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ing a synod, declared that they could never allow the monks to be expelled from the kingdom, inasmuch as it was they who kept all religion within the realm; after which, collecting an army, they defended the monasteries of East Anglia with the greatest determination.
While this was going on, a dissension about the election of a king arose among the nobles of the realm, as some favoured Edward, the son of the deceased king, and others his brother Egelred. For which reason the archbishops Dunstan and Oswald convened the bishops, abbats, and a great number of the nobles, and, having elected Edward, as his father had commanded, consecrated him, and anointed him king. In the autumn of this year a comet was seen.
In the year 977, a very great synod was held in East Anglia, at a town which is called Kirding.85 After this, while another synod was being held at Calne, a royal town, the elders of all England, who were there assembled, fell from an upper chamber, with the exception of Saint Dunstan; some of them were killed, while some with difficulty escaped death.
In the year from the incarnation of our Lord 978, Edward, king of the Angles, was unrighteously slain by his people, by the command of his stepmother, Elfritha, at a place which is called Corvesgate,86 and was buried without royal pomp at Werham.87 His brother, Egelred,88 succeeded him, a distinguished prince, of elegant manners, beauteous countenance, and graceful aspect. He was consecrated king, at Kingestun, by the holy archbishops Dunstan and Oswald, and ten bishops, in the sixth year of the indiction, on the eighth day before the calends of May, being the Lord's day after the festival of Easter.
Saint Dunstan, being filled with the spirit of prophecy, foretold to him that in his reign he would suffer much tribulation, in these words: "Because thou hast aspired to the kingdom through the death of thy brother, whom thy mother hath slain, hear, therefore, the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord, 'The sword shall not depart from thy house, but shall rage against thee all the days of thy life, and shall slay thy seed, until thy kingdom shall be transferred unto another
85 A misprint for Kirtling, now Kirtlington, in Cambridgeshire. The subject discussed by the synod was the marriage of the priesthood.
86 Corfe Castle, in Dorsetshire. 8' Wareham. * V. r. Ethelred, by which name he is generally known.
kingdom, whose manners and whose language the people whom thou dost govern knoweth not; nor shall thy sin he expiated hut by a prolonged vengeance, the sin of thyself, and the sin of thy mother, and the sin of the men who have shared in her unrighteous counsels.'" Therefore, after this, a cloud appeared at midnight throughout all England, at one time of a bloody, at another of a fiery, appearance, which afterwards changed to various hues and colours; it disappeared towards dawn.
In the year 979, Elpher, duke of the Mercians, came to Werham89 with a multitude of people, and ordered the holy body of Edward, the precious king and martyr, to be taken up from the tomb, where many miracles had taken place. When it was stripped, it was found to be whole and entirely free from all corruption and contagion; it was then washed and arrayed in new vestments, and conveyed to Scaftesbirig,90 and honorably buried there.
In the year 980, Southampton was ravaged by the Danish pirates, and almost all of its citizens either killed or carried away captives. Shortly after this, the same army devastated the isle of Tenedland.91 In this year, also, the province of the city of the Legions92 was laid waste by the Norwegian pirates.
In the year 981, the monastery of Saint Petroc93 the confessor, in Cornwall, was ravaged by the pirates, who, the year before, had laid waste Southampton, and were then committing frequent ravages in Devonshire, and in Cornwall near the sea-shore.
In the year 982, three ships touched on the coast of the province of Dorset, and laid waste Portland. In this year the city of London was burned with fire.
In the year 983, Alpher, duke of the Mercians, a kinsman of Edgar, king of the English, departed this life, on which his son Alfric succeeded to the dukedom
In the year 984, Saint Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, departed from this world to the Lord, in the second year of the indiction, on the calends of August; and was succeeded by Elphege,94 abbat of Bath. He had assumed the religious habit at the monastery which is called Dehorhirst.94*
» Wareham. 90 Shaftesbury. 91 The isle of Thanet.
92 Chester. 93 Padstow. 94 The second bishop of that name.
M* Deerhurst, near Gloucester.
In the year 986, by reason of certain dissensions, Egelred, king of the English, laid siege to the city of Rochester, but perceiving the difficulty of taking it, departed in anger, and laid waste the lands86 of Saint Andrew the Apostle. Alfric, the duke of the Mercians, son of duke Alfer, was this year banished from England.
In the year 987: there occurred two plagues, unknown to the English nation in preceding ages, namely, a fever affecting the people, and a murrain among animals, which, in the English language, is called " Scitha," being a flux of the bowels; these greatly ravaged the whole of England, and affected both men and animals with great devastation, and, consuming the inner parts of the body, raged in an indescribable manner throughout all the territories of England.
In the year 988, Wesedport94 was ravaged by the Danish pirates, by whom, also, Goda, earl of Devon, and Stremewold, a very brave warrior, were slain; but a considerable number of the enemy having been killed, the English became masters of the place.97
In the first year of the indiction, on the fourteenth day before the calends of June, it being the Sabbath, Saint Dunstan the archbishop departed this life, and attained a heavenly kingdom; in his stead Ethelgar, bishop of Selsey,9* received the archbishopric, and held it one year and three months.
In the year 989, archbishop Aldred" died, and was succeeded by Aldune.
In the year 991, Gippeswic1 was ravaged by the Danes. Their leaders were Justin, and Guthmund, the son of Steitan; with them, not long after this, Brithnoth, the brave duke of the East Saxons, engaged in battle near Meldun;3 but, after a multitude on both sides had fallen, the duke himself was slain, and the Danish fortunes prevailed. Moreover, in this year, by the advice of Siric, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the dukes Ethelward and Alfric, a tribute, which consisted of ten
* Belonging to the bishopric of Rochester. M Probably Watchet, in Somersetshire.
""Loco fluminis" in the original; " fluminis" being probably an error for some other word. 98 In Sussex.
98 The same who just before is called Ethelgar. 1 Ipswich. 1 Maldon.
pounds,' was for the first time paid to the Danes, in order that they might desist from the continued pillage, conflagrations, and slaughters of the people, of which they were repeatedly guilty near the sea-shore, and might observe a lasting peace with them.
Saint Oswald the archbishop, on the sixth day before the ides of November, being the third day of the week, consecrated the monastery of Rawele, which he and Ethelwin, the duke of East Anglia, a friend of God, aided and comforted by the Divine counsel and assistance, had erected.
In the year 992, being the fifth year of the indiction, on the day before the calends of March, being the second day of the week, Saint Oswald the archbishop departed this life before the feet of the poor, where, according to his usual custom, he was performing the Divine command,4 in the manner he had previously predicted, and attained the joys of the kingdom of heaven; he was buried in the church of Saint Mary, at Worcester, which he himself had erected from the very foundation. He was succeeded by Adulph, the venerable abbat of Medeshampstead ;6 and not long after the death of the blessed father Oswald, duke Ethelwin, of illustrious memory, the friend of God, departed this life, and was honorably buried at Ramesege.6
In the year 993, the above-mentioned army of the Danes took Bebbanburgh,7 and carried off all they could find in it. After this, they directed their course to the mouth of the river Humber, and, having burned many towns and slain many persons in Lindesey and Northumbria, took considerable booty. Against them a great number of the people of the district collected with all haste; but when they were about to engage, the leaders of the army, whose names were Frana, Frithegist, and Godewin, because, on the fathers' side, they were of Danish origin, betrayed their followers, and were the first to set the example of flight.
In the year 994, Anlaf, the king of the Norwegians, and Sweyn, the king of the Danes, arrived at London, on the day of the nativity of Saint Mary, with ninety-four galleys, and
3 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Roger of Wendover say that it was ten thousand pounds, which no doubt is the correct statement. 'In washing the feet of the poor.
* Peterborough. s Ramsey. 7 Bamborough.
immediately attempted to force an entrance and burn it: but by the aid of God and of His Mother, they were repulsed by the citizens, with no small loss to their army. Thereupon, being exasperated with rage and sorrow, on the same day they betook themselves thence, and first in Essex and in Kent, and near the sea-shore, and afterwards in Sussex and in the province of Southampton, they burned houses, laid waste the fields, and without respect to sex or age destroyed a very great number of people with fire and sword, and carried off a large amount of spoil; at last, having obtained horses for themselves, furiously raging, they traversed many provinces to and fro, and spared neither the female sex nor yet the innocent age of infants, but, with the ferocity of wild beasts, consigned all to death.
"Upon this, king Egelred, by the advice of his nobles, sent ambassadors to them, promising that he would give them tribute and provisions, on condition that they should entirely put an end to their cruelty. Assenting to this request of the king, they returned to their ships, and then the whole of the army assembled together at Southampton and passed the winter there. The provisions were provided for them by the whole of Wessex; and by the whole of England the tribute, which amounted to sixteen pounds, was paid. In the meantime, by the command of king Egelred, Elphege, the bishop of Winchester, and the noble duke Ethelwald, proceeded to king Alaf, and, having given hostages, brought him with great honor to the royal town of Andeafaran,8 where the king was staving.
He was honorably received by the king, who caused him to be confirmed by the bishop, and, adopting him as his son, presented him with royal gifts, on which he promised king Egelred that he would no more come with an army to England; and, after this, he returned to the ships, and at the approach of summer returned to his own country, and carefully adhered to his promise.
In the year 995, Aldune, the bishop, removed the body of Saint Cuthbert from Cestre9 to Dunholm.10
In the year 996, Elfric was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury.
In the year 997, the army of the Danes, which had remained
8 Andover. 9 Chester-le-Street. 10 Durham.
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