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firmed in the resolution of seizing their possessions, and of reducing them to the most abject slavery. Though the natural violence and severity of his temper made him incapable of feeling any remorse in the execution of this tyrannical purpose, he had art enough to conceal his intention, and to preserve still some appearance of justice in his oppressions. He ordered all the English who had been arbitrarily expelled by the Normans during his absence, to be restored to their estates2: but at the same time he imposed a general tax on the people, that of danegelt, which had been abolished by the Confessor, and which had always been extremely odious to the nationa.

As the vigilance of William overawed the malcontents, their insurrections were more the result of an impatient humour in the people, than of any regular conspiracy which could give them a rational hope of success against the established power of the Normans. The inhabitants of Exeter, instigated by Githa, mother to king Harold, refused to admit a Norman garrison, and betaking themselves to arms, were strengthened by the accession of the neighbouring inhabitants of Devonshire and Cornwall". The king hastened with his forces to chastise this revolt; and on his approach, the wiser and more considerable citizens, sensible of the unequal contest, persuaded the people to submit, and to deliver hostages for their obedience. A sudden mutiny of the populace broke this agreement; and William, appearing before the walls, ordered the eyes of one of the hostages to be put out, as an earnest of that severity which the rebels must expect, if they persevered in their revolt. The inhabitants were anew seized with terror, and surrendering at discretion, threw themselves at the king's feet, and supplicated his clemency and forgiveness. William was not destitute of generosity, when his temper was not hardened either by policy or passion: he was prevailed on to pardon the

Chron. Sax. p. 173. This fact is a full proof that the Normans had committed great injustice, and were the real cause of the insurrections of the English. a Hoveden, p. 450. Sim. Dunelm. p. 197. Alured. Beverl. p. 127. b Order. Vitalis, p. 510.

e Ibid.

rebels, and he set guards on all the gates, in order to prevent the rapacity and insolence of his soldiery. Githa escaped with her treasures to Flanders. The malcontents of Cornwall imitated the example of Exeter, and met with like treatment; and the king, having built a citadel in that city, which he put under the command of Baldwin, son of earl Gilbert, returned to Winchester, and dispersed his army into their quarters. He was here joined by his wife Matilda, who had not before visited England, and whom he now ordered to be crowned by archbishop Aldred. Soon after she brought him an accession to his *. family, by the birth of a fourth son, whom he named Henry. His three elder sons, Robert, Richard, and William, still resided in Normandy.

But though the king appeared thus fortunate both in public and domestic life, the discontents of his English subjects augmented daily; and the injuries committed and suffered on both sides rendered the quarrel between them and the Normans absolutely incurable. The insolence of victorious masters, dispersed throughout the kingdom, seemed intolerable to the natives; and wherever they found the Normans separate or assembled in small bodies, they secretly set upon them, and gratified their vengeance by the slaughter of their enemies. But an insurrection in the north drew thither the general attention, and seemed to threaten more important consequences. Edwin and Morcar appeared at the head of this rebellion; and these potent noblemen, before they took arms, stipulated for foreign succours from their nephew Blethyn, prince of North Wales, from Malcolm, king of Scotland, and from Sweyn, king of Denmark. Besides the general discontent which had seized the English, the two earls were incited to this revolt by private injuries. William, in order to ensure them to his interests, had on his accession promised his daughter in marriage to Edwin; but either he had never seriously intended to perform this engagement, or, having changed his plan of administration in England from clemency to rigour, he thought it was to little purd Order. Vitalis, p. 510.



pose if he gained one family, while he enraged the whole
nation. When Edwin, therefore, renewed his applica-
tions, he gave him an absolute denial; and this disap-
pointment, added to so many other reasons of disgust, in-
duced that nobleman and his brother to concur with their
incensed countrymen, and to make one general effort for
the recovery of their ancient liberties. William knew the
importance of celerity in quelling an insurrection, sup-
ported by such powerful leaders, and so agreeable to the
wishes of the people; and having his troops always in
readiness, he advanced by great journeys to the north.
On his march he gave orders to fortify the castle of War-
wick, of which he left Henry de Beaumont governor, and
that of Nottingham, which he committed to the custody of
William Peverell, another Norman captain. He reached
York before the rebels were in any condition for resist-
ance, or were joined by any of the foreign succours which
they expected, except a small reinforcement from Wales;
and the two earls found no means of safety but having
recourse to the clemency of the victor. Archil, a potent
nobleman in those parts, imitated their example, and de-
livered his son as a hostage for his fidelity; nor were the
people, thus deserted by their leaders, able to make any
farther resistance. But the treatment which William gave
the chiefs was very different from that which fell to the
share of their followers. He observed religiously the
terms which he had granted to the former; and allowed
them for the present to keep possession of their estates;
but he extended the rigours of his confiscations over the
latter, and gave away their lands to his foreign adven-
turers. These, planted throughout the whole country,
and in possession of the military power, left Edwin and
Morcar, whom he pretended to spare, destitute of all sup-
port, and ready to fall whenever he should think proper
to command their ruin. A peace which he made with
Malcolm, who did him homage for Cumberland, seemed at
the same time to deprive them of all prospect of foreign
h Ibid. i Ibid.

e Order. Vitalis, p. 511.

f Ibid.

* Ibid.


The English were now sensible that their final destruc- 1068. tion was intended; and that instead of a sovereign, whom Rigours of they had hoped to gain by their submission, they had the Norman tamely surrendered themselves, without resistance, to a ment. tyrant and a conqueror. Though the early confiscation of Harold's followers might seem iniquitous, being inflicted on men who had never sworn fealty to the duke of Normandy, who were ignorant of his pretensions, and who only fought in defence of the government which they themselves had established in their own country; yet were these rigours, however contrary to the ancient Saxon laws, excused on account of the urgent necessities of the prince; and those who were not involved in the present ruin, hoped that they should thenceforth enjoy, without molestation, their possessions and their dignities. But the successive destruction of so many other families convinced them, that the king intended to rely entirely on the support and affections of foreigners; and they foresaw new forfeitures, attainders, and acts of violence, as the necessary result of this destructive plan of administration. They observed that no Englishman possessed his confidence, or was intrusted with any command or authority; and that the strangers, whom a rigorous discipline could have but ill restrained, were encouraged in their insolence and tyranny against them. The easy submission of the kingdom on its first invasion had exposed the natives to contempt; the subsequent proofs of their animosity and resentment had made them the object of hatred; and they were now deprived of every expedient by which they could hope to make themselves either regarded or beloved by their sovereign. Impressed with the sense of this dismal situation, many Englishmen fled into foreign countries, with an intention of passing their lives abroad free from oppression, or of returning, on a favourable opportunity, to assist their friends in the recovery of their native liberties. Edgar Atheling himself, dreading the insidious caresses of William, was persuaded by Cospatric, a powerful Northumbrian, to escape with him into Scotland; and he

* Order. Vitalis, p. 508. M. West. p. 225. M. Paris, p. 4. Sim. Dunelm. P 197. VOL. I.


1068. carried thither his two sisters, Margaret and Christina. They were well received by Malcolm, who soon after espoused Margaret, the elder sister; and partly with a view of strengthening his kingdom by the accession of so many strangers, partly in hopes of employing them against the growing power of William, he gave great countenance to all the English exiles. Many of them settled there, and laid the foundation of families which afterwards made a figure in that country.


New insurrections.

While the English suffered under these oppressions, even the foreigners were not much at their ease; but finding themselves surrounded on all hands by enraged enemies, who took every advantage against them, and menaced them with still more bloody effects of the public resentment, they began to wish again for the tranquillity and security of their native country. Hugh de Grentmesnil, and Humphry de Teliol, though intrusted with great commands, desired to be dismissed the service; and some others imitated their example: a desertion which was highly resented by the king, and which he punished by the confiscation of all their possessions in England'. But William's bounty to his followers could not fail of alluring many new adventurers into his service; and the rage of the vanquished English served only to excite the attention of the king and those warlike chiefs, and keep them in readiness to suppress every commencement of domestic rebellion or foreign invasion.

It was not long before they found occupation for their prowess and military conduct. Godwin, Edmond, and Magnus, three sons of Harold, had, immediately after the defeat at Hastings, sought a retreat in Ireland; where, having met with a kind reception from Dermot and other princes of that country, they projected an invasion on England, and they hoped that all the exiles from Denmark, Scotland, and Wales, assisted by forces from these several countries, would at once commence hostilities, and rouse the indignation of the English against their haughty They landed in Devonshire; but found


1 Order. Vitalis, p. 512.

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