The Chronicle of John of Worcester

The original Latin text was transcribed from the manuscript by Benjamin Thorpe
and J.R.H.Weaver and the translation was made by Thomas Forester (London, 1854)
With minor additions and amendments from the translation by Patrick McGurk (London, 1998)


    446—1020 A.D.

From the ‘Oxford’ manuscript, page 241, last line

A.D. 446. The Britons, being unable to endure the incursions of the Picts and Scots, sent messengers to Rome, imploring aid against their enemies, and promising submission for themselves. A legion, dispatched to their aid without loss of time, slaughtered vast numbers of the enemy and drove the rest beyond the borders of Britain. The Romans then, on the point of being withdrawn, recommended the Britons to build a wall across the island between the two seas, for their own defence; but as they had no one of sufficient skill to direct such works, more turf than stone was used in the construction, and the labour spent on it was thrown away. No sooner were the Romans departed, than the enemy, landing in boats, levelled, trampled down, and swept off, whatever came in their way, as if they were reaping corn ripe for the harvest.

Again the Romans, listening to the prayers of the Britons, flew to their succour, and having defeated the enemy, forced them to recross the straits; and then, in conjunction with the Britons, instead of the former earthen rampart, constructed a solid wall of stone, from frith to frith, between the towns which had been built there as a security against hostile inroads. They also erected watchtowers, at intervals, along the south coast, commanding views of the sea, as the enemy threatened them also in that quarter.

The Romans then bid the Britons farewell, telling them they should not again return.

No sooner, however, were the Roman troops withdrawn, than the Scots and Picts again issued from the north, and, expelling the natives, occupied the whole island as far as the wall. Nor did they stop there; for slaying, driving off, or taking prisoners, those who were stationed to guard the wall, the fierce ravagers broke through it in places, and even swept off an immense booty from within its line of defence. In consequence, a lachrymose epistle, full of complaints, was addressed to a man in high authority at Rome, Ætius, then consul for the third time, in the twenty-third year of the emperor Theodosius, imploring succour, which was not granted.

Meanwhile, a severe famine, which was very general, distressed the fugitive Britons, compelling some of them to deliver themselves up to their enemies, while others, sheltering themselves in the mountains, caves, and woods, made an obstinate resistance. The Scots retreated to their own country, intending to return shortly; the Picts occupied the remotest part of the island; where they then first, and for ever afterwards, settled. The famine already mentioned was succeeded by a very abundant harvest; with plenty came excess and recklessness; then followed a deadly pestilence; and, to crown all, a still severer infliction at the hands of the Angles, new enemies, who, by the unanimous counsels of the Britons, under their king Vortigern, were invited to come over to defend the country; instead of which, they invaded and subdued it.

In consequence, during the reign of the emperor Mercian, people of the race of the Saxons or Angles crossed over to Britain in three long ships, and were followed by a stronger force, when the news of their prosperous voyage reached home. These, uniting with the first body, in the first instance expelled the enemy they were summoned to encounter, and then, turning their arms against their allies, overran with fire and sword nearly the whole island from east to west, that is, the central districts, on the false pretence that the Britons had not given them adequate subsidies for fighting their battles.

A.D. 447—449.

Angli Saxones, Martiani principis tempore, Beda teste, Brittanniam tribus longis nauibus aduecti sunt, qui de tribus Germaniæ populis fortioribus, id est Saxonibus, Anglis et Iutis aduenerant. De Iutarum origine sunt Cantuarii et Vectuarii; ..... from the ‘Oxford’ manuscript, page 242

A.D. 450. According to Bede,1 the Anglo-Saxons landed in Britain from three long ships in the reign of the Emperor Marcian; the people who came over belonging to three of the most powerful tribes in Germany, that is to say, the Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. The Kentish-men and the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight derive their origin from the Jutes; those of Sussex, Middlesex, and Wessex from the Saxons; and the East-Angles, the Mid-Angles, the Mercians, and the whole Northumbrian race, with the rest of the English population, are descended from the Angles, that is, they sprung from the country called Angeln. It is reported that two brothers, Hengist and Horsa, were their first chiefs. They were the sons of Wihtgils, whose father was Witta, the son of Vecta, the son of Woden; from which stock the royal line of many provinces derived its origin.

A.D. 451—454.

A.D. 455. Hengist and Horsa fought against Vortigern, king of the Britons, at a place called Ægclesthrep [Aylesford], and, although Horsa was slain in the battle, Hengist gained the victory, and after these events reigned jointly with his son Æsc.

A.D. 456.

A.D. 457. Hengist and Æsc engaged in battle with the Britons at a place called Creacanford [Crayford] and put four thousand of them to the sword; the rest of the Britons then abandoned Kent, and fled to London in great terror.

A.D. 458—164.

A.D. 465. Hengist and Æsc fought against the Britons near Wippedesfleote, [Ebbsfleet,] which means the place where Wipped crossed the water. They slew twelve chiefs of the enemy’s army, with many others, while on their side only one thane, whose name was Wipped, fell in the battle.

A.D. 466—473.

A.D. 473. Hengist and Æsc fought with the Britons for the fourth time, and gaining victory, took spoils without number; in which battle the Britons fled before the Angles as they would from fire.

A.D. 474—476.

A.D. 477. Ælla and his three sons, Gymen, Wencing, and Cissa, came to Britain in three ships, from which they landed at a place called Cymenesora, and there slew many of the Britons, and drove the rest into the forest called Andredesleage.2

A.D. 478—484.

A.D. 485. Ælla, fighting the Britons near Mearcredes-burnan, that is Mearcrede’s Brook, slew numbers of them and put the rest to flight.

A.D. 486, 487.

A.D. 488. Hengist, having governed the kingdom of Kent with the greatest vigour during thirty-four years, ended his life. His son Æsc succeeded to the throne, and reigned twenty-four years.

A.D. 489, 490.

A.D. 491. St. Patrick, Archbishop of Ireland, made a blessed end, aged one hundred and twenty-two years. Ælla, with his son Cissa, stormed Andredes-ceaster,3 after a long siege, and put all the inhabitants to the sword, from the eldest to the youngest.

A.D. 492—494.

A.D. 495. This year, two chiefs, namely, Cerdic and his son Cynric, crossed over to Britain with five ships, and, landing at a place called Cerdices-ora [Yarmouth?], fought the Britons the same day, and having defeated them put them to flight.

A.D. 496—500.

A.D. 501. Port, and his two sons Byda and MÆgla, arrived in Britain, with two ships, at a place called Portsmouth, and slew a British youth of very high rank, besides many others.

A.D. 501—507.

A.D. 508. Cerdic and his son Cynric slew Natanleod, king of the Britons, and five thousand men, with the edge of the sword; from that king all the country as far as Cerdicesora4 derived its name of Natanleod.

A.D. 509—513.

A.D. 514. The West-Saxons, sailing to Britain with three ships, landed at Cerdices-ora. Their chiefs, Stuf and Wihtgar, were Cerdic’s nephews. Shortly afterwards they engaged in battle with the Britons, some of whom they slew, and put the rest to flight.

A.D. 515—518.

A.D. 519. Cerdie and Cynric began to reign [in Wessex], and the same year they fought and conquered the Britons at Cerdices-ford.

A.D. 520.

A.D. 521. St. Bridget, the Scottish nun, died in Ireland.

A.D. 522—526.

A.D. 527. Cerdie and Cynric, for the fourth time, fought with the Britons at Cerdices-leage.

A.D. 528, 529.

A.D. 530. Cerdie and Cynric conquered the Isle of Wight, which they gave to their nephews, Stuf and Wihtgar; a few men were slain in Wihtgara-birig, [Carisbrook Castle].

A.D. 531—533.

A.D. 534. Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons, departed this life; and his son Cynric was, after his death, sole king for twenty-six years.

A.D. 535—537.

A.D. 538. There was an eclipse of the sun on the fourteenth of the calends of March [16th February], from the first to the third hour.

A.D. 539.

A.D. 540. There was an eclipse of the sun on the twelfth of the calends of July, [20th June,] and the stars were visible about half-an-hour before the third hour of the day.

A.D. 541—543.

A.D. 544. Wihtgar, the nephew of Cerdie, king of the West-Saxons died, and was buried at Wihtgara-birig, that is, Wihtgar’s town.

A.D. 545, 546.

A.D. 547. Ida began to rule in the province of the Bernicians, and reigned twelve years. He had six sons born of his queens, Adda, Balric, Theodric, Œthelric, Theodhere, and Osmar; and six by concubines, Occ, Alric, Ecca, Oswald, Sogor, and Sogether; from whom descended the royal line of the Northumbrians. Ida was son of Eoppa. who was son of Esa, who was son of Ingui, who was son of Angenwit, who was son of Aloe, who was son of Benoc, who was son of Brand, who was son of Bealdeag, who was son of Woden, who was son of Frithelaf, who was son of Frithulf, who was son of Finn, who was son of Godulf, who was son of Geata.

A.D. 548—551.

A.D. 552. Cynric, king of the West-Saxons, fought with the Britons, and routed them at a place called Seares-byrig: his father was Cerdic, who was the son of Elesa, who was son of Esla, who was son of Gewis, who was son of Wig, who was son of Freawine, who was son of Freothegar, who was son of Brand, who was son of Bealdeag, who was son of Woden.

A.D. 553— 555.

A.D. 556. Cynric and Ceaulin fought a battle against the Britons at Beran-byrig, and defeated them.

A.D. 557, 558. Ælla began to reign in the province of Deira, and governed it with the utmost vigour for nearly thirty years. [Gregory I. observing some English youths offered for sale in the Forum at Rome, said, in allusion to the name of this provinces; “Alleluiah! the praise of God the Creator ought to be sung in those parts.”] Meanwhile, when Ælla was living, the following kings reigned in Bernicia: Adda, the eldest son of Ida, seven years; Clappa, five; Theodulf, one; Theodulf, seven ; and Œthelric, two years. On Ælla’s death, and his son Edwin being driven from the throne, Œthelric reigned five years over both provinces. Ælla was the son of Iffa, whose father was Wuscfrea, the son of Wilgils, the son of Westorwalcna, the son of Seomel, the son of Swearta, the son of Seafugel, the son of Seabald, the son of Siggeot, the son of Swebdeag, the son of Siggar, the son of Weagdeag, the son of Woden.

A.D. 560. Ceaulin, the son of Cynric, succeeding to the kingdom of the West-Saxons, reigned thirty-three years.

A.D. 561. Ethelbert, king of Kent, began to reign, and, according to Bede, he reigned fifty-six years.

A.D. 562—564.

A.D. 565. Columba, priest and abbot, came out of Ireland into Britain, and during the reign of Bride, the most powerful king of the Picts, converted the northern Picts to the faith of Christ; in consequence, he received from them a grant of the island of Hii, for the purpose of building a monastery.

A.D. 566—567.

A.D. 568. Ethelbert, king of Kent, while he was engnged in a war with Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his son Cutha, was driven back by them into Kent, his two ealdormen, Oslaf and Cnebba, being slain at Wibbandune [Wimbledon].

A.D. 569—570.

A.D. 571. Cuthulf, the brother of king Ceaulin, fought with the Britons at Bedford, and gaining the victory took from them four royal vills, namely, Liganburh, [Leighton or Lenbury,] Eglesburh, [Aylesbury,] Bensingtun, [Benson,] and Egnesham, [Eynsham,] and he died the same year.

A.D. 572—576.

A.D. 577. Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his son Cuthwine fought with the Britons at a place called Deorham,5 and slaying their three kings, Coinmeail, Condidan, and Farinmoeil, with many of their people, took their three cities, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath.

A.D. 578—583.

A.D. 584. Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his son Cutha, fought with the Britons at a place called Fethanleah,6 in which battle Cutha fell, fighting bravely where the throng was thickest. Notwithstanding this, Ceaulin gained the victory, and taking much booty, seized on. many of their vills.

A.D. 585—587.

A.D. 588. Ælla, king of Deira, died in the thirtieth year of his reign, and after him Æthelric, the son of Ida, reigned five years over both provinces.

A.D. 589. The holy father Columban came to Burgundy from Ireland, the island of saints, with St. Gall, and other tried disciples, and there, by permission of king Theodoric, built the monastery of Luxeuil. Driven thence by Brunhilde, he went to Germany, where he left St. Gall, but he himself crossed into Italy, where he founded the monastery of Bobbio, and became the parent of many convents of monks.

A.D. 590.

A.D. 591. Ceol, the son of Cuthwulf, brother of king Ceaulin, began to reign, and he reigned over the West-Saxons five years.

A.D. 592. A battle was fought at a place called Wodnes- beorh, [Wansborough ?] that is, Woden’s Mount, in which there was a great slaughter, and Ceaulin was driven from his kingdom in the thirty-third year of his reign.

A.D. 593. Ceaulin, Cwichelm, and Crida perished. CEthelric, king of Northumbria died; upon which his son (Ethelfrith assumed the reins of government and held them twenty-four years. He had seven sons, Eanfrith, Oswald, Oslaf, Oswin, Oswy, Offa, Oswudu, and Oslac, with one daughter named Æbbe.

A.D. 594, 595.

A.D. 596. In the 147th year after the arrival of the English in Britain, the 14th indiction, pope Gregory, by divine inspiration, sent Augustine the servant of God, with several other devout monks in his company, to preach the word of God to the English nation.

A.D. 597. According to Bede, the aforesaid teachers arrived in Britain this year, and converted Ethelbert, king of Kent, to the faith of Christ in the thirty-fifth year of his reign. The king did not long defer the grant of an episcopal see to his teacher Augustine, in his metropolis of Canterbury, and, with royal assistance, he restored a church which had been formerly erected there by the exertions of the faithful among the Romans, and consecrated under the name St. Saviour’s. Ceolwulf, son of Cutha, king Ceaulin’s brother, succeeding to the kingdom of the West-Saxons, governed it fourteen years; during which he was continually engaged in wars, either with the Angles or the Britons, the Scots or the Picts. Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, who was son of Cynric, son of Cerdic.

A.D. 598, 599.

A.D. 600. St. Ive the apostolical doctor, and a really inspired messenger from heaven and eminent bishop, departed to the Lord. His origin was in Persia, where he rose like the star in the east, but his course was divinely directed to the western regions in Britain.

A.D. 601. Gregory writing to Augustine, in the nineteenth year of Maurics, the fourth indiction, decreed that the bishops of London and York, receiving the pallium from the apostolical see, should be metropolitans in the same manner [as the archbishops of Canterbury].

A.D. 602.

A.D. 603. Ethelfrith, a king of great bravery and ambitious of renown, crushed the Britons more than any of the English chiefs who preceded him ; and exterminating or subjugating the native inhabitants, he either settled vast tracts of their territories with people of English race, or made the Britons tributaries to them. Roused by these proceedings, Aedan, king of the Scots, marched against him at the head of a vast asmy, but being defeated, few only accompanied his flight. Ethelfrith gained this battle at a place called Degsastan, in the eleventh year of his reign, and the first of the emperor Phocas. Assembling an army, a long time afterwards, at Chester, which the Britons call Carlegion, in execution of Divine justice, and as St. Augustine, the archbishop, had predicted, he first slew- twelve hundred British priests, who had joined the army to offer prayers on their behalf, and then exterminated the remainder of this impious armament.

A.D. 604. Augustine consecrated Mellitus and Justus bishops: of whom Mellitus was to preach in the province of the East-Saxons, who having received the word of truth from his instructions, with their king Sehert, king Ethelbert’s nephew, Ethelbert, himself, erected the church of St. Paul the apostle, in London, Sebert’s metropolis. Justus was consecrated by Augustine, as bishop of Rochester, which the English call Hroveceaster. Having also consecrated the priest Lawrence as archbishop, to supply his own place, Augustine shortly afterwards, on Tuesday the seventh of the calends of June (26th May), was translated to the heavenly kingdom.

A.D. 605. Pope St. Gregory, the apostle of the English, and the honour of Rome, after having most gloriously governed the see of the Roman and apostolic church for thirteen years, six months, and ten days, was translated to an eternal seat in the kingdom of heaven, on Friday the fourth of the ides (the 12th) of March.

A.D. 606.

A.D. 607. Ceolwulf, king of the West-Saxons, made war against the East-Saxons.

A.D. 608—610.

A.D. 611. King Ceolwulf died, and was succeeded by Cynegils, his brother Ceol’s son. He reigned thirty-two years, being son of Ceol, who was son of Cutha, son of Cynric, son of Cerdic.

A.D. 612, 613.

A.D. 614. Cynegils and his son Cuichelm, marched an army against the Britons at Beandune, and engaging them in battle slew two thousand and forty-six of their number.

A.D. 615.

A.D. 616. Ethelbert, king of Kent, who was son of Irmenric, whose father was Octa, the son of Oric, surnamed Oisc, who was son of Hengist, ascended to the realms of heavenly bliss, on the twenty-fourth of February, in the fifty-sixth year of his reign, being the twenty-first after he was converted to the faith. His son Eadbald succeeding him not only refused to embrace Christianity, but took to wife the widow of his father. Redwald, king of the East- Angles, slew Ethelfrith, king of Deira and Bernicia in a battle fought near the river Idle.7 Edwin succeeded him, according to a prediction he had received, and expelled the seven sons of Ethelfrith. Sebert, king of the East-Saxons, being removed to the heavenly kingdom, left his three sons, who persisted in heathenism, heirs of his kingdom in this world. They immediately made open profession of idolatry, and drove Mellitus, bishop of London, out of their territory. Mellitus retired into Kent, and after consulting Lawrence, the archbishop, withdrew into Gaul, accompanied by Justus, bishop of Rochester. However, the kings who had driven from their presence the herald of truth, were not long permitted to devote themselves to the worship of demons; for having engaged in an expedition against the Gewissse, they all fell in a battle, as well as their troops. Lawrence being on the point of following Mellitus and Justus in their secession, that very night, Peter, prince of the Apostles, appeared to him and severely scourged him. In the morning, he repaired to king Eadbald, and exhibited to him the extent of the lacerations the stripes had made. On seeing this, the king was much terrified, and prohibiting all idolatrous worship under the penalty of a curse, and repudiating his incestuous marriage, embraced the Christian faith, and, sending to France, recalled Mellitus and Justus.

A.D. 617—620.

A.D. 621. St. Lawrence, archbishop, departed to the Lord, during the reign of Eadbald, on the fourth of the nones (the 2nd) of February. He was succeeded by Mellitus, the bishop of London, who became the third archbishop of Canterbury from Augustine. Cedd, the brother of Ceadda, succeeded Mellitus in the see of London.8

A.D. 522—624.

A.D. 625. Mellitus, the archbishop, having governed the church five years, died on the eighth of the calends of May (24th April), in the reign of Eadbald. He was succeeded by Justus, bishop of Rochester, who consecrated Romanus bishop in his stead.

A.D. 626. Paulinus, a man beloved by God, who had been sent by St. Gregory with the rest to preach in England, and in course of time became the third bishop of Rochester, having been consecrated by Justus to become archbishop of the Northumbrian people, was sent to Edwin, king of that nation, in attendance on his bride, king Ethelbert’s daughter, by king Eadbald the maiden’s brother.

A.D. 627. An assassin named Eomer, sent by Cuichelm king of the West-Saxons, presented himself at the court of king Edwin on Easter Sunday, and drawing a dagger from under his garment attempted to stab the king. The blow was intercepted by Lilla, one of Edwin’s most devoted attendants, who protected, him by interposing his own person, but the assassin plunged his weapon with such force that the king was wounded through the body of his thane, who was killed on the spot. On the night of the same Easter-day the queen bore Edwin a daughter, who was the first of the Northumbrian race baptised by bishop Paulinus, and received the name of Eanfled.

Penda succeeded to the kingdom of Mercia in the fiftieth year of his age, and governed it thirty years. He was the son of Wibba, the son of Crida, the son of Cynewald, the son of Cnebba, the son of Icel, the son of Gomer, the son of Angengeat, the son of Offa, the son of Wermund, the son of Wightleag, the son of Waga, the son of Wothelgeat, the son of Woden.

A.D. 628. In the sixteenth year of the emperor Heraclius, the fifteenth induction, Edwin the most illustrious king of the English in Britain, who reigned over the nation to the north of the Humber, received with his people the word of salvation at the preaching of Paulinus, the bishop sent from Kent by archbishop Justus. This occurred in the eleventh year of his reign, and about two hundred and thirty years,9 more or less, after the English tribes arrived in Britain.

The king himself founded the episcopal see of York in favour of Paulinus. His temporal power increased in token of his embracing the faith and inheriting the heavenly kingdom, as he, first of the English princes, reduced the whole of Britain, except Kent, under his dominion.

At this time, pope Honorius wrote a letter confuting the error of the Quarto-decimans respecting the observance of Easter, which had originated among the Scots; John also, who succeeded Severinus’ successor, disputed the same matter with them. For, before he was elected pope, he wrote to them on this Easter question, as well as concerning the Pelagian heresy, which had revived among them.

Cynegils, and his son Cuichelm, the kings of the West-Saxons, fought a battle near Cirencester, with Penda king of the Mercians, and, peace being made and ratified, withdrew their troops.

A.D. 629—631.

A.D. 632. Eorpwald, son of king Redwald, son of Tytel, son of Ufia, by the persuasion of king Edwin, abandoned his idolatrous superstition, and embraced the Christian faith and sacraments with all his people; but he was slain by a pagan named Ricbert.

A.D. 633. The illustrious king Edwin, having gloriously reigned seventeen years over both nations, Britons as well as English, was killed on the fourth of the ides [the 12th] of October, in the forty-eighth year of his age, by Penda, the heathen king of Mercia, a prince of distinguished bravery, and Cedwal king of the Britons, a still more savage heathen, in a pitched battle severely contested on the plain of Heathfield. Affairs in Northumbria being thus thrown into confusion, Paulinus, taking with him queen Ethelburga, returned to Kent by sea, and was received with honour by Honorius the archbishop and Eadbald the king.

A.D. 634. Cedwal, king of the Britons, having first slain king Osric, king Edwin’s cousin, with all his army, afterwards put to death Eanfrith, son of king Ethelfrith, who had come to him to sue for peace. On his death, his brother Oswald advanced with his army, which, though small in numbers, was strong in the faith of Christ, and slaughtered the impious British chief with his immense army, which he boasted nothing could withstand. Oswald then assumed the government of both kingdoms, and, in the course of time, received the submission of all the nations and provinces of Britain. At that time the people of Wessex, under their king Cynegils, embraced the Christian faith, the word being preached to them by bishop Birinus. St. Wilfrid was born.

A.D. 635. King Oswald applied to the elders of the Scots to send him bishops. Aidan was sent; by whom, and the most illustrious and holy king Oswald himself, the church of Christ was first founded and established in the province of Bernicia. Birinus was sent by pope Honorius to preach in England, and under his teaching of the gospel in Wessex, king Cynegils and his subjects became believers; the most victorious king Oswald was his sponsor at the baptismal font. From these kings the same bishop received Dorchester for the seat of his bishopric.

A.D. 630. Sigebert, brother of Eorpwald, king of the East-Angles, a prince in all respects most Christian and most learned, early in his reign took measures for causing his whole province to partake of the faith and sacraments. Bishop Felix, a native of Burgundy, who had become very intimate with Sigebert, king of the East-Angles, while he was an exile in France, encouraged his designs, and accompanying him to England after Eorpwald’s death, was appointed by him bishop of the East-Angles, and having converted that province to the faith of Christ, and procured an episcopal see to be founded in the city of Dunwich, presided for seventeen years over that nation.

At that time a most holy man, named Fursey, came from Ireland to East-Anglia, and being received with honour by the aforesaid king, preached there the word of life, and converting many of the unbelievers to Christ, afterwards built a noble monastery. Meanwhile, the king having given up the administration of affairs, and entrusted them to his cousin Ecgric, retired to the monastery he had founded, and receiving the tonsure, was for a long time enlisted in the service of the King Eternal. But when Penda, the heathen king of Mercia, made war against the East-Angles, he was drawn from the convent against his will, and, being reluctantly led to battle with only a staff in his hand, he was slain as well as king Ecgrig. Anna, son of Eni succeeded to the throne.

Cuichelm, the son of king Cynegils, was baptised by bishop Birinus, in the city of Dorchester, and died the same year.

A.D. 637, 638.

A.D. 639. Bishop Birinus baptised Cuthred, the son of king Cuichelm, in the city of Dorchester, and received him from the font of regeneration.

A.D. 640. Eadbald, king of Kent, departed this life in the twenty-fifth year of his reign, leaving the government of his kingdom to his son Erconberht. He was the first of the English kings who ordered the idols to be forsaken and destroyed throughout his whole kingdom, and at the same time he commanded the fast of forty days to be observed. His daughter, Ercongote, by his queen St. Sexburg, was a virgin endowed with sublime virtues.

A.D. 641.

A.D. 642. The most Christian king Oswald, the nephew of king Edwin, and son of king Ethelfrith, a prince who was always humble, gracious, and liberal to pilgrims and the poor, was slain in the thirty-eighth year of his age, and the ninth of his reign, by Penda, the heathen king of Mercia, in a great battle fought at a place called Maserfeld.

A.D. 643. His brother Oswy, a young man about thirty years of age, shortly afterwards succeeded to his kingdom, and maintained himself in it by incessant struggles for twenty-eight years. Cenwalch, son of Cynegils, succeeded the same year to the kingdom of Wessex, which he held twenty-one years. He built the church at Winchester, in which is the bishop’s seat.

A.D. 644. Paulinus, formerly bishop of York, but then of Rochester, departed to the Lord on the sixth of the ides (the 10th) of October. He had been a bishop eighteen years, two months, and twenty-one days. Honorius, the archbishop, the successor of Justus, ordained Ithamar bishop of Rochester in the place of Paulinus.

A.D. 645. Cenwalch, king of Wessex, being attacked by Penda, king of the Mercians, for having divorced his sister, was dethroned, and took refuge with Anna, king of East-Anglia. Likewise this same year king Oswin, son of Osric, cousin-german to Edwin,—a prince of graceful aspect, tall in stature, courteous and affable, of gentle manners, liberal to all, the humblest of kings, and generally beloved—began to reign in the province of Deira, and governed it seven years.

A.D. 646. King Cenwalch was baptised in East-Anglia, by Bishop Felix.

A.D. 647. Felix, the first bishop of the East-Angles died; in whose place archbishop Honorius consecrated his deacon, Thomas; who also departing this life, after being bishop five years, was succeeded by Boniface.

A.D. 648. King Cenwalch returned from East-Anglia to Wessex, and the same year made a large grant of lands to his nephew Cuthred, son of king Cuichelm.

A.D. 649.

A.D. 650. Bishop Egilbert, a native of France, was appointed to the see of Wessex by king Cenwalch, after the death of Birinus, and exercised episcopal authority in that province for many years.

A.D. 651. St. Cuthbert entered the monastery of Mailrose, being admitted by Eata, the most reverend abbot of that church. Oswin king of Deira, a man of the deepest humility and eminent piety, was slain in a detestable manner on the thirteenth of the calends of September (30th August), at the command of king Oswy, by his ealdorman Ethelwin; having been treacherously betrayed by earl Hunwald, in whom he confided as a devoted friend. He was succeeded by Ethelwold, son of king Oswald. After the murder of king Oswin, bishop Aidan departed to the realms of bliss on the second of the calends of September (August 31st). Cuthbert, an excellent young man, beheld his soul carried to heaven by angels. Finan was raised to the bishopric in his place, being consecrated and sent by the Scots.

A.D. 652.

A.D. 653. Benedict, surnamed Biscop, a thane of king Oswin, and an Englishman of noble birth, quitted his home and kindred, his possessions and native country, for the love of Christ, at the age of twenty-five years, and betaking himself to Rome, came back advanced in learning. Honorius, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on the second of the calends of October (30th September). He was succeeded in the see, at the expiration of a year and six months, by Deusdedit the sixth archbishop from Augustine, and having been consecrated by Ithamar bishop of Rochester, on the seventh of the calends of April [26th March], he governed his church nine years, four months, and two days.

The Mid-Angles, under their prince Peada, son of Penda king of Mercia, received the Christian faith and sacraments, the prince himself being first baptized, with all his attendants, by bishop Finan, at the court of Oswy king of Northumbria. Afterwards, on his return home, the rest of his people were baptized by four priests, Cedd, Adda, Betti, and Diuma, who accompanied him from Northumbria. At that time Sigebert, king of the East-Angles, who succeeded Sebert, surnamed the Little, having embraced the faith of Christ on the exhortation of king Oswy while on a visit to him, was baptized by Finan, the bishop of the Northumbrians; and on his return to his own seat of government, king Oswy sent with him Cedd the priest, a man of God, to preach the Word to the East-Saxons. Having gathered a numerous church for the Lord, he went home to confer with bishop Finan, and receiving from him the episcopal dignity, on his return to the province he completed with greater authority the work he had commenced.

On one occasion, when he revisited the province of Northumbria, for the purpose of exhortation, Ethelwald king of Deira, king Oswald’s son, requested him to accept a grant of land whereon he might build a monastery. In compliance with the royal will he selected a site for it at a place now called Leastingaig, and having erected the monastery, established in it the rules of a religious life. Meanwhile, at the instigation of the foe to all good men, Sigebert was slain by his own neighbours, because it was too much his practice to pardon his enemies, and forgive, with a gentle spirit, on their mere petition, the injuries he had received from them. Swithelm, the son of Sexbald, succeeded to his throne.

A.D. 654. Anna, king of the East-Angles, was slain by king Penda, and succeeded by his brother Ethelhere. A monastery was built by St. Botulph, at a place called Ikanhoe.

A.D. 655. Penda, the perfidious king of Mercia, who had slain Sigebert, Ecgrig, and Anna, kings of the East- Angles, as well as Edwin and Oswald, kings of the Northumbrians, having mustered thirty legions, with as many noble thanes, advanced northward into Bernicia, to wage a war of conquest against king Oswy. That king, with his son Alfrid, trusting in Christ as their leader, although they had only one legion, met the enemy at a place called Winwidfeld.10 Battle being joined, the Pagans were routed and cut to pieces, nearly all the thirty king’s thanes who marched under his banner being slain. Among them fell Ethelhere, brother and successor of Anna king of the East-Angles, the promoter of the war. His brother Ethelwald succeeded to his kingdom. Then king Oswy, in acknowledgment of the victory vouchsafed to him, devoted to God twelve estates for building monasteries, together with his daughter Elfleda to be consecrated as a nun, and accordingly she entered the monastery of Heortesig, of which Hilda was then abbess.

This battle was fought by king Oswy, in the neighbourhood of Leeds, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and on the seventeenth of the calends of December [15th November], and he converted the nation of the Mercians to the faith of Christ. By his care, Diuma, already mentioned, was the first who was made bishop of the province of Mercia, and of the people of Lindisfiirne and Middle-Anglia; the second was Ceollan, a Scotchman by birth. This king reigned three years over the Mercians and the other people of the southern provinces. He compelled the Pictish nation to submit to the dominion of the English; and made Peada his cousin, son of king Penda, king of the Southern Mercians.

A.D. 650. King Peada was most foully murdered, through the treachery of his wife, at the very time when the feast of Easter was celebrating.

A.D. 657. Cenwalch, king of Wussex, fought with the Britons, and drove them as far as the Parret. The abbess St. Hilda began to build a monastery at a place called Streoneshcalh, in which king Oswy’s daughter was a nun in the earlier part of her life, and afterwards became abbess. Her mother, queen Eanfleda, built a monastery, which is called In-Getling, on the spot where king Oswinc, the son of her father’s cousin, king Osric, was unrighteously slain, and appointed Trumhere, a man of God, who was kinsman to the murdered king, abbot.

A.D. 659. Immin, Eaba, and Eadberht, ealdormen of Mercia, rebelled against king Oswy, raising to the throne Wulfhere, the son of Penda, who having been saved in concealment, was now coming to years of puberty; and thus, with their king, they enjoyed the liberty of professing Christianity. This king’s first bishop was Trumhere, already named; the second was Jaruman; the third Cedd; and the fourth Winfrid.

A.D. 660. King Cenwalch divided the West-Saxon province into two dioceses, and made the city of Winchester bishop Wine’s episcopal seat; in consequence of which bishop Agilbert was so much offended that he retired to France, and accepted the bishopric of Paris. King Ecgfrith, son of king Oswy, married Etheldritha, the daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles.

A.D. 661. Cuthred, son of king Cuichelm, to wit, grandson of king Cynegils and cousin-german of the kings Cenwalch and Centwin, together with the tributary-king Cenbriht, who was great-grandson of king Ceaulin, and king Cedwal’s father, died this year. Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, first ravaged Ascesdun, and then took possession of the Isle of Wight, which he gave to his godson Ethelwold, king of the South-Saxons, together with the district of Meanvara in Wessex. Finan, bishop of the Northumbrians, died, and was succeeded by Colman, who was also sent from Scotland.

A.D. 662, 663.

A.D. 664. In the thirtieth year after Scotch bishops were established in Northumbria, and the twenty-second of the reign of king Oswy, questions having been raised in that province respecting Easter, the tonsure, and other ecclesiastical affairs, it was settled that a synod should be held at the monastery of Streoneshealh, where Hilda was then abbess. It was attended by the kings Oswy and his son Alfrid, who had succeeded to the kingdom of king Ethelwald, king Oswald’s son; as also by bishop Colman and his clergy, Agilbert bishop of the West-Saxons, with the priests Agatho and Wilfrid, Cedd bishop of the East-Saxons, and the abbess Hilda, with her officials. After much debate, at last, both the superiors and their subordinates agreed to relinquish the invalid usages of the Scotch, and hastened to adopt those which they had ascertained to be better. The controversy being concluded, and the questions solved, Agilbert went home, and Cedd, giving up the traditions of the Scots, returned to his own diocese. Colman, silenced by the unanimous resolution of the Catholics, rejoined his adherents in Scotland, and on his withdrawing to his own country, Tuda was appointed bishop of the Northumbrians in his stead; but he ruled the church only for a short time. Eata, a most reverend man, who was abbot of Mailrose, and before that had founded the monastery of Ripon at king Alfred’s request, was set over the brethren of Lindisfarne, and removed St. Cuthbert from Melrose to the island of Lindisfarne.

The same year, there was an eclipse of the sun on the 3rd of May, at about the tenth hour. It was quickly followed by a pestilence which snatched from the world Tuda, the priest of the Lord. The king, by the advice and with the concurrence of his father, king Oswy, sent the venerable father Wilfrid, abbot of Ripon, to the king of the Franks, requesting that he might be ordained bishop, he being then about thirty years old. Thereupon the king sent him for consecration to Agilbert, who having withdrawn from Britain was made bishop of Paris, and, assisted by eleven other bishops, performed the office with great ceremony. Deusdedit, the sixth archbishop from Augustine, died on the second of the ides [the 14th] of July. Erconbert also, king of Kent, died the same year, and his son Egbert ascended the throne. Ceadda, that holy man, who was brother of Cedd, bishop and saint, and abbot of the monastery of Leastingaig, on the command of king Oswy, was consecrated bishop of York, by Wine, bishop of Winchester, as Wilfrid was still an exile in foreign parts. Ethelburga, the mother of the convent of Barking, a woman beloved by God, and the first abbess of that monastery, was released from the prison of the flesh on the fifth of the ides [the 11th] of October.

She was sister of Erconwald, a man of admirable sanctity, afterwards bishop of London; her life was such that no one who knew her could doubt that on her departure from this life the gates of the heavenly kingdom were opened to her. She was succeeded in the office of abbess by a nun beloved of God, whose name was Hildelith. Shortly afterwards, Cedd, bishop of the East-Saxons, went to his monastery of Leastingaig, where he fell sick and died on the seventh of the calends of November [26th October]. Ethelwald, king of the East-Angles, having died, he was succeeded by Aldulf, whose mother was Hereswitha, sister of St. Hilda, the abbess; their father was Hereric, son of Eadfrith, son of Edwine. Boisilus, a monk of sublime virtues, superior of the monastery of Mailrose, a man inspired with the spirit of prophecy, and a priest beloved of God, having been struck by a mortal disease, was exalted to the joys of eternal light. Sighere, king of the East-Saxons, with his part of the people, apostatized from the faith, which coming to the ears of Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, he sent bishop Jaruman, Trumhere’s successor, to correct the error. However, Sebbi, who shared the throne, as co-heir with him, preserved the faith he had embraced, with all the population subject to him.

A.D. 665. Benedict, surnamed Biscop, went to Rome, for the second time, when Vitalian was pope, and a few months afterwards retired to the island of Lerins.11 Devoting himself to the monks, he received the tonsure, and for two years served God, under the abbot’s rule, according to the regular discipline.

A.D. 666. St. Aldhelm was ordained abbot of Malmesbury in the church of SS. Peter and Paul by Eleutherius, the fourth bishop of the West-Saxons. Wina, bishop of Winchester, being driven from his see by king Cenwalch, repaired to Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, and receiving from him the see of London, remained bishop of that city for the rest of his life.

A.D. 667. The most illustrious English kings, Oswy, of the province of Northumbria, and Egbert, of Kent, with the consent of the holy church of the English nation, sent to Rome, for consecration to the office of bishop, a priest named Wihard, one of the clerks of archbishop Deusdedit. But although he reached Rome, he was snatched away by death before he could be consecrated. Ceadda, bishop of York, governed the church gloriously for three years; he then retired to the superintendence of his monastery at Leastingaig, and Wilfrid took upon himself the episcopal charge of the entire province of Northumbria.

A.D. 668. Biscop, called also Benedict, visited Rome for the third time. There was then at Rome a monk named Theodore, a native of Tarsus, in Silicia, a man well versed both in secular and ecclesiastical learning, master both of Greek and Latin, of unblemished life, and sixty-six years of age. Pope Vitalian having consecrated him archbishop, on Sunday, the seventh of the calends of April [26th March], committed him to the care of Biscop, as he was a prudent and spirited man, to be conducted to Britain, in company with abbot Adrian.

A.D. 669. Archbishop Theodore arrived in Kent on Sunday, the sixth of the calends of June [27th May], and entrusted the government of the monastery of St. Peter the apostle to Benedict, also called Biscop, with the office of abbot. Soon afterwards he made a progress through the island, consecrating bishops in suitable places, and completed the consecration of Ceadda by new rites after the catholic form. In the city of Rochester, also, where there had been no bishop since the death of Damianus, he ordained Putta, a man skilled in ecclesiastical discipline; and not long afterwards, on the death of Jaruman, at the request of king Wulfhere, and with the concurrence of king Oswy, he enjoined Ceadda to take charge of the united sees of Mercia and Lindisfarne. Ceadda obeyed the injunction, and employed himself in the ministry he had accepted, with great purity of life. King Wulfhere granted him fifty hides of land for the purpose of building a monastery at a place called At-Bearuwe.

A.D. 670. Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, falling sick, died on the fifteenth of the calends of March [15th Feb], in the fifty-eighth year of his age, leaving his son Egfrid as successor to his kingdom. King Cenwalch and the West- Saxons requested Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, to consecrate as their bishop, Eleuthcrius, nephew of Agilbert, bishop of Paris, and having been consecrated accordingly at Winchester, he administered the united diocese seven years.

A.D. 671. There was a pest among birds, which destroyed vast numbers. The venerable abbot Benedict, also called Biscop, having presided over the monastery of St. Peter the apostle two years, filling the office of abbot, went from Britain to Rome for the third time, by leave of archbishop Theodore. He was succeeded in the government of the convent by abbot Adrian, whom we have before mentioned, an African by birth, well read in the sacred writings, and an apt scholar both in Greek and Latin.

A.D. 672. Cenwalch, king of the West-Saxons, died in the thirtieth year of his reign; his queen Sexburga, according to the English chronicle, 12 reigned after him one year, but according to Bede, tributary-kings divided his kingdom and ruled it about ten years. Etheldritha, queen of the Northumbrians, used long importunities with king Egfrid for leave to release herself from worldly cares and do the service of the Lord Christ in a monastery; and having at last, with no little difficulty, succeeded, she entered the monastery of St. Ebba, the abbess, who was sister of the kings, SS. Oswald and Oswy, and aunt of king Egfrid, receiving the nun’s veil from the hands of bishop Wilfrid. After bishop Ceadda had gloriously ruled the church in the province of Mercia for two years and a half, he became very infirm, and being prepared for his end by partaking of the body and blood of our Lord, he went to eternal bliss on the sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of March.

As he was departing out of this world, the most reverend father Egbert, who had been his fellow-scholar in Ireland, saw the spirit of St. Chad, the bishop, Ceadda’s brother, with an host of angels, descend from heaven and bear it upwards with them on their return to the realms of bliss. His deacon, Winfrid, was consecrated by Theodore, and became the successor of his master the bishop. Benedict Biscop returned from Rome, and on his landing in Britain he betook himself to his own people and native soil. Egfrid king of the nations beyond the Humber, whose court he visited, immediately granted him a domain containing seventy families that he might build a monastery at the mouth of the river Wear.

A.D. 673. Egbert king of Kent died in the month of July and the ninth year of his reign; he was succeeded by his brother Hlothere, who reigned eleven years and seven months. Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, convened an episcopal synod at a place called Hertford, in which Wilfrid, bishop of the Northumbrians, was represented by his own legates. There were present at this synod, Putta, bishop of Rochester, Eleutherius, bishop of the East-Saxons, and Winfrid, bishop of the Mercians; to whom must be added Bisi, bishop of the East-Angles, the successor of Boniface already mentioned. He was a very holy and devout man, and had been consecrated by Theodore a short time before the synod; and being afterwards prevented by severe infirmities from performing the duties of his office, two bishops, Æcci and Badwine, were ordained in his lifetime to act for him. St. Etheldritha was made abbess in the district called Elge [Ely], where, having built a monastery for nuns, this virgin became mother in the heavenly life both by her example and precepts.

A.D. 674. According to the English chronicle, Escwine succeeded this year to the kingdom of Wessex. He was the son of Cenfus, who was son of Cenferth, who was son of Cuthgils, who was son of Ceolwulf, who was son of Cynric, who was son of Cerdic. (Ireland, the island of saints, was gloriously filled with holy men and wonderful works.)

Biscop ... (built a monastery) at the mouth of the river Wear, in the second indiction.

A.D. 675. Wulfhere, king of Mercia, and Escwine, king of Wessex, fought a battle at a place called Beadenhead. The same year, being the seventeenth of his reign, king Wulfhere himself went to heaven. He was the first of the Mercian kings who received the faith and the washing of holy regeneration; and abolishing, and utterly rooting out the worship of idols among all his people, he caused the name of Christ to be published throughout his dominions, and built churches in many places. His queen, St. Ermengilda, was the daughter of Erconbert, king of Kent, and his queen, St. Sexburga, the daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles, and sister of St. Etheldritha. St. Werburga, Wulfhere’s daughter by Ermengild, a virgin of exemplary virtues, after her father’s death, renounced the world, and resolving to take the habit of a nun, entered the monastery of her mother’s aunt, St. Etheldritha, where by God’s help she wrought many miracles. Her uncle, king Ethelred, hearing reports of her sanctity, appointed her to preside over several monasteries of virgins devoted to God, with the rank of abbess, living in and among which according to monastic rules, and affectionately consulting their good in all things, she combated in the service of Christ her King to the end of her life; and dying in one of her monasteries called Trentham, the beatified virgin was espoused and taken to her heavenly bridegroom.

Her corpse was carried to the monastery at Hanbury, as she had directed in her lifetime, and being interred with great honour, remained without corruption until the time when the heathen Danes laid waste the provinces of England with cruel slaughter and barbarous ravages. King Wulfhere’s brothers were these: Ethelred, who succeeded him in his kingdom; Peada, who, as we briefly mentioned, was king of the Southern Mercians; and Merewald, who ruled in the western part of Mercia. Merewald’s queen, Ermenburga, bore him three daughters, St. Mildburg, St. Mildrith, and St. Mildgith, and one son, Merefin, a youth of eminent piety.

Archbishop Theodore, being offended with Winfrid, bishop of the Mercians, on account of some act of disobedience, deposed him from his bishopric and ordained in his stead Saxulf, the founder and abbot of the monastery called Burg, in the territory of the Girvii. 13 After his deposition, Winfrid retired to his monastery of Bearwe, and there ended his days in a course of holy living. Theodore also appointed Erconwald bishop of the East-Saxons, who were then under Sebbe and Sighere, with London for his see, where his predecessor Wine had his episcopal seat. Erconwald’s life and conversation, both before and after he was made bishop, are said to have been most holy. He founded two monasteries, one for himself, and the other for his sister; his own, called Chertsey, with the aid of the sub-king, Frithewold, he filled with monks and amply endowed; his sister’s monastery was called Barking, and she became the first abbess. Waldhere succeeded Erconwald, and after him was Inguald, the last bishop of London mentioned by Bede in his History of England. Moreover, Hildelith succeeded Ethelburga, St. Erconwald’s sister, and it was to her that St. Aldhelm addressed his book “On Virginity.” Wulfhildis succeeded Hildelith as abbess, in the time of king Edgar.

A.D. 676. Benedict Biscop went from Britain to Rome the fourth time, accompanied by Ceolfrid a pious monk, and brought back a bull of privileges, accepted not only with the license and concurrence, but at the express desire and instance of king Egfrid, whereby the independence and immunities of his monastery were secured for ever. He also obtained the services of John, precentor of the church of St. Peter the apostle; bringing him to Britain to teach his monks the course of chaunting throughout the year.

Escwine, king of Wessex, died, and Centwine, who was son of Cynegils, son of Ceol, succeeded him. Ethelred, king of the Mercians, ravaged Kent, destroying the city of Rochester in the common ruin. Putta, its bishop, being exposed to this, took refuge with Saxulf, bishop of the Mercians, and accepting the cure of a church he gave him, ended his days there in peace. Theodore consecrated Cuichelm to be bishop in Putta’s place, but as he retired from the see shortly afterwards, because it was stripped of its possessions, Theodore appointed Gebmund bishop in his stead. On the death of Eleutherius, bishop of the West-Saxons, Haxidi took upon himself his episcopal functions, having been consecrated by Theodore at London. St. Cuthbert devoted himself to a life of solitude and contemplation as a hermit.

A.D. 677. In the eighth year of Egfrid’s reign, a comet appeared in the month of August. The same year, in consequence of a dispute between king Egfrid and the most reverend bishop Wilfrid, the bishop was expelled from his see, and two bishops were appointed in his place, namely, Bosa, a reverend monk of the monastery of the abbess Hilda, who governed the province of Deira, and Eata, the venerable abbot of Mailrose, that of Bernicia. The one fixed his episcopal seat in the city of York, the other in the church of Hagulstad [Hexham], or at Lindisfarne; and both were taken from their convents for their promotion to be bishops. Eathted was also made bishop with them in the province of Lindisfarras [Lindsey], which king Egfrid had very recently taken possession of, defeating Wulfherc in battle, and driving him out of the country. This was the first bishop of its own that province had; the second was Ethelwine, the third Edgar, the fourth Cyneberht. Before that, it was superintended by Saxwulf, who was also bishop at the same time of the Mercians and East-Angles. In consequence, after his expulsion from Lindsey, he still continued to govern the two latter provinces. Eathsed, Bosa, and Eata were consecrated at York by archbishop Theodore.

Wilfrid, being thrust out from his bishopric, intended to go to Rome, but after embarking, he was driven by a westerly wind to Friesland, where he was the first to do the work of an evangelist; and, converting many thousand barbarians to the faith, spent the winter there in great delight with the newly-converted people of God.

A.D. 678. The holy Bede was born.14

A.D. 679. A severe battle was fought between Egfrid king of Northumbria and Ethelred king of Mercia, on the river Trent, in which king Alfwine, brother of king Egfrid, was slain. His sister Osfrith was married to king Ethelred.

Bishop Wilfrid departing from Friesland proceeded to Rome, and having been exonerated from the charges against him, and found fit for his office by sentence of pope Benedict and several bishops, he returned to Britain, and converted the province of the South-Saxons to the faith of Christ. St. Etheldritha, the virgin, abbess of Ely, was taken to the Lord from the midst of her flock on the ninth of the calends of July [23rd June], Her sister Sexburga succeeded to her office.

A.D. 680. In the sixth year of the reign of Ethelred, king of Mercia, the eighth indiction, archbishop Theodore convened a synod of the bishops, and great numbers of learned men, at a place called Heathfield, that he might ascertain what doctrines they severally held, as he had been directed by pope Agatho, through the medium of John the precentor, who was present at this synod. During this king’s reign, the province of Mercia was divided into five dioceses, 15 and, in consequence, Tatfrith, a man of profound learning, who belonged to the monastery of abbess Hilda, was selected to be bishop of the Hwiccii; but he died suddenly, before he could be consecrated; and, therefore, the reverend man, Bosel, was shortly afterwards ordained bishop of that province. Hilda, the devout handmaid of the Lord, abbess of the monastery of Streoneshalh [Whitby], and daughter of king Edwin’s grandson Hereric, having done the work of heaven upon earth, was translated from this world to receive the rewards of life in heaven, on the fifteenth of the calends of December [17th November], in the sixty-sixth year of her age.

She founded two monasteries, Streoneshalh and Hacanos [Hackness], in which she inculcated justice, devotion, continence, and other virtues; but chiefly peace and charity. In a monastery governed by this abbess lived Cedmon, that celebrated monk, who received from heaven the free gift of poetical inspiration. Oshere, the sub-king, by licence from his suzerain, Ethelred, the most excellent king of the Mercians, gave a domain containing thirty households, at a place called Rippel, to Frithewald, a monk of bishop Winfrid’s who has been already noticed, in order that he might establish there the monastic rule.

A.D. 681. Bede was only seven years old when, being a lad of great promise, his relations entrusted him to the most reverend abbot Biscop, to be brought up by him. Three years after Wilfrid had withdrawn, archbishop Theodore ordained Tunbert to the church of Hexham (Eata continuing at Lindisfarne) and Trumwine as bishop of the territory of the Picts. EathÆd, having returned from Lindsey, because king Ethelred had recovered possession of that province, was set over the church of Ripon.

A.D. 682. Centwine, king of Wessex, drove the Britons of the West at the sword’s point as far as the sea. The most reverend abbot Benedict Biscop, choosing his cousin Eusterwine, a priest of eminent piety, and one of his own monks, placed the monastery under his rule as abbot. King Egfrid, for the redemption of his soul, gave another domain of forty families to abbot Benedict, who, sending there twenty-two monks, and appointing abbot Ceolfrid, his most strenuous supporter on all occasions, to be their superior, founded a monastery, by the king’s command, at a place called Girvum [Jarrow].

A.D. 683.

A.D. 684. Egfrid, king of Northumbria, sent Berht in the command of an army to Ireland, who cruelly ravaged the inoffensive natives. A synod having assembled at Twyford near the river Alne, at which king Egfrid was present, and archbishop Theodore presided, Tunbert was deposed from his see, and Cuthbert unanimously elected bishop of Hexham; but as he preferred superintending the church of Lindisfarne, he was permitted to take that bishopric, Eata returning to Hexham. Benedict Biscop left Britain for Rome, for the fifth time.

A.D. 685. Hlothere, king of Kent, having received a wound in battle with the East-Saxons, died while it was healing, on Monday, the eighth of the ides, [the 6th] February. He was succeeded by Edric, his brother Egbert’s son, who reigned one year and a half. Britain was swept with a pestilence which carried death into all quarters, and abbot Eusterwine, beloved of God, falling a prey to it was taken to the Lord; in whose stead the brethren, after consulting abbot Ceolfrid, chose for their abbot, Sigefrid, a deacon belonging to the same monastery, and eminent for his sanctity and profound study of the scriptures. Biscop returned from Bome loaded with presents for ecclesiastical uses, and foreign valuables. The consecration of St. Cuthbert took place on Easter day, in the presence of king Egfrid; seven bishops assisting at the solemnity, of whom archbishop Theodore was primate. King Egfrid, having rashly led an army to ravage the territory of the Picts, was slain on Saturday, the thirteenth of the calends of June [20th May], in the fortieth year of his age, and fifteenth of his reign. He was succeeded by his brother Alfrid, a prince well read in the Scriptures.

In the beginning of his reign, on the death of the most holy bishop Eata, John, a man of sanctity, was appointed bishop of Hexham. Bishop Trumwine, that devoted servant of the Lord, returned with his companions from the country of the Picts, and selecting Streoneshalh for his future abode, spent the rest of his life there to his own profit and that of many others; dying also there, he mounted up to the kingdom of heaven. Ceadwalla, a most gallant youth of the blood-royal of the Gewissse,16 slew Ethelwalh, king of the South-Saxons, having come upon him by surprise at the head of an army; but he was shortly afterwards driven out by the ealdormen Bcrhtun and Ethelhun, who thenceforth assumed the government of the kingdom. Centwine, king of the East-Saxons, departed this life, and was succeeded by Ceadwalla, just named, who was the son of Cynebert, who was son of Ceadda, who was son of Cutha, who was son of Ceaulin, who was son of Cynric, who was son of Cerdic.

A.D. 686. Bishop Wilfrid, after a long exile, returned to his see and bishopric of the church of Hcxham, at the invitation of king Alfrid. On the death of Bosa, a most holy and humble man, John, succeeded him as bishop of York. Ceadwalla, king of the Gewissro, slew Beorthun, ealdorman of Sussex, and reduced that province to severe servitude. He and his brother Mull then ravaged Kent; and afterwards, king Ceadwalla himself seized the Isle of Wight, the whole of which was till that time lost in idolatry; and although not as yet himself regenerated in Christ, he offered bishop Wilfrid the fourth part of the island, containing three hundred families, to be appropriated to the Lord’s service. Wilfrid accepted the grant, and committing the superintendence to his nephew Berwin,17 sent ministers of the Word into the island. Bishop Cuthbort, the man of God, having employed two years in his episcopal functions, retired again, on a divine warning, to the island of Farne. On the death of Edric, king of Kent, that kingdom was for some time dismembered by kings of doubtful pretensions, or aliens.

A.D. 687. The Kentish-men having cruelly surrounded with fire and burnt to death Mull, the brother of Ceadwalla, king of the West-Saxons, with twelve of his soldiers, king Ceadwalla’s indignation was so roused that he again devastated Kent. The most reverend father Cuthbert died in the island of Farne, on Wednesday, the thirteenth of the calends of April [20th March], the fifteenth indiction; but his body was carried to the island of Lindisfarne, and buried in the church. Wilfrid, bishop of Hexham, administered Cuthbert’s see for a year. His successor in the solitary life of his hermitage was Ethelwold, a venerable man, whose merits and course of life are exhibited in the numberless miracles he wrought. (St. Kilian, a Scot, born in Ireland, and bishop of Wurtzburg became eminent.)

A.D. 688. Ceadwalla abdicating and retiring to Rome, Ina, a prince of the royal race who built the monastery of Glastonbury, succeeded him in his kingdom. He was the son of Oenred, the son of Ceolwald, the son of Cutha, the son of Cuthwine, the son of Ceaulin. Eadbert was consecrated in the place of Cuthbert; he was distinguished for his knowledge of the holy Scriptures, as well as the observance of the divine precepts, and, most of all, for his liberal distribution of alms. The abbots, Benedict Biscop and Sigefrid, worn out by long illness, both took to their beds; in consequence, shortly afterwards, Benedict having consulted with the brethren, sent for Ceolfrid, to whom he had entrusted the government of the monastery of St. Paul the apostle, and appointed him abbot of both convents, in the fourth indie- tion, and on the fourth of the ides [the 12th] of May. The venerable abbot Sigefrid, beloved of God, was admitted to the enjoyment of eternal rest, and entered the mansions of the everlasting kingdom amid the sacrifices of endless praise, on Saturday the eleventh of the calends of September [22nd August] of the same year. On the death of Putta, bishop of Hereford, he was succeeded by Tyrhtell.

A.D. 689. Benedict Biscop, the successful combatant against all vice, and pattern of virtue, after a lingering illness, during which he constantly offered thanks to God, was admitted to the rest and brightness of the heavenly life on the second of the ides [the 12th] of January. Ceadwalla, king of the West-Saxons, was baptized on the holy Saturday of Easter [the 10th April] when Sergius was pope; and he died at Rome, on Tuesday the 12th of the calends of May [the 20th April], in the third indiction, being about thirty years of age. His epitaph, composed by command of pope Sergius, is to the following effect:

     “High rank and power, kindred, a royal crown,
      The spoils of war, great triumphs and renown;
      Nobles, and cities walled to guard his state,
      His palaces and his familiar seat;
      Whatever skill and valour made his own,
      And what his great forefathers handed down, &c.”

A.D. 690. Archbishop Theodore, of blessed memory, died on Monday the thirteenth of the calends of October [19th September] in the eighty-eighth year of his age and the twenty-second of his episcopacy. (Until this time the archbishops of Canterbury were Romans, but, henceforth, they were Englishmen.)

A.D. 691. Wilfrid, bishop of Hexham, being again accused, and expelled from his see by king Alfrid and several bishops, shortly afterwards sought a retreat with Ethelred, king of Mercia, by whom he was appointed to the bishopric of the Mid-Angles. At this time, Bosel, bishop of the province of the Hwiccas,18 was afflicted with such bodily infirmities, that he was unable to fulfil his episcopal functions in person; in consequence of which Oftfor, a man of singular merit and eminent sanctity, who had long performed the office of a priest in abbess Hilda’s monastery, but was now a preacher of the word in the before-named province, was ordained bishop as substitute for Bosel, by bishop Wilfrid of blessed memory, at the command of king Ethelred, because archbishop Theodore was then dead, and no prelate had been consecrated in his stead. Wihtred, son of Egbert, king of Kent, being established on the throne, released his subjects from alien intruders. Swebheard reigned jointly with him over part of the kingdom.

A.D. 692. The venerable Egbert, a name always to be mentioned with honour, was an Englishman by birth, but having led a pilgrim’s life in Ireland, to secure a place in the heavenly country, he formed the design of preaching in Germany. Not being able to carry it into effect, as it was contrary to the Divine will, he sent there some holy and diligent men to do the work of the gospel, of whom Willibrord was the most eminent, both for his merit and rank as a priest. They were favourably received by Pepin the Elder, chief of the Franks, who sent them to preach in Hither Friesland. Following their example, two priests of the name of Hewald, Englishmen by birth, went into Old Saxony, that they might gain souls for Christ in that province by their preaching; but the barbarians no sooner discovered that they were of a different religion, than they seized them and subjected them to martyrdom, on the fifth of the nones [the 3rd] of October. Willibrord having received from prince Pepin leave to preach, went to Rome, to obtain from pope Sergius license to commence the work of evangelising the heathen, which being granted he returned to his mission.

Berthwald, abbot of the monastery of Raeulf [Reculver], near the northern mouth of the river Inlade, a man well versed in the Scriptures, and thoroughly acquainted with the rules both of monastic and ecclesiastical discipline, was chosen bishop in Theodore’s place. On the death of Oftfor, bishop of the Hwiccas,he was succeeded by St. Egwine, and in the course of a few years, with the license and support of king Ethelred, began to erect the Abbey of Evesham.

A.D. 693. Berthwald was consecrated by Godwin, the metropolitan bishop of France, on Sunday the third of the calends of July [29th June]. Among many other bishops consecrated by Godwin, was Tobias, ordained bishop of Rochester, on the death of Gebmund. Bede, the monk, was admitted to the order of deacon by John, bishop of York.

A.D. 694. The Kentish-men made peace with Ina, king of Wessex, by paying him three thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds, as a mulct for having burnt his brother Mull, before mentioned.

A.D. 695. The body of St. Etheldritha the Virgin was found without decay, as well as the dress in which it was wrapped, after having been buried sixteen years.

A.D. 696. St. Willibrord, who was born in Britain of an English family, at the request of Pepin chief of the Franks, was ordained .archbishop of the Frisians, by pope Sergius, on the feast of the Nativity of St. Cecilia the Virgin [22nd November].

A.D. 697. St. Guthlac, at the age of twenty-four years renouncing worldly pomps and relinquishing all his property, betook himself to the monastery of Hrepandun [Repton in Derbyshire] and received the tonsure and monastic habit there under abbess Alfryth. Osthryth, the queen of Ethelred king of Mercia, was slain by the South-Humbrians.

A.D. 698. The body of St. Cuthbert was found eleven years after its interment as undecayed as it was at the hour of his death, as also the robe in which he was buried; it was, therefore, exhumed, and being wrapped in a new shroud and placed in a fresh coffin was deposited on the floor of the sanctuary. In a very short time, bishop Eadbert, the friend of God, was attacked with an acute disorder, and not long afterwards departed to the Lord on the day before the nones [the 6th] of May. His corpse was deposited in the tomb of St. Cuthbert, being placed on the chest in which the undecayed remains of that father had recently been inclosed. Eadfrid, a man of God, succeeded Eadbert in the bishopric.

A.D. 699. St. Guthlac retired to the isle of Croyland, on the eighth of the calends of September, [25th August], and began to lead the life of a hermit.

A.D. 700—702.

A.D. 703. Bede, in his book De Temporibus, thus writes in the year in which he composed it:—“If you wish to know how many years there are, according to Dionysius, since our Lord’s Incarnation, reckon the number of indictions since the fifth year of Tiberius, which are forty-six; these multiplied by fifteen make six hundred and ninety; add always the regular number of twelve, because, according to Dionysius, our Lord was born in the fourth indiction, and also the indiction of any year you choose, as, for instance, in the present year one, the total is seven hundred and three. That is the year of our Lord according to Dionysius.” These are the words of Bede.

A.D. 704. Ethelred, king of the Mercians, became a monk in the thirtieth year of his reign, 19 resigning his kingdom to his nephew Cynred. The venerable monk Bede, at the command of Cealfrid his abbot, received the order of priesthood from the holy John, bishop of York. 20

A.D. 705. Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, died at Driffeld on the nineteenth of the calends of January [14th December] having not quite completed the thirtieth year of his reign. He was succeeded in his kingdom by his son Osred, a boy about eight years old, who held it eleven years. In the commencement of his reign, Hsedda, bishop of the West-Saxons, departed to life in heaven; on whose death, the bishopric of that province was divided into two dioceses, one of which was given to Daniel, the other to Aldhelm, 21 abbot of the monastery called Mailduff [Malmesbury]; both being persons well versed in ecclesiastical affairs and knowledge of the Scriptures. St. Aldhelm was consecrated by the blessed Berthwald, archbishop of Canterbury.

A.D. 706.

A.D. 707. Bede, having taken priest’s orders in the thirtieth year of his age, began to employ himself diligently in writing the work, to the composition of which twenty-nine years of his life were devoted.

A.D. 708. Cynred, king of Mercia, and Offa, king of the East-Saxons, son of king Sighere, leaving their wives, their lands, their kindred and country, for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s, and, having received the tonsure and become monks, persevered in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, at the threshold of the apostles, to the end of their days; and thus became admitted at last to the vision of the blessed apostles in heaven, so long the object of their desires. St. Egwine, bishop of the Hwiccas, accompanied them to Rome, on their invitation, and, having solicited pope Constantine to issue a bull, by which security might be given to the monastery he had built in the territory of Worcester against unjust claims, his petition was granted.

A.D. 709. Cynred was succeeded in his kingdom by Ceolred, the son of king Ethelred, who had reigned before Cynred. St. Aldhelm, bishop of Wessex, a man of most extensive learning, departed to the Lord. Forthred [Forthere, see below], his successor in the bishopric, was also deeply read in the holy scriptures.

      “Here Wilfrid’s virtues earned the name of Great;
      Long tossed by perils in this mortal state;
      Thrice fifteen years a bishop’s life he spent,
      Then to the realms above triumphant went.” 22

His remains were buried with great pomp in the church of St. Peter the apostle, in his original monastery of Ripon. On his death, his priest Acca received the bishopric of Hexham. He was a man of great vigour, honourable in the sight both of God and man, a skilful chaunter, deeply erudite in sacred literature, strict in the true confession of the catholic faith, a mirror of continence, and a perfect master of the rules of monastic discipline; he had been formerly a scholar of Bosa, bishop of York, beloved by God.

A.D. 710. Berhtfrid, commander of king Osred’s army, fought a battle with the Picts, in which he was victorious. Ina, the warlike king of the Gewisse, and his kinsman Nun, engaged in war with Gwent, king of the Britons, and defeated him and put him to flight. The most reverend father Adrian, abbot of the monastery of St. Peter the apostle, died, and was buried in that monastery. He was succeeded by his disciple Albinus, who was as much master of Greek and Latin as he was of English, his native tongue. On the death of Tyrhtell, bishop of Hereford, he was succeeded by Forthere.

A.D. 711—713.

A.D. 714. Guthlac, the brother of Christ’s dear virgin Pegia, that most exemplary hermit and faithful priest of God, who worked miracles without number, breathed out his spirit, which was wafted to the joys of eternal triumph, on the third of the ides [the llth] of April, being the fourth day of Easter, the twelfth indiction. He was succeeded by Cissa, who was for a long time an idolater, but had afterwards been baptized in Britain.

A.D. 715. Gregory (II.) became the eighty-eighth pope, and filled the apostolical see seventeen years and ten months. He was chaste and wise, and ordained Boniface to the bishopric of Mentz, from whom Germany received the word of salvation. Ina, king of the West-Saxons, and Ceolrid, king of the Mercians, fought a battle at a place called Wodnesbeorh.

A.D. 716. Egbert, the man of God who has been mentioned before, induced the monks of Hii to adopt the Catholic usages with respect to Easter and ecclesiastical tonsure. When Osred was slain, Cenred, son of the illustrious Cuthwine, succeeded to the government of the kingdom of Northumbria. Ceolred, king of the Mercians, died, and was buried at Litchfield. Ethelbald his cousin, that is, the son of Alwine, who was the cousin of his father king Ethelred, became king, as St. Guthlae, inspired by a prophetical spirit, had predicted to him. Ethelred, formerly king of the Mercians, but afterwards abbot of the monastery of Bardney, which he had himself founded, departed out of this life, and entered on the joys of eternal happiness, serenity and light. Abbot Ceolfrid, a man of eminent holiness and devotion, died while he was on a pilgrimage at the city of Langres, in Burgundy, and was buried in the church of the fellow martyrs, SS. Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Meleusippus. He was at the time of his death seventy-four years of age, having been of the order of the priesthood forty-seven years, and filled the office of abbot thirty-five years.

A.D. 717. St. Egwine, the third bishop of the Hwiccas, died on Thursday the third of the calends of January [30th December], the fifteenth induction. Wilfrid, a man of eminent piety, succeeded to the bishopric of the church of Worcester, having been elected in Egwine’s lifetime.

A.D. 718. Cenred, king of the Northumbrians, died, and Osric was raised to the throne. Ingils, brother of Ina, king of the West-Saxons, ended his life. His sisters were SS. Cuenburh and Cuthburh, who founded a monastery for nuns at a place called Winburne. Aldfrith, king of the Northumbrians, married Cuthburh, but they both renounced connubial intercourse before her death, for the love of God.

A.D. 719, 720.

A.D. 721. Daniel, bishop of Winchester, went to Rome. The same year, king Ina slew Cynewulf the Etheling. The holy John, bishop of York, being prevented by the weight of years from duly performing his episcopal functions, consecrated his friend Wilfrid to act for him, and retiring to his monastery, which is called “ In the Wood of Deira,” died there on the nones [the 7th] of May, having spent the close of his days in a course of living agreeable to God. Eadfrid, bishop of Lindisfarne died, and was succeeded by Ethelwald, priest and abbot of Mailrose.

A.D. 722. Queen Ethelburh levelled to the ground the castle of Taunton, built some time before by king Ina, who fought a battle the same year with the South-Saxons.

A.D. 723, 724.

A.D. 725. Wihtred, king of Kent, son of Egbert, died on the ninth of the calends of May [23rd April], leaving three sons, Ethelbert, Eadbert, and Alric, heirs to his kingdom, which he had held thirty-four years and a half. King Ina, in a second battle with the South-Saxons, slew the Etheling Aldbriht, whom he had previously driven out of Wessex.

In this year Bede, the chronologer, composed his “Lesser Book of Computation;” for he thus writes: “If you wish to know the epact for any year, take the year of our Lord, whatever it may be, according to Dionysius, as in the present eighth indiction, seven hundred and twenty five; divide by nineteen, multiply nineteen by thirty, and you have five hundred and seventy, and nineteen multiplied by eight produces one hundred and fifty two: subtracting these, three remain ; three multiplied by eleven make thirty three; subtract thirty, and three remain, which is the cpact for the present year.” These are Bede’s words.

A.D. 726. Tobias, bishop of Rochester died; he had learnt Greek and Latin so perfectly that he knew those languages as well, and could use them as familiarly, as his native English. He was succeeded by Aldulf.

A.D. 727.

A.D. 728. King Ina, having abdicated, and resigned his crown to Ethelward, a descendant of king Cerdic, journeyed to the threshold of the blessed apostles in the time of pope Gregory (II.), desirous of sojourning for a time as a pilgrim near the holy places on earth, so that he might from thence secure a readier admission into the society of the saints in heaven. The same year a battle was fought between king Ethelhard and Oswald, the Etheling, who was son of Ethelhard, son of Cynebald, son of Cuthwine, son of Ceaulin.

A.D. 729. In the month of January, two comets appeared round the sun, and remained visible nearly two weeks. Egbert, the man of God we have often mentioned, departed to the Lord on Easter-day of this year, which fell on the eighth of the calends of May [24th April]. Shortly afterwards, when Easter was past, on the seventh of the ides [the 9th] of May, Osric king of the Northumbrians also died, having declared Ceolwulf, brother of his predecessor Kenred, his heir. It was to king Ceolwulf that Bede, the servant of God, priest and monk, dedicated his Ecclesiastical History of the English nation. Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, who was son of Cuthwine, who was son of Egwald, who was son of Aldhelm, who was son of Occa, who was son of Ida, who was son of Eoppa.

A.D. 730. Oswald the Etheling, a most valiant prince, died.

A.D. 731. Archbishop Berthwald, worn out with old age, died on the fifth of the ides [the 9th] of January. Pope Gregory (II.) died on the third of the ides [the llth] of February. Tatwine, a priest of the monastery of Brindun, [Breedon, Worcs] in the province of Mercia, was consecrated as archbishop of Canterbury to succeed Berthwald, on Sunday the tenth of the month of June, by the following bishops :— Daniel of Winchester, Inguald of London, Aldwine of Litchfield, and Aldulf of Rochester. He was eminent for piety and wisdom, and amply endowed with the knowledge of sacred literature. About the year 282, after the arrival of the Angles in Britain, Tatwine and Aldulf were bishops of the churches in Kent; Inguald was bishop of the East-Saxons, Eadberht and Hathulac were bishops of the province of East-Anglia, and Daniel and Forthere of the province of Wessex; Aldwine was bishop of the province of Mercia; Walhstod, of the people who live beyond the river Severn towards the west; Wilfrid of the province of the Hwiccias, 23 and Kynebert of the province of Lindisfarne. The bishopric of the Isle of Wight belongs to Daniel, bishop of Winchester. The bishopric of the South-Saxons having been now for some years void, the bishop of the West-Saxons had been invited to exercise the episcopal functions in it. All these provinces, and the others south of, and as far as, the river Humber, with their several kings, were subject to Ethelbald, king of the Mercians.

As for the province of the Northumbrians, of which Ceolwulf was king, it was divided into four bishoprics, of which Wilfrid held the church in York, Ethelwold in Lindisfarne, Acca in Hexham, and Pectelm in that which is called Candida-Casa [Whitherne]. The Britons were for the most part reduced to servitude under the English.

A.D. 732.

A.D. 733. There was an eclipse of the sun on the eighteenth of the calends of September, about the third hour of the day, so that nearly its whole disc seemed to be covered with a very black and fearful spot. 24 Acca, bishop of Hexham, was driven from his see.

A.D. 734. On the second of the calends of February [31st January], about cock-crowing, the moon turned blood-red for nearly an hour, then it changed to black, and afterwards reassumed its natural brightness. Tatwine, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on the third of the calends of August [30th July]. Nothelm, a priest of the church of London, succeeded him in the archbishopric. The most holy Bede, the venerable priest, the monk worthy of all praise, the admirable chronologer, died in this year, according to the English Chronicles, but in the year following [A.D. 735], according to his disciple, Cuthbert, who wrote an account of his death, and was present with many others at his departure. It took place on the Wednesday before the feast of our Lord’s Ascension;25 that is, the eighth of the calends of June [25th May], about the tenth hour, when he breathed his last in a devout and tranquil frame of mind, and so departed with joy to the realms above. He composed an account of most of the events which occurred in his own country down to this period in a clear style, and his life and his history ended together. We too, God guiding us, have thought it worth our while to bequeath to our faithful successors a record of events from the term of his happy end, which we have gathered from the English Chronicles, or the credible accounts of trustworthy persons; as well as such as we have heard ourselves as undoubted facts, and, in some cases, seen with our own eyes, and accurately noted.

A.D. 735. Pectelm, bishop of Whitherne died, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Frithowald.

A.D. 736. Nothelm, archbishop of Canterbury, received the pallium from Gregory (III.), the eighty-ninth pope.

A.D. 737. Forthere, bishop of Sherborne, and Frithogith, queen of the West-Saxons, went as pilgrims to Rome.

A.D. 738. Ceolwulf, king of Northumbria, having abdicated his kingdom and transferred it to Eadbert his cousin, son of Eata, became a monk.

A.D. 739. Ethelwold, bishop of Lindisfarne, and Acca, bishop of Hexham, paid the debt of nature. Cynewulf succeeded Ethelwold, and Acca was succeeded by Frithoberht.

A.D. 740.

A.D. 741. Ethelhard, king of Wessex, died, and was succeeded by his kinsman Cuthred, who harassed Ethelbald, king of Mercia, by continued hostilities. On the death of Nothelm, the archbishop of Canterbury, on the sixteenth of the calends of November [17th October], Cuthbert, who was the fifth bishop of Hereford, was raised to the archbishopric. Aldwulf, bishop of Rochester, also died, and Dunn was consecrated in his place.

A.D. 742.

A.D. 743. Ethelbald, king of Mercia, and Cuthred, king of Wessex, fought a battle with the Britons. Wilfrid, bishop of the Hwicii, departing this life, was succeeded by Mildred. (St. Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, flourished). Stars were seen apparently falling from heaven.

A.D. 744. (St. Boniface founded the abbey of Fulda, in the wilderness of Bochon.) Wilfrid the younger, archbishop of York, died on the third of the calends of May [29th April], and Egbert, king Edbert’s brother, was raised to the archi-episcopal throne. Daniel bishop of Winchester, venerable for his great age, voluntarily resigning his office, chose to retire in the same city, and Hunfrith was appointed bishop in his stead.

A.D. 745. Daniel departed to the Lord, in the forty-third year from the time he was consecrated bishop, and after long struggles in his heavenly warfare.

A.D. 746. Selred, king of the East-Saxons, was slain.

A.D. 747.

A.D. 748. Gynric, the Etheling of the West-Saxons, was slain. Eadbert, king of Kent, died, and his brother Ethelbert was raised to the throne.

A.D. 749.

A.D. 750. (Pepin was anointed emperor by Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, by a decree of pope Zachary, and in consequence, the bishops of Mentz are considered to rank next to the popes.) Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought a battle with the fierce ealdorman Ethelhun.

A.D. 751.

A.D. 752. Cuthred, king of Wessex, in the twelfth year of his reign, fought a severe battle with Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, near Beorhtford [Burford].

A.D. 753. King Cuthred fought again with the Britons, and slew many of them.

A.D. 754. Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons died, and his kinsman Sigebert, son of Sigeric, succeeded him. On the death of Hunfrith, bishop of Winchester, Cynehard was appointed in his place. Canterbury was destroyed by fire.

A.D. 755. St. Boniface, the archbishop, while preaching the word of God in Friesland, suffered martyrdom in company with many others on the nones [the 5th] of June. Cynewulf, a descendant of king Cerdic, with the support of the West-Saxon nobles, expelled their king, Sigebert, on account of his many unjust acts, and reigned in his stead; but Cynewulf granted him a district called Hampshire, which he held until he unjustly slew Cumbran, the ealdorman, who had adhered to him longer than any of the rest. After that, king Cynewulf himself marched against him, and drove him into a wood which the English called Andred. He abode there for a long time, but at last he was run through with a spear, at a place called Privet’s-Flood, by a certain herdsman, in revenge for the ealdorman’s death. The same king, Cynewulf, very often defeated the Britons in great battles. Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, was killed at Secceswald, and his body conveyed to Repton and buried there. His kingdom was usurped by the tyrant Beornred, who held it for a short time with little joy or comfort, and then lost his crown and his life together. On his death he was succeeded by Offa, grandson of a cousin of Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, being a son of Thingferth, who was son of Eanwulf, who was son of Osmond, who was son of Eoppa, who was son of Wybba, the father of king Penda.

A.D. 756. (Lullus succeeded Boniface in the archbishopric of Mentz, which he held thirty-two years.)

A.D. 757. Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, resigned his crown for love of his heavenly country, and received the tonsure of St. Peter the apostle. Oswulf, his son, assumed the government of the kingdom, and after reigning one year was slain by the Northumbrians, on the ninth of the calends of August [24th July].

A.D. 758. Cuthbert, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on the seventh of the calends of November [26th October]. At this period Swithred was king of the East-Saxons, Osmund of the South-Saxons, and Beorn of the East-Angles.

A.D. 759. Breogwin, Cuthbert’s successor, was consecrated archbishop on the feast of St. Michael. Moll Ethelwald was raised to the throne of Northumbria.

A.D. 760. Ethelbert, king of Kent, died, and Ceolwulf, the most devout monk, formerly the illustrious king of the Northumbrians, passed to the joys of eternal light.

A.D. 761. The winter of this year was very severe; and Moll, king of the Northumbrians, slew Oswine, a most noble Etheling, near Edwin’s-cliff, on the eighth of the ides [the 6th] of August.

A.D. 762. Breogwin, archbishop of Canterbury, died on the ninth of the calends of September [24th August]; he was succeeded by Jainbert, abbot of St. Augustine’s.

A.D. 763. Jainbert was enthroned as archbishop on the feast of the purification of St. Mary [2nd Feb]. The same year Frithowald, bishop of Whitherne, died on the nones [the 7th] of May; Pehtwino having been consecrated in the district called Ælfete, on the nineteenth of the calends of August [17th July], filled the see in the place of Frithowald.

A.D. 764. Archbishop Jainbert received the pallium from pope Paul, brother of his predecessor pope Stephen.

A.D. 765. Moll, king of the Northumbrians, vacated his throne, in which he was succeeded by Alhred, son of Eanwine, who was son of Byrnhom, who was son of Bosa, who was son of Bleacman, who was son of Ealric, who was son of Ida.

A.D. 766. Egbert, archbishop of York, died on the thirteenth of the calends of December [19th Nov] at York; and was succeeded by Ethelbert. Frithobert, bishop of Hexham, died; and was succeeded by Alhmund.

A.D. 767.

A.D. 768. Eadbert, formerly the most illustrious king of the Northumbrians, and afterwards a monk of eminent piety, died on the thirteenth of the calends of September [20th Oct], and was buried in the same porch in which his brother Egbert the archbishop lies.

A.D. 769—773.

A.D. 774. A red sign, in the shape of a cross, was visible in the heavens after sunset. The Mercians and the Kentish-men fought a battle at Ottanford. Horrible snakes were seen in Sussex, to the wonder of all. During the feast of Easter [3rd April], the Northumbrians drove their king, Alhred, king Moll’s successor, from York, and raised Ethelbert, the son of Moll to the throne.

A.D. 775. Milred, bishop of the Hwiccas, died; and Wermund succeeded him in the bishopric.

A.D. 776. Pehtwine, bishop of Whitherne, died on the thirteenth of the calends of October [19th Sept].

A.D. 777.

A.D. 778. Ethelbert being expelled from his kingdom by the Northumbrians, Alfwold was raised to the throne. Cyne- wulf king of Wessex, and Offa king of Mercia, fought a desperate battle near Bensington; but Offa having gained the victory, took possession of the town, which he kept. Wermund, bishop of the Hwiccas, died; and was succeeded by abbot Tilhere. Ethelbert was ordained bishop of York on the twentieth of the calends of July [15th June] at Whitherne.

A.D. 779. Alhmund, bishop of Hcxham, died on the seventh of the ides [7th] of September; in whose place Tilbert was consecrated on the tenth of the nones [the 2nd] of October; and Higbald was ordained bishop of Lindisfarne at SoccaLirig, in the room of Cynewulf. King Alfwold sent envoys to Rome to demand the pallium for Eanbald from pope Adrian.

A.D. 780.

A.D. 781. Tilhere, bishop of the Hwiccias, being dead, Heathored succeeded to his episcopal functions. Ethelbert, archbishop of York, Egbert’s successor, died; and was succeeded by Eanbald. He was the scholar of Alhwine, the preceptor of the emperor Charles. A synod was held at Aeley. Cynewulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, and Wcrburga, queen of Ceolred, formerly king of the Mercians, died.

A.D. 782, 783.

A.D. 784. When Cynewulf, king of Wessex, was taking measures for expelling Cynehard, who, being king Sigebert’s brother, was the Etheling, it chanced that he came with only a few a ttendants to a vill called in English Morton, to visit some woman. The etheling, learning this, instantly collected a band of his retainers, and hastened to the spot with great glee. On his arrival, finding all the world asleep, he had the chamber in which the king lay closely beset on all sides by his followers. The king being alarmed, leapt from the bed, and seizing his arms, opened the chamber-door, and fought stoutly in resistance to his assailants. At length, getting sight of the etheling, he rushed forth to attack him, and gave him a severe wound. Seeing this, the whole band of the etheling’s soldiers fell on the king, and wounded and slew him. The woman, uttering cries of terror and grief, fills the chamber with her lamentations. The few troops who were in attendance on the king run to the spot, and find their master, whom they had just before left alive, lying dead. At this they are roused to such a pitch of fury, that drawing their swords they make a desperate rush on his murderers.

The etheling endeavours to pacify them, promising to each a large sum of money, besides sparing their lives, if they will withdraw; they, however, reject his offers, and continue the combat till they all perish, except one British hostage, who was desperately wounded. When morning came, and the news of the king’s death got abroad, his ealdorman Osric, who was much attached to him, and Wiferth, his most faithful thane, hastened to the spot with all the force the king had left behind the day before ; but they find all the gates barred. While they are trying to burst them open, the etheling boldly advances to them, promising them that he will cheerfully heap on them gold, silver, honours, whatever they severally coveted, if they will only raise him to the royal throne: he suggests also, that there are many of their relations on his side, who are ready to follow him to the death, rather than be induced to abandon him on any pretence. The royal troops reject his offers, and earnestly entreat their kinsmen to desert their lord and depart home in safety with all possible despatch. But the etheling’s party replied :—“What you offer us, we proposed to your comrades who fell with the king; but as they would not attend to our summons, neither will we obey yours on the present occasion.” On receiving this answer, the royal troops advance, force open the doors, level the barricades, and put the etheling and all his followers, in number eighty-four, to the sword, except only his little son who was severely wounded. The king’s corpse was conveyed to Winchester for interment; the etheling’s was buried in the monastery at Axminster.

A.D. 785. A synod was held at a place called in English, Cealch-hythe, where, after much wrangling, archbishop Jainbert lost a small portion of his diocese. Berthun, bishop of Dorchester, dying, Higbert was chosen by Offa, king of Mercia, to succeed him in his bishopric; and Offa’s son Egfert was consecrated king.

A.D. 786.

A.D. 787. Brihtric, king of Wessex, married Eadburga, king Offa’s daughter; in his time, Danish pirates came to England with three ships. The king’s reeve hearing of their arrival hastened to meet them with a few followers, and being in entire ignorance who they were, or whence they came, tried to drive them, unwilling as they were, to the royal vill, but they presently slew him. These were the first Danes who landed in England.

A.D. 788. A synod was held at Pincanhale [Finchall] in Northumbria, on the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of September.

A.D. 789. Alfwold king of the Northumbrians was infamously assassinated by a man named Sigan on the ninth of the calends of October [23rd September]; and was interred in the church of St. Peter, at Hexham. A strong light from heaven was frequently observed on the spot where he was murdered. He was succeeded in his kingdom by his nephew Osred, king Alchred’s son.

A.D. 790. Jainbert, archbishop of Canterbury, died on the second of the ides [12th] of August; andEthelhard succeeded him. Osred being dethroned and driven out by the Northumbrians, Ethelred, Alfwold’s brother was restored to his kingdom.

A.D. 791. Beadulf was ordained bishop of Whitherne on the sixteenth of the calends of August [17th July].

A.D. 792. Osred, who had been expelled from his kingdom by .the Northumbrians, was seized and barbarously put to death on the eighteenth of the calends of October [14th September]. He was buried in the monastery at the mouth of the river Tyne.

A.D. 793. Ethelbert, the most glorious and holy king of the East-Angles, whose eminent virtues rendered him acceptable to Christ, the true King, and who was courteous and affable to all men, lost at once both his kingdom and his life, being beheaded by the detestable commands of Offa, the mighty king of Mercia, at the infamous suggestion of his own wife, queen Cynefrith; but though iniquitously slain and deprived of his kingdom, the king and martyr entered the courts of the blessed spirits, while the angels rejoiced in triumph. The consecration of archbishop Ethelhard was celebrated on twelfth of the calends of August [21st July].

A.D. 794. Ethelred, king of the Northumbrians, was slain by his subjects; in consequence, Ceolwulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, and bishop Eadbold, departed the kingdom. Eadbert, surnamed Pren, began to reign in Kent. Offa, king of Mercia, dying on the fourth of the calends of August [29th July], his son Egbert succeeded to the glory of his kingdom, but only reigned one hundred and forty-one days, ending his life the same year. He was succeeded by Kenulf, a magnificent prince, who was blessed with a saintly offspring, and ruled the kingdom with peace, justice, and piety.

A.D. 795.

A.D. 796. Kenulf, king of Mercia, ravaged nearly all Kent, and taking prisoner its king, Pren, carried him away in chains with him to Mercia.

A.D. 797.

A.D. 798. The body of St. Wihtburg, the Virgin, daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles, and sister of the sainted virgins, Sexburga, Ethelburga, and Etheldritha, was discovered in a state of incorruption after it had been buried nearly fifty-five years at the vill, called Dyrham. Heathored, bishop of the Hwiccias, died, and Deneberht was chosen and consecrated in his stead.

A.D. 799. Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, and Kineberht, bishop of Winchester, went to Rome.

A.D. 800. Brihtric, king of Wessex, died, and was succeeded by Egbert. It happened that on the very day on which Brihtric died, Ethelmund, ealdorman of Mercia, led an expedition out of Mercia, and crossed the ford called, in English, Cymeresford. On hearing of his advance, Weohstan, ealdorman of Wiltshire, marched against him with the men of Wilts, and, after an obstinate engagement, in which numbers fell on both sides, and both the ealdormen were slain, the Wiltshire men gained the victory. Alhmund, son of Alhred, king of Northumbria, was killed.

A.D. 801.

A.D. 802. Higbald, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and Egbert being elected his successor, was consecrated by Ean- bald, archbishop of York, on the third of the ides [2nd] of June. Wermund, bishop of Rochester, dying, Beornmod was consecrated in his stead.

A.D. 803. Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Wulfred.

A.D. 804. Archbishop Wulfred received the pallium from pope Leo.

A.D. 805. The church of St. Alban’s was dedicated on the 1st of December in this year. Cuthred, king of Kent, Hcaberht, the ealdorman, and Ceolburga, abbess of Berkeley, died.

A.D. 806—811.

A.D. 812. Wulfred, archbishop of Canterbury, and Wiberht, bishop of Sherborne, went to Rome.

A.D. 813. Archbishop Wulfred returned to his see with the benediction of pope Leo. The same year, Egbert, king of Wessex, ravaged the Western Britons on their eastern frontier.

A.D. 814, 815.

A.D. 816. The English-school at Rome was destroyed by fire.

A.D. 817, 818.

A.D. 819. St. Kenulph, king of Mercia, after a life spent in good deeds, was translated to eternal bliss in heaven, leaving his son (St.) Kenelm, a boy seven years old, heir to his kingdom. A few months only had elapsed when, betrayed by the artifices of his sister Quendryth, whose conscience was hardened by her fierce ambition, the young king was fiercely set upon and secretly murdered by Ascebert, his cruel guardian, under a thorn-tree in a vast and dense wood; but as heaven alone was witness to his murder, so heaven revealed it by the testimony of a column of light. Kenehn’s innocent head fell to the ground, pure and milk-white as it was at his birth; from it a milk-white dove soared to heaven on golden wings. After his blessed martyrdom, Ceolwulf succeeded to the kingdom of Mercia. Egbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Heathored.

A.D. 820.

A.D. 821. Ceolwulf, king of Mercia, was deprived of his kingdom.

A.D. 822. Burhelm and Muca, two most resolute ealdor- men, were slain. A synod was held at a place called Clovesho. Deneberht bishop of the Hwiccas, died, and was succeeded by Heaberht.

A.D. 823. The Britons were defeated at a place called Gavulford [Camelford?] by the men of Devonshire. Egbert, king of Wessex, and Beornwulf, king of Mercia, fought a battle at Ellandune, that is Ealla’s-hill, and Egbert gained the victory with great slaughter. In consequence, he soon afterwards sent his son Ethelwulf, and Ealhstan, bishop of Sherborne, and his ealdorman Wulfhard, with a large army, into Kent, who, immediately on their arrival, drove Baldred king of that province from his kingdom. After these successes, the men of Kent and Surrey, Sussex and Essex, voluntarily submitted to king Egbert; those provinces having been wrested in former times from the hands of his kinsmen, and reluctantly compelled to submit to the yoke of alien kings for the space of some years. The East-Angles, also, with their king, sent envoys to Egbert, king of Wessex, imploring him to be their protector and tower of defence against the hostile inroads of the Mercians; which petition he granted, and promised them his ready aid in all emergencies. However, Beornwulf, king of Mercia, treated this compact with contempt, and assembling a considerable army entered the territories of the East-Angles in a hostile manner, and began to put to death their principal people; but their king advanced against the enemy at the head of his forces, and giving them battle, put king Beornwulf and the greatest part of his army to the sword: his kinsman Ludecan succeeded to his kingdom.

A.D. 824.

A.D. 825. Ludecan, king of Mercia, having assembled his forces, marched his army into the province of the East- Angles, to revenge the death of his predecessor Beornwulf. The people of that country with their king speedily encountered him, and a desperate battle was fought, in which Ludecan and five of his ealdormen, and great numbers of his troops fell, and the rest took to flight: Witilaf succeeded to the honours of his kingdom.

A.D. 826.

A.D. 827. There was an eclipse of the moon on the holy night of the Nativity of our Lord. 26 The same year, Egbert, king of Wessex reduced the kingdom of Mercia under his own dominion. Then he extended his expedition to the further side of the river Humber. The Northumbrians met him in peaceful guise at a place called Dore, and offered him terms of alliance and humble submission; and so they parted with great satisfaction on both sides.

This king Egbert was the eighth among the kings of the English nations who ruled over all their southern provinces, separated by the river Humber and neighbouring boundaries from those which lie to the north. The first who held this extended dominion was Ælla, king of the East-Saxons; the second Celin, king of the West-Saxons, called in their dialect Ceaulin; the third was Ethelbert, king of Kent; the fourth was Redwald, king of the East-Angles, who governed that people as ealdorman even ha Ethelberts life-time; the fifth was Edwin, king of the Northumbrian tribes, that is, those who dwelt to the north of the river Humber, the most powerful of all the settlers in Britain. Redwald’s dominion extended over the whole population, both English and British, except that of Kent; and he subjected to English rule the Menavian islands which lie between Ireland and England. The sixth monarch of all England, he himself being the most Christian king of Northumbria, was Oswald. The seventh was Oswy, who for a time maintained his supremacy within nearly the same limits, and to a very great extent subjugated the Picts and Scots who inhabit the northern extremities of Britain, making them tributaries. The eighth, as we have ulready stated, was king Egbert. In his time, as it is reported, St. Swithin was born, who, sprung from a noble line of ancestors, when his youthful years were passed, was admitted to holy orders by St. Helmstan, bishop of Winchester. King Egbert also committed his son Ethelwulf to his care for instruction in sacred learning.

A.D. 828. King Witglaf was reinstated in his kingdom of Mercia. Heathored, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Ecgred. Egbert, king of Wessex, led an army into the territory of the Northern Britons, and in spite of their opposition reduced them to subjection.

A.D. 829. Wulfred, archbishop of Canterbury, died.

A.D. 830. Ceolnoth was elected and consecrated archbishop.

A.D. 831.

A.D. 832. The Danish pirates, greedy for plunder, ravaged the isle of Sheppey.

A.D. 833. Egbert, king of Wessex, engaged the pirates at Carrum [Charmouth] with thirty-five ships, but after great carnage in the battle the Danes remained victors.

A.D. 834.

A.D. 835. The Danes made a descent with a powerful fleet on the territory of the Britons in the West, which is called Curvallia [Cornwall]; the Britons made an alliance with them, and, uniting their forces, they laid waste the borders of king Egbert’s dominions. Receiving intelligence of this, Egbert assembled his troops in great haste, and giving the enemy battle at a place called Hengestesdun, that is Hengist’s-mount, he slew many of them and put the rest to flight.

A.D. 836. Egbert, king of Wessex, died. He had been driven out of England by Offa king of Mercia, and Berhtric king of Wessex, before he became king, and went to France, where he sojourned three years: he then returned to England, and on Berhtric’s death assumed the government of Wessex, as already mentioned. After Egbert’s death his son Ethelwulf began to reign in Wessex, and made his son Athelstan king over the people of Kent, Essex, Surrey, and Sussex.

A.D. 837. Wulfhard, the ealdorman, attacked a piratical fleet of thirty-four ships at Hamtun [Southampton], and gained the victory with great slaughter: he died soon afterwards. Ethelhelm, the ealdorman, with the assistance of the people of Dorsetshire, engaged in a battle with the Danes in the territory of Port [Portland island], and compelled them to a long retreat, during which he received a mortal wound, and the Danes got the victory. In the reign of king Ethelwulf, St. Helmstan, the bishop, departed this life; and by the king’s command St. Swithin became his successor.

A.D. 838. Hereberht, the ealdorman, and vast numbers of the Mercians, at the same time, were slain by the heathen Danes. The same year multitudes were put to the sword by the same party in the province of Lindsey in East-Anglia, and in Kent. Witglaf king of Mercia died, and was succeeded by Beorhtwulf.

A.D. 839. There was an eclipse of the sun on the third of the nones [the 5th] of May, being the eve of Ascension-day, between the eighth and ninth hour. The Pagans, so often mentioned, slaughtered numbers in London, Cwentawic, 27 and Rochester.

A.D. 840. Ethelwulf, king of Wessex, engaged with thirty-five ships at Charmouth, but the fortune of the Danes prevailed over the Saxons.

A.D. 841—844.

A.D. 845. Eanwulf, the ealdorman, with the men of Somerset and Ealhstan, bishop of Sherborne, and Osric the ealdorman, with the men of Dorset, fought with the Danish army at the mouth of the river Pedridan [the Parret], and having made great slaughter amongst them, gained the victory. Ecgrid, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Eanbert.

A.D. 846, 847.

A.D. 848. Heaberht, the bishop of the Hwiccas, died, and Alhhun succeeded.

A.D. 849. Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, was born at the royal vill called Wanating, [Wantage] in Berrocescire, which is so called from the wood of Berroc, where the box-tree grows in great abundance. His genealogy runs in the following order :—Alfred was the son of king of Ethelwulf, who was the son of Egbert, who was the son of Alhmund, who was the son of Eafa, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Ingils. Ingils, and Ina, the famous king of Wessex, were brothers; Ina went to Rome, and ending the present life there in great honour, departed to his country in heaven to reign with Christ. These two were the sons of Coenred, who was the son of Ceolwald, who was the son of Cutha, who was the son of Cuthwine, who was the son of Ceaulin, who was the son of Cynric, who was the son of Creoda, who was the son of Cerdic, who was the son of Elesa, who was the son of Esla, who was the son of Gewis, from whom the Britons call the whole nation GewissÆ. Gewis was the son of Wig, who was the son of Freawine, who was the son of Freothegar, who was the son of Brand, who was the son of Bealdeag, who was the son of Woden, who was the son of Frithowald, who was the son of Frealaf, who was the son of Frithwulf, who was the son of Finn, who was the son of Godulf, who was the son of Geata, who was formerly worshipped by the Pagans as a god.

Geata was the son of Taetwa, who was the son of Beaw, who was the son of Sceldwea, who was the son of Heremond, who was the son of Itermod, who was the son of Hathra, who was the son of Wala, who was the son of Beadwig, who was the son of Shem, who was the son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, who was the son of Methuselah, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Jared, who was the son of Malaleel, who was the son of Cainan, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam. His mother’s name was Osburh; she was a woman of eminent piety, noble both in mind and lineage, being the daughter of Oslac, the renowned cup-bearer of king Ethelwulf; which Oslac was of Gothic race. He was sprung from the Goths and Jutes, being descended from Stuf and Whitgar, two brothers, and also earls, who having received the dominion of the Isle of Wight from their uncle Cerdic, and his son Cynric their cousin, massacred the few British inhabitants they found in the island at a place called Whitgaraburh [Carisbrook]. The rest of the native inhabitants of the island had been either slain before, or driven into exile.

A.D. 850. Berhtferth, son of Beorhtwulf, king of Mercia, unjustly put to death his cousin St. Wigstan on the calends [the 1st] of June, being the eve of Whitsuntide. He was grandson of two of the kings of Mercia, his father Wigmund being the son of king Wiglaf, and his mother Elfrida, the daughter of king Ceolwulf. His corpse was carried to a monastery which was famous in that age called Repton, and buried in the tomb of his grandfather king Wiglaf. Miracles from heaven were not wanting in testimony of his martyrdom; for a column of light shot up to heaven from the spot where the innocent saint was murdered, and remained visible to the inhabitants of that place for thirty days.

A.D. 851. Ceorl, the ealdorman, with the men of Devonshire, fought against the Pagans, at a place called Wicganbeorh [Wemburg], and the Christians gained the victory. In the same year, the Pagans wintered for the first time in the isle of Sheppey,28 which means the island of sheep. It is situated in the river Thames, between Essex and Kent, but nearer Kent than Essex, and a noble monastery stands in it. The same year a great army of Pagans came with three hundred and fifty ships into the mouth of the river Thames, and ravaged Canterbury, which is the chief city of Kent, and London which stands on the north bank of the river Thames, on the borders of Essex and Middlesex, though, in truth, that city belongs to Essex. They put to flight Beorhtwulf king of Mercia who had advanced to give them battle, with all his forces.

After these events, the same body of Pagans crossed into Surrey, which lies on the south bank of the river Thames, to the westward of Kent; and Ethelwulf king of Wessex, and his son Ethelbald, with their whole army, had a protracted engagement with them, at a place called Ockley, which means the Field of Oaks. The armies on both sides fought for a long time with the greatest ardour and animosity, but at last the greatest part of the Pagan host was utterly routed and put to the sword; so much so that we have never heard of so many of them being slain in any quarter, on one day, either before or since; and the Christians gained a glorious victory, and remained masters of the field of death. The same year, also, king Athelstan and Ealhere, the ealdorman, defeated a large body of the Pagans in Kent, at a place called Sandwich, and took nine ships of their fleet: the rest escaped by flight.

A.D. 852. King Beorhtwulf, king of Mercia, died; and Burhred succeeded to the throne.

A.D. 853. Burhred, king of Mercia, sent envoys to Ethelwulf, king of Wessex, beseeching him to afford him aid in reducing to subjection the Britons who inhabited the central districts between Mercia and the western sea, who stoutly resisted him. Ethelwulf lost no time, after he received this message, in putting his army in march, advancing into the territory of the Britons in company with king Burhred, and as soon as he entered it he laid waste the country and forced the people to submit to the dominion of Burhred: having accomplished this he returned home.

This same year, king Ethelwulf sent his son Alfred, before mentioned, to Rome, with great pomp, and a numerous retinue, both of nobles and commoners. Pope Leo, at his father’s request, consecrated and anointed him king, and receiving him as his son by adoption, confirmed him.

The same year also, Ealhere, the ealdorman, with the men of Kent, and Huda, with those of Surry, fought with vigour and courage against the Pagan army in the island, which is called in the Saxon language Tenet, but in the British Ruim. At first the Britons had the advantage, but the struggle being protracted, many on both sides were killed on the spot, and others driven into the water and drowned; and both the ealdormen perished. Moreover, the same year, Ethelwulf, king of Wessex, gave his daughter as queen to Burhred, king of Mercia, the nuptials being celebrated with princely pomp at the royal vill called Cippenham.

A.D. 854. On the death of Eanbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, he was succeeded by Eardulph.

A.D. 855. A great army of the Pagans passed the whole winter in the aforesaid isle of Sheppey. In the same year king Ethelwulf released the tenth part of his whole kingdom from all royal service and tribute, and by a charter, signed with Christ’s Cross, offered it for ever to the One and True God, for the redemption of his soul and of those of .his predecessors. He then went to Rome in great state, taking with him his son Alfred, whom he loved more than the others, and who now went for the second tune; and he abode there a whole year. On its expiration, he returned to his own country, bringing with him Judith, daughter of Charles, king of the Franks. Meanwhile, however, during the short period of king Ethelwulf s sojourn beyond sea, a disgraceful affair, opposed to all Christian rules, occurred at Selwood, in the west of England. For king Ethelwald, with Eahlstan bishop of Sherborne, and Eanwulf, ealdorman of Somersetshire, are said to have formed a conspiracy to prevent king Ethelwulf from re-assuming the government of his kingdom, if he ever returned from Rome. This unfortunate business, such as was unheard of in any former age, is attributed by very many persons to the bishop and ealdorman only, by whom they assert the scheme was contrived.
,br /> Many persons, however, say that it had its origin solely in the king’s haughtiness, for, as we have heard it related by some persons, the king obstinately persisted in that as well as in many other perverse dispositions, as was proved by the issue of the affair. For when king Ethelwulf returned from Rome, his before-named son, with his counsellors, or rather intriguers, attempted to commit the grievous crime of forcibly refusing the king’s re-admission into his own dominions. But God did not permit it, nor would the united Saxon nobles concur in the proposal; for, to prevent Saxony [Wessex] from being exposed to the irremediable danger of hostilities between father and son, nay more, of the whole of the nation being in arms for one or the other, and this sort of civil war growing every day more fierce and bloody, the kingdom, which had been hitherto one entire realm, was, through Ethelwulf’s great easiness of temper, and with the concurrence of the nobles, divided between the father and the son; the eastern districts being allotted to the father, and the western to the son.

Thus, where the father ought by all rules of justice to have reigned, the iniquitous and wilful son established his power, for the western part of Saxony has always had the pre-eminence over the eastern. So, when king Ethelwulf arrived from Rome, all that people were very properly so delighted at the return of their old king, that they wished, if he would have allowed it, to deprive his froward son Ethelwald, and his advisers, of any share in the kingdom. But he, as we have already said, actuated by his excessive gentleness and by prudent counsels, to prevent peril to the kingdom, would not allow it to be done ; but he made Judith, daughter of king Charles, from whom he had received her in marriage, to sit beside him on the royal throne, as long as he lived, without any controversy or enmity from his nobles, contrary to the perverse custom of that nation. For the West-Saxon people do not allow a queen to sit by the king’s side, nor even give her the title of queen, calling her only the king’s wife; which controversy, or stigma, originated from a certain froward and evil-minded queen of that nation, as our elders thus report:— There was recently in Mercia a certain powerful king named Offa, whose daughter, Eadburh, was married, as we have said before, to Berhtric, king of Wessex, who very soon began to act tyrannically, doing all things hateful to God and man, and accusing all she could before the king, so as to deprive them insidiously of their life or power; and if she could not procure the king’s consent, she used to take them off by poison.

This is ascertained to have been the case with a certain young man who was much loved by the king, whom she poisoned because the king would not listen to her accusations against him. It is also said that king Berhtric unwittingly tasted some portion of the poison, although she did not intend it for the king, but for the young man only; but the king took the cup first, and so both perished. In consequence of this queen’s atrocities, all the inhabitants of that country swore together that they would not suffer any king to reign over them who should command his queen to sit beside him on the throne. Berhtric being dead, as the queen could no longer remain among the Saxons, she sailed over the sea with immense treasures, and went to the court of Charles, the renowned king of the Franks. As she stood in the presence chamber, offering him rich presents, Charles said to her, “Choose, Eadburh, which. you prefer, me or my son who stands beside me in the chamber.” She foolishly replied, without a moment’s thought, “If I am to have my choice, I prefer your son, because he is younger than you.” Charles replied, with a smile, “If you had chosen me, you should have had my son; but as you have chosen him you shall have neither of us.” However, he gave her a large abbey of nuns, where, having laid aside the secular dress and assumed the monastic habit, she discharged the duties of abbess for a very few years; for having been debauched by some layman, she was expelled from the monastery by king Charles’s order, and passed the rest of her days in want and misery. 30 King Ethelwulf lived two years after his return from Home; during which, among many other good deeds of this present life, reflecting on his departure according to the way of all flesh, to prevent his sons indecently quarrelling after h1s death, he ordered letters testamentary to be written, in which he divided his kingdom between his two eldest sons, Ethelbald and Ethelbert, and his private inheritance between all his sons and his daughter, as well as his relations; he also gave directions in the same instrument for the due distribution of the money he might leave behind him for the good of his soul, and among his sons and his nobles. For the good of his soul, which he had carefully studied on all occasions from his earliest youth, he ordered that his heirs should, out of every two families on his hereditary domains, supply one poor person, either native or foreigner, with meat, drink, and clothing, for ever afterwards, until the day of doom; provided that the land was inhabited and stocked with cattle, and not lying waste. He also directed that the sum of three hundred mancuses should be yearly remitted to Rome, to be there distributed in the following manner, viz., one hundred mancuses, in honour of St. Peter, to be specially applied in purchasing oil for filling all the lamps of the apostolical church on Easter-eve, and also at cock-crowing; one hundred mancuses in honour of St Paul, the apostle, for the same purpose; and one hundred mancuses to the catholic and apostolic pope.

King Ethelwulf having died on the ides [the 18th] of January, and been buried at Winchester, his son Ethelbald, contrary to the divine prohibition and Christian honour, and even the customs of all Pagan nations, ascended his father’s bed, and married Judith, the daughter of Charles, king of the Franks; and thus licentiously governed the kingdom of Wessex for two years and a half after his father’s death.

St. Edmund, a man accepted by God, and descended from the Old-Saxon race, who was most truly devoted to the Christian faith, affable and courteous to all men, remarkable for his humility, a generous benefactor to the poor, and a most kind father to orphans and widows, took the government of the province of East-Anglia.

A.D. 856—859.

A.D. 860. King Ethelbald died and was buried at Sherborne; and his brother Ethelbert, as was right, joined Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, to his own kingdom. In his days, a large army of Pagans came up from the sea, and assaulted and sacked the city of Winchester; but as they were returning to their ships laden with plunder, Osric, the ealdorman of Hants, with his people, and Ethelwulf, the ealdorman, with the men of Berks, boldly encountered them, and, battle being joined, the Pagans were put to the sword in every direction, and, being unable to make a longer resistance, fled like women, and the Christians remained masters of the field of death. Ethelbert having governed his kingdom five years in peace, with the love and respect of his subjects, went the way of all flesh, to their universal sorrow, and was honourably interred at Sherborne, where he lies by the side of his brother.

A.D. 861.

A.D. 862. St. Swithin was translated to heaven on Thursday the sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of July.

A.D. 863.

A.D. 864. The Pagans wintered in the Isle of Thanet, and made a close alliance with the men of Kent, who promised to pay them tribute if they kept the compact; but the Pagans, breaking the treaty, stole out of their camp by night, like foxes, and regardless of the promised tribute, as they knew they could gain more by surreptitious robbery than by observing the peace, ravaged the whole eastern coast of Kent.

A.D. 865.

A.D. 866. Ethered, brother of king Ethelbert, succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex. The same year a large fleet of the Pagans came to Britain from Denmark, and wintered in the kingdom of the East-Angles, which is called in the Saxon tongue, East Engle, and there the greatest part of their troops procured horses.

A.D. 867. The army of Pagans before mentioned, marched from amongst the East-Angles to the city of York, which stands on the north bank of the river Humber. At that time great dissentions had arisen among the Northumbrians, by the devil’s instigation, as always happens to a people who have incurred God’s wrath. For the Northumbrians had then, as we have related, driven out their rightful king, Osbriht, and raised to the throne a tyrant named Ælla, who was not of the royal race; but by Divine Providence, and the exertions of the nobles for the common good, the discord was somewhat allayed on the approach of the Pagans, and Osbriht and .Ælla, uniting their forces and assembling an army, marched to York. The Pagans fled at their approach, and attempted to defend themselves within the city walls. The Christians, witnessing their flight and alarm, pressed forward in pursuit, and set to work to break down the walls, which they effected; for that city was not fortified by strong walls in those times. The Christians having succeeded in making a breach in the wall, and great numbers of them having entered the town pell-mell with the enemy, the Pagans, driven to despair, charged them fiercely, and overthrew, routed, and cut them down, both within and without the walls. Almost all the Northumbrian troops, with the two kings, fell in this battle; the remainder who escaped made peace with the Pagans.

In the same year died Ealhstan, who had been bishop of Sherborne fifty years, and was buried there.

A.D. 868. A comet was very plainly visible this year.

Alfred, the revered king, who held then a subordinate station, demanded and obtained in marriage a Mercian lady of noble birth, being the daughter of Ethelred, surnamed Mucil, ealdorman of the Gaini. Her mother’s name was Eadburh, of the royal race of the Mercian kings, a lady much venerated, who for many years after her husband’s death remained a most chaste widow to the end of her days.

The same year the before mentioned army of Pagans, quitting Northumbria, entered Mercia, and advanced to Nottingham, called in the British tongue, Tigguocobauc, but in Latin, “The House of Caves,” and they passed the winter there. On their approach, Burhred, king of Mercia, and all the nobles of that nation, sent messengers forthwith to Ethered, king of Wessex, and his brother Alfred, earnestly entreating them to render them such succour as would enable them to give battle to the aforesaid army. Their request was readily granted ; for the brothers, making no delay in fulfilling their promise, assembled a vast army from all parts, and entering Mercia advanced to Nottingham, unanimously desiring a battle. But the Pagans, sheltering themselves within the fortifications, refused to fight, and as the Christians were unable to make a breach in the wall, peace was made between the Mercians and the Pagans, and the two brothers, Ethered and Alfred, returned home with their troops. The oratory of St. Andrew, the apostle, at Kemsege31 was built, and consecrated by Alhun, bishop of Worcester.

A.D. 869. The aforesaid cavalry of the Pagans, riding back to Northumbria, reached York, and was quartered there for a whole year.

A.D. 870. The before mentioned army of the Pagans passed through Mercia into East-Anglia, and wintered there at a place called Thetford.

In the same year Edmund, the most holy and glorious king of the East-Angles, was martyred by king Inguar, an inveterate heathen, on the twelfth of the calends of December [20th November], being Sunday, the second indiction, as we read in his Passion. In this year also Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury died, and was buried in peace in that city; he was succeeded by that reverend man Ethered.

A.D. 871. The Pagan army, of hateful memory, quitting East-Anglia and entering the kingdom of Wessex, came to the vill of Reading, situated on the south bank of the river Thames in the district called Berkshire. And there, on the third day after their arrival, two of their chiefs, with great part of their forces, rode out to plunder the country, while the rest were throwing up a rampart between the rivers Thames and Kennet on the right of the said royal vill. They were encountered by Ethelwulf, ealdorman of Berkshire, and his men, at a place called in English, Englefeld, and in Latin, “The Field of the Angles,” where both sides fought bravely; but after both armies had maintained their ground a long time, one of the Pagan chiefs being slain, and the greater part of their army cut to pieces, the rest saved themselves by flight, and the Christians gained the victory, remaining masters of the field of death. Four days after these events, king Ethered and his brother Alfred, having assembled troops and united their forces, marched to Heading; and have succeeded in forcing their way to the castle-gate, by slaying and overthrowing all the Pagans they met with outside the fortifications, the Pagans, nevertheless, sallied out, like wolves, from all the gates and fought with the utmost desperation. The combat was long and sharply contested on both sides; hut, sad to say, the Christians at last turned their backs, and the Pagans obtaining the victory remained masters of the field of blood. Ethelwulf the before named ealdorman was among the slain.

Roused by grief and shame at this defeat, the Christians, four days afterwards, renewed the engagement against the same army, with all their forces and right good-will, at a place called Æscesdun, which signifies in Latin “The Mount of the Ash” [Ashdown]. The Pagans, dividing themselves into two bodies, drew up in two equal columns, for they had with them two kings and many earls, allotting the centre of the army to the two kings and the rest to the earls. The Christians, observing this, arrayed their troops also in two divisions, losing no time in forming the columns.

Alfred was the first to lead his men promptly to the field of battle, for his brother, king Ethered, was then engaged at his devotions in his tent, hearing mass, and he positively declared that he would not quit it until the priest had finished the mass, and omit the service of God to attend to his duty to man. He persisted in this, and the faith of the Christian king availed him much with God, as will more fully appear in the sequel. Now the Christians had determined that king Ethered, with his division, should attack the two Pagan kings, but his brother Alfred was instructed to take the chances of war with his own troops against all the Pagan earls. Things having been thus arrayed on both sides, and the king being still engaged in his devotions, while the Pagans advanced rapidly under arms to the field of battle, Alfred, who was second in command, finding that he could no longer sustain the enemy’s onset, without either retreating or charging them in turn before his brother’s arrival, at last, putting himself manfully at the head of the Christian forces drawn up as before arranged, he formed a close column without waiting for the king, and, relying on God’s counsels and support, advanced his standards against the enemy.

At length king Ethered, having finished his prayers, came up, and invoking the aid of the Mighty Buler of the world, plunged into the fight. But here we must inform those who are ignorant of the locality, that the field of battle was not equally favourable to both armies, for the Pagans occupied the higher ground, and the Christians had to direct their march from a lower level. We may also remark that there stood on the spot a solitary thorn-tree of stunted growth (I have seen it with my own eyes), round which the hostile armies engaged in the combat with loud cries; the one party to work their wicked ends, the other to fight for their lives, for their country, and for those who were dear to them. After both armies had fought bravely, and with great fierceness, for a considerable time, the Pagans, by the judgment of God, were no longer able to sustain the attacks of the Christians, and having lost the greatest part of their troops retreated with disgrace. One of their two kings and five of their earls fell on the field of battle, and many thousands of their army were dispersed and slain over the whole plain of Ashdown. Thus persihed king Bagsecg, earl Sidroc the elder, and earl Sidroc the younger, earl Osbern, earl Froena, and earl Harold; and the whole Pagan army fled until night, and even the next day, until they reached the stronghold from which they had sallied forth. Fourteen days afterwards, king Ethered and his brother Alfred having again united their forces to give battle to the Pagans marched to Basing, and upon the armies meeting, after a long engagement, the Pagans gained the victory. Again, after two months had elapsed, king Ethered with his brother Alfred fought against the Pagans, who were in two divisions at Merton, and for a long time they had the advantage, having routed the enemy; but the Pagans rallied, and gained the victory, remaining masters of the field of death, after great slaughter on both sides.

The same year, after Easter, on the ninth of the calends of May [23rd April], king Ethered went the way of all flesh, having governed his kingdom bravely, honourably, and in good repute for five years, through much tribulation: he was buried at Winborne, where he waits the coming of the Lord, and the first resurrection with the just. On his death, the before named Alfred, who had hitherto, while his brothers were alive, held only a subordinate rank, at once succeeded to the throne of the whole kingdom, to the entire satisfaction of all the people. I think it convenient to insert in this place a brief notice of his childhood and youth.

He was exceedingly beloved both by his father and mother, even more than his brothers, and not only so, but he was the general favourite among all ranks; and being never separated from his parents was brought up entirely in the court of his father. As he advanced in years, during infancy and youth, he grew up more comely in form, and more graceful in aspect, as well as in all his words and actions, than the rest of his brothers; but,. alas! through the neglect of his parents and nurses, he did not learn to read until he was twelve years old. Yet, he listened with intelligence, day and night, to the Saxon poems which were frequently recited to him by others, and committed them with facility to his docile memory. He was expert and successful beyond all his rivals in every branch of the huntsman’s craft, as in all the rest of God’s gifts. When, therefore, on some occasion, his mother was showing him and his brothers a book of Saxon poetry which she held in her hand, and said, “I will give this book to whichever of you shall first learn (to read) it.” Incited by this offer, or rather inspired by heaven, and attracted by the beautifully-illuminated initial-letter of the volume, Alfred said to his mother, “Will you really give that book to such one of us as can first understand it and repeat it to you?” She smiled at this, and replied, “I will, indeed, give it to him.” Upon this he took the book from her hand, and went to his master and began reading it; and when he had read it through he brought it back to his mother and recited it to her. After this he learnt the daily course, consisting of certain psalms and a number of prayers; these were collected in a volume, which he carried about with him in his bosom for his devotions, by day and by night, during all the fleeting course of this present life. But, sad to say, he was unable to gratify his most ardent wish of learning the liberal arts, as at that time there were no grammarians in all the kingdom of the West-Saxons.

While he was still in the flower of youth, and sought to strengthen his resolutions to observe the Divine laws, but felt that he could not altogether rid himself of carnal desires, it was his custom, that he might not incur God’s displeasure by doing anything contrary to His will, to rise very often in secret at cockcrow and the hour of matins, and resort to the churches and relics of the saints for the purpose of prayer, and there kneeling long he besought Almighty God, in his mercy, to strengthen his determination to devote himself to His service by some infirmity which he might be able to bear, but which would not be disgraceful or unfit him for his worldly duties. Having often implored this with earnest devotion, he was a short time afterwards, God granting his prayer, afflicted with piles; and the disorder became so severe in the course of years, that even his life was despaired of. It happened, however, providentially, that while hunting in Cornwall, he turned aside to offer his devotion in a certain church in which the remains of St. Gueriir repose, and where St. Neot also lies. Prostrating himself for a long time in silent prayer, he entreated God’s mercy, that in His unbounded love He would relieve him from the tortures of his present painful disease, and give him in exchange some lighter infirmity; provided that it did not appear outwardly, lest he should become an object of contempt and unfitted for active services. Having finished his prayer he proceeded on his road, and shortly afterwards found himself, by Divine aid, completely cured of his disorder, according to his supplications. But, alas! when he was relieved from that, another still more acute seized him on the day of his marriage, and incessantly harassed him day and night from his twentieth to his forty-fifth year, and more.

He had by his before-mentioned wife, Ealswitha, the following sons and daughters :—Ethelflede, his first-born child, then Edward, then Ethelgeovu, afterwards Elfthryth, and then Ethelward. Ethelflede, when she became marriageable, was united to Ethered, ealdorman of Mercia ; Ethelgeovu, having made a vow of chastity, and becoming a nun, devoted herself to the service of God according to the rules of monastic life. Ethelward, the youngest of all, by the holy purpose and admirable provision of the king, was placed under the care of diligent masters, as were also the nobles of nearly all the kingdom, and many of the lower order, that they might receive instruction in the liberal arts before they were strong enough for the business of the world. Edward and Elfthryth were brought up at their father’s court, but they received a liberal education, and, besides their worldly exercises and studies, they learnt with care the Psalms and Saxon books, and especially Saxon poems.

In the midst of wars and the frequent hindrances of the present life, the irruptions of the Pagans, and his daily infirmities of body, king Alfred, single-handed, and, as well as his strength would allow, unremittingly devoted himself to the government of his kingdom, the exercise of hunting in its various forms, the superintendence of his goldsmiths and other artificers, as well as those who had charge of his falcons, hawks, and hounds ; the building, by the aid of machinery invented by himself, of edifices more stately and costly than any which had been erected by his predecessors in the style of their age; reading Saxon books, and especially committing to memory Saxon poems, and enjoining such pursuits on those around him. He heard mass daily, besides some psalms and prayers, and observed the canonical hours of devotion day and night; and was wont to go alone by night, and frequent the churches, eluding the observation of his attendants, for the purpose of prayer. He was a bountiful almsgiver, affable and agreeable to all the world, and a close enquirer into hidden things. Many Franks, Frisons, Gauls, Pagans, Britons, Scots, and Armoricans, both of the nobility and commonalty, came voluntarily and gave him their allegiance, all of whom he treated as his native subjects, ruling them, loving them, honouring them, and heaping power and wealth upon them, according to their rank and worth. He manifested a wonderful regard for his bishops and the whole ecclesiastical order, his ealdormen and nobles, his inferior officers and all who were attached to his court; having as much affection for their sons, who were brought up in the royal household, as he had for his own, devoting his tune, day and night, in the midst of his other avocations, to inculcate upon them virtuous habits and the pursuit of learning.

About a month after he began his reign, with so much reluctance, I may say—for he felt that without Divine aid he should never be able to resist, single-handed, the severity of the Pagan irruptions, since even when his brothers were alive, he had suffered great losses—king Alfred, with a small and very inadequate force, made a fierce attack on the whole army of the Pagans on a hill called Wilton, on the south bank of the Guilou, from which river the whole country takes its name. When both parties had sustained the combat in different positions with vigour and bravery great part of the day, the Pagans, perceiving that they were in imminent peril, and , could no longer withstand the enemy’s impetuosity, took to night; but, sad to relate, they took advantage of the too great daring of their pursuers, and facing round renewed the fight, and, thus snatching a victory, remained masters of the field of death. Let no one be surprised that the force of the Christians in this engagement was so small, for the ranks of the Saxons had been thinned in the eight battles they had fought with the enemy in the course of a single year; in which battles one Pagan king and eight earls were slain, with vast numbers of their troops, not to mention the countless attacks, by day and night, with which king Alfred and the several ealdormen of the nation with their followers, as well as many of the king’s thanes, had incessantly harassed the Pagans. God only knows how many thousand of the enemy were destroyed in these desultory attacks, besides those who were slain in the eight battles already mentioned. The same year the (West) Saxons made peace with the Pagans, on the terms that they should depart their country, which condition they observed. On the death of Cineferth, bishop of Litchfield, Tunberht succeeded.

A.D. 872. Alchun, bishop of the Hwiccas, having died, Werefrith, a man learned in the Scriptures, who had been brought up in the holy church of Worcester, was ordained bishop by Ethered, archbishop of Canterbury, on the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of June, being Whitsunday. At king Alfred’s command, he made the first translation of the books of Dialogues of pope St. Gregory, from the Latin into the Saxon tongue, a work which he executed with great accuracy and elegance. The king induced him, and also Plegmund, a learned and venerable man, and a native of Mercia, who, in course of time, was made archbishop of Canterbury, together with Ethelstan and Werwlf, two well educated Mercian priests, to leave that province and come to him, and he advanced them to high honours and station, that they might assist him in his great object, the acquisition of learning. He also sent envoys to France, and invited over the venerable St. Grimbald, priest and monk, who was an excellent chanter, thoroughly versed in the Holy Scriptures and ecclesiastical discipline, and of exemplary conduct. To him was added John, also a priest and monk, a man of the most acute genius, and Asser, who was summoned from the monastery of St. David, on the furthest border of Britain in the West. Under the teaching of all these learned men the object of the king’s desire was so daily advanced and accomplished that in a short time he acquired universal knowledge. The before-mentioned army of Pagans went to London, and wintered there; and the Mercians made peace with them.

A.D. 873. The army so often mentioned evacuated London, and marching as far as the province of Northumbria, wintered there in the district of Lindsey, and the Mercians renewed their treaty of peace with them.

A.D. 874. Quitting Lindsey, the Pagan army entered Mercia, and wintered at Repton. It also compelled, by main force, Burhred, king of Mercia, to abandon his kingdom, and crossing the sea he went to Rome in the twenty-second year of his reign. He did not long survive his arrival at Rome, and dying there he received honourable interment in the church of St. Mary in the Saxon School, where he waits our Lord’s advent, and the first resurrection of the just. After his expulsion, the Pagans reduced to subjection the whole kingdom of Mercia. However, they placed the province, in a miserable state, in the keeping of a weak thane, whose name was Ceolwulf, on condition that he should give it up to them peaceably whenever they required. He delivered hostages to them for the performance of this condition, and swore that he would in no wise act contrary to their will, but submit to their commands on all occasions.

A.D. 875. The oft-mentioned army broke up from Repton in two divisions. One of them went with Halfdene into the country of the Northumbrians, and, wintering there near the river Tyne reduced the whole of Northumbria under its dominion, and ravaged the lands of the Picts and Strathclyde Britons. The other division, under Guthruy, Oskmtel, and Amund, three kings of the Pagans, directed their march to a place called Grantebrycge [Cambridge], and wintered there. The same year king Alfred fought a naval battle against six ships of the Pagans, and took one of them, the rest sheering off.

A.D. 876. The oft-mentioned army of the Pagans sallied forth from Cambridge in the night time, and took possession of a castle called Wareham; where there was an abbey of nuns, between the two rivers Fraw and Terente [Frome and Trent], in the district called by the Saxons ThornsÆt (Dorset), and the site of which is very strong, except on the west side, which is open to the land. With this army king Alfred made a firm treaty, the condition of which was that they should depart from his dominions; and they gave him as many hostages as he demanded without dispute, and swore on all the relics, on which the king most confided, after God, and on which they before refused to swear to any people, that they would quit his kingdom as soon as they could. Notwithstanding, false as ever, and regardless of their oaths and hostages and the faith they had pledged, they broke the treaty, and, killing all the king’s horse-soldiers, stole away suddenly to another place, called in the Saxon tongue, Exanceastre, but in Latin, the city of Exe, and standing on the eastern bank of that river near the southern sea which flows between France and Britain, King Alfred, having collected troops, went in pursuit, but they had already got into the place before he could come up with them. However, he extorted from them hostages of such quality and in such numbers as he chose, and made a firm treaty with them, which they observed faithfully for some time ; and there they wintered. The same year, the Pagan king Halfdene distributed the territory of Northumbria between himself and. his followers, and established colonies of his soldiers on it. Rollo and his band landed in Normandy on the fifteenth of the calends of December [17th November].

A.D. 877. The Pagan army which had been left with the fleet at Wareham sailed to Exeter, but before they reached that place, one hundred and twenty of their ships were lost in a storm. Autumn approaching, part of the Pagans sat down at Exeter; another division went into Mercia, and gave portions of it to Ceolwulf, to whose keeping, as we have already said, they had committed the province. Some part they shared among themselves.

A.D. 878. The oft-named army, abandoning Exeter. marched to Chippenham, a royal vill, situated in the left of Wiltshire, where it wintered, compelling by their irruptions many of the people of that district to take ship and cross the sea in penury and consternation; but the greatest part of the inhabitants were reduced to submit to their yoke. At that time king Alfred, with a few of his nobles and some of his vassals, led a life of alarm and severe distress in the woods and marshes of Somersetshire; for he had no means of subsistence but what he seized by frequent incursions, either by lurking about or using open violence, from the Pagans, and even such of the Christians as had submitted to them.

The same year, the brother of Inguar and Halfdene having wintered in Demetia32 and made great havoc among the Christians, crossed over with twenty-three ships to the coast of Devon, and there was slain, with twelve hundred of his followers, who thus perished miserably in their wicked aggression before the stronghold of Cynuit, in which many of the king’s thanes had shut themselves up with their families as a place of refuge. But the Pagans, seeing that the place was quite unprepared, and had no fortifications except ramparts thrown up after our fashion, made no attempt to effect a breach, because it was impregnable from its natural position on every side except the east (as I have myself observed), they sat down before it, supposing that as there was no water near the fort, those men would soon be compelled by hunger, thirst, and the blockade,to surrender. But it did not turn out as they expected ; for the Christians, divinely inspired, before they were reduced to such extremities, and preferring either death or victory, made a sally upon the Pagans before the dawn of day, and taking them by surprise at the first onset, cut to pieces the king and most of his army, a few only escaping to their ships.

The same year, after Easter, king Alfred, with his slender force constructed a fortress at a place called Aethelingaeig [Athelney]; and from that fort, with his Somersetshire vassals, kept up an incessant warfare with the Pagans. Again, in the seventh week after Easter, he rode to Egbert’s stone, in the eastern part of the forest of Selwood, which means in Latin, “the Great Wood;” and there he was met by all the people of Somerset, Wilts, and Hants, who had not been driven across the sea by fear of the Pagans. These people, on seeing the king come to life again, as we may say, after suffering such great tribulations, were filled with joy beyond measure, as well they might, and encamped there for one night. At dawn of day, the king moved his camp from that spot, and came to a spot called Ecglea [Iley], where he encamped for the night. The following day he unfurled his standards, and marched to a place called Ethandun [Heddington], where, at the head of his troops in close order, he fought a desperate battle with the Pagans, and maintaining the contest with spirit for a long time, at last, by God’s help, he gained the victory with great slaughter of the Pagans, pursuing the fugitives to their fortress; and all that he found outside the fortifications, men, horses, and cattle, he seized, putting the men to death. He then boldly encamped his army before the gates of the Pagan fortress, and having remained there fourteen days, the Pagans suffering from cold, hunger, and terror, and at last driven to despair, sued for peace, on the terms that the king should receive as many hostages as he pleased, naming them himself, and not giving a single one in return—terms of peace such as they had never before conceded. The king, having heard their proposal, was touched with pity, and selected as many hostages as he thought proper; and after they were delivered, the Pagans swore, besides, that they would forthwith depart from the king’s territories. Moreover, king Guthrum engaged to embrace Christianity, and receive baptism at king Alfred’s hands, all of which articles he and his men fulfilled as they had promised; for, seven weeks afterwards, Guthrum, the king of the Pagans, with thirty of his principal warriors, came to king Alfred at a place called Aalr [Aller], near Athelney, and there the king receiving him as his son by adoption, raised him up from the font of holy baptism, and gave him the name of Athelstan: the loosing of his crism took place on the eighth day at the royal vill called Wedmore. He staid with the king twelve nights after his baptism, the king assigning him and all his attendants spacious and handsome lodgings.

A.D. 879. The aforesaid army of Pagans, leaving Chippenham, as they had promised, removed to Cirencester, which is situated in the southern part of the Wiccian territory, and there they remained one year. In the same year, a large army of Pagans sailed from foreign parts, and, entering the Thames, joined the former army; but they wintered at Fulham, near the river Thames. The same year there was an eclipse of the sun, between nones and vespers, but nearer nones.33 Dunberht, bishop of Winchester, died, and was succeeded by Denewlf. This man, if report may be trusted, was, during the early part of his life, not only illiterate but a swineherd. King Alfred, when yielding to the fury of his enemies he had taken refuge in a forest, chanced to light upon him as he was feeding his swine. Remarking his intelligence, the king caused him to be taught learning, and when he was sufficiently instructed made him bishop of Winchester; a thing that may almost be considered miraculous.

A.D. 880. The oft-mentioned Pagan army, breaking up from Cireneester, marched into East-Anglia, and parcelling out the country began to settle in it. The same year, the Pagan army which had wintered at Fulham quitted the island of Britain, and again sailing across the sea reached the eastern part of France, when they remained a year, at a place called Gendi, that is Gand (Ghent).

A.D. 881. The oft-mentioned army of Pagans penetrated into France, and the Franks fought against it; and after the battle the Pagans supplied themselves with horses, and became mounted troops.

A.D. 882. The aforesaid army of the Pagans dragged their ships up the river Mese [Meuse], far into France, and wintered there one year. In the same year king Alfred fought a battle by sea against the Pagan fleet, of which he took two ships, having slain all who were on board; and the commanders of two other ships with their crews, exhausted by fighting and wounds, laid down their arms, and, on bended knees, with humble supplications, surrendered themselves to the king.

A.D. 883. The aforesaid army dragged their ships up the river called Scaldad [Scheld] against the stream, to a convent of nuns called Cundath [Condé] and there remained a whole year. Asser,34 bishop of Sherborne, died, and was succeeded by Swithelm, who carried king Alfred’s alms to St. Thomas in India, and returned thence in safety.

A.D. 884. Marinus was the hundred and seventh pope. For the love he bore Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, and at his earnest request, he graciously freed the school of the Saxons living at Rome from all toll and taxes. He also exchanged many gifts with the king; among those he sent him was a no small portion of the most holy cross, on which our Lord Jesus Christ hung for the salvation of man. The aforesaid army of Pagans entering the mouth of the river Summe [Somme], sailed up it as far as Embene [Amiens], and remained there for one year.

A.D. 885. The aforesaid army of the Pagans was divided into two bodies, one of which went into East France, and the other coming over to Britain landed in Kent, and laid siege to the city called in Saxon, Hrofceastre [Rochester], which stands on the eastern bank of the river Medway. The Pagans ran up a strong fort before the city gate, but were unable to storm the place, as the citizens made a stout resistance until king Alfred came to their relief with a powerful force. On the king’s sudden arrival, the Pagans abandoned their fort, leaving behind them all the horses they had brought with them from France; and, releasing most of their prisoners, fled to their ships. The Saxons immediately secured the captives and horses left by the Pagans, who, compelled by stern necessity, returned the same summer to France. The same year, Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, sailed with a fleet full of troops from Kent to East-Anglia, for the sake of plunder ; and when they were off the mouth of the river Stour, they fell in with sixteen of the Pagans’ships; a naval engagement ensued, and after desperate fighting on both sides, the Pagans were all slain, and the ships and all their treasure became the prize of the victors. But while the royal fleet was retiring in triumph, the Pagans who lived in the eastern part of England, having collected ships from all quarters, met it at sea near the mouth of the river, and after a naval battle the Pagans gained the victory.

Carloman, king of the Western-Franks, came to a miserable end while boar-hunting, being torn by the tusk of a singularly savage beast which he had attacked singly. His brother Lewis, who was also a king of the Franks, had died three years before. They were both sons of Lewis, king of the Franks, who died in the year in which the eclipse of the sun already mentioned took place. This Lewis was the son of Charles, king of the Franks, whose daughter Judith, Ethelwulf, king of Wessex, had made his queen, with her fathers consent. In the present year, also, a vast army of the Pagans poured forth from Germany into old Saxony, but those Saxons, joining their forces with the Frisons, fought bravely against them twice in one year, and, by God’s mercy, gained the victory in both battles. Moreover, in the same year, Charles, king of the Alemanni, succeeded to the kingdom of the Western-Franks, and to all the kingdoms between the Tuscan sea and the gulf which separates Old Saxony and Gaul; all the nations making voluntary submission to him, except those of Armorica [Brittany]. This Charles [Charles-le-Gros] was the son of k1ng Lewis, who was the brother of Charles [the Bald], king of the Franks, who was the father of the before- mentioned Judith; the two brothers were sons of Lewis [Le Debonnaire], and Lewis was son of Charles the Great, the antient and wise, who was son of Pepin. In this year, also, the army of the Pagans which had settled in East-Anglia, disgracefully broke the peace which thev had made with king Alfred.

A.D. 886. The army of Pagans, so often before-mentioned, quitting East-France, came again into the country of the Western-Franks, and entering the mouth of the Seine, sailed up it a long way against the stream as far as the city of Paris, where they wintered. They besieged that city the whole of that year, but by the merciful interposition of God, they were unable to break through its defences. The same year, Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, after the burning of cities and slaughter of the people, nobly rebuilt the city of London, and made it again habitable; he entrusted the custody of it to Ethered, earl of Mercia. To which king came all the Angles and Saxons who before had been dispersed everywhere, or dwelt among the Pagans without being bondsmen, and voluntarily placed themselves under his dominion.

A.D. 887. The above-mentioned army of the Pagans, leaving the city of Paris unharmed, as they found they could not succeed, rowed then- fleet up the Seine against the current, a long way until they reached the mouth of the Malerne [Marne] where they left the Seine and entered the Marne, and after a long and toilsome voyage up that river, they came at last to a place called Chezy, that is, “the Royal Vill,” where they passed the winter of that year. In the following year they entered the mouth of the river Yonne, to the no small damage of that country; and there they sat down for a whole year. In this year Charles, king of the Franks, went the way of all flesh; but six weeks before his death he had been expelled from his kingdom by Arnulf, his brother’s son. As soon as Charles was dead, five kings were appointed, and the kingdom was divided out into five parts; but the highest rank devolved upon Arnulf; and justly and deservedly, save only his disgraceful outrage on his uncle. The other four kings promised fealty and obedience to Arnulf, as was right; for none of them had any hereditary claims to the throne, on the father’s side, except Arnulf only. Although, therefore, five kings were appointed immediately on Charles’s death, Arnulf had the empire. The dominions were divided as follows: Arnulf had the country to the east of the Rhine; Rodolph the interior of the kingdom; Oda [Eudes] had the western states; Beorngar [Berenger] and Witha [Guido] had Lombardy and the territories on that side of the mountains. But with such vast and important kingdoms they did not remain in amity, for they fought two pitched battles, and often ravaged each other’s territories, and each, in turn, drove the other out of his kingdom.

In this year, Athelelm, ealdorman of Wiltshire, carried the alms of kmg Alfred and the Saxons to Rome. The same year, on the feast of St. Martin, bishop of Tours, Alfred, the often-named king of the Anglo-Saxons, by God’s assistance, first began to translate, as well as read, books. This king, although seated on a throne, was pierced through by many sorrows; for, as we have already said, from his twentieth to his forty-fifth year and more, he was in constant suffering from the severe attacks of an unknown disease, so that he was not safe for a single hour either from the pain it caused, or from apprehension of it. Besides this, he was perpetually harassed by the constant invasions of foreigners, which he had to resist vigorously both by land and by sea, without a moment’s rest. What shall I say of his frequent expeditions against the Pagans, of his battles, of his unceasing cares in the government of his kingdom, in the restoration of cities and towns, and building others where there were none before, of edifices incomparably ornamented with gold and silver under his own superintendence, of the royal halls and chambers, both of stone and wood, admirably erected by his command, of the royal vills, constructed of stone, which he caused to be removed from their old site, and handsomely rebuilt in more fitting places. Although he stood alone, yet God being his helper, he never suffered the helm of government to which he had once put his hand, to waver and become unsteady, though tossed by the waves and storms of this present life. For he unceasingly and most wisely used both gentle instruction, admonition, and command, to win over his bishops, ealdormen, and the better sort of his favourite thanes and officers to his own wishes and the public good; and where these failed, after- long forbearance, he had recourse to severe chastisement of the disobedient, holding vulgar stupidity and obstinacy in utter abomination. If the royal commands were not attended to, and in consequence of the people’s sluggishness, things ordered were not completed, or were begun so late that in time of need they were of little use for want of being perfectly done—for instance, the castles which he ordered to be built, and which were not begun, or taken in hand so late that the enemy’s forces broke in by sea and land before they were finished, then the opponents of the royal ordinances repented when it was too late, and sorely grieved that they had inconsiderately neglected his orders, and extolling the king’s forethought, engaged with the utmost zeal in the execution of what they had before disregarded.

Among this king’s other good deeds, he directed two monasteries to be built, one for monks, at a place called Athelney, where he collected various descriptions of monks, and appointed John, a priest and monk, and a native of Old Saxony, first abbot. He also ordered a monastery proper for the residence of nuns to be built near the east gate of Shaftesbury, of which he made his own daughter, Ethelgeovu, who was already a consecrated virgin, abbess; and these two monasteries he richly endowed with possessions in land and wealth of all kinds. Moreover, he vowed that he would religiously and faithfully dedicate to God one half of all the money which flowed into his coffers every year, being justly acquired; and this vow he made his serious business to fulfil with a willing mind. He also, by a plan divinely inspired, commanded his officers to divide his yearly revenues into two equal parts. When this was done, he ordered one of these parts to be distributed into three portions; one of which he annually bestowed on his noble officers who were continually engaged by turns about his person, performing various duties. For the king’s attendants were most judiciously divided into three companies, so that one should be on duty at court, night and day, for a month; at the end of which, on the arrival of another, the first returned home, and remained there two months, attending to their private affairs. At the end of the second month it was relieved by the arrival of the third, and returned home for two months. So the third company, on being relieved by the first, also spent two months at home. In this rotation the service at court was administered by turns during the whole life of the king. The second portion was paid to the artificers, who flocked to him in vast numbers, from different nations, or were engaged on hire, men skilled in every kind of construction. The third portion was cheerfully dispensed with admirable judgment to the foreigners who resorted to his court from all countries, far and near, whether they asked him for money or not. As to the other moiety, half of all his means derived from his yearly revenues, he ordered his ministers to divide it exactly into four equal portions, to the intent that the first portion should be discreetly bestowed on the poor of every nation who came to him; the second, on the two monasteries he had founded, and those who did God’s service in them; the third, on the school in which he had collected, with the utmost care, not only many of the sons of the nobility of his realms but others also of the lower order; the fourth, he distributed among the neighbouring monasteries throughout the whole of Saxony and Mercia, and even some years, by turns, among; the churches of Britain (Wales), Cornwall, France, Brittany, Northumbria, and Ireland, according to his ability. Having put these affairs in order, he undertook, as far as his infirmity and means would allow, to devote earnestly to God one half of his services, both of mind and body, by day and by night. In consequence, he began to consider by what means he might regularly keep his vow until his death. At length he shrewdly devised a useful plan, and sending for a quantity of wax had it weighed against pennies, and when there was wax in the scales of the weight of seventy-two pennies, he caused his chaplains to make six candles of equal size, so that each candle might be twelve inches in length, with the inches marked upon it. By this plan, therefore, six of these candles sufficed to burn for twenty-four hours, night and day, being set up before the relics of different saints, which he always took with him wherever he went.

Moreover, the king made the strictest enquiries into the administration of justice, as well as into all other matters; reviewing with much shrewdness nearly all the judgments pronounced throughout the kingdom at which he was not present himself, with a view to consider whether they were just or unjust. If he perceived any iniquity in these decisions he gently remonstrated with the judges, either personally, or through trusty friends, on their unrighteous decrees, inquiring whether they proceeded from ignorance or malevolence, that is, from affection, fear or ill-will to others, or from a greediness for lucre. In short, if the judges asserted that they had so given judgment because they knew no better, he discreetly and gently reproved their inexperience and ignorance in such words as these: “I marvel much at your presumption in that having, by God’s favour and my own, taken upon you an office and station belonging to wise men, you have neglected the study and practice of wisdom. Either, therefore, at once resign the execution of the temporal authority now vested in you, or apply yourself to the study of wisdom much more earnestly than you have hitherto done. Such are my commands.” Filled with consternation at such language as this, the ealdormen and presiding officers would strive to devote all their power to the study of justice, just as if they had been most severely punished. Thus, almost all the ealdormen and judges, however illiterate from their youth upwards, applied themselves surprisingly to the learned studies, preferring rather to undergo a new discipline as scholars than to resign their offices. If, however, any one could not make progress in learning, either from his advanced age or from dullness of an intellect unused to such exertions, the king required his son, if he had any, some kinsman, or, if no one else was to be had, one of his liege-men, whether a freeman or serf, for whom he had long before provided means of instruction, to read to him Saxon books, by day or night, whenever he found leisure. The old men sighed deeply, and heartily grieved that they had not attended to such studies in their early days; counting the young men of the present generation fortunate who had such excellent opportunities of instruction in the liberal arts; and regretting their own unhappy lot in neither having studied them while young, nor being able to acquire them in old age, however ardently they might desire to do so.

A.D. 888.

A.D. 889. Beocca, a noble ealdorman, conveyed the alms of king Alfred and the West-Saxons to Bome. The same year died Ethelswitha, queen of Burhred, king of Mercia, and was buried at Ticinum ([Pavia]. In this year, also, Ethelwold, the ealdorman, and Ethered, archbishop of Canterbury, died in the same month. Ethered was succeeded by Plegmund, a man of deep erudition.

A.D. 890.

A.D. 891. Abbot Beornhelm carried the alms of king Alfred and the West-Saxons to Rome. Guthrum, the king of the Northmen, who, as we mentioned before, was lifted by Alfred from the holy font, receiving the name of Athelstan, died this year. He and his followers were settled in East Anglia, and first took possession of and colonized that province after the death of St. Edmund, the martyr and king. The same year, the oft-mentioned Pagan army departed from the Seine and stationed themselves at a place called Santlaudan (St. Lô), situated between France and Brittany. The Bretons fought against them; and, having put some to the sword, and the rest to flight, some of whom were drowned in the river, remained masters of the field.

A.D. 892. The aforesaid Pagan army removed from East to West-France; but before their fleet could join them, the emperor Arnulf, with the Eastern-Franks, the Old-Saxons, and the Bavarians, attacked the land army and routed it. Three Scotchmen, Dusblan, Mahbethu [Macbeth], and Malinmumin, desiring to lead a pilgrim’s life for the Lord’s sake, fled secretly from Ireland, taking with them a week’s provisions, and embarking in a coracle made of nothing but two hides and a half; they reached Cornwall after an extraordinary voyage of seven days, without sails or tackling, and afterwards paid a visit to king Alfred. In the same year died Swifneh, the most learned doctor among the Scots. In this year also a star called a comet was seen about the time of the Rogation days.

A.D. 893. The fleet and cavalry of the Pagans quitting East-France came to Boulogne, and crossing thence, with their horses in two hundred and fifty ships, to Kent, landed at the mouth of the river Limen [Lyme], which flows out of the great forest called Andred; and having dragged their ships four miles from the river-mouth into this forest, they demolished a half-built fort which was inhabited by a few churls, and threw up for themselves a stronger one at a place called Appledore. Not long afterwards the Pagan king entered the mouth of the river Thames with eighty galleys, and built for himself a fortress in the royal vill called Middletun [Milton].

A.D. 894. The Pagans who had settled in Northumbria made a lasting peace with king Alfred, which they confirmed by their oaths; so also did those who dwelt in East-Anglia; and, in addition, delivered six hostages; but they broke the treaty, and as often as the army stationed in Kent sallied forth from their stronghold to plunder the country, they also either oined them, or pillaged whatever they could on their own account. When this was known, king Alfred, at the head of part of his army, and leaving part at home, as was his wont, while some were stationed as garrisons in the castles and cities, marched in all haste for Kent; where he pitched his camp between the two Pagan armies on a spot which was naturally strong, being surrounded on all sides by water, flowing with strong eddies, with high rocky banks and overhanging woods; so that if the enemy took the field for the purpose of plundering or fighting, he could give them battle without delay. They, however, went about plundering in bands, which were sometimes on horseback, sometimes on foot, resorting for their prey to those districts which they ascertained were not occupied by the king’s troops. But not only some of the royal army, but those who were in the towns, fell on them by surprise, night and day, with much slaughter, and so harassed them, that, abandoning Kent after again ravaging it, they all in a body broke up from their quarters, for they had gone out together to pillage when they first sat down in these parts. But this time they swept off a more valuable booty, and resolved on crossing the river Thames with it into Essex, and there meet their fleet, which they had sent forward. But the king’s army getting before them, gave them battle near Farnham, and, putting them to flight, recovered the booty and took the horses which they had brought from beyond sea. Crossing the Thames where there were no guards, they took refuge in an island surrounded by the windings of the river Colne, in which they were blockaded, until provisions failed in the king’s army, and the time came at which they were to be disbanded, and another come to relieve them. Those troops, therefore, returned home, and king Alfred bringing up the other half of his army in all haste, the Pagans, in consequence of their king being so severely wounded that they could not remove him, held their ground. While, however, king Alfred was on his march to attack the enemy, news was brought that the Pagans of Northumbria and East-Anglia had collected a fleet of two hundred ships, part of which, to the number of one hundred, had sailed round the south coast of England, and another division consisting of forty ships, had steered for the northern coast of Devonshire to lay siege to some castle there, while the former besieged Exeter with a powerful force. When the king heard this, he was not alarmed at the enemy’s bold manoeuvres, though he was very indignant that his people should be at the mercy of the besieging armies. Collecting, therefore, all his cavalry without loss of time, he rode to Exeter, leaving a small force to oppose the enemy he was previously marching against. This force proceeding to London, and being joined by the citizens, and those who had come to their aid from the west of England, marched to Benfleet; for they heard that a large detachment of the army stationed at Appledore had concentrated itself there with king HÆsten, who, advancing with his force from Milton, had constructed a fortified camp in that position; but in the meantime, they heard he had again gone on a predatory expedition. This king had a short tune before made peace with king Alfred, and given several hostages, and allowed his two sons to be regenerated in the laver of baptism, as king Alfred desired; one of them being held at the font by the king himself, the other by the illustrious ealdorman Ethered. But on his arrival at Benfleet, King HÆsten quickly fortifying his camp, began immediately to ravage the borders of the kingdom of his son’s god-father. A severe battle was therefore fought with the Pagans, and the Christians put them to flight at the first onset, destroyed their works, and seizing on all they could find carried it off, with then- wives and children, to London. Some of their ships they broke up, others they burnt, and conducted the rest either to London or Rochester. They also took HÆsten’s wife and two sons before he returned to Benfleet from plundering; and these they carried to king Alfred, but he did them no harm, because, as we said before, one of the boys was his own godson, and the other Ethered’s, but renewing the peace, and taking hostages, not only restored HÆsten his wife and sons, as he requested, but gave him. a large sum of money.

Afterwards the king went to Exeter, at the earnest entreaty of his people there; and the Pagans, terrified at his coming, retired to their ships, and then returning to their old quarters, began to ravage the country near Chichester, in the province of the South-Saxons. But they were driven off from the city by the townsmen, great numbers of them having been killed and wounded, and many of their ships were taken. Meanwhile, the Pagan army being expelled by the Christians from Benfleet, as we mentioned, went to a town called in Saxon Sceobyrig [Shoebury], and there built for themselves a strong fortress. Many of the Pagans from East-Anglia and Northumbria having joined them, they pillaged first the banks of the Thames and then those of the Severn. The noble earldormen Ethered, Athelm, and Athelnoth, and others of the king’s thanes to whom he had committed the custody of the forts, towns, and cities, not only on the eastern side of the Parret, but also westward of Selwood, and not only on the north but also on the south of the Thames, resenting their fierce irruptions, assembled a considerable force against the enemy, the Welsh, who dwelt on the banks of the Severn, coming to their aid. These troops being united, they marched in pursuit of the enemy and came up with them at Buttington, on the banks of the Severn, and immediately laid siege to the fortress into which they had retired, from both sides of the river. After the lapse of many weeks, some of the Pagans died of hunger; others, having devoured their horses, broke out of their fortress and attacked the enemy’s division stationed on the other side of the river; but vast numbers of the Pagans were slain in this engagement, and the rest taking to flight, the Christians remained masters of the field of death. In this battle, Ordeah, a noble of the highest rank, and many of the king’s thanes fell. The Pagans who fled having retreated to Essex and reached their fortresses and ships, on the approach of winter they again gathered a large army out of East-Anglia and Northumbria, and giving their wives, their wealth, and their ships, in charge to the settlers in East-Anglia, left their fortresses, and making a forced march, took possession of the city of the Legions, called in Latin Legeceaster [Chester], which was at that time deserted; arriving there before the troops of king Alfred and Ethered the sub-king, who were in pursuit, could overtake them. However, they cut off and slew some of them, rescuing some of the cattle and sheep they had seized while foraging, and besieged the city for two days, burning part of the crops of corn and giving the rest to their horses. These events took place in the course of a year after the Pagans came from the coast of France to the mouth of the river Limene.

A.D. 895. The oft-mentioned Saxon army, having no means of subsistence, as the Christians had taken everything from them, made an irruption into the territories of the North- Britons, and ravaging them far and wide swept off an immense body. Not daring to return by way of Mercia, for fear of the Mercians, they went first through Northumbria and the country of the Mid-Angles, and having rejoined their wives and ships in East-Anglia, betook themselves to a little island in the sea called Theresig [Mersey], on the eastern coast of Essex. The same year, the same party drew their ships up the river Thames, and afterwards up the river Lea, and began to build themselves a fort near that river, twenty miles from London.

A.D. 896. In the summer time, great part of the citizens of London, assisted by numbers from the neighbouring places, endeavoured to demolish the fortress which the Pagans had made for themselves; but they met with a stout resistance, and the Christians were compelled to draw off, after four of king Alfred’s thanes were slain. The king himself, in the autumn, pitched his camp not far from the city, in order to prevent the Pagans from carrying off the crops of the country people. One day, as he rode along the river-bank, he considered where he could obstruct the channel so as to prevent the Danes from getting their ships out; and without delay ordered a dam to be made from both sides across the bed of the river. The Pagans finding this, again placed their wives in security in East-Anglia, and abandoning their ships, made a forced march on foot as far as a place called Quattbrycge, and having built for themselves a fortress, passed the winter there. Meanwhile, the Londoners brought some of their ships to London and broke up the rest.

A.D. 897. In the summer season, part of the Pagan army which had wintered at Quattbrycge went into East-Anglia and the other parts as far as Northumbria. Some remained there, but others procured ships and crossed over to the river Seine already mentioned. Oh! with what constant attacks, with what grievous sufferings, in what a dreadful and lamentable manner, was the whole of England harassed, not only by the Danes, who had settled in various parts of it before that time, but also by these (roving) children of Satan. Much more did it suffer for three years by a murrain among the cattle, and a mortality among the nobility, many of whom, the king’s principal officers especially, died during that period. Among these were Sutihulf, bishop of Rochester, Ealhrard, bishop of Dorchester, Ceolmund, ealdorman of Kent, Beorhttwlf, ealdorman of Essex, Eadulf, the king’s reeve in Sussex, Beornwulf, the vice-reeve of Winchester, Ecgwulf, the king’s horse-thane, and many others; but these were of the highest rank. In this same year, the army of Pagans who were settled in East-Anglia and Northumbria grievously harassed the territory of the West-Saxons, making piratical descents and pillaging along the coast, principally in long, swift ships, which they had built some years before. To oppose these, king Alfred caused ships to be constructed twice as long, swifter, loftier, and better trimmed, so that they might be more than a match in action for the enemy’s navy. On sending them to sea, the king’s orders were that they should take as many prisoners as they could, and kill such of the enemy as they could not take alive. The result was that in the same year twenty ships of the Danish pirates were taken; and of the crews, some were slain, and others brought alive to the king and hung on the gallows.

A.D. 898, 899.

A.D. 900. Healhstan, bishop of London, died, and was succeeded by Theodred. Eardulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, to whom succeeded the pious Cuthard.

A.D. 901. Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, son of the most religious king Ethelwulf, after a reign of twenty-nine years and six months, died on Wednesday the fifth of the calends of November [28th October], in the fourth indiction.35 He was buried at Winchester in the New Minster, where he waits his being clothed with a blissful immortality, and partaking the glory of the resurrection of the just. That renowned, warlike, and victorious king was the zealous guardian of the widows and fatherless, orphans, and the poor. He was a perfect master of Saxon poetry, fondly loved by his own subjects, most affable and generous to all the world, endowed with prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance, he was a model of patience under his inveterate disease, acute and impartial in the administration of justice, and vigilant and devout in the service of God.

His son Edward, surnamed the Elder, who succeeded to the throne, was inferior to his father in learning, but surpassed him in dignity, might, and grandeur. For, as it will be clearly shown in what follows, he extended the frontiers of his kingdom far beyond its limits in his father’s reign, built many cities and towns, and raised others from their ruins, wrested from the power of the Danes all Essex, East-Anglia, Northumbria, and several districts of Mercia, which had been long in their hands, and after the death of his sister Ethelfleda, 36 took possession of the whole of Mercia and retained it in his own hands: he also reduced to subjection the king of the Scots, the Cumbrians, and the Strathclyde and Western Britons; and many kings and chiefs he defeated and slew. He had Athelstan, his first-born son by a woman of very noble birth, named Egwina; his queen Edgiva also bore him three sons, Edwin, Edmund, and Edred, a daughter named Edberga, a most devout virgin, and three other daughters. One of these was married to Otho, emperor of the Romans, the eighty-ninth in succession; another to Charles, king of the Western-Franks, whose aunt, the daughter of the emperor Charles, was the wife of Ethelwulf, king of Wessex; Sihtric, king of Northumbria, married the third daughter. The etheling Ethelwold, cousin-german of king Edward, seized a royal vill called Tweoxebeam, without the licence of the king or his ‘witan;’ he also took another called Winburne, and strengthened it with gates and bolts. It was there that, as we have mentioned before, St. Cuthburg, sister of king Ina, founded a monastery of nuns. On hearing of this outrage, king Edward assembled an army, and encamped at a place near Winburne, called Baddanbyrig [Badbury]. The king lost no time in summoning the etheling to evacuate the place; but he refused, saying that he would live or die there. But these were idle words, for, terrified at the number of the king’s army, he made his escape by night, and hastening into Northumbria entreated the Danes to accept him as a comrade, allowing him to join their company as such, and not as a commander. However, they shortly afterwards raised him to the throne. King Athelstan was severely mortified at Ethelwold’s escape, and commanded instant pursuit to be made, but finding it impossible to overtake him, he arrested the nun whom the etheling had married without his permission and that of the bishops, and caused her to be taken back to her convent at Winburne.

A.D. 902.

A.D. 903. Athulf, a very brave ealdorman, the brother of queen Elswitha, king Edward’s mother, died this year; as also Virgilius, a venerable Scotch abbot; likewise Grimbald, the priest, a man of great sanctity and one of king Alfred’s masters, ascended to the bliss of the heavenly kingdom.

A.D. 904. The Kentish men fought against a numerous band of Danish pirates at a place called Holme, and remained victors. The etheling Ethelwold returned to England from foreign parts, with a large fleet of ships which he had either bought or collected in East-Anglia.

A.D. 905. There was an eclipse of the moon. The etheling Ethelwold prevailed on the Danes who inhabited East-Anglia, by the promise of a large share of the booty, to join in a predatory irruption on the borders of Mercia. On their consenting, they quickly burst into the Mercian territory under their king Eric, in union with Ethelwold, and, eager for plunder, carried fire and sword through the country, penetrating as far as Creccanford (Cricklade), where they crossed the river Thames, and traversing the wood called in the Saxon tongue Bradene, seized the surrounding vills, plundering everything they could lay their hands on. Being now loaded with rich booty, they hurried homeward in triumph; but in vain, for the invincible king Edward pursued them with such troops as he could get together in haste, and laid waste their lands situate between the boundary territory of St. Edmund the king, and the river Ouse. When about to draw off his army from the work of devastation, he ordered the whole to retire in a body; but the Kentish men remained behind in spite of the order. The king sent (no less than) seven messages to them, commanding them to retreat; but they, having no apprehension of an attack, persisted in their enterprise in blind security. The Danes, learning this, quickly assembled in a body and fell on the Kentish men; and a severe battle ensued, in which numbers perished on both sides. On that of the Kentish men were slain Siwulf, the ealdorman, and his son Seberht, Sigelm, the ealdorman, Edwold, the king’s thane, abbot Kenulf, and many others. On the side of the Danes were slain Eric their king, the etheling Ethelwold, who had been elected king, and very many more37 than fell on the side of the English; but they remained masters of the field of death. The devout handmaid of Christ, queen Elswitha, king Edward’s mother, and the foundress of a monastery for nuns at Winchester, departed this life.

A.D. 906. A comet-star was seen. The Pagan army out of East-Anglia and Northumbria, finding that king Edward was invincible, made peace with him at a place called in the English tongue Yttingaford.38

A.D. 907.

A.D. 908. The city called in the British tongue Karlegion, and in the Saxon, Legeceastre (Chester), was rebuilt by order of Ethered, the ealdorman, and Ethelfleda.

A.D. 909. Denulf, bishop of Winchester, died.

A.D. 910. St. Frithestan succeeded to the bishopric vacant by the death of Denulf. The bones of St. Oswald, king and martyr, were translated from Bardney to Mercia. The Danes having broken the peace recently concluded, the invincible king Edward sent an army of West-Saxons and Mercians into Northumbria, which having accomplished its march, laid waste the country for nearly forty days without intermission, put numbers of the Danes to the sword, and brought back a crowd of captives and immense booty, compelling their kings, however reluctantly, to renew with king Edward the peace they had broken.

A.D. 911. A glorious battle was fought between the English and Danes at a place called Teotanhele, [Tettenhall] in the province of Stafford, the English gaining the victory. The same year the victorious king Edward collected a hundred ships, and embarking in them chosen troops, gave them orders to meet him in Kent, whither he intended to go by land. Meanwhile, the Danish settlers in Northumbria again breaking the peace they had made, and rejecting the terms of accommodation which king Edward and his witan proposed, audaciously ravaged the lands of the Mercians, thinking, indeed, that their naval power was so superior that they could go where they pleased without encountering an enemy. The king being informed of this irruption, sent the West-Saxon troops united with those of Mercia to drive them out, who overtook them as they were returning from the country they had ravaged, on a plain called in English Wodnesfield, and slew their two kings Eowils and Halfdene, king Hinguar’s brothers, with two of their earls, Ochter and Scurf, nine of their principal nobles,39 and many thousand men besides; and putting the rest to flight, recovered all the spoil. Ethelfleda, the lady of the Mercians, built the town of Bramsbury.

A.D. 912. Ethered, ealdorman and patrician, lord and sub-king of the Mercians, a man of distinguished excellence, and not deficient in deeds of worth, died this year; after his decease his wife Ethelfleda, king Alfred’s daughter, ruled with firmness the kingdom of Mercia, save only London and Oxford, which her cousin king Edward retained in his own hands.

A.D. 913. Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, came with an army on the second of the nones [the 6th] of May to a place called Scoergate, and built a fortress there; marching from thence she built another at a place called Bricge [Bridgnorth], on the western bank of the river Thames. About the feast of St. Martin [11th November], a city was built by order of king Edward, between the Memera, Ficcea and Lyge [Lea], to the north of Hertford.

A.D. 914. After Easter [17th April] a Pagan army from Northampton and Leicester came plundering into the province of Oxford and slew great numbers of people in the royal vill of Hockernetune [Hockerton], and many other vills. Shortly after they returned home another expediton was equipped, consisting of horsemen, and dispatched in the province of Hertford, towards Ligetun; but the people of the country flocked together to oppose them, and slaying many of them and putting the rest to flight, took some of their horses and most of their arms, recovering also the booty they had collected. After Rogation days [23rd May], king Edward detached part of his troops to build a town on the south side of the river Lea, and, marching the rest into Essex, pitched his camp at Maldienne [Maldon?]. He took up his quarters there while a town was building at Witham, which was afterwards fortified; and a great portion of the inhabitants who were enthralled by the Pagans submitted themselves to him, with all they possessed. In the early part of the summer, Ethelfleda, the lady of the Mercians, led her people to Tamworth, and by God’s help rebuilt that town; from thence she went to Stafford, and built or threw up a fort on the north bank of the river Sowe. The following winter was exceedingly long and severe. Athelm, bishop of Wells, being promoted to the archbishopric of Canterbury, was succeeded by Wulfhelm.

A.D. 915. On the death of Wereferth, bishop of the Hwiccas, a man of deep learning and piety, he was succeeded by Ethelhun, abbot of Berkeley.40 In the beginning of summer, Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, built the town called Eddesbury, and at the close of autumn another called Warwick. The Pagan pirates, who nearly nineteen years before had crossed over to France, returned to England from the province called Lydwiccum [Brittany], under two chiefs, Ochter and Hroald [Thorold ?], and sailing round the coast of Wessex and Cornwall at length entered the mouth of the river Severn. Without any loss of time they fell upon the country of the Northern Britons, and carried off almost every thing they could find on the banks of the river. Having laid hands on Cymelgeac, a British bishop, on a plain called Yrcenefeld, they dragged him, with no little joy, to their ships. King Edward redeemed him shortly afterwards for forty pounds of silver. Before long, the whole army landed, and made for the plain before mentioned, in search of plunder; but the men of Hereford and Gloucester, with numerous bands from the neighbouring towns, suddenly fell on them, and a battle was fought in which Hroald, one of the enemy’s chiefs, and the brother of Ochter, the other chief, and great part of the army were slain. The rest fled, and were driven by the Christians into an enclosure, where they were beset until they delivered hostages for their departure as quickly as possible from king Edward’s dominions. The king, therefore, stationed detachments of his army in suitable positions on the south side of the Severn, from Cornwall to the mouth of the river Avon, to prevent the pirates from ravaging those districts. But leaving their ships on the shore, they prowled by night about the country, plundering it to the eastward of Weced [Watchet], and another time at a place called Porlock. However, on both occasions, the king’s troops slew all of them except such as made a disgraceful retreat to their ships. The latter, dispirited by their defeat, took refuge in an island called Reoric,41 where they harboured till many of them perished from hunger, and, driven by necessity, the survivors sailed first to Deomed,42 and afterward in the autumn to Ireland. After these occurrences, the invincible king Edward marched his army to Buckingham, where he halted thirty days, causing forts to be built on both banks of the river Ouse; and, in consequence, Turketil, one of the Danish chiefs, and all of the better sort from Bedford and many from Northampton were compelled to submit to the king.43 On the death of Cuthard, bishop of Lindisfarne, he was succeeded by Tilred.

A.D. 916. The victorious king Edward went to Bedford before the feast of St. Martin [1lth November], which place and its inhabitants submitted to him. He remained there thirty days, and caused a town to be built on the south side of the river Ouse. After Christmas, Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, built two towns, Cyricbirig [Cherbury], and Weadbyrig; she also built a third, Runcofan [Runcorn], before that feast.

A.D. 917. The victorious king Edward went as far as Maldon before the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and rebuilt the town, placing a guard of soldiers in it before he left it. The same year Turketil, the chief already mentioned, went over to France with all his band, king Edward approving and furthering the expedition. The venerable abbot Egbert was unjustly slain on the sixth of the calends of July. Three nights afterwards Ethelfleda, the lady of the Mercians, sent an army into the territory of the Britons to take the castle at Brycenanmere [Brecknock]; and having stormed it, they carried the wife of the British king captive to Mercia, and thirty-four men with her. Rollo, the first duke of Normandy died, and was succeeded bv his son William.

A.D. 918. By king Edward’s command, the city called Towcester was built before Easter, and another after Easter, about the Rogations at Wigmore. After the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the Pagans of Northampton and Leicester, in violation of the peace, marched to Towcester, and assaulted it during a whole day, endeavouring to storm it; but the defenders of the place making a stout resistance from within, and their neighbours hastening to their relief, the Pagans all took to flight. They afterwards made night attacks in the province of Buckingham on those who were off their guard, carrying away men as well as cattle, and butchered manv of the inhabitants between Birnwood and Aylesbury. At the same time, the army of the Pagans who had colonised East-Anglia and Huntingdon abandoned their fortress at Huntingdon, and built themselves one which was stronger at a place called Wigingamere; thinking, forsooth, that hostilities from that quarter would enable them to recover the lands which had been wrested from them. They then issued forth to assault Bedford; but as soon as their approach was ascertained, those who had the guard of the town went out to engage them, and, battle being joined, the enemy were defeated and put to flight with great loss. After a short interval the Pagans again assembled in a body from East-Anglia, Essex, and Mercia, and marched to a town called Wigingamere,44 which they assaulted for a whole day; and those within defended it manfully, and the enemy drew off; and as they retreated swept off a vast booty. After this, in the same summer, the people assembled in great numbers from the nearest towns and districts under king Edward’s dominion, and laid siege to Tempsford—assaulted, stormed, burnt, and destroyed it, putting to the sword the king of the Pagans, with their general Toglear and his son, earl Mannan, and his brother, and all who made any defence; the rest they took prisoners, and carried off all they could find.

From that time the power of the Danes gradually decreased, while that of the English was daily augmented. Upon the calends [the 1st] of August, Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, took Derby by assault, and became mistress of that district; but four of her most trusty thanes were slain, bravely fighting, at the city gate. In the following autumn, a great multitude of people from Kent, Surrey, Essex, and the neighbouring towns and districts, assembled together, and marched in a body to Colchester, and laying siege to the place sat down before it until they took it. They slew all who were in it, except a few who escaped, and plundered all it contained. The Danes of East-Anglia, much incensed at this loss, were bent on revenge, and, joined by some pirates, whom they had taken into their pay, hastened to Maldon, which they besieged until the people of the neighbourhood came to the relief of the English; upon which the Danes gave up the siege and drew off. The English, seeing this, pursued them with great impetuosity, slew many thousands of the pirates and the others, and routed the rest. Shortly afterwards, the invincible king Edward put himself at the head of an expedition from Wessex to Passanham, and remained there while Towcester was being fortified by a wall of stone built round it. In consequence, the Danish earl Thurferth, finding that he could no longer resist the king’s vigour, submitted to Edward, with the citizens of Northampton and the people of that neighbourhood, both Danish and English. After this the king returned home and despatched another army to Huntingdon, with orders to repair and rebuild the place and leave a garrison in it. This being accomplished, all the people of that province who had survived the cruelties of the Danes, rejoicing to shake off their yoke, sought peace and protection from the king, and offered him their allegiance. After a few days interval, the king assembled the army of Wessex, and marching to Colchester, repaired the walls of the town, and stationed in it a garrison of hired soldiers. Meanwhile, many of the English in East-Anglia and Essex, who had been enslaved to the brutal Danes more than thirty years, joyfully submitted to king Edward; and even the Danish-colonists of East-Anglia came to him and swore that they would in future do nothing to his prejudice, either by sea or land. The army from Cambridge also came and chose him for their lord and patron; confirming their submission by oaths as he required.

A.D. 919. In the beginning of this year, Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, got possession of Leicester, peaceably, and nearly all the Danes belonging to the place submitted to her. The Danes also who predominated at York, engaged, some on their word, and others on oath, to submit to her will and pleasure in all tilings. After Rogations [31st May], the victorious king Edward the Elder led his army to Stamford, and built a strong castle on the south bank of the river Welland, and not only the Danes who held the fort on the north bank of that river, but all who were connected with the place, paid him homage. While the king was thus employed, that is to say, on the nineteenth of the calends of July, his sister, Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, a woman of incomparable prudence, and eminent for her just and virtuous life, died,45 eight years after the sole government of the Mercians fell to her, during which she had ruled them with firmness and equity. She left Elfwina, her only daughter by Ethered the sub-king, heiress to her territories: her body was carried to Gloucester and honourably buried in the church of St. Peter. As soon as the intelligence of his sister’s death reached the king, he hurried to Tamworth and reduced it to submission. Then moving his army to Nottingham, which was given up to him, he ordered it to be repaired, and settled in it a united body of Danes and English. In course of time he received the submission, first, of all the Mercians and Danish inhabitants of Mercia, and afterwards of three British kings, Howel, Clyttwic, and Juthal, with all their subjects.

A.D. 920. In the time of autumn, the invincible king Edward proceeded to Thelwall and built a town there, leaving some of the bravest of his soldiers as a garrison. He also sent troops into Northumbria, with orders to repair the town of Manchester, and station some good soldiers there. After that, he deprived his niece Elfwina of all her authority in the kingdom of Mercia, and caused her to be conducted to Wessex.

A.D. 921. The invincible king Edward the Elder went to Nottingham with a body of troops before the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and erected a town on the southern bank of the river Trent, opposite to the town standing on the other bank, and gave orders for building a strong bridge to connect the two towns. Thence he proceeded with his force to Beadecanwella (Bakewell), and having built a town close by, placed some stout soldiers in it. At that time the king of the Scots, with all his people, B/egnald, king of the Danes, with the English and Danes of Northumbria, and the king of the Strathclyde Britons, with his subjects, chose king Edward the Elder for their father and lord, and made a firm alliance with him.

A.D. 922. Ethelward, the etheling, king Edward’s brother, died on the seventeenth of the calends of November [16th October], and was carried to Winchester and buried there. Ethelhun, bishop of the Hwiccas, died, and was succeeded by Wilferth.

A.D. 923.

A.D. 924. Edward the Elder, the invincible king of England, who reigned gloriously over all the people of Britain, whether English, Scotch, Cumbrians, Danes, or Welsh, after many great achievements, departed this life at the royal vill called Fearndun (Farringdon), in the fifteenth indiction, and the twenty-fourth of his reign, leaving the government to his son Athelstan. His body was carried to Winchester, and interred in the New Minster with royal pomp. His son Alfward died shortly afterwards at Oxford, and was buried with his father. Athelstan’s accession was inaugurated at Cingestone, which signifies the King’s town; and he was crowned with due ceremony by Athelm, archbishop of Canterbury. The resolute Dunstan, a native of Wessex, was a boy in his time .

A.D. 925. The valiant and glorious king Athelstan gave his sister in marriage, with great pomp and magnificence, to Sihtric, king of the Northumbrians, who was of Danish origin.

A.D. 926. Fiery lights in the northern part of the heavens were visible throughout the whole of England. Shortly afterward, Sihtric, king of Northumbria, departed this life, and king Athelstan expelled Guthferth his son and successor, and united the kingdom to the others which were under his imperial sway, for he defeated in battle and put to flight all the kings throughout Albion; for instance, Howel, king of the West Britons [the Welsh], and afterwards Constantino, king of the Scots, and Wuer [Owen] king of the Wenti [q. Gwent]. He also expelled Aldred, the son of Eadulf, from his royal town called by the English Bebbanbyrig [Bamborough]. All these, finding that they could no longer resist his power, sued for peace, and assembling at a place called Eamot, on the fourth of the ides [the 12th] of July, ratified by their oaths a solemn treaty.

A.D. 927.

A.D. 928. Tilred, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Withred. On the death of Tunberht, bishop of Lichfield, Ælle succeeded.

A.D. 929. Wilferth, bishop of the Hwiccias, died, and was succeeded by Kinewold.

A.D. 930.

A.D. 931. Eadulf, bishop of Devon, died, and was buried at Crediton.

A.D. 932. Frithestan, bishop of Winchester, a man of eminent piety, continued to reside at Winchester after the pious Byrnstan was bishop in his stead. St. Frithestan sang mass daily for the repose of the souls of the departed, and at night went round the cemeteries, chanting psalms for their relief. On one occasion, when he was thus employed, and had concluded the service with the words, “May they rest in peace!” he heard, as it were, countless hosts uttering from the graves the response, “Amen!”

A.D. 933. St. Frithestan died.

A.D. 934. Athelstan, the valiant king of England led an expedition into Scotland, consisting of a powerful fleet and a large body of cavalry, Constantine, king of the Scots, having broken the peace that he had made. King Athelstan ravaged great part of the country, and Constantine was compelled to give him his son as an hostage, with fitting presents; and peace having been restored, the English king returned to Wessex. St. Byrnstan, bishop of Winchester, died the same year.

A.D. 935. The holy monk Elphege, surnamed The Bald, a kinsman of St. Dunstan, was appointed to the bishopric of Winchester.

A.D. 936.

A.D. 937. Otho, the nineteenth emperor of the Romans, reigned thirty-six years and ten months. Athelstan, king of England, gave him one of his sisters in marriage.

A.D. 938. Anlaf [Olaf], the Pagan king of Ireland and many other isles, at the instigation of his father-in-law Constantine, king of the Scots, entered the mouth of the Humber with a powerful fleet. King Athelstan, and his brother Edmund the etheling, encountered him at the head of their army at a place called Brunanburgh, and the battle, in which five tributary kings and seven earls were slain, having lasted from daybreak until evening, and been more sanguinary than any that was ever fought before in England, the conquerors retired in triumph, having driven the kings Anlaf and Constantine to their ships; who, overwhelmed with sorrow at the destruction of their army, returned to their own countries with very few followers.

A.D. 939.

A.D. 940. Athelstan, the brave and glorious king of England, departed this life at Gloucester, on Wednesday the sixth of the calends of November [27th October], in the fourteenth indiction and the sixteenth year of his reign. He was carried to Maidulph (Malmesbury), and buried there with great honours; his brother Edmund succeeded to the throne in the eighteenth year of his age.

A.D. 941. The Northumbrians, faithless to the allegiance they owed to Edmund, the great king of England, elected Olaf, a king of the Northmen, to be their own king. The same year Alfred, bishop of Sherborne, died.

A.D. 942. Edmund, the great king of England, wrested the “Five Burghs,”46 namely, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, and Stamford, out of the hands of the Danes, and brought the whole of Mercia under his dominion. He established his supremacy and acquired this glory by calling to his counsels Dunstan, the servant of God, who, besides other offices of dignity to which he was advanced, was abbot of Glastonbury, where he had been brought up. William, duke of Normandy, the son of Rollo, was slain on the sixteenth of the calends of January [17th October]: he was succeeded by his son Richard.

A.D. 943. At the moment when St. Elfgiva, the queen of king Edmund the Great, was giving birth to a son, St. Dunstan, the abbot, heard voices on high, singing thus: “Peace shall be to the English church in the tune of the child who is now born and of our own Dunstan.” This year the king of England received king Olaf, already mentioned, from the sacred laver of regeneration, and made him a royal gift; and soon afterwards he presented Regnald, king of Northumbria, to the bishop in the office of confirmation, adopting him for his son.

A.D. 944. Edmund, the great king of England, expelled the two kings of Northumbria—namely, Olaf, son of Sihtric, and Regnald, son of Guthferth, and took that kingdom into his own hands. Withred, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Uhtrie; on whose decease Sexhelm was ordained to supply his place; and he too dying a few months afterwards, Aldred was consecrated in his stead.

A.D. 945. Edmund, the great king of England, laid waste Cumberland, and gave it to Malcolm, king of the Scots, under fealty and military service, by sea and land.

A.D. 946. On the feast of St. Augustine, the doctor of the English, being Tuesday, the seventh of the calends of June [26th May], in the fourth indiction, Edmund, the great king of England, was stabbed to death at the royal vill called Pucklechurch, by Leof, a ruffianly thief, while attempting to defend his steward from being murdered by the robber. The king thus perished after a reign of five years and seven months: his body was carried to Glastonbury and buried by St. Dunstan the abbot. Edred, his brother and next heir, immediately succeeded him in due course, and was crowned at Kingston by St. Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday the seventeenth of the calends of September [16th August]. King Edred reduced the entire kingdom of Northumbria to allegiance, as his brother had done before, and the Scots swore fealty to him.

A.D. 947, 948.

A.D. 949. St. Wulfstan, archbishop of York, and all the great men of Northumbria, swore fealty to Edred, the illustrious king of England, at the vill called Taddens-clyff [Tadcaster], but they soon broke it, and made one Eric, of Danish extraction, their king.

A.D. 950. On the revolt of the Northumbrians, Edred, king of England, laid waste the whole of Northumbria; and, in the course of this devastation, the monastery of Ripon, founded by St. Wilfrid, was burnt to the ground. While, however, the king was retiring, a body of troops sallied forth from York and made great havoc on the rear of his army, at a place called Chesterford. The king was so nettled at this affront, that he was on the point of counter-marching his force and utterly devastating the whole country, when the Northumbrians, alarmed at the news, deposed Eric whom they had elected king, satisfying the king’s honour by humble submission, and compensating his losses by then- offerings, it costing them a large sum of money to appease his anger.

A.D. 951. St. Elphege, bishop of Winchester, surnamed the Bald, who had received St. Dunstan’s profession as a monk, and raised him to the order of priesthood, departed this life, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Alfsin.

A.D. 952. Edred, the renowned king of England, closely imprisoned Wulfstan, archbishop of York, at Juthanbyrig, on certain charges frequently preferred against him. He also ordered several of the inhabitants of Thetford to be executed, as a punishment for their cruel murder of abbot Aldelm.

A.D. 953. Ethelgar, bishop of Crediton, departed in Christ in the twenty-first year after he was appointed to the see, and was buried at Crediton. By the advice of St. Dun- stan, the abbot, the venerable Alfwold was made bishop in his place.

A.D. 954. Wulfstan, archbishop of York, was released from prison, but his episcopal functions were transferred to Dorchester.

A.D. 955. Edred, the illustrious king of England, fell sick in the tenth year of his reign, so that his life was despaired of; upon which a messenger was dispatched with urgent speed to summon Dunstan, the king’s confessor. The holy abbot was hastening to the palace, and had accomplished half his journey when he heard these words distinctly uttered by a voice from above, “King Edred now rests in peace.” At this sound, the horse on which he was riding, struck with awe at the angel’s voice, fell to the earth lifeless, but St. Dunstan received no injury. The king’s corpse was carried to Winchester, and interred by abbot Dunstan himself in the New Minster with the highest honours. Edwy, the etheling, his nephew, as being son of king Edward by St. Elfgiva, his queen, succeeded him in his sole and imperial government, and was crowned the same year at Kingston by Odo, archbishop of Canterbury. The same year died Lewis, king of the Western Franks, son of king Charles by a daughter of Edward the Elder, king of England. Liutolf also, son of the emperor Otho by another daughter of the same king Edward, died this year, and was buried in the choir of the Abbey of St. Alban, at Mentz.

A.D. 956. St. Dunstan, the abbot, on his being cited to judgment by Edred, king of England, crossed the sea, and being honourably received by Arnulf, a man of royal descent, had lodgings assigned him in the abbey of Blandin [St. Peter’s, at Ghent]. Wulfstan, archbishop of York, died on the seventh of the calends of January [26th Dec], and was buried at Oundle. Oskytel, a reverend man, succeeded him.

A.D. 957. The people of Mercia and Northumbria threw off their allegiance to Edwy king of England, disgusted at the folly of his government, and elected his cousin, the etheling Edgar, king. So the kingdom was divided between the two kings in such manner that the river Thames formed the boundary of their respective dominions. It was not long before Edgar, king of Mercia, recalled St. Dunstan, the abbot, with honour and distinction. In the course of a short time afterwards, Coenwald, the pastor of the church of Worcester, a man of deep humility and also a monk, died, and St. Dunstan, the abbot, was promoted to the vacant bishopric, and consecrated by Odo, archbishop of Canterbury. In the year following, Edgar king of Mercia entrusted him with the government of the church of London, on the death of its pious pastor.

A.D. 958. Alfsi, bishop of Dorchester, died: he was succeeded by Byrhthelm, a mild, modest, humble, and benevolent man. St. Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, separated Edwy king of Wessex and Elgiva, either because, as report says, she was of near kin to him, or he was enamoured of her instead of his wife. In the same year, the archbishop, a man eminent for his talent, worth, and virtues, and gifted with a prophetic spirit, departed this life and was borne on angel’s wings to paradise. He was succeeded by -ffilfsige, bishop of Winchester, and Byrhthelm, the fifth bishop of Wells, was translated to the see of Winchester in Alfsin’s place.

A.D. 959. Ælfsige, archbishop of Canterbury, on his journey to Eome to obtain the pallium was frozen to death in the ice and snow whilst crossing the Alps. Edwy, king of Wessex, died, after a reign of four years, and was buried at Winchester in the New Minster. His brother Edgar, king of Mercia, then in the sixteenth year of his age, was chosen to succeed him by the unanimous voice of the Anglo-Britons, in the 510th year from the arrival of the Angles in Britain, and the 263rd year after St. Augustine and his companions landed in England: and the divided kingdoms were thus re-united. Byrhthelm, bishop of the people of Somerset (of Wells) was elected to the archbishopric of Canterbury, but it being the general opinion that he was little qualified for so high a dignity, he returned to the church he had lately quitted. Thereupon, St. Dunstan, nephew by the brother’s side of archbishop Athelm, and abbot of Glastonbury and afterwards bishop of Worcester and London, was by divine grace and advice of the council chosen to be primate and patriarch of the metropolis of England.

Taught by his prudent counsels, and those of other men of wisdom, Edgar, king of England, put down wickedness in all quarters, severely punished the rebellious, cherished the just and humble, restored and enriched the ruined houses of God, and clearing the abodes of the clergy of all that was light and trifling, assembled troops of monks and nuns to the glory of the great Creator, establishing them in more than forty monasteries built by his command. All these he honoured as brethren, and loved as dear children, admonishing with his own mouth the pastors he set over them, to exhort their flocks to live according to the monastic rule and without reproach, and so be well-pleasing in all things to Christ and his saints. He was discreet, mild, humble, kind, liberal, merciful, powerful in arms, and warlike; defending royally the rights of his kingdom by military force. He taught the people to give ready submission to their lords, and the lords to rule the people with justice. He enacted good laws, and his reign was most peaceful. He neither provoked war in any quarter, nor was compelled to engage in it by any provocation; but, by God’s aid, he guarded the frontiers of his kingdom with prudence, courage, justice, and moderation. In his wrath he was fierce as a lion against his enemies; so that not only the princes and lords of the islands held him in awe, but the kings of many nations were either struck with terror and alarm by the reports of his wisdom and might, or loved, honoured, and extolled him for his munificence. The emperor Otho the First, who had married his aunt, sent him splendid presents, and concluded a treaty of lasting peace with him.

A.D. 960. St. Dunstan went to Rome in the third indiction, and having received the pallium from pope John, returned to his own country by a peaceful journey. After the lapse of a few months he went to court, and appealing to the king’s piety, suggested and humbly requested him to raise to the see of Worcester St. Oswald, nephew of his predecessor Odo, a devout, meek, and humble monk, of whose growth in the fear of God, and the virtues of a holy life, he was fully satisfied. King Edgar having granted this request, St. Oswald was consecrated and enthroned as bishop by St. Dunstan himself. On the death of Guthard, bishop of Selsey, Alfred succeeded.

A.D. 961, 962.

A.D. 963. St. Ethelwold, a venerable abbot who had been brought up by St. Dunstan, succeeded to the bishopric of Winchester on the death of Byrhthelm; and the same year, by the king’s command, he expelled the clergy, and established monks in the Old Minster. Being the king’s principal counsellor, he strongly advised him to expel clerks [secular canons] from the monasteries, and give orders for their being replaced by monks and nuns.

A.D. 964. Edgar the Pacific, king of England, married Elfthrith the daughter of Ordgar, ealdorman of Devon, and widow of Ethelwold, the illustrious ealdorman of East-Anglia, by whom he had two sons, Edmund and Ethelred. He had also by his first wife Ethelfleda the Fair, surnamed Eneda, daughter of the ealdorman Ordmar, a son named Edward, afterwards king and martyr; and by St. Wulfrith a daughter named Edgitha, a virgin devoted to God. In the same year, the king settled monks in the New Minster, and at Middleton, and appointed Ethelgar abbot of the former, and Cyneward of the latter.

A.D. 965, 966.

A.D. 967. Edgar the Pacific, king of England, placed nuns in the monastery at Rumsey, founded by his grandfather Edward the Elder, king of England, and appointed St. Mserwyn to be their abbess.

A.D. 968. Edgar the Pacific, king of England, sent Sideman, a devout man, to govern the monks at Exeter, with the rank of abbot. On the death of Aldred, bishop of Lindisfarne, he was succeeded by Alfsy.

A.D. 969. Edgar the Pacific, King of England, commanded St. Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, and St. Oswald and St. Ethelwold, bishops of Worcester and Winchester, to expel the clerks and settle monks in the larger monasteries of Mercia. Thereupon St. Oswald, in compliance with the king’s wishes, expelled from the monastery the clergy of the church of Worcester who refused to become monks: but on their complying, as he tells us, in the present year, he accepted their monastic vows, and appointed Wynsin, a monk of Rumsey, a man of deep piety, their abbot, instead of a dean.

A.D. 970. The relics of St. Swithin, the venerable bishop, after having been buried one hundred and ten years, were disinterred on Friday, the ides [the 15th] of July, in the thirteenth indiction, by the venerable bishop St. Ethelwold, and Elfstan and Ethelgar, abbots of Glastonbury and the New Minster, and deposited with the utmost reverence in the church of the apostles Peter and Paul (at Winchester). The same year Oswulf, bishop of Wilton, died, and was buried at Wilton: the venerable Alfgar was ordained in his stead.

A.D. 971. The etheling Edmund, king Edgar’s son, died, and was honourably buried in the monastery at Rumsey. The same year Alphege, ealdorman of Hampshire, died, and was buried at Glastonbury. Soon afterwards Ordgar, ealdorman of Devon, king Edgar’s father-in-law, died, and was buried at Exeter.

A.D. 972. Edgar the Pacific, king of England, caused the church of the New Minster, began by his father, and completed by himself, to be consecrated with great ceremony. The same year Alfwold, bishop of Devon, departed this life in the nineteenth year of his episcopacy, and was buried at Crediton. On the death of Oskytel, archbishop of York, his kinsman St. Oswald, bishop ofWorcester, was elected his successor in the archbishopric.

A.D. 973. Stephen became the one hundred and thirty-fourth pope;47 from him St. Oswald received the pallium. Edgar the Pacific, king of England, being then in the thirtieth year of his age, received the benediction of the bishops S S. Dunstan and Oswald, and all the other bishops of England, and was crowned and anointed as king with great pomp and ceremony at the city of Acamann [Bath ?] in the first indiction, and on the fifth of the ides [the 11th] of May, being Whitsunday. Shortly afterwards, he sailed round the north coast of Britain with a large fleet and landed at Chester. He was met, as he had given orders, by eight tributary kings,48 namely namely, Kenneth, king of the Scots, Malcolm, king of the Cumbrians, Maecus (Magnus), king of several isles, and five others, named Dufnal, Siferth, Huwal, Jacob, and Juchil, who swore fealty and bound themselves to military service by land and sea. Attended by them, king Edgar one day went on board a boat, and while they plied the oars, he took the helm, and steered skilfully down the course of the river Dee, and followed by his whole retinue of earls and nobles pursued the voyage from the palace to the monastery of St. John the Baptist. Having paid his devotions there, he returned to the palace with the same pomp. He is reported to have said to his nobles as he entered the gates, that any successor of his might truly boast of being king of England when he should receive such honours, with so many kings doing him homage. Bryhthelm, bishop of Somerset, died, and was buried at Wells. He was succeeded by Cyneward, abbot of Middleton.

A.D. 974. This year there was a violent earthquake through the whole of England. Eberger, archbishop of Cologne, gave the abbey of St. Martin at Cologne to the Scots for ever. Minborin, a Scot, was the first abbot.

A.D. 975. King Edgar the Pacific, imperial monarch of the English world, the flower and glory of a race of kings, not less famous among the English than Romulus among the Romans, Cyrus among the Persians, Alexander among the Macedonians, Arsaces among the Parthians, or Charles the Great among the Franks—after accomplishing all his undertakings in a manner worthy of a king, departed this life on Thursday the eighth of the ides [the 8th] of July, and the third indiction, in the thirty-second year of his age, the nineteenth of his reign in Mercia and Northumbria, and the sixteenth of his reign over all England; leaving his son Edward heu- to his crown and virtues. His body was carried to Glastonbury and buried with royal pomp. During his life he formed a fleet of 3,600 stout ships, and after Easter, every year, he used to collect a squadron of 1,200 ships on each of the eastern, western, and northern coasts of the island; and make sail with the eastern squadron until it fell in with the western, which then put about and sailed to the eastward, while the western squadron sailed northward till it met with the northern, which, in turn, sailed to the west. Thus, the whole island was circumnavigated every summer, and these bold expeditions served at once for the defence of the realm against foreigners, and to accustom himself and his people to warlike exercises. In the winter and spring he used to make progresses through all the provinces of England, and enquire diligently whether the laws of the land and his own ordinances were obeyed, so that the poor might not suffer wrong and be oppressed by the powerful. By the former of these practices he encouraged a daring spirit, by the other the due administration of justice among his subjects, and iu both consulted the interests of his states and kingdom. Thus his enemies on every side were filled with awe, and the love of those who owed him allegiance was secured. At his death the whole kingdom fell into a state of disturbance, and the season of gladness which peace established in his time was exchanged for one of universal tribulation. For, blinded by presents of value, Elfhere, the ealdorman of Mercia, and many other nobles, expelled the monks from the monasteries in which they had been settled by king Edgar the Pacific, and introduced clerks with their wives. But this madness was opposed by some conscientious men, such as Æthelwine, ealdorman of East-Anglia, a friend of God, his brother Athwold, and the religious ealdorman Brihtnoth, who met together and declared that they could not permit the monks who possessed all the religion of the kingdom to be driven out of it; they therefore assembled troops and defended the monasteries of the Eastern-Angles with great spirit. While these events were occurring, there was a great dispute among the nobles respecting the election of a king; for some chose the king’s son Edward, and others his brother Ethelred. In consequence of this, the archbishops Dunstan and Oswald, with their suffragans, and many abbots and ealdormen, met in a body and chose Edward, as his father had directed; and after his election the new king was crowned and anointed. Cyneward, bishop of Somerset, died. A comet-star was seen in the time of autumn.

A.D. 976. England was visited with a severe famine. In this year the great earl Oslac was expelled from England.

A.D. 977. A very numerous synod was held at a vill called Kyrtling in East-Anglin; at another synod which was afterwards held at Calne, a royal vill, the whole witan of England there assembled, except St. Dunstan, fell from an upper chamber: some were killed on the spot, and some barely escaped with their lives. A third synod was held at Amesbury. Sideman, bishop of Devon, died.

A.D. 978. Edward, king of England, was foully murdered at Corvesgeate [Corfe], at the instigations of his step-mother, Queen Elfthritha, and was buried at Wareham without royal pomp. His brother Ethelred, the illustrious etheling, a youth of graceful manners, handsome countenance, and fine person, was on the Sunday after Easter, the eighteenth of the calends of May [14th April] in the sixth indiction, crowned and consecrated king by archbishops Dunstan and Oswald, and ten bishops, at Kingston. Elfwold, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was buried at Sherborne. A meteor was seen all over England at midnight, which was sometimes the colour of blood, and at other times fiery; it afterwards formed rays of light of various colours, and disappeared about day-break.

A.D. 979. Elfhere, ealdorman of Mercia, came to Wareham with a crowd of people, and caused the holy body of the precious king and martyr Edward to be disinterred: when it was unwrapped it was discovered to be sound and free from all decay or corruption, and they washed it and clothed it afresh, and carried it to Shaftesbury and entombed it with due honours.

A.D. 980. Ethelgar, the venerable abbot of the New Minster, was made bishop of Selsey on the sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of May. The same year, Southampton was laid in ruins by Danish pirates, and nearly all the citizens were either massacred or carried away captives. Shortly afterwards, the same party laid waste the isle of Thanet. The same year, the country about Chester was ravaged by Norwegian pirates.

A.D. 981. The monastery of St. Petroc the confessor, in Cornwall, was rifled by the same pirates, who in the preceding year laid Southampton in ruins, and who afterwards pilkged the coasts of Devonshire and Cornwall. Elfstan, bishop of Wilton, died, and was succeeded by Sigeric. Wulfstan, dean of Glastonbury, a man eminent for piety, died.

A.D. 982. Three pirate ships came to the coast of Dorset, and the pirates ravaged Portland. London was destroyed by fire. Ethelmar, ealdorman of Hampshire, and Edwin, ealdorman of Wessex, died: the one was buried at Abingdon, and the other in the New Minster at Winchester. Hereluve, abbess of Shaftesbury, and Ulfwin, abbess of Wareham, departed this life. The same year, the emperor Otho II. having gone to Greece, fell in with an army of Saracens, engaged in a plundering expedition against the Christians, and, giving them battle, gained the victory after great carnage on both sides. As he was returning home, Otho, the son of his brother Liutolf, son of the emperor Otho I., by a daughter of Edward the Elder, king of England, died.

A.D. 983. Elfhere, ealdorman of Mercia, a kinsman of Edgar, king of England, died, and was succeeded in his office by his son Alfric.

A.D. 984. St. Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, departed this life, in the second indiction, on the calends [the 1st] of August, and was succeeded by Elphege, abbot of Bath. He had assumed the monastic habit in the abbey of Deerhurst.

A.D. 985. The venerable monk Edwin was appointed abbot of the monastery of Abingdon. On the death of Cyneward, bishop of Wells, he was succeeded by abbot Sigar.

A.D. 986. Ethelred, king of England laid siege to Rochester on account of some quarrel, but finding the difficulty of reducing it, ravaged the lands of St. Andrew the apostle. Alfric, ealdorman of Mercia, son and successor of Elfhere, was banished from England. Minborin, the Scotch abbot, died in the abbey of St. Martin, at Cologne, on Sunday the fifteenth of the calends of August [18th July]. Killin succeeded him.

A.D. 987. This year two diseases unknown to the English in past ages, viz., a fever among men, and a murrain among cattle called in the English language “the skit,” and which may be described in latin as a flux of the bowels, sorely troubled the whole of England, and raged in every part of it beyond description, causing great mortality among the people and the universal loss of cattle.

A.D. 988. Watchet was pillaged by Danish pirates, and they even slew the governor of Devon, whose name was Goda, and the most valiant thane Strenwold, and several others; but more of the Danes were killed, and the English remained masters of the field of death. St. Dunstan, the archbishop, died on Saturday the fourteenth of the calends of June [19th May] in the first indiction; and was succeeded hy Ethelgar, who had been appointed the first abbot of the New Minster by St. Ethelwold bishop of Winchester, and was afterwards bishop of the South-Saxons (of Selsey).

A.D. 989.

A.D. 990. Sigeric, bishop of Wilton, succeeded Ethelgar, archbishop of Canterbury. He expelled the clerks of Canterbury, and introduced monks. On the death of Alfsy, bishop of Lindisfarne, he was succeeded by Aldhun.

A.D. 991. This year, the Danes under the command of Justin and Guthmund, son of Steitan, laid Ipswich in ruins. Byrhtnoth, the intrepid ealdorman of the East Saxons, fought a battle against them near Maldon; but after great slaughter on both sides, the ealdorman himself fell and the Danes’ fortune was in the ascendant. In that same year, on the advice of Sigeric, archbishop of Canterbury, and the ealdormen Æthelward and Ælfric, a tribute was given to the Danes for the first time; ten thousand pounds being paid to them in consideration of their desisting from the constant pillage, burnings, and homicides which they practiced all along the coast, and of their concluding a settled peace. St. Oswald the archbishop, by divine aid, and encouraged by the support of Esowy, bishop of Lincoln, on Tuesday the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of November, consecrated the monastery of Rumsey, which he and Æthelwine, ealdorman of East-Anglia, the friend of God, had built.

A.D. 992. St. Oswald, the archbishop, departed this life and soared to the blissful kingdom of heaven, in the fifth indiction, on Monday the second of the calends of March [29th February], and was interred in the church of St. Mary at Worcester, which he had built from the foundations. He was succeeded by Aldulph, the venerable abbot of Peterborough, in whose stead Kenulf was appointed abbot. Shortly after the death of St. Oswald, Æthelwine the ealdorman of famous memory, and the friend of God, departed this life. He was younger than his brothers Ethelwold, Alfwold, and Ethelsine : but he excelled them in meekness, piety, goodness, and justice; and, being a man of the highest worth and purity, was, we may be permitted to believe, admitted among the citizens of Paradise. His corpse was conveyed with great pomp to Kumsey, and interred there by St. Elphege, bishop of Winchester. By order of Ethelred ktng of England, after consulting his nobles, the strongest-built ships from every part of England were assembled at London; and the king manning them with a chosen body of troops, gave the command to Alfric, already mentioned, and Thored, both ealdormen, with Elfstan, bishop of Wilton, and bishop Esowy, with directions to blockade the Danish force in some port, and compel it to surrender. But ealdorman Alfric sent a private message to the enemy, advising them to be on their guard, and take care that they were not taken by surprize, and surrounded by the king’s fleet. The ealdorman himself, a singular example of wickedness, in the night preceding the day which the English had fixed for bravely engaging the Danes, clandestinely joined the Danes with his whole force, and lost no time in making a disgraceful retreat with them. As soon as the king’s fleet discovered this, it sailed in pursuit of the fugitives; one ship only was soon taken, and after all the crew were dispatched, given up to pillage. The rest of the fleet which was making its escape was accidentally met by the ships of the Londoners and East-Anglians, and a battle was fought in which many thousands of the Danes fell. Ealdorman Alfric’s own ship with its armed crew was captured by the victors, Alfric himself escaping with great difficulty.

A.D. 993. This year the aforesaid Danish army took Bamborough by storm, and carried off all that was found in store there. They then directed their course to the river Humber, and, burning many vills, and butchering many people, took much booty in Lindsey and Northumbria. The provincials hastily assembled to oppose them; but at the moment of attack, their leaders Frana, Frithogist, and Godwin, being Danes by the father’s side, betrayed their followers and gave the signal for flight. The same year AJfgar, the son of Alfric, the ealdorman, before-mentioned, was deprived of sight by command of king Ethelred.

A.D. 994. Anlaf (Olaf) king of Norway49 and Sweyn king of Denmark arrived in London with ninety-four gallies on the day of the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], and soon afterwards made an attempt to break down the walls and burn the city; but by the aid of God and his mother Mary, the enemy was repulsed with considerable loss. Roused to fury and despair, they forthwith drew off from the place, and in the first instance overran the coasts of Essex and Kent, and afterwards Sussex and the province of Hants, burning the villages, laying waste the lands, putting numbers of people to death by fire and sword, without regard to sex, and sweeping off an immense booty. At last, seizing horses, they rode wildly through many provinces, and slaughtered the whole population with savage cruelty, sparing neither the women nor children of tender age. Then king Ethelred, by the advice of his nobles, sent envoys to them with a promise of tribute and regular pay if they would entirely desist from their barbarities. Consenting to the king’s proposal, they returned to their ships, and, assembling their whole force at Southampton, wintered there. Their pay was defrayed by Wessex; but the tribute, amounting to sixteen thousand pounds, was levied throughout all England.

Meanwhile, Elphege, bishop of Winchester, and the noble ealdorman Æthelward, went to king Olaf by order of king Ethelred, and having given hostages, conducted him with honour to the royal vill of Andover where the king was residing. The king treated him with great distinction, and causing him to be confirmed by the bishop, adopted him as his son, and made him a royal present. He, on his part, promised king Ethelred that he would never again invade England; and afterwards returning to his fleet, sailed for his own kingdom at the beginning of summer, and faithfully kept his promise.

A.D. 995. A comet was seen. Alfric, a monk of Glastonbury and bishop of Wilton, succeeded Sigeric, archbishop of Canterbury, and Brightwold succeeded Alfric at Wilton. Lindisfarne-Ii is the name of an island commonly called Halig-Ealond [Holy Island]. It is surrounded by the sea, but at the ebb of the tide it may be approached dry-shod every day. In this island was the episcopal see of Cuthbert and his predecessors and successors for a long period. At the time [A.D. 875] when Hinguar and Hubba ravaged England, Eardulf, who was then bishop of Lindisfarne, and the clergy attached to his church, took the uncorrupted body of St. Cuthbert, and quitting the island on account of the cruelties of the barbarians, wandered about with the body of St. Cuthbert for some years, not having any settled abode, until at last the episcopal see was fixed at Cunegaceastre [Chester-le-Street]. in the tune of Alfred, king of England. After the lapse of many years, in the reign of Ethelred, king of England, the holy body was brought to Durham, in consequence of a divine revelation, and the seat of the bishopric was fixed there. For this reason the holy Bede places the original see at Lindisfarne; for in his time Durham was unknown. The bishop’s see was transferred to Durham in the year of our Lord 995.

A.D. 996. Alfric, archbishop of Canterbury, was consecrated.

A.D. 997. The Danish army which had remained in England sailing round the coast of Wessex, entered the mouth of the river Severn, and at one time ravaged North [South ?] Wales, at another Cornwall, and then Watchet in Devon, burning many vills and making great slaughter of the inhabitants. Sailing round Penwith-Steort [the Land’s-End] on their return, they entered with their ships the mouth of the river Tamar, which divides Devon and Cornwall, and carried fire and sword as far as Lydford, meeting with no resistance. They burnt besides the monastery of Ordulf, the ealdorman of Devon, called Tavistock, and, returning to their ships loaded with immense booty, wintered there.

A.D. 998. The army of Pagans, already mentioned, landed at the mouth of the river Frome, and laid waste the greatest part of Dorsetshire. It then made frequent descents on the Isle of Wight, and back again to Dorsetshire, intent on plunder, as usual; and when it lay in the Isle of Wight it gathered its means of subsistence from Sussex and Hampshire. An army was several times assembled to oppose these ravages, but as often as they were on the eve of battle, the English were checked by some treachery or misadventure, and they turned their backs and left the enemies masters of the field.

A.D. 999. The often-mentioned army of Pagans entered the mouth of the river Thames and went up the Medway to Rochester, and in a few days entrenched themselves round it. The Kentish men assembled in a body to repulse them, and fought a sharp battle with them, but after great slaughter on both sides, the Danes remained masters of the field of death. A.D. 1000. This year the Danish fleet, already mentioned, sailed over to Normandy. King Ethelred ravaged nearly the whole territory of the Cumbrians. He gave orders to his fleet to sail round North Wales and meet him at a place appointed; but it was prevented by strong winds: it, however, laid waste the island of Mona.

A.D. 1001. The body of St. Ive, the archbishop, was discovered. The aforesaid army of Pagans sailing back from Normandy to England entered the mouth of the river Exe, and shortly afterwards marched to besiege Exeter. But when they attempted to make a breach in the walls they were repulsed by the citizens, who vigorously defended the place. Thereupon, greatly exasperated, they overran Devonshire, burning the villages, laying waste the fields, and butchering the inhabitants, in their usual manner. Thereupon, the people of Devon and Somerset assembled at a place called Penho, but the English, not being able to resist the numbers of the Danes with their small force of soldiers, were routed with great slaughter, and the Danes got the victory. Then, having supplied themselves with horses, they did more mischief than before through nearly all Devon, and returned to their ships with immense booty. Thence they made for the Isle of Wight, and meeting with no opposition, plundered as usual there, sometimes in Hampshire, sometimes in Dorsetshire, attacking the inhabitants and burning the vills with such fury, that neither the fleet dared to engage them by sea nor the army by land, to the king’s deep sorrow, and the unspeakable distress of his people.

A.D. 1002. Ethelred, king of England, having held counsel with the great men of his kingdom, thought it expedient to make a treaty with the Danes, hiring them with money, and paying them tribute to cease their ravages and keep the peace. Leofsy, the ealdorman, who was sent to them with this proposal, urged them to accept the terms. They lent a favourable ear to his message, and granted his request, fixing the amount of tribute for which they would keep the peace. Shortly afterwards twenty-four thousand pounds were paid to them. Meanwhile, the said ealdorman Leofsy slew Æfic, a noble, and the king’s high-reeve, at which the king was so incensed that he banished him from the country. The same year king Ethelred married Emma, who is called by the Saxons Elfgiva, daughter of Richard I., duke of Normandy. Aldulf, archbishop of York, having assembled his suffragan bishops, abbots, priests, monks, and men of religion, on Wednesday, the seventeenth day of the calends of May [15th April], in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Ethelred, king of England, the fifteenth indiction, disentombed the relics of St. Oswald the archbishop, and deposited them with great ceremony in a shrine which he had caused to be prepared. He himself died shortly afterwards, that is, on the second of the nones [the 6th] of May, and was buried in the church of St. Mary, at Worcester: he was succeeded by abbot Wulfstan. The same year king Ethelred gave orders for the massacre of all the Danes of every age and both sexes, in consequence of their having conspired to deprive him and his nobles of their life and kingdom and reduce the whole of England under their dominion.

A.D. 1003. In this year, through the contrivance, negligence, or treachery of Hugh, a Norman count,1 queen Emma’s steward of Devon, Sweyn, king of Denmark, took Exeter by storm, and levelling the wall from the eastern to the western gate, retired to his ships loaded with booty. After this, while he was ravaging Wiltshire, a large body of the men of Hants and Wilts assembled and marched boldly against the enemy to give them battle; but when the two armies came in sight of each other, Ælfric, the ealdorman already mentioned, who was then in command of the English, immediately resorted to his old devices, and feigning sickness, began to vomit, declaring that he was so ill that he could not fight the enemy. His troops perceiving his inactivity and cowardice, marched away in great sorrow, without joining battle; as it is said in the old proverb: “when the general fails, the army quails.” Sweyn observing that the English faltered, led his forces to the city of Wilton, which he plundered and burnt. In this manner he burnt Searebury [Sarum], and then returned to his ships.

Kilian, a Scot, and abbot of the Scottish monastery of St. Martin, died on the nineteenth of the calends of January [14th December]. Helias, a Scot, succeeded him.

Sweyn, king of Denmark, landed from his fleet at Norwich, which he pillaged and burnt. Then Ulfkytel, the resolute ealdorman of East-Anglia, being taken by surprise, and having no tune to assemble troops against the enemy, held council with the East-Anglian nobles and made peace with the king. But he broke the treaty three weeks afterwards, and landing his forces secretly, assaulted Thetford, which he pillaged, and after remaining there one night set it on fire at daybreak. On hearing this Ulfkytel ordered some of the country people to destroy the enemy’s ships; but they either did not venture, or neglected, to obey his orders. Meanwhile he got his troops together as quietly and quickly as he could, and led them, against the enemy. Meeting them with an inferior force as they were retreating to then- ships, a hard-fought battle ensued, in which some of the East-Anglian nobles fell; and after great slaughter on both sides, the Danes escaped with extreme difficulty. Indeed, if the East-Anglians had been in full force they would never have got back to their ships; for they confessed themselves that they had never sustained so fierce and determined an attack as that of the ealdorman Ulfkytel.

A.D. 1005. This year England was visited with a severe and general famine, in consequence of which the Danish king Sweyn withdrew to Denmark—to return shortly afterwards. On the death of Alwine, bishop of Wells, he was succeeded by Living, also called Athelstan.

A.D. 1006. Alfric, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Alphege, bishop of Winchester, to which see Kenulf, abbot of Peterborough, was preferred.

King Ethelred stripped Wulfgeat, son of Leofsy, his principal favourite, of his estates and honours, on account of his unrighteous judgments and arrogant deeds. The crafty and treacherous Edric Streon insidiously plotting against the noble ealdorman Ælfhelm, prepared a great entertainment at Shrewsbury, to which he invited him. Ælfhelm accepting the invitation was welcomed by Edric Streon as his intimate friend; but on the third or fourth day of the feast, he took him to hunt in a wood where he had laid an ambuscade; and when all were engaged in the chace, a ruffian of Shrewsbury called Godwin Port-Hund, which signifies the town’s hound, who had been long before bribed by the profuse gifts and promises of Edric to commit the crime, suddenly sprung from his ambush and basely assassinated the ealdorman Ælfhelm. A short time afterwards, his sons Wulfheag and Ufgeat were, by king Ethelred’s orders, deprived of sight at Corsham, where he was then residing. Kenulf, bishop of Winchester, died, and was succeeded by Ethelwold.

In the month of July following, an immense army of Danes came over to England, and landing at the port of Sandwich, destroyed with fire and sword all that stood in their way, and pillaged to a vast extent both in Kent and Sussex. In consequence, king Ethelred collected an army in Mercia and Wessex, and resolved to give them battle with great vigour; but they were little disposed to meet him openly in the field, but made frequent expeditions for pillage in various quarters, and then retreated to their ships according to their usual tactics. In this way they harassed the English army during the whole autumn; but when it was disbanded on the approach of winter, the Danes crossed over to the Isle of Wight with their enormous booty and sojourned there until the feast of our Lord’s Nativity; at which, as the king was then in Shropshire, they went through Hampshire into Berkshire, and burnt Reading, Wallingford, Cholsey, and many villages. Moving from thence and crossing Ashdown, they reached Cwichelmes-lawe [Cuckamsley-Hill)]. Returning by another road they found the people of the country drawn up in battle array near Kennet, and immediately attacked them and put them to flight: they then retired to their ships with the plunder they had taken.

A.D. 1007. In this year Ethelred, king of England, with the consent of his witan, sent envoys to the Danes with orders to notify to them that ho would supply them with provisions and pay them tribute, on condition of their desisting from pillage and making and keeping a durable peace. They agreed to his terms, and thenceforth the whole of England provided them with subsistence and paid them a tribute of thirty-six thousand pounds. The same year the king made the before- mentioned Edric, son of Ethelric, ealdorman of Mercia; he was a man, indeed, of low origin, but his smooth tongue gained him wealth and high rank, and, gifted with a subtle genius and persuasive eloquence, he surpassed all his contemporaries in malice and perfidy, as well as in pride and cruelty. His brothers were Brihtric, Ælfric, Goda, Æthelwine, Æthelward, and Ethelmere, the father of Wulfnoth, who was the father of Godwin, ealdorman of Wessex.

A.D. 1008. Ethelred, king of England, ordered ships to be diligently built in all the ports, making every three hundred and ten hides throughout England furnish one ship, and every nine a breast-plate and a helmet. When these ships were ready, he put on board chosen troops, with supplies of provisions, and assembled the fleet at Sandwich to guard the coasts of the kingdom from foreign invasions. At that time, or a little before, Brihtric, brother of the traitorous ealdorman Edric Streon, a supple, ambitious, and proud man, falsely accused to the king Wulfnoth his ealdorman in Sussex, who immediately fled to avoid being arrested; and collecting twenty ships, made frequent descents and plundered the sea-coast. But when it was notified to the fleet that whoever would might easily take him, Brihtric went in pursuit of him with eighty ships. For a while he had a favourable voyage, but a violent storm suddenly arose which tossed and shattered his ships and wrecked them on the shore, and Wulnoth burnt them soon afterwards. On hearing this, the king with his ealdonnen and nobles returned home; but the fleet by his orders proceeded to London; and the vast toil of the whole nation was thus thrown away.

A.D. 1009. Thurkill, a Danish jarl, came over to England with his fleet; and afterwards, in the month of August, another immense fleet of Danes, under the command of Heming and Eglaf, touching at the Isle of Thanet, speedily joined the other fleet. Both then sailed to the port of Sandwich, where the troops landed, and proceeding to attack Canterbury, tried to storm the place; but the citizens with the people of East-Kent quickly sued for peace, and obtained it on payment of three thousand pounds. The Danes went back to then’ ships and directed their course to the Isle of Wight; then, according to their custom, they made piratical descents on the coast of Sussex and Hampshire and burned several vills. Thereupon king Ethelred collected troops from all parts of England, and stationed them in districts lying near the sea to check these irruptions; but, notwithstanding, they did not desist from plundering wherever the locality permitted. On one occasion, when they had been pillaging further inland than usual, and were on their return laden with booty, the king took possession, with many thousand armed men, of the road they had to pass in their way to their ships; and as his whole army was assembled, resolved either to conquer or die. But the traitorous ealdorman Edric Streon, his son-in-law (for he had married his daughter Elgitha), used every effort by insidious and perplexing counsels to prevent a battle and persuade the king, for that time, to let the enemy pass. His policy prevailed, and like a traitor to his country, he rescued the Danes from the hands of the English, and suffered them to escape. Drawing off their forces they with great joy regained their ships. After this, when the feast of St. Martin [11th November] was past, they sailed for Kent, and selecting their winter quarters near the river Thames, forcibly obtained their supplies from Essex and other provinces on both banks of the river. They also frequently attacked the city of London and endeavoured to storm it, but the citizens repulsed them with severe loss. On the death of Osbriht, bishop of Selsey, he was succeeded by Ælmar.

A.D. 1010. The before-mentioned army of Danes sallied from their ships in the month of January, and traversing the wood called Chiltern, marched to Oxford, which they plundered and burned, pillaging the country on both sides the river Thames as they returned to their ships. Receiving intelligence that forces were assembled at London ready to attack them, part of the army which was descending the right bank of the river crossed it at a place called Staines, when both divisions being united, they marched through Surrey, loaded with booty, and regained their ships, which they refitted during Lent, while they were stationed in Kent. After Easter [the 9th April] they sailed to East-Anglia, and landing near Ipswich marched to a place called Ringmere, where they knew that Ulfkytel the ealdorman had posted his troops. They fought a desperate battle with him on the third of the nones [the 5th] of May, but when the fight was the thickest the East-Anglians gave way, Thurkytel, surnamed Myren-Heafod, a Danish jarl, being the first to flee. The Cambridge men stood their ground a long tune, fighting manfully; but they were at last defeated and forced to retreat. In this battle fell Athelstan, the king’s son-in-law, Oswy, a noble thane, and his son, Wulfric, son of Leofwine, Edwy, brother of Ælfric, before-mentioned, with many other noble thanes, and immense numbers of the common people. The Danes, remaining masters of the field of death, obtained possession of East-Anglia, and, mounted on horseback, scoured the whole province during three months, plundering, burning vills, and butchering men and beasts, without cessation; in the fens also they did the same, and afterwards pillaged and burnt Thetford and Cambridge.

After all this they returned to the river Thames, the infantry embarking in ships, the cavalry proceeding on horseback. In a few days they went on another plundering expedition, taking the direct road to Oxfordshire, which they first ravaged, and then Buckinghamshire, .Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire, burning vills and butchering men and animals, and afterwards retreating to their ships with much plunder. After this, about the feast of St. Andrew the apostle [30th November], they burned Northampton and as much of the surrounding country as they pleased, and then crossing the river Thames, went into Wessex, and having set fire to Caningamersce [Keynsham?] and the greatest part of Wiltshire, they, as usual, returned to their ships about Christmas.

A.D. 1011. East-Anglia, Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, half of Huntingdonshire, and a great part of Northamptonshire, and, on the south side of the river Thames, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire, having been ruined with fire and sword by the before-mentioned army of Danes, Ethelred, king of England, and his witan sent envoys to them sueing for peace, and offering them pay and tribute if they would desist from their ravages. Having received the message, they accepted the proposals, but as the event showed, not without guile and subterfuge; for although they were plentifully supplied with provisions, and the tribute they demanded was paid, they continued to scour the country in bands, laying waste the vills, spoiling some of the wretched inhabitants of their goods, and killing others. At length, between the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September] and that of St. Michael, they dug a trench round Canterbury, and laid siege to it. On the twentieth day of the siege, through the treachery of the archdeacon Ælmar, whose life St. Elphege had formerly saved, one quarter of the city was set on fire, the army entered, and the place was taken; some of the townsmen were put to the sword, others perished in the flames, many were thrown headlong from the walls, some were hung by their private parts till they expired; matrons were dragged by their hair through the streets of the city, and then cast into the fire and burnt to death; infants, torn from their mothers’ breasts, were caught on the point of spears or crushed in pieces under the wheels of waggons.

Meanwhile, Alphege, the archbishop, was seized, and being loaded with fetters was imprisoned and tortured in various ways. Ælmar, the abbot of St. Augustine’s monastery, was permitted to depart; Godwin, bishop of Rochester, was made prisoner, as well as Leofruna, abbess of St. Mildred, Alfrid, the king’s reeve, with the monks and canons, and vast numbers of the people of both sexes. Then Christ’s Church was plundered and burnt, and the whole male population, including the monks, women and children being excepted, were decimated; nine were put to death, and every tenth person suffered to live. The numbers who perished in this decimation were four monks and eight hundred of the laity. When the people had been thus slaughtered, and the city pillaged and burnt to the ground, Alphege, the archbishop, was brought out in fetters and dragged along, severely wounded, to the ships; then he was again thrust into prison, where he underwent great sufferings during seven months. Meanwhile, the wrath of God raged furiously against that blood-thirsty people, and two thousand of them perished from excruciating pains in the bowels; the rest being attacked in a similar manner were admonished by the faithful to make satisfection to the archbishop; but they deferred it, and the mortality still continued, carrying them off by tens and twenties, and sometimes more.

A.D. 1012. Edric Streon, the traitorous ealdorman, and the great lords of the realm, of both estates, assembled in London before Easter [13th April], and remained there until the tribute of forty-eight thousand pounds promised to the Danes was paid. Meanwhile, on the Holy Saturday, when our Lord rested in the grave [19th April], the Danes offered to Alphege, the archbishop, his life and liberty on payment of three thousand pounds, but he refusing such terms, they put off his execution until the next Saturday. When it arrived, their fury was greatly inflamed against him, and having intoxicated themselves by deep draughts of wine, and being incensed at his having forbidden any ransom to be paid for his liberation, they brought him forth from his dungeon and dragged him to their husting.50 Presently they started up, felled him to the ground with the backs of their battle-axes, and showered on him stones, bones, and ox-skulls. At length one of them, whose name was Thrum, a man he had confirmed only the day before, with compassionate impiety, split his head with an axe, and he instantly fell asleep in the Lord, on the thirteenth of the calends of May [19th April], and his triumphant spirit ascended to heaven. His corpse was carried to London on the day following, and being received by the citizens with deep reverence, was interred in St. Paul’s church by Ednoth, bishop of Lincoln,51 and Alfhun, bishop of London. After these events, the tribute being paid and the peace ratified by oaths, the Danish fleet, which had before kept together, dispersed far and wide; but forty-five of the ships remained with the king, the crews swearing fealty to him, and engaging to defend England against foreigners, on condition that he supplied them with food and raiment.

A.D. 1013. Living was preferred to the archbishopric of Canterbury. In the month of July, Sweyn, king of Denmark, sailed with a powerful fleet to the port of Sandwich, and having remained there a few days departed, and, sailing round East-Anglia, entered the mouth of the river Humber; thence he went up the river Trent to Gainsborough, where he encamped. Earl Uhtred, with his Northumbrians and men of Lindsey, in the first instance, and afterwards the inhabitants of the Five Burghs, and, before long, the whole population north of the Watling Street, that is, the road which the sons of king Weatla made across England from the eastern to the western sea, offered him submission; and peace being ratified with him, delivered hostages and swore fealty to him; upon which he commanded them to supply his army with horses and provisions. All this being accomplished, he committed the .ships and hostages to the care of his son Canute, and selecting an auxiliary force from his new subjects, undertook an expedition against the East-Mercians; and having passed the Watling Street, published an order to his troops to the effect that they should lay waste the fields, burn the villages, plunder the churches, slay without mercy all the men who fell into their hands, reserving the women to satisfy their lusts, and, in short, do all the mischief they could. His men doing as they were ordered, and revelling in all kinds of -brutality, he came to Oxford, and getting possession of it sooner than he expected, took hostages and pushed forward to Winchester. On his arrival there, the citizens, panic-struck at his enormous cruelty, at once made peace with him, and gave him such hostages as he chose to demand. These being delivered, he moved his army towards London, but many of his troops were drowned in the river Thames, because they never thought of looking for a bridge or a ford. Having reached London, he tried various ways of taking it, either by stratagem or by assault; but Ethelred, king of England, with the citizens, supported by Thurkill, the Danish jarl, so often mentioned, who was then in the city with him, stoutly defended the walls and drove him off. After this repulse, he first marched to Wallingford, and then to Bath, pillaging and destroying as usual all that fell in his way. There he sat down for a time to refresh his army; and Ethclmar, ealdorman of Devonshire, with the western thanes, came to him and made their peace, delivering hostages. Having accomplished all this according to his wishes, and returned to his fleet, he was hailed and acknowledged king by all the people of England; if, indeed, he can be called a king, who acted in almost all things as a tyrant. Even the citizens of London sent him hostages and made peace with him, for they were apprehensive that his fury towards them was raised to such a pitch, that he would not only confiscate all their property, but either have their eyes torn out, or cause their hands or feet to be amputated. Finding things in this state, king Ethelred sent his queen, Emma of Normandy, to her brother Bichard II., earl (duke) of ,Normandy, together with his song, Edward and Alfred, attended by then-tutor Alfhun, bishop of London, and Elfsy, abbot of Peterborough. He himself remained for a time with the Danish fleet, which then lay in the river Thames, at a place called Greenwich, and afterwards sailed to the Isle of Wight, where he celebrated the feast of the Nativity. After Christmas, he sailed over to Normandy, and was received with due honour by earl Richard. Meanwhile, the tyrant Sweyn gave orders that his fleet should be profusely supplied, and that an almost insupportable tribute should be levied. Earl Thru-kill issued the same orders with respect to his fleet which lay at Greenwich. Besides all this, both of them made excursions to plunder as often as they chose, and committed great enormities.

A.D. 1014. The tyrant Sweyn, in addition to his endless and cruel atrocities both in England and other countries, filled up the measure of his damnation by daring to exact an enormous tribute from the town where rests the uncorrupt body of the precious martyr Edmund; a thing which no one had dared to do since the time the town was given to the church of that saint. He frequently threatened, that if the tribute were not speedily paid, he would burn the town and its inhabitants, level to the ground the church of the martyr, and inflict various tortures on the clergy. Moreover, he often disparaged the martyr’s merits, presuming to say that there was no sanctity attached to him; but thus setting no bounds to his frowardness, divine vengeance did not suffer the blasphemer to continue hi existence. Towards evening of the day on which he had held a general Thing-Court at Gainsborough, repeating his threats while surrounded by throngs of Danes, he alone of the crowd saw St. Edmund coming towards him with a threatening aspect. Struck with terror at this spectacle, he began to shout with great vehemence: “Help, comrades, help! lo, St. Edmund is at hand to slay me.” While he spoke, the saint thrust his spear fiercely through him, and he fell from the war-horse on which he was seated, and suffering excruciating torments until twilight, died in agony on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of February.

As.soon as he was dead, the bands of men belonging to the Danish fleet elected his son Canute king. But the elders of all England, unanimously, sent messengers in haste to king Ethelred, saying that they neither did nor should love any one better than their natural lord, if only he were willing to govern them more justly, and treat them with greater gentleness than he had hitherto done. On receiving this message, he sent his son Edward to them, accompanied by his own envoys, with gracious salutations to all his people, both high and low, and assuring them that for the future he would be a gentle and loving lord to them, consulting their wishes and conforming to their advice in everything, and would graciously pardon whatever affronts they had put upon him or his, either by word or deed, if they all unanimously agreed, without fraud, to receive him back as their king. To this they all returned a favourable reply. Then an act of plenary concord was agreed to on both sides, both verbally and by a [solemn] treaty. In addition, the chiefs of the- nation pledged themselves unanimously not to suffer again a Danish king to reign in England. This being settled, the English sent over to Normandy, and during Lent the king was brought back with the utmost expedition, and received with universal honour.

Meanwhile, it was agreed between Canute and the men of Lindsey, that on their furnishing him with horses for his troops, they should join in a plundering expedition; but before they were equipped, king Ethelred came upon them with a powerful army, and having driven out Canute and his naval force, laid waste, and gave to the flames, the whole of Lindsey, putting as many of the inhabitants as he could to the sword. Canute, however, consulted his safety by a hasty flight, and directing his course to the south, quickly gained the port of Sandwich : there he exhibited the hostages his father had received from all parts of England, and having cut off their hands and ears, and slit their nostrils, suffered them to depart: he then sailed for Denmark, intending to return the year following. To add to all these calamities, king Ethelred ordered a tribute of thirty thousand pounds to be paid to the fleet lying at Greenwich. The sea broke its bounds on the third of the calends of October [3rd September], and overwhelmed many vills and great numbers of people in England.

A.D. 1015. While a great council was being held at Oxford this year, the traitorous ealdorman, Edric Streon, perfidiously invited to his lodgings two of the most considerable and influential persons in the Seven Burghs, Sigeferth and Morcar, and there caused them to be secretly murdered. King Ethelred took possession of their effects, and ordered Elgitha, Sigeferth’s widow, to be taken to the town of Malmesbury. While she was confined there, Edmund the etheling came and married her against his father’s will, and between the feast of the Assumption [15th August] and the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], he went to the Five-burghs, and seizing the lands of Sigeferth and Morcar, compelled the villeins to acknowledge him as their lord. About the same time, king Canute arrived in the port of Sandwich with a large fleet, and shortly afterwards, sailing round the coast of Kent, entered the mouth of the river Frome, and swept off much booty in Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, and Wiltshire. King Ethelred then lying sick at Corsham, his son Edward the etheling, on the one hand, and Edwin Streon, the ealdorman, who was steeped in stratagems and deceit, on the other, levied a great army. But when their forces were united, the ealdorman laid all manner of snares for the etheling, and plotted his death; which being found out, they presently parted and made way for the enemy. Soon afterwards, the same ealdorman inveigled the crews of forty ships of the royal fleet, which were manned by Danes, to follow his fortunes, and joining Canute with them, placed himself at his service. The West-Saxons also submitted to him, giving him hostages, and afterwards furnished horses for his army. On the death of Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, he was succeeded by Elsy, called also Elfwin.

A.D. 1016. Canute, king of the Danes, and the ealdorman Edric Streon, the traitor, having before our Lord’s Epiphany [6th May] crossed the river Thames at Cricklade, with a powerful body of horse, commenced hostilities in Mercia, laying waste and burning many vills in Warwickshire, and massacring all the people they met with. When this came to the ears of the etheling Edmund, surnamed Ironside, he lost no time in collecting troops; but when the army was mustered, the Mercians refused to engage with the West-Saxons and Danes, unless they were joined by king Ethelred and the Londoners; in consequence, the army was disbanded, and every one returned home. The feast (of Epiphany) being over, Edmund the etheling gathered a still larger army, and, when it was assembled, sent messengers to London requesting his father to join him as soon as possible with all the troops he could muster; upon which, the king levied a number of soldiers and hastened to meet him. But when the forces were united, it was intimated to the king, that unless he took precautions, some of the auxiliaries would betray him to the enemy. In consequence, disbanding his troops, he returned to London, and the etheling went into Northumbria; from which many conjecture that it was his intention to assemble a still larger army against Canute; but as Canute and Edric on the one side, so he and Uhtred, earl of Northumbria, on the other, ravaged several provinces. They first laid waste Staffordshire, then Shropshire and Leicestershire, because the people of those districts refused to take arms against the Danish army. Meanwhile, Canute and Edric treon devastated, first, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire, and afterwards Northumbria. On learning this, the etheling Edmund desisted from ravaging the country, and hastened to his father at London. Earl Uhtred hurried home, and, compelled by necessity, submitted, with all the Northumbrians, to Canute, and gave him hostages; nevertheless, by Canute’s command or permission, he was put to death by Thurbrand, a noble Dane, and Thurketil, the son of Neavan, fell with him. This crime being perpetrated, Canute appointed Egric earl [of Northumbria], in Uhtred’s place, and then returning south with great expedition by another road, he regained his ships with his entire army before the feast of Easter.

About this time, on Monday the ninth of the calends of May [23rd April], in the fourteenth indiction, Ethelred, king of England, died at London, after a life of severe toils and tribulations, which St. Dunstan, on his coronation day, after placing the crown upon his head, predicted, in the spirit of prophecy, would come upon him: “Because,” he said, “thou hast been raised to the throne by the death of thy brother, whom thy mother has slain, therefore hear now the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord: ‘The sword shall not depart from thy house, but shall rage against thee all the days of thy life, cutting off thy seed, until thy kingdom become the kingdom of an alien, whose customs and tongue the nation which thou rulest knoweth not.’ And thy sin, and the sin of thy mother, and the sin of the men who were parties to her wickedness, shall be expiated only by long continued punishment.” His body was honourably interred in the church of St. Paul the apostle. After his death, the bishops, abbots, ealdonnen, and all who ranked as nobles in England, assembled together, and unanimously elected Canute their lord and king, and having come to him at Southampton, and renounced and repudiated all the descendants of king Ethelred, concluded peace with him, and swore fealty to him; and he, on his part, swore that, both as respected divine and secular affairs, he would be faithful to his duties as lord over them. But the citizens of London, and some of the nobles who were then at London, unanimously chose Edmund, the etheling, to be king. Raised to the royal throne the intrepid Edmund went without delay to Wessex, and being received with great joy by the whole population, he quickly brought it under his rule; and the people of many provinces in England, hearing this, gave him their voluntary submission.

Meanwhile, Canute sailed up to London, about the Rogation days [7th May], with his whole fleet, and on his. arrival there they dug a broad ditch on the south side of the Thames, and dragged their ships to the west of the bridge. They then surrounded the city with a broad and deep trench, so as to cut off all ingress and egress, and made frequent assaults on it, but the citizens resisting them manfully drove them to a distance from the walls. Therefore, raising the siege for the present, and leaving part of the army to guard the ships, they made a forced march into Wessex, and allowed king Edmund Ironside no time to get together his army. However, with such troops as he was able to muster in so short a space of time, he boldly encountered them in Dorsetshire, giving them battle at a place called Pen, near Gillingham, where he defeated and put them to flight. After midsummer, having again assembled an army larger than before, he determined to attack Canute with spirit, and fell in with him in Hwiccia, at a place called Scearstan. Drawing up his army as the nature of the ground and the strength of his force required, he posted all his best troops in the first line, placing the rest in reserve, and calling upon each by name, exhorted and implored them to bear in mind that they were about to contend for their country, their children, their wives, and their homes; and having inflamed the ardour of his soldiers by such exalted language, he ordered the trumpets to sound, and the troops to advance slowly. The enemy’s army did the same. Having gained a position where they could join battle, they attacked each other with loud shouts, fighting desperately with sword and spear. King Edward Ironside fought desperately in the first rank at close quarters, and, while he superintended every movement, fought hard in person, and often struck down an enemy, performing at once the duties of a brave soldier and an able general. But Edric Streon, the traitorous ealdorman, and Almar the Beloved, and Algar, son of Meawes, who ought to have supported him, having joined the Danes, with the provincials of Hampshire and Wiltshire, and a vast throng of the people, king Edmund’s army was over-matched and exhausted: still, on the first day of the engagement, which was Monday, the battle was so hard- fought and bloody, that both armies, being no longer able to prolong the fight for very weariness, drew off at sunset of their own accord. But the next day the king would have utterly defeated the Danes had it not been for a stratagem of Edric Streon, his perfidious ealdorman. For when the fight was thickest, and he perceived that the English had the best of it, he struck off the head of a man named Osmser, whose features and hair were very like king Edmund’s, and holding it up, shouted to the English that they were fighting to no purpose: “Flee quickly,” he said, “ye men of Dorsetshire, Devon, and Wilts; ye have lost your leader: lo! here I hold in my hands the head of your lord, Edmund the king: retreat with all speed.” The English were panic-struck at these words, more from the atrocity of the manoeuvre, than from their belief of what was announced; so that some waverers were on the point of taking to flight, but as soon as it became known that the king was alive their courage revived, and charging the Danes more vigorously than ever, they slew great numbers, fighting with the utmost resolution until dusk, when the armies separated as they had done the day before. But when the night was far advanced Canute gave orders for his troops to leave their camp in silence, and marching towards London regained his ships; and shortly afterwards he again laid siege to London.

When, however, day broke, king Edmund Ironside, discovering that the Danes had retreated, retired to Wessex with the intention of raising a stronger army; and the wily ealdorman, Edric, perceiving his brother-in-law’s dauntless courage, went over to him as his rightful lord, and renewing the peace between them, swore that he would henceforth be faithful to him. In consequence, the king with the army he had assembled for the third time raised the siege of London and drove the Danes to their ships. Two days afterwards he crossed the Thames, at a place called Brentford, and fought a third battle with them, in which he defeated them and came off victorious. On this occasion many of the English were drowned, while imprudently crossing the river. Again the king retired into Wessex to assemble a more numerous force, whilst the Danes marched back to London, surrounded it with their entrenchments, and assaulted it on all sides, but, by God’s help, they made no progress. In consequence, they drew off with their fleet, and entering the river Arewe [Orwell?], landed, and went to pillage in Mercia, slaughtering all they met, and, burning the vills in their usual manner, swept off the plunder, with which they returned to their ships. The foot-soldiers were conveyed in their ships to the river Medway, while those who were mounted drove thither by land the cattle they had captured.

Meanwhile, King Edmund Ironside assembled a powerful army for the fourth time, from all England, and crossing the river Thames in the same place he had done before, speedily entered Kent, and fought a battle with the Danes near Otford. They were unable to withstand his attack, and turning their horses’ heads fled to Sheppey. However, he slew all he could overtake, and if the false ealdorman, Edric, had not held him back at Aylesford from further pursuit, by his crafty persuasions, he would that day have gained a complete victory. The king having returned into Wessex, Canute with his forces crossed the river into Essex, and again pillaged Mercia, ordering his army to commit greater enormities than before. Readily obeying his orders, they butchered all who fell into their hands, burned a great many vills, laid waste the fields, and then, loaded with booty, regained their ships. Edmund Ironside, king of England, went in pursuit of them with the army he had collected throughout the whole of England, and came up with them, as they were retreating, at a hill called Assandun, [Assington in Essex?] which means the Ass’s hill. There he quickly formed his army into three lines, supporting each other; he then went round to each division exhorting them and adjuring them, mindful of their former valour and successes, to defend themselves and his kingdom from the rapacities of the Danes, and that they were going to engage with those whom they had conquered before. Meanwhile Canute led his troops by a slow march down to a level ground; while, on the other hand, king Edmund moved forward his forces rapidly in the order he had marshalled them, and, giving the signal, fell suddenly on the enemy. Both armies fought with desperation, and many fell on either side; but the traitor, Edric Streon, perceiving that the ranks of the Danes were wavering, and the English were getting the victory, fled with the MagesÆtas52 and the division he commanded, according to a previous understanding with Canute, leaving his lord, king Edmund, and the English army in the lurch, and treacherously throwing the victory into the hands of the Danes. There were slain in this battle Ælfric the ealdorman, Godwin the ealdorman, Ulfkytel ealdorman of East-Anglia, Æthelward the ealdorman, son of Ethelwin, ealdorman of East-Anglia, the friend of God, and almost all the English nobility, who never sustained so severe a shock in battle as on that day. Eadnoth, bishop of Lincoln, formerly abbot of Ramsey, and abbot Wulsy,53 were also slain; having come to offer up prayers to God for the troops engaged in the battle. After the lapse of a few days, when king Edmund Ironside still wished to renew the battle with Canute, the traitorous ealdorman Edric, and some others, would not consent, but counselled him to make peace with Canute and divide the kingdom. At length he yielded to their suggestions, though with great reluctance, and after an exchange of messages, and hostages given on both sides, the two kings met at a place called Deerhurst. Edmund and his friends took their station on the western bank of the Severn; and Canute, with his, on the eastern bank. Then the two kings went in fishing boats to an island called Olanege [Olney?] in the middle of the river, and agreeing there on a treaty of peace, amity, and fraternity, ratified by oaths, they divided the kingdom. Wessex, East-Anglia, Essex, with the city of London,54 [and all the country south of the Thames, were allotted to Edmund, while Canute obtained the northern parts of England; but the supremacy of] the crown was still vested in Edmund. Then, having exchanged their arms and dress, and fixed the tribute to be paid to the fleet, the two kings parted. The Danes returned to their ships with the plunder they had taken, and the citizens of London having secured peace by payment of a sum of money, allowed them to pass the winter among them.

After these events,King Edmund Ironside died at London,55 about the feast of St. Andrew the apostle [the 30th November] in the fifteenth indiction, but he was buried with his grandfather, king Edgar the Pacific, at Glastonbury. On his decease, king Canute commanded all the bishops, ealdormen, and chief men of England, to assemble at London. When they were come before them, pretending ignorance, he shrewdly inquired of those who had been witnesses between himself and Edmund when they concluded the treaty for amity and partition of the kingdom, what had passed between Edmund and him with regard to Edmund’s brothers and sons. Whether his brothers and sons were to succeed him in the kingdom of Wessex if Edmund died in his [Canute’s] lifetime? They immediately began to say, that they could certainly affirm that king Edmund intended to give no part of his kingdom to his brothers, either during his lifetime or after bis death; and they added, that they knew that it was king Edmund’s wish that Canute should be the guardian and protector of his sons until they were of age to govern. But, as God knows, they bore false witness and foully lied, thinking that he would be more favourable to them, and reward them handsomely, for their falsehood. Instead of that, some of these false witnesses were soon afterwards put to death by the king’s orders. After these inquiries, king Canute used every effort to induce the great men of the realm, already mentioned, to swear allegiance to him; and they gave him their oaths that they would elect him king and humbly obey him, and find pay for his army; and he, on his part, giving them his naked hand as his pledge, accompanied by the oaths of the Danish chiefs, they utterly repudiated the claims of Edmund’s brothers and sons, and denied their rights to the throne.

Edwy, one of these ethelings, the illustrious and much reverenced brother of king Edmund, was at once, by a most infamous policy of the wittan, sentenced to be banished. Canute, having heard the flatteries of these men, and the affront they had offered to Edwy, retired to his chamber in great joy, and calling Edric, the perfidious ealdorman, to his presence, demanded how he could manage to deceive Edwy, so that his death might be compassed. He replied that he knew a man named Æthelward who could betray Edwy to death easier than he could, and that the king might speak with him and offer him a great reward. Having learnt the man’s name, the king sent for him, and said designingly to him: “Thus and thus has Edric the ealdorman spoken to me, saying that you can contrive to lead Edwy the etheling to his destruction. Only do what we devise, and you shall be confirmed in the honours and rank of your ancestors; and find means to take his life, and you shall be dearer to me than a brother.” He replied that he was ready to seek him out, and betray him to death, if it was anyhow in his power. But he made this promise without any intention to be Edwy’s murderer, and only by way of pretence, for he was of the noblest blood in England. Leofsy, the reverend abbot of Thorney, succeeded to the bishopric of Worcester.

A.D. 1017. In this year king Canute undertook the government of all England, and divided it into four parts, reserving Wessex to himself, and committing East-Anglia to earl Thurkill, Mercia to Edric the ealdorman, and Northum- bria to Eric the earl. He also made a compact with the nobles and all the people, in which they joined; and they ratified a solemn concord between them on their respective oaths, and thus terminated and put into oblivion all their past animosities. Then king Canute, by the advice of Edric the traitor, outlawed Edwy the etheling, king Edmund’s brother, and Edwy, who was called king of the churls. This Edwy was in the course of time reconciled with the king, but Edwy the etheling, betrayed by those he had hitherto supposed to be his best friends, was the same year, by the order, and at the instance of, king Canute, put to death, although innocent. Edric also advised him to make away with the young ethelings Edward and Edmund, king Edmund’s sons; but as he thought it would be a foul disgrace to him, if they were murdered in England, he sent them, after a short time, to the king of Sweden, to be put to death there; but, although they were allies, that king was by no means disposed to execute his wishes, arid he sent them to Solomon king of Hungary, to spare their lives, and have them brought up at his court. One of them, namely Edmund, in course of time died there; but Edward married Agatha, a daughter of the brother of the emperor Henry, by whom he had Margaret queen of the Scots, Christina, a nun, and Edgar the etheling. 56

In the month of July, king Canute married the queen Elgiva, king Ethelred’s widow; and on the feast of our Lord’s Nativity, which he kept at London, he ordered Edric the perfidious ealdorman to be slain in the palace, apprehending that he himself might some day become a victim to his treachery, as he had his former lords Ethelred and Edmund frequently deceived; and he caused his body to be thrown over the city walls, and left unburied. Along with him were slain Norman, son of Leofwin the ealdorman, who was brother of earl Leofric, and Etholward son of Ethelmar the ealdorman, and Brihtric son of Alphege, governor of Devon, all of whom were innocent. The king appointed Leofric ealdorman in his brother’s place, and afterwards treated him with great kindness.

A.D. 1018. This year seventy-two thousand pounds were levied from all England, besides ten thousand five hundred pounds contributed by London, for the pay of the Danish army. Forty ships of the fleet remained with king Canute, and the rest returned to Denmark. The English and Danes came to an agreement at Oxford respecting the observance of king Edgar’s laws.57

A.D. 1019. This year, Canute, king of the English and the Danes, went over to Denmark, and remained there during the winter. On the death of Ælmar, bishop of Selsey, Æthelric succeeded.

A.D. 1020. King Canute returned to England, and held a great council at Cirencester on Easter-day [17th April], and outlawed Æthelward the ealdorman. Living, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life, and was succeeded by Ethelnoth, surnamed the Good, son of Æthelmar, a noble. The same year, the church which king Canute and earl Thurkill had built on the hill called Assendun was consecrated in their presence by Wulfstan, archbishop of York, and several other bishops, with great pomp and magnificence. On the death of Aldhun, bishop of Lindisfarne, that church was bereaved of pastoral care for nearly three years. A chapter of the canons having assembled, when the election of a bishop was proposed, a certain good priest named Edmund stood up, and said in joke, “Why do you not choose me your bishop?” Those present did not treat this as a jest, but elected him, and after appointing a fast for three days, consulted St. Cuthbert’s will respecting it. And the priest stood at the saint’s head, celebrating mass, a voice was heard, while he was in the middle of the canon, apparently proceeding from the saint’s tomb, which thrice named Edmund bishop.

    1021-1140 A.D.

A.D. 1021. Before the feast of St. Martin [11th Nov], Canute, king of England and Denmark, banished from England Thurkill, the earl often mentioned, and his wife Edgitha. Algar, bishop of the East-Angles (of Ehnham) died, and was succeeded by Alwin.

A.D. 1022. Ethelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, went to Rome, and was received with great honour by pope Benedict, who gave him the pallium.

A.D. 1023. The body of St. Alphege, the martyr, was translated from London to Canterbury. Wulfstan, archbishop of York, died at York on the fifth of the calends of June [28th May], but his body was carried to Ely and buried there. He was succeeded by Ælfric Puttuc, provost of Winchester.

A.D. 1024.

A.D. 1025. Edmund, a monk, was made bishop of Lindisfarne.

A.D. 1026. Ælfric, archbishop of York, went to Rome, and received the pallium from pope John. Richard II, duke of Normandy, died, and was succeeded by Richard III, who, dying the same year, was succeeded by his brother Robert.

A.D. 1027. Canute, king of England and Denmark, received intelligence that the Norwegians held their king Olaf in contempt on account of his meekness and simplicity, his justice and piety. In consequence, he sent large sums of gold and silver to certain of them, earnestly entreating them to reject and depose Olaf, and submitting to him, accept him for their king. They greedily accepted his bribes, and caused a message to be returned to Canute that they were prepared to receive him whenever he chose to come.

A.D. 1028. Canute, king of England and Denmark, went over to Norway with fifty stout ships, and expelled king Olaf from the kingdom, which he subjugated to himself.

The same year was born Marianus, of Ireland, the celebrated Scot, by whose study and pains this excellent Chronicle was compiled from various books.

A.D. 1029. Canute, king of England, Denmark, and Norway, returned to England, and after the feast of St. Martin [11 Nov] banished Hakon, a Danish earl, who had married the noble lady Gunilda, his sister’s daughter by Wyrtgeorn, king of the Winidi, sending him away under pretence of an embassy; for he feared that the earl would take either his life or his kingdoms.

A.D. 1030. The before-mentioned earl Haco perished at sea: some, however, say that he was killed in the islands of Orkney. Olaf, king and martyr, son of Harold, king of Norway, was wickedly slain by the Norwegians.

A.D. 1031. Canute, king of England, Denmark, and Norway, went in great state from Denmark to Rome,58 and, having made rich offerings in gold, silver, and other precious objects, to St. Peter, prince of the apostles, he obtained from pope John that the English School should be free from all tribute and taxes. On his journey to Rome and back, he distributed large alms among the poor, and procured at great cost the abolition of the tolls levied at many barriers on the roads, where they were extorted from pilgrims. He also vowed to God, before the tomb of the apostles, that he would amend his life and conduct; and he sent thence a memorable letter by the hands of Living, the companion of his journey, (a man of great prudence, at that time abbot of Tavistock, and afterwards, in the course of the same year, Ednoth’s successor in the see of Crediton), and others his envoys to England, while he himself came back from Rome by the same road he went there, visiting Denmark before his return to England. I think it right to subjoin the text of this letter.

“Canute, king of all England, and of Denmark, Norway, and part of Sweden, to Ethelnoth, metropolitan, and Alfric, archbishop of York, and to all the bishops and prelates, and to the whole nation of the English, both the nobles and the commons, greeting:—

“I notify to you that I have lately taken a journey to Rome, to pray for the forgiveness of my sins, and for the welfare of my dominions, and the people under my rule. I had long since vowed this journey to God, but I have been hitherto prevented from accomplishing it by the affairs of my kingdom and other causes of impediment. I now return most humble thanks to my God Almighty for suffering me in my lifetime to visit the sanctuary of his apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, and all others which I could find either within or without the city of Rome, and there in person reverentially worship according to my desire. I have performed this chiefly, because I have learnt from wise men that St. Peter the apostle has received from God great power in binding and in loosing, and carries the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and therefore I esteemed it very profitable to seek his special patronage with the Lord.

“Be it known to you that, at the celebration of Easter, a great assembly of nobles was present with our lord, the pope John, and Conrad the emperor; that is to say, all the princes of the nations from Mount Garganus to the neighbouring sea. All these received me with honour and presented me with magnificent gifts; but more especially was I honoured by the emperor with various gifts and valuable presents, both in gold and silver vessels, and in palls and very costly robes. 1 spoke with the emperor himself, and the lord pope, and the princes who were there, in regard to the wants of my people, English as well as Danes; that there should be granted to them more equal justice and greater security in their journeys to Rome, and that they should not be hindered by so many barriers on the road, nor harassed by unjust tolls.

The emperor assented to my demands, as well as king Rodolph, 59 in whose dominions these barriers chiefly stand; and all the princes made edicts that my people, the merchants as well as those who go to pay their devotions, shall pass to and fro in their journeys to Rome in peace, and under the security of just laws, free from all molestation by the guards of barriers or the receivers of tolls. I made further complaint to my lord the pope, and expressed my high displeasure, that my archbishops are sorely aggrieved by the demand of immense sums of money, when, according to custom, they resort to the apostolical see to obtain the pallium; and it is decreed that it should no longer be done. All things, therefore, which I requested for the good of my people from my lord the pope, and the emperor, and king Rodolph, and the other princes through whose territories our road to Rome lies, they have most freely granted, and even ratified their concessions by oath; to which four archbishops, twenty bishops, and an innumerable multitude of dukes and nobles who were there present, are witnesses. Wherefore I return most hearty thanks to Almighty God for my having successfully accomplished all that I had desired, as I had resolved in my mind, and having satisfied my wishes to the fullest extent.

“Be it known therefore to all of you, that I have humbly vowed to the Almighty God himself henceforward to amend my life in all respects, and to rule the kingdoms and the people subject to me with justice and clemency, giving equitable judgements in all matters; and if, through the intemperance of youth or negligence, I have hitherto exceeded the bounds of justice in any of my acts, I intend by God’s aid to make an entire change for the better. I therefore adjure and command my counsellors to whom I have entrusted the affairs of my kingdom, that henceforth they neither commit themselves, nor suffer to prevail, any sort of injustice throughout my dominions, either from fear of me, or from favour to any powerful person. I also command all sheriffs and magistrates throughout my whole kingdom, as they tender my regard and their own safety, that they use no unjust violence to any man, rich or poor, but that all, high and low, rich or poor, shall enjoy alike impartial law; from which they are never to deviate, either on account of royal favour, respect of person in the great, or for the sake of amassing money wrongfully, for I have no need to accumulate wealth by iniquitous exactions.

“I wish you further to know, that, returning by the way I went, I am now going to Denmark to conclude a treaty for a solid peace, all the Danes concurring, with those nations and peoples who would have taken my life and crown if it had been possible; but this they were not able to accomplish, God bringing their strength to nought.—May He, of his merciful kindness, uphold me in my sovereignty and honour, and henceforth scatter and bring to nought the power and might of all my adversaries ! When, therefore, I shall have made peace within the surrounding nations, and settled and reduced to order all my dominions in the East, so that we shall have nothing to fear from war or hostilities in any quarter, I propose to return to England as early in the summer as I shall be able to fit out my fleet. I have sent this epistle before me in order, that my people may be gladdened at my success; because, as you yourselves know, I have never spared, nor will I spare, myself or my exertions, for the needful service of my whole people. I now therefore command and adjure all my bishops and the governors of my kingdom, by the duty they owe to God and myself, to take care that before I come to England all dues belonging to God, according to the old laws, be fully discharged; namely, plough-alms, the tithe of, animals born in the current year, and the pence payable to St. Peter at Rome, whether from towns or vills; and in the middle of August the tithes of corn; and at the feast of St. Martin the first-fruits of grain (payable) to every one’s parish church, called in English ciric-sceat. If these and such-like dues be not paid before I come, those who make default will incur fines to the king, according to the law, which will be strictly enforced without mercy. Farewell.”

A.D. 1032. The church of St. Edmund, king and martyr, was dedicated this year.

A.D. 1033. Leofsy, bishop of the Hwiccas, a devout and humble man, died at the episcopal vill of Rempsey, on Tuesday, the fourteenth of the calends of September [19th August], and, as we may be allowed to hope, ascended to the heavenly realms: his body was buried with honour in the church of St. Mary, at Worcester. Brihteag, abbot of Pershore, sister’s son of Wulfstan, archbishop of York, was raised to the vacant see.

A.D. 1034. Eatheric, bishop of Lincoln [Dorchester], died, and was buried in the abbey of Ramsey; Ednoth succeeded him. Malcolm, king of the Scots, died.

A.D. 1035. Canute, king of England, before his death, gave the kingdom of Norway to Sweyn, who was reported to be his son by Elfgiva of Northampton, the daughter of Alfhelm the ealdorman, and the noble lady Wulfruna. Some, however, asserted that this Elfgiva desired to have a son by the king, but as she could not, she caused the new-born child of a certain priest to be brought to her, and made the king fully believe that she had just borne him a son. He also gave the kingdom of Denmark to Hardicanute, his son by the queen Elfgiva. Afterwards, the same year, he departed this life at Shaftesbury on Wednesday, the second of the ides [the 12th] of November; but he was buried at Winchester in the Old Minster, with due honours. After his burial the queen Elfgiva took up her abode there. Harold also said that he was the son of king Canute and Elfgiva of Northampton, although that is far from certain; for some say that he was the son of a cobbler, and that Elfgiva had acted with regard to him as she had done in the case of Sweyn : for our part, as there are doubts on the subject, we cannot settle with any certainty the parentage of either. Harold, however, assuming the royal dignity, sent his guards in the utmost haste to Winchester, and tyrannically seized the largest and best part of the treasure and wealth which king Canute had bequeathed to queen Elfgiva, and having thus robbed her, permitted her to continue her residence at Winchester. He then, with the consent of many of the higher orders of England, began to reign as though he was the lawful heir; but he had not the same power as Canute, because the arrival of Hardicanute, the more rightful heir, was looked for. Hence, shortly afterwards, the kingdom was divided by lot, Harold getting the northern, and Hardicanute the southern portion.

Robert, duke of Normandy, died, and was succeeded by his son William the Bastard, then a minor.

A.D. 1036. The innocent ethelings Alfred and Edward, sons of Ethelred, formerly king of England, sailed from Normandy, where they had been for many years at the court of their uncle Richard, and, attended by many Norman knights, crossed over to England with a small fleet to confer with their mother, who still abode at Winchester. Some of the men in power were very indignant at this, being much more devoted to Harold, however unjustly, than to the ethelings: especially, it is said, earl Godwin. The earl, therefore, arrested Alfred on his road to London to confer with king Harold as he had commanded, and threw him into prison.

At the same tune he dispersed some of his attendants, others he put in fetters and afterwards deprived of their sight, some he scalped and tortured, amputated their hands and feet and heavily mulcted: many he ordered to be sold, and put to death six hundred of them at Guildford with various torments: but we trust that the souls of those, who, guilty of no crime, had their bodies so cruelly slaughtered in the fields, are now rejoicing with the saints in paradise. On hearing of this, queen Elgiva sent back her son Edward, who had remained with her, in all haste to Normandy. Then, by order of Godwin and others, Alfred was conducted, heavily chained, to the Isle of Ely; but as soon as the ship touched the land, his eyes were most barbarously plucked out while he was on board, and in this state he was taken to the monastery and handed over to the custody of the monks. There he shortly afterwards died, and his body was buried, with due honours, in the south porch at the west end of the church; but his spirit is in the enjoyment of the delights of paradise.

A.D. 1037. Harold, king of Mercia and Northumbria, was elected by the nobles, and the whole people, king of all England; Hardicanute being entirely deposed, because he wasted his time in Denmark, and deferred coming over, as he was requested. His mother Elfgiva, formerly queen of England, was banished from the kingdom, without mercy, at the beginning of winter. As soon as a ship could be got ready she sailed for Flanders, where she received an honourable welcome from the noble count Baldwin, who, with a liberality becoming his rank, took care that she should be freely supplied with all things needful, as long as she required it. A little before this, the same year, Ælfic, dean of Evesham, a man of deep piety, died.

A.D. 1038. Æthelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on the fourth of the calends of November [29th September]. Seven days after, Ethelric, bishop of Sussex, died; for he had prayed to God that he might not long survive his beloved father Ethelnoth. Grimkytel succeeded him in the bishopric, and Eadsige, one of the king’s chaplains, succeeded Ethelnoth in the archbishopric. In the same year died Ælfric, bishop of East-Anglia, and Brihteag, bishop of the Hwiccas, ended his days on Wednesday the third of the calends of January [20th December], whose see king Harold gave to Living, bishop of Crediton. Stigand, the king’s chaplain, was appointed in Ælfric’s place, but was afterwards ejected, and Grimkytel chosen in his stead; so that he held for the tune the two dioceses of Sussex and Essex; but Stigand was restored, and Grimkytel ejected, and Stigand kept the bishopric of Sussex for himself, and procured that of East-Anglia for his brother Ethelmar; but not satisfied with this, he was raised to the thrones of Winchester and Canterbury: he also strove hard to hold with them the bishopric of Sussex, and nearly carried his point. Ethelmar was succeeded by Ærfast, bishop of Elmham, who, lest he should have seemed to have done nothing—for the Normans are very ambitious of future renown—transferred the see from Elmham to Thetford.

A.D. 1039. Brihtmar, bishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Wulfsy. The Welsh slew Edwin, earl Leofric’s brother, with Turkill and Ælfgeat, son of Eatsy, two noble king’s thanes, and many others at the same time. Hardicanute, king of Denmark, sailed to Flanders, on a visit to his mother, Elfgiva.

A.D. 1040. Harold, king of England, died at London, and was buried at Westminster. After his funeral, the nobles of almost the whole of England sent envoys to Hardicanute at Bruges, where he was staying with his mother, and, thinking it was for the best, invited him to come to England and ascend the throne. Thereupon, he fitted out fifty ships, and embarking Danish troops, before midsummer sailed over to England, where he was received with universal joy, and shortly afterwards crowned; but during his government he did nothing worthy his royal power. For as soon as he began to reign, calling to mind the injuries which both he and his mother had suffered at the hands of his predecessor, and reputed brother, king Harold, he despatched to London, Ælfric, archbishop of York, and earl Godwin, with Stor, the master of his household, Edric, his steward, Thrond, captain of his guards, and other men of high rank, with or ders to dig up the body of Harold and throw it into a sewer; and when it was thrown there, he caused it to be dragged out and cast into the river Thames. Shortly afterwards, it was picked up by a fisherman, and being immediately brought to the Danes, was honourably buried by them in a cemetery they possessed at London. 60 After this, he ordered that eight marks should be paid to every rower in his fleet, and twelve to each steersman, to be levied from the whole of England; a tax so burthensome, that scarcely any one would pay it, and he became thoroughly detested by those who at first were most anxious for his coming. Besides, he was greatly incensed against earl Godwin, and Living, bishop of Worcester, for the death of his brother Alfred, of which they were accused by Ælfric, archbishop of York, and some others. In consequence, he took the bishopric of Worcester from Living and gave it to Ælfric; but the following year, he ejected Ælfric and graciously restored Living, who had made his peace with him.

Godwin, to obtain the king’s favour, presented him with a galley of admirable workmanship, with a gilded figure-head, rigged with the best materials, and manned with eighty chosen soldiers splendidly armed. Every one of them had on each arm a golden bracelet weighing six ounces, and wore a triple coat of mail and a helmet partly gilt, and a sword with gilded hilt girt to his side, and a Danish battle-axe inlaid with gold and silver hanging from his left shoulder; in his left hand he bore a shield, the boss and studs of which were also gilt, and in his right hand a lance, called in the English tongue “Atagar.”61 Moreover, he made oath to the king, with almost all the chief men and greater thanes in England, that it was not by his counsel, or at his instance, that his brother’s eyes were put out, but that ho had only obeyed the commands of his lord, king Harold.

A.D. 1041. This year Hardicanute, king of England, sent his house-carls62 through all the provinces of his kingdom to collect the tribute which he had imposed. Two of them, Feader and Thurstan, were slain on the 4th of the ides [the 4th] of May, by the citizens of Worcester and the people of that neighbourhood, in an upper chamber of the abbey-tower, where they had concealed themselves during a tumult. This so incensed the king, that to avenge their deaths he sent Thorold, earl of Middlesex, Leofric, earl of Mercia, Godwin, earl of Wessex, Siward, earl of Northumbria, Boni, earl of Hereford, and all the other English earls, with almost all his house-carls, and a large body of troops, to Worcester, where Ælfric was still bishop, with orders to put to death all the inhabitants they could find, to plunder and burn the city, and lay waste the whole province.

They arrived there on the second of the ides [the 12th] of November, and beginning their work of destruction through the city and province continued it for four days; but very few of the citizens or provincials were taken or slain, because, having notice of their coming, the people fled in all directions. A great number of the citizens took refuge in a small island, called Beverege, situated in the middle of the river Severn, and having fortified it, defended themselves so stoutly against their enemies that they obtained terms of peace, and were allowed free liberty to return home. On the fifth day, the city having been burnt, every one marched off loaded with plunder, and the king’s wrath was satisfied. Soon afterwards, Edward, son of Ethelred the late king of England, came over from Normandy, where he had been an exile many years, and being honourably received by his brother, king Hardicanute, remained at his court.

A.D. 1042. Hardicanute, king of England, while he was present at a joyous feast given at a place called Lambeth, by Osgod Clapa, a man of great wealth, on occasion of his giving the hand of his daughter Githa in marriage to Tovi, surnamed Prudan, a noble and powerful Dane,—and carousing, full of health and merriment, with the bride and some others, fell down, by a sad mischance, while in the act of drinking, and continued speechless until Tuesday the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of June, when he expired. He was carried to Winchester and buried near his father Canute. His brother Edward was proclaimed king at London, chiefly by the exertions of earl Godwin, and Living, bishop of Worcester. Edward was the son of Ethelred, who was the son of Edgar, who was the son of Edmund, who was the son of Edward the Elder, who was the son of Alfred.

Abbot Elias, a Scot, died on the second of the ides [the 12th] of April. Being a prudent and religious man, he was entrusted with the government of the monastery of St. Pantaleon, as well as of his own abbey of St. Martin. He committed to the flames, in the monastery of St. Pantaleon, a beautiful missal which a French monk had copied, without leave, in the communal tongue for the use of the community, that no one in future might dare to do it without permission. He was succeeded by Maiolus the Scot, a holy man.

A.D. 1043. Edward was anointed king at Winchester on the first day of Easter, being the third of the nones [the 3rd] of April, by Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, Jilric, archbishop of York, and nearly all the bishops of England. In the same year, fourteen days before the feast-day of St. Andrew the apostle [16th November], the king went suddenly and unexpectedly from the city of Gloucester to Winchester, accompanied by the earls Godwin, Leofric, and Siward; and by their advice took from his mother all the gold, silver, jewels, precious stones, and other valuables she possessed, because she had been less liberal to him than he expected, and had treated him harshly both before and after he was king. Notwithstanding, he gave orders for her being supplied with all necessaries, and ordered her to remain there quiet.

Animchadus, a Scottish monk, who led a life of seclusion in the monastery at Fulda, died on the third of the calends of February [30th January]. Over his tomb lights were seen, and there was the voice of psalmody. Marianus, the author of this chronicle, took up his station as a recluse for ten years at his feet, and sang masses over his tomb. He has related, what follows respecting this Animchadus : “ When I was in Ireland,” says Marianus, “ in an island called Keltra, he entertained, with the permission of his superior, named Cortram, certain brethren who came there. Some of them departed after their meal, but those who remained sat warming themselves at the fire, and asked him for something to drink, and on his refusing to give it without leave, they urged him to comply. At last he consented, but first sent some of the beverage to his superior, as for his blessing. On the morrow, being asked for what reason he sent it, he related all the circumstances. But his superior, for this slight fault, immediately ordered him to quit Ireland, and he humbly obeyed. He then came to Fulda, and lived a life of holy seclusion, as I have already said, until his death.

“This was told us by the superior, Tigernah, on my committing some slight fault in his presence. Moreover, I myself heard, while I was in seclusion at Fulda, a very devout monk of that monastery, whose name was William, implore the aforesaid Animchadus, who was then in his tomb, to give him his benediction; and, as he afterwards told me, he saw him in a vision standing in his tomb, shining with great brightness, and giving him his benediction with outstretched arms; and I too passed the whole of that night in the midst of a mellifluous odour.” These are the words of Marianus.

A.D. 1044. Ælfward, bishop of London, who was abbot of Evesham, both before and while he was bishop, being unable to perform duly his episcopal functions, by reason of his infirmities, wished to retire to [his abbey of] Evesham, but the monks of that house would by no means consent.63 Wherefore he removed the greatest part of the books and ornaments which he had collected in that place, and some, it is said, which others had contributed, and withdrawing to the abbey of Ramsey, took up his abode there, and offered all he had brought with him to St. Benedict. He died on Wednesday, the eighth of the calends of August (the 25th July), in this same year, and is buried there.

At a general synod, held about that time in London, Wulfmar, a devout monk of Evesham, also called Manni, was elected abbot of that monastery. The same year, the noble lady, Gunhilda, daughter of king Wyrtgeorn, by king Canute’s sister, and successively the wife of earls Hakon and Harold, was banished from England with her two sons, Hemming and Thurkill. She went over to Flanders, and resided for some time at a place called Bruges, and then went to Denmark. Stigand, the king’s chaplain, was appointed bishop of East- Anglia.

A.D. 1045. Brihtwold, bishop of Wilton, died; and was succeeded by the king’s chaplain, Heriman, a native of Lorraine. The same year, Edward, king of England, assembled a very powerful fleet at the port of Sandwich, to oppose Magnus, king of Norway, who threatened to invade England; but the expedition was abandoned in consequence of Sweyn, king of Denmark, having commenced hostilities against him.

A.D. 1046. Living, bishop of the Hwiccas, Devonshire, and Cornwall, died on Sunday, the tenth of the calends of April [the 23rd March]. Soon after his death, the bishoprics of Crediton and Cornwall were given to Leofric the Briton, who was the king’s chancellor; and Aldred, who had been a monk of Winchester and was then abbot of Tavistock, was made bishop of the Hwiccas. Osgod Clapa was banished from England. Magnus, king of Norway, son of St. Olaf the king, defeated Sweyn, king of the Danes, and reduced Denmark under his own dominion.

A.D. 1047. So much snow fell in the West, that it crushed the woods, and this year the winter was very severe. Grimkytel, bishop of Sussex, died, and was succeeded by Heca, the king’s chaplain. Ælfwine, bishop of Winchester, also died, and Stigand, bishop of East-Anglia, was translated to his see. Sweyn, king of Denmark, sent ambassadors to Edward, king of England, requesting that he would send a fleet to join him against Magnus, king of Norway. Then earl Godwin counselled the king to send at least fifty ships, full of soldiers; but as the proposal was objected to by earl Leofric and all the people, he declined to furnish any. After this Magnus, king of Norway, having collected a numerous and powerful fleet, fought a battle with Sweyn, in which a vast number of troops were killed on both sides, and having driven him out of Denmark, reigned there himself, and made the Danes pay him a heavy tribute: shortly afterwards he died.

A.D. 1048. Sweyn recovered Denmark, and Harold Harfaager,64 a son of Siward, king of Norway, and brother of St. Olaf by the mother’s side, and by the father’s uncle to king Magnus, returned to Norway, and shortly afterwards sent ambassadors to king Edward, making offers of peace and amity, which were accepted.

There was a great earthquake on Sunday the first of May, at Worcester, Wick, Derby, and many other places. Many districts of England were visited with a mortality among men and cattle; and a fire in the air, commonly called wild-fire, burnt many vills and cornfields in Derbyshire and some other districts. Edmund, bishop of Lindisfarne, died at Gloucester, but was carried by his people to Durham, and buried there. Edred succeeded him, but being struck by the divine vengeance, Ethelric, a monk of Peterborough, was appointed in his stead.

A.D. 1049. The emperor Henry assembled a vast army against Baldwin, count of Flanders, chiefly because he had burnt and ruined his stately palace at Nimeguen. In this expedition were pope Leo, and many great and noble men from various countries. Sweyn, king of Denmark, was also there with his fleet at the emperor’s command, and swore fealty to the emperor for that occasion. He sent also to Edward, king of England, and requested him not to let Baldwin escape, if he should retreat to the sea. In consequence, the king went with a large fleet to the port of Sandwich, and remained there until the emperor had obtained of Baldwin all he desired. Meanwhile, earl Sweyn, son of earl Godwin and Githa, who had left England and gone to Denmark, because he was not permitted to marry Edgiva, abbess of the monastery of Leominster, whom he had debauched, returned with eight ships, alleging falsely that he would now remain loyally with the king.

Earl Beorn, son of his uncle Ulf, a Danish earl, who was son of Spracing, who was son of Urso, and brother of Sweyn, king of Denmark, promised him to obtain from the king the restoration of his earldom. Earl Baldwin having made peace with the emperor, the earls Godwin and Beorn, by the king’s permission, came to Pevensey with forty-two ships; but he ordered the rest of the fleet to return home, with the exception of a few ships which he retained there. When, however, he was informed that Osgod Clapa lay at Wulpe65 with twenty-nine ships, he recalled as many as possible of the ships he had sent away. But Osgod, taking with him his wife whom he had left for safety at Bruges, returned to Denmark with six ships; the rest sailed over to Essex, and returned with no small plunder, which they carried off from the neighbourhood of Eadulfs Ness; however, a violent tempest overtook and sunk all except two, which were captured at sea, and all on board perished.

During these occurrences earl Sweyn went to Pevensey, and perfidiously requested earl Beorn, his cousin, to go with him to the port of Sandwich, and make his peace with the king, according to promise. Beorn, relying on his relationship, accompanied him with only three attendants; but Sweyn conducted him to Bosham, where his ships lay, and, taking him on board one of them, ordered him to be bound with thongs, and kept him on board until they reached the mouth of the river Dart. There they slew him, and threw him into a deep trench, and covered him with earth. They then sent away six of the ships, two of which were soon afterwards taken by the men of Hastings, who, having killed all on board, carried them to Sandwich and presented them to the king. Sweyn, however, escaped to Flanders with two ships, and remained there until he was brought back by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, who reconciled him with the king.

In the month of August of the same year, some Irish pirates, entering the mouth of the river Severn with thirty-six ships, landed at a place called Wylesc-Eaxan, and, with the aid of Griffyth, king of South-Wales, plundered in that neighbourhood, and did considerable damage. Then, joining their forces, the king and the pirates crossed the river Wye and burnt Dymedham, massacring all they found there. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, with a few of the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, flew to arms against them; but the Welshmen who were in their ranks, and had promised to be faithful to them, sent a messenger privately to king Griffyth, begging him to lose no time in attacking the English; in consequence of which he hastened to the spot with his own followers and the Irish pirates, and falling on the English before day-break, slew many of them and put the rest to flight.

Eadnoth, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was succeeded by Ulf, the king’s chaplain, a native of Normandy. Oswy, abbot of Thorney, and Wulfnoth, abbot of Westminster, died; also Siward, coadjutor-bishop of Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, and he was buried at Abingdon. Moreover, in this year pope St. Leo came to France, at the request of the most excellent abbot Herimar, having in his company the prefect and some of the principal persons of Rome, and dedicated with great ceremony the monastery of St. Remigius, the apostle of the Franks, built at Rheims, in which city he afterwards held a numerous synod of archbishops, bishops, and abbots, which lasted six days. There were present at this synod Alfwine, abbot of Ramsey, and the abbot of St. Augustine’s monastery [at Canterbury], who were sent there by Edward, king of England.

A.D. 1050. Macbeth, king of Scotland, distributed freely large sums of money at Rome. Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Robert, bishop of London, a Norman by birth. Spearheafoc, abbot of Abingdon, was elected bishop of London, but was ejected by king Edward before consecration. Heriman, bishop of Wilton, and Aldred, bishop of Worcester, went to Rome.

A.D. 1051. Ælfric, archbishop of York, died at Southwell, and was buried at Peterborough; Kinsige, the king’s chaplain, succeeded him. King Edward released the English from the heavy tax payable to the Danish troops, in the thirty-eighth year after his father Ethelred had first imposed it. After this, in the month of September, Eustace the elder, count of Boulogne, who had married a sister of king Edward, named Goda, sailed to Dover with a small fleet.66 His soldiers, while they were bluntly and indiscreetly inquiring for lodgings, killed one of the townsmen. A neighbour of his witnessing this, slew one of the soldiers in revenge. At this the count and his followers were much enraged, and put many men and women to the sword, trampling their babes and children under their horses’ hoofs. But seeing the townsmen flocking together to resist them, they made their escape, like cowards, with some difficulty, and leaving seven of their number slain, they fled to king Edward, who was then at Gloucester. Earl Godwin, being indignant that such things should be done within his jurisdiction, in great wrath raised an immense army from the whole of his earldom, that is, from Kent, Sussex, and Wessex; his eldest son, Sweyn, also assembled the men of his earldom, that is, of the counties of Oxford, Gloucester, Hereford, Somerset, and Berks; and his other son, Harold, assembled the men of his earldom, namely, Essex, East-Anglia, Huntingdon, and Cambridge. This did not escape the notice of king Edward, and he therefore sent messages to Leofric, earl of Mercia, and Siward, earl of Northumbria, begging them to hasten to him with all the men they could muster, as he was in great peril. They came at first with only a few followers 4 but when they learnt the real state of affairs, they sent swift messengers throughout their earldoms and gathered a large army. Likewise earl Ralph, son of Goda, king Edward’s sister, assembled as many as he could from his county.

Meanwhile, Godwin and his sons, with their respective armies, entered Gloucestershire after the feast of the nativity of St. Mary [8th September], and encamping at a place called Langtreo, sent envoys to the king at Gloucester, demanding the surrender of count Eustace and his followers, as well as of the Normans and men of Boulogne, who were in possession of the castle on the cliff at Dover, on pain of hostilities. The king, alarmed for a time at this message, was in great distress, and in the utmost perplexity what to do. But when he found that the troops of the earls Leofric, Siward, and Ralph were on their march, he replied with firmness that he would by no means consent to give up Eustace and the rest who were demanded. On hearing this, the envoys returned from their bootless errand. As they were departing, the army entered Gloucester, so exasperated, and unanimously ready to fight, that, if the king had given permission, they would have instantly engaged earl Godwin’s army. But earl Leofric considering that all the men of greatest note in England were assembled either on his side or the other, it appeared to him and some others a great folly to fight with their own countrymen, and he proposed that, hostages having been given by both parties, the king and Godwin should meet at London on a day appointed, and settle their controversy in a legal way. This advice being approved, and after the exchange of messages, hostages having been given and received, the earl returned into Wessex; and the king assembled a more powerful army from the whole of Mercia and Northumbria, and led it to London. Meanwhile, Godwin and his sons came to Southwark with a vast multitude of the people of Wessex; but his army gradually dwindling away and deserting him, he did not venture to abide the judgment of the king’s court, but fled, under cover of night. When, therefore, the morning came, the king, in his witan, with the unanimous consent of the whole army, made a decree that Godwin and his five sons should be banished. Thereupon he and his wife Githa, and Tosti and his wife Judith, the daughter of Baldwin, count of Flanders, and two of his. other sons, namely, Sweyn and Gurth, went, without loss of time, to Thorney, where a ship had been got ready for them. They quickly laded her with as much gold, silver, and other valuable articles as she could hold, and, embarking in great haste, directed her course towards Flanders and Baldwin the count. His sons Harold and Leofwine, making their way to Brycgstowe [Bristol], went on board a ship which their brother Sweyn had prepared for them, and crossed over to Ireland. The king repudiated the queen Edgitha, on account of his wrath against her father Godwin, and sent her in disgrace, with only a single handmaid, to Wherwell, where she was committed to the custody of the abbess.67

After these occurrences, William, earl [duke] of Normandy, came over to England with a vast retinue of Normans. King Edward honourably entertained him and his companions, and on their return made them many valuable presents. The same year, William, the king’s chaplain, was appointed to the bishopric of London, which was before given to Spearheafoc.

A.D. 1052. Marianus, the chronicler, departed this life.

Elfgiva Emma, wife of the kings Ethelred and Canute, died at Winchester on the second of the nones [the 6th] of March, and was buried there. In the same year, Griffyth, king of Wales, ravaged a great part of Herefordshire: the inhabitants of that province, with some Normans from a castle, flew to arms and attacked him; but, having slain a great number of them, he obtained the victory and carried off much plunder. This battle was fought on the same day on which, fourteen years before, the Welsh slew Edwin, earl Leofric’s brother, in an ambuscade. A short time afterwards, earl Harold and his brother Leofwine, returning from Ireland, and sailing into the mouth of the river Severn with a large fleet, landed on the borders of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, and plundered many villages and farms in those parts. A great number of the people of Devonshire and Somersetshire gathered together in arms against them; but Harold defeated them with the loss of more than thirty noble thanes, and many others. He then returned to his fleet with the booty, and sailed round Penwithsteort.68 Thereupon, king Edward quickly despatched forty ships, well provisioned, and having on board a chosen body of soldiers, to the port of Sandwich, with orders to wait and look out for the arrival of earl Godwin. Notwithstanding this, he escaped observation, and, returning with a few ships, landed in Kent; and, by his secret emissaries, gained over to espouse his cause, first, the Kentishmen, and then the people of Sussex, Essex, and Surrey, with all the seamen69 of Hastings and other places on the sea-coast, besides some others. All these, with one voice, declared that they were ready to live or die with him.

As soon as his arrival was known in the king’s fleet, which lay at Sandwich, it went in chase of him; but he escaped and concealed himself wherever he could, and the fleet returned to Sandwich, and thence sailed to London. On hearing this, Godwin shaped his course again for the Isle of Wight, and kept hovering about along the shore until his sons Harold and Leofwine joined him with their fleet. After this junction, they desisted from plundering and wasting the country, taking only such provisions as necessity required for the subsistence of their troops. Having increased their force by enlisting as many men as they could on the sea-coast and in other places, and by collecting all the mariners they met with in every direction, they directed their course towards the port of Sandwich. Their arrival there was notified to king Edward, who was then at London, and he lost no time sending messengers requiring all persons, who had not revolted from him, to hasten to his succour; but they were too slow in their movements, and did not arrive in time. Meanwhile, earl Godwin, having sailed up the Thames against the current, reached Southwark on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th September], being Monday, and waited there until the flood-tide came up. In the interval, he so dealt with the citizens of London, some in person, others through his emissaries, having before seduced them by a variety of promises, that he persuaded nearly all of them to enter heartily into his designs. At last, everything being duly planned and set in order, on the tide’s flowing up they quickly weighed anchor, and, no one offering them any resistance at the bridge, sailed upwards along the south bank of the river. The land army also arrived, and, being drawn up on the river-bank, formed a close and formidable column. Then the fleet drew towards the northern bank, with the intention, apparently, of enclosing the king’s fleet, for the king had also a fleet, as well as a numerous land army. But as there were very few men of any courage, either on the king’s or Godwin’s side, who were not Englishmen, nearly all shrunk from fighting against their kinsfolk and countrymen; so that the wiser sort on both sides interfered to restore peace between the king and the earl, and both armies received orders to lay down their arms. The next morning the king held a council, and fully restored to their former honours Godwin, and his wife, and all his sons, except Sweyn, who, touched with repentance for the murder of his cousin Beorn, mentioned before, had undertaken a journey barefoot from Flanders to Jerusalem, and who, on his return, died in Lycia70 from illness brought on by the severity of the cold. The king, also, took back with due honour queen Edgitha, the earl’s daughter, and restored her to her former dignity.

The alliance being renewed, and peace established, they promised right law to all the people, and banished all the Normans, who had introduced unjust laws and given unrighteous judgements, and in many things had influenced the king to the disadvantage of his English subjects. A few of them only were allowed to stay in England, namely, Robert the deacon, and his son-in-law Richard Fitz-Scrope, Alfred, the king’s horse-thane, Anfrid, surnamed Cock’s-foot, with some others who had been the king’s greatest favourites, and had remained faithful to him and the commonwealth. But Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, William, bishop of London, and Ulf, bishop of Lincoln, with their Normans, had some difficulty in making their escape and getting beyond sea. William, however, was, for his worth, soon afterwards recalled and reinstated in his bishopric. Osbern, surnamed Pentecost, and his companion Hugh, surrendered their castles; and, being allowed by earl Leofric to pass through his territories in their way to Scotland, received a welcome from Macbeth, king of the Scots. The same year there was such a violent wind in the night of the feast of St. Thomas the apostle [the 21st December], that it threw down many churches and houses, and shattered or tore up by the roots trees without number.

A.D. 1053. Rhys, the brother of Griffyth, king of South Wales, was put to death by order of king Edward at a place called Bullington, on account of the plundering inroads he had frequently made, and his head was brought to the king at Gloucester on the eve of our Lord’s Epiphany [5th January]. In the same year, on the second day of the festival of Easter [12th April], which was celebrated at Winchester, earl Godwin came to his end while he was sitting at table with the king, according to his usual custom; for, being suddenly seized with a violent illness, he fell speechless from his seat. His sons, earl Harold, Tosti, and Gurth, perceiving it, carried him into the king’s chamber, hoping that he would presently recover; but his strength failing, he died in great suffering on the fifth day afterwards [15th April], and was buried in the Old Minster. His son Harold succeeded to his earldom, and Harold’s earldom was given to Algar, son of earl Leofric.

In the month of October died Wulfsige, bishop of Litchfield, Godwin, abbot of Winchcombe, and Ethelward, abbot of Glastonbury. Leofwine, abbot of Coventry, succeeded Wulfsige; and Ethelnoth, a monk of the same monastery, succeeded Ethelward. But Aldred, bishop of Worcester, kept the abbey of Winchcombe in his own hands until such tune as he appointed Godric, the son of Goodman, the king’s chaplain, to be abbot. Ælfric, brother of earl Odda, died at Deerhurst on the eleventh of the calends of January [22nd December], but he was buried in the monastery at Pershore.

Aed, a long-bearded clerk in Ireland, a man of great eminence and earnest piety, had a large school of clerks, maidens, and laymen; but he subjected the maidens to the tonsure in the same manner as clerks, on which account he was compelled to leave Ireland.

A.D. 1054. Siward, the stout earl of Northumbria, by order of the king entered Scotland, with a large body of cavalry and a powerful fleet, and fought a battle with Macbeth, king of the Scots, in which the king was defeated with the loss of many thousands both of the Scots and of the Normans before mentioned; he then, as the king had commanded, raised to the throne Malcolm, son of the king of the Cumbrians. However, his own son and many English and Danes fell in that battle.

The same year, on the feast of St. Kenelm, the martyr, [17th July], Aldred, bishop of Worcester, instituted Godric as abbot of Winchcombe. The bishop was then sent by the king as ambassador to the emperor, with rich presents; and being received with great honour by him, and also by Heriman, archbishop of Cologne, he remained at his court for a whole year, and in the king’s name proposed to the emperor to send envoys to Hungary to bring back Edward, the king’s cousin, son of king Edmund Ironside, and have him conducted to England.

A.D. 1055. Siward, earl of Northumberland, died at York, and was buried in the monastery at Galmanho,72 which he had himself founded: his earldom was given to Tosti, earl Harold’s brother. Shortly afterwards, king Edward, in a council held at London, banished earl Algar, earl Leofric’s son, without any just cause of offence. Algar presently went to Ireland, and having collected eighteen pirate ships, returned with them to Wales, where he implored Griffyth the king to lend him his aid against king Edward. Griffyth immediately assembled a numerous army from all parts of his dominions, and directed Algar to join him and his army at a place appointed with his own troops; and having united their forces they entered Herefordshire, intending to lay waste the English marshes.

Earl Ralph, the cowardly son of king Edward’s sister, having assembled an army, fell in with the enemy two miles from the city of Hereford, on the ninth of the calends of November [24th October]. He ordered the English, contrary to their custom, to fight on horseback; but just as the engagement was about to commence, the earl, with his French and Normans, were the first to flee. The English seeing this, followed their leader’s example, and nearly the whole of the enemy’s army going in pursuit, four or five hundred of the fugitives were killed, and many were wounded. Having gained the victory, king Griffyth and earl Algar entered Hereford, and having slain seven of the canons who defended the doors of the principal church, and burnt the monastery built by bishop Athelstan, that true servant of Christ, with all its ornaments, and the relics of St. Ethelbert, king and martyr, and other saints, and having slain some of the citizens, and made many other captives, they returned laden with spoil.

On receiving intelligence of this calamity, the king immediately commanded an army to be levied from every part of England, and on its being assembled at Gloucester, gave the command of it to the brave earl Harold, who, zealously obeying the king’s orders, was unwearied in his pursuit of Griffyth and Algar, and boldly crossing the Welsh border, encamped beyond Straddell [Snowdon]; but they knowing him to be an intrepid and daring warrior, did not venture to wait his attack, but retreated into South Wales. On learning this, he left there the greatest part of his army, with orders to make a stout resistance to the enemy if circumstances should require it; and returning with the remainder of his host to Hereford, he surrounded it with a wide and deep trench, and fortified it with gates and bars. Meanwhile, after an interchange of messages, Griffyth, Algar, and Harold, with their attendants, met at a place called Biligesteagea, and peace being proposed and accepted, they contracted a firm alliance with each other. After these events, earl Algar’s fleet [of pirates] sailed to Chester, and waited there for the hire he had engaged to pay them; but he himself went to court and restored by the king to his earldom. At that time died Tremerin, a Welsh bishop,[Bishop of St Davids] who had been a monk. He was, for a long time, coadjutor to Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, after Athelstan became incapable of performing his episcopal functions, having been blind for thirteen years. Heriman, bishop of Wiltshire, being offended at the king’s refusing to allow him to remove the seat of his bishopric from the vill called Ramsbury to the abbey of Malmesbury, resigned his bishopric and, going beyond sea, took the monastic habit at St. Bertin, [an abbey near St Omer] in which monastery he abode for three years.

A.D. 1056. Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, a man of great sanctity, died on the fourth of the ides [the l0th] of February, at the episcopal vill called Bosanbyrig [Bosbury]; his body was carried to Hereford, and buried in the church which he himself had built from the foundations. He was succeeded by Leovegar, earl Harold’s chaplain, who, on the sixteenth of the calends [the 16th] of June in the same year, together with his clerks and Ethelnoth the vice-reeve and many others, was massacred by Griffyth, king of Wales, at a place called Claftbyrig [Cleobury?]. He held the see only eleven weeks and four days. On his being thus cut off, the bishopric of Hereford was administered by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, until a successor could be appointed. This same bishop Aldred and the earls Leofric and Harold afterwards reconciled Griffyth, king of Wales, with king Edward.

Marianus, becoming a pilgrim for the sake of his heavenly country, went to Cologne and took the habit of a monk in the monastery of St. Martin, belonging to the Scots, on Thursday, which was the calends [the 1st] of August.

Earl Ethelwin, that is Odda,[Earl of Devon] a the friend of the churches, the solace of the poor, the protector of widows and orphans, the enemy of oppression, the shield of virginity, died at Deerhurst on the second of the calends of September [31st August], having been made a monk by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, before his death; but he lies in the abbey of Pershore, where he was buried with great pomp. Æthelric, bishop of Durham, voluntarily resigned his see and retired to his monastery of Peterborough, where he had been brought up and made a monk; and there he lived twelve years, having been succeeded in his bishopric by his brother, Ægelwin, a monk of the same abbey.

A.D. 1057. Edward the etheling, son of king Edmund Ironside, accepting the invitation of his uncle, king Edward, returned to England from Hungary, where he had been exiled many years before. For the king had determined to appoint him his successor and heir to the crown; but he died at London soon after his arrival. The renowned Leofric, son of the ealdorman Leofwine, of blessed memory, died in a good old age, at his own vill of Bromley, on the second of the calends of September [31st August], and was buried with great pomp at Coventry; which monastery, among the other good deeds of his life, he and his wife, the noble countess Godiva, a worshipper of God, and devoted friend of St. Mary, Ever-a-Virgin, had founded, and amply endowing it with lands on their own patrimony, had so enriched with all kinds of ornament, that no monastery could be found in England possessed of such abundance of gold, silver, jewels, and precious stones as it contained at that time. They also enriched, with valuable ornaments, the monasteries of Leominster and Wenlock, and those at Chester dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. Werburgh, the virgin, and the church which Eadnoth, bishop of Lincoln, had built on a remarkable spot, called in English St. Mary’s Stow,73 which means in Latin St. Mary’s place. They also gave lands to the monastery at Worcester, and added to the buildings, ornaments, and endowments of Evesham abbey. During his whole life, this earl’s sagacity was of the utmost advantage to the kings and the whole commonwealth of England. His son Algar was appointed to his earldom. Hakon, bishop of Essex, died, and Æthelric, a monk of Christ-church at Canterbury, was appointed in his stead. The afore-mentioned earl Ralph died on the twelfth of the calends of January [21st December], and was buried in the abbey of Peterborough.

A.D. 1058. Six days before Palm-Sunday [10th April], the city of Paderborn, and two monasteries, that of the cathedral and that of the monks, were destroyed by fire. In the monks’ monastery there was a Scottish monk named Paternus, who had been in the cloister for a great number of years, and had foretold this fire; yet such was his desire of martyrdom that nothing could induce him to leave the place, and he was burnt to death in his cell, passing through the flames to the cool refreshment of paradise. Some blessed things are related concerning his tomb. “Within a few days after this occurrence, on the Tuesday after the octave of Easter [26th of April], as I was departing from Cologne on the road to Fulda in company with the abbot of Fulda, for the sake of seclusion, prayed on the very mat on which he was burnt.” Thus saith Marianus, the Scottish recluse.

Algar, earl of Mercia, was outlawed by king Edward for the second time, but, supported by Griffyth, king of Wales, and aided by a Norwegian fleet, which unexpectedly came to his relief, he speedily recovered his earldom by force of arms. Pope Stephen died on the third of the calends of April [30th March]. He was succeeded by Benedict, who sent the pallium to Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury. Æthelric was ordained bishop of Sussex; and abbot Siward was consecrated bishop of Rochester. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, dedicated with great ceremony to Peter, prince of the apostles, the church which he had built from the foundations in the city of Worcester, and afterwards, with the king’s license, appointed Wulfstan, a monk of Worcester, ordained by him, abbot of the new foundation. Then, having resigned the bishopric of Wilton, which he held in commendam, and restored it to Heriman, before mentioned, he crossed the sea, and went through Hungary to Jerusalem; a pilgrimage which no English archbishop or bishop is known to have performed before.

A.D. 1059. Nicholas, bishop of Florence, was elected pope, and Benedict was deposed. Marianus having shut himself up in the cloister with Sigefrid, abbot of Fulda, was ordained priest at the tomb of St. Kilian, at Wurtzburg, on Saturday in Mid-Lent, the third of the ides [the 13th] of March, and on Friday after Our Lord’s Ascension, being the day before the ides [the 14th] of May, he entered on his ten years’ inclosure in the abbey of Fulda.

A.D. 1060. Henry, king of the Franks, died, and was succeeded by his eldest son Philip. Duduc, bishop of Wells, died, and was succeeded by Giso, the king’s chaplain; they were both natives of Lorraine. Kinsi, archbishop of York, died at York on the eleventh of the calends of January [22nd December]. His body was carried to the abbey of Peterborough, and buried there with great pomp. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, was elected his successor as archbishop of York at Christmas; and the see of Hereford, which had been entrusted to his administration on account of his great diligence, was given to Walter, a Lorrainer, and chaplain to queen Edgitha.

A.D. 1061. Aldred, archbishop of York, went to Rome in company with earl Tosti, and received the pallium from pope Nicholas. There, also, Giso of Wells, and Walter of Hereford, were consecrated bishops by the same pope. Until John, the successor of Giso, all the bishops of Wells had their episcopal see at Wells, in the church of St. Andrew the Apostle. Maiolus, abbot of the Scots, died at Cologne; Foilan succeeded him.

A.D. 1062. Wulfstan, a venerable man, was made bishop of Worcester. This prelate, beloved of God, was born in Warwickshire, in the province of Mercia, of pious parents; his father’s name being Ealstan, and his mother’s Wulfgeova, but he was well instructed in letters and ecclesiastical functions at the monastery of Peterborough. Both his parents were so devoted to a religious life, that long before their end, they took the vows of chastity, and separated from each other, delighting to spend the rest of their days in habits of holy devotion. Inspired by such examples, and chiefly induced by his mother’s persuasions, he quitted the world while he was yet in his youth, and took the monastic habit and profession in the same monastery at Worcester where his father had before devoted himself to the service of God, being admitted by the venerable Brihteag, bishop of the same church, who also conferred upon him the orders both of deacon and priest. Entering at once on a strict and deeply religious course of life, he quickly became remarkable for his vigils, his fastings, his prayers, and all kinds of virtues. In consequence of this regular discipline, he was appointed, first, for some time, master and tutor of the novices, and afterwards, from his intimate acquaintance with the ecclesiastical services, his superiors nominated him precentor and treasurer of the church.

Being now entrusted with the custody of the church, he embraced the opportunities afforded him of serving God with greater freedom; and, devoting himself wholly to a life of contemplation, he resorted to it by day and night, either for prayer or holy reading, and assiduously mortified his body by fasting for two or three days together. He was so addicted to devout vigils, that he not only spent the nights sleepless, but often the day and night together, and sometimes went for four days and nights without sleep,—a thing we could hardly have believed, if we had not heard it from his own mouth,— so that he ran great risk from his brains being parched, unless he hastened to satisfy the demands of nature by the refreshment of sleep. Even, at last, when the urgent claims of nature compelled him to yield to sleep, he did not indulge himself by stretching his limbs to rest on a bed or couch, but would lie down for awhile on one of the benches in the church, resting his head on the book which he had used for praying or reading. After some time, on the death of Æthelwine, prior of the monastery, bishop Aldred appointed this reverend man to be prior and father of the convent, an office which he worthily filled; by no means abating the strictness of his previous habits, but rather increasing it in many respects, in order to afford a good example to the rest.

After the lapse of some years, on the elevation of Aldred, bishop of Worcester, to the archbishopric of York, there was unanimous consent both of the clergy and the whole body of the laity [of Worcester] in the election of Wulfstan as their bishop; the king having granted them permission to choose whom they pleased. It so chanced that the legates from the apostolical see were present at the election, namely, Ermenfred, bishop of Sion,74 and another, who were sent by our lord the pope Alexander to king Edward on some ecclesiastical questions, and by the king’s orders spent nearly the whole of Lent at Worcester, waiting for the reply to their mission at the king’s court in the ensuing Easter. The legates, during their stay, observing Wulfstan’s worthy conversation, not .only concurred in his election, but used their especial influence with both the clergy and people to advance it, and confirmed it by their own authority. But he most obstinately declined the office, exclaiming that he was unworthy of it, and even declaring with an oath that he would rather submit to lose his head than be advanced to so high a dignity. When he could by no means be persuaded to consent by the arguments frequently addressed to him by many pious and venerable men, at last being sharply reproved for his obstinate wilfulness by Wulfsi the hermit, a man of God, who was known to have lived a life of solitude for more than forty years, and being also awed by a divine revelation, he was compelled, with the greatest reluctance, to give his consent; and his election having been canonically confirmed on the feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist [29th August], and having accepted the office of bishop, he was consecrated on the day on which St. Mary’s Nativity is celebrated by the church, which happened on a Sunday, and shone forth in the splendour of his life and virtues as bishop of Worcester. The consecration was performed by the venerable Aldred, archbishop of York, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, being then interdicted by the pope from performing his episcopal functions, because he had presumed to take the archbishopric while Robert, the archbishop, was still living; but Wulfstan made his canonical profession to Stigand, the aforesaid archbishop of Canterbury, and not to Aldred, who ordained him. Moreover, Stigand having made a protest against its being a precedent in future, the archbishop of York, who ordained Wulfstan, was ordered to declare before the king and the great men of the realm, that he would not thereafter claim any submission, either in ecclesiastical or temporal affairs, in right of his having consecrated him, or of his having been his monk before he was consecrated. Wulfstan’s ordination took place when he was more than fifty years old, in the twentieth year of the reign of king Edward, and in the fifteenth indiction.

A.D. 1063. When Christmas was over, Harold, the brave earl of Wessex, by king Edward’s order, put himself at the head of a small troop of horse, and proceeded by rapid marches from Gloucester, where the king then was, to Rhuddlan, [Flintshire] with the determination to punish Griffyth, king of Wales, for his continual ravages on the English marshes, and his many insults to his lord, king Edward, by taking his life. But Griffyth, being forewarned of the earl’s approach, fled with his attendants, and escaped by getting aboard a ship, but not without extreme difficulty. Harold, finding he was gone, ordered his palace to be burnt, and setting fire to his ships and all their rigging, began his march homeward the same day. But about Rogation days [20 May] he sailed from Bristol with a naval force, and circumnav1gated a great part of Wales. His brother met him, by the king’s command, with a body of cavalry, and uniting their forces, they began to lay waste that part of the country. In consequence, the Welsh were reduced to submission, and, giving hostages, engaged to pay him tribute, and they deposed and banished their king, Griffyth.

A.D. 1064. The great paschal cycle now begins, in the second indiction. A multitude of people, both rich and poor, to the number of seven thousand, accompanied the archbishop of Mentz, and the bishops of Utrecht, Bamberg, and Ratisbon, in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, after the feast of St. Martin [11th November]. Wherever the bishops made any stay, they wore their palls on their shoulders, and their meat and drink was served in gold and silver vessels. The Arabites [Arabs ?], allured by the fame of their wealth, slew many of them on Good-Friday [9th April]. Those who were able to escape took refuge in a deserted castle called Caruasalim,75 and barricading it, defended themselves with stones and staves against the darts of the Arabites, who sought their money, or their lives and their money. Then one very brave soldier, who was resolved that no peril should withhold him from seeing the tomb of our Lord, went forth; but the Arabs immediately laid hold of him, and stretching him flat on the ground, in the form of a cross, nailed his hands and feet to the earth, and cutting him open from the bottom of his belly to his throat, examined his entrails.76 At last, having torn him limb from limb, their chief first threw a stone upon him, and afterwards all the rest did the like. Then they called to his comrades, who beheld all this from the castle :—“Your fate shall be the same, unless you deliver to us all your wealth.” The Christians promising to comply, the chief of the Arabites came into the castle to them, with sixteen others armed with swords. The chief found the bishops still seated in great state, and observing that the bishop of Bamberg, whose name was Gunther, excelled the rest in stature and shape, concluded that he was the lord of the Christians. Putting a thong round the bishop’s neck, in the way the Gentiles confine their criminals, he said, “You and all yours shall he mine.” The bishop replied, through an interpreter, “What will you do to me?” He answered, “I will suck that bright blood from your throat, and I will hang you up like a dog before the castle.” Then the bishop, seizing the chief by the head, felled him to the ground with one blow of his fist, and all the others were bound. Those who remained without being informed of this assaulted the castle; but the prisoners were suspended from the walls in front of the assailants, and to save them, the attack was given up. Then the thieves began to quarrel concerning the money which they had already taken from the Christians, and most of them fell by each others’ hands. Meanwhile, the prince of Ramula, at the entreaty of those of the Christians who had contrived to escape, came with a strong band, on the second day of Easter [12th April], and drove away the Arabites. Then, after accepting fifty gold pieces from the Christians, he and an Arabite chief who was at variance with his lord, the king of the Saracens, conducted the pilgrims to Jerusalem, and thence to their ships. The vast multitude of Christians so wasted away, that out of seven thousand or more, barely two thousand returned.

A.D. 1064. Griffyth, king of Wales, was slain by his own people, on the nones [the 5th] of August, and his head and the beak of his ship, with its ornaments, were sent to earl Harold, who, shortly afterwards, presented them to king Edward. The king then gave the territories of the Welsh king to his brothers Blethgent and Rithwalon,77 and they swore to be faithful to him and Harold, and promised to be ready to obey their orders by sea and land, and that they would faithfully pay whatever was paid before from that country to former kings.

A.D. 1065. Æthelwin, the reverend bishop of Durham, raised the bones of St. Oswin, formerly king of Bernicia, from the tomb in which they had lain for four hundred and fifteen years, in the monastery which stands at the mouth of the river Tyne, and placed them in a shrine with great ceremony. In the month of August, Harold, the brave earl of Wessex, ordered a large mansion to be built at a place called Portascith,78 on the territory of the Welsh, and gave directions that it should be well stored with meat and drink, that his lord, king Edward, might sometimes reside there for the sake of hunting. But Caradoc, son of Griffyth, king of South Wales, who a few years before had slain Griffyth, king of North Wales, and usurped his kingdom, came there with the whole force he could gather, on the feast-day of St. Bartholomew, the apostle [24th August], and slew all the workmen and their overseers, and carried off all the materials which had been collected there.

Soon after the feast of St. Michael, the archangel, on Monday, the fifth of the nones [the 3rd] of October, the Northumbrian thanes, Gamelbearn, Dunstan, son of Athelneth, and Glonicorn, son of Heardulf, entered York with two hundred soldiers, to revenge the execrable murder of the noble Northumbrian thane, Cospatric, who was treacherously killed by order of queen Edgitha at the king’s court on the fourth night of Christmas, for the sake of her brother Tosti; as also the murder of the thanes Game], the son of Orm, and Ulf, the son of Dolfin, whom earl Tosti had perfidiously caused to be assassinated in his own chamber at York, the year before, although there was peace between them. The insurgent thanes were also aggrieved by the enormous taxes which Tosti unjustly levied through the whole of Northumbria. They therefore, on the day of their arrival, first seized his Danish house-carles, Amund and Ravenswart, as they were making their escape, and put them to death outside the walls, and the next day slew more than two hundred of his liege-men, on the north side of the river Humber. They also broke open his treasury, and retired carrying off all that belonged to him. After that. nearly all the men of his earldom assembled in a body, and met, at Northampton, Harold, earl of Wessex, and others whom the king, at Tosti’s request, had sent to restore peace between them. There first, and afterwards at Oxford, on the feast of the apostles St. Simon and St. Jude [28th October], when earl Harold and the rest endeavoured to restore peace between them and earl Tosti, they all unanimously rejected the proposal, and outlawed him and all who had prompted him to enact the oppressive law; and after the feast of All-Saints [1st November], with the assistance of earl Ed win, they banished Tosti from England. Thereupon he went, accompanied by his wife, to Baldwin, earl of Flanders, and passed the winter at St. Omer. After this, king Edward fell into a lingering sickness, but he held his court at London during Christmas as well as he was able, and on Holy Innocents’ day caused the church, which he had built from the foundations [at Westminster], to be dedicated with great splendour to St. Peter, the prince of the apostles.

A.D. 1066. King Edward the Pacific, the pride of the English, son of king. Ethelred, died at London on Thursday, the eve of the Epiphany, in the fourth indiction; after having filled the royal throne of the Anglo-Saxons twenty-three years, six months, and twenty-seven days. He was buried the next day with royal pomp, amidst the tears and lamentations of the crowds who flocked to his funeral. After his interment, Harold, the vice-king, son of earl Godwin, N whom the king before his death had chosen for his successor,1 was elected king by the leading men of all England; and, the same day, was crowned with great ceremony by Aldred, archbishop of York. As soon as he had taken the reins of government, he made it his business to revoke unjust laws, and establish good ones; to become the protector of the churches and monasteries; to cherish and reverence the bishops, abbots, monks, and clerks; and to show himself kind, humble, and courteous to all good men, while to malefactors he used the utmost rigour. For he gave orders to his earls, ealdormen, vice-reeves, and all his officers, to arrest all thieves, robbers, and disturbers of the peace; and he laboured himself for the defence of the country by land and by sea.

The same year a comet was seen on the eighth of the calends of May [24th April], not only in England, but, as it is reported, all over the world : it shone with excessive brilliance for seven days. Soon afterwards earl Tosti returned from Flanders, and landed in the Isle of Wight; and, having compelled the islanders to give him pay and tribute, he departed, and plundered along the sea-coast, until he arrived at Sandwich. King Harold, who was then at London, having been informed of this, ordered a considerable fleet t1nd a body of horse to be got ready, and prepared to go in person to the port of Sandwich. On receiving this intelligence, Tosti took some of the boatmen of the place, willing or unwilling, into his service, and, departing thence, shaped his course for Lindsey, where he burnt several vills and slew a number of men. Thereupon Edwin, earl of Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria, flew to the spot with some troops, and drove him out of that neighbourhood; and, on his departure, he repaired to Malcolm, king of the Scots, and remained with him during the whole summer. Meanwhile king Harold arrived at the port of Sandwich, and waited there for his fleet. When it was assembled, he sailed to the Isle of Wight; and as William, earl of Normandy, king Edward’s cousin, was preparing an army for the invasion of England, he kept watch all the summer and autumn, to prevent his landing; besides which, he stationed a land army at suitable points along the sea-coast; but provisions failing towards the time of the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], both the fleet and army were disbanded.

After these transactions, Harold Harfaager, king of Norway, brother of St. Olave the king, suddenly arrived at the mouth of the river Tyne, with a powerful fleet of more than five hundred great ships. Earl Tosti joined him with his fleet, as they had before agreed, and they made all sail into the Humber; and then ascending the river Tyne against the current, landed their troops at a place called Richale. As soon as king Harold received this news, he marched with all expedition towards Northumbria; but, before the king’s arrival, the two brothers, earls Edwin and Morcar, at the head of a large army, fought a battle with the Norwegians on the northern bank of the river Ouse, near York, on the eve of the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [20th September], being Wednesday; and their first onset was so furious that numbers of the enemy fell before it. But, after a long struggle, the English, unable to withstand the attack of the Norwegians, fled with great loss, and many more of them were drowned in the river than slain in the fight. The Norwegians remained in possession of the field of death; and, having taken one hundred and fifty hostages from York, and leaving there one hundred and fifty hostages of their own, returned to their ships. However, on the fifth day afterwards, viz. on Monday, the seventh of the calends of October [25th September], Harold, king of England, having reached York, with many thousand well-armed troops, encountered the Norwegians at a place called Stanford-bridge, and put to the sword king Harold and earl Tosti, with the greatest part of their army; and, although the battle was severely contested, gained a complete victory. Notwithstanding, he allowed Harold’s son Olaf, and Paul, earl of Orkney, who had been left with part of the army to guard the ships, to return to their own country, with twenty ships and the relics of the [defeated] army; having first received from them hostages and their oaths.

While these events were passing, and when the king might have supposed that all his enemies were quelled, he received intelligence of the arrival of William, earl of Normandy, with an innumerable host of horsemen, slingers, archers, and foot soldiers, having taken into his pay auxiliary forces of great bravery from all parts of France; and that he had moored his fleet at a place called Pevensey. Thereupon the king led his army towards London by forced marches; and, although he was very sensible that some of the bravest men in England had fallen in the two [recent] battles, and’ that one half of his troops was not yet assembled, he did not hesitate to meet the enemy in Sussex, without loss of time; and on Saturday, the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd October], before a third of his army was in fighting order, he gave them battle at a place nine miles from Hastings, where they had built a fort. The English being crowded in a confused position, many of them left their ranks, and few stood by him with resolute hearts: nevertheless he made a stout resistance from the third hour of the day until nightfall, and defended himself with such courage and obstinacy, that the enemy almost despaired of taking his life. When, however, numbers had fallen on both sides, he, alas! fell at twilight. There fell, also, his brothers, the earls Gurth and Leofric, and almost all the English nobles. Earl William led his army back to Hastings.

Harold reigned nine months and as many days. The earls Edwin and Morcar, who had withdrawn with their troops from the battle on hearing that he was dead, went to London, and sent off their sister, queen Elgitha, to Chester; but Aldred, archbishop of York, and the earls just mentioned, with the citizens of London and the seamen, were desirous to proclaim Edgar the etheling king, he being nephew of king Edmund Ironside; and promised that they would renew the war under his banner. But while many were preparing to go forth to battle, the earls withdrew their support, and returned home with their army.

Meanwhile, earl William was laying waste Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex, and Herefordshire, and ceased not from burning vills and slaughtering the inhabitants, until he came to a vill called Beorcham [Berkhamsted], where Aldred, the archbishop, Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, Walter, bishop of Hereford, Edgar the etheling, the earls Edwin and Morcar, and some Londoners of the better sort, with many others, met him, and, giving hostages, made their submission, and swore fealty to him; but, although he concluded a treaty with them, he still allowed his troops to burn and pillage the vills. The feast of our Lord’s Nativity approaching, he marched the whole army to London that he might be proclaimed king there; and as Stigand, the primate of all England, lay under the censure of the apostolical pope for not having obtained the pall canonically, he was anointed by Aldred, archbishop of York, with great ceremony, at Westminster, on Christmas-day, which that year fell on a Monday; having first, as the archbishop required, sworn before the altar of St. Peter the apostle, in the presence of the clergy and people, to protect the holy churches of God and their governors, and to rule the whole nation subject to him with justice and kingly providence, to make and maintain just laws, and straitly to forbid every sort of rapine and all unrighteous judgements.

A.D. 1067. Lent drawing near [21st February], king William returned to Normandy, taking with him Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, Athelnoth, abbot of Glastonbury, Edgar the etheling, the earls Edwin and Morcar, Waltheof, son of earl Siward, the noble Ethelnoth, reeve of Kent, and many others of the chief men of England; leaving his brother Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and William Fitz-Osborne, whom he had created earl of Hereford, governors of England, with orders to build strong castles in suitable places.

Wulfwi, bishop of Dorchester, died at Winchester, but was buried at Dorchester.

There lived at that time a very powerful thane, Edric, surnamed the Forester, the son of Ælfric, brother of Edric Streon, whose lands were frequently ravaged by the garrison of Hereford and Richard Fitz-Scrope, because he disdained submission to the king; but as often as they made inroads on his territories, they lost many of their knights and squires. This Edric, therefore, having summoned to his aid Blethgent and Rithwallon, kings of the Welsh, about the feast of the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], laid waste the county of Hereford as far as the bridge on the river Lugg, and carried off a great booty.

After this, winter being near at hand, king William returned from Normandy to England, and imposed on the English an insupportable tax. He then marched troops into Devonshire, and besieged and speedily reduced the city of Exeter, which the citizens and some English thanes held against him. But the countess Githa, mother of Harold, king of England, and sister of Sweyn, king of Denmark, escaped from the city, with many others, and retired to Flanders; and the citizens submitted to the king, and paid him fealty. Siward, nineteenth bishop of Rochester, died.

A.D. 1068. After Easter [23rd March], the countess Matilda came to England from Normandy, and was crowned queen by Aldred, archbishop of York, on Whitsunday [1lth May]. After this, Mariesweyn and Cospatric, and some of the most noble of the Northumbrian nation, in order to escape the king’s tyranny, and fearing that, like others, they might be thrown into prison, took with them Edgar the etheling, with his mother Agatha and his two sisters, Margaret and Christina, and, embarking for Scotland, wintered there under favour of Malcolm, king of Scots. Meanwhile, king William marched his army to Nottingham, and, having fortified the castle there, proceeded to York, where he erected two strong forts, and having stationed in them five hundred men, he gave orders that strong castles should be built at Lincoln and other places.

While these events were in process, the sons of king Harold, Godwin, Edmund, and Magnus, returned from Ireland, and landed in Somersetshire, where Eadnoth, who had been the horse-thane of king Harold, opposed them with his forces, and giving them battle, was slain, with many of his troops. Flushed with victory, and having carried off much plunder from Devon and Cornwall, they returned to Ireland.

A.D. 1069. Marianus, after his ten years seclusion at Fulda, came to Mentz, by order of the bishop of Mentz and the abbot of Fulda, on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of April, being the Friday before Palm-Sunday.

Two of Harold’s sons came again from Ireland, with sixty- four ships, and landing about the Nativity of St. John the Baptist [24th June] at the mouth of the river Tivy, fought a severe battle with Brian, count of Brittany; after which they returned to the place whence they came.

On the sixth of the ides [the 10th] of July, being the Friday in the Nativity of the Seven Holy Brothers, Marianus secluded himself near the principal monastery in the same city [Mentz].

Before the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September] Harold and Canute, sons of Sweyn, king of Denmark, and their uncle, earl Asbiorn, with earl Thurkill, arriving from Denmark with two hundred and forty ships, landed at the mouth of the river Humber, where they were met by Edgar the etheling, earl Waltheof, Marlesweyn, and many others, with a fleet they had assembled. Aldred, archbishop of York, was so distressed at their arrival, that he fell dangerously sick, and departed this life, as he besought of God, on Friday the third of the ides [the llth] of September, in the tenth year after he became archbishop, and was buried in the church of St. Peter on the eighth day afterwards, namely, on Saturday the thirteenth of the calends of October [19th September]. The Normans, who garrisoned the forts, set fire to the adjacent houses, fearing that they might be of service to the Danes in filling up the trenches; and the flames spreading, destroyed the whole city, together with the monastery of St. Peter. But they were speedily punished for this by an infliction of the divine vengeance; for on Monday the Danish fleet arrived before the city was entirely consumed, and the forts being stormed the same day, and more than three thousand of the Normans killed (the lives of William Malet and his wife and two children, with very few others, being spared), the ships drew off laden with plunder.

King William, receiving intelligence of this, immediately assembled an army, and hastened into Northumbria, giving way to his resentment; and spent the whole winter in laying waste the country, slaughtering the inhabitants, and inflicting every sort of evil, without cessation. Meanwhile, he despatched messengers to the Danish carl, Asbiorn, and promised to pay him secretly a large sum of money, and grant permission for his army to forage freely along the sea-coast, on condition that he would depart without fighting when the winter was over; and he, in his extreme greediness for lucre, and to his utter disgrace, consented to the proposal. In consequence of the ravages of the Normans, first, in Northumbria the preceding year, and again in the present and following year, throughout nearly the whole of England, so severe a famine prevailed in most parts of the kingdom, but chiefly in Northumbria and the adjacent provinces, that men were driven to feed on the flesh of horses, dogs, cats, and even of human beings.

A.D. 1070. By the advice of William, earl of Hereford, and some others, king William, during Lent [17th February], caused all the monasteries of England to be searched, and the money deposited in them by the richer sort of the English, for security against his violence and rapacity, to be seized and carried to his own treasury.

In the octaves of Easter [4th April] a great synod was held at Winchester, by command of king William, who was present himself, and with the concurrence of the lord Alexander the pope; his legates, Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, and John and Peter, cardinal-priests of the apostolic see, representing his authority. In this synod, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, was degraded on three charges: first, for having unlawfully held the bishopric of Winchester with the archbishopric; next, for having taken the archbishopric while archbishop Robert was living, and even sometimes, in saying mass, wearing the pallium which Robert left behind him at Canterbury when he was unjustly driven from England; and lastly, for having accepted the pallium from Benedict, who was excommunicated by the Holy Roman Church for having systematically usurped the apostolic see. His brother, Ethelmar, bishop of the East-Angles, was also degraded; as were also a few abbots, the king doing his utmost to deprive the English of their dignities, that he might appoint persons of his own nation to their preferments, and thus confirm his power in his new kingdom. He also deprived several bishops and abbots, convicted of no open crimes either by the councils or the laws of the realm, and detained them in prison, to the end of their lives on mere suspicion, as we have said, of their being dangerous to his newly-acquired power. In this synod also, while the rest, aware of the king’s bias, were trembling at the risk they ran of losing their appointments, Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, boldly demanded the restoration of many of the possessions of his see which had been retained in his own power by archbishop Aldred, when he was translated from Worcester to York, and on his death had fallen into the king’s hands; and demanded, not only from those who presided at the synod, but from the king himself, that justice should be done him. But as the church of York was silent, not having a pastor to plead her cause, it was decided that the suit should stand over until such time as, by the appointment of an archbishop, there should be some one who could reply to Wulfstan’s claims, and after hearing the pleadings on both sides, a clearer and more equitable judgement might be given. Thus the case was adjourned for the present.

On Whitsunday [33rd May] the king, at Windsor, gave the archbishopric of York to the venerable Thomas, canon of Bayeux, and the bishopric of Winchester to his chaplain, Walkeline. On the following day, by the king’s command, Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, held a synod, [the other legates] the cardinals John and Peter having returned to Rome. At this synod, Ethelric, bishop of Sussex, was uncanonically deposed; and although he was guilty of no crime, the king soon afterwards placed him in confinement at Marlborough; several abbots were also deprived. After these depositions, the king gave the bishopric of East-Anglia to Arfast, and the bishopric of Sussex to Stigand,79 who were both his chaplains; which Stigand transferred his see to Chichester, the chief city in his diocese: the king also gave abbeys to some Norman monks. The archbishop of Canterbury being degraded, and the archbishop of York dead, Walkeline was, by the king’s command, consecrated by the same Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, on the octave of Whitsunday [30th May].

The feast of St. John the Baptist being near, earl Asbiorn sailed to Denmark with the fleet which had wintered in the Humber; but his brother Sweyn outlawed him, because he had accepted money from king William, to the great regret of the Danes. Edric, surnamed the Forester, a man of the most resolute courage, of whom we have spoken before, was reconciled with king William. After this, the king summoned from Normandy Lanfranc, abbot of Caen, a Lombard by birth, a man of unbounded learning, master of the liberal arts, and of both sacred and secular literature, and of the greatest prudence in counsel and the administration of worldly affairs; and on the day of the Assumption of St. Mary, appointed him archbishop of Canterbury, causing him to be consecrated at Canterbury on the feast of St. John the Baptist, being Sunday. He was consecrated by Giso, bishop of Wells, and Walter, bishop of Hereford, who were both ordained at Rome by pope Nicholas, when Aldred, archbishop of York, received the pallium,—for he evaded being ordained by Stigand, who then held the archbishopric of Canterbury, knowing him not to have received the pallium canonically. Bishop Heriman, who had already transferred the seat of his bishopric from Sherbourne to Salisbury, also assisted at his consecration, with some others. Afterwards, Lanfranc consecrated Thomas, archbishop of York. The suit of the reverend Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, was again prosecuted, there being now a bishop who could advocate the cause of the church of York; and the affair was, by the aid of God’s grace, decided at a council held at a place called Pedred, before the king, archbishop Lanfranc, and the bishops, abbots, earls, and lords of all England. All the groundless assertions by which Thomas and his abettors strove to humble the church of Worcester, and reduce her to subjection and servitude to the church of York, were, by God’s just judgement, entirely refuted and negatived by written documents, so that Wulfstan not only recovered the possessions he claimed, but, by God’s goodness, and the king’s assent, regained for his see all the immunities and privileges freely granted to it by its first founders, the holy king Ethered, Oshere, sub-king of the Hwiccas, and the other kings of Mercia, Cenred, Ethelbald, Offa, Kenulf, Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edmund, Edred, and Edgar.

Ethelwine, bishop of Durham, was taken by king William’s retainers, and thrown into prison, where, refusing all food in the depth of his distress, he died of grief and starvation.80 On the death of Siward, bishop of Rochester, Arnostus, a monk of Bee, succeeded him, and was himself succeeded by Gundulf, a monk of the same church.

A.D. 1071. Lanfranc and Thomas went to Rome, and received the pallium from pope Alexander. Earls Edwin and Morcar escaped secretly from king William’s court, finding that he intended to arrest them, and they were for some time in arms against him; but seeing that their enterprise was not successful, Edwin resolved to go to Malcolm, king of the Scots, but, during the journey, he fell into an ambuscade laid by his own people, and was killed. Morcar and Ethelwine, bishop of Durham, Siward, surnamed Barn, and Hereward, a man of great bravery, with many others, took ship and went to the Isle of Ely, intending to winter there. The king, hearing of this, blocked up every outlet on the eastern side of the island by means of his boatmen, and caused a bridge, two miles long, to be constructed on the western side. When they saw that they were thus shut in, they resisted no longer, and all surrendered themselves to the king, except the brave Hereward, who escaped through the fens with a few others. The king immediately sent bishop Ethelwine to Abingdon, where he was imprisoned, and died the same winter. The earl and the rest were dispersed in various parts of England, some being placed in confinement, and others set at liberty with the loss of their hands or eyes.

A.D. 1072. After the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], William, king of England, attended by Edric the Forester, made an expedition into Scotland with a naval force and an army of cavalry, and reduced it under his own dominion; and Malcolm, king of Scots, met him at a place called Abernethy, and did him homage. Ethelric, formerly bishop of Durham, died at Westminster, where king William had sent him into confinement, on Monday, the ides [the 15th] of October. Walchere, a native of Lorraine, succeeded Ethelwine in the see of Durham.

A.D. 1073. William, king of England, reduced to subjection the city of Mans, and the province belonging to it, chiefly by the aid of the English whom he had taken over with him. Edgar the etheling came from Scotland to Normandy, passing through England; and was reconciled to the king.

A.D. 1074. Roger, earl of Hereford, son of William, earl of the same county, gave his sister to wife to Ralph, earl of East Anglia,81 contrary to the command of king William,82 and while he was celebrating the nuptials with great magnificence, and a great number of nobles were assembled on the occasion at a place called Yxninga, in the province of Cambridge, a great conspiracy was formed against the king, in which many of them were concerned, and they inveigled and over-persuaded earl Waltheof to join their league. However, as soon as he was able, he went to Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, and receiving absolution at his hands from his involuntary oath, by his advice hastened to king William in Normandy, and laying the whole affair before him threw himself upon his mercy. The other chiefs of the conspiracy, being resolved to carry out their enterprise, retired to their castles, and used all their efforts with their adherents to foment the rebellion. But Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, with a strong body of troops, and Ethelwy, abbot of Evesham, with his vassals, supported by Urso, sheriff of Worcestershire, and Walter de Lacy, with their own followers, and a general muster of the people, marched against the earl of Hereford, to prevent his fording the Severn and joining his forces to those of earl Ralph at the place appointed. Odo, bishop of Bayeux, the king’s brother, and Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, having assembled a large army, both of the English and Normans, fell in with earl Ralph as he was pitching his camp near Cambridge. The earl, finding that his plans were frustrated, and terrified at the number of his opponents, retired privately to Norwich, and having committed his castle to the keeping of his wife and his knights, embarked from England for Little Britain, his enemies pursuing him, and putting to death or mutilating in various ways such of his followers as they were able to capture. The commanders of the king’s army then besieged his castle, until peace being granted by the king’s permission, the countess had leave to quit England with her attendants. After these occurrences, in the course of the autumn, the king returned from Normandy, and put earl Roger in confinement; he also gave earl Waltheof into custody, although he had implored his mercy.

Edgitha, sister of King Harold, and formerly queen of England, died at Winchester on the fourteenth of the calends of January, that is in the month of December [the 19th]. Her corpse was, by the king’s command, carried to London, and buried with great pomp near the body of her husband, king Edward, at Westminster, where the king held his court at the ensuing Christmas; and of those who had lifted up themselves against him, some he banished from England, and others he ignominiously punished by the loss of their eyes or hands, and the earls Waltheof and Roger having been found guilty by a judgement of the court, were thrown into closer confinement.

A.D. 1075. Earl Waltheof having been brought outside the city of Winchester, by king William’s order, was cruelly and undeservedly beheaded, and thrown into a hole on the the spot; but in the course of time, by the providence of God, his body was exhumed, and conveyed with great honour to Croyland, where it was entombed in the church with due ceremony. The earl, during the close of his life, when in close confinement, ceaselessly and most bitterly lamented whatever he had done amiss, and strove to propitiate God by vigils, prayers, fastings, and alms. Men, indeed, sought to blot out the remembrance of him on earth, but we firmly believe that he is rejoicing with the saints in heaven. For this we have the faithful testimony of archbishop Lanfranc, of pious memory, who having received his confession, and administered absolution and penance, declared that he was guiltless of the crime laid to his charge, the conspiracy already mentioned; and as to his other offences, he had lamented them with tears of penitence, so that he himself should have reason to be thankful if, after his own departure, he should be partaker of the same blessed rest.1 After this, the king crossed the sea, and invading the lesser Britain, sat down before the castle of Dol, until Philip, king of France, forced him to retreat.

A.D. 1076.

A.D. 1077. Robert, king William’s eldest son, feeling aggrieved at not being put into possession of Normandy, which his father had granted him in the presence of Philip, king of France, before his expedition to England, went to France, and, supported by Philip, made frequent inroads into Normandy, plundering and burning the vills and destroying the people, so that he occasioned his father no little loss and anxiety.

A.D. 1079. Malcolm, king of the. Scots, after the feast of the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], ravaged Northumbria as far as the great river Tyne, and having slain numbers of the people, and made still more captives, he returned with an immense booty. King William, while engaged in a combat with his son Robert before the castle of Gerberoi, which king Philip had granted to him, was wounded by him in the arm and unhorsed; but Robert, recognising his father’s voice, instantly dismounted, and, bidding him mount his own charger, suffered him to depart. The king soon afterwards retreated, having had many of his men slain and some taken prisoners, and his son William and several others wounded.

The venerable Robert, who had received the order of priesthood by the hands of Wulfstan, the most reverend bishop of Worcester, was consecrated bishop of Hereford by Lanfranc, the archbishop, on the fourth of the calends of January [29th December], at Canterbury.

A.D. 1080. Walchere, bishop of Durham, a native of Lorraine, was slain by the Northumbrians on Thursday the second of the ides [14th] of May, at a place called “Caput CaprÆ” [Goat’s or Gates-head], in revenge for the death of Liulf, a noble thane. This man had many hereditary domains in various parts of England; but as the Normans at that time gave free vent to their ferocity in every quarter, he retired to Durham with all belonging to him, having a devoted regard for St. Cuthbert: for, as he was wont to relate to Aldred, archbishop of York, and other men of religion, that saint often appeared to him, both sleeping and waking, and revealed to him, as his faithful votary, all that he wished to have done. Under his protection, then, Liulf lived for a long time, sometimes in the town, sometimes on the estates he held in that part of the country.

Bishop Walchere had welcomed his arrival at Durham, being himself entirely devoted to the same saint, and he therefore entertained so great a regard for him that he was loath to transact any business of importance in his secular concerns without his advice. In consequence of this, his chaplain Leobwine, whom he had raised to such a pitch of power that scarcely anything was moved either in the bishopric or in the county without his consent, at once stung to the quick by jealousy, and puffed up with excessive pride by his own pre-eminence, treated Liulf with great arrogance; making light of his opinions and counsels, and using every effort to render them null. Frequently also, when arguing with him in the bishop’s presence, he provoked him to anger by opprobrious language, and even used threats. On one occasion, when this same Liulf, having been called to his counsels by the bishop, had given his decisions according to law and justice, Leobwine violently opposed him, and exasperated him by contemptuous expressions. As the other, however, replied to him with more vehemence than he was wont, he immediately left the court, and calling aside Gilbert, to whom the bishop, as being his kinsman, had deputed the government of the county of Northumbria, earnestly besought him to avenge him by compassing Liulf’s death on the first opportunity. Gilbert, readily consenting to this iniquitous request, having collected in a body his own retainers and those of the bishop and Leobwine, went one night to the vill where Liulf then was, and wickedly slew him in his own house with nearly all his household.

On hearing this, the bishop uttered a deep groan, and tearing off his hood from his head and casting it on the ground, said mournfully, “This has been effected through your crafty devices and most ill-advised suggestions, and I would have you know that, for a surety, you have destroyed both yourself and me and all my establishment by the sword of your tongue.” Saying this, he hastily shut himself up in the castle, and took care, by despatching messengers with all speed throughout Northumbria, to make it generally known that, so far from having been privy to Liulf’s death, he had banished from Northumbria his murderer Gilbert and all his accomplices, and was ready to clear himself by submitting to the judgement of the pope. Then, by the exchange of messengers, he and the kindred of those who were slain, having made a truce between themselves, fixed time and place in which they would meet and conclude a firm peace with each other.

At the time appointed they assembled at the place agreed on; but the bishop was unwilling to have the cause pleaded in the open air, and entered a church which was on the spot, with his clerks and the more honourable of his knights; and, having consulted with them, sent out to them again and again chosen friends to treat of terms of peace: but they would by no means assent to his proposals, considering it certain that Liulf had been put to death by the bishop’s orders; for not only had Leobwine, on the very night after the murder of his neighbour, entertained Gilbert and his associates with friendly familiarity, but the bishop himself had admitted him among his household with the same favour as before: wherefore, they first massacred all those of the bishop’s party who were outside the church, a few only saving themselves by flight. Seeing this, to satisfy the rage of his adversaries, the bishop ordered the before-mentioned Gilbert, his kinsman, whose life was sought, to go out of the church; who, as he went, was closely followed by men-at-arms ready to defend him; but the enemy fell upon them instantly with swords and spears, and killed them all, except two English thanes, who were spared out of regard to their kindred.

They also slew Leofwine, dean of Durham, as soon as he came out, because he had often given the bishop adverse counsels, and the rest of the clergy with him. But the bishop, finding that their rage could not be appeased by any means short of the sacrifice of the chief author of all the calamity, Leobwine, requested him to go forth. Being, however, entirely unable to prevail upon him to venture, he proceeded himself to the door of the church and entreated that his own life might be saved. His prayers being rejected, he covered his head with the skirt of his robe, and, passing through the open door, was instantly despatched by the swords of the enemy. They next commanded Leobwine to come forth, and, on his refusing, set fire to the walls and roof of the church; but he preferring to end his life by fire rather than by the sword, bore the flames for some time. At length, half-burnt, he leaped down, and, being dashed in pieces, paid the penalty of his iniquity by his miserable end. To avenge the atrocious murder of these men, king William ravaged Northumbria the same year.

A.D. 1081. William, abbot of the monastery of St. Vincent, the martyr, having been chosen by king William, was appointed to the bishopric of Durham, and consecrated by archbishop Thomas on the nones [the 5th] of January.

A.D. 1082. King William caused his brother Odo, bishop of Bayeux, to be placed in confinement in Normandy.

A.D. 1083. There was a dreadful quarrel between the monks of Glastonbury and their abbot, Thurstan, a man unworthy of the dignity, who had been raised to it by king William from being a monk of Caen, indiscreet as he was. Among his other acts of folly, he attempted to force the monks to relinquish the Gregorian chaunt, which he despised, and to learn to sing that of one William, a monk of Fecamp. They were much aggrieved at this, having grown old in the use of this, as well as in other ecclesiastical offices, according to the usage of the Roman church; whereupon he suddenly broke into the chapter-house at the head of an armed band of men in arms, one day when they least expected it, and pursued the terrif1ed monks, who took refuge in the church, to the foot of the altar. The armed band pierced the crosses and the images and shrines of the saints with darts and arrows, and even speared to death one of the monks as he was clinging to the altar; another was shot by arrows on the altar-steps; the rest, driven by necessity, defended themselves bravely with the benches and candlesticks of the church, and, although severely wounded, drove the soldiers out of the choir. Two of the monks were killed and fourteen wounded, and some of the soldiers also received wounds.

On the trial for this outrage, it appeared that the abbot was most to blame, and the king removed him and sent him back to his monastery in Normandy. A great number of the monks were, by the king’s command, dispersed among the cathedrals and abbeys, where they were confined. After his death, the abbot repurchased the abbey from his son, king William, for five hundred pounds; and, after wandering about for some years among the possessions of the church, ended his life in misery far from the monastery, as he deserved. Queen Matilda died in Normandy on Thursday the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of November, and was buried at Caen.

A.D. 1084. William, king of England, levied six shillings from every hide of hand throughout England.

A.D. 1085. Edmund, abbot of Pershore, a man of eminent worth and piety, died in a good old age on Sunday the seventeenth of the calends of July [15th June], and was honourably buried by Serlo, the venerable abbot of Gloucester : he was succeeded by Thurstan, a monk of Gloucester. The same year, Canute, king of Denmark, assembled a powerful fleet for an expedition to England, in which he had the support of his father-in-law, Robert, earl of Flanders. In consequence, king William took into his pay a great many thousand troops, consisting of archers and foot-soldiers, from every part of France, and some from Normandy, and, returning to England in the time of autumn, distributed them throughout the kingdom, giving orders to the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, sheriffs, and royal officers to supply them with provisions. Finding, however, that the threatened hostilities were frustrated, he disbanded part of his army, detaining the rest in England through the whole winter. During Christmas he held his court at Gloucester, where he gave bishoprics to three of his chaplains. Maurice had London; William, Thetford; and Robert, Chester.

A.D. 1086. King William caused a record [Domesday Book] to be made through all England of how much land each of his barons held, the number of knight-fees, of ploughs, of villains, and beasts; and also of all the ready money every man possessed throughout his kingdom, from the greatest to the least, and how much rent each estate was able to pay; and the land was sorely harassed by the distress which ensued from it.

In Whitsun-week [24th May] the king conferred the honour of knighthood on his son Henry, at Westminster where he held his court. Soon afterwards he summoned all archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, and sheriffs, with their knights, to meet him at Salisbury on the calends [the 1st] of August, and on their appearance enforced on the knights an oath of fealty to himself against all others.

About this time, the etheling Edgar, having obtained the king’s licence, crossed the sea with two hundred knights and went to Apulia: his sister, the virgin Christina, entered the monastery of Ramsey and became a nun. The same year there was a great murrain among the cattle, and the atmosphere was very sickly.

A.D. 1087. This year there was great mortality, first from fevers, and afterwards from famine. Meanwhile, the devouring flames laid nearly all the cities of England in ruins, including the church of St. Paul the apostle, and the largest and best part of London. King Canute fell a martyr at the hands of his subjects in a church, on Saturday the sixth of the ides [the 10th] of July. Stigand, bishop of Chichester, Scolland, abbot of St. Augustine’s (Canterbury), Alsy, abbot of Bath, and Thurstan, abbot of Pershore, died.

Before the feast of the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], king William entered France with an army, and having burnt the town of Mantes, with all the churches in it, and two recluses, then returned to Normandy; but on his return he was seized by dreadful pains in the bowels, which grew worse from day to day. His disorder increasing so that he perceived that death was approaching, he liberated his brother Odo, bishop of Bayeux, the earls Morcar, Roger, and Siward, surnamed Barn, with Wulnoth, king Harold’s brother, whom he had kept in prison from his childhood, and all whom he had imprisoned either in England or Normandy. He then made over the kingdom of England to his son William, and granted the duchy of Normandy to his eldest son, Robert, who was at that time an exile in France; and so, strengthened by the heavenly viaticum, he yielded up his life and his kingdom on the fifth of the ides [the 9th] of September, having reigned in England twenty years, ten months, and twenty-eight days. He lies buried at Caen, in the church of St. Stephen, the Proto-martyr, which he founded and endowed himself.

His son William crossed over to England in great haste, taking with him Wulnoth and Morcar; but as soon as he reached Winchester he placed them in confinement as before; and on Sunday the sixth of the calends of October [26th September] he was crowned at Westminster by Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury. Then returning to Winchester he divided his father’s treasure among the churches in England, according to his directions; namely, that some of the principal churches should have ten marks of gold, some six, and others less; and to each of the churches in his cities and vills he gave sixty pence: he also commanded that crosses, altars, reliquaries, texts, candlesticks, holy-water pots, and chalices, and various ornaments, studded with gems, gold, silver, and precious stones, should be distributed among the greater churches and abbeys. His brother Robert also, on his return to Normandy, liberally distributed the treasures he found; giving them to the monasteries and churches and the poor, for the good of his father’s soul; and, releasing from prison Ulf, the son of Harold, formerly king of England, and Duncan, son of Malcolm, king of the Scots, conferred on them the honour of knighthood, and permitted them to depart.

A.D. 1088. This year there was great dissension among the English nobility; for part of the Norman nobles, although they were few in number, favoured king William, while the other part, which was the most numerous, adhered to Robert, earl of Normandy, and wished to invite him over, and either betray alive the brother who was king to his brother the earl, or deprive the king of his crown and life. The chief movers in this execrable design were Odo, bishop of Bayeux, who was also earl of Kent, and Robert, earl of Morton, his brother, both of whom were brothers of king William the Elder, but only by the mother’s side. 83 There were also concerned in the plot Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, with his nephew Robert, earl of Northumbria, Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, and what was worse still, William, bishop of Durham; for at this very time the king relied on his discretion as a faithful counsellor, he being a man of great sagacity, and the whole commonwealth of England was under his administration. They were men whose vast landed possessions gave them great preponderance in England. The number of their comrades in arms, and associates in the conspiracy, daily increased. This execrable design was secretly discussed during Lent [March 1st—April 9th], so that it might burst forth after Easter [10th April]; for withdrawing from the king’s court they fortified their castles, and prepared to spread fire and sword, rapine and slaughter through the country. What an accursed deed was this, a conflict worse than civil war! Fathers fought against sons, brothers against brothers, friends against kinsmen, foreigners against foreigners.

Meanwhile, Odo, bishop of Bayeux, having fortified Rochester, sent to Normandy, exhorting earl Robert to lose no time in coming to England, informing him of what had taken place, and assuring him that the kingdom was ready for him, and that if he were not wanting to himself, the crown was his own. Struck with the unexpected news, the earl announces it to his friends with exultation, already anticipates a triumph, secure of success, and invites numbers to share the spoil. He sends an auxiliary force to the support of bishop Odo, his uncle, in England, and promises to follow it as soon as he can assemble a larger army. The troops despatched by earl Robert on their arrival in England had the custody of Rochester entrusted to them by bishop Odo; Eustace the younger, count of Boulogne, and Robert de Belesme, as the men of highest rank, assuming the command.

When the king received intelligence of this movement, he was strangely troubled; but relying on his undaunted valour, and having sent messengers who, by virtue of his royal authority, summoned to his side those he considered loyal, he went to London for the purpose of ordering all matters and providing means for the prosecution of the war. Assembling troops, both horse and foot, to form an army, which, though small, contained as many Normans as he could at present muster, but consisted chiefly of English, and making [just] laws and promising all sorts of good things to his adherents, he put his trust in God’s mercy, and prepared to march to Rochester, where he heard the enemy’s main body was stationed. For he was given to understand that the bishop Odo was there with all his force, and the troops from beyond sea. Having put his army in motion, he found that Tunbridge, a place belonging to Gilbert Fitz-Richard, was held against him; he therefore laid siege to it, stormed it in two days, and forced Gilbert, who was wounded, to surrender himself and his castle. The report of this reaching Odo’s ears, after consulting with his friends, he left Rochester and proceeded with a few followers to the castle of his brother Robert, earl of Morton, called Pevensey. Finding his brother there, he exhorted him to hold out, assuring them that they should be safe there; and while the king was engaged in the siege of Rochester, the earl of Normandy would arrive with a large army, and, relieving them and their garrison, make himself master of the kingdom, and amply reward his adherents.

The king, having reduced Tunbridge and received the fealty of the inhabitants, left Gilbert there in consequence of his wound, and, placing a garrison in the castle, was on the point of continuing his march to Rochester according to his first intention, when he heard that his uncle had left it and gone to Pevensey. Acting, therefore, on sound advice, he led his army in pursuit of him to that place, hoping that he should sooner terminate the war, if he could first triumph over the authors of all the mischief we have described. He made forced marches, he prepared his engines, he besieged his two uncles. The place was strongly fortified, but he made incessant efforts to reduce it.

Meanwhile the storm of war raged in every part of England. The garrison of Rochester fell on the people of Canterbury and London with fire and sword; for Lanfranc, the archbishop, and nearly all the nobles of that province, were with the king. Roger,84 an ally of Robert, was at his castle of Arundel, expecting the arrival of the earl of Normandy. Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, held Bristol castle in conjunction with his nephew and accomplice in conspiracy and treason, Robert de Mowbray, a man of military experience; who, collecting troops, attacked Bath, a city of the king?s, and having burnt and plundered it, passed on towards Wiltshire, where he ravaged the vills and slaughtered many of the inhabitants, and at length reached Ilchester, and sat down before it, determined to take it. The besiegers were animated in their attacks by the hope of plunder and the desire of victory. The men in the garrison made a stout resistance in defence of themselves and those who were dear to them. At length, of the two, those who were driven to extremity triumphed, and Robert, being repulsed, retired, mourning over his ill success. William d’Eu made an irruption into Gloucestershire, and having plundered the royal vill of Berkeley, committed great ravages through the country with fire and sword.

Worcester defended by Bishop Wulfstan

While so much destruction was wrought in every quarter, Bernard du Neuf-Marché, Roger de Lacy, who had lately wrested Hereford from the king, and Ralph de Mortimer, accomplices in the conspiracy, with the vassals of Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, having assembled a numerous army of English, Normans, and Welsh, burst into the province of Worcester, declaring that they would burn the city of Worcester, plunder the church of God and St. Mary, and take summary vengeance on the inhabitants for their loyalty to the king. On hearing this, the reverend father Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, — a man of deep piety and dove-like simplicity, beloved alike by God and the people he entirely governed, faithful to the king as his earthly lord, under all circumstances, — was in great tribulation; but soon rallying, by God’s mercy, prepared himself like another Moses to stand manfully by his people and city. While they armed themselves to repel the enemy, he poured forth supplications in the impending danger, exhorting his people not to despair of the help of God, who fighteth not with sword and spear. Meanwhile, the Normans, taking counsel, entreated the bishop to remove from the church into the castle, saying that his presence would give them more security if they should be in greater peril: for they loved him much. Such was his extraordinary kindness of heart, that, from duty to the king and regard for them, he assented to their request.

Thereupon the bishop’s retainers bravely made ready to fight; the garrison and the whole body of the citizens assembled, declaring that they would encounter the enemy on the other side of the Severn, if the bishop would give them leave. Taking their arms, therefore, and being arrayed for battle, they met the bishop as he was going to the castle, and besought him to grant their desire, to which he freely assented. “Go,” said he, “my sons, go in peace, go in confidence, with the blessing of God, and mine. Trusting in God, I promise you that no sword shall hurt you this day, no disaster, no enemy. Be firm in your loyalty to the king, and do valiantly for the safety of the people and the city.” On hearing these words they cheerfully crossed the bridge which had been repaired, and beheld from a distance the enemy rapidly approaching. The fury of war was already raging with violence through their ranks, for, despite of the bishop’s injunctions, they had set fire to his own domains. On hearing this, the bishop was stricken with deep sorrow, seeing the impoverishment of the possessions of the church; and holding council upon it, was wrought upon by the unanimous voice of all present to pronounce a curse upon the enemy.

A miracle ensued, which showed at once the power of God, and the worthiness of the man; for the enemy, who were dispersed in parties through the fields, were instantly struck with such feebleness in their limbs, and loss of eyesight, that they were scarcely able to carry their arms, or recognise their comrades or discern those who were advancing to attack them.

While they in their blindness were at a loss what to do, confidence in God and the bishop’s blessing encouraged our party. They had so lost their wits that they neither had the sense to effect a retreat, nor sought any means of defence; but being by God’s judgement given up to the fate of the reprobate, they easily fell into the hands of their enemies. The foot soldiers were put to the sword, the knights and their mounted followers, English, Norman, and Welsh, were taken prisoners, the rest barely managing in their feeble state to make their escape. The king’s liege-men and the bishop’s retainers returned home in triumph without the loss of a single man; thanking God for the preservation of the property of the church, and the bishop for his salutary counsels.

A.D. 1089. Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, died on Thursday the 9th of the calends of June [24th May]. The same year, on Saturday the third of the ides [the llth of August], about the third hour, there was a great earthquake throughout all England.

A.D. 1090. William the younger, king of England, coveted to wrest Normandy from his brother Robert, and subject it to his own dominion. His first step was to make terms with Walter de St. Valery and Odo d’Aumale, for putting their castles into his hands, and he afterwards got possession of other castles in the same way; and in all these he stationed troops, with orders to ravage Normandy. Earl Robert, finding this, and discovering the disloyalty of his nobles, sent envoys to Philip, king of France, his liege-lord, to invite him into Normandy; whereupon he and the king laid siege to one of the castles in which his brother had placed a garrison. This being reported to king William, he sent privately a large sum of money to king Philip, and earnestly entreated him to raise the siege and return home; to which Philip consented.

A.D. 1001. In the month of February, king William the younger went over to Normandy with the determination to wrest it from his brother Robert; but while he remained there peace was made between them on the terms that the earl should freely cede to the king the county of Eu, the abbey of Fecamp, the abbey of Mount St. Michael, Cherbourg, and the castles which had revolted from him; while the king undertook, on his part, to reduce the province of Maine, and the castles in Normandy which were then held against the earl to subjection to him; should restore their English domains to all the Normans who had forfeited them by their adherence to the earl; and should grant him such lands in England as they had already agreed on. It was stipulated, in addition, that if the earl should die without leaving a son born in lawful wedlock, the king should be his heir; and if the king should happen to die under similar circumstances, the earl should be his heir. This treaty was ratified by the oaths of twelve barons on the king’s side and twelve on the earl’s.

Meanwhile, their brother Henry, at the head of all the troops he could muster, got possession of Mount St. Michael, some of the monks abetting him; and began to ravage the lands of the king, taking some of his vassals prisoners and plundering others. Thereupon the king and the earl assembled an army and besieged the mount during the whole of Lent [26th February], having frequent skirmishes with prince Henry, in which they lost some of their men and horses. The king, however, becoming weary of the length of the siege, drew off without coming to terms; and shortly afterwards took from Edgar the etheling the possessions which the earl had granted him, and forced him to quit Normandy.

Irruptions of the Scots

In the month of May, Malcolm, king of the Scots, made an irruption into Northumbria with a great army, intending, if he was successful, to proceed further and make the people of England feel his power. However, God would not allow it, and his enterprise failed; but before he returned his army pillaged Northumbria and they carried away much booty. On receiving this intelligence the king returned to England with his brother Robert in the month of August, and not long afterwards set on foot an expedition, consisting of a considerable fleet and a large body of horse, to bring Malcolm the king of the Scots to submission; but before he reached Scotland, a few days before the feast of St. Michael, nearly all the ships were sunk, and many of his horsemen perished from cold and hunger. He was met by king Malcolm, with his army, in the provinces of Lothian. Earl Robert perceiving this, invited over Edgar the etheling, who having been expelled from Normandy by king William was then living with the king of the Scots. By his assistance he concluded a peace between the two kings, on the terms that Malcolm should do fealty to William in the same manner his father had done, and that William should restore to Malcolm twelve vills which he had held under his father, and should pay him, yearly, twelve marks of gold. But the peace concluded between them was of short duration. Edgar himself was also reconciled with the king through the earl’s mediations.

Winchcombe Church struck by Lightning

On Wednesday the first of the ides [the 15th] of October, a thunderbolt struck with great force the tower of Winchcombe church, making a large aperture in the wall near the summit, and, after having riven one of the beams, struck the head from a crucifix and threw it on the ground, breaking also the right leg. An image of St. Mary, which stood near the crucifix, was also struck down. A thick smoke, with a suffocating stench, then burst forth and filled the whole church, lasting until the monks went the circuit of the chambers of the monastery, with holy water and incense, and the relics of the saints, chanting psalms. Moreover, on Friday the sixteenth of the calends of November [16th October] a violent whirlwind from the south-west shook and demolished more than six hundred houses and a great number of churches in London. Rushing through the church of St. Mary, called “le Bow,” it killed two men, and tearing up the roof and timbers, and whirling them for a long time to and fro in the air, at last drove six of the rafters, in the same order in which they were before fixed in the roofs, so deep into the earth that only the seventh or eighth part of them was visible, although they were twenty-seven or twenty-eight feet long.

After this the king returned from Northumbria into Wessex through Mercia, and kept the earl with him until nearly Christmas, but refused to fulfil the conditions of the treaty which had been made between them; at which the earl was so much dissatisfied that he hastened back to Normandy on the tenth of the calends of January [23rd December], taking Edgar the etheling with him.

The Pope and Antipope Urban II and Clemens

There were at this time, as was reported in England, two popes of Rome, so called, who opposed each other, and made a schism in the church of God, namely, Urban, whose original name was Odo, bishop of Ostia, and Clement, who was called Guibert, archbishop of Ravenna. This affair so perplexed the church of England for many years, to say nothing of other parts of the world, that from the time of the death of Gregory, who was also called Hildebrand, up to this period, it yielded submission and obedience to no one claiming to be pope. Italy and Gaul had already acknowledged Urban as the vicar of St. Peter.

A.D. 1092. The city of London was almost entirely destroyed by fire. On Monday the nones [the 5th] of April, Osmund, bishop of Salisbury, assisted by Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, and John, bishop of Bath, consecrated the church which he had built in the castle of Sarum. Remi, who by license from William the Elder had transferred the seat of his bishopric from Dorchester to Lincoln, was desirous of consecrating the church which he had built at Lincoln, worthy indeed to be the cathedral of a bishop’s see, because he felt that the day of his death was at hand; but Thomas, archbishop of York, opposed him, asserting that the church was built within his diocese. However, king William the younger, for a sum of money paid to him by Remi, summoned nearly all the bishops of England to assemble together on the twentieth of the ides [the 9th] of May, and dedicate the church; but two days before the time fixed, by the mysterious providence of God, bishop Remi himself departed from the world, and in consequence the consecration of the church was deferred. After this the king went into Northumbria, and restored the city which is called in the British tongue Cairleu, and in Latin Lugubalia [Carlisle], and built a castle there; for this city, like some others in that quarter, had been laid in ruins by the heathen Danes two hundred years before, and had been uninhabited up to this time.

A.D. 1093. King William the younger being seized with severe illness, at the royal vill called Alveston, hastily removed to Gloucester, and lay there in a languishing condition during the whole of Lent. Thinking that death was near, he vowed to God, at the suggestions of his barons, to amend his life, to relinquish the practice of selling, and imposing taxes on, churches, but, on the contrary, to protect them by his royal authority; and, annulling unjust laws, enact those such as were good. Moreover, he gave to Anselm, abbot of Bee, who was then in England, the archbishopric of Canterbury, and to Robert, surnamed Bloet, his chancellor, the bishopric of Lincoln. But Anselm was not permitted to receive anything from the archbishopric beyond what the king allowed, until the annual rent which he had received from it since Lanfranc’s death was fully paid.

Rhys, king of Wales, was slain in battle during Easter-week, near Brecknock castle. From that day kings ceased to reign in Wales.85 Malcolm, king of the Scots, met king William the younger at Gloucester, on the day of the feast of St. Bartholomew the apostle, as they had previously concerted through their-ambassadors, in order that peace being restored, there might be a firm alliance between them, agreeably to the wishes of some of the principal English nobles. But they separated without coming to any agreement; for William’s pride and insolence was such, that he refused to have any interview and conference with Malcolm. Moreover, he sought to compel him to do him homage in his own court, and abide the judgement of his own barons only; but Malcolm was by no means disposed to do this, except on the borders of his own kingdom, where the kings of Scotland were wont to do homage to the kings of England, and according to the judgement of the barons of both kingdoms. After this a very wonderful sign appeared in the sun; and Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, Guy, abbot of St. Augustine’s monastery, and Paul, abbot of St. Alban’s, died. In the same year also died Robert, earl of Flanders, a man of great valour; and his eldest son Robert succeeded him.

Malcolm, king of the Scots, and his eldest son, Edward, with many others, were slain by the troops of Robert, earl of Northumbria, on the feast-day of St. Brice [13th November]. Margaret, queen of the Scots, was so deeply affected by the news of their death, that she fell dangerously ill. Culling the priests to attend her without delay, she went into the church, and confessing her sins to them, caused herself to be anointed with oil and strengthened with the heavenly viaticum; beseeching God with earnest and diligent prayers that he would not suffer her to live longer in this troublesome world. Nor was it very long before her prayers were heard, for three days after the king’s death she was released from the bonds of the flesh, and translated, as we doubt not, to the joys of eternal salvation. For while she lived, she devoted herself to the exercise of piety, justice, peace, and charity; she was frequent in prayer, and chastened her body by watchings and fastings; she endowed churches and monasteries; loved and reverenced the servants and handmaids of God; broke bread to the hungry, clothed the naked, gave shelter, food, and raiment to all the pilgrims who came to her door; and loved God with all her heart. After her death the Scots elected for their king, Donald, brother of king Malcolm, and expelled from Scotland all the English who belonged to the king’s court. Duncan, king Malcolm’s son, hearing of these events, besought king- William, in whose army he then served, to grant him his father’s kingdom, and obtaining his request swore fealty to him. He then hastened to Scotland, with a host of English and Normans, and expelling his uncle Donald reigned in his stead. Thereupon some of the Scots banded together and slew nearly all his men, a few only escaping with him. But afterwards they restored him to the throne, on condition that he should no longer harbour either Englishmen or Normans in Scotland, and permit them to serve in his army.

Nearly all the bishops of England being assembled, with Thomas, archbishop of York, the primate, they consecrated Anselm, abbot of Bee, as archbishop [of Canterbury], on the day before the nones [the 4th] of December. In the same year, William, count d’Eu, won over by his greediness of lucre, and attracted by the promise of vast domains, deserted his natural lord, Robert, earl of Normandy, to whom he had sworn fealty, and coming to king William in England, transferred his allegiance to that powerful seducer.

A.D. 1094. On the death of Herfast, who had been a chaplain to earl William and afterwards to king William, and in process of time bishop of Thetford, and the death also of William, his successor, Herbert, surnamed Losing, for his address in flattery, from being prior of Fecamp and abbot of Ramsey, became by purchase bishop of Thetford; and his father Robert, of the same surname, became intrusive abbot of Winchester. But he was absolved by penitence from the errors of hi& faults; for going to Rome in more mature years he there laid down his simoniacal staff and ring, which were restored to him by the indulgence of that most merciful see. Returning home, he transferred the seat of his bishopric to a town celebrated as a place of trade and general resort, called Norwich, and founded there a convent of monks.

King William went to Hastings, and while there caused the church of Battle to be dedicated; and then crossing over to Normandy had a conference with his brother, under a safe conduct, but came away without being reconciled to him, and the earl went to Rouen. The king returned to Eu, and establishing himself there, took soldiers into his pay from all quarters, and induced several of the Norman nobles to forfeit their allegiance to his brother, and place their castles in his power, some by promises, others by gifts of gold, silver, and lands; and having secured their consent, he distributed his own troops among the castles which he already held, or those which were now made over to him. Meanwhile, he took the castle of Bures, and sent some of the earl’s soldiers who were taken there prisoners to England, and confined the rest in Normandy. Thus he harassed his brother in various ways, and used his utmost efforts to deprive him of his inheritance.

The earl, driven to extremity, brought his suzerain, king Philip, with a French army into Normandy, who laid siege to the castle of Argentan, and on the very day he sat down before it, took seven hundred of the king’s knights prisoners, with as many squires, and the whole garrison of the place, without loss of blood. He then returned to France, having given orders that the prisoners should be detained in custody until they paid their respective ransoms. Earl Robert also besieged the castle called Holme, until William Peverel and eight hundred men who defended it surrendered to him. When the king was informed of this, he sent messengers to England with orders that twenty thousand foot soldiers should be levied and despatched to his aid in Normandy. They were mustered at Hastings, in readiness for crossing the sea, but Ralph Passe-Mambard, by the king’s command, withheld the pay which had been allotted for their maintenance, at the rate of ten-pence for each man, and gave them orders to return to their homes : the money he remitted to the king. Meanwhile, all England was distressed by heavy and constant taxation, and by a mortality which was very general in this and the following year.

In addition to this, first the people of North Wales, and then those of West and South Wales, threw off the yoke of subjection under which they had long suffered, and rallying their courage struggled to obtain their independence. Assembling in great numbers, they razed the castles which had been erected in West Wales, and making frequent irruptions into the counties of Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford, set fire to and plundered the vills, and killed many of the English and Normans. They also demolished the castle in the Isle of Man, and reduced the island under their power. Meanwhile, the Scots perfidiously murdered their king, Duncan, and some others, at the instigation of Donald, who was again raised to the throne. After this, king William returned to England, on the fourth of the calends of January [29th December], and, leading an army into Wales to subdue the Welsh, lost there many men and horses.

A.D. 1095. Wulfstan, the venerable bishop of the holy church of Worcester, a man eminent for the excellence of his life, and devoted from his youth to divine offices, after many severe and holy struggles, by which he zealously served God with great mental devotion and humility, that he might attain to the glory of the kingdom of heaven, departed this life in the night of Saturday, the eighteenth of January, about the middle of the seventh hour, and in the year 5299 from the beginning of the world, according to the undoubted reckoning of Holy Scripture, in the 529th year of the ninth great-cycle, and the 476th of the ninth cycle from the beginning of the world; in the 1084th from the passion of our Lord, but the 1066th according to Bede’s computation, and the 1061st according to Dionysius; in the 741st86 from the arrival of the Angles in Britain; in the 498th from the arrival of St. Augustine; 87 in the 103rd from the death of St. Oswald, the archbishop; 88 in the 302nd of the eleventh great paschal cycle, and in the 502nd of the tenth from the beginning of the world; in the 4th of the second solar cycle, in the 3rd of the bis-sextile cycle, in the 13th of the second cycle of nineteen years, in the 10th of the second lunar cycle, in the fifth endecad, in the third cycle of the indiction, in the eighteenth lustre of his own age, and in the 3rd year of the seventh lustrum of his episcopate. 89

In the very hour of his departure he wonderfully appeared in a vision to a friend whom he had especially loved, Robert, bishop of Hereford, in the town of Cricklade, and enjoined him to hasten to Worcester to perform his obsequies. Also, God suffered no man to remove from his finger the ring with which he had received episcopal consecration, that the holy man might not appear to forfeit his engagement to his people, to whom he had often foretold that he would never part with it during his life, nor even on the day of his burial.

On the day before the nones [the 4th] of April, stars were seen to fall, as it were, in the heavens. Walter, bishop of Albano, a legate of the holy Roman church, sent by pope Urban, came to England before Easter, bringing the pallium for which king William had sent the preceding year; and according to agreement it was laid by him on the altar of St. Saviour’s at Canterbury, from whence it was taken by Anselm and humbly kissed by all present, in reverence to St. Peter. Robert, bishop of Hereford, a man of eminent piety, died on Tuesday the sixth of the calends of July [26th June]. Wulfstan, the before-mentioned bishop of Worcester, appeared to him for the second time in a vision on the thirtieth day after his departure from the world, and sharply reproved him for sloth and negligence, admonishing him to apply himself with the utmost vigilance to the reformation of his own life and of those he governed; and he said, that if he did this he might speedily obtain pardon from God for all his sins; adding that he would not long fill the see in which he then sat, but if he would be more zealous, he should feast with him in the presence of God. For these two were mutually united in the bonds of exceeding love to God and to each other; and it is, therefore, natural to think that he who had first departed out of this life to God, should exhibit his concern for his best beloved friend whom he had left behind in this world, and should labour that they might both as soon as possible rejoice together in the presence of God.

Revolt of the Barons in the North

Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, and William d’Eu, with many others, attempted to deprive king William of his kingdom and life, and to make Stephen d’Aumale, the son of his aunt, king in his place, but without success; for as soon as the plot was known, the king assembled his army from every part of England and besieged the castle of the said earl Robert, which stood at the mouth of the river Tyne, for two months. During this siege he reduced a small fort, in which he took nearly all the earl’s best soldiers and put them into confinement; he then stormed the besieged castle itself, and committed to close custody the earl’s brother, and the knights he found in it. After this he built a fort before Beban-byrig, that is, the Burg of queen Bebba, 90 where the earl had sought refuge, and calling it Malvoisin, he placed a garrison in it, and returned to the country south of the Humber. After his departure the wardens of Newcastle promised earl Robert to give him admission into the fortress, if he could come by stealth. Joyfully accepting this proposal, he set forth one night with thirty troopers to accomplish his design. On discovering this, the knights who kept guard against the castle [of Bamborough] went in pursuit and despatched messengers to inform the garrison of Newcastle of his departure. In ignorance of these movements, Robert made his attempt on Sunday, but the enterprise failed because it was anticipated. He therefore took refuge in the monastery of St. Oswin, king and martyr, where, on the sixth day of the siege, he received a severe wound in the leg while he was resisting the enemy, of whom many were killed and many wounded. Of his own men some were wounded, and all made prisoners; he himself fled to the church, from which he was dragged forth and delivered into custody. Meanwhile, the Welsh demolished the castle of Montgomery, and killed in it some of the retainers of Hugh earl of Shrewsbury; at which the king was so incensed that he issued orders for an expedition, and after the feast of St. Michael led his army into Wales, where he lost many men and horses. Returning thence, he ordered earl Robert to be committed to Bamborough castle, and his eyes put out unless his wife and his kinsman, Morcal, surrendered the castle; and, compelled by extreme necessity, they yielded to the summons. The earl was taken to Windsor and placed in close confinement, and Morcal disclosed the cause of his treason to the king.

A.D. 1096. William, bishop of Durham, died at Windsor in the king’s court, on Wednesday, being the calends [the 1st] of January, but he was buried at Durham. On the octave of the Epiphany [13th January] a council was held at Salisbury, at which the king condemned William d’Eu, who had been vanquished in a duel, to lose his eyes and to be emasculated, and the earl’s steward, William d’Alderi, the son of his aunt, and privy to his treason, to be hanged. He also placed in custody Eudes, count of Champagne, the father of the aforesaid Stephen, Philip, son of Roger, earl of Shrewsbury; and some others who were accomplices in the rebellion.

Council of Clermont, and the Crusade

Pope Urban came into France, and held in Lent a council at Clermont,91 at which he exhorted the Christians to go to Jerusalem and subdue the Turks, Saracens, Turvopoles, and other pagans. At this exhortation, and during the council, Raymond [of Toulouse], count of St. Giles, took the cross, and many others with him, and vowed that they would undertake the pilgrimage, for God’s sake, and accomplish what the pope had recommended. This being noised abroad, the rest of the people of Christendom, in Italy, Germany, France, and England, vied with each other in preparing to join the expedition. Their leaders were Adhemar bishop of Puy, the bishop of Ostia, with many other bishops, Peter the monk, Hugh the Great, brother of Philip king of France, Godfrey [de Bouilllon], a duke of Lorraine, Stephen, count of Chartres, Robert, earl of Normandy, Robert, earl of Flanders, the two brothers of duke Godfrey, Eustace, count of Boulogne, and Baldwin, the before-named count Raymond, and Bohemond, son of Robert Guiscard.

Samson was consecrated bishop of Worcester by Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday the seventeenth of July [15th June], at London, in St. Paul’s church.

Robert Curthose mortgages Normandy to his brother

After this, Robert, earl of Normandy, proposing to join the crusade to Jerusalem, sent envoys to England, and requested his brother, king William, that, peace being restored between them, he would lend him ten thousand silver marks, receiving Normandy in pledge. The king, wishing to grant his request, called on the great English lords to assist him with money, each according to his means, as speedily as possible. There- lore, the bishops, abbots, and abbesses broke up the gold and silver ornaments of their churches; and the earls, barons, and viscounts robbed their knights and villeins, and brought to the king a large sum of money. With this he crossed the sea in the month of September, made peace with his brother, advanced him six thousand six hundred and sixty-six pounds, and received from him Normandy as a security for its repayment.

A.D. 1097. William, king of England, returned to England during Lent, and after Easter [5th April] he undertook a second expedition into Wales, with an army of horse and foot, vowing that he would exterminate the whole male population; but he was scarcely able to take or kill one of them, while he lost some of his own troops and many horses. After this he sent Edgar the etheling with an army to Scotland, to expel his uncle Donald, who had usurped the throne, and establish his cousin Edgar, son of king Malcolm, king in his stead.

The Christians took the city of Nice on Saturday the thirteenth of the calends of July [19th June]. A star called a comet was visible for fifteen days from the third of the calends of October [29th September]. Some affirmed that they saw at that time in the heavens a strange and, as it were, flaming sign, in the shape of a cross. Soon afterwards a quarrel took place between the king and Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, because from the time of his being made archbishop he had not been suffered to hold a synod, nor to correct the evil practices which had grown up in all parts of England. He, therefore, crossed the sea, and after sojourning for a time in France, went to pope Urban at Rome. The king himself left England for Normandy about the feast of St. Andrew [30th November]. Baldwin, abbot of the monastery of St. Edmund, who was born in France, a man of eminent piety and a skilful physician, died in a good old age, on Tuesday the fourth of the calends of January [29th December], and lies buried in the middle of the choir of the principal church.

A.D. 1098. Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, died on Sunday the third of the nones [the 3rd] of January. Also, Thorold, abbot of Peterborough, and Robert, abbot of Westminster, died. In the summer, king William the younger brought the city of Mans and a great part of that province under his dominion by force of arms. Meanwhile, Hugh, earl of Chester, and Hugh, earl of Shrewsbury, led troops into the Isle of Anglesey, and massacred many of the Welsh whom they took in the island, and put out the eyes of others, having first cut off their hands and feet, and emasculated them. They also dragged from his church a priest named Kenred, from whom the Welsh received counsel on their undertakings, and having emasculated him and put out one of his eyes, they cut off his tongue; but on the third day, by the mercy of God, his speech was restored to him. At that time Magnus, king of Norway, son of king Olaf, who was son of king Harold Harfaager,92 having added the Orkney and Meuavian islands to his dominions, sailed there with a small fleet. But when he attempted to bring his ships to land, Hugh, earl of Shrewsbury, met him with a large body of men-at-arms on the strand of the seashore, and, as it is reported, fell by an arrow discharged by the king’s own hand on the seventh day after he had treated the priest just mentioned with such barbarity.

The city of Antioch was taken by the Christians on Wednesday the third of the nones [the 3rd] of June; where, after a few days, the spear with which the Saviour of the world was pierced when hanging on the cross, was discovered in the church of St. Peter the apostle, by a revelation from St. Andrew the apostle, the most merciful of saints. Encouraged by this discovery, the Christians marched out of the city, carrying it with them, on Monday the fourth of the calends of July [28th June], and giving battle to the pagans, put to flight at the point of the sword Curbaran, commander of the forces of the soldan of Persia, and the Turks, Arabs, Saracens, Publicans, Azimates, Persians, Agulans, and many other nations; gaining, by God’s aid, a signal victory, and having slain many thousands of the enemy.

There was an unusual light in the heavens, which shone during nearly the whole of the night of the fifth of the calends of October [27th September]. The same year the bones of the king and martyr Canute were disinterred and placed in a shrine with great reverence. Roger, duke of Apulia, having assembled a large army, besieged the city of Capua, which had revolted from his government. Pope Urban, accompanied, in obedience to his command, by Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, went to the council which he had convened at Bari on the calends [the 1st] of October; in which council many articles of the Catholic faith were treated of by the apostolical pope with eloquent reasoning. A question being also raised by the Greeks, who endeavoured to prove, on evangelical authority, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, Anselm so handled, discussed, and exhausted the subject, that there was no one in the assembly who did not admit that he was fully satisfied.

A.D. 1099. Pope Urban held a great council at Rome in the third week of Easter [10th April], in which some decrees were justly repealed, and new ones made against the adversaries of holy church, and the pope, with the unanimous agreement of the council, launched a sentence of excommunication against all laymen giving ecclesiastical investitures, and all who received them at their hands, as well as against those who should consecrate any one for preferment so given. He also excommunicated all those who did homage to laymen for any ecclesiastical dignity; for he said that it was horrible that hands which had been so highly honoured, above the ministrations of angels, as to create, by their touch, God, the Creator of all things, and offer him for the redemption and salvation of the whole world before God the Father, should be debased so low as to be humbly linked in hands which night and day are polluted by immodest contacts, or defiled by rapine and the unrighteous shedding of blood. “Fiat, fiat” [Be it so], was the general exclamation; and so the council ended. After this, the archbishop proceeded to Lyons.

William the younger returned from Normandy to England, and held his court at Whitsuntide in London. He there gave the bishopric of Durham to Ranulph, a man whom he had made the instrument of his extortions throughout England. Thomas, archbishop of York, shortly afterwards consecrated him there.

Jerusalem was taken by the Turks on Thursday the ides [the 15th] of July. The Christians fought a battle with Amiravis, the commander of the army and second in power over the whole kingdom of Babylon, the day before the ides [the 12th] of August, on the same day of the week, and, through Christ’s mercy, obtained the victory. Paschal, a venerable man, who had been ordained priest by pope Hildebrand, was elected pope by the people of Rome on the ides [the 13th] of August, and was consecrated on the following day, Sunday the nineteenth of the calends of September [14th August]. On the third of the nones [the 3rd] of November, the sea overflowed the shore, destroying towns, and drowning many persons, and innumerable oxen and sheep. Osmund, bishop of Salisbury, died on Friday the third of the nones [the 3rd] of December.

A.D. 1100. Pope Clement, who was also called Guibert, died. On Sunday the ides [the 15th] of July, the church which abbot Serlo, of pious memory, had built from the foundations at Gloucester, was consecrated with great ceremony by bishops Samson, of Worcester, Gundulph, of Rochester, Gerard, of Hereford, and Hervey, of Bangor.

William Rufus slain

On Thursday, the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of August, in the eighth indiction, William the younger, king of England, while hunting in the New Forest, which is called in English Ytene, was killed by an arrow, carelessly aimed by a Frenchman, Walter, surnamed Tirel; and being carried to Winchester he was buried in the old minster, in the church of St. Peter. Nor can it be wondered that, as common report states, almighty power and vengeance should have been thus displayed. For in former times, that is, during the reigns of king Edward and other kings of England, his predecessors, this tract of land was thickly planted with churches and with inhabitants who were worshippers of God; but by command of king William the elder the people were expelled, the houses half ruined, the churches pulled down, and the land, made an habitation for wild beasts only; and hence, as it is believed, arose this mischance. For Richard, the brother of William the younger, had perished long before in the same forest, and a short time previously his cousin Richard, the son of Robert, earl of Normandy, was also killed by an arrow by one of his knights, while he was hunting. A church, built in the old times, had stood on the spot where the king fell, but, as we have already said, it was destroyed in the time of his father.

During the reign of this king, as we have partly mentioned above, many signs appeared in the sun, moon, and stars; the sea often overflowed its banks, drowning men and cattle, and destroying many vills and houses; in the district of Berkshire, blood flowed from a fountain for three weeks; and the devil frequently appeared in the woods under a horrible form to many Normans, and discoursed largely to them respecting the king, and Ranulph, and some others. Nor is it to be wondered at; for in their time law was almost silent, and money only weighed with the judges in all causes brought before them. At that time some men obeyed the king’s will rather than justice, and Ranulph, contrary to ecclesiastical law and the rules of his order, for he was a priest, received from the king, first abbeys, and then bishoprics, whose holders had recently died, to let to farm; and thereout he paid the king every year a large sum of money. His cunning and shrewdness were such, and in a short time he so grew in the king’s favour, that he appointed him his pleader and collector of taxes throughout the kingdom. Possessed of this immense power, he mulct some of the wealthier sort in various parts of England of their goods and lands, while he incessantly harassed those who were in poorer circumstances with unjust taxes. Thus did he on both high and low in various ways,—both before he was made a bishop and afterwards,—and this up to the time of the king’s death, for on the very day he died he held in his own hands the archbishopric of Canterbury and the bishoprics of Winchester and Salisbury. William the younger reigned thirteen years, wanting thirty-eight days; his youngest brother Henry succeeded him, and was forthwith crowned at Westminster by Maurice, bishop of London, on the nones [the 5th] of August. On the day of his consecration he gave freedom to the church of God, which in his brother’s time was put up to sale and let to farm; he discontinued the exaction of the unjust dues and oppressive taxes with which the kingdom of England was burthened, and firmly established peace in his dominions, and ordered it to be preserved; he restored the laws of king Edward to all in common, with such amendments as his father had made, but he retained in his own hands the forests which he made and possessed. Not long afterwards he committed to custody in the Tower of London, Ranulph, bishop of Durham, and recalled Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, from France.

Meanwhile, Robert, earl of Flanders, and Eustace, count of Boulogne, came back from Jerusalem. Then Robert, earl of Normandy, returned to his own country with the wife [Sibylla, daughter of Geoffrey of Conversana] he had married in Sicily. In the interim, Henry, king of England, convoked the great English lords at London, and married Matilda, daughter of Malcolm, king of Scots, and queen Margaret; and she was crowned and consecrated queen by Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, on the feast of St. Martin, being Sunday. Thomas, archbishop of York, a man of eminent piety, whose memory was held in great veneration, and who was affable and beloved by all, departed this life at York, on Sunday, the fourteenth of the calends of December [18th November], and was succeeded by Gerard, bishop of Hereford.

A.D. 1101. Ranulph, bishop of Durham, made his escape from prison after Christmas with great address, and crossing the sea, went to Robert, earl of Normandy, and persuaded him to appear in arms in England. Many also of the nobles of this country sent messengers to him and entreated him speedily to come over, promising him the crown and kingdom of England. The city of Gloucester was destroyed by fire, with the principal monastery and others, on Thursday the eighth of the ides [the 6th] of June.

Expedition of Robert Gurthose to England

Robert, earl of Normandy, having raised a large body of horsemen, archers, and foot soldiers, assembled his ships, called in the Norman tongue Ultres-port. The king, receiving intelligence of this, ordered his boatmen to guard the sea, and to watch that no one approached the coast of England from Normandy; while he himself, having collected an immense army from every part of England, encamped near Hastings in Sussex, concluding for certain that his brother would land in that quarter. The earl, however, by the advice of bishop Ralph, so tampered with the fidelity of some of the king’s boats-carles, by promises of various kinds, that throwing off their allegiance, they deserted to the earl, and became his pilots to England. All being ready, he embarked with his army, and about the Feast of St. Peter ad Vincula [1st August] landed at Portsmouth, and, immediately marching his army towards Winchester, pitched his camp on a suitable spot. Immediately that his arrival was known, some of the English nobles went over to him as they had before promised, others remained with the king, although in heart they were faithless to him. The bishops, however, with the common soldiers and English people, stood by him resolutely, and were ready to a man to be led to battle for his cause. But the wiser men on both sides, agreeing in sound counsels, mediated a peace between the brothers, on the terms that the king should pay to the earl yearly three thousand marks, that is two thousand pounds in silver, and should freely restore their former domains in England to all who had forfeited them by their adherence to the earl; and that the earl should reinstate in their possessions in Normandy, without cost, all who had been deprived of them on the king’s account. Peace being restored, the king disbanded his army, and part of the earl’s troops returned to Normandy, and part remained with him in England.

Godfrey, king of Jerusalem, who was before the powerful duke of Lorraine, son of Eustace the Elder, count of Boulogne, departed this life and lies buried in the church of Golgotha.93 After his death the Christians unanimously elected his brother, Baldwin, king. Robert de Belesme, earl of Shrewsbury, son of earl Roger, began to repair and surround with a broad and lofty wall (as the issue proved, to oppose king Henry) the castle which Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, had formerly built in the reign of her brother Edward the Elder, at a place called in the Saxon tongue Bryege [Bridgnorth], on the west bank of the river Severn. He also commenced building another castle in Wales at a place called Caroclove. [Carreghofa Castle, Powys, between Welshpool and Oswestry]

Robert de Belesme’s Rebellion

A.D. 1102. The before-mentioned Robert, earl of Belesme, who was then master of the county of Ponthieu also, and possessed a great number of castles in Normandy, strongly fortified against king Henry the town of Shrewsbury and the castle which stands in it; and also the castles of Arundel and Tickhill, supplying them with provisions, engines, and arms, and stationing in them knights and foot-soldiers. He also hastened, by all the means in his power, the completion of the walls and towers of the castles of Brycge and Caroclove, having the works carried on night and day. Moreover, in order to rouse his Welsh vassals to a ready, faithful, and , willing submission to his orders, he bestowed on them liberally lordships and lands, horses and arms, and all kinds of largesses. But his plans and operations were speedily cut short, for his plots and designs being made manifest by sure evidence, the king proclaimed him a traitor. Thereupon, having quickly assembled all the Welshmen and Normans he could collect, he and his brother Arnulph ravaged part of Staffordshire, and carried off into Wales many horses and cattle, and some few men. The king, without delay, besieged first his castle of Arundel, and having built forts against it, retired. He then ordered Robert, bishop of Lincoln, with part of his troops to lay siege to Tickhill, while he himself, with nearly the whole military force of England, sat down before Bridgnorth, and began to construct machines and erect a strong fort before it. Meanwhile, by moderate bribes he easily induced the Welsh, in whom Robert placed great confidence, to break the oaths they had sworn to him, and utterly desert him and turn their arms against him. The town [of Shrewsbury] and all the castles having been surrendered within thirty days, he reduced his enemy Robert to submit, and drove him from England in disgrace: his brother Arnulph was shortly afterwards condemned to a similar fate for his treason.

A Synod held at London

After this the king was in London on the Feast of St. Michael, at his palace of Westminster, with all the great men of his realm of both orders, spiritual and temporal, where he invested two of the clergy with bishoprics, namely, Roger, the chancellor, with the see of Salisbury, and Roger, his larderer, with that of Hereford. There, also, Anselm, the archbishop, held a great synod on ecclesiastical affairs, at which were present Gerard, archbishop of York, Maurice, bishop of London, William, bishop-elect of Winchester, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, Samson of Worcester, Robert of Chester, John of Bath, Herbert of Norwich, Ralph of Chichester, Gundulph of Rochester, Hervey of Bangor, and the two newly-invested bishops, Roger of Salisbury, and Roger of Hereford. Osbern, bishop of Exeter, could not attend, being detained by sickness. In this synod, several abbots, both Frenchmen and English, were deposed, and deprived of the preferments which they had obtained unfairly, or in which they l1ved disreputably; namely, Guy, abbot of Pershore, Aldwin, abbot of Ramsey, and the abbot of Tavistock, Haimon, abbot of Cerne, and the abbot of Michelney, Ethelric, abbot of Middleton, Goodric of Peterborough, Richard of Ely, and Robert of St. Edmund’s. Roger, the before-mentioned bishop-elect of Hereford, was taken ill at London and died; and Reignelm, the queen’s chancellor, was substituted for him by a like investiture. Henry, king of England, gave Mary, the queen’s sister, in marriage to Eustace, count of Boulogne.

The King and Archbishop’s quarrel about Investitures

A.D. 1103. There was a violent dispute between king Henry and archbishop Anselm; the archbishop being opposed to the king’s conferring investitures of ecclesiastical preferments, and refusing either to consecrate or communicate with those to whom the king had already given churches; because the apostolical pope had forbidden this to him and all others. In consequence, the king commanded Gerard, the archbishop of York, to consecrate the bishops to whom he had given investitures, namely, William Giffard, and Roger, who had been his chaplain, and was now preferred to the bishopric of Salisbury. Gerard was willing to comply with the king’s command, but William, in deference to the canons, made light of both that and archbishop Gerard’s consecration. Wherefore the king sentenced him to forfeit all he had, and he was banished the realm : the others remained unconsecrated. Shortly before this, Reignelm had surrendered the bishopric of Hereford to the king, believing that he had offended God because he had accepted the investiture of a church from the hands of a layman.

The king held his court during Easter at Winchester. Anselm, the archbishop, after the many injuries and slights he had endured, at the king’s request set out for Rome on the fifth of the calends of May [27th April], as it had been settled between him and the king; being accompanied by William, bishop-elect of Winchester, and the deposed abbots, Richard of Ely and Aldwin of Ramsey.

Robert, earl of Normandy, came into England to confer with his brother, and before he returned released him from the annual pension of three thousand silver marks, which the king was bound to pay him yearly according to their agreement.1 Blood was seen by many persons to flow from the ground at a place called Heamstede in Berkshire. In the same year, on the third of the ides [the 3rd] of August, there was a violent storm of wind, which did more damage to the fruits of the earth in England than men then living had ever witnessed in former times.

A.D. 1104. Two venerable abbots died, — Walter of Evesham, on the thirteenth of the calends of February [20th January], and Serlo of Gloucester, on the fourth of the nones [the 4th] of March. Henry, king of England, held his court at Westminster during Whitsuntide. On Tuesday the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of June, about the sixth hour, four circles of a white colour were seen round the sun, one under the other, as in a painting. All who observed it marvelled, such appearances having been never before seen by any of them. William, earl of Morton, was disinherited of all his English domains. It would be difficult to describe the miseries which the land of England suffered at that time from the king’s exactions.

The body of St. Cuthbert, the bishop, was exposed to view while Banulph was bishop, and was clearly found to be uncorrupted, as well as the head of St. Oswald, king and martyr, and the relics of St. Bede and other saints, by Ralph, abbot of Suez,94 afterwards bishop of Rochester, and the monks of Durham, in the presence of earl Alexander, the brother of Edgar, king of Scots, and afterwards king himself. Having been permitted to assist on so sacred an occasion, he caused a shrine to be made at the cost of many gold and silver marks, in which the sacred body was deposited, wrapped in new vestments.

The King invades Normandy

A.D. 1105. Henry, king of England, crossed the sea, and on his arrival nearly all the Norman barons deserted the earl, their lord, whom they despised, and flocked to the king for the gold and silver which he brought over with him, putting their castles and fortified cities and towns into his hands. After having burnt Bayeux, with the church of St. Mary there, and taken Caen from his brother, he returned to England, finding it was not in his power at that time to make himself master of the whole of Normandy, and intending to return the ensuing year and subdue the remainder, to the disinheritance of his brother. William, earl of Morton, in revenge for the loss of his English domains, did all the mischief he could to the king’s vassals and possessions.

A.D. 1106. Robert, earl of Normandy, came over to England to have a conference with his brother Henry, and met him at Northampton. Then the earl begged him to restore what he had taken from him in Normandy; but the king gave a flat refusal to all his demands, and the earl left him in great wrath and recrossed the sea.

On Friday, in the first week of Lent, the fourteenth of the calends of March [16th February], in the evening, a strange star was visible between the south and west, and shone for twenty-five days in the same form and at the same hour. It appeared small and dim, but the light which issued from it was exceedingly clear; and flashes of light, like bright beams, darted into the star itself from the east and north. Many affirmed that they saw several strange stars at that time. On the night of Holy Thursday, shortly before daybreak, two moons were visible, one in the east, the other in the west; and both were full, the moon being then fourteen days old. In this year a most execrable quarrel took place between the emperor of Germany and his son.

The Battle of Tinchebral

Henry, king of England, crossed the sea before the month of August, proceeding to Normandy; and nearly all the principal Normans submitted to him, except Robert de Belesme, William de Morton, and a few others, who maintained their allegiance to earl Robert. On the assumption of St. Mary [15th August], king Henry came to Bee, where he had a meeting with Anselm, the archbishop, and they came to terms of peace and concord on all the matters on which they had differed. Soon afterwards, the archbishop, by the command and at the request of the king, returned to England. The king, having assembled an army, marched to a castle belonging to the earl of Morton, called Tinchebrai, and laid siege to it. While the king was detained before the place his brother Robert fell upon him at the head of his army, on the eve of St. Michael, having with him Robert de Belesme and William, earl of Morton; but right and victory were on the king’s side. Robert, earl of Normandy, William, earl of Morton, and Robert d’Estoteville were taken prisoners in the battle; but Robert de Belesme escaped by flight. William Crispin was also captured, and many others, at the same time. Affairs having taken this turn, the king brought all Normandy to submission and governed it according to his will; intelligence of which he communicated by letters to archbishop Anselm.

A.D. 1107. Edgar, king of the Scots, died on the eighth of the ides [the 6th] of January, and was succeeded by his brother Alexander. Peace having been established in Normandy under the king’s government, and Robert, duke of Normandy, and William, earl of Morton, having been sent forward to England in custody, the king himself returned to his kingdom before Easter [14th April], A Council at London respecting Investitures.

On the calends [the 1st] of August, a great council of all the bishops, abbots, and barons of the realm was held in the royal palace at London; and for three days, in the absence of archbishop Anselm, the subject of ecclesiastical investitures was fully discussed between the king and the bishops. Some of them strove to persuade him to follow the practice of his father and brother, and disregard the decree of the apostolic see; for pope Paschal, adhering strictly to the decision pronounced, had coincided with pope Urban on all points, and, like him, had interdicted [lay] investitures, and thus the king was brought to agree with him on the matter. Afterwards, when Anselm was present, the king publicly allowed and ordained that from thenceforth no person should ever be invested in any bishopric or abbey in England by receiving the pastoral staff or ring at the hands of the king or any layman; Anselm, on his part, conceding that no one elected to the prelacy should be refused consecration to his office on account of his having done homage to the king for it. Gerard, archbishop of York, placing his hand in that of Anselm, according to his desire, solemnly promised that he would manifest to him and his successors in the archbishopric the same submission and obedience which the bishop-elect of Hereford had promised to himself before his consecration.

The following bishops-elect, namely, William of Winchester, Roger of Salisbury, Reignelm of Hereford, William of Exeter, and Urban of Glamorgan, 95 in Wales, came to Canterbury at the same time, and were consecrated together by archbishop Anselm, on Sunday, the third of the ides [the 2nd] of August; the suffragan bishops of his see, namely, Gerard, archbishop of York, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, John of Bath, Herbert of Norwich, Robert of Chester, Ralph of Chichester, and Ranulph of Durham, all assisting in the office of consecration. There was certainly no person then living who had any remembrance of the election and consecration at one time of so many bishops in England, at any former period since the reign of Edward the Elder, when archbishop Plegmund ordained seven bishops to seven churches in one day.a In this present year died Maurice, bishop of London, Richard, abbot of Ely, Robert, abbot of St. Edmundsbury, Miles Crispin, Robert Fitz-Hamon, Robert Bigod, and Richard de Redvers, who were all of the king’s council.

A.D. 1108. Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, died on the nones [the 7th] of March. Henry, king of England, in order to preserve the peace strictly, made a law that any man taken in the act of thieving or robbing should be hanged. He also put down base and counterfeit coin under the severest penalties, enacting that no person detected in making false money should be allowed to compound for their offence without losing their eyes and mutilation of their lower limbs. And since it frequently happened that the current pennies were so bent and broken that they were refused, he enacted that no penny or halfpenny,—which he also directed should be round,—nor even a farthing [should be taken] unless it were perfect. Great benefit resulted to the whole kingdom from this enactment; and thus the king dealt with secular affairs, to the relief of the sufferings of the country. Gerard, archbishop of York died, and Thomas, the cousin of his predecessor Thomas, succeeded him.


In the year of our Lord, 1108, the following decrees were made concerning priests, deacons, subdeacons, and canons of every order, by Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, together with Thomas, archbishop-elect of York, and all the bishops of England, in the presence of the glorious king Henry, and with the assent of his barons :—

“It is Decreed that priests, deacons, and subdeacons, shall live chastely, and shall not have any women in their houses, except such as are of the nearest kindred, according to the rule of the holy council of Nice. Those priests, deacons, or subdeacons who, after the prohibition of the synod of London, have retained their wives, or taken others, if they choose to continue to celebrate mass, are to so put them away that neither the women are to come to their houses, nor they to the houses of the women; they are, also, never to meet by appointment in any other house, nor are such women to reside on the lands of the church; and if it be necessary for any lawful purpose to hold converse with them, let them meet out of doors, in the presence of two credible witnesses.

“If any clerk be charged with the violation of this statute, on the testimony of two or three lawful witnesses, or the common report of his parishioners, he shall purge himself by the oaths of credible witnesses of his own order, in addition to his own; namely, by six, if he be a priest; by four, if he be a deacon, and by two, if he be a subdeacon. He who makes default in so clearing himself, shall be adjudged a transgressor of the sacred canons.

“Those priests who, without reverence for God’s altar and their own holy orders, shall choose to live with women, are to be excluded from the performance of divine offices, to be deprived of all ecclesiastical benefices, have their stations outside the choir, and be declared infamous.

“Whosoever shall wilfully and contumaciously retain his wife, and yet presume to perform mass, shall be summoned to answer, and on his neglect to appear for eight days, shall be excommunicated.

“This decree applies to all archdeacons and canons, both as far as regards parting with their wives, avoiding any connection with them, and the penalties imposed if the rules be transgressed.

All archdeacons shall swear that they will not receive money for allowing the infraction of this decree, nor suffer priests who, to their knowledge keep their wives, to sing mass or appoint vicars in their stead. Deans shall do the same.

“Every archdeacon or dean who shall refuse to take this oath, shall be deprived of his archdeaconry or deanery.

“Priests who shall make their election to put away their wives, and serve God and his holy altars, shall suspend their functions for ten days, during which they shall appoint vicars to perform them, and shall do such penance as their bishops shall see fit to enjoin.”

Philip, king of France, died, and was succeeded by his son Lewis.96 Henry, king of England, crossed the sea. Anselm, the archbishop, at the king’s request, consecrated Richard bishop-elect of London, in his chapel at Peckham; William, bishop of Winchester, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, Ralph, bishop of Chichester, and William, bishop of Exeter, assisting at the ceremony, and the bishop-elect having first made the usual professions of obedience and submission. After this he went to Canterbury, and consecrated Ralph, abbot of Séez, a devout man, to the church at Rochester, on the third of the ides [the llth] of August, in place of Gundulph; William, bishop of Winchester, Ralph, bishop of Chichester, and Richard, bishop of London, assisting him. This Richard, following the customs of his predecessors, made a noble offering the same day to the mother-church of Canterbury.

A.D. 1109. Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, died there on Wednesday, the eleventh of the calends of May [21st April], and was buried with great honours on the following day, being Holy Thursday. Henry, king of England, returned to England about the Rogation days, and held his court during Whitsuntide [13th June] at Westminster. Thomas, archbishop-elect of York, was consecrated at London on the 5th of the calends of July [27th June] by Richard, bishop of London, and afterwards received at York, on Sunday, the calends [the 1st] of August, the pallium sent him by cardinal Ulric. The same day he consecrated Turgot, prior of Durham, to the bishopric of St. Andrew’s, in Scotland, which is called Cenrimunt. In the same year the king converted the abbey of Ely into an episcopal see, and appointed Hervey, bishop of Ely, to govern that church. A comet was seen about the milky way in the month of December, its tail extending towards the northern quarter of the heavens.

A.D. 1110. Henry, king of England, gave his daughter Matilda in marriage to Henry, king [emperor] of Germany. The same year many extraordinary things were witnessed; throughout England. At Shrewsbury there was a great earthquake. At Nottingham the river Trent was dried up for the length of a mile, from daybreak to the third hour, so that men walked dry-shod in its channel. A comet made its appearance on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of June and continued visible for three weeks.

A.D. 1111. Henry, king of Germany, came to Rome, and laying hands on pope Paschal, put him in confinement; but afterwards made peace with him at the bridge on the Via Salaria, and they celebrated the feast of Easter on the Field [of Mars].

These Are The Terms Of The Peace Made Between The King And Our Lord The Pope; And This Is The Form Of The King’s Oath.

“I, Henry, will set free, on Thursday or Friday next, the lord pope and the bishops and cardinals; and to all the prisoners and hostages who have been taken for him or with him I will give a safe conduct within the walls of the Transteverine city. I will never again take, or permit to be taken, those who remain in allegiance to the lord the pope Paschal; and for myself and mine, I will keep peace and quiet with the Roman people, both of the Transteverine city and of that within the island, as concerns their persons and goods, provided they observe peace towards me. I will faithfully succour our lord pope Paschal in maintaining his right to the papacy in peace and security. I will restore the patrimony and possessions of the Roman church, which I have taken away, and I will faithfully aid her in recovering all that she ought to possess, as my predecessors have done. I will obey our lord pope Paschal, saving the rights of my crown and empire, in the same manner that catholic emperors have obeyed catholic popes of Rome. All these things I will observe faithfully, without fraud or covin.

“These are the jurors on the part of the king:—Frederick, archbishop of Cologne, Gebhard, bishop of Trent, Burchard, bishop of Munster, Bruno, bishop of Spires, Albert, chancellor, count Herman, Frederick, count palatine, count Berenger, count Frederick, marquis Boniface, Albert, count de Blandrai, count Frederick, count Godfrey, marquis Warnerio.”


“Our Lord pope Paschal, the one hundred and fifty-sixth pope, agrees to grant to king Henry and his kingdom, and will ratify and confirm it, under pain of excommunication, by his apostolical privilege, that when a bishop or abbot is freely elected, without simony, and with the royal licence, it shall be lawful for my lord the king to invest him with the ring and staff. And the bishop or abbot so invested by the king shall freely receive consecration from the bishop to whom the right pertains. But if any person be elected by the clergy and people, unless he also receives investiture from the king, he shall not be consecrated; and archbishops and bishops shall be allowed to consecrate those (only) who have received investiture from the king. In respect of these things, the lord the pope Paschal shall not disquiet king Henry, his kingdom and empire.”


“Our Lord pope Paschal shall not molest my lord king Henry, nor his empire and kingdom, concerning the investiture of bishoprics and abbeys, nor for any injuries done to himself and his people, nor shall he do any evil to him or any other person on that account. Especially, he shall never pronounce any sentence of excommunication against the person of king Henry, nor shall the lord pope retain the power of refusing to crown him, according to the form in the ordinal. And he shall aid him to the best of his power, by the authority of his office, to maintain himself in his kingdom and empire. All this the lord pope will perform without fraud or covin.”

These are the names of the bishops and cardinals, who, by the command of our lord pope Paschal, have ratified by their oaths the bull of privileges and the alliance made with the lord emperor Henry : Peter, bishop of Porto, Censius, bishop of Sabinum, Robert, cardinal of St. Eusebius, Boniface, cardinal of St. Mark, Anastasius, cardinal of St. Clement, Gregory, cardinal of SS. Peter and Paul, the apostles; also, Gregory, cardinal of St. Chrysogonus, John, cardinal of St. Potentiana, Risus, cardinal of St. Lawrence, Rainier, cardinal of SS. Marcellinus and Peter, Vitalis, cardinal of St. Balbina, Duuzo, cardinal of St. Martin, Theobald, cardinal of SS. John and Paul, John, deacon of St. Mary-in-Schold GrÆca.


“Paschal, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved son in Christ, Henry, king of the Germans, and, by the grace of God, emperor of the Romans, health and the apostolical benediction.

“Divine Providence has so ordered that there is a singular union between your kingdom and the holy Roman church. Your predecessors, by virtue of their superior worth and prudence, obtained the Roman crown and imperial dignity; to which, dearest son Henry, the Divine Majesty has advanced you by the ministry of our priestly office. The prerogatives, therefore, of that dignity, which my predecessors have granted to the catholic emperors, your predecessors, and have confirmed by bulls of privileges, we also grant to you, beloved, and confirm by this present instrument; to wit, that it shall be lawful for you to confer investitures, by staff’ and ring, on the bishops and abbots of your realm, freely elected without compulsion or simony; and that after their investitures they may receive canonical consecration from the bishop to whom it appertains. If any one, however, be elected by the people and clergy, but without your assent, unless he receives investiture from you, let him not be consecrated. Let archbishops and bishops have licence from you to give canonical consecration to bishops and abbots who have received your investiture. For your predecessors have so amply endowed the churches of your realm from their royal domains, that it is very expedient that the possessions of the bishops and abbots should contribute to the defence of the kingdom, and that the popular tumults which often occur in elections should be put down by the royal power. Wherefore, it is your duty, in the exercise of your prudence and authority, that, by the help of God, the pre-eminence of the Roman church, and the welfare of all, be guarded by your beneficial acts and services. If any person, ecclesiastical or secular, shall rashly attempt to pervert the sense of this our grant, let him be excommunicated, unless he repent; and, moreover, incur the peril of losing his office and dignity; and may the Divine mercy protect those who observe it, and grant you a happy reign, both in your person and in your power, to his honour and glory.”

With these conventions and oaths, peace was concluded between the lord pope and the king, during the feast of Easter. Then the king made his entrance into Rome on the ides [the 13th] of April, and the pope, having celebrated mass in the church of St. Peter, consecrated him emperor,1 gave him and his followers absolution, and pardoned them for all the injuries he had received at their hands.

A Colony of Flemings settled in South Wales

Henry, king of England, removed into Wales all the Flemings who were living in Northumbria, with their chattels, and made them settle in the district called Rhos.97 The king also commanded that the new monastery, which stood within the walls of Winchester, should, under the direction of William, bishop of Winchester, be built without the walls; and soon afterwards crossed the sea. In this year there was a very severe winter, a grievous famine, a great mortality, a murrain among animals, both wild and domestic, and vast numbers of birds also perished.


A.D. 1112. In the thirteenth year of the pontificate of pope Paschal II, the fifth indiction, in the month of March, the fifteenth of the calends of April [18th March], the Lateran Council was held at Rome, in the basilica of Constantine. In this council the pope, having taken his seat, with the archbishops, bishops, and cardinals, and a mixed multitude of the clergy and laity, on the last day of the assembly, he made a profession of the catholic faith in the presence of all, in order that none might doubt of his belief, saying:— “I embrace all Holy Scripture, namely, the Old and New Testament, the law written by Moses and the holy prophets. I embrace the four gospels, the seven canonical epistles, the epistles of the glorious doctor, St. Paul the apostle, the holy apostolic canons, the four general councils, like the four gospels, namely the councils of Nice, Ephesus, Constantinople, and Chalcedon; the council of Antioch, and the decrees of the holy fathers, popes of Rome, especially the decrees of the lord pope Gregory VII., and of pope Urban of blessed memory. What they approved, I approve; what they held, I hold; what they confirmed, I confirm; what they condemned, I condemn; what they rejected, I reject; what they interdicted, I interdict; what they prohibited, I prohibit, in all and through all: and in this faith I will always persevere.”

When he had finished, Gerard, bishop of Angouleme, legate in Aquitaine, rose in the name of all, and by the common consent of the lord pope Paschal and the whole council, read this instrument:—

“All we assembled in this holy council, with the lord pope, do condemn, with canonical censures by our ecclesiastical authority and the sentence of the Holy Ghost, that act of privilege which is no privilege, but ought rather to be called a breach of privilege,1 that act, namely, which was extorted by the violence of king Henry from our lord pope Paschal for the liberation of the prisoners and of the church; and we adjudge it to be null and void, and altogether quash it, and utterly repudiate it as possessing no authority or force; and it is condemned for this that it contains a provision that one canonically elected by the clergy and people may not be consecrated unless he shall have first received investiture from the king; which is in opposition to the Holy Spirit and the canonical institutions.”

When the reading of this instrument was finished, it was approved by the whole council with the acclamation, “Amen, Amen! Fiat, fiat!” [Be it so]. The archbishops who were present with their suffragans were these:— John, patriarch of Venice, Semies of Capua, Landulph of Benevento; and those of Amain, Reggio, Otranto, Brindisi, Capua, and Gyrontium; of the Greeks, there were Risano and the archbishop of San Severino; the bishops present were, Censius of Savona, Peter of Porto, Leo of Ostia, Cono of Prseneste, Gerard of Angouleme, Walo of Lyons, legate for the archbishops of Bourges and Vienne, Roger of Volterra, Geoffrey of Sienna, Roland of Populonia [Pisa], Gregory of Terracina, William of Troga [in Naples], Gibin of Syracuse, legate for the whole of Sicily; and nearly one hundred other bishops. Bishops Siguin and John of Tusculum [Frascati], although they were at Rome at the time, were not present at the council; but Samson, the twenty-fifth bishop of Worcester, died on Sunday, the third of the nones [the 9th] of May. Henry, king of England, placed Robert de Belesme in confinement, at Carisbrook, in the month of October.

A.D. 1113. The city of Worcester, with the cathedral church, and all the other churches, and the castle, was destroyed by fire on Thursday, the thirteenth of the calends of July [19th June]. One of the monks, who had rendered great services to the monastery, with two of his servants, and fifteen citizens, perished in the flames. Henry, king of England, returned to England in the month of July, and committed Robert de Belesme, who had been brought over from Normandy, to the closest confinement at Wareham. Two high-born monks of the monastery of St. Mary, in Worcester, men of exalted worth, Thomas, the lord prior, and Coleman, both departed this life on Saturday, the fourth of the nones [the 4th] of October.

      Together summoned from this mortal state
      To realms above, they met a common fate :
      There, with the saints, in never ending joy,
      God give them rest, and peace without alloy!

Theowulf, the king’s chaplain, was appointed bishop of Worcester on Sunday, the fifth of the calends of January [28th December], at Windsor.

A.D. 1114. Matilda, daughter of Henry, king of England, was married to Henry, emperor of the Romans, and crowned as empress at Mentz, on the eighth of the ides [the 6th] of January. Thomas, archbishop of York, died on Tuesday, the sixth of the calends of March [24th February]. Ralph, bishop of Rochester, was chosen archbishop of Canterbury at Windsor, on Sunday, the sixth of the calends of May [26th April]. The city of Chichester, with the principal monastery, was burnt, through negligence, on the 3rd of the nones [the 5th] of May. Thurstan, a chaplain of the king’s, was preferred at Winchester to the archbishopric of York, on the feast of the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August]. Arnulph, abbot of Peterborough, was elected bishop of Rochester. Henry, king of England, after undertaking an expedition into Wales, crossed the sea before the feast of St. Michael. The river Medway became so shallow, for many miles, on the sixth of the ides [the 10th] of October, that the smallest vessels got aground in it for want of water. The Thames was subject to the same failure on that day, for between the bridge and the Royal Tower, even under the bridge, the water in the river was so low, that not only horses, but even crowds of men and boys forded it, the water scarcely reaching to their knees. The water was thus shallow from the middle of the preceding night until it was quite dark on the night following. We have heard from trustworthy reports that the waters receded in like manner on the same day at Yarmouth, and other places in England.

A.D. 1115. This year, the weather was so severe that nearly all the bridges in England were carried away by the ice. Henry, the emperor, having besieged Cologne for a long time, and lost many of his troops in a pitched battle, made a sworn peace in the city of Nuys.98 Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, received the pallium at the hands of Anselm,a legate of the church of Rome, on Sunday, the fifth of the calends of July [27th June] at Canterbury, where nearly all the bishops of England were assembled. On the same day Theowulf, bishop of Worcester, was consecrated with great ceremony. Wilfrid, bishop of St. David’s, in Wales, died; up to his time, the bishops had all been Welshmen.

On the octave of the apostles SS. Peter and Paul, [6th July], a great council was held at Châlons [Châlons-en-Champagne, France] by Conon, cardinal of the Roman church, at which he excommunicated the bishops who were not present at the council; he degraded some abbots, and deprived many of their staffs, and deposed them from their dignities, interdicting them from ecclesiastical functions.

Henry, king of England, returned to England in the middle of the month of July. Bernard, the queen’s chancellor, was chosen bishop of St. David’s, in Wales, on Saturday, the fourteenth of the calends of October [18th September], and the same day was advanced to the priesthood, at Southwark, by William, bishop of Winchester; and on the day following,. at Westminster, was consecrated bishop by Ralph the archbishop. Reignelm, bishop of Hereford, died on the sixth of the calends of November [27th October], and Geoffrey, the king’s chaplain, was chosen in his stead. Arnulph was ordained to the see of Rochester, and Geoffrey to the see of Hereford, on the feast of St. Stephen [26th December], at Canterbury, by Ralph, the archbishop.

A.D. 1116. Griffyth, son of Rhys,99 made a plundering expedition, and burnt some castles in Wales, because king Henry would not give him a portion of his father’s territories. The witan of all the nobles and barons of England was held at Salisbury, on the fourteenth of the calends of April [19th March], and they did homage and swore fealty in the presence of king Henry to his son William.

Quarrel between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

The controversy which had been carried on for a whole year between Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, and Thurstan, archbishop-elect of York, was brought before the court. The archbishop-elect, when required by the primate to make due submission to the church of Canterbury, and receive his benediction according to the canons, replied that he was ready to receive consecration, but nothing should induce him to make the profession which was demanded. King Henry, finding that Thurstan persisted in his resolution, openly declared that he should either follow the usages of his predecessors, both in making the profession and in other things pertaining by ancient right to the church of Canterbury, or lose the archbishopric of York and consecration altogether. On hearing this, he was so moved by the hasty impulses of his temper, that he gave up the archbishopric, promising the king and the archbishop that he would never claim it as long as he lived, and that he would assert no pretensions to it, whoever might be appointed in his stead.

Owen, king of Wales, was slain, 100 and Henry, king of England, crossed the sea, Thurstan, archbishop-elect of York, accompanying him, in the hope of recovering the investiture of his archbishopric, and obtaining consecration from the primate by the king’s command, without being compelled to make the required profession. About the month of August, Anselm, returning from Rome with the pallium for the archbishop of Canterbury, joined king Henry in Normandy. He was also the bearer of letters from the pope, appointing him his legate for ecclesiastical affairs in England; which he announced in a brief to the English nation. In consequence, at the suggestion of the queen and her council of nobles in England, Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, crossed the sea after the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary, to meet the king, whom he found residing at Rouen; and having minutely consulted with him on the business on which he was come, by his advice he pursued his journey to Rome.

A.D. 1117. By king Henry’s command a new building was commenced [at the abbey of] Cirencester. There was a great earthquake in Lombardy, which (according to the accounts of well-informed persons) lasted forty days, and laid in ruins a vast number of houses; and, what is remarkable, a large villa was suddenly removed from its original site, and may now be seen by all the world standing on a very distant spot. At Milan, while some .men of patrician rank were holding a sitting in a tower on state affairs, a voice from without was heard suddenly by all assembled, calling one of them by name to come forth instantly. Upon his lingering, a phantom appeared before them, and by earnest entreaties induced the person named to quit the building. As soon as he was gone out, the tower suddenly fell, and buried all who were in it under its ruins. Robert, bishop of Stafford, 101 and Gilbert, abbot of Westminster, died on the eighth of the ides [the 6th] of December.

A.D. 1118. Pope Paschal, of blessed memory, died on the fourteenth of the calends of February [19th January], and one John, a native of Gaieta, succeeded him, and changed his name to Gelasius. He was bred a monk from his youth in the monastery of Monto Cassino, and in his riper years had filled the office of chancellor, in the service of the venerable and apostolic men, popes Desiderius, Urban, and Paschal, with great assiduity. Meanwhile, the king of Germany, who was also emperor of the Romans, hearing of the pope’s decease, hurried to Rome, and made the bishop of Braga [in Portugal] pope, although he had been excommunicated the preceding year at Benevento, by Pope Paschal; his name was changed from Maurice to Gregory.

Matilda, queen of England, died at Westminster on the calends [the 1st] of May, and was interred with due ceremony in that monastery. Many of the Normans broke the fealty they had sworn to king Henry, and regardless of the rights of their natural lord, transferred their homage to Lewis, king of France, and his great lords, although they were enemies. The before-mentioned pope, Gelasius, came by sea to Burgundy, and his arrival was immediately notified to all parts of France.

Dom Florence of Worcester, a monk of that monastery, died on the nones [the 7th] of July. His acute observation, and laborious and diligent studies, have rendered this Chronicle of Chronicles pre-eminent above all others.

      His spirit to the skies, to earth his body given,
      For ever may he reign with God’s blest saints in heaven!

Death by a Thunderstorm in Herefordshire

After the dedication of the church of Momerfield, by Geoffrey, bishop of Hereford, all who had attended the consecration turned their steps homeward; but although the atmosphere had been remarkably calm up to that time, a violent storm of thunder and lightning suddenly arose, and some of them, overtaken by it on the road, and not being able to retreat from the spot they had reached, halted there. They were five in number, three men and two women; one of the latter was killed by a stroke of lightning, and the other, being scorched by the flash from the navel to the soles of the feet, perished miserably, the men only narrowly escaping with their lives. Their five horses were also struck with the lightning, and killed.

A.D. 1119. Pope Gelasius died, and was buried at Cluny; he was succeeded by Guy, bishop of Yienne, who changed his name to Calixtus. Geoffrey, bishop of Hereford, died on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of February, and Herbert on the eleventh of the calends of August [22nd July].

Wars between Henry and Lewis

War having broke out between Henry, king of England, and Lewis, king of France, with the count of Anjou and the count of Flanders, king Henry seized an opportunity of making a separate peace with the count of Anjou, receiving his daughter in marriage with his son William, whom he had already declared heir of all his kingdom. The count of Anjou went to Jerusalem. After this, king Henry, with the concurrence of his nobles, made peace with the king of France, on which occasion his son William was invested with Normandy, to be held of the king of France. The king also made peace with his nobles who had unjustly and treasonably revolted against him, and also with the count of Flanders. An earthquake was felt in several parts of England on Sunday, the fourth of the calends of October [28th September], about the third hour of the day.

A Council held at Rheims

Pope Calixtus held a general council at Rheims, on Sunday, the thirteenth of the calends of November [20th October], at which there was a great concourse of archbishops, bishops, abbots, and lords of various provinces, and immense multitudes of the clergy and people. The English bishops who were at that time at the court of Henry in Normandy, namely, William of Exeter, Ralph of Durham, Bernard of St. David’s, and Urban of Glamorgan [Llandaff], and also the bishops and abbots of Normandy, were sent by the king himself to the council. Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, was prevented from being present by sickness. Thurstan, archbishop-elect of York, having requested the king’s license for attending it, obtained it with some difficulty, upon pledging his word that he would on no account accept consecration from the pope. Bound by this pledge, he pursued his journey, and presented himself to the pope; but forthwith, regardless of his engagement, he gained over the Romans by bribes to espouse his cause, and through them prevailed on the pope to consecrate him bishop with his own hands. He was thus ordained to the see of York, and by the pope’s command many of the bishops from France assisted at the ceremony. The English bishops had not yet come to the council; but when they learnt what had been done, they informed the king, who being very indignant, forbade Thurstan and his followers from returning to England or Normandy, or any place in his dominions.

A.D. 1120. Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, returned to England on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4th] of January; and on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4th] of April, at Westminster, he consecrated to the bishopric of Bangor a venerable clerk named David, who was chosen by king Griffyth and the clergy and people of Wales. At this consecration he was assisted by Richard, bishop of London, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, and Urban of Glamorgan.

Shipwreck of king Henry’s children

Henry, king of England, having successfully accomplished all his designs, returned from Normandy to England. His son William, hastening to follow him, embarked in company with a great number of nobles, knights, women, and boys. Having left the harbour and put out to sea, encouraged by the extraordinary calmness of the weather, shortly afterwards the ship in which they were sailing struck on a rock and was wrecked, and all on board were swallowed up by the waves, except one churl, who, as it is reported, was not worthy of being named, but by the wonderful mercy of God, escaped alive. Of those who perished, those of highest rank were, William, the king’s son, Richard, earl of Chester, Othiel, his brother, William Bigod, Geoffrey Riddel, Walter d’Evereux, Geoffrey, archdeacon of Hereford, the king’s daughter, the countess of Perche, the king’s niece, the countess of Chester, and many more who are omitted for brevity’s sake. This disaster horrified and distressed the mind of the king, who reached England after a safe voyage, and of all who heard of it, and struck them with awe at the mysterious decrees of a just God.

Henry I marries Alice of Louvaine

A.D. 1121. Henry, king of England, having been a widower for some time, that he might not in future lead a dissolute life, by the advice of Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, and the barons of his realm, who assembled at London by his command on the feast of our Lord’s Epiphany, resolved to marry Alice, daughter of Godfrey, duke of Louvaine, a young maiden of great beauty and modesty. Envoys being sent over, they brought the future queen with signal honours from parts beyond the sea to Henry’s court.

Meanwhile, two clerks were chosen to fill sees which had been vacant for some time; namely, Richard, who was keeper of the king’s seal under the chancellor, and Robert, who had filled the office of steward of the meat and drink in the king’s household with great industry. The first of these was preferred to the see of Hereford, the latter to the see of Chester. Herbert, also, a monk of Westminster, was made abbot of that monastery. Richard, chosen bishop of Hereford on Friday the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of January, was consecrated at Lambeth on Sunday the seventeenth of the calends of February [17th January] by Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, with the assistance of Richard, bishop of London, and the bishops, Robert of Lincoln, Arnulph of Rochester, Urban of Glamorgan, and Bernard of St. David’s.

On the fourth of the calends of February [30th January] the maiden already mentioned as selected for queen was married to the king by William, bishop of Winchester, at the command of Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury; and on the following day, the third of the calends of February [30th January], she was consecrated and crowned as queen by the archbishop in person. After this, the archbishop, having accompanied the king to Abingdon, consecrated on Sunday the third of the ides [the 13th] of March, Robert, before named, as bishop of Chester, there being present and assisting at this sacrament William, bishop of Winchester, William, bishop of Exeter, and the Welsh bishops, Urban and Bernard. After a few days, one named Everard, attached to the king’s chapel, was elected bishop of Norwich, and consecrated at Canterbury by archbishop Ralph on the second of the ides [the 12th] of June; Arnulph, bishop of Rochester, Richard, bishop of Hereford, and Robert, bishop of Coventry, having met for the purpose.

Pope Calixtus, assembling forces from all quarters, captured Maurice, surnamed Bourdin, already mentioned, who had been intruded by the emperor and his adherents into the papal see by the name of Gregory, and thrust him in disgrace, stripped of all he possessed, into a monastery; he having been a monk before. King Henry led an army against the Welsh, and, taking hostages from them, reduced the whole of Wales under his dominion. A certain clerk, whose name was Gregory, an Irishman by birth, having been chosen by the king of Ireland, with the clergy and people, to fill the see of the city of Dublin, came over to England that he might be ordained, according to former custom, by the archbishop of Canterbury, the primate of England; whereupon, by the archbishop’s command, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, conferred on him the orders of priest and deacon at his castle of Devizes on Saturday the eleventh of the calends of October [21st September]. He was ordained bishop on Sunday the sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of October at Lambeth by Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury; the following bishops, Richard of London, Roger of Salisbury, Robert of Lincoln, Everard of Norwich, and David of Bangor assisting at the consecration. The mother church at Tewkesbury was consecrated with great ceremony by Theowulf, bishop of Worcester, Richard, bishop of Hereford, Urban, bishop of Glamorgan, and the before-named Gregory, bishop of Durham, on Monday the ninth of the calends of November [24th October].

A.D. 1122. The city of Gloucester, with the principal monastery, was again destroyed by fire on Wednesday the fourth of the ides [the 4th] of March, in the twenty-second year of king Henry’s reign. It was burnt before in the first year of his reign, on Thursday the eleventh of the calends of June [22nd May]. Ralph, the twenty-fifth archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life at Canterbury on Thursday the fourteenth of the calends of November [19th October]. John, bishop of Bath, died on the fourth of the calends of January [29th December] : during his lifetime he had bought the whole city of Bath from king Henry for five hundred pounds.

A.D. 1123. Robert, the eighteenth bishop of Lincoln, while riding on horseback and conversing with king Henry at Woodstock in the month of January, fell to the ground, and, losing the use of his speech, was carried to his lodgings, and shortly afterwards expired. Ralph, also, the king’s chancellor, came to a wretched end. William, a canon of St. Osythe, at Chiche,102 was named to the archbishopric of Canterbury at Gloucester, where the king held his court at the feast of the Purification of St. Mary; and he was consecrated at Canterbury by William, bishop of Winchester, assisted by many other bishops, on the fourteenth of the calends of March [16th February]. With his approval, the bishopric of Lincoln was given to Alexander, archdeacon of Salisbury.

Afterwards, archbishop William, in company with Thurstan, archbishop of York, Bernard, bishop of St. David’s, Sigefred, abbot of Glastonbury, and Anselm, abbot of St. Edmund’s, went to Rome to receive the pallium. Alexander, king of Scots, died on the seventh of the calends of May [25th April]. Henry, king of England, went over sea after the feast of Whitsuntide [3rd June]. William, archbishop of Canterbury, having received the pallium from pope Calixtus, and Thurstan, archbishop of York, with their companions, on their return from Rome, paid a visit to the king, who was still in Normandy: after a short stay, archbishop William came back to England, and, on the eleventh of the calends of August [22nd July], at Canterbury, consecrated Alexander as bishop of Lincoln; and, on the seventh of the calends of September [26th August], in the church of St. Paul the Apostle, at London, consecrated Godfrey, the queen’s chancellor, to the bishopric of Bath. Theowulf, the twenty-sixth bishop of Worcester, died on Saturday the thirteenth of the calends of November [20th October] at his vill of Hampton.103 Robert, abbot of Tewkesbury, departed this life on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of December. Alexander, king of Scots, was succeeded by David his brother.

A.D. 1124. Arnulph, the twenty-third bishop of Rochester, died in the month of March. Waleran, earl de Mellent, was taken prisoner in Passion-week, with many others, by king Henry’s troops in Normandy, and committed to close custody in the Tower of Rouen. Geoffrey, abbot of the New Minster at Winchester, died. The reverend prior of the church of Worcester, Nicholas by name, died on Wednesday the eighth of the calends of July [24th June], God, of his mercy, grant him bliss in heaven!

William, archbishop of Canterbury, crossed the sea by the king’s command. Pope Calixtus died, and was succeeded by Honorius, bishop of Ostia.

A.D. 1125. Coiners in England, taken with counterfeit money, suffered the penalty of the king’s cruel law by having their right hands struck off and their lower limbs mutilated. Afterwards, by a change in the coinage, all articles became very dear, and, in consequence, a great scarcity ensued, and numbers died of famine.

Simon, the queen’s chancellor, and Sigefred, abbot of Glastonbury, both men of distinguished worth and piety, were chosen bishops while they were in Normandy; Simon being appointed to the see of Worcester, and Sigefred to the see of Chichester. Hugh, a man of great prudence, archdeacon successively to Samson and Theowulf, bishops of Worcester, died on the twelfth of the calends of April [21st March]. After Easter [29th March], the bishops-elect, Simon and Sigefred, with the archbishops William and Thurstan, and a cardinal of Rome named John, came to England, and Sigefred was consecrated as bishop of Chichester at Lambeth by archbishop William on the second of the ides [the 12th] of April; there being present at this consecration the Roman cardinal, Thurstan, archbishop of York, Everard, bishop of Norwich, Richard of Hereford, Bernard of St. David’s, David of Bangor, Urban of Glamorgan, and John, bishop-elect of Rochester. Simon, the bishop-elect of Worcester, was conducted into Worcester by the clergy and people in joyful procession on the eighth of the ides [the 8th] of May, 104 being the day of our Lord’s Ascension; and, on the tenth of the calends of June [23rd May], he was ordained priest at Canterbury by William the archbishop. The emperor Henry died, and was buried at Spires, where his grandfather was also interred. Lothaire, the ninety-eighth emperor of the Romans, reigned thirteen years.

Simon, the bishop-elect of Worcester, went to Canterbury in company with Godfrey, bishop of Bath, and, having been ordained priest by the archbishop on Saturday in Whitsun-week [23rd May], was on the following day consecrated with great pomp bishop of the holy mother church of Worcester; John, archdeacon of Canterbury, receiving consecration as bishop of Rochester at the same time. Richard, bishop of Hereford, David of Bangor, Godfrey of Bath, and Sigefred of Chichester assisted at the consecration. When Simon arrived at Worcester, his episcopal see, he was again met by great crowds of people, conducted by whom in procession with great pomp he was enthroned, and a “Te Deum” chanted. On the same day, that is to say on the ninth of the calends of June [24th May], Benedict, a loving and faithful servant of God in all his household, was, by Simon, the new bishop, consecrated as the new abbot of the convent of Worcester : he was, the year before, from having been prior, elected abbot of Tewkesbury, where he had been brought up under the monastic rule from boyhood, and in course of time was admitted in peace and love to be one of the monks of Worcester by licence from Wulfstan, the lord bishop, at whose hands he had received all the ecclesiastical orders. There were present at the consecration of this abbot the bishops who had received bishop Simon in procession, namely, Richard of Hereford, Godfrey of Bath, and David of Bangor, together with Benedict’s fellow abbots of the diocese of Worcester, Guy of Pershore, William of Gloucester, and Godfrey of Winchcombe; the lord Walchere, the prior of Malvern, represented his abbot, who lay sick, and Dominic, prior of Evesham, was also present: these were men to whom the words of the Psalmist may be applied, “He sendeth the springs into the rivers which run among the hills,” and such was the company which met the bishop in procession.

A synod held at London

A synod was held at London, in the church of the blessed prince of the apostles at Westminster, on the ninth of September, that is, on the fifth of the ides of that month, in which, after the discussion of various matters, the following canons, seventeen in number, were published with unanimous consent. John, of Crema, a cardinal priest of the holy and. apostolic church, with the title of St. Chrysogonus, and legate in England of the lord pope Honorius, presided at this synod; and it was attended by William, archbishop of Canterbury, and Thurstan, archbishop of York, and the bishops of different dioceses, to the number of twenty; with about forty abbots, and a great concourse of the clergy and people. These are the canons:—

The First Canon. Following in the steps of the holy fathers, we forbid, by apostolic authority, any ecclesiastical ordination being conferred for money.

II. We also prohibit the exaction of any fee for chrism, for oil, for baptism, for penance, for the visitation or unction of the sick, for the communion of the body of Christ, or for burial.

III. Moreover, we ordain and decree, by apostolic authority, that at the consecration of bishops, or the benediction of abbots, or the dedication of churches, no cope, or tippet, or maniple, or ewer, or any other thing shall be exacted by violence, but they are to be voluntary offerings.

IV. No abbot or prior, monk or clerk, shall accept any church, tithe, or ecclesiastical benefice, by the gift of a layman, without the authority and consent of his own bishop. If he shall so presume, the gift shall be void, and he shall be subject to canonical censure.

V. Moreover, we decree that no person shall claim the patronage of a church or prebend by right of inheritance, or bequeath to a successor any ecclesiastical benefice; which, if he shall presume to do, we declare that it shall have no effect, saying, with the Psalmist, “O my God, make them like unto a wheel;” while they said, “Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.”

VI. Furthermore, we decree that clerks holding churches or ecclesiastical benefices, who avoid being ordained in order to live with greater freedom, and continue to treat holy orders with contempt, after being invited thereto by the bishop, shall be deprived of their churches and benefices.

VII. No one but a priest shall be promoted to the office of dean or prior; no one but a deacon to an archdeaconry.

VIII. No person shall be ordained priest without a regular title. Whoever is ordained independently shall forfeit the degree he has obtained.

IX. No abbot, or clerk, or layman shall presume to eject any person ecclesiastically ordained to a church, without the sentence of his own bishop. Whoever presumes to do otherwise shall be subject to excommunication.

X. No bishop shall presume to ordain or judge a person belonging to another diocese, for every one stands or falls to his own master; nor shall any one be bound by a sentence which is not pronounced by his own judge.

XI. No one shall presume to receive into communion one who has been excommunicated by another. If he shall have done this knowingly he himself shall be deprived of Christian communion.

XII. We also ordain that two archdeaconries or dignities of another class shall not be held by one person.

XIII. We prohibit, by apostolic authority, priests, deacons, sub-deacons, and canons from living with wives, concubines, and women generally, except a mother, a sister, an aunt, or other females free from all suspicion. Whoever violates this canon shall, on confession or conviction, suffer the loss of his order.

XIV. We utterly prohibit usury and filthy lucre to clerks of every degree. Whoever shall have pleaded guilty to such a charge, or been convicted of it, is to be degraded from the rank he holds.

XV. We decree that sorcerers, fortune-tellers, and those who deal in divination of any kind, shall be excommunicated, and we brand them with perpetual infamy.

XVI. We prohibit marriages being contracted between persons connected by blood or affinity, as far as the generation. If any persons thus connected have married, let them be separated.

XVII. We forbid men’s being allowed to allege consanguinity against their own wives, and the witnesses they bring forward are not to be admitted; but let the authority of the fathers be maintained.

“Are you content?” “Be it so.” — “Are you content?” “Be it so.” — “Are you content?” “Be it so.”

The same cardinal, after quitting England, went to Normandy, and at length returned to Rome. William, the archbishop, also considering that the church of England had received grievous offence in the humiliation of the see of Canterbury, crossed the channel himself on his way to Rome, to procure the best support he could in the disordered state of affairs, and prevent their growing worse. He therefore proceeded to Rome, and was received with honour by pope Honorius, who had succeeded Calixtus, and who made the archbishop his vicar-general in England and Scotland, and appointed him legate of the apostolic see.

A.D. 1126. King Henry returned to England at Christmas, and held his court at Windsor Castle with great magnificence, having summoned all the nobles of the realm to attend him there. On this occasion, when the bishop of York, claiming equality with the archbishop of Canterbury, offered to place the crown on the king’s head, 105 as his predecessors had done, his claim was rejected by the decision of all who were present, and it was unanimously agreed that nothing pertaining to the royal crown belonged to him. Moreover, the bearer of the cross which he caused to be borne before him into the king’s chapel, was thrust out of the chapel, with the cross he carried; for, by the judgement of the bishops and some learned men skilled in ecclesiastical law, it was established and settled that it was not lawful for a metropolitan to have his cross carried before him out of his own province.

Fealty sworn to the empress Matilda

As soon as the feast days [of Christmas] were over, the king went to London, attended by all the men of rank in the realm who had flocked to his court, and there, by the king’s command, William, the archbishop and legate of the see of Rome, and all the other bishops of England, and the nobles of the land, swore fealty to the king’s daughter; engaging to defend her right to the crown of England, if she should survive her father, against all opposers, unless he should yet before his death beget a son in lawful wedlock, to become his successor. On the death of the emperor Henry, who had lived in marriage with her many years, without leaving children, she had returned to her father’s court, where she was surrounded with all the honours becoming her station. The king, therefore, having lost his son William in the manner already described, and there being as yet no other direct heir to the kingdom, for that reason made over the right to the crown to his daughter, under the proviso just mentioned.

The custody of Rochester castle granted to the archbishops of Canterbury

The king, also, by the advice of his barons, granted to the church of Canterbury, and to William the archbishop, and to all his successors, the custody and constableship of the castle of Rochester, to hold for ever; with liberty to make in the same castle a fort or tower, as they pleased, and have and guard it for ever; and that the garrison stationed in the castle should have free ingress and egress on their own occasions, and should be security to the archbishop for it. Robert, surnamed Pecceth, bishop of Coventry, departed this life, and lies buried at Coventry. Hugh, abbot of St. Augustine’s [at Canterbury], died.

A synod held at Westminster

A.D. 1127. William, archbishop of Canterbury, convened a general synod of all the bishops and abbots, and some men of religion from all parts of England, at the monastery of St. Peter, situated in the western part of London. At this synod he himself presided as archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the apostolic see; assisted by William, bishop of Winchester, Roger of Salisbury, William of Exeter, Hervey of Ely, Alexander of Lincoln, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid of Chichester, Richard of Hereford, Geoffrey of Bath, John of Rochester, Bernard of St. David’s in Wales, Urban of Glamorgan or Llandaff, and David of Bangor. Richard, bishop of London, and Robert, bishop of Chester, 106 were then dead, and no successors had yet been appointed to their sees. But Thurstan, archbishop of York, sent messengers with letters assigning reasonable cause for his non-appearance at the convocation.

Ralph, bishop of Durham, fell sick on the road, and was not able to complete the journey, as the prior of his church and the clerks whom he sent forward solemnly attested. Simon, bishop of Worcester, had gone to visit his relations beyond seas, and was not yet returned. Great multitudes, also, of the clergy and laity, both rich and poor, flocked together, and there was a numerous and important meeting. The council sat for three days, namely, the third of the ides [the 13th] of May, the following day, and the third day afterwards, being the seventeenth of the calends of June [16th May]. There were some proceedings with respect to secular affairs; some were determined, some adjourned, and some withdrawn from the hearing of the judges, on account of the disorderly conduct of the immense crowd. But the decrees and statutes made in this synod by common consent of the bishops we have thought it desirable to record in this work, as they were there publicly declared and accepted. They are these :—

I. We wholly prohibit, by the authority of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and our own, the buying and selling of any ecclesiastical benefices, or any ecclesiastical dignities whatever. Whoever shall be convicted of having violated this decree, if he be a clerk, or even a regular canon, or a monk, let him be degraded from his order; if a layman, let him be held outlawed and excommunicated, and be deprived of his patronage of the church or benefice.

II. We totally interdict, by the authority of the apostolic see, the ordination or promotion of any person in the church of God, for the sake of lucre.

III. We condemn certain payments of money exacted for the admission of canons, monks, and nuns.

IV. No one shall be appointed a dean but a priest, and no one but a deacon, archdeacon. If any one in minor orders be named to these dignities he shall be enjoined by the bishop to take the orders required. But if he disobey the bishop’s monition to take such orders, he shall lose his appointment to the dignity.

V. We utterly interdict all illicit intercourse with women, as well by priests, deacons, and sub-deacons, as by all canons. If, however, they will retain their concubines (which God forbid), or their wives, they are to be deprived of their ecclesiastical orders, their dignity, and benefice. If there be any such among parish priests, we expel them from the chancel, and declare them infamous. Moreover, we command, by the authority of God and our own, all archdeacons and officials, whose duty it is, to use the utmost care and diligence in eradicating this deadly evil from the church of God. If they be found negligent in this, or (which God forbid) consenting thereto, they are for the first and second offence to be duly corrected by the bishops, and for the third to be punished more severely, according to the canons.

VI. The concubines of priests and canons shall be expelled from the parish, unless they shall have contracted a lawful marriage there. If they are found afterwards offending, they shall be arrested by the officers of the church, in whatever lordship they may be; and we command, under pain of excommunication, that they be not sheltered by any jurisdiction, either inferior or superior, but truly delivered up to the officer of the church, to be subjected to ecclesiastical discipline, or reduced to bondage, according to the sentence of the bishop.

VII. We prohibit, under pain of excommunication, any archdeacon from holding several archdeaconries in different dioceses; let him retain that only to which he was first appointed.

VIII. Bishops are to prohibit all priests, abbots, monks, and priors, subject to their jurisdiction, from holding farms.

IX. We command that tithes be honestly paid, for they are the sovereign right of the most high God.

X. We forbid, by canonical authority, any person from giving or receiving churches or tithes, or other ecclesiastical benefices, without the consent and authority of the bishop.

XI. No abbess or nun is to use garments of richer material than lamb’s-wool or cat-skin.

King Henry, who remained at London during these proceedings, being informed of the acts of the council, assented to them, and ratified and confirmed by his royal authority the decrees of the synod held at Westminster by William, archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the holy Roman church. One Hugh, of the diocese of Rochester, being appointed abbot, was advanced, with deserved honour, to the dignity for which he was designated, that of abbot of St. Augustine’s, by William, archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday, the second of the ides [the 12th] of June, at Chichester. Richard, bishop of Hereford, died at his vill, called Dydelebyrig,107 on Monday the eighteenth of the calends of September [15th August]; his body was carried to Hereford, and buried in the church there, with the bishops his predecessors. Henry, king of England, went over sea.

A.D. 1128. Thurstan, the archbishop, consecrated at York, Robert, who had been intruded by Alexander, king of Scots, on the petition of David, his brother and successor, into the see of St. Andrew’s. The archbishop had called in Ralph, bishop of Durham, and one Ralph, formerly ordained bishop of the Orkney islands, to be his coadjutors in the ceremony. This Ralph having been ordained without the election or consent of the lord of the land, or of the clergy and people, was rejected by all of them, and acknowledged as bishop by no one. Being bishop of no city, he attached himself sometimes to the archbishop of York, sometimes to the bishop of Durham; he was supported by them, and employed by both as coadjutor in the performance of their episcopal functions. Robert, being consecrated by these bishops, was not permitted by the Scots, as it is reported, to make any profession of submission or obedience to the church of York or its bishop, although he was a canon of that church.

A man of worth and advanced years, who was a canon of the church of Lyons, was elected bishop of London; for Richard, bishop of that city, was dead, and this person, named Gilbert, and surnamed The Universal, [so called from his extensive learning] was appointed in his stead by king Henry and archbishop William, with the assent of the clergy and people. He was consecrated by the archbishop himself, in the mother church of Canterbury, on Sunday, the eleventh of the calends of February [22nd January]. Sigefrid, bishop of Chichester, and John, bishop of Rochester, assisted and took part in the ceremony, in the presence of the abbots, and other great and noble persons, assembled at Canterbury on the occasion; his profession having been first made in the same way his predecessors had done, by which he promised canonical submission and obedience in all things to the archbishop and his successors.

Concerning the oath now altered through perjury to the peril of many. In the twenty-eighth year of his reign, in the octave of Easter, that is, 29 April, in the seventh indiction, concurrents seven, a bissextile year, epacts twenty-five, King Henry of the English held a council at Westminster in London, which the two metropolitans, William of Canterbury and Thurstan of York, chaired, and which was attended by bishops, abbots, earls, barons, with the magnates of all England. Among multifarious matters, there was discussed between them all who would succeed as ruler when the king died and an heir was lacking. Finally all agreed to the king’s wish that his daughter, the widow of Henry, emperor of the Romans should receive the English kingdom under Christ’s protection with her lawful husband, if she had one, and that all were to swear an oath so that this plan should be firmly irnplemented. First of all the archbishops took the oath, then the bishops in order, Bishop Roger of Salisbury proposing the oaths to them all. In accordance with ecclesiastical practice, the abbots were to take the oath after the bishops, although all oath-taking is forbidden by the Lord. But because a monk is often held cheaply by those deceived into straying from the road, the order of precedence was reversed wilfully, not out of necessity. David, king of the Scots, then took the oath. Queen Adelaide of the English, also swore for the king’s daughter, who was present, and agreed to the sworn formula in such a manner that, if the king did not have an heir of either sex,but if he did not lack a survivor of either sex, then the survivor should inherit. the kingdom. The regulator of the proceedings spoke to Robert, earl of Gloucester, the king’s son, who was sitting to the left of the king, saying, ‘Get up, get up, and swear the oath as the king wants? Robert replied, ‘No, rather Stephen, count of Boulogne, was born before me and should do this first, he who is sitting to the right of the king.’ This was done. Then all the earls, barons, sheriffs, and more noble knights swore. Then the regulator said, ‘Let the abbots come forward and swear the oath.’ Then the revered abbot of Bury St Edmund’s, Anselm, replied for all, seriously complaining of the reversed order of precedence which had been followed against him and his associates.

‘Behold,’ he said, ‘O king, the curses of those who criticize our order have fallen upon us. Look how abbots have been held cheap in contravention of the law of the church, in that you have placed ahead of us in your oath-taking even laymen who are subject to us.’ To this the king replied, “What you see done has been done and let it stand. Stop talking and delaying, but come forward and take the oath as we all have done. The abbots should swear, let them appease the king in attending to him.’ Then the council was over, each one left, and returned home, But alas, behold we see an oath turned into perjury. As Terence says, ‘Fawning makes friends, truthfulness hatred.’ But although this is true, God and His Christ and the Spirit descending from both, know this: if I were not afraid that the royal majesty would harm John’s head, I would assert that all oath-takers are guilty of perjury. But may the God of all things to whose eyes everything is open and clear, so that He sees well and wishes all lords to be better, dispose all this in His mercy and compassion, as He knows so well how to do.

Shortly afterwards the King of the English crossed over the sea.118

In the third year of Lothar, emperor of the Romans, in the 28th year of King Henry of the English in the year of the 470th Olympiad, in the second year of the seventh indiction, twenty-fifth moon on Saturday the sixth of the ides of December [8th December] there appeared from the morning right up until the evening, two black spheres against the sun. The first was in the upper part and large, the second in the lower part and small and each was directly opposite the other as shown in this figure.

Urban, bishop of Glamorgan or Llandaff, considering that he had not been justly dealt with in regard to certain questions with Bernard, bishop of St. David’s, which he had litigated in the council of the preceding year, crossed the sea, after the feast of the Purification of St. Mary [2nd February], and proceeding to Rome, laid the cause of his journey, supported by clear attestations from his own diocese, before the apostolical pope. The pope lent a favourable ear to his pretensions and statements, and addressed letters to king Henry and archbishop William, and the other bishops of England, enjoining them by his apostolical authority to suffer no opposition from anyone to Urban’s just demands.

The venerable Godfrey, abbot of Shrewsbury, died on Wednesday, the fourth of the calends of April [24th March]. Geoffrey, prior of Canterbury, was, at the request of David, king of Scots, and with the permission of William the archbishop,elected abbot of a place in Scotland called Dunfermline, and ordained by Robert, bishop of St. Andrew’s. Urban, bishop of Llandaff, returned to England, after a successful journey; and, by the king’s command, the apostolical mandates respecting him were carried into effect.

One of the monks of the church of Shrewsbury, named Herbert, having been elected abbot, and consecrated by archbishop William at Lewes, assumed the government of the monastery at Shrewsbury as such abbot. Hugh, abbot of Chertsey, died. William, count of Flanders, surnamed “The Sad”, falling into an ambush, was wounded by his enemies, and, his sufferings increasing, died, amidst universal lamentations, on the sixth of the calends of August [27th July], and was buried at St. Berlin. Ralph, bishop of Durham, died on the nones [the 5th] of September; and Geoffrey, archbishop of Rouen, departed this life on the fourth of the calends of December [28th November].

A.D. 1129. William, bishop of Winchester, died on the eighth of the calends of February [25th January], and was buried at Winchester.

In the month of July, Henry, king of England, returned from Normandy to England. His nephew, Henry, abbot of Glastonbury, elected to the see of Winton in the month of October, was consecrated bishop by William, archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday, the fifteenth of the calends of December [17th November]. Roger, archdeacon of Buckingham, and nephew of Geoffrey de Clinton, having been elected to the see of Chester, was ordained priest on the twelfth of the calends of January [21st December], and the next day was consecrated bishop at Canterbury by the archbishop. He was afterwards enthroned, by the archbishop’s mandate, in the episcopal chair at Coventry,1 by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Monday, the sixth of the calends of February [27th January].

A.D. 1130. On this day certain events worthy of record occurred in our church by the intervention of God and through the merits of the Mother of God, the ever virgin Mary and of our patrons Oswald and Wulstan. Judicial sentences were imposed for different offences. The two were lay people and one a woman. On the preceding sabbath day when the Conversion of St Paul [25th January] was celebrated, as ecclesiastical punishment they had to carry the hot iron. Those who witnessed it, saw the woman’s hand dramatically burnt inside and outside by the fire. Trusting at the same time in the mercy of God the Father and especially in the merits of the pious bishop blessed Wulfstan they went to his tomb, knelt, sought intercession, and almost as though they hoped to wake him for their own comfort, they often pressed their palms on his tomb. When mass had been said and the judgement was shown to all the people the hands of first one and then the other were found to be completely healed. This was done in sequence, and the hands were shown three times and all the miracles declared with the singing of ‘Te Deum Laudamus’.

Hugh, abbot of Reading, was elected archbishop of Rouen. Christchurch, at Canterbury, was dedicated with great pomp, by William, archbishop of that city, on the fourth of the nones [the 4th] of May. The following bishops were present at the consecration:—John, bishop of Rochester, Gilbert of London, Henry of Winchester, Simon of Worcester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, Godfrey of Bath, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid of Chichester, Bernard of St. David’s; with Owen, bishop of Evreux, and John, bishop of Séez, from beyond sea. On the fourth day afterwards — that is, on the nones [the 7th] of May — the city of Rochester was destroyed by fire, while the king was there; and on the day following, being the feast of our Lord’s Ascension, the new church of St. Andrew was consecrated by William the archbishop, some of the before-mentioned bishops assisting him in the service. [Ansger], the excellent prior of Lewes, was elected at Winchester abbot of Reading, and afterwards ordained; also Ingulph, prior of Winchester, having been elected at Woodstock abbot of Abingdon, was ordained by Roger, bishop of Salisbury. William, abbot of Gloucester, having voluntarily resigned his pastoral charge by reason of age, chose, with the consent of the brethren, a pious monk, of the same house, named Walter, who was ordained abbot by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Sunday, the nones [the 3rd] of August. Serlo, also, a canon of Salisbury, was ordained abbot by the same bishop, at Blockley, an episcopal vill, and appointed to govern the abbey of Cirencester. Robert, prior of the church of Llanthony, being elected to the see of Hereford, was consecrated at Oxford, by William, archbishop of Canterbury. Henry, king of England, went over the sea.

Shortly after the middle of the night, on the thirteenth calends of March, [17th February] as they were coming out of Lauds, two priests and two clerks at Hereford saw an unusual bright light, about one perch in length, in that part of the heavens where the sun is to be found towards the end of the tenth hour, when it is setting at the summer solstice. The object from which the bright light came was covered with a white cloud. For short periods it would often emerge from the cloud as though it was moving upwards, and then after a short interval it would re-enter the cloud to the fear and amazement of the observers. Its colour was a blend of those of a full moon and of bright flames. In shape and size it was like a small pyramid, broad at the bottom, and narrow at the top. The observers called out so that there could be more witnesses to this matter; they declared that a fairly small plank, stretching upwards a long way was seen to stand on the cloud in which that brilliant object had been—-which object had at first shed light on the cloud and had in the end covered with a dim light for the most part from below the northerly parts next to it, a light less bright than the spot in which it stood.

Whilst these things were happening, some persons who had been called arrived, and as soon as they had come all that light was completely blotted out except for the faintest trace which could barely be seen on its north side. The person who had seen the earlier light also saw at the beginning of the spectacle two lines seemingly filled with the light of dawn and stretching from the equinoctial sun’s rising to its equinoctial setting. However, he was able to establish neither how long the two aforesaid lines lasted nor exactly when they vanished because he felt such fear of the sight and because he was concentrating wholly on the other vision which has been described. This was seen by the clerks of St Guthlac in Hereford castle. It was also seen by the watchmen in Brecon castle as well as in Herefordshire by the shepherds watching their flocks that same night. I have written down what I have heard. May Christ’s mercy save us!

In the thirtieth year of his reign and in his sixty-fourth year, a marvellous dream appeared in Normandy to Henry, king of England. Asleep King Henry saw these remarkable visions which Grimbald the doctor fully observed whilst he was awake. He leapt out of bed whilst the vision frightened the king. Rising and seizing arms, the king wounded no one. There were three visions, each different from the other. This was the first vision. Overcome by drowsiness, the king fell asleep, and behold, he saw a big band of peasants standing by him with agricultural implements. In different ways they began to rage, to gnash their teeth, and to demand from him dues which I am unable to describe.

Waking in terror from his sleep, he sprang from the bed it may be with bare feet and seized his arms, wanting to punish those whom he had seen in his sleep. But he found no one. He saw this and saw that those who should watch by the side of kings had all fled. Such is the dignity of kings! The king dressed in the purple who inspires fear like a raging lion (as Solomon puts it) is terrified in his sleep by peasants. King, stop, stop chasing shadows, go back to bed, so that when asleep you will again see a greater vision. This was the second vision. Having gone back to sleep, Henry saw a large band of knights wearing armour, bearing helmets on their heads, and each of them holding lances, a sword, spears and arrows. If you were present you could see knights revealed in a dream, all apparently wanting to kill the king and to cut him into pieces if they could. Struck by a great fear in his sleep, the king fills the whole royal chamber with a horrendous cry. ’Help me,’ he cries, ’help me’. With this clamour, he shook sleep from his eyes, took up his sword, and wanting to strike, he found no one to wound.

Bishops, abbots, and priors stand by searching, as it were, for their despoiled churches. A third time the king sank back into sleep, and saw the figures of archbishops, bishops, abbots, deans and priors holding their pastoral staffs. In your mind’s eye you might see the churchmen changing their attitude, and, as it were, their enduring respect for the king’s mercy on account of the plundering of church possessions. They look at his terrifying countenance and at his eyes almost averted from them, and with many threats they are seen to want to attack him with the tips of their staffs. One man secreted in a hidden corner of the royal chamber, under the cover of the total silence of the night, saw all these marvellous things. It was that skilled physician, Grimbald, who related all these matters at Winchcombe to the lord abbot Godfrey of the church there in my presence and hearing. The same man approached the king at dawn when he was still in bed, and discussed with him what he had seen. The king told him all he had experienced in his sleep, and the distinguished man of great wisdom, who is now deceased, explained their true interpretation, and, as Nebuchadnezzar did 0n Daniel’s advice, advised him to redeem his sins by alms-giving.

After this the same king Henry one day boarded a ship with the royal household to return to England. And lo, there was a great disturbance at sea so that the ship was covered by waves in the face of a contrary wind. Alas, Jesus was asleep for them all. Fearing an imminent disaster, the king decided that the Danish tax should not be collected in the English kingdom for seven years so that the King of kings would in His mercy be watchful and succour both him and his followers. He also vowed that he would turn aside to the eastern parts of England and ask for the protection of St Edmund, king and martyr, and that he would always preserve justice throughout England. When he had so promised there was a great calm. On his return, to everyone’s rejoicing he fulfilled his promise. King Stephen, who now reigns, also promised in a royal decree that he would never collect the Danish tax. We hear that it is now again demanded throughout England by a perjury odious to God. This cursed offence overturned the prophetic pledge just as it had been made.

      Love of gain often makes kings pervert laws.
      If you are guilty and are condemned to death by the sentence of a judge,
      Go forward and give five or ten talents.
      If you give such sums you will be quickly set free.

A.D. 1131. In the thirteenth year of the fourth nineteen-year cycle, in the fourteenth year of the third solar cycle, the first year of the sixth bis-sextile, in the times of Lothar, emperor of the Romans, and of Henry, the English king, there was a certain rich and powerful count called Norman in Alemania, who dwelt in the town of Honburc [Hohenburg]. He had a daughter called Odilia who was blind from birth. When she was small, he sent her off to a distant small estate of his since he thought it shameful to have her brought up in the township where he was living. When she reached the age of puberty, she avoided all wantonness, and most diligently served the Lord in an upright manner to the best of her abilities. She had a brother who loved her dearly and who often asked his father to recall her, but he was completely unsuccessful in his request. At length he took counsel with his close followers, and without his father knowing where he was, he set out and brought his sister back with him and put her up in a certain house quite close to her father’s household.

When he had done this, he went to his father and, as he had done before, begged for his sister’s return, but the father did not change his mind, and did not agree. The son was roused to anger, and said to the father, ‘Whether you are willing or not, she has been brought back by me and lives in a neighbouring house.’ On learning this, the father became exceedingly angry, struck his son on the head with the staff he was holding in his hand, and killed him. Returning straightway to his house, he was frightened at the ill he had done, and after a few days, he did penance according to ecclesiastical commands. When he had done penance for some time, he became ill and died. His daughter implored God’s mercy on his behalf since he had died with only half his penance performed and she assiduously spent her days and nights in fasting, vigils, and prayers for the redemption of his soul.

Whilst she was doing these things an angel of the Lord stood by her one night in a dream and said, “If you will pray to the Lord even more earnestly than you are doing for your father’s soul, he will be returned to his body so that he might carry out the penance enjoined on him, and then, when that has been carried out, he will again depart his body after a good way of life.” When these things had been said, the angelic vision vanished. Waking up immediately, Odilia pondered what she had learnt in the dream, and began to try in every possible way to implore God’s mercy through fasting, vigils, and prayers that, as the angel had promised her, she might be worthy to welcome her father. When she had continued for some time in this distress, behold, one day he who had died entered the hall in full view of everyone, clad only in a shirt, and, greeting all present, he urged them not to be frightened, saying, ‘Behold Almighty God has restored me to life so that I might carry out my penance’. The next day, he set out on a journey, and after he had done his due penance, he returned home, and built a church in honour of the Holy Mother of God, where, having assembled nuns for the service of God, he made his daughter Odilia, who had been enlightened by God, abbess. Afterwards having disposed of all things in his house in an orderly fashion, he ended his day in peace, as the angel had predicted. The shirt which he was wearing when he appeared alive to his household, was kept in the same church next to the principal altar as a sign of this miracle, emitting a foul stench, and coloured like ash. If you touched it with your hand, you could not tell what sort of material it was nor feel its texture. In the end those who lived there could not bear its overwhelming smell, and those coming from elsewhere at the very entrance of the church drew breath straightway with great revulsion. Meanwhile the noble virgin Odilia continued in her holy way of life after her father’s death, inspiring those who were with her with the example of good works, completing the cycle of her days, and departed happily to the Lord on Monday, 13 December, Two days before the day kept holy in her memory, one of the church’s household put on the aforesaid shirt and went up and down, arousing the sympathy of the onlookers in the middle of the crowd, continually holding sweet smelling herbs to his nostrils lest he be affected by the stench of the shirt and to the compunction of the onlookers in the middle of the crowd who had assembled for the feast. Seven days before the feast this man garnished all his food with raw garlic to counteract the said shirt’s stench.

A.D. 1132. A most devout and revered Worcester monk named Uhtred died on the fourth of the nones of April, Saturday before Palm Sunday, that is, on [2 April] - he had earlier been made cantor of the Worcester church by the blessed and ever-honoured Bishop Wulfstan - and because through God’s mercy he ended his life in a manner worthy of record, I have thought it appropriate to set down for everyone how he departed this world. I do this both because the brethren have asked me to and because of the affection he showed me almost as a foster-father. For many years he acted as precentor, and acted as everyone’s guardian in God’s service. In the end he was deprived of his bodily strength, and was often afflicted by paralysis. In the year of his death his body, in a Spirit of humility and for the remission of his sins, used to be struck frequently and sharply almost for whole days by two or three brothers. The aforesaid Saturday came when he would leave this world. Trusting in, and comforted by, the Lord, he stood as usual in the choir at mass. He began the office ‘Liberator meus, Kyrie eleison’ and the Gradual that followed. I was standing by his side. When the Gospel had been read, he began the Offertory ‘Benedictus es, Deus,’ and summoned by God, he began to sink little by little. With an anguished heart straight away I took him. up in my arms. The astonished brothers rushed forward. He asked that he be allowed, if possible, to die near the altar. In the end he was carried to the infirmary. When Vespers was over, he took the Lord’s Body and Blood in communion on that same day as he had on previous days, and commended. his soul into his Creator’s hands. He was buried the following day by Simon, the revered bishop of Worcester, in the view of the clergy and of all the townspeople.

Reginald, the reverend abbot of Ramsey, died on the thirteenth of the calends of June [20th May]. William, the venerable abbot of Gloucester, and Hervey, who had been bishop of Bangor, and was afterwards the first bishop of Ely, died on the third of the calends of September [30th August], the ninth indiction.

A comet was seen on the eighth of the ides of October [8th October], and remained visible for nearly five days.

A.D. 1133. The greater part of the city of London, with the principal church of St. Paul the apostle, was destroyed by fire, in Whitsun week—that is, on the second of the ides [the 14th] of May.

In the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry, king of England, on Wednesday, the same day in the course of the year on which his brother and predecessor, king William Rufus, was slain, and on which king Henry himself assumed the government at the commencement of his reign, it is stated that the following appearance occurred. While the king, having gone to the coast for the purpose of crossing the sea, delayed his departure, although the wind was often fair for the voyage, at last, on the day mentioned, he went down to the shore about noon to take his passage, surrounded by his guards, as is the custom of kings. Then suddenly a cloud was seen in the air, which was visible throughout England, though not of the same size; for in some places the day only appeared gloomy, while in others the darkness was such that men required the light of candles for whatever they had to do. The king and his attendants, and many others, walked about in great wonder; and, raising their eyes to the heavens, observed that the sun had the appearance of shining like a new moon. But it did not long preserve the same shape; for sometimes it was broader, sometimes narrower, sometimes more curved, sometimes more upright, now steady as usual, and then moving, and quivering and liquid like quicksilver. Some say that the sun was eclipsed. If this be true, the sun was then in the head of the dragon, and the moon in its tail, or the sun in the tail, and the moon in the head, in the fifth sign, and the seventeenth degree of that sign. The moon was then in her twenty-seventh day. On the same day, and at the same hour, many stars appeared.

Moreover, on the same day, when the ships were anchored on the shore, ready for the king’s voyage, the sea being very calm and little wind stirring, the great anchors of one of the ships were suddenly wrenched from their hold in the ground, as though by some violent shock, and the ship getting under weigh, to the surprise of numbers who strove in vain to stop her, set in motion the ship next to her, and thus eight ships fell foul of each other by some unknown force, so that they all received damage. It was also generally reported that on the same day and about the same hour, many churches in the province of York were seen sweating, as it were, great drops.

All these occurrences took place, as it is said, on Wednesday, the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of August. And on Friday, in the same week, the second of the nones of the same month [4th August], at daybreak, there was a great earthquake in many parts of England. There were some also who said that in the week following, on Monday, the sixth of the ides of the same month [8th August], when the moon was three days old, they saw her first as she generally appeared at that age, and after a short space of time, in the evening of the same day, they observed her full, like a round and very bright shield. Many also reported that on the same night they saw two moons, distant about a spear’s length from each other.

Notwithstanding, king Henry crossed the sea, leaving England for Normandy, never to return alive and see England again. In the month of November the city of Worcester was exposed to the ravages of fire, a frequent occurrence.

A.D. 1134. Robert, brother of king Henry, and formerly earl of Normandy, who was taken prisoner of war by the king when in Normandy, at the castle of Tinchebrai, and had been long confined in England, died at Cardiff, and, being carried to Gloucester, was buried with great honours in the pavement of the church before the altar. Godfrey, bishop of Bath, died on the seventeenth of the calends of September [16th August]; after some interval he was succeeded by a monk named Robert, a Fleming by descent, but born in England. Thus Robert, from a monk became a bishop, such being the pleasure of Henry, bishop of Winchester, who is now, but was not at that time, legate of the Roman church.

A.D. 1135. Henry, king of England, died on the fourth of the nones [the 20th] of December, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, after a reign of thirty-five years and four months; and Stephen, his sister’s son, being elected to the kingdom of England, was consecrated king, by William, archbishop of Canterbury, on the thirteenth of the calends of January [20th December], at London, where he held his court, at Christmas, surrounded by the nobles of England, with great courtesy and royal pomp. The holy festival being ended, the corpse of king Henry, lately deceased, was brought from Normandy to England, 108 and the king went to meet it, attended by a large body of nobles, and for the love he bore his uncle, he supported the bier on his royal shoulders, assisted by his barons, and thus brought the corpse to Reading. Masses were sung, many rich offerings made, alms distributed to multitudes of the poor, and the obsequies having been duly solemnised, and his effigy exposed to view on a hearse, the royal corpse was deposited, with the highest honours, in a tomb constructed, according to custom, before the altar in the principal church, dedicated to the most blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, which king Henry himself, for the good of his soul, had endowed with lands, woods, meadows, and pastures, and enriched with many ornaments.

May Henry, England’s king, to whom such wealth was given,
From purgatorial pains released, partake the bliss of heaven !

After his interment, Stephen being on the throne, and, indeed, Long before, the bonds of peace were broken asunder, and the greatest discord prevailed in all parts of Normandy and England. Man rose up against man—discord was rife in the land, wasting the substance of both high and low, and penetrating on all sides within strong and lofty walls. Every one spoiled his neighbour’s goods. The powerful oppress the weak by violence, and obtain exemption from inquiry by the terror of their threats. Death is the lot of him who resists. The wealthy nobles of the land, rolling in affluence, care little to what iniquities the wretched sufferers are exposed; all their concern is for themselves and their own adherents; they store their castles and fortified towns with all things necessary, and garrison them with armed bands, fearing a revolution which should alter the succession to the crown, and not reflecting on the dispensations of the providence of God, “whose ways are past finding out.” While all should be hushed in peace in the presence of royalty, as before a roaring lion, there is no end of devastations and ravages in numberless places, and especially in Wales. From this any one may perceive with how little prudence and firmness, with what injustice rather than justice, England, which ought to be ruled far otherwise, s now governed. In the prevailing lust of money, and an inordinate ambition for preferment of every kind, moderation, the mother of virtues, is scarcely to be found.

Stephen, king of England, marched into Devonshire with a large force of horse and foot, and besieged, for a long time the castle of Exeter, which Baldwin, surnamed de Redvers, had fortified in defiance of the royal authority. But at length, the garrison being short of provisions, terms were made, and Baldwin, with his wife and children, were expelled from England, his lands being forfeited. Ansger, the venerable abbot of Reading, died on the sixth of the calends’ of February [27th January], and Godfrey, bishop of Bath, on the seventeenth of the calends of September [16th August].

A.D. 1136. Speedily after the death of king Henry on the fourth of-the nones (the 2nd) of December a severe battle was fought in Gower, 109 between the Normans and the Welsh, on the calends [the 1st] of January, in which five hundred and sixteen of the two armies perished. Their bodies were horribly dragged about the fields and devoured by the wolves. Afterwards the Welsh made a desperate inroad, attended with the destruction, far and wide, of churches, vills, corn, and cattle, the burning of castles and other fortified places, and the slaughter, dispersion, and sale into captivity in foreign lands of countless numbers, both of the rich and poor. Among these, the noble and amiable Richard, son of Gilbert, 110 falling into an ambush, was slain by the Welsh, on the seventeenth of the calends of May [15th April]; and his body being carried to Gloucester, was honourably buried in the chapter-house of the brethren. Another bloody battle was afterwards fought at Cardigan, in the second week of the month of October, in this same year, in which the slaughter was so great that, without reckoning the men who were carried off into captivity, there remained ten thousand women, whose husbands, with numberless children, were either drowned, or burnt, or put to the sword. When the bridge over the river Tivy was broken down it was a wretched spectacle to see crowds passing to and fro across a bridge formed by the horrible mass of human corpses and horses drowned in the river.

William, archbishop of Canterbury, died at one of his vills, on the twelfth of the calends of December [20th November], in the fifteenth year of his patriarchate, and was buried at Canterbury. Guy, abbot of Pershore, a man of great prudence, died on the nones [the 5th] of August. Benedict, abbot of Tewksbury, a man of devoted piety and strict continence, died on the ides [the 15th] of March.

      Removed from this world’s strife,
      God give them endless life!

A.D. 1137. In the month of March, before Easter, which fell on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of April, Stephen, king of England, went over sea, and spent some time in foreign parts. Griffyth-ap-Rhys, king of Wales, perished through the artifices of his wife. 111 The Welsh, having suffered much in the defence of their native land, not only from the powerful Normans, but also from the Flemings, after numbers had fallen on both sides, at last subdued the Flemings, and did not cease to commit devastations on all sides; plundering and burning the vills and castles, and putting to death all who made any resistance, and the helpless as well as the armed. Among the rest, a knight, they say, of great bravery, whose name was Paganus, fell, pierced through the head by a lance while engaged in capturing and slaying some plundering Welshmen: his body was carried to Gloucester, and buried in the monk’s chapter house. The city of York was destroyed by fire, with the principal monastery, on Friday in Whitsun- week, which fell on the 6th of the ides [the 8th] of June. Shortly afterwards the city of Rochester was also destroyed by fire. On Thursday the fourth of the calends of August [29th July] the church of Bath, and, in the same month of August, the city of Leicester, were burnt.

Miracles at Windsor

One day, while the people were attending the celebration of mass at Windsor, as we have been informed by trustworthy persons, there was a sudden radiance in the interior of the church; and some persons, wondering what it was, went forth and beheld a strange star shining in the heavens, and on their return observed that the light within descended from the star. Miracle succeeded miracle. Many observed the crucifix which stood on the altar in motion and wringing its hands, the right with the left, or the left with the right, after the manner of persons in trouble. After this was done three times the whole crucifix trembled, and was bathed in sweat for nearly half an hour, returning afterwards to its former state.

Relics found at Southwell

At Southwell, a vill of the archbishop’s, while a grave was being made for a funeral, there were found some relics of saints, and a glass phial with raised sides to prevent its being broken, and full of very clear water; which being given to the sick, they were on tasting it restored to their former health. I give the first of these miracles as I heard it; the last was related to me by Henry, bishop of Winchester.

Thurstan, archbishop of York, with Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and some other bishops and great men of the realm, held a council at Northampton, in the hearing of many persons.

Schism in the Church of Rome—Pope and Anti~pope

The see of Rome had now been in an unsettled state for seven years, in consequence of there being two popes, namely, Gregory, who was also called Innocent, and Peter, called Leo, in whose cause a war broke out between Lothaire, emperor of the Romans, and Roger, duke of Apulia. Both these princes abounded in wealth, but the first was the most religious as well as superior in dignity; the latter, to his own confusion, was more liberal with his gold. But the imperial majesty, as it is fitting and just, surpasses in all things the royal dignity. Each appointed a bishop of bishops at Rome. Lothaire supported Gregory, who was canonically elected; Roger granted the papacy of Rome to Peter Leo. But this mutual strife offending the cardinals and the prefect of the city, they admitted for lucre, first Gregory, expelling Leo, and then Leo, expelling Gregory, to the apostolic see. At last Gregory, appointed by Lothaire, ruled the see of the apostles. Peter Leo, the whelp of the ancient Peter the Lion, sits at the Lateran, like another pope. If both were inspired by the ambition of power, neither was pleasing to God. While they performed their part in the world, they were reserved for the judgement of God, whose judgements are profound. In consequence of this great schism having lasted for so many years in the chief of all the churches throughout the world, a day was fixed by common agreement among the princes on which a battle, by way of duel, should be fought between the two nations, the Romans and Apulians, that God, the Omnipotent Judge of all, might give the victory to whom he pleased. The emperor Lothaire, therefore, although he was suffering from illness, assembled an immense army, and pitched his camp in Apulia. Roger met him at the head of many thousand troops, both horse and foot. In the encounter which ensued, by God’s Providence the emperor and his army obtained the victory, and Roger and his forces were conquered, and fled. The royal crown which he had caused to be made that he might be crowned king, inlaid with gold and precious stones, and the royal spear, resplendent with gold, were discovered by treachery, and presented to the emperor as an acceptable gift. Returning to his own country, he soon afterwards lost his kingdom and his life. Lewis, king of France, died; and was succeeded by his son Lewis. Stephen, king of England, returned to England in the month of December, and held his court during Christmas at Dunstable, a town in Bedfordshire.

A Thuringian Tradition

A.D. 1138. Conrad III, duke of Bavaria, the ninety-ninth emperor of the Romans, and nephew of Henry the Elder, who had for empress the daughter of Henry, king of England, died after a reign of twelve years. In former times, a tribe, migrating from the north, reached the country of Thuringia, intending to settle there; and the inhabitants of that country granted them a large portion of their territory, as the foreigners requested. The people increased and multiplied exceedingly. After the lapse of a long period, they refused to pay the acknowledgement due to the Thuringians. In consequence, both sides met under arms, as is the custom of that nation, that the debt might be demanded and paid. This was done not once only, but a second time, without a wound being received on either side; the third time it was agreed that both parties should meet unarmed, under a guarantee of peace. The great body of foreigners assembled under an impression of the weakness of the Thuringians, and that their country was deficient both in counsel and courage for its good government. On the appointed day they came to the conference, having, by way of caution and self-protection, their long knives sheathed under their garments. The proceedings were not conducted peaceably, but with violent disputes. In short, the Thuringians were overcome, the fierce and alien race triumphed; for, drawing their long knives, they slaughtered many of the Thuringians. These inhabitants of the land were driven with ignominy from their country and kindred, and nearly all their territory fell into the hands of those on whom inconstant fortune now smiled. The country which, up to that time, had been called Thuringia, then changed its name, and, from the long knives of the conquerors, was afterwards called, not Saxony, but, in the English idiom, SÆxony. 112

Siege of Bedford—Irruption of the Scots

The festival days of Christmas being ended, Stephen, king of England, to maintain his regal crown in conformity to his name,113 put himself at the head of his army and besieged and took the castle of Bedford, which stood out against him, as he had before taken that of Exeter. Receiving intelligence by a messenger that his enemies114 had made an irruption, and were devastating the lands, burning the vills, and besieging castles and towns, he marched with a strong force into Northumbria. He did not long remain there, having, with some difficulty, accomplished the object he had in view. Those who are well acquainted with the facts, relate that, for nearly six months, a terrible irruption was made by numerous enemies of different races into Northumbria and the adjacent country, both far and near. Multitudes were taken, plundered, imprisoned, and tortured; ecclesiastics were put to death for the sake of the property of their churches; and scarcely any one can compute the number of the slain on the enemy’s side or our own. On the death of the apostolical Leo Peter, Innocent succeeded him, all who had taken the part of Peter against him making satisfaction, and being entirely reconciled to him. This pope consecrated Alberic, abbot of Vercelli, as bishop of Ostia, on Easter-day, at Rome.

How the Devil, in the shape of a black dwarf, was made a monk

About this time reports of the following miracle were circulated in all quarters. There is a noble monastery in the arch-diocese of Treves called Prum, dedicated to the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, and founded in ancient times by Pepin, king of the Franks, the father of Charles the Great. A strange occurrence is reported by all who were then inmates of this monastery. One morning, the cellarer, in company with his servant, having gone into the wine-vault, for the purpose of procuring wine, as usual, for the sacrifice of the altar, found one of the casks which he had left full the preceding day emptied down to the orifice commonly called the bung-hole, and the wine spilled over all the pavement. In great dismay at the loss which had happened, he chid sharply the servitor who was with him, saying that he had fixed the spigot very negligently the evening before, and that the loss had thus occurred. After saying this, he enjoined him, under severe threats, to tell no one what had happened; fearing that if it came to the abbot’s ears, he would put him out of his office in disgrace.

When evening came, before the brethren retired to rest, he went into the cellar, and having carefully secured the bung-holes of the vessels in which wine was contained, shut the door, and went to bed.

In the morning, on entering the cellar as usual, he perceived that another cask was emptied as low as the bung-hole, and the wine spilt, as on the preceding day. At this sight, not knowing to whose negligence he could lay the blame of the waste, he was filled with wonder and grief, and repeating his commands to the servitor to tell no one what had happened, in the evening before he went to bed he fastened all the bungs of the casks with the utmost care, and went to his pallet, sorrowful and anxious. Rising at day-break, and opening the cellar, he saw, for the third time, that the bung had been extracted from a cask, and that the wine was spilt as far as the hole. Being terrified, and not without cause, at these occurrences, and fearing to conceal any longer the loss to the community, he hastened to the abbot, and throwing himself at his feet, told him, in order, all that he had seen. The abbot, taking counsel with his brethren, ordered that towards evening the bung-holes of all the casks which held wine should be anointed round with chrism; which was done. At dawn of day, the before-mentioned brother going into the cellar according to his custom, found a wonderfully dwarfish black boy clinging by the hands to one of the bungs. Hastily seizing him, and bringing him to the abbot, he said: “Behold, my lord, this urchin whom you see has done us all the damage which we have discovered in the cellar;” after which he related to him how he had found the boy hanging from the bung. The abbot, astonished at the singular appearance of the boy, took counsel, and ordered that a monk’s dress should be prepared for him, and that he should associate with the youths who were scholars in the monastery. This was done, and as the abbot commanded, the boy lived with the young scholars day and night, but never took meat or drink, and - never spoke either in public or private; while the others were taking repose at night or in the noontide hours, he sat upon his bed, constantly moaning and heaving incessant sighs. Meanwhile, the abbot of another monastery coming to offer his devotions in that church, was detained there for some days, and the scholar-lads frequently passing before him while he sat with the abbot and seniors of the monastery, the little boy, stretching forth his hands towards him, cast a tearful glance on him, as if he wished to ask him some favour. This being frequently repeated, the abbot, wondering at his diminutive appearance, inquired of those who sat with him why they kept such a little boy in the convent? They replied, smiling, “My lord, the lad is not what you suppose;” and they told him the loss he had caused them, and how he was found clinging by the hands to the bung of a cask, and how he had conducted himself when living among them. On hearing this, the abbot was alarmed, and, groaning deeply, exclaimed, “Quickly expel him from your monastery, lest you incur greater loss, or serious peril; for he is clearly a devil lurking in human form, but by the mercy of God protecting you, through the merits of the saints, whose relics you have here, he has been unable to do you further injury.” At the command of the abbot of the same monastery, the boy was immediately brought before him, and while they were in the act of stripping off his monastic dress, he vanished from their hands like smoke.

A council at Northampton

Stephen, king of England, held a council at Northampton, in the octave of Easter, which fell on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of April. Thurstan, archbishop of York, and all the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, and nobles of England took their seats at it. In this council an archdeacon named Robert, the choice of some few, was appointed bishop of the church of Exeter, then vacant by the death of its bishop, William de Warewast. Two abbeys were also given away; that of Winchcombe to a monk of Cluni, as it is said a relation of the king, named Robert; the other, that of York, to a monk of the same abbey. One of these, the abbot-elect of Winchcombe, was ordained abbot of that monastery by the venerable Simon, bishop of Worcester, on the eleventh of the calends of June [22nd May].

Royal visit to Gloucester

The king, breaking up his camp at Northampton, marched towards Gloucester, and when his approach was known, the citizens met him more than five miles on the road with great joy, and conducted him into their city, receiving very graciously the honours they paid him. On his arrival there, on the third Rogation day [10th May,] the monks received him with processional pomp, and he offered on the altar his royal ring, which the king’s chaplains redeemed for fifty shillings and brought back to him the same day. From thence Milo, who was then his constable, conducted him with great honour to the royal palace, where the next day the citizens swore allegiance to him. On the third day, being Thursday, the king returned with his attendants to the abbey, and joyfully assisted at masses and processions in honour of our Lord’s Ascension.

Stephen marches to Hereford

The festival being concluded, the king, having heard that the castle of Hereford was fortified against him, put himself at the head of a powerful expedition, and pitched his camp against it, finding on his arrival that the report he had heard was true. Wherefore he remained there for the space of nearly four or five weeks, and issued orders throughout England that bodies of troops should march to support him in putting down all who opposed his royal title.

Meanwhile, the city of Hereford, below the bridge over the river Wye, was burnt before his eyes. Not long afterwards, the lamentable conflagration of the city of Oxford reached the ears of the king and his court. The garrison of Hereford, perceiving of a surety by the numbers and strength of the royal army, that the king would triumph over them, made terms and surrendered to him. And since Stephen was, nay is,1 a loving and peaceable king, he injured no one, but suffered his enemies to depart free. The king also took the fortified place called Wibbeleage,115 which Geoffrey de Talbot had held against him, but afterwards evacuated. It was by his devices and ability that the king’s adversaries were supported in breaking the peace. The aforesaid castles and that of Hereford were garrisoned by the king’s troops.

Meanwhile, Alberic, the before mentioned bishop of Ostia, came to England commissioned as apostolical legate to root out and destroy, build up and plant, all things that required it. The letters from the apostolical see having been read in the presence of the king and the nobles of England, out of reverence for the apostolical see, he was at length received, though not at first. Making a progress throughout England, he noted everything, and kept in mind whatever needed correction by the provision and appointment of a council.

The king having spent some time at Hereford departed with his troops. The city, thus deprived of the royal presence, was burnt, beyond the river Wye, by the before-named Geoffrey, on the eighteenth of the calends of July [the 15th June], none of our own people, but seven or eight of the Welsh, having been killed. I omit saying anything of the blood-shed of many others, for I am ignorant respecting it; but this I pray:

      May Christian souls in everlasting rest
      Be with the saints, their warfare ended, blest;
      And John corrected, if there ought occur,
      In which the reader finds his pages err!

The Bishops arrested

Then the king, when the Nativity of St. John [24th June] was near, proceeded to Oxford, and hearing that the castle of Devizes was fortified against him, sent messengers to Roger, bishop of Salisbury, the founder of the castle, who was then at Malmesbury, commanding him to come and confer with him. It is said that the bishop undertook this journey with great reluctance, believing that he should never return; taking with him his two nephews, the bishops of Lincoln and Ely, and a large retinue of mounted and well-armed soldiers. Seeing this, the king, suspecting treason, ordered his followers to arm themselves and be ready to defend him, if need should arise. While the king was engaged with the bishops in treating of various affairs, a furious quarrel arose between the two parties of soldiers respecting their quarters; and the king’s troops flying to arms, the bishops’ men took to flight, leaving all their baggage behind. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, with the bishop of Lincoln and his son Roger, surnamed The Poor, were taken; the bishop of Ely made his escape, and having reached the castle of Devizes, fortified it and held it against the king. The king, much incensed, went in pursuit of him, placing the bishops he had arrested in custody; Roger in the crib of an ox-house, and the other in a mean hut, while he threatened to hang the third, unless the castle was speedily surrendered to him. Roger finding this, and alarmed for his son, bound himself by an oath that he would neither eat nor drink until the king had possession of the castle; which oath he kept, and neither ate nor drank for three days.

Transactions at Bristol and Bath, &c

The king proceeded thence with his royal attendants to London. But Geoffrey de Talbot, deserting with his followers, went over to the son of the earl of Gloucester, who held Bristol castle against the king, and devoted himself to its defence. One day, under colour of giving assistance to a certain straggler, but more, as it subsequently appeared, with a view to reconnoitre Bath and afterwards assault it, he took his way there in company with two valiant knights, William Hoset and another. This being discovered, Robert, the bishop of Bath, thinking to triumph over the king’s enemies, drew out a body of soldiers, and marched cautiously against him.

Two of them fled, but Geoffrey was taken and placed in custody. The garrison of Bristol, being much enraged at this, marched to Bath with a threatening aspect under the son of the earl, their lord, and sent a message to the bishop, threatening that unless their comrade, Geoffrey, was released, they would hang the bishop and his followers on a gallows. Upon this, the bishop, apprehensive, like a mercenary soldier, for the lives of himself and his people, brought forth Geoffrey from custody, and delivered him to them, in compliance with their demands. When this reached the king’s ears, he was inflamed with anger against the bishop, regarding him as the abettor of his enemies; and he would probably have taken from him his pastoral staff, though in so doing he would rather have been actuated by his animosity than by his love of peace. But as the bishop had acted under restraint and against his will, the king “gave not place to his wrath,” upon which, according to the apostolical precept, it is sinful to “let the sun go down.”

Soon afterwards the king moved his army towards Bristol, where, in those times, infernal cruelties, befitting the reigns of Nero or Decius, were exercised by a kinsman of the earl, whose name was Philip Gay. By his agency, a variety of bitter torments were invented there, which, afterwards introduced far and wide in every part of England, nearly reduced the island to ruin. The king, therefore, having wasted and burnt the lands and vills of the earl of Gloucester in that neighbourhood, besieged the castle for some time. At last, weary of the length of the siege, he drew oft to besiege the earl’s other castles, Cariff in Dorsetshire, 116 and Harptree in Somersetshire, and having constructed forts over against them, and garrisoned them with soldiers, he departed, and marched with his whole army to attack Dudley Castle, which Ralph Paganel had fortified against him.

Having given the surrounding country to the flames, and seized and carried off large herds of cattle, he went by sea, with a large body of troops, to besiege Shrewsbury Castle, which William Fitz-Allan held against him. Hearing, however, of the king’s approach, he secretly escaped, with his wife and children, and some others, leaving those in the castle who had sworn to be true to him, and never surrender it. After the castle had been besieged for some days, according to the accounts of those who were well-informed, a machine of this sort was prepared: — A large structure of timber was put together and brought forward; the castle ditch was filled by the king’s command; fire was kindled; and the smoke, rising in the air, smothered all. The royal gate having been forced open, the whole garrison attempted to make their escape miserably, by leaping from or creeping out of the castle; but the king gave orders that they should be pursued and put to death. Five of the men of highest rank among them were hung. The enemy being vanquished, the king departed thence and proceeded to attack Wareham; but a treaty having been entered into, Ralph Paganel and the king made a truce for a time.

Meanwhile, the before-mentioned earl of Bristol, and Milo the constable, having made a league against the king, and abjured the fealty which they had sworn to him, despatched envoys to invite the ex-empress, king Henry’s daughter; promising her that within the space of five months she should be in possession of her father’s kingdom, according to the allegiance which had been sworn to her in his lifetime. This was the beginning of troubles. This defection, the most serious of all, nay, almost the concluding one, brought ruin on the whole country.

Irruption of the Scots, and Battle of the Standard

During these events, David, king of Scotland, made a third irruption from the borders of his kingdom, with large bands both of horse and foot, and began to set on fire farms, towns, and castles, on the confines of Northumbria, and lay waste nearly all the country. But as he threatened at last to pursue his inroad as far as York and the Humber, Thurstan, archbishop of York, had a conference with the Yorkshiremen, and prevailed on them all, with one consent, to take the oath of fealty to king Stephen, and resist the king of Scots. David, however, was still more incensed at this, and rejecting all advice to the contrary, and reaching the river Tees on the octave of the Assumption of St. Mary [22nd August], which happened on a Monday, he determined to surprise our troops, there being a thick fog in the morning of that day. Hoping, in consequence, to come upon us unawares, he left many vills untouched, and would not suffer his men to set fire to any place, as they usually did. Meanwhile, our troops being warned by a squire, though somewhat late so that they were nearly taken by surprise, armed themselves, and drew up in order of battle with the utmost despatch, sending out archers in front, by whom the Scots were severely galled.

Then the king’s barons marched with the knights, having all dismounted and stationed themselves in the first rank, and thus fought hand-in-hand with the enemy. The conflict was ended, and victory secured at the very first onset, for the Scots gave way, and either fell or fled in the greatest alarm. Our men, however, being on foot, and having caused all their horses to be led to some distance, were unable to continue the pursuit long, otherwise they would have taken or put to the sword the king himself, with his son, and all his immediate attendants. Of his army, nearly ten thousand men fell in different places, and as many as fifty persons of rank were made prisoners. The vanquished king himself escaped by flight, overwhelmed with terror and shame. His chancellor, William Comyn, was taken by the bishop of Durham; but being set at liberty, he gave thanks to God, heartily hoping he should never again fall into such a scrape. The king’s son reached Carlisle on foot, attended by a single knight; and his father escaped with some difficulty through the woods and thickets to Roxburgh.

He had led an innumerable army consisting of French, as well as English, Scots, Galwegians, and the people of all the isles which owed him allegiance, but nineteen only out of two hundred of his mailed knights carried back their armour; for every one left nearly all that he had to become the spoil of the enemy, so that an immense booty, both of horses, arms, and clothing, and many other things, was taken from his army. Eustace Fitz-John, who had joined his expedition, met with a similar fate, having been wounded, and barely escaping with life 1to his castle. Among the valiant men who, in Christ’s name, .fought on behalf of king Stephen, were the earl of Albemarle, Bernard de Baliol, and many others, but the earl was distinguished for his bravery in the battle.

On his return, the king of Scots, in order to encourage his adherents and console himself, laid siege with all his force, and various engines and machines, to the castle of Wark, or Carron, belonging to Walter d’ Epec, from which he had been driven by the earl of Mellent; but the garrison making a stout and desperate resistance, he had no success, for they made frequent sallies, and either cut in pieces or burnt his engines, besides killing many of his soldiers; wherefore, at last, he despaired of being able to take it.

Atmospheric phenomena—Great wealth left by Roger, Bishop of Salisbury

On the seventh day of the month of October, when the moon was twenty-nine days old, in the dusk of the evening before Saturday, the whole firmament towards the north appeared of a red colour, and rays of various hues were seen blended and flitting. Perhaps these signs portended the vast effusion of blood in Northumberland, and many other places throughout England, of which we have spoken. A most pious monk, named William, belonging to the cell of Eye, having been elected, was ordained abbot of Pershore by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Sunday, the twelfth of the calends of December [20th November]. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, a great builder of castles and fortified mansions, being worn to death with grief and vexation, died at his episcopal seat on the second of the nones [the 4th] of December, and was buried in that church, leaving in his castles immense sums of money, which fell not into the hands of God, but of king Stephen. There are those who say that more than forty thousand silver marks were found there, and that he had likewise hoarded a vast amount of gold, and a variety of ornaments, and knew not for whom he had gathered them. He enriched the church dedicated to St. Mary, mother of God, with magnificent ornaments.

A Synod held at London

In the year of our Lord 1138, and in the ninth of the pontificate of pope Innocent, and the third of the reign of king Stephen, a synod was held at London, in the church of St. Peter the apostle, at Westminster, on the thirteenth of the month of December. In this synod, after much canvassing, sixteen canons were published with universal consent. It was presided over by Alberic, bishop of Ostia, the legate of the said lord pope in England and Scotland; and attended by the bishops of different dioceses, to the number of seventeen, by about thirty abbots, and an immense multitude of the clergy and people.

A new Abbot at Gloucester

A.D. 1139. The feast of our Lord’s Nativity being passed, and that of the Purification of St. Mary, his mother, drawing nigh, the venerable father Walter, abbot of Gloucester, gave up the ghost about the third hour of the day, after holding his preferment nine years and a half; he was buried by the venerable abbots, Reynold of Evesham, and Roger of Tewksbury, on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of February. After his interment, two of the brethren were sent to Cluni to fetch our1 lord-elect, Gilbert; king Stephen having, on the report of his eminent worth, and at the request of Milo, his constable, conferred upon him at London the preferment of the abbey of Gloucester. Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, Simon, bishop of Worcester, Roger, bishop of Coventry, Robert, bishop of Exeter, and Reynold, abbot of Evesham, having been unanimously chosen, proceeded by the pope’s command to the threshold of St. Peter. On their arrival, they were received with great honour by the apostolic see, and allowed seats in the Roman council, a circumstance without parallel for many ages before. Having there freely opened their business, they returned home with joy, bringing with them the synodal decrees, now recorded far and wide throughout England. The two monks who had been sent to bring over the lord-abbot Gilbert, also returned in safety, and presented him to king Stephen, who received him graciously, and conferred on him, to hold freely, the fief of the church of Gloucester. He came to Worcester on the feast of Whitsuntide, which fell on the third of the ides [the llth] of June, and was there ordained, with great rejoicings and divine lauds, by the venerable Robert, bishop of Hereford; and going from thence on the following day, was installed at Gloucester with great joy and exultation, and the acclamations of the commonalty of both orders, in a manner befitting such a man in the Lord.

King Stephen at Worcester, Hereford, and Oxford

Within the octave of Easter, which happened on the second of the calends of May [30th April], Stephen, the magnificent king of England, coming to Worcester, with a royal retinue, was received with great festivity by the clergy and the people of the city and neighbourhood, in solemn procession. The prayers being ended, and the blessing given as usual, the king took his royal ring from his finger, and offered it on the altar; and on the morrow it was returned to him, by common consent of the monks. Therefore the king, remarking with surprise the humility and devotion of the flock of the church of Worcester, yea, rather of the Lord, took back his ring, as he had been adjured to do for the love of St. Mary, mother of God. After his departure from Worcester, the king encamped at Ludlow, where he caused forts to be erected in two positions, and stationed strong bodies of troops in them to assault the castle, which held out against him; and then returning, by way of Worcester, marched towards London. Some of the soldiers, unsparing in their execrable warfare, and driven by their headstrong courage, determined to try their strength on Ludlow. To accomplish this undertaking, large bodies of troops began to flock together. It was truly a pitiable sight to behold one poising his spear against another, and running him through; thus putting him to death, without thinking what would be the judgement the spirit would receive. But king Stephen checked such designs, by the terror of his threats; and going a second time to Ludlow, by way of Worcester, settled all things peaceably, and then made a quiet and joyful journey to Oxford — that is, the ox-ford. While he stayed there, a charge of rebellion urgently requiring it, he arrested Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and his nephew, the bishop of Lincoln, and also Roger, his chancellor, for engaging in a treasonable conspiracy against his crown, and committed them to custody. On hearing this, Nigel, bishop of Ely, fearing for himself and his adherents, fled with a body of soldiers to Devizes, that he might find protection there. The case of these bishops has been already more fully stated in this work; but it appears to have been brought to a point in the present year.

In a council afterwards held it was enacted that all fortified towns, castles, and strong places whatever, throughout England, devoted mainly to secular purposes, should submit to the jurisdiction of the king and his barons; but that churchmen, namely, the bishops, whom I will call God’s watch-dogs, should not cease to bark in defence of their flock, and take every care lest the invisible wolf, their malignant foe, should tear and scatter the sheep.

The Empress and the Earl, her Brother, land in England

In the month of October, the earl of Gloucester, son of king Henry, late king of England, but a bastard, with his sister by the father’s side, formerly empress of the Romans, and now countess of Anjou, returned to England with a large army, and landed at Portsmouth, before the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula, on the calends [the 1st] of August, while the king was besieging Marlborough; and their arrival filled all England with alarm. On receiving this intelligence, Stephen, king of England, was much disturbed in his mind, and in great wrath with those whose duty it was vigilantly to guard the sea-ports. He is the king of peace, and would that he were also the king of vigour and justice, treading under foot his enemies, determining all things by the balance of equal justice, and in the power of his might protecting and strengthening the friends of peace. When, however, he learned that the ex-queen 117 had received the ex-empress, with her large band of retainers, at Arundel, he was much displeased, and marched his army thither. But she, being awed by the king’s majesty, and fearing that she might lose the rank she held in England, swore solemnly that no enemy of his had come to England on her invitation; but that, saving her dignity, she had granted hospitality to persons of station, who were formerly attached to her. The king, on hearing this, dismissed her, and ordered the bishop of Winchester to conduct the ex- empress with honour, as she was his cousin, to her brother, at Bristol castle, while he himself went in pursuit of the earl. But hearing nothing certain about him, for he had taken to certain by-roads for a time, he led his troops to another quarter, as he had planned. Milo, the constable, having abjured his oath of allegiance to the king, went over to the earl of Gloucester, his liege-lord, with a large body of troops, promising him on his fealty to lend him help against the king. The calamities which flowed from this quarter, namely, the city of Bristol, and spread over all England, are beyond the knowledge or eloquence of man to describe; for of those who opposed him, or obeyed the royal authority, as many as could be taken were made prisoners, and all the captives were thrown into chains, and subjected to horrible tortures. New varieties of cruel punishment were invented; mercenary troops were enlisted in every direction for carrying on the work of destruction, to whom was given, or sold for their pay, the inhabitants of the villages and farms, with all their goods and substance.

The Empress at Bristol Castle—Cruelties at Gloucester

This lady stayed at Bristol more than two months, receiving homage from all, and exercising the prerogatives of the crown of England at her pleasure. She went there in the month of October, and came on the eighteenth of the calends of November [10th October] to Gloucester, where she received the submission and homage of the citizens and the people of the neighbourhood. But tortures worthy of Decius and Nero, and death in various shapes, were inflicted on those who refused to do her homage, and chose to maintain their fealty to the king; and the city, glorious in past ages, was filled with shrieks and fearful torments, and became horrible to those who inhabited it. In the midst of these miseries the king laid siege to the castle of Wallingford, which stood out against him. Weary of the long siege, and having erected forts in opposition to it, he marched away, and encamped near Malmesbury, where he also threw up works against his adversaries, the authors of rebellion.

The City and Cathedral of Worcester Sacked

Meanwhile sad tidings came to the ears of the citizens of Worcester. It was generally reported that the city would, ere long, be sacked by the enemy, and, having been pillaged, be set on fire. Terrified by these reports, the citizens of Worcester consulted as to what was best to be done. After this council they had recourse for refuge in their misery to the sanctuary of the most high God the Father, and his most blessed Mother, and committed themselves and all theirs to his divine protection, under their patron saints, SS. Oswald and Wulfstan, bishops of that city. Then might be seen crowds of the citizens carrying their goods into the church. Oh, wretched sight! Behold the house of God, which should have been entered with oblations, where the sacrifice of praise should have been offered, and the most solemn vows paid, seems now but a warehouse for furniture! Behold the principal conventual church of the whole diocese is converted into quarters for the townsmen, and a sort of council-chamber; for little room is left for the servants of God in a hostelry crowded with chests and sacks. Within is heard the chaunt of the clergy, without the wailing of children; and the notes of the choir are mingled with the sobs of infants at the breast, and the cries of sorrowing mothers. Oh, misery of miseries to behold! There stands the high altar, stripped of its ornaments, the crucifix removed, and the image of Mary, the most holy Mother of God, taken away. Curtains and palls, albs and copes, stoles and chasubles, are secreted in recesses of the walls. All that gave grace and pomp to the celebration of divine service, on the festivals of the saints, all the wonted magnificence, had vanished. These things were all put out of the way, from fear of the enemy, lest he should come upon them by surprise, and sweeping off all he could lay hands on, succeed in his insane enterprise.

In the beginning of the winter, one morning at day-break, namely, on Tuesday, the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of November, when we were engaged in the church at lauds, 119 and had already chaunted primes, behold the reports we had heard for many days were realised. A numerous and powerful army arrived from the south, the centre of mischief. The city of Gloucester had risen in arms, and, supported by a countless host of horse and foot, marched to attack, pillage, and burn the city of Worcester. We now, in alarm for the treasures of the sanctuary, put on our albs, and, while the bells tolled, bore the relics of Oswald, our most gentle patron, out of the church, in suppliant procession; and, as the enemy were rushing in from one gate to the other, carried them through the cemetery. The enemy, collected in a body, hasten first to assault a strong fort, which stands in the southern quarter of the city, near the castle. Our people make a brave and obstinate resistance. The enemy being repulsed at this point, as beacons were lighted on the north side of the city, they endeavour to make an entrance in that quarter. There being no fortifications on that side, the entire host rushes tumultuously in, mad with fury, and sets fire to the houses in many parts. Alas! a considerable portion of the city is destroyed, but most of it remains standing and unburnt. Immense plunder is carried off, consisting of chattels of all kinds, from the city, and of oxen, sheep, cattle, and horses from the country. Many people are taken in the streets and suburbs, and dragged into miserable captivity, coupled like hounds. Whether they have the means, or have them not, whatever their cruel foes fix for their ransom they are forced to promise on oath to pay, and to discharge the amount. These things are done on the first day of a winter, which will, doubtless, be very severe to the wretched sufferers.

And now, the plunder being carried off, and numbers of buildings burnt, the host of fierce revellers draw off, never to return on such a foul enterprise. The earl [probably Waleran earl of Mellent] came to Worcester on the thirteenth of November, and, beholding the ravages of the flames, mourned over the city, and felt that the evil was done to himself. Wherefore, burning for revenge, he hastened to Sudely, with a body of troops, having heard that John Fitz-Harold had revolted against the king, and joined the earl of Gloucester. If it be inquired what the earl did there, the reply is such as it is scarcely fit to record : returning evil for evil, he seized the people, their goods, and cattle; and, carrying them off, returned the next day to Worcester.

King Stephen at Worcester and Hereford

After these events, the king, with a large army, marched from Oxford to Worcester; and, having before his eyes what he had before heard of its disaster, he mourned over it. Halting there for three or four days, he conferred the dignity of constable, of which he had deprived Milo of Gloucester, on William, the son of Walter de Beauchamp, sheriff of Worcestershire. Here a report reached the king that his enemies, having violated their sworn promises of peace, had assaulted Hereford, and forced an entrance into the monastery of St. Ethelbert, king and martyr, as if it had been a fortified castle.

The king, therefore, put himself in march, and encamped at Little Hereford, or Leominster, where some of the inhabitants, taking counsel, swore fealty to him; while others refusing, sent him this message: “Although we will not swear, the king may, if he pleases, trust to the truth of our words.” The holy days of Advent being close at hand [3rd December], a truce was agreed on between them, and the king returned to Worcester, where a certain clerk of eminent piety, Maurice by name, who had been elected by the clergy and people to the church of Bangor, was presented to the king at the castle, by Robert, bishop of Hereford, and Sigefrid, bishop of Chichester, who, bearing him company, attested his canonical election and fitness for the office of bishop; and the king confirmed the appointment. But being urged by the bishops to do homage to the king, he replied that he could in no wise do so. “There is,” he said, “among us a man of great piety, whom I consider as my spiritual father, and who was archdeacon to my predecessor David, and he forbade me to take this oath.” To which they made answer, “Reason requires that you should do as we have done.” Whereupon he said, “If you, who are men of high authority, have done this, I will not further hesitate to do the same.” He therefore swore fealty to the king.

King Stephen goes to Oxford, and thence to Salisbury.

From Worcester the king proceeded to Oxford, and from thence, with his court, to Salisbury, where he intended to celebrate the feast of Christmas, and, as was the royal custom, to wear his crown. The canons presented him with two thousand pounds, and he granted them entire exemption from all taxes on their lands; moreover, he gave them twenty marks for their own use, and forty for roofing the church; and promised that when peace was restored, he would refund to them what they had bestowed upon him.

The King at Reading—Marches against Ely

A.D. 1140. A few days after Christmas, the king and his court proceeded to Reading, where a lesson is taught by the lot of mortals concerning the little value of kingly pomp. While there, by the advice of his council, he gave pastors of their own to two abbeys, Malmesbury and Abbotsbury, which bishop Roger, as long as he lived, had shorn of their honours and kept in his own hands. Malmesbury abbey he bestowed on John, a monk of great worth, and that of Abbotsbury on another named Geoffrey. Then, in order to secure peace, and put an end to warfare, which I call a vain thing, he prepared an expedition against Ely; a measure much to be deplored, because it tended to increase the arrogance of the soldiery, by satisfying their love of vain glory. They enlist themselves, they accept the terms, they array themselves in arms, and the conqueror seizes all that belongs to the vanquished, according to stipulations founded on the detestable love of gain; and, if I may compare great things with small, they whisper to one another, like Judah and his brother Jonathan, dwelling in the land of Gilead, to Joseph and Azarias: “Let us also get us a name, and go fight against the heathen that are round about us.” They deal wounds with sword and spear, little heeding what will be the fate of the miserable souls of the slain. During the rebellion of those who revolted against the king, many on both sides were wounded, taken prisoners, and thrown into confinement. The bishop of Ely, finding the valour of the king and the impetuosity of his troops, gave way, nay, fled like a hireling, and retiring to the neighbourhood of Gloucestershire, went over to earl Robert. Nor was it to be wondered at, for he had lost, as it were, his right hand, when his uncle, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, died. The king took possession of Ely castle, and placed his own soldiers in it.

Thurstan, Archbishop of York, retires to Pontefract

Thurstan, the twenty-sixth archbishop of York in succession, a man advanced in years and full of days, put off the old man and put on the new, retiring from worldly affairs, and becoming a monk at Pontefract, on the twelfth of the ides of February [21st January], and departing this life in a good old age, on the nones [the 5th] of February, he lies buried there.

Winchcombe and other places attacked

Milo, the ex-constable, having assembled a numerous body of troops, assaulted Winchcombe on Thursday, the second of the calends of February [31st January], and burnt the greatest part of the place, which he plundered; and carried off those whom he had stripped of their goods, to exact from them, most unjustly, the Mammon of unrighteousness [in the shape of ransom]. Thence he diverged to Sudely, but whilst he was meditating an attack, the royal garrison of the place fell on him, and forced him to retreat, leaving, as it is reported, two of his men dead on the spot, and fifteen taken prisoners. The king and the earl of Worcester came with a large army to Worcester, and after a few days, the earl first, and then the king, advanced to Little Hereford in great force, for the purpose of driving out their enemies. During the king’s abode in those parts, the earl, mindful of the injuries received from his townsmen, attacked Tewkesbury with a strong body of men-at-arms, and burnt the magnificent house of the earl of Gloucester, which was within a mile of Gloucester, and everything in its vicinity, as well as some property belonging to others; but, yielding to the supplications of the lord abbot and monks of Tewkesbury, he spared their possessions. Having taken much spoil, both of men and of their goods and cattle, he was moved by clemency to order the release of the captives, and permit them to return to their homes; and on the morrow he returned to Worcester, declaring to all that he had scarcely ever made such a conflagration either in Normandy or England. The king, also, on his return to Worcester, set forward on the road to Oxford.

The before-mentioned Maurice and Uhtred were consecrated bishops of Bangor and Llandaff by Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the bishops of Hereford and Exeter. The king, on his arrival at Winchester, by the advice of his barons, gave the bishopric of Salisbury to Philip, his chancellor, and the abbey of Fécamp to Henry, a monk who was his kinsman. The sun was eclipsed while the moon was in the tail of the Dragon, but it illumined the head.

A compact was made between Philip, king of France, and Stephen, king of England, after consulting their barons, that Stephen’s son should marry the sister of the king of France. The betrothal took place abroad in the month of February, in the presence of the queen-mother of England and a great number of English nobles there assembled.

Robert Fitz-Hubert, a Freebooter

There was a certain knight, whose name was Robert, the son of a nobleman named Hubert. This man, fearing neither God nor man, but trusting solely to his own might, took the castle of Malmesbury by a well-devised stratagem. Some of the king’s knights, who were quartered there, took refuge in the church of St. Aldhelm, the bishop, for sanctuary. Pressing these to surrender, he one day burst into the chapter-house of the monks, at the head of armed men, and with terrible threats required them, on pain of confiscation of their property, to give up the illustrious royalists, with their horses. They, however, in horror at permitting the peace of God, and their patron, St. Aldhelm, being broken, refused to consent to his demand; but at last, although reluctantly, to appease his fury, they gave up the horses. After Robert Fitz-Hubert had held the castle for some time, and had exhausted the whole neighbourhood by his ravages, the king came to its succour, and besieged the place for nearly eight days. William d’Ypres, a kinsman, they say, of this Robert, was the go-between for the surrender of the castle, and settled, at last, with the king, terms of peace— the castle being given up, with entire submission to his royal rights; which was done.

Meanwhile, Robert joined the earl of Gloucester, proposing to stay with him for a time, but all the while meditating treachery. Not long afterwards, as he had neither sense nor inclination to follow a right course, but still thirsted for blood, he betook himself, with his own retainers, to Devizes, without the earl’s knowledge; and having first made a compact with his followers, that the castle, once taken, should never be surrendered, he scaled the wall by force or stratagem,120 and sounded the note of triumph to the king’s soldiers in the garrison, stormed by surprise the exterior forts, and made many the victims of his cruelty. Four days afterwards, by force or fraud, he got possession of the citadel within, and, in the pride of his heart, ravaged every part of the neighbourhood by day and by night, doing incessantly all the damage he could. At last, he repaired to John, a knight of renown, who then held the castle of Marlborough under fealty to the king, and required him, with threats, to follow his advice, or rather his injunction, and agree with him and hold with him in wreaking his satanic malice, not only on the king, but on the earl and every one else; menacing him, on his refusal, that he should forfeit his life when he least expected it. John replied: “In the name of God, I would rather make another man my prisoner than be taken myself;” and immediately seized him, and throwing him into confinement, in just retaliation caused all the tortures which he had inflicted on others to be exhausted on himself.

The earl of Gloucester, and Milo, the ex-constable, hearing of these occurrences, came to the said John, with many followers, and the earl promised to give him five hundred marks, on condition that he should deliver Robert to him on a set day, upon receiving good hostages from himself. John, won over by the promise of the money and the hostages, delivered Robert to the earl, on the terms of his being restored to him within fifteen days. This compact being made, the earl returned to Gloucester, taking Robert with him. They then treated respecting the castle of Devizes, of which the earl required at his hands a voluntary surrender. Robert, however, refused, being loth to break the oath he had made to his comrades, that the castle should never be given up. But being terrified by threats of being hung on a gallows, in order to save his life, he engaged to yield to the demand. Within the time fixed by the agreement, this ruffian was led back to the presence of John; to whom the earl told all that had happened, and how John, terrified by his threats, had promised to deliver up the castle. He also requested him again to permit Robert to accompany him to Devizes, pledging himself that if he should chance to obtain possession of the castle, it should be given up to John, to be held under fealty to him. The earl’s proposal being acceded to, he immediately returned to Devizes with Robert. In the meantime, the said John sent letters to all, both within and without the castle, assuring them, on his solemn oath, that neither he nor the earl would do any injury to Robert; any how, they were to see to it that their oath not to give up the castle to any one was faithfully adhered to. The earl returned to Gloucester, leaving the ex-constable and a man of great power, named Humphrey, with some others, behind him; with general orders that, if Robert refused to make a voluntary surrender of the castle, he should be hung.

... Relictis ex-constabulario et quodam potenti viro Hunfrido et quibusdam aliis, comes Glaorniam revertitur, mandans omnibus ut si Rotbertus renueret sponte reddere castellum, suspenderetur.

End of Oxford manuscript, page 396

Robert did refuse, and his friends refused also, lest they should appear perjured. Soon after his two nephews had been hanged, he was taken and hanged also. All praise be to God who delivered up the wicked!

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