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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 15

Bon, "William, with a bow and arrow in one band, whilst with the other he held a trumpet to his lips, as if giving1 the signal of victory ; and at the stern was a cross, surrounded by richly carved emblematical devices, inlaid with ivory and precious metals. Matilda had scarcely presented this magnificent gift to her affectionate lord, when the long-desired wind sprang up; and the invading host, viewing the arrival of the Mora as an auspicious omen, leaped into the vessels, exclaiming, " God is with us ! Now for England, and victory !" With many fond farewells to his beloved duchess, William embarked on board the Mora. The gallant vessel led the way across the sea,- and, to keep the squadron from parting, carried a blood-red flag by day, and lanterns burning by night. But her speed was so great that, during the voyage, she more than once outsailed her companions, and completely lost sight of them. However, as rough weather oocurred during the passage, and the seamen were rude, unskilled navigators, it is remarkable that, with the loss of only two vessels, and a slight damage to four others, the whole fleet, after a month's perilous voyage, safely entered the harbour of l*evensy, on the coast of Sussex. On the twenty-ninth of September, 1066, the day they entered the English port, the anxious Normans hastened to disembark. First landed the knights and soldiery ; then came the carpenters, masons, and other workmen, carrying their tools by their side ; and, lastly, the duke himself, who, springing on shore too hastily, measured his length on the sand. As he fell, the superstitious Normans uttered a shrill cry of terror ; and an instimi afterwards, they all murmured, " Here is indeed an evil omen !" But William, who on rising bad grasped bis hands full of sand, exclaimed, By the splendour of God ! he is no true interpreter who proclaims evil here. See, my brave lieges," lie continued, extending out his hands, and shewing the soil they contained, " behold, warriors, I have already taken possession of the country, which, by Goas help and yours, I will evermore hold." William brought with him from Normandy a portable wooden fortress, which had been carefully framed, so as to be readily put together. This, on landing, was erected with all speed at a spot near to the beach, and close to where the mouldering remains of the castle still stand. The disjointed timbers were brought on shore by the soldiers and the sailors ; and the carpenters and the masons put them together with such diligence and dexterity, that on the first day the building was completed, and at nightfall the duke andhiscouncihorstookup their quarters therein. Here, according to the chronicler, Malmesburv, he lay still for fifteen days, and kept his soldiers from plundering the neighbourhood. As before observed, Tostig had arranged with the King of Norway, that they and the Normans should attack England simultaneously. Butas the Norman ships had been unexpectedly wind-bound at St. Valleri, the Norwegian squadron, of three hundred sail, reached the Tyne about eighteen days before the arrival of their Norman allies. Harold, at the head of a large army, met the invaders at Stamfordjin Lincolnshire,and after a hot, murderous contest, in which Tostig, the King of Norway, and a host of Norwegian knights and nobles were slain—• crushed their forces, and captured their fleet, and all their valuables. The news of William's lauding, which spread through the country with eagle's wings, reached the ears of Harold just after he had obtained this signal victory over his basc-heartcd brother. At first, he put no faith in the tidings, as, deceived by the Duke of Flanders, he bad supposed that the Norman duke had delayed the threatened invasion till the following spring. But he was soon convinced of the truth of the alarming rumour, by the arrival of a trusty knight, who, having watched the landing of the hostile host, sped to him in hot haste, and in breathless anxiety, exclaimed,— "Arm, sire ! arm! the Normans have landed, and built afort at Hastings. Their fighting men are countless as the stars, and their nobles so numerous, that the dazzled eyes cannot look on their polished panoplies. You are lost, sire, if you lose

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