Flowers of History

Flowers of History is in Late Medieval Books.

Roger of Wendover's Flowers Of History. Comprising The History Of England From The Descent Of The Saxons To A. D. 1231. Formerly Ascribed To Matthew Paris. Translated from the Latin By J. A. Giles, D.C.L. Late Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In Two Volumes. Vol. II. London: Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden. M.DCCC.XLIX.

Late Medieval Books, Flowers of History 1055

1055. Victor governed the Roman see two years, three months, and thirteen days.

1055. In the same year, Siward, duke of Northumberland (age 45), died, and king Eadward (age 52) conferred that dukedom on Tosti (age 29), duke Harold's (age 33) brother. Not long after this, king Eadward (age 52) held a council at London, and banished from England earl Algar, who thereupon went into Ireland, where he got eighteen piratical vessels, and joining himself to GGriffin king of Wales, made incursions into the kingdom of England. Having invaded Herefordshire, they were met by duke Ranulph, son of king Eadward's sister; but at the first onset Ranulph and his men fled; whereupon Algar and Griffin pursued the fugitives and slew five hundred of them. After this victory they entered the city of Hereford, and having slain seven ecclesiastics who defended the doors of the cathedral, they burned that church with its ornaments and relics. Then, after slaying some of the inhabitants, and taking others captives, and burning the town, they retired with a rich booty. On hearing of this deed, king Eadward assembled a large army at Gloucester, and giving it in command to Harold, son of Godwin, he ordered him to make a fierce attack on the enemy. Accordingly, he boldly entered Wales and advanced with his army as far as Snowdon; but Algar and Griffin, well acquainted with Harold's valour, avoided an encounter. After terribly ravaging Wales, Harold marched to Hereford, which he environed with a broad and high rampart, and strengthened the city with gates and bars. At length, by the intervention of messengers, a peace of short duration was made between Algar and the king. In the same year, Hermann bishop of Ramesbury, annoyed at the king's refusal to allow the episcopal seat to be transferred to Salisbury, resigned his bishopric, and crossing the sea, assumed the monastic habit at St. Bertin's, and remained three years in that monastery. The first bishop of Ramesbury was Ethelstan, the second Odo, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, the third Osulf, the fourth Algar, the fifth Elstan, the sixth Siric, the seventh Alfric, the eighth Brithwold, who continued from the time of king Ethelred to St. Eadward. We read of this Brithwold, that in the time of king Cnute, he would frequently turn his thoughts to the English royal race, then well nigh destroyed, and would wonder whether it would ever be restored, and that one night, as he lay on his bed musing on this subject, he was caught up on high, where he saw Peter, the prince of the apostles, holding in his arms Eadward the future king, then in Normandy, whom he consecrated to be king, and foretold that he would lead a life of celibacy and reign twenty-four years. It is said also that Brithwold inquired respecting the succession of the kincrs of England, and received this answer, " The kingdom of England belongs to God, and he will provide himself kings." The aforesaid Hermann returned to his bishopric, and, with king Eadward's leave, united the bishopric of Sherborne with that of Ramesbury, and transferred the cathedral see to Salisbury.

Late Medieval Books, Flowers of History 1056

Bishop Levegar slain.

1056. Ethelstan bishop of Hereford died, and was succeeded by Levegar, duke Harold's chaplain. This prelate, who was a model of piety, was slain by Griffin king of Wales, who burnt the city of Hereford. Levegar was succeeded by Walter who continued to the time of King William. In the same year Egelric bishop of Durham voluntarily left his bishopric, and took the monastic habit at Peterborough, where he lived an exemplary life twelve years.

Late Medieval Books, Flowers of History 1057

King Eadward recalls his nephew.

1057. Eadward king of England (age 54), being advanced in years, sent Aldred bishop of Worcester into Hungary, and recalled thence Eadward (age 41), son of king Eadmund his brother, with the intention of making him his successor. Eadward came accordingly, with his son Eadgar (age 6) and his daughters Margaret (age 12) and Christina, but died not long after his arrival in the city of London, leaving the king the charge of his son Eadgar and his daughters before mentioned.

31 Aug 1057. On the thirty-first of August in the same year died Leofric earl of Chester, a man of praise-worthy life; he was buried in the monastery which he had founded at Coventry. Having founded this monastery by the advice of his wife the noble countess Godiva, he, at the prayer of a religious woman, placed monks therein, and so enriched them with lands, woods, and ornaments, that there was not found in all England a monastery with such an abundance of gold and silver, gems and costly garments.

Before 31 Aug 1057. The countess Godiva, who was a great lover of God's mother, longing to free the town of Coventry from the oppression of a heavy toll, often with urgent prayers besought her husband, that from regard to Jesus Christ and his mother, he would free the town from that service, and from all other heavy burdens; and when the earl sharply rebuked her for foolishly asking what was so much to his damage, and always forbade her ever more to speak to him on the subject; and while she, on the other hand, with a woman's pertinacity, never ceased to exasperate her husband on that matter, he at last made her this answer, "Mount your horse, and ride naked, before all the people, through the market of the town, from one end to the other, and on your return you shall have your request." On which Godiva replied, "But will you give me permission, if I am willing to do it ? "I will," said he. Whereupon the countess, beloved of God, loosed her hair and let down her tresses, which covered the whole of her body like a veil, and then mounting her horse and attended by two knights, she rode through the market-place, without being seen, except her fair legs; and having completed the journey, she returned with gladness to her astonished husband, and obtained of him what she had asked; for earl Leofric freed the town of Coventry and its inhabitants from the aforesaid service, and confirmed what he had done by a charter. The said earl also, at the instigation of his countess, munificently enriched with lands, buildings, and various ornaments the churches of Worcester, St. Mary of Stone, and St. Wereburg, with the monasteries of Evesham, Wenloc, and Lenton.

Late Medieval Books, Flowers of History 1138

Of the enmity of the Scots towards king Stephen. A. D. 1138.

Conrad obtained the Roman empire, and reigned fifteen years. The same year king Stephen, on his birth-day, besieged Bedford castle, saying, that one's enemies should never be let rest for even an hour but before he could reduce the castle, the Scots, with their king, led an army into Northumberland, and perpetrated a most execrable deed. For because their king had sworn fealty to the empress, they now avenged her cause by tearing children from their mother's womb, and tossing them upon the points of their lances: they slew priests upon the altars, cut off the heads of the crucifixes, and placed them on the decapitated corpses, putting in their places the bloody heads of their victims; wherever they went, it was one scene of cruelty and terror; women shrieking, old men lamenting, and every living being in despair. King Stephen, therefore, marched with his troops towards Scotland; but before he reached that country, the Scottish king retired into his own dominions and withdrew to his fastnesses. King Stephen, having ravaged the south of Scotland, returned to England. There was at this time so violent a fury against him among the nobles, that he was disturbed on almost every side. William Talbot held Hereford castle against him ; Robert earl of Gloucester, illegitimate son of king Henry, held the castles of Leeds and Bristol; William Luvell held Castle Cary; Paganel held Ludlow; William de Moiun held Dunster castle; Robert of Lincoln held Warham; Eustace Fitz-John held Melton; William Fitz-Alan held Shrewsbury. The king took the last-named of these fortresses by storm, and hanged some of the garrison; which coming to the ears of Walkeline, who held Dover castle, he immediately surrendered it to the queen who was besieging it.

How the king of Scotland again invaded Northumberland.

Whilst king Stephen was thus engaged in the south of England, David king of Scots led an immense army into Northumberland. Here he was met by the northern nobility, who, under the command of Thurstan archbishop of York (age 67), planted the king's standard at Alverton1, and manfully resisted the enemy. The principal men engaged in this battle were William earl of Albemarle (age 36), William of Nottingham, Walter Espec and Gilbert de Lacy. The archbishop was prevented by illness from being present, but sent in his place Ralph bishop of Durham [Note. Possibly Bishop Radulf Novell, Bishop of Orkney?] to remind the people of their duty. His speech to them, from an eminence in the midst of the army, was after this fashion: "Brave nobles of England, Normans by birth, at whose prowess the bravery of France trembles, and to whose arms fierce England has submitted, under whose government rich Apulia2 has again flourished: Jerusalem, so famous, and illustrious Antioch have both bowed before you, and now Scotland, which by right is subject to you, dares to resist you, and displays a rashness which is not supported by her arms, fitter, as she is, for a riot than for a battle. Do not then be afraid, but rather be indignant that those, whom we have always sought out and conquered in their own country, have now, reversing the usual order, madly sought us out upon our own ground. But I, your bishop, tell you that this has been done as a divine warning, that those who have in this country violated the temples of God, polluted his altars, slain his priests, and spared neither children nor women with child, may on this same soil receive condign punishment for their crimes. Be brave then, ye polished warriors: and with the valour which belongs to your race, nay rather with the foreknowledge of God, repulse these craven foes who know not how to arm themselves in the day of battle3 Do not look out for any doubtful contingencies such as happen in war. Your breast is covered with your coat of mail, your head with the helmet, your legs with greaves, and all your bodies with your shields: the enemy cannot find where to strike you, for he beholds you surrounded on every side with arms. Why then should you hesitate unarmed and unwarlike? But the enemy are advancing in disorder and forbid me to say more, they are pouring forward in a scattered manner, at which I rejoice. Whichever of you shall fall fighting for God and your country, we absolve him from all punishment due to his sins, in the name of the Father, whose creatures the foe has so shamefully and horribly slain; of the Son, whose altars they have polluted; and of the Holy Ghost, whose grace they have set at naught, in perpetrating such enormous acts of wickedness." All the English army replied to this address with a shout, and the mountains and hills re-echoed Amen, Amen!

Note 1. North Allerton.

Note 3. The Normans in Naples.

Note 3. Is this an allusion the Scottish peculiarity of costume?

22 Aug 1138. Of the pitched battle between the Scots and English.

The Scots hearing the shout, like women, raised their usual war-cry of Alban! Alban! which was, however, soon drowned in the dreadful rush of the engaging armies. A body of the men of Lothian, who had obtained from the king (age 54) the honour of striking the first blow, with numbers of missiles and with their long lances, bore down impetuously upon the mailed English knights, but fell upon them like as upon a wall, for they remained immovable. The English archers, then mingling with the cavalry, poured their arrows like a cloud upon the Scots, pierced all who were not protected by their armour, whilst the whole English line and the glory of the Normans, crowding around the standard, remained firm and unshaken. The commander of the men of Lothian fell slain by an arrow, and his men all took to flight. For the most high God was offended with them: therefore their valour was broken like a spider's web in the battle. The main body of the Scots, which was fighting in another part of the field, seeing their comrades routed, lost courage and retreated also. But the king's troops, who were of different clans, began first to flinch individually, and afterwards to recoil in a body, though the king (age 54) still stood firm: but his friends compelled him to mount his horse and fly, whilst his brave son (age 24), heeding not the flight of the rest, but solely bent on acquirincr glory, charged the lines of the enemy with headlong valour, though his men could do no execution on knights that were sheathed in mail; but at last they were forced to take flight, not, without much bloodshed, and were ignominiously driven off the field in all directions. It was reported that eleven thousand of the Scots were slain, besides those who were found mortally wounded in the corn-fields and woods: our army happily triumphed with very little loss of life, and all the knights, the brother of Gilbert de Lacy was the only one slain. This battle was fought in the month of August, by the people who lived in the country beyond the Humber. The same year, in the month of October, the count of Anjou compelled the inhabitants of Orismes to surrender, and laid siege to Bayeux and Falaise.