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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 350



A.D. 1075.] MURDER OF TH E BISHOP OF DURHAM. 345 Philip king of the French, before he subdued England, this Robert now, because his father did not permit him to retain possession of it, withdrew to France, and, with the assistance of Philip, frequently collected much booty in Normandy, burning towns and slaying the inhabitants, and caused much anxiety and trouble to his father. Upon which king William made war against his son Robert, and at Gerberai, a castle of France, was thrown from his horse,* his son William was wounded, and many of his family were slain ; on account of which the king cursed his son Robert, of which malediction the latter plainly felt the effects before he died. How the Northmen murdered the bishop of Durham. At this time Walchere bishop of Durham, with no regard to the pontifical dignity, busied himself with secular affairs, and purchased of king William the county of Northumberland ; and himself performing the duties of lieutenant, he presided at the lay tribunals, and insolently extorted endless sums of money from the inhabitants of the province, from the nobles as well as from the lower ranks. The people at length, being reduced to the most extreme poverty by the continual exactions of the bishop and his followers, were greatly indignant that they were continually obliged to pay such heavy sums for ransom, upon which all the inhabitants of the province in common, having assembled at a secret conference, unanimously determined to come with concealed weapons to the county courts, and repel these injuries by force if it should be necessary. And when shortly after at the accustomed pleas the inhabitants assembled, as had been pre-arranged, with their minds resolutely made up, and had demanded that justice should be done them for their wrongs, the bishop cruelly answered, that he would riot grant them justice for any wrong or calumny before they paid him four hundred pounds of the best money. Upon this, one of them speaking for all, requested the bishop, that they might have a conference concerning what .he demanded, so that after deliberation they might be able to answer more advisedly. This being granted they withdrew for a little while, and one of them, whose signal they all awaited, cried out in his native * Florence of Worcester and the Saxon Chronicle say that it was Robert himself who unhorsed king William, not knowing him to be his father.


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