George Bell and Sons 1854

This electronic edition
was prepared by
Michael A. Linton


An extract from
Ordericus Vitalis, History of
England and Normandy
by Thomas Forester


Volume 1


During the reign of Ethelred the son of Edgar, many
disastrous events happened in England. Sweyn, king of
the Danes, having assembled a numerous fleet, invaded the
country, upon which king Ethelred, being deserted by his
own subjects, who went over to the Danes, escaped into
Normandy with his wife and sons. Emma, his queen, was
the sister of Richard I. [II] , son of Gunnor and duke of
Normandy, and of Robert, archbishop of Rouen. Not long
afterwards, the heathen king, Sweyn, was killed by St.
Edmund, king and martyr, and his body was embalmed,
and carried to Denmark. The Danes were still pagans,
and were terrified at the death of their fierce chief,
whose corpse could not be buried in English ground.
However, king Ethelred, having heard the report of Sweyn's
death, immediately returned to his own country, and, by
fair words and promises, drew to him those who had de-
serted his standard, and encouraged them to defend them-
selves better than they had hitherto done. But Canute, the
son of Sweyn, was highly incensed at the flight of his
troops, who had abandoned in such a cowardly manner the
noble kingdom of England, which they had already subdued;
he therefore equipped a powerful fleet, and Olave, king of
Norway, with Lacman, king of Sweden, crossing over to
England, laid siege to London. At that time king Ethelred
was lying sick, and soon afterwards died there; and Edmund,
his son, surnamed Ironside, was raised to the throne. Many
battles were fought between the English and the Danes
with uncertain results, and much blood was shed on both
sides. At last, through the well-directed efforts of some
prudent men, the two princes agreed on the terms of peace
so necessary to the welfare of their subjects. Canute em-
braced Christianity, and received for his wife Emma, the
widow of King Ethelred, with one-half of the kingdom.
By her he had Hardicanute, who became king of England,
and Gunnilda, who married Henry III., emperor of the


At the instigation of Satan, who never rests from stirring
deadly feuds among men, King Edmund, after a reign of
seven years was murdered in a privy by the treachery of
the cruel Edric Streon ; and Canute obtained the sove-
reignty of the whole of England, which he enjoyed until
his death. He sent to Denmark Edward and Edmund, the
sons of Edmund II, two amiable young princes, and re-
quested Sweyn his brother, king of the Danes, to put them
to death. However, he refused to be a party to the murder
of these innocent children; and took an opportunity of de-
livering them as hostages to the king of the Huns, passing
them off as his nephews. There Child Edmund prematurely
died, but Edward, by God's permission, obtained the crown
of Hungary, with the hand of the king's daughter, and
became the father of three children, Edgar Atheling,
Margaret, queen of the Scots, and Christina, who became


a nun. Edward, the son of king Ethelred, having recovered
his father's throne, invited them over to England, and
brought them up with as much care as if they had been
his own children.
In the year of our Lord 1031, Robert, king of the French,
died, and Henry his son, supported by Robert, duke of
Normandy, secured the throne notwithstanding the oppo-
sition of Queen Constance and his younger brother Robert,
and others of the French. His reign lasted twenty-nine
Robert, duke of Normandy, died on the calends [lst]
of July, in the fifth year of his reign, at Nice, a town of
Bithynia, on his return from Jerusalem, and William the
bastard, his son, a boy only eight years old, succeeded
to his dukedom, which he ably governed for fifty years.


However, during his childhood, the Normans, being natu-
rally in an unsettled state, there was a long civil war, in
which many of the nobility as well as the commons perished.
Gislebert, count of Brionne, Osbern, high-steward of Nor-
mandy; Vauquelin de Ferrieres, Hugh de Montfort, Roger
of Spain, Robert de Grantemesnil, Turketil, guardian of
the young duke, and many others, fell in these mutual


Guy, son of Reynold, duke of Burgundy, by a daughter
of Richard II, although William had conferred an earldom
upon him, took up arms against him, and by dint of
promises, drew over to his party a great number of the
Normans, who were ripe for revolt. Supported by these,
he menaced the young prince with the loss of his duchy,
and he was forced to fly to Poissy, where he threw himself
at the feet of Henry, king of France, and implored his aid
against his traitorous nobles and relations. Henry, a
generous prince, had compassion on one so young and
friendless, and having assembled the flower of the French
army, marched into Normandy to lend him his aid.
In the year of our Lord 1039, Conrad the emperor died,
and Henry, his son, succeeded him, who reigned seventeen
years. In the fourth year of his reign, there was a general
In the year 1047 was fought the bloody battle of Vales-
dunes, in which Guy, who could not withstand the impetuous
attack of King Henry and Duke William, was defeated and


obliged to quit the field and fly with his troops, covered
with shame and having suffered considerable loss. In those
days Bruno, bishop of Toul, repaired to Rome as ambassador
from Lorraine. While on the road, one night as he was
praying, he heard angels singing :- "I think toward you,
saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil." Bruno
having attained the end of his journey, was honourably
received by Pope Damasus, and ordained cardinal-bishop
iii a conclave. He was noble in person as well as descent,
wise and eloquent and adorned with many virtues. The
same year Pope Damasus died, and Bruno, who took the
name of Leo, was elected pope. He made great efforts to
revise the decisions of the holy canons which had fallen into
disuse in times past, through the negligence of the kings
and pontiffs already mentioned, and were almost forgotten.
He therefore held a very important council at Rheims in
the year 1050, in which chastity and righteousness were
enforced in the ministers of God, and several decrees
necessary to the welfare of the church renewed, though the
bishops and priests were ignorant of their existence. He
also, at the request of Herimart, the abbot, consecrated the
church of St. Remigius, archbishop of Rheims, on the
calends [lst] of October, assisted and translated the body
of the acme bishop, whose feast is celebrated every year
in France with great pomp on the first of October.
The following year, the monastery of St. Evroult at
Ouche was repaired by William, the son of Geroie, and his
nephews, Hugh de Grantemesnil, and Robert his brother;


the venerable monk of Jumieges, Theoderic, was the first
In those days, a violent animosity, which became the origin
of along war, broke out between the kink of the French
and the duke of the Normans. William D'Arques, uncle
of the duke, had rebelled against him, and by the advice of
Mauger, his brother, archbishop of Rouen, had requested
the aid of King Henry. The brave duke immediately in-
vested the town of Argues, and, marching against Engelran,
count of Ponthieu, who attempted to throw relief into the
place, killed the earl, and, after taking Arques, disinherited
his uncle, and ordered Mauger, the author of these dissen-
aions, to be degraded. The king of France chafed with
indignation upon hearing this news, and, in 1054, entered
the territory of Evreux, at the head of a numerous army,
while he made his brother Eudes cross the Seine with a
strong force and march into Beauvais. In these circum-
stances, Duke William hung upon the king's flank with a
powerful army, having before detached against Eudes the
troops of the Cauchois, under the orders of Robert, count
d'Eu, and Roger de Mortemer. They came up with the
French, and gave them battle at Mortemer, defeating them
with dreadful slaughter on both sides, and Guy, count of
Ponthieu, who had come to revenge the death of his brother,
was made prisoner. The Normans, hastened to announce
the victory to their duke in great triumph. The king of
France was covered with shame on hearing that his troops
were beaten by the Normans, and retired suddenly in great
sorrow to his own dominions. Some time afterwards, the
faithful ministers of peace interposed between the contend-
ing princes, and Guy and the other prisoners having been
released, the king and the duke concluded a peace to the
extreme satisfaction of their subjects.


In the year of our Lord 1060, Henry, king of the French,
departed this life, and his son Philip who succeeded him,
held the sceptre of France forty-seven years. In the sixth
year of his reign, Edward, son of Ethelred, and king of
England, being dead, Harold, the son of Godwin, usurped
the throne of England. The following year a comet was
seen . William, Duke of Normandy, crossed the sea in the
autumn, and on the second of the idea [14th] of October
fought with Harold, who, being slain in the battle, William
became king. He was crowned on Christmas-day, and
filled the throne twenty years and ., eight months. The
holy church in his time increased and was exalted, under
the direction of religious men and good rulers ; for Mau-
rillius, John and William filled the metropolitan see of
Rouen, Lanfranc was archbishop of Canterbury, and Thomas
of York; the monasteries and bishoprics were entrusted to
the care of godly fathers and superiors.
In the year of our Lord 1087, King William died, after
whom William Rufus, his son, reigned twelve years and ten


About this period, in 1095, pope Urban. held a nume-
rously attended council at Clermont, at which he exhorted
all Christians to join the crusade and deliver Jerusalem from
the pagans. Drought, famine, and pestilence, at that time
desolated the world.
In the year of our Lord 1099, Jerusalem was captured
by the holy pilgrims from the infidel tribes who had long
held possession of it. Then died Pope Urban [II.], and
Pascal [II] succeeded him. The following year Wil-
liam Rufus, king of England, was struck by an arrow which
killed him as he was hunting in the New Forest. His
brother Henry [I] succeeded him, and reigned thirty-five
years and four months. In the seventh year of his reign
he fought the battle of Tinchebrai, in which he took prisoner
Robert, his brother, duke of Normandy, and became master
of the whole duchy. Then the emperor Henry died on the
seventh of the ides [7th] of August, and Charles Henry his
son succeeded him. Three years afterwards, Philip, king of
the Trench, departed this life, and Louis Thibaut obtained
the crown, and has now reigned twenty-nine years. The
next year Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, and Hugh,
abbot of Cluni, departed this life, and were soon followed
by William, archbishop. of Rouen. During these three
years, a horrible famine in France, and a great number of
persons were debilitated by attacks of erysipelas.


In the year of our Lord 1118, on the eve of Christmas,
a violent gale of wind passed over the west of Europe, and
many houses and forest-trees were blown down. The next
year, war broke out between Henry, king of England, and
Lewis, the French king; the battle of Bremulle, was fought
on the thirteenth of the calends of September [20th Au-
gust], in which the English and Normans gained the victory
over the French army who were routed. The same year
Pope Calixtus [II] held a synod of many bishops, and used
all his endeavours to put an end to the contest. Peace
having been at last made between the two kings, as the
king of England was returning to his own country, his two
sons William and Richard, with a great number of the
nobility from several countries, perished by shipwreck.
In the year of our Lord 1123, the first infliction, Amauri,
count of Evreux, and Valeran, count of Meulan, and some
others associated with them, having rebelled against their
sovereign, King Henry, besieged, tools, and burnt to the
ground their towns of Montfort, Brionne, and Pont-Aude-
mer. After many serious losses, count Waleran was taken
prisoner in battle, with eighty of his soldiers, and kept five
years in captivity by King Henry, who had brought him up,
and against whom he had now the presumption to take


defeated Reginald duke of Orleans with the army of the
Franks. He besieged the city of Paris for four yearn, buts
God defending. it, was unable to reduce it. Baieux he took
by storm, putting to the sword its count Berenger, whose
daughter Poppa he married, and had by her a son called
William Longue-epee. In this and innumerable other
conflicts he crushed the Franks, and laid waste almost the
whole kingdom, as far as Burgundy, with fire and sword.
The Franks being unable to resist these attacks, and uniting
in their supplications for peace, King Charles gave his
daughter Gisela in marriage to Rollo, and ceded to him in
perpetuity the entire country from the river Epte to the
In consequence, Rollo was baptized by the lord Francon
Archbishop of Rouen, in the year of our Lord 912, ant
canting away the idols which he before worshipped, with
all his army devoutly embraced Christianity. He died
five years after his baptism. William, his son, who suc-


ceeded him in the duchy of Normandy and held it twenty-
five years, restored to its former condition the monastery of
Jumieges, which Philibert had founded, but which had been
laid in ruins by Hasting.
In the year of our Lord 942, when Lewis was king of
the Franks, Duke William was murdered by the treachery
of Arnulph governor of Flanders; and Richard his son, then
a boy of twelve years of age, became duke of Normandy,
and through various turns of fortune, soma prosperous and
some adverse, held the dukedom fifty-four years. Among
his other good deeds, he founded three monasteries, one at
Fecamp, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, another at Mont
St. Michel in honour of St. Michael the archangel, and the
third at Rouen in honour of St. Peter the apostle, and St.
Ouen the archbishop.
In the year of our Lord 996, on the death of Richard the
elder, he was succeeded by Richard Gonorrides his son ,
who piously governed the duchy of Normandy thirty years.
He rebuilt the abbey of Fontenelles which St. Wandrille
had founded and Hasting had ruined; and Judith his wife,
sister of Geoffrey earl of Brittany, founded a monastery at
Bernai in honour of St. Mary, mother of God.
On the death of Richard Gonorrides, his young son
Richard succeeded, but he held the dukedom not quite a
year and a half. Then it fell to his brother Robert, who


held it with great honour seven years and a half, and follow-
ing the example of his ancestors, laid the foundations of the
abbey of Cerisi. Moved however with the fear of God, he
relinquished his worldly honours and undertook a voluntary
pilgrimage to the tomb of our Lord at Jerusalem, and died
as he was returning home at Nice, in Bithynia, in the year
of Christ 1035.
William his son, who was then only eight years old, was
invested in the duchy of Normandy, which he governed
firmly fifty-three years, notwithstanding the machinations of
his jealous enemies. He devoted himself to follow the
example of his ancestors in all that related to the worship
of God, and by his favour surpassed them all in wealth and
power. He founded two monasteries at Caen; one for monks
m honour of St. Stephen the first martyr, and the other for
nuns in honour of the Holy Trinity.
The barons of Normandy, moved by the zeal for holy reli-
gion which they observed m their princes, were eager to
imitate them, and animated themselves and their friends to
similar undertakings for the good of their souls. They vied
with each other in taking the lead in such good works, and
in the liberality with which they made ample endowments.
The moat powerful nobles held themselves cheap if they had
not on their domains some establishment of monks or clergy
provided by them with whatever was necessary for the
service of God.
Thus Roger de Toni founded the abbey of Chatillon,
otherwise called Conches, where Abbot Gislebert, a man of
great worth and wisdom, rose to eminence. Goscelin
d'Arques was the founder of a monastery, outside the walls
of Rouen on the mount of the Holy Trinity, commonly
called St. Catherine's, which the venerable abbot Isambert
governed with much prudence and piety. William, count
d'Eu, at the instance of Lesceline his pious wife, caused the
abbey of St. Mary to be built on the river Dive, the disci-


pline of which was long maintained by Ainart, a German of
great holiness and extensive learning.
In the time of Duke Robert I, Gislebert, count of
Brionne, made an inroad with three thousand armed fol-
lowers into the district of Vimeux, but it did not turn out as
prosperously as he expected; for Ingelran, count of Ponthieu
opposed him with a strong body of troops, and, giving him bat-
tle, vanquished and put to flight all his force, taking some of
the fugitives prisoners and killing or wounding others. In this
extremity a knight named Herluin, being m peril of his
life, and using every effort to save himself by flight, made
a vow that if he escaped safely from this imminent danger,
he would never again devote himself to any other service
than that of God. Being delivered in honour, by God's
help, from the fate which threatened him, the knight, mind-
ful of his vow, retired from the world and founded an abbey,
on his estate, at a place called Bec, which he dedicated to
St. Mary, mother of God. The clergy of God's holy church
then elected this noble and pious man to be the first abbot
of the new monastery be had built. While it was under
his rule Lanfranc, Anslem, and other profound philoso-
phers, resorted there to the Christian schools ; and there
William Fitz-Giroie, and Hugh count of Mellent, and other
illustrious knights, enlisted themselves in the army of Christ.
There, up to the present time, numbers both of clerks and
layman line under the monastic rule, and fighting against the
devil, laudably devote themselves to God's service.
Humphrey de Vieilles, son of Thurold, began to erect
two monasteries, one for monks and the other for nuns, at
Preaux, which his son Roger de Beaumont kindly fostered,
endowing them liberally from his own revenues. William


Fitz-Osborne also founded two monasteries on his own
domain, one at Lire, and the other at Cormeilles, where he
himself lien buried. Many other Norman nobles, also,
according to their means, constructed houses for monks or
nuns in various quarters. Hugh de Grand-mesnil and
Robert, having their zeal roused by such examples, made a
vow to build a monastery on their hereditary estates, for
the good of their own souls and the souls of their ancestors.

Ch. II. The abbey of St. Evroult--Notices of its founders
and benefactors, and other Norman lords--Particulars of
its endowments.

IT was determined by Hugh and Robert that the monastery
should be erected at Norrei, a vill belonging to them near
Grand-mesnil ; and the work was already in progress, when a
report was carried to William Fitz-Giroie their uncle, that
his nephews, Hugh and Robert, had commenced building a
convent. This knight had been a man of great eminence
its that age, terrible to his enemies, faithful to his friends.
He was at the head of a powerful family, including sons,
brothers, and numerous nephews, who were formidable to
their foes, far. and near. This knight, being invited by
William Talvas, son of William Belesme, to his nuptials,
and unsuspectingly accepting the invitation, was, without
any cause of accusation cruelly deprived of his eyes and his
genitals, and the tips of his ears cut off. So odious a crime
rendered Talvas universally detested, and some time after-
wards he was stript of his honours by his own son Arnulf.
William Giroie was all his life devoted to holy church,
and held the monks, and clergy, and other men of religion
in high honour. Twice he made pilgrimages to the tomb
of our Lord at Jerusalem; once when he was in the full


enjoyment of health and prosperity, and a second time when
he had suffered the outrage which we have just mentioned.
On his return from this second pilgrimage he determined
on quitting the world, and going to Bec, there assumed the
monastic habit, and piously granted the church of Ouche
to that abbey. Upon this, abbot Herluin sent Lanfranc,
who was afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, with three
other monks to Ouche, causing them to re-establish there
the divine worship which had fallen into disuse. Mantling
ivy overspread the mouldering walls of the church, and the
place was deserted, except by two aged monks, Restould
and Ingran, who maintained the service of God in deep
poverty, but to the best of their power, in the desolate
Some time afterwards, when William Giroie was informed
of his nephews' vow to build a monastery, he sought them
out and thus addressed them : " It causes me great joy, my
dear sons, to find that Almighty God has vouchsafed to
inspire you with the design of building a house in his name.
But you must be sensible that the spot on which you have
begun to build is not suited for a habitation of monks,
because it wants water, and the forest is at too great a
distance. It is quite certain that these two elements are
absolutely necessary to the subsistence of a convent. Now,
if you will take my advice, I will point out to you a more
convenient site. The place is in the canton of Ouche, where
there formerly dwelt a holy abbot, the friend of God, whose
name was Evroult, who assembled there a large body of
monks, and after performing many miracles died happily
in the Lord. Restore that monastery which was ruined by
the pagans. You will find there abundance of water, and
I possess a forest close by which will enable me to supply
the convent with whatever is necessary. Come then and
see this spot, and if it pleases you, let us join in building
there a house of God, and place in it a company of faith-
ful men who shall offer continual prayers on our behalf;
and we will endow it from our domains with such secure


revenues that they may devote themselves altogether to the
worship of God."
Upon hearing this, his nephews Hugh and Robert
thanked him for his proposal, and they all proceeded
together to survey the spot he had pointed out. On their
coming there, a book containing the life of the holy father
Evroult was presented to Robert, which he carefully perused
and explained with intelligence to Hugh and the rest of his
companions. Need I say more ? The situation of Ouche
pleased the two brothers; but as it had been formerly
granted to the abbey of Bec, and certain monks from that
convent were already stationed there, as before mentioned,
the brothers made over to the abbot and monks of Bec,
vill called La Roussiere, securing in exchange the fee
of the land at Ouche.
In the year of our Ford 1050, the plan of restoring the
abbey of Ouche being thus determined on, William and
Robert, the sons of Giroie, with Hugh and Robert, the sons
of Robert Grand-Mesnil, applied to William duke of
Normandy, and informing him of their intentions entreated
the assistance of his paramount authority in the good work
they had undertaken. They likewise made over the place
so often mentioned to his guardianship, on a tenure so free
that neither they nor any other persons whosoever should
claim from the monks or their people either rent or cus-
tomary dues, or anything else except the benefit of their
prayers. The duke, very willingly acceding to their wishes,
ratified the charter of the possessions which his nobles
granted to St. Evroult, and caused it to be confirmed by the
signatures of Mauger, archbishop of Rouen, and his
suffragan bishops.
Hugh and Robert, having the duke's licence to choose an
abbot, then proceeded to Jumieges, and besought the lord
Abbot, who was then superior of that abbey, to allow the
monk Theodoric to take the government of their new abbey;
and abbot Robert, readily complying with the request of his
noble guests, yielded to them the monk whom he well knew
to be well qualified for such a pastoral care. Hugh and


Robert now, with great satisfaction, presented him to the
duke, who receiving him with duo distinction, delivered to
him the pastoral staff, as the custom was, thus giving him
the preferment of the abbey of Ouche. Afterwards Hugh,
bishop of Lisieux, with Osborn his archdeacon, and others
of his clergy, came to Ouche with the venerable monk
Theodoric in their company, and there solemnly consecrated
him on the 3rd of the nones [5th] of October, being the
Ford's day. Thus ordained, he betrayed no pride or
arrogance, but both by his words and works pointed out
the way of true religion to those over whom he was set.
Brought up from his childhood in the Lord's house he had
learnt by long practice the regular course of a religious life.
He was constant in holy prayers, in vigils, in fasting. He
so exposed himself to the rigour of the cold, that he some-
times went without a cloak the whole winter. However,
one day when he was preparing, as he was wont, to offer
the sacrifice of the mass, he perceived a cloak of dazzling
whiteness laid on the altar. Not doubting, that it was placed
there by no human hands but by, the ministry of angels, he
returned thanks to God, and investing himself with it
joyfully performed the divine service. That this happened
in the church of Jumieges, while he was yet a cloistered monk,
I have heard from trustworthy monks who then belonged
to that monastery. He was baptized by the venerable
Theodoric abbot of Jumieges, who caused him to be
educated according to the monastic rule in the school of
Christ and loved him much. Arriving at man's estate and
being proved fruitful in good works, the abbot appointed
him his vicar, to the great gain of the brethren's souls ; and
he was afterwards made master of the novices, and charged
with the care of the monastery as prior. At length, as we
have before related, he was translated from Jumieges in the
time of abbot Robert, and placed at the head of the new
abbey of Ouche, in the year of our Ford 1050, the fourth
indiction, being the nineteenth year of the reign of Henry


king of the Franks, and the fifteenth of the dukedom of
William duke of Normandy.
In founding the new society, Theodoric had the assistance
of his nephew Rodolph, with Hugh the chanter, and others
of the brethren who suited his purpose. It was with them
and by them that the new abbot zealously established a
regular system, and mild discipline, and becoming order, in
divine worship. He admitted as probationers for a change
of life applicants of every age and rank, diligently instructing
them in the rule of the holy father St. Benedict. Among
the first of those he humbly taught a stricter life in the school
of Christ, were Humfrey, Reginald, and Fulk, son of the dean
Fulk, with some other skilful grammarians. He likewise treated
with the greatest kindness Riculf, an old man, and Roger,
both country priests, and Durand the gardener, with Geof-
frey, Olric, and other simple disciples. As these were unable
to comprehend the depths of scripture doctrine, he fed them
with the milk of pious exhortation, and imparted to them
health and strength in their faith and devotion by the
example of his holy life. In that house of God, also, Her-
bert and Berenger, Joscelin and Rodolf, Gislebert and
Bernard, Richard and William, with other youths of good
natural disposition, were carefully instructed in reading,
singing, and writing, and the diligent prosecution of other
useful studies, suitable to the servants of God seeking to
acquire the true knowledge. Meanwhile, the rude natures,
witnessing the growth of so much holiness on a barren soil,
now long deserted, were struck with admiration. This was
the salvation of some, the ruin of others. Those who
remarked the good conversation of the monks imitated their
example; while others, becoming jealous of them, caused
them all sorts of inconveniences: both received their just
reward from God, who doeth equal justice. Nobles and men
of the middle order flocked to the abbey under a divine
impulse, commending themselves devoutly to the prayers of
the servants of God, and, offering their alms, gave blessings
to God, who provided sustenance for his ministers, though
on a barren soil.
The abbey of Ouche, thus flourishing through the merits of
the holy father St. Evroult, and continually increasing, to the
glory of God, by the care and labours of the family of Geroie,


Roger de Montgomery, Viscount d'Exmes, began to be jealous
of his neighbours, because they showed more zeal for the love
of God than himself, and he bethought him what work he
could undertake of a like nature for the good of his own soul.
He therefore resolved on attaching to himself Gislebert,
abbot of Chatillon, with his monks, who had begun to
establish themselves at Norrei; but, on Hugh and Robert's
altering their plans, as before mentioned, refused to follow
them, nay, more, left them altogether, accusing them of fickle-
ness, for having changed the site of their intended monas-
tery. Roger de Montgomery, therefore, invited these
monks, and granted Troarn to them, that they might there
erect an abbey, expelling the twelve canons who had been
placed there by his father. These secular clergy being thus
ejected because they abandoned themselves to gluttony,
debauchery, carnal delights, and worldly occupations, he
settled in their place monks who were subject to regular
discipline. In short, under the government of father Gis-
lebert, the monks established a strict religious rule in the
church of St. Martin at Troarn, the maintenance of which
they committed to their successors to the time of their
death, and which has been preserved to this day under the
enlightened fathers Gerbert, Durand, and Arnulf succes-
I wish now to take some short notice of Giroie, son of
Arnold-le-Gros, of Courceraut, son of Abbo the Breton,
whose family conferred many benefits on the monks of St.
Evroult, in order that posterity may know who and what he
was. He derived his origin from nobles of the highest
rank, both of France and Brittany, and distinguished himself
by his virtues and courage in the reigns of Hugh the Great


and Robert, kings of the Franks. His sister Hildiarde had,
three sons and eleven daughters, who, being married to
honourable men, gave birth to numerous sons, who, in the
next generation, became formidable to their enemies in the
wars in France, England, and Apulia. Among the other
gallant exploits of Giroie, was his battle, in concert with
William of Belesme, against Herbert, count of Maine.
William and his followers were vanquished and put to flight;
but Giroie stood firm, and bore the brunt of the conflict,
until Herbert and his troops were forced to retreat, and
Giroie gained a victory, which, to this day, commands the
applause of all who are informed of it. Heugon, a powerful
Norman knight, offered him his only daughter in marriage,
and gave him Montreuil and Echaufour, and all his lands
adjoining these two places. Heugon dying soon afterwards,
Geroie succeeded to all his domains, although the lady to
whom he was betrothed died prematurely before the mar-
riage. In consequence, William de Belesme introduced
Giroie to Richard the duke of Normandy at Rouen; and
the generous duke, in acknowledgment of his high deserts,
granted all the lands of Heugon to him and his heirs for ever.
On his return, Giroie married Gisela, a daughter of Turstin
de Bastembourg, by whom he had seven sons and four daugh-
ters, whose names are as follows: Arnold, William, Fulk,
Ralphmal-Corona, Robert, Hugh, and Giroie; Herem-
burge, Hawise, Emma, and Adelaide.
Possessing richly all that this world can give, children,
riches, and ample domains, the brave knight so often men-
tioned faithfully served the Giver of all good things, and
reverenced his church, and servants, and worship. From his
own funds he erected six churches to God's honour, two of
which were at Verneuces, one dedicated to St. Mary, mother
of God, and the other to St. Paul, doctor of the gentiles.
The third, in a vill called Glos, in the canton of
Lisieux, was dedicated to St. Peter, prince of the apostles;
the fourth at Echaufour, to St. Andrew the apostle; the


fifth, which he built at Montreuil, to St. George the martyr;
and the sixth at Hautrive, to St. Martin the confessor.
With such saints as his patrons, this brave knight lived long
in honour in this world, and, dying, obtained, as we trust, by
the merits of their intercessions, the pardon of his sins and
everlasting rest in the society of the blessed.
At the death of Giroie, his sons were of tender years,
except two, Arnold and William, who had received knight-
hood under these circumstances : Gislebert, count of Brionne,
relying on his valour, and coveting an extension of his
boundaries, invaded the territories of the young heirs with
a formidable band, endeavouring to wrest Montreuil from
them by force of arms. However, they collected a body of
their kinsmen and retainers, and, boldly offering battle to
Gislebert in the open fields, defeated him with much slaugh-
ter, and put him to flight, not long afterwards forcibly
seizing, by way of revenge, the burgh called Sap. Mean-
while, Duke Robert interfered, and compassionating the
orphans, while he praised their bravery, he induced Gisle-
bert to cede Sap to them, that the peace might be lasting.
In the end, that same count, giving uneasiness to the seven
sons of Giroie, and attempting to recover the burgh of Sap,
which he had given up to them at the instance of Duke
Robert, met his death through their boldness and courage,
although he was attended by a large body of men.
All these brothers were brave and generous, skilled and
active in warlike exercises, formidable to their enemies,
gentle and courteous to their associates. They prospered in
various ways; but, notwithstanding, such is human life, they
fell to decay at last. It would be too long and impossible
for me to relate distinctly the acts of all the brothers; but I
am desirous, at least to leave something on record for pos-


terity as to the end of each. Arnold, the eldest, a brave
and honourable man, while one day amusing himself with
sports at Montreuil, in wrestling with a powerful young
man, fell against the sharp angle of a bank, and breaking
three of his ribs, died on the third day afterwards. William,
the second in order of birth, lived for many years, and all
his life governed his brothers; for he was eloquent and gay,
liberal and brave, beloved by his inferiors, and the terror of his
enemies. None of his neighbours ventured to make inroads
on his territories in any shape, nor to subject his people to
any kind of exactions. He exercised episcopal jurisdiction
in the lands of Montreuil and Echaufour, and no archdeacon
was permitted to interfere with the priests of those two
lordships; for it happened that when his father Giroie suc-
ceeded to the domains of Heugon, as before related, he
inquired of the inhabitants of the district in what bishopric
it was situated. They replied that they belonged to no bishop-
ric; upon which he exclaimed: " This is quite wrong; far
be it from me to live without a pastor, and exempt from the
yoke of ecclesiastical discipline." Upon further inquiry,
which of the neighbouring bishops was most devoted to his
religious duties, being informed of the virtues of Roger,
bishop of Lisieux, be placed all his territories under his
jurisdiction, persuading Baldric de Bauquencei and his sons-
in-law Wascelin d'Echanfre and Roger de Merlerault, who
enjoyed a similar exemption, to place their domains, in like
manner, under the same bishop. Roger, bishop of Lisieux,
observing that these nobles made a voluntary surrender of
their immunities, complimented them on their devotion, and
granted them the privilege that the clergy on their estates
should not be impleaded out of their lords' jurisdiction, and
should be exempt from the oppressions of the archdeacon's
visitations. This privilege was strictly maintained by
William de Giroie , who obtained the same exemption for the
monks of St. Evroult from Bishop Hugh.


William de Giroie married Hiltrude daughter of
Fulbert de Beine, who had built the castle of L'aigle in
the time of Duke Richard. By her he had a son named
Arnold d'Echaufour; and afterwards marrying Emma,
daughter of Walchelin de Tannei, who bore him William,
called afterwards in Apulia the Good Norman.
The knight of whom we have repeatedly spoken was
much beloved by Richard and Robert dukes of Normandy,
for the fidelity which he maintained towards his liege lords
Robert de Belesme, Talvas and Geoffrey, and others, either
his [feudal] superiors or allies. In so doing he was sub-
jected to constant molestation and even danger. He even
voluntarily razed his own castle of Montacute to effect the
redemption of his Lord Geoffrey, de Mayenne, when he was
taken prisoner by William Talvas, and his liberation was
refused on any other terms than the demolition of that
castle which overawed the territories of Talvas. The release
of Geoffrey from captivity having been thus obtained, he
built the castle of St. Ceneri on the Sarthe, for the baron
Giroie, in return for the devoted fidelity he had shown.
I could say much more of this William de Giroie, but
with so much before me I must pass on to other affairs;
and I will now, as I promised, give a short account of his
Fulk, the third, had one moiety of the fief of Montreuil.
He had two sons by a concubine, Giroie and Fulk. After
the death of Duke Robert he was killed, along with his
countryman Count Gislebert, with whom he served. Robert
[the fourth brother] held the castle of St. Ceneri with the
adjacent territory for a long course of years. Duke William
gave him his cousin Adelaide in marriage, and he had by
her a son also named Robert, who now serves in the army


of Henry king of England. After many brilliant achieve-
ments, when there were violent disputes between the Nor-
mans and Anjevins, this Robert, lord of St. Ceneri, held the
castle against Duke William, and while besieged in it, in
the twenty-fifth year of William's dukedom, died five days
after eating a poisoned apple which he had snatched out of
the hands of his wife.
Ralph, the fifth brother, was surnamed the Clerk, on
account of his knowledge of letters and skill in other arts.
He was also called Mala-corona, because in his youth he
gave himself up to military exercises and other frivolities.
He was versed in medicine, and in many deep secrets of
nature, so that old men even now speak of him with wonder
to their children and grand-children. In the course of time,
he retired from the seductions of the world to the convent
of Marmoutier, where he became a monk under the abbot
Albert, and devoutly prayed to God that his body might be
overspread with the loathsome disease of leprosy, that so his
soul might be cleansed from the foulness of his sins. Ob-
taining his pious wish, he died happily six years after his
Hugh, the sixth brother, was unfortunately slain in the
flower of his youth; for while he was returning one day
from the castle of St. Scholasse, accompanied by his brothers
and a large retinue, he stopped near the church of St. Ger-
manus, on the lands of Echaufour, to practise with the lance,
and his own squire, hurling a spear carelessly, mortally
wounded him. Being of an amiable disposition, he pre-
sently called for the squire and said to him privately :
" Flee with all haste, for you have severely wounded me.
God have mercy on you! escape before my brothers are
apprised of this accident, or they will certainly kill you."
The noble youth expired the same day.
Giroie, the youngest of the seven brothers, while he was
yet in the flower of his youth having plundered the lands
of the church of Lisieux, while on his return to Montreuil


was seized with a frenzy, of which he died. Thus death,
in various shapes, carried off all the sons of Giroie, without
allowing one of them to live to old age.
Heremburge, the eldest of the daughters was given in
marriage to Vascelin du Pont-Echanfre, and had by him
two sons, William and Ralph, who afterwards were firm
adherents to Robert Guiscard, duke of Calabria, in Apulia
and Sicily. Hawise, the neat daughter, was married to
Robert de Grand-mesnil, by whom she had three sons,
Hugh, Robert, and Arnold, with the same number of
daughters. On his death she married William, son of
Robert the archbishop, to whom she bore Judith, who
became the wife of Roger, count of Sicily. The third
daughter of Giroie was Emma, who was given in marriage
to Robert de Melerant, from which marriage sprung Ro-
dolph, and William, father of our neighbours Rodolph and
Roger. Adelaide, the fourth, married Solomon de Sable,
and bore him Reginald, whose son Lisiard is now a great
supporter of Henry, king of England, against the count of
Anjou. Having said enough of the family of Giroie, let us
now return to the matter from which we have somewhat
In the first year of the foundation of the abbey of St.
Evroult, William and Robert, sons of Giroie, and Hugh and
Robert, their nephews, assembled at Ouche, with their sons,
nephews, and barons. Consulting together for the advantage
of the unfinished monastery which they had begun to erect,
they agreed in common that each of them should at his
death bequeath his body to St. Evroult with the whole o
his substance, and that none of them should make a gift
whether of tithes, or of a church or anything appertaining
to a church, nor even offer it for sale, without first giving the
option to the monks of St. Evroult. This agreement was
firmly ratified by the priest Fulcoin, and Osmond Basset, by
Louvet and Fulk, sons of Fredenlend, Odo the Red and
Richard son of Gulbert, Robert de Torp, and Giroie des
Loges, with others their barons. The founders of the monas-
tery then took account of their possessions, and granted a
fair portion, according to their ability, to the church they
were building.
These are the possessions which Robert and Hugh and


Arnold, sons of Robert de Grand-mesnil, granted to the
abbey of St. Evroult for the good of their souls. In Norrei,
the church, and all the tithes, with the priest's plebe and
three plough-lands, together with the vill called Soulange;
in Ouillie, all the benefice which Tezcelin the clerk held,
and the tithes of the mills of that vill ; English-Ville with its
monastery; the church of Villers with one yearly tenant;
in the vill called Oth, the monastery, the priest's land,
and the tithes of the mills of that will ; and in the monastery
of Gueprei, they gave that part which their father Robert
held; besides the tithe of La Bigne, and at Beaumais the
third part of a mill with the tithe of the same; and the be-
nefice of the priest Fulcuin, namely the church and tithe of
Grand-mesnil, and the tithe of the mill of Olivet; one yearly
tenant at Colleville with the tithe of the whole vill; also the
tithe of was, and the tithe of St. Pierre d'Entremont;
moreover the church in the village called Fougi, and that
portion of the tithes of Coulonces which was held by their
father Robert. Hugh gave the lands of Quilli to the afore-
said abbey, on the petition of the lords of that vill, whose
tenure was allodial; also the tithe of all his ploughs and
beasts of burden, and the tithe of Mont-Chauvet, both of tolls
and of corn, and the church of Louvigni with the priest's
plebe. He gave besides the land called Noyer-Mesnard ; at
the place named Mesnil Bernard, one plough-land, and the
fields of the vill of La Tanaisie ; the cell of Manselles
with the priest's plebe ; and the tenth of the tolls of Sap;
and the farm called Mesnil Dode, and the church of Lim-


beuf with the priest's plebe ; together with the portion which
belonged to their mother in Vieux-Mesnil. At Neuf-March
Hugh gave the fourth part of the monastery of St. Peter,
and the tithe of one half of the tolls of the whole vill, as
well as of the mills; and in Serifontaine the monastery and
the third part of the tithe with all the first fruits and five
William, son of Giroie, with the consent of his sons
Arnold and William, and his brothers Robert and Rodolph
Mala-corona, who joined in the grant, gave to the aforesaid
abbey the monastery of Echaufour and the tenth of the tolls
of that vill, with the land of the priest Adelelm, and the
tithe of the whole forest belonging to that vill, both in
swine and in money, and the wood for all necessary uses;
and moreover all the monasteries which were on his domain,
one of which, dedicated to St. George, was built at Mont-
reuil; two at Verneuces, one in honour of St. Mary, the
other in honour of St. Paul; two at Sap, one in honour of
St. Peter, the other in honour of St. Martin. All these he
granted with the tithes and lands thereto belonging, and
the tenths of all tolls, and all forest rights and other
customary dues in Echaufour and Montreuil, and also
in Sap.
When Theodoric had been, by the grace of God, conse-
crated abbot of the convent of St. Evroult, he bought of
Arnold, son of William before-mentioned, with the consent
of his uncle Robert and at the command of Count William,
the farm of Bauquencei, as it had been held by Baldric the
said count's archer, and that part of the domain of Echau-
four which is situated between le Noir-Eau and Charen-
ton, and Essart d'Henri, and the tithes of the mill of
Echaufour. Moreover, Arnold himself gave to the same
abbey the lands of Haute-rive, with all that belonged
thereto, with all his monasteries and plebe-lands, and the
farm of Douet-Moussu .


Finally, William his brother, son of the William already
mentioned, with the consent of his brother Giroie, and his
cousins Giroie and Fulk, granted all the monasteries he
possessed, in consideration of no small sum of money paid
him by the abbot of the said convent. One of these, dedi-
cated to St. Sulpicius, was situated at Mesnil-Bernard,
another at Roiville dedicated to St. Leper, another at Mon-
nai dedicated to St. Mary, with the moiety of the same
Monnai in the tenure of Robert, he consenting ; the monas-
tery also of Ternant, and one in Les Essarts dedicated to
St. Peter, another at Augerons with the whole vill, and one
in Bois-Herbert. All these monasteries, with the tithes
and plebe-lands, were given to the abbey of St. Evroult, as
well by the said William as by the lords thereof; viz.,
Roger Goulafre de-Mesnil Bernard, Herfred de Roiville,
Robert de Monnai, Herfred de Ternant, William priest of
Essarts, William provost of Augerons, and Roger Faitel of
Moreover William gave to the said abbey for the redemp-
tion of the soul of his mother Emma a farm of one plough,
situate at Verneuces. He also, his brother Arnold con-
senting, gave one moiety of the mills of Verneuces, together
with what he possessed there in his own right, viz., the farm
of Warrin, and the wood of Landigou, and the farm of Bur-
nend in Verneuces, and two fishermen at Ternant, with two
kilns and one burgess at Montreuil. Moreover, William,
eon of Vauquelin de Pont-Erchanfre, gave the church of
St. Mary to the said abbey, together with whatever Osbern
the priest held, with the tenth of the tolls and the tithe of
the mills and ploughs which he possessed or should possess
there or elsewhere; as also all the monasteries which he pos-
sessed, or should thereafter possess, and that part of
Roiville which belonged to him.
Moreover, Robert son of Heugon, with the concurrence
and assent of his lords, viz., William and Robert, and their
sons and nephews, sold the church of St. Martin on the
rivulet called Bailleul to the monks of St. Evroult, and the
plebe of the same place with another farm of eight ploughs,
for which they paid no small price. He also gave the
moiety of the monastery of St. Andrew, with the priests'
plebe, and the moiety of all his land in the vill. Robert


also, the son of Theodelin, gave the other moiety ,of the
same monastery and of the whole vill.
Further the abbot Theoderic purchased for eighteen
pounds of William and Robert, sons of Robert surnamed
Fresnel, the church of Our Lady of the Wood, as it was
held by a certain monk of the name of Placidus. Moreover,
Hubert de Anceins sold to the abbot the church of that vill,
and some acres of land. All these belonging to the lord-
ship of William Fitz-Osbern the steward, were granted by
Next, Robert son of Giroie, ratifying and confirming all
that his brothers and nephews with their allies had given to
the abbey of St. Evroult, gave also to the same, of his own
possessions, St. Ceneri, St. Peter de la Pote-des-nids, with all
the tithes belonging thereto, and one half of the wood of
St. Ceneri, with fishings in the Sarthe for the use of the
monks who lived there, and St. Many of Mount Gande-
lain, and the whole tithes of Siral, and of all the lands
which he should thereafter acquire. Then also, Ralph, son
of Godfrey, his man-at-arms, gave with his consent the
church of Radon to the same abbey. Hearing of these
benefactions, a good knight named Wadon de Dreux made
a gift of the church of St. Michael on the Arve, in the
canton of Evreux, with the consent of the lords under whom
he held it, and his sons, kindred, and friends.
These were the benefactions with which William and
Robert and others their kinsmen, endowed the abbey of
St. Evroult, and, making a charter of them, presented it to
William duke of Normandy for his confirmation. The duke
gave a favourable reception to their petition, and graciously
ratified their donations to the before-mentioned abbey. He
also granted this special privilege to the abbey of St.
Evroult, that it should be for ever exempt from all foreign
jurisdiction. With respect also to the election of the abbots,
he vested it entirely in the chapter of the brethren, subject
to the rules of regular discipline, but on condition that the
votes were not corruptly obtained, either by favouritism, or
relationship, or certainly not by bribery. At the end of
the charter the duke had this clause inserted, ratifying the


whole in the following words: " I, William, count of Nor-
mandy, have caused this deed of gift to be put in writing,
and have had it confirmed, under pain of excommunication by
the signatures of the archbishop of Rouen, and the bishops,
abbots, and nobles, whose names and marks are hereunto
subscribed, in order that its provisions may remain firm
and undisturbed henceforth and for ever; so that if any one
shall presume to infringe them or shall in any wise injure
them, either by himself or any other, he shall, by the au-
thority of God and all the saints, be excommunicated from
all Christian privileges, and, if he do not repent, be ac-
cursed for ever." Duke William subscribed this charter
with the sign of the cross; and it was afterwards signed by
Mauger archbishop of Rouen, son of Richard Gonnorides,
duke of Normandy; by Hugh, bishop of Lisieux, son of
William, count d'Eu ; by Odo, bishop of Bayeux, uterine
brother of Duke William; by William, bishop of Evreux,
son of Gerard Fleitel; Gislebert, abbot of Chatillon;
William, Robert, and Ralph, sons . of Giroie; by their
nephews Hugh de Grand-mesnil, Robert and Arnold; by
William, son of Vascelin ; by Ralph de Toni; by Ralph,
Taison ; by Roger de Montgomery; by William Fitz-
Osbern ; by Richard de Beaufour, Richard de St. Scholasse ;
and many others of the Norman nobles, who were as-
sembled in the forest of Lions at the duke's palace on the
river Lieure, before the church of St. Denys, and confirmed
the charter of the abbey of St. Evroult, in the pear of our
Lord 1050, the fourth indiction.
The same year Robert de Grand-mesnil put off the secular
habit, and submitted to the monastic rule under abbot
Theodoric at St. Evroult. We have already mentioned that
he was the son of Robert de Grand-mesnil, a powerful
baron by Hawise the daughter of Giroie. In his childhood
he applied himself diligently to letters, and was distinguished
among those of his own age for his retentive memory. But
from his earliest youth he began to despise the inaction
of learning, and sought with eagerness the toils of arms,


becoming for five years an esquire of Duke William. He
was then raised by the same duke to the honours of chivalry;
and having been knighted, received at the duke's hands
noble rewards. Reflecting however on the chances of life,
he chose rather to serve humbly in the Lord's house than
to flourish like grass in the courts of the wicked. For he
recollected the perils of worldly warfare, which had been
experienced by his father and a host of others, who attack-
ing their enemies fell into the snares which they had laid
for others and perished. Thus his father Robert joined
with Roger de Toni in battle against Roger de Beaumont,
in which fight Roger de Toni, with his two sons Elbert and
Elinance were slain outright, and Robert received a mortal
wound in his bowels. Being carried off the field he survived
three weeks, and divided his lands between his sons Hugh
and Robert. Dying on the 14th of the calends of July
[18th of June], be was interred without the church of St.
Mary at Norrei. This calamity roused his son Robert to
strive in a better warfare. His first intention was to found a
convent at Norrei, as it has been already stated, for the
good of his soul and those of his ancestors, and to endow it
liberally with the whole of his patrimony, if his brother
Hugh consented. But his plans being changed, by the
advice of his uncle William Giroie, he made the general
deed of gift, jointly with his brother Hugh of the possessions
already enumerated, and coming to St. Evroult there;
solemnly professed himself a monk according to the rule of
St. Benedict. He suffered much inconvenience in supplying
the necessities of the church, and often laid hands on the
substance of his kinsfolk, who were very wealthy, charitably
distributing it in the support of the faithful, for the
salvation of their souls. Paying his mother Hawise
forty livres of Rouen, be deprived her of her dowry, con-
sisting of lands in Noyer-Menard, Vieux-Mesnil, La Tanaisie,
and Mesnil-Dode, which he transferred to the abbey of St.
Evroult. He also presented to the monks of St. Evroult as
his mother's gift, the great psaltery illuminated with pictures,
which the choir frequently uses to the present time in
chanting the praises of God. This volume was given


by Emma, wife of Ethelred. king of England, to Robert,
archbishop of Rouen, her brother, and William who was
son of that prelate had secretly, abstracted it from his
father's chamber and given to his wife Hawise to whom
he was so much attached, that he sought every means of
pleasing her. This Robert de Grand-mesnil conferred many
other benefits on his church, and rendered himself very
agreeable to his brethren both by the ecclesiastical orna-
ments he furnished, and by the necessary comforts he
procured for them.

Ch. III. Notices of Theodoric first abbot of Evroult. --His
care in collecting and multiplying copies of the scriptures
and the fathers. --Legend respecting a copyist. --Norman
conquests in Apulia, and other parts of the south of Italy.

THE venerable abbot Theodoric zealously enforced the
monastic rule, and studied, both in his words and actions the
profit of the community entrusted to his charge. He was
a Norman by birth, of the district of Talou ; he was of
middle stature, his face ruddy, and his voice agreeable ; well
versed in the sacred scriptures, and engaged in the duties
of divine worship from childhood to old age. But as tares
spring up unexpectedly among the wheat and are rooted
out by the careful husbandman at the time of harvest,
and delivered to the destroying flames, so sons of Belial are
mingled in. the company of the faithful, until at the time
predestined, they are detected by the righteous Judge, and
strictly subjected to the punishment they deserve. In the
time of abbot Theodoric there was a monk in the society of
Evroult named Romanus, who was instigated by the devil to
to steal the linen, and breeches, and other articles of that
nature; and when he was repeatedly called to account by
father Theodoric for such misdeeds, he stoutly denied being
guilty of the theft, though he soon after confessed it. One
night, however, while he was in bed be was seized by the
demon and grievously tormented. The monks heard his hor-
rible shrieks, and, coming to him and shaking him, sprinkled
him with holy water, and with difficulty released him from the
evil spirit which tormented him. Being come to himself,
the monk understood that the devil had obtained this power
over him on account of the thefts be had committed, and


made promises of keeping himself for the future from such
offences. But afterwards he returned like a dog to his
vomit, so that father Theodoric ordered his cowl to be
stripped off, and turned him out of the convent. Thus expelled
from the society of the brethren, it is reported that be
undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but what was his
future we are wholly uninformed.
A certain priest whose name was Angered, who lived in
the commune of Sap led a very irregular life. But while
suffering from disease he entreated the monks of St. Evroult
to give him the habit of St. Benedict. Wrapped in this
he was carried to the abbey and sent to the infirmary. But
as soon as he recovered from his sickness, he resumed as
nearly as possible the same irregularity of conduct which
he had exhibited under the secular dress, so true it is as a
wise writer says;-

" No change of clime can bring an altered mind."

This man changed, indeed, his habit, but not his habitual
conduct. The abbot Theodoric observed his reprehensible
life and conversation, and heard that he detested the
religious rule; for he had sent word to his father and
mother that he was slandered, and entreated them to remove
him from the monastery. The abbot therefore, acting in
this case on the apostolic precept, " Put away from among
yourselves the wicked person;" and that which saith : "If
an unbelieving brother depart, let him depart," permitted
him to retire from the abbey and enter again into the world.
The man, adding sin to sin, kept company with a woman of
light character : and not satisfied with her, made love to
another whose name was Pomula. He made an appoint-
ment with her that they should go together to the shrine of
St. Giles, hoping to keep the affair from coming to
the knowledge of his parents and friends. Having fixed
with her a place of meeting from which they should
proceed in company, he himself set forth with some pilgrims
who were going to the church of St. Giles. The woman,
however, without informing Ansered, broke her engagement


and formed a connection with another cleric. Ansered,
arriving at the appointed place of meeting, and not finding
the woman there, said to his fellow pilgrims: " I must
return home, having forgotten something for which I have
occasion; but you need not lose any time on the road, for
I shall soon overtake you." Retracing, then his steps, and
getting into the house in which the woman lived, by night,
he found her in bed with the clerk. She signified to her
lover that Ansered was there, upon which the clerk snatched
up an age, and striking Ansered on the head killed him on
the spot. He then enclosed the body in a sack, and drag-
ging it to a distance concealed it from sight in a hole in the
ground. Sometime afterwards the body was found, for the
wild beasts had disinterred it, devouring a leg and a thigh,
and the discovery was made by the offensive smell. Indeed
it was so pestiferous that no one could go near the spot.
Isis father and mother, who were attached to him more than
to any others, took up the remains and buried them outside
the cemetery of the church. Such was the end of one who
preferred returning to the vanities of the world, to spend-
ing his days with the servants of God in the religious life
which would lead him upwards to the heavenly kingdom.
Another priest, whose name was Adelard having assumed
the monastic habit in consequence of his infirmities, gave to
God and St. Evroult and his monks the church of Sap, with
the tithes, of which he was enfeoffed, to be held by them in
perpetuity. But having recovered his health, he repented
of what he had done, and was bent on returning to the
world. Abbot Theodoric, upon hearing this, caused the
rule of St. Benedict to be read to him, and then thus
addressed him: "You have heard the rule under which you
have engaged to serve, if you can keep it, continue with us,
but if you cannot, depart free ;" for he would not detain
any such against their will. Whereupon, Adelard, obsti-
nately persisting in his evil design, withdrew himself from.
the monastery, and resumed the secular habit which he had
relinquished; but when he sought to recover the church of
Sap which he had made over to the monks of St. Evroult,
Hugh de Grantmesnil, to whom the lordship of Sap be-
longed, would not consent. He therefore retired among
his relations at Friardel, for he was of a good family, and


lived there nearly fifteen years. But he was never restored
to good health, being afflicted with incessant infirmities.
Flt last, perceiving that his end was approaching, and
alarmed at the punishment which awaited his apostasy,
he entreated abbot Mainer, who was the fourth in succes-
sion from the venerable Theodoric, that he might be allowed
to resume the monastic habit which he had forfeited for
his sins. But he died three weeks after his request was
granted, being in such a state of weakness that he could not
dispense with female attendance, so that he never returned
alive to the monastery from which he had withdrawn.
In the time of William, duke of Normandy, Ivo, son of
William de Belesme, held the bishopric of Seez, and, on the
death of his brothers Warin, Robert, and William, inherited
the town of Belesme as his father's heir. The bishop was
handsome in person, learned, wine, and eloquent; witty, and
of a most cheerful temper. He treated his clergy and the
monks with parental kindness, and held Abbot Theodoric in
great reverence, as among the chief of his friends. They
had much private intercourse, for the city of Seez is only
seven leagues from the abbey of St. Evroult Roger de
Montgomery, Viscount d'Exmes, had married Mabel, the
bishop's niece, with whom he acquired a large portion of the
domains of William de Belesme. This Roger, at the sug-
gestion and by the advice of the bishop, transferred the
church of St. Martin at Seez to Theodoric, abbot of St.
Evroult, and, in conjunction with his wife, earnestly begged
that he would erect a monastery in that place. The bishop
without delay commenced the work assigned to him, in the
Lord's name, and settled at Seez Roger, a monk of St.
Evroult, in priest's orders, together with Morin and Engel-
bert, and others of his disciples, while he often repaired
thither himself; remaining sometimes four or five weeks at a
time, urging the prosecution of the work for the love of
God and the good of posterity. Now-, this Mabel was
both powerful and politic, shrewd and fluent, but extremely


cruel. Still she had a high regard for the excellent Theodoric,
and in some things submitted to his admonitions, although
in general she was severe with men of religion. In conse-
quence, her son Roger, whose cruelties to his wretched
dependants has made him notorious in the times in which
I live, was brought to Roger and the rest of the monks
settled at Seez, to receive from them the holy sacrament of
True grace makes those in whose hearts it rules the
delight of the good and the terror of evil-doers. Thus Abbot
Theodoric was deservedly beloved by all good men, while he
was feared by the wicked. As far as possible avoiding
worldly cares, he devoted himself with earnest zeal to the
worship of God. But, though diligent in the offices of
prayer, he did not neglect such manual labours as were fitting
his station. He was a skilful scribe, and he left to the
young monks of St. Evroult some splendid specimens of his
calligraphy. The book of Collects, the Gradual, and Anti-
phonary, were all written in the convent with his oven
hand. He procured also, by gentle solicitations, from
his colleagues who accompanied him from Jumieges, several
precious books of the divine law. Thus, his nephew
Rodolf transcribed the Heptateuch, and the missal from
which the mass was sung daily in the choir; Hugh, his
companion, made a copy of the commentary on Ezekiel, and
the Decalogue, and the first part of the moral books; and
Roger the priest, of the Paralipomena, the books of Solo-
mon, and the third part of the moral books.
The worthy abbot, so often named, by these scribes and
other antiquaries whom he succeeded in engaging in this
work, during the eight years he governed the convent of St.
Evroult, was able to procure for the library of the abbey
all the books of the Old and New Testament, with the
entire works of the eloquent Pope Gregory. From the
same school proceeded some learned and excellent penmen,
such as Berenger, who was afterwards made bishop of
Venusa, Goscelin and Rodolph, Bernard, Turketil, and
Richard, with many more, who filled the library at St.
Evroult with the works of St. Jerome and St. Augustine, St.


Ambrose and Isidore, Eusebius and Orosius, and other
doctors of the church, while, by their useful labours and
example they encouraged the youths who were to succeed
them in similar pursuits.
These novices the man of God himself instructed, often
admonishing them carefully to shun the idleness of an
unstable disposition, which is apt to enervate both mind and
body; and addressing them in such words as these: "One
of the brethren in a certain convent was guilty of repeated
transgressions of the monastic rule, but he was a good scribe,
and so applied himself to writing that he copied of his own
accord a bulky volume of the holy scriptures After his
death, his soul was brought before the tribunal of the
righteous Judge. There the evil spirits sharply accused
him, laying to his charge his innumerable offences; the holy
angels, on the other hand, produced the volume which the
brother had transcribed in the sanctuary of the Lord,
counting letter for letter of the enormous volume against
the several sins which the monk had committed. At last
the letters had a majority of only one, against which all the
devices of the devils failed to discover an equivalent failing.
The mercy of the Judge was, therefore, extended to the sin-
ful brother, and his soul was permitted to return to the
body, in order that he might enjoy an opportunity of
amending his life. Reflect frequently, my dearly beloved
brethren, on this example, and cleanse your hearts from vain
and sinful desires, offering continually the works of your
hands as an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord your God.


Shun sloth, that deadly poison, with the utmost care, for
what with our holy father Benedict?-'Sloth is the mortal
enemy of the soul.' fonder often, also, on what is said by
a doctor of eminence in his Lives of the Fathers: that
only a single evil spirit vexes with his wiles the monk who
is laboriously occupied, while a thousand devils infest the
idler, and provoke him by the keen impulse of manifold
temptations, on every side, to loath the restraints of the
cloister, and to hanker after the soul-destroying vanities of
the world, and indulgence in fatal delights. Yon, indeed,
have not the means of feeding the poor with your alma,
being possessed of no worldly substance; nor can you build
noble churches, like the kings and great men of the world,
confined, as you are to the cloister, and deprived of all
power and influence; at least, then, bear in mind the exhort-
ation of Solomon, and guard unceasingly the avenues to
your hearts, striving earnestly to please God without
ceasing. Pray, read, chant, write; and be instant in other
occupations of the like hind, thug prudently arming your-
selves against the temptations of evil spirits."
By such admonitions, Father Theodoric instructed his
disciples, diligently stirring them up by argument, by
entreaty, and by rebuke, to those good works of which he
he himself set them the example, not only in the offices of
devotion, but by writing and other useful occupations. For
these he was hated by some of the monks, who preferred
secular concerns to their religious duties. Alas! they cen-
sured him for that which merited the highest respect; while
they muttered: " This man is not fit to be an abbot, for he
undervalues and neglects all worldly thrift. But how are
the men of prayer to subsist, if the men of the plough are
not forthcoming ? He must be a fool who is more anxious
about reading and writing in his monastery than about the
means of procuring subsistence for the brethren." Some
of the monks indulged insolent talk of this description,
wronging the man of God with more of the same sort; but
William, the son of Giroie, constantly paid him deep reve-
rence for his sanctity, and checked the ebullitions of the


malcontents, whom I forbear to name, with great severity,
affording him ready aid in all contentions which arose, both
within and without the monastery. However, after come
time, this noble soldier resolved on a journey to Apulia,
upon business in which the welfare of the abbey of St.
Evroult was concerned; and during his absence, which was
much prolonged, the holy father Theodoric was left alone and
forlorn in Normandy.
The conduct of rocked men is no less repugnant to the
good, than theirs is to men of corrupt minds; so that as
good men, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, use all the means
in their power to bring the wicked into the way of righteous-
ness ; so these, actuated by the malignant influence of the
devil, often strive zealously to turn the righteous into the
paths of wickedness. They may not, perhaps, succeed in
ruining them utterly, but they are sometimes able to per-
plex them in various ways, and cause them to be sluggish in
their sacred calling. In thin manner, while the abbey of
Evroult was rising, and, enriched by good works, was
becoming glorious both in the sight of God and man, some
flagitious persons fomented various grudges against the
society, causing infinite trouble in what concerned the sub-
sistence, and the clothing, and the sacred entertainments of
the monks. But although tempestuous waves threatened to
overwhelm the ship of the church, Christ, her true spouse,
graciously manifested the brightness of his presence to
succour his servants and confound the machinations of their
I propose in this place to give a true account of what
happened to Mabel, daughter of William Talvas, though it is
somewhat out of order. This lady caused many troubles,
iniquitously contrived, to the monks of St. Evroult, on
account of the hatred she bore to the founders of the abbey,
notwithstanding that the monastic rule was strictly observed
from the beginning, and the offices of charity were duly
performed to all comers, as the custom is to this day. For
she, as well as her father and all her kindred, fostered a
never-ceasing animosity against the family of Giroie. But
as her husband Roger de Montgomery loved and honoured


the monks, she did not venture to exhibit any open signs of
her malicious feeling. She therefore made the abbey her
frequent resort, attended by numerous bands of armed
retainers, under pretence of claiming the hospitality of the
monks. but to their great oppression in the indigence to
which they were subjected by the barrenness of their lands.
At one time, when she had taken up her abode at the abbey
with a hundred men-at-arms, and was questioned by abbot
Theodoric why she came with such a splendid retinue to the
abode of poor anchorites, and was warned to abstain from
such absurdity, she exclaimed, in great wrath: " When I
come again, my followers shall be still more numerous."
The abbot replied: " Trust me; unless you repent of this
iniquity you will suffer what will be very painful to you."
And so it happened: for the very night following she was
attacked by a disorder which caused her great suffering.
Upon this, she gave instant orders for being carried forth
from the abbey, and hastening in a state of alarm to fly from
the territory of St. Evroult, she passed by the dwelling of a
certain farmer named Roger Suisnar, whose infant child she
caused to suck her nipple, which occasioned her the severest
pain. The infant died soon afterwards, while Mabel reached
her home restored to health. She lived fifteen years after-
wards, but never ventured to return to St. Evroult, after
having there suffered under the chastisement of God; and
from thenceforth she was very careful not to meddle, either
;For good or evil, with the occupants of the abbey, so long as
she enjoyed the checquered delights of the present life.
Notwithstanding, she had a great regard for abbot Theodoric,
and confided to him much more than to the convent of St.
,Evroult, the cell of St. Martin, as I have already remarked
in anticipation.
[A.D. 1016-1030.] While Pope Benedict filled the


apostolic see, the Saracens of Africa made an annual descent
with their galleys on the coast of Apulia, levying with
impunity whatever contributions they pleased from the
degenerate Lombards, of the Apulian cities, and the Greek
colonies in Calabria. In those days, Osmond surnamed
Drengot, hearing William Repostel insolently boast, in the
presence of the Norman nobles, of having dishonoured his
daughter, slew him in the presence of Robert the duke, in a
wood where they were hunting. For this crime he was
forced to make his escape with his sons and nephews, first
into Brittany, afterwards into England, and at length to
Beneventum. He was the first Norman who established
himself in Apulia, having obtained from the prince of
Beneventum the grant of a town as a settlement for himself
and his heirs. Afterwards, a Norman knight who had gone
on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with a hundred men-at-arms,
was hospitably entertained with his followers, on their return,
by the Duke Waimalch, who humanely kept them several
days, in order that they might refresh themselves. While
they were there twenty thousand Saracens made a descent on
the coast of Italy, and demanded, with great threats, tribute
from the inhabitants of Salernum. While the duke and his
guards were gathering the tribute from the citizens, the


pirates disembarked from their fleet, and began to prepare
their meal in full security, and with great delight, on a
grassy plain lying between the city and the sea-shore. The
Normans, witnessing this, and finding that the duke was
collecting money to pacify the infidels, gently rebuked
the Apulians for thus ransoming themselves like defenceless
women, instead of defending themselves, sword in hand, like
brave men. They then flew to arms, and, malting a sudden
attach on the Africans who were waiting for the tribute in
perfect security, many thousand of them were slain on the
spot, and the rest were driven with disgrace to the refuge of
their ships. The Normans returning, laden with gold and
silver plate and other valuable booty, were much pressed by
the duke to remain in honour at Salernum ; but as they were
anxious to re-visit their own country, they declined to accept
his proposal. Some of them, however, promised to return,
or speedily to send to the duke a chosen band of Norman
youths. When, therefore, they had reached their native
land, they had much to tell their countrymen of all that
they had seen, and heard, and done, and suffered. In the
end, some of them, fulfilling their engagement, retraced their
steps to Italy, and by their example induced a number of
their light-hearted countrymen to join in their enterprize.
In short, Turstin surnamed Citel, and Ranulph; Richard,
son of Ansquetil de Quarrel. the sons of Tancred de
Hauteville, viz. Drogo and Humphrey; William and
Herman; Robert surnamed Guiscard, and Roger with their
six brothers; William de Montreuil, Arnold de Grant-mesnil,
and many others, left Normandy and reached Apulia, not all
together, but at different times. On their arrival, they in
the first instance took service, as mercenaries against the
infidels under the Duke Waimalch and other nobles. After-
wards, however, disputes arising, they attacked those to
whom they were previously subject, and by force of arms
reduced Salernum, Bari, and Capua, with the whole of
Campania and Calabria, under their own dominion. They
also gained possession, in Sicily, of Palermo, Catania, Castel-
Giovanni, and other cities and fine towns which are held by
their heirs to the present day.


Among the Normans who crossed the Tiber, no one
distinguished himself more than William de Montreuil, son
of William Giroie, and, being appointed to the chief
command of the Roman troops, he carried the banner of St.
Peter to the conquest of the fertile plains of Campania.
Being a friend and brother of the monks of St. Evroult, to
whom he made large grants, as already mentioned, before he
left Normandy, he sent to desire them to despatch a trusty
messenger, by whom he might forward the presents he had
prepared for them. His father William being informed of
this voluntarily offered to undertake the mission for the
good of holy church. Abbot Theodoric heard the proposal
with mingled joy and grief; joy, at the devotion which
inflamed the heart of his friend, and induced him, old as ho
was, to undertake so toilsome a journey; grief, at losing the
society of one who was ready at all good works. At length,
the holy father and Robert the prior, with the whole chapter,
commended the Lord William to God's protection, selecting
for his companions Humphrey, a most intelligent monk, and
Roger of Jumieges, a skilful penman, with twelve other
honourable attendants. Crossing the Alps he travelled to
Rome, and thence pursued his ,journey to Apulia, where ho
found his son and other friends, kinsfolk, and relations.
His arrival caused them all the greatest joy, and, prevailing
on him to remain with them a considerable time, during
which he was entertained with the highest distinction, they
committed to his charge many magnificent presents for the
support of the abbey for which he was a suitor. Wishing
however to send relief to the poor brethren without delay,
he sent back the monk Hump prey, with a considerable sum of
money; but, by the mysterious decrees of God's providence,
this enterprize turned out otherwise than he had hoped;
for Humphrey, having got as far as Rome, determined to
winter there, in the monastery of St. Paul the apostle. But
he was poisoned by the Romans for the sake of the gold he
had in his possession, and so the venerable pilgrim died in
the confession of the faith of Christ, on the ides [13th] of
December. Shortly afterwards William himself took his
departure for Normandy, conveying a large sum of money,
but when he reached Gaieta, so called from the nurse of
AEneas the Trojan, he was seized with a mortal disease.


Thereupon he summoned to his side the two knights,
Ansquetil du Noyer, son of Ascelin, and Theodelin de
Tanie, and thus addressed them: "You know that your
twelve companions who came out of Normandy together in
full health, all but you are dead; I also am attacked by a
severe disease which is fast hurrying me to the grave. I
therefore commend to your custody Ansquetil, in the pre-
sence of Theodelin as witness, the money of which I am the
bearer, in order that you may honestly carry it to the lord
abbot Theodoric, and my nephew Robert, and the other
monks of St. Evroult, for whom I am now in a foreign land.
Ye are both liege-men of the abbey, and are bound to do it
faithful service. Let no love of lucre lead you astray.
Reflect well that all your comrades having perished, you
only survive, through the merits of the blessed Evroult, in
order perhaps that you may faithfully render him this
service. Bear my last farewell to the monks at St. Evroult,
whom I love in Christ as my own life, and earnestly entreat
them to supplicate Almighty God on my behalf with zealous
fervour." With this and such-like discourse he brought
forth the gold, and rich palls, with a silver chalice, and other
articles of great price, and, making an exact inventory of
them delivered them to Ansquetil. Not long afterwards, his
sickness prevailing to extremity, the noble knight departed
in the faith of Christ, on the hones [5th] of February, and
received honourable interment in the church of St. Erasmus,
bishop and martyr, which is an episcopal see. Ansquetil and
Theodolin then pursued their journey into France, and
arrived safely at home. Some days afterwards Ansquetil
went to St. Evroult and announced to the brethren the
death of the lord William and his companions, but observed
total silence as to the money with which he had been
entrusted and lead already dishonestly converted to his own
use. On hearing the death of the founder of their abbey
the monks were in great tribulation, and zealously offered
prayers, and masses, and other sacred offices on behalf of his
soul to God, in whom all things live; which are diligently
continued by their successors to the present day. When


Ansquetil had returned home, his comrade Theodelin came
to St. Evroult and inquired of the monks what had been
brought to them from Apulia, and was astonished to find
that they had received nothing but the sorrowful tidings of
the death of their friends. He therefore related to them the
whole truth, describing all that had occurred, both in
prosperous and adverse circumstances during their peregri-
nations. Upon this, Abbot Theodoric cent for Ansquetil,
and demanded from him the money committed to his charge.
At first he denied having received it, but, being confronted
with Theodelin, he admitted the truth: " I did receive," he
said, " the money you demand from my lord William; part of
it I have applied to my own use, and the rest I deposited at
Rheims, by the advice of my lord Rodolph Mala-Corona,
who met me there." On hearing this the monks despatched
him twice to Rheims to Gervase the archbishop. to recover
the money deposited, once in company with Reginald of Sap,
one of the monks, and again with Fulk. The monk was
received with great kindness by the metropolitan, who
assisted him, as far as it was in his power, in the object of
his ,journey. For while he was bishop of Mans, often
repairing to the court of William, duke of Normandy, with
whom he was intimate, the monks of St. Evroult used to give
him honourable entertainment with all his attendants. On
seeing therefore the monk Fulk, he was anxious to return
kindness for loudness. But as a long time had elapsed, and
Ansquetil had carelessly deposited the things for which Fulk
made inquiries, he was only able to recover a few of the least
valuable of all the articles which were sent from Apulia;
with difficulty obtaining the silver chalice, two chasubles, an
elephant's tooth, a griffin's claw, and some others: The
monks, taking into consideration the fraudulent conduct of
Ansquetil, summoned him to trial in their court at St.
Evroult, where Richard d'Avranches, son of Turstin, and
many other barons appeared to support him. But, on the
just complaints of the monks, judgment was fairly
pronounced against him of forfeiture of the whole of the fief
he held of the abbey. In the end, by the mediation of
friends on both aides, this agreement was made : Ansquetil


openly confessing his guilt, gave pledges to abbot Theodoric
for his future good conduct, and humbly supplicated pardon
from the monks; and, as a compensation for the loss which
he had caused them by his default, he surrendered to the
abbey of St. Evroult, in the presence of many witnesses, the
third part of the burgh of Ouche, which he possessed as heir
to his father. In token of this, he offered on the altar of St.
Evroult one mantle of silk, of which a cope was made for the
chanter. The monks, thereupon, satisfied by his penitence,
pardoned his offences, and kindly restored to him all the rest
of his fief, except the part which he had surrendered by the
advice of his friends. Not long afterwards Ansquetil went
into Apulia, where he was slain.
The old enemy never fails to disturb the peace of the
church by the incentives of manifold temptations, bringing
those with whom he is able to prevail into subjection to
worldly vanities, and grievously afflicting those who by pru-
dent watchfulness in the simplicity of the Catholic faith
stand manfully upright in the perfection of their Christian
virtues. Whey therefore he saw a regular monastery rising
by God's help, in the forest of Ouche, and that abbot
Theodoric was by word and deed profiting the sons both of
young and old in the neighbouring town, he burnt with the
same malice which wrought the expulsion of the protoplast
Adam from Paradise through the desire of the forbidden fruit,
and stirred up the prior Robert, after the death of William
de Giroie, to a presumptuous opposition against his abbot;
and by the dissensions thence arising for a long time dis-
quieted the minds of the subject members of the fraternity.
This Robert, as I have fully noticed before, was of high rank,
being the brother of Hugh de Grant-mesnil ; and all the
levity of his youth, indomitable resolution, and worldly
ambition, still clung to him. His continence and other
monastic virtues were praiseworthy; while, on the other
hand, as Horace says:-

" Man's happiness is ne'er complete,"

he was reprehensible for many failings. For whether what
he coveted was right or wrong, be was hasty and headstrong
in gaining his ends, and was quickly irritated when anything


he heard or saw offended him; more prone to lead than to
follow, to command than to obey. His hand was always
open both to receive and to disburse, and his mouth to give
ready vent to his wrath in violent ebullitions. Illustrious
by the high lineage already mentioned, and being
one of the founders of the abbey in which he had
collected from all parts brothers whose duty was to perform
divine worship, and having amply endowed them with all
things necessary for their subsistence, he found himself
unable to submit to the strict rules of a monastic life in the
new establishment. He therefore frequently complained in
private to his spiritual father, that the holy man was more
occupied with his religious duties than with secular concerns.
He even sometimes opposed him openly, and found fault
with some of his acts simply relating to exterior objects.
So that the man of God often took refuge in his quiet
retreat at Seez, abiding there six or eight weeks, doing God's
work in peace and zealously promoting the salvation of men
by all the means in his power. He thus waited for the
improvement of his refractory brother, fulfilling the apostle's
admonition: " Give place unto wrath." Finding, however,
that the rancour and the scandals did not cease, but rather
increased, to the great injury of the brethren, he tendered
his pastoral staff to William the duke of Normandy, offering
to resign his rank and office of abbot. The duke thereupon,
taking judicious counsel, committed the whole matter to the
decision of Maurilius, archbishop of Rouen, enjoining him
to inquire diligently into the causes of the dissension, and
to make such order thereon as, by the advice of prudent
counsellors, he should think right.
In the year of our Lord 1056, the eighth indiction, when
Pope Victor filled the apostolic see, Henry, surnamed the
Good, emperor of the Romans, and son of Conon [Conrad]
departed this life, and was succeeded by his son Henry, who
reigned fifty years. The same year, Maurilius the arch-
bishop, and Fulbert the sophist, his chancellor, with Hugh,


bishop of Lisieux, Ansfrid, abbot of Preaux and Lanfranc
prior of Bec, with several other dignitaries of sound
Judgment, assembled at the abbey of St. Evroult; and
celebrated the feast of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul
on the third of the calends of July [29th June]. Having
inquired into and carefully considered the grounds of the
dissension, it was ordered that the abbot Theodoric should
continue the government of the abbey, as he had done before,
and Robert the prior was admonished, in the fullest terms, to
conform to his vows of poverty in Christ, and to obey his
spiritual father, for the love of God, in all humility. The
commissioners having returned home, a short period of repose
was enjoyed by the flock at St. Evroult; but a year after-
wards, when the news arrived of the death of William de
Giroie, the smothered strife again broke out, and disputes
adverse both to the spiritual and temporal welfare of the
monks distracted the community. And now Theodoric, to
whom peace was dear, was in difficulties on every side. For
at Seez it was out of his power to promote the salvation of
souls, and to finish the building of the cell which Roger and
his wife had begun to erect, because they were then much
occupied by worldly affairs, and exposed to serious attacks
from their enemies in various quarters; while at St. Evroult
he could neither further his own good nor that of others,
by reason of the vexations which he had to endure from
some of the more influential monks. At last, after long
reflection upon the course he ought to pursue, according to
the will of God, he determined to abandon all and undertake
a pilgrimage to the tomb of our Lord at Jerusalem.

Ch. IV. Account of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, under-
taken by Theodoric, first abbot of St. Evroult, after
resigning his charge--His death at the island of Cyprus.

ON the fourth of the calends of September [August 24th],
abbot Theodoric left Seez, where he had rested long, and,
proceeding to St. Evroult, convoked a chapter of the monks
to whom he made known his intentions, and admonishing,
absolving, and blessing them all, he commended them to
God. Thence he went to Lisieux, and surrendered his cure
of souls to the bishop, by whom he was much beloved ; then
he commenced his holy pilgrimage for Christ amidst the


tears of many of his friends. Herbert de Montreuil, the
first monk he admitted to the monastery of St. Evroult,
accompanied him, as well as the clerk William, surnamed
Bonne-Ame, sort of Radbod bishop of Seez, who some time
afterwards held tire metropolitan see of Rouen for nearly
twenty-six years.
In those days there existed a noble hospital on the con-
fines of the territories of the Bavarians and Huns. which
the truly Christian and powerful barons of the neighbouring
provinces had founded for the reception of the poor and
pilgrims, At that time Ansgot, a Norman, governed this
hospital, having been elected by the natives. He was a
cousin of Robert de Toni, called the Spaniard, who had
borne arms with distinction under Richard and Robert,
dukes of Normandy; but inspired with the fear of God, he
hurl relinquished all worldly advantages, and had chosen to
undergo voluntary poverty during the remainder of his life
for Christ's salve. Recognizing Theodoric and his compa-
nions as countrymen, he gave them a cordial reception and
entertained them for some days with great hospitality,
paying them the kindest attentions.
Meanwhile, a certain religious, the chief bishop of the
Bavarians, going on a pilgrimage arrived at the hospital,
where he was honourably received, with all his retinue, as
the custom was by the liberal Ansgot, and prevailed on to
sojourn for a while. He also earnestly recommended the
venerable Theodoric and his attendants to the care of this
bishop, pointing out his sanctity as a father in God, and his
worldly rank in his own country. The bishop, hearing the
abbot's character, gave thanks to God, and, cordially paying
the respect due to a man of his station, took him in his
company as far as Antioch. There a difference of opinion
arose among the pilgrims. Some of them wished to con-
tinue their journey by land, as they had hitherto prosecuted
it, the whole way to Jerusalem. Others, alarmed for their
safety among the fierce infidels, determined to take ship
and pass into tire holy Land by sea. In this proposal the
bishop and abbot, with some others, concurred. While,
however, the bishop was engaging a ship and an able crew,


and a certain religious, who was archimandrite of the con-
vent of St. Simeon in the port of Syria, was hospitably
entertaining Theodoric and his companions, Herbert the
monk of St. Evroult was seized with the desire of hastening
his journey, and preferred to continue his pilgrimage to the
holy places by land rather than by sea. His abbot accord-
ingly gave him permission to go as he pleased. Taking,
therefore, the road through the country, with a crowd of
pilgrims on foot, and having reached Laodicea, he there fell
sick, and was compelled to abide for some time, his com-
panions proceeding on their way. As soon as he was able
to rise from his bed, he did not take one step further in
advance, but bidding farewell to the east, turned westward,
and hastened back to Normandy.
The bishop, with Theodoric and William Bonne-Ame
with their companions, embarked at the port of St. Simeon,
and sailed to the island of Cyprus. They found there on
the sea-shore a convent founded by St. Nicholas the con-
fessor, archbishop of Myria. Entering the church, they per-
formed their devotions as each was inspired by divine grace;
and Theodoric, on rising from his prayers, during which he had
wept much, sat down exhausted in the church, for his frame
was shattered by the weight of years, his sufferings at sea,
and other fatigues. The bishop, his faithful companion,
inquiring of him what had happened, he replied: " I had
proposed, my father, to visit the earthly Jerusalem, but I
believe that the Lord has otherwise disposed of his servant.
I am suffering great bodily anguish, and I am led to think
that I must turn my face to the heavenly, instead of the
earthly, Jerusalem." The bishop made answer, " Rest here,
dearest brother, while I go to procure a lodging for your
reception." The bishop leaving him for this purpose,
Theodoric approached the altar, and was for some time
engaged in prayer to God, whom he had faithfully served
from his youth upward. He then prostrated himself


before the altar, with his face to the east, and decently
gathering his robe round him, lay on his right side, as if he
was composing himself for sleep, when laying his head on
the marble step, and crossing his hands on his breast, he
thus gave up his devout soul to God who created it, on the
calends [the 1st] of August.
Meanwhile, the bishop having prepared a lodging, called
the servant of the man of God, and sent him to the church
to conduct his master to it. But when he found the holy
man lying dead in the church, he returned to the bishop in
great alarm, and trembling, told him of the unexpected
calamity. The bishop, however, not believing that the man
of God had so suddenly departed, said to him: "The good
old man is much exhausted by his sufferings at sea, and the
intense heat; and therefore he is enjoying refreshing sleep
in the coolness of the church on the cold marble. Let us
go and see him." He then proceeded to the church,
attended by his clergy. But when he had carefully felt the
body of his comrade, and found that it was really chilled in
death, he was overpowered with grief. Col-
lecting all the pilgrims who, dispersed in their several
lodgings, were procuring refreshments, he commanded them
to assemble in the church, while he fully made known to
the inhabitants of the place the character of the companion
of their pilgrimage who there lay dead. The inhabitants
were filled with joy for his holy life, and freely offered their
services to the other pilgrims. The bishop, then, with his
clergy, paid the last offices to the remains of the defunct,
ordering the rest of the pilgrims to prepare a place for his
interment before the church-door. Having, therefore, dug
a grave with their staves where the bishop directed, they
returned to the pavement where the corpse lay, with the
bishop standing by, to carry it forth for burial. But it
was so ordered by God that the body was so heavy, that
they were utterly unable to raise it from the spot where
the holy man fell asleep. The bishop and all the spec-
tators were much astonished at this, and consulted together
for some moments what was to be done. At length the
bishop, divinely inspired, said: " This was a most holy
man, and his life, as it is clearly manifest, was well
pleasing to God. I am, therefore, of opinion that he
ought to be interred in a spot more worthy of him, and


that his remains ought to be treated, with all the reve-
rential ceremony which it is in our power to bestow. I
propose, therefore, with the assistance of my clergy, to
offer the holy sacrifice of the mans for the good of his soul,
and you shall prepare a more fitting grave for him near the
altar." The pilgrims giving a willing consent, and the
mass being performed with all reverence, and the grave
carefully made, they raised the corpse without difficulty and
decently interred it before the altar; and there afterwards
many persons suffering from fevers and other disorders were
miraculously cured.
The monks of St. Evroult were filled with grief when
they received intelligence of the death of their reverend
father on the return of his fellow pilgrims to Normandy.
They did not fail of performing faithfully the due offices of
religion for the repose of his soul, and his memory is yearly
kept to the present dap with a solemn service on the
calends [1st] of August. They also studiously adhered to
the religious rules which he had learned from the venerable
abbots Richard of Verdun, William of Dijon, and Theodoric
of Jumieges, and had faithfully transferred to the new
establishment committed to his charge, which rules are still
diligently taught to the novices preparing themselves for
the monastic life.

Ch. V. Robert de Grant-mesnil, second abbot of St. Evroult
--Offends Duke William, and being expelled, becomes abbot
of St. Euphemia in Calabria--Affairs of Normandy, and of
the Normans in Apulia, &c.

In the year of our Lord 1059, the twelfth indiction, the
monks of St. Evroult elected for their abbot, Robert de
Grant-mesnil, considering with reason the many advan-
tages of such a choice, arising both from his illustrious
descent, his zeal for the interests of the community, and his
aptitude and perseverance in business. His election being
ratified by the unanimous assent of the entire chapter, he
was conducted to Evreux by a delegate of the brethren who
presented him to Duke William, and, announcing the elec-
tion, petitioned the duke to confirm it. The duke consent-


ing, invested the abbot elect with the exterior jurisdiction
of the convent by the crosier of Ives, bishop of Seez, and
William, bishop of Evreux, committed to him the interior
cure of souls in matters spiritual, by episcopal consecration
on the eleventh of the calends of July [June 21st].
Robert, thus made abbot, entered diligently on the admi-
nistration of the conventual concerns, making abundant
provision from the wealth of his family of all things neces-
sary for the service of God. Far from diminishing the
proper observances which his pious predecessor had insti-
tuted, he augmented them, having regard to what was
timely and reasonable, and taking for his guide the
authority of the ancients and the practices of neighbouring
communities. While yet a novice he had, by the permis-
sion of the venerable Theodoric, visited the abbey of Cluni,
at the time that Abbot Hugh, the glory of the monastic
order in our days, presided over that community. Return-
ing some time afterwards from Cluni he brought with him,
by the indulgence of the generous Hugh, an illustrious
monk named Bernefrid, who was afterwards made a bishop,
and obtained his assistance while he assimilated the prac-
tices of the monks of St. Evroult to the Clunian model.
During the abbacy of Robert, Mainer, son of Gunscelin
d'Echoufour, came to St. Evroult for his probation: he
afterwards rose to the government of the convent, which he
ruled well twenty-one years and ten months.
At that time Ralph, surnamed Mala-Corona, came to St.
Evroult, where he abode a long time with Abbot Robert,
who was his nephew. As I have before remarked, he was
studious from his childhood, and learnt the secrets of
science with signal success, in the schools of France and
Italy, being deeply skilled in astronomy as well as in gram-
mar and dialectics, and also in music. He was so complete
a master of the art of medicine, that at Palermo, where the
most ancient school of medicine had long flourished, he
was unrivalled except by one most skilful matron. But
although his learning was so extensive and profound, he did
not abandon himself to a peaceful life, but served in the
wars, and often distinguished himself among his comrades
both in council and in the field. The natives of Montreuil
still relate many things which appear to us wonderful con-


cerning his experiments in cases of disease and other
accidents, such as they were witnesses of themselves, or
heard from their fathers, to whom he was well known by
his long residence among them. At last, apprehending the
destruction of a tottering world, and taking the precaution
of a prudent retirement, he despised its luxury, and betook
himself to Marmoutier, a cell dependent on the abbey of
St. Martin at Tours, where for seven years he lived in sub-
mission to the monastic rule under Albert its venerable
abbot. After he had been confirmed in that order, he came
to St. Evroult, by permission of his abbot, to assist his
nephew, who had lately undertaken the government of the
new monastery. This noble soldier having obtained from the
Lord by earnest prayers the disease of leprosy to expiate
the multitude of sins which burdened his conscience, his
nephew gave him a chapel which he had built in honour of
St. Evroult, where he lined for a considerable time, having
the monk Goscelin for his own comfort and the service of
God, and did much good by his counsels to numbers who
flocked to him on account of his deep wisdom and high rank.
At his earnest request, Abbot Robert invited Hugh,
bishop of Lisieux, a true father and director of the monks,
who came and consecrated the chapel in honour of the
holy confessors St. Evroult, St. Benedict, and Leudfrid, on
the second of the nones [6th] of May. Report says that
this church was founded as early as the time of St. Evroult,
and that it was his custom to retire to it, to the exclusion
of all worldly cares, in order that he might devote himself
more earnestly to heavenly contemplations. The site is
pleasant and well suited to a hermit's life. The little river
Carenton flows through a wild valley, dividing the bishopric
of Lisieux from that of Evreux. The summit of the moun-
tain is clothed with a forest, the thick foliage of which
forms a screen from the blasts of the wind; the chapel
stands on the declivity, between the wood and the rivulet,
surrounded by an orchard. A fountain bursts out before
the door, which forms the source of the Ouche, from which
the whole district round derives its name.
It need be no matter of wonder that the bishop of Lisieux
should consecrate a chapel in the diocese of Evreux. At


that time, three prelates of distinguished liberality and
great courtesy presided over adjoining dioceses. Hush, son
of William count d'Eu, was bishop of Lisieux; William,
son of Gerard Fleitel, was spiritual ruler of the people of
Evreux ; and Ives, son of William de Belesme, had the cure
of souls at Seez. These three bishops were then distin-
guished in Normandy for their zeal and unanimity, so that
each of them, as time and circumstances required, adminis-
tered all divine offices on the confines of a neighbouring
diocese the same as if it were his own, without any conten-
tion or jealousy.
At the instigation of the devil, who never ceases from
mischief to mankind, violent hostilities broke out between
the French and the Normans. Henry, king of France, and
Geoffrey Martel, the valiant count of Anjou, crossed the
frontiers of Normandy with numerous forces and committed
great ravages. On the other hand, William, the brave duke
of Normandy, was not slow in taking ample revenge for the
injury done, taking many of the French and Angevins
prisoners, putting some to death, and throwing numbers
into prison, where they long suffered. The reader who de-
sires to make himself acquainted with the particulars of the
attacks and devastations, which ensued on one side or the
other, will find them described in the works of William, a
monk of Jumieges, surnamed Calculus, and William of
Poitiers, archdeacon of Lisieux, who have written the his-
tory of Normandy with great care, and dedicated their
works to William, then king of England, whose favour they
wished to secure.
At that time Robert, son of Giroie, revolted against
Duke William, and, uniting with the Angevins, strongly
garrisoned his castles of St. Ceneri and La Roche d'Ige,
holding them for some time against the attacks of the duke
with Norman troops. But all mortal strength is transitory
and fades like the flower of grass, for this great soldier, after
his gallant actions, while he was making merry as he sat
by the hearth in winter, seeing his wife Adelaide (who was
the duke's cousin) with four apples in her hand, snatched


two of them in sport, unconscious of their being poisoned,
and ate them in spite of all her efforts to prevent him.
The poison made rapid progress, and to the great grief of his
friends, he expired five days afterwards, on the 8th of the ides
[6th] of February. On his death Arnold, son of William de
Giroie, succeeded to the command, in his uncle's place,
encouraging the townsmen by his entreaties and admoni-
tions to defend to the last the inheritance of his father.
But the prudent duke disarmed his hostility with smooth
words, and engaged him by his promises to consent to
peace. Arnold, by the advice of his friends, agreed to the
duke's proposals, and paying his homage, was invested with
the fiefs of Montreuil, Echoufour, St. Ceneri, and all the
domains he inherited from his ancestors. On the peace
being settled, abbot Robert requested permission from the
duke to transfer the body of his uncle, which had lain buried
at St. Ceneri for three weeks, to the abbey of St. Evroult.
The duke at first refused, actuated by his recent animosity;
but being ashamed to keep alive his resentment against the
dead, he presently gave his consent. The abbot lost no time
in translating the corpse of Robert de Giroie to St. Evroult
in a coffin of wood, and honourably buried it in the monks'
cloister. All who were present wondered that, though the
body had lain dead three weeks, no offensive smell was
observed. Some persons pretend that the virulence of the
poison which killed him had dried up all the humours in the
body of the deceased, so that there was nothing to offend
the nostrils of the by-standers.
The monks of St. Evroult were well pleased that Arnold
was restored to his lawful jurisdiction, and with his support
resisted the oppressions of some troublesome persons who
had taken advantage of their defenceless state. In the
time of Abbot Theodoric and Robert his successor, Baldric
and Viger de Bauquencey and their people, had not only
carried themselves insolently towards the monks, and were
insubordinate to them as their lords, but often harassed
them and their servants. Robert, on his becoming abbot,
thought it disgraceful to submit any longer to such
conduct. He therefore, having consulted the brethren, gave
up the rebels to his cousin, that he might chastise with a
soldier's strong hand the stubbornness of men who were too


proud to submit to the gentle rule of the monks. Arnold.
laid upon them the burden of many hard services, compel-
ling them and their people to guard his fortified castles
of Echaufour and St. Ceneri. Upon this they earnestly
entreated abbot Robert and the monks that they would be
pleased to take them again under their own rule, promising
in future entire submission and better conduct. The abbot
and monks, listening to their prayers, besought Arnold to
restore them to their service under the church, which to
those who are humble and well disposed is truly liberal.
At this time Roger, the eldest son of Engenulf de Aquila,
was slain. Engenulf and his wife Richveride came to St.
Evroult in deep grief, entreating the prayers and good
offices of the monks for the good of the souls of themselves
and their eon Roger, which were granted; and they there-
upon offered his best horse to God and the monks. The
horse being very valuable, Arnold begged to have it, yielding
up Baldric and his people with the fief of Bauquencey to be
subject to the monks as before. This was done: Arnold
receiving the horse from his cousin Robert and restoring
Baldric with the land of Bauquencey to his former tenure
under the abbey. Baldric, overjoyed at having escaped
from the burdensome service of Arnold, granted to the
monks a domain which he possessed in the vill of St. Evroult,
as also his land upon the rivulet of Douet Villars, and that
of the Norman Mica and Benignus. Then Baldric swore
fealty to abbot Robert with joined hands, promising suit
and service, and demanding that his fief should not again
be severed from the estates of the monks. They granted
and ratified this, and both Baldric and Robert his son, from
that time to the present day, have done service to none but
the monks for the lands of Bauquencey.
The abbey of St. Evroult stands in the fief of Bauquencey,
and this Baldric was a man of high birth. For Gislebert,
Count de Brionne, nephew of Richard duke of Normandy,
gave his niece in marriage to Baldric the German, who
came into Normandy, with Viger his brother, to take service


under the duke. From this marriage sprung six sons,
besides several daughters, viz.: Nicholas de Basqueville;
Fulk d'Aunoun ; Robert de Conroy; Richard de Neuville,
Baldric de Bauquencey; and Viger of Apulia. They all dis-
tinguished themselves by great valour under Duke William,
from whom they received great riches and honours, and left
to their heirs vast possessions in Normandy.
Baldric who, with his brother Viger, held the fief of
Bauquencey, gave his sister Elizabeth in marriage to Fulk de
Bonneval, a brave knight, and for her dowry the church of
St. Nicholas, built by his father, with the lands adjoining.
Fulk, not forgetful of the life to come, presented to God,
for the good of his soul and those of his kindred, his son
Theodoric, to whom abbot Theodoric was baptismal sponsor,
offering to St. Evroult the youth and the abbey of St.
Nicholas of which we have just spoken. Baldric, Vigor,
and William de Bonneval, readily confirmed these offerings ;
they, anti many others who were present, assisting as legal
witnesses of the gift, for the greater security of the church.
Among them was Roger, son of Tancred de Hauteville, who
afterwards went into Italy, and, by God's help, became
master of a great part of Sicily, having attacked, defeated,
and subdued the Africans, Sicilians, and other nations,
unbelievers in Christ, who ravaged that island. The boy
Theodoric, thus separated from the world and devoted to
God, lived fifty-seven years under the monastic rule, and,
rising to the priesthood by regular degrees, waged his
spiritual warfare with great fidelity.
At that time Guy, surnamed Bollein, great nephew of
the elder Giroie, lived in high honour with his wife
Hodierna in the Corbonnois, and, having gained much wealth
by his military- service, managed his affairs with entire credit.
He had several sons, of whom Norman and Walter served
in the wars, while Godfrey and William, surnamed Gregory,
being devoted to learning, obtained the office of priests.
The aforesaid Guy, by the inspiration of God, and his
natural feeling for abbot Robert, who was his cousin, showed
great regard for the monks of St. Evroult and shut out
from the world and from himself his son William, a boy
about nine years old, whom he placed in the convent of St.
Evroult, to serve God under the; monastic rule, on the feast


of All Saints. Then William le Prevost, a noble knight,
the lad's uncle, gave to St. Evroult the church with the
whole vill of Augeron, vowing himself and the whole of
his substance to the same patron at the end of his life.
By the grace of God the boy William grew up in a virtuous
course and was diligent in his studies, so that his superiors
gave him the surname of Gregory. Carefully nurtured in
the bosom of our holy mother the church, and entirely shut
out from the tumults of the world and carnal indulgences,
he made great advances in those pursuits which are so
especially fitting the sons of the church, being an excellent
reader and chanter, and exceedingly skilled in copying and
illuminating books. The works executed by his own hands
are still very useful to us in reading and chanting, and serve
for examples to deter us from idleness by the exercise of
similar diligence. Assiduous from his very childhood at
the offices of devotion and vigils, and submitting with
moderation even in his old age to fastings and other mace-
rations of the flesh, he was a strict observer of monastic
discipline himself, and a zealous monitor of those who in-
fringed the holy rule. He had committed to his tenacious
memory the Epistles of St. Paul, the Proverbs of Solomon,
and other portions of sacred scripture, which ho quoted in
his daily conversations for the benefit of those with whom
he conferred. Devoted to these pursuits, he has already
spent fifty-four years in the order of monks, and still con-
tinues the practice of good works, in his usual manner,
under abbot Roger, that by ending well he may attain to
the assurance of eternal rest.
While the community at the abbey of St. Evroult was
nobly augmented by the accession of forty monks, and the
monastic rule was there regularly observed according to the
order of the divine Lord, its tame spread far and wide,
disposing numbers of persons to become attached to it.
Meanwhile, some being infected with a rancorous hatred
were punished by the sharp edge of their own malice.
Abbot Robert, endowed with genuine liberality, received
willingly all who came from every quarter to enter on their
probation, and steadily supplied the brethren with all things
necessary for their subsistance and clothing. The revenues
indeed of the abbey, which was situated in a barren district,


were inadequate to supply the abbot's liberality; but, as
it has been already remarked, he often went among his noble
relations and obtained from them the means which he ap-
plied for the benefit of the monks with the willing consent
of the donors.
The old chapel, built by St. Evroult, being a small and
rude edifice, he laid the foundations, in the first year of his
rule, of a new church in a noble style of architecture which
he resolved to dedicate to St. Mary, mother of God, and to
enrich with many altars of the saints. On account also of
the holy relics which were deposited in the old church in
the time of St. Evroult (but on account of the lapse of time
men now living are ignorant of their names, acts, and places
of deposit), he determined to make the new building of
such dimensions that it should include within its walls the
whole of the ancient chapel, and thus for ever honourably
contain the bones and tombs of the saints which lay hidden
within. But he was compelled to desist from his undertak-
ing by the stormy times which began to threaten, and no
one among his successors ventured to carry out the work in
the proportions and on the plan and site which he had
In the year of our Lord 1059, the thirteenth indiction,
Henry, km g of France, after a glorious and prosperous
reign, demanded of John, a physician of Chartres, who from
some accident w-as called the Deaf, a potion which should
restore his health and prolong his life; but, being very
thirsty, under the influence of his inclination more than of
his physician's advice, he made his chamberlain bring him
water privately, while the medicine, passing through his
intestines, gave him great pain, and before they were cleared
by it. Thus, drinking without the knowledge of his leech,
he died, alas ! on the morrow, to the great grief of his peo-
ple. He left the sceptre of France to his son Philip, who
was still of tender years, appointing Baldwin, duke of
Flanders, his guardian and regent of the kingdom. The
duke was a fitting person to undertake his trust, having
married Adela, daughter of Robert, king of France, by
whom he had Robert, the Frisian, the queen of England,


and Eudes, archbishop of Treves, with other children of high
The same year died Frederick, son of Duke Gothelon,
who was also called Pope Stephen, he was succeeded by
Gerard, called also Nicholas This was the third year of
Henry IV., son of Henry Conrad the emperor, and Agnes,
empress, who reigned fifty years, being the eighty-seventh
emperor from Augustus.
Pope Nicholas died A.D. 1063, and was succeeded by Alex-
ander, bishop of Lucca, at which time Sigefred, bishop of
Mayence, and Gunter, of Bamberg, and many other bishops
and nobles, made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem with numerous
At that period, grave dissensions arose between William,
duke of Normandy, and his barons. For one ambitious
man eagerly endeavoured to supplant another, so that bitter
quarrels sprung up from various causes to the great injury
of the wretched people. At this men of a cruel turn of
mind found reason to rejoice, while all who loved piety and
tranquillity were deeply grieved. Among those who regarded
these disputes with satisfaction were Roger de Montgomery
and Mabel his wife, who took the opportunity of gaining the
duke's favour by fair professions, while they exasperated him
against their neighbours by their crafty manoeuvres. The
duke, naturally passionate, gave the reins to his wrath,
more than justice required, disinheriting the distinguished
knights, Rodolph de Toni, Hugh de Grant-mesnil, and
Arnold d'Echaufour, with their barons, and compelling them
to undergo a long exile without any real cause of offence. At
the same time, Robert, abbot of St. Evroult, was cited before
the duke's court, and a day appointed him to answer the


charges which were falsely alleged against him. For Rainer,
a monk of Chatillon, whom he had raised to be prior of St.
Evroult, and had admitted without reserve to his most privy
councils, as a confidential friend, had accused him of certain
words, spoken in jest and thoughtlessly, of the duke's per-
sonal character. Abbot Robert, finding his sovereign to
be violently enraged against himself and his whole kindred,
and bent on their ruin, and having friendly intimation which
satisfied him that. the marquis's anger menaced him with
bodily injury, he determined, by the advice of Hugh, bishop
of Lisieux, to escape from the wrath which threatened him,
before it inflicted any irreparable calamity. Accordingly, on
the sixth of the calends of February [January 27], in the
third year of his rule as abbot [A.D. 1061, after chanting at
vespers the antiphon, Peccata mea, Domine, he took his
departure, and, mounting on horseback with two monks, Fulk
and Urse, travelled through France, and thence proceeded
to present himself to Pope Nicholas, and lay his cane before
Meanwhile, the duke of Normandy, by the advice of the
venerable Ansfrid, abbot of Preaux, Lanfranc, prior of
Bec, and other ecclesiastics, required Rainer, abbot of the
convent of the Holy Trinity at Rouen, to send to him
Osbern, prior of Cormeille, who, little suspecting the duke's
intentions, was by him invested with the dignity of abbot of
St. Evroult in a synod at Rouen, the duke using the crozier
of St. Maurilius, the archbishop, for the investiture.
Thereupon, Bishop Hugh, by the duke's order, conducted
Osbern to Preaux, and there consecrated him abbot; and
then taking him to St. Evroult, at the command of the
imperious duke, set him over the sorrowing monks. This
proceeding caused them the greatest trouble and perplexity
for, while their abbot was still alive, a prelate who had laid
the foundations of the new church, had admitted many of
them into the order, and whose expulsion had been effected,
not by the judgment of a synod on just accusations, but by the
tyrannical will of the imperious marquis, they were reluctant
to receive another ruler; but, on the other hand, they did
not dare openly to refuse, fearing the duke's anger. At


length, by the bishop's advice, they preferred to submit to
the violent intrusion, and to tender their obedience . to the
master provided for them, rather than continue without any
government, being in opposition to the power of God, and
running the risk of ruining the new abbey, by drawing on
themselves the still more violent displeasure of the duke by
resisting his will.
Meanwhile, Arnold d'Echaufour took signal vengeance for
the act which disinherited him, by desolating the district of
Lisieux, plundering and burning, and either putting to the
sword or making prisoners the inhabitants for three years
together. Coming one night to Echaufour, with only four
oxen-at-arms, be secretly gained admission into the castle
with his followers, and, raising great shouts, they so terrified
the garrison which the duke had placed there, consisting of
sixty men, that they deserted the fortifications which it was
their duty to defend, and fled. Arnold forthwith set it on
fire, causing great lose to the enemy. At another time, he
committed the town of St. Evroult to the flames; and his
retainers, with drawn swords in their hands, made a diligent
search in every corner of the monastery for Osbern, the
new abbot, threatening him with instant death. But Provi-
dence had so ordered it, that he was then absent. Some
days afterwards, Herman the cellarer went privately to
Arnold, and gently rebuked him for having threatened the
ruin of an abbey which his father had founded for the repose
of his soul. Arnold listened with reverence to the remon-
strances of the servant of God, and, touched with the
remembrance of his father's piety, bewailed his own ill-con-
duct towards the abbey of St. Evroult, promising in his
penitence a becoming amends. Accordingly, he soon after-
wards cameo St. Evroult, and, offering on the altar a token
of his repentance for his evil deeds, sought absolution,
putting Abbot Osbern in security for the future; for the
cellerer had adroitly insinuated the truth that it was no
ambition of the new abbot which had led to his elevation,
but that he was compelled by the power of the duke, and
instigated by his superiors, to undertake the govern-


ment of the widowed abbey, much against his own
Meanwhile Abbot Robert had made his way to Rome,
where he laid before Pope Nicholas precise details of the
circumstances which had induced him to undertake the
journey. The pope, who was a native of France, received
his countryman with great kindness, heard his complaints
with interest, and promised to support him in his difficult
position. Robert also paid a visit to his relations in Apulia,
where they had obtained possession of many cities and
towns by force of arms. After having a conference with
them, he returned to Normandy, furnished with apostolical
letters, and accompanied by two cardinal's clerks, and boldly
presented himself at the court of Duke William, which he
then held at Lillebonne. Hearing that Abbot Robert with
the papal legates were arrived for the purpose of claiming
the abbey of St. Evroult, and to take proceedings against
Osbern, who was made abbot in his place by the duke's
command, as an intruder on the rights of another, he was
violently enraged, saying that " he would willingly receive
the envoys which the pope, as the common father of Chris-
tians, sent to him, touching the faith and the Christian
religion, but that if any monk in his territories brought
charges against him, he would hang him with contempt on
the highest tree in the neighbouring forest." Bishop Hugh,
hearing this, communicated it to Robert, recommending him
to avoid the presence of the angry prince. He, therefore,
departed in haste, retiring to the abbey of St. Denys, the
apostle of the Gauls, in the neighbourhood of Paris, where
he was received by his cousin Hugh, the venerable abbot,
and was for some time honourably entertained by him, and
others, his friends and relations, who were among the most
powerful of the French nobility. From thence he sent a
message, to Abbot Osbern that both should appear at
Chartres, before the Roman cardinals, when, the controversy
being carefully inquired into, they should both submit them-
selves unhesitatingly to the final judgment of ecclesiastical
authorities, according to the decrees of the sacred canons.


On receiving the summons, Osbern declared that he would
willingly go to the court of Rome; but, by the advice of
others, he did not appear at the appointed time and place.
Whereupon Robert, by means of a servant of the abbey
taken by Arnold, sent letters, by the pope's authority,
excommunicating Osbern as an intruder, and positively
requiring all the monks of the abbey of St. Evroult to sub-
mit to him.
It is impossible to describe the troubles with which the
church of St. Evroult was harassed, both within and
without. Here was Robert, one of their founders, and
their chief ruler, unjustly expelled from his seat, and
compelled to become a fugitive from house to house
in foreign lands; while a stranger was thrust into this
place by the secular arm, who, though a man of ability,
and both religious and zealous for the interests of their
order, was naturally enough suspicious and apprehen-
sive and little disposed to put confidence in the native
brethren. When, therefore, they heard of the excommuni-
cation launched against the intruding abbot, and received
the monition of father Robert commanding his sons to join
him, with the pope's concurrence, some of them, turning
their backs on Normandy, accompanied their abbot to the
apostolic see. Almost all, indeed, were desirous to depart,
but the young and the infirm, being more closely confined,
were obliged to remain against their will. Those who were
strong enough, and who assumed greater liberty, went
into voluntary exile with their venerable father; whose
names are as follows: Herbert and Hubert de Montreuil,
and Berenger, son of Arnold, a skilful penman. These three
monks, carefully educated from their childhood in the Lord's
house, and their minds stored with sound learning, were all
their lives valuable members of a community devoted to
God's service. There were also Reginald the Great, a
skilful grammarian; Thomas of Angers, of noble birth;
Robert Gamaliel, an excellent chanter; Turstin, Reynold
Chevreuil, and Walter the Little. All these abandoning
Neustria, their native soil, after suffering various accidents
reached Sicily, from whence some of them afterwards returned,
while others, devoting their services to their shepherd, even
to the end, closed their days in Calabria.


The lord Mainer, who had been appointed prior by abbot
Robert before he quitted the abbey, first betook himself to Bec
a few days after his departure, and was the first to consult
with Lanfranc prior of Bec, about substituting another
abbot. He therefore implacably offended the father who
had received his first profession. Alarmed at his denun-
ciations, and exposed with shame to the taunts of his parti-
sans, Mainer obtained leave from abbot Osmond to migrate
to Cluni, where he submitted for a year to undergo with
zeal the rigour of that rule under the venerable abbot
Amongst all these changes, the abbey of St. Evroult
suffered great devastations, being robbed of many of the
domains it before possessed. The neighbouring lords, who
were kinsmen or tenants of the Giroies, seeing the right
heirs expelled, inflicted grievous troubles and losses on the
monks of St. Evroult. For each seized a farm, or a church,
or tithes; and the new abbot, being a stranger, was unac-
quainted with all the grants of possessions to the monks,
and he hesitated to inquire of those in whom he placed no
confidence respecting the domains which Robert son of Heu-
gon, and Giroie son of Fulk de Montreuil, Roger Gulafre,
and other evil-disposed neighbours, had usurped. So that
at this period the abbey of St. Evroult lost many estates
which to this hour it has never recovered.
On the death of Pope Nicholas, he was succeeded by
Alexander, to whom abbot Robert presented himself with
eleven monks of St. Evroult, and laid before him at length
the wrongs of himself and his companions in exile. The
pope comforted them with paternal kindness, and assigned
them the church of St. Paul at Rome, where they might
dwell and observe their rule, until they were able to


find a fitting abode for themselves. Robert then called
William de Montreuil to his assistance, a call which he
found him ready to attend to. This knight was standard-
bearer to the pope, and had reduced Campania by force of arms
and brought back the natives who were cut off by various
schisms from catholic unity to submission to St. Peter
the apostle. He gave to his exiled cousin and his monks
the half of an ancient city called Aquina. Robert after-
wards went to Richard prince of Capua, son of Ansquetel
de Quarel, from whom be received much civility, but he did
not carry into effect the promises he made with so much
courtesy. Robert, finding himself deluded by empty hopes,
reproached him in much anger for his degeneracy from his
father, whom he knew well, and taking leave of him, betook
himself to Robert Guiscard, duke of Calabria. The duke
paid him great honours as his natural lord, and begged him
to take up his abode permanently with his monks in his
territory. Robert Guiscard's father, Tancred de Hauteville,
who was born in the Cotentin, had twelve sons and several
daughters by his two lawful wives. He gave up his patri-
monial estate to one of the sons whose name was Geoffrey,
apprising the rest that they must gain their livelihood by
their courage and by their talents beyond the bounds of
their native land. All these young men migrated to Apulia,
not together but at different times, in the guise of pilgrims
with scrip and staff, that they might not fall into the hands
of the Romans. In the course of events they all became
dukes and counts in Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily. Geoffrey,
the monk, surnamed Malaterra, at the instance of Robert
count of Sicily, has lately published an excellent work on
their noble acts, and bold enterprizes. Of these brothers,


Robert Guiscard obtained the highest rank, and was the
moat powerful, having, after the death of his brothers Drogo
and Humfrey long possessed the principality of Apulia, and
conquered the dukedom of Calabria From the Lombards and
Greeks, who struggled hard to defend their ancient rights
and independence, trusting in their great cities and towns,
but were at last reduced to submission by the event of arms.
Crossing the Ionian sea with a small but brave band of
Normans joined by Cisalpine troops, Robert Guiscard in-
vaded Macedonia, twice gave battle to Alexius, emperor of
Constantinople, and put to flight his immense army, defeat-
ing him both by sea and land.
This lord, as I have mentioned before, received with
honour abbot Robert and his monks, assigning to him the
church of St. Euphemia, which stands on the shore of the
Adriatic Sea, where the ruins of an ancient city called
Brescia, and commanding him to build a monastery there
in honour of St. Mary, mother of God. The duke, as well as
other Normans, made large grants to this abbey, commend-
ing themselves to the prayers of the faithful who were
already collected or should be thereafter gathered there for
the service of Christ. In this abbey wax buried Fredesend,
wife of Tancred de Hauteville ; on whose behalf her son
Guiscard endowed the church of St. Euphemia with a large
farm. The same prince committed to father Robert the


abbey of the Holy Trinity in the city of Venosa. Robert
selected Berenger, a monk of St. Evroult, son of Arnold,
who was son of Heugon, whom he presented to Pope Alex-
ander to be admitted to the government of the abbey of
Venosa. Receiving the papal benediction, he administered
it with distinction during the period that Alexander,
Gregory, and Desiderius, filled the apostolical see, but in
the time of Pope Urban he was advanced to the bishopric of
that city, having been elected by the people. Born of a
noble family, Berenger obeyed the monastic rule from his
childhood under abbot Theodoric at St. Evroult, and dis-
played superior talent in reading and chanting, as well as in
the art of copying books. Having in the end, as already
related, followed his abbot into banishment, and been chosen
by him to undertake the pastoral charge of the abbey
at Venosa, he found there only a small company of
twenty monks, very much occupied with worldly vanities,
and very slothful in God's service; but by God's grace he
raised the number of the community to one hundred, and
inspired them with so much zeal for religion, that several of
them were made bishops and abbots, and filled these high
dignities of our holy mother church to the honour of the
true King and the salvation of souls. Moreover, this great
duke committed also a third monastery, built in the city of
Melito in honour of St. Michael the archangel, to abbot
Robert, which he presented to William of Ingran, who was
born and became a clerk at St. Evroult, but whose profession
of a monk was made at St. Euphemia. These three Italian
monasteries therefore follow the usage of the chant at St.
Evroult, and observe the same monastic rule, so far as the
habits of that country and the inclinations of the inmates
Two uterine sisters of Abbot Robert, Judith and Anna,
remained at Ouche in the chapel of St. Evroult, and having
taken the veil apparently renounced the world, and were
devoted to God only, in purity of body and soul. These
nuns, hearing that their brother Robert flourished under the
protection of the temporal power in Italy, and finding
themselves of small account and without support in


Normandy, they went into Italy and relinquishing the veil
gave themselves up with ardour to a worldly life, and both of
them married husbands who were unconscious of their
having taken the vows. Roger, count of Sicily, married
Judith, and another count, whose name I cannot recollect,
married Emma. Thus, from love of the world, both quitted
the veil the emblem of a religious life, and thus rendering
void their first faith, neither were blessed with children, and
for a short interval of temporal felicity they incurred the
displeasure of their heavenly Spouse.
After the departure of Abbot Robert, his uncle Robert
Mala-Corona, perceiving the bitter persecution which was
raging against his relations, and that strangers were ad-
vanced to power in the abbey of St. Evroult which he and his
brothers had founded for the service of God, withdrew from
the chapel of St. Evroult, where, as already mentioned, he
had taken up his abode, and retired to Marmoutier in which
convent he had first made his monastic profession, and where
he soon afterwards made a glorious end on the fourteenth
of the calends of February [19th January], having lived
seven years under the conventual rule.

Ch. VI. William I., duke of Normandy, augments his power
--His marriage with Matilda--Their children--He recalls
the exiled barons.

AT this time, Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou, after a
succession of brilliant exploits and much worldly prosperity,
departed this life. leaving his honours to his nephew
Geoffrey, son of Aubrey count of Gaston, as he had no
children of his own. Geoffrey however was after some time
treacherously made prisoner by his brother Fulk, surnamed
Richin, who usurped his earldom and kept him captive in the
castle of Chinon for thirty years.
In these times William, duke of Normandy, vastly aug-


mented his influence and power, surpassing all the neigh-
bouring sovereigns in liberality and magnificence. He
married the illustrious princess Matilda, daughter of
Baldwin [V.] earl of Flanders, and niece of Henry, king of
France, by his sister. From this marriage, by God's favour,
he had the following sons and daughters; Robert and
Richard, William and Henry, Adeliza and Constance,
Cicely and Adele. There is no lack of materials from which
well-informed historians might compose copious narratives,
if they would apply themselves diligently to hand down to pos-
terity the eventful lives of these illustrious personages. For
ourselves, living in monastic seclusion, intent on the rules of
our order, and not being versed in the affairs of courts, we
will return to the thread of our history, shortly noticing
what falls within our own province.
When war broke out between the Normans and their
neighbours in Brittany and Maine, Duke William, by the
advice of his counsellors, determined on restoring concord
among his own barons, and recalling the exiles. Moved
therefore by the entreaties of Simon de Montfort, and
Waleran do, Breteuil in the Beauvais, and other powerful
friends and neighbours, he recalled Rodolph de Toni and
Hugh de Grant-mesnil, great nobles who had been disinhe-
rited and forced into exile with their followers as before
related, and who were now restored to their hereditary
estates. Arnold also, after levying war for three years,
accepted a truce from the duke, and paid a visit to his friends
and relations who had great possessions in Apulia, from
whence he soon afterwards returned with a large sum
of money and a rich mantle for the duke.

Ch. VII. Osbern, the intrusive abbot of St. Evroult, appeals
to Pope Alexander II--His letter--He is confirmed
--Management of his convent--Musical services.

The storm of troubles with which the abbey of St. Evroult
was beset being somewhat abated, Osbern, the intrusive


abbot who was tortured by great perplexities, and consience-
smitten by the apostolic excommunication launched against
him, took the course, with the advice and consent of the
brethren, of recalling from Cluni the lord Mainer who was
appointed prior of St. Evroult by Abbot Robert, and restor-
ing him to that office, from which Fulcher was now deposed.
This Osbern, son of Herfast, a native of the district of Caux,
was well instructed in literature from his very youth; he
was eloquent in speech, and had a lively genius for the
arts, such as sculpture, architecture, copying manuscripts,
and many things of that sort. He was of middle stature, in
the prime of years, his head covered with a profusion of
black and grey hair. Severe towards the silly and the super-
cilious, he was benevolent to the infirm and the indigent,
and tolerably liberal to humble individuals and foreigners,
being at the same time zealous for his order, and a diligent
purveyor of all the brethren needed, both in their spiritual
and temporal capacity. To the novices he was a strict
disciplinarian, urging them, both with chidings and stripes,
to progress in reading, singing, and writing. He made with
his own hands writing implements for the youths and the
uninstructed, preparing for them tablets overspread with
wax, and required daily from each the portion of work
assigned to them. An enemy to idleness, he had the art of
impressing on the youthful mind profitable pursuits, and
thus prepared for implanting the riches of science in future
years. Osbern was at first a canon of Lisieux, at the time
the lord Herbert was bishop; but being afterwards desirous
of. submitting himself to a stricter rule, he threw off the
secular habit; and, to amend his life according to God's
will, secluded himself in the new monastery which Goscelin
d'Arques had founded on the mount of the Holy Trinity at
Rouen, where Abbot Isembert, a man of singular piety in
our age, then flourished. Abbot Rainier, Isembert's succes-
sor, sent Osbern, after passing his probation in the order, to
establish the monastic rule at Cormeilles, where William
Fitz-Osbern, steward of Normandy, was founding an abbey
in honour of .St. Mary, mother of God. When, however,
Abbot Robert was deprived of his office, in the manner
already described, Osbern was unwittingly and unwillingly


preferred to the government of the abbey of St. Evreux,
which he administered with diligence and success, so far as
the troubles of those unhappy times permitted, for five years
and three months.
By leave of his abbot Rainier, he had brought with him
to St. Evroult a very learned and religious monk whose
name was Witmund, and made use of his counsels and
suggestions as long as he lived. This monk was an
accomplished musician as well as grammarian, of which he
has left us evidence in the antiphons and responses which
he composed, consisting of some charming melodies in the
antiphonary and collection of versicles. He completed the
history of the life of St. Evroult by adding nine antiphons
and three responses. He composed four antiphons to the
psalms at vespers, and added the three last for the second
nocturn, with the fourth, eighth, and twelfth response, and
an antiphon at the canticles, and produced a most beautiful
antiphon for the canticle at the gospel in the second vespers.
The history of the life of St. Evroult had been already written
by Arnulph, precentor of Chartres. a pupil of Fulbert, bishop
of that see, at the request of Abbot Robert, for the use of
his monks; and it was first recited by two young monks,
Hubert and Rodolph, sent for that purpose by the abbot of
Chartres. Afterwards, Reginald the Bald composed the
response, " To the glory of God," sung at vespers, with seven
antiphons which still appear in the service books of the
monks of St. Evroult. Roger de Sap, also, and other
studious brethren produced, with pious devotion, several
hymns having the same holy father for their subject, and
which they placed in the library of the abbey for the use of
their successors.
Abbot Osbern, still tortured with anxiety in consequence
of the apostolical anathema under which he was compelled to
live, determined, on prudent advice, to send an envoy to Rome,
by whom he would humbly implore the papal benediction.


He therefore instructed Witmund, a monk of great sagacity,
to incite a suppliant epistle, which a young monk whose
name was Bernard, with the addition of blather, an excel-
lent penman, was carefully to commit to writing. The
following is the text of this epistle :
" To our apostolical lord, Alexander, vicar of St. Peter,
the common and most excellent father of mankind--his
humble servant at a far distance, Osbern, abbot of St.
Evroult in Normandy, sends health, devoted submission,
and his most earnest supplication.
" Since, holy father, it belongs to your office, in prefer-
ence to and above all other bishops of the church, to extend
your care over the whole of Christendom, to seek zealously
to gain souls, and by your authority to restore concord
where dissensions have arisen, an obscure abbot as I am,
but still clinging to the shelter of your bosom, I lift my
voice to you with intense earnestness of mind, imploring
your indulgence, and beseeching you to deign to interpose
,your righteous authority to deliver me from what I suffer
from certain distractions in the order to which I belong.
The case is this. The abbey of St. Evroult, which I now
possess, was. formerly held by a cousin of your faithful
servant, William of Normandy, the lord abbot Robert, who
for some cause of offence, vacated his office and departed.
Upon this the sovereign prince of that country and the
bishops of the church made me abbot in his place, and, as
they then alleged and still allege, to remove my own doubts
and fears, they duly and according to God's will conse-
crated me to the vacant dignity. I know not whether they
are right; but this I assuredly know, from my own con-
science, that I obtained the style and office of abbot neither
by importunity, nor by bribery, nor by favour, nor by
obsequiousness, or any other crafty device, but that as
far as I am concerned I tools it upon me solely in obedience
to the commands of my superiors, and that in so doing no
charge was brought against me. Abbot Robert has become
the superior of a convent in Calabria, at a great distance
from our country, and there his wrath and hatred are still,
inflamed against me; and he continues to slander and
threaten me, asserting that I have usurped his office con-


trary to the laws of God. This schism is both full of
danger to the souls of those who are placed under my
charge, and places me in great perplexity between the two
parties. For, on the one hand, I do not presume to dis-
obey the bishops of my own province, who assert that I am
regularly appointed, and enjoin me to hold my place; while,
on the other hand, I dread the wrath and hatred of my
accusing brother, especially as w e are both priests and
monks. As indeed the voice of an apostle thunders in our
ears: " He that hateth his brother is a murderer;" who can
sufficiently express the greatness of the crime of a priest
and a monk who hates his brother? And who does not
know that if in this state of mind he presumes to offer the
sacrifice of the altar, he perils his soul?
" Therefore, most apostolical lord, the venerable father of
all Christendom, prostrate on the earth at the feet of your
merciful benignity, I earnestly supplicate with tears and
groans that you who occupy the place of St. Peter in vigi-
lantly feeding the Lord's flock, and guarding them from the
crafty devices of wolves, would be pleased m your zeal for
God to abate by a righteous judgment this fierce contro-
versy between me and the brother of whom I speak, and
altogether remove the present perplexity from my mind.
Accordingly, my prayer is, that by virtue of your authority
you cause to appear both myself and those who took part in
my consecration, together with Abbot Robert, my accuser,
before fit and lawful judges, who shall impartially try the
cause; so that, if it be found that I was rightly instituted to
the office of abbot, I may continue to hold it; if improperly,
I may surrender it. Graciously yielding to this my prayer,
you will fulfil your office in a praiseworthy manner, and
will conduct brothers into the way of peace. For whether
it happens that I have to remain or to depart, my brother's
anger will be set at rest by the decision of the ,judge, and I
shall be freed from perplexity, and shall serve God in peace
and security. O bishop of the bishops of the church, and
father of fathers, the appointed refuge for all who are in
tribulation, I beseech you by the holy power of binding and
loosing which is vested in you over all mankind, listen to
these my words of sincerity, and as far as I ask what is


right, grant what I ask. And that you may believe I speak
the truth, I call the omniscient God as witness, who knows
that in my conscience, the language of my mouth is that of
my heart. In conclusion, most pious lord, I especially
request in all humility that you will be pleased, of your
paternal kindness, to reply by letter under your seal by the
envoy I send, so that T may learn the success of my peti-
tion, and what course you will take in the matter, and when
and where; and having obtained some certainty, my per-
plexities may be at an end, and I may rejoice that I have
raised my voice to a most merciful comforter. Farewell!
Glorious father, most excellent ruler, and supreme head of
the church on earth ; farewell! watch over the Lord's fold;
which may you so do that you may meet the last judgment
in security. Amen."
This letter was carried to Rome by William, priest of St.
Andrew, at Echaufour, and presented to Pope Alexander.
The venerable pontiff read it m the presence of the Roman
conclave. and having carefully examined the matter ab-
solved Osbern at the request of abbot Robert who was
there present, sending back the bearer of the letter re-
joicing to his own country with the papal benediction. As
for Robert, he now despaired of ever returning to Nor-
mandy on account of the wrath of duke William, and being
honourably detained in Calabria, as already mentioned by
Guiscard and the other Normans who had usurped foreign
domains, his former indignation against Osbern was allayed,
and he now kindly interceded with the pope for the man
he had before cruelly attacked by his subtle accusations.
William the priest, having accomplished his mission, re-
turned in safety to those who had sent him, and rejoiced
the hearts of the monks of St. Evroult by relating what he
had seen and heard at Rome.
Osbern, now secure in his office, laudably occupied him-
self both in the interior and exterior duties which devolved
upon him. He only admitted four novices to profession,
on account of the persecution to which he had been subject,
but he diligently and profitably instructed in the sacred
arts those whom he found admitted by his predecessors.
he instituted a yearly anniversary on the sixth of the


calends of July [26th] June, for the fathers and mothers,
and brothers and sisters; of all the monks of St. Evroult.
The names of all the brethren are registered on a long roll
when, called by God, they first make their profession. To
these were added, underneath, those of their fathers and
mothers, and brothers and sisters. This roll was kept near
the altar throughout the year, and an especial commemora-
tion is made before God of the persons inscribed, when the
priest says in celebrating the mass: Animas famulorum,
famularum tuarum, &c., " Vouchsafe to join to the society
of throe elect the souls of thy servants, both men and women,
whose names are written in the roll presented before thy
holy altar." The anniversary on the sixth of the calends of
July, of which we are now speaking, is thus conducted. All
the bells are rung for some time, both night and morning,
for the office of the dead. The roll of the deceased is spread
open on the altar, and prayers are faithfully offered to God,
first for the dead, and afterwards for living relations and
benefactors, and all the faithful in Christ. The morning
mass is solemnly sung by the abbot himself; assisted by all
the clergy in their sacred vestments. The almoner as-
sembles in the convent on that day as many indigent
persons as there are monks, and the cellarer provides each
with a sufficiency of meat and drink in the strangers' apart-
ment, and after the chapter the whole community devotes
itself to the service of the poor as in the Lord's supper.
This institution of Abbot Osbern is still carefully main-
tained in the abbey of St. Evroult, and it is likewise
zealously observed by the monks of Noyon and Bocher-
ville, and others which follow its rules.
The man of God so often named had a particular regard,
as I have said before, for the sick and the poor, supplying
their wants liberally with all things necessary. He there-
fore ordered that seven lepers should, for the love of God,
have a yearly maintenance from the abbey, and that the
portions of seven monks should be daily distributed among
them by the cellarer in meat and drink. This custom was


observed by abbot Osbern and his successor Mainer, as
long as they lived; but when Serlo succeeded, as men's
minds change, the institution was altered, and in the time
of abbot Roger the number of the sick, in the name of the
Lord, was reduced to three.

Ch. VIII. Duke William's invasion of Maine, under cover
of protecting the interests of the young Count Herbert--
Death of his aunt Bertha and her husband by poison, and
of his sister Margaret, the young heiress.

IN the year of our Lord 1064, on the death of Herbert the
younger, count of Maine, duke William crossed the Sarthe
with a strong army, and received with clemency many of the
people of Maine, who submitted to him, remaining under
his dominion for the rest of his life, that is, for twenty-four
years. The young count, after the death of his father
Herbert the elder (who was commonly called Herbert
Watch-dog, on account of the destructive inroads which his
neighbours of Anjou continually made on his territories),
by his mother Bertha's advice, placed himself and his
estates under the protection of the powerful duke of Nor-
mandy. affiancing his sister Margaret to the duke's son
Robert, with the reversion of his earldom of Maine, if he
himself should die without children. But Walter, count of
Pontoise, son of Count Drogo, who had undertaken the
journey to Jerusalem in company with. Robert the elder,
duke of Normandy, and died during his pilgrimage, had mar-
ried Biota, daughter [sister] of Hugh, Count de Maine, who
was the aunt of the young Count Herbert. In right of her
he laid claim to the whole earldom, and had possession of
part of it; for Geoffrey de-Mayenne and Hubert de Sainte-
Susanne, and other powerful adherents of Walter, held the
city, which is the capital of the province, fearing to submit
to the yoke of the Normans, which is always grievous to
those who are subjected to it. While therefore the brave
duke attacked the rebels with vigour, inflicting and suffer-
ing losses, according to the lot of war, Count Walter and
Biota his wife perished together, as the report is, by poison,


treacherously administered by the contrivance of their ene-
mies. On their death, the duke, now assured of success,
attacked the rebels in great force, and recovered the city of
Mans in triumph by the voluntary surrender of the in-
habitants, the lord Arnold, the bishop, going out to meet
him in great pomp, with a procession of clergy and monks
carrying banners and crosses.
Meanwhile, Geoffrey de Mayenne, envying the duke's
success, sought all the means in his power to injure him, by
encouraging his enemies, and contriving various ways of
inflicting evil. The duke bore his insolence for a while, that
he might have an opportunity of punishing him without
injury to others. But, as he persisted in his obstinacy, the
duke put in motion a large force, and took his town of
Ambrieres, burning also Mayenne after a long siege. By
reducing these two fortresses, he humbled the pride of
Geoffrey, and thus compelled the most formidable of the
nobles of Maine to do him homage, although he had
persuaded other malcontents to join him in his resistance.
On his submission, almost all his accomplices and the sup-
porters of his rebellion were struck with consternation, and
compelled to fear and obey William, a prince who was evi-
dently protected by divine Providence. The duke entrusted
the beautiful Margaret to the care of Stigand, the powerful
baron of Mesidon, to be brought up in his family, but before
she became marriageable, she was snatched away from the
vanities of the world, and, dying happily, rests in peace,
being buried at Fecamp, in the noble and flourishing monas-
tery founded in honour of the holy and undivided Trinity.
At that time Robert de Gace, son of Rodolph, son of
Robert the archbishop, died childless, whereupon Duke Wil-
liam, his cousin, united his whole inheritance to his own
domains. He also gave the lands of Robert de Vitot, who
was banished for assassinating Count Gislebert [de Brionne],
to Geoffrey Mancel, brother of the viscount Hubert; from


whom the lord Osbern, abbot of St. Evreux, bought the
will called Douet-Artus, with Tronquet and Mesnil-Joscelin.
Duke William granted and confirmed it by a charter in pre-
sence of the barons of Normandy, William Fitz-Osbern,
Richard d'Avranches, son of Turstin, Roger de Montgomery,
and many others mentioned in the charter.
However, Robert de Vitot, after some time reconciled
himself with the duke, and, being restored to his lordship,
laid claim to the land just mentioned against the abbey of
St. Evroult, but not long afterwards the war with England,
in which he was wounded in the cheek, being ended, he fell
sick of a mortal disease. Finding his end approaching, he
freely gave all the land which he claimed to the faithful
servants of God for the repose of his soul. This gift to
St. Evroult was made at Dover, before Odo, bishop of
Baieux, Hugh de Grant-mesnil, Hugh de Montfort, and
Hugh, son of Fulcold, and many other persons of high and
low condition.
This knight had forty nephews, all proud of their rank of
knighthood, and engaged in such fierce contests with each
other, that his inheritance has scarcely ever been suffered to
rest undisturbed to the present day: for Matthiel and
Richard, his brother, Nigel, and Rualod the Breton, Nigel's;
son-in-law, succeeded at different times, and by their evil
devices wrought much mischief. Every one of these claimed
the lands before named from the abbey of St. Evroult, but
the judgment of God who is everywhere the mighty pro-
tector of his church, compelled them to desist from their
unjust attacks. It was Matthiel who, with great menaces,
made the attempt to rob the church of her possessions
during the reign of the great duke William; and Richard
and other claimants during those of his brothers William
Rufus and Henry; but the King of kings, helping his
servants, they were unable to accompli; H their wicked

Ch. IX. Arnold d'Echoufour poisoned--Fortunes of the
great family of Giroie in Normandy and Apulia after his

Arnold d'Echoufour, son of William Giroie, returning
successful from Apulia, presented himself at the court of


Duke William, and, offering him a magnificent mantle,
humbly entreated that his inheritance might be restored.
The duke, taking into consideration the high birth and dis-
tinguished valour of this nobleman, and his own great want
of brave soldiers for his wars with the people of Maine, the
Bretons; and his other enemies, took a more lenient view of
his offences, and, making a truce with him, promised to
restore his patrimony; meanwhile giving him free liberty of
passing and repassing through his territories for a limited
time. The duke's empty promises caused Arnold great
satisfaction, but without just reason, as we shall presently
see. For Mabel, the daughter of Talvas, poisoned the
refreshments which she ordered to be set before him as he
was returning from the court of the duke to France; but a
friend of Arnold's gave him notice of the treachery
intended. While, therefore, he was conferring with some of
his friends at Echoufour, and was earnestly invited by
Mabel's attendants to partake of the entertainment, he would
on no account consent, remembering the friendly warning,
and utterly refusing all meat and drink which be suspected
to be poisoned. But Gislebert, the brother of Roger de
Montgomery, who had conducted him there, and was quite
unconscious of the treacherous design, took a cup, without
dismounting from his horse, and, drinking the poisoned
wine, died in consequence on the third day afterwards at
Remalord : so that this perfidious woman, attempting to
destroy her husband's rival, caused the death of his only
brother, who was in the flower of his youth, and much dis-
tuiguished for his chivalrous gallantry. Not long afterwards,
lamenting the failure of her first attempt, she made another
not less deadly effort to accomplish the object of her desires.
By means of prayers and promises she worked on Gulafre,
-Arnold's chamberlain, till she had bent the false retainer to
her nefarious wishes. She then prepared the poisoned drink,
which the chamberlain presented to his master, and to Gi-
roie de Courville, and William, surnamed Gouet de Mont-
mirail. Thus the three nobles imbibed the venom of the
poison at Courville, at one and the same time; but Giroie
and William, who were carried to their own homes, where


they could command all necessary care, by the mercy of God
aiding the skill of the physician, recovered, while Arnold,
who, as a banished man, had no means of securing proper
attentions in the house of a stranger, languished for some
days, and at length, the disorder increasing, breathed his
last on the calends [lst] of January. The day before he
died, being alone in his chamber in bed, he saw clearly, and
not in a dream, an old man of a noble presence, whom he
took for St. Nicholas, who addressed him to this effect:
" Brother, trouble yourself not about your bodily health, for
it is certain that you will die to-morrow, but direct your
utmost efforts towards saving your soul, at the scrutiny of
the ,just and eternal Judge." With these words the old
man suddenly vanished, whereupon the sufferer sent imme-
diately to St. Evroult to request that some of the brethren
of the abbey would visit him. Without delay they sent
Fulk de Guernauville to Courville. It was there that the
knight of whom we are speaking spent three years during
his exile, with Giroie, the lord of that town, who was his
kinsman and friend, and from thence, with the aid of the
people of Corbon, Dreux, and Mortagne, and all others he
could summon to his assistance, he carried on a desperate
warfare to revenge his banishment. The sick man rejoiced
greatly at Fulk's speedy arrival and, making known to him
the vision which he had seen the day before, he renounced
the world, and professed himself a monk with a tender
devotion of soul. Then, lamenting his sins, he died the
name day, and his body was carried to St. Evroult, and there
honourably interred by the lord abbot Osbern and the whole
community in the monks' cloister.
On the death of Arnold, the noble family of Giroie fell
entirely to decay, and, to this day, no one of their posterity
has been able to recover the rank of his ancestor. Arnold
had married Emma, daughter of Turstin, surnamed Halduc,
by whom he had William and Reginald, Petronilla and Geva,
and other sons and daughters. Thus, losing their father in
their tender years, when he was in the flower of his youth,
and being settled in the houses of strangers, as we have
already noticed, they were exposed from infancy to poverty,
and all sorts of mortifications. Their mother found a refuge
with her brother Odo, steward of the duke of Normandy,


who dwelt in the Cotentin, and was distinguished for his
wealth and power among the Norman nobles. She lived
with him and her other friends almost thirty years in
honoured widowhood, being greatly respected for her
chastity, gentleness, and other good qualities; and towards
the close of her life, renounced the world, and took the veil
with mush devotion at the hands of the lord Robert, abbot
of the Holy Trinity, at Lessai.
William d'Echaufour, the eldest of Arnold's sons, had
scarcely arrived at the age of puberty when he repaired to
the court of Philip, king of France, who appointed him his
squire, and afterwards knighted him for his good service.
He afterwards went into Apulia, where he had kinsmen of
high rank, and, being kindly entertained, advanced himself
greatly by his gallant actions. He took to wife a noble lady
of a Lombard family, and obtained possession of thirty
castles under Robert, count of Loritello, Guiscard's nephew.
The marriage was fruitful, and he had many children of both
sexes, and, forgetting Normandy, lived almost forty years
among the Lombards in great honour.
Reginald, the youngest son of Arnold, had been entrusted
by his father, three months before his death, to Abbot
Osbern, and was carefully educated at St. Evroult under the
regular discipline of the abbey, receiving from the abbot the
surname of Benedict, on account of his sweetness of
disposition. His father, on offering him to God as a monk,
had granted a plough-land at St. Germain's, in the parish of
Echaufour, to the abbey of St. Evroult, which it long since
lost, in the troubles to which Arnold and his heirs were
exposed, as already related. The youth was only five years
old when he submitted to the monastic yoke, which he has
steadfastly borne for fifty-two years. under four successive
abbots, both in prosperity and adversity. He fully learned
the arts of reading and singing, which he taught to others
without any mistakes, when he arrived himself at mature
yearn. His vigorous memory enabled him to relate with


great fulness whatever he had seen or heard, and his
companions were frequently charmed with his recitals from
the sacred scriptures, and the statements of the learned. It
was his study to gain the affections of the gentle, and modest,
and teachable among the neophytes, by his affability and
condescension; but he stoutly contradicted the conceited,
and pretenders, and inventors of novelties. Twice he
undertook journeys, by permission of Abbot Roger, and for
the behests of the abbey of St. Evroult, as far as Apulia, and
in that foreign land found his brother William, and many
other relations possessed of great wealth. He remained
nearly three yearn in Calabria, with William, abbot of St.
Euphemia, son of Humfrey de Tilleul, and on his return
brought back a cope of purple and white, the gift of Abbot
Humfrey, who was his cousin, to the church of St. Evroult.
From his infancy, Reginald observed the monastic rules with
praiseworthy regularity, and zealously assisted at the offices
of divine worship, both in the day and the night. I have
often remarked him performing the chant with such
indefatigable zeal that scarcely a single versicle was sung in
the choir by others, in which he did not take a part. But as
it is written: " Many are the sorrows of the righteous," he
suffered much tribulation, both from within and without.
For, being firm and severe to the froward, and disdaining to
flatter the hypocritical, he was frequently subject to their
attacks of various kinds. The eye of God seeth all things,
and condemns with discriminating judgment even those
which to men appear laudable, and he has afflicted our
brother Reginald with infirmity of body, from his infancy,
and that the just may be further justified, continues to
this time, to increase the weakness of his limbs. While he
was yet a boy, as he never spared himself, and seemed
stronger for every kind of labour than the rest of the
brotherhood, he ruptured himself while carrying earth, and,
not allowing himself any rest, the hernia became incurable.
In short, he has now for seven years suffered such extreme
torture, that he is neither able to raise his hand to his
mouth, nor to do any office for himself without assistance.
Almighty God, who healest those who are broken in heart,
have mercy upon him! Purge him from all stain of sin,


deliver him from the irksome prison of the flesh, and admit
him into the company, of thy servants in rest eternal!
The two daughters of Arnold, on the death of their father,
and their consequent destitution, chose rather to render
themselves acceptable to God by their modest conversation,
than to attain worldly prosperity by the perishing charms
of their personal beauty. Both, therefore, dedicated their
virginity to the Lord, and gave up the world to become nuns.
Petronilla tools the veil in the convent of St. Diary, at
Angers, for a long time diligently observing the rules
submitted to by consecrated virgins; and afterwards for ten
years within the enclosure, she became remarkable far and
wide by her character for her sanctity and her exemplary
virtues. Her sister Geva, taking the veil under the abbess
Beatrice, in the convent of the Holy Trinity at Caen,
founded by Queen Matilda, long practised and taught the
holy rule, to her own profit and that of others.

Ch. X. The castle of Neuf-Marche in the Beauvais com-
mitted to the custody of Hugh de Grant-mesnil--Events
there--Death of Osbern, abbot of St. Evroult.

WILLIAM, the illustrious marquis of Normandy, finding that
the people of Beauvais were making efforts to ravage the
borders of his territory, expelled Geoffrey, the lawful heir,
from the castle of Neuf-Marche, for some trivial offence,
and entrusted the defence of it to several of his barons; but,
by reason of the continual inroads of the people of Milli, and
Gerberoi, and other neighbours, hardly any one of them
was able to hold it for a single year. At length the great
duke committed the castle to Hugh de Grant-mesnil, who
was eminent for skill and courage, joining with him Gerold,
his high steward, and granting to Hugh one moiety of the
fief. He did thin by the advice of Roger de Montgomery,
who was jealous of a bravery too nearly resembling his own,
and sought to bring him into disgrace by some device or


occurrence. Hugh, however, thankfully accepted the
custody of the fortress, and, by God's help, in the
course of a year, took two of the chief leaders of the men of
Beauvais prisoners, and, striking terror into the rest of the
enemy, restored tranquillity through all the country in that
Four canons were in possession of the church of St. Peter
the apostle at Neuf-Marche, but they were negligent in the
performance of divine worship, and led a very worldly life.
The noble Hugh, therefore, gave the moiety of the church
which belonged to him to the abbey of St. Evroult, upon the
terms that, upon the death of the canons, or their avoidance
from any other cause, they should be succeeded by monks
which was carried into effect. For two of the canons who
had been instituted to the portion held by Hugh, taking
their departure, monks were appointed in their place, and
have continued in possession of a moiety of the preferment
to the present day; Robert the Bald, Ralph de la Roussiere,
and John de Beaunai, and other excellent men, resided
On a certain occasion there was a violent quarrel between
Count Hugh, so often named, and Ralph, count of Mantes,
father-in-law of Philip, king of France. and Hugh, boldly
encountering the count of Mantes with inferior forces, was
compelled to retreat. In the flight Richard de Heudicourt,
of the Vexin, was wounded; for, urging his horse to full
speed at the ford of the river Epte, he received in his back a
sharp thrust, by the lance of a knight who pursued him.
Being carried by his comrades to Neuf-Marche, and fearing
he should die, by the advice of Count Hugh, to whose family
he was attached by military services, he vowed that in
future he would serve under the monastic rule in the
exercises of virtue. He therefore sent for the monks of St.
Evroult, and put himself under the government of Abbot
Osbern. Afterwards, by the mercy of God, who, in
different ways snatches sinners from the pit of de-
struction, he somewhat recovered his health, though it was
never entirely restored, living for seven years a zealous
member of the order, and benefiting the church in various


ways. Having neither wife nor child, he, after his being
wounded, voluntarily ceded his patrimony in the Vexin to
the church of St. Evroult, and procured from his uncle
Fulk, and Herbert the butler (who was lord of the fief), as
well as from his other relations, the entire surrender of their
interest in the property. His wound was never entirely
closed, and there issued from it daily, so those who were
witnesses report, as much matter as would fill the egg of a
goose; he zealously observed the conventual rules, and
cheerfully performed the duties of his order. He went
either on foot or on horseback wherever he was ordered, on
the business of the convent, which he forwarded both by
word and deed to the utmost of his ability. In consequence,
Abbot Osbern esteemed him more than the other monks,
and placed entire confidence in him, so that when he planned
the new church, which he commenced building, he made him
the overseer of the works, with the charge of the expenditure,
and the superintendence of the atone-cutters.
At the instance of thin Richard, and by his advice, Abbot
Osbern undertook a journey to France, and made the
acquaintance, through his agreeable conversation, of the
eloquent Robert, and of Herbert de Serranz, and Fulk de
Chaudri, with other knights and persona of inferior rank in
the Vexin, and took possession of the domain of Heudicourt
for the abbey of St. Evroult, with the consent and
approbation of the aforesaid nobles and their neighbours.
On his return he took to his bed, and, his sickness
increasing, he caused himself to be carried into the chapter,
and ordered the letter, which, as before mentioned he
addressed to Pope Alexander, to be distinctly read. This
he did that all might clearly understand that he had not
usurped the rights of Abbot Robert, but had undertaken the
government of the abbey against his own wishes, but in
compulsory obedience to the will of others. He then
strengthened the brethren by his exhortations, entreating
them to regard his errors with indulgence, and to cherish his
memory. And so, having made his confession and partaken
of the holy communion of the body of our Lord, he expired,
surrounded by the monks devoutly chanting litanies for him,
on the sixth of the calends of June [27th May]. having


governed the abbey of St. Evroult five years and three
months. On the morrow, Vitalis, abbot of Bernai, came to
bury his friend, and interred him in the cloister of the
monastery, near the church of St. Peter, prince of the
apostles, from whence, seventeen years afterwards, his
successor Mainer transferred his remains, with the bones of
Witmund, his companion, into the new chapter-house.

Ch. XI. Death of .Edward the confessor--Duke William's
preparations for the invasion of England.

IN the year of our Lord 1068 [the fourth indiction], in the
month of April, there appeared in the zodiac, for fifteen days
together, a star called a comet, which, as clever astrologers,
who have keenly investigated the secrets of nature, assert,
portended a revolution. For Edward, king of England, the
son of King Ethelred by Emma, daughter of Richard the
elder, king of Normandy, had died just before. and Harold,
Earl Godwin's son, had usurped the English throne. Guilty
as he was of perjury, cruelty, and other iniquities, he had
now held it three months, to the great injury of many
persons, inasmuch as his unjust usurpation had occasioned
violent animosities between different families, from which
mothers had to bewail the loss of their sons, and wives of
their husbands. There is no doubt that Edward had
bequeathed the realm of England to his kinsman William,
duke of Normandy, announcing it, first by Robert archbishop
of Canterbury, and afterwards by Harold himself, and, with
the consent of the English, malting the duke heir to all his
rights' Moreover Harold had taken the oath of allegiance


to duke William at Rouen, in the presence of the nobles of
Normandy, and doing him homage had sworn on the holy
relics to all that was required of him. After that, the duke
took Harold with him in an expedition against Conan, count
of Brittany. presenting him and his retinue with noble war


horses, splendid armour, and other gifts of value, in the
presence of the army. This Englishman was distinguished
by his great size and strength of body, his polished manners,
his firmness of mind and command of words, by a ready wit
and a variety of excellent qualities. But what availed so
many valuable gifts, when good faith, the foundation of all
virtues, was wanting? Returning to his country, his am-
bition tempted him to aspire to the crown, and to forfeit
the fealty he had sworn to his lord. He imposed upon King
Edward, who was in the last stage of decay, approaching his
end, by the account he gave of his crossing the sea, his
journey to Normandy, and the result of his mission, falsely
adding that Duke William would give him his daughter in
marriage. and concede to him, as his son-in-law, all his right
to the throne of England. The feeble prince was much
surprised at this statement; however, he believed it, and
granted all the crafty tyrant asked.
Some time afterwards, King Edward, of pious memory,
died at London on the nones [fifth] of January, in the
twenty-fourth year of his reign, and was interred in the new
monastery which he had just built on the western side of
the city, and at the consecration of which he had been pre-
sent the week before. His body was laid near the altar
which St. Peter the apostle had blessed with the working of
miracles in the time of Mellitus, bishop of London. On the
very day of the funeral, when the people were bathed in
tears for the loss of their beloved king, Harold caused
himself to be crowned by Archbishop Stigand alone,
though the pope had suspended him from his functions for
certain crimes, without the concurrence of any other bishops
and the earls and barons of the realm. When the English
were apprized of the bold usurpation effected by Harold,
they were very indignant and some of the most powerful
lords, resolved on an obstinate resistance, refused to offer


him any token of submission. Others, not knowing how to
free themselves from the yoke imposed upon them, which
soon became firmly fixed, and, on the other hand, consider-
ing that they could neither depose him, nor while he held
the reigns of government set up another king to the
advantage of the realm, submitted to the usurpation, conso-
lidating the power which he had already established. In a
short time the throne which had been iniquitously seized
was stained by horrible crimes.
The earls Edwin and Morcar, sons of Algar the first of
the English earls, were attached by the strictest ties to
Harold, and employed all their efforts to support his cause,
he having married their sister Edith, who had been the
queen of Griffith a powerful king of Wales, to whom she
bore Blethyn, his successor, and a daughter named Nesta.
Tostig, however, Earl Godwin's son, finding that his brother's
enterprise proved successful, and that the kingdom of
England was subject to great oppression, was much dis-
tressed, and determined to oppose him and even to levy war
against him. Wherefore Harold violently deprived him of
his father's earldom, which as eldest son he had held for
sometime during the reign of Edward. and drove him into
exile. Tostig, thus banished, took refuge in Flanders,
where he committed his wife Judith to the care of his
father-in-law Baldwin, earl of Flanders, and then hastening to
Normandy strongly remonstrated with Duke William for


suffering his perjured vassal to usurp the crown of England,
which he pledged himself the duke would secure if he
crossed the channel with a Norman army. These princes
hid been long attached to each other, having married two
sisters, through whom their regard was frequently revived.
William therefore received his companion with open arms,
and thanking him for his friendly suggestions, and roused by
his exhortations, assembled the barons of Normandy to
consult with them publicly on what was to be done with
regard to an enterprise of such vast importance.
At that time Normandy was favoured by possessing many
accomplished prelates and illustrious nobles. Maurilius,
who from a monk became a metropolitan, was archbishop of
Rouen; Odo, the duke's uterine brother, was bishop of
Baieux ; Hugh, brother of Robert Count d'Eu, was bishop of
Lisieux; William of Evreux ; Geoffrey of Coutances ; John,
son of Ralph, count of Bayeux, was bishop of Avranches ;
and Ivo, son of William de Belesme, of Seez. All these
prelates were distinguished by the splendour of their noble
extraction, their zeal for religion, and their many excellencies.
Foremost in the ranks of the laity stood Richard, count
of Evreux, son of Archbishop Robert; Count Robert, son
of William viscount d'Eu; Robert, earl of Morton, uterine
brother of Duke William; Rodolph de Conches, son of
Roger Toni, standard-bearer of Normandy; William Fitz-
Osbern, the duke's cousin and high steward; William de
Warrene, and Hugh Boteler; Hugh de Grant-mesnil and
Roger de Moubray ; Roger de Beaumont, and Roger de
Montgomery, Baldwin and Richard, sons of Count Gislebert,


with many others whose valour had gained them military
distinction, and whose native sagacity and decision in coun-
cil were not inferior to the matured virtues of the Roman
senate, but aspired to imitate them both in their inde-
fatigable constancy, and the talent and courage they em-
ployed in conquering their enemies.
All these were summoned by the duke's command to a
general consultation; and upon an affair of so much import-
ance being submitted to their consideration, opinions were
divided according to the differences in men's minds. The
more daring spirits, willing to flatter the duke's ambition,
encouraged their comrades to plunge into the contest, and
were for engaging in so great an enterprise without hesi-
tation. Others were opposed to an undertaking of so
much difficulty, pointing out to those who were too venture-
some, and were running headlong to destruction, its great
inconveniences and perils; they magnified the obstacles
presented by the want of a fleet and the dangers of the
voyage, and alleged that a handful of Normans were une-
qual to the conquest of the numerous hosts of the English.
At length the duke sent Gislebert, archdeacon of Lisieux,
to Rome, to ask for advice from Pope Alexander on the
state of affairs. On hearing all the circumstances, the pope
favoured the legitimate rights of the duke, enjoined him to
take up arms against the perjurer, and sent him the stand-
ard of St. Peter the apostle, by whose merits he would be
defended against all dangers.
Meanwhile, Tostig received the duke's permission to
return to England, having firmly engaged to assist him,
both in his own person and with all his friends. But as it
is written: " Man proposes, but God disposes," things


turned out very differently from what he expected. For
embarking from the Cotentin. he was unable to reach
England. Harold held possession of the channel with a
large fleet and the coasts with strong bodies of troops, in
order to prevent the enemy from landing in the kingdom he
had treacherously usurped without a severe conflict. Tostig
was therefore in great perplexity, it being out of his power
to make a hostile descent on England with his small force in
the face of innumerable enemies, nor could he direct his
course back to Normandy, the winds being contrary.
Driven to and fro alternately by winds from the west, the
south, and other quarters, he was exposed to great distress
and encountered many perils while wandering over the sea,
until at last, after severe sufferings, he landed in the domi-
nions of Harold, king of Norway, surnamed Harfager.
Being well received by this prince, and perceiving that he
could not fulfil the promises he had made to Duke William,
he altered his plans, and thus addressed him: " Great king,
I come a suppliant to your highness, offering myself and
my faithful services to your majesty, in the hopes that, by
your aid, I may be restored to my hereditary rights. My
brother Harold, who in truth ought to submit to me as his
elder brother, has treacherously magnified himself against
me, and even presumed, at the price of perjury, to usurp
the English crown. Knowing therefore, your pre-eminence
in power, and in forces, and every excellence, I earnestly
entreat you, as one prepared to do you homage, to render
me your powerful assistance. Humble the pride of my
perfidious brother by a hostile invasion of England; and
reserving one half of it for yourself, confer the other on me,
who will thenceforth preserve my fealty to you unbroken as
long as I live." The ambitious king was highly pleased
at this proposal. He immediately ordered an army to be
assembled, warlike engines to be prepared, and the royal
fleet was, during the six months following, completely
equipped. The exiled wanderer encouraged the Norwegian
king to this great enterprise, and by this skilful change in


his plans, while it flattered the king and saved himself from
being treated as a spy, afforded him the opportunity of
obtaining revenge for his banishment by his faithless bro-
Meanwhile, the marquis of Normandy was malting pre-
parations for his own enterprise, uninformed of the disasters
which had befallen his precursor, and had driven him north-
ward so far out of his intended course. A fleet of ships
was carefully fitted out in Normandy, supplied with all
necessaries, in building which both the clergy and laity
rivalled each other in contributing both funds and labour.
barge bodies of troops were raised by a general levy
throughout Normandy. Reports of the expedition drew
many valiant men from the neighbouring countries, who
prepared their arms for battle. Thus the French and Bre-
tons, the Poitevins and Burgundians; and other people on
this side the Alps, flocked together for the war over the
sea, and scenting the booty which the conquest of Britain
offered, were prepared to undergo the various perils and
chances, both by sea and land, attending the enterprise.


Ch. XII. Mainier appointed abbot of St. Evroult, and
Lanfranc of .St. Ouen--A new church and other buildings
erected at St. Evroult--The monks farm and reclaim a
barren estate in the Vexin.

WHILE these transactions were taking place, Osbern, abbot
of St. Evroult, departed this life, as already related, and the
chapter of the monks consulted the duke, before he crossed
the sea, about appointing a successor. He was then hold-
ing a council of his nobles at Bonneville. In consequence,
by the advice of Bishop Hugh and other prudent counsellors,
he chose the prior Mainier, and invested him with the
temporalities of the abbey by the delivery of the pastoral
staff, commanding him to have the forms which should com-
mit to him the cure of souls duly complied with; all which
he willingly performed.
On the same day, the duke commanded the lord Lan-
franc, prior of Bec, to appear before him, and gave him the
abbey which he himself had just nobly founded at Caen in
honour of St. Stephen the proto-martyr. Lanfranc was
therefore the first abbot of Caen, but shortly afterwards he
was promoted to the archbishopric of Canterbury. He
was a native of Lombardy, deeply versed in the knowledge
of the liberal arts, gifted with benevolence, generosity, and
all the sacred virtues, and ceaselessly intent on almsgiving
and other good works. Indeed, from the day already men-
tioned, when at Bonneville he was first raised to rule in
the church, for twenty-two years and nine months he was
nobly distinguished for the good to multitudes of the faith-
ful in the house of God.
By the duke's command, the venerable Bishop Hugh
conducted Mainier, the Lord's servant, to St. Evroult, and
there consecrated him according to the statutes of the
canons before the altar of St. Peter the apostle, on the
seventeenth of the calends of August [July 16th]. Mainier,
having thus taken on him the name and office of abbot,


lived worthily, administering the government twenty-two
years and seven months with great usefulness, for, by God's
help, he made great improvements in the monastery com-
mitted to him, both within and without. He skillfully
succeeded, by his kindness of manner and reasonable argu-
ments, in satisfying the brethren who were somewhat dis-
turbed at his election. They had selected for, their
governors two monks, eminent for their piety and their
erudition of both sorts, Reginald de la Roche and Fulk de
Guernauville, and were, therefore, at no little variance with
the abbot who was set over them, without their concur-
rence, by the bishop and their neighbours. Often, on occa-
sions of this sort, disturbances are made by the worst of
persons; for while the perverse strive earnestly to give the
preference to their own opinions, regular order and sounder
counsels are hindered. But Almighty God extends his
powerful protection to his church in all difficulties, cor-
recting those who are in error, and mercifully lending the
aid which is needed, in the manner and by the persons he
seeth fit. His good providence it was, as will hereafter
plainly appear, which raised Mainier to the government of
the abbey of St. Evroult, standing as it did in a barren
territory and surrounded by most worthless neighbours.
Mainier was born in the adjoining town of Echaufour, he
was an accomplished scholar in grammar, dialectics, and
rhetoric; skilful and severe in eradicating vices, he was
zealous in inculcating virtue among the brethren. A dili-
gent observer of the monastic rule, he pointed out the way,
of life both by word and deed to those who were committed
to his charge, and encouraged many to work in the Lord's
vineyard, both by being their leader and their anxious com-
Mainier began building the new church dedicated to St.
Mary, mother of God, St. Peter the apostle, and St. Evroult
the confessor, in which are seven altars consecrated to the
divine majesty in honour of his saints. For the old church
which St. Evroult had founded in honour of the prince of
the apostles, when Chilperic and his nephew Hildebert were
kings of the Franks. was much dilapidated by the great


age, and was too small for the number of the monks, which
was continually increasing. A building of stone at Ouche
is a very laborious undertaking, because the quarry of
Merlerault from whence the hewn stones are brought, is six
miles distant. The overseer of the work had therefore the
greatest difficulty to procure horses, oxen, and carts, for the
transport of the masses of stone and other materials re-
quired for so large a work. This abbot had not a moment's
repose during the whole time of his rule ; but by his great
anxiety for numerous objects, rendered important services,
both to the community then governed by him and their
successors. By God's help and the contributions and
munificence of the brethren and his friends he completed
the building of a spacious and beautiful church, conveniently
adapted for celebrating divine service, a dormitory and re-
fectory, kitchen, and cellar, with other necessary offices for
the use of the monks. Among others, Lanfranc, archbishop
of Canterbury, when he assisted at the consecration of the
church of Caen, in the twelfth year after the war with
England. remitted to abbot Mainier twenty-four pounds of
English money and two marks of gold, and he afterwards sent
over from Canterbury forty pounds sterling by the hands
of the lord Roger de Sap, who was known and esteemed by
him for his learning. With these donations the abbey
tower was carried up, and the dormitory for the monks
built. Queen Matilda gave a rich mitre and cope for divine
service, and one hundred pounds of Rouen currency to
build the refectory. William de Ros, clerk of Baieux, who
held three dignities in that church, being precentor, dean,
and archdeacon. gave forty pounds sterling to the monks
of St. Evroult. Nat long afterwards he voluntarily relin-


quished the grandeur of the world, and became a monk at
Caen, from whence he was preferred to the government
of the abbey of Fecamp before he had completed the first
year of his monastic profession. His name is inscribed in
the register of the monks of St. Evroult, for the many
benefits he conferred on the abbey, and masses, prayers,
and alms were appointed for him as if he had been a brother
there professed. It was by the help of these and other
contributors that the fabric of the new church was raised,
and the work begun both in that and the abbey buildings
was nobly finished.
During the government of abbot Mainier, ninety monks
of various ranks and conditions, whose names are inscribed
in the general register, put off the secular habit in the
school of St. Evroult, and inspired by the counsels and
example of excellent men, undertook to walk in the difficult
path which leads to salvation. Some of these obtained the
prize of their holy conversation during the lifetime of their
venerable father; others remained longer in their religious
course steadfastly maintaining a protracted contest, and
striving to render themselves acceptable to God by their
prayers, and useful to men by their good works. Some who
were of noble families contributed largely to the support of
the monastery, and procured from their relations, acquaint-
ance, and friends, donations of tithes and churches and
ecclesiastical ornaments for the use of the brethren. It is
quite out of my power to describe particularly the gifts
made by each individual to their cherished abbey, but I wish
with God's help, to record some of them faithfully, as far
as my opportunities of reference permit, for the general
good and the information of posterity.
Roger de Hautrive, the senior monk, by order of abbot
Rainier, went into the Vexin to take possession of Heudi-
court, the domain which the wounded knight gave to St.
Evroult, as I have before related, but he found the land
uncultivated, and almost a desert. In the first place he
erected an oratory with boughs of trees in honour of St.
Nicholas, bishop of Myrrha, from whence the village which
now stands on the spot is called by the inhabitants to this
day the chapel of St. Nicholas. It often happened in the
night that while Roger de Hautrive, as he himself used to


relate, was singing matins in his chapel of boughs a wolf
took his station without, and as it were, responded to the
chant by his howlings. This venerable man, divinely sup-
ported, attached to himself by ties of regard Herbert the
Butler, who after the death of his cousin Herbert, who was
brother of Richard the wounded knight, gave one moiety
of his fief to St. Evroult. There Roger de Hautrive
laboured, with the assistance of his generous friend, until
he had brought under cultivation the land which for a long
season had been deserted on account of the war and other
calamities; and there Roger de Sap, after same years suc-
ceeding the former senior monk, began the building of a
church of stone. The before mentioned knight (Herbert
the Butler) had great power in the Vexin, and being pos-
sessed of great wealth and surrounded by sons and valiant
relations and kinsman was exalted above almost all his
neighbours. His wife's name was Rolande, daughter of
Odo de Chaumont, who bore him Godfrey and Peter, John
and Walo, with several daughters, by whom he had a
numerous posterity. The father and brothers of whom we
are speaking were all knights of distinguished courage, and,
as far as outward appearances, of approved conduct both
towards God and man. The mother has been all her life of
exemplary virtue, being still living, though her husband and
children are numbered with the dead. By the kindness
and assistance of this family, the chapel of St. Nicholas, the
bishop, was erected, with a convenient house for the monks,
who live regularly and cultivate peace; and so it remains to
the present day.
At the same time Full, son of Ralph de Chaudrei, had,
the greatest regard for the venerable Roger [de Hautrive]
on account of his many virtues, so that he begged him
kindly to be sponsor for his son at the holy font of baptism,
which he willingly undertook. Their acquaintance and
regard gradually increasing, he granted to his gossip the
church of St. Martin de Parnes, the parish church, at which
a congregation was assembled from seven neighbouring vil-
lages on appointed days to offer prayers to God, and to hear
his praises and precepts in a becoming manner. The
worthy father coming to Parnes, Fulk, with the consent of
Wascelin his brother, gave to St. Evroult the church with,


all the dues belonging to it, and one plough-land in the
same vill, and the tithes of his plough, with two houses and
one mill called Barre-chemin. He also gave to the monks
the archdeaconry which he held in fee of the archbishop of
Rouen by inheritance from his ancestors, and he also
granted to the monks the lordship of all the householders in
Parries, on condition that if they made any defeasance to the
lords, they should not forfeit their houses, but be mulct in
some other way. The inhabitants of Parnes were delighted
at having the monks for their lords, hoping that under their
protection they should be safe from the inroads of the Nor-
mans in the neighbourhood, from which they frequently
suffered. In the course of time, when Goisbert the phy-
sician was prior, Fulk gave the ground for the cemetery to
promote the building of a new church. The foundations
were then laid, but the work proceeded slowly through many
hindrances for twenty-four years, and is not yet completed.
Fulk, the knight I am now speaking of, was brave and
high-spirited, ardent in all his enterprises, irascible and fierce
when roused to arms. He was very ready to lay violent hands
on the property of others, and imprudently scatter his own
in order to gain the empty honour of being accounted
liberal. He took to wife Its, daughter of Heremar de Pon-
toise, by whom he had Walter and Mainier, Hugh and
Gervase, Hermar and Fulk, with a daughter named Luxovie.
Mainier and Fulk were devoted from their infancy to a mo-
nastic life, but the other four sons followed the career of
Fulk's character being, as I have observed, so unstable,
he sometimes honoured the monks, and stoutly defended
them against all adversaries, while at other times he griev-
ously oppressed them. There lived at Parnes, serving God
under the monastic rule, the old Roger and Goisbert the
physician, Robert the Bald, John and lsemberd, with several
others, of whom Bernard, surnamed Michael, and Reginald,


Theodoric, and Walter the Bald, with William of Caen, sur-
named Alexander, after spending their lives devoted to pious
offices, ended them there, and were there interred with great
veneration. The grant of all that Fulk gave to the monks
was confirmed by Robert the Eloquent, of Chaumont, who
had the lordship in chief. Not long afterwards, while this
Robert was carrying off the booty which he had collected
with violence on the lands of St. Ouen, he fell from his
horse in full armour, and, his helmet fixing in the ground,
broke his neck and he perished miserably. His body was in-
terred by abbot Mainier near L'Aillerie m the chapter-house
of the monks of Flavigni, residing there. His sons Osmond
de Chaumont, Guazon de Poix, and Robert de Beauvais,
confirmed to St. Evroult all that their ancestors had given
and granted to the abbey, as before related.
In this manner the monks of St. Evroult obtained the
church of Parses, which was a very ancient structure dedi-
cated to St. Martin, metropolitan [archbishop] of Tours, and
in which the remains of St. Judoc, confessor of Christ, are
reverently preserved to the present day. Who be was, and
whence he came, I shall briefly write m a short passage of
this history, faithfully making extracts from a book contain-
ing an account of his holy life.

Ch. XIII. Legend of St. Judoc, or Josse, a Breton saint,
son of King Howel.

[ABOUT A. D. 650.] The blessed Judoc, son of Juthail
[Howel], king of the Bretons and brother of King Judicail,
being sought for to be elevated to the throne, relinquished
the pursuit of learning to which he had devoted himself at
Llanmelmon, and went in pilgrimage to Rome with four
others. However Haymon, duke of Ponthieu, recognising
his noble origin, detained him on the road, and having had
him ordained priest, made him his chaplain. After seven


years Judoc became a hermit at La Broie on the river Autio,
where he served God eight years, and fed with the hand
several sorts of birds and small fishes, like domestic animals.
At one time when he had only one loaf, and divided it
among four poor persons, in spite of the remonstrances of
his servant Vulmar, God sent him four small boats laden
with provisions on the river Antic. He afterwards built an
oratory in honour of St. Martin at Runiac on the river
Canche. where he lived fourteen years. One day an eagle
carried off eleven hens, and the cock last; the man of God
made the sign of the cross accompanied by a prayer, when
the eagle, shortly returning, brought back the cock and
presently expired. Once when Judoc, in company with Duke
Haimon, was searching for a suitable habitation in a thick
wood, the duke was very thirsty, and weary with hunting he
fell asleep, during which the man of God planted his
walking staff in the ground and offering a prayer, a spring
burst forth on the spot. Sick folk resort there and vene-
rating the saint, drink the water, and are quickly cured. The
servant of God constructed in the wood with his own hands
two oratories of timber; one he dedicated to St. Peter the
bearer of the keys of heaven, the other to the eloquent
St. Paul. He afterwards went to Rome, from whence he
brought back many relies of saints. Juliula, a young girl
who was blind from her infancy, was admonished by a vision
to bathe her eyes in the water wherewith Judoc had
washed his hands, and upon her so doing recovered her
sight. This happened while the man of God was returning
from Rome, and a cross of wood being raised on the spot the
place was called La Croix.
Meanwhile, in the absence of Judoc at Rome, Duke
Haimon caused a church of stone to be erected in the wil-
derness where the hermit had dwelt, and on his return
caused it to be dedicated to the honour of St. Martin, and
gave for its endowment a certain vill in his domains, with all
its appurtenances. Judoc, the faithful champion for God,
there maintained a long warfare, and after happily ending
the course of his holy life departed to Christ on the ides
[13th] of December.


His two nephews, Winoch and Arnoch, succeeded him,
and were accustomed frequently to wash the body and clip
the hair of the holy man whose remains long continued to
show no tokens of decay. Drochtric, Duke Haimon's
successor, had often heard this, but he did not believe it.
Rashly determined, therefore, to investigate the matter, he
caused the sacred tomb to be burst open, and looking in,
started back in terror, exclaiming, " Ah ! holy Judoc !"
He became instantly deaf and dumb, and his whole body
was paralyzed to the day of his death. His wife, struck
with alarm at her husband's calamity, poured forth lamenta-
tions to God, and for the salvation of his soul gave the two
villages of Crespiniac and Netreville to St. Judoc. These
events took place in the time of Dagobert, son of Lothaire
the Great, king of the Franks.
Isembard of Fleuri, at the command of Abbot Herbald,
wrote to Adelelm the monk, that the body of St. Judoc
was discovered in the year of our Lord 977, during the
reign of Lothaire, son of Lewis, king of France, in the
following manner. A certain peasant, named Stephen, who
gained his livelihood by being a miller, being admonished in
a dream by one clothed in bright robes left his wife and
children, and went to the place where St. Judoc was interred,
and there became a clerk. No man living then knew the
spot where the body of the saint lay, but Stephen, inspired
by the vision, began to search within the church, and at
the suggestion of Pridian, Sigeman, he found the coffin on
the right side of the altar of St. Martin. Thereupon,
amidst general rejoicings, and while hymns of thanksgiving
were sung to God, the coffin containing the body of the
saint was disinterred, and lifted from the grave. The news
of the discovery was quickly spread, and multitudes of
people hastened to witness the disinterment of the holy
remains, and to make their prayers and offerings to the
saint. Many miracles were wrought on the spot, and
diseases of various descriptions were there cured. At last,
on the eighth of the calends of August [July 25th,] the


body of St. Judoc, was deposited with great reverence over
the altar of St. Martin.
The very same year, the foundations of a monastery sere
laid on that spot, means were taken for settling the order
of monks, and the venerable Sigebrand was appointed abbot.
One night, while the body of St. Judoc was deposited in the
church of St. Peter, there were seven tapers before the
remains, one of which only was lighted by the sacristan, but
while the guardians of the holy relics were asleep, the other
six candles were lighted by fire from heaven. So, on
another occasion, when the body of St. Judoc was in his
own church, a lamp which had been extinguished by the
violence of the wind and showers of rain, had its light mira-
culously restored in the presence of Sigeman.
One Sunday, while Pridian was celebrating a solemn
mass, a certain vassal of Count Hilduin, whose name was
Garembert, was full of evil designs, wanting to plunder the
church at his will, and to substitute for Sigeman an abbot
more conformable to his purposes. When, however, it was
read in the gospel for the day: " Why think ye evil in your
hearts ?" the wretched man was emote by an invisible hand,
and began to vociferate loudly, and being struck the third
time by the power of God, he fell to the earth, vomiting
clotted blood from his mouth. After mass he was carried
out by order of Sigeman the sacristan. and on the morrow,
by the merits of St. Judoc, recovered his reason. This
happened in the time of Hugh the Great.
The same day, a woman named Ostrehilde was intending
to leave the church after mass, but her feet were so firmly
fixed at the threshold, that no one could release them; she,
however, felt no inconvenience except extreme cold from
her knees to the soles of her feet. The next day she vowed
to become the handmaid of God and St. Judoc; and being
immediately relieved, she piously kept her vow.
It is related by the monks Adelelm and Richer, faithful
reporters, that while Stephen translated the relics of St.
Judoc to the monastery of St. Riquier during the erection
of the church, the illustrious Bertsende, the marriageable
daughter of Alsinde, suffered great pains from her hips to


her feet for two years, so that she could not walk nor even
move without the aid of a staff. Having prayed with faith,
as well as her mother, before the relics of the holy confessor,
she was cured of her infirmity, and her mother was so
rejoiced at her daughter's recovery that she made an offer-
ing of a rich mantle to the physician who so quickly
answered her prayers.
While a man named Robert was travelling alone at mid-
day, he saw the spirit of error in the shape of a man, and
was immediately struck blind. A long time afterwards, he
sought the tomb of St. Judoc, and professed himself his
servant before Abbot Guy. The same day blood flowed
freely from his eyes, and he recovered his sight, and at
vespers publicly declared that he could see the monks sitting
on their benches.
Gunzo, a priest of Lorraine, suffered for seven years
extreme weakness in his hands and feet. Some one who saw
him recommended him to go and find the physician Judoc
in Ponthieu. He hastened to follow this advice. On a
Sunday, about the third hour, he entered the church, and
prayed prostrate on the pavement, which he bedewed with
his tears. -Having finished his prayers, be rose up sound.
Then he joined m the mass with great ,joy, and gave a
faithful account of his recovery to the people, with thanks-
giving to God.
Waldemar of Lorraine, having lost his right eye through
sickness, determined, by the advice of his friends, on a
pilgrimage to St. Judoc. But, missing his way, he happened
to light in company with his friend on the fountain which
Judoc in his lifetime had caused by his merits to burst forth.
Waldemar, seeing a fountain of very clear water, called to
his companion to stop, and sat down to rest; presently, he
washed his hands and his face in the fountain, and
suddenly recovered sight in the eye which leas blind.
Thus cured, he came ,joyfully to the monastery, and gave
thanks to God, surrounded by rejoicing friends.
Two demoniacs, named Maginard, were set free at the
tomb of St. Judoc, and lived long afterwards in the world
with sound minds.
Sieburg, wife of Bertrand, a man of distinction, having
been subject for ten months to a flow of blood from her


nostrils, was conducted by her friends to the shrine of St.
Judoc to obtain a cure. She offered her prayers, but no
relief immediately followed, and she left the church sorrow-
ful and full of complaints. But when in bitterness of spirit
she had set forth to return home, as she passed a cross set
up by the way-side, the blood ceased to flow from her
nostrils. Immediately turning back, she retraced her steps
to the monastery of the holy man; and her thanksgivings
having been offered, she was entirely healed.
Robert de Terouenne, going alone at mid-day to oversee
his work in the field, was suddenly seized by the devil, and
tormented to such a degree that he was tempted by the
adversary almost without intermission to destroy everything,
and even to devour men. His three brothers therefore,
having kept the fast of the four seasons in June, brought
him bound to the tomb of St. Judoc, where they remained
from the fourth day of the week to Saturday. From that
time the afflicted man began to be more tranquil, and being
restored to a sound mind, devoted himself from thenceforth
to the service of St. Judoc. At his request abbot Guy
ascended the pulpit on the feast of St. John the Baptist,
and related the circumstances to the people, pointing out to
them Robert, who was present, and publicly testified his own
A certain man of ripe yearn, was for seven years so deaf
that he could hear nothing. His wife brought him to the
tomb of the blessed saint, where he prayed for a while.
Then his wife, by Pridian's order, led him to the fountain of
St. Judoc, and three times sprinkled his head with the
waters of the fountain. Presently, returning to the church
he heard mass, which, for seven years previously he had been
unable to hear.
Isembard de Fleuri at the request of Adelelm, wrote these
accounts of what happened in the time of Hugh the Great,
or King Robert; but since that time the blessed Judoc has
not ceased to work miracles in favour of those who offered
him their prayers, though from negligence they are not
recorded. The rulers of the kingdom being changed, and
the nobles engaged in mutual quarrels, tine body of St.
Judoc was again covered with earth from fear of the enemy,
and lay so long in concealment that all those who were


concerned in it forgot where it was deposited. In the time
of Henry, king of France, when the monks often complained
of their not knowing where their patron saint, the blessed
Judoc, rested, the holy remains were divinely revealed to a
simple layman, who, pointing out the spot, they were
solemnly raised under the superintendence of the abbot and
brethren. The monks then admitted the discoverer of the
sacred relics into their order, and made him guardian of the
holy body, committing to his charge the offerings of the
faithful. On the death of the abbot, his successor did not
esteem the sacristan as he ought, nor treat him as
courteously as his predecessor had done. Whereupon the
sacristan, being much aggrieved, got possession of the holy
relics by night and carried them with him into France.
Geoffrey, lord of Gomerfontaine, honourably received him
with the treasure he bore, and appointed him master of the
castle church, in which there were four canons, for the term
of his life. Some time afterwards, wars breaking out, Henry,
king of France, besieged Gomerfontaine with the strength of
the French army, driving out Geoffrey, and setting the place
on fire. But while the devouring flames were consuming the
church and buildings of the castle, and horrible cries were
raised by the assailants and the besieged, as happens at such
times, one of the canons took the bones of St. Judoc from the
tomb, and fled in all haste from the burning edifices. One
of the king's soldiers met him on the bridge, and demanded
of him what was the burden he carried. Upon his answering
that it contained sacred vestments, and his own books, the
soldier violently stripped him of all he carried, and took his
prize with him to the territory of Parnes. The man's name
was Robert, surnamed Meslebren, that is, Mix-bran; he was
one of the retainers of Ralph de Chaudri, who was at that
time one of the best knights in the French army. The
soldier, greatly delighted with the prize he had made, caused
it to be carefully deposited in the church of St. Martin, by
the priest and parishioners, where, for more than seventy
years, it was reverently preserved. Innumerable miracles
were there wrought on the sick, and to this day are
frequently repeated, when the faith of the supplicants merit
relief, as the whole neighbourhood bears witness.
William de Merlerault, a venerable monk and priest, bas


composed an excellent work on the translation of the holy
body, of which we have only here given a brief account,
and of the many cures of the sick performed at Parnes. In
this book he truly and clearly relates all the wonderful
occurrences connected with the sacred relics. Philip, king
of France, was afflicted with fever two years, nor could all
the skill of his physicians afford him any relief. At the end
of the two years he came to Parnes, and, drinking water
made holy by touching the relics of St. Judoc, he spent two
nights in prayer before the holy body, and his pains ceased,
and he recovered his health on the spot. In consequence,
the king made an offering to St. Judoc of fifty sous of
Pontoise, and granted a fair, to be held annually at Parnes
in honour of St. Judoc, on the third day of the feast of
Whitsuntide, confirming the grant by a royal charter.
Besides these, many other miracles have been wrought,
and continue to be daily performed at Parnes through the
merits of St. Judoc, of which some are recorded, but the
greater part are buried in oblivion, from the negligence of
those who were privy to them, or from the ignorance of those
who saw or experienced them. For my part, though I must
hasten to other matters which claim our attention, I have
most willingly collected some few details relating to you, O
holy Judoc, inserting in this imperfect work notices of the
heavenly gifts conferred on you, and devoutly extolling them
so far as my limited powers permit. I beseech you there-
fore, O glorious son of the king of the Bretons, and fellow
of the angels, that you commend me to God by the efficacy
of your merits, and obtain for me admission into the society
of the saints, with whom, contemplating in his glory the
Creator of all things, I may offer triumphant praises through
all ages. Amen.


Ch. XIV. Invasion of England by William, duke of
Normandy--Battle of Stamford bridge--Battle of Hast-
ings--William marches to Dover--Thence to London, where
he is crowned.

IN the month of August. Harold, king of Norway, and
Tostig, with a powerful fleet set sail over the wide sea, and,
steering for England with a favourable aparctic, or north
wind, landed in Yorkshire, which was the first object of their
invasion. Meanwhile, Harold of England, having intelli-
gence of the descent of the Norwegians, withdrew his ships
and troops from Hastings and Pevensey, and the other sea-
ports on the coast lying opposite to Neustria, which he had
carefully guarded with a powerful armament during the
whole of the year, and threw himself unexpectedly, with a
strong force by hasty marches on his enemies from the north.
A hard-fought battle ensued, in which there was great
effusion of blood on both aides, vast numbers being slain
with brutal rage. At last the furious attacks of the English
secured them the victory, and the king of Norway as well as
Tostig, with their whole army, were slain. The field of
battle may be easily discovered by travellers, as great heaps
of the bones of the slain lie there to this day, memorials of
the prodigious numbers which fell on both sides.
While however the attention of the English was diverted
by the invasion of Yorkshire, and by God's permission they
neglected, as I have already mentioned, to guard the coast,
the Norman fleet, which for a whole month had been waiting
for a south wind in the mouth of the river Dive and the
neighbouring harbours, took advantage of a favourable
breeze from the west to gain the roads of St. Valeri.


While it lay there innumerable vows and prayers were
offered for the safety of themselves and their friends, and
floods of tears were shed. For the intimate friends and
relations of those who were to remain at home, witnessing
the embarkation of fifty thousand knights and men-at-arms,
with a large body of infantry, who had to brave the dangers
of the sea, and to attack an unknown people on their own
soil, were moved to tears and sighs, and full of anxiety both
for themselves and their countrymen, their minds fluctuating
between fear and hope. Duke William and the whole army
committed themselves to God's protection, with prayers, and
offerings, and vows, and accompanied a procession from the
church, carrying the relics of St. Valeri, confessor of Christ,
to obtain a favourable wind. At last when by God's grace
it suddenly came round to the quarter which was the object
of so many prayers, the duke, full of ardour, lost no time in
embarking the troops, and giving the signal for hastening
the departure of the fleet. The Norman expedition, there-
fore, crossed the sea on the night of the third of the calends
of October [29th September], which the Catholic church
observes as the feast of St. Michael the archangel, and,
meeting with no resistance, and landing safely on the coast
of England, took possession of Pevensey and Hastings, the
defence of which was entrusted to a chosen body of soldiers,
to cover a retreat and guard the fleet.
Meanwhile the English usurper, after having put to the
sword his brother Tostig, and his royal enemy, and
slaughtered their immense army, returned in triumph to
London. As however worldly prosperity soon vanishes like
smoke before the wind, Harold's rejoicings for his bloody
victory were soon darkened by the threatening clouds of a
still heavier storm. Nor was he suffered long to enjoy the
security procured by his brother's death; for a hasty
messenger brought him the intelligence that the Normans
had embarked. Learning soon afterwards that they had


actually landed, he made preparations for a fresh conflict.
For his intrepidity was dauntless, and his conduct of affairs
admirable, while his personal strength was great, his
presence commanding, and he had the arts of a persuasive
eloquence, and of a courtesy which endeared him to his
supporters. Still his mother Githa, who was much afflicted
by the death of her son Tostig, and his other faithful
friends, dissuaded him from engaging in battle with the
Normans; his brother, Earl Gurth, thus addressing him
"It is best, dearest brother and lord, that your courage
should be tempered by discretion. You are worn by the
conflict with the Norwegians from which you are only just
come, and you are in eager haste to give battle to the
Normans. Allow yourself, I pray you, some time for rest.
Reflect also, in your wisdom, on the oath you have taken to
the duke of Normandy. Beware of incurring the guilt of
perjury, lest by so great a crime you draw ruin on yourself
and the forces of this nation, and stain for ever the honour
of our own race. For myself, I am bound by no oaths, I
am under no obligations to Count William. I am therefore
in a position to fight with him undauntedly in defence of
our native soil. But do you, my brother, rest awhile in
peace, and wait the issue of the contest, that so the liberty
which is the glory of England, may not be ruined by your
Harold was very indignant at this speech. Holding in
contempt the wholesome advice of his friends, he loaded his
brother with reproaches for his faithful counsel, and even
forgot himself so far as to kick his mother when she hung
about him in her too great anxiety to detain him with her.
For six days Harold sent forth the summons to call the
people to arms from all quarters, and, having assembled vast
numbers of the English, he led them by forced marches
against the enemy. It was his design to take them unawares,
and crush them at once by a night attack, or, at least, by a


sudden onset, and, that they might not escape by sea, be
caused a fleet of seventy ships, full of soldiers, to guard the
coast. Duke William, having intelligence of Harold's
approach, ordered his troops to take to their aims on the
morning of Saturday. He then heard mass, strengthening
both body and soul by partaking of the consecrated host
he also reverently suspended from his neck the holy relies on
which Harold had sworn. Many of the clergy had followed
the Norman army, among whom were two bishops, Odo, of
Bayeux, and Geoffrey, of Coutances, with attendant clerks
and monks, whose duty it was to aid the war with their
prayers and counsels. The battle commenced at the third
hour of the idea [14th] of October, and was fought despe-
rately, the whole day, with the lose of many thousand men
on both sides. The Norman duke drew up his light troops,
consisting of archers and men armed with cross-bows, in the
first line; the infantry in armour formed the second rank;
and in the third were placed the cavalry, in the centre of
which the duke stationed himself with the flower of his
troops, so as to be able to issue his commands, and give
support to every part of the army.
On the other side, the English troops, assembled from all
parts of the neighbourhood, took post at a place which was
anciently called Senlac, many of them personally devoted
to the cause of Harold, and all to that of their country,
which they, were resolved to defend against the foreigners.
Dismounting from their horses, on which it was determined
not to rely, they formed a solid column of infantry, and thus
stood firm in the position they had taken.
Turstin, son of Rollo, bore the standard of Normandy.
The sound of the trumpets in both armies was the terrible
signal for beginning the battle. The Normans made the
first attack with ardour and gallantry, their infantry rushing
forward to provoke the English, and spreading wounds and
death through their ranks by showers of arrows and bolts.
The English, on their side, made a stout resistance, each


man straining his powers to the utmost. The battle raged
for some time with the utmost violence between both parties.
At length the indomitable bravery of the English threw the
Bretons, both horse and foot, and the other auxiliary troops
composing the left wing, into confusion, and, in their rout,
they drew with them almost all the rest of the duke's army,
who, in their panic, believed that he was slain. The duke,
perceiving that large bodies from the enemy had broken their
ranks in pursuit of his flying troops, rode up to the fugitives
and checked their retreat, loudly threatening them, and
striking with his lance. Taking off his helmet, and exposing
his naked head, he shouted: " See, I am here; I am still
living, and, by God's help, shall yet have the victory." Sud-
denly the courage of the fugitives was restored by these bold
words of the duke; and, intercepting some thousands of
their pursuers, they cut them down in a moment. In this
manner, the Normans, twice again pretending to retreat,
and when they were followed by the English, suddenly
wheeling their horses, cut their pursuers off from the main
body, surrounded and slew them. The ranks of the English
were much thinned by these dangerous feints, through which
they fell separated from each other; so that, when thousands
were thus slaughtered, the Normans attacked the survivors
with still greater vigour. They were charged home by the
troops of Maine, France, Brittany, and Aquitaine, and great
numbers of them miserably perished.
Among others present at this battle, were Eustace, Count
de Boulogne, William, son of Richard, Count d'Evreux,
Geoffrey, son of Robert, Count de Mortagne, William Fitz-
Osbern, Robert, son of Robert de Beaumont, a novice in
arms, Aimer, Viscount de Thouars, Earl Hugh, the constable,
Walter Giffard, and Ralph Toni. Hugh de Grant-mesnil,
and William de Warenne, with many other knights illustrious
for their military achievements, and whose names merit a
record in the annals of history amongst the most famous
warriors. Duke William surpassed them all in courage and
conduct; for he nobly performed the duties of a general,


staying the flight of his troops, re-animating their courage,
their comrade m the greatest dangers, and more frequently
calling on them to follow where he led, than commanding
them to advance before him. He had three horses killed
under him in the battle ; thrice he re-mounted, and did not
suffer his steeds to be long unavenged. Shields, helmets,
and coats of mail were shivered by the furious and impatient
thrusts of his sword; some he dashed to the earth with his
shield, and was at all times as ready to cover and protect his
friends, as to deal death among his foes.
Although the battle was fought with the greatest fury
from nine o'clock in the morning, King Harold was slain in
the first onset. and his brother Earl Leofwin fell some time
afterwards, with many thousands of the royal army. Towards
evening, the English finding that their king and the chief
nobles of the realm, with a great part of their army, had
fallen, while the Normans still showed a bold front, and
made desperate attacks on all who made any resistance,
they had recourse to flight as expeditiously as they could.
Various were the fortunes which attended their retreat;
some recovering their horses, some on foot, attempted to
escape by the highways; more sought to save themselves by
striking across the country. The Normans, finding the
English completely routed, pursued them vigorously all
Sunday night, but not without suffering a great loss; for,
galloping onward in hot pursuit, they fell unawares, horses
and armour, into an ancient trench, overgrown and concealed
by rank grass. and men in their armour and horses rolling
over each other, were crushed and smothered. This acci-
dent restored confidence to the routed English, for, perceiving
the advantage given them by the mouldering rampart and a


succession of ditches, they rallied in a body, and, making a
sudden stand, caused the Normans severe loss. At this
place Eugenulf, lord of Laigle, and many others fell, the
number of the Normans who perished being, as reported by
some who were present, nearly fifteen thousand. Thus did
Almighty God, on the eve of the idea [14th] of October,
punish m various ways the innumerable sinners in both
armies. For, on this Saturday, the Normans butchered
with remorseless cruelty thousands of the English, who long
before had murdered the innocent prince Alfred and his
attendants; and, on the Saturday before the present battle.
had massacred without pity King Harold and Earl Tostig,
with multitudes of Norwegians. The righteous Judge
avenged the English on Sunday night, when the furious
Normans were precipitated into the concealed trench; for
they had broken the divine law by their boundless covetous-
ness; and, as the Psalmist says: " Their feet were swift to
shed blood," whereupon, " sorrow and unhappiness was in
their ways."
Duke William, perceiving the English troops suddenly
rally, did not halt; and when he found Count Eustace .with
fifty men-at-arms retreating, and the count wished him to
have the signal sounded for recalling the pursuers, he com-
manded him with a loud voice to stand firm. The count,
however, familiarly approaching the duke, whispered in his ear
that it would be safer to retreat, predicting his sudden death
if he persisted in the pursuit. While he was saying this,
Eustace received a blow between the shoulders, so violent
that the noise of the stroke was plainly heard, and it caused
blood to flow from his mouth and nostrils, and he was borne
off by his comrades in a dying state.
The victory being secured, the duke returned to the field
of battle, where he viewed the dreadful carnage, which could
not be seen without commiseration. There the flower of
the youth and nobility of England covered the ground far


and near stained with blood. Harold could riot be dis-
covered by his features, but was recognized by other tokens,
and his corpse, being borne to the duke's camp, was, by
order of the conqueror, delivered to William Mallet for
interment near the sea-shore, which had long been guarded
by his arms.
Inconstant fortune frequently causes adverse and unex-
pected changes in human affairs; some persona being lifted
from the dust to the height of great power, while others,
suddenly falling from their high estate, groan in extreme dis-
tress. Thus Edith, Earl Godwin's relict, who once enjoyed
wealth and influence, was now overwhelmed with grief and a
prey to the deepest misfortunes. She had borne seven sons
to her husband: Sweyn, Tostig, Harold, Gurth, Alfgar, and
Wulnoth. They were all earls, and distinguished for their
handsome persons, as well as what the world calls excellence;
but each of them underwent a different and disastrous fate.
Alfgar and Wulnoth, indeed, feared God and lived according
to his laws, and both died in the odour of sanctity confessing
the true faith, the one a pilgrim and monk at Rheims, the
other at Salisbury. For the other five, following the career
of arms, they met their death in a variety of ways, and on
different occasions.


The sorrowing mother now offered to Duke William, for
the body of Harold, its weight in gold; but the great con-
queror refused such a barter, thinking it was not right that
a mother should pay the last honours to one by whose
insatiable ambition, vast numbers lay unburied. He issued
orders that the bodies of his own soldiers should be buried
with the greatest care; and also gave all the English who
applied for leave free liberty to bury those of their friends.
After providing for the decent interment of the dead the
duke marched to Romney, and taking it by assault, re-
venged the slaughter of a party of his troops, who, having
landed there by mistake, were fiercely attacked by the in-
habitants and cruelly butchered, after great, loss on both
The duke then continued his march to Dover, where
there was a large body of people collected, because they
thought the position impregnable, the castle standing on
the summit of a steep rock, overhanging the sea. The
garrison, however, struck with panic at the duke's ap-
proach, were preparing to surrender, when some Norman
squires, greedy for spoil, set the place on fire, and the
devouring flames spreading around, many party were ruined
and burnt. The duke, compassionating those who were
willing to render him their submission, ordered them to be
paid the cost of rebuilding their houses, and their other
losses. The castle being taken, eight days were spent in
strengthening the fortifications. While he lay there a great
number of soldiers, who devoured flesh-meat half raw and
drank too much water, died of dysentery, and many more
felt the effects to the end of their days. The duke, leaving
a garrison in the castle, with those who were suffering from
dysentery, marched onward to complete the subjugation of
those he had vanquished. The Kentish men, of their own
accord, met him not far from Dover and swore fealty to
him, delivering hostages for their allegiance.
After that Harold was slain, Stigand, archbishop of Can-
terbury, and the great earls Edwin and Morcar, with the
other English nobles, who were not engaged in the battle of


Senlac, declared Edgar Etheling, son of Edward king of
Hungary, son of Edmund Ironside, king, and gave out that
they were resolved to fight bravely under that prince, for
their country and their nation against foreign enemies a
Meanwhile duke William, having intelligence that they
were assembling in increasing numbers, marched with a
strong force, and encamping near London, detached fifty
knights and men-at-arms in advance, who compelled the
troops which issued from the city to oppose them to retreat
within the walls, after losing many of their number, to the
great sorrow of the citizens, who lamented their sons and
friends. Fire also was added to the calamities inflicted on
them, all the buildings on that side of the river being burnt.
Whereupon the duke crossed the Thames and marched to
Stigand the archbishop, and other English nobles, met
him there. and, abandoning the cause of Edgar, came to
terms with William, to whom they did homage, and being
received with favour were secured m all their honours and
estates. The Londoners, also, being better advised, now
transferred their allegiance to the duke, and delivered to
him such and so many hostages as he required. Edgar
Etheling, therefore, who had been declared king by the
English, having no means of resistance, humbly surrendered


his person and his kingdom to William. This young prince
was of a mild and ingenuous disposition, and being a kins-
man of king Edward the Great, as his nephew's son. the
duke affectionately embraced him, and treated him all his
life with the regard due to a Son .
In the course of three months, by God's providence, tran-
quillity was restored throughout England, and the bishops
and barons of the realm having made their peace with
William, entreated him to be crowned, according to the
custom of the English kings. This was the great aim of
the Normans, who had encountered great perils by land and
sea, to procure for their prince the ensigns of royalty; and
this, by divine influence, was the desire also of the native
inhabitants, who, up to that time; had only given their
allegiance to crowned kings.
At that time Aldred was metropolitan and archbishop of
York. He was a great lover of justice, of mature age,
wise, eloquent, and good, and distinguished by many vir-
tues, and following in the footsteps of the fathers, strove
earnestly to be received with favour by the King of kings.
But Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, was too much en-
gaged in secular affairs, and had been suspended by Pope
Alexander for certain crimes.
At length, in the year of our Lord 1067, the fifth inflic-
tion, on Christmas day, the English assembled at London
for William's coronation, and a guard of Norman troops
was posted round the abbey, mounted and fully armed, to
prevent any treasonable and seditious attempt. Then, in
the presence of the bishops, abbots, and nobles, of the
whole realm of Albion, Aldred the archbishop consecrated


William, duke of Normandy, king of England, and placed
the royal crowns on his head in the church of St. Peter the
apostle, called Westminster Abbey, where the venerable
king Edward lies interred.
Meanwhile; at the instigation of the devil, the enemy of
all good, an unforeseen occurrence, pregnant with mischief
to both nations, and an omen of future calamities, suddenly
happened. For when Aldred the archbishop was demand-
ing of the English, and Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, of
the Normans, whether they consented to have William for
their king, and the whole assembly loudly gave their willing
assent, with one voice though not m one language, the men-
at-arms, who formed the guard outside the abbey, upon
hearing the shouts of joyful acclamation raised by the
people in the church in a language they did not under-
stand, suspected some treachery and imprudently set fire to
the neighbouring houses. The flames quickly spreading,
the people in the church were seized with panic in the
midst of their rejoicings, and crowds of men and women, of
all ranks and conditions, eagerly struggled to make their
escape from the church, as if they were threatened with
immediate danger. The bishops only, with some few of the
clergy and monks, maintained their poet before the altar,
and trembling with fear completed the coronation office
with some difficulty, the king himself being much alarmed.
Almost all the rest hastened to the scene of conflagration,
some to make vigorous efforts to extinguish the flames, and
more in the prospect of committing robberies in the con-
fusion that prevailed. The English were greatly enraged
when they understood the origin of this unfortunate affair,
which leading them to suspect the Normans and consider
them faithless, they waited for some future opportunity of


Ch. XV. Notices of authors who have given accounts of the
life and times of king William I--William of Poitiers
--Guy, bishop of Amiens--Florence of Worcester, the con-
tinuer of Marianus Scotus--Sigebert of Gemblours.

KING WILLIAM governed firmly and prudently, both in
prosperity and adversity, the kingdom he gained, reigning
over it with great honour twenty years, eight months, and
sixteen days. William of Poitiers, archdeacon of Lisieux,
has given a full account of his merits, his excellent institu-
tions, his great successes and brave and wonderful achieve-
ments, in a valuable work distinguished for the elegance of
its style and its depth of thought. Having for a long pe-
riod been chaplain to this king, he made it his business to
retrace at length, with unquestionable truth and ample details
all that he had himself witnessed or been party to; but
unfortunately he was prevented by adverse events from
continuing his narrative to the king's death.
Guy, bishop of Amiens, also wrote an epic poem, which,
in imitation of Virgil and Papinius, describes the battle of


Senlac, blaming and accusing Harold, and highly praising
and exalting William.
John of Worcester. a native of England and a monk from
his childhood, of venerable character and great learning, in
his continuation of the chronicles of Marianus Scotus, gives
a faithful account of King William and of the events which
took place during his reign, and those of his sons William
Rufus and King Henry to the present dap. Marianus
was a monk of the abbey of St. Alban the martyr, near
Mayence, where, following to the best of his means, Eusebius
of Caesarea, St. Jerome, and other historians, he kindly em-
ployed himself in the charitable office of presenting to such
sons of the church as were unable themselves to develop
such important results, the happy fruits of his long studies
and of flue vast labours he underwent in his foreign travels.
After carefully consulting both ancient and modern writers,
he published his Chronography, in which, beginning with
the creation, when God formed Adam out of the dust of
the earth, and pursuing his inquiries through the books of
the Old and New Testament, and the Greek and Roman
histories, he collected all that was important ; and fixing the
chronology through the series of kings and consuls, which
he continued to the day of his death, his historical annals are
deservedly esteemed. John of Worcester who followed, re-


corded the events of nearly a century, and by the order of the
venerable Wulfstan, bishop and monk, appended his continua-
tion to the Chronicle of Marianus ; succinctly relating many
things worthy of observation in the histories of the Romans,
Franks, Germans, and other nations. Accordingly these
chronicles include the whole series of the Hebrew judges,
kings, and high priests, from Moses to the destruction of
Jerusalem in the reigns of Titus and Vespasian, when the
kingdom of the Jews was ,justly overthrown on account
of the death and passion of our Lord. The Chronicles also
give the names of all the Roman consuls and dictator,
emperors and pontiffs, as well as of all the kings of England,
who reigned from the time that Hengist and Horsa made
war on Vortigern, king of Britain, to the great injury of
the Britons. To these the Chronicle adds the bishops who
governed the English church from the time when Pope
Gregory commissioned Augustine and Mellitus and other
monks to preach the word of God in England, by whom
Ethelbert, king of Kent, Edwin, king of the Northumbrians,
and other princes of the English nation, were converted to
the true faith. Sigebert, a monk of Gemblours, has extract-
ed many important passages from these Chronicles, omitting
however several relating to the insular nations, and adding
much valuable information respecting the Goths, the Huns,
the Persians, and other barbarous races. I have been an-
xious to direct attention to these works, in order that
inquiring readers may consult them for themselves, offering
as they do a rich harvest of instruction, though they are
difficult to meet with. For being written by modern authors,
they are not as yet got into general circulation. One of these
Chronicles I met with at Worcester in England, the other
at Cambray in Lorraine. It was kindly shown me by
Fulbert, the learned abbot of the monastery of St. Sepulchre,
built on the north side of Cambray by the exertions and at


the expense of Liutbert, bishop of that city, where his re-
mains were honourably interred.
And now, exhausted by my long labours, I sigh for repose
and am ready to close this First Book of the Ecclesiastical
History which my faithful pen has compiled relative to con-
temporary and neighbouring princes and doctors of the
church. In the books which follow I shall speak more fully
of King William, and describe the untoward changes in
the state of affairs, both in England and Normandy, looking
for honour or reward neither from the conquerors nor the

Return to Main Index