Phase 12 - Exchange of Messages

Messages are exchanged by the monks on both sides.

Anglo Saxon History

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Map Position

This map shows the position of locations containing '' centered on Telham in Sussex.

Map Logic

This map shows the area around Battle and Hastings in 1066.

Roman roads are shown as black lines, red lines show old Roman Ridge trackways and purple lines show theoretical Roman roads implied by village and road names.

The thickness of the road implies the width of the Roman metalled surface.

The sea level is shown raised by 5 metres to accomodate the high tide level changes since 1066 see our Sea Level page.

The green shaded area shows what we believe is the area of the impassible Forest of Andredsweald.


 
 

Phase 12 - Exchange of Messages
Messages are exchanged by the monks on both sides.
This page shows the documentary evidence from translated original documents


Anglo Saxon Chronicles

No reference to this subject in this document.

Battle Abbey Chronicles

The duke, then, by his heralds, thrice offered conditions of peace, which were thrice refused by the enemy; and at length, conformably to the prophecy of Merlin a Norman race in iron coats boldly cast down the pride of the English.

Bayeux_Tapestry

No reference to this subject in this document.

Carmen de Triumpho Normannico

A sage monk of eloquent speech was chosen
Who could be trusted to cautiously scout the camp of the duke
He sped on his way on a swift horse
Whatever the vain monk brought him, the duke held immaterial
Insofar as he urges retreat, it is raving madness entirely
Indeed the season forbids it, and the way is not easy
The monk hastened back

France who begets illustrious nobility
And people of Brittany, for whom there is honour in arms
Illustrious forces of Maine, whose glory
Apulia, Calabria, Sicily! Whose flying darts swarm!
Esteemed Normans, ever ready for action!
Wherefore we charge you to guard the camp
To return an envoy prepared word for word
The monk was summoned. He took to the road without delay

Because the Duke had directed his envoy to proceed ever vigilant
The envoy detouring through the countryside
Approached unseen where the King was preparing the ambush
Neck twisting, face distorted, Harold
Said to the envoy ‘Go back Dullard’
The envoy retraced his path by the shortcut back
Imperial in splendour, the duke, peace and glory of the realm
Advanced before the ranks of his army
The ruddy hued face of the envoy
The Duke asked ‘where is the king’
Without warning he hopes he may ambush you
It is said he has sent five hundred ships to sea
Where he advances there he lays planks of wood
And by this means makes dry crossings of rivers

Florence of Worcester

No reference to this subject in this document.

Henry of Huntingdon

No reference to this subject in this document.

Master Wace

Then Harold chose a messenger who knew the language of France, and sent him to duke William, charging him with these words ; ' Say to the duke that I desire he will not remind me of my covenant nor of my oath ; if I ever foolishly made it and promised him any thing, I did it for my liberty. I swore in order to get my freedom ; whatever he asked I agreed to ; and I ought not to be reproached, for I did nothing of my own free will. The strength was all on his side, and I feared that unless I did his pleasure, I should never return, but should have remained there for ever. If I have done him any wrong, I will make him recompense. If he want any of my wealth, I will give it according to my ability. I will refit all his ships, and give them safe conduct; but if he refuse this offer, tell him for a truth, that if he wait for me so long, I will on Saturday seek him out, and on that day will do battle with him.' The messenger hastened to the duke, and on the part of king Harold, told him that if he would re turn to his own land, and free England of his presence, he should have safe conduct for the purpose ; and if money was his object, he should have as much gold and silver as should supply the wants of all his host.

Duke William replied, 'Thanks for his fair words! I am not come into this country with so many escus, to change them for his esterlins ; but I am come that I may have all his land, according to his oath, and the gift of king Edward, who delivered me two youths of gentle lineage as hostages ; the one the son, the other the nephew of Godwin. I have them still in my keeping, and keep them I will, if I can, till I have right done unto me.'

Then the messenger replied, ' Sire, you ask too much of us, far too much of my lord ; you would rob him of his honour and fair name, requiring him to deliver up his kingdom, as if he dared not defend it. All is still safe, and in good order with us; there is no weakness or decay in his force. He is not so pressed by the war, as that he should give up his land to you ; neither is it very agreeable that, because you wish for his kingdom, he should at once abandon it to you. Harold will not give you what you cannot take from him; but in good will, and as a matter of favour, and without fear of your threats, he will give you as much as you desire of gold and silver, money and fine garments : and thus you may return to your country before any affray happen between you. If you will not accept this offer, know this, that if you abide his coming, he will be ready in the field on Saturday next, and on that day he will fight with you.'

The duke accepted this appointment, and the messenger took his leave; but when he proposed to go, the duke gave him a horse and garments : and when he came back to Harold thus arrayed, he shewed all that the duke had given him, and told how he had been honoured, and all that had passed ; and Harold repented much that he had done otherwise by Huon Margot.

WHILST Harold and William communicated in this way by messengers, clerks and knights, the English assembled at London. When they were about to set out thence, I have heard tell that Gurth, one of Harold's brothers, reasoned thus with him. ' Fair brother, remain here, but give me your troops ; I will take the adventure upon me, and will fight William l . I have no covenant with him, by oath or pledge ; I am in no fealty to him, nor do I owe him my faith. It may chance that there will be no need to come to blows ; but I fear that if you fight, you will pay the penalty of perjury, seeing you must forswear yourself; and he who has the right will win. But if I am conquered and taken prisoner, you, if God please, being alive, may still assemble your troops, and fight or come to such an arrange ment with the duke, that you may hold your kingdom in peace. Whilst I go and fight the Normans, do you scour the country, burn the houses, destroy the villages, and carry off all stores and provisions, swine and goats and cattle ; that they may find no food, nor any thing whatever to subsist upon. Thus you may alarm and drive them back, for the duke must return to his own country if provisions for his army shall fail him.'

But Harold refused, and said that Gurth should not go against the duke and fight without him; and that he would not burn houses and villages, neither would he plunder his people. ' How,' said he, ' can I injure the people I should govern ? I cannot destroy or harass those who ought to prosper under me.

William of Jumièges/Orderic Vitalis(Gesta)

No reference to this subject in this document.

William of Malmesbury

No reference to this subject in this document.



External References in no particular order :-
Original Manuscripts of the Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Online Anglo Saxon dictionary
Online Etymology dictionary
Open Domesday Book - The first free online copy of the Domesday Book
The Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment and research Society
The "Kent A" cadastre - page 5 - Peterson 2002
Archaeologia Cantiana Online
Romney Marsh Research Trust
Romney Marsh the Fifth Continent
VillageNet the reference guide to villages in Kent & Sussex
Global warming Flood Maps
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Google Maps - the core of the system
GeoPlaner - Useful site for plotting map data
Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars 55BC(Books 4 & 5)
Wikipedia - Caesar's invasions of Britain
Wikipedia - Portus Istus
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy (Bill Thayers)
Roman Britain.org
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion
Chronicles of John of Worcester
Battle Historic Society
Binsted village website(Mearcredesburnan Steðe)

 

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Author: Simon M - Last Updated: 15/01/2019 17:45
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