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bishop of Orkney, with one of his archdeacons and other clergy, who, as his delegate, should impose penance and give absolution to the people who daily flocked to them from every quarter. He also sent to them, as he had promised, the priests with their parishioners.

While thus waiting the approach of the Scots, the scouts whom they had sent forward to reconnoitre returned, bringing the information that the king with his army had already passed the river Tees, and was ravaging their province in his wonted manner. They therefore hastened to resist them; and passing the village of Alverton [North Allerton], they arrived early in the morning at a plain distant from it about two miles. Some of them soon erected in the centre a frame which they brought, the mast of a ship, to which they gave the name of the Standard. On the top of this pole they hung a silver pyx containing the Host, and the banner of St Peter the Apostle and John of Beverley and Wilfrid of Ripon, confessors and bishops. In doing this, their hope was that our Lord Jesus Christ, by the efficacy of his Body, might be their leader in the contest in which they were engaging in defence of His Church and their country. By this means they also provided for their men, that, in the event of their being cut off and separated from them, they might observe some certain and conspicuous rallying-point, by which they might rejoin their comrades, and where they would receive succour.

Scarcely, then, had they put themselves in battle array, when tidings were brought that the king of Scotland was close at hand with his whole force, ready and eager for the contest. The greater part of the

knights, then dismounting, became foot soldiers, a chosen body of whom, interspersed with archers, were arranged in the front rank. The others, with the exception of those who were to dispose and rally the forces, mustered with the barons in the centre, near and round the standard, and were enclosed by the rest of the host who closed in on all sides. The troop of cavalry and the horses of the knights were stationed at a little distance, lest they should take fright at the shouting and uproar of the Scots. In the like manner, on the enemy's side, the king and almost all his followers were on foot, their horses being kept at a distance. In front of the battle were the Picts; in the centre, the king with his knights and English; the rest of the barbarian host poured roaring around them.

As they advanced in this order to battle, the standard with its banners became visible at no great distance; and at once the hearts of the king and his followers were overpowered by extreme terror and consternation; yet, persisting in their wickedness, they pressed on to accomplish their bad ends. On the octave of the Assumption of St Mary, being Monday, the eleventh before the kalends of September (Aug. 22nd) between the first and third hours, the struggle of this battle was begun and finished. For numberless Picts being slain immediately on the first attack, the rest, throwing down their arms, disgracefully fled. The plain was strewn with corpses; very many were taken prisoners; the king and all the others took to flight; and at length, of that immense army all were either slain, captured, or scattered as sheep without a shepherd. They fled like persons bereft of reason, in a marvellous manner, into the adjoining district of their adversaries, increasing

their distance from their own country, instead of retreating towards it. But wherever they were discovered, they were put to death like sheep for the slaughter; and thus, by the righteous judgment of God, those who had cruelly massacred multitudes, and left them unburied, and giving them neither their country's nor a foreign rite of burial, left them a prey to the dogs, the birds, and the wild beasts-were either dismembered and torn to pieces, or decayed and putrefied in the open air. The king also, who, in the haughtiness of his mind and the power of his army, seemed a little before to reach with his head even to the stars of heaven, and threatened ruin to the whole and greatest part of England, now dishonoured and meanly attended, barely escaped with his life, in the utmost ignominy and dismay. The power of Divine vengeance was also most plainly exhibited in this, that the army of the vanquished was incalculably greater than that of the conquerors. No estimate could be formed of the number slain; for, as many affirm, of that army which came out of Scotland alone, it was computed by the survivors that more than ten thousand were missing; and in various localities of the Deirans, Bernicians, Northumbrians, and Cumbrians, many more perished after the fight than fell in the battle.



(1) BENEDICT OF PETERBOROUGH, abbot in the reign of Henry II, is the reputed author of the Gesta regis Henrici Secundi, a very valuable contemporary chronicle. That he did not actually write it is practically certain; Stubbs was inclined to attribute the authorship to Richard FitzNeal (v. infra).

(2) GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS, archdeacon of Brecon in the reign of Henry II, wrote the Topographia Hibernica and the Expugnatio Hibernica, describing the Irish people in his day, and the conquest under Henry II.

(3) RICHARD FITZNEAL, treasurer of England 1158-1198 and bishop of London, wrote the Dialogus de Scaccario or Dialogue concerning the Exchequer, which incidentally contains much information as to other contemporary institutions, laws, and customs.

(4) RICHARD, canon and prior of Holy Trinity, London, between 1199 and 1220, wrote the Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta Ricardi, in the main a translation of a French poem by Ambrose of Evreux, relating the deeds of Richard I in Palestine.

(5) ROGER OF WENDOVER, of the abbey of St Albans, wrote a history from 1188 to 1235 in continuation of a previous compilation.

(6) MATTHEW PARIS carried on Wendover's work to 1259. He is the most famous of English medieval historians, and wrote with very full knowledge. The author of the supplementary portion (after 1259) is not known.


[BENEDICT OF PETERBOROUGH Gesta regis Henrici Secundi] After his prolonged quarrel with Henry II, Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury, was formally reconciled to the king, and returned to England, Henry being then abroad. Becket at once opened an attack on the bishops and others who had taken part in the coronation of Henry, the heir apparent. The king's anger led to the murder of Becket.

Now, when our Lord the Pope had heard of the presumption of the aforesaid archbishop of York and of the bishops who had supported him as we have told, on the complaint of the Blessed Thomas; then he suspended from all their episcopal offices Roger the archbishop of York and Hugo bishop of Durham and Walter bishop of Rochester; and Gilbert of London and Jocelyn of Salisbury he excommunicated. Which stern sentence, being published upon the entry of the Holy Thomas, enraged the king the more, and made the poisoned tongues of detractors the more effective to do him evil. For Roger the archbishop of York and Jocelyn bishop of Salisbury and Gilbert bishop of London, straightway after sentence was pronounced against them made haste to Normandy; and sharpening their tongues as they had been swords stirred up the king himself by their clamour against the archbishop of Canterbury, and more and more roused him to wrath against him.

In the eleven hundred and seventy-first year after our Lord's Incarnation, Henry king of England, son of the Empress Matilda, held his court in Normandy at Bur, upon the day of our Lord's Nativity; being in great dolour and perturbation by reason that the archbishop of Canterbury would not absolve the bishops of England,

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