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Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (2 of 6): England (3 of 12) - Henrie I.
by Raphael Holinshed
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It chanced vpon a small occasion, that verie sore and dangerous warres followed out of hand, betwixt king Henrie and Lewes surnamed the grosse king of France: the beginning whereof grew herevpon. [Sidenote: Theobald erle of Champaigne. Polydor.] Theobald earle of Champaigne, descended of the earles of Blois, was linked in amitie with king Henrie, by reason of affinitie that was betwixt them (for Stephan the earle of Blois married ladie Adila the sister of king Henrie.) Now it happened, that the foresaid Theobald had by chance offended the said Lewes, who in reuenge made sharpe warres vpon him. But earle Theobald hoping for aid to be sent from his frends in the meane time valiantlie resisted him, [Sidenote: Hen. Hunt.] and at length (by reason of a power of men which came to him from king Henrie) in such sort vexed and annoied the French king, that he consulted with Baldwine earle of Flanders, [Sidenote: Foulke earle of Aniou.] and Foulke earle of Aniou, by what means he might best depriue king Henrie of his duchie of Normandie, and restore the same vnto William the sonne of duke Robert, vnto whom of right he said it did belong.

Now king Henrie hauing intelligence of his whole purpose, endeauoured on the otherside to resist his attempts, and after he had leuied a sore tribute of his subiects, [Sidenote: King Henrie passeth ouer into Normandie to assist the erle of Champaigne.] passed ouer into Normandie with a great power, and no small masse of monie, where ioining with earle Theobald, they began to prepare for warre, purposing to follow the same euen to the vttermost. K. Lewes in the meane time, supposing that all hope of victorie rested in spedie dispatch of present affaires, determined likewise to haue inuaded Normandie vpon the sudden. But after he perceiued that his enimies were all in a redinesse, and verie well prouided to resist him: he staied and drew backe a little while. Neuerthelesse in the end he became so desirous to be dooing with king Henrie, [Sidenote: The French K. inuadeth Normandie.] that approching nere vnto the confines of Normandie, he made manie skirmishes with the English, yet no notable exploit passed betwixt them in that yeare.

Here will I leaue the kings of England and France skirmishing and encountring one another, and shew something more of the contention that was betwene the archbishops of Canturburie and Yorke, to the end that their ambitious desire of worldlie honor may in some respect appere.

[Sidenote: 1117. An. Reg. 18.] [Sidenote: Anselme the popes legat.] About this verie time, Anselme the nephue to archbishop Anselme came againe from Rome, with fre authoritie to execute the office of the popes legat in England: which seemed a thing right strange to the English clergie. [Sidenote: The bishop of Canturburie goth to Rome] Wherefore the bishop of Canturburie, to preuent other inconueniences likelie to insue, tooke vpon him to go vnto Rome, to vnderstand the popes pleasure concerning the truth and certeintie of this matter, and to require him in no wise to diminish the authoritie or to extenuat the prerogatiue of his se of Canturburie, which hitherto vsed to determine all causes rising in his prouince.

This said archbishop came to Rome, but finding not the pope there, he sent messengers with letters vnto him, then lieng sicke at Beneuento, and obteined a fauourable answer, wherewith returning towards England, he came to the king at Roan (where he had left him at his setting foorth forward) certifieng him how he had sped in this voiage. The forsaid Anselme was also staid by the king at Roan, and could not be suffered to passe ouer into England all that time, till it might be vnderstood by the returne of the archbishop, what the popes pleasure should be further in that matter. [Sidenote: Pope Gelasius succeded pope[9] Paschall.] Shortlie after whose repaire to the king, word was brought that pope Paschall was departed this life, and that Gelasius the second was elected in his place. [Sidenote: 1118. An. Reg. 19.] This Gelemasius (to auoid the dangers that might insue to him by reason of the schisme and controuersie betwixt the se of Rome, and the emperour Henrie the fift) came into France, where he liued not long, but died in the abbeie of Clugnie, [Sidenote: Carlixtus the second of that name pope.] after whose decease Calixtus the second was called to the papasie.

Thus by the chance and change of popes, the legatship of Anselme could take no place, although his bulles permitted him without limitation or time, not onelie to call and celebrate synods for reformation of disorders in the church, but also for the receiuing of Peter pence to be leuied in England (in the which point pope Paschall in his life time thought them in England verie slacke) as by the same bulles more largelie dooth appere. The archbishop of Canturburie had alreadie staied foure or fiue yeares in the parties beyond the ses, about the matter in controuersie betwixt him and Thurstane archbishop of Yorke, who was likewise gone ouer to solicit his cause. But where as at the first he could not find the king in anie wise agreable to his mind, yet when the councell should be holden at Rhemes by pope Calixt, he sued at the leastwise for licence to go thither: but he could neither haue any grant so to doo, till he had promised (vpon his allegiance which he ought to the king) not to attempt anie thing there that might be preiudiciall to the church of Canturburie in anie maner of wise. Neuerthelesse, at his comming thither, he so wrought with bribes and large gifts, that the popes court (a thing easilie doone in Rome) fauoured his cause; yea, such was his successe, that the pope consecrated him with his owne hands, although king Henrie had giuen notice to him of the controuersie depending betwixt Thurstane and Rafe the archbishop of Canturburie, requiring him in no wise either to consecrate Thurstane himselfe, or grant licence to anie other person to consecrate him; for if he did, surelie (for his part) he would banish him quite out of his dominion, which should not be long vndoone. But now to the purpose.

[Sidenote: 1119. An. Reg. 20.] [Sidenote: The two kings of England & France ioine battell.] In this meane time, the warres were busilie pursued betwixt the two kings of England & France, and a battell was fought betweene them, with great slaughter on both sides for the space of nine houres. The forewards on both parties were beaten downe and ouerthrowne; [Sidenote: King Henrie hurt in the battell.] and king Henrie receiued sundrie stripes on his head at the hands of one William Crispine countie de Eureux, so as (though his helmet were verie strong and sure) the blood burst out of his mouth: wherewith he was nothing afraid, but like a fierce lion laid more lustilie about him, and stroke downe diuerse of his enimies, namelie the said Crispine, [Sidenote: The earle of Eureux taken prisoner.] who was there taken prisoner at the kings feet. Now were the kings people incouraged at the valiancie and prowesse of their king and chieftaine, so that at length they opened and ouercame the maine battell, and setting vpon the rereward, ouerthrew the whole armie of France, which neuer recoiled, but fought it out euen to the vttermost. There died and were taken prisoners in this conflict manie thousands of men. The French king leauing the field, [Sidenote: Andelei. Nicasium.] got him vnto a place called Andelie: and the king of England recouering a towne by the waie called Nicasium, which the French king had latelie woone, returned vnto Rouen, where he was with great triumph receiued, and highlie commended for his noble victorie thus atchiued.

The earle of Flanders (as some write) was so wounded in this battell, that he died thereof. [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Ia. Meir.] But others affirme, that coming into Normandie in the yeare last past, to make warre against king Henrie in fauour of king Lewes, he wan the towne of Andelie, and an other which they name Aqu Nicasij. [Sidenote: The earle of Flanders wounded. He departed this life.] But as he was come before the towne of Augen in the moneth of September, and assailed the same, he receiued his deaths wound in the head, wherevpon returning home in the ninth moneth after, when he could not be cured of his hurt, he departed this life at Rosilare the 17. daie of June.

[Sidenote: Foulke earle of Aniou became the king of Englands man.] Shortlie after Foulke earle of Aniou (who before had aided the French king against king Henrie) became now king Henries freend by aliance, marieng his daughter to William king Henries eldest sonne. But the French king (as their histories make mention) minding still to be reuenged of the earle Theobald, inuaded his countrie againe with a puissant armie, and had destroied the citie of Chartres, which belonged vnto the same earle, had not the citizens humbled themselues to his mercie: and so likewise did the earle, as may be thought. For in the warres which immediatlie followed betwixt Lewes and the emperour Henrie, the erle aided the French king against the same emperour to[10] the vttermost of his power. [Sidenote: The king and the pope come to an enteruew at Gisors.] Soone after this, the king came to an enteruiew with pope Calixtus at Gisors, where manie matters were talked of betwixt them: and amongst other, the king required of the pope a grant of all such liberties as his father enioied within the limits of England and Normandie, and chefelie that no legat should haue any thing to doo within England, except he required to haue one sent him for some vrgent cause.

[Sidenote: The pope is a suiter for Thurstane] All which matters being determined (as the state of the time present required) the pope besought the king to be good vnto archbishop Thurstane, and to restore him to his se: but the king protested that he had vowed neuer so to doo whilest he liued. [Sidenote: The pope offereth to discharge the K. of his vow.] Wherevnto the pope answered, that he was pope, and by his apostolike power he would discharge him of that vow, if he would satisfie his request. The king to shift the matter off, promised the pope that he would take aduice of his councell, and giue him further knowledge, as the cause required, wherevpon departing from thense, [Sidenote: Eadmerus. The kings answer sent to the pope.] he did afterwards (vpon farther deliberation) send him this message, in effect as followeth.

"Whereas he saith he is pope, and will (as he said) assoile me of the vow which I haue made, if contrarie thereto I will restore Thurstane to the se of Yorke: I thinke it not to stand with the honor of a king, to consent in any wise vnto such an absolution. For who shall beleue an others promise hereafter, if by mine example he se the same so easilie by an absolution to be made void. [Sidenote: Simon Dun. Eadmerus.] But sith he hath so great a desire to haue Thurstane restored, I shall be contented at his request, to receiue him to his se, with this condition, that he shall acknowledge his church to be subiect vnto the se of Canturburie, as his predecessours haue doone before him; although in fine this offer would not serue the turne."

[Sidenote: 1120.] But now to returne againe to the two princes. [Sidenote: Simon Dun.] [Sidenote: An. Reg. 21.] Not long after the departure of the pope from Gisors, Foulke earle of Aniou found meanes to make an agreement betwixt king Henrie & king Lewes, so that king William sonne to king Henrie did homage vnto king Lewes for the duchie of Normandie. [Sidenote: The kings of England and France are accorded. Wil. Malm. Eadmerus.] And further it was accorded betwene them, that all those that had borne armour either on the one side or the other, should be pardoned, whose subiects[11] soeuer they were. In like maner, Rafe archbishop of Canturburie returned into England, after he had remained long in Normandie, bicause of the controuersie betwixt him and Thurstan archbishop of Yorke, as is aforesaid.

[Sidenote: Alexander K. of Scots.] Now shortlie after his returne to Canturburie, messengers came with letters from Alexander king of Scotland vnto him, signifieng, that where the se of S. Andrews was void, the same king did instantlie require him to send ouer Eadmer a moonke of Canturburie (of whom he had heard great commendation for his sufficiencie of vertue and learning) to be seated there. This Eadmer is the same which wrote the historie intituled Historia nouorum in Anglia, out of which (as may appeare) we haue gathered the most part of our matters concerning Anselme and Rafe archbishops of Canturburie, in whose daies he liued, [Sidenote: Eadmer Anselmes disciple.] and was Anselmes disciple.

Archbishop Rafe was contented to satisfie the request of king Alexander in that behalfe, and obteining the consent of king Henrie, he sent the said Eadmer into Scotland with letters of commendation vnto the said king Alexander, who receiued him right ioifullie, and vpon the third daie after his comming thither (being the feast of the apostles Peter & Paule) he was elected archbishop of S. Andrews by the clergie and people of the land, to the great reioicing of Alexander, and the rest of the Nobilitie. The next daie after the king talked with him secretlie of his consecration, and vttered to him how he had no mind to haue him consecrated at the hands of Thurstan archbishop of Yorke. In which case when he was informed by the said Eadmer, that no such thing needed to trouble his mind, since the archbishop of Canturburie, being primate of all Britaine, might consecrate him as reason was; the king could not away with that answer, bicause he would not heare that the church of Canturburie should be preferred before the church of S. Andrews. Herevpon he departed from Eadmer in displeasure, and calling one William (sometime moonke of S. Edmundsbury) vnto him, a man also that had gouerned (or rather spoiled) the church of S. Andrews in the vacation: this William was commanded to take vpon him the charge thereof againe, at the kings pleasure, whose meaning was vtterlie to remooue Eadmer, as not worthie of that roome. Howbeit, within a moneth after (to satisfie the minds of his Nobles) he called for the said Eadmer, [Sidenote: Eadmer receiueth his staffe from an altar.] and with much adoo got him to receiue the staffe of that bishoprike, taking it from an altar whereon it laie (as if he shuld haue that dignitie at the Lords hands) whereby he was inuested, & went streight to S. Andrews church, where he was receiued by the quier, the schollers, and all the people, for true and lawfull bishop.

In this meane while Thurstan nothing slacking his sute in the popes court, obteined such fauour (wherein the king of England also was greatlie laboured vnto) that he wrote letters thrice vnto the king of Scotland, and once vnto the archbishop of Canturburie, that neither the king should permit Eadmer to be consecrated, nor the archbishop of Canturburie in any wise consecrate him if he were therevnto required. Herevpon it came to passe, that finally Eadmer, after he had remained in Scotland twelue moneths or thereabouts, and perceiued that things went not as he would haue wished (for that he could not get the kings consent that he shuld be consecrated of the archbishop of Canturburie, as it was first meant both by the archbishop and Eadmer) he departed out of Scotland, and returned againe to Canturburie, there to take further aduice in all things as cause should mooue him. [Sidenote: King Henrie returneth into England. Ran. Higd. Wil. Malm. Polydor. Matth. Paris. The kings sonnes and his daughter with other Nobles are drowned by shipwracke.] In like maner king Henrie, hauing quieted his businesse in France, returned into England, where he was receiued and welcomed home with great ioy and triumph; but such publike reioising lasted not long with him. For inded, this pleasantnesse and mirth was changed into mourning, by aduertisement giuen of the death of the kings sons, William duke of Normandie, and Richard his brother, who togither with their sister the ladie Marie countesse of Perch, Richard earle of Chester, with his brother Otwell gouernour to duke William, and the said earle of Chester his wife the kings neece, the archdeacon of Hereford, Geffrey Riddle, Robert Manduit, William Bigot, and diuerse other, to the number of an hundreth and fourtie persons, besides fiftie mariners, tooke ship at Harflew, thinking to follow the king, and sailing foorth with a south wind, their ship thorough negligence of the mariners (who had drunke out their wits & reason) were throwne vpon a rocke, and vtterlie perished on the coast of England, vpon the 25. of Nouember, so that of all the companie none escaped but one butcher, who catching hold of the mast, was driuen with the same to the shore which was at hand, and so saued from that dangerous shipwracke. [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] Duke William might also haue escaped verie well, if pitie had not mooued him more than the regard of his owne preseruation. For being gotten into the shipboat, and lanching toward the land, he heard the skreking of his sister in dredfull danger of drowning, and crieng out for succour; wherevpon he commanded them that rowed the boat to turne backe to the ship, and to take hir in. [Sidenote: Wil. Malm. Matth. Paris.] But such was the prease of the companie that stroue to leape in with her, that it streightwaies sanke, so that all those which were alreadie in the boat were cast awaie.

[Sidenote: Looke in page 39.[12]] Here (by the way) would be noted the vnaduised speech of William Rufus to the shipmaister, whom he emboldened with a vaine and desperat persuasion in tempestuous weather and high seas to hoise vp sailes; adding (for further encouragement) that he neuer heard of any king that was drowned. In which words (no doubt) he sinned presumptuouslie against God, who in due time punished that offense of his in his posteritie and kinred, euen by the same element, whose fearsenes he himselfe semed so little to regard, as if he would haue commanded the stormes to cease; as we read Christ did in the gospell by the vertue and power of his word. Here is also to be noted the variablenes of fortune (as we commonlie call it) or rather the vncerteine and changeable euent of things, which oftentimes dooth raise vp (euen in the[13] minds of princes) troblesome thoughts, and greuous passions, to the great empairing of their quietnesse: as here we se exemplified in king Henrie, whose mirth was turned into mone, and his pleasures relished with pangs of pensifenes, contrarie to his expectation when he was in the midst of his triumph at his returne out of France into England. So that we see the old adage verified, Miscentur tristia ltis; and that saieng of an old poet iustified;

[Sidenote: Hesiod. in lib. cui tit. opera & dies.] "Sua nouerca dies nunc est, nunc mater amica."

[Sidenote: 1121. An. Reg. 22] But to returne to the historie. King Henrie being thus depriued of issue to succeed him, did not a little lament that infortunate chance: but yet to restore that losse, shortlie after, euen the 10. of Aprill next ensuing, [Sidenote: Eadmerus. Hen. Hunt. The king marieth againe.] he maried his second wife named Adelicia, a ladie of excellent beautie, and noble conditions, daughter to the duke of Louaine, and descended of the noble dukes of Loraine, howbeit he could neuer haue any issue by hir. [Sidenote: Eadmerus. The pope writeth to king Henrie, in fauour of the archbishop Thurstan, & accurseth him with the archbishop of Canturburie.] The archbishop Thurstan (after the manner of obteining suites in the court of Rome) found such fauour at the hands of pope Calixt, that he directed his letters as well to king Henrie, as to Rafe archbishop of Canturburie, by vertue whereof he accursed them both, and interdicted as well the prouince of Yorke as Canturburie from the vse of all maner of sacraments: from baptisme of infants, the penance of them that died onelie excepted: if archbishop Thurstan were not suffered (within one moneth next after the receipt of those letters) to inioie his see, without compelling him to make any promise of subiection at all. The king to be out of trouble, permitted Thurstan to returne into the realme, and so repaire vnto Yorke; but with condition, that he should not exercise any iurisdiction out of his owne diocesse as metropolitane, till he had confessed his obstinat errour, and acknowleged his obedience to the church of Canturburie.

[Sidenote: The Welshmen make sturres. Eadmerus. The king raiseth an armie to go against the Welshmen.] Whilest these things were thus a dooing, king Henrie was aduertised, that the Welshmen breaking the peace, did much hurt on the marshes, & speciallie in Cheshire where they had burned two castells. Meaning therefore to be reuenged on them to the vttermost, he assembled an armie out of all parts of his realme, and entred with the same into Wales. The Welshmen, hearing that the king was come with such puissance to inuade them, were afraid, and forthwith sent ambassadours, beseching him to grant them pardon and peace. [Sidenote: The Welshmen sue for peace.] The king mooued with their humble petitions, tooke hostages of them, & remitted them for that time, considering that in mainteining of warre against such maner of people, there was more feare of losse than hope of gaine. [Sidenote: More doubt of losse than hope of gaine, by the warres against the Welshmen.] But yet to prouide for the quietnes of his subiects which inhabited nere the marshes, that they shuld not be ouerrun and harried dailie by them (as oftentimes before they had bene) he appointed Warren earle of Shrewesburie to haue the charge of the marshes, that peace might be the better kept and mainteined in the countrie.

[Sidenote: Simon Dun. A chanell cast from Torksey to Lincolne.] Soone after king Henrie caused a chanell to be cast along the countrie in Lincolnshire, from Torksey to the citie of Lincolne, that vessels might haue passage out of the riuer of Trent vnto the same. [Sidenote: Norham castell built. H. Hunt.] Moreouer, Rafe bishop of Durham began to build the castell of Norham, vpon the bank of the riuer of Twed.

At this time likewise Foulke Earle of Aniou being now come out of the holie land (whither he went after the peace was made betwixt king Henrie and the French king) began to picke a quarrell against king Henrie, for withholding the iointure of his daughter, who (as before you haue heard) was married vnto William the kings sonne that was drowned. He also gaue hir sister in mariage vnto William the sonne of duke Robert, assigning vnto him the earledome of Maime to enioy in the right of his wife.

[Sidenote: Polydor.] In the meane time, king Henrie visited the north parts of his realme, to vnderstand the state of the countrie, and to prouide for the suertie and good gouernement thereof, as was thought requisite.

[Sidenote: 1122.] [Sidenote: 13. Kalends of Nouember.] [Sidenote: An. Reg. 23.] In the yeare next ensuing, the twentith of October, Rafe archbishop of Canturburie departed this life, after he had ruled that see the space of 8. yeares, in whose roome succeded one William archbishop, who was in number the eight and twentith from Augustine. Moreouer, Henrie the sonne of earle Blois, who before was abbat of Glastenburie, was now made bishop of Winchester, a man for his singular bountie, gentlenesse and modestie greatlie beloued of the English.

But to returne to the affaires of the king. It chanced about this time, that the parts beyond the sea (being[14] now void of a gouernour (as they suppose) by meanes of the death of the kings sonne) began to make commotions. [Sidenote: 1123. An. Reg. 24.] [Sidenote: Robert earle of Mellent rebelleth. Hen. Hunt. The castle of Roan fortified. Matth. Paris.] Soone after it came also to passe that Robert earle of Mellent rebelled against the king, who being spedilie aduertised thereof, sailed foorthwith into those quarters, and besieged the castell of Ponteaudemer perteining to the said earle, and tooke it. About the same time also the king fortified the castell of Roan, causing a mightie thick wall with turrets thereabout as a fortification to be made. Likewise, he repaired the castell of Caen, the castels of Arches, Gisors, Faleise, Argentone, Damfront, Vernon, Ambres, with others, & made them strong. [Sidenote: 1124. An. Reg. 25.] [Sidenote: Polydor. H. Hunt. Matth. Paris.] In the meane season, the earle of Mellent (desirous to be reuenged of king Henrie) procured aid where he could, and so with Hugh earle of Mountfert entred into Normandie, wasting and destroieng the countrie with fire and sword, thinking yer long to bring the same to obedience. But the kings chamberlaine and lieutenant in those parts, named William de Tankeruile, being thereof aduertised, laid an ambush for them, and training them within the danger thereof, set vpon them, and after long fight, tooke them twaine prisoners, with diuers other, and presented them both vnto the king, whereby the warres ceassed in that countrie for a time.

The king hauing in this maner purchased quietnesse by the sword, gaue himselfe somewhat to the reformation of his house, and among other things which he redressed, [Sidenote: Long haire redressed in the court. Matth. West.] he caused all his knights and men of warre to cut their haire short, after the maner of the Frenchmen, whereas before they ware the same long after the vsage of women.

[Sidenote: 1125. An. Reg. 26.] [Sidenote: Johannes Cremensis a legat sent into England.] After this also, in the yeare 1125. a cardinall named Johannes Cremensis was sent into England from pope Honorius the second, to se reformation in certeine points touching the church: but his cheefe errand was to correct preests that still kept their wiues with them. At his first comming ouer he soiourned in colledges of cathedrall churches, and in abbeies, addicting himselfe to lucre & wantonnesse, reaping where he had not sowen. At length, about the feast of the natiuitie of our ladie, he called a conuocation of the cleargie at London, where making an oration, he inueihed sore against those of the spiritualtie that were spotted with any note of incontinencie. Manie thought themselues touched with his words, who hauing smelled somewhat of his secret tricks, that whereas he was a most licentious liuer, and an vnchast person of bodie and mind, vet he was so blinded, that he could not perceiue the beame in his own eies, whilest he espied a mote in another mans. Herevpon they grudged, that he should in such wise call other men to accompts for their honest demeanor of life, which could not render any good reckoning of his owne: insomuch that they watched him so narrowlie, that in the euening (after he had blown his horne so lowd against other men; in declaring that it was a shamefull vice to rise from the side of a strumpet, and presume to sacrifice the bodie of Christ) he was taken in bed with a strumpet, to his owne shame and reproch. [Sidenote: But this shuld not sem to be any iust excuse, for M.P. saith that the same day he consecrated the Lords bodie, & therefore he must neds be a prest.] But being reprooued thereof, he alledged this excuse (as some write) that he was no preest, but a reformer of preests. Howbeit to conclude, being thus defamed, he got him backe to Rome againe from whence he came, without any performance of that whereabout he was sent.

But to returne to king Henrie, who whilest he remained in Normandie (which was a long time after the apprehension of the two foresaid earles) vnderstood that his sonne in lawe Henrie the emperour was departed this life at Utregt, the 23. of Maie last past. [Sidenote: 1126. An. Reg. 27.] Wherevpon he sent for his daughter the empresse to come ouer vnto him into Normandie, and hauing set his businesse in order on that side the sea, and taken hir with him, he returned into England before the feast of S. Michaell, [Sidenote: Polydor. An oth taken by the lords touching the succession of the crowne.] where calling a parlement, he caused hir by the authoritie of the same to be established as his lawfull heire and successor, with an article of intaile vpon hir issue, if it should please God to send hir any at all. At this parlement was Dauid K. of Scotland, who succeded Alexander the fierce. Stephan earle of Morton and Bullongne, and son of Stephan earle of Blois, nephue to K. Henrie by his sister Adela; these two princes chefelie tooke their oth amongst other, to obey the foresaid empresse, as touching hir right and lawfull claime to the crowne of England. [Sidenote: Stephan erle of Bullongne the first that offered to receiue the oth.] But although Stephan was now the first that was to sweare, he became shortlie after the first that brake that oth for his owne preferment. Thus it commeth often to passe, that those which receiue the greatest benefits, doo oftentimes soonest forget to be thankefull.

This Stephan latelie before by his vncle K. Henries meanes, had purchased & got in marriage the onelie daughter and heire of Eustace earle of Bullongne, and so after the decease of his father in lawe, became earle there: and further, had goodlie possessions in England giuen him by the king, and yet (as farther shall appeare) he kept not his oth made with K. Henrie. [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] Some write that there rose no small strife betwixt this earle Stephan, & Robert erle of Glocester, in contending which of them should first receiue this oth: the one alledging that he was a kings sonne, and the other affirming that he was a kings nephue.

[Sidenote: 1127.] Shortlie after this parlement was ended, K. Henrie held his Christmas at Windsor, where Thurstan archbishop of Yorke (in preiudice of the right of William archbishop of Canturburie) would haue set the crowne vpon the kings head, at his going to the church: [Sidenote: Matth. Paris.] but he was put backe with no small reproch; [Sidenote: Strife betwixt the prelates for preheminence.] and his chapleine (whom he appointed[15] to beare his crosse before him at his entrance into the kings chappell) was contemptuouslie and violentlie thrust out of the doores with crosse and all by the frends of the archbishop of Canturburie. In short time, this vnseemlie contention betwixt Thurstan and William the two archbishops grew so hot that not onelie both of them, but also the bishop of Lincolne went to Rome about the deciding of their strife.

[Sidenote: Polydor.] In this yeare Charles earle of Flanders, the successor of earle Baldwin, was traitorouslie murthered of his owne people: & bicause he left no issue behind him to succed as his heire, [Sidenote: William sonne to Robert Curthose made erle of Flanders] Lewes the French king made William the sonne of duke Robert Curthose earle of Flanders, as the next cousine in bloud to the same Charles. Truth it is, that by his fathers side, this William was descended from erle Baldwin surnamed Pius, whose daughter Maud being maried vnto William Conqueror, bare by him the aforesaid Robert Curthose, father to this William now aduanced to the gouernment of Flanders, but he wanted not aduersaries that were competitors and malignant sutors for that earledome, who sought to preferre themselues, and to displace him.

King Henrie misliking the promotion of the said William, although he was his nephue, for that he supposed he would seeke to reuenge old displeasures if he might compasse to haue the French kings assistance, thought good with the aduice of his councell to withstand the worst. Wherevpon he tooke order for the maintenance of the warre abroad, and the supplie of souldiers, and other things necessarie to be considered of for the suretie of his realme.

[Sidenote: The empresse Maud married to the earle of Aniou. Ger. Dor.] After this, bicause he was in dispaire to haue issue by his second wife, about Whitsuntide he sent ouer his daughter Maud the empresse into Normandie, that she might be married vnto Geffrey Plantagenet earle of Aniou, and in August after he followed himselfe. Now the matter went so forward, that the mariage was celebrated betwixt the said earle and empresse vpon the first sundaie in Aprill, which fell vpon the third of the moneth, and in the 27. of his reigne.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 28.] [Sidenote: Matth. Paris.] [Sidenote: 1128.] In the yeare ensuing, king Henrie meaning to cause the French king to withdrawe his helping hand from his nephue William earle of Flanders, passed foorth of Normandie with an armie, and inuading France, remained for the space of eight daies at Hipard, in as good quiet as if he had bene within his owne dominions, and finallie obteined that of the French king which he sought for; namelie, his refusall to aid his nephue the said earle of Flanders. [Sidenote: An. Reg. 29.] Who at length contending with other that claimed the earldome, chanced this yeare to be wounded, as he pursued his enimies vnto the walls of a towne called Albust, [Sidenote: Ia. Meir.] and soone after died of the hurt the 16. of August.

[Sidenote: William earle of Flanders deceaseth of a wound.] It was thought that the great felicitie of king Henrie was the chiefe occasion of this earles death, who meant (if he might haue brought his purpose to passe, and be once quietlie set in the dominion of Flanders) to haue attempted some great enterprise against king Henrie for the recouerie of Normandie, and deliuerie of his father out of prison. [Sidenote: The fortunat & good hap of K. Henrie.] Which was knowen well inough to king Henrie, who mainteined those that made him warre at home, both with men and monie; [Sidenote: William de Hypres.] namelie, William of Hypres, who tooke vpon him as regent in the name of Stephan earle of Bullongne, whome king Henrie procured to make claime to Flanders also, in the title of his grandmother queene Maud, wife to William Conqueror. But to proced with our historie.

[Sidenote: 1129. An. Reg. 30.] When king Henrie had sped his businesse in Normandie, where he had remained a certeine space, both about the conclusion and solemnizing of the mariage made betwixt his daughter Maud the empresse and the earle of Aniou, and also to see the end of the wars in Flanders, he now returned into England, [Sidenote: 1130. An. Reg. 31.] where he called a great councell or parlement at London, in August: wherein (amongst other things) it was decreed, [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Polydor. An act against vnchast prests.] that prests, which liued vnchastlie, should be punished, and that by the kings permission, who hereby tooke occasion to serue his owne turne: for he regarded not the reformation which the bishops trusted (by his plaine dealing) would haue followed, but put those prests to their fines that were accused, and suffered them to kepe their wiues still in house with them, which offended the bishops greatlie, who would haue had them sequestred asunder.

After this parlement ended, the king kept his Christmasse at Worcester, and his Eastermasse following at Woodstocke, where a certeine noble man named Geffrey Clinton was accused to him of high treason. In this 31. yeare of king Henries reigne, great death and murren of cattell began in this land so vniuersallie in all places, that no towne nor village escaped fre: [Sidenote: Wil. Malm. In nouella historia. Polydor.] and long it was before the same discontinued or ceased. King Henrie passing ouer into Normandie, was troubled with certeine strange dreames or visitations in his slepe. For as he thought, he saw a multitude of ploughmen with such tooles as belong to their trade and occupation; after whom came a sort of souldiers with warlike weapons: and last of all, bishops approching towards him with their crosier staues readie to fall vpon him, as if they meant to kill him. Now when he awaked, he lept foorth of his bed, got his sword in his hand, & called his seruants to come & helpe him. Neuerthelesse, repressing those perturbations, and somewhat better aduising himselfe, partlie by his owne reason and partlie by the counsell of learned gentlemen, was persuaded to put such fantasies awaie, and was admonished withall, that whilest he had time and space here on earth, he should redeeme his passed offenses and sinnes committed against God, with repentance, almesdeds, and abstinence. Wherefore being moued herewith, he began to practise an amendment of his former lewd life.

Here it shall not be amisse to compare the two sonnes of William the Conquerour; namelie William Rufus, and Henrie Beauclerke togither; and to consider among other euents the supernaturall dreames wherewith they were admonished, to excellent good purpose (no doubt) if they could haue applied them to the end whereto they were directed. For William Rufus (as you shall read in pag. 44.[16]) neglecting to be admonished by a dredfull dreame wherewith he was troubled, shortlie after receiued his deaths wound by casualtie or chancemedlie, euen in the prime of his pastime and disport. This other brother H. Beauclerke had the like warnings by the same meanes, and (to a good effect) as the learned doo gather. Their rash opinion therefore is much to be checked, which contemne dreames as meere delusorie, alledging by waie of disproofe an old erronious verse: Somnia ne cures, nam fallunt plurima plures,

Speaking indefinitelie of dreames without distinction: whereas in truth great valure is in them in respect of their kind and nature. For though some sort of dreames (as those that be physicall) are not greatlie to be relied vpon; yet those of the metaphysicall sort hauing a speciall influence from aboue natures reach, are not lightlie to be ouerslipped. To determine this matter I remit the studious readers to that excellent chapter of Peter Martyr, in the first part of his common places, pag. 32. columne 2. where dreames In genere are copiouslie handled.

[Sidenote: Polydor.] About the same time, Maud daughter of this Henrie, being forsaken of hir husband Geffrey earle of Aniou, came to hir father then being in Normandie. What the cause was why hir husband put hir from him, is not certeinlie knowen: but the matter (belike) was not verie great, sith shortlie after he receiued hir againe, and that of his owne accord. During the time also king Henrie remained in Normandie, pope Innocent the 2. came into France, to auoid the danger of his enimies: [Sidenote: 1131. An. Reg. 32.] and holding a councell at Cleremont, he accursed one Peter Fitz Leo, who had vsurped as pope, and named himselfe Anacletus. Afterward at breaking vp of the same counsell at Cleremont, he came to Orleance, and then to Charters, [Sidenote: King Henrie and pope Innocent met at Charters.] meeting king Henrie by the waie, who offered vnto the pope to mainteine his cause against his enimies to the vttermost of his power, for the which the pope gaue the king great thankes: and semed as though he had beene more carefull for the defense of the common cause of the christian common-wealth than for his owne, he exhorted king Henrie to make a iournie into the holie land, against the Saracens and enimies of the christian religion.

[Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] In this enteruiew betwixt the pope and the king, the Romans were mooued to maruell greatlie at the wisedome and sharpnesse of wit which they perceiued in the Normans. For king Henrie, to shew what learning remained amongst the people of the west parts of Europe, [Sidenote: The sons of Robert erle of Melent praised for their learning.] caused the sonnes of Robert earle of Melent to argue and dispute in the points and subtill sophismes of Logike, with the cardinals and other learned chapleins of the pope there present, who were not ashamed to confesse, that there was more learning amongst them here in the west parts, than euer they heard or knew of in their owne countrie of Italy.

[Sidenote: King Henrie returneth into England.] King Henrie after this returned into England, and vpon the sea was in danger to haue drowned by tempest: so that iudging the same to be as a warning for him to amend his life, he made manie vowes, and after his landing went to S. Edmundsburie in Suffolke to doo his deuotions vnto the sepulchre of that king. Now at his comming from thence, being well disposed, towards the reliefe of his people, he lessened the tributes and impositions, and did iustice aswell in respect and fauour of the poore as of the rich.

[Sidenote: 1132. An. Reg. 33] Not long after, Geffrey earle of Aniou had a son named Henrie by his wife the empresse, who (as before is said) was after king of England: for his grandfather king Henrie hauing no issue male to succeed him, caused the empresse and this Henrie hir sonne to be established heires of the realme: all the Nobles and other estates taking an oth to be their true and loiall subiects. [Sidenote: 1133. An. Reg. 34.] After this king Henrie kept his Christmasse at Dunstable, and his Easter at Woodstocke. In the same yeare, or (as some haue) in the beginning of the yeare precedent, or (as other haue) in the yeare following, king Henrie erected a bishops se at Carleil, [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Prior of L. Oswald as Wil. Thorne. hath, and likewise Matth. Paris. and Matt. Westm.] in which one Arnulfe or rather Athelwoolfe, who before was abbat of S. Bothoulfs, and the kings confessor, was the first bishop that was instituted there. This man immediatelie after his consecration placed regular canons in that church.

Not long after, or rather before (as by Wil. Malmes. it should seme) king Henrie passed ouer into Normandie, from whence (this being the last time of his going thither) he neuer returned aliue. And as it came to passe, he tooke ship to saile this last iournie thither, euen the same daie in which he had afore time receiued the crowne. [Sidenote: An eclipse[17].] On which daie (felling vpon the Wednesdaie and being the second of August) a wonderfull and extraordinarie eclipse of the sunne and moone appeared, in somuch that Wil. Malmes. who then liued, writeth that he saw the starres plainlie about the sunne at the verie time of that eclipse. [Sidenote: An earthquake.] On the fridaie after such an earthquake also happened in this realme, that manie houses and buildings were ouerthrowne. This earthquake was so sensible, or rather so visible, that the wall of the house wherein the king then sat was lift vp with a double remoue, at the third it setled it selfe againe in his due place. Moreouer at the verie same time also fire burst out of certeine riffes of the earth in so huge flames, that neither by water nor otherwise it could be quenched.

[Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Matth. West.] [Sidenote: An. Reg. 35.] In the 34. yeare of his reigne, his brother Robert Curthose departed this life in the castell of Cardiff. It is said that on a festiuall daie king Henrie put on a robe of scarlet, the cape whereof being streict, he rent it in striuing to put it ouer his head: and perceiuing it would not serue him, he laid it aside, and said; "Let my brother Robert haue this robe, who hath a sharper head than I haue." Which when it was brought to duke Robert, and the rent place not sowed vp, he perceiued it, and asked whether any man had worne it before. The messenger told the whole matter how it happened. [Sidenote: The deceasse of Robert Curthose.] Wherewith duke Robert tooke such a greefe for the scornefull mocke of his brother, that he waxed wearie of his life, and said: "Now I perceiue I haue liued too long, that my brother shall cloth me like his almes man with his cast and rent garments." Thus cursing the time of his natiuitie, he refused from thencefoorth to eat or drinke, and so pined awaie, and was buried at Glocester.

King Henrie remaining still in Normandie, rode round about a great part of the countrie, shewing no small loue and courtesie to the people, studieng by all meanes possible to win their fauours, and being merie amongst them. Howbeit nothing reioised him more than that his daughter Maud the empresse at the same time was deliuered of hir second sonne named Geffrey, so that he saw himselfe prouided of an assured successor.

[Sidenote: Polydor.] [Sidenote: 1135. An. Reg. 35.] But whilest he thus passed the time in mirth and solace, he began soone after to be somewhat diseased, and neuer could perceiue any euident cause thereof. [Sidenote: Matth. West. Sim. Dunel.] Wherefore to driue his greefe away, he went abrode to hunt, and being somewhat amended thereby (as he thought) at his comming home he would neds eat of a lampry, though his physician counselled him to the contrarie: but he delighting most in the meat (though it be in qualitie verie hurtfull to health) would not be dissuaded from it, so that his stomach being annoied therewith he fell immediatelie into an ague, [Sidenote: King Henrie departeth this life.] and so died shortlie after, on the first day of December being as then about 67. yeares of age after he had reigned 35. yeres, and foure moneths lacking foure daies. His bodie was conueied into England, and buried at Reading within the abbey church which he had founded, and endowed in his life time with great and large possessions. [Sidenote: Matth. West. Ran. Higd. Sim. Dunel.] It is written, that his bodie, to auoid the stench which had infected manie men, was closed in a buls hide, and how he that clensed the head died of the sauour which issued out of the braine.

Thus we se that euen princes come to the like end by as base meanes as other inferiour persons; according to that of the poet: [Sidenote: Horat. lib. car. 1. ode. 28.] Dant alios furi toruo spectacula Marti, Exitio est auidis mare nautis: Mista senum ac iuuenum densantur funera, nullum Sua caput Proserpina fugit.

And here we haue to note the neglect of the physicians counsell, and that same ill disposition in diet which the king chose rather to satisfie, than by restraining it to auoid the danger whereinto he fell. But this is the preposterous election of vntoward patients, according to that: Nitimur in vetitum semper, cupimsq; negata.

[Sidenote: The issue of king Henrie the first.] Touching his issue, he had by his first wife a sonne named William, drowned (as ye haue heard) in the sea: also a daughter named Maud, whome with hir sonnes he appointed to inherit his crowne and other dominions. He had issue also by one of his concubins, euen a sonne named Richard, and a daughter named Marie, who were both drowned with their brother William. By an other concubine he had a sonne named Robert, who was created duke of Glocester.

[Sidenote: His stature.] He was strong of bodie, flehise, and of an indifferent stature, blacke of haire, and in maner bald before, with great and large eies, of face comelie, well countenanced, and pleasant to the beholders, speciallie when he was disposed to mirth.

[Sidenote: His vertues.] He excelled in three vertues, wisedome, eloquence, and valiancie, which notwithstanding were somewhat blemished with the like number of vices that reigned in him; [Sidenote: His vices.] as couetousnesse, crueltie, and fleshlie lust of bodie. His couetousnesse appeared, in that he sore oppressed his subiects with tributes and impositions. His crueltie, in that he kept his brother Robert Curtehose in perpetuall prison, and likewise in the hard vsing of his cousine Robert earle of Mortaigne, whome he not onelie deteined in prison, but also caused his eies to be put out: which act was kept secret till the kings death reuealed it. And his fleshlie lust was manifest, by keping of sundrie women.

[Sidenote: His wisdome.] But in his other affaires he was circumspect, in defending his owne verie earnest and diligent. Such wars as might be auoided, with honourable peace he euer sought to appease; [Sidenote: His manlie courage.] but when such iniuries were offered as he thought not meet to suffer, he was an impatient reuenger of the same, ouercomming all perils with the force of vertue and manlie courage, showing himselfe either a most louing frend, or an extreame enimie: for he would subdue his foes to the vttermost, and aduance his frends aboue measure.

[Sidenote: His zeale to iustice.] With iustice he ruled the commons quietlie, and enterteined the nobles honorablie. Theues, counterfeiters of monie, and other transgressors he caused to be sought out with great diligence, and when they were found, to be punished with great seueritie. Neither did he neglect reformations of certeine naughtie abuses. [Sidenote: Simon Dun. Theues appointed to be hanged.] And (as one author hath written) he ordeined that theues should suffer death by hanging. When he heard that such peeces of monie as were cracked would not be receiued amongest the people, although the same were good and fine siluer, he caused all the coine in the realme to be either broken or slit. He was sober of diet, vsed to eat rather for the quailing of hunger, than to pamper himselfe with manie daintie sorts of banketting dishes. He neuer dranke but when thirst mooued him, he would slepe soundlie and snore oftentimes till he awaked therewith. [Sidenote: His policie.] He pursued his warres rather by policie than by the sword, and ouercame his enimies so neere as he could without bloudshed, which if it might not be, yet with as little slaughter as was possible. [Sidenote: His praise for his princelie government.] To conclude, he was not inferiour to any of the kings that reigned in those daies, in wisedome and policie, and so behaued himselfe, that he was honoured of the Nobles, and beloued of the commons. [Sidenote: Reading abbey builded.] He builded diuerse abbeies both in England and Normandie, but Reading was the chefe. He builded the manour of Woodstocke, with the parke there, wherein (beside the great store of deere) he appointed diuerse strange beasts to be kept and nourished, which were brought and sent vnto him from foreign countries farre distant, as lions, lepards, lynxes, and porcupines. His estimation was such among outlandish princes, that few would willinglie offend him.

[Sidenote: Murcherdach K. of Ireland.] Murcherdach king of Ireland & his successors had him in such reuerence, that they durst doo nothing but what he commanded, nor write any thing but what might stand with his pleasure, though at the first the same Morchad attempted something against the Englishmen more than held with reason, but afterward (vpon restraint of the entercourse of merchandize) he was glad to shew himselfe more frendlie.

[Sidenote: The earle of Orkney.] Moreouer the earle of Orkney, although he was the king of Norwaies subiect, yet did he what he could to procure king Henries frendship, sending such strange beasts and other things to him oftentimes as presents, wherein he knew the king tooke great delight and pleasure. [Sidenote: Roger bishop of Salisburie.] He had in singular fauour aboue all other of his councell, Roger, the bishop of Salisburie, a politike prelate, and one that knew how to order matters of great importance, vnto whome he committed the gouernment of the realme most commonlie whilest he remained in Normandie.

As well in this kings daies, as in the time of his brother William Rufus, men forgetting their owne sex and state, transformed themselues into the habit and forme of women, [Sidenote: The abuse of wearing long haire.] by suffering their haire to grow in length, the which they curled and trimmed verie curiouslie, after the maner of damosels and yong gentlewomen: insomuch that they made such account of their long bushing perukes, that those which would be taken for courtiers, contended with women who should haue the longest tresses, and such as wanted, sought to amend it with art, and by knitting wreathes about their heads of those their long and side locks for a brauerie. [Sidenote: 1127.] [Sidenote: Matth. West.] Yet we read that king Henrie gaue commandment to all his people to cut their haire, about the 28. yeare of his reigne. Preachers indeed inueied against such vnseemlie maners in men, as a thing more agreable and seemelie for the contrarie sex.

Wil. Malm. reciteth a tale of a knight in those daies that tooke no small liking of himselfe for his faire and long haire, who chanced to haue a verie terrible dreame. For it semed to him in his slepe that one was about to strangle him with his owne haire (which[18] he wrapped about his throte and necke) the impression whereof sanke so deepelie into his mind, that when he awaked out of his slepe, he streightwaies caused so much of his haire to be cut as might seeme superfluous. A great number of other in the realme followed his commendable example, but the remorse of conscience herein that thus caused them to cut their haire, continued not long, for they fell to the like abuse againe, so as within a twelue moneths space they exceded therein as farre beyond all the bounds of semelie order as before.

In this Henrie ended the line of the Normans as touching the heires male, and then came in the Frenchmen by the title of the heires generall, after that the Normans had reigned about 69. yeares: for so manie are accounted from the comming of William Conquerour, vnto the beginning of the reigne of king Stephan, who succeded the said Henrie.

Thus farr the succession and regiment of the Normans; namelie, William Conquerour the father, William Rufus, and Henrie Beauclerke the sonnes.



Transcriber's notes

There are no footnotes in the original. The original spelling and punctuation have been retained, with the exception of obvious errors which have been corrected by reference to the 1587 edition of which the original is a transcription.

[1] Original reads 'Robert de Blesme'; changed to 'Robert de Belesme'.

[2] Original reads 'conuient'; changed to 'conuenient'.

[3] Original reads 'according to'; changed to '(according to'.

[4] Original reads 'York'; changed to 'Yorke'.

[5] The passage referred to is in the section on William the Conqueror, in Anno. Reg. 6. 1073.

[6] The passage referred to is in the section on William the Conqueror, in Anno. Reg. 6. 1073.

[7] Original reads 'Constanc'; changed to 'Constances'.

[8] Original reads 'and being'; changed to 'and (being'.

[9] Original reads 'pop'; changed to 'pope'.

[10] Original reads 'emperour to to'; changed to 'emperour to'.

[11] Original reads 'subiets'; changed to 'subiects'.

[12] Original refers to page 69, which is an obvious error for page 39. The passage referred to is in the section on William Rufus, in An. Reg. 12. 1099.

[13] Original reads 'euen in the the'; changed to 'euen in the'.

[14] Original reads 'the sea being'; changed to 'the sea (being'.

[15] Original reads 'appointd'; changed to 'appointed'.

[16] Original refers to page 26. col 2., which is the location in the 1587 edition; changed to page 44, which is the correct page number in this edition. The passage referred to is in the section on William Rufus, in An. Reg. 13. 1100.

[17] Original reads 'eclips'; changed to 'eclipse'.

[18] Original reads 'owne haire, which'; changed to 'owne haire (which'.

THE END

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