|King William II|
In April 1088, trouble began to stir. Instigated by Odo of Bayeux - recently restored to Earldom after being released from captivity by Rufus after his father had imprisoned him - several powerful barons joined forces to persuade Robert that they would support his bid for the crown of England and therefore unite the two domains once more. Odo appears to be the key to this rebellion, having taken a dislike to William Rufus and believing Robert to be softer in his rule. Odo was essentially a trouble maker and likely thought he would have an easier ride with Robert ruling England.
Outbreaks of rebellion turned out to be fairly spread apart and William made some savvy deals with the rebel barons and his supporters with promises of lower taxations and relaxation of laws. The church remained behind William and he marched on Tonbridge and Rochester, hoping to seize Odo at Rochester.
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Rufus commences siege warfare against Rochester Castle and lack of supplies and disease force the defenders into discussions. Odo and his followers are allowed to travel to Normandy unhindered. With the exile of Odo, the rebellion falls apart.
Surprisingly, Rufus was fairly lenient and handed out fines and confiscations although the town of Tonbridge was burnt to the ground and Odo had his lands and titles stripped. Unfortunately for Rufus' supporters, all of his promises were subsequently forgotten. It was said that when asked about it, William responded 'Who can be expected to keep all his promises?'