Bourne Archive: FNQ: Hereward XIX
http://boar.org.uk/ariwxo3FNQsupXIX.htm Latest edit 25 Apr 2010.
Web page & commentary© 2007 R.J.PENHEY With thanks to the trustees of the Willoughby Memorial Library
The Bourne Archive
This thread begins with the title page
De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis.
Ut autem Herwardus suis promiserat, in Angliam reversus est, una cum duobus præfatis nepotibus, jam in omni militia præclaris, et uxore ipsius Turfrida1 comite, quæ etiam omnem muliebrem jam superexcedebat mollitiem, in omni necessitate perspicui viri compos sæpe probata. Cum quo nempe et quidam capellanus ipsius, Hugo Britannicus ex nomine2, venit, licet presbyter non minus omni virtute præditus armisve instructus, et Wirhardus frater ejus, etiam eques ex militari virtute magnificus, adductis scilicet nec non sibi servientibus. Ex quibus quosdam statim propriam provinciam et paternam domum3 explorare misit, ut quid de eo apud regiam majestatem definitum sit diligenter inquirerent4, et ubi nam sunt quos in Angliam reliquerat cautissime ab suis amicis in paterna patria investigarent. Quibus denique profectis, hæreditatem illius omnio liberam invenerunt, nullus in eam ingredi ausus5. Quosdam vera ex suis latendo, et sic saluti suæ providendo compererunt. Qui repente de adventu ejus congratulantes festino ad eum recurrerunt, videlicet Wynter quidam, insignis miles, qui erat brevi statura sed valde robustissimus ex fortitudine, et Wenotus et Alutus Gurgan, in omni virtute et fortitudine perspicui ; hi enim, sicut proceri et magni, ita in opere efficaces, adjunctis illis adhuc tribus nepotibus ipsius 6; Godwinus Gille qui vocabatur Godwinus, quia non impar Godwino filio Guthlaci, qui in fabulis antiquorum valde prædicatur, et Duti et Outi, ambo fratres gemini, moribus et facie consimiles, atque ex militia laudabiles. Reliqui vero ex collega suorum in toto regno erant dispersi. Propterea quod illis ad signum ab eis recedens constituerat fecit, injectis flammis in tres villas super Bruneswold, juxta Brunne7, igni tradidit, et in silvam discessit usque sui sibi recollocarentur.
Collectis autem in unum omnibus, fuerunt et cuncti etiam præclarissimi, nullusque inter illos militari dignitati habendus vel considerandus nisi prius iterum prædicandorum operum auctor extitisset, quorum nomina hæc sunt, cum illis quos memoravimus numerum explentes ; Wluncus Niger, ex hoc huic cognomini sortitus, quod quodam tempore depicta facie carbonibus inter munitos incognitus venit, ex quibus solo hastile x. prostravit. Et istius socius fuit quidam Wluricus Rahere, vel Ardea, inde sic cognominatus, quoniam ad pontem de Wrokesham8 quadam vice erat, ubi adducti sunt iiij fratres innocenter damnati ut crucifigerentur, carnificibus perterritis, quod dicebant eum esse ardeam ad invicem illudentes illum, pro quo enim innocentes viriliter erepti sunt, et inimici eorum nonnulli occisi. Alii equidem et conversati sunt inter insigniores milites Herwardi, Godricus de Corbi9, nepos comitis de Warewic10, et Tosti de Davenesse, cognatus comitis ejusdem, cujus et nomen in baptismo suscepit11, et Acere Vasus, cujusdam generosi suburbani Lincolniæ filius, cujus et turrim civitatis ipsius erat12, et Lewinus Mone, id est Falca, inde cognomen adeptus quod in quodam prato quadam vice quum herbam solus falcaret, a xx. ipsius loci villicis cum furcis ferreis et hastibus in manibus surreptus, ipse inter omnes cum solo falce multos vulneravit et aliquos occidit, sicut qui falcat inter illos discurrens, tandem effugatis omnibus.
Horum quidem et in consortio quidam Turbertinus, pronepos Edwini comitis13, et Lefwinus Prat, [id est] Astutus, quod ab inimicis sæpe captus caute evaserit, multociensque et suis occisis custodibus, unde sic vocatus : cum quibus nec non et alii in militia probatissimi adhuc computati sunt, Lefricus diaconus14, et Villicus de Draitone15, atque Turkillus16 et Utlamhe, id est exul, cocus Herwardi, Hogor cognatus Herwardi, Winter et Liveret, duo præclari, et Rapenaldus dapifer de Ramesia17, hi fuerunt signiferi, hi et Wluricus18 Niger et Wluricus Albus, Wluricus Grugam, Ylardus, Godwinus Gille19, Outi et alias Outi, cum prædictis, et illi duo magnifici, cum Siwardo et alio Siwardo Rufo, qui fuerunt nepotes Herwardi. Cum eis ergo fuerunt et cæteri milites excellentissimi Godricus de Corebi, Hugo Normannus et presbyter, et Ylardus frater ejus, Levricus20 diaconus, Tosti de Rothewelle21, et Godwinus de Rothewelle, Osbernus22, Alsinus23, Lefwinus Prat, Hurchillus, et Villicus de Draitone. Hi omnes quidem præclarissimi et magnifici milites fuerunt in omni regno, cum cæteris nonnullis, de quibus longum est nominare et recitare per singulos.
The Exploits of Hereward the Saxon
on his return to
But Hereward, as he
had promised to his people, returned to
But when they were all assembled, all were most eminent men, and not one of them to be esteemed worthy of knightly dignity unless he had first achieved some memorable deeds. And these are their names, making (with those we have named above) the whole number. Wluncus, The Black, so called because he had once stained his face with charcoal and gone unrecognised among some enemies who were in security, and had overthrown ten of them with his single spear. And his mate was one Wluricus Rahere, or the Heron, so called because he was once by some chance at Wrokesham Bridge8, where four brothers who had done no wrong were condemned to be executed, and terrifying the executioners, who called him a Heron in mockery, he manfully caused the innocent men to be liberated, and some of their enemies killed. Others too were associated with the more famous of Hereward’s knights, Godricus of Corby9, nephew of the Earl of Warwick10, and Tosti of Davenesse, kinsman of the same Earl, whose name he took in baptism11, and Ancere Vasus, son of a gentleman near Lincoln, who owned the tower of the city (?)12, and Lewinus Mone, that is The Sickle ; so called because being by chance in a meadow, when he was cutting the grass by himself, he was set upon by a score of labourers of the place with pitchforks and spears in heir hands, and alone among them all, with nothing but his sickle, he wounded many and killed some, dashing among them like a reaper, and so put them all to flight.
In company with those was also one Turbentinus [sic], great-grandson of Earl Edwin13, and Lefwinus Prat, that is, The Crafty, because though often captured by his enemies he had cunningly escaped, many times killing his very guards, whence his surname. And with them moreover others most experienced in warfare must be reckoned, Leofric the Deacon14, and Villicus* of Drayton15, and Turkillys16, and Utlamhe, that is The Outlaw, Hereward’s cook, Hogor, his kinsman Winter and Liveret, two men of mark, and Rapenaldus, steward of Ramsey17 ; these were standard bearers. So too were Wluricus18, The Black, and Wluricus, The White, Wluricus Grugam, Ylardus, Godwinus Gille19, Outi, and another also named Outi, with those named before, and those two splendid men, Siward and Siward, the Red, who were Hereward’s nephews. With these then there were other very famous knights, Godricus of Corby, Hugo the Norman, a priest, and Ylardus his brother, Leofric20 the Deacon, Tosti of Rothwell21, and Godwinus of Rothwell, Osbernus22, Alsinus23, Lefwinus Prat, Hurchillus, and Villicus* of Drayton. All of these were the most renowned and splendid knights in the whole kingdom ; and there were several others, whom it would be tedious to enumerate individually.
? [Sweeting’s query]
* [Sweeting’s footnote] Perhaps an officer, bailiff, not a name.
2. The English version of his name would be Hugh Welsh or Hugh
Breton. He could have been of indigenous Brythonic stock which does not rule out his being local
to the district between
3. We heard about this in Chapter XIV.
4. Though, since the nineteenth century, Hereward has been portrayed as a hero on behalf of Anglo-Saxon society, the story does not really attempt to hide the fact that he was concerned to recover his father’s property for his family if not for himself. He will not have wished to undo any remaining spark of goodwill there might have been towards him on the part of King William. But he needed to know whether such a thing existed.
6. ↑ These would have been sons of the children of Leofric, Earl of Mercia by Edith or perhaps by Godiva. There is also the possibility that they were the sons of Turfrida’s siblings, of whom we know nothing. Two of Leofric’s grandsons are well known, namely Edwin, Earl of Mercia and Morcar, Earl of Northumbria.
one of the forms taken by the name ‘Bourne’ is ‘Brunne’, Bruneswold
looks as though it should be ‘
super Bruneswold, juxta Brunne: Bruneswold is used here in its English form so we do not know what its Latin ending might have been. If it should have been accusative, then super probably means ‘over’ in the sense of ‘beyond’ rather than the usual ‘above’, in which case, the noun would have been given the ablative ending. (Langenscheidt) In this case, we probably have ‘beyond Bruneswold’. In other words, we are not reading about events in Bruneswold but beyond it, near Bourne.
8. Wrokesham Possibly Rockingham, (grid reference SP8691) called Rochingeham in the Domesday Book. (Home of the followers of Hroc) (Mills 2007). The bridge crosses the River Welland at the lower end of the village.
now large town of Corby is
adjacent to Rockingham in Northamptonshire but there is another option, near
Bourne. It is now known as Corby
Glen, to differentiate it from the Northamptonshire Corby. Much of the
modern town of
Godric of Corby is suggested as a son of one Burgheard, a brother of Edwin and Morcar (DNB 2007 Ælfgar). He would therefore be Hereward’s great nephew but it is becoming difficult to fit all these generations in to the available time. If Leofric and Godiva had married in 1010, by 1070 there would have been room for 20 years per generation. That would make Godiva getting on for 45 years old when Hereward was born and in her late seventies when she died in 1067. It is all within the bounds of possibility but beginning to become rather tight.
creation of the first earldom of
It is possible that Hugh Candidus is referring to Leofric,
Earl of Mercia. He was writing after the Anglo-Norman title had been created in
1088 and it may have been seen as the then, modern counterpart of the earldom
12. cujus et turrim civitatis ipsius erat : this might mean a castle but there were
very few in the country before 1066 and those were owned by Norman supporters
of the pre-Conquest Earl of Hereford. Latin words frequently have a range of
meanings and turris
can be a dovecote. Ownership of such an enterprise by one other than a lord
would indicate significant merchant class wealth, as it was an important meat
source, particularly in late winter and early spring. But it was also a
significant investment. It is revealing that this man, apparently of a merchant
class, had his building in the City of
13. I have not been able to find anyone who could have been called Earl Edwin in this period, apart from Edwin, Earl of Mercia. Given that he is the man, it puts the birth of Ælfgar, his father between 1010 and 1020 and that of Leofric, his grandfather, back to 990 or so, as suggested by the DNB. See the commentary of Chapter II.
14. ↑ Apparently, the man who wrote the present story up in the first place. See Chapter I. It may be that this should be read so as to make Leofric both the Deacon and Bailiff (or steward, or overseer) of Drayton. There were several owners in Drayton of whom Ralph the Staller was the major one but much of his financial interest was managed under the Drayton heading and lay physically elsewhere, notably, in Skirbeck, which is to say Boston (Morris). The interests in the town of the abbots of Ramsey and Crowland may have associated Leofric with one of them. However, later in the chapter, Vicillus is listed again as though it were a personal name. So, it looks as though Leofric the Deacon and ‘Mr. Steward from Drayton’ were two people.
are several Draytons around
16. Thorketill, possibly the same man, was a prominent
pre-conquest landowner in
20. Levricus diaconus : Leofric is long out of use as a name but it is still heard in Bourne as there is a road named after Leofric, Earl of Mercia. It is now, usually pronounced ‘Leöfric’, with the two vowels, e and o, clearly separated but here, we see an indication that its pronunciation was closer to ‘Lefric’.
21. Tosti is a Danish name spelt, according to an English ear,
as it would be said. A Dane would probably spell it Tostig. This international
variation in the pronunciation of a terminal g is why we find dag and day meaning the same thing on
opposite sides of the
When I began
dealing, one by one, with the points arising from this chapter, I was expecting
a puzzling outcome. As I drew towards the end of the page, I was surprised at
how it had fallen out into a coherent story. Hereward had a group of supporters
in northern Northamptonshire. This is reasonable, as that area was in his
father’s earldom. Having come into
The major figure in
Drayton had been Ralph
the Staller (MorrisJ31). By 1070, he was dead. His father
appears to have had been brought from