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In the year 769. Cataract31 was burnt by the tyrant Carnred, and by the judgment of God, he himself perished by fire in the same year.
In the year 771, Offa, king of Mercia, subdued in war the nation of the East Angles. In the same year, Carloman, the king of the Franks, being attacked by a sudden disease, departed this life, on which his brother Charles,32 who had before possessed half his father's kingdom, acquired the sovereignty of the whole, and afterwards, by his invincible bravery, obtained the chieftainship of all the peoples of the Franks.
In the year 772, Charles, the king of the Franks, having collected a powerful army and assembled the warlike forces of his kingdom, invaded the nation of the Saxons, and after having lost many of his principal and most noble men, betook himself home.
In the year from the incarnation of our Lord 773, bishop Had win33* departed this life, and Leuthfrid was appointed bishop in his room. Wulfeth also, abbat of Beverley, died, and Albert, the archbishop of York, received the pall that had been sent to him by pope Adrian.
In the year 774, duke Eadwulph died, and Alcred being deprived of the counsel and assistance of his own family and his chief men, exchanged the dignity of a crown for exile, and with a few companions of his flight, first betook himself to the city of Bebba,33 and afterwards to the king of the Picts whose name was Cynoth. The city of Bebba is an extremely well fortified place, of no great size, but extending over the space of about two or three fields, having a single approach, hollowed out [of the rock], and in a wonderful manner raised on high and ascended by steps; it has, on the summit of a hill, a church most beautifully built, in which is a precious shrine, wherein, wrapped in a pall, lies the right hand of the holy king Oswald, uncorrupted, as Bede, the historian of this nation, relates. There is on the western side, and in the highest part of the city, a fountain
31 Catterick, in Yorkshire. 32 Known in history as Charlemagne.
32* The words in the original are "Episcopus Migensis." It is not improbable that the bishopric of Orleans is here alluded to; probably the same that is mentioned under the year 768.
hollowed out in a marvellous fashion, the water of which is sweet to drink, and most limpid to the sight.
Ethelred,34 the son of Ethelwald, reigned in his father's stead, and, as will appear in the sequel, held the government hardly five years. At the same period, Charles, the most invincible king of the Franks, after having harassed it with a siege, took Ticinum, the most noble city of the Lombards, together with king Desiderius himself, and gained possession of the whole of Italy.
In the year 775, Cynoth, king of the Picts, departed this life, and duke Eadulph was fraudulently taken prisoner by stratagem, and after a short time slain, buried, and forgotten. Abbat Ebbi also died, and king Charles, as I have already observed, the most warlike of the Franks, being attended and supported by, and glorying in, the entire might of his army, entered the country of the Saxon in battle array, and accompanied by his legions. This district, raging with fire and sword, he laid waste by most severe conflicts; inflamed with furious anger, with a mighty arm he succeeded in adding to his own supreme empire the cities of Sigeburg and Aresburg,35 and the province of Bohwer,36 which had been previously overrun by the Franks.
In the year 777, Pecwin, bishop of Whitherne, departed to the Lord, and was succeeded by Ethelbert.
In the year 779, Ethelred being expelled from the throne,37 and driven into exile, was forced to undergo great trials. On the expulsion of Ethelred, Elfwald, the son of Osulph, received the kingdom of Northumbria, and held it ten years. He was a pious and just king, as a future circumstance will prove.
In the year 780, dukes Osbald and Ethelherd, having collected an army, burned Beam, the king's patrician,3s at Seletune,39 on the ninth day before the calends of January. In the same year, archbishop Albert departed from this world unto Christ, Eanbald, while he was yet alive, having been appointed to the
31 By some called Ethelbert. 33 Probably Arensberg, in Westphalia.
36 Probably a mistake for Roer, or Rohwer, a river of Westphalia, the allusion being to the province through which it flows.
37 Of Northumbria. 3s See the note under year 788.
"Lambarde says, " I take this place to be Salton, now in Yorkshire, and yet the conjecture were not unreasonable to think it Salston, in Nottinghamshire."
same see. Bishop Kinewulph40 also, having laid aside the cares of the world, this year gave up the government of his church, togetherwith the management of all his household,41 to Higbald. In the same year also, bishop Eanbald, having received the pall which had been sent him from the Apostolic See, was solemnly invested as archbishop.
In the year 781, Alcmund, bishop of Hagustald, a man of remarkable piety and of great virtues, departed to Christ, in the third year of the reign of the glorious king Elfwald, on the seventh day before the ides of September; Saint Gilbert42 succeeded him.
In the year 783, being the third year of the righteous king Elfwald, Werburg, who had formerly been queen of the Mercians, but was then an abbess, departed this life, to live eternally with Christ. At the same period, bishop Einewulph departed to the realms of heaven in the fortieth year of his episcopate.
In the year 786, being the eighth year of king Elfwald, Bothwin, the venerable abbat of the church of Ripon, in the sight of his brethren who were present, departed to the kingdom of heaven, and Albert was elected in his room and ordained.' In the same year Aldulph was consecrated bishop by archbishop Eanbald, and bishops Gilbert and Higbald, at Corbridge.43 In these days, Rictrith, who was formerly a queen, and afterwards an abbess, departed unto the Lord. At the same period, Kinewulph, king of the West Saxons, was murdered in a dreadful manner by the perfidious tyrant Kinebard, and the cruel assassin, himself, was without mercy slain by duke Osred, the avenger of his master; upon which, Brithric received the kingdom of the West Saxons. At this time, legates from the Apostolic See were sent to Britain (the venerable bishop George being the chief among them) by pope Adrian, to renew among us the ancient ties of friendship and the catholic faith, which Saint Gregory the pope had taught through Saint Augustine: having been honorably received by the kings and archbishops or primates of this country, they returned home in peace, with great presents, as was befitting.
In the year 787, a synod was held at Wincanheale,44 on the
40 Bishop of Lindisfarne.
41 "Familiae;" alluding probably to the community of monks at Lindisfame. 42 Roger of Wendover says Tilbert.
451 In Northumberland. 11 See under the year 765.
fourth day before the nones of September; at this period, Albert, abbot of Ripon, died, and Sigred succeeded him.
In the year 788, a conspiracy having been formed, king Elfwald was slain by a shocking death, by his patrician44* Sigga, the ninth day before the calends of October, at a place called Siltecester near the wall.45 The body of this excellent king was carried by great crowds of monks to the church of Hagustald, attended with the chaunts of the clergy, and was honorably buried there, in the church of Saint Andrew. He was succeeded by his nephew Osred, the son of king Alcred, who reigned one year. In the place where the good king Elfwald was murdered, a light sent down from heaven, is said to have been seen by great numbers of people. A church was built there by the faithful of that place, and consecrated to the honor of God, and of the saints, Cuthbert the bishop, and Oswald the king and martyr.
In the year 790, Ethelred was recalled from exile, and again, by the grace of Christ, seated on the throne of his kingdom. But king Osred, having been betrayed by the treachery of his nobles, was deprived of his kingdom and shorn in the city of York, and afterwards, compelled by necessity, went into exile. In the second year of his reign, duke Eardulph was taken prisoner, and was taken to Ripon, and there slain without the gate of the church by the above-named king. The brethren having carried his body to the church with Gregorian chaunts, and then placed it in a tent outside thereof, after midnight he was found alive within the church.
In the same year Baldwulph was ordained bishop of "Whitherne, at the place which is called Hearrahaldh, which may be translated "the place of the lords." For in the preceding year, bishop Ethelbert left his own see,47 on the death of Saint Gilbert, and received the bishopric- of Hagustald, as his see.
In the year 791, the sons of king Elfwald were dragged away by force from the city of York, and, having been enticed from the principal church by false promises, were shockingly slain by king Ethelred, at Wonwaldremere ;4s their names were
11* The Patricians of the Anglo-Saxon kings were probably nobles of high rank, attached to the royal household.
45 The wall of Severus is alluded to. The author of the chronicles of Durham and Lindisfarne calls the place Thirlwall. Perhaps Benwell, in Northumberland, is the place alluded to. 47 Of Whitherne.
1s Said by Lambarde to beWinandermere, near Kendal, in Westmoreland. Elf and Elfwin. In this year also, Lambert, archbishop of Canterbury, departed to the Lord; Ethelherd, abbat4* of the monastery of Lhuda, was elected bis successor and consecrated archbishop.
In the year 792, Charles, king of the Franks, sent to Britain a book containing articles agreed upon in a synod, which had been sent to him from Constantinople; in which book, oh shame! there were found many things repugnant and contrary to the true faith, and especially that it had been unanimously agreed to by three hundred, or even more, of the various bishops of the East, that images ought to be worshipped, a thing that the Church of God utterly abhors. Against this Albinos wrote an epistle, wonderfully confirmed by the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and presented it with the same book, in the name of our bishops and princes, to the king of the Franks.
In the same year also, Osred, relying upon the oath and fidelity of certain nobles, came secretly from Eufania,80 the place of his exile; and then, being deserted by his soldiers, was taken prisoner by the said king Ethelred, and by his order slain at a place called Dingburg, on the eighteenth day before the calends of October. His body was carried to Tynemouth,61 and buried in the royal tomb, in the noble monastery there. In the same year king Ethelred took as his queen Elfleda, the daughter of OfFa, king of Mercia, at Cataract, on the third day before the calends of October.
In the year 793, being the fourth year of the reign of King Ethelred, dreadful prodigies alarmed the wretched nation of the English, forterrific lightnings, and dragons in the air, and strokes of fire were seen hovering on high and shooting to and fro; which were ominous signs of the great famine and the frightful and ineffable slaughter of multitudes of men which afterwards ensued. In the same year also, duke Sigga, who slew king Elfwald, died a merited death, and his body was carried to the island of Lindisfarne, on the ninth day before the calends of May.
Lindisfarne is a large island, eight miles or thereabouts in circumference. In it was a noble monastery, where the illus
49 Roger of Wendover says, that he was previously bishop of Winchester. 50 Probably either the Hebrides, a name of which was Evania, or the Isle of Man, which was called Ebonia. 61 In Northumberland.