The Fall of the Grand Sarrasin eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 122 pages of information about The Fall of the Grand Sarrasin.


Vale Abbey.—­“The Abbey of Mont St. Michael was reduced in its revenues by Duke Richard of Normandy.  The number of Benedictines was reduced in proportion to the reduction of the revenue, and those who were driven from thence, retiring to Guernsey, founded in the year 962 an abbey in that part of the island now called the Close of the Vale.  This they called the Abbey of St. Michael” (Wm. Berry, “History of Guernsey,” p. 52).


Vale Castle.—­“Towards the end of the tenth century the Danes, or other piratical nations of Scandinavia, who had long been quiet, commenced their depredations.  They did not attempt to attack Normandy, but the new settlement of the Benedictines in Guernsey did not escape their cruelty, but was greatly injured by them.  They frequently visited the island, and, according to the insular MSS., plundered the defenceless inhabitants, carrying off their corn and cattle.  In order to shelter them, a fair and stately castle was built on an eminence in the vale, calculated to receive, even three centuries later, not only the inhabitants of the island but also their cattle and effects.  It was called St. Michael’s Castle” (Ibid., p. 56).


Visit of Duke Robert.—­“In 1028 Robert Duke of Normandy espoused the cause of his two cousins Alfred and Edward, claiming the throne of England.  On Canute’s refusal to make restitution, Robert fitted out a powerful armament, and embarked at the head of a numerous army, intending to land on the coast of Sussex.  A great storm arose the day after leaving Fecamp, his whole fleet was dispersed, and many ships totally lost.  Robert’s vessel and about twenty others were forced down the channel as far as Guernsey, and would have been dashed to pieces on the rocky coast of the island had not the fishermen, seeing them in distress, ventured out in boats to their assistance, and piloted them into a bay on the north side of the Vale, where they rode in safety.  The Duke was brought ashore and lodged at the Abbey of St. Michael....  To reward the Abbot for his hospitality and attention, he gave them all the lands within the Close of the Vale in fee to him and his successors, Abbots of St. Michael, by the title of Fief or Manor of St. Michael, with leave to extend the same without the Close of the Vale towards the north-west....  And to recompense the islanders for saving him and his fleet, upon their representing to him how they had been plundered by pirates, he determined to leave behind him two of his most able engineers with a sufficient number of skilled workmen under them, who had embarked with him for the intended descent upon England, to finish the Castle of St. Michael in the Vale, and to build such other fortresses as might be found necessary for protecting the inhabitants.  The Duke left a fortnight after his arrival, and the place where his fleet lay has been ever since called L’Ancresse” (Wm. Berry, “History of Guernsey,” p. 58).

Project Gutenberg
The Fall of the Grand Sarrasin from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook