Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2.
of whom, an anonymous writer, quoted by Mabillon, in the Acta Sanctorum ordinis Sancti Benedicti, says, speaking of Jumieges, “hinc vinearum abundant botryones, qui in turgentibus gemmis lucentes rutilant in Falernis;” but even a charter of so late a date as the year 1472, expressly terms a large tract of land belonging to the convent, the vineyard[12].—­The existence of the English monastic vineyards has been much controverted, but not conclusively.  Whether these instances of the northern growth of the vine, as a wine-making plant, do or do not bear upon the question of the supposed refrigeration of our climate by the increase of the Polar ice, must be left to the determination of others.—­The whale-fishery of Jumieges rests upon the single authority of the Gesta Sancti Philiberti:  the author admits, indeed, that it is a strange thing, “et a saeculo inauditum;” but still he speaks of it as a fact that has fallen under his own knowledge, that the monks, by means of hooks, nets, and boats, catch sea-fish[13], fifty feet in length, which at once supply their table with food, and their lamps with oil.

The number of holy men who originally accompanied St. Philibert to his new abbey, was only seventy; but they increased with surprising rapidity; insomuch, that his successor, St. Aicadras, who received the pastoral staff, after a lapse of little more than thirty years from the foundation of Jumieges, found himself at the head of nine hundred monks, besides fifteen hundred attendants and dependants of various denominations.

During all these early ages, the monastery of Jumieges continued to be accounted one of the most celebrated religious houses in France.  Its abbots are repeatedly mentioned in history, as enjoying the confidence of sovereigns, and as charged with important missions.  In their number, was Hugh, grandson of Pepin le Bref, or, according to other writers, of Charlemagne.  Here also, Tassilo, Duke of Bavaria, and his son, Theodo, were compelled to immure themselves, after the emperor had deposed them; whilst Anstruda, daughter of Tassilo, was doomed to share his imperial bed.

An aera of misfortune began with the arrival of the Normans.  It was in May, in the year 841, that these dreadful invaders first penetrated as far as Rouen, marking their track by devastation.  On their retreat, which almost immediately succeeded, they set fire to Jumieges, as well as to the capital.  In their second invasion, under Ironside and Hastings, the “fury of the Normans” was poured out upon Neustria; and, during their inroad, they levelled Jumieges with the ground[14].  But the monks saved themselves:  they dispersed:  one fled as far as St. Gall; others found shelter in the royal abbey of St. Denis; the greater part re-assembled in a domain of their own, called Haspres, in Flanders, whither they carried with them the bodies of St. Aicadrus and St. Hugh:  there too they resided till the conversion of their enemies to Christianity.

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Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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