M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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this precaution, nor his Manifefto gained him any Friends.
The EngliJJi could not conceive upon what Foundation he
had entered the Kingdom with an Army, or what advan-
tage any one could have by taking his Part.
WmMrr>mc% The news of the defccnt of the Normans v/as quickly
to Lomlnn. brought to Harold, who was ftill in the North, little cx-
S-Dundm. p^n^g t ],; s J nva fi on till the Spring. As foon as he was
informed of it, he marched to give thefe new Enemies
Battle, whom he did not think more formidable than the
Norwegians. By hafty marches, he came to London,
where, upon a Review, he found his Army very much di-
niinifhed, not only ly the Battle of Standford, but by un-
ufual defections, occafioned by the discontent of his Troops.
Tix NMi:ty However, all the Nobility of the Kingdom repaired to him,
and offered their Afliftance on an occalion where it was no
lefs their Intcreft than his to repel the Foreigners. Whilft
ytmbaffiJars nc expected at London fomc of his Troops that were be-
hind, Duke William fent Amballadors to require him to
refigh the Crown, and to charge him with breach of Oath.
He was fo moved at the haughtinefs wherewith the Am-
baffadors addrefs'd him, that he could hardly refrain from
ufing them ill. However he governed his Paffion ; but
was even with his Enemy, by fending him a menacing
and infulting Meffage. The Duke patiently heard what
Harold ordered to be faid to him, and difmifled the Ambaf-
fadors without any anfwer.



tome in to
him.



from the
Duke,



end from
Harold to
tie Duke.



Harold en-



Mean time, Harold having drawn all his Forces toge-



the Nor

I
mans.

Malnr.

4,1. Weil



truth's

Speech to hi: ' c
Brother. < i

Malmib.
W- Weft.



'tlTtiur"- ther ' encamped about (even Miles (i ) from the Norman
Army, with a refolution to give them Battle. Whilft
the two Armies lay thus near one another, Spies were
continually fent out on both Sides, each Leader being
equally defirous to know the ftrength and pofture of his
Enemies. But the Englijh Spies magnified in fuch a man-
ner the number and discipline of the Normans, that the
principal Officers began to doubt of the fuccefs of the
War (2). Gurth, Brother to Harold, took occalion from
thefe reports, to perfuade the King to defer the Battle.
He represented to him, " That by prolonging the time,
he would find his Army to increafe continually, whereas
the Enemy's Forces would daily be diminifhed. That
' nothing could annoy the Normans more than wintering
' in an Enemy's Country, where they had not yet fo
' much as one fortified Town, and from whence, in all
' probability, the want of Neceffaries would compel them
' to retire. That, as he was accufed of breach ol Oath,
■' he had reafon to fear, in cafe he was guilty of the
' Charge, Heaven would not profper his Arms : Ne-
■' verthelefs, if he was abfolutely bent to come to an En-
L ' gagement without any farther delay, it would be mod
" prudent for him, not to be prefent himfelf in the Bat-
" tie, that he might difcourage the Enemies with the dread
" of having a frefh Army to deal with, though they were
" fo fortunate as to obtain the Victory. In a word, if he
" would truft him with the Command of his Forces, he
" would promife him, not indeed the Victory, which
" was in the hand of God alone, but to die in the de-
" fence of his Country." The King was deaf to all his
Brother's reafons, replying^ " That by his former Acti-
" ons he had gained the efteem of the EngUjh, and there-
" fore could not think of lofing it again by an inglorious
" Flight. That he had rather run the hazard of a
" Battle, the fuccefs whereof was yet uncertain, than
" forfeit his Reputation, as he (hould moll: afluredly do,
" if after fo near an approach to the Enemy, he fhould
" be known to withdraw. That after all, the Nor-
" mans were not more formidable than the Norwegians ;
" and if he was to fight, he could not do it at a better
*' time, than whilft his Army was flufiYd with their late
" Succefs. In ftiort, that he was refolved to let his fub-
" jects fee he was not unworthy of the Crown he wore."
ke William perceiving by all Harold's Motions, that



Harold's
dnjuitr.



Du



he was bent to give him Battle, advane'd a little to feize an
advantagious Poll, where he could conveniently draw up
his Army.

W hi 111 they were preparing l\>r a Battle, which wa to
decide the fate of both Princes, Duke //",.'.'/'.,'// feem'd tC-<
abate fomcthingof his haughtinefs. 'Tie to be prefum'd,
the thoughts oi a Battle in an Enemy's Country, where
his InK would be irretrievable, infpir'd him with fame
dread of the Blue. On the other hand, he could no' Well
forbear reflecting beforehand on the blood that was £
to be fpilt in a quarrel, the J u ft ice whereof lu-
be thoroughly convinced of, how much foever he feem'd
to be fo. Be this as it will, before they cngag'd, he lent ' I
the King by the hands of a certain Monk thefe four Pre- M- v ' ' '
pofals, tor him to take his choice. The firfl was, to rc-
fign the Crown, as he was bound by Oath. By the fe-
cond, he offered to return into Normandy, provided Ha-
rold would do him Homage for the Kingdom oi England.
By the third, he was ready to refer the differences to the
judgment of the Apoftolick Sec. Laftly, he propofed the
deciding of their quarrel by fingle Combat. 'Tis no
wonder, Harold rejected thefe tour Propolals, feeing they
were all fo advantagious to the Duke. As for the two
firft, 'tis vilible, how detrimental they were to Harold.
The third feemed at firft fight fomething fairer ; but the
Pope having already declared in favour of the Duke, what
Juftice could Harold expect from him I As for the fourth,
the advantage plainly lay on the Duke's fide, finee in a
fingle Combat, he hazarded only his Perfon, whereas Ha ■
rold ventured his Crown with his Life. The Vichm
would have procured the Duke of Normandy a noble
Kingdom, whereas it would have only acquir'd the King
the bare glory of conquering. Betides, Harold was of
opinion, the decifion of an Affair, where the whole Na-
tion was concerned, ought not to depend on the ftrength
and skill of a fingle Arm. His anfwer therefore was,
God fhould determine on the morrow the Juftice of their
Rights.

Fhe Englijh fpent the whole night in caroufing and TteBatti
finging, as if they were fure of the Victory. The Nor- «f ti
mans, on the contrary, were employed in preparing for X £,
the Battle, and offering up Prayers to God for Succefs.
At length, on the 14th of Otlober, Harold's Birth-day,
but much more memorable for one of the greateft Events
that ever happened, in England, the two Armies en-
gaged. In the Front of the Englijh ftood the Kentijh Men,
a Privilege they had enjoyed ever fince the time of the
Heptarchy. Harold placed himfelf in the Center, and
would fight on foot, that his Men might be the more
encouraged, by feeing their King expos'd to equal dancer
with the meaneft Soldier. The Normans were drawn up
in three Bodies. Montgo?nery and Fitz-osbern conducted
the firft. Geoffrey Murtel commanded the fecond, and the
Duke himfelf headed the Body of Referve, to fuccour
thole who fhould moft want it (3). The Normans began
the fight with a volley of Arrows, which being fliot up-
ward, were like a thick Cloud over the heads of the tbrc-
moft Body of the Englijh. As their Ranks were very
clofe, the Arrows did great execution. The Englijh not fttl .•
being us'd to this way of fighting, were at firfl put into J •'■".. "
fome little diforder. The Normans willing to take ad- J
vantage of it, vigoroufly attack'd them. Bet the Englijh
immediately falling into good order again, ga\e them \o
warm a reception, that they were obliged to draw back
and take breath. Quickly after, they renewed the attack,
but met with as brave a refiftance as before, neither was
it in their power to break their Enemy's Ranks. The
Englijh chufing rather to die than give way, and the
Normans afham'd to retreat, both fides fought ftoutlv for
a confiderable time, without either gaining ground. The
prefence of their Leaders animating the Soldiers, they eve-
ry where fought with equal Bravery, without the lead
figns of advantage on either fide. We may judge of the
valour of the Troops in both Armies by the length of
the Fight, which began at (even in the Morning, and
halted till Night.

I (hall not take upon me fully to defcribe this bloody lie n.. i
Battle. I find lb much confiifion in the accounts of the Sl " '"& "
Hiftorians, that I dare not flatter my felf with being
able to give a clear and diffinct Notion of the thing. I
fhall content my felf therefore with the mention of two
Circumftances, which, all Hiftorians unanimouflv agree,
gave the Normans the Victory. The Fight had Lifted
all day, and the Succefs was yet very uncertain ; when
Duke William bethought himfelf of a Stratagem, which
made Victory incline to his fide. This Prince, who was :
very experiene'd, perceiving there was no breaking- the—



Huotinjctj'



(1.) Al! the Hiftorians faya Nine. See Dunelm, p. 194. Brompt. Sec.

(2.) Some of*the Spies took the Normans to be an Army of Priefts, becaufe thev were (haven, it beins the Cnflom then amongthe Eng/ijb to wear long
Bend;. Mat. Weft. p. 416. Malmjb. p. loo.

(;.) The thief of WiliianCi General were, Etifiaci Earl of Bologne, William Fitz-Richard Earl of Evrtux, Gtojfrty Son of Rcrrm Karl of Mcrtai

Rebirt Son of Roger Earl of Beaumont, Aimeri de Tsuars. llutb Hn\ ol~ Etjplcs. Walter Gitfard. HugbdtGrt ind William de Warren. P. L

I, 1- Frame, Vol. III. p. 9 a. *

N° VIII. Vol. I. N rl ranks



M 2



The H IS TO RT of ENGLAND.



Vol. I.



Harold ral-
lies bit

Troops d-

gain,



and \epul\es
the Nor-
mans-



He ctuld not

ihtnk of'rc-
treating.



Harold/Zj!n,
and the En-
glifh entirely
touted.
Malmlb.
Huntrngd'



. Danelm.



ranks o^ the Englijh, ordered his Troops to retreat as they
fought, as if they were difcouraged, but withal, to be
very careful to keep their Ranks. This order being
executed, the Englijh looked upon the Enemies Retreat as
the Beginning of their Victory. PofTcfTed with this no-
tion, they encouraged one another with reiterated fhouts,
to prefs the retiring Enemies. Their cagernefs made
them break their Ranks, that they might pufh them
with the greater Impetuofity, imagining they were upon
the point of taking to flight. Then it was, that the
Normans, finding their Stratagem had taken effect, flood
their ground, and by a Dilcipline they had long been
ufed to, clofed their Ranks, and tailing on the difordered
Englijh, made a terrible Slaughter of them. Harold, en-
raged to lee the Victory, which a moment before he
thought himfelf fure of, matched out of his hands, uled
his utmoft endeavours to rally his Troops that were in
extreme Diforder. His labour was not altogether in vain,
for at laft he drew up, on a rifing ground at a little
diftance from the field of Battle, a good Body of Foot,
which became at length very confiderable, by being con-
tinually joined by the flying Troops. The Duke of Nor-
mandy's Victory being yet far from complete, whilft fo
ftrortg a Body of the Englijh kept together, he ordered them
to be attacked with great P'ury. But the Englifh received
them with that Bravery, and the Normans loll fitch num-
bers of their Men, that the fortune of the Day feemed ftill
very doubtful. The approach of the night, and the refo-
lution of the Englijh, making the Duke defpair of penetra-
ting their Ranks, he began to think himfelf conquered fince
he was not entirely victorious. Probably, the Englijh
Army might have retreated in good order, by favour of the
Night, if Harold could have rcfolved to leave his Enemy
in poffeffion of the Field of Battle, at a time when the lofs
on both Sides was pretty equal. But apprehending his re-
treat might be prejudicial to his Affairs, and derogatory to
his Reputation, he would maintain his Port, and not give
the enemy that advantage. Befides, he was in hopes of
rallying his whole Army during the Night, and renewing
the fight the next Morning.

Mean time, the Duke perceiving the Night was like
to rob him of the glory of a complete Victory, made
one effort more to drive the Englijh from their Poft.
In this laft onfet, Harold was flain by an Arrow fhot
into his Brains(i.) His Troops difheartned at this fatal
accident, began to give ground, and betake themfelves to
flight. Thus Harold's death was the fccoiYd thing that
procured the Normans the Victory, and put the Englijh
entirely to rout. They were purfued as long as day lafted ;
and in this Purfuit it was, that ? terrible (laughter was
made of the Fugitives, the Conquero's killing without
mercy all they could overtake, to fave the trouble of
guarding the Prifohers. The darknefs of the Night how-
ever faved a good part of the Englijh Army, who re-
treated under the Conduct of Alorcard and Edwin. Thefe
two Lords, who had all along firmly adhered to Harold,
feeing he was flain, as well as Gurth and Lewiti his Bro-
thers, fubmitted at length to Providence, having given,
the whole day, vifible marks of their Valour. This long
and bloody Battle coft the Duke of Normandy fix thoufand



Men (2); but the Englijh loft a much greater num-
ber (3).

D«ke William; at the height of his Wifhes, gave or-
ders for the whole Army to fall on their Knees, and re-
turn God Thanks for fo fignal a Victory. After dif-
charging fo juft a duty, he caufed his Tent to be pitched
in the Field of Battle, and fpent the refidue of the Night
among the flain. On the morrow, he ordered his own Maimsb.
dead to be buried, and gave the Englijh Peafants leave to
do the fame office for the others. The Bodiesof the King
and his Brothers being found, he fent them to Gith their
Mother, who gave them as honourable a burial as the cir-
cumftance of the time would permit, in JValtham-Abbey,
founded by the King her Son (4).

Thus fell Harold, with his Sword in his Hand, in Haro'd'j
defence not only of his own, but of his Country's CtareSh
Caufe, againft the ambition of the Duke of Normandy.
The Hiftbriaris, who wrote in the Reigns of the Con-
queror and his Sons, have endeavoured to blacken the
memory of Harold, thereby to juftify, in fome meafure,
the anlbition of the Duke. But all they have faid againft
this laft Saxon King, tends only to the imputation of breach
of Oath, on which we have leen what he alledged in his
own vindication. He might have been much more juftly
blamed for his fecret practices, in procuring Prince Edgar
to be excluded from the Throne, who alone had a Right
to afpire to it. But the Sticklers for the Duke took care
riot to dwell on that head, fince their Reproaches againft
Harold would have touched the Duke no lefs than his
Adverfaries. However this be, Harold may be faid to
have been more Worthy of the Crown, had he been lefs
forward to obtain it. He gained the love and efteem of
the Englijh whilft he was but a private Man, and acted
nothing during his fhort Reign (5^ which tended to
leffen their affection. He fought within the fpace of a
few days, two great Battles, with very different Suc-
cefs. In the firft; his conduct and valour procured him
a fignal Victory over the King of Norway; and his un-
happy Succefs in the laft muft be wholly afcribed to his
ill Fortune. As for his other perfonal Qualities, he was
Honeft, Obliging, Affable, exceeding Generous, in a
word, he was endowed with all the Virtues which form a
great Prince.

Harold was twice married. By his firft Wife, whofe Uitljuti
name is unknown, he had three Sons, Edmund, Goodwin,
and Magnus, who retired into Ireland after the death of
their Father. By his fecond Wife, Algitha, Sifter of
Morcard and Edivin, he had a Son called Wolf, who was
but a Child at the time of the Battle of Hajlings, and was
afterwards knighted by Jtllliam Rufus. By this fecond
Marriage, he had alfo two Daughters ; of whom Gunilda,
the eldeft, falling blind, paffed her days in a Nunnery.
The youngeft was married to IFdldemar Kine of RuJTia,
by whom fhe had a Daughter, who was Wife to JVal-
demar King of Denmark (6).

Thus ended in England the Empire of the Anglo-Sax-
ons, which began above fix hundred years before in the
Perfon of Hengijl the firft King of Kent. We fhall fee
in the following Book how England fell under the do-
minion of the Normans.



E\ rf \ D JT { \a ^°l*n\ t! """y- &**•) fay,, that HarM was not killed outright, but the Multitude rufliing on made an end of him.
(2) He had three Hories killed that Day under him, without lufing one drop of hi" Blood. Malrnlh p ,01

( 3 ; |Th,s Battle was fought near HeatbfieU mSufcx in theplare where tile Town of Battle now (lands, fo tilled from this Day's Action, wherein our mo-'
dern Hiltonans lay were Ham above thrtelcnre Thouland Englijh Men. ' » "ercui our mo-

(4) An antient Manufcript in the Cottonun Library relates, that the King's Body was hard to be known by reafon ofits being tovered with Wounds, but was
at (aft dtfeovered by one who had been h,s M.llrel,, by the means of certain private Marks known only to herlelf. The Duke lent the Bod, to his Mother
w„hout any Ran om though (he fc laid to Have offered him its weight in Cold. Bu, though allothers agree that iWJfell.n hi Battlf, yet lw " f r,Z
&jrj«i/s CjmAren/;j averts he was not llain, but elcap ng ret red toa Ce near St- John' - Churth in Che/lrr inA a;„i ,(,..„ ,„ a u ' ) llM «™""™
Ot in his laft Confeffion when he lay a dying. In memory w hereof , hey (hewed his Tomb when tS w™,e '' " "" """** ^ W

(5) Of nine Months and nine Days.

mc. From whom the DjrtijhKin^ fyr m5ny Ag« after



(6) lyrrel <ayS, (from Spud) fa was Mother to ffalJcmar the firft King of Denmark of that N;
luccecded.



THE



t «4? 3



THE



STATE of the CHURCH,



FROM THE



Reign of Ethelred II, to the Norman Conquefi; that is,

from 979, to 1066,



gMK "Jtbt
Cbarti.



A



FTER feeing what paflcd in England from the
beginning of the Reign of Ethclretd II, to the
end of the Empire of the Saxons, it is not to be
expected that this period fhould afford much
matter for an Ecclefiaftical Hiftory : In general, this Cen-
tury may be termed the Age of ignorance, with refpedr. to
all Europe, but more efpecially with regard to England. If
there was occafion, it would be very difficult to affign
the caufes of this univerfal ignorance, not only in this
.Kingdom, but in all other Chriftian States. But it will
luffice to alledge one, peculiar to England ; I mean the
Wars the Kingdom was incclTantly troubled with. The
Arms of the Pagans, which triumphed throughout the
whole Kingdom, fcarce left the Englijh the liberty of pro-
feffing their religion^ and confequently, our knowledge of
the affairs of the Church in thofc days muft be very im-
perfect. Accordingly, I (hall confine what I have to fay
on this fubjedt to a few Heads, concerning the Doctrines,
Councils, fome particulars relating to certain Sees, and the
Perfons that were moft diftinguifhed among the Clergy.
JbtStnfiijf What attempts foever have been made at fundry times
ibr CLurcb to prove the antiquity of Tranfubftantiation, it could ne-

tu^n ver •* ftlewn t0 be the D°ft" n e of the Church of Etig-
titZaciunH land, before the time I am fpeaking of. On the contra-
ry, it evidently appears from the Homilies or Sermons
which were read in Churches for the inftruclion of the
People, that the Church in thofe days was very far
from believing any fuch Thing. There is Ail) extant a
Tranflation of thofe Homilies (i), attributed to Elfric,
who lived under Ethelred II ; from whence any Man
may be convinced, that the Church of England was
then of a quite contrary Opinion. But that the Fea-
der may judge for himfelf, it will not be amifs to lay
before him an Extract of one of thefe Homilies relating
to this Subje£t.



Saxon Ho-
mily on ihii * c
Subject. ti



M There is a great difference between the invifible
virtue of this Sacrament, and what it appears to us in
the qualities of its own Nature. In its own Nature 'tis
" corruptible Bread and Wine, but by virtue of the di-
" vine inftitution, 'tis truly the Body and Blood of our
" Lord Jefus Chrift, 1 after confecfation, not in a Corpo-
" real but Spiritual Manner. The Body in which Jefus
" Chrift fuffered, and the Euchariftical Body are widely
" different. The firft was born of the Bleffed Virgin,
" and confifted of Blood, Bones, Nerves, Limbs, ani-
" mated with a rational Soul. But the Body which we
" call Euchariftical, is made up of leveral grains of
" Wheat. It has neither Blood, Bone, Nerve, Limb,
'■* nor Soul in it. We are therefore not to form any
" Corporeal Idea of it, but to undefftand it wholly in
"■ a fpi ritual Senfe. In, the Eucharift, whatever repairs
" our Nature, and forms us to a better Life, proceeds
" entirely from a rrtvftick virtue,' and fpiritual Opera-
'.' tion. For this reafon the Eucharhft is called a Sacra-_
" ment, becaufe one thing appears to our Senfcs, and
" another to our Underftanding. What in the Sacrament
" is the object of Sight, has a corporeal Figure : But
*•' what is- represented to our Underftanding his a fpirttiuil
" force and efficacv. Moreover the Body of Chrift,
" which fuffered and rofc from the dead, is eternal and
" impaffihle, and no more fubject to decay or death;
", whereas the Eucharift is not eternal, but corruptible,
*? fubjeel to the force of time, and divifible into many
" Parts. 'Tis ground by the Teeth, and palles through
" the common Channels of the Body ; but notwith-
" {landing, the fpiritual efficacy of it remains in cvfry
" Part. A great many Perfons receive this Holy Body



" or Eucharift, and yet the multitude of receivers wea-
" kens not the force of the Operation, the virtue of the
'•' Sacrament being lodged in every part of what is confc
** crated, the leaft part having as much Efficacy as the
" greateft. The reafon is, becaufe the virtue docs not
** operate in proportion to the corporeal magnitude, but
" by means of the Divine Inftitution.

" The Sacrament is a Type and Pledge, but the Body
" of our Lord Jefus Chrift is the Truth and Reality of the
" reprefentation. God has vouchfafed to give us this Pledge
" or Earneft, till we come to the Truth itfelf, and then
" the Pledge will difappear. For, as hath been obferv-
" ved, the Holy Eucharijl is the Body of Jefus Chri/l not
" corporeally but fpiritually (2). The Apoftle St. Paul,
" fpeaking of the Ifraelites, has thefe Words : / would , c or . *.
" not that youjhould be ignorant, how that all our Father 1 ;
" were under the Cloud, and pa fed through the Sea; and
" were all baptized unto Mofes, in the Cloud and in the
" Sea ; and did all eat the fame fpiritual Meat ; and did
" all drink the fame fpiritual Drink : For they drank of the
'■'■fpiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was
" Chrijl. That Rock, from whence the water flow'd,
" was not Chrift in reality, but a type and reprefenta-
" tion of Jefus Chrift, who made this gracious Declaration
" to all the faithful; If any Man thirjl let him come W'Jof-n ii J,
" me and drink ; end out of his Belly fhall flow Rivers of
" living Water. By this he underftood the Holy Ghoft,.
" which thofe that belicv'd on him fhould receive. The
" Apoftle declares, that the Children of Ifrael, who were
" in the Uildcrnefs, eat the fame fpiritual Meat, and drank
" the fame fpiritual Drink, becaufe the Manna, with which
" they were lupported forty years together, and the water
" which flow'd from the Rock, were types of the body
" and blood of Jefus Chrift, which arc daily offered in
" the Church. That Manna and that Water were the
" fame which we now offer, not corporeally, but fpi-
" fitually. To underftjnd this, obferve that our Loid
" Jefus Chrift, before his Paffipn, confberated the Bread
" and Wine into the Sacrament of the Eucharijl, and
" faid, This is my Bodv ; This is my Blood: Although his
" Paffion wa? not over when he pronounced tjicfe words,
" yet by a myftical Operation, he changed the Bread into
" his Body, and the Wine into his Blood, juft as he had
" done in the Wildernefs before his Incarnation, when h&i
" turned the Manna into his Fldh, and the Water that
" flow'd from the Rock, into his own Blood."

As this Explanation is a clear evidence,' that it the
time - this Homily was penn'd, the Church of England
believed not Tranfubftantiation, fo it is no lefs manifeft
that Elfric, who translated it into Latin, was of the fame
opinion with the Author. 'Tis true, there is fome .dif- AnglS .5.,
p r utc about the Pcrfon of the Tranflator. Some believe era. Vol. ;.



Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 59 of 360)