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when his uncle Roger, bishop of Salisbury, died. The king, however, got possession of Ely castle, and posted his men therein. Thurstan, archbishop of York, the twenty-sixth in succession, a man of advanced age and full of days, having laid aside the old man put on the new; for bidding farewell to secular pursuits he dons the monkish habit at Pomfret, on the 12th of the kalends of February, 21st Jan.), and on the nones of February (5th Feb.), he departed this life in a good old age, and there he was buried. Milo, the ex-constable, having collected a great army, invaded Winchcombe on Thursday the 2d of the kalends of February [31st Jan.), burned the greatest part of the town, plundered it, and carried off the spoil, the mammon of unrighteousness being (albeit unjustly) required of them. Thence he marched to Sudely. Whilst he was in mind to attack it, the troops which were in the town made a stand and compelled him to retreat, leaving, as it is said, two of his men killed and fifteen taken prisoners. The king and the earl of Worcester came with a great army to Worcester, and after the lapse of a few days, first the earl and afterwards the king advanced with a vast host to Little Hereford, purposing to drive out their enemies. During the king's stay in these parts the earl, remembering the injuries inflicted upon his townsmen, invaded Tewkesbury with a large force of armed men, and burned the magnificent house of the earl of Gloucester, and everything in its vicinity, together with those of some other persons within one mile's distance of Gloucester; but at the supplication of the lord abbot of Tewkesbury and his brethren, the conqueror spared their goods. Having taken no small booty, both of men and their apparel and cattle, he mercifully commanded that the prisoners be speedily released from their fetters, and return to their own houses; and on the morrow he set out for Worcester, protesting to all that he had scarcely ever either in Normandy or England accomplished such a burning. But the king on his return to Worcester hastened his march to Oxford. The before-mentioned Maurice and Uhtred were consecrated bishops of Bangor and Landaff, by Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of the bishops of Hereford and Exeter. The king, on his arrival at Winchester, by advice of his barons, bestowed the bishopric of Salisbury upon his chancellor Philip, and the abbey of Fescamp upon Henry, a monk, his kinsman. An eclipse of the sun takes place while the moon occupies the tail of Draco, the sun itself illuminating the head. By advice of the barons of Philip king of France, and Stephen king of England, it was settled that the son of the latter should take to wife the French king's sister. The betrothal took place abroad in the month of February, in the presence of the queen mother of England, and before a large number of the barons of both kingdoms. A certain knight, by name Robert, was the son of a nobleman named Hulbert. He, fearing neither God nor man, but relying entirely on his own strength, with his many cunning devices, assailed the castle of Malmesbury. Whereupon many of the king's troops which were within filed to the church of the holy bishop Aldelm, as to a

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sanctuary. In pursuit of these he one day entered the chapter of the monks with his armed knights, terrifying them with threats, and commanding them to give up to him the king's men with their horses if they valued the safety of their own wealth. But they, fearful of infringing the peace of God and their blessed patron Aldelm, refuse to obey these commands, till at length, (though unwillingly, and in order to appease his fury,) they deliver up the horses. After they had remained for a long time in the castle and had laid waste the surrounding country, the king came up with his army and besieged it for nearly three days. William de Ypres, as it is reported, a kinsman of this Robert, acted as the mediator upon both sides for the surrender of the castle, and at last obtained the king's consent that the castle should be delivered up upon the condition that everything should be surrendered to the king, and this was done. Robert therefore joined the earl of Gloucester, and remained for a while with him, all the while meditating treachery. Unknown to the earl, shortly afterwards, (for he was untaught by experience and bent on revenge,) he repaired with his men to Devizes, where an agreement having been first made between himself and his followers that the castle once taken should never be surrendered, he scaled the wall with cruel cunning, and giving the signal of victory to the king's soldiers who were within, he penetrated the outer defences unobserved, and acted the tyrant upon all. On the fourth day afterwards, by force and subtlety he gained possession of the inner tower, and in the pride of his heart he continually ravaged the whole neighbourhood everywhere, and whatever evil he could do he ceased not from doing. At length he went to John, a man illustrious in war, who was then the governor of the castle of Marlborough for the king's service, and he demanded with threats that he should be guided by his advice, yea, rather his instigation, and do the work of Satan against not only the king but the earl and every one else, assuring him that if he would not comply, he should immediately lose his head. John replied, “By God's help I would sooner take a man than be taken by him," and imme

I diately seized him and consigned him to prison, where turn for turn he caused every description of torture which he in his cruelty had inflicted upon others to be applied to himself. When all these things became known, the earl of Gloucester and Milo the exconstable, with many men, came to the said John, to whom the earl promised to give five hundred marks, with the agreement that he should deliver up to him the said Robert on an appointed day, and give good hostages for himself. John being pacified with the promised money and hostages, gave up Robert to him, with the understanding that within fifteen days he should be restored to him. This agreement completed, the earl returned to Gloucester, carrying the said Robert with him, and a discussion followed touching the surrender of the castle of Devizes, which he demanded should be freely given up to him ; but Robert refused, lest he should break the oath which he had sworn to his comrades, to wit, that the castle should not be surrendered. But being terrified by threats of the gallows, he answered that he would yield to his

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request, provided he might only escape death. Within the time appointed in the agreement this malignant Robert was led back to the presence of John, to whom the earl told everything which had happened, and how Robert, under the fear of his menaces, had promised to deliver up the castle. He also asked him again to permit Robert to accompany him to Devizes, with the understanding that if he should succeed in making himself master of the castle it should be placed in John's command under him; and upon his prayers being acceded to, the earl returned immediately to Devizes with Robert. In the meantime the said John despatched letters to all, both within and without the castle, swearing that neither he nor the earl would do any injury to Robert, provided only they would firmly keep their oath in not surrendering the castle to any one. Leaving the ex-constable and a certain powerful personage named Humphrey, with some others, behind him, the earl returned to Gloucester, after giving directions to all that in case Robert refused to deliver up the castle of his own accord he should be hung. Robert did refuse, as did his comrades also, lest they should appear perjured. In short, he was taken and hanged as a warning to others, after his two nephews had shared the same fate. Glory be to God Almighty that He has delivered the wicked!

Before the Assumption of St. Mary [15th Aug.] the earl of Gloucester marched against Bath ; but the king had long before this sent out spies to entrap the enemy, and defend themselves and their possessions to the uttermost. A hostile meeting consequently took place'; on the one hand the soldiers of the king, among whom were two knights, John and Roger, both valiant and warlike men; on the other, the retainers of the earl. Many were taken prisoners, and more were wounded and killed, among whom a certain knight named Geoffrey Talbot, valorous but crafty, now with the king, now with the earl, subtle in every action, was mortally hurt, and dying of his wounds on the 11th of the kalends of September (22d Aug.] was buried along with the canons at Gloucester. The royal troops however gained the victory. Before the Nativity of St. Mary [8th Sept.), Robert, son of king Henry, at the instigation of Ralph Paganel, having associated with himself the knights of the earl of Warwick along with those whom he had brought out of Gloucester, and many other common soldiers, suddenly assaulted the town of Nottingham, and finding it unprovided with military defence, commenced sacking it, while the citizens on every side fled to the churches. One of these, who had the reputation of being wealthier than the rest, having been taken prisoner, was led strongly bound to his own house and compelled to give up his gold. For this purpose he led the greedy pillagers into his cellar, where all his furniture was stored up. As soon as he perceived them intent upon pillage, and occupied in breaking open doors and locks, he craftily slipped away, and escaping through the chambers and hall, he closed all the doors behind him and fastened them with bolts.

· Here ends the MS. in Corpus Christi College, Oxon. The remainder is translated from the editions, fol. Francof. 1601, p. 675, and of the E. H. S. ii. 127.

After this he set fire to the place, and consigned his houses and all his goods, together with the robbers, to the flames. It is said that upwards of thirty of the men who had entered the cellar perished in that fire, by which, as it is also reported, the whole town was burnt; for the knights and the whole army swore that they were innocent of having set fire to it. By this means the whole city was destroyed by the flames, and those inhabitants who were captured outside the churches were carried away prisoners, some even as far as Gloucester. The rest of the mob, men, women and children, who had entered the churches, fearing to sally forth lest they should be taken by the enemies, nearly all perished as the churches fell a prey to the raging conflagration. A cruel spectacle and most wretched, even to the enemy themselves, to behold the temples of God, which even the heathen would have spared, consumed by fire! In like manner was Nottingham destroyed, a most noble city, it having continued from the period when the Normans subdued England down to the present time in the enjoyment of the greatest peace and tranquillity, besides being populous and wealthy. The government of the abbey of Malmesbury was conferred by Henry, bishop of Winchester, legate of the holy Roman church, upon a certain monk, by name Peter, nobly endowed with learning and science. Having donned the garb of religion at Cluny, he had for some time held the Priory de Caritate, being removed from which he was appointed to the monastery of St. Urban the pope, in the diocese of Catalonia ; but calamities increasing upon him, he was compelled to abandon that place, and at the persuasion of the above-mentioned bishop of Winchester he came to England, and this year undertook the rule of the church already mentioned.

A.D. 1141. Stephen, king of England, after prolonged labours in besieging castles in which (for the peace of the kingdom) he had toiled five years and six weeks, at last at the siege of Lincoln castle, on the day of the Purification of St. Mary, being Sexagesima Sunday (2d Feb.], was surrounded and taken prisoner, by the just judgment of God, by Robert, earl of Gloucester, the son of his uncle, and Ranulph, earl of Chester; and was carried first to Gloucester on Quinquagesima Sunday (9th Feb.), and then to the town of Bristol, and there consigned to prison. Many of his

, adherents were captured along with him and loaded with chains. In the meantime the empress, king Henry's daughter, was staying in the city of Gloucester, and rejoiced exceedingly at this event, she having now, as she thought, obtained possession of the kingdom which had been promised to her by oath ; and having taken counsel with her followers, she departed out of the city on the fifth day after Ash-Wednesday (17th Feb.]; and accompanied by two bishops, Bernard of St. David's, and Nigel of Ely, Gilbert abbot of Gloucester, with many barons, knights, and attendants, she advanced to the city of Chichester, in which she first rested after the joyful intelligence, and of which she also assumed the dominion. Departing thence, when she had come nigh to the city of Winchester, there advanced to meet her, with magnificent

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state and pomp, the prelates of nearly the whole of England, many barons and chief men, knights innumerable, and divers abbots with their retinues, two convents of monks of the city, and a third of nuns, all chanting processional melodies and praises, and the clergy of the town with the citizens and much people. The most noble city of Winchester thus surrendered to her empire, and the crown of the realm of England was delivered to her dominion ; by the legate himself those were accursed who curse her, and those blessed who bless her ; they who oppose her were excommunicated, and those who obey her command were absolved. Departing from Winchester with her attendants, she went to Wilton, where Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, was present to welcome her. So great a concourse of people flocked together, that the gates of the town barely sufficed for the multitude who entered. Thence, after the celebration of the festival of Easter, she came within the Rogation days [4th May] to Reading, where she was received with honours, the principal men and people pouring in from all sides in submission to her. One of these leading men, Robert D'Oyley, was there summoned by her touching the surrender of Oxford castle, and upon his consenting to it she came thither and received possession, and the homage of the whole city and surrounding districts. Setting out thence with great joy and exultation, she was received in the monastery of St. Alban's with processional honours and rejoicings, and many citizens from London visited her there, and held divers discourses touching the surrender of the city.

In these days a certain horrible event befel in Worcester, which we deem worthy of relation. On Wednesday before the octave of our Lord's Ascension [11th May], about the ninth hour of the day, at the town called Walesburn, distant one mile from Hampton, the bishop of Worcester's town, a violent whirlwind and most dreadful darkness arose, reaching from earth to heaven, and striking the house of a priest named Leofrid, which it prostrated to the ground and shattered to atoms, together with its offices; the roof of the church also was torn off and cast across the river Avon, and nearly fifty houses of the country people were in like manner thrown down and ruined. Hailstones of the bigness of a pigeon's egg fell, by the blows from which one woman was killed. At this sight all present were struck with terror and dismay.

The empress, as we have before related, after a treaty with the Londoners, hastened in security to the city, attended by many prelates and nobility, and was received with processional honours at Westminster, where she remained for a few days to set the affairs of her kingdom in order, having first, as was meet, provided for the interest of God's holy church, pursuant to the advice of good men. She gave the bishopric of London to a venerable monk of Reading, Robert by name, in the presence and by the orders of his reverend abbot Edward. God's affairs being thus accomplished, the queen of England interceded with Matilda for the king her husband, who had been taken captive and committed to prison. The first and greatest nobles of England pleaded the

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