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THE DESCENT OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.
ROLLO (912)-931). Popa, d. of Alan, duke of Brittany."
Gisla, d. of Charles the Simple, k. of France.'
Richard II.,=Judith, d. of Conan, 2 duke of (996-1026).
Emma=(1) Ethelred, the Unready.
Richard III., (1026—1028), 2poisoned by
WILLIAM=Matilda, d. of Baldwin (Duke: 1035—1066), of Flanders. (King: 1066—1087).
A Daughter=Guy of Bur
Regner Lodbrog. 845.
WE have read that the Danes assailed the coasts of
The first of these Danes, or Northmen as they were called in France—a term afterwards changed to that of Normans,—to appear before the walls of Paris was Regner Lodbrog, who was killed by Ella? of Northumbria. This was in the year 845. Charles the Bald, King of France, was quite unable to beat off the Northmen, so they plundered the city. After this was done the king paid them 7,000 pounds of silver to leave the land.
In the year 857 they came again, and again captured Paris :
upon this occasion they were not satisfied with plundering the city, they also killed thousands of the defenceless people, whose bones whitened the banks of the river Seine. After a time they were successfully opposed by a Saxon, Robert the Strong, Count of
1 Matthew of Westminster states that Regner was killed by the huntsmen of Edmund, king of East Anglia, and that Regner's sons, from mistaken revenge, tied Edmund naked to a tree, riddled his body with arrows, and then cut off his head : a chapel was erected on the spot, and a Burgh grew up around it: see p. 38, and p. 107.
2 He was grandson of Charlemagne ; his daughter Judith was the second wife of King Ethelwulf.—Henry of Huntingdon.
* He was related to King Charles of France, as they were both descended from Pepin, the great-grandfather of Charlemagne. Robert, as the great grandfather of Hugh Capet, was the founder of the Capetian dynasty of France.
Anjou : but he was killed by Hastings, the terrible sea-king:
During the reign of Alfred the Great, the Northmen appear to have plundered England and France alternately. During the winter of 885 they besieged Paris Paris befor the third time. The Northmen were under the sieged a
third leadership of Rollo, one of the most daring and success- time by
Danes, ful of their sea-kings. The French king, like Ethelred the Unready, thought of removing the Northmen who had settled in the land by treachery; one of their leaders was killed and another blinded. Then their fellow-countrymen, to the number of 30,000, marched against Paris, and besieged it for upwards of eighteen months. Odo, Count of Paris, headed the besieged ; while the King of France, who was also Emperor of Germany, neglected for a long time to come to the help of his brave subjects, and, when he did come, he gave Rollo and his men 800 pounds of silver to go away. The Danes afterwards visited England; but Alfred defeated them in every direction. We have read of the success of Hastings in France. After he had made peace with its king, the country had rest for some time.
Rollo, the Northman, had been obliged to leave Rollo. Denmark in accordance with a decree of that country, which enacted that, whenever the land was too full of men, a number of the bravest should be obliged to seek their fortunes in other lands. He sailed to England. He dreamed a dream: and in his dream he heard and saw a swarm of bees flying over him and his army: he.
· Henry of Huntingdon ; see pp. 40-42.
? See p. 52. : Charles the Fat: Flor. of Worcester says that the city of Paris was saved in 886 by the merciful help of God.
4 Matt. of Westminster
watched their progress, until he saw that they crossed the sea, and that, after examining flowers of different colours, they settled down upon a particular spot. When Rollo awoke, he considered the dream, and came to the conclusion that he should find a resting place for himself and his companions in the land to which the bees had flown.
In the year 910, Rollo besieged the city of Chartres; besieged, he failed to take it by surprise or direct attack.
Its citizens had chosen as their standard what was supposed to be a garment of the Virgin Mary: Rollo and his men were provoked to laughter at its appearance, whereupon a panic seized them, and they took to flight: the men of Chartres pursued and killed thousands of them.
In two years' time the Northmen renewed their attacks upon the Frenchmen, and captured Bayeux, Paris, and Evreux. In their desperation the people went to their king, Charles the Simple, and complained of his inactivity. Whereupon he sent the Archbishop of Rouen to the Danish leader to promise him all the sea
coast from the river Epte to the confines of Brittany, fealty to together with the hand of his daughter Gilla," if he Charles
would become a Christian. With the advice of his marries
council Rollo agreed to the Archbishop's proposal. daughter, Upon a fixed day he swore fealty to Charles, and also
married his daughter: and Brittany was added to his domains: its duke, Alan, swore fealty to him. Rollo was asked to kiss the king's foot, in token of vassalage. He did so; but scorning to bend his knee, he took up his foot roughly, and, lifting it to his mouth, threw the king on his back upon the ground, to the intense delight
1 Matthew of Westminster
of his followers, who laughed' heartily at the sight of the sprawling monarch. Upon his return to Rouen, Rollo was baptized, named Robert, after his godfather, Robert," Duke of France, son of Count Robert the Strong
Upon the death of Gilla, Robert re-married his first wife, Popa, daughter of Alan of Brittany, whom he had divorced, in order to marry Gilla.
In his treatment of the Northman Rollo, Charles followed the example of Alfred's treatment of Guthrum. Rollo, Count of Rouen, died in 931: he had greatly Death of improved his dominions and subjects. He was succeeded as Count by his son William, who took the part of Willam, Hugh the Great, son of Robert, Duke of France, in his political intrigues. At first both William and Hugh espoused the cause of Louis the Foreigner, Athelstan's nephew, and recalled him to France; but they afterwards rebelled against him. William extended his dominions to the sea by adding to it the Contentin. He was treacherously killed by Arnulf, Count of Flanders in 942. Under him the Northmen who frequented his court forgot their own and adopted the French language and habits; but those residing along the sea shore continued to cling to the Norse language and superstitions.
William was anxious that his son Richard should Richard, learn the language of his ancestors: he was therefore educated at Bayeux, which was the chief town of those Northmen who had not forgotten the speech and ways of their forefathers. Richard married the daughter of Hugh the Great, Duke of France, and helped his son, Hugh Capet, to the throne of France. Richard married
son of William.
1 Matthew of Westminster.