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Chapter XXVII, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 1 page 2

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The inhabitants of Exeter, instigated by Githa, or Editha^ mother to King Harold, refused to admit a Norman garrison; and betaking themselves to arms, were strengthened by the assistance of the neighbouring inhabitants of Devonshire and Cornwall. The king hastened with his forces to chastise this revolt; and on his approach, the wiser and more considerable citizens, sensible of the unequal contest, persuaded the people to submit, and to deliver hostages for their obedience. A sudden mutiny of the populace broke this agreement; and William, appearing before the walls, ordered the eyes of one of the hostages to be put out, as an earnest of the severity which the rebels might expect if they persevered in their revolt. The inhabitants, undaunted by this savage act, refused to surrender, and sustained the attack of the king's forces for eighteen days, during which the besiegers suffered heavy loss. When the city at length was taken, the brave men of Exeter obtained terms by which their lives and property were secured to them. William was not destitute of generosity, when his temper was not hardened either by policy or passion: he set guards on all the gates, in order to prevent the rapacity and insolence of his soldiery. Githa escaped with her treasures to Flanders; and the king, having built a citadel in the city of Exeter, which ho put under the command of Baldwin, son of Earl Gilbert, returned to Winchester, and dispersed his army into their quarters. He was here joined by his wife, Matilda, who had not before visited England, and whom he now ordered to be crowned by Archbishop Aldred. This ceremony, which was contrary to an old law of the Anglo-Saxons, displeased the people, who were further incensed against the new queen in consequence of large tracts of confiscated territory being assigned to her.

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