BOOK V

CH. I. The author gives a short account of himself and the contents of two of his former books - Proposes to treat of the abbey of St. Evroult and public affairs from the year 1075 to the death of William I.

TREADING in the steps of those who have gone before us, it is our duty to contend ceaselessly with enervating sloth, devoting ourselves to profitable studies and healthful exercises, by application to which the mind is purified from vice, the life-giving discipline nobly arming it against all wickedness. "Every slothful man", says Solomon, "is a slave to his desires". And again: "The desire of the slothful killeth him". [1] He indeed is slothful and idle who abandons himself to a vicious life for want of a good resolution. That man may be considered as sunk in the lethargy of idleness who fails to meditate on the law of God day and night, that is, in prosperity and adversity, and does not earnestly struggle to resist the wiles and assaults of Satan that he may be worthy to obtain the reward of his heavenly calling. Such a one, doubtless, hurtful "desire killeth"; drawing him into evil courses, while he is lulled to sleep by prosperity, and sinking him into the pit of perdition by the broad road of his own lusts. The ancients therefore strongly condemn idleness and sloth as the enemy of the soul, inviting their followers to profitable labour and exertion, both by word and example; and on this point the heathen poets agree with Christian writers. For Virgil says:-

Ah ! what avail his service, what his toil?
... Stern labour all subdues
And ceaseless toil that urging want pursues? [2]


[1] Prov. xxi. 25. The preceding quotation is not to be found in the Vulgate.

[2] Quid labor aut benefacta juvant? ... Virg. Georg. iii. 525.
Labor omnia vincit,
Improbus et duris urgens in rebus egestas. Virg. Georg. i. 145.

112 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.I.

Ovid also gives this advice to those who endeavour to resist their passions and strive against Venus:-

Advised by me, all slothful habits shun,
Those foes to worth by manly vigour won.
'Tis idleness that fosters Cupid's arts,
And lights his torch and points his shining darts. [1]

Weighing with attention, father Warin, such sentiments as these, I have determined to publish something which may be useful and interesting to our brethren in the house of the Lord, pursuing with diligence the task I have commenced, that when the Lord cometh to judgment I may not be condemned, like the unprofitable servant, for having buried my talent in the ground. In the first instance, I endeavoured to obey the commands of the venerable abbot Roger, and yours also, received at a later period, by undertaking a short account of the state of the abbey of Ouche, a work which our predecessors have often called on each other to engage in, but which none of them have been willing to undertake: for they chose rather to be silent than to speak, preferring tranquil leisure to the consuming toil of investigating past transactions. They were willing enough to peruse the acts of former abbots and brethren, and the annals of their own house, which, having been slenderly endowed at first by poor but pious founders, have been gradually aggrandized by the indefatigable exertions of our reverend fathers; but they shrunk from bending their minds to the task of dictating or writing the result of their researches. At length it fell to my lot, a stranger and an Englishman, who coming here, when only ten years old, from the furthest borders of Mercia, [2]


[1] Otia corrodunt mentes et corpora frangunt.

This verse is not in Ovid. The other three are quoted from his poem De Remedio Amoris, v. 133, 139, 140, with an unimportant transposition in the first line:

Fac monitis fugias otia prima meis ...
Otia si tollas, periere Cupidinis arcus,
Contemptque jacent et sine luce faces.

[2] Ordericus was born at Atcham, anciently Attingham, a village on the banks of the Severn, three miles from Shrewsbury, on the 16th of February, 1075. His father, who was attached to the household of Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, and had followed him to England, received from that nobleman grants of land in that neighbourhood, which was on the Welsh borders of the ancient kingdom of Mercia. Ordericus was entered as a novice at the abbey of St. Evroult in 1086. See the account of his life in M. Guizot's Notice appended to the preface of this work.

A.D. 1076-1086.] AUTHOR'S ACCOUNT OF HIS WORKS. 113

and rude of speech and manners, mixed with a people full of intelligence, to compose, by God's help, a narrative of Norman events and transactions for the use of the natives of Normandy. I have already, by the divine assistance, published two books, [1] in which I have given a true account of the restoration of our house and of three of our abbots, with some public affairs of that period which I have carefully collected from information given me by men of years and experience.

I now begin my third book from the year of our Lord 1075, meaning to treat of my own abbot and the society of St. Evroult, as well as of public affairs generally, during the succeeding period of twelve years, that is, to the time of King William's death. [2] I choose the former year for the commencement of my present undertaking, because it was then I was born, on the fourteenth of the calends of March [16th February], and was regenerated in the holy font of baptism by the ministry of Ordericus the priest, [3] at Attingham, in the church of St. Eata the confessor, [4] which stands on the bank of the river Severn. Five years afterwards, my father entrusted me to a noble priest, whose name was Siward, for instruction in the first rudiments of learning, to whose mastership I remained subject for five years. Then, being in my eleventh year, I was separated from my father, for the love of God, and sent a young exile from England to Normandy to enter the service of the King Eternal. Here I was received by the venerable father Mainier, [5] and having assumed the monastic habit, and become indissolubly joined to the company of the monks by solemn vows, have now


[1] Our author here speaks of the third and fourth books of his history. The first and second were an afterthought, and not as yet written. He, therefore, in the next paragraph calls this fifth book, which he is now beginning, the third.

[2] September 9, 1087.

[3] It is elsewhere observed that in baptism, which took place on the Saturday in Easter week (April 11), our author took the name of the officiating priest, who was also his sponsor.

[4] For the life of St. Eata, a Saxon bishop of great sanctity in the seventh century, see Bede's Eccles. Hist, pp. 161-229 (Bohn's Edition), and Ada SS. ord. Benedicti, saec. iii. P. 1, p. 221.

[5] Mainier, the fourth abbot of St. Evroult, flourished from July 16. 1066-March 5, 1089.

114 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.I.

cheerfully borne the light yoke of the Lord for forty-two years, [1] and walking in the ways of God with my fellow monks, to the best of my ability, according to the rules of our order, have endeavoured to perfect myself in the service of the church and ecclesiastical duties, at the same time that I have always devoted my talents to some useful employment.

If our bishops and other rulers of the world were so gifted with sanctity that, for them and by them, miracles were divinely wrought, as was frequently the case with the primitive fathers, and these accounts scattered through ancient books sweetly influence the readers' mind, refreshing their memories with the glorious signs and wonders of the early disciples; I also would fain shake off sloth, and employ myself in committing to writing whatever may be worthy of the eager ken of posterity. But in the present age, in which the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, miracles, the tokens of sanctity, cease, [2] while crimes and lamentable complaints multiply in the world. The litigious quarrels of bishops, and the bloody conflicts of princes, furnish more abundant materials for the writers of history than the propositions of theologians, or the privations or prodigies of ascetics. The time of antichrist is at hand, whose appearance, as the Lord intimated to holy Job, [3] will be preceded by the failure of miracles and the rapid growth of outrageous vices in those who are given up to their own fleshly lusts. Now, most reverend abbot, I will resolutely apply myself, in the name of the Lord, to the task I have undertaken, trusting with confidence that your experience will correct whatever errors my own ignorance may suffer to escape.


[1] According to this statement, our author composed this fifth book of his history in the year 1128.

[2] This is an important admission of our author. He has, indeed, like other monkish writers, made free use of former legends, but he rarely vouches for miracles when he comes to the history of his own times.

[3] There seems nothing in the book of Job to justify this allusion. It may be a question whether our author did not mean to refer to the epistle of St. Jude, ver. 16, 18. But the failure of miraculous powers in the church is not expressly predicted either there or in other passages of scripture where the signs of the "last days", and of the coming of antichrist are mentioned. See 2 Thess. i. 3; 1 Tim. iv. 1; 2 Tim. iii. 1; 2 Pet. iii. 3.

A.D. 1075-1127.] CECILIA, ABBESS OF CAEN. 115

CH. II. William's daughter Cecilia becomes a nun at Caen - Mission of three English bishops to Rome - Consecration of cathedrals and abbeys in Normandy - Anselm, abbot of Bec, made archbishop of Canterbury.

[1075-1127.] IN the year of our Lord 1075, the fourteenth indiction, King William spent the holy feast of Easter at Fecamp, and presented his daughter Cecilia to be consecrated to God by the hands of Archbishop John. [1] She had been brought up with great care, and well educated in the convent at Caen, where, being dedicated to the holy and undivided Trinity, she became a nun under the venerable abbess Matilda, faithfully submitting to the holy rule. The reverend mother departing this life after governing the convent forty-seven years, Cecilia succeeded her, and having presided over the nuns for nearly fourteen years with great credit, she expired on the third of the ides [13th] of July, in the year of our Lord 1127. She thus worthily devoted herself to the service of God, in the habit, and order, and religious exercises of a nun, for fifty-two years after she was first dedicated by her father, [2] and her death happened in the twenty-sixth year of the reign of her brother Henry.

While King William was residing in Normandy, and, by God's help, defended his dominions against all adversaries, the English bishops, Lanfranc of Canterbury, Thomas of York, and Remi of Lincoln, undertook a journey to Rome, and were received with great honours by Pope Gregory and the Roman senate. [3] The wealth of England supplied


[1] It would appear by the charter of foundation of the abbey of Caen, referred to by the French editor of Ordericus, that it was there, and under Archbishop Maurillius, and not John, and in the year 1066, not 1075, that William and Matilda caused their daughter Cecilia to be consecrated a nun of the abbey of the Holy Trinity on the day it was dedicated. If this be so, it is singular that our author should have fallen into error on facts which, though not of any public importance, occurred so near his own times.

[2] According to the correction just proposed, Cecilia's religious life extended to sixty-one years, of which she was abbess only seven. The abbess Matilda died on the 6th of July, 1120.

[3] The journey of the three prelates took place in 1071, when Alexander II. was pope, not Gregory VII. Alexander having been a pupil of Lanfranc at Bec, condescendingly rose from his seat to receive him, saying that he paid him this mark of respect, not to do honour to the archbishop of Canterbury, but to his learned master.- William of Malmesbury, Antiq. Lib. p. 324. The French editor of Ordericus remarks, that the two other bishops were not so well received, and had to defend themselves, the one for being the son of a priest, the other for obtaining the bishopric of Lincoln in recompense for the supplies he had furnished William towards the conquest of England. (See vol. 1. of this work, p. 465.) We find nothing of this in the English historians we have consulted. Henry of Huntingdon, who was a canon of Lincoln, gives a high character of Bishop Remi. See his History, p. 220, and Letter to Warin, p. 304 of Bohn's edition. Remi transferred the seat of the bishopric from Dorchester (in Oxfordshire) to Lincoln.

110 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.II.

profuse presents for the greedy Romans, and the prelates appeared to the Latins no less admirable for their munificence than for their eloquence and their learning, both sacred and profane. The pope and clergy of Rome received favourably the message of King William, accompanying the offerings, of which the bishops were bearers, and readily confirmed the privileges, formerly granted to his predecessors, which the king demanded by his envoys. [1]

In the year of our Lord 1077, [2] the bishops just named returned to Normandy highly delighted, and the king with all the Norman people were transported with joy at their arrival. At that time several churches in Normandy were consecrated with great ceremony, at which the king and queen, with their sons Robert and William, and vast assemblages of the nobles and commons were present. The mother churches of the bishoprics of Bayeux and Evreux and the abbey church of Bec, were dedicated to the honour of St. Mary, mother of God, always a virgin.

The same year, the abbey church of St. Stephen the proto-martyr, at Caen, was also consecrated, being enriched by the king and his nobles with valuable offerings and large sums of money. The solemnities of these consecrations were performed by John archbishop of Rouen and his suffragans, the reverend metropolitans Lanfranc and Thomas being present, with many abbots and a vast concourse of people. The venerable abbot Herluin rejoiced in spirit at the


[1] Malmesbury inserts the acts of a synod on the subject of these privileges, held in 1072, to which Pope Alexander had referred the question. See Modern History, p. 321.

[2] This date is incorrect; the three bishops were present at the synod at London in 1072, having returned from Rome in the interval.

A.D. 1034-1109.] ANSELM. 117

consecration of the church of Bec, and, having witnessed the accomplishment of his most ardent earthly hopes, was no longer for this world. He had retired from military service in the year of our Lord 1034, and changing his course of life received the religious habit from the Lord Herbert, bishop of Lisieux. Three years afterwards he was ordained by the same bishop and appointed abbot. It was then that the abbey of Bec was first established. He died on the seventh of the calends of September [20th August], in the year of our Lord 1078, being the eighty-fourth year of his age, and the forty-fourth of his profession as a monk. After an interval of a few days, Anselm, then prior of that house, was elected abbot. The year following he was consecrated abbot in the abbey church at Bec by the lord Gislebert, bishop of Evreux, on the festival called "The Chair of St. Peter". [1] He submitted to to the monastic rule when he was twenty-seven years old, and continued three years in the cloister without being preferred to any office. He then succeeded Lanfranc as prior, which rank he held for fifteen years, and then, on the death of Herluin the first abbot of Bec, was appointed to the government of the abbey which he administered for another fifteen years. He was afterwards raised to the archiepiscopal throne of Canterbury on the demise of the venerable Lanfranc, and filled the see for sixteen years, during which he was exposed to many trials. He departed out of this life on the eleventh of the calends of May [21st April], being the fourth day before Holy Thursday, in the seventeenth year of his archiepiscopate, the forty-fourth of his monkhood, and the seventy-sixth of his age.

CH. III. Hugh, bishop of Lieux, his singular death - His epitaph - He is succeeded by Gislebert maminit - His character.

[A.D. 1077.] FORASMUCH as thoughtless mortals are apt to be inflated by a false appearance of prosperity, while they are driven to and fro, bending like reeds before the blasts


[1] A feast observed at Rome on the 18th of January, at Antioch on the 22nd of February, in every year.

[2] St. Anselm, born at Aosta about the year 1034, took the monastic habit at Bec in 1060. He was elected abbot immediately after the death of the venerable Herluin, but was not consecrated by Gislebert, bishop of Liseux, till the 22nd of February following. He resigned the government of the abbey to succeed to the archbishopric of Canterbury on the 6th or March, 1093, and was installed on the 25th of September following. He died, as here stated, on the 21st of April, 1109, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.

118 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.III.

of adverse fortune, the providence of God, which governs all things, therefore mixes the rough with the smooth, to retain within safe bounds the fickle enterprises of mankind. For while King William was much puffed up with worldly pomp, and the people of Normandy abandoned themselves to every sort of luxury, giving no thought to the punishment which awaited their accumulated offences, a terrible thunder storm burst over the sanctuary of the church of Lisieux, and the awful crash struck down the people assembled on the pavement of the cathedral church. It happened one morning on a Sunday in the summer season, when the holy mysteries of the mass were being celebrated, and a priest named Herbert was standing, mitred, [1] at the altar, that there was suddenly a fearful flash of lightning, immediately followed by a tremendous crash and the falling of a thunderbolt. Striking the cross which stood on the pinacle of the tower, it shattered and threw it down, and descending from thence into the body of the church it was attracted by the crucifix, from which it tore off a hand and foot and drew the iron nails which attached them to the cross in a most singular manner. A dark cloud concealed all objects from the trembling congregation, and the lightning shot flashes through all the church, killing eight men and one woman. It burnt the beards and hair of men and women, and gave forth a most offensive smell. One woman, whose name was Mary, preserved her footing, under great alarm, in a corner of the church, from whence she beheld the whole crowd of people lying apparently lifeless on the floor of the church, while she herself was ready to faint.

This occurred before the feast of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, and soon afterwards Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, [2]


[1] Infulatus; the ministrant being only a priest, the description, which is literally translated, does not seem applicable.

[2] Hugh d'Eu, son of William, count d'Eu, and of Lesceline, the foundress of the abbeys of Dive and St. Desiderius at Lisieux, was bishop of that see from 1050-July 17, 1077.

A.D. 1050-1077.] HUGH, BISHOP OF LISIEUX. 119

fell sick. In the month of July, his disease increasing, the bishop, perceiving that his death was at hand, began carefully to examine himself as the servant of God summoned to his Master's presence, and prepared himself with great reverence to give an account of his stewardship. Purified by confession and penance, washed with prayers and floods of tears, and strengthened by the blessed communion of the life-giving mysteries, he exhorted the clergy and laymen who were assembled about him, and gave them absolution and his blessing. As his end approached, he recollected one thing which caused him especial regret, and in reference to which he thus implored all who were present: "I know that I am now going the way of all flesh, but it troubles me to think that I die at a distance from my see, away from that spouse to which by God's ordinance I have been lawfully united for almost forty years. I therefore entreat all you whom I have formerly loved, nourished, promoted, and raised to honour, that you carry me forth from hence, and transport me to the spouse I have so dearly loved. I have completed the church of St. Peter the apostle, which my venerable predecessor Herbert [1] began; I carefully embellished it, supplied it with clergy, and furnished it with the sacred vessels and all other requisites for divine worship. Humbly commending it to the protection of the Lord of heaven, in its sacred bosom I wish to repose, and there wait in faith the second advent of our Lord". At these words all present immediately arose, and, placing the bishop on a convenient hand-litter, they carried him from the village of Pont l'Eveque to Lisieux, the clergy of the highest rank and the most honourable among the laity bearing their beloved father on their shoulders. But while they were using their utmost efforts to reach the city as quickly as posible, his death becoming imminent, they turned out of the road on a piece of level turf, and tarried there expecting every moment the bishop to breathe his last in the open air amidst their prayers and tears:-

The sun in Cancer, flashing brightest rays,
Shrouded the dying prelate in its blaze.

Laid in the bright sunshine on this delightful spot, the


[1] Herbert, bishop of Liseux, 1022-1050.

120 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.III.

illustrious Bishop Hugh, surrounded by his attached friends, and commended to God by their prayers, breathed his last on the sixteenth of the calends of August [17th July].

Thus calmly died the venerable Hugh:
Such honours to their country are too few;
The gem of priesthood, and the best of men,
Alas! we ne'er shall see his like again.

May Christ, the chief bishop, whose vicar on earth he was for a time, be ever propitious to him! Pont l'Eveque is four leagues distant from Lisieux; a cross was erected in the field near the road, where the bishop died, which is called to this day the Bishop's Cross. [1] His body was carried to Lisieux, but the funeral was deferred for eight days in consequence of a dispute between the canons and nuns. For the clergy wished to bury him in their cathedral, but the nuns strongly remonstrated, saying: "Our father Hugh built our abbey of Notre Dame; he assembled us here to serve God, [2] and brought us up in the fear of the Lord with the love of a father to his daughters; when death approached he chose the church which he had founded for his burial place; cursed be he who should attempt to deprive us his daughters of our father's remains".

The case was brought before the king's court at Rouen, and the question was argued on both sides, but the royal decision was in favour of the weaker sex. Whereupon William sent for Archbishop John, and commanded to hasten with all speed to Lisieux, and honourably inter the bishop's corpse in the chapel of St. Mary. But the archbishop, being a harsh and haughty prelate, and having a dreadful enmity to the deceased bishop lurking in his bosom, was much incensed, and, treating the royal command with contempt, refused to go and bury his fellow bishop. As he was returning from the king's court, riding on his mule through the city, speaking arrogantly about the present affair, he


[1] It is supposed that this interesting scene took place on a spot now called Pre-l'Eveque.

[2] The nuns who were originally settled by Lesceline at the abbey of St. Peter-sur-Dive, having been replaced by monks, were transferred to Lisieux, where their new church was, like the former, dedicated to St. Mary.

A.D. 1077.] EPITAPH OF BISHOP HUGH. 121

was seized with violent spasms, by the divine permission, just as he approached his own house, and, falling to the ground in the sight of the multitude, lost the use of his speech for the two years he survived. Upon this, Gislebert, bishop of Evreux, went to Lisieux, with a great concourse of the faithful, and interred the bishop, as was becoming, in the choir of the nuns, in the presence of Robert, Count d'Eu, his brother. A suitable stone was laid over the grave of this great bishop, and an epitaph in Adonic metre, which consists of a dactyl and a spondee, was engraved in letters of gold, on a brass plate, as follows:

Underneath lies Bishop HUGH,
Honoured lord of Lisieux:
Not more noble was his birth
Than the splendour of his worth.
Doubly gifted, he combined
Wit and sanctity of mind.
France's sceptre Philip sway'd,
England William's rule obey'd,
And the blazing lamp of day
On the verge of Leo [1] lay,
When the bishop pass'd away.
Heavenly mercy speed him well,
With the blest above to dwell!

Gislebert, surnamed Maminot, the king's physician and chaplain, was chosen bishop of Lisieux, and consecrated by Michael, bishop of Avranches, in the presence of the lord archbishop John, who, as we have just said, had lost the use of his speech. He was the son of Robert de Courbepine, [2] a brave knight; and, filling the see twenty-three years, managed ecclesiastical affairs with a strong hand. Though deeply skilled in the art of medicine, after he became bishop he was unable to cure himself. He was eminent for his learning and eloquence, abounded in wealth and the luxuries it procured, but was a slave to his own gratification and the care of the flesh. Ease and leisure were his great objects, and he indulged frequently in dice and other games of hazard. Negligent and slothful in his ecclesiastical duties, he was ready and active enough in hunting and hawking. He therefore devoted his life to worldly exercises and


[1] The bishop died, as stated before, on the 17th of July.

[2] Near Bernai.

122 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.III.

employments, and did not give them up till age compelled him. I could write more about him, but I check my pen, because it was by him that I was admitted to the order of subdeacon, with (as well as I can recollect) three hundred others. But, as I have mentioned some things that are not very creditable to him, it is but right that I should record his merits and his doings which are worthy of imitation. He gave alms freely to the poor, and was distinguished for a stately sumptuousness and wise liberality. In his judgments he keenly investigated the truth, and was indefatigable in defending the right, dispensing justice freely to all who came for it. He treated with gentleness offenders who humbly confessed their sins, and judiciously gave wise and salutary counsel to true penitents. He performed the ceremony of conferring sacred orders, and of consecrations, with care and devotion; but he was inert and difficult to be roused to undertake them, nor would he engage in these offices until he was compelled by the united entreaties of numbers. The church of Lisieux at that time numbered among its clergy some honourable persons and eminent archdeacons and canons; such as William de Glanville, dean and archdeacon, Richard de Angerville, and William de Poitiers, [1] archdeacons, Geoffrey de Triqueville the treasurer, Turgis the chanter, and his son Ralph, with many others who had been educated by Bishop Hugh, and advanced to offices of dignity in the church. His successor attached these persons to himself, and gave them instructive lessons in the wide field of arithmetic, astronomy, physics, and other profound sciences, receiving them as his guests, and familiarly conversing with them at his entertainments.

CH. IV. John d'Avranches, archbishop of Rouen - his epitaph - William Bonne-Ame succeeds - His character - Translates the relics of St. Romanus.

IN the year of our Lord 1079, the archbishop John died, after governing his church eight years. He was buried in the baptistery of his cathedral church, on the north side,


[1] William do Poitiers, the historian, derived his surname from having studied at Poitiers, but he was a native of Preaux, near Pont-Audemer.

A.D. 1079.] EPITAPH OF JOHN, ARCHBISHOP OF ROUEN. 123

under a tomb of alabaster, on which this epitaph was skilfully cut:-

Heft of thy patron, of thy glory shorn,
Thy honoured primate, widowed ROUEN, mourn!
JOHN sleeps beneath, and, as in days of old,
Devotion flags, and priests again grow cold.
'Twas his with foul incontinence to strive,
The canon's rigour and the laws revive.
No venal bribes the priesthood's honour gain'd,
The church's state his liberal hand maintain'd.
Alas! this little stone, this narrow space -
Is all that genius, eloquence, and grace,
And noblest birth, and wisdom's highest aim,
And purest life, and excellence can claim.
Nine times September's sun had mounted high, [1]
And shed its brightness from the autumnal sky,
When bishop JOHN put off this mortal coil;
God rest his soul, and with his grace assoil!

On the death of the primate John, William, abbot of Caen, being canonically elected, was removed from his monastery, where he had duly served God as a professed monk, and called to govern the church of Rouen. [2] He was consecrated by the great Gislebert, bishop of Evreux, in the church of St. Mary, mother of God, and was the forty-sixth metropolitan of Rouen from St. Nicasius, who was first appointed by St. Dionysius, bishop of Paris, to the see of Rouen. [3] William was good, cheerful, and courteous, and continued shepherd of the flock divinely committed to him for thirty-two years. [4] He furnished the mother church with ample stores of all the ornaments necessary for divine


[1] John d'Avranches, archbishop of Rouen, died on the 9th of September, 1079. He was probably installed in the year 1069, so that he filled the see longer than the term assigned by our author. His infirmities were such, that the active pope Gregory VII. did not wait till his death in taking measures for providing a successor.

[2] William Bonne-Ame, son of Radbod, bishop of Seez, was abbot of Caen, succeeding Lanfranc, 1070-1079.

[3] The story of St. Nicasius is very obscure. He is supposed to have been commissioned by St. Denys to preach at Rouen about the middle or the third century. Having passed the Epte, he suffered martyrdom with his two companions, Quirinus, a priest, and Scuviculus, a deacon, in the neighbourhood of Gani, to which place their bodies were carried.

[4] William Bonne-Ame died the 9th of February, 1110. Our author states in book iii. (see vol. i. p. 419), that he filled the see nearly thirty-six years. The real time was thirty-one years just commenced.

124 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.III.

worship, and rebuilt from the foundations the cloisters of the bishop's palace and convenient offices. [1] The relics of St. Romanus the bishop were translated with great ceremony from his own church to the cathedral, and enshrined in a coffer of gold and silver, exquisitely enriched with precious stones. He appointed his feast to be celebrated throughout the diocese on the tenth of the calends of November (October 23rd); and by a general decree ordered a solemn procession to be made every year to the deposit of the body of the holy bishop without the city, inviting almost all the inhabitants of the diocese to be present by monitions and the promise of absolution and benediction. [2] Like a tender father, this bishop was kind to the clergy and monks, and all who were under his rule. He occupied himself continually with psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, and celebrated regularly the sacred mysteries. He was a stranger to deceit and malice, seeking no one's injury, but succouring the indigent as occasion required. He had naturally a fine voice, and was a skilful chanter; was deeply versed in ecclesiastical law, and had a great command of clear and expressive language in preaching the word of God to the uninstructed. His patience and benevolence charmed all who enjoyed his society, and he committed without jealousy a large share of his official burdens to his deans and arch-priests, admitting good men without reserve to a participation in the honours of his station.

CH. V. Acts of the synod and assembly of nobles held at Lillebonne, in the year 1080.

[A.D. 1080.] In the year of our Lord 1080, King William spent the feast of Whitsuntide at Lillebonne, where he summoned William the archbishop, and all the bishops and abbots, with the counts and other barons of Normandy to attend him. The king's commands were obeyed. It was in the eighth year of the papacy of Pope Gregory VII.,


[1] No vestiges remain of the buildings here attributed to William Bonne-Ame.

[2] The translation of the relics of St. Romanus appears to have been made in 1079, and probably on the 23rd of October. The procession here mentioned seems to have been the origin of the celebrated fair still held at Rouen on that day.

A.D. 1080.] SYNOD AT LILLEBONNE. 125

that the celebrated synod was held at Lillebonne, in which the wants of the church and the state generally were carefully provided for by the wisdom of the king, with the advice of his barons. I propose to insert here the canons of the council, as they were faithfully committed to writing by persons present, in order that posterity may know what were the laws of Normandy in the time of King William.

1. The Peace of God, or as it is commonly called, the truce of God, [1] is to be strictly observed, as our Duke William established it at first; and let it be proclaimed afresh in every diocese, with the penalties of excommunication. If any contumaciously refuse to observe it, or shall in any manner break it, let the bishops take cognizance of the offence, and do justice according to what is already decreed. But if the offender will not submit to his bishop's decision, the bishop shall report him to the lord under whom he holds his land, and he shall carry into effect the bishop's sentence. And if the lord shall disregard the order, let the king's viscount execute it, all pretences to the contrary notwithstanding.

2. Let the bishops do justice, according to the canons, on those who marry wives within the prohibited degrees of kindred, and on wives who marry their kinsmen. The king will not succour or defend any such, but, on the contrary, admonishes and gives his support to the bishops in strictly enforcing the divine law.

3. Let no priest, deacon, or subdeacon, nor any dean or canon, have in his house a woman under any pretext: if any one shall be found to have relapsed into this sin, after having had the charge brought against him by the bishop's officials, let him clear himself in the episcopal court. But if one of his parishioners or liege lords before accused him, let there be an adjournment till he can refer to the bishop; and if he designs to clear himself, let him do it in the presence of some of his parishioners in the presence of the bishop's officers, who shall give their judgment on his defence. But if he cannot clear himself he shall forfeit his preferment for ever.


[1] The Peace of God, a cessation of hostilities at certain holy seasons, is commonly supposed to have been solemnly introduced in a synod held at Caen in the year 1061; but there are traces in an old chartulary of its having been so established as early as 1046.

126 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.V.

The king has decreed this, not for the purpose of encroaching, in perpetuity, on the judicial rights of his bishops, but because the bishops of that time had been supine in that matter; but when he should find them doing their duty, he would restore, as matter of grace, the power of which they were temporarily deprived for their default.

4. Let no layman receive any part of the altar-dues, or burial-fees, or of the third of the tithes; nor take money in any shape for their sale or grant. Let no priest do any service for his preferment, except it be to carry a message from his lord, but so that he return the same day to his duties in the church. He may go with his lord as chaplain, if the lord wishes it, but not out of Normandy; being maintained in the lord's household, and providing a curate to take charge of his church while he is absent.

5. Priests shall not be compelled, by force or threats, to give anything to the bishops or their officers, beyond their just episcopal dues. No money shall be exacted from them on account of their women.

6. The archdeacons shall hold visitations once a year throughout their jurisdictions, at which they shall inspect the vestments, vessels, and books belonging to the church; the bishop appointing three places only in every arch-deaconry where the priests of the neighbourhood shall produce them for inspection.

7. While the archdeacon is engaged in his visitations he shall receive from the priests who attend it sustenance for three days.

8. If a priest incurs any forfeiture in the king's forests or those of his barons, the bishop shall receive no part of the fine.

9. Once a year, about the feast of Whitsuntide, the priests shall cause processions to be made to the mother church, and wax from each house of the value of a penny, or the worth of it, shall be offered at the altar for lighting the church. Whoever neglects shall be compelled by the priest, in exercise of his office, to pay the due without deduction.

10. No layman shall prefer a priest to a benefice, nor deprive him, without the bishop's consent. But the bishop

A.D. 1080.] ACTS OF THE SYNOD OF LLLLEBONNE. 127

shall not refuse to institute any one who is duly qualified; nor admit any priest who is not fit.

11. In cemeteries which belong to churches, whether in cities, castles, or burghs, the bishops shall retain whatever rights they had in the time of Count Robert, or with the consent of King William.

12. As for the cemeteries in the marches, if there be war, and any persons come to dwell there while hostilities continue, and making the sacred inclosure their habitation on account of the war, the bishop shall amerce them in no fine except such as they incurred before they took refuge in the churchyard. When peace is restored, those who thus sought an asylum during the war shall be compelled to depart, or shall become subject to the bishop's jurisdiction. Those however who had ancient dwellings in the cemeteries, shall possess their former holdings without disturbance.

13. The country churches shall preserve the same extent of cemeteries which belonged to them in the time of Count Robert, or up to the period of the present synod. The bishops shall possess the same rights in those enclosures which they had in the time of Count Robert, or now hold with the consent of King William, unless they have given any release for them with the king's permission.

14. If after this council a new church is built within any village, the bishop shall make a cemetery with the concurrence of the lords of the soil and parishioners. But if a new church is erected where there is no village, it shall have five perches of land round it, allotted for a cemetery.

15. If a church be granted to monks, the priest who is in possession of it shall enjoy whatever belonged to it before it was given to the monks, and so much the more because he is then connected with more holy men. On his death or other avoidance, the abbot shall select a qualified priest, and present him to the bishop, either in person or by letters dimissory. If he is a fit person the bishop shall institute him: but if the priest should wish to live with the monks under their strict rule, let him see that the church to which he has been instituted by episcopal licence, be decently provided with vestments, books, and other things necessary for divine service, according to its means. But if

128 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.V.

the priest has no desire to live with the monks, let the abbot make him such allowance from the revenues of the church as will enable him to live comfortably, and to perform properly the service of the church. If the abbot refuse, let him be duly compelled by the bishop. The priest who has the cure is to be under the jurisdiction of his bishop, and shall pay him the dues belonging to his see. What remains, the abbot may take for the use of his monastery; let the same rules be observed with respect to churches held by canons.

16. Profanation of churches and churchyards, as it has been before decreed, and offences causing interruptions to divine worship, shall be punished by fines inflicted by the bishops. Assaults on the road to church shall be punished in the same manner.

17. Item. If any person shall pursue another in a rage into the churchyard or church.

18. Item. If any one ploughs or builds in the churchyard without the bishop's licence.

19. If a clerk commits a robbery or rape, or strikes, wounds, or kills any one, or engages in a duel, without the bishop's license, or accepts a pledge of battle, or makes an assault, or seizes anything unjustly, or is guilty of arson, or any one in his service, or dwelling in the church-yard; they shall be mulct by the bishop in a fine, in like manner.

20. Item. If a clerk commits adultery or incest.

21. Item. If a priest forfeits his ministry.

22. Item. In the case of priests who neglect to attend the synod.

23. Item. If any priest shall not pay the synod and visitation fees at the appointed times.

24. Item. If a clerk shall give up the tonsure.

25. Item. If a monk or nun, not living under any rule, put off the monastic dress.

26. Item. If priests excommunicate any persons, except for breaking the truce of God, and robbery without the bishop's licence.

27. If any stray cattle, commonly called waifs, come to the yard of the priest, or of a clerk living in the churchyard, they shall belong to the church or the bishop.

A.D. 1080.] ACTS OF THE SYNOD OF LILLEBONNE. 129

28. Whatever is left through a dispute, in the house of a priest or a clerk, or in the yard of the priest or clerk or their servant, shall belong to the bishop.

29. If any thing is lost and found in the church or church-yard, it shall belong to the bishop.

30. If any one shall assault or strike a priest, monks or nun, or shall seize them, or slay them, or burn their houses in the churchyard, he shall be mulcted in the same way.

31. Item. If any man commits adultery or incest with his mother, or his godmother, or his daughter.

32. Item. If a woman does the like.

33. Item. If a husband divorces his wife, or a wife her husband without the bishop's licence.

34. Item. If any one consults ghosts, or has dealings with magic.

35. Item. If any one repudiates or denies a crime with which he is charged, and is convicted by the ordeal of hot iron, unless during the Peace of God.

36. Item. As to any one who, in contempt of a sentence, suffers himself to be excommunicated.

37. The offences of parishioners which belong to the jurisdiction of the bishop, shall, where such is the custom, be judged by the bishop.

38. If a sentence be disputed, let it be decided in the bishop's presence.

39. If the ordeal by hot iron be sentenced, let it take place in the mother church.

40. If the law is to be made clear, let it be done where the plea was first commenced.

41. No one is allowed to preach in a bishop's diocese without his license.

42. Whoever falls into these delinquences, and voluntarily offers to do penance, shall have it assigned him according to the nature of his offence, and no fine shall be exacted.

43. If a layman commits a robbery in the churchyard, he shall be mulct to the bishop; if the robbery is committed elsewhere, whatever be its nature, the bishop shall have nothing.

44. The bishops shall have their customary dues in those places in which they possessed them in the time of Count Robert, or now have them with the consent of King

130 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.V.

William. Those which have been released shall have the freedom which they have maintained till now. In all these jurisdictions and customary rights, the king retains in his own power what he has hitherto possessed.

45. If a priest disputes his lord's judgment for some ecclesiastical cause, and unjustly wearies him by proceedings in the bishop's court, he shall pay a fine of ten shillings to the lord.

46. If the bishops can prove in the king's court that they possessed in the time of Count Robert or of King William, with his consent, any thing which is not here mentioned, the king does not deprive them of their right, only let them not take seizin of it until they have shown in his court what it is they claim. Likewise, the king, by this instrument, takes none of their rights from the laity which they can prove in his court to belong to them and not to the bishops; only let them not disseize the bishops, until they have proved in the king's court that the bishops ought not to have it.

This synod was held at a royal country-seat on the Seine, where once stood an ancient city called Caletus. From which the neighbouring district from the sea to Talou is still called Caux. This city, as we read in ancient annals of the Romans, was besieged by Julius Caesar, and was destroyed on account of the obstinate defence made by the warlike inhabitants. Having reduced the enemy in this place to submit to his will, he was so struck with the advantageous site, that he took the precaution of making it a Roman garrison, and called it after his own name Julia Bona, which the barbarians corrupted into the name it now bears, of Lillebonne. [1]

CH. VI. Description and antiquities of the city of Rouen - The mission and martyrdom of St. Nicaisius.

CAESAR, having over-run the whole of Neustria, commanded the city of Rouen to be built in a desirable situation on the river Seine, where, to the east of the place the rivers


[1] No authority is to be found in any ancient history for any of the statements in this paragraph; and so far from Rouen being founded by Julius Cesar, it does not appear from his Commentaries that he ever set foot in any part of Normandy.

DESCRIPTION OF ROUEN. 131

Aubette and Robec, and on the West, the Maromme, form a junction with the Seine. It was called by its founders domus, signifying the house of the Romans, [1] and became the station of a Roman legion, to overawe and command the provincials in the neighbourhood.

The city of Rouen is populous, and enriched by commerce, its busy port, and flowing rivers, and pleasant meadows, making it a cheerful residence. It abounds in fruits and fish, and is affluent in its supplies of all commodities, is surrounded on all sides by woods and hills, is strongly fortified by walls, trenches, and bulwarks, and its public and private buildings, its houses and churches, make a fine appearance. St. Nicaisius the bishop, was commissioned to come to this city with his companions by St. Denys, in the time of the Emperor Domitian, [2] but on the road he was arrested by Sisinnius Fescenninus, at a place called Scamnis, [3] and remaining constant in the faith of Christ was beheaded, as well as Quirinus the priest, and Scuviculus the deacon, on the fifth of the ides [11th] of October. Their bodies were left by their persecutors to be devoured by birds of prey, dogs, and wild beasts, but by command of the Almighty God, angels preserved them untouched. The heathen guards being withdrawn the night following, the holy martyrs miraculously arose by God's help, and having replaced their heads, [4] crossed the river Epte by a ford unknown to man, and reposed themselves on a pleasant islet in that river. The place has been called, in memory of the saints, from that day to the present Vani, that is the ford of Nicaisius; [5] and there the Almighty conferred many good gifts on those who asked in faith, for the merits of the


[1] This absurd etymology needs no serious refutation. The original name of Rouen was Rotomagus, which has nothing in common with Romanus. It was afterwards corrupted to Rotomus, Rodomus, etc.

[2] See chap. iv. of this book. The mission of St. Nicaisius was not in the time of Domitian. The mistake arises from the common error in the middle ages of confusing St. Denys the Areopagite, with St. Denys, bishop of Paris.

[3] Supposed to be the place since called Roche-Guion.

[4] The stories of saints carrying their own heads probably arose from images which thus represented to the ignorant the nature of their martyrdom, and to which succeeding generations gave a literal interpretation.

[5] The author means, it may be supposed Va-dum Ni-casii, a strange etymology. Gani was, indeed, anciently called Vadiniacus.

132 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.VI.

martyrs. Its former heathenism long held possession of Rouen, after the martyrdom of its missionary, and filled it with idolatrous abominations until the time of St. Mellon the archbishop.

CH. VII. Legends of St. Taurinus, the first bishop of Evreux.

AT that time the faith of Christ savingly possessed and illuminated the city of the Evantici, that is to say of Evreux, situated on the river Iton. For St. Taurinus was sent there by the blessed [1] Dionysius, and by God's help wrought many miracles, God being always with him and gloriously directing all his works. For this he had chosen to undergo patiently all the trials and sufferings of this present life; and leaving at Rome Tarquinius Romanus his father, and Eutychia his most pious mother, with many other friends and relations, by order of Pope Clemens, the young exile penetrated into Gaul with Dionysius the Greek. When the second persecution raged furiously against the Christians, under Domitian, this Dionysius, who was then bishop of Paris, ordained his godson Taurinus, who was now forty years old, bishop, and, predicting many things he would have to suffer, sent him among the inhabitants of Evreux, in the name of the Lord. As the man of God drew near the gates of the city, a demon encountering him in three different shapes, that of a bear, a lion, and a buffalo, endeavoured to terrify the champion of Christ. But he stood firm in the faith like an impregnable wall, and completing his journey was hospitably entertained in the house of Lucius. On the third day, while Taurinus was preaching to the people, and the charm of the now faith gained him willing hearers, the


[1] Machario, Greek for blessed. The following legend is extracted from that found in the Bollandists under 2nd of August. It is of the same stamp as the other fabrications of the ninth or tenth centuries, when all knowledge of the real facts was lost or corrupted, and it was sought to supply them by fables very ill put together, and all servilely copied one from another. Here we have the confusion before referred to between the two St. Denys's, and the introduction of our old acquaintances, the magicians Cambyses and Zara, to do honour to the miraculous powers of St. Taurinus. All that is known with truth, is that Taurinus first preached Christianity in these parts among the Aulerci, about the beginning of the fifth century.

LEGEND OF ST. TAURINUS. 133

devil in alarm began to torment Euphrasia, the daughter of Lucius, and cast her into the fire. She immediately died, but shortly afterwards Taurinus, praying, and commanding her to arise, she was restored to life in the name of the Lord. No signs of fire appeared about her. All who were witnesses of this miracle were struck with fear and astonishment, and believed in Jesus Christ. On that same day one hundred and twenty men were baptized, eight blind men received sight, four dumb were cured, and many more were healed of their various infirmities in the name of the Lord.

Then Taurinus entered the temple of Diana, and compelled Zabulon, by the power of God, to stand visible before all the people, at which spectacle the heathen multitude was greatly terrified. For he appeared to them in the shape of an Ethiopian, black as soot, having a long beard, and breathing out flames of fire from his mouth. Then there came an angel of the Lord, shining like the sun, and in the sight of all bound the demon's hands and carried him off. On that day therefore, two thousand souls were baptized, and all the sick were cured by divine interposition. Deodatus, the brother of Euphrasia, seeing these things, believed and was baptized, and being made a priest recorded truly all that happened. Then Taurinus entered the defiled temple of Diana, and, purifying it by exorcisms and prayers, consecrated it as a Christian church in honour of St. Mary, mother of God. He then proceeded to destroy the idols every where around, and to dedicate churches to Christ, visiting his whole diocese, making canonical ordinations, and establishing hospitality every where.

Satan, becoming envious at beholding so much good, in his despair devised many schemes for injuring the man of God, and roused against him numerous enemies. Two magicians, Cambyses and Zara, priests of Diana, groaned at seeing the people converted to God, and incited twenty of their disciples to kill Taurinus. But as they drew near to him, they were discovered at some distance by the man of God, who, making the sign of the cross against them, caused them to stand fixed on the spot. At his command, the second time, they were set free, and, throwing themselves at his feet, believed, and were baptized, in the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. The magicians, finding

134 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.VI.

that their devices could not prevail against the soldier of Christ, stabbed themselves with their own knives.

Meanwhile, Licinius the consul hearing of the fame of the holy bishop, he caused him to be presented to him at his villa of Gisai. [1] While he was being conducted there, he met a paralytic man, and his sister, who was blind, deaf, and dumb. He forthwith blessed water, and sprinkled the sick, who were immediately made sound. The executioners, seeing this miracle, instantly believed on the Lord. The bishop and the consul, having sharply disputed concerning idolatry and divine worship, the consul flew into a rage, and commanded the bishop to be stripped naked and scourged with rods; but the holy man devoutly prayed to God, and presently a voice was heard from heaven, comforting him. The hands, also, of the executioners immediately withered; but the wife of Licinius, interceding for the man of God, the consul was so incensed, that he commanded her to be tortured.

While this was passing, a messenger arrived with the intelligence that his son had fallen down a precipice as he was hunting in the neighbourhood of the castle of Alercus, [2] and died on the spot, as well as his attendant. Licinius and all his troops were thrown into the deepest sorrow at this calamity, and by God's will be was compelled to implore the aid of the man of God, whom he had begun to torture. Then Taurinus, having prostrated himself in the church of St. Mary and prayed, went with the people to the bodies which were lying dead. There he poured forth devout supplications to God; and, having ended his prayers, took the hand of his cousin [3] Marinus, and restored him to life in the name of the Lord. Licinius, and his wife, and all his chief men, seeing this, rejoiced greatly, and casting themselves at the bishop's feet, begged to receive holy baptism. And that day one thousand two hundred souls were baptized.


[1] Probably Gisai, between Broglie and La Barre, where ruins of Roman buildings have been discovered, to which traditions of St. Taurinus are attached.

[2] Mediolanum Aulercorum, the Roman site of old Evreux, two leagues and a half south of the present city, where traces of a castle of the middle ages have been found.

[3] Our author has omitted the passage of the legend in which Licinius is represented to have made the discovery that the saint was his uncle.

LEGEND OF ST. TAURINUS. 135

Then Marinus entreating for his follower, Taurinus assented, and, approaching the body, invoked God, and called to Paschasius, who was immediately restored to life by the power of God. Both, on their recovery, told each other what they had seen in the place of the departed. Paschasius predicted to Marinus that he would die on the day he put off his white robes of baptism, [1] which came to pass; for Marinus, being seized with a slight fever, died on the eighth day after he was baptized.

By such miracles as these, Taurinus, the first bishop of Evreux, became illustrious, and brought many thousands to the knowledge of the truth and righteousness. At length when Pope Sixtus filled the apostolic see, and AElius Hadrian was emperor, Taurinus, full of years and virtues, received a call from heaven, on the third of the ides [11th] of August, and the church in which the people were assembled was filled with a thick and odoriferous cloud. After the space of an hour, the cloud was withdrawn, and the bishop was seen sitting on his chair, with his hands stretched out in the act of prayer, and his eyes lifted to heaven. Deep grief fell on the people of the diocese for the loss of their bishop; and, at the command of an angel, who appeared to them in the shape of a person of eminence, the man of God was buried outside the city, about the distance of one-third of a mile on the west side. The place long remained without any mark of respect, but now a chosen company of monks have, by the grace of God, settled there, to carry on their soul-saving warfare. [2] An extraordinary thing happened at the funeral of the venerable bishop. While he was being laid in the grave in the usual manner, and the people were making great lamentations, he raised himself in the pit, as if he were alive, and said: "My little children, why do ye so? Fear not: listen to a just one". And, bending his head, he was again silent. Accordingly, as soon as the servant of Christ was buried, an angel of the Lord


[1] According to primitive custom and the canons of the church, the white gnrments of baptism were worn for eight days.

[2] The place where the tomb of St. Taurinus stood, and where a monastery was founded to his honour before the end of the seventh century, is still shown. Though now within the modern city of St. Evreux, it was at a little distance from the Roman town.

136 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.VII.

said to the people: "Depart quickly, lest ye be surrounded by the enemy; this city shall be destroyed, but none of you shall be injured. This place shall remain unknown for a long time". The angel then vanished, and all that he had foretold came to pass. For the tomb of the holy bishop and the anniversary of his departure were long, concealed, but at length became gloriously known by a divine revelation. [1] Some miracles are also daily wrought by him at Evreux. For the demon which he expelled from the temple of Diana still haunts the city, appearing in various shapes, but hurting no one. The common people call it the Goblin, [2] and assert that it is restrained to this day from injuring mankind by the merits of St. Taurinus; and that because it obeyed his commands by breaking its own idols, it was not forthwith cast into the pit, but undergoes its punishment in the very place where it had reigned supreme, by witnessing the salvation of those whom it had before insulted and tormented.

It is also said by the inhabitants, and it is true, that no venomous animal can exist in Evreux. At one time the rich soil, flooded by the waters of the river Iton, gave birth to such numbers of vipers and snakes, that the city of Evreux was full of reptiles of that kind. The citizens complaining of this pest, St. Taurinus prayed to the Lord to deliver them from the annoyance, and that no venomous reptile should in future be suffered to live within the walls. His prayers were heard. If by any accident an adder or a


[1] Our author's abridgment of the legend ends here; it is not known where he obtained the additional traditions.

[2] Gobilenus, from the Greek xobaloc, a demon (!) Du Cange, "vulgo faunas, folletus", [the follet and feu-follet of the French]. He quotes Cassian. Coll. 7, c. 32, to show that these merry sprites, lurking by the road-side and in out-of-the-way places, delighted in mocking wayfarers, and leading them astray, and thus annoying them, rather than in doing them serious injury. This object of vulgar superstition had, it appears, and still retains the same name and character in Normandy as in England.

"You are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Called Robin Goodfellow ...
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck".
Midsummer Nights' Dream.

See also Archives Normandes, 1824; and La Statistique du Departement de l'Orme, par M. Du Bois.

MARTYRS IN GAUL. 137

toad is introduced in a bundle of grass, the moment it comes within the walls it dies.

A long time afterwards the religion of Christ spread, and the clergy of Evreux, with the faithful inhabitants, made a search for the tomb of Taurinus, their first bishop, and by God's help found it. [1] His remains were then reverently lifted from the earth, and after a short time, translated by the faithful to Fecamp. A venerable monastery of monks devoted to the worship of God was built there, and the body of the saint was deposited in a rich shrine. [2]

May God deliver us from all venom of sin, by the intercession and merits of Taurinus, the benignant bishop; and shedding on us abundantly the perfect light of his holy Virtues, unite us to the company of his saints in the heavenly mansions, where we may worthily pour forth praises to the King of kings, through all ages. Amen!

CH. VIII. Sufferings of the Christians in Gaul during the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius - Martyrs in the Diocletian persecution.

IN the time of the emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, the infant Christianity of Gaul was crushed by the rage of its adversaries, and our holy mother the church deeply humiliated for nearly one hundred and sixty years. History does not distinctly inform us, what nation it was which intolerably oppressed both Christians and idolaters, or whence it came, nor under what prince or tyrant it vented its fury. [3]


[1] St. Landulf, then a clerk, and afterwards bishop, of Evreux, discovered the relics of St. Taurinus in the beginning of the seventh century, when he built a chapel on the spot.

[2] There are various accounts of the translation of the relics of St. Taurinus. At the invasion of the Northmen they were taken to Lezoux in Auvergne; afterwards, at the beginning of the tenth century, to Gigni in Franche-Compte. It is not known when they were brought back to Normandy, but spite of the claims of the abbeys of Gigni and Fecamp, and those also advanced by the cathedral of Chartres, which pretends to have received them after the pillage of Evreux by Philip-Augustus in 1195, the abbey of St. Taurinus possesses them, where they are preserved in an exquisite reliquary of the thirteenth century, of which M. Le Prevost has published a description.

[3] This pretended invasion of Gaul is altogether apocryphal, and was invented by the legend-writers of the middle ages as a frame for their pious frauds.

138 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.VIII.

However it clearly appears in the acts of many of the saints of that period, that during the reign of the emperors above named an army of savage barbarians ravaged Gaul. At that time there were no kings in Gaul, but the emperors of Rome, from the time of Julius Caesar, had all the Cisalpine nations under their dominion, appointing prefects and other magistrates in the cities at their will.

The word of God was almost forgotten in Neustria after the death of the holy bishop Taurinus, until the times of Diocletian and Maximian, by whom the tenth persecution was carried on with diabolical fury, and raged more fiercely and longer against the church of Christ than any before. But He who promised to be ever with his people, wonderfully eomforted and delivered his spouse in the storms of her deep tribulation, protecting and exalting her and making her triumphantly glorious. Moreover, he will reward her with an eternal crown in the presence of his Father in the heavenly Jerusalem. Her, therefore, he so much loved, he did not leave long destitute of illustrious teachers during the fury of her persecutors.

When the tenth persecution fatally harassed the Christians for ten years, and innumerable multitudes of martyrs were slain with every species of torture, ascending to heaven with the glorious ornament of their precious blood, Quentin and Lucian, Valerian, Rufinus and Eugenius, Mellon and Avician, and many others of the clergy and nobility of Rome, went forth, and were scattered throughout Gaul faithfully preaching the word of God. Quentin came to Amiens, and Lucian to Beauvais; Mellon with Avician and some other distinguished persons to Rouen. [1]


[1] St. Quentin, martyr in the Vermandois, October 31, 287; St. Lucien, apostle of the Beauvais, about the same time; St. Valerien, martyr at Tournus, the 15th of September, 279; St. Rufinus, martyr in the diocese of Soissons, about 237; St. Eugenius, martyr at Deuil near Paris, in the third century. The time at which St. Mellon began to preach at Rouen is not exactly known; but he was the first to introduce Christianity there, and must have died before 314, the date of the council of Arles, at which his successor, Avician, was present, and the acts of which, his name being subscribed as bishop of Rouen. All the martyrs whose names are mentioned, suffered before the tenth persecution, which was not regularly enforced until the year 303; it is therefore incorrect to say that these saints were led by it to leave Rome, and preach the gospel in Gaul. It is probable that St. Mellon himself began his apostolical labours before the end of the third century.

ST. MELLON, ARCHBISHOP OF ROUEN. 139

Diocletian and Herculeus Maximian voluntarily abdicating their authority, Constans, a prince of great humanity, succeeded to the government in the provinces of the west from which Herculeus retired. [1] Constans displayed much clemency to the people, great devotion to God. For, as Eusebius of Caesarea attests, in spite of the fury of his colleagues, he neither stained his reign with the blood of the saints, nor destroyed with violence the Oratories and conventicles of the Christians as Maximian had done. This prince built a city in Neustria which he called Constance [Coutances] from his own name; and his concubine Helen came from that province; she bore him Constantine the Great, the founder of Constantinople. [2]

CH. IX. Series of the archbishops of Rouen from Mellon (about A. D. 310) to Geofrey, A. D. 1110-1127 - Containing also chronicles of other persons and public events.

AT that time the venerable Mellon, with some other faithful men, settled at Rouen, where he was the first, who by God's permission sat in the episcopal chair; and from that time to the present day the metropolitan dignity has been vested there. It has six other cities as the seats of suffragan bishops; those of the Belocasi, that is Bayeux; of the Evantici, that is Evreux; Lisieux, Avranches, Coutances, and that of the Salarii, which is called Seez. The church of Rouen has now had forty-six bishops, and the clergy of that city have published for the information of posterity a distich in heroic verse concerning each of them, which I propose to insert in an agreeable order with some necessary additions. [3]

1. "St. Mellon was the first bishop who taught his


[1] Constans was created Caesar and associated in the empire, March 1, 292; raised to the rank of Augustus, May 1, 305; and died 25th of July of the year following.

[2] It is not known when or where Constans married Helena, if she was his legitimate wife, as seems to have been the case, notwithstanding our author; for it appears that he was compelled to divorce her in 292, when he married Theodora, the daughter of Maximian Herculeus. The emperor Constantine was born the 27th of February, 274.

[3] These distichs, which contain very meagre information, in barbarous verse, are incorrectly attributed to our author by P. Pommerage in his Histoire des Archeveques de Rouen.

140 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

doctrine to the people of Rouen". He flourished in the time of popes Eusebius and Melchiades, [1] and departing to the Lord on the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd of October], was buried in the crypt of the church of St. Gervase the martyr, outside the eity, where his remains long reposed. His tomb indeed, is preserved there to this time, but his body was removed for fear of the Danes, and translated to a castle in the Vexin called Pontoise. It is there preserved in a church dedicated to his name, to which is attached a celebrated convent of canons. [2]

2. "Immediately after Mellon, the devoted Avician succeeded to the government, and ruled his charge like a good master". He was present at the council of Arles, which was held in the time of Pope Silvester under the Emperor Constantine, who began his reign in the year from the building of Rome, [3] 1061. It was then that the council of Nice was held, attended by three hundred and eighteen bishops, among whom were Nicholas, bishop of Myra, in Lycia, [4] and many other very eminent prelates.

3. "Severus came next, a bishop illustrious for his virtues, of admirable conduct, and gentle to his flock". He held the see fifteen years, [5] flourishing in the times of Constantine


[1] May 20, 310-January 11, 314. It is most probable that St. Mellon was rather contemporary with the predecessors of these popes, as we have seen that his own successor, Avician, was at the council of Arles in 314.

[2] St. Mellon, as well as his successor, Avician, was in truth buried in a crypt still remaining under the church of St. Gervase at Rouen; or to speak more correctly, in the public cemetery on the road to Lillebonne, where one of their successors (probably St. Victricius) built the existing crypt over their tomb, after Christianity became established. M. Le Prevost considers it as the most ancient Christian monument to be found in Normandy. There are to be seen the two elliptic arches under which the remains of the two archbishops long reposed. Those of St. Mellon, removed to Pontoise to escape the ravages of the Danes, gave rise to the foundation of an abbey which was afterwards converted into a collegiate church of canons.

[3] Our author here returns to the computation of venerable Bede. It should be A.U.C. 1059, A.D. 306, July 25.

[4] It is very doubtful whether St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, assisted at the council of Nice; indeed, the doubts connected with this bishop may be carried still further.

[5] The dates assigned by Ordericus Vitalis to most of the bishops in the ensuing series are very doubtful, but there exist no authentic records from which they can be corrected.

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and Constans, under Popes Mark and Julius. In his age, Maximin bishop of Treves, Hilary of Poitiers, Athanasius of Alexandria, Eusebius at Vercelli, and Dionysius at Milan, were bright stars of the church.

4. "Eusebius, so gentle and so constant in the duties of a bishop, sweetly displayed the flowers of his virtues". He flourished twenty-five years, in the time of Popes Liberius and Felix, and during the reigns of Constantine, Julian the apostate, Jovian, and Valentinian.

5 "Marcellinus succeeded by the grace of Christ, an eminent pastor, distinguished by the excellence of his life". He laboured for the good of the church for twenty years, in the time of Pope Damasus, and during the reigns of Valentinian, Valens, Gratian, and Valentinian [II.] At that time died Anthony, tho most illustrious of the Egyptian monks. Peter, an eminent orator, flourished at Saragossa: Ambrose of Milan withstood the Arians, like an impregnable wall. A council of one hundred and fifty fathers assembled at Constantinople under Pope Damasus, against Macedonius and Eunomius.

6. "Peter, the ever watchful guardian and worthy protector of his people, piously filled the see committed to him". He governed it nineteen years, in the time of Popes Siricius and Anastasius, under Theodosius and Arcadius. Then Martin of Tours, Maurilius of Angers, Basil of Caesarea, and the eloquent preacher Augustine of Hippo, and St. Jerom, the interpreter of the word of God, flourished.

7. "Victricius, the brave victor and avenger of sin, taught the church of God his pious precepts". He held the see eleven years, [1] in the time of Pope Innocent, under Arcadius and Honorius. In his age, Donatus, bishop of Epirus, and John of Jerusalem, flourished. The discovery of the body of St. Stephen, the proto-martyr, was made, by a divine revelation to Lucian, a priest of Caphargamala Then the priest Orosius, who wrote a history of the world called the Hormesta, [2] having been sent by Augustine to


[1] It is, however, known that Victricius filled the see of Rouen at least from the year 383 to 404.

[2] See note, vol. i. p. 2. The discovery of the relics of St. Stephen, and the voyage of Orosius to Palestine occurred in 415. John II. was patriarch of Jerusalem from 386 to 417.

142 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

Jerom to consult him on some deep questions, met Lucian, from whom he received the relics of St. Stephen, which he conveyed to Spain for the priest Avitus.

8. "He was succeeded by Innocent, a pious bishop, who re-established the church of God, and reformed the people". He flourished nine years, in the time of popes Zosimus, Boniface, and Celestine, under Honorius and his son Arcadius. It was then that a council of two hundred bishops was held at Ephesus, of which Cyril of Alexandria was president. Palladius, ordained a bishop by Pope Celestine, was sent as the first missionary to convert the Scots.

9. "Evodus [1] succeeded: he was gifted with a holy eloquence, firm and irreproachable, prudent, pious, and modest". He flourished eight years, in the times of popes Celestine and Sixtus. Then the Gauls rebelled against the Romans, in conjunction with the Franks, who sprung from the race of the Trojans. These two nations jointly [2] elected Pharamond the Frank, son of Duke Sunno to be their king. Maximus, bishop of Tours, was much esteemed for the eloquence of his sermons.

10. "St. Silvester governed his see honourably, ruling it justly, and prudently enriching it". He flourished ten years, when Leo was pope, and Clodion and Meroveus were kings of the Franks.

11. "Bishop Malson, relying on his divine doctrines, was a shepherd held in veneration by the people in every quarter". He flourished nine years, under Martian and Valentinian, at the time that Pope Leo held a council of six hundred and thirty bishops at Chalcedon, against Eutyches and Dioscorus. In his time, the Saxons and Angles, under Hengist and Horsa, passed over into Britain in three long ships, and entered into engagements with Vortigern against the Picts. Then Germanus of Auxerre was greatly distinguished.

12. "Germanus, [3] an illustrious prelate, the vigilant


[1] It is supposed that St. Evodus flourished in the course of the fifth century, but nothing more is known of him. The acts attributed to him are apocryphal.

[2] Whatever our author may say, the Gauls had nothing to do with Pharamond's election.

[3] All that is known of this bishop is that he was present at the that council of Tours in 461.

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guardian of his people, filled the episcopal see". This bishop flourished eight years, while Childeric governed the Gauls, and Leo the Romans. At this time Theodore, a bishop of Syria, wrote his ecclesiastical history, from the end of that of Eusebius to his own times, that is, to the reign of Leo, in which he died.

13. "Crescentius was careful of his flock, adorning them with eminent virtues, and causing them to increase in goodness". He flourished twenty-six years, in the time of popes Hilary and Simplicius, and of Leo the emperor. Then Childeric, son of Meroveus, was king of the Franks.

14. "Godard flourished, a holy and benevolent pastor, generous and constant, and shedding abundantly the light of the word". He governed the church fifteen years, in the times of popes Felix, Gelasius, Anastatius, and Symmachus, under the Emperor Zeno, and he consecrated St. Leo bishop of Coutances. At that time flourished Remi, bishop of Rheims, and Solin of Chartres, and Vedast of Arras, who baptized the Merovingian Clovis, king of the Franks, in the year of our Lord 488. [1] The third year afterwards, Mamertus, archbishop of Vienna, instituted processional litanies, on account of the calamities which threatened the city, that is, the rogations before Ascension day. Victorius composed his Easter cycle for 532 years by command of Pore Hilary. Odoacer, king of the Goths, took Rome, which their kings, Theodoric, Triaricus, and Theodoric Walamer afterwards held. Hunneric the Arian, king of the Vandals in Africa, expelled more than three hundred and thirty-six Catholic bishops, shut up their churches, and persecuted the people with various punishments. Godard of Rouen, and Medard of Soissons, had Nectard of Noyon for their father and Protagia for their mother, and both departed to the Lord on the sixth of the ides [8th] of June. [2] The illustrious Ouen composed these verses on them:-


[1] The conversion of Clovis took place in 496, and not in 488, as the MS. of St. Evroult states, or 498, as the date stands in Duchesne's text.

[2] St. Godard died before St. Medard was made a bishop. The former was present at the first council of Orleans in 511. St. Medard became bishop of Noyon about 530, and of Tournay in 532, and died about 545. The only possible circumstance in the traditions relating to them is that they might be brothers.

144 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

Godard of Rouen, Medard of Soissons, twins,
Together issued from their mother's womb;
White-robed were washed together from their sins,
Both went together, bishops, to the tomb.

15. "Flaviust was radiant with the bright flowers of Virtue, and fed the people committed to his charge with the divine word". He flourished during thirty-five years, in the times of popes Symmachus, John, Felix, Boniface, John, and Agapete, under the Emperors Anastatius, Justin the Elder, and Justinian. After the death of Clovis, Sigismund, [2] Childebert, and his other sons succeeded. Clotaire, who survived them all, was king of the Franks fifty-one years; during whose reign, Laumer, Evroult, and other holy men flourished in his kingdom. Thrasamond, king of the Vandals, closed the Catholic churches, and banished two hundred and twenty bishops to Sardinia, to whom Pope Symmachus supplied food and clothing yearly. The Emperor Anastatius, who favoured the Eutychian heresy, was struck with lightning because he persecuted the Catholics. In the time of Justin the Elder, Pope John gave sight to a blind man at Constantinople, and on his return to Ravenna was slain by Theodoric. The king of the Goths also put to death Symmachus the patrician, and Boethius, and he himself was cut off suddenly the year following. Athalaric, his nephew, succeeded him. Hilderic, king of the Vandals, recalled the bishops from exile, and commanded the churches to be restored, after seventy-six years of profanation by the heretics. Benedict, the abbot, was illustrious for his virtues, respecting which Pope Gregory wrote in his Book of Dialogues. Belisarius, the patrician, being sent into Africa by Justinian, conquered the Vandals, and sent their king Gelimer a prisoner to Constantinople. Carthage was re-taken ninety-six years after its occupation by the barbarians. Dionysius the Little wrote his Paschal Cycle, beginning from the year of our Lord 532; and the Justinian Code was promulgated the same year. Victor, bishop of Capua, wrote a book respecting Easter, in which he confuted the errors of Victorius. The senator,


[1] This bishop was present at the councils of Orleans in 533, 538, and 541.

[2] Clovis had no son named Sigismund.

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Cassiodorus, and Priscian, the grammarian, and the sub-deacon, Arator, flourished.

16. "Pretextatus suffered martyrdom by the command of Queen Fredegunde, for the name of Christ". [1] He flourished during forty-eight years, in the times of popes Agapetus, Silverius, Vigelius, Pelagius, John, and Pelagius, under the Emperors Justin and Tiberius Constantine. In Italy, the patrician, Narses, defeated and slew Totila, king of the Goths. The Lombards, under their King Alboin, over-ran all Italy, with famine and death in their train.

17. "Melantius [2] governed the church for a long course of years, instructing the people, and causing them to lead a life of righteousness". He was bishop of Rouen twelve years, in the times of Pelagius, Benedict, and the doctor, Gregory the Great, under Maurice, the first Greek emperor of the Romans. His conduct was base, because, as it is reported, he betrayed his master Pretextatus, who was put to death by Fredegunde, wife of King Chilperic.

18. "Hildulf nobly filled the see of Rouen, and studied the doctrines of the word of God". He flourished for twenty-eight years, in the times of popes Gregory, the great doctor, Savinian, Boniface, Deusdedit, Boniface, and Honorius, and during the reigns of the Emperors Maurice, Phocas, and Heraclius. At that time Childebert, and his sons Theodoric, Theodebert, and Lothaire the Great, were successively kings of the Franks. [2] In England, Ethelbert was king of Kent, Edwin of Northumbria, Redwald of Wessex, and Penda of Mercia. [4] Gregory sent there


[1] St. Pretextatus appears to have been appointed to the archiepiscopal see of Rouen about the year 550. He was present at the third council of Paris in 557, and the second of Tours in 566. He was deposed by a council held at Paris in 577, at the instigation of Fredegonde and Chilperic, for having, the year preceding, married Merove and Brunehaut. He was afterwards banished to Jersey. He was reinstated after Chilperic's death in 584, was present at the second council of Macon in 585, and was assassinated at the altar by the orders of Fredegonde, then at Vaudreuil, on Sunday, February 24, 586.

[2] Melantius, after having filled the place of Pretextatus during his banishment, succeeded him at his death. He was still living in 601.

[3] The author here makes great mistakes, confounding Clotaire II. with his grandfather, Clotaire I., and therefore misrepresenting his cotemporaries, as well as their degrees of relationship.

[4] Ethelbert, king of Kent, 560-616; Edwin, king of Northumbria, 617-633; Redwald, king of East-Anglia, 598 or 599-624; Pendai, king of Mercia, 624 or 625-655.

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Augustine, Mellitus, John, and several other monks who feared the Lord, to preach the word of God, by whom the English were converted to Christ. In Italy, Autarith, son of Clepo, and Ago-Agilulf, with the excellent Queen Theodelinda, governed the Lombards. In Neustria, St. Evroult, abbot of Ouche, died, being then eighty years old, on the fourth of the calends of January, [29th December], in the twelfth year of King Childebert. [1] About the same time the abbey of Monte Cassino was attacked in the night by the Lombards, when Bonitus was the fifth abbot, and the monks were driven out and the place ruined. Before that time, Benedict, Constantine, Simplicius, Vitalis, and Bonitus, presided successively at Monte Cassino. Chosroes, king of the Persians, made destructive inroads on the empire, and grievously afflicted the holy church with fire, rapine, and slaughter. Anastatius, a monk of Persia, received the glorious crown of martyrdom with seventy others. The Emperor Heraclius defeated the Persians, putting Chosroes to the sword, and restored the cross of the Lord to Jerusalem, releasing all the Christian captives.

19. "St. Romanus, illustrious for his noble acts, was distinguished for the excellence of his life and his enlightened knowledge of the word of God". His government of thirteen years, in the time of popes Honorius, Severinus, and John, and under the Emperor Heraclius, was memorable for the miracles he wrought, and he departed gloriously to the Lord on the tenth of the calends of November [Oct. 23]. [2] At that time the Christian kings Dagobert and Clovis, reigned in Gaul; and in England Oswald, Oswin, and Oswy; in Italy, Aulf, Adaloald, Arioald, Rotarith, and Rodoald. During the reign of Arioald, St. Columban, a Scot by birth, after having founded in France the monastery of Luxeuil, erected one at Bobbio, in the Cottian Alps.

20. "Ouen [3] succeeded Bomanus, illustrious in the order of bishops and eminent for his virtues". He flourished in


[1] St. Evroult died the 28th of December, 596; and consequently in the twentieth, and not the 12th year of the reign of Childebert, king of Austrasia.

[2] It is supposed that St. Romanus died the 23rd of November, 638.

[3] St Ouen, 640-August 24, 683.

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the times of popes Theodore, Martin, Eugenius, Vitalian, Adeodatus, Donus, Agatho, Leo, Benedict, and John, when Heracleon, son of Heraclius, and the three Constantines, were emperors, living long and well, labouring earnestly, and rendering brilliant services to the church. I want the power of relating with what grandeur and sanctity, with what excellence of every kind his life was distinguished. Pope Martin held a council of one hundred and five bishops at Rome. He was afterwards carried off by the exarch Theodore, at the command of Constantine, nephew of Heraclius, and being banished to the Chersonesus, died there in the odour of sanctity. Archbishop Theodore and abbot Adrian being sent into Britain by Pope Vitalian, enriched many of the English churches with the fruits of their doctrine. From the time that Pope Gregory sent the missionaries to sow the seed of the divine word in Britain, the following bishops presided over the see of Canterbury; Augustine, Lawrence, Mellitus of London, Justus of Rochester, Honorius, and Deusdedit; they brought to the faith of Christ the following kings of Kent, with their subjects; Ethelbert, Eadbald, Ercombert, and Egbert. Vigard [1] was chosen the seventh archbishop by the kings Oswy and Egbert, and sent to Rome to receive consecration. He died there while he was waiting for the day appointed for the ceremony; and Theodore, a Greek, eminent for sanctity and wisdom, was ordained in his place. In Neustria, Philibert, a man illustrious for his birth, his holiness, and the splendour of his miracles, by license from King Clovis and his queen Bathilda, founded a monastery for eight hundred monks at Jumieges: some years afterwards he set over it St. Aicadre, who was removed from the abbey of Noirmoutier. [2] Then also Wandrille built a monastery at Fontenelles, [3] and collected there almost four hundred monks for the service of God, out of whom the church of God afterwards delighted to select several bishops and abbots worthy to govern it. Sidonius, also, and Ribert, Geremar, Leufroi, and many other monks arrived at eminence in the


[1] Wighard; see Bede's Eccles. Hist. p. 166.

[2] St. Philibert founded the abbey of Jumieges in 654, gave it up to St. Aicadre about 682, and died the 20th of August, 684. St. Aicadre died in 687.

[3] St. Wandrille, 648-June 21, 667.

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diocese of Rouen, who were all favoured by the care and assistance of the venerable Archbishop Owen, as the zealous reader will find clearly in the accounts of their acts. In Italy, on the death of Aribert at Pavia, after a reign of nine years, he was succeeded by his two sons, who were yet very young; Godebert fixing his seat of government at Pavia, and Bertarith at Milan. A short time afterwards Grimoald, the powerful duke of Beneventum, slew Godebert and drove out Bertarith, and obtained their throne, with their sister's hand, reigning securely and prosperously nine years. On his death, Bertarith reigned eighteen years, associating in his government Cunipert his son by the Queen Rodelinda. Both were lovers of justice, devoted to God and his church, and protectors of the poor. Alacheris, duke of Brescia, rebelled against them, and kept the whole province in alarm by frequent incursions, until they were put an end to by his death in battle with Cunipert. Pope Agatho, at the request of the most pious emperors Constantine, Heraclius, and Tiberius, sent John, bishop of Ostia, John the deacon, and other legates of the holy Roman church, to Constantinople; and held there, under their presidency, a council of one hundred and fifty bishops against George, bishop of the imperial city, Macharius, bishop of Antioch, and other heretics. At the termination of the controversy George stood corrected, but Macharius and his confederates were condemned.

21. "The illustrious Ansbert, arriving at the highest pitch of merit, well governed the church which his sanctity ennobled". He held the see eighteen years, [1] in the time of popes Leo, Benedict, John, Conon, and Sergius, under the emperors Constantine and Justinian the younger: then Lothaire, Theodoric, and Hilderic, were kings; and Leodegar, Ebroin, and Pepin were the first mayors of the palace.

22. "Grippe was eminently distinguished as the successor in the sacred order, a prelate of great merit, and a venerable pastor". He flourished during twenty-four years, in the time of popes John, Sisinnius, Constantine, and. Gregory. Leo, Tiberius, Justinian, Philippicus, Anastasius, and Leo, were then emperors; and Clovis, Childebert, and


[1] 683-February 9, 693 or 695.

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Dagobert the younger, were kings of the Franks. In Britain, the life of the most reverend Cuthbert, who, from a hermit became a bishop, was illustrious for miracles from infancy to age. [1] His body was found undecayed by Ralph, bishop of Rochester, in the time of Henry, king of England, and his vestments were changed in the presence of Alexander, king of the Scots, who stood reverently by with the clergy and monks.

23. "Radiland [2] threw lustre on his order by his justice, his compassion for all, and his surpassing merits". He held the see three years in the time of Pope Gregory, when Leo was emperor. On the death of Dagobert, the Franks raised Daniel, a clerk to the throne. The Saracens besieged Constantinople with an immense army for three years; but although the citizens resisted more with prayers than with arms, they were defeated, and drew off; their numbers thinned with famine, cold, and pestilence. Liutprand, king of the Lombards, at the instance of Pope Gregory, confirmed the donation of the patrimony of the church in the Cottian Alps, which Aripert had sent to Rome in letters of gold, and he had renewed. He also redeemed the relics of St. Augustine, the doctor, at a vast expense, and translated them from Sardinia, which the Saracens had profaned and devastated, to Pavia, where they were honourably interred.

24. "The Venerable Hugh [3] was a great benefactor to the Lord's people, and set before his flock the doctrines of a holy life". He was cousin of Pepin, prince of the Franks, and was archbishop eight years in the time of Pope Gregory II. He had also presided over the churches of Paris and Bayeux, and the abbeys of Jumieges and Fontenelles. His body was translated to Lorraine with the relics of St.


[1] The life of St. Cuthbert (664-687), bishop of Lindisfarne, is given in Bede's Eccles. Hist. b. iv. ch. 27, 28, 29. The translation of his relics here mentioned took place on the 24th of August, 1104, under the care of Ralph, then abbot of St. Martin at See:, and successively bishop of Rochester and archbishop of Canterbury. Alexander, afterwards king of Scotland (January 8, 1107- April 24, 1124), was present.

[2] Mabillon doubts the existence of this bishop, but he may have filled the see of Rouen about 713.

[3] St Hugh, archbishop of Rouen about 720, bishop of Paris, abbot of Fontenelle and Jumieges, April 8, 730.

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Aichadre by the monks of Jumieges, where it is preserved to this day with honour in a silver shrine, at a place called Aspes, in the territory of Cambray. Constantine was then emperor. The Englishman Bede, a servant of Christ, and a priest of the monastery of the holy apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, at Wearmouth, near Jarrow, now flourished. He was born on the domains of that monastery, and when seven years old was entrusted by his relations to the most reverend abbot Benedict, and afterwards to Ceolfrid, for education; and spent his whole life as an inhabitant of that monastery, giving himself up to meditation on the holy scriptures; but, besides his observance of the regular discipline, and his daily duty of chanting in the choirs, he found pleasure, as he tells us himself, in always having something either to learn, or to teach, or to write. In his nineteenth year he received the order of deacon, and in his thirtieth that of priest, at the hands of the most reverend Bishop John, in submission to the directions of his Abbot Ceolfrid, on both occasions. Even after he was admitted to the priesthood, he never relinquished his useful studies till the fifty-ninth year of his life, but made many short commentaries on the holy scriptures, from the writings of the venerable fathers, and took care to add them to the text to explain and interpret it. The fruits of his labours and studies were most valuable to the church of Christ; for he composed seventy-two books on the law of God and the inquiries connected with it, all which he exactly enumerates and describes at the end of his English History. [1] At the same time Paul, a monk of Monte-Cassino, flourished in Lombardy; and Fortunatus, the excellent bishop of Poitiers, in Gaul. [2]

25. "Radbert, succeeding worthily to the pastoral chair, was eminent for his sanctity and lived a holy life". He filled the see four years, in the time of Pope Gregory II. and the emperor Constantine, [3] when Charles Martel, that is, "of the hammer", governed France; together with Duke


[1] See note in the preceding page, and the account of Venerable Bede's life and works, prefixed to Bohn's edition of the Eccles. Hist.

[2] There was more than a century between St. Fortunatus (born about 530, died about 600) and St. Hugh.

[3] About A.D. 730.

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Eudes, he gave battle to the Saracens in Aquitaine, where three hundred and twenty-five thousand fell. [1] He also gave them a severe defeat with great slaughter in the province of Narbonne.

26. "Grimo, a devout pastor, pious and active in his duty, undertook the government of the church according to the divine law". He held the see of Rouen four years in the time of Pope Gregory III. In England, on the death of Bertwald, archbishop of Canterbury, he was succeeded by Tatwine. At that time two English kings, Coenred king of Mercia, and Offa, son of Sighere, king of the East Saxons, renounced their earthly sceptres for Christ's sake, and going to Rome, [2] became monks, with the blessing of Pope Constantine, abiding at the threshold of the apostles to the day of their death in prayers, fasting, and alms. Wilfrid, the venerable archbishop of York, died in the forty-fifth year of his episcopate in the province of Undalum, [3] during the reigns of Coenred, and Osred, son of Alfrid, kings of Northumbria. Not long afterwards the very learned abbot Adrian died, and was succeeded by his accomplished disciple Albinus.

27. "Rainfrid raised to the highest rank of a pastor, was magnificent in all his acts, and rebuilt the episcopal mansion". He governed the see seventeen years, in the times of popes Zachary and Stephen. Carloman and Pepin were then mayors of the palace.

28. "Remigrus the bishop, sprung from the royal race, lived devoutly, and was diligent in instructing the people committed to his charge". He was son of Charles Martel, and brother of King Pepin. After Rainfrid was expelled


[1] Our author is wrong in placing the battle of Poitiers before that of Toulouse. It was in the latter (A.D. 721) the Arabs suffered this immense loss, but Charles Martel was not engaged in it.

[2] Coenred and Offa retired to Rome in 708.

[3] "In the province of Undalum". This word puzzled the French editors of Ordericus. M. Dubois's remark on it is, "Mot defigure, sans doute, par les copistes". M. Le Prevost gave an incorrect note, which he amended in the errata at the end of the volume from information supplied by Mr. Stapleton. Our author has faithfully followed Bede both as to the place and date of Wilfred's death. The former is Oundle, in Northamptonshire, a monastery to which he retired when deprived of his bishopric. He was interred at Ripon. See Bede's Eccles. Hist. b. v. c. 19; Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 709.

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he governed the church of Rouen seventeen years [1] in the time of popes Paul, Constantine, and Stephen. The emperor Constantine, son of Leo, assembled at Constantinople a council of three hundred and thirty bishops. Pope Stephen, harassed by the persecutions of Astolphus, king of the Lombards, repaired to France and consecrated King Pepin and his sons Charles and Charlemagne. At that time Boniface, archbishop of Mayence, and Guy, abbot of Fontenelles, flourished. Constantine, and Abdallas emir, king of the Saracens, rivalled each other in persecuting the orthodox. Leo the son of Constantine, the seventy-first emperor from Augustus, reigned five years. King Pepin died the eighth of the calends of October [24th September], in the year of our Lord 768, and was succeeded by his son Charlemagne.

29. "Bishop Meginhard, full of the odour of sanctity, taught his flock and purified them from the foulness of sin". He flourished in the time of Pope Adrian for eight years. [2] Charles undertook an expedition to Rome in the sixth year of his reign; on his return he took Pavia, and making prisoner Desiderius king of the Lombards, who had grievouly harassed Pope Adrian, he led him captive to France, and expelled his son Adolgiso Out of Italy. This Desiderius was the thirty-first king of the Lombards. On account of his crimes, the royal dignity ended with him, and the Lombard people never afterwards had a king of their own, but has been always subject to the kings of the Franks or the emperors of Germany. The first chiefs of the Guinili were Ibor and Aio, who, with their mother Gambara, led those tribes from the island of Scandinavia. [3] The names of their


[1] A.D. 755-January 19, 772.

[2] A.D. 772-799.

[3] The ancients included Sweden, Norway, and an indefinite portion of the north of Europe adjoining, in what they called the island of Scandinavia. Those two kingdoms, with Denmark, have been more properly designated the Scandinavian peninsula in modern times.

It would be impossible, in the compass of a note, to consider the question of the Scandinavian origin here attributed to the Lombards by our author, in common with Paul the deacon. Every one knows that this name was attached to them after their migration to the borders of civilization. Our author constantly calls them Guinili or Winili, and the best geographers place them between the Elbe and the Oder in the reigns of Augustus and Trajan. The assertion of their Scandinavian origin is attacked by Cluverius, a native of Prussia, Germania Antiq. 1. 3, c. 26, p. 102, etc., and defended by Grotius, the Swedish ambassador, Prolegom. ad Hist. Gottorum. p. 28.

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kings in succession were: Agelmund, Lamissio, Lethu, Hildehoc and Godehoc, Clepho and Tato, Wacho, Waltarith, Audoin, and Alboin. Agelmund led the Lombards into Bulgaria, Audoin into Pannonia, and Alboin, with the aid of the patrician Narses, into Italy. King Alboin was killed by his armour-bearer Helmechis, at the instigation of his wife Rosamond, upon which Clepho was elected king by the people. He was suceeeded by his son Flavius Autarith, who married Theodilind, daughter of Garibald, king of the Bajoari. Autarith was poisoned after reigning six years, and Agilulf Ago, duke of Turin, obtained his queen and kingdom, which, on his death twenty-five years afterwards, he left to his son Adoloald. That young prince, with his mother Theodelind, governed the Lombards for ten years, and was succeeded by Rotharith, a brave king, but infected with the corruptions of the Arian heresy. After reigning sixteen years, he abdicated in favour of his son Rodoald, who, five years [months ?] afterwards, being surprised in adultery, was killed by his Lombard rival. Aripert, son of Gondoald and nephew of Queen Theodelind, succeeded, and after a reign of nine years left the kingdom to his sons Bertharith and Godibert. Meanwhile Grimoald, duke of Beneventum, had married Rodelind, daughter of King Aripert, and got rid of her brothers,- Godibert, by putting him to death, and Bertharith, by driving him out of the kingdom. On his death, nine years afterwards, Bertharith recovered his throne, having ejected Garibald, the son of Grimoald, who had occupied it three months. Bertharith reigned eighteen years, and after him Cunipert twelve years; on whose death the Lombards had four kings in two years; viz., Liutpert, son of Cunipert, Raginpert, son of Godibert and duke of Turin, Aripert his son, and Rotharith, duke of Bergamo. In the end, Aripert, being the most powerful, slew Liutpert and Rotharith; he expelled Ansprand, Liutpert's guardian, from the island of Comacine, [1] and put out


[1] This island gave its name to the Lake of Como, anciently called the Larian Lake.

154 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

the eyes of his son Sigisbrand, reigning afterwards nine years, and granting to St. Peter more than his predecessors had wrested from the apostolic see. At last, while swimming in the Po, he sunk from the weight of gold he had about him, and was drowned. Ansprand, though a sagacious prince, reigned only three months, but Liutprand, his bold son, maintained himself on the throne nearly thirty-two years. His nephew Hildebrand, who succeeded him, died two years afterwards. Then Ratchis and Astolphus, sons of Penmon duke of Friuli, seized the crown, but the first- named voluntarily abdicated and became a monk at Rome. Astolphus harassed the church in various ways while Stephen was pope, but at last, by the judgment of God, was pierced by an arrow while he was hunting. Finally, Duke Desiderius was made king of the Lombards by the aid of Pope Stephen, but having secured the crown, he commenced hostilities against the pope and clergy and people of Rome. This made it necessary for Pope Adrian to invite the help of the Franks, who crushed, and to this day have trodden down, the fierce power of the Lombards. This took place in the time of Mainard, bishop of Rouen, in the year of our Lord 774.

30. "Bishop Willebert [1] succeeded; he was firm but gentle, and the faithful shepherd of his flock". He held the see forty-eight years in the times of popes Adrian, Leo, Stephen, and Paschal, while Contantine, Leo, Nicephorus, and his son Stauracius, Michael, Leo (the Armenian), and Michael, were emperors of Constantinople. Charles, king of the Franks, rose to the summit of power, and extended his dominion surprisingly over all his neighbours. He razed the walls of Pampeluna, took Saragossa by siege, reduced to submission Gascony, Spain, and Saxony, and ravaged the territories of the Bavarians, the Selaves, who are called Wiltzes, and the Huns. In the time of Constantine and his mother Irene, a stone coffin was found at Constantinople with a man's body lying in it, and which had this inscription, "Christ shall be born of the Virgin Mary, and I believe in him. When Constantine and Irene are emperors, O sun,


[1] All that is known of Bishop Willebert is that he was one of the missi dominici, or imperial commissioners, in 823. He filled the see, not forty-eight years, but at furthest twenty-eight.

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thou shalt see me again". [1] In the time of Pope Leo, there was a great earthquake which shook almost all Italy, and threw down great part of the roof and timber work of St. Paul's. In the year of our Lord 800, the eighth indiction, King Charles received the imperial crown from Pope Leo, and was received by the Roman people with acclamations of Augustus. At the time of Charles's death his reign had lasted forty-seven years; he was succeeded by his own son Lewis, who reigned twenty-seven years. Archbishop Guilebert was of his privy council.

31. "Rainoward, [2] happily, eame next in order: he fostered the meek, and kept the rebellious in subjection". He held the see ten years in the times of popes Eugenius, Valentine, and Gregory IV., under the emperor Theophilus. In his time there were great troubles in France arising out of the rebellion of Lothaire against his father Lewis the Pious. The Northmen also began to ravage Britain and other countries. In consequence the body of St. Philibert was translated from the island of Noirmoutier. [3]

32. "Gumbald [4] pursued the even tenor of a just life, regarding his people with the feeling of a venerable pastor". This bishop governed the see of Rouen eleven years in the times of popes Gregory and Sergius, and during the reigns of the emperors Michael and his son Theophilus. The emperor Lewis died on the twelfth of the calends of July [20th June], 840; and Archbishop Drogo, his brother, caused his body to be carried to Metz for interment. The empire was divided between Lewis's three sons, Lewis, Lothaire, and Charles the Bald, but not without hostilities, for a bloody battle was fought near Auxerre on the seventh of the calends of July [25th June], in which Christian nations put each other to the sword without mercy. The relics of St. Ouen were removed at the time the Northmen ravaged Rouen and burnt his monastery, on the ides [15th] of May.

33. "The illustrious Paul, [5] worthy of the episcopal


[1] Our author has already told this story in precisely the same terms, in book i. See vol. i. p. 132.

[2] Rainoward, or Ragnoard, 828-837 or 838.

[3] See book i. vol. i. p. 135.

[4] Guntbald, 833-January, 848.

[5] Paul, January 6, 849-855.

156 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

dignity to which he was raised, distinguished himself both by his teaching and the excellence of his life". He held the see six years, in the time of Pope Sergius and the emperor Michael. Lothaire retained that part of France which his father had allotted to him, with the title of king, which is now called Lorraine, that is the realm of Lothaire. Charles the Bald, a pious and powerful prince, was king of the Franks and emperor of Rome.

34 "Wanilo, [1] a wise prelate, deeply versed in sacred learning, taught his flock the laws of eternal salvation". He flourished eleven years in the times of popes Leo, Benedict, and Nicholas. In the fifth year of his episcopate, there was hard frost from the day before the calends of December to the nones of April [30th November-5th April].

35. "Adelard, [2] remarkable for the natural goodness of his disposition, religiously defended the rights of the highest order of the clergy". He held the see three years in the time of Pope Nicholas. Basil killed his master Michael at Constantinople, and reigned in his stead twenty years. A severe famine, and mortality, with a murrain among the cattle, raged throughout the world for three years.

36. "Riculfus", [3] the fortunate and good, sprung from a noble stock, added large domains to the territories of the church". He held the see three years, in the times of popes Nicholas and Adrian.

37. "John, [4] by divine right, an eminent bishop, shone brightly in the ranks of his order by the light of his virtues". He was archbishop of Rouen two years.

38. "Witto, [5] ascending the pontifical throne, became eminent for his prudence and holy doctrine". He held the see one year in the times of Pope Adrian and the emperor Basil.

39. "Franco [6] succeeded; the kind protector of the people, he baptized Rollo in the holy font". This bishop flourished fourty-four years, in the times of popes John, Marinus,


[1] Wanilo, 855-871.

[2] Adelard, 871-March, 872.

[3] Riculfus, 872-875. There are extant an original charter of this bishop, and another addressed to him by Charles the Bald.

[4] John I., 875-at least till 888.

[5] Witto, at least 892-909.

[6] Franco, 909?-919.

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Adrian, and Stephen. Then Leo and Alexander, the sons of Basil, reigned twenty-two years. In the year of our Lord 876, Rollo and his followers invaded Neustria, and for thirty years afterwards ravaged France with fire, sword, and rapine. He fought against Richard, duke of Burgundy, and Ebblis of Poitou, with other French princes, and puffed up with his repeated triumphs, grievously harassed the Christians. At last Charles the Simple, son of Lewis Faineant, [1] no longer able to resist Rollo, came to terms with him, giving him his daughter Gisla in marriage, and ceding Neustria. At that time Alexander and Constantine, with their mother Zoe, and Romanus the Armenian, were emperors at Constantinople.

40. "Gunhard, [2] next filled the episcopal seat; rendering great services to the people, and prudently conciliating". He held the see with distinction twenty- three years, in the time of the emperors Romanus, the Armenian, and Constantine. Duke Robert now usurped the crown of France; the same year King Charles attacked and killed the traitor, but in the end Hugh, son of the deceased duke, prevailed. Soon afterwards Herbert, count de Peronne, brother-in-law of Hugh the Great, got possession of the king's person by a stratagem, and kept him in prison till he died, three years afterwards. Lewis, the king's son, with his mother Edgiva, took refuge in England with Athelstan his uncle, son of King Edward the Elder; and Rodolph, the illustrious son of Richard, duke of Burgundy, and Charles's nephew, usurped the throne seven years. On his death William Long-sword, duke of Normandy, was moved by the entreaties of the French to invite Lewis to return from England, and restored him to his father's throne as the lawful heir. [4] Agapete, Basil, Stephen, Formosus, John, and Stephen filled the apostolic see. William, the son of Rollo, restored the abbey of Jumieges, [6] and had a strong desire to retire there and


[1] Ludovici Nihilfecit. This surname is often attached to Lewis-le-Begue (the stammerer) by the chroniclers of the middle ages. See the notes in p. 136 of vol. i., respecting our author's account of Rollo.

[2] Gunthard, 919-942!

[3] Louis-d'Outre-Mer, so called from his having taken refuge beyond sea, was restored in 936. M. Le Prevost observes that he was brought over by William, archbishop of Sens.

[4] William Long-sword restored the monastery of Jumieges in 940 by means of thirteen monks, whom he brought for the purpose from Poitiers, by the intervention of his sister Gerloc, countess of Perth. M. Le Prevost remarks that nothing short of this could have induced monks to go and settle in the middle of brigands, such as the Normans were at this time. He says with respect to William's personal intentions: "Our historians represent him as aspiring to the monastic life for himself. If one may believe them, it was with the greatest reluctance he submitted to the delay enjoined him by Abbot Martin, who had more sense than his prince, and was not to be satisfied till he had extorted from him a gown and a cowl, which he carefully enclosed in a chest, the silver key of which he always carried hanging by a string to his neck. Unfortunately, the impartial Frodoard gives a flat refutation to all these monkish tales, by describing William as engaged that year more than ever in warlike enterprises, and heading an expedition against Rheims. Another historian, in reference to events which occurred in 940, calls him the most ferocious duke of Normandy. The monk Richer, who often brings him on the scene, can find no other description so fitting for him as that of 'Prince of the Pirates', and exhibits him as not having the slightest disposition to the abnegation and gentleness of the monastic life".

158 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

become a monk under Abbot Martin, but the abbot deferred it until William's son was old enough to take the government. Meanwhile the duke, having administered it with firmness twenty-five years, and reduced his enemies and neighbours either by force or policy, was murdered by Arnulf, count of Flanders, on an island in the Somme, where he unsuspectingly went to a conference with him on the fifteenth of the calends [15th] of January. Richard his son, surnamed Sprotiades, who was then only ten years old, succeeded to the dukedom. Duke William and Gunhard, archbishop of Rouen, both died in the year of our Lord 942, when Louis d' Outremer was king of France.

41. "Hugh [1] succeeded Gunhard; a violator of the law of God, a prelate of illustrious birth, but who failed to be illuminated by the light of Christ". He held the bishopric forty-seven years, but is not spoken of in terms of praise by any of the writers who have given accounts of him and his


[1] It was towards the end of 942, and consequently a year before his own tragic end, that William Long-sword summoned Hugh from the abbey of St. Denys to raise him to the see of Rouen. It would have been difficult at that time to have made a more promising selection, but the bishop disappointed all the expectations formed respecting him. He completely abandoned the monastic life to give himself up to the pomps of the world and the works of the flesh, having a numerous offspring, and alienating the domains of his church. Among others, he gave Tooeni to his brother Ralph, who thus became founder of the family of the lords of Tooeni and Conches, and of Stafford in England.

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predecessors. Indeed, they plainly intimate that he was a monk by his habit only, and not by his conduct. In his time, Marinus, Agapete, Octavian, Leo, Benedict, and John, filled the apostolical see; and the kingdoms of the world were agitated by great revolutions. King Lewis got possession of Rouen, and, taking Richard the duke captive by surprise, brought him to Laon, and there threw him into prison; but by God's providence and the prudence of Osmond, his guardian, he made his escape. Then Harold, king of Denmark, at the instance of Bernard, the Dane, landed in Normandy at the head of an army to punish King Lewis for the murder of William Long-sword. A battle was fought on the river Dive, in which Herluin, count of Montreuil, with his brother Lambert, and sixteen other French counts wore slain, and Lewis was taken prisoner and sent captive to the tower of Rouen. Gerberg, queen of France, who was daughter of Henry, the Trans-Rhenish emperor, made peace with the Normans, by the advice of Hugh the Great, giving as hostages for the observance of the treaty her son Lothaire and two bishops, Hilderic of Beauvais, and Guy of Soissons. In consequence, the king was set at liberty, and the Count Richard, the father of his country, was established in power. [1] The emperor Otho over-ran Italy; Stephen and Constantine, the sons of Romanus, deposed their father Romanus from the throne of Constantinople, but Constantine expelled them in turn, and, having associated his son Romanus in the government, they reigned sixteen years, and were succeeded by the Emperor Nicephorus. Ludolf, son of King Otho, died, after having subdued Italy, and Otho, an infant, was raised to the throne at Aix-la-Chapelle. Nicephorus, having been murdered by his wife, was succeeded by John, whose niece was married to the Emperor Otho. In England, King Edmund was traitorously murdered in the sixth year of his reign, and his brother Edred was raised to the throne. At his death, Edgar, Edmund's son, succeeded, and during a long reign rendered great services to the people and the church. At that time, Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury,


[1] The taking of Rouen, the captivity of Louis-d'Outre-mer, and the restoration of Duke Richard, seem all to belong to the year 945, or the beginning of 946.

160 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XI.

and Oswald, of York, with Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, ruled the church with great lustre; and, by their care and exertions, seconded by the favour and assistance of King Edgar, twenty-six abbeys were erected in England. After the death of Lewis, his son Lothaire reigned six years. He was the last of the race of Charlemagne who sat on the throne of France: for Charles, and the other sons of King Lothaire were placed in confinement, and Hugh the Great, son of Hugh the Great, was elected king.

42. "Robert, an eminent prelate, of most illustrious origin, after governing happily, ended his days devoutly". He was son of Duke Richard the Elder by Gunnor, and was for forty-eight years archbishop of Rouen and count of Evreux, in the time of Robert, king of France, and his son Henry. During that period Agapete and Silvester [Gerbert], John and Benedict, and another John and Benedict, filled the see of Rome. Otho, Henry, and Conrad, were emperors in lawful succession. Archbishop Robert was amply endowed with the goods of this world, and took a deep interest in the secular affairs of his city, nor did he observe the continence which was becoming his order. [1] For, in his character of count, he took a wife named Harleve, by whom he had three sons, Richard, Ralph, and William, to whom he bequeathed his county of Evreux, and his other ample honours and possessions, according to the secular laws. But, as he advanced in years, he became sensible of his errors, and repenting of them was struck with alarm at his many and great offences. He therefore distributed alms largely to the poor, and began to rebuild from the foundations the cathedral church of Rouen, dedicated to the holy mother of God; and he completed a considerable part of the new erection. [2] Richard II., duke of Normandy, governed the province thirty years with signal success. He was a great friend to the poor in Christ, the clergy and monks, treating them as a father, and augmented and protected three monasteries which his


[1] Robert was archbishop of Rouen from 989 or 990-1137. He was also count of Evreux. Our author's suggestion that it was in that character he married, though as an ecclesiastic he was bound to celibacy, is rather amusing.

[2] It was finished by Archbishop Maurilius, and consecrated in 1065.

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father had founded, viz., that of Fecamp, St. Ouen in the suburbs of Rouen, and St. Michael-in-peril-of-the-Sea. [1] Ho also restored the abbey of Fontenelles, [2] and ratified by his charter all the endowments made in its favour by Turstin, and Gerard Fleitel, and other barons. At his death he bequeathed his dominions to his sons Richard the younger and Robert, who did not enjoy their honours more than nine years. For Richard III. was taken off by poison before two years were over, and after seven years and a half, his brother Robert undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On quitting his country never to return, he left the dukedom to his son William, a boy eight years old, appointing his cousin Alan count of Brittany to be his guardian. [3] At this time, Alfred and Edward, the young English princes, became exiles in Normandy; for Richard II. had given his sister in marriage to Ethelred king of England, who had by her Alfred, and Edward, who was afterwards king. That princess after her husband's death sent her sons to Normandy, and married Canute king of Denmark, to whom she bore Hardicanute, king of Denmark and England, and Gunilde who was married to Henry, emperor of the Romans. [4]


[1] Richard I. settled regular canons in the ancient convent of nuns at Fecamp, founded by Waninge in 658. The church was dedicated the 16th of May, 990, by the new archbishop. Richard II. substituted monks under the blessed William of Dijon in 1001. About the same epoch lived Hildebert, first abbot of St. Ouen after the Norman invasion, and probably a disciple of William. Monks were substituted for canons at Mont St. Michael in 965.

[2] The abbey of Fontenelles, now called St. Wandrille, was restored about the year 950, by Mainard, a monk of Ghent.

[3] Alan III., duke of Brittany, was, by his mother, Hawise, daughter of Richard I., cousin-german of Robert. In 1036 Alain came to the aid of the young duke William, and was poisoned on the 1st of October, 1040, at Vimoutier, while carrying on the siege of the castle of Montgomery. He was buried at Fecamp.

[4] Emma, daughter of Richard I., married Ethelred in 1002, and had by him Edward the Confessor, Alfred, and Edith, Gode, or Godeve, married first to Dreux, count de Vexin and Amiens, and afterwards to Eustace II., count de Boulogne. She afterwards married Canute the Great in 1017, by whom she had Hardicanute and Gunilde. After an eventful life, she died at Winchester the 6th of March, 1052, and was interred in the cathedral there. Her daughter Gunilde died at Bruges the 21st of August, 1042, with such reputation for personal charms, that three centuries afterwards she was still described as the most lovely of women.

162 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

43. "Mauger was still young when he was elevated to the highest ecclesiastical rank: he was illustrious only for his birth and not for his actions". He was the son of Richard II. by his second wife named Papia, and governed the see of Rouen eighteen years, in the times of popes Clement, Damasus, and Leo, without the apostolic benediction and the pallium. [1] He was unbecomingly addicted to the desires of the flesh, and involved in worldly pursuits; he had a son named Michael, a brave and honest knight, who is now in England in the decline of life, and much beloved and honoured by King Henry. There were at this time great commotions in the world, grievously harassing and afflicting the nations. The Saracens invading Sicily, Italy, and other Christian kingdoms, carried fire, and sword, and rapine, into every quarter. Manichetus, [2] emperor of Constantinople, assembled the imperial forces, and, after many disasters, attacked and defeated the infidels, and delivered the frontiers of Christendom from their ravages. He also translated the bones of St. Agatha, virgin and martyr, and the relics of many other saints from Sicily to Constantinople, that they might not be profaned in fresh irruptions of the infidels. Diogenes [3] succeeding him, Osmund, Drengot, and Drogo, and other Normans began to settle in Apulia, and to turn their arms wilfully against the Arabs and pseudo-Christians. [4] In the


[1] The date of Mauger's elevation is unknown, but he was deposed in a council held at Liseux in 1055. He was then banished to the island of Jersey, where there are still many traditions concerning him, and even claims of filiation. For the particulars of his death, see Wace, t. ii. p. 61, etc. Being a native of Jersey, his information was good.

[2] The name should be written Maniaces. He assumed the purple in 1042, but was not acknowledged emperor, being killed in battle on his march to Constantinople for the purpose of dethroning the emperor Constantine Monomachus. lle brought back the relics of St. Agatha from Catania to Constantinople about the year 1040, whence they had been carried to Sicily in 1127.

[3] Romanus Diogenes, emperor in 1068, did not succeed Maniaces, as we have just seen. There was an interval of twenty-six years between them.

[4] Osmund, or Godfrey Drengo, and the other Normans, had established themselves in the south of Italy long before this. They first made their appearance there in 1016, took service under Melo in 1017, and had rendered him great assistance in 1019, when the loss of a battle reduced their numbers from two hundred and fifty to ten. Melo, who went to implore the aid of the emperor of Germany against the Greeks, died at Bamburg in 1020. A new band of Normans then came into Italy under Drengo, who was compelled to leave his country in consequence of having killed William Repostel, the favourite of Richard II. Ranulf, one of their chiefs, was created count of Aversa in 1030. At that time they joined the Greeks and Lombards in driving the Saracens out of Sicily. Our author calls the Greeks pseudo-Christians, on account of their being schismatics from the church of Rome. In 1042 Drogo became lord of Venosa, and his brother, William Bras-de-fer, of Ascoli. In 1043, William was proclaimed count of Apulia. Drogo succeeded him, and was assassinated in 1051.

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end, Robert Guiscard, after long hostilities, obtained, first from Harduin the Lombard and his nephew Melo, and afterwards from Pope Leo, a grant of Apulia, on condition of his for ever defending it against the enemies of St. Peter. By the help of God he bravely held it, extending his power into Sicily, Calabria, and Bulgaria, and bequeathing his territories to his children as their hereditary right. [1]

In Normandy many crimes were perpetrated at this time. The Normans took off by poison Alan, count of Brittany, their own duke's guardian, and defeated his successor, Count Gislebert, in a bloody battle, the two nations massacring each other incredibly in almost daily encounters. Likewise, Turketil de Neufmarche, and Roger de Toni, and Osbern, steward of Normandy, and William and Hugh, the two sons of Roger de Montgomery, and Robert de Beaumont, Walkelin de Ferrers, and Hugh de Montfort, and many other powerful knights, made war on each other in turn, causing great confusion and distress in the country, which was now deprived of its natural protectors. [2]


[1] Robert Guiscard did not become count of Apulia until 1057, after the death of his brother Humphrey. He had nothing to do with Hardouin or Melo, who were dead before his arrival. It was Humphrey who received from Pope Leo IX., in 1054, the investiture of all the territories gained, or which he should conquer, from the Greeks, though these dominions never belonged to the holy see. But Pope Nicholas II., in 1060, changed Robert's title of count of Apulia, to that of Duke of Apulia and Calabria. The conquest of Sicily was begun in 1061, by Roger, Robert's brother, and completed by taking Palermo from the Saracens in 1072. The invasion of Epirus took place in 1081, and was still prosecuted when Robert Guiscard died in the island of Cephalonia, the 17th of July, 1085, leaving the principality of Tarentum to his eldest son, Boemond, and the duchy of Apulia and Calabria to his second son, Roger.

[2] This important paragraph adds some valuable details to the account given in book i. c. 24 (vol. i. p. 149, etc.) of the fierce intestine quarrels which distracted the court of the young duke during his minority. It appears that these disorders did not commence until after the Normans had rid themselves of Alan, duke of Brittany, by poisoning him, the 1st of October, 1040. Turketil, governor of the young prince, here called lord of Neuf-Marche-en-Lions, must be the same person who is designated by William de Jumieges as Turold. Perhaps the name is only a diminutive of Turold, as Ansketel is of Hans. On the circumstances attending the death of Gislebert, count de Brionne, see before, vol. i. p. 391; and some details are given with respect to the other persons mentioned in this paragraph, in the notes to pp. 149, 150, of vol. i.

164 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

In England, On the death of King Hardicanute, Edward, his half-brother succeeded, and reigned worthily and prosperously twenty-three years. In Brittany, Eudes succeeded his brother Alan, and held his principality for fifteen years as freely as if he owed no fealty to a superior lord. [1] God also gave him seven sons, who became remarkable for the singular and changeable events of their lives. The studious might compose a long and pleasing history, from true accounts of their various fortunes.

44. "Maurilius, a prelate enlightened with sound learning, and of exemplary life, was no less distinguished by his good deeds". A native of Mayence, [2] he had governed a monastery at Florence, with the rank of abbot, but exposing himself to the hatred of offenders by the severity of his discipline, he detected them in mixing poison in some beverage which was offered to him. Upon this, he imitated the example of the most holy father and doctor, St. Benedict, and, leaving those incorrigible sinners, accompanied his countryman Gerbert, a learned and pious monk, to Normandy, where he came to Fecamp in the time of Abbot John, and chose that house dedicated to the worship of the holy and undivided Trinity for his fixed abode. Some time afterwards he was taken from thence and raised by a


[1] Eudes, Count de Penthievre, November 20, 1008-January 7, 1009, never assumed the title of duke of Brittany, but was regent for twenty-seven years. His nephew, Conon II., was only three months old at the death of Alan III.

[2] Maurilius, archbishop of Rouen, September, 1055-August 9, 1097. The Acts of the archbishops of Rouen are far from agreeing exactly with the account given by our author. They, as well as his epitaph (see book iv. p. 7), describe him as born at Rheims, studying at Liege, and residing for some time at Fecamp before he went into Italy. These accounts are most probably correct.

ARCHBISHOPS OF ROUEN. l65

canonical election, on the deposition of Mauger, to the metropolitan throne of Rouen. He filled it for twelve years, in the times of popes Victor, Stephen, Nicholas, and Alexander, and consecrated the metropolitan church in the ninth year of his episcopate. He removed with great ceremony the bodies of the dukes Rollo and William into the new church he dedicated, depositing the remains of Rollo near the south door, and those of Duke William within the north door, and caused their epitaphs to be inscribed in letters of gold. This is the inscription on Rollo's tomb:-

ROLLO the brave lies buried here,
A name to Normans ever dear;
They glory on this tomb to see
His style of Duke of Normandy.
In battle's front his followers' shield,
His sword made boldest foeman yield:
In the far north his ancient sires,
From whom he breathed his martial fires,
To king or lord ne'er bowed the knee,
But held their lands from service free. [1]
And first he fleshed his maiden sword,
With bands obedient to his word,
On kindred Danes, whose numerous hosts
Before him hushed their warlike boasts.
Then Hainault's sand, and Frisia's fen,
And coast of marshy Walcheren,
Poured forth their mingled bands to feel
The terrors of the Northmen's steel;
But Frisons, spite their neighbours aid,
Their tribute and their homage paid.
From firths and islets of the north,
Again he launched his galleys forth,
And boldly sailing o'er the main,
Burst like a tempest on the Seine.
The plains of France were stained with gore,
H3r bravest sons he backward bore;


[1] M. Le Prevost remarks that this and the following epitaph are founded on the fabulous traditions connected with the first two dukes of Normandy, which were current in the middle ages. One thing is, however, certain, however the author of these lines gained his information, that he gives here a very exact description of the independence of the old Scandinavian landholders, among whom the feudal tenures, with their burdensome services, were never introduced. It may be further observed, that in Norway the free udal rights have continued in force, through all revolutions, to the present day.

166 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

Now Bayeux yielded to his arms,
And sweeping on with war's alarms
In the full tide of victory,
Twice regal Paris groaned to see
The Northmen thundering at her gates.
For thirty years the cruel fates
Gave France to rapine, sword, and fire,
Till helpless Charles the conqueror's ire
Soothed by his gifts, to stay the strife,
A province and a royal wife.
Then the fierce heathen humbly bent
Before the Christian sacrament;
And Franco on that happy day
Washed in the font his sins away.
The savage wolf a lamb became,
May God, propitious, cleanse his shame!

A funeral elegy was engraved in letters of gold on the tomb of William Long-sword, which stands on the north side.

DUKE WILLIAM'S friends who dared assail!
Against his arms who could prevail!
Princes and kings his will obeyed,
Imperial Henry's mind he swayed.
Five times five years his skill and might
The Normans led through field and fight.
He reared Jumieges's mouldering towers,
And raised again her cloistered bowers;
While to her shades his willing feet,
Fain would have turned in habit meet,
And, heaven-taught, in that holy school,
Submitted to St. Bennett's rule.
But wiser MARTIN checked his zeal,
And bade him seek his country's weal.
'Twas not for him in peaceful cell
With pious anchorites to dwell,
But still in arms to spend his life,
And end it by the assassin's knife,
Where on the Somme's translucent stream
An islet's shadows softly gleam:
Arnold the Fleming planned the deed.
May heavenly grace the victim speed
In the last awful day of need! [1]


[1] The two epitaphs preserved by our author were not engraved on the new tombs to which the remains of the first dukes of Normandy were transferred after the cathedral of Rouen was rebuilt. These are still to be seen, one in the north, the other in the south transept of the church in the first two chapels towards the nave.

ARCHBISHOPS OF ROUEN. 167

In the year of our Lord 1063, in the month of October, in the second indiction, Archbishop Maurilius consecrated with great ceremony the metropolitan church of St. Mary, mother of God, in the city of Rouen, which Robert had begun. This was the eighth year of the reign of the emperor Henry IV., and the fourth of that of Philip, son of Henry king of France. The same year the Normans obtained possession of the city of Mans. It was also the tenth year from the battle of Mortemer, and the seventeenth from that fought between William and Guy at Valesdunes. [1] At the same time Michael drove his father-in-law Diogenes from the imperial throne at Constantinople, and seized the crown which he not long afterwards disgracefully lost. In England, there was great dissension on the death of King Edward, Harold, the perjured son of Godwin, who had no claim to royal blood, having usurped the throne by fraud and violence.

History's ancient annals fix
The year one thousand sixty-six
(Then a fiery comet whirled,
Dreadful omen, round the world),
As the time when England's lord
Fell before the Norman's sword.

The same year the battle of Senlac was fought, in which Harold was slain. It was on the second of the ides [14th] of October that William obtained this victory, and he was crowned on the following Christmas day.

45. "John, raised to the see of Rouen, was a vigilant pastor, and studied to observe the lessons of the apostolical law". He was the son of Ralph, count de Bayeux, and having been originally bishop of Avranches, was elevated to the primacy, which he held for ten years in the time of popes Alexander and Gregory VII. [2]

46. "Next, William, a prelate of high birth and great benevolence, canonically governed the people of Rouen".


[1] The year 1063 was, in point of fact, the fourth of Philip I. (August, 29, 1060), and the eighth of the emperor Henry IV. It was also the seventeenth after the battle of Valesdunes, and the tenth after that of Mortemer. In the text of Duchesne, the reference to the battle of Mortemer is omitted, and the date attached to it is given to that of Valesdunes.

[2] See before, p. 123, respecting the period and duration of the episcopate of John d'Avranches.

163 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.IX.

He was the second abbot of Caen, from whence he was removed to the archbishopric, which he filled thirty-two years, [1] in the time of popes Gregory, Victor, Urban, and Paschal. He buried King William and his queen Matilda at Caen. Their son Robert succeeded to the duchy of Normandy, and William to the kingdom of England.

In the year of our Lord 1095, there was a great drought and mortality, and falling stars were seen in the heavens on a night in the month of May. Pope Urban held a great council at Clermont, and preached the crusade to Jerusalem against the infidels. [2] At the same time there was a severe famine in France. In the year of our Lord 1099, [3] the seventh indiction, Jerusalem was taken by the holy pilgrims, the infidels who had long held it being conquered; and the abbey church of St. Evroult at Ouche was consecrated on the ides [13th] of November. The year following, William Rufus, king of England, was pierced by an arrow in hunting, and died on the 4th of the nones [2nd] of August. He was buried at Winchester, and his brother Henry ascended the throne, and was crowned at London on the nones [5th] of August. It is now the twenty-seventh year since he began his reign. [4] By God's providence, he has enjoyed a full share of worldly prosperity, mixed however with some adverse events among his family and friends, arising from disturbances among his subjects. Philip, king of France, died, after a reign of forty-eight years, and his son Lewis succeeded in the ninth year of King Henry. [5]

47. "The Breton, Geoffrey, wise, eloquent, and severe, raised to the highest episcopal rank, fed the people with spiritual food". He had been dean of the church of Mans, in the time of the venerable bishops Hoel and Hildebert, and becoming the forty-seventh metropolitan of Rouen, has


[1] William Bonne-Ame, July, 1079-February 9, 1110. See vol. i. p. 419, and p. 123 of the present volume, respecting this prelate.

[2] This council opened the 18th, and closed the 26th November, 1045.

[3] On Friday, the 15th July, 1099.

[4] It appears from this passage that Ordericus wrote his fifth book between the 5th of August, 1127, and the 5th of August, 1128.

[5] Philip I. died at Melun, the 29th of July, 1108, after a reign of forty-nine years, two months, and six days, and Lewis the Fat was crowned at Orleans the 2ud of August following.

ARCHBISHOPS OF ROUEN. 169

now governed the church seventeen years, [1] in the time of popes Paschal, Gelasius, Calixtus, and Honorius. Henry I., and Lothaire, governed the Latins, and Alexius and John, his son, the Greeks. During this period many memorable events occurred in the world, which my pen will have to record faithfully in their several places, for the information of posterity, if my life is spared and attended by divine goodness and mercy.

Kind reader, I entreat your indulgence, now that I am about to resume the regular thread of my narrative. I have made a long digression while giving an aceount of the archbishops of Rouen, as I was extremely desirous to put on record, in full detail, their continuous succession for the benefit of those who come after us. For this reason I have traced the annals of nearly eight hundred years, and have enumerated the whole series of Roman apostles, [2] from Pope Eusebius to Lambert of Ostia, who, under the name of Honorius, now fills the apostolic see. [3] I have also inserted in my work the names of all the emperors, from Constantine the Great, the founder of Constantinople, to John, the son of Alexius, the reigning emperor there, [4] and to Lothaire, the Saxon, who is now emperor of the Romans. [5] I shall now return to my own times and to my own country, and endeavour to relate what happened in Normandy under King William, after the council of Lillebonne.

CH. X. Quarrels between William I. and his eldest son - Robert leaves his father's court - William besieges him in Gerberoi - They are reconciled for a time - Robert finally separates from his father.

[A.D. 1077. [6]] A set of factious young men took advantage


[1] According to another passage in our author, Geoffrey was elevated to the see of Rouen in 1111, but it appears from a charter of Henry I. that he filled it before the 2nd of March, 1110.

[2] Our author means the popes who are commonly called apostoiles in the Romance tongue.

[3] Honorius II., December 21, 1124-February ]4, 1130.

[4] John Commenus, August 15, 1118-April 8, 1143.

[5] Lothaire II., September 13, 1125-December 4, 1137.

[6] It is extremely difficult, as already observed, to assign certain dates to the long series of quarrels between William I. and his eldest son. A passage in book iv. (p. 78) would seem to prove that they commenced as early as the year 1074, but we are not able to place the occurrences at L'Aigle, which seem to have caused Robert's first departure, earlier than the year 1078. One of our principal reasons is the extreme youth, even then, of Henry, one of the princes concerned in them, who was born in 1068. Perhaps we ought, with Florence of Worcester, to assign these occurrences to the year 1077, and place the discussion between Robert and his father, which our author here proceeds to relate, before the attempt of the former to surprise the tower of Rouen, which was followed by his taking refuge with Hugh de Chateau-neuf.

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

of the inexperience of the king's son Robert, by continually flattering him, and urging him to fruitless enterprises. Their language was of the following description: "Most illustrious son of the king, how is it that you are suffered to live in such extreme indigence? Your father's courtiers so securely guard the treasury that you can scarcely extract a penny from it to serve a friend. It is a great disgrace to you, as well as loss to us and to many more, that you are thus excluded from all share in the royal wealth. Why do you submit to this? He it is who deserves to have money, who has the heart to distribute it freely among those who ask it. Alas! your great liberality is miserably curtailed by the poverty to which your father's parsimony restricts you; and, not content with chasing his own attendants, he imposes upon you men of his own choice for yours. How long, brave prince, will you bear this? Rouse yourself manfully, and demand from your father a share of the kingdom of England, or at least claim the duchy of Normandy, which he long ago granted you in the presence of a numerous assemblage of the barons, who are ready to support you. It does not become you to submit any longer to be lorded over by those who are born to be your servants, and to have your demands for your hereditary domains rejected, as if you were a stranger and a mendicant. If your father agrees, and grants your request, your natural spirit and incomparable goodness will be magnificently displayed. But if, on the other hand, he persists in his obstinacy, and, giving way to his avarice, refuses you the dominions which are your right, assume the lion's part, drive from your presence those who are a disgrace to you while they serve you, and rely on the counsels and support of

A.D. 1077?] ROBERT CURT-HOSE REBELS. 171

your friends. Depend upon it, you will find us ready to second all your wishes".

Prince Robert, listening like a raw youth to speeches of this sort, had his wrath and ambition violently inflamed, so that he went to his father and said: "My lord the king, put me in possession of Normandy, which you granted me long ago, before you crossed the sea to make war on Harold". [1] To which the king replied: "What you ask, my son, is not convenient. It was by Norman valour that I made the conquest of England. Normandy is mine by hereditary descent, and I will never, while I live, relinquish the government". Robert then said: " But what am I to do, what have I to bestow on my followers?" His father answered: "Be obedient to me in all things, as becomes you, and be wisely content to share my power in all my dominions, as a son under his father". But Robert retorted: "I am not content to act for ever the part of a mercenary. I desire to have an establishment of my own, that I may be able worthily to recompense my attendants for their services. I therefore pray you give up to me the dukedom which is my own, that while you are king of England, I may be duke of Normandy, but subject always to fealty to you". But the king relied: "What you ask, my son, is quite preposterous. It is shameful to wish to deprive your father of the dominions, which, if you are worthy, you will receive from him in due course, with the willing assent of the people and the blessing of God. Choose good advisers, and drive from your presence the rash young men who imprudently tempt and urge you to criminal enterprises. Remember what Absalom did; how he rebelled against his father David, and how ill it turned out, not only to himself but to Ahitophel and Amasa, and his other councillors and abettors. The Normans, always restless, are eagerly longing for some disturbance. They are endeavouring to incite you to some absurd attempt, in order that in the confusion which would ensue, they may give the reins to their own insubordinate desires, and commit evil with impunity. Do not listen to the


[1] It has been already stated that William named his son Robert as his successor in the duchy of Normandy long before the conquest of England, but there was no idea of its being given up to him during his father's life.

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

persuasions of a parcel of headstrong youths, but be advised by the archbishops William and Lanfranc, and other men of wisdom, and experienced nobles. If you carefully attend to what I say to you, you will in the end be glad of your good conduct. But if, on the other hand, you follow the example of Rehoboam, who treated with contempt the counsels of Benaiah and other wise men, and suffer yourself to be led by these foolish youths, you will long suffer to your own cost the humiliation and contempt which he experienced before his own people and strangers". Robert then said: "My lord the king, I did not come here to hear speeches, of which I have had enough, and more than enough, to my infinite disgust from my teachers of grammar; answer me plainly concerning the dominion which is my right, that I may know what I have to do. One thing I am resolved on, and I wish every one to know it, that I will no longer do service to any one in Normandy in the mean condition of a dependant".

The king was greatly incensed at this language, and replied: "I have already told you plainly enough, and I have no hesitation in most distinctly informing you that I will never suffer my native land of Normandy to pass out of my hands as long as I live. Nor will I, neither is it advisable that I should, during my life, divide the kingdom of England which I have acquired by immense exertions; for, as our Lord says in the gospel, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. [1] He who gave me the kingdom will dispose of it according to his will. I wish it to be understood by all as my fixed purpose that, so long as I live, I will not abdicate my prerogative in favour of any one, and no human being shall share my kingdom. The consecrated crown was solemnly placed on my head by Christ's representatives, and the royal sceptre of Albion was given to me alone to bear. It is therefore unbecoming, and altogether unjust, that while life remains, I should suffer any one to become my equal or my superior within my dominions". Upon hearing his father's irrevocable determination, Robert said: "Compelled, like Polynices the Theban, to betake myself to a foreign land, henceforth I shall serve strangers, and see whether by fortune's favour I cannot gain in exile those


[1] Luke xi. 17.

A.D. 1077-1078.] ROBERT CURT-HOSE AN EXILE. 173

honours and advantages which are shamefully withheld from me in my father's house. Would that it may be mine to find a prince like the old Adrastes, to whom I can cheerfully offer the tribute of my faithful service, and from whom I may receive a grateful acknowledgment".

Raving said this, Robert left his father's presence in great anger, and departed from Normandy. There went with him Robert de Belesme,' William de Breteuil,2 Roger, son of Richard de Bienfaite, Robert de Moubray,3 William de Molines, William de Rupierre, and several others of high birth and chivalrous courage, swelling with pride, terrible in their fierce encounters with enemies, and ready to undertake any enterprise however formidable or unjust. At the head of a band of such associates, the young Robert wandered in foreign lands for five years to no purpose.4 He had already freely distributed among them his private patrimony, making Vain promises of aggrandizing their possessions. On their part they exalted his hopes by empty professions; and they thus mutually deceived each other by false representations.

When Robert first quitted his native land, he joined his uncle Robert the Frisian, count of Flanders, and his brother Eudes, who was archbishop of Treves ` He afterwards Visited other noble kinsmen, dukes, counts, and powerful lords of castles in Lorraine, Germany, Aquitaine, and Gas- cony. To these he stated his grievances, in which he often mixed falsehood with truth. Many listened readily to his complaints, and the higher nobles made him liberal presents; but he foolishly lavished on jugglers, parasites, and harlots, the supplies he received from his generous friends. When they were thus improvidently spent, he was compelled by his extreme necessities to have recourse to begging, and, an


[1] Robert de Belesme, son of Roger de Montgomery.

[2] William de Breteuil, son of William Fitz-Osbern.

[3] Robert de Moubray, nephew of Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances.

[4] Our author confounds Prince Robert's first emigration with his second, to which only the five years here spoken of can apply.

[5] According to the French genealogists, Eudes, who was archbishop of Treves, 1067-1079, was indeed brother of Robert the Frison and Queen Matilda, but the French editor of Ordericus remarks that this is a great mistake. This prelate, who was son of Everard, count de Nellembourg in Swabia, having no connexion with the house of Flanders.

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

exile and poor, he sought loans of money from foreign usurers.

Queen Matilda, compassionating her son's distresses with a mother's tenderness, often sent him, without the knowledge of her husband, large sums of gold and silver, and other things of value. The king, discovering this, forbade her with terrible threats from continuing to do so; but finding shortly afterwards that she contumaciously repeated the offence, he said to her, in great wrath, "A wise man remarked truly, as I myself have reason to find, that-

'A faithless woman is her husband's bane'.

Who in the world can henceforth reckon on finding a mistress who will be faithful and devoted to him? Behold my own wife, whom I love as my very soul, and who is entrusted by me with my treasures and jurisdiction through my whole dominions, succours my enemies who are plotting against my life, enriches them with my wealth, carefully supplies them with arms to attack me, and abets and strengthens them in every way". To this Matilda replied: "Do not wonder, I pray you, my lord, that I have a tender affection for my first-born son. By the power of the Most High, [1] if my Robert was dead, and buried seven feet in the earth out of the sight of living men, and I could bring him to life at the expense of my own blood, I would freely shed it for him, and I would undergo sufferings greater than can be expected from female weakness. How can you suppose that I can take any delight in the abundance of wealth, while I suffer my son to be crushed by the extremity of want and distress? Far from me be such hardness of heart, nor should you, in the fulness of your power, lay such an injunction upon me".

At hearing this the stern prince turned pale, and he became so enraged that he ordered one of the queen's messengers, whose name was Samson, a Breton by birth, to be apprehended, and to have his eyes forthwith put out. However, learning the king's animosity by intelligence from those the queen trusted, he made his escape to avoid the


[1] This appears to have been the form of oath used by Queen Matilda, as her husband, William, swore by God's light, par la resplendor De.

A.D.1077-1078.] A HERMIT'S PREDICTION. 1755

barbarous command, and took refuge in all haste at the abbey of St. Evroult. He was admitted, at the queen's request, by Abbot Mainier, and entered on the monastic life for the safety equally of his soul and body. He was shrewd, talked well, was continent, and lived as a monk twenty-six years.

At this time there lived in some part of the Teutonic country a hermit, who was a devout and holy man, and among his other gifts and graces had the spirit of prophecy. To this man, Queen Matilda sent messengers and presents, earnestly entreating him to pray for her husband and her son Robert, and besides to send her a prediction of what would happen to them in time to come. The hermit graciously received the messenger of so great a queen, and begged time to the third day for making his reply. When the third day dawned, he summoned the queen's envoys and said to them: "Go, carry back this message from me to your mistress. According to your request I have prayed to God and have seen a vision, in which he revealed to me the things I will relate to you. I saw a certain meadow, beautifully clothed with grass and flowers, and in it there was a fierce horse feeding. Herds of cattle stood all round, keenly desiring to graze in the meadow, but the wild horse drove them away, not suffering any animal to come there and crop the grass and the flowers. Unfortunately, the stately and high-bred horse suddenly disappeared, and a lascivious heifer undertook the guardianship of the luxuriant meadow. Forthwith, the whole herd of animals which stood outside ran freely in, and depasturing the meadow in every part, destroyed all its former beauty, without fear of its guardian, treading it under foot, and defiling it with their dung. On seeing this I was much astonished, and asked my conductor what it meant. He therefore explained the whole, saying: The meadow which you behold is Normandy, and the grass is the multitude of people, living in peace and in abundance of all things. The flowers represent the churches, where are to be found the chaste companies of the monks and clergy and nuns, and where faithful souls are continually engaged in holy contemplations. The unbridled horse signifies William, king of the English, under whose protection

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

the sacred orders of the devout securely war for the king of angels. [1] The greedy animals which stand around are the Franks, the Bretons, and the men of Picardy and Anjou, and other neighbouring people, who are jealous of the prosperity of Normandy, and are ready to pounce upon its resources, like wolves on their prey, but are repelled by the unconquerable might of King William. But when, according to the laws of human nature, he shall be taken away, his son Robert will succeed him in the dukedom of Normandy. Then her enemies will gather around her on all sides, and, as she will have lost her protector, they will invade her rich and noble territory, despoil her of her honour and her wealth, and holding in contempt her weak ruler, nefariously tread under foot the whole country. He, like the lascivious heifer, will abandon himself to lust and sloth, and set others the example of plundering the property of the church, and spending it on filthy pimps and lechers. To such he will give up his dominions, and they will be his counsellors in his urgent necessities. In the dukedom of Robert, favourites and effeminate persons will bear rule, and under their government crime and misery will abound. The cities and villages will be burnt, and the churches of the saints shamefully profaned. The societies of the faithful, of both sexes, will be dispersed, and thousands of human beings will perish by fire and sword, many of them unabsolved and without the last sacraments, so that for their sins they will be plunged at once into the bottomless pit. Such calamities will fall upon Normandy, and as of old she was enormously puffed up, as the conqueror of neighbouring nations, so under a lax and debauched prince, she will be held in contempt, and will be long and miserably exposed to the arms of her enemies. The weak duke will have only the name of prince, while in truth rogues will have the rule, both over him and the distracted province, to the general loss'. Such was the vision which I lately had in answer to my prayers, and such the explanation which my spiritual guide gave of it. But you, venerable lady, will not witness the calamities with which Normandy is


[1] There is a play of words in the original text: Regem Anglorum ... regi Angelorum.

A.D. 1079.] SIEGE OF GERBEROI. 177

threatened; for, after a good confession, you will die in peace, and neither behold your husband's death, nor the misfortunes of your son, nor the desolation of your beloved country".

Having received this message from the hermit, the messengers returned and related to the queen the prophecy in which good was mixed with evil. The men of the succeeding age, who were partakers in the disasters of Normandy and saw the fires and other ravages, found to their cost that the prophecy of the horrible calamities and destruction which awaited them was but too true.

At last, after many useless peregrinations, Robert began to repent of his folly, but still he was unwilling to return frankly to his incensed father whom he had so inconsiderately left. He therefore repaired to his cousin Philip, king of France, and earnestly entreated him to render him aid. He was well received, and the castle of Gerberoi assigned to him for his residence, because it stands in the Beauvais on the borders of Normandy, and is a very strong fortress both from its site and its walls and other defences. Elias the vidame, and his fellow governor of the castle, received the royal exile with great good-will, promising all sorts of succour to him and his followers. For it is the custom of that castle that it has two equal lords, [1] and that all fugitives are harboured there from whatever quarter they come. Robert collected in this place a troop of horse, promising them and the barons of France who flocked about him, in return for their assistance, more than he could ever perform. Many evils ensued from this arrangement, the sons of perdition taking arms and devising mischief against the peaceable and defenceless, and contriving endless iniquities. Numbers who to all appearance had been peaceably inclined, and gave good words to the king and his adherents, now unexpectedly joined the enemies of the state, betraying their kinsfolk and lords to the disinherited exiles. Thus Normandy had more to suffer from her own people than from strangers, and was ruined by intestine disorders.

Meanwhile, the undaunted king had levied numerous bodies of troops with prudent forethought, and quartered them in the castles of his own province which stood nearest the


[1] Two collateral branches of the same family possessed jointly the title and authority of vidames of this place.

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

enemy's borders, making head against his adversaries in all quarters, and suffering no one to make inroads on his territories with impunity. He was also much annoyed that his enemies had chosen a post so near his own frontier, nor would he submit to it any longer without a sharp contention. He therefore, although it was mid-winter, assembled his mailed troops, as soon as Christmas was past, and paid a visit to the enemies' quarters at Gerberoy from which he had received threatening messages; and for three weeks he besieged the garrison with great vigour. The chiefs on both sides had frequent encounters, and often challenged each other to the conflict with a select number of followers chosen for their bravery and skill in arms. On one side the Normans, with the English and the king's auxiliaries from the immediate neighbourhood, made fierce onslaughts, on the other, the French and King William's enemies on the borders, who took the side of Robert, made a desperate resistance. In these conflicts many were unhorsed, horses were killed, and the combatants suffered considerable losses. [1]

The king having returned to Rouen, his faithful counsellors took into consideration the means of reconciling the father and son. With this view Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, Hugh de Gournay and Hugh Grantmesnil, Roger de Beaumont, with his sons Robert and Henry, [2] and many others assembled. They addressed the king in the following terms: "Great king, we humbly approach your highness, beseeching you favourably to receive our supplications. Your son Robert has been led astray by the pernicious advice of evil counsellors, from which violent dissentions and much mischief have arisen. He now repents of his


[1] Our author's account of the siege of Gerberoi is far from complete. He has omitted to inform us that Philip I. joined William, the duke, in besieging his son Robert in the very place he had assigned him for his refuge. This appears from a charter signed jointly by the two kings while engaged in the siege, which also fixes the date of its commencement, in the month of January, 1079. Ordericus has also omitted the well known story of Robert's having wounded and dismounted his father in one of the chivalrous encounters under the walls of Gerberoi, and, discovering him by his voice, having remounted him on his own horse after vainly imploring his forgiveness. It was probably in consequence of this occurrence, and at all events after it, that the lords of William's council named by Ordericus succeeded in effecting a temporary reconciliation.

[2] Robert, count de Meulan, and Henry, earl of Warwick.

A.D. 1079.] WILLIAM I. AND HIS SON ROBERT. 179

errors, but he cannot venture to approach your presence without receiving your commands. He humbly implores your clemency to take pity on him, and he seeks to obtain your favour through our interference, who are your devoted subjects. He acknowledges himself to be guilty of many and grave offences, but he confesses them, and promises to conduct himself better in future. We all, therefore, join in imploring your clemency to extend your gracious pardon to your repentant son. Correct your erring child, permit him to return home, and mercifully accept his penitence". The assembled nobles also earnestly interceded with the king on behalf of their sons, brothers, and kinsmen, who accompanied Robert in his exile. The king replied to them as follows: "I am surprised that you so earnestly plead the cause of a traitor, who has dared to make a most infamous attempt on the peace of my dominions. He has stirred up intestine disturbances against me, and seduced the flower of my young nobility whom I myself have educated and invested with the ensigns of chivalry. He has also brought on me Hugh de Chateauneuf, [1] and other foreign enemies. Which of my predecessors, from the time of Rollo, has been subjected to such a conflict on the part of his sons as I have? Look at William, the son of the great Rollo, and the three Richards, successively dukes of Normandy, and my own father Robert, and see how faithfully they obeyed their fathers to the hour of their death. This youth endeavoured to wrest from me the dukedom of Normandy and the earldom of Maine, and he has formed against me a powerful combination of the French, the people of Anjou and Aquitaine, and many others. If it were in his power he would arm the whole race of mankind against me, and put me, and yourselves too, to the sword. According to the law of God given by Moses, he is worthy of death: his offence is like that of Absalom, and should meet with the same punishment".

Still the nobles of Normandy had frequent conferences


[1] Chateauneuf in the Thimirais; see before, book iv. p. 109. This passage strengthens the opinion that the quarrel began at L'Aigle, on occasion of the liberties taken by William Rufus and Henry with their brother Robert, and that this occurrence can only be assigned to the summer or autumn of the year 1077.

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

with the king; and endeavoured to mollify his resentment by gentle remonstrances and entreaties. The bishops, also, and other men of religion, tried to soften the hardness of his heart by lessons drawn from the word of God. The queen, also, and the envoys of the king of France, and the neighbouring nobles who were in alliance with him, used their efforts to restore peace. At last the stern prince, giving way to the entreaties of so many persons of rank, and moved likewise by natural affection, was reconciled to his son, and those who had been leagued with him. He also, with the concurrence of his nobles, ratified and renewed the grant which he had made to him, when he was sick at Bonneville, [1] of the succession to the duchy of Normandy after his own death. The restoration of peace caused great joy to the people of Normandy and Maine, who had now grievously suffered for many years from the calamities of war. But this long-wished-for tranquillity, arising from the reunion of father and son, was speedily overclouded. For the obstinate young prince was too proud to attend or obey his father, and the passionate monarch often loaded him in public with accusations and reproaches for his disobedience. He, therefore, after a time, again left his father's court [2] accompanied by a small number of adherents; nor did he ever return until his father on his death-bed sent Count Aubrey [3]


[1] Bonneville sur Touque. The text of Duchesne; for Villam-Bonam, reads Juliam-Bonam, Lillebonne. The resemblance of these two names of the residences of the dukes of Normandy causes them to be often mistaken the one for the other. It is the same of the ports Barfleur and Harfleur.

[2] The precise time when the king and his son again quarrelled cannot be ascertained, but it did not occur till after Robert's expedition, undertaken by his father's orders, into Scotland, during which he founded an English Chateau-neuf, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This was in the autumn of 1080.

[3] Aubrey, before this, earl of Northumberland, who must not be confounded with Aubrey de Vere, the ancestor of the earls of Oxford. Little is known of the Aubrey mentioned by our author. At the time the survey recorded in Domesday-book was taken, his estates were in the king's hands, having probably been wrested from him on account of his incapacity. After a disastrous expedition to Greece, induced by his credulity in the promises of astrologers, which leaves no great opinion of his judgment, he returned to Normandy, and was there, it is said, married to a lady who bore the name of the country he had been silly enough to think of conquering.

FAMILY OF KING WILLIAM I. 181

to bim in France to invite him to take possession of the duchy of Normandy.

CH. XI. Account of the family of William I., particularly his son Richard, killed when young, and his daughters.

IF William, though a father, sometimes cursed in his anger his rebellious son, and wished him all sorts of evil for the attempts which have been just related, his sons William and Henry, who had been always dutiful, received his hearty blessing. As for his son Richard, born after Robert, and who had not yet received the honour of knighthood, while he was hunting in the new forest not far from Winchester, and running down a stag at full speed, he sustained a violent blow on the pommel of the saddle from a stout hazel bough, and was mortally injured. Receiving the same week the supports of confession and absolution, and the last sacraments, he shortly afterwards died to the great sorrow of many of the English. [1] William Rufus and Henry having always been devoted to their father obtained his blessing, and had for many years been advanced to the highest pitch of power both in the kingdom and the duchy. His daughter Agatha, who had been betrothed to Harold, was afterwards demanded in marriage by Alphonzo, king of Galicia, [2] and delivered to his proxies to be conducted to him. But she, who had lost her former spouse who was to her liking, felt extreme repugnance to marry another. The Englishman she had seen and loved, but the Spaniard she was more averse to because she had never set eyes on him. She, therefore, fervently prayed to the Almighty that she might never be carried into Spain, but that he would rather take her to himself. Her prayers were heard, and she died a virgin while she was on the road. Her corpse was brought


[1] This calamitous event, which was supposed to be judicial, is generally assigned to the year 1081, but there is reason to place it several years earlier.

[2] Alphonzo, king of Leon, the Asturias, and Oviedo, in 1065, of Castile in 1072, and of Galicia the year following. The Spanish historians, who call Agatha, Agueda, place the marriage in 1068, when Alphonzo was as yet only king of Leon. It was, therefore, in that year the young princess died. Alphonso still continued to seek alliances in France, for in 1074 he married Agnes, daughter of William, count de Poitiers, and afterwards, in 1080, Constance, daughter of Robert, duke of Burgandy.

182 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XI.

back by her attendants to her native country, and interred in the church of St. Mary-ever-a-Virgin, at Bayeux. King William's daughter Adeliza, who was very beautiful, when she reached the age of marriage, piously devoted herself to God, and made a holy end under the guardianship of Roger de Beaumont. [1] Constance was given amid great rejoicings at Bayeux to Fergan, count of Brittany, son of the count of Nantes; and she died in Brittany without leaving any children. [2]

Stephen, palatine count de Blois, [3] wishing to make a firm alliance with King William, demanded his daughter Adela in marriage, who, by the advice of his counsellors, gave his consent, and they were united with great rejoicings. The espousals took place at Breteuil, and the marriage was celebrated at Chartres. Stephen was son of Theobald, [4] count palatine, and nephew of Bertha, countess of Brittany and Maine. [5] His two most powerful counts were his brothers Odo and Hugh, [6] and he had four sons by his wife first mentioned, William, Theobald, Stephen, and Henry, the three first of whom are puissant lords, and rank with the highest nobles of France and England. William, the


[1] She retired to St. Leger-de-Preaux, a convent for nuns founded by Humphrey de Vieilles, father of Roger de Beaumont, and Aubrey, his mother, and afterwards endowed by Roger himself. William de Jumieges confounds Adeliza with her sister Agatha.

[2] This marriage is mentioned before, vol. i. p. 185, where our author says that it was celebrated at Caen. (See also the note, book ii. c. 5.) Alan Fergan was not son of a count of Nantes, but grandson of Alan Pugnart, count de Cornwall.

[3] Stephen, count de Blois, in 1081, and who married Adela the same year, became count de Chartres about the year 1090, after his father's death, and was slain in battle against the Saracens in Palestine in 1101. He had returned there to wipe off the disgrace of having deserted from the first crusade before the deliverance of Jerusalem. Ordericus is mistaken in giving him the title of count Palatine, which was first borne by his great grandfather, Eudes II., count of Blois and Champagne, and passed to the branch of the family which succeeded to the latter. The title was purely honorary.

[4] Theobald III., count de Blois, Tours, and Chartres, in 1037, afterwards count Palatine de Champagne, in prejudice of his nephew Eudes, about 1048.

[5] Bertha, sister of Theobald, first married in 1027 to Alan III., duke of Brittany, and afterwards to Hugh II., count du Mans.

[6] Hugh, count de Champagne; Eudes, count de Troyes; besides Philip, bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne, omitted by our author.

FAMILY OF BLOIS. 183

eldest, son-in-law and heir of Gillon de Sully, is a worthy, quiet man, whose family and wealth make him powerful. [1] Theobald, who succeeded to the hereditary states, is distinguished by his valour and merits. [2] Stephen, who is son-in-law and heir of Eustace, count de Boulogne, has had the earldom of Moreton, in Normandy, and many English honours conferred on him by his uncle king Henry. [3] The fourth son, Henry, was devoted from infancy to the service of the church at the abbey of Cluny, and under the monastic rule was fully instructed in sacred learning. Should he persist in this religious life he will be an heir of the kingdom of heaven, and present a memorable example of contempt for the world to earthly princes. [4] Let what I have shortly noted respecting the decendants of King William suffice for the present, for I am urged onward by an earnest desire to complete my undertaking, and unceasingly actuated by the determination to fulfil my promise.


[1] William, the eldest son, who married Agnes de Sully, was put aside from the succession by the intrigues of his mother and on account of his incapacity. He was also deformed and stammered. Our author just gives him the negative character suited to his deserts.

[2] The second son, Theobald, called the Grand, succeeded his father is 1102, as count de Blois, etc., and in 1125 became count of Champagne by inheritance or purchase of his uncle.

[3] Stephen de Blois, the third son, played a distinguished part in history. Count de Boulogne, in right of his wife Matilda, and earl of Morton by creation of his uncle, Henry I., at the time when Ordericus wrote this book, his future honours as king of England could not then be anticipated. Having seized the throne in December, 1135, his reign lasted till October, 1154.

[4] Henry, the fourth and youngest son, was the famous Henry de Blois, bishop of Winchester, who took a leading part in the wars for the succession to Henry I. of England. He was originally, it appears, a monk of Cluny, but in 1126, two years before our author wrote this hook, though he does not seem to have been aware of it, Henry had been made abbot of Glastonbury. He was raised to the bishopric of Winchester in 1129. The hypothetical form in which Ordericus frames this short reference to the early promise of this ambitious and worldly prelate, seems to indicate an impression that his hopes were not likely to be fulfilled. Some years afterwards, when still his character was not fully developed, Henry of Huntingdon speaks of him in these terms: "Henry, the king's son, who promises to exhibit a monstrous spectacle, compounded of purity and corruption, half a monk, half a knight".- Letter to Walter on the Bishops and Illustrious Men of his Times, p. 315, Bohn's Edition.

181 ORDERICUS [B.V. CH.XII.

CH.XII. Mainier, fourth abbot of St. Evroult - Began the new church- His administration- Men of rank become monks - State of the church in Normandy after the conversion of the Danes.

THE eternal Disposer of all events impels by his power guides by his wisdom, his bark, the church, through the storms of this world, and mercifully gives his daily support to the labourers in his vineyard, strengthening them by his holy inspirations for their toils and dangers. He thus providentially guides his church among the tumults of wars and battles, and secures its advancement in a variety of ways. This has been most especially shown with respect to the abbey of St. Evroult, which, though founded in a poor country, and surrounded by worthless people, has been defended by divine help against all the threats and malice of its enemies. Abbot Mainier undertook the charge of this abbey in the month of July, and has now presided over it with great advantage twenty-two years and eight months. [1] He introduced into the Lord's fold ninety-two monks, prudently selected to do his work; and diligently instructed them how they ought to conduct themselves in it. He also began to erect the new church, and suitable houses for the residence of the monks, and by God's aid completed them with all the beauty so desert a country permitted. The good reports of their religious life raised the abbey of St. Evroult to high honour, and gained them the love of great numbers of persons of all ranks. Many hastened there to connect themselves with this society, and become worthy of partaking of its benefits in divine things. They gave their worldly possessions in order to receive heavenly ones from God.

Some, inflamed with divine love, entirely renounced the world, resigning their wealth to the monastery, according to the monastic rule, and enforcing on their friends and relations similar conduct, by their advice and entreaties. Among


[1] Mainier, son of Goscelin d'Echaufour, was fourth abbot of St. Evroult, He was consecrated by Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, the 16th of July, 1066. Our author has considerably varied in his calculations of the period of Mainier's administration. It appears to have lasted twenty-two years and seven months, and that he died on the 5th of March, 1089.

A.D. 1066-1037.] MAINIER, ABBOT OF ST. EVROULT. 185

these were Roger de Sap and his brother Odo, Serlo de Orgeres, Razso son of Ilbert, Odo of Dole, Geoffrey of Orleans, and John of Rheims, and many more who were both well imbued with learning and fit for God's service. Some were men of high birth, and took charge of the external affairs of the abbey. Among these, Drogo, son of Geoffrey de Neuf-Marche, [1] and Roger, son of Erneis de Coutances, nephew of William Warrenne, and Arnold, son of Humphrey de Tilleul, nephew by his sister of Hugh de Grantmesnil, and the physician Goisbert, were men about the court, through whose exertions lands, churches, and tithes, were obtained for their brethren. Mainier did not fail to make use of such supporters, and by their means the abbey increased its advantages, its means, and its pious inmates.

This abbot chose for his assistant in the management of the house Fulk de Guernanville, a clever and proper person, to whom he committed the superintendence of the monastery. He was son of Fulk, dean of Evreux, and being full of zeal for his order, diligently seconded his abbot in all things, besides inducing his father to enter the abbey, and endow it with a great part of his patrimony. The dean was one of the pupils of Fulbert, bishop of Chartres, and held a knight's fee by inheritance from his father. According to the custom of that period, he had a noble partner, [2] whose name was Orielde, who bore him a numerous offspring. He had eight sons and two daughters, whose names are as follows: Warin, Christian, Ralph, William, Fulk, Fromont, Hubert, and Walter, surnamed Tyrrel; [3] Avise, and Adelaide. At this time, and ever since the


[1] We have seen before, vol i. p. 455, that Duke William deprived Geoffrey of the castle of Neuf-Marche, of which he was the lawful heir (probably as son of Turketil, its former governor), and after in vain trying others, committed this important fortress to the custody of Hugh de Grantmesnil, whose abilities and courage were guarantees for his holding in submission his turbulent neighbours, especially the inhabitants of Milli and Gerberoy.

[2] Sociam; wife or mistress! It seems that at this period anons at least were not bound to celibacy, nor indeed any of the secular clergy, as appears from the sequel of this curious paragraph.

[3] This person must not be confounded with his namesake, Walter Tyrrel, second lord of Poix, who is supposed to have been the unintentional murderer of William Rufus.

186 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XII.

coming in of the Normans, the celibacy of the clergy was so little preserved, that not only priests, but even bishops, used freely the beds of concubines, and openly boasted of their numerous families of sons and daughters. This custom generally prevailed among the neophites who were baptized at the same time as Rollo, and who took possession of the unpopulated country, not versed in letters but in arms. These priests of Danish origin, with very little learning, obtained possession of the parishes, and were always ready to take up arms to defend the lay fees by military service. At length, Bruno of Lorraine, bishop of Toul, was called to Rome, and by the providence of God, became pope, under the name of Leo. While he was journeying to Rome, he heard the angels singing: "I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil", etc. [1] This pope applied himself to do much good, and rendered great services to those who were committed to his charge, both by his good deeds and his faithful teaching. He came into France in the year of our Lord 1049, and consecrated the church of St. Remigius, the archbishop, at Rheims, on the calends [1st] of October; and at the instance of Abbot Hermar, translated the body of the saint with great ceremony to the place where it is now held in veneration. He then held a general council at Rheims, and among other canons for the good of the church, one was made prohibiting priests from carrying arms and having wives. [2] From that time the fatal practice began gradually to decline. Priests have now readily ceased from bearing arms, but they are still reluctant to give up their concubines, and observe celibacy.

[1066-1089.] Dean Fulk, before mentioned, after being defiled by a long continuance in corrupt habits, turned his mind to better things, and now bent with age, was induced by the advice and admonitions of his son Fulk to flee to Ouche, where he entreated admission as a monk, not indeed so much giving up the world, as that the world gave him up. When he became a monk, he gave to St. Evroult


[1] Jeremiah xxix. 11. This paragraph is before inserted in nearly the same terms, book i. ch. xxiv. See vol. i. p. 151, and the note.

[2] We do not find any injunctions respecting celibacy in the canons of the council of Rheims, though there is one against the clergy bearing arms.

BENEFACTORS TO ST. EVROULT. 187

the church of Guernanville, and the land belonging to it; he also gave another farm he possessed in the same village, which Hugh, bishop of Bayeux, had given him, and which he had long held under William Fitz-Osbern, nephew of the same bishop. [1] William, the son and heir of Fulk, publicly ratified these grants in the chapter, and joined his father in offering the deed of gift on the altar of St. Peter, whereupon he received by the goodwill of the monks an ounce of gold as an acknowledgment. The grant was also confirmed by William de Breteuil and Gislebert Crispin with his two sons, and the witnesses present were, Roger de Clare, Hugh de L'Ane, [2] Robert d'Estoteville, Rodolph de la Lande, Rodolph des Fourneaux, Walter de Chaumont, and William de Longueville and Guernanville. These lands were also granted by William Gastinel, in the presence of Richer de L'Aigle, and he received for it an ounce of gold. The witnesses were William Halis, Morin du Pin, Robert, son of Heugo, and Rodolph Cloeth.

CH. XIII. Founders and benefactors of the abbey of St. Evroult, particularly Roger de Montgomery, afterwards earl of Shrewsbury.

I propose here shortly to enumerate the possessions of the abbey of Ouche, that the endowments piously made may be known to the novices, and that by reference to this account it may be ascertained by whom or at what time they were made, or for what price they were purchased. The greedy owners of worldly possessions are engrossed with these passing interests, and think little of those which are supreme and eternal, and men in general scarcely attempt to do any thing for the hope of heaven, unless they find it for their temporal advantage. Tithes, which the Lord required by Moses to be devoted to his service for the use of the sanctuary and the Levites, are withheld by our temporal lords, who refuse to restore them to the ministers of the church, except they are redeemed at a great price. [3] The


[1] This bishop held vast estates in the department of L'Eure, as the son of Ralph, count d'Ivri.

[2] This person was a vassal of William Fitz-Osbern, in his domains in the county of Hereford.

[3] We may be well surprised to find the vast amount of tithes and church lands in Normandy, which had become the property of laymen before the age when our author wrote. Every one knows that in England such possessions did not get into lay hands till the time of Henry VIII., on the dissolution of the monasteries. In Normandy, and the case was the same elsewhere in France, the tithes and church lands appear to have become the prey of the various lords of all degrees who established their independence in the ninth and tenth centuries, when no law was known but that of the strongest. There might have been some justice in the unceasing efforts of the monks in our author's time to influence or extort the re-grant of the tithes to their legitimate owners, but the only excuse for their appropriation to the abbeys consists in the very low state to which the secular or parochial clergy appear to have sunk at that period, both as to learning and morals.

188 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIII.

stewards of the alms for the poor admonished laymen to give back the tithes to the church of God, and in their zeal to obtain them by any means have often given large sums for them, in ignorance that the sacred canons absolutely prohibit any bargains of this sort. Even in modern councils, the holy bishops have pronounced an anathema against this traffic, but from merciful considerations have passed by former offences of the kind, and allowed the possessions which the church then held to remain in her hands, under the sanction of this episcopal authority.

The founders of the abbey of St. Evroult were men of moderate fortune, who, erecting it on an unfertile soil, endowed it with some small possessions, widely dispersed, according to their moderate means, for the support of the brethren. Their neighbours all around them were ground down by poverty, and driven by want and their evil dispositions to live by dishonesty, fraud, and robbery, so that the monks at Ouche were compelled to procure food for themselves and their visitors from a great distance. But as they submitted themselves to regular discipline from the time of their first institution, great nobles and pious prelates conceived a high regard for them, and providing for their necessities by gifts of tithes, and churches, and other endowments, came to be held in great respect.

Thus Ralph de Conches, son of Roger de Toni, the renowned standard-bearer of Normandy, intending to go into Spain, [1] came to Ouche, and, attending a chapter of St.


[1] His father, Roger, lord of Toni and Conches, had also been in Spain, and obtained his surname from it. See vol. i, p. 149. Both were standard-bearers of Normandy. Ralph de Toni, or Toeni, as the name was spelt, was the founder of the great family of Stafford in England. At the time of the Domesday record he possessed one hundred and thirty manors, the most part in Staffordshire. The first Ralph de Toni was descended in the female line from Malahulcius, uncle of Rollo, first duke of Normandy.

GRANTS OF RALPH DE TONI. 189

Evroult, implored pardon from the abbot and monks for having some time before abetted Arnold d'Echaufour when he burned the town of Ouche. He then made recompense to the monks, and laid his gage on the altar, making many pious vows in case of his safe return. He likewise recommended to them his physician Goisbert, whom he much loved, who, as soon as he was departed made his profession as a monk, and firmly kept it for nearly thirty years to the end of his days. The aforesaid knight returning home some time afterwards, did not forget his vow, but, coming to St. Evroult, gave two acres of vineyard which he had at Toni for the service of masses in the abbey. He further gave all that he had at Guernanville, that is to say his land and the pasnage, so that the first, that of the servants was not granted, but the second or third was granted, and none was to be given for the monks. [1] He also gave three yearly tenants, [2] one at Conches, another at Toni, and the third at Acquigni, Which Gerald Gastinel had held of him, and voluntarily ceded to St. Evroult. Ralph de Toni some years afterwards took Goisbert the monk with him to England, and through his means gave to the monks of St. Evroult two farms, one named Caldecot in Norfolk, and another in the county of Worcester, called Alvington. All these grants King William confirmed, and ratified them by a royal charter in the presence of his great nobles. Likewise Elizabeth, the aforesaid knight's wife, and Roger and Ralph, his sons, freely joined in the grant. The witnesses to the charters of these grants were Roger de Clair, Walter d'Espagne, William de Pacey, Robert de Romilly, Gerald Gastinel, Gislebert son of Thorold, Roger de Mucegros, and Walter de Chaumont.


[1] It would be difficult now to assign a precise meaning to the grant contained in the preceding sentence. The pasnagium was the right of feeding hogs or cattle in the forests, or the dues paid for it.

[2] "Yearly tenants", hospices, a term which often occurs in Ordericus, and to which we can hardly attach an exact sense. Du Cange says they were inhabitants of tenements in vills or hamlets, under yearly rents, thus "differing from slaves and villeins attached to the soil". We have elsewhere translated the word "cottiers".

190 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIII.

Also, Robert de Vaux gave to St. Evroult one moiety of two parts of the tithes of Berners. His son Roger, after his father's death, confirmed the aforesaid gift in Frank Almoign, receiving forty shillings of the currency of Dreux, and his wife had ten shillings from the monk's charity. This was freely confirmed by the aforesaid Ralph, who was the chief lord, and he kindly procured the concurrence of his wife and children. This Ralph [de Toni] gained great glory in the wars, and was reckoned among the first of the Norman nobles for honours and wealth, serving bravely in the armies of King William and Duke Robert his son, princes of Normandy, for nearly sixty years. He carried off by night Agnes, his half-sister, daughter of Richard, count of Evreux, and married her to Simon de Montfort. He obtained, in return, the hand of Isabel, Simon's daughter, who bore him noble children, Roger, and Rodolph, and a daughter named Godehilde, who was first married to Robert, count of Mellent, and then to Baldwin, son of Eustace, count of Boulogne. [1] At length Ralph the elder, after various turns of fortune, good and bad, died, on the ninth of the calends of April [24th March], and Ralph his son held the patrimonial estate nearly twenty-four years. Both on their death were buried with their ancestors in the abbey of St. Peter at Chatillon. [2] Isabel, having been for some time a widow, repenting of the sinful wantonness in which she had too much indulged in her youth, gave up the World, and took the veil in a Convent of nuns at Haute-Bruyere, [3] where she reformed her life and worthily persevered in the fear of the Lord.

When Count William Fitz-Osbern fell in battle in Flanders, King William divided his honours and estates between his two sons, giving Breteuil and all his father's domains in Normandy to William, and to Roger the earldom of Hereford in England. William, who was more gentle than his father, had a great regard for the abbey of St. Evroult,


[1] He was the youngest brother of Godfrey de Bouillon, and, following him to the first crusade, was first created count of Edessa in 1097, and on the death of his brother, in 1100, elected king of Jerusalem.

[2] More generally called the abbey of Conches.

[3] A priory of the order of Fontevrauld, at St. Remi-l'Honore, near Montfort-l'Amauri.

CHARTER OF WILLIAM DE BRETEUIL. 191

and made it great gifts for the repose of the souls of his father and mother. He sent by the monk Roger de Sap a copy of the gospels, enriched with ornaments of gold, silver, and jewels; he also confirmed all the grants his vassals had made to St. Evroult, either by gift or sale. He also granted them a yearly payment of one hundred shillings out of his tolls at Glos, and freely executed in presence of his principal men a charter to the following effect:-

"I, William de Breteuil, son of Count William, do give and grant to St. Evroult and his monks, out of the tolls of Glos, one hundred shillings yearly to buy fish at the beginning of Lent, for the repose of the souls of my father and mother, and that of my own; and that their anniversaries and my own may be observed by all the monks as a feast; and that on each of our anniversaries, a portion of meat and drink equal to a monk's share be given to the poor. During my life also a mass of the Holy Trinity is to be sung for me in the abbey every Sunday. I also grant to the monks one burgess in Breteuil, and whatever my mesne-tenants, Richard Fresnel, William Halis, and Ralph de La Cunelle, and others, have granted to them I also give and confirm. All this I grant by these presents, and I faithfully promise them hereafter my counsel and aid and other privileges. Whoever, after my death, shall take away or diminish the things granted, let him be accursed". This charter was ratified and witnessed by the signatures of William de Breteuil himself, Ralph his chaplain, William the steward, son of Barno, Arnold, son of Arnold, and Robert de Louviers.

In the year of our Lord 1099, the seventh indiction, William, so often mentioned before, was present at the consecration of the church of Ouche, when he added one hundred shillings from the rents of Glos, to the like sum which he had before given to St. Evroult. He deposited the deed of gift on the altar still wet with the holy water sprinkled in the consecration, in the presence of three bishops, five abbots, and the whole clergy and people standing round. He died at Bec not long afterwards, on the second of the ides [12th] of January, [1] and lies buried in the cloister of the abbey of Lire, which his father founded on


[1] A.D. 1102.

192 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIII.

his own domains: his anniversary is kept as a festival every year at St. Evroult. The charter of the aforesaid grant of two pounds was afterwards confirmed by the seal of Henry, king of England, and Eustace and Ralph de Guader, and Robert of Leicester, [1] William's successor, renewed the grant to the monks, and have regularly paid it to this day.

William de Molines, with the consent of his wife Alberede, gave to St. Evroult the church of Maheru, with the tithes, and all the priest's land, and the cemetery belonging to the same church. He also gave the church of St. Lawrence in the town of Molines, and his demesne-land near the castle, in the same manner as he himself held it. He made this grant in the chapter before his chief men Walter d'Apres and Everard de Ray, with some others. It was thus he merited the good offices of the church, as a brother and munificent benefactor. Then abbot Mainier offered to the aforesaid marquis, [2] as a free gift from the brethren, fifteen livres in pennies, and conducted him to the altar with Alberede, Guitmond's daughter, whose inheritance it was, to confirm the gift. They freely granted all that has been described in the presence of the whole convent, and confirmed it by a charter duly offered on the altar of St. Peter. Sometime afterwards, the aforesaid knight granted to St. Evroult the church of Bonmoulines, with all the tithes of corn, and of the mill and oven; to which Reynold the Little, who at that time had the affairs of the monks in that place entrusted to him, charitably added thirty shillings.

After Alberede had borne her husband two sons, William and Robert, a divorce took place between her and her husband on account of consanguinity. The proceedings for the divorce before the bishop having been completed, William married another wife, Duda, daughter of Waleran de Mellent, who bore him two sons, Simon and Hugh, who were both cut off in their youth by cruel death, leaving no children. Meanwhile, Alberede embraced a religious


[1] Ralph de Guader was nephew of William de Breteuil, to whom Eustace resigned the family estates in 1119; Robert, earl of Leicester was his son-in-law.

[2] Marquis is used here in its original and proper sense of Lord Marcher, or warden of a frontier.

FAMILY OF MOLINES. 193

profession, and ended her days in a monastery of nuns. The aforesaid William was son of Walter of Falaise, and being a gallant soldier, King William gave him Guitmund's daughter, with the whole fief of Molines. He was too fond of vain and empty glory, in pursuit of which he was guilty of indiscriminate slaughter. It is reported that he shed much blood, and that his ferocity was so great that no one who was wounded by him, however slightly, escaped with life. Through prosperity and adversity, he lived to grow old, and so far as this world is concerned, spent his days in honour. At length he died at his own castle on the fourteenth of the calends of November [19th October], and lies buried in the chapter-house at St. Evroult.

His son Robert, inheriting the domains of his ancestors, was not unmindful of his eternal salvation; he therefore came to Ouche and renewed the grants of all that his father and mother had given to the abbey, and freely confirmed all that the tenants in his lordship had either given or sold to St. Evroult. This grant he laid on the altar upon the copy of the gospels, and afterwards received as a free-gift from the monks five marks of silver and the best horse. For fifteen years he justly governed his paternal fief, defending it stoutly against his neighbouring enemies, for he was a brave soldier, though rather slow in his movements. He even transgressed the command of King Henry, and attacked Engerrand, surnamed D'Oison, with whom he had frequent conflicts. This exasperated the king against him, and his anger being enflamed by malicious accusations, he disinherited him; after which he left Normandy and went to Apulia, with his wife Agnes, daughter of Robert de Grantmesnil, to whom he was lately married, and he died there some years afterwards, having been a wanderer among the dwellings of strangers. The eldest brother being thus violently thrust out from his inheritance by the duke, Simon succeeded to it, and freely confirmed, with the concurrence of his wife Adeline, all that his predecessors had granted to St. Evroult.

Roger de Montgomery possessed for twenty-six years, after the fall of the family of Giroie, all their patrImony of Echaufour and Montreuil, and at first, as long as his wife Mable lived, was, at her instigation, a very troublesome

194 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIII.

neighbour to the inmates of Ouche, she having been always opposed to the family of Giroie, the founders of the abbey of St. Evroult. At last the righteous Judge, who spares repentant sinners but exercises vengeance on the impenitent, permitted that cruel woman, who had caused many great lords to be disinherited and to beg their bread in foreign lands, to fall herself by the sword of Hugh, from whom she had wrested his castle on the rock of Ige, [1] thus unjustly depriving him of the inheritance of his fathers. In the extremity of his distress, he undertook a most audacious enterprise; for with the assistance of his three brothers, who were men of undaunted courage, he forced an entry by night into the chamber of the countess at a place called Bures [2] on the Dive, and there, in revenge for the loss of his inheritance, cut off her head, as she lay in bed just after enjoying the pleasures of a bath. The death of this cruel lady caused much joy to many persons; and the perpetrators of the bold deed instantly took the road for Apulia. Hugh de Montgomery, who was then in the place with sixteen men-at-arms, [3] on hearing of his mother's murder, instantly pursued the assassins, but was unable to come up with them, as they had taken the precaution to break down behind them the bridges over which they crossed the rivers, to prevent their falling into the hands of Mabel's avengers. It was the winter season, the night was dark, and the streams being flooded, there were such obstacles in the way of pursuit, that the assassins, having satiated their revenge, were able to escape out of Normandy. The brethren of Troarn, where Durandus was then abbot, gave burial to the mangled corpse on the nones [5th] of December, [4] and caused the following epitaph to be inscribed on her tomb, due more to the partiality of her friends than to her own merits:-

Sprung from the noble and the brave,
Here MABEL finds a narrow grave.


[1] La Roche d'Ige, canton de Belleme.

[2] Bures, near Troarn.

[3] Hugh de Montgomery succeeded his father as earl of Shrewsbury in 1094. The word here translated "men-at-arms", is milites, the sense of which much varies. It might have been rendered "knights", but such a retinue would seem to be too great even for a son of this powerful nobleman.

[4] The 5th of December, 1082.

MABEL, COUNTESS OF MONTGOMERY. 195

But, above all woman's glory,
Fills a page in famous story.
Commanding, eloquent, and wise,
And prompt to daring enterprise;
Though slight her form, her soul was great,
And, proudly swelling in her state,
Rich dress, and pomp, and retinue,
Lent it their grace and honours due.
The border's guard, the country's shield,
Both love and fear her might revealed,
Till Hugh, revengeful, gained her bower,
In dark December's midnight hour.
Then saw the Dive's o'erflowing stream
The ruthless murderer's poignard gleam.
Now, friends, some moments kindly spare,
For her soul's rest to breathe a prayer!

After the murder of Mabel, count Roger married a second wife, Adeliza, daughter of Everard du Puiset, one of the highest of the French nobility. The earl had by his first wife five sons and four daughters, [1] whose names are as follows: Robert de Belesme, Hugh de Montgomery, Roger the Poitevin, Philip, and Arnold: Emma, a nun and abbess of Almenesches, the countess Matilda, wife of Robert, earl of Morton, Mabel, wife of Hugh de Chateauneuf, and Sybil, wife of Robert Fitz-Hamon. By his second wife he had only one son whose name is Everard, and who being brought up to learning, became attached to the courts of William and Henry, kings of England, as one of the royal chaplains. The successor to the former countess was of quite a different character; for she was remarkable for her good sense and piety, and frequently used her influence with her husband to befriend the monks and protect the poor.

In consequence, the earl repented of the ill turns he had often done the monks, and prudently endeavoured to efface his former errors, by his subsequent amendment of life. In


[1] 1. Robert, count d'Alencon; 2. Hugh de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury; 3. Roger of Lancaster (see p. 203); 4. Philip the Grammarian, who died at the siege of Antioch in the first crusade; 5. Arnulph de Montgomery, keeper of Pembroke castle. The daughters were, 1. Emma, abbess of Almenesches, who died the 4th of March, 1113; 2. Matilda, wife of Robert, earl of Morton, half-brother to William the Conqueror; 3. Mabel, who married Hugh, lord of Chateauneuf, and was living in 1131; 4. Sybil, wife of Robert Fitz-Hamon, lord of Creulli in Normandy, and of Tewkesbury, etc., in Gloucestershire.

196 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIII.

short, he afterwards strongly supported the monks, and made them large grants both in Normandy and England. His charter, made freely before the great officers of his household, is in these terms:-

"I, Roger, by the grace of God, earl of Shrewsbury, desiring to honour the monastery of the holy father St. Evroult, hereby give thereto, for the repose of my own soul and those of my ancestors, as follows: I order that every year, at the beginning of Lent, thirty shillings sterling of Maine be paid out of my rents at Alencon, for lights to be burnt day and night in the church of St. Evroult, before the crucifix of the Lord. [1] I also grant to the monks, out of my own rights, free passage at Alencon, and release them from all tolls and customs throughout my territories; and I give right of pasture for the monk's swine in all my forests for ever. At Echaufour, I irrevocably give one plough land, and the tithes of the mill, and of all the rents of that place; and I freely add, of my own part, the tenth of the fair at Planches. Of my own free will, and for the love of God, I grant the church of Radon and all the tithes which William Sor gave to St. Evroult, and the church of St. Jouin, and all the tithe which Reginald the priest gave, and Odo de Peray released; and the altar of St. Leonard, in the church of Baliol, and one part of the tithe of the same village, and the land which Reginald de Baliol, and Aimeria his wife, my niece, gave to the monks. Likewise, in England, I give two manors, Onne and Merston, in Staffordshire, [2] the tithe of my cheese and wool at Paulton, and all that I have at Melbourne, in Cambridgeshire, and one hide of land at Grafham in Sussex, and the land of Wulfine, the goldsmith, at Chichester. Moreover, I confirm whatever Warin my viscount, [3] and William Pantulf, and Hugh de Medavi, and my


[1] It has been remarked before that the crucifix (par excellence) was always placed in ancient churches between the choir and the nave. It stood in what was called "The Rood-loft", in the English churches.

[2] Dugdale, Monasticon, ii. 966, gives the Conqueror's confirmation charter, "S. Ebrulfo Rogerius, comes Scrobesburiae, dedit Othnam et Merestonam, in Estaford-scira".

[3] This Warin, viscount of Shrewsbury, has been mentioned before under the name of Warin-the-bald. The reader probably understands that at this period the vice-count was the representative and executive officer of the count or earl of the shire, answering to the present sheriff (shire-reeve), and that it was an office held during pleasure, or at least for life. It appears from the charter of foundation of the abbey of Shrewsbury, that Warin was the brother of Reginald de Baliol, here also mentioned by our author, and who had four manors in Staffordshire. The Conqueror's charter, just referred to, confirms Warin's grant to the abbey of St. Evroult, of Newton and the church of Hales, and tithes of Weston in Staffordshire. In the Domesday-book, Reginald Baliol appears as tenant in capite of Weston and Newton.

ABOUT 1083.] FOUNDATION OF SHREWSBURY ABBEY. 197

other mesne-tenants have before given to St. Evroult, in England or Normandy. All this, with the consent of my sons Robert de Belesme, Hugh, and Philip, I thus grant, before God, for the repose of my soul, and of those of Mabel and Adeliza my wives, and those of my ancestors, and my future heirs, and ratify this instrument with the sign of the cross, and whosoever shall diminish, annul, or abstract, the premises, let him be anathema".

Earl Robert granted this charter, and ratified it with his signature; and after him it was subscribed at Alencon by his sons, Robert and Hugh, and Philip the Scholar, and by others, his chief officers, Robert, son of Theobald, and Hugh his son, Gislebert, the constable, Hugh the son of Turgis, Fulk du Pin, Engelbert, the master of the household, Reginald de Baliol, William Pantulf, Odo de Pire, and several others.

CH. XIV. Foundation, of the abbey of Shrewsbury by Roger de Montgomery - The share of the author's father, Odelirius, in that work - His character, and death, and that of the earl his patron.

MOREOVER, Earl Roger made many grants to other monasteries, such as Troarn, Seez, Almeneches, Cluny, Caen, and several others, of domains he had acquired which were not part of his hereditary estates. He also began the erection of a new monastery in honour of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, near the east gate of his own capital town of Shrewsbury, on the river Meole, where it runs into the Severn. There stood on that spot a chapel built of tember [1]


[1] Such were probably a large proportion of the ancient Anglo-Saxon churches in country places, built cheaply and quickly out of the thick forests which were close at hand. One singular specimen of such structures has escaped the ravages of time, the church of Greensted, near Ongar, in Essex. The walls are formed of trunks of trees set upright closely together side by side, the interstices being filled with clay. It is twenty-nine feet nine inches long, fourteen feet wide, and only five feet six inches high at the eaves, and is probably a counterpart of Siward's church at Shrewsbury, where our author, when a boy first assisted at the service. It does not appear that the Northmen introduced into England their singular architecture in timber churches, of which some specimens still remain of most elaborate workmanship in the Byzantine or Gothic style, of large proportions and vast antiquity, in the central and western districts of Norway. See Forester's Norway in 1848, p. 177. The Domesday-book calls Siward's wooden church "a monastery". For what is meant by the use of the term in such cases, see vol. i. p. 396.

198 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIV.

which had been erected in former times by Siward, son of Ethelgar, a cousin of King Edward, [1] and which then belonged to Odelirius of Orleans, son of Constantius, a man of talent and eloquence, as well as of great learning, it having been granted to him by Earl Roger. He was much devoted to pious objects, and being of the privy council of the earl, took convenient opportunities of exhorting him to erect the monastery, and when there were some difficulties about the spot on which it should be founded, and the means of prosecuting so great an undertaking, Odelirius addressed to him advice of the following nature. [2]

"You are surrounded, noble sir, by a number of persons who are actuated by different motives in their efforts to serve your lordship, both by word and deed. Some, in their cupidity, are more anxious to secure advantages to themselves from your munificence than to counsel you to seek for possessions which will not pass away. But he who endeavours to serve you faithfully ought always to have in view your interest more than his own, and never to shrink from proposing to you what is for the good of your soul.


[1] The expression priscis temporibus, "former times", probably means before the arrival of the Normans; for Siward was still living, and it was by some arrangement with him that this site of the future Benedictine abbey of Shrewsbury had come into the hands of Roger de Montgomery, and under him of Odelirius. As to this Siward, see before, book iv. p. 4, where be is mentioned with his brother Aldred as sons of Ethelgar, or Algar, and great nephews of the king. The king's name is here added as Edward, but it was probably not Edward the Confessor, but Edward the Elder, his youngest son being father of Ailward Snow, whose son Algar was probably the father of Siward Barn and Aldred, as well as of Brightrie, who had the largest possessions in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire.

[2] Odelirius, it will be recollected, was the father of our author. See the introduction to this work.

ABOUT 1083.] ODELIRIUS'S COUNSEL. 199

You, most noble lord, have entertained the project of founding a monastery, but you have received little encouragement towards so arduous an undertaking from those about you, who, in their eagerness to receive benefits for themselves, are jealous of what is given to others. Now, it appears to me most desirable that you should found this monastery, and carefully establishing in it a society of monks belonging to the holy order of St. Benedict, endow it largely out of your vast possessions with the means of providing food and raiment for the true poor in Christ. Consider well how it is that the well-disciplined brethren are constantly employed in the monasteries which are under strict rule. In them, innumerable good deeds are performed daily, and war is manfully waged against the devil by the soldiers of Christ. There can be no doubt that the severer be the conflict to the resolute champion, the more glorious will be his victory, and the greater his triumphant reward in the heavenly kingdom. Who can recount the watchings of the monks, their chants and psalmody, their prayers and alms-givings, their daily offerings of the mass with floods of tears? Followers of Christ, they have but one object, to crucify themselves, that so they may please God in all things. They despise the world and lovers of the world, counting its delights as dung, and its treasures as nothing compared with their eternal hopes. They have chosen for their lot coarse and mean garments, insipid and scanty food, and the entire sacrifice of their own wills for the love of Jesus their Lord. I need not speak of the chastity of the monks, their perfect continence, their silence, their modesty of deportment, their profound submission. My mind is bewildered in recounting so many virtues, and I feel that my tongue fails entirely in the attempt to describe them. Monks who are worthy of the name are inclosed in royal cloisters, as if they were king's daughters, lest they should wander forth like Dinah, Leah's daughter, and be shamefully defiled, as she was by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, [1] to the distress of her righteous father, and the dishonour of her cruel brethren. Shut out from the world they become their own guardians against offences, and if they lapse they are their own accusers in the depth of their retirement, proving


[1] Genesis xxxiv. 2.

200 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIV.

themselves, like gold in the furnace, that they may be purified from all sinful dross. I believe, therefore, that their prayers on behalf of those for whom they are offered ascend direct to the mercy-seat, and obtain from the Lord of Sabaoth what they supplicate. I have been in most intimate communication with monks from my earliest youth, and had a most familiar acquaintance with their proeeedings by close observation. When, therefore, I reflect on the conduct of all classes of persons who inhabit this earth, and especially examine the lives of hermits and canons, I consider them all to be inferior to monks, who live canonically and observe the rules of their order. I therefore offer to you, most noble earl, my faithful advice, that while it is in your power, you cause a stronghold for monks against Satan to be built for the service of God in the chief seat of your earldom, which is not yours by inheritance from your ancestors, in order that these cowled combatants may withstand the devil in a continual conflict for the good of your soul.

"There stands on the river Meoel, a homestead which you lately granted me, on which I have commenced building a church of stone, in fulfilment of a vow I made last year when at Rome before the altar of St. Peter, prince of the apostles. This church, which, as I said before, I lately commenced building in performance of my vow, with the homestead and all my property appertaining to it, I freely offer to Almighty God, and promise that I will aid the work in all things according to the best of my ability in the name of Jesus Christ. Come to an immediate decision, resolutely begin and prosecute worthily this work of God:-

" 'Tis dangerous to delay a work resolved on". [1]

"Fellow labourers in the good work will not be wanting, nor those who will offer devout prayers for you after your death. In the first place, as soon as the monks arrive with masons to lay the foundations of the abbey, I will advance, as a beginning, fifteen pounds sterling. In the next place, I will devote myself with my son Benedict, who is now five years old, and all that I possess to the service of the


[1] Lucan Pharsal. i. 281.

A.D. 1087.] BUILDING THE ABBEY. 201

monastery, under the condition that whereas one moiety of all shall pass with myself under the power of the monks, the other moiety shall be held by my son Everard as a fief of the abbey. Having placed my eldest son Ordericus for some time, under a learned master to acquire the rudiments of a liberal education, [1] I have secured him a safe retreat among the servants of God at the abbey of St. Evroult in Normandy, paying out of my substance thirty marks of silver to his future superiors and fellows as an offering on his reception. I thus surrender my eldest son for the love of my Saviour, and destine him to banishment over the sea, that, a voluntary exile, he may enter the service of the King of heaven among foreigners, where, free from all family ties and hurtful affections, he may be the more devoted to the monastic duties and the worship of the Lord. All this I have long wished, by God's inward motions, and have above all things desired to devote myself and my children to this way of life, that I may be found worthy by God's grace to be numbered with them among the elect at the day of account".

Accordingly, in the year of our Lord 1083, [2] the fourth indiction, Earl Roger, approving the prudent advice of his faithful counsellor, summoned his viscount Warin, and Pigot de Say, [3] and the rest of his great officers, to meet on Saturday


[1] The master was Siward, the "noble priest", so often mentioned, who lived in the suburbs of Shrewsbury, which may thus claim our author for its first scholar. Ordericus, in the next paragraph, dates the foundation of the abbey in 1083, and as he was not sent to St. Evroult until the year 1086, if the words he puts into his father's mouth on this occasion are understood to speak of that journey as an accomplished fact, the date assigned for the foundation is too early, as will presently appear on other grounds. It has, indeed, been suggested, that as Ordericus frequently retouched his MS., which lay by him for many years, he may have introduced and somewhat loosely expressed this trait, forgetting its inconsistency with what follows.

[2] The preparatory works may have begun in 1083, but it appears by a charter of William Rufus, and the local histories concur in the statement, that the arrangements for building the new abbey were not completed and the work commenced till 1087.

[3] For Warin, see before, note, p. 196. Pigot de Sai, in the canton of Argentan, in which family the surname of Pigot (in Norman-French Picot) appears to have been hereditary. Pigot de Sai having been a follower of Roger de Montgomery, received from him the grant of twenty-nine manors in Shropshire. Our author has mentioned him before, book iv. p. 48. He had also large possessions in Pembrokeshire. In Normandy, Jordan de Sai founded the abbey of Aulnai about the year 1131.

202 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIV.

the fifth of the calends of March [25th February]. Having made known his design, it was generally approved; upon which the earl, attended by his chief men, proceeded to the church of St. Peter the apostle, where he took a vow before many witnesses that he would erect an abbey on that spot, and he gave to St. Peter the whole suburb situated outside of the east gate, in token of which he pledged his gauntlets on the altar. [1] The same year two monks of Seez, Reginald and Frodo, came over for the first time, and with the aid of Odelirius, Warin, and many others, began to erect the monks' lodgings. The eloquent Fulchred was the first abbot of this monastery in the reign of William Rufus, and he was succeeded by Godfrey in that of King Henry. Both were learned and pious pastors, who for nearly forty years carefully nurtured the Lord's flock. Under their superintendence the external affairs of the new monastery became prosperous, and they established within an excellent discipline among their disciples for the good of souls. Odelirius (the father of Vitalis [2]), who has been so often mentioned, fully performed all that he had promised, offering his son Benedict to God in that society with two hundred silver livres; and he himself took the monastic habit there after the death of Earl Roger. He served God in that monastery as a monk under the rule of the holy father St. Benedict seven years, and after many labours for God, having penitentially confessed his sins and


[1] Instances frequently occur in our author of the ratification of covenants or gifts by some token of this description. Allied to these emblems of possession were the investitures in the temporalities of ecclesiastical dignities by the staff or crozier, of which we have instances in our author on the appointment of abbots, and which soon afterwards became the source of violent controversies between the pope and the sovereigns of Europe. Thus also publicity, as well as effect, was given to grants of lands by delivery of a turf or twig, a necessary ceremony in the species of conveyance called a feoffment, till very recently in common use in this country; as copyhold lands are still transferred by delivery of a rod from the steward of the manor to the new tenant; and the induction to livings is made by delivery of the key of the church, or laying the hand on the ring of the church door.

[2] The words in a parenthesis are not in the autograph MS. of our author from St. Evroult. It will be perceived that they refer to him.

A.D. 1094.] DEATH OF ROGER DE MONTGOMERY. 203

received absolution, holy unction, and the viaticum, he died on the third of the nones [3rd] of June, being the sixth-day in Whitsun week. [1]

Earl Roger survived William the Bastard six years, the aged lord being among the greatest of the English nobles. The abbey, of which I have related the foundation, he moderately endowed with lands and rents. He died there in the year 1094, [2] on the sixth of the calends of August [July 27], and was buried with distinguished honour in the new church, between the two altars. His son Robert succeeded to all his fiefs in Normandy, and being both cruel and proud, as well as unjust, he was guilty of endless crimes. Hugh de Montgomery succeeded to the earldom of Shrewsbury, but some years afterwards he was pierced suddenly by the stroke of a javelin [3] by Magnus, brother of the king of Norway, and died on the sea-shore; but his corpse was conveyed to Shrewsbury with great lamentations, and buried by the monks in the abbey cloister. The prudent old earl obtained earldoms for his two remaining sons, Roger [4] and Arnulph, [5] who, after his death, lost them both for their treasonable practices in the reign of King Henry.

I have thus made a short digression respecting the foundation of the abbey on my father's property, which is now occupied by Christ's family, and where he, at the age of sixty, if my memory serves me, voluntarily submitted to the Lord's yoke till the end of his life. Forgive me, I pray you good reader, and let it not be thought wearisome, if I have


[1] The year 1102 is that which may be assigned to this event with the greatest probability. The Friday in Whitsun week fell that year on the 31st of May, four days before the 3rd of June. We may suppose that our author's father did not assume the monastic habit till the course of the year following the death of his patron, Earl Roger.

[2] This date is a late interpolation in the MS. of St. Evroult.

[3] The circumstances of this catastrophe will be examined in book x., where it is more fully related.

[4] Roger has been improperly called earl of Lancaster; he had great possessions in that county, but it does not appear that its earldom was conferred upon him. It would appear that his title was personal only, though, in general, titular earls were first created by King Stephen.

[5] Arnulph de Montgomery was indeed keeper of Pembroke castle, and built that of Carew in the same neighbourhood, but our impression is that the first earls of Pembroke were of the family of De Clare, and that Arnulph had no such title.

294 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XV.

committed to writing these few short particulars respecting my father, whom I have never seen since the day when, for the love of the Creator, he sent me into exile as if I had been a hateful step-son. It is now forty-two years since that time, [1] a period during which there have been many revolutions in the affairs of the world. Often meditating on these, I insert some of them in my pages, and, as I have ever been an enemy to idleness, I thus employ myself in composition. I return again to the subject I have undertaken, meaning, though a foreigner, to inform my juniors, who are natives, of things which they might otherwise be unacquainted with, and thus render them, by God's help, a profitable service.

CH. XV. Further benefactions to the abbey of St. Evroult.

[ABOUT A.D. 1075.] When Goisbert, a citizen of Chartres, came to make his profession, as before related, [2] he sold an excellent house, which he possessed in that city, for thirty pounds sterling of Chartres, and gave the whole to the monks of St. Evroult with the utmost satisfaction. In person he was tall and thin, of a kind disposition, conversible, magnanimous, and liberal. His great skill in medicine made him well known, and an intimate and useful friend to many persons. It was through him that Fulcher of Chartres, Peter de Maule, [3] and several others, became acquainted with the monks of St. Evroult, and, respecting their worth and piety, gave them a becoming share of their property. Fulcher was of noble birth, and inherited a large estate from his father, and being tolerably well educated, became a canon in the church of the holy Mother of God. He made a charter of the possessions he granted to St. Evroult, which Robert Andrew, an excellent scribe, wrote down from his clear and agreeable dictation in the following terms:-

"I, Fulcher, son of Gerard, an unworthy canon of the church of St. Mary at Chartres, frequently reflecting on my own condition and the state of mankind in general, have


[1] The preface to this work contains some observations on this tribute of filial piety and the author's recollections of his early years.

[2] See pp. 185 and 189.

[3] Maule, a large village on the Mauldre; in the department of Seine-et-Oise.

A.D. 1075-1076.] BENEFACTIONS TO ST. EVROULT. 205

found that almost all things under the sun are, as Solomon says, vanity, and that there is nothing on earth which can bring a blessing to men after the troubles of this life, unless they have done some good action while they lived. Moved by these considerations, and in great alarm at the enormity of my sins, as every one must give an account to God of all his actions, it has seemed fitting to me (I believe inspired by God) to make over to St. Evroult some part of my possessions for the repose of my own soul and those of my friends; so that my dear brothers who dwell there may have something towards the sustenance of their bodies, and may, in consequence, sometimes be willing to hold me in remembrance. For as to what we leave to our posterity by the right of inheritance, I not only say that it can be of no benefit to ourselves after we are dead, but more, that if we bequeath it ill, it will be greatly injurious. Be it known therefore to all faithful members of holy church, that of my own free will, and to the end that provision may be made for my future welfare, I do hereby grant to St. Evroult and his monks, to be held by them for ever, the following hereditaments, though small, as hereinafter mentioned, that is to say: The church of Moulicent, and one moiety of the tithes of that village, the church-yard and three acres of land behind it; also the right of safe keeping at the manse as Goscelin held it, and the tithe of my mill; if I establish a market there, they shall also have the tithe of it: also, the monk who resides at Moulicent shall never pay toll for his corn. If he desires to grind at his own mill, let him do so; if he choose rather to grind at mine, let him be toll-free. Also whatever I possess in Marcheville, the lands, the manse, the mill, all these I give to the monks for ever. Moreover I give one plough-land and the manse in the village of Landelles. I also give the tenth of my woods, viz., of the dues for pasture, and of the honey and beasts-of-chace there taken. Also, the monks' swine shall be subject to no dues for pasturage. Neither shall the monks be liable to any work, or service, or expedition, for me or my heirs, at any time. And if any of my mesne-tenants shall desire to give or sell anything to St. Evroult, I grant them full power to do so without fear of me. All these gifts I freely offer to Almighty God, to whom I owe my being, and to St.

206 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XV.

Evroult, the glorious confessor; and if any evil-minded or senseless person shall, either by force or fraud, attempt to lessen, violate, or take them away, let him lie under an everlasting curse, and not see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, unless he repent and make an ample satisfaction. At my request the Lord Robert, bishop of the church of Chartres, in whose fief the premises before-mentioned are situated, has willingly confirmed this present gift out of my poor means. My brothers, canons of the said church, and my wife Alpes and my sons, have also confirmed it".

The monks of St. Evroult have held for fifty years the property which the worthy person just mentioned granted to them, and which his heirs, Bartholomew, surnamed Boel, and Gerard his son willingly confirmed. There have lived upon it Aimer, Ralph, Hugh the Englishman, William de Merle, and several other monks distinguished for their eloquence and virtues, who were kindly patronized by Robert, and Geoffrey, Ivo, and Geoffrey II., bishops of Chartres. [1] In this manner, by the zeal of the monks and the assistance of good men, the church of Marchesville was erected, and consecrated to St. Mary, mother of God, through whom the Saviour of the world came.

At the same time, Landric, Geoffrey, and Gunhier, gave to St. Evroult all the land of Charancei. Isnard, of whom they had long held it, releasing it to the monks from all claims, received six pounds from Abbot Mainier. Afterwards, Landric and the others before named received back one moiety of the land, and did fealty for it to the abbot in the presence of Isnard by joining hands. The same three, before Isnard and several others, granted the church of that village with its appurtenances, and the whole tithes, both of the land which belonged to Isnard and of that which belonged to St. Stephen or any one else. This grant was made in the presence of Gerard the priest and many others.


[1] Robert. second of that name, 1075-1076; Geoffrey I., July, 1077-1089; Ives, 1090-1115; Geoffrey II., 1116-January 24, 1149.

A.D. 1073.] GRANTS BY WILLIAM PANTULF. 207

CH. XVI. History of William Pantulf, a Norman and English knight - Robert, ex-abbot of St. Evroult pays a visit to Normandy.

IN the year of our Lord 1073, [1] the tenth indiction, and in the reign of William the Great, king of England and duke of Normandy, the knight named William Pantulf, [2] at the instance of his friend the venerable Abbot Mainier, and with the permission of his lord, the Earl Roger, gave to St. Evroult the churches at Noron, [3] one of which was built in honour of St. Peter, and the other of St. Cyr the martyr, with his own enclosed park, [4] and part of the wood of Pont-Ogeret, and his share in a farm called Molinx, and of another situated over the brook commonly called Ruptices. Ho also gave the whole fee of William de Maloi, comprising about thirty acres of land. Thereupon he received from the charity of the monks sixteen pounds of Rouen money to enable him to undertake a pilgrimage to St. Giles. He also gave to St. Peter all the land which Walter, son of Rufa sold to Robert the monk, for which the aforesaid monk gave him a hundred shillings of Rouen. Moreover, the said William gave to the monks sixty acres of land in the same place, the mill at Hommet and the tithes of a moiety of the mill at Noron. He gave also the church of Emieville, [5] with the tithes and all the rents belonging to the church, and in the same vill the land of one vavasor, and two sheaves of the tithes of his own estate, and of all his mesne-tenants in Mesnil-Baclai, and the whole tithe of the mill of Roiville. He gave to St. Peter all the land which his mother Beatrice held in his fief Des Fosses, and the cottier's free


[1] Duchesne reads it 1074.

[2] It appears before, book iv. p. 197, that William Pantulf was one of the officers to whom Roger de Montgomery entrusted the administration of affairs in his earldom of Shropshire.

[3] Noron is near Falaise; St. Cyr only is now standing, and is the parish church.

[4] Proprium plesseitium. French, Plessis. Ducange says that the term is sometimes applied to a country house, or maison [query, rather jardin] de plaisance, but that Joseph Scaliger considers plessis to signify a fence or paling of wood, surrounding parks, as in the present use of the word by our author.

[5] Emieville, between Caen and Troarn.

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

tenements at St. Germain-d'Aubri. [1] Helvis, sister of the said William, gave to St. Peter all her dowry in Aubri, which the said William confirmed. He also added the tithe of his tenants Raimbault, Robert the heretic, and Walo, son of Saffred. Moreover, the same William gave to St. Peter de Noron all his churches and the tithes of all places in his possession in England or Normandy, or which he should thereafter acquire; together with the tithe of all his chattels, such as mares, cows, and cheese, and every thing else which would admit of tithing. In like manner he confirmed whatever his tenants should give or sell to St. Evroult, so that the fealty due to himself should not be parted with. As for his effects, he gave them in such wise that after his death the monks of St. Evreux should have one half, and the monks of Norun the other.

All this, William Pantulf, and Lesceline his wife freely gave to God (as before mentioned), for the repose of their souls and of those of their friends, and they ratified the gift in the chapter of the monks of St. Evroult, convened generally, before many witnesses. William at the same time paid forty marks of silver towards the support of the monks, who were about to proceed to Norun to build a cell there.

Afterwards, Abbot Mainier and Fulk the prior, with William Pantulf, went to Earl Roger, who was then residing at Belesme, and humbly petitioned him to confirm the said knight's grants by his own charter. He, being pious and liberal, received favourably their lawful petition, and ratified all their demands, in the presence of those who, on various affairs, were then attending his court. The feast of St. Leonard was then being celebrated at Belesme, [2] to pay due honour to which the count, with his usual munificence, had assembled a great number of guests. Among these were Hoel, bishop of Mans, [3] and Robert, bishop of Seez; also the abbots Ainard of Dive, Durand of Troarn, Robert of Seez, and Hugh of Lonlai, with Emma, abbess of


[1] Now Aubre-le-Ponthou, near Vimoutier.

[2] The feast of the dedication of the church built at Belesme by William the first of that name who was count de Belesme, to receive the relics of St. Leonard, was annually held with great pomp on the 26th of June.

[3] Hoel, who was made bishop of Mans the 29th of November, 1080, could not in that character at least have been one in an assembly of prelates with Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, who died the 17th of July, 1077.

A.D. 1077.] AFFAIRS IN APULIA. 209

Almenesches; [1] also Herve, chaplain to the bishop of Lisieux, Roger Faitel, Hugh, son of Foucault, Robert, son of Theodeline, Roger Gulafre, and many others, both clerks and laymen, who were witnesses to the above-mentioned charter.

In the year of our Lord 1077, the fifteenth indiction, Robert, the noble abbot, [2] brother of Hugh de Grantmesnil, sought an interview with William, king of England, in Normandy, and at the king's request pardoned him for having unjustly driven him into exile. He had received an invitation from Philip, king of France, who wished to make him bishop of Chartres, but, as the French disliked submitting to Normans, Geoffrey, nephew of Eustace count de Blois, was appointed to the see. Therefore the illustrious Robert, having assisted at the consecration of the churches of Caen, Bayeux, and Bec, which took place that year, and having had friendly intercourse with King William, and others his friends and relations whom he had not seen for many years, went back to Apulia, taking with him William Pantoul, and Robert de Cordai, [3] his nephew, with many other gallant knights. At that time Robert Guiscard commanded in Apulia, and had acquired the dukedom of Gisulf duke of Salerno. [4] He was the son of Tancred de Hauteville, a person of moderate station, who, by his bravery and good fortune, had succeeded in acquiring great power in Italy. With the aid of his brothers and others of his countrymen who joined him, he imposed his yoke on the people of Apulia, and having most unexpectedly risen to great eminence, he was exalted above all his neighbours, amassed great wealth, and was continually enlarging his territories.


[1] Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, 1049-July 17, 1077; Robert, bishop of Seez, 1070-1082; Ainard, abbot of Notre Dame de St. Pierre-sur-Dive, 1046-January 14,1078; Durand, abbot of Troarn, May 13, 1059-Feb. 11, 1088; Robert, abbot of Seez, 1056?-January 13, 1089; Emma, abbess of Almenesches, daughter of Roger de Montgomery, by whom they were entertained, 1074-March 4, 1113.

[2] The ex-abbot of St. Evroult, now abbot of St. Euphemia in Apulia. See book iii. vol. i. p. 438.

[3] Cordai, to the south of Falaise.

[4] The conquest of Salerno by Robert Guiscard was accomplished in the course of this same year, 1077; but if Robert de Grantmesnil was present at the dedication of the abbey of Bec, which took place on the 23rd of October, it is hardly probable that he arrived in the kingdom of Naples before 1078.

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

He received William Pantoul with distinguished honours, and making him great promises, tried to retain him in his service on account of his merit. He made him sit by his side at dinner on the feast of Easter, and offered him three towns if he would remain in Italy.

Meanwhile, the Countess Mabel had perished by the sword of Hugh D'Ige, the revengeful knight; [1] and this murder was the cause of great troubles after William Pantoul's return from Apulia. For he was accused of treason, and the charge was prosecuted with great animosity by some of his rivals. The deceased lady had taken possession of the castle of Perai, which had been given to William; on which account there had long existed a violent hostility between them. It was hence suspected that William had contrived her death, particularly as he was on terms of intimacy and frequent communication with Hugh. Earl Roger therefore and his sons seized his whole estate, and sought an opportunity of putting him to death. In consequence, William and his wife took refuge at St. Evroult, where they remained for a long time under the protection of the monks, but in the greatest alarm. The knight boldly denied the crime of which he was accused; and no one was able to convict him of it by certain proof, but while he asserted his innocence, no opportunity was allowed him of lawfully clearing himself of the charge, as he offered to do. At length however, by the interference of many of the nobles, it was determined by the king's court that the accused should purge himself from the stain attached to him, by undergoing the ordeal of hot iron at Rouen, in the presence of the clergy, which was done; for having carried the flaming iron in his naked hand, by God's judgment, there was no appearance of its being burnt, so that the clergy and all the people gave praise to God. His malicious enemies attended the trial in arms, intending, if he was declared guilty by the ordeal of fire, to have immediately beheaded him. During the troubles to which William Pantoul and his family were exposed, he was much comforted by Abbot Mainier and the monks of St. Evroult, who rendered him all the help they could both with God and man. This increased their mutual


[1] On the 5th of December, 1082. See before, p. 194.

A.D. 1112.] THE KNIGHT WILLIAM PANTOUL. 211

regard, and William offered to St. Evroult four of the richest palls he had brought from Apulia, out of which were made four copes for the chanters in the church, which are preserved there to this day, and used in the solemn services of divine worship.

After the death of William, king of England, William made another visit to Apulia, and on his return brought with him the relics of the body of the holy confessor of Christ, St. Nicholas, with which he enriched the church of Noron, where they were deposited. He afterwards gave to the monks of that place a manor in England, called Trotton, [1] with the church and mill of that village, and the tithes of six hamlets, which belonged to that church. In the year of our Lord 1112, that is to say, the twelfth year of the reign of Henry, king of England, and the fourth of that of Lewis, king of France, William Pantoul came to St. Evroult, it being the fortieth year after he founded the cell for monks at Noron, and mindful of his former friendship and the grants which, as we have already related, he before made, he recapitulated them, and, with his wife Lesceline, confirmed them all in a general chapter of the monks. At the same time Philip, Ivo, and Arnulph, his sons, confirmed all the grants of their father to the monks of St. Evroult, and they all, that is to say, William and Lesceline, and their three sons, Philip, Ivo, and Arnulph, laid the grant on the altar together. Robert the Bald, Geoffrey and Ascelin, and several other pious monks, occupied the cell at Noron, while four bishops, Robert, Gerard, Serlo, and John, were bishops of Seez, and living in the fear of God and love to man, they set the rustics examples of an honest life. William Pantoul, so often mentioned, lived long, respecting the clergy and being kind to the poor, to whom he was liberal in alms; he was firm in prosperity and adversity, put down all his enemies, and exercised great power through his wealth and possessions. He gave sixty marks of silver towards building the new church at St. Evroult, undertaking a work of great beauty to the honour of God, which death prevented him from completing. His sons succeeded


[1] In the county of Sussex.

[2] Robert, 1070-1082; Gerard, 1082-January 23, 1091; Serlo, June 22, 1091-October 27, 1118; John 1, April 24, 1124-1143.

212 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XVII.

to his estates, Philip in Normandy, Robert in England, hut they have failed of prosecuting their father's enterprises with equal spirit.

CH. XVII. The family of Mount-Pincon (near Falaise), benefactors to the abbey of St. Evroult.

RALPH of Mount-Pincon, steward of William the Great, king of England, devoted himself with entire fidelity to St. Evroult, and humbly requested the lord abbot Mainier, that some clerk, fit for God's service, should be admitted into the monastery, and made a monk, for the purpose of constantly offering prayers to God for the souls of himself and his wife. And this was accomplished; for by God's providence a certain scholar of Rheims, whose name was John, was then a postulant for admission to the order. He was accordingly taken to court, and engaged with the knight to give him the benefit of his prayers, and of the duties which he was about to undertake for Christ. Ralph was so greatly delighted that he humbly kissed the scholar's feet before all who were present. Upon this the monks most willingly admitted this John, and had good reason to rejoice at having him, for he was an excellent grammarian, and devoted himself unremittingly to useful studies, until he was advanced in years. The said knight, in consideration of his maintenance, gave to St. Evroult for ever five mills, three at Jort, the fourth at a place they call Heurtevent, and the fifth at Mont-Pincon; [1] also, two sheaves of the tithes of the villeins of Vaudeloges, and one moiety of the tithes of Epanai, with two acres of meadow at Emendreville.

Some years afterwards Ralph, the steward, died on the ides [13th] of February, and his body was carried to Ouche, and there buried by the monks in the cloisters at St. Evroult with great honours. His two sons were present, with their mother Adeliza, and truly devoted themselves, and all that their father had given, to St. Evroult, before many witnesses who were assembled at the funeral of so great a baron. Thirty years afterwards, Hugh de Mont-Pincon paid a visit


[1] Mont-Pincon, the chief seat of this family, and the other places here named, are in the neighbourhood of Lisieux and Falaise, except Emendreville, which is now called St. Sever, a suburb of Rouen on the right bank of the Seine.

FAMILY OF MOUNT-PINCON. 213

to his spiritual brothers at St. Evroult, bringing with him his eldest son Ralph and his wife Matilda, the daughter of Hugh de Grantmesnil, who was in trouble for the recent death of her sister Adeline. [1] Hugh now renewed his brotherhood with the monks which he had accepted in his childhood, and entreated their prayers for his brother Ralph, who had died on the road while performing a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Ralph, Hugh's son, a young boy, was adopted by the monks as his relations had been, and being led round the chapter by Walter the Bald, a talkative knight, he kissed the brethren, and then consented to the grants made by his father and uncle to St. Evroult.

At length Hugh also died at Rouen when he was sixty years old on the nones [7th] of March, and by order of his wife and sons his body was carried to St. Bvroult, where the monks buried their brother's remains with high honour in the chapter-house, and his sons, Ralph, William, and Arnulf devoted themselves and all that their ancestors had granted to the church of St. Evroult. Ralph, the eldest, married the daughter of Ranulph, chancellor to King Henry, [2] and dying soon afterwards, was buried by the convent in the chapter-house by the side of his father. William then succeeded to the patrimonial estates in Normandy. Arnulf went into Apulia to seek his uncle William de Grantmesnil. Matilda, their mother, after her husband's death, fell in love with a young adventurer named Matthew, in whose company, deserting her relations and friends, she undertook a journey to Jerusalem; but both were cut off by premature deaths in the same year, Matthew dying in Apulia, on the journey outward, and Matilda at Joppa, on her return.

CH. XVIII. Account of John of Rheims, a learned monk of St. Evroult.

HAVING shortly referred before to John [of Rheims], [3] I


[1] Adeline, eldest daughter of Hugh de Grantmesuil, wife of Roger d'Ivri, the king's cupbearer.

[2] Ranulph, an astute and grasping lawyer in the time of Henry I. His character is well drawn, and his death by an accident related, in Henry of Huntingdon's History and Acts of Illustrious men. See pp. 250 and 310, Bohn's Edition.

[3] See pp. 185, 212. For an account of John of Rheims and his works, see L'Histoire litteraire de France, t. xi. pp. 15-20.

214 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XVIII.

now purpose to bring more clearly before the reader's mind who he was, and in what manner and how long he lived under the monastic rule. His genius was acute, and he was persevering in his studies; he spent nearly forty-eight years in the practice of his duties as a monk, and employed himself indefatigably in searching out the meanings of difficult passages he found in books. He entered the Lord's fold, being admitted by Abbot Mainier, when he was a young man, and continuing his service, and being promoted to the priesthood under Serlo and Roger, he engaged others, both by precept and example, to fight the good fight, and at last died in the confession of Christ on the tenth of the calends of April [23rd March], [1] when Warin was abbot. He long held the office of subprior, and often supplied the abbot's place in preaching the word of God. By order of abbot Roger, he went to Rome in the time of Pope Urban with the deposed abbot Fulk; [2] during which journey he suffered greatly from sickness, and encountered many hardships. As old age came on, he suffered for more than seven years from stone in the bladder; but though he was thus afflicted with a chronic disease, he did not take to his bed, but rose every day to join in the divine offices, giving thanks to God; and being, as I believe, well-prepared, departed in the beginning of a stormy night. As he was a great versifier, Vitalis the Englishman, [3] his disciple, in the midst of his tears, composed some verses to his memory on the day he went to his rest, when the funeral was over, to the following effect:-

Thrice had March, lowering, windy, cold, and bleak,
Held her inclement course throughout a week;
Dark, stormy night closed a tempestuous day,
When JOHN'S pure spirit calmly passed away.
Poncia to Rheimish Ilbert gave him birth,
Numbered among the humblest sons of earth.


[1] A.D. 1125.

[2] Fulk, abbot of Notre Dame de Saint-Pierre-sur-Dive. This journey was made in the year 1092. See before, book iv. p. 107.

[3] It need hardly be observed that our author speaks of himself. We would once for all take the opportunity of entreating the readers' indulgence in the difficult task we have undertaken, while attempting to give the metrical compositions contained in this work a version which, preserving the thoughts and, as far as possible, the language of the original, may not be unacceptable to modern taste.

A.D. 1125.] JOHN OF RHEIMS. 215

His destiny, to learn the cobbler's art,
John early changed, to choose a nobler part,
Gave all his youthful hours to wisdom's lore,
With manhood left the 1ow paternal door,
And, Rheims deserting, traced his venturous way
To where St. Evroult's distant cloisters lay.
Enrolled among the faithful band, to heaven
For fifty years his ardent vows were given.
Nor, sheltered in that safe retreat, the monk
In slothful ease and useless leisure sunk;
But well his subtle genius exercised,
And learning's hoarded treasures keenly prized,
Turning with eager hand the fruitful page
Which held the records of an older age.
Still, first, Christ's claims his earnest care he made,
In daily service, nightly vigil, paid.
By word and deed he true religion taught,
His whole discourse with sacred wisdom fraught.
Sagely he culled for each the doctrines fit,
With lessons chosen well from holy writ;
In every heart strove heavenly thoughts to raise,
And trained the novices in wisdom's ways;
Gave counsel, comfort, and with sharp rebuke,
When duty called, the sinner's conscience shook;
As bees which honey bear beneath their wings,
For time of need are also armed with stings.
His pregnant genius shone in prose and verse,
His matter copious, but his style was terse.
To Christ, the Virgin, and the Saints most blest,
He noblest praise in tuneful songs addressed,
And paid our sainted patron honour due,
Singing the virtues of the good Evroult,
(A work his reverend father, Ralph of Rheims, [1]
The duteous offering of his pupil claims).
Nor was our monk from spite and envy free,
Who in this evil world can perfect be?
But still the shafts of malice pointless fell
From one who kept the rule of 1ife so well.
'Twas others' sins gave venom to the dart,
For others flowed his tears, for others bled his heart.
At length, with sharp disease by power divine
His flesh was given for seven long years to pine:
Scourged by a Father's hand, he kissed the rod,
In meek submission to the will of God;
And prayed that, having run his painful race,
He might in heaven behold his Saviour's face.
Then from the storms and tumults of the world, When equinoctial hours around it whirled,


[1] Ralph le Verd, archbishop of Rheims, 1108-1124.

216 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

Our holy monk's pure spirit passed away,
And soared to mansions of celestial day.
Christ grant him 1ight serene, eternal rest,
In those abodes of peace, among his saints most blest!

CH. XIX. History of the Priory of Maule, near Paris, a cell to the Abbey of St. Evroult; and of the family of that name, benefactors to the monks.

IN the year of our Lord 1076, the fourteenth indiction, when Goisbert the physician was visiting his countrymen and friends in France, and giving the benefit of his science to the poor and needy, he found out several of his friends and acquaintances to whom be had before rendered assistance by his art, and kindly entreated them to give alms out of their superfluities for their eternal salvation, especially admonishing them to give to the monks of St. Evroult such of their possessions as it did not become laymen to hold. Sojourning for a time with Peter de Maine, the son of Ansold, a rich Parisian, and conversing with him in a familiar and friendly manner, he begged him to make a gift of the churches at Maule to the monks of St. Evroult. Peter, being of a gay and liberal disposition and ready to engage in any large schemes, either good or bad, was easily induced to consent, and made a deed of gift before his principal tenants. The text of the charter is as follows

"The shortness of human life, men's want of faith, and the revolutions of the world, and desolation of states, daily warn us that the end of the world is at hand. He that was Truth itself taught us this when it was said to the disciples: 'When ye shall see these things come to pass, the kingdom of heaven is nigh'. [1] The careful ant ought to provide more carefully, on it perceiving winter rapidly approaching, so to lay up her store of corn, that when the frost destroys the grass she may have an abundant supply of meal. It is also said in a certain place to those who halt in the way of life: 'Look well that your flight be not on the sabbath-day or in the Winter'. [2] Considering these things, I, Peter, unworthy sinner as I am, wishing to make some provision for my


[1] Matt. xxiv. 33; Mark xiii. 29. This quotation does not exactly correspond with the Vulgate.

[2] Matt. xxiv. 20.

A D. 1076.] PRIORY OF MAULE. 217

future welfare, desire to bring the bees of God's hive into my orchards, that they may make honey and fill their cells with honey-comb, rendering thanks to their Creator, and sometimes bearing in mind their benefactor. I therefore freely make these trifling offerings from my possessions to St. Evroult, that the brethren dwelling there may have wherewith to sustain life and may be better able to remember me before God. Whereas, whether we will or no, we must leave all things here, and after death, nothing can profit us but the good we may have done in our lives, I have given and granted, and do give and grant, these lands and hereditaments to St. Evroult; and by this instrument in writing under my hand do, for the good of my soul, ratify and confirm the same for ever. I give the two churches in the village of Maule, [1] that is to say, the church of St. Mary, and the church of SS. Germain and Vincent, with the church-yards, and all which belongs to the parsonage: also, one plough-land and four cotters' tenements, and land for a habitation for the monks, with one orchard, and the quit-rent of three half-acres in the vineyard of La Meniere, which Walter the Blind, and his nephew Hugh, surnamed Muscosus, gave to St. Mary. All these I give for ever to the monks of St. Evroult, to hold as freely as I hold the same. Also, if any of my tenants should wish to give anything to the holy monks in frank-almoign, whatever shall be so given, without prejudice to my claims of fealty and without interfering with my right of jurisdiction, I freely grant for myself and my heirs, in such sort and with this irrevocable provision, that if any of them should forfeit his fief for any default, nevertheless the church shall not lose what it so holds in frank-almoign. All this is confirmed by my wife Windesmoth, and my sons Ansold, Theobald, and William, who religiously engage to defend this charitable gift, as long as they live, against all impugners to the utmost


[1] Maule, where stood the priory affiliated to the abbey of St. Evroult of which our author gives an account in this chapter, is situated not far from Paris, between Poissy and Mantes. The church of Notre Dame here mentioned is the parish church, being now dedicated to St. Nicholas. The site of the priory may still be traced on the south of the church, with some vestiges of the buildings. The church of St. Vincent has completely disappeared since the revolution, except the base of the tower, which has been worked into a house.

218 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

of their power. Those also who owe me fealty, seeing my good-will towards the servants of God and encouraged by my good example, have joined the brotherhood of the monks and have made them liberal endowments out of their lands. All the knights of Maule have earnestly sought to belong to their society, and have been admitted faithful members of their fraternity, that, aided by the prayers of the convent, they may be the better able to resist the assaults of the evil spirits.

"Thus Hugh, son of Odo, who was distinguished among his fellow townsmen for wealth and property, gave to the church of St. Mary and the monks of St. Evroult all the tithes of his lands in Maule, viz., of corn and wine, of the mill and oven, of pigs, sheep, geese, wool, hemp, flax, and all things from which tithes are due. And if his tenants should plough fresh land, the monks shall have the same tithe as Hugh himself would have done. His son Paganus-Odo at first refused to confirm this grant, but afterwards, being taken prisoner by the French at Mellent, he thought better of it, and, compelled by the power of God, both he and his wife Elizabeth and their sons Hugh and Simon absolutely granted the before mentioned tithes to St. Mary, laying the deed of gift on the altar in my presence and before my son Ansold and Peter who was yet a child, and many others. The monks gave to Paganus ten pounds in pennies, and twenty shillings to his wife. Also, Adelelm de Gaseran committed to the monks his son Amauri, with the tithes of Puiseux, [1] granting the tithes to the church for ever, for seven pounds, if the boy died within seven years. But the boy grew up, and lived to become a priest, long holding the tithes of Puiseux, and at his death bequeathing them to the monks very justly, as they had brought him up and carefully educated him. Also, Hugh the son of Walo, surnamed Fresnil, before he became a monk, gave three cottier's tenements [2] to St. Mary; and Stephen the son of Gilbert gave to the monks half a plough-land at Goupillieres; and although this did not belong to my fief, I have nevertheless confirmed the grant by my charter. All these lands and premises,


[1] There are two places of this name, one near Pontoise, the other between Dreux and Chartres.

[2] Tres hospites. See note, p. 189.

A.D. 1076-1100.] PRIORY OF MAULE. 219

given by me and my friends to the monks, I fully grant; and I also, as a benefactor to the abbey of St. Evroult, assent to whatever gifts my mesne-tenants may make, saving only their fealty to me and my rights of jurisdiction. Moreover, I trust that if any one, instigated by the malice of the devil, should be so envious or perverse as to have the presumption to violate or infringe these our grants, he will forthwith repent of his insane attempt, lest he should be condemned by the righteous Judge in the day of judgment to have his part with the reprobate and the doubly dead, [1] for the sin of his iniquitious and sacrilegious aggression".

The noble person before mentioned confirmed this charter with his own signature, and gave abbot Mainier seisin of the afore-mentioned lands in the presence of many credible witnesses. There were present his own sons, Ansold, Theobald, and William, and his sons-in-law Walter de Poissi, and Baudri de Dreux; together with the chief men of Maule, Hugh and Stephen, Walter the priest, and Walter, a knight whose surname was La Cote, with Richer the provost, Fulk son of Pulcher, Hugh and Ode sons of Walo, Herve son of Everard, and the greatest part of the parishioners of Maule. Abbot Mainier then appointed Goisbert prior of that cell, and he shortly afterwards finished the little church which Godfrey, a priest of great simplicity and innocence, had begun building. Not long afterwards, the monks gaining ground both within and without, and the worthy parishioners rejoicing at their progress, the old church of St. Mary was taken down, and the foundations of a new and handsome structure being laid, the work was carried on in an elegant style of architecture, as occasion offered, for twenty years, while Goisbert, Guitmond, Roger, and Hugh were priors. [2] Many monks have dwelt there up to the present day, piously devoted to God's service.


[1] Biothanatis. This word properly signifies those who perish by a violent death, but the translation adopted is the false signification given it in the middle ages, after Isidore of Seville.

[2] M. Le Prevost remarks on this passage, that what our author says about the rebuilding the church of Maule must not be taken quite literally. A personal inspection satisfied him that Goisbert and his successors did not level to the ground the erection of Prior Godfrey, but were content with adding to it. In particular, the apsis appeared to be evidently their work, except some older remains very easy to be distinguished. But the whole of the north wall of the nave, and even a small portion of the south wall, towards the west end, appeared to him to be the remains of Godfrey's church. Perhaps the short and massive pillars, and rustic arcades above (which recall to the Norman observer the nave of Briquebec), belong also to the older building. The accounts given of churches completely levelled, to make room for others, in the middle ages, and particularly in the 11th and 12th centuries, must be received with some reserve.

220 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

Peter, lord of Maule, lived to a good old age, and the ecclesiastical foundation and congregation of the people there, thanks to his liberal patronage, continually gained ground. He was much beloved by his tenants and neighbours, because his manners were frank, and he did not entrench himself with craft and deceit. His alms were bountiful and he delighted in the practice, but he had no liking for fasts, and as far as it was in his power shunned having any thing to do with them. He was free in giving promises and sometimes made away with things of value for a worthless price. He was, at once both covetous and prodigal. It was no concern of his from whence his good cheer came, nor did he care whether his means of living were obtained by robbery or paid for fairly, nor, again, however they were gotten, how lavishly they were bestowed; so that he had never the command of much money. Peter had four sons by his wife Windesmoth, Ansold, Theobald, Warin, and William, and as many daughters, Hubeline, Erenburge, Odeline, and Hersende. They brought him many grandchildren, who, experiencing the vicisitudes of this uncertain life, met with various fortunes, according to God's providence which rules all things. At last, worn out with age, he died on the second of the ides [12th] of January, and was buried in the monks' cloister on the south side of the church. [1] John of Rheims wrote his epitaph in these terms

Lord PETER, born of noble race,
And heir to lands of boundless space,
Lies buried in his native earth,
Among the tokens of his worth.
But though a knight of high degree,
'Twas not by deeds of chivalry
He won a never dying name;
Such honours blazon not his fame.
He prudent shrunk from war's alarms,
And feasting pleased him more than arms:


[1] There are no remains of this cloister.

A.D. 1100.] EPITAPH OF PETER DE MAULE. 221

Good humoured, lavish, jovial, free,
He spent his days in revelry.
His liberal bounty never failed,
He 1ived beloved and died bewailed.
Devotion stirred him, highest praise,
In Mary's name this house to raise.
O Virgin Mother, intercede
To speed him well in day of need!
Revolving centuries ten and one,
In the world's age their course had run.
And now six times the new year's sun
In clouds and gloom the zenith won,
When good lord Peter bowed his head,
Numbered among his fathers dead.
Ye men of Paris, him lament,
With you his youthful days he spent.
And saints! your merits be the price
To win him rest in Paradise!

Ansold, Peter's son, was in many respects unlike his father; his virtues were more eminent, or, to say the least, they were equal. His disposition was excellent and magnanimous, he was tall and powerful in person, and a most gallant soldier; he exercised his authority with great dignity, and his decisions were marked by justice; he was prompt and eloquent in argument, and might almost be reckoned a philosopher. He was a constant attendant at church and listened with attention to the sacred discourses delivered there. He studied history in the works of ancient writers, diligently investigating their learned records, and committing the lives of the men of old, which he heard related, to his tenacious memory. He held in abhorrence unfaithful narratives, and those who corrupted the word of God, and were greedy for base gains; and he delighted in publicly confuting dangerous sophisms which might lead astray simple minds. He paid great respect to his pious mother, Windesmoth, and obeyed her in all things like a dutiful son. She was descended from a noble family in the district of Troyes, and, surviving her husband, lived nearly fifteen years in widowhood and devotion to God. Happy mother, whose old age was solaced in her husband's chamber by the affectionate care of her son. Having him at her side as her steadfast supporter, she received there the last sacraments and then departed. Being thence conveyed to the tomb

222 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

with great respect by her loving son, her corpse was interred with high honour in the body of the church by the side of the partner of her bed.

This knight was distinguished in his youth by his noble acts; for, leaving all his acquaintance, kinsfolk, and relations, he displayed his innate valour in foreign countries. Italy was his choice; where he joined the brave duke Guiscard in his expedition into Greece, and fought gallantly in the battle in which Alexius, emperor of Constantinople, was defeated and put to flight. [1] After a time he was prevailed on, by the earnest entreaty of his father, to return to France, and he then married a noble and virtuous young lady, whose name was Adeline, daughter of Ralph surnamed Malvoisin, [2] who had the castle of Mantes. This man of arms might have been taken for a model even by persons living under the monastic rule; such was the frugality with which he led all who associated with him to a prudent course of life, and such the limits of temperance to which he restricted himself. He never tasted apples in an orchard, grapes in a vineyard, or nuts in the woods, taking food only when the table was spread at regular hours; for he said that it was the part of a beast, and not of a man, to eat what chance offered without regard to time or place. Content with lawful marriage, he was strictly chaste, and instead of attacking licentiousness and obscenity like a layman in vulgar phrases, he distinctly condemned it with the pointed observations of a doctor of the church. Fasting and all bodily abstinence he praised in others, and resolutely practised himself, so far as it is required of a layman. He made no predatory incursions, but carefully husbanded his own property and the fruit of his labours; making however the lawful payments of tithes, first-fruits, and alms which his ancestors had granted to the servants of God. He not only gave nothing to strollers,


[1] This battle was fought near Durazzo, "the western key of the Greek empire", in Epirus, on the 18th of October, 1081. The Anglo-Danes in the service of Alexius, the celebrated Varangi, who formed the emperor's body guard, were the main strength of his army. Having fled from Norman oppression in the west, they encountered their former enemy on new ground. See chap. iii. of our author's present book, p. 10, and the note.

[2] This family, which was originally of Mantes, settled in Normandy, where it had domains near Evreux, and at Serquigni near Bernal.

A.D. 1106.] THE THIRD CRUSADE. 223

buffoons, and dancing girls, but would have no kind of intercourse or familiar conversation with them. He had seven sons and two daughters by his lawful wife, whom he had married when she was very young, forming her docile mind to modesty and virtue. Their names are: Peter, Ralph, Warin, Lisiard, Guy, Ansold and Hugh; Mary and Windesmoth; of whose lives the page of history may record something in the proper place.

In the year of our Lord 1106, towards the end of February, when a comet was seen in the west, emitting a long and fiery tail, [1] Bohemond, the famous duke came to France after the capture of Antioch, and married Constance, daughter of Philip, king of France. [2] The marriage was celebrated with great ceremony at Chartres, the Countess Adela providing every thing necessary with profuse liberality. At that time the third crusade of the people of the West to Jerusalem was set on foot, and a vast concourse of many thousands advanced through Thrace, [3] threatening to tread under foot the Byzantine dynasty. But the righteous providence of God frustrated the enterprises of those who burned with desire to invade their neighbour's property; so that this proud gathering of the ambitious missed the prize which they vainly thought was within their reach. The same year, three weeks after the comet appeared, Ansold de Maule, actuated by his fears of divine vengeance, presented himself humbly in the court held at St. Mary's church, and with tears of penitence made voluntary satisfaction for some contentions he had with the monks. He then, in the presence of all his barons, who were assembled in the monk's dormitory, granted to the church and St. Mary of Maule all the lands that his father Peter, and Hugh, Paganus, and


[1] It is supposed that this comet is the one which appeared in 1680. It was visible in the west of Europe from the 7th of February till an advanced period of the month of March. Notwithstanding what our author says, it was more remarkable for its brightness than for the length of its tail.

[2] Antioch was taken by the crusaders in 1098. In 1104 Bohemond returned to Italy, and from thence came to France, where he married, in the spring of 1106, Constance, daughter of Philip I. and Bertha of Holland. She had been married, in 1101, to Hugh, count of Champagne, and though divorced on account of nearness of kindred in 1104, the Countess Adela continued to treat her as her sister-in-law.

[3] Contra Thraces is the exact reading. There is another contra Turcos.

221 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

Anastasius, Robert the son of Hubeline, and Herve son of Everard, Odo son of Walo, and Fulk, and Richer, sons of Fulcher, and other his liege-men, of whatever condition, had given or should give, excepting always the fealty due to himself; with this provision, that if either of them should forfeit his fief for any default, the church should nevertheless not lose her rights of frank-almoign. Ansold also granted that the tithe which his sister Hersende received as her marriage portion, and before her death had given to St. Mary, by the delivery of a rod [1] into the hand of John, monk and priest, should, after the death of his nephew Peter freely belong to the church. He also gave to St. Mary the quarry of mill-stones in the wood of Beule, [2] so that for each mill-stone two pence should be given towards the lights in the church, and whoever should defraud the church should forfeit six pence. Before, sixty pence were paid for an offence of this description, but as the ecclesiastical law is more humane than the civil, fifty-five pence were remitted, and only five taken. Ansold and his wife Adeline, and his two sons Peter and Ralph, placed the deed of gift of these possessions on the altar of St. Mary by the side of the missal; at which ceremony all the knights of Maule were present.

Ansold declared his eldest son Peter heir to his whole estates, and the boy received the homage and fealty of all the knights of Maule, Goscelin de Mareil being their spokesman and scribe. There were present William, Ansold's brother, and Robert his nephew, the knight Guibold, son of Ralph Malvoisin, Odo-Paganus son of Hugh, and Gilbert Fitz-Haimon, Odo son of Walo, and his sons Peter and Arnulf, Fulk son of Fulcher, and his two nephews, Geoffrey and Odo, Grimold son of Alman, and Walter son of Fulk.

The knight so often mentioned administered justly the jurisdiction he inherited from his fathers for eighteen years, being in all things the faithful patron of the monks, and having daily edifying conferences with them. So far from diminishing their endowments, he made, as before


[1] See note, page 202.

[2] Mill-stone quarries are still worked in this wood, and in other spots in the neighbourhood.

CHARTER OF ANSOLD DE MAULE. 225

observed, some augmentations, and his deed of gift is couched in these terms:-

"I, Arnold, do give and confirm all that my father Peter on behalf of his ancestors, Arnulph and Warin, and his other relations, gave to God and St. Mary, and the monks of St. Evroult, in the same manner and form that he granted the same. The tithes also of Maule, which my two sisters hold as their marriage dowry, viz., Eremburge the wife of Baudri de Dreux, and Hersende wife of Hugh de Voisins, [1] if the monks can obtain them from my grandsons either by gift or bargain, I freely grant as far as concerns myself and my children. I know that tithes are the portion of God, and that he thought fit in the old times to retain them, through Moses, for the support of the Levites. No wise man can therefore, I think, be ignorant that whosoever persists in living by such robbery exposes himself to a terrible retribution hereafter. Moreover, I give the mill-stone quarry in the wood of Beule [2] to St. Mary, in such wise that two pence be given for each mill-stone towards the lights of the church. And whoever makes default shall pay five pence, instead of the sixty hitherto forfeited. Adeline my wife, and Peter and Ralph my sons, confirm this grant. In return we have the good offices of the monks, and the privilege of being associated with them; and in testimony thereof I have received as a gift from the monks one horse, worth a hundred shillings, which belonged to Grimold de Saulx-marchais. I therefore, with my wife and sons, grant this charter, by which I freely and without reserve make this irrevocable donation to the church, that through God's mercy I may be admitted into the society of the faithful. Amen".

Germund Rufus of Montfort, when he was dying, gave to St. Mary and the monks living at Maule the half of all his possessions in Puisieux, for the repose of his soul, his wife Eremburge, of whose dowry the land formed a part, and his sons Hugh and Walter, consenting. It was then appointed that the heirs who should hold the land should perform all the service due to the lord in whose fief it was, and the returns from the woods and the open field should be collected wherever it was agreed on both sides, and divided in equal


[1] Probably Voisins le Bretonneux, to the south-west of Versailles.

[2] See note in the preceding page.

226 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

shares. At that time Hugh de Gace was prior of Maule, who stood by with several others when the deed of gift was placed on the altar of St. Mary, before the corpse of the deceased was committed to the earth. Afterwards, when Walter, the son of the before mentioned Germund, was made a knight, he denied his having agreed to this donation, asserting that his father had given the land to him before the gift to the monks. Wherefore the monks went to Amauri, count de Montfort, and lodged a complaint with him of the disturbance given them by Walter. The count, taking jurisdiction of the affair, the following agreement was made between the disputants. The monks paid the young Walter forty shillings at Montfort, and he granted them the lands above mentioned in the presence of Richelde, Amauri's wife. On the next Sunday, both brothers, Hugh and Walter, confirmed the grant at Maule, placing the deed of gift on the altar, in the presence of David the prior and the rest of the monks, and of Ansold, and his son Peter, and all the clergy and people assembled in the church. Afterwards, their brothers Engenold, and Herve, made the same grant. This was done the year that Henry king of England attacked the castle of St. Clair in France, [1] While, on the other hand, Lewis king of France built the castle of Gani in Normandy, from whence ensued cruel wars between them, attended with great losses.

Nivard de Hargeville gave all his lands of Boinville to the monks of Maule and half the tithes thereof, for which he received by the goodwill of the monks twenty-eight shillings. His brother Simon confirmed the gift, whereupon Hugh the prior gave him a pair of Cordovan shoes. Peter, also, and Guarimbold, sons of Nivard, confirmed the gift their father had made, and each of them received shoes worth six pennies. On the following Sunday, Nivard came to Maule, and deposited the deed of gift on the altar before all the parishioners.

Geoffrey de Marcq, having taken on himself the monastic rule at Maule, gave to the monks of St. Evroult the whole church of Marcq, with half the churchyard and half the tithes. Emmeline his wife, and their sons William, Simon,


[1] Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. The events which are merely alluded to here are described in the beginning of our author's twelfth book.

GRANTS TO THE PRIORY OF MAULE. 227

Hugh, Stephen, and Paganus, confirmed the same. Afterwards Hugh Rufus de Fresnai, under whose fief Geoffrey held, came to Maule, and, on the petition of the monks, released what Geoffrey had given from all services; so that whether the inheritors of Marcq did their fealty, or made default in the service due from them, the monks should for ever hold in frank-almoigm. His brother Walter granted the same.

Walter, son of Heldeburge, after having received a mortal wound, gave to the monks at Maule all the tithes which he had at Puisieux, of the fief of Herve, son of Everard. His wife Isemburge, with Walter's three brothers, Richard, Theobald, and Geoffrey, were present, and ratified the gift. Herve also confirmed all the tithes of Puisieux which belonged to him, and Simon de Toiri gave to the monks that part of the tithes which was in his lordship. The monks, also, to satisfy all claims, gave to Herve one house, with many chattels, for four pounds in pennies and one arpent of vine-yard at La Gard, which Walter, son of Alpes, had given to St. Mary; and to Adeline his wife, of whose dowry it was part, one piece of fustian; also to Simon twenty shillings, and to his wife, of whose inheritance it was part, three shillings.

Baldric the Red, of Montfort, on his becoming a monk, gave to the monks of St. Evroult the rent which he had at Mantes, viz. ten shillings and a sestary of salt. [1] The monks of Fecamp, who had a cell at Mantes, paid this at the feast of St. Remi. Baldric also gave whatever interest he had in the church and tithes of Jumeauville, and twelve pence, which the sons of Burge paid him for quit-rent of a farm called La Concie. His wife also confirmed this, and received for it one cow. Geoffrey his son also granted the same to the monks, and received from them a horse worth sixty shillings, and also twenty shillings in money. The sure witnesses were Ansold, lord of Maule, and Peter his son, Geoffrey, son of Richer, and Grimold, son of Alman, Amauri Floenel, and many others. On the death of Baldric, his son disputed the property, but, in consideration of twenty shillings more, paid to him, he renewed the grant. In consequence, he went to Mantes with David the prior,


[1] A measure holding about a pint and a half, or twenty-four ounces.

228 ORDERICUS VITALIS [B.V. CH.XIX.

gave directions to the monks of Fecamp, who lived at St. George, that they should pay yearly to the monks of Maule the six shillings and sestary of salt which they used to pay to his father. Also, William, son of Henry de Richebourg, in whose lordship it was, granted it to the monks, and he received from them ten shillings and half a muid of wine as a gratuity.

Eremburge, daughter of Peter de Maule, and Amauri her son restored to the church the moiety of the tithes which they had unjustly detained, and deposited the deed of gift on the altar of St. Mary, mother of God, before all the people. The lord Ansold, the proposer and faithful upholder of this grant, was present, and confirmed it, with his sons Peter and Ralph. Then the monks, to redeem the tithes, which were mortgaged to William de Maule for twenty pounds, gave ten pounds to Eremburge, and granted three arpents of vineyard to him and his heir. But when Eremburge took the veil, she and the forenamed Amauri, her son, gave their part of the aforesaid tithes to God, and deposited the deed of gift on the altar as before, by the side of the gospels. There were present William de Maule, and Robert his nephew, and Geoffrey his brother-in-law, with Odo-Paganus, and Odo, son of Walo, and Fulk the clerk, and Geoffrey, son of Richer, who gave thanks to God, who had delivered this woman from the fatal burden of an impious rapacity.

Thus the priory at Maule grew rich by the address of its occupants and the gifts of those who flocked to it; but it suffered a great loss in the death of Ansold its worthy patron. Having borne arms for fifty-three years, old age coming on, he fell sick, and having lingered for nearly seven weeks, prepared himself for appearing before the judgment-seat of the Most High by confession and penitence. He did not take to his bed, but went daily to the offices of the church, and retained complete possession of his faculty of memory and gift of speech, but, notwithstanding, he was sensible of the entire decay of the bodily powers, from which physicians prognosticate that men will either sink or rally, and that there was no escaping the imminent approach of death. Anxious, therefore, for the salvation of his soul, he turned to the Lord with all his heart, and applied himself

A.D. 1118.] ANSOLD'S LAST DAYS. 229

zealously to fulfil what wise men had taught him, and he had carefully committed to memory. In consequence, hearing one night the church bell, he got up and went to the church, attended by one faithful servant, and prayed to God to accept his offering, and to accomplish his desires. When matins were ended, he summoned the monks to his side, and, opening his mind to them, entreated them to admit him into their brotherhood. David was then prior, and there were with him the worthy monks and priests John of Rheims, Osbern, and Odo. With these it was Ansold's fervent desire to be associated in their monastic habit, as well as in spirit; saying, that he had now divested himself of all concern about his wife and children, that he had done with worldly power and possessions, that death was near, and his only desire was to draw closer to God, and that his request ought not to be refused. The monks rejoiced much at hearing his pious wishes, but deferred acceding to them for two days, in consequence of the absence of his eldest son and heir. Ansold bore the delay with impatience, so eager was his desire for the spiritual rewards which the Master of the household reserves for his watching servants. He declared that all he wished and hoped for was to live and die with the poor in Christ, that he might be a partaker in the promises which God has made to such his children. The two days being elapsed, he summoned his son and his wife to his presence, and giving many directions to his son before several knights, thus addressed him in the hearing of a number of persons of both sexes and different ages:-

"My dearly beloved son, whom I have brought up with great care, that I might leave an heir and successor acceptable to God and man, lay up carefully in your memory what I am about to say to you very seriously. In the first place, love God at all times and before all things. Fear and honour your bishop and king as your earthly superiors, and endeavour to obey their commands as far as in you lies. Pray daily to God for their prosperity, that by the watchful care and merits of your excellent bishop, your soul may obtain eternal salvation, and under the government of a peaceful king you may enjoy your temporal possessions in quietness and security. Extend to your liege-men the protection which you owe them, ruling them, not as a tyrant,

230 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

but as a gentle master. Maintain, prudently, the rights belonging to your fief, whether in fields, woods, meadows, or vineyards, and be careful not to diminish them by imprudent grants. Meddle not with the property of others, and have nothing to do with thieves and robbers. Guard your own substance by lawful means, and beware of laying violent hands on that of other people. From thence arises anger, then quarrels; robbery, fire and slaughter follow, with other evils too numerous to mention. A prudent man will be on his guard against those causes of mischief which he sees affecting others. Observe well these my last injunctions. Always love and frequent our holy mother church. Daily listen to the word of God, the food and life of our souls, and attend the mass and other divine offices. Honour the servants of God both by word and deed, and more especially venerate and support the monks, our masters and brothers, who are the ministers of this church, to the utmost of your power; assisting them both by your advice and your exertions, as occasion may require. Freely confirm them in the peaceable possession of the estates which my father and I have granted them for the good of our souls. Do not encroach on their lands and revenues, nor suffer any of your tenants to injure them. If you study to show yourself their firm adherent, their prayers to God for you will be constant. Never, then, have any ill-will towards them, or be jealous of their wealth, but treat them kindly, and, if the Lord shall give you length of days and prosperity, augment it. If you observe and do what I command you, I give you, in the name of God, the blessing which our forefathers left to their heirs, earnestly beseeching Him, that it may descend and rest upon you. But if you should do otherwise, which God forbid, I leave you my curse, by the authority of God and the holy fathers".

Having concluded this exhortation to his son, the excellent lord thus addressed his wife Adeline: "My sweet sister and amiable wife, Adeline, I pray you lend a favourable ear to my requests. Thus far we have faithfully kept our marriage vows, and by God's help have lived together more than twenty years without quarrels and shameful contentions. Worthy offspring have been born to us in lawful wedlock, and you must lead them by your earnest

A.D. 1118.] ANSOLD DIES A MONK. 231

admonitions to obey their Maker's will. My end is approaching, and whether I will or not, I am near at death's door. I am going the way of all flesh, and have to pay the common debt of nature. I am unwilling to trouble you with a long discourse. Your life may serve as a lesson to numbers, add one more to your good works, and henceforth live chastely in holy widowhood. Grant me also your permission to become a monk, and, quitting the showy garments belonging to my worldly estate, put on the black robe of our belonging father Benedict. It is my desire to be admitted into the society of those who relinquish the delights of the world for Christ's sake. Release me therefore I pray you, my lady, from the bonds of marriage, and commend me earnestly to God, that, relieved from all secular ties, I may be in a condition to receive the monastic habit and the tonsure. I ask this from the bottom of my heart; this is the object of my most earnest wishes, that my soul may be numbered in the company of the monks, and, renewed by being invested with the religious garb, may sing in the present life, 'I am black, but comely'. [1] I am black because I wear a dark, shapeless, and coarse robe, but comely because it covers the humility of a holy purpose, and a devotion well pleasing to God".

When Ansold had concluded his discourse to this purpose, his good wife, who had never resisted his will and now obeyed her husband as she was wont, granted his request with a respectful modesty, shedding a flood of tears, though she did not give way to noisy lamentations. At that season holy church was celebrating the eve of our Lord's nativity, and there was a violent tempest which shook the world, overthrowing woods, houses, and other buildings, and did much damage both by sea and land, to the great terror of mankind. Leave having been given, the novice was tonsured, and put on the religious habit, in which, having worn it three days, he was also buried, that in it he might rise again. On the third day, finding that death was near, he caused his brethren to be summoned, and begged them to recite the prayers for the dying. When they were ended, he asked for holy water and a crucifix. On their being brought, he sprinkled himself with holy water, and bowing before the crucifix, thus commended himself to Him who


[1] Canticles i. 5.

232 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

hung on the cross, adopting the words which had been used by some man of Wisdom: "Lord God, I, once a sinner but now a penitent, commend my spirit into thy hands as a servant should submit to his master". With these words he expired, as we believe, happily. Then vigils were chanted and psalms and prayers said, and masses solemnly performed, with much grief for his decease. All which being duly performed, on the day when the feast of the assumption of St. John Was kept by the church, [1] his body was committed to the earth, the mother of all, to be preserved and given up again. Odo of Montreuil assisted at the funeral, performing what belonged to the priest's office, and has comprehended in a short notice, his name and rank, and the day of his death, with a devout prayer on his behalf.

Stranger, dost thou wish to know
Who lies buried here below! ANSOLD was his name, a knight Once the foremost in the fight.
Six days 'fore the year begun
Its due course of time to run,
He was summoned to his rest:
God reward him with the blest!

[1118-1128.] Peter, who now became lord of Maule, was distinguished for his conduct in war and made himself formidable to his neighbours, but in some of his doings he did did not follow his father's steps. For he was led by youthful levity to delight in players and gamblers, and listening to the persuasions of the young men about him engaged in rapine, and frequently oppressed the cultivators of his own domains and those of others. He ravaged without mercy his neighbour's property and foolishly wasted his own. Hence, while he inflicted great evils on the inhabitants of other villages, the freebooters of the neighbourhood took every opportunity of making secret inroads on him and his tenants. When in a passion, his threats were severe, when he was pleased, he rashly made promises which were difficult to be performed; so that he was often false in both. After his father's death, he married a wife of a very noble


[1] It appears before, in book ii. c. vi. (vol. i. p. 247) that our author adopted the opinion of St. Ephrem and others respecting the Assumption of St. John, which was not held in the time of Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, and was consequently posterior to the second century after Christ.

A.D. 1118-1128.] PETER II., ANSOLD's SON. 233

family, Ada, niece of Bouchard de Montmorenci and daughter of the Count de Guines. [1] As far as words go, he pays due respect to the monks and clergy, and takes their reproofs in good part, veiling his follies under the excuse of his youth, and promising to amend his life in riper years, which may God grant! I will now give a short account of the possessions which were given to the monks by him, or in his fief.

Ansold, before he died, bequeathed his best palfrey to the monks, in lieu of which, Peter gave them, at his father's request, the land of Montmarcien; and at the same time he confirmed to them all that his predecessors had granted. John de St. Denis, and Mary his wife, and Arnulf their son, had freely given to St. Mary the vineyard of Clairfont, but afterwards, undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they sold it to a certain Breton of Montfort named Fulk, notwithstanding the claims of the monks. The Breton being disseized of it by a sentence of the bishop, it fell into Peter's hands, but Providence shortly afflicting him with disease, on making his confession he restored it to St. Mary discharged of all quit-rent. He also gave the crop of grapes that year to purchase an image of the holy Virgin.

Grimold, nephew and heir of Stephen de Maule, gave to the monks all the tithes of his lands, both in the lordship of Ansold and in that of Paganus, together with the tithes of his mill and vineyards, and, together with Petronilla his wife, deposited the deed of gift on the altar. Afterwards, on her death, he granted to the monks two arpents of land at Montjubert, and added a third in the same place at his daughter's obit. He went to Jerusalem with Stephen Count de Blois, [2] and, having undergone many sufferings in that expedition, lived uprightly after his return. Gerald, surnamed La Cote, Grimold's brother-in-law, falling sick, was so terrified by the divine chastisement, that he gave to the monks certain tithes which he possessed in the territory of Marole, and his part of the churchyard of the same village; his wife, part of whose dowry it was,


[1] A.D. about 1091-1137. He married Ada, daughter of Manasseh, eount of Guines (about 1091-1137), and Emma de Tankerville, widow of Odo of Folkstone.

[2] See before, note, p. 182.

234 ORDERICUS VITALIS [B.V. CH.XIX.

consenting, as well as Peter, lord of Maule, in whose fief it was. Aubrey de Marole, also, gave to the monks twelve acres of land on the brow of the hill to the west of Marole.

Odo, son of Walo, an honourable knight, at the death of his son Arnulf, gave to the monks of Maule three acres of land which were at that time cultivated by Fulk the priest. He also gave them three muids of wine, and granted the same quantity to be furnished yearly out of his vineyards; so that the church should not lose the endowment in consequence of any succession or change of the heirs of Maule; and the monks were constantly to make due prayers for the souls of his sons Peter, Arnulf, Milo, and his other friends. It happened a few days afterwards that Odo fell sick, and wishing, like a good son, to reap profit from the visitation by his father's rod, he called together his wife Beliarde, his daughter-in-law Cornelia, his daughter Cicily, and his son-in-law Godfrey, and with their consent gave the whole of his tithes to God and St. Mary. The aforesaid women and Godfrey, by Odo's command, then went to the church and laid the donation on the altar. After this was done, his sickness increasing, he became a monk there and lay in the monks' infirmary ten days. Meanwhile, Walter the Bold, his son, hastening from Troyes, where he had long dwelt, found his father alive. At his request he confirmed what his father and relations had given to the church of God; viz., three acres of land, two muids of wine yearly, and all the tithes his father possessed, whether of corn, wine, or first-fruits. All which, after his father was dead and buried, Walter granted by an instrument which was laid by a book on the altar of St. Mary, mother of God; and, in imitation of his father, has been a good neighbour to the monks to the present time.

In the time of Hugh de Gace, David, and other priors, who laboured usefully at Maule, it was commonly well known, and I wish it to be handed down to posterity, that Tesza, wife of Bernard the Blind, gave to the monks of St. Evroult dwelling at Maule, one moiety of the farm of St. Columb, both plain and wood, besides two arpents of land which he also gave them, that they might build a house and have cottages without any one's interfering with them. He did this with the assent of his lords, Gosceline, who held the other

GIFTS TO THE PRIORY OF MAULE. 235

moiety of the land in demesne, because of default in the services due, and Guaszo de Poissi, who was the chief lord. The monks at different times gave large sums to these lords, hoping to increase the property of the church by legitimate means, and secure advantages for their successors. Hugh, who was enterprising and magnanimous, began the affair when he was prior, giving to Tesza, beforenamed, ten shillings, and a piece of fustian to her son Ode, and ten shillings to her son-in-law William. He also gave to Gosceline one horse of the value of four pounds, to his wife twenty shillings, and to Guaszo twenty-five shillings, with a horn cup, and another to his wife. These things and others they received from the generosity of the monks, and made a firm deed of gift, which they deposited on the altar before many witnesses. But they afterwards iniquitously falsified their engagements in various ways: especially, Guaszo, the most powerful among them, who ought to have corrected the others if they went astray, disturbed the endowment, pillaged the cottiers, and destroyed their houses; so that the place became waste as it was before, and the monks were compelled for the present to abandon the spot. Some years afterwards Amauri, son of Guaszo, was slain: the monks then went to him while he was in tribulation for the death of his son, and requested him to abate the injury he had done them. Softened by his affliction, he made a humble reply, promising to cure the evil he had done. He therefore committed the affair to Gosceline and Amauri de Beauvoir, to whom he had lately restored the fief, and of whom Gosceline then held it. They in consequence met at Fresnes, and treated respecting the adjustment of the business, and at the demand of Guaszo and the monks, Amauri confirmed the grant which Tesza had made, and Guaszo and Gosceline had ratified. By common agreement, therefore, of all parties, Amauri and Gosceline publicly enfeoffed the monks in the presence and hearing of Grimold de Maule and Roger his son, and many others. Finally, Amauri came to Maule on a day appointed, and deposited on the altar of St. Mary the donation which he had made at Fresnes, receiving from the generosity of the monks twenty shillings of Mantes.

In this manner the cell at Maule rose through the

236 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XIX.

exertions of careful monks, and was suitably endowed by the generous contributions of its supporters, to the praise of God. The place was well situated for vineyards and fertile fields, and watered by the river Mauldre, [1] which has its course through them. It is well protected by a number of noble knights. These give freely to the church, during their lives, of their lands and substance, and the order of monks is treated by them with great respect; and at the hour of death their aid is earnestly sought for the salvation of their souls. The knights frequent the monk's cloister, and confer with them on practical and theoretical subjects. Thus it is the school of the living, and the refuge of the dying.

In the time of Peter the elder, Abbot Mainier went to the court of King Philip, and humbly sought his confirmation of the grants which had been made to the monks of St. Evroult of possessions in France. The king not only graciously ratified all the endowments already made, but kindly and cheerfully exhorted those who were about him to further gifts. This took place on the road between Epone and Mantes. Afterwards, in the time of Peter the younger, King Lewis came to Maule, and, being incensed with Peter on account of some excesses he had committed in the insolence of youth, razed the fortified wall with which the prudent Ansold had surrounded his house, and demolished the house itself. The king accepted the hospitality of the monks at the priory, and confirmed to them by his royal charter all that had been given them, or they had purchased, in the time of the three lords, Peter, Ansold, and the other Peter. Warin of Seez, a prudent and learned monk was then prior, and made use of his attendance upon, and familiar intercourse with, the king, to obtain his sanction to all the endowments of that cell which had been procured by Goisbert, and Guitmond, William, and Hugh, David, and Ralph, and other priors. This may suffice for what I have to say of Maule in the present book.

CH. XX. Guitmond, second prior of Maule - Other benefactions to the abbey of St. Evroult.

GOISBERT, the famous physician, having laid the foundations of the church at Maule, as we have before related, consulted


[1] A rivulet which falls into the Seine near Epone, not far from Mantes.

GUITMOND, PRIOR OF MAULE. 237

some of his acquaintances and friends for the common good of his own monastery. With their concurrence he earnestly entreated his abbot to entrust the priory of Maule to fresh hands, in order that he might be free to prosecute other affairs. This was done; Guitmond, who had been a priest at Soulangi, [1] an excellent man, being appointed in his place, while the physician made pressing instances to several French knights on behalf of his brethren. Some he gained by his medicinal care and assistance, others by presents, and all by his eloquent discourse.

Humphrey, surnamed Harenc, and Havise his wife, and the sons of the same Havise, Paganus, Alexander, and Roger de Rolleboise, with his wife Basile and her son Guiard, gave to God and St. Evroult the church of St. Villegast, with the tithes thereto belonging, and one plough-land. They also gave the herbage of the whole vill, free from any commonage, and all the land in the parish, whether in grass or tillage, [2] to be cultivated by the tenants settled there, reserving only the champarty [3] to himself. This grant was made before the lord Robert at Ivri, and was confirmed by him and his sons Ascelin, Goel, and William. He granted all that he had in the same vill, for which he received the seignory of the place and an ounce of gold. Not long afterwards he was, by God's providence, afflicted with a painful disease in his privy-parts, and having the fear of death before his eyes became a monk in the abbey of Bec. His son Ascelin Goel succeeded to his domains by right of inheritance, and was a long time eminent among his neighbours for his gallant actions. He built a very strong castle at Breval, and filled it with fierce freebooters who ruined numbers. He surprised the castle of Ivri by a skilful stratagem, defeating and making prisoner William de Breteuil its


[1] Near Falaise.

[2] Tam in mansuris quam in rupturis; whether of the old homesteads, or land fresh broken up?

[3] Camparto. "The portion of the produce which the farmer gives to the owner of the soil; from campum partiri".- Ducange. The French call this tenure "Metayer"; it was very common in France to a 1ate period, and we believe is still prevalent in some districts. Arthur Young devotes part of a chapter to the exposure of a system which he considers alike ruinous to the landlord and occupier. Travels in France, vol. 1. p. 406.

238 ORDERICUS VITALIS. [B.V. CH.XX.

master, whom he threw into close confinement. For his ransom he extorted violently a thousand livres of Dreux and the stronghold of Ivri, taking to wife his daughter Isabel, by whom he had seven sons. He, with his wife and sons, released all the lands which St. Evroult had in his lordship, viz., Villegast, and one moiety of the tithes of Montigni, for which he received from the monks a gratuity of sixty shillings, and he sealed his charter of confirmation at Breval. The same Ascelin, in the monks' house at Hillier, released to the monks of St. Evroult all tolls for passage, as well in that lordship as in all his other lands. Robert and William, surnamed Louvel, his sons, afterwards confirmed the grant, and strictly observed its tenor for a long time.

Hugh Paganus, Grosse-Langue, with his wife Agnes, and his son Guy, granted to St. Evroult the viscounty, that is, the voierie, [1] as much as they had in Villegast, from which the monks received at one time ten shillings and a deer-skin, at another time twenty shillings. The son received ten shillings of Mantes for his release. John of Rheims wrote out the charter of this covenant before the tower of Breval, Hugh Fresnel dictating it; and Hugh Paganus and his sons confirmed it. Some time afterwards Hugh became a monk, and his sons Rodolph, Simon, and Robert, attempted to deprive the monks of the viscounty; but they, to hold their possessions in peace, gave to Rodolph, the eldest, one hundred and ten shillings of money of Mantes, to Simon five shillings, and to Robert, Cordovan shoes.

The year that Goel died, Alexander and Gilbert gave to St. Evroult, in the presence of Robert de St. Nicholas, a field belonging to the farm of a certain villein named Robert, although he complained that he had not land sufficient for one plough. Fulk de St. Aubin having given part of his lands in Villers to St. Evroult, Theodoric and Rainier his heirs, with their wives Emmeline and Tesceline, through


[1] Viariam; Ducange remarks that Ordericus confounds the rights of the viscount (answering in some measure to our sheriff) with those of the seigneur, voyer. It is well known that rights of seignorage and jurisdiction often passed to the monks, with the domains granted to them. The word may have been vicariam, the deputyship, right of being judges in small causes.

CELLS TO THE ABBEY OF ST. EVROULT. 239

whom they inherited, confirmed the grant, retaining a certain part for their own entertainment; Alexander, in whose fief the land was, consenting.

I have given a long account of the possessions granted to the church of St. Evroult, but have not been able to include them all in the present book; for there are small portions obtained from persons of the middle rank, either by fair words, or extorted by violent means, or purchased, or gained in some other way, which lie dispersed in different dioceses. In these a certain number of monks are settled according to the extent of the property, who serve the Lord daily on behalf of their benefactors with hymns and prayers, and a life of continence. What remains shall be faithfully collected in the sequel of this work, and clearly related for the benefit of those who shall succeed us in labouring in the field of the Lord.

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