Chronicle of John of Worcester

Chronicle of John of Worcester is in Early Medieval Books.

1035 Death of Canute

1036 Murder of Aelfred Ætheling Wessex by Godwinson

1039 Battle of Rhyd y Groes

1042 Death of King Harthacnut

1043 Coronation of Edward the Confessor

1051 William the Conqueror visits King Edward the Confessor

1051 Banishment of the Godwins

1052 Godwins Restored

1054 Battle of Dunsinane

1055 Battle and Burning of Hereford

1056 Battle of Glasbury-on-Wye

1065 Exile of Tostig

1066 Coronation of King Harold

1066 Death of Edward the Confessor

1066 Coronation of William The Conqueror

1066 Battle of Hastings

1066 Battle of Fulford

1066 Battle of Stamford Bridge

1068 Battle of Bleadon

1068 Coronation of Queen Matilda

1069 Battle of Northam

1070 Council of Windsor

1071 Revolt of Hereward the Wake

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1021

1021. Before the feast of St. Martin [11th Nov], Canute, king of England and Denmark (age 26), banished from England Thurkill, the earl often mentioned, and his wife Edgitha. Algar, bishop of the East-Angles (of Ehnham) died, and was succeeded by Alwin.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1022

1022. Ethelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, went to Rome, and was received with great honour by pope Benedict, who gave him the pallium.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1023

1023. The body of St. Alphege, the martyr, was translated from London to Canterbury. Wulfstan, archbishop of York, died at York on the fifth of the calends of June [28th May], but his body was carried to Ely and buried there. He was succeeded by Ælfric Puttuc, provost of Winchester.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1025

1025. Edmund, a monk, was made bishop of Lindisfarne.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1026

1026. Ælfric, archbishop of York, went to Rome, and received the pallium from pope John. Richard II (age 62), duke of Normandy, died, and was succeeded by Richard III (age 24), who, dying the same year, was succeeded by his brother Robert (age 25).

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1027

1027. Canute (age 32), king of England and Denmark, received intelligence that the Norwegians held their king Olaf (age 32) in contempt on account of his meekness and simplicity, his justice and piety. In consequence, he sent large sums of gold and silver to certain of them, earnestly entreating them to reject and depose Olaf (age 32), and submitting to him, accept him for their king. They greedily accepted his bribes, and caused a message to be returned to Canute (age 32) that they were prepared to receive him whenever he chose to come.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1028

1028. Canute (age 33), king of England and Denmark, went over to Norway with fifty stout ships, and expelled king Olaf (age 33) from the kingdom, which he subjugated to himself.

The same year was born Marianus, of Ireland, the celebrated Scot, by whose study and pains this excellent Chronicle was compiled from various books.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1029

1029. Canute (age 34), king of England, Denmark, and Norway, returned to England, and after the feast of St. Martin [11 Nov] banished Hakon, a Danish earl, who had married the noble lady Gunilda, his sister's daughter by Wyrtgeorn, king of the Winidi, sending him away under pretence of an embassy; for he feared that the earl would take either his life or his kingdoms.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1030

1030. The before-mentioned earl Haco perished at sea: some, however, say that he was killed in the islands of Orkney. Olaf (age 35), king and martyr, son of Harold, king of Norway, was wickedly slain by the Norwegians.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1031

1031. Canute (age 36), king of England, Denmark, and Norway, went in great state from Denmark to Rome58, and, having made rich offerings in gold, silver, and other precious objects, to St. Peter, prince of the apostles, he obtained from pope John that the English School should be free from all tribute and taxes. On his journey to Rome and back, he distributed large alms among the poor, and procured at great cost the abolition of the tolls levied at many barriers on the roads, where they were extorted from pilgrims. He also vowed to God, before the tomb of the apostles, that he would amend his life and conduct; and he sent thence a memorable letter by the hands of Living, the companion of his journey, (a man of great prudence, at that time abbot of Tavistock, and afterwards, in the course of the same year, Ednoth's successor in the see of Crediton), and others his envoys to England, while he himself came back from Rome by the same road he went there, visiting Denmark before his return to England. I think it right to subjoin the text of this letter.

"Canute (age 36), king of all England, and of Denmark, Norway, and part of Sweden, to Ethelnoth, metropolitan, and Alfric, archbishop of York, and to all the bishops and prelates, and to the whole nation of the English, both the nobles and the commons, greeting:

"I notify to you that I have lately taken a journey to Rome, to pray for the forgiveness of my sins, and for the welfare of my dominions, and the people under my rule. I had long since vowed this journey to God, but I have been hitherto prevented from accomplishing it by the affairs of my kingdom and other causes of impediment. I now return most humble thanks to my God Almighty for suffering me in my lifetime to visit the sanctuary of his apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, and all others which I could find either within or without the city of Rome, and there in person reverentially worship according to my desire. I have performed this chiefly, because I have learnt from wise men that St. Peter the apostle has received from God great power in binding and in loosing, and carries the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and therefore I esteemed it very profitable to seek his special patronage with the Lord.

"Be it known to you that, at the celebration of Easter, a great assembly of nobles was present with our lord, the pope John, and Conrad the emperor; that is to say, all the princes of the nations from Mount Garganus to the neighbouring sea. All these received me with honour and presented me with magnificent gifts; but more especially was I honoured by the emperor with various gifts and valuable presents, both in gold and silver vessels, and in palls and very costly robes. 1 spoke with the emperor himself, and the lord pope, and the princes who were there, in regard to the wants of my people, English as well as Danes; that there should be granted to them more equal justice and greater security in their journeys to Rome, and that they should not be hindered by so many barriers on the road, nor harassed by unjust tolls.

The emperor assented to my demands, as well as king Rodolph (age 60)59, in whose dominions these barriers chiefly stand; and all the princes made edicts that my people, the merchants as well as those who go to pay their devotions, shall pass to and fro in their journeys to Rome in peace, and under the security of just laws, free from all molestation by the guards of barriers or the receivers of tolls. I made further complaint to my lord the pope, and expressed my high displeasure, that my archbishops are sorely aggrieved by the demand of immense sums of money, when, according to custom, they resort to the apostolical see to obtain the pallium; and it is decreed that it should no longer be done. All things, therefore, which I requested for the good of my people from my lord the pope, and the emperor, and king Rodolph, and the other princes through whose territories our road to Rome lies, they have most freely granted, and even ratified their concessions by oath; to which four archbishops, twenty bishops, and an innumerable multitude of dukes and nobles who were there present, are witnesses. Wherefore I return most hearty thanks to Almighty God for my having successfully accomplished all that I had desired, as I had resolved in my mind, and having satisfied my wishes to the fullest extent.

"Be it known therefore to all of you, that I have humbly vowed to the Almighty God himself henceforward to amend my life in all respects, and to rule the kingdoms and the people subject to me with justice and clemency, giving equitable judgements in all matters; and if, through the intemperance of youth or negligence, I have hitherto exceeded the bounds of justice in any of my acts, I intend by God's aid to make an entire change for the better. I therefore adjure and command my counsellors to whom I have entrusted the affairs of my kingdom, that henceforth they neither commit themselves, nor suffer to prevail, any sort of injustice throughout my dominions, either from fear of me, or from favour to any powerful person. I also command all sheriffs and magistrates throughout my whole kingdom, as they tender my regard and their own safety, that they use no unjust violence to any man, rich or poor, but that all, high and low, rich or poor, shall enjoy alike impartial law; from which they are never to deviate, either on account of royal favour, respect of person in the great, or for the sake of amassing money wrongfully, for I have no need to accumulate wealth by iniquitous exactions.

"I wish you further to know, that, returning by the way I went, I am now going to Denmark to conclude a treaty for a solid peace, all the Danes concurring, with those nations and peoples who would have taken my life and crown if it had been possible; but this they were not able to accomplish, God bringing their strength to nought.—May He, of his merciful kindness, uphold me in my sovereignty and honour, and henceforth scatter and bring to nought the power and might of all my adversaries ! When, therefore, I shall have made peace within the surrounding nations, and settled and reduced to order all my dominions in the East, so that we shall have nothing to fear from war or hostilities in any quarter, I propose to return to England as early in the summer as I shall be able to fit out my fleet. I have sent this epistle before me in order, that my people may be gladdened at my success; because, as you yourselves know, I have never spared, nor will I spare, myself or my exertions, for the needful service of my whole people. I now therefore command and adjure all my bishops and the governors of my kingdom, by the duty they owe to God and myself, to take care that before I come to England all dues belonging to God, according to the old laws, be fully discharged; namely, plough-alms, the tithe of, animals born in the current year, and the pence payable to St. Peter at Rome, whether from towns or vills; and in the middle of August the tithes of corn; and at the feast of St. Martin the first-fruits of grain (payable) to every one's parish church, called in English ciric-sceat. If these and such-like dues be not paid before I come, those who make default will incur fines to the king, according to the law, which will be strictly enforced without mercy. Farewell."

Note 58. The Saxon Chronicle and Henry of Huntingdon agree with John as to the date of Canute's journey to Rome; but it was probably five or six years earlier. Wippo, a contemporary writer, places it in 1027.

Note 59. Rudolph "Idle" III King Burgundy (age 60). Note some sources refer to Rudolph "Pious" II King Burgundy II King Italy but he would have been dead one hundred years before.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1032

1032. The church of St. Edmund, king and martyr, was dedicated this year. [Note. Possibly Bury St Edmund's Abbey.]

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1033

1033. Leofsy, bishop of the Hwiccas, a devout and humble man, died at the episcopal vill of Rempsey, on Tuesday, the fourteenth of the calends of September [19th August], and, as we may be allowed to hope, ascended to the heavenly realms: his body was buried with honour in the church of St. Mary [Map], at Worcester. Brihteag, abbot of Pershore, sister's son of Wulfstan, archbishop of York, was raised to the vacant see.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1034

1034. Eatheric, bishop of Lincoln [Dorchester], died, and was buried in the abbey of Ramsey; Ednoth succeeded him. Malcolm (age 80), king of the Scots, died.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1035

1035. Canute (age 40), king of England, before his death, gave the kingdom of Norway to Sweyn (age 19), who was reported to be his son by Elfgiva of Northampton (age 45) [Note. Possibly a mistake for Northumberland?], the daughter of Alfhelm the ealdorman, and the noble lady Wulfruna. Some, however, asserted that this Elfgiva desired to have a son by the king (age 40), but as she could not, she caused the new-born child of a certain priest to be brought to her, and made the king (age 40) fully believe that she had just borne him a son. He also gave the kingdom of Denmark to Hardicanute (age 17), his son by the queen Elfgiva (age 50). Afterwards, the same year, he departed this life at Shaftesbury on Wednesday, the second of the ides [the 12th] of November; but he was buried at Winchester in the Old Minster, with due honours. After his burial the queen Elfgiva (age 50) took up her abode there. Harold (age 19) also said that he was the son of king Canute (age 40) and Elfgiva of Northampton (age 50), although that is far from certain; for some say that he was the son of a cobbler, and that Elfgiva (age 50) had acted with regard to him as she had done in the case of Sweyn: for our part, as there are doubts on the subject, we cannot settle with any certainty the parentage of either. Harold (age 19), however, assuming the royal dignity, sent his guards in the utmost haste to Winchester, and tyrannically seized the largest and best part of the treasure and wealth which king Canute (age 40) had bequeathed to queen Elfgiva (age 50), and having thus robbed her, permitted her to continue her residence at Winchester. He then, with the consent of many of the higher orders of England, began to reign as though he was the lawful heir; but he had not the same power as Canute (age 40), because the arrival of Hardicanute (age 17), the more rightful heir, was looked for. Hence, shortly afterwards, the kingdom was divided by lot, Harold (age 19) getting the northern, and Hardicanute (age 17) the southern portion.

1035. Robert, duke of Normandy (age 34), died, and was succeeded by his son William the Bastard (age 7), then a minor.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1036

1036. The innocent ethelings Alfred (age 31) and Edward, sons of Ethelred, formerly king of England, sailed from Normandy, where they had been for many years at the court of their uncle Richard, and, attended by many Norman knights, crossed over to England with a small fleet to confer with their mother (age 51), who still abode at Winchester. Some of the men in power were very indignant at this, being much more devoted to Harold (age 20), however unjustly, than to the ethelings: especially, it is said, earl Godwin (age 35). The earl, therefore, arrested Alfred (age 31) on his road to London to confer with King Harold (age 20) as he had commanded, and threw him into prison.

1036. At the same tune he dispersed some of his attendants, others he put in fetters and afterwards deprived of their sight, some he scalped and tortured, amputated their hands and feet and heavily mulcted: many he ordered to be sold, and put to death six hundred of them at Guildford, Surrey [Map] with various torments: but we trust that the souls of those, who, guilty of no crime, had their bodies so cruelly slaughtered in the fields, are now rejoicing with the saints in paradise. On hearing of this, queen Elgiva (age 51) sent back her son Edward (age 33), who had remained with her, in all haste to Normandy. Then, by order of Godwin (age 35) and others, Alfred (age 31) was conducted, heavily chained, to the Isle of Ely [Map]; but as soon as the ship touched the land, his eyes were most barbarously plucked out while he was on board, and in this state he was taken to the monastery [Map] and handed over to the custody of the monks. There he shortly afterwards died, and his body was buried, with due honours, in the south porch at the west end of the church [Map]; but his spirit is in the enjoyment of the delights of paradise.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1037

1037. Harold (age 21), king of Mercia and Northumbria, was elected by the nobles, and the whole people, king of all England; Hardicanute (age 19) being entirely deposed, because he wasted his time in Denmark, and deferred coming over, as he was requested. His mother Elfgiva (age 52), formerly queen of England, was banished from the kingdom, without mercy, at the beginning of winter. As soon as a ship could be got ready she sailed for Flanders, where she received an honourable welcome from the noble count Baldwin (age 24), who, with a liberality becoming his rank, took care that she should be freely supplied with all things needful, as long as she required it. A little before this, the same year, Ælfic, dean of Evesham, a man of deep piety, died.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1038

1038. Æthelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on the fourth of the calends of November [29th September]. Seven days after, Ethelric, bishop of Sussex, died; for he had prayed to God that he might not long survive his beloved father Ethelnoth. Grimkytel succeeded him in the bishopric, and Eadsige, one of the king's chaplains, succeeded Ethelnoth in the archbishopric. In the same year died Ælfric, bishop of East-Anglia, and Brihteag, bishop of the Hwiccas [Worcester], ended his days on Wednesday the third of the calends of January [20th December], whose see king Harold (age 22) gave to Living, bishop of Crediton. Stigand, the king's chaplain, was appointed in Ælfric's place, but was afterwards ejected, and Grimkytel chosen in his stead; so that he held for the tune the two dioceses of Sussex and Essex; but Stigand was restored, and Grimkytel ejected, and Stigand kept the bishopric of Sussex for himself, and procured that of East-Anglia for his brother Ethelmar; but not satisfied with this, he was raised to the thrones of Winchester and Canterbury: he also strove hard to hold with them the bishopric of Sussex, and nearly carried his point. Ethelmar; was succeeded by Ærfast, bishop of Elmham, who, lest he should have seemed to have done nothing—for the Normans are very ambitious of future renown—transferred the see from Elmham to Thetford.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1039

1039. Brihtmar, bishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Wulfsy. The Welsh slew [Battle of Rhyd y Groes] Edwin, earl Leofric's brother, with Turkill and Ælfgeat, son of Eatsy, two noble king's thanes, and many others at the same time. Hardicanute (age 21), king of Denmark, sailed to Flanders, on a visit to his mother, Elfgiva (age 54).

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1040

1040. Harold (age 24), king of England, died at London, and was buried at Westminster. After his funeral, the nobles of almost the whole of England sent envoys to Hardicanute (age 22) at Bruges, where he was staying with his mother (age 55), and, thinking it was for the best, invited him to come to England and ascend the throne. Thereupon, he fitted out fifty ships, and embarking Danish troops, before midsummer sailed over to England, where he was received with universal joy, and shortly afterwards crowned; but during his government he did nothing worthy his royal power. For as soon as he began to reign, calling to mind the injuries which both he and his mother had suffered at the hands of his predecessor, and reputed brother, king Harold (age 24), he despatched to London, Ælfric, archbishop of York, and earl Godwin (age 39), with Stor, the master of his household, Edric, his steward, Thrond, captain of his guards, and other men of high rank, with orders to dig up the body of Harold (age 24) and throw it into a sewer; and when it was thrown there, he caused it to be dragged out and cast into the river Thames. Shortly afterwards, it was picked up by a fisherman, and being immediately brought to the Danes, was honourably buried by them in a cemetery they possessed at London.60 After this, he ordered that eight marks should be paid to every rower in his fleet, and twelve to each steersman, to be levied from the whole of England; a tax so burthensome, that scarcely any one would pay it, and he became thoroughly detested by those who at first were most anxious for his coming. Besides, he was greatly incensed against earl Godwin (age 39), and Living, bishop of Worcester, for the death of his brother Alfred, of which they were accused by Ælfric, archbishop of York, and some others. In consequence, he took the bishopric of Worcester from Living and gave it to Ælfric; but the following year, he ejected Ælfric and graciously restored Living, who had made his peace with him.

Note 60. The cemetery of St Clement-Danes, where the Northmen had a settlement on the bank of the Thames, outside the walls of London. The Saxon Chronicle is silent as to Harold's corpse being thrown into the Thames and fished up, but Henry of Huntingdon gives the same account as our author.

1040. Godwin (age 39), to obtain the king's favour, presented him with a galley of admirable workmanship, with a gilded figure-head, rigged with the best materials, and manned with eighty chosen soldiers splendidly armed. Every one of them had on each arm a golden bracelet weighing six ounces, and wore a triple coat of mail and a helmet partly gilt, and a sword with gilded hilt girt to his side, and a Danish battle-axe inlaid with gold and silver hanging from his left shoulder; in his left hand he bore a shield, the boss and studs of which were also gilt, and in his right hand a lance, called in the English tongue "Atagar."61 Moreover, he made oath to the king (age 22), with almost all the chief men and greater thanes in England, that it was not by his counsel, or at his instance, that his brother's eyes were put out, but that he had only obeyed the commands of his lord, king Harold (age 24).

Note 61. Anglo-Saxon, atgar; old Norsk, atgeirr.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1041

1041. This year Hardicanute (age 23), king of England, sent his house-carls62 through all the provinces of his kingdom to collect the tribute which he had imposed. Two of them, Feader and Thurstan, were slain on the 4th of the ides [the 4th] of May, by the citizens of Worcester, Worcestershire [Map] and the people of that neighbourhood, in an upper chamber of the abbey-tower, where they had concealed themselves during a tumult. This so incensed the king, that to avenge their deaths he sent Thorold, earl of Middlesex, Leofric, earl of Mercia, Godwin (age 40), earl of Wessex, Siward (age 31), earl of Northumbria, Boni, earl of Hereford, and all the other English earls, with almost all his house-carls, and a large body of troops, to Worcester, Worcestershire [Map], where Ælfric was still bishop, with orders to put to death all the inhabitants they could find, to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole province.

Note 62. The Danish body-guards.

12 Nov 1041. They arrived there on the second of the ides [the 12th] of November, and beginning their work of destruction through the city and province continued it for four days; but very few of the citizens or provincials were taken or slain, because, having notice of their coming, the people fled in all directions. A great number of the citizens took refuge in a small island, called Beverege, situated in the middle of the river Severn, and having fortified it, defended themselves so stoutly against their enemies that they obtained terms of peace, and were allowed free liberty to return home. On the fifth day, the city having been burnt, every one marched off loaded with plunder, and the king's wrath was satisfied. Soon afterwards, Edward (age 38), son of Ethelred the late king of England, came over from Normandy, where he had been an exile many years, and being honourably received by his brother [Note. Half-brother. Both sons of Emma aka Ælfgyfu of Normandy Queen Consort England (age 56).], king Hardicanute (age 23), remained at his court.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1042

1042. Hardicanute (age 24), king of England, while he was present at a joyous feast given at a place called Lambeth, Surrey [Map], by Osgod Clapa, a man of great wealth, on occasion of his giving the hand of his daughter Githa in marriage to Tovi, surnamed Prudan, a noble and powerful Dane,—and carousing, full of health and merriment, with the bride and some others, fell down, by a sad mischance, while in the act of drinking, and continued speechless until Tuesday the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of June, when he expired. He was carried to Winchester and buried near his father Canute. His brother Edward (age 39) was proclaimed king at London, chiefly by the exertions of earl Godwin (age 41), and Living, bishop of Worcester. Edward (age 39) was the son of Ethelred, who was the son of Edgar, who was the son of Edmund, who was the son of Edward the Elder, who was the son of Alfred.

1042.Abbot Elias, a Scot, died on the second of the ides [the 12th] of April. Being a prudent and religious man, he was entrusted with the government of the monastery of St. Pantaleon, as well as of his own abbey of St. Martin. He committed to the flames, in the monastery of St. Pantaleon, a beautiful missal which a French monk had copied, without leave, in the communal tongue for the use of the community, that no one in future might dare to do it without permission. He was succeeded by Maiolus the Scot, a holy man.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1043

1043. Edward (age 40) was anointed king at Winchester on the first day of Easter, being the third of the nones [the 3rd] of April, by Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, Jilric, archbishop of York, and nearly all the bishops of England. In the same year, fourteen days before the feast-day of St. Andrew the apostle [16th November], the king went suddenly and unexpectedly from the city of Gloucester to Winchester, accompanied by the earls Godwin (age 42), Leofric, and Siward (age 33); and by their advice took from his mother (age 58) all the gold, silver, jewels, precious stones, and other valuables she possessed, because she had been less liberal to him than he expected, and had treated him harshly both before and after he was king. Notwithstanding, he gave orders for her being supplied with all necessaries, and ordered her to remain there quiet.

1043. Animchadus, a Scottish monk, who led a life of seclusion in the monastery at Fulda, died on the third of the calends of February [30th January]. Over his tomb lights were seen, and there was the voice of psalmody. Marianus, the author of this chronicle, took up his station as a recluse for ten years at his feet, and sang masses over his tomb. He has related, what follows respecting this Animchadus: "When I was in Ireland," says Marianus, "in an island called Keltra, he entertained, with the permission of his superior, named Cortram, certain brethren who came there. Some of them departed after their meal, but those who remained sat warming themselves at the fire, and asked him for something to drink, and on his refusing to give it without leave, they urged him to comply. At last he consented, but first sent some of the beverage to his superior, as for his blessing. On the morrow, being asked for what reason he sent it, he related all the circumstances. But his superior, for this slight fault, immediately ordered him to quit Ireland, and he humbly obeyed. He then came to Fulda, and lived a life of holy seclusion, as I have already said, until his death.

"This was told us by the superior, Tigernah, on my committing some slight fault in his presence. Moreover, I myself heard, while I was in seclusion at Fulda, a very devout monk of that monastery, whose name was William, implore the aforesaid Animchadus, who was then in his tomb, to give him his benediction; and, as he afterwards told me, he saw him in a vision standing in his tomb, shining with great brightness, and giving him his benediction with outstretched arms; and I too passed the whole of that night in the midst of a mellifluous odour." These are the words of Marianus.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1044

1044. Ælfward, bishop of London, who was abbot of Evesham, both before and while he was bishop, being unable to perform duly his episcopal functions, by reason of his infirmities, wished to retire to [his abbey of] Evesham, but the monks of that house would by no means consent.63 Wherefore he removed the greatest part of the books and ornaments which he had collected in that place, and some, it is said, which others had contributed, and withdrawing to the abbey of Ramsey, took up his abode there, and offered all he had brought with him to St. Benedict. He died on Wednesday, the eighth of the calends of August (the 25th July), in this same year, and is buried there.

Note 63. Because he was afflicted with the leprosy. See Hist. Rames., c. civ.

1044. At a general synod, held about that time in London, Wulfmar, a devout monk of Evesham, also called Manni, was elected abbot of that monastery. The same year, the noble lady, Gunhilda, daughter of king Wyrtgeorn, by king Canute's sister, and successively the wife of earls Hakon and Harold, was banished from England with her two sons, Hemming and Thurkill. She went over to Flanders, and resided for some time at a place called Bruges [Map], and then went to Denmark. Stigand, the king's chaplain, was appointed bishop of East-Anglia.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1045

1045. Brihtwold, bishop of Wilton, died; and was succeeded by the king's chaplain, Heriman, a native of Lorraine. The same year, Edward (age 42), king of England, assembled a very powerful fleet at the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map], to oppose Magnus (age 21), king of Norway, who threatened to invade England; but the expedition was abandoned in consequence of Sweyn (age 26), king of Denmark, having commenced hostilities against him.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1046

1046. Living, bishop of the Hwiccas, Devonshire, and Cornwall, died on Sunday, the tenth of the calends of April [the 23rd March]. Soon after his death, the bishoprics of Crediton and Cornwall were given to Leofric the Briton, who was the king's chancellor; and Aldred, who had been a monk of Winchester and was then abbot of Tavistock, was made bishop of the Hwiccas. Osgod Clapa was banished from England. Magnus (age 22), king of Norway, son of St. Olaf the king, defeated Sweyn (age 27), king of the Danes, and reduced Denmark under his own dominion.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1047

1047. So much snow fell in the West, that it crushed the woods, and this year the winter was very severe. Grimkytel, bishop of Sussex, died, and was succeeded by Heca, the king's chaplain. Ælfwine, bishop of Winchester, also died, and Stigand, bishop of East-Anglia, was translated to his see. Sweyn (age 28), king of Denmark, sent ambassadors to Edward (age 44), king of England, requesting that he would send a fleet to join him against Magnus (age 23), king of Norway. Then earl Godwin (age 46) counselled the king to send at least fifty ships, full of soldiers; but as the proposal was objected to by earl Leofric and all the people, he declined to furnish any. After this Magnus (age 23), king of Norway, having collected a numerous and powerful fleet, fought a battle with Sweyn (age 28), in which a vast number of troops were killed on both sides, and having driven him out of Denmark, reigned there himself, and made the Danes pay him a heavy tribute: shortly afterwards he died.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1048

1048. Sweyn (age 29) recovered Denmark, and Harold Harfaager (age 33)64, a son of Siward, king of Norway, and brother of St. Olaf by the mother's side, and by the father's uncle to king Magnus, returned to Norway, and shortly afterwards sent ambassadors to king Edward, making offers of peace and amity, which were accepted.

Note 64. It should be Harold Hardrada, a common blunder of the English chroniclers. King Harold Harfaager reigned from about a.d. 861 to about 931.

01 May 1048. There was a great earthquake on Sunday the first of May, at Worcester [Map], Wick, Derby [Map], and many other places. Many districts of England were visited with a mortality among men and cattle; and a fire in the air, commonly called wild-fire, burnt many vills and cornfields in Derbyshire and some other districts. Edmund, bishop of Lindisfarne, died at Gloucester, but was carried by his people to Durham, and buried there. Edred succeeded him, but being struck by the divine vengeance, Ethelric, a monk of Peterborough, was appointed in his stead.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1049

1049. The emperor Henry (age 31) assembled a vast army against Baldwin (age 36), count of Flanders, chiefly because he had burnt and ruined his stately palace at Nimeguen. In this expedition were pope Leo, and many great and noble men from various countries. Sweyn (age 30), king of Denmark, was also there with his fleet at the emperor's command, and swore fealty to the emperor for that occasion. He sent also to Edward (age 46), king of England, and requested him not to let Baldwin (age 36) escape, if he should retreat to the sea. In consequence, the king went with a large fleet to the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map], and remained there until the emperor had obtained of Baldwin (age 36) all he desired. Meanwhile, earl Sweyn (age 28), son of earl Godwin (age 48) and Githa, who had left England and gone to Denmark, because he was not permitted to marry Edgiva, abbess of the monastery of Leominster, whom he had debauched, returned with eight ships, alleging falsely that he would now remain loyally with the king.

1049. Earl Beorn, son of his uncle Ulf, a Danish earl, who was son of Spracing, who was son of Urso, and brother of Sweyn (age 30), king of Denmark, promised him to obtain from the king the restoration of his earldom Earl Baldwin having made peace with the emperor, the earls Godwin (age 48) and Beorn, by the king's permission, came to Pevensey [Map] with forty-two ships; but he ordered the rest of the fleet to return home, with the exception of a few ships which he retained there. When, however, he was informed that Osgod Clapa lay at Wulpe65 with twenty-nine ships, he recalled as many as possible of the ships he had sent away. But Osgod, taking with him his wife whom he had left for safety at Bruges, returned to Denmark with six ships; the rest sailed over to Essex, and returned with no small plunder, which they carried off from the neighbourhood of Eadulfs Ness; however, a violent tempest overtook and sunk all except two, which were captured at sea, and all on board perished.

Note 65. A village on the coast of Flanders, N.W. of Sluys.

1049. During these occurrences earl Sweyn (age 28) went to Pevensey [Map], and perfidiously requested earl Beorn, his cousin, to go with him to the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map], and make his peace with the king (age 46), according to promise. Beorn, relying on his relationship, accompanied him with only three attendants; but Sweyn (age 28) conducted him to Bosham, where his ships lay, and, taking him on board one of them, ordered him to be bound with thongs, and kept him on board until they reached the mouth of the river Dart. There they slew him, and threw him into a deep trench, and covered him with earth. They then sent away six of the ships, two of which were soon afterwards taken by the men of Hastings, who, having killed all on board, carried them to Sandwich, Kent [Map] and presented them to the king (age 46). Sweyn (age 28), however, escaped to Flanders with two ships, and remained there until he was brought back by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, who reconciled him with the king.

1049. In the month of August of the same year, some Irish pirates, entering the mouth of the river Severn with thirty-six ships, landed at a place called Wylesc-Eaxan, and, with the aid of Griffyth, king of South-Wales, plundered in that neighbourhood, and did considerable damage. Then, joining their forces, the king and the pirates crossed the river Wye and burnt Dymedham, massacring all they found there. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, with a few of the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, flew to arms against them; but the Welshmen who were in their ranks, and had promised to be faithful to them, sent a messenger privately to king Griffyth, begging him to lose no time in attacking the English; in consequence of which he hastened to the spot with his own followers and the Irish pirates, and falling on the English before day-break, slew many of them and put the rest to flight.

1049. Eadnoth, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was succeeded by Ulf, the king's chaplain, a native of Normandy. Oswy, abbot of Thorney, and Wulfnoth, abbot of Westminster, died; also Siward, coadjutor-bishop of Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, and he was buried at Abingdon. Moreover, in this year pope St. Leo came to France, at the request of the most excellent abbot Herimar, having in his company the prefect and some of the principal persons of Rome, and dedicated with great ceremony the monastery of St. Remigius, the apostle of the Franks, built at Rheims, in which city he afterwards held a numerous synod of archbishops, bishops, and abbots, which lasted six days. There were present at this synod Alfwine, abbot of Ramsey, and the abbot of St. Augustine's monastery [at Canterbury], who were sent there by Edward, king of England.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1050

1050. Macbeth (age 45), king of Scotland, distributed freely large sums of money at Rome. Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Robert, bishop of London, a Norman by birth. Spearheafoc, abbot of Abingdon, was elected bishop of London, but was ejected by king Edward before consecration. Heriman, bishop of Wilton, and Aldred, bishop of Worcester, went to Rome.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1051

1051. Ælfric, archbishop of York, died at Southwell, and was buried at Peterborough [Map]; Kinsige, the king's chaplain, succeeded him. King Edward (age 48) released the English from the heavy tax payable to the Danish troops, in the thirty-eighth year after his father Ethelred had first imposed it. After this, in the month of September, Eustace (age 36) the elder, count of Boulogne, who had married a sister of king Edward, named Goda, sailed to Dover, Kent [Map] with a small fleet.66 His soldiers, while they were bluntly and indiscreetly inquiring for lodgings, killed one of the townsmen. A neighbour of his witnessing this, slew one of the soldiers in revenge. At this the count and his followers were much enraged, and put many men and women to the sword, trampling their babes and children under their horses' hoofs. But seeing the townsmen flocking together to resist them, they made their escape, like cowards, with some difficulty, and leaving seven of their number slain, they fled to king Edward (age 48), who was then at Gloucester. Earl Godwin (age 50), being indignant that such things should be done within his jurisdiction, in great wrath raised an immense army from the whole of his earldom, that is, from Kent, Sussex, and Wessex; his eldest son, Sweyn, also assembled the men of his earldom, that is, of the counties of Oxford, Gloucester, Hereford, Somerset, and Berks; and his other son, Harold (age 29), assembled the men of his earldom, namely, Essex, East-Anglia, Huntingdon, and Cambridge. This did not escape the notice of king Edward (age 48), and he therefore sent messages to Leofric, earl of Mercia, and Siward (age 41), earl of Northumbria, begging them to hasten to him with all the men they could muster, as he was in great peril. They came at first with only a few followers but when they learnt the real state of affairs, they sent swift messengers throughout their earldoms and gathered a large army. Likewise earl Ralph, son of Goda, king Edward's sister, assembled as many as he could from his county.

Note 66. Cf. Saxon Chronicle under the years 1048 and 1052.

08 Sep 1051. Meanwhile, Godwin (age 50) and his sons [Note. Sweyn (age 30), Harold (age 29), Tostig (age 25), Gyrth (age 19), Leofwine (age 16) and Wulfnoth (age 11); it isn't clear whether all were present?], with their respective armies, entered Gloucestershire after the feast of the nativity of St. Mary [8th September], and encamping at a place called Langtreo, sent envoys to the king at Gloucester, demanding the surrender of count Eustace (age 36) and his followers, as well as of the Normans and men of Boulogne, who were in possession of the castle on the cliff at Dover, Kent [Map], on pain of hostilities. The king, alarmed for a time at this message, was in great distress, and in the utmost perplexity what to do. But when he found that the troops of the earls Leofric, Siward (age 41), and Ralph were on their march, he replied with firmness that he would by no means consent to give up Eustace (age 36) and the rest who were demanded. On hearing this, the envoys returned from their bootless errand. As they were departing, the army entered Gloucester, so exasperated, and unanimously ready to fight, that, if the king had given permission, they would have instantly engaged earl Godwin's (age 50) army. But earl Leofric considering that all the men of greatest note in England were assembled either on his side or the other, it appeared to him and some others a great folly to fight with their own countrymen, and he proposed that, hostages having been given by both parties, the king and Godwin (age 50) should meet at London on a day appointed, and settle their controversy in a legal way. This advice being approved, and after the exchange of messages, hostages having been given and received, the earl (age 50) returned into Wessex; and the king assembled a more powerful army from the whole of Mercia and Northumbria, and led it to London. Meanwhile, Godwin (age 50) and his sons came to Southwark with a vast multitude of the people of Wessex; but his army gradually dwindling away and deserting him, he did not venture to abide the judgment of the king's court, but fled, under cover of night. When, therefore, the morning came, the king, in his witan, with the unanimous consent of the whole army, made a decree that Godwin (age 50) and his five sons should be banished. Thereupon he and his wife Githa, and Tosti (age 25) and his wife Judith (age 18), the daughter of Baldwin, count of Flanders, and two of his. other sons, namely, Sweyn (age 30) and Gurth (age 19), went, without loss of time, to Thorney, where a ship had been got ready for them. They quickly laded her with as much gold, silver, and other valuable articles as she could hold, and, embarking in great haste, directed her course towards Flanders and Baldwin (age 39) the count. His sons Harold (age 29) and Leofwine (age 16), making their way to Brycgstowe [Map], went on board a ship which their brother Sweyn (age 30) had prepared for them, and crossed over to Ireland. The king (age 48) repudiated the queen Edgitha (age 25), on account of his wrath against her father Godwin (age 50), and sent her in disgrace, with only a single handmaid, to Wherwell [Map], where she was committed to the custody of the abbess.67

Note 67. She was a sister of the king.

1051. After these occurrences, William (age 23), earl [duke] of Normandy, came over to England with a vast retinue of Normans. King Edward (age 48) honourably entertained him and his companions, and on their return made them many valuable presents. The same year, William, the king's chaplain, was appointed to the bishopric of London, which was before given to Spearheafoc.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1052

1052. Marianus, the chronicler, departed this life.

06 Mar 1052. Elfgiva Emma (age 67), wife of the kings Ethelred and Canute, died at Winchester, Hampshire [Map] on the second of the nones [the 6th] of March, and was buried there.

After 06 Mar 1052. In the same year, Griffyth, king of Wales, ravaged a great part of Herefordshire: the inhabitants of that province, with some Normans from a castle, flew to arms and attacked him; but, having slain a great number of them, he obtained the victory and carried off much plunder. This battle was fought on the same day on which, fourteen years before, the Welsh slew Edwin, earl Leofric's brother, in an ambuscade.

After 06 Mar 1052. A short time afterwards, earl Harold (age 30) and his brother Leofwine (age 17), returning from Ireland, and sailing into the mouth of the river Severn with a large fleet, landed on the borders of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, and plundered many villages and farms in those parts. A great number of the people of Devonshire and Somersetshire gathered together in arms against them; but Harold (age 30) defeated them with the loss of more than thirty noble thanes, and many others. He then returned to his fleet with the booty, and sailed round Penwithsteort.68 Thereupon, king Edward (age 49) quickly despatched forty ships, well provisioned, and having on board a chosen body of soldiers, to the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map], with orders to wait and look out for the arrival of earl Godwin (age 51). Notwithstanding this, he escaped observation, and, returning with a few ships, landed in Kent; and, by his secret emissaries, gained over to espouse his cause, first, the Kentishmen, and then the people of Sussex, Essex, and Surrey, with all the seamen69 of Hastings and other places on the sea-coast, besides some others. All these, with one voice, declared that they were ready to live or die with him.

Note 68. Penwith-Steort—the Land's End.

Note 69. Butsecarles—Boats-carles. Our author uses the word again, a few sentences later, in the general sense of mariners, seamen.

1052. As soon as his arrival was known in the king's fleet, which lay at Sandwich, Kent [Map], it went in chase of him; but he escaped and concealed himself wherever he could, and the fleet returned to Sandwich, Kent [Map], and thence sailed to London. On hearing this, Godwin (age 51) shaped his course again for the Isle of Wight [Map], and kept hovering about along the shore until his sons Harold (age 30) and Leofwine (age 17) joined him with their fleet. After this junction, they desisted from plundering and wasting the country, taking only such provisions as necessity required for the subsistence of their troops. Having increased their force by enlisting as many men as they could on the sea-coast and in other places, and by collecting all the mariners they met with in every direction, they directed their course towards the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map]. Their arrival there was notified to king Edward (age 49), who was then at London, and he lost no time sending messengers requiring all persons, who had not revolted from him, to hasten to his succour; but they were too slow in their movements, and did not arrive in time. Meanwhile, earl Godwin (age 51), having sailed up the Thames against the current, reached Southwark, Surrey [Map] on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th September], being Monday, and waited there until the flood-tide came up. In the interval, he so dealt with the citizens of London, some in person, others through his emissaries, having before seduced them by a variety of promises, that he persuaded nearly all of them to enter heartily into his designs. At last, everything being duly planned and set in order, on the tide's flowing up they quickly weighed anchor, and, no one offering them any resistance at the bridge, sailed upwards along the south bank of the river. The land army also arrived, and, being drawn up on the river-bank, formed a close and formidable column. Then the fleet drew towards the northern bank, with the intention, apparently, of enclosing the king's fleet, for the king had also a fleet, as well as a numerous land army. But as there were very few men of any courage, either on the king's or Godwin's (age 51) side, who were not Englishmen, nearly all shrunk from fighting against their kinsfolk and countrymen; so that the wiser sort on both sides interfered to restore peace between the king and the earl, and both armies received orders to lay down their arms. The next morning the king (age 49) held a council, and fully restored to their former honours Godwin (age 51), and his wife, and all his sons, except Sweyn (age 31), who, touched with repentance for the murder of his cousin Beorn, mentioned before, had undertaken a journey barefoot from Flanders to Jerusalem, and who, on his return, died in Lycia70 from illness brought on by the severity of the cold. The king, also, took back with due honour queen Edgitha (age 26), the earl's (age 51) daughter, and restored her to her former dignity.

Note 70. According to the Saxon Chronicle, Sweyn died at Constantinople on his journey home. Malmesbury relates that he was slain by the Saracens.

1052. The alliance being renewed, and peace established, they promised right law to all the people, and banished all the Normans, who had introduced unjust laws and given unrighteous judgements, and in many things had influenced the king (age 49) to the disadvantage of his English subjects. A few of them only were allowed to stay in England, namely, Robert the deacon, and his son-in-law Richard Fitz-Scrope [Note. Possibly Richard Fitzscrope 1st Baron Burford (age 37)], Alfred, the king's horse-thane, Anfrid, surnamed Cock's-foot, with some others who had been the king's greatest favourites, and had remained faithful to him and the commonwealth. But Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, William, bishop of London, and Ulf, bishop of Lincoln, with their Normans, had some difficulty in making their escape and getting beyond sea. William, however, was, for his worth, soon afterwards recalled and reinstated in his bishopric. Osbern, surnamed Pentecost, and his companion Hugh, surrendered their castles; and, being allowed by earl Leofric to pass through his territories in their way to Scotland, received a welcome from Macbeth (age 47), king of the Scots. The same year there was such a violent wind in the night of the feast of St. Thomas the apostle [the 21st December], that it threw down many churches and houses, and shattered or tore up by the roots trees without number.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1053

1053. Rhys, the brother of Griffyth, king of South Wales, was put to death by order of king Edward (age 50) at a place called Bullington, Hampshire [Map], on account of the plundering inroads he had frequently made, and his head was brought to the king at Gloucester on the eve of our Lord's Epiphany [5th January]. In the same year, on the second day of the festival of Easter [12th April], which was celebrated at Winchester, Hampshire [Map], earl Godwin (age 52) came to his end while he was sitting at table with the king, according to his usual custom; for, being suddenly seized with a violent illness, he fell speechless from his seat. His sons, earl Harold (age 31), Tosti (age 27), and Gurth (age 21), perceiving it, carried him into the king's chamber, hoping that he would presently recover; but his strength failing, he died in great suffering on the fifth day afterwards [15th April], and was buried in the Old Minster. His son Harold (age 31) succeeded to his earldom, and Harold's (age 31) earldom was given to Algar, son of earl Leofric.

1053. In the month of October died Wulfsige, bishop of Litchfield, Godwin (age 52), abbot of Winchcombe, and Ethelward, abbot of Glastonbury. Leofwine, abbot of Coventry, succeeded Wulfsige; and Ethelnoth, a monk of the same monastery, succeeded Ethelward. But Aldred, bishop of Worcester, kept the abbey of Winchcombe in his own hands until such tune as he appointed Godric, the son of Goodman, the king's chaplain, to be abbot. Ælfric, brother of earl Odda (age 60), died at Deerhurst on the eleventh of the calends of January [22nd December], but he was buried in the monastery at Pershore [Map].

1053. Aed, a long-bearded clerk in Ireland, a man of great eminence and earnest piety, had a large school of clerks, maidens, and laymen; but he subjected the maidens to the tonsure in the same manner as clerks, on which account he was compelled to leave Ireland.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1054

27 Jul 1054. Siward (age 44), the stout earl of Northumbria, by order of the king (age 51) entered Scotland, with a large body of cavalry and a powerful fleet, and fought a battle with Macbeth (age 49), king of the Scots, in which the king was defeated with the loss of many thousands both of the Scots and of the Normans before mentioned; he then, as the king had commanded, raised to the throne Malcolm (age 23), son of the king of the Cumbrians. However, his own son and many English and Danes fell in that battle.

17 Jul 1054. The same year, on the feast of St. Kenelm, the martyr, [17th July], Aldred, bishop of Worcester, instituted Godric as abbot of Winchcombe. The bishop was then sent by the king as ambassador to the emperor, with rich presents; and being received with great honour by him, and also by Heriman, archbishop of Cologne, he remained at his court for a whole year, and in the king's name proposed to the emperor to send envoys to Hungary to bring back Edward (age 38), the king's cousin, son of king Edmund Ironside, and have him conducted to England.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1055

1055. Siward (age 45), earl of Northumberland, died at York, and was buried in the monastery at Galmanho [Map]72, which he had himself founded: his earldom was given to Tosti (age 29), earl Harold's (age 33) brother. Shortly afterwards, king Edward (age 52), in a council held at London, banished earl Algar, earl Leofric's son, without any just cause of offence. Algar presently went to Ireland, and having collected eighteen pirate ships, returned with them to Wales, where he implored Griffyth the king to lend him his aid against king Edward. Griffyth immediately assembled a numerous army from all parts of his dominions, and directed Algar to join him and his army at a place appointed with his own troops; and having united their forces they entered Herefordshire, intending to lay waste the English marshes.

Note 72. An abbey at York, afterwards restored, and called St. Mary's [Map].

24 Oct 1055. Earl Ralph, the cowardly son of king Edward's (age 52) sister, having assembled an army, fell in with the enemy two miles from the city of Hereford [Map], on the ninth of the calends of November [24th October]. He ordered the English, contrary to their custom, to fight on horseback; but just as the engagement was about to commence, the earl, with his French and Normans, were the first to flee. The English seeing this, followed their leader's example, and nearly the whole of the enemy's army going in pursuit, four or five hundred of the fugitives were killed, and many were wounded. Having gained the victory, king Griffyth and earl Algar entered Hereford [Map], and having slain seven of the canons who defended the doors of the principal church, and burnt the monastery built by bishop Athelstan, that true servant of Christ, with all its ornaments, and the relics of St. Ethelbert, king and martyr, and other saints, and having slain some of the citizens, and made many other captives, they returned laden with spoil.

1055. On receiving intelligence of this calamity, the king immediately commanded an army to be levied from every part of England, and on its being assembled at Gloucester, gave the command of it to the brave earl Harold (age 33), who, zealously obeying the king's orders, was unwearied in his pursuit of Griffyth and Algar, and boldly crossing the Welsh border, encamped beyond Straddell [Snowdon]; but they knowing him to be an intrepid and daring warrior, did not venture to wait his attack, but retreated into South Wales. On learning this, he left there the greatest part of his army, with orders to make a stout resistance to the enemy if circumstances should require it; and returning with the remainder of his host to Hereford, he surrounded it with a wide and deep trench, and fortified it with gates and bars. Meanwhile, after an interchange of messages, Griffyth, Algar, and Harold (age 33), with their attendants, met at a place called Biligesteagea, and peace being proposed and accepted, they contracted a firm alliance with each other. After these events, earl Algar's fleet [of pirates] sailed to Chester [Map], and waited there for the hire he had engaged to pay them; but he himself went to court and restored by the king to his earldom. At that time died Tremerin, a Welsh bishop,[Bishop of St Davids] who had been a monk. He was, for a long time, coadjutor to Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, after Athelstan became incapable of performing his episcopal functions, having been blind for thirteen years. Heriman, bishop of Wiltshire, being offended at the king's refusing to allow him to remove the seat of his bishopric from the vill called Ramsbury to the abbey of Malmesbury, resigned his bishopric and, going beyond sea, took the monastic habit at St. Bertin, [an abbey near St Omer] in which monastery he abode for three years.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1056

16 Jun 1056. Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, a man of great sanctity, died on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of February, at the episcopal vill called Bosanbyrig [Bosbury]; his body was carried to Hereford, and buried in the church [Map] which he himself had built from the foundations. He was succeeded by Leovegar, earl Harold's chaplain, who, on the sixteenth of the calends [the 16th] of June in the same year, together with his clerks and Ethelnoth the vice-reeve and many others, was massacred by Griffyth, king of Wales, at a place called Claftbyrig [Map]. He held the see only eleven weeks and four days. On his being thus cut off, the bishopric of Hereford was administered by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, until a successor could be appointed. This same bishop Aldred and the earls Leofric and Harold (age 34) afterwards reconciled Griffyth, king of Wales, with king Edward.

1056. Marianus, becoming a pilgrim for the sake of his heavenly country, went to Cologne and took the habit of a monk in the monastery of St. Martin, belonging to the Scots, on Thursday, which was the calends [the 1st] of August.

16 Jun 1056. Earl Ethelwin (age 63), that is Odda, [Earl of Devon] a the friend of the churches, the solace of the poor, the protector of widows and orphans, the enemy of oppression, the shield of virginity, died at Deerhurst on the second of the calends of September [31st August], having been made a monk by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, before his death; but he lies in the abbey of Pershore [Map], where he was buried with great pomp. Æthelric, bishop of Durham, voluntarily resigned his see and retired to his monastery of Peterborough, where he had been brought up and made a monk; and there he lived twelve years, having been succeeded in his bishopric by his brother, Ægelwin, a monk of the same abbey.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1057

1057. Edward the etheling (age 41), son of king Edmund Ironside, accepting the invitation of his uncle, king Edward (age 54), returned to England from Hungary, where he had been exiled many years before. For the king had determined to appoint him his successor and heir to the crown; but he died at London soon after his arrival.

1057. The renowned Leofric, son of the ealdorman Leofwine, of blessed memory, died in a good old age, at his own vill of Bromley, on the second of the calends of September [31st August], and was buried with great pomp at Coventry; which monastery, among the other good deeds of his life, he and his wife, the noble countess Godiva, a worshipper of God, and devoted friend of St. Mary, Ever-a-Virgin, had founded, and amply endowing it with lands on their own patrimony, had so enriched with all kinds of ornament, that no monastery could be found in England possessed of such abundance of gold, silver, jewels, and precious stones as it contained at that time. They also enriched, with valuable ornaments, the monasteries of Leominster and Wenlock, and those at Chester dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. Werburgh, the virgin, and the church which Eadnoth, bishop of Lincoln, had built on a remarkable spot, called in English St. Mary's Stow [Map]73, which means in Latin St. Mary's place. They also gave lands to the monastery at Worcester, and added to the buildings, ornaments, and endowments of Evesham abbey. During his whole life, this earl's sagacity was of the utmost advantage to the kings and the whole commonwealth of England. His son Algar was appointed to his earldom.

Note 73. Henry of Huntingdon describes it as "under the hill at Lincoln;" but Bishop Farmer says that "Stowe was in the bishop's manor by Trent side." The priory of Stowe, or Mary-Stowe, was annexed to Eynsham abbey, in Oxfordshire.

1057. Hakon, bishop of Essex, died, and Æthelric, a monk of Christ-church at Canterbury, was appointed in his stead. The afore-mentioned earl Ralph died on the twelfth of the calends of January [21st December], and was buried in the abbey of Peterborough.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1058

10 Apr 1058. Six days before Palm-Sunday [10th April], the city of Paderborn, and two monasteries, that of the cathedral and that of the monks, were destroyed by fire. In the monks' monastery there was a Scottish monk named Paternus, who had been in the cloister for a great number of years, and had foretold this fire; yet such was his desire of martyrdom that nothing could induce him to leave the place, and he was burnt to death in his cell, passing through the flames to the cool refreshment of paradise. Some blessed things are related concerning his tomb. "Within a few days after this occurrence, on the Tuesday after the octave of Easter [26th of April], as I was departing from Cologne on the road to Fulda in company with the abbot of Fulda, for the sake of seclusion, prayed on the very mat on which he was burnt." Thus saith Marianus, the Scottish recluse.

1058. Algar, earl of Mercia, was outlawed by king Edward (age 55) for the second time, but, supported by Griffyth, king of Wales, and aided by a Norwegian fleet, which unexpectedly came to his relief, he speedily recovered his earldom by force of arms. Pope Stephen died on the third of the calends of April [30th March]. He was succeeded by Benedict, who sent the pallium to Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury. Æthelric was ordained bishop of Sussex; and abbot Siward was consecrated bishop of Rochester. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, dedicated with great ceremony to Peter, prince of the apostles, the church [Map] which he had built from the foundations in the city of Worcester, and afterwards, with the king's license, appointed Wulfstan (age 50), a monk of Worcester, ordained by him, abbot of the new foundation. Then, having resigned the bishopric of Wilton, which he held in commendam, and restored it to Heriman, before mentioned, he crossed the sea, and went through Hungary to Jerusalem; a pilgrimage which no English archbishop or bishop is known to have performed before.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1059

1059. Nicholas, bishop of Florence, was elected pope, and Benedict was deposed. Marianus having shut himself up in the cloister with Sigefrid, abbot of Fulda, was ordained priest at the tomb of St. Kilian, at Wurtzburg, on Saturday in Mid-Lent, the third of the ides [the 13th] of March, and on Friday after Our Lord's Ascension, being the day before the ides [the 14th] of May, he entered on his ten years' inclosure in the abbey of Fulda.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1060

1060. Henry (age 51), king of the Franks, died, and was succeeded by his eldest son Philip (age 7). Duduc, bishop of Wells, died, and was succeeded by Giso, the king's chaplain; they were both natives of Lorraine. Kinsi, archbishop of York, died at York on the eleventh of the calends of January [22nd December]. His body was carried to the abbey of Peterborough Cathedral [Map], and buried there with great pomp. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, was elected his successor as archbishop of York at Christmas; and the see of Hereford, which had been entrusted to his administration on account of his great diligence, was given to Walter, a Lorrainer, and chaplain to queen Edgitha (age 34).

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1061

1061. Aldred, archbishop of York, went to Rome in company with earl Tosti (age 35), and received the pallium from pope Nicholas. There, also, Giso of Wells, and Walter of Hereford, were consecrated bishops by the same pope. Until John, the successor of Giso, all the bishops of Wells had their episcopal see at Wells, in the church of St. Andrew the Apostle. Maiolus, abbot of the Scots, died at Cologne; Foilan succeeded him.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1062

1062. Wulfstan (age 54), a venerable man, was made bishop of Worcester. This prelate, beloved of God, was born in Warwickshire, in the province of Mercia, of pious parents; his father's name being Ealstan, and his mother's Wulfgeova, but he was well instructed in letters and ecclesiastical functions at the monastery of Peterborough. Both his parents were so devoted to a religious life, that long before their end, they took the vows of chastity, and separated from each other, delighting to spend the rest of their days in habits of holy devotion. Inspired by such examples, and chiefly induced by his mother's persuasions, he quitted the world while he was yet in his youth, and took the monastic habit and profession in the same monastery at Worcester where his father had before devoted himself to the service of God, being admitted by the venerable Brihteag, bishop of the same church, who also conferred upon him the orders both of deacon and priest. Entering at once on a strict and deeply religious course of life, he quickly became remarkable for his vigils, his fastings, his prayers, and all kinds of virtues. In consequence of this regular discipline, he was appointed, first, for some time, master and tutor of the novices, and afterwards, from his intimate acquaintance with the ecclesiastical services, his superiors nominated him precentor and treasurer of the church.

Being now entrusted with the custody of the church, he embraced the opportunities afforded him of serving God with greater freedom; and, devoting himself wholly to a life of contemplation, he resorted to it by day and night, either for prayer or holy reading, and assiduously mortified his body by fasting for two or three days together. He was so addicted to devout vigils, that he not only spent the nights sleepless, but often the day and night together, and sometimes went for four days and nights without sleep,—a thing we could hardly have believed, if we had not heard it from his own mouth,— so that he ran great risk from his brains being parched, unless he hastened to satisfy the demands of nature by the refreshment of sleep. Even, at last, when the urgent claims of nature compelled him to yield to sleep, he did not indulge himself by stretching his limbs to rest on a bed or couch, but would lie down for awhile on one of the benches in the church, resting his head on the book which he had used for praying or reading. After some time, on the death of Æthelwine, prior of the monastery, bishop Aldred appointed this reverend man to be prior and father of the convent, an office which he worthily filled; by no means abating the strictness of his previous habits, but rather increasing it in many respects, in order to afford a good example to the rest.

After the lapse of some years, on the elevation of Aldred, bishop of Worcester, to the archbishopric of York, there was unanimous consent both of the clergy and the whole body of the laity [of Worcester] in the election of Wulfstan (age 54) as their bishop; the king having granted them permission to choose whom they pleased. It so chanced that the legates from the apostolical see were present at the election, namely, Ermenfred, bishop of Sion74, and another, who were sent by our lord the pope Alexander to king Edward on some ecclesiastical questions, and by the king's orders spent nearly the whole of Lent at Worcester, waiting for the reply to their mission at the king's court in the ensuing Easter. The legates, during their stay, observing Wulfstan's (age 54) worthy conversation, not .only concurred in his election, but used their especial influence with both the clergy and people to advance it, and confirmed it by their own authority. But he most obstinately declined the office, exclaiming that he was unworthy of it, and even declaring with an oath that he would rather submit to lose his head than be advanced to so high a dignity. When he could by no means be persuaded to consent by the arguments frequently addressed to him by many pious and venerable men, at last being sharply reproved for his obstinate wilfulness by Wulfsi the hermit, a man of God, who was known to have lived a life of solitude for more than forty years, and being also awed by a divine revelation, he was compelled, with the greatest reluctance, to give his consent; and his election having been canonically confirmed on the feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist [29th August], and having accepted the office of bishop, he was consecrated on the day on which St. Mary's Nativity is celebrated by the church, which happened on a Sunday, and shone forth in the splendour of his life and virtues as bishop of Worcester. The consecration was performed by the venerable Aldred, archbishop of York, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, being then interdicted by the pope from performing his episcopal functions, because he had presumed to take the archbishopric while Robert, the archbishop, was still living; but Wulfstan (age 54) made his canonical profession to Stigand, the aforesaid archbishop of Canterbury, and not to Aldred, who ordained him. Moreover, Stigand having made a protest against its being a precedent in future, the archbishop of York, who ordained Wulfstan (age 54), was ordered to declare before the king and the great men of the realm, that he would not thereafter claim any submission, either in ecclesiastical or temporal affairs, in right of his having consecrated him, or of his having been his monk before he was consecrated. Wulfstan's (age 54) ordination took place when he was more than fifty years old, in the twentieth year of the reign of king Edward, and in the fifteenth indiction.

Note 74. Sedunensem—Of Seduniim, now Sion, the capital of the Valais.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1063

1063. When Christmas was over, Harold (age 41), the brave earl of Wessex, by king Edward's (age 60) order, put himself at the head of a small troop of horse, and proceeded by rapid marches from Gloucester, where the king then was, to Rhuddlan [Map], [Flintshire] with the determination to punish Griffyth, king of Wales, for his continual ravages on the English marshes, and his many insults to his lord, king Edward, by taking his life. But Griffyth, being forewarned of the earl's approach, fled with his attendants, and escaped by getting aboard a ship, but not without extreme difficulty. Harold (age 41), finding he was gone, ordered his palace to be burnt, and setting fire to his ships and all their rigging, began his march homeward the same day. But about Rogation days [20 May] he sailed from Bristol with a naval force, and circumnavigated a great part of Wales. His brother met him, by the king's command, with a body of cavalry, and uniting their forces, they began to lay waste that part of the country. In consequence, the Welsh were reduced to submission, and, giving hostages, engaged to pay him tribute, and they deposed and banished their king, Griffyth.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1064

1064. The great paschal cycle now begins, in the second indiction. A multitude of people, both rich and poor, to the number of seven thousand, accompanied the archbishop of Mentz, and the bishops of Utrecht, Bamberg, and Ratisbon, in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, after the feast of St. Martin [11th November]. Wherever the bishops made any stay, they wore their palls on their shoulders, and their meat and drink was served in gold and silver vessels. The Arabites [Arabs?], allured by the fame of their wealth, slew many of them on Good-Friday [9th April]. Those who were able to escape took refuge in a deserted castle called Caruasalim75, and barricading it, defended themselves with stones and staves against the darts of the Arabites, who sought their money, or their lives and their money. Then one very brave soldier, who was resolved that no peril should withhold him from seeing the tomb of our Lord, went forth; but the Arabs immediately laid hold of him, and stretching him flat on the ground, in the form of a cross, nailed his hands and feet to the earth, and cutting him open from the bottom of his belly to his throat, examined his entrails.76 At last, having torn him limb from limb, their chief first threw a stone upon him, and afterwards all the rest did the like. Then they called to his comrades, who beheld all this from the castle:—"Your fate shall be the same, unless you deliver to us all your wealth." The Christians promising to comply, the chief of the Arabites came into the castle to them, with sixteen others armed with swords. The chief found the bishops still seated in great state, and observing that the bishop of Bamberg, whose name was Gunther, excelled the rest in stature and shape, concluded that he was the lord of the Christians. Putting a thong round the bishop's neck, in the way the Gentiles confine their criminals, he said, "You and all yours shall he mine." The bishop replied, through an interpreter, "What will you do to me?" He answered, "I will suck that bright blood from your throat, and I will hang you up like a dog before the castle." Then the bishop, seizing the chief by the head, felled him to the ground with one blow of his fist, and all the others were bound. Those who remained without being informed of this assaulted the castle; but the prisoners were suspended from the walls in front of the assailants, and to save them, the attack was given up. Then the thieves began to quarrel concerning the money which they had already taken from the Christians, and most of them fell by each others' hands. Meanwhile, the prince of Ramula, at the entreaty of those of the Christians who had contrived to escape, came with a strong band, on the second day of Easter [12th April], and drove away the Arabites. Then, after accepting fifty gold pieces from the Christians, he and an Arabite chief who was at variance with his lord, the king of the Saracens, conducted the pilgrims to Jerusalem, and thence to their ships. The vast multitude of Christians so wasted away, that out of seven thousand or more, barely two thousand returned.

Note 75. This word sounds very like Jerusalem, near which the legend or palmer's tale, which evidently furnished this entry in the Chronicle, proposes the pilgrims to have arrived.

Note 76. In search of money? A contemporary writer says, "The cruelty of the infidels was carried to such a pitch, that, thinking; the wretches [Christians] had swallowed gold or silver, they made them drink draughts of scamony till they vomited, or even threw up their vitals. Not only so, but, shocking to say, they cut open their bellies, and tearing out their entrails, laid bare all the parts which nature holds private.—Abbot Guibert's Gesta, Dei per Francos, p. 379.

05 Aug 1064. Griffyth, king of Wales, was slain by his own people, on the nones [the 5th] of August, and his head and the beak of his ship, with its ornaments, were sent to earl Harold (age 42), who, shortly afterwards, presented them to king Edward (age 61). The king then gave the territories of the Welsh king to his brothers Blethgent (age 51) and Rithwalon77, and they swore to be faithful to him and Harold (age 42), and promised to be ready to obey their orders by sea and land, and that they would faithfully pay whatever was paid before from that country to former kings.

Note 77. Blethyn and Rhywallon, princes of North Wales and Powis, 1060—1066.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1065

1065. Æthelwin, the reverend bishop of Durham, raised the bones of St. Oswin, formerly king of Bernicia, from the tomb in which they had lain for four hundred and fifteen years, in the monastery [Map] which stands at the mouth of the river Tyne, and placed them in a shrine with great ceremony.

24 Aug 1065. In the month of August, Harold (age 43), the brave earl of Wessex, ordered a large mansion to be built at a place called Portascith78, on the territory of the Welsh, and gave directions that it should be well stored with meat and drink, that his lord, king Edward (age 62), might sometimes reside there for the sake of hunting. But Caradoc, son of Griffyth, king of South Wales, who a few years before had slain Griffyth, king of North Wales, and usurped his kingdom, came there with the whole force he could gather, on the feast-day of St. Bartholomew, the apostle [24th August], and slew all the workmen and their overseers, and carried off all the materials which had been collected there.

Note 78. Portskewet, on the coast of Monmouthshire, where there are some relics of a church supposed to have been built by Harold.

1065. Soon after the feast of St. Michael, the archangel, on Monday, the fifth of the nones [the 3rd] of October, the Northumbrian thanes, Gamelbearn, Dunstan, son of Athelneth, and Glonicorn, son of Heardulf, entered York with two hundred soldiers, to revenge the execrable murder of the noble Northumbrian thane, Cospatric, who was treacherously killed by order of queen Edgitha (age 39) at the king's court on the fourth night of Christmas, for the sake of her brother Tosti (age 39); as also the murder of the thanes Gamel, the son of Orm, and Ulf, the son of Dolfin, whom earl Tosti (age 39) had perfidiously caused to be assassinated in his own chamber at York, the year before, although there was peace between them. The insurgent thanes were also aggrieved by the enormous taxes which Tosti (age 39) unjustly levied through the whole of Northumbria. They therefore, on the day of their arrival, first seized his Danish house-carles, Amund and Ravenswart, as they were making their escape, and put them to death outside the walls, and the next day slew more than two hundred of his liege-men, on the north side of the river Humber. They also broke open his treasury, and retired carrying off all that belonged to him. After that, nearly all the men of his earldom assembled in a body, and met, at Northampton, Harold (age 43), earl of Wessex, and others whom the king, at Tosti's (age 39) request, had sent to restore peace between them. There first, and afterwards at Oxford, on the feast of the apostles St. Simon and St. Jude [28th October], when earl Harold (age 43) and the rest endeavoured to restore peace between them and earl Tosti (age 39), they all unanimously rejected the proposal, and outlawed him and all who had prompted him to enact the oppressive law; and after the feast of All-Saints [1st November], with the assistance of earl Edwin, they banished Tosti (age 39) from England. Thereupon he went, accompanied by his wife (age 32), to Baldwin (age 52), earl of Flanders, and passed the winter at St. Omer. After this, king Edward (age 62) fell into a lingering sickness, but he held his court at London during Christmas as well as he was able, and on Holy Innocents' day caused the church, which he had built from the foundations [at Westminster], to be dedicated with great splendour to St. Peter, the prince of the apostles.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1066

1066. King Edward the Pacific (age 63), the pride of the English, son of king Ethelred, died at London on Thursday, the eve of the Epiphany, in the fourth indiction; after having filled the royal throne of the Anglo-Saxons twenty-three years, six months, and twenty-seven days. He was buried the next day with royal pomp, amidst the tears and lamentations of the crowds who flocked to his funeral.

1066. After his interment, Harold (age 44), the vice-king, son of earl Godwin, whom the king before his death had chosen for his successor, was elected king by the leading men of all England; and, the same day, was crowned with great ceremony by Aldred, archbishop of York. As soon as he had taken the reins of government, he made it his business to revoke unjust laws, and establish good ones; to become the protector of the churches and monasteries; to cherish and reverence the bishops, abbots, monks, and clerks; and to show himself kind, humble, and courteous to all good men, while to malefactors he used the utmost rigour. For he gave orders to his earls, ealdormen, vice-reeves, and all his officers, to arrest all thieves, robbers, and disturbers of the peace; and he laboured himself for the defence of the country by land and by sea.

24 Apr 1066. The same year a comet was seen on the eighth of the calends of May [24th April], not only in England, but, as it is reported, all over the world: it shone with excessive brilliance for seven days. Soon afterwards earl Tosti (age 40) returned from Flanders, and landed in the Isle of Wight [Map]; and, having compelled the islanders to give him pay and tribute, he departed, and plundered along the sea-coast, until he arrived at Sandwich, Kent [Map]. King Harold (age 44), who was then at London, having been informed of this, ordered a considerable fleet and a body of horse to be got ready, and prepared to go in person to the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map]. On receiving this intelligence, Tosti (age 40) took some of the boatmen of the place, willing or unwilling, into his service, and, departing thence, shaped his course for Lindsey [Map], where he burnt several vills and slew a number of men. Thereupon Edwin, earl of Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria, flew to the spot with some troops, and drove him out of that neighbourhood; and, on his departure, he repaired to Malcolm (age 35), king of the Scots, and remained with him during the whole summer. Meanwhile king Harold (age 44) arrived at the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map], and waited there for his fleet. When it was assembled, he sailed to the Isle of Wight [Map]; and as William (age 38), earl of Normandy, king Edward's cousin, was preparing an army for the invasion of England, he kept watch all the summer and autumn, to prevent his landing; besides which, he stationed a land army at suitable points along the sea-coast; but provisions failing towards the time of the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], both the fleet and army were disbanded.

20 Sep 1066. After these transactions, Harold Harfaager (age 51), king of Norway, brother [Note. maternal half-brother] of St. Olave the king, suddenly arrived at the mouth of the river Tyne [Map], with a powerful fleet of more than five hundred great ships. Earl Tosti (age 40) joined him with his fleet, as they had before agreed, and they made all sail into the Humber; and then ascending the river Tyne against the current, landed their troops at a place called Richale. As soon as king Harold (age 44) received this news, he marched with all expedition towards Northumbria; but, before the king's arrival, the two brothers, earls Edwin and Morcar, at the head of a large army, fought a battle with the Norwegians on the northern bank of the river Ouse, near York, on the eve of the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [20th September], being Wednesday; and their first onset was so furious that numbers of the enemy fell before it. But, after a long struggle, the English, unable to withstand the attack of the Norwegians, fled with great loss, and many more of them were drowned in the river than slain in the fight. The Norwegians remained in possession of the field of death; and, having taken one hundred and fifty hostages from York, and leaving there one hundred and fifty hostages of their own, returned to their ships.

25 Sep 1066. However, on the fifth day afterwards, viz. on Monday, the seventh of the calends of October [25th September], Harold (age 44), king of England, having reached York, with many thousand well-armed troops, encountered the Norwegians at a place called Stanford-bridge, and put to the sword king Harold and earl Tosti (age 40), with the greatest part of their army; and, although the battle was severely contested, gained a complete victory. Notwithstanding, he allowed Harold's son Olaf, and Paul, earl of Orkney, who had been left with part of the army to guard the ships, to return to their own country, with twenty ships and the relics of the [defeated] army; having first received from them hostages and their oaths.

Sep 1066. While these events were passing, and when the king (age 44) might have supposed that all his enemies were quelled, he received intelligence of the arrival of William (age 38), earl of Normandy, with an innumerable host of horsemen, slingers, archers, and foot soldiers, having taken into his pay auxiliary forces of great bravery from all parts of France; and that he had moored his fleet at a place called Pevensey [Map]. Thereupon the king (age 44) led his army towards London by forced marches; and, although he was very sensible that some of the bravest men in England had fallen in the two [recent] battles, and that one half of his troops was not yet assembled, he did not hesitate to meet the enemy in Sussex, without loss of time; and on Saturday, the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd October], before a third of his army was in fighting order, he gave them battle at a place nine miles from Hastings, where they had built a fort. The English being crowded in a confused position, many of them left their ranks, and few stood by him with resolute hearts: nevertheless he made a stout resistance from the third hour of the day until nightfall, and defended himself with such courage and obstinacy, that the enemy almost despaired of taking his life. When, however, numbers had fallen on both sides, he, alas! fell at twilight. There fell, also, his brothers, the earls Gurth (age 34) and Leofric (age 31), and almost all the English nobles. Earl William (age 38) led his army back to Hastings.

Sep 1066. Harold (age 44) reigned nine months and as many days. The earls Edwin and Morcar, who had withdrawn with their troops from the battle on hearing that he was dead, went to London, and sent off their sister, queen Elgitha (age 42), to Chester; but Aldred, archbishop of York, and the earls just mentioned, with the citizens of London and the seamen, were desirous to proclaim Edgar (age 15) the etheling king, he being nephew of king Edmund Ironside; and promised that they would renew the war under his banner. But while many were preparing to go forth to battle, the earls withdrew their support, and returned home with their army.

Sep 1066. Meanwhile, earl William (age 38) was laying waste Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex, and Herefordshire, and ceased not from burning vills and slaughtering the inhabitants, until he came to a vill called Beorcham, where Aldred, the archbishop, Wulfstan (age 58), bishop of Worcester, Walter, bishop of Hereford, Edgar (age 15) the etheling, the earls Edwin and Morcar, and some Londoners of the better sort, with many others, met him, and, giving hostages, made their submission, and swore fealty to him; but, although he concluded a treaty with them, he still allowed his troops to burn and pillage the vills. The feast of our Lord's Nativity approaching, he marched the whole army to London that he might be proclaimed king there; and as Stigand, the primate of all England, lay under the censure of the apostolical pope for not having obtained the pall canonically, he was anointed by Aldred, archbishop of York, with great ceremony, at Westminster, on Christmas-day, which that year fell on a Monday; having first, as the archbishop required, sworn before the altar of St. Peter the apostle, in the presence of the clergy and people, to protect the holy churches of God and their governors, and to rule the whole nation subject to him with justice and kingly providence, to make and maintain just laws, and straitly to forbid every sort of rapine and all unrighteous judgements.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1067

1067. Lent drawing near [21st February], king William (age 39) returned to Normandy, taking with him Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, Athelnoth, abbot of Glastonbury, Edgar (age 16) the etheling, the earls Edwin and Morcar, Waltheof, son of earl Siward, the noble Ethelnoth, reeve of Kent, and many others of the chief men of England; leaving his brother Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and William Fitz-Osborne, whom he had created earl of Hereford, governors of England, with orders to build strong castles in suitable places.

1067. Wulfwi, bishop of Dorchester, died at Winchester, but was buried at Dorchester [Map].

15 Aug 1067. There lived at that time a very powerful thane, Edric, surnamed the Forester, the son of Ælfric, brother of Edric Streon, whose lands were frequently ravaged by the garrison of Hereford and Richard Fitz-Scrope, because he disdained submission to the king; but as often as they made inroads on his territories, they lost many of their knights and squires. This Edric, therefore, having summoned to his aid Blethgent and Rithwallon, kings of the Welsh, about the feast of the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], laid waste the county of Hereford as far as the bridge on the river Lugg, and carried off a great booty.

Around Sep 1067. After this, winter being near at hand, king William (age 39) returned from Normandy to England, and imposed on the English an insupportable tax. He then marched troops into Devonshire, and besieged and speedily reduced the city of Exeter, Devon [Map], which the citizens and some English thanes held against him. But the countess Githa, mother of Harold, king of England, and sister [Note. Aunt] of Sweyn (age 48), king of Denmark, escaped from the city, with many others, and retired to Flanders; and the citizens submitted to the king, and paid him fealty. Siward, nineteenth bishop of Rochester, died.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1068

1068. After Easter [23rd March], the countess Matilda (age 37) came to England from Normandy, and was crowned queen by Aldred, archbishop of York, on Whitsunday [1lth May]. After this, Mariesweyn and Cospatric, and some of the most noble of the Northumbrian nation, in order to escape the king's tyranny, and fearing that, like others, they might be thrown into prison, took with them Edgar (age 17) the etheling, with his mother Agatha and his two sisters, Margaret (age 23) and Christina (age 11), and, embarking for Scotland, wintered there under favour of Malcolm (age 36), king of Scots. Meanwhile, king William (age 40) marched his army to Nottingham, Nottinghamshire [Map], and, having fortified the castle there, proceeded to York [Map], where he erected two strong forts, and having stationed in them five hundred men, he gave orders that strong castles should be built at Lincoln, Lincolnshire [Map] and other places.

1068. While these events were in process, the sons of king Harold, Godwin (age 19), Edmund (age 19), and Magnus (age 17), returned from Ireland, and landed in Somersetshire, where Eadnoth, who had been the horse-thane of king Harold, opposed them with his forces, and giving them battle, was slain, with many of his troops. Flushed with victory, and having carried off much plunder from Devon and Cornwall, they returned to Ireland.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1069

03 Apr 1069. Marianus, after his ten years seclusion at Fulda, came to Mentz, by order of the bishop of Mentz and the abbot of Fulda, on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of April, being the Friday before Palm-Sunday.

24 Jun 1069. Two of Harold's sons came again from Ireland, with sixty-four ships, and landing about the Nativity of St. John the Baptist [24th June] at the mouth of the river Tivy, fought a severe battle with Brian (age 29), count of Brittany; after which they returned to the place whence they came.

10 Jul 1069. On the sixth of the ides [the 10th] of July, being the Friday in the Nativity of the Seven Holy Brothers, Marianus secluded himself near the principal monastery in the same city [Mentz].

08 Sep 1069. Before the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September] Harold (age 29) and Canute (age 27), sons of Sweyn (age 50), king of Denmark, and their uncle, earl Asbiorn, with earl Thurkill, arriving from Denmark with two hundred and forty ships, landed at the mouth of the river Humber, where they were met by Edgar (age 18) the etheling, earl Waltheof, Marlesweyn, and many others, with a fleet they had assembled. Aldred, archbishop of York, was so distressed at their arrival, that he fell dangerously sick, and departed this life, as he besought of God, on Friday the third of the ides [the 11th] of September, in the tenth year after he became archbishop, and was buried in the church of St. Peter on the eighth day afterwards, namely, on Saturday the thirteenth of the calends of October [19th September]. The Normans, who garrisoned the forts, set fire to the adjacent houses, fearing that they might be of service to the Danes in filling up the trenches; and the flames spreading, destroyed the whole city, together with the monastery of St. Peter. But they were speedily punished for this by an infliction of the divine vengeance; for on Monday the Danish fleet arrived before the city was entirely consumed, and the forts being stormed the same day, and more than three thousand of the Normans killed (the lives of William Malet and his wife and two children, with very few others, being spared), the ships drew off laden with plunder.

After 08 Sep 1069. King William (age 41), receiving intelligence of this, immediately assembled an army, and hastened into Northumbria, giving way to his resentment; and spent the whole winter in laying waste the country, slaughtering the inhabitants, and inflicting every sort of evil, without cessation. Meanwhile, he despatched messengers to the Danish carl, Asbiorn, and promised to pay him secretly a large sum of money, and grant permission for his army to forage freely along the sea-coast, on condition that he would depart without fighting when the winter was over; and he, in his extreme greediness for lucre, and to his utter disgrace, consented to the proposal. In consequence of the ravages of the Normans, first, in Northumbria the preceding year, and again in the present and following year, throughout nearly the whole of England, so severe a famine prevailed in most parts of the kingdom, but chiefly in Northumbria and the adjacent provinces, that men were driven to feed on the flesh of horses, dogs, cats, and even of human beings.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1070

17 Feb 1070. By the advice of William (age 50), earl of Hereford, and some others, king William (age 42), during Lent [17th February], caused all the monasteries of England to be searched, and the money deposited in them by the richer sort of the English, for security against his violence and rapacity, to be seized and carried to his own treasury.

04 Apr 1070. In the octaves of Easter [4th April] a great synod was held at Winchester, by command of king William (age 42), who was present himself, and with the concurrence of the lord Alexander the pope; his legates, Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, and John and Peter, cardinal-priests of the apostolic see, representing his authority. In this synod, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, was degraded on three charges: first, for having unlawfully held the bishopric of Winchester with the archbishopric; next, for having taken the archbishopric while archbishop Robert was living, and even sometimes, in saying mass, wearing the pallium which Robert left behind him at Canterbury when he was unjustly driven from England; and lastly, for having accepted the pallium from Benedict, who was excommunicated by the Holy Roman Church for having systematically usurped the apostolic see. His brother, Ethelmar;, bishop of the East-Angles, was also degraded; as were also a few abbots, the king doing his utmost to deprive the English of their dignities, that he might appoint persons of his own nation to their preferments, and thus confirm his power in his new kingdom. He also deprived several bishops and abbots, convicted of no open crimes either by the councils or the laws of the realm, and detained them in prison, to the end of their lives on mere suspicion, as we have said, of their being dangerous to his newly-acquired power. In this synod also, while the rest, aware of the king's bias, were trembling at the risk they ran of losing their appointments, Wulfstan (age 62), bishop of Worcester, boldly demanded the restoration of many of the possessions of his see which had been retained in his own power by archbishop Aldred, when he was translated from Worcester to York, and on his death had fallen into the king's hands; and demanded, not only from those who presided at the synod, but from the king himself, that justice should be done him. But as the church of York was silent, not having a pastor to plead her cause, it was decided that the suit should stand over until such time as, by the appointment of an archbishop, there should be some one who could reply to Wulfstan's (age 62) claims, and after hearing the pleadings on both sides, a clearer and more equitable judgement might be given. Thus the case was adjourned for the present.

23 May 1070. On Whitsunday [3rd May] the king (age 42), at Windsor, Berkshire [Map], gave the archbishopric of York to the venerable Thomas, canon of Bayeux, and the bishopric of Winchester to his chaplain, Walkeline. On the following day, by the king's command, Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, held a synod, [the other legates] the cardinals John and Peter having returned to Rome. At this synod, Ethelric, bishop of Sussex, was uncanonically deposed; and although he was guilty of no crime, the king soon afterwards placed him in confinement at Marlborough, Wiltshire [Map]; several abbots were also deprived. After these depositions, the king gave the bishopric of East-Anglia to Arfast, and the bishopric of Sussex to Stigand79, who were both his chaplains; which Stigand transferred his see to Chichester, the chief city in his diocese: the king also gave abbeys to some Norman monks. The archbishop of Canterbury being degraded, and the archbishop of York dead, Walkeline was, by the king's command, consecrated by the same Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, on the octave of Whitsunday [30th May].

Note 79. This first bishop of Chichester must not be confounded with the archbishop of the same name.

24 Jun 1070. The feast of St. John the Baptist being near, earl Asbiorn sailed to Denmark with the fleet which had wintered in the Humber; but his brother Sweyn (age 51) outlawed him, because he had accepted money from king William (age 42), to the great regret of the Danes. Edric, surnamed the Forester, a man of the most resolute courage, of whom we have spoken before, was reconciled with king William (age 42). After this, the king summoned from Normandy Lanfranc (age 65), abbot of Caen, a Lombard by birth, a man of unbounded learning, master of the liberal arts, and of both sacred and secular literature, and of the greatest prudence in counsel and the administration of worldly affairs; and on the day of the Assumption of St. Mary, appointed him archbishop of Canterbury, causing him to be consecrated at Canterbury on the feast of St. John the Baptist, being Sunday. He was consecrated by Giso, bishop of Wells, and Walter, bishop of Hereford, who were both ordained at Rome by pope Nicholas, when Aldred, archbishop of York, received the pallium,—for he evaded being ordained by Stigand, who then held the archbishopric of Canterbury, knowing him not to have received the pallium canonically. Bishop Heriman, who had already transferred the seat of his bishopric from Sherbourne to Salisbury, also assisted at his consecration, with some others. Afterwards, Lanfranc (age 65) consecrated Thomas, archbishop of York. The suit of the reverend Wulfstan (age 62), bishop of Worcester, was again prosecuted, there being now a bishop who could advocate the cause of the church of York; and the affair was, by the aid of God's grace, decided at a council held at a place called Pedred, before the king, archbishop Lanfranc (age 65), and the bishops, abbots, earls, and lords of all England. All the groundless assertions by which Thomas and his abettors strove to humble the church of Worcester, and reduce her to subjection and servitude to the church of York, were, by God's just judgement, entirely refuted and negatived by written documents, so that Wulfstan (age 62) not only recovered the possessions he claimed, but, by God's goodness, and the king's assent, regained for his see all the immunities and privileges freely granted to it by its first founders, the holy king Ethered, Oshere, sub-king of the Hwiccas, and the other kings of Mercia, Cenred, Ethelbald, Offa, Kenulf, Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edmund, Edred, and Edgar.

After 24 Jun 1070. Ethelwine, bishop of Durham, was taken by king William's (age 42) retainers, and thrown into prison, where, refusing all food in the depth of his distress, he died of grief and starvation.80 On the death of Siward, bishop of Rochester, Arnostus, a monk of Bee, succeeded him, and was himself succeeded by Gundulf, a monk of the same church.

Note 80. The death of Ethelwine is here anticipated, as we find him the following year with Morcar, Hereward (age 35), and their associates at Ely, and thrown into prison at Abingdon, where he died.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1071

1071. Lanfranc (age 66) and Thomas went to Rome, and received the pallium from pope Alexander.

1071. Earls Edwin and Morcar escaped secretly from king William's (age 43) court, finding that he intended to arrest them, and they were for some time in arms against him; but seeing that their enterprise was not successful, Edwin resolved to go to Malcolm (age 39), king of the Scots, but, during the journey, he fell into an ambuscade laid by his own people, and was killed. Morcar and Ethelwine, bishop of Durham, Siward, surnamed Barn, and Hereward (age 36), a man of great bravery, with many others, took ship and went to the Isle of Ely [Map], intending to winter there. The king, hearing of this, blocked up every outlet on the eastern side of the island by means of his boatmen, and caused a bridge, two miles long, to be constructed on the western side. When they saw that they were thus shut in, they resisted no longer, and all surrendered themselves to the king, except the brave Hereward (age 36), who escaped through the fens with a few others. The king immediately sent bishop Ethelwine to Abingdon, where he was imprisoned, and died the same winter. The earl and the rest were dispersed in various parts of England, some being placed in confinement, and others set at liberty with the loss of their hands or eyes.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1072

After 15 Aug 1072. After the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], William (age 44), king of England, attended by Edric the Forester, made an expedition into Scotland with a naval force and an army of cavalry, and reduced it under his own dominion; and Malcolm (age 41), king of Scots, met him at a place called Abernethy, and did him homage. Ethelric, formerly bishop of Durham, died at Westminster, where king William (age 44) had sent him into confinement, on Monday, the ides [the 15th] of October. Walchere, a native of Lorraine, succeeded Ethelwine in the see of Durham.

Early Medieval Books, Chronicle of John of Worcester 1073

1073. William (age 45), king of England, reduced to subjection the city of Mans [Map], and the province belonging to it, chiefly by the aid of the English whom he had taken over with him. Edgar (age 22) the etheling came from Scotland to Normandy, passing through England; and was reconciled to the king (age 45).