Bourne Archive: FNQ: Hereward XXXIII
http://boar.org.uk/ariwxo3FNQsupXXXIII.htm Latest edit 1 Jul 2010
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De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis.
Quomodo Herwardus ad curiam regis cum suis militibus accessit.
At ubi tetendit ad curiam regis cum tribus præfatis viris, tandem quum appropinquaret in se reversus quod præclare cum suis regi non occurreret, statim pedem refert. Et illico reversus, duxit secum alios quadraginta præclarissimos milites, et omnes statura proceri et magni, et, in militia efficaces, et, si non ex alio, ex solo visu et procinctu armorum insignes. Qui benigne satis et honorifice cum suis a rege susceptus est. Tamen collegam suam inter curiales suos commanere non permisit, sed ultra ad proximam villam hospitari percepit, ne tumultus forte inter eos et suos fieret. Herwardus [Herwardum] vero cum tribus tantum militibus in palatio suscipiens, facturus illi in proximo quod poposcerat. Sequenti autem die ipsemet venerabilis rex milites Herwardi videre processit, et armatos et sine armis astare et procedere ante se fecit. In quibus valde delectatus venustati eorum et proceritati congratulans eos laudabat, atque illos omnes et vere præclarissimos in militia esse debere subjunxit. Post hæc autem Herwardus omnes ad propria permisit, præter duos milites, et illos secum hactenus expectabat ut terram patris sui ex integro reciperet, regi hominio facto 1.
The Exploits of Hereward the Saxon.
How Hereward went to the King’s court with his soldiers.
But when he was making his way to the King’s court with the three men aforesaid, as he drew near he reflected that it would not be a suitable way of meeting the King, and immediately went back. And on his return he led with him forty other distinguished soldiers, all of very great stature, and efficient in warfare, and remarkable, if for nothing else, for their mere appearance and equipment in arms. And he with his men was received by the King with ample kindness and honour. Yet he did not allow his company to remain among his own courtiers, but gave instructions for them to be entertained at the next town, lest by chance any disturbances should take place between them and his own men. Hereward, with three soldiers only, he received in the palace, intending to treat with him on the next day concerning his demands. On the following day the revered King himself went to see Hereward’s soldiers, and caused them, both with arms and without arms, to stand and march before him. And he was greatly delighted with them, and praised their handsome appearance and height, and added that they were all bound to be very eminent in warfare. And after this Hereward let them all go away to their own homes, except two soldiers, and those with him hitherto ; and waited to receive in its entirety his father’s land, after he had done homage to the King 1.
1. Ælfgar, Edwin and Morcar were all dead so Hereward appears to have been next in line. William could not complain at Hereward’s status as the son of a mother who was his father’s wife more danico, as William was of no more legitimate immediate descent himself. We might imagine that this accommodation will have happened well before the date of the Domesday survey in 1086, so there arises the question of why Hereward is not listed in the inventory, as the owner of this property at that date. But see Chapter XXXVI, notes 1 and 2.