MarginaliaWilliam conqueror.WYlliam duke of Normādy surnamed cōquerour base sonne of duke Robert, the vi. duke of Normādie, and nephew vnto kyng Edward:
The Foxe Project was not able to complete the commentary on this section of text by the date by which this online edition was compiled (23 September 2008). This commentary will become available in due course from the 'Late Additions and Corrections' page of the edition.
Sexagenus erat ... comæta.
[1563 only adds: Dux Normanorum transit mare, vicit Heraldum.]
John Wade, University of Sheffield
It was the year 1066 when the English perished, a comet star showing. The duke of the Normans crossed the sea and conquered Harold.
This forms the introduction to the Battle Abbey Roll, a Latin inscription which was originally displayed in the abbey, but known to us only from sixteenth century versions of it published by Leland, Holinshed and Duchesne (cf. Encyclopaedia Britannica).
MarginaliaTributeWhiche kyng thus beyng crowned, dyd reigne ouer þe realme of Englād þe space of xxi. yeares, & one moneth with great seueritie & cruelnes, toward the Englishmē: burdening thē with greate tribute and exactions, which was to pay of euery hide of ground, cōteyning xx. acres, vi. s.
Erle Marcarus, & erle Edwyn, Edgar, Atheling, with hys mother, and. ii. sisters, Margaret, & Christiā, fled into Scotland.By meane wherof certayne parties of the land rebelled, & specially the citie of Excester. But at last William ouercame them, and wanne the citie and punished them greuously. But for that and for other sterne dedes of William, diuers of the Lordes departed to Scotlād: wherfore he kept the other Lordes that taryed the straiter, & exalted the Normandes, geuyng to them the chief possessiōs of the land. And for somuch as he obteyned the kyngdome by force and dent of sword, he chaunged the whole state of the gouernaunce of this cōmon weale: MarginaliaNewe king new lawes.& ordeyned new lawes at his owne pleasure, profitable to him selfe, but greuous and hurtfull to the people: MarginaliaKing William forsworne in abolishing king Edwards lawes.abolishyng the lawes of king Edward, wherunto notwithstādyng he was sworne before, to obserue and mainteyne. For the which, great commotions & rebellions remayned long after emong the people, as historyes recorde: to haue the sayd lawes of kyng Edward reuiued againe.
Ouer and besides this, he builded iiij. strong castels, twaine at Yorke, one at Nottingham, an other at Lincolne, which garrisons he furnished with Normandes.
About the third yeare of his reigne, Harold, and Canutus, sōnes of Suanus kyng of Dēmarke entred into the North countrey. The Normands within Yorke fearing that the Englishmen would ayde the Danes, fiered the subuerbes of the towne. MarginaliaYorke with the minster of S. Peter brent.Wherof þe flame was so byg and the wynd so strong, that it tooke into the citie, and brent a great part therof, with the mynster of S. Peter. Where no doubt many worthy workes & monumentes of bookes were consumed. In the tyme wherof þe Danes by fauor of somme of the citezens entred the citie, and slew more then iij. M. of the Normādes. But not long af-ter kyng William chased them out, and droue them to their shyppes, and tooke such displeasure with the inhabitaunce of that countrey: MarginaliaThe north countrey wasted. Horrible famine in the north partsthat he destroyed the land from Yorke to Durham, so that ix. yeares after, the prouince lay waste & vnmanured, onely excepte S. Ihons land of Beuerlay, & the people therof: so straytly beīg kept in penury by the warre of the kyng, that (as our Englysh story sayth) they eate rattes, cattes, and dogges, and other vermyne.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaSlaughter of Northūberlād mē.Also in the iiij. yeare of this kyng, Malcolyn kyng of Scottes, entred into Northumberlād and destroyed the countrey, and slew there much of the people both of mē wemen and children, after a lamentable sorte, and toke some prisoners. MarginaliaScottes subdued to K. William.But within ij. yeares after, kyng William made such warre vpon the Scottes, that he forced Malcolyn their kyng to doe hym homage.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaThe cōtinuall afflictiō & disquietnes of thys realme of England. Fyue conquestes which haue been in this realme. Romanes, Scottes, Pictes, Saxons, Danes, Normands.And thus much concernyng the outward calamities of this realme vnder this foreine conquerour. Which is now the fift time that the said land with the inhabitance therof hath been scourged by the hande of God. Fyrst by the Romanes in the tyme of Iulius Cesar. Then by the Scottes and pictes (as hath ben shewed) afterward by the Saxons. Agayn, the Saxons or Englishmen did not enioye the possessiō of Britanie with long quiete, but were brought in as much subiection thē selues vnder the Danes, as they had brought the Britans before (and þt much more) in so much þt through al Englād, if an English man had met a Dane vpon a bridge, he might not styrre one foote, before the Lord Dane (otherwise Lurdane) were past. And thē if the English mā had not geuē low reuerēce to the Dane, at his cōming by, he was sure to be sharpely punished (with more) as aboue hath bene declared pag. 209. And this subiection almost continued from the reigne of kyng Ethelwolfus. cc. xxx. yeares, till the reigne of kyng Edward. And yet the indignation of God thus ceased not: but styrred vp the Normandes agaynst them, who conquered & altered the whole realme after their owne purpose, in so much that besides the innouatiō of the lawes, coignes, & possessions: there was in no churche of Englād almost any English bishop, but only Normands & foreners placed through all their dioces. MarginaliaEx Henr. Huntyngt. Lib. 6.To such misery was this land then brought vnto, þt not onely of all the English nobilitie, not one house was standyng: but also it was thought reprochfull to be called an English man. This punishment of God agaynst the English natiō, writers do assigne diuersly to diuers causes (as partely before is touched) of whō some assigne this to be the cause, as foloweth in the wordes of the story: MarginaliaEx histor. Iornalens.In primitiua Angliæ ecclesia religio clarissime splēduit, ita vt Reges & reginæ, Duces et episcopi, vel monachatum, vel exilium pro Dei amore appeterent: processu vero temporis adeo omnis virtus in eis emarcuit, vt gentem nullam proditione & nequitia sibi parē esse permitterent. &c. The meanyng wherof is, that where as kynges and quenes, dukes, and prelates in the primitiue time of the English churche, were redy for religion, to forsake either libertie or countrey, and gyue them selues to a solitary lyfe: MarginaliaEngland afflicted & scourged for iniquitie.in proces of tyme they grew to such dissolutenes, that they left no other realme lyke vnto thē in iniquitie. &c. Again some writyng of the visiō of kyng Edward a litle before the inuasiō of the Normandes: testifie, how the kyng reportyng of his own vision, MarginaliaThe vision of king Edward.should heare, that for þe great enormitie and misbehauiour of the head dukes, bishops, and abbats of the realme: the kyngdome should be geuē to the hand of their enemies, after the decease of him, for the space of a. C. yeares, and one day. Which spaces was also sene by William cōquerour: to be a. C. yeares, and l: & that his progenie so long should cōtinue. MarginaliaEnglish mē scourged for their vniust oppression of the Britans.Again some writers entreatyng of this so great wrath of God vpon the English people, declare þe cause therof, as foloweth: Nam sicut Angl. Britones, quos Deus disterminare proposuerat (peccatis suis exigentibus) humiliauerant, & a terra[Back to Top]