Great Seal of King William the Conqueror : from the fine impression appended to a charter preserved at the Hotel Soubise in Paris. The charter is a grant to the Abbey of St. Denis of land at Teynton, in England. The king wears the hauberk of chain-mail over a tunic. The hemispherical helmet is surmounted by a small knob, and has laces to fasten it under the chin. The legs do not appear to have any armour : the spur has disappeared. A lance with streamer and a large kite-shield complete the warrior's equipment. The legend is + Hoc NORMANNORUM WILLELMUM ITOBCE PATRONUM sI(GNO).
Another group from Cotton MS., Claudius, B. iv.
Anglo-Saxon spearmen, from the fine manuscript of Prudentius in the Tenison Library. Date, the beginning of the eleventh century. The drawings are in pen-and-ink only, but very carefully executed: the later subjects by a fresh hand, but all Anglo-Saxon work.
Group from Cottonian MS., Claudius, B. iv., folio 24: Aelfric's Anglo-Saxon Paraphrase of the Pentateuch, &c. Date about 1000. The crowned figure in the centre appears to be armed in a coat of chain-mail
Of the syrinx there are extant some illustrations of the ninth and tenth centuries, which exhibit the instrument with a number of tubes tied together, just like the Pandean pipe still in use. In one specimen engraved from a manuscript of the eleventh century the tubes were inserted into a bowl-shaped box. This is probably the frestele, fretel, or fretiau, which in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was in favour with the French ménétriers.
Copy of an illumination from a manuscript in the Bibliothèque royale at Paris of the eleventh century. The player wears a crown on his head; and in the original some musicians placed at his side are performing on the psalterium and other instruments. These last are figured with uncovered heads; whence M. de Coussemaker concludes that the crout was considered 95by the artist who drew the figures as the noblest instrument. It was probably identical with the rotta of the same century on the continent.
The Bayeux tapestry is probably our earliest trustworthy authority for a British ship, and it gives a considerable number of illustrations of them, intended to represent in one place the numerous fleet which William the Conqueror gathered for the transport of his army across the Channel; in another place the considerable fleet with which Harold hoped to bar the way. The one we have chosen is the duke’s own ship; it displays at its mast-head the banner which the Pope had blessed, and the trumpeter on the high poop is also an evidence that it is the commander’s ship.
In the Additional MS. 11,695, in the British Museum, a work of the eleventh century, there are several representations of warriors thus fully armed, very rude and coarse in drawing, but valuable for the clearness with which they represent the military equipment of the time. At folio 194 there is a large figure of a warrior in a mail shirt, a conical helmet,[Pg 316] strengthened with iron ribs converging to the apex, the front rib extending downwards, into what is called a nasal, i.e., a piece of iron extending downwards over the nose, so as to protect the face from a sword-cut across the upper part of it.
In the year 1084 a.d., the Carthusian order was founded by St. Bruno, a monk of Cologne, at Chartreux, near Grenoble. This was the most severe of all the reformed Benedictine orders. To the strictest observance of the rule of Benedict they added almost perpetual silence; flesh was forbidden even to the sick; their food was confined to one meal of pulse, bread, and water, daily. It is remarkable that this the strictest of all monastic rules has, even to the present day, been but slightly modified; and that the monks have never been accused of personally deviating from it.
The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, or the Knights Hospitallers, originally were not a military order; they were founded about 1092 by the merchants of Amalfi, in Italy, for the purpose of affording hospitality to pilgrims in the Holy Land. Their chief house, which was called the Hospital, was situated at Jerusalem, over against the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; and they had independent hospitals in other places in the Holy Land, which were frequented by the pilgrims. Their kindness to the sick and wounded soldiers of the first crusade made them popular, and several of the crusading princes endowed them with estates; while many of the crusaders, instead of returning home, laid down their arms, and joined the brotherhood of the Hospital. During this period of their history their habit was a plain black robe, with a linen cross upon the left breast.
They came by diverse routes from France, Normandy, Flanders, England, Southern Italy, and Sicily, and the will and power of them were the Normans. They crossed the Bosphorus and captured Nicæa, which Alexius snatched away from them before they could loot it. They then went on by much the same route as Alexander the Great, through the Cilician Gates, leaving the Turks in Konia unconquered, past the battle-fields of the Issus, and so to Antioch, which they took after nearly a year’s siege. Then they defeated a great relieving army from Mosul. A large part of the Crusaders remained in Antioch, a smaller force under Godfrey of Bouillon (in Belgium) went on to Jerusalem. “After a little more than a month’s siege, the city was finally captured (July 15). The slaughter was terrible; the blood of the conquered ran down the streets, until men splashed in blood as they rode. At nightfall, ‘sobbing for excess of joy,’ the crusaders came to the Sepulchre from their treading of the wine-press, and put their blood-stained hands together in prayer. So, on that day of July, the First Crusade came to an end.”