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fourth day before the nones of September; at this period, Albert, abbot of Ripon, died, and Sigred succeeded him.
In the year 788, a conspiracy having been formed, king Elfwald was slain by a shocking death, by his patrician44* Sigga, the ninth day before the calends of October, at a place called Siltecester near the wall.45 The body of this excellent king was carried by great crowds of monks to the church of Hagustald, attended with the chaunts of the clergy, and was honorably buried there, in the church of Saint Andrew. He was succeeded by his nephew Osred, the son of king Alcred, who reigned one year. In the place where the good king Elfwald was murdered, a light sent down from heaven, is said to have been seen by great numbers of people. A church was built there by the faithful of that place, and consecrated to the honor of God, and of the saints, Cuthbert the bishop, and Oswald the king and martyr.
In the year 790, Ethelred was recalled from exile, and again, by the grace of Christ, seated on the throne of his kingdom. But king Osred, having been betrayed by the treachery of his nobles, was deprived of his kingdom and shorn in the city of York, and afterwards, compelled by necessity, went into exile. In the second year of his reign, duke Eardulph was taken prisoner, and was taken to Ripon, and there slain without the gate of the church by the above-named king. The brethren having carried his body to the church with Gregorian chaunts, and then placed it in a tent outside thereof, after midnight he was found alive within the church.
In the same year Baldwulph was ordained bishop of "Whitherne, at the place which is called Hearrahaldh, which may be translated "the place of the lords." For in the preceding year, bishop Ethelbert left his own see,41 on the death of Saint Gilbert, and received the bishopric of Hagustald, as his see.
In the year 791, the 'sons of king Elfwald were dragged away by force from the city of York, and, having been enticed from the principal church by false promises, were shockingly slain by king Ethelred, at Wonwaldremere ;49 their names were
4** The Patricians of the Anglo-Saxon kings were probably nobles of high rank, attached to the royal household.
46 The wall of Severus is alluded to. The author of the chronicles of Durham and Lindisfarne calls the place Thirlwall. Perhaps Benwell, in Northumberland, is the place alluded to. 47 Of Whitherne.
48 Said by Lambarde to beWinandermere, nearKendal, in Westmoreland.
Elf and Elfwin. In this year also, Lambert, archbishop of Canterbury, departed to the Lord; Ethelherd, abbat49 of the monastery of Lhuda, was elected his successor and consecrated archbishop.
In the year 792, Charles, king of the Franks, sent to Britain a book containing articles agreed upon in a synod, which had been sent to him from Constantinople; in which book, oh shame! there were found many things repugnant and contrary to the true faith, and especially that it had been unanimously agreed to by three hundred, or even more, of the various bishops of the East, that images ought to be worshipped, a thing that the Church of God utterly abhors. Against this Albinus wrote an epistle, wonderfully confirmed by the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and presented it with the same book, in the name of our bishops and princes, to the king of the Franks.
In the same year also, Osred, relying upon the oath and fidelity of certain nobles, came secretly from Eufania,60 the place of his exile; and then, being deserted by his soldiers, was taken prisoner by the said king Ethelred, and by his order slain at a place called Dingburg, on the eighteenth day before the calends of October. His body was carried to Tynemouth,61 and buried in the royal tomb, in the noble monastery there. In the same year king Ethelred took as his queen Elfleda, the daughter of Offa, king of Mercia, at Cataract, on the third day before the calends of October.
In the year 793, being the fourth year of the reign of King Ethelred, dreadful prodigies alarmed the wretched nation of the English, for terrific lightnings, and dragons in the air, and strokes of fire were seen hovering on high and shooting to and fro; which were ominous signs of the great famine and the frightful and ineffable slaughter of multitudes of men which afterwards ensued. In the same year also, duke Sigga, who slew king Elfwald, died a merited death, and his body was carried to the island of Lindisfarne, on the ninth day before the calends of May.
Lindisfarne is a large island, eight miles or thereabouts in circumference. In it was a noble monastery, where the illus
49 Roger of Wendover says, that he was previously bishop of Winchester. w Probably either the Hebrides, a name of which was Evania, or the Isle of Man, which was called Ebonia. 61 In Northumberland.
trious bishop Cuthbert was interred,'2 together with other bishops who most worthily succeeded him. With respect to them, the words of the chaunt may be appropriately repeated— "The bodies of the saints are buried in peace."63 Lindis is the name of a river which, two feet in width, runs into the sea. When it is "Ledon," or low tide, the river can be seen; but when it is "Malina," or the high tide of the sea, then the Lindis cannot be seen. The tide of the ocean follows the moon, and, as though by its inhaling, is raised to high water, and then, by its breathing forth, is driven back again. It seems to flow and to ebb twice a day, later each time by three quarters and64 half an hour, as Bede testifies. Farne is the name of an island on which the most blessed Cuthbert passed the life of a hermit. It is not so large as Lindisfarne, but is situate out at sea, and is buffeted day and night by huge billows.
In the same year, the pagans,65 coming from the northern regions to Britain with a naval armament, made descents in all quarters, plundering, ravaging, and slaughtering, like most cruel wolves, not only beasts of burthen, oxen and sheep, but priests and Levites as well, and multitudes of monks and nuns. They came, as I have observed, to the church of Lindisfarne and laid waste all places with dreadful havoc, trod down holy places with their polluted feet, undermined the altars, and carried off all the treasures of the holy church. Some of the brethren they slaughtered; some they carried off with them in chains ; a very great number, loaded with abuse, they thrust out naked, and some they drowned in the sea. With respect to them, the words may be appropriately quoted: "Fortune bears hard upon the lot of the guiltless. Evil is the due punishment of wickedness. The wrong-doers are seated after their wont on a lofty throne, and the guilty in an unjust manner are treading upon the necks of the righteous. Bright virtue lies concealed in obscure shades, and the just suffer the penalties of the wicked."
62 "Positus erat" may either mean that they were located there during their lives, or that they were buried there. Probably the latter is the meaning.
53 "Corpora defunctorum in pace sepulta sunt."
54 In the original it is "et." "Aut," " or," would seem to be a more appropriate reading. The whole passage is involved in considerable obscurity. M The Danes.
These having retired, congratulating themselves on their booty and their wicked deeds, I shall recount what misfortunes the succeeding year brought.
In the year 794, the pagans above mentioned having laid waste the harbour of king Egfrid, plundered the monastery of Donum.56 But Saint Outhbert did not permit them to depart without punishment; for their chief was there slain by the English, and died a cruel death; and, after the interval of a short time, the violence of a tempest wrecked, destroyed, and foundered their ships, and overwhelmed a vast number in the sea. Upon this, some of them were thrown upon shore, and Boon dispatched without mercy; and this justly befell them, for theygrievouslyinjured those who had not injured them. At that time Ethelherd died, who was formerly a duke, but then a priest in the city of York. In the same year the venerable pope Adrian57 departed unto the Lord on the seventh day before the calends of January. He held the See twenty-six years, ten months, and eleven days. He was buried in the church of Saint Peter, the prince of the Apostles, and over his tomb a tablet of marble, fixed against the wall, recounted his good works, in verses written by the command of king Charles58 in letters of gold.
In the year 795, the same most valiant king Charles, having laid waste their country, with a strong hand, by his arms subdued the nation of the Huns. Their prince having been put to flight, and their army worsted or cut to pieces, he carried away thence fifteen waggons filled with gold, silver, and precious vestments made entirely of silk, each of which was drawn by four oxen. All these the same king, on account of the victory which had been granted him by the Lord, ordered to be divided among the churches of Christ and the poor, returning thanks together with all those who had fought together with him.
In the year 796, being the seventh year of King Ethelred, Alric, who was formerly a duke, but then a priest in the city of York, departed this life; and shortly afterwards, that is
56 This passage is evidently corrupt. The words are " Portum Egfredi regis vastantes, Monasterium Doni annis prredarerunt." The corresponding passage in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is, " and plundered Egfert's monastery at the mouth of the Wear."
"The First. 53 Charlemagne.
to say, on the fifth day before the calends of April, an eclipse of the moon took place between the time of cock-crow and daybreak. In the same year, king Ethelred was slain at Cobre, on the fourteenth day before the calends of May. On this, Osbald, a patrician, was chosen king by some of the nobles of that nation; and after twenty-seven days, being deserted by all the royal household and the nobles, and banished and expelled from the kingdom, he retired with a few followers to the island of Lindisfarne, and went thence with some of the brethren by ship to the king of the Picts.
Then Eardulph, whom I have previously mentioned, the son of Earnulph, having been recalled from exile, received the crown, and on the seventh day before the calends of June, was consecrated at York, in the church of Saint Peter, before the altar of Saint Paul, where that nation had first received the blessings of baptism. Not long after this, that is to say, on the seventh day before the calends of August, Offa, the most mighty king of the Mercians, departed this life, after having reigned thirty-nine years, and was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Egfrith, who died the same year.
Upon this, Kenulph, the father of Kenelm, received the crown of the kingdom of Mercia, and gloriously held it in the invincible power of his might; in the same year also Ceolwulph died at Lindesey, and shortly after, that is to say, on the fourth day before the ides of August, Archbishop Eanbald died at the monastery called Edete, and his body was carried, with a vast concourse accompanying it, to the city of York, and honorably buried there, in the church of Saint Peter the Apostle. Immediately thereupon, another Eanbald, a priest of the same church, was elected archbishop, and consecrated at Sochesburg59 by bishops Ethelbert, Higbald, and Baldwulph.
In the year 797, this last Eanbald, having received the pall from the Apostolic See, was solemnly confirmed in the archbishopric of Northumbria, on the sixth day before the ides of September, being the nativity of Saint Mary; with regard to which day, the poet says: "With honor shines the day on which Mary the good virgin, proceeding from the line of king David, was born.unto the world."
In the same year died Ethelbert, bishop of Hagustald, whom
Socburgh, in the diocese of Durham.