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greatly oppressed the wretched people by making them work at these castles, and when the castles were finished they filled them with devils and evil men. Then they took those whom they suspected to have any goods, by night and by day, seizing both men and women, and they put them in prison for their gold and silver, and tortured them with pains unspeakable, for never were any martyrs tormented as these were. They hung some up by their feet, and smoked them with foul smoke; some by their thumbs, or by the head, and they hung burning things on their feet. They put a knotted string about their heads, and twisted it till it went into the brain. They put them into dungeons wherein were adders and snakes and toads, and thus wore them out. Some they put into a crucet-house, that is, into a chest that was short and narrow, and not deep, and they put sharp stones in it, and crushed the man therein so that they broke all his limbs. There were hateful and grim things called Sachenteges in many of the castles, and which two or three men had enough to do to carry. The Sachentege was made thus: it was fastened to a beam, having a sharp iron to go round a man's throat and neck, so that he might no ways sit, nor lie, nor sleep, but that he must bear all the iron. Many thousands they exhausted with hunger. I cannot and I may not tell of all the wounds, and all the tortures that they inflicted upon the wretched men of this land; and this state of things lasted the nineteen years that Stephen was king, and ever grew worse and worse. They were continually levying an exaction from the towns, which they called Tenserie,* and when the miserable inhabitants had no more to give, then plundered they, and burnt all the towns, so that well mightest thou walk a whole day's journey nor ever shouldest thou find a man seated in a town, or its lands tilled.

Then was corn dear, and flesh, and cheese, and butter, for there was none in the land-wretched men starved with hunger-some lived on alms who had been erewhile rich: some fled the country-never was there more misery, and never acted heathens worse than these. At length they spared neither church nor churchyard, but they took all that was valuable therein, and then burned the church and all together. Neither did they spare the lands of bishops, nor of A payment to the superior lord for protection.

abbats, nor of priests; but they robbed the monks and the clergy, and every man plundered his neighbour as much as he could. If two or three men came riding to a town, all the township fled before them, and thought that they were robbers. The bishops and clergy were ever cursing them, but this to them was nothing, for they were all accursed, and forsworn, and reprobate. The earth bare no corn, you might as well have tilled the sea, for the land was all ruined by such deeds, and it was said openly that Christ and his saints slept. These things, and more than we can say, did we suffer during nineteen years because of our sins. Through all this evil time the abbat Martin held his abbacy for twenty years and a half and eight days, with many difficulties: and he provided the monks and guests with all necessaries, and kept up much alms in the house; and withal he wrought upon the church, and annexed thereto lands and rents, and enriched it greatly, and furnished it with robes: and he brought the monks into the new monastery on St. Peter's day with much pomp. This was in the year 1140 of our Lord's incarnation, the twenty-third year after the fire. And he went to Rome and was well received there by pope Eugenius, from whom he obtained sundry privileges, to wit, one for all the abbey lands, and another for the lands that adjoin the monastery, and had he lived longer he meant to have done as much for the treasurer's house. And he re

gained certain lands that powerful men possessed by force; he won Cotingham and Easton from William Malduit, who held Rockingham castle, and from Hugh of Walteville he won Hirtlingbery, and Stanwick, and sixty shillings yearly out of Oldwinkle. And he increased the number of monks, and planted a vineyard, and made many works, and improved the town; and he was a good monk and a good man, and therefore God and good men loved him. Now will we relate some part of what befell in king Stephen's time. In his reign the Jews of Norwich bought a Christian child before Easter, and tortured him with all the torments wherewith our Lord was tortured, and they crucified him on Good Friday for the love of our Lord, and afterwards buried him. They believed that this would be kept secret, but our Lord made manifest that he was a holy martyr, and the monks took him and buried him honourably in the monastery, and he

performed manifold and wonderful miracles through the power of our Lord, am. he is called St. William.

A. 1138. This year David king of Scotland entered this land with an immense army resolving to conquer it, and William earl of Albemarle, to whose charge the king had committed York, and other trusty men, came against him with few troops, and fought with him, and they put the king to flight at the Standard, and slew a great part of his followers.

A. 1140. This year Stephen attempted to take Robert earl of Gloucester the son of king Henry, but failed, for Robert was aware of his purpose. After this, in Lent, the sun and the day were darkened about noon, when men eat, so that they lighted candles to eat by. This was on the 13th before the Kalends of April, and the people were greatly astonished. After this William archbishop of Canterbury died, and the king made Theobald, abbat of Bec, archbishop. Then there arose a very great war between the king and Randolph earl of Chester, not because the king did not give him all that he could ask, even as h. did to all others, but that the more he gave them, the worse they always carried themselves to him. The earl held Lincoln against the king, and seized all that belonged to the king there, and the king went thither, and besieged him and his brother William de Romare in the castle and the earl stole out and went for Robert earl of Gloucester, and brought him thither with a large army; and they fought furiously against their lord on Candlemas-day, and they took him captive, for his men betrayed him and fled, and they led him to Bristol, and there they put him into prison and close confinement. Now was


all England more disturbed than before, and all evil was in the land. After this, king Henry's daughter, who had been empress of Germany, and was now countess of Anjou, arrived, and she came to London, and the citizens would have seized her, but she fled with much loss. Then Henry bishop of Winchester, king Stephen's brother, spake with earl Robert and with the empress, and swore them oaths that he never more would hold with the king his brother, and he cursed all those that did hold with him, and he said that he would give up Winchester to them, and he made them come thither. But when they were in that place Stephen's queen

brought up her strength and besieged them, till there was so great a famine in the town, they could endure it no longer Then stole they out and fled, and the besiegers were aware of them, and followed them, and they took Robert earl of Gloucester and led him to Rochester, and imprisoned him there and the empress fled into a monastery. Then wise men, friends of the king and of the earl, interfered between them, and they settled that the king should be let out of prison for the earl, and the earl for the king; and this was done. After this the king and earl Randolph were reconciled at Stamford, and they took oaths and pledged their troth, that neither would betray the other: but this promise was set at nought, for the king afterwards seized the earl in Northampton through wicked counsel, and put him in prison, but he set him free soon after, through worse, on condition that he should swear on the cross, and find hostages that he would give up all his castles. Some he did deliver up, and others not; and he did worse than he should have done in this country. Now was England much divided, some held with the king and some with the empress, for when the king was in prison the earls and the great men thought that he would never more come out, and they treated with the empress, and brought her to Oxford, and gave her the town. When the king was out of prison he heard this, and he took his army and besieged her in the tower, and they let her down from the tower by night with ropes, and she stole away, and she fled and she went on foot to Wallingford. After this she went over sea, and all the Normans turned from the king to the earl of Anjou, some willingly, and some against their will; for he besieged them till they gave up their castles, and they had no help from the king. Then the king's son Eustace went to France, and took to wife the sister of the king of France: he thought to obtain Normandy through this marriage, but little he sped, and that of right, for he was an evil man, and did more harm than good wherever he went: he spoiled the lands, and laid thereon heavy taxes: he brought his wife to England, and put her into the castle of * she was a good woman but she had little bliss with him, and it was not the will of Christ that he "The MS. is here deficient ; but .... b for 'byrig' is discernible." -INGRAM.

should bear rule long, and he died, and his mother also. And the earl of Anjou died, and his son Henry succeeded him; and the queen of France was divorced from the king, and she went to the young earl Henry and he took her to wife, and received all Poitou with her. Then he came into England with a great army and won castles; and the king marched against him with a much larger army, howbeit they did not fight, but the archbishop and wise men went between them and made a treaty on these terms: that the king should be lord and king while he lived, and that Henry should be king after his death, and that he should consider him as his father, and the king him as his son, and that peace and concord should be between them, and in all England. The king, and the earl, and the bishop, and the earls, and all the great men swore to observe these and the other conditions that were then made. The earl was received with much honour at Winchester and at London, and all did homage to him, and swore to keep the peace, and it soon became a very good peace, such as never was in this land. Then the king was more powerful here than ever he was; and the earl went over sea, and all the people loved him, because he did good justice, and made peace.

A. 1154. This year king Stephen died, and he was buried with his wife and his son at Faversham; they had built that monastery. When the king died the earl was beyond sea, and no man durst do other than good for very dread of him. When he came to England he was received with much honour, and was consecrated king at London on the Sunday before Christmas, and he held a great court there and on the same day that Martin abbat of Peterborough should have gone thither he sickened, and he died on the 4th before the Nones of January. And that day the monks chose another abbat from among themselves. He is named William de Walteville, a good clerk, and a good man, and well beloved of the king and of all good people: and they buried the abbat honourably in the church, and soon afterwards the abbat elect and the monks went to the king at Oxford, and the king gave him the abbacy, and he departed soon afterwards to Peterborough, where he remained with the abbat before he came home. And the king was received at Peter

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