1083-86
A.D. 1083 . This year arose the tumult at Glastonbury betwixt the
Abbot Thurstan and his monks. It proceeded first from the
abbot's want of wisdom, that he misgoverned his monks in many
things. But the monks meant well to him; and told him that he
should govern them rightly, and love them, and they would be
faithful and obedient to him. The abbot, however, would hear
nothing of this; but evil entreated them, and threatened them
worse. One day the abbot went into the chapter-house, and spoke
against the monks, and attempted to mislead them; (101) and sent
after some laymen, and they came full-armed into the chapter-
house upon the monks. Then were the monks very much afraid (102)
of them, and wist not what they were to do, but they shot
forward, and some ran into the church, and locked the doors after
them. But they followed them into the minster, and resolved to
drag them out, so that they durst not go out. A rueful thing
happened on that day. The Frenchmen broke into the choir, and
hurled their weapons toward the altar, where the monks were; and
some of the knights went upon the upper floor, (103) and shot
their arrows downward incessantly toward the sanctuary; so that
on the crucifix that stood above the altar they stuck many
arrows. And the wretched monks lay about the altar, and some
crept under, and earnestly called upon God, imploring his mercy,
since they could not obtain any at the hands of men. What can we
say, but that they continued to shoot their arrows; whilst the
others broke down the doors, and came in, and slew (104) some of
the monks to death, and wounded many therein; so that the blood
came from the altar upon the steps, and from the steps on the
floor. Three there were slain to death, and eighteen wounded.
And in this same year departed Matilda, queen of King William, on
the day after All-Hallow-mass. And in the same year also, after
mid-winter, the king ordained a large and heavy contribution
(105) over all England; that was, upon each hide of land, two and
seventy pence.

A.D. 1084 . In this year died Wulfwold, Abbot of Chertsey, on the
thirteenth day before the calends of May.

A.D. 1085 . In this year men reported, and of a truth asserted,
that Cnute, King of Denmark, son of King Sweyne, was coming
hitherward, and was resolved to win this land, with the
assistance of Robert, Earl of Flanders; (106) for Cnute had
Robert's daughter. When William, King of England, who was then
resident in Normandy (for he had both England and Normandy),
understood this, he went into England with so large an army of
horse and foot, from France and Brittany, as never before sought
this land; so that men wondered how this land could feed all that
force. But the king left the army to shift for themselves
through all this land amongst his subjects, who fed them, each
according to his quota of land. Men suffered much distress this
year; and the king caused the land to be laid waste about the sea
coast; that, if his foes came up, they might not have anything on
which they could very readily seize. But when the king
understood of a truth that his foes were impeded, and could not
further their expedition, (107) then let he some of the army go
to their own land; but some he held in this land over the winter.
Then, at the midwinter, was the king in Glocester with his
council, and held there his court five days. And afterwards the
archbishop and clergy had a synod three days. There was
Mauritius chosen Bishop of London, William of Norfolk, and Robert
of Cheshire. These were all the king's clerks. After this had
the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his
council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort
of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire;
commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were
in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon
the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the
shire." Also he commissioned them to record in writing, "How
much land his archbishops had, and his diocesan bishops, and his
abbots, and his earls;" and though I may be prolix and tedious,
"What, or how much, each man had, who was an occupier of land in
England, either in land or in stock, and how much money it were
worth." So very narrowly, indeed, did he commission them to
trace it out, that there was not one single hide, nor a yard
(108) of land, nay, moreover (it is shameful to tell, though he
thought it no shame to do it), not even an ox, nor a cow, nor a
swine was there left, that was not set down in his writ. And all
the recorded particulars were afterwards brought to him. (109)

A.D. 1086 . This year the king bare his crown, and held his
court, in Winchester at Easter; and he so arranged, that he was
by the Pentecost at Westminster, and dubbed his son Henry a
knight there. Afterwards he moved about so that he came by
Lammas to Sarum; where he was met by his councillors; and all the
landsmen that were of any account over all England became this
man's vassals as they were; and they all bowed themselves before
him, and became his men, and swore him oaths of allegiance that
they would against all other men be faithful to him. Thence he
proceeded into the Isle of Wight; because he wished to go into
Normandy, and so he afterwards did; though he first did according
to his custom; he collected a very large sum from his people,
wherever he could make any demand, whether with justice or
otherwise. Then he went into Normandy; and Edgar Etheling, the
relation of King Edward, revolted from him, for he received not
much honour from him; but may the Almighty God give him honour
hereafter. And Christina, the sister of the etheling, went into
the monastery of Rumsey, and received the holy veil. And the
same year there was a very heavy season, and a swinkful and
sorrowful year in England, in murrain of cattle, and corn and
fruits were at a stand, and so much untowardness in the weather,
as a man may not easily think; so tremendous was the thunder and
lightning, that it killed many men; and it continually grew worse
and worse with men. May God Almighty better it whenever it be
his will.

Notes:

(101) i.e. In the service; by teaching them a new-fangled chant,
brought from Feschamp in Normandy, instead of that to which
they had been accustomed, and which is called the Gregorian
chant.
(102) Literally, "afeared of them" -- i.e. terrified by them.
(103) Probably along the open galleries in the upper story of the
choir.
(104) "Slaegan", in its first sense, signifies "to strike
violently"; whence the term "sledge-hammer". This
consideration will remove the supposed pleonasm in the Saxon
phrase, which is here literally translated.
(105) "Gild," Sax.; which in this instance was a land-tax of one
shilling to a yardland.
(106) -- and of Clave Kyrre, King of Norway. Vid. "Antiq.
Celto-Scand".
(107) Because there was a mutiny in the Danish fleet; which was
carried to such a height, that the king, after his return to
Denmark, was slain by his own subjects. Vid. "Antiq. Celto-
Scand", also our "Chronicle" A.D. 1087.
(108) i.e. a fourth part of an acre.
(109) At Winchester; where the king held his court at Easter in
the following year; and the survey was accordingly deposited
there; whence it was called "Rotulus Wintoniae", and "Liber
Wintoniae".

Chronicle Years: 1073-82
Chronicle Year: 1087


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