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warfare of the i-eign of the Unconquered King. After
Colchester was won and Maldon saved, no sword was
drawn against Eadward and his dominion. The rest of his
reign is one record of submissions on the part of his
enemies. At Colchester itself the men of East-Anglia
and Essex, who liad been undei- Danish rule, first bow to
him ; then comes the submission of the Danish host
itself ; then that of all Mercia ; then that of all North
Wales. The realm of the West- Saxon king now reaches
to the Humber. Northumberland, StrathcJyde, Scotland,

' The incu of llic ships, the wikiugs.


have as yet been iintoiiclied l^y his arms or his policy.
But next comes the great clay of all, the crov/ning-point
of West- Saxon triumph, when the King of Scots and all
the people of Scots, and Raegnold and Eadv/ulf s son, and
all that were in Northumberland, Angles, Danes, North-
men, or any other, and eke the King of Strathclyde
Welsh, and all the Strathclyde Welsh, Ijowed to Eadward
at Bakewell, and sought him to father and lord. The
fights on East-Saxon ground, the storm of C-olchester, the
defence of Maldon, had taught the whole world of Britain
that Eadward and his people were not be witlistood.
The gallant gathering of tlie men of Essex, Kent, and
Surrey had led t(j the estaljlishment of an English
kingdom bounded only by the Humber, of an English
Empire liounded only by the Northern sea.

Thus two East-Saxon sites, one of them our present
l^lace of meeting, have won for themselves a foremost
place in that struggle with the Dane which welded
England into a single kingdom. And one of those sites
joins again A\dth a third whose name we have not yet
heard to form another pair no less memorable in the
struggle which gave the united kingdom of England into
the hands of a Danish kmg. If the days of Colchester
and Maldon stand forth among the brightest days of
English victory, so Maldon and Assandiin stand out
among the saddest yet noblest days of English overtln^ow.
Our last East-Saxon memory showed us the invadmo-
Dane flying from before the walls of Maldon ; our next
East-Saxon memory shows us the Dane victorious in the
hard handplay, and the Ealdorman of the land dyino- in
defence of the Saxon shoi-e. The fight by the Planta, the
fight where Brihtnoth fell, lives in that glorious battle-
song \/]iich, were it written in any tongue but tlie native
speech ol Englishmen, woidd have won its place alongside of
the battle-songs of ancient Hellas. The song is plainly
local and contemporary ; it comes straight from the soul
of the East-Saxon gleeman of the tenth century. It is
something to stand on the spot and to call up the pictiu^e
of the valiant Ealdorman, lighting from his horse among
his faithful hearth-band, marshalling his men in the thick
array of the shield-wall, refusing to pay tribute to the
wikings, and telling them that point and edge shall judge


between them. 'I'lien we see the dauntless three who
kept the bridge, Wulfstan, ^Ifhere, and Maccus —
Wuhstan the Horatius, his comrades the Lartins and
Herminius, of the hght in which the legend of the Tiber
was repeated in sober truth by East-Saxon Panta. Yet
among the crowds to whom the legends of distant lands
are as household words, how few have ever heard the
names of the true heroes of our own soil. Then Brihtnoth,
in his " overmood," in his excess of daring and lofty
spirit, allows the enemy to pass the water : then comes
the fight itself, the Homeric exploits on either side ; the
death-wound of Brihtnoth and his last prayer ; the
dastardly flight of Godric on the horse of his fallen lord ;
the fight over the body of the slain chief; the self-
devotion of the true companions who in death are not
divided, as they lie " thegn-like " around their lord, their
Earl and ring-giver. No tale is told with more spirit, no
tale sets better before us that great feature of old
Teutonic, and indeed of old Aryan, life, the personal
and sacred tie which l)0und a man to the lord of his own
seeking. But the men who fought on that day were
Englishmen ; the tongue in which their deeds were sung
was English ; their deeds are therefore forgotten, and the
sono; which tells of them sounds in the ears of their
children like the stammering speech of an unknown

But if the l)anks of Panta saM^ the glorious death of the
local East-Saxon chief, the banks of another East-Saxon
estuary saw, not indeed the death but the last struggle,
of the champion, not only of Essex, but of all England.
The fiofht of Maldon is handed down to us in the o-lowino-
strains of native sono- ; the sono- which told of the fio-lit of
Assandun lias perished : we have only feeble echoes pre-
served to us in the Latin pages of the historian who has
kept so many such precious fragments, fi'om the song of
Anderida to the song of Stamfordbridge. As to the site of
Assandun, I will not enter on any discussion; I think that
no one will doubt about it who has been there. There is
the hill on which Eadmund Ironside marshalled his army
fbi- tbe last hattle, the hill down whose slope he rushed
with his sword, as the fjiint echo of the ballad tells us,
like the lightning-flash, leaAnng in his charge the royal


post between the Standard and the West-Saxon Dragon,
and fighting hand to hand in the foremost rank of his
warriors. We hear from the other side how the Raven of
Denmark had ah-eady fluttered its wings for victory ; but
it was only through Eadric's treason — treason which no
effort of ingenious advocacy can wipe out from the pages
which record it — that Eachnund, in the sixth battle of
that great year, found himself for the first time defeated.
The spot which saw Cnut's victory over all England saw
also a few years later his offering in his new character of
an English King. Then arose the joint work of Cnut and
Thurkill, the minster of stone and lime, whose material
was as much to be noted in the timl^er land of Essex as
the material of the wooden basilica of Glastonbury was to
be noted among the rich stone quarries of Somerset. Of
that minster the first priest was Stigand, the man who
won his first lowly promotion at the hands of the Dane,
and who lived to be hurled from the metropolitan throne
at the bidding of the Norman,

But the East- Saxon land contains a memorial of those
times more precious even than the memories of Maldon
and Assandun, a memorial too which forms a special tie
between Eastern and Western England. It was on East-
Saxon soil, just within the East-Saxon border, on the
spot to which the willing oxen draw the Holy Cross of
Lutgaresbury from the place of its first finding in the
West, that Tofig first cleared the wild forest, that he
first reared the minster of Waltham in its earlier and
lowlier form, and gathered round it a band of pilgrims
and devotees who changed the wilderness into a dwelling-
place of man. It was on that spot that Earl Harold,
patron of the secular clergy in the most monastic period
of our history, patron of learning in a day when the
light of English literature seemed almost to have died
away, enlarged the church and the foundation of Tofig.
It was for the good of that spot that he sought in
lands beyond the sea, in the kindred land with which
England had exchanged so many worthies — the land
to which she had given Ealhwine and whence she had
received Old- Saxon John — for men to help him in the
work which he had planned for the good of Waltham
and of England. It was there that the doomed King,



marching forth to the great strife for his land and people,
went to make his last prayers and to offer his last gifts,
and it was there tliat, as men of his own day believed,
he received that awful warning which led his faithful
bedesmen to his last field, standing afar that they might
see the end. It was there, in his own minster, that his
bones, translated from their earlier South-Saxon resting-
place, lay as the most precious among his gifts to the
house which he had founded. And it was there, when
his foundation had been changed to another form, when
a choir in a new style of art had risen over his tomb,
that the greatest of his successors, the first of a new
line of English kings, lay for a moment by his side. The
choir of Wnltham has perished along with the choir of
Battle ; the place of Harold's tomb, like the place of
Harold's standard, again lies open to the day ; but if the
East-Saxon land had nothing to boast of beside the un-
marked spot where Harold and Edward met in death,
that alone would place the shire where Waltliam stands
among the most historic shires of England.

Among his other possessions in all parts of England,
Earl Harold held four houses in Colchester. This fact, I
need not say, comes from the Domesday Survey, which
tells us how those houses had passed away to the abbey
of Westminster. The Domesday of Essex is very full,
Essex being one of the three eastern shires of which we
have only the first and fuller account, while in most of the
other shires we have only the shorter form which is found
in the first volume of the Exchequer Domesday.^ Essex
was one of those shires which came into the possession
of the Conqueror, not indeed, like Sussex and Kent,
immediately after the great battle, but immediately after
the submission at Berkhampstead. Like Kent and Sussex,
its men had been in tlieir place in the battle, and it became
sul)ject to a confiscation only less sweeping than that of
Kent and Sussex. We do not find in Essex, as we do in
many other shires, either one or two English landowners
still keeping great estates, or a whole crowd of them
kee])ing smaller estates. A few entries of English names

^ The discovoiy of the " Tnquisitio gives nnothcr shire, of which wo have
Comitatiis Cant.ahrigiensis,'' hiUAv pub- botli the fuller and the abridged account,
lislud by Mr. N. E. S. A. llainiUoii,


towiircls the end of* the record are all. We hear of no
revolts in Essex after the coronation of William ; the
strength of the shire, like the strength of Kent and
Sussex, must have heen cut off on Senlac, and no foreign
prince offered himself as deliverer to the men of Essex as
Eustace of Boulogne offered himself to the men of Kent.
Still there must have been some confiscations in Essex
later than the time of the i-edemption of lands, for the
penalty had fallen on one of the very commissioners by
Avhom the redemption was carried out.^ Engelric, who
nmst have played much the same part in Essex which
Thurkill played in Warwickshire and Wiggod in Berkshire,
as the Englishman who, by Avhatevei" means, rose liigli in
William's favour, had fallen from his high estate before
the Survey was made. Another man, English by birtli
though not by descent, Swegen the son of Robert, who
took the name of the shire as a surname, he whose father
had stood hj the death-bed of Eadward and had
counselled William on his landing to get him back to his
own duchy, still keep great estates ; but he had lost his
office of Sheriff. Most of the familiar names of the
Conquest appear in Essex as well as elsewhere ; but the
East- Saxon shire enjoys a singular privilege in not having
had an acre of its soil handed over to the Conqueror's
rapacious brother, Count Robert of Mortain. But Bishop
Odo is there, and Count Alan, and the Count of Eu, and
William of Wai'ren and Hugh of Montfort, and many
another name of those who found their reward in almost
every shire of England. Among the names specially
connected mth the district stand out Geoffrey of Mande-
ville, father of a line of East-Saxon Earls, Ralph Baynard
wliose name lives in London city, and the names specially
belonging to Colcliester, Hamo and Eudo, Of Colchester
itself the record in the Survey is one of the fullest among
the boroughs of England. It ouglit to be fully illustrated
by some one who, to minute local knowledge, adds the
power of comparing what the Survey tells us about Essex
and Colcliester with what it tells us about other shires
and boroughs. A general historian from a distance cannot
do this ; a dull local antiquary cannot do it ; it needs a
man on the spot wlio knows the ins and outs of the land,

^ See Hiiitoiy of the Norman CorKincst, vol, iv., pp. 2G, 72-3.


l3ut who also understands historical criticism and who
knows something of other parts of England as well as of
his own.

The Survey gives us no such precious notices of the
municipal constitution of Colchester as it gives us of the
municipal constitution of Lincoln, Cambridge, and Stam-
ford. Colchester had been held by the Danes ; but they
had been driven out too soon and too thoroughly to allow
of the formation of a patriciate of Danish lawmen. Nor
do we find any such curious notices of municipal matters
as we do at Nottingham and Chester. But we see the
Inirgesses of Colchester already forming a recognized body,
holding common lands, and claiming other common lands
as having been unjustly taken from them. We specially
see them holdino- the land for a certain distance round the


walls. The walls are thus distinctly recorded in the
Survey ; but there is no mention of the castle. There is
therefore no entry of the destruction of houses to make
room for the castle, such as we find in many other English
towns. A long list is given of English burgesses who
kept their houses, followed by a list of possessions within
the borough which had passed into the hands of Norman
owners. Among these, of course, aj^joear the Dapifen,
Eudo and Hamo, and about the latter there is an entry of
special interest which I trust will be thoroughly explained
by some one who has local knoAvledge. Hamo, besides a
house, had a "curia," a rare word whose use here I do
not fully understimd. And whatever Hamo held had
been held in the days of King Eadward by his English
antecessor Thurbexrn. When I was last at Colchester, I
was shown a building of Homanesque date which was
oddly described as " Hamo's Saxon hall or curia." Why
the hall of Thurbearn, if such it was, should be specially
marked as a hall more Saxon than any other in this Saxon
land is quite beyond my understanding. But I should
greatly like to know v\^hat is really meant by the " curia"
of Thurbearri and Hamo, and what ground there is for
identifying it with this particular building. The first
entry of all is also one of a good deal of interest, as mark-
ing the subdivision of property in Old-English times. The
houses and other property of Godric — one of the many
beareis of one of the commonest of English names — had


been divided among his four sons. They had died on
Senlac, or had otherwise hrouo^ht themselves under the
displeasure of the Conqueror. Of the four parts of
Godric's property the King held two ; Count Eustace
had the third, and John the son of Waleran the fourth.
The church of which Godric was patron had passed whole
to Count Eustace ; but his mill — a most important j^os-
session, and one always most accurately noted in the
Siu'vey — was carefully divided.

Another point to be noticed in the Siu'vey of Colchester
is that the borough had clearly been, before the coming of
William, allowed to make a money composition for
military service in the fynl. In many towns Domesday
records the number of men which the town was to find
when the King made an expedition by sea or land.
Instead of this we find at Colchester a payment of
sixpence from each house for the keep of the King's
soldarii or mercenaries, that is doubtless the housecarls.
It is possible that we have here the key to the fact that
so many English burgesses of Colchester remained un-
disturbed by the Conqueror. The l^orough, as a com-
munity, had served King Harold, not with men but with
money. It would have been hard even for the astuteness
of William's legal mind to turn this payment of a
customary royal due, the last payment of which might
actually have been made while Eadward w^as still alive,
into an act of constnictive treason against the Norman
claimant of the crown. The community then, as a
community, was guiltless, and fared accordingly. But
volunteers from Colchester, as well as from other places,
had doubtless flocked to the Standard of the Fighting-
Man ; and they, whether dead or alive, paid the forfeit of
their patriotism.

Here is a point which touches the general history of
England. There are other curious entries with regard to
the customs of Colchester which I leave to local inquirers
to expound to us. I pass to the Ecclesiastical history.
The Survey mentions several churches ; but there clearly
was no great ecclesiastical foundation, either secular or
religious, within the walls of Colchester. The two
religious foundations which have given Colchester an
ecclesiastical name arose after the taking of the Survey


and Ijeyoiid the ancient walls. They arose on the south
side of the town, the side away from the river, a fact
which accounts for the way in which the inhabited town
of Colchester has spread itself While on the northern
side void spaces have arisen within the walls, houses have
grown on the south side round the priory and the abbey,
covering a large space which hes outside alike of Roman
Camulodunum and of Old- English Colchester. The great
al:)bey of Saint John, the foundation of Eudo, rose on a
height opposite that on which the town itself stands ; the
priory of Saint Julian and Saint Botolf rose between the
heights on the low ground just below the hill of
Camulodunum. The history of Eudo's foundation is told
in a document in the Monasticon, which in all points
bearing on general history is highly mythical. Eudo's
father, Hubert of Ilye, is a well-known man, he who
sheltered William on his perilous ride from Valognes
before the fight of Val-es-dunes. But the embassies on
which Hubert is sent between William and Eadward
simply take their jDlace among the Norman legends of the
Conquest. There is also a very mythical air about the
extraordinary importance in securing the succession to
William Rufus, which the local story assigns to Eudo.
We may however accept the purely local parts of the
tale. Eudo's special position at Colchester, by whatever
name we are to call it, appears in the story as the gift,
not of William the Great but of William the Red. This
at once Mis in with the absence of all mention of the
castle in Domesday. The castle was not one of the castles
of the Conqueror ; it was clearly a work of Eudo, a work
dating from the reign of the second William, and not the
first. That vast pile, so widely diftering in its outhne
from the towers of London and R^ochester, will doubtless
find its exponent in the course of this meeting, though the
great master of military architecture is not among us.'
The abbey again gives us in its last days one of the ties
which connect the East of England and the West. John
Beche, the last Abbot of Colchester, was one of the three
})relates who refused to betray their trust. He was a

^ Mr. Clark was needed very much ; but Mr. Parker's cxposiliun was quite eiiuuyli
as against tlio Roman craze.


sharer in the martyrdom of Richard Wliiting on the Tor
of Glastonbury.

The great Benedictine abbey began in the later days
of Rufus ; the priory of Austin canons began a little
later in the early years of Henry tlie First. It boasted the
Lion of Justice himself among its benefactors, as appears by
his charter dated while Queen Matilda and Bishop Robert
Bloet of Lincoln were still living. The abliey, like that
of Shrewsbury, arose on a spot where had stood the
Avooden church of the English priest Sigeric. Of the
material of the new building the local history does not
speak ; the foiuidation stones whose laying it records are
f(uite consistent with a superstructure of brick. Saint
l)Otolfs, we all know, is built more Romano, more Camulo-
dunensi, of bricks which are none the less Roman, even
if some of them may have passed through the kiln in
the twelfth century. So it is with Eudo's castle also,
though there brick is not so exclusively the material.
The colony, like its metropolis, remained in all ages and
under all masters emphatically a city of biick, and
happily no one has l)een found to change it into a city of

I have now reached the point at which I commonly
find it expedient to bring discourses of this kind to an
end. 1 do not often attempt to carry on my comments
on local history beyond the stage where local history, for
the most part, becomes purely local. I commonly make
it my business in any district to show what were the
contributions of that district to the general history of
England, what part it had in building up the English
kingdom and nation. The purely local history, municipal,
ecclesiastical, genealogical, or any other, belongs, not to
me, but to those who have a special interest in the
particular district. Such local history is sure always to
supply some matter for which the general historian is
thankful ; l)ut it is hardly the business of the general
historian to seek it out for himself. He accepts it
with all gratitude at local hands, and then makes use of
it for his own purposes. But at Colchester I must
follow another ride, as in some degree I did at Exeter.
The place of Exeter in English history would be im-
perfectly dealt with, if we did not bring the entry of


William the Conqueror into its obvious contrast with the
entry of William the Deliverer. So at Colchester I
cannot bring myself to stop at the days of William the
Ked. I must leap over a few centuries. To many the
scene which the name of Colchester first calls up will be
the scene which followed the last siege, the day when
Lucas and Lisle died on the green between the Norman
castle and the Roman wall. I have already pointed out
that there is, in some sort, an analogy between the
beginning and the ending of Colchester history, between
the warfare of Boadicea and the warfare of Fairfax. It is
hardly allowed to me here to speak as freely of Fairfax as
I can of Boadicea. Of Eudo the Dapifer I can perhaps
speak more freely than of either. The strife of the
seventeenth century is so closely connected with modern
controversies and modern party-feelings that it cannot be
made purely archoeological ground like the strifes of the
first century or of the eleventh. I perhaps need hardly
tell you that my own personal feelings go with the cause
of Fairfax, though I trust that I am fully able to under-
stand and to honour all that was good and highminded
and self-sacrificing on the side of his enemies. But in
sinnming up the last stage in the long life of tliis historic
town, I must call attention to one or two obvious facts
wliich are apt to be forgotten in forming an estimate of
that great piece of local history. Bemember then that
the warfare of which the siege of Colchester forms the
last, and the most striking scene, was a warfare wholly
distinct from the earlier warfare of Edge -hill and Naseby.
Colchester was not a fortress which had held out for the
royal cause ever since the royal standard was first
upreared at Nottingham. During the whole of the first
war, Colchester and Essex were hardly touched. The
men of Colchester were strong for the Parliament, and
they had shown their zeal, a little too fiercely perhaps,
against their royalist neighbours at the al)bey. The
royalist movement of 1648, alike in Essex, in Kent, and
in South Wales, was in the strictest sense a revolt, a
vising against an existing state of things. Whether that
revolt was to be praised or to be condemned I will not
argue here ; all that I insist on is the plain fact that the
enterprise of the Earl of Norwich and Lord Capel was not


<a continuation of tlie war wlucli began at Nottingham,
but a wholly new war of their own levymg. Before
Colchester was besieged by Fairfax, it had in truth to be
besieged, though only for a moment, by those who
presently became its defenders. Again be it remembered
that, in the execution of Lisle and Lucas, Fairfax went
on perfectly good technical grounds. Tliey had been
prisoners of war, and had given their word of honour
never again to serve against the Parliament. I am far
from insisting with any undue severity on the obligations
of such promises as this. It is a question of casuistry
Avhether such a purely military promise should or
should not keep a man back from an enterprise to
which he deems that loyalty or patriotism calls him.

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