Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (2 of 6): England (4 of 12) - Stephan Earle Of Bullongne
by Raphael Holinshed
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The quene wife to king Stephan in this meane while lay much at S. Augustines in Canturburie, bicause of hastening forward the building of Feuersham abbeie, which she and hir husband had begonne from the verie foundation. And bicause the moonkes of S. Augustine might not celebrate diuine seruice, she called thither commonlie the moonks of Christes church to say seruice before hir. Thus much for that purpose: and now to other matters.

[Sidenote: The L. Henrie returneth into England.] [Sidenote: An. Reg. 14. 1149.] The lord Henrie Fitzempresse after all these businesses returned into England, in the moneth of May, with a great companie of men of warre both horssemen and footmen: by reason whereof many reuolted from king Stephan to take part with him: whereas before they sat still, and would not attempt any exploit against him. But now incouraged with the presence of the lord Henrie, they declared themselues freends to him, and enimies to the king. Immediatlie after his arriuall, he tooke with him the earles of Chester and Hereford, Ranulfe and Roger, and diuers other Noble men and knights of great fame, beside those whom he had brought with him out of Normandie, and went vnto Carleil, where he found his coosin Dauid king of Scotland, of whome he was most ioifullie receiued; [Sidenote: He is made knight. R. Houed.] and vpon Whitsunday with great solemnitie, being not past sixtene yeares of age, was by the same king made knight, with diuerse other yoong gentlemen that were much about the same age.

Some write, that the king of Scots receiued an oth of him before he gaue him the honor of knighthood, that if he chanced to atteine vnto the possession of the realme of England, he should restore to the Scots the towne of Newcastle, with the countrie of Northumberland, from the riuer of Twed, to the riuer of Tine. But whether it were so or not, I am not able to make warrantize.

Now king Stephan hearing that the king of Scots, and his aduersarie the lord Henrie with the chefest lords of the west parts of England lay thus in Carleil, [Sidenote: K. Stephan with an armie commeth to Yorke.] he raised an armie, and came to the citie of Yorke, where he remained for the most part of the moneth of August, fearing least his enimies should attempt the winning of that citie. But after the one part had remained a time in Carleil, and the other in Yorke, they departed from both those places without any further exploit for that season, sauing that Eustachius king Stephans sonne (hauing also latelie receiued the order of knighthood) did much hurt in the countries which belonged to those Noble men that were with the lord Henrie.

[Sidenote: Matth. Paris.. Great raine.] The great raine that fell in the summer season this yeare did much hurt vnto corne standing on the ground, so that a great dearth followed. [Sidenote: A sore frost.] In the winter also after, about the tenth day of December, it began to frese extreamelie, and so continued till the nineteenth of Februarie: whereby the riuer of Thames was so frosen, that men might passe ouer it both on foot and horssebacke.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 15. 1150.] In the meane while Henrie Duke of Normandie, after he had returned from the king of the Scots, sailed backe into Normandie, about the beginning of August, leauing England full of all those calamities, which ciuill warre is accustomed to bring with it, as burning of houses, killing, robbing, and spoiling of people, so that the land was in danger of vtter destruction, by reason of that pestilent discord.

This yeare the 23. of Februarie, Galfridus Monumetensis, otherwise called Galfridus Arthurius, who turned the British historie into Latine, was consecrated bishop of S. Assaph, by Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, at Lambeth, William bishop of Norwhich and Walter bishop of Rochester assisting him.

[Sidenote: Ger. Dor. The earle of Aniou father to Henry Fitzempress departeth his life.] Morouer, this yeare (as some writers haue recorded) Geffrey earle of Aniou, of husband to the empresse Maud, departed this life, on the seuenth day of September, leauing his sonne Henrie onelie heire and successor in the estates of the duchie of Normandie and countie of Aniou. The bodie of the said earle was buried at Mans, with a great funerall pompe: his three sonnes Henrie, Geffrey, and William being present.

[Sidenote: Worcester assaulted.] But king Stephan assaulting the faire citie of Worcester with a great power of men tooke it, and consumed it with fire, but the castell he could not win. This citie belonged to earle Waleran de Mellent, at that season: for king Stephan to his owne hinderance had giuen it vnto him. Now after the men of warre had diuided the spoile amongst them, they came backe, and passing through the lands of their enimies, got great booties, which they also tooke away with them, finding none to resist them in their iournie.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 16. 1151.] [Sidenote: Ger. Dorober. A synod at London. ] In the yeare following Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, and legat to the se apostolike, held a generall synod or councell at London in the Lent season, where king Stephan himselfe with his sonne Eustachius, and other the peers of the realme were present. This councell was full of appeales, contrarie to that had beene vsed in this land, till the time that Henrie bishop of Winchester vnto his owne harme (whilest he was likewise the Popes legat) had by vniust intrusion brought them in, and now at this councell he was himselfe thrise appealed to the hearing of the popes owne consistorie. After this king Stephan in the same yeare brake into the citie of Worcester, and whereas he could not the last time win the castell, he now endeauoured with all his force to take it. But when those within made valiant resistance, he raised two castels against it, and leauing in the same certeine of his Nobles to continue the siege, he himselfe returned home. Thus (as yee see) the kings propertie was to attempt manie things valiantlie, but he proceded in them oftentimes verie slowlie: howbeit, now by the policie of the earle of Leicester, those two castels which the king had raised to besiege the other castell, were shortlie after destroied: and so the besieged were deliuered from danger. [Sidenote: The earle of Leicester brother to the erle of Mellent.] This earle of Leicester was brother to the earle of Mellent. Thus the kings purposed intention and painefull trauell on that behalfe came to none effect.

[Sidenote: An. Reg. 17. 1152.] [Sidenote: The duke of Normandie Fitzempresse marieth the duchesse of Aquitaine.] In the meane while Henrie duke of Normandie maried Elianor duches of Guien or Aquitaine, latelie diuorsed from the French king, and so in right of hir he became duke of Aquitaine, and earle of Poictou; for she was the onelie daughter to William duke of Guien, and earle of Poictou, and by hir father created his sole and lawfull heire.

[Sidenote: The French king maketh warre against the duke of Normandie.] The French king was nothing pleased with this mariage, in somuch that he made sore warre vpon duke Henrie, ioining himselfe in league with king Stephan, with his sonne Eustace, and with the lord Geffrey brother to duke Henrie, so that the said Henrie was constreined to defer his iournie into England, and applie his power to defend his countries and subiects on that side of the sea. For whereas he was readie at the mouth of the riuer of Barbe to passe ouer into England, not long after midsummer, the French king, with Eustace king Stephans sonne, Robert erle of Perch, Henrie erle of Champaigne, and Geffrey brother to duke Henrie, hauing assembled a mightie armie, came and besieged the castell of Newmarch, and sent foorth the lord Geffrey with a strong power to win the castell of Angers. Duke Henrie aduertised hereof departing from the place where he soiourned, hasted foorth to succour his people that were besieged, [Sidenote: The castell of Newmarch deliuered to the French king.] but the castell of Newmarch was deliuered to the French king through treason of those that had it in keping, before the duke could come to their rescue.

Wherevpon the said duke hauing knowledge by the waie that he should come too late thither, he encamped first vpon the side of the riuer of Andell, [Sidenote: Ueulquesine or Ueuxin.] and wasted a great part of the countrie of Ueuxin or Ueulquesine, surnamed Le Normant, which lieth betwixt the riuer of Epte and Andell. This countrie belonged sometime to Normandie, but Geffrey earle of Aniou the dukes father had resigned it to the French king, to the end he should not aid king Stephan. The duke also burned the castels of Bascheruille, Chitrey, Stripiney, and the castell of Fort, that belonged to Hugh de Gourney, with diuerse other. About the end of August he left his townes in Normandie sufficientlie furnished with garisons of souldiers, and went into Aniou, where he besieged the castell de mount Sotelli, till he had taken it, and all those that were within it, amongst whome was the lord thereof named William. The French king on the other side entring into Normandie, burnt part of the borough of Rieule, [Sidenote: The towne castell of Uernon. Simon Dun.] and either then or shortlie after that duke Henrie was gone ouer into England, he tooke the towne and castell of Uernon.

Whilest these things were thus a dooing in France, K. Stephan would haue caused the archbishop of Canturburie & diuerse other bishops, whom for that purpose he had assembled, to crowne, annoint, and confirme his sonne Eustace king ouer the realme of England. [Sidenote: The Pope is against it.] But the archbishops and bishops refused so to doo, bicause the pope by his letters sent to the archbishop, had commanded to the contrarie; namelie, that he should in no wise crowne the kings sonne, bicause his father king Stephan had got the possession of the land against his oth receiued in behalfe of the empresse. [Sidenote: The bishops are threatened.] The father and sonne being not a litle offended herewith, committed most of his bishops to ward seking by threats and menacings to bring them to his purpose. The bishops also were in no small perplexitie: for according to the truth, the king neuer seemed greatlie to fauor churchmen, bicause of their strength (as in former times by his rigor vsed against the bishops of Salisburie and Lincolne it plainelie appeared) and yet would not these men yeld to his pleasure: wherevpon although they were set at libertie, they were neuerthelesse depriued of their temporall possessions, which notwithstanding afterwards vpon the kings owne motion were restored vnto them.

[Sidenote: Ger. Dor.] Howbeit the archbishop of Canturburie persisting still in his oppinion, was forsaken of diuerse of the bishops, who throgh feare durst not stand against their princes pleasure. [Sidenote: The Archbishop of Canturburie flieth out of the realme.] But the archbishop, when he perceiued how the matter went, & that all the blame was like to light and rest on his shoulders, he got himselfe by a maruellous hap ouer the Thames, and with, sped riding to Douer, passed the sea, to auoid both the fathers and sonnes reuengefull displeasure. Herevpon the king seized into his hands all the lands & possessions that belonged to the archbishop.

[Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Ger. Dor.] This yeare queene Maud wife to king Stephan departed this life at Hangey castell, that belonged to earle Alberike de Uer, about the third daie of Maie, and was buried in the abbeie of Feuersham, which she with hir husband king Stephan had latelie founded.

This yeare through great and immoderate raine that fell in the summer, the growing of corne was so hindred, that a great death of people insued[4].

[Sidenote: The battell of Monadmore Matth. Paris. The second & also the first bishops of Man.] This yeare also was the battell of Monadmore fought in Ireland, where the flower and chiefest personages of Mounster and Leynister were slaine. Moreouer one John a moonke of Sagium, was made the second bishop of the Isle of Man: the first bishop that was there instituted hight Wimond a moonke of Sauinie, who for his importunate misdemenour in some respects, had his eies put out, and was displaced.

[Sidenote: Hen. Marle.] John Papirio a cardinall, being sent from the pope as legat into Ireland, ordeined foure archbishops there, one at Dublin, an other at Ardmach, the third at Cassels, and the fourth at Connach. [Sidenote: The bishop of Dublin made archbishop.] The se of Dublin he changed into an archbishops se, one Gregorie at that time possessing the same: to whom he gaue the first and chiefe pall, and appointed the church of the blessed Trinitie to be church metropolitane. As this cardinall passed through England, he receiued an oth of fealtie vnto king Stephan.

[Sidenote: The castell of Newburie won.] The same yeare also king Stephan by siege and force of assault did win the castell of Newberie not far from Winchester. This doone he went to Wallingford, and besieging the castell, he builded at the entring of the bridge a fortresse to stop them within from issuing out, and likewise from receiuing any reliefe or succour by their frends abroad. The defendants perceiuing themselues so hardlie laid at, sent to the duke of Normandie (in whose name they kept that castell) desiring him either to succour them, or else giue them licence to yeld vp the castell to the king. Herevpon duke Henrie hauing dispatched his businesse on the further side of the sea, began to be kindled with a feruent desire once againe to attempt his fortune here in England for recouerie of that kingdome, and so with three thousand footmen, & 7 score horssemen, [Sidenote: Duke Henrie Fitzempresse returneth into England. Ger. Dor.] with all spede possible sailed ouer into England, where he landed about the 12. daie in Christmasse. He was no sooner arriued, but a great number of such as tooke part with his mother came flocking in vnto him: [Sidenote: He besiegeth the castell of Malmesburie. Matth. Paris. Polydor.] wherevpon being now furnished with a great and puissant armie, he marched foorth to Malmesburie, where in the castell was a great garison of soldiers placed by king Stephan. Duke Henrie planted his siege about this castell the thirtenth daie of Januarie, and enforced himselfe to the vttermost of his power to win it.

Now king Stephan hearing of his enimies arriuall, with all hast possible got his armie on foot, and comming suddenlie towards the place where is enimies were pitched, [Sidenote: K. Stephan constreineth him to raise his siege.] he caused duke Henrie to raise his siege, and following after, offered him battell. But duke Henrie, knowing that his enimies were far more in number than he was at that present, and also conceiuing with himselfe that by prolonging of time his owne power would increase, absteined from fighting, and kept him within the closure of his campe. [Sidenote: Wil. Paru.] Thus haue some written, but other authors write, that Henrie kept himselfe indeed within his campe, and refused to giue battell, but yet remoued not his siege, till the king departed from thence, after he saw he could not haue his purpose, and then did duke Henrie win the castell of Malmesburie, or rather the maister tower or chefe dungeon of that castell. [Sidenote: Simon Dun. Ger. Dor.] For as (Simon of Durham writeth) he had won by assault the other parts and lims of the castell before king Stephan came to remoue him.

This tower that thus held out, was in the keeping of one capteine Jordan, who escaping foorth came to the king, informing him in what state he had left his men within the tower: wherevpon the king (making all the power that he was able) set forward, and comming to Circiter, lodged there one night, and in the morning purposing to raise the siege, or to fight with his enimies (if they would abide battell) marched foorth towards Malmesburie. [Sidenote: A sore storm.] But vpon his approch to the dukes campe, the daie following his comming thither, there rose such a hideous tempest of wind and raine, beating full in the faces of king Stephans people, that God seemed to fight for the duke, who in respect of the number of people was thought too weake to deale with the strong and puissant armie of the king: howbeit the storme being on his backe, and beating extremelie in king Stephans mens faces, they were not able to hold their weapons in their hands, in somuch that he perceiued he could not passe the riuer that ran betwixt the armies: wherevpon constreined in that sort through the violent rage of that cold and wet weather, he returned to London full euill appaied, in that he could not satisfie his expectation at that present.

The tower that duke Henrie had hardlie besieged immediatlie herewith was surrendred vnto him, & then making prouision for vittels and other things, [Sidenote: The castell of Wallingford.] to the reliefe of them that kept the castell of Wallingford, he hasted thither, and finding no resistance by the way, easily accomplished his enterprise. There were diuerse castels thereabouts in the countrie furnished with garisons of the kings souldiers, but they kept themselues close, and durst not come abroad to stop his passage. [Sidenote: The castell of Cranemers. ] Shortlie after he besieged the castell of Cranemers, and cast a trench about it, so as his people within Wallingford castell might haue free libertie to come foorth at their pleasure: but as for those within the castell of Cranemers, they were so hardlie holden in, that there was no waie for them to start out.

The king aduertised hereof, got all his host togither, and marched forward verie terriblie toward duke Henries campe. But shewing no token of feare, he caused the trench wherewith he had inclosed his campe foorthwith to be cast downe, and leauing the siege, came into the fields with his armie set in order of battell, meaning to trie the matter by dint of sword, although he had not the like number of men as the king had: whose armie perceiuing their enimies to come in the face of them, were stricken with a sudden feare: neuerthelesse, he himselfe being of a good courage, commanded his people to march forward. But herewith certeine Noble men, that loued not the aduancement of either part, vnder a colour of good meaning sought to treat an agrement betwixt them, so that an intermission or cesing from war was granted, and by composition the castell which the king had built, and the duke besieged, was razed to the ground. The king and the duke also came to an interuiew and communication togither, a riuer running betwixt them. [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Ger. Dor. Eustace king Stephans sonne.] Some write that they fell to agreement, king Stephan vndertaking to raze the castell of Cranemers himselfe, and so laieng armour aside for that time, they parted asunder.

But Eustace K. Stephans son was sore offended herewith, and reprouing his father for concluding such an agrement, in a great rage departed from the court, & taking his waie toward Cambridgeshire (which countrie he meant to ouerrun) he came to the abbeie of Burie, and vpon S. Laurence daie caused all the corne in the countrie about and namelie that which belonged to the said abbeie, to be spoiled and brought into a castell which he had in keeping not far from thence. [Sidenote: Eustace king Stephans son and Simon earl of Northapton depart this life both in one weke.] But as he sat downe to meat the same daie vpon receiuing the first morsell he fell mad (as writers haue reported) and miserablie ended his life. The same weeke Simon earle of Northampton departed this world of a like disease, and so two of the cheefest aduersaries which duke Henrie had, were rid out of the waie. Eustace was buried at Feuersham in Kent, and earle Simon at Northampton.

[Sidenote: The earle of Chester deceasseth.] About the same time also that noble and valiant earle of Chester called Ranulfe departed this life, a man of such stoutnesse of stomach, that death could scarselie make him to yeeld, or shew any token of feare: he was poisoned (as was thought) by William Peuerell. After him succeeded his sonne Hugh, a man likewise of passing strength and vertue. Now although earle Ranulfe fauoured the part of duke Henrie, yet in these later yeares he did but little for him: wherefore it was thought that the death of this earle was not so great a losse to the duke, as the deaths of Eustace, earle Simon, and other the kings frends deceasing about the same time seemed to further him: so that his part became dailie stronger, and the kings weaker.

About the same time the castels of Reading and Bertwell were deliuered to duke Henrie, [Sidenote: Matth. Par. Rob. Mont.] and the ladie Gundreda countesse of Warwike draue out the souldiers that held it for king Stephan, and deliuered the towne to duke Henrie. In this yeare duches Elenor, wife to Henrie Fitzempresse, was brought to bed of hir first borne son, whom they named William, after the maner of the ancient dukes of Aquitaine.

Thus came things to passe in sundrie places with so good successe as duke Henrie could wish, wherevpon meaning to follow the steps of prosperous fortune, he marched foorth to Stamford, [Sidenote: Stamford was taken. Simon Dun. Ger. Dor. Gipswich or Ipswich besieged.] and taking the towne at his first comming laid siege to the castell. Now they that had it in keeping sent messengers to king Stephan, requiring rescue, but the same time he had laid siege to the castell of Gipswich, which Hugh Bigot kept against him: and bicause he wold not depart from that siege till he had the castell giuen vp into his hands (which came at last to passe) in the meane time the castell of Stamford was yelded vp to duke Henrie, [Sidenote: N. Triuet.] who immediatelie therevpon departed from Stamford eastward, meaning to come to the succour of his frends besieged at Gipswich or Ipswich (as it is commonlie called) not vnderstanding as yet that they had surrendred the hold: but hauing knowledge by the way what was happened, [Sidenote: Notinghm.] he returned and marched streight to Notingham, and got the towne easilie; for they within the castell had set it on fire, therefore he besieged the castell standing vpon the point of a stepe craggie rocke, and was furnished with a strong garison of men, and all things necessarie for defense, so that it could not easilie be woone.

[Sidenote: Duke Henrie raiseth his siege from Notingham. Polydor.] When duke Henrie had assaied all the waies how to take it, and saw that he could not preuaile, he minded to loose no more time: but raising his siege from thence, he ranged abroad to get other places into his possession, and finallie came to his mother, and laie at Wallingford. K. Stephan in the meane time being strong in the field, sought time and place to haue Henrie at some aduantage, who in his yoong yeares (as yet not hauing tasted any misfortune) he thought would rashlie attempt some vnaduised enterprise. [Sidenote: The miserie of this land in time of the ciuill warre.] But whereas the realme of England had bene now manie yeares miserablie turmoiled with ciuill warre (which the verie heathen haue so detested, that they haue exclaimed against it with a kind of irksomnesse; as: [Sidenote: Hor. lib. car. 1. ode. 35.] Eheu cicatricum & sceleris pudet, Fratrmque: quid nos dura refugimus Aetas? quid intactum nefasti Linquimus? vnde manus iuuentus [Sidenote: Idem. lib. car. 2. ode. 1.] Metu deorum continuit? quibus Pepercit aris? iam litui strepunt, Iam fulgor armorum fugaces Terret equos equitmque vultus) Wherein (besides millians of extremities) honest matrones and mens wiues were violated, maids and virgins rauished, churches spoiled, townes and villages robbed, whole flocks and heards of shepe and beasts destroied (wherein the substance of the realme cheeflie consisted) and men without number slaine and murthered, it pleased the goodnesse of almightie God at length to deliuer the land of these miseries, which were notified to all countries round about that sore lamented the same.

Now whereas king Stephan was the cause of all the troubles, in hauing vsurped an other mans rightfull inheritance, it pleased God to mooue his hart at length to desire peace which he had euer before abhorred. The cause that mooued him chefelie to change his former purpose, was for that his sonne Eustace by speedie death was taken out of this world (as before ye haue heard) which losse semed great not onelie to the father, but also to all those lords and others which had alwaies taken his part, bicause he was a yoong man so well liked of all men, that he was iudged to be borne to much honour. [Sidenote: The ladie Constance wife to Eustace sent home.] But his wife Constance tooke his death verie sorowfullie, and the more indeed for that she had no issue by him, wherevpon shortlie after she was sent honourablie home to hir father king Lewes with hir dower, and other rich and princelie gifts.

King Stephan seing himselfe thus depriued of his onelie sonne, vnto whome he minded to leaue the kingdome which he so earnestlie sought to confirme and assure vnto him by warlike endeuor, and that againe the French kings aid would not be so readie as heretofore it had bene (wherevpon he much staied, now that the bonds of affinitie were abolished) he began at length (though not immediatlie vpon his sonnes deceasse) to withdraw his mind from war, [Sidenote: K. Stephan began to incline his mind to peace. Matth. Paris.] and bequeathed it wholie to peace. Which alteration being perceiued, those Nobles that were glad to se the state of their countrie quieted, did their best to further it; & cheflie Theobald archbishop of Canturburie trauelled earnestlie to bring the princes to some agrement, now talking with the king, now sending to the duke, [Sidenote: Ger. Dor.] and vsing all meanes possible to set them at vnitie. The bishop of Winchester also, who had caused all the trouble, vpon consideration of the great calamities wherewith the land was most miserablie afflicted, began to wish an end thereof. Wherevpon the lords spirituall and temporall were called togither at Winchester about the latter end of Nouember, that they with their consents also might confirme whatsoeuer the king and the duke should conclude vpon.

[Sidenote: An assemblie of lords at Winchester. A peace concluded betwixt the king and the duke.] Thus was a publike assemblie made in the citie of Winchester, whither also duke Henrie came who being ioifullie receiued of the king in the bishops palace, they were made frends, the king admitting the duke for his sonne, and the duke the king for his father, insomuch that the agreement, which (through the carefull sute of the archbishop of Canturburie) had beene laboured with such diligence to good effect, was now confirmed: the cheefe articles whereof were these.

[Sidenote: Some writers haue recorded that duke Henrie should presentlie by this agrement enioy halfe the realme of England.] 1 That king Stephan, during his naturall life, should remaine king of England, and Henrie the empresses sonne should enioy the dukedome of Normandie, and be proclaimed heire apparant to succed in and haue the regiment of England, after the deceasse of Stephan.

2 That such noble men, and other, which had held either with the one partie or the other, during the time of the ciuill warres, should be in no danger for the same but enioy their lands, possessions and liuings, according to their ancient rights and titles.

3 That the king should resume and take into his hands againe, all such portions and parcels of inheritance belonging to the crowne, as he had giuen away, or were otherwise vsurped by any maner of person, and that all those possessions which by any intrusion had bene violentlie taken from the right owners, since the daies of king Henrie, should be restored to them that were rightlie possessed in the same by the daies of the said king.

[Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Castels to be razed in number. 1115.] 4 That all those castels, which contrarie to all reason and good order had bene made and builded by any maner of person in the daies of king Stephan, should be ouerthrowne and cast downe, which were found to be eleuen hundred and fifteene.

5 That the king should reforme all such disorders as warre had brought in; to restore farmers to their holdings, to repaire decaied buildings, to restore pastures and leassues with cattell, hils with sheepe, &c.

6 That by his meanes the cleargie might enioy their due quietnesse, and not be oppressed with any vniust exactions.

7 That he should place shirifes where they had bene accustomed to beare rule, with instructions giuen them to deale vprightlie in causes, so as offenders might not escape through bribes, or any other respect of freendship; but that euerie man might receiue according to right and equitie.

8 That soldiours should conuert their swords (as Esaie saith) into culters & plough shares, their speares into mattocks, and so returne from the campe to the plough: and that such as were woont to keepe watch in the night season, might now slepe and take their rest without any danger.

9 That the husbandman might be set fre from all trouble and vexation, by meanes wherof he might follow his tilth, and plie his culture.

10 That merchant men and occupiers might enioy their trades and occupations to their aduancement.

11 That one kind and manner of siluer coine should run through the land, &c.

12 There was also consideration had of a sonne which king Stephan had, named William, who though he were verie yoong, was yet appointed to sweare fealtie vnto duke Henrie as lawfull heire to the crowne. The same William had the citie of Norwhich, and diuerse other lands assigned him for the maintenance of his estate, and that by the consent and agrement of duke Henrie his adopted brother.

These things being thus concluded at Winchester, and the warre that had continued, for the space of 17 yeares now ended and fullie pacified: the king tooke the duke with him to London, dooing to him all the honour he could deuise. The newes whereof being spred abrode, euerie good man reioised thereat. Thus through the great mercie of God, peace was restored vnto the decaied state of this relme of England. Which things being thus accomplished with great ioy and tokens of loue, king Stephan and his new adopted sonne duke Henrie tooke leaue either of other, appointing shortlie after to met againe at Oxenford, there to perfect euerie article of their agrement, which was thus accorded a little before Christmas.

But by the way, for the better vnderstanding of the said agreement, I haue thought good to set downe the verie tenor of the charter made by king Stephan, as I haue copied it out, and translated it into English out of an autentike booke conteining the old lawes of the Saxon and Danish kings, in the end whereof the same charter is exemplified, which booke is remaining with the right worshipfull William Fletwood esquire, now recorder of London, and sargeant at law.

The charter of king Stephan, of the pacification of the troubles betwixt him and Henrie duke of Normandie.

Stephan king of England, to all archbishops, bishops, abbats, earles, iusticers, sherifes, barons and all his faithfull subiects of England sendeth greeting. Know yee that I king Stephan, haue ordeined Henrie duke of Normandie after me by right of inheritance to be my successour, and heire of the kingdome of England, and so haue I giuen and granted to him and his heires the kingdome of England. For the which honour, gift, and confirmation to him by me made, he hath doone homage to me, and with a corporall oth hath assured me, that he shall be faithfull and loiall to me, and shall to his power preserue my life and honour: and I on the other side shall maineteine and preserue him as my sonne and heire in all things to my power, and so far as by any waies or meanes I may.

[Sidenote: William sonne to king Stephan.] And William my sonne hath doone his lawfull homage, and assured his fealtie vnto the said duke of Normandie, and the duke hath granted to him to hold of him all those tenements and holdings which I held before I atteined to the possession of the realme of England, wheresoeuer the same be in England, Normandie, or elsewhere, [Sidenote: Earle Warren.] and whatsoeuer he receiued with the daughter of earle Warren, either in England or Normandie, & likewise whatsoeuer apperteineth to those honoures. And the duke shall put my sonne William and his men that are of that honour in full possession and seizine of all the lands, boroughs and rents, which the duke thereof now hath in his demaine, and namelie of those that belong to the honour of the earle Warren, [Sidenote: The castels of Bellencumber and Mortimer.] and namelie of the castels of Bellencumber and Mortimer, so that Reginald de Warren shall haue the keping of the same castels of Bellencumber, and of Mortimer, if he will; and therevpon shall giue pledges to the duke: and if he will not haue the keeping of those castels, then other liege of men of the said erle Warren, whom it shall please the duke to appoint, shall be sure pledges and good suertie keepe the said castels.

Moreouer, the duke shall deliuer vnto him according to my will and pleasure the other castels, [Sidenote: The erledome of Mortaigne.] which belong vnto the earledome of Mortaigne by safe custodie and pledges, so soone as he conuenientlie may, so as all the pledges are to be restored vnto my sonne free, so soone as the duke shall haue the realme of England in possession. The augmentation also which I haue giuen vnto my sonne William, he hath likewise granted the same to him; [Sidenote: Norwich. ] to wit, the castell and towne of Norwich, with seauen hundred pounds in lands, so as the rents of Norwich be accounted as parcell of the same seauen hundred pounds in lands, and all the countie of Norfolke; the profits and rents which belong to churches, bishops, abbats & earles excepted; [Sidenote: Hugh Bigot] and the third pennie whereof Hugh Bigot is earle, also excepted: sauing also and reseruing the kings roiall iurisdiction for administration of iustice. Also the more to strengthen my fauour and loue to himwards, [Sidenote: Richer de Egle.] the duke hath giuen and granted vnto my said sonne whatsoeuer Richer de Aquila hath of the honour of Peuensey. And moreouer the castell and towne of Peuensey, and the seruice of Faremouth, beside the castell and towne of Douer, and whatsoeuer apperteineth to the honour of Douer.

[Sidenote: The church of Feuersham.] The duke hath also confirmed the church of Feuersham with the appurtenances; and all other things giuen or restored by me vnto other churches, he shall confirme by the counsell and aduice of holie church and of me. The earles and barons that belong to the duke, which were neuer my leeges, for the honour which I haue done to their master, they haue now doone homage and sworne fealtie to me, the couenants betwixt me & the said duke alwaies saued. The other which had before doone homage to me, haue sworne fealtie to me as to their souereigne lord. And if the duke should breake and go from the premisses, then are they altogither to ceasse from dooing him any seruice, till he reforme his misdooings. And my sonne also is to constreine him thereto, according to the aduice of holie church, if the duke shall chance to go from the couenants afore mentioned. My earles and barons also haue doone their leege and homage vnto the duke, sauing their faith to me so long as I liue, and shall hold the kingdome with like condition, that if I doo breake and go from the premitted couenants, that then they may ceasse from dooing me any seruice, till the time I haue reformed that which I haue doone amisse.

The citizens also of cities, and those persons that dwell in castels, which I haue in my demaine, by my commandement haue doone homage, and made assurance to the duke, sauing the fealtie which they owe to me during my life time, and so long as I shall hold the kingdome. [Sidenote: Wallingford castell.] They which keep the castle of Wallingford haue doone their homage to me, and haue giuen to me pledges for the observing of their fealtie. And I haue made vnto the duke such assurance of the castels and strengths which I hold by the counsell and aduice of holie church, that when I shall depart this life, the duke thereby may not run into any losse or impeachment, whereby to be debarred from the kingdome. [Sidenote: The tower of London. Mota de Windsor.] The tower of London, and the fortresse of Windsor, by the counsell and aduice of holie church are deliuered vnto the lord Richard de Lucie, [Sidenote: Richard de Lucie.] safelie to be kept, which Richard hath taken an oth, and hath deliuered his sonne in pledge to remaine in the hands and custodie of the archbishop of Canturburie, that after my decease he shall deliuer the same castels vnto the duke. Likewise by the counsell and aduise of holie church, [Sidenote: Mota de Oxford.] Roger de Bussey keepeth the castell of Oxford, and Jordaine de Bussey the castell of Lincolne, which Roger & Jordaine haue sworne, and thereof haue deliuered pledges into the hands of the archbishop, that if I shall chance to leaue this life, they shal render the same castels to the duke without impeachment. [Sidenote: The bishop of Winchester.] The bishop of Winchester hath also giuen his faith in the hands of the archbishop of Canturburie, that if I chance to depart this life, he shall render vp vnto the duke the castels of Winchester, and the fortresse of Hampton.

And if any of them, vnto whom the custodie of these fortresses shall be committed, fortune to die, or otherwise to depart from his charge, an other shall be appointed to the keeping of the same fortresse, before he shall depart foorth thereof, by the counsell and aduice of holie church. And if any of those persons that haue any castels or fortresses belonging to me in their custodie shall be found disobedient and rebell, I and the duke shall constreine him to satisfie our will & pleasure, not leauing him in rest till he be so constreined. The archbishops and bishops of the realme of England, and the abbats also, haue by my commandement sworne fealtie vnto the duke; and the bishops and abbats that hereafter shall be made and aduanced here within the realme of England shall likewise sweare fealtie to him. The archbishops also and bishops on either part, haue vndertaken, that if either of vs shall go from the foresaid couenants, they shall so long chastise the partie offending with the ecclesiastical censures, till he reforme his fault, and returne to fulfill and obserue the said couenants. The mother also of the duke, and his wife, and his brethren, & subjects whom he may procure, shall likewise assure the premisses.

In matters belonging to the state of the realme, I shall worke by the dukes aduice. And through all the realme of England, as well in that part which belongeth to the duke, as in that which belongeth to me, I shall see that roiall iustice be executed. These beeing witnesses, Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, Hen. of Winchester, Robert of Excester, Rob. of Bath, Goceline of Salisburie, Robert of Lincolne, Hilarie of Cicester, William of Norwich, Richard of London, Migell of Elie, Gilbert of Hereford, John of Worcester, Walter of Chester, Walter of Rochester, Geffrey of S. Asaph, Bishops: Robert prior of Bermondsey, Othon knight of the temple, William earle of Cicester, Robert earle of Leicester, William earle of Glocester, Renold of Cornewall, Baldwin de Toning, Roger de Hereford, Hugh Bigot, Patrike de Salisburie, William de Albemarle, Earle Alberike, Roger Clare, Richard erle of Pembroke, Richard de Lucie, William Martell, Richard de Humer, Reginald de Warren, Mahaser Biset, John de Port, Richard de Cameuille, Henrie de Essex. Geuen at Westminster.

[Sidenote: 1154. An. Reg. 19.] [Sidenote: Ger. Dor.] Thus far the Charter: and now to proceed with the historie. Immediatlie after Christmasse, euen in the Octaues of the Epiphanie, the king and duke Henrie met againe Oxenford, where all the earls and barons of the land being assembled, sware fealtie vnto duke Henrie, their allegiance due vnto king Stephan, as to their souereigne lord and supreme gouernour so long as he liued, alwaies reserued. The forme of the peace was now also ingrossed and registered for a perpetuall witnesse of the thing, in this yeare 1154. after their account that begin the yeare at Christmasse, as about the feast of S. Hilarie in Januarie commonlie called the twentith daie. Thus was Henrie the sonne of the empresse made the adopted sonne of king Stephan, and therevpon the said Henrie saluted him as king, and named him father. After conclusion of this peace, by the power of almightie God, all debate ceassed in such wise, that the state of the realme of England did maruelouslie for a time flourish, concord being mainteined on ech hand. [Sidenote: Polydor.] There be which affirme, that an other cause bound king Stephan to agre to this attonement chiefelie, namelie for that the empresse (as they saie) was rather king Stephans paramour than his enimie: [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. Egelaw heath.] and therefore (when she saw the matter growne to this point, that they were readie to trie battell with their armies readie ranged on a plaine in the westerne parts called Egelaw heath) she came secretlie vnto king Stephan, & spake unto him on this wise: [Sidenote: The words of the empresse to K. Stephan.] "What a mischieuous and vnnaturall thing go ye about? Is it met that the father should destroie the sonne? Is it lawfull for the sonne to kill the father? For the loue of God (man) refraine thy displeasure, and cast thy weapons out of thy hand, sith that (as thou thy selfe knowest full well) Henrie is thine owne sonne." [Sidenote: The empresse confesseth hir selfe to be naught of hir bodie.] With these and the like words she put him in mind, and couertlie told him, that he had to doo with hir a little before she was maried vnto earle Geffrey.

The king by such tokens as the empresse gaue him, tooke hir words to be true, and therevpon all his malice was streightwaies quenched: so that calling foorth the archbishop of Canturburie, he vttered to him the whole matter, and tooke therewith such direction, in sending to his aduersaries for auoiding battell at that present, that immediatlie the armies on both sides wrapped vp their ensignes, and euery man was commanded to kepe the peace, that a communication might be had about the conclusion of some pacification, which afterwards ensued in maner aboue mentioned.

But whether this or some other cause moued the king to this peace, it is to be thought that God was the worker of it. And surelie a man may thinke it good reason, that the report of such secret companie-keeping betwixt the king and the empresse, [Sidenote: Slanders deuised by malicious heads.] was but a tale made among the common people vpon no ground of truth, but vpon some slanderous deuice of a malicious head. And admit that king Stephan had to doo hir; yet is it like that both of them would doo for best to kepe it secret, that no such reproch might be imputed either to Henrie, who was taken to be legitimate; or to his mother, whose honour thereby should not a little be stained.

[Sidenote: Oxenford. Ger. Dor. The King and duke met at Dunstable.] But now to the purpose. Shortlie after that the king and duke Henrie had bene togither at Oxenford, where they ended all things touching the peace & concord betwixt them concluded, they met againe at Dunstable, where some cloud of displeasure seemed to darken the bright sunshine of the late begun loue and amitie betwixt those two mightie princes the king and the duke. [Sidenote: Articles not performed.] For where it was accorded (among other articles) that all the castels which had bene built since the daies of the late king Henrie for euill intents and purposes, should be razed and throwne downe: contrarie therevnto (notwithstanding manie of them were ouerthrowne and destroied to the accomplishment of that article) diuers through the kings permission were suffered to stand. And when the duke complained to the king thereof, he could not get at that time any redresse, which somewhat troubled him: but yet bicause he would not giue occasion of any new trouble, nor offend the king, to whom (as to his reputed father) he would seeme to yeeld all honour and due reuerence, he passeth it ouer.

[Sidenote: The king and duke come to Canturburie.] Within a while after, the king and he came to Canturburie, where they were solemnlie receiued of the couent of Christes church with procession. After this, in the Lent season they went to Douer, where they talked with Theodorike earle of Flanders, and with the countesse his wife who was aunt to duke Henrie. At their comming towards Canturburie (as it was bruted) the duke should haue bene murthered, [Sidenote: The enuie of the Flemings.] through treason of the Flemings that enuied both the dukes person, and also that peace which he had concluded with the king. But se the hap. As this feat should haue bene wrought on Berhamdowne, William earle of Northfolke king Stephan his sonne, who was one of the chefe conspirators, fell beside his horsse, and brake his leg, so that euerie man by that sudden chance was in a maze, & came woondering about him. This no doubt came to passe by the prouidence of God, though such accidents are commonlie imputed to casualtie or chance medlie. For it is the worke of God either to preuent, or to intercept, or to recompense the vnnatural conspiracies of traitors and rebels with some notable plague: according to that of the poet; [Sidenote: Hesiod in lib, cui tit. op. & di.] [Greek: Hoi aut kaka teuchei ans all kaka teuchn, H de kak boul t bouleusanti kakist], Noxius ipse sibi est alij qui qurit obesse, Consilimq; malum danti fert maxima damna.

Duke Henrie herewith getting knowledge of the treason intended against him, or at the least suspecting somewhat, got him backe againe to Canturburie, and so auoided the danger. After this, taking his way to [Sidenote: Duke Henrie passeth ouer into Normandie.] Rochester, and so to London, he got him a shipboord, and sailed by long seas into Normandie, where he arriued in safetie.

After his departure, king Stephan spent the summer season of this yeare, in going about the most part of the realme; shewing all the courtesie he could deuise to the people in all places where he came; [Sidenote: Will Paru. Philip de Coleuille. The castell of Drax.] except where he found any rebellious persons, as in Yorkshire, where Philip de Coleuille (in trust of his castell which he had stronglie fortified at a certeine place called Drax) shewed himselfe disobedient to the king, who assembling a power in the countrie, besieged that castell, and shortlie wanne it, without any great adoo.

When duke Henrie was departed (as ye haue heard) and gone ouer into Normandie, now that he had concluded a peace with king Stephan, [Sidenote: The puissance of duke Herie.] his puissance was thought to be such, that he was able to mainteine warres with the mightiest prince that then reigned. For in right of his wife, he had gotten possession of the duchie of Aquitaine, and the earledome of Poictou; and further by his mother, he enioied the duchie of Normandie, and looked to succed in the kingdome of England: and in right of his father he was earle of Aniou, Thouraigne, and Maine. He also reuoked into his hands certeine parcels of his demeane lands, which his father had giuen away, and passing from thence into Aquitaine, mightilie subdued certeine lords and barons there, that had rebelled against him.

[Sidenote: A peace concluded betwixt the French king and duke Henrie. Matth. West.] About the same time a peace was concluded betwixt the French king, and this duke Henrie: the king restoring vnto the duke the townes of Newmarch and Uernon, which he had before taken from him, and the duke giuing to the king 20000. markes of siluer, for the harmes doone by him, within the realme of France.

But now to returne vnto king Stephan. Yee shall vnderstand, that within a while after he had made his foresaid progresse almost about the whole realme, he returned vnto London, where he called a parlement as well to consult of matters touching the state of the commonwealth, as to furnish the see of Yorke with a sufficient archbishop. [Sidenote: Wil. Paru. Roger Archdeacon of Canturburie made archbishop of Yorke.] Wherevpon one Roger that was before archdeacon of Canturburie, was chosen to that dignitie, and consecrated the tenth day of October, by archbishop Theobald, as legat to the pope, and not as archbishop of Canturburie. [Sidenote: Thomas Becket archdeacon of Canturburie.] Then also was Thomas Becket made archdeacon of Canturburie by the said Theobald. The new archbishop Roger first went to his see at Yorke, where after he had receiued his inthronization, and set his businesse there in order, he tooke his iournie towards Rome to fetch his pall in his owne person.

[Sidenote: The earle of Flanders.] King Stephan also after the end of the parlement went to Douer, there to meet the earle of Flanders, who came thither to talke with him of certeine businesse. The earle was no sooner returned backe, but the king fell sicke, and was so greuouslie tormented with a paine in his bellie, and with an old disease also, wherewith (as should appear) he had beene often troubled, namelie, the emrods, [Sidenote: King Stephan departed this life.] that finallie he died in the abbey on the fiue and twentith day of October, in the nine and fortith yeare of his age, and after he had reigned eighteene yeares, ten moneths, and od daies, in the yeare after the birth of our Sauiour 1154. [Sidenote: Matth. Paris. N. Triuet.] [Sidenote: 1154.] His bodie was interred in the abbeie of Feuersham in Kent, which he had builded, where his wife also, and his sonne Eustace were buried before. Thus farre of the acts and deeds of Stephan; now a little of other breefe remembrances, and first touching the prosopographie or description of his person.

[Sidenote: His stature.] He was comelie of stature, of a verie good complexion and disposition, of great strength, in qualities of mind verie excellent, expert in warre, gentle, curteous, and verie liberall. For though he continued all his time in a maner in the maintenance of wars, yet he leuied but few tributs, or almost none at all. Inded he put diuers bishops to greeuous fines, and that not without the iust Judgement of Almightie God, that they might so be punished duelie for their periurie committed in helping him to the crowne. Vices wherewith he should be noted I find none, but that vpon an ambitious desire to reigne, he brake his oth which he made vnto the empresse Maud.

[Sidenote: Abbeies founded. Coggeshall he founded himselfe, and Fontneis in Lancashire, & Feuersham in Kent. Wil. Paruus.] In his daies, the abbeies of Tiltey, Fontneis, Rieualle, Coggeshall in Essex, Newbourgh and Beland, Meriuale in Warwikeshire, Garedon in Leicestershire, Kirksted in Yorkeshire, with diuers other in other parts of the realme, were founded, in so much that more abbeis were erected in his daies, than had bene within the space of an hundred yeares before, as William Paruus writeth.

A great number of castels also were builded in his daies (as before ye haue heard) by the Nobles of the realme, either to defend the confines of their countries from inuasions of forrenners, and violence of homelings; or as fortifications to themselues when they ment or intended any inrode or breaking vpon their neighbours.

Diuerse learned men namelie historiographers liued in these daies, as William Malmesburie, Henrie Huntington, Simon Dunelmensis, Galfridus Arturius, otherwise called Monumetensis, Caradoc Lancarnauensis, William Reuellensis, among whom Thurstan archbishop of Yorke is not to be forgotten, besides many more who in diuerse sciences were verie expert and skilfull, as by treatises of their setting forth to the world hath sufficientlie appeared.

Thus far Stephan of Bullongne.

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 'hauiug'; corrected to 'hauing'.

[2] Original reads ' o'; corrected to 'to'.

[3] Original reads 'strenghthen'; corrected to 'strengthen'.

[4] Original reads 'insused'; corrected to 'insued'.


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