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history. Our judges receive a character from
their wigs, and the heroic Wolfe, in our con-
ception of him, owes something to his solitaire
and his pig-tail.

William takes possession of Neuf-Marche-


en-Lyons, a name indicating that the Bourgade power '
was a recent foundation in the essarts. Dis-
putes arise between William and his baronage.
He holds his court at Lillebonne, and perhaps he
already begins to plan how he can best employ
those turbulent servants who are attempting to
become his masters. May not this meeting be
confounded with the meeting at the same place
on the eve of the Conquest ? Here it is ex-
pressly said that he was reconciled with some of
his Barons.

15. [William, encouraged by Roger Mont- 1061
gomery and his wife Mabel, the wicked daughter
of the wicked William Talvas], sought to increase
his own power by disinheriting his Baronage.
Of course this must mean, that he sought

pels certain

resume the grants which he or his ancestors had Barons -
made, resuming the loans which, according to
the old German phraseology, he had made.
Ralph de Toeny is noted emphatically as being
one of the sufferers, together with Hugh de
Grantesmenil ; and Arnould Echaufour is also
named amongst them, by an act which may
have been legal, but certainly was ungracious.
Arnould was not a man to settle on the lees, but
invades the Lieuvin. It should seem that the



1060-1066 Castle of Echaufour had been resumed by
William, and now it was no longer in Arnould's
possession ; but he went to work resolutely,
and burnt the Abbey of Saint Evroul. William,
defying the principle of election, imposes Os-
berne on the unlucky monastery ; probably this
is the reason why the Abbot departs to Rome.

see p. 268. ^ Q Yesi of ^mould's story his flight,

return to Normandy, and death by poison
has been already given.]

1062 16. A great council or convention of the Es-

ca. cil of tates of Normandy Bishops, Abbots, Peers and
Proceres held at Caen, and a memorable law is
enacted by the Sovereign. The curfew bell, so
constantly represented as a badge of slavery,
imposed upon conquered England, was neither
more nor less than a salutary police regulation.
It was rung in the city of London within my

[It was not only towards his men-at-arms that
William showed his severity. Ecclesiastics were
not exempt from the same high hand.] About
this period some ecclesiastical changes were
taking or had taken place, which, as usual, had
much influence upon civil policy. 'According to
the homely proverb, "the nearer the bone the
sweeter the flesh," a dictum not always verified
when applied with respect to consanguinity ;
Mauger, [Archbishop of Rouen,] was not very
closely connected with William, though an im-
portant member of the ducal family the son


of Richard le-Bon, by his third wife, Papia.
Amongst William's enemies none more per-
tinacious and teasing than Archbishop Manger.
Courtier, soldier, warrior, prelate, the mitre
decked his head, and his mailed hand clutched
the crosier : but he was so wild and ill-condi-
tioned that we can scarcely think of him in his
clerical character. If you looked at the episco-
pal officiant when he turned towards the altar, you
would see that he lacked the Pallium, the snow-
white Pallium, woven by virgin hands, and which
heraldically figures in the bearings assigned
to our primatial sees ; for his incompetence, or
worse impediments, were so notorious that the
supreme pontiff refused to confirm him by its
delivery. But this made no practical difference,
for having been placed in his see by the Duke's
prerogative, that prerogative kept him there,
notwithstanding the breach of all ecclesiastical
discipline. In an age distinguished by ecclesi-
astical corruption, Manger was conspicuous for
his depravity. He wasted and dilapidated the
endowments of the See, and in him were com-
bined the vices of the priest and soldier. His
influence was enhanced rather than damaged by
the popular belief that he commanded the aid of
a household demon. The familiar answered to
the name of Thoreit. The German scholar will
be amused by this appellation : the French anti-
quaries, who luxuriate in detecting, not without
the aid of a vivid imagination, vestiges of the


ioeo-1066 Scandinavian faith, discover in the name Thoreit,
the exclamation Thor-aie, an invocation of Thor
the Hammerer; but the vocable is pure hoch
deufsch, and, however gained or bestowed, sim-

seepp.202, ply signifies Folly. Mauger supported his bro-
ther, the Count of Arques, with all his influ-
ence. [By the failure of that rebellion,] Mauger' s
power to excite trouble was diminished, but he
might yet be dangerous. William, careful not
to offend the Church, watched his opportunity.

XS or Force could not decently be employed. At a
convenient season of tranquillity a synod was
held at Rouen, and Mauger was deprived of his
See. The gross licentiousness in which he had
indulged was now found to afford a sufficient
reason. Mauger was banished to Jersey, or
perhaps fled there. Freed from every restraint,
whether of authority or example, here he lived
wildly and riotously, every now and then sailing
over 'to the mainland in a fishing-boat, and shew-
ing himself at Coutances ; visits which could not
be other than annoying to Duke William. In
one f these undignified trips the boat turned
over and the Archbishop was drowned : fortu-
nately for Duke William ; for everything that
tended to break down the old ducal family a
kinsman, a foeman was good luck to the Bas-
tard. Fortune continued to favour him ; but no
ease of mind did William enjoy on this side
the grave ; the up-heaved stone was ever rolling
down again.


Mauger deposed, Maurillus succeeded him.
Born of noble parents, at Roman Rheims, and
soundly indoctrinated, first at Rheims and sub-
sequently at Halverstadt, he was as remarkable
for his good qualities as his predecessor had
been for his vices and rebellion.

[William now expels Robert of Grandmenil
from the Abbey of Ouches, on suspicion of
rebellious language. The Abbot flies to Rome,
obtains the support of Pope Nicholas II., and
returns to Normandy with letters from him
and two Cardinals. When William learns this,
he exclaims, with fury, that he will hang any
one of his monks who utters a word against
him. Robert, hearing of this, returns to Italy
and takes shelter with Guiscard.


17. Now follows the conquest of Maine
by William, already told.] War breaks out
between Geoffrey, son of Eudes, and his cousin
Conan. The Basilica of Rouen is completed,
and Maurillus consecrates the splendid struc-
ture. William and his Barons, [during the war
against Maine,] are reconciled, in order to have
his hands clear. Perhaps the Palace of West-
minster is looming in the distance, through the
seamists. A stranger from England visits Nor- H arold its


mandy. It is Harold. Harold's oath : and
bound by this oath, famous or infamous, he
accompanies his new liege-lord in his expedition
against Conan of Brittany, who, when William Seep - m
was preparing to pass into England and vindi-


cate his rights by the sword, interposed and at-
Conan>g tempted to deter him. The shame of his illegi-
timacy was not sufficient. Conan denied that
William was entitled to assert even this title ;
he was not even a Bastard. " And when
Robert was about to depart for Jerusalem, he
conveyed all his inheritance to Alan, my father
and his cousin, but you and your accomplices
invaded his land, I being too young to defend
my rights, and against all justice. What right
could or can you, as a bastard, claim ? Return
to me that Normandy which thou owest. Delay
will ensure thee condign vengeance."

Brittany teemed with a wild and^martial
population ; but Conan, though ruling ably and
strenuously, had not yet been able to bring his
troops into the field ; whilst the border forces
which William raised, and was raising, contri-
buted to repel the Breton invasion.
Murder of Amongst the Bretons there was one who was
an ambidexter, owing fealty to both Counts and
not faithful to either, bearing messages between
them. Conan was his master, and he acted as
his valet. Conan, at this period, was quarrel-
ling with Anjou, and was besieging Chateau
Gonthier in Anjou, of which a detachment of
knights constituted the garrison. In these
wretched times, to repose confidence was to
suggest treachery; and the recreants surren-
dered the fortress, or, if you choose, sold their
services to William. Conan's valet poisoned


the inside of his master's horn, and whilst the
young and ardent prince was preparing for tri-
umph, he suddenly sickened and died. The
Bretons raged : William was vituperated as a
robber and a murderer ; no son of the late
Magnifico, he, not so much as a bastard a
changeling ! and no one doubted the popular
report that Conan had been poisoned by Wil-
liam's agency, rumour accumulating crime
upon injustice.

18. [The thread which links the history
of Normandy and England must now be again
taken up. The last event noted, was the abortive circa 1023,

see p. 175.

attempt of Duke Robert against Canute. After
Canute's death, and during the contested suc-
cession which closed in the assumption of sove- Conte8 t ed


reigntyby Harold Barefoot, Edward and Alfred, ir
the children of Ethelred and Emma, by the as-
sistance of their friends, fitted out a fleet and
sailed to England. Edward approached the port
of Southampton,] where he found the inhabitants
in arms, not to aid him in his enterprise, but
prepared for the most strenuous resistance. Either
they were really hostile to the son of the un-
popular Ethelred, or they feared to draw down
upon themselves the vengeance of the brutal
Harold. Edward, therefore, had no choice ; and
abandoning the inhospitable shore, he returned
to his place of refuge in Normandy.

Soon afterwards, an affectionate letter was
addressed, in the name of Emma, to Alfred and


ioeo-1066 Edward, urging one of them, at least, to return
to England for the purpose of recovering the
kingdom from the tyrant. Alfred obeyed the
summons ; and with a few trusty followers,
whom he retained in Flanders, he proceeded to
England, where he was favourably received by
Earl Godwin, at London, and thence conducted
to Guildford. The plot was now revealed. Alfred
Death or was seized by the accomplices and satellites of

Alfred. /

the tyrant, blinded, and conducted as a captive
to Ely, where death soon closed his sufferings.
God win was very generally accused of the murder.
The epistle had perhaps been forged by the di-
rection of Harold. Rumour is always busy in
these foul transactions ; arid Emma herself does
not escape vehement suspicion; but nothing is
known for certain, except the fate of the miserable
victim and of his companions, who suffered an
agonizing death.

Harefoot f . Harold expired after a short and inglorious

reign. Upon his death, the Proceres or nobles,
Danes as well as English, invited Hardicanute,
[son to Canute, by Emma, after Ethelred's death,]
to return to Britain, and receive the sceptre of
the kingdom, [which he held for two years.]

19. Edward the Atheling, the only sur-
viving son of Ethelred, had been invited to
England by Hardicanute, from whom he re-
ceived great kindness. Hardicanute had no
children, and the easy and quiet disposition of
his half-brother averted all suspicion or anxiety.


[With some difficulty he was persuaded by Godwin

to claim the throne.] Within a few days after

the body of Hardicanute had been consigned to Edward the


the earth, the prelates and great men of the SUCCI
Anglo-Saxon realms assembled at London, and
accepted Edward as their king. William, Duke
of Normandy, aided Edward by his influence;
and it was intimated to the English, that if they
refused to recognize the son of Emma, they
would experience the weight of the Norman
power. Yet the act of recognition was mainly
owing to the exertions of the Earl of Wessex,
and to the consequence which he possessed in
the assembly. As soon as Edward was settled
upon the throne, he invited over from Normandy
many of those who had been his friends during
his exile.

[This divided the English chieftains. The
prepotent Godwin family took the lead against
the Norman courtiers ; Leofric of Coventry and
Siward of Northumbria supported them.]

It is certain that the Norman party began to N an 8

J unpopular in

conduct themselves in such a manner as to occa- Ensland -
sion much disgust amongst the nation at large.
Edward, during his residence in Normandy, had
become partial to the customs of that country,
and introduced many such usages into England.
The Norman hand-writing was thought handsomer,
by Edward, than the Anglo-Saxon ; and he estab-
lished the mode of testifying his assent to official
documents by adding an impression of his great


seal, which was appended to the parchment, in
addition to the mark of the cross, according to the
Anglo-Saxon custom which I have before noticed.
Norman Hitherto the Anj^lo-Saxon kings never used a


introduced. ses ^ f OT ^ p ur p OSe O f authenticating their char-
ters. But the custom had been long established
in France. And from the Frankish Monarchs
Edward borrowed the practice, though the seal
itself, exhibiting his effigy, surrounded by the
legend l Sigillum Eaduuardi Anglorum BasileiJ
seems rather to have been copied from the pat-
terns afforded by the Greek Emperors.

Growth of It may appear that this innovation was no

the Chancery . . .

great grievance ; but, upon examining the matter,
it will be found connected with more important
consequences. The adoption of these forms gave
the king an additional reason for retaining about
his person the ' Clerks,' whom he had brought
from France, and by whom all his writing business
was performed. They were his domestic chaplains,
and the keepers of his conscience ; and, in addi-
tion to these influential functions, they were his
law advisers and also his Secretaries of State ;
and as such they seem to have formed a bench
in the Witenagemot. The chief of these was
his Arch-Chaplain or Chancellor ; and through
them, judging from the practice both of the
French and English courts, it was the custom
to prefer all petitions and requests to the king.
One suitor was desirous of obtaining a grant of
land another, mayhap, required a ' writ ' to


enable him to recover amends for an injury ; since
no person could sue in the King's Court without
a special permission a third wished to ask for
leave to quarter himself and his hounds and his
horses on one of the king's manors and, in such
cases, we cannot doubt but that Robert, the Nor-
man Monk of Jumieges, or Giso the Fleming,
or Ernaldus the Frenchman, would have many
means of serving their own party and disappoint-
ing their adversaries ; and many an honest
Englishman was turned awav, with a hard word

/ "

and a heavy heart, by these Norman courtiers.
The Chaplains or Clerks of the Chancery, were
particularly obnoxious : many of them obtained
the best pieces of preferment in the king's gift.
The Bishoprics were filled by Prelates who might
be good stout soldiers or clever lawyers, but who
were therefore eminently disqualified for the
stations in the church, which they had obtained
merely by favour or importunity.

The Normans had, by this time, adopted the
use of the French language, or, as it was then
called, ' Romance.' Edward had acquired a
partiality for this dialect, which had become
familiar to him during his stay in Normandy,
and by his example it was becoming fashionable
amongst the higher classes, at least amongst the
favourites of Edward ; and we cannot doubt but
that this circumstance tended to raise up a
further cause of discontent. A nation which
loses its own speech, is half conquered.


1060-1066 20. [Meanwhile, as we have seen,] William
~^o5i~ had fully established himself in the Duchy,
So m ' s after encountering many difficulties. He now
arrived from beyond the sea with a large and
splendid train of Frenchmen, on a visit to
his good cousin, Edward, King of England :
cousins they certainly were ; for Edward's
mother, Emma, was own sister to Robert,
the father of William ; and even if the kin-
dred had been more remote, it would still
have afforded a ground for attention and
civility. Prosperity acts like a telescope,
and often enables folks to bring distant
relations much nearer than they would be
without its aid. And we shall not be guilty of
any great breach of charity if we suppose that
William, young, ambitious, and enterprising,
did not undertake this journey purely out of
natural love and affection towards his old aunt
and kinsman. Did he begin to form any plans
for the invasion of England ? Did he contem-
plate the possibility of wearing his kinsman's
crown ? In our modern days it is not at all an
unfrequent thing for a man to sit down and
write his own memoirs ; in which, with great
ingenuity and accuracy, he tells you everything
concerning his actions and intentions, or at
least everything which he wishes you to believe.
In the eleventh century, however, these asides
were not so common. William the Conqueror
neither wrote his autobiography, nor hinted to


any good and serviceable friend that he had no
objection to have his opinions reported for the
amusement and instruction of the world ; and
his "correspondence" is not extant, therefore
I cannot exactly tell you what he thought.
However, I can tell you what he saw, and then
you may judge for yourself as to the sentiments
which possibly floated in the mind of the Norman

King Edward was surrounded by Frenchmen state of

* England

and foreigners, who filled his court, and were
spread over England. Of the few castles and
strongholds which were in the realm, some,
the most important, those towards the Welsh
marches, were garrisoned by French and Norman
soldiers, under the command of leaders of their
own nation. In the great towns and cities, no
inconsiderable number of Frenchmen were to be
found, who, having settled there, enjoyed what
we should now call the freedom of the corpora-
tion, living in houses of their own, and paying
scot and lot, or taxes, like the English bur-
gesses. The country itself invited the attacks
of an enemy ; the great towns, with few excep-
tions, were either quite open, or fortified only
by stoccades and banks, or, perhaps by a
ruinous Roman wall; and the Englishmen them-
selves, though very brave, were much inferior
to the continental nations in the art of war.
As soldiers, they laboured under a still greater
deficiency than any which can result from the


ioeo-1066 want of weapons or of armour. Stout, well-fed,
and hale, the Anglo-Saxon, when sober, was
fully a match for any adversary who might be
brought from the banks of the Seine or the
Loire. But the old English were shamefully
addicted to debauchery, and the wine-cup un-
nerves the stoutest arm. The monkish chroni-
clers, as you will recollect, tell us that we
learnt this vice from the Danes a sorry excuse ;
and it is little to the credit of Englishmen, that
drunkenness still continues to stain our national

The empire was distracted by factions. The
members of a very powerful family, whose con-
duct had excited the suspicions of the sovereign,
had been deprived of their possessions, but
certainly not according to equity, so that they
and their adherents had a double cause of
hostility disaffection, and the sense of the
injury which they had sustained.

Edward was advancing in years, childless,
and without hope of children. Upon his death,
the royal line of Cerdic would be represented
solely by Edward the " Outlaw," the only sur-
viving son of Edmund Ironside, then a fugitive
in a distant realm, far away in Hungary. Hardly
did it seem probable that this Prince, so es-
tranged from England, could possibly assert
his right to the succession ; and, therefore, as
soon as Edward should be stretched on the bier,
the vacant throne might be ascended by any


one, who, whether by force or favour, could
obtain the concurrence of any powerful partisans,
or the sanction of the legislature.

Such then was the state of affairs, when
William, Duke of Normandy, afterwards the
Conqueror, repaired to England. We have no
positive evidence concerning what was said or
done ; and I am not prepared to relate the
conversations between King Edward and his
cousin, as if I had listened behind the tapestry.
But the matters narrated by chroniclers I can
repeat, and from their testimony we do know,
thai William was honourably received. He
conducted himself with so much address as to
acquire the confidence and good-will of Edward,
who, by the expulsion of Godwin and his family,
had obtained a temporary respite from uneasi-
ness and disquietude.

This calm did not last long [Godwin and
Harold appeared in arms, and to avoid a battle,
the quarrel was laid before the Witenagemot.]

The Great Council not only agreed that Triumph of

the Godwini.

Godwin and his sons were innocent, but decreed
the restoration of their earldoms ; and such was
the influence of the Earl of Wessex, that the
Witan adopted all the views of his party. All
the French were declared outlaws, because it
was said that they had given bad advice to the
king, and brought unrighteous judgments into
the land ; a very few only, whose ignoble names
have been preserved Robert, the Deacon,
VOL. in. u


Richard, the son of Scrub, Humphrey Cock's-
foot, and the Groom of the stirrup, were
excepted from this proscription : obscure, mean
men, whom Godwin could not fear. Robert, the
monk of Jumieges, who had been promoted to
the Archbishopric of Canterbury, was just able
to escape with his life, so highly were the people
incensed against him. He and Ulf, Bishop of
Dorchester, after scouring the country, broke
out through the East-gate of Canterbury, and
killing and wounding those who attempted to
stop them, they betook themselves to the coast,
and got out to sea. Other of the Frenchmen
retired to the Castles of their countrymen. And
the restoration of the Queen to her former rank,
completed the triumph of the Godwin family.

21. Old age was now rapidly advancing
upon Edward. He was childless. He saw the
increasing power of Harold, and that the king-
dom which he had been called to govern would
be exposed to the greatest confusion. He
recalled " Edward the Outlaw," [sole surviving
descendant to Edmund Ironside,] from Hungary,
with the intention of proclaiming him as heir to
the crown.

1057 Edmund Ironside had been much beloved,

and greatly did England rejoice when Edward,
no longer the Outlaw, but the Atheling, arrived
here, accompanied by his wife Agatha, the
emperor's kinswoman, and his three fair children,
Edgar, Christina, and Margaret. But the

sor reverts to


people's gladness was speedily turned to sorrow, loeo-ioes
Very shortly after the Atheling arrived in Lon- p cnthof
don, he sickened and died. He was buried in 6utuw.
St. Paul's Cathedral ; and sad and ruthful were
the forebodings of the English, when they saw
him borne to his grave. Harold gained exceed-
ingly by this event. Did the Atheling die a
natural death ? the lamentations of the chroni-
clers seem to imply more than meets the ear.

Edward's design having thus been frustrated, 1( >58-io65
he determined that William of Normandy should
succeed him on the throne of England, and he wmiam -
executed, or, perhaps, re-executed a will to that
effect, bequeathing the crown to his good cousin.
This choice, disastrous as it afterwards appeared
to be from its consequences, was not devoid of
foresight and prudence. Edward, without doubt,
viewed the nomination of the Norman as the
surest mode of averting from his subjects the
evils of foreign servitude or domestic war. The
Danish Kings, the pirates of the north, were
yearning to regain the realm, which their great
Canute had ruled. At the very outset of Ed-
ward's reign, Magnus, the successor of Hardi-
canute, had claimed the English crown. A
competitor at home had diverted Magnus from

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