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of that district. Harold, on being thrown into prison, having, however, bribed one of the common people with the promise of a reward, secretly gave him directions to inform the duke of Normandy of what had befallen him. On hearing this, William immediately sent messengers in all haste, and told the lord of Ponthieu that Harold and his people must be sent to him immediately, free from all harm, if he wished to enjoy his future friendship in the same degree as hitherto; he, however, being unwilling to send him, once more received a command from William that he must send Harold, otherwise he would find most assuredly, that William, duke of Normandy, would instantly come armed to Ponthieu for the purpose of taking him away with all his property, even to the utmost farthing.
Alarmed by these threats, he sent Harold with his companions, on which he was most honorably received by duke William, who, on hearing why he had left his country, made answer that he would be successful if it rested with him.28 He, therefore, kept Harold with him for some days, and showed himself very kind and courteous towards him, in order that by such conduct he might gain his feelings in support of his own objects. At length he disclosed to him what his designs werej and stated that king Edward once, when in his youthful days, he was staying in Normandy, with himself Hien a youth, promised him upon his oath, that if he should become king of England, he would grant to him, in succession to himself, the hereditary right to the kingdom; and, in addition to this, he said: "And if you will engage to aid me in this matter, and to procure for me the castle of Dover, with the well of water there, and will give your sister in marriage to one of my nobles, and promise to send her to me at the time that shall be agreed on by us, and also, to accept my daughter in marriage, then you shall both receive your nephew safe and sound immediately, and, your brother, when I come to reign in England; and if, by your aid, I am firmly established in that kingdom, I promise that every thing that in reason you shall ask of me, you shall obtain."
Harold was sensible of danger either way, and did not see how he was to escape if he did not acquiesce in the wishes of "William in every respect: he, therefore, gave his as"Si in ipso non remaneret," hardly seems to be a correct reading
sent. But in addition to this, William, in order that everything might be definitively settled, having brought some relics of saints, led Harold to attest, by taking an oath upon them, that he would in deed fulfil everything that had been agreed upon between them.
These matters being concluded, Harold received his nephew and returned to his country; but when, in answer to the king's enquiries, he informed him of what had happened and what he had done, he answered, "Did I not tell you that I knew duke William well, and that, in consequence of your journey, great evils might result to this kingdom? I foresee that, by this conduct of yours, great misfortunes will befall our country; and I only pray that Divine Providence will grant that they come not in my day."
Shortly after, king Edward departed this life, and, as he had appointed previously to his death, Harold succeeded him in the kingdom. On this, duke William sent him word, that although, violating his oath, he had not observed his promise in other respects, still, if he would marry his daughter he would put up with what he had done, but, if not, he would without doubt assert his right to the promised succession to the kingdom by force of arms.
But Harold would neither say that he was ready to comply with the one alternative, nor that he feared the other; at which, William being indignant, was inspired with great hopes of conquering England by reason of this unjust conduct of Harold. Having, therefore, prepared a considerable fleet, he sailed for England, and a severe engagement taking place, Harold was slain in battle, and William being victorious, obtained the kingdom.
Some of the Franks still give an account of28 the circumstances of this battle who were there present. But although there were various chances of success on the one side and the other, still, there was such great slaughter and disorder caused by the Normans, that the victory which they gained must without doubt be ascribed to the judgment of God, who by punishing the crime of perjury shows that he is a God who abhors unrighteousness.
On hearing of the death of king Harold, the earls Edwin
29 "Adhuc" can hardly mean "at the present day," in allusion to oral testimony; as our author lived nearly a hundred years after the time of William the Conqueror.
and Morcar, who with their men had withdrawn from the battle, came to London, and taking their sister, queen Aldgitha, sent her to the city of Chester. Aldred, archbishop of York, and these earls, together with the citizens of London, and the mariners, were desirous to make the Clito Edgar, grandson of king Edmund Ironside, king, and promised that they would fight for him. But while many were making preparations to go forth to battle, the earls withdrew their aid from them, and returned home with their forces.
In the meanwhile duke William laid waste the provinces of Sussex, Kent, Southampton, Surrey, Middlesex, and Hereford; and did not cease burning towns and slaying men, till he came to the city which is called Beorcham.30 Here Aldred, the archbishop, Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, Walter, bishop of Hereford, the Clito Edgar, earls Edwin and Morcar, and live of the nobles of London, with many others came to him, and, giving hostages, made submission, and took the oaths of fealty to him. He also made a treaty with them, but, in spite of it, allowed his army to burn the towns, and plunder them.
On the approach of the festival of the Nativity of our Lord, be marched with all his army to London, that he might be crowned there; and because Stigand, the primate of the whole of England, was charged with not having canonically received the pall, on the day of the Nativity, which in that year fell on the second day of the week, he was consecrated with due honor 'at Westminster, by Aldred, the archbishop of York; but first, as the same archbishop requested him to do, before the altar of Saint Peter the Apostle, in the presence of the clergy and the people, he promised on oath, that he would be ready to defend the holy churches of God and their rulers, and that he would justly and with royal foresight rule over all the people subject to him, enact and observe just laws, and utterly discountenance rapine and unjust judgments.
In the year 1067, on the approach of Lent, king William returned to Normandy, taking with him Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, Agelnoth, abbat of Glastonbury, the Clito Edgar, the earls Edwin and Morcar, Walter, a noble earl, son of earl Siward, Agelnoth, a native of Canterbury, and many
others of the chief men of England, also his brother Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and William FitzOsbern, whom he had made earl of the province of Hereford; and leaving garrisons in England, he ordered the fortresses throughout the country to be strengthened.
In this year, Wulsy, bishop of Dorchester, departed this life at Winchester, but was buried at Dorchester.
At this period, there was a certain very powerful thane, Edric surnamed "the Woodsman,"31 son of Alfric, the brother of Edric Streona, whose lands, because he disdained to surrender to the king, the men of the castle at Hereford, and Richard the son of Scrob, frequently laid waste; but as often as they attacked him, they lost many of their knights and esquires. Therefore, having called to his aid the kings of the Welch, namely Bleothgent and Riward, about the time of the Assumption of Saint Mary, the said Edric laid waste the province of Hereford, as far as the bridge over the river Lug,32 and carried off a great quantity of plunder.
Afterwards, on the approach of winter, king William returned to England from Normandy, and imposed on the English an intolerable tribute, and then, going into Devonshire, hostilely attacked the city of Exeter, which the citizens and some English thanes held against him; on which he laid siege to it, and speedily took it by storm. However, the countess Githa, the mother of Harold king of England, and sister of Sweyn king of Denmark, flying with many others from the city made her escape and went to Flanders; but the citizens with assurances of friendship submitted to the king.
In the year 1068, there were two popes at Rome, namely, the bishop of Parma, who was expelled, and the bishop of Lucca, who continued to be pope.
After Easter, the countess Matilda came from Normandy to England, and on the day of Pentecost, Aldred, archbishop of York, consecrated her queen. After this, Marleswein and Cospatric, and the other nobles of Northumbria, in order to avoid the king's severity, and fearing lest like some others they might be placed in confinement, taking with them the Clito Edgar, his mother Agatha, and his two sisters Margaret and Christiana, went by ship to Scotland; and, with the per
""Silvaticus:" probably corresponding to our surname "Atwood." He is more generally called Edric the Outlaw. 32 The Avon.
mission of king Malcolm, passed the winter there. On this, Ving William came with his army to Nottingham, and having strengthened the castle, proceeded to York, and fortifying the two castles there, placed in them five hundred soldiers, giving orders for the castles to be strengthened in the city of Lincoln and other places.
While these things were going on, the sons of king Harold, Godwin and Edmund the Great, returning from Ireland landed in Somersetshire; where being met by Eadnoth, who had been master of the stables33 to king Harold, with some troops, a battle was fought, in which he, with many others, was slain. Having gained the day, they collected considerable spoil in Devonshire and Cornwall, and then returned to Ireland.
In the year 1069, being the third year of his reign, king William sent earl Robert Cummin against the Northumbrians » of the country north of the Tyne; for they had all united in one determination, not to submit to the rule of a foreigner, and had resolved either to slay him, or else, all of them, to fall by the edge of the sword. On his approach, Egelwin, bishop of Durham, met him, and warned him to be on his guard against treachery; but he, thinking that no one dared this, despised the warning, and, entering Durham with a large body of soldiers, allowed his men to act with hostility in all quarters, even to slaying some peasants belonging to the church; still, he was received by the bishop with all kindness and honor. But the Northumbrians hastening onward all night, at daybreak broke through the gates with the greatest violence, and slew the followers of the earl in every direction, they being quite unprepared for the attack. The contest was waged most fiercely, the soldiers being struck down in the houses and streets, and the combatants attacked the house of the bishop in which the earl was entertained; but finding that they could not endure the darts of those who defended it, they burned the house together with those who were therein. So great was the multitude of the slain, that nearly every spot in the city was filled with blood, and out of seven hundred men only one escaped. This slaughter took place on the fifth day before the calends of February, being the fourth day of the week.
33 " Stallarius." There is some doubt as to the correct meaning of this word.