BOOK X

193

BOOK X.

CH. I. Death of Pope Urban II. - He is succeeded by Paschal II. - The emperors, Henry IV. and V - Their quarrels with the popes - Henry V. marries Matilda, daughter of Henry I., king of England.

IN the year of our Lord 1098, the sixth indiction, the Almighty Creator of all things displayed some extraordinary signs in the heavens to terrify mankind, and by such unusual appearances predict fearful events. On the fifth of the calends of October [the 27th September], the sky appeared to be on fire the whole night. [1] Afterwards, in the seventh indiction, on a Saturday on which the feast of our Lord's nativity happened to fall, the sun was eclipsed. [2] After these signs, there were changes among the rulers of the world, and terrible disasters and tumults, with severe calamities, troubled mankind. Pope Urban, after governing the apostolic see for ten years [3] with vigour and usefulness, fell sick at Rome when Jerusalem was taken, and departed out of this life on the fourth of the calends of August [24th July], going to his reward above for the good works which had distinguished him here. The lamentations of his enemies for his loss, as well as his fame spread throughout the world, attest how admirable was his life. Peter Leo has composed three elegiac couplets, recording his worth thus shortly: [4]

"Rheims claims Odo as a canon, Cluni as a monk. Rome


[1] The year I093 appears to have been remarkable for the number of meteolic appearances. This must not be confounded with the Aurora Borealis of the month of June preceding. See before, p. 132.

[2] There was an annular eclipse of the sun at eleven in the morning of the day mentioned by our author. This passage is of great importance, as it proves that Ordericus reckoned the indiction, not from the 1st of September, with the emperors of the East, nor from the 24th of the same month, with the emperors of the West and the kings of England, but from a period of the year later than the 27th.

[3] This calculation in round numbers is not exact. Urban II. filled the papal throne eleven years, four months, and eighteen days, March 12, 1083-July 29, 1099.

[4] It is not the first, but the second, of these epitaphs which was composed by Peter de Leon. It is given more correctly in tem. viii. of the Histoire Litteraire France. It was to the palace of this powerful and wealthy nobleman the pope retired to end his days. "Urban, returning to the city after the conclusion of the council of Bari, betook himself, worn out with age and infirmities, from the Transteverine island to the neighbouring residence of Peter Leo, a powerful noble who was his intimate friend. The mansion, which is strongly fortified, stands near the church of St. Nicholas; there the pope, who had worthily filled the apostolic see, died happily on the fourth of the calends of August (29th of July), 1099". There will be frequent opportunities of referring again to Peter Leo: and more especially to his son.

194 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.I.

invites him, and Ostia makes him her bishop. When as pope, he changed his name to Urban; the honour which the city had lost was restored entire. Rome has here celebated his obsequies on the fourth day before the beginning of August".

Another eminent versifier has treated of the life and death and conduct of the same pope, in the following verses:

"Odo, a canon of Rheims, who was made a monk of Cluni by [Abbot] Hugh, became an excellent pope. While he lived he was the light of Rome, when he died it was eclipsed. The city flourished while he lived, and languished at his death. O Rome! the laws which he gave you, and the peace he cherished, filled you with happiness, preserving you from vices within and from foes without. He was never swayed by the wealth of the rich, nor elated by praises and fame, nor terrified by the threats of the powertful. His tongue was remarkable for eloquence, his heart for wisdom, his conduct by worth, his carriage by dignity. Through him the way is open to the holy city; [1] our religion triumphs; the pagans are conquered; and the faith is spread through the world. As the rose, the most brilliant of flowers, is soon plucked, so fate swept off this distinguished prelate. Death possesses his mortal part, rest his soul, the tomb his corpse; nothing is left to us but his glory".

While Pope Urban was still a shining light in the house of the Lord, and engaged in expelling darkness from the hearts of men by his preaching and example, Guibert of Ravenna, who was called Clement, died, [2] and Peter Leo composed his eulogy in the following ironical verses:


[1] By the crusade to Jerusalem.

[2] Whatever our author may say, this anti-pope survived Urban II., his death not having occurred till the beginning of October, 1100.

A.D. 1099-1106.] URBAN II. EMPEROR HENRY IV. 195

"Guibert! neither Rome nor Ravenna offers you an asylum; settled in neither, you are now expelled from both. You lived at Sutri, [1] a pope under sentence of excommunication. Dying, your remains are laid at Castellana. [2] You were but a name, without substance, but for your empty title, Cerberus has prepared you a place in ihe infernal regions".

On the death of Pope Urban, Rainier, a monk of Vallombrosa was elected pope by the name of Paschal, and canonically consecrated on the sixteenth day from the departure of his predecessor. [3] He governed the apostolical see nearly twenty years, and devoted himself with the utmost care to the service of the church of God. He visited France in the time of King Philip, and spending the feast of Easter [4] at Chartres, confirmed the privileges of that church, on the petition of the venerable bishop Ivo. [5]

The emperor, Henry IV., had disturbed the peace of holy church from his youth; had long violently usurped the right of ecclesiastical investitures, and intruded into the house of the Lord the profane adversaries of ecclesiastical unity. He was now dethroned by his son Charles, covered with disgrace for the enormity of his evil deeds, and being deserted by all his friends in his declining years, died a wretched old man on the seventh [of the ides] of August. [6] But, as for his crimes, he died under a sentence of apostolical excommunication; his corpse was suffered to decay, like that of a beast, uncommitted to the bosom of mother earth, not being permitted to receive the rites of burial common to all mankind. [7] His reign lasted nearly fifty years; but


[1] Sutri, six leagues and a half S.S.E. of Viterbo.

[2] Civita-Castellana, an episcopal city, seven leagues S.E. from Viterbo.

[3] Rainier, a native of Bleda in Tuscany, and a monk of Cluni (not Vallombrosa), afterwards abbot of St. Lawrence and St. Stephen under the walls of Rome, and a cardinal, was elected pope the 13th of August, 1099, on the nomination of his predecessor, taking the name of Paschal II. He died at Rome in the month of January, 1118, after filling the papal chair about eighteen years and a half.

[4] Easter-day, the 14th of April, 1107

[5] This bull has not been preserved.

[6] The 7th of August, 1106, at Liege, at the age of fifty-six years, and after a reign of nearly fifty.

[7] The body of this prince was carried to Spires, where it remained five years unburied.

196 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.I.

he received tbe dreadful reward of his subserviency to crime.

The emperor Charles Henry V. began his reign in the year of our Lord 1106, succeeding to his father's authority, which he held for nearly nineteen years, and "walked in the way of his father", [1] as it is said in Chronicles of the wicked son of an iniquitous father. In the fifth year of his reign, [2] he invested Rome at the head of 30,000 cavalry, and an immense army of infantry, and having made a treaty with the Romans, was admitted by the terms of it to enter the city, [3] where by order of the pope he sat on the imperial throne the church of St. Peter the apostle. He then requested the pontiff to celebrate mass; but he refused, unless four nobles of the imperial court who had been expressly excommunicated by him, were excluded. The emperor was so incensed that he commanded the pope to be arrested while he was standing before the altar. Upon this, one of the imperial guards laid hands on the pontiff; but one bolder than the rest of the bystanders drew his sword in imitation of Simon Peter, and smote the assailant of the pope with more resolution and effect than Peter did Malchus, for he killed the emperor's retainer with a single stroke. In consequence there was a great tumult in the city, and a cruel conflict between the two parties, in which blood was even shed in the churches, without any regard to decency. Two thousand Normans from Apulia had marched to the support of the Romans. These, united with the citizens and Latins, marched out and put to the sword vast numbers of the Germans and other people who were quartered in supposed security, in the ancient city on the other bank of tbe Tiber. Thrice they expelled the emperor and his followers from the city; but they could not release the pope from captivity, because the place of his imprisontnent was concealed. The emperor attempted to march through Rome with his


[1] A very common phrase in the book of Chronicles, applied both to good and wicked kings. The reference here is probably to 2 Chron. xxxiii. 22, He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done.

[2] Henry V., emperor of Germany, August 7, 1106-May 23, 1125.

[3] The emperor made his entrance into Rome on the 12th of February, 1111.

A.D. 1111.] EMPEROR HENRY V. AT ROME. 197

troops under arms on road to Campania, but he was resisted at the point of the sword, and compelled to retire by another way; and many had to lament the vast numbers his troops who, as we said before, were cut off in the city.

Meanwhile, the pope, detained in close custody, and deprived of all support, yielded to the emperor's demands. [1] Having thus obtained his release, he became afterwards an object of contempt to many persons. Robert of Paris, [2] Walo bishop of Leon, [3] and Poncius abbot of Cluni, [4] and many more cardinals and prelates of churches, blamed the pope, [5] affirming without hesitation that all he had conceded to the emperor, whether verbally or in writing, was void. They declared that he ought to have been willing to die for truth and justice, following the example of Christ, with clean hands even to death, or to have submitted to imprisonment and torture, rather than yield anything to the secular power, contrary to the laws and decrees of the fathers. Pope Paschal bore the rebukes of his learned accusers with patience, confessing that their assertions were just and true. Soon afterwards he assembled a council of bishops at Rome, [6] which all the acts which the emperor had obtained from him under coercion, were plainly condemned, under the advice of the jurisconsults, and the emperor was excommunicated for his profanation of the house of God, and imprisonment of the servant of Christ, and effusion of Christian blood. It was thus that the emperor, in the sixth year of his reign, soiled the glory of Latium by these great crimes, and disturbed to no purpose many nations by his attempt to commit such enormities. An Irish scholar has written a


[1] The preceding paragraph contains many inaccuracies. It may, however, suffice to remark that the bull by which the pope granted the emperor's demands in the matter of the investitures, bears date the 11th of April, and that he crowned Henry on the day following.

[2] Robert of Paris appears to have been distinguished for his skill in dialectics. See Hist. de France, t. xii. p. 3.

[3] Gualon, bishop of St. Pol-de-Leon, was present at two dedications made by Calistus II., in 1119.

[4] Pontius, abbot of Cluni, will be mentioned again in the sequel.

[5] Our author omits mentioning, among the most violent enemies of the pope, Geoffrey, abbot of Vendome and a cardinal, and especially Bruno, bishop of Signi and abbot of Monte Cassino, the most determined of all.

[6] The 28th of March, 1112.

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satisfactory narrative, [1] in which he relates how severe and dangerous were the storms, the snow and the ice of that winter, what perils and difficulties the army had to encounter in narrow and mountainous defiles, and how the emperor, having collected his forces and sat down before Rome, reduced the city more by threats than by arms. [2] In that expedition the emperor attacked Milan, but was repulsed, gaining no advantage. He then also ravaged the extensive territories of the powerful countess Matilda who possessed Ticinum, [3] Placentia, and all that large portion of Italy now called Lombardy, having long resolutely opposed the emperor and his father, and supported the legitimate popes Gregory, Urban, and Paschal. [4]

Henry, king of England, gave his daughter Matilda in marriage to the emperor, [5] and she was conducted on the journey from England to Germany by Roger, son of Richard, a cousin of the king's, [6] with a brilliant suite. The wealthy king bestowed with his daughter a dowry of ten thousand marks, besides royal gifts to his son-in-law. The emperor


[1] It is probable that David Scotus was a native of Scotland, the confusion between the Irish and Scotch being common in the middle ages. He was first a scholar at Hurtzburg, then chaplain to Henry V., and afterwards preferred to the see of Bangor, which he held from 1120 to 1139. His narrative, divided into three books, appears to be still extant in MS., in the imperial library at Vienna, although it is not mentioned in Endlicher's Catalogue. It is probably the same work, which also appears in MS. in the catalogue of the library of All Souls Coll., Oxon, under the title of Historia Henrici V. Its real title appears to be, Iter sive Expeditionis Series, etc. William of Malmesbury quotes this "Progress to Rome" in the fifth book of his Chronicle (p. 458 in Bohn's Antiq. Lib.), but he says that "it is far more partial to the king [emperor] than becomes an historian", and is "not a history, but a panegyric". See also Fabricius, Bibliotheca Mediae et infimae Latinitatis, t. ii. p. 16.

David Scotus is mentioned with little respect in the Annals of Winchester, which represent him as a native of Wales: "In the year 1120, Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, consecrated one David, a Welshman, to the see of Bangor".

[2] After having passed the Alps, in the month of August, 1110.

[3] Pavia.

[4] The Countess Matilda died the 24th of July 1115, and the emperor again passed the Alps to take possession of her fiefs.

[5] Matilda, daughter of Henry I., was betrothed to the emperor Henry V., in 1109, but the marriage was not celebrated till the 7th of January 1114.

[6] Roger de Bienfaite, or de Clare, whose father, Richard, was cousin-german of William the Conqueror.

A.D. 1087-1100.] WILLIAM RUFUS. 199

was much attached to his illustrious wife, but for his sins he was not permitted to have any issue to succeed to the empire. The imperial crown therefore, by God's will, was transferred to another family, [1] for at his death, Lothaire, duke of Saxony, was elected by the nobles of the realm, and for his temperance and excellence raised to the throne. After her husband's death, the empress Matilda returned to her native country, preferring to live among her own people, though she was much beloved abroad. The king of England, her father, afterwards married her to Geoffrey count of Anjou; and she bore her husband a son, named Henry, in the year of our Lord 1133, [2] who is looked upon by many nations as their future sovereign, if Almighty God, the disposer of all events, shall so ordain.

CH. II. Reign of William Rufus - His character - Conduct of ecclesiastical affairs - Promotions to English bishoprics.

HAVING somewhat digressed from the subject I have taken in hand, and dwelt a little on events which happened, beyond the Alps, in Italy and Palestine, it is now time for me to return to our own affairs, of which Normandy and England were the theatre.

William Rufus, a warlike prince, succeeded to the throne of England at his father's death; he firmly repressed rebellions against his authority, and for twelve years and ten months kept all his subjects in submission to his rule. He was liberal to his military men and to foreigners, but the poor natives of his realm were severely oppressed, and he exacted from them what he so prodigally bestowed on strangers. During his reign many of his father's nobles died, who had acquired in his wars honours beyond any they inherited from their ancestors, in whose place the king substituted men of low rank who raised themselves to


[1] At the death of Henry V. the imperial dignity was lost by the house of Franconia, which had enjoyed it since 1024, and passed to Lothaire II., duke of Saxony.

[2] The empress Matilda was betrothed to Geoffrey Plantagenet, count of Anjou, on Whitsunday the 22nd of May, 1127. The prince to whom she gave birth on the 25th of March, 1133, was afterwards King Henry II., whose high destinies are predicted by our author.

It is clear that this paragraph, and consequently the whole of book x., could not have been written before the summer of 1133, unless the passage was inserted afterwards, which the appearance of the MS. by no means indicates.

200 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.II.

eminence, as the reward of their flatteries. William Rufus was never married, having abandoned himself without restraint to lewdness and debauchery, setting his subjects a fatal example of gross lasciviousness. On the death of the bishops and abbots, the king's officers seized their ecclesiastical possessions and all their wealth, which for three years and upwards were held by the king. Thus for the sake of the revenues which the king's avarice gathered into his treasury, the churches were suffered to remain vacant, and, deprived of their proper pastors, the Lord's flock were exposed to the ravages of the wolves.

At this time the venerable bishops, Osmund of Salisbury, [1] Walkelin of Winchester, [2] William of Durham, [3] Remi of Lincoln, [4] and several other reverend prelates died, whose rents and property were for a long time in the hands of Flambard and his brother Fulcher. [5] So also, on the death of Baldwin, abbot of the holy king and martyr St. Edmund, [6]


[1] He died the 3rd of December, 1099.

[2] Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, 1071-1098.

[3] William, bishop of Durham, died the 2nd of January, 1096. He was surnamed de St. Calais because he had been a monk of that abbey, and afterwards abbot of St. Vincent-du-Mans. Nominated to the bishopric of Durham by William the Conqueror, November 9, 1080, he was consecrated at Gloncesler, the 3rd of January, 1081. King William Rufus made him great-justiciary of Eagland, and heaped benefits upon him, which did not prevent him from betraying his benefactor, and joining the conspiracy of the bishop of Bayeux, the result of which obliged him to take refuge in Normandy. In the month of September, 1091, William restored him his bishopric, while he was at Durham on his expedition against the king of Scots. The bishop's return to England was fatal to the peace of the church, as he never ceased fomenting the quarrel between the king and St. Anselm, in the hope of one day obtaining the primacy in his place.

[4] Remi was a monk of Fecamp, and attended William the Conqueror to England. He was rewarded with the bishopric of Lincoln (1072-1092), the seat of which he removed from Dorchester to the city which gave its name to the see. Henry of Huntingdon, who was a canon of Lincoln, gives him a high character. See his works in Bohn's Antiq. Lib. pp. 220 and 304.

[5] See before, vol. ii. p. 467. These worthies will also appear again on the stage, when we shall witness the injury and scandal they occasioned to the church of Lisieux, after their expulsion from England.

[6] Baldwin, abbot of St. Edmondsbury. He was originally a monk of the royal abbey of St. Denys, and was removed from it as long before as 1065, and consequently before the conquest, to undertake the government of St. Edmondsbury, which he held for thirty-two years, to the 29th of December, 1097, the period of his death.

A.D. 1087-1100.] ENGLISH BISHOPS AND ABBOTS. 201

and Simeon of Ely [1] and other abbots, the king's officers seized the monasteries through the whole of England with all that belonged to them, supplying the monks with a very moderate allowance of food and clothing, and paying the surplus of the revenues into the royal treasury. At last, after a considerable time, the king conferred these ecclesiastical dignities on clergy or monks who were about his court, as if they were mere stipendiaries, promoted not for their religion but for the obsequiousness of their services in secular affairs.

Thus Robert Bloet, [2] who had been chaplain to William the elder, and had sailed with William the younger from the port of Touque, being the bearer of the king's letter to Archbishop Lancfranc respecting the coronation of his son, [3] was after the death of Bishop Remi promoted to the see of Lincoln, which he held more than twenty years. Gerard, nephew of Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, was first made bishop of Hereford, and afterwards, in the reign of king Henry, created archbishop of York. [4] William de Guarel-Guest had the bishopric of Exeter. [5] John the Physician, Bath, [6] Ralph, surnamed Luffa, Chichester, [7] Ranulph Flambard, Durham, [8] and Herbert Losing, Thetford. [9] Thus the


[1] Simeon, abbot of Ely, brother of Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, was first prior of that cathedral, and afterwards forced upon the monks of Ely against their will in 1081. He died at the age of upwards of one hundred years in 1093.

[2] Robert Bloet, bishop of Lincoln, 1093-January 10, 1123. He was Henry of Huntingdon's patron. See his account and character of the bishop, Works, pp. 250 and 302-304, Bohn's Antiq. Lib.

[3] We learn from this passage the strange detour made by William Rufus at the moment of his father's death (vol. ii. p. 414), in choosing Touques as his port for embarking on his voyage to England, instead of one of those on the coast of Normardy lying more directly opposite.

[4] Gerard, bishop of Hereford, about 1095, translated to the archbishopric of York in 1100.

[5] William de Warlewast, bishop of Exeter, 1107-1127 or 1137. See note at the beginning of the next chapter.

[6] John the Physician, bishop of Bath, 1088-December 29, 1122.

[7] Ralph, bishop of Chichester, 1091-1123.

[8] Ranulf Flambard, bishop of Durham, May 29, 1099-September, 1128.

[9] Herbert Losing, or the flatterer. This prelate, who was a native of the Hiemois, was distinguished by acts more scandalous than his flatteries, not only having bought his bishopric, but also the abbey of Winchester for his father. In 1095 the see was removed from Thetford to Norwich. He died the 22nd of July, 1149.

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king's chaplains and favourites obtained the bishoprics of England, and some of them made use of their appointments only to oppress the feeble and amass wealth. Others, however, were inspired by divine grace with a deep sense of the responsibility of the government of the church which they had undertaken, and devoted themselves to profit the flocks committed to their charge, both in spiritual and temporal things, while they laudably amended their own lives according to the divine will. Men commit many crimes to obtain their ends, never satisfied unless they gain them through a course of wickedness; but the wise Disposer of events in his wonderful mercy orders all for the benefit of the world. Very often thoughtless and unlearned men are advanced to the government of the church, not for their holiness of life, or acquaintance with ecclesiastical doctrines, or knowledge of letters, but on account of their noble parentage, and in compliment to their powerful friends. But the merciful God spares and compassionates even such as are thus promoted, inspiring them subsequently with the fulness of divine grace, and illuminating, through them the house of God with the light of heavenly wisdom, so that by their useful labours many are saved.

CH. III. St. Anselm goes into exile - Received, by Pope Paschal, at Rome - Is present at the council of Clermont, and at that of Bari.

THE venerable Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, seeing that iniquity prevailed, was often in great tribulation, and after the example of John and Elijah gave frequent rebukes of what he observed with grief was contrary to the divine law. But the haughty king who disdained the wholesome restraints of his spiritual guide, was ensnared by the wicked devices of perverse counsellors, and incensed against the sound exhortations of his pious monitor. In consequence, the prudent archbishop was twice exiled during the reign of William Rufus, [1] first resorting to pope Urban, and afterwards


[1] This is a mistake. St. Anselm left England once only during the lifetime of William Rufus, on the 15th of October, 1097; he returned the 23rd of September, 1100, ten weeks after the king's death. Ralph de Diceto informs us that when St. Anselm was on the point of embarking at Dover, William de Warwast, the king's favourite, examined his effects in quest of money, but finding none, suffered him to depart. On Anselm's return from his joutney to Italy, he met the same envoy at Milan, whose present employment was to forbid his return to England, except on certain conditions. William Rufus's untimely end must have been near at hand when the archbishop received this last message. It is probable that this envoy of the king's is the same person who was made bishop of Exeter in 1107. A Norman by birth, he had been attached to the chapel royal from the reign of William the Conqueror, and employed in several missions. He was probably born at a place now called Veraval, in the commune of Hotol-le-Vatois, and canton of Fauville. In the 13th century the name was called Warawast, and also Werelwast. The owners of this fief are often named in the chartulary of St. Wandrille, of which abbey Werawast and Hoto formed part of the domains.

A.D. 1097-1100.] ST. ANSELM'S EXILE. 203

to pope Paschal. His chaplain Eadmar, who attended him on his journey, has given a particular account of his exile and of his perilous travels, in a book which he published [1] on his life and character and sweet doctrines. He was accompanied by Baldwin de Tournai, a nobleman of distinction, [2] as well as by the Englishman just named, and their virtuous devotion is considered praiseworthy by those who have made themselves familiarly acquainted with the state of affairs.

Anselm found pope Urban in Apulia, and having been received with great respect, spent some time with him. Then Roger son of Tancred and count of Sicily, had entered Campania and besieged Capua, for the purpose of restoring his nephew Richard, the son of Jordan to his paternal rights, and pressed the siege against the rebellious Lombards who had driven out the young prince. The pope offered himself as mediator, and with the assistance of the venerable Anselm proposed conditions of peace between the contending parties. At length the count suppressed the rebellion, and restored his nephew to his former honours, and the pope


[1] Eadmeri, Cantuarensis monachi, sancti Anselmi vita, labore et studio D. Gabrielis Gerberon, Paris, 1675, at the end of the same author's edition of the works of St. Anselm.

[2] This person was a monk in whom St. Anselm reposed entire confidence, and who was entrusted with the care of his household as soon as he was promoted to the archbishopric. ln 1095 William Rufus expelled him from England out of hatred to the archbishop. It is not supposed that he was a native of Tournay in Flanders, nor of a place of the same name in the department of the Orme, but of the hamlet of Tournai, in the commune of Harcourt and Thibouville, near Bec. He accompanied St. Anselm to Rome in 1093.

204 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.III.

recommended to him the lord Anselm, and the count to the archbishop. [1] A council being convened at Bari, by the pope's order, and a number of difficult questions brought forward by the Greeks concerning the faith and other mysteries, father Anselm, by the pope's command, made a sermon addressed to them all, and satisfied the Greeks as well as the Latins by his subtle and luminous replies to the several propositions. [2] When this pope performed his apostolical duties to God and the Christian world, and determined to confer spiritual benefit on the people of France, of which he was a native, he held a great council at Clermont, a city of Auvergne, [3] at which he exhorted the faithful to war against the infidels, and established the custom of wearing on the shoulder the cross of Christ as a protection against the devil and every evil spirit. It was then that the extraordinary movement of the people, described. in the last book took place.

Then Godfrey, duke of Lorraine, mortgaged the castle of Bouillon with all its appurtenances to the bishop of Liege, his lord, receiving from him seven thousand silver marks. [4] In the same manner, others both rich and poor, made away with their lands and possessions to raise money for the Jerusalem enterprise.


[1] This account is not exact. St. Anselm did not join Urban II. under the walls of Capua, that pope having received him at Rome, and entertained him two days in the palace of the Lateran. It was at the request of Count Roger that, sometime after his arrival at Rome and his retirement to the Terra del Lavoro, he came to his camp near Capua, where the pope did not arrive till two days afterwards. The service which Roger rendered to his cousin Richard was not quite as disinterested as our author seems to have thought; for the prince of Capua was only restored to his capital on condition of holding it under Roger.

[2] The council of Bari was opened the 18th of October, 1098, and not 1099, as stated from the local historians in the note vol. ii., p. 394.

[3] There is an anachronism in this passage, or the order of events is transposed. The council of Clermont, which was opened on the 18th of November, 1095, was anterior, by three years, to the events of which our author has just spoken.

[4] Godfrey of Bouillon neither sold nor mortgaged, as it has has been often asserted, the castle of Bouillon, which was the property of his mother, who survived him.

A.D. 1095.] NORMANDY PLEDGED TO WILLIAM II. 205

CH. IV. The administration of Normandy in the duke's absence by William Rufus - Death of Odo, bishop of Bayeux - Some ecclesiastical appointments.

ROBERT II., duke of Normandy, who was humourously surnamed Curthose, demised all his territories for five years to his brother King William, and received from him ten thousand marks of silver for the expenses of the pilgrimage to which he had devoted himself. King William, in the ninth year of his reign, being loath to exhaust his treasury, seized the ornaments of the churches, which the pious zeal of former kings and nobles had enriched with gold and silver and jewels, and bestowed on holy mother church to the glory of God, and for a remembrance of themselves. William crossed over the sea in the month of September, and obtaining possession of Normandy for the price he paid, trampled it under foot for nearly five years, that is all the rest of his life. Then Odo, bishop of Bayeux, undertook the pilgrimage with his nephew Duke Robert, for there was so much ill will between him and the king on account of their former quarrels, that it could not be appeased by any mediators. The king was haughty and passionate, and had a good memory, not easily forgetting, and suffering to pass unrevenged, any injury he received. The proud prince therefore bitterly recollected that bishop Odo, his uncle, had been the first to oppose him in the beginning of his reign and had excited an extensive revolt of the nobles against him. At his instigation, Robert, earl of Morton, had held Pevensey, but afterwards being besieged by the king, who was his nephew, he made peace with him, and surrendering the castle, returned to his allegiance. Gilbert Fitz-Richard, also, with his brother Roger, fortified Tunbridge, but the king besieged the fortress in Easter week, and it was given up to him on the first assault. Lastly, the bishop himself, with Eustace, count of Boulogne, Robert de Belesme and a gallant force, held the castle of Rochester, until, being blockaded by two forts which the king erected, he was forced to make an ignominious capitulation, and to depart from the realm of England with the forfeiture of all his possessions. [1] Afterwards in Normandy, when the king


[1] Our author has related these occurrences in b. viii. c. ii. See vol. ii. pp. 433-443.

206 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.IV.

sought for revenge and retaliated on his brother the unjust and fruitless attack he had received from him, triumphantly getting possession of great part of the duchy, through the fear or the covetousness which attached the barons to his cause, Odo, bishop of Bayeux, opposed him for a long time, and did not withhold his succour from the duke, until he was wanting to himself. In consequence, when the bishop found that King William was master, as we have before related, he preferred rather to undertake the pilgrimage than to submit to his enemy. The bishop and the duke had a conference at Rome with Pope Urban, and having received his benediction, crossed the Tiber, and wintered in Apulia.

From thence the bishop retired to the city of Panormo, commonly called Palermo, where he died in the month of February, and was buried in the church of St. Mary, mother of God, by Gilbert, bishop of Evreux. Odo was early promoted, becoming when young governor of the church which he ruled for nearly fifty years. He added to the honours and ornaments of his cathedral, respected the clergy, and depriving numbers of their property was liberal of what he took from others. [1] As soon as King William heard of his death, he gave the bishopric to Thorold, son of Hugh de Envermou, who resigned it seven years afterwards for some secret motives, and submitted himself to the monastic rule under Abbot William at Bec, where he served God a long time in the regular discipline to the end of his days. [2] He was succeeded in the see of Bayeux by Richard, son of Sampson, who filled it twenty-six years. [3]


[1] See vol. ii. pp. 428-431.

[2] Thorold d'Envermeu, brother of Hugh d'Envermeu, who granted the priory of St. Laurent of that name to the abbey of Bec. Circumstances as mysterious to us as they were to our author not only induced him to resign his bishopric at the end of seven years, but even presented canonical obstacles to his taking possession, which he does not appear to have done. Still he was a worthy person, honoured with the friendship and correspondence of St. Anselm. After his resignation, be retired to the abbey of Bec. He was there miraculously cured of hernia, and his life prolonged till 1146. This passage of our author appears not to have been written till after his death, at least it was not till after that of his successor.

[3] It will appear hereafter that this Bishop Richard died in Easter week, 1133. He gave the barony of Dover (DOBRA), of which he was proprietor, to the church of Bayeux. His liberality, also, materially assisted in the foundation of the priory of Plessis-Grimoult.

A.D. 1095-1127.] ECCLESIASTICAL APPOINTMENTS. 207

King William thus possessed Normandy, having secured to himself the territories of his father, which his brother had foolishly alienated. He committed the churches which were deprived of their pastors by death to rulers chosen according to his own will; for the abbeys of Jumieges and Dives were both vacant. Gontard, the famous abbot of Jumieges, died at Clermont on the sixth of the calends or December [26th November], while the celebrated council was held there. The king appointed in his place Tancard, provost of Fecamp, who, some years afterwards, retired with infamy in consequence of a disgraceful quarrel between him and the monks. He was succeeded by Ursus of Rouen, who had been a monk of the same house from his childhood, and was abbot for twenty years. [1] Meanwhile Fulk, a monk of St. Evroult and abbot of Dives, went to Pope Urban, and became an exile at Monte Cassino. His successor Benedict, who had been a monk of St. Ouen, archbishop of Rouen, having died, King William appointed Etard, who had been gardener at Jumieges, and a monk there from childhood, abbot of Dives, and he diligently fed the flock of Christ for several years. But when Fulk returned, under the pope's protection, he willingly resigned the government of the abbey, and, returning to the place where he made his first profession, spent the rest of his life there, until he died in extreme decrepitude. Fulk, who had rigorously governed the abbey of Dives for twenty years before he was deposed, and by his ability much increased the number of the monks, and been serviceable to the church in a variety of ways, having been unjustly accused and deposed by the instigation of the devil, was exiled for seven years. [2] On his return, resuming the government of his abbey, he conducted it prosperously for a further period of seven years, and died at Winchester, in the decline of life, on the third of the nones [3rd] of April.


[1] The expulsion of Tancard appears to have taken place in 1104. Ursus, his successor, died the 27th of October, 1127, accompanied to his grave by universal regrets.

[2] Our author has already supplied us on several occasions with accounts of the quarrels of this troublesome person with his monks. He is believed to have died at Winchester, the 3rd of April, 1106.

208 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.V.

CH. V. Rufus asserts pretensions to the French Vexin - Builds the fortress of Gisors - Makes an irruption into France as far as Pontoise.

IN the year of our Lord 1097, tbe fifth indiction, William Rufus, having considered his father's acts and the causes of his wars, claimed of Philip, king of France, all the country of the Vexin, demanding possession of the noble castles of Pontoise, Chaumont, and Mantes. The French were so far from acceding to these demands, that they burnt with ardour to resist the invader, so that bloody hostilities broke out between the two fierce nations, which involved numbers in sad destruction. The whole burden of the war fell on the French nation, for their king, Philip, was fat and lazy, and altogether unfit for military service, while his son Lewis was as yet unqualified for it in consequence of his tender years. [1] Whereas the sovereign of England was devoted to arms, making distinguished warriors his principal friends, and surrounding himself with chosen bands of gallant knights. At the head of such troops, if Caius Julius Caesar himself, with his Italian legions, had attacked him and attempted to do him any injustice, William Rufus would doubtless have dared to try the courage and daring of his troops in close combat with the Roman. Robert de Belesme was appointed commander of the king's forces, enjoying the royal favour in an especial manner, and being eminent for his abilities. The illustrious count Henry, the king's brother, Hugh earl of Chester, [2] and Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham, [3] with several other counts, captains, and officers, led the troops of the king of England, and as


[1] Our author's account must not be taken literally. Doubtless, Louis-le-Gros was not in 1097 in a state to make head for any length of time against so formidable an enemy as William Rufus; but as he was nineteen or twenty years of age, and commanded a French army, it is not correct to describe him as too young to bear arms. It will be seen presently that notwithstanding the incontestable superiority of the king of England in every way, the success of the campaign was balanced between the contending parties.

[2] Hugh, earl of Chester, must have been far advanced in years and incapable of exertion in 1097; he died in 1104.

[3] He died in 1102.

A.D. 1097.] WILLIAM II. CLAIMS THE VEXIN. 209

variable fortune permitted, often distinguished themselves by their gallant deeds.

Most of the French, called on to obey two lords for the rich fiefs which they held under both kings, and being in great trouble because no man can serve two masters, chose the more enterprising and wealthy of the kings, and placed their vassals and castles at his disposition. Thus Robert, count of Mellent, received English garrisons into his fortresses, and giving them ready access into the French territory, their irruptions caused great losses to that nation. Guy de-la-Roche-Guion [1] also favoured the English for their money, and put into their hands his castles of Roche-Guion and Veteuil. Several others did the same, deserting their countrymen to act with zeal in the cause of strangers. Then King William caused a very strong fortress to be constructed at Gisors, which serves to this day as a bulwark to Normandy against Chaumont, Trie, and Bouri. [2] Robert de Belesme selected the site, and directed the works like a skilful engineer. One day, when the Normans had attacked the French, who did not shrink from the combat, Theobald-Paganus of Gisors, [3] Walter d'Amfreville, [4] and Gerold


[1] Guy, lord of la Roche-Guion and Veteuil. He was brother of Richard de Vernon, and probably gave his name to la Roche-Guion.

[2] All places in the French Vexin, close to Gisors.

[3] Theobald-Paganus, castellan of Gisors and Neaufle, and father-in-law of Richard de Montmorenci, lord of Bantelu.

[4] There are no less than eight communes of the name of Amfreville, in Normandy. That which gave birth to the person here mentioned is probably Amfreville-sur-Iton, which was held by successive lords of the name of Simon, and taking their surnames from the fief, in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Walter d'Amfreville mentioned in the text, gave a moiety of an estate he held at Miserei, under the counts of Evreux, to the abbey of Jumieges.

According to the English genealogists, the chief of this family was Robert de Umfraville, lord of Toures, and kinsman of William the Conqueror, who, they say, received from that king the lordship of Kiddesdale in the county of Northumberland. His son Gilbert was contemporary with Henry I. A member of this family, of the same name, was earl of Angus in Scotland, at the close of the 13th century, and transmitted this title to his descendants, who kept it till 1384. The name of Umfraville often appears in the Monasticon Anglicanum.

There is only one place in Normandy whose name resembles Toures, and that is Tour, in the canton of Trevieres; but it lies far distant from all the Umfravilles, and belonged to the bishop of Bayeux in spirituals and the chamberlain of Tancarville in temporals. M. Le Prevost suggests that for Toures we should read Tourville, a domain contiguous to the principal seat of the lords of Amfreville-la-Campagne, from whom Gilbert was probably descended.

This Walter d'Amfreville appears three times on the pipe-roll of the 31st year of Henry I., for acquittances of the Danegeld and other taxes in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Cornwall.

210 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.V.

d'Envermeu, [1] were taken prisoners, whose rich ransoms inspired the French, who were not wealthy, with ardour for the fight. Robert de Maldestor, [2] Odmund de Chaumont, [3] Walbert de Bouri, [4] and Richard his brother, with Godfrey, and Peter, sons of Herbert de Serrans, [5] were at the head of the troops of the Vexin, and sometimes had sharp engagements with the enemy. That province supplies a great number of excellent soldiers, distinguished for their intelligence and valour. They would not suffer the glory of the French name to be lost, and resisted the enemy to the death in defence of their country and national honour. In consequence the flower of the French chivalry flocked to their standard from all parts of the country, and won rich spoils in frequent encounters with the enemy.

On one occasion, when the followers of the English king were ravaging the neighbourhood of Chaumont, and the daring enterprise of the knights was exhibited on both sides, the French made prisoners of Gilbert de Laigle, and several others of high rank, while the English took


[1] Probably a relation of Hugh and Thorold d'Envermeu, mentioned not long before, see p. 206.

[2] Maudetour, near Magni. In 1169, Robert de Maldestor, probably a grandson of the one here mentioned, was witness to a charter of Lewis-the-Young in favour of Jumieges. In 1193, Hugh de Maldestort was constable of the Vexin.

[3] Odmund-le-Vieux, son of Robert, lord of Chaumont in the Vexin. His name and those of his posterity will occur again.

[4] Walbert de Bouri was not the head of the family, but his eldest brother Eustace, who in 1104, gave the church of Bouri to St. Martin of Pontoise. Walbert joined in the grant. He was dead in 1105, when his son Ralph restored to the archbishop of Rouen the lands dependent on Gisors which they had detached from the see, for which both father and son were excommunicated.

[5] Serans-le-Bouteiller near Magni. The father of these two persons is mentioned before (vol. i., p. 457) as one of the benefactors of the priory of la Chapelle, in the Vexin.

A.D. 1098.] IRRUPTION INTO FRANCE. 211

Paganus de Montjai [1] with other knights from the same quarter.

In the year of our Lord 1098, the sixth indiction, in the month of September, King William collected a large army, and on his march into France rested at Conches on the fifth of the calends of October [27th September]. The same night a fearful prodigy was exhibited to the world, the whole sky being on fire and appearing red as blood to the inhabitants of the west. At that time, as we afterwards heard, the crusaders fought a battle with the infidels in the east, and by God's help gained the victory. [2] King William carried his irruption into France as far as Pontoise, devastating a noble province abounding in wealth of all kinds, with fire and pillage, and capture of the inhabitants. He likewise invested Chaumont with powerful bodies of troops, and ordered it to be desperately assaulted by his well-armed soldiers. The gallant defenders of the place bravely defended their fortifications, without however forgetting what was due to the fear of God and the claims of humanity. For they mercifully spared the persons of the assailants while they vented their rage on the valuable chargers of their enemies; in this way more than seven hundred horses of great price fell by their arrows and missiles, so that the French dogs and birds of prey gorged themselves with the carrion. Many followed


[1] Paganus de Montjai, near Villevaude (Seine and Marne). He will appear again at the battle of Bremule and on other occasions.

The list of prisoners taken on either side is very different in the narrative of Suger. According to that historian, Louis-le-Gros took Count Simon, Gilbert de Laigle, a nobleman illustrious both in England and Normandy, and Paganus de Gisors, the founder of the castle of that name. The prisoners of William Rufus were, Matthew count de Beaumont, Simon de Montfort, and Paganus de Montjai.

It is most probable that the count Simon, made prisoner by the French, was Simon de Senlis, who was earl of Huntingdon in right of his wife Matilda.

The captivity had very different results for the warriors of the two armies. The wealthy king of England ransomed his partisans without loss of time, but the finances of Louis-le-Gros did not allow of his doing the same. In consequence, the French were kept prisoners a long time and escaped from it on condition of swearing fealty to the king of England and engaging in his service.

[2] We have no information that any important event of the first crusade coincided with this phenomenon, whatever may have been the case with respect to that in the month of June, 1098, mentioned in the note p. 193.

212 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VI.

the king homewards on foot who had crossed the Epte mounted on spirited horses. Although the valiant French were unable to defend their farms and villages from the predatory excursions of the king's troops, whose numbers were great, nor risk a regular engagement, without a king or general, against a powerful monarch at the head of a large army, they defended their fortresses with great obstinacy, and, putting their trust in the goodness of God, waited for better times. Meanwhile, King William, accompanied by William count of Poitou, [1] led a large army, under the command of the young Amauri, [2] and Nivard de Septeuil, [3] against Montfort and Epernon, ravaging all the surrounding country. However, Simon-the-Young, [4] by God's help, saved his castles from injury. Simon-the-Elder defended Neaufle, [5] and Peter, with his sons Arnold and Theobald stoutly maintained themselves at Maule, [6] as did also other lords of castles whose names I cannot furnish individually. Meanwhile, King William being recalled to England by affairs in his kingdom, a truce was concluded on both sides, and the cessation of hostilities restored to the French the satisfaction arising from a feeling of security.

CH. VI. Magnus III., king of Norway - His family - Expeditions to the Orkneys and Western islands, to Man, Anglesey, and Ireland - Hugh, earl of Shrewsbury, killed by him - His son King Sigurd's adventurous crusade.

IN the year of our Lord 1090, Magnus, son of Olaf, king of Norway, [7] having taken arms against the Irish, prepared to


[1] William VII., surnamed le Vieux, count of Poitiers.

[2] Amauri, who afterwards became lord of Montfort- l'Amauri, and in the end count of Evreux.

[3] Nivard de Septeuil, near Mantes.

[4] Simon the Young, lord of Montfort, before his brother.

[5] Probably Neaufle-le-Chateau, near Montfort. Simon the Elder must have been a collateral kinsman, probably uncle to Simon the Younger and Amauri.

[6] See a long account of Peter de Maule and his sons, vol. ii. pp. 220, 221, etc.

[7] Magnus III., king of Norway, succeeded his father Olaf Kyrre in 1093. He received the surname of Barfaed, Barefoot, or bare legs, from his having adopted the national dress of the Highlanders during his expedition to the Western islands; "he and his people", as the Sagas relate, "going about the streets with bare legs and short kirtles and overcoats". The kilt or philibeg and plaid appear therefore to have been in use in the Hebrides in 1099.

MAGNUS III. AND SIGURD, KINGS OF NORWAY. 213

attack them with a naval expeditiop of sixty ships. Magnus was strong and handsome in person, of a bold and liberal disposition, brave and active, and endowed with many virtues. His power extended over the islands in the ocean, and he was possessed of great wealth and abundant resources of all kinds. He had two sons born in lawful wedlock, Eystein and Olaf, to whom he bequeathed his kingdom and wide dominions. He had a third son named Sigurd, by an English woman, a captive of noble birth, who was educated by Thorer, son of Ingerid, the foster-father of King Magnus. [1] On the death of his brothers he succeeded to the throne which he filled for many years, and founded bishoprics and monasteries in Norway, establishments unknown there in the times of his predecessors.

Before he came to the throne Sigurd had undertaken a naval expedition to the Holy Land, and blockaded by sea the rich city of Tyre which stands on the coast, while the crusaders from Jerusalem besieged it on the land-side. [2]


[1] King Magnus Barfod married Margaret, the daughter of Inge, king of Sweden, but his three sons who succeeded him, Sigurd, Eystein, and Olaf, were all born before this union, of different mothers, and, as it would appear, concubines. If Sigurd's mother was "an Englishwomen", as our author states, she was probably, from her name Thora, of Anglo-Norwegian extraction. Her guardian, Thorer, son of Ingerid (Turer Ingherriae filius), a sister of Olaf, saint and king, although he had been the foster-father, nutritius, of Magnus Barfod, was hanged in his old age in the presence of that king for revolting against him.

Not only were the sons of Magnus "not born in lawful wedlock", but all three, not "two" of them, divided his dominions between them; Sigurd succeeding to the southern districts, with the Orkney and other islands of which he had been declared king in his father's life-time (1098), Eystein having Trondhjem (Drontheim) and the northern provinces (1103-August 29, 1127), and Olaf the central districts of Norway (1103-Dec. 1, 1116). Eventually, on the death of his brothers, Sigurd succeeded to the whole, and died in 1130.

[2] Sigurd's voyage to the Holy Land took place, contrary to our author's assertion, after he had become king both of Norway and the Orkneys. He acquired from it the surname of JORSALAFARE, the pilgrim to Jerusalem. His romantic adventures in the East kindled the inspiration of the Icelandic Skalds, several of whom he entertained at his court. His Saga in the Heimskringla supplies us with full details of the expedition, and enables us still further to correct some of our author's statements. Sailing for England "with sixty long ships", he wintered there (1107, 1108) with Henry, son of William the Bastard, who was then king". The poem opens with these spirited lines:-

"The king is on the waves
The storm he boldly braves.
His ocean steed,
With winged speed
O'er the white-flashing surges,
To England's coast he urges;
And there he stays the winter o'er:
More gallant king ne'er trod that shore".

In the following spring the Norse hero ravaged the coasts of Spain and Portugal, then in possession of the Saracens, having first defeated a squadron of Moorish pirates; and passing the straits of Gibraltar, where, as well as on the African coast and at Ivica and Minorca, he again had actions with "the heathen", he was entertained as a fellow countryman by Roger, the Norman count of Sicily so often mentioned in this work. Landing at Acre, Magnus completed his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was honourably received by Godfrey, and assisted him in the siege of Sidon, not Tyre, as Ordericus states. Sigurd returned home by Constantinople, where Alexius paid him the highest honours. Presenting his fleet to the emperor, he journeyed by land through Bulgaria, Hungary, and Swabia, where he met the emperor Lothaire, and in Sleswig was entertained by Nicholas, king of Denmark. The expedition occupied three years, and Sigurd was only twenty years old when he returned to his own dominions. - Laing's Heimskringla, vol. i. pp. 149-162.

214 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVI.

Returning to Norway by way of Russia, Sigurd married Malfrid the king's daughter, and reaching his own country, by God's will, shortly afterwards succeeded to the throne. [1] There are five cities standing on the sea-coast surrounding Norway, Berga, [2] Cuneghella, Copenga, Burgus, and Alsa.


[1] "Sigurd married Malmfrid, a daughter of King Harald Waldemarson (Wladimir-Wsewolowitsch, grand duke of Russia), eastward in Novogorod", says the Saga already referred to, but it does not appear that he returned to Russia after his crusade, as our author states, and that the marriage took place at that time.

[2] Bergen, formerly a capital and still the most important commercial city in Norway. Olaf Kyrre, the peaceful king, Sigurd's grandfather, "founded a merchant town there (in 1070), where soon many wealthy people settled, and it was regularly frequented by merchants from foreign lards". (Saga.) Be granted it great commercial privileges, and its trade vastly increased when it became a member of the Hanseatic league.

Cunegalla, the Konungahella, Kongehelle, or Konghel, of the middle ages, is now called Kongelf or Kongshall. The town stands on a branch of the Gotha-elve, not far from Gottenburg. It was ceded to Sweden in 1058.

Copenga, from the Norse word Kiobe, merchandise, (Copenhagen having the same derivation) must yrtean Trondhjem (Drontheim). Its ancient name was Nidaros, and it was at that time the capital of Norway, and a place of commercial importance.

Burgas is Sarpsborg, a town near the falls of the Glommen, founded by St. Olaf about the year 1090, and formerly of consequence. It was destroyed in the Swedish wars, but has been lately rebuilt by some English merchants. See Forester's Road Book for Norway, p. 415.- Bohn's Illust. Lib.

Alsa, Anslo, or Opslo, the change of the SL into LS being a very natural mistake of a transcriber committing to writing a foreign name and ignorant of localities. Opslo was founded in 1058 by King Harald Hardraade, who fell in battle against Harold of England at Stamford Bridge, and being destroyed by fire in 1624, its remains now form a suburb to Christiania, the modern capital of Norway.

Turesburga, another name disfigured by the transcriber, is Tonsberg, standing on a narrow branch of the Christiania Fjord, and, therefore, as our author states, on the eastern frontier of Norway. In the middle ages it was a place of great trade and importance, and one of the largest towns in Norway, but it long since fell to decay.

Finland does not mean the province on the Baltic, ceded to Russia in 1813, but Finmarken, the most northern district of Norway, reaching to the North Cape, and inhabited by a people of the race of Finns or Lapps.

Gotlandam, Gothland; our author probably includes not only the island of that name in the Baltic sea, but the province of Gothia in the south of Sweden. It was indeed one of the names given to the whole of that portion of Scandinavia in the middle ages, and the Swedish kings still retain the title of king of the Goths.

Thus interpreted, the enumeration made by our author of the dominions dependent on the crown of the Norwegian kings of that age is perfectly correct; beginning with Greenland, Iceland, and Finland, in the far north, then embracing the Orkneys to the sovereignty of which the Western Islands and those in the Irish channel was attached, and including the province of Gothia, and probably also the island of Gothland in the Baltic, with perhaps other districts of Sweden.

Our author presents us in a few short sentences with a very accurate account of the natural features of Norway, its vast lakes and pasturages, with its scattered hamlets, as well as of the primitive character and institutions of the people, which have been preserved with little change during the lapse of so many ages, with a particular reference to their extraordinary commercial activity in those early times. Having corrected some mistakes in the historical details, errors such as it has often been our task to point out, it is a more pleasing task to call attention to our author's unwearied industry and general merits. It is indeed surprising that a monk buried in the depths of the forests, in a remote district of Normandy, who once only in his life quitted his retirement for a visit of a few weeks to England, should at such a period, when books were scarce and communications difficult, have amassed such stores of varied and, for the most part, accurate information.

We take this opportunity, in reference to Norwegian history, of correcting an error, or rather a slip of the pen in our own annotations, which led us in vol. i, p. 464, to confound King Harald Harfaager, who flourished 853-936, with Harald Harefoot, Canute's successor, 1035-1040.

A.D. 1093-1130.] DESCRIPTION OF NORWAY. 215

There is a sixth, called Turesberga, which is situated to the eastward towards the Danish territory. The central districts of the island contain many vast lakes, abounding in fish, and the natives are well supplied with fish and fowl and all kinds of wild game. They conform to the rites of the Christian religion, and live under strict laws by which crime is punished with the utmost severity. The Orcades, Finland, Ireland, and Greenland, which is the furthest land known to the northward, together with other islands as far as Gothland belong to the king of Norway, and the country

216 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VI.

is enriched by the commercial enterprise of the Norwegians whose ships sail to every part of the world.

My mind is now bent on developing the origin and events of the war waged by King Magnus against the Irish, in which vast numbers of people perished and great losses were sustained. Magnus had married the daughter of an Irish king, but as that prince did not perform the engagements he had entered into, the king of Norway was so much incensed that he sent her back to her father. [1] This led to hostilities between them. In consequence, in the fifth year of the reign of William Rufus, king of England, Magnus assembling his forces from all quarters, and favoured by an east-wind sailed over to the Orkney islands, [2] and rounding the northern


[1] There is no account of Magnus III. having married and afterwards repudiated the daughter of an Irish king, which Ordericus assigns as the cause of these hostilities; nor is there any reason to believe that the Norwegian king's marauding expedition to the Hebrides in the year mentioned by our author, 5th William Rufus (1093), extended to Anglesey and the Isle of Man, as we shall presently see.

[2] The Orkney and Shetland islands having been already colonized by the Scandinavian vikings, Harald Harfaager completeiy subjugated them in 895. By degrees the Norwegians also subdued and colonized the Hebrides and all the islands on the west coast, from Lewis to the Isle of Man, which they called by one name Sudeyjar, or "the southern islands", from their situation as respects the Orkneys.

King Magnus III. engaged in four successive expeditions to establish his dominion and settle colonies in these islands, some of which he extended to the coasts of Wales and Ireland.- 1. In the first year of his reign (1093) it appears that he only visited the Orkneys and Hebrides. 2. In 1096, taking the same route, and touching at Iona and Isla, after rounding the peninsula of Cantire and ravaging the coasts of Scotland and Wales, he advanced in his foray to Man, which he plundered. 3. In 1098-1099, the Norwegian king prolonged his expedition to the isle of Anglesey, which he reduced, it being a point further south than any of his predecessors had extended their rule. During this expedition, which also embraced Ireland, his son Sigurd, then only nine years of age, was betrothed to Biadmyrea, daughter of Moriartak, king of Connaught, and Magnus created Sigurd king of the Orkneys and Hebrides. 4. In 1102 king Magnus fitted out a great armament, and, after visiting his insular dominions, landed at Dublin, and conquering great part of Ulster, uniting his forces with his ally Moriartak, spent the winter with him in Connaught. In the spring of 1103 he was on the point of reimbarking for Norway when he was slain in a skirmish with the Irish, described in a most spirited manner in his Saga in the Heimskringla from which these notices are taken. After this disaster his son Sigurd, "leaving the Irish king's daughter behind", lost no time in returning to his own country.

Our author has not only made Magnus himself the party in this abortive union, but has confused these four expeditions into one, assigning it the date of 1093, which was that of the shortest and least important, while the main facts he has adopted are connected with the third which took place in 1098-1099.

A.D. 1093-1103.] EXPEDITIONS OF MAGNUS III. 217

coast of Scotland, after visiting the other islands which were under his dominion, penetrated as far as the isle of Anglesey. He proposed to make a descent on Ireland, but finding that the Irish were assembled on the coast to oppose his landing, he altered his course. Sailing to the isle of Man, which was uninhabited, [1] he settled a colony on it, caused houses to be built for them, and supplied them carefully with all necessaries for their subsistence. He also visited other islands in the vast Archipelago situated I may say, beyond the circuit of the globe, causing them to be inhabited by his royal authority; and thus employed himself for several years in extending his dominions and increasing the population.

On one occasion, the commander of king Magnus's [2] forces


[1] We think that our author must be incorrect in stating that Magnus found the Isle of Man uninhabited, as it would appear that it was colonized as early as the ninth century by Harald Harfaager, who placed it under the government of a Jarl, as part of his dominions; and during the tenth and eleventh centuries a long series of Norwegian kings ruled there, who were tributaries to the crown of Norway, though they aimed at independence. It was to establish his right of supremacy in Man, as well as the rest of the Sudreyjar, that Magnus Barfod undertook these expeditions.

[2] This appears to have been in the third expedition under the immediate command of King Magnus himself, and the scene of the events described was the island of Anglesey.

218 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

appeared off the English coast; but he hoisted a red shield, which is a sign of peace, at the mast head. [1] The maritime people who dwelt on the coast of the open sea towards the north of England, on seeing strange ships, with fierce crews draw near the land, raised shouts of alarm and collected bands of armed men from all quarters of the province of Mercia. There were then violent hostilities between the English and Welsh, for which reason the loud outcries called the people to arms.

Two earls who had the chief authority in Mercia, both of whom had the name of Hugh, [2] despatched messengers in breathless haste through the whole province, ordering all the men who carried arms, both French and English, to assemble without a moment's delay and defend the country against the foreign bands. In consequence, a large force was collected out of the counties of Chester and Shrewsbury, and stationed at Diganoth [3] near the sea ready for battle. Hugh de Montgomery being the first who arrived at the head of his vassals with great despatch, took up his quarters there for several days, while waiting for the auxiliaries from the neighbourhood, guarding the country with great vigilance against the irruptions of the Welsh and Norwegians. However, one day, when the inhabitants rushed to the shore in great confusion to oppose the Northmen who appeared to be preparing to attack the English from their ships, Earl Hugh, putting spurs to his horse, and getting the people together in a body by virtue of his superior authority that they might


[1] This passage is very obscure, and it is difficult to understand what our author meant to convey; for if the red shield was a sign of peace it could not have caused the alarm he describes, but the Norwegians would have had reason to complain of the inhospitable reception they encountered. It might be supposed that the red shield was a sign of hostilities; but we must recollect that red was the national colour not only of all the Scandinavian nations, but of the kindred Anglo-Norman race. It was, probably, also that of the Welsh and ancient Britons. We may arrive at that conclusion from a passage in the prophecies of Merlin, where the Britons are distinguished by the red dragon, and the Saxons by the white. See a passage concerning these prophecies towards the close of b. xii.

[2] Hugh, earl of Chester, and Hugh de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury; they are called in the Saga of King Magnus, "Hugo the Brave, and Hugo the Stout".

[3] Diganwy; see vol. ii. p. 445, our author transferring the scene from Anglesey to the coast of Carnarvonshire.

A.D. 1103.] MAGNUS SLAYS HUGH MONTGOMERY. 219

not be cut off in detail, arrayed them against the enemy. Meanwhile, a brutal Norwegian, [1] perceiving the gallant earl thus actively riding about, suddenly shot him, alas! at the devil's instigation, with a whizzing arrow. The earl fell from his horse the same instant, breathing his last in the flowing tide. A cry of grief arose, and King Magnus hearing of this disaster joined in the lamentations, as well as those around him, and offered peace and security to Hugh Dirgane, that is, the stout. [2] "My armament", he said, "is directed not against the English, but the Irish, and my object is not to invade the country belonging to others, but to colonize the islands which are part of my own dominions". [3]


[1] The Saga relates that the earl's mortal wound was given by King Magnus himself. "King Magnus shot with the bow, but Hugo the brave was all over in armour, so that nothing was bare about him excepting one eye. King Magnus let fly an arrow at him, as also did a Halogaland man who was beside the king. They both shot at once. The one shaft hit the nose-screen of the helmet which was bent by it to one side, and the other arrow hit the earl's eye, and went through his head, and that was found to be the king's. Earl Hugo fell, and the Britons fled with the loss of many people".

There was sung the following verse about it:-

"On the armour arrows rattle,
Where our Norse king stands in battle;
From the helmets blood-streams flow,
Where our Norse king draws his bow:
His bowstring twangs - its biting hail
Rattles against the ring-linked mail.
Up in the land in deadly strife
Our Norse king took Earl Hugo's life".

[2] Dirgane; probably a Norse word metamorphosed by the transcriber. We can find nothing nearer it than diaerve, strong.

[3] Giraldus Cambrensis, who places this event in the isle of Anglesey, and in other respects coincides with the Saga, relates it very differently from our author. He says: "Pirates from the Orkneys had come into the island's sound in long ships, and the earl, hearing that they were near the shore, ventured too rashly into the sea on a strong horse to encounter them. Then the commander of the fleet, whose name was Magnus, and who was standing on the prow of his ship, shot an arrow at him, and although the earl was in complete armour of steel which entirely protected his person from head to foot, except his eyes, the arrow pierced his right eye, and penetrating the brain, he fell dead into the sea. The conqueror, seeing him fall, is said to have shouted from his lofty station in the Danish language, Leit loupe, which in English means, 'Let him depart'. The dominion of the English in Mona ended front that hour".- Girald. Cambr. b. ii. c. 7.

The Norse words supposed to have been used by King Magnus are, we believe, in the modern Danish-Norwegian idiom, Lade Laebe, let him run or leap.

220 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

The Normans and English searched a long time for the body of Hugh, and did not recover it until the ebbing tide left the strand dry. At last, seventeen days after his death, they brought it to Shrewsbury and buried it in the abbey there with deep mourning. He was the only one of Mabel's sons who was courteous and amiable, and having conducted himself with great moderation during the four years he held the family honours and domains, to which he succeeded on the death of his father Roger, he fell about the close of the month of July.

CH. VII. Robert de Belesme succeeds his brother as earl of Shrewsbury - Elias, count of Maine; his conference with William Rufus - The king commences hostilities against him - The Count is taken prisoner, and Maine submits to the king.

ON the death of Earl Hugh, his brother Robert de Belesme presented himself to William Rufus and offered him three thousand pounds sterling for his brothers earldom. Having thus secured it, he excercised great cruelties on the Welsh during four years. He built a very strong castle at Bridgnorth [1] on the river Severn, transferring the town and people of Quatford [2] to the new fortress. He also laid claim to the lands of Blythe [3] in right of his cousin Roger de


[1] There was a Saxon burg or fortress at Bridgnorth built by Ethelfeda, lady of the Mercians, King Alfred's sister, as early as A.D. 912. Saxon Chron. p. 369, and Henry of Huntingdon, p. 167, of Bohn's Antiq. Lib. Robert de Belesme, who was one of the most able engineers of his age, surrounded it with walls and erected the Norman fortress, which in after times stood many sieges, but no trace of it is left.

[2] There is still a place of this name, probably the site of the castle mentioned by our author which was abandoned for that of Bridgnorth, from which it is about a mile and a half distant,

[3] Blida; Blythe in Nottinghamshire, where Roger de Butlig founded a priory dependent on the abbey of Mount St. Catherine. The charter of foundation is preserved in the Monasticum Anglicanum, under the year 1088. The family sprung from Bulli, near Neufchatel. Roger de Butlig's principal seat in England after the conquest was at Tikhill in Yorkshire. It appears in Domesday-book that he had a great many other manors. One of them, Sandford, in Devonshire, was granted by Queen Matilda to him and his wife on their marriage, cum uxore sua. His wife's name was Muriel. The male line of their descendants failed in 1213, and their possessions passed into the hands of the family of Vipont (Vieux-Pont) by the marriage of Idonea, their great-gland-daughter with Robert de Vipont.

It may be observed that Ordericus substitutes the Anglo-Saxon TH for the S or L in the original family name, written Bulli or Buslei, proving that the aspirated T was used by the Normans in the twelfth century, as it was by the ancient Scandinavians, and still is in England. Not only so, they substituted the aspirated TH for consonants of an entirely different character, as, for example, in Brionna, Warrenna, which they pronounced, and sometimes wrote, Briothna, Warethna.

A.D. 1103.] BELESME BECOMES EARL OF SHREWSBURY. 221

Buthlei, and obtained a grant of them from the king for a large sum of money. But as his wealth augmented by the possession of such vast territories he was inflated with pride, and becoming a follower of Belial abandoned himself without reserve to flagitious and cruel deeds.

The English and Welsh who had long treated as idle tales the accounts they had heard of his making his cruelties a jest, now tortured in his iron grasp, felt to their sorrow that the reports were true. For the more he was aggrandized by his wealth and the number of his vassals, the more he was inflamed with cupidity to seize the lands of his neighbours whatever was their rank, and to repossess the domains which his ancestors had given to the saints. He had already forcibly erected castles [1] on the property of others in the county of Maine, I mean on the possessions of St. Peter de la Couture and St. Vincent the martyr, [3] using them for the grievous oppression of the peasants. The valiant Count Elias hearing this, he did not behave like a coward, but encountered Robert in arms on the river Roullic, in the territory of the Saonois and, invoking the holy bishop St. Julian in the name of the Lord, gave him battle, and defeated and drove him with shame from the field, although he commanded superior forces. [3] In this engagement, Robert de Courci was wounded, losing his right eye; Goulfier de Villeret, William de Moulins, [4] Geoffrey


[1] Saone, and St. Remi-du-Plain.

[2] The rich abbeys of La Couture and St. Vincent-du-Mans.

[3] M. Cauvin calls this rivulet Riolt or Riollet. The battle was fought between Rene, Toigne, and Dangeul.

[4] Eldest son of William de Moulins by his wife Aubrey. Respecting this family, see vol. ii. p. 192. The details given by our author are not very satisfactory nor consistent with each other. It does not appear why Robert, the younger son, a person of no merit, succeeded to his mother's property instead of William the elder. We have had an instance of such succession in Robert de Belesme, inheriting the Talvas domains of his mother Mabel, and it is not uncommon in great English families. After Ordericus has told us that Simon and Hugh, cousins of the two brothers, died in their infancy, we find that Simon succeeded Robert at the age of fifteen years.

222 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

de Gace [1] and many others were made prisoners. The Manceaux obtained large ransoms for them, and thus avenged the outrages on the saints and their own losses. These hostilities were long continued, and caused the death or bitter captivity of numbers.

It is now convenient that I should unfold the order of events and the genealogy of a family which already aspired to the royal dignity. Elias, son of John and Paula, [2] and cousin of Hugh count of Maine, was distinguished for his piety to God, and governed his people well in the fear of the Lord. He married an illustrious lady, Matilda, [3] daughter of Gervase, who was the son of Robert surnamed Brochard, [4] brother of Gervase, archbishop of Rheims. [5] He had six brothers, the two eldest of whom, Goisbert and Enoch quitted the army to become monks. The other four Geoffrey, Lanceline, Milo and William [6] were cut off prematurely. Elias held the castle of Fleche by inheritance from his father, and obtained four castles in right of his wife, namely,


[1] Geoffrey de Gace; perhaps a son or relation of Ralph-Tete-d'Ane. It is certain that he had a son named Robert de Gace, who bequeathed his estates to William, Count d'Evreux, his cousin-german.

[2] On the genealogy of this person, see before, vol. ii. p. 74.

[3] Matilda, daughter of Gervase de Chateau-du-Loir, lady of that fief, and of Maiet, died in 1099, before Easter.

[4] Robert, son of Hammelin, and Hildeburge de Belesme. His wife's name was Aremburge.

[5] Gervase, the third brother, after being bishop of Mans for twenty years, was made archbishop of Rheims. In this character he crowned Philip I. on May 23, 1059. He afterwards claimed the office of chancellor of France as belonging to his see, and obtained it. This prelate died July 4, 1084.

[6] It is not clear with whom our author connects these numerous brothers. If he meant Matilda, he would have done better to have joined them with Hugh de Chateau-sur-Loir, her brother, a person better known, who married a natural daughter of William the Conqueror, but died without issue. If it was Gervase, it is contradicted by a charter, in which he speaks of his three brothers, Adam, Robert, and Gervase, very different names from those here mentioned.

A.D. 1096.] ELIAS, COUNT OF MAINE. 223

Chateau du Loire, Mayet, Luci, and Ostilli. His wife bore him a daughter named Eremburga, who, when she became marriageable, was espoused to Fulk, then Count of Anjou, and who is now king of Jerusalem, and gave birth to an illustrious progeny, Geoffrey and Elias, Matilda and Sybilla; the daughters marrying the sons of kings, but by God's providence which disposes all things well, they soon became widows. [1]

At the time when Duke Robert pledged Normandy to his brother, receiving from him a large sum of money for the expenses of his pilgrimage to the King of kings, Count Elias came to the court of William Rufus at Rouen. Having had a long conference with the duke, he presented himself to the king, and thus humbly addressed him: "My lord the king, by the pope's advice I have taken the cross in his service, and devoted myself to my Lord God for the expedition to Jerusalem with many noble pilgrims. I demand your friendship as a faithful ally, and desire to undertake this journey at peace with you". The king replied to him: "Go where you please, but yield up to me the city of Mans with the whole county, for I wish to possess all that my father held". Elias answered: "I hold the county by inheritance from my fathers, and by God's help, I will bequeath it to my children as free as I now possess it. If you choose to challenge my right, I am ready to submit to a legal judgment, and will hold or lose my inheritance according to the decision of kings, counts, and bishops". The king rejoined: "My pleadings with you shall be with swords and spears and showers of arrows". Elias then said: "It was my desire to fight against the pagans


[1] Eremburge, countess of Maine, married in 1100 Fulk V., count of Anjou, and afterwards king of Jerusalem. She died in 1126. This paragraph was written between 1131, the date of Fulk's being crowned king of Jerusalem, and 1142, that of his death. Their children were, Geoffrey Plantagenet, count d'Anjou, married to the empress Matilda;- Elias d'Anjou, count of Mans, who died in 1154.

Matilda d'Anjou, married to William Adelin at Lisieux in June, 1119, who afterwards became a nun at Fontevrault in 1128, was made abbess there in 1150, and died in 1154.

Sibylla d'Anjou, affianced in 1122 to William Cliton, and married in 1170 to Theodoric d'Alsace, count of Flanders. She died in the Holy Land at the convent of St. Lazarus at Bethany, where she took the veil, in 1158. This lady appears also to have borne the name of Mabire. Neither of her husbands were kings' sons.

221 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

in the Lord's name, but it appears that I must have a conflict nearer home with the enemies of Christ. For every one who resists the right and does injustice, proves himself to be the enemy of God, who is truth itself and the sun of justice. He has thought fit to invest me with the government of Maine, and I ought not lightly to relinquish it, lest through my folly God's people should be abandoned to robbers, like sheep who having no shepherd become the prey of wolves. Listen then, all you lords who are present, while I make known the resolution with which Heaven inspires me. I will not relinquish our Saviour's cross which I have adopted after the manner of the pilgrims, but will place it on my shield, my helmet, and all my other arms, and cause the holy sign to be fixed on my saddle and bridle. Under the protection of this divine symbol I will encounter the enemies of peace and justice, and will defend, sword in hand, the country of Christians. My horse and my arms shall be distinguished by the holy sign, so that those who fight with me will combat a soldier of Christ. I trust in him who governs the world, and knows the secrets of my heart, and through his mercy I shall find a favourable opportunity for fulfiling my vow". King William made this reply: "Go where you will, and do what you like; I am not willing to make war against those who have taken the cross, but I will not give up a city which my father held to the day of his death. Lose no time therefore in repairing your dilapidated fortifications, hire masons and stone-cutters, who work for money, and with all speed restore the old breaches in your neglected walls. I will visit as soon as possible the citizens of Mans, appearing before the gates with a hundred thousand lances, under my standards; for I will not leave you in quiet possession of my heritage without laying claim to it. I will cause waggons drawn by oxen to convey there loads of arrows and bolts, but I will come myself to your gates with numerous troops of men at arms before the drivers can accomplish the journey with their utmost speed. Believe that I speak the truth, and let it be known to those who are in league with you".

After this conversation, the count retired and put his territories in a state of defence. The great nobles who had listened to the altercations of the warlike princes did not

A.D. 1098.] WILLIAM II. INVADES MAINE. 225

venture to interfere, fearing the haughty king to whom they owed fealty, while they were sorry for the gallant count who defended his cause with firmness. Elias was brave and honourable, and dear to all for his many virtues. He was distinguished also for his personal qualities, being strong and of large stature, tall and graceful, with black curling hair, and well shaved like a priest. [1] He was agreeable and eloquent in his discourse, gentle to the peaceable and rough to the turbulent, a strict observer of justice, and zealous of good works in the fear of the Lord. His cheeks often moistened with tears showed how great was the fervour of his devotions and prayers. He employed himself diligently in defending the churches, in giving alms to the poor and in fasting, for he made every Friday a day of abstinence from meat and drink in reverence to the passion of our Lord.

Moreover, King William was occupied with many cares relating to the French, Bretons, and Flemings, so that he put off the performance of his threats for two years, [2] and forgot the Manceaux. Meanwhile, Elias fortified the castle of Dangeul [3] against Robert Talvas, and placed his retainers in it to defend the inhabitants of his territories. In consequence, that tyrant was grieved because he could not ravage the lands in his neighbourhood as he pleased. He therefore unseasonably disturbed the king in the month of January, and inflaming his anger by the violence of his language, induced him to march at the head of his army against the castle of Dangeul in the month of February. He had said to the king: "The enemy's garrison, abandoned to security, are dispersed in all quarters, trusting to the winter rains and storms, and believing you and your troops to be entangled in other military operations. If we make a sudden attack we shall find the garrison and the inhabitants unprepared, and the fortress will prove an easy conquest.


[1] This is not the first time that our author has given expression to the determined resistance made by the clergy of that age against the effeminate fashion of wearing long hair.

[2] Our author did not consider the king's short expedition against Dangeul as an adequate fulfilment of his threats the year before.

[3] Dangeul, two leagues from Mamers. The fortification of this castle was principally intended to overawe and check the excursions of the free-booters for whom Robert de Belesme had repaired the castles of Saone and St. Remi-du-Plain.

226 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

The king engaged in the enterprise, although for many reasons he was very unwilling; but as Robert urged him and made great promises of success, he did not like to defer it lest he should be accused of want of courage. Reports of the king's march preceded him, and by the orders of the count of Maine the country people were summoned to arms and posted at the passages of the rivers, along dikes, and at the difficult entrances of the woods, for defence against the enemy. The king was thus prevented from obtaining success, but his fury was roused to the highest pitch and he commanded Robert to assemble great bodies of troops in his garrison, and supplied him with large sums of money, to enable him to fortify his castles with trenches and walls and various kinds of buildings, and to bestow large donations on his mercenary soldiers. The Count de Belesme therefore, who was a skilful engineer, lost no time in erecting new fortresses, and adding deep ditches to the defences of the old ones. He possessed nine castles in that county, viz. Bleve, Perrie, le Monte-de-la-Nue, Saone, St. Remi-du-Plain, Lurson, Allieres, la Motte-de-Gualtier-le-Clinchamp, Mamers, [1] and several other fortified houses. In this manner the cunning manoeuvrer prepared castles for himself at the king's expense, placing in them ferocious garrisons, fatal to the neighbourhood, by whose means he satisfied his pride and carried on an atrocious war against the people of Mans. In the season of Lent, when sinners, inspired with divine compunction, relinquish their sins, and have recourse to penance as a remedy for their past offences, more than three hundred prisoners perished in the dungeons of Robert. They had made great offers for their ransom, but they were cruelly refused by him, and his captives perished by hunger and cold and other tortures.

At this time Hoel, by birth a Breton and bishop of Mans, died after a Venerable life. [2] Count Elias nominated Geoffrey,


[1] Breves, three leagues from Perai three leagues and a half from Mont de la Nue, near Contilli, one league and a half from Mamers; l'Ortieuse, in the commune of Val, two leagues from Saone, and two and a half from Mamers; St. Remi du Plain, two leagues and a half; Allieres, one and a half, la Motte-Gautier de Clinchamp, near Chemilli, in the department of Orme, one league and a quarter from Mamers.

[2] July 29, 1097.

A.D. 1098.] HILDEBERT, ARCHBISHOP OF ROUEN. 227

a Breton, and dean of the same church, to the vacant bishopric, [1] but the clergy had already compelled Hildebert de Lavaric [2] to seat himself on the episcopal throne, and sang triumphantly, with a loud voice, Te Deum laudamus, and the rest of the service prescribed by the church at the election of bishops. Elias, finding this, was greatly incensed and offered resistance, but the clergy saying to him, "You ought not to prefer your choice to that of the church", he was silent through respect, because he feared God; and in order not to introduce a mortal schism among the members of the church, he approved the choice of the canons. [3] Geoffrey, feeling sure of his election to the bishopric, had prepared a sumptuous banquet for the day of his elevation, and the prepared meats were not the less devoured by his greedy followers. However the people of Mans would not hear of him as their bishop. He was brother of Judicail, bishop of Aleth, and after the death of William was seventeen years archbishop of Rouen.

Hildebert was chosen by the clergy and people archbishop of Tours after the death of Gilbert, being thus translated by God's providence from the bishopric of Mans to the metropolitan see. [4] This prelate was mild, pious, and devoted to the study both of sacred and secular literature. [5] He was by far the best poet of our age, and composed a number of verses equal or superior to those of the ancients. The ardent zeal of the learned searches out these poems,


[1] Geoffrey, brother of Judicael, bishop of St. Malo, was elevated to the archbishopric of Rouen in 1111, as we shall presently find.

[2] Hildebert, or Aldebert, a native of Larcardin, four leagues from Vendome, had been appointed archdeacon of Mans by his predecessor Hoel in 1092.

[3] Notwithstanding the deference paid by Count Elias to the choice of the clergy of his cathedral, the new bishop, in consequence of the opposition of William Rufus and the friends of his competitor Geoffrey, was not consecrated till Christmas day of the same year. He was about forty years of age.

[4] In the beginning of the year 1125.

[5] The numerous works and correspondence of this prelate were published in 1708 by Dom Beaugendre. An analysis of them will be found in the Histoire Litteraire de France, t. xi. pp. 278, 412. The only ones which appear to be pointed out here are: De querimonia et conflictu carnis et spiritus, and dequatuor virtutibus vitae honestae.

228 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

and diligently studies them as more valuable than gold and topazes. He has written with elegance and wisdom concerning Christ and the church, the body and the soul, the acts of the saints and their miracles, and in praise of virtue and contempt of vice. The cardinals who frequently visit France, because they find the people civilized and obedient to their teaching, have carried back with them to Rome several of Hildebert's poems, thinking them worthy of admiration among the Roman schools and professors of eloquence. This reverend lord exercised the episcopal functions for nearly thirty-five years, [1] and was particularly devoted to useful pursuits both in practice and teaching. He worthily ornamented in a variety of ways the church of St. Gervase, where the body of Julian, the illustrious confessor of Christ reposes, and afterwards consecrated it in the time of Grumar the Breton, his successor, who is known also by his other name of Guy d'Etampes. [2] But, for their sins, what good men had exerted themselves to embellish so richly, and to furnish with various ornaments to the honour of God, became eight years after its dedication a prey to the flames, which destroyed great part of the city and polluted and ruined the church in a horrible manner.

In the year of our Lord 1098, the sixth indiction, Count Elias undertook an expedition against Robert in the week preceding the Rogations, [3] and having completed it ordered his followers to retire homewards after the nones. On their return, the count leaving his troops turned aside near Dangeul, attended by only seven horsemen and perceiving some men lurking among the thick trees and bushes, immediately charged them with his slender company. Robert himself was lying there in ambush, and, seeing the small band incautiously galloping on, that experienced and wary soldier fell suddenly upon them with superior numbers and quickly


[1] He died December 18, 1134.

[2] Guy d'Etampes (1126-1136). It appears that Grumar was the Breton form of the name of Guy, of which our author furnishes other examples. He has been supposed to have been a native of England, and it is certain that he studied there, but most probably was born in France, as he went from Mans, where he had been brought up by Hildebert, to take lessons from St. Anselm.

[3] In 1098, Rogation week commenced on Sunday, April 25.

A.D. 1098.] WILLIAM II. INVADES MAINE. 229

made prisoners of the count, and Herve de Montfort, [1] his standard bearer, with nearly all the rest. The troops in advance, after reaching Ballon [2] in high spirits, learned from those who escaped that the count was taken, and after their empty triumph were plunged into the deepest distress. Robert conducted Elias to Rouen, and presented him to the king, who committed him to honourable custody, for William was not cruel to the knights, but treated them with kindness and generosity, good humour and courtesy.

Favoured by the smiles of fortune, King William in great exultation summoned an assembly of all the barons of Normandy and thus addressed them: "Hitherto I have been very negligent in recovering my father's inheritance, because I was loth that lives should be lost and the people harassed, through my ambition to increase my territories. But now, as you see, my enemy has been taken prisoner without my knowledge, and by God's will, who knoweth the justice of my cause, is delivered to me. What course do you approve? What do you advise me to do now? Consult on what is to be done, and inform me what you consider best". The barons, having taken counsel, replied: "Our lord the king, we resolve unanimously that the whole army of Normandy be assembled at your summons, and we all will march with it boldly and cheerfully to reduce the province of Maine".

The king was much pleased at hearing this, and heralds were despatched with haste far and wide through all quarters to proclaim his will, that all his subjects, allies, and friends should come loyally to his aid. In consequence, French and Burgundians, Flemings and Bretons, and other neighbouring nations, flocked to the standard of the liberal master and greatly augmented his forces. In the month of June King William marched his army by Alencon, and entered the enemy's country at the head of a large body of troops. By his command the cavalry suddenly appeared before Frenai, [3] where they skirmished for a time with the


[1] Probably Montfort-le-Rotrou, near Connere, now the chief town of a canton.

[2] Ballon is also the chief place of the canton of that name. The castle belonged at this time to Hammelin de Ballon, one of the favourites of William Rufus.

[3] Frenai-le-Vicomte, otherwise Frenai-sur-Sarthe.

230 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

horse belonging to the garrison at the castle-gates. Meanwhile Ralph viscount de Beaumont, [1] hastened to the king and humbly proposed a truce which he was anxious to make for the term he mentioned. "I ask a truce of your highness, my lord the king, until such time as you shall return safe from Maine. For the bishop and council are sitting there, and daily occupied in deliberations for the common good of the state. We will readily concur in whatever shall be there agreed between you, and obey your orders in all things. I refer this, my lord the king, to the decision of my elders, because if I were the first to yield without a struggle, and deserting my peers should make a separate peace, I should doubtless bring shame and dishonour on my whole race. The members ought to follow and not take the lead of the head; good and loyal vassals seek rather to obey their lord than to command him". The king approved Ralph's proposal and discourse, and granted his demand.

Likewise, Geoffrey of Maine, [2] Rotrou de Montfort, [3] and several others, through whose territories he had to pass, did the same, and by their humble entreaties obtained a safeguard from him until his return.

Gilo de Sully, [4] a knight of one of the oldest and noblest families of France, and belonging to the household [5] of Henry, king of France, who had frequently witnessed large assemblies of people, now surveyed the troops in arms all around as he stood on the summit of a lofty hill, and computed them at fifty thousand men, declaring that he had never seen such an army collected on this side the Alps.

The king's first halt in the enemy's country was at Roussei-Fontaine; [6] the next day he encamped at Mont-Bizot, [7] where he passed the night. The third day, he


[1] Ralph de Beaumont, second of that name, viscount of Maine, was eldest brother of Hubert de Beaumont II., lord of Sainte Susanne, mentioned before, vol. ii. p. 378, etc. He was surnamed Paganus, because he was not baptized till a long time after he was born.

[2] Geoffrey II., lord of Mayenne, died the year following.

[3] See before, p. 27.

[4] Gilo de Sulli, lord of La Chapelle and Aix-dans-Gilon, was viscount of Bourges, as successor to Stephen his brother-in-law.

[5] Familia. The word, taken in its primitive sense, means that this lord was in his early years one of the attendants of Henry I., king of France.

[6] Roussei-Fontaine, situate about three leagues S.S.E. from Alencon.

[7] Moutbizot, four leagues and a quarter from Mans.

A.D. 1098.] SUCCESSES IN MAINE. 231

reached Coulans, and commanded the tents to be pitched on the meadows of the Sarthe. The cross-bowmen and archers were posted in the vineyards on the sides of the road, wuth orders to keep a sharp look out against the enemy, and to put them in disorder with showers of missiles if they attempted to pass. [1]

Fulk, surnamed Rechin, count of Anjou, hearing that Elias was a prisoner, immediately went to Mans of which he was the suzerain lord, and being well received by the inhabitants he reinforced the defences with soldiers and slingers. On the king's approach to the city, the knights sallied forth to meet him, and maintained an obstinate engagement with the Normans the whole day, many feats of arms being performed on both sides. For then renowned champions rejoiced in the opportunity of exhibiting their valour, and meriting the praises of their bloody conflicts from their chiefs and comrades.

Paganus de Montdoubleaux, [2] an old friend of the Normans, renewed his alliance with the king, and gave up to him a very strong fortress which he had at Ballon, by means of which the whole place was kept in subjection. The king appointed there Robert de Belesme commander of the troops and joined with him more than three hundred knights well armed and of approved courage. He treated the inhabitants who resisted with the greatest severity, subjecting them to the most serious losses, employing a great number of his troops in rooting up their vines, and destroying their corn


[1] Coulans, on the left bank of the Sarthe, about three leagues from Mans. It was on his march from Montbizot to Coulans, and between the last commune and St. Pavace, that William Rufus fell in with two rivulets about which improbable Wace tells a story as gross as it is improbable. According to that author, the king of England made a long detour to the east, on the territory of Sargi, to avoid these two insignificant streams, solely on account of the obscenity of their names. To any one who is acquainted with the foul and immoral habits of William Rufus, this scruple, if the account can be believed, will appear one of the strangest facts recorded in history.

A single quotation will suffice to give an idea of the licence and promiscuous intercourse allowed in the court of this monarch. History supplies, among the exemplary reforms introduced by his successor, the following fact: Lucernarum usum noctibus in curia restituit, qui fuerat tempore fratris intermissus. One historian even adds prohibitus.

[2] See before p. 27.

232 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

and laying waste the province all around. But he was unable to continue the siege for any length of time, so great was the scarcity of food felt both by men and horses, because it was the season between the old and new crops. [1] A quartern of oats, without which grain it is difficult to maintain the strength of horses in the western provinces, was sold for ten pence of the money of Maine. In consequence the king drew off his troops, ordering them to go and gather the corn into their barns, and when the harvest was over to be ready to besiege the enemy's castles.

William Rufus returning to Normandy with his powerful force, Count Fulk laid siege to Ballion, and attempted for some days to reduce the garrison with the united troops of Anjou and Maine. The garrison, however, reported their danger to the king, and the tidings getting abroad, some gallant knights hastened to the succour of their besieged comrades. Meanwhile, when the count and his troops were at dinner in their tents, and the mendicants from the town returned to the garrison with the alms they had received, informing them that the besiegers were then taking their meal, it being about tierce, [2] several bodies of troops sallied forth in good order, and falling unexpectedly on the enemy while they were eating unarmed, took several prisoners and put all the rest to flight. Walter of Mount Sorel, [3] Goffrey de Briolet, [4] John de Blaison, [5] Berlai de Montreuil [5] and nearly one hundred and forty knights and men-at-arms, with a great number of foot-soldiers were made prisoners, and the conquerors carried off much booty from the enemy, consisting of arms, vestments, and effects of all descriptions. Among the prisoners were several noble lords of castles who, possessed of large domains, held a high rank among the barons of their


[1] Our author means to say that it was the season when the corn of the preceding harvest was consumed, and the growing crops were not yet ripe.

[2] Nine o'clock in the morning.

[3] He was son of William de Montsoreau, the first of that name, and son-in-law of Hersende de Champagne, the first prioress of Fontevrault.

[4] Geoffrey de Briolai, son of Artaud de Briolai and Hersende. His wife's name was Sarmoise de Jarze.

[5] John de Blaison-sur-Loire, has the title of proconsul (viscount) in a title-deed of St. Maur-sur-Loire. His son Theobald was lord of Mirebeau.

[5] Berlai, or Bellai, lord of Montreuil Bellai, son of Gerard, the first of the name. His wife was called the Proud, Orgoillosa.

A.D. 1098.] THE MANCEAUX SUBMIT. 233

native country, and had under them by hereditary right many very valiant knights.

In the third week of the month of July, [1] King William came to the relief of his garrison, bringing with him a body of troops formidable to the enemy. On the king's arrival the people of Ballon admitted him into the castle with great joy. The prisoners in confinement hearing of it, set up a loud cry, shouting with one voice: "Noble King William, give us our liberty". This coming to the king's ear, he ordered them all to be released from their fetters, and to have a plentiful repast with his own followers in the court of the castle, and that after they had eaten they should be dismissed in freedom on pledging their word. His courtiers objected that in such a great concourse of people the prisoners would easily make their escape, but the king reproved their harshness, and taking the part of the captives said: "Far be it from me to think that a brave knight will forfeit his word! If he did so, he would become a contemptible outlaw all his life".

Count Fulk had fled from the siege to take refuge in the city, where he waited the issue of events in a monastery. The leading men of Anjou now consulted with those of Maine, and finding themselves inferior to the Normans in all respects, procured a conference between the king and the count. The result, by God's help, was the peace which was required, and the people on both sides for various reasons made great rejoicings. It was required and granted that Count Elias and the rest of the prisoners in both armies should be released, and that all the castles which were held by King William should submit to his son William Rufus. The conditions of peace being solemnly confirmed, the king called Robert, [2] son of Hugh de Montfort, the commander of his troops, and directed him to ascend the tower of Mans and the other fortifications, placing under his orders seven hundred chosen men in complete armour with bright helmets and breastplates. They immediately took possession of all the defences of the place, the former garrison marching out, and


[1] Our author probably means the week which commenced on the 18th of July.

[2] Robert de Montfort-sur-Risle, the youngest brother of Hugh, third of that name.

234 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VII.

planted the royal standard on the principal towers with great triumph. The next day the king reinforced them with a thousand of his best troops, and commanding the whole city, made whatever ordinances he pleased. The King's Tower, Mount-Barbet, and Littlet-Mount-Barbet [1] were given up to the king, and justly, because it is known that they were erected by his father. All the citizens rejoicing in the restoration of peace congratulated their new prince, clapping their hands, singing, and making various demonstrations of gladness.

Then Hildebert the bishop, with the clergy and all the people, made a joyful procession to meet the king and conducted him, chanting thanksgivings, to the church of St. Gervase the martyr, where the bodies of the holy bishops and confessors Thuribius and Victor, and other saints, repose. [2]

Elias, released from confinement at Bayeux, came to the king at Rouen, unwashed and unshorn, and humbly said to him: "Illustrious king, who reckon such numbers among your subjects, assist me I pray you in your great goodness. I have long been called count, having possessed a noble county by hereditary right, but by change of fortune I am deprived of my title to the name and possession. Now therefore I beseech you to receive me into your household with my former rank, and I will do you worthy service. Not that I demand the city of Mans, or any castles until I shall have merited them of your mightiness by my loyal conduct. I only aspire to be reckoned among your servants and enjoy your royal favour". The generous king readily determined to grant this, but Robert, earl of Mellent, was moved by jealousy to dissuade him from it. The crafty veteran [3] held the first place in the royal counsels and


[1] Mons-Barbatus atque Mons-Barbatulus. There are no remains of these several forts. The King's Tower stood in the neighbourhood and to the W.N.W. of the cathedral, the others in the same quarter, but to the S.W.

[2] St. Julian, first bishop of Mans; St. Thuribius, second bishop of Mans; and St. Victor, fifth bishop of the same diocese.

[3] Our author, who, a little before, has treated Lewis-le-Gros as quite young, when he could not be less than nineteen or twenty years old, is equally careless in calling Robert de Meulan an old man, senex, when he was about fifty.

A.D. 1098.] COUNT ELIAS RETURNS TO MAINE. 235

judgments, and he was apprehensive of admitting into the palace one who might prove his equal or superior. He therefore said to the king: "The Manceaux are crafty and faithless, and what they cannot accomplish by their valour they bring about by deceit and maneeuvring. Your conquered enemy becomes your suppliant, and seeks perfidiously to be your intimate friend. Why does he desire this? That being admitted to your secret counsels, he may be better able, when a favourable opportunity offers, to revolt fiercely against you, and to join your enemies with greater means of injuring you".

The king's determination was changed by these counsels, and the brave knight was rejected from admission into the royal household. From hence great difficulties, with dangers and losses, were afterwards occasioned to many people. Elias made another attempt to propitiate the king by gentle words but in vain. Whereupon he added with firmness, "If it had pleased you, my lord king, and I had found favour with you, I would have willingly served you. And now, I pray you, do not blame me if I try to do something for myself. I am unable to bear with patience being deprived of my inheritance, and the denial of justice, violence prevailing against my rights. Let no one therefore wonder if I prosecute my claim and use every means in my power to recover my father's possessions". The king replied in great wrath: "Go, and undertake what you please against me". [1]


[1] Although the account of this conversation is shorter and more spirited than those of Ordericus usually are, we prefer that of William of Malmesbury, which appears to express still better the violence of the English king's character-

"Elias being taken and brought before him, the king said jocularly: 'I have you, master'. But he, whose haughty spirit could not brook submissive language even when he was in such urgent peril, replied: 'Ill luck has put me in your power; if I could get away, I know what I would do'. At this, William, almost beside himself with rage, and seizing Elias, 'You!' he exclaimed, 'you! what would you do? Begone - depart - fly! I give you leave to do whatever you can; and by the holy image of Lucca (per vultum de Lucca), if you conquer me, I will ask no return for this favour'. The common oath of this prince was "par le saint voult (by the holy face) de Luques', as his father swore, 'par la resplendor De', by God's brightness, and sometimes 'by our Lord's resurrection'. The oath of Robert Curthose was per mirabilia Dei, by God's marvels; and of Henry I.- 'par la mort de notre Seigneur'".

William Rufus was not the first who swore "par le saint voult de Luques; it was also the formula of Count Godwin's oath.

236 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.VIII.

Elias therefore demanded from the king a safe conduct through his territories, and, having obtained it, returned in freedom to his own domains amidst the great joy of his friends. He fortified his five castles, [1] with the adjacent villages, repairing his losses with extreme diligence, and carefully conducting his own affairs. Remaining quiet from August to Easter, in the meantime he carefully considered in what way he should manifest his hostile intentions and had frequent consultations with his faithful allies.

William Rufus, having obtained possession of Mans, as just related, without much effusion of blood, committed its custody to William count of Evreux, Gilbert de Laigle, [2] and other brave knights, and the royal castle, [3] well stored with arms and provisions, and all necessaries, to Walter of Rouen, son of Ansger. Ralph the viscount, Geoffrey of Maine, [4] Robert of Burgundy, [5] and the other barons of the province, came to terms with the king, and giving up their castles faithfully submitted to his orders.

CH. VIII. Exactions of the king's officers in England - Archbishop Anselm becomes an exile - Joins Pope Urban II. at Capua.

WHILE these events were occurring in Normandy, beyond sea, and enormous sums were prodigally spent in useless


[1] The five strongholds on his patrimonial domains and those of his wife, la Fleche, Chateau du Loir, Maiet, Luce-le-Grand, Outille.

[2] These barons had commanded the troops of Normandy on former occasions; see vol. ii., pp. 455, 459.

[3] Probably the castle built by William the Conqueror, which stood, as before stated, on the W.N.W. of the cathedral, whilst the original castle of the counts of Maine appears to have stood within the circuit of the Roman city to the S.S.W. of the cathedral.

[4] For these two persons, see before p. 230.

[5] It is difficult to believe that Robert the Burgundian contracted this alliance, or rather made this submission to William Rufus, for, besides his advanced age, he had joined the crusade, by the persuasion of Urban II. who passed through Sable in the year 1096, on purpose to induce him. The person here meant is probably Robert, lord of Sable, third son of Robert the Burgundian.

A.D. 1088.] FLAMBARD'S EXACTIONS FROM THE CHURCH. 237

armaments, Ranulph Flambard, now made bishop of Durham, and the other minions and officers of the king, were robbing England, and, worse than thieves, pillaged without mercy the granaries of the farmers and the stores of the merchants, not even restraining their bloody hands from plundering the church. On the death of the prelates, they immediately intruded themselves into their places by a violent exercise of the royal authority, and seized without decency whatever they found in their treasuries. They took into the king's hands the domains of the monasteries and the revenues of the bishoprics, and exacted from the abbots or bishops who still survived enormous sums of money. Thus amassing, by fair means or foul, an immense amount of contributions, they remitted it to the king beyond sea, to be employed on his own occasions whether good or bad. Vast sums accumulated by these taxes, were presented to the king who used them ostentatiously to enrich foreigners. But the native inhabitants, unjustly spoiled of their goods, were in great distress and cried lamentably to God, who delivered Israel from the hand of Moab, when Eglon the corpulent king was slain by Aoth, the left-handed. [1]

Anselm, the holy archbishop was greatly troubled at these exactions, and used all the means in his power to succour the oppressed. He endeavoured to stand firmly as a wall of defence for the house of Israel against the worshippers of Baal. He therefore sent trusty messengers to the king with letters, humbly complaining and informing him of the many afflictions to which the church was exposed. But the foolish king hardened his heart and refused to listen to his suppliant teacher, and in consequence Anselm asked for permission to retire to Rome. The haughty prince allowed him indeed to go to Rome, but prohibited his passing through Normandy. Alas! how far was he blinded by his profane pride when, standing on the brink of a precipice, he forbade the servant of God, who was flying from his tyranny, to approach his presence! The king never had another opportunity of seeing him, as he himself was soon afterwards cut off by a bloody death. however, the venerable prelate, obeying the


[1] Ehud; see Judges iii. 15-26. The manner in which Ordericus writes this name confirms the observation already made on his incorrect method of quoting the Vulgate.

238 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.IX.

commands of his prince crossed by way of Boulogne, having with him, as the reverend companion of his journey, Baldwin de Tournai, a monk of Bec, and Eadmer of Canterbury, an Englishman who afterwards wrote the life of this prelate with great care, to the edification of souls. Anselm accomplished a toilsome journey as far as the city of Capua, the metropolis of the rich Campania, where he met Pope Urban, and, being received with great kindness and respect, made known to him the reason of his coming. The pope was at that time very much engaged, having undertaken to restore peace between the people of Capua, and their prince Richard, the son of Jordan, against whom they had rebelled. The young prince, with the aid of his uncle Roger the Elder, count of Sicily, who was much incensed against the citizens of Capua, used his utmost efforts to compel them to surrender. The aged and venerable archbishop was therefore an exile for nearly two years among the people of Italy where he was born, and other nations, and preached the word with eloquence to his foreign auditors to their spiritual profit. If any one desires to have a fuller account of the acts and discourses of this prelate, he will find them in the book of the aforesaid Eadmer at Bec, which Anselm's predecessor Herluin had governed. [1]

CH. IX. Count Elias renews hostilities in Maine - William Rufus crosses over to Normandy to oppose him - The king meets with a repulse.

IN the autumn, King William, having, as has been related, subjugated Maine, and settled affairs in Normandy according to his pleasure, took advantage of a favourable south wind to revisit his wealthy kingdom of Albion.

The year following, after Easter, [2] Elias began to renew hostilities, and with the secret connivance of the inhabitants ravaged the frontiers and harassed the royal forces. At last, in the month of June, he advanced with a gallant body


[1] Our author forgets that he has already related these occurrences in nearly the same words. St. Anselm was a native of the city of Aosta in Piedmont, where he was born in 1033. He quitted England the 15th of October, 1097, and did not return till the 23rd of September, 1100. It would have been, therefore, more correct to have represented his exile as having lasted nearly three years.

[2] Easter fell that year on the 10th of April.

A.D. 1099.] ELIAS RENEWS HOSTILITIES. 239

of troops to Les Planches Godefroi, [1] crossed the ford of the river Huisne, and challenged the garrison which held the place for the king, to the combat. The brave Normans sallied forth and fought for a long time, but the numbers of the enemy prevailing they were repulsed and driven back into the city. The enemy entered pell-mell with the king's troops, as the throng was so violent that the garrison could not close the gates, but flying through the streets with great difficulty made their escape into the castle and other fortifications. For Elias was greatly beloved by the citizens, and they much preferred his government to that of the Normans. The garrison however, who had the custody of the fortifications for the king, were amply supplied with all necessaries, and therefore prepared to hold out to the last extremity, loyally fighting in the cause of their lord. Meanwhile, Elias was received in the city with the acclamations of the inhabitants, but a sad disaster speedily ensued, to the public loss. For Walter, son of Ansger, the commander in the castle, ordered the smiths he employed there to set to work, and caused the burning cinders to be hurled by his engineers on the roofs of the houses. "At that time the sun was blazing in the lofty Gemini", [2] and the earth was burnt up with severe drought. The fiery whirlwind caught the roofs [3] of the houses, and the flames burst out with such violence that the whole city was burnt.

Clarembald de Lisors, [4] with Walter and other knights


[1] M. Le Prevost remarks that there is no tradition of the place which bore this name. M. Dubois says that it is near Mans.

[2] In the original, an imperfect hexameter verse:-

"Tunc rutilus Titan sublimes Geminos peragrabat".

The author means to say that it was between the 21st of May and the 24th of June.

[3] The buildings were probably roofed with shingles, as they still are in the district between Mortain and Domfront, notwithstanding there are quarries of slates in the neighbourhood.

[4] It is considered that the place here spoken of is Lisors-sur-Vie in the canton of Livarot. Clarembald was probably son, or at least a kinsman and heir, of William de Luisores whose name appears as witness to a charter in the early years of William the Conqueror, together with Osmond Basset, Robert and Fuscelin his brothers. It was made in favour of the abbey of Montivilliers which already possessed the other moiety of the lands and of the church of Lisors. See Gall. Christ. xi. instr. c. 327 and 328.

240 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.IX.

carefully guarded their castles. Elias and his followers made desperate efforts to storm them and take them with their machines, but could do nothing against impregnable fortifications.

Meanwhile Robert de Belesme increased the defences of Ballon, and dispatched his courier Amalgise [1] to the king in England. The messenger having crossed the sea hastened to Clarendon, [2] but met the king riding in the New-Forest with his attendants, and to his eager inquiries after the news, replied: "Mans has been treacherously taken by surprise; but my lord holds Ballon, and the king's garrisons guard faithfully all the fortresses entrusted to them, but they urgently demand your royal succour against the hostile forces which surround and threaten them".

As soon as the king had heard the message he exclaimed: "Let us cross the sea to support our friends". The same instant, without consulting any one, he wheeled his horse round, and giving him the spur rode full speed to the coast. Finding there by chance an old worn-out vessel, he embarked in it without any royal pomp, like one of the people, and gave orders for immediately putting to sea. [3] He waited neither for a favourable wind, nor attendants, nor anything else becoming his royal dignity, but, a stranger to fear, committed himself to fortune and the waves, and the next morning, under God's guidance, arrived safe at the port of Touques. [4] Several persons, of various degrees, were standing


[1] From his name, this courier appears to have been a native of Lombardy.

[2] Clarendon, now only a hamlet in the parish of Albury, about three miles from Salisbury, was anciently a royal residence.

[3] William of Malmesbury supplies the king's rebuke of the cowardice or caution of the nobles who remonstrated against what they considered his rashness, as well as his well known answer to the reluctance of the mariners to put to sea.

"He arrived almost unattended at the sea coast. The sky at that time was overcast, the wind contrary, and a tempest swept the surface of the deep. When he determined to embark instantly, the mariners besought him to wait till the storm should abate and the wind be favourable, 'I have never heard', said William, 'of a king perishing by shipwreck. No! weigh anchor immediately, and you shall see the elements conspire to obey me'". Chronicle p. 340, Antiq. Lib.

[4] Touques, not the commune of that name, but the port which it has been already remarked was situated at the mouth of the river which falls into the estuary of the Seine, and is in the commune of Trouville. It was probably the cure of that parish who supplied the palfrey which the king mounted to proceed to Bonneville. If it had been from the village of Touques, the distance was so short that he would probably have walked.

A.D. 1099.] WILLIAM RUFUS CROSSES TO NORMANDY. 211

about the harbour, as is the custom in summer, and seeing a vessel coming in under sail from England were in eager expectation to hear if she brought any news. Their first inquiry regarded the king, and he was there to give a true account of himself. He laughed heartily as he gave replies they little expected to their questions, and his answers, which filled them at first with wonder, soon caused universal joy. He then mounted a mare belonging to a priest, and surrounded by a great concourse of the clergy and country folk, who attended him on foot with loud acclamations, he rode to Bonneville. [1] His presence struck with consternation those who were in arms against him on the frontiers of Normandy. After sending out his orders he quickly raised a powerful army, and proceeded by hasty marches to ravage the hostile province. The enemy's troops commanded by Elias, as soon as it was known that the king had passed the straits, dispersed without loss of time, leaving the city they had occupied in a condition much worse than they found it. Hildebert, the bishop, who went to meet the king in Normandy as a suppliant, was received by him graciously as an old friend, neither by his counsels nor active interference had he taken any part in the late troubles. [2]

The king full of wrath, having intelligence of the enemy's retreat, pursued him closely, without deigning to pass even a single night at Mans. Passing on, he saw the city in flames, and ordered his tents to be pitched on a wide heath [3]


[1] Bonneville-sur-Touques, a favourite residence of the dukes of Normandy, where it appears that the expedition for the conquest of England was determined on in 1066. It is about a quarter of a league from Touques, but as much as a league from Tourville.

[2] There is some difficulty in crediting this account of the conduct of the bishop of Mans to a prince who had tried to annul his election, and had always retained the same feeling of ill will towards him.

[3] Epitimio or Epitymo. This word has before occurred with reference to the field on which the battle of Hastings was fought, and though it is somewhat obscure, it was suggested that it may have been derived from the odoriferous plants with which heaths are overspread. It seems to have been applied by our author to any level spot suited for a field of battle or the site of a camp.

212 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.IX.

on the bank of the river Huisne. On the morrow, he took severe revenge for his wrongs with fire and sword. But before the king could reach the enemy's strongholds and give them to the flames, they set them on fire with their own hands, and laid waste all the country round, lest the freebooters of the royal party should find any thing to pillage, or even a house where they might make their beds and take repose. Thus the castles of Vaux and Oustilli [1] were burnt, and many other villages and hamlets entirely ruined. However Robert de Montfort, the commander of the royal army, pushing forward at the head of five hundred cavalry, extinguished the fire at the castle of Vaux, and strengthened the fortifications for the king's service.

Elias remained at Chateau-du-Loir with a considerable number of troops, and reserving himself for better times, waited the course of events. At last, on Friday, the king sat down before Maiet, [2] and ordered his troops to storm the castle on the following day. But when Saturday came, and the soldiers were busy in putting on their armour, and preparing to make a vigorous assault on the garrison, the king, by the advice of his counsellors and for the glory of GOd, spared the enemy out of respect to the day of our Lord's burial and resurrection, granting them a truce until Monday. The besieged took advantage of the interval to strengthen their defences, and to weaken the force of the bolts and stones hurled against them with a quantity of wicker baskets. They were resolute men, faithful to their lord, and determined to fight for him to the last extremity, so that their merit deserves commendation. The assailants had by excessive toil filled up the ditch surrounding the fortifications with great heaps of wood, and were openly engaged in making a road to the foot of the palisades supported by immense beams, when the garrison threw down vessels full of burning coals, and set fire to the heaps of combustible matter which had been collected for their injury, and, assisted by the summer heat, speedily reduced them to ashes. Both


[1] Oustille or Outille, a hamlet which has given its name to the commune of St. Mars-d'Outille, four leagues S.S.E. of Mans. The castle of Vaux, in the commune of Monce-en-Belin, three leagues and a half south of Mans.

[2] The castle of Maiet, which is seven leagues south of Mans, and rather less distant from la Fleche, and is now the chief place of a commune.

A.D. 1099.] THE KING REPULSED BEFORE MAIET. 213

sides suffered very much in this assault, which took place on Monday, so that the king who was witness of it was much distressed. While he was tormented with rage and vexation because all his efforts to reduce the place proved fruitless, one of the garrison hurled a stone at him from the top of a turret, [1] which by God's mercy did not strike the king, but crushed the head of a soldier who was standing near him, so that his brains were mingled with his fractured skull. As he thus miserably perished in the king's presence, the sounds of scornful laughter were heard from the garrison, who raised the loud and horrible cry: "There is fresh meat for the king; take it to the kitchen to be cooked for his supper". The king was so much disturbed that he called his principal nobles aside, and by their advice gave orders for drawing off toward Lucei, [2] at break of day. These prudent counsellors justly thought that, in so well-fortified a place, a brave garrison could make a determined resistance and, defended by strong walls, had many opportunities of defending themselves against assailants who had no sort of cover. The wary advisers plainly gave good counsel, believing it to be best for troops thus exposed in the present case, that the King should retreat in safety with his forces in good order, and find other means of punishing his enemies; thus securing the safety of his army, and contriving the ruin of his enemy. They were therefore on the move very early in the morning, and employed themselves in laying waste the enemy's country in every way, rooting up the vines, felling the fruit-trees, levelling walls and buildings, and ravaging the whole district, which was very rich, with fire and sword. Then the king returned in triumph [3] to Mans, and gave leave to the troops of many provinces to return home.

These events happened in the year of our Lord 1099, the


[1] Zeta, from zetu, to warm, in its primitive signification was applied to chambers warmed by stoves. We find it, however, used for the Zetae aestivales, as well as Zetae hyemales, in descriptions of palaces. But here, and a few pages before, it is meant to describe vaulted chambers in fortifications from whence the sentinels could observe the motions of the enemy, or hurl projectiles on assailants through the crenelles and machicolations of the defences.

[2] Luce-le-Grand, rather than Luche, according to M. Pesche.

[3] An expression not very applicable to the repulse the king had received before the castle of Maiet.

244 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.X.

seventh indiction, and in the month of July. At this time Jerusalem was captured by the holy pilgrims, they having defeated the Gentiles, who had long possessed it, on the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of the same month of July, as I have related in the last book. Pope Urban also died on the fifth of the calends of August [the 28th of July], having lived to hear with triumph that the tomb of Christ was surrendered to the crusaders. He was succeeded by Pope Paschal, enthroned the sixteenth day after his predecessor's death. [1]

CH. X. The monks of St. Evroult dispute the bishop's jurisdiction - Abbot Robert's consecration - Dedication of the abbey church.

GILBERT, bishop of Lisieux, had been often requested by the monks of St. Evroult to give his benediction to their abbot, but he always refused unless the abbot signed a profession of canonical obedience. [2] In consequence, there was a controversy between them which lasted ten years, neither the one nor the other being willing to yield, as each hoped to succeed. Serlo, who was elected abbot on the death of Mainier, governed the monks for two years without being consecrated, because he refused to submit to a profession which was a new custom in the abbey of St. Evroult. In the same way, Roger du Sap presided over the brethren more than seven years, but the bishop obstinately persisting in his views, Roger did not carry the pastoral staff. In consequence, the monks resorted to the royal authority, which secured their rights, an order being given to the contumacious bishop that he should observe the customs used by his predecessors in Normandy in the time of the king's father, William the Conqueror, and consecrate the abbot without requiring any innovation. The bishop reluctantly obeyed the royal command, and the ancient usage of the abbey was confirmed. Ralph, abbot of Seez, conducted to Lisieux the brother elect, and dictated the act of election, as the


[1] Urban II. died on the 29th not the 28th, of July. Paschal II. was elected the 13th of August, and consecrated the next day.

[2] We have here an instance of the obstinate repugnance of the monks to submit to the jurisdiction of the ordinary, that is, of the bishop of the diocese. Their pretensions were encouraged by the secular princes and maintained by the popes.

A.D. 1099.] ROGER DU SAP CONSECRATED. 215

representative of the convent of monks. Robert, a monk of Seez, an able penman, engrossed the charter, and Herluin, the bishop's chaplain, read it before all the clergy, who made no objection, to the following effect:-

"Christ, the ever-present bishop and shepherd of the ecclesiastical flock and its pastors, has perpetuated it by a continual succession of souls, and has also continued the pastoral order in perpetuity, appointing a number of priests in succession, inasmuch as death interrupts their permanence. We have no doubt that their consecration ought to be performed by the hands of the bishops giving spiritual benediction from God himself, and we hold it no less certain that their election is the business of their future subjects directed by the Holy Spirit. Wherefore we, the convent of monks of St. Evroult, following the ancient examples and apostolical traditions, after the decease of our father Mainier, and the elevation of our father, the lord Serlo, to the episcopacy, and by the inspiration of the divine mercy, have unanimously elected abbot the lord Roger, our brother, who is well known to us with whom he dwelt, as well as united to us by the same profession. In this election we have been assisted by the presence and opinions of several eminent prelates, viz., the said Bishop Serlo, Anselm, abbot of Bec, Ralph, abbot of Seez, Arnulph, abbot of Troarne, and others, with whom considering, as far as is in our power, after the apostle's rule, the worth of the person, we adopt one who is catholic, instructed in the divine law, chaste, sober, humble, gentle, merciful, benevolent, and endowed with the other qualities which pastors require. Wherefore, offering this our abbot elect, to the blessing of the divine Majesty, we present him to Gilbert, our bishop of Lisieux, demanding for him episcopal consecration according to the ecclesiastical laws, with the canonical benediction".

This act of the monks' election having been carefully read, was graciously accepted by the bishop and clergy, and Roger was consecrated abbot on the feast of the beheading of St. John the Baptist. [1] The next day he was received by the brethyen at St. Evroult with due honours. The same day, while the monks were sitting in the cloister conversing with each other, and ably exchanging their thoughts on a


[1] The 29th of August, 1099.

246 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.X.

variety of subjects, the conversation happened to turn, as I think, by God's inspiration, on the dedication of the abbey-church; and as it continued, they felt a fervent desire to have it accomplished. [1] At length, to the satisfaction of


[1] Richly stored as we find our author's work in materials from which we may form an acquaintance with the interior life and exterior relations of the monasteries of England and Normandy, it must be confessed that, except in furnishiag the dates at which many of them were erected, he throws but little light on their architectural character, although a new style inseparably connected with Norman history had sprung up in the times of his cotemporaries or immediate predecessors. This is much to be regretted, and it is very singular that an author who has devoted a considerable portion of his work to the history of his own convent, and has entered into such minute details connected with it, should have supplied us with such scanty notices of his own abbey church, and other conventual buildings. He appears to have been so careless on a subject which is interesting to posterity, for whose benefit he is continually telling us he wrote, that he even contradicts himself in what he has related.

We find that when the abbey was restored in the year 1050, after having been long deserted, the old chapel built by St. Evroult between the years 575 and 584, was soon found too small for the increasing numbers of the monks, as well as dilapidated by age; and that, consequently, Theodoric, the first abbot on the new foundation, began to build a new church in a noble style of architecture, but was compelled to desist from his undertaking by the troublesome times which succeeded. Very little progress had, probably, been made in the works, as his successor, Abbot Osberne (1061-1066) is represented to have "planned and commenced the new church", making one of the monks, Richard de Heudicourt, a man of rank, who had seen much of the world, overseer of the works, with the charge of the expenditure and the superintendence of the stone-cutters.

We hear nothing of the progress of the works during the five years of Osberne's government; but, upon the appointment of his successor, Abbot Mainier, in 1066, we are told that he "began" building the new church dedicated to St. Mary, St. Peter, and St. Evroult, and which was to contain seven altars, the old church erected by the saint being, as it has been said before, small and dilapidated; and that, by God's help and the contributions and munificence of the brethren and his friends, he completed the building of a spacious and beautiful church, a dormitory, and cellar, and other offices for the use of the monks, vol. i., pp. 467, 468. A shorter account afterwards given concurs in stating that Abbot Mainier "began and completed" the new church and monastery.

Without stopping to reconcile these conflicting statements by inquiring whether the abbey-church, finished by Mainier, was the same as that commenced by his predecessors Theodoric and Osberne, as it probably was, we may conclude that the building thus completed was that which received consecration at the time and in the manner described in this paragraph of our author's narrative, and in the year 1099. The works probably occupied the greater part of the period of Mainier's abbacy, as we find Archbishop Lanfranc contributing to the erection of the abbey-tower and dormitory in 1078 and at a subsequent time, and Queen Matilda providing for the erection of the refectory on her visit to the abbey some time after the year 1081. However, Abbot Mainier did not live to see the consecration of his noble edifice, and the long delay of its dedication in the time of his successors may have arisen from their disputes with the bishop of the diocese referred to in the present chapter.

We may conclude from the dates supplied, and a few words dropped by Ordericus, that the abbey-church was in the best style of Norman archi- tecture. Of its details and particular character, we have no immediate means of fmnishing any account, but we have reason to think that, as in the case of many other abbatial and cathedral churches, the .Norman building, or great part of it, was superseded in after times by a new erec- tion in the pointed style. The abbey of St. Eyroult shared the fate of other monastic establishments in France at the time of the revolution, but it has only very recently reached the last stage of ruin, being now (1853) nearly levelled to the ground, and the squared and beautifully-worked stones piled in heaps for sale as building materials, so that, shortly, there will not be left a trace of this once magnificent abbey. The only remains now standing which can be supposed to belong to our author's age, are some low Norman arches, in or near the south ransept, which appear to have bolonged to a mortuary chapel.

The natural features of the neighbourhood, so often described by Ordericus with more precision than the conventual buildings, have experienced of course less change. The little marshy valley is watered by the Charenton, pouring its torrent through meadows in which the remains of the monk's fishponds are still visible. Its right bank rises rapidly to the verge of the wood, where the church of Notre Dame-du-Bois stands on the same spot as the original building founded by the munificence of Childebert's queen. The forest surrounds the whole, as it did when St. Evroult first built his cell, in the wilderness. The country people say it is forty miles in circumference; we have traversed it ourselves in nearly a straight line for ten miles in more than one direction.

1099.] CONSECRATION OF THE CHURCH AT ST. EVROULT. 247

their friends and with their assistance, the resolution was made, and by God's help, the church of St. Evroult was consecrated on the ides [the 13th] of November. Three bishops assisted in the celebration of this office. Gilbert, bishop of Lisieux, consecrated the high altar in honour of St. Mary, mother of God, St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and St. Evroult, the confessor. Gilbert, bishop of Evreux, consecrated the altar on the south side in honour of All the Apostles, and Serlo the altar of All the Martyrs. The next day Serlo blessed the crucifix and its altar dedicated to St. Saviour and St. Giles, the confessor; and Gilbert of Evreux consecrated the altar used for the matins mass to All Saints. Lastly, on the seventeenth of the calends of December [1]


[1] We have ventured to correct the text by substituting the calends of December for those of November, notwithstanding all the printed editions of our author's work have the latter reading. For the 17th of the calends of November would give the date of the 16th of October, long before the ceremonies of consecration commenced, whereas, beginning with the dedication of the high altar on the 13th of November, by the bishop of Lisieux, it appears they were resumed the next day (the 14th) by the bishop of Evreux, and "lastly", on the third day (the 15th) or the 17th of the calends of December, as we conclude, the bishop of Seez consecrated the altar of All Saints.

218 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.X.

[November 15th], the lord bishop of Evreux consecrated an altar on the south, in honour of All Confessors; and, when he had finished celebrating the mass, proceeded to the chapter-house where he strengthened the brethren for God's service by holy exhortations and affectionate prayers and benedictions. At the close of the same year, Serlo, bishop of Seez, dedicated the altar in the north transept on the second of the calends of January [December 31st], in honour of All the Virgins.

Thus, seven altars were reverently dedicated by the three bishops on certain fixed days, and distributed to the praise of God, according to ecclesiastical rule among the glorious orders of saints, who in the heavenly kingdom for ever surround the holy of holies in endless bliss.

Many of the Norman lords were present at this dedication, and the faithful of both orders presented to God the offerings of their prayers. William, abbot of Bec, and Ralph of Seez, Arnulph of Troarne, and Geoffrey of Coutances, [1] Richard d'Ansgerville, and William de Glanville, [2] Etard and William of Evreux, Hugh, son of Saffred, and William d'Eraines, archdeacons and deans, [3] and other dignitaries of the church were present, and assisted their bishops in the solemn performance of the holy services.

Then William de Breteuil gave the same church ten pounds yearly from the rents of Gloz. [4] Robert de Grantmesnil also gave to God the church of St. Samson on


[1] Geoffrey, abbot of Lessai, whose predecessor died as long before as June 24, 1094, if the archives of Bec may be trusted.

[2] These two persons are mentioned before, vol. ii. p. 122. Richard d'Ansgerville was an archdeacon of Lisieux, and William de Glanville (near Pont l'Eveque), dean of the same church, of which Etard and William were also archdeacons.

[3] Hugh, the son of Saffre and William d'Eraines, in the neighbourhood of Falaise, were archdeacons of Seez.

[4] For this donation see before vol. ii., p. 191.

A.D. 1099-1100.] THE SECOND CRUSADE. 249

Mount Calvet the Greater, [1] with one plough land, and the tenth of the fair held in the same village, and the tithes of the mill und wood. Gilbert de Laigle also gave to St. Evroult one moiety of the village of Laigle, in such manner that Richard the knight should hold it of the monks as he now held it of the said Gilbert; for they were already lords of the other moiety by gift from Richard his father. Ralph de Conches also granted to St. Evroult Caldecot and Alvinton [2] in England, and three acres of vineyard at Toeni, and all that he possessed at Guarlenville, and six cottiers on three of his domains, and he also freely ratified all that his tenants had given. [3]

CH. XI. The author returns to the history of the crusaders - Stephen, count of Blois - Bohemond and Tancred - Raymond, count of Tholouse - Robert, duke of Normandy.

AT that time there was much disturbance in the west, and shame and confusion were attached to the base deserters of the crusade, in the sight of all men. Pope Urban had sanctioned by his universal authority, and enforced apostolical order by an inviolable decree through all the Latin states, that those who had assumed our Saviour's cross and changing their purpose, had not joined the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, should undertake a corresponding journey in the name of the Lord, or lying under excommunication should for their punishment be cut off from the church. In consequence, Stephen, count de Blois, who had undergone severe sufferings of various kinds, was in great distress of mind, and made preparations for a second expedition. [1] Many thousands were actuated by the same


[1] Montchauvet, four leagues N.E. of Vire.

[2] Caldecot in Norfolk, and Alvington in Worcestershire.

[3] This donation is recorded before, vol. ii., p. 109, but there are some considerable variations in the details. In the first version there are only two acres of vineyard instead of three, and only three cottiers instead of six. This may be accounted for if we suppose that Ralph de Toeni, whose original grant was made in the reign of William the Conqueror, augmented and confirmed it at the dedication of the church of St. Evroult as was also done in the case of William de Breteuil.

The three domains mentioned here are Conches, Toeni, and Acquigni.

[4] Stephen quitted the ranks of the crusaders at the time they were preparing their final attempt to take Antioch. See before, p. 122. He did not return to the Holy Land till 1001, and died the year following under the walls of Ramla.

250 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XI.

desire, having heard favourable reports of the noble champions of the cross, who, armed with faith in the Holy Trinity, had fought against the Gentiles, and having obtained a glorious triumph by the power of their merciful Saviour, had secured to themselves endless fame.

I propose now, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to return to the pilgrims, and relate shortly the adventures and end of those who after their successes remained in Judaea or Syria, as well as of those who effected their return home by an arduous journey.

In the year of our Lord 1099, in the month of August, [1] Godfrey, son of Eustace, count of Boulogne and son of Ita, received the sceptre of David at Jerusalem, and reigned there three years. In the course of the same month, [2] while yet supported by the whole force of his fellow crusaders, he fought a battle with the emir near Ascalon, in which by God's help he gained a glorious victory. In the autumn when the Gentiles were utterly crushed, the God of Sabaoth having fought against them, the illustrious chiefs with their followers resolved to return, and bidding farewell to their friends and comrades, commenced their homeward journey. Among these were Robert, duke of Normandy, Robert, marquis of Flanders, and Raymond, count of Thoulouse, [3] of whose valour the Turks had received sufficient proofs. They met on their road crowds of pilgrims who had been prevented from accompanying them in the first expedition, but who had taken the earliest opportunity they could find of fulfilling their vow of making a pilgrimage to the tomb of our Lord. They suffered severely on the road from famine, being reduced to the last extremity by want, for their precursors, who had in the preceding year wasted the country between Antioch and Jerusalem, sowed the seeds of destruction in their path by the scarcity they occasioned to the pilgrims who followed them; having either slain or driven away the inhabitants of the country, so that the lands, not being cultivated, produced nothing that


[1] It was not in the month, but during the calends, of August, the 24th of July, 1099.

[2] On Sunday, the 14th of August.

[3] Raymond quitted Jerusalem, but it was not to return to the west of Europe, as we shall presently find.

A.D. 1099-1100.] THE SECOND CRUSADE. 251

could be eaten. However, the chiefs who were returning home learnt from the pilgrims they met, that Duke Bohemond was besieging Laodicea, [1] and that the troops of the emperor who formed the garrison were making an obstinate defence.

Nearly twenty thousand pilgrims, who were on their road from England and the other islands of the ocean to the tomb of our Lord, had disembarked there at the time when the Gentiles were besieging Antioch and blockaded the Christians in the city. The people of Laodicea received the island crusaders with great satisfaction, and put themselves under their protection against the Turks. The most distinguished of them was Edgar Atheling, who had been unsuccessfully raised to the throne of England after the death of King Harold. He undertook the defence of Loadicea, maintaining its fidelity to Duke Robert, to whom he ceded it after his victory over the Pagans. Edgar was handsome in person. a good speaker, liberal and high-born, being the son of Edward, king of Hungary, but he was slow in action. As for the duke, who was of his own age, he loved him as a brother who had been nursed with him.

In this manner, Duke Robert obtained possession of Laodicea, a city of Syria, and halted there some time with the Normans, English, and Bretons. He stationed a garrison Of his own followers in the fortifications of the place, while he continued his pilgrimage to the tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, Ravendinos, the protospathaire of the emperor Alexius, and some of his other officers, arrived by sea and laid siege to the city with a powerful army. [2] The


[1] The siege of Laodicea by Bohemond is wholly apocryphal.

[2] When Jerusalem was taken, the count of Tholouse was the first who held Laodicea, as a vassal of the emperor Alexius. After the battle of Ascalon, the inhabitants of that place consented to receive him as their lord in consequence of their having formed a favourable opinion of his character, from their commercial relations with Montpellier. Raymond, who was the only one of the crusaders who had vowed never to return to his own country, had a great desire to find some settled establishment in the East, after his pretensions had been rejected at Antioch and Jerusalem. Godfrey, refusing his concurrence, the inhabitants of Ascalon declined to receive Raymond, and he withdrew in disgust from the army and with only his own followers took possession of Laodicea, of which place he received the investiture from the Greek emperor. After his departure to Constantinople, Tancred, who governed the principality of Antioch, got possession of Laodicea, by force or favour, as the historians state.

As to the occupation of that city by Edgar Atheling on behalf of Robert of Normandy, it took place after the siege of Antioch as our author states, but it was merely temporary, and it might be anticipated from the well-known character of the two princes that it could not be permanent. What became of it in the interval between the two occupations, we do not learn, but it is not probable that Bohemond conquered it from the Greeks, to demand the investiture of it from their own emperor.

M. Le Prevost remarks that the whole of this episode respecting Laodicea will not bear a serious examination. It must have been gathered from the romantic stories of some ill-informed pilgrims, and does not merit the honour given it of finding a place of our author's history.

252 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH. XI.

townsmen, taking the part of their countrymen, expelled the Cisalpines, and thus the imperial commander was introduced by the Greeks and Syrians. Bohemond learning this, lost no time in hastening to the spot with his troops, and besieged the city a long time, making frequent assaults upon it. But when the inhabitants of Laodicea and the Thracians heard that the crusaders were returning from Jerusalem, fearing that if the two armies united they would be invincible, they sent messengers to meet them, carrying presents, and adroitly requesting them to hasten securely to the defence of their city. The crusaders received this invitation with great satisfaction, and continuing their march, were peaceably admitted by the inhabitants within the walls. These occurrences being ascertained, and everything quiet on both sides, Duke Robert and his confederates intimated to Bohemond that he should retire peaceably, or else make instant preparation for battle. On receiving this message, Bohemond assembled his council, and demanded what he was to do in these difficult circumstances. All his friends persuaded him to depart without a struggle, and, content with his own states, not invade those of others to which he had no claim, in hostility to his brothers and brave companions in arms, lest he should become a scandal to Christians and a laughing-stock to Pagans, and stain, by the effusion of Christian blood, the glory acquired by his valour. The duke, with his usual moderation, clearly perceived the soundness of this reasoning, and comprehending the wisdom of the prudent counsels he received, and, acquiescing in them,

A.D. 1100.] RETURN OF TUE CRUSADERS. 253

drew off his forces, though with great regret, out of respect for his companions.

The Greeks and Syrians, thus freed from alarm, consulted respecting their own affairs, and a few days afterwards, having summoned our countrymen to a conference, thus addressed them:- "Illustrious lords, whose worth and courage are now known throughout the world, listen to what we have now to say to you in good faith. We well know that you abandoned rich territories for the sake of your pilgrimage, and that now, having fulfilled your vows, you are anxious to return to them, but principally for the love you bear to your dear wives and children, and your regard for kindred and friends whom you left for Christ's sake. Hear now, with indulgence, the advice we offer towards the accomplishment of this object, which doubtless, by God's guidance, you will approve as sound and advantageous. Give up to us, for the emperor's use, the cities and towns which you possess in Syria and Romania: we, on our part, will completely equip a fleet for your use and convey you and all who choose to follow you, free of charge, to Constantinople, supplying you plentifully with bread and wine and all other necessaries during the voyage. We know the emperor's wishes in this matter, and we desire to please him by such service; for he is flattered by having the Franks about him, admiring and valuing their determination and spirit of enterprise. Take our advice, and present yourselves to him in full confidence, and you will find that we have given you profitable counsel".

The Franks consulted together, and each gave his opinion on various matters after due consideration. The chiefs with their friends had a separate meeting, and the following is the substance of what passed between them: "We are far away in a strange country, and earnestly desire to return home; but there is a double difficulty in our way. We can neither remain here honourably, as becomes our rank, nor go back to France without great danger. Bohemond, who is possessed of Antioch and the adjacent provinces, has widely extended his rule, and will permit no equal to exist here. We are without vessels to cross the sea, and there is no route by land, except through the dominions of the emperor. Besides, we should find it perilous unless we enjoy his

254 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X CH.XI.

favour, having everything to fear in journeying among barbarous tribes and through difficult roads. We are suffering many privations, and tormented by the apprehension of a variety of dangers. Worn out with fatigues, our great desire is, as before observed, to return to our own country, which is out of our power, either by land or sea, without the emperor's co-operation. What then shall we do? We cannot linger here, for want stares us in the face, weak and weary exiles as we are. It is better for us to be satisfied with the promises of these Greeks, although we know them to be crafty, and, as they are Christians, to accept thankfully their peaceable offers, which we might have been compelled to implore with earnest prayers".

At length the Franks commended themselves to God, in whose hands all things are, and gave a willing assent to all that the Greeks proposed. The latter rejoiced greatly, and faithfully fulfilled what they promised.

The emperor received the Franks on their arrival with due honours, and having heard the terms of the treaty concluded between the Greeks and themselves, he was highly pleased with it, and ratified it by his imperial authority. He offered high dignities to those who were willing to remain with him, and made magnificent presents to those who returned to the western states. The count of Thoulouse was entertained by him as long as he lived, being admitted among the number of his most favoured guests and trusted counsellors. The emperor had an especial regard for him, and listened to him with great pleasure, because he knew that he had firmly opposed Bohemond at Antioch in consequence of his fidelity to him. Raymond's wife, who was daughter of Ildefonso, king of Gallicia, [1] and had been the companion of his long pilgrimage, gave birth at Constantinople to a son called Ildefonso, [2] who became count of


[1] Elvira, natural daughter of Alphonse VI., king of Leon and Castille, was affianced to the count of Thoulouse as his third wife in 1094.

[2] Alphonso-Jordan, so called because he was baptized in the water of this river, was born in 1103, but not at Constantinople as our author states, but at Mont-Pelerin, near Tripoli. He was conducted to France in 1107, and succeeded his brother Bertrand as count of Thoulouse in 1112. He died in Palestine, about the middle of April, 1118, having been poisoned by Queen Melisent.

Count Raymond, his father, was at the emperor's court at Constantinople when the crusaders of 1101 arrived there. At first he refused to be their guide, but he afterwards joined them and accompanied them as far as Tortosa, where he established himself, and thus escaped their fearful disaster. From thence he sat down before Tripoli in Syria, and built the castle of Mont-Pelerin to maintain the siege. He died there the 18th of February, 1105. Tripoli did not surrender to the crusaders till 1109, when it was given up to Bertrand, his eldest son.

Raymond's mother, Almodis, was a woman of such irregular habits that she married successively three husbands while they were all living, the counts of Arles, Thoulouse and Barcelona. Raymond himself was very debauched in his youth, but was induced by the counsels of his friend the bishop of Cahors to devote himself entirely to the deliverance of the Holy Land. They were on their journey in company to Clermont, where they had invited Urban II. to preach the crusade, when the bishop died on the road. Raymond did not abandon his design in consequence of this misfortune, but continuing his route, was the first layman who took the cross.

Raymond had lost one eye, but he was proud of the blemish because he received it in single combat,

A.D. 1100.] RAYMOND, COUNT OF THOULOUSE. 255

Thoulouse as his father's heir upon the death of his brother Bertrand, and still governs the Goths in Provence. Count Raymond long preserved in his chapel at Byzantium our Lord's spear, which Peter Abraham discovered at Antioch. The emperor honoured with many presents, and enriched with liberal pay the other knights who were willing to reside among the Greeks.

He also presented rich gifts to Robert the Norman and Robert the Fleming, and their fellow soldiers, who were hastening their return, giving them a free passage through his dominions and liberty of the markets. Thus he either retained about his own person or sedulously despatched to the coast of Italy those who left the expedition into the countries of the east, making it his great object to weaken the force which was hostile to him in Syria and to place difficulties in the way of all who hastened to the aid of his enemies.

The active Bohemond hearing what we have just related, viz. that the emperor's officers and all the Franks had crossed the sea with their troops, he quickly assembled a powerful army of Normans, Armenians, Allobroges, and other nations, and laying siege to Laodicea with great vigour, forced it to surrender, and having held it twelve years left it tO his successors who still possess it. He was also signally successful in reducing under his dominion, to the glory of God and the support of the Christian cause, Mamistra, Albara,

256 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XI.

Marrah, and other fortified places around Reblath. He treated with great reverence the Greeks, Armenians, and Syrians, who observed the monastic discipline in their convents, according to their own rules, and confirmed to them the possessions with which they had been endowed from old times. Besides which, some monasteries which had been ruined by the cruel Turks, and from which they had expelled the religious inhabitants, were given by this valiant lord to Latin monks or clerks, with a liberal provision of ample possessions, that they might be plentifully supplied with all things necessary for the worship of God, and perform divine service according to the rites of the Latin church. [1]

In the year of our Lord 1100, the before named counts, having been honoured by many gifts from the emperor, as already mentioned, departed with their followers, and were received with great favour in Italy by the Normans, who possessed there great wealth. Roger the elder, count of Sicily, and his nephew Roger, duke of Apulia, with Geoffrey de Couversana, [2] nephew of duke Guiscard, and their other countrymen or kinsmen rejoiced at their safe return, and did all in their power to gratify the champions of Christ worn by their numerous conflicts in his cause. While there, Robert duke of Normandy fell in love with a noble young lady, Sibylla daughter of Geoffrey de Conversana, and marrying her took her with him to Normandy. She was distinguished for her worth, of most agreeable manners, and


[1] This paragraph is as contrary to the fact as all that we have already been told with respect to Laodicea. Bohemond never had possession of that city; remaining master of Antioch after the departure of the crusaders in 1098, he was made prisoner by a Turkish emir in 1100, and did not regain his liberty till 1104. He then entrusted the government of his principality to his cousin Tancred, and returning to the West, died there in the month of February, 1111, just as he was on the point of returning to the Holy Land. Most of the acts, whether military or civil, attributed to him by our author, must, therefore, be assigned to Tancred. All the places mentioned in the present paragraph are referred to in the notes to b. ix.

[2] Roger I., count of Sicily, who died in the month of July, the year following. Roger, eldest son of Robert Guiscard, and consequently Bohemond's elder brother, became duke of Apulia and Calabria on his father's death, 1085-1111. Geoffrey de Conversana, Robert Guiscard's nephew, as it is most probable, by his second wife, Sichelgaire, daughter of Walmare IV., prince of Salerno. Conversana is an episcopal city of the province of Bari, situated in the mountains about five miles from the sea.

A.D. 1100.] ROBERT CURTHOSE'S MARRIAGE. 257

much beloved by those who knew her. Three years afterwards she had a son born at Rouen, who was baptized by William archbishop of that city, from whom he received his own name.

While Duke Robert was wanderisig in foreign countries, he did not forget that he had borrowed of his brother ten thousand silver marks, [1] and had pledged Normandy to him for five years. He therefore procured from his father-in-law who was lord of Brundusium (the place where, as Lucan relates Caius Caesar blockaded Pompey the Great), and his other friends, large quantities of gold and silver and valuable effects, from which sources he amassed a vast sum of money with the prudent intention of paying his creditor in order that he might have the possession of his duchy peaceably restored. [2]


[1] Modern historians have not thought proper to give any account of the origin of this transaction between Duke Robert and his brother, nor of the motives which induced him to join the crusade. The circumstances, as they are detailed by Rudborne, the annalist of Winchester cathedral, are so curious that they deserve to he mentioned.

According to this writer, Robert Curthose promised his father when he was on his death-bed, to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the good of his soul. His natural indolence and the embarrassments of all kinds in which he was speedily involved, for a time suspended the performance of his promise, but it was brought vividly to his recollection by the preaching of the crusade which summoned all Christendom to hasten to the deliverance of the holy places. He, therefore, took the cross with enthusiasm, but the funds required for so expensive an enterprise were wanting in his case, as well as in those of most of his fellow pilgrims. In order to raise them he had recourse to his brothers in England, appealing to their filial regard for assistance to perform a vow which had for its object the good of their father's soul. William Rufus gave him a harsh refusal, telling him, with bitter irony, to go to his friend the king of France. Henry, who was younger, and of a more kindly disposition, declined at first to lend his brother any assistance, but was at length moved to give him a thousand pounds. Upon this, William, unwilling to yield in generosity to Prince Henry, and calculating on the advantages he might gain both to his ambition and avarice, agreed to lend Robert 10,000 silver marks for five years, on condition that Normandy was made over to him as security for repayment of the money at the time specified. These details which disclose so well the character of the three brothers, appear to be worthy of more notice than they have received from most of our cotemporaries.

[2] We believe Geoffrey was really lord of Brundusium, although at fist sight the name seems introduced for the opportunity it afforded of displaying our author's classical learning. It is more to the purpose to remark that the lord of Conversana gave his son-in-law a marriage portion more than sufficient to redeem the duchy of Normandy if he had not spent it on the disreputable favourites who were always about him.

253 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XII.

CH. XII. The count of Poitiers, having taken the cross, mortgages his states to William Rufus to raise funds for his expedition - The kinq's ambitious designs.

THE memorable achievements performed in the east to the honour of Christ by the princes and other faithful servants of the cross were quickly known by report in the western world, and the sons of the church in that quarter exulted in the signal deliverance of Jerusalem and the downfall of Babylon. William count of Poitiers, [1] having heard of these splended triumphs, was inflamed with the desire of undertaking the pilgrimage. An army of three hundred thousand men from Aquitaine, Gascony, and other provinces of the south enlisted under his banner. He determined on mortgaging to William Rufus, king of England, the duchy of Aquitaine and all his territories, on condition of receiving a large sum of money from his treasury to enable him to accomplish the journey he proposed with great splendour. Ambasadors of proved ability were therefore despatched to the king who conveyed to him their master's wishes. The proud monarch, who the more he had the more he coveted, like the thirst of a dropsical man, received the envoy's proposals with great satisfaction, and longed to add the duke's ample possessions to the ancient dominions belonging to his father's duchy and kingdom. He therefore gave orders for the equipment of a powerful fleet, and for a large body of English cavalry to accompany him, that having crossed the sea he might be ready in arms, lion-like, to seize on his prey, oppose by force his brother's return to Normandy, purchase the duchy of Aquitaine, at a vast expense, and reducing to submission all who opposed him, extend the frontiers of his dominions to the bank of the Garonne. Such were the designs of the proud youth, and to such objects his ambition


[1] William VII., surnamed the Elder, count of Poitiers, who has been already mentioned by our author as taking part in the expedition of William Rufus against Montfort 1'Amauri and Epernon in 1098. He assumed the cross in 1100, and went to the Holy Land the year following. His arrangements with the king of England had been so precisely concluded, that when William was asked a few days before his death, where he meant to spend the ensuing Christmas, he replied, "At Poitiers".

A.D. 1100.] ROBERT'S SON KILLED IN THE NEW FOREST. 259

arrogantly aspired; but the Almighty Creator, who rules the world, disposed otherwise.

CH. XIII. Richard, the duke of Normandy's natural son, killed while hunting in the New Forest - His origin and character - Remarks on the forest.

THEN, about the season of Rogations, [1] a lamentable event took place in the New Forest. While the knights of the king's court were engaged in hunting, and shooting does and bucks with bolts from their cross-bows, a certain knight aiming at one of the beasts of chase with an arrow chanced to strike an illustrious young prince, Richard, duke Robert's son. He fell instantly dead, to the great sorrow of his numerous friends. The knight, terrified at his great misfortune, fled with all speed to the priory of St. Pancras, [2] and there became a monk, avoiding by that means the two-fold penalties he had incurred. For, retiring from the world, he expiated by penance the guilt of homicide; and escaped at the same time the bitter revenge of the friends and relations of the young prince. Many persons had predicted extraordinary good fortune to the knight referred to, but men, when the God of Sabaoth orders otherwise, are frequently deceived and deceive others; for, clouded by the darkness of ignorance, the thoughts of man are vain.

Let me say something of this young prince. At the time that Duke Robert was foolishly engaged in rebellion against his father, and harassed Normandy from the place of his exile by pillage and other aggressions, he fell in love with the handsome concubine of an old priest, who lived somewhere on the frontier of France, [3] and had by her two sons, Richard and William. Having nourished these children for many years with great care, when they came to riper years, she took them to Normandy, and presented them to the duke as his sons, recalling to his memory many well-known tokens of their familiar intimacy in his youthful days. He partly acknowledged the truth of these assertions, but affected to doubt the children being his; the


[1] The first day of Rogations was Monday, May 7.

[2] St. Pancras at Lewes; see vol. ii., p. 472. At a later period the Norman priory of Mortemer-sur-Faulne was a dependence of it.

[3] Probably in the French Vexin.

260 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIII.

mother, therefore, publicly carried red-hot iron, and, receiving no injury, clearly proved that she had conceived by the king's son. Both these brothers were worthy and amiable, but they perished in a moment like the flower of grass; one, as we have seen, was cut off by a wound he received in hunting; and the other, after Henry made Robert prisoner at Tinchebrai, went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and after much distinguishing himself, soon fell in the wars.

Learn now, my reader, why the forest in which the young prince was slain received the name of the New Forest. That part of the country was extremely populous from early times, and full of well-inhabited hamlets and farms. A numerous population cultivated Hampshire with unceasing industry, so that the southern part of the district plentifully supplied Winchester with the products of the land. When William the First ascended the throne of Albion, being a great lover of forests, he laid waste more than sixty parishes, compelling the inhabitants to emigrate to other places, and substituted beasts of the chase for human beings, that he might satisfy his ardour for hunting. Two of his sons, Richard and William Rufus, as well as his grandson Richard, of whom we have lately spoken, perished in this forest; and apparitions of various kinds were seen there, to the great alarm of some persons; and in this way the Lord manifested his displeasure that consecrated churches had been ruined to make a shelter for wild beasts.

CH. XIV. William Rufus killed by a chance shot while hunting in the New Forest - He disregards warning dreams - The king's character and funeral - Account of Walter Tirel, his family and end - Prince Henry seizes the treasures at Winchester.

IN the month of July, while the king's fleet was being fitted out with every circumstance of royal pomp, and he himself, having collected from all quarters an immense sum of gold, was waiting on the coast the moment of sailing with great obstinate wilfulness, terrible visions respecting him were seen in the monasteries and cathedrals by the clergy of both classes, and becoming the common talk of the vulgar in the market places and churchyards, could not escape the notice of the king.

A.D. 1100.] WARNINGS TO WILLIAM RUFUS. 261

A certain monk of good repute, and still better life, who belonged to the abbey of St. Peter at Gloucester, [1] related that he had a dream in the visions of the night to this effect: "I saw", he said, "the Lord Jesus seated on a lofty throne, and the glorious host of heaven, with the company of the saints, standing round. But while, in my ecstacy, I was lost in wonder, and my attention deeply fixed on such an extraordinary spectacle, I beheld a virgin resplendent with light cast herself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and humbly address to him this petition: 'O Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, for which thou didst shed thy precious blood when hanging on the cross, look with an eye of compassion on thy people which now groans under the yoke of William. Thou avenger of wickedness, and most just judge of all men, take vengeance, I beseech thee, on my behalf of this William, and deliver me out of his hands, for, as far as lies in his power, he has polluted and grievously afflicted me'. The Lord replied: 'Be patient and wait awhile, and soon you will be amply revenged of him'. I trembled at hearing this, and doubt not that the divine anger presently threatens the king; for I understood that the cries of the holy virgin, our mother the church, had reached the ears of the Almighty, by reason of the robberies, the foul adulteries, and the heinous crimes of all sorts which the king and his courtiers cease not daily of committing against the divine law". [2]

On being informed of this, the venerable abbot Serlo [3]


[1] The abbey of St. Peter at Gloucester was founded during the reign of King Ethelred in the year 680.

[2] A foreign monk related to Robert Fitzhamon a still more frightful dream, in which he saw William Rufus come into a church with his usual menacing and insolent gestures, looking contemptuously on the standers-by and gnaw the legs and arms of Jesus Christ on the crucifix. The image bore this for a time, but at length struck the king with its foot in such a manner that he fell backwards. Then such volumes of flame burst from his mouth that the smoke darkened the sky. Robert Fitzhamon thought it right to tell this dream to the king, who heard it with shouts of laughter; "He is a monk", he exclaimed, "and dreams for money; give him a hundred pence". Still he hesitated a long time before he decided on hunting, and did not go till after dinner, having taken a more than usual quantity of wine. William of Malmesbury, p. 344, Bohn's Antig. Lib.

[3] Serlo, who was first a canon of Avranches, in the time of Bishop Michael, and afterwards a monk of Mont St. Michael, was elected first abbot of the Norman abbey of St. Peter at Gloucester in 1072, at the instance of King William. He rebuilt the church, which was consecrated in the month of July, 1100, a few days before the monk's dream.

262 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIV.

wrote letters which he despatched in a friendly spirit from Gloucester, informing the king very distinctly of all that the monk had seen in his vision. On the calends [1st] of August, they were celebrating the feast of St. Peter-in-Vinculis, in the same monastery, and immense crowds of people of all ranks were drawn together on that spot. Then Fulchered, a zealous monk of Seez [1] and first abbot of Shrewsbury, an eloquent expositor of the holy scriptures, being chosen as one of the oldest clergy, ascended the pulpit, and addressed a sermon to the congregation on the word of salvation. In the course of it he openly denounced offenders against the divine law, and filled, as it were, with a prophetic spirit, boldly advanced predictions such as this: "England", he said, "is allowed to become a heritage trodden under foot by the profane, because the land is full of iniquity. Its whole body is spotted by the leprosy of a universal iniquity, and infected by the disease of sin from the crown of the head to the sole of the feet. Unbridled pride stalks abroad, swelling, if I may say it, even above the stars of heaven. Dissolute lust pollutes not only vessels of clay, but those of gold, and insatiable avarice devours all it can lay hands on. But lo! a sudden change of affairs is threatened. The libertines shall not always bear rule, the Lord God will come to judgment of the open enemies of his spouse, and strike Moab and Edom with the sword of his signal vengeance, and overthrow the mountains of Gilboa with a fearful convulsion. The anger of the Lord shall no longer spare transgressors, and the wrath of heaven shall rage against the unbelieving children. The bow of divine vengeance is bent on the reprobate, and the swift arrow taken from the quiver is ready to wound. The blow will soon be struck, but the man who is wise enough to correct his sins will avoid the infliction".

This discourse with others of the same tendency, were addressed to the people in the temple of God on Wednesday, and suddenly the scourge began to be exhibited with full


[1] Fulchered, first abbot of Shrewsbury. See vol. ii. p. 202.

A.D. 1100.] WILLIAM RUFUS SLAIN. 263

effect. The morning [1] of the day following, King William, having dined with his minions, prepared, after the meal was ended, to go forth and hunt in the New Forest. Being in great spirits he was joking with his attendants while his boots were being laced, when an armourer came and presented to him six arrows. The king immediately took them with great satisfaction, praising the work, and unconscious of what was to happen, kept four of them himself and held out the other two to Walter Tirel. [2] "It is but right", he said, "that the sharpest arrows should be given to him who knows best how to inflict mortal wounds with them". This Tirel was a French knight of good extraction, the wealthy lord of the castles of Poix and Pontoise, filling a high place among the nobles, and a gallant soldier; he was therefore admitted to familiar intimacy with the king, and became his constant companion. Meanwhile, while they were idly talking on various subjects, and the king's household attendants were assembled about him, a monk of Gloucester presented himself and delivered to the king a letter from his abbot. Having read it, the king burst out laughing, and said merrily to the knight just mentioned, "Walter, do what I told you". The knight replied, "I will, my lord". Slighting then the warnings of the elders, and forgetting that the heart is lifted up before a fall, he said respecting the letter he had received, "I wonder what has induced my lord Serlo to write to me in this strain, for I really believe he is a worthy abbot and respectable old man. In the simplicity of his heart, he transmits to me, who have enough besides to attend to, the dreams of his snoring monks, and even takes the trouble to commit them to writing, and send them a long distance. Does he think that I follow the example of the English, who will defer their journey or their business on account of the dreams of a parcel of wheezing old women"?

Thus speaking, he hastily rose, and mounting his horse, rode at full speed to the forest. His brother, Count Henry,


[1] Wednesday, August 1, 1100. Malmesbury, whom we have just quoted, tells us that the king did not go out to hunt till after dinner, but that was an early meal in those days.

[2] Walter Tirel, lord of Poix (Somme), and keeper of the castle of Pontoise.

264 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIV.

with William de Breteuil [1] and other distinguished persons followed him, and, having penetrated into the woods, the hunters dispersed themselves in various directions according to custom. The king and Walter de Poix posted themselves with a few others in one part of the forest, and stood with their weapons in their hands eagerly watching for the coming of the game, when a stag suddenly running between them, the king quitted his station, and Walter [2] shot an arrow. It grazed the beast's grizzly back, but glancing from it, mortally wounded the king who stood within its range. He immediately fell to the ground, and alas! suddenly expired. [3] The death of one man caused the greatest confusion among numbers, and the wood echoed with fearful shouts occasioned by the death of their prince. Prince Henry lost no time in riding as fast as his horse could carry him to Winchester, where the royal treasure was kept, and imperiously demanded the keys from the keepers, as the lawful heir. William de Breteuil arrived at the same instant with breathless haste, for he anticipated Henry's deep policy and resolved to oppose it. "We ought", he said, "to have a loyal regard for the fealty we have sworn to your brother Robert. He is, undoubtedly, the eldest son of King William, and both I and you, my lord Henry, have


[1] William de Breteuil, son of William Fitz-Osberne.

[2] Walter Tirel, the third of that name. He must have undertaken the pilgrimage to the Holy Land in which he died after he founded the abbey of Selincourt in 1134. He also founded the priory of St. Denys at Poix. He lived in the Vexin in 1091, at which time he appears as witness in a charter of King Philip I., being a donation of the abbey of St. Melon at Pontoise to the archbishop of Rouen. We must not be surprised to find him sometimes at Pontoise and at others in Picardy, as the counts of Amiens were both counts of Pontoise and the French Vexin.

Richard Giffard, his wife's father, was probably brother of Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham.

Hugh Tirrel, son of Walter III. and Anne, went also to the Holy Land in 1146.

[3] Malmesbury informs us that on receiving the wound the king uttered not a word, but breaking off the shaft of the arrow where it projected from his body, fell upon the wound by which he accelerated his death. The sun was declining, and the king, at the time he was shot, was holding up his hand to screen his eyes from the sun's rays athwart the glades of the forest, while he was keenly gazing at a stag which he had just slightly wounded.

A.D. 1100.] FUNERAL OF WILLIAM RUFUS. 265

paid him homage. [1] Therefore we ought to keep our engagements to him in all respects, whether he be absent or present. He has long laboured in God's service, and the Lord now restores him, without a contest, the duchy which he relinquished for the love of heaven, as well as his father's crown". There was now a sharp contention between them, and crowds flocked round them from all quarters; but the influence of an heir present in person to claim his rights began to prevail. Henry hastily seizing his sword drew it out of the scabbard, declaring that no foreigner should on frivolous pretences lay hands on his father's sceptre.

At length, through the intervention of friends and prudent counsellors, the quarrel abated on one side and the other, and by a wise resolution, to prevent a serious rupture, the castle, with the royal treasures, was given up to Henry, the king's son. This had been long before predicted by the Britons, and the English desired to have for their lord a prince they regarded as illustrious because he was nobly born on the throne. [2]

On the king's death, many of the nobles hastened at once from the forest to their own abodes, and began to put their affairs in order, in anticipation of the troubles which they feared would follow. Some of the servants wrapped the king's bloody corpse in a mean covering, and brought it, like a wild bboar pierced by the hunters, to the city of Winchester. The clergy, the monks and citizens, with the poor widows and mendicants, went in procession without delay to meet the body, from respect to the royal dignity, and buried it in the old minster of St. Peter. [3] Notwithstanding,


[1] Our author, so far from applauding the loyalty of William de Breteuil, already exhibits his great partiality for Henry I. Robert Curthose was odious to the clergy not only on account of his licentious conduct, but because he afforded them no protection against the rapacity of the barons.

[2] He was the only son of William the Conqueror born after his accession to the throne of England, being what the Greeks of the lower empire called Porphyrogenites, born in the purple, a circumstance to which the Anglo-Saxons attached great importance, regarding it as a strong confirmation of the right to the throne.

[3] The king was interred within the court of the castle. That part of the building soon afterwards fell to the ground, and it was regarded as a sign of the divine wrath against the king. It was rebuilt from funds left by Bishop Walkelin. The funeral procession was not so mean as our author infers: multorum procerum conventu, paucorum planetu. Many of the nobility attended, though there were few mourners.

266 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIV.

the doctors and prelates of the church, taking into consideration his debauched life and tragical end, did not hesitate to pass sentence upon him, and thought, that as they had been unable to inflict salutary punishment upon him for his iniquities while he lived, he must be treated as a reprobate, [1] and one who did not merit absolution. In some churches the bells did not ring his knell, although they often are tolled long for paupers and women of the lowest rank. Of the immense treasure he had amassed, wrung from the labours of the wretched people, no alms were given to the poor for the soul of their former avaricious owner. The soldiers who served for hire, the bullies and common whores missed their gains at the death of the debauched king, and lamenting his miserable end, not so much from regard, as from their loss of the supplies which ministered to their detestable vices, sought carefully for Walter Tirel, threatening to tear him in pieces in revenge for the death of their patron. However, the moment the deed was done he hurried to the coast, and crossing the sea took repose in his castles in France, where he laughed in security at the threats and curses of his malevolent enemies. He married Alice, daughter of Richard, of the noble family of Giffard, who bore to her husband Hugh de Poix, a very valiant knight. Many years afterwards Walter went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and died penitent on the holy journey. [2]


[1] Biothanatum. The portrait of this king is thus drawn by a contemporary writer: "He was square-built, the colour of his skin red, and his hair of a yellowish tint, his brow was open, his eyes were of different shades, varying with certain glittering specks. His strength was prodigious, though his frame was not large, and his belly was rather protuberant. He had no pretensions to eloquence, but was remarkable for stammering in his speech especially when angry. He had so little inclination or leisure for learning that he never attended to it".- Malmesbury.

It appears, therefore, that his surname was given him more from the florid tint of his face than the colour of his hair. He was more than forty years old at the time of his death. One of the principal grievances of the Anglo-Saxon people in his time, as well as his father's, was the destruction of churches and churchyards in extending the forests. Stephen Berchington, Vitae Archiepiscop. Cantuar. attributes to him no less than twenty desecrations of this sort.

[2] It appears that Walter Tirel denied to the last his having been the person by whose hand William Rufus fell. Suger, a cotemporary 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, remarks: "One Walter Tirel, a nobleman, was accused of shooting the king with an arrow; but I have often heard him assert on his solemn oath, at a time when he had nothing either to fear or hope, that on that day he was neither in the part of the forest where the king was hunting, nor saw him at all while he was in the wood". This testimony, however, can hardly avail against the concurrent agreement of tradition and history.

A.D. 1100.] ACCESSION OF HENRY I. 267

CH. XV. Coronation of Henry I. - His character - Protects the church - Fills the vacant bishoprics and abbeys - Conduct of the nobles - Henry marries the Anglo-Saxon princess Matilda.

IN the year of our Lord 1100, on Thursday, the fourth of the nones [20th] of August, William Rufus was mortally wounded by an arrow in the New Forest, after having possessed the kingdom of England twelve years and nearly ten mouths. Thereupon Henry hastened to London with Robert earl of Mellent, and the following Sunday [1] was placed on the throne in the church of St. Peter the apostle, at Westminster, being anointed by the venerable Maurice, bishop of London. Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, was then an exile, as it has been already observed, and Thomas, archbishop of York, being lately dead, [2] that metropolitan see was still vacant. Henry was thirty years Old when he ascended the throne, and his reign lasted thirty-five years and four months. [3] He ruled the dominions, divinely committed to him, with prudence and success in prosperity and adversity, and was distinguished among the princes of Christendom for his love of peace and justice. In his time the church of God was brilliantly endowed with wealth and honours, and all orders of the religious increased to the glory of the Creator. This is shown by the monks and clergy, who, during his reign, augmented their numbers and their dignity; this is proved in the case of anchorites, who,


[1] Sunday, August 5.

[2] This is incorrect; the archbishop of York survived till the end of the following November. It is not even quite certain that he did not assist at the coronation of Henry I., placing the crown on his head, after the royal unction had been given by the bishop of London. At any rate the archbishop did not die till Sunday, November 28.

[3] In the MS. of St. Evroult the figures have been erased, and the six last words, "reigned five years and six months", interlined.

268 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XV.

felling dense woods, and rearing among them the lofty spires of churches and abbeys, exult in their labours, and sing the praises of God with heart-felt peace, where once robbers and outlaws, abandoned to all wickedness, found their retreats.

From the beginning of his reign, Henry had the wisdom to conciliate all parties, attaching them to his person by his royal munificence. He admitted the nobles to a high place in his favour, loaded them with wealth and honours, and secured their fidelity by his flattering caresses. The common people among his subjects he indulged with equitable laws, and protected by his authority from unjust exactions and pillage. This illustrious prince thus distinguished himself above all the lords and kings of the west, and obtained the favour both of the clergy and laity, who were delighted to find themselves governed with reason.

Henry began to console the widowed churches, deprived of their pastors, by giving them learned men, with the advice of his council. He promoted William Giffard, [1] who was the chancellor of the late king, to the see of Winchester, and Gerard, bishop of Hereford, to the archbishopric of York. [2] He also despatched messengers in haste over the sea, recalling to his see the venerable Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, who had been driven out by the indecent persecutions of King William. [3] Henry gave the abbey of Ely to Richard,


[1] This bishop must have been of the family of the Giffards, lords of Longueville and earls of Buckingham. He was chancellor to three kings, William I. in the latter years of his reign; William II. 1093-1100; Henry I. 1100-1108. Not having been willing to receive consecration from the archbishop of York, he left England with St. Anselm, and did not return till that prelate was recalled.

[2] Gerard, nephew of Walkeline, bishop of Winchester, and of Simeon, abbot of Ely, was first a canon and precentor of Rouen, and afterwards attached to the royal chapel. He was made bishop of Hereford in 1096, and archbishop of York on the decease of Thomas his predecessor in the month of November, 1100. Gerard died in 1108. He was only a sub-dcacon when he was appointed bishop, and Anselm had to ordain him deacon and priest the same day, and consecrated him bishop the day following.

[3] St. Anselm was at the abbey of Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne when he received the first intelligence of the death of William Rufus. He decided immediately to listen to the request of his clergy and return to England. He had not reached Lyons on the road from Cluni when King Henry's letter met him, and caused him to accelerate his journey. He arrived at Dover, September 23.

A.D. 1100.] HENRY FILLS THE VACANT ABBEYS. 269

son of Richard de Bienfaite, a monk of Bec, [1] and the abbey of St. Edmund, king and martyr, to Robert, a young monk of St. Evroult, son of Hugh, earl of Chester. [2] He appointed Herluin, of Caen, abbot of Glastonbury, and Faricius, of Malmesbury, to Abingdon. [3]

Hugh, earl of Chester, and Robert de Belesme, with other barons, who were at that time in Normandy, on learning


[1] Richard, abbot of Ely, was the fourth son of Richard de Bienfaite.

[2] Robert, abbot of St. Edmundsbury, was the third son of Hugh Lufus, earl of Chester.

The king bestowed these two abbeys on the day of his coronation. His good understanding with the abbot of Ely did not last long: at the outset Abbot Richard refused to be consecrated by the bishop of Lincoln in whose diocese his abbey stood, and afterwards he lost the royal favour for three reasons,- for having come to court with too pompous a retinue, for not obeying with sufficient punctuality the royal commands, and for shamefully dismissing a jester belonging to his household for foul words. This last charge is not very intelligible; conviciantem, the phrase used having also a good sense, being used by Martial for a merry jest, besides its common acceptation of railing or brawling. However, for these offences Richard was deprived of his abbey. He retired to Rome, where, meeting St. Anselm, he had the courage to espouse the cause of King Henry against that prelate, upon hearing which Henry restored him to the possession of his abbey. He retained it till his death, which happened in 1107, just at the time that he was making arrangements, with the king's consent, for its being erected to a bishopric, which took place soon afterwards.

The election of Robert de Chester was quashed in the council held at London by St. Anselm in the end of September, 1107, on the ground that the monks of St. Edmundsbury had the right to choose their own abbot. They forthwith exercised it, and substituted Robert their prior for Count Hugh's son. In general the English monks had a great aversion to Norman abbots on account of their arrogance, avarice and tyranny.

[3] Glastonbury abbey had been stripped by William the Conqueror of great part of its domains. Abbot Herluin proved a vigilant and economical steward of its property, and recovered part of what had been alienated.

The last two appointments were made soon after King Henry's coronation; for the new abbot of Glastonbury was instituted at the feast of ALL SAINTS, the same year, by the bishop of Lincoln. He had been a monk of Malmesbury, and Henry appears to have placed great confidence in his medical skill, so much so that we are told he frequently trusted for the restoration of his health to the abbot of Malmesbury's prescriptions only. So highly did the king esteem him that he had some intentions, after St. Anselm's death, of raising him to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. Faricius died February 23, 1117. He was a native of Arezzo.

270 ORDERICIIS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XV.

the fate of their unfortunate prince and the sudden change of events, put their affairs in Normandy in order, and hastening over to England offered due submission to the new king, and having done homage to him received confirmation in their possessions and all their dignities, with royal gifts.

King Henry did not listen to the counsels of rash young men, like Rehoboam, but wisely followed the advice of the wise, and the recommendations of experienced persons. He admitted to his councils Robert de Mellent, Hugh of Chester, Richard de Reviers, Roger Bigod, [1] and other able and sagacious men, and receiving with deference their prudent admonitions, ruled with success many states and nations.

This king, four months after he succeeded tb the throne, disdaining to abandon himself to illicit connections, and be like horse and mule which have no understanding, married with royal pomp Matilda, a noble lady, by whom he had two children, Matilda and William. [2] She was daughter of


[1] The reader is already sufficiently well acquainted with Robert de Meulan (or Mellent) and Hugh, earl of Chester, as well as with Richard de Reviers, son of Baldwin, the subject of a long note, vol. ii. p. 498.

As for Roger Bigod, or Bigot, he already held vast domains in the county of Norfolk of which we shall presently find his posterity securing the possession by a double perjury. Roger Bigod was probably the son of that Roger Bigod, a kinsman of Richard d'Avranches, who disclosed the ambitious designs of William Werlenc. See William of Jumieges, lvii. c. 22. This Robert Bigod seems to have become speedily an important person. In the charter of donation of St. Philibert-sur-Risle, in 1106, he appears as a witness to a release by Robert de Beaufoy, with Duke William and Roger de Beaumont only.

Our author forgets to mention among the great nobles attached to Henry I., Robert Fitz-Hamon and Henry, earl of Warwick, vir integer et sanctus, says William of Malmesbury.

[2] It may suffice to observe that Henry's desire to ally himself with the grand-daughter of Edward the Confessor was neither inspired by his purity of morals, which history flatly contradicts, nor attracted by very ardent passion for that princess, of whose exterior advantages all that William of Malmesbury can say is, that she was not very ugly - usquequaque despicabilis formae, and whose monastic habits and virtues were far from suiting the habits of the Norman princes. It was not without regret that she found herself compelled to quit the cloister and the veil (which she had really taken) to re-enter the world even upon a throne; and she again left it when she had borne two children to her husband, retiring to Westminster, and dividing her time between her devotions, the care of the sick, and the pleasure of listening to church music. That was her predominant passion, and she spared neither promises nor expense to draw round her proficients in that art.

It seems to have escaped our author that political motives were Henry's chief inducement to form this alliance. Received with coldness by the Norman barons, who preferred his brother Robert, he found that he could do nothing better than to conciliate in this way the English people, who preserved their devotion to the race of their ancient kings, and who saw in Matilda not only the restoration of the blood of Edward the Confessor, but his piety and monastic habits. Thus, long after her death, her memory was cherished under the name of MOLD, THE GOOD-QUENE.

A.D. 1100.] HENRY I. MARRIES MATILDA. 271

Malcolm, king of Scotland, and his queen Margaret, and descended from the race of King Alfred, son of King Egbert, [1] the first who possessed the sovereignty of the whole of England after the massacres of the Danes and the death of St. Edmund, king and martyr. After the Angles came into Britain from the isle of Angle, in which the metropolis of Saxony is situated, and, under Hengist their principal chief, conquered or exterminated the Britons, now called the Welsh, they named it England, after their native country. Five kings then reigned in it, as we find in the works of Gildas the Briton, and Bede the Englishman. [2]

The wise Henry, reflecting on the illustrious birth of the princess I have named, and having been long attracted by her many graces and virtues, chose her for his partner in Christ, and shared his throne with her, causing her to he crowned by Gerard, bishop of Hereford. [3] Having given


[1] King Alfred was not son, but grandson of Egbert.

[2] It is unnecessary to follow the author in his digression on the isle of Angle, and the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, of which he is pleased to make a Pentarchy. Every one knows that the Angles were only one of the three tribes who invaded and colonized Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries, the others being the Jutes who had Hengist and Horsa for their chiefs, and established themselves in the isle of Thanet in 449; and the Saxons who settled in Sussex and Surrey (491), Westsex (494), and Essex (527). The Angles who came from the S.E. of the duchy of Sleswig, established themselves in the eastern counties, East Anglia (527), the northern, Northumbria, and lastly in Mercia, the central districts between the Thames, the Humber, and the Severn, in 528.

[3] The marriage was celebrated on St. Martin's day, November 11, three months after Henry's coronation. St. Anselm was with difficulty induced to consent to it, because Matilda had actually taken the veil. Fortunately witnesses were found to swear "that she had merely worn it to get rid of her suitors without making her profession". The princess herself only yielded from fear of violence, and by the persuasion of her abbess. It was not the bishop of Hereford, as our author states, but St. Anselm, who gave the nuptial benediction to the royal couple, and crowned the young queen.

272 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVI.

these brief details of events in England, I must now add to my work what concerns the affairs of Normandy.

CH. XVI. Disturbances in Normandy on the death of William Rufus - Duke Robert, returning front the crusade, takes possession of the duchy - Disorders in consequence of his indolence.

IN the month of August, no sooner was the disastrous fate of the king known in Normandy, than the unbridled rage of the Normans vented itself in tearing open the wounds in the entrails of their own country; for the very same week William, earl of Evreux, and Ralph de Conches made an incursion on the territories of Beaumont with a powerful force, and swept off a vast booty from the lands of Robert, earl of Millent, on the pretext of some injuries he had inflicted on their allies arising out of the perfidious counsels which he had long since given William Rufus against them. [1] In like manner, others who had long harboured anger and malice, which they were unable to vent in open hostilities on account of the rigour of their prince's government, now that the reins of justice were relaxed, flew to arms against each other with the utmost violence, and desolated that unhappy country, while it had no sovereign, with mutual slaughter and ruin.

In the course of September, Duke Robert returned to Normandy, and being received by bis subjects, undertook a journey with his consort Sibylla to Mount St. Michael-in- peril-of-the-Sea. There, having offered thanks to God for his safe return from his long pilgrimage, he afterwards knew his wife, [2] who was daughter of Geoffrey, count de Conversana, and the year following she bore him a son, who, being baptized by William the archbishop, received that prelate's name. Robert took possession of his duchy without any


[1] The vast domains of the count of Mellent at Beaumont-le-Roger lay, in fact, contiguous to those of the count of Evreux and the territory of Conches, the lords of which had for several generations maintained hostilities with those of Beaumont, the objects of their constant jealousy. Robert de Beaumont's haughty and rapacious character was little calculated to extinguish these hereditary feuds.

[2] Our author would seem to intimate that Robert Curthose did not consummate his union with the duchess Sibylla until after his pilgrimage to Mount St. Michael, which is not very probable.

A.D. 1100.] SIEGE OF THE CASTLE OF MANS. 273

opposition, and governed it, in name at least, for nearly eight years. [1] But he desperately [2] abandoned himself to indolence and effeminacy, and thus rendered himself contemptible to his restless and turbulent subjects. Robberies and ravages were carried on in all quarters without restraint, and calamities were multiplied to the ruin of the whole country.

CH. XVII. Count Elias regains the town of Mans, and besieges the citadel - Singular transactions during the siege - Its surrender - Elias restored to the county of Maine - His subsequent acts and his family.

ELIAS, son of John de Fleche, having heard the welcome news of the death of King William fully confirmed, put himself in march for Mans at the head of a body, of his armed retainers, and, being well received by the citizens who were well affected to him, took possession of the city without opposition; and, calling to his aid Fulk, count of Anjou, his suzerain lord, besieged the citadel for a long time. Haimeric de Moira and Walter of Rouen, son of Ansger, [3] held the town with a sufficient garrison and plentiful stores of provisions and arms, and all that was required for the besieged to make an obstinate resistance. The two parties had daily conferences, and threatened each other; but their menaces were frequently mingled with jokes. Count Elias was allowed the privilege, whenever he wished to confer with those who had the custody of the citadel, of doing so without molestation on his putting on a white tunic. Trusting without hesitation to the good faith of persons of whose honour and loyalty he felt assured, and being distinguished by his white dress, he frequently went among the enemy all alone, and did not hesitate to hold long


[1] Our author in this paragraph is, as usual with him, incorrect in the chronology. Between the month of September, 1100, and the 28th September, 1106, it is impossible to count eight years, even commenced.

[2] Damnabiliter.

[3] We have often heard before of this Walter, son of Ansger, as commander of the citadel of Mans. As for Haimer "de Moria", his name ought to be written "Moira". There are still existing traces of two fiefs so called, one at St. Vincent-des-Pres, the other at Colombiers. A charter of William Rufus is extant, addressed, "Hamerico de Moira", relating to the church and canons of St. Julien at Mans.

274 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVII.

conversations with them. Those within the castle and those without mutually indulged in good-humoured banter on a variety of subjects, jesting with each other without ill-will, so that their discourse became the admiration and delight of the people of that country in future times.

At length Walter and Hameric, after some days, said to Elias, "We guard this strong castle, which our master has committed to our custody, and we fear neither you nor your warlike engines as long as we choose to resist you. It is in our power to annoy you with stones and arrows, having the advantage of you from our high tower; but from the fear of God and our natural regard for you, we do not injure you, especially as we really do not know in whose service we now are, and for whom we hold the place. We think it, therefore, would be right and convenient that a truce should be made on both sides until a messenger returns from our lords, the princes of England and Normandy. On his return we shall do what reason tells us". Elias was delighted at this proposal which he communicated to Fulk, and both readily agreed in accepting the terms offered by the Normans.

Meanwhile, the messenger who was despatched to the duke of Normandy thus addressed him: "Walter and Hameric guard the citadel of Mans, according to King William's orders; they are besieged by the forces of Maine and Anjou, and they demand succour from you, wishing to learn what they shall do to follow your wishes. If you desire to hold the place, come to their relief with a strong body of troops, and release them from the enemy who is besieging them. Otherwise instruct them what they are to do that they may escape destruction".

The duke, exhausted by the fatigues of his long pilgrimage, and liking better to enjoy a quiet bed than to encounter the toils of war, sent word to the besieged by their messenger that they were to make peace on honourable terms with the besieging army. "I am worn out", he said, "with my protracted labours, and am contented with the duchy of Normandy. I am also invited to cross the sea by the barons of England, who are ready to acknowledge me king".

The messenger from the garrison, on receiving this answer, did not return to Mans, but embarking in all haste

A.D. 1100.] ELIAS, COUNT OF MAINE, RESTORED. 275

went to the court of the king of England, and communicated to him in detail with great clearness what the duke had just said to him, as I have quoted it. Henry, however, was so occupied with the affairs of his transmarine states, that he wisely preferred devoting himself to the care of what was lawfully his own, than to burden himself through ambition with foreign enterprises which had no just claim on his attention. He therefore returned his thanks to the keepers of the citadel for their good will towards him, and honourably dismissed their envoy with royal gifts. The messenger accordingly returned to his employers, and detailed to them the answers he had successively received from King William's sons.

In consequence, Walter and Hameric, having laudably proved their fidelity, caused Elias to put on the white shirt, which was the occasion of his being called "The White Bachelor"; [1] and he lost no time in obeying the summons. The keeper of the citadel, seeing him coming in great haste, called out to him merrily: "White Bachelor, you may well be glad, now that the moment you have long expected is arrived. If you have plenty of money in your treasury, you will be able to make a good bargain with us". Elias asking what sort of a bargain they meant, they replied: "The great William, king of England, built this citadel; his successor entrusted it to our keeping; but now, alas, he is dead. We therefore give it up to you, and acknowledge you as count of Maine. We do so under no compulsion, and under no alarm at your valour; if we wished to make a longer resistance, we have the means of protracting the siege, for our hearts are bold, and arms and provisions are not wanting. But we have no legitimate master, to whose service we may devote our powers, and, therefore, noble sir, well assured of your merit, we choose you; and having surrendered the citadel into your hands, declare you count of Maine from this day".


[1] The text reads Bacularis, one who carries a baton or staff, but Baccalarius is evidently the word meant. The name was given to Count Elias not from his being a knight, bachelor or banneret, but because he was deprived of his honour as count of Maine, and consequently held an inferior position to that which properly belonged to him. He was therefore a pretender, an aspirant to the county, as the bachelors were to the rank of knights-banneret.

276 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVII.

The gallant soldiers, having thus addressed Elias, concluded a treaty with him, and delivered to him that strongly fortified citadel, with all the stores collected in it by William Rufus. Peace being restored, the brave garrison marched out with their arms and baggage, and were received by the two counts, [1] not as vanquished foes, but as faithful allies. Count Elias conducted them in safety through the streets at the head of two hundred men-at-arms, for their protection against the citizens, whose houses they had burnt the year before. In this manner Count Elias recovered his county after three years, and he governed it with honour until the time of his death, nearly ten years afterwards. [2]

Meanwhile, in the course of a few years, he contracted his daughter Eremburge in marriage with Fulk, count of Anjou, his suzerain's son, [3] and appointed him his successor as count of Maine. He afterwards made alliances with Duke Robert and King Henry, and took a distinguished part in the wars between them, [4] to the great injury of one of those princes and advantage of the other. On the death of his consort, not liking to submit to a life of celibacy, he married Agnes, daughter of William, duke of Poitiers, and relict of Alphonso the Elder, king of Galicia. [5] The marriage was celebrated with great rejoicings, but the princess unhappily died the year following. Bishop Hildebert interred her remains in the church of St. Peter the apostle, at Couture.


[1] Fulk, count of Anjou, and Elias, count of Maine.

[2] Count Elias died July 11, 1110, and was buried in the abbey church of La Couture. His tomb was to be seen there as late as the year 1790. He was represented upon it in chain armour, with his helmet on his head, and holding a triangular shield on which was emblazoned a cross "ancree".

[3] This marriage also took place in 1110, according to the chronicle of St. Aubin.

[4] At the battle of Tinchebrai.

[5] This marriage was contracted in 1109. Agnes, daughter of William VIII., count of Poitiers, was not a widow. She had been divorced in 1080, on account of consanguinity, from Alphonso VI., king of Leon, Castille, and Galicia, to whom she was married in 1074.

A.D. 1101.] ROBERT CURTHOSE PRETENDS TO THE CROWN. 277

CH. XVIII. The Norman barons in England form a league in favour of Robert Curthose - He crosses the channel, and claims the crown - Treaty between him and Henry I. - Flambard committed to the tower - Escapes - His career in Normandy - Death of Gilbert Maminot, bishop of Lisieux - And affairs of that see.

IN the year of our Lord 1101, great disturbances broke out in England and Normandy. The turbulent barons, dreading the firmness of King Henry, and preferring the inactive government of the imbecile Duke Robert, which gave them licence for their malpractices, began to entertain treasonable designs, and invited him to equip a fleet and cross over to England. Robert de Belesme and his two brothers, Roger of Poitiers [1] and Arnulph, [2] together with William de Warrenne, earl of Surrey, [3] Walter Gifford, [4] Ivo de Grantmesnil, [3] and Robert Fitz-Ilbert, [6] and several others were parties to the league, and aided the duke's cause, at


[1] Roger de Montgomery, sometimes called earl of Lancaster, third son of Mabel and Roger de Montgomery, received the surname of the Poitevin on account of the vast domains he possessed in Poitou in right of his wife Almodis.

[2] Arnulph de Montgomery, castellan, not earl, of Pembroke, as the French writers call him, was the fourth son of Mabel and Roger.

[3] William de Warrenne, earl of Surrey, the second of that name.

[4] Walter Giffard, second of the name, and earl of Buckingham; he died the year following, as we shall presently find.

[5] Ivo de Grantmesnil was one of the Funambules at Antioch, see before, pp. 128, 129.

[6] Robert, son of Ilbert de Laci, who held the castle of Pontefract in Yorkshire, and sixty-three other manors, most of them in the same county. This Robert de Laci founded at Pontefract a priory of the order of Cluni, in which he placed monks from the celebrated abbey of La Charite-sur-Loire. In the charter of foundation he mentions his father Ilbert and his mother Havise.- Mon. Angl. i. 648.

Ilbert de de Laci and his mother Havise were owners of Bois l'Eveque, near Darnetal. Emma de Laci, when she took the veil at St. Amand of Rouen, some time before the year 1069, gave to that abbey twenty-two acres of land in Boos on Mount Mainart, probably Mount Main, which the abbess sold to a monk of La Trinite-du-Mont.

In 1080 Enguerrard, son of Hilbert (probably Ilbert de Laci), gave to the Trinite-du-Mont two thirds of the tithes of Bois l'Eveque. This Enguerrard was apparently a great person, as his signature precedes that of the count of Morton. There is great reason to believe that he was a son, hitherto unknown, of Ilbert de Laci. For the genealogy of this family in England, see Monastic. Anglican., p. 859.

278 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVIII.

first in secret, but afterwards openly. The weak duke, instead of guarding his own dominions, imprudently hazarded and lost them, led away by his ambition for a crown which his abler brother firmly wore.

The duke at this time granted to Robert de Belesme the bishopric of Seez, [1] with the castle of Argentan and the forest of Gouffern; and to Theobald Paganus the castle of Gisors, [2] because on one occasion he had found an asylum with him. He also made large presents from his treasury to other lords, and promised if he became king far more than he could perform. As, also, he did not give up the society of harlots and buffoons, but shamefully encouraged them, he so wasted his means, that, in spite of the wealth of his wide duchy, he was often penniless, and so much in want of clothes that he lay in bed till twelve o'clock, and could not go to church to hear mass, because he had nothing to wear; for the idle scamps and loose women with whom he was constantly surrounded, knowing his weakness, frequently robbed him with impunity of his breeches, hose, and other articles of dress. In him was fulfilled the saying of a wise man:

Who waste their wealth at home must emigrate. [3]


[1] By the bishopric of Seez must he understood not the ecclesiastical revenues of that see, but the possession of and feudal rights over the country dependent on it, better known as the Hiemois.

[2] The castle of Gisors had been erected by William Rufus on the domain of that place belonging to the archbishop of Rouen. Theobald (Tibaud) Paganus held the fief of Gisors and that of Neaufle under the archbishop ut casamentum. This kind of tenure seems to have been a sort of stewardship, at least in its origin, and applied particularly to church lands.

Although the family of Paganus was ancient and distinguished, and had been for several generations in possession of Neaufle and Gisors, there was the greater imprudence in the duke's granting him the royal castle of William Rufus, the key of Normandy on this side, because the domains, the connections, the sympathies, and even the pious foundations of these lords of the castle of Gisors, were all on the other side of the Epte. In a word, it was a family of the French Vexin transplanted to Gisors, without ever taking root there. All these considerations were set aside for the salve of recompensing an act of hospitality. This was consistent with the character of Robert Curthose, but it was paying the bill for his entertainment a little too dear.

[3] The text is a rhyming hexameter verse:

"Qui sua demergunt, hi post extrania pergunt".

A.D. 1101.] THE BARONS TAKE DIFFERENT SIDES. 279

The Norman barons, holding cheap their own duke, and disposed to favour the cause of the king of England, resolved on transferring to him the duchy of Normandy, and sent frequent messengers to rouse his ambition to this point. Thus both parties were depraved by growing treason, and, faithless to their sovereigns, engaged in conspiracies to their injury. Some, breaking into open insurrection, flew to arms against their loval neighbours, and stained their country's fertile soil with ravages, flames, and cruel slaughters. The venerable Archbishop Anselm, and all the bishops and abbots, with the clergy and the whole English people, adhered firmly to their own prince, and prayed without ceasing to the Lord of Sabaoth for the safety of their king and the stability of his throne. [1] Robert de Mellent also, and many other loyal and prudent barons, maintained their fealty to their lord, and supported him with their forces and their counsels.

Ranulph Flambard, bishop of Durham, [2] was the chief


[1] It was quite natural for the Norman barons, who were daily witnesses of the disorderly conduct and follies of Robert Curthose, to have more sympathy for King Henry, whose yoke, as yet easy even to his own subjects, could not be so heavy on them as on their neighbours over the sea. But the clergy on both sides the Manche were devoted to Henry, whose more regular habits and respectful conduct to the church gave no offence to public decency. There was a still more powerful motive for the ecclesiastics' predilection for the king; it was the severity with which he administered justice and maintained order in his states, the protection he gave to their persons, their property, and their revenues, against the rapacity of the nobility and soldiery. In consequence of this, the English barons in his reign complained of their straitened resources, and were anxious for a government which, less firm, would allow them to pillage and extort money at their own pleasure.

[2] For the character of this bishop, see vol. ii. pp. 466, 467. Historians are not agreed either as to the Christian or surname (or rather the nick-name) of this person. He is called Radulfus, Randulfus, and Ranulfus, probably three forms of the same name, and Flambard, or Passeflabere. At first he had been dean of the college of Twineham in Hampshire, but having quarrelled with the bishop, entered the service of William Rufus, becoming his chaplain as early as 1088, at which time the king made him abbot of Winchester. The year following, on the death of archbishop Lanfranc, he was appointed to administer the revenues of that see, and in 1091, those of the see of Lincoln and abbey of Chertsey were added to his charge. In 1097, the number of bishoprics and abbeys entrusted to his administration for the king's profit was sixteen, "which", say the Annals of Winton, "he reduced to extreme poverty ... both the clergy and laity were in such distress that they were weary of their lives". Ranulf held at the same time the offices of justiciary and treasurer. He was named to the bishopric of Durham by William Rufus on Whitsunday, May 24, 1099, and consecrated the Sunday following.

280 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVIII.

instigator of this mad enterprise. He was a man of low origin, who, by his flatteries and crafty policy, had so crept into the favour of William Rufus, that he was raised by that king above all the nobles of the realm. Being made lord high treasurer and justiciary, he brought on himself the hatred and fear of numbers of the king's subjects, by the cruel severities with which he performed his functions. Amassing wealth and enlarging his property in all quarters, he became enormously rich, and was advanced to the episcopacy, although he was very illiterate, not for his piety, but for his worldly power. But as all earthly prosperity is of short duration, on the death of his patron, King William, the bishop was thrown into prison by the new king as an inveterate robber of his country. For the many injuries he had inflicted on Henry himself and the other children of the soil, both rich and poor, by which he had in various ways heaped constant troubles upon them, he was, thanks to divine providence which changed the current of affairs, hurled from his proud elevation, [1] and committed to the custody of William de Magnaville, [2] to be confined in fetters in the tower of London. But, as Ovid says, speaking of Daedalus:-

"The wits misfortune sharpens, ..." [3]


[1] Historians are not agreed respecting the exact date of Ranulf's imprisonment, varying it between the 8th and 18th of September.

[2] This person belonged to the family of Magneville, or Mandeville, afterwards earls of Essex. He appears as witness to a charter of Geoffrey de Magneville in favour of the priory of Hurley. His name occurs immediately after that of Lasceline, wife of Geoffrey, from whence it may be supposed that he was her brother. See Mon. Anglican. i. p. 363. It is not known from what place the numerous branches of the Norman family of Mandeville, Magneville, or Manneville sprung, but it is certain that it was not from Magneville near Valognes, which was then the property of the lords of Briquebec. It is also known that their Norman estates lay partly in the neighbourhood of Creuli (from whence M. Delisle places them at Mandeville le Trevieres), and the rest round Argentan, where at a later period they held the honour of Chamboi given to William de Magneville, nephew of the person here named, by Philip d'Alsace, count of Flanders, who possessed it in right of his wife Isabel de Vermandois, heiress of the counties of the Vexin and Amiens, which were the gift of Duke Richard II. with Elbeuf on the Seine.

[3] "Ingenium mala saepe monent".

A.D. 1101.] FLAMBARD ESCAPES FROM THE TOWER. 281

the crafty prelate contrived his release from prison, effecting his liberation by the adroit use of his friend's assistance. Indeed, he had great ability and fluency of speech, and although he was cruel and passionate, such was his generosity and constant good humour, that he rendered himself a general favourite, and was even beloved. By the king's command, he was allowed every day two shillings for his diet while in confinement, so that, with the assistance of his friends, he fared sumptuously for a prisoner, and kept daily a splendid table for himself and his keepers. One day a cord was brought to the bishop in a flagon of wine, and, causing a plentiful banquet to be served, the guards having partaken of it in his company, washed it down with Falernian cups in the highest spirits. Having intoxicated them to such a degree that they slept soundly, the bishop secured the cord to a mullion in the centre of the tower window, and, catching up his pastoral staff, began to lower himself by means of the cord. But, now, having forgotten to put on gloves, his hands were excoriated to the bone by the rough cord, and as it did not reach the ground, the portly bishop fell, and being much bruised, groaned piteously. Faithful friends and tried followers were waiting at the foot of the tower, where they had swift horses in readiness for him, though they were in great terror. [1] Having mounted on horseback with them, they fled with the utmost speed, and escorted by his trusty companions, who had charge of his treasure, he lost no time in hastening on shipboard, and, crossing over to Normandy, presented himself to Duke Robert.

Flambard's mother, who was a sorceress, and had frequent conferences with the devil, in the course of which accursed familiarity she lost an eye, was sailing to Normandy in another ship with her son's treasure, and during the voyage was often exposed to the derision of the crew by her hellish incantations. Meanwhile, meeting with pirates on the passage, the ship was plundered of all the treasure, and the sorceress, half-naked and very sorrowful, with the guards and steersmen, was set on shore on the coast of Normandy. The fugitive bishop, being received with welcome, was entrusted with the government of the duchy; and, as far as


[1] Ranulf made his escape either on the 1st or 4th of February, 1101; it is not certain which.

282 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVIII.

his indolence permitted, Robert availed himself of his counsels. His principal object was to rouse the duke to engage in hostilities with his brother, using all his efforts to exasperate him against the king. He pointed out the best mode of securing the crown of England, and promised him his aid under all circumstances.

At length, during the autumn, Robert passed the Straits, and landing in England, and being well received by the illustrious and powerful persons who had joined the league and were expecting him, made preparations for war with the king. His fleet was vastly inferior to that with which his father had invaded England, and he landed at Portsmouth, [1] more by the contrivance of the traitorous conspirators, than by the strength of his armament. The duke was immediately conducted by those peers of the realm who had already done homage to him into the province of Winchester, where he fixed his quarters, and, at the instance of the disaffected barons, challenged his brother to battle, unless he chose to abdicate his throne. Many of the nobles who had hitherto kept appearances with the king, welcomed the duke on his landing, and augmented his army with their troops. [2] Thus Robert de Belesme, William, earl of Surrey, and several more, deserted from the king's standard; while many others, that they might find pretexts for leaving him, preferred unjust demands, threatening that they would


[1] Robert Curthose embarked at Treport, and landed at Portsmouth the 1st of August. King Henry expected him in the neighbourhood of Hastings, that part of the coast being the point of a regular course of navigation, but the duke deranged his combinations by landing at Portsmouth, front which place he marched towards Winchester.

[2] The English were much embarrassed in deciding to which of the two brothers they should give the preference. Henry had in their eyes two great advantages, that of having married the heiress of the line of their Anglo-Saxon kings, and that of having been born after the Conquest, and of being consequently what the Greeks of the Lower Empire oalled Porphyrogenites. But the people of England had not yet recovered from the terror of the Norman arms which the battle of Hastings had inspired. Henry was compelled to have the English troops often arranged in his own presence, and to teach them himself military exercises and the use of arms to give them some degree of confidence on the field of battle. The Norman lords, indignant at all these attentions to the sympathies and wants of a conquered race, called Henry in derision Godric, and his wife Goddith, or Godiva.

A.D. 1101.] DEATH OF HUGH LUPUS. 283

abandon his cause unless their pretensions were satisfied. On the other hand Robert de Mellent, Richard de Revieres, and many other stout barons, rallied round their king. The people of England, to a man, repudiating the claims of the other prince, were firm in their loyalty to their native king, and demanded to be led to battle for him.

Meanwhile, Hugh, earl of Chester, took to his bed, and, after a long illness, having taken the monastic habit in the abbey founded by himself at Chester, died in the course of three days, on the sixth of the calends of August [July 27]. [1] His son Richard, a young man of handsome person, his only child, by Ermentrudo, daughter of Hugh de Claremont, succeeded to the earldom, which he held for nearly twelve years, beloved by all. He married Matilda, daughter of Stephen, count de Blois, by Adele, sister of King Henry, but they both unhappily perished in the wreck of the Blanche-Neuf, on the seventh of the calends of December [November 27], as will be hereafter fully related. [2]

The earl of Mellent, observing the plots and defection of his countrymen, and endeavouring to keep his fealty to his friend and sovereign, in adversity as well as prosperity, reflected secretly with much acuteness on the state of affairs, and used every exertion that the settlement of the crown should not be shaken. He therefore said to the king: "Every honest and just man, when he sees his friend in distress, ought, if he wishes to have his faithfulness believed, to employ all his efforts to succour that friend in time of need. In doing this, he should look less to the future reward of his services than to the means in his power for rendering aid. But we see many persons acting quite otherwise, and staining their honour by a shameful breach of the


[1] Hugh Lupus, viscount of Avranches and earl of Chester, who has been so often mentioned before, had brought St. Anselm to England in 1092 to restore the ancient monastery of St. Werburgh at Chester, in which he substituted Benedictine monks for the regular canons who had before occupied it. See Monast. Anglic. i. 199. His wife was daughter of Hugh, count de Clermont in Beauvoisis, and of Margaret de Rouci.

[2] Richard, earl of Chester, son of Hugh Lupus, married Matilda of Blois, niece of Henry I., and perished with her in the shipwreck of the Blanche-Neuf, after enjoying his hereditary honours, not twelve, but nineteen years.

284 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVIII.

fealty they have pledged to their lord. Doubtless, this is clear enough, and it causes us the most poignant inward pain. We, however, to whom the care of the commonwealth is divinely committed, ought to look well to the safety of the realm and the church of God. It should be our chief concern, that, by God's grace, we may live in peace, gain the victory without the effusion of Christian blood, and that the loyal people may live in the enjoyment of a state of tranquillity. Now, then, my lord king, listen to my advice, and condescend to follow my counsels. Speak graciously to all your knights; caress them as a father does his children; soothe them with promises, granting their requests, and in this manner adroitly conciliate the attachment of all your adherents. If they should even ask for London or York, do not hesitate to make magnificent promises, befitting a royal liberality. It is better to give away a small portion of the kingdom, than, by making a number of enemies, to lose both victory and life. When, however, we get happily to the end of this affair, by God's help, useful advice can be given as to reclaiming the domains which treasonable deserters may have usurped during the war. It is certain that whoever voluntarily deserts his lord when in peril of his life, and attaches himself to another for love of gain, or makes a market to his king of the military service which he is bound to give freely for the defence of the realm, and attempts to rob him of his royal domains, should in the eyes of justice and equity be considered a traitor, and, incurring the forfeiture of his hereditary estates, be driven into exile". [1]

All the great men who were present approved the earl's discourse and advised the king to follow his advice. Henry, who was endowed with great sagacity, thanked his faithful counsellors and fully acquiesced in their prudent recommendation. He therefore conciliated by promises and gifts many of the lords whose fidelity was suspected. At length, he advanced with a powerful army to meet his brother, sending envoys to him with instructions to demand


[1] Although it is impossible to vouch for the authenticity of this discourse, its tenor is quite in harmony with what we know of the very relaxed notions of honour entertained both by Robert de Mellent and his sovereign.

TERMS BETWEEN HENRY I. AND ROBERT CURTHOSE. 285

distinctly for what reason he dared to enter England at the head of armed troops. Robert sent the following answer by his own messengers: "I have come to the kingdom of my father, in company with my barons, to claim it as my own by right of primo-geniture".

The two brothers pitched their camps near each other for some days on a certain level tract, [1] and interchanged messengers by noble envoys. The turbulent traitors desired war rather than peace, and looking more to their private advantage than the public good, their wily emissaries perverted the words of the princes, and promoted strife rather than concord between the brothers. The wise Henry soon discovered this, and in consequence sought a conference with his brother face to face, and on their meeting both felt the gentle influence of brotherly affection. Their numerous troops formed a magnificent circle round them, displaying the terrible but brilliant spectacle of the Normans and English under arms. The two brothers met unattended in the centre and conversed together in the presence of the troops, and while all eyes were fixed upon them, they gave free vent to the thoughts of their hearts by words of sincerity. After a short conversation they embraced each other with loving kisses, and were reconciled without reserve. I cannot insert here the words used at this conference, not having been present at it, but I have learnt from what I heard the results of this meeting of the illustrious brothers.

Imprimis, Duke Robert renounced the claim which he had preferred to the crown of England in favour of his brother, and released him, in consideration of his royal dignity, from the homage he had paid him a long while before. On his part, King Henry engaged to pay his brother yearly three thousand pounds sterling, and ceded to him the whole county of Coutances and all his other possessions in Normandy, except Damfront. He retained the castle of Damfront only, because he had pledged his oath to the people


[1] According to Wace, whose authority is somewhat doubtful, the two brothers met in a forest district called Hantone (Hampton), probably near Hampton Court. It may be that Robert Curthose marched in this direction in consequence of having learnt that his sister-in-law had not recovered from the effects of childbirth at Winchester, at which city it was his original design to take up his position.

286 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XVIII.

there, when they gave him admission, never to let the place pass out of his own hands, nor to change their laws and customs. The brothers agreed on the articles of their treaty without the intervention of any umpires, and, in the sight of all those who formed the circle round them and beheld them with admiration, resolved that they would mutually aid each other as brothers should, that they would recover all the territories possessed by their father, and would punish on both sides, those who had infamously sown dissension between them. [1]

Peace being thus concluded, the traitors were covered with confusion, and became contemptible even to those on whom they had lavished their flatteries, being compelled in disgrace and pale with fear to fly from the presence of the king. The loyal commons, devoted to their honest labours, were clamorous with joy, and the armed troops were disbanded by the king's licence and returned rejoicing to their respective abodes. The whole realm of England enjoyed the still delight of renewed tranquillity, and the church of God, flourishing during a long season of repose, exhibited the beauty of the divine law, and rendered its service to God in security, undisturbed by the clash of arms.

The truth of our account is evidenced by the number of new churches and chantries recently erected in the villages of England, as well as by the cloistered buildings of the abbeys and other monastic offices constructed during King Henry's reign. For all the religious orders, being in the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, rivalled each other in manifesting their zeal in all that belongs to the worship of the omnipotent Deity, both internally and externally. In the fervour of their devotion the faithful undertook to demolish the temples and habitations that they might substitute for them edifices on a better scale. The buildings which were erected in the times of Edgar, Edward, and other Christian kings, were therefore levelled to the ground, that they might be succeeded by others, larger and loftier, and of more elegant architecture, to the Creator's glory.


[1] Ordericus omits mentioning what might have proved the most important article in this treaty to the interests of Robert Curthose, the provision that "the survivor of the two brothers should be heir to the other, dying without issue". Henry of Huntingdon, p. 240; Bohn's Antiq. Lib.

A.D. 1101.] DEATH OF GILBERT MAMINOT. 287

Duke Robert spent two months with his brother the king, and then, as winter approached, returned to Normandy loaded with royal gifts, and taking with him William de Warrenne and several others who had been disinherited for their share in his enterprise.

A short time afterwards Gilbert, surnamed Maminot, [1] the bishop of Lisieux [2] died in the month of August at an advanced age, upon which Fulcher, the brother of Flambard was consecrated bishop of that see by William the archbishop in the month of June. Being almost illiterate, he had to thank his brother's interest for pushing him forward from attendance at court to become a bishop. However his munificence was commendable; and having filled the see only seven months, he died in January following. Then Ralph Flambard, who lived in Normandy, a banished man, and was deprived of his bishopric of Durham by the king's hatred of him, obtained the see of Lisieux for his son Thomas a mere child, governing it himself for three years, not as a bishop but as a provost. Meanwhile William de Paci bought the


[1] Gilbert Maminot, bishop of Lisieux, has been often mentioned in the preceding history. See in particular, vol. ii. pp. 121, 402, and this vol. p. 62, with the note.

It appears from one of these passages that he was son of a brave knight, Robert de Courbepine, near Bernai. We find Ralph de Courbepine settled in Kent soon after the Conquest, and having a lawsuit with Archbishop Lanfranc before Hugh de Montford, respecting lands in the Isle of Thanet.

Besides persons of the name of Courbepine, there were some of the name of Maminot in England after the Conquest. Walkelin Maminot, in particular, restored to the monks of Shrewsbury a farm which had been unjustly taken from them by Hamon Peverel, his uncle.

[2] According to the obituary of Lisieux, Fulcher died the 29th of January, 1102.

[3] Praeses. When Ranulf got possession of the bishopric of Lisieux in the name of his son Thomas, he stipulated that in case of that son's death he should be replaced by one of his other children. This scandal only lasted three years, at the end of which the duke, on the remonstrances of the archbishop of Rouen and the neighbouring bishops, resolved at last to put an end to it. Still the see of Lisieux did not yet find the end of its misfortunes, nor escape from the toils of Ranulf. William, archdeacon of Lisieux, was at first elected bishop; a good choice, but the archbishop was suspended from his functions, and none of the suffragans would undertake to perform them. Upon this, Ranulf presented one of his clerks named William de Peel, who was rejected for simony. After the battle of Tinchebrai, Hervey, bishop of Bangor, wished to exchange his see for that of Lisieux. In short, this church, as our author states, was not restored to a state of repose till the election of John, archdeacon of Seez, in 1107.

238 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH. XIX.

bishopric for a large sum of money paid to the count, but being condemned for his simony, first at Rouen and afterwards at Rome, he paid dearly for his presumption. Thus Lisieux was without a guide for nearly five years, and the Lord's flock, having no worthy pastor, became a prey to ravening wolves, till God's mercy sent John to be its bishop for the consolation of the faithful.

CH. XIX. The second Crusade - Nobles who joined it - Stephen, count de Blois, who had deserted from the first - Arrival at Constantinople - Duplicity of the emperor Alexius - Failure of the expedition.

FAVOURABLE intelligence having been received respecting the illustrious champions who had undertaken the pilgrimage and gloriously triumphed in the east, fighting against the Gentiles in Christ's name, the nobles of the west were envious of their invincible valour and unexpected success. In consequence numbers were inspired with zeal to become pilgrims, and visiting the tomb of our Lord and the holy places, exercise their valour and skill in arms against the Turks. Many were compelled to the crusade by the terrors of the apostolical censure, for Pppe Paschal had excommunicated and cut off from the Christian privileges all those who, having voluntarily taken the cross, had returned without accomplishing their enterprise, unless they engaged a second time in the journey they had relinquished, and making satisfaction to God religiously performed their vows.

In the year, therefore, of our Lord 1101, William, duke of Poitiers, [1] collected a large army from Aquitaine and Gascony, and commenced with spirit his journey to Jerusalem. He was bold and brave and so facetious that even comic players could not equal the variety of his numerous jokes. it is reported that three hundred thousand armed men marched under his standard when he crossed the borders of Aquitaine.


[1] William, the seventh of that name, as count of Poitiers, and the ninth as duke of Aquitaine, born the 22nd of September, 1071, was a nobleman of the most depraved habits, both before and after his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We are told that he bore on his shield the portrait of the wife of one of his viscounts with whom he was in love, and that he had the impudence to found an abbey of loose women.

A.D. 1101.] THE SECOND CRUSADE. 289

Stephen count palatine of Blois, received reproaches without end, and was scouted by all the world, for having ignominiously withdawn from the siege of Antioch, and deserted his gallant companions in arms, when they were suffering martyrdom for the cause of Christ. [1] Being frequently reproved by a variety of persons for this conduct, Stephen was compelled both by fear and shame to undertake a fresh crusade. Among others his wife Adele often urged him to it, reminding him of it even amidst the endearments of conjugal caresses. "Far be it from you, my lord", she said, "to submit any longer to the jibes you receive from all quarters. Pluck up the courage for which you were renowned in your youth, and take arms in a noble cause for the salvation of thousands, so that Christians may have good reason to exult in all parts Of the world, to the terror of the pagans and the public humiliation of their detestable religion".

This was the sort of language that clever and spirited woman often addressed to her husband. He certainly had already sufficiently experienced the perils and difficulties of the enterprise to make him shrink from undergoing such be toils again. At length however he took courage, and putting himself on his march at the head of many thousand French, persevered, against most formidable obstacles, until he reached the tomb of our Lord. At that time Hirpin [2] sold the city of Bourges to Philip king of France, and joined the crusade with Joscelin de Courtenai, [3] and Milo de Brai. [4]

Meanwhile, Duke Stephen, [5] Stephen count of the Saone, [6]


[1] As to the ignominious desertion of the count de Blois during the siege of Antioch, see before p. 133.

[2] Eudes Hirpin, son of Humbaud, lord of Dun, was viscount of Bourges in right of his wife Mahaud, daughter of Gillon de Sulli, mentioned before p. 230. Having been taken prisoner at Ramla, he owed his deliverance to the intorvention of the emperor Alexius, as related in cc. xxii. and xxiii. of the present book. He finished his days at Cluni, where he had made his profession of a monk, in 1109.

[3] Joscelin de Courtenai, second of that name, and the second son of Joscelin I., remained in the Holy Land, where he became count of Edessa.

[4] Milo de Brai joined the first crusade, and died in it, so that he could not have been engaged in the second; and Milo, his second son, was too young at this time to be the person of whom our author meant to speak.

[5] The duke of Burgundy, who went to the Holy Land in 1101, was not named Stephen, but Eudes.

[6] It is supposed that the person described by our author under the title of Comes super-Saonensis, was Stephen, uncle and guardian of William II., who assumed the title of count of Burgundy during the minority of his ward.

290 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIX.

and another Stephen who was son of Richelde, [1] hastened to assume the cross in company with a great body of the warriors of Burgundy. Likewise, the archbishop of Milan and Albert de Blandrai, the most powerful of the Italian nobles, [2] put themselves en route for Jerusalem with Ligurian troops. All these crusaders, having undertaken the pilgrimage for the love of God, on reaching Macedonia sent envoys to the emperor Alexius demanding a free passage through his dominions and the liberty of marketing for supplies.

The crafty emperor was greatly alarmed when he heard of the approach of so powerful Western army, and prudently flattered their pride by readily granting all that they required. Having had frequent experience of the daring valour of the Cisalpine troops under Guiscard and Bohemond, he took every precaution against giving the crusaders umbrage and provoking hostilities. For this reason he granted them a free passage through his territories and liberally acquiesced in all the demands they made. After loading the chiefs with munificent presents, he caused the whole army to be conducted in safety as far as Cappadocia, which is beyond Constantinople. There they mustered all the Western people, and found that the force amounted to fifty thousand fighting men.

Having consulted well-informed persons on the route they were to take, they took precautions for avoiding the dangers presented. These imminent perils were the subject of their


[1] This vague designation has not led to the discovery of any information respecting the Burgundian noble.

[2] Ordericus makes use of too strong an expression when he calls this crusader the most powerful of the Italian nobles. He was the first count on record of Biandrati, a small town three leagues and a half west of Vercelli, and two and a half west of Navarra. All that is known concerning him is that he was one of the negociators between the emperor and Pope Paschal II., and went as our author states to the Holy Land, from which he soon returned. He was dead before 1120, a time when his wife Poma or Roma, and his son Guy, who was yet in the cradle, figure in an historical poem entitled, Mediolanensium in Comenses Bellum. Guy married a daughter of William IV., marquis of Montserrat. See Muratori, Scriptores rerum Italicarum, t. v.

A.D. 1101, 1102.] DIFFICULTIES OF THE CRUSADERS. 291

consultations, and they talked of them among each other in such language as the following: "Thus far we have been in security, having had to do with our brethren with whose habits and language we are familiar. From the hour we left our own homes till the present we have travelled through Christian countries where we have been well received for the love of the Father Almighty. Now a different lot awaits us. The storm of war is fiercely raging between the emperor and Bohemond who commands at Antioch. The regions which we have to traverse are a waste, through which the Turks make frequent irruptions towards the sea-coast, breathing slaughter on all who bear the Christian name as naturally as wolves thirst for the blood of the flocks. Let us humbly implore Almighty God to protect us in the great dangers which surround us on every side. We leave in our rear this faithless emperor and his people, with great reason to suspect them of treachery. On our right is the sea in which lie Crete, Cyprus, the far-famed Rhodes, and many other islands, all which owe allegiance to the emperor, and detest us for the misconduct of those of our countrymen who have preceeded us. To the east and north, the country is occupied to the extremity of the globe by barbarous nations who are inflamed with insatiable ardour to shed Christian blood. The march to Antioch will take more than thirty days, through deserts in which we shall find no means of subsistence as the fertile spots have been left uncultivated in consequence of the long wars between the emperor and Bohemond. Environed by so many perils, what are we to do? All is desolation around".

At length [1] the duke of Poitiers, having listened with attention to the various opinions which were offered, said to the council: "Let us despatch envoys to the emperor with our unanimous request that he will send us the count of St. Giles with our Saviour's holy spear; for he will lead us in safety through these unknown countries to the tomb of our Lord. The count has great wisdom, and his influence is powerful; in the first expedition he was considered on all occasions as one of the most distinguished of the crusaders.


[1] Many of our author's details connected with this crusade are fabulous, commencing with this paragraph.

292 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.IX. CH.XV.

His personal knowledge of the difficulties of the march will supply our inexperience, and his proved valour has been long known both to Christians and Pagans. If we have him at our head as our Maro [1] and counsellor, we shall obtain security with respect to the emperor, and he will take wise precautions against the infidels".

Envoys were accordingly dispatched by common consent, who with much eloquence laid before the emperor the object of their mission; and after listening to the message of the Italian chiefs, he reported it without delay to Count Raymond. His reply was as follows: "By God's grace, through many perils, I devoted all my powers to the recovery of Jeriisalem; but now, feeling the burden of years and impaired by my exertions, I wish to spend the rest of my days in tranquillity. For this purpose, my lord emperor, I sought an asylum at the court of your majesty. Excuse me then, I pray you, and do not force me to engage in another expedition". The emperor then communicated his reply to the ambassadors: "I have entreated", he said, "the court of St. Giles to join your company, but he alleges that his age and infirmities will not allow him tO take part in the enterprise. Go forward, relying on peace with us. As to the illustrious count who has placed himself under the protection of our majesty, I cannot send him away, for I have not the right to do so".

The envoys immediately returned and reported what they had heard. As it caused great perturbation, and the chiefs vented their thoughts in various murmurs, William of Poitiers thus addressed them: "Let us instantly fly to arms and, by a counter march, lay siege to Constantinople; and stoutly assaulting the city, we will not draw off till we either put to death this perfidious emperor, or wring from him, however reluctantly, what we demand. He has brought destruction on thousands of the faithful by his treacheries, and I think therefore that he who by any means shall take the life of one whose occupation of the country is the cause of so much loss, will offer a sacrifice acceptable to God".

Stephen of Blois and some other lords who were for


[1] Virgil. In the middle age this poet was considered as a powerful enchanter. In this instance his name is used in the sense of guide or counsellor.

A.D. 1101, 1102.] CONSTANTINOPLE ASSAULTED. 293

temperate counsels did not acquiesce in this proposal, which they joined in opposing, alleging arguments founded on right reason. However, the Aquitanians and Gascons, with other insubordinate troops, preferring to be led by juvenile imprudence, supported the rash proposal of the young duke. They therefore returned by a hasty march, and sat down before Byzantium for three days. The emperor, when he first heard of their design, was disposed to treat it lightly, considering the vast population of his capital, and that it was fortified by triple lines of circumvallation. But finding that they persisted in their enterprise, he commanded three most savage lions and seven leopards to be let loose in the area between the two exterior walls. He also posted guards on the third wall, to which the palaces of the nobles in the interior of the place adjoined, and caused the gates to be firmly closed, thinking thus, in scorn, to deter the Franks from their attack through fear of the wild beasts, and defend the imperial city without employing human means. But the crafty wiles of man are fruitless when they are not aided by Divine Providence. The Franks, after standing to arms in their camp, seeing that there was no show of resistance, entered the outer gate eager for conflict, and searched with enquiring eyes on all sides for the defenders of their country. However, no sooner had they entered than the fierce lions unexpectedly attacked their foremost ranks with great rage, and tearing them with their fangs and claws, severely wounded some of the troops, unaccustomed as they were to encounter wild beasts. [1]

But such a contest with the skill of man could not last long. The soldiers transfixed the lions with spears and darts, and having destroyed the lions, drove off the leopards, pursuing them to the foot of the middle wall, which the leopards crossed, creeping up them like cats. The Franks passed through the gate in this second wall, and made a bold assault on the third. The citizens now raised loud cries, and there was horrible confusion, all the people running together and not knowing what they should do in this


[1] We find Ordericus occasionally unscrupulous in the use of the materials he collected from all quarters for his vast undertaking, particularly in his account of the crusades. This story of the lions, has the appearance of having been the invention of some ignorant pilgrim or wandering minstrel.

294 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIX.

sudden emergency. The emperor hearing the noise of this unexpected attack was struck with terror, lamenting the failure of his false hopes. At last be sent a suppliant message to the noble pilgrims, and contriving to soothe their wrath by a variety of promises, induced them to draw off from the assault of his capital, the defence of which they were on the point of carrying by storm.

While the victorious Franks returned to their tents, the sorrowful emperor summoned the count of Tholouse to his presence, and in his grief and utter dismay thus addressed him: "Illustrious count, I have recourse to you in great tribulation and ask your advice, what is to be done in this most unexpected disaster. The insolence of the Franks has led them to make an audacious attack on the imperial city, the capital of the East. They have violated the dignity of the holy empire and reduced me to become a suppliant to prevent the worst. They have shed the blood of my faithful subjects, and provoked the wrath of Divine Providence. The imperial majesty, which used to give laws both to the natives and foreigners, is now, alas! compelled to submit to conditions imposed by insolent pilgrims". Count Raymond replied: "My countrymen are well practised in such assaults, and I well know their fierce attacks under such circumstances against their own neighbours. Your majesty's wisdom does not require the aid of long explanations. You must lose no time in making terms with this daring host. The public interest requires it; but, if I mistake not, it will cost the lives of many of them. These audacious Gascons demand that I shall join their expedition, they would insolently make me a pilgrim whether I am willing or not.

"They'll rue the day they urged the rash design". [1]

I deeply grieve, mighty emperor, the affront offered to the holy empire; but at present I will not give utterance to all that is passing in my mind. A time for vengeance will come when these miscreants will have to expiate their outrageous offence. Behold, the walls of Constantinople are reeking with the blood of her sons; a spectacle which, shame to say, we have now before our eyes".


[1] Non impune ferent, ausis quod talibus haerent.

A.D. 1102.] DEFEAT OF THE CRUSADERS. 295

Such was the nature of the conference between the emperor and the count, and they contrived measures by which they would avenge themselves on the enemy for the annoyance they had caused. Alexius made choice of illustrious envoys, and sent them to the Franks to guarantee his engagements by their oaths, and convey humble supplications that the army would peaceably withdraw and wait for the arrival of the count in Cappadocia with twenty thousand Turcopoles. Having received the promise of the emperor ratified on oath, the Franks withdrew, and rested for a while, preparing for their march. The count followed them a few days afterwards, and the emperor despatched, ships loaded with tartarons, and commanded them to be distributed among all the troops in the army according to their order and rank. The Thracians call tartarons the square copper coins which the inhabitants of Thrace and Bithynia use in traffic like philips or bezants. The needy pilgrims received with eagerness the emperor's bounty, not suspecting the perfidy and deep policy of that worst of traitors. The crafty spy by this contrivance counted their force, reckoning the numbers of the receivers by the sum of money he gave to each. He then sent an account of their numerical force to Daliman, Soliman, and the rest of the Turkish chiefs, exhorting them to assemble the whole strength of paganism and attack them in Paphlagonia.

Our countrymen, not suspecting any fraud, and exulting at being joined by the count, commenced their march with the Turcopoles in the van, who were acquainted with the language and manners of the Getes, as well as the roads; but the Franks were led astray, and after wandering about and surmounting great difficulties, reached a large city of the barbarians called Gandras. In short, they left entirely on their right the road leading through Romania and Syria to Jerusalem, and turned aside through Pontus, formerly the kingdom of Mithridates, who ruled over twenty kings, until at length, marching northward, they entered Paphlagonia. I am not sufficiently informed whether the count of St. Giles thus deviated from the direct road by mistake, or whether he led his allies astray vindictively to satisfy his malice. The Christians having crossed a rough country, with dangerous rivers and imperviable forests, and at last arrived at

296 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIX.

Gandras after a three weeks' journey, they resolved to rest there for a time after their great fatigues. Then, however, a multitude of Pagans, innumerable as the sands of the sea, fell on them when they little expected it, and weary as they were with severe toil. The barbarians, on their side, brought with them their wives, their flocks and herds, and dragged along great stores of wealth in waggons, in order to guard carefully the mass of their substance in person, and displaying their riches to their enemies as well as their friends and countrymen, strike terror into all who witnessed their abundance; and, in short, to show that whether at home or at war they revelled in all kind of delights. Meanwhile the Christians, although exhausted by hunger and thirst and other privations, when they began to be pressed by the enemy's attack, forgot their past sufferings, and flying to arms with renewed strength and courage, formed their ranks, and fought manfully in the name of God for five days. As pilgrims worthy of credit have informed me, there were assembled fifty thousand Christians, and they were fiercely attacked, if I mistake not, by a million of pagans. The conflict was maintained with the utmost vigour on both sides, and many thousands fell. On the fifth day, the Turks finding their squadrons weakened, and utterly dismayed at the invincible courage of the Christians, received general orders to direct their wives, who remained in their tents, with the eunuchs and other domestics who had the care of the valuables belonging to the chiefs, to privately pack all their household effects, and the rest of the wealth so that they might be prepared for a hasty retreat from the presence of the enemy the ensuing night. The Christians, however, not having discovered that the Turkish troops were giving way, shamefully retreated themselves; for night coming on, count Raymond with the imperial Turcopoles and provincial troops, fell to the rear, and commenced their flight stealthily without communicating with the other chiefs. The count's squire, finding this, struck his lord's pavilion, in compassionate consideration for the Christian army, that the comrades he had betrayed might learn his flight. Albert de Blandrai, a very brave knight, was slain in the battle, with many thousand of the Franks, but I am not informed of the exact number.

A.D. 1102.] FLIGHT OE THE CRUSADERS. 297

The duke of Poitiers and Stephen of Blois, and several other chiefs, with their followers, being apprised of the treacherous retreat of their comrades, were seized with a panic, and losing all command of themselves, thought only of escaping by various roads. Meanwhile, the Turks, although they had been so nearly overpowered that they were meditating flight themselves, finding that the Franks were departed, regained their courage, and pursuing the enemy fell on their rear and cut down many thousands of the fugitives. Some of them who were in the prime of youth were carried off into captivity; nearly forty thousand Christians suffered bodily death. May they live spiritually in eternal rest with Christ, in whose cause they fell! [1]

The count of Tholouse, with his own followers, and the Turcopoles continued their flight to Constantinople, and reported the lamentable disaster of the Christians to the emperor's great satisfaction. Moreover, Daliman and Soliman and the other chiefs of the hostile race triumphed in the pomp of victory and restored to Alexius the whole amount of tartarons which he had perfidiously distributed among the Christians under colour of charity, besides sending him one half of all the booty they had taken from their defeated enemies. Such was the agreement which that false traitor had made with the Turks, and such the terms on which he sold the faithful to the infidels; and he gloried in his cunning as he recovered the vast sum of tartarons, the price of his treachery.

The illustrious dukes of Aquitaine and Burgundy and other brave knights made their escape from the slaughter, and concealed themselves in dens and caverns and thick woods as opportunity offered. In those regions Syrians and Armenians dwelt among the barbarians, their habitations being scattered through the country, and were under subjection to the Turks, paying an annual tribute to purchase peace and security; but although tried by persecutions like gold in the furnace, they zealously adhered to the Christian faith. In consequence, deeply deploring the defeat


[1] The details of this narrative of the rout and extermination of the Christian army, are imaginary, and merit no attention; the foundation only is true. Count Raymond, who only advanced to Tortosa, had already left the crusaders, and thus accidentally escaped sharing their disaster.

298 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XIX.

sustained by the crusaders, and sympathizing in their sufferings, as brothers, they lent them all the services of humanity as far as fear of their infidel tyrants permitted. Concealing the fugitives in their secret retreats, and supplying them with food, they took advantage of the darkness of the night to put them on the road to Antioch, conducting them in safety to the territories of neighbours and countrymen in whom they could trust. Many were dragged into captivity by the barbarians among unknown countries, and retained for some time in servitude or bonds among a people whose language they did not understand. There, serving the most High God aright, they experienced his mercy, and were succoured by him in various ways, like the Israelites among the Assyrians or Chaldeans. In consequence, many returned from captivity either by making their escape or by permission of the princes in Persia and other nations.

With the assistance of the merciful Creator, who is near to all who love him, about a hundred thousand of the Christians accomplished their escape, some of whom retraced their steps through Illyrium and others pursued their journey surrounded by alarms and difficulties. The duke of Poitiers who left the Limousin at the head of three hundred thousand armed men, and had struck terror into the emperor by his too daring assault of Constantinople, with great difficulty reached Antioch, with only six companions, and reduced to poverty and want. Other chiefs of the crusaders, and gallant counts and officers lost all their troops, and, separated from their attached followers and stripped of their wealth, were exposed to utter desolation in the midst of barbarism. Reanimated, however, by their consistancy in the true faith and their love of the merciful Jesus, they hastened to his tomb, and although, in the mysterious providence of God they were retarded by many obstacles, yet, with hearts cheered by the spiritual nectar, they shrunk from no toils on their pilgrimage to the holy places, to become partakers in blood with the blessed martyrs, who having shed it for Christ are crowned with the laurels of triumph in the heavens.

GODFREY AND BALDWIN KINGS OF JERUSALEM. 299

CH. XX. Death of Godfrey, king of Jerusalem - He is succeeded by Baldwin - Stephen of Blois arrives at Jerusalem - The duke of Poitiers returns to Prance.

GODFREY, king of Jerusalem, reigned only two years, [1] during which he was almost always in arms against the Philistines, and sustained by his great courage enlarged the boundaries of his kingdom. The native Gentiles observed doubtful peace in their towns and villages, and did not even dare to whisper in public a word against the Christians. But, filled with sorrow, they secretly plotted the ruin of their new lords, watching cunningly for an opportunity of effecting their purpose. At last the citizens of Joppa contrived to poison King Godfrey [2] during his abode there, and thus cut off that glorious prince to the great sorrow of the Christians. He was the first Christian prince, from the time of our Saviour's suffering on our behalf at Jerusalein, who wore a diadem there, to the praise of him who, for the salvation of men, condescended to wear a crown of thorns; being compelled by ecclesiastical election to accept the title of King of Jerusalem, [3] that he might be a terror to the Gentiles. Having perished in the manner I described, measures were immediately taken for appointing a successor. The king's death was announced to his brother Baldwin, and he was invited to accept the crown of Jerusalem in the place of Godfrey. Entrusting without loss of time the government of his principality to his cousin Baldwin de Burg, [4] he himself traversed hostile countries and barbarous tribes with the speed of lightning. At Sarepta, a city of the Sidonians, he encountered a host of nearly forty thousand pagans, and charging them manfully at the head of a small number of troops, they were miraculously struck with


[1] That is from the 25th of June, 1099, to the 17th of July, 1100.

[2] This charge is quite gratuitous. Godfrey was labouring under severe illness when he arrived at Joppa, insomuch that he could not any longer ride on horseback.

[3] Our author makes here another grave mistake. It is well known that Godfrey expressly refused to assume the title of king, or to wear a crown or any other ensigns of royal dignity in the city where our Saviour wore a crown of thorns. It is difficult to say what Ordericus means by "ecclesiastical election". Godfrey owed his elevation to the choice of the brave chiefs of the crusaders.

[4] Baldwin de Burg, second son of Hugh, count de Retel,

300 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XX.

panic, and Baldwin, by God's help, put them all to flight, and continued his journey to Jerusalem in triumph. The Turks, apprized of his approach, had posted their troops under arms in an ambuscade on his road, promising themselves signal success; but their ill-founded hopes were foiled, and those who were able to escape returned to their homes in confusion, with loss and disgrace.

The prince of whom I am speaking, being well received by the people of Jerusalem, ascended the throne of David, and maintained himself on it with vigour for nearly twelve years. [1] Baldwin was personally handsome, of lofty stature, distinguished for daring courage, indefatigable in the most toilsome enterprises, well imbued with learning, an accomplished speaker, and endowed with many virtues. During his reign, Stephen of Blois and the other chiefs of whom I have spoken, arrived at Jerusalem after many disasters, and were honourably received by King Baldwin and Ebremar the patriarch. [2] The duke of Poitiers, having performed his devotions at the holy places, returned to his own states with some of his company, and being of a cheerful and witty turn, when afterwards he was restored to a state of prosperity he made the sufferings he had undergone during his captivity a subject for amusement among kings, and nobles, and Christian assemblies, descanting on them in rhyming verses to merry tunes. On the contrary, Stephen of Blois and several other crusaders remained in Judea for the love of Christ, resolved to consecrate their strength and valour to his service, waiting for the attack of the king of Babylon, who, they learnt, was on his march at the head of an innumerable army.


[1] Baldwin was crowned on Christmas-day, 1100. He died the 7th of April, 1118, and consequently not in the twelfth but the eighteenth year of his reign. Our author's accounts of affairs in the Holy Land are not very exact. It is probable that in the preceding paragraph he alludes to the victory gained by Baldwin over the Egyptians between Ascalon and Ramla.

[2] Ebremar, an ecclesiastic of worthy conduct, but extremely ignorant, was elected patriarch in 1103, after Daimbert, who was always engaged in quarrels with Baldwin, had retired to Antioch. When Stephen of Blois, who died at the battle of Ramla, May 27, 1102, came to Jerusalem, Daimbert, not Ebremar, must have been patriarch.

A.D. 1102.] SIEGE OF RAMLA. 301

CH. XXI.- Wars of King Baldwin - The crusaders besieged in Ramla - Baldwin escapes to Jerusalem.

INTELLIGENCE being received that there was no doubt the emir of Babylon had reached Ascalon and was resolved to attack the Christians the next day with a large force, King Baldwin, and Stephen, and the rest of the faithful encouraged each other in the Lord Jesus, and devoutly armed themselves in his name either for a glorious victory or fatal end. Part of the army was detached to Joppa while the king and most of the nobles marched to Ramla, being averse to be shut up in Jerusalem, and not knowing what place the Turks would first attack. At last the emir, by a sudden movement, invested Ramla with an immense force, assaulting the walls with missile weapons and various engines of war, and endeavouring to sap them by trenching and mining. There were some brave knights in the place, but their numbers were small, and their strength was not sufficient to resist such vast numbers. In consequence, Stephen and Harpin, and William Sans- Avoir, [2] with some others, persuaded the king to depart for Jerusalem with the utmost despatch. "Hasten", they said, "brave king, to return to the holy city, lest it should be beset by this immense army while it has no protector, and the mother and her children perish by a sudden assault. We are here blockaded in a similar manner, and expect assuredly that our end is at hand in the confession of Christ, imploring our Creator from the depth of our hearts that we may become his true martyrs, and being cleansed from all our sins by shedding our blood in his name, be admitted in company with the saints to behold his face beaming with mercy on ourselves. Farewell, good king; sally forth without delay, although the passage through such hosts of fierce enemies is perilous, unless you are attended by God's mercy".

Tbe anxious barons, addressing the king in these words and others of the same kind, compelled him to escape from one danger by incurring another still greater. Godfrey


[1] Admiribilis; a curious perversion of the oriental title.

[2] Mentioned before, p. 75, with his uncle Walter de Poissi, and his three brothers, Walter, Simon, and Matthew. William and Simon fell in the battle of Ramla.

302 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXI.

with great reluctance submitted to the advice of these renowned warriors, and mounting a swift and powerful mare, called Farise, [1] he left Ramla in the night, and attended by a single trooper, by the protection of God passed through the enemy's troops unmolested. He had got beyond the camp while it was still dark, and was making his way towards Jerusalem by by-paths when the sentinels who were on the watch, finding that some strange soldiers had passed, gave the alarm, and rousing the troops, pursued the fugitives for two miles with cries and yells. The king, however, being well acquainted with the by-roads, by God's help, made his escape unhurt, although with the utmost difficulty; for he was obliged to leave in his alarm the mountain track to Jerusalem on which he had entered, and by crossing some precipitous heights with great toil, reached a town called Arsur, [2] where he found the guards watching in great trepidation. He immediately addressed them, and begged them to admit him, but met with a repulse; for the warders, although he repeated, "I am Baldwin - you have nothing to fear; admit me among you", were so terrified at the various stratagems practised by the enemy that they would not believe him until they had kindled a fire on the walls, and on his taking off his helmet his features were recognized. They then opened the gate with joy, and entering the place, he encouraged the garrison, and telling them the state of affairs, exhorted them to defend the place.

The king then mounted his gazelle, [3] and with his fellow soldiers rode with all speed to Joppa. Being well known there, the townsmen admitted him without hesitation, and he communicated to them the disastrous state of affairs. "Countless hordes of pagans", he said, "are besieging Ramla, and the garrison are in danger of their lives from the desperate assaults. That illustrious warrior Stephen, count palatine of Blois, Milo de Brai, Harpin de Bourges, William Sans-Avoir, and Simon his brother, with other brave knights, are devoting themselves to martyrdom at


[1] An Arab mare, celebrated for its speed, to which Baldwin owed his safety on several occasions. He called her his gazelle.

[2] A town on the coast, between Cesarea and Joppa, which was one of Godfrey's first conquests,

[3] See preceding note.

A.D. 1102.] THE INFIDELS DEFEATED AT JOPPA. 303

Ramla, having compelled me to leave them that I may encourage you and the rest of our brethren to follow their example. The enemy has pursued me boldly, and I think will determine on following me here. Now, if you please, we will despatch a messenger to Jerusalem, with my commands to the patriarch and all our brothers to succour us in this extremity in such fitting manner as I shall instruct them". This proposal meeting with general approbation, the king summoned a squire of distinguished intrepidity and said to him: "Dear brother, go to Jerusalem, and bring us a strong party of our brothers in arms, and if you escape with your life I will dub you a knight on your return". The squire executed his commission with perfect success, and well earned the honour of knighthood which was promised him.

The accursed army of pagans laid Ramla in ruins, putting to the sword, or making captives, all whom they found in the place. Then, elated with victory, they marched the same day to Joppa, covering the face of the earth like locusts, having sent Count Stephen and others they reckoned the noblest of the prisoners to Ascalon. The infidels silently beset Joppa, for two days, but the third they retired with loss and disgrace. For the sentinels on the watch-tower at Joppa descried the standards of the army of Jerusalem crossing the mountains, and announced it with congratulations to the king, who was near at hand in the castle of the Burgundians. Then the king assembled the band of the faithful and cheered them by this encouraging address: "Now is the wished-for opportunity of brave aspirants to honour, and renowned knights ready to avenge those who are dear to them, but it fills with dismay the cowards and sluggards, and those who are crafty as foxes. You see before your gates that accursed race which is hateful to God and all Christian men. Arm yourselves, then, ye brave, and go forth gloriously to attack the enemies of all goodness. Let us put on our armour that we may take vengeance in the name of God, and sally out to meet our friends who are marching to our aid, and strong in the faith give the enemy battle under God's protection. Reflect in your inmost souls on the wrongs and losses you have sustained, and let the aliens feel the weight of your arms in full vigour. They

304 ORDERICUS VITALIS [B.X. CH.XXI.

have put to the sword Count Stephen, Harpin, and other noble barons, and have carried off our gallant knights and officers; barons, I say with sorrow, than whom braver are not to be found in the world. Let your fresh grief at the loss of your friends inflame your rage and sharpen your swords for the destruction of the enemy. Think of David, that most valiant of kings, and his soldiers, of Joab and Abishai, of Banaiah and Uriah the Ethite, of Jonathan and Judas Maccabaeus, and other famous warriors of your own nation. Marching out of the town, we will commence the action, and the Jerusalem troops who are hastening to our support, will fall on the aliens [1] in another quarter. May the mighty Emanuel, the blessed virgin's son, your king and leader, the invincible defender of his church, be with you".

Meanwhile, as the Jerusalemites drew near the castle of Ernald, their standards became visible to the Turkish army. Then King Baldwin and the troops of Joppa adored the holy crucifix, and carrying it in their ranks, sallied forth in full armour, and began to deal terrible blows on the unarmed Turks. The aliens, who were taken by surprise and in disarray, seeing themselves attacked on all sides, and inspired with terror by God himself, betook themselves to flight, as did also the troops of Holofernes in the like extremity. King Baldwin, with the Christians, pursued the gentiles as far as Ascalon, and falling on their rear with great slaughter, recovered all the captives who were threatened with bondage. But the most eminent, having been sent forward to Ascalon, disappeared, nor could any certain intelligence be obtained respecting any of them, except Harpin. Thus the Christians triumphed in Christ's name, after their deep tribulations, and returned, with the vast spoils of the infidels to Jerusalem, giving glad thanks to their triumphant God. They now restored Ramla to a better state than before, and re-established there an episcopal see with fitting revenues. I cannot commit to writing the number of the slain, as I was not present. Those who were in the battle thought more of slaying than counting their enemies, and were afterwards intent on stripping the dead. [2]


[1] Allophilas. See the note in p. 178 of the present volume.

[2] This narrative contains several inexact statements and anachronisms. For instance, it was not in Ramla that Harpin was made prisoner, but in the battle fought, in that neighbourhood. Stephen of Blois was killed in the same battle, not carried into captivity. The infidels did not undertake the siege of Joppa the same day they took Ramla. They were only preparing for it when Baldwin gained a signal victory in the beginning of July. Our author's history of these events is well founded, but the details require correction.

A.D. 1102.] HARBIN OF BOURDES LIBERATED. 305

CH. XXII. The emperor Alexius delivers Harpin of Bourges from captivity at Babylon - Harpin returns to France and becomes a monk of Cluni.

HARPIN of Bourges was carried captive to Babylon, and imprisoned for a long time in the emir's dungeons. Mindful of the martyrs who had endured all kinds of tortures, even to death, for the cause of Christ, he frequently called on his name, and receiving consolation, regained his liberty and returned hearty thanks to his Saviour. He obtained his release in the following manlier. Some Byzantine merchants had come to Babylon with commodities of various kinds, and according to the law of nations, having paid to the government officers the accustomed duties, abode there for some time. They being Christians, and very affluent, frequented the Christian churches, went among the poor in their own dwellings, and visited the Christians in prison. Harpin conversed with them, and charging them with his commission, sent the following message to the emperor Alexius: "Harpin of Bourges, your servant, who has long groaned in the depth of misery in a Babylonian dungeon, humbly supplicates the magnificence of your imperial majesty to pity and relieve him, by interfering with the emir for his release from prison".

On receiving this message, the emperor felt compassion for the noble Frenchman, and immediately insisted on the emir's sending Harpin to him, threatening in case of refusal to arrest all the Babylonian merchants and tributaries through the empire of Constantinople. The emir, terrified at this indignant command, immediately freed Harpin from his chains, and, entertaining him for several days in his palace, showed him some rare objects, and then sent him to the emperor, honoured by valuable ornaments and other gifts. Having thus obtained his freedom, he went to the

306 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH. XXII.

emperor's court to thank him for his effectual aid; and, having been loaded with presents, returned to France.

On the way he presented himself to Pope Paschal, and after relating to him his misfortunes and sufferings, consulted him in deep anxiety as to his future course of life. The skilful pontiff, having listened to the knight's account of all he had endured, said: "Especial care should be taken lest any one who has been washed and purified in the bath, and then clothed in garments white as snow or delicate as silk, should walk in the darkness of night through foul roads, lest he stumble in the mire, and, being soiled with filth, should have to blush before all observers. In this mirror, my son, behold yourself, and apply this example for your own correction. You have been cleansed by penance and confession; your laborious pilgrimage and the sufferings of martyrdom have crowned you with the distinctions of virtue; you have made satisfaction to God for your sins by the torments of your prison; and, during your passion, you learned patience, chastity, and other Christian graces. The foul road is a worldly life, which you should resolutely endeavour to avoid, lest you become polluted, and lose the crown of the sufferings in which you glory. Take care, then, not to be as the dog returning to his vomit, and the sow that wallows in the mire. Never again bear arms against Christians, but despise worldly pride like one of the true poor in Christ. Thus, following the steps of Christ in works of righteousness, and relinquishing your own will for the hope of an eternal reward, you will obtain the blessed prize of your heavenly calling with the faithful in Abraham's bosom".

Harpin, having received the pope's benediction, with his leave proceeded to France, where he was received by his friends with great honour; but he did not long remain with them; for, following the counsels of the pope, or rather the precepts of Christ himself, he gave up the world, and, retiring to Cluni, became a monk in that abbey, where he persevered in the service of God until his death".


[1] Our author's account of the deliverance of Harpin and his retirement to Cluni, perfectly agrees with the existing facts of the history of that individual. We have already stated that he made his profession at Cluni in 1109.

A.D. 1100-1101.] BOHEMOND'S CAPTIVITY. 307

CH. XXIII. Bohemond and other crusaders carried into captivity at Babylon - Romantic account of their deliverance.

ABOUT this period, other serious disasters befell the crusaders in Syria. The illustrious duke, Mark Bohemond, having undertaken an expedition against the Turks, Daliman [1] attacked him by surprise with a vast multitude, and, putting great numbers of the Christians to the sword, made prisoners of Bohemond and Robert de Principatu, [2] with some other noble and gallant knights, whom he threw into a dungeon, and kept in chains for a long time. [3] Tancred, the commander of Bohemond's troops, was much distressed when he learned the calamity of his lord and kinsman; but he did not give way to a woman's weakness and content himself with vain regrets and lamentations. Assembling the whole force of the faithful from all the surrounding district, and placing vigilant garrisons in the villages and towns in the neighbourhood, he defended his borders against all the enemy's attacks while Bohemond was in captivity, and even nobly enlarged them.

The emperor Alexius was filled with joy when he heard that Bohemond had fallen into the hands of the Turks, and sent envoys with rich presents to Daliman, entreating him to accept an enormous ransom for Bohemond, and to send him to Constantinople on payment of a hundred thousand philips. [4] This he did, not with the intention of giving the duke his liberty, and allowing him the freedom to become again the defender of Christianity, but to subject him to perpetual imprisonment in his own dungeons; for he was deeply vexed that he had taken Antioch from him. It is


[1] The name should be written Danismand.

[2] A province in the kingdom of Naples, now divided into two, of which Salerno and Aveltino are the chief towns.

[3] Bohemond and his cousin, Richard de Principatu, were on their way to relieve the Christian city of Melitene, now called Malathia, when they fell into the hands of the Turcoman emir, Danismand. They were kept in captivity four years, and there is no authentic account of the manner of their escaping from it, for the romantic legend preserved by our author cannot be considered as history.

[4] This term is used before in p. 295. The philip was a gold coin bearing originally the effigy of Philip, king of Macedonia. There were also silver and even copper coins bearing the same name.

308 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXIII.

certain that Antioch is the metropolis [1] of the Constantinopolitan empire, but the Turks had wrested it from the emperor by force of arms fourteen years before the Cisalpines reduced the city when Cassian was slain. That prince never abandoned his claims on it, but, in consequence of the resistance offered by the obstinate valour of the Normans, he was never able to accomplish his wishes. He made the attempt at different times and in various ways, using both entreaties and money, with the pagans as well as the Christians, but in vain; for, foiled in all his endeavours, the city remained in the hands of the victors, those, I mean, who acquired it by their eminent valour in conquering the Agarenes, and having obtained it, defended it admirably by the help of God. However, Daliman rejected the emperor's overtures, and resolved to inflict perpetual captivity on Bohemond, who was called by the Turks, "The little God of the Christians". That which conferred so much honour on his own faith he counted as beyond all price.

In the time of the Turks, a certain Greek was patriarch of Antioch. The Norman conquerors found him intractable. [2] Having become masters, they resolved that the clergy and people should conform to the Latin rites, but the Greeks, adhering to their ancient usages, presumed to think this unreasonable. When Bohemond was made prisoner, a rumour was spread among the people that the bishop was contriving means for betraying the city of Antioch to the emperor. But when he learned that such reports were current against him, he was highly incensed, and, whether indignant from a clear conscience, or instigated by apprehensions of being charged with so foul a transaction, I know not, he left his bishopric, and retired into the wilderness, determined never to return among a people whose usages he detested. The Normans, being then masters of the city,


[1] Our author probably means to say, one of the metropolitan cities.- Le Prevost. Might not however Antioch have been considered by the author the ecclesiastical metropolis of the east, as having been the seat of St. Peter?

[2] This paragraph is inexact. John IV., the Greek patriarch of Constantinople, was naturally unwilling to conform to the usages of the Latin church, and, consequently, not being able to maintain a good understanding with the Franks when they became masters of Antioch, he retired to Constantinople two months afterwards.

A.D. 1100-1104.] LATIN PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH. 309

rejoiced at the Greek's abdication, and communicated to Bohemond in his prison the whole circumstances, asking his advice about the appointment of a successor to the patriarch. His commands were that Bernard of Provence, [1] who had been chaplain to Adhemar, bishop of Puy, and was recommended by him as his intimate friend to Bohemond, another particular friend, should be translated from the see of Maschenia and raised to the patriarchate of Antioch. By the duke's order, therefore, the clergy and people elected Bernard, and seated their bishop in the chair of St. Peter the apostle. He was a man of learning, but when he became known to his flock, was much disliked, for he was both covetous, and, according to the character of the Goths from whom he descended, [2] very austere. He ruled the church of God for a long period, retaining the government of his see to the age of decrepitude. In his time, as already stated and will be more fully related hereafter, the Christians in the East suffered violent disasters.

It was published throughout the world that Bohemond was in captivity among the pagans. All Christendom mourned for him, and even the pagans themselves paid him honours in his prison. The whole church offered prayers to God on his behalf, that he would deliver the captive from the hands of his enemies. But the merciful God, who created all things, while he knows how to chastise his servants with afflictions on account of their sins, is ready also to afford marvellous succour to those who humbly implore him. Abraham and Joseph experienced this under Pharaoh, among the Egyptians; Tobias and Raguel uncler Salmonassar, Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon, among the Assyrians; Daniel and the three children, with the other sons of the transmigration, under Nebuchadnosor and Evilmerodach, among the Chaldeans; Esdras, aud Nehemiah, and Mordecai, with his niece Esther, under Cyrus, Darius, and


[1] Bernard, chaplain of the bishop of Puy, was not a Provencal, but a native of Valence in Dauphiny. It was two years after the retirement of John IV. that he was summoned from his bishopric of Arthasium to succeed him as Latin patriarch of Antioch. He held that dignity until his death in 1135.

[2] Our author makes Bernard a Goth, from having confounded Valence in Dauphiny with Valence in Spain, and forgets that he has just described him as a Provencal.

310 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXIII.

Artaxerxes, among the Persians and Medes. This also was happily felt by the apostles and other holy preachers, who frequently, on their first arrival in barbarous countries, were despised as aliens and mendicants, but soon afterwrads the splendour of their miracles and their words of thunder struck the natives with awe, and brought under the yoke of the divine law those who before were opposed to all that is good. Thus He who said, "My Father works hitherto, and I work", recently visited in their prison his champions, of whom I speak in my writings for the information of posterity, and from admiration of the divine operations; cheering them plenteously with the mellifluous nectar of his loving kindness. Mortals have the scourge of sufferings inflicted on them for the sins of human infirmity, and are compelled, when punished by the divine rod, to implore in sorrow the mercy of their Maker. God, our King, who saves those who trust in him, listened with power to the prayers of his church, and succoured the captive duke and his companions by the address and assistance of his enemy's daughter; as formerly he aided his suffering people by means of Judith, the emirageous widow, when she cut off the head of the proud Holophernes at Bethulia.

Melaz, [2] the daughter of Daliman, was a beautiful and accomplished princess, and possessed great power in all her father's house, having the command of abundant wealth and a number of slaves to do her will. Hearing of the bravery of the Franks, she conceived a high regard for them, and sought their intimacy so ardently, that, bribing the gaolers liberally, she frequently descended into their dungeons, and held acute discussions with the prisoners concerning the


[1] John v. 17.

[2] It has been observed in a former note that we have no historical record of the mode in which Bohemond and his companions in captivity obtained their release, or effected their escape, after four years' imprisonment. Our author undertakes to give an account of it in the concluding pages of the present book. No one can for a moment attach the character of authenticity to the details of his narrative. As M. Guizot remarks in his introduction to the present work, Ordericus made collections from all quarters of traditions and adventures as well as facts, and we are not disposed to complain that among the stores of information gathered by his industry, he has left us a very interesting specimen of the romance of the middle ages.

A.D. 1100-1104.] LEGEND OF BOHEMOND'S RELEASE. 311

Christian faith and the true religion, sometimes mingling deep sighs with the investigations she made. Their gentle and kind deportment placed them higher in her affections than even her parents, and she took care to supply them with all that was needful for food and clothing. Meanwhile, her father, occupied by a multiplicity of other affairs, was either unconscious of what was going on, or, placing implicit confidence in the conduct of his beloved daughter, did not trouble himself about it.

At the end of two years, a worse than civil war commenced between Daliman and his brother. Soliman, instigated by his fierce and ambitious temper, took arms against Daliman, and, assembling large bodies of troops, made an irruption into his brother's territories, and had the insolence to provoke him to battle. Daliman's indignation was roused by so unnatural an hostility; and, having obtained succour from all quarters, and being proud of his former victories, he was eager for the bloody conflict, and, as the day of battle drew near, pitched his camp ready for action.

Meanwhile Melaz sought a private conference with the Christians, in which she thus addressed them: "I have long heard the chivalry of the Franks celebrated, and now I wish to prove it in the hour of my father's deepest need, that experience may prove to the eyes what the ears have heard by report". Bohemond replied: "Sweet and honourable lady, if it be your highness's pleasure that we should have permission to appear on the field of battle with our knightly arms, no doubt we shall show with sword and lance the force of such blows as Franks deal, and make trial of them on your enemies before your eyes". The young princess then said: "Promise me, on your faith as Christians, that in the affair of which we treat, you will act in all things by my advice, and not venture to take any step contrary to my orders. Satisfy me of this by pledging your faith, and then I will not hesitate to open to you the secrets of my heart".

Bohemond first gave the solemn engagement required, and all the others followed his example, promising all the princess enjoined. She then said, radiant with joy: "Now I have full confidence in you, because I believe you are true to your word, and will never violate your promise in

312 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH. XXIII.

any manner. Succour my father, who is now on the field, where he is on the point of engaging in battle, and hasten to lend him the aid of your valour. If success attend you, as I trust it will, do not delay in pursuit of the fleeing enemy, but hasten back here with your arms, and do not disarm till I give you orders. Meanwhile, I will cause all the guards to descend from the highest floor of the tower to the lower gates, and to remain with me in the court as if they were waiting for you. When you return, and you hear me command them to bind you in in the fetters you wear, lay hands upon them stoutly, and without a moment's loss, seize them all and thrust them into the dungeon in your place. For myself, at this sight, I shall flee from you as if you were savage wolves. As to you, take possession of the strongest tower, and hold it vigilantly until you have made suitable terms with my father. There are doors high up in the tower, through which you can come down into the palace by stone steps, and get possession of the whole wealth and all the apartments of my father. To make an end, should my parent be incensed against me for these my offences, I beseech you, O friends, whom I love as my own soul, hasten, without loss of time, to my aid".

Having said this, she armed the knights, and immediately led them forth. She had already corrupted and deceived the guards, and on giving them their instructions, spoke to them in the following manner: "I am overwhelmed with fears for my father, seeing that he is about to engage in battle with a host from many nations. He is so intrepid a warrior that he will not condescend to demand assistance from his captives. But I would have you know that he has left it to my care and in my power to supply the Christians with arms and send them to the fight in aid of our troops. If, by their means the enemy is overcome, the honour and profit will belong to us, but if they fall pierced by hostile weapons we shall have nothing to lament in the loss of aliens, whose usages and ceremonies all the race of the Agarenes abhor".

On hearing this, the guards cheerfully acquiesced in the proposal, and praised to the skies the forethought of their prudent lady. Thereupon she released the captives from their fetters, conducted them from their house of bondage, and having armed them, dismissed them to the combat.

A.D. 1100-1104.] LEGEND OF BOHEMOND'S RELEASE. 313

Finding the armies already sharply engaged, they shouted the war-cry of the Normans, DIEUX AIDE [1] with confidence, and the squadrons of Soliman, hearing their cries and dealing fearful blows, recoiled. There were some Christian soldiers in his army, who, to their great joy, recognized Bohemond, the renowned chief, and deserting Soliman, attached themselves to the Catholics.

Soliman had a son named Marciban, a presumptuous youth, who, hearing that Bohemond was on the field, challenged him to battle by name, being ambitious of meeting him in single combat. At length they met in the presence of Daliman, and attacked each other fiercely; but the Norman warrior brought the Turk to the ground, and drawing his sword, struck off his head. Daliman shouting: "Hold, spare him, he is my nephew", the Christian hero, when he heard that, concealed his inward triumph under a sorrowful countenance, and said ironically: "Pardon me, my lord; I did it in ignorance; I took him for an enemy, instead of your nephew, and sacrificed his life to do your pleasure".

After great slaughter on both sides, the army of Soliman was defeated, and a body of the enemy pursued them the whole of the day. The Christians immediately returned, as it was agreed, and found the princess with the guards waiting for them at the entrance of the tower. On seeing them coming, she said to the gaolers: "It is plain that the Franks are true to their word, and keep the faith they pledge unbroken: go to them as they enter, receive their arms, and take them back to their former prison, until my father, on his arrival, shall confer on them the rewards they merit for their service in the battle". The Turks left their lady to do her bidding, but the Franks closed on them, and making them prisoners, thrust them into the dungeon, and closely barring the doors, seized possession of the whole interior of the tower without making any public disturbance, becoming masters of the place without effusion of blood. Indeed, the city was left defenceless, as all the men had gone out to the battle; and only the women and children remained trembling to keep the houses. There was a vaulted chamber in the principal tower in which a huge


[1] DIEX AYE, " God be our help", the war-cry of the Normans, which Bohemond preserved as well as the red ensign of his Scandinavian ancestors.

314 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXIII.

treasure, with valuable effects and much wealth, was preserved, and the palace of the king was connected with the tower.

The night following, Melaz introduced the Christians into the palace by the entrance from the tower, showing them all the chambers and secret recesses, and instructing them what they were to do on Daliman's arrival. Returning the next day, with his satraps, and captains, and great men, his daughter met him, accompanied by her young companions, with lively joy: "Welcome", she said, "O glorious conqueror". But the king replied: "Hold your peace, abandoned girl; I care not for your perfidious congratulations. I despise your deceitful flatteries. By the sacred turban of Mahomet, who has given me the victory, you and your champions shall die to-morrow; you, who have put arms into the hands of my adversaries to my utter confusion shall be burnt in the flames with them as a most abominable traitress". The king had not yet learnt that the guards of his citadel were fettered in its dark dungeon, nor that the Franks, exulting in freedom, had possession of the upper floor, and with Christ's aid were preparing to attack him. The young princess fled, trembling and pale, from his fury, and sought the concealment of her chamber in grief and alarm.

Some hours afterwards the incensed prince seated himself on his tribunal, having no one with him but his principal nobles, the rest of his people, with his squires and guards being dispersed at their several lodgings and occupied about their horses, arms, and other equipments. Having commanded some of the attendants to go to the private apartments, and bring before him the presumptuous traitress, in obedience to the summons she stood alone before the exasperated tyrant, and heard his terrible threats and reproaches without any to help her. Meanwhile, Bohemond, looking through a window in the tower which commanded the interior of the palace, and observing his deliverer standing in her desolation before the seat of judgment, exclaimed in deep distress: "Lo: our protectress is in extreme peril; it is time that we should issue forth and aid her with our utmost efforts". No time was lost in descending by the staircase, step by step, into the palace, and Daliman with

A.D. 1100-1104.] LEGEND OF BOHEMOND'S RELEASE. 315

his officers and courtiers found themselves suddenly surrounded by the armed Franks, who securely close'd the doors of the building, and took possession of all the defences round it. All parties were in a state of extreme anxiety, not knowing what it was best to do. As for the Turks, they had no means of escape, as the doors were securely closed; they could not hide themselves as they were surrounded by men with drawn swords; unarmed and few, they were unable to resist a number of valiant men well supplied with arms. It was in the power of the Christians at that moment to massacre all the Gentiles, but they did not dare to lift a hand against any one or do him any injury without the young princess's orders, in consequence of the oath they had given her. They, therefore, all looked to her, waiting her commands as they avoided forfeiting their pledge.

At last Melaz, begining to find herself in security, said to her father, laughing: "My dear father, your anger against me is unjust; you frighten me with terrible threats, and overwhelm me with reproaches for the timely succour which, in my great regard, I adroitly provided for you in your hour of need; for the Franks having taking arms, joined you in the battle, your side was strengthened and your enemies were soon routed. Consider how honourably these Christians have acted. They loyally supported you in the battle, and the enemy gave way before their attacks. They had abundant opportunities of making their escape, as even the purblind can see, but, being unwilling to depart without taking leave they voluntarily returned here, and confidently expect from your liberality the rewards they have earned by their courage in the field. At this instant their hands are on their sword-hilts, and if they chose they would massacre all of us in a moment. They are masters of the citadel and the palace, and all your treasures contained in them are at their mercy; your guards are in fetters and dare not mutter a word against them. In these circumstances, my father, consider what you have to do, and consult the councillors I see about you".

Having said this, the princess placed herself at the head of the Christians. Meanwhile, Daliman drew aside and took the opinion of his friends. He then resumed his seat and said, "We wish first, daughter, to hear what you propose". Her

316 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXIII.

reply was this: "I shall not hesitate to suggest what I think is the best course; make peace with the Christians, and preserve it inviolably as long as you live. Release all the captives of that religion throughout your dominions, and let them in turn liberate all your subjects who are in their power. Confer on Bohemond and his comrades, by whose aid you have gained a glorious victory, the rewards they merit for their distinguished service. For myself, know that I am become a Christian, and desire to receive the sacrament of regeneration according, to the Christian rites, nor shall I longer abide with you. The faith of the Christians is holy and pure, while yours is full of vanity, and polluted with all uncleanness".

This lanauage greatly irritated the Turks, who exhibited their anger by stern glances and menacing gestures, but were divinely withheld from giving vent to the malice of their impious minds by acts of violence. While they were consulting together on what was to be done, Melaz calling the Christians apart, thus addressed them: "Courage, brave knights, proved in many difficulties and trials! You who have come voluntarily from distant countries, and by your persevering valour have escaped such perils, act firmly in the name of your God whom you call Almighty. Now is the time to shew your courage and use your arms, that what you have begun boldly you may carry into effect in a manner worthy of yourselves. My father is greatly incensed against us, and is contriving with his friends, to the utmost of his power, the means for our destruction. Thus far you have strictly observed the conditions I required. I now release you from the promise to which you solemnly pledged your faith. It is time for you to man the citadel and the palace with the wall round it, and all the chambers, both great and small, and to keep a careful watch and guard the avenues that no one shall go out or in without your knowledge. If my father finds means of escaping from the palace, he will raise en masse all the people round, and will compel you by a cruel siege to a base surrender or take your lives. Shut him up then, with all his adherents, in one apartment, and use all necessary force to compel them, when there, to come to terms, but as far as possible avoid the effusion of blood. I commit the superintendence and command in this affair to

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you, my lord Bohemond, who have so much experience, and whose wisdom and mature judgment are renowned throughout the world. From this time, I shall be inseparably your sister, and will share cheerfully your success or misfortunes, in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ".

in consequence Bohemond, with great pleasure, forcibly thrust Daliman and all his party into one of the chambers and placed armed guards over it. He then posted the other knights at various points, giving orders to each how they were to act, and thus he held possession of the prince's palace, with all he found in it, for nearly fifteen days. He permitted the wives of the emir and his nobles, with their attendants and unarmed eunuchs, to have access to them and to supply them with food and all other necessaries. Meanwhile Daliman bitterly lamented that his own house was made his prison, and his daughter the gaoler, at whose instance he was strictly confined. He did not spare curses on his god Mahomet, and on all his friends, subjects, and neighbours who suffered him to submit to such rough treatment in the seat of his power from a small band of captives and aliens. The nobles who were incarcerated with him persuaded him to come to terms with the Christians, that at least they might escape with their lives. At last his fears got the better of his obstinacy. Having conferred with Bohemond, he implored his amity, and consented that he and all his companions should go free, and thus all the captives who groaned in his dungeons should have their liberty; he also promised to give him his daughter in marriage.

Bohemond having informed Melaz of what had passed, the able princess replied: "Words are easily uttered, but must not always be taken on trust. Listen civilly to my father's smooth speeches, but receive them with caution. Keep watchful guard over what is in your hands until you can ensure your success in complete security. Let trusty messengers be despatched by different roads to Antioch to summon an armed force of your countrymen, who will form an honourable escort, and conducting you without hazard of treachery into your own states, place you out of the reach of the perfidious wiles of all the malevolent". This advice was approved by all the Christians, and in consequence Richard de Principatu and Sarcis were sent from

318 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXIII.

Mesopotamia to Antioch, and made known the state of affairs to the people there, who received the intelligence with delight. Then Tancred, Bohemond's governor, sent commissioners to collect all the knights and other Gentiles who were in captivity, and as soon as they were assembled, delivered them to Richard and Sarcis to be conducted to Babylon. Amongst others liberated at this time was the daughter of Cassian, the [former] emir of Antioch, who made great lamentations when she was released from her confinement among the Christians. Being asked the cause of her sorrow, the lady replied, that she grieved because she would no longer partake of that excellent food, pork-meat, which the Christians ate. For the Turks and many other Saracen nations abhor the flesh of swine, while they eagerly devour that of dogs and wolves. Thus it is proved that they submit neither to the law of Moses, or that of Christ, and belong neither to Jews, or Christians". [1]

Meanwhile Bohemond had frequent conferences with Daliman, and by his ability and moderation established terms of familiar intimacy with him, taking opportunities of favourably disposing him towards numbers who were placed under his tyrannical power. His respectful and courteous language soothed the resentment of the emir and his companions in captivity, and he even gained their regards by the care with which he paid them deferential attention. By degrees the provincial governors and other chiefs became acquainted with their new ruler, and feeling extreme anxiety to scrutinize the man who had become the master of their lawful sovereign, and having, by his permission, access to their prince, highly celebrated Bohemond's merits. They urged Daliman, as their legitimate sovereign, to act for the good


[1] This amusing episode concerning the princess Baghi-Sian, and her predilection for pork, is of a piece with the rest of the narrative, adding a touch of the comic to its character as a romance. Wherever our author found the story, he seems to have copied it without examination, for it is extraordinary that, with his great display of biblical knowledge, it should have escaped his recollection that the law of Moses is as stringent as he represents the practice of the Mahometans with regard to eating the flesh of swine. (See Levit. xi. 7; Deut. ix. 8.) It is possible, however, that Ordericus may have been but imperfectly acquainted with this portion of the sacred writings, to which much importance was not at that time attached.

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of the state, and recommended him to seek the friendship of the illustrious duke by all the means in his power, often quoting the words of the comic poet:-

"If you can't do what you will, Then wish rather what you can". [1]

Adding this, "In the victory we recently gained, we were signally deceived, for we had the enemies of our own faith as our efficient allies in the defeat of our countrymen, and we stupidly and wickedly gloried in our common loss; our own God, the execrable Mahomet, utterly deserted us, and bowed powerless before the God of the Christians. Behold how wonderfully that crucified Christ, whom they call The Almighty, and justly, as all their enemies find and prove to their loss, inspires your daughter, in a most unlooked-for manner, to break the chains of those you believed to be strictly confined in your dungeons, and had condemned to perpetual prison in the fortress. He had given them a brilliant triumph when they appeared in arms on the field of battle, and their swords are red with the blood of our brothers and nephews. Still more, he has given them possession of your principal stronghold containing all your wealth, and has put you and the great men of your kingdom into their hands, imprisoned in your own palace, as in a sorrowful dungeon, having, as if you were helpless women, made no resistance. We have no means of access to you but by leave of these foreigners, and it is out of our power to render you any help. We cannot unite to attack them, because they would immediately vent their resentment on you. If even the great king, the Soldan of Persia, should march here with the whole of his forces and attempt to assault the citadel, such is the valour of the Franks, and so strong are the fortifications, that they would dare to resist him in the fortress, and would inflict severe chastisement on us before they were reduced. It is better, therefore,


[1] Quando non potest id fieri quod vis,
Id velis quid possit.
Ter. Andr. Act ii. sc. 1.

It is edifying to find these brave Turks, fit subjects for a comic opera, better acquainted with the classics than Ordericus seems to have been with Leviticus.

320 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXIII.

amicably to make terms with the enemy, than rashly to rouse his fatal rage".

Daliman yielded to this advice. Accepting the proffered friendship of tbe illustrious duke, he gave liberal orders in his palace for the common good, and made freely from his treasures large donations to the Christians. He also commanded all the captives throughout his dominions to be set at liberty. They were diligently inquired after, and when found conducted to Daliman, who clothed them well and delivered them to Bohemond. The duke forthwith enlisted these captives in his service among their countrymen, assigning them various duties, that, augmenting his force and his guard, they and their comrades might not be molested through any insidious schemes of the Pagans.

Richard and Sarcis returned in fifteen days, having executed their commission and accompanied by a powerful body of Christians. Daliman ordered them to be received with distinguished honours, and abundantly supplied with provisions, according to the customs of the country, and to be liberally furnished with all that they required. Then Bohemond and Daliman ratified the treaty for a perpetual peace between them, and three days were employed in preparing a suitable equipment of every sort. At length, Bohemond and Richard, with their companions in captivity departed from it exulting, and, like Zorobabel and Nehemiah, blessed the Lord God of Israel. Daliman and his nobles, also joyful because they were released from imprisonment, conducted them for some distance on their journey, but with perfidious intentions, meaning to take some opportunity of doing them mischief; but God protecting his servants, they could not accomplish it. For the faithful were apprehensive of this, and in consequence marched with arms in their hands, and prepared for battle. They also strictly guarded the hostages which had been given for their security, until they reached the appointed place of safety. At last Daliman demanded from his allies in a friendly manner permission to return, and having obtained it, turned his back on them, sorrowful because he had failed of finding means, by any stratagem, of injuring them on the road.

The prudent Melaz, with her attendants and eunuchs and splendid household, quitting her father's house, and voluntarily

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leaving all her family, piously, attached herself to the Christians at Bithia, as Pharaoh's daughter [1] happily accompanied Moses and the Hebrews when they went out of Egypt. The citizens of Antioch came in triumphant procession to meet their chiefs whose loss they had long deplored, and the clergy with all the people offered devout praises to the Lord God of Sabaoth, who saves all that trust in him. Bohemond despatched Richard [de Principatu], the companion of his captivity, to France, sending by him silver fetters to the shrine of St. Leonard, with devout thanksgiving: for his liberation. [2]

The illustrious Melaz having been regenerated and admitted into the Christian church by the holy sacrament of baptism, Bohemond took an opportunity of thus addressing her in the assembly of the chiefs: "Noble virgin, who while you were yet a pagan unexpectedly succoured us in a wonderful way, and have wisely left your kindred for the sake of the Lord Jesus, whom you kindly entreated in us who are his members and servants, for which you incurred your father's anger to the peril of your life, select from amongst us a husband to your choice, in the name of Christ; for it is not right that we should in the slightest degree oppose your reasonable wishes, debtors as we deeply are to your past deservings. First, however listen to my advice, which I trust, my sweet friend, will be serviceable to you: I admit that your father betrothed you to myself, but hope to provide better for you, and I will tell you plainly for what reason. From my youth upwards I have never enjoyed rest, and spending my life in toil, have suffered grievously, and I fear that worse evils are still in store for me, for I have to contend against the emperor, as well as the pagans by whom I am surrounded. Besides, while I was in prison, I made a vow to undertake a pilgrimage to St. Leonard's in Aquitaine. I offer you these apologies from sincere affection, because I should regret, more than if you were my


[1] We know not where Ordericus got the name of this supposititious daughter of Pharaoh, but we may at least affirm that it is not to be found in the bible.

[2] We shall presently find Bohemond himself, in 1106, going to return thanks to St. Leonard at his church in the Limousin, again with more detail.

322 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.X. CH.XXIII.

daughter or sister, to see you suffer any affliction, or form a connection of which you might soon repent. What joy or delight could our union afford you, when immediately after our marriage I must undertake a long journey by sea and land, and go into a far distant country near the ends of the earth? Considering all this, lady, choose for yourself a better lot from among many who would be your suitors. Here is Roger, son of prince Richard, my cousin, he is young and handsome, far different from me, and he is my equal in birth, wealth, and power; I commend him, that you may be induced to accept him for your husband, and I trust that you will live many years together".

All present seconded the duke's prudent counsel, and the wise princess readily yielded to the unanimous opinion of so many eminent men. In consequence, Roger's happy nuptials with Melaz were celebrated with great honours, and to the universal joy of the people of Antioch. Bohemond himself served as steward of the feast, with the principal lords of tbe country. Six years afterwards, on the death of Bohemond and Tancred, Roger succeeded to the principality of Antioch, but in the course of two years from his accession he was slain on the field of Sarmatan, with seven thousand Christians by Amirgazis the Persian. [1]

I have now given a long account of the revolutions in human affairs and the fortunes of mankind; but, if life be spared me, there is still much to be related in succeeding pages. I close here the ... [2] book of this Ecclesiastical History, and, fatigued with my labour, now require some short respite from it. [3]


[1] Roger, son of Richard de Principatu, succeeded Tancred in his government of Laodicea and Apamia, and the guardianship of the young prince of Antioch, in the month of December, 1112. He fell in a battle in which he had imprudently engaged with the Moslems in 1119. Their chief's name, here metamorphosed into Amir-Gazis, was YLGAZY, or AL-GAZI, son of Ortok, sultan of Maridin and Aleppo. The return of Bohemond to Antioch from his captivity, by whatever means it was effected, took place in 1104.

[2] There is a blank in the manuscript, which was evidently intended to be filled up with the number of the present book, compatibly, perhaps, with the new arrangement contemplated on the addition of additional books to the earlier portion of the history.

[3] The original text of the last paragraph is an hexameter verse:

Et mihi jam fesso requies aliquantula detur.

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