OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Chapter XXXIII, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 1 page 3

Pages: 1 2 <3>

The subsequent fate of Mowbray was that of a living death. His young wife had indeed saved him from blindness, but he was not the less deprived of the light of day. Condemned to perpetual imprisonment, he was confined in a dungeon at Windsor Castle, where we read that he dragged on existence for thirty years afterwards.

Among the other conspirators were the Earl of Shrewsbury, William of Alderic, the king's godfather, and William, Count of Eu, who was related to Rufus by blood. The first bought exemption from punishment with a large sum of money - as was a common practice in those days, as well as in later times; William of Alderic was condemned to death; the Count of Eu appealed to the ordeal of battle, or rather, as his guilt hardly admitted of dispute, proposed to fight for his pardon, against a champion selected by the king. The count was worsted in the encounter, and, by the sentence of the law, was condemned to be barbarously mutilated, after a custom which had been derived from the natives of the East (William of Malmesbury.).

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."

<<< Previous page <<<
Pages: 1 2 <3>

Pictures for Chapter XXXIII, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 1 page 3

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About