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In this year, shortly before the nativity of Saint Mary, the sons of Sweyn, king of Denmark, Harold, Canute, and their uncle earl Osborn, came from Denmark with two hundred and forty ships, and landed at the mouth of the river Humber. Here they were met by the Clito Edgar, earls Aide and Marleswein, and many others, with a fleet which they had assembled; earl Cospatric also came with all the forces of the Northumbrians, and with one accord they determined to oppose the Normans. Being greatly distressed at their approach, Aldred, archbishop of York, was attacked with a severe illness and ended his life, as he had requested of God, in the tenth year of his archiepiscopate, on the third day before the ides of September, being the sixth day of the week; he was buried in the church 'of Saint Peter, on the eighth day after, being Saturday, the thirteenth day before the calends of October.

The Normans, who garrisoned the castles, fearing lest the houses which were in their vicinity, might be used by the Danes for the purpose of filling up the fosse, began to set them on fire; and the flames, increasing, raged throughout all the city, and together with it, burned the monastery of Saint Peter. But the Divine vengeance most speedily exacted a heavy retribution at their hands; for, before the whole city was destroyed, a Danish fleet came on the second day of the week to the aid of the besiegers, and the Danes making an attack upon the castles on the one side, and the Northumbrians on the other, stormed them on the same day; more than three thousand of the Normans being slain, the Danes sparing the lives of William de Malet, who was then sheriff of the province, with his wife and two children, and of Gilbert de Ghent with a few others, repaired to their ships with their innumerable forces, and the Northumbrians returned home.

When king William was informed of this, being greatly enraged, he swore that he would pierce the whole of the Northumbrians with a single spear, and shortly afterwards, having assembled an army hastened with feelings of extreme irritation to Northumbria, and did not cease throughout the whole winter to ravage it, slay the inhabitants, and commit many other acts of devastation.

In the meantime, sending a message to Osborn, the Danish earl, he promised that he would privately present him with no small sum of money, and give his army free licence to seize provisions in the neighbourhood of the sea-shore, upon condition that, after the close of winter, they should depart, without any further hostilities. To these propositions Osborn, being greedy for gold and silver, to his great disgrace, assented. While the Normans, in the preceding year, were laying waste England, throughout Northumbria and some other provinces, but in the present and succeeding year, throughout almost the whole of England, but especially Northumbria and the provinces adjoining to it, a famine prevailed to such a degree, that, compelled by hunger, men ate human flesh, and that of horses, dogs, and cats, and whatever was repulsive to notions of civilization; some persons went so far as to sell themselves into perpetual slavery, provided only they could in some way or other support a miserable existence; some departing from their native country into exile, breathed forth their exhausted spirits in the midst of the journey.

It was dreadful to behold human corpses rotting in the houses, streets, and high roads, and as they reeked with putrefaction, swarming with worms, and sending forth a horrid stench; for all the people having been cut off, either with the sword or famine, or else having through hunger left their native country, there were not sufficient left to inter them. Thus, during a period of nine years, did the land, deprived of its cultivators, extend far and wide a mere dreary waste. Between York and Durham there was not one inhabited town; the dens of wild beasts and robbers, to the great terror of the traveller, were alone to be seen.

While the king was doing these things in the neighbourhood of York, Egelwin, bishop of Durham, and the chiefs of the people, being fearful that, on account of the death of the earl35 at Durham and the slaughter of the Normans at York, the sword of the king would involve both innocent and guilty in a like destruction, unanimously disinterred the holy and incorruptible body of the blessed father Cuthbert and took to flight, on the third day before the ides of December, being the sixth day of the week. They first rested at Girwine,36 next at Bethlingtun,37 the third time at Tughale,33 and the fourth at

39 Robert Cummin. 36 Jarrow, in Durham.

57 Bedlington, in Northumberland. 33 Tughall, in Northumberland.

Ealande. Here, towards nightfall, their further progress was impeded by the sea being at high water, when lo! suddenly withdrawing, it left them free access, so that when they hastened on, the waves of the ocean followed in the rear, at a similar pace, and when they sometimes moved more slowly, the waves did not overtake them by speeding on at a faster pace, but, as soon as they had touched the shore, behold! the sea flowed back again and covered all the sands as before.

In the meantime, the king's army, dispersing in all directions, between the rivers Tees and Tyne, found nothing but deserted houses, and a dreary solitude on every side; the inhabitants having either sought safety in flight, or concealed themselves in the woods and among the precipices of the hills. At this period also, the church of Saint Paul the Apostle, at Girwine, was destroyed by fire. The church of Durham was deprived of all its guardians and all ecclesiastical care, and had become like a desert, as the Scripture says, a refuge for the poor, the sick, and the feeble. Those who were unable to take to flight, turning aside thither, sank there under the influence of famine and disease. The resemblance of the cross, which was the only one of the church ornaments remaining there, (as on account of its large size it could not be easily removed by them in their haste) was robbed of its gold and silver, which were torn off by the Normans.

On this, the king, who was not far off, hearing of the deserted state of the church, and the spoliation of the crucifix, was very indignant, and gave orders for those to be sought for who had been guilty of it. Shortly after, he happened to meet these very persons, and on seeing them turn out of the public road, immediately felt convinced that these men were conscious of having committed some misdeed; whereon, being seized, they immediately made discovery of the gold and silver which they had taken from off the crucifix. On this, he immediately sent them for judgment to the bishop and those who were with him, who were now returning from their flight; but they, acquitting them of the charge, let them escape with impunity. For, upon the approach of spring, the king having returned to the country south of the Humber, bishop Egelwin, after having, with all his people, passed three months and some days at Ealande, returned to the church of Durham, with the treasure of the holy body of Saint Cuthbert.

In the year 1070, at the season of Lent, by the advice of William, earl of Hereford, and some others, king William ordered his followers to search the monasteries throughout the whole of England; and the money which, on account of his severity and extortion, the wealthier English had deposited there, he ordered to be taken from them.

Bishop Egelwin, having returned from flight, as already mentioned, now meditated in his mind a perpetual exile. For, seeing the affairs of the English in a state of confusion on every side, and fearing that the sway of a foreign nation, to whose language and manners he was a stranger, would press with severity upon himself, he determined to resign his bishopric, and to provide for himself, as he best might, in a foreign land. Having, therefore, provided a ship, and put all necessaries on board, he was waiting for a fair wind in the harbour of Wearmouth.

At the same time there were some other ships there; on board of which were the Clito Edgar with his mother Agatha, and his two sisters, Margaret and Christiana, Siward Barn, Marleswein, and Elfwin, son of Norman, and many besides; who, after the attack on the castles at York, on the return home of the Danes, dreading the vengeance of the king for having aided them, were preparing to fly to Scotland and waiting for a fair passage thither.

At this period, a countless multitude of Scots, under the command of king Malcolm, passing through Cumberland, and making their way towards the east, fiercely laid waste the whole of Teesdale39 and its neighbourhood, far and wide. Having come to a place which, in the English language, is called Hundredesfelde, and in the Latin " Centum Fontes" {the hundred springs), and having slain there some of the English nobles, the king, retaining with him part of his army, sent home the other part, with an infinite amount of spoil, by the road by which they had come. In doing this, his crafty design was, that the wretched inhabitants who, in their fear of the enemy, had for safety concealed themselves and their property in whatever hiding-places they could find, might suppose that the whole of the enemy's forces had departed, and that he might suddenly come upon them after they had, with a feeling of security, returned to their towns and homes;

29 The vicinity of the river Tees.

which, accordingly, happened to he the case. For, having laid waste part of Cleveland, he suddenly ravaged Heorternisse, and thence making a fierce incursion upon the lands of Saint Cuthbert,40 deprived all of the whole of their property, and some even of their lives.

In addition to this, ho consumed the church of Saint Peter the Apostle, at Wearmouth, with flames which were kindled by his men in his own presence; other churches also he burned to the ground, together with those who had taken refuge in them. While riding near the banks of the river, and from an elevated spot looking down upon the cruelties inflicted by his men upon the wretched English, and satiating his mind and his eyes with this sight of horror, word was brought to him that the Clito Edgar and his sisters, comely young women of royal blood, with many others, very wealthy fugitives from their country, had taken refuge in that harbour. On this, after interchanging courtesies with them, ho kindly addressed them when they came, and gave to them and all their attendants, with the strongest assurances of peace, an asylum in his dominions for as long a period as they should think fit. Amid these depredations inflicted by the Scots, earl Cospatric, who, as already mentioned, had purchased the earldom of Northumbria of king William for a sum of money, having obtained the aid of some active allies, ravaged Cumberland with dreadful havoc; and then, having laid waste the country with fire and sword, returned with a large quantity of spoil, and shut himself and his followers within the strong fortifications of Bebbanburgh whence frequently sallying forth, he greatly weakened the enemy's strength. At this period Cumberland was subject to king Malcolm; not by rightful possession, but in consequence of having been subjugated by force.

Malcolm, on hearing what Cospatric had done (while he was still looking at the church of Saint Peter burning amid the flames kindled by his own men), could hardly contain himself for anger, and commanded his men no longer to spare any individual of the English nation, but either to strike them to the earth and slay them, or, making them prisoners, carry them off, doomed to the yoke of perpetual slavery. The troops having received this sanction, it was dreadful even to * In the north of Northumberland. 41 Bamborough.

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