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number of the ships was but small, still the number of men on board of them was considerable.
In the fifth year after this, the venerable bishop Alstan and duke Ernulph with the men of Somerset, and duke Osred with the men of Dorset, fought against an army of Danes at Pendredesmuthe,46 and by the aid of God, slew many of them, and obtained the glory of a triumph.
In the sixteenth year of his reign, Ethelwulph and his son Ethelbald, having collected all their forces, fought with a large army of the barbarians, who had come with two hundred and fifty47 ships to Thames-mouth, and had destroyed those cities, famous and renowned for ages, London and Canterbury, and put to flight Bretwulph, king of the Mercians, together with his army; who never afterwards enjoyed success, and dying in the following year, was succeeded by Burrhed. After this, the Danes growing still bolder, all their forces were collected in Surrey, and they met the king's troops at Akelea.48 In consequence, a battle was fought between these two great armies, so mighty and so severely contested, that no person had ever before heard of such a battle being fought in England. You might behold warriors sweeping onward on either side, just like a field of standing corn, rivers of blood flowing and rolling along in their streams the heads and limbs of the slain; but it would be an act of excessive and over-nice fastidiousness to attempt to describe individual exploits. In short, God granted the fortune of war to the faithful, and those who put their trust in him, but to his enemies and contemners defeat and indescribable confusion. King Ethelwulph therefore, being conqueror in this mighty battle, gained a glorious triumph.
In the same year, Ethelstan, king of Kent, and duke Ealred49 fought a naval battle against the Danes at Sandwich, and having made a great slaughter of the enemy, captured nine of their ships, on which the rest took to flight. Earl Cheorl, also, with the men of Devonshire, fought against the pagans at "Wienor,60 and having killed a great number of them, was victorious. Consequently, this year was one of good fortune to the
46 The mouth of the river Parret, in Somersetshire,
47 Another reading is 315; but the other historians make the number 350. 48 Ockley.
49 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Ethelwerd's Chronicle call him Elchere: he is also so called in p. 42. 40 Wembury, near Plymouth. English nation. This, however, was the first year in which the army of the pagans remained throughout the whole of the winter, which they did in the isle of Teneit."
In the eighteenth year of his reign, Ethelwulph materially assisted Burrhed, kingof the Mercians, in subjugating the people of North Wales, and gave him his daughter in marriage. He had four sons, who were all kings in succession, namely, Ethelbald, Ethelbert, Ethelred, and Alfred. This Alfred his father sent, when he was a child five years old, in the year abovementioned, to Rome, to the court of pope Leo; the same pope afterwards pronounced his blessing on him as king, and treated him as his own son. This year, duke Ealhere, with the men of Kent, and Huda, with the men of Surrey, fought against an army of the heathens in Teneit, and a great multitude on either side was slain, or perished by shipwreck, and both the abovenamed dukes lost their lives.
Ethelwulph, the illustrious king of Essex, in the nineteenth year of his reign, set apart a tenth of all the lands in his realm, and bestowed it upon the church, for the love of God, and for his own salvation. Afterwards, he went to Rome in great state, and took with him his son Alfred, whom he loved more than the others. There he remained one year, and on his return thence, took the daughter of Charles the Bald, king of France, to wife, and brought her with him into this country; after having lived with her two years, he died, and was buried at Winchester. He had at first been bishop of that city, but on the death of his father, Egbert, being compelled by necessity, he was made king, and, having married a noble wife, became father of the four sons above-named. About this period, the pagans passed the whole winter at Sepey, that is to say, "the island of sheep."
The above-named king, on his decease, left to his son, Ethelbald, his hereditary kingdom of Wessex, and to Ethelbert, another son, the kingdom of Kent, with Sussex and Wessex. Both the brothers being young men of excellent natural disposition, held their kingdoms without the slightest molestation as long as they lived.
Ethelbald, the king of Wessex, after he had reigned peacefully for five years, was cut off by a premature death.
"Thanet. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions the isle of Sheppey here, and makes it some years later.
All England bewailed the youthful age of Ethelbald, and there was great mourning for him; he was buried at Sherburne, and England was afterwards sensible what a loss she had experienced in him.
Ethelberi, the brother of the above-mentioned king, reigned after him in Wessex, having been previously king of Kent. In his days a naval force came, and having attacked Winchester, destroyed it; thus "fell the ancient city that for many a year had borne the sway."
Ethelbert, dying ten years after, was succeeded by Ethelred, who, after reigning six years, was succeeded by king Alfred, whose reign lasted twenty-eight years. His genealogy, together with his actions and the events of his time, are described below.
THE KINGS OF WESSEX.
Cerdic reigned five years.
Kenric, his son, reigned twenty-six years.
Chenling, his son, reigned thirty-one years.
CnELMC reigned six years.
Chelwt/lph reigned fourteen years.
Kiniglis, who was a Christian, reigned one j'ear. He was baptized by Saint Birinus.
Kenwald, his son, reigned thirty-one years.
Cedwaixa reigned two years; and died at Rome, while wearing the white garments.52
Ina reigned thirty-six years, and afterwards died at Rome.
Sigebert, a cruel man, reigned one year, and was expelled. Kinewulph reigned twenty-six years, and was afterwards slain.
Brit Uric reigned sixteen years. In his reign the Danes first came to England.
Egbert reigned thirty-five years. He was monarch of all England.
Ethelwulph reigned eighteen years.
52 The white or initiatory garments of the novice, or intended monk.
Ethemald reigned Ave years. Ethelbeet reigned six years. Ethelhed, his brother, reigned five years. Alfred the Learned reigned twenty-nine years. Edward reigned twenty-four years. Athelstan, his brother, reigned sixteen years. Edmund reigned six years and one day. Edred reigned nine years and one day. Edwin reigned three years and nine months. Edgar the Just reigned sixteen years. Edward the Martyr reigned four years. Ethelhed, his brother, reigned thirty-eight j"ears. Edmund Ironside reigned nine months. Canute, the Dane, reigned nineteen years. Harold, his son, reigned five years. Hardicanute reigned two years. Edward the Just reigned twenty-four years. Harold reigned nine months. William the Bastard "reigned twenty-one years. William Rufus reigned thirteen years. Henry, the Lion of Justice, reigned thirty-five years and three months.
In the year from the incarnation of our Lord 849, Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, was bor n in the district called Berkshire ;M the following is the order of his genealogical line. King Alfred was the son of king Ethelwulph, who was the son of Egbert, who was the son of Ealmund, who was the son of Eafeo, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Ingild. Ingild, and Ina, the famous king of the West Saxons, were two brothers; this Ina went to Rome, and there ending this life, entered a heavenly country, there to reign with Christ. They were the sons of Coenred, who was the son of Ceolwald, who was the son of Cutha, who was the son of Cuthwin, who was the son of Ccaulin, who was the son of Cynrie, who was the son of Creda, who was the son of Cerdic, who was the son of Elesa, who was the son of Elta, who was the son of Gewis, from whom the Britons call all people of that nation by the name of Gewis ;64 he was the son of Wig, who was the
53 At Wantage.
64 He probably alludes to the West Saxons, or people of Wessex, who were called Gewissae.
son of Freawin, who was the son of Freoderegeat, who was the son of Brand, who was the son of Bealdeag, who was the son of Woden, who was the son of Friderwald, who was the son of Frcalaf, who was the son of Friderwulph, who was the son of Fingoldulph, who was the son of Geta, (which Geta the pagans long worshipped as a god,) who was the son of Cetua, who was the son of Bean, who was the son of Sceldua, who was the son of Heremod, 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 tho son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, who was the son of Methusaleh, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Malaleel, who was the son of Canaan, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam.
The mother of Alfred was named Osburg, an extremely pious woman, noble by nature, noble too by birth; she was the daughter of Oslac, the famous butler of king Ethelwulph; who was a Goth by nation, inasmuch as he was descended from the Goths and Jutes, of the seed of Stuf and Withgar, two brothers and earls; who, having received possession of the isle of Wight from their uncle, king Cerdic, and his son Cinric, their cousin, slew the few British inhabitants they could find in that island, at a place called Withgaraburgh ;55 for the rest of the inhabitants of the island had, been either slain or had escaped into exile.
In the year 851, Cheorl, earl of Devonshire, with the men of Devon, fought against the Danes and defeated them. In the same year a great army of the pagans came with three hundred and fifty ships to the mouth of the river Thames, and sacked Dorobernia, that is, the city of Canterbury, and put to flight Bretwulph, king of the Mercians, who had come to oppose them.
After this, the Danes growing more bold, all their army was collected in Surrey. On hearing this, Ethelwulph, the mighty warrior, with his son, Ethelbald, collected an army at the place which is called Akelea,66 and, engaging with the pagans, he defeated them with unheard-of slaughter.
In the year 852, Berthwulph, king of the Mercians, departed this life, and was succeeded by Burrhed. In the same year,
M It is supposed that this may have been Carisbrook, in the isle of Wight. 66 Ockley, in Surrey.