Biography of William "Rufus" II King England 1056-1100

Paternal Family Tree: Norman

Maternal Family Tree: Gerberge Unknown Viscountess Anjou

1068 Coronation of Queen Matilda

1079 William The Conqueror Battle with his son Robert Curthose

1087 King William "The Conqueror" Dies King William II Succeeds

1100 Marriage of Henry I and Matilda

1100 Death of William Rufus Accession of Henry I

On 03 Jul 1035 [his grandfather] Robert "Magnificent" Normandy I Duke Normandy (age 35) died at Nicaea. His son [his father] King William "Conqueror" I of England (age 7) succeeded II Duke Normandy.

Before 1051 [his father] King William "Conqueror" I of England (age 23) and [his mother] Matilda Flanders Queen Consort England (age 19) were married. She the daughter of Baldwin "The Good" V Count Flanders (age 38) and Adela Capet Duchess Normandy (age 41). He the illegitmate son of Robert "Magnificent" Normandy I Duke Normandy and Herleva Falaise. They were third cousin once removed.

In 1055 St Mary's Abbey, York [Map] was founded. It was originally dedicated to Saint Olaf aka Olave. After the Norman Conquest the church came into the possession of the Anglo-Breton magnate Alan Rufus who granted the lands to Abbot Stephen and a group of monks from Whitby. The abbey church was refounded in 1088 when King William "Rufus" II, visited York in January or February of that year and gave the monks additional lands.

Around 1056 William "Rufus" II King England was born to King William "Conqueror" I of England (age 28) and Matilda Flanders Queen Consort England (age 25).

Coronation of Queen Matilda

Flowers of History. 11 May 1068. [his mother] Matilda (age 37), the wife of king [his father] 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 [his brother] Henry. For his first-born, William Rufus (age 12), and also [his brother] Robert (age 17), were born in Normandy, before their father had conquered England.

1079 William The Conqueror Battle with his son Robert Curthose

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1079. This year [his brother] Robert (age 28), the son of [his father] King William (age 51), deserted from his father to his uncle [his uncle] Robert in Flanders (age 46); because his father (age 51) would not let him govern his earldom in Normandy; which he himself, and also King Philip (age 26) with his permission, had given him. The best men that were in the land also had sworn oaths of allegiance to him, and taken him for their lord. This year, therefore, Robert (age 28) fought with his father (age 51), without Normandy, by a castle called Gerberoy; and wounded him in the hand; and his horse, that he sat upon, was killed under him; and he that brought him another was killed there right with a dart. That was Tookie Wiggodson. Many were there slain, and also taken. His son William (age 23) too was there wounded; but Robert (age 37) returned to Flanders. We will not here, however, record any more injury that he did his father (age 51).

On 02 Nov 1083 [his mother] Matilda Flanders Queen Consort England (age 52) died.

King William "The Conqueror" Dies King William II Succeeds

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1087. In the same year also, before the Assumption of St. Mary, [his father] King William (age 59) went from Normandy [Map] into France with an army, and made war upon his own lord Philip, the king (age 34), and slew many of his men, and burned the town of Mante, and all the holy minsters that were in the town; and two holy men that served God, leading the life of anachorets, were burned therein. This being thus done, King William (age 59) returned to Normandy. Rueful was the thing he did; but a more rueful him befel. How more rueful? He fell sick, and it dreadfully ailed him. What shall I say? Sharp death, that passes by neither rich men nor poor, seized him also. He died in Normandy, on the next day after the Nativity of St. Mary, and he was buried at Caen in St. Stephen's minster [Map], which he had formerly reared, and afterwards endowed with manifold gifts. Alas! how false and how uncertain is this world's weal! He that was before a rich king (age 59), and lord of many lands, had not then of all his land more than a space of seven feet! and he that was whilom enshrouded in gold and gems, lay there covered with mould! He left behind him three sons; the eldest, called [his brother] Robert (age 36), who was earl in Normandy after him; the second, called William (age 31), who wore the crown after him in England; and the third, called [his brother] Henry (age 19), to whom his father bequeathed immense treasure. If any person wishes to know what kind of man he was, or what honour he had, or of how many lands he was lord, then will we write about him as well as we understand him: we who often looked upon him, and lived sometime in his court. This King William (age 59) then that we speak about was a very wise man, and very rich; more splendid and powerful than any of his predecessors were. He was mild to the good men that loved God, and beyond all measure severe to the men that gainsayed his will. On that same spot where God granted him that he should gain England, he reared a mighty minster, and set monks therein, and well endowed it. In his days was the great monastery in Canterbury built, and also very many others over all England. This land was moreover well filled with monks, who modelled their lives after the rule of St. Benedict. But such was the state of Christianity in his time, that each man followed what belonged to his profession-he that would. He was also very dignified. Thrice he bare his crown each year, as oft as he was in England. At Easter he bare it in Winchester, at Pentecost in Westminster, at midwinter in Glocester. And then were with him all the rich men over all England; archbishops and diocesan bishops, abbots and earls, thanes and knights. So very stern was he also and hot, that no man durst do anything against his will. He had earls in his custody, who acted against his will. Bishops he hurled from their bishoprics, and abbots from their abbacies, and thanes into prison. At length he spared not his own brother [his uncle] Odo, who was a very rich bishop in Normandy. At Baieux was his episcopal stall; and he was the foremost man of all to aggrandise the king (age 59). He had an earldom in England; and when the king (age 59) was in Normandy, then was he the mightiest man in this land. Him he confined in prison. But amongst other things is not to be forgotten that good peace that he made in this land; so that a man of any account might go over his kingdom unhurt with his bosom full of gold. No man durst slay another, had he never so much evil done to the other; and if any churl lay with a woman against her will, he soon lost the limb that he played with. He truly reigned over England; and by his capacity so thoroughly surveyed it, that there was not a hide of land in England that he wist not who had it, or what it was worth, and afterwards set it down in his book.110 The land of the Britons was in his power; and he wrought castles therein; and ruled Anglesey withal. So also he subdued Scotland by his great strength. As to Normandy, that was his native land; but he reigned also over the earldom called Maine; and if he might have yet lived two years more, he would have won Ireland by his valour, and without any weapons. Assuredly in his time had men much distress, and very many sorrows. Castles he let men build, and miserably swink the poor. The king (age 59) himself was so very rigid; and extorted from his subjects many marks of gold, and many hundred pounds of silver; which he took of his people, for little need, by right and by unright. He was fallen into covetousness, and greediness he loved withal. He made many deer-parks; and he established laws therewith; so that whosoever slew a hart, or a hind, should be deprived of his eyesight. As he forbade men to kill the harts, so also the boars; and he loved the tall deer as if he were their father. Likewise he decreed by the hares, that they should go free. His rich men bemoaned it, and the poor men shuddered at it. But he was so stern, that he recked not the hatred of them all; for they must follow withal the king's (age 59) will, if they would live, or have land, or possessions, or even his peace. Alas! that any man should presume so to puff himself up, and boast o'er all men. May the Almighty God show mercy to his soul, and grant him forgiveness of his sins! These things have we written concerning him, both good and evil; that men may choose the good after their goodness, and flee from the evil withal, and go in the way that leadeth us to the kingdom of heaven. Many things may we write that were done in this same year. So it was in Denmark, that the Danes, a nation that was formerly accounted the truest of all, were turned aside to the greatest untruth, and to the greatest treachery that ever could be. They chose and bowed to King Cnute, and swore him oaths, and afterwards dastardly slew him in a church. It happened also in Spain, that the heathens went and made inroads upon the Christians, and reduced much of the country to their dominion. But the king of the Christians, Alphonzo by name, sent everywhere into each land, and desired assistance. And they came to his support from every land that was Christian; and they went and slew or drove away all the heathen folk, and won their land again, through God's assistance.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Sep 1087. In this land also, in the same year, died many rich men; Stigand, Bishop of Chichester, and the Abbot of St. Augustine, and the Abbot of Bath, and the Abbot of Pershore, and the lord of them all, [his father] William, King of England (age 59), that we spoke of before. After his death his son, called William (age 31) also as the father, took to the kingdom, and was blessed to king (age 31) by Archbishop Landfranc (age 82) at Westminster three days ere Michaelmas day. And all the men in England submitted to him, and swore oaths to him. This being thus done, the king (age 31) went to Winchester, and opened the treasure house, and the treasures that his father had gathered, in gold, and in silver, and in vases, and in palls, and in gems, and in many other valuable things that are difficult to enumerate. Then the king (age 31) did as his father bade him ere he was dead; he there distributed treasures for his father's soul to each monastery that was in England; to some ten marks of gold, to some six, to each upland111 church sixty pence. And into each shire were sent a hundred pounds of money to distribute amongst poor men for his soul. And ere he departed, he bade that they should release all the men that were in prison under his power. And the king (age 31) was on the midwinter in London.

Note 110. An evident allusion to the compilation of Doomsday book, already described in A.D. 1085.

Note 111. Uppe-land, Sax.—i.e. village-church.

On 09 Sep 1087 [his father] King William "Conqueror" I of England (age 59) died at the Priory of St Gervaise, Rouen. He was buried at Abbaye-aux-Hommes, Caen, Calvados, Basse Normandie at a ceremony presided over by Gilbert Arques Bishop Evreux. [his brother] King Henry I "Beauclerc" England (age 19) attended. His son William "Rufus" II King England (age 31) succeeded II King England. His son [his brother] Robert Curthose III Duke Normandy (age 36) succeeded III Duke Normandy.

On 26 Sep 1087 William "Rufus" II King England (age 31) was crowned II King England.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1088. In this year was this land much stirred, and filled with great treachery; so that the richest Frenchmen that were in this land would betray their lord the king, and would have his brother Robert king, who was earl in Normandy. In this design was engaged first [his uncle] Bishop Odo, and Bishop Gosfrith, and William, Bishop of Durham. So well did the king by the bishop [Odo] that all England fared according to his counsel, and as he would. And the bishop thought to do by him as Judas Iscariot did by our Lord. And Earl Roger was also of this faction; and much people was with him all Frenchmen. This conspiracy was formed in Lent. As soon as Easter came, then went they forth, and harrowed, and burned, and wasted the king's (age 32) farms; and they despoiled the lands of all the men that were in the king's (age 32) service. And they each of them went to his castle, and manned it, and provisioned it as well as they could. Bishop Gosfrith, and Robert the peace-breaker, went to Bristol, and plundered it, and brought the spoil to the castle. Afterwards they went out of the castle, and plundered Bath, and all the land thereabout; and all the honor112 of Berkeley they laid waste. And the men that eldest were of Hereford, and all the shire forthwith, and the men of Shropshire, with much people of Wales, came and plundered and burned in Worcestershire, until they came to the city itself, which it was their design to set on fire, and then to rifle the minster, and win the king's (age 32) castle to their hands. The worthy Bishop Wulfstan, seeing these things, was much agitated in his mind, because to him was betaken the custody of the castle. Nevertheless his hired men went out of the castle with few attendants, and, through God's mercy and the bishop's merits, slew or took five hundred men, and put all the others to flight. The Bishop of Durham did all the harm that he could over all by the north. Roger was the name of one of them;113 who leaped into the castle at Norwich, and did yet the worst of all over all that land. Hugh also was one, who did nothing better either in Leicestershire or in Northamptonshire. The Bishop Odo being one, though of the same family from which the king (age 32) himself was descended, went into Kent to his earldom, and greatly despoiled it; and having laid waste the lands of the king (age 32) and of the archbishop withal, he brought the booty into his castle at Rochester. When the king (age 32) understood all these things, and what treachery they were employing against him, then was he in his mind much agitated. He then sent after Englishmen, described to them his need, earnestly requested their support, and promised them the best laws that ever before were in this land; each unright guild he forbade, and restored to the men their woods and chaces. But it stood no while. The Englishmen however went to the assistance of the king (age 32) their lord. They advanced toward Rochester, with a view to get possession of the Bishop Odo; for they thought, if they had him who was at first the head of the conspiracy, they might the better get possession of all the others. They came then to the castle at Tunbridge; and there were in the castle the knights of Bishop Odo, and many others who were resolved to hold it against the king (age 32). But the Englishmen advanced, and broke into the castle, and the men that were therein agreed with the king (age 32). The king (age 32) with his army went toward Rochester. And they supposed that the bishop was therein; but it was made known to the king (age 32) that the bishop was gone to the castle at Pevensea. And the king (age 32) with his army went after, and beset the castle about with a very large force full six weeks. During this time the Earl of Normandy, Robert, the king's (age 32) brother, gathered a very considerable force, and thought to win England with the support of those men that were in this land against the king (age 32). And he sent some of his men to this land, intending to come himself after. But the Englishmen that guarded the sea lighted upon some of the men, and slew them, and drowned more than any man could tell. When provisions afterwards failed those within the castle, they earnestly besought peace, and gave themselves up to the king (age 32); and the bishop swore that he would depart out of England, and no more come on this land, unless the king (age 32) sent after him, and that he would give up the castle at Rochester. Just as the bishop was going with an intention to give up the castle, and the king (age 32) had sent his men with him, then arose the men that were in the castle, and took the bishop and the king's (age 32) men, and put them into prison. In the castle were some very good knights; Eustace the Young, and the three sons of Earl Roger, and all the best born men that were in this land or in Normandy. When the king (age 32) understood this thing, then went he after with the army that he had there, and sent over all England. and bade that each man that was faithful should come to him, French and English, from sea-port and from upland. Then came to him much people; and he went to Rochester, and beset the castle, until they that were therein agreed, and gave up the castle. The Bishop Odo with the men that were in the castle went over sea, and the bishop thus abandoned the dignity that he had in this land. The king (age 32) afterwards sent an army to Durham, and allowed it to beset the castle, and the bishop agreed, and gave up the castle, and relinquished his bishopric, and went to Normandy. Many Frenchmen also abandoned their lands, and went over sea; and the king (age 32) gave their lands to the men that were faithful to him.

Note 112. i.e. jurisdiction. We have adopted the modern title of the district; but the Saxon term occurs in many of the ancient evidences of Berkeley Castle.

Note 113. i.e. of the conspirators.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1090. Indiction XIII. These things thus done, just as we have already said above, by the king (age 34), and by his brother and by this men, the king (age 34) was considering how he might wreak his vengeance on his brother Robert, harass him most, and win Normandy of him. And indeed through his craft, or through bribery, he got possession of the castle at St. Valeri, and the haven; and so he got possession of that at Albemarle. And therein he set his knights; and they did harm to the land in harrowing and burning. After this he got possession of more castles in the land; and therein lodged his horsemen. When the Earl of Normandy, Robert, understood that his sworn men deceived him, and gave up their castles to do him harm, then sent he to his lord, Philip, king of the Franks; and he came to Normandy [Map] with a large army, and the king (age 34) and the earl with an immense force beset the castle about, wherein were the men of the King of England (age 34). But the King William (age 34) of England sent to Philip, king of the Franks; and he for his love, or for his great treasure, abandoned thus his subject the [his brother] Earl Robert (age 39) and his land; and returned again to France, and let them so remain. And in the midst of these things this land was much oppressed by unlawful exactions and by many other misfortunes.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1091. In this year the King William (age 35) held his court at Christmas in Westminster, and thereafter at Candlemas he went, for the annoyance of his brother, out of England into Normandy. Whilst he was there, their reconciliation took place, on the condition, that the earl put into his hands Feschamp, and the earldom of Ou, and Cherbourg; and in addition to this, that the king's (age 35) men should be secure in the castles that they had won against the will of the earl. And the king (age 35) in return promised him those many [castles] that their father had formerly won, and also to reduce those that had revolted from the earl, also all that his father had there beyond, except those that he had then given the king (age 35), and that all those, that in England before for the earl had lost their land, should have it again by this treaty, and that the earl should have in England just so much as was specified in this agreement. And if the earl died without a son by lawful wedlock, the king (age 35) should be heir of all Normandy; and by virtue of this same treaty, if the king (age 35) died, the earl should be heir of all England. To this treaty swore twelve of the best men of the king's (age 35) side, and twelve of the earl's, though it stood but a little while afterwards. In the midst of this treaty was Edgar Etheling (age 40) deprived of the land that the earl had before permitted him to keep in hand; and he went out of Normandy to the king (age 35), his sister's husband, in Scotland, and to his sister. Whilst the King William (age 35) was out of England, the King Malcolm (age 59) of Scotland came hither into England, and overran a great deal of it, until the good men that governed this land sent an army against him and repulsed him. When the King William (age 35) in Normandy [Map] heard this, then prepared he his departure, and came to England, and his brother, the [his brother] Earl Robert (age 40), with him; and he soon issued an order to collect a force both naval and military; but the naval force, ere it could come to Scotland, perished almost miserably, a few days before St. Michael's mass. And the king (age 35) and his brother proceeded with the land-force; but when the King Malcolm (age 59) heard that they were resolved to seek him with an army, he went with his force out of Scotland into Lothaine in England, and there abode. When the King William (age 35) came near with his army, then interceded between them Earl Robert (age 40), and Edgar Etheling (age 40), and so made the peace of the king (age 35)s, that the King Malcolm (age 59) came to our king (age 35), and did homage114, promising all such obedience as he formerly paid to his father; and that he confirmed with an oath. And the King William (age 35) promised him in land and in all things whatever he formerly had under his father. In this settlement was also Edgar Etheling (age 40) united with the king (age 35). And the king (age 35)s then with much satisfaction departed; yet that stood but a little while. And the Earl Robert (age 40) tarried here full nigh until Christmas with the king (age 35), and during this time found but little of the truth of their agreement; and two days before that tide he took ship in the Isle of Wight, and went into Normandy, and Edgar Etheling (age 40) with him.

Note 114. Literally "became his man"—"Ic becom eowr man" was the formula of doing homage.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1092. In this year the King William (age 36) with a large army went north to Carlisle, and restored the town, and reared the castle, and drove out Dolphin that before governed the land, and set his own men in the castle, and then returned hither southward. And a vast number of rustic people with wives and with cattle he sent thither, to dwell there in order to till the land.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1093. In this year, during Lent, was the King William (age 37) at Glocester so sick, that he was by all reported dead. And in his illness he made many good promises to lead his own life aright; to grant peace and protection to the churches of God, and never more again with fee to sell; to have none but righteous laws amongst his people. The archbishopric of Canterbury, that before remained in his own hand, he transferred to Anselm (age 60), who was before Abbot of Bec; to Robert his chancellor the bishopric of Lincoln; and to many minsters he gave land; but that he afterwards took away, when he was better, and annulled all the good laws that he promised us before. Then after this sent the King of Scotland, and demanded the fulfilment of the treaty that was promised him. And the King William (age 37) cited him to Glocester, and sent him hostages to Scotland; and Edgar Etheling (age 42), afterwards, and the men returned, that brought him with great dignity to the king (age 37). But when he came to the king (age 37), he could not be considered worthy either of our king's (age 37) speech, or of the conditions that were formerly promised him. For this reason therefore they parted with great dissatisfaction, and the King Malcolm (age 61) returned to Scotland. And soon after he came home, he gathered his army, and came harrowing into England with more hostility than behoved him; and Robert, the Earl of Northumberland, surrounded him unawares with his men, and slew him. Morel of Barnborough slew him, who was the earl's steward, and a baptismal friend115 of King Malcolm (age 61). With him was also slain Edward his son; who after him should have been king (age 37), if he had lived. When the good Queen Margaret (age 48) heard this-her most beloved lord and son thus betrayed she was in her mind almost distracted to death. She with her priests went to church, and performed her rites, and prayed before God, that she might give up the ghost. And the Scots then chose116 Dufenal to king, Malcolm's brother, and drove out all the English that formerly were with the King Malcolm (age 61). When Duncan, King Malcolm's (age 61) son, heard all that had thus taken place (he was then in the King William's (age 37) court, because his father had given him as a hostage to our king's (age 37) father, and so he lived here afterwards), he came to the king (age 37), and did such fealty as the king (age 37) required at his hands; and so with his permission went to Scotland, with all the support that he could get of English and French, and deprived his uncle Dufenal of the kingdom, and was received as king. But the Scots afterwards gathered some force together, and slew full nigh all his men; and he himself with a few made his escape.117 Afterwards they were reconciled, on the condition that he never again brought into the land English or French.

Note 115. Literally a "gossip"; but such are the changes which words undergo in their meaning as well as in their form, that a title of honour formerly implying a spiritual relationship in God, is now applied only to those whose conversation resembles the contemptible tittle-tattle of a Christening.

Note 116. From this expression it is evident, that though preference was naturally and properly given to hereditary claims, the monarchy of Scotland, as well as of England, was in principle "elective". The doctrine of hereditary, of divine, of indefeasible "right", is of modern growth.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1094. This year the King William (age 38) held his court at Christmas in Glocester; and messengers came to him thither from his brother Robert of Normandy; who said that his brother renounced all peace and conditions, unless the king (age 38) would fulfil all that they had stipulated in the treaty; and upon that he called him forsworn and void of truth, unless he adhered to the treaty, or went thither and explained himself there, where the treaty was formerly made and also sworn. Then went the king (age 38) to Hastings at Candlemas; and whilst he there abode waiting the weather, he let hallow the minster at Battel, and deprived Herbert Losang, the Bishop of Thetford, of his staff; and thereafter about mid-Lent went over sea into Normandy. After he came, thither, he and his brother Robert, the earl, said that they should come together in peace (and so they did), and might be united. Afterwards they came together with the same men that before made the treaty, and also confirmed it by oaths; and all the blame of breaking the treaty they threw upon the king (age 38); but he would not confess this, nor even adhere to the treaty; and for this reason they parted with much dissatisfaction. And the king (age 38) afterwards won the castle at Bures, and took the earl's men therein; some of whom he sent hither to this land. On the other hand the earl, with the assistance of the King of France, won the castle at Argence, and took therein Roger of Poitou118, and seven hundred of the king's (age 38) knights with him; and afterwards that at Hulme; and oft readily did either of them burn the towns of the other, and also took men. Then sent the king (age 38) hither to this land, and ordered twenty thousand Englishmen to be sent out to Normandy to his assistance; but when they came to sea, they then had orders to return, and to pay to the king's (age 38) behoof the fee that they had taken; which was half a pound each man; and they did so. And the earl after this, with the King of France, and with all that he could gather together, went through the midst of Normandy, towards Ou, where the King William (age 38) was, and thought to besiege him within; and so they advanced until they came to Luneville. There was the King of France through cunning turned aside; and so afterwards all the army dispersed. In the midst of these things the King William (age 38) sent after his brother Henry, who was in the castle at Damfront; but because he could not go through Normandy with security, he sent ships after him, and Hugh, Earl of Chester. When, however, they should have gone towards Ou where the king (age 38) was, they went to England, and came up at Hamton119, on the eve of the feast of All Saints, and here afterwards abode; and at Christmas they were in London. In this same year also the Welshmen gathered themselves together, and with the French that were in Wales, or in the neighbourhood, and had formerly seized their land, stirred up war, and broke into many fastnesses and castles, and slew many men. And when their followers had increased, they divided themselves into larger parties. With some part of them fought Hugh, Earl of Shropshire120, and put them to flight. Nevertheless the other part of them all this year omitted no evil that they could do. This year also the Scots ensnared their king, Duncan, and slew him; and afterwards, the second time, took his uncle Dufenal to king, through whose instruction and advice he was betrayed to death.

Note 118. Peitevin, which is the connecting link between "Pictaviensem" and "Poitou".

Note 119. Now called Southampton, to distinguish it from Northampton, but the common people in both neighbourhoods generally say "Hamton" to this day (1823).

Note 120. The title is now Earl of Shrewsbury.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1095. Hereafter at Pentecost was the king (age 39) at Windsor, and all his council with him, except the Earl of Northumberland; for the king (age 39) would neither give him hostages, nor own upon truth, that he might come and go with security. And the king (age 39) therefore ordered his army, and went against the earl to Northumberland; and soon after he came thither, he won many and nearly all the best of the earl's clan in a fortress, and put them into custody; and the castle at Tinemouth he beset until he won it, and the earl's brother therein, and all that were with him; and afterwards went to Bamborough [Map], and beset the earl therein. But when the king (age 39) saw that he could not win it, then ordered he his men to make a castle before Bamborough [Map], and called it in his speech "Malveisin"; that is in English, "Evil Neighbour". And he fortified it strongly with his men, and afterwards went southward.

In 1095 Roger de Lacy exiled for rebelling against William "Rufus" II King England (age 39).

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1095. In this year was the King William (age 39) the first four days of Christmas at Whitsand, and after the fourth day came hither, and landed at Dover. And Henry, the king's (age 39) brother, abode in this land until Lent, and then went over sea to Normandy, with much treasure, on the king's (age 39) behalf, against their brother, [his brother] Earl Robert (age 44), and frequently fought against the earl, and did him much harm, both in land and in men. And then at Easter held the king (age 39) his court in Winchester; and the Earl Robert of Northumberland would not come to court. And the king (age 39) was much stirred to anger with him for this, and sent to him, and bade him harshly, if he would be worthy of protection, that he would come to court at Pentecost.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1095. Then, soon after that the king (age 39) was gone south, went the earl one night out of Bamborough [Map] towards Tinemouth; but they that were in the new castle were aware of him, and went after him, and fought him, and wounded him, and afterwards took him. And of those that were with him some they slew, and some they took alive.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1095. The king (age 39) then went homeward; for he saw that he could do no more there this winter. When the king (age 39) came home again, he gave orders to take the Earl Robert of Northumberland, and lead him to Bamborough [Map], and put out both his eyes, unless they that were therein would give up the castle. His wife held it, and Morel who was steward, and also his relative. Through this was the castle [Map] then given up; and Morel was then in the king's (age 39) court; and through him were many both of the clergy and laity surrendered, who with their counsels had conspired against the king (age 39). The king (age 39) had before this time commanded some to be brought into prison, and afterwards had it very strictly proclaimed over all this country, "That all who held land of the king (age 39), as they wished to be considered worthy of protection, should come to court at the time appointed." And the king (age 39) commanded that the Earl Robert should be led to Windsor, and there held in the castle [Map].

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1095. Among these things it was made known to the king (age 39), that the Welshmen in Wales had broken into a castle called Montgomery, and slain the men of Earl Hugo, that should have held it. He therefore gave orders to levy another force immediately, and after Michaelmas went into Wales, and shifted his forces, and went through all that land, so that the army came all together by All Saints to Snowdon. But the Welsh always went before into the mountains and the moors, that no man could come to them.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1096. In this year held the King William (age 40) his court at Christmas in Windsor; and William Bishop of Durham died there on new-year's day; and on the octave of the Epiphany was the king (age 40) and all his councillors at Salisbury. There Geoffry Bainard challenged William of Ou, the king's (age 40) relative, maintaining that he had been in the conspiracy against the king (age 40). And he fought with him, and overcame him in single combat; and after he was overcome, the king (age 40) gave orders to put out his eyes, and afterwards to emasculate him; and his steward, William by name, who was the son of his stepmother, the king (age 40) commanded to be hanged on a gibbet. Then was also Eoda, Earl of Champagne, the king's (age 40) son-in-law, and many others, deprived of their lands; whilst some were led to London, and there killed. This year also, at Easter, there was a very great stir through all this nation and many others, on account of Urban, who was declared Pope, though he had nothing of a see at Rome. And an immense multitude went forth with their wives and children, that they might make war upon the heathens. Through this expedition were the king (age 40) and his brother, Earl Robert, reconciled; so that the king (age 40) went over sea, and purchased all Normandy of him, on condition that they should be united. And the earl afterwards departed; and with him the Earl of Flanders (age 31), and the Earl of Boulogne, and also many other men of rank123. And the Earl Robert, and they that went with him, passed the winter in Apulia; but of the people that went by Hungary many thousands miserably perished there and by the way. And many dragged themselves home rueful and hunger-bitten on the approach of winter. This was a very heavy-timed year through all England, both through the manifold tributes, and also through the very heavy-timed hunger that severely oppressed this earth in the course of the year. In this year also the principal men who held this land, frequently sent forces into Wales, and many men thereby grievously afflicted, producing no results but destruction of men and waste of money.

Note 123. Literally "head-men, or chiefs". The term is still retained with a slight variation in the north of Europe, as the "hetman" Platoff of celebrated memory.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1097. In this year was the King William (age 41) at Christmas in Normandy; and afterwards against Easter he embarked for this land; for that he thought to hold his court at Winchester; but he was weather-bound until Easter-eve, when he first landed at Arundel; and for this reason held his court at Windsor. And thereafter with a great army he went into Wales, and quickly penetrated that land with his forces, through some of the Welsh who were come to him, and were his guides; and he remained in that country from midsummer nearly until August, and suffered much loss there in men and in horses, and also in many other things. The Welshmen, after they had revolted from the king (age 41), chose them many elders from themselves; one of whom was called Cadwgan124, who was the worthiest of them, being brother's son to King Griffin. And when the king (age 41) saw that he could do nothing in furtherance of his will, he returned again into this land; and soon after that he let his men build castles on the borders. Then upon the feast of St. Michael, the fourth day before the nones of October125, appeared an uncommon star, shining in the evening, and soon hastening to set. It126 was seen south-west, and the ray that stood off from it was thought very long, shining south-east. And it appeared on this wise nearly all the week. Many men supposed that it was a comet. Soon after this Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury (age 64) obtained leave127 of the king (age 41) (though it was contrary to the wishes of the king (age 41), as men supposed), and went over sea; because he thought that men in this country did little according to right and after his instruction. And the king (age 41) thereafter upon St. Martin's mass went over sea into Normandy; but whilst he was waiting for fair weather, his court in the county where they lay, did the most harm that ever court or army could do in a friendly and peaceable land. This was in all things a very heavy-timed year, and beyond measure laborious from badness of weather, both when men attempted to till the land, and afterwards to gather the fruits of their tilth; and from unjust contributions they never rested. Many counties also that were confined to London by work, were grievously oppressed on account of the wall that they were building about the tower, and the bridge that was nearly all afloat, and the work of the king's (age 41) hall that they were building at Westminster; and many men perished thereby. Also in this same year soon after Michaelmas went Edgar Etheling (age 46) with an army through the king's (age 41) assistance into Scotland, and with hard fighting won that land, and drove out the King Dufnal; and his nephew Edgar, who was son of King Malcolm and of Margaret the queen, he there appointed king in fealty to the King William (age 41); and afterwards again returned to England.

Note 124. This name is now written, improperly, Cadogan; though the ancient pronunciation continues. "Cadung", "Ann. Wav." erroneously, perhaps, for "Cadugn".

Note 125. It was evidently, therefore, not on Michaelmas day, but during the continuance of the mass or festival which was celebrated till the octave following.

Note 126. In the original "he"; so that the Saxons agreed with the Greeks and Romans with respect to the gender of a comet.

Note 127. Literally "took leave": hence the modern phrase to signify the departure of one person from another, which in feudal times could not be done without leave or permission formally obtained.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1098. In this year at Christmas was the King William (age 42) in Normandy; and Walkelin, Bishop of Winchester, and Baldwin, Abbot of St. Edmund's, within this tide128 both departed. And in this year also died Turold, Abbot of Peterborough. In the summer of this year also, at Finchamstead in Berkshire, a pool welled with blood, as many true men said that should see it. And Earl Hugh was slain in Anglesey by foreign pirates129, and his brother Robert was his heir, as he had settled it before with the king (age 42). Before Michaelmas the heaven was of such an hue, as if it were burning, nearly all the night. This was a very troublesome year through manifold impositions; and from the abundant rains, that ceased not all the year, nearly all the tilth in the marsh-lands perished.

Note 128. That is, within the twelve days after Christmas, or the interval between Christmas day, properly called the Nativity, and the Epiphany, the whole of which was called Christmas-tide or Yule-tide, and was dedicated to feasting and mirth.

Note 129. The King of Norway and his men. "Vid. Flor."

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1099. This year was the King William (age 43) at midwinter in Normandy, and at Easter came hither to land, and at Pentecost held his court the first time in his new building at Westminster; and there he gave the bishopric of Durham to Ranulf (age 39) his chaplain, who had long directed and governed his councils over all England. And soon after this he went over sea, and drove the Earl Elias out of Maine, which he reduced under his power, and so by Michaelmas returned to this land. This year also, on the festival of St. Martin, the sea-flood sprung up to such a height, and did so much harm, as no man remembered that it ever did before. And this was the first day of the new moon. And Osmond, Bishop of Salisbury, died in Advent.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1100. In this year the King William (age 44) held his court at Christmas in Gloucester, Gloucestershire [Map], and at Easter in Winchester, Hampshire [Map], and at Pentecost in Westminster. And at Pentecost was seen in Berkshire at a certain town blood to well from the earth; as many said that should see it.

Marriage of Henry I and Matilda

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1100. Then, before Michaelmas, came the Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury (age 67) hither to this land; as the [his brother] King Henry (age 32), by the advice of his ministers had sent after him, because he had gone out of this land for the great wrongs that the King William (age 44) did unto him. And soon hereafter the king (age 32) took him to wife Maud (age 20), daughter of Malcolm, King of Scotland, and of Margaret the good queen, the relative of King Edward, and of the right royal132 race of England. And on Martinmas day she was publicly given to him with much pomp at Westminster, and the Archbishop Anselm (age 67) wedded her to him, and afterwards consecrated her queen. And the Archbishop Thomas of York soon hereafter died.

Note 132. This expression shows the adherence of the writer to the Saxon line of kings, and his consequent satisfaction in recording this alliance of Henry with the daughter of Margaret of Scotland.

Death of William Rufus Accession of Henry I

On 02 Aug 1100 William "Rufus" II King England (age 44) was killed whilst hunting, not known whether accidentally or otherwise, in the New Forest, Hampshire. His brother [his brother] King Henry I "Beauclerc" England (age 32) succeeded I King England. The brothers Robert Beaumont 1st Earl of Leicester Count Meulan (age 60) and Henry Beaumont 1st Earl Warwick (age 50), and Roger de Clare (age 34) and Gilbert de Clare (age 34) were present.

William of Malmesbury Book 8 Chapter 6. 02 Aug 1100. The day before the king (age 44) died, he dreamed that he was let blood by a surgeon; and that the stream, reaching to heaven, clouded the light, and intercepted the day. Calling on St. Mary for protection, he suddenly awoke, commanded a light to be brought, and forbade his attendants to leave him. They then watched with him several hours until daylight. Shortly after, just as the day began to dawn, a certain foreign monk told Robert Fitz Hamon, one of the principal nobility, that he had that night dreamed a strange and fearful dream about the king: "That he had come into a certain church, with menacing and insolent gesture, as was his custom, looking contemptuously on the standers by; then violently seizing the crucifix, he gnawed the arms, and almost tore away the legs: that the image endured this for a long time, but at length struck the king with its foot in such a manner that he fell backwards: from his mouth, as he lay prostrate, issued so copious a flame that the volumes of smoke touched the very stars." Robert, thinking that this dream ought not to be neglected, as he was intimate with him, immediately related it to the king. William, repeatedly laughing, exclaimed, "He is a monk, and dreams for money like a monk: give him a hundred shillings." Nevertheless, being greatly moved, he hesitated a long while whether he should go out to hunt, as he had designed: his friends persuading him not to suffer the truth of the dreams to be tried at his personal risk. In consequence, he abstained from the chase before dinner, dispelling the uneasiness of his unregulated mind by serious business. They relate, that, having plentifully regaled that day, he soothed his cares with a more than usual quantity of wine. After dinner he went into the forest, attended by few persons; of whom the most intimate with him was Walter, surnamed Tirel, who had been induced to come from France by the liberality of the king. This man alone had remained with him, while the others, employed in the chase, were dispersed as chance directed. The sun was now declining, when the king, drawing his bow and letting fly an arrow, slightly wounded a stag which passed before him; and, keenly gazing, followed it, still running, a long time with his eyes, holding up his hand to keep off the power of the sun's rays. At this instant Walter, conceiving a noble exploit, which was while the king's attention was otherwise occupied to transfix another stag which by chance came near him, unknowingly, and without power to prevent it. Oh, gracious God! pierced his breast with a fatal arrow.1 On receiving the wound, the king uttered not a word; but breaking off the shaft of the weapon where it projected from his body, fell upon the wound, by which he accelerated his death. Walter immediately ran up, but as he found him senseless and speechless, he leaped swiftly upon liis horse, and escaped by spurring him to his utmost speed. Indeed there was none to pursue him: some connived at his flight; others pitied him; and all were intent on other matters. Some began to fortify their dwellings; others to plunder; and the rest to look out for a new king. A few countrymen conveyed the body, placed on a cart, to the cathedral at Winchester; the blood dripping from it all the way. Here it was committed to the ground within the tower, attended by many of the nobility, though lamented by few.

Note 1. "The tradition of William having met his death by the hand of Sir Walter Tirel, whilst hunting in the New Forest, is generally received; but Suger, a contemporary historian, and, as it seems, a friend of Tirel, in his Life of Louis le Gros, king of France, alluding to the death of Rufus, observes, 'Imponebatur a quibusdam cuidam nobili Gualtero Tirello quod eum sagitta perfoderat: quem, cum nec timeret nec speraret, jurejurando sæpius audivimus quasi sacrosanctum asserere, quod ea die nec in eam partem silvæ, in qua rex venebatur, venerit, nec eum in silva omnino viderit. See also Edmer, Hist, Nov. p. 54, and Ord. Vit. Hist. Eccles. lib. x. p. 783."— Hardy.

Translation: It was imposed by some on a certain nobleman, Walter Tirellus, that he had pierced him with an arrow, whom he neither feared nor hoped for, we have often heard him swearing, as if it were sacrosanct, that he did not go to that part of the forest on that day, in which the king was being hunted, he came, and did not see him at all in the forest.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 02 Aug 1100. And thereafter on the morning after Lammas day was the King William (age 44) shot in hunting, by an arrow from his own men, and afterwards brought to Winchester, Hampshire [Map], and buried in the cathedral.130 This was in the thirteenth year after that he assumed the government. He was very harsh and severe over his land and his men, and with all his neighbours; and very formidable; and through the counsels of evil men, that to him were always agreeable, and through his own avarice, he was ever tiring this nation with an army, and with unjust contributions. For in his days all right fell to the ground, and every wrong rose up before God and before the world. God's church he humbled; and all the bishoprics and abbacies, whose elders fell in his days, he either sold in fee, or held in his own hands, and let for a certain sum; because he would be the heir of every man, both of the clergy and laity; so that on the day that he fell he had in his own hand the archbishopric of Canterbury, with the bishopric of Winchester, and that of Salisbury, and eleven abbacies, all let for a sum; and (though I may be tedious) all that was loathsome to God and righteous men, all that was customary in this land in his time. And for this he was loathed by nearly all his people, and odious to God, as his end testified:-for he departed in the midst of his unrighteousness, without any power of repentance or recompense for his deeds. On the Thursday he was slain; and in the morning afterwards buried; and after he was buried, the statesmen that were then nigh at hand, chose his brother [his brother] Henry (age 32) to king. And he immediately131 gave the bishopric of Winchester to William Giffard; and afterwards went to London; and on the Sunday following, before the altar at Westminster, he promised God and all the people, to annul all the unrighteous acts that took place in his brother's time, and to maintain the best laws that were valid in any king's day before him.

Note 130. His monument is still to be seen there, a plain gravestone of black marble, of the common shape called "dos d'ane"; such as are now frequently seen, though of inferior materials, in the churchyards of villages; and are only one remove from the grassy sod.

Note 131. i.e. before he left Winchester for London; literally "there-right"-an expression still used in many parts of England. Neither does the word "directly", which in its turn has almost become too vulgar to be used, nor its substitute, "immediately", which has nearly superseded it, appear to answer the purpose so well as the Saxon, which is equally expressive with the French "sur le champ".

William "Rufus" II King England 1056-1100 appears on the following Descendants Family Trees:

King William "Conqueror" I of England 1028-1087

Royal Ancestors of William "Rufus" II King England 1056-1100

Kings Wessex: Great x 6 Grand Son of King Alfred "The Great" of Wessex

Kings England: Son of King William "Conqueror" I of England

Kings Franks: Great x 8 Grand Son of Louis "Pious" King Aquitaine I King Franks

Kings France: Great Grand Son of Robert "Pious" II King France

Ancestors of William "Rufus" II King England 1056-1100

Great x 4 Grandfather: Rollo Normandy Duke Normandy

Great x 3 Grandfather: William "Longsword" Normandy I Duke Normandy

Great x 4 Grandmother: Poppa Unknown Duchess Normandy

Great x 2 Grandfather: Richard "Fearless" Normandy I Duke Normandy

Great x 3 Grandmother: Sprota Unknown

Great x 1 Grandfather: Richard "Good" Normandy II Duke Normandy

Great x 3 Grandfather: Unknown Unknown

Great x 2 Grandmother: Gunnora Countess Ponthieu

GrandFather: Robert "Magnificent" Normandy I Duke Normandy

Great x 4 Grandfather: Pascweten Vannes

Great x 3 Grandfather: Judicael Berengar Penthièvre I Count Rennes

Great x 2 Grandfather: Conan "Crooked" Penthièvre III Duke Brittany

Great x 1 Grandmother: Judith Penthièvre Duchess Normandy

Great x 4 Grandfather: Fulk "Good" Ingelger 2nd Count Anjou

Great x 3 Grandfather: Geoffrey "Greygown" Ingelger 1st Count Anjou

Great x 4 Grandmother: Gerberge Unknown Viscountess Anjou

Great x 2 Grandmother: Ermengarde Gerberga Ingelger Duchess Brittany

Father: King William "Conqueror" I of England -2 x Great Grand Son of King William "Conqueror" I of England

Great x 1 Grandfather: Father of Beatrix and Herleva

GrandMother: Herleva Falaise

William "Rufus" II King England Son of King William "Conqueror" I of England

Great x 4 Grandfather: Arnulf "Great" I Count Flanders

Great x 3 Grandfather: Baldwin III Count Flanders

Great x 4 Grandmother: Adela Vermandois Countess Flanders

Great x 2 Grandfather: Arnulf II Count Flanders

Great x 3 Grandmother: Matilda Billung Countess Flanders

Great x 4 Grandmother: Hildegard Westerburg Margrave Billung March

Great x 1 Grandfather: Baldwin "Bearded" IV Count Flanders

Great x 4 Grandfather: Adalbert I Margrave of Ivrea

Great x 3 Grandfather: Berengar II King of Italy

Great x 2 Grandmother: Rozala of Italy

Great x 4 Grandfather: Boso Unknown Margrave Tuscany

Great x 3 Grandmother: Willa Bosonids Queen Consort Italy

GrandFather: Baldwin "The Good" V Count Flanders

Great x 2 Grandfather: Frederick Luxemburg Ardennes

Great x 4 Grandfather: Eberhard IV Nordgau

Great x 3 Grandmother: Hedwig Nordgau

Great x 1 Grandmother: Ogive Luxemburg Countess Flanders

Great x 3 Grandfather: Heribert I Count Gleiberg Gleiburg

Great x 2 Grandmother: Ermentrude Gleiburg

Mother: Matilda Flanders Queen Consort England

Great x 4 Grandfather: Robert I King West Francia

Great x 3 Grandfather: Hugh "Great" Capet Count Paris

Great x 4 Grandmother: Beatrice Vermandois

Great x 2 Grandfather: Hugh I King France

Great x 4 Grandfather: Henry "Fowler" I King East Francia

Great x 3 Grandmother: Hedwig Saxon Ottonian

Great x 4 Grandmother: Matilda Ringelheim Queen Consort East Francia

Great x 1 Grandfather: Robert "Pious" II King France

Great x 2 Grandmother: Adelaide Poitiers Queen Consort France

Great x 4 Grandfather: Rollo Normandy Duke Normandy

Great x 3 Grandmother: Gerloc aka Adela Normandy Duchess Aquitaine

Great x 4 Grandmother: Poppa Unknown Duchess Normandy

GrandMother: Adela Capet Duchess Normandy

Great x 1 Grandmother: Constance Arles Queen Consort France

Great x 4 Grandfather: Fulk "Red" Ingelger 1st Count Anjou

Great x 3 Grandfather: Fulk "Good" Ingelger 2nd Count Anjou

Great x 4 Grandmother: Roscille Loches Countess Anjou

Great x 2 Grandmother: Adelaide Blanche Ingelger Queen Consort West Francia

Great x 4 Grandfather: Ratburnus I Viscount of Vienne

Great x 3 Grandmother: Gerberge Unknown Viscountess Anjou