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men became Danes. We can hardly conceive that Godwine CHAP. IX. understood the French language. Such an accomplishment would in his early days have been quite useless. We can well believe that, along with his really enlightened and patriotic policy, there was in the old Earl a good deal of mere sturdy English prejudice against strangers as strangers. But every act of Harold's life shows that this last was a feeling altogether alien to his nature. His travels of inquiry abroad, his encouragement of deserving foreigners at home, all show him to have been a statesman who, while he maintained a strictly national policy, rose altogether above any narrow insular prejudices. That he understood French well it is impossible to doubt.' If he erred at all, he was far more likely to err in granting too much indulgence to the foreign fancies of his wayward master. His policy of conciliation would forbid him to be needlessly harsh even to a Norman, and he had every motive for dealing as tenderly as possible with all the wishes and prejudices of the King. Harold stood towards Eadward in a position wholly different from that in which Godwine had stood. Godwine might claim to dictate as a father to the man to whom he had given a crown and a wife. Harold could at most claim the position of a younger brother. That Harold ruled Eadward there is no doubt, but we may be sure that he ruled by obeying.2 Habit, temper, policy, would all forbid him to thwart the King one jot more than the interests of the Kingdom called for. The position of the strangers during the re

1 I do not ground this belief on the well-known saying of the false Ingulf (Gale, i. 62), how in Eadward's days "Gallicum idioma omnes magnates in suis curiis tamquam magnum gentilitium loqui [cœperunt]." Harold's foreign travels, and his sojourn at the Norman court, necessarily imply a knowledge of French, and I can well believe that at home King Eadward looked more favourably on a counsellor who could frame his lips to the beloved speech.


2 This seems implied in the famous poetical panegyric on Eadward and Harold in the Chronicles for 1065.

mise be

CHAP. IX. maining years of Eadward's reign is a manifest compromise Comprobetween Eadward's foreign weaknesses and Harold's English policy. They were to be allowed to bask in the the King. sunshine of the court; they were to be carefully shut out from political power. If Harold erred, his error, I repeat,

tween Harold and

lay in too great a toleration of the dangerous intruders.


tical ap


of Lichfield.


The remaining events of the year of Godwine's death are pointments, some ecclesiastical appointments, which must have been Christmas, made at the Christmas Gemót, and a Welsh inroad, which seems to have happened about the same time. In the one month of October three Prelates died,1 Wulfsige, Bishop of Lichfield, and the Abbots Godwine of Winchcombe and Leofwine Ethelweard of Glastonbury. The see of Lichfield was bestowed on Leofwine, Abbot of Earl Leofric's favourite monastery of Coventry.2 In this appointment we plainly see the hand of the Mercian Earl, of whom, considering his name, the new Bishop is not unlikely to have been a kinsAt the same time, it would seem, the see of Dorchester was at last filled by the appointment of Wulfwig, and the two Bishops elect, as we have seen, got them Æthelnoth beyond sea for consecration. The new Abbot of Glasbury. tonbury was Æthelnoth, a monk of the house, who 1053-1082. bears an ill name for squandering the revenues of the



of Glaston


of Dor



monastery, but who contrived to weather all storms, and died in possession of his Abbey sixteen years after the Norman invasion.5 The disposition of Winchcombe is

1 Chron. Wig. 1053. "And þæs ylcan geres, foran to alra halgena mæssan, forðferde Wulsyg bisceop æt Licetfelda, and Godwine abbod on Wincelcumbe, and Ægelward abbod on Glestingabyrig, ealle binnan anum monpe."

2 Chron. Ab. and Flor. Wig. It was probably now that the Abbey of Coventry was given to Leofric of Peterborough. See above, p. 349. If so, it still kept in the family.

Leofric, it will be remembered, was the son of an Ealdorman Leofwine.
See vol. i. p. 411.
See above, p. 343.

5 On Abbot Æthelnoth see William of Malmesbury, Glastonbury History, ap. Gale, ii. 324. Ethelweard spoiled the lands, Æthelnoth the ornaments,





more remarkable. Ealdred, the Bishop of the diocese, CHAP. 1x. who seems never to have shrunk from any fresh duties, Bishop spiritual or temporal, which came in his way, undertook holds the rule of that great monastery in addition to his episcopal combe. office. This may have been mere personal love of power or pelf; but it may also have been a deliberate attempt, such as we shall see made in other cases also, to get rid of a powerful, and no doubt often troublesome, neighbour, by annexing an abbey to the Bishoprick. If such was the design of Ealdred, it did not prove successful. After He resigns holding Winchcombe for some time, he next year, willingly July 17, or unwillingly, resigned it to one Godric, who is described 1054. as the son of Godman, the King's Chaplain.2

it to Godric.

Of the Welsh inroad, recorded by one Chronicler only, all that is said is that many of the "wardmen" at Westbury were slain.3 This is doubtless Westbury in Gloucestershire, on the Welsh side of the Severn. The expression seems to imply the maintenance of a permanent force to guard that exposed frontier.

The next year was marked by a military and a diplomatic event, both of which were of high importance.

of the house. "Ex illo res Glastoniæ retro relabi et in pejus fluere." He has much to tell about the miracles wrought by King Eadgar about this time-Eadgar, it must be remembered, passed at Glastonbury, in defiance of all legends, for a saint-specially in healing a mad German, "furiosus Teutonicus genus." Was he one of the suite of the Ætheling?

1 I infer that Ealdred's holding of Winchcombe was something more than a mere temporary holding till a successor could be found. The Worcester Chronicle (1053) speaks of it in the same form of words as the appointments of Leofwine and Ethelnoth; "And Leofwine feng to bam bisceoprice at Licedfelde, and Aldret bisceop feng to pam abbodrice on Wincelcumbe," &c. Florence however says, after mentioning the appointments of Leofwine and Æthelnoth, "Aldredus vero Wigorniensis episcopus abbatiam Wincelcumbensem tamdiu in manu suâ tenuit, donec Godricum, Regis capellani Godmanni filium abbatem constitueret."


2 Flor. Wig. 1054.

3 Chron. Ab. 1053. "Eac Wylsce menn geslogan mycelne dæl Englisces folces Bæra weardmanna wið Westbyrig."

CHAP. IX. The former is no other than the famous Scottish expedition Position of of Earl Siward, an event which has almost passed from


in Scotland.

the domain of history into that of poetry. Macbeth, it will be remembered, was now reigning in Scotland.1 Like Siward himself, he had risen to power by a great crime, the murder of his predecessor, the young King Duncan. And, like Siward, he had made what atonement he could by ruling his usurped dominion vigorously and well. We have seen that there is no reason to believe that Macbeth had, since he assumed the Scottish Crown, renewed the fealty which he had paid to Cnut when he was Underking, or, in more accurate Scottish phrase, Maarmor of Moray. We have also seen that he had been striving, in a remarkable way, to make himself friends of the mammon of unrighteousness in the quarter where that mammon was believed to have the greatest influence, namely at the threshold of the Apostles. We may be sure that Earl Siward, the kinsman, probably the guardian, Macbeth. of the young prince whom Macbeth shut out from the Scottish Crown, had all along looked on his formidable northern neighbour with no friendly eye. It is not easy to see why the attack on Macbeth, if it was to be made at all, was so long delayed. It may be that the internal troubles of England had hitherto forbidden any movement of the kind, and that Siward took advantage of the first season of domestic quiet to execute a plan which he had long cherished. It may be that the scheme fell in better with the policy of Harold than with the policy of Godwine. Between Godwine and Siward, between the West-Saxon and the Dane, there was doubtless a standing rivalry, partly national, partly personal. But it would fall in with the conciliatory policy of Harold to help, rather than to

Siward's designs against


1 See above, p. 53.
3 See vol. i. p. 446.

5 See above, p. 34.

2 See vol. i. p. 522.
See above, p. 54-



thwart, any designs of the great Northern Earl which CHAP. IX. were not manifestly opposed to the public welfare. At all events, in this year the consent of Eadward' was given, a consent which certainly implies the decree of a Witenagemót, and which no less certainly implies the good will of Earl Harold. An expedition on a great scale was under- Siward's expedition taken against the Scottish usurper. That it was under- against taken on behalf of Malcolm, the son of the slain Duncan, can admit of no reasonable doubt. To restore the lawful heir of the Scottish Crown was an honourable pretext for interference in Scottish affairs on which any English statesman would gladly seize. And to Siward it was more than an honourable pretext; it was asserting the rights and avenging the wrongs of a near kinsman. The Earl of the Northumbrians accordingly attacked Scotland at the head of a great force both by land and by sea. The army was largely composed of the Housecarls of the King and of the Earl, picked and tried soldiers, Danish and English. Macbeth was supported by a prince who had now be- Macbeth's come a neighbour of England, and a neighbour probably with Thorquite as dangerous as himself. This was Thorfinn, the finn. famous Earl of the Orkneys, who had established his power over the whole of the Western Islands, and even over the coast of Scotland and Strathclyde as far south as Galloway. With his help the Scottish King ventured to meet the Defeat of host of Siward in a pitched battle. He was encouraged by July 27, the presence of a body of the Normans who had been driven 1054. out of England at the return of Godwine. They are spoken of as if their number was large enough to form a considerable contingent of the Scottish army. The fight was an obstinate one. The Earl's son Osbeorn and his sister's



1 "Jussu Regis," says Florence, 1054.

2 On the war with Macbeth see Appendix EE.

3 See Munch, Chron. Regum Manniæ, 46 et seqq.; Burton, History of Scotland, i. 374.


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