Flowers of History by Matthew of Westminster Volume 2 Chapter 1 1066 1087

Flowers of History by Matthew of Westminster Volume 2 Chapter 1 1066 1087 is in Flowers of History by Matthew of Westminster.

1066 Coronation of William The Conqueror

1068 Coronation of Queen Matilda

1069 Sveyn II's Raid on England

1075 Revolt of the Earls

Coronation of King William the First the Conqueror

Coronation of William The Conqueror

Before 25 Dec 1066. William, Duke of Normandy (age 38), proceeded to the city of London, was received with great exultation by both clergy and people, and was proclaimed king by universal acclamation, and on the day of the birth of our Lord he received the crown of the kingdom of England from Aeldred, archbishop of York. For he refused to accept the office of consecration from Stigand archbishop of Canterbury, although of ancient right that solemn office is known to belong to that see, because he had no legal right to occupy that pre-eminent dignity. Then, haying received homage and the oath of fealty, and hostages likewise, from the nobles, and being confirmed in his kingdom, be became the terror of all those who had aspired to the kingdom. And having arranged his affairs in the different cities and castles, and having placed his own servants in them, he sailed back to Normandy [Map] with the English hostages, and with inestimable treasures. And, when he put the hostages in prison, and committed them to the custody of safe keepers, he returned again to England, where he distributed with a liberal hand the estates and possessions of the Epglish among his Norman comrades who had helped him to subdue the country in the battle of Hastings; expelling all the legitimate owners successively, and becoming a tyrant rather than a king, he burdened the little that remained to them with the yoke of perpetual slavery. And when he saw himself now raised to such a lofty dignity, and confirmed in his proud kingdom, he became rapidly changed into another man; and, alas ! alas ! trampled under foot the nobles of the land, whom their hereditary blood had elevated from the times of old. And the nobles of the kingdom being indignant at this, fled, some of them to Malcolm, king of Scotland (age 35), others, preferring to end their unhappy lives rather than to endure a shameful slavery, sought the desert places and woods, and there living the life of wild beasts, and repenting of having made submission to the Normans, and being weighed down as to their inmost hearts with violent grief, though it was now too late, had recourse to the only hope left them, and prepared secret plots and intrigues. But the noble counts, the brothers Edwin and Morcar, and many other nobles, and many also of the bishops and clergy and many others, whom it would take too long to enumerate by name, when they saw that theirs was the weaker side, and as they disdained to become slaves, abandoned England altogether.

Before 25 Dec 1066. And as they all fled to Malcolm, king of Scotland (age 35), they were all honorably received by him. Then also, Edgar Atheling (age 15), the legitimate heir of the kingdom of England, seeing his country plundered and disturbed on all sides, embarked on board ship with his mother Agatha, and his sisters Margaret (age 21) and Christina (age 9), and endeavoured to return into Hungary, where he had been born; but, a tempest arising, he was compelled to land on the coast of Scotland. And, in consequence of the occasion thus offered, it came to pass that Margaret (age 21) was given as a bride to King Malcolm (age 35), whose exemplary life and virtuous death are plainly set forth in a book specially composed on that subject. But his sister Christina (age 9) became a nun, and deserves our benediction as one who was married for ever to a heavenly bridegroom.

Before 25 Dec 1066. Queen Margaret (age 21) had six sons and two daughters, three of whom, namely, Edgar, Alexander, and David, became kings, as they were entitled to by the nobility of their family, and through them the noble blood of the kings of England, who were expelled from their own proper territories by the Normans, devolved upon the kings of Scotland.

25 Dec 1066. William (age 38) was consecrated king, and crowned on the day of the Nativity of our Lord, on the second day of the week, by Ealdred, archbishop of York, as I have said before, because Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, had been suspended by pope Alexander (age 56) as a schismatic. At that time there was a very powerful officer, Eadric, surnamed Silvaticus, the son of Aelfric-, the son of Edric Streona; and the chatelains of Hereford, and Richard, the son of Scrob, frequently laid waste his territories, because he disdained to submit to the king (age 38), but, as often as they attacked him they lost a great number of their soldiers and men-at-arms. Therefore Edric invited Bleothwin and Biwathe, kings of Wales, to come to his assistance; and, about the day of The Assumption of the blessed Virgin, he laid waste the province of Hereford, as far as the bridge over the river Wye, and carried off a large booty.

The Abbey of Battle is built

1067. King William (age 39), exulting in his victory, gave praise to God. The same year also, the king built an abbey, which, in reference to the battle that had been fought there, he called Battle [Map], in order that glory, and praise, and thanks, might be offered up in it to God for ever for the victory which he had given him, and also that offices for the souls of the dead who were slain there might be perfonned by the monks who were established in it, with the offering of salutary victims; and he endowed and enriched the church with estates and priyileges, and committed it to the patronage and protection of the kings who should reign in England after him.

William's Duchess is consecrated Queen

Coronation of Queen Matilda

11 May 1068. Matilda (age 37), the wife of king William (age 40), was consecrated queen on the day of Pentecost, by Aeldred, archbishop of York, on the twenty-second of March. [Note. The date a mistake. Pentecost the fiftieth day after Easter so usually in May. Pentcost known as White Sunday, or Whit-Sunday.] This year also, William (age 40) had a son born in England, who was called Henry. For his first-born, William Rufus (age 12), and also Robert (age 17), were born in Normandy, before their father had conquered England.

Two sons of Sweyn came into England to subdue it

Sveyn II's Raid on England

1069. Between the time of the two festivals of the blessed Virgin Mary, in the autumn, the two sons of Sweyn (age 50) [King Harald III of Denmark (age 29) and King Canute "The Holy" IV of Denmark (age 27)] came with three hundred ships from Denmark into England, in order to subdue it in a hostile manner, and to take king William prisoner (age 41), or else expel him from England. But when their arrival was noised abroad, the counts, and barons, and nobles of the land went forth to meet them, being oppressed by the intolerable arrogance of the Normans; and they made a treaty with them, and so joined the army of the Danes, in order to overthrow king William (age 41). But William (age 41), that most prudent king, when he saw the danger that threatened him, humbled himself to them, and checked the insolence of the Normans; and having in this way recalled many of the English nobles to their allegiance, and having sagaciously made a treaty with them all, he took the city of York [Map] by storm, which was a great rendezvous of the Danes, and made himself master of every thing in it, and slew many thousand men there.

How King William feeling secure at length becomes a tyrant instead of a King

04 Apr 1070. On the fourth day of April, king William (age 42), being now become more secure on his throne, violated his promises in many respects; and he caused the monasteries to be searched throughout the whole of England, and commanded the money found in them, and the charters, in the privileges granted by which the nobles of England placed their trust, and which the king, when in a position of difficulty, had sworn to observe himself, to be carried off by force from the churches where they had been deposited, and where they had hitherto lain in security, and to be taken to his own treasury.

After 04 Apr 1070. Moreover, the whole Anglican Church held a great council in Easter week, at Winchester, Hampshire [Map], by the management of the king, where many of the things which concerned the kingdom were changed. At that council too, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, was ignominiously degraded, and his brother, Aylmer, bishop of East Anglia, and many other bishops and abbots were deposed at the same time. Aegelwin, bishop of Durham, alone, of all the prelates of England, seeing the unjust oppression of his brethren, and sympathizing with them, and feeling zeal for God, went of his own accord into banishment from England, wishing to entangle the oppressors in the knot of excommunication. Stigand was succeeded by Lanfranc (age 65), a monk, a man of elegant learning, and adorned with many and various other accomplishments, who, among other magnificent works, composed a treatise on the Sacrament of the Altar, confirming the Catholic Faith. Aylmer was succeeded by Arfast, the king's chaplain; and he transferred the seat of his diocese to Thetford.

The English being expelled by the Normans, are injuriously and wickedly treated

24 Apr 1071. Lanfranc (age 66), abbot of Caen, was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury, on the twenty-fourth of April. And this Lanfranc (age 66), when archbishop, established the order of monks according to the rule of Saint Benedict in many of the convents of England. And he did so, first of all, in the church of Canterbury; after that, in the church of Saint Alban [Map], the protomartyr of the English, where also, when the abbot Frederic died, he appointed his [Lanfranc's] nephew Paul as his successor; who, relying on the support of his uncle (age 66), restored the church, and reformed the brotherhood, which had fallen into some irregularities.

1071. This year also, the English being very injuriously treated by the Normans, fled to the fens of Ely, and to the island of Thorney, where they made themselves a camp of refuge, and elected Hereward (age 36), a warrior of great energy and bravery, as their general. But king William (age 43), alluring some by promises and terrifying others by threats, and corrupting others again by bribes, at last surrounded all the fugitives with a numerous army, and compelled them to return and to submit unto his authority.

King William received homage from the king of Scotland

08 Apr 1071. A general council of the kingdom of England was held, to discuss the question of the primacy of the church of Canterbury, as superior to the church of York, on the eighth of April. And at last it was decreed that the archbishop of Canterbury had the preeminence, and that the archbishop of York was subordinate to him in everything.

1071. Moreover, king William (age 43) went to Scotland, and invaded it in a hostile manner, thinking that some of his indomitable enemies, and some of the refugees were there at the king's court, and that some of his own subjects were sheltered there. But as he found no such persons there, when he had received the homage of the king of Scotland (age 39), he returned to his own country.

1071. In the same year, king William (age 43) invaded Scotland with a great army, and Malcolm, king of Scotland (age 39), came peaceably to Berwick [Map] to meet him, and became his subject. At this time, count Ranulph of Micenis governed the earldom of Carlisle, who had given efficacious assistance to king William in his conquest of England. He began to build the city of Carlisle [Map], and to strengthen the citizens with many privileges. But when king William was returning from Scotland through Cumberland, seeing so royal a city, he took it from count Ranulph, and gave him instead of it the earldom of Chester, which was endowed with many honours and privileges. And king William commanded Carlisle to be fortified with very strong towers and ramparts. Moreover, king William the Conqueror, on his return from Scotland, built a new castle at Durham [Map], to serve as a protection against the irruptions of the Scots.

King William subdued Normandy, which had rebelled against him

1072. Pope Alexander died on the last day of March, and was succeeded by Hildebrand, who took the name of Gregory. The same year, the monks of Saint Ouen [Map] came with a band of armed men, and attacked John, archbishop of Rouen, as he was celebrating mass, on the festival of the above-named saint. On which account it was decided in a council which was assembled in that city, over which William, king of England (age 44), presided, that the monks who were guilty of this crime, should be thrown into prison by the abbot.

1072. Moreover the same year, king William (age 44), supported by the assistance of the English, reduced Normandy, which had rebelled against him, to submit to his authority by force of arms. After that, having established peace everywhere, and arranged everything well, and having received the English with the fulness of his affection, he returned to England.

Some Priests who had been guilty of Simony, and who had taken wives, are excommunicated by pope Gregory. Wolstan is restored to his bishopric

1073. Gregory, who is also called Hildebrand, held a synod, and anathematized those guilty of simony. Some priests who had taken wives he removed from their holy office, by a new example, and as it seemed to many an inconsiderate prejudice, in contradiction to the opinions of the ancient fathers. The blessed Wolstan (age 65), who had been unjustly deposed by archbishop Lanfranc (age 68), was restored to his diocese, in consequence of a miracle. After he had fixed his pastoral staff on the tomb of the blessed Edward, no one except himself could draw it out again.

1073. But the pope, to punish those priests who had married wives more rigorously, and by punishing them to recall them from those illicit embraces, forbade the laity to hear mass from them, and ordered also the tithes which were due to such priests to be burnt in the fire.

1073. The same year, Canute (age 31), son of Sweyn (age 54), and count Haco, came from Denmark, with a powerful and hostile army, and with two hundred large ships; but their enterprise was frustrated, by the circumspection and prudence of the most invincible king William (age 45).

Edith, queen of England, died. The king cursed his son Robert, surnamed Cortehose

Revolt of the Earls

1075. Queen Edith (age 49) died on the fifth of April. The same year, king William (age 47) gave the daughter of William, the son of Osbert, to earl Radolph (age 33), as his wife, and gave him also the government of Norfolk and Suffolk. This Radolph was of British extraction, on his mother's side, and his father was an Englishman. He was born in Norfolk, and there he celebrated his marriage, which was the cause of destruction to many persons. At that wedding there were present earl Roger and earl Waltheof; and many bishops and abbots; and they took counsel how to expel king William (age 47) from his kingdom. And this speedily became known to the king, who was in Normandy, and immediately the king returned to England, and took Waltheof, and Roger, who was his own kinsman, and threw them into prison. As to the rest who were present at the wedding, he deferred his determination.

1075. The same year, on Easter day, the above-named king William (age 47) gave his daughter Cecilia (age 19) to be dedicated to the service of God with devout solemnity in the church at Feschamp. Also king William cursed his son Robert (age 24), because he had often provoked him to anger, and in the bitterness of his soul he drove him from his sight and presence. And Robert at the end of his life found out undeniably how great was the effect of the paternal malediction, when having become blind, he was exposed to the hatred and persecution of his brothers, and so died miserably in prison.

A general Earthquake in England

27 Mar 1076. On the twenty-seventh day of March the earth trembled, and a general earthquake took place all over England, and a heavy frost and great abundance of ice continued from the beginning of November to the middle of April. This year, duke Waltheof was beheaded.

This is the thirteenth year of the first cycle of nineteen years, after the repetition of the great year of Dionysius, two of which have now elapsed since the passion of our Lord.

The monastic orders revived in England owing to the example and doctrine of archbishop Lanfranc

16 Apr 1077. On Palm Sunday, which fell on the sixteenth of April, a star appeared about six o'clock, while the sky was quite clear. This year, Lauzo, the prior of Saint Pancras, came into England, and Paul, a monk of Cadomum, a nephew of archbishop Lanfranc (age 72), was created abbot of Saint Alban's. And by his means, with the assistance of Lanfranc (age 72), the whole monastic order in England was again brought into a flourishing state. Likewise the abbot Paul himself enriched his church with ample possessions and many privileges.

The emperor is excommunicated for disobedience

1078. A violent quarrel arose between pope Gregory and the emperor Henry. At last the emperor was excommunicated1. After that, he ravaged the province of Swabia. King William (age 50) held his court at Gloucester, Gloucestershire [Map], and conferred bishoprics on those of his chaplains, giving the diocese of London to Maurice, of Norwich to William, and of Chichester to Robert. The same year, Guiscard, tiie noble dake of Apolia, died, and was succeeded by his two sons, Roger and Beaumont. This year also, a naval war of deadly animosity broke out between the states of Venice and Baris, for the sake of the body of Saint Nicholas. The same year, count William de Warenne, who had come into England with William the Bastard (age 50), founded the abbey of Saint Pancras of Lewes [Map].

Note 1. This was the origin of the wars between the Guelfs and Ghibelins.

Wales is subdued by the English and Antioch is taken by the Pagans

1079. John, archbishop of Rouen, died, and was succeeded by William, who had been abbot of Cadomum. The restoration of the church of the bishopric of Winchester was commenced. On the night of the nativity of our Lord a violent storm of wind shook several solid buildings.

1080. This year also, king William (age 52) led a powerful army into Wales, and subjugated it; and received homage and hostages for their fidelity from the petty kings of the viscounty. The same year, Antioch was taken by the pagans, together with the adjacent province, which had been a Christian land ever since the time of Saint Peter, without any disturbances. The same year, Malcolm, king of Scotland (age 48), became furious a second time after the Assumption of the blessed Virgin Mary, and ravaged the whole of Northumberland, as far as the river Tyne. But when he heard of this, the king of England (age 52) sent his son Robert (age 29) with an army into Scotland, who returned without having succeeded in his objects, and built a new castle [Map] in the river Tyne, and then returned to his father. The same year also, the king sent his brother Odo, bishop of Bayeux, with a large army, to lay waste Northumberland, the people of which district had risen in insurrection against the king, and had murdered Walcher, bishop of Durham, a man of exemplary character, at Gateshead.

A false King is slain by the Emperor

1080. Pope Hildebraud, who is also called Gregory, predicted, as if he had been informed of it by divine revelation, that a false king would die this year. His prediction, indeed, was true; but he was deceived in his opinion and conjecture as to who the false king was, for he interpreted the phrophecy according to his own wish, as if it concerned the emperor Henry. But the emperor fought a sever battle, in which he slew the false king of Saxony, whose name was Radulf, with many princes of Saxony. That same year, the town of Newcastle upon Tyne [Map] was founded by King William (age 52).