The Battle of Hastings - 1066

Duke William Raises The Papal Standard

  • Raising the Papal standard
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Picture of William the Conqueror

Duke William Raises The Papal Standard

The Duke called for the standard which the Pope had sent him, and, he who bore it having unfolded it, the Duke took it and called to Raoul de Conches.
'Bear my standard,' said he, 'for I would not but do you right; by right and by ancestry your line are standard-bearers of Normandy, and very good knights have they all been.'
But Raoul said that he would serve the Duke that day in other guise, and would fight the English with his hand as long as life should last.

Then the Duke bade Walter Giffard bear the standard. But he was old and white-headed, and bade the Duke give the standard to some younger and stronger man to carry. Then the Duke said fiercely, 'By the splendor of God, my lords, I think you mean to betray and fail me in this great need. 'Sire,' said Giffart, 'not so! we have done no treason, nor do I refuse from any felony toward you; but I have to lead a great chivalry, both hired men and the men of my fief. Never had I such good means of serving you as I now have; and, if God please, I will serve you; if need be I will die for you, and will give my own heart for yours.'

"'By my faith,' quoth the Duke, 'I always loved thee, and now I love thee more; if I survive this day, thou shalt be the better for it all thy days.' Then he called out a knight, whom he had heard much praised, Tosteins Fitz-Rou le Blanc by name, whose abode was at Bec-en-Caux. To him he delivered the standard; and Tosteins took it right cheerfully, and bowed low to him in thanks, and bore it gallantly and with good heart. His kindred still have quittance of all service for their inheritance on this account, and their heirs are entitled so to hold their inheritance forever.
 

Duke William Raises The Papal Standard

The Battle of Hastings
1066

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The Battle of Hastings - 1066

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