The Northern Way

Part 5: A.D. 1052 - 1069

Page 2

((A.D. 1052. And went so to the Isle of Wight, and there took all the ships which could be of any service, and hostages, and betook himself so eastward. And Harold had landed with nine ships at Porlock, and slew there much people, and took cattle, and men, and property, and went his way eastward to his father, and they both went to Romney, to Hythe, to Folkstone, to Dover, to Sandwich, and ever they took all the ships which they found, which could be of any service, and hostages, all as they proceeded; and went then to London.))

A.D. 1053. About this time was the great wind, on the mass-night of St. Thomas; which did much harm everywhere. And all the midwinter also was much wind. It was this year resolved to slay Rees, the Welsh king's brother, because he did harm; and they brought his head to Gloucester on the eve of Twelfth-day. In this same year, before Allhallowmas, died Wulfsy, Bishop of Lichfield; and Godwin, Abbot of Winchcomb; and Aylward, Abbot of Glastonbury; all within one month. And Leofwine, Abbot of Coventry, took to the bishopric at Lichfield; Bishop Aldred to the abbacy at Winchcomb; and Aylnoth took to the abbacy at Glastonbury. The same year died Elfric, brother of Odda, at Deerhurst; and his body resteth at Pershore. In this year was the king at Winchester, at Easter; and Earl Godwin with him, and Earl Harold his son, and Tosty. On the day after Easter sat he with the king at table; when he suddenly sunk beneath against the foot-rail, deprived of speech and of all his strength. He was brought into the king's chamber; and they supposed that it would pass over: but it was not so. He continued thus speechless and helpless till the Thursday; when he resigned his life, on the seventeenth before the calends of May; and he was buried at Winchester in the old minster. Earl Harold, his son, took to the earldom that his father had before, and to all that his father possessed; whilst Earl Elgar took to the earldom that Harold had before. The Welshmen this year slew a great many of the warders of the English people at Westbury. This year there was no archbishop in this land: but Bishop Stigand held the see of Canterbury at Christ church, and Kinsey that of York. Leofwine and Wulfwy went over sea, and had themselves consecrated bishops there. Wulfwy took to the bishopric which Ulf had whilst he was living and in exile.

((A.D. 1053. This year was the great wind on Thomas's-mass- night, and also the whole midwinter there was much wind; and it was decreed that Rees, the Welsh king's brother, should be slain, because he had done harm; and his head was brought to Gloucester on Twelfth-day eve. And the same year, before All Hallows-mass, died Wulfsy, Bishop of Lichfield, and Godwin, Abbot of Winchcomb, and Egelward, Abbot of Clastonbury, all within one month, and Leofwine succeeded to the Bishopric of Lichfield, and Bishop Aidred [Of Worcester] took the abbacy at Winchcomb, and Egelnoth succeeded to the abbacy at Glastonbury. And the same year died Elfric, Odda's brother at Deorhurst; and his body resteth at Pershore. And the same year died Godwin the earl; and he fell ill as he sat with the king at Winchester. And Harold his son succeeded to the earldom which his father before held; and Elgar, the earl, succeeded to the earldom which Harold before held.))

((A.D. 1053. In this year died Godwin, the earl, on the seventeenth before the kalends of May, and he is buried at Winchester, in the Old-minster; and Harold, the earl, his son, succeeded to the earldom, and to all that which his father had held: and Elgar, the earl, succeeded to the earldom which Harold before held.))

A.D. 1054. This year died Leo the holy pope, at Rome: and Victor was chosen pope in his stead. And in this year was so great loss of cattle as was not remembered for many winters before. This year went Earl Siward with a large army against Scotland, consisting both of marines and landforces; and engaging with the Scots, he put to flight the King Macbeth; slew all the best in the land; and led thence much spoil, such as no man before obtained. Many fell also on his side, both Danish and English; even his own son, Osborn, and his sister's son, Sihward: and many of his house-carls, and also of the king's, were there slain that day, which was that of the Seven Sleepers. This same year went Bishop Aldred south over sea into Saxony, to Cologne, on the king's errand; where he was entertained with great respect by the emperor, abode there well-nigh a year, and received presents not only from the court, but from the Bishop of Cologne and the emperor. He commissioned Bishop Leofwine to consecrate the minster at Evesham; and it was consecrated in the same year, on the sixth before the ides of October. This year also died Osgod Clapa suddenly in his bed, as he lay at rest.

((A.D. 1054. This year went Siward the earl with a great army into Scotland, both with a ship-force and with a landforce, and fought against the Scots, and put to flight King Macbeth, and slew all who were the chief men in the land, and led thence much booty, such as no man before had obtained. But his son Osborn, and his sister's son Siward, and some of his house-carls, and also of the king's, were there slain, on the day of the Seven Sleepers. The same year went Bishop Aldred to Cologne, over sea, on the king's errand; and he was there received with much worship by the emperor [Henry III], and there he dwelt well nigh a year; and either gave him entertainment, both the Bishop of Cologne and the emperor. And he gave leave to Bishop Leofwine [Of Lichfield] to consecrate the minster at Evesham on the sixth before the ides of October. In this year died Osgod suddenly in his bed. And this year died St. Leo the pope; and Victor was chosen pope in his stead.))

A.D. 1055. This year died Earl Siward at York; and his body lies within the minster at Galmanho, (76) which he had himself ordered to be built and consecrated, in the name of God and St. O1ave, to the honour of God and to all his saints. Archbishop Kinsey fetched his pall from Pope Victor. Then, within a little time after, a general council was summoned in London, seven nights before mid-Lent; at which Earl Elgar, son of Earl Leofric, was outlawed almost without any guilt; because it was said against him that he was the betrayer of the king and of all the people of the land. And he was arraigned thereof before all that were there assembled, though the crime laid to his charge was unintentional. The king, however, gave the earldom, which Earl Siward formerly had, to Tosty, son of Earl Godwin. Whereupon Earl Elgar sought Griffin's territory in North-Wales; whence he went to Ireland, and there gave him a fleet of eighteen ships, besides his own; and then returned to Wales to King Griffin with the armament, who received him on terms of amity. And they gathered a great force with the Irishmen and the Welsh: and Earl Ralph collected a great army against them at the town of Hereford; where they met; but ere there was a spear thrown the English people fled, because they were on horses. The enemy then made a great slaughter there -- about four hundred or five hundred men; they on the other side none. They went then to the town, and burned it utterly; and the large minster (77) also which the worthy Bishop Athelstan had caused to be built, that they plundered and bereft of relic and of reef, and of all things whatever; and the people they slew, and led some away. Then an army from all parts of England was gathered very nigh; (78) and they came to Gloucester: whence they sallied not far out against the Welsh, and there lay some time. And Earl Harold caused the dike to be dug about the town the while. Meantime men began to speak of peace; and Earl Harold and those who were with him came to Bilsley, where amity and friendship were established between them. The sentence of outlawry against Earl Elgar was reversed; and they gave him all that was taken from him before. The fleet returned to Chester, and there awaited their pay, which Elgar promised them. The slaughter was on the ninth before the calends of November. In the same year died Tremerig, the Welsh bishop, soon after the plundering; who was Bishop Athelstan's substitute, after he became infirm.

((A.D. 1055. In this year died Siward the earl at York, and he lies at Galmanho, in the minster which himself caused to be built, and consecrated in God's and Olave's name. And Tosty succeeded to the earldom which he had held. And Archbishop Kynsey [Of York], fetched his pall from Pope Victor. And soon thereafter was outlawed Elgar the earl, son of Leofric the earl, well-nigh without guilt. But he went to Ireland and to Wales, and procured himself there a great force, and so went to Hereford: but there came against him Ralph the earl, with a large army, and with a slight conflict he put them to flight, and much people slew in the flight: and they went then into Hereford-port, and that they ravaged, and burned the great minster which Bishop Athelstan had built, and slew the priests within the minster, and many in addition thereto, and took all the treasures therein, and carried them away with them. And when they had done the utmost evil, this counsel was counselled: that Elgar the earl should be inlawed, and be given his earldom, and all that had been taken from him. This ravaging happened on the 9th before the Kalends of November. In the same year died Tremerin the Welsh bishop [Of St. David's] soon after that ravaging: and he was Bishop Athelstan's coadjutor from the time that he had become infirm.))

((A.D. 1055. In this year died Siward the earl: and then was summoned a general council, seven days before Mid-lent; and they outlawed Elgar the earl, because it was cast upon him that he was a traitor to the king and to all the people of the land. And he made a confession of it before all the men who were there gathered; though the word escaped him unintentionally. And the king gave the earldom to Tosty, son of Earl Godwin, which Siward the earl before held. And Elgar the earl sought Griffin's protection in North-Wales. And in this year Griffin and Elgar burned St. Ethelbert's minster, and all the town of Hereford.))

A.D. 1056. This year Bishop Egelric resigned his bishopric at Durham, and retired to Peterborough minster; and his brother Egelwine succeeded him. The worthy Bishop Athelstan died on the fourth before the ides of February; and his body lies at Hereford. To him succeeded Leofgar, who was Earl Harold's mass- priest. He wore his knapsack in his priesthood, until he was a bishop. He abandoned his chrism and his rood -- his ghostly weapons -- and took to his spear and to his sword, after his bishophood; and so marched to the field against Griffin the Welsh king. (79) But he was there slain, and his priests with him, and Elnoth the sheriff, and many other good men with them; and the rest fled. This was eight nights before midsummer. Difficult is it to relate all the vexation and the journeying, the marching and the fatigue, the fall of men, and of horses also, which the whole army of the English suffered, until Earl Leofric, and Earl Harold, and Bishop Eldred, came together and made peace between them; so that Griffin swore oaths, that he would be a firm and faithful viceroy to King Edward. Then Bishop Eldred took to the bishopric which Leofgar had before eleven weeks and four days. The same year died Cona the emperor; and Earl Odda, whose body lies at Pershore, and who was admitted a monk before his end; which was on the second before the calends of September; a good man and virtuous and truly noble.

A.D. 1057. This year came Edward Etheling, son of King Edmund, to this land, and soon after died. His body is buried within St. Paul's minster at London. He was brother's son to King Edward. King Edmund was called Ironside for his valour. This etheling King Knute had sent into Hungary, to betray him; but he there grew in favour with good men, as God granted him, and it well became him; so that he obtained the emperor's cousin in marriage, and by her had a fair offspring. Her name was Agatha. We know not for what reason it was done, that he should see his relation, King Edward. Alas! that was a rueful time, and injurious to all this nation -- that he ended his life so soon after he came to England, to the misfortune of this miserable people. The same year died Earl Leofric, on the second before the calends of October; who was very wise before God, and also before the world; and who benefited all this nation. (80) He lies at Coventry (81): and his son Elgar took to his territory. This year died Earl Ralph, on the twelfth before the calends of January; and lies at Peterborough. Also died Bishop Heca, in Sussex; and Egelric was elevated to his see. This year also died Pope Victor; and Stephen was chosen pope, who was Abbot of Monut Cassino.

((A.D. 1057. In this year Edward Etheling, King Edmund's son, came hither to land, and soon after died- and his body is buried within St. Paul's minster at London. And Pope Victor died, and Stephen [IX.] was chosen pope: he was Abbot of Mont-Cassino. And Leofric the earl died, and Elgar his son succeeded to the earldom which the father before held.))

A.D. 1058. This year was Earl Elgar banished: but he soon came in again by force, through Griffin's assistance: and a naval armament came from Norway. It is tedious to tell how it all fell out. In this same year Bishop Aldred consecrated the minster church at Gloucester, which he himself had raised (82) to the honour of God and St. Peter; and then went to Jerusalem (83) with such dignity as no other man did before him, and betook himself there to God. A worthy gift he also offered to our Lord's sepulchre; which was a golden chalice of the value of five marks, of very wonderful workmanship. In the same year died Pope Stephen; and Benedict was appointed pope. He sent hither the pall to Bishop Stigand; who as archbishop consecrated Egelric a monk at Christ church, Bishop of Sussex; and Abbot Siward Bishop of Rochester.

((A.D. 1058. This year died Pope Stephen, and Benedict was consecrated pope: the same sent hither to land a pall to Archbishop Stigand. And in this year died Heca, Bishop of Sussex; and Archbishop Stigand ordained Algeric, a monk at Christchurch, Bishop of Sussex, and Abbot Siward Bishop of Rochester.))

A.D. 1059. This year was Nicholas chosen pope, who had been Bishop of Florence; and Benedict was expelled, who was pope before. This year also was consecrated the steeple (84) at Peterborough, on the sixteenth before the calends of November.

A.D. 1060. This year was a great earthquake on the Translation of St. Martin, and King Henry died in France. Kinsey, Archbishop of York, died on the eleventh before the calends of January; and he lies at Peterborough. Bishop Aldred succeeded to the see, and Walter to that of Herefordshire. Dudoc also died, who was Bishop of Somersetshire; and Gisa the priest was appointed in his stead.

ENDNOTES:

(76) The church, dedicated to St. Olave, was given by Alan Earl of Richmond, about thirty-three years afterwards, to the first abbot of St. Mary's in York, to assist him in the construction of the new abbey. It appears from a MS. quoted by Leland, that Bootham-bar was formerly called "Galman- hithe", not Galmanlith, as printed by Tanner and others. Back

(77) Called St. Ethelbert's minster; because the relics of the holy King Ethelbert were there deposited and preserved. Back

(78) The place where this army was assembled, though said to be very nigh to Hereford, was only so with reference to the great distance from which some part of the forces came; as they were gathered from all England. They met, I conjecture, on the memorable spot called "Harold's Cross", near Cheltenham, and thence proceeded, as here stated, to Gloucester. Back

(79) This was no uncommon thing among the Saxon clergy, bishops and all. The tone of elevated diction in which the writer describes the military enterprise of Leofgar and his companions, testifies his admiration. Back

(80) See more concerning him in Florence of Worcester. His lady, Godiva, is better known at Coventry. See her story at large in Bromton and Matthew of Westminster. Back

(81) He died at his villa at Bromleage (Bromley in Staffordshire). -- Flor. Back

(82) He built a new church from the foundation, on a larger plan. The monastery existed from the earliest times. Back

(83) Florence of Worcester says, that he went through Hungary to Jerusalem. Back

(84) This must not be confounded with a spire-steeple. The expression was used to denote a tower, long before spires were invented. Back

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