M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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went to vifit King Edward his Coufin, who had no
Children, and perhaps had given him fome hopes of be-
ing his Heir. However this be, it is generally believed,
Edward during the Duke's flay at the Court ot England,
promis'd him to make a Will in his favour. But

though this Will never appeared, and no proof of it was
ever produced by the Duke, it was however, according to
all the Hiftorians, the Pretence, ufed by him, to under-
take the Conqueft of England. Neverthelefs , in the
Manifefto publifhed upon his Landings he fays net a
Word of this fame Will or Promife, of which he could
not produce any Evidence. We have feen in the fore-
going Book, what Duke William did to fupport his pre-
tended Right 'till the Battle of Hajlings. It is time now
to fee, how he improved the Succefs of that Day to mount
the Throne of England, and the Methods he ufed to fecure
the poffeffion in fpite of all Oppofition.

It is eafy to conceive the Confternation of the Englijh,
after the Lofs of the Battle of Ha/lings, and the Death of
their King. They were deltitute of Men, Arms and
,/ Ammunition; but chiefly of a Leader that had a Right
to command them, and take Care of their prefent Wants.
' On the other hand, the victorious Normans were not far
from London, the only place where necefTary Meafures
could be taken to prevent the Calamities the Kingdom
was threatned with. Harold's, Sons were fled into Ireland.
Edgar Atbding was too young, and befides of too narrow
a Genius, to give them any profpect of Affiftance in this
their prefling Neccffitv. It is true, the Earls Morear
and Edwin were ftiil alive, and retired to Eond'/n with
part of" the fugitive Army. But to take proper Meafures
on fuch an cccaficn, more time was required than,
probably, the Conqueror would afford them. Thus the
Affairs of the Englijh were in a terrible Confufion ; all
the Methods ptopofed to free them from Danger, being
clogg'd with infurmountable Difficulties. On the other
fide, the Duke o( Normandy, willing to make Advantage
of the Terror of the Englijh, was now marching towards
London ( 1 ) to increafe, by his approach, the Trouble and
Confufion that prevailed in the Metropolis. But on a
fudden he altered his Refolution : He coniidered, though
the lofs of a Battle had thrown the Englijh into aftoniih-
nient, yet there was no likelihood of their being entirely
difcouraged : That their Cafe not being yet defperate,
they might eafily bring into the Field frefh Armies, and
try again more than once the fortune of War : That in
fuch a cafe, fhould he chance to receive but one Over-
throw, he had no-where to retreat to, nor any Opportu-
. nity of fending for fupplies from Normandy. Thefe Re-
flections made him refolve to befiege Dover, before he ad-
vanced any farther, to fecure a Retreat in cafe of Ne-
ceflity, and a Port, where his Convoys might eafily come
from Normandy. This Piecauticn, even after his Victo-
ry, is a clear Evidence of the Boldnefs, or rather Rafh-
refs of his Enterprife, fince, had he been vanquifhed, he
would .not have had a fingle Spot in the Kingdom to re-
tire to. He marched therefore directly to Dover, a Place
naturally very itrong, but that was become more fo by the
great Number of Englijh Officers and Soldiers fled thi-
ther after the Battle. For this Reafon it might have
itood a long Siege ; but the Confternation was fo great,
that it furrendeied in a few Days. As foon as the Duke
was in poileffion , he ordered the Town to be more
ftrongly fortified, and fpent eight Days there, to for-
ward the Works. After which he marched for Lon-
don (2).

We find, in fome Hiftories, that the Duke as he was
marching at the Head of his Army, faw at a diftance a
great Multitude of People coming towards him with
Boughs in their hands, who, looking like a moving
Foreft, at firlt fomewhat alarmed him. But his Surprife
ceafed, when he found they were Deputies of the Coun-
ty ol Kent, attended with great Crowds of People, who



were come to affure hirn of the Submiffion of the County, 10S6.
and withal to demand the Prefervation of their antient
Privileges. They who relate this Adventure, add, the
Duke received them very graciouilv, and granted their
Requeft. But as William of Poictiers, who was then
with the Duke, makes no mention of this Fa£i, there
is reafon to think it a Forgery (3).

Whilft the Duke was bcfoic Dover, or on his march Cra - c '>"-



towards the Th



?ames,



the Trouble and Confufion at Lon-



fyj.o



d'jti continually increafed by the diverfity of Opinions pre- w. Piclav.
venting them from coming to any Refolution. Some were
for fubmitting to the Duke without lofs of time : Others
believed it more advifeable to treat with him firft, and
procure fome affurances for the Prefervation of the Pri-
vileges, not only of the City, but the whole Kingdom.
Some intimated, thac things were not yet defperate ; that S. Dunclmi
the Winter, which was begun, might give them time to
concert Meafures for their Defence : and with this view
laboured heartily to get Edgar Atheling placed on the
Throne. Edwin and Morear were at the head of this
Iaft Party. But, how great foever their Credit might be,
it was not poffible for them to carry their Point. All they
could obtain of the Citizens, was, to fhut the Gates againft
the Duke, 'till fome Refolution was taken. Mean while, Tit D •■
the Duke approaching the City, encamped in Southwark, j-^
feparated from London by the Thames. He hoped his ap-
proach would oblige the Londoners to a voluntary Submil-
fion, and in that belief lay quiet fome Days. This Pro-
ceeding had a quite contrary Effect to what he expected.
Morear and Edwin took this Opportunity to excite the
People to take Arms and fallv out to furprife the Normans,
who were on the other fide the Bridge. This fally,
which was eafily repulfed, convinced the Duke that other
Meafures were to be taken, and the City vigoroufly
pufh'd, of which he could have but fmall hopes of being
mafter, if he gave the Inhabitants time to recover out ot
their Confternation. However, he was under fome Per-
plexity, as may well be thought, if it is confidered, that
although he had gained a Battle, he was flill very far from
his ends. He had but one fingle Caftle, fituated in the
utmoft Bounds of the Kingdom. All the reft of the Coun-
try was againft him, and there were feveral remote Coun-
ties, where the Englijh might draw an Army together
without moleftation. And indeed there was no advancing
towards the middle of the Kingdom and leaving London
behind him , without being expofed to manifeft Danger,
and lofing the Communication with Dover, fo abfolutely
neceffary for him. On the other hand, it was hardly
poffible for him to undertake the Siege of London, during
the Winter , befides that the fituation of the City would
have neceifarily obliged him to leave a confiderable Body
of Troops on the South-fide of the Thames, which would
very much have weakened his Army. In fine, a Siege of
that importance, which probably would have lafted feveral
months, would have given the Englijh time to recover, and
raife Armies in other parts of the Kingdom. Bv which
means he would have been obliged to conquer England
inch by inch, as the Romans, Saxons, and Danes had done.
But he was by no means in condition to maintain fo
tedious a War. He had therefore properly but one way
to compafs his ends ; which was, to take Advantage of
the Confternation of the Londoners, and oblige them, ra-
ther by terror than force, to fubmit to his Laws. With S. pundn-..
this view it was, that he pofted himfelf at Wallingford,
from whence he continually fent Detachments to ravage
the Counties adjoining to London, in order to terrify th*
Citizens, cut ol7 their Proviiions, and prevent them fiom
laying in Stores (4). At the fame time, he caufed South-
ivark to be reduced to Afhes, to let them fee what they
were to expeel, if they obftinately perfifted in the de-
fence of the City. But perhaps all his Efforts would have,
been ineffectual, if the Clergy, who were at London,
had not broken all the Meafures Morear and Edwin would
have taken to crufli his Defigns.

The Aim of thefe two Lords and fome other zealous Morear ani
Affertois of their Country's Libert)', was to place Edgar Edwin en-
Atheling on the Throne. They reprcfented to the Vco- rl 'f'"' u ^,"
pie, that the only way to avoid the prefent Danger, was mtie -Urate.
firft to come out of that ftate of Anarchy they were in: MaJmlb.
That, whilft there was no body who had a right to com-
mand, it was impofiible to take juft meafures to refift the
Normans, now at their Gates : But as foon as there fhould
be a Kino;, he would ("end Orders into all Parts of the






(1) He marchtd in the firft Pbce to Ramncy, where h: r^ven^ed himfelf
J-iio.d -t th.n Place W* I':

(2) But kit in D-Jicr his lick: Men, who had m;;ny of th
eitcn. /. '. F: :.■-■. p. 204



the Inhabitants for having killed fome of his Men, who by mifbke
icm been taken with the blccdy Flux, by reafon o: the too much frefh Meat they had

'rczCcr.taUtry, written by



(3) Tim Story is lepcatcd by//''.' i I '• m (See X Scriptores) li m a Mrfmifcr'pt Hiftcry of" tie M n!<s of St. J&ugufth.**
thomdi Sfttif who in all prob.ibil.ty invented it t magnify the VnLur of itic!: Abbot and ot (fie K ntijb- 1/ •■. Is-rtl (blervta the imprcb^bil.ty ti it
from the Green B< u^hs in the Ugnnir.g of Nivttniti-r. Strmaa ha! alio mi his Treadle of Gavelkind confuted this Rektxn. However P iff at tenjis
uys, That, m_t Jji from Dcver, the People ot Kent came, ot their own accord, in to him, fware Fealty, and gave Hcftagesj and the City tfCanttr6my
km Deput'n s to present him with htr Sob ml ikon.

(4) He reduced to his Obedience, and wall <!, tru C unti ' ' \ RT«rf, Hampfti -\ Surreyj Middfffix, and H*rtfsrdjbire t and did net ccafe burning
"Stuns and killing Men, 'till he cam;* to Bcrkba*ptai% $ t Dunc{nt. p. 195. Hvtted. p. 4.50,

5 KingdciK



Fook VI.



t. W I L L I A M the Con



onqueror.



i'6j



1066. Kingdom to levy Troop?, and the Duke of Normandy
would then find to his coil, the gaining .1 fingle Battle
Wis not fufricient to render him Mafter of England; but
in cafe they continued inactive, they could expect no-
thing but total Ruin, and to fee the Kingdom fall under a
foreign Yoke : In a word, that Prince Edgar had an in-
conteflable Right to the Crown of England, and could
tic CLr?y not be refufcd pofleiiton without great Injuitice. The Ma-
'/."/' "• jority of the People approved the propofal of the two
Earls; but the Clergy opeoly rejected it, not thinking pro-
per to expofe their Lands and Repofe to the Chance of
War. Edgar was little able to protcdt them. On the
other hand, the Duke of Normandy had the name of a
Religious Prince, wcll-difpofed to the Church, and his
Enterprizc had received the Pope's Approbation. This
was fufficicnt to oblige all the Clergy, who were then in
London with the two Archbifhops at their head, to cabal
among the People in order to hinder Edgar's Election.
They were in hopes, their Submiiiion to the Duke of
Normandy would turn to a better account than a War,
which, in all appearance, would be of long continuance,
in cafe a Refulution was taken to reiift him. However
this be, or whatever their Motive was, they made fo ftre-
nuous an Oppofition, that Ediuin and Morcar defpairing of
fuccefs, retired into the North ( 1 ), imagining, it would be
long before the Duke could follow them thither. They
The itoi were no fooncr gone, but Stigand, Archbifhop of Canter-
Mfl'm? i>Ury ' > re P aircd to the Duke, then at Berkhamflead. He
EJgarJii- was quickly followed by Aldred Archbifhop of Tori, the
mittotbt Biihop of Winchejlcr (2), and at laft by Prince Edgar,

£?*; , who fullered hinifelf to be guided by their Counfels. The
S. Dunclm. t>i 1 -it • •■11

Huvcd. JJuke received them in a very civil and courteous manner.
He granted all their Requefts, among which there were
fome that concerned the whole Nation : Nay, it is added,
he confirmed his Promifes by a folemn Oath. It is not
known what were the Terms thefe Pielates obtained of
the Duke ; but it is to be prefumed, the Church's Inte-
reft were not forgotten. Be this as it will, they fwore
Fealty to the Duke, as if he were already their Sovereign,
and induced Prince Edgar to do the fame. Their Exam-
ple influencing many Perfons of Diftindtion, in a few days
the Londoners found themfelves deftitute of the affiftance of
thofe they could chiefly rely on, in cafe they refolved upon
a vigorous Defence.
the Dutt Mean time, as the Citizens were ftill in fufpenfe, and

typpnaefcs as the pofleifion of the Metropolis, before the reft of the
WP^fl ^ ingdom had taken any Refoluts proceed with fo little caution,
one would have thought they had Orders to ftir up the
People to revolt, on purpofe to make them incur the
Punifhment. The moft prudent however preferved their
Allegiance, in a belief that the King, at his return, would
rectify thefe Diforders. But others, more impatient, hfamfUm
were of opinion, they ought to take the advantage of his" Kent -



(1) Where he fpem lis Tune in rural Sports, until the Fortrefs he had begun in London was finiflied. W. Piftav.

(a.) S. Dutetm. and Hrueden lay, That they fware Fealty to him at BirkbamJIed, « ith Aired and tlu nil. o'. Dnnelm. p. 19 -. Hived, p. 4.50. With Edwin
and Mffrcar came many other Noblemen of great Eftates, particularly Eail Cvxo, to all of which he reflated their Eftates, and having taken their voluntary
Oaths of Fidelity, received them into his Favour. After this he made a Progrelk into feveial Parts of the Kingdom, ordering every where luch things a
not only piolitable to himlelf, but for hi; People in general J looking upon the common People with a b;nign Afpect, pitying their Condition, and ordcimg
his Men to treat them with Mcicy. IV. Pielav.

(3) And likewife gave Lands to many of the Englijh, as a Token of his Royal Bmnty : He a!fo dirrributed great Rewards to many oi his Followers ;
hut however d.d not, for that purpofe, take any thing unjultly from the Englijh. Nulli tamen Gallo datum eft quod Anglo coiqaam injufte tuera ablatum.
//'. I-'.Ijv.

(■4.) The High- Altar was fet upon that very fpot of Ground, where Harold's Body was found ; or, according to others, where his Standard was taken up.
yjprrel p. 13.

(c.) To St. Mary and St- Martin. It was filled with EenellFtln Monks from the greater Monaftery of Wir.ebeflcr, and was exempted from all Epilcopal
Jurifdiclion whatfoever lyrrel, p 13. See William's Charter to it in Alinujije. Anglican, and SeUens Notes on Eadnur, p 165.

(6) Iii this Abbey was kept an ancient Lift of all the Noble Families that came over with King JViltiam , it was called Battli-A r . R , 1 which^/no
and HotUngjbtad h.\v; given us Copies, tho' with fome little Difference. The Authority of this Roll (tho 1 it hath b?cn crf-d up by !om: People) is fo very
inditf'erent, that it cannot be depended upon. " There are, lays the learned Sir William Dutttatc, great Errors or rather Falfincations in mot} of the Co-
*' pics of it J by attributing the Derivation of many from the French, who were not at ail of fuch Extraction, but merely Englijh. For luch hath b.:en
*' the Subtilty of fome Monks of old, that, finding it acceptable unto moft, to be reputed Defendants to Ijhofe who were Companions with Dokc William
" in his Expedition, therefore to gratify them, they inferted their Names into that ancient Catalogue. 11 Pnfaci to the Jir/i /' L /.-.rr, -f his Baronage.

(7) Od^ was placed in Dovir-Cajile, and had the Government f Knit, w.th tire adjoining South-Coait j and Fitus-Ojbe'ii at fPincbefler, in the Calflc the
i J built there, with Directions to look after the Ninth- Parts.

(S) Rapin, by miftake, fays his Cbrijlmas; but that could not be, fince he went over in March, and returned again to England in the b-ginning of the
Winter following. G:t. Picjav*

(9) Re! 'fb the Potent, Father-in-law to the K : ng of France.

(10) Rapin h.o-e follows the account of QritricUsVitalis, which is th; moft probable. W.PiHav. la_s the blame on th; EngHjb, and fivs they could
Meither by fear or favour be kept quiet.

3 Abfence



Book VL



I. W I L L I A M tk Ct



on,



queror.



169



1067.

Cemct.






tir.c'i Re-

•nolf.

Flor. Wor.

Hoved.

Ibt King

r-turm.



Xtafint of
the Mifun-
itrfiati'ding

betiven the
Kilty nnd t/j
Eughlh.



Brady.



Matilda is
et vwned.
Bulb of
Prince
Henry.
Flor. Wor
S. Dunclrr



Abfence to attempt the recovering of his Liberty. The
Kentijhmen led the way, and called to their affiftance
Eujlacc Earl of Boulogne, who endeavoured to furprize
ZWfr-Caftle (1). But not fucceeding according to his
expectation, he retired to his Ship?, leaving the Kentijhmen
to the mercy of the Regents, who treated them very
feverely.

Notwithftanding this Example, Edric, an Englijh
Lord (2), to whom Hiltorians give the Sirnaine of Forcjler,
took up Arms in the County of Hereford, and barbaroufly
ufed all the Normans that fell into his hands. News being
brought the King he immediately embarks lor Eng-
land (•;), committing the Government of Normandy to
Matilda his Wife, and Robert his eldelt Son. His return
appeafed the Storm railed by his Abfence. But thefe two
Attempts filled him with fo many Sufpicions of all the
Englijh in general, that he began from that time to conlider
them as fo many fectet Enemies, who fought an occalion
to revolt. This Opinion ol his was not groundlefs. When
one confiders his Temper, and how the EngliJI) flood af-
fected towards him, it is eafy to conceive, the mutual
Confidence, neceflary for their common Tranquillity,
could hardly fubfifl. The King was naturally mittrufttul
and rigid. On the other hand, his great Armament had
plung'd him deeply in debt. Befides, he was under a
Promife of liberally rewarding the Officers who had en-
gag'd in his Service, and all this muft be done at the ex-
pence of the EngliJI). To this may be added, he was na-
turally covetous, greedy of money, not to expend but
hoard it in his coffers. In fine, his Partiality to his
own Nation was exceflive, and prevented him often from
giving ear to the complaints of the EngliJI) again/! the
Normans, who made a very ill ufe of the King's favour.
On the other fide the Englijh were extremely prejudiced
againlt the Normans. This Prejudice, begun in the reign
of King Edward, and fomented by Earl Goodwin and his
Son Harold, was farther encrealed fince the late Revolu-
tion. How careful foever the King was to recommend
Moderation to the Normans, there was no hindering them
from abufing the Superiority, their Victory gave them
over the Englijh, and infulting them in their misfortunes.
This was not very proper to maintain a good intelligence
between the two Nations. Befides, the King had built
his Right to the Crown upon fo flight a foundation, that
the Englijh muft have confidered him as a greedy and ambi-
tious Prince, who had formed the project of his enter-
prize upon England, from the fole motive of gratifying his
Paflions. In a word, the Adminiftration of the two Re-
gents during his Abfence, gave occafion to think, they
would not have carried their Exceffes and Rapines to that
height, had they not been allured of their Mafter's ap-
probation. However, the confideration of the mildnefs
of his Government for the three firft months of his
Reign, had in fome meafure caufed thefe Reflections to
vanilh, and diilipated all their Fears. But when they
found, after his return, he not only neglected to punifh
the Regents, but even approved of their conduct, they
could not contain any longer. They every where fpread
their Complaints and Murmurs, and openly fhewed their
Difcontent. Then it was, that the King's Sufpicions
daily increafing, made him refolve to be on his guard,
and ufe all poflible means to prevent the Difcontent of
the EngliJI) from breaking out into a flame. As his Tem-
per inclined him to Severity, his methods were rigorous.
To which he was alfo prompted by the Normans, whofe
Intereft it was that he fhould fubdue the EngHJl) by Force,
rather than gain them by fair means. This is the moll
that can be (aid in his favour, though there are fome, who
charge him with a fettled Defign of reducing England to a
ftate of Slavery, before ever he received any provocation.
Be this as it will, the Confidence between the King and
his new Subjects was loon broken (4), and from that time
the King thought only of ufing all proper means to eita-
blifh himfelf on the Throne, without nicely examining
whether thofe means were confonant to Juftice and
Equity.

Not long after the King's return (5), Matilda his Queen
came into England, and was crowned with great folemnity,
this fame year fhc brought into the world a Son, named
Henry. Her other Sons were born in Normandy, namely,



Robert, Richard and William, the eldcft of whom was 1067,
about twelve years old.

The King had hitherto delayed to fatisfy thofe who had roC8,
voluntarily aflifted him in his Expedition into England.
Befides the Stipends due to them, they expected to be re-
warded in proportion to their Services, and the Power he 11
had acquired by their means. His ordinary Revenues not
being fuflicient for this, there was a neceflity of having
recourfe to the EngliJI), whofe misfortune it was to be van-
quifhed. To this end, he bethought himfelf of an expe-
dient, which could not but be very ungrateful to them.
And that was, to revive Dane-gelt (6), abolifhcd by the *j* "
ConfeJJ'or, which brought to their remembrance the Cala- D*"**™
mities they had fuftered under a foreign Power. He
plainly forcfaw, the People would be extremely dilTatisfied,
and therefore endeavoured to prevent the ill Effects of
their Difcontent, by careffing the principal Englijh Lords,
as far as his referved Temper would permit. He was molt /'< * '
apprehenfive of Earl Edwin, who by his Birth, Honours, Pj
and perfonal Merit was in great credit with his Country- On)
men. In order to prevent the Earl's ufing the prcfent oc-
calion to raife new Commotions, he thought proper to fe-
cure him to his Intereft, by promifrng him one of his
Daughters in marriage. Edwin whs very well pleated with
the Offer, and inftead of fomenting the difiatisfaction of the
Englijh, did all he could to appeafe them. Aldred, Arch- jtrcbUlhtf
bilhop of York, was not fo eafily managed. This Pre- °j t " R .
late had entertained fo great an Opinion of the King, that he mmjlranet
was continually fpeaking in his praife. But when he law ' :i -< King,
him begin to pull oft" the mask, by renewing a Tax fo
odious to the Nation, he was quite of another mind. He
tent one to reprefent to him in his name, the Injury he
was doing the EngliJI), and the Inconveniences that might
follow. The King was offended with this Remonftrance, ■' ■ ■ ■
and fharply rebuked the Perfon that dar'd to deliver it. '''
'Tis faid, Aldred was fo tenfibly touch'd with this Pro-
ceeding, that he could not forbear curfing the King and all
his Race. There was danger of the Archhifhorr's Refcnt-
ment occafioning fome Troubles in the North. At leaft
the King teemed to be uneafy on that account, by his
tending one of his Officers to endeavour to appeafe him.
But the death of Aldred, which happened at that time, Death cf
freed the King from his fears, and Dane-gelt was levied ^ ldrc< *-
with all the rigour imaginable. From thence- forward no-
thing was heard but Murmurings and Complaints, which
incenfing the King, caufed him to conlider the Englijh but
as fo many Rebels, as they, on their fide, look'd upon
him under the odious Idea of a Conqueror.

Before I enter upon the relation of the Troubles in this Divers oft."
Reign, it will be proper to remark, the Hiltorians are' 7
very much divided concerning the Caufes that produced'
them. Some call the blame on the Englijh, and intimate tU EnflUih.
the King ufed not Severity till he found milder means were
ineffectual. Others maintain, the King's ill ulage of the
EngliJI) was the fole caufe of their Revolts. To decide
this Queftion, it would be neceflary to examine the Extent
of a Prince's Power that had acquired the po.TelTion of the
Crown in the manner we have feen, and how far the Obe-
dience of a Nation was due, who had fubmitted partly by
compulfron, partly of their own accord. But upon thefe
very Points, there would be perhaps no lels diverfity of
Opinions. 'Tis fufficient therefore to obferve, that among
the Hiltorians who have writ of William the Conqueror,
fome have ftudioufly difplayed all his good Qualities, and



Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 69 of 360)