M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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but flightly touched upon his Faults. Others have endea-
voured to mifreprefent all his Actions, and aggravate even
fuch as may be eafily juftified. So far is certain, the En-
glijh were ill-treated in his Reign. This the greatefl
Sticklers for the Conqueror and his Race cannot deny, but
alledge in his excufe, the neceflity he was under of guard-
ing againft the Englijh, ever prone to revolt. Others, on
the contrary, afcribe the ill treatment of the Englijh folely
to the avaricious Temper of the King, and affirm, their
Revolts were entirely owing to their Defpair. Amidft
thefe various Opinions, the Courfe I {hall take, will be,
plainly to relate fuch Facts as are uncontefted, without
making any Reflections, that the Reader may be at liberty
to judge as he fhall think proper.

As matters flood between the King and the Englijh, it Flor. Wor.
was very hard for them to fit (till and not endeavour to Hun ""S'*-

f 1} He came over in the Night, but the Garrifon (allying cut, and driving moil of his Men down the Precipices, he was foiced to retire with a few Men.
W. Ctmetitvtf. p. 667. Walfmgh. Ypodigma. p. 436.

(2) Son alAlfric, Edric Strait's Brother. Ricbard Fitz-Scrocf, and the Norman Garrifon at Hereford, wafted his Ethte, becaufe he would not lubmit to
King William, but were always forced to retire with great Lois : Therefore the better to fecure himfelf againft the Nornuns fog the future, he called in to his
Alfilbnce Bktbyn and Ryivalh:n, Princes of Wales ; and about the middle of Augufl, invaded and pillaged the County of Hereford. Fl:r. ffYtgtrm. p. 635.
S. Dunelin. p. J97. M. V/ejl-

(3) Abcut the beginning of Winter, and landed at Winchelfea, from whence he went to London, where he was received with all Signs ot Relpcct : He then
treated the Englifi? Biftlops and Nobility with great Affability and outward Kindnefs, granting them whatlcever they asked, and ruid ly hearing what they
offered to him j he alfo cajoled the Weijh. Ord. Vitalis, p. 509.

(4) William Gemeticenfn fays, That after William's Return out of Normandy, there was difcovered a Confpiracy of certain Englijh, who had contrived to
deftroy him and his Followers, as they were to go to Church bare-foot on Ajb-Wednefday ; but the Confpirators being difcovered, Bed ijito the North.
L. 7. c. 39. Waljingh. Tp'jdigma, p. 437.

(5) The next Year, afta Eafter. She was crowned on Wbitfunday, 1068. by Alfred Archbifhop of Tart. S. Dunelm. p. J97. M. Weftm.

(6) The ancient Hiltorians only fay, that he impofed on his Subjects an intolerable Tribute imporUbUe inhjltunl— F"r, Wor. 0. 635. S. D'ne'm.
p. 197. Ih-jed. B1c1r.pt. p. 663.

No. 9. Vjl. I. U u flwke

1 7°


Vol. I.

1068. fhake ofF a foreign Yoke, which to them feem'd infup-
Exetcr n- portable. The Infurrections began in the Ife/lcrn Parts,
where the Inhabitants of Exeter refufed to take their Oath
to the King and admit a Norman Garrifon (i). William,
fenfible of what importance it was to put a flop to this
Evil before it fpread any farther, marched in the midft of
Winter to reduce Exeter to obedience. Upon his Ap-
proach, he was met by fome of the principal Citizens, to
petition him for Pardon in the Name of the Corporation,
and give him Hoftages. But, whilft the Deputies were
with the King, the ordinary fort of Townfmen being fu-
perior, difapproved of their Proceedings, and refolved to
ftand upon their defence. Githti, Mother to King Harold,
who was then in the City, encouraged the Inhabitants in
their refolution, and probably, was the Perfon that put
them upon it. Mean time, the King being too far ad-
vane'd to retire with Honour, found himfelf obliged to
beliege the Town in form, notwithftanding the fharpnefs
V'll" hm 'rZ ° { tile Winter - The Approaches being made, and the
dencd. "battering Engines beginning to play, the Citizens faw no
other Remedy but to implore the King's mercy. How
much foever the King was bent to make an Example of
them, he yielded to the Intreaties of the Clergy, who
were very urgent for their Pardon (z). GUha had the
good Fortune to efcape into Tlanders with a great quantity
7>v King of Money. To prevent a fecond Infurrectior, William
builds a „.j„„,i „ r^/iu ►„ u„ u..:i. :.. -i — r\... „..j i„r. :. ..- *i


ordered a Caftle to be built in the City, and left it to the

care and management of Baldwin, Son of Earl Gilbert,
with a Norman Garrifon.

He feels The King could no longer delay the Payment of his

" : '■•.> Debts, and the Rewards fo often promifed to his Troops.
The Sums raifed by the late Tax of Dane-gelt, which
at firft were defigned for this Ufe, had been paid into
the King's Treafury, and he could not bear the thoughts
of parting with the Money again. He believed it ab-
folutely neceHaiy to have a Referve upon any fudden
occafion ; efpecially as the Difcontents of the Englijh
gave him room to dread a general Revolt. And there-
fore, without meddling with that Money, other means
were to be ufed, which very much inflamed the Difcon-
tent of the Englijh. Commiffioners were fent into all
the Counties, to enquire who fided with Harold, and

W. Piflav. confifcate their Eftates. The Eng/ijli loudly exclaimed
againft this feemingly very unjuft Enquiry. They alledg-
ed, when they took Arms for Harold, that Prince was
in actual Pofleflion of the Throne, having been elected
at a time when William's Pretenfions to the Crown were
even unknown. That before the Battle of Ha/lings,
they had never taken their Oath to the Duke of Nor-
mandy, and confequently their Eftates could not be liable
to Coniifeation for bearing Arms asainft him. That be-
iide, fuppoi'ng they were guilty, they had made ample
amends for their Fault by ready Submiflion, which the
King had accepted of; and even promifed to protect them
in their Rights and Privileges. Thefe Reafons were very
ltrong. But on this occafion, the King acted with a
view to Politicks rather than Juifice. His intent was not
to punifn them for their pretended Crime, but to have
a plaufible pretence to raife Money, and withal to put
it out of their Power to hurt him, by depriving them of
their Eftates, a thing, he judged abfolutely neceffary for
his Safety and Quiet. Accordingly this Fa£t is (light-
ly pafted over by the King's Friends, and by way of
Diverfion, an A£l of Juftice done by the King on this
occafion, is mightily extolled, namely, the reftoring a
confifcated Eftate to an EngliJIi Lord, who proved he was
never in Arms for Harold (3). However, we may be
allured, this was one of the molt remarkable Events of
this Reign, fince the confifcated Lands palled into the
hands of the Normeini and other Foreigners, who there-
by became more ccnfiderable in England than the Eng/Jli
themfelves. From thefe defcended many noble Families
now in being. However this be, thefe Confifcations were
of great Service to the King upon two accounts. Firft,


as they enabled him to pay his Debts, and reward his Fol- io6S.
lowers. Secondly, as they gave him an opportunity of
filling the Counties with fuch as were devoted to him,
and whofe Intereft it was to fupport him in the

Whilft the King was thus guarding againft the Englijh, Edwin and
he daily forfeited their efteem and affection, and natu- M ' r " r «■
rally led them to devife means for the Recovery of their
Eftates. Edwin, Earl of Chejler, one of the moft con- vital,
fiderable among them, thought it his duty to attempt Sax Ann.
the reftoring of the almoft defperate Affairs of his Coun- s ' Dur - eim -
try. The King had amufed him with hopes of one of
his Daughters ; but there was no likelihood he intended
to perform his word. On the contrary, the King feem-
ed to want only fome pretence to involve him in the
fame Ruin with the reft. Morcar, his Brother, Earl of
Northumberland, who was in much the fame fituation,
very readily engaged in the Plot. As thefe two Lords
had a very great intereft in the Kingdom, thev foon
raifed an Army which was reinforced by Blethwin King of
Wales, their Nephew, with a good number of Troops (4). rj raiJv .
The King had reafon to fear this Revolt would become 7Z* '*''»»
general, unlefs he timely oppofed its beginnings. Ac-
cordingly he drew his Forces together with the utmoft \l c „.
expedition, before the Evil fpread any farther. In his
march towards the Rebels, he fortified the Caftle of
Warwick, and made Henry de Bcammnt Governour, who
was alfo the firft: Earl of Warivick (5). At the fame He build,
time he built likewife Nottingham-Cajlle (6), to fecure a Ctffila.
Retreat in cafe of neceflity, by means of thefe two Places.
Having taken thefe Precautions, he continued his march
towards the North, to engage the Rebels, or befiege York,
which had fided with them.

Mean time, the two Earls hoping the reft of the King- E.lwin end
dom would follow the Example of the North, were very u "■'
much deceived in their expectations. The King's great pnnbnid.
Diligence, and the Superiority of his Forces breaking all
their meafures, they found themfelves unable to relift;
him. In this extremity, they had but two ways to take,
either to fly the Kingdom, or fubmit to the King's
mercy. They chofe the laft, and found their account
in it. How much foever the King might be incenfed,
he very readily pardoned them, with a view to reclaim
the Englijh by this a£i of clemency. He purfued how- Yotk fur-
ever his march towards York, the Inhabitants whereof, r '"t" ',
little able to fuftain the Burden of the War alone, came Kinrbwlb
out to meet him, and delivered up the Keys of their « Cape.
City. By this Submiflion they were pardoned as to cor-
poral Punifhments; but were forced to pay a large Fine,
and had the mortification to fee a Caftle built in their
City (7), and garrifoned with Norman Soldiers. Archil, a
Northumbrian Lord, who had been concerned in the Re-
volt, was alfo received into Favour upon delivering his
Son in Hoftage (8). Egelwin, Bifhop of Durham, made
his Peace likewife upon the fame account (9).

The King's Clemency to the Heads of the Rebels Tie King',
might have had a good effect, if at the fame time that clmcr -0 '
he pardoned fome, he had not punifhed others who were ^
much Iefs guilty. He ordered great Numbers to be fhut
tip in Prifon, who had no lrand at all in the late In-
furrcftion (10), and thereby gave occafion to think the
Mercy fliewn to the Leaders was only a drain of his
Policy. This Conduct fpread a Terror throughout the
Kingdom, which was ftill encreafed, when Caftles were He tuitdt
feen building at Lincoln, Huntington, Cambridge, which C«//«i»
were evidently defigned to keep the Englijh in awe.'.i'.r.
Morcar and the other Northumbrian Lords (11), dreading Sneral '
their Punifhment was only deferr'd till a more con- Lm-dsmti
venient feafon, retired into Scotland. Earl Gojfairic was^^"^ 8 *
under the fame Apprehenfions, and inftilled them into Scotland.
Prince Edgar, who by his advice, fled to the Court of s - Dunelm.
Scotland, with his Mother and Sifters (12). Malcolm Can- Ml par ''
more (13), who was then on the Throne, received them
with the Refpeel: due to their Rank, and confidering their

(I) Thcujh they olTered to pay him Tribute, Tyrrel, p. 16.

{%) They had their Cn ds fecurcd from the Violence of the Soldiers, by placing Guards at the Gates to keep them out. Ibid.

(3) Sbarnburn in Norfolk, which the Conqueror had given to Warren the Norman. But Edwin, the Lord of it, proving he had not fided with Has '.!,
it was reftcrcd to him. Tyrrel calls this Fad"; in queftion, becaufe this Eftate is not mentioned in DoomfJay-Book, as in Pofleflion of the faid Etki in, Ian
duel, to Vol. It. p. 51, 52.

(4) Bletbwin's or Blidett's Father married Editba, Edwin's Sifter, after whofe Death (lie was married to Harold. Or J. Vit. 311.

( 5) He « as Biother of Roger de belli monte, Son to Hum/rid de Vaults, Sen of Turolf of Pont Adomar, by Wewl. He was called Henry of Newburgi, from
the Place of his Birth, a Caltle in Normandy, and was made Earl ol Warwick, after the Survey. Gemet. I. 7- c- 4.

(6) And gave the Cuftcdy of it to William PenJel.

(7) He built two Caftles there, in which he put five hundred Soldiers, 5. Dunelm. p. 197. lined, p. 4*0.

(8) Archil married Sigrid, Daughter of £?fn</, Daughter of Aldun Bi/hop of Durham. This Archil feized part of Northumberland that was wafte, and in-
habited it- By Sigrid he had a Sen, named Gojpatnck, and he another of that Name, afterwards'Earl of Northumberland. S. Dunelm. p. So. n. 34.

(9) And by his Mediation, Conditions of Peace were offered to Malcolm King of Scots, which he accepting, a Peace was concluded between the two Kings.
OiJ. Vital

(10) And the Lands of thofe who were concerned in it, he plentifully difhibuted among his Followers, that had afliftcd him at the Battle of Ha/lings. As
for the little which was left to the antient Inhabitants, he put it under the Yoke of perpetual Servitude, that is, encumbrcd it with Knight's Service, M. Paris,
p. 4. M- Weft. p. 225. Brcmpt. p.965. Tyrrel, p. 16, 17. Vol. II.

(II) Marlefwein, Mertcr, Weltbers, and ether Lords, as well as Biftiops, Clergy, and others, afraid of being imprifoncd on account of the late Infurrccrion,
retired, fome to the King of Scots, others into Woods and Deferts, from whence they frequently tallied cut, and annoyed the Normans, who were pcffclled of
their Eftates. Af. Paris, p. 4. 5. Dunelm. p. 197. Brcmpt. p. 965.

(12) Hcembaiked, with his Mother Agatha, and his Sillers Margaret and Chriftina, in order to return into Hungary, his native Place ; but was driven by
a Storm into Scotland, where he flaid. M. Paris, p. 4. Brompt. p. 96 s. Knighton, p. 2344.

(13) Rapin, by Miftake, fays Maamir. Sec Buchanan, tft, David Scott, t£c.


Book VI.

i. W I L L I A M the C




Sax Ann-
nutria Ed-
ear's Sifitr-


The King
1,1 hi frm
the Engliln
their Arms
and efiu-
bli/hes the
Pol. Virg.

.S'on* make a
S. Dunelm.
Flor. Wore.
p. 104.

Inglilh and
icmplain one
tjf another.

FJiSt in fa-
vour of the
Leges Will,
cap. 53.


J'ttit Eng-
Ord. Vital.

Birth rather than their Fortune, married foon after Mar-
garet Edgar's eldeft Sifter. From this marriage fprung
Matilda, Grandmother to Henry II. King of England, in
whofe Perfon the Saxon and Norman Royal Families were

The King was not forry to fee himfelf thus rid of his
fecret Enemies, who gave him much lefs uneafinefs be-
ing in Scotland, than if they had (laid in England. How-
ever, the Flight of thefc Lords difcovering how the En-
glifh flood affected towards him, he refolved to take all
poffible meafures to fcreen himfelf from their Refent-
ment. For that purpofe, he took two Precautions
which were equally infupportable to them. The firfl
was to take away their Arms ( 1 ). The fecond to for-
bid them any Lights in their Houfes after eight a-Clock.
At which hour a Bell was rung to warn them to put
out their Fire and Candle, under the penalty of a gieat
Fine for every offence. The found of this Bell, called
the Curfew, was for a long while very grating in the
ears of the EngUJh. When they reflected on the Sweets
of Liberty, enjoyed under their antient Kings, they could
not without extreme Grief behold themfelvcs reduced to
fuch Slavery. If this Order was not moft punctually
obferved, they were fure to be immediately punifhed as
if guilty of fome heinous Crime. This Bell therefore
was as a Signal, which being repeated every day, con-
itantly put them in mind of their Slavery. This Op-
preffion joined to a thoufand others which they daily fuf-
fered from the hands of the King, as well as from the
Foreigners, imbittered their Lives and made them deplore
their fad and helplefs condition. In this manner feve-
ral Hiftorians reprefent the State of the Englijli at that

Whilft the King was thus guarding againft the fecret
Practices of his Subjects, Goodwin, Edmund and Magnus,
Sons of Harold, made a defcent in Somerfe/J/jire. The
only Oppofition, they met with, was from Ednotb, for-
merly Mailer of the Horfe to the King their Father,
who was willing to give King William a proof of his
Fidelity by encountring thefe Princes. His Zeal for the
new King proved fatal to him, for he was flain in the
Battle ; after which, they retired laden with Booty.

If the Hiftorians on the fide of the EngUJh may be
credited, England was then in a pitiable ftate. The
Normans fupported by the King's Favour and Protection,
daily committed Outrages upon the EngUJh, for which
thefe laft could expect no Redrefs. Others, more Friends
to the Normans than the Englifh, allure us, the Englijh
vexed that the King's meafures fhould put it out of their
power to (hake off a Yoke which they bore with ex-
treme Impatience, found fault with the Normans in gene-
ral. They add, fcarce a day palled but the dead Bodies
of affaftinated Normans were found in the Woods or High-
ways, without any pofTibility of difcovering the Authors
of thefe Murders, fo firmly did the Englijh ftand by
one another. In all appearance the King was perfuad-
ed, the Englijh were wholly to blame, fince he publifh-
ed a fevere Edict, ordering that when a Norman fhould
be flain or robbed, the Hundred where the Act was done
fhould be refponfible for the Crime, and pay a large Fine.
This Law was not new to the EngUJh. From the time
of Alfred the Great, it had been in force in the King-
dom (2). But what extremely provoked them, was, that
this Edict was made in favour of the Normans only.

How gracious foever the King might be to the Foreigners,
many of them defired leave to return home (3). The
King readily granted their Requeft, paying the Arrears
due to them, and rewarding them beyond their expec-
tation. All this was done at the expence of the Englijh,
on whom were levied the Sums neceflary to defray this

Occafions of complaint continually encreafed on both

1. .

fides. The King complained, the. Englijh appeared ready 1069.

upon all occafions to rebel ; and the Englijh thinking R
themfclves unjuftly opprefled, loudly murmured at it. ',,'
The Northumbrians were the moll impatient. VVe have
already ken in feveral Parts of this Hiftory, that they
were wont to be, as it were, their own Matters, and
could not bear a Mate of Slavery. The fame Spirit ftill
reigned among them. They could not refrain expoftula-
ting upon the lead occafion, and often ufhered in their
Complaints with fome Infurrtclion. The turbulent Tem-
per of thefe People, and the Neighbourhood of Scotland,
creating fome dread in the Km;;, he refolved to appoint
them for Governor, Robert Cumin, a Norman Lord, Sax. Am
whofe rough Difpofition feemed proper to lame their
Fiercenefs. They hr„-ird this News juft as a Projecl of Tbt North-
calling in the Danes was going to be executed. Some of" 1
them who had taken refuge in Denmark, had perfuaded , ,,
KingSweyn, he might eafily conquer England (4). N.iy, 1 ■•
they had brought Afturanccs from the Northumbrians, that
they would affift him in his Undertaking. Whereupori
Sweyn fitted out a Fleet of two hundred Sail (5), which
was ready to put to Sea when Cumin with (even hundred
Normans, came and took poffeffion of his Government.
As his Arrival might prove very prejudicial to the De
formed in the North, the principal Contrivers of the
Plot refolved to rid themfelvcs of fo troublefome an In-
fpector with his Attendants. Though he had notice of
their Intent (6), he thought it fo little in their power to
hurt him, that he neglected the Intelligence. Mean time Sl:i - Anm
the Confpirators privately drawing fome Troops together,
came to Durham, where Cumin lay in a carelefs manner, Cumin
and put him and hhNorman Followers all to the Sword (7). '/."p"^,
Prefently after arrived the Danijl) Fleet under the com-/../,
mand of Ofbern, Brother to the King of Denmark (8),
Upon News whereof all the Male-contents went and join-
ed the Danijh General, who had now landed hi
Troops (9). Edgar Atheling, Gofpatric, Merlifweyn ( 1 o), f '
and all the other Lords who had retired into Scotland,
brought him Reinforcements, which rendered his Army
very formidable. As all Northumberland was for the
Danes, and the King had not in thofe Parts any Forces
capable of withftanding fo numerous an Army, Ofbern
marched directly to Tori: The Norman Garrifon upon
the approach of the Danes, refolved to hold o;rt to the
laft Extremity, not doubting but the King would come
to their Relief with all poffible expedition. In this ex- rhy ie/ m
perflation they fet Fire to the Suburbs at the foot of the -
Caftle, that the Houfes might not be of Service to the „' '
Befiegers. But the Fire fpreading farther than was defin-
ed, a great part of the City was reduced to afh.es. The
Cathedral-Church, the Monaflery of St. Peter, and a
famous Library begun by Archbifhop Eebert about the
Year 800, entirely periflied in the Flames. Mean while
the Danes taking advantage of the Confufion, caufed by
this Accident, entered the City without oppofition. As
foon as they were matters of it, they attacked the Citadel
fo vigorously, that they took it at the firft Affault, and
put the Garrifon to the Sword ( 1 1 ). After this, the Danijh
General underftanding the King was preparing to march
againft him, went and encamped in an advantageous
Poft (iz), leaving in York Earl JValthcJf with an EngUJh

The News of this Invafion fomewhat fhook the King's - .
refolution. He was afraid the Danes were called in by a i
general Combination. Poffefied with this Notion, hedurft ™ : " ■'■'
not quit the Heart of the Kingdom, for fear his abfence
would give the reft of the Male-contents an opportunitv to
rife. On the other hand it was no lefs dangerous to neg-
lect the Affairs of the North, which might be attended
with ill confequences. In this perplexity, he believed it
advifeable, before all things, to endeavour to pacify the v. vr/cft.
Englijh by fome Acts which feemed proper to that end.


l.y lit l.'.alc-
( nit ru
Sa*. Ar.n.
t Par. j.

(r) This doth not appear from the ancient Hiftorians. And as for what follows about the Curjew (qu. Catvre-ftvi, or Cvtitr-fire) Polydore Vlrgiln the firft
who mentions it. There is a pafiage quoted out of William Malmsbury, p. 156. to countenance that Ncticn, butwhether it dots any way confirm it, I leave

the Reader to judge : Luccrnarum ufum n. ftibus in Curi-i nftituit qui fuerat tempore fratris intermiflus, i. e. He [Henry 1.] refiore'd in bis Court

of Lights at Night, -which had been left off in his Brother [William Rufus'r] Time. But is this anything likea Curfew?

(2) In the Time of the Danes, when the Body of an unknown Perfon was found murdered, it was taken for granted it was a Dane, and the Hundred pM
the Mulct. Thus William only revived an old Cuitom, by changing the Name of Dane into that of Norman. Bacon\ Ilift. c. 4.0. p. 62. Rapin.

(3) About this Time (fays Orderieus Vitalis, p. 512.) lome of the Norman Ladies wanting their Husbands, fent for them to return, and withal let them know
if they returned not, they muft have other Men to relieve their NecelYities. Hugo de Grer.tmejml, who prcfided at Winebefitr j Hurr.fridde Tcii:!;, C. verncr <i
Hajlings, with many others, returned into Normandy. His Soldiers likewife, wearied with the Dcfolations of the Counrry, importuned him for their Rtleafe.
that they might retire to a fixed Place of bode ; which he granted, and difmilfed them with plentiful Rewards. Ibid.

(4.) M. If-'ejl fays, they came either to conquer England, or to take William or drive him out of the Kingdom, p. 226.

(5) Of two hundred and forty, lays Fhr. Wore. S. Dunelm. p. iqS, &c. Of three hundred, according 10 Sax. Ar.n. Malmsi. p. 106. Hunthrd. .'..'. Petit,
p. 5. M. Wcfl.

(6) From Egeltxim, the Eifhop, who went outto meet him, and advifed him to beware of Treachery. The Northumbrians unammoufly refolved beforernnd
never to fubmit to a Stranger, and therefore agreed either to kill him, or to die themfelvcs. The Earl coming tu Durham, fuffered hi, Men to treat the People
like Enemies, killing fome of the Bifhop's Tenants. S. Duneltn. p. 198.

(7) They flocked to Durham in the Night, and forcing the Gates in the Morning, rufhed in, and flew as many of the Earl's Attendants as they could meet
with. Cumin fled for refuge into the Bifhop's Palace, but it being lit on Fire by the Confpirators, all that were in it pctiined in the Flames. Of the feven
hundred Normans, but ene efcaped. This was done January 2S. S. Dunelm. p. 38. 198.

Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 70 of 360)