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But to Waltheof, after the collapse of the rebellion of the earls in 1075, no mercy was shown.
The motive was probably political, for Lanfranc, who was with him at the last, pronounced him guiltless of the offence for which he died.
For the most part William continued to govern through the sheriffs and the courts of the shire and of the hundred.
The national levy of the fyrd was retained, and it helped to render the king less dependent upon his vassals.
The repudiation of this oath by Harold at the Confessor's death enabled William to assume the character of an avenger of perjury. Davis, "raised the English to that level of culture which the continental people had already reached and left it for the Plantagenets of Anjou to make England in her turn 'a leader among nations'." After the invasion and the decisive battle of Hastings, William at once marched on London, and there the best and wisest men of the kingdom—for example, such influential prelates as Aldred, Archbishop of York, and St.
He was probably sincere enough in believing himself constituted by God champion of the Church, and in obtaining from Pope Alexander II not only a blessing on his enterprise, but the gift of a specially consecrated banner as for a religious crusade. Oman) that the claim to establish a better order of things was in fact justified by the event. Wulstan, Bishop or Worcester &151; came in and tendered submission.
A terrible penalty was exacted in other centres of rebellion, and we read not only of a wholesale use of fire and sword, but of mutilation and blinding in the case of individual offenders.
The influence of the great monastic revival of Cluny was now, through Lanfranc, brought to bear on many English foundations. Oman does not exaggerate when he tells us that before the Conquest "the typical faults of the dark ages, pluralism, simony, lax observance of the canons, contented ignorance, worldliness in every aspect, were all too prevalent in England "; but he adds that by the Conqueror's wise policy "the condition of the Church alike in the matter of spiritual zeal, of hard work and of learning, was much improved".As for William's ecclesiastical policy, he seems conscientiously to have carried out a programme of wise reform.His appointments of bishops mere on the whole excellent.The new fiefs recorded in Domesday are vast, but scattered.Saxon institutions were as far as possible retained, especially when they might serve as a check upon the power of the great feudatories.
Having at last reduced the country to submission, William set to work with statesmanlike deliberation to establish his government on a firm and lasting basis.