The object of the confederates had been to depose Rufus, and place upon the throne Stephen, Count of Aumale, who was the nephew of William the Conqueror. The information which the king had obtained in the castle of Bamborough, enabled him to break up this formidable confederacy; and besides the punishment which we have seen was inflicted upon the leaders, other nobles suffered the confiscation of their estates, and were imprisoned, or effected their escape to Normandy.
The property of the banished nobles was plundered by the adherents of the king, and then left for some time uncultivated and without owners. Nevertheless, the people of the town or hundred in which such estates lay, were compelled to pay the full amount of land tax as before. The royal officers are compared by the chroniclers to thieves; they plundered without mercy both the farmers' barns and the tradesmen's warehouses. The king, also, forcibly raised troops of men to build a wall encircling the Conqueror's Tower at London, a bridge over the Thames, and near the West Minster a hall, or palace of audiences, for the stated assemblies or assizes of the great barons (Westminster Hall was founded by William Rufus in 1097). The Saxon chronicle which contains these details, says that " the counties on which these forced labours fell, were grievously tormented: each year passed by heavily and sorrowfully, on account of numberless vexations arid multiplied contributions."