STEPHAN EARLE OF BULLONGNE.
[Sidenote: 1135 An. Reg. 1.] Stephan earle of Bullongne, the sonne of Stephan erle of Blois, by his wife Adela, daughter to William Conquerour, came ouer with all speed after the death of his vncle, and tooke vpon him the gouernement of the realme of England, partlie through confidence which he had in the puissance and strength of his brother Theobald earle of Blois, and partlie by the aid of his brother Henrie bishop of Winchester and abbat of Glastenburie, although that he with other of the Nobles had sworne afore to be true vnto the empresse and hir issue as lawfull heires of king Henrie latelie deceased.
[Sidenote: A tempest. Matth. West.] The same daie that he arriued in England, there chanced a mightie great tempest of thunder, horrible to heare, and lightning dreadfull to behold. Now bicause this happened in the winter time, it semed against nature, and therefore it was the more noted as a foreshewing of some trouble and calamitie to come.
This Stephan began his reigne ouer the realme of England the second day of December, in the yere of our Lord 1135. in the eleuenth yeare of the emperour Lothair, the sixt of pope Innocentius the second, and about the xxvii. of Lewes the seuenth, surnamed Crassus king of France, Dauid the first of that name then reigning in Scotland, & entring into the twelfe of his regiment. [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Wil. Mal. Simon Dun.] He was crowned at Westminster vpon S. Stephans day, by William archbishop of Canturburie, the most part of the Nobles of the realme being present, and swearing fealtie vnto him, as to their true and lawfull souereigne.
Howbeit, there were diuerse of the wiser sort of all estates, which regarding their former oth, could haue bene contented that the empresse should haue gouerned till hir sonne had come to lawfull age; notwithstanding they held their peace as yet, and consented vnto Stephan. [Sidenote: Periurie punished.] But this breach of their othes was worthilie punished afterward, insomuch that as well the bishops as the other Nobles either died an euill death, or were afflicted with diuerse kinds of calamities and mischances, and that euen here in this life, of which some of them as occasion serueth shall be remembred hereafter. [Sidenote: Wil. Malm. The bishop of Salisburies protestation.] Yet there were of them (and namelie the bishop of Salisburie) which protested that they were fre from their oth of allegiance made to the said empresse, bicause that without the consent of the lords of the land she was maried out of the realme, whereas they tooke their oth to receiue hir for queene, vpon that condition, that without their assent she should not marrie with any person out of the realme.
[Sidenote: The bishops think to please God in breaking their oth.] Moreouer (as some writers thinke) the bishops tooke it, that they should doo God good seruice in prouiding for the wealth of the realme, and the aduancement of the church by their periurie. For whereas the late deceassed king vsed himselfe not altogither for their purpose, they thought that if they might set vp and creat a king cheflie by their especiall meanes and authoritie, he would follow their counsell better, and reforme such things as they iudged to be amisse. But a great cause that mooued manie of the lords vnto the violating thus of their oth, [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Hugh Bigot.] was (as some authors rehearse) for that Hugh Bigot, sometime steward to king Henrie the first, immediatlie after the decease of king Henrie, came into England, and as well before the archbishop of Canturburie, as diuers other lords of the land, tooke a voluntarie oth (although most men thinke that he was hired so to doo bicause of great promotion) declaring vpon the same that he was present a little before king Henries death, when the same king adopted and chose his nepheue Stephan to be his heire and successour, bicause his daughter, the empresse had greuouslie displeased him. But vnto this mans oth the archbishop and the other lords were so hastie in giuing of credit. Now the said Hugh for his periurie, by the iust iudgment of God, came shortlie after to a miserable end.
[Sidenote: Simon Dun.] [Sidenote: 1136.] [Sidenote: Polydor. Simon Dun. Matth. Paris.] But to our purpose. King Stephan (by what title soeuer he obteined the crowne) immediatlie after his coronation, went first to Reading to the buriall of the bodie of his vncle Henrie, the same being now brought ouer from Normandie, from whence after the buriall he repaired to Oxenford, and there calling a councell of the lords & other estates of his realme; [Sidenote: The faire promises of king Stephan.] amongst other things he promised before the whole assemblie (to win the harts of the people) that he would put downe and quite abolish that tribute which oftentimes was accustomed to be gathered after the rate of their acres of hides or land, commonlie called Danegilt, which was two shillings of euerie hide of land. Also, that he would so prouide, that no bishop sees nor other benefices should remaine void, but immediatlie after vpon their first vacation, they should be againe bestowed vpon some conuenient person meet to supplie the roome. Further he promised not to seize vpon any mans woods as forfeit, though any priuate man had hunted and killed his dere in the same woods, as the maner of his predecessour was. For a kind of forfeiture was deuised by king Henrie, that those should lose their right inheritance in their woods, that chanced to kill any of the kings dere within the same.
[Sidenote: Polydor. Ran. Higd. Licence to build castels.] Moreouer, he granted licence to all men, to build either castell, tower, or other hold for defense of themselues vpon their owne grounds. Al this did he chieflie in hope that the same might be a safegard for him in time to come, if the empresse should inuade the land, as he doubted she shortlie would. Moreouer he aduanced manie yoong & lustie gentlemen to great liuings. [Sidenote: Wil. Malm. In nouella historia.] For such as were of any noble familie, and thereto through a certeine stoutnesse of stomach sought preferment, easilie obteined of him the possession of castels and great lordships, diuerse of whom he honored with titles of dignitie, creating some of them earles and some lords. Now, such was their importunate sute in demanding, that when he had little more to bestow amongst them, hauing alreadie giuen sundrie portions that belonged to the crowne, they ceassed not to be in hand with him for more, and being denied with reasonable excuses on his behalfe, they thought themselues ill dealt withall, and so turning from him, fortified their castels and holds, making open warre against him: as hereafter shall appeare.
[Sidenote: The resort of strangers to serue king Stephan.] There came ouer vnto him also a great number of Flemings and Britons to serue him as souldiers, whom he reteined, to be the stronger and better able to defend himselfe against the malice of the empresse, by whom he looked to be molested he wist not how soone. Wherefore he shewed himselfe verie liberall, courteous, and gentle towards all maner of persons at the first, and (to saie truth) more liberall, familiar, and free harted than stood with the maiestie of a king: which was afterward a cause that he grew into contempt. But to such meanes are princes driuen, that atteine to their estates more through fauour and support of others, than by any good right or title which they may pretend of themselues. Thus the gouernement of this prince at the beginning was nothing bitter or heauie to his subiects, but full of gentlenesse, lenitie, courtesie, and mildnes.
[Sidenote: Polydor.] Howbeit whilest these things were a dooing, certeine of the English Nobilitie, abhorring both the king and the present state of his gouernment, went priuilie out of the realme into Scotland to king Dauid, declaring vnto him what a detestable act was committed by the lords of England, in that (contrarie to their oth made vnto the empresse Maud, and hir issue) they had now crowned Stephan. Wherefore they besought the said king to take in hand to reuenge such a vile iniurie practised against hir, and to restore the kingdome vnto the said empresse, which if he did, it should be a thing most acceptable both to God and man.
[Sidenote: The king of Scots inuadeth the English marshes. Sim. Dunel. Matt. Paris. Polydor.] King Dauid hauing heard and well weied the effect of their request, foorthwith was so mooued at their words, that in all possible hast he assembled an armie, and entring into England, first tooke the citie and castell of Carleil: afterward comming into Northumberland, he tooke Newcastell and manie other places vpon the borders there. Whereof king Stephan being aduertised, streightwaies assembled a power, and foorthwith hasted into Cumberland, meaning to recouer that againe by force of armes, which the enimie had stolen from him by craft and subtiltie. [Sidenote: K. Stephan encamped nere to his enimie the K. of Scots.] At his approch nere to Carleil, he pitched downe his field in the euening, thinking there to staie till the morning, that he might vnderstand of what power the enimie was, whome he knew to be at hand.
King Dauid also was of a fierce courage, and redie inough to haue giuen him battell, but yet when he beheld the English standards in the field, and diligentlie viewed their order and behauiour, [Sidenote: An accord made betwixt the two kings Stephan and Dauid.] he was at the last contented to giue care to such as intreated for peace on both sides. Wherevpon comming to king Stephan, he entred a frendlie peace with him, wherein he made a surrender of Newcastell, with condition that he should reteine Cumberland by the fre grant of king Stephan, who hoped thereby to find king Dauid the more faithfull vnto him in time of need: but yet he was deceiued, as afterwards manifestlie appered. For when king Stephan required of him an oth of allegiance, he answered that he was once sworne alreadie vnto Maud the empresse. Howbeit to gratifie him, he commanded his son Henrie to receiue that oth, for the which the king gaue him the earledome of Huntington to hold of him for euer.
[Sidenote: Hec. Boetius.] The Scotish chronicles set out the matter in other order, but yet all agre that Henrie sweare fealtie to king Stephan, as in the said historie of Scotland you may se more at large. [Sidenote: Simon Dun. Matth. Paris. Simon Dun. King Stephan sicke.] Now after that king Stephan had concluded a peace with king Dauid, he returned to London, and there kept his Easter with great ioy and triumphes: who whilest he was yet in the middest of all his pastime, about Rogation weke, he chanced to fall sicke of a litargie, by reason whereof a rumor was spred ouer all the realme that he was dead. Which though it was but a vaine tale, and of no importance at the first, yet was it after the occasion of much euill. [Sidenote: False rumors what hurt they oftentimes doo.] For vpon that report great sedition was raised by the kings enimies amongst the people, the minds of his frends were alienated from him, & manie of the Normans (which were well practised in periuries & treasons) thought they might boldlie attempt all mischefes that came to hand, and hervpon some of them vndertooke to defend one place, and some another. [Sidenote: Hugh Bigot. Baldwin Reduers. Robert Quisquere.] Hugh Bigot erle of Norfolke a valiant chieftein entered into Norwhich, Baldwin Reduers tooke Excester, & Robert Quisquere got certeine castels also into his hands.
King Stephan hearing what his enimies had doone, though he was somewhat mooued with this alteration of things, yet as one nothing afraid of the matter, he said merilie to those that stood about him: "We are aliue yet God be thanked, and that shall be knowne to our enimies yer it be long." Neither doubted he any thing but some secret practise of treason, and therefore vsing all diligence, he made the more hast to go against his enimies, whose attempts though streightwaies for the more part he repressed, yet could he not recouer the places (without much adoo) that, they had gotten, as Excester, and others: which when he had obteined, he contented himselfe for a time and followed not the victorie any further in pursuing of his enemies. Wherevpon they became more bold afterward than before; in somuch that soone after they practised diuerse things against him, whereof (God willing) some in places conuenient shall appeare: howbeit they permitted him to remaine in quiet for a time. [Sidenote: Polydor.] But whilest he studied to take order in things at home (perceiuing how no small number of his subiects did dailie shew themselues to beare him no hartie good will) he began by little and little to take awaie those liberties from the people, which in the beginning of his reigne he had granted vnto them, and to denie those promises which he had made, according to the saieng, "That which I haue giuen, I would I had not giuen, and that which remaineth I will kepe still." This sudden alteration and new kind of rough dealing purchased him great enuie amongst all men in the end. [Sidenote: Geffrey earle of Aniou.] About the same time, great commotions were raised in Normandie by meanes of the lord Geffrey earle of Aniou, husband to Maud the empresse, setting the whole countrie in trouble: but yer any newes thereof came into England, king Stephan went against Baldwin Reduers, who being latelie (though not without great and long siege expelled out of Excester) got him into the Isle of Wight, [Sidenote: Simon Dunel. Wil. Paruus. Polydor.] and there began to deuise a new conspiracie. Howbeit the king comming suddenlie into the Isle, tooke it at the first assault, and exiled Baldwin out of the realme.
[Sidenote: An. Reg. 2. 1137] [Sidenote: K. Stephan passeth into Normandie.] Having thus with good successe finished this enterprise, and being now aduertised of the businesse in Normandie, he sailed thither with a great armie: and being come within two daies iournie of his enimie the earle of Aniou, he sent foorth his whole power of horssemen, diuided into three parts, which were not gone past a daies iournie forward, but they encountred the earle, finding him with no great force about him. [Sidenote: The earle of Aniou put to flight.] Wherevpon giuing the charge vpon him, they put him to flight, and slue manie of his people. Which enterprise in this maner valientlie atchiued, euen according to the mind of king Stephan, [Sidenote: Lewes king of France. Eustace son to king Stephan.] he ioined in freendship with Lewes the seuenth king of France: and hauing latelie created his sonne Eustace duke of Normandie, he presentlie appointed him to doo his homage vnto the said Lewes for the same.
[Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Theobald erle of Blois.] Now whereas his elder brother Theobald earle of Blois at that time in Normandie, found himselfe greeued, that Stephan the yoonger brother had vsurped the lands that belonged to their vncle king Henrie, rather than himselfe, Stephan to stop this iust complaint of his brother, [Sidenote: K. Stephan agreth with the earle of Aniou.] and to allaie his mood, agred with him, couenanting to paie him yearelie two thousand marks of such current monie as was then in vse. Furthermore, wheras Geffrey the earle of Aniou demanded in right of his wife the empresse, the whole kingdome of England, to be at an end with him, king Stephan was contented to satisfie him with a yearelie pension of fiue thousand marks, which composition he willinglie receiued.
[Sidenote: Polydor.] Thus when he had prouided for the suertie of Normandie, he returned againe into England, where he was no sooner arriued, but aduertisement was giuen him of a warre newlie begon with the Scots, whose king vnder a colour of obseruing the oth to the empresse, [Sidenote: The Scots inuade the English borders.] made dailie insurrections and inuasions into England, to the great disturbance of king Stephan and the annoiance of his people. Wherwith being somewhat mooued, he went streightwaies toward the north parts, and determined first to besiege Bedford by the waie, which apperteined to the earledome of Huntington, by gift made vnto Henrie the sonne of king Dauid, and therevpon at that present kept with a garison of Scotish men.
[Sidenote: Simon Dun..] This place did the king besiege by the space of 30. daies togither, giuing thereto euerie daie an assault or alarme, in somuch that coming thither on Christmasse daie, he spared not on the morow to assaile them, and so at length wan the towne from them by mere force and strength. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 3. 1138.] [Sidenote: King Dauid inuaded Northumberland. Matth. West. Polydor. Matt. Paris. Simon Dun.] King Dauid hearing those newes, and being alreadie in armour in the field, entered into Northumberland, and licensed his men of warre to spoile and rob the countrie thereabout at their pleasure. Herevpon followed such crueltie, that their rage stretched vnto old and yoong, vnto preest and clearke, yea women with child escaped not their hands, they hanged, headed, and slue all that came in their waie: houses were burnt, cattell driuen awaie, and all put to fire and sword that serued to any vse for relefe, either of man or beast.
Here we see what a band of calamities doo accompanie and waite vpon warre, wherein also we haue to consider what a traine of felicities doo attend vpon peace, by an equall comparing of which twaine togither, we may easilie perceiue in how heauenlie an estate those people be that liue vnder the scepter of tranquillitie, and contrariwise what a hellish course of life they lead that haue sworne their seruice to the sword. We may consider also the inordinat outrages of princes, & their frantike fiersenes, who esteeme not the losse of their subiects liues, the effusion of innocent bloud, the population of countries, the ruinating of ample regions, &c.: so their will may be satisfied, there desire serued. [Sidenote: M. Pal. in suo Capric.] And therefore it was aptlie spoken by a late poet, not beside this purpose: Reges atque duces dira impelluntur in arma, Imperimque sibi miserorum cde lucrantur. O cci, miseri, quid? bellum pace putatis Dignius aut melius? nempe hc nil terpius, & nil Quod magis human procul ratione recedat. [Sidenote: Ouid.] Candida pax homines, trux decet ira feras.
[Sidenote: K. Stephan maketh hast to rescue the north parts.] But to our storie. King Stephan hearing of this pitifull spoile, hasted forward with great iournies to the rescue of the countrie. [Sidenote: The Scots retire.] The Scots put in feare of spedie comming to encounter them, drew backe into Scotland: [Sidenote: K. Stephan burnt the south parts of Scotland.] but he pursued them, and entring into their countrie burned and destroied the south parts of that realme in most miserable maner. Whilest king Stephan was thus about to beat backe the forren enimies, and reuenge himselfe on them, he was assailed by other at home, & not without the iust vengeance of almightie God, who meant to punish him for his periurie committed in taking vpon him the crowne, contrarie to his oth made vnto the empresse and hir children. [Sidenote: Robert earle of Glocester.] For Robert erle of Glocester, base brother vnto the empresse, and of hir priuie councell, sought by all meanes how to bring king Stephan into hatred, both of the Nobles and commons, that by their helpe he might be expelled the realme, and the gouernment restored to the empresse and hir sonne.
Such earnest trauell was made by this earle of Glocester, that manie of his freends which fauoured his cause, now that king Stephan was occupied in the north parts, ioined with him in conspiracie against their souereigne. [Sidenote: Bristow taken.] First the said earle himselfe tooke Bristowe; and after this diuerse other townes and castels there in that countrie were taken by him and others, with full purpose to kepe the same to the behoofe of the empresse and hir sonne. [Sidenote: Sim. Dun. Talbot.] Amongst other William Talbot tooke vpon him to defend Hereford in Wales: [Sidenote: Matt. Paris. Louell. Painell. Fitz-John. Fitz-Alain.] William Louell held the castell of Gary: Paganell or Painell kept the castell of Ludlow: William de Moun the castell of Dunestor: Robert de Nicholl, the castle of Warram: Eustace Fitz-John, the castle of Walton; and William Fitz-Alain, the castle of Shrewesburie.
When word hereof came to king Stephan, he was maruellouslie vexed: for being determined to haue pursued the Scots euen to the vttermost limits of their countrie, he was now driuen to change his mind, and thought it good at the first to stop the proceedings of his enimies at home, least in giuing them space to increase their force, they might in processe of time growe so strong, that it would be an hard matter to resist them at the last. [Sidenote: Simon Dun. Matth. Paris. The castle of Douer deliuered to the quene. Polydor.] Herevpon therefore he returned southward, and comming vpon his enimies, recouered out of their hands diuers of those places which they held, as Hereford, and the castle of Shrewesburie. About the same time one Walkeline yelded the castle of Douer vnto the quene, who had besieged him within the same.
Now king Stephan knowing that the Scots were not like long to continue in quiet, returned northwards againe; [Sidenote: Thurstan archbishop of Yorke made lieutenant of the north ports.] and comming to Thurstan the archbishop of Yorke, he committed the keping of the countrie vnto his charge, commanding him to be in a redinesse to defend the borders vpon any sudden inuasion. Which thing the couragious archbishop willinglie vndertooke. By this meanes king Stephan being eased of a great part of his care, fell in hand to besiege the residue of those places which the rebels kept: but they fearing to abide the danger of an assault, fled away, some into one part, and some into another; whom the kings power of horssemen still pursuing and ouertaking by the way, slue, and tooke no small number of them prisoners in the chase. Thus was the victorie in maner wholie atchiued, and all those places recouered, which the enimies had fortified.
[Sidenote: The Scots eftsoones inuade Northumberland.] In like maner when king Dauid heard that the king was thus vexed with ciuill warre at home, he entred England againe in most forceable wise: and sending his horssemen abroad into the countrie, commanded them to waste and spoile the same after their accustomed maner. But in the meane time he purposed with himselfe to besiege Yorke: which citie if he might haue woone, he determined to haue made it the frontier hold against king Stephan, and the rest that tooke part with him. Herevpon calling in his horssemen from straieng further abroad, he marched thitherwards, and comming neere to the citie, pitched downe his tents.
[Sidenote: Archbishop Thurstan raiseth a power to fight with the Scots.] In this meane while the archbishop Thurstan, to whom the charge of defending the countrie cheefelie in the kings absence apperteined, called togither the Nobles and gentlemen of the shire and parties adioining, whom with so pithie and effectuall words he exhorted to resist the attempts of the Scots (whose cruell dooings could kepe no measure) that incontinentlie all the power of the northparts was raised, [Sidenote: Sim. Dunel. Capteines of the armie.] and (vnder the leading of William earle of Albermarle, Walter Espeke, William Peuerell of Nottingham, and two of the Lacies, Walter and Gilbert) offered euen with perill of life and limme to trie the matter against the Scots in a pight field, and either to driue them out of the countrie, or else to loose their liues in the quarel of their prince.
It chanced at this time, that archbishop Thurstan was sicke, and therefore could not come into the field himselfe, [Sidenote: Rafe bish. of Durham supplieth the roome of the archbishop.] but yet he sent Rafe bishop of Durham to supplie his roome, who though he saw and perceiued that euerie man was readie enough to encounter with their enimies; yet he thought good to vse some exhortation vnto them the better to encourage them, in maner as here ensueth.
[Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Sim. Dun.] "Most noble Englishmen, and ye right valient Normans, of whose courage the Frenchman is afraid, by you England is kept vnder, by you Apulia dooth flourish, and vnto you Jerusalem and Antioch haue yelded their subjection. We haue at this present the rebellious nation of Scotland (which of right ought to be subiect to the crowne of England) come into the field against vs, thinking for euermore to rid themselues of their submission, and to bring both vs and our countrie into their bondage and thraldome. Now albeit I see in you courage sufficient, to beat them backe from any further attempt; yet least when you shall come to the triall, by any manner of chance, you should loose any pece thereof, I lamenting the state of my countrie (whose greuances I wish you should redresse) doo meane to vse a few words vnto you, not for that I would exhort you to doo any man wrong, but rather to beat them backe which offer to doo you iniurie. Consider therefore that you shall here fight with that enimie, whom you haue oftentimes vanquished, and oftentimes offending in periurie, haue oftentimes most worthilie punished: whome also (to be brefe) raging after the maner of cruell robbers, wickedlie spoiling churches, and taking awaie our goods, you did latelie constreine to lurke in desert places and corners out of sight. Against this enimie (I say) therefore worthie of reuengement for his so manifold outrages, shew yourselues valiant, and with manlie stomaches driue him out of our confines. For as far as I can perceiue, the victorie is yours, God surelie will aid you, who cannot longer abide the sinnes of this people. Wherefore he that looseth his life in so iust a quarell (according to the saieng of our sauiour) shall find it. Let not their rash and presumptuous boldnesse make you afraid, sith so manie tokens of your approoued valiancie cannot cause them to stand in doubt of you. You are clad in armour, and so appointed with helmet, curase, greiues, and target, that the enimie knoweth not were to strike and hurt you. Then sith you shall haue to doo with naked men, and such as vse not to weare any armour at all, but more met for brablers and ale-house quarrellers than men of warre vsed to the field: what should you stand in doubt of? Their huge number is not able to stand against your skilfull order and practised knowledge in all warlike feats and martiall discipline. A rude multitude is but a let, rather than a furtherance to atchiue the victorie. A small number of your worthie elders haue oftentimes vanquished great multitudes of enimies." As the bishop was thus speaking to the English armie, and before he grew to an end of his exhortation, the Scots approched with their battels, & first certeine of their bands of horssemen were sent afore, to take the higher ground: [Sidenote: The Englishmen set vpon the Scots.] which when the Englishmen perceiued, they staied not till the enimies should begin the battell, but straightwaies caused their trumpets to sound, and so giue the onset.
The Scots were as readie to encounter with them, so that the battell began to be verie hot, and euen at the first out flew the arrows, and then the footmen ioined, who fought most fiercelie on both sides. [Sidenote: The Scots of Lodian disorder the Englishmen. Simon Dun. Matth. Paris.] Herewith a wing of them of Lodian, which were in the Scotish vauntgard, brake in vpon the vauntgard of the English: but yet closing togither againe, they kept out the enimies, and casting about with a wing, compassed the Scotish horssemen round about, and panching their horsses, they slue a great number, and constreined the residue to retire. Which thing when their felowes in the other wing saw, their hearts began to faint, and by and by betooke them to their heeles.
The rumor of this flight being notified to the maine battell of the Scotish men, where king Dauid himselfe was fighting with his enimies, discomfited them also, in such wise, [Sidenote: The Scots put to flight.] that they in like began to shrinke backe: first by parts, and after by heapes togither. The king did what he could to staie them: but the English pressed so vpon them, that there was no recouerie. Wherefore he himselfe was glad in the end to beare his men companie, in seking to saue himselfe by flight, and make such shift as he could amongst the residue.
[Sidenote: Henrie earle of Huntington his valiancie.] His sonne Henrie the earle of Huntington more regarding his honour, than the danger of life, neither mooued with the flight of his father, nor the ouerthrow of the other, came in amongst his men, being readie to turne their backes, and with bold countenance spake these or the like words vnto them, as the shortnesse of the time would permit. "Whither go you good fellowes? Here shall you find armour and force, neither shall you, whilest life remaineth in your capteine (whom ye ought to follow) depart without the victorie. Therefore choose whether yee had rather trie the matter with the enimies by battell, or to be put to a shamefull death at home after your returns thither." The Scots mooued with these vehement words of their valiant capteine, recoiled vpon their enimies, and began to make hauocke of them: but being no great number, and beset with the English footmen before, and the horssemen behind, they were shortlie brought to distresse, and for the more part either taken or slaine.
[Sidenote: Polydor. Hen. Hunt. The number. Simon Dun. Matth. Paris. Wil. Paru. Polydor.] At length earle Henrie perceiuing how the matter went, and that there was no hope left of recouerie, fled also with those that could escape, bitterlie cursing the frowardnesse of fortune, and mishap of that daies chance. The number of them that were killed at this battell was aboue ten thousand. In which number there were not manie of the English: but yet among other, Walter Lacie the brother of Gilbert Lacie, one of their cheefe capteines is remembered to be one. This battell was fought in the moneth of August, in the fourth of king Stephan, who hearing of this victorie, greatlie reioised, and gaue infinite commendations to his subiects (the Englishmen and the Normans) but principallie praised archbishop Thurstan and the bishop of Durham for their faithfull and diligent seruice shewed in this behalfe.
On the other side he himselfe vsing the like good successe amongst the rebels at home, ouercame them, and chased them out of the land. [Sidenote: Ran. Higd. Castels recouered by king Stephan.] For in this meane time he had taken the castels of Hereford, Glocester, Webbeley, Bristowe, Dudley, and Shrewesburie. Likewise Robert earle of Glocester not being able to resist the king thus preuailing against his aduersaries on ech hand, fled into France vnto his sister the empresse. [Sidenote: N. Triuet. Simon Dun. Matth. Paris.] After this, about Aduent, the popes legat one Alberike bishop of Hostia, held a synod at London, within Paules church, where by the kings consent, [Sidenote: Theobald archbishop of Canturburie.] Theobald abbat of Bechellouin was consecrated archbishop of Canturburie, being the 37. archbishop which had ruled that see, after Augustine the moonke.
[Sidenote: An. Reg. 5. 1140.] The king hauing now accomplished his purpose, taken the castell of Leides, and brought the state of the realme to a meetlie good staie, thought it expedient after the late ouerthrow giuen to the Scots, to pursue the victorie, and vtterlie to subdue them with all expedition. [Sidenote: Polydor. Matth. Paris. K. Stephan inuadeth Scotland.] He brought his armie therefore into Scotland, first wasting and spoiling the countrie, and afterward preparing to fight with such Scots as came foorth to defend their goods and houses. K. Dauid perceiuing himselfe to be too weake, made sute to the king for peace, which with much difficultie he obteined at length, [Sidenote: A peace concluded betwene the two kings of England and Scotland.] by deliuering his sonne Henrie vnto king Stephan in pledge for the sure performance of couenants concluded vpon betwixt them. Herevpon king Stephan hauing thus ended his businesse in Scotland, returned into England: and after directing his iornie towards Wales, he came to Ludlow: [Sidenote: Ludlow wun.] which towne (being held by his aduersaries) he wan yer long out of their hands.
After this he went to Oxenford, where whilest he remained, a great brute was spred abroad, that the empresse was comming with hir brother, the earle of Glocester: which caused him to put the lesse trust in his people from thenceforth, in so much that he began to repent himselfe (although too late) for that he, had granted licence to so manie of his subiects to build castels within their owne grounds. [Sidenote: Roger bishop of Salisburie. Alexander B. of Lincolne. Wil. Malm.] For he had them all in suspicion: and amongst other, he vehementlie suspected Roger bishop of Salisburie (who had doone verie much for him) and Alexander bishop of Lincolne nephue to the said bishop of Salisburie, or (as some thought) more nere to him in kindred than his nephue, I meane, his sonne. [Sidenote: Castels built by the bishop of Salisburie.] For the said Roger had builded diuerse castels, as at Shierborne, at the Uies, and at Malmesburie. The said Alexander likewise following his vncles example, bestowed his monie that way verie frelie, hauing builded one castell at Newarke, and another at Sleford.
[Sidenote: Simon Dun. Newarke castel built by the bishop of Lincolne.] The king therefore hauing committed both these bishops to prison, [Sidenote: The B. of Elie banished.] and furthermore sent Nigell or Neill the bishop of Elie into exile (which Nigell was nephue also to the foresaid bishop of Salisburie) he threatened to keepe them without either meate or drinke, if they would not cause these castels to be deliuered into his hands, whereby he obteined them, and moreouer found in the bishop of Salisburies cofers 40. thousand marks, which he tooke to his owne vse, by way of confiscation for his disloiall demeanor. [Sidenote: The bishop of Salisburie dieth of thought. Wil. Malm. In nouella historia.] This ingratitude of the king wounded the bishops hart, insomuch that taking thought for the losse of his houses and monie, he pined awaie, and died within a while after.
The quarrell which was first picked at these bishops, rose by occasion of a fraie betwixt the bishops men and the seruants of Alaine duke of Britaine, about the taking vp of Innes at their comming to Oxenford. In which fraie one of the dukes men was killed, his nephue almost slaine, and the residue of his folkes sore beaten and chased. Herevpon were the bishops first committed to ward, and afterward handled at the kings pleasure, as partlie ye haue heard.
[Sidenote: Fortunes inconstancie. Wil. Paru.] Here by the way, good reader, thou hast one example worthie to be marked of fickle fortunes inconstancie, whereof the poet speaketh verie excellentlie; [Sidenote: M. Pal. in suo scor.] —— variat semper fortuna tenorem, Diuerso gaudens mortalia voluere casu, Nam qui scire velit, cur hunc fortuna vel illum Aut premat aut sursum tollat, nimis ardua qurit: Terrarum sequidem est illi concessa potestas Maxima, & huic illam prfecit Iuppiter orbi.
For this Roger bishop of Salisburie, was in the daies of William Rufus a poore prest, seruing a cure in a village nere the citie of Caen in Normandie. Now it chanced, that the lord Henrie the kings brother came thither on a time, and called for a prest to say masse before him. Whervpon this Roger comming to the altar, was by and by readie and quicke at it, and therewithall had so speedilie made an end thereof, that the men of warre then attendant on the said lord Henrie, affirmed that this prest aboue all other, was a chapleine meet to say masse before men of warre, bicause he had made an end when manie thought he had but newlie begun. Herevpon the kings brother commanded the preest to follow him, insomuch that when oportunitie serued, for his diligent seruice, and readie dispatch of matters, when Henrie had atteined the crowne, he was by him aduanced to great promotions: [Sidenote: The bishop of Salisburie made lord chancelour.] as first to be Chancelour of England, & after bishop of Salisburie, growing still into such estimation, that he might doo more with the king than any other of the councell.
But to returne to king Stephan, who after he had thus imprisoned the aforesaid bishops, manned those castles which he tooke from them with his owne soldiers, in like maner as he had doone all the rest which he had taken from the rebels, that he might the better withstand the empresse and hir sonne, whose comming he euer feared. He began also to shew himselfe cruell towards all men, and namelie against those that had chieflie furthered his title to the obteining of the crowne. This (as manie tooke it) came to passe by the prouidence of almightie God, that those should suffer for their periuries, which contrarie to law and right had consented to crowne him king.
[Sidenote: K. Stephan doubts whom to trust.] In ded he wist not well whom he might trust, for he stood in doubt of all men, bicause he was aduertised by credible report, that the empresse sought for aid on all sides, meaning verie shortlie to come into England. For this cause also he thought good to procure the frendship of Lewes king of France, which he brought to passe, [Sidenote: He cotracteth affinitie with the French king.] by concluding a mariage betwene his sonne Eustace and the ladie Constance sister to the said Lewes. But within a few yeares after, this Eustace died, and then was Constance maried to Raimond earle of Tholouse.
[Sidenote: Wil. Malm. Polydor. Matth. Paris. Alberike de Uer pleadeth the kings cause.] In the meane time, namelie on the first daie of September, a councell was holden at Winchester, wherein earle Alberike de Ueer pleaded with great eloquence the kings case, in excuse of his fault for imprisoning the bishops, which was sore laid to his charge by his owne brother the bishop of Winchester, being also the popes legat: who (togither with the archbishop of Canturburie and other bishops) had called this councell for that purpose. Howbeit they got nothing of the king but faire words, and promises of amendment in that which had bene doone otherwise than equitie required which promises were vtterlie vnperformed, and so the councell brake vp.
[Sidenote: The empresse landed here in England.] In the moneth of Iulie the empresse Maud landed here in England at Portesmouth, & went strait to Arundell, which towne (togither with the countie of Sussex) hir mother in law Adelicia king Henries second wife, wedded to William de Albenay, held in right of assignation for hir dower. There came in with the empresse hir brother Robert and Hugh Bigot, of whom ye haue heard before.
[Sidenote: What power she brought with hir.] Some write that the empresse brought with hir a great armie, to the intent that ioining with Ranulph earle of Chester (who tooke part with Robert erle of Glocester, bicause the same Rob. had maried his daughter) she might fight with king Stephan, and trie the battell with him. [Sidenote: Wil. Malm. Polydor.] Other declare that she came to England now at the first, but with a small power (as seuen score horssemen or men of armes as we may call them) in hope of Gods assurance (who seldome faileth those that fight in a rightfull cause) and againe vpon trust of aid of freends, who for the benefits receiued at hir fathers hands, would be readie to go against king Stephan. Wherevpon hir brother earle Robert leauing his sister in the castle of Arundell, rode with all sped vnto Glocester thorough his enimies countrie, not taking with him past 12. men of armes, and as manie archers on horssebacke, that vpon his coming thither he might leuie an armie with so much speed as was possible. [Sidenote: Earle Robert commeth to Glocester.] Now when he came to Glocester, though the citie was kept with a garison of soldiours placed there by king Stephan, yet the townesmen, after they heard that their earle was approched to the gates, they droue out the garison, & receiued him into the towne, where he remained a time, partlie to assemble an armie, and partlie to practise with other townes and castels thereabouts, to reuolt vnto his sister. [Sidenote: Matt. Paris. Brian the earle of Glocesters sonne. Miles earle of Hereford.] Amongst all other, the earles sonne Brian, and Miles of Glocester were right ioifull of the news of the empresses arriuall, and gladlie prepared themselues to fight in defense of hir cause.
[Sidenote: Polydor. The empresse besieged in Arundell castel.] In the meane time king Stephan, hauing knowledge of the landing of the empresse, and other his enimies, came strait to Arundell, where he besieged hir in the castle, and spent his labour certeine daies in vaine about the winning of it. Howbeit at that present he did not preuaile, for there were certeine with him, who in fauour of the empresse bare him in hand, that it was not possible to win that fortresse, and therefore aduised him to raise his siege, and suffer the empresse to be at libertie to go to some other place, where he might with more ease and lesse damage get hir into his hands. [Sidenote: The king raiseth his siege.] The king not perceiuing the drift of those secret practisers, followed their counsell. Wherevpon the empresse being now at libertie, went from place to place to trie and solicit hir frends: and as a riuer increaseth in the passage, so the further the ladie went, the more hir power increased. About the midst of the next night after the siege was raised, she departed out of the castle, [Sidenote: The empresse goeth to Bristow.] and with great iournies sped hir towards Bristow; which was alreadie reuolted to hir side.
These things being thus bruted abroad, the Peeres of the realme resorted to hir, as they that well remembred how in time past by oth of allegiance they were suerlie bound to hir and hir issue. [Sidenote: K. Stephen besiegeth Wallingford.] The king in the meantime besieged the castle of Wallingford, but after he vnderstood that the empresse was gotten to Bristow, repenting himselfe for his light credit giuen to euill counsell, he left off the siege of Wallingford, and drew towards Bristow, that he might (if it were possible) inclose his aduersaries within that walled citie. But the empresse, being aduertised of his determination (by such of hir frends as were resident about him) first went to Glocester, and after to Lincolne, where she prouided vittailes and all other things necessarie for hir armie and defense: purposing to remaine in that citie, till the matter were either tried by chance of warre betwixt hir and king Stephen, or that by the peoples helpe reuolting to hir side, he might be driuen out of the realme, and she restored to the whole gouernement. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 6. 1141.] The king followed hir verie earnestlie, and comming vnto Lincolne besieged it, assaieng on euerie side which waie he might best find meanes to win it, & enter into the same. [Sidenote: K. Stephen winneth Lincolne, Ran. Higd. Simon Dun. Polydor. N. Triuet.] At length the empresse found shift to escape from thence, and within a little while the king got possession of the citie. But shortlie after, Robert earle of Glocester, and Ranulph earle of Chester, Hugh Bigot, and Robert of Morley assembling their power, aswell of Welshmen as others, to come to the succour of those that were thus besieged, came to Lincolne, & pitching downe their tents nere to the enimies, they rested the first night without making any great attempt.
[Sidenote: The ordering of the kings armie readie to giue battell. Simon Dun. Matt. Paris.] In the morning being the second daie of Februarie, so soone as it was daie, they set their men in order of battell, and brought them foorth in sight of the king and his host: who were on the other side, not meaning to refuse the conflict, ordered his men readie to encounter them, whome he diuided into 3. seuerall battels. The chiefest part of his armed men he appointed to remaine on foot, amongst whom he placed himselfe, with certeine noble men, as earle Baldwin, and others. The residue being horssemen, he disposed into two seuerall wings, [Sidenote: The earles of Norfolke, Hampton, Mellent, & Waren.] in one of which were Alaine duke of Britaine, Hugh Bigot earle of Norfolke, Simon earle of Hampton, and two other earles, Mellent and Waren: Howbeit they were not furnished with such number of men as had bene requisit; for as it fell out, they brought no great retinues with them. [Sidenote: The earle of Albermarle, William de Ypres.] The other wing was gouerned by the earle of Albemarle, and William de Ypres.
[Sidenote: The ordering of the battels on the kings aduersaries part.] Now on the aduersaries side, the earle of Chester led the fore ward, and those whome king Stephan had disherited, were placed in the middle ward. In the rere ward the earle of Glocester with his companie had the rule. And besides those thre battels, the Welshmen were set as a wing at one of the sides.
Here the earle of Chester (to vtter the good will which he had to fight) appointed in faire armour as he was, [Sidenote: The oration of the earle of Chester. Ran. Higd.] spake these words in effect as followeth, directing the same to the earle of Glocester, and other the capteines, saieng: "I giue you hartie thanks, most inuincible chiefteine, and you my fellow soldiers, which declare your hartie good wils towards me, euen to the ieoparding of your liues at this my request and instance. Sith then I am the occasion of your perill, it is conuenient that I make the first entrance, and giue the onset of the battell vpon that most disloiall king, who granting a truce, hath broken the peace; and swearing to be a subiect, is now prooued a most wicked vsurper: I therefore trusting both vpon reuenge of the vniust dealings of this king, and also vpon mine owne force and courage, shall straitwaies breake in sunder the arraie of his armie, and make waie through the middest of the enimies with sword in hand. It shall be your parts then to follow me, who will lead you the waie: for euen now my mind giueth me, that I shall passe thorough the battels, tread the capteines vnder foot, and run the king through with this my sharpe sword."
[Sidenote: The earle of Glocesters answer to the earle of Chesters oration.] When he had thus ended, the earle of Glocester answered in this wise: "It is not against reason that you should require the honor of the first onset, both for the nobilitie of your house, and also in respect of the prowesse wherein you excell: but yet if you stand vpon nobilitie, for my part, being the sonne and nephue of a king, ought not I to be preferred? If vpon valiance, here are manie verie worthie men, afore whom there is not one aliue that may chalenge any prerogatiue. But another reason moueth me most chieflie to be the formost. The king, who contrarie to his oth made to my sister, hath cruellie vsurped the kingdoms, and setting all in trouble, hath beene the cause of manie thousand mens deaths, and distributed lands and liuings to such as haue no right to the same, which he hath violentlie taken from the rightfull owners, who are quite disherited. This king (I saie) is first to be assailed with the assistance of the righteous iudge, who prepareth punishment for wicked dooers. For almightie God, who iudgeth his people with equitie, will looke downe from his heauenlie habitation, and will not leaue vs comfortlesse in this so great a necessitie. One thing there is, most valiant capteines, and all you right hardie souldiers, which I would haue you to consider, that through the fennes, which much adoo you haue passed, there is no waie to escape by flight. [Sidenote: The necessitie to fight valientlie.] Here must we either vanquish the enimies, or else die in the field: for no hope of safegard remaineth in fleing awaie. This onelie resteth (I saie) that you make waie for you to enter the citie with force of your weapons. If I be not deceiued in that which my mind giueth me to coniecture, the lacke of meanes to escape, otherwise than by shewing your selues valiant men, by Gods helpe will bring vs the victorie. For he must neds plaie the man, who hath not other succor to auoid the danger of destruction The citizens of Lincolne, who shall fight so nere their houses as you shall se, will not staie long to get them thither for their refuge. And herewith consider and weie (I beseech you) against whom you shall match in this battell. [Sidenote: Alaine duke of Brittanie.] There is Alane duke of Britaine, who commeth armed against you, yea rather against God, a wicked person, and spotted with all kind of filthinesse; who in malice hath no pere, as one that neuer wanted desire to doo mischefe and who to be comparable in crueltie, would iudge it a great reproch. [Sidenote: The earle of Mellent.] There commeth also the earle of Mellent, a man full of all guile and deceit, in whose hart iniquitie is rooted, and nothing sounding in his mouth but vnthankfulnesse; besides this, he is slothfull in deds, presumptuous in words, not hastie to fight, but swift to run awaie. [Sidenote: Earle Hugh.] Then commeth earle Hugh, who hath not thought it sufficient to breake his oth to my sister the empresse, but he must commit periurie the second time, in aduouching (vpon a new oth) that king Henrie granted the kingdome to Stephan, and disabled his daughter. After him marcheth the earle of Albemarle, a man of singular constancie in euill, verie readie to attempt and loth to giue ouer a mischeefe: [Sidenote: The earle of Albermerles wife.] whose wife, through irkesomnes of his filthie behauiour is gone from him; & he that keepeth hir, cometh with him also against vs, an open adulterer, & one well esteemed of Bacchus, but nothing acquainted with Mars. [Sidenote: Simon earle of Hampton.] Then setteth foorth Simon earle of Hampton, whose deds consist in words, & whose gifts rest in promises. For when he hath said, he hath doone; & when he hath promised, ye get no more. Finallie there come togither a knot of Peres & Noble men, [Like maister, like seruants.] like to their king and maister, accustomed to robberies, enriched with rapines, embrued with manslaughters, & defamed with periurie. You therefore (most valiant capteins & hardie souldiers) whom king Henrie hath aduanced, and this man hath brought vnder foot; whom he made wealthie, and this man hath impouerished; vpon trust of your worthy valiancie, yea rather vpon trust of Gods iustice seeke your reuenge thus offered by God vpon these wicked wretches, & with manlie stomachs vow to go forward, & forswere stepping back." When the earle had made an end, all the armie (lifting vp their hands to Gods) abiured all intention to fle, and so made themselues readie to set forward.
King Stephan hauing no pleasant voice of himselfe, appointed earle Baldwin to giue an exhortation to his armie, wherevpon getting himselfe to an high place where he might be seene & heard of them, he thus began. [Sidenote: Earle Baldwin his oration on the behalfe of king Stephan.] "All such as shall giue battell, ought to forese thre things: [Sidenote: Thre things to be foresene by them that shall giue battell.] first, that their cause be righteous: secondlie, the number of their men to be equall at the least: and thirdlie, the goodnesse and sufficiencie of them. The righteousnes of their cause ought to be regarded, least men runne in danger of the soule; the number of men is to be respected, least they should be oppressed with multitude of enimies; and the goodnesse of the soldiers is to be considered, least trusting in the multitude, they should presume vpon the aid of feeble persons, & such as are of small valure. In all these points we see our selues sufficientlie furnished. The iustice of our cause is this: that obseruing the thing which we vowed to our king before God, we stand to the same against those that haue falsified their faith, euen to the perill of death. Our number is not much lesse in horssemen, and in footmen we exced them. As for the goodnesse or sufficiencie of our men, who is able to expresse the noble prowesse of so manie earles, of so manie lords and soldiers, trained vp euer in warres: The passing valiancie of our king may stand in place of innumerable souldiers. Sith then he being the lords annointed, is here amongst you, vnto whom ye haue vowed allegiance, performe your vow. For the more earnestly and faithfully ye serue your prince in this battell, which you are readie to fight against periured persons, the more shall your reward be at the hands of God and him. Therfore be of good comfort, & haue in remembrance against whom you doo darraine the battell. [Sidenote: Erle Robert.] The force of erle Robert is well knowne, his maner is to threaten much, & to worke little, furious in words, eloquent of speach, but cold or rather dead harted in deds. [Sidenote: The earle of Chester.] The earle of Chester what is he? A man of vnreasonable boldnesse, bent to conspiracie, inconstant to performe that which he rashlie taketh in hand, readie to run into batell, vncircumspect in danger, practising things of great importance, seking after things vnpossible, bringing with him few good soldiers, but gathering a vagrant rout of rascals. There is nothing in him that we ought to be afraid of, for looke whatsoeuer he attempteth manfullie, the same he giueth ouer womanlie, in all his dooings vnfortunate, in all encounters either he is ouercome and fleth awaie, or if he get the vpper hand (which seldome times chanceth) he susteineth greater losse than they whom he dooth vanquish.
"The Welshmen, whom he bringeth with him are little estemed of vs, who pretend a naked rashnesse without any vse of armor, so that as men without any knowledge of martiall policie, they fall as brute beasts vpon the hunters iaueline. The other, as well the nobles as the common souldiers are but runnagates and vagabounds; of whom I would wish the number greater than it is: for the more they be, the woorse in effect their seruice shall prooue in time of need. You therefore (most worthie cheefetaines) you men of honor, it standeth you vpon to haue in regard your vertue and dignities. This day aduance your renowme, and follow the foresteps of your famous ancestors, leaue to your sonnes an euerlasting commendation. [Sidenote: Continuall good successe a prouocation of boldnesse.] The continuall successe of victorie ought to be a prouocation vnto you to doo manfullie: the continuance of euil speed may be to yonder side an occasion to run away. For euen alreadie (I dare say) they repent them of their comming hither, and could be contented to be gone, if the nature of the place would suffer them to depart. Then sith it is not possible for them either to fight or to fle, what other thing can they doo, but (as appointed by Gods ordinance) offer themselues and all they haue about them presentlie vnto vs. Ye se then their horsses, their armour, and their bodies readie here at your pleasure, lift vp your hearts therefore, and reach your hands to take that with great chearefulnesse of mind, which the Lord hath thus offered and freelie presented vnto you."
Now yer he had all made an end of his words, the batels were readie to ioine, they met with great noise of trumpets and other instruments, and the fight began with a verie sore and cruell slaughter. [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Hen. Hunt.] Hard it was in the beginning to gesse who should haue the better. The wing of the disherited men ouerthrew and bare downe their aduersaries, which were led by the duke of Britain, and the forenamed earles. On the contrarie part, the earle of Albemarle and William de Ypres put the Welshmen to flight, but by the earle of Chester and his retinue, the same earle and William de Ypres were fiercelie assailed afresh, and put out of order. [Sidenote: W. Paru. Hen. Hunt.] Thus was the kings side put to the worse, namelie his horssemen, who being placed in the forefront, and there ouermatched, fell to galoping. Which thing when the king beheld, he was not yet any whit therewith abashed, but like an hardie captein (as he was no lesse inded) comforted his footmen whom he had about him, and rushing vpon his enimies, [Sidenote: Polydor.] bare them down, and ouerthrew so manie as stood before him, so that with the point of his weapon he made himselfe waie. His footmen, who were but a few in number to the multitude of his enimies, counteruailed in all points the prowes and manlike dooings of their king and capteine, insomuch that few battels had beene better fought, nor with greater slaughter on both sides, if the kings fore ward (which in maner at the first shranke backe and was disordered, not without some supicion of treason) had staied the brunt of the enimies a while, as it had bene requisite. At length the king encountring with the earle of Chester, being ouercharged with multitude, was taken prisoner by one William de Cahames.
[Sidenote: Simon Dun. Hen. Hunt.] Earle Baldwine, who had made the oration in the kings behalfe, was also taken, after he had fought valiantlie and receiued manie sore wounds: likewise Richard Fitzvrse, who on that daie had shewed good proofe of his manhood, [Sidenote: Matth. Paris.] and had giuen and received manie a sore stripe. To conclude, all those that abode with the king, [Sidenote: W. Paru.] and namelie all the footmen were taken prisoners, those which were slaine in the place excepted. This battell was fought in the sixt yeare of king Stephans reigne, vpon Candlemas daie, being sundaie, as Niger saith.
[Sidenote: Polydor. The king led to Bristow.] The king being apprehended and brought to the empresse lieng at Glocester, was commanded by hir to be conueied in safetie vnto Bristow, where he was kept as prisoner from that time of his taking, vntill the feast of All saints next ensuing. [Sidenote: W. Paru.] Not long after this field fought, as ye haue heard, Geffrey earle of Aniou husband to the empresse, receiuing aduertisement of this victorie atchiued in England, foorthwith inuaded Normandie, inducing all the Nobles of the countrie to incline vnto him: for by publishing the captiuitie of king Stephan, it was easie for him to come by the possession of the same.
[Sidenote: The king of Scots taketh Northumberland into his possession. Polydor. The empresse foloweth the victorie.] Moreouer, Dauid king of Scotland entred into Northumberland, and by commandement of the empresse tooke the countrie into his hands, whilest she (like a woman of great wisedome, as she was no lesse inded) iudging that it stood hir vpon to vse the victorie which fell to hir lot, slept not hir businesse, but went forward, and setting from Glocester, she came to Winchester, where she was honorablie receiued of bishop Henrie, though he was king Stephans brother, and inwardlie lamented the misfortune of the king. Then came she backe againe to Wilton, and so to Oxenford, from thence to Reading, and then to S. Albons, into all which cities and townes she was receiued with great triumph and honour.
[Sidenote: She cometh to London.] Hauing thus passed through all the south parts of the realme on that side, she finallie came to London, where the citizens welcomed hir in most ioifull and hartie maner. Now being come to London, and consulting with those of hir councell for the quieting of the whole state of the realme, [Sidenote: The quene sueth to the empresse for the deliuerie of hir husband.] queene Maud wife to king Stephan (for so she was also called) made humble suit vnto hir to haue hir husband set at libertie, promising that he should resigne his whole claime and title into hir hands, and content himselfe with a priuate life. But hir suit was so farre off from being granted, that she was reiected and cast off with reprochfull words. Wherevpon she conceiued a most high displeasure, and vnderstood well inough; that peace was to be purchased by force of armes onelie, and not by any other meanes: insomuch that with all diligence she sent to hir sonne Eustace (then being in Kent) & willed him to prepare an armie, which he did most spedilie.
It chanced at the same time that the citizens of London made great and laborious suit vnto the said empresse, that they might haue the lawes of king Edward the Confessour restored, and the straight lawes of hir father king Henrie abolished. But for so much as they could get no grant of their petition, and perceiued the empresse to be displeased with them about that importunat request, wherein onelie she ouershot hir selfe, [Sidenote: The Londoners conspire to take the empresse.] they deuised how and by what meanes they might take hir prisoner, knowing that all the Kentishmen would helpe to strengthen them in their enterprise. But reckoning with hir selfe that Nil poterit propera tutius esse fuga, [Sidenote: She fled in the night time out of the citie.] And being warned thereof, she fled by night out of the citie, and went to Oxenford, determining to be reuenged vpon hir aduersaries when time should serue hir turne. Herewith she began to wax more displeased both against those Nobles whom she kept in prison, & other also whom she troubled, but namelie king Stephan, whom she commanded to be loden with yrons, and serued with verie slender diet.
[Sidenote: N. Triuet.] Now when she had thus fled out of London, which was about the feast of the natiuitie of S. John Baptist, the tower of London was besieged, [Sidenote: Geffrey de Mandeuile.] which Geffrey de Mandeuile held, and valiantlie defended. The same Geffrey rushing out on a time, came to Fulham, [Sidenote: The bishop of Londo taken.] where he tooke the bishop of London then lodging in his manor place, being one of the contrarie faction.
[Sidenote: Polydor.] Henrie bishop of Winchester perceiuing the wrath of the empresse more and more to increase dailie against hir people, thinking it wisedome to serue the time, manned all the castels which he had builded within his dioces; [Sidenote: Castells fortified by the bishop of Winchester.] as at Waltham, Farnham, and other places and withdrew himselfe into the castell of Winchester, there to remaine, till he might se to what end the furie of the woman would grow. This being knowne, the empresse tooke vnto hir Dauid king of Scotland that was hir vncle, who immediatlie ioining their armies togither, went to Winchester and besieged the castell. In the meane time the quene and hir sonne Eustace, with the helpe of their freends, as the Kentishmen, the Londoners and other had assembled a great armie, [Sidenote: William de Ypresse. Ia. Meir.] and appointed the gouernement and generall conduct thereof vnto one William of Ypres a Fleming, who for his valiancie was by king Stephan created earle of Kent: he was sonne to Philip of Flanders, begotten of a concubine, his father also was sonne to Robert earle of Flanders, surnamed Frisius. This William was banished out of his countrie by Theodorike Elsas earle of Flanders, bicause he attempted to bereaue him of his earledome.
[Sidenote: Wil. Malm. In nouella historia. N. Triuet. Sim. Dun. Polydor. The empresse armie put to flight. Wil. Malm. Robert earle of Glocester taken prisoner. Matth. Paris.] The quenes armie thus committed to his guiding, came nere vnto Winchester, and kept the empresse and hir people in maner besieged: at length perceiuing the aduantage after the comming of a great supplie of Londoners to their aid, they set vpon hir armie as the same was departing, with such violence, that straightwaies hir host was put to flight and discomfited. The empresse was glad to faine hir selfe dead, and so to be conueied in a coch as a dead corps vnto Glocester. Hir brother Robert with manie other of the Nobles that staied behind, till she and other might get out of danger, were taken prisoners. And bicause the king was kept at Bristow vnder the custodie of the said Robert, the queene caused him to be hardlie handled, that he might prooue the words of the gospell true: "With what measure ye meat vnto other, with the same by other shall it be remeasured vnto you." He had deserued verie euill of the king heretofore, and therefore it was now remembred. He was taken (in maner abouesaid) on the feast day of the exaltation of the crosse.
[Sidenote: Wil. Paruus. N. Triuet. Dauid king of Scots retired home. Simon Dun. R. Houe. Alberike de Uer slaine. Wil. Malm. Polydor.] Dauid king of Scotland was not at the battell himselfe, but hearing of the discomfiture, got him out of the countrie, and by helpe of trustie guides returned into Scotland, whilest Alberike de Uer was slaine at London in a seditious tumult raised by the citizens. The kingdome being thus diuided into two seueral factions, was by all similitudes like to come to vtter ruine: for the people kindled in hatred one against another, sought nothing else but reuenge on both sides, and still the land was spoiled and wasted by the men of warre which lodged within the castels and fortresses, and would often issue out to harrie and spoile the countries. But now that the two cheefest heads were prisoners, there was good hope conceiued that God had so wrought it, whereby might grow some ouerture of talke, to quiet such troubles by frendlie peace and agreement.
Herevpon those lords that wished well to the common-wealth, began to intreate betwixt them, and articles were propounded for a concord to be had, and an exchange of prisoners on both sides. But the empresse and hir brother would not hearken to any agrement, except that the realme might wholie remaine to the said empresse. [Sidenote: Geruasius Dorober. The king and the earle of Glocester deliuered by exchange.] Whereby the enimies were rather increased than decreased by his treatie, so that at length the king and the earle (weried with tedious yrksomnesse of yrons and hard imprisonment, and putting all their hope in the chance of war) about the feast of All saints made by deliuering of the one for the other, without making mention of any peace at all: and so kindled with new displeasures, they renewed the warre.
[Sidenote: An. Reg. 7. 1142.] King Stephan being deliuered in such wise as you haue heard, comming to London, and there being accompanied with his brother Henrie bishop of Winchester (then the popes legat) Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, and others, [Sidenote: Geruasius Dorobernensis. A parlement called.] he called a parlement, wherein the king declared the present state, how the enimie was brought to this point, that if it would please the Nobles of the realme to mainteine him with men & monie, he trusted now so to worke, as they should not need to feare submission to the yoke of a womans gouernment: which at the first they seemed much to mislike, and now sithens (to their great grefe) had prooued to be intollerable. The summe of his talke tended to this end, that those which were able of themselues to aid him with their owne persons, should prepare them out of hand so to doo; and the residue that were not meet (as bishops, and such like maner of men) should be contributors to aid him with hired souldiers, armour, and monie.
This was gladlie agred vpon, with the generall consent of all the assemblie. And bicause the bishops shewed themselues verie liberall towards the aduancing of the kings purpose, [Sidenote: A statute established in fauour of prests.] there was a statute made at the same parlement, that who so euer did laie any violent hands on a sacred person, or else tooke vpon him to apprehend any of them, for what fault soeuer, without the bishops licence, he should be accursed, and not be assoiled of any maner of person, except of the pope, as by a canon it was alreadie decred but not obeied among the Englishmen till that daie. The cause of making this statute was cheflie, for that preests during the time of the ciuill wars, were dailie either slaine, or taken prisoners, and so put to their ransoms, or charged with great penalties and greuous fines.
The bishop of Winchester at this councell also began an other brall among the cleargie, for being brother to king Stephan, & armed with the popes authoritie as his legat in England, by reason of exercising his authoritie, fell at variance with the bishop of Canturburie, who tooke himselfe for his superior, bicause he was his primat. This quarell grew so far in question, that they went both to Rome to haue the controuersie decided, and so bringing their sutes thither, contented well the eares of them that had the hearing of the same: for the more weightie the cause seemed, the better it liked them.
[Sidenote: Paul. Lang. in Chron. citizen. pag. 760.] A late writer, noting in clergiemen of his age & countrie not onelie the aspiring vice of ambition, but other disorders also, and monstrous outrages, after a complaint made that gold (by which title he calleth those of the ecclesiasticall order) is turned into drosse, and swet wine become tart vineger, concludeth with the illation of the cause hereof comprised in this metricall accouplement, saieng: Dum factor rerum priuaret flamine clerum, Ad satan volum successit turba nepotum.
Which he inferred vpon occasion against the preposterous elections of vnmeet men into episcopall ses, for that they were not so qualified as the dignitie of the place required; otherwise peraduenture enabled with competent knowledge and learning. And suerlie, we may note these inordinate affections from the beginning of this our chronicle in the best (I meane in respect of their estates) of this liuerie, and may iustlie impute it to the defection of Gods spirit in them, whose nature is to plant peace and mekenesse in the harts of his tenants, not discord, not ambition, not the works of darknesse, which beseme not the children of light. But to the purpose.
[Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Earle Robert passeth ouer into Normandie.] As the king began (after his libertie obteined) to prouide for warres, so earle Robert (after he was discharged) sailed ouer into Normandie, taking with him the sonnes of diuerse Noble men who fauored the empresse, whome he deliuered to hir husband the earle of Aniou to be kept as pledges, & earnestlie besought him to passe ouer into England with an armie to aid the empresse. [Sidenote: Normandie woone by the earle of Aniou.] Howbeit bicause he was newlie intred into the conquest of Normandie, and had alreadie won the most part thereof, he thought good to make first an end of his warres there, hauing somewhat to doo against certeine rebels of his owne countie of Aniou, which did not a little molest him. But he recouered (whilest the earle of Glocester was there with him) Alney, Mortaigne, Tenerchbray, and diuerse other places perteining chieflie to the earle of Mortaigne: about the same time also they of Constances submitted themselues vnto him. Thus the earle of Aniou being occupied in those parties, could not well come into England.
[Sidenote: Wil. Malm. Earle of Glocester returneth.] Wherevpon the earle of Glocester came backe againe himselfe, and bringing with him somewhat lesse than foure hundred men of armes (imbarked in 52. ships) landed with the same at Warrham, and besieged the castell there, [Sidenote: Ger. Dor.] which his enimies had won out of his hands whilest he was absent in Normandie. In the end they that were within it (vnder the gouernment of Herebert de Lucy) fell to agreement by composition, [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] that if they were not succoured by a certeine time, they should deliuer the castell vnto the earle. King Stephan himselfe the same time held a siege before Oxford, within the which he had inclosed the empresse, as hereafter shall be shewed: so that they within the castell of Warrham had no succour sent vnto them, and therefore (according to the articles of their composition) they yeelded vp the hold, after erle Robert had lien three wekes before it.
[Sidenote: The ile of Portland. Circester.] This castell being thus woone, earle Robert subdued also such as kept the ile of Portland, and had fensed it after the maner of a fortresse: afterwards he came to Circester, and there assembled all those that fauoured the part of the empresse, meaning with all conuenient sped to go to Oxford, & there to giue battell to king Stephan, if he would abide it. Who after his deliuerance from captiuitie, had assembled a great host of men, [Sidenote: The empresse besieged in Oxford.] and comming to Oxford, where the empresse then laie, suddenlie besieged hir, before she looked for him. And to the end also that he might compell the townsmen to yeeld, or else kepe them from entring which would come to their succors, he ranged abroad into the countrie with part of his armie, wasting all afore him by fire & sword. This siege continued almost two moneths, in maner from his deliuerie in the beginning of Nouember, vntill Christmasse immediatlie following: in somuch that through lacke of vittels they within the towne began to raise mutinies. The empresse therefore doubting the sequele, and seing hir prouision to decaie, deuised a shift how to escape that present danger, which by force she was vnlikelie to performe.
[Sidenote: N. Triuet. Simon Dun. Wil. Paru. Ran. Higd. Matth. Paris. The empresse escapeth out of Oxford. Polydor. Wil. Malm. Simon Dun. Matth. Paris. Brian sonne to the earle of Glocester.] It was a verie hard winter that yeare, the Thames and other riuers thereabouts were frosen, so that both man and horsse might safelie passe oner vpon the yce, the fields were also couered with a thicke and depe snow. Herevpon taking occasion, she clad hir selfe and all hir companie in white apparell, that a far off they might not be discerned from the snow; and so by negligence of the watch that kept ward but slenderlie, by reason of the exceding cold weather, she and hir partakers secretlie in the night issued out of the towne, and passing ouer the Thames, came to Walingford, where she was receiued into the castell by those that had the same in keping to hir vse: of whom Brian the sonne to the erle of Glocester was the chiefe.
Here we may see the subtiltie of the empresse, whereby she obteined fre and safe passage out of hir enimies hands, who otherwise had taken hir in their net. [Sidenote: Aeneas Syluius.] So that it will be true, that hath neuer bene false, which neas Syluius (and before him many more driuing vpon the like argument) dooth saie in this distichon: Non audet stygius Pluto tentare, quod audent Effrnis monachus plenque fraudis illa,
Meaning Mulier, a woman. And therefore looke what they want in magnanimitie, in strength, in courage, the same is supplied by deceit, by circumuention, by craft, by fraud, by collusion; sometimes applied to a good intent, but most commonlie directed to an euil meaning and purpose, as the euents themselues doo manie times declare. But let vs se what followed vpon this escape of the empresse.
[Sidenote: Polydor. Simon Dun. N. Triuet.] After hir departure from Oxford, the townesmen yeelded vnto the king, who hauing taken order for the keping of them in obedience, marched toward Walingford, minding to besiege the castell there: but being encountred in the way by his enimies, he was driuen backe, and so constreined to turne another waie. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 8. 1143] Earle Robert hearing that his sister was escaped and gotten to Wallingford, hasted thither with all sped to visit hir: [Sidenote: The empress hir sonne lord Henrie.] & (as some write) brought with him hir sonne the lord Henrie that was come with him from beyond the seas, to se his mother: so that the empresse now beholding both hir sonne and brother, receiued them with all the ioy and honour that she could or might presentlie make them. Hir son remaining vnder the gouernement of earle Robert, was then appointed by him to abide within the citie of Bristow, & there continued for the space of 4. yeres, being committed to one Matthew his schoolemaister, to be instructed in knowledge, and trained vp in ciuill behauiour.
King Stephan (after the spoiling of sundrie churches, the robbing and burning of manie townes and villages by the hands of his hired souldiers, who for the more part were Flemings) came at length with his brother the bishop of Winchester stronglie armed vnto Wilton, [Sidenote: The king commeth to Wilton.] where he tooke in hand to fortifie the nunrie in steed of a castell, to resist the incursions and inrodes of them of Salisburie, who in the behalfe of the empresse had doone manie displeasures vnto his frends: but earle Robert vnderstanding of his dooings, got a power togither with all speed, and the first daie of Julie about sunne setting came to Wilton, and suddenlie set the towne on fire.
The king being lodged within the nunrie, and fearing no such matter, after he heard of the sudden assemblie of his enimies, was put in such feare, that he tooke himselfe dishonourablie to flight, leaning his men, his plate, and other riches altogither behind him. [Sidenote: Wil. Par. Sim. Dun. M. Triuet. Matt. Paris.] The earles souldiers egerlie assailed the kings people, killed and spoiled them at their pleasure, rifled the kings treasurie without resistance, and satisfied themselues with greedines. In this broile was William Marcell or Martell taken prisoner by earle Roberts men, & led to the castell of Wallingford, where Brian the earle of Glocesters sonne hauing charge of that castell, kept him in close prison, and vsed him hardlie, who by reason of the opinion which men had conceiued of his valiancie, could not be deliuered, till he had paid 300. marks for his ransome, and deliuered the castell of Shirborne into the earles hands. [Sidenote: Miles earle of Hereford deceased.] Within a few daies after, Miles earle of Hereford departed this life, whose death was verie greuouslie taken of the empresse, for he was one of hir chefe frends and councellers. His eldest sonne Roger succeded him, a gentleman though yoong in yeares, yet valiant and forward in feats of armes. [Sidenote: Ger. Dor. The earle of Essex taken.] William Mandeuile earle of Essex, an ancient capteine, & an expert warriour (who had serued the empresse, was taken also at S. Albons) but not without great slaughter of the kings souldiers: [Sidenote: The earle of Arundell.] in so much that among other, the erle of Arundell mounted on a couragious palfrie & a verie valiant man was ouerthrowen the middest of a water called Haliwell, by a knight named Walkeline de Orcaie, so that same earle was sore bruised in his bodie, and almost drowned. [Sidenote: N. Triuet. Wil. Paru.] The king was present himselfe at the taking of the said Mandeuile, whom he spoiled of all his goods, and constreined by way of redemption of his libertie, to deliuer into the kings hands the Tower of London, the castell of Walden, and Pleshey. Here vpon the same earle being released was driuen through pouertie to seeke some recouerie of his losses by sundrie spoiles and roberies. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 9. 1144.] First of all therefore he spoiled the abbeie of S. Albons, and then the abbeie of Ramsey, which he fortified and defended as a fortresse, [Sidenote: Hen. Hunt.] casting the moonks out of doores, and in euerie place where soeuer he came, he robbed the countrie before him, till at length in the midst of his reuenge and malicious dooings, he was shot thorough with an arrow amongst his men by a sillie footman, and so ended his life with confusion, receiuing worthie punishment for his vngodlie behauiour. [Sidenote: Sim. Dunel. Iohn Pike. Matth. West. N. Triuet.] For he was a man of high stomach & loftie courage, but verie obstinate against God, of great industrie in worldlie businesse, but passing negligent towards his maker, as writers report of him.
[Sidenote: Wil. Malm. Wil. Paru.] Likewise Robert Marmion, who had attempted the semblable robberie & spoile in the abbeie church of Couentrie, was slain before the same abbeie by a like mischance. For going foorth to encounter with the earle of Chester (his mortall enimie, and being approched as then towards the citie) he fell with his horsse into a ditch, which he caused to be couertlie made for the destruction of his enimies: and before he could be relieued, a souldier of the earles part stept to him, and stroke his head from his shoulders in sight of both armies. Ernulfus the sonne of earle Geffrey Mandeuile that kept the church of Ramsey as a fortresse, after his fathers death, was taken at length and banished.
Thus we see how Gods iudgement hunteth and pursueth the wicked, in somuch that they be ouertaken in their owne imaginations: according to that of the scripture, "The wicked and bloudthirstie man shall not liue halfe his daies." And true it is, that as men liue, so commonlie they die: for, as one saith verie well: [Sidenote: M. Pal. in suo scor.] —— bona nulla scelestis Et iustis mala nulla quidem contingere possunt.
About the same time aduertisement was giuen, that the citie of Lincolne, which the earle of Chester had in keeping, was but slenderlie manned. Wherevpon the king conceiuing some hope to win the same, hasted forward: [Sidenote: Lincolne besieged.] and comming thither in the night, laid siege therevnto, and began to cast a trench to stop them within fro making any salies without.
The earle at the first being somewhat amazed with the sudden approch of the enimie, yet beholding from the walles the maner of them without, he perceiued the rankes to be verie thin: and thereby gessing their number to be but small, suddenlie issued foorth at the gates to encounter with them. [Sidenote: The siege raised.] The king abode not the giuing of the charge, bicause he was but weake and therefore fled; neither could the earle follow the chace conuenientlie, for the like cause; [Sidenote: N. Triuet.] but setting vpon those that were about to make the trench, he slue 80. of the workmen, and then retired into the castell.
[Sidenote: A child crucified by the Jewes.] This yeare was an heinous act committed by the Jewes at Norwich, where they put a child to death, in crucifieng him vpon a crosse to the reproch of Christian religion.
[Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Simon Dun.] [Sidenote: An. Reg. 10. 1145.] [Sidenote: A castell built at Faringdon. Hen. Hunt. The king winneth it by force.] In the yeare following; namelie, in the 10. yeare of king Stephans reigne, Robert earle of Glocester and other capteins took in hand to build a castell at Faringdon. But King Stephan assembling an armie of Londoners and other, came thither, and besieged them within. Now whilest earle Robert and others of the empresses capteins remaining not far off, taried for a greater power to come to their aid, the king with sharpe assaults (but not without losse of his men) wan the fortresse: whereby his side began to wax the stronger, and to be more highlie aduanced. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 11. 1146.] After this he came with a mightie armie vnto Wallingford, and there builded a strong castell ouer against the other castell which his aduersaries held against him.
[Sidenote: Ran. Higd. Matth. Paris. N. Triuet. Simon Dun.] Thither also came the earle of Chester with a great traine of knights and gentlemen vnto the king, and so at length they were not vnfeignedlie accorded and made freends, but in apperance on the kings behalfe. For shortlie after, the earle was craftilie taken at a parlement holden at Northampton, by the practise of K. Stephan, and could not be deliuered till he had surrendred the citie and castell of Lincolne, with other fortresses perteining to the crowne into the kings hands. [Sidenote: Ran. Higd. The welshmen waste Cheshire. Ger. Dor.] About that time did the Welshmen destroie the prouince of Chester, but at last they were distressed. This yeare also the loard Geffrey earle of Aniou sent thre Noble men into England, accompanied with certeine men of warre, vnto earle Robert, requesting him to send ouer his sonne Henrie into France, that he might se him, and if need required, he promised to send him backe againe with all conuenient speed. Earle Robert was contented to satisfie his request: and so with a good power of armed men brought the lord Henrie vnto Warham, where he tooke leaue of him, neuer after to se him in this world. [Sidenote: The earle of Glocester departeth this life.] For when the child was transported, earle Robert returned spedilie to the parties from whence he came, and there falling into an ague, departed this life about the beginning of Nouember, and was buried at Bristow. The lord Henrie comming to his father, was ioifully receiued, and remained in those parties for the space of two yeares and foure moneths.
[Sidenote: An. Reg. 12. 1147.] In the meane season, the vniust procedings of K. Stephan against the earle of Chester, purchased him new hatred of his old aduersaries, and like supicion of such as were his freends, for it sounded not a little to his dishonor. Euerie man therefore was in doubt of his dealing, and iudged that it stood them vpon to take hed to themselues. [Sidenote: Simon Dun. K. Stephen entreth into Lincolne with his crowne on his head.] But he (as one that thought he had atchiued some high exploit) in triumphant wise shortlie after entred into Lincolne in his roiall robes, and his crowne on his head, whereas it had not bene heard that any king had doone the like manie yeares before.
It is reported by some writers, that he did this, to root out of mens minds a foolish superstitious conceit, which beleued that no king with his crowne vpon his head might enter that citie, but some mischance should light vpon him: wherevpon he seemed by this meanes to mocke their superstitious imagination.
About the same time manie of the Nobles of the realme (perceiuing the kings authoritie to represse violent wrongs committed by euill dooers to be defectiue) builded sundrie strong castels and fortresses vpon their owne grounds, either to defend themselues, or to make force vpon their enimies nere adioining. After the departing of the king from Lincolne, the earle of Chester came thither with an armie, to assaie if he might recouer that citie. [Sidenote: Simon Dun.] But his lieutenant that had the leading of his men, was slaine at the entring of the northgate, and so the erle was beaten backe with the losse of manie of his men: and the citizens hauing got the vpper hand, reioised not a little for the victorie.
But here (to staie a litle with temporall affaires) it shall not be amisse to rehearse the effect of a contention, which fell about this time betwene that king and the archbishop of Canturburie. [Sidenote: Ger. Dor.] For so it happened (as Geruasius Dorobernensis writeth) that pope Eugenius came this yere into France, about the middest of Lent, and afterward held a synod or councell at Rhemes: wherevnto Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, with others of the English bishops were summoned. The archbishop therevpon asking licence of the king, & not obteining it, found meanes to steale awaie in a small bote, not without danger of his person.
Now therefore the case of this Theobald stood verie hard: for Henrie bishop of Winchester the kings brother through enuie had so wrought, that if the archbishop passed ouer without licence, he should be confined of the king. Againe, he was sure, if he came not to the councell, that he should be suspended by the pope. Herevpon the archbishop meaning rather to offend the king than the pope, got ouer, as it were swimming, rather than sailing; the vessell wherein he passed ouer being starke naught: for all the ports were kept by the kings seruants, so that he was glad to take such a bote as came next to hand. In consideration whereof he was highlie commended by the pope.
In this councell the prebendaries of Yorke, togither with Henrie Mordach then abbat of Fountney, presented themselues, exhibiting their complaint against William archbishop of Yorke, for that (as they alledged) he was neither canonicallie chosen, nor lawfullie consecrated, but intruded by the kings authoritie. At length archbishop William was conuicted and deposed, Albert bishop of Hostia pronouncing sentence in this wise: "We doo decre by the apostolike authoritie, that William archbishop of Yorke is to be deposed from his se, bicause Stephan king of England, before any canonicall election, named him."
Then, for that pope Eugenius had thus deposed archbishop William, although not with the consent of the more part of the cardinals, the chapiter of the church of Yorke, by his commandement comming togither, part of them chose Hilarie bishop of Chichester, and the other part elected Henrie Mordach abbat of Fountney. Now pope Eugenius, when both elections were shewed him at Auxerre, confirmed the election of Henrie Mordach, and disanulled the other, and then consecrated the foresaid Henrie with his owne hands. The late nominated archbishop William being thus deposed, returned into England, and remained at Winchester with king Henrie till the death of pope Eugenius, following the counsell of the same bishop in all things.
Now when the councell at Rhemes was ended, archbishop Theobald returned into England, and comming to Canturburie, was receiued with great honor, of the couent and citizens there. But the king remaining then at London, when he heard of it, was sore displeased, and came with great spede vnto Canturburie, where much conference being had betwixt him and the archbishop (although to small purpose) for the bringing of them to an agrement, at length the king compelled the archbishop to depart the realme. Wherevpon, after a few daies respit, he went to Douer, where he tooke ship and sailed into France. But within a while he was called backe by the quene and William of Ypres, vnto S. Omers, that they might the sooner aduertise him of the kings mind and pleasure. Here he consecrated Gilbert the elect bishop of Hereford, the fift daie of September, Theodoric bishop of Amiens, and Nicholas bishop of Cambre assisting him.
After this, when by sending of messengers to and fro, as well bishops, abbats, and other, both spirituall persons and temporall, there could no agrement be made, he directed his letter to certeine churches here in England, pronouncing by a certeine day, namelie the twelfe day of September, a sentence of interdiction to be obserued through the relme. The monks of Canturburie sore offended herewith, before the prefixed day of this sentence to be put in vse, sent two moonkes of their owne house, Nigell and Absolon, vnto the pope: whose errand when the pope had vnderstood, he commanded them to returne home, and to obeie their archbishops sentence in all things.
In the meane time, the archbishops men and tenants were sore oppressed, and his rents and reuenues seized to the kings vse, yea euen before the daies of paiment. Which maner of proceeding sore greued the archbishop: in so much that departing from S. Omers, he came to Graueling, and there taking the sea, crossed ouer to a towne called Goseford that belonged vnto Hugh Bigot erle of Northfolke: which earle receiued him with great honor, and sent him all necessarie prouision, so long as he remained in his countrie. At the terme appointed, he interdicted all the kings dominions, and would not reuoke the sentence, till Robert bishop, of London, Hilarie bishop of Chichester, and William bishop of Norwhich, with manie other Noblemen, came to him vnto Framelingham in Norfolke, a castell apperteining to the said earle, where at length an attonment was concluded betwixt him and the king: wherevpon he was brought home vnto Canturburie with great ioy and honor.
He accused the moonks of Canturburie, for disobeieng the interdiction, trusting that the pope would not heare those two moonkes whom they had sent, as he did not inded. He excommunicated also all those that had receiued the sacraments amongst them, during the time of the interdiction. Now these moonkes being at their wits end, dispatched with all speed other two moonkes to the pope, to obteine an absolution, before the archbishop should vnderstand it: [Sidenote: Geruasius.] but they were sent backe againe with checks and commanded to obeie their archbishop in all things, as the other were, which had bene there with him before.
[Sidenote: An. Reg. 13. 1148.] The moonks of Canturburie that were sent to Rome, returning, came from thence to Bullongne, where they found those that were first sent thither: and so they all foure came to Canturburie. The pope also had sent a priuie commandement to the archbishop that he should duelie punish as well them as the other. Wherevpon the archbishop taking counsell with his frends, deposed Syluester the prior, and suspended William the secretarie of the house from entring the quere. It was decreed also, that the residue should cease so long a time from saieng seruice, as they had said it before vnlawfullie, against the archbishops commandement. For it was thought reason, that whilest other sang and were merrie, they should keepe silence, which wilfullie tooke vpon them to sing, whilest other held their peace and were still. They began therefore to cease from saieng diuine seruice, and from ringing their bels in the second weke of Lent & so kept silence from the twelfe day of March, vntill the first daie of August.