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Harold, The Last Of The Saxon Kings - Footnotes - Footnotes Post by :nonliteral Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :1485

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Harold, The Last Of The Saxon Kings - Footnotes - Footnotes

(1) Sismondi's History of France, vol. iv. p. 484.

(2) "Men's blinded hopes, diseases, toil, and prayer,
And winged troubles peopling daily air."


(3) Merely upon the obscure MS. of the Waltham Monastery; yet, such is the ignorance of popular criticism, that I have been as much attacked for the license I have taken with the legendary connection between Harold and Edith, as if that connection were a proven and authenticated fact! Again, the pure attachment to which, in the romance, the loves of Edith and Harold are confined, has been alleged to be a sort of moral anachronism,--a sentiment wholly modern; whereas, on the contrary, an attachment so pure was infinitely more common in that day than in this, and made one of the most striking characteristics of the eleventh century; indeed of all the earlier ages, in the Christian era, most subjected to monastic influences.

(4) Notes less immediately necessary to the context, or too long not to interfere with the current of the narrative, are thrown to the end of the work.

(5) There is a legend attached to my friend's house, that on certain nights in the year, Eric the Saxon winds his horn at the door, and, in forma spectri, serves his notice of ejectment.

(6) The "Edinburgh Review," No. CLXXIX. January, 1849. Art. I. "Correspondance inedite, de Mabillon et de Montfaucon, avec l'Italie." Par M. Valery. Paris, 1848.

(7) And long before the date of the travesty known to us, and most popular amongst our mediaeval ancestors, it might be shown that some rude notion of Homer's fable and personages had crept into the North.

(8) "The apartment in which the Anglo-Saxon women lived, was called Gynecium."--FOSBROOKE, vol. ii., p. 570.

(9) Glass, introduced about the time of Bede, was more common then in the houses of the wealthy, whether for vessels or windows, than in the much later age of the gorgeous Plantagenets. Alfred, in one of his poems, introduces glass as a familiar illustration:


"So oft the mild sea
With south wind
As grey glass clear
Becomes grimly troubled."
SHAR. TURNER.


(10) Skulda, the Norna, or Fate, that presided over the future.

(11) The historians of our literature have not done justice to the great influence which the poetry of the Danes has had upon our early national muse. I have little doubt but that to that source may be traced the minstrelsy of our borders, and the Scottish Lowlands; while, even in the central counties, the example and exertions of Canute must have had considerable effect on the taste and spirit of our Scops. That great prince afforded the amplest encouragement to Scandinavian poetry, and Olaus names eight Danish poets, who flourished at his court.

(12) "By the splendour of God."

(13) See Note (A) at the end of this volume.

(14) It is noticeable that the Norman dukes did not call themselves Counts or Dukes of Normandy, but of the Normans; and the first Anglo-Norman kings, till Richard the First, styled themselves Kings of the English, not of England. In both Saxon and Norman chronicles, William usually bears the title of Count (Comes), but in this tale he will be generally called Duke, as a title more familiar to us.

(15) The few expressions borrowed occasionally from the Romance tongue, to give individuality to the speaker, will generally be translated into modern French; for the same reason as Saxon is rendered into modern English, viz., that the words may be intelligible to the reader.

(16) "Roman de Rou," part i., v. 1914.

(17) The reason why the Normans lost their old names is to be found in their conversion to Christianity. They were baptised; and Franks, as their godfathers, gave them new appellations. Thus, Charles the Simple insists that Rolf-ganger shall change his law (creed) and his name, and Rolf or Rou is christened Robert. A few of those who retained Scandinavian names at the time of the Conquest will be cited hereafter.

(18) Thus in 991, about a century after the first settlement, the Danes of East Anglia gave the only efficient resistance to the host of the Vikings under Justin and Gurthmund; and Brithnoth, celebrated by the Saxon poet, as a Saxon par excellence, the heroic defender of his native soil, was, in all probability, of Danish descent. Mr. Laing, in his preface to his translation of the Heimskringla, truly observes, "that the rebellions against William the Conqueror, and his successors, appear to have been almost always raised, or mainly supported, in the counties of recent Danish descent, not in those peopled by the old Anglo-Saxon race."

The portion of Mercia, consisting of the burghs of Lancaster, Lincoln, Nottingham, Stamford, and Derby, became a Danish state in A.D. 877;--East Anglia, consisting of Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk, and the Isle of Ely, in A.D. 879-80; and the vast territory of Northumbria, extending all north the Humber, into all that part of Scotland south of the Frith, in A.D. 876.--See PALGRAVE'S Commonwealth. But besides their more allotted settlements, the Danes were interspersed as landowners all over England.

(19) Bromton Chron--via., Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Herts, Cambridgeshire, Hants, Lincoln, Notts, Derby, Northampton, Leicestershire, Bucks, Beds, and the vast territory called Northumbria.

(20) PALGRAVE's History of England, p. 315.

(21) The laws collected by Edward the Confessor, and in later times so often and so fondly referred to, contained many introduced by the Danes, which had grown popular with the Saxon people. Much which we ascribe to the Norman Conqueror, pre-existed in the Anglo-Danish, and may be found both in Normandy, and parts of Scandinavia, to this day.--See HAKEWELL's Treatise on the Antiquity of Laws in this Island, in HEARNE's Curious Discourses.

(22) PALGRAVE's History of England, p. 322.

(23) The name of this god is spelt Odin, when referred to as the object of Scandinavian worship; Woden, when applied directly to the deity of the Saxons.

(24) See Note (B), at the end of the volume.

(25) The Peregrine hawk built on the rocks of Llandudno, and this breed was celebrated, even to the days of Elizabeth. Burleigh thanks one of the Mostyns for a cast of hawks from Llandudno.

(26) Hlaf, loaf,--Hlaford, lord, giver of bread; Hleafdian, lady, server of bread.--VERSTEGAN.

(27) Bedden-ale. When any man was set up in his estate by the contributions of his friends, those friends were bid to a feast, and the ale so drunk was called the bedden-ale, from bedden, to pray, or to bid. (See BRAND's Pop. Autiq.)

(28) Herleve (Arlotta), William's mother, married Herluin de Conteville, after the death of Duke Robert, and had by him two sons, Robert, Count of Mortain, and Odo, Bishop of Bayeux.-ORD. VITAL. lib. vii.

(29) Mone, monk.

(30) STRUTT's Horda.

(31) There is an animated description of this "Battle of London Bridge, "which gave ample theme to the Scandinavian scalds, in Snorro Sturleson:


"London Bridge is broken down;
Gold is won and bright renown;
Shields resounding,
War-horns sounding,
Hildur shouting in the din,
Arrows singing,
Mail-coats ringing,
Odin makes our Olaf win."
LAING's Heimskringla, vol. ii. p. 10.


(32) Sharon Turner.

(33) Hawkins, vol. ii. p. 94.

(34) Doomsday makes mention of the Moors, and the Germans (the Emperor's merchants) that were sojourners or settlers in London. The Saracens at that time were among the great merchants of the world; Marseilles, Arles, Avignon, Montpellier, Toulouse, were the wonted stapes of their active traders. What civilisers, what teachers they were--those same Saracens! How much in arms and in arts we owe them! Fathers of the Provencal poetry they, far more than even the Scandinavian scalds, have influenced the literature of Christian Europe. The most ancient chronicle of the Cid was written in Arabic, a little before the Cid's death, by two of his pages, who were Mnssulmans. The medical science of the Moors for six centuries enlightened Europe, and their metaphysics were adopted in nearly all the Christian universities.

(35) Billingsgate. See Note (C), at the end of the volume.

(36) London received a charter from William at the instigation of the Norman Bishop of London; but it probably only confirmed the previous municipal constitution, since it says briefly, "I grant you all to be as law-worthy as ye were in the days of King Edward." The rapid increase, however, of the commercial prosperity and political importance of London after the Conquest, is attested in many chronicles, and becomes strikingly evident even on the surface of history.

(37) There seems good reason for believing that a keep did stand where the Tower stands, before the Conquest, and that William's edifice spared some of its remains. In the very interesting letter from John Bayford relating to the city of London (Lel. Collect. lviii.), the writer, a thorough master of his subject, states that "the Romans made a public military way, that of Watling Street, from the Tower to Ludgate, in a straight line, at the end of which they built stations or citadels, one of which was where the White Tower now stands." Bayford adds that "when the White Tower was fitted up for the reception of records, there remained many Saxon inscriptions."

(38) Rude-lane. Lad-lane.--BAYFORD.

(39) Fitzstephen.

(40) Camden.

(41) BAYFORD, Leland's Collectanea, p. lviii.

(42) Ludgate (Leod-gate).--VERSTEGAN.

(43) See Note (D), at the end of the volume.

(44) Massere, merchant, mercer.

(45) Fitzstephen.

(46) Meuse. Apparently rather a hawk hospital, from Muta (Camden). Du Fresne, in his Glossary, says, Muta is in French Le Meue, and a disease to which the hawk was subject on changing its feathers.

(47) Scotland-yard.--STRYPE.

(48) The first bridge that connected Thorney Isle with the mainland is said to have been built by Matilda, wife of Henry I.

(49) We give him that title, which this Norman noble generally bears in the Chronicles, though Palgrave observes that he is rather to be styled Earl of the Magesetan (the Welch Marches).

(50) Eadigan.--S. TURNER, vol. i. p. 274.

(51) The comparative wealth of London was indeed considerable. When, in 1018, all the rest of England was taxed to an amount considered stupendous, viz., 71,000 Saxon pounds, London contributed 11,000 pounds besides.

(52) Complin. the second vespers.

(53) CAMDEN--A church was built out of the ruins of that temple by Sibert, King of the East Saxons; and Canute favoured much the small monastery attached to it (originally established by Dunstan for twelve Benedictines), on account of its Abbot Wulnoth, whose society pleased him. The old palace of Canute, in Thorney Isle, had been destroyed by fire.

(54) See note to PLUQUET's Roman de Rou, p. 285. N.B.--Whenever the Roman de Rou is quoted in these pages it is from the excellent edition of M. Pluquet.

(55) Pardex or Parde, corresponding to the modern French expletive, pardie.

(56) Quen, or rather Quens; synonymous with Count in the Norman Chronicles. Earl Godwin is strangely styled by Wace, Quens Qwine.

(57) "Good, good, pleasant son,--the words of the poet sound gracefully on the lips of the knight."

(58) A sentiment variously assigned to William and to his son Henry the Beau Clerc.

(59) Mallet is a genuine Scandinavian name to this day.

(60) Rou--the name given by the French to Rollo, or Rolf-ganger, the founder of the Norman settlement.

(61) Pious severity to the heterodox was a Norman virtue. William of Poictiers says of William, "One knows with what zeal he pursued and exterminated those who thought differently;" i.e., on transubstantiation. But the wise Norman, while flattering the tastes of the Roman Pontiff in such matters, took special care to preserve the independence of his Church from any undue dictation.

(62) A few generations later this comfortable and decent fashion of night-gear was abandoned; and our forefathers, Saxon and Norman, went to bed in puris naturalibus, like the Laplanders.

(63) Most of the chroniclers merely state the parentage within the forbidden degrees as the obstacle to William's marriage with Matilda; but the betrothal or rather nuptials of her mother Adele with Richard III. (though never consummated), appears to have been the true canonical objection.--See note to Wace, p. 27. Nevertheless, Matilda's mother, Adele, stood in the relation of aunt to William, as widow of his father's elder brother, "an affinity," as is observed by a writer in the "Archaeologia," "quite near enough to account for, if not to justify, the interference of the Church."--Arch. vol. xxxii. p. 109.

(64) It might be easy to show, were this the place, that though the Saxons never lost their love of liberty, yet that the victories which gradually regained the liberty from the gripe of the Anglo-Norman kings, were achieved by the Anglo-Norman aristocracy. And even to this day, the few rare descendants of that race (whatever their political faction), will generally exhibit that impatience of despotic influence, and that disdain of corruption, which characterise the homely bonders of Norway, in whom we may still recognise the sturdy likeness of their fathers; while it is also remarkable that the modern inhabitants of those portions of the kingdom originally peopled by their kindred Danes, are, irrespective of mere party divisions, noted for their intolerance of all oppression, and their resolute independence of character; to wit, Yorkshire, Norfolk, Cumberland, and large districts in the Scottish Lowlands.

(65) Ex pervetusto codice, MS. Chron. Bec. in Vit. Lanfranc, quoted in the "Archaeologia," vol. xxxii. p. 109. The joke, which is very poor, seems to have turned upon pede and quadrupede; it is a little altered in the text.

(66) Ord. Vital. See Note on Lanfranc, at the end of the volume.

(67) Siward was almost a giant (pene gigas statures). There are some curious anecdotes of this hero, immortalised by Shakspere, in the Bromton Chronicle. His grandfather is said to have been a bear, who fell in love with a Danish lady; and his father, Beorn, retained some of the traces of the parental physiognomy in a pair of pointed ears. The origin of this fable seems evident. His grandfather was a Berserker; for whether that name be derived, as is more generally supposed, from bare-sark,--or rather from bear-sark, that is, whether this grisly specimen of the Viking genus fought in his shirt or his bearskin, the name equally lends itself to those mystifications from which half the old legends, whether of Greece or Norway, are derived.

(68) Wace.

(69) See Note (E), at the end of the volume (foot-note on the date of William's marriage).

(70) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

(71) Some writers say fifty.

(72) Hovenden.

(73) Bodes, i.e. messengers.

(74) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

(75) Or Fleur-de-lis, which seems to have been a common form of ornament with the Saxon kings.

(76) Bayeux Tapestry.

(77) See note (F), at the end of the volume.

(78) The York Chronicle, written by an Englishman, Stubbs, gives this eminent person an excellent character as peacemaker. "He could make the warmest friends of foes the most hostile." "De inimicissimis, amicissimos faceret." This gentle priest had yet the courage to curse the Norman Conqueror in the midst of his barons. That scene is not within the range of this work, but it is very strikingly told in the Chronicle.

(79) Heralds, though probably the word is Saxon, were not then known in the modern acceptation of the word. The name given to the messenger or envoy who fulfilled that office was bode or nuncius. See Note (G), at the end of the volume.

(80) When the chronicler praises the gift of speech, he unconsciously proves the existence of constitutional freedom.

(81) Recent Danish historians have in vain endeavoured to detract from the reputation of Canute as an English monarch. The Danes are, doubtless, the best authorities for his character in Denmark. But our own English authorities are sufficiently decisive as to the personal popularity of Canute in this country, and the affection entertained for his laws.

(82) Some of our historians erroneously represent Harold as the eldest son. But Florence, the best authority we have, in the silence of the Saxon Chronicle, as well as Knyghton, distinctly states Sweyn to be the eldest; Harold was the second, and Tostig was the third. Sweyn's seniority seems corroborated by the greater importance of his earldom. The Norman chroniclers, in their spite to Harold, wish to make him junior to Tostig--for the reasons evident at the close of this work. And the Norwegian chronicler, Snorro Sturleson, says that Harold was the youngest of all the sons; so little was really known, or cared to be accurately known, of that great house which so nearly founded a new dynasty of English kings.

(83) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A. D. 1043. "Stigand was deposed from his bishopric, and all that he possessed was seized into the King's hands, because he was received to his mother's counsel, and she went just as he advised her, as people thought." The saintly Confessor dealt with his bishops as summarily as Henry VIII. could have done, after his quarrel with the Pope.

(84) The title of Basileus was retained by our kings so late as the time of John, who styled himself "Totius Insulae Britannicae Basileus."--AGARD: On the Antiquity of Shires in England, op. Hearne, Cur. Disc.

(85) Sharon Turner.

(86) See the Introduction to PALGRAVE's History of the Anglo-Saxons, from which this description of the Witan is borrowed so largely, that I am left without other apology for the plagiarism, than the frank confession, that if I could have found in others, or conceived from my own resources, a description half as graphic and half as accurate, I would only have plagiarised to half the extent I have done.

(87) Girald. Gambrensis.

(88) Palgrave omits, I presume accidentally, these members of the Witan, but it is clear from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that the London "lithsmen" were represented in the great National Witans, and helped to decide the election even of kings.

(89) By Athelstan's law, every man was to have peace going to and from the Witan, unless he was a thief.--WILKINS, p. 187.

(90) Goda, Edward's sister, married first Rolf's father, Count of Nantes; secondly, the Count of Boulogne.

(91) More correctly of Oxford, Somerset, Berkshire, Gloucester, and Hereford.

(92) Yet how little safe it is for the great to despise the low-born. This very Richard, son of Scrob, more euphoniously styled by the Normans Richard Fitz-Scrob, settled in Herefordshire (he was probably among the retainers of Earl Rolf), and on William's landing, became the chief and most active supporter of the invader in those districts. The sentence of banishment seems to have been mainly confined to the foreigners about the Court--for it is clear that many Norman landowners and priests were still left scattered throughout the country.

(93) SENECA, Thyest. Act ii.--"He is a king who fears nothing; that kingdom every man gives to himself."

(94) Scin-laeca, literally a shining corpse; a species of apparition invoked by the witch or wizard.--See SHARON TURNER on The Superstitions of the Anglo-Saxons, b. ii. c. 14.

(95) Galdra, magic.

(96) Fylgia, tutelary divinity. See Note (H), at the end of the volume.

(97) Morthwyrtha, worshipper of the dead.

(98) It is a disputed question whether the saex of the earliest Saxon invaders was a long or short curved weapon,--nay, whether it was curved or straight; but the author sides with those who contend that it was a short, crooked weapon, easily concealed by a cloak, and similar to those depicted on the banner of the East Saxons.

(99) See Note (K), at the end of the volume.

(100) Saxon Chronicle, Florence Wigorn. Sir F. Palgrave says that the title of Childe is equivalent to that of Atheling. With that remarkable appreciation of evidence which generally makes him so invaluable as a judicial authority where accounts are contradictory, Sir F. Palgrave discards with silent contempt the absurd romance of Godwin's station of herdsman, to which, upon such very fallacious and flimsy authorities, Thierry and Sharon Turner have been betrayed into lending their distinguished names.

(101) This first wife Thyra, was of very unpopular repute with the Saxons. She was accused of sending young English persons as slaves into Denmark, and is said to have been killed by lightning.

(102) It is just, however, to Godwin to say, that there is no proof of his share in this barbarous transaction; the presumptions, on the contrary, are in his favour; but the authorities are too contradictory, and the whole event too obscure, to enable us unhesitatingly to confirm the acquittal he received in his own age, and from his own national tribunal.

(103) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

(104) William of Malmesbury.

(105) So Robert of Gloucester says pithily of William, "Kyng Wylliam was to mild men debonnere ynou."--HEARNE, v. ii. p. 309.

(106) This kiss of peace was held singularly sacred by the Normans, and all the more knightly races of the continent. Even the craftiest dissimulator, designing fraud, and stratagem, and murder to a foe, would not, to gain his ends, betray the pledge of the kiss of peace. When Henry II. consented to meet Becket after his return from Rome, and promised to remedy all of which his prelate complained, he struck prophetic dismay into Becket's heart by evading the kiss of peace.

(107) SNORRO STURLESON's Heimskringla.--Laing's Translation, p. 75-77.

(108) The gre-hound was so called from hunting the gre or badger.

(109) The spear and the hawk were as the badges of Saxon nobility; and a thegn was seldom seen abroad without the one on his left wrist, the other in his right hand.

(110) BED Epist. ad Egbert.

(111) TEGNER's Frithiof.

(112) Some of the chroniclers say that he married the daughter of Gryffyth, the king of North Wales, but Gryffyth certainly married Algar's daughter, and that double alliance could not have been permitted. It was probably, therefore, some more distant kinswoman of Gryffyth's that was united to Algar.

(113) The title of queen is employed in these pages, as one which our historians have unhesitatingly given to the consorts of our Saxon kings; but the usual and correct designation of Edward's royal wife, in her own time, would be, Edith the Lady.

(114) ETHEL. De Gen. Reg. Ang.

(115) AILRED, De Vit. Edward Confess.

(116) Ingulfus.

(117) The clergy (says Malmesbury), contented with a very slight share of learning, could scarcely stammer out the words of the sacraments; and a person who understood grammar was an object of wonder and astonishment. Other authorities, likely to be impartial, speak quite as strongly as to the prevalent ignorance of the time.

(118) House-carles in the royal court were the body-guard, mostly, if not all, of Danish origin. They appear to have been first formed, or at least employed, in that capacity by Canute. With the great earls, the house-carles probably exercised the same functions; but in the ordinary acceptation of the word in families of lower rank, house-carle was a domestic servant.

(119) This was cheap. For Agelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury, gave the Pope 6000 lb. weight of silver for the arm of St. Augustine.--MALMESBURY.

(120) William of Malmesbury says, that the English, at the time of the Conquest, loaded their arms with gold bracelets, and adorned their skins with punctured designs, i.e., a sort of tattooing. He says, that they then wore short garments, reaching to the mid-knee; but that was a Norman fashion, and the loose robes assigned in the text to Algar were the old Saxon fashion, which made but little distinction between the dress of women and that of men.

(121) And in England, to this day, the descendants of the Anglo-Danes, in Cumberland and Yorkshire, are still a taller and bonier race than those of the Anglo-Saxons, as in Surrey and Sussex.

(122) Very few of the greater Saxon nobles could pretend to a lengthened succession in their demesnes. The wars with the Danes, the many revolutions which threw new families uppermost, the confiscations and banishments, and the invariable rule of rejecting the heir, if not of mature years at his father's death, caused rapid changes of dynasty in the several earldoms. But the family of Leofric had just claims to a very rare antiquity in their Mercian lordship. Leofric was the sixth Earl of Chester and Coventry, in lineal descent from his namesake, Leofric the First; he extended the supremacy of his hereditary lordship over all Mercia. See DUGDALE, Monast. vol. iii. p. 102; and PALGRAVE's Commonwealth, Proofs and Illustrations, p. 291.

(123) AILRED de Vit. Edw.

(124) Dunwich, now swallowed up by the sea.--Hostile element to the house of Godwin.

(125) Windsor.

(126) The chronicler, however, laments that the household ties, formerly so strong with the Anglo-Saxon, had been much weakened in the age prior to the Conquest.

(127) Some authorities state Winchester as the scene of these memorable festivities. Old Windsor Castle is supposed by Mr. Lysons to have occupied the site of a farm of Mr. Isherwood's surrounded by a moat, about two miles distant from New Windsor. He conjectures that it was still occasionally inhabited by the Norman kings till 1110. The ville surrounding it only contained ninety-five houses, paying gabel-tax, in the Norman survey.

(128) AILRED, de Vit. Edward. Confess.

(129) "Is it astonishing," asked the people (referring to Edward's preference of the Normans), "that the author and support of Edward's reign should be indignant at seeing new men from a foreign nation raised above him, and yet never does he utter one harsh word to the man whom he himself created king?"--HAZLITT's THIERRY, vol. i. p. 126.

This is the English account (versus the Norman). There can be little doubt that it is the true one.

(130) Henry of Huntingdon, etc.

(131) Henry of Huntingdon; Bromt. Chron., etc.

(132) Hoveden.

(133) The origin of the word leach (physician), which has puzzled some inquirers, is from lids or leac, a body. Leich is the old Saxon word for surgeon.

(134) Sharon Turner, vol. i. p. 472.

(135) Fosbrooke.

(136) Aegir, the Scandinavian god of the ocean. Not one of the Aser, or Asas (the celestial race), but sprung from the giants. Ran or Rana, his wife, a more malignant character, who caused shipwrecks, and drew to herself, by a net, all that fell into the sea. The offspring of this marriage were nine daughters, who became the Billows, the Currents, and the Storms.

(137) Frilla, the Danish word for a lady who, often with the wife's consent, was added to the domestic circle by the husband. The word is here used by Hilda in a general sense of reproach. Both marriage and concubinage were common amongst the Anglo-Saxon priesthood, despite the unheeded canons; and so, indeed, they were with the French clergy.

(138) Hilda, not only as a heathen, but as a Dane, would be no favourer of monks; they were unknown in Denmark at that time, and the Danes held them in odium.--Ord Vital., lib. vii.

(139) Chron. Knyghton.

(140) Weyd-month. Meadow month, June.

(141) Cumen-hus. Tavern.

(142) Fitzstephen.

(143) William of Malmesbury speaks with just indignation of the Anglo-Saxon custom of selling female servants, either to public prostitution, or foreign slavery.

(144) It will be remembered that Algar governed Wessex, which principality included Kent, during the year of Godwin's outlawry.

(145) Trulofa, from which comes our popular corruption "true lover's knot;" a vetere Danico trulofa, i.e., fidem do, to pledge faith.--HICKE's Thesaur.

"A knot, among the ancient northern nations, seems to have been the emblem of love, faith, and friendship."--BRANDE's Pop. Antiq.

(146) The Saxon Chronicle contradicts itself as to Algar's outlawry, stating in one passage that he was outlawed without any kind of guilt, and in another that he was outlawed as swike, or traitor, and that he made a confession of it before all the men there gathered. His treason, however, seems naturally occasioned by his close connection with Gryffyth, and proved by his share in that King's rebellion. Some of our historians have unfairly assumed that his outlawry was at Harold's instigation. Of this there is not only no proof, but one of the best authorities among the chroniclers says just the contrary--that Harold did all he could to intercede for him; and it is certain that he was fairly tried and condemned by the Witan, and afterwards restored by the concurrent articles of agreement between Harold and Leofric. Harold's policy with his own countrymen stands out very markedly prominent in the annals of the time; it was invariably that of conciliation.

(147) Saxon Chron., verbatim.

(148) Hume.


(149) "The chaste who blameless keep unsullied fame,
Transcend all other worth, all other praise.
The Spirit, high enthroned, has made their hearts
His sacred temple."


SHARON TURNER's Translation of Aldhelm, vol. iii. p. 366. It is curious to see how, even in Latin, the poet preserves the alliterations that characterised the Saxon muse.

(150) Slightly altered from Aldhelm.

(151) It is impossible to form any just view of the state of parties, and the position of Harold in the later portions of this work, unless the reader will bear constantly in mind the fact that, from the earliest period, minors were set aside as a matter of course, by the Saxon customs. Henry observes that, in the whole history of the Heptarchy, there is but one example of a minority, and that a short and unfortunate one; so, in the later times, the great Alfred takes the throne, to the exclusion of the infant son of his elder brother. Only under very peculiar circumstances, backed, as in the case of Edmund Ironsides, by precocious talents and manhood on the part of the minor, were there exceptions to the general laws of succession. The same rule obtained with the earldoms; the fame, power, and popularity of Siward could not transmit his Northumbrian earldom to his infant son Waltheof, so gloomily renowned in a subsequent reign.

(152) Bayeux Tapestry.

(153) Indeed, apparently the only monastic order in England.

(154) See Note to Robert of Gloucester, vol. ii. p. 372.

(155) The Saxon priests were strictly forbidden to bear arms.--SPELM. Concil. p. 238.

It is mentioned in the English Chronicles, as a very extraordinary circumstance, that a bishop of Hereford, who had been Harold's chaplain, did actually take sword and shield against the Welch. Unluckily, this valiant prelate was slain so soon, that it was no encouraging example.

(156) See Note (K), at the end of the volume.

(157) The Normans and French detested each other; and it was the Norman who taught to the Saxon his own animosities against the Frank. A very eminent antiquary, indeed, De la Rue, considered that the Bayeux tapestry could not be the work of Matilda, or her age, because in it the Normans are called French. But that is a gross blunder on his part; for William, in his own charters, calls the Normans "Franci." Wace, in his "Roman de Rou," often styles the Normans "French;" and William of Poitiers, a contemporary of the Conqueror, gives them also in one passage the same name. Still, it is true that the Normans were generally very tenacious of their distinction from their gallant but hostile neighbours.

(158) The present town and castle of Conway.

(159) See CAMDEN's Britannia, "Caernarvonshire."

(160) When (A.D. 220) the bishops, Germanicus, and Lupus, headed the Britons against the Picts and Saxons, in Easter week, fresh from their baptism in the Alyn, Germanicus ordered them to attend to his war-cry, and repeat it; he gave "Alleluia." The hills so loudly re-echoed the cry, that the enemy caught panic, and fled with great slaughter. Maes Garmon, in Flintshire, was the scene of the victory.

(161) The cry of the English at the onset of battle was "Holy Crosse, God Almighty;" afterwards in fight, "Ouct, ouct," out, out.--HEARNE's Disc. Antiquity of Motts.

The latter cry, probably, originated in the habit of defending their standard and central posts with barricades and closed shields; and thus, idiomatically and vulgarly, signified "get out."

(162) Certain high places in Wales, of which this might well be one, were so sacred, that even the dwellers in the immediate neighbourhood never presumed to approach them.

(163) See Note (L), at the end of the volume.

(164) See Note (M), at the end of the volume.

(165) The Welch seem to have had a profusion of the precious metals very disproportioned to the scarcity of their coined money. To say nothing of the torques, bracelets, and even breastplates of gold, common with their numerous chiefs, their laws affix to offences penalties which attest the prevalent waste both of gold and silver. Thus, an insult to a sub-king of Aberfraw is atoned by a silver rod as thick as the King's little finger, which is in length to reach from the ground to his mouth when sitting; and a gold cup, with a cover as broad as the King's face, and the thickness of a ploughman's nail, or the shell of a goose's egg. I suspect that it was precisely because the Welch coined little or no money, that the metals they possessed became thus common in domestic use. Gold would have been more rarely seen, even amongst the Peruvians, had they coined it into money.

(166) Leges Wallicae.

(167) Mona, or Anglesea.

(168) Ireland.

(169) The Welch were then, and still are, remarkable for the beauty of their teeth. Giraldus Cambrensis observes, as something very extraordinary, that they cleaned them.

(170) I believe it was not till the last century that a good road took the place of this pass.

(171) The Saxons of Wessex seem to have adopted the Dragon for their ensign, from an early period. It was probably for this reason that it was assumed by Edward Ironsides, as the hero of the Saxons; the principality of Wessex forming the most important portion of the pure Saxon race, while its founder was the ancestor of the imperial house of the Basileus of Britain. The dragon seems also to have been a Norman ensign. The lions or leopards, popularly assigned to the Conqueror, are certainly a later invention. There is no appearance of them on the banners and shields of the Norman army in the Bayeux tapestry. Armorial bearings were in use amongst the Welch, and even the Saxons, long before heraldry was reduced to a science by the Franks and Normans. And the dragon, which is supposed by many critics to be borrowed from the east, through the Saracens, certainly existed as an armorial ensign with the Cymrians before they could have had any obligation to the songs and legends of that people.

(172) "In whose time the earth brought forth double, and there was neither beggar nor poor man from the North to the South Sea." POWELL's Hist. of Wales, p. 83.

(173) "During the military expeditions made in our days against South Wales, an old Welchman, at Pencadair, who had faithfully adhered to him (Henry II.), being desired to give his opinion about the royal army, and whether he thought that of the rebels would make resistance, and what he thought would be the final event of this war, replied: 'This nation, O King, may now, as in former times, be harassed, and, in a great measure, be weakened and destroyed by you and other powers; and it will often prevail by its laudable exertions, but it can never be totally subdued by the wrath of man, unless the wrath of God shall concur. Nor do I think that any other nation than this of Wales, or any other language (whatever may hereafter come to pass), shall in the day of severe examination before the Supreme Judge answer for this corner of the earth!'"--HOARE's Giraldus Cambrensis, vol. i. p. 361.

(174) Gryffyth left a son, Caradoc; but he was put aside as a minor, according to the Saxon customs.

(175) Bromton Chron., Knyghton, Walsingham, Hoveden, etc.

(176) Bromton, Knyghton, etc.

(177) The word "decimated" is the one generally applied by the historians to the massacre in question; and it is therefore retained here. But it is not correctly applied, for that butchery was perpetrated, not upon one out of ten, but nine out of ten.

(178) The above reasons for Harold's memorable expedition are sketched at this length, because they suggest the most probable motives which induced it, and furnish, in no rash and inconsiderate policy, that key to his visit, which is not to be found in chronicler or historian.

(179) See Note (N).

(180) Faul was an evil spirit much dreaded by the Saxons. Zabulus and Diabolus (the Devil) seem to have been the same.

(181) Ygg-drassill, the mystic Ash-tree of Life, or symbol of the earth, watered by the Fates.--See Note (O.)

(182) Mimir, the most celebrated of the giants. The Vaner, with whom he was left as a hostage, cut off his head. Odin embalmed it by his seid, or magic art, pronounced over it mystic runes, and, ever after, consulted it on critical occasions.

(183) Asa-Lok or Loke--(distinct from Utgard-Lok, the demon of the Infernal Regions)--descended from the Giants, but received among the celestial Deities; a treacherous and malignant Power fond of assuming disguises and plotting evil-corresponding in his attributes with our "Lucifer." One of his progeny was Hela, the Queen of Hell.

(184) "A hag dwells in a wood called Janvid, the Iron Wood, the mother of many gigantic sons shaped like wolves; there is one of a race more fearful than all, named 'Managarm.' He will be filled with the blood of men who draw near their end, and will swallow up the moon and stain the heavens and the hearth with blood."--From the Prose Edda. In the Scandinavian poetry, Managarm is sometimes the symbol of war, and the "Iron Wood" a metaphor for spears.

(185) "Wolf Month," January.

(186) Bayeux tapestry.

(187) Roman de Rou, see part ii. 1078.

(188) Belrem, the present Beaurain, near Montreuil.

(189) Roman de Rou, part ii. 1079.

(190) William of Poitiers, "apud Aucense Castrum."

(191) As soon as the rude fort of the middle ages admitted something of magnificence and display, the state rooms were placed in the third story of the inner court, as being the most secure.

(192) A manor (but not, alas! In Normandy) was held by one of his cooks, on the tenure of supplying William with a dish of dillegrout.

(193) The Council of Cloveshoe forbade the clergy to harbour poets, harpers, musicians, and buffoons. (194) ORD. VITAL.

(195) Canute made his inferior strength and stature his excuse for not meeting Edward Ironsides in single combat.

(196) Odo's licentiousness was, at a later period, one of the alleged causes of his downfall, or rather against his release from the prison to which he had been consigned. He had a son named John, who distinguished himself under Henry I.--ORD. VITAL. lib. iv.

(197) William of Poitiers, the contemporary Norman chronicler, says of Harold, that he was a man to whom imprisonment was more odious than shipwreck.

(198) In the environs of Bayeux still may perhaps linger the sole remains of the Scandinavian Normans, apart from the gentry. For centuries the inhabitants of Bayeux and its vicinity were a class distinct from the Franco-Normans, or the rest of Neustria; they submitted with great reluctance to the ducal authority, and retained their old heathen cry of Thor-aide, instead of Dieu-aide!

(199) Similar was the answer of Goodyn the Bishop of Winchester, ambassador from Henry VIII. to the French King. To this day the English entertain the same notion of forts as Harold and Goodyn.

(200) See Mr. Wright's very interesting article on the "Condition of the English Peasantry," etc., Archaeologia, vol. xxx. pp. 205-244. I must, however, observe, that one very important fact seems to have been generally overlooked by all inquirers, or, at least, not sufficiently enforced, viz., that it was the Norman's contempt for the general mass of the subject population which more, perhaps, than any other cause, broke up positive slavery in England. Thus the Norman very soon lost sight of that distinction the Anglo-Saxons had made between the agricultural ceorl and the theowe; i.e., between the serf of the soil and the personal slave. Hence these classes became fused in each other, and were gradually emancipated by the same circumstances. This, be it remarked, could never have taken place under the Anglo-Saxon laws, which kept constantly feeding the class of slaves by adding to it convicted felons and their children. The subject population became too necessary to the Norman barons, in their feuds with each other, or their king, to be long oppressed; and, in the time of Froissart, that worthy chronicler ascribes the insolence, or high spirit, of le menu peuple to their grand aise, et abondance de biens.

(201) Twelve o'clock.

(202) Six A.M.

(203) A celebrated antiquary, in his treatise in the "Archaeologia," on the authenticity of the Bayeux tapestry, very justly invites attention to the rude attempt of the artist to preserve individuality in his portraits; and especially to the singularly erect bearing of the Duke, by which he is at once recognised wherever he is introduced. Less pains are taken with the portrait of Harold; but even in that a certain elegance of proportion, and length of limb, as well as height of stature, are generally preserved.

(204) Bayeux tapestry.

(205) AIL. de Vit. Edw.--Many other chroniclers mention this legend, of which the stones of Westminster Abbey itself prated, in the statues of Edward and the Pilgrim, placed over the arch in Dean's Yard.

(206) This ancient Saxon lay, apparently of the date of the tenth or eleventh century, may be found, admirably translated by Mr. George Stephens, in the Archaeologia, vol. xxx. p. 259. In the text the poem is much abridged, reduced into rhythm, and in some stanzas wholly altered from the original. But it is, nevertheless, greatly indebted to Mr. Stephens's translation, from which several lines are borrowed verbatim. The more careful reader will note the great aid given to a rhymeless metre by alliteration. I am not sure that this old Saxon mode of verse might not be profitably restored to our national muse.

(207) People.

(208) Heaven.

(209) Omen.

(210) The Eastern word Satraps (Satrapes) made one of the ordinary and most inappropriate titles (borrowed, no doubt, from the Byzantine Court), by which the Saxons, in their Latinity, honoured their simple nobles.

(211) Afterwards married to Malcolm of Scotland, through whom, by the female line, the present royal dynasty of England assumes descent from the Anglo-Saxon kings.

(212) By his first wife; Aldyth was his second.

(213) Flor. Wig.

(214) This truth has been overlooked by writers, who have maintained the Atheling's right as if incontestable. "An opinion prevailed," says Palgrave, "Eng. Commonwealth," pp. 559, 560, "that if the Atheling was born before his father and mother were ordained to the royal dignity, the crown did not descend to the child of uncrowned ancestors. "Our great legal historian quotes Eadmer, "De Vit. Sanct. Dunstan," p. 220, for the objection made to the succession of Edward the Martyr, on this score.

(215) See the judicious remarks of Henry, "Hist. of Britain," on this head. From the lavish abuse of oaths, perjury had come to be reckoned one of the national vices of the Saxon.

(216) And so, from Gryffyth, beheaded by his subjects, descended Charles Stuart.

(217) Brompt. Chron.

(218) See Note P.

(219) It seems by the coronation service of Ethelred II. still extant, that two bishops officiated in the crowning of the King; and hence, perhaps, the discrepancy in the chronicles, some contending that Harold was crowned by Alred, others, by Stigand. It is noticeable, however, that it is the apologists of the Normans who assign that office to Stigand, who was in disgrace with the Pope, and deemed no lawful bishop. Thus in the Bayeux tapestry the label, "Stigand," is significantly affixed to the officiating prelate, as if to convey insinuation that Harold was not lawfully crowned. Florence, by far the best authority, says distinctly, that Harold was crowned by Alred. The ceremonial of the coronation described in the text, is for the most part given on the authority of the "Cotton MS." quoted by Sharon Turner, vol. iii. p. 151.

(220) Introduced into our churches in the ninth century.

(221) The Wyn-month: October.

(222) "Snorro Sturleson." Laing.

(223) The Vaeringers, or Varangi, mostly Northmen; this redoubtable force, the Janissaries of the Byzantine empire, afforded brilliant field, both of fortune and war, to the discontented spirits, or outlawed heroes of the North. It was joined afterwards by many of the bravest and best born of the Saxon nobles, refusing to dwell under the yoke of the Norman. Scott, in "Count Robert of Paris," which, if not one of his best romances, is yet full of truth and beauty, has described this renowned band with much poetical vigor and historical fidelity.

(224) Laing's Snorro Sturleson.--"The old Norwegian ell was less than the present ell; and Thorlasius reckons, in a note on this chapter, that Harold's stature would be about four Danish ells; viz. about eight feet."--Laing's note to the text. Allowing for the exaggeration of the chronicler, it seems probable, at least, that Hardrada exceeded seven feet. Since (as Laing remarks in the same note), and as we shall see hereafter, "our English Harold offered him, according to both English and Danish authority, seven feet of land for a grave, or as much more as his stature, exceeding that of other men, might require."

(225) Snorro Sturleson. See Note Q.

(226) Snorro Sturleson.

(227) Hoveden.

(228) Holinshed. Nearly all chroniclers (even, with scarce an exception, those most favouring the Normans), concur in the abilities and merits of Harold as a king.

(229) "Vit. Harold. Chron. Ang. Norm." ii, 243.

(230) Hoveden.

(231) Malmesbury.

(232) Supposed to be our first port for shipbuilding.--FOSBROOKE, p. 320.

(233) Pax.

(234) Some of the Norman chroniclers state that Robert, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had been expelled from England at Godwin's return, was Lanfranc's companion in this mission; but more trustworthy authorities assure us that Robert had been dead some years before, not long surviving his return into Normandy.

(235) Saxon Chronicle.

(236) Saxon Chronicle.--"When it was the nativity of St. Mary, then were the men's provisions gone, and no man could any longer keep them there."

(237) It is curious to notice how England was represented as a country almost heathen; its conquest was regarded quite as a pious, benevolent act of charity--a sort of mission for converting the savages. And all this while England was under the most slavish ecclesiastical domination, and the priesthood possessed a third of its land! But the heart of England never forgave that league of the Pope with the Conqueror; and the seeds of the Reformed Religion were trampled deep into the Saxon soil by the feet of the invading Norman.

(238) WILLIAM OF POITIERS.--The naive sagacity of this bandit argument, and the Norman's contempt for Harold's deficiency in "strength of mind," are exquisite illustrations of character.

(239) Snorro Sturleson.

(240) Does any Scandinavian scholar know why the trough was so associated with the images of Scandinavian witchcraft? A witch was known, when seen behind, by a kind of trough-like shape; there must be some symbol, of very ancient mythology, in this superstition!

(241) Snorro Sturleson.

(242) Snorro Sturleson.

(243) So Thierry translates the word: others, the Land-ravager. In Danish, the word is Land-ode, in Icelandic, Land-eydo.--Note to Thierry's "Hist. of the Conq. of England," book iii. vol. vi. p. 169 (of Hazlitt's translation).

(244) Snorro Sturleson.

(245) See Snorro Sturleson for this parley between Harold in person and Tostig. The account differs from the Saxon chroniclers, but in this particular instance is likely to be as accurate.

(246) Snorro Sturleson.

(247) Snorro Sturleson.

(248) Sharon Turner's Anglo-Saxons, vol. ii. p. 396. Snorro Sturleson.

(249) Snorro Sturleson.

(250) The quick succession of events allowed the Saxon army no time to bury the slain; and the bones of the invaders whitened the field of battle for many years afterwards.

(251) It may be said indeed, that, in the following reign, the Danes under Osbiorn (brother of King Sweyn), sailed up the Humber; but it was to assist the English, not to invade them. They were bought off by the Normans,--not conquered.

(252) The Saxons sat at meals with their heads covered.

(253) Henry.

(254) Palgrave--"Hist. of Anglo-Saxons."

(255) Palgrave--"Hist. of Anglo-Saxons."

(256) The battle-field of Hastings seems to have been called Senlac, before the Conquest, Sanguelac after it.

(257) Traitor-messenger.


(258) "Ne meinent od els chevalier,
Varlet a pie De eskuier;
Ne nul d'els n'a armes portee,
Forz sol escu, lance, et espee."
Roman de Rou, Second Part, v. 12, 126.

(259) "Ke d'une angarde (eminence) u ils 'estuient
Cels de l'ost virent, ki pres furent."
Roman de Rou, Second Part, v. 12, 126.


(260) Midnight.

(261) This counsel the Norman chronicler ascribes to Gurth, but it is so at variance with the character of that hero, that it is here assigned to the unscrupulous intellect of Haco.

(262) Osborne--(Asbiorn),--one of the most common of Danish and Norwegian names. Tonstain, Toustain, or Tostain, the same as Tosti, or Tostig,--Danish. (Harold's brother is called Tostain or Toustain, in the Norman chronicles). Brand, a name common to Dane or Norwegian--Bulmer is a Norwegian name, and so is Bulver or Bolvaer--which is, indeed, so purely Scandinavian that it is one of the warlike names given to Odin himself by the Norse-scalds. Bulverhithe still commemorates the landing of a Norwegian son of the war-god. Bruce, the ancestor of the deathless Scot, also bears in that name, more illustrious than all, the proof of his Scandinavian birth.

(263) This mail appears in that age to have been sewn upon linen or cloth. In the later age of the crusaders, it was more artful, and the links supported each other, without being attached to any other material.

(264) Bayeux tapestry.

(265) The cross-bow is not to be seen in the Bayeux tapestry--the Norman bows are not long.

(266) Roman de Rou.

(267) William of Poitiers.

(268) Dieu nous aide.

(269) Thus, when at the battle of Barnet, Earl Warwick, the king-maker, slew his horse and fought on foot, he followed the old traditional customs of Saxon chiefs.


(270) "Devant li Dus alout cantant
De Karlemaine e de Rollant,
Ed 'Olever e des Vassalls
Ki morurent en Ronchevals."
Roman de Rou, Part ii. I. 13, 151.


Much research has been made by French antiquaries, to discover the old Chant de Roland, but in vain.

(271) W. PICT. Chron. de Nor.

(272) For, as Sir F. Palgrave shrewdly conjectures, upon the dismemberment of the vast earldom of Wessex, on Harold's accession to the throne, that portion of it comprising Sussex (the old government of his grandfather Wolnoth) seems to have been assigned to Gurth.

(273) Harold's birthday was certainly the 14th of October. According to Mr. Roscoe, in his "Life of William the Conqueror," William was born also on the 14th of October.

(274) William Pict.

(275) Thus Wace,


"Guert (Gurth) vit Engleiz amenuisier,
Vi K'il n'i ont nul recovrier," etc.


"Gurth saw the English diminish, and that there was no hope to retrieve the day; the Duke pushed forth with such force, that he reached him, and struck him with great violence (par grant air). I know not if he died by the stroke, but it is said that it laid him low."

(276) The suggestions implied in the text will probably be admitted as correct; when we read in the Saxon annals of the recognition of the dead, by peculiar marks on their bodies; the obvious, or at least the most natural explanation of those signs, is to be found in the habit of puncturing the skin, mentioned by the Malmesbury chronicler.

(277) The contemporary Norman chronicler, William of Poitiers. See Note (R).

(278) See Note (R).


(279) "Rex magnus parva jacet hic Gulielmus in urna--
Sufficit et magno parva Domus Domino."


From William the Conqueror's epitaph (ap-Gemiticen). His bones are said to have been disinterred some centuries after his death.

(280) Thomson's Essay on Magna Charta.

(281) Orderic. Vital. lib. 4.

(282) The date of William's marriage has been variously stated in English and Norman history, but is usually fixed in 1051-2. M. Pluquet, however, in a note to his edition of the "Roman de Rou," says that the only authority for the date of that marriage is in the Chronicle of Tours, and it is there referred to 1053. It would seem that the Papal excommunication was not actually taken off till 1059; nor the formal dispensation for the marriage granted till 1063.

(283) For authorities for the above sketch, and for many interesting details of Lanfranc's character, see Orderic. Vital. Hen. de Knyghton, lib. ii. Gervasius; and the life of Lanfranc, to be found in the collection of his Works, etc.

(284) Pigott's Scand. Mythol. p. 380. Half. Vand. Saga.

(285) "Suthsaxonum Ministrum Wolfnothem." Flor. Wig.

(286) Asser. de Reb. Gest. Alf. pp. 17, 18.

(287) Camden, Caernarvonshire.

(288) Pennant's Wales, vol. ii. p. 146.

(289) The ruins still extant are much diminished since the time even of Pownall or Pennant; and must be indeed inconsiderable, compared with the buildings or walls which existed at the date of my tale.

(290) Johann. ap. Acad. Celt. tom. iii. p. 151.

(291) William of Poitiers.

(292) He is considered to refer to such bequest in one of his charters: "Devicto Harlodo rege cum suis complicibus qui michi regnum prudentia Domini destinatum, et beneficio concessionis Domini et cognati mei gloriosi regis Edwardi concessum conati sunt auferre."--FORESTINA, A. 3.

But William's word is certainly not to be taken, for he never scrupled to break it; and even in these words he does not state that it was left him by Edward's will, but destined and given to him--words founded, perhaps, solely on the promise referred to, before Edward came to the throne, corroborated by some messages in the earlier years of his reign, through the Norman Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems to have been a notable intriguer to that end.

(293) Palgrave, "Commonwealth," 560.

(294) "Quo tumulato, subregulus Haroldus Godwin Ducis filius, quem rex ante suam decessionem regni successorem elegerat, a totius Angliae primatibus, ad regale culmen electus, die eodem ab Aldredo Eboracensi Archiepiscopo in regem est honorifice consecratus."--FLOR. Wig.

(295) Some of these Norman chroniclers tell an absurd story of Harold's seizing the crown from the hand of the bishop, and putting it himself on his head. The Bayeux Tapestry, which is William's most connected apology for his claim, shows no such violence; but Harold is represented as crowned very peaceably. With more art, (as I have observed elsewhere,) the Tapestry represents Stigand as crowning him instead of Alred; Stigand being at that time under the Pope's interdict.

(296) Edward died Jan. 5th. Harold's coronation is said to have taken place Jan. the 12th; but there is no very satisfactory evidence as to the precise day; indeed some writers would imply that he was crowned the day after Edward's death, which is scarcely possible.

(297) Vit. Harold. Chron. Ang. Norm.

(298) Laing's Note to Snorro Sturleson, vol. iii. p. 101.

(299) This William Mallet was the father of Robert Mallet, founder of the Priory of Eye, in Suffolk (a branch of the House of Mallet de Graville).--PLUQUET. He was also the ancestor of the great William Mallet (or Malet, as the old Scandinavian name was now corruptly spelt), one of the illustrious twenty-five "conservators" of Magna Charta. The family is still extant; and I have to apologise to Sir Alexander Malet, Bart. (Her Majesty's Minister at Stutgard), Lieut.-Col. Charles St. Lo Malet, the Rev. William Windham Malet (Vicar of Ardley), and other members of that ancient House, for the liberty taken with the name of their gallant forefather.


(THE END)
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's novel: Harold, The Last Of The Saxon Kings

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NOTE (A) There are various accounts in the Chroniclers as to the stature of William the First; some represent him as a giant, others as of just or middle height. Considering the vulgar inclination to attribute to a hero's stature the qualities of the mind (and putting out of all question the arguments that rest on the pretended size of the disburied bones--for which the authorities are really less respectable than those on which we are called upon to believe that the skeleton of the mythical Gawaine measured eight feet), we prefer that supposition, as to the physical proportions, which
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