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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 9



and on the day of the birth of our Lord he received the crown of the kingdom of England from JEldred, archbishop of York. For he refused to accept the office of consecration from Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, although of ancient right that solemn office is known to belong to that see. because he had no legal right to occupy that pre-eminent dignity. Then, having received homage and the oath of fealty, and hostages likewise, from the nobles, and being confirmed in his kingdom, be became the terror of all those who had aspired to the kingdom. And having arranged his affairs in the different cities and castles, and having placed his own servants in them, he sailed back to Normandy with the English hostages, and with inestimable treasures. And, when he put the hostages in prison, and committed them to the custody of safe keepers, he returned again to England, where he distributed with a liberal hand the estates and possessions of the English among his Norman comrades who had helped him to subdue the country in the battle of Hastings ; expelling all the legitimate owners successively, and becoming a tyrant rather than a king, he burdened the little that remained to them with the yoke of perpetual slavery. And when he saw himself now raised to such a lofty dignity, and confirmed in his proud kingdom, he became rapidly changed into another man ; and, alas ! alas ! trampled under foot the nobles of the land, whom their hereditary blood had elevated from the times of old. And the nobles of the kingdom being indignant at this, fled, some of them to Malcolm, king of Scotland, others, preferring to end their unhappy lives rather than to endure a shameful slavery, sought the desert places and woods, and there living the life of wild beasts, and repenting of having made submission to the Normans, and being weighed down as to their inmost hearts with violent grief, though it was now too late, had recourse to the only hope left them, and prepared secret plots and intrigues. But the noble counts, the brothers Edwin and Morcar, and many other nobles, and many also of the bishops and clergy and many others, whom it would take too long to enumerate by name, when they saw that theirs was the weaker side, and as they disdained to become slaves, abandoned England altogether. And as they all fled to Malcolm, king of Scotland, they were all honorably received by him. Then also, Edgar Atheling, the legitimate heir of the kingdom of England, seeing his


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