1070, at a council in Winchester attended by three papal legates, Archbishop Stigand of Canterbury was deposed.
"His brother, Aegelmar [Ęthelmęr], bishop of the East Angles, was also deposed. A few abbots were also there degraded, the king promoting the deprivation of the English, and filling up their places by persons of his own nation, in order to confirm his power in a kingdom which he had but newly acquired. He also deprived of their honours certain persons, both bishops and abbots, whom neither the ecclesiastical councils nor the civil laws could convict of any open crime, and to the end of their lives held them in confinement, induced solely by mistrust, as we have said, of losing his newly acquired kingdom."
King William wanted Lanfranc, the eminent abbot of Caen, to replace Stigand as archbishop of Canterbury. Lanfranc, however, was reluctant (it appears he doubted his own abilities - he had already turned down the archbishopric of Rouen), and asked for time to consider William's offer. Ealdred, archbishop of York had died in 1069
. On Whitsunday (23rd May) 1070, at Windsor, Thomas, a canon of Bayeux, was appointed to the position, but his consecration was deferred until Stigand's replacement had been installed (Note
). Meanwhile, however:
"In the same year  came King Swegn [Swein] from Denmark into the Humber; and the landsmen came to meet him, and made a treaty with him; thinking that he would overrun the land....
The Danish invasion fleet of 1069, commanded by Swein's brother, Earl Osbeorn, was still in the Humber, having come to an arrangement with King William. Swein appears to have galvanised them into action.
.... Then came into Ely
Christian, the Danish bishop [of Aarhus], and Earl Osbeorn, and the Danish housecarls
with them; and the English people from all the fen-lands came to them; supposing that they should win all that land. Then the monks of Peterborough heard say, that their own men would plunder the minster; namely Hereward and his gang: because they understood that the king had given the abbacy to a French abbot, whose name was Turold - that he was a very stern man, and was then come into Stamford with all his Frenchmen....
Hereward, popularly known as Hereward 'the Wake', is a character, in the tradition of King Arthur (if rather more substantial), who, although making a fleeting appearance in history, captured the public imagination and lives in legend and literature. The "very stern man", Turold, once a monk at Fécamp, had been abbot of Malmesbury. (The 'Chronicle' tends to use the term 'French' in a general sense - Turold was Norman). He appears to have been transferred to Peterborough (the previous abbot, Brand, had died on 27th November 1069) specifically because of the threat posed by "Hereward and his gang". William of Malmesbury
, in his 'Gesta Pontificum Anglorum' (Deeds of the Bishops of England), says King William quipped: "By God's splendour, if he [Turold] is more of a knight than an abbot I will find him a man who will meet all his attacks, where he can prove his valour and his knighthood and practise the art of war."
.... Now there was a sacristan, whose name was Yware; who took away by night all that he could, testaments, chasubles, cantel-copes, and robes, and such other small things, whatsoever he could; and went early, before day, to the Abbot Turold; telling him that he
sought his protection, and informing him how the outlaws were coming to Peterborough, and that he did all by advice of the monks. Early in the morning came all the outlaws with many ships, resolving to enter the minster; but the monks withstood, so that they could not come in. Then they laid on fire, and burned all the houses of the monks, and all the town except one house. Then came they in through fire at the Bolhithe gate; where the monks met them, and besought peace of them. But they regarded nothing. They went into the minster, climbed up to the holy rood, took away the diadem from our Lord's head, all of pure gold, and seized the bracket that was underneath his feet, which was all of red gold. They climbed up to the steeple, brought down the table that was hid there, which was all of gold and silver, seized two golden shrines, and nine of silver, and took away fifteen large crucifixes, of gold and of silver; in short, they seized there so much gold and silver, and so many treasures,
in money, in raiment, and in books, as no man could tell another; and said, that they did it from their attachment to the minster....
Peterborough monk, Hugh Candidus (mid-12th century): "... they pretended to do this out of loyalty to the church, for they said the Danes would guard these things better than the Frenchmen for the use of the church. And indeed Hereward was himself a man of the monks [he was a tenant
of the abbey], and for that reason many believed in him. But he [Hereward] oft times swore in after times that he had done this of good intention, because he supposed they were conquering King William, and would themselves possess the land."
.... Afterwards they went to their ships, proceeded to Ely, and deposited there all the treasure [with the Danes]. The Danes, believing that they should overcome the Frenchmen, drove out all the monks [from Peterborough]; leaving there only one, whose name was Leofwine Lange ['the Long'], who lay sick in the infirmary. Then came Abbot Turold and eight times twenty Frenchmen with him, all full-armed. When he came thither, he found all within and without consumed by fire, except the church alone ....
Hugh Candidus: "So that the city which was called the Golden Borough became the poorest of cities."
.... but the outlaws were all with the fleet, knowing that he would come thither. This was done on the fourth day before the nones of June [2nd June]....
Hugh Candidus tells how Prior Ęthelwold was taken to Ely by the Danes. They were so impressed by his "wisdom and understanding" that they said he would have a bishopric if he came to Denmark. Ęthelwold pretended to accept their offer, and they gave the treasure into his safekeeping. He hatched a plan to recover the abbey's most treasured relic (the right arm of St.Oswald
"abiding entire and uncorrupted alike in its flesh and skin") from its stolen shrine. Whilst the Danes were feasting, Ęthelwold, using tools which he had secretly acquired, managed ("with great labour") to open the iron bound wooden chest which lay behind its gold and silver cladding, to reveal "St.Oswald's arm, together with many other relics". Ęthelwold hid the relics in the straw of his bed. The next day, he was successful in getting them smuggled to Ramsey Abbey.
.... The two kings, William and Swęgn [Swein], were now reconciled; and the Danes went out of Ely with all the aforesaid treasure, and carried it away with them. But when they came into the middle of the sea, there came a violent storm, and dispersed all the ships wherein the treasures were. Some went to Norway, some to Ireland, some to Denmark. All that reached the latter, consisted of the table, and some shrines, and some crucifixes, and many of the other treasures; which they brought to a king's town, called [there is a space in the manuscript], and deposited it all there in the church....
Hugh Candidus: "Ynwar [Yware] the Sacrist of Burgh [Peterborough], of whom we have spoken, came in after times to Denmark, and with cunning such as the prior had shewn, he got all the relics which were in the other feretories and carried them home."
.... Afterwards through their [the Danes'] own carelessness, and through their drunkenness, in one night the church and all that was therein was consumed by fire. Thus was the minster of Peterborough burned and plundered. Almighty God have mercy on it through his great goodness. Thus came the Abbot Turold to Peterborough; and the monks too returned, and performed the service of Christ in the church, which had before stood a full week without any kind of rite."
Prior Ęthelwold returned safely to Peterborough. However, Abbot Turold had to threaten to burn Ramsey Abbey to the ground before they would surrender the relics which Ęthelwold had, heroically, rescued. Hugh Candidus: "Then the monastery which in olden times had been very rich now became very poor ... Abbot Turold himself not only added naught thereto but rather the lands so well acquired he evilly took away, and gave them to his relations and to the knights who had come with him, so that scarce a third of the abbey remained in demesne."
"The feast of St.John the Baptist [24th June] being near, earl Asbiörn [Osbeorn] went to Denmark with the fleet which had wintered in the Humber ....
Both Manuscripts D and E of the 'Chronicle' mention that the fleet spent two nights in the Thames before setting sail for Denmark.
.... and his brother Sweyn [Swein] outlawed him because he had taken a bribe from king William against the wishes of the Danes. That valiant man Edric, surnamed Silvaticus [Eadric the Wild] ... was reconciled with king William."
Florence of Worcester
Lanfranc, reluctantly, and only after a direct order from Pope Alexander II (1061-73), agreed to accept the post of archbishop of Canterbury. He was appointed on 15th August 1070, and was consecrated on 29th August. Archbishop Thomas of York was subsequently consecrated by Lanfranc. Add.07
William of Jumičges, writing in c.1070-71:
"... [King William] governed by that prudence which he always followed in all things, carefully surveyed the lack of fortification of his kingdom and caused strong castles to be raised in suitable places, manned by a picked force of knights and large numbers of stipendiaries. At length the storm of wars and rebellions dying out, he now both clemently rules and even more prosperously and powerfully reigns in glory over the whole English kingdom."
Berkhamsted Castle is a good example of 'motte and bailey' construction - the picture below being taken from within the bailey looking towards the motte. It was originally constructed, from timber, in the immediate post-invasion period. The earliest stone building dates from the mid-12th century.
"At this time by the grace of God peace reigned over England; and a degree of security returned to it's inhabitants now that the brigands had been driven off. English and Normans were living peacefully together in boroughs, towns and cities, and were intermarrying with each other. You could see many villages or town markets filled with displays of French wares and merchandise, and observe the English, who had previously seemed contemptible to the French in their native dress, completely transformed by foreign fashions. No one dared to pillage, but everyone cultivated his own fields in safety and lived contentedly with his neighbour. Unhappily this was not to last. Churches were built and restored; and in them pious men devoted their lives to rendering to God the prayers and praises due to him. The king's passion for justice dominated the kingdom, encouraging others to follow his example. He struggled to learn some of the English language, so that he could understand the pleas of the conquered people without an interpreter, and benevolently pronounce fair judgements for each one as required. But advancing age prevented him from acquiring such learning, and the distraction of his many duties forced him to give his attention to other things."
The next year, 1071, as recorded by Florence of Worcester:
"Earls Edwin and Morkar [Morcar], because king William sought to put them in confinement, escaped secretly from his court, and for some time continued in rebellion against him ....
Florence's record is more detailed than that of the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'. Neither Manuscript D
nor Manuscript E of the 'Chronicle' provide the information that Edwin and Morcar rebelled against William because he wanted to imprison them. Both manuscripts simply state that the earls: "... fled out, and roamed at random in woods and in fields."
.... but when they saw that their enterprise had not turned out successfully, Edwin determined to go to Malcolm, king of the Scots, but was killed on the journey, in an ambush laid by his own people. But Morkar, and Aegelwine [Ęthelwine], bishop of Durham, Siward, surnamed Barn, and Hereward, a most valiant man, with many others, took ship, and went to the isle of Ely, desiring to winter there....
Symeon of Durham
('Historia Regum') named Siward Barn as one of the worthies who fled to Scotland, with Edgar the Ętheling, in 1070. Bishop Ęthelwine, though intending to go to Cologne, had also ended up in Scotland at about the same time as Edgar's party. (Ęthelwine had helped himself to some of Durham's treasures, and was outlawed). According to Geffrei Gaimar
, Ęthelwine and Siward Barn had sailed to the Humber, where they were met by Morcar. The trio met-up with Hereward at Welle (the contiguous villages of Outwell and Upwell - some 13 miles/21 Kilometres north of Ely): "... they laid waste much of the country which the Normans had seized. Thence they went to Ely, avoiding their enemy."
.... When the king heard of this, he blocked up every outlet on the eastern side of the island by his sailors, and commanded a bridge of two miles in length to be constructed on the western side. And when they saw that they were thus shut in, they gave up resistance, and all except the valiant Hereward, who made his escape through the fens, with a few others, surrendered to the king [Note
]; who at once sent bishop Aegelwine to Abingdon, where he was placed in confinement, and died the same winter....
Symeon of Durham, in his 'History of the Church of Durham': "Although he [Bishop Ęthelwine] was frequently advised to restore to the church the goods which he had carried off, he affirmed with an oath that he had taken nothing whatever. But one day as he was washing his hands before dinner, an armlet slipped down from his arm onto his hand in the presence of all; and thus the bishop was convicted of manifest perjury. Being thus cast into prison at the king's command, such was his immoderate anxiety that he refused to taste any food, and died of grief and hunger."
.... As for the earl and the rest, who were scattered throughout England, he placed some in confinement, and permitted some to go free, with the loss of their hands or eyes." Add.08
Orderic Vitals reports this episode (which, incidentally, he says brought to a close William of Poitiers
' 'History of William the Conqueror') quite differently. Morcar is said to have been "in the Isle of Ely" - no explanation is given for his being there, and no companions are mentioned. King William, on the advice of "evil counsellors" (and bringing "great harm to his reputation") besieged "the noble Earl Morcar ... a man who had made peace with him and was neither doing nor expecting any harm". Orderic claims that Morcar could have easily held-out or made his escape by boat, but instead he chose to believe false messages, in which, in return for his surrender, the king offered to "receive him in peace as a loyal friend". Morcar "led his men out of the island", and the king "flung him in fetters without any open charge":
"When the fair youth Earl Edwin learned of this he determined to prefer death to life unless he could free his brother Morcar from unjust captivity, or avenge him fully in Norman blood. So for six months he sought support amongst the Scots, Welsh, and English. But during this period three brothers who were his most intimate servants betrayed him to the Normans; and they slew him with twenty knights, all fighting desperately to the last. The Normans owed their success in part to a high tide, which penned up Edwin beside a tidal stream and prevented his escape. When the news of Edwin's death spread through England, Normans and French alike joined the English in mourning and lamenting him as though he had been a close friend or kinsman... King William, when he heard of the treachery that had brought this Mercian earl to his death, was moved to righteous tears, and when the traitors brought the head of their master to him, hoping for a reward, he angrily commanded them to leave the country."
As presented by the, later-12th century, 'Liber Eliensis' (Book of Ely), the story of Hereward and the siege of Ely is a garbled fusion of material plucked from assorted sources (Note
). However, according to this account, when King William took Ely (entering the Isle by "crooked fen-paths on a most difficult march"):
"... having allocated a site for a fortress within the monks' precincts, he both made arrangements for people from the shires of Cambridge, Huntingdon and Bedford to carry out the building-work, and committed it to the charge of knights of his choosing whom he had brought across from Gaul. Having similarly garrisoned the fortress of Aldreth with men from Gaul who were loyal to him, he returned by the route by which he had come in. Such was the upheaval that day that there was no celebration of the mass in the place. The day in question was 27th October."
According to the 'Liber Eliensis', the monks were unaware of William's flying-visit to the monastery, which happened whilst they were at lunch. Add.09
"After King William had defeated the leading Mercian earls as I have related - Edwin being dead and Morcar languishing in prison
- he divided up the chief provinces of England amongst his followers, and made the humblest of the Normans men of wealth, with civil and military authority."
"After the Assumption of St.Mary [15th August], William, king of the English, having Edric Silvaticus in his retinue, invaded Scotland with a naval force and an army of cavalry, in order to reduce it to his own power; and Malcolm, king of Scots, met him in a place called Abernethy ..."
Florence of Worcester
"... and gave hostages
, and became his man; whereupon the king [William] returned home with all his force."