1100-04
A.D. 1100 . In this year the King William held his court at
Christmas in Glocester, and at Easter in Winchester, and at
Pentecost in Westminster. And at Pentecost was seen in Berkshire
at a certain town blood to well from the earth; as many said that
should see it. And thereafter on the morning after Lammas day
was the King William shot in hunting, by an arrow from his own
men, and afterwards brought to Winchester, and buried in the
cathedral. (130) This was in the thirteenth year after that he
assumed the government. He was very harsh and severe over his
land and his men, and with all his neighbours; and very
formidable; and through the counsels of evil men, that to him
were always agreeable, and through his own avarice, he was ever
tiring this nation with an army, and with unjust contributions.
For in his days all right fell to the ground, and every wrong
rose up before God and before the world. God's church he
humbled; and all the bishoprics and abbacies, whose elders fell
in his days, he either sold in fee, or held in his own hands, and
let for a certain sum; because he would be the heir of every man,
both of the clergy and laity; so that on the day that he fell he
had in his own hand the archbishopric of Canterbury, with the
bishopric of Winchester, and that of Salisbury, and eleven
abbacies, all let for a sum; and (though I may be tedious) all
that was loathsome to God and righteous men, all that was
customary in this land in his time. And for this he was loathed
by nearly all his people, and odious to God, as his end
testified: -- for he departed in the midst of his
unrighteousness, without any power of repentance or recompense
for his deeds. On the Thursday he was slain; and in the morning
afterwards buried; and after he was buried, the statesmen that
were then nigh at hand, chose his brother Henry to king. And he
immediately (131) gave the bishopric of Winchester to William
Giffard; and afterwards went to London; and on the Sunday
following, before the altar at Westminster, he promised God and
all the people, to annul all the unrighteous acts that took place
in his brother's time, and to maintain the best laws that were
valid in any king's day before him. And after this the Bishop of
London, Maurice, consecrated him king; and all in this land
submitted to him, and swore oaths, and became his men. And the
king, soon after this, by the advice of those that were about
him, allowed men to take the Bishop Ranulf of Durham, and bring
him into the Tower of London, and hold him there. Then, before
Michaelmas, came the Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury hither to
this land; as the King Henry, by the advice of his ministers had
sent after him, because he had gone out of this land for the
great wrongs that the King William did unto him. And soon
hereafter the king took him to wife Maud, daughter of Malcolm,
King of Scotland, and of Margaret the good queen, the relative of
King Edward, and of the right royal (132) race of England. And
on Martinmas day she was publicly given to him with much pomp at
Westminster, and the Archbishop Anselm wedded her to him, and
afterwards consecrated her queen. And the Archbishop Thomas of
York soon hereafter died. During the harvest of this same year
also came the Earl Robert home into Normandy, and the Earl Robert
of Flanders, Eustace, Earl of Boulogne, from Jerusalem. And as
soon as the Earl Robert came into Normandy, he was joyfully
received by all his people; except those of the castles that were
garrisoned with the King Henry's men. Against them he had many
contests and struggles.

A.D. 1101 . In this year at Christmas held the King Henry his
court in Westminster, and at Easter in Winchester. And soon
thereafter were the chief men in this land in a conspiracy
against the king; partly from their own great infidelity, and
also through the Earl Robert of Normandy, who with hostility
aspired to the invasion of this land. And the king afterwards
sent ships out to sea, to thwart and impede his brother; but some
of them in the time of need fell back, and turned from the king,
and surrendered themselves to the Earl Robert. Then at midsummer
went the king out to Pevensey with all his force against his
brother, and there awaited him. But in the meantime came the
Earl Robert up at Portsmouth twelve nights before Lammas; and the
king with all his force came against him. But the chief men
interceded between them, and settled the brothers on the
condition, "that the king should forego all that he held by main
strength in Normandy against the earl; and that all then in
England should have their lands again, who had lost it before
through the earl, and Earl Eustace also all his patrimony in this
land; and that the Earl Robert every year should receive from
England three thousand marks of silver; and particularly, that
whichever of the brothers should survive the other, he should be
heir of all England and also of Normandy, except the deceased
left an heir by lawful wedlock." And this twelve men of the
highest rank on either side then confirmed with an oath. And the
earl afterwards remained in this land till after Michaelmas; and
his men did much harm wherever they went, the while that the earl
continued in this land. This year also the Bishop Ranulf at
Candlemas burst out of the Tower of London by night, where he was
in confinement, and went into Normandy; through whose contrivance
and instigation mostly the Earl Robert this year sought this land
with hostility.

A.D. 1102 . In this year at the Nativity was the King Henry at
Westminster, and at Easter in Winchester. And soon thereafter
arose a dissention between the king and the Earl Robert of
Belesme, who held in this land the earldom of Shrewsbury, that
his father, Earl Roger, had before, and much territory therewith
both on this side and beyond the sea. And the king went and
beset the castle at Arundel; but when he could not easily win it,
he allowed men to make castles before it, and filled them with
his men; and afterwards with all his army he went to Bridgenorth,
and there continued until he had the castle, and deprived the
Earl Robert of his land, and stripped him of all that he had in
England. And the earl accordingly went over sea, and the army
afterwards returned home. Then was the king thereafter by
Michaelmas at Westminster; and all the principal men in this
land, clerk, and laity. And the Archbishop Anselm held a synod
of clergy; and there they established many canons that belong to
Christianity. And many, both French and English, were there
deprived of their staves and dignity, which they either obtained
with injustice, or enjoyed with dishonour. And in this same
year, in the week of the feast of Pentecost, there came thieves,
some from Auvergne, (133) some from France, and some from
Flanders, and broke into the minster of Peterborough, and therein
seized much property in gold and in silver; namely, roods, and
chalices, and candlesticks.

A.D. 1103 . In this year, at midwinter, was the King Henry at
Westminster. And soon afterwards departed the Bishop William
Giffard out of this land; because he would not against right
accept his hood at the hands of the Archbishop Gerard of York.
And then at Easter held the king his court at Winchester, and
afterwards went the Archbishop Anselm from Canterbury to Rome, as
was agreed between him and the king. This year also came the
Earl Robert of Normandy to speak with the king in this land; and
ere he departed hence he forgave the King Henry the three
thousand marks that he was bound by treaty to give him each year.
In this year also at Hamstead in Berkshire was seen blood [to
rise] from the earth. This was a very calamitous year in this
land, through manifold impositions, and through murrain of
cattle, and deficiency of produce, not only in corn, but in every
kind of fruit. Also in the morning, upon the mass day of St.
Laurence, the wind did so much harm here on land to all fruits,
as no man remembered that ever any did before. In this same year
died Matthias, Abbot of Peterborough, who lived no longer than
one year after he was abbot. After Michaelmas, on the twelfth
day before the calends of November, he was in full procession
received as abbot; and on the same day of the next year he was
dead at Glocester, and there buried.

A.D. 1104 . In this year at Christmas held the King Henry his
court at Westminster, and at Easter in Winchester, and at
Pentecost again at Westminster. This year was the first day of
Pentecost on the nones of June; and on the Tuesday following were
seen four circles at mid-day about the sun, of a white hue, each
described under the other as if they were measured. All that saw
it wondered; for they never remembered such before. Afterwards
were reconciled the Earl Robert of Normandy and Robert de
Belesme, whom the King Henry had before deprived of his lands,
and driven from England; and through their reconciliation the
King of England and the Earl of Normandy became adversaries. And
the king sent his folk over sea into Normandy; and the head-men
in that land received them, and with treachery to their lord, the
earl, lodged them in their castles, whence they committed many
outrages on the earl in plundering and burning. This year also
William, Earl of Moreton (134) went from this land into Normandy;
but after he was gone he acted against the king; because the king
stripped and deprived him of all that he had here in this land.
It is not easy to describe the misery of this land, which it was
suffering through various and manifold wrongs and impositions,
that never failed nor ceased; and wheresoever the king went,
there was full licence given to his company to harrow and oppress
his wretched people; and in the midst thereof happened oftentimes
burnings and manslaughter. All this was done to the displeasure
of God, and to the vexation of this unhappy people.

Notes:

(130) His monument is still to be seen there, a plain gravestone
of black marble, of the common shape called "dos d'ane";
such as are now frequently seen, though of inferior
materials, in the churchyards of villages; and are only one
remove from the grassy sod.
(131) i.e. before he left Winchester for London; literally
"there-right" -- an expression still used in many parts of
England. Neither does the word "directly", which in its
turn has almost become too vulgar to be used, nor its
substitute, "immediately", which has nearly superseded it,
appear to answer the purpose so well as the Saxon, which is
equally expressive with the French "sur le champ".
(132) This expression shows the adherence of the writer to the
Saxon line of kings, and his consequent satisfaction in
recording this alliance of Henry with the daughter of
Margaret of Scotland.
(133) "Auvergne" at that time was an independent province, and
formed no part of France. About the middle of the
fourteenth century we find Jane, Countess of Auvergne and
Boulogne, and Queen of France, assisting in the dedication
of the church of the Carmelites at Paris, together with
Queen Jeanne d'Evreux, third wife and widow of Charles IV.,
Blanche of Navarre, widow of Philip VI., and Jeanne de
France, Queen of Navarre. -- Felib. "Histoire de Paris",
vol. I, p. 356.
(134) A title taken from a town in Normandy, now generally
written Moretaine, or Moretagne; de Moreteon, de Moritonio,
Flor.

Chronicle Years: 1095-99
Chronicle Years: 1105-13


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