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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 488



A.D. 1135.] CORONATION OF KINO STEPHEN. 483 king lay a long time above ground at Rouen, where his entrails, brain, and eyes are buried ; the rest of his body, cut with knives and seasoned with salt to destroy the offensive smell, which was great, and annoyed all who came near it, was wrapped in a bull's skin ; and the physician who was engaged for a large sum of money to open his head with a hatchet, and extract the brain after it was already too much corrupted, notwithstanding that the head was wrapped up in several napkins, was poisoned by the noisome smell, and thus the money which he received was fatal to him ; he was the last of king Henry's victims, for he had killed many before. The royal body was conveyed from thence to Caen, where it was placed in the church before the tomb of his father, who also reposes there. Immediately, a bloody and frightful liquor began to ooze through the bull's skin, which the attendants caught in basins, to the great horror of the beholders. At length the king's corpse was brought to England, and buried with royal pomp on his birth-day, at Reading, in the church which he had himself founded. . The archbishops, bishops, and nobles of the kingdom were present at the ceremony. How Stephen, son of Theobald count of Blois, teas crowned king. When Henry was dead, but .before his body was buried, as I have before related, Stephen, his nephew by his sister Adela, wife of Theobald count of Boulogne, and brother of Theobald the younger, count of Blois, a man of great bravery and vigour, although he had taken the oath of fidelity to the empress, now tempted God, and seized the crown of the kingdom. For when the nobles of the kingdom were assembled at London, he promised that the laws should be reformed to the satisfaction of every one of them, and William archbishop of Canterbury, who was the first of all the nobles to take the oath of fidelity to the empress as queen of England, now consecrated Stephen to be king. In fine, all the bishops, earls, and barons, who had sworn fealty to the king's daughter and her heirs, gave their adherence to king Stephen, saying that it would be a shame, for so many nobles to submit themselves to a woman. Meanwhile, Hugh Bigod, king Henry's seneschal, took the oath, and proved before the archbishop of Canterbury, that whilst 11 2


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