The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Part 2 out of 6
A.D. 718. This year died Ingild, the brother of Ina. Cwenburga
and Cuthburga were their sisters. Cuthburga reared the monastery
of Wimburn; and, though given in marriage to Ealdferth, King of
Northumberland, they parted during their lives.
A.D. 721. This year Bishop Daniel went to Rome; and the same
year Ina slew Cynewulf, the etheling. This year also died the
holy Bishop John; who was bishop thirty-three years, and eight
months, and thirteen days. His body now resteth at Beverley.
A.D. 722. This year Queen Ethelburga destroyed Taunton, which
Ina had formerly built; Ealdbert wandered a wretched exile in
Surrey and Sussex; and Ina fought with the South-Saxons.
A.D. 725. This year died Wihtred, King of Kent, on the ninth day
before the calends of May, after a reign of thirty-two winters.
His pedigree is above; and he was succeeded by Eadbert. Ina this
year also fought with the South-Saxons, and slew Ealdbert, the
etheling, whom he had before driven into exile.
A.D. 727. This year died Tobias, Bishop of Rochester: and
Archbishop Bertwald consecrated Aldulf bishop in his stead.
A.D. 728. This year (25) Ina went to Rome, and there gave up the
ghost. He was succeeded in the kingdom of Wessex by Ethelhard
his relative, who held it fourteen years; but he fought this same
year with Oswald the etheling. Oswald was the son of Ethelbald,
Ethelbald of Cynebald, Cynebald of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Ceawlin.
A.D. 729. This year appeared the comet-star, and St. Egbert died
in Iona. This year also died the etheling Oswald; and Osric was
slain, who was eleven winters king of Northumberland; to which
kingdom Ceolwulf succeeded, and held it eight years. The said
Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of
Leodwald, Leodwald of Egwald, Egwald of Ealdhelm, Ealdhelm of
Occa, Occa of Ida, Ida of Eoppa. Archbishop Bertwald died this
year on the ides of January. He was bishop thirty-seven winters,
and six months, and fourteen days. The same year Tatwine, who
was before a priest at Bredon in Mercia, was consecrated
archbishop by Daniel Bishop of Winchester, Ingwald Bishop of
London, Aldwin Bishop of Lichfield, and Aldulf Bishop of
Rochester, on the tenth day of June. He enjoyed the
archbishopric about three years.
((A.D. 729. And the same year Osric died; he was king eleven
years; then Ceolwulf succeeded to the kingdom, and held it eight
A.D. 733. This year Ethelbald took Somerton; the sun was
eclipsed; and Acca was driven from his bishopric.
A.D. 734. This year was the moon as if covered with blood; and
Archbishop Tatwine and Bede departed this life; and Egbert was
A.D. 735. This year Bishop Egbert received the pall at Rome.
A.D. 736. This year Archbishop Nothelm received the pall from
the bishop of the Romans.
A.D. 737. This year Bishop Forthere and Queen Frithogitha went
to Rome; and King Ceolwulf received the clerical tonsure, giving
his kingdom to Edbert, his uncle's son: who reigned one and
twenty winters. Bishop Ethelwold and Acca died this year, and
Cynewulf was consecrated bishop. The same year also Ethelbald
ravaged the land of the Northumbrians.
A.D. 738. This year Eadbery, the son of Eata the son of
Leodwald, succeeded to the Northumbrian kingdom, and held it one
and twenty winters. Archbishop Egbert, the son of Eata, was his
brother. They both rest under one porch in the city of York.
A.D. 740. This year died King Ethelhard; and Cuthred, his
relative, succeeded to the West-Saxon kingdom, which he held
fourteen winters, during which time he fought many hard battles
with Ethelbald, king of the Mercians. On the death of Archbishop
Nothelm, Cuthbert was consecrated archbishop, and Dunn, Bishop of
Rochester. This year York was on fire.
A.D. 742. This year there was a large synod assembled at
Cliff's-Hoo; and there was Ethelbald, king of Mercia, with
Archbishop Cuthbert, and many other wise men.
A.D. 743. This year Ethelbald, king of Mercia, and Cuthred, king
of the West-Saxons, fought with the Welsh.
A.D. 744. This year Daniel resigned the see of Winchester; to
which Hunferth was promoted. The stars went swiftly shooting;
and Wilferth the younger, who had been thirty winters Bishop of
York, died on the third day before the calends of May.
A.D. 745. This year died Daniel. Forty-three winters had then
elapsed since he received the episcopal function.
A.D. 746. This year was King Selred slain.
A.D. 748. This year was slain Cynric, etheling of the West-
Saxons; Edbert, King of Kent, died; and Ethelbert, son of King
Wihtred, succeeded to the kingdom.
A.D. 750. This year Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought
with the proud chief Ethelhun.
A.D. 752. This year, the twelfth of his reign, Cuthred, king of
the West-Saxons, fought at Burford (27) with Ethelbald, king of
the Mercians, and put him to flight.
A.D. 753. This year Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought
against the Welsh.
A.D. 754. This year died Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons; and
Sebright, his relative, succeeded to the kingdom, which he held
one year; Cyneard succeeded Humferth in the see of Winchester;
and Canterbury was this year on fire.
A.D. 755. This year Cynewulf, with the consent of the West-Saxon
council, deprived Sebright, his relative, for unrighteous deeds,
of his kingdom, except Hampshire; which he retained, until he
slew the alderman who remained the longest with him. Then
Cynewulf drove him to the forest of Andred, where he remained,
until a swain stabbed him at Privett, and revenged the alderman,
Cumbra. The same Cynewulf fought many hard battles with the
Welsh; and, about one and thirty winters after he had the
kingdom, he was desirous of expelling a prince called Cyneard,
who was the brother of Sebright. But he having understood that
the king was gone, thinly attended, on a visit to a lady at
Merton, (28) rode after him, and beset him therein; surrounding
the town without, ere the attendants of the king were aware of
him. When the king found this, he went out of doors, and
defended himself with courage; till, having looked on the
etheling, he rushed out upon him, and wounded him severely. Then
were they all fighting against the king, until they had slain
him. As soon as the king's thanes in the lady's bower heard the
tumult, they ran to the spot, whoever was then ready. The
etheling immediately offered them life and rewards; which none of
them would accept, but continued fighting together against him,
till they all lay dead, except one British hostage, and he was
severely wounded. When the king's thanes that were behind heard
in the morning that the king was slain, they rode to the spot,
Osric his alderman, and Wiverth his thane, and the men that he
had left behind; and they met the etheling at the town, where the
king lay slain. The gates, however, were locked against them,
which they attempted to force; but he promised them their own
choice of money and land, if they would grant him the kingdom;
reminding them, that their relatives were already with him, who
would never desert him. To which they answered, that no relative
could be dearer to them than their lord, and that they would
never follow his murderer. Then they besought their relatives to
depart from him, safe and sound. They replied, that the same
request was made to their comrades that were formerly with the
king; "And we are as regardless of the result," they rejoined,
"as our comrades who with the king were slain." Then they
continued fighting at the gates, till they rushed in, and slew
the etheling and all the men that were with him; except one, who
was the godson of the alderman, and whose life he spared, though
he was often wounded. This same Cynewulf reigned one and thirty
winters. His body lies at Winchester, and that of the etheling
at Axminster. Their paternal pedigree goeth in a direct line to
Cerdic. The same year Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, was slain
at Seckington; and his body lies at Repton. He reigned one and
forty years; and Bernred then succeeded to the kingdom, which he
held but a little while, and unprosperously; for King Offa the
same year put him to flight, and assumed the government; which he
held nine and thirty winters. His son Everth held it a hundred
and forty days. Offa was the son of Thingferth, Thingferth of
Enwulf, Enwulf of Osmod, Osmod of Eawa, Eawa of Webba, Webba of
Creoda, Creoda of Cenwald, Cenwald of Cnebba, Cnebba of Icel,
Icel of Eomer, Eomer of Angelthew, Angelthew of Offa, Offa of
Wermund, Wermund of Witley, Witley of Woden.
((A.D. 755. This year Cynewulf deprived King Sigebert of his
kingdom; and Sigebert's brother, Cynehard by name, slew Cynewulf
at Merton; and he reigned thirty-one years. And in the same year
Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, was slain at Repton. And Offa
succeeded to the kingdom of the Mercians, Bernred being driven
A.D. 757. This year Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, received
the tonsure, and his son Osulf the kingdom; which he held one
year. Him his own domestics slew on the ninth day before the
kalends of August.
A.D. 758. This year died Archbishop Cuthbert. He held the
archbishopric eighteen years.
A.D. 759. This year Bregowin was invested archbishop at
Michaelmas, and continued four years. Mull Ethelwold this year
succeeded to the Northumbrian kingdom, held it six winters, and
then resigned it.
A.D. 760. This year died Ethelbert, King of Kent, who was the
son of King Wihtred, and also of Ceolwulf.
A.D. 761. This year was the severe winter; and Mull, king of the
Northumbrians, slew Oswin at Edwin's-Cliff, on the eighth day
before the ides of August.
A.D. 762. This year died Archbishop Bregowin.
A.D. 763. This year Eanbert was invested archbishop, on the
fortieth day over mid-winter; and Frithwald, Bishop of Whitern,
died on the nones of May. He was consecrated at York, on the
eighteenth day before the calends of September, in the sixth year
of the reign of Ceolwulf, and was bishop nine and twenty winters.
Then was Petwin consecrated Bishop of Whitern at Adlingfleet, on
the sixteenth day before the calends of August.
A.D. 764. This year Archbishop Eanbert received the pall.
A.D. 765. This year Alred succeeded to the kingdom of the
Northumbrians, and reigned eight winters.
A.D. 766. This year died Archbishop Egbert at York, on the
thirteenth day before the calends of December, who was bishop
thirty-six winters; and Frithbert at Hexham, who was bishop there
thirty-four winters. Ethelbert was consecrated to York, and
Elmund to Hexham.
A.D. 768. This year died King Eadbert, the son of Eata, on the
fourteenth day before the calends of September.
A.D. 772. This year died Bishop Mildred.
A.D. 774. This year the Northumbrians banished their king,
Alred, from York at Easter-tide; and chose Ethelred, the son of
Mull, for their lord, who reigned four winters. This year also
appeared in the heavens a red crucifix, after sunset; the
Mercians and the men of Kent fought at Otford; and wonderful
serpents were seen in the land of the South-Saxons.
A.D. 775. This year Cynewulf and Offa fought near Bensington,
and Offa took possession of the town. In the days of this king,
Offa, there was an abbot at Medhamsted, called Beonna; who, with
the consent of all the monks of the minster, let to farm, to
Alderman Cuthbert, ten copyhold lands at Swineshead, with leasow
and with meadow, and with all the appurtenances; provided that
the said Cuthbert gave the said abbot fifty pounds therefore, and
each year entertainment for one night, or thirty shillings in
money; (29) provided also, that after his decease the said lands
should revert to the monastery. The king, Offa, and King Everth,
and Archbishop Hibbert, and Bishop Ceolwulf, and Bishop Inwona,
and Abbot Beonna, and many other bishops, and abbots, and rich
men, were witnesses to this. In the days of this same Offa was
an alderman, of the name of Brorda, who requested the king for
his sake to free his own monastery, called Woking, because he
would give it to Medhamsted and St. Peter, and the abbot that
then was, whose name was Pusa. Pusa succeeded Beonna; and the
king loved him much. And the king freed the monastery of Woking,
against king, against bishop, against earl, and against all men'
so that no man should have any claim there, except St. Peter and
the abbot. This was done at the king's town called
A.D. 776. This year died Bishop Petwin, on the thirteenth day
before the calends of October, having been bishop fourteen
winters. The same year Ethelbert was consecrated Bishop of
Whitern, at York, on the seventeenth day before the calends of
A.D. 778. This year Ethelbald and Herbert slew three high-
sheriffs -- Eldulf, the son of Bosa, at Coniscliff; Cynewulf and
Eggo at Helathyrn -- on the eleventh day before the calends of
April. Then Elwald, having banished Ethelred from his territory,
seized on his kingdom, and reigned ten winters.
A.D. 780. This year a battle was fought between the Old-Saxons
and the Franks; and the high-sheriffs of Northumbria committed to
the flames Alderman Bern at Silton, on the ninth day before the
calends of January. The same year Archbishop Ethelbert died at
York, and Eanbald was consecrated in his stead; Bishop Cynewulf
retired to Holy-island; Elmund, Bishop of Hexham, died on the
seventh day before the ides of September, and Tilbert was
consecrated in his stead, on the sixth day before the nones of
October; Hibbald was consecrated Bishop of Holy-island at
Sockbury; and King Elwald sent to Rome for a pall in behoof of
A.D. 782. This year died Werburga, Queen of Ceolred, and Bishop
Cynewulf, in Holy-island; and the same year there was a synod at
A.D. 784. This year Cyneard slew King Cynewulf, and was slain
himself, and eighty-four men with him. Then Bertric undertook
the government of the West-Saxons, and reigned sixteen years.
His body is deposited at Wareham; and his pedigree goeth in a
direct line to Cerdic. At this time reigned Elmund king in Kent,
the father of Egbert; and Egbert was the father of Athulf.
A.D. 785. This year died Bothwin, Abbot of Ripon, and a
litigious synod was holden at Chalk-hythe; Archbishop Eanbert
resigned some part of his bishopric, Hibbert was appointed bishop
by King Offa, and Everth was consecrated king. In the meantime
legates were sent from Rome to England by Pope Adrian, to renew
the blessings of faith and peace which St. Gregory sent us by the
mission of Bishop Augustine, and they were received with every
mark of honour and respect.
A.D. 787. This year King Bertric took Edburga the daughter of
Offa to wife. And in his days came first three ships of the
Northmen from the land of robbers. The reve (30) then rode
thereto, and would drive them to the king's town; for he knew not
what they were; and there was he slain. These were the first
ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English
A.D. 788. This year there was a synod assembled at Fingall in
Northumberland, on the fourth day before the nones of September;
and Abbot Albert departed this life.
A.D. 789. This year Elwald, king of the Northumbrians, was slain
by Siga, on the eleventh day before the calends of October; and a
heavenly light was often seen on the spot where he was slain. He
was buried in the church of Hexham; and Osred, the son of Alred,
who was his nephew, succeeded him in the government. This ),ear
there was a synod assembled at Acley.
A.D. 790. This year Archbishop Eanbert died, and Abbot Ethelherd
was chosen archbishop the same year. Osred, king of the
Northumbrians, was betrayed and banished from his kingdom, and
Ethelred, the son of Ethelwald, succeeded him.
A.D. 791. This year Baldulf was consecrated Bishop of Whitern,
on the sixteenth day before the calends of August, by Archbishop
Eanbald and Bishop Ethelbert.
A.D. 792. This year Offa, King of Mercia, commanded that King
Ethelbert should be beheaded; and Osred, who had been king of the
Northumbrians, returning home after his exile, was apprehended
and slain, on the eighteenth day before the calends of October.
His body is deposited at Tinemouth. Ethelred this year, on the
third day before the calends of October, took unto himself a new
wife, whose name was Elfleda.
A.D. 793. This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of
the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these
were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and
whirlwinds, and fiery, dragons flying across the firmament.
These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine: and
not long after, on the sixth day before the ides of January in
the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made
lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine
and slaughter. Siga died on the eighth day before the calends of
A.D. 794. This year died Pope Adrian; and also Offa, King of
Mercia, on the fourth day before the ides of August, after he had
reigned forty winters. Ethelred, king of the Northumbrians, was
slain by his own people, on the thirteenth day before the calends
of May; in consequence of which, Bishops Ceolwulf and Eadbald
retired from the land. Everth took to the government of Mercia,
and died the same year. Eadbert, whose other name was Pryn,
obtained the kingdom of Kent; and Alderman Ethelherd died on the
calends of August. In the meantime, the heathen armies spread
devastation among the Northumbrians, and plundered the monastery
of King Everth at the mouth of the Wear. There, however, some of
their leaders were slain; and some of their ships also were
shattered to pieces by the violence of the weather; many of the
crew were drowned; and some, who escaped alive to the shore, were
soon dispatched at the mouth of the river.
A.D. 795. This year was the moon eclipsed, between cock-crowing
and dawn, (31) on the fifth day before the calends of April; and
Erdulf succeeded to the Northumbrian kingdom on the second before
the ides of May. He was afterwards consecrated and raised to his
throne, at York, on the seventh day before the calends of June,
by Archbishop Eanbald, and Bishops Ethelbert, Hibbald, and
A.D. 796. This year died Archbishop Eanbald, on the fourth day
before the ides of August; and his body is deposited at York.
The same year also died Bishop Ceolwulf; and another Eanbald was
consecrated to the see of the former, on the nineteenth day
before the calends of September. About the same time Cynewulf,
King of Mercia, made inroads upon the inhabitants of Kent as far
as the marsh; and the Mercians seized Edbert Pryn, their king,
led him bound into Mercia, and suffered men to pick out his eyes,
and cut off his hands. (32) And Ethelard, Archbishop of
Canterbury, held a synod, wherein he ratified and confirmed, by
command of Pope Leo, all things concerning God's monasteries that
were fixed in Witgar's days, and in other king's days, saying
thus: "I Ethelard, the humble Archbishop of Canterbury, with the
unanimous concurrence of the whole synod, and of all the
congregations of all the minsters, to which in former days
freedom was given by faithful men, in God's name and by his
terrible judgment do decree, as I have command from Pope Leo,
that henceforth none dare to choose them lords from lewd men over
God's inheritance; but, as it is in the writ that the pope has
given, or holy men have settled, our fathers and our teachers,
concerning holy minsters, so they continue untainted without any
resistance. If there is any man that will not observe this
decree of God, of our pope, and of us, but overlooketh it, and
holdeth it for nought, let them know, that they shall give an
account before the judgment-seat of God. And I Ethelard,
archbishop, with twelve bishops, and with three and twenty
abbots, this same with the rood-token of Christ confirm and
((A.D. 796. This year Offa, king of the Mercians, died on the
fourth before the kalends of August; he reigned forty years.))
A.D. 797. This year the Romans cut out the tongue of Pope Leo,
put out his eyes, and drove him from his see; but soon after, by
the assistance of God, he could see and speak, and became pope as
he was before. Eanbald also received the pall on the sixth day
before the ides of September, and Bishop Ethelherd died on the
third before the calends of November.
A.D. 798. This year a severe battle was fought in the
Northumbrian territory, during Lent, on the fourth day before the
nones of April, at Whalley; wherein Alric, the son of Herbert,
was slain, and many others with him.
A.D. 799. This year Archbishop Ethelbert, and Cynbert, Bishop of
Wessex, went to Rome. In the meantime Bishop Alfun died at
Sudbury, and was buried at Dunwich. After him Tidfrith was
elected to the see; and Siric, king of the East Saxons, went to
Rome. In this year the body of Witburga was found entire, and
free from decay, at Dercham, after a lapse of five and fifty
years from the period of her decease.
A.D. 800. This year was the moon eclipsed, at eight in the
evening, on the seventeenth day before the calends of February;
and soon after died King Bertric and Alderman Worr. Egbert
succeeded to the West-Saxon kingdom; and the same day Ethelmund,
alderman of the Wiccians, rode over the Thames at Kempsford;
where he was met by Alderman Woxtan, with the men of Wiltshire,
and a terrible conflict ensued, in which both the commanders were
slain, but the men of Wiltshire obtained the victory.
((A.D. 801. This year Beornmod was ordained Bishop of
A.D. 802. This year was the moon eclipsed, at dawn, on the
thirteenth day before the calends of January; and Bernmod was
consecrated Bishop of Rochester.
A.D. 803. This year died Hibbald, Bishop of Holy-island, on the
twenty-fourth of June, and Egbert was consecrated in his stead,
on the thirteenth of June following. Archbishop Ethelherd also
died in Kent, and Wulfred was chosen archbishop in his stead.
Abbot Forthred, in the course of the same year, departed this
A.D. 804. This year Archbishop Wulfred received his pall.
A.D. 805. This year died King Cuthred in Kent, and Abbess
Colburga, and Alderman Herbert.
A.D. 806. This year was the moon eclipsed, on the first o[
September; Erdwulf, king of the Northumbrians, was banished from
his dominions; and Eanbert, Bishop of Hexham, departed this life.
This year also, on the next day before the nones of June, a cross
was seen in the moon, on a Wednesday, at the dawn; and
afterwards, during the same year, on the third day before the
calends of September, a wonderful circle was displayed about the
A.D. 807. This year was the sun eclipsed, precisely at eleven in
the morning, on the seventeenth day before the calends of August.
A.D. 812. This year died the Emperor Charlemagne, after a reign
of five and forty winters; and Archbishop Wulfred, accompanied by
Wigbert, Bishop of Wessex, undertook a journey to Rome.
A.D. 813. This year Archbishop Wulfred returned to his own see,
with the blessing of Pope Leo; and King Egbert spread devastation
in Cornwall from east to west.
A.D. 814. This year died Leo, the noble and holy pope; and
Stephen succeeded him in the papal government.
A.D. 816. This year died Pope Stephen; and Paschalis was
consecrated pope after him. This same year the school of the
English nation at Rome was destroyed by fire.
A.D. 819. This year died Cenwulf, King of Mercia; and Ceolwulf
(33) succeeded him. Alderman Eadbert also departed this life.
A.D. 821. This year Ceolwulf was deprived of his kingdom.
A.D. 822. This year two aldermen were slain, whose names were
Burhelm and Mucca; and a synod was holden at Cliff's-Hoo.
A.D. 823. This year a battle was fought between the Welsh in
Cornwall and the people of Devonshire, at Camelford; and in the
course of the same year Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, and
Bernwulf, King of Mercia, fought a battle at Wilton, in which
Egbert gained the victory, but there was great slaughter on both
sides. Then sent he his son Ethelwulf into Kent, with a large
detachment from the main body of the army, accompanied by his
bishop, Elstan, and his alderman, Wulfherd; who drove Baldred,
the king, northward over the Thames. Whereupon the men of Kent
immediately submitted to him; as did also the inhabitants of
Surrey, and Sussex, and Essex; who had been unlawfully kept from
their allegiance by his relatives. The same year also, the king
of the East-Angles, and his subjects besought King Egbert to give
them peace and protection against the terror of the Mercians;
whose king, Bernwulf, they slew in the course of the same year.
A.D. 825. This year Ludecan, King of Mercia, was slain, and his
five aldermen with him; after which Wiglaf succeeded to the
A.D. 827. This year was the moon eclipsed, on mid-winter's mass-
night; and King Egbert, in the course of the same year, conquered
the Mercian kingdom, and all that is south of the Humber, being
the eighth king who was sovereign of all the British dominions.
Ella, king of the South-Saxons, was the first who possessed so
large a territory; the second was Ceawlin, king of the West-
Saxons: the third was Ethelbert, King of Kent; the fourth was
Redwald, king of the East-Angles; the fifth was Edwin, king of
the Northumbrians; the sixth was Oswald, who succeeded him; the
seventh was Oswy, the brother of Oswald; the eighth was Egbert,
king of the West-Saxons. This same Egbert led an army against
the Northumbrians as far as Dore, where they met him, and offered
terms of obedience and subjection, on the acceptance of which
they returned home.
A.D. 828. This year Wiglaf recovered his Mercian kingdom, and
Bishop Ethelwald departed this life. The same year King Egbert
led an army against the people of North-Wales, and compelled them
all to peaceful submission.
A.D. 829. This year died Archbishop Wulfred; and Abbot Feologild
was after him chosen to the see, on the twenty-fifth of April,
and consecrated on a Sunday, the eleventh of June. On the
thirteenth of August he was dead!
A.D. 830. This year Ceolnoth was chosen and consecrated
archbishop on the death of Abbot Feologild.
A.D. 831. This year Archbishop Ceolnoth received the pall.
A.D. 832. This year heathen men overran the Isle of Shepey.
A.D. 833. This year fought King Egbert with thirty-five pirates
at Charmouth, where a great slaughter was made, and the Danes
remained masters of the field. Two bishops, Hereferth and Wigen,
and two aldermen, Dudda and Osmod, died the same year.
A.D. 835. This year came a great naval armament into West-Wales,
where they were joined by the people, who commenced war against
Egbert, the West-Saxon king. When he heard this, he proceeded
with his army against them and fought with them at Hengeston,
where he put to flight both the Welsh and the Danes.
A.D. 836. This year died King Egbert. Him Offa, King of Mercia,
and Bertric, the West-Saxon king, drove out of England into
France three years before he was king. Bertric assisted Offa
because he had married his daughter. Egbert having afterwards
returned, reigned thirty-seven winters and seven months. Then
Ethelwulf, the son of Egbert, succeeded to the West-Saxon
kingdom; and he gave his son Athelstan the kingdom of Kent, and
of Essex, and of Surrey, and of Sussex.
A.D. 837. This year Alderman Wulfherd fought at Hamton with
thirty-three pirates, and after great slaughter obtained the
victory, but he died the same year. Alderman Ethelhelm also,
with the men of Dorsetshire, fought with the Danish army in
Portland-isle, and for a good while put them to flight; but in
the end the Danes became masters of the field, and slew the
A.D. 838. This year Alderman Herbert was slain by the heathens,
and many men with him, among the Marshlanders. The same year,
afterwards, in Lindsey, East-Anglia, and Kent, were many men
slain by the army.
A.D. 839. This year there was great slaughter in London,
Canterbury, and Rochester.
A.D. 840. This year King Ethelwulf fought at Charmouth with
thirty-five ship's-crews, and the Danes remained masters of the
place. The Emperor Louis died this year.
A.D. 845. This year Alderman Eanwulf, with the men of
Somersetshire, and Bishop Ealstan, and Alderman Osric, with the
men of Dorsetshire, fought at the mouth of the Parret with the
Danish army; and there, after making a great slaughter, obtained
A.D. 851. This year Alderman Ceorl, with the men of Devonshire,
fought the heathen army at Wemburg, and after making great
slaughter obtained the victory. The same year King Athelstan and
Alderman Elchere fought in their ships, and slew a large army at
Sandwich in Kent, taking nine ships and dispersing the rest. The
heathens now for the first time remained over winter in the Isle
of Thanet. The same year came three hundred and fifty ships into
the mouth of the Thames; the crew of which went upon land, and
stormed Canterbury and London; putting to flight Bertulf, king of
the Mercians, with his army; and then marched southward over the
Thames into Surrey. Here Ethelwulf and his son Ethelbald, at the
head of the West-Saxon army, fought with them at Ockley, and made
the greatest slaughter of the heathen army that we have ever
heard reported to this present day. There also they obtained the
A.D. 852. About this time Abbot Ceolred of Medhamsted, with the
concurrence of the monks, let to hand the land of Sempringham to
Wulfred, with the provision, that after his demise the said land
should revert to the monastery; that Wulfred should give the land
of Sleaford to Meohamsted, and should send each year into the
monastery sixty loads of wood, twelve loads of coal, six loads of
peat, two tuns full of fine ale, two neats' carcases, six hundred
loaves, and ten kilderkins of Welsh ale; one horse also each
year, and thirty shillings, and one night's entertainment. This
agreement was made in the presence of King Burhred. Archbishop
Ceolnoth, Bishops Tunbert, Kenred, Aldhun, and Bertred; Abbots
Witred and Weftherd, Aldermen Ethelherd and Hunbert, and many
A.D. 853. This year Burhred, King of Mercia, with his council,
besought King Ethelwulf to assist him to subdue North-Wales. He
did so; and with an army marched over Mercia into North-Wales,
and made all the inhabitants subject to him. The same year King
Ethelwulf sent his son Alfred to Rome; and Leo, who was then
pope, consecrated him king, and adopted him as his spiritual son.
The same year also Elchere with the men of Kent, and Huda with
the men of Surrey, fought in the Isle of Thanet with the heathen
army, and soon obtained the victory; but there were many men
slain and drowned on either hand, and both the aldermen killed.
Burhred, the Mercian king, about this time received in marriage
the daughter of Ethelwulf, king of the West-Saxons.
A.D. 854. This year the heathen men (34) for the first time
remained over winter in the Isle of Shepey. The same year King
Ethelwulf registered a TENTH of his land over all his kingdom for
the honour of God and for his own everlasting salvation. The
same year also he went to Rome with great pomp, and was resident
there a twelvemonth. Then he returned homeward; and Charles,
king of the Franks, gave him his daughter, whose name was Judith,
to be his queen. After this he came to his people, and they were
fain to receive him; but about two years after his residence
among the Franks he died; and his body lies at Winchester. He
reigned eighteen years and a half. And Ethelwulf was the son of
Egbert, Egbert of Ealhmund, Ealhmund of Eafa, Eafa of Eoppa,
Eoppa of Ingild; Ingild was the brother of Ina, king of the
West-Saxons, who held that kingdom thirty-seven winters, and
afterwards went to St. Peter, where he died. And they were the
sons of Cenred, Cenred of Ceolwald, Ceolwald of Cutha, Cutha of
Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Ceawlin, Ceawlin of Cynric, Cynric of Creoda,
Creoda of Cerdic, Cerdic of Elesa, Elesa of Esla, Esla of Gewis,
Gewis of Wig, Wig of Freawine, Freawine of Frithugar, Frithugar
of Brond, Brond of Balday, Balday of Woden, Woden of Frithuwald,
Frithuwald of Freawine, Freawine of Frithuwualf, Frithuwulf of
Finn, Finn of Godwulf, Godwulf of Great, Great of Taetwa, Taetwa
of Beaw, Beaw of Sceldwa, Sceldwa of Heremod, Heremod of Itermon,
Itermon of Hathra, Hathra of Hwala, Hwala of Bedwig, Bedwig of
Sceaf; that is, the son of Noah, who was born in Noah's ark:
Laznech, Methusalem, Enoh, Jared, Malalahel, Cainion, Enos, Seth,
Adam the first man, and our Father, that is, Christ. Amen. Then
two sons of Ethelwulf succeeded to the kingdom; Ethelbald to
Wessex, and Ethelbert to Kent, Essex, Surrey, and Sussex.
Ethelbald reigned five years. Alfred, his third son, Ethelwulf
had sent to Rome; and when the pope heard say that he was dead,
he consecrated Alfred king, and held him under spiritual hands,
as his father Ethelwulf had desired, and for which purpose he had
sent him thither.
((A.D. 855. And on his return homewards he took to (wife) the
daughter of Charles, king of the French, whose name was Judith,
and he came home safe. And then in about two years he died, and
his body lies at Winchester: and he reigned eighteen years and a
half, and he was the son of Egbert. And then his two sons
succeeded to the kingdom; Ethelbald to the kingdom of the
West-Saxons, and Ethelbert to the kingdom of the Kentish-men, and
of the East-Saxons, and of Surrey, and of the South-Saxons. And
he reigned five years.))
A.D. 860. This year died King Ethelbald, and his body lies at
Sherborn. Ethelbert his brother then succeeded to the whole
kingdom, and held it in good order and great tranquillity. In
his days came a large naval force up into the country, and
stormed Winchester. But Alderman Osric, with the command of
Hampshire, and Alderman Ethelwulf, with the command of Berkshire,
fought against the enemy, and putting them to flight, made
themselves masters of the field of battle. The said Ethelbert
reigned five years, and his body lies at Sherborn.
A.D. 861. This year died St. Swithun, bishop.
A.D. 865. This year sat the heathen army in the isle of Thanet,
and made peace with the men of Kent, who promised money
therewith; but under the security of peace, and the promise of
money, the army in the night stole up the country, and overran
all Kent eastward.
A.D. 866. This year Ethered, (35) brother of Ethelbert, took to
the West-Saxon government; and the same year came a large heathen
army into England, and fixed their winter-quarters in East-
Anglia, where they were soon horsed; and the inhabitants made
peace with them.
A.D. 867. This year the army went from the East-Angles over the
mouth of the Humber to the Northumbrians, as far as York. And
there was much dissension in that nation among themselves; they
had deposed their king Osbert, and had admitted Aella, who had no
natural claim. Late in the year, however, they returned to their
allegiance, and they were now fighting against the common enemy;
having collected a vast force, with which they fought the army at
York; and breaking open the town, some of them entered in. Then
was there an immense slaughter of the Northumbrians, some within
and some without; and both the kings were slain on the spot. The
survivors made peace with the army. The same year died Bishop
Ealstan, who had the bishopric of Sherborn fifty winters, and his
body lies in the town.
A.D. 868. This year the same army went into Mercia to
Nottingham, and there fixed their winter-quarters; and Burhred,
king of the Mercians, with his council, besought Ethered, king of
the West-Saxons, and Alfred, his brother; that they would assist
them in fighting against the army. And they went with the West-
Saxon army into Mercia as far as Nottingham, and there meeting
the army on the works, they beset them within. But there was no
heavy fight; for the Mercians made peace with the army.
A.D. 869. This year the army went back to York, and sat there a
A.D. 870. This year the army rode over Mercia into East-Anglia,
and there fixed their winter-quarters at Thetford. And in the
winter King Edmund fought with them; but the Danes gained the
victory, and slew the king; whereupon they overran all that land,
and destroyed all the monasteries to which they came. The names
of the leaders who slew the king were Hingwar and Hubba. At the
same time came they to Medhamsted, burning and breaking, and
slaying abbot and monks, and all that they there found. They
made such havoc there, that a monastery, which was before full
rich, was now reduced to nothing. The same year died Archbishop
Ceolnoth; and Ethered, Bishop of Witshire, was chosen Archbishop
A.D. 871. This year came the army to Reading in Wessex; and in
the course of three nights after rode two earls up, who were met
by Alderman Ethelwulf at Englefield; where he fought with them,
and obtained the victory. There one of them was slain, whose
name was Sidrac. About four nights after this, King Ethered and
Alfred his brother led their main army to Reading, where they
fought with the enemy; and there was much slaughter on either
hand, Alderman Ethelwulf being among the skain; but the Danes
kept possession of the field. And about four nights after this,
King Ethered and Alfred his brother fought with all the army on
Ashdown, and the Danes were overcome. They had two heathen
kings, Bagsac and Healfden, and many earls; and they were in two
divisions; in one of which were Bagsac and Healfden, the heathen
kings, and in the other were the earls. King Ethered therefore
fought with the troops of the kings, and there was King Bagsac
slain; and Alfred his brother fought with the troops of the
earls, and there were slain Earl Sidrac the elder, Earl Sidrac
the younger, Earl Osbern, Earl Frene, and Earl Harold. They
put both the troops to flight; there were many thousands of the
slain, and they continued fighting till night. Within a
fortnight of this, King Ethered and Alfred his brother fought
with the army at Basing; and there the Danes had the victory.
About two months after this, King Ethered and Alfred his brother
fought with the army at Marden. They were in two divisions; and
they put them both to flight, enjoying the victory for some time
during the day; and there was much slaughter on either hand; but
the Danes became masters of the field; and there was slain Bishop
Heahmund, with many other good men. After this fight came a vast
army in the summer to Reading. And after the Easter of this year
died King Ethered. He reigned five years, and his body lies at
Winburn-minster. Then Alfred, his brother, the son of Ethelwulf,
took to the kingdom of Wessex. And within a month of this, King
Alfred fought against all the Army with a small force at Wilton,
and long pursued them during the day; but the Danes got
possession of the field. This year were nine general battles
fought with the army in the kingdom south of the Thames; besides
those skirmishes, in which Alfred the king's brother, and every
single alderman, and the thanes of the king, oft rode against
them; which were accounted nothing. This year also were slain
nine earls, and one king; and the same year the West-Saxons made
peace with the army.
((A.D. 871. And the Danish-men were overcome; and they had two
heathen kings, Bagsac and Halfdene, and many earls; and there was
King Bagsac slain, and these earls; Sidrac the elder, and also
Sidrac the younger, Osbern, Frene, and Harold; and the army was
put to flight.))
A.D. 872. This year went the army to London from Reading, and
there chose their winter-quarters. Then the Mercians made peace
with the army.
A.D. 873. This year went the army against the Northumbrians, and
fixed their winter-quarters at Torksey in Lindsey. And the
Mercians again made peace with the army.
A.D. 874. This year went the army from Lindsey to Repton, and
there took up their winter-quarters, drove the king, Burhred,
over sea, when he had reigned about two and twenty winters, and
subdued all that land. He then went to Rome, and there remained
to the end of his life. And his body lies in the church of
Sancta Maria, in the school of the English nation. And the same
year they gave Ceolwulf, an unwise king's thane, the Mercian
kingdom to hold; and he swore oaths to them, and gave hostages,
that it should be ready for them on whatever day they would have
it; and he would be ready with himself, and with all those that
would remain with him, at the service of the army.
A.D. 875. This year went the army from Repton; and Healfden
advanced with some of the army against the Northumbrians, and
fixed his winter-quarters by the river Tine. The army then
subdued that land, and oft invaded the Picts and the
Strathclydwallians. Meanwhile the three kings, Guthrum, Oskytel,
and Anwind, went from Repton to Cambridge with a vast army, and
sat there one year. This summer King Alfred went out to sea with
an armed fleet, and fought with seven ship-rovers, one of whom he
took, and dispersed the others.
A.D. 876. This year Rolla penetrated Normandy with his army; and
he reigned fifty winters. And this year the army stole into
Wareham, a fort of the West-Saxons. The king afterwards made
peace with them; and they gave him as hostages those who were
worthiest in the army; and swore with oaths on the holy bracelet,
which they would not before to any nation, that they would
readily go out of his kingdom. Then, under colour of this, their
cavalry stole by night into Exeter. The same year Healfden
divided the land of the Northumbrians; so that they became
afterwards their harrowers and plowers.
((A.D. 876. And in this same year the army of the Danes in
England swore oaths to King Alfred upon the holy ring, which
before they would not do to any nation; and they delivered to the
king hostages from among the most distinguished men of the army,
that they would speedily depart from his kingdom; and that by
night they broke.))
A.D. 877. This year came the Danish army into Exeter from
Wareham; whilst the navy sailed west about, until they met with a
great mist at sea, and there perished one hundred and twenty
ships at Swanwich. (36) Meanwhile King Alfred with his army rode
after the cavalry as far as Exeter; but he could not overtake
them before their arrival in the fortress, where they could not
be come at. There they gave him as many hostages as he required,
swearing with solemn oaths to observe the strictest amity. In
the harvest the army entered Mercia; some of which they divided
among them, and some they gave to Ceolwulf.
A.D. 878. This year about mid-winter, after twelfth-night, the
Danish army stole out to Chippenham, and rode over the land of
the West-Saxons; where they settled, and drove many of the people
over sea; and of the rest the greatest part they rode down, and
subdued to their will; -- ALL BUT ALFRED THE KING. He, with a
little band, uneasily sought the woods and fastnesses of the
moors. And in the winter of this same year the brother of
Ingwar and Healfden landed in Wessex, in Devonshire, with three
and twenty ships, and there was he slain, and eight hundred men
with him, and forty of his army. There also was taken the war-
flag, which they called the RAVEN. In the Easter of this year
King Alfred with his little force raised a work at Athelney; from
which he assailed the army, assisted by that part of
Somersetshire which was nighest to it. Then, in the seventh week
after Easter, he rode to Brixton by the eastern side of Selwood;
and there came out to meet him all the people of
Somersersetshire, and Wiltshire, and that part of Hampshire which
is on this side of the sea; and they rejoiced to see him. Then
within one night he went from this retreat to Hey; and within one
night after he proceeded to Heddington; and there fought with all
the army, and put them to flight, riding after them as far as the
fortress, where he remained a fortnight. Then the army gave him
hostages with many oaths, that they would go out of his kingdom.
They told him also, that their king would receive baptism. And
they acted accordingly; for in the course of three weeks after,
King Guthrum, attended by some thirty of the worthiest men that
were in the army, came to him at Aller, which is near Athelney,
and there the king became his sponsor in baptism; and his
crisom-leasing was at Wedmor. He was there twelve nights with
the king, who honoured him and his attendants with many presents.
A.D. 879. This year went the army from Chippenham to
Cirencester, and sat there a year. The same year assembled a
band of pirates, and sat at Fulham by the Thames. The same year
also the sun was eclipsed one hour of the day.
A.D. 880. This year went the army from Cirencester into East-
Anglia, where they settled, and divided the land. The same year
went the army over sea, that before sat at Fulham, to Ghent in
Frankland, and sat there a year.
A.D. 881. This year went the army higher up into Frankland, and
the Franks fought with them; and there was the army horsed after
A.D. 882. This year went the army up along the Maese far into
Frankland, and there sat a year; and the same year went King
Alfred out to sea with a fleet; and fought with four ship-rovers
of the Danes, and took two of their ships; wherein all the men
were slain; and the other two surrendered; but the men were
severely cut and wounded ere they surrendered.
A.D. 883. This year went the army up the Scheldt to Conde, and
there sat a year. And Pope Marinus sent King Alfred the "lignum
Domini". The same year led Sighelm and Athelstan to Rome the
alms which King Alfred ordered thither, and also in India to St.
Thomas and to St. Bartholomew. Then they sat against the army at
London; and there, with the favour of God, they were very
successful after the performance of their vows.
A.D. 884. This year went the army up the Somne to Amiens, and
there remained a year. This year died the benevolent Bishop
A.D. 885. This year separated the before-mentioned army in two;
one part east, another to Rochester. This city they surrounded,
and wrought another fortress around themselves. The people,
however, defended the city, until King Alfred came out with his
army. Then went the enemy to their ships, and forsook their
work. There were they provided with horses; and soon after, in
the same summer, they went over sea again. The same year sent
King Alfred a fleet from Kent into East-Anglia. As soon as they
came to Stourmouth, there met them sixteen ships of the pirates.
And they fought with them, took all the ships, and slew the men.
As they returned homeward with their booty, they met a large
fleet of the pirates, and fought with them the same day; but the
Danes had the victory. The same year, ere midwinter, died
Charles, king of the Franks. He was slain by a boar; and one
year before his brother died, who had also the Western kingdom.
They were both the sons of Louis, who also had the Western
kingdom, and died the same year that the sun was eclipsed. He
was the son of that Charles whose daughter Ethelwulf, king of the
West-Saxons, had to wife. And the same year collected a great
fleet against Old-Saxony; and there was a great fight twice in
the year, and the Saxons had the victory. There were the
Frieslanders with them. And the same year succeeded Charles to
the Western kingdom, and to all the territory this side of the
Mediterranean and beyond, as his great-grandfather held it,
except the Lidwiccians. The said Charles was the son of Louis,
who was the brother of that Charles who was the father of Judith,
whom Ethelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, married. They were the
sons of Louis, who was the son of the elder Charles, who was the
son of Pepin. The same year died the good Pope Martin, who freed
the English school at the request of Alfred, king of the
West-Saxons. And he sent him great gifts in relics, and a part
of the rood on which Christ suffered. And the same year the army
in East-Anglia brake the truce with King Alfred.
A.D. 886. This year went the army back again to the west, that
before were bent eastward; and proceeding upwards along the
Seine, fixed their winter-quarters in the city of Paris. (37)
The same year also King Alfred fortified the city of London; and
the whole English nation turned to him, except that part of it
which was held captive by the Danes. He then committed the city
to the care of Alderman Ethered, to hold it under him.
A.D. 887. This year the army advanced beyond the bridge at
Paris; (38) and then upwards, along the Seine, to the Marne.
Then upwards on the Marne as far as Chezy; and in their two
stations, there and on the Yonne, they abode two winters. This
same year died Charles, king of the Franks. Arnulf, his
brother's son, had six weeks before his death bereft him of his
kingdom; which was now divided into five portions, and five kings
were consecrated thereto. This, however, was done with the
consent of Arnulf; and they agreed that they should hold in
subjection to him; because none of them had by birth any claim on
the father's side, except him alone. Arnulf, therefore, dwelt in
the country eastward of the Rhine; Rodulf took to the middle
district; Oda to the western; whilst Berenger and Witha became
masters of Lombardy and the Cisalpine territory. But they held
their dominion in great discord; fought two general battles, and
frequently overran the country in partial encounters, displacing
each other several times. The same year also, in which the
Danish army advanced beyond the bridge at Paris, Alderman
Ethelhelm led the alms of the West-Saxons and of King Alfred to
A.D. 888. This year Alderman Beeke conducted the alms of the
West-Saxons and of King Alfred to Rome; but Queen Ethelswith, who
was the sister of King Alfred, died on the way to Rome; and her
body lies at Pavia. The same year also Ethered, Archbishop of
Canterbury and Alderman Ethelwold, died in one month.
A.D. 889. This year there was no journey to Rome; except that
King Alfred sent two messengers with letters.
A.D. 890. This year Abbot Bernhelm conducted the alms of the
West-Saxons and of King Alfred to Rome; and Guthrum, king of the
Northern men, departed this life, whose baptismal name was
Athelstan. He was the godson of King Alfred; and he abode among
the East-Angles, where he first established a settlement. The
same year also went the army from the Seine to Saint Lo, which is
between the Bretons and the Franks; where the Bretons fought with
them, obtained the victory, and drove them out into a river, in
which many of them were drowned. This year also was Plegmund
chosen by God and all his saints to the archbishopric in
A.D. 891. This year went the army eastward; and King Arnulf
fought with the land-force, ere the ships arrived, in conjunction
with the eastern Franks, and Saxons, and Bavarians, and put them
to flight. And three Scots came to King Alfred in a boat without
any oars from Ireland; whence they stole away, because they would
live in a state of pilgrimage, for the love of God, they recked
not where. The boat in which they came was made of two hides and
a half; and they took with them provisions for seven nights; and
within seven nights they came to land in Cornwall, and soon after
went to King Alfred. They were thus named: Dubslane, and
Macbeth, and Maelinmun. And Swinney, the best teacher that was
among the Scots, departed this life. And the same year after
Easter, about the gang-days or before, appeared the star that men
in book-Latin call "cometa": some men say that in English it may
be termed "hairy star"; for that there standeth off from it a
long gleam of light, whilom on one side, whilom on each.
A.D. 893. This year went the large army, that we before spoke
about, back from the eastern district westward to Bologne; and
there were shipped; so that they transported themselves over at
one time with their horses withal. And they came up with two
hundred and fifty ships into the mouth of the Limne, which is in
East-Kent, at the east end of the vast wood that we call Andred.
This wood is in length, east and west, one hundred and twenty
miles, or longer, and thirty miles broad. The river that we
before spoke about lieth out of the weald. On this river they
towed up their ships as far as the weald, four miles from the
mouth outwards; and there destroyed a fort within the fen,
whereon sat a few churls, and which was hastily wrought. Soon
after this came Hasten up with eighty ships into the mouth of the
Thames, and wrought him there a work at Milton, and the other
army at Appledore.
A.D. 894. This year, that was about twelve months after they had
wrought a work in the eastern district, the Northumbrians and
East-Angles had given oaths to King Alfred, and the East-Angles
six hostages; nevertheless, contrary to the truce, as oft as the
other plunderers went out with all their army, then went they
also, either with them, or in a separate division. Upon this
King Alfred gathered his army, and advanced, so that he encamped
between the two armies at the highest point he could find
defended by wood and by water, that he might reach either, if
they would seek any field. Then went they forth in quest of the
wealds, in troops and companies, wheresoever the country was
defenceless. But they were also sought after most days by other
companies, either by day or by night, both from the army and also
from the towns. The king had divided his army into two parts; so
that they were always half at home, half out; besides the men
that should maintain the towns. The army came not all out of
their stations more than twice; once, when they first came to
land, ere the forces were collected, and again, when they wished
to depart from their stations. They had now seized much booty,
and would ferry it northward over Thames into Essex, to meet
their ships. But the army rode before them, fought with them at
Farnham, routed their forces, and there arrested the booty. And
they flew over Thames without any ford, then up by the Colne on
an island. Then the king's forces beset them without as long as
they had food; but they had their time set, and their meat noted.
And the king was advancing thitherwards on his march with the
division that accompanied him. But while he was advancing
thitherwards, the other force was returning homewards. The
Danes, however, still remained behind; for their king was wounded
in the fight, so that they could not carry him. Then collected
together those that dwell in Northumbria and East-Anglia about a
hundred ships, and went south about; and with some forty more
went north about, and besieged a fort in Devonshire by the north
sea; and those who went south about beset Exeter. When the king
heard that, then went he west towards Exeter with all his force,
except a very considerable part of the eastern army, who advanced
till they came to London; and there being joined by the citizens
and the reinforcements that came from the west, they went east to
Barnfleet. Hasten was there with his gang, who before were
stationed at Milton, and also the main army had come thither,
that sat before in the mouth of the Limne at Appledore. Hasten
had formerly constructed that work at Barnfleet, and was then
gone out on plunder, the main army being at home. Then came the
king's troops, and routed the enemy, broke down the work, took
all that was therein money, women, and children and brought all
to London. And all the ships they either broke to pieces, or
burned, or brought to London or to Rochester. And Hasten's wife
and her two sons they brought to the king, who returned them to
him, because one of them was his godson, and the other Alderman
Ethered's. They had adopted them ere Hasten came to Bamfleet;
when he had given them hostages and oaths, and the king had also
given him many presents; as he did also then, when he returned
the child and the wife. And as soon as they came to Bamfleet,
and the work was built, then plundered he in the same quarter of
his kingdom that Ethered his compeer should have held; and at
another time he was plundering in the same district when his work
was destroyed. The king then went westward with the army toward
Exeter, as I before said, and the army had beset the city; but
whilst he was gone they went to their ships. Whilst he was thus
busied there with the army, in the west, the marauding parties
were both gathered together at Shobury in Essex, and there built
a fortress. Then they both went together up by the Thames, and a
great concourse joined them, both from the East-Angles and from
the Northumbrians. They then advanced upward by the Thames, till
they arrived near the Severn. Then they proceeded upward by the
Severn. Meanwhile assembled Alderman Ethered, Alderman Ethelm,
Alderman Ethelnoth, and the king's thanes, who were employed at
home at the works, from every town east of the Parret, as well as
west of Selwood, and from the parts east and also north of the
Thames and west of the Severn, and also some part of North-Wales.
When they were all collected together, they overtook the rear of
the enemy at Buttington on the banks of the Severn, and there
beset them without on each side in a fortress. When they had sat
there many weeks on both sides of the water, and the king
meanwhile was in Devonshire westward with the naval force, then
were the enemy weighed down with famine. They had devoured the
greater part of their horses; and the rest had perished with
hunger. Then went they out to the men that sat on the eastern
side of the river, and fought with them; but the Christians had
the victory. And there Ordhelm, the king's thane, was slain; and
also many other king's thanes; and of the Danes there were many
slain, and that part of them that came away escaped only by
flight. As soon as they came into Essex to their fortress, and
to their ships, then gathered the remnant again in East-Anglia
and from the Northumbrians a great force before winter, and
having committed their wives and their ships and their booty to
the East-Angles, they marched on the stretch by day and night,
till they arrived at a western city in Wirheal that is called
Chester. There the army could not overtake them ere they arrived
within the work: they beset the work though, without, some two
days, took all the cattle that was thereabout, slew the men whom
they could overtake without the work, and all the corn they
either burned or consumed with their horses every evening. That
was about a twelvemonth since they first came hither over sea.
A.D. 895. Soon after that, in this year, went the army from
Wirheal into North-Wales; for they could not remain there,
because they were stripped both of the cattle and the corn that
they had acquired by plunder. When they went again out of North-
Wales with the booty they had acquired there, they marched over
Northumberland and East-Anglia, so that the king's army could not
reach them till they came into Essex eastward, on an island that
is out at sea, called Mersey. And as the army returned homeward
that had beset Exeter, they went up plundering in Sussex nigh
Chichester; but the townsmen put them to flight, and slew many
hundreds of them, and took some of their ships. Then, in the
same year, before winter, the Danes, who abode in Mersey, towed
their ships up on the Thames, and thence up the Lea. That was
about two years after that they came hither over sea.
A.D. 896. This same year wrought the aforesaid army a work by
the Lea, twenty miles above the city of London. Then. in the
summer of this year, went a large party of the citizens. and also
of other folk, and made an attack on the work of the Danes; but
they were there routed, and some four of the king's thanes were
slain. In the harvest afterward the king encamped close to the
city, whilst they reaped their corn, that the Danes might not
deprive them of the crop. Then, some day, rode the king up by
the river; and observed a place where the river might be
obstructed, so that they could not bring out their ships. And
they did so. They wrought two works on the two sides of the
river. And when they had begun the work, and encamped before it,
then understood the army that they could not bring out their
ships. Whereupon they left them, and went over land, till they
came to Quatbridge by Severn; and there wrought a work. Then
rode the king's army westward after the enemy. And the men of
London fetched the ships; and all that they could not lead away
they broke up; but all that were worthy of capture they brought
into the port of London. And the Danes procured an asylum for
their wives among the East-Angles, ere they went out of the fort.
During the winter they abode at Quatbridge. That was about three
years since they came hither over sea into the mouth of the
A.D. 897. In the summer of this year went the army, some into
East-Anglia, and some into Northumbria; and those that were
penniless got themselves ships, and went south over sea to the
Seine. The enemy had not, thank God. entirely destroyed the
English nation; but they were much more weakened in these three
years by the disease of cattle, and most of all of men; so that
many of the mightiest of the king's thanes. that were in the
land, died within the three years. Of these. one was Swithulf
Bishop of Rochester, Ceolmund alderman in Kent, Bertulf alderman
in Essex, Wulfred alderman in Hampshire, Elhard Bishop of
Dorchester, Eadulf a king's thane in Sussex, Bernuff governor of
Winchester, and Egulf the king's horse-thane; and many also with
them; though I have named only the men of the highest rank. This
same year the plunderers in East-Anglia and Northumbria greatly
harassed the land of the West-Saxons by piracies on the southern
coast, but most of all by the esks which they built many years
before. Then King Alfred gave orders for building long ships
against the esks, which were full-nigh twice as long as the
others. Some had sixty oars, some more; and they were both
swifter and steadier, and also higher than the others. They were
not shaped either after the Frisian or the Danish model, but so
as he himself thought that they might be most serviceable. Then,
at a certain turn of this same year, came six of their ships to
the Isle of Wight; and going into Devonshire, they did much
mischief both there and everywhere on the seacoast. Then
commanded the king his men to go out against them with nine of
the new ships, and prevent their escape by the mouth of the river
to the outer sea. Then came they out against them with three
ships, and three others were standing upwards above the mouth on
dry land: for the men were gone off upon shore. Of the first
three ships they took two at the mouth outwards, and slew the
men; the third veered off, but all the men were slain except
five; and they too were severely wounded. Then came onward those
who manned the other ships, which were also very uneasily
situated. Three were stationed on that side of the deep where
the Danish ships were aground, whilst the others were all on the
opposite side; so that none of them could join the rest; for the
water had ebbed many furlongs from them. Then went the Danes
from their three ships to those other three that were on their
side, be-ebbed; and there they then fought. There were slain
Lucomon, the king's reve, and Wulfheard, a Frieslander; Ebb, a
Frieslander, and Ethelere, a Frieslander; and Ethelferth, the
king's neat-herd; and of all the men, Frieslanders and English,
sixty-two; of the Danes a hundred and twenty. The tide, however,
reached the Danish ships ere the Christians could shove theirs
out; whereupon they rowed them out; but they were so crippled,
that they could not row them beyond the coast of Sussex: there
two of them the sea drove ashore; and the crew were led to
Winchester to the king, who ordered them to be hanged. The men
who escaped in the single ship came to East-Anglia, severely
wounded. This same year were lost no less than twenty ships, and
the men withal, on the southern coast. Wulfric, the king's
horse-thane, who was also viceroy of Wales, died the same year.
A.D. 898. This year died Ethelm, alderman of Wiltshire, nine
nights before midsummer; and Heahstan, who was Bishop of London.
A.D. 901. This year died ALFRED, the son of Ethelwulf, six
nights before the mass of All Saints. He was king over all the
English nation, except that part that was under the power of the
Danes. He held the government one year and a half less than
thirty winters; and then Edward his son took to the government.
Then Prince Ethelwald, the son of his paternal uncle, rode
against the towns of Winburn and of Twineham, without leave of
the king and his council. Then rode the king with his army; so
that he encamped the same night at Badbury near Winburn; and
Ethelwald remained within the town with the men that were under
him, and had all the gates shut upon him, saying, that he would
either there live or there die. But in the meantime he stole
away in the night, and sought the army in Northumberland. The
king gave orders to ride after him; but they were not able to
overtake him. The Danes, however, received him as their king.
They then rode after the wife that Ethelwald had taken without
the king's leave, and against the command of the bishops; for she
was formerly consecrated a nun. In this year also died Ethered,
who was alderman of Devonshire, four weeks before King Alfred.
A.D. 902. This year was the great fight at the Holme (39)
between the men of Kent and the Danes.
((A.D. 902. This year Elswitha died.))
A.D. 903. This year died Alderman Ethelwulf, the brother of
Elhswitha, mother of King Edward; and Virgilius abbot of the
Scots; and Grimbald the mass-priest; on the eighth day of July.
This same year was consecrated the new minster at Winchester, on
St. Judoc's advent.
A.D. 904. This year came Ethelwald hither over sea with all the
fleet that he could get, and he was submitted to in Essex. This
year the moon was eclipsed.
A.D. 905. This year Ethelwald enticed the army in East-Anglia to
rebellion; so that they overran all the land of Mercia, until
they came to Cricklade, where they forded the Thames; and having
seized, either in Bradon or thereabout, all that they could lay
their hands upon, they went homeward again. King Edward went
after, as soon as he could gather his army, and overran all their
land between the foss and the Ouse quite to the fens northward.
Then being desirous of returning thence, he issued an order
through the whole army, that they should all go out at once. But
the Kentish men remained behind, contrary to his order, though he
had sent seven messengers to them. Whereupon the army surrounded
them, and there they fought. There fell Aldermen Siwulf and
Sigelm; Eadwold, the king's thane; Abbot Kenwulf; Sigebriht, the
son of Siwulf; Eadwald, the son of Acca; and many also with them;
though I have named the most considerable. On the Danish side
were slain Eohric their king, and Prince Ethelwald, who had
enticed them to the war. Byrtsige, the son of Prince Brihtnoth;
Governor Ysop; Governor Oskytel; and very many also with them
that we now cannot name. And there was on either hand much
slaughter made; but of the Danes there were more slain, though
they remained masters of the field. Ealswitha died this same
year; and a comet appeared on the thirteenth day before the
calends of November.
((A.D. 906. This year King Edward, from necessity, concluded a
peace both with the army of East-Anglia and of North-humbria.))
A.D. 907. This year died Alfred, who was governor of Bath. The
same year was concluded the peace at Hitchingford, as King Edward
decreed, both with the Danes of East-Anglia, and those of
Northumberland; and Chester was rebuilt.
A.D. 909. This year died Denulf, who was Bishop of Winchester;
and the body of St. Oswald was translated from Bardney into
A.D. 910. This year Frithestan took to the bishopric of
Winchester; and Asser died soon after, who was Bishop o[
Sherborne. The same year King Edward sent an army both from
Wessex and Mercia, which very much harassed the northern army by
their attacks on men and property of every kind. They slew many
of the Danes, and remained in the country five weeks. This year
the Angles and the Danes fought at Tootenhall; and the Angles had
the victory. The same year Ethelfleda built the fortress at
((A.D. 910. This year the army of the Angles and of the Danes
fought at Tootenhall. And Ethelred, ealdor of the Mercians,
died; and King Edward took possession of London, and of Oxford,
and of all the lands which owed obedience thereto. And a great
fleet came hither from the south, from the Lidwiccas (Brittany),
and greatly ravaged by the Severn; but they were, afterwards,
almost all perished.))
A.D. 911. This year the army in Northumberland broke the truce,
and despised every right that Edward and his son demanded of
them; and plundered the land of the Mercians. The king had
gathered together about a hundred ships, and was then in Kent
while the ships were sailing along sea by the south-east to meet
him. The army therefore supposed that the greatest part of his
force was in the ships, and that they might go, without being
attacked, where that ever they would. When the king learned on
enquiry that they were gone out on plunder, he sent his army both
from Wessex and Mercia; and they came up with the rear of the
enemy as he was on his way homeward, and there fought with him
and put him to flight, and slew many thousands of his men. There
fell King Eowils, and King Healfden; Earls Ohter and Scurf;
Governors Agmund, Othulf, and Benesing; Anlaf the Swarthy, and
Governor Thunferth; Osferth the collector, and Governor
((A.D. 911. Then the next year after this died Ethelred, lord of
A.D. 912. This year died Ethered, alderman of Mercia; and King
Edward took to London, and to Oxford, and to all the lands that
thereunto belonged. This year also came Ethelfleda, lady of the
Mercians, on the holy eve called the invention of the holy cross,
to Shergate, and built the fortress there, and the same year that
A.D. 913. This year, about Martinmas, King Edward had the
northern fortress built at Hertford, betwixt the Memer, and the
Benwic, and the Lea. After this, in the summer, betwixt gang-
days and midsummer, went King Edward with some of his force into
Essex, to Maldon; and encamped there the while that men built and
fortified the town of Witham. And many of the people submitted
to him, who were before under the power of the Danes. And some
of his force, meanwhile, built the fortress at Hertford on the
south side of the Lea. This year by the permission of God went
Ethelfleda, lady of Mercia, with all the Mercians to Tamworth;
and built the fort there in the fore-part of the summer; and
before Lammas that at Stafford: in the next year that at
Eddesbury, in the beginning of the summer; and the same year,
late in the autumn, that at Warwick. Then in the following year
was built, after mid-winter, that at Chirbury and that at
Warburton; and the same year before mid-winter that at Runkorn.
((A.D. 915. This year was Warwick built.))
A.D. 916. This year was the innocent Abbot Egbert slain, before
midsummer, on the sixteenth day before the calends of July. The
same day was the feast of St. Ciricius the martyr, with his
companions. And within three nights sent Ethelfleda an army into
Wales, and stormed Brecknock; and there took the king's wife,
with some four and thirty others.
A.D. 917. This year rode the army, after Easter, out of
Northampton and Leicester; and having broken the truce they slew
many men at Hookerton and thereabout. Then, very soon after
this, as the others came home, they found other troops that were
riding out against Leighton. But the inhabitants were aware of
it; and having fought with them they put them into full flight;
and arrested all that they had taken, and also of their horses
and of their weapons a good deal.
A.D. 918. This year came a great naval armament over hither
south from the Lidwiccians; (40) and two earls with it, Ohter and
Rhoald. They went then west about, till they entered the mouth
of the Severn; and plundered in North-Wales everywhere by the
sea, where it then suited them; and took Camlac the bishop in
Archenfield, and led him with them to their ships; whom King
Edward afterwards released for forty pounds. After this went the
army all up; and would proceed yet on plunder against
Archenfield; but the men of Hertford met them, and of Glocester,
and of the nighest towns; and fought with them, and put them to
flight; and they slew the Earl Rhoald, and the brother of Ohter
the other earl, and many of the army. And they drove them into a
park; and beset them there without, until they gave them
hostages, that they would depart from the realm of King Edward.
And the king had contrived that a guard should be set against
them on the south side of Severnmouth; west from Wales, eastward
to the mouth of the Avon; so that they durst nowhere seek that
land on that side. Nevertheless, they eluded them at night, by
stealing up twice; at one time to the east of Watchet, and at
another time at Porlock. There was a great slaughter each time;
so that few of them came away, except those only who swam out to
the ships. Then sat they outward on an island, called the Flat-
holms; till they were very short of meat, and many men died of
hunger, because they could not reach any meat. Thence went they
to Dimmet, and then out to Ireland. This was in harvest. After
this, in the same year, before Martinmas, went King Edward to
Buckingham with his army, and sat there four weeks, during which
he built the two forts on either side of the water, ere he
departed thence. And Earl Thurkytel sought him for his lord; and
all the captains, and almost all the first men that belonged to
Bedford; and also many of those that belonged to Northampton.
This year Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, with the help of God,
before Laminas, conquered the town called Derby, with all that
thereto belonged; and there were also slain four of her thanes,
that were most dear to her, within the gates.
((A.D. 918. But very shortly after they had become so, she died
at Tamworth, twelve days before midsummer, the eighth year of her
having rule and right lordship over the Mercians; and her body
lies at Gloucester, within the east porch of St. Peter's
A.D. 919. This year King Edward went with his army to Bedford,
before Martinmas, and conquered the town; and almost all the
burgesses, who obeyed him before, returned to him; and he sat
there four weeks, and ordered the town to be repaired on the
south side of the water, ere he departed thence.
((A.D. 919. This year also the daughter of Ethelred, lord of the
Mercians, was deprived of all dominion over the Mercians, and
carried into Wessex, three weeks before mid-winter; she was
A.D. 920. This year, before midsummer, went King Edward to
Maldon; and repaired and fortified the town, ere he departed
thence. And the same year went Earl Thurkytel over sea to
Frankland with the men who would adhere to him, under the
protection and assistance of King Edward. This year Ethelfleda
got into her power, with God's assistance, in the early part of
the year, without loss, the town of Leicester; and the greater
part of the army that belonged thereto submitted to her. And the
Yorkists had also promised and confirmed, some by agreement and
some with oaths, that they would be in her interest. But very
soon after they had done this, she departed, twelve nights before
midsummer, at Tamworth, the eighth year that she was holding the
government of the Mercians with right dominion; and her body
lieth at Glocester, in the east porch of St. Peter's church.
This year also was the daughter of Ethered, lord of the Mercians,
deprived of all authority over the Mercians, and led into Wessex,
three weeks before midwinter. Her name was Healfwina.
A.D. 921. This year, before Easter, King Edward ordered his men
to go to the town of Towcester, and to rebuild it. Then again,
after that, in the same year, during the gang-days, he ordered
the town of Wigmore to be repaired. The same summer, betwixt
Lammas and midsummer, the army broke their parole from
Northampton and from Leicester; and went thence northward to
Towcester, and fought against the town all day, and thought that
they should break into it; but the people that were therein
defended it, till more aid came to them; and the enemy then
abandoned the town, and went away. Then again, very soon after
this, they went out at night for plunder, and came upon men
unaware, and seized not a little, both in men and cattle, betwixt
Burnham-wood and Aylesbury. At the same time went the army from
Huntington and East-Anglia, and constructed that work at
Ternsford; which they inhabited and fortified; and abandoned the
other at Huntingdon; and thought that they should thence oft with
war and contention recover a good deal of this land. Thence they
advanced till they came to Bedford; where the men who were within
came out against them, and fought with them, and put them to
flight, and slew a good number of them. Then again, after this,
a great army yet collected itself from East-Anglia and from
Mercia, and went to the town of Wigmore; which they besieged
without, and fought against long in the day; and took the cattle
about it; but the men defended the town, who were within; and the
enemy left the town, and went away. After this, the same summer,
a large force collected itself in King Edward's dominions, from
the nighest towns that could go thither, and went to Temsford;
and they beset the town, and fought thereon; until they broke
into it, and slew the king, and Earl Toglos, and Earl Mann his
son, and his brother, and all them that were therein, and who
were resolved to defend it; and they took the others, and all
that was therein. After this, a great force collected soon in
harvest, from Kent, from Surrey, from Essex, and everywhere from
the nighest towns; and went to Colchester, and beset the town,
and fought thereon till they took it, and slew all the people,
and seized all that was therein; except those men who escaped
therefrom over the wall. After this again, this same harvest, a
great army collected itself from East-Anglia, both of the land-
forces and of the pirates, which they had enticed to their
assistance, and thought that they should wreak their vengeance.
They went to Maldon, and beset the town, and fought thereon,
until more aid came to the townsmen from without to help. The
enemy then abandoned the town, and went from it. And the men
went after, out of the town, and also those that came from
without to their aid; and put the army to flight, and slew many
hundreds of them, both of the pirates and of the others. Soon
after this, the same harvest, went King Edward with the
West-Saxon army to Passham; and sat there the while that men
fortified the town of Towcester with a stone wall. And there
returned to him Earl Thurferth, and the captains, and all the
army that belonged to Northampton northward to the Welland, and
sought him for their lord and protector. When this division of
the army went home, then went another out, and marched to the
town of Huntingdon; and repaired and renewed it, where it was
broken down before, by command of King Edward. And all the
people of the country that were left submitted to King Edward,
and sought his peace and protection. After this, the same year,
before Martinmas, went King Edward with the West-Saxon army to
Colchester; and repaired and renewed the town, where it was
broken down before. And much people turned to him. both in East-
Anglia and in Essex, that were before under the power of the
Danes. And all the army in East-Anglia swore union with him;
that they would all that he would, and would protect all that he
protected, either by sea or land. And the army that belonged to
Cambridge chose him separately for their lord and protector, and
confirmed the same with oaths, as he had advised. This year King
Edward repaired the town of Gladmouth; and the same year King
Sihtric slew Neil his brother.
A.D. 922. This year, betwixt gang-days and midsummer, went King
Edward with his army to Stamford, and ordered the town to be
fortified on the south side of the river. And all the people
that belonged to the northern town submitted to him, and sought
him for their lord. It was whilst he was tarrying there, that
Ethelfleda his sister died at Tamworth, twelve nights before
midsummer. Then rode he to the borough of Tamworth; and all the
population in Mercia turned to him, who before were subject to
Ethelfleda. And the kings in North-Wales, Howel, and Cledauc,
and Jothwel, and all the people of North-Wales, sought him for
their lord. Then went he thence to Nottingham, and secured that
borough, and ordered it to be repaired, and manned both with
English and with Danes. And all the population turned to him,
that was settled in Mercia, both Danish and English.
A.D. 923. This year went King Edward with an army, late in the
harvest, to Thelwall; and ordered the borough to be repaired, and
inhabited, and manned. And he ordered another army also from the
population of Mercia, the while he sat there to go to Manchester
in Northumbria, to repair and to man it. This year died
Archbishop Plegmund; and King Reynold won York.
A.D. 924. This year, before midsummer, went King Edward with an
army to Nottingham; and ordered the town to be repaired on the
south side of the river, opposite the other, and the bridge over
the Trent betwixt the two towns. Thence he went to Bakewell in
Peakland; and ordered a fort to be built as near as possible to
it, and manned. And the King of Scotland, with all his people,
chose him as father and lord; as did Reynold, and the son of
Eadulf, and all that dwell in Northumbria, both English and
Danish, both Northmen and others; also the king of the
Strathclydwallians, and all his people.
((A.D. 924. This year Edward was chosen for father and for lord
by the king of the Scots, and by the Scots, and King Reginald,
and by all the North-humbrians, and also the king of the
Strath-clyde Britons, and by all the Strath-clyde Britons.))
((A.D. 924. This year King Edward died among the Mercians at
Farndon; and very shortly, about sixteen days after this, Elward
his son died at Oxford; and their bodies lie at Winchester. And
Athelstan was chosen king by the Mercians, and consecrated at
Kingston. And he gave his sister to Ofsae (Otho), son of the
king of the Old-Saxons.))
A.D. 925. This year died King Edward at Farndon in Mercia; and
Elward his son died very soon after this, in Oxford. Their
bodies lie at Winchester. And Athelstan was chosen king in
Mercia, and consecrated at Kingston. He gave his sister to Otho,
son of the king of the Old-Saxons. St. Dunstan was now born; and
Wulfhelm took to the archbishopric in Canterbury. This year King
Athelstan and Sihtric king of the Northumbrians came together at
Tamworth, the sixth day before the calends of February, and
Athelstan gave away his sister to him.
((A.D. 925. This year Bishop Wulfhelm was consecrated. And that
same year King Edward died.))
A.D. 926. This year appeared fiery lights in the northern part
of the firmament; and Sihtric departed; and King Athelstan took
to the kingdom of Northumbria, and governed all the kings that
were in this island: -- First, Howel, King of West-Wales; and
Constantine, King of the Scots; and Owen, King of Monmouth; and
Aldred, the son of Eadulf, of Bamburgh. And with covenants and
oaths they ratified their agreement in the place called Emmet, on
the fourth day before the ides of July; and renounced all
idolatry, and afterwards returned in peace.
A.D. 927. This year King Athelstan expelled King Guthfrith; and
Archbishop Wulfhelm went to Rome.
A.D. 928. William took to Normandy, and held it fifteen years.
((A.D. 931. This year died Frithstan, Bishop of Winchester, and
Brinstan was blessed in his place.))
A.D. 932. This year Burnstan was invested Bishop of Winchester
on the fourth day before the calends of June; and he held the
bishopric two years and a half.
A.D. 933. This year died Bishop Frithestan; and Edwin the
atheling was drowned in the sea.
A.D. 934. This year went King Athelstan into Scotland, both with
a land-force and a naval armament, and laid waste a great part of
it; and Bishop Burnstan died at Winchester at the feast of All
A.D. 935. This year Bishop Elfheah took to the bishopric of
((A.D. 937. This year King Athelstan and Edmund his brother led
a force to Brumby, and there fought against Anlaf; and, Christ
helping, had the victory: and they there slew five kings and
A.D. 938. Here
of earls the lord,
rewarder of heroes,
and his brother eke,
elder of ancient race,
slew in the fight,
with the edge of their swords,
the foe at Brumby!
The sons of Edward
their board-walls clove,
and hewed their banners,
with the wrecks of their hammers.
So were they taught
by kindred zeal,
that they at camp oft
'gainst any robber
their land should defend,
their hoards and homes.
the Scottish clans;
the men of the fleet
in numbers fell;
'midst the din of the field
the warrior swate.
Since the sun was up
glad over grounds,
God's candle bright,
eternal Lord! --
'till the noble creature
sat in the western main:
there lay many
of the Northern heroes
under a shower of arrows,
shot over shields;
and Scotland's boast,
a Scythian race,
the mighty seed of Mars!
With chosen troops,
throughout the day,
the West-Saxons fierce
press'd on the loathed bands;
hew'd down the fugitives,
and scatter'd the rear,
with strong mill-sharpen'd blades,
The Mercians too
the hard hand-play
spared not to any
of those that with Anlaf
over the briny deep
in the ship's bosom
sought this land
for the hardy fight.
Five kings lay
on the field of battle,
in bloom of youth,
pierced with swords.
So seven eke
of the earls of Anlaf;
and of the ship's-crew
There was dispersed
the little band
of hardy Scots,
the dread of northern hordes;
urged to the noisy deep
by unrelenting fate!
The king of the fleet
with his slender craft
escaped with his life
on the felon flood; --
and so too Constantine,
the valiant chief,
returned to the north
in hasty flight.
The hoary Hildrinc
cared not to boast
among his kindred.
Here was his remnant
of relations and friends
slain with the sword
in the crowded fight.
His son too he left
on the field of battle,
mangled with wounds,
young at the fight.
The fair-hair'd youth
had no reason to boast
of the slaughtering strife.
Nor old Inwood
and Anlaf the more
with the wrecks of their army
could laugh and say,
that they on the field
of stern command
better workmen were,
in the conflict of banners,
the clash of spears,
the meeting of heroes,
and the rustling of weapons,
which they on the field
of slaughter played
with the sons of Edward.
The northmen sail'd
in their nailed ships,
a dreary remnant,
on the roaring sea;
over deep water
Dublin they sought,
and Ireland's shores,
in great disgrace.
Such then the brothers
king and atheling,
sought their country,
in right triumphant.
They left behind them
raw to devour,
the sallow kite,
the swarthy raven
with horny nib,
and the hoarse vultur,
with the eagle swift
to consume his prey;
the greedy gos-hawk,
and that grey beast
the wolf of the weald.
No slaughter yet
was greater made
e'er in this island,
of people slain,
before this same,
with the edge of the sword;
as the books inform us
of the old historians;
since hither came
from the eastern shores
the Angles and Saxons,
over the broad sea,
and Britain sought, --
o'ercame the Welsh,
most valiant earls,
and gained the land.
A.D. 941. This year King Athelstan died in Glocester, on the
sixth day before the calends of November, about forty-one
winters, bating one night, from the time when King Alfred died.
And Edmund Atheling took to the kingdom. He was then eighteen
years old. King Athelstan reigned fourteen years and ten weeks.
This year the Northumbrians abandoned their allegiance, and chose
Anlaf of Ireland for their king.
((A.D. 941. This year King Edmund received King Anlaf at
baptism; and that same year, a good long space after, he received
King Reginald at the bishop's hands.))
A.D. 942. Here
of Angles lord,
protector of friends,
author and framer
of direful deeds.
o'erran with speed
the Mercian land.
whete'er the course
or Humber deep,
The broad brim-stream,
divides five towns.
Leicester and Lincoln.
Nottingham and Stamford,
and Derby eke.
In thraldom long
to Norman Danes
they bowed through need,
and dragged the chains
of heathen men;
till, to his glory,
great Edward's heir,
Edmund the king,
refuge of warriors,
their fetters broke.
A.D. 943. This year Anlaf stormed Tamworth; and much slaughter
was made on either hand; but the Danes had the victory, and led
away with them much plunder. There was Wulfrun taken, in the
spoiling of the town. This year King Edmund beset King Anlaf and
Archbishop Wulfstan in Leicester; and he might have conquered
them, were it not that they burst out of the town in the night.
After this Anlaf obtained the friendship of King Edmund, and King
Edmund then received King Anlaf in baptism; and he made him royal
presents. And the same year, after some interval, he received
King Reynold at episcopal hands. This year also died King Anlaf.
A.D. 944. This year King Edmund reduced all the land of the
Northumbrians to his dominion, and expelled two kings, Anlaf the
son of Sihtric, and Reynold the son of Guthferth.
A.D. 945. This year King Edmund overran all Cumberland; and let
it all to Malcolm king of the Scots, on the condition that he
became his ally, both by sea and land.
A.D. 946. This year King Edmund died, on St. Augustine's mass
day. That was widely known, how he ended his days: -- that Leof
stabbed him at Pucklechurch. And Ethelfleda of Damerham,
daughter of Alderman Elgar, was then his queen. And he reigned
six years and a half: and then succeeded to the kingdom Edred
Atheling his brother, who soon after reduced all the land of the
Northumbrians to his dominion; and the Scots gave him oaths, that
they would do all that he desired.
A.D. 947. This year came King Edred to Tadden's-cliff; and there
Archbishop Wulfstan and all the council of the Northumbrians
bound themselves to an allegiance with the king. And within a
little space they abandoned all, both allegiance and oaths.
A.D. 948. This year King Edred overran all Northumberland;
because they had taken Eric for their king; and in the pursuit of
plunder was that large minster at Rippon set on fire, which St.
Wilferth built. As the king returned homeward, he overtook the
enemy at York; but his main army was behind at Chesterford.
There was great slaughter made; and the king was so wroth, that
he would fain return with his force, and lay waste the land
withal; but when the council of the Northumbrians understood
that, they then abandoned Eric, and compromised the deed with
A.D. 949. This year came Anlaf Curran to the land of the
A.D. 951. This year died Elfeah, Bishop of Winchester, on St.
Gregory's mass day.
A.D. 952. This year the Northumbrians expelled King Anlaf, and
received Eric the son of Harold. This year also King Edred
ordered Archbishop Wulfstan to be brought into prison at
Jedburgh; because he was oft bewrayed before the king: and the
same year the king ordered a great slaughter to be made in the
town of Thetford, in revenge of the abbot, whom they had formerly
A.D. 954. This year the Northumbrians expelled Eric; and King
Edred took to the government of the Northumbrians. This year
also Archbishop Wulfstan received a bishopric again at
A.D. 955. This year died King Edred, on St. Clement's mass day,
at Frome.(41) He reigned nine years and a half; and he rests in
the old minster. Then succeeded Edwy, the son of King Edmund, to
the government of the West-Saxons; and Edgar Atheling, his
brother, succeeded to the government of the Mercians. They were
the sons of King Edmund and of St. Elfgiva.
((A.D. 955. And Edwy succeeded to the kingdom of the West-
Saxons, and Edgar his brother succeeded to the kingdom of the
Mercians: and they were the sons of King Edmund and of S.
A.D. 956. This year died Wulfstan, Archbishop of York, on the
seventeenth day before the calends of January; and he was buried
at Oundle; and in the same year was Abbot Dunstan driven out of
this land over sea.
A.D. 958. This year Archbishop Oda separated King Edwy and
Elfgiva; because they were too nearly related.
A.D. 959. This year died King Edwy, on the calends of October;
and Edgar his brother took to the government of the West-Saxons,
Mercians, and Northumbrians. He was then sixteen years old. It
was in this year he sent after St. Dunstan, and gave him the
bishopric of Worcester; and afterwards the bishopric of London.
In his days
it prosper'd well;
and God him gave,
that he dwelt in peace
the while that he lived.
Whate'er he did,
whate'er he plan'd,
he earn'd his thrift.
He also rear'd
God's glory wide,
and God's law lov'd,
with peace to man,
above the kings
that went before
in man's remembrance.
God so him sped,
that kings and earls
to all his claims
and to his will
without a blow
he wielded all
as pleased himself.
Esteem'd he was
both far and wide
in distant lands;
because he prized
the name of God,
and God's law traced,
God's glory rear'd,
both far and wide,
on every side.
Wisely he sought
in council oft
his people's good,
before his God,
before the world.
One misdeed he did,
too much however,
that foreign tastes
he loved too much;
and heathen modes
into this land
he brought too fast;
and to this earth
of vicious men.
But God him grant,
that his good deeds
be weightier far
than his misdeeds,
to his soul's redemption
on the judgment-day.
A.D. 961. This year departed Odo, the good archbishop, and St.
Dunstan took to the archbishopric. This year also died Elfgar, a
relative of the king, in Devonshire; and his body lies at Wilton:
and King Sifferth killed himself; and his body lies at Wimborn.
This year there was a very great pestilence; when the great fever
was in London; and St. Paul's minster was consumed with fire, and
in the same year was afterwards restored. In this year Athelmod.
the masspriest, went to Rome, and there died on the eighteenth
before the calends of September.
A.D. 963. This year died Wulfstan, the deacon, on Childermass-
day; (42) and afterwards died Gyric, the mass-priest. In the
same year took Abbot Athelwold to the bishopric of Winchester;
and he was consecrated on the vigil of St. Andrew, which happened
on a Sunday. On the second year after he was consecrated, he
made many minsters; and drove out the clerks (43) from the
bishopric, because they would hold no rule, and set monks
therein. He made there two abbacies; one of monks, another of
nuns. That was all within Winchester. Then came he afterwards
to King Edgar, and requested that he would give him all the
minsters that heathen men had before destroyed; for that he would
renew them. This the king cheerfully granted; and the bishop
came then first to Ely, where St. Etheldritha lies, and ordered
the minster to be repaired; which he gave to a monk of his, whose
name was Britnoth, whom he consecrated abbot: and there he set
monks to serve God, where formerly were nuns. He then bought
many villages of the king, and made it very rich. Afterwards
came Bishop Athelwold to the minster called Medhamsted, which was
formerly ruined by heathen folk; but he found there nothing but
old walls, and wild woods. In the old walls at length he found
hid writings which Abbot Hedda had formerly written; -- how King
Wulfhere and Ethelred his brother had wrought it, and how they
freed it against king and against bishop, and against all worldly
service; and how Pope Agatho confirmed it with his writ, as also
Archbishop Deusdedit. He then ordered the minster to be rebuilt;
and set there an abbot, who was called Aldulf; and made monks,
where before was nothing. He then came to the king, and let him
look at the writings which before were found; and the king then
answered and said: "I Edgar grant and give to-day, before God and
before Archbishop Dunstan, freedom to St. Peter's minster at
Medhamsted, from king and from bishop; and all the thorps that
thereto lie; that is, Eastfield, and Dodthorp, and Eye, and
Paston. And so I free it, that no bishop have any jurisdiction
there, but the abbot of the minster alone. And I give the town
called Oundle, with all that thereto lieth, called Eyot-hundred,
with market and toll; so freely, that neither king, nor bishop,
nor earl, nor sheriff, have there any jurisdiction; nor any man
but the abbot alone, and whom he may set thereto. And I give to
Christ and St. Peter, and that too with the advice of Bishop
Athelwold, these lands; -- that is, Barrow, Warmington, Ashton,
Kettering, Castor, Eylesworth, Walton, Witherington, Eye, Thorp,
and a minster at Stamford. These lands and al the others that
belong to the minster I bequeath clear; that is, with sack and
sock, toll and team, and infangthief; these privileges and all
others bequeath I clear to Christ and St. Peter. And I give the
two parts of Whittlesey-mere, with waters and with wears and
fens; and so through Meerlade along to the water that is called
Nen; and so eastward to Kingsdelf. And I will that there be a
market in the town itself, and that no other be betwixt Stamford
and Huntingdon. And I will that thus be given the toll; --
first, from Whittlesey-mere to the king's toll of Norman-cross
hundred; then backward again from Whittlesey-mere through
Meerlade along to the Nen, and as that river runs to Crowland;
and from Crowland to Must, and from Must to Kingsdelf and to
Whittlesey-mere. And I will that all the freedom, and all the
privileges, that my predecessors gave, should remain; and I write
and confirm this with the rood-token of Christ." (+) -- Then
answered Dunstan, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and said: "I
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