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SPEARHAFOC REFUSED CONSECRATION.
by the Bishop-elect, and consecration was again refused CHAP. VII. by the Norman Archbishop.1 Spearhafoc, rejected, un- Spearhafoc occupies consecrated, nevertheless went to Saint Paul's, and took the Bishoppossession of the see which he held by the King's full out conseand regular grant.2 No doubt he did not pretend to cration. discharge any purely episcopal functions, but he kept possession of the see and its revenues, and probably exercised at least its temporal authority. This he did, the Chronicler significantly adds, all that summer and autumn.3 Before the year was out, the crisis had come, and had brought with it the momentary triumph of the strangers.
One act more must be recorded before we come to the end of this portion of Eadward's reign. In a meeting of the Witan, seemingly that in which Robert, Spearhafoc, and Rudolf received their several appointments, the remaining five ships of the standing or mercenary naval The remaining force were paid off.4 The war-contribution or Heregyld ships paid was therefore no longer exacted. This tax had now been off and the Heregyld paid for thirty-eight years, ever since Thurkill and his remitted. fleet entered the service of Ethelred. This impost had all
1 Chron. Petrib. The pithy narrative of this writer is cut much shorter by the Worcester Chronicler (1051), who is followed by Florence; "Spearhafoc... feng to pan biscoprice on Lundene, and hit was eft of him genumen ær he gehadod wære." Florence turns this into, "Antequam esset consecratus, a Rege Eadwardo est ejectus." Now the Chronicles do not at all imply that the refusal of Robert was in any way the King's personal act. Florence is perhaps confounding this business with the final expulsion of Spearhafoc later in the year, which he however places under another year.
2 Chron. Petrib. 1048. "Da gewende se abbod to Lundene, and sæt on þam biscoprice, þe se cyng him ær geunnan høfde be his fulre leafe." This is one of those little touches which show the sympathies of the writer.
"Ealne pone sumor and pone hærfest."
"And þæs ylcan geare he settle ealle pa litsmen of
5 Chron. Wig. 1052. "On þan ylcan geare aléde Eadward cyng þæt heregyld þæt Æpelred cyng ær astealde; þæt was on þam nigon and prittigoðan geare þæs þe he hit ongunnon hæfde." Flor. Wig. 1051. "Rex Eadwardus absolvit Anglos a gravi vectigali tricesimo octavo anno ex quo
CHAP. VII. along been felt to be a great burthen; we are told that
pater suus Rex Ægelredus primitus id Danicis solidariis solvi mandârat.”
1 Chron. Wig. 1052.
2 See Bromton, 942; Estoire de S. Edward, 919 et seqq. Leofric
3 See Appendix Q.
REMISSION OF THE WAR-TAX.
fleet whose crews may have been to a great extent Danes, CHAP. VII. but Danes who were not the enemies of England, but engaged in her service. The two ideas however easily ran into one another; it might be difficult to say under which head we ought to place some of the payments made both under Cnut and under Harthacnut. But the Heregyld, in its more innocent shape, would, according to modern ideas, be an impost absolutely necessary for the defence of the country. If the tax were taken off, no naval force would be retained, except the contingents of the shires, which could not in any case be very readily forthcoming. But, besides the general dislike to taxation Import of of any kind, this particular tax was a painful and hateful sion. badge of national disgrace. It was a memory of times when England could find no defence against strangers except by taking other strangers into her pay. Its remission was doubtless looked on as a declaration that England no longer needed the services of strangers, or of hired troops of any kind, but that she could trust to the ready patriotism and valour of her own sons. The Law required every Englishman to join the royal standard at the royal summons.1 The effectual execution of that law was doubtless held to be a truer safeguard than the employment of men, whether natives or strangers, who served only for their pay. Such reasonings had their weak side even in those days, but they were eminently in the spirit of the time. The measure was undoubtedly a popular one, and we are hardly in a position to say that, under the circumstances of the time, it may not have been a wise one.
1 See vol, i. p. 335.
§ 4. The Banishment of Earl Godwine. 1051.
The influence of the strangers had now reached its height. As yet it has appeared on the face of the narrative mainly in the direction given to ecclesiastical preferments. During the first nine years of Eadward's reign, we find no signs of any open warfare between the national and the Normannizing parties. The course of events shows that Godwine's power was being practically undermined, but he was still outwardly in the enjoyment of royal favour, and his vast possessions were still being added to by royal grants. It is remarkable how seldom, at this stage of Eadward's reign, the acts of the Witan bear the signatures of any foreigners except churchmen.2 We meet also with slight indications showing that the King's foreign kinsmen and the national leaders were not Its seem- yet on terms of open enmity.3 It was probably the policy ingly stealthy of the strangers to confine their action in public matters character. to influencing the King's mind through his ecclesiastical favourites, while the others were gradually providing in other ways for their own firm establishment in the land. But the tale which I now have to tell clearly reveals the
The foreign influence
at its height.
1 There is a grant of lands to Godwine ("uni meo fideli Duci nuncupato nomine Godwino") as late as 1050. Cod. Dipl. iv. 123. The description of the grantee as Dux" of course identifies him with the Earl.
2 The only absolutely certain instances that I can find at this time are the signatures of Earl Ralph in 1050. See above, p. 109. His name is added to doubtful charters in Cod. Dipl. iv. 113, 121, and another doubtful one is signed by Robert the son of Wimarc, of whom more anon. The signatures of ecclesiastics, Rægnbold the Chancellor and others, are more common.
3 Ralph's wife bore the name of Gytha, and their son was named Harold. See Appendix KK. Robert the son of Wimarc had also a son named Swegen, afterwards famous in Domesday. See Ellis, i. 433, 489; ii. 117. These names certainly point to a certain identification with England, and suggest the idea that the sons of Ralph and Robert were godsons of the two sons of Godwine. Cf. the sons of Danes in England bearing English names. See vol. i. pp. 515, 770.
NORMAN INFLUENCE AT ITS HEIGHT.
fact that the number of French land-owners in England CHAP. VII. was already considerable, and that they had made themselves deeply hateful to the English people. Stealthily but surely, the foreign favourites of Eadward had eaten into the vitals of England, and they soon found the means of showing how bitter was the hatred which they bore towards the champions of English freedom. England Comparinow, under a native King of her own choice, felt, far tween more keenly than she had ever felt under her Danish Danish and conqueror, how great the evil is when a King and those influences. who immediately surround him are estranged in feeling from the mass of his people. The great Dane had gradu
learned to feel and to reign as an Englishman, to trust himself to the love of his English subjects, and to surround the throne of the conqueror with the men whom his own axe and spear had overcome. Even during the troubled reigns of his two sons, the degeneracy was for the most part merely personal. Harthacnut indeed laid on heavy and unpopular taxes for the payment of his Danish fleet; but it does not appear that, even under him, Englishmen as Englishmen were subjected to systematic oppression and insult on the part of strangers. And, after all, the Danish followers of Cnut and his sons were men of kindred blood and speech. They could hardly be looked on in any part of England as aliens in the strictest sense, while to the inhabitants of a large part of the Kingdom they appeared as actual countrymen. But now, as a foretaste of what was to come fifteen years later, men utterly strange in speech and feeling stood around the throne, they engrossed the personal favour of the King, they perverted the course of justice, they shared among themselves the highest places in the Church, and they were already beginning to stretch out their hands to English lands and lordships as well as to English Bishopricks.
1 See vol. i. pp. 509, 513.