HEREWARD THE WAKE
But the Ely Monks were not in full agreement with the Saxon leader Hereward, and William evenually gained access into Ely with the aid of information supplied by the monks of Ely...

Hereward escaped and lived to fight another day... but, in spite the betrayal of their Saxon defenders, William exacted a heavy penalty from the monks and the abbot of Ely...
Ely was the second richest monastery in England at the time of the Domesday survey made by William I and pardon was only obtained after making a journey to Warwick, and the payment of a thousand pounds...

It is recorded that in order to satisfy William the monks had to melt down or sell almost all the gold and silver objects in the church, including "crosses, altars, shrines, tissues, chalices, patens, basins, buckets, fistulas, goblets, dishes, and above all the figure of St. Mary with the Child seated on a throne of wonderful workmanship which Abbot Elsin (died 1016) had made", also four wooden figures of Virgins enriched with gold and silver and precious stones.

<< BACK