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RAVAGE OF THE NORTHERN COUNTIES.
countships of Northumberland and Huntingdon, which had once belonged to his wife's father, Waltheof; and the fief of Cumberland, which had commonly been held by the heir to the Scotch crown. But he raised such an army as the kingdom had never yet seen mustered; the heavy-armed troops were composed of English, Norman, and even German mercenaries; the light-armed of Gaelic clans from the Highlands and Picts from Galway, with target and brittle spears, and a single plaid or blanket thrown over them. Most of these men were as savage as Sikhs or Tartars. They desecrated churches and broke up the sacred images; slew all the male population, man and child, and reserved the women for a worse fate, driving them along in droves, and exchanging them in the camp for cattle, or whatever else the whim of the moment suggested. Stephen returned to England, and led an army from the south against these barbarians; they retreated in disorder; but the English host was badly provisioned, and could not pursue its advantages. It was forced to return, and the enemy remained wasting the rich country, captured Carlisle, and proposed to the bishop of Durham that he should swear fealty to the Scotch king.
Thus left to themselves, the barons and gentry of the north at last took heart, and collected the local forces. Thurstan, the archbishop, had ordered a procession in every parish, and the people were summoned by the sign of the cross, as if to a holy war. The two armies met near Northallerton. The English, fewer in number, were formed in a dense, impenetrable mass, round a standard fixed on a waggon, and surmounted by a cross; like the "carroccio" of Italian towns, it served for the rallying-point. They were no longer armed, as at Hastings, solely with the bill; English archers had acquired a terrible skill. Yet, as there were some signs of disorder at the number and fierce appearance of the enemy, their leader, the aged Walter Espec, harangued them. He pointed
1 Seminudis natibus.-Ric. Hagulst.; Twysden, 340. Mr. Burton (Hist. Scot., vol. ii., p. 381,) has proved that the kilt in its modern form, separate from the plaid, was invented by an army tailor in the eighteenth century.
2 This speech is assigned by Wendover to Ralph, bishop of Durham, and by Huntingdon to a bishop of the Orkneys. But the bishop of Durham at this
BATTLE OF THE STANDARD.
out how the Normans had subdued every nation they encountered or invaded, and bade them not be afraid of savages, who fought without armour, and were animated by the mere mad courage of brutes. Meanwhile, the Scotch were divided by a quarrel as to who should lead the van. The king naturally preferred the disciplined and heavy-armed southrons, but the Picts carried their point by clamour. Before the armies closed, an English baron, Robert de Bruce, stepped forward, and reproached the king for leading unfaithful subjects against old allies, who had often helped him to put down rebellions. The reproach was just, and indicated the transition of races that was rapidly going on in the Scotch Lowlands. But such considerations could not affect the battle. The Galwegians rushed on yelling, and broke, like spray upon the beach, before the serried English lines. A storm of arrows completed the rout of the first line of the enemy; and their men-at-arms were only able to effect an orderly retreat, without influencing the fortunes of the day. The pursuit for some distance was a bloody one. But it was not properly followed up the men of Yorkshire were glad to return to their homes; and Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland remained a debateable territory, rather Scotch than English. English rebels assisted to lay waste the land. The intervention of a papal legate procured a promise from king David, that the captive women should be restored, and women and churches spared in future. But peace was not concluded till 1140 A.D. It was then agreed that prince Henry should receive Northumberland in fief, except the fortresses of Bamborough and Newcastle, for which compensation was to be made. The county was to retain its customs, and the Scotch were to give five hostages for the performance of the treaty. The peace was dishonourable, but it did not alter the English frontier.
time was Geoffrey Ruffus, and a bishop of the Orkneys would have no call to fight with or harangue Yorkshiremen. Richard of Hagolstadt is a better authority for the north, and his vivid description of Walter Espec, tall, sinewy, black-haired, long-bearded, with broad dome-like forehead, large piercing eyes, and a voice like the sound of a trumpet, seems like that of an eye-witness. -Twysden, 338.
WAR WITH THE BISHOPS.
Before long, Stephen was engaged in a war more serious even than that with Scotland. At the instigation of William of Ypres, he had plotted to secure the person of the earl of Gloucester. Robert suspected treachery, and absented himself from the court. The king then took alarm, and pledged himself, through the archbishop of Rouen, to leave his cousin unmolested. The assurance confirmed the count's suspicions into certainties; he presently withdrew into Normandy, and sent the king a formal renunciation of his homage (1138 A.D.)1 Stephen was too well occupied to pursue him across the channel, and the count remained in quiet, watching events. Before long, the king of England was at feud with the church. The occasion was curious. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, united all the qualities of a feudal baron to real architectural genius. The mere building of a diocesan cathedral did not satisfy his ambition: he had been entrusted by the late king with the castle of Salisbury, had fortified Sherborne and Devizes, and began a castle at Malmesbury. One of his nephews, Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, emulated these military tastes; another, Nigel of Ely, was the first financier of his times. So powerful a family might easily be dangerous to the king, if Roger decided on espousing the cause of his old patron's daughter. Stephen was persuaded to summon them to council at Oxford, 1139 A.D. Roger obeyed with reluctance, foreseeing that no good would come of his attendance, and took the precaution to surround himself with a large military escort. These men, the minions of a prelate who had almost ruled the kingdom, were accustomed to carry matters with a high hand; they tried to seize quarters in the town which were claimed by the followers of count Fitz-Alan and Hervei de Liuns. A scuffle ensued, and blood was shed; the count Fitz-Alan himself was almost slain; the king's guards were forced to restore order, and drive the bishop's men out of the town. Stephen had for some time past resented the bishop's demands for fresh benefices, but had
1 Malmesbury says that several monks whom he consulted, and even the pope, told him that he was bound to keep his oath of fealty to Matilda.—Hist. Nov., lib. i., p. 712.
QUARREL OF KING AND CHURCH.
not dared to withhold them: other nephews had been pro ́moted; a natural son of Roger was made chancellor of England;. "If he asked for the half of my kingdom, I must give it him till the time go by." The time had now gone by. Roger and Alexander were imprisoned, and the king's forces pursued Nigel to Devizes, where he took shelter. The two prelates were lodged in a cabin and a cow-stall, and Stephen threatened to hang the chancellor before the eyes of his father and his mother, Matilda of Ramesbury, who commanded in Devizes, if the castle were not surrendered. The old bishop fasted for three days, as earnest of his intentions, to induce his nephew and his mistress to give way. The castle was surrendered, and all the fortresses of the three prelates, with ample munitions of war, fell into the king's hands. Roger died not long afterwards of grief and shame. The spoils of his large fortune were divided between the king and the canons of Salisbury, and the churches which he had annexed to his see recovered their independence.
A council was held at Winchester to deliberate on this invasion of church privileges. Bishop Henry, the king's brother, and now papal legate in England, presided, and warmly asserted the rights of the church. No one ventured to dispute that Roger had acted uncanonically, or that castles and munitions of war were not symbolized in the ring and crozier. But the high churchmen thought that questions of this kind should have been decided by an ecclesiastical tribunal. Whether Roger and his nephews would have cared much for any English synod, whether an appeal to the pope might not have produced ruinous delays, and given time for the kingdom to be won and lost, were questions that did not distress the conscience of transcendental canonists. Aubrey de Vere, as the king's representative, spoke out boldly for his master, and defended the legality of his acts. The strongest charge against Stephen
Malmesbury, Hist. Nov., lib. ii., p. 718; Florence, vol. ii., p. 108. But the author of the Gesta Stephani, who is friendly to Stephen, represents the king as keeping him without food till the castle surrendered.-Gesta Steph.,
LANDING OF THE EMPRESS.
was, that he had seized part of Roger's treasures, under pretence that they were moneys pilfered from the exchequer; this was mere robbery, as the king was bound to reclaim his property in the ordinary courts of law. Accordingly words ran high: Stephen forbade any bishop to leave the country, and offered to appeal to the pope; his knights surrounded the synod, and threatened its members with violence. The council broke up in disorder. By an apologist of his reign, it is said that the king did penance for his offence. It is certain that he never appeased the clergy.
Robert of Gloucester had watched events, and knew that his time was come. He enlisted an army of Bretons, Flemings, and Germans. Accompanied by his sister, for Geoffrey of Anjou was too unpopular to be brought into England, the carl crossed the channel and landed at Arundel, Sept. 30, 1139 A.D. The queen-dowager, Henry I.'s second wife, received the adventurers cordially. Robert at once pushed across country for Bristol, and was just in time to avoid the king, who hurried up with a small army and besieged Arundel. He was diverted from the prosecution of his enterprize by Henry of Winchester. The legate was in private understanding with Robert, whom he had lately seen, and now came to the king with the counsel of Hushai. The war, he said, would last for ever if the enemy were divided; let the empress be suffered to join her brother, and both might be crushed at a blow.
It is difficult to understand how any man could be deceived by such advice; but Henry knew the measure of his brother's intellect. Perhaps it is right to assume that the policy recommended appealed to Stephen's chivalrous instincts, and that the king was ashamed to concentrate his strength on a woman. Any how, Matilda was allowed to join her brother, and before long Henry of Winchester appeared at his cousin's court. bishop of Salisbury's death enabled his nephew Nigel to declare fearlessly for the imperial cause. But the strength of that party lay in the west; Stephen easily stormed Ely, and
Gesta Steph., p. 51.