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most unconquerable sword arms were only like garments, bones like flesh. When, therefore, (just like two fires set in different places, which consume every thing that intervenes) it came to pass that the king and the earl met face to face, each terribly and franticly gnashed his teeth at the other and shook his right hand and put himself on his guard, and with mighty blows they both provoked the attack. But the God who opposes the haughty, depressed the wonted confidence of mind of the haughty king. When, therefore, he could neither recover his spirit nor his strength, while his own men were still engaged, in a fit of terror he took to flight, and from that day to the time of his death, God granted him no prosperity whatever. For, four years after this, again engaging71 at Secandune,72 after a dreadful slaughter of his army, disdaining flight, he was slain, and was buried at Repandun;73 and thus this most mighty king, after he had reigned forty-one years, paid the penalty for his immoderate pride.
From this period, the kingdom of Wessex, being greatly strengthened, did not cease to increase till it had reached perfection. In the fourteenth year of his reign, Cuthred fought against the Britons,74 who, vainly opposing him who had conquered king Ethelbald, speedily took to flight, and deservedly suffered a very great slaughter, without any loss to the enemy. In the following year, Cuthred, the high and mighty king, illustrious for so many successes and victories, departed this life.
Sigebert, a relation of the above-named king, succeeded him, but held the sovereignty for a short time only; for growing haughty and insolent, by reason of the exploits of his predecessor, he became intolerable even to his own domestics, as he ill-treated them in all manner of ways, and either perverted the common laws of the kingdom to his own advantage, or disregarded them for his own profit; on which, Cumbra, his earl, a most noble man, at the entreaty of the whole people, acquainted the cruel king with their complaints; but when he exhorted him to act with more moderation, and to treat the people with kindness, and laying aside his wonted inhumanity, to show himself amiable to God and man, the king immediately ordered him to be killed by an unrighteous death, and becoming more cruel and more intolerable to his people, proved himself a still
71 With Cuthred. ,a Seckington; Lambarde, however, conjectures Saswold, in Lincolnshire. 75 Repton, in Derbyshire. 74 The Welsh. greater tyrant. In the second year of his reign, having persisted in his intolerable pride and wickedness, the nobles and the people of the whole kingdom met together, and upon mature deliberation, by the universal consent of all, king Sigebert was expelled from the kingdom.
On this, Kinewulph, a virtuous young man of royal descent, was elected king. The impious Sigebert on being banished by his people, fearing the death that was the due of his wickedness, took to flight, and concealed himself in a great wood which is called Andredeswald,75 where a certain swineherd of earl Cumbra, who, as I have mentioned, had been iniquitously slain, found the king in his concealment, and recognized him when thus found, and becoming the avenger of his master, slew bim when thus recognized. Behold the manifest judgments of God! behold how, not only in a future world, but even in this, he worthily recompenses our deserts. For choosing bad kings for the merited chastisement of their subjects, one He permits to rage for long, in order that both a wicked people may long be harassed, and he, a still more wicked king, may suffer the greater torments in eternity; as, for instance, Ethelbald, the abovenamed king of Mercia. But another one He cuts short with a speedy end, lest his people, weighed down with excessive tyranny, may not be able to take breath, and by reason of the immoderate wickedness of the ruler, may deservedly incur the speedy retribution of the eternal vengeance; as, for instance, this Sigebert of whom we are speaking, who in as great a degree as he proved himself wicked, was as disgracefully slain by a swineherd, and passed from one calamity to another. For which reason, to the eternal justice be praise and glory, now and for ever!
In the first year of king Kinewulph, Beornred succeeded Ethelbald, king of Mercia, in the kingdom, but only for a short time. For in the same year Offa expelled him, and reigned over Mercia thirty-nine years. Offa, a most noble youth, was the son of "Winfred, the son of Kanwulph, the son of Osmod, the son of Epa, the son of Wippa, the son of Creada, the son of Kinewald, the son of Cinbba, the son of Hycis, the son of Comer,
76 This wood is considered by Lambarde to have been in Kent, and the part which is now called the Weald of Kent. The place, however, at which Sigebert was slain is mentioned as Privet's-flood, and is supposed to be the same as Privett, in Hampshire.
the son of Ageltheu, the son of Offa, the son of Wermund, the son of "Widaet, the son of Woden.'8
Offa was a most warlike king; for he conquered the people of Kent in battle, and Vanquished in war the people of Wessex and the Northumbrians. He also shewed himself a pious man, for he transferred the bones of Saint Alban to a monastery which he had built and greatly enriched, and gave to the pope of Rome, the vicar of St. Peter, a fixed tribute for ever, from each town in his kingdom."
In the third year of king Kinewulph, Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, seeing the unfortunate lives and unhappy ends of the above-named kings, (namely, Ethelbald and Sigebert,) and at the same time the praiseworthy life and glorious end of his predecessor Ceolwulph, chose that better part which could not be taken away from him. For having resigned his kingdom, he assumed the tonsure of his head, destined to produce for him an everlasting crown, and put on the darkcoloured clothes that were to confer on him an ethereal splendour. He was the eighth of those kings who of their own accord gave up their kingdoms for Christ, or rather, to speak more truthfully, exchanged them for an eternal kingdom; which eight are in the everlasting enjoyment of the multiplied delights of unspeakable blessings, and their blessed example is worthy of imitation.
He was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Osulf; who after he had reigned one year, was infamously betrayed by his own household, and slain.
After him, Mollethelwald7* reigned nine years. About this time archbishop Cuthbert79 died.
In the sixth year of the reign of king Kinewulph, Ethelbert, king of Kent, departed this life. In the same year, Ceolwulph, who, having resigned his earthly kingdom, had become a monk, departed unto a heavenly one. In the following year,
76 Roger of Wendover differs considerably in the names, and gives two more ancestors to Offa before Woden. His words are, '' the son of Waremund, who was the son of Withleg, who was the son of Wagon, who was the son of Frethegeath, who was the son of Woden."
77 This is the Rome-scot, or St. Peter's pence, which consisted of a penny from each house, payable on the festival of Saint Peter. According to some accounts, it was Ina who made the first grant of it to the Papal see.
79 This is the same king whom he has already mentioned under the year 759, by the name of Ethelwald, suruamed Moll. '9 Of Canterbury.
Lambert was made archbishop of Canterbury. After having reigned six years, Mollethelwald resigned90 the kingdom of Northumbria; after him Aelred reigned eight years, in the second year of whose reign, Egbert, archbishop of York, departed this life, after having enjoyed the archbishopric for a period of thirty-six years: Frithebert, bishop of Hagustald,81 also died, after having been bishop thirty-four years.
Archbishop Egbert was succeeded by Adelbert,82 and Alcmund succeeded bishop Fridebert.
In the fourth year of king Aelred, died Pepin, king of the Franks, Stephen, pope of Rome, and Eadbert,83 the son of Hecta, a most famous duke of [East] Anglia.
In the year of grace 769, in the fifteenth year of king Kinewulph, a wondrous mutation first began to take place.84 For the Roman empire, which had for so many years continued to enjoy pre-eminence, became subject to Charles the Great, king of the Franks. This took place after thirty years of his reign, which first commenced in this year,85 and from that time forward, down to the present day, it has belonged to his successors.
In the twentieth year of king Kinewulph, king Offa and the Mercians fought against the people of Kent at Ottanforde,wi and after a dreadful slaughter on both sides, the illustrious Offa was crowned with success. In the same year, the Northumbrians expelled their king Aelred from Eworwic,'7 in Easter week, and chose for their king, Ethelred, the son of Mollethelwald, who reigned four years. In this year were seen dreadful signs in the heavens after sunset, of a red color;88 and, to the great astonishment of people, serpents were seen in Sussex.
In the second year after this, the Ancient Saxons, from whom
80 He says previously, under the year 765, that this king lost his king, dom at Wincanhele. .
81 Hexham. 82 Before called by him, Albert.
f3 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle calls him a king, but it does not appear of what place.
64 This is a paraphrase for the words in the text, " Incepit fieri mutatatio dexterse excelsi;" which literally translated, would make perfect nonsense. The text is evidently corrupt.
85 This is wrong; he has previously said that his reign began in the year 771.
* Otford, in Kent. ■ York.
88 Ethelwerd, in his Chronicle, says, that it was the sign of the Lord's cross. the English nation is descended, were converted to the faith, and in the same year, Withwin,89 bishop of Whitherne, departed this life, in the twenty-fourth year90 of his episcopate.
In the twenty-fourth year of his reign, Kinewulph fought against Offa, near Benetune ;91 being humbled by the fortune of war, he retreated,93 and Offa reduced that fortified place to subjection. In the same year, Ethelbert was consecrated at Eworwic,93 bishop of Whitherne.
In the following year, Ethelbald and Herebert, earls of the king of Northumbria, rebelled against their master, and slew Aldulph, the son of Bose, general of the king's army, in a pitched battle at Kingesdi we;94 and afterwards in a great battle, the same generals slew Kinewulph and Egga, the king's earls, at Hilatirn. Upon this, the above-named king Ethelred, having lost his generals and his hopes, fled from before them, and they elected Alfimod96 king, who reigned for a period of ten years. In the following year, the nobles and high-reeves of Northumbria burned a certain earl and justiciary of theirs,97 who had shown himself more severe than was befitting. In the same year, archbishop Esbert'9 died at Cestre,1 and was succeeded by Enbalo. In this year, Kinebald was made bishop of Lindisfarne. In the same year also, a battle took place between the Franks and Ancient Saxons, the Franks being the conquerors.
In the next year, Alfinild, king of Northumbria, sent to Rome for the pall, and gave it to archbishop Embald.3 At the same period, Gilbert succeeded Alcmund, bishop of Ha
"Under the year 777, he previously calls him Pechtwiu.
90 This is probably incorrect; he held the bishopric but fourteen years, according to the Saxon Chronicle.
91 Benson, or Benington, in Oxfordshire.
92 The various reading, "loco secessit,"seems far preferable to that in the text,." jocose cessit;" "he jokingly," or " good humouradly yielded."
94 The various reading is Kingsclive. Roger of Wendover calls this place Cunesclive, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Kings-cliff.
93 Under the year 779, he is previously called Elfwald. A various reading makes the name " Alfimold." Below he is called Alfinild.
97 The fate of the patrician Beam is previously related under the year 780.
99 Of York. He is previously called Albert. The Saxon Chronicle says that he died at York. 1 Probably Chester-le-street, in Durham. 2 Also called Eanbald and Enbalo.