Warfare in Flanders, according to Walter of Thérouanne

Murder of Charles the GoodWalter, archdeacon of the diocese of Thérouanne, spent his youth among the regular canons of Saint Martin of Ypres whence he was called by John of Warneton, bishop of Thérouanne in 1115. John made him archdeacon of Flanders in 1116 at a relatively early age, a task which brought him into frequent contact with Count Charles, whose confidence he appears to have enjoyed. He in fact met with Charles shortly before the assassination. John of Warneton asked him to write a history of Charles’s life, the Vita Karoli comitis Flandri, immediately after the assassination, and Walter completed the work between July and September 1127. Walter’s works suggest that he had been well educated, and he was, like his bishop, devoted to the “Gregorian” reform movement. For more on Walter, see M. Duchet, “Sur un point erroné de l’Histoire littéraire de la France par les Bénédictins,” Mémoires lus à la Sorbonne dans les séances extraordinaires du Comité Imperial des travaux historiques et des sociétés savantes . . . histoire, philologie et sciences morales 8 (1867/68), 199-211; N. Huyghebaert, “Gautier de Thérouanne,” Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 20 (Paris, 1984), 115-16; and The Narrative Sources from the Southern Low Countries, 600-1500, University of Ghent, ID numbers G009 and G010. The edition of the charters of the bishops of Thérouanne that is currently being prepared by Professor Benoît Tock of the University of Strasburg will also help us fill in some pieces of Walter’s biography. On the hagiographical context in which Walter composed his lives of Charles and John, see I. Van‘t Spijker, Gallia du Nord et de l’Ouest. Les Provinces ecclésiastiques de Tours, Rouen, Reims (950-1130), Hagiographies, ed. G. Philippart, 2 (Turnhout, 1996), 239-47, 263-79. ~ Jeff Rider, Dept. of Romance Languages & Literatures, Wesleyan University

1. His origins.

In the year of our Lord one thousand one hundred and twenty-seven, during the fifth indiction, on March 2, peace was taken from our land, honesty carried off, and all happiness nearly extinguished by the detestable outbreak of death, war, travail, foulness and all unhappiness. Indeed, on that day of that year the lives of many people were jeopardized through the life of one man and, according to God’s just judgement, the deserved deaths of many men were engendered in a kind of horrible breeding by the undeserved death of one man. For then, as the prophet said, the iniquities of our fathers were remembered before the Lord [Ps 108.14, Vulg.] and our old sins were castigated with a new punishment, so that–when the man upon whom, second only to God, the people’s welfare had until then been founded was taken from them–the censure of divine judgement, which had formerly lain concealed in God’s prescience, was revealed and made public. On that day indeed, Charles, count of Flanders, the son of the martyr Knut, the former king of Denmark, and Queen Adele (whom Roger, duke of Apulia, later married) was murdered in the church of Saint Donatian in Bruges through the wickedeness of a few men but to the ruin of many. . . .

32. The count’s burial.

On which day [Friday, March 4, 1127], a few of his vassals and dependants came together and buried him in a tomb that had been constructed out of stones and cement upon the floor in the place where he had been killed. The priests and clergy then commended him to God with the solemn rites of masses and prayers in another church because reason and authority did not allow them to do so in a place that had been desecrated with murders and human blood. The provost and his men, however, exulted as if they had defeated an enemy and discussed and pondered how they might take over the county and whether they would meet with any resistance, all the while ignoring what sentence was being prepared for them by the fearful judgement of a divine severity. While they were rejoicing in blood and the looting of the count’s strongboxes, which they had seized, the just Judge and most fair Avenger was secretly arranging their punishment. O ineffable goodness and justice of God! He waited mercifully until Lent of the second year after His passion, granting His impious Jewish persecutors this time to repent, but since they did not repent – too inattentive to realize that God’s patience was calling them to repent, storing up His wrath against them for the day of wrath – they died horrible deaths that same year. He justly shortened the delay for these persecutors of a just man, however, and put off their punishment hardly a week. God’s Jewish persecutors, I believe, indeed deserved to be given mercifully more time because the early church grew up among them; the count’s persecutors, however, were judged more quickly, and rightly so, because the mature church was scandalized among and by them.

33. The siege of the men from Bruges.

For behold! exactly a week after the count’s murder, as if Lord Charles had in a way risen up to avenge himself, a certain Gervase, a neighbor of the traitors and an honest and upright man, gathered about thirty of his knights and attacked and entered the town of Bruges. Overrun by the fear of God, the traitors did not have the courage to fight back, and Gervase forced them to take refuge in the inner stronghold. I have no doubt whatsoever that this was achieved through divine virtue since the traitors were far superior in number, strength and position. Truly God’s hand strengthened the hearts of these few faithful men and sapped the strength and courage of the many faithless ones. Celestial grace likewise so altered the hearts of the citizens of Bruges that not only did they not unjustly favor or offer help to their lords’ faction, but, on the contrary, altogether refused to have anything to do with them and, allied with Gervase, immediately besieged them in the stronghold into which they had fled. Two of those who were accomplices to the murder of Lord Charles were run down, captured, and tortured, as was right, in various and shameful ways in the sight of the others and to their pain, certainly, and confusion. They were finally killed and one of them was hung from a gibbet, while the other was thrown in a sewage ditch where he could be seen by his lords looking out from the walls of the castle. . . .

36. The growth of the siege and the invasion of the castle.

After Gervase and Didier had begun the aforementioned siege in Bruges, as was described above, Baldwin of Ghent and Daniel of Dendermonde, from the east, and Walter of Lillers, Richard of Woumen, and Thierry of Dixmude, from the west, gathered their forces, joined the siege, and swore an oath that they would not leave there until the murderers had been captured and punished. And so when a few days had gone by and some assaults had been attempted, the besiegers scaled the southern wall one day and hurled themselves boldly inside, rushing upon the traitors and forcing them all to flee inside the church of Saint Donatian, which they had already defiled with foul murder. This was just what they deserved. For it was fitting retribution that they be forced to endure unwillingly the hardships of vigils, hunger and thirst and the constant fear of looming death throughout the weariness of the long siege in precisely that place which no respect had prevented them from desecrating cruelly in contempt of God and His saints. . . .

43. The disorder after the count’s death and the peace.

But we should now turn back in time and report some events which took place before this but which we have omitted until now, because everything that occurred at one time could not be told at the same time. When the marquis had been killed at Bruges, therefore, as was described above, the news of such an evil deed spread immediately in all directions and was known that same day at a distance of almost thirty leagues. There was, therefore, mourning everywhere, sighs everywhere, and great sorrow among the clergy, monks, the country folk, the poor, among all those ultimately who wanted to live in peace and tranquility and maintain and enjoy order. All thieves and wicked men, however – who, it then became clear, had been restrained by a fear more of Charles than of God – were loosed as if the chains by which they had been restrained had been shattered, and they began to throw everything into disorder, to rob merchants and travellers of their possessions, and often to bind them and throw them into prison. Such was the madness and the wickedness of those malicious men that they were not held in check even by reverence for a holy time, for it was then Lent. But their insanity was quickly repressed with the help of omnipotent God’s mercy. The very day that the aforementioned William, lord Charles’ cousin, learned of the count’s death from a messenger, he claimed the county for himself, albeit unsuccessfully, occupied the strongly-fortified castle of Aire and made all the occupants swear loyalty to him. And when he had likewise taken control of Saint Venant, Cassel, Bailleul, Ypres, and the land around Bergues and Veurne, he quickly repressed the activity of the thieves in these areas and commanded that peace be maintained. Other barons of the land, too, having conferred with one another, were inspired by God to agree to maintain peace and each saw to the defense of his region.

44. The king’s arrival and the choice of a new count. 

When Louis, the august king of the French, heard that his cousin Charles had died and that William had seized an honor that was not his, especially since the king had not agreed to it, he was gravely concerned and traveled to the city of Arras around the middle of Lent, wanting as much to strip William of the authority he had usurped as to avenge the death of his friend. He ordered young William Clito, called the count of Normandy – who, as we noted in the beginning of this little work, had been impiously disinherited by his uncle, King Henry of England, and had recently married the sister of the queen – to come to Arras as well. When they had stayed in that city about two weeks and several men who claimed the countship of our land – namely, Arnulf, the nephew of Lord Charles, Baldwin of Mons, and numerous messengers demanding the countship on behalf of the aforesaid William, who had already seized that part of our land mentioned above – had come to the king, the queen finally prevailed thanks, I believe, to God’s hidden but nonetheless just Providence, and, having very deftly gained the support of certain of the leading men, obtained the countship for her brother-in-law, the count of Normandy, on March 23.

45. The impediments opposed to the royal decision and the count’s progress.

Fearing that William’s power would grow to his detriment, his uncle strove to weaken it with all his might and by whatever means he could. He therefore solicited the support of many powerful men–sending his nephew, Stephen of Blois, count of Boulogne and Mortain, and distributing a great deal of money through him and other loyal representatives, and promising yet more – and claimed that Flanders was his heritage and belonged to him by right of inheritance from his uncle, Robert of Cassel. He won them over to his side in this way and formed an alliance with his father-in-law, the duke of Leuven, and the count of Mons, and Thomas of Coucy, and also the aforementioned William of Ypres. He goaded and urged all of them and their followers to oppose the will and the decision of the king and to hinder the new count in every way, not so much because he himself wanted to obtain Flanders, which he perhaps already despaired of winning, but in order to weaken and destroy the count’s strength, which he believed dangerous to him.

Accompanied by the count, the king left the city of Arras a few days later and proceeded – with difficulty, however, for the English supporters hindered him almost everywhere – first to Lille, then to Ghent, and then to Bruges, where he strengthened the siege with his presence. The count left Bruges after Easter and, passing through Lille and Béthune, came to our city of Thérouanne where he was welcomed with great joy by the clergy and people and remained two days. He eventually passed through Thérouanne again on his way back to Lille after he had taken possession of the town called Saint Omer and been welcomed joyously by its castellan and burghers (once certain conditions had been agreed upon) and stayed there for a few days.

46. The surrender of the men from Bruges, and the miracle of the food, and the cleansing of the church. 

In the meantime, the king had forced Robert and the other remaining murderers of Bruges to come out of the tower into which they had fled and give themselves up and had locked them all up in prison and chains. . . .

48. The royal expedition and the surrender of Ypres.

When all these things had been performed solemnly and with due honor, the king set out for Ypres with the army he had been able to assemble and arrived there around the sixth hour of the next day, April 26, where the count, as they had arranged, quickly rushed to meet him with an army raised elsewhere. A short time later, the oft-mentioned William, the son of Philip, revering the highness of royal majesty less than he ought and supported by the arms and courage of the many strong men he had recruited, rushed boldly out of the town towards them and began to fight fiercely against their combined armies. But the wretched man was unaware of the pit of adversity and earthly misfortune that had been dug for him while he – who judged himself to be acting bravely when he fought against his enemies as stubbornly as possible – established and arranged his battle line against his adversaries. For well before this, some of the burghers, who had sworn oaths of loyalty to him not once but many times, had plotted with some other of his men to betray him, had sent messengers to the king, and had pledged that they would open the gates to him and betray William.

Woe to the world for temptations to sin! [Mt 18.7] or rather woe to Flanders for traitors! It is wondrous and no less pitiful that the unhappy land that had lost its lord to treachery could not obtain another except through treachery. Only a few men of Ypres, it is true, had arranged this betrayal, because they had judged it more advantageous to comply with the royal will than to be subject to William’s orders and a power they mistrusted. For they did this, so they said, not because they found any fault with him, but because they feared the intemperate lordship of certain of the men close to him.

49. William is captured, Ypres burned, Flanders subdued.

And so after the fighting had gone on from the sixth to the ninth hour of the day with various attacks from both armies from the north and east, the traitors summoned the enemy troops by means of a standard they had raised on the very top of Saint Peter’s church as the agreed-upon signal for the treachery they were preparing, opened the southern gate, and welcomed them into the town. They ran throughout the whole town without stopping and laid everything to waste with theft and fires. Only then did William of Ypres realize that he had been betrayed, and he took flight, since that seemed to be the only thing he could do, but he fled too late. Daniel of Dendermonde followed and captured him as he fled, disarmed him, and handed him over captive to count William. That same day, when Ypres had been plundered and burned from the northern to the southern gate and an innumerable crowd of knights had been captured, the king and count led the captive William away with them to the abbey of Messines. They placed him in the custody of the castellan of Lille the next day, then continued on to Aire and, having received its surrender, easily subjugated Cassel and the rest of lower Flanders. They then finally returned to Bruges to avenge the death of the honorable Charles.

50. The execution of the prisoners from Bruges.

The king and count then had the brother of the provost, Wulfric – whom, as we mentioned above, had conspired in the count’s death – along with about twenty-eight other prisoners taken out of their prison and thrown from a high tower, and those murderers thus perished in torments worthy of such iniquity. They had not all sinned equally in word or deed, but they had nonetheless all bound themselves in comparable bonds of iniquity by consenting to the iniquity and helping the iniquitous, and they therefore deserved to be executed in the same way as those with whom they had not hesitated to associate themselves. Since the king and count did not think that it was entirely safe to punish Robert (whom we showed above to have been one of the conspirators) then and there with the others because he seemed in some ways to be less guilty than they and was greatly loved by the people, they ordered him to be led away with them. When they had taken him as far as Cassel and he had repented lengthily of his crime, they had him beheaded outside of the town.

Latin Text

1.  De morte comitis et genere eius.

Anno itaque uerbi incarnati millesimo centesimo uigesimo septimo, indictione quinta, sexto nonas Martii, terr_ nostr_ pace sublata, deleta honestate, extincta omni fere felicitate, mortalium, guerrarum, laborum, turpitudinum, et totius infelicitatis detestabile cepit exordium.  Eodem enim ipsius anni die in unius uita multorum uit_ periclitate et ex una unius indebita morte multorum iusto Dei iudicio mortes debite terribili quadam generatione sunt propagat_.  Tunc namque, secundum prophetam, in memoriam rediit iniquitas patrum nostrorum in conspectu Domini [Ps 108.14] et antiqua peccata nostra noua ceperunt ultione feriri ut, in cuius manu post Deum hactenus constitit salus populi, eo de medio sublato, manifeste daretur intelligi et diuini iam in publicum prodiret censura iudicii, que prius latuerat in occulto prescienti_ Dei.  Ipso enim die, in plurimorum perniciem execrabili quorumdam scelere interfectus est Bruggis in _cclesia sancti Donatiani Karolus comes Flandri_, filius Canuti martiris, regis quondam Daci_, et Adel_ regin_, quam postea uxorem duxit Rogerus dux Apuli_. . . .

32.  De sepultura comitis.

Quo sane die pauci ex hominibus eius et clientibus conuenerunt et in illo, quo occisus fuerat, loco, sarcofago ex lapidibus et cemento super pauimentum composito, in eo illum sepelierunt.  Porro sacerdotes et clerici, quia id in loco homicidiis et humano sanguine polluto fieri ratio et auctoritas non sinebat, in alia _cclesia eum missarum et orationum sollempniis Domino commendauerunt.  Prepositus autem et sui, dum quasi aduersario suo deiecto exultant et de regno sibi comparando ac si non sit qui contradicat tractant et cogitant, tremendo diuin_ districtionis iudicio qu_ sibi uindicta preparetur ignorant.  Illis nempe gaudentibus de sanguine et thesaurorum eius, quos inuaserant, direptione, iustus iudex et equissimus retributor occulte disponit de ultione.  O ineffabilis bonitas et iusticia Dei!  Persecutores suos impios Iudeos usque ad quadragesimum secundum annum post passionem suam, hoc penitenti_ eis spacio indulto, misericorditer expectauit.  Sed quia illi, non attendentes quod patientia Dei ad penitentiam eos inuitaret, thesaurizantes sibi iram in die ir_, penitere neglexerunt, horrendis suppliciis eodem anno interierunt.  His autem iusti persecutoribus iuste tempus adbreuiauit et usque ad octauum diem ultionem uix protelauit.  Illi enim, quia primitiua in eis nutriebatur _cclesia, diutius, ut credo, fuerunt misericorditer tolerandi; hi autem, quia prouecta iam ecclesia in eis et per eos scandalizabatur, citius extiterunt iuste iudicandi.

33.  De obsidione Brugensium.

Nam ecce! octauo die, quasi domno Karolo in sui uindictam quodammodo resurgente, Geruasius quidam, uicinus eorum, uir honestus et probus, congregato suorum circiter triginta equitum numero, castrum Bruggense inuasit et, eis resistere, quippe timore Dei super eos irruente, non audentibus, intrauit et eos in interiorem munitionem refugere coegit.  Quod nimirum uirtute diuina factum non dubitauerim cum illi et numero et uiribus et municione plurimum prestarent.  Uerum manus Domini paucorum fidelium corda confortabat et multorum infidelium uires et animos effeminabat.  Sed et Bruggensium corda municipum ita superna inmutauit gratia ut, non solum iniust_ dominorum suorum parti non fauerent uel auxilium preberent, quin immo eorum consortium penitus abhorrerent et eos continuo in municione, qua confugerant, Geruasio iuncti, obsiderent.  Duo autem eorum, qui necis domni Karoli cooperatores extiterant, intercepti et comprehensi, in conspectu aliorum, in penam nimirum et confusionem eorum, diuersis suppliciis et probrosis, ut dignum erat, tormentati, et sic tandem sunt necati ac partim patibulis appensi, partim in cloacas, ubi a dominis suis de muris prospectantibus uideri possent, iactati. . . .

36.  De obsidione aucta et munitione irrupta.

Obsidione autem prefata, sicut dictum est, per Geruasium et Desiderium Bruggis

inchoata, Balduinus Gandensis, et Daniel Tenremondensis ab oriente, Gualterus Lilariensis, Riquardus Walnensis, et Theodericus Dicasmudensis ab occidente, exercitu collecto, eidem se obsidioni adiunxerunt et inde se non discessuros donec homicidas illos caperent et punirent iureiurando confirmauerunt.  Paucis itaque diebus exactis et assultibus aliquibus factis, die quadam murum ab australi parte ascendentes et sese audacter intus proicientes, perfidos illos uiolenter aggressi sunt et eos omnes intra _cclesiam sancti Donatiani, quam feda prius cede contaminauerant, fugere compulerunt.  Digne satis pro meritis.  Conueniebat namque ut in eo potissimum loco, quem in contemptum Dei et sanctorum eius non fuerant crudeliter profanare reueriti, diuturn_ tedio obsidionis uigiliarum et famis incommoditates et sitis et assiduos imminentis timores mortis penaliter tolerare cogerentur inuiti. . . .

43.  De perturbatione post mortem comitis et pace.

Sed iam dignum est ut articulum ad superiora tempora conuertamus et ea, qu_ prius quidem gesta sed a nobis hactenus sunt pretermissa, referamus.  Neque enim quecumque eodem tempore contigerunt eodem etiam tempore dici potuerunt.  Interfecto igitur Bruggis, ut dictum est, marchione, fama mali tanti confestim circumquaque diffunditur et ipsa eadem die usque ad triginta fere leugas extenditur.  Ubique ergo luctus, ubique gemitus et dolor ingens, clericorum, monachorum, rusticorum, pauperum, postremo omnium in pace et tranquillitate degere et equitatem seruare et seruari cupientium.  Raptores autem quilibet et iniqui, utpote uinculis, quibus tenebantur, disruptis, soluti (magis enim, sicut tunc euidenter patuit, Karoli refrenati fuerant timore quam Dei), uniuersa turbare, mercatores quosque et uiatores rebus suis expoliare et ipsos plerumque ligare et incarcerare ceperunt.  Tanta namque fuit peruersorum hominum rabies et nequitia ut nec sancti temporis, nam quadragesima erat, eos coibere ualeret reuerentia.  Uerum, omnipotentis Dei subueniente clementia, in breui repressa est eorum dementia.  Prefatus enim Willelmus, domni Karoli consobrinus, mox ut mortem comitis, nuncio deferente, cognouit, eadem die comitatum sibi, frustra tamen, uendicauit et Ariam oppidum munitissimum occupauit et oppidanos omnes fidelitatem sibi iurare fecit.  Cumque et Sanctum Uenantium, Casletum, Bellulam, Ipram, Bergensem quoque et Furnensem terram pari modo sibi subegisset, motus raptorum in finibus illis cito repressit et pacem seruari mandauit.  Ceteri quoque barones terr_, inuicem collocuti, Deo inspirante, paci consenserunt et singuli partes suas defensare studuerunt.

44.  De aduentu regis et ordinatione comitatus.

Porro magnificus rex Francorum Ludowicus, audito quod consobrinus suus Karolus interisset et Willelmus honorem sibi indebitum, presertim ipso non assentiente, inuassisset, grauiter tulit et, tam ea, quam usurpauerat, dignitate priuare quam amici mortem desiderans uindicare, ad urbem Atrebatum circa mediam quadragesimam uenit.  Quo etiam Willelmum iuuenem, dictum Normanni_ comitem–a patruo suo Henrico Anglorum rege, sicut in inicio huius opusculi commemorauimus, impie exheredatum, qui regin_ sororem nuper duxerat uxorem– uenire mandauit.  In qua urbe cum diebus ferme quindecim commorati fuissent et plures, qui sibi comitatum terre nostre competere assererent–Arnulfus, scilicet, nepos domni Karoli; Balduinus Montensis; et prefati Willelmi, qui iam partem terre nostre prelibatam uiolenter tenebat, nuncii frequentes hoc ipsum expetentes–ad regem uenissent, tandem regina Dei, ut arbitror, occulta sed tamen iusta dispositione preualuit et, animis quorumdam procerum multo ingenio ad sibi consentiendum inclinatis, sororio suo, Normanni_ comiti, decimo kalendas Aprilis comitatus donum optinuit.

45.  De impedimentis regie dispositioni obuiantibus et comitis processibus.

 Cuius potentiam patruus eius ad sui detrimentum ueritus crescere, eam totis uiribus et artibus, quibus poterat, contendit imminuere.  Nepotem ergo suum Stephanum Blesensem, Bolonie et Moritonii comitem, transmittens et per ipsum et per alios partis sue legatos multa tribuens et plura promittens, multorum animos potentium sollicitat, Flandriam hereditatem suam esse et ex parte Rotberti Casletensis auunculi sui sibi iure competere affirmat et his modis in suum eos fauorem conciliat ac ducem Louani_, socerum suum, et Montensem comitem et Thomam Codiciacensem, necnon et predictum Willelmum sibi confederat.  Hos omnes et eorum auxiliarios regi_ uoluntati et ordinationi contraire et profectus noui comitis modis omnibus impedire hortatur et instigat, non tam ut ipse Flandriam, quod forsitan fieri posse iam desperabat, obtineat quam ut uires comitis, quas sibi periculosas suspicabatur, eneruet et destruat.  Rex autem cum comite Atrebatum ciuitate post aliquantum tempus egressus, primo Insulam, deinde Gandauum et Bruggas–egre tamen, nam ubique fere Anglici fauores plurimum impediebant–recepit et obsidionem sua presentia roborauit.  Unde comes post pascha reuersus, per Insulam et Betuniam usque ad urbem nostram Teruanniam peruenit et ibi, cum magno cleri et populi gaudio susceptus, biduo mansit.  Postea, cum castrum quod dicitur sancti Audomari, castellano et burgensibus eum gratanter, conditionibus tamen quibusdam premissis, suscipientibus, obtinuisset et ibi paucis diebus moram fecisset, iterum Teruanna transiens, Insulam regreditur.

46.  Brugensium deditio, et miraculum in alimentis, et _cclesi_ purgatio.

Interea rex Robertum reliquosque illos homicidas Bruggenses de turri, in quam confugerant, egredi et sese dedere coegerat et in carcerem et uincula uniuersos retruserat. . . .

48.  De expeditione regali et traditione Iprensi.

Quibus omnibus sollemniter et eo, quo dignum erat, honore adimpletis, rex cum exercitu, quem congregare poterat, Ipram contendit et sequenti die, sexto uidelicet kalendas Maii, comite sibi ex condicto cum exercitu ex alia parte impigre occurrente, circa horam diei sextam illuc usque peruenit.  Porro sepe memoratus Willelmus, Philippi filius, regie maiestatis celsitudinem minus quam oporteret reueritus, extra oppidum eis, multorum et fortium, quos sibi confederauerat, uirorum et armis fretus et animis, audacter occurrit et contra uniuersum illum exercitum acerrime dimicare cepit.  Sed ille, se agere fortiter arbitratus dum hostibus obstinatissime repugnat, dum in aduersarios aciem dirigit et instaurat, qu_ sibi infelicitatis temporalis et aduersitatis fouea preparata sit miser ignorat.  Etenim iam pridem aliqui burgenses, qui sacramentis ei non semel tantum sed frequenter fidelitatem fecerant, cum quibusdam aliis hominibus ipsius de proditione eius conspirauerant, legatos inde ad regem direxerant seque ei portas aperturos et Willelmum tradituros iurauerant. Ue mundo ab scandalis! [Mt 18.7] immo ue Flandri_ a proditionibus!  Mirandum nec minus miserandum quod terra infelix, cui domino suo per proditionem orbari contigerat, non aliter quam per proditionem alium adquirere ualebat.  Et hanc quidem pauci Iprensium disposuerant faciendam.  Iudicauerant namque commodius regie uoluntati parere quam imperiis Guillelmi et sibi suspect_ potestati subiacere.  Neque hoc ideo, ut ferunt, quod ipsius personam in aliquo culparent sed quorumdam affinium eius dominium intemperantius futurum formidarent.

49.  Willelmus capitur, Ipra incenditur, Flandria subigitur.

Itaque cum ab hora diei sexta usque ad nonam utrimque diuersis concursibus ab aquilonali parte et orientali pugnatum fuisset, uexillo, quod in signum futur_ proditionis super summum _cclesi_ sancti Petri fastigium ex proposito constituerant, aduers_ partis cuneos accersierunt et, porta meridiana aperta, eos in oppidum susceperunt.  Quibus protinus totam uillam percursantibus et rapinis ac incendiis uniuersa uastantibus, Guillelmus, destitutum se tum demum persentiens, quod solum superesse uidebat, fugam arripuit sed fuga sera fuit.  Fugientem enim eum Daniel Terremontensis consecutus comprehendit et, armis exutum, comiti Willelmo captiuum reddidit.  Ipra igitur eodem die a porta septentrionali usque ad portam australem spoliata et incensa ac multitudine militum innumerabili comprehensa, rex et comes Mescinas monasterium adeunt et Willelmum secum captum abducunt.  Quem cum postera die castellano Insul_ custodiendum commendassent, Ariam perrexerunt et, ea in deditione recepta, Casletum et reliquam illam inferiorem Flandriam facillime subegerunt et sic tandem ad ulsciscendam honorandi Karoli mortem Bruggas iterum redierunt.

50.  De supplicio dediticiorum Bruggensium.

Fratrem ergo prepositi Uuluericum, quem in mortem eius coniurasse supra memorauimus, cum aliis fere uiginti octo dediticiis e carcere productis, de excelsa turri precipitari fecerunt sicque homicid_ illi condignis tant_ iniquitati cruciatibus interierunt.  Qui, quamuis non omnes consilio uel facto equaliter peccauerant, iniquitati tamen consentiendo et iniquis auxilium ferendo, paribus quodammodo iniquitatis nexibus se omnes obligauerant.  Et ideo, quorum non abhorruerant iungi consortio, eorumdem non immerito sunt puniti supplicio.  Robertum autem, quem (et ipsum ex coniuratis fuisse supra ostendimus) quibus ibidem, eo quod a populo uehementer diligeretur et modis quibusdam excusabilior ceteris uideretur, tute satis puniri posse non estimabatur, secum abducere decreuerunt.  Quem cum Casletum usque perduxissent et ille reatus sui multam penitudinem gereret, extra oppidum eum capitis abscisione animaduerti fecerunt.

These texts and translations © Jeff Rider, Dept. of Romance Languages & Literatures, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459, from whom all necessary permissions to reproduce must be sought. We thank Professor Rider for his permission to republish this text.

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