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Title: Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (8 of 8)

Author: Raphael Holinshed

Release date: September 7, 2005 [eBook #16669]
Most recently updated: December 3, 2022

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Lesley Halamek and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at


[Page 739]






Edward the third of that name is chosen king of England by a generall consent, ambassadours are sent to attend him homewardes to his kingdome, and to informe him of his election, William duke of Normandie accompanieth him, Edward is crowned king, the subtill ambition or ambitious subtiltie of earle Goodwine in preferring Edward to the crowne and betraieng Alfred; the Danes expelled and rid out of this land by decree; whether earle Goodwine was guiltie of Alfreds death, king Edward marieth the said earles daughter, he forbeareth to haue carnall knowledge with hir, and why? he useth his mother queene Emma verie hardlie, accusations brought against hir, she is dispossessed of hir goods, and imprisoned for suffering bishop Alwine to haue the vse of hir bodie, she purgeth and cleareth hir selfe after a strange sort, hir couetousnesse: mothers are taught (by hir example) to loue their children with equalitie: hir liberall deuotion to Winchester church cleared hir from infamie of couetousnesse, king Edward loued hir after hir purgation, why Robert archbishop of Canturburie fled out of England into Normandie.


Hen. Hunt.
Immediatlie vpon the deth of Hardiknought, and before his corps was committed to buriall, his halfe brother Edward, sonne of king Egelred begotten of quéene Emma, was Polydor chosen to be K. of England, by the generall consent of all the nobles and commons of the realme. Therevpon were ambassadours sent with all spéed into Normandie, to signifie vnto him his election, and to bring him from thence into England in deliuering pledges for more assurance, that no fraud nor deceit was ment of the Englishmen, but that vpon his comming thither, he should receiue the crowne without all contradiction. Edward then aided by his coosine William duke of Normandie, tooke the sea, & with a small companie of Normans came Henr. Hunt.
Wil. Malm.
The third of Aprill.
into England, where he was receiued with great ioy as king of the realme, & immediatlie after was crowned at Winchester by Edsinus then archbishop of Canturburie, on Easter day in the yeare of our Lord 1043, which fell also about the fourth yeare of the emperour Henrie the third, surnamed Niger, in the 12 yeare of Henrie the first of that name king of France, and about the third yeare of Macbeth king of Scotland.

This Edward the third of that name before the conquest, was of nature more méeke and simple than apt for the gouernement of the realme, & therefore did earle Goodwine not onelie séeke the destruction of his elder brother Alfred, but holpe all that he might to aduance this Edward to the crowne, in hope to beare great rule in the realme vnder him, whome he knew to be soft, gentle, and easie to be persuaded. But whatsoeuer writers doo report hereof, sure it is, that Edward was the elder brother, and not Alfred: so that if earle Goodwine did shew his furtherance by his pretended cloake of offering his friendship vnto Alfred to betraie him,[Page 740] he did it by king Harolds commandement, and yet it may be that he meant to haue vsurped the crowne to him selfe, if each point had answered his expectation in the sequele of things, as he hoped they would; and therfore had not passed if both the brethren had béene in heauen. But yet when the world framed contrarie (peraduenture) to his purpose, he did his best to aduance Edward, trusting to beare no small rule vnder him, being knowen to be a man more appliable to be gouerned by other than to trust to his owne wit: and so chieflie by the assistance of earle Goodwine (whose authoritie, as appeareth, was not small within the realme of England in those daies) Edward came to atteine the crowne: wherevnto the earle of Chester Leofrike also shewed all the furtherance that in him laie.

Ran. Higd. ex Mariano.
Alb. Crantz.
Some write (which seemeth also to be confirmed by the Danish chronicles) that king Hardiknought in his life time had receiued this Edward into his court, and reteined him still in the same in most honorable wise. But for that it may appeare in the abstract of the Danish chronicles, what their writers had of this matter recorded, we doo here passe ouer, referring those that be desirous to know the diuersitie of our writers and theirs, vnto the same chronicles, where they may find it more at large expressed. This in no wise is to be left vnremembred, that Polydor.
Danes expelled.
immediatlie after the death of Hardiknought, it was not onelie decreed & agreed vpon by the great lords & nobles of the realme, that no Dane from thenceforth should reigne ouer them, but also all men of warre and souldiers of the Danes, which laie within anie citie or castell in garrison within the realme of England, were then expelled and put out or rather slaine (as the Simon Dun. Danish writers doo rehearse.) Amongst other that were banished, the ladie Gonild néece to Gonill néece to K. Swaine. king Swaine by his sister, was one, being as then a widow, and with hir two of hir sonnes, which she had then liuing; Heming and Turkill were also caused to auoid. Some write that Alfred the Polydor. brother of king Edward, came not into the realme till after the death of Hardiknought, and that he did helpe to expell the Danes, which being doon, he was slaine by earle Goodwine and other of his complices. But how this may stand, considering the circumstances of the time, with such things as are written by diuers authors hereof, it may well be doubted. Neuerthelesse, whether earle Goodwine was guiltie to the death of Alfred, either at this time, or before, certeine it is, that he so cleared himselfe of that crime vnto king Edward the brother of Alfred, that there was none so highlie in fauour with him as earle Goodwine was, insomuch that king Edward K. Edward marieth the daughter of earle Goodwine. maried the ladie Editha, the daughter of earle Goodwine, begotten of his wife Thira that was sister to king Hardiknought, and not of his second wife, as some haue written. Howbeit, king Edward neuer had to doo with hir in fleshlie wise. But whether he absteined because Polydor.
K. Edward absteineth from the companie of his wife.
he had happilie vowed chastitie, either of impotencie of nature, or for a priuie hate that he bare to hir kin, men doubted. For it was thought, that he estéemed not earle Goodwine so greatlie in his heart, as he outwardlie made shew to doo, but rather for feare of his puissance dissembled with him, least he should otherwise put him selfe in danger both of losse of life and kingdome.

Howsoeuer it was, he vsed his counsell in ordering of things concerning the state of the K. Edward dealeth strictlie with his mother quéene Emma.
Quéene Emma despoiled of hir goods.
She is accused of dissolute liuing.
Ran. Higd.
She purgeth hir selfe by the law Ordalium.
common wealth, and namelie in the hard handling of his mother queene Emma, against whome diuers accusations were brought and alledged: as first, for that she consented to marie with K. Cnute, the publike enimie of the realme: againe, for that she did nothing aid or succour hir sons while they liued in exile, but that woorse was, contriued to make them away; for which cause she was despoiled of all hir goods. And because she was defamed to be naught of hir bodie with Alwine or Adwine bishop of Winchester, both she and the same bishop were committed to prison within the citie of Winchester (as some write.) Howbeit others affirme, that she was strictlie kept in the abbie of Warwell, till by way of purging hir selfe, after a maruellous manner, in passing barefooted ouer certeine hot shares or plough-irons, according to the law Ordalium, she cleared hir selfe (as the world tooke it) and was restored to hir first estate and dignitie.

Wil. Malm.
Hir excessiue couetousnesse, without regard had to the poore, caused hir also to be euill reported of. Againe, for that she euer shewed hir selfe to be more naturall to the issue which she had by hir second husband Cnute, than to hir children which she had by hir first husband[Page 741] king Egelred (as it were declaring how she was affected toward the fathers, by the loue borne to the children) she lost a great péece of good will at the hands of hir sonnes Alfred and Edward: so that now the said Edward inioieng the realme, was easilie induced to thinke euill of hir, and therevpon vsed hir the more vncurteouslie. But hir great liberalitie imploied on the church of Winchester, which she furnished with maruellous rich iewels and ornaments, wan hir great commendation in the world, and excused hir partlie in the sight of manie, of the infamie imputed to hir for the immoderate filling of hir coffers by all waies and meanes she could deuise. Now when she had purged hir selfe, as before is mentioned, hir sonne king Ran. Higd. Edward had hir euer after in great honor and reuerence. And whereas Robert archbishop of Canturburie had béene sore against hir, he was so much abashed now at the matter, that he fled into Normandie, where he was borne. But it should séeme by that which after shal be said in the next chapter, that he fled not the realme for this matter, but bicause he counselled the king to banish earle Goodwine, and also to vse the Englishmen more strictlie than reason was he should.

Why Robert archbishop of Canturburie (queene Emmas heauie friend) fled out of England, the Normans first entrance into this countrie, dearth by tempests, earle Goodwines sonne banished out of this land, he returneth in hope of the kings fauour, killeth his coosen earle Bearne for his good will and forwardnes to set him in credit againe, his flight into Flanders, his returne into England, the king is pacified with him; certeine Danish rouers arriue at Sandwich, spoile the coast, inrich themselues with the spoiles, make sale of their gettings, and returne to their countrie; the Welshmen with their princes rebelling are subdued, king Edward keepeth the seas on Sandwich side in aid of Baldwine earle of Flanders, a bloudie fraie in Canturburie betwixt the earle of Bullongne and the townesmen, earle Goodwine fauoureth the Kentishmen against the Bullongners, why he refuseth to punish the Canturburie men at the kings commandement for breaking the kings peace; he setteth the king in a furie, his suborned excuse to shift off his comming to the assemblie of lords conuented about the foresaid broile, earle Goodwine bandeth himselfe against the king, he would haue the strangers deliuered into his hands, his request is denied; a battell readie to haue bene fought betweene him and the king, the tumult is pacified and put to a parlement, earle Goodwines retinue forsake him; he, his sonnes, and their wiues take their flight beyond the seas.


Robert archbishop of Canturburie.
Frenchmen or Normans first entered into England.
Ye must vnderstand, that K. Edward brought diuerse Normans ouer with him, which in time of his banishment had shewed him great friendship, wherefore he now sought to recompense them. Amongst other, the forenamed Robert of Canturburie was one, who before his comming ouer was a moonke in the abbeie of Gemeticum in Normandie, and being by the king first aduanced to gouerne the sée of London, was after made archbishop of Canturburie, and bare great rule vnder the king, so that he could not auoid the enuie of diuerse noble men, and speciallie of earle Goodwine, as shall appéere. About the third yéere of king Edwards reigne, Osgot Clappa was banished the realme. And in the yéere following, that is to 1047.
A great death.
Ran. Higd.
say, in the yeere 1047, there fell a maruellous great snow, couering the ground from the beginning of Ianuarie vntill the 17 day of March. Besides this, there hapned the same yéere such tempest and lightnings, that the corne vpon the earth was burnt vp and blasted: by reason whereof, there followed a great dearth in England, and also death of men and cattell.

Swain Goodwines sonne banished.
Edgiua abbesse of Leoffe.
About this time Swaine the sonne of earle Goodwine was banished the land, and fled into Flanders. This Swaine kept Edgiua, the abbesse of the monasterie of Leoffe, and forsaking his wife, ment to haue married the foresaid abbesse. Within a certeine time after his banishment,[Page 742] he returned into England, in hope to purchase the kings peace by his fathers meanes and other his friends. This Bearne was the sonne of Vlfusa Dane, vncle to this Swaine by his mother, the sister of K. Swaine.
H. Hunt.
But vpon some malicious pretense, he slue his coosen earle Bearne, who was about to labour to the king for his pardon, and so then fled againe into Flanders, till at length Allered the archbishop of Yorke obteined his pardon, and found meanes to reconcile him to the kings fauour.

Hen. Hunt.
The Danes spoile Sandwich.
In the meane time, about the sixt yéere of king Edwards reigne, certeine pirats of the Danes arriued in Sandwich hauen, and entring the land, wasted and spoiled all about the coast. There be that write, that the Danes had at that time to their leaders two capteins, the one named Lother, and the other Irling. After they had béene at Sandwich, and brought from thence great riches of gold and siluer, they coasted about vnto the side of Essex, and there spoiling the countrie, went backe to the sea, and sailing into Flanders, made sale of their spoiles and booties there, and so returned to their countries. After this, during the reigne of king Edward, there chanced no warres, neither forren nor ciuill, but that the same was either with small slaughter luckilie ended, or else without anie notable aduenture changed Rise & Griffin princes of Wales. into peace. The Welshmen in déed with their princes Rise and Griffin wrought some trouble, but still they were subdued, and in the end both the said Rise and Griffin were brought vnto confusion: although in the meane time they did much hurt, and namelie Griffin, who with aid of some Irishmen, with whome he was alied, about this time entred into the Seuerne sea, and tooke preies about the riuer of Wie: and after returned without anie battell to him offered.

Simon Dun.
About the same time, to wit, in the yéere 1049, the emperor Henrie the third made warres against Baldwine earle of Flanders, and for that he wished to haue the sea stopped, that the said earle should not escape by flight that waie foorth, he sent to king Edward, willing him to kéepe the sea with some number of ships. King Edward furnishing a nauie, lay with the Hermanus. Contractus.
Ia. Meir.
same at Sandwich, and so kept the seas on that side, till the emperor had his will of the earle. At the same time, Swaine, sonne of earle Goodwine came into the realme, and traitorouslie slue his coosen Bearne (as before is said) the which trauelled to agrée him with Simon Dun. the king. Also Gosipat Clappa, who had left his wife at Bruges in Flanders, comming amongst other of the Danish pirats, which had robbed in the coasts of Kent & Essex, as before ye haue heard, receiued his wife, and departed backe into Denmarke with six ships, leauing the residue, being 23 behind him.

Matth. West.
The earle of Flanders commeth into England.
Ran. Higd.
Wil. Malm.
About the tenth yéere of king Edwards reigne, Eustace earle of Bullongne, that was father vnto the valiant Godfrey of Bullongne, & Baldwin, both afterward kings of Hierusalem, came ouer into England in the moneth of September, to visit his brother in law king Edward, Goda sister to K. Edward.
Wil. Malm.
Douer saith
Matth. West.
whose sister named Goda, he had maried, she then being the widow of Gualter de Maunt. He found the king at Glocester, and being there ioifullie receiued, after he had once dispatched such matters for the which he chieflie came, he tooke leaue, and returned homeward. But at Canturburie one of his herbingers, dealing roughlie with one of the citizens about a lodging, which he sought to haue rather by force than by intreatance, occasioned his owne death. Whereof when the erle was aduertised, he hasted thither to reuenge the slaughter of his seruant, and slue both that citizen which had killed his man, and eightéene others.

A fraie in Canturburie betwixt the earle Bullongne and the townsmen.
The earle complaineth to the king.
The citizens héerewith in a great furie, got them to armor, and set vpon the earle and his retinue, of whom they slue twentie persons out of hand, & wounded a great number of the residue, so that the earle scarce might escape with one or two of his men from the fraie, & with all spéed returned backe to the king, presenting gréeuous information against them of Canturburie, for their cruell vsing of him, not onlie in sleaing of his seruants, but also in putting him in danger of his life. The king crediting the earle, was higlie offended against the citizens, and with all speed sending for earle Goodwine, declared vnto him in greeuous wise, the rebellious act of them of Canturburie, which were vnder his iurisdiction.

The earle who was a man of a bold courage and quicke wit, did perceiue that the matter[Page 743] was made a great deale woorse at the first in the beginning, than of likelihood it would prooue in the end, thought it reason therefore that first the answere of the Kentishmen should be heard, before anie sentence were giuen against them. Héerevpon, although the king commanded him foorthwith to go with an armie into Kent, and to punish them of Canturburie in most rigorous maner, yet he would not be too hastie, but refused to execute the kings Earle Goodwine offended with the king for fauouring strangers. commandement, both for that he bare a péece of grudge in his mind, that the king should fauour strangers so highlie as he did; and againe, bicause héereby he should séeme to doo pleasure to his countriemen, in taking vpon him to defend their cause against the rough accusations of such as had accused them. Wherefore he declared to the king that it should be conuenient to haue the supposed offenders first called afore him, and if they were able to excuse themselues, then to be suffered to depart without further vexation: and if they were found faultie, then to be put to their fine, both as well in satisfieng the king, whose peace they had broken, as also the earle, whom they had indamaged.

Earle Goodwine departed thus from the king, leauing him in a great furie: howbeit he A councel called at Glocester. Siward earle of Northumberland, Leofrike earle of Chester, Rafe earle of Hereford.
Will. Malmes.
passed litle thereof, supposing it would not long continue. But the king called a great assemblie of his lords togither at Glocester, that the matter might be more déepelie considered. Siward earle of Northumberland, and Leofrike earle of Chester, with Rafe earle of Hereford, the kings nephue by his sister Goda, and all other the noble men of the realme, onlie earle Goodwine and his sonnes ment not to come there, except they might bring with them a great power of armed men, and so remained at Beuerstane, with such bands as they had leauied, vnder a colour to resist the Welshmen, whome they bruted abroad to be readie to inuade the marches about Hereford. But the Welshmen preuenting that slander, signified to the king that no such matter was ment on their parties, but that earle Goodwine and his sonnes with their complices went about to mooue a commotion against him. Héerevpon a rumor was raised in the court, that the kings power should shortlie march foorth to assaile earle Goodwine in that place where he was lodged. Wherevpon the same earle prepared himselfe, and sent to his friends, willing to sticke to this quarrell, and if the king should go about to force them, then to withstand him, rather than to yéeld and suffer themselues to be Earle Goodwine meaneth to defend himself against the king. troden vnder foot by strangers. Goodwine in this meane time had got togither a great Swaine.
Ran. Higd.
Matth. West.
Simon Dun.

Simon Dun.
power of his countries of Kent, Southerie, and other of the west parts. Swaine likewise had assembled much people out of his countries of Barkeshire, Oxfordshire, Summersetshire, Herefordshire, and Glocestershire. And Harold was also come to them with a great multitude, which he had leuied in Essex, Norffolke, Suffold, Cambridgeshire, & Huntingtonshire.

On the other part, the earles that were with the king, Leofrike, Siward, and Rafe, raised all the power which they might make, and the same approching to Glocester, the king thought himselfe in more suertie than before, in so much that whereas earle Goodwine (who lay with his armie at Langton there not farre off in Glocestershire) had sent vnto the king, requiring that the earle of Bullongne, with the other Frenchmen and also the Normans which held the castell of Douer, might be deliuered vnto him. The king, though at the first he stood in great doubt what to doo, yet hearing now that an armie of his friends was comming, made answere to the messingers which Goodwine had sent, that he would not deliuer a man of those whome Goodwine required, and héerewith the said messengers being departed, the kings armie entered into Glocester, and such readie good wils appéered in them all to fight with the aduersaries, that if the king would haue permitted, they would foorthwith haue gone out and giuen battell to the enimies.

Thus the matter was at point to haue put the realme in hazard not onelie of a field, but of vtter ruine that might thereof haue insued: for what on the one part and the other, there were assembled the chiefest lords and most able personages of the land. But by the wisedome and good aduise of earle Leofrike and others, the matter was pacified for a time, and order taken, that they should come to a parlement or communication at London, vpon pledges giuen and receiued as well on the one part as the other. The king with a mightie[Page 744] armie of the Northumbers, and them of Mercia, came vnto London, and earle Goodwine with his sonnes, and a great power of the Westsaxons, came into Southwarke, but perceiuing that manie of his companie stale awaie and slipt from him, he durst not abide anie longer to enter talke with the king, as it was couenanted, but in the night next insuing fled awaie with all spéed possible.

Wil. Malm.
Swaine eldest sonne to Goodwine banished.
Some write, how an order was prescribed that Swanus the eldest sonne of Goodwine should depart the land as a banished man to qualifie the kings wrath, and that Goodwine and one other of his sons, that is to say, Harold should come to an other assemblie to be holden at London, accompanied with 12 seruants onelie, & to resigne all his force of knights, gentlemen and souldiers vnto the kings guiding and gouernment. But when this last article pleased nothing earle Goodwine, and that he perceiued how his force began to decline, so as Earle Goodwine fled the realme. he should not be able to match the kings power, he fled the realme, and so likewise did his sonnes. He himselfe with his sonnes Swanus, Tostie, and Girth, sailed into Flanders: and Harold with his brother Leofwine gat ships at Bristow, and passed into Ireland. Githa the wife of Goodwine, and Judith the wife of Tostie, the daughter of Baldwine earle of Flanders went ouer also with their husbands.

Goodwine and his sonnes are proclaimed outlawes, their lands are giuen from them, king Edward putteth awaie the queene his wife who was earle Goodwines daughter, she cleareth hir selfe at the houre of hir death from suspicion of incontinencie and lewdnesse of life, why king Edward forbare to haue fleshlie pleasure with hir; earle Goodwine and his sonnes take preies on the coasts of Kent and Sussex; Griffin king of Wales destroieth a great part of Herefordshire, and giueth his incounterers the ouerthrow; Harold and Leofwine two brethren inuade Dorset and Summersetshires, they are resisted, but yet preuaile, they coast about the point of Cornwall and ioine with their father Goodwine, king Edward maketh out threescore armed ships against them, a thicke mist separateth both sides being readie to graple and fight, a pacification betweene the king and earle Goodwine, he is restored to his lands and libertie, he was well friended, counterpledges of agreement interchangablie deliuered; Swanus the eldest sonne of Goodwine a notable rebell and pirat, his troubled conscience, his wicked life and wretched death.


The king hauing perfect knowledge, that earle Goodwine had refused to come to the court in such order as he had prescribed him, and that he was departed the realme with Goodwine and his sonnes proclaimed outlawes. his sonnes: he proclaimed them outlawes, and gaue the lands of Harold vnto Algar, the sonne of earle Leofrike, who guided the same verie woorthilie, and resigned them againe without grudging vnto the same Harold when he was returned out of exile. Also vnto earle Oddo were giuen the counties of Deuonshire and Summersetshire.

The king put awaie his wife Editha. Moreouer, about the same time the king put his wife queene Editha from him, and appointed hir to streict keeping in the abbeie of Warwell. This Editha was a noble gentlewoman, well learned, and expert in all sciences, yet hir good name was stained somewhat, as though she had not liued so continentlie as was to be wished, both in hir husbands life time, and after his deceasse. But yet at the houre of hir death (which chanced in the daies of William Conqueror) she cleared hir selfe, in taking it vpon the charge of hir soule, that she had euer liued in perfect chastitie: for king Edward (as before is mentioned) neuer touched hir in anie actuall maner. By this streict dealing with the quéene that was daughter to earle Goodwine, now in time of hir fathers exile, it hath séemed to manie, that king Edward forbare to deale with hir in carnall wise, more for hatred of hir kin, than for anie other respect.[Page 745] But to proceed.

Hen. Hunt.
In the second yéere of Goodwines banishment, both he and his sonnes hauing prouided themselues of ships and men of warre conuenient for the purpose, came vpon the coasts of England, and after the maner of rouers, tooke preies where as they espied aduantage, Griffin king of Wales destroieth Herefordshire. namelie on the coasts of Kent and Sussex. In the meane time also Griffin the K. of Wales destroid a great part of Herefordshire, against whom the power of that countrie, & also manie Normans that lay in garrison within the castell of Hereford, comming to giue battell, were ouerthrowne on the same day, in the which about two and twentie yéeres before, or (as some copies haue) thirtéene yéeres, the Welshmen had slaine Edwine, the brother of Harold inuadeth the shires of Dorset and Summerset. earle Leofrike. Shortlie after, earle Harold and his brother Leofwine returning out of Ireland, entered into the Seuerne sea, landing on the coasts of Summersetshire and Dorsetshire, where falling to spoile, they were incountred by a power assembled out of the counties of Deuonshire and Summersetshire: but Harold put his aduersaries to flight, and slue thirtie gentlemen of honor, or thanes (as they called them) with a great number of others. Then Harold and his brethren, returning with their preie and bootie to their ships, and coasting about the point of Cornwall, came and ioined with their father & their other brethren, then soiorning in the Ile of Wight.

King Edward to withstand their malice, had rigged and furnished foorth sixtie ships of Simon Dun. warre, with the which he himselfe went to the water, not sticking to lie aboord at that season, although he had appointed for capteines and admerals two earles that were his coosins, Odo and Rafe, who had charge of the whole armie. Rafe was his nephue, as sonne to his sister Goda by hir first husband Gualter de Maunt. But although they were knowne to be sufficient men for the ordering of such businesse, yet he thought the necessitie to be such, as his person could not be presentlie spared. Therefore he was diligent in foreséeing of things by good aduise, although age would not giue him leaue to execute the same by his owne hand and force of bodie. But as the nauies on both parts were readie to haue ioined, they were seuered by reason of a thicke mist that then rose, wherby their furious rage was restreined for that time: and immediatlie therevpon, Goodwine and his complices were forced by a contrarie wind, to returne to the places from whence they came. Shortlie after by mediation of friends, a peace was made, and earle Goodwine restored home, and obteined againe both the kings fauour, and all his former liuings: for he was such an eloquent & wise man, that he clered and purged himselfe of all such crimes and accusations, as in anie sort had béene laid against him. Thus haue some written concerning this agréement betwixt king Edward and erle Goodwine, where other make somewhat larger report thereof, as thus.

At the same time that the two sonnes of erle Goodwine Harold and Leofwine came foorth of Ireland, and inuaded the west countrie, king Edward rigged foorth fortie ships, the which throughlie furnished with men, munition, and vittels, he sent vnto Sandwich, commanding the capteines there to wait for the comming of erle Goodwine, whom he vnderstood to be in a readinesse to returne into England: but notwithstanding, there wanted no diligence in them to looke to their charge, erle Goodwine secretlie with a few ships which he had got togither, ariued in Kent; and sending foorth his letters and messengers abroad to the citizens of Canturburie, to them of Sussex, Southerie, & others, required aid of them, who with one consent promised to liue and die with him.

The capteines of the nauie at Sandwich aduertised hereof, made towards the place where they thought to haue found earle Goodwine: but he being warned of their comming, escaped by flight, and got him out of their danger, wherevpon they withdrew to Sandwich, and after returned to London. Earle Goodwine aduertised thereof, sailed to the Ile of Wight, and wafted vp and downe those seas, till his sonnes Harold and Leofwine came and ioined their nauie with his, and ceassing from spoile, onlie sought to recouer vittels to serue their turne. And incresing their power by such aid as they might any where procure, at length they came to Sandwich, wherof king Edward hauing knowledge, being then at London,[Page 746] he sent abroad to raise all the power he might make. But they that were appointed It séemeth that earle Goodwine was well friended. to come vnto him, lingred time, in which meane while earle Goodwine comming into the Thames, & so vp the riuer, arriued in Southwarke, on the day of the exaltation of the crosse in September, being monday, and their staieng for the tide, solicited the Londoners, so that he obteined of them what he could desire.

Afterwards, without disturbance, he passed vp the riuer with the tide through the south arch of the bridge, & at the same instant, a mightie armie which he had by land, mustered in the fields on that south side the same riuer, and herewith his nauie made towards the north side of the riuer, as if they ment to inclose the kings nauie, for the king had also a nauie & an armie by land: but yet sith there were few either on the one part or the other, that were able to doo anie great feat except Englishmen, they were loth to fight one against another, wherevpon the wiser sort on both sides sought meanes to make an atonement: and so at length by their diligent trauell, the matter was taken vp, and the armies being dismissed on both parts, earle Goodwine was restored to his former dignitie. Herevpon were pledges deliuered on his behalfe, that is to say, Wilnotus one of his sonnes, and Hacun the sonne of Swanus the eldest sonne of Goodwine. These two pledges were sent vnto William duke of Normandie, to be kept with him for more assurance of Goodwines loialtie.

Ran. Higd.
Matth. West.
Simon Dun.
Wil. Malm.
Some write that Swanus the eldest sonne of Goodwine was not reconciled to the kings fauour at this time; but whether he was or not, this is reported of him for a truth, that after he had attempted sundrie rebellions against king Edward, he lastlie also rebelled against his father Goodwine, and his brother Harold, and became a pirate, dishonouring with such manifold robberies as he made on the seas, the noble progenie whereof he was descended. Finallie vpon remorse of conscience (as hath béene thought) for murthering of his coosine (or as some say his brother) erle Bearne, he went on pilgrimage to Hierusalem, and died by the Ran. Higd.
Will. Malms.
way of cold which he caught in returning homeward (as some write) in Licia: but others affirme, that he fell into the hands of Saracens that were robbers by the high waies, and so was murthered of them.

At what time William duke of Normandie came ouer into England, king Edward promiseth to make him his heire to the kingdom and crowne, the death of queene Emma, earle Goodwine being growne in fauor againe seeketh new reuenges of old grudges, causing archbishop Robert and certeine noble Normans his aduersaries to be banished; Stigand intrudeth himselfe into archbishop Roberts see, his simonie and lacke of learning; what maner of men were thought meet to be made bishops in those daies, king Edward beginneth to prouide for the good and prosperous state of his kingdome, his consideration of lawes made in his predecessours times and abused; the lawes of S. Edward vsuallie called the common lawes, how, whereof, and wherevpon instituted; the death of earle Goodwine being sudden (as some say) or naturall (as others report) his vertues and vices, his behauiour and his sonnes vpon presumption and will in the time of their authorities; his two wiues and children; the sudden and dreadfull death of his mother; hir selling of the beautifull youth male and female of this land to the Danish people.


William duke of Normandie commeth ouer into England.
K. Edwards promise to duke William.
The foresaide William duke of Normandie (that after conquered this land) during the time of Goodwines outlawrie, came ouer into this land with a faire retinue of men, and was ioifullie receiued of the king, and had great chéere. Now after he had taried a season, he returned into his countrie, not without great gifts of jewels and other things, which the king most liberallie bestowed vpon him. And (as some write) the king promised him at that[Page 747] time, to make him his heire to the realme of England, if he chanced to die without issue. ¶ Shortlie after, or rather somewhat before, queene Emma the kings mother died, and was buried at Winchester.

After that earle Goodwine was restored to the kings fauour, bicause he knew that Robert the archbishop of Canturburie had beene the chéefe procurer of the kings euill will towards him, he found means to weare him out of credit, and diuers other specially of the Normans, bearing the world in hand, that they had sought to trouble the state of the realme, & to set variance betwixt the king and the lords of the English nation: whereas the Normans againe alledged, that earle Goodwine and his sonnes abused the kings soft and gentle nature, & would not sticke to ieast and mocke at his curteous and mild procéedings. But howsoeuer The archbishop of Canturburie banished. the matter went, archbishop Robert was glad to depart out of the realme, and going to Rome, made complaint in the court there, of the iniuries that were offred him: but in returning through Normandie, he died in the abbeie of Gemmeticum, where he had bene moonke before his comming into England.

Diuerse others were compelled to forsake the realme at the same time, both spirituall Normans banished the realme. men and temporall, as William bishop of London, and Vlfe bishop of Lincolne. Osberne named Pentecost, and his companion Hugh, were constreined to surrender their castels, and by licence of earle Leofrike withdrew thorough his countrie into Scotland, where, of king Mackbeth they were honorablie receiued. These were Normans: for (as partlie ye haue heard) king Edward brought with him no small number of that nation, when he came from thence to receiue the crowne, and by them he was altogither ruled, to the great offending of his owne naturall subiects the Englishmen, namelie earle Goodwine and his sonnes, who in those daies for their great possessions and large reuenues, were had in no small reputation with the English people.

After that Robert the archbishop of Canturburie, was departed the realme, as before ye Stigand archbishop of Canturburie. haue heard, Stigand was made archbishop of Canturburie, or rather thrust himselfe into that dignitie, not being lawfullie called, in like manner as he had doone at Winchester: for whereas he was first bishop of Shireborne, he left that church, and tooke vpon him the bishoprike of Winchester by force, and now atteining to be archbishop of Canturburie, he Ranul. Hig.
Stigand infamed of simonie.
kept both Winchester and Canturburie in his hand at one instant. This Stigand was greatlie infamed for his couetous practises in sale of possessions apperteining to the church. He was nothing learned: but that want was a common fault amongest the bishops of that age, What maner of men méet to be bishops in those daies. for it was openlie spoken in those daies, that he was méet onelie to be a bishop, which could vse the pompe of the world, voluptuous pleasures, rich raiment, and set himselfe foorth with a iollie retinue of gentlemen and seruants on horsse-backe, for therein stood the countenance of a bishop, as the world then went; and not in studie how to haue the people fed with the word of life, to the sauing of their soules.

Polydor. King Edward now in the twelfth yeare of his reigne, hauing brought the state of the realme quite from troubles of warre both by sea and land, began to foresée as well for the welth of his subiects, as for himselfe, being naturallie inclined to wish well to all men. He therefore considered, how by the manifold lawes which had beene made by Britaines, Englishmen and Danes within this land, occasion was ministred to manie, which measured all things by respect of their owne priuate gaine and profit, to peruert iustice, and to vse wrongfull dealing in stead of right, clouding the same vnder some branch of the lawe naughtilie misconstrued. Wherevpon to auoid that mischiefe, he picked out a summe of that huge and vnmesurable masse and heape of lawes, such as were thought most indifferent and necessarie, & therewith ordeined a few, & those most wholesome, to be from thenceforth vsed; according to whose prescript, men might liue in due forme and rightfull order of a ciuill The lawes of
S. Edward instituted.
life. These lawes were afterwards called the common lawes, and also saint Edward his lawes; so much esteemed of the Englishmen, that after the conquest, when the Normans oftentimes went about to abrogate the same, there chanced no small mutinies and rebellions for retaining of those lawes. But heére is to be noted, that although they were called saint[Page 748] Edwards lawes, they were for the more part made by king Edgar; but now by king Edward restored, after they had bin abrogated for a time by the Danes.

or 1054.
Hector Boet.
Will. Malmes.
Matth. West.
Ran. Higd.
ex Mariano.
Simon Dun.
About this time, earle Goodwine died suddenlie (as some haue recorded) as he sat at table with the king: and vpon talke ministred of the death of Alfred the kings brother, to excuse himselfe, he tooke a peece of bread, and did eate it, saieng; God let me neuer swallow this bread downe into my chest, but that I may presentlie be choked therewith, if euer I was weetting or consenting vnto Alfreds death! and immediatlie therewith he fell downe starke This is the likeliest tale. dead. Other say, that he ended his life at Winchester, where being suddenlie surprised with sicknesse, as he sat at the table with the king vpon an Easter monday; yet he liued till the Thursday following, and then died. His earledome was giuen vnto his sonne Harold; and Harolds earledome, which was Oxford, was giuen vnto Algar the sonne of Leofrike.

This Goodwine, as he was a man of great power, wise, hardie, and politike; so was he ambitious, desirous to beare rule, and loth that anie other person should passe him in authoritie. But yet, whether all be true that writers report of his malicious practises to bring himselfe and his sonnes to the chiefe seat of gouernement in the kingdome, or that of hatred such slanders were raised of him, it may of some perhaps be doubted; because that in the daies of king Edward (which was a soft and gentle prince) he bare great rule and authoritie, and so might procure to himselfe euill report for euerie thing that chanced amisse: as oftentimes it commeth to passe in such cases, where those that haue great dooings in the gouernement of the common wealth, are commonlie euill spoken of, and that now and then without their guilt. But truth it is, that Goodwine being in authoritie both in the daies of king Edward and his predecessors, did manie things (as should appeare by writers) more Hen. Hunt. by will than by law, and so likewise did his sonnes; vpon presumption of the great puissance that they and their father were of within the realme.

He had to wife Editha, the sister of king Cnute, of whome he begat thrée sonnes (as Polydor. some write) that is to say, Harold, Biorne, & Tostie: also his daughter Editha, whome he found meanes to bestow in mariage vpon K. Edward, as before ye haue heard. But other Will. Malm. write, that he had but one son by Cnutes sister, the which in riding of a rough horsse was throwen into the riuer of Thames, and so drowned. His mother also was stricken with a thunderbolt, & so perished worthilie (as is reported) for hir naughtie dooings. She vsed to buy great numbers of yoong persons, and namelie maids that were of anie excellent beautie and personage, whome she sent ouer into Denmarke, and there sold them to hir most aduantage. After hir deceasse (as the same authors record) Goodwine maried another woman, by whome he had issue six sonnes, Swanus or Swaine, Harrold, Tostie or Tosto, Wilnot, Girth, and Leofrike; of whom further mention is & shall be made, as places conuenient shall serue thereto.

Edward earle of Northumberland discomfiteth Mackbeth the usurper of the Scotish kingdome and placeth Malcolme in the same, a controuersie whether Siward were at this discomfiture or no; his stout words when he heard that one of his sonnes was slaine in the field, bishop Aldred is sent to fetch home Edward the sonne of K. Edmund Ironside into England; earle Algar being banished ioineth with the Welshmen against the English and Normans, and getteth the victorie; Harold the son of earle Goodwine putteth earle Algar & his retinue to their shifts by pursute, pacification betweene the generals of both armies, their hosts, Siward earle of Northumberland dieth; his giantlike stature, his couragious heart at the time of his deceasse, why Tostie one of Goodwins sonnes succeeded him in the earledome.


Matth. West.
Hector Boet.
About the thirteenth yeare of king Edward his reigne (as some write) or rather about the ninetéenth or twentith yeare, as should appeare by the Scotish writers, Siward the noble earle of Northumberland with a great power of horssemen went into Scotland, and[Page 749] in battell put to flight Mackbeth that had vsurped the crowne of Scotland, and that doone, placed Malcolme surnamed Camoir, the sonne of Duncane, sometime king of Scotland, in the gouernement of that realme, who afterward slue the said Mackbeth, and then reigned in Simon Dun.
M. West.
quiet. Some of our English writers say, that this Malcolme was king of Cumberland, but other report him to be sonne to the king of Cumberland. But héere is to be noted; that if Mackbeth reigned till the yeare 1061, and was then slaine by Malcolme, earle Siward was not at that battell; for as our writers doo testifie, he died in the yeare 1055, which was in the yeare next after (as the same writers affirme) that he vanquished Mackbeth in fight, and slue manie thousands of Scots, and all those Normans which (as ye haue heard) were withdrawen into Scotland, when they were driuen out of England.

It is recorded also, that in the foresaid battell, in which earle Siward vanquished the Scots, one of Siwards sonnes chanced to be slaine, whereof although the father had good cause to be sorowfull, yet when he heard that he died of a wound which he had receiued in fighting stoutlie in the forepart of his bodie, and that with his face towards the enimie, he greatlie reioised thereat, to heare that he died so manfullie. But here is to be noted, that not now, but a little before (as Henrie Hunt. saith) that earle Siward went into Scotland himselfe in person, he sent his sonne with an armie to conquere the land, whose hap was there to be slaine: and when his father heard the newes, he demanded whether he receiued the wound whereof he died, in the forepart of the bodie, or in the hinder part: and when it was told him that he receiued in the forepart; "I reioise (saith he) euen with all my heart, for I would not wish either to my sonne nor to my selfe any other kind of death."

Matth. West.
Shortlie after, Aldred the bishop of Worcester was sent vnto the emperour Henrie the third, to fetch Edward the sonne of Edmund Ironside into England, whome king Edward was desirous to sée, meaning to ordeine him heire apparant to the crowne: but he died the Henr. Hunt.
same yeare after he came into England. This Edward was surnamed the outlaw: his bodie was buried at Winchester, or (as an other saith) in the church of S. Pauls in London.

¶ About the same time K. Edward by euill counsell (I wot not vpon what occasion, but as it is thought without cause) banished Algar the sonne of earle Leofrike: wherevpon he got him into Ireland, and there prouiding 18 ships of rouers, returned, & landing in Wales, ioined himselfe with Griffin the king or prince of Wales, and did much hurt on the borders about Hereford, of which place Rafe was then earle, that was sonne vnto Goda the sister of Matth. West.
Simon Dun.
K. Edward by hir first husband Gualter de Maunt. This earle assembling an armie, came forth to giue battell to the enimies, appointing the Englishmen contrarie to their manner to fight on horssebacke, but being readie (on the two & twentith of October) to giue the onset in a place not past two miles from Hereford, he with his Frenchmen and Normans fled, and so the rest were discomfited, whome the aduersaries pursued, and slue to the number of 500, The Welshmen obteine the victorie against Englishmen and Normans. beside such as were hurt and escaped with life. Griffin and Algar hauing obteined this victorie, entered into the towne of Hereford, set the minster on fire, slue seuen of the canons that stood to defend the doores or gates of the principall church, and finallie spoiled and burned the towne miserablie.

The king aduertised hereof, gathered an armie, ouer the which Harold the sonne of earle Goodwine was made generall, who followed vpon the enimies that fled before him into Stratcluid. Northwales, & staied not, till hauing passed through Stratcluid, he came to the mountaines Snowdon. of Snowdon, where he pitched his field. The enimies durst not abide him, but got them into Southwales, whereof Harold being aduertised, left the more part of his armie in Northwales to resist the enimies there, & with the residue of his people came backe vnto Hereford, The citie of Hereford fortified by Harold. recouered the towne, and caused a great and mightie trench to be cast round about it, with an high rampire, and fensed it with gates and other fortifications. After this, he did so much, that comming to a communication, with Griffin and Algar at a place called Biligelhage, a peace was concluded, and so the nauie of earle Algar sailed about, and came to Chester, there to remaine, till the men of warre and marriners had their wages, while he[Page 750] went to the king, who pardoned his offense, & restored him to his earledome.

The decease of Siward earle of Northumberland. Ran. Higd. After this, in the verie same yeare, being the 15 of king Edwards reigne, as some writers affirme, Siward the noble earle of Northumberland died of the flix, of whom it is said, that when he perceiued the houre of death to be néere, he caused him selfe to be put in armour, & set vp in his chaire, affirming that a knight and a man of honour ought to die in that sort, rather than lieng on a couch like a féeble and fainthearted creature: and sitting so vpright in his chaire armed at all points, he ended his life, and was buried at Yorke. [O stout harted man, not vnlike to that famous Romane remembred by Tullie in his "Tusculane questions," who suffered the sawing of his leg from his bodie without shrinking, looking vpon the surgeon all the while, & hauing no part of his bodie bound for shrinking.] The said Siward earle of Northumberland was a man of a giantlike stature, & thereto of a verie stout and hardie courage, & because his sonne Walteif was but an infant, and as yet not out of his cradell, the earledome was giuen vnto earle Tostie one of Goodwins sonnes.

Edward the sonne of Edmund Ironside is sent for to be made heire apparant to the crowne, his death, the deceasse of Leofrike earle of Chester, the vertues and good deeds of him and his wife Gudwina, Couentrie free from custome and toll, churches and religious places builded and repared, Algar succedeth his father Leofrike in the earledome, he is accused of treason and banished, he recouereth his earledome by force of armes; Harold is sent with a power against Griffin king of Wales; the countrie wasted, and the people forced to yeeld, they renounce Griffin their king, kill him, and send his head to Harold, Griffins brethren rule Wales after him by grant of king Edward; Harolds infortunate going ouer into Normandie, the earle of Ponthieu taketh him prisoner, and releaseth him at the request of William duke of Normandie, for whose vse Harold sweareth to keepe possession of the realme of England, the duke promiseth him his daughter in mariage.


Not long after, in the yeare 1057, Aldred bishop of Worcester, was sent ouer vnto the emperour Henrie the third, to fetch Edward the sonne of Edmund Ironside into England, whome king Edward was desirous to sée, meaning to ordeine him heire apparant to the crowne: but he died the same yeare, after that he was returned into England. This Edward Edward the outlaw departed this life.
was surnamed the outlaw: his bodie was buried at Westminster, or (as others say) in the church of S. Paule within London. The same yeare, that is to say, in the seuentéenth Leofrike earle of Chester departed this life.
Ran. Higd.
Mat. West.
yeare or in the sixtéenth yeare of king Edwards reigne (as some write) Leofrike the noble earle of Chester, or Mercia, that was sonne to duke Leofwine, departed this life in his owne towne of Bromelie on the last day of August, and was buried at Couentrie in the abbeie there which he had builded. This earle Leofrike was a man of great honor, wise and discréet in all his dooings. His high wisdome and policie stood the realme in great stéed whilest he liued.

Couentrie made frée of toll and custome. He had a noble ladie to his wife named Gudwina, at whose earnest sute he made the citie of Couentrie frée of all manner of toll, except horsses: and to haue that toll laid downe also, his foresaid wife rode naked through the middest of the towne without other couerture, saue onlie hir haire. Moreouer, partlie moued by his owne deuotion, and partlie by the persuasion of his wife, he builded or beneficiallie augmented and repared manie abbeies & churches, as the said abbeie or priorie at Couentrie, the abbeies of Wenlocke, Worcester, Stone, Euesham, and Leof besides Hereford. Also he builded two churches within the Churches in Chester built. citie of Chester, the one called S. Iohns, and the other S. Werbrough. The value of the[Page 751] iewels & ornaments which he bestowed on the abbeie church of Couentrie, was inestimable.

After Leofriks death, his sonne Algar was made earle, and intituled in all his lands and Henr. Hunt.
Algar earle of Chester exiled.
seigniories. In the yeare following, to wit, 1058, the same Algar was accused againe (through malice of some enuious persons) of treason, so that he was exiled the land, wherevpon he repaired againe vnto his old friend Griffin prince of Northwales, of whome he was ioifullie receiued, & shortlie after by his aid, & also by the power of a nauie of ships that by Simon Dun.
chance arriued in those parts at that selfe same season vnlooked for out of Norwaie, the said Algar recouered his earledome by force, as some haue written. King Edward about the Simon Dun.
Mat. West.
twentith yeare of his reigne, as then remaining at Glocester, appointed earle Harold to inuade the dominions of Griffin king of Wales. Harold taking with him a power of horssemen, made spéed, and came to Rutland, and there burned Griffins palace, and also his ships, and then about Midlent returned againe into England.

After this, about the Rogation wéeke, Harold eftsoones by the kings commandement went against the Welshmen, and taking the sea, sailed by Bristow, round about the coast, compassing in maner all Wales. His brother Tostie that was earle of Northumberland, met him [Sidenote:
Wales destroied and harried by the Englishmen.
by appointment with an host of horssemen, and so joining togither, they destroied the countrie of Wales in such sort, that the Welshmen were compelled to submit themselues, to deliuer The Welshmen agrée to pay their accustomed tribute.

Wil. Malm.
Simon Dun.
hostages, and conditioned to paie the ancient tribute which before time they had paied. And moreouer, they renounced their prince the forenamed Griffin, so that he remained as a banished person: and finallie, about the fift day of August, they slue him, and sent his head to earle Harold. Afterwards king Edward granted the rule of Wales vnto Blengent or Blethgent, & Riuall, Griffins two brethren, which did homage vnto him for the same, and had serued vnder Harold against their brother the foresaid Griffin. There be which write, that not onelie Griffin, but also another of his brethren called Rice, was brought to Wil. Malm. his death by the manfull meanes and politike order of earle Harold, & all the sauage people of Wales reduced into the forme of good order vnder the subiection of king Edward.

Harold goeth ouer into Normandie.

Shortlie after, earle Harold chanced to passe ouer into Normandie, whither of hap or of purpose it is hard to define, writers doo varie so much in report thereof. Some write that he made earnest sute to king Edward, to haue licence to go ouer to sée his brother Wilnot, and his nephue Hacune, which (as ye haue heard) were deliuered as pledges to king Edward, & sent into Normandie to remaine there with duke William, and at length with much adoo, got leaue: but yet he was told aforehand of the king, that he would repent his iournie, Mat. West.
Wil. Malm.
and doo the thing that should be preiudiciall to the realme. Other write that Harold lieng at his manor of Bosham, went aboord one day into his fishers boat or craier, and caused the same to lanch forth to the sea for his pleasure: but by misfortune at the same time, a contrarie wind suddenlie came about, and droue the vessell on land into France vpon the coast of Ponthieu, where he was taken by the countrie people, & presented to the earle of Ponthieu named Guie or Guido, who kept him as prisoner, meaning to put him to a grieuous ransome. But Harold remembring himselfe of a wile, dispatched a messenger forth with all spéed vnto William, duke of Normandie, signifieng vnto him, that he being sent from king Edward to confirme such articles, as other meane men that had béene sent vnto him afore had talked of, by chance he was fallen into the hands of the earle of Ponthieu, and kept as prisoner against all order of law, reason, or humanitie. Duke William thus informed by the messenger, sent to the earle of Ponthieu, requiring him to set earle Harold at libertie, that he might repaire to him according to his commission. The earle of Ponthieu at the Harold is presented to William duke of Normandie. dukes request, did not onelie restore Harold to his libertie, but also brought him into Normandie, and presented him there to the duke, of whome he was most ioifullie receiued.

Hen. Hunt. There be that agrée partlie with this report, and partlie varie: for they write, that earle Harold tooke the sea vpon purpose to haue sailed into Flanders, and that by force of wind he was driuen to the coast of Ponthieu, and so after came into Normandie in maner as before is mentioned. But by what means or occasion soeuer he came thither, certeine it is, Harold was highly welcomed of Duke William. that he was ioifullie receiued, and had great chéere made him by the said duke William, who at[Page 752] that time was readie to make a iournie against the Britains, and tooke earle Harold with him to haue his companie in armes in that iournie, that he might haue the better triall of his valiancie. Earle Harold behaued himselfe so, that he shewed good proofe both of his wisedome and policie, and also of his forwardnesse to execute that with hand, which by wit he had deuised, so that duke William had him in high fauour, and (as it hath béene said) earle Harold (to procure him more friendship at the dukes hands) declared vnto him, that king Edward had ordeined him his heire if he died without issue, and that he would not faile to kéepe the realme of England to the dukes vse, according to that ordinance, if K. Edward Matth. West.
Duke William promised to Harold his daughter in mariage.
died without issue. And to performe this promise, he receiued a corporall oth, whether willinglie to win the more credit, or forced thereto by duke William, writers report it diuerslie. At the same time, duke William promised vnto him his daughter in marriage, whom Harold couenanted in like maner to take to wife.

Harold at his returne into England reporteth to K. Edward what he had doone beyond the seas, and what the king said vnto him in that behalfe, who foresaw the comming of the Normans into this land to conquer it; when and why king Edward promised to make duke William his heire, (wherein note his subtiltie) dissention betwixt Harold and Tostie two brethren the sonnes of earle Goodwine, their vnnaturall and cruell dealing one with another, speciallie of the abhominable and merciles murthers committed by Tostie, against whome the Northumbers rebell vpon diuerse occasions, and reward him with answerable reuengement; Harold is sent against them, but preuaileth not; they offer to returne home if they might haue a new gouernor; they renounce Tostie and require Marchar in his roome, Tostie displeased getteth him into Flanders; king Edward dieth, his manners and disposition note-woorthie, his charitie and deuotion, the vertue of curing the maladie called the kings euill deriued from him to the succéeding kings of this land, he was warned of his death by a ring, he is canonized for a saint, the last woords that he spake on his death-bed, wherein he vttered to the standers by a vision, prophesieng that England should be inhabited with strangers, a description of the kings person, of a blasing starre fore-telling his death, the progenie of the Westsaxon kings, how long they continued, the names of their predecessors and successors; whence the first kings of seuen kingdoms of Germanie had their pedegree, &c.


Now when Harold should returne into England, duke William deliuered him his nephue Polydor. Hacune, but kept his brother Wilnote with him still as a pledge. Then went earle Harold into England, and declared vnto king Edward what he had doone, who said vnto him; "Did not I tell thee that thou wouldest doo the thing whereof thou shouldest repent thee, and procure a mischiefe to follow vnto thy countrie? But God of his mercie turne that euill hap from this realme, or at the least, if it be his pleasure, that it must needs come to passe, yet to staie it till after my daies!" Some by Harolds purposed going ouer into Normandie, doo gather, that king Edward foresaw the comming of the Normans; and that he meant nothing When the promise was made by king Edward to make duke William his heire. lesse, than to performe the promise made vnto duke William, as to adopt him his heire, which promise should séeme to be made in time or his banishment, when he stood in néed of friendship; as the maner of men in such cases is, to promise much, how so euer they intend to fulfill. But rather it maie be thought, that king Edward had made no such promise at all, but perceiued the ambitious desire of duke William, and therefore would not that anie occasion should be ministred unto him to take hold of. Wherefore, he was loth that Harold should go ouer vnto him, least that might happen, which happened in déed.

Hen. Hunt.
Matth. West.
Falling out between brethren.
The cruell dealing of earle Tostie.
In the foure and twentieth and last yéere of king Edward his reigne, or therabout, there[Page 753] fell variance betwixt the two brethren, earle Harold and earle Tostie at Windsor, where the court then lay, in so much that earle Harold caught Tostie by the haire of the head in the kings presence, and stroke him. Heervpon, Tostie departing from the court in great anger, came to Hereford in the marches of Wales, where Harolds seruants were preparing for the kings comming to their maisters house, which seruants he tooke and slue, chopping them in péeces, and threw into this hogshead of wine a leg, into that barrell of sider an arme, into this vessell of ale an head: and so into the lomes of meth and tubs of brine and other liquor he bestowed the parts of the dead carcasses of his brothers seruants, sending the king woord that he had prouided at his brothers manor, against his coming, good plentie of sowse & powdred meat, whatsoeuer he should find beside.

The rumor of this cruell deed sprang ouer all the realme, wherevpon the Northumbers, whome he had gouerned for the space of ten yéeres verie cruellie, tooke occasion to rebell The Northumbers rebell against Tostie their earle. against him, and slue his seruants both Englishmen and Danes, spoiled his houses, and tooke awaie his horsses, his armour, and all other his goods and houshold stuffe. The chiefest cause (as is remembred by some writers) that mooued the Northumbers thus to rise and rebell against Tostie, was for the detestable murther of certeine gentlemen of their countrie, seruants unto Gospatrike, whom the queene in behalfe of hir brother had caused to be slaine in the court by treason, in the fourth night of Christmas last past, and also in reuenge of other noble men, which in the last yéere Tostie himselfe had commanded to be murthered in his owne chamber at Yorke, whither he had allured them to come vnder colour of concluding a peace with them. Also the gréeuous paiments, wherewith he charged the people of that countrie, set them in a great rage against him.

But the king aduertised héereof, liked not their dooings, for that they had doone it without commandement or commission, and therefore sent earle Harold with an armie to chastise Wil. Malm. them, but they were strong inough to withstand him, as those which were assembled in armour togither with the people of Lincolnshire, Notinghamshire, and Darbishire, and hauing with them Marcharus or Malcharus, the sonne of earle Algar, were come as farre as Northhampton, doing much hurt in the parts therabouts. Howbeit to haue the kings peace, they offered to returne home, so that they might haue an other earle appointed them, for that they plainlie protested, that they being freemen, borne and bred out of bondage, might not suffer anie cruell gouernor to rule ouer them, being taught by their ancestors, either to liue in libertie, or to die in defense thereof. If therefore it might please the king to assigne Marcharus the son of earle Algar to be their ruler, he should see how obedient subiects they would prooue & shew themselues to be, when they should be vsed after a reasonable and courteous manner. All things considered, their request seemed reasonable, or at least it Marcharus made earle of Northumberland. was thought necessarie that it should be granted. And so was Marcharus or Malcherus made earle of Northumberland. Tostie in great displeasure with his wife and children sailed ouer into Flanders, and there remained till after the deceasse of king Edward.

K. Edward departed this life.
Simon Dun.
Finallie, after that this courteous prince king Edward had reigned thrée and twentie yéeres, seuen moneths, and od daies, he departed this life at London the fourth of Ianuarie, and was buried in the church of Westminster, which he had in his life time roiallie repared, after such a statelie sort as few churches in those daies were like therevnto within this realme, K. Edvard his maners and disposition of mind described. so that afterwards the same was a paterne for other to be built after the same forme. This Edward was a prince of such a vertuous disposition of mind, that his fame of holinesse sprang ouer all. He abhorred warres and shedding of bloud, in so much that when he liued as a banished man in Normandie, he had this saieng oftentimes in his mouth, that he had rather liue a priuate life for euer, than to obteine the kingdome by the slaughter and death of anie man. He could not abide to haue the people oppressed with tributes or exactions, in so much that he caused the paiement called Danegilt (which had continued for the space almost of fortie yéeres) to ceasse. It hath beene said, that when the collectors of this monies or some other subsidie, had got an huge quantitie of treasure togither, they A diuell fetching gambols. brought it vnto him, and laid it altogither vpon an heape, so to delight his eies: but he declaring[Page 754] that he saw a diuell plaieng and fetching gambols about that heape of monie, commanded that it should be had awaie, and restored againe to them of whome it was leauied.

In diet and apparell he was spare and nothing sumptuous: and although on high feasts he ware rich apparell, as became the maiestie of his roiall personage; yet he shewed no proud nor loftie countenance, rather praising God for his bountifull goodnesse towards him extended, than estéeming heerein the vaine pompe of the world. The pleasure that he tooke chieflie in this world for the refreshing of his wits, consisted onelie in hawking and hunting, which exercises he dailie vsed, after he had first beene in the church at diuine seruice. In other things he seemed wholie giuen to a deuout trade of life, charitable to the poore, and verie liberall, namelie to hospitals and houses of religion in the parties of beyond the sea, wishing euer that the moonks and religious persons of his realme would haue followed the vertue and holinesse of life vsed amongst them of forren parties. As hath béene thought he was inspired with the gift of prophesie, and also to haue had the gift of healing infirmities and diseases. He vsed to helpe those that were vexed with the disease, commonlie called the kings euill, and left that vertue as it were a portion of inheritance vnto his successors the kings of this realme.

A tale of a ring. He was warned (as hath béene reported) of his death certeine daies before he died, by a ring that was brought him by certeine pilgrims comming from Hierusalem, which ring he had secretlie giuen to a poore man that asked his charitie in the name of God and saint Iohn King Edward canonized for a saint.
Wil. Malms.
Matt. Westm.
the Euangelist. But to conclude, such was the opinion conceiued of his holinesse of life, that shortlie after his decease, he was canonized amongst the number of saints, and named Edward the Confessor. Whilest he lay sicke of that sicknesse, whereof at length he died, after he had remained for two daies speechlesse, the third day after when he had laine for a time in a slumber or soft sléepe, at the time of his waking, he fetched a déepe sigh, and thus said; "Oh Lord God almightie, if this be not a vaine fantasticall illusion, but a true vision which I haue séene, grant me space to vtter the same vnto these that stand héere present, or else not." And herewith hauing his speech perfect, he declared how he had séene two moonks stand by him as he thought, whome in his youth he knew in Normandie to haue liued godlie, and died christianlie. "These moonks (said he) protesting to me that they were the messengers of God, spake these words; Bicause the chéefe gouernors of England, the bishops and abbats, are not the ministers of God, but the diuels, the almightie God hath deliuered this kingdome for one yéere and a day into the hands of the enimie, and wicked spirits shall walke abroad through the whole land. And when I made answer that I would declare these things to the people, and promised on their behalfe, that they should doo penance in following the example of the Niniuites: they said againe, that it would not be, for neither should the people repent, nor God take anie pitie vpon them. And when is there hope to haue an end of these miseries said I? Then said they; When a grene trée is cut in sunder in the middle, and the part cut off is caried thrée acres bredth from the stocke, and returning againe to the stoale, shall ioine therewith, and begin to bud & beare fruit after the former maner, by reason of the sap renewing the accustomed nourishment; then (I say) may there be hope that such euils shall ceasse and diminish." ¶ With which words of the king, though some other that stood by were brought in feare, yet archbishop Stigand made but a ieast thereof, saieng, that the old man raued now in his sickenesse, as men of great yéeres vse to doo. Neuerthelesse the truth of this prophesie afterwards too plainlie appeared, when England became the habitation of new strangers, in such wise, that there was neither gouernor, bishop, nor abbat remaining therein of the English nation. But now to make an end with king Edward, he was of person comelie, & of an indifferent stature, of white haire, both head and beard, of face ruddie, and in all parts of his bodie faire skinned, with due state and proportion of lims as was thereto conuenient. In the yéere before the death of king Edward, a blasing starre appeared, the which when a moonke of Malmesburie named Eilmer beheld, he vttered these words (as it were by way of prophesieng:) Thou art come (saith he) thou art come, much to be lamented of manie a mother:[Page 755] it is long agone sith I saw thée, but now I doo behold thee the more terrible, threatening destruction to this countrie by thy dreadfull appearance. In the person of king Edward ceased by his death the noble progenie of the Westsaxon kings, which had continued from the first yeare of the reigne of Cerdike or Cerdicius, the space of 547 yeeres complet. And from Egbert 266 yéeres.

Moreouer, sith the progenie of the Saxon kings seemeth wholie to take end with this Edward surnamed the Confessor, or the third of that name before the conquest, we haue thought good for the better helpe of memorie to referre the reader to a catalog of the names as well of those that reigned among the Westsaxons (who at length, as ye haue heard, obteined the whole monarchie) as also of them which ruled in the other seuen kingdomes before the same were vnited vnto the said kingdome of the Westsaxons, which catalog you shall find in the description of Britaine, pag. 31, 32, 33.

Here is to be remembred, that as partlie before is expressed, we find in some old writers, Matt. West. how the first kings of seuen kingdomes of the Germane nation that bare rule in this Ile, fetcht their pedegrées from one Woden, who begat of Frea his wife seuen sonnes, that is to say, 1 Vecta, of whome came the kings of Kent, 2 Fethelgeta, or Frethegeath, from whome the kings of Mercia descended, 3 Balday, of whose race the kings of the Westsaxons had their originall, 4 Beldagius, ancestor to the kings of Bernicia, and the Northumbers, 5 Wegodach or Wegdagus, from whome came the kings of Deira, 6 Caser, from whome procéeded the kings of the Eastangles, 7 Nascad alias Saxuad, of whome the kings of the Eastsaxons had their beginning. And here you must note, that although the kings of the eight kingdome, that is, of the Southsaxons or Sussex, were descended of the same people, yet were they not of the same line. By other it should séeme, that Woden had but fiue sonnes: as Vecta, great grandfather to Hengist; Wepedeg, ancestor to the kings of the Eastangles; Viclac, from whome procéeded the kings of Mercia; Saxuad, from whom the kings of Essex came; and Beldag, of whose generation proceeded the kings of the Southsaxons, Simon Dun.
Io. Textor
Westsaxons, and the Northumbers. Moreouer, there be that bring the genealogie from Noe to Noah, the sonne of Lamech, which Noe was the 9 in descent from Adam, and Woden the 15 from Noe, as you shall find in the historie of England, lib. 6. pag. 663. Noe was the father to Sem the father of Bedwi, the father of Wala, the father of Hatria or Hathra, the father of Itermod, the father of Heremod, the father of Sheaf or Seaf, the father of Seldoa or Sceldua, the father of Beatu or Beau, the father of Teathwij aliàs Tadwa or Teathwy, the father of Geta, reputed for a god among the gentiles, the father of Fingodulph otherwise Godulph, the father of Fritwolfe otherwise Friuin, the father of Freolaf aliàs Freolater, the father of Frethwold or Friderwald, the father of the aforenamed Woden or Othen.

The peeres are in doubt to whome the rule of the land should be committed, why they durst not that Edgar Edeling should vndertake it though he was interested to the same, how William duke of Normandie pretended a right to the crowne, Harold the sonne of earle Goodwine crowned, proclaimed, and consecrated king; his subtill and adulatorie meanes to win the peoples fauour; duke William sendeth ambassadors to Harold to put him in mind of a promise passed to the said duke for his furtherance to obteine the crowne; Harolds negatiue answer to the said ambassage, as also to the marieng of the dukes daughter which was Harolds owne voluntarie motion; he prouideth against the inuasions of the enimie as one doubting afterclaps, a blasing starre of seuen daies continuance.


K. Edward departed this life.
An. Christi.
1065, after the account of the church of England.
Matth. West. Polydor. Edeling, that is, a noble man, and such one as is come of the kings blood.
King Edward being thus departed this life, the péeres of the land were in great doubt & perplexitie to whome they might best commit the roiall gouernement of the realme. For there was not anie among them that had iust title thereto, or able and apt to take the[Page 756] charge vpon him. For although Edgar surnamed Edeling, the sonne of Edward the outlaw, that was sonne of Edmund Ironside, was at the same time latelie come into England, with his mother and sisters out of Hungarie where he was borne: yet for that he was but a child, & not of sufficient age to beare rule, they durst not as then commit the gouernement of the realme vnto him, least (as some haue thought) his tendernesse of age might first bréed a contempt of his person, and therewith minister occasion to ciuill discord, wherby a shipwracke of the estate might ensue, to the great annoie and present ouerthrow of such as then liued in the same. But what consideration soeuer they had in this behalfe, they ought not to haue defrauded the yoong gentleman of his lawfull right to the crowne. For as we haue heard and séene, God, whose prouidence and mightie power is shewed by ouerthrowing of high and mightie things now and then, by the weake and féeble hath gouerned states and kingdomes oftentimes in as good quiet and princelie policie by a child, as by men of age and great discretion.

But to the purpose, beside the doubt which rested among the lords, how to bestow the crowne, the manifold and strange woonders, which, were séene and heard in those daies, betokening (as men thought) some change to be at hand in the state of the realme, made the lords afraid, and namelie bicause they stood in great doubt of William duke of Normandie, who pretended a right to the crowne, as lawfull heire appointed by king Edward, for that Dukes of Normandie. he was kin to him in the second and third degree. For Richard the first of that name duke of Normandie, begot Richard the second, and Emma; which Emma bare Edward by hir husband Ethelred. Richard the second had also issue Richard the third, and Robert, which Robert by a concubine had issue William, surnamed the bastard, that was now duke of Normandie, and after the death of his coosine king Edward, made claime (as is said) to the crowne of England.

Whilest the lords were thus studieng and consulting what should be best for them to doo Harold proclaimed king of England. in these doubts, Harold, the son of Goodwine earle of Kent, proclaimed himselfe king of England: the people being not much offended therewith, bicause of the great confidence and opinion which they had latelie conceiued of his valiancie. Some write (among whome Edmerus. Edmerus is one) how king Edward ordeined before his death, that Harold should succéed him as heire to the crowne, and that therevpon the lords immediatlie after the said Edwards deceasse, crowned Harold for their king, and so he was consecrated by Aldred archbishop of Yorke, according to the custom and maner of the former kings, or (as other affirme) he Matth. West. set the crowne on his owne head without anie the accustomed ceremonies, in the yéere after the birth of our sauiour 1066, or in the yéere of Christ 1065, after the account of the church of England (as before is noted.)

But how and whensoeuer he came to the seat roiall of this kingdome, certeine it is, that this Harold in the begining of his reigne, considering with himselfe how and in what sort he had taken vpon him the rule of the kingdome, rather by intrusion than by anie lawfull Harold séeketh to win the peoples hearts.
Sim. Dunel.
right, studied by all meanes which way to win the peoples fauour, and omitted no occasion whereby he might shew anie token of bountious liberalitie, gentlenesse and courteous behauiour towards them. The gréeuous customes also and taxes which his predecessors had raised, he either abolished or diminished: the ordinarie wages of his seruants and men of warre he increased, and further shewed himselfe verie well bent to all vertue and goodnesse, whereby he purchased no small fauor among such as were his subiects.

An ambassage from Normandie. Whilest Harold went about thus to steale the peoples good willes, there came ouer vnlooked for sundrie ambassadours from William the bastard duke of Normandie, with commission to require him to remember his oth sometime made to the said William in the time of his extremitie, which was, that he the said Harold should aid him in the obteining of the crowne of England, if king Edward should happen to die without issue. This couenant he made (as it is supposed) in king Edwards daies, when (by licence of the same Edward, or rather (as Edmerus writeth) against his will) he went ouer into Normandie to visit his brethren, which laie there as pledges.

K. Harolds answer. Howbeit at this present, Harolds answer to the said ambassadors was, that he would be[Page 757] readie to gratifie the duke in all that he could demand, so that he would not aske the realme, Eadmerus. which alreadie he had in his full possession. And further he declared vnto them (as some write) that as for the oth which he had made in times past vnto duke William, the same was Matth. West. but a constreined & no voluntarie oth, which in law is nothing; since thereby he tooke vpon him to grant that which was not in his power to giue, he being but a subiect whilest king Edward was liuing. For if a promised vow or oth which a maid maketh concerning the bestowing of hir bodie in hir fathers house, without his consent, is made void; much more an oth by him made that was a subiect, and vnder the rule of a king, without his souereignes consent, ought to be void and of no value. He alledged moreouer, that as for him to take an oth to deliuer the inheritance of anie realme without the generall consent of the estates of the same, could not be other than a great péece of presumption, yea although he might haue iust title therevnto; so it was an vnreasonable request of the duke at this present to will him to renounce the kingdome, the gouernance whereof he had alreadie taken vpon him, with so great fauor and good liking of all men.

Duke William eftsoones sendeth to king Harold. Duke William hauing receiued this answer, and nothing liking thereof, sent once againe to Harold, requiring him then at the least-wise, that he would take his daughter to wife, according to his former promise; in refusing whereof he could make no sound allegation, bicause it was a thing of his owne motion, and in his absolute power, both to grant and to performe. But Harold being of a stout courage, with proud countenance frowned vpon the Norman ambassadors, and declared to them that his mind was nothing bent as then to yéeld therevnto in any maner of wise. And so with other talke tending to the like effect he sent them away without anie further answer. The daughter of duke William whome Harold should haue maried, was named Adeliza, as Gemeticensis saith, and with hir (as the same Gemeticensis. author writeth) it was couenanted by duke William, that Harold should inioy halfe the Wil. Malm. realme in name of hir dower. Howbeit some write that this daughter of duke William was departed this life before the comming of these ambassadors, and that Harold therevpon thought himselfe discharged of the oth and couenants made to duke William, and therefore sent them away with such an vntoward answer.

Polydor. But howsoeuer it was, after the departure of these ambassadors, king Harold (doubting what would insue) caused his ships to be newlie rigged, his men of warre to be mustered, and spéedilie put in a readinesse, to the end that if anie sudden inuasion should be made and attempted by his enimie, he might be able to resist them. ¶ About the same time also, and vpon the 24 of Aprill (whilest Harold was making prouision to withstand the Norman force) there appeared a blasing starre, which was séene not onelie here in England, but also in other parts of the world, and continued the space of seuen daies. This blasing starre Rog. Houed.
Simon Dun.
might be a prediction of mischéefe imminent & hanging ouer Harolds head; for they neuer appeare but as prognosticats of afterclaps. To be resolutelie instructed herein, doo but peruse a treatise intituled; A doctrine generall of comets or blasing starres published by a bishop of Mentz in Latine, and set foorth in English by Abraham Fleming vpon the apparition of a blasing starre séene in the southwest, on the 10 of Nouember 1577, and dedicated to the right worshipfull sir William Cordell knight, then maister of hir maiesties rolles, &c.

[Page 758]

Earle Tostie afflicteth his brother Harold on sea and land, he taketh the repulse, and persuadeth Harfager king of Norweie to attempt the conquest of England against Harold, Harfager & Tostie with their powers arriue at Humber, they fight with the Northumbers vnder the conduct of Edwine and Marchar, and discomfit them; Harold leuieth an armie against them, the rare valiantnes of a Norwegian souldior; Harfager and Tostie slaine in battell; the Norwegians are foiled and flie; Harolds vnequall and parciall dividing of the spoile, he goeth to Yorke to reforms things amisse.


Whilest Harold desirous to reteine, and verie loth to let go his vsurped roialtie, had crackt his credit with the duke of Normandie, and by his lewd reuolting from voluntarie promises ratified with solemne othes, had also kindled the fire of the dukes furie against him; it came to passe, that the proud and presumptuous man was (to begin withall) vexed in his Tostie séekes to disquiets his brother. owne flesh, I meane his owne kinred. For Tostie the brother of king Harold (who in the daies of king Edward for his crueltie had béene chased out of the realme by the Northumbers) returning out of Flanders, assembled a nauie of ships from diuers parts to the number of Matt. West.
saith but 40.
Ran Higd.
Sim. Dun.
60, with the which he arriued in the Ile of Wight, & there spoiled the countrie, and afterward sailing about by the coasts of Kent, he tooke sundrie preies their[a] also, and came at the last to Sandwich: so that Harold was now constreined to appoint the nauie which he had prepared against the Normans, to go against his brother earle Tostie. Whereof the said Tostie being aduertised, drew towards Lindsey in Lincolnshire, and there taking land did much hurt Wil. Malm.
Tosties repelled. Polydor.
Ran. Higd.
in the countrie, both with sword and fire, till at length Edwine earle of Mercia, and Marchar earle of Northumberland, aided with the kings nauie, chased him from thence, and caused him to flie into Scotland, not without some losse both of his men and ships.

This trouble was scarse quieted, but streightwaies another came in the necke thereof, farre more dangerous than the first. For Tostie, perceiuing that he could get no aid in Scotland Harold Harfager king of Norweie. to make anie acccount of, sailed forth into Norweie, and there persuaded Harold Harfager king of that realme, to saile with an armie into England, persuading him that by meanes of ciuill dissention latelie kindled betwixt the king and his lords (which was not so) it should be an easie matter for him to make a conquest of the whole realme, and reigne ouer them as his predecessors had done before. Some authors affirme, that Harold king of Norwey tooke Matt. West.
Simon Dun.
this enterprise in hand of his owne mind, and not by procurement of Tostie, saieng, that Tostie méeting with him in Scotland, did persuade him to go forward in his purposed busines, and that the said Harold Harfager with all conuenient spéed passed foorth, & with a nauie Simon Dun.
saith 500.
of 300 saile entered into the riuer of Tine, where after he had rested a few daies to refresh his people, earle Tostie came also with his power (according to an appointment which should be made betweene them.) They ad furthermore, that they sailed forth alongst the coast, till they The Norwegians arriue in Humber.
Hen. Hunt.
arriued in the mouth of Humber, & then drawing vp against the streame of the riuer Owse, they landed at length at a place called Richhall, from whence they set forward to inuade the countrie, & néere vnto Yorke on the northside of the citie, they fought with the power of the The English men discomfited. Northumbers, which was led by the earls Edwine and Marchar (two brethren) and there discomfited and chased them into the citie, with great slaughter and bloudshed.

This battell was fought on the even of S. Mattew the apostle, as saith
Si. Dun.
Wil. Malm.
Hen. Hunt.
Matt. West.
Harold king of England being aduertised of this chance, made the more hast forward (for he was alreadie in the field with his armie, intending also to come towards his enimies) so that vpon the fift day after he came to Stamford bridge, finding there the said king Harfager and Tostie readie imbattelled, he first assailed those that kept the bridge, where (as some writers affirme) a Norwegian souldier with his axe defended the passage, mauger the whole host of the Englishmen, and slue fortie of them or more with his axe, & might not be ouercome, till an Englishman went with a boat vnder the said bridge, and through an hole thereof thrust him vp into the bodie with his speare: yet Matt. West, saith that he was slaine with a dart which one[Page 759] of king Harold his seruants threw at him, & so ended his life. Which bridge being woone, The Norwegians discomfited. the whole host of the Englishmen passed ouer, and ioined with their enimies, and after a verie great and sore battell put them all to flight.

The king of Norwaie and Tostie slaine. In this conflict Harold Harfager king of the Norwegians was slaine, & so was Tostie the king of England his brother, besides a great number of other, as well in the battell as in the chase: neither did the Englishmen escape all frée, for the Norwegians fought it out a long This battell was fought on the 25 of September as saith
Si. Dun.
time verie stoutlie, beating downe and killing great numbers of such as assailed them with great courage and assurance. The residue of the Norwegians that were left to kéepe their ships vnder the guiding of Olaue sonne to the king of Norwaie, and Paule earle of Orkneie, Matth. West. after they vnderstood by their fellowes that escaped from the field, how the mater went with Harfager and Tostie, they hoised vp their sailes and directed their course homewards, bearing sorowfull newes with them into their countrie, of the losse of their king and ouerthrow of Simon Dun. all his people. Some write, that the king of England permitted them franklie to depart with 20 ships, hauing first caused them to deliuer such hostages as they had receiued of the citizens of Yorke. Harold reioising in that he had atteined so glorious a victorie, and being now surprised with pride and couetousnesse togither, he diuided the spoile of the M. West.
Vnequall diuiding of the spoile.
field nothing equallie, but to such as he fauored he distributed liberallie, and to other (though they had much better deserued) he gaue nothing at all, reteining still the best part of all to himselfe, by reason whereof he lost the fauor of manie of his men, who for this his discourtesie, did not a little alienate their good willes from him. This doone, he repaired to Wil. Malm. Yorke, and there staied for a time to reforme the disordered state of the countrie, which by reason of these warres was greatlie out of frame.

¶ But Harold being more presumptuous and foole-hardie, than prouident and wise in his enterprise; bending all his force to redresse enormities in those quarters of Yorkeshire (much like vnto him, whom the Comediographer marketh for a foole, "Ea tantùm quæ ad pedes iacent contemplans, non autem ventura præuidens") neglected the kinglie care which he should haue had of other parts of his realme, from the which he had withdrawen himselfe, and (as it is likelie) had not left sufficientlie prouided of a conuenient vicegerent to gouerne the same by his warranted authoritie, and such fortifications as might expell and withstand the enimie. Which want of foresight gaue occasion to the enimie to attempt an inuasion of the English coasts, as in the next chapt. shall be shewed.

William duke of Normandie prepareth to inuade England and to conquere it, the earle of Flanders and the French king assist him, the number of his ships, hir arriuall at Peuensey in Sussex, vpon what occasions he entred this realme; the pope liked well duke Williams attempt, why king Harold was hated of the whole court of Rome; why duke William would not suffer his souldiers to wast the countries where they came; Harold goeth towards his enimies, why his vnskilfull espials tooke the Normans (being old beaten souldiers) for priests; Girth dissuadeth his brother Harold from present incountering with the duke; where note the conscience that is to be had of an oth, and that periurie can not scape vnpunished.


William duke of Normandie hauing knowledge after what maner K. Harold was busied in the north parts of his realme, and vnderstanding that the south parts thereof remained destitute of due prouision for necessarie defense, hasted with all diligence to make his purueiance of men and ships, that he might vpon such a conuenient occasion set forward to inuade his enimie. And amongest other of his friends, vnto whome he laboured for aid, his father in Ia. Meir.
Baldwine earle of Flanders aided duke William to conquere England.
Wil. Geme.
law Baldwine earle of Flanders was one of the chiefest, who vpon promise of great summes of monie and other large offers made, did aid him with men, munition, ships, and victuals,[Page 760] verie freelie. The French king also did as much for his part as laie in him to helpe forwards this so high an enterprise. Wherefore when all things were now in a readinesse, he came to the towne of S. Valerie, where he had assembled togither an huge nauie of ships, to the number The chronicles of Normandie haue 896 ships. (as some authors affirme) of three hundred saile; and when he had taried there a long time for a conuenient wind, at length it came about euen as he himselfe desired. Then shipping his armie which consisted of Normans, Flemings, Frenchmen, and Britains, with all expedition Duke William landed at Peuensey, now Pemsey. he tooke the sea, and directing his course towards England, he finallie landed at a place in Sussex, ancientlie called Peuensey, on the 28 day of September, where he did set his men on land, & prouided all things necessarie to incourage and refresh them.

At his going out of his ship vnto the shore, one of his féet slipped as he stepped forward, but the other stacke fast in the sand: the which so soone as one of his knights had espied, and séeing his hand wherevpon he staied full of earth, when he rose, he spake alowd and said: "Now sir duke, thou hast the soile of England fast in thy hand, & shalt of a duke yer long become a king." The duke hearing this tale, laughed merilie thereat, and comming on land, by and by he made his proclamation, declaring vpon what occasion he had thus entered the realme.

Hen. Hunt.

The first and principall cause which he alleged, was for to chalenge his right, meaning the dominion of the land that to him was giuen and assigned (as he said) by his nephue king Edward late ruler of the same land.


The second was, to reuenge the death of his nephue Alured or Alfred the brother of the same king Edward, whome Goodwine earle of Kent and his adherents had most cruellie murthered.


The third was to be reuenged of the wrong doone vnto Robert archbishop of Canturburie, who (as he was informed) was exiled by the meanes and labor of Harold in the daies of king Edward.

Wherein we haue to note, that whether it were for displeasure that the pope had sometime Wil. Lamb.
The pope fauored duke Williams enterprise.
conceiued for the wrong doone to the archbishop, or at the onlie sute of duke William, certeine it is that the pope, as then named Alexander the second, fauored this enterprise of the duke, and in token thereof sent him a white banner, which he willed him to set vp in the decke of the ship, wherein he himselfe should saile. In déed (as writers report) the pope with his cardinals, and all the whole court of Rome had king Harold euer in great hatred and disdaine, Matth. West. because he had taken vpon him the crowne without their consent, or anie ecclesiasticall solemnitie or agréement of the bishops. And although the pope and his brethren the said cardinals dissembled the matter for the time, yet now beholding to what end his bold presumption was like to come, with frowning fortune they shewed themselues open aduersaries, inclining streightwaies to the stronger part, after the manner of couetous persons, or rather of the réed shaken with a sudden puffe of wind.

Gemeticensis. Duke William at his first landing at Peuensey or Pemsey (whether you will) fortified a péece of ground with strong trenches, and leauing therein a competent number of men of warre to kéepe the same, he sped him toward Hastings, and comming thither, he built an other fortresse there with all spéed possible, without suffering his souldiers to rob or harrie the countrie adioining, saieng that it should be great follie for him to spoile that people, which Wil. Malm. yer manie daies to come were like to be his subiects. K. Harold being as yet in the north parts, and hearing that duke William was thus landed in England, sped him southward, and gathering his people togither out of the countries as he went forwards, at length came néere his enimies: and sending espials into their campe to vnderstand of what strength they were; Matth. West. the vnskilfull messengers regarding smallie their charge, brought woord againe of nothing else, Normans berds shauen.
Wil. Malm.
Hen. Marle.
but that all duke Williams souldiers were priests. For the Normans had at that time their vpper lips and chéekes shauen, whereas the Englishmen vsed to suffer the haire of their vpper lips to grow at length. But Harold answered, that they were not priests, but wether-beaten and hardie souldiers, and such as were like to abide well by their capteine.

Girth would not haue his brother king Harold fight himselfe. Gemeticensis. In the meane season, Girth one of Harolds yoonger brethren (considering that periurie is[Page 761] neuer left vnpunished) aduised his brother not to aduenture himselfe at this present in the battell, for so much as he had beene sometime sworne to duke William, but rather to suffer him and other of the nobilitie to incounter with the said duke, that were not bound to him by former oth, or otherwise: but Harold answered that he was free from anie such oth, and that in defense of his countrie he would fight boldly with him as with his greatest enimie. ¶ Where (by the waie) would be noted the conscience which Girth a yoonger brother made of an oth, not concerning himselfe directlie, but his elder brother Harold, who had sworne the same; meaning nothing lesse than the performance therof, as the sequele of his dooings to his discredit and vndooing euidentlie declared, which euents might séeme countable to him as due punishments and deserued plagues inflicted vpon him and others, for his sake; sith he made no reckoning of violating a vow ratified with an oth to a prince of no small puissance, who afterwards became a whip vnto him for his periurie; a sinne detested of the heathen, and whereof the poet notablie speaketh, saieng: Tibul, lib. 1.

Ah miser, & si quis primò periuria celat,
Sera tamen tacitis pœna venit pedibus.

After peace offered & refused on each side, both armies meete in the field, the order of the Englishmens attire & araie, the maner how the Normans were placed to fight in battell; the dissolute and droonken behauior of the Englishmen the night before the incounter farre differing from the Normans deuout demenour; duke Williams speech vpon occasion of wrong putting on his armour, the battell betwixt him and king Harold is valiantlie tried, the English by duke Williams politike stratagem are deceiued, king Harold slaine, his armie put to flight and manie of them slaine after a long and bloudie incounter, manie of the Normans pursuing the English ouerhastilie procure their owne death, they take the spoile of the English, the dead bodies of both armies are licenced to be buried; the differing reports of writers touching the maner of Harolds death, a description of his person, his ambition did him much hurt and hinderance, the number that were slaine on both sides, his bodie buried at Waltham, nothing dispraisewoorthie in him but his ambitious mind, a view of his valiantnesse in a conflict against the Welshmen, his rigorous or rather pitilesse handling of them, his seuere law or decree touching their bounds, they are vtterlie subdued, and (by the kings leaue) the Welshwomen marrie with the Englishmen, the Saxon line ceasseth, how long it lasted, and how long it was discontinued by the inuasion of the Danes.


Will. Malmes. Now it fortuned that both armies, as well the kings as the earles, being prepared to battell, diuerse offers were made on each side (before they fell to the conflict) for an vnitie to haue béene had betwixt the two princes: but when no conditions of agreement could take place, they forthwith prepared themselues to trie the matter by dint of swoord. And so on the 14 day of October, being saturday, both hosts met in the field, at a place in Sussex not The order of the Englishmen. farre from Hastings, whereas the abbeie of Battell was afterward builded. The Englishmen were all brought into one entire maine batell on foot, with huge axes in their hands, and Matth. West. paled a front with paueises, in such wise that it was thought vnpossible for the enimie to breake their arraie. On the other side, the Normans were diuided into seuerall battels, as first the The arraie of the Normans. footmen that were archers, and also those that bare gleiues and axes were placed in the forefront, and the horssemen diuided into wings stood on the sides in verie good order.

Hen. Hunt.
Will. Malmes.
All the night before the battell, the Englishmen made great noise and slept not, but sang and fell to drinking and making of reuell & pastime, as though there had beene no account to be made of the next daies trauell. But the Normans behaued themselues warilie and soberlie, spending all that night in praier and confessing their sinnes vnto God; and in the[Page 762] morning earelie they receiued the communion before they went foorth to the battell. Some write, that when duke William should put on his armour to go to the field, the backe halfe of his curasses by chance was set on before by such as holpe to arme him: at which chance he tooke occasion of laughter, saieng merrilie to them that stood by; "No force, this is good lucke, for the estate of my dukedome shall be yer night changed into a kingdome." Beside this, he spake manie comfortable woords vnto his men, to incourage them to the battell. Neither was Harold forgetfull in that point on his part. And so at conuenient time when both armies were readie, they made forward each to incounter with other, on the foresaid fouretéenth day of October, with great force and assurance.

The battell betwixt king Harold and duke William is begun.
In the beginning of the battell, the arrowes flue abroad freshlie on both sides, till they came to ioine at hand strokes, and then preassed each side vpon his counter part with swoords, axes, and other hand weapons verie egerlie. Duke William commanded his horssemen to giue the charge on the breasts of his enimies battels: but the Englishmen kéeping themselues close togither without scattering, receiued their enimies vpon the points of their weapons with such fiercenesse and in such stiffe order, that manie of the Norman horssemen were ouerthrowne without recouerie, and slaine at the first brunt. When duke William perceiued this inconuenience (as he that well and throughlie vnderstood the skilfull points of warre as well as the best) he gaue a signe to his men (according to an order appointed before hand vpon anie The policie of duke William to disorder his enimies.
H. Hunt.
Wil. Malm.
such occasion) that they should giue backe, and make a countenance as though they did flée, which was quicklie doone by the Normans, and withall they imbattelled their footmen in a new order, so that their horssemen shifted themselues on the wings, readie to rescue the footmen if their arraie should happen to be disturbed.

By this wilie stratagem and policie of warre, the Englishmen were deceiued: for they beholding the Normans somwhat shrinking backe to bring themselues into the aboue said order, thought verelie that they had fled, and therevpon meaning to pursue them before they should recouer their ground, they brake their arraie, and began to follow the chase: wherevpon the Normans (perceiuing now that all things came to passe as they desired) spéedilie returned, and casting themselues togither quicklie into arraie, began to charge them againe afresh, and so A sore foughten battell.
King Harold slaine.
hauing them at that aduantage, they slue them downe on euerie side. The Englishmen on the other part fought sore, and though their king was beaten downe among them and slaine, yet were they loth to flée or giue ouer; so sharpe was the battell, that duke William himselfe had thrée horsses slaine vnder him that day, and not without great danger of his person.

Wil. Malm.
Matth. West.
Some of the Englishmen got them to the height of an hill, and beate backe the Normans that forced themselues to win the hill of them, so that it was long yer the Normans could preuaile, being oftentimes driuen downe into the botome of the vallie beneath. At length the The Englishmen put to flight. Englishmen, perceiuing themselues to be ouermatched and beaten downe on euerie side, and therevnto greatlie discouraged with slaughter of their king, began first to giue ground, and after to scatter and to run away, so that well was he that might then escape by flight. When Chron. de bello.
Wil. Geme.
The Normans fall into a ditch.
they had fought the most part of all that saturday, the Normans followed the chase with such eger rashnesse, that a great number of them falling with their horsses and armour into a blind ditch (shadowed with reed and sedges which grew therein) were smouldered and pressed to death, yer they could be succoured or get anie reliefe. The next day the Normans fell to gathering in the spoile of the field, burieng also the dead bodies of their people that were slaine at the battell, giuing licence in semblable manner to the Englishmen to doo the like. Giral. Camb. Of the death of Harold diuerse report diuerslie, in so much that Girald Cambrensis saith, that after king Harold had receiued manie wounds, and lost his left eie, he fled from the field vnto the citie of Westchester, and liued there long after, an holie life, as an anchoret in the cell of S. James, fast by S. Johns church, and there made a godlie end. But the saieng of Wil. Malm.
Hen. Hunt.
Matth. West.
Girald Cambren. in that point is not to be credited, bicause of the vnlikelihood of the thing it selfe, and also generall consent of other writers, who affirme vniuersallie that he was killed in the battell, first being striken thorough the left eie by the scull into the braine with an arrow, wherevpon falling from his horsse to the ground, he was slaine in that place, after he had Floriac.
Simon Dun.
reigned nine moneths and nine daies, as Floriacensis dooth report. He was a man of a comelie[Page 763] stature, and of a hawtie courage, & albeit that for his valiancie he was highlie renowmed Henr. Hunt. Polydor.
The chronicles of Normandie haue of English men slaine 67974, and of Normans 6013.
and honored of all men, yet through his pride and ambition he lost the harts of manie. There were slaine in this battell, besides king Harold and his two brethren, Girth and Leofrike, what on the one side and on the other, aboue twentie thousand men.

The bodie of king Harold being found among other slaine in the field, was buried at Waltham, within the monasterie of the holie crosse which he before had founded, and indowed to the behoofe of such canons as he had placed there, with faire possessions. Verelie (as some Ex 6. libro Polycraticon, side de nugis curialium.
John Sarisb.
old writers haue reported) there was nothing in this man to be in anie wise dispraised, if his ambitious mind could haue beene staied from coueting the kingdome, and that he could haue béene contented to haue liued as a subiect. Among other manifest proofes of his high valiancie, this is remembred of him, that being sent against the Welshmen (as before is partlie mentioned) knowing their readie nimblenesse in seruice, and how with their light armed men they were accustomed to annoie and distresse those that should assaile them, he likewise (to match them) prepared light armed men for the purpose, & so being furnished with such bands of nimble men and light souldiers, entered vpon the mounteins of Snowdon, and there remained amongst the enimies for the space of two yéeres. He sore afflicted the Welsh nation, tooke their kings, and sent their heads vnto the king that sent him about his businesse, and proceeding in such rigorous maner as might mooue the hearers to lament and pitie the case, he caused all the male kind that might be met with, to be miserablie slaine: and so with the edge of his swoord he brought the countrie to quiet, and withall made this lawe; that if anie Welshman from thencefoorth should presume to passe the limits ouer Offas ditch with anie weapon about him, he should lose his right hand. To conclude, by the valiant conduct of this chieftaine, the Welshmen were then so sore brought vnder, that in maner the whole nation might séeme to faile, and to be almost vtterlie destroied. And therefore by permission of the king of England, the Women of Wales ioined themselues in marriage with Englishmen. Finallie, héereby the bloud of the Saxons ceassed to reigne in England after they had continued possession of the same, from the first comming of Hengist, which was about the yéere of our Sauiour 450, or 449, vntill that present yeere of king Harolds death, which chanced in the 1069. yéere 1069. So that from the beginning of Hengist his reigne, vnto Harolds death, are reckoned 916 yéeres, or (after some) 617, as by the supputation of the time will easilie appeere. By all the which time there reigned kings of the Saxons bloud within this land, except that for the space of twentie yéeres and somewhat more, the Danes had the dominion of the realme in their possession: for there are reckoned from the beginning of K. Swaines reigne (which was the first Dane that gouerned England) vnto the last yéere of K. Hardicnute (the last Dane that ruled heere) 28 yéeres, in which meane space Egelred recouering the kingdome reigned 2 yéeres, then after him his sonne Edmund Ironside continued in the rule one yéere; so that the Danes had the whole possession of the land but 25 yéeres in all. Touching this alteration, and others incident to this Iland, read a short aduertisement annexed (by waie of conclusion) to this historie, comprising a short summarie of the most notable conquests of this countrie one after an other, by distances of times successiuelie.

The rule of this realme by Gods prouidence allotted to duke William, his descent from Rollo the first duke of Normandie downewards to his particular linage, he was base begotten vpon the bodie of Arlete duke Roberts concubine, a pleasant speech of hirs to duke Robert on a time when he was to haue the vse of hir person, a conclusion introductorie for the sequele of the chronicle from the said duke of Normandies coronation, &c: with a summarie of the notable conquests of this Iland.


Now, forsomuch as it pleased God by his hid and secret iudgement so to dispose the realme of England, and in such wise, as that the gouernance thereof should fall after this maner into the hands of William duke of Normandie, I haue thought good before I enter further[Page 764] into this historie (being now come to the conquest of the realme, made by the foresaid duke of Normandie) to set downe his pedegrée, thereby to shew how he descended from the first duke of that countrie, who was named Rollo, and after by receiving baptisme called Robert.

The said Rollo or Rou, was sonne to a great lord in Denmarke called Guion, who hauing two sons, the said Rou and Gourin, and being appointed to depart the countrie, as the lots fell to him and other (according to the maner there vsed, in time when their people were increased to a greater number than the countrie was able to susteine) refused to obeie that order, and made warre there against the king, who yet in the end by practise found meanes to slea the foresaid Guion, and his sonne Gourin; so that Rou or Rollo, hauing thus lost his father and brother, was compelled to forsake the countrie, with all those that had holpe his father to make warre against the king. Thus driuen to séeke aduentures, at length he became a christian, and was created duke of Normandie, by gift of Charles king of France, surnamed le Simple, whose daughter the ladie Gilla he also maried: but she departing this life without issue, he maried Popée daughter to the earle of Bessin and Baileux, whome he had kept as his wife before he was baptised, and had by hir a sonne named William Longespée, and a daughter named Gerlota.

William Longespée or Longaspata, had to wife the ladie Sporta, daughter to Hubert earle of Senlis, by whome he had issue Richard the second of that name duke of Normardie, who married the ladie Agnes, the daughter of Hugh le grand, earle of Paris, of whome no issue procéeded: but after hir deceasse, he maried to his second wife a gentlewoman named Gonnor, daughter to a knight of the Danish line, by whom he had thrée sonnes, Richard that was Ye must note that there was one Richard duke of Normandie before Rollo. after duke of Normandie, the third of that name, Robert and Mauger. He had also by hir three daughters, Agnes otherwise called Emma, married first to Egelred king of England, and after to K. Cnute: Helloie, otherwise Alix, bestowed vpon Geffrey earle of Britaine: and Mawd coupled in marriage with Euldes earle of Charters and Blais. Richard the third of that name maried Iudith, sister to Geffrey earle of Britaine, by whome he had issue thrée sonnes, Richard, Robert, and William, and as manie daughters: Alix, married to Reignold earle of Burgogne, Elenor married to Baldwine earle of Flanders; and the third died yoong, being affianced to Alfonse king of Nauarre. Their mother deceassed after she had beene married ten yéeres, and then duke Richard married secondlie the ladie Estric, sister to Cnute king of England and Denmarke, from whome he purchased to be diuorsed, and then married a gentlewoman called Pauie, by whome he had issue two sonnes, William earle of Arques, and Mauger archbishop of Rouen.

Richard the fourth of that name, duke of Normandie, eldest sonne to Richard the third, died without issue, and then his brother Robert succéeded in the estate, which Robert begat vpon Arlete or Harleuina daughter to a burgesse of Felais, William surnamed the bastard, afterward duke of Normandie, and by conquest king of England. Of whose father duke Robert, & his paramour Arlete, take this pleasant remembrance for a refection after the perusing of the former sad and sober discourses.

Wil. Malm. lib. 3. cap. 1.
Ranulph. lib. 6. cap. 19.
In the yéere of Christ 1030, Robert, the second sonne of Richard the second duke of Normandie, and brother to Richard the third duke of that name there hauing with great honour and wisedome gouerned his dukedome seuen yéeres, for performance of a penance that he had set to himselfe, appointed a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; leauing behind him this William a Wil. Malm. lib. 3. cap. 1.
Ranulph. lib. 6. cap. 19.
yoong prince, whome seuen yéeres before he had begotten vpon his paramour Arlete (whom after he held as his wife) with whose beautifull fauour, louelie grace and presence, at hir dansing on a time then as he was tenderlie touched, for familiar vtterance of his mind what he had further to say, would néeds that night she should be his bedfellow, who else as wiuelesse should haue lien alone: where when she was bestowed, thinking that if she should haue laid hir selfe naked, it might haue séemed not so maidenlie a part: so when the duke was about (as the maner is) to haue lift vp hir linnen, she in an humble modestie staid hir Ran. li. 6 ca. 19. lords hand, and rent downe hir smocke asunder, from the collar to the verie skirt. Heereat[Page 765] the duke all smiling did aske hir what thereby she ment? In great lowlines, with a feate question she answerd againe; "My lord, were it méet that any part of my garments dependant about me downeward, should presume to be mountant to my souereignes mouth vpward? Let your grace pardon me." He liked hir answer: and so and so foorth for that time.

Wil. Malm. lib. 3 cap. 1.
Ran. ibid.
This duke before his voiage, calling at Fiscam all his nobilitie vnto him, caused them to sweare fealtie vnto his yoong sonne William, whome he then at his iournie betooke vnto the gouernance of earle Gilbert, and the defense of the gouernour vnto Henrie the French king. So Robert passing foorth in his pilgrimage, shewed in euerie place and in all points a magnanimitie Ran. ibid. and honour of a right noble prince, and pleasant withall; who once in Iurie not well at ease, in a litter was borne toward Ierusalem vpon Saracens shoulders, & méeting with a subiect of his that was going home toward Normandie: Friend (quoth he) if my people at thy returne aske after me, tell them that thou sawest their lord carried to heauen by diuels. The Ran. ibid.
Wil. Mal. idem.
Ran. idem.
Norman nobilitie during duke Roberts life, did their dutie to the yoong prince faithfullie, but after they heard of his fathers death, they slackened apace, euerie one shifting for himselfe as he list, without anie regard either of oth or obedience toward the pupill their souereigne. Whereby not manie yéeres after, as Gilbert the gouernour, by Rafe the childes coosine germane, was slaine; the dukedome anon, by murther and fighting among themselues was sore troubled in all parts. Thus much a little of duke Robert the father, and of prince William his sonne for part of his tender yéeres.

A notable aduertisement touching the summe of all the foresaid historie, wherin the foure great and notable conquests of this land are brieflie touched, being a conclusion introductorie, as is said in the argument.

In the former part of this historie it is manifest to the heedful reader, that (after the opinion Britaine inhabited by Brute. of most writers) Brute did first inhabit this land; and called it then after his owne name, Britaine, in the yéere after the creation of the world 2855, and in the yéere before the incarnation of Christ 1108. ¶ Furthermore the said land of Britaine was conquered by C. Iulius 1 Britaine conquered by the Romans. Cesar, and made tributarie to the Romans in the 50 yéere before the natiuitie of Christ, and so continued 483 yéeres. So that the Britains reigned without tribute and vnder tribute, from Brute, vntill the fourth yeere of the reigne of king Cadwalladar, which was in the yéere of our Lord 686. And so the Britains had continuance of the gouernement of this land the space of 1794 yéeres. Then was the realme of Britaine an heptarchie, that is, diuided into seuen kingdoms. And Britaine receiued the faith of Christ in the 7 yéere of the reigne of 2 Britaine conquered and ouercome by the Saxons. king Lucius, which was in the 187 yéere after the birth of Christ. ¶ Next after the Britains entered the Saxons, in the third yéere of king Vortiger; and in the yéere of our Lord 450, and they gouerned vntill the last yéere of king Athelstane, which was in the yéere of Christ 938. So that the time of the Saxons first entrance into this realme, and the time of their regiment was the space of 487 yéeres. ¶ Howbeit, in the time of their gouernement, that is to say, in the 9 yéere of king Britricus, which was in the yéere of our Lord 387, the Danes 3 Britaine conquered and ouercome by the Danes. entred into this land, spoiling and persecuting the people therin most gréeuouslie. At the last, Sweno or Swaine the Dane obteined possession roiall, in the yéere of Grace 1012, whose time of regiment lasted about three yéeres. After whom his sonne Canutus succeeded, and reigned 19 yéeres. After him Harold his sonne, who ruled thrée yeeres: and after him Hardicnute the sonne of Canutus, whose gouernement continued but thrée yeeres. This Hardicnute was the last king of the Danes, at which time the Danes were expelled and hunted out of the realme, which was in the yéere of our Lord 1042. So that it may appeare by this collection, that the Danes ruled as kings in this land by the space of 28 yéeres. Hereby also it is euident, that from the time of the first entrance of the Danes into this realme, vntill their last expulsion & riddance, was 255 yéeres. ¶ Finallie the Normans entred this land likewise,[Page 766] 4 Britaine conquered and possessed by the Normans. and conquered the same as before is expressed, in the yéere of our Lord 1067, which is since, vntill this present yéere of our Lord 1585, drawing néere to the number of 600 and od yéeres.

Now let these alterations of regiments be remembred [touching the which read a notable animaduersion in the description of Britaine, pag. 49, 50, 51] and teach vs that therein the iudgements of God reuealed themselues to speciall purposes. And whatsoeuer hath béene mentioned before, either concerning the subuersion of people, the desolation of prouinces, the ouerthrow of nobles, the ruine of princes, and other lamentable accidents diuerslie happening vpon sundrie occasions; let vs (I say) as manie as will reape fruit by the reading of chronicles, imagine the matters which were so manie yéeres past to be present, and applie the profit and commoditie of the same vnto our selues; knowing (as one wisely said) Post sacram paginam chronica vivum veritatis typum gerere, that next vnto the holie scripture, chronicles doo carie credit. But now to the sequele, and first to duke William of Normandie.

Thus farre the historie of England from Noah and his sonnes, &c; to William duke of
Normandie. Hereafter followeth a chronologicall continuation beginning at the
first yeere of the said dukes reigne ouer this land, vntill the 25 yeere of the Queenes
most excellent maiestie Elizabeth, &c; whose daies God in mercie prolong
(like the daies of heauen) in peace and prosperitie, &c.


[Transcriber's note: [a] 'their' in original is probably meant to be 'there'. Chapter nine, first paragraph.]