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WILLIAM'S FOLLOWERS REWARDED.
William felt the insecurity of his position, and commenced strengthening the fortifications which had perhaps existed from Roman times in London. Yet it might have been thought for a time that his reign would be peaceable. The northern earls, Edwin and Morcar, gave in their allegiance; Edwin was rewarded with a promise of one of William's daughters to wife the English were not yet a despised and hostile race; the king earnestly promoted intermarriages between them and his own countrymen. The queen-dowager, Edith, had taken part with Tostig against Harold; she was one of the first to acknowledge the new dynasty, and surrender Winchester, where a tower like that of London was erected. It now became a question of rewarding the chief Norman nobles out of the conquered land. No sweeping measure of confiscation could be attempted, for half of England at least was still unconquered; Wessex, Anglia, and part of Mercia, were the only districts in which William's royalty was recognized. But by the theory of Saxon government, the ealdormanships of counties and towns carried with them ample endowments in land and fees; these might be transferred by a new sovereign and his council, as offices among ourselves change hands with a new ministry. Accordingly, Roger of Montgomery received Chichester and Arundel; and William Fitz-Osbern the earldom of Hereford. Meaner men the king could reward from his own estate, which was enormous. The property of the Saxon kings had gradually increased; and under Edward the Confessor the crown was richly endowed in every part of the south and east. To all this William added the confiscated property of Harold and his relations: and we may fairly suppose that some other Englishmen were outlawed even at this period for their share in opposing the king.
These estates in all likelihood
'The date of the White Tower is, however, said to be 1078 A.D.; and its architect Gundulf, bishop of Rochester.-Knight's Cyclopædia of London, p. 148.
2Thierry thinks all the property of men who had fought at Hastings was confiscated; that those who intended to serve there were deprived provisionally of their property; and that the surveys, of which Domesday Book is the most com
LEGAL CHARACTER OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT.
equalled the demesne of the crown in extent; Gytha, earl Godwin's widow, possessed to her own share forty thousand acres; Harold and his wife, "Edith the fair," were large landowners; and their cousin, Eadric the Wild, speedily forfeited the merits of an early submission by an equally prompt rebellion. There is no need, therefore, to assume that William began his reign by dispossessing his new subjects indiscriminately of their property. He had satiated his common soldiers with the sack of cities; and as king and landlord, he was able to reward his barons and knights, without infringing on any legal rights, though not without much hardship to actual occupants. care taken to rebuild the town of Dover is a proof that his policy aimed at conciliation. The difficulties that debarred him
plete example, were begun in the first year of the Conquest.-Conquête des Normands, tom. ii., pp. 15-17. There are many reasons for doubting this theory. Nigel, the only authority for it, while he expounds the general rule, that all the lands of the kingdom were forfeit to the crown, prefaces his statement by saying, that in fact not only the peasants but the native nobility were allowed to retain their estates.-Dial de Scac., lib. i., cap. 10. As late as 1074 A.D., Orderic represents the Normans as complaining that the best part of the country had been left to the English.-Vol. ii., p. 260. Hampshire and Wiltshire, two of the counties first occupied, are precisely those in which most names of Saxon occupants occur in 1086 A.D., when the Domesday survey was completed.— Morgan's England under the Normans, pp. 1, 2. Putting aside such cases as those of Hide and Peterborough abbeys, which had given special provocation, there is no reason to assume that the monasteries were harshly treated; as Lingard has observed, the monks make no complaints of any sweeping measure against them.-Vol. ii., p. 44. Indeed an order was made in some unknown year of the reign that all property taken from bishops and abbots should be restored to them.-Rymer's Fœdera, New Ed., vol. i., p. 3. Orderic represents William as affecting clemency in the first part of his reign; and such a policy is inconsistent with wholesale spoliation. Lastly, all instances of real spoliation may safely be referred to the time posterior to the devastation of the north, when many estates had been forfeited by fresh rebellions. The principle that Harold's soldiers were traitors, may often have influenced the decisions of feudal courts; but it was not acted upon at first, or carried out by special commissioners through the length and breadth of England. On the whole, no better account of the conquest can be given in brief, than that put forward by Justice Shardelowe, in the reign of Edward III.: "Le conqueror ne vient pas pour ouster eux, qui avoient droiturell possession, mes de ouster eux que de leur tort avoient occupie ascun terre en desheritance del Roy et son coronne."-Munford's Domesday of Norfolk, p. 62, note.
from success were not felt at first, and by Easter 1067 A.D., he was able to return to Normandy. A number of English nobles swelled his train; among them were Edgar Ætheling himself, the two northern earls, Edwin and Morcar, Ægelnod, ealdorman of Kent, and the primate Stigand, who for a while had laid aside his rôle of patriot. But these men were hostages rather than councillors; they graced a triumph rather than a court; and their presence did not prevent the insulting parade of the plundered English wealth and the captured ensigns. The litanies in Norman churches, the joy of the Norman people, must have stung the very souls of men who had been deaf to honour, but who were not dead to shame.
William's viceroys during his absence were his own halfbrother Eudes, bishop of Bayeux, and the seneschal William Fitz-Osbern. Under these men, the natural insolence of a foreign soldiery was encouraged or allowed. The people of Kent were now anxious to undo their submission; in default of a native leader they invited Eustace of Boulogne, who had quarrelled with the conqueror, to head their rebellion. But. Eustace was beaten back by the Norman troops when he attempted to seize Dover, and soon afterwards made peace separately with the king. The people of Exeter were more fortunate. They had quarrelled with some foreign troops, and, fearing William's vengeance, fortified their town. The king, whom the news of disaffection had recalled, marched hastily into the west with a well-appointed army; the citizens offered to pay tribute, but refused to admit a garrison. William replied that he would not treat with subjects. At first it seemed as if the sight of a Norman army before the walls had subdued the courage of the insurgents: the corporation came out to offer submission, and gave hostages. But the citizens indignantly repudiated the cowardly act of their magistrates. The Normans found the gates closed against them; the blinding of a hostage before the walls only heightened the patriotic resolve of the inhabitants; and for eighteen days Exeter withstood the repeated attacks of the Norman army. At the end of that time each party had learned to respect the other; and
CAUSES OF INSURRECTION.
Exeter obtained terms which left the king the prestige of victory while they secured the inhabitants from outrage. The Norman troops were not suffered to enter the town, which retained its customs and corporate property. But the king carried his point of building a castle, of which a Norman, Gilbert de Brionne, was made governor. This policy, at once vigorous and merciful, produced its natural results. Next year the sons of Harold came over from Ireland, and called upon the men of Devonshire to rise. They rose under a Saxon, Eadnoth, but it was to win a battle for the Norman king. The sons of Harold were attacked wherever they landed; almost all their followers were slain; and they retired, disheartened, to Norway, where Skule, the son of Tostig, had founded a patrician family, and from which their own race was destined to cross the Baltic and mix its blood with Russian royalty.2
But the causes of insurrection were too deep-seated and universal to be easily removed. Under no circumstances could the English have acquiesced in the presence of foreigners who monopolized office and dignity. The mere change from a weak to a strong government, was a sufficient motive for revolt in the less settled western and northern provinces.3 Under Edward every man had done as seemed good in his own eyes; under William all offences against the peace were punished with new and stringent penalties. That the king profited by the fines of justice and by the lands that escheated to him, is obvious; but he did not act merely from polity and the love of money. William had a stern regard for law; his sense of order was offended by all irregularity; and he looked on the right of feud as petty treason to the crown. In the military Welsh marches and in Northumbria, which was half-Danish, the people speedily rose in arms to defend their constitutional right of anarchy. Wil
1 Orderic, vol. ii., pp. 180, 181; Consuet. Civit., Gale, iii., p. 762.
2 Worsaae's Danes in England, p. 147. Gytha, Harold's daughter, married Waldemar, czar of Russia.-Lappenberg, band i., p. 557.
3 "Occidentem aut plagam septentrionalem versus effrenis adhuc ferocia superbiebat, et Angliæ regi nisi ad libitum suum famulari sub rege Edwardo aliisque prioribus olim despexerat."-Orderic, vol ii., p. 179.
REVOLT OF THE NORTH.
liam was equal to the emergency. He first reduced Oxford, which had relied on the strength of its walls; a gross insult from one of the burghers inflamed the king's ungovernable passions; the town was taken by assault, and out of seven hundred and twenty-one houses four hundred and seventy-eight were given to the flames. Passing on to the west, William reduced Eadric the Wild to submission; the more easily as that chief and his Welsh following had already been repulsed by the loyal Saxons of Exeter. A series of sieges ensued: Warwick, Derby, Nottingham, and Lincoln were reduced; a fresh rising in the west was curbed by the capture of Shrewsbury, where a castle and a French colony were placed to bridle the townsmen. William's rear was now secured by a chain of forts. His great and easy success south of the Humber, makes it probable that the country people, weary of their native lords, and recognizing his title as legitimate, often brought him intelligence, and perhaps swelled his ranks. The cities, which had been privileged, and the Danish districts, which had been free, had more to lose by submitting to foreign dominion. The hopelessness of a rebellion without concert was soon seen. A great battle on the banks of the Humber opened the gates of York; and the chief nobles of the north took refuge in Scotland, where king Malcolm protected them. But the Normans exaggerated their own success, and pushed forward a detachment under Robert Comine to occupy Durham. The very night of their arrival the foreign soldiers, some thousand strong, were cut to pieces by a rising of the country. The invaders were dispirited; the Northumbrians applied to Denmark for support in the war which had been so hopefully commenced. A Danish fleet of more than two hundred ships, under Sven's own brother and sons, entered the Humber; the earls led down the exiles and their Gallic allies from the Lothians. The united armies set siege to York. In a few days it was known that they had burned the town and slaughtered the garrison, many hundred in number. The storm had been accompanied with incidents of ferocious cruelty. The earl Waltheof had stationed himself at a