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promised that they would defend England, on condition of his giving them food and clothing.
In the year 1013, Living was appointed to the archbishopric of Canterbury. In the month of July, Sweyn, king of the Danes, arrived at the port of Sandwich with a strong fleet, f and after remaining there a few days, took his departure, and Bailing round East Anglia, entered the mouth of the river Humber, from which, entering the river Trent, he sailed up to Gainesburg,37 where he pitched his camp. Without delay there made submission to him, first, earl Ucthred and the people of Northumbria and Lindesey, and after them the people of the Five Boroughs,88 next all the people living in the district north of Watlingastrete, the road which the sons of king Wethle made through England, from the Eastern Sea to the Western; all these made submission, and having entered into a treaty of peace with him and given hostages, swore fealty to him, and were ordered to provide horses and food for his army.
These things being done, and the fleet with the hostages entrusted to his son Canute, he took chosen men as auxiliaries from those who had been surrendered, and made an expedition against the South Mercians. Having passed over Watlingastrete, he issued an edict to his followers that they should lay waste the fields, burn the towns, spoil the churches, slay without regard or mercy all those of the male sex who should fall in their hands, and reserve the females to satisfy their lust, doing all the mischief they possibly could.
They acting in this manner, and raving with the rabidness of wild beasts, he came to Oxford, and took it more speedily than he had previously expected; having received hostages, he passed on in haste to Winchester, and arriving there, the citizens, being alarmed, made peace with him without delay, and gave him hostages, such and as many as he demanded. Having received these, he moved on his army towards London; and great numbers of them being drowned in the river Thames, perished there, having never attempted to find either a bridge or a ford. On arriving at London, he endeavoured in many ways to capture it either by stratagem or by force.
33 These were Lincoln, Nottingham, Leicester, Stamford and Derby.
But Egelred, king of the English, with the citizens and the aid of the Danish earl, Turkill, so often mentioned, who was with him at the time, manfully defended the walls of the city, and held out against him. Being repulsed, he repaired first to Wallingford, then to Bath, ravaging and laying waste everything in his progress, according to his usual practice, and there he sat down with his forces to refresh them. Then came to him Athelmar, the earl of Devon, and with him the thanes of the west, and having made peace with him, gave him hostages. All these things being thus accomplished to his wish, on returning to his fleet, he was by all the people styled and considered king, although he acted in most respects in a tyrannical manner.
The citizens of London, also, sent hostages to him, and made peace with him; for they were afraid that his fury would be so inflamed against them, that, taking away all their possessions, he would either order their eyes to be put out, or their hands or feet to be cut off. When king Egelred saw this, he sent queen Emma by sea to Normandy, to her brother Richard, the second duke of Normandy, and her sons Edward and Elfred, together with their tutor, Elphune, bishop of London, and Elfsy, abbat of Medeshampstead.39 But he himself remained for some time with the Danish40 fleet, which lay in the Thames at a place called Grenwic ;41 and afterwards proceeding to the Isle of Wight, there celebrated the Nativity of our Lord; after which, he passed over to Normandy, and was honoiably entertained by duke Richard.
In the mean time, the tyrant Sweyn ordered provisions to be prepared in abundance for his fleet, and an amount of tribute to be paid that could hardly be endured. In like manner, in all respects, earl Turkill ordered payment to be made to the fleet which lay at Grenwic. In addition to all this, each of them, as often as they thought proper, collected spoil, and did much mischief.
In the year 1014, the tyrant Sweyn, after innumerable and cruel misdeeds, which he had been guilty of either in England or in other countries, to complete his own damnation, dared to exact a heavy tribute from the town where lies interred the uncorrupted body of the royal martyr, Edmund; a thing that no one had dared to do before, from the time when that town*
'a" Peterborough. 40 Qy. English? 41 Greenwich.
42 Bury St. Edmunds.
had been given to the church of the above-named saint; he repeatedly threatened, also, that if it was not quickly paid, beyond a doubt he would burn the town, together with the townsmen, utterly destroy the church of the martyr himself, and torment the clergy with various tortures. In addition to this, he even dared frequently to speak slightingly of the martyr himself, and to say that he was no saint at all. But, inasmuch as he was unwilling to put an end to his misdeeds, the Divine vengeance did not permit this blasphemer to live any longer.
At length, towards the evening of the day on which, in a general council which he had held at a place which is called Geagnesburt,43 he had again repeated these threats, while surrounded with most numerous crowds of Danes, he alone beheld Saint Edmund coming armed towards him; on seeing whom, he was terrified, and began to cry out with loud shrieks, exclaiming, "Fellow-soldiers, to the rescue, to the rescue! behold Saint Edmund has come to slay me;" after saying which, being pierced by the Saint with a spear, he fell from the throne44 upon which he was sitting, and, suffering great torments until nightfall, on the third day before the nones of February, terminated his life by a shocking death.
After his death, the fleet of the Danes elected his son, Canute, king. But the elders of the whole of England, with one consent, in all haste sent messengers to king Egelred, declaring that they loved no one, and would love no one, more than their own natural lord, if he would either rule them more becomingly, or treat them with more mildness than he had previously done. On hearing this, he sent his son, Edward, to them, with his deputies, and in a friendly way greeted his people, both great and small, promising that he would be to them a loving and affectionate lord, and would consult their wishes in all things, would listen to their advice, and with a forgiving temper pardon whatever had been said in abuse, or done in contradiction by them to himself or his family; if, on the other hand, they would be ready to restore birn with unanimity and without guile, to his kingdom. To this they all made answer in kindly terms, and full friendship was
4i Probably Gainsborough.
14 "Emissario " is the word in the text, probably a mistake for some other word. "Missarius " means one that strikes or wounds; but if it is to be retained here, some other word is omitted.
established on either side, both by words and by pledge. In addition to this, the nobles unanimously made promise that they -would no more admit a Danish king' into England.
Or. these things being concluded, a deputation was sent by the English to Normandy, and the king was brought back in all haste during the season of Lent, and received with due honor by all. In the meantime it was arranged by Canute and the men of Lindesey,45 that, procuring horses for the army, they should make a descent for the purpose of plunder. But, before they were prepared, king Egelred came thither with a strong army, and, Canute with his fleet being put to flight, laid waste the whole of Lindesey, and ravaged it with fire, slaughtering all the inhabitants he could. But Canute, at once taking safety in flight, directed his course towards the south of England, and in a short time came to the port of Sandwich, where he put on shore the hostages that had been given to his father by the whole of England, and, having cut off their hands, ears, and nostrils, allowed them to depart, and then set sail for Denmark, to return in the ensuing year. In addition to all these evils, king Edward ordered to be paid to the fleet, which lay at Grenwic, a tribute which amounted to thirty thousand pounds.
On the third day before the calends of October, the sea overflowed its shores, and drowned a great number of towns in England and numberless multitudes of people.
In the year 1015, while a great council was being held in secret at Oxford, the perfidious duke Edric Streona, by stratagem enticed Sigeferth and Morcar, the sons of Earngrim, the very worthy and influential thanes of the Seven Boroughs, into his chamber, and there ordered them to be put to death. King Egelred thereupon took possession of their property, and ordered Aldgitha, the relict of Sigeferth, to be taken to the city of Maidulph.46 While she was being kept in confinement there, Edmund, the king's son, surnamed Ironside, came thither, and, against the will of his father,47 took her to wife, and, between the feasts of the Assumption and the Nativity of Saint Mary, set out for the Five Boroughs, and invading the territories of Sigeferth and Morcar, subjected their people to himself.
45 Roger of Wendover says that he had gained them over to his cause. * Malmesbury.
47 Roger of Wendover says, without his father's knowledge.
At the same time, Canute, king of the Danes, came with a great fleet to the port of Sandwich; and then, sailing round Kent, entered the mouth of the river Frome, and collected great booty in Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, and the province of Winchester.48 At this period, because king Egelred lay sick at Corsham, the Clito Edmund, his son, acted in his behalf, and, with the duke Edric Streona, who was full of guile and treachery, collected a large army: but, when they had met together, duke Edric in every possible way laid snares for the Clito Edmund, and tried by treachery to cut him off. On Edmund learning this, they soon separated from each other, and left the place to the enemy. Not long after this, the same duke enticed away forty ships of the royal fleet, manned with Danish soldiers, and, going over to Canute, made submission to him. The men of Wessex did the same, and gave hostages, and afterwards provided horses for his army.
Li the year 1016, Canute, king of the Danes, and the perfidious duke Edric Streona, with a large retinue,49 crossed the river Thames at a place which is called Cricklade; and, on the approach of the Epiphany of our Lord, made a hostile irruption into Mercia, and laying waste many towns in the province of Warwick, burned them, and slew all the persons they could find. When the Clito Edmund, surnamed Ironside, heard of this, in all haste he collected an army; but, after it was brought together, the men of Mercia were unwilling to engage with the men of Wessex and the Danes, unless king Egelred and the citizens of London were with them. In consequence of this, the expedition was given up, and each one returned home.
After the festival was concluded, the Clito Edmund again formed a still greater army; after which, he sent messengers to London, to beg his father to meet him as soon as possible, with all the men he could find. But, after an army had been collected together, intimation was given to the king, that, if he did not take due precaution, some of his allies were about to betray him. The army was soon broken up in consequence, on which he returned to London; but the Clito proceeded to Northumbria. For which reason some thought that he still intended to form a greater army against Canute; but in the
It ought to be "Wiltonensi," Wiltshire. 49 V. r. "Equitatu," body of cavalry.