1095-99
A.D. 1095 . In this year was the King William the first four days
of Christmas at Whitsand, and after the fourth day came hither,
and landed at Dover. And Henry, the king's brother, abode in
this land until Lent, and then went over sea to Normandy, with
much treasure, on the king's behalf, against their brother, Earl
Robert, and frequently fought against the earl, and did him much
harm, both in land and in men. And then at Easter held the king
his court in Winchester; and the Earl Robert of Northumberland
would not come to court. And the king was much stirred to anger
with him for this, and sent to him, and bade him harshly, if he
would be worthy of protection, that he would come to court at
Pentecost. In this year was Easter on the eighth day before the
calends of April; and upon Easter, on the night of the feast of
St Ambrose, that is, the second before the nones of April, (121)
nearly over all this land, and almost all the night, numerous and
manifold stars were seen to fall from heaven; not by one or two,
but so thick in succession, that no man could tell it. Hereafter
at Pentecost was the king at Windsor, and all his council with
him, except the Earl of Northumberland; for the king would
neither give him hostages, nor own upon truth, that he might come
and go with security. And the king therefore ordered his army,
and went against the earl to Northumberland; and soon after he
came thither, he won many and nearly all the best of the earl's
clan in a fortress, and put them into custody; and the castle at
Tinemouth he beset until he won it, and the earl's brother
therein, and all that were with him; and afterwards went to
Bamborough, and beset the earl therein. But when the king saw
that he could not win it, then ordered he his men to make a
castle before Bamborough, and called it in his speech
"Malveisin"; that is in English, "Evil Neighbour". And he
fortified it strongly with his men, and afterwards went
southward. Then, soon after that the king was gone south, went
the earl one night out of Bamborough towards Tinemouth; but they
that were in the new castle were aware of him, and went after
him, and fought him, and wounded him, and afterwards took him.
And of those that were with him some they slew, and some they
took alive. Among these things it was made known to the king,
that the Welshmen in Wales had broken into a castle called
Montgomery, and slain the men of Earl Hugo, that should have held
it. He therefore gave orders to levy another force immediately,
and after Michaelmas went into Wales, and shifted his forces, and
went through all that land, so that the army came all together by
All Saints to Snowdon. But the Welsh always went before into the
mountains and the moors, that no man could come to them. The
king then went homeward; for he saw that he could do no more
there this winter. When the king came home again, he gave orders
to take the Earl Robert of Northumberland, and lead him to
Bamborough, and put out both his eyes, unless they that were
therein would give up the castle. His wife held it, and Morel
who was steward, and also his relative. Through this was the
castle then given up; and Morel was then in the king's court; and
through him were many both of the clergy and laity surrendered,
who with their counsels had conspired against the king. The king
had before this time commanded some to be brought into prison,
and afterwards had it very strictly proclaimed over all this
country, "That all who held land of the king, as they wished to
be considered worthy of protection, should come to court at the
time appointed." And the king commanded that the Earl Robert
should be led to Windsor, and there held in the castle. Also in
this same year, against Easter, came the pope's nuncio hither to
this land. This was Bishop Walter, a man of very good life, of
the town of Albano; and upon the day of Pentecost on the behalf
of Pope Urban he gave Archbishop Anselm his pall, and he received
him at his archiepiscopal stall in Canterbury. And Bishop Walter
remained afterwards in this land a great part of the year; and
men then sent by him the Rome-scot, (122) which they had not done
for many years before. This same year also the weather was very
unseasonable; in consequence of which throughout all this land
were all the fruits of the earth reduced to a moderate crop.

A.D. 1096 . In this year held the King William his court at
Christmas in Windsor; and William Bishop of Durham died there on
new-year's day; and on the octave of the Epiphany was the king
and all his councillors at Salisbury. There Geoffry Bainard
challenged William of Ou, the king's relative, maintaining that
he had been in the conspiracy against the king. And he fought
with him, and overcame him in single combat; and after he was
overcome, the king gave orders to put out his eyes, and
afterwards to emasculate him; and his steward, William by name,
who was the son of his stepmother, the king commanded to be
hanged on a gibbet. Then was also Eoda, Earl of Champagne, the
king's son-in-law, and many others, deprived of their lands;
whilst some were led to London, and there killed. This year
also, at Easter, there was a very great stir through all this
nation and many others, on account of Urban, who was declared
Pope, though he had nothing of a see at Rome. And an immense
multitude went forth with their wives and children, that they
might make war upon the heathens. Through this expedition were
the king and his brother, Earl Robert, reconciled; so that the
king went over sea, and purchased all Normandy of him, on
condition that they should be united. And the earl afterwards
departed; and with him the Earl of Flanders, and the Earl of
Boulogne, and also many other men of rank (123). And the Earl
Robert, and they that went with him, passed the winter in Apulia;
but of the people that went by Hungary many thousands miserably
perished there and by the way. And many dragged themselves home
rueful and hunger-bitten on the approach of winter. This was a
very heavy-timed year through all England, both through the
manifold tributes, and also through the very heavy-timed hunger
that severely oppressed this earth in the course of the year. In
this year also the principal men who held this land, frequently
sent forces into Wales, and many men thereby grievously
afflicted, producing no results but destruction of men and waste
of money.

A.D. 1097 . In this year was the King William at Christmas in
Normandy; and afterwards against Easter he embarked for this
land; for that he thought to hold his court at Winchester; but he
was weather-bound until Easter-eve, when he first landed at
Arundel; and for this reason held his court at Windsor. And
thereafter with a great army he went into Wales, and quickly
penetrated that land with his forces, through some of the Welsh
who were come to him, and were his guides; and he remained in
that country from midsummer nearly until August, and suffered
much loss there in men and in horses, and also in many other
things. The Welshmen, after they had revolted from the king,
chose them many elders from themselves; one of whom was called
Cadwgan, (124) who was the worthiest of them, being brother's son
to King Griffin. And when the king saw that he could do nothing
in furtherance of his will, he returned again into this land; and
soon after that he let his men build castles on the borders.
Then upon the feast of St. Michael, the fourth day before the
nones of October, (125) appeared an uncommon star, shining in the
evening, and soon hastening to set. It (126) was seen south-west,
and the ray that stood off from it was thought very long, shining
south-east. And it appeared on this wise nearly all the week.
Many men supposed that it was a comet. Soon after this
Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury obtained leave (127) of the king
(though it was contrary to the wishes of the king, as men
supposed), and went over sea; because he thought that men in this
country did little according to right and after his instruction.
And the king thereafter upon St. Martin's mass went over sea into
Normandy; but whilst he was waiting for fair weather, his court
in the county where they lay, did the most harm that ever court
or army could do in a friendly and peaceable land. This was in
all things a very heavy-timed year, and beyond measure laborious
from badness of weather, both when men attempted to till the
land, and afterwards to gather the fruits of their tilth; and
from unjust contributions they never rested. Many counties also
that were confined to London by work, were grievously oppressed
on account of the wall that they were building about the tower,
and the bridge that was nearly all afloat, and the work of the
king's hall that they were building at Westminster; and many men
perished thereby. Also in this same year soon after Michaelmas
went Edgar Etheling with an army through the king's assistance
into Scotland, and with hard fighting won that land, and drove
out the King Dufnal; and his nephew Edgar, who was son of King
Malcolm and of Margaret the queen, he there appointed king in
fealty to the King William; and afterwards again returned to
England.

A.D. 1098 . In this year at Christmas was the King William in
Normandy; and Walkelin, Bishop of Winchester, and Baldwin, Abbot
of St. Edmund's, within this tide (128) both departed. And in
this year also died Turold, Abbot of Peterborough. In the summer
of this year also, at Finchamstead in Berkshire, a pool welled
with blood, as many true men said that should see it. And Earl
Hugh was slain in Anglesey by foreign pirates, (129) and his
brother Robert was his heir, as he had settled it before with the
king. Before Michaelmas the heaven was of such an hue, as if it
were burning, nearly all the night. This was a very troublesome
year through manifold impositions; and from the abundant rains,
that ceased not all the year, nearly all the tilth in the marsh-
lands perished.

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

Notes:

(121) The fourth of April. Vid. "Ord. Vit."
(122) Commonly called "Peter-pence".
(123) Literally "head-men, or chiefs". The term is still
retained with a slight variation in the north of Europe, as
the "hetman" Platoff of celebrated memory.
(124) This name is now written, improperly, Cadogan; though the
ancient pronunciation continues. "Cadung", "Ann. Wav."
erroneously, perhaps, for "Cadugn".
(125) It was evidently, therefore, not on Michaelmas day, but
during the continuance of the mass or festival which was
celebrated till the octave following.
(126) In the original "he"; so that the Saxons agreed with the
Greeks and Romans with respect to the gender of a comet.
(127) Literally "took leave": hence the modern phrase to signify
the departure of one person from another, which in feudal
times could not be done without leave or permission formally
obtained.
(128) That is, within the twelve days after Christmas, or the
interval between Christmas day, properly called the
Nativity, and the Epiphany, the whole of which was called
Christmas-tide or Yule-tide, and was dedicated to feasting
and mirth.
(129) The King of Norway and his men. "Vid. Flor."

Chronicle Years: 1092-94
Chronicle Years: 1100-04


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