1066
A.D. 1066 . This year came King Harold from York to Westminster,
on the Easter succeeding the midwinter when the king (Edward)
died. Easter was then on the sixteenth day before the calends of
May. Then was over all England such a token seen as no man ever
saw before. Some men said that it was the comet-star, which
others denominate the long-hair'd star. It appeared first on the
eve called "Litania major", that is, on the eighth before the
calends off May; and so shone all the week. Soon after this came
in Earl Tosty from beyond sea into the Isle of Wight, with as
large a fleet as he could get; and he was there supplied with
money and provisions. Thence he proceeded, and committed
outrages everywhere by the sea-coast where he could land, until
he came to Sandwich. When it was told King Harold, who was in
London, that his brother Tosty was come to Sandwich, he gathered
so large a force, naval and military, as no king before collected
in this land; for it was credibly reported that Earl William from
Normandy, King Edward's cousin, would come hither and gain this
land; just as it afterwards happened. When Tosty understood that
King Harold was on the way to Sandwich, he departed thence, and
took some of the boatmen with him, willing and unwilling, and
went north into the Humber with sixty skips; whence he plundered
in Lindsey, and there slew many good men. When the Earls Edwin
and Morkar understood that, they came hither, and drove him from
the land. And the boatmen forsook him. Then he went to Scotland
with twelve smacks; and the king of the Scots entertained him,
and aided him with provisions; and he abode there all the summer.
There met him Harold, King of Norway, with three hundred ships.
And Tosty submitted to him, and became his man. (87) Then came
King Harold (88) to Sandwich, where he awaited his fleet; for it
was long ere it could be collected: but when it was assembled, he
went into the Isle of Wight, and there lay all the summer and the
autumn. There was also a land-force every where by the sea,
though it availed nought in the end. It was now the nativity of
St. Mary, when the provisioning of the men began; and no man
could keep them there any longer. They therefore had leave to go
home: and the king rode up, and the ships were driven to London;
but many perished ere they came thither. When the ships were
come home, then came Harald, King of Norway, north into the Tine,
unawares, with a very great sea-force -- no small one; that might
be, with three hundred ships or more; and Earl Tosty came to him
with all those that he had got; just as they had before said: and
they both then went up with all the fleet along the Ouse toward
York. (89) When it was told King Harold in the south, after he
had come from the ships, that Harald, King of Norway, and Earl
Tosty were come up near York, then went he northward by day and
night, as soon as he could collect his army. But, ere King
Harold could come thither, the Earls Edwin and Morkar had
gathered from their earldoms as great a force as they could get,
and fought with the enemy. (90) They made a great slaughter too;
but there was a good number of the English people slain, and
drowned, and put to flight: and the Northmen had possession of
the field of battle. It was then told Harold, king of the
English, that this had thus happened. And this fight was on the
eve of St. Matthew the apostle, which was Wednesday. Then after
the fight went Harold, King of Norway, and Earl Tosty into York
with as many followers as they thought fit; and having procured
hostages and provisions from the city, they proceeded to their
ships, and proclaimed full friendship, on condition that all
would go southward with them, and gain this land. In the midst
of this came Harold, king of the English, with all his army, on
the Sunday, to Tadcaster; where he collected his fleet. Thence
he proceeded on Monday throughout York. But Harald, King of
Norway, and Earl Tosty, with their forces, were gone from their
ships beyond York to Stanfordbridge; for that it was given them
to understand, that hostages would be brought to them there from
all the shire. Thither came Harold, king of the English,
unawares against them beyond the bridge; and they closed together
there, and continued long in the day fighting very severely.
There was slain Harald the Fair-hair'd, King of Norway, and Earl
Tosty, and a multitude of people with them, both of Normans and
English; (91) and the Normans that were left fled from the
English, who slew them hotly behind; until some came to their
ships, some were drowned, some burned to death, and thus
variously destroyed; so that there was little left: and the
English gained possession of the field. But there was one of the
Norwegians who withstood the English folk, so that they could not
pass over the bridge, nor complete the victory. An Englishman
aimed at him with a javelin, but it availed nothing. Then came
another under the bridge, who pierced him terribly inwards under
the coat of mail. And Harold, king of the English, then came
over the bridge, followed by his army; and there they made a
great slaughter, both of the Norwegians and of the Flemings. But
Harold let the king's son, Edmund, go home to Norway with all the
ships. He also gave quarter to Olave, the Norwegian king's son,
and to their bishop, and to the earl of the Orkneys, and to all
those that were left in the ships; who then went up to our king,
and took oaths that they would ever maintain faith and friendship
unto this land. Whereupon the King let them go home with twenty-
four ships. These two general battles were fought within five
nights. Meantime Earl William came up from Normandy into
Pevensey on the eve of St. Michael's mass; and soon after his
landing was effected, they constructed a castle at the port of
Hastings. This was then told to King Harold; and he gathered a
large force, and came to meet him at the estuary of Appledore.
William, however, came against him unawares, ere his army was
collected; but the king, nevertheless, very hardly encountered
him with the men that would support him: and there was a great
slaughter made on either side. There was slain King Harold, and
Leofwin his brother, and Earl Girth his brother, with many good
men: and the Frenchmen gained the field of battle, as God granted
them for the sins of the nation. Archbishop Aldred and the
corporation of London were then desirous of having child Edgar to
king, as he was quite natural to them; and Edwin and Morkar
promised them that they would fight with them. But the more
prompt the business should ever be, so was it from day to day the
later and worse; as in the end it all fared. This battle was
fought on the day of Pope Calixtus: and Earl William returned to
Hastings, and waited there to know whether the people would
submit to him. But when he found that they would not come to
him, he went up with all his force that was left and that came
since to him from over sea, and ravaged all the country that he
overran, until he came to Berkhampstead; where Archbishop Aldred
came to meet him, with child Edgar, and Earls Edwin and Morkar,
and all the best men from London; who submitted then for need,
when the most harm was done. It was very ill-advised that they
did not so before, seeing that God would not better things for
our sins. And they gave him hostages and took oaths: and he
promised them that he would be a faithful lord to them; though in
the midst of this they plundered wherever they went. Then on
midwinter's day Archbishop Aldred hallowed him to king at
Westminster, and gave him possession with the books of Christ,
and also swore him, ere that he would set the crown on his head,
that he would so well govern this nation as any before him best
did, if they would be faithful to him. Neverrhetess he laid very
heavy tribute on men, and in Lent went over sea to Normandy,
taking with him Archbishop Stigand, and Abbot Aylnoth of
Glastonbury, and the child Edgar, and the Earls Edwin, Morkar,
and Waltheof, and many other good men of England. Bishop Odo and
Earl William lived here afterwards, and wrought castles widely
through this country, and harassed the miserable people; and ever
since has evil increased very much. May the end be good, when
God will! In that same expedition (92) was Leofric, Abbot of
Peterborough; who sickened there, and came home, and died soon
after, on the night of Allhallow-mass. God honour his soul! In
his day was all bliss and all good at Peterborough. He was
beloved by all; so that the king gave to St. Peter and him the
abbey at Burton, and that at Coventry, which the Earl Leofric,
who was his uncle, had formerly made; with that of Croyland, and
that of Thorney. He did so much good to the minster of
Peterborough, in gold, and in silver, and in shroud, and in land,
as no other ever did before him, nor any one after him. But now
was Gilden-borough become a wretched borough. The monks then
chose for abbot Provost Brand, because he was a very good man,
and very wise; and sent him to Edgar Etheling, for that the
land-folk supposed that he should be king: and the etheling
received him gladly. When King William heard say that, he was
very wroth, and said that the abbot had renounced him: but good
men went between them, and reconciled them; because the abbot was
a good man. He gave the king forty marks of gold for his
reconciliation; and he lived but a little while after -- only
three years. Afterwards came all wretchedness and all evil to
the minster. God have mercy on it!

((A.D. 1066 . This year died King Edward, and Harold the earl
succeeded to the kingdom, and held it forty weeks and one day.
And this year came William, and won England. And in this year
Christ-Church [Canterbury] was burned. And this year appeared a
comet on the fourteenth before the kalends of May.))

((A.D. 1066 . ...And then he [Tosty] went thence, and did harm
everywhere by the sea-coast where he could land, as far as
Sandwich. Then was it made known to King Harold, who was in
London, that Tosty his brother was come to Sandwich. Then
gathered he so great a ship-force, and also a land force, as no
king here in the land had before gathered, because it had been
soothly said unto him, that William the earl from Normandy, King
Edward's kinsman, would come hither and subdue this land: all as
it afterwards happened. When Tosty learned that King Harold was
on his way to Sandwich, then went he from Sandwich, and took some
of the boatmen with him, some willingly and some unwillingly; and
went then north into Humber, and there ravaged in Lindsey, and
there slew many good men. When Edwin the earl and Morcar the
earl understood that, then came they thither, and drove him out
of the land. And he went then to Scotland: and the king of Scots
protected him, and assisted him with provisions; and he there
abode all the summer. Then came King Harold to Sandwich, and
there awaited his fleet, because it was long before it could be
gathered together. And when his fleet was gathered together,
then went he into the Isle of Wight, and there lay all the summer
and the harvest; and a land-force was kept everywhere by the sea,
though in the end it was of no benefit. When it was the Nativity
of St. Mary, then were the men's provisions gone, and no man
could any longer keep them there. Then were the men allowed to
go home, and the king rode up, and the ships were dispatched to
London; and many perished before they came thither. When the
ships had reached home, then came King Harald from Norway, north
into Tyne, and unawares, with a very large ship-force, and no
small one; that might be, or more. And Tosty the earl came to
him with all that he had gotten, all as they had before agreed;
and then they went both, with all the fleet, along the Ouse, up
towards York. Then was it made known to King Harold in the
south, as he was come from on ship-board, that Harald King of
Norway and Tosty the earl were landed near York. Then went he
northward, day and night, as quickly as he could gather his
forces. Then, before that King Harold could come thither, then
gathered Edwin the earl and Morcar the earl from their earldom
as great a force as they could get together; and they fought
against the army, and made great slaughter: and there was much of
the English people slain, and drowned, and driven away in flight;
and the Northmen had possession of the place of carnage. And
this fight was on the vigil of St. Matthew the apostle, and it
was Wednesday. And then, after the fight, went Harald, King of
Norway, and Tosty the earl, into York, with as much people as
seemed meet to them. And they delivered hostages to them from
the city, and also assisted them with provisions; and so they
went thence to their ships, and they agreed upon a full peace, so
that they should all go with him south, and this land subdue.
Then, during this, came Harold, king of the Angles, with all his
forces, on the Sunday, to Tadcaster, and there drew up his force,
and went then on Monday throughout York; and Harald, King of
Norway, and Tosty the earl, and their forces, were gone from
their ships beyond York to Stanfordbridge, because it had been
promised them for a certainty, that there, from all the shire,
hostages should be brought to meet them. Then came Harold, king
of the English, against them, unawares, beyond the bridge, and
they there joined battle, and very strenuously, for a long time
of the day, continued fighting: and there was Harald, King of
Norway, and Tosty the earl slain, and numberless of the people
with them, as well of the Northmen as of the English: and the
Northmen fled from the English. Then was there one of the
Norwegians who withstood the English people, so that they might
not pass over the bridge, nor obtain the victory. Then an
Englishman aimed at him with a javelin, but availed nothing; and
then came another under the bridge, and pierced him terribly
inwards under the coat of mail. Then came Harold, king of the
English, over the bridge, and his forces onward with him, and
there made great slaughter, as well of Norwegians as of Flemings.
And the King's son, Edmund, Harold let go home to Norway, with
all the ships.))

((A.D. 1066 . In this year was consecrated the minster at
Westminster, on Childer-mass-day. And King Edward died on the
eve of Twelfth-day; and he was buried on Twelfth-day within the
newly consecrated church at Westminster. And Harold the earl
succeeded to the kingdom of England, even as the king had granted
it to him, and men also had chosen him thereto; and he was
crowned as king on Twelfth-day. And that same year that he
became king, he went out with a fleet against William [Earl of
Normandy]; and the while, came Tosty the earl into Humber with
sixty ships. Edwin the earl came with a land-force and drove him
out; and the boatmen forsook him. And he went to Scotland with
twelve vessels; and Harald, the King of Norway, met him with
three hundred ships, and Tosty submitted to him; and they both
went into Humber, until they came to York. And Morcar the earl,
and Edwin the earl, fought against them; and the king of the
Norwegians had the victory. And it was made known to King Harold
how it there was done, and had happened; and he came there with a
great army of English men, and met him at Stanfordbridge, and
slew him and the earl Tosty, and boldly overcame all the army.
And the while, William the earl landed at Hastings, on St.
Michael's-day: and Harold came from the north, and fought against
him before all his army had come up: and there he fell, and his
two brothers, Girth and Leofwin; and William subdued this land.
And he came to Westminster, and Archbishop Aldred consecrated him
king, and men paid him tribute, delivered him hostages, and
afterwards bought their land. And then was Leofric, Abbot of
Peterborough, in that same expedition; and there he sickened, and
came home, and was dead soon thereafter, on All-hallows-mass-
night; God be merciful to his soul! In his day was all bliss and
all good in Peterborough; and he was dear to all people, so that
the king gave to St. Peter and to him the abbacy at Burton, and
that of Coventry, which Leofric the earl, who was his uncle,
before had made, and that of Crowland, and that of Thorney. And
he conferred so much of good upon the minster of Peterborough, in
gold, and in silver, and in vestments, and in land, as never any
other did before him, nor any after him. After, Golden-borough
became a wretched borough. Then chose the monks for abbot Brand
the provost, by reason that he was a very good man, and very
wise, and sent him then to Edgar the etheling, by reason that the
people of the land supposed that he should become king: and the
etheling granted it him then gladly. When King William heard say
that, then was he very wroth, and said that the abbot had
despised him. Then went good men between them, and reconciled
them, by reason that the abbot was a good man. Then gave he the
king forty marks of gold for a reconciliation; and then
thereafter, lived he a little while, but three years. After that
came every tribulation and every evil to the minster. God have
mercy on it!))

Notes:

87) These facts, though stated in one MS. only, prove the early
cooperation of Tosty with the King of Norway. It is
remarkable that this statement is confirmed by Snorre, who
says that Tosty was with Harald, the King of Norway, in all
these expeditions. Vid "Antiq. Celto-Scand." p. 204.
(88) i.e. Harold, King of England; "our" king, as we find him
Afterwards called in B iv., to distinguish him from Harald,
King of Norway.
(89) Not only the twelve smacks with which he went into Scotland
during the summer, as before stated, but an accession of
force from all quarters.
(90) On the north bank of the Ouse, according to Florence of
Worcester; the enemy having landed at Richale (now
"Riccal"). Simeon of Durham names the spot "Apud Fulford,"
i.e. Fulford-water, south of the city of York.
(91) It is scarcely necessary to observe that the term "English"
begins about this time to be substituted for "Angles"; and
that the Normans are not merely the Norwegians, but the
Danes and other adventurers from the north, joined with the
forces of France and Flanders; who, we shall presently see,
overwhelmed by their numbers the expiring, liberties of
England. The Franks begin also to assume the name of
Frencyscan or "Frenchmen".
(92) i.e. in the expedition against the usurper William.

Chronicle Year: 1065
Chronicle Years: 1067-69


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