Stephan earle of Bullongne.
STephan earle of Bullong∣ne, the sonne of Stephan erle of Blois,* by his wife Adela, daughter to William Con∣querour, came ouer with all speed after the death of his vncle, and tooke vpon him the [line 20] gouernement of the realme of England, partlie through confidence which he had in the puissance and strength of his brother Theobald earle of Blois, and partlie by the aid of his brother Henrie bishop of Winchester and abbat of Gla∣stenburie, although that he with other of the Nobles had sworne afore to be true vnto the empresse and hir issue as lawfull heires of king Henrie latelie de∣ceassed. [line 30]
The same day that he arriued in England, there chanced a mightie great tempest of thunder horrible to heare,* and lightning dreadfull to behold. Now bi∣cause this happened in the winter time, it séemed a∣gainst nature, and therefore it was the more noted as a foreshewing of some trouble and calamitie to come.
This Stephan began his reigne ouer the realme of England the second day of December, in the yere of our Lord 1135. in the eleuenth yeare of the empe∣rour [line 40] Lothair, the sixt of pope Innocentius the se∣cond, and about the xxvij. of Lewes the seuenth, sur∣named Crassus king of France, Dauid the first of that name then reigning in Scotland, & entring in∣to the twelfe of his regiment. He was crowned at Westminster vpon S. Stephans day,* by William archbishop of Canturburie, the most part of the No∣bles of the realme being present, and swearing feal∣tie vnto him, as to their true and lawfull souereigne.
Howbeit, there were diuerse of the wiser sort of [line 50] all estates, which regarding their former oth, could haue béene contented that the empresse should haue gouerned till hir sonne had come to lawfull age; not∣withstanding they held their peace as yet, and con∣sented vnto Stephan.* But this breach of their othes was worthilie punished afterward, insomuch that as well the bishops as the other Nobles either died an euill death, or were afflicted with diuerse kinds of calamities and mischances, and that euen here in this life, of which some of them as occasion serueth shall be remembred hereafter.* Yet there were of them (and namelie the bishop of Salisburie) which protested that they were frée from their oth of allegi∣ance made to the said empresse, bicause that without the consent of the lords of the land she was maried out of the realme, whereas they tooke their oth to re∣ceiue hir for queene, vpon that condition, that with∣out their assent she should not marrie with any per∣son out of the realme.
Moreouer (as some writers thinke) the bishops tooke it,* that they should doo God good seruice in pro∣uiding for the wealth of the realme, and the aduance∣ment of the church by their periurie. For whereas the late deceassed king vsed himselfe not altogither for their purpose, they thought that if they might set vp and creat a king chéeflie by their especiall meanes and authoritie, he would follow their counsell better, and reforme such things as they iudged to be amisse. But a great cause that mooued manie of the lords vnto the violating thus of their oth,* was (as some au∣thors rehearse) for that Hugh Bigot, sometime stew∣ard to king Henrie the first,* immediatlie after the decease of king Henrie, came into England, and as well before the archbishop of Canturburie, as diuers other lords of the land, tooke a voluntarie oth (al∣though most men thinke that he was hired so to doo bicause of great promotion) declaring vpon the same that he was present a little before king Henries death, when the same king adopted and chose his ne∣phue Stephan to be his heire and successour, bicause his daughter the empresse had gréeuouslie displeased him. But vnto this mans oth the archbishop and the Page 47 o•her lords were so hastie in giuing of credit. Now 〈◊〉 said Hugh for his periurie, by the iust iudgement 〈◊〉 God, came shortlie after to a miserable end.
*But to our purpose. King Stephan (by what ti∣tle soeuer he obteined the crowne) immediatlie after his coronation, [year 1136] went first to Reading to the buri∣all of the bodie of his vncle Henrie, the same being now brought ouer from Normandie,* from whence after the buriall he repaired to Oxenford, and there calling a councell of the lords & other estates of his realme;* amongst other things he promised before [line 10] the whole assemblie (to win the harts of the people) that he would put downe and quite abolish that tri∣bute which oftentimes was accustomed to be gathe∣red after the rate of their acres of hides of land, com∣monlie called Danegilt, which was two shillings of euerie hide of land. Also, that he would so prouide, that no bishops sees nor other benefices should re∣maine void, but immediatlie after vpon their first vacation, they should be againe bestowed vpon some conuenient person meet to supplie the roome. Fur∣ther [line 20] he promised not to seize vpon any mans woods as forfeit, though any priuate man had hunted and killed his déere in the same woods, as the maner of his predecessour was. ¶ For a kind of forfeiture was deuised by king Henrie, that those should lose their right inheritance in their woods, that chanced to kill any of the kings déere within the same.
*Moreouer, be granted licence to all men, to build either castell, tower, or other hold for defense of them∣selues vpon their owne grounds. Al this did he chief∣lie [line 30] in hope that the same might be a safegard for him in time to come, if the empresse should inuade the land, as he doubted she shortlie would. Moreouer he aduanced manie yoong & lustie gentlemen to great liuings.* For such as were of any noble familie, and thereto through a certeine stoutnesse of stomach sought preferment, easilie obteined of him the posses∣sion of castels and great lordships, diuerse of whom he honored with titles of dignitie, creating some of them earles and some lords. Now, such was their [line 40] importunate sute in demanding, that when he had little more to bestow amongst them, hauing alreadie giuen sundrie portions that belonged to the crowne, they ceassed not to be in hand with him for more, and being denied with reasonable excuses on his behalfe, they thought themselues ill dealt withall, and so tur∣ning from him, fortified their castels and holds, ma∣king open warre against him: as hereafter shall appeare.
There came ouer vnto him also a great number [line 50] of Flemings and Britons to serue him as souldiers,* whom he reteined, to be the stronger and better able to defend himselfe against the malice of the em∣presse, by whom he looked to be molested he wist not how soone. Wherefore he shewed himselfe verie libe∣rall, courteous, and gentle towards all maner of persons at the first, and (to saie truth) more liberall, familiar, and free harted than stood with the maiestie of a king: which was afterward a cause that he grew [line 60] into contempt. ¶ But to such meanes are prin∣ces driuen, that atteine to their estates more through fauour and support of others, than by any good right or title which they may pretend of themselues. Thus the gouernement of this prince at the beginning was nothing bitter or heauie to his subiects, but full of gentlenesse, lenitie, courtesie, and mildnes.
*Howbeit whilest these things were a dooing, cer∣teine of the English Nobilitie, abhorring both the king and the present state of his gouernment, went priuilie out of the realme into Scotland to king Dauid, declaring vnto him what a detestable act was committed by the lords of England, in that (contra∣rie to their oth made vnto the empresse Maud, and hir issue) they had now crowned Stephan. Where∣fore they besought the said king to take in hand to reuenge such a vile iniurie practised against hir, and to restore the kingdome vnto the said empresse, which if he did, it should be a thing most acceptable both to God and man.
King Dauid hauing heard and well weied the ef∣fect of their request,* foorthwith was so mooued at their words, that in all possible hast he assembled an ar∣mie, and entring into England, first tooke the citie and castell of Carleil: afterward comming into Northumberland, he tooke Newcastell, and manie o∣ther places vpon the borders there. Whereof king Stephan being aduertised, streightwaies assembled a power, and foorthwith hasted into Cumberland, meaning to recouer that againe by force of armes, which the enimie had stolen from him by craft and subtiltie. At his approch néere to Carleil,* he pitched downe his field in the euening, thinking there to staie till the morning, that he might vnderstand of what power the enimie was, whome he knew to be at hand.
King Dauid also was of a fierce courage, and re∣die inough to haue giuen him battell, but yet when he beheld the English standards in the field, and di∣ligentlie viewed their order and behauiour, he was at the last contented to giue eare to such as intrea∣ted for peace on both sides. Wherevpon comming to king Stephan, he entred a freendlie peace with him, wherein he made a surrender of Newcastell, with condition that he should reteine Cumberland by the frée grant of king Stephan,* who hoped there∣by to find king Dauid the more faithfull vnto him in time of need: but yet he was deceiued, as after∣wards manifestlie appéered. For when king Ste∣phan required of him an oth of allegiance, he answe∣red that he was once sworne alreadie vnto Maud the empresse. Howbeit to gratifie him, he comman∣ded his son Henrie to receiue that oth, for the which the king gaue him the earledome of Huntington to hold of him for euer.
¶ The Scotish chronicles set out the matter in o∣ther order,* but yet all agrée that Henrie sware feal∣tie to king Stephan, as in the said historie of Scot∣land you may sée more at large. Now after that king Stephan had concluded a peace with king Da∣uid, he returned to London,* and there kept his Ea∣ster with great ioy and triumphes: who whilest he was yet in the middest of all his pastime, about Ro∣gation wéeke, he chanced to fall sicke of a litargie,* by reason wherof a rumor was spred ouer all the realme that he was dead. Which though it was but a vaine tale, and of no importance at the first, yet was it af∣ter the occasion of much euill.* For vpon that report great sedition was raised by the kings enimies a∣mongst the people, the minds of his fréends were a∣lienated from him, & manie of the Normans (which were well practised in periuries & treasons) thought they might boldlie attempt all mischéefes that came to hand, and hervpon some of them vndertooke to defend one place, and some another.* Hugh Bigot erle of Norfolke a valiant chieftein entred into Nor∣wich, Baldwin Reduers tooke Excester, & Robert Quisquere got certeine castels also into his hands.
King Stephan hearing what his enimies had doone, though he was somewhat mooued with this al∣teration of things, yet as one nothing afraid of the matter, he said merilie to those that stood about him:
Hauing thus with good successe finished this en∣terprise,* and being now aduertised of the businesse in Normandie, he sailed thither with a great armie: and being come within two daies iournie of his eni∣mie the earle of Aniou,* he sent foorth his whole power of horssemen, diuided into three parts, which were not gone past a daies iournie forward, but they en∣countred the earle, finding him with no great force about him.* Wherevpon giuing the charge vpon him, [line 40] they put him to flight, and slue manie of his people. Which enterprise in this maner valiantlie atchiued, euen according to the mind of king Stephan, he ioi∣ned in freendship with Lewes the seuenth king of France:* and hauing latelie created his sonne Eu∣stace duke of Normandie, he presentlie appointed him to doo his homage vnto the said Lewes for the same.
*Now whereas his elder brother Theobald earle of Blois at that time in Normandie, found him∣selfe [line 50] greeued, that Stephan the yoonger brother had vsurped the lands that belonged to their vncle king Henrie, rather than himselfe, Stephan to stop this iust complaint of his brother, and to allaie his mood, agréed with him,* couenanting to paie him yearelie two thousand marks of such currant monie as was then in vse. Furthermore, wheras Geffrey the earle of Aniou demanded in right of his wife the empresse the whole kingdome of England, to be at an end with him, king Stephan was contented to satisfie [line 60] him with a yearelie pension of fiue thousand marks, which composition he willinglie receiued.
Thus when he had prouided for the suertie of Nor∣mandie,* he returned againe into England, where he was no sooner arriued, but aduertisement was gi∣uen him of a warre newlie beg•n with the Scots, whose king vnder a colour of obseruing the oth to the empresse,* made dailie insurrections and inua∣sions into England, to the great disturbance of king Stephan and the annoiance of his people. Wherwith being somewhat mooued, he went streightwaies to∣ward the north parts, and determined first to besiege Bedford by the waie, which apperteined to the earle∣dome of Huntington, by gift made vnto Henrie the sonne of king Dauid, and therevpon at that present kept with a garison of Scotish men.
This place did the king besiege by the space of 30. daies togither,* giuing thereto euerie daie an assault or alarme, in somuch that cōming thither on Christ∣masse daie, he spared not on the morow to assaile them, and so at length wan the towne from them by méere force and strength.* King Dauid hearing those newes, and being alreadie in armour in the field, en∣tred into Northumberland,* and licensed his men of warre to spoile and rob the countrie thereabout at their pleasure. Herevpon followed such crueltie, that their rage stretched vnto old and yoong, vnto preest and clearke, yea women with child escaped not their hands, they hanged, headed, and slue all that came in their waie: houses were burnt, cattell driuen awaie, and all put to fire and sword that serued to any vse for reléefe, either of man or beast.
¶ Here we see what a band of calamities doo ac∣companie and waite vpon warre, wherein also we haue to consider what a traine of felicities doo at∣tend vpon peace, by an equall comparing of which twaine togither, we may easilie perceiue in how heauenlie an estate those people be that liue vnder the scepter of tranquillitie, and contrariwise what a hellish course of life they lead that haue sworne their seruice to the sword. We may consider also the inordinat outrages of princes, & their frantike fierse∣nes, who esteeme not the losse of their subiects liues, the effusion of innocent bloud, the population of countries, the ruinating of ample regions, &c: so their will may be satisfied, there desire serued.* And therefore it was aptlie spoken by a late poet, not be∣side this purpose:
But to our storie.* King Stephan hearing of this pitifull spoile,* hasted forward with great iournies to the rescue of the countrie. The Scots put in feare of spéedie comming to encounter them, drew backe in∣to Scotland: but he pursued them, and entring into their countrie, burned and destroied the south parts of that realme in most miserable maner. Whilest king Stephan was thus about to beat backe the forren enimies, and reuenge himselfe on them, he was assailed by other at home, & not without the iust vengeance of almightie God, who meant to punish him for his periurie committed in taking vpon him the crowne, contrarie to his oth made vnto the em∣presse and hir children. For Robert earle of Gloce∣ster, base brother vnto the empresse,* and of hir priuie councell, sought by all meanes how to bring king Stephan into hatred, both of the Nobles and com∣mons, that by their helpe he might be expelled the realme, and the gouernment restored to the empresse and hir sonne.
Such earnest trauell was made by this earle of Glocester, that manie of his freends which fauoured his cause, now that king Stephan was occupied in the north parts, ioined with him in conspiracie a∣gainst their souereigne. First the said earle him∣selfe tooke Bristowe:* and after this diuerse other townes and castels there in that countrie were ta∣ken by him and others, with full purpose to kéepe the same to the behoofe of the empresse and hir sonne. A∣mongst other William Talbot tooke vpon him to defend Hereford in Wales:* William Louell held the castell of Cary: Paganell or Painell kept the castell of Ludlow: William de Moun the castell of Page 49 Dunestor:* Robert de Nicholl, the castle of Warram: Eustace Fitz-Iohn, the castle of Walton; and Wil∣liam Fitz-Alain, the castle of Shrewesburie.
When word hereof came to king Stephan, he was maruellouslie vexed: for being determined to haue pursued the Scots euen to the vttermost limits of their countrie, he was now driuen to change his mind, and thought it good at the first to stop the pro∣ceedings of his enimies at home, least in giuing them space to increase their force, they might in pro∣cesse [line 10] of time growe so strong, that it would be an hard matter to resist them at the last. Herevpon ther∣fore he returned southward,* and comming vpon his enimies, recouered out of their hands diuers of those places which they held, as Hereford, and the castle of Shrewesburie. About the same time one Walkeline yéelded the castle of Douer vnto the quéene, who had besieged him within the same.
Now king Stephan knowing that the Scots were not like long to continue in quiet, returned [line 20] northwards againe;* and comming to Thurstan the archbishop of Yorke, he committed the kéeping of the countrie vnto his charge, commanding him to be in a redinesse to defend the borders vpon any sud∣den inuasion. Which thing the couragious archbishop willinglie vndertooke. By this meanes king Ste∣phan being eased of a great part of his care, fell in hand to besiege the residue of those places which the rebels kept: but they fearing to abide the danger of an assault, fled away, some into one part, and some [line 30] into an other; whom the kings power of horssemen still pursuing and ouertaking by the way, slue, and tooke no small number of them prisoners in the chase. Thus was the victorie in maner wholie atchiued, and all those places recouered, which the enimies had fortified.
In like maner when king Dauid heard that the king was thus vexed with ciuill warre at home, he entred England againe in most forceable wise:* and sending his horssemen abroad into the countrie, [line 40] commanded them to waste and spoile the same after their accustomed maner. But in the meane time he purposed with himselfe to besiege Yorke: which citie if he might haue woone, he determined to haue made it the frontier hold against king Stephan, and the rest that tooke part with him. Herevpon calling in his horssemen from straieng further abroad, he marched thitherwards, and comming neere to the citie, pitched downe his tents.
*In this meane while the archbishop Thurstan, to [line 50] whom the charge of defending the countrie cheefelie in the kings absence apperteined, called togither the Nobles and gentlemen of the shire and parties ad∣ioining, whom with so pithie and effectuall words he exhorted to resist the attempts of the Scots (whose cruell dooings could kéepe no measure) that inconti∣nentlie all the power of the northparts was raised, and (vnder the leading of William earle of Albe∣marle,* Walter Espeke, William Peuerell of Not∣tingham, and two of the Lacies, Walter and Gil∣bert) [line 60] offered euen with perill of life and limme to trie the matter against the Scots in a pight field, and ei∣ther to driue them out of the countrie, or else to loose their liues in the quarell of their prince.
It chanced at this time, that archbishop Thur∣stan was sicke, and therefore could not come into the field himselfe, but yet he sent Rafe bishop of Dur∣ham to supplie his roome,* who though he saw and per∣ceiued that euerie man was readie enough to en∣counter with their enimies; yet he thought good to vse some exhortation vnto them, the better to encou∣rage them, in maner as here ensueth.
The Scots were as readie to encounter with them, so that the battell began to be verie hot, and e∣uen at the first out flew the arrowes, and then the footmen ioined, who fought most fiercelie on both sides. Herewith a wing of them of Lodian,* which were in the Scotish vauntgard, brake in vpon the vauntgard of the English: but yet closing togither againe, they kept out the enimies, and casting about with a wing, compassed the Scotish horssemen round about, and panching their horsses, they slue a great number, and constreined the residue to retire. Which thing when their felowes in the other wing saw, their hearts began to faint, and by and by betooke them to their heeles.
The rumor of this flight being notified to the maine battell of the Scotish men, where king Dauid him∣selfe was fighting with his enimies,* discomfited them also, in such wise, that they in like sort began to Page 50 shrinke backe: first by parts, and after by heaps togi∣ther. The king did what he could to staie them: but the English pressed so vpon them, that there was no re∣couerie. Wherefore he himselfe was glad in the end to beare his men companie, in séeking to saue him∣selfe by flight, and make such shift as he could a∣mongst the residue.
*His sonne Henrie the earle of Huntington more regarding his honour, than the danger of life, neither mooued with the flight of his father, nor the ouerthrow of the other, came in amongst his men, being readie [line 10] to turne their backes, and with bold countenance spake these or the like words vnto them, as the short∣nesse of the time would permit.
At length earle Henrie perceiuing how the mat∣ter went, and that there was no hope left of recoue∣rie, fled also with those that could escape, bitterlie cur∣sing the frowardnesse of fortune, and mishap of that [line 30] daies chance. The number of them that were killed at this battell was aboue ten thousand.* In which number there were not manie of the English: but yet among other, Walter Lacie the brother of Gil∣bert Lacie, one of their cheefe capteines is remem∣bred to be one.* This battell was fought in the mo∣neth of August, in the fourth of king Stephan, who hearing of this victorie, greatlie reioised, and gaue infinite commendations to his subiects (the En∣glishmen and the Normans) but principallie prai∣sed [line 40] archbishop Thurstan and the bishop of Durham for their faithfull and diligent seruice shewed in this behalfe.
On the other side he himselfe vsing the like good successe amongst the rebels at home, ouercame them, and chased them out of the land.* For in this meane time he had taken the castels of Hereford, Glocester, Webbeley, Bristowe, Dudley, and Shrewesburie. Likewise Robert earle of Glocester not being able to resist the king thus preuailing against his aduer∣saries [line 50] on ech hand, fled into France vnto his sister the empresse. After this, about Aduent, the popes le∣gat one Alberike bishop of Hostia,* held a synod at London, within Paules church, where by the kings consent,* Theobald abbat of Bechellouin was conse∣crated archbishop of Canturburie, being the 37. arch∣bishop which had ruled that see, after Augustine the moonke.
The king hauing now accomplished his purpose, [line 60] taken the castell of Leides,* and brought the state of the realme to a meetlie good staie, thought it expedi∣ent after the late ouerthrow giuen to the Scots,* to pursue the victorie, and vtterlie to subdue them with all expedition.* He brought his armie therefore into Scotland, first wasting and spoiling the countrie, and afterward preparing to fight with such Scots as came foorth to defend their goods and houses. K. Da∣uid perceiuing himselfe to be too weake, made sute to the king for peace,* which with much difficultie he obteined at length, by deliuering his sonne Henrie vnto king Stephan in pledge for the sure perfor∣mance of couenants concluded vpon betwixt them. Herevpon king Stephan hauing thus ended his bu∣sinesse in Scotland, returned into England: and af∣ter directing his iornie towards Wales, he came to Ludlow:* which towne (being held by his aduersa∣ries) he wan yer long out of their hands.
After this he went to Oxenford, where whilest he remained, a great brute was spred abroad, that the empresse was comming with hir brother the earle of Glocester: which caused him to put the lesse trust in his people from thenceforth, in so much that he began to repent himselfe (although too late) for that he had granted licence to so manie of his subiects to build castels within their owne grounds. For he had them all in suspicion: and amongst other, he vehementlie suspected Roger bishop of Salisburie (who had doone verie much for him) and Alexander bishop of Lin∣colne nephue to the said bishop of Salisburie,* or (as some thought) more néere to him in kindred than his nephue, I meane, his sonne. For the said Roger had builded diuerse castels, as at Shierborne, at the Uies, and at Malmesburie. The said Alexander like∣wise following his vncles example,* bestowed his monie that way verie fréelie, hauing builded one ca∣stell at Newarke, and an other at Sléeford.
The king therefore hauing committed both these bishops to prison,* and furthermore sent Nigell or Ne∣ill the bishop of Elie into exile (which Nigell was ne∣phue also to the foresaid bishop of Salisburie) he threatened to keepe them without either meate or drinke, if they would not cause these castels to be de∣liuered into his hands, whereby he obteined them, and moreouer found in the bishop of Salisburies co∣fers 40. thousand marks, which he tooke to his owne vse, by way of confiscation for his disloiall demeanor:* This ingratitude of the king wounded the bishops hart, insomuch that taking thought for the losse of his houses and monie, he pined awaie, and died within a while after.
The quarrell which was first picked at these bi∣shops, rose by occasion of a fraie betwixt the bishops men and the seruants of Alaine duke of Britaine, about the taking vp of Inues at their comming to Oxenford. In which fraie one of the dukes men was killed, his nephue almost slaine, and the residue of his folkes sore beaten and chased. Herevpon were the bishops first committed to ward, and afterward handled at the kings pleasure, as partlie ye haue heard.
¶ Héere by the way, good reader,* thou hast one ex∣ample worthie to be marked of fickle fortunes in∣constancie, whereof the poet speaketh verie excel∣lentlie;
For this Roger bishop of Salisburie, was in the daies of William Rufus a poore préest, seruing a cure in a village néere the citie of Caen in Norman∣die. Now it chanced, that the lord Henrie the kings brother came thither on a time, and called for a préest to say masse before him. Whervpon this Roger com∣ming to the altar, was by and by readie and quicke at it, and therewithall had so speedilie made an end thereof, that the men of warre then attendant on the said lord Henrie, affirmed that this préest aboue all other, was a chapleine meet to say masse before men of warre, bicause he had made an end when manie thought he had but newlie begun. Herevpon the kings brother commanded the preest to follow him, insomuch that when oportunitie serued, for his dili∣gent seruice, and readie dispatch of matters, when Henrie had atteined the crowne, he was by him Page 51 aduanced to great promotions:* as first to be Chance∣lour of England, & after bishop of Salisburie, grow∣ing still into such estimation, that he might doo more with the king than any other of the councell.
But to returne to king Stephan, who after he had thus imprisoned the aforesaid bishops, manned those castles which he tooke from them with his owne sol∣diers, in like maner as he had doone all the rest which he had taken from the rebels, that he might the bet∣ter withstand the empresse and hir sonne, whose com∣ming [line 10] he euer feared. He began also to shew himselfe cruell towards all men, and namelie against those that had chieflie furthered his title to the obteining of the crowne. ¶ This (as manie tooke it) came to passe by the prouidence of almightie God, that those should suffer for their periuries, which contrarie to law and right had consented to crowne him king.
In déed he wist not well whom he might trust, for he stood in doubt of all men,* bicause he was aduerti∣sed by credible report, that the empresse sought for aid [line 20] on all sides, meaning verie shortlie to come into England. For this cause also he thought good to pro∣cure the fréendship of Lewes king of France, which he brought to passe,* by concluding a mariage be∣twéene his sonne Eustace and the ladie Constance sister to the said Lewes. But within a few yeares after, this Eustace died, and then was Constance maried to Raimond earle of Tholouse.
*In the meane time, namelie on the first daie of September, a councell was holden at Winchester, [line 30] wherein earle Alberike de Ueer pleaded with great eloquence the kings case, in excuse of his fault for imprisoning the bishops, which was sore laid to his charge by his owne brother the bishop of Winche∣ster, being also the popes legat: who (togither with the archbishop of Canturburie and other bishops) had called this councell for that purpose. Howbeit they got nothing of the king but faire words, and promi∣ses of amendment in that which had béene doone o∣therwise than equitie required, which promises were vtterlie vnperformed, and so the councell brake vp. [line 40]
In the moneth of Iulie the empresse Maud lan∣ded here in England at Portesmouth,* & went strait to Arundell, which towne (togither with the countie of Sussex) hir mother in law Adelicia king Henries second wife, wedded to William de Albenay, held in right of assignation for hir dower. There came in with the empresse hir brother Robert and Hugh Bi∣got, of whom ye haue heard before.
*Some write that the empresse brought with hir a great armie, to the intent that ioining with Ra∣nulph [line 50] earle of Chester (who tooke part with Robert erle of Glocester, bicause the same Rob. had maried his daughter) she might fight with king Stephan, and trie the battell with him. Other declare that she came to England now at the first,* but with a small power (as seuen score horssemen or men of armes as we may call them) in hope of Gods assurance (who seldome faileth those that fight in a rightfull cause) and againe vpon trust of aid of fréends,* who for the [line 60] benefits receiued at hir fathers hands, would be rea∣die to go against king Stephan. Wherevpon hir brother earle Robert leauing his sister in the castle of Arundell, rode with all spéed vnto Glocester tho∣rough his enimies countrie, not taking with him past 12. men of armes, and as manie archers on horssebacke, that vpon his cōming thither he might leuie an armie with so much speed as was possible. Now when he came to Glocester, though the citie was kept with a garison of soldiours placed there by king Stephan,* yet the townesmen, after they heard that their earle was approched to the gates, they droue out the garison, & receiued him into the towne, where he remained a time, partlie to assemble an ar∣mie, and partlie to practise with other townes and ca∣stels thereabouts, to reuolt vnto his sister.* Amongst all other, the earles sonne Brian, and Miles of Glo∣cester were right ioifull of the news of the empresses arriuall, and gladlie prepared themselues to fight in defense of hir cause.
In the meane time king Stephan, hauing know∣ledge of the landing of the empresse, and other his e∣nimies, came strait to Arundell, where he besieged hir in the castle, and spent his labour certeine daies in vaine about the winning of it. Howbeit at that present he did not preuaile, for there were certeine with him, who in fauour of the empresse bare him in hand, that it was not possible to win that fortresse, and therefore aduised him to raise his siege, and suf∣fer the empresse to be at libertie to go to some other place, where he might with more ease and lesse da∣mage get hir into his hands.* The king not percei∣uing the drift of those secret practisers, followed their counsell. Wherevpon the empresse being now at li∣bertie, went from place to place to trie and solicit hir fréends: and as a riuer increaseth in the passage, so the further the ladie went, the more hir power increa∣sed. About the midst of the next night after the siege was raised, she departed out of the castle, and with great iournies sped hir towards Bristow,* which was alreadie reuolted to hir side.
These things being thus bruted abroad, the Peeres of the realme resorted to hir, as they that well re∣membred how in time past by oth of allegiance they were suerlie bound to hir and hir issue. The king in the meane time besieged the castle of Wallingford,* but after he vnderstood that the empresse was got∣ten to Bristow, repenting himselfe for his light cre∣dit giuen to euill counsell, he left off the siege of Wallingford, and drew towards Bristow, that he might (if it were possible) inclose his aduersaries within that walled citie. But the empresse, being ad∣uertised of his determination (by such of hir fréends as were resident about him) first went to Gloce∣ster, and after to Lincolne, where she prouided vit∣tailes and all other things necessarie for hir armie and defense: purposing to remaine in that citie, till the matter were either tried by chance of warre be∣twixt hir and king Stephan, or that by the peoples helpe reuolting to hir side, he might be driuen out of the realme, and she restored to the whole gouerne∣ment. The king followed hir verie earnestlie, and comming vnto Lincolne besieged it,* assaieng on e∣uerie side which waie he might best find meanes to win it, & enter into the same.* At length the empresse found shift to escape from thence, and within a little while the king got possession of the citie. But short∣lie after, Robert earle of Glocester, and Ranulph earle of Chester, Hugh Bigot, and Robert of Mor∣ley assembling their power, aswell of Welshmen as others, to come to the succour of those that were thus besieged, came to Lincolne,* & pitching downe their tents néere to the enimies, they rested the first night without making any great attempt.
In the morning being the second daie of Februa∣rie, so soone as it was daie, they set their men in order of battell, and brought them foorth in sight of the king and his host: who on the other side,* not meaning to refuse the conflict, ordered his men readie to encoun∣ter them, whome he diuided into 3. seuerall battels, The chiefest part of his armed men he appointed to remaine on foot, amongst whom he placed himselfe, with certeine noble men, as earle Baldwin, and o∣thers. The residue being horssemen, he disposed into two seuerall wings,* in one of which were Alaine duke of Britaine, Hugh Bigot earle of Norfolke, Simon earle of Hampton, and two other earles, Mellent and Waren: howbeit they were not furni∣shed Page 52 with such number of men as had béene requisit; for as it fell out, they brought no great retinues with them.* The other wing was gouerned by the earle of Albemarle, and William de Ypres.
Now on the aduersaries side, the earle of Chester led the fore ward, and those whome king Stephan had disherited, were placed in the middle ward. In the rere ward the earle of Glocester with his compa∣nie had the rule. And besides those thrée battels, the Welshmen were set as a wing at one of the sides.
Here the earle of Chester (to vtter the good will [line 10] which he had to fight) appointed in faire armour as he was, spake these words in effect as followeth, dire∣cting the same to the earle of Glocester, and other the capteines, saieng:
When he had thus ended, the earle of Glocester answered in this wise:*
King Stephan hauing no pleasant voice of him∣selfe, appointed earle Baldwin to giue an exhortati∣on to his armie, wherevpon getting himselfe to an high place where he might be seene & heard of them, he thus began. All such as shall giue battell,* ought to foresée thrée things: first, that their cause be righteous: secondlie, the number of their men to be equall at the least: and thirdlie, the goodnesse and suf∣ficiencie of them.
The righteousnes of their cause ought to be regarded, least men runne in danger of the soule; the number of men is to be respected, least they should be oppressed with multitude of enimies; and the goodnesse of the soldiers is to be considered, least trusting in the multitude, they should presume vpon the aid of feeble persons, & such as are of small valure. In all these points we see our selues suffici∣entlie furnished. The iustice of our cause is this: that obseruing the thing which we vowed to our king be∣fore God, we stand to the same against those that haue falsified their faith, euen to the perill of death. Our number is not much lesse in horssemen, and in footmen we excéed them. As for the goodnesse or suffi∣ciencie of our men, who is able to expresse the noble prowesse of so manie earles, of so manie lords and soldiers, trained vp euer in warres? The passing va∣liancie of our king may stand in place of innumera∣ble souldiers. Sith then he being the lords annoin∣ted, is here amongst you, vnto whom ye haue vowed allegiance, performe your vow. For the more ear∣nestly and faithfully ye serue your prince in this bat∣tell, which you are readie to fight against periured persons, the more shall your reward be at the hands of God and him. Therfore be of good comfort, & haue Page 53 in remembrance against whom you doo darraine the battell.* The force of erle Robert is well knowne, his maner is to threaten much, & to worke little, furious in words, eloquent of speach, but cold or rather dead harted in déeds.* The earle of Chester what is he? A man of vnreasonable boldnesse, bent to conspira∣cie, inconstant to performe that which he rashlie ta∣keth in hand, readie to run into batell, vncircumspect in danger, practising things of great importance, sée∣king after things vnpossible, bringing with him few good soldiers, but gathering a vagarant rout of ras∣cals. [line 10] There is nothing in him that we ought to be afraid of, for looke whatsoeuer he attempteth man∣fullie, the same he giueth ouer womanlie, in all his dooings vnfortunate, in all encounters either he is ouercome and fléeth awaie, or if he get the vpper hand (which seldome times chanceth) he susteineth greater losse than they whom he dooth vanquish.
The Welshmen, whom he bringeth with him are little estéemed of vs, who pretend a naked rashnesse without any vse of armor, so that as men without [line 20] any knowledge of martiall policie, they fall as brute beasts vpon the hunters iaueline. The other, as well the nobles as the common souldiers are but runna∣gates and vagabounds; of whom I would wish the number greater than it is: for the more they be, the woorsse in effect their seruice shall prooue in time of need. You therefore (most worthie cheefetaines) you men of honor, it standeth you vpon to haue in regard your vertue and dignities. This day aduance your [line 30] renowme, and follow the foresteps of your famous ancestors, leaue to your sonnes an euerlasting com∣mendation.* The continuall successe of victorie ought to be a prouocation vnto you to doo manfullie: the continuance of euill speed may be to yonder side an occasion to run away. For euen alreadie (I dare say) they repent them of their comming hither, and could be contented to be gone, if the nature of the place would suffer them to depart. Then sith it is not possi∣ble for them either to fight or to flée, what other thing [line 40] can they doo, but (as appointed by Gods ordinance) offer themselues and all they haue about them pre∣sentlie vnto vs. Yée sée then their horsses, their ar∣mour, and their bodies readie here at your pleasure, lift vp your hearts therefore, and reach your hands to take that with great chearefulnesse of mind, which the Lord hath thus offered and freelie presented vnto you.
Now yer he had all made an end of his words, the batels were readie to ioine, they met with great [line 50] noise of trumpets and other instruments, and the fight began with a verie sore and cruell slaughter. Hard it was in the beginning to gesse who should haue the better.* The wing of the disherited men ouerthrew and bare downe their aduersaries, which were led by the duke of Britaine, and the forenamed earles. On the contrarie part, the earle of Albemarle and William de Ypres put the Welshmen to flight, but by the earle of Chester and his retinue, the same earle and William de Ypres were fiercelie assailed [line 60] afresh, and put out of order. Thus was the kings side put to the worse,* namelie his horssemen, who being placed in the forefront, and there ouermatched, fell to galoping. Which thing when the king beheld, he was not yet any whit therewith abashed, but like an har∣die captein (as he was no lesse indéed) comforted his footmen whom he had about him, and rushing vpon his enimies, bare them downe, and ouerthrew so manie as stood before him, so that with the point of his weapon he made himselfe waie. His footmen, who were but a few in number to the multitude of his enimies,* counteruailed in all points the prowes and manlike dooings of their king and capteine, in∣somuch that few battels had beene better fought, nor with greater slaughter on both sides, if the kings fore ward (which in maner at the first shranke backe and was disordered, not without some supicion of treason) had staied the brunt of the enimies a while, as it had béene requisite. At length the king encoun∣tring with the earle of Chester, being ouercharged with multitude, was taken prisoner by one William de Cahames.
Earle Baldwine,* who had made the oration in the kings behalfe, was also taken, after he had fought valiantlie and receiued manie sore wounds: like∣wise Richard Fitzvrse, who on that daie had shewed good proofe of his manhood, and had giuen and recei∣ued manie a sore stripe. To conclude,* all those that abode with the king, and namelie all the footmen were taken prisoners, those which were slaine in the place excepted.* This battell was fought in the sixt yeare of king Stephans reigne, vpon Candlemas daie, being sundaie, as Niger saith.
The king being apprehended and brought to the empresse lieng at Glocester,* was commanded by hir to be conueied in safetie vnto Bristow, where he was kept as prisoner from that time of his taking, vntill the feast of All saints next ensuing. Not long after this field fought, as ye haue heard, Geffrey earle of Aniou husband to the empresse,* receiuing ad∣uertisement of this victorie atchiued in England, foorthwith inuaded Normandie, inducing all the No∣bles of the countrie to incline vnto him: for by pub∣lishing the captiuitie of king Stephan, it was easie for him to come by the possession of the same.
Moreouer, Dauid king of Scotland entred into Northumberland,* and by commandement of the em∣presse tooke the countrie into his hands, whilest she (like a woman of great wisedome, as she was no lesse indéed) iudging that it stood hir vpon to vse the victorie which fell to hir lot, slept not hir businesse, but went forward, and setting from Glocester, she came to Winchester, where she was honorablie receiued of bishop Henrie, though he was king Stephans brother, and inwardlie lamented the misfortune of the king. Then came she backe againe to Wilton, and so to Oxenford, from thence to Reading, and then to S. Albons, into all which cities and townes she was receiued with great triumph and honour.
Hauing thus passed through all the south parts of the realme on that side,* she finallie came to London, where the citizens welcomed hir in most ioifull and hartie maner. Now being come to London, and con∣sulting with those of hir councell for the quieting of the whole state of the realme, queene Maud wife to king Stephan (for so she was also called) made humble suit vnto hir to haue hir husband set at li∣bertie,* promising that he should resigne his whole claime and title into hir hands, and content himselfe with a priuate life. But hir suit was so farre off from being granted, that she was reiected and cast off with reprochfull words. Wherevpon she conceiued a most high displeasure, and vnderstood well inough; that peace was to be purchased by force of armes onelie, and not by any other meanes: insomuch that with all diligence she sent to hir sonne Eustace (then be∣ing in Kent) & willed him to prepare an armie, which he did most spéedilie.
It chanced at the same time that the citizens of London made great and laborious suit vnto the said empresse, that they might haue the lawes of king Edward the Confessour restored, and the straight lawes of hir father king Henrie abolished. But for so much as they could get no grant of their petition, and perceiued the empresse to be displeased with them about that importunat request,* wherein onelie she ouershot hir selfe, they deuised how and by what meanes they might take hir prisoner, knowing that Page 54 all the Kentishmen would helpe to strengthen them in their enterprise. But reckoning with hir selfe that
*Now when she had thus fled out of London, which was about the feast of the natiuitie of S. Iohn Bap∣tist, the tower of London was besieged, which Geffe∣rey de Mandeuile held,* and valiantlie defended. The same Geffrey rushing out on a time, came to Ful∣ham,* where he tooke the bishop of London then lodg∣ing in his manor place, being one of the contrarie faction.
Henrie bishop of Winchester perceiuing the wrath of the empresse more and more to increase dailie a∣gainst [line 20] hir people,* thinking it wisedome to serue the time,* manned all the castels which he had builded within his dieces; as at Waltham, Farnham, and o∣ther places, and withdrew himselfe into the castell of Winchester, there to remaine, till he might sée to what end the furie of the woman would grow. This being knowne, the empresse tooke vnto hir Dauid king of Scotland that was hir vncle, who immediat∣lie ioining their armies togither, went to Winche∣ster and besieged the castell. In the meane time the [line 30] quéene and hir sonne Eustace, with the helpe of their freends, as the Kentishmen, the Londoners and other had assembled a great armie, and appointed the go∣uernement and generall conduct thereof vnto one William of Ypres a Fleming,* who for his valian∣cie was by king Stephan created earle of Kent: he was sonne to Philip of Flanders,* begotten of a con∣cubine, his father also was sonne to Robert earle of Flanders, surnamed Frisius. This William was ba∣nished out of his countrie by Theodorike Elsas earle [line 40] of Flanders, bicause he attempted to bereaue him of his earledome.
The quéenes armie thus committed to his gui∣ding, came néere vnto Winchester, and kept the em∣presse and hir people in maner besieged:* at length perceiuing the aduantage after the comming of a great supplie of Londoners to their aid, they set vpon hir armie as the same was departing, with such vio∣lence, that straightwaies hir host was put to flight and discomfited. The empresse was glad to saine hir [line 50] selfe dead, and so to be conueied in a coch as a dead corps vnto Glocester. Hir brother Robert with ma∣nie other of the Nobles that staied behind, till she and other might get out of danger, were taken pri∣soners. And bicause the king was kept at Bristow vnder the custodie of the said Robert, the queene cau∣sed him to be hardlie handled, that he might prooue the words of the gospell true: With what measure yée meat vnto other,* with the same by other shall it be [line 60] remeasured vnto you. He had deserued verie euill of the king heretofore, and therefore it was now re∣membred. He was taken (in maner abouesaid) on the feast day of the exaltation of the crosse.
*Dauid king of Scotland was not at the battell himselfe, but hearing of the discomfiture, got him out of the countrie, and by helpe of trustie guides re∣turned into Scotland, whilest Alberike de •éer was slaine at London in a seditious tumult raised by the citizens. The kingdome being thus diuided into two seuerall factions, was by all similitudes like to come to vtter ruine: for the people kindled in hatred one against another, sought nothing else but reuenge on both sides,* and still the land was sp•iled and wasted by the men of warre which lodged within the castels and fortresses,* and would often issue out to harrie and spoile the countries. But now that the two cheefest heads were prisoners, there was good hope conceiued that God had so wrought it, whereby might grow some ouerture of talke, to quiet such troubles by fréendlie peace and agreement.
Herevpon those lords that wished well to the com∣mon-wealth, began to intreate betwixt them, and articles were propounded for a concord to be had, and an exchange of prisoners on both sides. But the em∣presse and hir brother would not hearken to any a∣gréement, except that the realme might wholie re∣maine to the said empresse. Whereby the enimies were rather increased than decreased by this treatie, so that at length the king and the earle (weried with tedious yrksomnesse of yrons and hard imprison∣ment,* and putting all their hope in the chance of war) about the feast of All saints made exchange by de∣liuering of the one for the other, without making mention of any peace at all:* and so kindled with new displeasures, they renewed the warre.
King Stephan being deliuered in such wise as you haue heard, comming to London,* and there being accompanied with his brother Henrie bishop of Winchester (then the popes legat) Theobald archbi∣shop of Canturburie, and others, he called a parle∣ment, wherein the king declared the present state, how the enimie was brought to this point, that if it would please the Nobles of the realme to mainteine him with men & monie, he trusted now so to worke, as they should not need to feare submission to the yoke of a womans gouernment: which at the first they seemed much to mislike, and now sithens (to their great gréefe) had prooued to be intollerable. The summe of his talke tended to this end, that those which were able of themselues to aid him with their owne persons, should prepare them out of hand so to doo; and the residue that were not meet (as bishops, and such like maner of men) should be contributors to aid him with hired souldiers, armour, and monie.
This was gladlie agréed vpon, with the generall consent of all the assemblie. And bicause the bishops shewed themselues verie liberall towards the ad∣uancing of the kings purpose, there was a statute made at the same parlement, that who so euer did laie any violent hands on a sacred person, or else tooke vpon him to apprehend any of them,* for what fault soeuer, without the bishops licence, he should be accursed, and not be assoiled of any maner of person, except of the pope, as by a canon it was alreadie de∣créed, but not obeied among the Englishmen till that daie. ¶ The cause of making this statute was chéef∣lie, for that preests during the time of the ciuill wars, were dailie either slaine, or taken prisoners, and so put to their ransoms, or charged with great penal∣ties and gréeuous fines.
The bishop of Winchester at this councell also began an other brall among the cleargie, for being brother to king Stephan, & armed with the popes au∣thoritie as his legat in England, by reason of exer∣cising his authoritie, fell at variance with the bishop of Canturburie, who tooke himselfe for his superior, bicause he was his primat. This quarell grew so far in question, that they went both to Rome to haue the controuersie decided, and so bringing their sutes thither, contented well the eares of them that had the hearing of the same: for the more weightie the cause seemed, the better it liked them.
¶A late writer, noting in clergiemen of his age & countrie not onelie the aspiring vice of ambition,* but other disorders also, and monstrous outrages, after a complaint made that gold (by which title he calleth those of the ecclesiasticall order) is turned in∣to Page 55 drosse, and swéet wine become tart vineger, con∣cludeth with the illation of the cause hereof compri∣sed in this metricall accouplement, saieng:
Which he inferred vpon occasion against the pre∣posterous elections of vnmeet men into episcopall •ées, for that they were not so qualified as the dig∣nitie of the place required; otherwise peraduenture enabled with competent knowledge and learning. And suerlie, we may note these inordinate affections [line 10] from the beginning of this our chronicle in the best (I meane in respect of their estates) of this liuerie, and may iustlie impute it to the defection of Gods spirit in them, whose nature is to plant peace and méekenesse in the harts of his tenants, not discord, not ambition, not the works of darknesse, which be∣séeme not the children of light. But to the purpose.
As the king began (after his libertie obteined) to prouide for warres,* so earle Robert (after he was [line 20] discharged) sailed ouer into Normandie, taking with him the sonnes of diuerse Noble men who fauo∣red the empresse, whome he deliuered to hir husband the earle of Aniou to be kept as pledges, & earnestlie besought him to passe ouer into England with an armie to aid the empresse.* Howbeit bicause he was newlie intred into the conquest of Normandie, and had alreadie won the most part thereof, he thought good to make first an end of his warres there, ha∣uing somewhat to doo against certeine rebels of his owne countie of Aniou, which did not a little molest [line 30] him. But he recouered (whilest the earle of Gloce∣ster was there with him) Alney, Mortaigne, Te∣nerchbray, and diuerse other places perteining chief∣lie to the earle of Mortaigne: about the same time al∣so they of Constances submitted themselues vnto him. Thus the earle of Aniou being occupied in those parties, could not well come into England.
*Wherevpon the earle of Glocester came backe a∣gaine himselfe, and bringing with him somewhat lesse than foure hundred men of armes (imbarked in [line 40] 52. ships) landed with the same at Warrham, and besieged the castell there, which his enimies had won out of his hands whilest he was absent in Norman∣die.* In the end they that were within it (vnder the gouernment of Herebert de Lucy) fell to agreement by composition, that if they were not succoured by a certeine time, they should deliuer the castell vnto the earle.* King Stephan himselfe the same time held a siege before Oxford, within the which he had inclosed [line 50] the empresse, as hereafter shalbe shewed: so that they within the castell of Warrham had no succour sent vnto them, and therefore (according to the articles of their composition) they yeelded vp the hold, after erle Robert had lien three wéekes before it.
This castell being thus woone, earle Robert sub∣dued also such as kept the Ile of Portland,* and had fensed it after the maner of a fortresse: afterwards he came to Circester, and there assembled all those that fauoured the part of the empresse, meaning with all conuenient spéed to go to Oxford, & there to giue [line 60] battell to king Stephan, if he would abide it. Who after his deliuerance from captiuitie, had assembled a great host of men,* and comming to Oxford, where the empresse then laie, suddenlie besieged hir, before she looked for him. And to the end also that he might compell the townsmen to yeeld, or else kéepe them from entring which would come to their succors, he ranged abroad into the countrie with part of his ar∣mie, wasting all afore him by fire & sword. This siege continued almost two moneths, in maner from his deliuerie in the beginning of Nouember, vntill Christmasse immediatlie following: in somuch that through lacke of vittels they within the towne be∣gan to raise mutinies. The empresse therefore doub∣ting the sequele, and séeing hir prouision to decaie, deuised a shift how to escape that present danger, which by force she was vnlikelie to performe.
It was a verie hard winter that yeare, the Thames and other riuers thereabouts were frosen, so that both man and horsse might safelie passe ouer vpon the yce,* the fields were also couered with a thicke and déepe snow. Herevpon taking occasion, she clad hir selfe and all hir companie in white appa∣rell, that a far off they might not be discerned from the snow; and so by negligence of the watch that kept ward but slenderlie, by reason of the excéeding cold weather, she and hir partakers secretlie in the night issued out of the towne, and passing ouer the Thames, came to Walingford, where she was recei∣ued into the castell by those that had the same in kée∣ping to hir vse: of whom Brian the sonne to the erle of Glocester was the chiefe.
¶ Here we may see the subtiltie of the empresse, whereby she obteined frée and safe passage out of hir enimies hands, who otherwise had taken hir in their net. So that it will be true, that hath neuer béene false,* which Aeneas Syluius (and before him many more driuing vpon the like argument) dooth saie in this distichon:
Meaning Mulier, a woman. And therefore looke what they want in magnanimitie, in strength, in courage, the same is supplied by deceit, by circum∣uention, by craft, by fraud, by collusion; sometimes applied to a good intent, but most commonlie dire∣cted to an euill meaning and purpose, as the euents themselues doo manie times declare. But let vs sée what followed vpon this escape of the empresse.
After hir departure from Oxford,* the townesmen yeelded vnto the king, who hauing taken order for the kéeping of them in obedience, marched toward Walingford, minding to besiege the castell there: but being encountred in the way by his enimies, he was driuen backe, and so constreined to turne ano∣ther waie.* Earle Robert hearing that his sister was escaped and gotten to Wallingford, hasted thither with all spéed to visit hir:* & (as some write) brought with him hir sonne the lord Henrie that was come with him from beyond the seas, to sée his mother: so that the empresse now beholding both hir sonne and brother, receiued them with all the ioy and honour that she could or might presentlie make them. Hir son remaining vnder the gouernement of earle Ro∣bert, was then appointed by him to abide within the citie of Bristow, & there continued for the space of 4. yéeres, being committed to one Matthew his schoole∣maister, to be instructed in knowledge, and trained vp in ciuill behauiour.
King Stephan (after the spoiling of sundrie chur∣ches, the robbing and burning of manie townes and villages by the hands of his hired souldiers, who for the more part were Flemings) came at leng•h with his brother the bishop of Winchester stronglie ar∣med vnto Wilton,* where he tooke in hand to fortifie the nunrie in steed of a castell, to resist the incursi∣ons and inrodes of them of Salisburie, who in the behalfe of the empresse had doone manie displeasures vnto his fréends: but earle Robert vnderstanding of his dooings, got a power togither with all speed, and the first daie of Iulie about sunne setting came to Wilton, and suddenlie set the towne on fire.
The king being lodged within the nunrie, and fea∣ring no such matter, after he heard of the sudden as∣semblie of his enimies, was put in such feare, that he tooke himselfe dishonourablie to flight, leauing his men, his plate, and other riches altogither behind Page 56 him.* The earles souldiers egerlie assailed the kings people, killed and spoiled them at their pleasure, rifled the kings treasurie without resistance, and satisfied themselues with greedines. In this broile was Wil∣liam Marcell or Martell taken prisoner by earle Ro∣berts men, & led to the castell of Wallingford, where Brian the earle of Glocesters sonne hauing charge of that castell, kept him in close prison, and vsed him hardlie, who by reason of the opinion which men had conceiued of his valiancie, could not be deliuered, till he had paid 300. marks for his ransome, and deliue∣red [line 10] the castell of Shirborne into the earles hands. Within a few daies after,* Miles earle of Hereford departed this life, whose death was verie gréeuouslie taken of the empresse, for he was one of hir chéefe fréends and councellers. His eldest sonne Roger suc∣céeded him, a gentleman though yoong in yeares, yet valiant and forward in feats of armes. William Mandeuile earle of Essex,* an ancient capteine, & an expert warriour (who had serued the empresse, was taken also at S. Albons) but not without great [line 20] slaughter of the kings souldiers: in so much that a∣mong other, the erle of Arundell mounted on a cou∣ragious palfrie & a verie valiant man was ouer∣throwen in the middest of a water called Haliwell, by a knight named Walkeline de Orcaie, so that the same earle was sore bruised in his bodie,* and al∣most drowned. The king was present himselfe at the taking of the said Mandeuile, whom he spoiled of all his goods,* and constreined by way of redempti∣on of his libertie, to deliuer into the kings hands the [line 30] Tower of London, the castell of Walden, and Ple∣shey. Herevpon the same earle being released was driuen through pouertie to seeke some recouerie of his losses by sundrie spoiles and roberies. First of all therefore he spoiled the abbeie of S. Albons,* and then the abbeie of Ramsey, which he fortified and defen∣ded as a fortresse,* casting the moonks out of doores, and in euerie place where soeuer he came, he robbed the countrie before him, till at length in the midst of his reuenge and malicious dooings, he was shot tho∣rough [line 40] with an arrow amongst his men by a sillie footman, and so ended his life with confusion, recei∣uing worthie punishment for his vngodlie behaui∣our. For he was a man of high stomach & loftie cou∣rage,* but verie obstinate against God, of great in∣dustrie in worldlie businesse, but passing negligent towards his maker, as writers report of him.
Likewise Robert Marmion, who had attempted the semblable robberie & spoile in the abbeie church of Couentrie, was slaine before the same abbeie by [line 50] a like mischance. For going foorth to encounter with the earle of Chester (his mortall enimie,* and being approched as then towards the citie) he fell with his horsse into a ditch, which he caused to be couertlie made for the destruction of his enimies: and before he could be relieued, a souldier of the earles part stept to him, and stroke his head from his shoulders in sight of both armies. Ernulfus the sonne of earle Geffrey Mandeuile that kept the church of Ramsey as a fortresse, after his fathers death, was taken at [line 60] length and banished.
¶ Thus we see how Gods iudgement hunteth and pursueth the wicked, in somuch that they be o∣uertaken in their owne imaginations: according to that of the scripture, The wicked and bloudthirstie man shall not liue halfe his daies. And true it is, that as men liue, so commonlie they die: for, as one saith verie well;
About the same time aduertisement was giuen, that the citie of Lincolne, which the earle of Chester had in keeping, was but slenderlie manned. Where∣vpon the king conceiuing some hope to win the same, hasted forward: and comming thither in the night, laid siege therevnto,* and began to cast a trench to stop them within frō making any salies without.
The earle at the first being somewhat amazed with the sudden approch of the enimie, yet beholding from the walles the maner of them without, he perceiued the rankes to be verie thin: and thereby gessing their number to be but small, suddenlie issued foorth at the gates to encounter with them. The king a∣bode not the giuing of the charge, bicause he was but weake and therefore fled;* neither could the earle follow the chace conuenientlie, for the like cause; but setting vpon those that were about to make the trench, he slue 80. of the workemen,* and then retired into the castell.
This yeare was an heinous act committed by the Iewes at Norwich, where they put a child to death,* in crucifieng him vpon a crosse to the reproch of chri∣stian religion.
In the yeare following; namelie, in the 10.* yeare of king Stephans reigne, Robert earle of Glocester and other capteins tooke in hand to build a castell at Faringdon.* But king Stephan assembling an ar∣mie of Londoners and other,* came thither, and besie∣ged them within. Now whilest earle Robert and o∣thers of the empresses capteins remaining not far off, taried for a greater power to come to their aid, the king with sharpe assaults (but not without losse of his men) wan the fortresse:* whereby his side be∣gan to wax the stronger, and to be more highlie ad∣uanced. After this he came with a mightie armie vn∣to Wallingford,* and there builded a strong castell ouer against the other castell which his aduersaries held against him.
Thither also came the earle of Chester with a great traine of knights and gentlemen vnto the king,* and so at length they were not vnfeignedlie accorded and made freends, but in apperance on the kings behalfe. For shortlie after, the earle was craftilie taken at a parlement holden at Northampton, by the practise of K. Stephan, and could not be deliuered, till he had surrendred the citie and castell of Lincolne, with o∣ther fortresses perteining to the crowne into the kings hands.* About that time did the Welshmen destroie the prouince of Chester, but at last they were distressed. This yeare also the lord Geffrey earle of Aniou sent thrée Noble men into England, accom∣panied with certeine men of warre, vnto earle Ro∣bert, requesting him to send ouer his sonne Henrie into France, that he might sée him, and if need requi∣red, he promised to send him backe againe with all conuenient speed. Earle Robert was contented to satisfie his request: and so with a good power of ar∣med men brought the lord Henrie vnto Warham, where he tooke leaue of him, neuer after to sée him in this world. For when the child was transpor∣ted, earle Robert returned spéedilie to the parties from whence he came, and there falling into an ague,* departed this life about the beginning of Nouem∣ber, and was buried at Bristow. The lord Henrie comming to his father, was ioifully receiued, and re∣mained in those parties for the space of two yeares and foure moneths.
In the meane season,* the vniust procéedings of K. Stephan against the earle of Chester, purchased him new hatred of his old aduersaries, and like supicion of such as were his freends, for it sounded not a little to his dishonor. Euerie man therefore was in doubt of his dealing,* and iudged that it stood them vpon to take héed to themselues. But he (as one that thought he had atchiued some high exploit) in triumphant wise shortlie after entred into Lincolne in his roiall robes, and his crowne on his head, whereas it had Page 57 not béene heard that any king had doone the like ma∣nie yeares before.
¶ It is reported by some writers, that he did this, to root out of mens minds a foolish superstitious con∣ceit, which beléeued that no king with his crowne vp∣on his head might enter that citie, but some mis∣chance should light vpon him: wherevpon he seemed by this meanes to mocke their superstitious imagi∣nation.
About the same time manie of the Nobles of the [line 10] realme (perceiuing the kings authoritie to represse violent wrongs committed by euill dooers to be de∣fectiue) builded sundrie strong castels and fortresses vpon their owne grounds, either to defend them∣selues, or to make force vpon their enimies néere adioining. After the departing of the king from Lincolne, the earle of Chester came thither with an armie, to assaie if he might recouer that citie. But his lieutenant that had the leading of his men, was slaine at the entring of the northgate, and so the erle [line 20] was beaten backe with the losse of manie of his men:* and the citizens hauing got the vpper hand, re∣ioised not a little for the victorie.
But here (to stay a litle with temporall affaires) it shall not be amisse to rehearse the effect of a conten∣tion, which fell about this time betwéene that king and the archbishop of Canturburie. For so it happe∣ned (as Geruasius Dorobernensis writeth) that pope Eugenius came this yeare into France,* about the middest of Lent, and afterward held a synod or coun∣cell at Rhemes: wherevnto Theobald archbishop of [line 30] Canturburie, with others of the English bishops were summoned. The archbishop therevpon asking licence of the king, & not obteining it, found meanes to steale awaie in a small bote, not without danger of his person.
Now therefore the case of this Theobald stood ve∣rie hard: for Henrie bishop of Winchester the kings brother through enuie had so wrought, that if the archbishop passed ouer without licence, he should be confined of the king. Againe, he was sure, if he came [line 40] not to the councell, that he should be suspended by the pope. Herevpon the archbishop meaning rather to offend the king than the pope, got ouer, as it were swimming, rather than sailing; the vessell where∣in he passed ouer being starke naught: for all the ports were kept by the kings seruants, so that he was glad to take such a bote as came next to hand. In consideration whereof he was highlie commen∣ded by the pope. [line 50]
In this councell the prebendaries of Yorke, togi∣ther with Henrie Mordach then abbat of Fount∣ney, presented themselues, exhibiting their com∣plaint against William archbishop of Yorke, for that (as they alledged) he was neither canonicallie chosen, nor lawfullie consecrated, but intruded by the kings authoritie. At length archbishop Willi∣am was conuicted and deposed, Albert bishop of Ho∣stia pronouncing sentence in this wise:
Then, for that pope Eugenius had thus deposed archbishop William, although not with the consent of the more part of the cardinals, the chapiter of the church of Yorke, by his commandement comming togither, part of them chose Hilarie bishop of Chiche∣ster, and the other part elected Henrie Mordach ab∣bat of Fountney. Now pope Eugenius, when both elections were shewed him at Auxerre, confirmed the election of Henrie Mordach, and disanulled the other, and then consecrated the foresaid Henrie with his owne hands. The late nominated archbishop William being thus deposed, returned into Eng∣land, and remained at Winchester with king Hen∣rie till the death of pope Eugenius, following the counsell of the same bishop in all things.
Now when the councell at Rhemes was ended, archbishop Theobald returned into England, and comming to Canturburie, was receiued with great ho•or of the couent and citizens there. But the king remaining then at London, when he heard of it, was sore displeased, and came with great spéed vnto Can∣turburie, where much conference being had betwixt him and the archbishop (although to small purpose) for the bringing of them to an agréement, at length the king compelled the archbishop to depart the realme. Wherevpon, after a few daies respit, he went to Douer, where he tooke ship and sailed into France. But within a while he was called backe by the quéene and William of Ypres, vnto S. Omers, that they might the sooner aduertise him of the kings mind and pleasure. Here he consecrated Gilbert the elect bishop of Hereford, the fift daie of Septem∣ber, Theodoric bishop of Amiens and Nicholas bi∣shop of Cambre assisting him.
After this, when by sending of messengers to and fro, aswell bishops, abbats, and other, both spirituall persons and temporall, there could no agréement be made, he directed his letter to certeine churches here in England, pronouncing by a certeine day, namelie the twelfe day of September, a sentence of inter∣diction to be obserued through the relme. The monks of Canturburie sore offended herewith, before the prefixed day of this sentence to be put in vre, sent two moonkes of their owne house, Nigell and Absolon, vnto the pope: whose errand when the pope had vn∣derstood, he commanded them to returne home, and to obeie their archbishops sentence in all things.
In the meane time the archbishops men and te∣nants were sore oppressed, and his rents and reue∣nues seized to the kings vse, yea euen before the daies of paiment. Which maner of proceeding sore gréeued the archbishop: in so much that departing from S. Omers, he came to Graueling, and there ta∣king the sea, crossed ouer to a towne called Goseford that belonged vnto Hugh Bigot erle of Northfolke: which earle receiued him with great honour, and sent him all necessarie prouision, so long as he remained in his countrie. At the terme appointed, he interdic∣ted all the kings dominions, and would not reuoke the sentence, till Robert bishop of London, Hilarie bishop of Chichester, and William bishop of Nor∣wich, with manie other Noblemen, came to him vn∣to Framelingham in Northfolke, a castell appertei∣ning to the said earle, where at length an attonment was concluded betwixt him and the king: wherevp∣on he was brought home vnto Canturburie with great ioy and honor.
He accused the moonks of Canturburie, for diso∣beieng the interdiction, trusting that the pope would not heare those two moonkes whom they had sent, as he did not indéed. He excommunicated also all those that had receiued the sacraments amongst them, du∣ring the time of the interdiction. Now these moonkes being at their wits end, dispatched with all speed o∣ther two moonkes to the pope, to obteine an absoluti∣on, before the archbishop should vnderstand it: but they were sent backe againe with checks, and com∣manded to obeie their archbishop in all things, as the other were, which had béene there with him be∣fore.
The moonks of Canturburie that were sent to Rome, returning, came from thence to Bullongne,** where they found those that were first sent thither: and so they all foure came to Canturburie. The pope also had sent a priuie commandement to the archbi∣shop, Page 58 that he should duelie punish as well them as the other. Wherevpon the archbishop taking counsell with his fréends, deposed Syluester the prior, and sus∣pended William the secretarie of the house from en∣tring the quéere. It was decreed also, that the residue should cease so long a time from saieng seruice, as they had said it before vnlawfullie, against the arch∣bishops commandement. For it was thought reason, that whilest other sang and were merrie, they should keepe silence, which wilfullie tooke vpon them to sing, [line 10] whilest other held their peace and were still. They began therefore to cease from saieng diuine seruice, and from ringing their bels in the second wéeke of Lent: & so kept silence from the twelfe day of March, vntill the first day of August.
The quéene wife to king Stephan in this meane while lay much at S. Augustines in Canturburie, bicause of hastening forward the building of Feuer∣sham abbeie, which she and hir husband had begonne from the verie foundation. And bicause the moonkes [line 20] 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.
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 re∣uolted from king Stephan to take part with him: whereas before they sat still, and would not attempt [line 30] any exploit against him. But now incouraged with the presence of the lord Henrie, they declared them∣selues freends to him, and enimies to the king. Im∣mediatlie 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: and vpon Whitsun∣day [line 40] with great solemnitie, being not past sixtéene 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 knight∣hood, 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 Twéed, to the ri∣uer [line 50] 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 chéefest lords of the west parts of England lay thus in Carleil, 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 [line 60] Yorke, they departed from both those places without any further exploit for that season, sauing that Eu∣stachius 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.
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. In the win∣ter also after, about the tenth day of December, it began to fréese extreamelie, and so continued till the nineteenth of Februarie:* wherby the riuer of Thames was so frosen, that men might passe ouer it both on foot and horssebacke.
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 calami∣ties, which ciuill warre is accustomed to bring with it, as burning of houses, killing, robbing, and spoi∣ling 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 Monu∣metens•s, otherwise called Galfridus Ar•h•rius, who turned the British historie into Latine, was conse∣crated bishop of S. Assaph, by Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, at Lambeth, William bishop of Norwich and Walter bishop of Rochester assisting him.
Morouer,* this yeare (as some writers haue recor∣ded) Geffrey earle of Aniou, husband to the empresse Maud, departed this life, on the seuenth day of Sep∣tember, 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.
But king Stephan assaulting the faire citie of Worcester with a great power of men of warre,* 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.
In the yeare following Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, and legat to the sée apostolike,* held a generall synod or councell at London in the Lent season,* where king Stephan himselfe with his sonne Eustachius, and other the péeres 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 vn∣iust intrusion brought them in, and now at this coun∣cell 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 ca∣stell, he now endeuoured 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 va∣liantlie, but he procéeded in them oftentimes ve∣rie slowlie: howbeit, now by the policie of the earle of Leicester, those two castels which the king had rai∣sed to besiege the other castell, were shortlie after de∣stroied: and so the besieged were deliuered from dan∣ger. 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.
In the meane while Henrie duke of Normandie maried Elianor duches of Guien or Aquitaine,* late∣lie diuorsed from the French king,* and so in right of hir he became duke of Aquitaine, and earle of Poic∣tou; 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.
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 Page 59 Geffrey brother to duke Henrie, so that the said Henrie was constreined to defer his iournie into England, and applie his power to de•end his coun∣tries and subiects on that side of the sea. For where∣as he was readie at the mouth of the riuer of Barbe to passe ouer into England, not long after midsum∣mer, the French king, with Eustace king Stephans sonne, Robert earle of Perch, Henrie erle of Cham∣paigne, and Geffrey brother to duke Henrie, hauing assembled a mightie armie, came and besieged the [line 10] 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, but the castell of New∣march was deliuered to the French king,* through treason of those that had it in kéeping, 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 en∣camped [line 20] first vpon the fide of the riuer of Andell, and wasted a great part of the countrie of Ueuxin or Ueulquesine,* surnamed Le Normant, which lieth be∣twixt the riuer of Epte and Andell. This countrie belonged somtime 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 Ste∣phan. The duke also burned the castels of Bascher∣uisle, Chitrey, Stirpiney, and the castell of Fort, that belonged to Hugh de Gourney, with diuerse other. [line 30] About the end of August he left his townes in Nor∣mandie sufficientlie furnished with garisons of soul∣diers, and went into Aniou, where he besieged the ca∣stell 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, and either then or shortlie after that duke Henrie was gone ouer into Eng∣land,* he tooke the towne and castell of Uernon. [line 40]
Whilest these things were thus a dooing in France, K. Stephan would haue caused the archbi∣shop of Canturburie & diuerse other bishops, whom for that purpose he had assembled, to crowne, an∣noint, and confirme his sonne Eustace king ouer the realme of England.* But the archbishops and bi∣shops refused so to doo, bicause the pope by his letters sent to the archbishop, had commanded to the contra∣rie; namelie, that he should in no wise crowne the kings son, bicause his father king Stephan had got [line 50] the possession of the land against his oth receiued in behalfe of the empresse. The father and sonne being not a litle offended herewith, committed most of his bishops to ward,* séeking 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 church∣men, 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 [line 60] these men yéeld to his pleasure: wherevpon although they were set at libertie, they were neuerthelesse de∣priued of their temporall possessions, which notwith∣standing afterwards vpon the kings owne motion were restored vnto them.
Howbeit the archbishop of Canturburie persi∣sting still in his opinion,* was forsaken of diuerse of the bishops, who throgh feare durst not stand against their princes pleasure. 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 spéed 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.
This yeare quéene Maud wife to king Stephan departed this life at Hangey castell,* that belonged to earle Alberike de Uéer, 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.
This yeare also was the battell of Monadmore fought in Ireland,* where the flower and chiefest per∣sonages of Mounster and Leynister were slaine. Moreouer one Iohn, a moonke of Sagium,* was made the second bishop of the Ile of Man: the first bishop that was there instituted hight Wimond a moonke of Sauinie, who for his importunate misde∣menour in some respects, had his eies put out, and was displaced.
Iohn Papirio a cardinall,* being sent from the pope as legat into Ireland, ordeined foure archbi∣shops there, one at Dublin, an other at Ardmach, the third at Cassels, and the fourth at Connach. The sée of Dublin he changed into an archbishops sée,* 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 metropo∣litane. As this cardinall passed through England, he receiued an oth of fealtie vnto king Stephan.
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 Wal∣lingford, 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 fréends abroad. The defen∣dants 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 yéeld 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 at∣tempt his fortune here in England for recouerie of that kingdome, and so with three thousand footmen,* & 7. score horssemen, with all spéed possible failed o∣uer 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: wherevpon being now furnished with a great and puissant armie, he mar∣ched 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 thirtéenth daie of Ianuarie, and enforced himselfe to the vttermost of his power to win it.
Now king Stephan hearing of his enimies arri∣uall, with all hast possible got his armie on foot, and comming suddenlie towards the place where his e∣nimies were pitched,* 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. ¶ Thus haue some written, but other au∣thors write,* that Henrie kept himselfe indeed with∣in his campe, and refused to giue battell, but yet re∣moued 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 Malmes∣burie, or rather the maister tower or chéefe dungeon Page 60 of that castell. 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 Iordan, 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 com∣ming to Circiter, lodged there one night, and in the morning purposing to raise the siege, or to fight with [line 10] his enimies (if they would abide battell) marched foorth towards Malmesburie. 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 fa∣ces, [line 20] 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: where∣vpon 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 satis∣fie 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, [line 30] to the reliefe of them that kept the castell of Wal∣lingford,* he hasted thither, and finding no resistance by the way, easily accomplished his enterprise. There were diuerse castels thereabouts in the countrie fur∣nished with garisons of the kings souldiers, but they kept themselues close, and durst not come abroad to stop his passage. 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 [line 40] 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 togi∣ther, 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 [line 50] 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 be∣ing 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 agrée∣ment betwixt them, so that an intermission or cesing from war was granted, and by composition the ca∣stell [line 60] which the king had built, and the duke besieged, was razed to the ground. The king and the duke al∣so came to an enteruiew and communication togi∣ther, a riuer running betwixt them. Some write that they fell to agreement,* king Stephan vndertaking to raze the castell of Cranemers himselfe, and so lai∣eng 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 agréement, 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 •e spoiled and brought into a castell which he had in keeping not far from thence. 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 de∣parted this world of a like disease, and so two of the chiefest aduersaries which duke Henrie had, were rid out of the waie. Eustace was buried at Feuersham in Kent, and earle Simon at Northampton.
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 Willi∣am 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 fréends deceasing about the same time seemed to fur∣ther him: so that his part became dailie stronger, and the kings weaker.
About the same time the castels of Reading and Béertwell were deliuered to duke Henrie, and the la∣die Gundreda countesse of Warwike draue out the souldiers that held it for king Stephan,* and deliue∣red 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 Wil∣liam, after the maner of the ancient dukes of Aqui∣taine.
Thus came things to passe in sundrie places wi•h so good successe as duke Henrie could wish, where∣vpon meaning to follow the steps of prosperous for∣tune, he marched foorth to Stamford,* 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 gi∣uen vp into his hands (which came at last to passe) in the meane time the castell of Stamford was yéelded vp to duke Henrie,* who immediatlie therevpon de∣parted from Stamford eastward, meaning to come to the succour of his fréends besieged at Gipswich or Ipswich (as it is commonlie called) not vnderstan∣ding as yet that they had surrendred the hold: but ha∣uing knowledge by the way what was happened, he returned and marched streight to Notingham, and got the towne easilie;* for they within the castell had set it on fire, therfore he besieged the castell stan∣ding vpon the point of a stéepe craggie rocke, and was furnished with a strong garison of men, and all things necessarie for defense, so that it could not ea∣silie be woone.
When duke Henrie had assaied all the waies how to take it, and saw that he could not preua•le,* he min∣ded 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. King Stephan in the meane time being strong in the field, sought time and place to haue Henrie at s•me aduantage, who in his yoong yeares (as yet not hauing tasted any misfortune) he thought would rashlie attempt some vnaduised en∣terprise. ¶ But whereas the realme of England had béene now manie yeares miserablie turmoiled with ciuill warre (which the verie heathen haue so de∣tested,* that they haue exclaimed against it with a kind of irksomnesse; as:
Now whereas king Stephan was the cause of all the troubles, in hauing vsurped an other mans right∣full inheritance, it pleased God to mooue his hart at [line 20] length to desire peace which he had euer before abhor∣red. The cause that mooued him chéefelie to change his former purpose, was for that his sonne Eustace by speedie death was taken out of this world (as be∣fore you haue heard) which losse séemed great not one∣lie 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 iud∣ged to be borne to much honour. But his wife Con∣stance tooke his death verie sorowfullie,* and the more [line 30] 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 séeing himselfe thus depriued of his onlie sonne, vnto whom he minded to leaue the kingdome which he so earnestlie sought to confirme and assure vnto him by warlike endeuor, and that a∣gaine the French kings aid would not be so readie as heretofore it had béene (wherevpon he much stai∣ed, [line 40] 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,* and bequeashed it wholie to peace. Which alte∣ration being perceiued, those Nobles that were glad to sée the state of their countrie quieted, did their best to further it; & chéeflie Theobald archbishop of Canturburie trauelled earnestlie to bring the princes to some agréement, now talking with the king, now sending to the duke, and vsing all means [line 50] possible to set them at vnitie.* The bishop of Win∣chester also, who had caused all the trouble, vpon con∣sideration 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 a∣about the latter end of Nouember, that they with their consents also might confirme whatsoeuer the king and the duke should conclude vpon. [line 60]
*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 pa∣lace, they were made freends, the king admitting the duke for his sonne, and the duke the king for his fa∣ther, 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.
*1 That king Stephan, during his naturall life, should remaine king of England, and Henrie the empresses sonne should enioy the dukedome of Nor∣mandie, and be proclaimed heire apparant to suc∣céed 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 inhe∣ritance belonging to the crowne, as he had giuen a∣way, or were otherwise vsurped by any maner of person, and that all those possessions which by any in∣trusion had béene violentlie taken from the right owners, since the daies of king Henrie, should be re∣stored to them that were rightlie possessed in the same by the daies of the said king.
4 That all those castels, which contrarie to all rea∣son and good order had béene 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 store pa∣stures 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 vn∣iust exactions.
7 That he should place shirifes where they had béene accustomed to beare rule, with instructions gi∣uen them to deale vprightlie in causes, so as offen∣ders might not escape through bribes, or any other respect of freendship; but that euerie man might re∣ceiue 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 sléepe and take their rest without any danger.
9 That the husbandman might be set frée from all trouble and vexation, by meanes wherof he might follow his tilth, and plie his culture.
10 That merchant men and occupiers might en∣ioy their trades and occupations to their aduance∣ment.
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 Norwich, and diuerse other lands assigned him for the maintenance of his estate, and that by the consent and agréement of duke Henrie his adopted brother.
These things being thus concluded at Winche∣ster, 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 be∣ing 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 Eng∣land. 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 méet againe at Oxenford, there to perfect euerie article of their a∣gréement, 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, Page 62 as I haue copied it out, and translated it into Eng∣lish 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 Fléetwood esquire, now recorder of London, and sargeant at law.
The charter of king Stephan, of the pacification of the troubles betwixt him and [line 10] 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 in∣heritance to be my successour, and heire of [line 20] 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 ho∣nour: and I on the other side shall maine∣teine [line 30] 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.
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 [line 40] same be in England, Normandie, or else∣where, and whatsoeuer he receiued with the daughter of earle Warren, either in England or Normandie,* & likewise what∣soeuer 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, bo∣roughs and rents, which the duke there∣of [line 50] now hath in his demaine, and namelie of those that belong to the honour of the earle Warren, and namelie of the castels of Bellencumber and Mortimer,* so that Reginald de Warren shall haue the kee∣ping 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, [line 60] then other liege men of the said erle War∣ren, whome it shall please the duke to ap∣point, shall by 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, which belong vnto the earle∣dome 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 gi∣uen vnto my sonne William, he hath like∣wise granted the same to him; 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; 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, the duke hath giuen and granted vnto my said sonne whatsoeuer Richer de Aquila hath of the honour of Peuensey.* And moreouer the ca∣stell and towne of Peuensey, and the ser∣uice of Faremouth, beside the castell and towne of Douer, and whatsoeuer apper∣teineth to the honour of Douer.
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 be∣long to the duke, which were neuer my leeges, for the honour which I haue doone to their maister, they haue now doone ho∣mage and sworne fealtie to me, the coue∣nants 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 doo∣ing him any seruice, till he reforme his mis∣dooings. And my sonne also is to constreine him thereto, according to the aduice of ho∣lie 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 commande∣ment haue doone homage, and made assu∣rance to the duke, sauing the fealtie which they owe to me during my life time, and so long as I shall hold the kingdome. They which keep the castle of Wallingford haue doone their homage to me,* and haue giuen to me pledges for the obseruing 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 in∣to any losse or impeachment, wherby to be debarred from the kingdome.* The tower of London, and the fortresse of Windsor, by the counsell and aduice of holie church Page 63 are deliuered vnto the lord Richard de Lu∣cie,* safelie to be kept, which Richard hath taken an oth, and hath deliuered his sonne in pledge to remaine in the hands and cu∣stodie 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, Roger de Bussey keepeth the castell of Ox∣ford,* and Iordaine de Bussey the castell of [line 10] Lincolne, which Roger & Iordaine haue sworne, and thereof haue deliuered pled∣ges into the hands of the archbishop, that if I shall chance to leaue this life, they shal render the same castels to the duke with∣out impeachment.* The bishop of Winche∣ster hath also giuen his faith in the hands of the archbishop of Canturburie, that if I chance to depart this life, he shall render [line 20] vp vnto the duke the castels of Winche∣ster, and the fortresse of Hampton.
And if any of them, vnto whom the cu∣stodie of these fortresses shall be commit∣ted, fortune to die, or otherwise to depart from his charge, an other shall be appoin∣ted to the keeping of the same fortresse, be∣fore he shall depart foorth thereof, by the counsell and aduice of holie church. And if any of those persons that haue any castels [line 30] or fortresses belonging to me in their cu∣stodie shall be found disobedient and rebell, I and the duke shall constreine him to sa∣tisfie our will & pleasure, not leauing him in rest till he be so constreined. The arch∣bishops and bishops of the realme of Eng∣land, and the abbats also, haue by my com∣mandement sworne fealtie vnto the duke; and the bishops and abbats that hereaf∣ter [line 40] shall be made and aduanced here with∣in the realme of England shall likewise sweare fealtie to him. The archbishops al∣so and bishops on either part, haue vnder∣taken, that if either of vs shall go from the foresaid couenants, they shall so long cha∣stise the partie offending with the ecclesi∣asticall censures, till he reforme his fault, and returne to fulfill and obserue the said [line 50] couenants. The mother also of the duke, and his wife, and his brethren, & subiects whom he may procure, shall likewise as∣sure the premisses.
In matters belonging to the state of the realme, I shall worke by the dukes ad∣uice. And through all the realme of Eng∣land, as well in that part which belongeth to the duke, as in that which belongeth to [line 60] me, I shall see that roiall iustice be execu∣ted. These beeing witnesses, Theobald archbishop of Canturburie, Hen. of Win∣chester, Robert of Excester, Rob. of Bath, Goceline of Salisburie, Robert of Lin∣colne, Hilarie of Cicester, William of Norwich, Richard of London, Nigell of Elie, Gilbert of Hereford, Iohn of Wor∣cester, Walter of Chester, Walter of Ro∣chester, Geffrey of S. Asaph, Bishops: Ro∣bert prior of Bermondsey, Othon knight of the temple, William earle of Cicester, Robert earle of Leicester, William earle of Glocester, Renold of Cornewall, Bald∣win 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, Iohn de Port, Richard de Came∣uille, Henrie de Essex. Yeuen at West∣minster.
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 at Oxenford, where all the earls and barons of the land being assembled, sware feal∣tie vnto duke Henrie, their allegiance due vnto king Stephan, as to their souereigne lord and su∣preme gouernour so long as he liued, alwaies reser∣ued. The forme of the peace was now also ingrossed and registred 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. Hi∣larie in Ianuarie commonlie called the twentith daie. Thus was Henrie the sonne of the empresse made the adopted sonne of king Stephan, and there∣vpon the said Henrie saluted him as king, and na∣med 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 maruelous•ie for a time flourish, concord being mainteined on ech hand. ¶ There be which affirme, that an other cause bound king Stephan to agrée to this attonement chiefelie, namelie for that the em∣presse (as they saie) was rather king Stephans par∣amour than his enimie:* and therefore (when she saw the matter growne to this point, that they were rea∣die 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 vnto him on this wise: What a mischieuous and vn∣naturall thing go ye about?*
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 dire∣ction, in sending to his aduersaries for auoiding bat∣tell at that present, that immediatlie the armies on both sides wrapped vp their ensignes, and euery man was commanded to kéepe the peace, that a commu∣nication might be had about the conclusion of some pacification, which afterwards ensued in maner a∣boue 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,* 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 with hir; yet is it like that both of them would doo for best to kéepe it secret, that no such reproch might be imputed either to Henrie, who was taken to be legitimate; or to his mother, whose honour ther∣by Page 64 should not a little be stained.
*But now to the purpose. Shortlie after that the king and duke Henrie had béene togither at Oxen∣ford, where they ended all things touching the peace & concord betwixt them concluded, they met againe at Dunstable, where some cloud of displeasure see∣med to darken the bright sunshine of the late begun loue and amitie betwixt those two mightie princes the king and the duke.* For where it was accorded (among other articles) that all the castels which had béene built since the daies of the late king Henrie [line 10] for euill intents and purposes, should be razed and throwne downe: contrarie therevnto (notwithstan∣ding 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 some∣what troubled him: but yet bicause he would not giue occasion of any new trouble, nor offend the [line 20] king, to whom (as to his reputed father) he would seeme to yeeld all honour and due reuerence, he pas∣sed it ouer.
*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 béene mur∣thered, [line 30] through treason of the Flemings that enui∣ed both the dukes person,* and also that peace which he had concluded with the king. But sée the hap. As this feat should haue béene wrought on Berhamdowne, William earle of Northfolke king Stephan his sonne, who was one of the chéefe conspirators, fell be∣side his horsse, and brake his leg, so that euerie man by that sudden chance was in a maze, & came woon∣dering about him. ¶ This no doubt came to passe by the prouidence of God, though such accidents are [line 40] commonlie imputed to casualtie or chance medlie. For it is the worke of God either to preuent, or to in∣tercept, or to recompense the vnnaturall conspira∣cies of traitors and rebels with some notable plague: according to that of the poet;
Duke Henrie herewith getting knowledge of the treason intended against him, or at the least sus∣pecting somewhat, got him backe againe to Cantur∣burie, and so auoided the danger. After this, taking his way to 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 sum∣mer season of this yeare, in going about the most [line 60] part of the realme, shewing all the courtesie he could deuise to the people in all places where he came; ex∣cept 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, besie∣ged 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, his puis∣sance 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 earle∣dome of Poictou; and further by his mother, he en∣ioied the duchie of Normandie, and looked to succéed in the kingdome of England: and in right of his fa∣ther 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 re∣belled against him.
About the same time a peace was concluded be∣twixt the French king, and this duke Henrie:* the king restoring vnto the duke the townes of New∣march 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.* 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. Then also was Thomas Becket made archdeacon of Can∣turburie 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.
King Stephan also after the end of the parlement went to Douer,* there to meet the earle of Flan∣ders, 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 gréeuouslie tor∣mented with a paine in his bellie, and with an old dis∣ease also,* wherewith (as should appeare) he had beene often troubled, namelie, the emrods, that finallie he died in the abbey on the fiue and twentith day of Oc∣tober, in the nine and fortith yeare of his age, and af∣ter he had reigned eighteene yeares, ten moneths, and od daies, in the yeare after the birth of our Saui∣our 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. [year 1154] ¶ Thus farre of the acts and deeds of Stephan; now a little of other breefe remembrances, and first tou∣ching the profopographie or description of his per∣son.
He was comelie of stature, of a verie good com∣plexion and disposition, of great strength,* in quali∣ties 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. Indéed he put diuers bishops to greeuous fines, and that not without the iust iudgement of Almightie God, that they might so be punished duelie for their periurie committed in helping him to the crowne. Uices 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.
In his daies, the abbeies of Tiltey, Fontneis,* Rieualle, Coggeshall in Essex, Newbourgh and Béeland, Meriuale in Warwikeshire, Garedon in Leicestershire, Kirkstéed in Yorkeshire, with diuerse other in other parts of the realme, were founded, in so much that more abbeis were erected in his daies, than had béene within the space of an hundred yeares Page 65 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 vio∣lence of homelings; or as fortifications to them∣selues when they ment or intended any inrode or breaking vpon their neighbours.
Diuerse learned men namelie historiographers liued in these daies, as William Malmesburie, Hen∣rie Huntington, Simon Dunelmensis, Galfridus Ar∣turius, 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 foorth to the world hath sufficientlie ap∣peared.