindred still have quittance of all service for
their inheritance on that account, and their heirs are entitled so to
hold their inheritance for ever.

William sat on his warhorse, and called out Rogier, whom they call de
Montgomeri[8]. "I rely much on you," said he; "lead your men
thitherward, and attack them from that side. William, the son of
Osber[9], the seneschal, a right good vassal, shall go with you and help
in the attack, and you shall have the men of Boilogne and Poix[10], and
all my soldiers[11]. Alain Fergant and Aimeri shall attack on the other
side; they shall lead the Poitevins and the Bretons, and all the barons
of Maine; and I with my own great men, my friends and kindred, will
fight in the middle throng, where the battle shall be the hottest."

The barons and knights and lancemen[12] were all now armed; the men on
foot were well equipped, each bearing bow and sword: on their heads
were caps[13], and to their feet were bound buskins[14]. Some had good
hides which they had bound round their bodies; and many were clad in
frocks[15], and had quivers and bows hung to their girdles. The knights
had hauberks and swords, boots of steel and shining helmets; shields at
their necks, and in their hands lances. And all had their
cognizances[16], so that each might know his fellow, and Norman might
not strike Norman, nor Frenchman kill his countryman by mistake. Those
on foot led the way, with serried ranks, bearing their bows. The knights
rode next, supporting the archers from behind. Thus both horse and foot
kept their course and order of march as they began; in close ranks at a
gentle pace, that the one might not pass or separate from the other. All
went firmly and compactly, bearing themselves gallantly; and in each
host stood archers ready to exchange shots.

[Footnote 1: Sent perhaps on the occasion of the betrothment of
William's daughter to the king of Gallicia, which has been before

[Footnote 2: 'Gueldon' is Wace's word here and elsewhere; which M.
Pluquet interprets--a peasant armed with a long lance or pike.]

[Footnote 3: RALF DE CONCHES, in the arrondissement of
Evreux,--sometimes called de Tony, or Toëny, which is in the commune of
Gaillon, arrondissement of Louviers,--son of Roger de Tony, hereditary
standard bearer of Normandy. Ralf is a landholder in Domesday;
Saham-Tony in Norfolk still records the name. His father founded the
abbey of Conches. See Ellis, _Introduction to Domesday_, i. 493. In the
Norman roll in the Red book of the Exchequer, we find, 'de honore de
Conches et de Toeneio 44 mil. et 6 mil. quos Matheus de Clara tenet:
preter hoc quod comes de Albamarâ, et comes Hugo Bigot, et Hugo de
Mortuomari tenent de fœdo illo: ad servitium vero regis nesciunt

[Footnote 4: WALTER GIFFART, lord of Longueville, in the arrondissement
of Dieppe, son of Osbern de Bolbec, and Aveline his wife, sister of
Gunnor, the wife of duke Richard I. In reference to the allusions in the
text to Walter Ginart's age, M. Le Prévost observes that it was his son,
a second of the name, who lived till 1102, having been made earl of
Buckingham. See _Introd. Domesday_, vol. i. 484; also vol. ii. 23, as to
an Osbern Giffart. In the Norman roll of the Red book, 'De honore
comitis Giffardi 98 mil. et dim. et quartem partem et 2 part, ad serv.
com.' He is also among the knights holding of the church of Bayeux '1

[Footnote 5: William's customary oath. Wace has before said, vol. ii.

     Jura par la resplendor Dé,
     Ço ert surent sun serement.]

[Footnote 6: TURSTINUS FILIUS ROLLONIS vexillum Normannorum portavit:
_Orderic. Vit._. Several Normans bore the name of Toustain or Turstin as
a baptismal name: but it afterwards became the family name of a noble
house in upper Normandy; who, in memory of the office performed at
Hastings, took for supporters of their arms, two angels, each bearing a
banner. A.L.P. Turstin Fitz-Rou received large English estates in
England. Besides Turstin there is a Robert Fitz-Rou in Domesday,
possibly his brother. See our subsequent note on Gilbert Crespin and his
family, to which Turstin belonged; and see _Introd. Domesday_, i. 479,

[Footnote 7: Bec-aux-Cauchois, in the arrondissement of Ivetot; not
Bec-Crespin, in that of Havre.]

[Footnote 8: ROGER, son of Hugh de Montgomeri. He was lord of
Montgomeri, in the arrondissement of Lisieux; of Alençon and of
Bellesme, in right of his wife Mabel; he became earl of Shrewsbury, of
Chichester and Arundel, and died 1094. See _Introd. Domesday_, i. 479.
According to _Ordericus Vitalis_, A.D. 1067, Roger remained in Normandy
during the expedition.]

[Footnote 9: Lord of Breteuil; seneschal of the duke as has been before

[Footnote 10: Poix in Picardy, and Boulogne-sur-mer. Wace seems to omit
EUSTACE OF BOULOGNE, conspicuous in other historians. AIMERI was
viscount of Thouars.]

[Footnote 11: 'Soldéiers' is used by _Wace_ in its strict sense, of men
serving merely for hire.]

[Footnote 12: 'Gueldon,' as before.]

[Footnote 13: 'Chapels,' perhaps hoods.]

[Footnote 14: 'Panels.']

[Footnote 15: 'Gambais.' See before, page 22, as to cognizances and




Harold had summoned his men, earls, barons, and vavassors, from the
castles and the cities; from the ports, the villages, and boroughs. The
villains were also called together from the villages, bearing such arms
as they found; clubs and great picks, iron forks and stakes. The English
had enclosed the field where Harold was with his friends, and the
barons of the country whom he had summoned and called together. Those of
London had come at once, and those of Kent, of Herfort, and of Essesse;
those of Surée and Sussesse, of St. Edmund and Sufoc; of Norwis and
Norfoc; of Cantorbierre and Stanfort; Bedefort and Hundetone[1] The men
of Northanton also came; and those of Eurowic and Bokinkeham, of Bed and
Notinkeham, Lindesie and Nichole. There came also from the west all who
heard the summons; and very many were to be seen coming from Salebiere
and Dorset, from Bat and from Sumerset. Many came too from about
Glocestre, and many from Wirecestre, from Wincestre, Hontesire, and
Brichesire; and many more from other counties that we have not named,
and cannot indeed recount. All who could bear arms, and had learnt the
news of the duke's arrival, came to defend the land. But none came from
beyond Humbre, for they had other business upon their hands; the Danes
and Tosti having much damaged and weakened them.

Harold knew that the Normans would come and attack him hand to hand: so
he had early enclosed the field in which he placed his men. He made
them arm early, and range themselves for the battle; he himself having
put on arms and equipments that became such a lord. The duke, he said,
ought to seek him, as he wanted to conquer England; and it became him to
abide the attack, who had to defend the land. He commanded his people,
and counselled his barons to keep themselves all together, and defend
themselves in a body; for if they once separated, they would with
difficulty recover themselves. "The Normans," said he, "are good
vassals[2], valiant on foot and on horseback; good knights are they on
horseback, and well used to battle; all is lost if they once penetrate
our ranks. They have brought long lances and swords, but you have
pointed lances and keen edged bills[3]; and I do not expect that their
arms can stand against yours. Cleave whenever you can; it will be ill
done if you spare aught."

Harold had many and brave men that came from all quarters in great
numbers; but a multitude of men is of little worth, if the favour of
Heaven is wanting. Many and many have since said, that Harold had but a
small force, and that he fell on that account. But many others say, and
so do I, that he and the duke had man for man. The men of the duke were
not more numerous; but he had certainly more barons, and the men were
better. He had plenty of good knights, and great plenty of good archers.

The English peasants[4] carried hatchets[5], and keen edged bills[6].
They had built up a fence before them with their shields, and with ash
and other wood; and had well joined and wattled in the whole work, so as
not to leave even a crevice; and thus they had a barricade in their
front, through which any Norman who would attack them must first pass.
Being covered in this way by their shields and barricades, their aim was
to defend themselves; and if they had remained steady for that purpose,
they would not have been conquered that day; for every Norman who made
his way in, lost his life in dishonour, either by hatchet or bill, by
club or other weapon. They wore short[7] and close hauberks, and helmets
that over hung their garments[8].

King Harold issued orders and made proclamation round, that all should
be ranged with their faces toward the enemy; and that no one should move
from where he was; so that whoever came might find them ready; and that
whatever any one, be he Norman or other, should do, each should do his
best to defend his own place. Then he ordered the men of Kent to go
where the Normans were likely to make the attack; for they say that the
men of Kent are entitled to strike first; and that whenever the king
goes to battle, the first blow belongs to them. The right of the men of
London is to guard the king's body, to place themselves around him, and
to guard his standard; and they were accordingly placed by the standard,
to watch and defend it.

When Harold had made all ready, and given his orders, he came into the
midst of the English, and dismounted by the side of the standard,
Leofwin and Gurth, his brothers, were with him; and around him he had
barons enough, as he stood by his gonfanon, which was in truth a noble
one, sparkling with gold and precious stones. After the victory William
sent it to the apostle, to prove and commemorate his great conquest and
glory. The English stood in close ranks, ready and eager for the fight;
and they had moreover made a fosse, which went across the field,
guarding one side of their army[9].

[Footnote 1: Huntingdon. When Wace's orthography is peculiar, we follow
it. For _Bed_, which seems a repetition of Bedford, M. de la Rue's MS.
reads _Bedi_. Eurowic is York; Nichol--Lincoln; Salebiere--Salisbury;
Bat--Bath; Hontesire--Hampshire; Brichesire--Berkshire.]

[Footnote 2: 'Vassal.']

[Footnote 3: 'Gisarmes.' "Wace mentions the gisarme as an exceedingly
destructive weapon, used by the Saxons at the battle of Hastings: but by
the Gisarme he evidently means the 'byl,' to which he gives a Norman
name:"--see _Hist. of British costume_, 1834, page 33. The Saxons used
also the bipennis, or 'twy-byl.' The bill was an axe with long handle.
Benoit mentions 'haches Danoises,' which probably were the double axes.
See also Maseres's note on _William of Poitiers_, 129. Wace afterwards
says of the hache of an English knight:

     Hache noresche out mult bele,
     Plus de plain pié out l'alemele.]

[Footnote 4: 'Geldon.']

[Footnote 5: 'Haches.']

[Footnote 6: 'Gisarmes.']

[Footnote 7: Even down to the fifteenth century the Normans are said to
have called the English 'courts vestus.' See the songs at the end of the
_Vaux-de-vires_ of Olivier Basselin.]

[Footnote 8: This seems further explained afterwards by the description
of the English knight's helmet:

     Un helme aveit tot fait de fust,
     Ke colp el chief ne réceust;
     A sez dras l'aveit atachié,
     Et environ son col lacié.

But the text is often so imperfect, and at such variance from the
ordinary rules of Norman French grammar, that it is frequently hard to
be certain as to the fidelity of a translation.]

[Footnote 9: _Ordericus Vitalis_ states that the spot where the battle
was fought was _anciently_ called SENLAC. That word certainly sounds
very like French, and as originating in the blood which flowed there:
but his expression has been thought to carry the antiquity of the name,
in his opinion at least, much earlier than the date of the battle. We
think it right to subjoin Wace's original record of the privileges of
the men of Kent and London; as to which see Palgrave's _Rise and
progress of the English Common-wealth_, I. ccclxxii.

     Kar ço dient ke cil de Kent
     Deivent ferir primierement;
     U ke li reis auge en estor,
     Li premier colp deit estre lor.
     Cil de Lundres, par dreite fei,
     Deivent garder li cors li rei;
     Tut entur li deivent ester,
     E l'estandart deivent garder.]




Meanwhile the Normans appeared, advancing over the ridge of a rising
ground; and the first division of their troops moved onwards along the
hill and across a valley. As they advanced king Harold saw them afar
off, and calling to Gurth, said, "Brother, which way are you looking?
See you the duke coining yonder? Our people will have no mischief from
the force I see yonder. There are not men enough there to conquer the
great force we have in this land. I have four times a hundred thousand
armed men, knights and peasants."

"By my faith," answered Gurth, "you have many men; but a great gathering
of vilanaille is worth little in battle. You have plenty of men in every
day clothes, but I fear the Normans much; for all who have come from
over sea are men to be feared. They are all well armed, and come on
horseback, and will trample our people under foot; they have many lances
and shields, hauberks and helmets; glaives and swords, bows and barbed
arrows that are swift, and fly fleeter than the swallow."

"Gurth," said Harold, "be not dismayed, God can give us sufficient aid,
if he so pleases; and there certainly is no need to be alarmed at yonder

But while they yet spoke of the Normans they were looking at, another
division, still larger, came in sight, close following upon the first;
and they wheeled towards another side of the field, forming together as
the first body had done. Harold saw and examined them, and pointing them
out to Gurth, said to him, "Gurth, our enemies grow; knights come up
thickening their ranks; they gather together from all around; I am
dismayed, and was never before so troubled: I much fear the result of
the battle, and my heart is in great tribulation."

"Harold," said Gurth, "you did ill when you fixed a day for the battle.
I lament that you came, and that you did not remain at London, or at
Winchester: but it is now too late; it must be as it is."

"Sire brother," replied Harold, "bygone counsel is little worth; let us
defend ourselves as we can; I know no other remedy."

"If," said Gurth, "you had stayed in London, you might have gone thence
from town to town, and the duke would never have followed you. He would
have feared you and the English, and would have returned or made peace;
and thus you would have saved your kingdom. You would not believe me,
nor value the advice I gave; you fixed the day of battle, and sought it
of your own free will."

"Gurth," said Harold, "I did it for good; I named Saturday because I was
born on a Saturday; and my mother used to tell me that good luck would
attend me on that day."

"He is a fool," said Gurth, "who believes in luck, which no brave man
ought to do. No brave man should trust to luck. Every one has his day of
death; you say you were born on a Saturday, and on that day also you may
be killed."

Meanwhile, a fresh company came in sight, covering all the plain; and in
the midst of them was raised the gonfanon that came from Rome. Near it
was the duke, and the best men and greatest strength of the army were
there. The good knights, the good vassals and brave warriors were there;
and there were gathered together the gentle barons, the good archers,
and the lancemen, whose duty it was to guard the duke, and range
themselves around him. The youths and common herd of the camp, whose
business was not to join in the battle, but to take care of the harness
and stores, moved off towards a rising ground. The priests and the
clerks also ascended a hill, there to offer up prayers to God, and watch
the event of the battle.

Harold saw William come, and beheld the field covered with arms, and how
the Normans divided into three companies, in order to attack at three
places. I know not of which he was most afraid; but his trouble was so
great that he could scarcely say, "We are fallen on an evil lot, and I
fear much lest we come to shame. The count of Flanders hath betrayed me:
I trusted to him, and was a fool for so doing; when he sent me word by
letter, and assured me by messages that William could never collect so
great a chivalry. On the faith of his report I delayed my preparations,
and now I rue the delay."

Then his brother Gurth drew near, and they placed themselves by the
standard; each praying God to protect them. Around them were their
kinsmen, and those barons who were their nearest friends; and they
besought all to do their best, seeing that none could now avoid the
conflict. Each man had his hauberk on, with his sword girt and his
shield at his neck. Great hatchets were also slung at their necks, with
which they expected to strike heavy blows. They were on foot in close
ranks, and carried themselves right boldly; yet if they had foretold the
issue, well might they have bewailed the evil fate--cruel and hard of a
truth--that was approaching. OLICROSSE[1] they often cried, and many
times repeated GODEMITE[2]. 'Olicrosse' is in English what 'Sainte
Croix' is in French, and 'Godemite' the same as 'Dex tot poissant' in


The Normans brought on the three divisions of their army to attack at
different places. They set out in three companies, and in three
companies did they fight. The first and second had come up, and then
advanced the third, which was the greatest; with that came the duke with
his own men, and all moved boldly forward.

As soon as the two armies were in full view of each other, great noise
and tumult arose. You might hear the sound of many trumpets, of bugles
and of horns; and then you might see men ranging themselves in line,
lifting their shields, raising their lances, bending their bows,
handling their arrows, ready for assault and for defence. The English
stood steady to their post, the Normans still moving on; and when they
drew near, the English were to be seen stirring to and fro; men going
and coming; troops ranging themselves in order; some with their colour
rising, others turning pale; some making ready their arms, others
raising their shields; the brave man rousing himself to the fight, the
coward trembling at the approaching danger.

[Footnote 1: Holy cross. M. de la Rue's MS. reads 'Alicrot.']

[Footnote 2: God Almighty.]




Then Taillefer[1] who sang right well, rode mounted on a swift horse
before the duke, singing of Karlemaine, and of Rollant, of Oliver and
the vassals who died in Renchevals[2]. And when they drew nigh to the
English, "A boon, sire!" cried Taillefer; "I have long served you, and
you owe me for all such service. To-day, so please you, you shall repay
it. I ask as my guerdon, and beseech you for it earnestly, that you will
allow me to strike the first blow in the battle!"

And the duke answered, "I grant it." Then Taillefer put his horse to a
gallop, charging before all the rest, and struck an Englishman dead,
driving his lance below the breast into his body, and stretching him
upon the ground[3]. Then he drew his sword, and struck another, crying
out "Come on! come on! What do ye, sirs? lay on! lay on!" At the second
blow he struck, the English pushed forward and surrounded him[4].
Forthwith arose the noise and cry of war, and on either side the people
put themselves in motion. The Normans moved on to the assault, and the
English defended themselves well. Some were striking, others urging
onwards; all were bold, and cast aside fear.


Loud and far resounded the bray of the horns; and the shocks of the
lances; the mighty strokes of clubs, and the quick clashing of swords.
One while the Englishmen rushed on, another while they fell back; one
while the men from over sea charged onwards, and again at other times
retreated. The Normans shouted DEX AIE, the English people UT[5]. Then
came the cunning manœuvres, the rude shocks and strokes of the lance
and blows of the sword, among the Serjeants and soldiers, both English
and Norman. When the English fall, the Normans shout. Each side taunts
and defies the other, yet neither knoweth what the other saith; and the
Normans say the English bark, because they understand not their speech.


Some wax strong, others weak; the brave exult, but the cowards tremble,
as men who are sore dismayed. The Normans press on the assault, and the
English defend their post well; they pierce the hauberks, and cleave the
shields; receive and return mighty blows. Again some press forwards;
others yield, and thus in various ways the struggle proceeds.

In the plain was a fosse[6], which the Normans had now behind them,
having passed it in the fight without regarding it. But the English
charged and drove the Normans before them, till they made them fall back
upon this fosse, overthrowing into it horses and men. Many were to be
seen falling therein, rolling one over the other, with their faces to
the earth, and unable to rise. Many of the English also, whom the
Normans drew down along with them, died there. At no time during the
day's battle did so many Normans die, as perished in that fosse. So
those said who saw the dead.

The varlets who were set to guard the harness began to abandon it, as
they saw the loss of the Frenchmen, when thrown back upon the fosse
without power to recover themselves. Being greatly alarmed at seeing the
difficulty in restoring order, they began to quit the harness, and
sought around, not knowing where to find shelter. Then Odo, the good
priest, the bishop of Bayeux, galloped up, and said to them, "Stand
fast! stand fast! be quiet and move not! fear nothing, for if God
please, we shall conquer yet." So they took courage, and rested where
they were; and Odo returned galloping back to where the battle was most
fierce, and was of great service on that day. He had put a hauberk on,
over a white aube; wide in the body, with the sleeve tight; and sat on a
white horse, so that all might recognise him. In his hand he held a
mace, and wherever he saw most need, he led up and stationed the knights,
and often urged them on to assault and strike the enemy.

[Footnote 1: Bishop Guy, in his _Carmen de bello Hastingensi_, thus
describes Taillefer,

       'INCISOR FERRI mimus cognomine dictus.'

He is there also called 'histrio,' but his singing is not mentioned.

     'Hortatur Gallos verbis, et irritat Anglos;
         Alte projiciens ludit et ense suo,'

An Englishman starts out of the ranks to attack him, but is slain by the
'incisor ferri,' who thus

      '--belli principium monstrat et esse suum.'

Nothing is said as to his fate, which Wace also passes over.]

[Footnote 2: It has been contended that Wace misunderstood Taillefer's
song, which the Latin historians call 'Cantilena Rollandi;' and it has
been further conjectured that what was meant was a song of Rollo, or
possibly of Rognavald his father; that out of this latter name the
French minstrels formed Rolland; and that Wace confounded him with
Charlemagne's Paladin. See Sharon Turner's _History of England_; the
Abbé de la Rue's late work, vol. i. 143; and M. Michel's _Examen
critique du roman de Berte aux grans piés_, Paris, 1832. We must refer
the reader to these authorities on the controversy. The probability we
must say, however, appears to us to be, that the minstrelsy selected by
a French jugleor, to stimulate the army, (great part of which was, in
fact, strictly French,) would be French, both in subject and language.
Wace perfectly well knew the race of jogleors and their themes, which he
quotes; as in the case of William Longue-espée, of whose deeds he says,
'a jogleors oï en m'effance chanter.']

[Footnote 3: It has been remarked, as somewhat singular, that Wace
should omit a circumstance calculated to add to the poetic effect of his
story; namely, Taillefer's slight of hand exhibition, related by other
historians as having been played off by him in front of the two armies.
Perhaps Wace's abstinence, in this and other cases which might be
noticed, (after his history reaches the boundary of more authentic
evidence than his earlier chronicle had had to deal with), is in favour
of his credibility, under circumstances where he had the means of
obtaining accurate information.]

[Footnote 4: What _Benoit de Sainte-More_ says on the subject of
Taillefer's exploit will be found in our appendix, _Gaimar's_ account,
which will be found there also, is blended in the English paraphrase
given in the _Archæiologia,_ vol. xii. which is a compound of the two

[Footnote 5: OUT, In the MS. of the British Museum, a letter has
evidently been erased before 'ut,' the present reading. An addition to
the text, which is found in the MS. 6987 of the Bib. Royale at Paris,
seems to determine what word is meant:

     Cou est l'ensegne que jou di
     Quant Engles saient _hors_ a cri.]

[Footnote 6: Though the details vary much, all the historians attribute
great loss to circumstances of this sort. _William of Poitiers_
distinguishes,--and perhaps Wace also meant to do so,--between the fosse
which guarded the English camp, and other fosses into which the Normans
fell in the pursuit. The _Chronicle_ of Battle Abbey (MS. Cott. Dom.
ii.), speaking of the principal fosse, says 'quod quidem baratrum,
sortito ex accidenti vocabulo, _Malfossed_ hodieque nuncupatur.'
_Benoit_ attributes great loss to a report of William's fall, whereupon

     Son chef desarme en la bataille
     E del heaume e de la ventaille.

Count Eustace is here introduced by _Benoit_ as strongly exhorting the
duke to escape from the field, considering the battle as lost beyond
recovery. He however rallies his men, and triumphs over the English,
whose ranks had broken in the pursuit. No stratagem in this respect is
noticed by _Benoit._]




From nine o'clock in the morning, when the combat began, till three
o'clock came, the battle was up and down, this way and that, and no one
knew who would conquer and win the land[1]. Both sides stood so firm and
fought so well, that no one could guess which would prevail. The Norman
archers with their bows shot thickly upon the English; but they covered
themselves with their shields, so that the arrows could not reach their
bodies, nor do any mischief, how true soever was their aim, or however
well they shot. Then the Normans determined to shoot their arrows
upwards into the air, so that they might fall on their enemies' heads,
and strike their faces. The archers adopted this scheme, and shot up
into the air towards the English; and the arrows in falling struck their
heads and faces, and put out the eyes of many; and all feared to open
their eyes, or leave their faces unguarded.

The arrows now flew thicker than rain before the wind; fast sped the
shafts that the English call 'wibetes'[2]. Then it was that an arrow,
that had been thus shot upwards, struck Harold above his right eye, and
put it out. In his agony he drew the arrow and threw it away, breaking
it with his hands: and the pain to his head was so great, that he leaned
upon his shield. So the English were wont to say, and still say to the
French, that the arrow was well shot which was so sent up against their
king; and that the archer won them great glory, who thus put out
Harold's eye.

The Normans saw that the English defended themselves well, and were so
strong in their position that they could do little against them. So they
consulted together privily, and arranged to draw off, and pretend to
flee, till the English should pursue and scatter themselves over the
field; for they saw that if they could once get their enemies to break
their ranks, they might be attacked and discomfited much more easily. As
they had said, so they did. The Normans by little and little fled, the
English following them. As the one fell back, the other pressed after;
and when the Frenchmen retreated, the English thought and cried out,
that the men of France fled, and would never return.

Thus they were deceived by the pretended flight, and great mischief
thereby befell them; for if they had not moved from their position, it
is not likely that they would have been conquered at all; but like fools
they broke their lines and pursued.

The Normans were to be seen following up their stratagem, retreating
slowly so as to draw the English further on. As they still flee, the
English pursue; they push out their lances and stretch forth their
hatchets: following the Normans, as they go rejoicing in the success of
their scheme, and scattering themselves over the plain. And the English
meantime jeered and insulted their foes with words. "Cowards," they
cried, "you came hither in an evil hour, wanting our lands, and seeking
to seize our property, fools that ye were to come! Normandy is too far
off, and you will not easily reach it. It is of little use to run back;
unless you can cross the sea at a leap, or can drink it dry, your sons
and daughters are lost to you."

The Normans bore it all, but in fact they knew not what the English
said; their language seemed like the baying of dogs, which they could
not understand. At length they stopped and turned round, determined to
recover their ranks; and the barons might be heard crying DEX AIE! for a
halt. Then the Normans resumed their former position, turning their
faces towards the enemy; and their men were to be seen facing round and
rushing onwards to a fresh melée; the one party assaulting the other;
this man striking, another pressing onwards. One hits, another misses;
one flies, another pursues: one is aiming a stroke, while another
discharges his blow. Norman strives with Englishman again, and aims his
blows afresh. One flies, another pursues swiftly: the combatants are
many, the plain wide, the battle and the melée fierce. On every hand
they fight hard, the blows are heavy, and the struggle becomes fierce.

The Normans were playing their part well, when an English knight came
rushing up, having in his company a hundred men, furnished with various
arms. He wielded a northern hatchet[3], with the blade a full foot long;
and was well armed after his manner, being tall, bold, and of noble
carriage. In the front of the battle where the Normans thronged most, he
came bounding on swifter than the stag, many Normans falling before him
and his company. He rushed straight upon a Norman who was armed and
riding on a warhorse, and tried with his hatchet of steel to cleave his
helmet; but the blow miscarried, and the sharp blade glanced down before
the saddle bow, driving through the horse's neck down to the ground, so
that both horse and master fell together to the earth. I know not
whether the Englishman struck another blow; but the Normans who saw the
stroke were astonished, and about to abandon the assault, when Rogier de
Montgomeri came galloping up, with his lance set, and heeding not the
long handled axe[4], which the Englishman wielded aloft, struck him
down, and left him stretched upon the ground. Then Rogier cried out,
"Frenchmen strike! the day is ours!" And again a fierce melée was to be
seen, with many a blow of lance and sword; the English still defending
themselves, killing the horses and cleaving the shields.

There was a French soldier of noble mien, who sat his horse gallantly.
He spied two Englishmen who were also carrying themselves boldly. They
were both men of great worth, and had become companions in arms and
fought together, the one protecting the other. They bore two long and
broad bills[5], and did great mischief to the Normans, killing both
horses and men. The French soldier looked at them and their bills, and
was sore alarmed, for he was afraid of losing his good horse, the best
that he had; and would willingly have turned to some other quarter, if
it would not have looked like cowardice. He soon, however, recovered his
courage, and spurring his horse gave him the bridle, and galloped
swiftly forward. Fearing the two bills, he raised his shield by the
'enarmes,' and struck one of the Englishmen with his lance on the
breast, so that the iron passed out at his back. At the moment that he
fell, the lance broke, and the Frenchman seized the mace[6] that hung at
his right side, and struck the other Englishman a blow that completely
fractured his skull.

[Footnote 1: The author of the continuation of Wace's _Brut
d'Angleterre_, says, as to the duration of the battle,

     La bataille ad bien duré
     De prime dekes a la vespré:
     Unkes home ne saveit
     Ki serreit vencu, ne ki vencreit.]

[Footnote 2: This word seems used in a metaphorical sense. In the Fables
of _Marie de France_, vol. ii. 243, we find

     Ne grosse mouske, ne wibet,
     Ne longe wespe, ne cornet.]

[Footnote 3: 'Hache noresche.' See note before at page 175.]

[Footnote 4: 'Coignie.']

[Footnote 5: 'Gisarmes.']

[Footnote 6: 'Gibet.']





Old Rogier de Belmont[2] attacked the English in the front rank; and was
of high service, as is plain by the wealth his heirs enjoy: any one may
know that they had good ancestors, standing well with their lords who
gave them such honors. From this Rogier descended the lineage of
Mellant. Guillame, whom they call Mallet[3], also threw himself boldly
into the fray, and with his glittering sword created great alarm among
the English. But they pierced his shield and killed his horse under him,
and he would have been slain himself, had not the Sire de Montfort[4],
and Dam Williame de Vez-pont[5], come up with their strong force and
bravely rescued him, though with the loss of many of their people, and
mounted him on a fresh horse.

The men of the Beessin[6] also fought well, and the barons of the
Costentin; and Neel de St. Salveor[7] exerted himself much to earn the
love and good will of his lord, and assaulted the English with great
vigour. He overthrew many that day with the poitrail of his horse, and
came with his sword to the rescue of many a baron. The lord of
Felgieres[8] also won great renown, with many very brave men that he
brought with him from Brittany.

Henri the Sire de Ferrieres[9], and he who then held Tillieres[10], both
these barons brought large companies, and charged the English together.
Dead or captive were all who did not flee before them, and the field
quaked and trembled.

On the other side was an Englishman who much annoyed the French,
continually assaulting them with a keen edged hatchet. He had a helmet
made of wood, which he had fastened down to his coat, and laced round
his neck, so that no blows could reach his head[11]. The ravage he was
making was seen by a gallant Norman knight, who rode a horse that
neither fire nor water could stop in its career, when its lord urged it
on. The knight spurred, and his horse carried him on well till he
charged the Englishman, striking him over the helmet, so that it fell
down over his eyes; and as he stretched out his hand to raise it and
uncover his face, the Norman cut off his right hand, so that his hatchet
fell to the ground. Another Norman sprung forward and eagerly seized the
prize with both his hands, but he kept it little space, and paid dearly
for it; for as he stooped to pick up the hatchet, an Englishman with
his long handled axe[12] struck him over the back, breaking all his
bones, so that his entrails and lungs gushed forth. The knight of the
good horse meantime returned without injury; but on his way he met
another Englishman, and bore him down under his horse, wounding him
grievously, and trampling him altogether underfoot.

The good citizens of Rouen, and the young men of Caen, Faleise and
Argentoen, of Anisie and Matoen[13], and he who was then sire
d'Aubemare[14], and dam Willame de Romare[15], and the sires de
Litehare[16], Touke[17], and La Mare[18], and the sire de Neauhou[19],
and a knight of Pirou[20], Robert the sire de Belfou[21], and he who
was then sire de Alnou[22], the chamberlain of Tancharvile[23] and the
sire d'Estotevile[24], and Wiestace d'Abevile[25], and the sire de
Magnevile[26], William whom they call Crespin[27], and the sire de St.
Martin[28], and dam William des Molins[29] and he who was sire des
Pins[30]; all these were in the battle, and there was not one of them
that did not render great aid.

A vassal from Grente-mesnil[31] was that day in great peril; his horse
ran away with him, so that he was near falling, for in leaping over a
bush the bridle rein broke, and the horse plunged forward. The English
seeing him ran to meet him with their hatchets raised, but the horse
took fright, and turning quickly round brought him safe back again.

Old Gifrei de Meaine[32], and old Onfrei de Bohun[33], Onfrei de
Cartrai[34], and Maugier a newly made knight, were there also. William
de Garenes[35] came too, his helmet setting gracefully on his head; and
old Hue de Gornai[36] and together with him his men of Brai. With the
numerous forces they brought, they killed great numbers.

And Engerran de l'Aigle[37] came also, with shield slung at his neck;
and gallantly handling his spear, struck down many English. He strove
hard to serve the duke well, for the sake of the lands he had promised
him. And the viscount of Toarz[38] was no coward that day. And Richard
d'Avrencin[39] was there, and with him were the sire de Biarz[40], and
the sire de Solignie[41], and the butler d'Aubignie[42], and the lords
de Vitrie[43], de Lacie[44], de Val de Saire[45], and de Tracie[46]; and
these forming one troop, fell on the English off hand, fearing neither
fence nor fosse; many a man did they overthrow that day; many did they
maim, and many a good horse did they kill.

Hugh the sire de Montfort[47], and those of Espine[48], Port[49],
Courcie[50], and Jort also, that day slew many English. He who was then
sire de Reviers[51], brought with him many knights who were foremost in
the assault, bearing the enemy down with their warhorses. Old Willame de
Moion[52] had with him many companions; and Raol Teisson de
Cingueleiz[53], and old Rogier Marmion[54], carried themselves as barons
ought, and afterwards received a rich guerdon for their service.

[Footnote 1: From _Brompton_. A few names have already occurred, such
chiefs mentioned by the Latin historians, and apparently omitted by
Wace, are EUSTACE, count of BOULOGNE, and WILLIAM, son of Richard count
of EVREUX. The case is doubtful as to JEFFREY, son of Rotro count of
MORTAGNE--comes Moritoniæ; not to be confounded with Robert, count of
Mortain--comes Moritolii. Jeffrey is perhaps mentioned by Wace; see our
note below on JEFFREY DE MAYENNE.]

[Footnote 2: ROGER DE BEAUMONT; see as to him the former note, p. 102.
_William of Poitiers_ states that he did not join the expedition, but
remained in Normandy. According to that historian and _Ordericus
Vitalis_, the one present at the battle was Roger's son--the 'tyro'
Robert--who, by inheritance, took the title of count of Mellent. The
British Museum MS. of Wace in fact reads ROBERT; though the epithet 'le
viel' is not appropriate to his _then_ age. By their alliance with the
Fitz Osberns, the earls of Leicester and Mellent acquired a portion of
the Norman lands of that family. In the Red book roll we have, 'comes
Mell. 15 mil. et ad servitium suum 63 mil. et dim.' 'comes Leycestr. 10
mil. de honore de Grentemesnil, et ad servitium suum 40 mil. Idem 80
mil. et 4m. part. quos habet ad servitium suum de honore de Britolio:
et faciet tantum quod honor sit duci et com. in Fales.']

[Footnote 3: WILLIAM MALET died before _Domesday_, which says, 'W. Malet
fecit suum castellum ad Eiam,' in Suffolk. His son Robert then held the
honor of Eye, 'olim nobile castellum,' (where he founded a monastery),
and other estates. Introd. Dom. i. 449.]

[Footnote 4: MONTFORT SUR RILLE, arrondissement of Pont-Audemer. Four
lords of this place successively bore the name of Hugh. It is presumed
the conqueror's attendant was Hugh II.--son of Hugh 'with the beard,'
(the son of Turstan de Bastenberg) mentioned before at page 8. He was
one of the barons to whom William, when he visited Normandy in 1067,
left the administration of justice in England. The scite of the castle
is still visible near the bourg of Montfort. _Mém. Ant. Norm_. iv. 434.
Dugdale's _Baronage_, and the _Introd. to Domesday_, i. 454, treat Hugh
'with the beard' himself as having been William's attendant. See the
pedigree prefixed to Wiffen's _History of the Russells_, and that in
_Duchesne_. In the Bayeux Inquest of 1133 (_Mém. Ant. Norm_, viii.)
'Hugo de Monteforte tenet feodum viii mil.' The same appears in the Red
book roll; where we also find 'de honore de Monteforte 21 mil. et dim.
et duas partes et 4m. part.' with other particulars.]

[Footnote 5: Dam, or Dan--Dominus--is often used by Wace. ROBERT, not
William, lord of VIEUX-PONT, appears to have been at Hastings. In 1073
he was sent to the rescue of Jean de la Fleche. He came probably from
Vieux-pont-en-Auge, arrondissement of Lisieux. The name, afterwards
written Vipount, is known in English history. A.L.P. In the Red book
roll, 'Fulco de Veteri Ponte 2 mil. et ad servitium suum 10 mil. et
quartam partem.' 'Willmus de Veteri Ponte 2 mil. et ad servit. suum xi
mil. et 4 part.]

[Footnote 6: The Brit. Mus. MS. reads '_cil_ de Beessin,' not _cels_. If
this be correct, Wace may here mean the viscount of the Bessin, RANOULF
DE BRICASART, whom we have met at Valdesdunes.]

[Footnote 7: Wace's annotator, M. Le Prevost, is incredulous as to the
fact of NEEL de Saint Sauveur-le-vicomte (near Valognes) having been at
the conquest. He was banished after his rebellion at Valdesdunes, and
was subsequently pardoned, as his family afterwards held his estates;
but no particulars or time are known. His presence at Hastings is
vouched by no one else; not even by Brompton's list, where Sanzaver
seems a variation of Saunzaveir or Sans-avoir, a family which settled in
England. See M. de Gerville's Recherches, in _Mém. Ant. Norm. Domesday_
is silent; but this does not appear conclusive, as he might have died in
the interval; and M. de Gerville quotes on the subject M. Odolent
Desnos, _Hist. d'Alencon,_ i.149; where it is stated, though without
quoting the authority, that Neel was killed in 1074, in battle near
Cardiff. The last Neel de St. Sauveur died in 1092; as appears by an
account of his relation, bishop Jeffery de Moubray's desire to attend
his funeral: _Mém. Ant. Norm_. i. 286, ii. 46. One of his two daughters
and heiresses married Jourdain Tesson; the other was mother to Fulk de
Pratis; Hardy's _Rot. Norm_. 16.]

[Footnote 8: RAOUL, son of Main, second of the name, lord of FOUGERES in
Brittany. He, or a second Raoul, founded Savigny in 1112. A Ralf held
large possessions in England at Domesday; and a William held in
Buckinghamshire; _Introd. Domesday_, i. 418.]

[Footnote 9: HENRY, lord of St. Hilaire de FERRIERES, arrondissement of
Bernay, son of Walkelin de Ferrieres, ante page 8. The scite of the
castle is still visible. In England, Henry de Ferrieres received the
castle of Tutbury, and other large estates; see the _Introd. Domesday_,
i. 418, and the Ferrers pedigree in Dugdale's _Baronage_. In the Red
book Roll, 'Walkelinus de Ferrariis 5 mil. et ad servitium suum 42 mil.
et 3 quartas--et 4 mil. cum planis armis.']

[Footnote 10: GILBERT CRESPIN was then lord of TILLIERES, arrondissement
of Evreux. The building of the castle is described by _Wace_, i. 335. He
is considered to have been a younger son of Gilbert I. mentioned before
by Wace, vol. ii. 3. 5; and must not be confounded with Gilbert earl of
Brionne, guardian to the duke. In the Red book, 'Gilbertus de Teuleriis
3 mil. et ad servitium suum 4 mil.' With reference to this family,
(embracing Turstin Fitz-Rou above mentioned, and William Crespin, who
will soon occur) Mr. Grimaldi has given in the _Gentleman's Mag_. Jan.
1832, some curious materials; bearing also on the probable origin of the
Mareschals. His pedigree is as follows:

GRIMALDUS, prince of Monaco==CRISPINA, daughter of ROLLO.
  |            |                                    |
Guido, of  Giballinus.  Heloise, of Guynea==CRISPINUS, Baron of Bec
Monaco.                   and Boulogne.    |     (Ansgothus.)
  |                  |               |       |         |
Herluin, abbot  GILBERT CRESPIN I.  Odo.   Roger.   ROLLO, or Rou
of Bec.         baron of Bec Ron.                          |
_______________________|___________            ____________|______
|               |                 |            |                 |
CRESPIN      CRISPIN II.   (Domesday).     or MARESCAL       (Domesday.)
(Hastings).  (Hastings).                   (Domesday).
    |             |                            |                  |
   /|\           /|\                          /|\                /|\

This pedigree differs, it will be seen, from the usually received
accounts, and in some respects from the genealogy in the appendix to
_Lanfranci opera_ by D'Achery. Whether the latter is entitled to more
weight than most of these monastic genealogies we do not pretend to
decide. According to that authority, however, William Crespin had a
sister Hesilia, who was mother of William Malet, who, it states, died an
old man at Bec. She would thus appear to be the wife of Turstin
Fitz-Rou, the grandfather of Vauquelin Malet.]

[Footnote 11: See note, page 177, as to the English helmets.]

[Footnote 12: 'Coignie.']

[Footnote 13: ANISY and MATHIEU, two leagues from Caen.]

[Footnote 14: AUMALE or ALBAMALE. See, in the _Archæologia_ vol. 26, the
materials furnished by Mr. Stapleton for the pedigree of the family
holding Aumale during the eleventh century. Unless Odo, count of
Champagne, was married before this time,--as he probably was,--to
Adelidis, niece of the conqueror (and daughter of Enguerrand, count of
Ponthieu, and Adelidis his wife, mentioned before, page 44), and was
then possessed in her right of Aumale, we know no lord or holder of that
fief at the conquest. Is it probable that Guy her uncle, who was
released two years after the battle of Mortemer on doing homage to
William, held Aumale during her minority, which possibly extended to
1066? Either assumption implies that Enguerran's widow was then dead, or
that she did not hold Aumale, or at least that she did not after her
daughter's marriage. The charter printed in the _Archæologia_ treats the
widow as having succeeded to the possession, (whether from having dower
in it, or as guardian of her daughter, does not appear), and her
daughter as following her. Of course the most likely solution of this
difficulty, and of Wace's vague statement, is that he was ignorant of
the facts; in which he is not singular; _Ordericus Vitalis_ also is
incorrect in his statements as to the family. No particulars of the fief
of Aumale are in the Red book; the comes de Albamara being one of those,
who 'nec venerunt nec miserunt, nec aliquid dixerunt.']

[Footnote 15: ROUMARE--Rollonis Mara--arrondissement of Rouen. There
were three Williams de Romare:--the first was earl of Lincoln; the
second was probably the one in possession when Wace wrote: but the name
of their ancestor, the lord who must have held at the conquest, was
Roger. In the Red book roll, 'Willmus de Romara 14 mil. in Romeis, apud
novum mercatum: et si dux mandaverit eum alibi, ibit cum 3 mil. vel cum

[Footnote 16: LITHAIRE, commune of Haie-du-Puits, in the Cotentin, on
the coast opposite Jersey; probably a Roman castellum exploratorium,
according to M. de Gerville, _Recherches_, No. 39. He states that
Lithaire formed part of the estates of the Albinis; but it appears that
after having belonged to Eudo cum capello, (before, p. 103) it passed to
the Haies and Orvals in succession, or possibly to the latter at once;
see subsequent notes on those names. Possibly M. de Gerville's error
arose from the family connection between the Haies and Albinis; Ralf de
Hayâ having married the daughter of William de Albini, pincerna.]

[Footnote 17: TOUQUES, arrondissement of Pont l'Evesque, at the mouth of
the river so called. In the _Monasticon_ are found the names of
Jourdain, Roger, Robert, and Henry de Touques.]

[Footnote 18: Probably HUGH DE LA MARE. The family remained both in
Normandy and England; and is supposed to have sprung from the fief of la
Mare, in the commune of Autretot, near Ivetot. A charter of St. Louis,
of 1259, gives to Jumieges all that had fallen to that prince of the
tenement of William de la Mare, knight, and of other tenements in the
valley of la Mare; but the historian of the abbey is ignorant where that
valley was. A.L.P. Mr. Stapleton observes, in correction of this
statement, that the great fief of La Mare was at St. Opportune,
arrondissement of Pont Audemer; the castle being built upon piles near
the lake, still called Grand-mare.]

[Footnote 19: NEHOU, in the arrondissement of Valognes--Neel's hou or
_holm_, (place surrounded by water, or liable to be so, as in this
case)--'Nigelli humus' in charters; see _Gallia Christ_, xi. This fief
belonged to the Neel or St. Sauveur family, and afterwards passed to
that of Reviers, and Reviers-Vernon; with whom it remained till the end
of the thirteenth century; see M. de Gerville's _Recherches_, No. 17.
Either the same person is again enumerated below by Wace as Reviers; or
some vassal or junior member of the family held one of the fiefs at the
conquest. In the Red book roll, 'Richardus de Vernone 10 mil. de honore
de Nehalhou, et ad servitium suum 30 mil. in Constant: idem de com.
Mort. 5 mil: idem 16 mil. de honore Vernone, ad custodiam castri de

[Footnote 20: PIROU, near Lessay, in the Cotentin; see M. de Gerville's
_Recherches_ No. 48. William de Pirou signs as 'dapifer' in a charter of
Hen. I. A charter to Lessay in _Gall. Christ_, (temp. Hen. II. not Hen.
I. as there called) names several lords of Pirou. See _Introd.
Domesday_, ii. 347.]

[Footnote 21: BEAUFOY, Beaufou, or Belfai--Bellus fagus. The scite of
the caput of this barony is in the environs of Pont l'Evesque. The lords
of Beaufou descended in the female line from Ralf, count d'Ivry, uterine
brother of duke Richard I. The Beaufou of the conquest is called Robert
both in _Wace_ and _William of Poitiers_, but Raoul in contemporary
documents; so also in Domesday we find Radulf de Bellofago; see _Introd.
Domesday_, i. 379, 380. In the Red book, 'Richardus de Belphago 2 mil.
et ad servitium suum 6 mil. et tres partes.']

[Footnote 22: FULK D'AUNOU, one of the numerous family of
Baudry-le-Teuton, by a daughter of Richard de Bienfaite, mentioned
below. The place in question is probably Aunou-le-Faucon (or Foulcon?),
arrondissement of Argentan. See _Duchesne_, 1046; and some observations
on the pedigree, in the additional notes on Wace at the end of M.
Raynouard's observations. Aulnay is a distinct fief, and will be found
afterwards. There was also in earlier times (see _Duchesne_, p. 1083) a
Fulk de Aneio, or Aneto; who was of the Vernon family (the son of Osmund
de Centumvillis, and of one of Gunnor's sisters), and derived his name
from Anet, a little south of Ivry. The two Fulks or their families seem
to have been sometimes confounded; they are so by M. Le Prevost, in his
additional notes. In the Red book roll, 'Fulco de Alnou 4 mil. et ad
servitium suum 24 mil. et dim.' The fiefs Danet and de Alneto appear
there also separately.]

[Footnote 23: The lord of TANCARVILLE, in the arrondissement of Havre,
hereditary chamberlain of Normandy. His presence is vouched by no other
authority. M. Le Prevost rather inconclusively observes that Ralf having
been William's guardian was too old, and his children too young to be so
engaged. Three sons have, however, been commonly reputed to have been at
Hastings; from one of whom the Clintons have claimed descent, but
probably without sufficient evidence. Ralf's age is hardly of itself a
competent contradiction to Wace's statement; for his charter, giving the
church of Mireville to Jumieges, shows that he was living in 1079.
William, his son and successor as chamberlain, so appears in 1082. See
as to this family M. Deville's _St. Georges de Bocherville_, p. 100. In
the Red book, 'Camararius de Tankervill 10 mil. et ad servitium suum 94
et 3 partes.']

[Footnote 24: There are two ETOUTEVILLES; the one meant appears to be
near Ivetot, not that near Cailli. The received opinion is that it was
Robert, the first of the name, called also Grand-Bois, who was at
Hastings. He must have been young, if he was the same as fell forty
years after at Tenchebrai, according to _Ordericus Vit_. 817. The
Etoutevilles were established in England; principally in Yorkshire.
A.L.P. In the Red book, 'In balliâ Willi de Malepalet,' there are two of
the name, 'Nichus de Stotevill 1 mil. de fœdo de Logis, et pĉo, et 7
hospit. quos habet apud Fiscan;' and 'Willmus de Stotevill 1 mil. de
fœdo de Dodearvill;' among those who made no appearance or return is
'Robertas de Estotevill.']

[Footnote 25: EUSTACE OF ABBEVILLE. There is a commune so named in the
arrondissement of Lisieux, but M. Le Prevost thinks it more probable
that Abbeville in Ponthieu is intended. Is it clear that Wace did not
mean,--however incorrect the geography,---Eustace of Boulogne? It would
be singular that he should not at all mention so important a person; yet
he does not, unless he is intended here. Eustace of Boulogne appears in
Domesday; see _Introduction_, i. 416.]

[Footnote 26: JEFFERT DE MAGNEVILLE, in the arrondissement of Valognes,
--whose name became in England Mandeville,--was constable of the tower
of London, and earl of Essex. See M. de Gerville's _Recherches_, No. 15;
and _Introd. Domesday_, i. 450. In the Red book, 'Rogerus de Magnevill 2
mil. et dim. et ad serv. suum 3 mil.']

[Footnote 27: WILLIAM CRESPIN I. lord of Bec Crespin, in the pays de
Caux. See our former note, and the pedigree; which is at variance with
the assumption in M. Le Prevost's notes, that Turstain Fitz-Rou was not
connected with this family. Dugdale, _Baronage_, i. 413, seems to know
only one William Crespin. William II. was in the battle of Tenchebrai,
opposed to Henry I.]

[Footnote 28: This may be WALTER DE SAINT MARTIN, brother of William
Martel. Many communes bear this name; the one in question may be that in
the pays de Caux or Brai. Roger de St. Martin occurs in the _Monasticon_
in 1119, and one of the family founded Robertsbridge in 1176. But M. Le
Prevost thinks the more probable opinion is, that the party here meant
was Jeffry, son of Rainauld, lord of St. Martin-le-Gaillard, in the
arrondissement of Dieppe, mentioned in the charter of foundation of
Treport; see _Gallia Christ._ xi.]

[Footnote 29: WILLIAM, lord of MOULINS-LA-MARCHE,--Molendina,--in the
arrondissement of Mortagne, was son of Walter de Falaise. The duke, in
reward of his services, gave him in marriage Alberée, daughter and
heiress of Guitmond, lord of Moulins-la-Marche. After having two sons,
William and Robert, he repudiated her; and married the daughter of
Valeran de Meulan, being thus brother-in-law to Roger de Beaumont. He
was in 1075 one of those sent to the relief of Jean la Fleche; see
_Ordericus Vit_. 533, 577, 890. The English family of this name seems to
have come from Limousin. A.L.P.]

[Footnote 30: FULK DU PIN is, in a charter to St. Pierre-sur-Dive,
quoted as contemporary with the conqueror. _Ordericus Vitalis_ mentions
a Morin du Pin as living in 1080. This family, which had property in
England, and occurs in the _Monasticon_,(see Dunstaple), appears to have
been from Pin-au-Haras, near Argentan. A.L.P.]

[Footnote 31: HUGH DE GRENTE-MESNIL, now Grandmesnil, arrondissement of
Lisieux, had been banished in 1063. He became sheriff of Leicestershire,
and had other honours and many lands, and was associated with bishop Odo
and William Fitz-Osbern as justiciars. See _Introd. Domesday,_ i.

[Footnote 32: JEFFRY DE MAINE. Although there were Mançeaux in the army,
it is hardly to be supposed that 'Giffrei li sire de Meaine,' (_Wace_,
vol. ii. 85), the active enemy of William, (even if the title of sire de
Meaine could then be applied to him) is the person meant here, as
accompanying him to England. It has been supposed that the true reading
should be Mortagne; and in fact _William of Poitiers_ and _Ordericus
Vitalis_ mention a Jeffery son of Rotro, count of Mortagne (comes
Moritoniæ) as present at Hastings. Duchesne's MS. reads Marreigne.
A.L.P. But see Dugdale's _Baronage_, i. 510.]

[Footnote 33: BOHUN, arrondissement of St. Lo, in the Cotentin; where
are still St. André and St. Georges de Bohon. The mound of the old
castle remains visible. The Bohuns long after the conquest were
hereditary constables of England, and subsequently earls of Hereford,
Essex, and Northumberland. See the _Recherches_ of M. de Gerville, and
_Introd. Domesday_, i. 383. Ilbert de Chaz, whose tombstone is at
Laycock, was a vassal of Bohun, and came from Chaz, now Cats, in the
neighbourhood of Bohun; _Gent.'s Mag._ Oct. 1835. In the Red book,
'Engelger. de Boun 2 mil. et 6m. partm. et ad servitium suum 7 mil. in
Constant.' and Humphridus de Boun 2 mil. et ad serv. suum 2 mil. in

[Footnote 34: CARTERET, arrondissement of Valognes. The family has
remained in Jersey and England; _Recherches_, No. 14. In the Red book,
'in ballivâ Osberti de Hosa'--'Philippus de Cartr.']

[Footnote 35: WILLIAM WARREN, named from the fief of Varenne, in St.
Aubin-le-Cauf, arrondissement of Dieppe. His English history as earl of
Surrey is well known; _Introd. Dom_. i. 506. M. Le Prevost expresses his
opinion that William was not son of Walter de St. Martin, as _Duchesne_
stiles him, but of Ralf de Warren,--a benefactor of the abbey of la
Trinité du mont about the middle of the eleventh century,--by a niece of
the duchess Gunnor; Roger de Mortemer, the first of the name, being
another son. In a charter to St. Wandril by the conqueror, there is
subscribed as witness, 'S. Rogerii filii Rodulfi de Warena.' A Gilbert
de Warena witnesses a charter to Jumieges in 1088. A.L.P. We have good
authority for observing that the hamlet of Varenne in St. Aubin never
belonged to the Warrens, but to a family named Neville or Neuville, the
adjoining hamlet. The river was anciently called Varimna, and there was
a town of the same name, which appears to have been changed to that of
Bellencombre--Bellus cumulus--from the lofty mound on which stood the
castle of the Warrens, their caput baroniæ. Warren is in the Red book
one of the defaulters.]

[Footnote 36: HUGH, lord of GOURNAY, who occupied the frontier district
of Brai; an important post for the defence of Normandy. See before, p.
49. We find 'Hugo senex,' in a charter of Hen. I., who retired to and
died at Bec; but this was probably a son of the one at Mortemer and
Hastings. We may well expect to find him characterised as 'old Hue,'
when we see Jehan de Flagy--or whoever wrote the old romance of Garin le
Loherain, just published by M. Paris--boldly introducing 'Hues qui
Gournay tient,' with 'Anjorrans li sires de Couci,' and 'de Toartois le
vis-quens Haimeris,' as meeting 'la pucelle Blancheflors au cler vis,'
at the court of Pepin, 'a la cit de Paris.' We find Hugh de
Gournay,--probably the son,--a landholder in Essex, _Introd. Domesday_,
i. 431; in the Red book roll is 'Hugo de Gurnayo 12 mil. et omnium
reliquorum ad Marchiam.' See the history of this family, and of the
junior branches which remained in England, in Burke's _English
Commoners_, i. 484.]

[Footnote 37: ENGERAND DE L'AIGLE, appears to have been the son of
Fulbert, the founder of the castle de l'Aigle, on the Rille,
arrondissement of Mortagne. He was killed in the pursuit after the
battle of Hastings; but his children had Pevensey and large estates. In
the Red book, 'Richardus de Aquilâ 5 mil. et dim. de fœdo de Crepon
in Cadomo;' and among the defaulters stands, 'Richerus de Aquilâ nisi
pro fœdo de Crepun.']

[Footnote 38: AIMERI viscount of THOUARS has appeared before.]

[Footnote 39: It is generally understood that not RICHARD D'AVRANCHES,
in the Cotentin, (though living at the time), but his son HUGH LUPUS
accompanied the conqueror; receiving in 1070 the earldom of Chester, to
hold 'tam liberè ad gladium sicut ipse rex tenebat Angliam per coronam.'
See _Ordericus Vitalis_, 787, and _Introd. Domesday_, i. 437. In the Red
book, 'comes Cestriæ 10 mil. de Sancto Severo et de Bregesard; et ad
serv. suum 51 mil. et dim. et 4m. et 8m. Idem de fœdo Morton,' In the
inquest of Bayeux knights 'comes Cestriæ tenet 5 mil. de episcopo
fœdum,' of which the particulars are given. Of Hugh Lupus _Gaimar_
draws a striking portrait: as well as of others of these fortunate
leaders. In speaking of an enormous guard of honour that William kept
about him when going from England to Normandy, he says;

     Il les tenoit ne sai pur quoi
     Car nule guerre il n'avoit,
     Ne de nul horn ne se cremoit:
     Mes par sa grant nobilité
     Avoit cele gent od soi mené.
     Qe dirroie de ses barons?
     Quieus homs estoit li quens Huons!
     L'empereur de Lumbardie
     Ne menoit pas tiele compaignie
     Come il fesoit de gent privée.
     Ja sa [tiel] meson ne tut vée
     A gentil home ne a franc.
     Ewe en viver u en estanc
     Ert plus legier a espucher
     Que n'iert son beivre ne son manger.
     Touz tens avoit richesce assez;
     Ja tant n'eust le jor donez
     Qe lendemain li sovenist,
     E q'autretant ne departist.
     Conte de Cestre estoit clamé;
     Od grant gent est au roi alé.]

[Footnote 40: LES BIARDS, canton d'Isigny, arrondissement of Mortain.
William Avenel is probably meant, who in 1082 was a benefactor to the
abbey of St. Pierre-de-la-Couture at Mans; _Gallia Christiana,_ ix.
Instr. 107. See the Avenels again below, and our note there.]

[Footnote 41: SUBLIGNY, near Avranches. There was a bishop of Avranches
of this house in the twelfth century. Sublignys appear in Cornwall,
Devon, and Somerset See M. de Gerville's _Recherches_, No. 83. In the
Red book, 'Joannes de Soligneio 1 mil. et ad servitium suum 3 mil;' and
'in ballia de Tenerchebraio--Joannes de Solegneio 1 mil. de honore de
Gilleb'vill. et sibi 4 mil.']

[Footnote 42: D'AUBIGNY, near Periers, in the Cotentin; where there are
now two parishes, St. Martin and Christopher d'Aubigny. As to the
chateau, and that of Lithaire, see M. de Gerville's _Recherches_, No.
49--36. Lithaire however appears not to have belonged to this family;
see our note. Dugdale, Blomfield, and most of our genealogists are
extremely inaccurate as to the early history of this family. Almost all
state William d'Aubigny, or de Albineio, pincerna of Hen. I., who did
not die till 1139, to have come with the conqueror in 1066; to have been
_his_ butler, and to have received his estates from _him_. From
contemporary documents, particularly the charters of Lessay in the
_Monasticon_ and _Gall. Christiana_, the known pedigree commences with a
William d'Aubigny, or de Albini, who married the sister of the traitor
Grimoult del Plesseiz; see the Bayeux Inquest, and our note p. 30. They
had a son Roger, who married Amy Moubray, sister of Jeffery the bishop,
and of Roger de Moubray. These had several children,--bom probably about
or soon after the conquest,--namely William, pincerna of Hen. I., who
married Maud Bigot, and was father of the first earl of Arundel;
Richard, abbot of St. Albans (see _Mat. Paris_); Nigel, whose son took
the name and estates of Moubray; Humphry; and Rualoc or Ralf. The
subsequent pedigree of the Albini earls is correctly given by Mr.
Tierney in his _Hist. of Arundel_. Wace anachronizes in calling his
d'Aubignie--boteillers. If one of the family was at Hastings, it must
have been the eldest William or his son Roger. At _Domesday_, however,
Nigel, younger son of Roger, was of age and a landholder; having perhaps
succeeded to the English estates of his father or grandfather; probably
both then dead, as they are not mentioned. William pincerna, his
brother, (the founder of Wymondham), probably inherited the Norman
estates, which were considerable; he appears to have had none in
England, till for his services to Hen. I. he was enfeoffed, about 1106,
of the barony of Buckenham, (see Heame's _Liber Niger_), to hold in
grand serjeantry by the butlery; an office now discharged by the dukes
of Norfolk his descendants, holders of part of the barony. If William
the grandfather survived Roger, the confusion between the two Williams
may have occasioned the errors of genealogists. In the Red book the earl
of Arundel is a defaulter; and we find only his Bayeux fee, acquired by
the marriage of his ancestor with Grimoult's sister; and 'Willus de
Albigneio in Barbavill,' without further particulars.]

[Footnote 43: ROBERT, lord of VITRE or Vitry, in Brittany, was,
according to the Breton historians, in William's expedition, and is
probably here meant. There is, however, a Vitray-sous-l'Aigle,
arrondissement of Mortagne; and as the name occurs again below, it is
probable that one at least does not refer to a Norman lord. In the Red
book roll we find, 'Robertus de Vitreio medietatem de Ria in Baiocasino,
et Trungeium et Caignoles et Duxeium in Boscagio.']

[Footnote 44: LASSY, arrondissement of Vire. Walter de Lacy was the
conqueror's attendant, and Ilbert de Lacy is also said to have been
present. Roger, son of Walter also is in Domesday; _Introd. Dom._ i.
431, 432; ii. 345. Lacie occurs again below. In the Bayeux Inquest we
find 'feodum de Lacey in Campellis (Campeaux in the Bocage) 2 mil. scil.
Guilleberti et Henrici.']

[Footnote 45: VAL DE SAIRE is the name of a district in the Cotentin,
arrondissement of Valognes; 'là tut dreit u Sarre en mer chiet;' _Wace_,
i. 318.]

[Footnote 46: TRACY, in the arrondissement of Caen, where are still
remains of the castle. It was probably Turgis de Tracy who was at the
battle. _Orderic. Vit_. 532. In _Gallia Christ_, xi. Instrum. 107, we
find in 1082 William and Gilbert de Tracy. A natural son of Hen. I. was
afterwards called William de Tracy. Henry de Tracy received from Stephen
the barony of Barnstaple. A.L.P. In the Red book, 'Turgillus de Traseio
2 mil. et ad servit. suum 8 mil.' He subsequently occurs as 'Turgis de
Traceio,' besides 'Willmus de Traceio,' and 'Oliverus de Traceio.']

[Footnote 47: HUGH DE MONTFORT, noticed above.]

[Footnote 48: EPINAY is a common name in Normandy. M. Le Prevost thinks
that Epinay-sur-Duclair, arrondissement of Rouen, was meant here. Its
lords appear in the charters of Jumieges. In the Bayeux inquest we have
'Enguerandus de Espineto tenet de Episcopo feodum v militum;' and this
would rather lead us to look nearer Bayeux. It seems by Hardy's _Rot.
Norm_, that the fief of Epiney vested in Roger de Saint-Sauveur.]

[Footnote 49: PORT, near Bayeux. Hugh and Robert de Port seem to have
been at the conquest. Gilbert de Port is found in documents soon after.
Hugh had the barony of Basing, in Hampshire, and his son Henry founded
Shireburn. A.L.P. See _Introd. Dom._ i. 469. In the Bayeux inquest,
'feodum Henrici de Port feodum iii mil.' Enguerandus de Port is one of
the jurors at this inquest.]

[Footnote 50: COURCY and JORT are in the arrondissement of Falaise.
Robert de Courcy father of Richard who was at the conquest, was one of
the sons of Baudry-le-Teuton. A.L.P. Richard de Courcy--Curci in
Domesday--received the barony of Stoke in Somersetshire. See M.
Richome's notice in _Mém. Ant. Norm_. iii. 102. _Introd. Dom_. i.
403--412. In the Red book, 'Will, de Curceio 5 mil. de honore in
Curseio, et ad servitium suum 33 mil. Idem de honore de Ascoiol et ad
serv. suum 17 mil. et quart.']

[Footnote 51: REVIERES, arrondissement of Caen. M. Le Prevost, in his
notes, states this to be BALDWIN DE MEULES--near Orbec, arrondissement
of Lisieux--otherwise called 'de Moles,' 'de Sap,' or 'de Brionne,' 'of
Exeter,' or 'Vicecomes;' brother of Richard de Bienfaite after
mentioned. He never bore the name of Reviers or Redvers, which, however,
the annotator assumes, was taken by his son Richard. See _Introd.
Domesday_, i. 377--473; also M. de Gerville in _Mém. Ant. Norm_. i. 273.
If however, as we believe, it is a mistake in _Dugdale_ and others to
confound Richard de Reviers with Richard Fitz-Baldwin, (who died without
issue) the 'sire de Reviers' is to be sought elsewhere.]

[Footnote 52: WILLIAM, lord of MOYEN, arrondissement of St. Lo, where
the scite of his castle is still visible. He and his descendants the
Mohuns are known in English history. See M. de Gerville's _Recherches_,
v. 210. _Introd. Dom_. i. 453; ii. 355. In the Red book, 'Willmus de
Moyen 5 mil. et ad serv. suum xi.']

[Footnote 53: Three generations bearing the name of RAOUL TESSON rapidly
succeeded during the conqueror's reign. Raoul I. we have seen at
Valesdunes; Raoul II. is probably the one now before us. He married
Matilda, cousin german of the duke. If, like his cousin Fitz-Erneis, he
was killed at Hastings, that circumstance may account for his family not
having formed establishments in England. A.L.P. The forest of Cinglais
was one of the most celebrated in Normandy, and belonged to the honor of
Tesson. There is also the castle of Roche-Tesson, in the arrondissement
of St. Lo. _Mém. Ant. Norm._ v. 187. _Gallia Christiana_, xi. app. 333.
In the Red book, 'Jordanus Taisson 10 mil. de Treverio, et ad servitium
suum 30 mil. et dim. Idem 5 mil. de honore Sëti Salvatoris, et ad
servitium suum, 5 mil. in Constant.']

[Footnote 54: See note on Fontenay in the next chapter.]




Next the company of Neel[1] rode Raol de Gael; he was himself a Breton,
and led Bretons; he served for the land which he had, but he held it
short time enough; for he forfeited it, as they say[2].

Avenals des Biarz[3] was there, and Paienals des Mostiers-Hubert[4]; and
Robert Bertram, who was Tort (crooked)[5], but was very strong when on
horseback, had with him a great force, and many men fell before him. The
archers of Val de Roil[6], and those of Bretoil[7], put out the eyes of
many an Englishman with their arrows. The men of Sole[8] and Oireval[9],
and of St. Johan and Brehal[10], of Brius[11] and of Homez[12], were to
be seen on that day, striking at close quarters, and holding their
shields over their heads, so as to receive the blows of the hatchets.
All would rather have died than have failed their lawful lord.

And there were also present the lords of Saint-Sever[13] and
Caillie[14], and the sire de Semillie[15], and Martels de
Basquevile[16]; and near him the lords of Praels[17], of Goviz[18] and
Sainteals[19], of Viez Molei[20], and Monceals[21]; and he who was sire
de Pacie[22], and the seneschal de Corcie[23], and a chevalier de
Lacie[24], with the lords de Gascie[25], d'Oillie[26], and de Sacie[27],
and the sires de Vaacie[28], del Torneor and de Praeres[30], and Willame
de Columbieres, and old Gilbert d'Asnieres[3l], de Chaignes, and de
Tornieres[32], and old Hue de Bolebec[33], and Dam Richart, who held
Orbec[34], and the sire de Bonnesboz[35], and the sires de Sap, and de
Gloz[36] and he who then held Tregoz[37]; he killed two Englishmen;
smiting the one through with his lance, and braining the other with his
sword; and then galloped his horse back, so that no Englishman touched

And the sire de Monfichet[38] was there, leading a gallant party; and
the ancestor of Hue li Bigot[39], who had lands at Maletot, and at Loges
and Chanon, and served the duke in his house as one of his seneschals,
which office he held in fee. He had with him a large troop, and was a
noble vassal. He was small of body, but very brave and bold, and
assaulted the English with his men gallantly.

And now might be heard the loud clang and cry of battle, and the
clashing of lances. The English stood firm in their barricades, and
shivered the lances, beating them into pieces with their bills and
maces. The Normans drew their swords and hewed down the barricades, and
the English in great trouble fell back upon their standard, where were
collected the maimed and wounded.

Then the sire de la Haie[40] charged on, and neither spared nor pitied
any; striking none whom he did not kill, and inflicting wounds such as
none could cure.

The lords de Vitrie[41] and Urinie[42], de Moubrai[43] and Saie[44], and
the sire de la Ferté[45], smote down many of the English, most of whom
suffered grievously, and many of them were killed. Botevilain[46] and
Trossebot[47] feared neither blow nor thrust, but heartily gave and took
many on that day.

William Patric de la Lande[48] called aloud for king Harold, saying
that if he could see him, he would appeal him of perjury. He had seen
him at la Lande, and Harold had rested there on his way through, when he
was taken to the duke, then at Avranches, on his road to Brittany. The
duke made him a knight there, and gave him and his companions arms and
garments, and sent him against the Bretons. Patric stood armed by the
duke's side, and was much esteemed by him.

There were many knights of Chauz[49], who jousted and made attacks. The
English knew not how to joust, nor bear arms on horseback, but fought
with hatchets and bills. A man when he wanted to strike with one of
their hatchets, was obliged to hold it with both his hands, and could
not at the same time, as it seems to me, both cover himself and strike
with any freedom[50].

The English fell back upon a rising ground, and the Normans followed
them across the valley, attacking them on foot and horseback. Then Hue
de Mortemer[51], with the sires d'Auviler[52], d'Onebac[53], and
Saint-Cler[54], rode up and charged, overthrowing many.

Robert Fitz Erneis[55] fixed his lance, took his shield, and galloping
towards the standard with his keen-edged sword, struck an Englishman who
was in front, killed him, and then drawing back his sword, attacked many
others, and pushed straight for the standard, trying to beat it down;
but the English surrounded it, and killed him with their bills. He was
found on the spot, when they afterwards sought for him, dead, and lying
at the standard's foot.

Robert count of Moretoing[56] never went far from the duke. He was his
brother on the mother's side, and brought him great aid. The sire de
Herecort[57] was also there, riding a very swift horse, and gave all the
help he could. The sires de Crievecoer[58], Driencort[59], and
Briencort[60], also followed the duke wherever he moved. The sires de
Combrai[61], and Alnei[62]; de Fontenei[63], Rebercil[64], and
Molei[65] challenged Harold the king to come forth, and said to the
English, "Stay! stay! where is your king? he that perjured himself to
William? He is a dead man, if we find him."

Many other barons there were, whom I have not even named; for I cannot
give an account of them all, nor can I tell of all the feats they did,
for I would not be tedious. Neither can I give the names of all the
barons, nor the surnames[66] of all whom the duke brought from Normandy
and Brittany in his company. He had also many from Mans and Thouars; and
Angevins and Poitevins; and men of Ponthieu and Bologne. He had also
soldiers[67] from many lands, who came some for land and some for money.
Great was the host, and great the enterprize.

Duke William fought gallantly, throwing himself wherever the greatest
press was, beating down many who found no rescue; so that it might easily
be seen that the business in hand was his own. He who bore his gonfanon
that day--Tostein[68], Fitz-Rou le blanc by name, born at Bec near
Fescamp--was a brave and renowned knight. He bore the gonfanon boldly,
high aloft in the breeze, and rode by the duke, going wherever he went.
Wherever the duke turned, he turned also, and wheresoever he stayed his
course, there he rested also. And the duke fought where the greatest
throng was, where he saw the most English, and wherever the Normans were
attacking and slaughtering them. He also had around him a great company,
vavassors of Normandy, who to save their lord would have put their own
bodies between him and the enemies' blows.

Alain Fergant[69], count of Brittany, lead a great company of Bretons, a
bold and fierce people, who willingly go wherever booty is to be won.
They wounded and killed many; and few that they struck stood their
ground. Alain Fergant himself fought like a noble and valiant knight,
and led his Bretons on, doing great damage to the English.

The sire de St. Galeri[70], and the count d'Ou[71], and Roger de
Montgomeri and dam Ameri de Toarz also demeaned themselves like brave
men, and those whom their blows reached were ill handled.

[Footnote 1: NEEL; see former note on Neel de Saint Sauveur, whose
'company,' as viscount of the Cotentin, seems to be here referred to.]

[Footnote 2: RAOL DE GAEL, lord of Gael or Guader, and Montfort in
Brittany, 'Ranols de Gader, le proz,' in _Benoit_. It does not appear
that Raol commanded all the Bretons, if that be what Wace meant here to
say. He is known in English history as Ralf earl of Norfolk, whose
estates were forfeited for his treason in 1075. From _Domesday_ it would
seem that both he and a former Ralf his father were earls under the
Confessor; the father being repeatedly referred to in Norfolk as 'vetus
comes,' the predecessor of 'comes Ralf Alius ejus,' and both holding
lands in succession during Edward's reign. In one place we find 'Rex
Edwardus dedit Radulfo comiti.' Was Ralf 'vetus comes' the same person
as Ralf Stalra; can he have held the earldom of Norfolk when the Godwins
were in disgrace; and may not his son at his death have failed in
succeeding to that earldom, and have then repaired to the continent, and
joined William in order to recover his own English property? Ralf the
elder no doubt married a Breton heiress; from whom her estates passed to
the son; an Englishman of Norfolk on the father's side, as described by
the old historians, though also of Breton descent and estate. See
_Introd. Domesday,_ i. 471; and Blomfield's _Norfolk_ repeatedly, as to
the possessions of the two Ralfs.]

[Footnote 3: BIARZ, see last chapter, note 40. William Avenel, lord of
Biarz, seems meant in both cases. The Avenels were seneschals to the
counts of Mortain. A.L.P. See M. de Gerville, _Mém. Ant. Norm_. iv. 157.
In the Red book, 'Willus Avenel 5 mil. regi, et servitium 1 mil. de com.

[Footnote 4: This may be read either HUBERT PAISNEL, lord of
MOSTIERS--or PAISNEL, lord of MOSTIERS-HUBERT; but the latter is more
likely, [no Hubert Paisnel being known, and] the Paisnels having been
lords of Mostiers-Hubert, in the arrondissement of Lisieux. The scite of
the castle there is still visible. _Ordericus Vitalis_ mentions William
Paisnel as one of the great men who died about the same time as the
conqueror. He was perhaps [brother or] father of Ralf Paisnel, Paganel,
or Pagnell, sheriff of Yorkshire. A.L.P. See M. de Gerville, _Mém. Ant.
Norm._ ii. 280--308; _Introd. Domesday_, i. 464. In the Red book, 'Hugo
Paganellus 5 mil. et ad servitium ejus 6 mil;' and 'In ballivâ de
Passeis'--'Gervasius Paganellus 1 mil. et sibi 4 mil.']

[Footnote 5: ROBERT BERTRAM the tort or crooked, lord of Briquebec near
Valognes;--as to the picturesque remains of whose castle see Mr. Cotman's
and Mr. Wiffen's works: in the latter is a pedigree of this illustrious
family. Robert's brother William is also generally considered to have
been at the conquest. A younger branch, from whom came the Mitfords,
formed establishments, though not of much account, in England; it
probably descended from this William; or from another William de Bertram
who stands in _Domesday_ as a small holder in Hampshire; _Introd. Dom_.
i. 382. In the Red book Roll, 'Robertus Bertran 5 mil. ad servitium suum
34 et dim. in Constantin.']

[Footnote 6: LE VAUDREUIL, arrondissement of Louviers.]

[Footnote 7: BRETEUIL, arrondissement of Evreux.]

[Footnote 8: SOULES, arrondissement of St. Lo. See M. de Gerville, _Mém.
Ant. Norm_. v. 260. In the Red book, 'Willus de Sola 1 mil. ad servitium
suum 2 mil. de com. Mort.']

[Footnote 9: ORVAL, near Coutances. In the Red book, 'Willmus de
Aureavalle 2 mil. et dim. et ad servitium suum 6 mil. in Constantin.'
See, as to this family and the next, the charters, and the genealogy
(though apparently incorrect) in Dugdale's _Monasticon_, under the head

[Footnote 10: SAINT JEAN, near Avranches, from which came the St. Jean
who married the daughter of Robert de Haiâ. See note 40 below, and the
_Recherches_ of M. de Gerville. BREHAL is between Coutances and
Granville, and seems to have belonged to the Paisnels; M. de Gerville,
_Mém. Ant. Norm_. ii. 278.]

[Footnote 11: The British Museum MS. changes the number of the pronoun,
and reads _cil_ de BRIUS; not _cels_, as in the case of the three
preceding names. M. Le Prevost considers Brieux--Broicæ--three leagues
from Falaise, to be intended. But this is doubtful. We are now clearly
in the Cotentin; and Brix, near Valognes, (spelt Brus in John's
Itinerary, _Archæol_. xxiv, and Brucius, in the latin legend, mentioned
by M. de Gerville on Portbail, and in _Mém. Ant. Norm_. v. 318), seems
more appropriate to the connection. See M. de Gerville's _Recherches_,
No. 9 and 10, as to Brix and chateau d'Adam. Moreover the next place
mentioned is Hommet, and the family of that name had a fief in Brix.
There is strong probability in M. de Gerville's derivation thence of the
Scotch Bruces, Adam being a common name with the Skelton line; but there
were several names so nearly approaching in sound, though variously
spelt in Latin, French, and English, that the subject may well be
involved in some obscurity. Robertus de Bruis is in Domesday, _Introd_.
i. 387.]

[Footnote 12: HOMMET, arrondissement of St. Lo; see M. de Gerville's
_Recherches_, No. 10 and elsewhere, as to this powerful family, and as
to the castle, No. 125. In the Red book, 'Jordanus de Humeto 3 mil. de
fœdo de Cl...? et ad servitium suum 13 mil.' 'Richardus de Humeto 3
mil. et dim. de honore de Humeto, et ad serv. suum 18 mil. Idem
servitium corporis sui de honore de Bellomonte.' Wilmus de Humeto is
among the list of defaulters.]

[Footnote 13: SAINT SEVER, (in the arrondissement of Vire), may be here
used to represent Hugh Lupus, as AVRANCHES has perhaps been for Richard
his father. But the true reading of the text is doubtful. In the British
Museum it is Saint Seg, written on an erasure, and followed by a mark of
abbreviation; another MS. reads St. Sen,--which would probably be St.
Saens; and another reads St. Saire (near Neufchâtel),--St. Salvius,
where was an ancient abbey.]

[Footnote 14: CAILLY, arrondissement of Rouen; referring either to
Osbern de Cailly; or to his son Roger, who in 1080 made a donation to
St. Ouen. William de Cailgi in _Domesday_ might be a brother. A junior
branch of the family was established in England; but was not of much
account, till Thomas de Cailly married Emma, one of the coheirs of Sir
Robert de Tateshall, and succeeded through her to the barony of
Buckenham. See note below on Preaux. In the Red book, 'Osbertus de
Caillio 12 mil. de honore de Caillio;' and afterwards 'in balliâ de
Oxm,'--'Osbertus de Calleio 2 mil.; scilicet 1 mil. ad s. custam. et
alt. ad cust. dñi.']

[Footnote 15: SEMILLY, near St. Lo. William de Semilly appears in two
charters about 1082. The family becoming extinct in the twelfth century,
Semilly passed to the line of Hommet. A.L.P. The castle was an important
one; see M. de Gerville, _Mém. Ant. Norm_. v. 232. The name of Semilly,
however, occurs very frequently, at a much later period than the twelfth
century, in the charters in vol. vii. of those _memoires_.]

[Footnote 16: BACQUEVILLE, arrondissement of Dieppe. The head of this
family, in the maternal line, was Nicholas de Bacqueville, one of the
six sons of Baudry-le-Teuton. His daughter, it would seem, married Hugh
Fitz-Grip, or Hugh of Wareham; whose son, grandson, or perhaps nephew,
was William Martel, butler to king Stephen, and brother of Walter of St.
Martin; see his fief in Hearne's _Liber Niger_. See also _Duchesne,_
313; and a charter to Montivilliers, in _Gallia Christ_, xi. app. c.
329. Hugh's wife appears in Domesday, _Introd_. i. 502. 499. There is a
Jeffery or Goisfrid Martel, one of the undertenants, Domesday, _Introd_.
ii. 352. In the Red book, 'Gaufridus Martell 2 mil. et ad serv. suum 8
et tert. part,' 'Rogerus Martel' also appears there.]

[Footnote 17: PREAUX. There are several communes of the name in
Normandy, and it might be safest to refer this to one in Wace's
neighbourhood. There are also two communes of the name near
Pont-Audemer, where were two monastic foundations. Wace may, however,
refer to the more distinguished fief in the arrondissement of Rouen,
which was about 1070 held by the Eudo dapifer of _Domesday_, son of
Hubert de Rie. The lords of Preaux were afterwards of much account in
French history. They formed a branch of the house of Cailly, commencing
about the time Wace wrote. 'Ego Osbernus de Pratellis filius Osberni de
Calleio' ... appears in a charter in _L'Histoire de l'Abbaie de la
Trinité de Mont St. Catharine_, p. 77. In the Red book Osbertus de
Pratellis is among the defaulters.]

[Footnote 18: Gouvix, arrondissement of Falaise. The early history of
the lords of Gouvix is not known; but Ralf de Goviz appears, in 1181, in
the charter of foundation of the abbey of Barbery; he is also witness to
a charter of arrangement with Fontenay; _Mém. Ant. Norm_. vii. 363; and
see the same work, iv. 406. The castle stood on a rock, on the banks of
the river Laise, where its ruins are still visible.]

[Footnote 19: CINTHEAUX, arrondissement of Falaise. The early lords of
Cintheaux also are unknown. In 1181 the church is mentioned as given to
Barbery. A.L.P. Richard and Ralf de Cintheaux--de Sanctellis--appear in
the charter of arrangement mentioned in the last note.]

[Footnote 20: See note below, on MOLEI.]

[Footnote 21: There are many communes called MONCEAUX. The one meant is
probably that near Bayeux.]

[Footnote 22: PACY SUR L'EURE, arrondissement of Evreux. Pacy seems at
the conquest to have belonged to William Fitz-Osbern. But there
certainly was a William de Pacy in 1080, who possibly held under him.
_Ord. Vit._ 527--576.]

[Footnote 23: COURCY has occurred before. The lords of Courcy known to
have held the office of seneschal were Robert, under the empress
Matilda, and William, under Hen. II.; and there is no other authority
than Wace's for its belonging to earlier members of the family. It is
possible that one of the Courcys of Wace stands for Courceilles. In the
Bayeux inquest, 'Gosellinus de Corcella feodum v mil. in Corcella et in
Berneriis.' In the Red book is a similar entry, substituting Rogerus for
Goscellinus. He appears among the jurors, and is there called
Gangelinus. Roger de Corcelles is a landholder in Domesday, _Introd_. i.

[Footnote 24: LACIE also has occurred before. Here the expression is
peculiar, 'un chevalier de Lacie,'--which was intended perhaps to
distinguish him from the superior lord, before mentioned.]

[Footnote 25: GACÉ, arrondissement of Argentan. Robert de Gacé, grandson
of archbishop Robert, and son of Ralf 'caput Asini,'--who was concerned
in the murder of Gilbert count of Brionne--died without children before
the conquest, and the duke seized his lands. _Orderic. Vit_. 488 and
681. Who held Gacé afterwards under the duke does not appear.]

[Footnote 26: The cradle of the noble family of D'OILEY is, on the
authority of M. Le Prevost and M. Galeron, to be sought at
Ouilly-le-Basset, arrondissement of Falaise. Robert d'Oily was the one
at the conquest. His daughter Maud married Milo Crespin, who had with
her Wallingford castle. _Introd. Domesday_, i. 458; ii. 361.]

[Footnote 27: SASSY, arrondissement of Avranches, near Pontorson.
Jourdain de Sacey appears in a charter of Richard de Subligny, bishop of
Avranches, about the middle of the twelfth century; and see M. de
Gerville's _Recherches_, No. 93. A.L.P.]

[Footnote 28: VASSY, arrondissement of Vire. Robert and Ivo de
Vassy--Vesci in English orthography--were in William's expedition, and
settled in England. A.L.P. In the Bayeux inquest, 'Enguerandus de
Vaceyo, vavassor, sed servit pro dimidio mil.' In the Red book is
'Juliana de Vaacio 4 mil.' In the _Mém. Ant. Norm_. viii. 28, William
Vassy and Robert his brother appear in a charter, which is afterwards
quoted p. 143, giving their names as Waace,--apparently the same name as
the poet's.]

[Footnote 29: LE TOURNEUR, near Vire. A.L.P.]

[Footnote 30: PRESLES, arrondissement of Vire. In the Red book, 'In
ballia de castro de Virâ,' are 'Joannes de Praeriis dim. mil.' and
'Mattheus de Praeriis 4 partem.']

[Footnote 31: COLUMBIERES and ASNIERES are in the arrondissement of
Bayeux. The lords of both are found in a charter of 1082, in favour of
the Abbaye-aux-dames, of Caen. The lord of Asnieres was then Ralf, who
possibly had succeeded 'Gilbert le viel.' A.L.P. Ralf de Columbels, or
Columbers, in Domesday held lands in Kent. In the Bayeux inquest,
'feodum Malevrier in Asinieres debet servitium dim. mil,' The Malevriers
were well known in England.]

[Footnote 32: CAHAGNES, arrondissement of Vire. The lords of Cahagnes
are among the benefactors of Grestein and Lewes. William de Cahagnes
appears to have been in the expedition, and is found in Domesday,
_Introd. i_. 390; ii. 360. In the Red book, 'In ballia de Tenechebraio,'
is 'Radus de Chaineis [Chaagnes in _Duchesne_] 1 mil.' TOURNIERES is in
the arrondissement of Bayeux. Richard de Turneriis is, under Hen. I.,
mentioned in the foundation charter of Kenilworth. In the Bayeux
inquest, 'feodum Ricardi de Tourneriis, ibidem et apud Hayam

[Footnote 33: BOLBEC, arrondissement of Havre. The printed text is
'_Luce_.' The MS. of Duchesne reads 'le filz Hue de Bolbec;' but the
British Mus. MS. reads 'vielz Hue,' which we presume is correct. Hugh
was in William's service. He held under Walter Giffard, lord of Bolbec
and Longueville, and had joined, in 1061, in the donation of the church
of Bolbec to the abbey of Bernay. See _Introd. Domesday,_ i. 383. He had
two sons, another Hugh and Walter. According to Dugdale's _Baronage_, i.
451, there were two cotemporary Hughs in England at the beginning of the
twelfth century.]

[Footnote 34: RICHARD DE BIENFAITE, arrondissement of Lisieux. He was
Fitz-Gilbert, as son of Gilbert earl of Brionne, elder brother of
Baldwin de Meules above mentioned. He received Bienfaite and Orbec from
the duke, as an indemnity for his share of the patrimony alienated
during his minority. He became lord of Clare and Tonbridge; see _Introd.
Domesday_, i. 477, 494; ii. 395.]

[Footnote 35: BONNEBOSQ, arrondissement of Pont-l'Evesque. Ralf de
Bonnebosq appears among the benefactors of St. Stephen at Caen. Under
Hen. I. Gilbert de Bonnebosq was son-in-law of Morin du Pin, dapifer of
the earl of Mortain. A.L.P. Red book roll, (de Baiocasino) 'Robtus de
Bonesboz 1 mil. regi de 3 mil. quos habet in Algiâ.' Robert's ancestors
are mentioned in a charter to Jumieges, _Neustria Pia_, 324.]

[Footnote 36: SAP and GLOZ, arrondissement of Argentan. Sap was before
the conquest given, with Meules, to Baldwin; of whom it was therefore
held by whoever occupied at the conquest. Gloz belonged to William de
Breteuil, Barnon de Gloz having been in the service of his father Osbern
about 1035. William de Gloz, son of Barnon, was dapifer to William de
Breteuil, and probably assisted at the conquest. A.L.P. In the Red book,
'In ballia de Tenechebraio,'--'de honore de Sap 1 mil.']

[Footnote 37: TREGOZ, or Trois-Gots, arrondissement of St. Lo. The ruins
of the castle are visible at the confluence of the Vire and the brook
Marquelan. In Brampton's list is Traygod. His successors were
benefactors of Hambye, and one of them signed the foundation charter of
1145. Ledyard-Tregoze in Wiltshire bears the family name. Jeffery de
Tregoz would according to Dugdale, _Bar_. i. 615, be the probable
cotemporary of the conquest. See De Gerville, _Mém. Ant. Norm_. v. 215.
In the Red book, 'Willmus de Tresgoz 1 mil. et dim.']

[Footnote 38: MONTFIQUET, arrondissement of Bayeux, where the ruins of
the old castle are visible. William de Montfichet was benefactor of
Cerisy during the conqueror's reign; he was probably the son of Gilbert
de Montfichet, one of the most authentic personages concerned in the
conquest. A.L.P. But see Dugdale's _Baronage,_ i. 438.]

[Footnote 39: BIGOT. This illustrious family is traced no higher than
Robert le Bigot, who was a relation of Richard d'Avranches, and quitted
the service of Werlene comte of Mortain, to attach himself to the duke;
see _William of Jumieges_, vii. c. 19. In England, it would seem from
the Chester charters, that some at least of the Bigots continued
attached to Hugh d'Avranches (Lupus), though Roger was one of William's
privy councillors, and treasurer of his house. His son Hugh became earl
of Norfolk about 1140. The leading branch of the family became extinct,
and the earldom ceased 35 Edw. I. Wace's assertion that Roger was
seneschal to William is not supported by any other authority, of which
we are aware; though from the grant to his son, _Dugdale_, i. 132, it
appears that Roger occupied the office under Hen. I. Wace may be in
error, confounding it with the high office Roger undoubtedly held in
William's household. MALTOT is in the arrondissement of Caen; LOGES is
near Aulnay; CANON is in the arrondissement of Lisieux. The earl of
Chester's charter to St. Werberg--about 1094--in the _Monasticon_, is
witnessed by, among others of 'his barons,' two Bigots, namely Roger
Bigod, and Bigod de Loges. A subsequent charter of earl Ranulf Meschines
has a Robert fil. Bigoti. Bigot de Loges appears also separately in
Domesday, _Introd_. ii. 350. Lords of Maltot, and also lords of Loges,
appear in charters in vol. vii of the _Mém. Ant. Norm_. In the Bayeux
inquest, 'feodum Hugonis Bigoti in Loges et Savenaye vavassoria, sed
serviunt pro mil. dim.' In the Red book Hugh is one of the defaulters.
The history of this family, their name and origin, seems worthy of more
consideration than has hitherto been given. The usually assigned origin
of the name appears doubtful. An important branch of the stock remained
in Normandy. Jean le Bigot or le Bihot was a leading baron at the
meeting of the states in 1350. We find Bigot, Bihot, Vigot, Wigot,
(_Domesday_), Wihot, Wigelot, all forms perhaps of the same name, which
is generally used with _le_, or adjectively. On one of their Norfolk
estates was lately found a signet ring of one of the family, exhibiting
in the rebus--'by-goat'--a new variety of the name; (see engraving)
[Illustration: Signet ring].]

[Footnote 40: HAIE-DU-PUITS, arrondissement of Coutances; near the abbey
of Lessay, which was founded by Richard, commonly called Turstain
Haldup, Halduc, or Haralduc, head of the family before the conquest; see
pedigree in Wiffen's _History of Russell_. Turstain's son Eudo cum
capello, or Eudo dapifer (though not the Eudo dapifer of _Domesday_)
was, as we have seen above, page 102, called into counsel by William. We
know not whether it was Eudo, or, as seems more probable, either Ralf de
Haiâ, seneschal of the count of Mortain, or Ralf's son Robert, who was
at the conquest. The latter, as lord of Halnac in Sussex, founded
Boxgrave; and had three children,--Cecily, who is stated in the
genealogy in _Dugdale_ to have married Roger Saint-Jean, and two sons,
Richard and Ralf. Richard was taken by pirates, and his estates went to
daughters. Ralf married a daughter of William de Albini, pincerna, and
either by her or another wife left descendants. The notes to M.
Pluquet's _Wace_ seem erroneous as to this family; as will be seen by
the Lessay charters in _Dugdale, Gallia Christiana_, and _Neustria pia_;
also by those of Blanchelande. A passage in one charter in _Gallia
Christ._ thus supplies many particulars; 'Robertus de Haya, filius
Radulfi, senescalli scilicet Roberti comitis Moritonii, nepos Hudonis,
dapiferi Willelmi Regis.' There is, however, much obscurity hanging over
the pedigree, which we have no space for discussing. In what precise way
the Haies succeeded to Eudo cum capello is one of the principal
difficulties. As to the remains of their castle, see M. de Gerville,
_Recherches_, No. 41. In the Red book, 'Radus de Haia 2 mil. et dim. de
honore de Plaiseis, et 1 mil. de honore de Mort. de feodo de Criensiis,
et ad servit. suum 6 mil. et dim. in Constant.' The honor of Haye is
afterwards mentioned as 'Honor de Haia de Puteo de com. Mort. i. mil.

[Footnote 41: See the last chapter, note 43.]

[Footnote 42: ORIGNY. There are two of the name, one near Bellesme, the
other near Mamers.]

[Footnote 43: ROGER DE MOUBRAY, see note 2, page 157.]

[Footnote 44: SAY, arrondissement of Argentan. The lords of Say took the
name or surname of PICOT, by which, as in _Domesday_, they are often
called without the Say. In the Red book, 'Alexander de Piccot 4 partem
in Piccot,' In the Bayeux inquest is 'feodum Guillmi Picoth feodum 3
mil. in Culeyo, in Traceyo et Leon, et Franca-Villula supra Rothom. et
Montberton,' Robert Picot de Say with his sons Robert and Henry, were
benefactors in 1060 to the church of St. Martin de Say. Picot de Say is
found as witness to a charter in 1080 between Jumieges and St. Maximin
d'Orleans. See also the foundation charter of Shrewsbury in 1085.

[Footnote 45: FERTÉ MACÉ--(Feritas Matthæi)--arrondissement of Dunfront.
A sister of Odo bishop of Bayeux, and of Muriel, the wife of Eudo cum
Capello mentioned before, married the lord of Ferté Macé, as we learn
from Mr. Stapleton, and probably assisted at the conquest. His son is
called in a charter quoted in a 'vidimus' of an archbishop of Tours,
temp. St. Louis, as 'Guills de Feritate castro diius, nepos dñi Odonis
Baiocensis episc.' _Ordericus Vitalis_, mentions a William de la Ferté
as leading troops in Maine in 1073. In the Red book, 'In ballia de
Passeis'--'Matheus de Feritate 2 mil. et sibi 15 mil.']

[Footnote 46: The lord of BOUTTEVILLE, arrondissement of Valognes, was
at the conquest; see M. de Gerville, _Recherches_, No. 24. Whether
Boutevile in the Battle Abbey roll be meant for the same name as the
Boutevilain of Brampton and Wace, is not clear. See the foundation of
Pipewell in 1143. _Monasticon_, v. 431. There appear to have been
Bouttevilles in Somerset and Bedford, and Bouttevilains in
Northamptonshire. A.L.P.]

[Footnote 47: The name of Trossebot--afterwards TRUSSBUT in
England--occurs both in the Battle Abbey roll, and in Brampton. From
_Ordericus Vitalis_ it appears that William Trossebot was one of the new
men, raised by Hen. I. from comparative obscurity. In 1132 Jeffery
Trusbut, or Fitz Payne, founded the priory of Wartre, in Yorkshire. In
the Red book, 'Gaufridus Trossebot 1 mil. de serjanteria foresteriæ.']

[Footnote 48: WILLIAM PATRY, lord of LA LANDE-PATRY, arrondissement of
Domfront. See La Roque, _Histoire de la maison d'Harcourt_, and _La
Chesnaye des Bois. William of Poitiers_ makes William receive Harold at
Eu; and the Bayeux tapestry, in bringing the count of Ponthieu with his
captive, seems to vouch for the same account. Again, he says, 'secum in
Britanniam _duxit_,' which may appear to clash with the literal purport
of Wace's narrative; but probably these statements will not be thought
very difficult of reconciliation. In the Red book roll, 'Willus Patric
de honore de Loanda 1 mil. et ad servitium suum 3 mil.']

[Footnote 49: The pays de Caux.]

[Footnote 50: See note to next chapter, as to the use of the shield, and
the enarmes, and guige.]

[Footnote 51: RALF DE MORTEMER, not Hugh his son, appears to have been
with the expedition. An instance of Wace's imperfect knowledge of this
family has been noticed at the battle of Mortemer; where he omits all
reference to Roger de Mortemer, Ralf's father. Roger lost his estates on
that occasion; and though he was soon after restored, the fief of
Mortemer remained with William Warren. Ralf, however, afterwards
recovered this also, and made donations in favour of St. Victor-en-Caux,
which in 1074 had been raised by Roger to the rank of an abbey. Ralf
received large possessions in England: he was living in 1104, and then
took part with Hen. I. In the Red book, 'Hugo de Mortuo-Mari 5 mil. et
ad serv. suum 13 et dim.' See _Introd. Dom_., i. 455.]

[Footnote 52: Most probably AUVILLARS, arrondissement of Pont-l'Evesque.
In the Red book, (de Baiocasino) 'Robertus de Alviler 1 mil. de 2 mil.
et 4 part. mil. quos habet.']

[Footnote 53: ASNEBEC, near Vire. The estate appears to have belonged to
the lords of Beaumont-le-Roger at the period of the conquest. A.L.P.
According to what we believe to be important authority on this point, we
should rather find here ANNEBAULT-en-Auge, arrondissement of
Pont-l'Evêque. Its lords were a baronial house, making grants to
monasteries in the vicinity.]

[Footnote 54: SAINT-CLAIR, arrondissement of St. Lo. See M. de
Gerville's _Recherches_. The scite of the castle is still observable.
William de Saint-Clair endowed the abbey of Savigny under Hen. I. In
1139 the priory of Villers-Fossard was founded by one of the same name.
The English Sinclairs are reputed to be of this stock. A.L.P. Ricardus
de Sencler or Sent-Cler appears in Domesday, _Introd_. ii. 388.]

[Footnote 55: ROBERT FITZ-ERNEIS, nephew of Raoul Tesson I. mentioned
before, at the battle of Val-des-Dunes, as Raol Tesson de Cingueleiz,
and cousin of Raol Tesson II. enumerated above among the barons at
Hastings. Robert was son of Erneis and Hawise his wife, sister to Fulk
d'Aunou. His tall in the battle is mentioned in a charter of his son
Robert Fitz-Erneis, containing much information as to the family
pedigree, 'eodem vero patre meo in Angliâ occiso;' _Gallia Christiana_,
xi. Instrum. 334. The family, on that account probably, had formed no
establishment in England at Domesday; but we subsequently find King John
confiscating lands in Essex, as 'terra Rob. fil. Hernisii;' see Hardy's
_Rot. Norm._ 128. In the Red book, 'Eudo filius Ernisii servitium
corporis sui, et ad servitium suum 2 mil. et dim. 6 par. et 8 arg.']

[Footnote 56: ROBERT COMTE DE MORTAIN--comes Moritolii--whom William of
Malmsbury describes as 'crassi et hebetis ingenii hominem,'--uterine
brother of William. He lead the chivalry of the Cotentin. He is seen in
the Bayeux tapestry, seated on one side of the duke, his brother Odo the
bishop being on the other. He had the earldom of Cornwall, and the
largest allotment of spoil. See M. de Gerville, _Recherches_, No. 105;
_Introd. Domesday_, i. 455.]

[Footnote 57: ERRAND DE HARCOURT, according to the historian of the
house, a person little known, and of doubtful authenticity. A branch of
this illustrious family certainly settled in England; but the connection
is fictitious, by which some genealogists carry it up to the conquest,
making a Gervais, a Jeffry, and an Arnold present at Hastings. According
to La Roque, it was Ralf, second son of Robert II. baron d'Harcourt, who
attached himself to king John, and became head of the English branch;
but this also is doubtful. A.L.P. The name is not in _Domesday._]

[Footnote 58: CREVECŒUR, arrondissement of Lisieux. The
Crevecœurs--de Crepito-corde--settled in England, and were divided
into two branches, those of Redburn and Kent, from the time of Hen. I.;
see the endowments of Bullington and Leedes in the _Monasticon._ Hasted
says (though his authority may be questioned) that the family name of
Hamo dapifer or vice-comes of _Domesday_ was Crevequer. He adds that he
was brother of Robert Fitz-Hamon; and here he is supported by a charter
of the Conqueror to Saint Denis, existing still at Paris, to which we
find as witnesses, 'Ego Haimo Regis dapifer'--'Ego Robertus firater
hujus Haimonis.' See _Introd. Domesday_, i. 432. In the Bayeux inquest,
'Hugo de Crevecuire feodum v mil.']

[Footnote 59: DRIENCOURT changed its name to Neufchâtel, after Hen. I.
built a castle there. Nothing seems known of the lords of Driencourt in
England; unless we find them in the Daincurt of Domesday; _Introd_. i.
365; ii. 406; and see _Dugdale's Baronage_, i. 385.]

[Footnote 60: No place of this name is known in Normandy. It may refer
to BRUCOURT, arrondissement of Pont-l'Evesque; and the correct reading
of the MS. was perhaps Brieucort. See Robert de Brucourt's confirmation
of the grants by Jeffery de Fervaques to Walsingham. About the same time
a Gilbert de Brucourt gave lands at Fervaques to the abbey of
Val-Richer. A.L.P. In the Red book--de balliâ de Oximis--'Gilbertus de
Breuecourt 2 mil. regi de Pinu cum pertinent. Idem 1 mil. de fœdo
Mort. in Cerenciis.' We afterwards find,--among those who 'serviunt ad
custamentum domini,--'Gillebertus de Bruecort, senex, 4 partem de
Colevill et Angervill.' Gilbert de Brucourt and Hugh his son appear in a
charter to Troarn. _Mém. Ant. Norm_. viii. 238.]

[Footnote 61: COMBRAY, arrondissement of Falaise. At a later period
lords of this name are among the benefactors of St Barbe-en-Auge and

[Footnote 62: AULNAY. See note 22 last chapter. There are four communes
of this name. Aulnay l'Abbaye, arrondissement of Vire, belonged in the
twelfth century to the Says above mentioned, and Jourdain de Saye
founded the abbey there in 1131. De Alneto is of common recurrence in
early charters. There was also a house of Laune, de Alno, at Laulne near
Lessay; see M. de Gerville's _Recherches_, ii. 241.]

[Footnote 63: There are nine FONTENAYS in Normandy. If we are to presume
that the one here alluded to is Fontenay-le-Marmion, near Caen, the lord
of Marmion would seem mentioned twice; though Fontenay was possibly then
held by some one under the Marmions. The Marmion at Hastings is
considered to have been Robert; not Roger, as Wace says. There was a
Roger afterwards, who is named in a charter of king Richard to Grestain.
In the Red book, Robertus Marmion is among the defaulters. In the Bayeux
inquest, 'feodum Marmion et Rogeri et in Buevilla 1 mil.']

[Footnote 64: RUBERCY, arrondissement of Bayeux. It appears that when
the abbey of Longues was founded in 1168 by Hugh Wac, he was lord of
Rebercil, and gave lands there to the foundation. This Hugh was probably
the same as married Emma daughter of Baldwin Fitz-Gilbert (founder, in
1138, of Bourne, in Lincolnshire), and grand-daughter of a Gilbert,
apparently cotemporary with the conquest. A.L.P. Hugh's son, also called
Baldwin, appears in the _Monasticon,_ and in the charters of Longues;
_Mém. Ant. Norm_. viii.]

[Footnote 65: See VIEUX-MOLAY before; this being perhaps a repetition of
the same person, lord of MOLLEI-BACON, arrondissement of Bayeux. William
Bacon, who in 1082 endowed the abbey of the Trinity at Caen, answers to
this period. The first of the Bacons known in England was Richard Bacon,
nephew of Ranulf earl of Chester, and founder of the priory of Roucester
in Staffordshire. M. Le Prevost asks why the English Bacons deduced
their origin from a Grimbald, cousin of William Warren, in preference to
the well known Bacons of Molay? See as to the history of Mollei-Bacon
the Abbé Beziers, in _Nouvelles Recherches sur la France,_ Paris, 1766,
vol. i. Among the defaulters in the Red book is 'Rogerus Bathon [de
Bacon in _Duchesne_] pro quartâ parte in Campigneio'--Campigny-les-Bois,
arrondissement of Bayeux? This Roger Bacon seems to have been brother to
Philip de Colombieres; see _Memoires des Antiq. Norm_. viii. 153. 441.]

[Footnote 66: Brampton takes the safe side in protesting against being
accountable for the baptismal names of the early Norman barons; in
specifying which Wace has, we have seen, often erred. There is a charter
to Bernay in the _Mém. Ant. Norm_. iv. 381, granted, it would seem, by
duke Richard II. at the great council at which he, in 1027, made
disposition of his dutchy in favour of his son. Besides dignitaries of
the church, it is signed by one hundred and twenty-one viscounts,
barons, &c. of whom all, with the exception of those distinguished by
offices, and Tustingus, (probably Turstin-Goz), Goffredus Wac and
Gillebertus Veil in (if indeed the two last are not each the names of
two distinct persons) are called merely by their baptismal names. The
list is very curious, forming a complete parliament or council, of about
one hundred and thirty magnates. _Benoit_, in his short account of the
exploits of the army, which will be found in our appendix, excuses
himself from enumeration of the chiefs who composed it, by saying,

     En treis quaere [cahiers] de parchemin
     N'en venisse je pas a fin.]

[Footnote 67: Hired men.]

[Footnote 68: See previous note on TURSTIN FITZ-ROU, the standard

[Footnote 69: ALAN LE ROUX, the red--of Britanny--received the earldom
of Richmond and splendid grants for his services. See _Introd.
Domesday_, i. 366; and, for the discussion as to his pedigree, see the
introduction to Gale's _Registrum_ of the honor of Richmond. Of all the
combatants at Hastings, Alan is alone dwelt upon by _Gaimar_ (who was
perhaps himself a Breton) in the following passage, which is not found
in the MS, in British Museum,

     Li quiens Alain de Bretaigne
     Bien i ferit od sa compaigne.
     Cil i ferit come baron:
     Mult bien le firent Breton.
     Od le roi vint en ceste terre
     Pur lui aider de sa guerre;
     Son cosin ert, de son lignage.
     Gentil home de grant parage;
     Le roi servit et ama,
     Et il bien le guerdona;
     Richement[mont?] li dona el north
     Bon chastel et bel et fort.
     En plusurs lius en Engleterre
     Li rois li donna de sa terre.
     Lunges la tint et puis finit:
     A Seint-Edmon l'om l'enfouit.
     Ore ai dit de cel baron
     Repairer voil a ma raison.]

[Footnote 70: BERNARD DE ST. VALERY, on the Somme, who was grandson of
duke Richard II. by a daughter, and was therefore cousin to the
conqueror. A branch of the St. Valery family established itself in
England; Ranulfus de St. Walarico appears in Domesday, _Introd_. i. 503.
In the Red book, de Baiocasino, is 'Guido de Sancto Galerico 1 mil. pro
allodiis taill.;' and among the defaulters is 'Bernardus de Sancto
Valerico, pro fœdo de Valle de Dun.']

[Footnote 71: ROBERT COMTE D'EU. We have seen him before at the battle
of Mortemer. He received the custody of the castle of Hastings, and
considerable lands in England, which his family retained till the
severance of Normandy; see _Introd. Domesday_, i. 463; and Estancelin's
_History of the comtes d'Eu._ Comes Augi is one of the defaulters in the
Red book roll.]





Duke William pressed close upon the English with his lance; striving
hard to reach the standard with the great troop he led; and seeking
earnestly for Harold, on whose acconnt the whole war was. The Normans
follow their lord, and press around him; they ply their blows upon the
English; and these defend themselves stoutly, striving hard with their
enemies, returning blow for blow.

One of them was a man of great strength, a wrestler, who did great
mischief to the Normans with his hatchet; all feared him, for he struck
down a great many Normans. The duke spurred on his horse, and aimed a
blow at him, but he stooped, and so escaped the stroke; then jumping on
one side, he lifted his hatchet aloft, and as the duke bent to avoid the
blow, the Englishman boldly struck him on the head, and beat in his
helmet, though without doing much injury. He was very near falling
however, but bearing on his stirrups he recovered himself immediately;
and when he thought to have revenged himself on the vagabond by killing
him, the rogue had escaped, dreading the duke's blow. He ran back in
among the English, but he was not safe even there, for the Normans
seeing him, pursued and caught him; and having pierced him through and
through with their lances, left him dead on the ground.

Where the throng of the battle was greatest, the men of Kent and of
Essex fought wondrously well, and made the Normans again retreat, but
without doing them much injury. And when the duke saw his men fall back,
and the English triumphing over them, his spirit rose high, and he
seized his shield by the 'enarmes'[1], and his lance, which a vassal
handed to him, and took his post by his gonfanon.

Then those who kept close guard by him, and rode where he rode, being
about a thousand armed men, came and rushed with closed ranks upon the
English; and with the weight of their good horses, and the blows the
knights gave, broke the press of the enemy, and scattered the crowd
before them, the good duke leading them on in front[2]. Many pursued and
many fled; many were the Englishmen who fell around, and were trampled
under the horses, crawling upon the earth, and not able to rise. Many of
the richest and noblest men fell in that rout, but still the English
rallied in places; smote down those whom they reached, and maintained
the combat the best they could; beating down the men and killing the
horses. One Englishman watched the duke, and plotted to kill him; he
would have struck him with his lance, but he could not, for the duke
struck him first, and felled him to the earth.

Loud was now the clamour, and great the slaughter; many a soul then
quitted the body it inhabited. The living marched over the heaps of
dead, and each side was weary of striking. He charged on who could, and
he who could no longer strike still pushed forward. The strong struggled
with the strong; some failed, others triumphed; the cowards fell back,
the brave pressed on; and sad was his fate who fell in the midst, for he
had little chance of rising again; and many in truth fell who never rose
at all, being crushed under the throng.

And now the Normans had pressed on so far, that at last they reached the
standard[3]. There Harold had remained, defending himself to the utmost;
but he was sorely wounded in his eye by the arrow, and suffered grievous
pain from the blow. An armed man came in the throng of the battle, and
struck him on the ventaille of his helmet, and beat him to the ground;
and as he sought to recover himself, a knight beat him down again,
striking him on the thick of his thigh, down to the bone.


Gurth saw the English falling around, and that there was no remedy. He
saw his race hastening to ruin, and despaired of any aid; he would
have fled, but could not, for the throng continually increased. And the
duke pushed on till he reached him, and struck him with great force.
Whether he died of that blow I know not, but it was said that he fell
under it, and rose no more.

The standard was beaten down, the golden gonfanon was taken, and Harold
and the best of his friends were slain; but there was so much eagerness,
and throng of so many around, seeking to kill him, that I know not who
it was that slew him.

The English were in great trouble at having lost their king, and at the
duke's having conquered and beat down the standard; but they still
fought on, and defended themselves long, and in fact till the day drew
to a close. Then it clearly appeared to all that the standard was lost,
and the news had spread throughout the army that Harold, for certain,
was dead; and all saw that there was no longer any hope, so they left
the field, and those fled who could[4].

I do not tell, and I do not indeed know, for I was not there to see, and
have not heard say, who it was that smote down king Harold, nor by what
weapon he was wounded; but this I know, that he was found among the
dead. His great force availed him nothing; amidst the slain he was found
slain also[4].

The English who escaped from the field did not stop till they reached
London, for they were in great fear, and cried out that the Normans
followed close after them[5]. The press was great to cross the bridge,
and the river beneath it was deep; so that the bridge[6] broke under the
throng, and many fell into the water.

William fought well; many an assault did he lead, many a blow did he
give, and many receive, and many fell dead under his hand. Two[7]
horses were killed under him, and he took a third when necessary, so
that he fell not to the ground, and lost not a drop of blood. But
whatever any one did, and whoever lived or died, this is certain, that
William conquered, and that many of the English fled from the field, and
many died on the spot. Then he returned thanks to God, and in his pride
ordered his gonfanon to be brought and set up on high, where the English
standard had stood; and that was the signal of his having conquered, and
beaten down the standard. And he ordered his tent to be raised on the
spot among the dead, and had his meat brought thither, and his supper
prepared there.

But behold, up galloped Galtier Giffart; "Sire," said he, "what are you
about? you are surely not fitly placed here among the dead. Many an
Englishman lies bloody and mingled with the dead, but yet sound, or only
wounded and besmeared with gore; tarrying of his own accord, and meaning
to rise at night, and escape in the darkness[8]. They would delight to
take their revenge, and would sell their lives dearly; no one of them
caring who killed him afterwards, if he but slew a Norman first; for
they say we have done them much wrong. You should lodge elsewhere, and
let yourself be guarded by one or two thousand armed men, whom you can
best trust. Let a careful watch be set this night, for we know not what
snares may be laid for us. You have made a noble day of it, but I like
to see the end of the work." "Giffart," said the duke, "I thank God, we
have done well hitherto; and, if such be God's will, we will go on, and
do well henceforward. Let us trust God for all!"

Then he turned from Giffart, and took off his armour; and the barons and
knights, pages and squires came, when he had unstrung his shield; and
they took the helmet from his head, and the hauberk from his back, and
saw the heavy blows upon his shield, and how his helmet was dinted in.
And all greatly wondered, and said, "Such a baron (ber) never bestrode
warhorse, nor dealt such blows, nor did such feats of arms; neither has
there been on earth such a knight since Rollant and Oliver."

Thus they lauded and extolled him greatly, and rejoiced in what they
saw; but grieving also for their friends who were slain in the battle.
And the duke stood meanwhile among them, of noble stature and mien; and
rendered thanks to the king of glory, through whom he had the victory;
and thanked the knights around him, mourning also frequently for the
dead. And he ate and drank among the dead, and made his bed that night
upon the field.

The morrow was Sunday; and those who had slept upon the field of battle,
keeping watch around, and suffering great fatigue, bestirred themselves
at break of day, and sought out and buried such of the bodies of their
dead friends as they might find. The noble ladies of the land also came,
some to seek their husbands, and others their fathers, sons, or
brothers[9]. They bore the bodies to their villages, and interred them
at the churches; and the clerks and priests of the country were ready,
and, at the request of their friends, took the bodies that were found,
and prepared graves and lay them therein.

King Harold was carried and buried at Varham[10]; but I know not who it
was that bore him thither, neither do I know who buried him. Many
remained on the field, and many had fled in the night.

[Footnote 1: The enarmes were two thongs, or loops of leather, fixed to
the inside of the shield, by which it was borne on the arm. There was
besides a leather strap and buckle, by which the shield was, when not in
use, strung to the warrior's neck. This extra strap was called the
guige; and left the bearer the use of both hands, which were necessary
when fighting with the battle axe.]

[Footnote 2: L'_Estoire de Seint Ædward le Rei_ puts an energetic
exhortation into William's mouth at this crisis:

     Ke put estre, dist-il, ceste
     Cuardie, segnurs Normantz,
     Ki ancesurs avea si grants?
     Rois Rou, ki as coups de lance
     Descumfist le rei de France,
     E le mata en mi sa terre,
     Par force de bataille e guerre;
     E ducs Richard k'apres li vint,
     Ki _li diable_ ateint e tint.
     E le venquit e le lia.
     E vus failliz, forlignez ja!
     Sivet moi, ma gent demeine!]

[Footnote 3: _William of Poitiers_ and _William of Malmsbury_ give the
following description of this gonfanon or standard: 'Memorabile quoque
vexillum Heraldi, hominis armati imaginem intextum habens ex auro
purissimo.' 'Vexillum illud ... quod erat in hominis pugnantis figurâ,
auro et lapidibus arte sumptuosâ contextum.']

[Footnote 4: _Benoit_ and the author of the _Estoire de Seint Ædward_,
describe the result of the battle and Harold's fall in a few lines. See

[Footnote 5: Some discrepancy has been pointed out between the account
here given by Wace and that found in _William of Jumieges_ and _William
of Poitiers_. The Latin historians say more as to resistance to the last
in the battle. There can, however, hardly be said to be any material
variance. The fight being ended, all agree that the English army
dispersed and ultimately fled; and what Wace dwells upon seems to have
reference to the circumstances of this final retreat. _Benoit_ says,

     Cele occise, cele dolor
     Tint tant cum point i out deu jor,
     Ne la nuit ne failli la paine
     Ci que parut le Diemaine.
        --si quide l'om bien e creit
     Qu'a cinc milliers furent esmé
     Sol eu grant champ del fereiz,
     Quant qu'il fussent desconfiz
     Estre l'occise e la martire
     _Qui fu tute la nuit a tire._]

[Footnote 6: The author of the '_Chronicles of London Bridge_' has
missed recording this notice of the early history of that structure;
which seems till the reign of Hen. I, to have been of a very fragile
character, probably a bridge of boats.]

[Footnote 7: _William of Poitiers_ and _William of Malmsbury_ mention
three horses, as killed under William. _William of Poitiers_ states his
prowess to have been hailed in songs, as well as verbal applause;
'plausibus et dulcibus cantilenis efferebant.']

[Footnote 8: _William of Jumieges_ makes it the middle of the night,
before William returned from the pursuit; though his subsequent
expression would rather imply daylight: 'ad aream belli regressus,
reperit stragem, quam non absque miseratione conspexit.']

[Footnote 9: Other authority supplies the fact that free leave was
given, expressly for the purpose of seeking and interring the dead; see
_William of Poitiers_, and _Benoit de Sainte-More_ on the same subject.]

[Footnote 10: WALTHAM ABBEY, founded or restored by Harold. According to
_William of Poitiers_, and _Ordericus_, the body was brought to William;
and being refused to Ghita, Harold's mother, was committed to William
Malet, to be buried on the sea shore. _William of Malmsbury_ has a
different account: he says the body was given to Ghita, who bore it to
Waltham. Perhaps this and other variations of the story were subsequent
inventions, to suppress the dishonourable truth, as to William's
revenge. The accounts in _Benoit_, the _Brut_, and _L'Estoire de Seint
Ædward_, are in our appendix. The story told in the _Waltham MS_. (Cott.
Jul. D. vi.) as to the pious offices of Osgod Cnoppe, and Ailric the
childemaister, two of its monks, and the more romantic legend, in
Harold's life, (Harl. MS. 3776),--see our appendix,--are both quoted in
Palgrave's _History of England_, 1831. As to the Editha brought to
Osgod's aid in discerning the body, and as to her being different from
'Eddeva pulchra' of Domesday, see _Introd. Dom_. ii. 79.]





[The duke placed a guard in Hastings[2], from the best of his knights,
so as to garrison the castle well, and went thence to Romenel[3], to
destroy it utterly, because some of his people had arrived there, I know
not by what accident, and the false and traitorous had killed them by
felony. On that account he was very wroth against them, and grievously
punished them for it.

Proceeding thence, he rested no where till he reached Dover, at the
strong fort he had ordered to be made at the foot of the hill. The
castle on the hill was well garrisoned, and there all the goods of the
country round were stored, and all the people had collected. The place
being well fortified, and being out of the reach of any engines, they
had made ready to defend themselves, and determined to contest the
matter with the duke; and it was so well fenced in, and so high, and had
so many towers and walls, that it was no easy matter to take it, as long
as provisions should last.

The duke held them besieged there eight days; and during that time there
were many fierce and bold assaults of the men and esquires. But the
castle guards learnt that however long they might hold out, they must
expect no succour, for that Harold the king was dead, and all the best
of the English: and thus all saw plainly that the kingdom could no
longer be defended. They dared not therefore longer keep up the contest,
seeing the great loss they had sustained, and that do what they would it
would not avail them long; so being forced by this necessity, they
surrendered the castle, strong, rich, and fair as it was, to the duke,
saving only their bodies and goods; and made their peace with him, all
the men of the country swearing fealty to him. Then he placed a gallant
and brave garrison in the castle; and before he parted thence all came
to him from Cantorbire, both of high and low degree, and gave him their
oaths and homage, and delivered hostages.

Stiganz was then archbishop of the city, as I read, who had greater
wealth and more powerful friends than any other man of the country. In
concert with the greatest men of the kingdom, and the sons of earl
Algar[4], who could not brook the shame of their people being so
conquered, and would not suffer a Norman to obtain such honour, they
had chosen and made their lord a knight and gallant youth called
Addelin[5], of the lineage of the good king Edward. Whether from fear or
affection they made him king; and they rather chose to die than have for
king in England one who was a stranger, and had been born in another

Towards London repaired all the great men of the kingdom, ready to aid
and support Addelin in his attempt. And the duke, being desirous to go
where he might encounter the greatest number of them, journeyed also to
London, where the brave men were assembled ready to defend it. Those who
were most daring issued out of the gates, armed, and on horseback;
manœuvring against his people, to show how little they feared him,
and that they would do nothing for him. When the duke saw their
behaviour, he valued them not sufficiently to arm against them more than
five hundred of his people. These, lacing their helmets on, gave the
rein to their horses, angry and eager for the fray. Then might you see
heads fly off, and swords cleaving body and ribs of the enemy.

Thus without any pause they drove all back again, and many were made
prisoners, or lost their lives. And they set fire to the houses, and the
fire was so great that all on this side the Thames was burnt that day.

Great grief was there in the city, and much were they discomforted. They
had lost so much property, and so many people, that their sorrow was
very heavy. Then they crossed the water, some on foot and some on
horseback, and sought the duke at Walengeford, and stayed not till they
had concluded their peace, and surrendered their castles to him. Then
the joy of all was great; and archbishop Stiganz came there, and did
fealty to duke William, and so did many more of the realm; and he took
their homages and pledges. And Addelin was brought there also, whom they
had foolishly made king. And Stiganz so entreated the duke, that he gave
him his pardon, and then led all his force to London, to take possession
of the city; and neither prince nor people came forth against him, but
abandoned all to him, body, goods, and city, and promised to be
faithful and serve him, and to do his pleasure; and they delivered
hostages, and did fealty to him.]

Then the bishops by concert met at London, and the barons came to them;
and they held together a great council. And by the common council of the
clergy, who advised it, and of the barons, who saw that they could elect
no other[6], they made the duke a crowned king[7], and swore fealty to
him; and he accepted their fealty and homages, and so restored them
their inheritances. It was a thousand sixty and six years, as the clerks
duly reckon, from the birth of Jesus Christ when William took the crown;
and for twenty and one years, a half and more afterwards, he was king
and duke.

To many of those who had followed him, and had long served him, he gave
castles and cities, manors and earldoms and lands, and many rents to his

Then he called together all the barons, and assembled all the English,
and put it to their choice, what laws they would hold to, and what
customs they chose to have observed, whether the Norman or the English;
those of which lord and which king: and they all said, "King Edward's;
let his laws be held and kept." They requested to have the customs which
were well known, and which used to be kept in the time of king Edward;
these pleased them well, and they therefore chose them: and it was done
according to their desire[9], the king consenting to their wish.

He had much labour, and many a war before he could hold the land in
peace: but troubled as he was, he brought himself well out of all in the
end. He returned to Normandy[10], and came and went backward and forward
from time to time, making peace here and peace there; rooting out
marauders and harassing evil doers.


The king of France called on the duke to do service to him for England,
as he did for his other fief of Normandy; but William answered that he
would pay him just as much service for England as he had received help
towards winning it; that the king had not assisted him in his
enterprize, nor helped him in his need; that he would serve him duly for
his original fief, but owed him nought for any other; that if the king
had helped him, and had taken part in the adventure, as he had
requested, it might have been said that he held England of him: but that
he had won the land without him, and owed no service for it to any one,
save God and the apostle at Rome; and that he would serve none else for

Thus they wrangled together, but they afterwards came to an accord; and
the king of France remained quiet, making no more demands on William.
The French, however, often made war upon him and annoyed him; and he
defended himself, and attacked them in return. One day he won, another
he lost; as it often chances in war, that he who loses on one day gains
on the next.

William was once sojourning at Rouen, where he had rested several days;
for illness (I know not whence arising) pressed upon him, so that he
could not mount his warhorse, nor bear his arms and take the field. The
king of France soon heard that he was not in a condition to fight, and
was in truth in bed; so he sent him word maliciously, that he was a long
time lying in like a lady, and that he ought soon to get up, or he might
lie too long. But William answered him, that he had not laid within too
long yet; "Tell him," said he, "that when I get up, I will go to mass in
his lands, and will make a rich offering of a thousand candles. My
matches shall be of wood, and the points shall blaze with steel instead
of fire."

This was his message, and when he had recovered, he accomplished what he
had threatened. He led into France[12] a thousand armed men with their
lances set, the points gleaming with steel; and he burnt houses and
villages on his route, till the king of France could see the blaze. He
set fire even to Mantes, and reduced the whole place to ashes; so that
borough, city, and churches were all burnt together. But as he passed
through the city mounted on his favourite horse, it put its foot upon a
heap of live ashes, and instantly starting back, gave a sudden plunge.
The king saved himself from falling, but wounded himself sorely against
the pommel of the saddle, upon which he was thrown. He returned with
his men back to Rouen, and took to his bed; and as his malady increased,
he caused himself to be carried to Saint-Gervais, in order that he might
be there in greater quiet and ease[13].

Then he gave his land to his sons, in order that there might be no
dispute after his death. He called together his barons[14], and said,
"Listen to me, and see that ye understand. Normandy my inheritance,
where the most of my race are, I give to Robert my son, the eldest born;
and so I had settled before I came to be king. Moreover I give him Mans.
He shall have Normandy and Mans, and serve the king of France for the
same. There are many brave men in Normandy; I know none equal to them.
They are noble and valiant knights, conquering in all lands whither
they go. If they have a good captain[15], a company of them is much to
be dreaded; but if they have not a lord whom they fear, and who governs
them severely, the service they will render will soon be but poor. The
Normans are worth little without strict justice; they must be bent and
bowed to their ruler's will; and whoso holds them always under his foot,
and curbs them tightly, may get his business well done by them. Haughty
are they and proud; boastful and arrogant, difficult to govern, and
requiring to be at all times kept under; so that Robert will have much
to do and to provide, in order to manage such a people.

"I should greatly desire, if God so pleased, to advance my noble and
gallant son William. He has set his heart upon England, and it may be
that he will be king there; but I can of myself do nothing towards it,
and you well know the reason. I conquered England by wrong[16]; and by
wrong I slew many men there, and killed their heirs; by wrong I seized
the kingdom, and of that which I have so gained, and in which I have no
right, I can give nought to my son; he cannot inherit through my wrong.
But I will send him over sea, and will pray the archbishop to grant him
the crown; and if he can in reason do it, I entreat that he will make
him the gift.

"To Henry my son, the youngest born, I have given five thousand livres,
and have commanded both William and Robert, my other sons, that each,
according to his power, will, as he loves me, make Henry more rich and
powerful than any other man who holds of them."

[Footnote 1: The passage in brackets, to p. 267, is from _Benoit de
Sainte-More._ It is introduced here, as well to relieve the baldness of
Wace's narrative after the battle, as because an account of William's
progress is really necessary, in order to give a just view of his
prudent policy, in the prosecution of an enterprize obviously still very
perilous, though crowned with such decisive success. The reader may
refer to _Introd. Domesday_, i. 314, for interesting local information,
deduced from that record, on the subject of William's course and
progress after landing; tracing a district on the map eastward from
about Pevensey, by Bexhill, Crowherst, Hollington, Guestling, and
Icklesham, round by Ledescombe, Wartlington, and Ashburnham; thus
embracing a circuit of country, near the centre of which stands Battle.
The MS. collections of Mr. Hayley of Brightling are there referred to;
and (though perhaps rather fanciful in some of their conclusions) may be
appropriately quoted. 'It is the method of Domesday-book, after reciting
the particulars relating to each manor, to set down the valuation
thereof at three several periods; to wit,--the time of King Edward the
Confessor,--afterwards when the new tenant entered upon it,--and again
at the time when the survey was made. Now it is to be observed, in
perusing the account of the rape of Hastings in that book, that in
several of the manors therein [Witingoes, Holintun, Bexelei, Wilesham,
Crohest, Wiltingham, Watlingetone, Nedrefelle, Brunham, Haslesse,
Wigentone, Wilendone, Salherst, Drisnesel, Gestelinges, Luet, Hiham (the
scite of Winchelsea), and Selescome] at the second of those periods, it
is recorded of them that they were _waste_: and from this circumstance I
think it may, upon good ground, be concluded what parts of that rape
were marched over by and suffered from the ravages of the two armies of
the conqueror and king Harold. And indeed the situation of those manors
is such as evidently shows their then devastated state to be owing to
that cause. The wasted manors on the east were Bexelei, Wilesham, Luet,
and Gestelinges; which are all the manors entered in the survey along
the coast from Bexelei to Winchelsea. And this clearly evinces another
circumstance relative to the invasion; which is that William did not
land his army at any one particular spot, at Bulverhithe, or Hastings,
as is supposed; but at all the several proper places for landing along
the coast from Bexhill to Winchelsea. After which, in drawing together
towards the place of battle, the left wing of the army just brushed the
manor of Holinton, so as to lay waste a small portion, which afterwards
fell to the lot of the abbot of Battle; and after quite overrunning the
manors of Wiltingham and Crohest, arrived at Brunham; in which, and the
adjoining manors of Whatlington and Nedrefelle, the battle was lost and
won. We may likewise trace the footsteps of king Harold's army by the
devastations which stand upon record in the same book. Where they begin
we suppose the army entered the county; and the state of the manor of
Parkley, in the hundred of Skayswell, points out the place in the parish
of Tyshurst. They there desolated their way through two parcels of land
in the same hundred, belonging to the manor of Wilendone; and laying
waste Wigzell, Saleherst, and another manor in the hundred of Henhurst,
with Hiham, and a small part of Sadlescombe, in the hundred of Staple,
they came to Whatlington; through which, and the manor of Netherfield,
they extended themselves to face and oppose the invading enemy.']

[Footnote 2: From Domesday we learn who received the custody of
Hastings: 'Rex Will. dedit comiti [de Ow] castellariam de Hastinges.'
_Introd. Domesday_, i. 18.]

[Footnote 3: Romney. It is not here stated whether William's men had
been sent from Hastings thither, or whether part of his fleet had gone
astray in the voyage, and landed there. _Domesday_ says of Dover, 'In
ipso primo adventu ejus in Angliam _fuit ipsa villa combusta_.']

[Footnote 4: Edwin and Morcar.]

[Footnote 5: Edgar Atheling.]

[Footnote 6: Wace had, in narrating Swain's success in overrunning
England, i. 327, observed upon the facility afforded to an invader by
the scarcity of fortified posts:

     N'i aveit gaires fortelesce,
     Ne tur de pierre ne bretesce,
     Se n'esteit en vieille cité,
     Ki close fust d'antiquité.
     Maiz li barunz de Normendie,
     Quant il orent la seignorie,
     Firent chastels e fermetez,
     Turs de pierre, murs e fossez.

[Footnote 7: _Benoit_ goes on to narrate at much greater length the
events subsequent to the battle. Wace passes very lightly over English
internal affairs, of which he probably knew and cared little, and which
were, moreover, foreign to the plan of his work. The _Saxon Chronicle_
says of the coronation: 'Then on Midwinter day archbishop Aldred
hallowed him to king at Westminster, and gave him possession with the
books of Christ; and also swore him, ere that he would set the crown
upon his head, that he would as well govern this nation as any king
before him best did, if they would be faithful to him.' See as to the
chronology of William's life and age Sir Harris Nicolas's _Chronology of
History_, 279.]

[Footnote 8: In the words of the original,

     Dona chastels, dona citez,
     Dona maneirs, dona comtez,
     Dona terres, as vavassors
     Dona altres rentes plusors.

[Footnote 9: By the supposed charter of William in _Rymer_, he thus
declares: 'This also we command, that all have and hold the law of
Edward the king in all things,--audactis hiis quas constituimus ad
utilitatem Anglorum;' which his son Henry expresses thus: 'Lagam Edwardi
regis vobis reddo, cum illis emendationibus quibus pater meus eam
emendavit, consilio baronum suorum.' See the laws of William in the
Proofs and Illustrations, p. lxxxix, to Palgrave's _Rise and Progress of
the English Commonwealth_, vol. i.]

[Footnote 10: William went first in March, 1067. It is to be regretted
that Wace did not avail himself of the glowing description of the wealth
and splendour of William's retinue, the joy of all classes, the
universal festival occasioned by his triumphal return to Normandy, as
contained in _William of Poitiers_, p. 210.] [Footnote 11:

      King William bithougt him also of that folke that was vorlorne,
      And slayn also through him in the battaile biforne;
      And ther as the bataile was, an abbey he let rere
      Of Seint Martin, for the soules that there slayn were;
      And the monkes well ynough feffed without fayle,
      That is called in Englonde ABBEY OF BATAILE.


So far ROBERT OF GLOCESTER. William, speaking for himself in his
foundation charter in Dugdale's _Monasticon_,(where see all the details
of the foundation), gives the following account of his motives and
proceedings. 'Notum facio omnibus, &c.--quod cum in Angliam venissem, et
in finibus Hastingiæ, cum exercitu applicuissem contra hostes meos, qui
mini regnum Angliæ injustè conabantur auferre, in procinctu belli, jam
armatus, coram baronibus et militibus meis, cum favore omnium, ad eorum
corda roboranda, votum feci, ecclesiam quandam ad honorem Dei
construere, pro communi salute, si per Dei gratiam obtinere possem
victoriam. Quam cum essemus adepti, votum Deo solvens, in honorem Sanctæ
Trinitatis, et beati Martini, confessoris Christi, ecclesiam construxi;
pro salute animæ meæ et antecessoris mei regis Eadwardi, et uxoris meæ
Mathildis reginæ, et successorum meorum in regno; et pro salute omnium
quorum labore et auxilio regnum obtinui; et illorum maximè qui in ipso
hello occubuerunt.' The _Chronicle_ of Battle Abbey (Cott. MS. Dom. A.
ii.) is precise as to the localities of the battle. It states that
Harold came 'ad locum qui nunc BELLUM nuncupatur,'--and that William
arrayed himself to oppose him, 'equitum cuneis circum septus'--'ad locum
collis qui HETHELANDE dicitur, a parte Hastingarum situm.' Hethelande is
afterwards mentioned as part of the abbey's possessions. In this
Chronicle is contained one of the most curious historical and legal
relics of the twelfth century; the record of a suit, as to jurisdiction,
between the bishop of Chichester and the abbot of Battle, which has been
printed in Palgrave's _Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth_.
One of the barons present observes of the battle, that William obtained
his crown by it, 'nosque omnes opulentiâ maxima ditati sumus.']

[Footnote 12: This expedition took place at the end of July, 1087.]

[Footnote 13: Et quia strepitus Rotomagi, quæ populosa civitas est,
intolerabilis erat ægrotanti, extra urbem ipse rex præcepit se aufferi,
ad ecclesiam Sancti Gervasii, in colle sitam occidentali; _Ordericus
Vit._ vii. 656. A priory was attached to the church of St. Gervais,
which furnishes probably the oldest ecclesiastical remain in Normandy.
The crypt, below the apsis represented in the cut at the foot of this
chapter, is supposed to be Roman, and coeval with the earliest
introduction of Christianity at Rouen. The apsis itself is probably a
re-erection with the original materials, but anterior to Duke William.]

[Footnote 14: The anonymous continuer of _Wace's Brut_ gives a curious
account of William's deliberation, at an earlier date, with his barons,
as to the future state and fortunes of his sons. He is described as
proving the qualities and tempers of his sons, by asking each what bird
he would choose to be, if doomed to assume that form:

     Si Dex, ki est tuit puissant,
     De vus eust fait oisel volant,
     De tuz icels ki pount voler
     Laquelle voldriez resembler?

Robert selects the esperver, and William the eagle, but Henry, 'k'en
clergie esteit fundé'--'mult sagement ad parlé,' and chose the
estornele. The whole story forms a curious and interesting apologue. The
'grantz clers de phylosophie, e los mestres de grant clergie, e les
sages homes de son poer,' are described as assembled on this occasion,
'a un parlement;' and the king opens the session with a royal speech,
perhaps the earliest of the sort on record:

     Seignors! dist il, ki estes ici,
     De vostre venue mult vus merci.
     De voz sens et vostre saver
     Ore endreit en ai mester;
     Pur ceo vus pri e requer
     K'entre vus voillez traiter, &c.

The story forms a distinct fabliau in the MSS. Cotton. Cleop. A. xii.]

[Footnote 15: _Orderic_ puts the same observation into William's mouth.
History fully proves its justice.]

[Footnote 16: This confession may appear to be an odd commentary on the
tenor of Wace's preceding history of the events leading to the conquest.
It was perhaps in some quarters unpalatable here, for Duchesne's MS.
reads directly the opposite:

     'Engleterre ai cunquise a dreit.'

_Orderic_ gives the confession, but less explicitly, thus: 'Neminem
Anglici regni constituo hæredem.... Fasces igitur hujus regni, quod cum
tot peccatis obtinui, nulli audeo tradere nisi Deo solo.' See the note
on this passage in _Lyttleton's Hen. II._ vol. i. 397. Possibly
William's admission would not, in his day, be understood as being at
variance with any of the details given by Wace and other Norman
historians. Harold, as we have seen, is treated as assuming with his
brother Gurth the perfect moral and legal validity of his title as
against William, and yet as shrinking from a personal contest with one
to whom he had de facto, though by stratagem, become bound in
allegiance. And William might, in a similar train of reasoning, maintain
all the facts asserted by the Normans, bearing on the moral justice of
the case as between him and Harold, and his personal right to punish
treason in his man, and yet admit that Harold, having obtained by the
gift of Edward, and by election and consecration, a strictly legal
title, his eviction was tortuous, and could give his conqueror no right
except that of force--none that he could lawfully transmit. _Benoit_
states his title by conquest, not in the mitigated sense in which that
word has been used by some of our legal antiquaries, but in its harshest

     Deu regne est mais la seignori
     As eirs estraiz de Normendie:
     CUNQUISE l'unt cum chevalier
     Au FER TRENCHANT e al acier.

His account of William's speech is in our appendix.]





William lay ill six weeks; his sickness was heavy and increased. He made
confession of his sins to the bishops and abbots, and the tonsured
priests, and afterwards received the CORPUS DOMINI. He dispossessed
himself of his wealth, devising and apportioning it all: and caused his
prisoners to be set free, giving them quittance of all claims. His
brother Odo the bishop he also set at liberty; which he would not have
done so soon, if he had thought he should live. He had arrested him in
the Isle of Wic[1], and brought him and put him in prison at Rouen. He
was said to be crafty and rapacious beyond all bounds; and when
seneschal to the king, he was so cruel and treacherous to every one,
that all England complained, rich and poor together. He had privily
consulted his friends as to whether a bishop could be king, hoping to
succeed should William die first; for he trusted in his great power, and
the multitude of the followers that he had attached to himself by his
large words and foolish boasts, and by the promises he made. The king
therefore thought very ill of him, and held him in great suspicion.

When he had ordered him to be seized, for not rendering his account of
the revenue that he had collected in England while he held it for the
king, there was no baron who would touch him, or durst put forth his
hand against him. Then the king himself sprang boldly forward, and
seized him by the 'ataches,' and drew him forth out of the circle of his
friends; "I arrest thee," said he, "I arrest thee." "You do me wrong,"
said Odo; "I am a bishop and bear crozier, and you ought not to lay
hand on me." "By my head," quoth the king, "but I ought; I will seize
the earl of Kent my bailiff and steward, who has not accounted to me for
my kingdom that he has held." Thus was the bishop put in custody, and so
remained for four years; for the ship was ready and the wind fair, and
he was put on board, and carried by sea to Rouen, and kept in the tower
there four years, and was not like to come out thence till the king
should die.

On the morn of the eighth day of September the king died, and left this
world as the hour of PRIME[2] struck; he heard it well, and asked what
it was that was striking. Then he called upon God as far as his strength
sufficed, and on our holy Lady, the blessed Mary, and so departed, while
yet speaking, without any loss of his senses or change in speech.

Many a feat of arms had he done; and he had lived sixty and four years;
for he was only seven years old when duke Robert took the cross and went
to Jerusalem.

At the time when the king departed this world, many of his servants were
to be seen running up and down, some going in, others coming out,
carrying off the rich hangings and the tapestry, and whatever they could
lay their hands upon. One whole day elapsed before the corpse was laid
upon the bier; for they who were before wont to fear him, now left him
lying alone.

But when the news spread, much people gathered together, and bishops and
barons came in long procession; and the body was well tended, opened,
anointed, embalmed, and carried to Caen as he had commanded. There was
no bishop in the province, nor abbot, earl, or noble prince, who did not
repair to the interment of the body, if he could; and there were besides
many monks, priests, and clerks.

When they had duly arranged the body, they sang aloud 'LIBERA ME.' They
carried it to the church[3], but the bier was yet outside the door when
behold! a cry was heard which alarmed all the people, that the town was
on fire; and every one rushed thither, save the monks who remained by
the body. When the fire was quenched the people returned back, and they
took the body within the church; and the clerks did their office, and
all with good will chaunted 'REQUIEM ETERNAM.'

While they were yet engaged in preparing the grave where the corpse was
to lie, and the bishops and the barons stood around, lo! a vavassor,
whose name was Acelin, the son of Arthur, came running and burst through
the throng. He pressed boldly forward, and mounted aloft upon a stone,
and turned towards the bier and appealed to the clerks and bishops,
while all the people gazed upon him. "Lords," cried he aloud, "hearken
unto me! I warn all and forbid ye, by Jesu the almighty, and by the
apostle of Rome--by greater names I cannot adjure ye--that ye inter not
William in the spot where ye are about to lay him. He shall not commit
trespass on what is my right, for the greater part of this church is my
right and of my fee, and I have no greater right in any of my lands. I
neither sold nor pledged it, forfeited it, nor granted it away. He made
no contract with me, and I received no price for it from him. By force
he took it from me, and never afterwards offered to do me right. I
appeal him therefore by name, that he do me right, in that judgment
where all alike go, before him who lieth not. Before ye all I summon him
by name, that he on that day render me justice for it!"

When he had said this, he came down. Forthwith arose great clamour in
the church, and there was such tumult that no one could hear the other
speak. Some went, others came; and all marvelled that this great king,
who hsrd conquered so much, and won so many cities, and so many castles,
could not call so much land his own as his body might lie within after

But the bishops called the man to them, and asked of the neighbours,
whether what he had said were true; and they answered that he was right;
that the land had been his ancestors' from father to son. Then they gave
him money, to waive his claim without further challenge. Sixty sols gave
they to him, and that price he took, and released his claim to the
sepulchre where the body was placed. And the barons promised him that he
should be the better for it all the days of his life[4]. Thus Acelin was
satisfied, and then the body was interred.

[Footnote 1: Wight.]

[Footnote 2: HORA PRIMA, six in the morning.]

[Footnote 3: The church of the abbey of St. Stephen, which has been
mentioned before, p. 63 and 64, as founded by William, at the same
period as that of the Trinity was founded by his queen Matilda.]

[Footnote 4: _Orderic_ explains that this price was only for the mere
grave; the promise of future benefit appearing there to be realized by
the subsequent purchase of all the ground claimed by Ascelin. We add
that historian's oratorical summary of the striking circumstances
attending the conqueror's death and interment. 'Non fictilem
tragœdiam venundo; non loquaci comœdiâ cachinnantibus parasitis
faveo: sed studiosis lectoribus varios eventus veraciter intimo. Inter
prospera patuerunt ad versa, ut terrerentur terrigenarum corda. Rex
quondam potens et bellicosus, multisque populis per plures provincias
metuendus, in area jacuit nudus, et a suis, quos genuerat vel aluerat,
destitutus. Ære alieno in funebri cultu indiguit, ope gregarii pro
sandapila et vespilionibus conducendis eguit, qui tot hactenus et
superfluis opibus nimis abundavit. Secus incendium a formidolosis vectus
est ad Basilicam, liberoque solo, qui tot urbibus et oppidis et vicis
principatus est, caruit ad sepulturam. Arvina ventris ejus tot
delectamentis enutrita cum dedecore patuit, et prudentes ac infrunitos,
qualis sit gloria carnis, edocuit.' _Benoit_ paraphrases these
reflections more poetically than is usual with him.]



Las! how false and how unresting is this earth's weal! He that before
was a rich king, and lord of many lands, had then of all his lands but
seven feet space; and he that was whilom clad with gold and gems, lay
there overspread with mould! If any one wish to know what manner of man
he was, or what worship he had, or of how many lands he were the lord,
then will we write of him, as we have known him; for we looked on him,
and somewhile dwelt in his herd[2].

This king William that we speak about was a very wise man, and very
rich; more worshipful and stronger than any his foregangers were. He was
mild to the good men that loved God, and beyond all metes stark to those
who withsaid his will. On that same stede where God gave him that he
should win England, he reared a noble minster, and set monks there and
well endowed it.

Eke he was very worshipful. Thrice he bore his king-helm[3] every year,
as oft as he was in England. At Easter he bore it at Winchester; at
Pentecost at Westminster; at midwinter at Glocester. And then were with
him all the rich men over all England; archbishops and diocesan bishops;
abbots and earls; thanes and knights. Truly he was eke so stark a man
and wroth, that no man durst do any thing against his will. He had
earls in his bonds, who had done against his will. Bishops he setoff
their bishoprics; and abbots off their abbacies; and thanes in prisons.
And at last he did not spare his brother Odo; him he set in prison.
Betwixt other things we must not forget the good frith[4] that he made
in this land; so that a man that was worth aught might travel over the
kingdom with his bosom full of gold unhurt. And no man durst slay
another man, though he had suffered never so mickle evil from the other.

He ruled over England, and by his cunning he so thoroughly surveyed it,
that there was never a hide of land in England that he wist not both who
had it, and what its worth was; and he set it down in his writ[5].
Britland[6] was under his weald, and therein he wrought castles. And he
wielded Mann-cynn[7] withal. Scotland he subdued by his mickle
strength. Normandy was his by kin; and over the earldom that is called
Mans he ruled. And if he might have lived yet two years, he had won
Ireland by his worship[8], and without any armament.

Truly in his time men had mickle swinking, and very many hardships. He
let castles be wrought, and poor men to be sorely swinked. The king was
so very stark; and he took from his subjects many marks of gold, and
many hundred pounds of silver: and that he took of his people, some by
right, and some by mickle unright, for little need. He had fallen into
covetousness, and greediness he loved withal.

The king and the head men loved much and over much the getting in of
gold and silver; and recked not how sinfully it was got, so it but came
to them. He let his lands to fine as dear as he dearest might. Then came
some and bade more than the first had given; and the king let it to him
that bade more. Then came a third, and bade yet more; and the king let
it to the man who bade the most. Nor did he reck how sinfully his reeves
got money of poor men, or how unlawfully they did. But the more men
talked of right law, the more they did against law.

He set many deer-friths; and he made laws there-with, that whosoever
should slay hart or hind, him man should blind. And as he forbade
the[9] harts, so eke did he the boars. He loved the high deer as much as
if he were their father. Eke he set as to the hares, that they should go
free. His rich men bemoaned it, and the poor men murmured, but he was so
firm that he recked not the hatred of them all; and they must withal
follow the king's will, if they would live, or have lands or goods, or
his favour.

Wa-la-wa! that any man should be so moody, so to upheave himself, and
think himself above all other men! May almighty God have
mild-heartedness on his soul, and give him forgiveness of his sins!

These things we have written of him, both good and evil, that men may
choose the good after their goodness; and withal flee from evil, and go
on the way that leadeth us to Heaven's kingdom.

[Footnote 1: The _Saxon chronicler_, who had frequented the Conqueror's
court, furnishes us with a cotemporary portrait. It is less flattering
than that of the Norman poet, but forms a suitable commentary and
conclusion. In our translation the phraseology, and generally the very
words, of the original are retained.]

[Footnote 2: Court.]

[Footnote 3: Crown.]

[Footnote 4: Peace.]

[Footnote 5: This is an allusion to _Domesday Book_, which had been more
fully described in a previous part of the _Saxon Chronicle_, and
probably by another hand. The description of that document by the
continuer of _Wace's Brut_ is as follows:

     --volenters voleit saver
     D'Engletere la tenor,
     E la laise e la longnur,
     Toz les feez e les tenemenz
     E les servises de tote genz,
     Quant de conteez i sunt trové
     E quant de viles en chascon conté,
     Quant de barons la terre avoit
     E cumbien de terre chascon tenoit,
     Quanz de feez de chevaliers
     E cumbien de franc-fermers,
     Les serganties e les sokages,
     Les petiz sokemen e les vilenages;
     Cumbien des charues en chascon vile,
     E kant de boueez en la charue;
     Cumbien de terre chascon home avoit,
     E en quele manère il la tenoit,
     E quel servise faire devoit,
     E quei sa terre valer purreit.
     Tuit ensemble fist enquerre
     Par serement par mie la terre,
     Od grant diligenz ceo fist escrivre
     E de ceo en fist un grant livre.
     Le livre est _Domesday_ apelé
     E en la trésorie le roi uncore guardé.]

[Footnote 6: Wales.]

[Footnote 7: The Isle of Man?]

[Footnote 8: The fame of his strength.]

[Footnote 9: Reserved to himself, or forbade others, the slaying of the




PAGE 14. The position of Folpendant is shown on ancient maps, north of
Harcourt. It is certainly a little removed from the river, the Orne; but
Wace's phrase does not necessarily imply immediate contact. He probably
meant that they crossed the river about, or near, or opposite

PAGE 44. _Town_ of Arches, in line 13, should be _Tower_.

PAGE 60. The translation is not precisely correct as to the causes of
loss and of the rupture of the bridge at Varavile; instead of the
_water_, (in the last line,) read the _sea_ or _tide_.

PAGE 71. A century before the revival and enrichment of the abbey of
Westminster by Edward, its church was rich enough to boast an organ,
that required seventy strong men to keep its twenty-six bellows in
action. The following description of this unwieldy machine is quoted
(from Ducange) in the _Mém. des Antiq. Norm_. vol. i. 673, from a latin
poem of Wolstan, a monk of Westminster.

     Bisseni supra sociantur in ordine _folles,_
     Inferiusque jacent quatuor atque decem:
     Quos agitant validi septuaginta viri,
     Brachia versantes, multo et sudore madentes.
     Certatimque suos quisque movet socios,
     Viribus ut totis impellant flamina sursum,
     Et rugiat pleno capsa referta sinu,
     Sola quadragintas quæ sustinet ordine musas.

PAGE 79. The LIVRE here seems to mean the pound weight of silver.

PAGE 83. _Benoit de Sainte-More's_ account of Harold's oath and
agreement with duke William:

     Si josta li dux son concile,
     Ce sui lisant, à Bone vile.
     Là fu li serremenz jurez,
     Que Heraut meisme a devisez,
     Que tant cum Ewart vivreit mais
     Le regne li tendreit en pais,
     Selon sa force, au suen poeir,
     Senz fausser et senz déceveir;
     E après qu'il sereit feniz,
     Ci que del regne fust saisiz,
     li tendreit vers toz homes nez
     De ci qu'il i fust coronez;
     E dès ceu jor en avant
     L'en sera mais partot aidant;
     Douvre, la tor e le chastel,
     Si fort cum il est e si bel,
     Baillera sempres bien garniz
     E de vitaille repleniz
     A ceus des suens qui lui plaira,
     Qu'il à garder i trametra;
     E s'aillors vout chasteaus fermer
     Desus le rivage de mer,
     Despense e vivre e estoveir,
     Trovera tot de son aveir.
     Eissi sor tot le saintuaire
     Qu'on li vout aporter ne traire
     Jura de sa main à tenir,
     Senz rien fausser e senz guenchir.

     E li dux, por lui mieuz aveir
     Senz fausser e senz déceveir
     E senz muer vers lui corage,
     Aeliz la proz e la sage.
     Sa fille, li ottreie e done,
     Quant saisiz ert de la corone,
     E del regne une meitié.
     Mult en vout cil baisier le pié.
     Iteux furent lor covenanz.

PAGE 98. For _Easter_ should be read _Noël_ (Christmas). _Benoit de
Sainte-More's_ account of the messages between Harold and William is as

     A Heraut tramist ses messages,
     Vaillanz e bien apris e sages;
     Si li manda qu'il aveit fait,
     Kar ce li ert dit e retrait
     Que la corone aveit saisie;
     Mais ne féist teu félonie,
     Car tote genz saveit assez
     Cum li regnes li ert donez.
     Il meesmes tot premerain
     Li asséura de sa main.
     Ne se parjurt ne se desleit;
     Mais rende-li, si cum il deit,
     L'onor, le regne e la corone
     Que dreitore e raison li done;
     Kar sache bien, si n'en dot mie,
     Tant cum li seit eu cors la vie,
     N'aura repos mais ne séjor
     Ci que saisiz seit del honor.
     Icist messages li fu faiz
     E diz e contez e retraiz;
     Mais mult li respondi petit
     Fors orguil, contraire e despit;
     Ainz ceus qui od lui se tenissent
     E voluntiers li recoillissent,
     Coveneit doner séurtances
     E fers ostages e tenances.

PAGE 101. _Benoit de Sainte-More's_ account of the council of Norman

     Cel ovraigne fist à saveir
     A ses évesques hauz letrez,
     E à ses chers barons privez,
     Que li furent ami feeil,
     E que il sout de haut conseil.

     Roberz, li quens de Moretoin,
     Qui unt de malveisté n'out soing,
     Sis bons frères verais e cerz,
     E li quens d'Ou, li proz Roberz,
     Li quens d'Evereus, li sachanz,
     Richarz li proz e li vaillanz,
     E de Beaumunt li quens Rogers,
     Qui mult ert saives chevaliers,
     E Roger de Mungumeri,
     N'est dreiz que lui vos en obli,
     E Guillaume le fiz Osber,
     Qui puis li out maint grant mester,
     E Huges, li vesquens, li proz.
     Icist, si cum je's vos nom toz,
     Li conseillièrent e loèrent,
     E tuit enfin s'i accordèrent,
     Que il féist Heraut requerre
     De la corone e de la terre,
     Saveir e aprendre e oïr
     Cum il s'en voudra contenir;
     E, son ce qu'il en respondra,
     Solom ice se contendra;
     Ses messages tost li tramete
     E tant dementres s'entremete
     De faire assembler la navie
     De par trestote Normendie;
     Semunge veisins e amis
     E ceus qui à lui sunt sozmis,
     Que teus apareiz e si granz
     Ne fu jostez mais par Normanz,
     N'ovre el siècle si envaïe
     Que ci seit lor morz ou lor vie.

PAGE 115. _Benoit de Sainte-More's_ account of the apostolic grant to
duke William:

     L'apostoile se fist mult liez
     Dunt si s'esteit humiliez;
     Apostolial ottreiance,
     Son le poeir de sa puissance,
     L'en comanda e vout e dist
     E par ses lettres li escrist
     Que del conquerre ne se feigne;
     Od tot li tramist une enseigne
     De saint Père, por demostrer
     Qu'à ce li volent ajuer.
     Autorité sera e feiz
     Que c'est sa corone e sis dreiz
     Qu'il vout conquerre: si'n auront
     Tuit cil qui oue lui seront
     Partot mult maire séurtance
     Que ne lor vienge meschaance.

PAGE 115. The parallel accounts of the comet in _Wace, Benoit,_ and
_Gaimar_, are as follow:


     El terme ke ço estre dut
     Une esteile grant apparut,
     E quatorze jors resplendi.
     Od très lons rais deverz midi;
     Tele esteile soit l'en veir
     Quant novel rei deit regne aveir.
     Asez vi homes ki la virent,
     Ki ainz e poiz lunges veskirent:
     Comete la deit apeler
     Ki des esteiles volt parler.


     Dunc en ces jorz si faitement
     Aparut sus el firmament,
     Une clartez e un planète.
     Une resplendisanz comète,
     Dunt en eisseient trei grant rai.
     Ce lis e truis e vei e sai
     Que quinze nuiz durèrent bien.
     Si distrent astrenomien
     Que c'ert de regnes muemenz
     Ou de reis ou de hautes genz.


     Après lur mort une comète,
     Une estoille, dont li prophète
     Et li bon astronomien,
     Sievent q'espeant mal ou bien,
     Se démustra el firmament;
     Assez la virent meinte gent
     La nuit de Letanie majour
     Fist tel clarté cum se fust jour.
     Moult plusours homes l'esgardèrent:
     Chascuns disoit sa divinaille;
     Mès tost seurent la grant contraille,
     E la grant tribulacion
     Qe prius avint à la région.

PAGE 118. _Benoit's_ account of leaders particularly distinguished at

     A cel estor, à cel content,
     Dunt ci vos di e dunt je vos cont,
     Robert fiz Roger de Beaumunt
     Vos di qui fu teus chevaliers,
     Si proz, si hardiz e si fiers
     E si aidanz que ceste istoire
     Me fait de lui mult grant mémoire.
     Mult redélivrent forz les places
     Il e ses genz quens Eustaces.
     Si n'a durée acer ne fer.
     Vers Guillaume le fiz Osber,
     Qu'Engleis ateigne si garniz
     De la mort ne puisse estre fiz.
     Chevaliers i est forz e durs
     E sage e sofranz e séurs;
     E li bons visquens de Toarz
     N'i est ne mauvais ne coarz,
     Qui ert apelé Eimeris;
     Mult i reçut le jor grant pris.
     Gauter Gifart, savum de veir,
     Qui out le jor grant estoveir,
     Qu'abatuz fu de son destrier
     Eissi que cinc cenz chevalier
     Des lor l'aveient jà outré,
     Toz ert li secors oublié,
     Quant li bons dux de Normendie
     Od l'espée d'acer forbie
     L'ala secorre e délivrer
     E faire sempres remonter.
     En si fait lieu n'iert mais retrait
     Que tel esforz cum ceu seit fait
     Par un prince qui au munt vive.
     Nus ne content ne nus n'estrive
     Que le pris n'en fust suens le jor
     De la bataille e del estor;
     Poi out de mort crieme e regart
     A rescorre Gauter Gifart.
     N'en i r'out gaires de plus buens
     Qui fu le jor Hues li quens,
     E Guillaume cil de Warenne
     R'ida à conquerra le regne
     Cum buens chevalers e hardiz.

PAGE 119. The wonders of the forest of Brecheliant may be found in the
extracts from the _Chevalier au Lion_, and the _Roman de Brun de la
Montagne_, printed in M. le Roux de Lincy's _Livre des Legendes_, vol.
i. page 225 and 260.

PAGE 135. _Benoit's_ account of the commencement of Tosti's expedition:

     Un frère aveit Heraut puisnez,
     Qui Tostis esteit apelez.
     Ne trais pas bien apertement
     Por qu'il erent si malement.
     Au duc s'en ert Tostis venu,
     Qui mult l'aveit gent recéu
     E chers tenuz e honorez
     E ses riches aveirs donez.
     Chevaliers ert e bons vassaus,
     Prozdom e entiers e leiaus;
     Merveilles out grant desier
     D'aler son frère guerreier,
     De tolir chasteaus e citez;
     Kar trop s'ert vers lui maumenez,
     Mult volentiers e bonement,
     Od le haut conseil de sa gent,
     Li quist li dux tot estoveir,
     Nefs, gens, armes à son voleir.
     Eissi corut à grant esforz
     Vers Engleterre dreit as porz.

PAGE 136. _Benoit's_ account of the private advice given to William from

     Un produem riche e assazez
     Qui de Normendie esteit nez,
     Mais en cele terre maneit,
     Où richement se conteneit;
     Certainement, de veir, senz faille,
     Sout cum il ert de la bataille
     Où Heraut out son frère occis.
     Un mult séur messages a pris,
     Si'l tramist au duc erraument.
     A desséu de tote gent,
     Dist-li qu'il ert e dunt veneit
     E qui à lui le trameteit;
     Après li a l'ovre contée
     Que sis sire li out mandée,
     Coment Heraut s'ert combatuz
     Qui ceus de Norwège out vencuz,
     E ocis son frère e le rei
     E ceus qu'il amena od sei,
     Où plus aveit de vint milliers.
     De là retorne forz e fiers,
     Od plus a de cent mile armez.
     Od poples teus ne fu jostez.
     "De tei trover unt teu desir
     Jà n'i cuident à tens venir.
     Gart, pren conseil, ne t'asséure,
     Kar périllose est l'ovre e dure.
     Tant as éu honor e pris,
     Gar qu'or ne seies entrepris,
     Ne de haster pas de combatre
     De metre ta gent ne d'embatre
     En leu par trop fol ovre enprise
     Où ele seit morte e occise,
     Ne tu abaissiez ne périz."
     "Amis, fait li dux, granz merciz
     Bien fist ton seignor del mander
     E bien en fait à mercier;
     Mais tant li di que je li mant.
     Qui damne-Deu trait à garant,
     Qui il conduit e tient e maine,
     Qui juste cause a dreite e saine,
     En liu d'aveir, honor e gloire,
     Valor e puissance e victoire,
     Deit bien aveir, s'en lui a fei.
     Tot eissi le quit-je de mei,
     Kar j'ai dreit e mun dreit demant
     E lui trai partot à garant.
     Si'l conquerra; kar contre lui
     N'a nus ne force ne refui,
     Valor, défense ne poeir.
     Or seit del tot au suen voleir.

PAGE 145. The following is the legend referred to in the note, as
contained in the continuation of Wace's _Brut d'Angleterre_, as to
Harold's employment on the morning of the battle. The proper version,
however, of the story ought obviously to lay the scene at Waltham, and
consequently at an earlier date. It is so told, in fact, in the Waltham
legends,--Cott. MSS. Jul. D. vi. and Harleian, No. 3776.

     Li rois, ki mult fu travaille,
     La nuit se est reposé;
     Par matin se est levé,
     Sa messe oïr est alé,
     Assez près à un moster
     Son chapelain fist chanter.
     Quant li prestres out sacré
     E la PATER NOSTER chanté,
     Este-vus ke vient la crié:
     "Le dux sur nus vient armé!"
     Li rois, ki oï la crié,
     Durement estoit affraé;
     De la messe tan tost se mist,
     As armes corut sanz respit.
     Si le AGNUS DEI eust atendu
     E la PAIS eust recéu,
     Par pais eust la terre tenu,
     U par bataille le dux vencu.
     Quant il issit del moster,
     La croiz, ke fu fait de père,
     Après le rois ad encliné
     C'onques puis la teste levé.
     Ki ke volt ceo saver,
     A Walteham, ultre le halt auter,
     Meimes eel croiz purra trover
     E roi Haraud gisant en quer.

PAGE 177. As to the English standard see below, additional note to p.

PAGE 191. _Benoit's_ account of Taillefer's exploits:

     Uns Taillefer, ce dit l'escriz,
     I aveit mult grant pris conquis;
     Mais il i fu morz e occis.
     Tant esteit grant sis hardemenz
     Qu'en mi les presses de lor genz
     Se colout autresi séur
     Cume s'il i fust clos de mur;
     E puis qu'il out plaies mortex,
     Puis i fu-il si proz e teus
     Que chevalier de nul parage
     N'i fist le jor d'eus teu damage.

_Gaimar's_ version of the story is as follows:

     Quant les escheles furent rengées
     Et de férir appareillées,
     Mult i out genz d'ambes dous parz;
     De hardement semblent léoparz.
     Un des François donc se hasta,
     Devant les autres chevaucha.
     Talifer ert cil appellez,
     Juglère hardi estait assez;
     Armes avoit et bon cheval,
     Si ert hardiz et noble vassal.
     Devant les autres cil se mist,
     Devant Englois merveilles fist;
     Sa lance prist par le tuet
     Si com ceo fust un bastonet,
     Encontremont halt l'engetta
     Et par le fer receue l'a.
     .Iij. fois issi getta sa lance,
     La quarte foiz puis s'avance,
     Entre les Englois la launça,
     Par mi le cors un en navera,
     Puis trest s'espée, arère vint,
     Et getta l'espée qu'il tint,
     Encontremont haut le receit.
     L'un dit al autre, qi ceo veit,
     Qe ceo estoit enchantement.
     Cil se fiert devant la gent
     Quant .iij. foiz out getté l'espée.
     Le cheval ad la goule baée,
     Vers les Englois vint eslessé.
     Auquanz quident estre mangé
     Pur le cheval q'issi baout.
     Li jugléour enprès venout,
     Del espée fiert un Engleis,
     Le poign li fet voler maneis;
     Un autre férit tant cum il pout,
     Mau guerdon le jour en out;
     Car li Englois de totes parz
     Li launcent gavelocs et darz,
     Si l'occistrent et son destrer:
     Mar demanda le coup primer.

PAGE 210. Greater authority should, perhaps, be assigned to the Bec
record, from the fact that the author of part of it was one of the
family, namely, Milo Crespin, cantor Becci, probably before 1150.

PAGE 211. The pedigree of the Roumares, and their illustrious
connections, is now fully elucidated, in correction of Dugdale, &c. by
Mr. Stapleton, in Bowles's _History of Lacock Abbey_. Wace lived in the
time of all three of the Williams. The second died in 1152, before his
father the earl, who made a pilgrimage to St. James. Both Roger (or more
properly Robert) and his father Gerold the dapifer, were living at the
conquest. Robert is the Robertus filius Giroldi of Domesday, then
possessor of Corfe Castle.

PAGE 213. In the Adas to vol. viii. of _Mémoires des Antiquaires Norm._
there are two seals of Fulks D'Aunou, from charters to the abbey of
Gouffern. In the first, of the twelfth century, the name is written
FULCONIS DE ALNUIO; in the second, of the thirteenth century, it stands

PAGE 213. See the descent of Tancarville, in common with that of
Roumare, elucidated by Mr. Stapleton's evidence in Bowles's _Hist. of
Lacock Abbey_, p. 69.

PAGE 221--236. See considerable information as to the family of VITRÉ in
the _Hist. of Lacock_, p. 264.

PAGE 222. The Epinay here referred to must clearly be Epinay-Tesson,
arrondissement of Bayeux. Our reference to Hardy's _Rot. Norm_, should
be to p. 16, as quoted before at p. 208.

PAGE 227. As to Brix and Bruis, see further Mr. Stapleton, in Bowles's
_Hist. of Lacock Abbey_, p. 76.

PAGE 231. Robert de Oilgi and Roger de Ivri furnish an instance of the
sworn brotherhood in arms, which occurs among the early Normans; see
_Introd. Domesday_, i. 458. Eudo filius Spirewic, the ancestor of the
Tateshalls, is another well known example. He fraternized with Pinco;
and they received a joint reward, comprising the barony of Tateshall in

PAGE 232. The families holding Sap and Gloz figure repeatedly in
_Orderic. Vital._ who was their neighbour at St. Evroult. William de
Gloz, the dapifer, is an important person in Orderic's strange story
(lib. viii. 695.) of the monk who saw the ghosts of the evil doers
suffering their penances.

PAGE 234. For _Werlene_, read _Werlenc_.

PAGE 237. In the sixth line of the notes _Dunfront_ should be
_Domfront_; and in the ninth line for _and_, read _who_.

PAGE 244. See the quotation above, in this appendix, in reference to
page 118.

PAGE 252. The Bayeux Tapestry exhibits,--both as borne aloft near Harold
and also as lying by his feet,--a curious sort of ensign, standard, or
military ornament, apparently representing a DRAGON. The CROSS generally
appears on its Norman gonfanons. It may be here noticed that Wace, vol.
i. p. 201, mentions that the gonfanon borne by the baron appointed to
lead the Normans in 945 under Richard I. was 'vermeille d'Espagne.'

PAGE 254. _Benoit's_ account of the result of the battle:

     Ainz que partist icil tooilz,
     Fu reis Heraut morz abatuz,
     Par mi les deus costez féruz
     De treis granz lances acérées,
     E par le chef de dous espées
     Qui entrèrent jusqu'as oreilles
     Que les plantes en out vermeilles.

In _L'Estoire de Seint Edward_ we only find,

     Li rois féruz en l'oil d'unt dart
     Chet e tost est défulez,
     Périz, ocist e adirez;
     E sun estandart abatuz,
     E li ostz d'Engleiz vencus;
     E murut i quens Gruith si frère,
     E quens Leuwine.

PAGE 258. _Benoit's_ account of Harold's interment:

     Li reis Heraut fu séveliz;
     E si me retrait li escriz
     Que sa mère por lui aveir
     Vout au due doner grant aveir;
     Mais n'en vout unques dener prendre
     Ne por riens nule le cors rendre;
     Mais à un Guillaume Malet,
     Qui n'ert tosel pas ne vaslet,
     Mais chevaliers dura e vaillanz.
     Icist l'en fu taut depreianz
     Qu'il li dona à enfoïr
     Là où li vendreit à plaisir.

The continuer of Wace's _Brut_ says:

     Ki ke volt ceo saver
     A Walteham, ultra le haut auter,
     Meimes cel croiz purra trover,
     E roi Harau gisant en quer;

and afterwards,

     Heraud a Walteham fu porté
     Ilokes gist enterré.

The following is the account in L'_Estoire de Seint Ædward le rei_:

     Le cors le roi Haraud unt quis
     E truvé entre les ocis;
     E pur ço ke il rois esteit,
     Granté est k'enterrez seit.
     Par la prière sa mère,
     Porté fu le cors en bère,
     A Wautham est mis en carcu;
     Kar de la maisun fundur fu.

The life of Harold in the Harl. MSS. 3776, will, we believe, be given in
the _Chroniques Anglo-Normandes_, now publishing at Rouen. It is a very
interesting story; though, as to the tale it records of Harold's escape,
we may say with _Knyghton_, 'de istâ opinione fiat qualiter poterit.' It
may be worth while to quote the following summary of that part of the
legend which relates to this subject. "Harold was thought by his
companions to be mortally wounded, and was, to all appearance, dead; but
when the field of battle was examined, by some women searching for their
friends, it was discovered that life still lingered in the body. By the
care of two English franklins he was removed to Winchester, where his
wounds were healed by the surgical skill of a certain cunning woman of
oriental extraction; and, during two long years, he remained in
concealment in an obscure dwelling. With the return of his wonted
strength of body and energy of mind, a melancholy spectacle presented
itself to him. He saw his kingdom under the dominion of a foreign enemy;
he noticed the firmness with which the policy and courage of William had
established him on the throne; and he every where marked the
wide-spreading ramifications of the feudal system; attaching, by
military tenure and self-interest, a sturdy Norman holder to each rood
of subjugated England. His nobles were now petty franklins; his subjects
were hereditary bondsmen. They had lost much of that independence of
spirit which is born and dies with liberty; and they were contented
hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for their new masters. They had
made no effort to throw off the yoke which had been placed on their
necks; town after town, and county after county, had submitted without
opposition; and William, the conqueror of England, was now its crowned
and acknowledged sovereign. Harold saw that foreign assistance was
necessary, ere he could hope to redeem his country from the bondage of
the invaders. His first attempt was to obtain aid from Saxony: in this
he was unsuccessful. Thence he proceeded to Denmark, but found that a
mission from William had secured the good graces, or, at least, the
neutrality of that kingdom. The bitter disappointment originating in
this ruin of his hopes was succeeded by another feeling; he recognised,
in these baffled attempts, the workings of a superior power, admonishing
him to abandon all idea of a restoration to the throne of England. New
ideas and feelings awoke in his heart; his dreams of ambition and
revenge were succeeded by humiliation and penance; he threw the helmet
from his brow, and the mail from his breast, and went, a barefooted
pilgrim, to the land of Palestine. During many years spent in this pious
occupation, he subjected himself to the greatest privations and
austerities. Warned by the approaching weakness of old age that his
dissolution was at hand, he yielded to the desire which now haunted him
of dying in the island which gave him birth. He landed at Dover; he
climbed the lofty cliff; and again he saw the land which was once his
own. Our legend does not expatiate upon the feelings which must have
swelled within his breast as he gazed: we are told, however, that they
were checked and subdued by the pre-dominating influence of religion,
which had taught him to understand the relative happiness of his former
and his present condition. Having assumed the name of Christian, and
concealed his scarred features beneath a cowl, he journeyed through
Kent, and arrived at a secluded spot in Shropshire, which the legend
names Ceswrthin. Here he constructed himself a cell, in which he
remained ten years; but at length he was compelled to seek some other
abode; 'not,' says the legend, 'because he shrank from enduring the
annoyances to which the Welsh frequently exposed him by beating him and
stealing his clothes, but because he wished to devote the remainder of
his existence to undisturbed meditation and prayer.' He left this cell
without any definite idea as to his future residence; but having
wandered to Chester, he there received a supernatural intimation that he
would find a dwelling prepared for him in the chapel of St. James,
within the churchyard of St. John the Baptist, situated upon the banks
of the river Dee, a little beyond the walls of that city. Upon arriving
at the spot thus pointed out, he found that a hermit, the late tenant of
the cell, had recently expired, and he gladly took possession of the new
residence thus provided for him. During the space of seven years which
he spent in Chester, circumstances occurred which originated and
gradually strengthened into certainty the suspicion that this recluse
was a Saxon chief of former importance, if not Harold himself. When
questioned as to his name and origin, he returned evasive answers, but
never a direct negative to those who asserted that he was once the king
of England. He admitted that he had been present at the battle of
Hastings; and that no one was nearer or dearer to Harold the king than
was Christian the hermit. But the approach of death revealed the secret,
and converted doubt into certainty; for he acknowledged in his last
confession that he was indeed the last Saxon king of England."


Abevile, Enguerran count of, 44
Abevile, Eustace de, 214
Abbey of Battel, 131, 143, 269
Acelin, the son of Arthur, 280
Adelidis, wife of Enguerran, 45, 103;
  wife of Odo, 45, 103, 210
Adela, William's daughter, 83, 85
Adela, wife of Baldwin, 62, 64
Aeliz, Richard's daughter, 9
Aimeri,--see Toarz.
Aigle, Enguerran de l', 218
Alain Fergant, 118, 171, 245
Albini, Roger de, 157
Albini, Nigel de, 157
Albini, Will, de, 11, 30, 220, 236
Aldred, Archbishop, 267
Alemaigne, near Caen, 28
Alencon, 58
Alfred, son of Emma, 33, 35, 160
Alne, the river, 80
Alnei, sire de, 242
Alnou, sire de, 213, 240, 242, 301
Alred, king of England, 33
Amand, St. cry of 22, 25
Amineiz, 48
Aneto, Fulk de, 213
Anisie, the young men of, 211
Annebaut, the lord of, 239
Apostle, the, (Pope) releases Edward's vow, 70;
  sends gonfanon, 115, 293;
  English gonfanon sent to, 177
Arches, William of, 41;
  town and fort, 42, 289
Archers, the Norman, landing, 127;
  shoot upwards, 197
Argences, 18, 19
Argentoen, young men of, 211
Arlot of Falaise, 6
Armour, iron, of horses, 162
Arques,--see Arches.
Asnebec, lord of, 239
Asnieres, Gilbert de, 232
Atheling, Edgar, 265
Aubin, St. battle near, 43
Aubemare, aire de, 211
Aubignie, the butler d', 219
Auge, 17, 49, 50
Aumale, sire de, 211
Auviler, sire de, 239
Avenel des Biarz, 219, 226
Avranches, 49
Avrencin, Richard d', 219

Bacon-Molei, 230, 242
Bacquevile, Nicholas de, 229
Baldwin of Flanders, 62, 64, 109, 111
Bans-le-Cunte, 45
Barbeflo, 34
Bardolf, Hue, 44
Baron, English, warns William, 135
Basque vile, Martels de, 228
Basteborc, 61
Bat (Bath), 174
Battel Abbey, 143;
  chronicle, 131;
  founded, 269
Bavent, 59
Bayeux, 45, 59;
  prebends of, 5, 30,
  Harold's oath at, 83;
  bishop of, 159, 194, 278
Beaumont-le-Roger, 102, 205
Bec-en-Caux, 170, 244
Bec-Crespin family, 209, 300
Bed and Bedefort, 174
Belfou, Robert sire de, 213
Belmont, 48
Belmont, Roger de, counsels William, 102;
  at Hastings, 205, 215;
  Robert de, 206, 294
Bellencombre, barony of Warren, 217
Belrem, Harold taken to, 80
Belveisin, 48, 109
Berangier, fords of, 19
Berenton, fountain of, 118
Berri, 49
Bertram, Robert, the tort, 226
Bertran, Fitz de Peleit, 118
Bessin, 13, 27, 58, 207
Bessin, Rencralf, viscount of, 9, 26, 207
Biarz, sire de, 219, 226
Bienfaite, Richard de, 232
Bigoz, the Normans called, 47
Bigot, comes Hugo, 169
Bigot, ancestor of Hueli, 235
Bigot, signet of, 235
Blois, 48
Bodeham (Bosham), 78
Boilogne, 171
Bokinkeham, 174
Bohun, Onfrei de, 217
Bolbec, Hue de, 232
Bolbec, Osbern de, 169
Bologne, Eustace de, 171, 214
Bonnesboz, sire de, 232
Boorges, 49
Borbillon, mills of, 28
Botevilain, lord of, 237
Brai, the men of, v, 218
Brecheliant, forest of, 118, 295
Brehal, men of, 227
Bretons, 171, 225, 245
Breteuil, William de, 95, 101, 105, 162,171,233
Breteuil, archers of, 227
Briçun, St. feast of, 160
Bricasart, Renouf de, 9, 26, 207, 218
Brichesire, 174
Brictrich Man, 64
Brie, 48
Bridge of Varavile, 60
Bridge of London, 255
Briencort, sire de, 241
Brionne, 10, 28, 209, 232
Briquebec castle, 227
Brittany, Harold taken to, 83
Brius, the men of, 227
Bruce, family of, 227
Brucort, lord of, 241, 302
Buckenham, barony of, 221, 229
Burguigne, Guy of, 9, 29
Butlery, grand serjeantry by, 221
Byls, Saxon, 175, 201

Caborc, 61
Caen, 18, 45, 64, 211;
  abbey at, 64, 280;
  William buried at, 280;
  unfortified, 59
Cahagnes, lord of, 232
Caillie, lord of, 229, 230
Canterbury, 174;
  archbishop of, 76, 264;
  submission of, 264
Cantilena Rollandi, 189
Carmen de bello Hastingensi, 44, 132, 189
Cartrai Onfrei de, 217
Cauchois, 17
Caudebec, 45
Caux, 48, 49;
  knights of, 238
Cemeteries, refuge in, 132
Centumvillis, Osmund de, 213
Chaignes, lord of, 232
Chanon, Bigot's lands at, 234
Chartrain, 49
Chasteillun, 49
Chastel-Landun, 49
Chats, Ilbert de, 216
Chief de Faucon, 27
Cingueleiz, 18, 223
Cingueleiz, Raol Tesson de, 19, 223
Cintheaux, lord of, 230
Clare, Richard of, 233
Clement, fords of St. 12, 45
Cognizances at Valesdunes, vii, 22;
  at Hastings, 172
Columbieres, William de, 232
Combrai, sire de, 242
Comet, 115, 293
Communes, 19
Conches, Raol de, 168
Constance of France, 62, 64
Constable of France, 48
Cotentin, the, 12, 23, 49;
  barons of, 207
Couci, sire de, 218
Council, William's, at Caen, 65;
  at Bayeux, 83;
  at Lillebonne, 104, 292;
  at London, 267
Council of the English, as to William's overtures, 151
Council at London, to elect William, 267
Coutances cathedral, 167;
  bishop of, 157, 208
Courcelles, fief of, 230
Courcy, aire de, 222;
  seneschal de, 230
Crespin, William, at Mortemer, 49;
  at Hastings, 214
Crespin, Gilbert, 11, 49, 209
Crespin, Milo, 231, 300
Crespin family, 170
Crespin pedigree, 209, 300
Crievecœur, sire de, 241
Cross on Norman standard, 302

Daubigny,--see Albini.
Decimation of Alfred's troops, 35, 161
De la Mare, sire, 212
D'Eu, Rob. count, 49, 101, 246
Dex-aie, 22, 200
Dinan, sire de, 118
Diviner, fate of the, 128
Dives, river, 60
D'Oilie, lord, 231
Domesday book, 285
Dorset, 174
Dover, 34; siege of, 262
Draschiers, 47
Driencort, sire de, 241, 302
Drogo de Bevrere, 113

Eaulne, river, 80
Ecouis, 54
Eddeva pulchra, 258
Edgar Atheling, 265
Edif, Edward's Queen, 37, 76
Edmund, St. (Bury), 72, 174, 246
Edward Confessor chosen king, 37;
  visited by William, 66;
  banishes Godwin, 67;
  restores Westminster, 68;
  gives his kingdom, 72, 89;
  death of, 94;
  his laws adopted, 268
Ele, William's daughter, 83, 85
Ely, isle of, 35, 160
Embassies between Harold and William, 136, 149
Emma, wife of Alred, 33, 37
Enarmes, 202
English army, 173, 184;
  their armour, 176;
  revelry, 156;
  defeated, 254
Enguerran of Ponthieu, 44, 103
Entre-sains, vii, 22, 172
Epinay, sire de, 222, 301
Escus for esterlins, 139
Espine, sire de, 222, 301
Esquai, 25
Essex, 174, 250
Estampes, 49
Estotevile, sire de, 214
Eu, Robert count of, 49, 101, 246
Eudo, dapifer, 13, 29, 103, 236
Eudo cum capello, 103, 212, 235, 237
Eurowic (York), 136, 174
Eustace of Bologne, 193, 205, 214, 295
Eustace of Abeville, 214
Evreux, 17, 50
Evreux, William son of the count of, 205
Eye, Malet's castle at, 206
Excommunication of the English, 151

Fairies of Brittany, 118
Falaise, 10, 24, 211
Fall, William's, at landing, 130
Feast, William's, at landing, 128
Felgieres, Lord of, 208
Fergant, Alan, 118, 171, 245
Ferrieres, Walkelin de, 8
Ferrieres, Hen. sire de, 208
Ferté, sire de la, 236
Fescamp, 137, 244
Fitz-Bertran de Peleit, 118
Fitz-Erneis, Robert 239
Fitz-Grip, Hugh, 229
Fitz-Gilbert, Richard, 232
Fitz-Gilbert, Baldwin, 242
Fitz-Hamon, Robert, 24, 241
Fitz-Osbern, William, consoles the duke, 95;
  counsels him, 101;
  manages the barons, 105;
  urges to fight, 162;
  leads a division, 171, 216, 295
Fitz-Rou, Turstin, bears the gonfanon, 170, 209, 244
Flanders, 48;
  aid from, 111
Flanders, count of, 62, 64;
  refuses aid, 111;
  accused by Harold, 184
Fleet, the Norman, 108, 120, 130
Folpendant, 14, 289
Fontenay, 28
Fontenay, sire de, 223, 242
Fort, built before Arques, 42;
  built on William's landing, 128;
  at Dover, 262
Fosse, the, which embarrassed the Norman army, 193
France, Henry, king of, at Valdesdunes, 17;
  at Arques, 43;
  at Mortemer, 47;
  at Varaville, 57;
  his death, 62
France, Philip, king of, 62;
  refusal to assist William, 109;
  demands service for England, 269;
  jokes on William, 271
French soldier's exploit, 201

Gael, Raol de, 225
Galeri, St. sire de, 246
Gant, Gilbert de, 113
Garenes, Will.--see Warren.
Gascie, lord of, 231
Gedeford, (Guildford), 35, 160
Germer, St., 109
Gerveis, St., 30;
  William dies at, 273.
Gherbod of Chester, 113
Ghita, Harold's mother, 75, 258
Giffart, Walter, at Mortemer, 49;
  counsels William, 101;
  brings horse from Spain, 167;
  refuses gonfanon, 169;
  lord of Bolbec, 232;
  remonstrates against supping, &c. on field, 256, 295
Gisarmes, 174, 184
Gite, Harold's mother, 75, 258
Glos, sire de, 232, 301;
  William and Barnon de, 233
Godemite, English cry, 184
Godwin, account of, 34;
  his treason, 35, 160;
  banished, 67;
  gives pledges, and dies choked, 68
Golet, the fool, 10, 29
Gonfanons at Valdesdunes, vii, 21, 302
Gonfanon, Norman, under duke Richard I. 302
Gonfanon sent by the Pope, 115;
  borne by Turstin Fitz-Rou, 170, 244, 251;
  Harold's, 145, 177, 252, 254, 256, 302
Gornai, Hue de, at Mortemer, 49;
  at Hastings with his men of Brai, v, 217;
  at King Pepin's court, 218;
  Gornai arms, v, vii
Goviz, lord of, 230
Grente-mesnil, vassal from, 216
Grez, 49
Grimoult del Plesseiz revolts, 10;
  death, lands given to the church of Bayeux;
  sister married to William de Albini, 30, 220
Gueldons, 168, 172, 176
Guildford, 35, 160
Gurth, 35, 177, 181, 184;
  advice to Harold, 142;
  breaks off negotiation, 153;
  reconnoitring, 144;
  is killed, 252
Guy the Burgundian revolts, 10;
  besieged, 29
Guy the bishop's poem, 44, 132, 189
Guy, count of Ponthieu, 44, 48, 53;
  takes Harold, 79

Haie-du-puits, family, 103, 212, 235;
  honor of, 236
Hamon-as-dens, revolts, 10;
  killed, 25
Hamo dapifer, 241
Hantone (Southampton), 34
Harcourt, sire de, 241
Harde, the knight, 26
Hardekanut, 33, 37
Harold, journey and capture, 75;
  knighted by William, 237;
  oath, 83, 290;
  asks the crown, 89;
  crowned, 98;
  conquers Tosti, 135;
  meets barons in London, 136;
  rejects Garth'B advice, 142;
  reconnoitres, 144, 298;
  rejects William's offers, 153;
  estimate of his army, 175;
  wounded, 198;
  killed, 252;
  buried at Waltham, 259;
  legend of his life, 259, 298, 303
Hastings, 124, 127, 135, 261;
  devastations round, 262
Hatchets, Danish, 184, 200
Haaberk, William's, reversed, 162
Henry, the three kings and dukes, 5
Henry, king of France--see France.
Herecort, sire de, 241
Herfort, 174
Herluin, 102, 159
Herout, son of Kenut, 34,37
Hornet, the men and lord of, 227
Hontesire (Hampshire), 174
Horse, iron armour of, 162
Household officers of the Norman dukes, &c. 96
Hubert de Rie, saves William, 13;
  his family, 13
  Hugh Lupus, 219, 295
Hugh Fitz-Grip, or of Wareham, 229
Humber, 134, 174
Huon, father of Salle, 30

Ingulf, 37
Iwun al Chapel, 102

Jago, St., 167
Jeffry, son of Rotro, 205, 216
Jeffery of Maine, 216
Jehan, men of St. 227, 236
Jort, sire de, 222

Karlemaine, song of, 189
Kent, 174;
  the men of, 250;
  their rights, 177
Kenut, 33
Knight, English, carrying news to Harold, 133

Lacie, sire de, 220;
  a knight of, 231

L'Aigle, Enguerran de, 218
Laison, river, 18
Lande, William Patric de la, 237
Lamare, sire de, 212
Landing of William in England, 128

Laws of the Confessor, 268
Leicester, Rob. earl of, 102, 206
Leun, 48

Lewine (Leofwin), Harold's brother, 145, 177
Lievin, 17, 49
Lillebonne, meeting at, 105
Lincoln, earl of, 211
Lindesie, 174
Lithaire, sire de, 212, 220
Loges, Bigot's lands at, 234
London, 70, 174, 182, 266;
  bridge broken, 255;
  Harold's meeting held there, 136, 141;
  rights of the men of, 177;
  attack upon, 265
Longueville,--see Giffart.
Longue-espée, William, 5

Magnevile, sire de, 214
Mahelt, William's queen, 64, 110, 123
Maine, 171, 217;
  Jeffery de,217
Malet, William, 206, 258, 302
Malet, Vauquelin and William, 210
Malevrier, family of, 232
Malfossed, at Hastings, 193
Maltot, Bigot lands at, 234
Mans, bishop of, 108
Mantes, burning of, 272;
  William's accident at, 272
Mare, sire de la, 212
Mareschal family, 209
Marmion, Roger de, 223, 242
Margot, Huon, 137
Martin, sire de St., 214
Martel, lord of Basquevile, 229
Martel, Giffrei, 56, 57
Martel, William, 215
Matilda, William's queen, 64, 110, 123
Matoen, 24, 211
Maugier, 217
Mesine, Giffrei de, 217
Meance, 18
Mellant, 48; lineage of, 208
Meules, Baldwin de, 222
Mezi, 25
Mezodon, 18
Mitford and Bertram, 227
Moion, William de, 223
Molei, Bacon, 230, 242
Molina, dam William des, 215
Monceals, lord of, 230
Monfichet, sire de, 233
Montfort, Hugh de, 8;
  sire de, 207, 222
Montlheri, 49
Montjoie, cry of, 22
Montgomeri, Roger de, counsels William, 101;
  leads at Hastings, 171, 246;
  kills English knight, 201
Mora, William's ship, 123
Moretoin, 49;
  Robert, count of, counsels William, 101;
  at Hastings, 241
Mortemer, battle of, 47, 50
Mortemer, Roger de, 49
Mortemer-en-Lions, 54
Mortemer, Hue de, 169, 239
Mortemer, Ralf de, 238
Mostiers-Hubert, lord of, 226
Moubrai, Giffrei de, 157, 208;
  lord of, 236
Muriel, wife of Eudo cum capello, 102, 237
Muriel sanctimonialis, 103

Neel de Cotentin, or de St. Sauveur, revolts, 9, 27;
  at Hastings, 207, 225;
  his _hou_, 212
Nehou, sire de, 212
Neufchâtel, 241
Nichole, (Lincoln), 174,
Noions, 48
Norfolk, 174;
  two Ralfs, earls of, 226
Norwich, 174
Norman army compared with English, 175, 181;
  three companies, 186;
  stratagem at Hastings, 199
Normans, shaved and mistaken for priests, 147;
  William's character of, 274
Notinkeham, 174

Oain, St. (St. Ouen), reliques of, 65;
  chapel of, 66
Odo, bishop of Bayeux, counsels William, 101;
  his aid, 108;
  rallies the troops, 194;
  sister of, 237;
  imprisoned, 278
Odo of Champagne, 210
Odo, brother of king of France, 48,53
Oil de boeuf, 85
Oismeiz, 17, 18
Olicrosse, 184
Oliver, song of, 189
Onebac, sire de, 239
Orbec, dam Richard de, 232
Origni, sire de, 236
Orleans, 48
Orval, the men of, 212, 227
Osbernus Episcopus, 98
Osgne, 28, 59
Ou, castle and river, 64, 127
Ou, count d', 49, 101, 246

Pacie, sire de, 230
Paienals (Pagenal) des Mostiers-Hubert, 226
Park, the duke's, at Rouen, 94
Perche, 49
Peter, St. his tooth or hair; 115
Pevensey, 123, 131
Picot de Saie, 236
Pierre, St. sur-Dives, 58
Pins, sire des, 215, 233
Pincerna, Albini, 220, 236
Pirou, knight of, 212
Plessis, Grimoult du, 11, 30
Plessis, in the Cotentin, 11
Poitevins, 171
Poix, 171
Pont-Audemer, 45
Pontfract, 136
Ponthieu, 48, 78, 117, 238;
  Enguerran de, 44, 103;
  Guy de, 44, 48, 53, 79
Port, sire de, 222
Praels, the lord of, 230
Praeres, lord of, 231
Pratis, Fulk de, 208
Preaux, lord of, 229
Prebends of Bayeux, 5
Presles, lord of, 231
Priests, Norman, their position during the battle, 183
Provens, 48

Quevilly, the park of, 94

Raol de Gael, 118, 225
Raol de Conches, 168
Raol de Montdidier, 49
Raol Tesson at Valdesdunes, 19, 50;
  at Hastings, 223, 239
Raol, son of Main, 208
Rebercil, sire de, 242
Reliques brought to Caen, 65;
  to swear Harold, 85;
  of St. Valery, 120
Renouf de Benin, or Briqueaart, 9, 16, 207
Renchevalles (Roncesvalles), 189
Reviers, sire de, 222
Richard I. duke, 5;
  his standard, 303
Richard II. duke, 5;
  grand council, 243
Richmond, honor of, 244
Rie, Hubert de, 13
Risle, river, 28
Robert, duke, 6
Rollo, 5
Rollo and Rognevald, 189
Rollant, the song of, 189
Rollant and Oliver, 189, 257
Romare, dam Will, de, 211, 300
Rome, 68
Romenel (Romney), 262
Rouen and Roumeiz, 17, 49, 94, 271
Rubercy, sire de, 242

Sacie, lord of, 231
Saens, St., 228
Saie, lord of, 236
Seint-cler, sire de, 239
Sainte-paix, church of, 66
Sainteals, lord of, 230
Saint-Jean, men of, 227, 236
Saire, St. (Salvius), 228
Salle, knight called, 30
Salebierre, 174
Sanzaver, 208
Sap, sire de, 232, 301
Sauveur, Neel de St. 27, 207, 228
Saxon--carousals, 156;
  armour, 175, 176;
  entrenchment, 176
Saxon chronicle, its character of William, 283
Seizin of England given William on landing, 101
Seine, 48
Semillie, lord of, 207, 228
Senlao, battle of, 178
Senz, 49
Serlon the poet, 103
Seule, 59
Sever, St., cry of, 22;
  lord of, 207, 229
Shields variously painted, vii;
  worn at Valdesdunes, 22
Ship, description of William's, 123
Ships furnished by the barons, 108;
  Taylor's list of, 108, 123;
  Waco's further account of, 120;
  dismantled at Hastings, 131
Shrine of St. Valery, 120
Sinclair family, 239
Soissons, 48
Solignie, sire de, 219, 231
Somme, river, 117
Sonles, (sole) the men of, 227
Spain, king of--sends horse to William, 168
Spies' report to Harold, 147
Stamford, 174
Standard,--see gonfanon.
Stephen, St. abbey at Caen, 64
Stigand, archbishop, 264, 266
Suffolk, 174
Summerset, 174
Surrie, 174
Sussex, 174

Taillefer's exploits, 189, 299
Tafflou, 41
Tancharville, chamberlain of, 213, 301
Tateshall, Sir Robert, 229, 301
Taylor's MS. list of Norman ships, 108,  123
Tesson, Raol, 19, 50, 223, 239
Tesson, Jourdain, 208
Thames, 71, 266
Thorigny, 10, 22, 25
Thorn-ei (Westminster), 71
Tillieres, the holder of, 208
Toarz, viscount of, 118, 167, 171, 218, 295
Tony, Raol de, 168
Torneor, lord of, 231
Tornieres, de, 232
Toroigne, 48
Tosti, 35; killed, 134, 174, 296
Tostein, Fits Rou, 170, 244
Touke, sire de, 212
Toz-Sainz, church of, 66
Tracie, aire de, 220
Tregos, lord of, 232
Trinity abbey at Caen, 64
Trossebot, lord of, 237
Truce of God, 65
Tur-aie, cry of, 21
Turstain-Goz, 244
Turstain Halduc, 103, 235
Turstain Fits Rou, 170, 244

Urinic, lord of, 23

Vaacie, lord of, 231
Val de Saire, sire de, 220
Val de roil (Vaudreuil), 226
Valeran, brother of Guy of Ponthieu, 53
Valeri, St. meeting at, 117;
  reliques of, 120;
  sire de, 246
Valdesdunes, battle of, 18
Valmerei, St. Briçun de, 19
Valognes, William's flight from, 11, 29;
  journey from to Arques, 44
Varaville, rout of, 59, 289
Varham (for Waltham), 259
Varemna, river, 217
Varenne, hamlet of, 217
Vastineiz, 48
Velquesin, 49
Vernon, 10, 29, 212, 213
Vermandeiz, 48
Vez-pont William de, 207
Vihot, Vigot, &c, 235
Vimou, 101, 117
Vire, the fords of, 13, 45
Vitrie, lord of, 220, 236, 301
Vortigern and Rowena, 156
Vow of the Normans before the battle, 157

Wac, Hugh, 242; Jeffry, 244
Wace, his prologue and history, 4;
  his father's account of the ships, 120;
  information as to the comet, 115;
  fairy hunting in Brittany, 119;
  testimony as to comparative strength of the armies, 175
Walkelin de Ferrieres, 8
Wallingford, 266
Waltham abbey, 259, 298, 303
Walther von der Vogelweide, 4
Walter Flandrensis, 113
Warren, William, 217, 238, 243, 295
Wassail, 156
Westminster abbey restored, 70;
William's charter to, 71;
  its organ, 289
Wibetes, 198
Wiestace d'Abeville, 214
William the duke, _passim_--see table of contents.
Wincant, 34
Winchester, 33, 174, 182
Wircester, 174
Wismeis, 50


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