Event: Affection, Governing, Hostility, Killing/murder, Martyrdom, Monastic reform, ProphecyWilliam 15.murders

Scholarly Info
Description William 15 was both earl and bishop of the province [of Northumbria]. He put his kinsman Gilbert 1 in charge of his external affairs, and a cleric, Leobwine 1, of his domestic. They both acted energetically in their posts, though they showed no restraint. This Leobwine 1 brought about, through Gilbert 1, the killing of Ligwulf 1, the devout servant of St Cuthbert 1, so loved by him that the saint would stand by him in person while he was awake and tell him to carry out his will. Leobwine 1's motive was envy; he felt that Ligwulf 1 had a bigger share in the bishop's affections because he was so knowledgeable and fair in judgement. Under the impact of these news, William 15 met the rage of the relatives [Anonymi 10050] with the offer of a legal case, asserting forcibly that Leobwine 1 was his murderer and his people's murderer. When the case came up, the family in their fury would not listen to reason, but put the blame on the bishop, saying that they had seen both murderers making themselves at home in his court after Ligwulf 1's death. Shouting and angry scenes ensued, and when Gilbert 1 chose to go out of the church, where he had been seated with the bishop, to try to purchase his master's life at the risk of his own, he was ruthlessly killed. The bishop was too sent to his death as he stood at the doors displaying the olive branch of peace. Leobwine 1, who had supplied the tinder for the calamity, shot out of the church half-charred, for he insisted on staying inside the church until it was on fire, only to be received on a thousand sword points. The even had been foretold by Queen Eadgyth 3, widow of King Edward 15. Seeing William 15 in Winchester being led to his consecration, tall, white-haired, and rosy of cheek, she said: 'Here we have a pretty martyr'. Her prophecy rested on an inference from the violent character of the Northumbrians. Such was the end of William 15, a modest and educated man. He imposed a clerical rule on the canons, who had been used to serving as monks, having always had a monk as bishop.
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