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King Alfred, after the burning of cities and the slaughter of the inhabitants, rebuilt London with great honor, and made it habitable, and gave it into the charge of Ethered, earl of Mercia. To this king all the Angles and Saxons, who before had been dispersed in all quarters, or were with the pagans" but not in captivity, came, and voluntarily submitted to his sway. At this period, Plegmund was archbishop of Canterbury.
In the year 886, the above-mentioned army left Paris, being unable to gain their object, and steered their fleet thence along the Seine, as far as a place called Chezy. There having taken up their quarters for a year, in the year following they entered the mouth of the river Iona,18 and, making great ravages to the country, remained there a year.
In the same year, Charles, king of the Franks, departed this life, in the sixth week after his expulsion from his kingdom by Ernulph, his brother's son. After his death the kingdom was divided into five parts, but the principal part devolved on Ernulph, to whom the other four, of their own accord, took the oath of fealty; inasmuch as not one of them could be legitimate heir on his father's side, except Ernulph alone: with him, therefore, remained the supreme power.
This, then, was the division of the kingdom: Ernulph received the countries on the eastern side of the river Rhine; Rhodulph the inland parts of the kingdom; Odo the west; and Beorgar and "Wido14 Lombardy and all the lands on that side of the mountains. But these kingdoms, thus divided, afflicted each other with mighty wars, and the kings expelled one another out from their dominions.
In this year Ethelhem," earl of Wiltshire, carried to Rome the alms of king Alfred.
In the year 887, among the numberless good things that king Alfred did, he founded two most noble monasteries; one for monks, at a place which is called Ethelingege,16 or the "the island of nobles," where, collecting monks of various
12 Asser seems to say that those submitted "who were in captivity with the heathens." This is clearly wrong, for they had not the opportunity of so doing. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Roger of Wendover agree with our author.
u Yonne. 14 Witha, or Guido.
16 Roger of Wendover erroneously calls this person Athelm. bishop of Winchester. 46 Or Athelney, in Somersetshire.
orders, he first appointed John to be abbat, a priest and monk, and an ancient Saxon by birth; the other a noble monastery also near the east gate of Sceaftesbrig," he erected for the reception of nuns, and over it he appointed as abbess his own daughter Ethelgiva, a virgin consecrated to God. These two monasteries he enriched with possessions in land, and riches of every kind.
In the year 888, Ethelfrid, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life, and was succeeded by Plegmund.
In the year 889, king Guthrum, whom, as I have previously mentioned, king Alfred raised from the font, giving him the name of Ethelstan, departed this life. He, with his people, dwelt in East Anglia, and was the first who held and possessed that province, after the martyrdom of the king Saint Edmund.
In the year 890, "Wulpher, archbishop of York, died, in the thirty-ninth year of his archiepiscopate.
In the year 892, Hasting, the pagan king, entered the mouth of the Thames, with eighty piratical ships, and threw up fortifications at Middletun.18
In the year 893, Cuthred, king of Northumbria, died. The pagans of Northumbria ratified the peace with Alfred by oath.
In the year 894, the pagans brought their ships up the river Thames, and after that, up the river Lige,19 and began to throw up their fortifications near the river, at the distance of twenty miles from London.
In the year 895, in summer time, a great part of the citizens of London, and a considerable number from the neighbouring places, attempted to destroy the fortifications which the pagans had constructed; but on their making a stout resistance, the Christians were put to flight, and four of the thanes of king Alfred slain.
In the year 896, the army of the pagans in East Anglia and Northumbria, collecting plunder by stealth on the coast, grievously laid waste the land of the West Saxons, and especially by using long and swift ships, which they had built many years before. To oppose them, by order of king Alfred ships were constructed, twice as long, sharp, and swift, and not so high,20 by the onset of which, the said ships of the
17 Shaftesbury. !9 Milton, near Gravesend.
19 Probably the same as the Limen or Rother, in Kent. w The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says they were higher.
enemy might be overcome. On these being launched, the king gave orders to take alive as many as they could, and to slay those whom they could not take; the result of which was, that in the same year, thirty ships of the Danish pirates were captured, some of whom were slain, and some taken to the king alive, and hanged on gibbets.
In the year 897, Rollo, the first duke of the Normans, with his army laid siege to the city of Chartres ; but Walzelm, the bishop of that city, calling Richard, duke of Burgundy, and Ebalus, earl of Poitou, to his aid, and carrying the tunic of Saint Mary in his hands, by the Divine will put duke Rollo to flight, and delivered the city.
In the year 898, Ethelbald was ordained archbishop of York.
In the year from the incarnation of our Lord 899, king Alfred, son of the most pious king Ethelwulph, havingreigned twenty-nine years and six months, departed this life, in the fourth year of the indiction,21 on the fifth day before the calends of November, and was buried in the new monastery at Winchester.
He was succeeded by his son Edward, surnamed the Elder, who was inferior to his father in his acquaintance with literature, but his equal in dignity and power, and his superior in glory. For, as will be shewn in the sequel, he extended the limits of his kingdom much farther than his father did. He also built many cities, and restored some that had been destroyed; the whole of Essex, East Anglia, Northumbria, and many districts of Mercia, of which the Danes had been long in possession, he manfully wrested from their hands. After the death of his sister Ethelfreda, he obtained possession of the whole of Mercia, and received the submission of all the kings of the Scots, the Cumbrians, the people of Strath-Clyde, and the West Britons.
By Egewinna, a most noble lady, he had Ethelstan, his eldest son; hy his wife Edgiva he had three sons, Edwin, Edmund,andEdred, anda daughter named Eadburga, avirgin most
31 The indiction was so called from the edicts of the Roman emperois; and as one such edict was supposed to appear regularly every fifteen years, the years were reckoned by their distance from the year of each indiction. From the time of Athanasius downwards, they were generally employed by ecclesiastical writers in describing epochs.
strictly consecrated to God, with threea other daughters; one of whom, Otho, the eighty-ninth emperor of the Romans, and another, Charles, king of the West Franks, took to wife; whose father's sister, that is to say, the daughter of the emperor Charles, Ethelwulph, the king of the West Saxons, had married; the third daughter was married to Sithric, king of Northumbria.
In this year, Erdulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, departed this life, and was succeeded by Ghithred; Osbert was also expelled from his kingdom.
In the year 900, the most valiant duke Athulph, brother of queen Ealwitha, the mother of king Edward, and Virgilius, the venerable abbat of the Scots, departed this life; also Grimbald, the saint and priest, one of the masters of king Alfred, attained the joys of the kingdom of heaven.
In the year 902, the people of Kent fought with a great host of the piratical Danes, at a place which is called Holme, and came off victorious.
In the year 903, that pious handmaid of Christ, queen Elswitha, the mother of king Edward, departed this life; she founded a monastery for nuns at Winchester.
In the year 904, the armies of the pagans of East Anglia and Northumbria, finding that king Edward was invincible, made peace with him, at a place which, in the English language, is called Thitingaford.23
In the year 905, the city, which is called in the British tongue, Karlegion,24 and in the Saxon, Legacestre, was rebuilt by the command of duke Ethered and Ethelfleda.
In the year 906, the bones of Saint Oswald, the king and martyr, were removed from Bardonig,26 into Mercia. The most invincible king Edward, because the Danes had infringed the treaty which they had made, sent an army of West Saxons and Mercians into Northumbria, which, having arrived there, for nearly forty days did not cease to lay it waste, and slaying a vast number of the Danes, compelled their kings and
22 Roger of Wendover mentions five daughters, besides Eadburga, whom he calls Eadtleda.
23 This place in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is called Hitchinford. Lambarde calls it "Itingford," and says, "I find it not so circumscribed, that I can make any likely conjecture where it should be."
24 Properly " Caerlirion," the ancient name of Leicester. 25 Uarduey.
leaders to renew the treaty of peace with king Edward, which they had broken.
In the year 907, in the province of Stafford, at a place which is called Teotenhale,2' a memorable battle took place between the English and the Danes; but the English gained the day.
In the year 908, Ethered, the king's earl of the Mercians, a man of great virtue, departed this life; and after his death, his wife Egelfleda, the daughter of king Alfred, for a long time most ably governed the kingdom of the Mercians, except the cities of London and Oxford, of which her brother, king Edward, retained the government.
In trie year 909, Egelfleda, the lady of the Mercians, on the second day before the nones of May, came with an army to the place which is called Sceargate,27 and there erected a fortified castle, and after that, another on the western bank of the river Severn, at the place which is called Brige.28
In the year 910, at the beginning of summer, Egelfleda, the lady of the Mercians, proceeded with the Mercians to Tamuirting,29 and rebuilt that city. In this year king Kiel was slain by his brother Sithric.
In the year 911, Werfred, bishop of the Wiccii, departed this life at "VTorcester; he was a man of great sanctity and learning, and, as I have previously mentioned, at the request of king Alfred, translated the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the pope into the Saxon tongue; he was succeeded by Ethelhun. Egelfleda, the lady of the Mercians, founded the city which is called Eadesbirig,30 and at the close of autumn another, which is called "Warewic.31
In the year 912, the most invincible king Edward went to Bedford, before the feast of Saint Martin, and received the submission of its inhabitants, and having remained there thirty days, ordered a city to be founded on the south side of the river Lea.32
In the year 913, Egelfleda, the lady of the Mercians, sent an army into the territory of the Britons,33 to besiege the castle » Totenhall. * Roger of Wendover calls it " Strengate."
29 Bridgnorth, in Shropshire, 29 Tamworth, in Staffordshire.
30 Eddesbury. 31 Warwick.
32 This is probably the river meant; though in the original the river is called " Ose," being evidently a misprint for Ouse. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle here mentions Hertford, on the south side of the Lea, as being founded by Edward. 33 The Welsh.