The English Historical Review/Volume 37/The Legend of 'Eudo Dapifer'
The Legend of 'Eudo Dapifer'
Among the auxiliary departments of historical research in England, the critical study of baronial genealogy has attracted so few scholars that we are still practically dependent on Dugdale's well-known Baronage (1675–6) for information on the subject. Strange as this assertion may seem, I speak from practical experience, having probably devoted more attention to historical genealogy than any one else at the present time. Paradoxical though it may appear to uphold the dependence of modern scholars on a work compiled by a king of arms in the days of Charles the Second, its value, I hasten to explain, is due solely to the system adopted throughout by Dugdale, namely, that of giving exact marginal references for every statement that he makes. Record evidence does not change: the renvois of Dugdale still provide a priceless key to the Public Records, while the muniments in private hands which he was enabled to inspect, and which in many cases he so patiently transcribed, are, only too often, no longer accessible to ourselves. The results of his long labour are no unworthy part of that great legacy of learning for which the scholar of to-day is indebted to the famous antiquaries of the seventeenth century.
The weakest point in the Baronage is that lack of critical treatment which is seen in Dugdale's use of monastic evidence. As himself the editor of the first Monasticon—although the materials are said to have been chiefly collected by Dodsworth—he was, no doubt, apt to place excessive reliance, not merely on 'cartulary' charters of more or less doubtful validity, but on those curious narratives which were woven by grateful monks about the lives of those who had founded a religious house. Nor was it only the pious founder, but also his immediate relatives, whom monks delighted to honour in those strange 'histories', by which the uncritical genealogist has often been led astray. Indeed, it is insufficiently realized how much erroneous genealogy and absolutely fabulous history has found its way, through the Baronage, from the tales thus concocted into modern books which deal with the ancient baronage of England. Yet, even here, the marginal references put the reader on his guard against statements based only on monastic evidence.
The great Benedictine abbey of St. John the Baptist, Colchester, 'was founded towards the end of the eleventh century by Eudo, the son of Hubert de Ria, who was dapifer or sewer of William Rufus'. Its cartulary, which has been privately printed for the Roxburghe Club, has hardly any preface and only a poor index of place-names and none at all of persons. I have dealt in the pages of this Review with the early charters of the abbey, and Dr. Armitage Robinson (then dean of Westminster) has carried their critical treatment further still. In this paper, however, my object is to discuss the curious narrative concerning the founder and foundation of the house, which is found, not in the cartulary nor among the muniments of the abbey, but in a single manuscript in the British Museum, where it is found at the end of the volume, 'in a hand of the sixteenth century'. Of its origin we know nothing.
This narrative was known to Dugdale, who used it in his Monasticon (editio prima), and cited it thence in his Baronage (1675). Morant, who thus came to know of it, drew upon it for his History of Colchester (1748), but the first historian to deal with it, and the first to criticize its statements, seems to have been Freeman, whose works on the reigns of the Conqueror and his successor were conceived on so vast a scale that he was enabled to examine the whole of the evidence (in print), good, bad, or indifferent, that might possibly bear upon his subject. It was, so far as I know, in his William Rufus (1882) that he finally and most fully expressed his opinion of the tale.
In the meanwhile, Mr. Walter Rye, the well-known Norfolk antiquary, was coming forward as an ardent champion of what he terms 'the Colchester Chronicle'. In a recently issued treatise he claims that 'the reliability of this Chronicle', when first attacked, 'was at once defended by' himself, 'no answer appearing to' his 'defence'. This article, it seems, was 'printed in 1871'. It may not have occurred to Mr. Rye that historians have a better use for their time than writing replies to what he imagines to be convincing arguments. I can only hope that, as I happen to have a special knowledge of the period and the subject with which this 'Chronicle' is concerned, I may be doing a service to the cause of English history by disposing once for all of Mr. Rye's pretensions. The mischief caused by these obstinate attempts to bolster up, in Freeman's words, 'a document which, in all points bearing on general history, is highly mythical' … 'wholly mythical', amply justifies plain speaking by those who have at heart the cause of historical truth.
Mr. Rye's later onslaught on the 'attackers', as he terms them, of the 'Chronicle' appears in the form of an 'Appendix' to his treatise on Norwich Castle, which is headed in the 'Contents' 'The reliability of the Colchester Chronicle and justified [sic] from the criticism of Freeman and Round'. The cause of his wrath, I gather from his list of governors, &c., of the castle, is that Eudo's brother, 'Hubert de Rye', was placed in charge of the castle, according to the 'Chronicle' (in 1074), and that the evidence of the 'Chronicle' is not here accepted. Mr. Rye, of course, has a right to his own opinion, but it is perfectly intolerable that he should bring a baseless charge of mala fides against those who do not share it.
All that he can urge as proof is that:—
There is nothing unlikely on the face of it of [sic] the appointment and the fact [sic] of the existence of a charter dated before 1162 [sic], by which Hubert's son Henry granted the Constableship to Hubert de Bavent is the strongest possible evidence of its correctness.
No such charter exists. All that Mr. Rye can urge is that 'in 1330' Thomas de Bavent alleged the existence of a charter by which 'before the year 1196 [sic] Henry de Rye, son of Hubert the Castellan of 1074, granted the Constableship by the following charter which', says Mr. Rye, 'I translate from the copy set out' by him. He has, however, to admit that the petition he had found 'is undated', and, on another page, he assigns to it a third date, viz. 'before 1166'. Later we are given a fourth date. Mr. Rye there asserts that Hubert's alleged constableship of the castle 'is most strongly corroborated by the fact [sic] Henry de Rye, probably before 1158–9 and certainly before his death in 1166, gave the castellanship to Hubert de Bavant', adding that this 'grant bore no fruit, … but the document remains as evidence'. Such is Mr. Rye's idea of 'the strongest possible evidence' and most strong corroboration.
In the meanwhile Mr. Dukinfield Astley had issued, in 1901, the Latin text of the tale, followed by an English translation. Mr. Rye tells us that his own version is 'reprinted by permission, with a few slight emendations', from this translation. He does not, I observe, mention Mr. Astley's very sensible suggestion that 'it is perhaps a laudatory account of the founder written by some monk of the abbey'. As a matter of fact, it does glorify 'Eudo', the pious founder, his wife, Rohese, and his father Hubert (de Rye); this, indeed, seems to be its chief purpose. As I observed at the outset, we have always to be on our guard against the laudatory narratives concerning the founder or foundation of a religious house: they are more responsible for error than even spurious charters or the transcripts thereof. Mr. Rye, however, asserts, in his wrath, that
Dr. Round's well-known aversion to all Monastic Chronicles and genealogies (which seem to act on him as red rags would to [sic] bulls) renders him incapable to [sic] believe the very definite statement, &c. (p. 49).
It was, Mr. Rye tells us, in 1871 that 'the reliability of this Chronicle was first attacked', and 'was at once defended' by himself. He continues thus:
To the readers of this Review there could be no more ludicrous suggestion than that of a 'quasi-literary partnership' between Freeman and myself. It illustrates the reckless character of Mr. Rye's assertions. I need only add that, as a matter of fact, I was still of schoolboy age in 1871 and had never even heard of the 'Chronicle'.Both Prof. Freeman and Dr. Round also about this time seems to have taken a very unreasoning and determined prejudice against this document.The quasi-literary partnership of the two men on the subject was not of long duration.
… … … … … … … … … …
One has, in present conditions, to cut down as closely as possible what one commits to the press; but it is absolutely necessary to expose the worst, at least, of Mr. Rye's statements, in order to vindicate the truth. According to him,
(a) It is a family legend devised in honour of the house of Rye.
(b) The story of the way in which Eudo gained the office of dapifer is almost too silly to tell.
Later on, as will be seen in the following pages, he trims and modifies this opinion very greatly.
Is this allegation true? It is not and could not be true. For the two statements here attributed by Mr. Rye to Freeman are taken—though he does not say so—from The Reign of William Rufus (ii. 463), which appeared in 1882. His fullest and most decisive rejection of the Colchester 'Chronicle' is there found, nor is Mr. Rye able to cite any later verdict. Freeman, therefore cannot have trimmed or modified his opinion, as Mr. Rye alleges, 'later on'. His critic, however, goes further; he even writes, on the same page, as follows:
That Freeman, before he died, practically withdrew his case against the Chronicle can be shown in many places, e.g. vol. v, p. 39, … he goes out of his way to say: 'Here we see the lands which Eudo de Rye Eudo of Colchester the son of the faithful Hubert, received as the reward of his own and his father's loyalty.' A more complete volte face cannot be imagined!
The meaning of this is that Freeman, when he thus wrote, was thinking of the tale he had rejected, and that he 'practically' accepted it 'before he died' by declaring these lands to be the reward of the services set forth in that tale. It can obviously have no other meaning. This, however, I shall now show, was not what Freeman meant. The passage quoted by Mr. Rye and stated, with his strange inaccuracy, to come from 'vol. v, p. 39, of The Norman Conquest', is found on p. 39 of vol. iv (not v). We there find that Freeman appended to this passage a foot-note, in which the reader is referred to 'vol. ii, p. 249'. On looking up this reference, we at once discover that what the historian had in mind, when he so wrote, was, not (as Mr. Rye alleges) the 'Chronicle' which he had rejected, but Wace's Roman de Rou and its narrative of William's headlong flight, when he rode for his life from Valognes. 'As the sun rose', Freeman wrote, 'he drew near to the church and castle of Rye, the dwelling-place of a faithful vassal named Hubert.' Of him we further read:
He welcomed his prince to his house, he set him on a fresh horse, he bade his three sons ride by his side. … The command of their father was faithfully executed by his loyal sons. We are not surprised to hear that the house of Rye rose high in William's favour; and we can hardly grudge them their share in the lands of England, when we find that Eudo the son of Hubert, the King's Dapifer, &c., &c.
I do not claim, in this instance, that Mr. Rye, when charging Freeman with an absolute volte face on the subject (p. 37), wilfully misrepresented the historian's true meaning; because his action might be accounted for by carelessness or mental confusion. It is, however, obvious that Freeman, when he wrote as above in his fourth volume (1871), could not possibly be withdrawing, as Mr. Rye alleges, 'his case against the Chronicle'; for, in his William Rufus (1882), more than ten years later, he was denouncing its evidence in no measured terms. Mr. Rye, moreover, cannot plead that he was imperfectly acquainted with William's flight through Rye; for he here 'ventured to paraphrase it in rhyme'. From these rhymes we learn that the Norman aristocracy were then in the habit of addressing one another in almost modern fashion. 'Ranoulf de Bessin', on seeing Hubert,
Speaking fairly, said—'Tell us, O Rye,
Hast thou seen the Bastard riding past?'
Commenting on the foot-note in which Freeman suggests that 'there is a passage … which sounds mythical', namely that Hubert, when thus questioned, puts the pursuers 'on a wrong scent'—because 'this story is as old as the babyhood of Hermes'—Mr. Rye denounces, in his graceful way, 'this extraordinary piece of silliness' and observes of his victim that 'with this one stupid exception [sic] he admits the whole!'
It was, perhaps, unfortunate that, when rejecting the 'Chronicle', Freeman did not give in detail the reasons why he had to do so; but he probably thought it would be waste of time. In view of Mr. Rye's fresh treatise and his attempt to defend its accuracy, it is desirable to show, for once and all, the true character of the 'legend'. A few salient flaws will be sufficient for the purpose. Hubert, Eudo's father, is there said to have secured the crown for the Norman duke by going on an embassy to Edward 'in wonderful state', and to have been rewarded by the king with a grant of Ashe (Essce) in Hampshire. As to this embassy, Mr. Rye admits that 'there is no direct evidence for or against the statement': in other words, there is no corroboration of this notable story. He makes, however, the utmost of Edward's alleged grant of Ash (Hampshire) to Hubert. We first read that, because Freeman admits 'the massacre of the Normans at Guildford' in 1036 (mentioned in the 'Chronicle'), '… the fact that Ash is close to Guildford, the place of the massacre, is suggestive'. A foot-note to this statement explains that—
Ash is five miles N.E. by E. from Farnham (now [sic] said to be in the Hundred of Woking in Surrey and on the Basingstoke canal). It is only about six miles from Guildford, &c., &c.
In sober fact Ash, even 'as the crow flies', is no less than eighteen miles (at least) westward (not 'N.E. by E.') from Farnham, and fully twenty-seven from Guildford. Even if it were 'close to Guildford ', which it is not, that 'fact' could suggest nothing to any one but Mr. Rye.
Immediately, however, before asserting that 'Ash is close to Guildford', he denounces a 'terrible error of Freeman', namely that he 'at first denied the gift to Hubert of Ash, but he had overlooked the fact that in Domesday, under Hants [sic], is this entry, "In Ovretune Eudo the son of Hubert holds Esse of the King"'. After two more sentences, Mr. Rye continues:
Freeman, however, seems later to have found out his own mistake, for in vol. iii, p. 694 [misindexed p. 683], he sets out the history of the gift of Ash by the Confessor, and the visit of Hubert de Rye to England, and quotes in Domesday just set out [sic], adding…
Yet even this is not all; there is another blunder to come. Incredible though it may seem, Mr. Rye, when charging Freeman with having 'overlooked the fact that in Domesday under Hants' [sic] is the entry concerning Ash ('Esse') in the Hampshire Hundred of 'Ovretune', adds at once 'the fact that Ash is close to Guildford'. To this 'fact' he appends the foot-note with which I have dealt above. We there read that 'it is only about six miles from Guildford on the north slope of the Hog's Back, and it is noteworthy it is next to a village bearing the suggestive name of Normandy', &c. This precision of statement removes all possible doubt as to which was the place of which Mr. Rye is here speaking. In the text it is first the Hampshire Ash, found in Domesday 'under Hants'; and then, even in the next line, it is the Surrey Ash. In the foot-note it is the Surrey Ash, 'only about six miles from Guildford'! More than twenty miles apart, the two places, of course, have nothing to do with one another. In this reckless confusion of the two we discover the clue to the meaning of the word 'now' in this same foot-note. Ash, Mr. Rye there observes, is 'now [sic] said to be in the Hundred of Woking in Surrey'. That is to say that Mr. Rye's one and only Ash was in the heart of Hampshire in 1086, but is 'now' found in Surrey! He is thus enabled to denounce, after his 'facts' as to Ash, Freeman's 'terrible error' (p. 40 b), one of those 'glaring errors' which he has 'occasion to point out' (p. 37 a).
Is it true that 'Freeman seems later to have found out his own mistake'? It is not true. When he 'sets out the history' of Hubert's embassy on the page cited, it is not because he accepts it. On the contrary, a year later (1876), he expressly states that 'the embassies on which Hubert is sent between William and Eadward simply take their place among the Norman legends of the Conquest'. Mr. Rye, however, boldly insists that—
The Colchester Chronicle I am now defending, says that Hubert was employed as an ambassador between the Duke and King Edward under the circumstance it sets out, and that he received from the latter a gift of land in Ash, which I shall substantiate.
Mr. Rye does not substantiate it; he does not even mention again this alleged gift to Hubert in his remaining pages. Mr. Rye's treatment of Freeman is here perfectly outrageous; asserting that Freeman 'denied the gift to Hubert of Ash' because 'he had overlooked the fact that in Domesday under Hants [sic] is this entry: "in Ovretune Hundred Eudo the son of Hubert holds Esse of the King"', he continues:
I should imagine that this terrible error of Freeman arose because he did not find the entry in Ellis's Domesday (ii. 250), when [sic] it was unaccountably omitted, and that he did not trouble to look up the entry in the text itself.
The facts are these: when in the passage I have quoted above (viz. Norman Conquest, iii. 694), Freeman (as Mr. Rye was aware) cited the Domesday entry concerning the Hampshire Ash, he was careful to include the words which I have here italicized—
The place is Ashe in Hampshire which appears in Domesday, 47, as held by Hubert's son Eudo, but which was held T. R. E. by a tenant of Earl Harold.
These vital words are omitted by Mr. Rye (p. 40 b). They prove that, at King Edward's death, the land was held, not by Hubert, but by an English tenant, who held, not of the king, but of Harold the earl. 'I should imagine', therefore (to quote Mr. Rye's words), 'that this terrible error' was not Freeman's, but his own. It is curiously characteristic of the writer's carelessness and haste. He even charges Ellis with here misleading Freeman by having 'unaccountably omitted' what he terms 'the entry'. Incredible though it may appear, Mr. Rye must actually imagine that the Ash entry cited above proves the gift of the land by King Edward to Hubert (as alleged in his precious 'Chronicle'), although what it does prove is precisely the reverse, namely that Eudo had here obtained the land of an English tenant.
In at least two places Mr. Rye goes further, by making Eudo, as well as Hubert, the pre-Conquest holder. He asserts that—
What is Mr. Rye's authority for alleging this pre-Conquest tenure of Ash by Eudo? He cites none. Apparently he may even have mixed up the alleged tenures of Eudo and of his father Hubert, for he tells us that 'Hubert I … was probably living in 1060', and that 'Hubert (Eudo's father) owned 12 shops and sollars in St. Mary Colechurch, London, … to Shouldham Priory [sic] and afterwards Geoffrey Fitz Piers … gave these houses to Shouldham Priory'. This assertion is repeated on p. 44 b, where we read that this Geoffrey 'had founded' that priory 'before 1201'. Mr. Rye attaches great importance to this London property, and tells us that 'This London holding of Hubert's, which passed to Eudo, … was probably a large one', and that Eudo, 'before the Conquest, held the church of St. Mary … called Niewechurch … and a stone house [sic] called Newchurch, which Eudo also gave to the Colchester monks'. He is evidently unacquainted with Dr. Armitage Robinson's notable appendix on 'the early charters of St. John's Abbey, Colchester', in which that eminent scholar not only accepts my conclusions but even finds it 'necessary to take a further step in the path of criticism which' I 'have marked out'. He deals in sweeping fashion with the Colchester charters, not only speaking of 'the Colchester fabricator' and 'the Colchester forgery', but even (as dean of Westminster) urging a wholesale falsification by the Colchester monks, who were intent on thus supporting the claims of their own house against those of his abbey! He holds that I have sufficiently exposed the charter of William Rufus 'as a forgery' and 'the forged charter of Bishop Richard'; but he boldly claims a longer list of these documents as impostures.
St. John's, Colchester, … defended its claim by a forged charter of Will. II; a forged charter of Hen. I, dated 1119; a forged foundation deed of Eudo Dapifer; and, as we shall see, a forged charter of Richard, bishop of London.
The learned writer here adds a quotation from my own paper, namely that—
One would hardly expect Eudo to describe as his antecessor Hubert de Rye, who was his father. Moreover, so far as I know, we have no other evidence of Eudo's father preceding him as a holder of lands in England.
It will be observed that this criticism directly affects Mr. Rye's assertion that Ash was granted (as his 'Chronicle' alleges) by King Edward to Hubert, who was also (he claims) holding London property before the Conquest.
The chief point of contention between the two abbeys seems to have been the London church of St. Mary Newchurch, afterwards known, it seems, as St. Mary Woolchurchhaw. The dean contends that 'it was granted to Westminster by a charter of Will. I and by two charters of Will. II', but that it 'somehow' became alienated to the Colchester abbey, which defended its right by means of the above forgeries. 'It is', he writes, 'in the forged charter of Eudo alone that any details regarding the gift or the donor appear: there we read "ecclesiam sancte Marie de Westchepinge Lundonie, que vocatur Niewecherche, concedente Ailwardo grosso presbitero",' &c.
To this he adds, in a foot-note, 'Compare the "Alfwardus cognomento Grossus" of the fictitious first charter of Will. I, quoted above, p. 158'. On looking up this reference, we find the donor's name given in three forms, viz. 'Alwardus', 'Agelwardus', 'Alfwardus'. No one, however, so far as I know, of those who have given his name, has observed that he must be identical with the 'Afswand Grossus of London' who is found among the witnesses to a charter of William I (1081) in favour of St. Peter's, Ghent, which is now considered spurious. Mr. Rye asserts that Eudo 'held the church of St. Mary of Westcheping in London, called Niewechurch', before the Conquest, 'and had made All ward [sic] Grossus the parson of it' (p. 44); but, here at least, he has certainly confused Eudo with his father Hubert, for Eudo's charter (spurious in its present form) speaks of 'Ailwardo grosso presbitero, qui in eadem ecclesia ex donatione … Huberti de Ria personatum consecutus fuerat'. Continuing the above citation, we find Mr. Rye observing, of St. Mary Newchurch, that 'Davis (p. 79) notes that this purports to be the grant mentioned in a charter ascribed to 1087–8, upon [sic] no. 306, as the witnesses are, with one omission, the same as those in such charter'. More confusion and misquotation! On 'p. 79' there is no such passage; but on p. 73 Mr. Davis appends to no. 278 a note that 'this is, with one omission, the same list of witnesses as in the forged charter Cotton xvi. 30 (no. 216) of 1080–5'. In other words, Mr. Davis holds that no. 306 (a charter of William II) confirms no. 278 (a charter of William I): he also notes that the witnesses to no. 278 are the same (with one exception) as those to no. 216. Mr. Rye does not even mention no. 216, but wrongly drags in no. 306, which has quite a different set of witnesses. He thus muddles up two distinct propositions. Finally, although he records, in his preface, his special thanks to the officers of the Guildhall Record Office and the Guildhall Library for 'identifying the London properties of Eudo Dapifer, including 'the church of St. Mary, of West [sic] Cheping in London, called Niewechurch', we may be sure that the two charters '(nos. 246 and 272)' cited can only 'have a bearing on the East [sic] Cheap property belonging to his father Hubert mentioned before' (p. 46 b) in Mr. Rye's inaccurate mind.
The second part of Mr. Rye's paper is devoted to 'Eudo Dapifer'. 'Having now dealt', he writes, 'with the elder Hubert', he turns to 'the personal history of his son Eudo Dapifer', the founder of St. John's Abbey, Colchester. 'I will now deal , he writes, 'with what we know of the life of Eudo Dapifer.' The most outstanding episode of Eudo's life—though one of which we know from Mr. Rye's 'Chronicle' alone—is the daring step by which, in 1087, he secured for William II the English crown. When the Conqueror was on his death-bed, he accompanied William Rufus, according to this evidence, in his dash for his father's crown. He was, Mr. Rye asserts, 'the instrument of placing William II on the throne'. Such, indeed, is the claim. What corroboration is there of this startling tale? Mr. Rye produces none. The only test that we can apply is afforded by the definite statement that William de Pont de l'Arche was in charge, at the time, of the treasury at Winchester. As there is no corroboration of this statement, Mr. Rye shifts the onus probandi by alleging that Freeman 'affected to doubt the existence of William de Pont de l'Arch and called him a "person I cannot find in Domesday"'. Now it is not the fact that Freeman doubted the 'existence' of William. What he had to deal with here was the Chronicle's statement that, at the Conqueror's death (1087), William held the keys of the treasury at Winchester. He contented himself, therefore, not unreasonably, with pointing out that he could not find William's name in Domesday (1086). Mr. Rye affects to dispose of this criticism by urging that this William 'was a very real person, being the king's treasurer, sheriff, and chamberlain, and references to him will be found in Round's Geoffrey de Mandeville, pp. 4, 11, 12, 46, 62, 234, 263, 265, 297'. This is a formidable list of references; but, as Mr. Rye has looked them out, he must be perfectly aware that they almost all relate to Stephen's reign. Their actual date-limit is 1130–44, so that they range from forty-three to fifty-seven years after William's alleged action in 1087.
It is, however, to his second argument that I specially invite attention. It is this:
What is still more to the point is that I can prove [sic] he (i.e. William) was personally known to Eudo, for he had sat on a Commission with him in 1072. (See Davis's Regist. [sic], nos. 431–3, pp. 107–8.)
This reference is most precise. If, however, the reader is prudent enough to verify it, he will discover, to his surprise, that William de Pont de l'Arche is not even mentioned; nor, I may add, is he to be found in the index to the book. What can be the explanation? I discovered it at last in another portion of Mr. Rye's treatise. We there read that in 'Davis, No. 66 ', William
is mentioned as sitting on a Commission with Lanfranc and William de Archis. It is possible [sic] the latter was the William de Pont de l'Arche, afterwards treasurer of Winchester, mentioned in the Colchester Chronicle as helping Eudo in his scheme for getting the throne for Rufus, and whose very existence was doubted by Freeman.
Mr. Rye's proof, therefore, consists of a suggestion so wild that it is not even 'possible'! I need scarcely say that Arques and Pont de l'Arche are wholly distinct names; Mr. Davis has several entries in his index, under 'Archis' and 'Arques'; Mr. Freeman devoted a special appendix to 'The revolt of William of Arques'; I myself have done the same in my Geoffrey de Mandeville. There is not, therefore, the slightest reason for supposing that the 'Willelmus de Archis' of 1072 was William de Pont de l'Arche, who, moreover, witnessed a charter of 1144–7, a date which would give him an official career of wellnigh sixty years since his alleged action at Winchester in 1087.One need hardly pursue Eudo's career further; but there is a gem in this treatise which it is impossible to omit. In Mr. Rye's biography of his hero, on p. 47, we read that
We now come to a mysterious charter ascribed to 1093–7 (Davis, no. 399, p. 101), by which 'Eudo Dapifer' had seizin of the manor of Dereman (Notts.), which Lefstan his brother held. But this must refer to the other 'Eudo Dapifer', for I cannot trace any such brother, or that Eudo ever had anything to do with Dereman.
It is not easy to do justice to such a rendering as this. Here are two brothers, with the Old English names of Deorman and Leofstan, of whom the latter has succeeded to a manor which 'Dereman' had held, and of which Eudo is now to have seisin. Mr. Rye, failing to understand Mr. Davis's abstract, converts 'Dereman' into a manor, and then—because the charter was 'dated' at Nottingham—places that imaginary manor in 'Notts.'! As he then has to provide a 'brother' for the English Leofstan, he finds him in the Norman Eudo, who, he adds, must be the other 'Eudo Dapifer', of whom there seems to be no other mention (as such) in his treatise.
The reader must remember that this criticism is evoked by the fierce and confident attacks on Mr. Freeman's work by a writer whose own blunders are incomparably worse. As is, of course, notorious, I have had occasion myself to correct the former's errors, so that no one can allege that I am biased in his favour. But when we read of the 'glaring errors' that Mr. Rye has found in his work, and of its 'almost innumerable inaccuracies', it is time to speak plainly of Mr. Rye's own work. At the very outset, after quoting two passages in which Freeman criticized the 'Chronicle', Mr. Rye alleges that 'Later on, as will be seen in the following pages, he trims and modifies this opinion very greatly'. This is not the case, and, indeed, could not be so. For, although Mr. Rye is silent as to where 'Freeman says' &c., these statements are derived from the latest of his well-known works, namely William Rufus (ii. 463). It is not, therefore, surprising that a search through 'the following pages' fails to reveal any change in Freeman's view of the 'Chronicle'. The allegation, on the same page, that 'Freeman, before he died, practically withdrew his case against the Chronicle' has been completely disposed of by me already in this paper.
One can well imagine how Freeman, were he now alive, would himself have trounced his critic. To dwell on the former's many errors, when wholly irrelevant, is in no way to 'vindicate' the 'Chronicle'; it is, on the contrary, equivalent to admitting that its authority cannot be established and that Mr. Rye, as its champion, finds himself reduced to the device of diverting the reader's mind from the one and only issue. This brings me to the passage in which he deliberately invites me to justify my contention that his 'Chronicle' is 'in part untrustworthy'. He himself has to admit that its two salient episodes—the embassy of Hubert de Rye to Edward and the tale that William II 'by Eudo's zeal and energy is chosen consecrated and confirmed king in England', or that Eudo was 'the instrument of placing William II on the throne'—are wholly without corroboration. Of the former he writes that 'there is no direct evidence for or against the statement'; of William II's accession he can only urge that 'though the business is generally ascribed to Lanfranc, it is not unreasonable to suppose Eudo had a hand in it'. In other words it is a mere guess.
Mr. Rye, however, insists on the 'attackers' of the legend supplying more than proof that there is no corroboration of his Chronicle's chief statements; he claims that those who reject its evidence must convict it of error. I must here explain that he seems unable to understand the position of those critics who—like myself and others—endeavour 'to disentangle facts from fiction'. To myself Mr. Rye attributes five comments on the 'Chronicle', which he carefully numbers, which he places within quotation marks, and to each of which he is careful to append the reference. He then proceeds as follows:
Freeman is dead, but I think I have a right to ask the survivor of the two attackers to give some further and better particulars in support of his five definite remarks just quoted.
Those who are not familiar with Mr. Rye's productions will doubtless be surprised to learn that, of these 'five' comments, one (no. 2) is actually not by me, but by Mr. R. C. Fowler, who has made a special study of monastic history; three are inaccurately quoted, and in three cases out of the five the reference is wrong! Lastly, incredible though it may seem, I am charged with two 'remarks' which are one and the same. Yet it is in this column that Mr. Rye informs us that 'Freeman's inaccuracies are indeed almost innumerable'.
As for myself, I need only say that, here again, Mr. Rye repeats his offensive charge that I 'decide in favour of the Colchester narrative on another point when it suits' me 'to believe in it'. This point, we find, is that Dugdale erred with regard to Eudo's wife,
as pointed out by Round (in his Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 470), who now admits that the Chronicle was perfectly right on this point. …
So the Chronicle proves to be correct after all!
So much for the charges against the Chronicle. …
This implies—and can only imply—that I had rejected the Chronicle's statement that Eudo's wife was a Clare, not a Giffard, but have been forced to admit that the Chronicle's statement is right. Nowhere, the reader will find, in my Geoffrey de Mandeville is there anything of the kind; there are not even in that volume '470' pages. I have written, probably, more than any one on the early Clares, and I have never doubted, or even questioned, the identity of Eudo's wife. Dugdale, so far as I know, has been the only writer to make this mistake, and Dugdale's error was duly corrected by Hornby in his Remarks on some of the numberless errors and defects in Dugdale's Baronage (1738). This correction was duly noted by Morant in his History of Colchester (1748). Eudo's wife is well known to have been Rohese, daughter of Richard Fitz Gilbert (de Clare) by Rohese, daughter of Walter Giffard.
Mr. Rye claims that he has 'a right to ask' me 'to give some further and better particulars in support' of my conclusion that his 'Chronicle' is 'in part untrustworthy', so that 'it is difficult to disentangle facts from fiction'. By all means. It was shown by me above that 'the credibility of this Chronicle' was thus 'minutely' examined and (as he claims) vindicated by him, for the reason expressly that Hubert de Rye is asserted by it to have been placed in charge of Norwich Castle, in 1074, and that this statement is found nowhere else. He was, therefore, bent on proving that the 'Chronicle' is a trustworthy authority.
In such cases he is apt to argue that there is nothing 'against the statement', or that 'the match itself was a very probable one, for the parties were of approximately equal rank and wealth' or that 'it is possible' that William de Archis was identical with William de Pont de l'Arche, which is quite impossible. Accordingly, when he has to deal with the statement in his 'Chronicle' that Hubert de Rye was put in charge of Norwich Castle 'after the flight of de Guader', he claims 'there is nothing unlikely on the face of it of [sic] the appointment'. Let us see. It is common ground that Norwich was placed in charge of William Fitz Osbern (earl of Hereford). Mr. Rye asserts that he was succeeded by
(2) Ralph de Guader, whose wife Emma was daughter of this William Fitz Osbern, held the castle against the king after his flight in 1074–5.
Now it is a fact that Ralph fled on the approach of the royal forces in 1075; but how could he hold 'the castle against the king after his flight' therefrom and when, moreover, the king was in Normandy, not in Norfolk? But Mr. Rye's grammar, we must remember, is a law unto itself. It was, of course, Emma herself who stood the siege.
Let us now return to Mr. Rye's chapter on 'The governors, castellans and keepers' of Norwich Castle. We there read that 'at the same time that the castellanship was put in the charge of Hubert de Rye it would seem (Hudson, p. vi) that Wm. Fitz Osbern, the father-in-law of Ralph de Guader, was given charge of the county'. Now Mr. Rye styles Hubert 'the Castellan of 1074' on the ground of the Chronicle's statement that to him 'was committed the tower of Norwich after the flight of Ralph de Waer', which flight, we have seen, he dates 'in 1074–5'. As a fact, Ralph fled from Norwich in 1075, so that the alleged castellanship of Hubert cannot have begun earlier than that. Therefore it also cannot have been earlier than 1075 that William Fite Osbern 'was given charge of the county'. To continue the above quotation from p. 17, we are told of this appointment, that 'unluckily no reference is given for this statement, but it is very probable'! Mr. Rye's curious argument fares badly here; for, as William Fitz Osbern left England late in 1070 and was slain at the battle of Cassel early in 1071, even Mr. Rye can hardly claim it as 'very probable' that he was given charge of Norfolk in 1075.
Mr. Rye demands that I should 'give some further and better particulars' of the Chronicle's errors. By all means.
1. The very statement therein which led him to defend its accuracy is itself an instance of its errors. For there is not only no corroboration of its statement that Hubert de Rye (Eudo's brother) was placed in charge of 'the Tower of Norwich' after the flight of Ralph: there is actually evidence as to the garrison (and the commanders of that garrison) left in charge of Norwich Castle after its surrender to the royal forces in 1075. Freeman sets forth, quite accurately, the evidence on both these points, and—unluckily for his critic—it is absolutely certain that Mr. Rye must have been well aware that the historian had done so. For he himself, in another place, actually claims as a
corroboration of the statement that the Castellanship of Norwich was granted to Hubert de Rye … that Robert Malet, who was one of those who took a leading part in the attack of the castle, when held by Ralph de Guader, was one of those entrusted with the duty of garrisoning it (Freeman's Norman Conquest).
On verifying this reference, we find that the passage is that which I have already quoted in the text. It seems to be the source of Mr. Rye's anger that Freeman here relies on the well-known chroniclers' statements, as to the strong garrison left at Norwich and the names of its commanders, ignoring his precious 'Chronicle's' statement that Hubert de Rye was left in charge. It is impossible to reconcile the two conflicting statements; Mr. Rye, therefore, follows the 'Chronicle' and deliberately ignores the contemporary writers.
2. As with Norwich so with Nottingham. Orderic, who was a contemporary chronicler, and the value of whose evidence, Freeman writes, is here 'constantly increasing', states that early in William's reign, 'Rex Snotingheham castrum construxit et Guillelmo Peverello commendavit'. Freeman, therefore, tells us that 'the command of the new fortress was placed in the safe hands of William Peverel'. Mrs. Armitage, similarly, following Orderic's statement, asserts that William, who built the castle, 'committed it to the keeping of William Peverel'. But, alas! Mr. Rye's 'Chronicle', on the contrary, informs us that to Eudo's brother, Ralf, 'was committed the custody of the castle and the county of Nottingham', as to another brother, Hubert, 'was committed the tower of Norwich'. Mr. Rye, who shows himself so familiar with the works of Freeman and Mrs. Armitage, must have been well aware of this most inconvenient evidence: drastic treatment was here required. 'To enable the reader', in his own words, 'to judge how unfair and unreliable are the objections taken against the Chronicle', he merely suppresses or ignores Orderic's definite statement and leaves the reader to infer that he has completely disposed of all 'objections taken against it', although its 'statements were in the first instance strenuously denied by Freeman'.
3. There is no better established fact at the time than that the Conqueror died at Rouen (9 September 1087), though his corpse was taken to Caen for burial. The 'Chronicle', however, definitely asserts that William 'died at Caen'. Mr. Rye repeats this statement and coolly ignores the evidence of the authentic chroniclers, on whom Freeman relied. This alone should be sufficient to condemn his 'Chronicle' and his methods.
4. According to the 'Chronicle' Eudo laid the first stone of St. John's Abbey, 'his wife Rohaisia the second, Gilbert the Earl [sic] brother of Rohaisia, the third', &c., in 1097. Now it is absolutely certain that this Gilbert (son of Richard Fitz Gilbert, the Domesday head of the house) was neither an English earl nor a Norman comte and was not styled comes. The 'Chronicle', Mr. Rye observes, states 'that Eudo married Rohaisia, daughter of Richard, son of Earl Gilbert de Clare'. Here it is not his 'Chronicle' but his own dreadful confusion that is responsible for the error: nowhere, so far as I know, has it ever been suggested that the father of the Domesday Richard was styled ' Earl Gilbert de Clare '. In his eagerness to convict others of error Mr. Rye plunges into hopeless confusion; on p. 41 b he asserts that I have been led into 'extraordinary error by Freeman's vague denunciations and Dugdale's error in … saying that Eudo married Rohaisia Giffard'. Yet, side by side with this statement, he admits that I have 'pointed out' Dugdale's error. Finally, Mr. Rye actually observes that—
It may be as well to clear up here a passage in Feudal England, p. 575, referring to the Clare pedigree. Round states that, &c., &c. … To save confusion it may be well to point out that this Rohesia who married Geoffrey de Mandeville must not be confused with her kinswoman of the same name who also married the first Geoffrey de Mandeville [!].
I must here enter a most energetic protest against Mr. Rye, of all men, claiming 'to save confusion' in the minds of my readers by comments which reduce the facts to unintelligible nonsense.
Satis superque. In order to 'vindicate' this 'Chronicle', which glorifies the house of Rye, Mr. Rye hurls reckless charges at the late Mr. Freeman, whose errors, however numerous they may be, are far exceeded by his own. Even in this short treatise, when denouncing 'Freeman's inaccuracies' as 'almost innumerable', he selects 'his amazing statement' about the Jews in England as proof that 'he did not know' that such names as 'Manasses' and 'Samson' are found in Domesday. From this we learn that his critic has not heard of the names borne by the counts of Guînes or the house of Biset, and that even the famous Abbot Samson would be taken by him for a Jew. On the subject of castle-guard Mr. Rye observes that I have 'kindly corresponded' with him on it, and, indeed, I have more than once spent much time on trying to explain it to him; but as he restricts what he terms his 'own independent researches' to 'Castle Guard service in Norfolk'—which, after all, is not England—he is, of course, 'not yet convinced' (p. 5). Of the nature of these researches I need only say that he has discovered on the Pipe Rolls that 'in 1158 the Knights of the Bishops [sic] of Norwich and of the Abbot of St. Edmund [sic] were actually paid for their castle-guard services'. This is so astounding a statement that we turn to his own extracts from the Pipe Rolls on p. 13, where we read:
1157 [sic]. Allowed for payments to the king's knights who held the castle of Norwich—£51. 12. 0. (Pipe Roll, 4 Hen. II, 126.) Similarly £161 8s. was allowed to the king's knights who held the castle of Framingham [sic].
The (printed) Pipe Roll (1158) shows (p. 126) that the latter sum should be £16 18s.—a very different figure. As for 'the bishops of Norwich and the abbot of St. Edmund', neither they nor their knights are here so much as mentioned; the alleged payment to them, 'in 1158', is but sheer invention on the part of Mr. Rye.
Whether he is dealing with ancient or with modern names, Mr. Rye's utter carelessness is almost beyond belief. When Louis, son of King Philip Augustus, joined the English barons in 1216, Mr. Rye speaks of him as 'King Lewis'; in his chronological list of the 'Governors', &c., of Norwich Castle, he states that in '1362—Sir John Howard had a grant of the Constabulary and keeping of the Castle on 3 February, 1 Edward IV', but, on the opposite page, that in '1464—Sir John Howard was constituted Constable'. Mr. Freeman's critic is too negligent of a well-known historian of our own time to cite accurately even her name: in three successive paragraphs we read of 'Mr. F. Norgate', of 'F. Norgate', and of 'Miss Norgate', so that one is not surprised to read, on the next page, that, 'unluckily', she 'does not mention the date' of the attack on Norwich by the Flemings under Hugh Bigod, so that 'we are led to guess it from Blomfield' and 'Jordan de [sic] Fantome'. Mr. Rye, therefore, cannot even have heard of the great rebellion against Henry II (1173–4). He proceeds to assert that, according to ' Angevin Kings, i. 284', Hugh, 'who had but a few months before been foremost among the supporters of Stephen, seized Norwich Castle'. Yet on the opposite page (and on p. 8) we find this episode assigned to '1136' and 'F. Norgate' asserted by Mr. Rye to state that Stephen took the castle from Hugh 'and gave the town and borough to his own third son, William de Blois', who died 'soon after the siege of Toulouse in 1168' [sic]. Mr. Rye observes, quite gravely, that 'there is great confusion here'! Mrs. Armitage is carefully named 'Miss Armitage' throughout in each reference to her valuable work on Early Norman Castles (1912). It is not, therefore, surprising that Freeman's critic should write:
There is nothing to show to what passage ' loc. cit. ' refers, but on p. 173, where it is found, the author not only cites the Domesday entry, but actually prints it in extenso in a foot-note! Freeman himself does the same. I have now sufficiently illustrated Mr. Rye's methods. When he asserts that 'Freeman's inaccuracies are indeed almost innumerable', we can safely reply that his own inaccuracies are here incomparably worse: he wildly discharges his assertions in the hope, apparently, that no one will trouble to test their accuracy. Indeed, he has himself admitted that this is the method he employs; he tells us in an ingenuous passage that—
Miss [sic] Armitage (loc. cit.) states that we find from Domesday that no less than 113 houses 'were destroyed for the site of the Castle', but I cannot trace any such entry (Norwich Castle, p. 8).
Of making of mistakes there is no end. Am I not competent to say this, having made so many myself ? But luckily not many have yet been found out, for people don't often verify their own references, let alone yours.
It is, no doubt, perfectly true that historians cannot be expected to test his statements in detail; but on this he has, here at last, relied once too often. When he boasts that no one has ventured to answer his defence of the 'Chronicle' in 1871, his fatal rashness betrays him: when he asserts, of Freeman's rejection of the 'Eudo' legend, that 'further consideration (and possibly a perusal of my article in defence of the Chronicle, printed in 1871) seems to have changed his opinion once more', his assertion is contrary to fact.
It is simply and absolutely untrue (1) 'that Freeman, before he died, practically withdrew his case against the Chronicle'; (2) that 'he trims and modifies his opinion' of it 'very greatly'; (3) that the Chronicle's statement that at 'a great assembly of nobles' in Normandy 'the Duke finds only Hubert [de Rye] willing to perform the embassy' is 'confirmed by Freeman himself'; (4) that Freeman 'overlooked' the Domesday entry as to Ash; (5) that 'this terrible error of Freeman arose because he … did not trouble to look up the entry in the text itself'; (6) that 'it was unaccountably omitted' in 'Ellis's Domesday (ii. 250)'; (7) that Eudo 'sat on a commission with ' William de Pont de l'Arche in 1072, as Mr. Rye claims to have discovered; (8) 'that besides Ash, Eudo held other possessions in England before the Conquest'. This last is perhaps the worst case of all: it illustrates to perfection Mr. Rye's methods. The extremely definite statement in his 'Chronicle' that Edward gave to Hubert 'his mansion in Essce' (the Hampshire Ash) is of the utmost importance as a test of its veracity. It seems to be, if true, the only evidence that supports Hubert's alleged embassy. Mr. Rye, accordingly, charges Freeman here with a 'terrible error' and Ellis with 'unaccountably' omitting the Domesday evidence confirming the gift; he falsely adds that 'Freeman seems later to have found out his own mistake' (ibid.). As a matter of fact, far from overlooking the Domesday entry on Ash, Freeman at least as far back as 1874 gave an English version of this entry, which shows Ash 'as held by Hubert's son, Eudo, but which was held T. R. E. by a tenant of Earl Harold'. In Mr. Rye's version, the italicized portion of this entry is suppressed. Instead of corroborating his Chronicle's statement, it actually proves that statement to be false. For it proves that neither Hubert nor Eudo held Ash before the Conquest.
Again, instead of finding out (as Mr. Rye alleges) 'his own mistake', his 'terrible error', later on, Freeman resolutely and quite rightly rejected Hubert's alleged embassy in 1882 and 1883, no less confidently than he had done in 1874.
It is perhaps on account of the enormous use that Mr. Rye has made of the Regesta Regum that he has gratefully refrained from setting Mr. Davis also in the pillory, together with Freeman and myself. For we are all alike guilty of preferring the evidence of Lanfranc to that of his precious 'Chronicle'. Lanfranc, it is true, was on the spot in 1075 and was in charge of the general operations when Norwich Castle fell: of the date or authorship of the 'Chronicle' we know absolutely nothing. But while, on the other hand, Lanfranc tells us who were the three magnates left in charge of the royal garrison and ignores Hubert de Rye, the 'Chronicle' alleges that Hubert de Rye was placed in command of the garrison. Mr. Rye, therefore, ignores the direct statement of Lanfranc and takes his stand on the 'Chronicle'. It is expressly on account of this flat contradiction that he sets himself to vindicate the authorship of the whole document 'in an appendix'.
One of the distinctive features of an old-world antiquary is that he cannot grasp what is meant by 'authority'; for him one authority is as good as another. I have only room for one example. Mr. Rye, we have seen, complains (p. 19) that, because Miss Norgate does not, 'unluckily', mention the date of the great rebellion against Henry II (in 1173-4), 'we are led to guess it from Blomfield, iii, p. 32', &c. Can there be, in these days, any other writer who would instinctively try to 'guess' from 'Blomfield' the date of a landmark in English history? The strange thing is that he had only to turn to a paper edited by himself (1908) in his Norfolk Antiquarian Miscellany, to learn that this formidable rebellion, which threatened to become 'a revolution', broke out 'in 1173'. It has fallen chiefly to Freeman to deal with this legend of Eudo and his father Hubert de Rye. Others, however, when referring to it, have expressed a similar opinion: Mr. L. W. Vernon Harcourt, in 1907, printed from the Cottonian MS. part of what he termed 'the Colchester tract', as 'of very uncertain authority', and observed that, in it, 'the story of how Eudo acquired his office from Fitz-Osbern' is 'an obvious fabrication'; in the same year Mr. R. C. Fowler, of the Public Record Office, wrote of the Colchester story, that 'Much of this appears to be fiction'; lastly, in 1911, Dr. Armitage Robinson approached the question from another point of view, in an appendix to his Gilbert Crispin on 'the early charters of St. John's Abbey, Colchester'. His sweeping exposure of 'the Colchester forgery' and 'the Colchester fabricator', 'the compiler or compilers of these forgeries', suggests a probable origin for the Colchester legend, of which he only says that 'it is difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction in Eudo's story'. When, therefore, we seek to discover a probable date for the fabrication of the legend, we may perhaps find a clue in the late period suggested by Dr. Armitage Robinson for the forged Colchester charters. I gather that, in his opinion, 'the Colchester forgery', as he styles the charter of 1119, in its present form cannot be earlier than the fourteenth century. He points out that 'there can be no doubt that the Colchester fabricator had the so-called third charter of Edward the Confessor as his authority' when he concocted the charter to St. John's Abbey in its present form.
I would suggest that when Dr. Armitage Robinson arrives at his conclusion that 'the compiler or compilers of these [Colchester] forgeries must have had' access to genuine documents, which 'furnished the necessary historical setting', he supplies, however unintentionally, a possible clue to the method by which this legend was concocted. For instance, the introduction of William de Pont de l'Arche as in charge of the royal treasury at Winchester in 1087 was doubtless suggested by the fact that, at Stephen's accession (1135), an officer of the same name held the same office and played the same part as in the legend of Eudo. On the other hand, it is from William of Malmesbury, apparently, that the 'Chronicle' derives its mention of the Winchester treasure being handed over to Rufus (and Eudo).
It is impossible, however, to reconcile the order of events as given in the 'Chronicle' with that which Freeman deduced from the chroniclers of the time. The two outstanding dates are 8 September, when Rufus left his father's deathbed at Rouen, and 26 September, when he was crowned at Westminster. Between these two dates, wrote Freeman, he went, on landing, to Winchester, and thence, possibly, to Canterbury, after which he was crowned. He then returned to Winchester and obtained possession of the treasury. The narrative in Mr. Rye's 'Chronicle' contains, it appears to me, one outstanding absurdity. After the seizure of the royal treasure, we hear no more of William; Eudo fills the stage. He secures, for the new king, Dover, Hastings, and Pevensey, and, until he returns to Winchester, he keeps the Conqueror's death a most profound secret. As a matter of fact, the news of that event is known to have spread like wildfire: to assert that Eudo kept it secret is most obviously absurd.
It would be sheer waste of time to discuss this legend further; but there are still a few points which should not be passed over. At the outset of his 'vindication' of the Chronicle's authority, Mr. Rye complains of the 'very unreasoning and determined prejudice' of Freeman and myself, 'about' 1871, 'against this document', and proceeds to quote instances from our writings. The earliest of mine from which he quotes is of 1892. He does not state from which of Freeman's works his two quotations are taken, but they will be found in his William Rufus (ii. 463), which was published in 1882. Our 'quasi-literary partnership', as he terms it, is illustrated by the dates; for I did not begin to deal with the 'legend' till several years after Freeman had finished doing so. The point, however, that I wish to make is that, although he quotes these passages twice over, he refrains from mentioning the name or date of the work from which he quotes. Had he done so, his readers must have seen that his insistent allegation that Freeman, 'before he died, practically withdrew his case', could not possibly be true; for William
Rufus, instead of appearing 'about' 1871, was not published till several years after the Norman Conquest, namely in 1882.
The point on which one has to insist is that instead of withdrawing his rejection of the 'Chronicle', as Mr. Rye alleges, Freeman, on the contrary, denounced it even more vigorously in his William Rufus (1882) than in his Norman Conquest. Mr. Rye contrives to give the opposite impression by first quoting from the former work, though carefully abstaining from giving its date or even its name. He then asserts that 'later on, as will be seen in the following pages, he trims and modifies this opinion very greatly'. This is not only contrary to fact but obviously impossible, as the dates of his works show. In 1885 the late Mr. Chester Waters wrote of the 'Chronicle' that he was 'the first to expose its untrustworthy and unhistorical character', and that he had 'maintained in 1871 that it was not to be relied on', being 'a discredited authority'. Mr. Rye's mental confusion is so absolutely hopeless that he cannot even quote accurately his own 'Chronicle'. For instance, he sets himself 'to tabulate all the important statements made in it', with 'the independent facts which corroborate' each of them. The third of these is 'that the intermediary requesting Edward [sic] to send a message was a merchant called Goscelin, of Winchester'. What the 'Chronicle' does state is that Edward took the initiative by sending this Goscelin to William! As to the alleged corroboration of this important statement, Mr. Rye finds it in the Domesday proof that 'there was a Gozelin who held much property in Hants, and a Goscelinus also held in Norfolk'. As to the only 'important' statement, namely that Edward sent him as his envoy to William, there is no corroboration at all.
Long although this paper is, and grievous as is the waste of time, which might be better employed, in rebutting his arguments one by one, and showing 'how unfair and unreliable'—to quote Mr. Rye's own phrase—are the statements in his 'vindication' of the 'Chronicle', it must be remembered that, were he right in asserting its story to be true, we should have to accept its evidence as a contribution of importance to the English history of the time. As Mr. Waters pointed out (in 1885), it 'is quoted with confidence by Palgrave, and every other historian of the period except Freeman'. This, no doubt, explains the wrath of Mr. Walter Rye and his attempt to show, now that 'Freeman is dead', that he 'practically withdrew his case against the Chronicle'. I agree entirely with Freeman's conclusion, in his William Rufus, that 'the share taken by Eudo in the accession of William seems to be pure fiction … to be wholly mythical'.
It is in short a family legend devised in honour of the house of Rye. The same part is played in two successive generations; the father secures the crown for the elder William, the son for the younger.
The exaltation, in these monastic stories, of the pious founder and his relatives is no uncommon feature; in the Colchester case it may have had some special object. It was possibly intended to explain the favour alleged to be shown to Eudo and his abbey by the Crown in its charters, where they were spurious. Those who can speak with authority on the language of the time could tell us whether such a phrase as that Eudo received his stewardship 'pro sui patris suaeque in regalem familiam devotione'—which Mr. Rye renders as 'for the devotion of his father and himself to the royal family '—was even possible at the time.
In all my own experience I remember no such instance of absolutely reckless inaccuracy as that of which, in this paper, I have given conclusive proof. One can only assume that Mr. Walter Rye, when he thus set himself to expose what he terms 'Freeman's inaccuracies' [sic] and his 'glaring errors', cannot possibly have foreseen that the result of this inquiry— for which he claimed 'a right to ask' me—would be to demonstrate his own errors, his infinitely worse inaccuracy. There are cases in which his carelessness produces sheer nonsense. For instance, after expressing at the outset surprise 'that no one has hitherto attempted to seriously write a history of so well known a building as Norwich Castle', we find in the chapter on 'The Fabric and Repairs' this piece of serious history:
1350. Norwich to send 60 armed men to Norwich (Foedera).
On the opposite page we find my own Geoffrey de Mandeville cited for the allegation that 'Ralph de Belphago (Bella fago) appears as sheriff temp. Hy. I (1100–54)', although I do not name the reign or imagine that Henry died in '1154'! More serious is the allegation in what Mr. Rye terms his 'Chapter VIII'. This 'chapter' is wholly devoted to an attack upon my paper on 'The Early Sheriffs of Norfolk' in the pages of this Review. He there deliberately charges me with having 'omitted' in my paper the name of Robert Fitz Walter, although I name him (as sheriff) more than a dozen times in all. How is one to deal with charges that are at absolute variance with fact? Mr. Rye's persistence in this practice is shown in his next sentence, where he states that 'the entry in the Ramsey cartulary shows that his [i.e. Robert Fitz Walter's] date must have been at least eight years earlier than Dr. Round guessed [sic] it'. I do not 'guess' my facts: I leave that to Mr. Rye. The reader will find, on referring to my paper, that I cite the Pipe Roll of 1130 as proving the date at which Robert went out of office (namely Michaelmas 1129).
It is difficult to speak in temperate language of the direct misstatements in Mr. Rye's charges or of the patronizing fashion in which he puts them forward. There are cases in which they only need to be printed opposite the facts. Here, for instance, is his definite charge that I have omitted the names of sheriffs whom my paper duly mentions.
At the great Kentford gathering of the magnates of the adjacent counties in 1080 (Inq. Com. Cant. p. xvii—not, as in Davis, Regesta, 32, p. 17 [sic])—there was present 'Walterus pro Rodgero et Roberto vicecom' ', whom Mr. Davis identifies (ibid.) as 'sheriffs [of Norfolk and Suffolk]'. It would be too speculative, save in a foot-note, to suggest that this Walter, acting, Mr. Morris writes (p. 157), as 'a deputy', was father of Robert Fitz Walter, sheriff under Henry I.—Ante, xxxv. 488, note 9.
Dr. Round makes no attempt to identify the earliest sheriffs of all, viz. Roger and Robert or their deputy Walter, whose names appear on 2nd April, 1088 in an enquiry … which is printed in Davis Regista [sic], No. 22, p. 32.
Two more of his reckless errors are here the whole sum of my critic's contributions to our knowledge: the right date is 1080, not '1088', and the number in Mr. Davis's book is, not '22', but 122. As for the charge that I do not mention 'any of the earlier sheriffs', I expressly stated at the outset that I only set myself 'to supplement the information' in Mr. Morris's learned paper on the sheriff 'in the early Norman period', where, for instance, Roger Bigod's shrievalty of East Anglia is fully dealt with. I also explained at the outset that one of the points I desired to illustrate was 'the system of hereditary (or quasi-hereditary) tenure of certain shrievalties', and this I did in the case of Norfolk. 'I do not see', Mr. Rye observes of William, 'why he is called "hereditary sheriff"' by Stapleton. Yet my article (pp. 491–2) makes it clear.
More serious is his treatment of Robert son of Walter, a sheriff under Henry I. I have shown above that Mr. Rye charges me with having 'omitted in the present article' the name of this sheriff, though I have there named him more than a dozen times, and have shown clearly who he was (pp. 482–5).
The importance of dating (so far as possible) and identifying early sheriffs is so great that I need offer no apology for making absolutely clear Mr. Rye's confusion of two men who were named Robert Fitz Walter—the more so as he now fully admits his own confusion on the subject. In my paper I pointed out (p. 482) that the earlier Robert, 'sheriff of East Anglia', has 'been confused by some with the "Marshal of the Army of God" in 1215, or at least assumed to have been a member of his great baronial house'. Yet, as I there observed, 'the latter Robert died about a century later than the sheriff of East Anglia'. Mr. Rye, who has thus confused them, does not venture to deny it: indeed, he thus fully admits it in his reply to my paper:
My mistake arose through my confusing Robert Fitz Walter (de Cheyny) with another Robert Fitz Walter (de Clare).
Just so. But even in this admission we detect a fresh error; for it was not the earlier Robert Fitz Walter, but his wife who was a Cheyny (de Caineto).
As I have written more than any one on the great family of Clare, I desire to make it absolutely clear what is here the point at issue. As I accurately stated:
Mr. Walter Rye of Norwich has plunged the evidence in confusion. Although he knows that the Clares, a great baronial house, were quite distinct from the Cleres, a local Norfolk family, he asserts that in 1166 Ralph de Clere held Filby of John, son of Robert Fitz Walter, i. e. de Clare, and bases a theory thereon.
For this I there accurately cited 'his Norfolk Families (1911), pp. 103, 104–5'. At the top of p. 103 we read:
Clare. The baronial family of de Clare bore Or three chevronels gu.
The family is there disposed of in three lines. On p. 104 (after several other families) we find:
Clere of Ormesby and Blickling, a Visitation family, used arms in 1460 Arg. on a fess az. three eaglets displayed, &c.
For my statement above, which is strictly accurate, as I have here shown, 'there is', Mr. Rye has asserted in this Review (January 1921), 'no foundation'! Within three months of the appearance of this so-called 'correction', Mr. Rye, who had thus lightly accused me of a deliberate misstatement, made the astounding admission that my paper contained, on this point, 'deserved criticisms' of what he had written and that I had 'rightly corrected' him 'for having tried to show a connexion between' the two families! Nay, we even read that he was 'doubly wrong'.
Here are his own words :
His [Dr. Round's] article is very disappointing, and it is chiefly made up of severe and, in two cases, deserved criticisms of the writings of the late Dr. Jessopp and myself.
… … … … … … …
The only items of value in the article are that it demolishes Dr. Jessopp's statement … and that he [i.e. myself] rightly corrects me for having tried to show a connection between the baronial house of Clare [and the family of Clere?] by stating that Robert Fitz Walter, … who before 1166 gave Filby to Ralph do Clere, was himself of the baronial family of Clare.
Even here Mr. Rye is guilty of introducing a fresh blunder; for what he actually wrote, on p. 105, was that the Cleres 'may be descended from the noble family of Clere'! He himself however, proceeded to assert, of them, that
The first undoubted ancestor of this family was Robert Clere alias Cleriz of Stokesby, in 1316.
I will now resume the quotation from his reply to my article.
Here I was doubly wrong, for this Robert Fitz Walter has been proved not to be of the house of Clare and the donation was from a William Fitz Walter [sic]. My mistake arose through my confusing Robert Fitz Walter (de Cheyny) with another Robert Fitz Walter (de Clare), the leader of the Barons in 1215, … I find it was very careless of me not to notice the wide division of dates.
Now what is the upshot of all this? Mr. Rye has confused, by his own admission, Bobert Fitz Walter, sheriff of Norfolk in the days of Henry I, with the famous Bobert Fitz Walter, the baronial leader, who died in 1235–6. On this supposed identity—and on this alone—he has based a theory that 'Ralph de Clere was himself of the baronial family of Clare'. This was his basic error, and this he fully admits. As he abandons the premiss, he must also abandon his conclusion. But this is not Mr. Rye's way. Forced to abandon his premiss, which he now dismisses as a 'guess', he thinks, we read, that he will be able 'to prove, in a paper now in preparation', that his 'guess [sic] that the Cleres of Ormesby were offshoots of the Baronial family was a correct one, although founded on a mistaken premiss'! The reader may be safely left to draw his own conclusion from the endless gyrations of this elusive antiquary, who first admits that he is 'doubly wrong', and then announces that he is going to prove that his 'guess' was right!
Mr. Rye's treatment of Freeman is a very serious matter. If and where it can be proved that Freeman has erred in his statements, let them by all means be corrected; I myself should be the last to deny one's right to do so. Considering, however, that 'Freeman is dead' and cannot vindicate himself, denunciation of his statements in this reckless manner is, surely, inconsistent with the decencies of controversy. I have shown, in case after case, that it is not he, but his critic, whose errors need correction and whose charges, when they are tested, again and again collapse. To test them, one by one, needs infinite patience and a grievous expenditure of time. Mr. Rye, no doubt, is right, at least, in relying on the fact that few historians would test them at such a cost; for 'luckily', in his own words, 'people don't often verify their own references, let alone yours'. This, however, is precisely what I have here done.
When one has made all allowance for his incorrigible carelessness, for haste, and for mental confusion, there remains a residue of statement, which can only be accounted for by his curious vehemence. Those who have read my paper will have realized that this is so. It is his avowed object to vindicate the 'Chronicle', as he terms it, and, in order to attain this object, he does not hesitate to allege that 'Freeman, before he died, practically withdrew his case against the Chronicle'. As this is absolutely contrary to fact, he built up a theory that Freeman began by rejecting its evidence, but 'later on' changed his view. Twice over he cited passages from William Rufus, as setting forth the view originally held by Freeman, and then relied on his Norman Conquest as proving his recantation! In order to conceal the fact that the latter was the earlier (not the later) of these two works, he was careful to leave unmentioned the date and even the name of Freeman's William Rufus! 'Freeman', he writes, 'in his first edition [sic] expressed himself fiercely against the authenticity of the Colchester Chronicle.' There was never but one edition of William Rufus!
I have here selected this example of Mr. Rye's methods because it will hardly be considered necessary that I should give more. No historian, I think, will doubt that I have settled once for all the question of the authenticity of this wild narrative and of Freeman's attitude towards it. In (1) his Norman Conquest, in (2) his William Rufus, and in (3) his English Towns and Districts that is to say, down to 1883 he continuously denounced the authenticity of the tale, finally (1882–3) denouncing the exploits of Hubert and Eudo de Rye therein as 'legend', as 'wholly mythical', as 'pure fiction', as 'simply taking their place among the Norman legends of the Conquest'. The 'legend of Eudo Dapifer' is laid to rest at last.
J. H. Round.
- At the London Congress of Historical Studies I read a paper on 'Historical Genealogy', but have not yet published it.
- Many of his transcripts are preserved in the Bodleian Library and were employed by me for my Geoffrey de Mandeville.
- See the valuable history of this abbey contributed by Mr. Robert C. Fowler, O.B.E., F.S.A., of the Public Record Office staff, to the Victoria History of Essex (ii. 93).
- Ante, xvi. 721.
- See his monograph on Gilbert Crispin (abbot of Westminster).
- Cotton MS. D. viii, fo. 345.
- This statement is made in a paper on 'Medieval Colchester' by Mr. Dukinfield Astley (Essex Arch. Trans, viii. 120), but seems, from what he says, to be taken from the Catalogue of Romances in the British Museum (i. 230), a not inappropriate domicile!
- Norwich Castle (April 1921), pp. 36 b, 39 a. This appendix is in double columns, having been previously printed in a local newspaper.
- Opening address to Historical Section of the Arch. Institute at Colchester (1876), reprinted in English Towns and Districts (1883), p. 410.
- William Rufus (1882), ii. 463.
- Norwich Castle, p. 37 a.
- Ibid. pp. 33–62.
- This and other freaks of grammar are due to Mr. Rye throughout.
- 'After the flight of de Guader the chronicle of St. John's Abbey, Colchester, specially states that he was succeeded by (4) Hubert de Rye. I am aware the credibility of this Chronicle has been denied by Freeman and doubted (except when it suits him) by Round, so I propose to go into the question minutely in an appendix' (p. 17).
- p. 19. Mr. Rye does not 'set out' the charter, but gives a brief abstract (which reads strangely) of its purport and witnesses in English.
- p. 20.
- p. 24.
- p. 39. This, indeed, is obvious from his own list of the castellans (pp. 17–20).
- See Essex Arch. Trans, viii. 120–35.
- Ibid. p. 120. I am not sure whether this suggestion was made by Mr. Astley or taken by him from the official 'Catalogue of Romances', which he consulted for a description of the manuscript.
- pp. 36 b, 37 a.
- pp. 36–7.
- p. 37 b.
- One has to cite very exactly the volumes of the Norman Conquest on account of revision by the author. I quote here the 'second edition, revised', of vols. ii (1870) and iii (1875), but the first edition of vol. iv (1871).
- ii. 246–7. I do not know whether the reference, in vol. iv, to 'p. 249' of vol. ii is due to a misprint or to a difference of edition; but the perfect correspondence of the two passages which I have quoted in the text should be carefully observed. When Freeman wrote in vol. iv (1871) of 'Eudo of Eye … son of the faithful Hubert' and of 'his own and his father's loyalty', he had in mind the 'faithful vassal named Hubert' and 'his loyal sons' of vol. ii (1870), to which passage, indeed, we are there referred.
- pp. 42 b–43 a.
- p. 44 a.
- It is twice so styled by Freeman in his William Rufus (ii. 463).
- See Norm. Conq. iii. 694 ; William Rufus, ii. 463.
- p. 40 b.
- pp. 38 a, 40 b bis, and note, 43 b, 44 b, 51 a.
- p. 40 b.
- Mr. Rye's point is that his 'Chronicle' says that at a meeting of the nobles in Normandy, no one but Hubert was willing to go to England, on a mission to Edward, because of the murder of Normans at Guildford in 1036. But the fact that this tragedy (in 1036) is admitted by Freeman and every one obviously does not prove the truth of the alleged assembly at some later time or afford any support to the tale of Hubert's embassy. Nor could the actual position of Ash or even its alleged closeness to Guildford have any bearing on the subject.
- p. 40 b.
- Viz. iii. 694. I have before me the 'second edition, revised' (1875).
- Address at Colchester 1 August 1876, reprinted in English Towns and Districts (1883), pp. 383, 410. In William Rufus (1882) he expressly styles the passage cited by Mr. Rye (viz. 'iii. 683') 'another legend' (ii. 463). The further passage quoted by Mr. Bye (from Norman Conquest, iii. 685) refers, not to Hubert's embassy, but to alleged trouble in Maine ('at Coenomanica', says Mr. Rye!) in 1066.
- p. 43 b.
- pp. 44–52.
- p. 40 b.
- iii. 694. See also my translation of the entry in Victoria County History, Hants, i. 401 a: 'Ælwacre held it of Earl Harold.'
- p. 44 a.
- p. 51 a.
- pp. 42, 44 a.
- p. 42 a.
- See his Preface, where he speaks of 'the London properties of Eudo dapifer'.
- p. 44.
- In his Gilbert Crispin, Abbot of Westminster (1911), pp. 158–66.
- See ante, xvi. 721–30.
- p. 162.
- p. 165.
- Ante, xvi. 726.
- See Newcourt, Repertorium, which is cited with no addition, in the 'Account of the parish of St. Mary Woolchurchhaw' prefixed to the transcript of its registers, by Messrs. Brooke and Hallen (p. xliii), issued in 1886.
- p. 165.
- See Davis, Regesta, no. 141 (pp. 37–8), where notes will be found on its text and its spurious character.
- Mr. Rye adds, in a foot-note, that 'there is what Davis calls (p. 441) a spurious charter of William II, confirming this grant, and this has been challenged by Round in the Eng. Hist. Rev. xvi. 725'. The reference to 'p. 441' is, of course, wrong, and should be p. 109. Mr. Davis there duly names 'Niewechirche [Westcheap, London]' among the gifts confirmed, and observes that 'The authenticity of the charter is challenged, with good reason, by Mr. Round (Eng. Hist. Rev. xvi. 725)'.
- p. 44 b.
- p. 44.
- This is a wrong reference.
- Viz. on p. 42 a, where we read that 'This London holding of Hubert's, which passed to Eudo', was 'in West [sic] Cheap market'.
- pp. 42 b–52.
- p. 44 b.
- p. 45 b.
- p. 38 b.
- Continuing the quotation in the text, Eudo, according to the 'Chronicle', was 'the first', in Mr. Rye's words, 'to cross over' to England, and 'by working on or in collusion with William de Ponte-arce, the treasurer at Winchester, got the keys of the Treasury there' (p. 38 b).
- Mr. Rye's rendering of the passage in the 'Chronicle' is that William and Eudo, 'gaining the favour of William de Ponte Arce, received the keys of the Treasury at Winchester, which are in his custody ' (p. 34 a).
- pp. 38 b, 46 b. This quotation is taken from William Rufus, ii. 464. Mr. Rye retorts that William 'afterwards founded Southwark' (sic).
- p. 39 a.
- p. 45 b.
- The italics are Mr. Rye's. So is the style 'treasurer of Winchester'.
- pp. 45–6.
- Norman Conquest, vol. iii (2nd ed.), app. S (p. 673).
- pp. 180, 188, app. V (p. 397) on 'William of Arques'.
- See Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 234 (cited by Mr. Rye).
- See Mr. Davis's index, p. 157 c.
- p. 37 a.
- pp. 36–7.
- p. 36 b. Cf. p. 38 b.
- See pp. 37–8.
- p. 37 a.
- pp. 34 a, 38 b.
- For I have disproved the allegations that Ash was granted by Edward to Hubert, that 'besides Ash, Eudo held other possessions in England before the Conquest', and that 'he had sat on a Commission with William de Pont de l'Arche in 1072'.
- p. 40 b.
- p. 39a.
- Nevertheless Mr. Rye professes 'to tabulate all the important statements made in it (except the miracle), and place under each head the independent facts (sic) which corroborate it' (p. 38 a). With these facts I have dealt in the text.
- Victoria County History, Essex, i. 347.
- p. 37 a.
- e.g. my 'foundation histories' is quoted as 'foundation charters'.
- Viz. 'ii, p. 13' for ii, p. 93 (in no. 2); 'Id. p. 347' for 'i, p. 347' (in no. 3); 'p. 347' for 'i, p. 347'.
- p. 37.
- From p. 17.
- p. 41 a.
- Dugdale's mistake consisted of confusing mother and daughter and making Eudo marry the widow (instead of 'daughter') of Richard.
- Mr. R. C. Fowler holds that much of it 'appears to be fiction', and Dr. Armitage Robinson (1911) observes that 'it is difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction in Eudo's story'.
- 'in my vindication of the Chronicle' (p. 44 b).
- Brother of Eudo de Rye, alias 'Eudo dapifer'.
- Norwich Castle, p. 17.
- p. 40 b, 'there is no direct evidence for or against the statement'.
- p. 42 a.
- p. 45 b.
- See p. 13 above, where I have shown he actually finds in this statement valid evidence.
- p. 17.
- The authority for this is William of Poitiers, who is duly cited by Freeman.
- p. 17.
- See, for a fuller account of all this, Freeman, Norman Conquest, iv (ed. 1871), pp. 64, 67, 73, 252–3, 573–84. William Fitz Osbern was entrusted with Norwich (pp. 72–3) before the king left for Normandy in March 1067; but when the Danes landed in 1069 (c. August) 'William Fitz Osbern was no longer in command' there. The man who then 'commanded at Norwich' was 'Ralph of Wader' (pp. 252–3).
- p. 17.
- I am in no way responsible for this citation, nor do I know from which paper it is taken.
- p. 79.
- pp. 17, 33 b.
- p. 17.
- p. 33 b. It should be observed that the Latin runs ' turris Norwici ', for, as I have shown in my paper on 'Tower and Castle' (Geoffrey de Mandeville, pp. 328–46), the distinction between the two words is of importance. The keep of Norwich Castle (of which there is a striking view in Mr. Rye's treatise) is as truly a turris as the tower of London or those of Colchester or of Rouen. But Mrs. Armitage rightly observes that 'the magnificent keep … is undoubtedly a work of the twelfth century' (Early Norman Castles, p. 175), and Mr. Rye, who compares it with Castle Rising, suggests 1150 as the probable date of the keep (Norwich Castle, pp. 8, 9). How then can this turris (a term which well describes it) have been standing so early as 1075, as the 'Chronicle' implies?
- Norman Conquest (1871), iv. 584: 'The castle was occupied by two of the besiegers, Bishop Geoffrey and Earl William of Warren [sic]. With them was joined Robert Malet. … The garrison which they commanded consisted of three hundred men-at-arms, and a body of balistarii and other engineers. Norwich was held in safe keeping till the king's return.' Freeman had already explained (p. 581) that 'Besides William of Warren and Robert the son of William Malet, the two warlike bishops, Odo of Bayeux and Geoffrey of Coutances, led forth a vast host of both races to attack the Earl of Norfolk'.
- p. 39 b.
- The statement on p. 17 that 'the castle had been stormed and taken by Robert Malet' is, of course, erroneous; nor was Earl Ralph de Guader holding the castle when it was besieged.
- His claim that Robert Malet's presence is a 'corroboration' of the statement in the 'Chronicle' will be found on pp. 39–40. It is contrary to fact that Henry de Rye's mother was fined in 1120 because he had 'sided with Robert of Normandy'.
- Norman Conquest (1871), iv. 200.
- Early Norman Castles, p. 176.
- 'cui commissa est custodia castelli et comitatus Notingeham.'
- pp. 33 b, 39 a, b.
- p. 38 a.
- p. 39 a.
- See Norman Conquest (1871), iv. 704–12.
- Ibid. pp. 714–21.
- p. 34 a.
- p. 38 b: 'William I died at Caen.' It is worth noting that William of Malmesbury speaks of the Conqueror as 'ultima valetudine decumbente', a word which seems to have suggested the Chronicle's 'decumbente rege Willelmo apud Cadomum'.
- Gilebertus comes Rohaisiae frater.
- p. 34 b.
- Although there has been some confusion, I have shown that the Clare earldom (of Hertford) was first created by Stephen (Geoffrey de Mandeville).
- p. 41 a.
- On p. 48 a Mr. Rye claims that the Chronicle's erroneous statement as to 'Earl [sic] Gilbert of Tonbridge' laying one of the stones is 'corroborated' by another chronicle 'which describes Gilbert as Gilbert de Clare' (not as earl)!
- p. 41 a.
- Namely 'the first earl of Essex', who is the subject of my book.
- Compare Rye's Suffolk Fines, pp. 2–3, for Abbot Samson. In 1096 a Samson became bishop of Worcester.
- This is dealt with in chapter ii (pp. 5–7) of his treatise.
- His theory is that because, in Norfolk, 'much the greater part of the lands which owed this service were the lands belonging to churches such as the Bishop of Norwich, the Abbot of Bury', &c., these services 'in early days were a substitution for the active military services expected from lay barons' (p. 5). This view is, obviously, due to mental confusion between non-combatant ecclesiastics and their militant knights. Mr. Rye, however, actually imputes this view to myself, citing my paper on 'The Oxford Debate on Foreign Service' (Feudal England, pp. 528–38), which is not even concerned with the service of 'castle guard'!
- p. 6.
- On the Pipe Roll of 1130 (31 Hen. I) Hamo de St. Clair accounts for the farm of Colchester, which was then £40 (Madox, Exchequer, 1711, p. 226, whence Morant duly quotes it in his History of Colchester). Mr. Bye makes it '£190 3s.' (p. 49 b)!
- pp. 20, 21, 25.
- p. 22.
- Mr. Rye is responsible for the italic type.
- p. 18.
- p. 19.
- It is, no doubt, not easy to follow the chronology in Miss Norgate's work, but in this case (ii. 155–6) she appends a foot-note, in which the capture of Norwich is assigned to 'this summer of 1174', and Jordan Fantome is charged with misdating it. Her 'map to illustrate the rebellion of 1173–4' will be found facing p. 149 of vol. ii.
- p. 18.
- The date of the Toulouse campaign was 1159 (not 1168). Mr. Rye states that—'By F. Norgate and others' William 'has been called the natural son of Stephen, but I think there is no warrant for this' (p. 18). This mistake has been sometimes made; but not, so far as I know, by Miss Norgate (see Angevin Kings, i. 430, 469).
- See pp. 18, 21. The fearful confusion here is due to Mr. Rye, who first deals with Hugh Bigod's retention of the castle against Stephen in '1136' (p. 18), then with its surrender to Henry II 'in 1155–6', and finally (p. 19) with its capture in '1174', after which he introduces its resistance to Stephen, early in his reign, all over again!
- pp. 5, 8, 12, 13, 17.
- Norman Conquest (19,11), iv. 67–8. Domesday repeats the phrase 'in occupatione castelli' (ii. 116).
- p. 37.
- Norfolk Songs, Stories, and Sayings (1897), p. 92.
- 'No answer appearing to my defence' (p. 36 b).
- p. 39 a.
- p. 37 b.
- p. 37 a.
- 33 a.
- p. 40 b. What Mr. Rye has to prove is that this assembly was held and that Hubert took his alleged action at it. The events at Guildford long before (i.e. in 1036) are not denied, but do not in any way confirm the tale of Hubert's action at this alleged assembly.
- What Mr. Rye here means is Ellis's 'Introduction' to Domesday; but the reference (ii. 250) is wrong, and the alleged omission is an unfounded charge.
- p. 44 a; cf. p. 51 a.
- p. 38 a.
- p. 40 b
- See his preface to 2nd edition of Norman Conquest, vol. iii, for this date.
- Ibid. p. 694.
- William Rufus, ii. 463; English Towns and Districts, p. 410.
- See above.
- p. 17.
- pp. 33–52.
- Second Series, part 3, p. 21.
- Mr. Killick, the author, naturally referred to Stubbs for the date.
- His Grace the Steward and the Trial of Peers, pp. 15, 39.
- Victoria County History, Essex, ii. 93 a.
- pp. 158–66.
- p. 136.
- Op. cit., pp. 159–62. In my Commune of London and other Studies (p. 318) I have suggested that the 'Modus tenendi Parliamentum', in its present form, dates from no earlier period than c. 1386.
- See my Geoffrey de Mandeville. At the intervening accession of Henry I, in 1100, the post was held by William of Breteuil, who, however, opposed Henry's demand for the treasure (see William Rufus, ii. 346, 680). Freeman speaks of 'the Conqueror's hoard' at Winchester in 1087 (ibid. i. 17, 21), and again of 'the hoard at Winchester' in 1100 (ii. 340, 346, 348, 349), and is followed in this by Mr. Davis (England under the Normans and Angevins, p. 70); but Mr. Poole has explained (Exchequer in the Twelfth Century, pp. 21–2) since then, that 'the word "hoard" is never found as a designation of the king's treasure or treasury. … The statement about the "hoard" … seems to be due to Freeman'.
- 'Claves thesaurorum nactus est', says William (see William Rufus, i. 22 n.; ii. 459–60). 'Claves thesauri Wintonie suscipiunt', we read in the Chronicle.
- i. 14.
- p. 17. One must admit that Freeman's narrative, though full, is by no means clear. That of Mr. Davis is far clearer. He holds that William, on landing, 'made it his first concern to seize the royal hoard at Winchester' (p. 70).
- pp. 36 b, 38 b.
- p. 37.
- Freeman's English Towns and Districts was published in 1883, but the address therein, in which he mentions the 'Chronicle' (p. 410), is only, he explains, a reprint of one delivered in 1876. Moreover, he there denounces the 'Chronicle' as 'highly mythical in all points bearing on general history', and dismisses 'the embassies on which Hubert is sent between William and Eadward' as simply one 'among the Norman legends of the Conquest'.
- Academy, 27 June 1885.
- I do not commit myself to acceptance of all this writer's statements, as I think his knowledge was overrated. Indeed, he asserted (May 1885), in the same organ, that 'Ralph fitz Hubert de Rie figures in, Domesday as Constable of Nottingham Castle', a statement which I at once denied (Academy, 13 June 1885). Admitting his error, he then alleged that his 'statement was originally taken from' the Colchester 'Chronicle', according to which Ralph's 'brother Adam had charge of the Tower of Norwich after the banishment of Ralph de Waer in 1076' (ibid., 27 June). This was a fresh error; for the 'Chronicle', as Mr. Rye insists, assigns this appointment not to Adam, but to his brother Hubert.
- p. 38 a.
- See p. 33 a. 'Eadward', says Freeman, (in the Chronicle) 'sends Goscelin, a merchant of Winchester, … on a message to Duke William.' The 'intermediary' (internuntius) sent in return to Edward was (says the Chronicle) Hubert de Rie.
- p. 40 b.
- I would lay stress on this illustration of Mr. Rye's methods because (as I have shown above) he similarly claims that the Chronicle's next statement (no. 4) as to 'the great assembly of nobles, convened' (p. 33 a) to consider Edward's message, 'is confirmed by Freeman himself' when 'he refers to the massacre of the Normans at Guildford' in 1036 (p. 40 b).
- p. 38 a.
- p. 37 a.
- ii. 463–5.
- This is Mr. Dukinfield Astley's reading (Essex Arch. Trans. viii. 122).
- p. 33 a.
- p. 37 a.
- p. 16.
- pp. 28–9.
- Ante (October 1920), xxxv. 481 ff.
- pp. 481, 482, 483, 484, 485, 486, 488. I mentioned at the very outset (p. 481) the tenure of the shrievalty by this Robert and his sons, and gave a reference to the paper in which I had dealt with them more fully.
- i.e. vol. i, pp. 148–9, where the document of '1114–23', relied on by Mr. Rye, had been duly quoted by me (ante, xxxv. 481, n. 2).
- p. 483.
- And the Deputy Keeper's 31st Report.
- Dr. Jessopp, as I there showed, wrongly named him as sheriff in '1131'; I have given examples of this mistake in my article on 'Early Pipe Rolls' (ante, xxxvi. 329). Evidently Mr. Rye obtains his phrase 'at least eight years' by deducting 1123 from '1131'. Obviously Robert might have been sheriff not only in 1128–9, but some years earlier as well.
- It is correctly cited by Mr. Morris (ante, xxxiii. 157, n. 94).
- Ante, xxxv. 481.
- Ante, xxxiii. 145–75.
- Mr. Rye complains (p. 28) of my omitting names which, he admits, I had elsewhere mentioned.
- I do not admit having 'ignored Hugh le Bigod himself the sheriff of 1156–7' (p. 28); for he is also ignored by Eyton, as sheriff of Norfolk, and the Pipe Roll of 1157 (3 Hen. II) shows that he then only accounted de veteri firma. My paper (ante, xxxv. 489) shows that William 'de Caisneto' was sheriff from Easter 1157 till Michaelmas 1163. I have dealt fully with the shrievalties of his father, his elder brother, himself, his sons, and his son-in-law, Robert Fitz Roger—whom Mr. Rye wrongly styles 'Robert Fitz Robert ' in one place (ante, xxxv. 492, n. 5). This William, Mr. Rye asserts, was sheriff '1156–62' (p. 18). 'He certainly was sheriff from 1156 and [sic] 1163' (p. 14). If so, how could Hugh be 'sheriff 1156–7'?
- Ante, xxxv. 492, 495–6.
- p. 14.
- Mr. Rye admits (p. 29) that a certain entry 'seems to help the suggestion … that the Cheynys had some sort of hereditary right in the sherievalty' [sic].
- p. 28.
- This is the sheriff whose name Mr. Rye charges me with omitting.
- p. 29.
- See my paper, ante, xxxv. 484.
- Ante, xxxv. 485.
- Ante, xxxvi. 160.
- Ante, xxxv. 481–96.
- This addition is required, in order to make sense of Mr. Rye's statement.
- This erroneous statement is found on p. 105 of Mr. Rye's Norfolk Families. It follows immediately on the passage cited (ante, xxxvi. 160) in his so-called 'correction' of me! The reader should look up this reference.
- p. 105.
- The sheriff under Henry I.
- ? ' discrepancy of dates'. Mr. Rye's English is at fault again. Norwich Castle, p. 29.
- He was son of Walter de Caen. See my paper, ante, xxxv. 482.
- p. 29.
- Ante, xxxv. 482, n. 1, 485.
- p. 29.
- p. 29.
- p. 37.
- p. 37 b.
- pp. 36 b, 39 a.
- p. 37 b.
- p. 38 b. The two passages which he here cites are taken (the reader will discover) from William Rufus, ii. 463, but the name of that work is omitted.