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gustald,' who had lately died. About this time, there was a synod held at Ade.4 After Kinewulph had reigned twentysix years, and, being victorious, had gained many battles against the Britons,6 and subdued them on every side,6 at length, he determined on banishing a certain young man, named Kineard, the brother of Sigebert. Upon this, he attacked the king at Meretune,7 whither he had privately gone to visit a certain female. On finding this to be the case, the king stoutly defended himself at the door, until he caught sight of the youth, upon which he rushed out and wounded him, whereon all his confederates turned upon the king, and slew him On the uproar being heard, the king's soldiers, who were in the town, ran towards the youth, and refusing gifts of lands and money that were offered by him, all died bravely fighting, with the exception of one Briton, who was severely wounded, and taken as a hostage. In the morning, the soldiers of the king, who were near at hand in waiting,8 when the king was slain, hemmed in the young man and his confederates; on which he thus said to them; "Your kinsmen are on my side; I will give you lands and money to your hearts' content, if you will not fight against us; I made the same offer to your companions, and refusing it they perished!" To this they made answer, that no money was dearer to them than their lord, and that they would avenge the death of their king and their comrades; and then rashing on, after a severe combat at the door, they slew the young man and eighty-four others who were with him. The only one left was a little son of the young man, and he received a wound. Kinewulph was buried at Winchester, in the thirty-first year of his reign, the young man at Acsminster.' Brithric, who also sprang from kingCerdic so often mentioned,
4 Evidently a mistake for Acle, or Aclea, or Ockley, in Surrey; which is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as the place where the synod was held in 782. 5 The Welsh.
e The various reading," Ex omnia parte," has been adopted, as it seems preferable to the words of the text, " Ex Dei parte."
1 Merton, in Surrey. 8 " In atrio," literally, "in the court."
• Axminster, in Devon. William of Malmesbury, and Roger of Wendover, however, agree in stating, that he was buried at Repandun, or Repton, in Derbyshire. Kinewulph, in reality, reigned only nine and twenty years.
succeeded Kinewulph, and reigned over Wessex sixteen years. In his second year, pope Adrian sent legates into Britain, to renew the faith which Augustine had preached. Being honorably received by the kings and the people, they raised a fair edifice upon a firm foundation, the mercy of Christ co-operating with them. They held a council at Cealtide,10 where Iambert" resigned a portion of his episcopate; there also Higbert was elected12 by king Off a. In the same year, Egfrid was consecrated king of the province of Kent.13
In the following year, being the year of grace 786, there appeared a sign14 upon people's clothes, which may be justly deemed marvellous to be mentioned and to be heard of. Whether this took place as a forewarning of the movement relative to the recovery of Jerusalem, and the assumption of the cross,15 which happened three hundred and eleven years after this period, in the time of William16 the younger, or whether it was rather intended for the correction of the people, lest they should not view the plague of the Danes with which they were shortly afterwards afflicted, in the light of a chastisement, I will not rashly undertake to settle, but, the mysteries of God I leave to God.17
In the fourth year of his reign, Brithric took to wife Eadburga, the daughter of Offa, king of Mercia. Strengthened on the throne by this alliance, he gave way to pride. In these days, the Danes came to Britain, with three ships, for the sake of plunder; the king's reeve in that province, seeing this, went to meet them without taking due precautions, in order that, having captured them, he might carry them to the king's town ;19 for he was ignorant who they were, or for what purpose they had come; but, being immediately surrounded by them, he waa slain. He was the first person of the English nation slain by
10 Lambarde makes this place to be Chalkhythe, but does not say in what county. 11 Archbishop of Canterbury.
la To be Archbishop of Lichfield, the portion of his province which the Archbishop of Canterbury had resigned.
13 Which he held jointly with his father Offa. 14 The sign of the c-ro:
15 By the Crusaders as their emblem. 16 William Rufus.
17 The note of interrogation in the text after " relinquimus" seems misplaced.
18 "Propositus regis;" the king's bailiff or reve, or steward of the shire ; holding the office of the present sheriff.
19 "Castrum;" literally, " fortified town."
the Danes, and after rn'm many thousands of thousands were slaughtered by them at different periods; these too were the first ships of the Danes that arrived here.
In the following year, a synod was held in Northumbria, at "Wincanhele.20
In the sixth year of king Brithric, a synod was held at Aclea.51 By infamous treachery, Sigga slew Alwulph, the good king of Northumbria. In the same spot where this king, the beloved of God, was slain, a heavenly light was often beheld; his body was buried in the church of Hagustald. After him, Osred began to reign, but in the following year was betrayed, and expelled from the kingdom.
Ethelred, the son of Mollethelwald, was then restored to the kingdom; and in the fourth year of his reign, having collected forces for the purpose, Osred was on his return, in order that he might expel Ethelred from the kingdom, by whom he himself had been expelled. On his route he was captured and put to death, and buried at Tynemouth. How just then his remark, who said, "Oh, how blind to the future is the mind of man!" For when the above-mentioned youth Osred, dancing and elated with joy, was made king, how little did he think that in the second year from that time, he should be deprived of his throne, and in the fourth, of his life! For which reason, let us ever be thoughtful in prosperity, being ignorant how near at hand adversity may be.
At this time, Offa, king of the Mercians, ordered the head of Saint Ethelbert21* to be cut off, and in these days, Lambert, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life, and abbat Ethelred was elected in his room archbishop of Canterbury. Eanbald, archbishop of York, consecrated Badulph,23 bishop of Whitherne.
In the tenth year of king Brithric, there were seen fiery dragons flying through the air, which tokens were followed by two plagues; first, a dreadful famine, and then the pagan nations coming from Norway and Denmark. These first ravaged the kingdom of Northumbria in a frightful manner, and then, in the district of Lindisfarne, on the ides of January, dreadfully destroyed the churches of Christ, together with the inhabitants; at which period also, died Sigga, the perfidious duke who had acted the traitor towards the righteous king Elfwald.
20 Finchale. »» Ockley, in Surrey. King of East Anglia.
22 A mistake for Eadulph. He was the last bishop of Whitherne.
In the eleventh year of king Brithric, that is to say, in the year of grace 795, the Northumbrians slew their king, Ethelred, who, in the same year in which king Oered was slain, becoming elated with pride, had forsaken his own wife and taken a new one, little thinking that he himself was destined to be slain within two years from that time. After him Herdulph obtained the kingdom of Northumbria, and was consecrated king by archbishop Embald,23 bishop Ethelbert and bishop Hingbald, and bishop Baldulph, and ascended the throne at York.
In these days pope Adrian and the great king Offa, departed this life; this Offa reigned with mighty sway in Mercia, during a period of thirty-nine years. He subdued Kenulph, king of Wessex, and the people of Kent and Northumbria.
King Offa was succeeded by his son Egfrith, who reigned one hundred and forty-one days, and then died; he was succeeded by Kenulph, the father of Kenelm, a most powerful king.24 In the same year, Eadbert, who also bore the name of Pren, obtained the kingdom of Kent. The pagan nations laid waste Northumbria, and sacked the monastery of Egfrid at Tynemouth; they were there met by the most noble of the English, men extremely well inured to war, and, their chieftains being slain, the barbarians were overcome, and betook themselves to their ships. When they had reached the sea, they continued their flight with their ships, on which some of them were wrecked by a tempest, and many of them drowned; but some of them coming ashore were taken, and were ' beheaded near the sea-shore.
Not long after this, Kenwulph, king of Mercia, laid waste the province of Kent, and captured Pren, who was not a match for him in might, and had consequently concealed himself in hiding-places and out-of- the-way spots, and carried him back with him in chains.
In the fourteenth year of king Brithric, the Romans cut out the tongue of pope Leo, and put out his eyes, and expelled him from his see; but he, as written documents inform us, through the grace of Christ, was enabled again to see and to
'* The word " maris" seems out of place here, as no definite meaning can be attached to it, unless it is meant to say that Kenelm was a man, which seems quite superfluous.
speak, and once more became pope. Three years after this, king Charles was made emperor, and having been consecrated by the same pope Leo, condemned those to death who had illtreated the pope, but afterwards, by reason of the pope's entreaties, he saved their lives, and sent them into exile.
Three years after this, Brithric, king of Wessex, also departed this life, after he had most gloriously reigned over that nation seventeen years, having in ignorance taken some poison, which his wifeEadburga, the daughter of king Offa, had prepared for a certain young man; in consequence of which, they both died, as I have mentioned more at large above. At this time a great battle was fought in Northumbria, at Wellehare,25 in which perished Alric, the son of Herbert, and many others with him. The extreme perplexity that would result, necessarily prevents me from entering into a full description of the circumstances, fluctuations, and results of the wars; for the nation of the English was naturally hardy and proud, and in consequence incessantly engaged in intestine warfare.
Egbert25* therefore, in the year of grace 800, or, according to some, 802, being the eighth in order of ten most valiant kings, whom I have elsewhere remarked, as pre-eminently distinguished for their singular merits, on the death of Brithric succeeded to the throne, and reigned thirty-seven years and seven months over the kingdom of Wessex. At a youthful age, his predecessor Brithric, and Offa, king of Mercia, had banished him from this country. He was in exile three years at the court of the king of France, but behaved himself nobly and discreetly. On the death of the above-named king, he returned and gained the kingdom. On the same day, earl Ethelmund returned from Wicum,26 and, coming to Kinemeresforde,27 met earl Wistan with the men of Wiltshire, and there they fought, and both earls being slain, the Wiltshire men gained the victory.
35 This is probably an error for Wellham, or Wylam, in Northumberland. Lambarde says, " In the beginning of the reign of King Egbert, one of the great monarchs of this realm, there was a great battle fought at a place in the north country, called then Welham, which I take to be now called Wyllom in Coupland."
"* He now resumes the narrative where broken off in p. 20.
26 The country of the Wiccii, who inhabited Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
27 Kempsford. Lambarde suggests that this may be Comberford, near Calne.