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CHAP. VII. follow any course which tended to preserve the purity
of ecclesiastical rule. By the authority then of Eadward and Godwine, but with the knowledge of very few other persons,1 Siward, Abbot of Abingdon, was consecrated as Coadjutor-Archbishop.2 He acted on behalf of the Primate for about six years, till sickness caused him in his turn He returns to resign his office and return to Abingdon, where he to Abingdied. On this Eadsige again assumed the administration of the Archbishoprick for a short time before his own death.
Death of But a more memorable appointment was made in the Bishop Elfweard course of the same year. Elfweard, Bishop of London of London. and Abbot of Evesham, a Prelate whose name has already July 25, 1044. occurred in our history, fell sick of leprosy. He returned to his Abbey, but the brotherhood with one consent refused him admission. They met, we are told, with the just reward of their churlishness. Elfweard turned away to the distant Abbey of Ramsey, where he had spent his
1 Chronn. Ab. 1044; Petrib. 1043. "Be þæs cynges leafe, and ræde, and Godwines eorles. Hit was elles feawum mannum cuð ær hit gedon wæs." So William of Malmesbury, ii. 197; “Ante cum Rege tantum et Comite communicato consilio, ne quis ad tantum fastigium aspiraret indignus, vel prece vel pretio."
2 He was consecrated to the see of Upsala, according to Professor Stubbs (Ep. Succ. p. 20) and Dean Hook (i. 491); to Rochester, according to the Abingdon History (i. 452). But Florence (1049) calls him "Siwardus, Edsii Dorubernensis archiepiscopi chorepiscopus." William of Malmesbury (De Gest. Pont. 116) has a strange story how Siward was intended to succeed Eadsige, but on his treating him harshly and not even allowing him enough to eat, he was deprived of the succession to the Archbishoprick, and had to content himself with Rochester-" quo leviaret verecundiam, quo detrimentum consolaretur." Siward signs charters with the title of Archbishop, Cod. Dipl. iv. 96, 103, 105; as Bishop only in iv. 99; as Abbot only in a very doubtful charter, iv. 102. See also Hen. Hunt. M. H. B. 759 B ; Angl. Sacr. i. 106; Bromton, 938.
3 Chron. Ab. 1048; Chron. Wig. 1050; Fl. Wig. 1049. See Hist. Ab. i. 461. Siward was a benefactor to his abbey, and fills a considerable place in its history.
Chronn. Ab. 1048; Petrib. 1046.
5 See vol. i. p. 506.
EADSIGE AND ELFWEARD.
early years, and where he was gladly received. He soon CHAP. VII. after died, leaving great gifts to the hospitable monks of Ramsey. Rumour however added that they largely consisted of his own former gifts to Evesham, and that he even did not scruple to remove from that undutiful house some precious things which had been the gifts of other benefactors.2 Two great spiritual preferments were thus vacated, one of them, the see of London, one of the most important in the Kingdom. They were bestowed in a full Witenagemót held in London in the month of August.3 The lesser office at Evesham was conferred on an Englishman, Wulfmær or Mannig, a monk of the house, renowned for his skill in the fine arts; but in the nomination to the great East-Saxon Bishoprick, the foreigners obtained one of their most memorable triumphs. For it must have been He is succeeded by in this same Gemót in which Mannig was appointed that Robert of Jumièges. the Bishoprick of the city in which the Assembly was August. held was bestowed 5 on one Robert, a Norman monk, who had first been Prior of Saint Ouen's at Rouen, and afterwards Abbot of the great house of Jumièges.
1 Chron. Wig. 1045; Fl. Wig. 1044; Hist. Eves. p. 85; Hist. Rams.
2 Fl. Wig. u. 9. "Ablatis ex maximâ parte libris et ornamentis, quæ ipse eidem contulerat loco, et quædam, ut fertur, quæ alii contulerant." Cf. Hist. Rams. u. s. But the Evesham historian, who uses very strong language against the monks of his own house, does not charge Ælfweard with more than transferring his intended gifts from Evesham to Ramsey ;
quæ huic loco offerre cogitabat, versâ vice præfatæ ecclesiæ Ramesiæ omnia condonabat." Hist. Eves. p. 85.
3 Fl. Wig. 1044. "In generali concilio quod eodem tempore celebratum est Lundoniæ." It was between July 25 and August 10. See Appendix I. Chron. Wig. 1045; Fl. Wig. 1044; Hist. Eves. p. 86. Mannig rebuilt the church of Evesham, and practised his skill for the adornment of the churches of Canterbury and Coventry as well as his own. Chronn. Ab. and Wig. 1054.
Oddly enough, neither the Chronicles nor Florence mention Robert's appointment to London, though they take it for granted in 1050, when they record his appointment to the Archbishoprick.
Will. Malms. Gest. Pont. 134 b. He is there spoken of simply as
CHAP. VII. there left behind him a noble memorial in the stately minster which still survives in ruins, but in England it Baneful is not too much to say, that he became, in this high post of Robert, and in the still higher post which he afterwards reached,
the pest of the Kingdom. His influence over the mind of the feeble King was unbounded.1 We are ludicrously told that, if Robert said that a black crow was white, King Eadward would at once believe him. He is described at all hands as being the chief stirrer up of strife between Eadward and his native subjects. He it was who separated the husband from the wife, and the His calum- King from his most faithful counsellors. He it was whose slanderous tongue again brought up against the great Earl3 that charge of complicity in the death of Ælfred of which he had been solemnly pronounced guiltless by the highest Court in the realm.4 And the career of Robert is one of great historical importance. It is closely connected with the immediate causes-it may even be reckoned among
His connexion with the Norman invasion.
a monk of Jumièges, but from the Biographer (399) and from the Nova Chronica Normanniæ, A. 1037, it appears that he had been Abbot. (See Neustria Pia, p. 309.) He became Abbot in 1037, and began the church in 1040. William himself, in his History (ii. 199), speaks of Robert's building as "ecclesia Sanctæ Mariæ, quam ipse præcipuo et sumptuoso opere construxerat." He begins to sign as Bishop in 1046. Cod. Dipl. iv. 110.
1 William of Malmesbury (Gest. Pont. 116) makes Robert's influence with Eadward the recompense of some services done to him in Normandy. He goes on, "Is ergo et amore antiquo et recenti honore primas partes in consiliis regalibus vendicabat, quos vellet deponeret, quos liberet, sublimaret."
2 Ann. Wint. 21, Luard. "Tanti fuit homo ille in oculis Regis ut si diceret nigram cornicem esse candidam Rex citius ori illius quam oculis suis crederet."
3 Vita Eadw. 400. So William of Malmesbury (u. s.); "Ille contra pertinacius insistere, donec præcipuos optimates, Godwinum dico et filios ejus, proditionis apud Regem accusatos Angliâ expelleret. Expulsionis aliæ quoque fuere caussæ, et alii auctores, sicut alias non tacuimus. Sed ille clarius classicum cecinit, instantius accusavit."
4 See vol. i. p. 510.
ROBERT BISHOP OF LONDON.
the immediate causes of the Norman invasion.1 Robert's CHAP. VII. appointment to the see of London may be fairly set down as marking a distinct stage in the progress of Norman influence in England. He was the first man of utterly alien speech who had held an English Bishoprick since the days of Roman, Scottish, or Cilician missionaries. His overthrow at a later time was one of the first-fruits [105.] of the great national reaction against the strangers, and its supposed uncanonical character was one of the many pretences put forth by William to justify his invasion of England.
This appointment of Robert shows the great advance of the Norman influence. But that influence had not as yet reached its height. Godwine and the popular party seem still to have been able to make a kind of compromise with the King. It was necessary to yield to the King's strong personal inclination in the case of Robert; but the other vacant preferments were secured for Englishmen. We have seen that Ælfweard's Abbey was not allowed to be held in plurality by his successor in the Bishoprick, but was bestowed on an Englishman of high character. Stigand too had by this time made his peace with Ead- Stigand Bishop of ward and Godwine, and he now began to climb the ladder Elmham. of preferment afresh. He now again received the Bishoprick of Elmham or of the East-Angles.2 And it was in Banishthe same year, and seemingly at the same Gemót, that Gunhild Gunhild, "the noble wife," the widow of the Earls Hakon and her and Harold, the mother of Heming and Thurkill, was banished together with her sons.3
This last event was one of that series of banishments
Bishop Godwin (Cat. of Bishops, p. 25) says truly, but without fully understanding the force of his own words; "This man is said to have laid the first foundation of the Norman conquest in England." 2 Chron. Petrib. 1043; Fl. Wig. 1044.
3 See above, p. 63.
CHAP. VII. which have been already spoken of as gradually falling on all who had made themselves in any way prominent in opposition to the election of Eadward. But it was most likely not unconnected with the present threatening state of affairs in Northern Europe. The early years of Eadward in England were contemporary with the great struggle between Swegen and Magnus for the Crown of Denmark. The details of that warfare are told in our Scandinavian
Condition of Northern
authorities with the usual amount of confusion and conMagnus. tradiction, and it seems hopeless to think of altogether 1044-1047. reconciling their conflicting statements. Our own Chro
nicles, as usual, supply the most promising means of harmonizing them in some small degree. We have seen that Magnus was in actual possession of both Norway and Denmark at the time of Eadward's coronation.1 Swegen, after several battles, had found himself forsaken Connexion by every one, and had taken refuge in Sweden. Godesscale the Wend, who had accompanied him from England, had forsaken him with the rest,3 and had entered on that mingled career as missionary and warrior among his heathen countrymen of which I have already spoken.* In this warfare he most likely acted as an ally of Magnus, who was also renowned for victories over the same enemy.5 Magnus, now at the height of his power, King of Denmark and Norway, conqueror of his heathen neighbours, Magnus. enjoying, as it would seem, the respect and attachment of the people of both his kingdoms, regretted and retracted the engagements of fidelity, perhaps even of submission, which he had made to Eadward when his own
Triumphant position of
1 See above, p. 18.
2 Snorro, Saga of Magnus, 33, of Harold, 18 (Laing, ii. 391; iii. 17); Chron. Roskild. Lang. i. 377; Saxo, 203.
See vol. i. p. 726.
3 Saxo, 204.
5 Saxo, 203; Swegen Agg. c. 5 (Lang. i. 56). So Adam Brem. ii. 75; "Magnus autem Rex pro justitia et fortitudine carus fuit Danis, verum Sclavis terribilis, qui post mortem Chnut Daniam infestabant."