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(1) Old English Chronicle; see Chapter I.

(2) ORDERICUS VITALIS. Orderic was born in Shropshire in 1075, and became a monk of St Evroul in Normandy. His work was carried down to 1141, being professedly an ecclesiastical history of England and Normandy; valuable when the author is dealing with matters during his own lifetime.

(3) RICHARD OF HEXHAM: prior of Hexham after 1141. The work cited is called the Gesta Stephani or Acts of Stephen.

[Old English Chronicle]

After William the Conqueror seized the crown of England, the Danes, in conjunction with the Anglo-Danes of the Danelagh, tried to win the country for themselves—it had formed a part of the Danish dominion under Canute.

An. M.LXIX. Soon after this came from Denmark three sons of king Svein, and Asbiorn jarl and Thorkell jarl, with two hundred and forty ships, into the Humber; and there came to meet them Eadgar child and earl Waltheof, and Maerleswegen, and earl Gospatric, with the Northumbrians and all the country people, on horse and on foot, with a countless army, greatly rejoicing; and so all unanimously went to York, and stormed and demolished the castle, and gained innumerable treasures

therein, and slew there many hundred Frenchmen, and led many with them to the ships; but before the shipmen came thither, the French had burnt the town, and also plundered and burnt the holy monastery of St Peter. When the king learned this he went northward with all his force that he could gather, and completely harried and laid waste the shore. And the fleet lay all the winter in the Humber, where the king could not come to them. And the king was on the day of Midwinter at York and so all the winter in the land; and came to Winchester at the same Easter.

An. M.LXX. In this year the earl Waltheof made his peace with the king; and in the following Lent the king caused all the monasteries that were in England to be plundered. Then in the same year came Svein king of Denmark into the Humber; and the country people came to meet him, and made peace with him, weening that he would overrun the land. Then came to Ely Christian, the Danish bishop, and Asbiorn jarl, and the Danish huscarls with them; and the English folk from all the fen-lands came to them; weening that they would win all the land. Then the monks of Peterborough heard say that their own men would plunder the monastery, that was Hereward and his company. This was because they had heard say that the king had given the abbacy to a French abbot named Turold, and that he was a very stern man, and was then come to Stamford with all his Frenchmen. There was then a churchward there named Yware, who took by night all that he could; that was, gospels, mass-mantles, cantorcopes, and robes, and such like things, whatever he could; and went forthwith, ere day, to the abbot Turold, and told him that he sought his protection, and informed

him how the outlaws were come to Peterborough, and that he did all by the advice of the monks. Then soon on the morrow came all the outlaws with many ships, and would enter the monastery, and the monks withstood so that they could not come in. They then set it on fire and burned all the monks' houses; and all the town, save one house. They then came in through fire, in at Bolhithe gate, and the monks came to meet them, praying for peace. But they recked of nothing, went into the monastery, clomb up to the holy rood, then took the crown from our Lord's head, all of beaten gold, then took the foot-spur that was underneath his foot, which was all of red gold. They clomb up to the steeple, and brought down the crosier that was there hidden; it was of gold and silver. They took there two golden shrines, and nine of silver. They took there so much gold and silver, and so many treasures in money, and in raiment, and in books, as no man may tell to another, saying that they did it from affection to the monastery. They then betook themselves to the ships, proceeded to Ely, and there deposited all the treasures. The Danish men weened that they should overcome the Frenchmen; they then dispersed all the monks, none remaining there save one monk named Leofwine Lange; he lay sick in the sick men's ward. Then came abbot Turold, and eight times twenty Frenchmen with him, and all fully armed. When he came thither, he found within and without all burnt, save only the church. The outlaws were then all afloat, knowing that he would come thither. This was done on the day fourth before the Nones of June (June 2nd). The two kings, William and Svein, became reconciled, when the Danish men went out from Ely with all the aforesaid treasure,

and conveyed it with them. When they came to the middle of the sea, a great storm came and scattered all the ships in which the treasures were; some went to Norway, some to Ireland, some to Denmark; and all that thither came were the crosier, and some shrines, and some roods, and many of the other treasures and they brought them to a king's town and placed them all in church. Then afterwards through their heedlessness, and through their drunkenness, on one night the church was burnt, and all that was therein. Thus was the monastery of Peterborough burned and plundered. May Almighty God have compassion on it through his great mercy. And thus the abbot Turold came to Peterborough, and the monks then came again, and did Christ's service in the church, which had a full sennight before stood without any kind of rite. When bishop Aegelric heard that say, he excommunicated all the men who had done the evil. Then there was a great famine this year; and in the summer came the fleet from the north out of the Humber into the Thames, and lay there two nights, and afterwards proceeded to Denmark.

[Old English Chronicle]

Norman abbots were placed at the head of English monasteries, where their discipline was not appreciated.

An. M.LXXXIII. In this year arose the discord at Glastonbury, betwixt the abbot Thurstan and his monks. It came first from the abbot's lack of wisdom, so that he misruled his monks in many things, and the monks meant it kindly to him, and prayed him that he

would entreat them rightly, and love them, and they would be faithful to him, and obedient. But the abbot would naught of this, but did them evil, and threatened them worse. One day the abbot went into the chapterhouse, and spake against the monks, and would misuse them, and sent after laymen, and they came into the chapter-house upon the monks full armed. And then

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the monks were greatly afraid of them, and knew not what they were to do, but fled in all directions; some ran into the church, and locked the doors after them; and they went after them into the monastery and would drag them out, as they durst not go out. But a rueful thing happened there on that day. The Frenchmen broke into the choir, and hurled towards the altar where the monks were; and some of the young ones

I. S. B.


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