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man horse divided the pursuing bod}* of the English from the
T«8t, and thus all that foremost portion of the English army
fell, fighting bravely. The main body still remaining firm,
heedless of the Norman arrows, and with their battle-axes
catting down the crowds of horsemen when they rode up, like
forests of young trees, Duke William pretended to retreat.
The eager English followed. The Norman aimy closed
Again, and fell upon them with great slaughter.
** Still,*' said Duke William, " there are thousands of the



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64 A CHILD'S HISTOHY of ENGLAND.

Englkh, firm as rocks around their King. Shoot upward,
Norman ardiers, that your arrows may fall down upon their
faces ! "

The sun rose high, and sank, and the battle still raged.
Through all the wild October day, the clash and din re-
sounded in the air. In the red snnset, and in the white
moonlight, heaps u[K>n heaps of dead men lay strewn, a
dreadful spectacle, all over the ground. King Harold,
wounded with an arrow in the eye, was nearly blind. Hi«
brothers were already killed. Twenty Norman Knights,
whose battered armor had flashed fiery and golden in the
sunshine all da}* long, and now k>oked silverj' in the moon^
light, dashed forward to seize the Ro^'al banner from tlK!
English Knights and soldiers, still faithfully- collected round
their blinded King. The King received a mortal woand, and
dropped. The English broke and fled. The Normans rallied,
and the day was lost.

O what a sight beneatli the moon and stars, when lights
were shining in the tent of the victm-ious Duke WiHiam,
wliLch was pitched near the spot where Harold fell — and he
and his Knights were carousing, within — and soldiers with
torches, going slowly to and fro, without, sought for the
corjise of Harold among piles of dead — and the warrior,
worked in golden tliread and precious stones, lay low, all
torn and soiled with blood — and the three Norman Lions
kept watch orer the field !



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WILLIAM THB CONQUEROR. 55



CHAPTER Vm.

ENGLAND UNDER WILLIAM THE FIRST, THE NORMAN
CONQUEROR.

Upon the groand where the brave Harold fell, William
the Norman afterwards founded an abbe}', which, under
the name of Battle Abbey, was a rich and splendid place
through many a troubled year, though now it is a gray
min overgrown with iiy. But the first work he had to do,
was to conquer the English thoroughly ; and tiiat, as 3'oa
know by this time, was hard work for any man.

He ravaged several counties; he burned and plundered
many towns ; he laid waste scores upon scores of miles of
pleasant country' ; he destroyed innumerable lives. At length
SnoAND, Archbishop of Canterbury, with other repreeentit-
tives of ttie clergy and the people, went to his camp, and
snbmiited to him. Edgar, the insignificant son of Edmund
Ironside, was proclaimed King b}' others^ but nothing came
of it. He fled to Scotland afterwards, where his sister, who
was young and beautiful, married the Scottish King. Edgar
himself was not important enough for anj-body to care much
about him.

On Christmas Day, William was crowned in Westminster
Abbey, under the title of William the First ; but he is best
known as William the Conqueror. It was a strange coro-
nation. One of the bishops who performed the ceremony
Mked the Normans, in French, if they would have Duke
William for their king? They answered Yes. Another of
the bishops put fhe same question to the Saxons, in English.
They too answered Yes, with a loud shout. The noise being



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56 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

heard by a guard of Norman horse-soldiers outside, was mis-
taken for resistance on the part of the English. The guard
instantly set fire to the neighboring houses, and a tumult
ensued ; in the midst of which the King, being left alone iu
the Abbey, with a few priests (and they all being in a terrible
fright together), was hurriedly crowned. When the tirown
was placed upon his head, he swore to govern the English
as well as the best of their own monarchs. I dare say 3-ou
think, as I do, that if we except the Great Alfred, he might
pretty easily have done that.

Numbers of the English nobles had been killed in the last
disastrous battle. Their estates, and the estates of all the
nobles who had fooght against him there, King William
seized upon, and gave to his own Norman knights and nobles.
Many great English families of tlie pi-esent time acquired
their English lands in this way, and are very proud of it.

But what is got by force must be maintained by force.
These nobles were obliged to build castles all over England,
to defend their new property ; and, do what he would, the
King could neither soothe nor quell the nation as he wished.
He gradually introduced tlie Norman language and the Nor-
man customs; yet, for a long time the great body of the
English remained sullen and revengeful. On his going over
to Normandy, to visit his subjects there, the oppressions of
his half-brother Odo, whom he left in charge of his English
kingdom, drove the people mad. The men of Kent even
invited over, to take possession of Dover, their old enemy
Count Eustace of Boulogne, who had led the fray when Uie
Dover man was slain at his own firesride. The men of Here-
ford, aided by the Welsh, and commanded by a chief named
Edric the Wild, drove tlie Normans out of thehr country.
Some of those who had been dispossessed of their lands,
banded together in the Noith of England ; some, in Scotland ;
some, in the thick woods and marshes ; and whensoever they
could fall upon the Normans, or upon the English who had
submitted to the Normans, they fought, despoiled, and mur*



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WnjJAM THE CJONQUEROR. 57

deredy like the desperate outlaws that ^ey were. Conspira-
cies were set on foot for a general massacre of the Normans,
like the old massacre of tlie Danes. In short, tlie English
were in a murderous mood all tbixHigh the kingdom.

King William, fearing he might lose his ecmqaest, came
bade, and tried to pacify the London people by soft words.
He then set forth to repress the country people by^stem
deeds. Among the towns which he besieged, and where he
killed and maimed the inhabitants without any distinction,
sparing none, 3'oung or old, armed or unarmed, were Oxford,
Warwick, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln, York.
Ib all these places, and in many others, ire and sword woriced
their utmost horrors, and made the land dreadM to behold.
The stareams and rivers were discolored with blood ; the sky
WIS blackened with smoke ; the fields were wastes of ashes ;
the waysides were heaped up with dead. Such are the fatal
results of conquest and ambition I Although William was a
harsh and angry man, 1 do not sup^Kwe that he deliberately
meant to work this shocking ruin, when he invaded England.-
Bot what he had got by the strong hand, he ooukl only keep
bj the strong hand, and in so doing he made England a great
grave.

Two sons of Harold, by name Emi diid and Godwin, came
orer from L:«land, with some riups, against the Normans,
but were defeated. This was seareely done, when the out-
laws in the woods so harassed York, that the Governor sent
to the King for help. The Kii^ despatched a general and a
laige force to occupy the town of Durham. The Bishop of
that place met the general outside the town, and warned him
Dot to enter, as he would be in dangei- there. The general
cared nothing ka the waming, and went in with all his men.
That night, on every hill within sight of Durham, signal fires
vcre seen to blase. Wlien the rooming dawned, the En^iah,
^diohad aflo eanbled in great strength, forced the gates, rushed
Bito the town, and slew the Normans ever}' one. The Engiisk
sAnrwards besought t^e Danes to come and help them. The



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58 A CHILD'S HISTOEY OF ENGLAND.

Danes cJime, with two hundred and forty ships. The out-
lawed nobles Joined them ; they captured York, and drove
the Normans out of that city. Then, William bribed the
Danes to go away ; and took such vengeance on the En^iah,
that all (he fermer ive and sw(H*d, smoke and ashes, deatli
and ruin« were nothing compared with iL In melancholy
songs, and dolefhl stories, it was still sung and tokk l^ cot-
tage fires on winter evenings, a hundred years afterwards,
how, in those dreadftil days of the Normans, there was not,
fVom the Ri\'er Humber to the River Tyne, one iidialnted
village left, nor one cultivated field -^ how there was nothing
but a dismal niin, where the human creatures and the beasts
lay dead together.

The outlaws had, at this time, what tbey called a Camp of
Befbge, in the midst of the fens of Cambridgeshire. Pro-
tected by those marshy grounds whidi were difilcult of ap*
proach, they lay among the reeds and rushes, and were hidden
by the mists that rose up fh>m the watery earth. Now, there
also was, at that time, over the sea in Flanders,'aQ Engiiah-
man named Hebeward, whose ikther had died in his afasenoe,
and whose property had been given to a Norman. When he
heard of this wrong that had been done him (fVom such of liie
exiled English as chanced to wander into that ooontrj), he
longed for revenge ; and joining the outlaws in their eamp of
reftige, became their commander. He was so good a soldier,
tiiat the Normans supposed him to be aided by enchantment.
William, even after he had made a road three miles in length
across the Cambridgeshire marshes, on purpose to attack this
supposed enchanter, thought it necessary to engage an old
lady, who pretended to be a sorceress, to come and do a MtUe
enchantment in the royal cause. For this purpose she was
pushed on before the troops in a wooden tower ; but Here-
ward very soon disposed of this unfortunate sorceress, by
burning her, tower and all. The monkaof the oenvent of £lj
near at hand, however, who were fond <^ good itving, and
who found it ver}' uncomfortable to have the eounHj block-



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WILLIAM THE CONQUEKOK. 59

aded and their snppliefi of meail and drink cut off, showed the
King a secret way of surprising the camp. So Hereward
was soon defe^tud. Wfaetbsr tee afterwaida died quieUy, or
whether he was killed after killing sixteen of the men who
attacked hira (as some old rh3'mes relate that he did), I
eannot say. His defeat put an end to the Camp of Refuge ;
and, Yerj soon afterwards, the King, victorious both in Scot-
hud and in En^and, quelled the last rebellions English noble.
He then sarrounded himself with Norman lords, enriched b}'
the propert}* of English nobles ; had a great survey made of
all the knd in England, which wae entered as the property of
its new owners, on a roll called Docunsday Book ; obliged the
people to put out their fires and candles at a certain hoar
ever}' night, on the ringiag of a bell whidi was called The
Curfew ; introduced the Norman dresses and manners ; made
the Normans masters everywhere^ and the English, servants ;
tamed out the English bishops, and put Normans in their
pUces ; and showed himself to be the Conqueror indeed.

But, even with his own Normans, he had a restless life.
Hiey were alwa^'s hungering and thirsting for the riches of
the Engliah ; and the more he gave, the more they wanted.
His priests were as greedy as his soldiers. We know <^
4Mily one Norman who plainly told hia master, the King,
that he had come with him to England to do his duty as a
fiiithful servant, and that property taken by force iVoai other
men had no charms for him. His name was Guilbert.
We should not forget his name, for it is good to remember
and to honor honest men.

Besides all these trouUes, William tiie Conqueror was trou-
liled by quarrela among his sons. He had three living. Robebt,
called Cmrraoae, because of his short legs ; William, called
RoFus or the Red, from the cx)lor of his hair ; and Hsnby, ibnd
of learmng, and called^ ia the Norman language Beauclebc, or
Fine^k^hokf . When Robert grew up, he asdced of liis father
the government of Normandy, which he had oofUUially pos-
•^sased, a^aehild, under his mother, Matilda. The Kuig re*-



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60 A CHILD'S HISTORY OP ENGLAND.

fbsing to grant it, Roliert l>ecaTne Jealous and discontented ;
and happening one day, while in tiiis temper, to be ridiculed
by his brothers, who threw water on him from a balcony as he
was walking befoi*e the door, he drew his sword, mshed up-
stairs, and was only prevented by the King himself ftom put-
ting tliem to death. That same night, he hotly departed witli
some followers from his father^s court, and endeavored to
take the Castle of Rouen by surprise. Failing in this, he shut
himself up in another Castle in Normandy, which the King be-
sieged, and where Robert one day unhorsed and nearly killed
him without knowing who he was. His submission when he
discovered his father, and the intercession of the queen and
others, reconciled them ; but not soundly ; for Robert soon
strayed abroad, and went from court to court with his com-
plaints. He was a gay, careless, thoughtless fellow, spending
all he got on musicians and dancers ; but his mother loved
him, and often, against the King's command, supplied him with
money through a messenger named Sakson. At length the
incensed King swore he would tear out Samson's eyes ; and
Samson, thinking that his only hope of safety was in becom-
ing a monk, became one, went on such errancte no more, and
kept his eyes in his head.

All this time, fVom the turbulent day of his strange corona*
tion, the Conqueror had been struggling, you see, at any oosit
of cruelty and bloodshed, to maintain what he had seized.
All his reign, he struggled still, with tlie same object ever
before him. He was a stern bold man, and he succeeded in
it.

He loved money, and was particular in his eating, but he
had only leisure to indulge one other passion, and that was
lus love of hunting. He carried it to such a height that he
ordered whole villages and towns to be swept away to make
forests for the deer. Not satisfied with sixty-eight Royal
Forests, he laid waste an immense district, to form another
in Hampshire, called the New Forest. The many thousamfe
of miserable peasants wIk> saw their little houses pitUed



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WILLIAM TEE CONQUEROR. 61

down, and themselves and children turned into the open coun-
try without a shelter, detested him for his merciless addition
to their many sufferings ; and when, in the twentj -first year
of his reign (which proved to be the last) , he went over to
Rouen, £ngland was as full of hatred against him as if every
leaf on ever}' tree in til his Royal Forests had been a curs^e
upon his head. In the New Forest, his son Richard (for Ite
had four sons) had been gored to death by a Stag ; and the
people said that this so cruelly-made Forest would yet be fat^l
to others of the Coqqueror's race*

He was engaged in ft dispute with the King of France
about some territory. While he stayed at Rouen, negotiating
with that King, he kept his bed and took medicines : being
advised by his physidans to do so, on account of having
grown to an unwield}' size. Word being brought to him th^
the King of Fi-anoe made light of t^is, and joked about it, he
swore in a great rage that he should rue his jests. He assem-
bled his army, marched into the disputed territorj', burnt — r
his old way] — the vines, the crops, and fruit, and set the
town of Mantes on fire. But, in an evil hour ; for, as he rode
over the hot ruins, his horse, setting his hoofs upon some burn-
ing embers, started, threw him forward against the pommel
of the saddle, and gave him a mortal hurt. For six weeks he
lay dying in a monastery near Rouen, and then made his will^
giving England to William, Normandy to Robert, and five
thousand pounds to Henry. And now his violent deeds
lay heavy on his mind. He ordered money to be given to
many English churches and monasteries, and — whicti was
much better repentance — released his prisoners of state,
some of whom had been confined in his dungeons twenty
years.

It was a September morning, and the sun was risix^, when
the King was awakened from plumber by the sound of a
chorch bell, " What bell is that. I " he faintly asked. They
told him it was the bell of the chapel of Saint; M^'. "X
ooounend mj aoui^" said he, " to Mar}* ! ",and died.



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62 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

Think of his name, The Conqueror, and then consider how
he lay in death ! The moment he was dead, his physicians,
priests, and nobles, not knowing what contest for the throne
might now take place, or what might happen in it, hastened
away, each man for himself and his own property ; the mer-
cenary servants of the court began to rob and plunder ; the
body of the King, in the indecent strife, was rolled ftt>m the
bed, and lay alone, for hours, upon the ground. O Conquer-
or, of whom so many great names are proud now, of whom so
many great names thought nothing then, it were better to have
conquered one true heart, than England I

By-and-by, the priests came creeping in with prayere
and candles; and a good knight, named Hbrluin, under-
took (which no one else would do) to convey the body to
Caen, in Normandy, in order that it might be buried in St.
Stephen's church there, which the Conqueror had founded.
But fire, of which he had made such bad use in his life,
seemed to follow him of itself in death, A great conflagration
broke out in the town when the body was placed in the
church; and those present running out to extinguish tlie
flames, it was once again left alone.

It was not even buried in peace. It was about to be let
down, in its Ro}'al robes, into a tomb near the high altar, in
presence of a gi-eat concourse of people, when a loud voice in
the crowd cried out, " This ground is mine ! Upon it, stood
my father's house. This King despoiled me of both ground
and house to build this church. In the great name of God, I
here forbid his body to be covered with the earth that is my
right ! '* The priests and bishops present, knowing the speak-
er's right, and knowing that the King had often denied
him justice, paid him down sixty shillings for the grave -
Even then, the corpse was not at rest The tomb was too
small, and they tried to force it in. It broke, a dreadfViI
smeU arose, the people hurried out into the air, and, ibr the
thin} time, it wi^ }eft filone.

Where were the Cpnqueroit^ three sons, that thej- were not



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mUilAM TH£ CONQUEROR. 63

$X their father's burial? Robert was lounging among min-
strels, dancers, and gamesters, in France or Germany. Hen-
ry was carrying his &\e thousand pounds safely away in a
convenient chest he had got made. William the Red was
hurr}ing to England, to lay hands upon the Royal treasure
and the crown.



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64 A CHILD'S HISTOOT OF ENGLAND.



CHAPTER IX.

ENGLAND UKDER WILLIAM THE SECOND, CALLED RUFUS.

William the Red, in breathless haste secured the three
great forts of Dover, Pevensey, and Hastings, and made
with hot speed for Winchester, where the Royal treasure
was kept. The treasurer delivering him the keys, he found
that it amounted to sixty thousand pounds in silver, besides
gold and jewels. Possessed of this wealth, he soon per-
suaded the Archbishop of Canterbury to crown him, and
became William the Second, King of England.

Rufus was no sooner on the throne, than he ordered into
pnson again the unhappy state captives whom his father had
set A*ec, and directed a goldsmith to ornament his fatiier's
tomb profusely with gold and silver. It would have been
more dutiful in him to have attended the sick Conqueror when
he was dying; but England, itself, like this Red King, who
once governed it, has sometimes made expensive tombs for
dead men whom it treated shabbily when they were alive.

The King's brother, Robert of Normandy, seeming quite
content to be only Duke of that country ; and the King's
other brother, Fine-Scholar, being quiet enough with his five
thousand pounds in a chest ; the King flattered himself, we
may suppose, with the hope of an easy reign. But easy reigns
were difficult to have in those days. The turbulent Bishop
Odo (who had blessed the Norman army at the Battle of
Hastings, and who, I dare say, took all the credit of the vic-
tory to himself) soon began, in concert with some powei*M
Norman nobles, to trouble the Red King.

The tmth seems to be that this bishop and his friends, who



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WILLIAM THE SECOND. 65

bad lands in England and lands in Normand j, wished to hold
both under one Sovereign ; and greatly preferred a thoughtless
good-natured person, sueh as Robert was, to Rufus; who,
though ikr from being an amiable man in any respect, was
keen, and not to be imposed upon. They declared in Robert's
favor, and retired to their castles (those castles were very
troublesome to kings) in a sullen humor. The Red King,
seeing the Xormans thus falling from him, revenged himself
upon them by appealing to the English ; to whom he made a
variety of promises, which he never meant to perform — in
particular, promises to soften the cruelty of the Forest Laws ;
and who, in return, so aided him with their valor, that Or>o
was besieged in tiie Castle of Rochester, and forced to aban^
don it, and to depart from England ibr ever ; whereupon the
other rebellious Norman nobles were soon deduced and scat-
tered. -

Then, the Red King went over to Normandy, where the
people suffered greatly under the loose rale of Duke Robert.
The King's object was to seize upon the Duke's dominions.
This, the Duke, of course, prepared to resist ; and miserable
war between the two brothers seemed inevitable, when the
powerful nobles on both sides, who had seen so much of war,
interfered to prevent it. A treaty was made. Each of the
two brothei-s agreed to give up something of his claims, and
that the longer- liver of the two should inherit all the domin-
ions of the other. When they had come to this loving under-
standing, thej' embraced and joined their forces against Fine-
Scholar ; who had bought some territory of Robert with a
part of his five thousand i)ounds, and was considered a dan-
gerous individual in consequence.

St. MichaeFs Mount, in Normandy (there is another St.
Michaers Mount, in Coniwall, wondei-f\illy like it), was then,
as it is now, a strong place perched upon the top of a high
rock, around which, when the tide is in, the sea flows, leaving
no road to the mainland. In this place, Fine-Scholar shut
liimself up with his soldiei^s, and here he was closely besieged

5



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66 A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

by his two brothers. At one time, when he was reduced to
great distress for want of water, the generous Robert not only
permitted his men to get water, but sent Fine-Scholar wine
from his own table ; and, on being remonstrated with by the
Red King, said, ^' What! sluili we let our own brother die
of thirst? Where shall we get another, when he is gone?"
At another time, the Red King riding alone on the shore of
the bay, looking up at the Castle, was taken by two of Fine-
Scholar's men, one of whom was about to kill him, when he
cried out, ^^ Hold, knave ! I am the King of England ! " The
stoiy says that the soldier raised him from the ground respect-
fully and humbly, and that the King took him into his service.
The story may or may not be true ; but at any rate it is true
that Fine-Scholar could not hold out against his united broth-
ers, and that he abandoned Mount St. Michael, and wandered
about — as poor and forlorn as other scholars have been .some-
times known to be.

The Scotch became unquiet in the Red King's time, and
were twice defeated — the second time, with the loss of their
King, Malcolm, and his son. The Welsh became unquiet too.
Against them, Rufus was less successful; for they fought
among their native mountains, and did great execution on
the King's troops. Robert of Normandy became unquiet
too ; and complaining that his brotlier the King did not faith-
fully peiforra his part of their agreement, took up aims, and
obtained assistance ft'om the King of France, whom RuAis,
in the end, Iwught off witli vast sums of money. England
became unquiet too. Lord Mowbray, the powerful Earl of
Northumberland, headed a great conspiracy to depose the
King, and to place upon the throne, Stephen, the Conqueror's
near relative. The plot was discovei-ed ; all the chief con-
spirators were seized; some wei*e fined, some were put in



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