1128-35
A.D. 1128 . All this year was the King Henry in Normandy, on
account of the hostility that was between him and his nephew, the
Earl of Flanders. But the earl was wounded in a fight by a
swain; and so wounded he went to the monastery of St. Bertin;
where he soon became a monk, lived five days afterwards, then
died, and was there buried. God honour his soul. That was on
the sixth day before the calends of August. This same year died
the Bishop Randulph Passeflambard of Durham; and was there buried
on the nones of September. And this same year went the aforesaid
Abbot Henry home to his own minster at Poitou by the king's
leave. He gave the king to understand, that he would withal
forgo that minster, and that land, and dwell with him in England,
and in the monastery of Peterborough. But it was not so
nevertheless. He did this because he would be there, through his
crafty wiles, were it a twelvemonth or more, and come again
afterwards. May God Almighty extend his mercy over that wretched
place. This same year came from Jerusalem Hugh of the Temple to
the king in Normandy; and the king received him with much honour,
and gave him rich presents in gold and in silver. And afterwards
he sent him into England; and there he was received by all good
men, who all gave him presents, and in Scotland also: and by him
they sent to Jerusalem much wealth withal in gold and in silver.
And he invited folk out to Jerusalem; and there went with him and
after him more people than ever did before, since that the first
expedition was in the day of Pope Urban. Though it availed
little; for he said, that a mighty war was begun between the
Christians and the heathens; but when they came thither, then was
it nought but leasing. (159) Thus pitifully was all that people
swinked. (160)

A.D. 1129 . In this year sent the King to England after the Earl
Waleram, and after Hugh, the son of Gervase. And they gave
hostages for them. And Hugh went home to his own land in France;
but Waleram was left with the king: and the king gave him all his
land except his castle alone. Afterwards came the king to
England within the harvest: and the earl came with him: and they
became as good friends as they were foes before. Soon after, by
the king's counsel, and by his leave, sent the Archbishop William
of Canterbury over all England, and bade bishops, and abbots, and
archdeacons, and all the priors, monks, and canons, that were in
all the cells in England, and all who had the care and
superintendence of christianity, that they should all come to
London at Michaelmas, and there should speak of all God's rights.
When they came thither, then began the moot on Monday, and
continued without intermission to the Friday. When it all came
forth, then was it all found to be about archdeacons' wives, and
about priests' wives; that they should forgo them by St. Andrew's
mass; and he who would not do that, should forgo his church, and
his house, and his home, and never more have any calling thereto.
This bade the Archbishop William of Canterbury, and all the
diocesan bishops that were then in England, but the king gave
them all leave to go home. And so they went home; and all the
ordinances amounted to nothing. All held their wives by the
king's leave as they did before. This same year died the Bishop
William Giffard of Winchester; and was there buried, on the
eighth day before the calends of February. And the King Henry
gave the bishopric after Michaelmas to the Abbot Henry of
Glastonbury, his nephew, and he was consecrated bishop by the
Archbishop William of Canterbury on the fifteenth day before the
calends of December. This same year died Pope Honorius. Ere he
was well dead, there were chosen two popes. The one was named
Peter, who was monk of Clugny, and was born of the richest men of
Rome; and with him held those of Rome, and the Duke of Sicily.
The other was Gregory: he was a clerk, and was driven out of Rome
by the other pope, and by his kinsmen. With him held the Emperor
of Saxony, and the King of France, and the King Henry of England,
and all those on this side of the Alps. Now was there such
division in Christendom as never was before. May Christ consult
for his wretched folk. This same year, on the night of the mass
of St. Nicholas, a little before day, there was a great
earthquake.

A.D. 1130 . This year was the monastery of Canterbury consecrated
by the Archbishop William, on the fourth day before the nones of
May. There were the Bishops John of Rochester, Gilbert Universal
of London, Henry of Winchester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of
Salisbury, Simon of Worcester, Roger of Coventry, Geoffry of
Bath, Evrard of Norwich, Sigefrith of Chichester, Bernard of St.
David's, Owen of Evreux in Normandy, John of Sieyes. On the
fourth day after this was the King Henry in Rochester, when the
town was almost consumed by fire; and the Archbishop William
consecrated the monastery of St. Andrew, and the aforesaid
bishops with him. And the King Henry went over sea into Normandy
in harvest. This same year came the Abbot Henry of Angeli after
Easter to Peterborough, and said that he had relinquished that
monastery (161) withal. After him came the Abbot of Clugny,
Peter by name, to England by the king's leave; and was received
by all, whithersoever he came, with much respect. To
Peterborough he came; and there the Abbot Henry promised him that
he would procure him the minster of Peterborough, that it might
be subject to Clugny. But it is said in the proverb,
"The hedge abideth,
that acres divideth."
May God Almighty frustrate evil designs. Soon after this, went
the Abbot of Clugny home to his country. This year was Angus
slain by the army of the Scots, and there was a great multitude
slain with him. There was God's fight sought upon him, for that
he was all forsworn.

A.D. 1131 . This year, after Christmas, on a Monday night, at the
first sleep, was the heaven on the northern hemisphere (162) all
as if it were burning fire; so that all who saw it were so
dismayed as they never were before. That was on the third day
before the ides of January. This same year was so great a
murrain of cattle as never was before in the memory of man over
all England. That was in neat cattle and in swine; so that in a
town where there were ten ploughs going, or twelve, there was not
left one: and the man that had two hundred or three hundred
swine, had not one left. Afterwards perished the hen fowls; then
shortened the fleshmeat, and the cheese, and the butter. May God
better it when it shall be his will. And the King Henry came
home to England before harvest, after the mass of St. Peter "ad
vincula". This same year went the Abbot Henry, before Easter,
from Peterborough over sea to Normandy, and there spoke with the
king, and told him that the Abbot of Clugny had desired him to
come to him, and resign to him the abbacy of Angeli, after which
he would go home by his leave. And so he went home to his own
minster, and there remained even to midsummer day. And the next
day after the festival of St. John chose the monks an abbot of
themselves, brought him into the church in procession, sang "Te
Deum laudamus", rang the bells, set him on the abbot's throne,
did him all homage, as they should do their abbot: and the earl,
and all the head men, and the monks of the minster, drove the
other Abbot Henry out of the monastery. And they had need; for
in five-and-twenty winters had they never hailed one good day.
Here failed him all his mighty crafts. Now it behoved him, that
he crope in his skin into every corner, if peradventure there
were any unresty wrench, (163) whereby he might yet once more
betray Christ and all Christian people. Then retired he into
Clugny, where he was held so fast, that he could not move east or
west. The Abbot of Clugny said that they had lost St. John's
minster through him, and through his great sottishness. Then
could he not better recompense them; but he promised them, and
swore oaths on the holy cross, that if he might go to England he
should get them the minster of Peterborough; so that he should
set there the prior of Clugny, with a churchwarden, a treasurer,
and a sacristan: and all the things that were within the minster
and without, he should procure for them. Thus he departed into
France; and there remained all that year. Christ provide for the
wretched monks of Peterborough, and for that wretched place. Now
do they need the help of Christ and of all Christian folk.

A.D. 1132 . This year came King Henry to this land. Then came
Abbot Henry, and betrayed the monks of Peterborough to the king,
because he would subject that minster to Clugny; so that the king
was well nigh entrapped, and sent after the monks. But through
the grace of God, and through the Bishop of Salisbury, and the
Bishop of Lincoln, and the other rich men that were there, the
king knew that he proceeded with treachery. When he no more
could do, then would he that his nephew should be Abbot of
Peterborough. But Christ forbade. Not very long after this was
it that the king sent after him, and made him give up the Abbey
of Peterborough, and go out of the land. And the king gave the
abbacy to a prior of St. Neot's, called Martin, who came on St.
Peter's mass-day with great pomp into the minster.

A.D. 1135 . In this year went the King Henry over sea at the
Lammas; and the next day, as he lay asleep on ship, the day
darkened over all lands, and the sun was all as it were a three
night old moon, and the stars about him at midday. Men were very
much astonished and terrified, and said that a great event should
come hereafter. So it did; for that same year was the king dead,
the next day after St. Andrew's mass-day, in Normandy. Then was
there soon tribulation in the land; for every man that might,
soon robbed another. Then his sons and his friends took his
body, and brought it to England, and buried it at Reading. A
good man he was; and there was great dread of him. No man durst
do wrong with another in his time. Peace he made for man and
beast. Whoso bare his burthen of gold and silver, durst no man
say ought to him but good. Meanwhile was his nephew come to
England, Stephen de Blois. He came to London, and the people of
London received him, and sent after the Archbishop William
Curboil, and hallowed him to king on midwinter day. In this
king's time was all dissention, and evil, and rapine; for against
him rose soon the rich men who were traitors; and first of all
Baldwin de Redvers, who held Exeter against him. But the king
beset it; and afterwards Baldwin accorded. Then took the others,
and held their castles against him; and David, King of Scotland,
took to Wessington against him. Nevertheless their messengers
passed between them; and they came together, and were settled,
but it availed little.

Notes:

(159) "Thou shalt destroy them that speak `leasing,'" etc.
"Psalms".
(160) i.e. Vexed, harassed, fatigued, etc. Milton has used the
word in the last sense.
(161) The monastery of Angeli.
(162) Aurora Borealis, or the northern lights.
(163) "Any restless manoeuvre or stratagem." Both words occur in
Chaucer. See "Troilus and Criseyde", v. 1355, and
"Canterbury Tales", v. 16549. The idea seems to be taken
from the habits of destructive and undermining vermin.

Chronicle Years: 1124-27
Chronicle Year: 1137


CONTENTS DIRECTORY
History | Monarchs | Prime Ministers | Travel | London | Wales | Earth Mysteries
Church | News | People | Science | Arts | State | Catalog | Sports | Panorama | Links

Comments: e-mail us at history@britannia.com
© 1995, 1996, 1997 Britannia Internet Magazine, LLC