We're getting there. Here's the penultimate section of my "Stories of Blood" project, this on medieval Norwich as a riled postcolonial expanse.
Stories of Blood 1: Real and Recent Blood (this post has the project background)
Stories of Blood 2: The Blood of Race
Stories of Blood 3: Histories of Blood
Stories of Blood 4: Impure Blood
PDF of Bibliography
|Halley's Comet, Bayeux Embroidery|
Chapter Four: City of Catastrophes
In the Old English poem Beowulf, a wandering dragon takes up residence in an ancient earthwork. The last survivor of a forgotten race long ago constructed this mound, this beorh (2241), interring the leavings of his people – swords, goblets, gold, the detritus of a vanished nation. Seamus Heaney well conveys the passage's grim obsession with lost history, with the advent of certain oblivion:
There were many other
heirlooms heaped inside the earth-house,
because long ago, with deliberate care,
somebody now forgotten
had buried the riches of a high-born race
in this ancient cache. Death had come
and taken them all in times gone by
and the only one left to tell their tale,
the last of their line, could look forward to nothing
but the same fate for himself. (2231-40).
The dragon claims for himself this memorial that no longer retains memory, guarding for dozy centuries its lifeless wealth. The monster's protective slumber is forgetfulness itself. When, centuries later, some wretch plunders the hoard and awakens its guardian, Beowulf is forced to battle the angry dragon in its adopted home. The poem concludes with the dead king interred with the treasure in another barrow (Biowulfes biorh, 2807) while the enemies of his people gather to seize his realm.
The beorh built by forgotten hands was a familiar site in the Beowulf-poet's day. Such earthworks provided a powerful reminder of how many peoples Britain saw settle its expanses. Some of these mounds were constructed by the Anglo-Saxons themselves, such as the famous Sutton Hoo burials in East Anglia. Others might be the remnants of Roman chambered tombs. More frequently still, barrows are the work of prehistoric peoples who enclosed their bones and funerary objects within but were unable to bequeath to the future more than the barest knowledge that they had once walked the land. As writers like Bede, William of Malmesbury, and Gerald of Wales were achingly aware, the long history of the British Isles consists of repeated migration, invasion, resettlement, extinction, commingling. Neolithic and Bronze Age tribes, Celts, Picts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans -- to name only some of the groups to which imprecise labels have now been attached -- arrived in their turn. Each transformed the landscape through funereal architectures, ritual and defensive structures, earthworks of uncertain intent, settlements that ranged from modest to massive. Some forests were converted into farmsteads, some farmsteads were reclaimed by forest; spiderwebs of trade routes flourished or were disrupted; roads crisscrossed the land and were traversed by numerous cultures. War and conquest laid waste some habitations; trade and manufacture caused others to swell into towns. A few British cities thrived from time out of memory; others turned ruin, the memory of their inhabitants receding with the crumbling of their walls. Peoples moved from pillage to agrarian economies, or from agrarian to pillage or mercantile systems. Communities tended to amalgamate and burgeon, but some dwindled and fractured. A constant flow of languages, religions, cultures, genes and memes swept across the British islands, creating an archipelago where disparate peoples coexisted, conflicted, changed.[i] Whereas the histories of some of these cultures linger now only in tantalizing material fragments like megaliths, pottery, and cairns, others achieved consolidations well known today: Roman Britannia, the mythic solidarity of the Ulaid, changing constellations of petty Welsh and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the Mercian hegemony, King Alfred's omnivorous Wessex, the Danelaw, Athelstan's united England. Each of these collectives was eventually displaced or transformed by the advent of some new power with its own vision of community, nationality, race.
Because they occurred over long spans of years, few of the major shifts in insular power are attached to specific dates. Even when precise years are known (e.g. Cnut of Denmark defeated Edmund of England in 1016), no date exudes the same undiminished gravitas as1066, a year every student of insular history can recite, "the year of the Conquest," of the Battle of Hastings and of William's Christmas coronation in Westminster, a year so profoundly transformative that (according to William of Poitiers, Henry of Huntingdon and the Bayeux Tapestry) Halley's comet streaked across the firmament to announce the profundity of the coming changes.[ii] In part 1066 retains such demarcative force because, compared to previous conquests or invasions, the Norman campaign was so meticulously documented. Why 1066 should have immediately attracted a vast historiography is perhaps not difficult to explain: growing literacy, the widespread existence of fairly efficient apparatuses for the production and dissemination of texts, a burgeoning interest in secular history. The Norman conquest was also inherently more narratable than, say, the Anglo-Saxon migration, an "event" of long duration accomplished through waves of peoples not acting under a single leader or even as a collective. In the face of dispersed agency and plural motivations, mythic figures like Hengest and Horsa had to be invented to give the drama principal actors and bounded human ambitions. With its charismatic leader, swift denouement, and sheer geographic spread, the Norman conquest was readymade epic. In the end, however, that so much historiography arose in the wake of 1066 is due less to the fact that the conquest could be efficiently narrated so much as that the subjugation of England effected such profound change that its story needed to be told, over and over again, as a way of making sense of an abruptly altered world.
The arrival of those peoples who became the Irish, the Britons/Welsh, the Picts and the English unfolded over long spans of years, enabling a slow displacement of indigenous populations rather than wholesale subjugation, encouraging polities predicated on continuity between rulers and governed. The Norman conquest, on the other hand, rapidly engendered a racially bifurcated society, the effects of which could clearly be discerned for at least a century thereafter. Whereas the Danish capture of the monarchy some years earlier had not excluded the kingdom's native residents from positions of power, William the Conqueror eventually purged secular and ecclesiastical institutions of their local officeholders. In so doing, he made it amply evident that the English had become something they were not under the Danes: a subaltern population, inferior to the internationally-minded elite who now connected the British Islands more directly with their kinsmen's farflung holdings in the Mediterranean and Holy Land. Nor were the Norman and Breton conquistadors who accompanied William satisfied with the capture of England alone. They quickly pushed into Wales and Ireland, eventually transforming what had been a fairly self-satisfied nation-state into a hungry, transmarinal empire.
The achievement of the Norman conquest is especially impressive considering that England had been so powerfully united in potentia from at least the time Bede composed his Ecclesiastical History, and in actual fact from at least the tenth century onwards. The English, Danish and Norman co-claimants to the throne at Edward the Confessor's death make clear that no country's future is as stable as its people might imagine, or desire. Yet England on the eve of Hastings had enjoyed a long reign as western Europe's earliest, largest and most politically integrated nation. This vision of collectivity was built upon, as we have seen, a cohesive notion of the singular gens Anglorum, the English race. By forcibly annexing England to a structure of power that had originated in Normandy and continued to look across the channel for its self-identity, the events of 1066 precipitated a national trauma. The Norman conquest triggered a difficult and prolonged struggle to discover how a polyglot and multiethnic population might ever imagine itself a community, might again create a sense of shared identity in the face of the linguistic, historical, political, cultural and economic differences that divided the realm.
Haltingly and with much experimentation, a process of reconsolidation proceeded on at least two levels, the national and the local. The vastness of national space has been well discussed by medievalists, especially in detailing how contemporary historiographers transformed the conquest into narratives emphasizing the continuities straddling both sides of 1066. For William of Malmesbury and (at least implicitly) Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Normans were less the predatory alliance of peoples described by their modern historian and more the legitimate inheritors of an imperium that transferred rather than disrupted English governance.[iii] The progress of the conquest in the closeness of regional space, its relation to smaller solidarities like provincial or parochial communitas, has long been the domain of archeologists and specialist historians but has received comparatively little attention from literary scholars. The reason such an imbalance should exist is not difficult to ascertain. Most of the works that survive from the period are breathtakingly grand in their sweep, taking as their subject matter events that unfolded across immense geographies and hundreds of years. William of Malmesbury, for example, begins his Deeds of the Kings of the English in 449, as the Angles and Saxons arrive on British shores under Hengest and Horsa (1.1). He concludes the work almost seven centuries later, during the reign of the current monarch, Henry I (5.449). Even when they composed for nearby patrons, writers like Orderic Vitalis, Henry of Huntingdon, and Geoffrey Gaimar narrated the long story of the emergent nation, and had comparatively little to say of the localities they inhabited. Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, meanwhile, did erase some of the blunt imperialism of 1066. Through its rapid and widespread dissemination, the text helped to contain the contemporary crisis of race, at first for the ruling elites, and then (as it was translated into French and English) for successive layers of the social strata. Geoffrey's book and its vernacular adaptations disseminated new national mythologies, profoundly reconfiguring within a few decades the shared perception of the insular past. Yet the History of the Kings of Britain had a major drawback. Its subject matter was not England but Britain, and more specifically the parts of Britain that then constituted Wales. This limitation can be seen acutely, for example, in 1816, as John Britton sat down to pen his History and Antiquities of the See and Cathedral Church of Norwich.[iv] Fumbling to extend the city's past into the glory days of Roman Britain, Britton is reduced to repeating some generalities about British piety during the reign of Constantine, a fragment of a story plundered from Geoffrey of Monmouth that has nothing to do with Norwich. Although he had bestowed a splendid origin myth on London, the "New Troy" and glorious seat of kings, Geoffrey was profoundly uninterested in the other English towns and cities that William the Conqueror and his sons ruled, granting these locales no place in his history other than as Saxon settlements for British heroes like Arthur to besiege.
The History of the Kings of Britain ultimately had little to say, therefore, to the quotidian and provincial power struggles through which the Norman conquest relentlessly advanced in the decades after Hastings. Until King Arthur could be imagined an English rather than a British regent (a fate that would, in fact, eventually befall him), Geoffrey's History yielded very little material for building a community in which Norman and English difference could be transcended. By tying the Normans to the Britons at the expense of the people he called the Saxons, Geoffrey promulgated a vision of the past that left intact the disjunction between English and Norman England. The English were bequeathed the kind of interrupted history bemoaned by William of Malmesbury, a narrative gulf that would continue to separate them from people of Norman descent. Such enduring division may have meant little in towns or villages where few Normans had settled, but would have been all too visible in those cities that had been seized and remade after the conquest. Before a fractured community such as an urban collective could be imagined as again constituting a harmonious whole, either some means would have to be discovered to mend the broken chain that had previously anchored that city to its past, or some new, unifying mythology would have to be invented.
Not all twelfth-century Latin writing is as ambitious as what flowed from the pens of historians like William of Malmesbury, nor is every contemporary text so obsessed with nations and with longues durées. A twelfth-century work exists so circumscribed in its ambit and so meticulous in its recounting of local minutiae that, compared to the endless panoramic vistas of Bede, William and Geoffrey, it seems at times positively claustrophobic. The monk Thomas of Monmouth composed his Life and Miracles of St William of Norwich for and about the city in which he lived.[v] A tanner's apprentice who had been in life poor and neglected, William was transformed a decade after his death into a new patron to a Norwich that had been riven by the conquest. English child with a Norman name, William offered in his sacred body a suturing point at which those differences that had formerly divided the city's citizens could be forgotten, mitigating some of the lingering social and cultural trauma endured in the wake of Norman subjugation. The achievement of a civic harmony in the text rests upon new visions of affinity, race, community. It also demanded new monsters. For the first time in written history we encounter in Norwich a figure destined to become familiar throughout medieval Christendom: the Jew whose murderous hands provoke an unceasing flow of blood.
The final sections of this book will examine the Life and Miracles of St William of Norwich in its relation to local visions of race and community. The current chapter is mainly historical, describing the far-reaching effects that a colonization by Norman secular and ecclesiastical institutions had upon Norwich. This prosperous and populous mercantile town was profoundly affected by the conquest and its aftermath. Some attention will be paid to texts like Thomas's hagiography, but many of the stories told here derive from the stones of massive new buildings and the trauma inflicted upon an established urban landscape. I will be most interested in hypothesizing how the reconfiguring of physical space leads to changes in the lived experience of that space, and how the architectural wounding of a city affects the subjectivities of those who inhabit its altered geographies. The final chapter of this book will then analyze the Life and Miracles of St William in greater detail, arguing that its bloody imagining of a harmonized Norwich can best be understood as a remedy for a city that had endured too many catastrophes.
So far in this book I have been mapping cultural conflict and change through a written historical record -- not surprising, perhaps, because I happen to be a medievalist who works in a Department of English and who spends his teaching career urging students to be attentive analyzers of words. Yet in talking about the Norman subjugation of England, there is good precedent for seeing writing as fundamental to conquest. An anonymous author composing the entry for 1085 for what is now called the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle imagined that William the Conqueror would not allow a single cow grazing in his new possessions to go unrecorded. William orders made the great accounting of English land and wealth called the Domesday Book to ensure that the land and its contents are transformed into and possessed as text:
1085. The king had much thought and very deep discussion with his council about this country -- how it was occupied or with what sort of people. Then he sent his men over all England into every shire and had them find out how many hundred hides there were in the shire, or what land and cattle the king himself had in the country, or what dues he ought to have in twelve months from the shire. Also he had a record made of how much land his archbishops had, and his bishops and his abbots and his earls -- and though I relate it at too great length -- what or how much everybody had who was occupying land in England, in land or cattle, and how much money it was worth. So very narrowly did he have it investigated, that there was no single hide nor virgate of land, nor indeed (it is a shame to relate but it seemed no shame for him to do) one ox nor one cow nor one pig which was there left out, and not put down in his record; and all these records were brought to him afterwards.[vi]
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes Domesday as a colonial device, transforming into the permanence of writing a Norman hold on the land that extends to every mill, farm, and beast, down to the cow. The conquest began in blood at Hastings, but the English author of this entry makes it clear that it continued through more abstract, symbolic, but nonetheless deeply wounding modes. No text, of course, no matter how penetrating, can in fact provide the kind of all-encompassing account that the chronicler describes and to which, perhaps, Domesday actually aspired. Time itself would have to brought to a standstill for oxen and swine to be registered as permanent Norman data. In attempting to capture the sheer diversity of England into a single register, the Domesday project reveals a hubris and a sangfroid that deeply troubled the English chronicler, a writer who clearly believes that the project's effects will be efficient, profound, and enduring. Perhaps that is why, according to the Dialogue of the Exchequer, the native English called the book Domesdai, "judgment day," in the first place, because "it seemed to them like the Last Judgment described in Revelation."[vii] By 1085 the foreign-born king and his compatriots were transforming England in ways that had never been dreamt two decades previous.
The argument has long been advanced that the Norman Conquest was not much of a conquest after all. Its proponents stress the already apparent "Normanization" of the land, especially under Edward the Confessor, and invoke the abundant continuities traversing both sides of 1066.[viii] Such narratives of unbroken history have a familiar ring to them, for Norman apologists were advancing exactly the same hypothesis in the twelfth century. Yet it would be difficult to convince an eleventh- or twelfth-century resident of a city like York, Lincoln, or Norwich of this supposedly seamless transition. These important English communities saw large, often densely populated swathes demolished to make way for massive new architectures. Modest English buildings gave way to some of the largest structures in all of Christendom. The Norman willingness to raze established urban areas, erecting settlements of their own directly on top of the ruins of their English predecessors, has prompted Eric Fernie to observe
There could hardly be a more direct statement, as physical and literal as it is symbolic, of the imposition of one culture upon another. It has been argued in recent years that the Norman Conquest had little impact on the history of eleventh-century England and the fact of its occurrence would not be apparent on the evidence of the material record alone. The remains of cities such as Norwich suggest that this conclusion is wrong.[ix]
The subjection of England which swiftly proceeded in the somewhat abstract registers of the cultural and political found blunt material expression in the spectacular reconfiguring of countryside, cities and towns. William's devastation of the Vale of York has already been discussed. The Norman transformation of York itself, though not punitive in the same way as the ravaging of its environs, proved far more enduring. When the new occupiers of city damned the river Foss, two mills (centers of commerce and community) were submerged and lost. The construction of a castle bisected the city's commercial district, disrupting a network of streets dating back to Roman days. The erection of the new archbishop's precinct and a second castle destroyed almost a thousand tenements. Francigenae displaced English residents from one hundred forty-five manses by 1086.[x] In Lincoln meanwhile at least one hundred and sixty-six English tenements were laid waste as a Norman castle rose. Building projects in Cambridge obliterated twenty-seven houses, while Huntingdon lost twenty, Gloucester sixteen, and Stamford five.[xi] The castle in Norwich apparently claimed ninety-eight houses and at least two churches, while the cathedral and other Norman edifices took many more of both.[xii] Like Lincoln, Nottingham, Shrewsbury, and York, the city of Norwich was subject to a complete Norman restructuration, a traumatic disruption of its pre-conquest contours and content.
If, as Fernie has written, Norwich was one of the locales where "the Saxon city was in effect destroyed in favour of the new Norman one," then in order to comprehend the profundity of its forced metamorphosis it will be worthwhile to recover something of the urban topography's preconquest contours.[xiii] Because few written records germane specifically to Norwich survive from the period, a possible way to uncover some of the effects of Norman subjugation on the city's community might be to map its architecture and physical space both before and after the alteration in national governance. Scholars have long taken it for granted that medieval communities reveal themselves (no matter how partially or in what idealized form) in the texts they produce; the same must certainly be true of edifices that they construct and inhabit, in the changing topographies that they form.
By the time William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold Godwinson, former earl of East Anglia and briefly king of England, fought on their distant battlefield at Hastings, Norwich had long been among the wealthiest and most populous urban centers in Britain. Norwich was with London, Winchester and York among the most significant cities of the realm, and possessed neither peer nor rival in the region. Well situated for overland and transmarinal trade, it straddled the river Wensum at an ideal spot: the waters in the vicinity were low enough to be forded, narrow enough to be bridged, and deep enough to be navigated by ships sailing into the river's estuary at the North Sea. Wide pastures and fertile soil could sustain varied agriculture; flourishing livestock and the availability of the river would encourage leatherworking and tanning; nearby woodlands such as Thorpe provided ample timber; the area was rich in iron for metalworking and clay for pottery; easy access to the sea meant that the river's quays would eventually see much traffic in fish, especially herring. It is possible that several of the many roads that converged on the medieval city were laid during the Roman period, but evidence for the earliest history of its early settlement is unfortunately scanty. A buried Neolithic henge survives at Arminghall, about a mile away, while the abandoned Roman market-city of Venta Icenorum is about three miles distant.[xiv] Beginning in the fifth century Germanic immigrants displaced or assimilated indigenous Romano-Britons, ensuring that "in terms of language , and material culture, Norfolk was, by the seventh century if not before, a Germanic, rather than a Celtic region."[xv]These newly arriving raiders and warriors were also, as they had been in their native lands, dedicated farmers. After a contraction in population and an economic recession in the pagan Saxon period, Norfolk steadily regained both people and wealth. Archeological evidence suggests that the area which was to become Norwich had a Saxon population since the sixth century, and perhaps even from the fifth. These settlements were likely modest and fairly separate. James Campbell suggests 850-925 as the likeliest timespan for Norwich's congealing out of a sweep of rural hamlets to form a united borough with regional, national, and international importance.[xvi]
Of the several Saxon villages that were to become the future city, two seem to have bestowed their names upon later urban quarters, Coslany (north of the river) and Conesford (the south-east section of the city). "Norwich" may have been the name of a third settlement, perhaps even a part of Conesford, that bestowed its name upon the others as they grew together; its name is formed of the English word north and wic, "fort" "settlement" or (as Ælfric glossed it) "litelport."[xvii] Churches dedicated to saints like Etheldreda (an East Anglian queen and nun of the seventh century) and Ethelbert (an East Anglian monarch killed in 794) may have originated fairly early, perhaps as centers of village life. The area's growing importance may be indicated by the fact that the Danes executed the martyr-king Edmund nearby in 869. Scandinavian raids of East Anglia had begun four years previous, and Danish rule endured from about 870 to Edward the Elder's successful conquest in 917. Although some pagan elements were probably reintroduced during Danish rule, the first Danish king (Guthrum, c.870-90) did convert to Christianity, easing the accommodation between new rulers and subjects. Significant Scandinavian settlement is likely to have occurred in Norwich communities, especially given that nearby Thetford was, according to the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, a base for raiders from Scandinavia. Several streets of medieval Norwich were called gates (e.g. Pottergate, Fishergate), a Danish nomenclature suggesting that not all residents in the eighth and ninth century spoke English as their first language. Thorpe ("new settlement"), the area east of the city, is a Danish word, as is half of the compound designation Cowholme ("water meadow"), a section of Norwich eventually surrounded by the cathedral close.[xviii] The quarter of the city called Conesford probably records how the English word "king's ford" sounded when spoken by a Danish mouth, while another quarter, Westwick (west of Conesford), may have originated as a colony of Danes.[xix] Campbell has postulated that the Danish conquest united what had been separate English villages into a single, thriving settlement by stimulating trade and triggering rapid growth.
After East Anglia was absorbed under Edward into the burgeoning holdings of the house of Wessex, it was thereafter ruled by the king's ealdorman, later to become the Earl of East Anglia. The city of Norwich first enters written history as the word NORVIC, stamped upon coins manufactured during the reign of the great unifier Athelstan (924-39). A mint may have been established north of Conesford, perhaps in a fortified area being called the "north settlement," or Northwic. Royal mints were always located in walled areas (burhs) with their own marketplaces. It could well be that through their circulation these coins bestowed the name of Norwich upon the merger of the separate villages (Coslany, Conesford, Westwick) that had burgeoned into East Anglia's chief city.
Any settlement large enough to boast a royal mint possessed not just wealth but cultural cachet. It may even have been a royal residence.[xx] Perhaps for these reasons Swein Forkbeard, king of Denmark, decided to pillage and burn Norwich early in the eleventh century. The Anglo-Saxon chronicle narrates the destruction in the city with grave terseness, and is the first source to describe Norwich as a borough:
1004 Her com Swegen mid his flotan to Nor∂wic. 7 †a burh ealle gehergade 7 forbærndon.
[In this year Swein came with his fleet to Norwich and completely ravaged and burnt the borough.][xxi]
The entry goes on to describe how the English warrior Ulfcetel and his companions attack the marauding Danes at Thetford, a bloody battle in which "the flower of the East Anglian people was killed." Considering that Norwich is described as "completely ravaged and burnt" ("ealle gehergade 7 forbærndon"), the destruction must have been considerable. It is possible that the Knútsdrapa, a praise poem composed for Cnut, records his participation in his father's campaign of 1004 in the lines "Gracious giver of mighty gifts, you made corslets red in Norwich."[xxii] Armor would, of course, not be the only thing bloodied in Norwich, but it is difficult to say how profoundly this ravaging affected the city.
It is known, however, that in attacking the city Swein may have been acting in vengeance. His sister Gunnhild had been murdered a year earlier during the terrible St. Brice's Day Massacre, racial violence ordered against the Danish population of England by a paranoid King Æthelræd. Nor was Swein's the last Danish campaign in the vicinity of Norwich. Swein's son Cnut, soon to ascend to the English throne, was involved in a battle at Norwich at some time close to the end of Æthelræd's reign. England shortly thereafter found itself conjoined in empire to Denmark, a geographic reorientation strengthened when in 1028 Cnut received his third crown, Norway. Because of its proximity to the North Sea, the body of water that this new transmarinal polity spanned, Norwich was well positioned to benefit from commerce and congress. Domesday Book records numerous Scandinavian names prevalent in the area. Although the total immigrant population from Denmark and Norway had probably been fairly low, constituting an elite minority, contemporary English nonetheless absorbed words from their native tongues. Late Saxon Norwich became, like the densely inhabited geography that surrounded it, an Anglo-Scandinavian milieu.[xxiii]
Despite the catastrophe inflicted upon the city in 1004 and despite whatever damage it might have endured when Cnut campaigned there, Norwich quickly rebounded. The years leading up to 1066 saw swift development, especially in the area surrounding what was called Tombland. Tom is the Danish word for vacant, so "Tombland" was a space kept intentionally empty, probably so that it could house the city's market and serve as a place for civic meetings such as courts. It was probably the community's economic, social, and juridical heart. The orderly nature of the settlement around Tombland suggests urban planning, perhaps at the hands of the powerful English magnates who owned land in Norwich: the king, the bishop and earl of east Anglia, and the abbots of Ely and Bury.[xxiv]
Most contemporary accounts of medieval England tend to take London as the kingdom's natural – and only – center. Yet a London-centric approach can obscure the vitality of other regions of the kingdom, especially in the years when royal power was more peripatetic and London was simply one large city among many others. The importance of Norfolk in general and Norwich in particular can be glimpsed at the eve of the conquest even in small details, like the fact that the last English bishop to hold the see of East Anglia was Æthelmaer, a man whose family was intimately connected to the royal court. Most likely a native of Norwich, Æthelmaer had succeeded to a bishopric recently vacated by his legendary brother, Stigand. Among England's most powerful magnates before the conquest precipitated his family's spectacular fall, Stigand was simultaneously the bishop of Winchester, the archbishop of Canterbury, and an unparalleled force in the governing of Edward the Confessor's realm. Though the seat of the East Anglian bishops remained outside the city until the 1090s, the fact that Æthelmaer, Stigand and their family possessed extensive land and several churches in Norwich suggests their intimate ties to the area and makes clear why William secured the city so quickly. In April of 1070, during the so-called "Norman purge of the episcopate," Æthelmaer was – along with his brother Stigand – deposed.[xxv] As was William's practice in the wake of the English revolt of the previous year, he was replaced by a man devoid of local connections, a Norman named Herfast. Not long thereafter, a royal castle began to rise in the East Anglian see's most important city, a monumental reminder of a change in the country's ownership. The fortification would have served as a constant threat to any lingering sympathies towards Stigand's family, or towards those favorably inclined to another powerful pre-conquest family with local connections, the Godwinsons.
That the East Anglian bishopric should have remained firmly in Stigand's family indicates how vital the area surrounding Norwich had become in the eleventh century. Norfolk was the most densely populated shire in England. Its chief city of Norwich was among the kingdom's most expansive, populous, and prosperous cities. A center of industry and the location of thriving regional and international trade markets, Norwich was East Anglia's primary port.[xxvi] By the time of the conquest, its considerable wealth lay in its watermills; diverse agriculture; catches of herring (a staple of the medieval diet, prized for its meat as well as its salt content); flint and lime from nearby quarries; wood for building and fuel, derived especially from the dense forest at Thorpe; international trade; and the manufacture of consumer goods, especially pottery jars and lamps. The city was not self-governing, but it was administered separately from the remainder of Norfolk. Taxes and rents were paid to a royal official, who owed £20 a year to the king and half that again to the Earl of East Anglia. We are fortunate in that Norwich is included in the data- and detail-rich volume called Little Domesday, rather than the more condensed and elliptical Great Domesday. According to this record, by 1065 the city's burgesses lived in three jurisdictions. The majority (1,238) were responsible directly to king Edward and Earl Gyrth Godwinson; Gyrth's brother, Harold Godwinson, former Earl of East Anglia and soon briefly to be England's king, held some land here with 32 burgesses; and the notorious Stigand, last English Archbishop of Canterbury and the former bishop of East Anglia, had the allegiance of fifty burgesses. Based upon the number of tax-paying burgessses, the city was at this time quite wealthy.[xxvii]
The vigor of the smaller communities that constituted Norwich can be glimpsed in the city's expansive system of parish churches.[xxviii] All of Anglo-Saxon East Anglia had experienced a rapid proliferation of churches, modest and ambitious alike. Domesday records more than 300 chapels and churches in Norfolk. An astounding fifty of these were in Norwich itself, and at least twenty-five are known to be pre-conquest. Some of these structures were quite small. The communities centered around these parish churches could consequently be fragile. Since they were considered private property and therefore both divisible and inheritable, churches could be modified, torn down, or sold. As Colin Platt has shown, some endured for only a single generation.[xxix] Yet many of Norwich's known pre-conquest churches (including St. Sepulchre, St. Edward, St. Clement, St. Andrew, St. Gregory, St. Swithun, and St. Martin at Oak) were likely of great age before being recorded in Domesday. By 1086 some churches probably dated back two hundred years, and a few may have been founded in the eighth or ninth century.[xxx] St Clement Colgate, for example, was named for the patron of sailors, a popular figure in Scandinavia and Anglo-Scandinavian towns.[xxxi] The activity of raiders from across the sea probably engendered the proliferation of parish churches, mainly by eliminating centralized sources of authority and oversight: monasteries had been sacked, the episcopal see lay vacant for decades, "local landowners may have been in a better position to assert their rights, to erect new churches within the territories of old minsters, and thus to threaten the latter's revenues."[xxxii] Ownership of a church was open to anyone who could afford to acquire the land and build the structure, or to purchase a pre-existing edifice: laymen, secular priests, monks, or some combination of these as joint owners. In Norwich, parish churches were "divided … between local landowners, prominent churchmen, and burgesses sometimes acting in concert."[xxxiii] Owners need not be local residents, though clergy and parishioners of course were.
These churches could be profitable investments; alternately they might remain tiny and impoverished. St Michael's Tombland, demolished to make way for the Norman cathedral, was a pre-conquest church of great affluence, while the nameless wooden church destroyed to build the north-east bailey of the castle clearly ministered to an indigent congregation.[xxxiv] Neighborhood and district centers, churches functioned as meeting places, spaces for commercial transactions, and architectures inside which Christians could perform those rituals that bound them together in both camaraderie and faith. James Campbell cites a letter by Ælfric complaining about men drinking and chatting idly in churches to support his point that these structures "fulfilled some of the same functions as public houses and [were] needed as much for general social purposes as for worship."[xxxv] A great deal of intimacy would have existed between the priest and his parishioners, not only because of the modest size of the church but also because English priests were typically married, bound to the community not just by pastoral duty but by family ties.[xxxvi] This closeness would have been especially marked in a church owned by the priest himself, especially if it had been passed from father to son as an inheritable building and office. A priest hired by a church's owner lived a more precarious existence, and may not have had the same opportunity to become an important civic figure as his wealthier and more firmly established counterparts did. By the time Thomas of Monmouth wrote his Life of St. William, the Norman cathedral that had been erected in the city served as a mother church (mater ecclesia) for the manifold parishes. The imposition of the cathedral's authority must have helped to organize through subordination what had been a vast patchwork of nearly autonomous religious communities. Thomas describes a feast day managed by the cathedral that transported parishioners out of their local allegiances to acknowledge the superlative status of the new church: "That day was the Absolution day, on which the penitents of the whole diocese were accustomed to assemble in crowds in the Mother Church at Norwich, and the streets of the whole city were crowded with an unusual multitude of people walking about" (1.7). The parish priests were managed through archdeacons and synods. Thomas offhandedly describes a diocesan synod taking place in the cathedral in 1144, suggesting such gatherings were a regular event. Yet the bishop's seat was not moved to Norwich until the days of East Anglia's second Norman bishop, Herbert de Losinga. The English bishops had resided in bucolic Elmham, and Æthelmær's Norman successor Herfast (1070-84) moved to Thetford around 1072.[xxxvii] Prior to the cathedral's establishment in Norwich, no local ecclesiastical body directly or effectively oversaw the city's abundance of churches and priests, leading to independence and variation. These same circumstances probably encouraged the churches to be rather circumscribed in their mission, fostering neighborhood solidarities rather than encouraging the growth of a larger urban community or a promulgating a feeling of belonging to a national church or international Christianity.
As William of Normandy crossed the Channel, Norwich had a population of between five and twelve thousand. Like most of East Anglia, the city was possessed of a fairly homogenous populace, mainly of Anglo-Scandinavian descent. Archeological evidence such as pottery shards connect Norwich to Rhineland trade routes by the ninth century, and to France by the eleventh. Domesday states that Norwich furnished the king with a bear, a detail that hints at an enduring Scandinavian connection.[xxxviii] It is also possible that even into the eleventh century the port of Norwich saw a traffic in humans as slaves were shipped abroad.[xxxix] One of the city's pre-conquest churches was dedicated to the Flemish saints Vaast and Amand, indicating that a group might have settled in the city from Flanders.[xl] Yet by the time of Edward the Confessor the citizens of Norwich were likely to have felt themselves, like the people of England more generally, united by a sense of shared language and history. On a quotidian level this sense of community was likely to be unconscious, vague, and implicit. Community did not need to be fought over because, at the eve of the conquest, racial difference did not offer some source of long simmering tension or enduring resentment; no historical event, legal system, or lack of cultural cachet had yet fragmented the city into inimical and highly differentiated groups. Whatever civil unrest it may initially have engendered, Danish settlement does not seem to have created lasting racial divisions, probably because of the mutual assimilation that quickly occurred. A lack of enduring disparities based upon origin or history may also have much to do with the economic benefits brought about by stronger connection of the city to Scandinavian and German trade routes. This increase in the city's prosperity was apparently not only substantial but mutual, benefiting both the indigenous English and the recent immigrants from across the sea.[xli] On the eve of Danish conquest, race was so salient a category that to be of Danish origin meant on St. Brice's Day (Nov. 13,1002) meant potentially to become at the king's command a victim of genocide. While it is true that Cnut initiated his English reign with violence (e.g., the Christmas murders of 1017, which witnessed the deaths of several important members of the native political elite), the Danes quickly realized that accommodation and mutuality could achieve a secure tenure more quickly. A few years later under Cnut's rule both peoples were living comfortably together without any lasting upheaval to established social structure or even, it seems, to the perceived continuity of the nation.
With its thorough, enduring, and racially-based reassignment of status, wealth, privilege and power, the Norman conquest was to be a completely different story.
Cnut's Anglo-Scandinavian realm did not sever the chain of English history because it was in the end amalgamative and synthetic, a widening rather than a wholesale transfer of power. The Anglo-Norman realm instituted by William of Normandy, however, was bifurcated: wholly Anglo at the populous bottom and mainly Norman at the hierarchy's top. England's ecclesiastical and secular structures were emptied almost completely of native elites, restocked with foreigners. Hastings was the single bloodiest moment of the conquest. William of Newburgh, writing a hundred and thirty years later, insisted that after a rainstorm the battlefield still exudes blood.[xlii] That the body of Harold, William's rival for the English throne, lay lost among the carnage suggests the sheer human toll of the engagement. Though crowned a mere eighty-eight days after landing in England, the new king would face further violent engagements. His subjugation of the English was, by both medieval and modern criteria, brutal.[xliii] The English nobles who rebelled in 1068-70 so threatened William's grip on the throne that he devastated Yorkshire as part of his counter-campaign, resulting in the death and widespread misery that so moved William of Malmesbury. In 1075 Ralph Guader, the Breton-English earl of Norfolk, allied himself with Waltheof of Huntingdon, the only remaining English earl, and Roger of Hereford, a disgruntled Norman magnate. The conspiracy was plotted at a wedding feast held in Norwich, a genesis so captivating in its day that it become a popular rhyme that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle cheerfully repeats: †ær wæs †at bryd ealo / †at wæs manegra manna bealo ("There was that bride-ale / That was many men's bale").[xliv] King William's forces crushed the rebels and their Danish support troops, and laid siege to Ralph's wife in Norwich castle. It may be that Ralph found the citizens of Norwich sympathetic to his struggle against the king, perhaps because Ralph's father had been a Breton highly favored by King Edward. It may also be significant that Ralph's predecessors as Earl of East Anglia were Harold Godwinson and his brother, opening up the possibility that the city might not have been wholly sympthateic to the new Norman regime. At any rate in the wake of the rebellion Norwich found its castle equipped with a substantially larger garrison, and many Norwich citizens are recorded in the Domesday survey of 1086 as ruined or having fled the city.[xlv] The uprising led by the three earls ended with Waltheof beheaded, Roger perpetually imprisoned, and Earl Ralph and his family permanently relocated to Brittany.
Once William had quashed these military insurgences, the conquest proceeded with a violence no longer corporeal so much as cultural.[xlvi] A francophone elite was installed in ancient seats of power. The replacement of the native ruling class with Norman, French and Breton imports was made vastly easier by the fact that so many English nobles had perished in the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings; English survivors of the latter were, moreover, ineligible to retain their lands. Arriviste and land-hungry secular elites were joined by their ecclesiastical brethren, abbots and bishops who sailed across the channel to take control of existing church structures and bring new ones into being. William's men quickly entrenched themselves in the kingdom through the erection of finely tuned bureaucracies and massive fortifications. Norman knights built numerous castles atop largescale earthworks. Norman clerics meanwhile rebuilt the major English abbeys and cathedrals, creating towering stone monuments that would triumphantly declare the shift in national power. Secular settlers of more moderate means sometimes took English properties and domiciles for their own, adapting them to their own uses; sometimes they carved out completely new boroughs within the English cities, constructing markets and homes for their use.
Racial tension was endemic, even in the monasteries. As at Glastonbury in 1083, discord could result in bloodshed, even murder. Abbot Turstin, annoyed that his English monks were refusing to follow the chanting practice that he was attempting to import from Fécamp, sent his knights after the disobedient brethren. Archers shot at monks who had sought the safety of the church's altar, killing several.[xlvii] The E version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle vividly recounts the scene, allowing the slaughter of the monks to stand in for the profundity of the changes that have come to England:
[The monks] scattered: some ran into the church and locked the doors on themselves -- and [the knights] went after them into the monastery and meant to drag them out when they dared not go out. But a grievous thing happened that day -- the Frenchmen broke into the choir and threw missiles towards where the monks were, and some of the retainers went up to the upper story and shot arrows down toward the sanctuary, so that many arrows stuck in the cross that stood above the altar; and the wretched monks were lying round about the altar, and some crept under it, and cried to God zealously, asking for his mercy when they could get no mercy from men. What can we say, except that they shot fiercely, and the others broke the doors down there, and went in and killed some of the monks and wounded many there in the church, so that the blood came from the altar on to the steps, and from the steps on to the floor.[xlviii]
The transferal of a monastery's abbacy becomes in this horrific narration Hastings in little, with devilish Frenchmen desecrating sacred English space by causing a flow of monastic blood. The world, the chronicle makes clear, will never be the same.
The Glastonbury "massacre" (in fact only three monks were killed) comes almost twenty years after the conquest began. Yet the transformations that the Normans were engendering were apparent long before this date. Robert Bartlett succinctly describes the England of a mere decade after Hastings as a conquered nation where "a small armed group speaking a language incomprehensible to the majority of the population controlled virtually all the landed wealth."[xlix] These ascendant Normans not only spoke an alien tongue, they at times seemed set apart in their very bodies, their short hair and clean-shaven faces contrasting sharply with the long tresses and moustaches of the native English. William of Poitiers describes the Normans curiously gazing upon the long-haired English brought back to Normandy by William in 1067, finding them to yield nothing "to the beauty of girls."[l] A more negative depiction of English coiffure is found in the Carmen de Hastingi Proelio, which declares that the combed and oiled hair of the English renders them "effeminate young men."[li] Ann Williams argues that such anecdotes, entertaining as they might be, reveal
little about the interaction between newcomers and natives in post-Conquest England, nor do they touch the deeper changes and compromises that both groups were forced to make. The imposition of a foreign aristocracy involved more than manners, more even than a change of personnel. It produced a different way of reckoning status.[lii]
In the abstract, of course, contemporary references to English versus Norman hairstyles or customs may seem trivial. Yet the sheer number of such comments recorded suggests that corporeal differences obsessed contemporary writers because they made a radical, deep-reaching change in power instantly and empirically visible. It was not so easy to talk about the Norman erosion of the prestige attached to English earlship and thegnage, or the resortment of social structures and remaking of tenurial rules. All of these were processes of long duration and uncertain outcome, visible most vividly in hindsight. The arrival of baronage and the vanishing of sokeland also did not make for riveting narrative; likewise the realization that power was now far more intimately tied to landholding, and that landholding was inextricable from service to the king – even if such Norman changes amounted to a transformation of social relations (the Normans saw the possession of land as fundamental to power, while the English maintained a more Germanic code of allegiance in which property did not play as large a role). On the other hand, it was viscerally satisfying to be able to take the realization that the world had been profoundly altered and embody it, dwelling upon differences in grooming, customs, and language – that is, in race -- as a way of comprehending the exclusions and inclusions upon which access to status had been newly built.
Assimilation born of intermarriage and cultural osmosis would lessen these differences over time. Wulfstan of Worcester, the tenacious Englishman who was able to maintain his bishopric after the conquest, is famous for carrying with him a small knife to snip offensive tresses from compeers, while the coterie of fashion-conscious courtiers surrounding William Rufus grew their hair into well-combed curls in apparent imitation of native style. Yet distinctions between the regnant French and the subaltern English became entrenched, receding only very slowly.[liii] Thus Aelred of Rievaulx could write c.1163 of those who still deeply [maxime] lamented the disappearance of the english aristocracy [Anglorum nobilitatem], bewailing the fact that their descendants were not the realm's current king, earls, bishops, abbots.[liv] Daniel Donoghue has analyzed the lingering resentment that men like the English poet La3amon and his "dispossessed contemporaries" must have felt a century after the conquest as they contemplated their race's dwindled authority and enduring lack of clout.[lv] "Then came the Normans with their evil power," wrote La3amon of the conquest, late in the twelfth century, "They harmed this nation" (Brut ll. 3547-48).
The city of Norwich was no exception. No doubt its economic vitality and strategic promise drew the Normans so quickly. By the early twelfth century, Norwich had been so completely transformed that it bore little resemblance to its former self. In 1066 the city of Norwich was a conglomerate of three settlements (Conesford, Coslany, Westwick), together forming a single borough. Its residents spoke a single language, the Norfolk dialect of English, possessed of a lexicon that revealed that the Danes who had settled in the area had been absorbed but not wholly forgotten.[lvi] As a result of the conquest, this unity was shattered. Conesford was cut off from the other parts of the city when a "foreign zone" (as Green and Young called it) was implanted in the city's midst.[lvii] Consisting of massive stone buildings and a new French borough eventually christened Mancroft, this new area rendered the city suddenly quadripartite. The Normans fragmented the urban topography, isolating the most important English district in order to disempower all three of the indigenous quarters, quickly and forcefully exerting a military, financial, ecclesiastical, and symbolic dominance over all of Norwich.
The Normans (to quote James Campbell) "did more in fifty years to change the topography of Norwich than their successors were able to accomplish in five hundred."[lviii] This forced metamorphosis was accomplished through the agency of what (in homage to the philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari) might be called three machines or assemblages, gatherings of human and non-human elements into open but nonetheless ruthlessly efficient structures of alliance.[lix] These machines were geographical and architectural as well as social. They consisted of a castle, cathedral, and new French borough. The first step in the Norman colonization of the city, the castle-assemblage brought together massive earthworks, towering walls, disciplinary officers, structures of royal authority and privilege. Though carved from Norwich itself, its gaze did not for the most part look inward toward the city but swept across Norfolk and Suffolk, its eye turned always toward London. A local outpost of the king's wide-reaching power, this machine was connected mainly to other royal assemblages, the monarch's court, Norman castles elsewhere, and the emergent mythologies of the nation.
Meanwhile a cathedral-assemblage brought together a relocated East Anglian see, a bishop and his palace and his extensive episcopal holdings, a priory, a new foundation of Benedictine monks, and a sprawling jurisdiction exempt, like the castle fee, from any dues or taxes the city might impose. The cathedral-machine was beholden in part to the king. Domesday records that William the Conqueror had given land in Norwich for the cathedral to be built upon; Herbert de Losinga, founder of the city's cathedral, purchased his bishopric from William's son, prompting William of Malmesbury to quote a contemporary poem about Herbert that ended "res nimis iniusta, nummis fit presul et abba" ("O the injustice of it! Bishop and abbot are made by money!" Deeds of the Kings of the English 4.338). Yet the cathedral could be a place of monarchal defiance, as when Herbert later sought absolution for his simony from a pope that the king of England had yet to recognize.[lx] The cathedral-assemblage was, moreover, often in direct competition with the royal imperatives animating the castle-assemblage, especially regarding jurisdictionary reach.[lxi]
Norwich's cathedral-machine was connected to ecclesiastical assemblages in Canterbury, Normandy, Rome. Like them, it promulgated with variable degrees of conviction a transnational and supposedly universal code for the governing of the body that could be at odds with the values of the Castle-assemblage and of the local parish church system. The latter might be described in turn as a "parochial-assemblage," bringing together mainly English-descended priests attached to a galaxy of small churches. Compared to the English parish and chapel-based priests, their counterparts in the cathedral and the Norman parish churches were substantially wealthier and more likely to be celibate. The monks who staffed the cathedral, for example, lived among (in the words of William of Malmesbury) "imposing, uplifting buildings" and "beautiful ornaments," the artistic trappings of Norman wealth.[lxii] The cathedral priory, moreover, possessed an educational apparatus which was quickly capable of producing new leaders for East Anglia. William Turbe, bishop of Norwich from 1146-74 and partisan of Saint William's burgeoning cult was trained there, and Herbert de Losinga's surviving letters make it amply clear that he took an enthusiastic personal interest in the education of the monastery's youths.[lxiii]
Finally, overlapping and to an extent competing with castle and cathedral (and contending as well with Norwich's native secular assemblages) was a new civic-machine, a Norman borough whose mainly French-speaking citizens possessed their own provincial aspirations, their own legal rights, their own economic, political, and corporeal desires. Loyn memorably describes the "heterogeneity of jurisdiction" spawned by such proliferations of authorities and interests as producing in places like London, York, and Norwich as "an elaborate honeycomb" of competition and alliance.[lxiv] Composed of heterogeneous elements, the Castle, Cathedral and Civic assemblages were riven by their own inner conflicts. Herbert de Losinga had the king's support as the building of the cathedral progressed, but he did not find that same enthusiasm expressed by the monks who were its staff.[lxv] As new buildings rise throughout the bustling area that will become cathedral and cloister, royal and episocopal servants toil while the bishop's monks cede nothing to the project's supposed urgency. A similar internal rift will be seen in the battle over the sancitification of the boy William, when the Bishop of Norwich and the monk Thomas will be opposed by the monastery's prior, Elias.
Yet internal conflicts did not hinder these three machines from profoundly reordering social and private life in the city of Norwich, perhaps not least because they were so intimately connected, often in surprisingly complicated ways. In Herbert's description just cited, the king is clearly as much a participant in enabling the erection of the cathedral as his bishop is. To give but one example taken from the Life of St. William: Simon de Novers, a local noble accused of ordering the death of the moneylender Eleazar, turns out to be the mesne tenant of Bishop Turbe, giving the cathedral's head another reason to insist upon the wickedness of the city's Jews and the sacredness of the dead child.
Each of these Norman assemblages found concrete expression in massive architectural structures. One reason for the colonialist success of the Normans was their perfection of the art of quickly constructing wood and stone castles upon land they wished to claim, rendering it difficult to force them to leave once they had set up housekeeping.[lxvi] The Bayeux tapestry depicts the Conqueror's army, having just disembarked at Pevensey, frantically erecting a ceastra. Crowned king of England and desirous of inhabiting London, William was forced to bide his time in Barking while (in the words of William of Poitiers) "fortifications were being completed in the city as a defense against the inconstancy of the numerous and hostile inhabitants [contra mobilitatem ingentis ac feri populi ]." The structure that would be known as the White Tower was William's lasting mark on London's cityscape. It was joined by at least two other Norman castles, vidit enim inprimis necessarium magnopere Lundonienses coerceri ["for he saw that it was of the utmost importance to constrain the Londoners strictly"].[lxvii] Orderic Vitalis described these imposing edifices as the surest way for William to secure control not only of individual cities, but of his new kingdom:
The fortifications called castles by the Normans were scarcely known in the English provinces, and so the English -- in spite of their courage and love of fighting -- could put up only a weak resistance to their enemies … William appointed strong men from his Norman forces as guardians of the castles, and distributed rich fiefs that induced men to endure toil and danger to defend them.[lxviii]
Perhaps these edifices made such a vivid impression because English nobles had traditionally relied upon walled settlements and fortified manor-houses as defensive works. Such structures must have seemed pathetically meager in the lengthening shadow of a rising motte and bailey castle, a construction that typically consisted of an expansive, flat-topped mound of earth (the motte); a large, fenced-in courtyard (the bailey); a series of defensive ditches; and, crowning the summit of the motte, a tower that could serve as lookout, lodging, and last line of defense. They required only a small force of armed men to be effectively staffed, and were extremely useful for exerting control over a subject population who vastly outnumbered their new masters. The Normans could erect such a structure in a little more than a week. Over time the defenses would be shored up and the timber fortifications replaced by a more permanent stone keep.
Although the Normans did not invent the castle, they perfected its speedy construction and strategic deployment. The relation between castle-building and the Norman colonization of the land made a deep impression on the English, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entries for 1067 also makes clear. Once William returned to Normandy, we are told, his men Bishop Odo of Bayeux and Earl William fitz Osbern "built castles far and wide throughout the country, and distressed the wretched folk."[lxix] The obituary for King William in the Peterborough Chronicle begins with the declarative "Castelas he let wyrcean" [He had castles built], prompting Seth Lerer to observe
From these first words, the poem signals a new architectural, political and linguistic order in the land. Castles were foreign to the Anglo-Saxons, who did not build monumentally in dressed stone but in timber or flint. The word itself, a loan from Norman French, makes clear the immediate impress of Norman life on English soil, as if the very vocabulary of institutional rule had changed with the Conqueror's coming.[lxx]
The Normans erected hundreds of castles across the island. As they rose in their multitudes, these fortifications served not only as strategically useful havens for occupation garrisons, but as visually exorbitant reminders of the change in kingly and aristocratic authority. They enabled new structures of governance and regulation to be imposed.[lxxi] A Norman strategy for military as well as symbolic domination, castles ensured not only that England belonged to the Normans and their allies, but that their subject population knew this fact.
At some time in the decade after Hastings a typical motte and bailey castle was erected in Norwich, possibly adjacent to what had been since the middle Saxon period a densely populated area.[lxxii] The wooden fortress included palisades, two baileys, and a keep, all perched upon a partly natural, partly man-made mound more than sixty feet high. The structure was expansive enough to obliterate the surrounding city. Lanfranc, William's replacement for the deposed (English) Archbishop of Canterbury, composed a letter reporting on the rebellion of Ralph de Guader, installed under the Normans as Earl of East Anglia. Ralph's insurgence failed rather miserably, as Lanfranc noted with glee. As a result, the castle ceased to be a baronial fortress (if that is what it was under Ralph) and became a royal possession. Thus when King Henry held his Christmas court in Norwich in 1121, the castle would have served as a suitably sumptuous residence for him and his itinerant household.[lxxiii] When not inhabited by the king, however, the castle was the home and center of operations for the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. This powerful agent of royal authority was destined to be in frequent contretemps with the citizens of the city, since his political allegiances were not civic but national. Though the office of sheriff was frequently inherited, its possessors could prove just as changeable in their loyalties as the earls. Roger Bigod rebelled against William Rufus (who was, fortunately for Bigod, merciful to the insurgents), but remained faithful during an attempt in 1101 to replace King Henry I with his luckless older brother, Robert of Normandy.
Archbishop Lanfranc also mentioned in passing that the castrum Noruuich, occupied by Ralph against the king, was by 1075 large enough to harbor three hundred loricati [heavily armed mounted knights] as well as "a large force of slingers and siege engineers."[lxxiv] At 23 acres (more than 10% of the size of Norwich itself), the castle was immense. Even the mound its munitions sat upon was the largest in England.[lxxv] At first the fortifications in Norwich would have been constructed of wood, but around 1100 the central tower was already being remade in stone, a sign both of the castle's importance and of the city's prosperity.[lxxvi] Much of this stone originated in Normandy. Although it is possible that the Normans built the castle with their own manpower, given its sheer size it seems likely that residents of the city and its environs participated. Whether they were forced, bribed, or agreed willingly to assist in this project that was to change the city forever is unrecorded. A royal jurisdiction set apart from the rest of Norwich until 1345, the Castle Fee, as the area of the fortification was called, provided royal administrators such as sheriffs and tariff collectors a secure area in which to conduct the king's business and to store the wealth and livestock they had confiscated. The separateness of the Fee was perhaps emphasized by a series of posts bearing the king's arms, a visual boundary to separate Fee from city.[lxxvii] The castle's mound, ditches, walls, and edifices not only dominated the urban landscape but obstructed the approach to the city from the older settlements, rendering access to the original market difficult for many English residents. The castle was in part a defensive structure, but its strategic position in Norwich makes it clear that the structure's primary function was to control an essential East Anglian city associated with the Godwinsons, the English family who had been bitter enemies not only of William the Conqueror but of all things Norman.
Just to the north and east of this edifice soon rose the impressive Romanesque cathedral that looms over the city to this day. Together with the castle, this massive building implanted into the city's topography transfigured Norwich, immuring sections of the city and looming, fortress-like, over the rest. The heart of Conesford was now effectively cut off from the rest of the town, with direct access possible only through the constricted opening between the edge of the castle fee and the beginning of the cathedral precincts, an architectural circumstance that shifted mercantile activity to the more easily reached market in the French borough. Well-defined and self-contained worlds, both castle and cathedral were built with formidable walls and other defenses to control who could and could not pass into their respective jurisdictions. This exclusionary function is seen most clearly in the castle, with its palisades and ramparts, but can also be glimpsed in the cathedral. Precinctual walls separated the church, monks and monastery from the city, while at the episcopal palace a defensive structure, East Anglia's first stone keep, securely ensconced the bishop. This proliferation of steep walls and ever-ascending towers began to overshadow the suddenly modest buildings that had been the English settlement. These Norman structures, both royal and ecclesiastical, forced a sprawling city long accustomed to spreading along a horizontal plane of sight to begin to reconceptualize urban space as sharply vertical. Before the erection of the cathedral and its close (and, later, the stone replacement of parts of the castle, such as its central keep), there had never been a construction project of this magnitude or utilizing these materials in Norwich. The English tended to build in timber; the Normans on both continent and in England were enamored of massive stone constructions that hearkened back to the imperial architecture of Rome. The arrival of the raw materials for the Norwich projects must have been breathtaking. Some of the limestone derived from Barnack in Northamptonshire, a favorite Norman quarry, and some was imported directly from Caen. After departing its native Normandy and crossing the sea, this latter stone would have been shipped up the River Wensum and then through a specially cut canal to the cathedral site, where masons and scores of other workers went about their noisy work.
The cathedral church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity and its walled precinct were the crowning achievement of Herbert de Losinga, an ambitious Norman who held the see from 1091-1119. Although the precise origin of Losinga is not known for certain, William of Malmesbury wrote that Herbert obtained his surname "because of his skill in flattery" (lusingare is Italian for "to flatter"), an indication that this ambitious man was especially good at getting his way through his considerable verbal skills.[lxxviii] Herbert's letters, many of which survive, reveal a writer animated by a deep love of language, a mind that has mastered wide-ranging classical and biblical materials, and a cleric who takes his pastoral charge seriously. Previously the prior of Fécamp in Normandy, Herbert gained lasting notoriety by purchasing from William Rufus the bishopric of East Anglia for himself and an abbacy for his father. Later in life he journeyed to Rome and performed a public repentance for this simony, an act that put him into dangerous conflict with the king.[lxxix] Upon his return from reinvestment by the pope in 1095, Herbert moved his see from Thetford to Norwich, a move William of Malmesbury describes as attractive because Norwich was "famous for its trade and large population" (Deeds of the Bishops 74) and "a busy [insignem mercimoniis] and populous town" (Deeds of the Kings of the English 4.338). With its castle and thriving French borough, Norwich offered access to wealth, prestige, and urbanity. With its proximity to river and sea, it also enabled the importation of stone to initiate building projects on a grand scale.
Although Herbert's career evidences a penchant for self-dramatization and occassional opportunism, William of Malmesbury preferred to see in the bishop's life a model for turning from initial sin to redemptive works. His teary-eyed Herbert declares, "I confess my coming here has been bad, but with God's grace helping me my going hence shall be good" (Deeds of the Bishops 74). William also spoke with awed reverence of the beauty of the buildings that Herbert erected. A Benedictine monk himself, William of course singled out the monastic edifices: "Finally, how can I weave into my work fitting praise for Herbert's action, as a bishop without much money, in making the monastery so magnificent that nothing was missing, neither imposing, uplifting buildings, nor beautiful ornaments, nor God-fearing monks who showed concern and charity towards all" (Deeds of the Bishops 74). Herbert imported not only the stone and the monks to fabricate his cathedral, moreover, but took the cathedral's liturgical customs from his home monastery of Fécamp in Normandy. Anyone of native blood entering the cathedral would be well aware that its walls enclosed a cultural space very different from what was to be experienced in English monasteries or parish churches.[lxxx]
Monastic cathedrals in which a bishop took the place of the abbot were an English custom retained and amplified by the Normans.[lxxxi] Some of the monks attached to the cathedral in Norwich were drawn from the local population, English and Norman descended alike. Among the local monks were Richard, the son of Bishop William de Beaufeu by his wife Agnes; and later Robert, the brother of Saint William and an important figure in the legal proceedings over his death.[lxxxii] Yet despite the odd Briton and the more numerous English in their monasteries, the Benedictines were an order especially well populated by Normans.[lxxxiii] Eric Fernie has written that the importance of the order to the advancement of the conquest cannot be underestimated: "Monasteries were an integral part of the system of government, important as schools for servants of Church and State, with the king appointing abbots and priors, treating their estates as his own and using them as the chief means of reforming the English Church."[lxxxiv] William the Conqueror's dying words were, according to Orderic Vitalis, an acknowledgement that the Benedictine monasteries that had proliferated during his reign were the fortresses through which Normannia was made strong.[lxxxv] The bishops, abbots and priors who ruled over these Benedictines were, inevitably, Normans. That the inhabitants of the priory enjoyed a wealth and prestige that the impoverished parish churches did not is indicated by the size of their grounds and the extent of their holdings. Monastic lands were so expansive that they engulfed the city's limits. According to Campbell, Herbert de Losinga
established cells of the Cathedral Priory in different places in East Anglia. Thus he built not only a great cathedral but also a very considerable ecclesiastical empire and turned the hitherto poor see of East Anglia into a power in the land. The consequences of his success for Norwich were lasting. Besides establishing a powerful monastery with franchisal jurisdiction within the city, he acquired the greater part of the rural environment of Norwich for the church.[lxxxvi]
No wonder, then, that Neil Batcock has labeled Herbert's policy of stamping his authority "throughout the county and diocese" via the erection of monumental edifices and the reconfiguration of Norfolk's topography as "episcopal imperialism."[lxxxvii] Perhaps another version of this imperialism can be glimpsed unfolding inside the walls of Herbert's cloister. A series of letters written by the bishop to various youths of the Norwich monastery survives, letters in which Herbert reveals his concern to discipline the young men bodily (warning them against spending money given by their parents on games, and "useless articles of self-indulgence") and intellectually (enjoining them to toil in their acquisition of Latin, admonishing against the reading of Ovid and Virgil). As a good monk and an enthusiastic teacher, Herbert's ambition is to mold these youthful subjectivities in such a way that their primary attachment is to cathedral and cloister, not to family and city.[lxxxviii]
Herbert was forced to purchase much of Norwich in order to fulfill his dream of erecting an elegant and immense cathedral: twenty-four houses already held by 1086, "but a fraction of those to be swallowed up within the Cathedral Close after 1096."[lxxxix] Nor was it simply English houses that vanished as this architecture burgeoned. The cathedral's ecclesiastical and monastic structures -- "conceived on the grandest scale," "a proof of ambition more certainly than of good taste" (as Colin Platt tartly describes them) -- required the destruction of at least two parish churches, St Michael Tombland and Holy Trinity.[xc] Through this process of Norman ecclesiastical expansion, the city also lost its original meeting place and market, thought to have been located at the open space referred to as Tombland.[xci] The death knell had probably been sounded for this vital area when the entrance to the castle fee was located facing the new French borough, allowing Norman traffic to bypass the English commercial and civic area in favor of the amenities of Mancroft. The reconfiguring of Tombland through the encroachment of the cathedral would have hastened the process of dissolving a center of indigenous community. The wealthiest church of the pre-conquest city, St Michael Tombland, standing next to the Tombland market, was destroyed at the hands of Bishop Herbert's workers. The cathedral's Caen stone, imported directly from Normandy, sits atop the ruined pieces of the English church to this day. A beautiful crucifixion scene carved from walrus ivory was discovered when underground lavatories were dug at the site in 1878. The piece is now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, and only hints at the glory that St Michael may have possessed.
The Benedictine priory that spread into Tombland was large enough to house at its full occupancy no less than sixty monks. It may have been established with something more than the needs of the cathedral in mind. R. B. Dobson sees the Benedictines who established themselves in England after 1066 as part of the process of colonizing and holding the land, at least in the north: "Norman kings and magnates were well aware that the foundation of new monasteries was a useful method of consolidating power in regions under territorial dispute or of doubtful allegiance." [xcii] These words may have proven equally true of Norwich, a city that may at one time have housed the palace of the pre-conquest earls of East Anglia. A structure that would have served as an urban residence for a pre-coronation Harold Godwinson (among other members of his family), the palace was supposed to have been located at Tombland, and was perhaps destroyed to build the cathedral.[xciii] That the city's sympathies leaned toward the Godwinsons is suggested by the fact that in 1065 the ill-fated King Harold owned a soke in Norwich with thirty-two burgesses, while another 1,238 Norwich burgesses lived on land that Harold owned jointly with Gyrth Godwinson, his brother and successor as earl of East Anglia.[xciv] If the earls of East Anglia did maintain a palace near Tombland, it may have been Gyrth's residence that was destroyed.[xcv] Building a Norman castle in the midst of the city, write Green and Young, "underlined the fact that the power of the Godwinsons had been broken" (Norwich 11). Erecting an immense cathedral and carving away a section of the city's economic heart through the walls of the priory's close made it clear that the city's Norman future was to be very different from its English past.
Construction of the cathedral itself began in 1096, two years after Herbert de Losing moved the episcopal seat from Thetford to Norwich. The church, its monastery, and the bishop's palace were fully completed less than fifty years later, during the reign of Bishop Eborard (1121-45). Enough of the cathedral had been finished by 1101 to consecrate the building and place its roofed section into use. Herbert provides an energetic portrait of the massive labor required and the sheer scope of the project in a letter complaining about the slow pace of its progress. He reproves the lack of enthusiasm from his own monks while acknowledging the help of the king's men:
But alas! The work drags on; and in providing materials you show no enthusiasm. Behold, the servants of the king and my own are really earnest in the works allotted to them, gather stones, carry them to the spot, when gathered, and fill with them the fields and ways, the houses and courts; and you meanwhile are asleep with folded hands, numbed, as it were, and frost-bitten by a winter of negligence, shuffling and failing in your duty through a paltry lack of ease.[xcvi]
As the "fields and ways, the houses and courts" were transformed into stone edifices, the cathedral was joined by an episcopal palace to its north and the Benedictine priory to its south. The "ruthless destruction of property and the establishment of a privileged community of foreign monks in their midst," reason Green and Young, "were hateful to the English inhabitants."[xcvii] It may not have helped that work on the cathedral's imported stone was apparently being overseen by royal masons ("servants of the king" in Herbert's letter) rather than locals, ensuring that the cathedral shimmered as a "cosmopolitan rather than provincial" monument.[xcviii]
The cathedral may have been the mother church for the Norwich parishes, but as a Norman institution it was more internationally focused than any parish church would ever need to be. Especially lucid in his delineation of the complex situation of the pre- and post-Conquest Church in its relation to English and the Norman structures of governance is H. R. Loyn, who emphasizes the "renewed vitality" of the eleventh century papacy, rendering supremacy-obsessed Rome an important and self-interested player in the invasion (William arrived with the pope's benediction) and its aftermath.[xcix] Thus Eborard, bishop of Norwich, may have been deposed in 1145 by a papal legate.[c] His successor, William Turbe, formerly the prior, was elected to the bishopric in 1146, suggesting a devolution of some formerly royal prerogatives to local determination during Stephen's reign. There is nothing local in the cathedral's conceptualization, authorization, or design. When the structure was erected there was little of Norwich itself present in its walls. The edifice rose at the expense of native buildings and disrupted an established way of life; the space it occupied had been torn from the city and immured against it; though spoken in comfortable Latin, the actual liturgy celebrated inside was unfamiliar to the English denizens of the town; even the architectural style of the cathedral and its precincts was foreign to England, as William of Malmesbury pointed out more generally of the massive Norman edifices erected after the conquest, looming in alien majesty above the English landscape.[ci] The new church's national and international orientation, as well as its utter disregard for its local context, is also unmistakably displayed both in its sheer immensity. Norwich was a large city by contemporary standards, but it did not have a population that required a building as large as St Peter's in Rome.[cii]
Herbert located his episcopal palace and a chapel alongside the cathedral, and built the monastery of St Leonard's and two hospitals as well.[ciii] Though none of these buildings matched the ambition or scale of his cathedral project, each in turn transformed another swathe of modest timber and masonry Norwich into a stone monument to the conquest's permanence. The construction of the cathedral has been described as "wounding" and "devastating" to the city, especially because it was sited in a densely populated urban area and appears to have destroyed the existing configuration of streets.[civ] With the castle, the cathedral carved about fifty acres from English Norwich, a city that extended only 200 acres to begin with.[cv] Thus Eric Fernie describes the two structures as together "obliterating the centre of the old town."[cvi] The addition of a French borough brings the Norman occupation of the Anglo-Saxon city up to almost half its total area.[cvii] Roads, churches, houses vanished, replaced by prohibiting walls, structures built in non-native styles and of non-indigenous materials, the habitations of work for foreigners. The Normans, it seemed, were colonizing not just the city's flat expanses but the very sky:
The cathedral must have been a staggering sight in the context of contemporary buildings in Norfolk and Suffolk. In the mid 1090s the architectural landscape consisted mainly of wooden structures, whether houses or churches of high and low status, defences … and some small masonry churches.[cviii]
No doubt the castle and cathedral, towering in monumental splendor above the suddenly tiny wood and masonry structures of the city, functioned like the jar imagined by Wallace Stevens which when placed on a hill in Tennessee "took dominion everywhere," reorienting the world by forcibly introducing in its midst an overwhelming visual ordering principle.[cix]
The difficulties between the rebellious Earl Ralph and the king illustrate well another tension affecting all these assemblages: the relationship between aristocracy and monarch. The Anglo-Normans and their allies inherited from their forebears across the channel a sense of political community that stressed the interdependence of subject and king, with "individuals [within this community] replaceable and manipulable, as was their chairman-king."[cx] Ralph will revolt and be displaced, while future regents will struggle to maintain their leadership in the face of powerful peers. The new borough of Norwich will be profoundly influenced by the fortunes of both -- as well as by the ambitions of the cathedral, and so forth -- since it is straightforwardly controlled by none. It perhaps did not help that Ralph was not a Norman in a Norman-dominated regime; he was part Breton, and many of his followers were from Brittany.[cxi] That Ralph's men were allowed to depart the siege of Norwich castle "with limbs" (as Archbishop Lanfranc put it in his letter reporting the rebellion) was taken as a great mercy. As Brian Ayers notes, the rebel Bretons of Winchester were, in the same year, blinded and maimed.[cxii]
Ralph was the first post-conquest Earl of East Anglia. By agreeing to share his land with King William, he was able to create from his holdings near the castle a new French borough for the city. This new settlement was probably introduced in tandem with the castle, since they appear to be contemporaneous.[cxiii] The introduction of an entirely new borough populated by Normans and their allies was unprecedented; only Nottingham saw a similar borough implanted among its English population.[cxiv] By 1096 this Norman settlement had its own bustling market, destined to put out of business its suddenly inconvenient English counterpart at Tombland. The arrival of new flora in this reconfigured city suggests vividly the changes in its orientation, connections, appetites. Seeds found in the medieval debris city are the first instances of marigolds and hops in England, while the shell of a walnut is the first known reimportation of the food on the island since the departure of the Roman legions.[cxv] After Ralph's rebellion in 1075 the new borough, like everything the earl owned, was seized by the crown and remained royal property thereafter. Protected by the fortress and in the elongating shadow of the cathedral, the novus burgus was quickly settled by French-speaking immigrants (Domesday Book calls them Franci de Norwic) whose ambition it was to take advantage of the city's booming economy.[cxvi] This new community was eventually called Mancroft, a word that hints that it had been formed in part from the English city's common grazing area. St Peter Mancroft, a Norman church likely founded by Earl Ralph himself, was destined to eclipse in importance all other parish churches in the city. In 1086 there were 125 inhabitants in the borough, of which at least 41 were French burgesses; in the space of ten years it added at least ninety new French burgesses and possibly many more, illustrating its steady growth.[cxvii] If these burgesses were similar to those who settled Battle, they would likely be craftsmen and administrators.[cxviii]
Norman redevelopment was often ruinous for the native population of the towns in which it occurred. In Ipswich the English citizens were reduced to pauperes burgenses. The French borough in Norwich flourished at the expense of the ravaged English city. Things were so desperate that, according to Domesday, the number of English burgesses fell from 1,320 in 1066 to 665 twenty years later. Even as the English population dwindled, taxes increased sharply, placing a growing burden on those who remained. Most of the "disappearing" English burgesses had probably lost their status due to financial ruin. Thirty-two of them are known to have fled, and Domesday notes that "those fleeing and the others remaining have been utterly ruined [vastati]." Almost three hundred Norwich houses are described as destroyed or empty in 1086 – and, as Alan Carter has noted, Domesday generally "minimizes the significance of the devastation in the English borough."[cxix] The reasons listed for the devastation of Norwich's citizenry are manifold: Earl Ralph Guader's forfeiture following his rebellion; damaging fires; and the activities of Waleran, an official of the king who held the city in fee, paying the royal dues for Norwich and then farming the tax (that is, collecting what money he could from the city's population to make up what he had paid the crown and to clear a profit for himself).[cxx] Through these and other catastrophes much English land in the city passed into alien hands. It is important to keep in mind that Domesday was composed after the construction of the castle and the new borough but before work on the cathedral had begun. As bad as things were for the English of Norwich twenty years after the conquest, they would in the 1090s become much worse.
The Norman parvenus were clearly not welcomed with open arms by the inhabitants of the older sections of the city, for they had to be provided with their own sheriff, an officer of the king charged with protecting their bodies and their interests. That royal officers were necessary to inhibit what could become deadly antagonism is also made clear by William the Conqueror's declaration of the murdrum fine, the sum of money which was levied against the English inhabitants of any district in which a Norman was found dead by unknown hands.[cxxi] At its worst this ethnic hatred could manifest itself in group violence, such as the disturbance which erupted in London at Michaelmas in 1130. Thirteen men of English and Norman descent were fined pro assaltu navium et domorum Londoniae, an incident that Stenton describes as "a riot on a considerable scale."[cxxii] According to V. D. Lipman, the economic vitality of the older settlements also suffered a severe setback when Earl Ralph rebelled in 1075, so that "a large proportion of their burgesses' houses were reported as unoccupied at Domesday in 1086." In contrast the new burgh, with its French burgesses, prospered.[cxxiii] Cecily Clark points out that some indication that French and English "did not always live in the closest harmony" is also provided by the fact that Domesday records 36 Frenchmen initially sharing the new burgh with six Englishmen, but by 1086 the English had been replaced by five Frenchmen.[cxxiv] Although the civic-assemblage of Norwich's novus burgus was destined to merge with native (Anglo-Scandinavian) structures of urban sociality to create secular English Norwich, the townspeople would long exist in an uneasy relationship with both the castle and the cathedral. Indeed, tensions between citizens and ecclesiasts were destined to explode later in the town's history, culminating in a deadly attack against the fortified cathedral and its priory in 1272.[cxxv]
In short, post-Conquest Norwich found its cultural, economic, political and linguistic cohesiveness torn as an alien presence was implanted, suddenly and forcibly, at its heart. The city was irreparably split between the heterogeneous and competitive Norman machines (castle, cathedral, burough) -- united most by their shared language of French -- and an older collection of native assemblages (urban and agrarian settlements, parish church structures, even a priestly sex/gender system which varied rather remarkably from the one that obtained in the Norman section of town). A dominated majority, the English-speaking and Anglo-Scandinavian descended population of Norwich now struggled to compete economically, juridically, and symbolically with these uninvited entities in its midst.
Things Fall Apart
During its long history the city of Norwich has endured repeated disaster. This chapter has mentioned the ravaging by the Danes in 1004 and the battle c. 1016 involving Cnut. The Norman conquest fundamentally altered the social and architectural fabric of the entire city. In 1272 tension between the cathedral and citizenry became so high that armed men attacked the cathedral close, burning the monastery and the church. Thirteen of the bishops men were killed, and the king eventually ordered thirty citizens hanged in punishment. Similar bloodshed occurred in 1443. During World War II repeated bombing caused extensive damage.
Norwich has also proven itself a resilient city. No cataclysm so set it back that it could not recover. An economist would no doubt speak of the city's vitality, of its enduring health. Yet unlike a fire, bombing, or riot, the Norman conquest broke upon upon the city in waves, some small and some destructively great. The castle was in place by 1075 when Earl Ralph rebelled, because the king's forces lay siege to it at that time. Thus we know that a decade after Hastings at least a hundred houses had been lost and the city now had huge earthwork and a series of timber fortifications peering watchfully over its expanses. The new French borough was probably implanted at about this time. It grew rapidly and immediately challenged the vitality of the English districts. Thirty years after the conquest, perhaps at the same time as the wooden castle was being replaced with a stone edifice, the cathedral and its close began to rise. Houses were demolished, native churches fell, walls and monastic buildings appeared, transforming what had been open space, and modest wood or masonry structures into soaring, monumental stone.
The next chapter will examine a heinous murder that occurred in the city the year just before Eborard's episcopacy ended in 1145, at a time when the Norman building projects that had so transformed the town were at last coming to their end. The catastrophes were over: Norwich was about to assume the contours it would retain for centuries thereafter. At this critical period in the mid-twelfth century, at a time when what had been a deeply divided English and Norman population were finally growing into an urban community, it became necessary for Norwich to imagine itself as not just unhealthy but as imminently imperiled. In1144, a city that had been fragmented and reassembled after the conquest was starting to feel the possibility of imagining itself as a harmonious entity again. This vision of unity, however, demanded a monster.
[i] "Meme" is Richard Dawkin's neologism in The Selfish Gene used to describe ideas, innovations, and patterns of thought which move through culture almost like viruses, and can be passed along to successive generations as if they were mutating and rather ephemeral genes.
[ii] Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum, VI.30; William of Poitiers, Gesta Guillelmi II.27. Yet, as R. R. Davies, The First English Empire, crisply points out, even if 1066 is "the one date which every schoolboy knows," in actuality it all depends "where the boy goes to school." Welsh and Irish annalists, for example, barely mention Hastings, and saw the Norman events of 1093 as far more important (4).
[iii] See Eleanor Searle's important re-evaluation of Normannitas in Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power.
[iv] See p. 6 for a brief retelling of the Constantine and Helena legend, derived from Geoffrey but unattributed in Britton's text.
[v] The original Latin account and an English translation can be found in The Life and Miracles of St William of Norwich by Thomas of Monmouth, ed. Augustus Jessopp and Montague Rhodes James. The Life survives in a single manuscript copy: Cambridge, University Library, Additional MS 3037. It dates from the late twelfth century and does not appear to have made it out of East Anglia. This manuscript is clearly not the original, which probably resided at Norwich cathedral: Leland and Bale record seeing the Life there in the sixteenth century (Barbara Dodwell, "The Muniments and the Library" 336).
[vi] EHR 2 168. Williams perceptively sees Domesday as in part a work of witnessing: "Domesday Book is the most eloquent testimony to the downfall of the Old English aristocracy" (English and the Norman Conquest 98).
[vii] M. T. Clanchy examines the English mythology that quickly surrounded Domesday in From Memory to Written Record 18-21 (quotation at 18). On Domesday as a misguided Norman attempt to arrest time and transform description into possession, see p. 20.
[viii] As has been repeatedly observed, the trajectory for the "evolution versus revolution" argument was set in the nineteenth century by E. A. Freeman and J. H. Round, liberal English partisan and conservative Norman apologist respectively. For a review of the copious relevant scholarship, see C. Warren Hollister, Monarchy, Magnates and Institutions in the Anglo-Norman World 1-6; R. Allen Brown, The Normans and the Norman Conquest, 1-5; and Marjorie Chibnall, The Debate on the Norman Conquest. Chibnall also discusses the analytical impasses that the evolution/revolution binary entails in her introduction to Anglo-Norman England, 1-5. Not surprisingly, a similar binary divides historians of early Normandy, with what one scholar labeled les scandinavistes on one side and les gallo-franquistes on the other: Michel de Boüard, "La Hague, camp retranché des Vikings?" 3.
[ix] An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral 7. The works he cites which argue the relative unimportance of the conquest to the material record are H. G. Richardson and G. O. Sayles, The Governance of Medieval England from the Conquest to the Magna Carta and T. Rowley, The Heritage of Norman England. Fernie treats the subject again in The Architecture of Norman England, concluding that "whatever the case may be in other areas of life, the architectural evidence indicates that for large sections of the population the effects of the Conquest were dramatic, far-reaching, and visible" (19).
[x] Fleming gathers copious evidence for the systematic seizure and destruction of urban property and architectures to make room for Norman edifices in Kings and Lords in Conquest England 194-204; my description of the changes in York are based on 195-96.
[xi] H. R. Loyn, The Norman Conquest, 178.
[xii] Susan Reynolds, An Introduction to the History of Medieval Towns 43. Brian Ayers writes of the recently discovered remains of a timber church, demolished to erect the castle, in Book of Norwich 33, 37-38; see 43 for the second ruined church. As Eric Fernie has pointed out, it is unclear if every one of the 98 houses were destroyed when the castle was constructed, since the phrase used in the Domesday Book (in occupatione castelli) may describe their legal status rather than imply their razing ("Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral" 5). Yet most scholars assume that, given the sheer size of the Norman edifice and its defensive mound, the English houses must have been eradicated.
[xiii] See Fernie, "An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral" 7. My discussion of pre- and post-conquest Norwich owes most to Stephen Alsford, "History of Medieval Norwich"; Brian Ayers, English Heritage Book of Norwich; James Campbell, "Norwich" and "The East Anglian Sees before the Conquest"; Alan Carter, "The Anglo-Saxon Origins of Norwich"; Eric Fernie, "An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral" 5-17; Barbara Green and Rachel M. R. Young, Norwich: The Growth of a City; and V. D. Lipman, The Jews of Medieval Norwich 3-33. I have also gained important background from Brian Ayers, "The Cathedral Site Before 1096"; Barbara Dodwell, "Herbert de Losinga and the Foundation"; and Norman Tanner, "The Cathedral and the City."
[xiv] Arminghall is the only great henge monument in the area and consists of a large round earthwork, ditches, and, at one time, a horseshoe of eight wooden posts. Williamson surveys the literature on Neolithic Norfolk in The Origins of Norfolk 20-23; see also David Dymond, The Norfolk Landscape 37-48, who labels Arminghall the Norwich cathedral of its day (42). As many as 1200 barrows have been identified in Norfolk, many long since destroyed (Williamson 22); a few of these are near Arminghall and related perhaps to its religious function (Green and Young, Norfolk 7). Although Norwich certainly was not a Roman city in the sense that nearby Venta Icenorum (now Caistor St. Edmunds) was from the first to fourth centuries, the site of the future city may nonetheless have had some settlement during Roman times.
[xv] Todd Williamson, The Origins of Norfolk 57.
[xvi] "Norwich" 5. Campbell follows a theory of nucleated development for the city, but some archeologists have more recently posited an "extended ribbon development" that spread along the river's edge as a single settlement with various areas. See Brian Ayers, Book of Norwich 24.
[xvii] See Alan Carter, "The Anglo-Saxon Origins of Norwich" 176.
[xviii] On these examples and the Anglo-Scandinavian borough more generally, see Brian Ayers, Book of Norwich 25.
[xix] In the twelfth century Conesford was spelled Cunegesford, betraying "a Danish modification of an earlier Saxon name" (Green and Young, Norwich 8). That is, the Danish word kunung may have taken the place of the English word cyning, both of which mean king (so that Conesford = King's Ford).
[xx] This residence or center might have been in Norwich proper or in Thorpe; see Campbell, who points out that thorp means "small or secondary settlement" in Old Norse, Old Danish, and Old English -- where it can also mean villa or estate (2).
[xxi] Old English from Two Saxon Chronicles, ed. Plummer135. The episode in its entirety reads: "In this year Swein came with his fleet to Norwich and completely ravaged and burnt the borough. Then Ulfcetel with the councillors in East Anglia determined that it would be better to buy peace from the army before they did too much damage in the country, for they had come unexpectedly and he had not time to collect his army. Then, under cover of the truce which was supposed to be between them, the Danish army stole inland from the ships, and directed their course to Thetford. When Ulfcetel perceived that, he sent orders that the ships were to be hewn to bits, but those whom he intended for this failed him; he then collected his army secretly, as quickly as he could. And the Danish army then came to Thetford within three weeks after their ravaging of Norwich, and remained inside there one night and ravaged and burnt the borough. Then in the morning, when they wished to go to their ships, Ulfcetel arrived with his troops to offer battle there. And they resolutely joined battle and many fell slain on both sides. There the flower of the East Anglian people was killed. But if their full strength had been there, the Danes would never have got back to their ships; as they themselves said that they had never met worse fighting in England than Ulfcetel dealt to them" (English Historical Documents c. 500-1042 239-40).
[xxii] See EHD 1 p.336.
[xxiii] See especially Todd Williamson, The Origins of Norfolk 107.
[xxiv] Brian Ayers makes this suggestion in Book of Norwich 33. Planned areas of town are not evident again until after the conquest, especially with the formation of the French borough from what may have been a common grazing area and the mid-twelfth century implantation of a series of stone of tenements north of the cathedral, in space formerly occupied by English timber structures.
[xxv] The phrase "Norman purge" is from James Campbell, "The East Anglian Sees before the Conquest" 18. see also Ann Williams, The English and the Norman Conquest 45-46.
[xxvi] It is important to bear in mind that even though Norwich is considerably upriver, the port cities which eventually came to dominate East Anglia such as Yarmouth and Lynn had not yet begun to grow. Despite the population density of Norfolk, Norwich was a fairly solitary city with little local competition. On Norwich's prosperity cf. Campbell: "What made [Norwich] prosper so? Partly it was its position as a centre of government in the late Anglo-Saxon period. The city's position in the post-Conquest governmental system suggests that for the Normans, and probably for their predecessors, it was the capital of all East Anglia ... The most important cause of the remarkable prosperity of Norwich in the late Saxon period was presumably its function as a centre providing a market, goods and services for an important hinterland. Domesday Book makes it appear likely that the area within twenty miles of Norwich was the most densely populated in England" ("Norwich" 5-6).
[xxvii] On the relative wealth of Norwich in 1065 and the tripartite jurisdictionary division of its burgesses, see Green and Young, Norwich 9-10.
[xxviii] See the excellent introduction tracing the evolution of the English parochial system by John Blair in the useful collection of essays which he edited, Minsters and Parish Churches1-19.
[xxix] The English Medieval Town 149.
[xxx] Alsford provides a useful sketch-map of the Anglo-Saxon churches of Norwich and compiles evidence for their dates at his History of Medieval Norwich site; see also the map of pre-conquest churches by Jayne Bown included in Brian Ayers, Book of Norwich 26.
[xxxi] This expansive parish was eventually carved into many smaller ones; see Brian Ayers, Book of Norwich 25-27.
[xxxii] Tom Williamson, The Origins of Norfolk 157.
[xxxiii] Colin Platt, The English Medieval Town 151.
[xxxiv] The church was in existence for perhaps seventy-five years, and its population was wholly Anglo-Scandinavian. About 130 skeletons from the church's graveyard have been studied to determine something of the pre-conquest population of the city. The burials demonstrate that "the people in this parish at least were poor and generally malnourished. Rickets was common among the child burials and the adults showed signs of having suffered similarly in youth. The skeletons of the adult males were particularly notable for the muscle strains evident in the bone, implying lives full of hard, physical labour" (Book of Norwich 37-8).
[xxxv] Norwich 22.
[xxxvi] I will have more to saw on the marital status of English priests after the Norman conquest in the following chapter.
[xxxvii] On the pre-conquest location of the bishop's seat see James Campbell, "East Anglian Sees before the Conquest." Barbara Dodwell argues that Herfast saw Thetford as a temporary move, aiming for Bury St Edmunds as the permanent seat: "Herbert de Losinga and the Foundation" 37.
[xxxviii] Unfortunately no documentary evidence survives to detail what was sold in the late Saxon Norwich markets. Green and Young list likely merchandise as pottery from the Midlands; millstones, swords, wine and wine vessels from the Rhineland; furs and ivory from Scandinavia and Russia; wool from Flanders (Norwich 10).
[xxxix] William of Malmesbury notes that Earl Godwine's first wife, the sister of King Cnut, was a notorious slavedealer who shipped English girls to Denmark (Deeds of the Kings of the English 2.200). Given William's animus for Godwine, however, it is impossible to know how much truth the story holds.
[xl] On the international connections of the city see especially Campbell, "Norwich" 6 and Lipman, The Jews of Medieval Norwich 13.
[xli] On the Scandinavian influence on English towns, especially as a stimulus to growth, see Reynolds, An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns 37-42.
[xlii] See Hugh M. Thomas, The English and the Normans 363.
[xliii] The sheer violence of the conquest is often underplayed by contemporary scholars, but the evidence gathered by Hugh M. Thomas in The English and the Normans 59-62 is a salient reminder of its ferocity.
[xliv] The entry is quoted from the D version of the chronicle, EHD 162. John of Worcester placed the bridal feast at Exning rather than Norwich.
[xlv] Alsford makes this point in "The Effects of the Conquest" section of History of Medieval Norwich.
[xlvi] On the neutralizing of the revolt of Edwin and Morcar as a strategic turning point of William's conquest, see especially Ann Williams, who writes, "The English revolt had, in a way, been too successful. Had the magnates not posed such a threat to William's power, it would not have been necessary to remove them and they might have survived to absorb William's Normans as their grandfathers had absorbed Cnut's danes" (The English and the Norman Conquest 44).
[xlvii] On the hatred that could erupt upon the appointment of an imported abbot to an English monastery, see H. R. Loyn, The English Church, 940-1154 77 and Ann Williams, English and the Norman Conquest 134-35.
[xlviii] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for 1083, EHD 168-69.
[xlix] England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225 1.
[l] The passage describes how Franks and Normans at Fécamp admire the English youths: "These men [i.e., the Franks], like the Normans, looked with curiosity at the long-haired sons of the northern lands, whose beauty the most handsome youths of 'long-haired Gaul' might have envied; nor did they yield anything to the beauty of girls" ["Curiose hi cum Normannis cernebant crinigeros alumnos plagae Aquilonalis: quorum pulchritudini Galliae comatae formosissimi iuuenes inuiderent. Nec enim puellari uenustati cedebant"] (Gesta Guillelmi 2.44).
[li] Ann Williams gathers much of the material on Norman versus English hair and dress, pointing out some contradiction in the evidence, in The English and the Norman Conquest 188-90; the quotation from the Carmen is taken from p.189. Such differences, it goes without saying, were susceptible to strategic exaggeration or downplaying depending upon their reporter.
[lii] The English and the Norman Conquest 190.
[liii] Robert Bartlett, England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings 2.
[liv] Vita Edwardi Regis et Confessoris, ed. J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Latina, 195, col. 774.
[lv] "La3amon's Ambivalence" 561.
[lvi] Cf. Jocelin of Brakelond, writing at nearby Bury St Edmunds a century after the conquest, who said that he "could read books written in English most elegantly and he used to preach to the people in English, but in the Norfolk dialect, for that was where he was born and brought up." Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds 37; Ann Wiliams, English and the Norman Conquest 130.
[lvii] Norwich 11.
[lviii] Campbell, "Norwich" 8.
[lix] On these machines or agencements, see Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus.
[lx] James W. Alexander examines the difficult relations among William Rufus, Herbert, and Urban in "Herbert of Norwich" 127-31.
[lxi] This jurisdictionary battle is seen most vividly in Thomas of Monmouth's text as Bishop Eborard attempts to force the Jews to submit to an ecclesiastically administered ordeal; the sheriff protects them in the castle until the king sends an edict prohibiting the bishop from judging the Jews (1.16). Marjorie Chibnall underscores the power of the church to make the king in this time of vexed monarchal succession: "Since the prelates controlled substantial landed wealth and could raise a force of some 700 knights, church support was more than merely moral" (Anglo-Norman England 57). Jacques Beauroy labels this coming into power "la conquête cléricale de l"Angleterre" in his article of that name.
[lxii] William of Malmesbury, The Deeds of the Bishops of England 74.
[lxiii] On William Turbe's tenure as bishop of Norwich, see Christopher Harper-Bill, "Bishop William Turbe and the Diocese of Norwich." Turbe is probably the "Willelm" so frequently – and affectionately -- addressed in Herbert de Losinga's letters (Life and Letters of Herbert de Losinga, 281).
[lxiv] Norman Conquest 183.
[lxv] Letter XIV, The Life and Letters of Herbert de Losinga, 131-33.
[lxvi] William of Jumièges writes of the strategic superlativeness of these fortifications in seizing and holding land: Gesta Normannorum Ducum 2.92. See also the essays by R. A Brown gathered in Castles, Conquest and Charters; Richard Eales, "Royal Power and Castles in Norman England"; Stephen Morillo, Warfare under the Anglo-Norman Kings, 85-88 and 94-97; and N. J. G. Pounds, The Medieval Castle in England and Wales, especially 3-53.
[lxvii] Gesta Guillelmi 2.34. Frank Stenton provides a good, rapid overview of the Norman reconfiguration of the city, stressing the centrality of their building program to their occupation in "Norman London."
[lxviii] The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, 2.194-5, 218-19. The passage is also treated by Chibnall in two concise discussions of Norman motte and bailey castles in England, The Normans 44-45 and "Orderic Vitalis on Castles" in Piety, Power and History in Medieval England and Normandy XVI.
[lxix] F. M. Stenton discusses the passage in Anglo-Saxon England597.
[lxx] "Old English and its Afterlife" 16. The passage is a bit misleading in that the first Norman castles were of timber, not stone, but its point is well taken. There is some evidence for a few pre-conquest castles in England (see especially Eric Fernie, "Saxons, Normans, and their Buildings" 7-8 and Architecture of Norman England 52-53), but it seems clear that the widespread erection of these fortifications was a predominantly Norman strategy.
[lxxi] Paul Dalton captures this last function well when he writes that "the construction of Norman castles and the establishment of Norman estate management and administrative authority often went hand in hand." See Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship 31.
[lxxii] That the castle was built by "a major middle Saxon nucleus" (possibly called Needham, later Cowholm) is argued by Alan Carter, "The Anglo-Saxon Origins of Norwich" 198-99.
[lxxiii] The king's Christmas court is recorded in the E version of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle in the entry for 1122, EHD 197.
[lxxiv] The Letters of Lanfranc, 126-27. Earl Ralph's rebellion is also narrated by Henry of Huntingdon in the Historia Anglorum 6.34.
[lxxv] For the most recent archeological data on the castle see Brian Ayers, Norwich: "A Fine City." The figures above are derived from 56-57, which detail the excavations of 1999.
[lxxvi] Eric Fernie provides a date of c.1100 for the great tower's construction because of the similar mason marks on the keep and the cathedral's east arm: Architecture of Norman England 72.
[lxxvii] On this possibility see Ayers, Book of Norwich 45.
[lxxviii] See The Deeds of the Bishops of England 74. John of Worcester makes the same claim. Both are probably indulging in purely speculative etymology; Losinga appears to be Herbert's actual cognomen, since he shared it with his father. What matters, however, is the attempt to see in the word a reflection of Herbert's verbal skills.
[lxxix] Herbert not only departed for Rome without the permission of William Rufus, he journeyed to a pope not recognized by his king (William favored Clement over Urban). He was deprived of his office by the king but reinstated not long thereafter. On the complicated chronology of this episode see Barbara Dodwell, "Herbert de Losinga and the Foundation" 38-9.
[lxxx] Thus Eric Fernie calls the importation of the Fécamp customs (themselves derived from that center of monastic reform, Cluny) as part of "the Norman cultural invasion of England" ("The Building" 52).
[lxxxi] Knowles, The Monastic Order in England 619-31.Thus Canterbury, Winchester and Worcester were monastic cathedrals.
[lxxxii] William de Beaufeu succeeded Herfast as Bishop of Thetford in 1085, a position he held for about five years, making him Herbert's immediate predecessor. William's son Richard became the cathedral's archdeacon in 1107. William's widow Agnes later married Hubert de Rye, castellan of Norwich castle from 1074 and later one of the cathedral's principal benefactors. See The Life and Letters of Herbert de Losinga 114-15.
[lxxxiii] For Herbert de Losinga's letter chastising an errant British monk, see The Life and Letters of Herbert de Losinga 100-101.
[lxxxiv] Architecture of Norman England 32.
[lxxxv] Ecclesiastical History 4.92-3; Fernie treats the passage in Architecture of Norman England 33.
[lxxxvi] "Norwich" 8.
[lxxxvii] Neil Batcock, "The Parish Church in Norfolk in the 11th and 12th Centuries," 188.
[lxxxviii] See especially letters XX and XXVIII in The Life and Letters of Herbert de Losinga.
[lxxxix] Alan Carter, "The Anglo-Saxon origins of Norwich" 187.
[xc] Colin Platt, The Abbeys and Priories of Medieval England 19-21; Brian Ayers, Book of Norwich 54.
[xci] See Alan Carter, "The Anglo-Saxon Origins of Norwich" 191.
[xcii] "A Minority Ascendant: The Benedictine Conquest of the North of England, 1066-1100," 19.
[xciii] Their is a late (13th century) reference to the existence of an earl's palace [palatium]. James Campbell writes that, whether or not this particular reference is true, "late Saxon earls of East Anglia probably had a substantial establishment somewhere in Norwich" (Norwich 6). If it existed at Tombland as has often been supposed, the destruction of this building would have been among the most spectacular acts of the Normans reconfiguring the area.
[xciv] These numbers are taken from the Domesday comparison of 1086 to 1065. See Alsford, "Effects of the Conquest" in History of Medieval Norwich and Green and Young, Norwich 9.
[xcv] Alternately, if the palace survived the transition to the Normans, it may have been knocked down to punish the rebellious Ralph de Gauder.
[xcvi] Letter XIV, The Life and Letters of Herbert de Losinga, 132-33.
[xcvii] Green and Young, Norwich 12. After surveying the position of the cathedral via-à-vis the English city, Norman Turner writes similarly (though more mildly): "It is not difficult to see the potential for possible grievances in these arrangements" ("The Cathedral and the City" 256). Both these statements are, of course, supposition, though they are borne out when taking into account the difficult relations between cathedral and town later in Norwich's history.
[xcviii] Deirdre Wollaston's phrase in "Herbert de Losinga" 33.
[xcix] The Norman Conquest 80-81.
[c] Christopher Holdsworth, "The Church," 213. Even if not deposed, Eborard's sudden retirement to France was an almost unprecedented event.
[ci] On this point see R. Allen Brown, "William of Malmesbury as an Architectural Historian" 12.
[cii] At 433 feet, only three contemporary churches were larger than Norwich cathedral: Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Cluny Abbey, and Winchester cathedral. See Stephen Heywood, "The Romanesque Building" 111.
[ciii] Deirdre Wollaston comments that "few Anglo-Norman patrons rival Herbert in the number, size and variety of the buildings he created." See "Herbert de Losinga" 34. Ayers points out that the palace was at one time connected to the cathedral at the north nave. It was built over an English cemetery, probably that of Holy trinity or Christ Church (Book of Norwich 56; see 57 for the archeological remains of St Leonard's and the hospitals).
[civ] The adjective "devastating" is from Brian S. Ayers, "The Cathedral Site before 1096," 59. Norman Tanner, "The Cathedral and the City," describes the removal of land from city control as "wounding for Norwich, which was already a large and prosperous town. The transfer to the priory's jurisdiction of Tombland (or Tomland, Danish for an open space), which appears to have been the centre of the late Anglo-Saxon borough, a market and a meeting-place, may have been particularly painful" (258).
[cv] Alan Carter, "The Anglo-Saxon origins of Norwich" 202.
[cvi] An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral 6.
[cvii] Eric Fernie, Architecture of Norman England 72.
[cviii] Eric Fernie, "The Building: An Introduction," 51.
[cix] Wallace Stevens, "Anecdote of the Jar," The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens 76.
[cx] Eleanor Searle, Predatory Kinship 246.
[cxi] Ann Williams provides a good account of Ralph's rebellion in The English and the Norman Conquest 59-63, stressing Ralph's complicated ethnicity and the possible racial tensions centered around the struggle. Ralph's father was a Breton who became a staller in the court of Edward the Confessor; see Marjorie Chibnall, "'Racial' Minorities" 50-51.
[cxii] Book of Norwich 43. Wiliam was not so forgiving. When he returned to England at Christmas he had the Bretons of Norwich blinded, shamed, and banished.
[cxiii] Eric Fernie argues that the two were conceived together in An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral 6.
[cxiv] Brian Ayers, Book of Norwich 47.
[cxv] Brian Ayers gathers this and other biological evidence in Book of Norwich 52-3.
[cxvi] Domesday is also the source for labeling the area formed by Earl Ralph the novus burgus: "Franci de Norwici. In novo Burgo XXXVI burgenses ..." (Domesday, Norfolk 2.118a).
[cxvii] See Campbell, "Norwich" 9 and Williams, English and the Norman Conquest 202.
[cxviii] See Cecily Clarke, "Battle c.1110: An Anthroponymist Looks at an Anglo-Norman New Town."
[cxix] "The Anglo-Saxon Origins of Norwich" 194.
[cxx] The Domesday passage and its import is analyzed by Ayers, Book of Norwich 41-42; Fleming in Kings and Lords in Conquest England 197; and Green and Young in Norwich 11.
[cxxi] George Garnett, "'Franci et Angli': the Legal Distinctions" 116-21; F. C. Hamil, "Presentment of Englishry and the Murder Fine"; H. E. Yntema, "The lex murdrorum: An Episode in the History of English Criminal Law."
[cxxii] "Norman London" 35. Stenton's work suggests an important difference between London, which retained numerous civic liberties after the conquest and had a long history of its "conception of its place in the world" (35) and Norwich, a more recent settlement lacking London's tradition of corporate urban identity. Norwich was not granted a charter, royal privileges, and a degree of self-determination until 1194.
[cxxiii] The Jews of Medieval Norwich 14-15.
[cxxiv] "Women's Names in Post-Conquest England: Observations and Speculations," 241. She adds that "At Southampton some demarcation between the two groups is implied by a 'French street' running parallel to the main 'English street.'"
[cxxv] This episode saw the looting and burning of the monastery. Notably, participants in the attack included women and secular priests, an indication of the heterogeneity of the civic-machine. See Norman Tanner, "The Cathedral and the City" 259-62, 268.
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