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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 391



like peas, but of tbe thickness of three fingers, and in some places as thick as fifteen fingers. Moreover, in some places, as was declared upon oath, great stones were found to have fallen of such a weight, that it required three men to lift them. And in other places, the crops which had been expected to be abundant were so utterly destroyed, that they were hardly sufficient to repay the reapers. So that these and similar calamities being spread over many places, processions to sacred shrines and fasts were ordered, and prayers were offered up devoutly with a frequent amendment of people's sins. An d not long afterwards a war broke out, which increased rapidly, being one of great mischief to England, and great terror to Wales. For a royal edict (as it was said) went abroad, addressed to all who owed the king service, commanding them with all speed to provide themselves with all things necessary and unnecessary, as they were to make an expedition into Wales, for the purpose of avenging the injuries of the king. And because the before-mentioned Welch arrayed themselves in a hostile manner for battle, not fearing death, the lord Simon, earl of Leicester, was appointed general and commander of the English army against them, as a prudent and mighty warrior of England. And as each party thought that they saw an opportunity, they attacked one another ; but as impediments subsequently arose, a truce was sought, and the war was deferred. On the eve of Saint Lawrence the lord William de Eirkham, bishop of Durham, a man of exemplary character and of ripe age, bidding farewell to this world and to the body, after he had governed the church of Durham gloriously for twelve years, at Hoveden gave up his blessed soul to his Creator. And from thence he was conveyed away with reverence, and on the following Monday was honourably buried (as he well deserved) in his church at Durham. Although he was one of the middle class of people, and educated in it, nevertheless he was illustrious throughout the whole kingdom, and very Uberai, and a man of tried gentleness and courtesy towards all men. And among other good deeds of his which were widely diffused, he appropriated two churches of the annual value of three hundred marks, by name Herteburn and Egelingham, in the diocese of Durham, to the church of Saint Alban'β ; and he also brought the dispute which had long existed between the church of Durham and that of Saint Alban's to a


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