« AnteriorContinuar »
trious bishop Cuthbert was interred," together with other bishops who most worthily succeeded him. With respect to them, the words of the chaunt may be appropriately repeated— "The bodies of the saints are buried in peace."63 Lindis is the name of a river which, two feet in width, runs into the sea. When it is "Ledon," or low tide, the river can be seen; but when it is "Malina," or the high tide of the sea, then the Lindis cannot be seen. The tide of the ocean follows the moon, and, as though by its inhaling, is raised to high water, and then, by its breathing forth, is driven back again. It seems to flow and to ebb twice a day, later each time by three quarters and64 half an hour, as Bede testifies. Farne is the name of an island on which the most blessed Cuthbert passed the life of a hermit. It is not so large as Lindisfarne, but is situate out at sea, and is buffeted day and night by huge billows.
In the same year, the pagans,65 coming from the northern regions to Britain with a naval armament, made descents in all quarters, plundering, ravaging, and slaughtering, like most cruel wolves, not only beasts of burthen, oxen and sheep, but priests and Levites as well, and multitudes of monks and nuns. They came, as I have observed, to the church of Lindisfarne and laid waste all places with dreadful havoc, trod down holy places with their polluted feet, undermined the altars, and carried off all the treasures of the holy church. Some of the brethren they slaughtered; some they carried off with them in chains ; a very great number, loaded with abuse, they thrust out naked, and some they drowned in the sea. With respect to them, the words may be appropriately quoted: "Fortune bears hard upon the lot of the guiltless. Evil is the due punishment of wickedness. The wrong-doers are seated after their wont on a lofty throne, and the guilty in an unjust manner are treading upon the necks of the righteous. Bright virtue lies concealed in obscure shades, and the just suffer the penalties of the wicked.''
""Positus erat " may either mean that they were located there during their lives, or that they were buried there. Probably the latter is the meaning.
53 "Corpora defunctorum in pace sepulta sunt."
64 In the original it is "et." "Aut," " or," would seem to be a more appropriate reading. The whole passage is involved in considerable obscurity. "The Danes.
These having retired, congratulating themselves on their booty and their •wicked deeds, I shall recount what misfortunes the succeeding year brought.
In the year 794, the pagans above mentioned having laid waste the harbour of king Egfrid, plundered the monastery of Donum.66 But Saint Cuthbert did not permit them to depart without punishment; for their chief was there slain by the English, and died a cruel death; and, after the interval of a short time, the violence of a tempest wrecked, destroyed, and foundered their ships, and overwhelmed a vast number in the sea. Upon this, some of them were thrown upon shore, and soon dispatched without mercy; and this justly befell them, for theygrievouslyinjured those who had not injured them. At that time Ethelherd died, who was formerly a duke, but then a priest in the city of York. In the same year the venerable pope Adrian57 departed unto the Lord on the seventh day before the calends of January. He held the See twenty-six years, ten months, and eleven days. He was buried in the church of Saint Peter, the prince of the Apostles, and over his tomb a tablet of marble, fixed against the wall, recounted his good works, in verses written by the command of king Charles6s in letters of gold.
In the year 795, the same most valiant king Charles, having laid waste their country, with a strong hand, by his arms subdued the nation of the Huns. Their prince having been put to flight, and their army worsted or cut to pieces, he carried away thence fifteen waggons filled with gold, silver, and precious vestments made entirely of silk, each of which was drawn by four oxen. All these the same king, on account of the victory which had been granted him by the Lord, ordered to be divided among the churches of Christ and the poor, returning thanks together with all those who had fought together with him.
In the year 796, being the seventh year of King Ethelred, Alric, who was formerly a duke, but then a priest in the city of York, departed this life; and shortly afterwards, that is
56 This passage is evidently corrupt. The words are " Portum Egfredi regis vastantes, Monasterinm Doni annis prsedarerunt." The corresponding passage in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is, " and plundered Egfert's monastery at the mouth of the Wear."
67 The First. 43 Charlemagne.
to say, on the fifth day before the calends of April, an eclipse of the moon took place between the time of cock-crow and daybreak. In the same year, king Ethelred was slain at Cobre, on the fourteenth day before the calends of May. On this, Osbald, a patrician, was chosen king by some of the nobles of that nation; and after twenty-seven days, being deserted by all the royal household and the nobles, and banished and expelled from the kingdom, he retired with a few followers to the island of Lindisfarne, and went thence with some of the brethren by ship to the king of the Picts.
Then Eardulph, whom I have previously mentioned, the son of Earnulph, having been recalled from exile, received the crown, and on the seventh day before the calends of June, was consecrated at York, in the church of Saint Peter, before the altar of Saint Paul, where that nation had first received the blessings of baptism. Not long after this, that is to say, on the seventh day before the calends of August, Offa, the most mighty king of the Mercians, departed this life, after having reigned thirty-nine years, and was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Egfrith, who died the same year.
Upon this, Kenulph, the father of Kenelm, received the crown of the kingdom of Mercia, and gloriously held it in the invincible power of his might; in the same year also Ceolwulph died at Lindesey, and shortly after, that is to say, on the fourth day before the ides of August, Archbishop Eanbald died at the monastery called Edete, and his body was carried, with a vast concourse accompanying it, to the city of York, and honorably buried there, in the church of Saint Peter the Apostle. Immediately thereupon, another Eanbald, a priest of the same church, was elected archbishop, and consecrated at Sochesburg69 by bishops Ethelbert, Higbald, and Baldwulph.
In the year 797, this last Eanbald, having received the pall from the Apostolic See, was solemnly confirmed in the archbishopric of Northumbria, on the sixth day before the ides of September, being the nativity of Saint Mary; with regard to which day, the poet says: "With honor shines the day on which Mary the good virgin, proceeding from the line of king David, was born unto the world."
In the same year died Ethelbert, bishop of Hagustald, whom
Socburgh, in the diocese of Durham.
Eadred succeeded, and was ordained by archbishop Eanbald and bishop Higbald at a place which is called "Widford.
In the year 798, a conspiracy having been entered into by the murderers of king Ethelred, "Wada, the leader in the plot, together with the others, fought a battle against king Erdulph, at a place which is called by the English Billingahon, near Wallalalegc, and after many were slain on either side, earl Wada with his men was put to flight, and king Erdulph bravely gained a victory over his foes. In the same year, London was destroyed by a sudden conflagration, together with a vast multitude of people.
At this period, Kenulph, king of the Mercians, with all the strength of his army, entered the province of Kent, and laid it waste with dreadful slaughter. At the same time, Eadbert, king of Kent, was taken prisoner, and the king of the Mercians ordered his eyes to be put out, and his hands to be cut off without mercy, as a punishment for their pride and treachery; then, having obtained the suffrage of the Lord, he added the rule of his kingdom to his own sway, placing the crown upon his head and the sceptre in his hand. In the same year also, being the third year of the above-named king Kenulph, a synod was held at the place which is called Wincanhele,60 under the presidency of archbishop Eanbald, many ecclesiastics and men of princely dignity attending thereat. They devised many things for the benefit of the Holy Church of God, and of the nation of Northumbria and all the provinces, as to the observance of Easter, feasts, and judgments, both holy and secular. These enactments rendered those days distinguished for just kings, virtuous nobles, and holy bishops, and other wise men? namely, priests and monks; through the foresight and justice of whom, and their holy deeds, the state of the kingdom of Norfhumbria sent forth a sweet fragrance in those times. The lord archbishop Eanbald commanded the profession of faith in the articles of the five synods to be repeated, concerning which it is thus written in the history of the English: "We do agree to the holy and universal decrees of the five synods of the fathers, holy and acceptable to God, in such form as the text of the present book contains," &c.
In the year 799, in the British seas a very great number of
ships were tossed and wrecked, or dashed against each other,
and sunk, together with a vast multitude of men. In the same
60 Finchale, in Durham. Vol. I. r year, Brorda, a prinee of the Mercians, who was also called Hyldegils, departed this life. An abbat also, whose name was Altilthegno,61 was murdered by his deputy, and died a shocking death. At this period, Osbald, who was formerly an exile and a patrician, and king, for a time, but afterwards an abbat, departed this life, and was buried in the church at York. Earl Aldred, the murderer of king Ethelred, was slain by earl Thormund, in revenge for his master the said king.
In the year 800, Heardred, bishop of Hagustald,62 died in the third year of his episcopate, and was succeeded by Eanbrith. At the same period also, on the ninth day before the calends of January, the day before the Nativity of our Lord, a mighty wind blowing either from the south or the west, by its indescribable force destroyed very many cities, houses, and towns in various places, and levelled them with the ground; innumerable trees were also torn up from the roots, and thrown to the ground. In the same year an inundation took place, the sea flowing beyond its ordinary limits. An extensive murrain also prevailed among, the cattle in various places.
In the year 801, Edwin, also called Eda, who had formerly been a duke of Northumbria, but was at that time, by the grace of the Saviour of the world, an. abbat, being firmly rooted in the service of God, breathed his last, in the presence of his brethren, on the eighteenth day before the calends of February. At this time, Eardulph, king of Northumbria, led an army against Kenwulph, king of Mercia, because he had entertained his enemies; the latter also collected an army, and obtained very considerable aid from other kingdoms. A long war having been waged between them, at length, by the advice of the bishops and chief men among the English on both sides, and through the intervention of the king of the Angles,63 they agreed to a truee; and a most solemn treaty of peace was concluded between them, which, by oath upon the gospel of Christ, both kings ratified, taking God for their witness, and giving sureties, that all their days, so long as they should live and be invested with the insignia of royalty, there should remain between them lasting peace and true friendship, unshaken and inviolate..
In the same year Hathubert, bishop of London, departed this life, and shortly after a great part of the city itself was de
al This passage is probably corrupt. 68 Hexham.
03 Probably this alludes to the king of East Anglia.