Stigand, an English prelate, was chaplain to king Edward the Confessor, and preferred by him first to the bishopric of the East Saxons, at Helmhau, in 1043, and afterwards to Winchester, in 1047. Seeing the king displeased with Robert, the archbishop, he thrust himself into his room, and kept both Winchester and Canterbury until a little time before his death, when he was forced to forego them both. After William the Conqueror had slain Harold in the field, all England yielded to him except the Kentishmen, who, under the lead of Stigand and Egelsin demanded their ancient liberties, which William granted. But he conceived a dislike for Stigand, and would not allow himself to be crowned by him, but chose Aldred, archbishop of York. He took Stigand to Normandy fearing to leave him to plot against him. Shortly after their return, the pope sent cardinals to England to redress certain enormities and abuses of the English clergy. Stigand, believing himself to be the special mark aimed at, hid himself in Scotland with Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, and afterwards in the isle of Ely. Learning that a convocation had been called at Winchester, he went thither and besought the king to save him from the impending calamity. The king replied in gentle tones, but assured Stigand that what was to be done would be by the pope's authority, which he could not countermand. The causes alleged against him were these first, that he had held Canterbury and Winchester both together (which was no strange thing, for St. Oswald had long before held Worcester with York, and St. Dunstan Worcester with London); secondly, that he had invaded the see of Canterbury, Robert, the archbishop, being yet alive and undeprived; and, thirdly, that he presumed to use the pall of his predecessor Robert, left at Canterbury, and had never received any pall but of pope Benedict, at the time he stood excommunicate for simony and other like crimes. Stigand was put in prison in the Castle of Winchester, and treated with great severity. This was done to force him to confess where his treasure was hidden; but he protested that he had no money at all. He was deprived in 1069, and died in the same year. The bones of the archbishop he entombed upon the top of the north wall of the presbytery of the Church of Winchester in a coffin of lead. After his death a little key was found about his neck, in the lock of which was a note with directions where to find his treasures hidden in various places, underground.

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