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K. of Eng.
Kent. Being uneasy, I say, under this thought, he was WILwilling to purchase his peace, and conveyed away several of LIAM I. the manors of his monastery to the Normans. But when he found nothing would do, and that the king was implacable, sin quits the he was resolved to provide for himself. And thus, taking and why. the money and jewels of the monastery away with him, set Thorn. sail for Denmark, from whence he never returned.
Chronic. p. 1787.
I mention this passage concerning Egelsin, because it is a farther confirmation of the noble stand made by this abbot and archbishop Stigand, against the Normans, in Kent.
bears hard upon the li
To return to king William, who was resolved to push his success to the utmost, and make good the title of Conqueror in all parts of his administration. Eadmer and others in- The king form us, that he displaced the English from all posts of government, both in Church and state: that the bishopricks berties of the and abbacies, the earldoms and baronies, were distributed among his Normans. Eadmer proceeds to some particulars of his oppression of the Church, and his encroachment upon the ecclesiastical authority. He tells us, that he would not suffer any of his subjects to own the pope without his leave, or receive any letters from his holiness, unless first shewn to himself. About this time there were great contests at Rome concerning St. Peter's successor, double elections made, and one pope set up against another. Now, it seems king Wil- Eadmer liam made it part of his prerogative to determine the case 1. 1. p. 6. for his subjects, and prescribe to them which of the pretenders to St. Peter's chair they were to own. This seems to be the true meaning of the passage; and not that the English were barred from paying any submission to the see of Rome, without leave from the king. Eadmer goes on, and acquaints us, that he would not permit the archbishop of Canterbury to pass any synodical constitutions, without taking his directions and measures from the court; neither would he allow any bishops to excommunicate or inflict any ecclesiastical censure upon his barons or officers of state, for incest, adultery, or any other scandalous crime, without a warrant from himself. This last, especially, looks like wresting the keys out of the hands of those our Saviour intrusted them with, seizing the apostolical charter, and dissolving the Church into the state. Such a strain of the regale, if justifiable, would make the Christian religion precarious, and lie
STIGAND, Abp. Cant.
King William was no less a conqueror in the state than in A great al- the Church; as appears by his introducing new customs, and the English altering the face of the constitution. To give some few incustoms and stances: Ingulphus, who lived at the Conqueror's court, ob
Ingulph. Hist. p. 70.
at the mercy of the civil magistrate. To qualify the matter, it is said, the king required his being pre-acquainted with these censures before they passed, that by this information he might avoid the company of any excommunicated
serves an alteration in the forms of deeds and legal conveyances; that the Saxon-English used to have their evidences attested with the subscription of witnesses, every witness setting the figure of a golden cross, or some other religious emblem, to his name. The Normans disliked this manner, and sealed their charters, as they called them, with wax, taking in three or four witnesses at the signing. In the times prior to the Conquest, as this historian goes on, estates were frequently passed away only by parole, without anything in writing. Instead of this, the granter used to deliver a sword, a head-piece, a horn, or a cup, to the person to whom the title was transferred; and a great many tenements were conveyed with the delivery of a pair of spurs, a horsecomb, a bow, or an arrow. This custom, it seems, held through some part of the Conqueror's reign, but was afterwards laid aside and at the latter end of this prince's reign, the Normans had such an aversion to the natives, that they would not suffer them in any post of profit or honour: that the name of an Englishman was enough to make him miscarry in any competition: that foreigners, of what country soever, though never so meanly qualified, were preferred before them. In short, they despised the English to that degree that they scorned the use of their language: for the purpose, the pleadings were made and the laws drawn up in French; and boys at school learned French instead of English. If the reader desires to see more upon this argument, he may consult the learned Dr. Brady's Preface to the Norman History; in which he overthrows the opinion of Sir Edward Coke, and some others of the long robe, and evidently proves, from the alteration of the forms of law, the tenures, the names of the great proprietors in Doom's-Day Book, &c. that king William made himself master of the old
English liberties, and conquered both the country and
WILLIAM I. K. of Eng.
Before this great revolution, the English were strangely The dissoludegenerated from the probity of their ancestors: when they tion of manmade their descent from Germany, and wrested the island the English from the Britons, they were a very rugged and unpolished at the Norpeople. But Christianity brought them off from the barba- quest. rity of their customs, and made them much quieter neighbours than formerly. The excess of their inclinations for fighting abated, and religion seemed to be their governing passion. Thus we have seen several of their princes quit the world and retire to a cloister; and many of those that wore their purple, and continued to govern, lived very regularly, and spent a great part of their exchequer upon the Church and the poor. And piety being thus encouraged at court, the great men followed the example: people generally lived up to their belief, and the kingdom was remarkable for morals and good management. But now, as Malmsbury complains, vice and idleness had broke in upon the country, Malmsb. and learning and religion was little minded. There was lielm. prim. very little scholarship even among the clergy: if they could fol. 57. read the Church-service they thought themselves qualified for their function, and seldom carried their education much higher: if any of this order understood grammar, he was looked upon as a prodigy of knowledge. From this character of the slender abilities of the clergy, it seems probable the Church-service was in English: for had it been in Latin, how should the generality of the clergy have been qualified to officiate, since the understanding a little grammar was counted so extraordinary an attainment?
1. 3. de Wil
Malmsbury goes on to the monks, complains of their declining the austerities of their rule, and that they were too expensive in their eating and habit. As to the rich laity, he describes them quite abandoned to luxury and debauching: they thought it too much to submit to the old customs of devotion, and go to church at morning prayer: instead of this, they procured some over-officious priest to say matins in their bedchamber before they were up. As for the poor, they were generally made a prey to the wealthy, who oftentimes either plundered their little effects, or sold them for slaves beyond sea: in short, justice, temperance, and reli
gion, were qualities not very common at this time of day. Abp. Cant. Though, after all, the historian does not apply this satire to the whole nation. He owns there were many, both of the clergy and laity, very conscientious and regular. But the infection having seized the majority, drew down the judgments of heaven, and involved them all in a common
Malmsb. ib. calamity.
King William, the Lent after his coronation, set sail into Normandy, and carried Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, Stigand into Agelnoth, abbot of Glassenbury, Edgar Atheling, and seNormandy veral others of the principal English nobility, along with him. He was apprehensive that these great men, had they been left behind, might have caused some disturbance in his absence. As for Stigand, he treated him with great ceremony and regard; used to rise to him when he came into the room, and ordered the clergy and religious in Normandy to A. D. 1067. compliment this prelate upon his journey with a procession. Thus the archbishop had his character acknowledged, and was very honourably treated. However, the king took care not to part with him.
The next year Harold and Canutus, sons of Swane, king of Denmark, embarked with two hundred sail, landed in the north of England, and were joined by Edgar Atheling, and Waltheof, earl of Northumberland. Aldred, archbishop of York, was so afflicted with the prospect of this invasion, that he died soon after. About a week after the archbishop's death, which happened in September, the Normans, who had a garrison in York, expecting a siege from the Danes, and being apprehensive the suburbs might be serviceable to the enemy, set fire to them. This fire proving unmanageable, drove into the city, and laid it in ashes. And here the dral at York cathedral was burnt, and all their books and charters deburnt. stroyed. This year likewise Bede's monastery at WearChron. p. mouth was burnt in the ravage of the war. And now Egelwin, Stubs Actus bishop of Durham, and the rest of the nobility of that Pontif. Ebo- country, being afraid of king William's severity, took up St. Cuthbert's corpse, and retired to a little island, called Eland: and here Brompton tells us, that the sea opened them a passage, and that they were protected by a miracle, someBrompton what resembling that wrought by Moses at the Red Sea. During this retreat of the bishop, which continued about
rac. p. 1708.
Florent. Wigorn. p. 635.
A. D. 1068.
three months, the cathedral at Durham was quite deserted, WIL and no clergyman left to officiate.
LIAM I. K. of Eng.
This year Marianus Scotus, who had been nine years a Marianus recluse at Fulda in Germany, was ordered by the archbishop Scotus; his of Mentz to remove from that monastery to another near Brompton Mentz. This Marianus Scotus being a person of consider- p. 966. able learning, I shall give a farther account of him. He was born in Scotland, in the year 1028; but, as himself reports, he was Scotus Hiberniensis, or a Scot of Irish extraction. Marian. About thirty years of age, finding his country embroiled in Anno 1028. war, he retired into Germany: at first he settled at St. Martin's monastery in Cologne, from whence he removed to Fulda, and from thence to Mentz. Marianus had no unlikely prospect of being well received in Germany, even upon the score of his country: for William, brother to Achaius, king of Scots, who served in the field under Charles the Great, built fifteen monasteries in Germany, and took care in the settlement that they should be under the government of Scotch abbots. Marianus was very remarkable for his piety and learning, and divided his whole time in a manner between books and devotion. He wrote a valuable history called his Chronicon, which begins with the world, and goes on to the year 1082: and to conclude with him, he died in the year of our Lord 1086.
by the Con
To return to king William, who proceeded to make him- teries rifled self still more a Conqueror: to this purpose he ordered all queror. the religious houses to be searched, and seized all the money, without making any distinction between what was lodged there by strangers, and that which belonged to the respective houses. Upon the Norman invasion, the English, presuming upon the privilege of monasteries, had carried most Hoveden of their best effects thither. And here the covetousness of Annal. fol. this prince carried him sometimes into sacrilege: for it seems Matth. Paris. Histor. the communion plate was plundered in several places. Major. p. 7. About this time he changed the tenures of the bishopricks, A. D. 1070. and great abbeys which held baronies: these lands, which The tenures of the Church were formerly disencumbered from all burthens and altered. payments due to the crown, he put under the tenure of knight'sservice, and had them all entered in a roll, or book of entries, for that purpose. In this court-roll, the number of soldiers they were to find him and his successors, upon any